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November 19, 2014

This is an excerpt along with some commentary from the much longer teacher "The Bride Will Not Yield Her Holiness to Money."

There is tremendous amount of injustice in the Christian community because of the idolized prosperity lifestyle, and it's considered the norm. As a direct result of that, thousands of women and men every year go without solid Biblical teaching to motivate them and keep them from the jaws of depressions hopelessness, self-hatred and despair. The unseen enemy is awake 24/7 to whisper lies, crippling lies, of worthlessness into the ears of every challenged Christian woman. And when I say 'challenged' I mean single-mothers on welfare.

I believe that those that want to get out of this crippling cycle should be given every opportunity. These teachings should be made easily available to them so they can take the Lord's hand and come into their own independence. One might possibly argue that a teacher that is living and teaching a prosperity lifestyle is really not fit to teach others anyway, because they fall short of Christ's example. We could argue that, but on the other hand, everyone is not bad just because they have a flaw. Even if it's a serious flaw in their theology or their thinking, that doesn't mean that everything they teach is bad.

Some of these teachers do have some wonderful teachings on how to be more Christ-centered and how to be more positive. The Lord knows we need that in this day and hour. I think a lot of prosperity teachers have come into disrepute and been denounced by other people because of their prosperity lifestyle teaching. I believe that some of those teachers are more interested in us attaining our destiny in Christ, getting up on our feet and serving the Lord and being fulfilled as Christians knowing the calling on our lives and being enabled to fulfill that calling than they are concerned with us lining our nests and being wealthy and having extravagant houses and clothing and all the trappings that go with the prosperity teaching. There are some teachers, if you listen very carefully, are not really talking about money, they're talking about enabling us to fulfill our destiny in Christ.

So here's the short teaching:

I'll give you another example of a single mother at a conference. She's wanted to go to this conference for months because she heard about this teacher who's coming -- a wonderful teacher. She goes to the conference. She has friends that babysit her children. She has a friend who has paid for her ticket and they go together. Well, she absolutely adores the teacher and would love to have some of the tapes and books that this teacher has written. During the intermission she goes out into the lobby and she looks at all the things that are being offered for sale. Everything starts at $9.95 and goes up to $29.95, $59.95, and $79.95. This woman is thinking about cough syrup for her children. She can't go to Walgreens and buy cough syrup and have one of these teachings on CDs. She walks away frustrated, hurt and disappointed. Well, maybe she writes the teacher/evangelist and asks if they would donate some materials to her and she gets a letter back - a polite letter. "I'm sorry, we only do that for people who are in the mission field overseas."

The hard part is, the particular teacher I'm talking about here likes clothing, loves to go shopping and talks about that pretty liberally along with her teachings. This is sad. This is just tragic: that a woman should go without teaching like that. Where are our priorities? Where are they at? Where we have such a need to appear in different clothes every time we go out to teach. Where we have to spend large amounts of money on clothing. It's fine that they're probably given to the Salvation Army when you're done, but what about those women who come to the conference who can't leave with the materials they need to extricate themselves out of a life of despair and poverty and depression. She doesn't have a computer, so she can't go online and get some of these teachings. She's lucky if she has a CD player that works. This is another way that this whole culture of prosperity affects the little people. And affects their children. Generations we're talking about are going to be affected by this.

I want to quote I John 2:15. Do not love this world nor the things it offers you, for when you love the world, you do not have the love of the Father in you. For the world offers only a craving for physical pleasure, a craving for everything we see, and pride in our achievements and possessions. These are not from the Father, but are from this world. And this world is fading away, along with everything that people crave. But anyone who does what pleases God will live forever.

I'm going to talk about someone like that in just a few moments, so don't get discouraged with negative examples. I'm just try to draw our attention to the ways that we really have cheated ourselves out of grace and cheated others out of grace by putting such a high priority on these superficial things. What I'm saying here is that ministers who put a high value on lifestyle and appearance and yet charge the poor so much for their teachings that they can't receive the teachings and grow in the Lord, we have failed the Lord If we do this. We are failing God. For is it not written Shepherds of Israel who have been feeding yourselves! Should not shepherds feed the sheep? You eat the fat, you clothe yourselves with the wool, you slaughter the fat ones, but you do not feed the sheep. The weak you have not strengthened. Ezekiel 34:2-4

This is what I'm talking about. These people are weak. They're the ones that need these teachings. They're the ones who need to be strengthened. You know as shepherds, we're here to feed the sheep; we are not here to fatten our purses. God has given these teachings freely and people who have money support these ministries. Should we then exact the price that the world would charge from those who can't afford it? I don't think so. I think there is going to be quite an accounting to be done before the Lord for the people who needed these very teachings, but could never get them because the price was too high. We really don't have any time to waste on ourselves.

In Matthew 25 it's written: Who then is the faithful and sensible slave whom his master put in charge of his household to give them their food at the proper time? Blessed is that slave whom his master finds so doing when he comes. If we're not giving food to the hungry and to the poor and to the ones who need it, we're not going to be counted as a blessed slave in that hour when the Lord comes. And we all know that hour is very near. We might be tempted to say, "What does this have to do with me?" or "What does this have to do with the Rapture?" Plenty. Do you think a just and loving God who sees the needs of the poor right in our own backyard constantly ignored and passed over, while wealth is applauded in the church... do you see the Lord taking this woman for His Bride? I don't see that. God help us. 

In conclusion, I'd like to say, I challenge you wealthy Christian teachers to make room for the poor in your teachings. The poor who live in the neighborhoods you pass through on the way to work. The poor in your own in your backyard, not the poor in far-away countries. To every family enrolled in the food stamp program or those living in substandard housing or driving substandard cars with many children in the family. Please consider their greater needs for your teachings and make the appropriate arrangements to see to it that they get them without sacrificing their over-the-counter medicines and car expenses to have just one of your teaching CDs. Please, consider what I'm saying. They need those teachings more than the people who can afford them. 

Thank you for listening and taking these suggestions to heart. The Lord bless you as you bless others.