Of Growth
And Strength



Is It Godís Will That You Should Be Poor?

Recently I spoke you a young Korea woman who has been completely taken by the teachings of Kenneth Copeland. I had been asked to speak to her in behalf of a friend who was greatly concerned about the path she had taken.

I read to her Luke 6:20-26 And He (Jesus) lifted up His eyes on His disciples, and said, Blessed be ye poor: for yours is the kingdom of God. 21Blessed are ye that hunger now: for ye shall be filled. Blessed are ye that weep now: for ye shall laugh. 22Blessed are ye, when men shall hate you, and when they shall separate you from their company, and shall reproach you, and cast out your name as evil, for the Son of man's sake. 23Rejoice ye in that day, and leap for joy: for, behold, your reward is great in heaven: for in the like manner did their fathers unto the prophets. 24But woe unto you that are rich! for ye have received your consolation. 25Woe unto you that are full! for ye shall hunger. Woe unto you that laugh now! for ye shall mourn and weep. 26Woe unto you, when all men shall speak well of you! for so did their fathers to the false prophets.

Immediately she hit me with the all too familiar words of Kenneth Hagan and Kenneth Copeland
ďIt is NOT the will of God that any believer should be poor.Ē They then rattle on about how Christ had bought all that on the cross. And then they quote Christ was poor that we might become rich.

So she then asked me point blank, ďDid I believe that it was Godís will for Christians to be poor?Ē I responded by reading to her Luke 6:20 again And He (Jesus) lifted up His eyes on His disciples, and said, Blessed be ye poor: for yours is the kingdom of God.

She responded by saying that this passage in Luke was just a different recollection of the sermon of the mount where Jesus said blessed are the poor in spirit. She then explained how humble she was, and how well she was serving God mentioning in particular that she was tithing and that God was blessing her.

I responded that this was not the Sermon on the Mount Ė The Sermon on the Mount was preached to the multitudes and in Luke 6:20 it says that Jesus was speaking to the disciples. Unfortunately this woman did not want to hear any of this, she only wanted to beleive to hear that she could serve Christ and be rich, love the things of the world.

Trying to disuade the disciples and followers of Kenneth Hagan and Kenneth Copeland from following the prosperity gospel in all reality is like witnessing to Jehovah Witnesses or Mormons. The behavior is identical, no amount of scripture brought to bear will make any difference, they all hold on to their sin and corruption with a death grip that short of a lightning bolr from heaven none can deliver them from their error. Something to consider here is that neither could Jesus Christ deliver the scribes and pharisees from their error either, and we will add that Jesus did not call what they were doing faith or belief either -- because they had ulterior motives behind their refusal to repent, just as JW's Mormon's and the disciples and followers of the prosperity gospel do.

Now if Jesus said to the disciples blessed be ye poor it would seem self-evident that it was not only His will, but that He giving and added blessing to those that were his disciples, and followers that were in the ministry and remained financially poor.

There is no place in the New Testament that Christ says blessed be ye rich.

Matthew 19:23-25 Then said Jesus unto his disciples, Verily I say unto you, That a rich man shall hardly enter into the kingdom of heaven. And again I say unto you, It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle, than for a rich man to enter into the kingdom of God. When his disciples heard it, they were exceedingly amazed, saying, Who then can be saved?

This particular passage came under assault in the 1970ís when some corrupt preacher decided to make this more palatable for himself and his wealthy hearers. So he said: Christ was actually speaking here about one of the gates around the city of Jerusalem that was called the eye of the needle (The camel gate) where a camel had to stoop and crawl on its knees to get though the eye of the needle Ė and so if a rich man will humble himself Go and accept Christ he has done all he needs to do and can keep his riches.. This is not at all what Christ said here. Look now at the words of the disciples, they gasped grasping the gravity of Christís words here and were struck with fear (The word Amazed in King James is Phobos - fear in the Greek) This saying of Jesus Christ filled the apostles with fear.Why, because the gospels state over and over that they (Just like carnal and corrupt beleivers of today) wanted and were desirous to be wealthy.

Consider now Peterís words.
1 Peter 4:18-20 And if the righteous scarcely be saved, where shall the ungodly and the sinner appear? Wherefore let them that suffer according to the will of God commit the keeping of their souls to him in well doing, as unto a faithful Creator.
This does not sound like a good eternal security verse. This does not sound like good verse for those who want to live in careless ease in Zion. This does not sound like a good verse for those who preach that it is not the will of God for a Christian to be poor. This does not sound like a good verse for those who preach that is not the will of God for us to suffer.

1 Peter 3:17 For it is better, if the will of God be so, that ye suffer for well doing, than for evil doing.
It is better to suffer the momentary of this life for doing the will of God than to suffer eternal damnation for following after the will of the flesh in the pleasures and riches of this life.

I want for a moment to consider not only when but to whom Peter wrote these words. From what I have read the letter appears to have been written between 65-67 ADPaul the Apostle had been slain for the Gospel in Rome 3-4 yearsearlier. And now Peter was possibly in Rome working his way through the Roman judicial system toward his own death. So this puts this letter as having been written about 30 years after Christ's death and resurrection. The audience to whom Peter is writing this letter are all churches that were not only founded by the Apostles themselves, but were churches that the Apostles had repeatedly visited and had taught not only the Gospel of Christ but the Doctrine of Christ as well. So these people were under the best possible conditions, not only to hear, but to get saved, get baptized in water and to get baptized in the Spirit and to then follow on after Christ as He had so walked.

What then is my point?My point is that if in the best possible conditions, churches with the best foundation, and the best possible teaching, Peter tells us that among those believers the righteous are scarcely saved.Then we should be asking ourselves were does that leave us some 2000 years later in a church that has little or no foundation, a church that has more in common with the Roman Catholic Church, Menno Simons, Martin Luther, and John Calvin, than with Jesus Christ and the Apostles.

Luke 16:19-25 There was a certain rich man, which was clothed in purple and fine linen, and fared sumptuously every day: 20And there was a certain beggar named Lazarus, which was laid at his gate, full of sores, 21And desiring to be fed with the crumbs which fell from the rich man's table: moreover the dogs came and licked his sores. 22And it came to pass, that the beggar died, and was carried by the angels into Abraham's bosom: the rich man also died, and was buried; 23And in hell he (The rich man) lifted up his eyes, being in torments, and seeth Abraham afar off, and Lazarus in his bosom. 24And he cried and said, Father Abraham, have mercy on me, and send Lazarus, that he may dip the tip of his finger in water, and cool my tongue; for I am tormented in this flame. 25But Abraham said, Son, remember that thou in thy lifetime receivedst thy good things, and likewise Lazarus evil things: but now he is comforted, and thou art tormented.

What was the rich manís sin? Did Jesus say that he was evil? No. Did Christ say he was unjust? No. Jesus said he was wealthy and ate sumptuously every day. ĖThat was his sin, that was his defilement, and that cost him his soul. (So many preachers and teachers do not beleive Christ's own words here, and neither do they beleive Christ's words when He said how hardly [The greek here means to be barred, cut off] shall a rich man enter into the kingdom of heaven, and neither do they believe the words of christ when He said in that day many shall say unto Me Lord, Lord did we not do wonderful works in thy name, heal the sick, cast out devils, preach the word [These same preacher say that these that are speaking to Jesus Christ himself are the unsaved -- And Christ shall answer those [the supposed lost here -- who are doing works greater than the church of this hour] and say unto them depart from me ye cursed ye that work iniquity. Why do preachers and teachers so universally lie about these and other passages so? It is because these and other passages point out their sin and iniquity -- their lust for wealth and riches, their living the good life on the backs of their hearers, their preaching another gospel, their not even attempting to live as Jesus Christ and the Apostles did -- but instead live better than the Caesar of Rome and the Roman Senators did in their day.)

Look back now at Luke chapter 6:
But woe unto you that are rich! for ye have received your consolation. 25Woe unto you that are full! (Now in this life) for ye shall hunger. Woe unto you that laugh now! for ye shall mourn and weep.

What did Lazarus do to earn a spot in Abrahamís bosom? Did Christ say he was righteous? No. Did Christ say he prayed morning noon and night? No. Jesus said he was a beggar that laid at the gates of the rich man desiring the crumbs that fell from his table and that the dogs licked the manís sores. Look again at Luke chapter 6: Blessed be ye poor: for yours is the kingdom of God. 21Blessed are ye that hunger now: for ye shall be filled. Blessed are ye that weep now: for ye shall laugh.

This should send a chill up your spine because the parable of the rich man and Lazarus shows that Jesus meant exactly what he said in Luke chapter 6.

Look now at the words of Paul the Apostle, whoís words in other places Kenneth Haganís followers have attempted to use to negate the words of Jesus Christ in Luke: 6.
Yet in this passage we see Paul the Apostle echoing the words of
Luke: 6

2 Corinthians 6:9-11 As unknown, and yet well known; as dying, and, behold, we live; as chastened, and not killed;As sorrowful, yet always rejoicing; as poor, yet making many rich; as having nothing, and yet possessing all things.
As unknown = He made himself of no reputation.
As dying = He who seeks to save his life shall lose it and he who seeks to lose his life shall save it..
As chastened = He chastens every son he loves, and scourgeth every son He receives.
As sorrowful = Woe unto you that shall laugh now.
As poor = woe unto you that are rich.
As having nothing = Whosoever does not leave houses and lands mother father sister brother is not worthy of me.

There is no verse where Christ or the Apostles said blessed be ye rich.
There is no verse where Christ and the Apostles said blessed are ye when ye love the corrupt mammon of world and the things of the world.

When John the Baptist was in prison and he knew he was to die he sent his remaining disciples to Christ to ask if He was indeed the Messiah. And Jesus responded:
Luke 7:22
 Then Jesus answering said unto them, Go your way, and tell John what things ye have seen and heard; how that the blind see, the lame walk, the lepers are cleansed, the deaf hear, the dead are raised, to the poor the gospel is preached.

Why did Christ add to the list of signs that declared Him to be the Messiah that the Gospel was preached to the poor? Consider now that the Church made a conscious decision in the latter half of the twentieth century to preach the Gospel to the rich, and have missions for the poor. (Where they could not be seen and heard) The reason is that in the 1970ís the preachers and missionaries cast off the yolk of Christ and declared they would no longer live in poverty or by faith by praying for their daily bread. They wanted cold hard cash rolling through their fingers and into their bank. They wanted houses and lands, and a loaded Lincolns in their garages. The didnít want some old ratty shanty on the low side of town Ė they wanted a church that was an imperial palace that was on Park Place and Boardwalk.

I have one final passage on this subject that the Lord opened up to me sometime after I initially wrote this article.

Leviticus 18:24-25 " 'Do not defile yourselves in any of these ways, because this is how the nations that I am going to drive out before you became defiled. ††Even the land was defiled; so I punished it for its sin, and the land vomited out its inhabitants. (NIV)

This vomiting or spewing out of a people that are defiled and the land which they occupy becoming defiled is not an old covenant, or Children of Israel issue it is a Christian and Church issue.

Revelation 3:14-16 And unto the angel of the church of the Laodiceans write; These things saith the Amen, the faithful and true witness, the beginning of the creation of God; I know thy works, that thou art neither cold nor hot: I would thou wert cold or hot. So then because thou art lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will spue thee out of my mouth.

When the inhabitants of the land are vomited or spewed out this is not a normal thing. A year ago I posed a question to members of the Church I attended and asked what are we doing in Christís mouth, sadly not one person in that church had the faintest idea.From the context it would appear to the natural eye that the subject matter is that we are supping with Him and He with us. And likewise from the natural one would seem to draw some kind of comparison here with our partaking of Holy Communion. But by the eye of the Spirit, by the Lord opening and revealing His word unto me I see something far more drastic taking place here than a cessation of Holy Communion with The Lord. When the land vomited out its inhabitants they were not just removed from the land they were destroyed. And so when one is vomited out of Christís mouth this person is no longer IN CHRIST, they are no longer part of Him they have been cast into outer darkness for causing offense.

Is it a strange thing when we find Christ enacting His words?And he shall be cast into outer darkness, and there shall be weeping and wailing and gnashing of teeth. And is it also strange that Jesus Christ would declare that a ďbelieverĒ would be cast into hell for an offense of being rich, having a love for corrupt mammon, and having a love for the things of the world?

This is what Paul spoke of when he said that he feared:
1 Corinthians 9:27 But I keep under my body, and bring it into subjection: lest that by any means, when I have preached to others, I myself should be a castaway.

In this case here the entire Laodicean Church had become defiled, they had the offense here of turning away from a Gospel that requires one to live a life that is daily dependant upon the Lord, and instead turning to the god of this world, and exercising themselves in his personal wealth building programs. And as a result of the church rejecting their daily seeking their daily sustinence from God as the Israelites so did in the wilderness, Christ here vomited the entire Laodicean church out of his mouth, Jesus spewed out those that had defiled themselves with riches and wealth and their garments with the cares of the world out from himself altogether.

To the church of this hour, that has been universally declared as the Laodicean Church Jesus is declaring with anger in His eyes:

Because thou sayest, I am rich, and increased with goods, and have need of nothing; and knowest not that thou art wretched, and miserable, and poor, and blind, and naked: therefore I will spue thee out of my mouth even as I did unto the Laodiceans.

Mark these words, and repent, while it is still called today.