God's will for people is to prosper. The Scripture says, "I pray above all things that you might prosper and be in health" (3 John 2), and, "For you know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, that, though He was rich, yet for your sakes He became poor, that you through His poverty might become rich" (2 Corinthians 8:9). In life there is a fear of not having enough but God reassures us that, "He will supply us all our (material) needs according to His riches in heaven by Christ Jesus" (Philippians 4:19). Throughout both the Old and New Testament prosperity is always viewed as a blessing and poverty as a curse. The prosperity God speaks of is not only spiritual in nature, it is also financial. He wants our spirit, soul, and body to be whole and well off (1 Thessalonians 5:23). God says He delights in prospering His servants (Psalms 35:27).
Prosperity does not come by accident. It comes by taking certain actions and refraining from others. By following God's ways we can become prosperous. In this pamphlet you will discover the will of God concerning prosperity, how to receive it, and how to avoid the pitfalls of poverty.
What is God's Will for You Financially?
The Word of God (i.e., the Bible) is the will of God. God inspired people in times past to write down His thoughts and ways to us (2 Peter 1:21) so that we could know about Him. God does not say one thing and will another. If He did, He would be a "house divided", or worse, a liar. But God does not lie (Numbers 23:19) and His ways and will are knowable (1 Corinthians 2:10, Ephesians 5:17). If we can be born again by His Words (1 Peter 1:23), then surely we can receive other things from His hand by the same means of faith. It is God's good pleasure to give us His kingdom (Luke 12:32).
The Scripture always speaks of material prosperity as a blessing and financial lack as a curse. In Deuteronomy 28, God says it is a blessing to not only have enough (verses 4-6, 8,11) but more than enough so that some can be given away to others (verse 12). This was a promise given by God to Abraham many many years ago. A Christian has been given the same inheritance he enjoyed (Galatians 3:29). (If you are not a Christian by receiving Jesus as your Lord and Savior, God still wants you to prosper but you are outside His covenant and He cannot directly help you financially - see the end of this pamphlet to receive salvation). This covenant, or set of promises, still applies to us today. Deuteronomy 7:9 says, "Know therefore that the LORD your God, He is God, the faithful God, Who keeps covenant and mercy with those who love Him and keep His commandments to a thousand generations". Since the time God made that covenant with Abraham, there have been many fewer generations than a thousand that have lived and died.
The financial blessings promised in Deuteronomy are the result of doing what verses 1 and 2 say in that same chapter, which is, to do God's commandments. God's commandments can be summed up very simply: love God with all your heart, mind, and body; and love your neighbor as yourself (Matthew 22:37-39). Our hearts must be motivated by love else faith in God's promises are not effective (Galatians 5:6). If we do not walk in love toward God and others, we really have not done anything (I Corinthians 13:1-4).
The same 28th chapter of Deuteronomy goes on to describe the curses of God. Included among those curses are lack of finances. God considers poverty a curse. The Good News is that Jesus took upon Himself all those curses on the cross two thousand years ago so that we don't have to (Galatians 3:13)! All this might sound too good to be true. It is! God is good!
There are conditions, however, to prosperity, as there are to any of the promises of God.
How to Receive Financial Prosperity from God
The first and foremost precondition to financial prosperity is prosperity of the soul. 3 John 2 says, "Beloved, I pray above all things that you may prosper and be in health, just as your soul prospers." The soul of a person is the mind, will, and emotions. Someone who is not prosperous in these areas cannot become prosperous financially. (There are unsaved people who are financially prosperous but they are generally people who have a modicum of prosperity of soul). To prosper in the soul we must obey the Truth. Jesus and the Word is the Truth (John 14:6, 17:17). To prosper with God you must first accept His Son as your Lord and Savior. You must also do what He said to do, and not just in the realm of finances. Jesus said, "If you love Me you will do what I say" (John 14:23).
Next, we must get rid of fear. A fear controlled mind is not prosperous. 2 Corinthians 10:4,5 says to throw out thoughts that oppose the truth of God. God does not want us to live in fear; He calls fear a form of bondage (Romans 8:15). The opposite of fear is love and peace. A description of a prosperous person is someone who has control over his or her mind. Do not let your mind think whatever it wills. Take control of it and tell it what to think! God gives us the desire and power to do these things (Philippians 2:13, 2 Timothy 1:7). He says to keep our thoughts on things above and not on things of the earth (Colossians 3:2). Someone who is prospering mentally has control over his mind. The mind cannot successfully be controlled without the Word of God and the Spirit of God through Jesus Christ.
To prosper soulfully, a person's will must be in submission to His will. You cannot ask God to break your will. God will not violate our will like that. Humans are born with a free will now and forever. God is love, and love goes hand in hand with freedom of choice. We must choose whether or not to follow God. God does not control people. If you had no will you would be like someone in a coma, or with a lobotomy. There is power in a person's will - it is what makes us like God. We have the power to die and go to hell if we want to and there's nothing man or God can do about it. We can also choose our own eternal destiny by following Jesus Christ. God created man in His own image. Spending time with God and His Word will make this task much easier. He has given us a spirit of self-control (2 Timothy 1:7). It is made strong and effective by reason of use. Use what little you may have and it will increase in strength.
Someone who is emotionally prosperous is someone who can control his or her emotions. This does not mean we are to be emotionless. It means we do not allow our emotions to contradict and supersede the Word of God in our lives, or lead us around by the nose. Someone who cries over a song about lost loves and bad luck, and pays good money to hear about it over and over, is not prospering in his or her emotions. Those things are emotional Band-Aids covering a hurt that has not been dealt with through the Word and Spirit of God. Ask God to heal you of the hurt that causes you to seek those palliatives. Some people, sad to say, do not want to be healed emotionally because then they do not have anything to complain about. If they do not have anything to complain about, they will not have anything to say, and if they have nothing to say, people may not hang around them, and that's intolerable. We need to let go of our hurts, let God fix them, and move on.
3 John 2 basically says you will never prosper, or be any healthier, than your soul. One can be born again and filled with the spirit, and not be prosperous in the soul. You can pray down revival for a whole city and still be poor as a church mouse. Why? because you have not received a revelation of God's Word in the area of finances. You can have great faith in one area of your life and have little or none in other areas. Does God still love you and are you still going to heaven if your are in this predicament? Absolutely! But to receive the fullness of God's grace in the area of finances you will need specific revelation accompanied by faith and action. It is difficult to go about doing the will of the Father in financial bondage. So, what makes a soul prosperous? The Word of God.
The Scripture says, "In your patience do you possess your souls" (Luke 21:19). Patience does not mean to "sit there and take it". Patience means consistently doing things the same way all the time, regardless of the circumstances. It means endurance. A man that's patient on the Word of God says, "I'm prospering by the Word of God and I don't care what circumstances might seem". Through faith and patience do we inherit the promises of God (Hebrews 6:12). Someone standing on the Word reacts the same way all the time because the Word doesn't change. By allowing the Word of God this kind of authority and power in your life, you will possess your mind, will and emotions.
The Scripture says, "If a man will not work, he should not eat" (2 Thessalonians 3:10). Some reading this pamphlet may be living below a desired standard, perhaps on some sort of public assistance program or with someone who is supporting you financially. It is God's desire, not only that you support yourself, but that you might financially bless others with support! God has a way for you to get out from under dependence on others or the government, and become dependent on Him alone. You should not feel condemned or judged guilty for such dependence. All humans are dependent on other humans at one time or other in their lives. But we don't have to stay there.
God's reason for financial prosperity is twofold: 1) to establish His covenant on the earth (i.e., to preach the Gospel; Deuteronomy 8:18) and, 2) so that we can have money to give to the needy (Ephesians 4:28). God's prosperity is not meant to buy more and more things to indulge our fleshly desires. God says if we ask for things with the wrong motive (e.g., greed or fear) He will not grant our requests (James 4:3). The right motive for finances is to be dependent on no one but God and to have enough to give some away. This is a process. It may take a life time to achieve but it is doable. Let this be one of your goals in life. The Scripture says without vision or goal we cast off the restraint (Proverbs 29:18) and fall back into the temptation of dependence on the world, people, or the government. There is nothing wrong with government assistance programs, supporting parents, or helpful people. But God has something better for you.
God says He has given everyone power or ability to acquire wealth (Deuteronomy 8:18). What a promise! You might be saying to yourself, "I don't have the ability to work". Maybe someone reading this is even handicapped and physically unable to work. God's ways are higher than our ways, and His thoughts are higher than our thoughts (Isaiah 55:9). Ask God to reveal to you how this promise can come to pass in your life. He says if we ask anything according to His will, He will answer it (1 John 5:14,15). It is God's will for you not only to work but to do well financially. In the natural circumstance of things this may seem impossible but "all things are possible to him that believes" (Mark 9:23). It will take a supernatural act of power to accomplish this and we have a supernatural Father in heaven to do it!
There are many principles in the Bible (Hebrews 6:1). One of them is the principle of tithing. Tithe means ten percent of something. Financially, it means giving God ten percent of your gross income to your church. Tithing was first recorded in Genesis 14:20 when Abraham gave a tenth of the spoils of war to Melchizedek, the king of Salem. The Law of Moses later established the principle of the tithe (Deuteronomy 26:2), and Jesus also spoke of giving tithes to the church (Matthew 23:23).
Malachi 3:10-11 describes the promises accompanying the tithe: "Bring the whole tithe into the storehouse, that there may be food in My house. Test Me in this," says the LORD Almighty, "and see if I will not throw open the floodgates of heaven and pour out so much blessing that you will not have room enough for it. I will prevent pests from devouring your crops, and the vines in your fields will not cast their fruit," says the LORD Almighty. "Then all the nations will call you blessed, for yours will be a delightful land".
The "storehouse" is the place where we are fed spiritually. This is usually your church. If your church is not feeding you spiritually you might prayerfully consider going to another church. (Before doing this, however, check to see if you are feeding yourself on the Word and being obedient to the things God has instructed you to do individually). The blessings that result from tithing are many: 1) the floodgates of heaven are opened pouring out blessings without number - tithing allows God to give to us through others; 2) the devil is restrained by God Himself from messing with us, our family, and our stuff; 3) timely return on seeds sown in offerings; 4) blessing to the point where others see it and are amazed.
Caution: these promises do not come without a price. Deuteronomy 29:9 says, "Keep therefore the words of this covenant, and do them, that you may prosper in all that you do." All the promises of God are usually in the form of: "If you do this... God will do that". Often we delight in the part that God does but we neglect to do our part. Tithing takes faith. Faith comes by exposing yourself to and thinking about the Word (Romans 10:17). You might want to write down all the verses in this pamphlet and think about them. Look up the word meanings in a bible dictionary or concordance. Ask God to reveal to you their meaning and import in your life. Speak them out loud so you can hear yourself say them. Let them sink into your heart of hearts until they take on a life of their own in your heart. Faith is a matter of the heart, not the intellect. Merely acknowledging the truth of Scriptures is not faith.
Tithing must become a decision because when financial times get rough, unless you have made a decision to tithe, you will probably back off from giving for fear of not having enough. When you put your tithe into the offering bucket, don't just plunk it in there. Pray over it and believe God for the return on it: see your stuff not being messed with by the devil; see yourself receiving revelation from heaven - "the floodgates of heaven opening"; see yourself being a "delightful land" to others. This won't happen over night. It takes years and years for it to fully manifest, perhaps a lifetime.
Another principle of the Bible is giving and receiving. Paul spelled it out in Philippians 4:15-19. He said in verse 19 that God will meet all our financial needs through His riches in heaven - not according to the economy or our bank account balance. This He will do as we give to others. In fact, God said that when we give offerings to others, we would experience financial abundance all the time for every possible occasion of giving in the future (2 Corinthians 9:8). Remember, the purpose of giving is to receive more, so you can give more away, so you can receive more, so you can give away more, etc.. The return by God to us from the tithe is unlimited (Malachi 3:10); the return on offerings is up to one hundred times the sum given in faith (Matthew 13:23). We are to give tithes and offerings (Malachi 3:8). Why? so God can bless us big time! If we hide our finances under a rock by not giving tithes and offerings, God is not pleased with us (Luke 19:20-22). If you chose not to give tithes and offerings, God still loves you despite your fears, stinginess or greed, but you force Him to be limited in how He can bless you. The amount you give in offerings is as much as you purpose in your own heart to give, or as much as God Himself may prompt you in our spirit to give (2 Corinthians 9:7). God loves a cheerful giver, not one who gives grudgingly. You can be cheerful about your giving because you know there's more where that came from! You can give as often as you like and are encouraged to give continually so that you receive a continuous return on our giving (Ecclesiastes 11:1,2,6).
You should also give alms to the poor. This is money given to either an organization that feeds and cloths the poor, or to a poor individual directly. God promises to return to you what you give to them: "He that has pity upon the poor lends to the LORD; and that which he has given will He pay back to him" (Proverbs 19:17). You can incur a curse for not doing so: "He that gives to the poor shall not lack: but he that hides his eyes shall have many a curse" (Proverbs 28:27). Giving to the poor causes an attitude of gratitude for what you do have to develop in your heart. Jesus said it is a happier thing to give then it is to receive (Acts 20:35). Giving to the poor also allows God to give back to you, so you can give more away... .
You have got to see yourself prospering. It has been said that if a rich man's wealth were to be taken away from him, in five years he would be rich again. Why? because he still has on the inside of him the vision, attitudes, and knowledge of what it took to get it the first time. The Word gives us the vision, attitude and knowledge of obtaining wealth. No promise of God can be used effectively without first having an inner image of it first. We tend not to think in words but in pictures. For example, if I say the word 'dog', you immediately conjure the picture of a dog in your mind. What you must do is picture the prosperity of God on the inside of you. God framed the world with words (Hebrews 11:3). The force of faith in those Words was powerful enough to create the picture, and then, on the outside, the physical universe. The same process works in you.
This is how God does it. Isaiah 55:9-11 says, "For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are My ways higher than your ways, and My thoughts than your thoughts. For as the rain comes down, and the snow from heaven, and returns not there, but waters the earth, and makes it bring forth and bud, that it may give seed to the sower, and bread to the eater: so shall My word be that goes forth out of My mouth: it shall not return to Me empty, but it shall accomplish that which I please, and it shall prosper in the thing where I sent it". The Word has inherent power to make itself come to pass. It is full of grace (John 1:14). Grace is the supernatural ability given by God to do something. As you receive God's Word in your heart, believe it, and act on it by speaking it and doing it, God sees to it that it produces. There is no such thing as a Word from God that will not produce. As long as you remain good ground, and satan is kept out of things (Mark 4:3-20), it will produce. It has to.
There may be an image of poverty on the inside of you. That failure-filled, sin-filled nothing of a person died when you were born again! When you made Jesus Christ the Lord of your life you became a new creation. That poverty mind set is the "old man" that has passed away (2 Corinthians 5:17)! There was born on the inside of you that day the image of God Who can do anything. God calls this the "new man" (Ephesians 4:24). You must "put it on" in order for it to work in your life. Wealth is the ability to accomplish God's will to meet the needs of humanity. If you have the Word in your heart, you can meet any kind of need. See yourself meeting the financial needs of others. 1 Corinthians 10:24 says, "Nobody should seek his own good, but the good of others."
To obliterate the vision of poverty on the inside of you, you may have to fast and pray until it is replaced by God's will and vision of prosperity. You must change the image on the inside of you. You may have to take a few weeks off from work, from your family, and listen to God by tape, meditation, and prayer. Someone might say, "I don't have time." Well then you will not experience victory in this area of your life. It's just that plain and simple.
Is it a Sin to Borrow Money?
No. If that were so, God would be telling the Israelites to sin when He said they would loan to other people (Deuteronomy 28:12). The trouble with borrowing money, however, is that it is controlled by the world's system. God says we become the servant of the lender when we borrow (Proverbs 22:7) and satan is the god of this world (2 Corinthians 4:4). Serious spiritual problems can result from borrowing: the lender tends to become your supplier and not God. Psalms 112:7 speaks of the established heart. What is your heart established in? In lack, in poverty, in fear,..., in the economy, or in yourself? How established are you in the Word and God's prosperity? To fix your heart in immovable concrete it has to be fixed on the Word of God because the Word will never pass away or change (Luke 21:33). Feed on it and feed on it, day and night and night and day. It is not a sin to borrow but make it a goal in life to get out of debt and get into a financial position of giving.
How Does Poverty Come?
Poverty is a curse. If you are in a situation where your parents brought you up in poverty, as they themselves were brought up in poverty, etc., chances are there is a curse of poverty operating in your family. A curse is a supernatural influence of hell that affects your life in a negative way. There are many curses described in the Bible. The Good News is we can get rid of them by repentance and by the power of Jesus' Name. The Scripture says that the "curse causeless shall not come" (Proverbs 26:2), meaning, a curse has no legal right to influence you if you have done nothing to bring it on yourself. Unfortunately, satan is an outlaw and does things that he is legally not allowed to do. But, unless we enforce the law of the Spirit of Life in Christ Jesus (Romans 8:2), he will do it anyway, just like an outlaw in our time might rob a bank even though it is illegal to do so. Our task is to enforce what Jesus already accomplished in the heavenlies (Galatians 3:13) and break off causeless curses of poverty from our lives. To do this, pray this prayer: "In the name of Jesus, I break off the curse of poverty over my life and tell it to be gone! Now! The curse causeless shall not come. Satan I bind you from your activities of poverty off my mind, off my body, off my family, off my job, off my hands. I loose the angels (Matthew 18:18) and the Word of God to bring blessings of the tithe and offerings my way so I have more than enough. In Jesus Name. Amen".
There are some curses that we may be burdened with which you consciously or unconsciously have brought on yourself, thus allowing satan legal access to "steal, kill, and destroy" in your life (John 10:10). One way you can do this is by unforgiveness. We might have experienced poverty growing up and are bitter toward parents, toward the government, toward family, etc. who you thought ought to have done you better. They may have indeed been at fault but it is not your place to judge. God is the judge (Romans 12:19). Your task is to forgive those who have wronged you (Mark 11:25). By not forgiving others and judging them, you shoot yourself in the foot because satan then has legal right to keep poverty on you. When you extend mercy for wrongs done against you, this bars satan from bringing the same judgment back on you (Romans 2:1), and allows God to bless you.
You might be of a certain nationality or ethnic group which has caused you grief or even shame. It may have caused you bitterness against a majority group. You may not have experienced any of these things directly but by association with others who have. This also is a possible source of curse. The remedy here is to repent of unforgiveness, bitterness, anger, murderous feelings against any, and ask God to forgive you. God says, "He is faithful and just to forgive us of our sins and cleanse us of all unrighteousness" when we confess sins to Him (1 John 1:9).
There is a curse for not giving tithes and offerings. Malachi 3:8,9 says, "Will a man rob God? Yet you have robbed me. But you say, How have we robbed You? In tithes and offerings. You are cursed with a curse: for you have robbed Me." By disobeying God we effectively tie His hands from helping us (Galatians 2:21). Deuteronomy 28:15-17 says, "But it shall come to pass, if you will not listen to the voice of the LORD you God, to observe to do all His commandments and His statutes which I command you this day; that all these curses shall come upon you, and overtake you: Cursed shall you be in the city, and cursed shall you be in the field. Cursed shall be your basket and your store". This is directly related to poverty and prosperity. Verses 32 and 33 put the loss of labor in the same class as loss of children and grief. God says to lose labor is a curse.
Another source of curse is the traditions of people (and the church!) which make the Word ineffective (Mark 7:13). An example of this might be the tradition that says poverty is a way God teaches us to be holy. The Bible says that God uses His Word to do that (2 Timothy 3:16). God does not make you sick and impoverished to try and teach you something. The devil does things like that (John 10:10). Confirm everything you hear in the Word (including the words of this pamphlet!).
There may be other sources of curses in your life. Ask God to reveal them to you so that you may get rid of them. God wants you to be free and prosperous!
Attitude is another source of poverty. An attitude of foolishness can make you poor. Proverbs 1:32 says, "The prosperity of fools shall destroy them." A fool is someone who will not take instruction from the Word (Proverbs 15:5). The Word is God's instructions to humanity. The Word prospers the soul. The Word is the only way to prosper without wealth destroying us. It is the only thing powerful enough to exercise dominion over material things because of the carnal nature of man. A fool is someone who does not know the correct attitude to take toward money. We have all heard of people winning the lottery who, five years later, are just as poor as before. Why? because they do not know how to handle money. Learn from the Word.
Another foolish attitude to take toward money is to put your trust in it instead of in God. God says His Word will make us rich (Proverbs 2:1-4). One of the things that will choke the Word is not riches but the deceitfulness of riches (Mark 4:19), thinking that if we have enough money everything will be OK. The Scripture says the love of money - not money itself - is the root of all evil (1 Timothy 6:10). Satan controls this world, and money, more or less, controls the world (Ecclesiastes 10:19). As long as you are fretting over not having enough, you operate in fear and satan effectively becomes your god. If you have borrowed so much money you cannot feed your family, you have played the fool. Increasing your comfort by increasing your debt removes you from the blessings of God because you are not doing what God told you to do with what prosperity you do have. What little you do have will be taken away from you (Matthew 13:12). Poverty makes you bitter, especially when there are folks around you who are prospering. It is a curse and it is designed to kill. Your needs will be met when you purpose in your heart to meet the needs of others (Matthew 6:33). This is not something you try, this is a life style.
Material things can create burdens. Most of our problems stem from things: the car breaks down, the washer needs to be replaced, the lawn mower needs a new engine, the car needs washing, the fence needs to be painted ... . We are a thing-oriented society. There is nothing wrong with things, otherwise Jesus would not have said, "Seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness and all these things would be added to you". The problem with things is that we always want more and more of them. Proverbs 27:20 says the eyes are never satisfied. A prosperous attitude is one of giving instead of always receiving. The world's notion of prosperity is to heap of more and more things to oneself.
God's idea of prosperity is the ability to give to others, knowing that as we give, we receive back much more in kind.
A rich man named Rockefeller was dying of stomach ulcers many years ago. All he could eat was milk and crackers, and he was dying on that. The doctors could do nothing for him. Laying on his bed one night he had the brilliant idea of giving all he had away before he died. This was the man who started the March of Dimes fund for the handicapped. He got so caught up with the idea, so thrilled about what he was going to give away next, that he got well! Not only did he get well but he never did succeed in giving all he had away. Instead he received back more than the sum he started with!
"Well, I don't have anything to give!" That's not true; if nothing else you have a smile and a hand shake to give, you have a testimony, you have a song, a hymn, your pots and pans, you have a coat, you could fast a meal. God said He gives seed to the sower (2 Corinthians 9:10). If you determine in your heart to be a sower, God will provide. Give your best, not your left leftovers.
If you have read this pamphlet and agreed with its message yet do nothing about it, you have just wasted your time. Jesus said you lie to yourself by hearing and not doing what the Scripture says (Matthew 7:24-26). None of God's promises will work for you unless you do what they say to do. God will make good on His Words: "Has He said, and shall He not do it? or has He spoken, and shall He not make it good?" (Numbers 23:19).
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How Can I Be Born Again?
The Bible says, that if you say with your mouth that Jesus is Lord, and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you will experience salvation (Romans 10:9,10). Someone might ask, "Maybe God doesn't want me, after all, I've done some pretty horrible things". I have Good News for you! Jesus died for your sins while you were still in your sins, before you even committed them (Romans 5:8)! Despite our sins, God said, whoever would call on Him would be saved (Romans 10:13). Are you a "whoever"? Then you are eligible! God's sacrifice on the cross triumphed over any and all sins you or anyone else has ever committed.
If you desire to be born again, say this prayer out loud: "Father God, I see from the Bible that you love me, that You gave yourself for me, that You provided a way out of sin and death for me. But I also see that I am guilty of sin before You without Jesus; that if I were to die right now, I would go to hell. Father, I now accept Your free gift of righteousness by the sacrifice of Your Son Jesus Christ. I receive Him now into my life as Lord and Savior. I ask You to forgive me of my sins. Thank you Jesus. Come into my life; be my Lord. Amen."
If you prayed that prayer and meant it in your heart, you are born again! Praise God! The Bible says the angels of God are rejoicing right now because of your decision and act of faith (Luke 15:10). You may not feel any different but you are different. Your feelings and thoughts are part of your mind; the part of you that is born again is your spirit (Ezekiel 36:26). As a child of God (John 1:12) God is also interested in changing your thinking and emotions as well (Romans 12:2). He loves you so much that He accepts you as you are, but is also unwilling to leave you the way you are. He wants to share with you all that He has, and He's got a lot!
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