You could think of a lot of gnarly sins but there is one that stands out above all the rest. Sin is sin, but some sins cause more ramifications than others. They harm the sinner and the innocent.
Mathew 26:24 The Son of man must die, as the Scriptures declared long ago. But how terrible it will be for the one who betrays Him. It would be far better for that man if he had never been born.
This Scripture is referring to Judas, he was one of the disciples hand picked by God to be an apostle. Why did Judas betray Jesus for thirty pieces of silver? Kenneth Copeland offers this explanation: Judas was a thief and he wanted to restore the money he stole before he got caught. He did not believe the priests could take Jesus because he watched them try beforehand and walked through the midst of them. We do know this for certain, satan possessed Judas in his mind and he was convinced he was doing the right thing. But what is the worst sin of all?
James 4:17 To him that knows to do good and does not, to him it is sin.
Judas committed the worst sin of all, he compromised. When you know the right thing to do but you do the opposite, you compromise and totally miss God. When satan was finished with Judas, he was back in his right mind and he was so full of guilt that he didn't even consider repenting, Judas committed suicide. Jesus said he was lost, the son of perdition would spend eternity in hell. I know of several good ministries that have folded up because the leader compromised. One pastor was given a vision(assignment) and his church began to grow. One day he changed his vision and the people left, the only one who stayed was his wife.
1 Corinthians 5:1 It is reported that there is fornication in your church. A man is having his father's wife.
This church was in Corinth, it was a totally dysfunctional church. The Holy Spirit and the gifts of the Spirit do not flow in a house of compromise! Jerry Savelle told me that churches and ministries that compromise have no supernatural power, and he has visited these places. Men play games with other men in order to achieve an advantage, God won't play games with anyone. God is concerned with the spiritual well being of all men, compromise jeopardizes men's lives. Cheating is another form of compromise, we want things but take short cuts to get them.
Genesis 3:12 And Adam said: the woman you gave me, she gave me the fruit and I did eat.
Adam compromised and then blamed his wife, God did not accept his excuse. The only people who can compromise are people who have been given responsibility. And responsibility is the beginning of increase but it will only work for men of integrity. Men who are dedicated to the formula of success and refuse to compromise will have testimonies of faith. The only thing worse than compromising is blaming someone else for your error.
Proverbs 20:6 Most men will declare their own goodness: but an honest man who can find?
An honest man is by no means perfect but he will own up to his mistakes. God can work with and restore a man and his failures if he is honest and upright. Most men compound their problems by refusing to take ownership of their error, one mistake becomes many mistakes. Be diligent to remove the word compromise from your life and you will be a success looking for a place to happen.
It was the Holy Ghost and His nine gifts that drew me to church and subsequently to God. I was fascinated with the gift of tongues but then I learned of the remaining gifts. I cannot accurately describe how excited I was when I was exposed to all nine gifts. The nine gifts were instrumental in bringing me to Christ. In one sitting I was saved, filled with the Spirit and my battered hands were miraculously healed. Immediately I wanted God to use me in ministering the gifts of the Spirit. I did not flow perfectly at first but I kept pressing in. A lot of saints want to flow in the gifts but don't seem to be used of God.
1 Corinthians 14:1 Pursue after love and desire spiritual gifts but rather that you may prophesy.
Motive is everything! If a man wants to impress his peers with his spirituality he will need to fabricate the gifts. The gifts can be faked but they can't deceive people for a sustained season. If whosoever wants to be a blessing to the body of Christ, God will use them however He sees fit. God gives each person a gift or gifts as He wills. He decides what gifts will manifest in what person. A man's heart must be pure from carnal desires, he must be dedicated to pleasing God.
2 Timothy 2:21 If you keep yourself pure, you will be a special utensil for honorable use. Your life will be clean, and you will be ready for the Master to use you for every good work.
Keeping yourself pure is called holiness. A holy person is not perfect, they acknowledge their error and repent quickly. A wise man will use the gift of reconciliation, this will keep him in the divine favor of God. A man who repents after every mistake is a man who is serious about his relationship with his Lord. The Lord can use this man because he can be entrusted with the things of God. Let us consider some of the men in the Old Testament; Samson and David were great men but they did some serious sinning. God knows we can't be perfect but we can be faithful to His purpose.
1 Corinthians 12:7 The manifestation of the Spirit is given to every man to profit withal.
The manifestation of the Spirit is tongues. Tongues primarily is our special prayer language. If we flow in the gifts of the Spirit, we must spend some time praying. Kenneth Hagin said that the more time spent praying in other tongues, the more manifestation of the gifts would be used through him. God has a surefire plan, we just need to flow in His way of doing things. When the Lord gives me a word of His knowledge it can come in several different ways. Most of the time I just know, other times I see a picture and sometimes He just tells me what I should do. One day I asked Him to just pick one way and make it easier for me. He responded sternly and said: I don't do things in a religious way and I don't want you to do things in a religious way.
There has been some debate as to which is the most important gift of the nine. I don't want to debate as to which is the most important gift of the nine. One day I read first Corinthians chapter twelve and I found the most important gift of all the gifts. The most important gift is referred to at least eight times! The most important gift is the Holy Ghost, there would be no gifts without the Holy Spirit. Brethren, desire spiritual gifts so you can edify the church. Press in and demonstrate to God you are serious about wanting Him to use you.
Having pastored for well over thirty five years, I have learned a lot about ministry and people. No matter how much you do for people, no matter how much you freely give them, it does not always produce loyalty. What I have learned is that loyalty must not be the motive for loving people.
2 Corinthians 5:14 Christ's love has moved me to such extremes. His love has the first and last word in everything we do.
I was never raised to be a character that loved and cared for people. There were eight people in my family and you had to connive to get a second porkchop. Sometimes I felt we were a pack of wolves feeding all together on a small rabbit. I would do things for people and give things but I expected something in return. I did not know of any other way to live, but one day Jesus came into my heart. It's amazing how something you cannot see or touch can have such a profound impact on your life. God is love and when Jesus enters your life He brings the love of God. It is very difficult to define or describe love but it can be demonstrated. God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son.
Love is the desire to benefit others at the expense of self. Selfishness is the desire to benefit self at the expense of others.
Love created an opportunity for all men who were doomed to hell to change their destiny. Most people who accept God's offer for redemption become loyal but some are grateful for only a season. What all men need to understand is that when God initiates a relationship, He wants fellowship every day of the world. Christianity is hard on sinful flesh and some go back and walk no more with the best thing that ever happened to them. God will still love them, but on account of their lack of attention He can do little for them.
Proverbs 20:6 Lots of people claim to be loyal and loving, but where on earth can you find one?
A lot of people will promise to be forever grateful but they do not always keep their word. True loyalty must be demonstrated, words of commitment don't always translate into substance. When Pilate offered Barabbas in Christ's stead, the multitude wouldn't have it. They cried out for the crucifixion of Jesus. Now you know that Jesus had healed a lot of those people that were calling for His death. Jesus healed them, even raised some from the dead and they were grateful until the priests and leaders convinced them that Jesus must be crucified. Stephen did great wonders and miracles among the people, but they stoned him and he became the first martyr in the new covenant. The truly loyal people to Christ will be positioned for all the blessings God spoke over Adam.
Luke 12:42 Who is that faithful and wise steward (manager) whom his Lord shall make ruler over His household?
Can the unfaithful expect God to bless them with all His love? I don't think so! God loves all men but not all men will be the recipients of His manifested love. God will do things for a tither He won't do for others. Not all believers live under an open Heaven but God loves them all the same. Why should anyone be loyal to God? If God did not send His Son Jesus to die in our place we would be scheduled for eternity in hell. Jesus is the only one who can save us, we can't do anything for ourselves. God deserves all of our praise, everyday.
We know that tithing opens the windows of Heaven and we will be susceptible to all manner of blessings. God says when we give Him His tithe, He will pour us out so much blessing that we would not be able to contain it all. The blessing includes money but not exclusively. The blessing can be favor, open doors, restoration, deliverance, etc. Tithing is the beginning of prosperity, it is not the only thing we must do!
Malachi 3:11 I will rebuke the devourer for your sake and he shall not destroy the fruit of your ground.
Where does our fruit come from? It comes from the seed we sow! Seed is a material and so, if you want material things, you must sow material seed. It is important to tithe first, which is our obedience. Then God will protect our seed and we will reap a harvest. I know several farmers up north that plant seed in thousands of acres. To them it is a gamble, they must deal with droughts, grasshoppers and hail. If I was a farmer I would give God His tithe, they could call it crop insurance. God would watch over their seed and see to it that they got a good harvest.
2 Corinthians 9:6 He that sows sparingly will reap sparingly and he that sows bountifully shall also reap bountifully.
What we sow is entirely up to us, we purpose in our heart what we will sow. I have had God tell me what to sow and who to sow it to. Why? He knew I would reap a good harvest if I obeyed Him, and I always do. When we sow seed God will bless it, multiply it and He will protect it from the devil. If you stand back and take an overview of the steps to prosperity you will see one thing that makes all the laws work, and that is faith. What do we do if we don't believe this? You simply need to increase your faith. Faith comes by hearing and hearing the Word of God. Whosoever desires to believe and obey God can do so if they choose to. Some people may sow a hundred dollars and it is sowing bountifully while others may sow a hundred dollars and be sowing sparingly. No one can sow what they don't have. God will give you seed to sow but you must be a sower first.
Galatians 6:9 Let us not be weary in our sowing, for in due season we will reap if we faint not.
We cannot plant corn on Saturday and reap a harvest on Sunday. Some seed takes longer to grow than others, so we must be patient. I will let you in on something I learned from Jerry Savelle. He sows something nearly every day so he reaps almost every day. He never passes on an offering. When we sow and then wait on our harvest, we must rely on our faith in God's Word to sustain us. The more you sow and the more harvest you receive, the more confidence you have in God to fulfill His Word.
3 John 1:2 I pray above all things that you may prosper and be in health as your soul prospers.
How do we prosper in our soul? We must renew our mind. God's ways are not the worlds' ways, His ways are foolish to the world. When you renew your mind and grow in faith, God becomes very easy to understand and believe. Prosperity begins with renewing your mind and growing your faith, then you can act on His Word and reap the blessing.
I want to present an overview of just how finances work in the Kingdom of God. His system cannot be compared to any of man's institutions because God's way requires faith and man's do not. The first real example we see in the Bible concerning the tithe was in Genesis chapter fourteen. Five kings merged together and raided the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah. They took the wealth and kidnapped the people, one of which was Abram's nephew Lot. Abram pursued those renegades with his household servants and destroyed the king's armies. He recovered all the goods and all the people and he met the priest of God, Melchizedek.
Genesis 14:20 Blessed be the most high God, which has delivered your enemies into your hand. And Abram gave Melchizedek all of the tithes.
Abram knew that he has no way of defeating the king's armies, he was given supernatural assistance from the most high God. Abram wanted to show his gratitude to God by worshipping Him and giving Him something of value. First he acknowledged God as the one who gave him the victory and then he gave Him the tithe of everything he gained. The tithe by interpretation is a tenth. It is ten percent of what God provides for you. Abram knew that God doesn't need any of our money, he wanted to give Him something that was important to him.
Malachi 3:10 Bring all the tithes into the storehouse, that there be meat in My house, and prove me herewith, if I will not open the windows of Heaven, and pour you out the blessing, that there shall not be room enough for you to receive it.
Four hundred years after Abram came Moses and Moses was given the Jewish law of dos and don'ts. God put tithing in the law, He made it mandatory. Why? Tithing is not about money, it's all about obedience. If we obey God, He can bless us. If we don't, He can't. If God could get Israel to tithe and obey Him, then He could pour out a blessing. God only has one blessing, it is recorded in Genesis chapter one, verse twenty-eight. When Adam sinned (disobeyed) he disqualified himself and all his descendants from the blessing. Israel did not always obey God, so consequently they had to deal with the curse.
When a believer pays their tithe, they are giving it to God although men collect it. The tithe belongs to God it is not our money. It is holy to Him because it represents our faith and our obedience. So, what does God do with the tithe? He creates and maintains a storehouse. A storehouse is a building where God's people come to worship God and be fed the uncompromised Word of God. God receives the tithe, spends it on His people and opens the window of blessing over the tither.
Hebrews 7:8 Here men that die receive tithes; but there (Heaven) He receives them, of whom it is witnessed that He lives.
You cannot pay tithes to a dead man, you must believe Jesus died and rose again before you can be a tither. Kenneth Copeland says:
God will do things for a tither He won't do for anyone else.
The tithe is obedience, it gives you the privilege of having access to the blessing which includes favor. Kathy and I are tithers and I can testify that we are blessed. Our blessings do not come from the church, but from the hand of God.
God wants me to prosper,
He gives me power to get wealth.
He has redeemed me from poverty, I shall lack no good thing.
I will gain wealth and God will get the glory.
God will rebuke the devil for me, the devil cannot rob from me.
I am just too blessed.
You will declare a thing, and it will be established for you
Declarations over our children:
I declare my child(ren) shall be taught of the Lord
I declare great is the peace of my child(ren)
I declare my child(ren) hear God’s voice and walk in truth
I declare my child(ren) serve God all the days of their lives.
Declarations over America:
We declare that the power of Christ’s redemption is greater than the power of sin and death in America
We declare that America will be saved
We declare that truth will win in America. Lord send revival
We declare that life and decency will prevail in the United States
We declare that the Supreme Court will honor truth and justice, not their own ideals and desires
Declarations over our church:
We declare that FOJ will have a platform for the Holy Spirit to work from
We declare we are making room for the gifts of the Spirit to flow
We declare the spirit of boldness is replacing the spirit of fear
We declare we are putting every distraction, anything that would entangle us and we run with endurance in our vision.
We declare and believe revival is coming