We've avoided saying anything about a particular matter that it's seemed good to Holy Spirit for us to finally address with those that we minister to on an ongoing basis via these monthly ministry letters. We've lived very guarded in this ministry for 20+ years to avoid the appearance of division within the Body of Christ, & because there were plenty of people who without love for God & His Written Word have already been noisy gongs & clanging cymbals on the matter. It's been a favorite point on the part of the undiscerning to speak evil of the work of Holy Spirit.
God called us to teach the Word & not to go to & fro throughout the whole earth sowing discord & division, stunting the growth of believers that weren't going to follow us onto perfection. But evidently, the time has come to say a few things about those who fleece the flock of God, even unintentionally; often not realizing when they departed being ministers of the Holy Ghost & became ministers of covetousness.
In saying what we're about to say, we are quite aware that God has angels of finance, ministers of finance in the Body, & that that is a key office & heavenly endowment in the Kingdom of Christ, as the Church is transitioning from Suffering Servants to Reigning Messiahs under the Oversight, Direction, & Headship of Christ Jesus who is King of Kings & Lord of Lords. What we are about to say isn't reflective of ignorance of His grace, nor is it rooted in a lack of Kingdom perspective, for those new to our ministry. Nor at this point are we intending to call out various ministers by name who are at various levels of God dealing with them, already, about bringing their ministries up to another level, without our publicly coming against the servants of another, touching His anointed, frustrating His grace, grieving His Holy Spirit, & doing anything else that's not in accord with sound doctrine, as is the daily habit of many a minister both online & offline.
There is a financial anointing. There are gifts of the spirit related to the financial realm, both in terms of Holy Spirit equipment, & in terms of specific ordinations from Jesus Christ our faithful High Priest. So please forgive us if we add to the confusion & further fragment the people of God with what we're about to say, as those who've always been found faithful & equipped for every good work by the Living Jesus, Himself.
However, without naming names & we'll elaborate on the types of behavior that we speak of, as we have time & opportunity in this brief judgment of works that's been granted to us, because we've been found faithful: we have always, in everything we've said & written, [& we will always,] deeply oppose the Charismatic Movement. In saying this, let us elaborate our qualifiers & differentiations. A typical transcript of a Charismatic's teachings could easily consist of 5 pages of Scriptures, 15 pages of testimonies, & 140 pages of why they, themselves, should be given offerings, & warnings about the speed with which you do so including threats of missing one's harvest, one's breakthrough, one's time of visitation, one's purpose in grace, & any other form of “Indulgence-based Destiny” that they present.
In saying this, we're cutting very very fine lines in distinguishing the Charismatic Movement from the Word of Faith movement that isn't guilty of these things that I'm outlining that are grievous, dishonest handlings of the Scriptures, of one's audience with the people, of the money that one has thus far been given to further His message & disciple His saints, & is the butt of [nearly] every joke against Christianity over the last 50yrs.
A typical transcript of Word of Faith preaching, [where the teaching is faithful Word of Faith teaching & not a Charismatic wanna-be at work, using Word of Faith jargon to further their reputation & Charismatic industries,] would consist of indepth, systematic teaching of the Kingdom of God, whether or not offerings are the subject. When offerings come up, they're the natural course of the teaching & not a rude interruption to the teaching. In Word of Faith teaching, the work of God & the grace of God in one's life is never expressed as being in peril if you fail to put anything into the offering that's being received. &, typically, infinitely more than dollars & cents are the bottomline of the teaching.
Charismatics make disciples after themselves that are dependent upon their ministries, even while making a pretense that that's not precisely what they're doing, whereas Word of Faith teachers are making disciples of the Written Word of God & are always encouraging those who attend to their sayings to verify everything they say by the precious Written Word of the living God, & where the two part ways, through current lack of knowledge, one's perception, or whatever, then the believer is expected to stay with the Scriptures & true to their own consciences!
In saying what I'm saying, I'm not speaking to the issue of ratio of books on finances to books put out by the ministry on other topics, because ministries may very well be raised up by Him, from time to time, to focus on the precious aspects of His High Priestly ministry that are involved in the furtherance of His work, both in the life of the individual believer, & in getting the Gospel into every heart on earth, while meeting urgent needs & rebuking the idle. However, the motive for every testimony given must be carefully weighed before the Communion Table.
Only those aspects of testimonies that are genuinely meant to bring glory to God instead of glory solely to the individual human vessel, & those aspects that are meant to inspire hope in baby Christians for their own discipleship to the teaching & progressive sanctification unto deliverance from the matter addressed by the individual teaching under consideration should be shared. Our preaching & our writings are for the meeting of the needs of others & not to give ourselves emotional outlet or further financial renumeration!
As I was beginning to elaborate, in terms of a faithful example of perseverance in the faith & honour of the Gospel that I've always witnessed in the Word of Faith crowd, this is not to be compared with the Charismatic movement who try to answer every need in a believer's life by receiving more financial offerings, & whose Bible teaching is solely given to that end – no matter how sincerely meant! All believers do, inevitably, give themselves into & give themselves out of every single season.
That is the plain teaching of the Scriptures for those who aren't religiously indoctrinated with Buddhist, Catholic, & New Age poverty doctrines. However, the secret of every believer's life & success is that as a man thinketh in his heart, so is he, & faithful witnesses of His Gospel, [walked out in their own lives,] are given to make the man of God perfect & equipped for every good work!
In this ministry, we will forever support the Word of Faith movement for as long as it abides by the integrity of the Written Word of God that it's always been known for digging it's heels in about, & we will eternally be the mortal enemies of Charismania whose ill-gotten wealth makes them resemble saints, as is criticized in the Book of Enoch, but whose legacy is merely devoured widows homes with their Ponzi & pyramid schemes.
Building a ministry & sustaining a charitable work isn't the purpose of Christian ministry, according to Ephesians 4, although the pastoral epistles (i.e. 1Timothy, 2Timothy, Titus, & Philemon) in the context of Christian ministry being performed at optimal level indicate that you're not supposed to neglect charitable works for believers & unbelievers, but are to network believers together, on the foundation of sound Biblical teaching alone, for the meeting of both urgent & ongoing needs that arise among widows, orphans, the disabled, & the animal kingdom, since the Hosea 2:18; Jeremiah 31:27-28 Covenant is as much a part of the stewardship responsibilities of those who steward the mysteries of God as any other stewardship in the Scriptures!
Two offerings in some services isn't out of line, [though awkward for the poor & spiritually weak, most particularly those who see themselves as poor instead of viewing themselves Scripturally,] but what are people getting to build them up into the kinds of people that can take their stand at your side to not only no longer be poor, but to also teach & meet the same urgent needs until the five-fold ministry is essentially eclipsed by ever-increasing faith & productivity of the believers one has been ministering to? The first major need of every body of believers isn't an electric razor, but good spiritual food. The New Testament teaches that you can [through anointed, prolonged teaching] edify every believer into every purpose of Christ, His Father, & Holy Spirit!
Are the people growing & overpowering their circumstances in direct-proportion & in direct-growing proportion to the amount of time that they attend to your sayings, don't let them depart from their eyes, keep them in the midst of their hearts, & don't allow their feet, hands, or mouth to sway to any direction away from the Words that are coming through the ministry in question? Has the ministry consistently thrown down the gauntlet regarding integrity & honour?
Faith must be anchored to the Gospel & not to anything outward that they've done, though through the Gospel they must be taught to see world shaking consequences to each action of their's. Every month of a minister's life should have it's own quota of spiritual usefulness & spiritual progress that it can account for. Is that successfully being accomplished & are the people, that that ministry ministers to, semi-annually & annually or bi-annually reaping the benefits of that growth in the said minister's life?
Are your sermons cliches that everyone remembers by now? Or are they milk for babes & meat for men? We're not saying you have to have a new topic for every sermon, nor even for every year, but over time, as people are pouring themselves more & more into your life's Word & life's Work that you received from the Throne of Grace, are they substantially the more matured & fruitful for having been a surrendered part of each thing you've said & commanded of their mouths, their attention to their enemies & loved ones, & other areas of their lives? People are only edified into submission in the long-term. Death to self is nothing more than growth in Gospel-consciousness! Remember! Every other kind of death is destined to meet it's end in Christ Jesus!
Is enough emphasis being placed upon each promise of the Written Word of God? Is there enough of an example set for the believers under one's tutelage to know that any area of life or godliness that they don't [yet] have a growing skillful knowledge in, that they can go to the Gospel & stay in it, seeking the Holy Ghost, believing the Scriptures to strictly be true, & eventually find each & every single answer that they need?
Are people building a paradigm, [which is their true inward Hope, Kingdom, Perseverance, & Temple,] that's intelligence beyond their years & the meeting of the needs of nations, & not just representatives of nations? You're only a faithful minister when you're progressively presenting to the Lord a bolder, daring, more fruitful, meeker, & wiser people. Otherwise, if you're just going through the motions, as a Charismaniac, to keep your work looking more fruitful than it is, then it's end is destruction & it's destined to be burned! Fruit that will remain is fruit born of a Gospel-consciousness. The Gospel brings forth fruit after it's own kind!
In your ministry, are you making people more & more dependent upon the Gospel of the living God & the Holy Ghost within them? Each ministry of depth should be producing a people of depth, & each ministry of depth should be gaining ground in the hearts of those that they minister to, to where they're rapidly becoming the embodiment of every expression of Christ Jesus that those that they minister to are eagerly taking notes of how to emulate. Be all the Christ Jesus anyone else would ever need to be to themselves, to their family, to their enemies, to their Churches, to their employers, & to anyone else that they can chase down, & you'll eventually totally run out of lack in your own life & in your ministry! Pour yourself into the development of those that are genuinely submitted to you!!
Dig in the Gospel for the meeting of your needs, rather than into the pockets of those that you want to preach to! Yes, you'll command both the Hand of God & the hand of the people to equip each endeavor that accords with the Scriptures & is for the furtherance of the glory of Christ Jesus in the earth as sole Sovereign over each person's finances, their spending habits, their giving, their receiving, et. al. But first thing's first. You've got to give an accounting of yourself in your teaching & manner of life for why you have the larger hope that the nations have been needing, & why you've got character & honour in abundance to oversee the proclamation of His Gospel to every nation that enough funds can be organized in the behalf of.
Expand your teaching outreaches, Charismatics, & in saying that, I'm not talking about spending a substantial percentage of your ministry opportunities telling people why giving to your ministry is so swell. Teach them to bring more & more of themselves captive to each Scripture in the Bible & to let the Gospel that they've made their Master direct their giving & receiving! Don't use sowing as a fund-raising gimmick, in the Name of Jesus! Teach them to paradigm themselves into every purpose of God for their lives, as well as the place that shedding the skin of their finances has in replenishing all of their supplies, including their finances, & expanding their growth & Kingdom opportunities!
Teach them that besides the butterfly effect that they're to expect from their giving that'll ultimately meet every earthly desire & need that the chief-catalyst to causing their finances & every other Kingdom expression to gravitate to their lives & to stick to their lives in this world, [incorruptibly,] is going to be the harvest that they reap in their perspectives from time with the Gospel & the Prophets. Teach them the importance of gestating the Gospel for every purpose in their lives & that between ripping off the Lord's personality to be their own, & doing the works of Abraham (John 8:39, Romans 4:11-13, Galatians 3:29) then they'll reap the prophet's reward, even if the world's in famine... or worse (2Peter 2:7-9)! Lot reaped a prophet's, [viz, Abraham's,] reward, even if his tormented soul cost him his wife so that he'd be delivered of temptations. A prophet's reward includes deliverance from temptations, according to 2Peter & Charismatics have failed to emphasize that aspect of a fully ripened Gospel-consciousness!!