In presenting this article, we do so out of obedience to our Lord Jesus Christ. The Lord who sends us to you with this message knows that we are not sharing this out of malice, greed or jealousy. Instead, our message is intended to lead you to repentance and deliverance.
Furthermore, we are not in competition with anybody when we deliver the messages from the Lord to you, nor do we use this as a platform to set ourselves apart as super or better. That view is worldly and demonic; in fact the Lord warned about sectarianism (Mark 9:40). What we therefore desire to see is the Lord’s message transforming lives and rendering humble, faithful and worry-free Christians separated from worldly passions. When we strive to live pleasing to the Lord in our every walk, we will be seen by Him as bearing fruit.
Speaking about fruit bearing, this is seen in obedience to the Lord (John 15:1-5): fruit bearing through the fruit of the Holy Spirit (Galatians 5:22-23), giving to the poor and needy (1 John 3:18), witnessing (Acts 1:8), love for God and all mankind (1 John 4:7-12), and helping others in every way in Christ (1 John 3:17). Having said this, some might think, “This is asking a lot from me!” However, remember Jesus Christ shared His life for the benefit of everyone (John 3:16). Likewise, in nature God has provided rich deposits of every kind of fruit and seeds for the benefit of all living creatures (Genesis 1:29-30). Therefore, the benevolence of God in nature serves to show us that His gifts to us are free and for the benefit of all.
In reality, fruit bearing is being stifled by the spirit of personal greed. In simple terms greed wants more things than what we really need, while selfishness is keeping everything for oneself while ignoring the suffering of others. As Christians, our obedience in indiscriminate sharing holds in great future blessings. The worldly and unsaved are also practicing limited but discriminatory altruism; this they do to receive praise from man (Matthew 6: 1-4). This holds no future rewards; fruit bearing must be in Christ for His glory and He must be seen through every Christian who remains anonymous to the world but known and visible to God. As it is, when Christ is seen through our fruit bearing, then it is no longer us doing, but Him through us (Galatians 3:20). Someone once argued and said, “If Christ worked through me, then how could I still get rewarded by Him since He did everything?” The Lord answered and said: “Because you obeyed Me and allowed Me to use you on that basis, your faith and obedience is being rewarded”. The Lord also said that a dedicated believer in Him has his heart richly decorated with His word and the spirit of obedience is resident in that person. This kind of person, He said, easily hears His voice and follows Him (John 10:27). Therefore, faith expressed in Christ in the absence of self-interest magnifies God (John 14:13).
Winds of Doctrine
When I first gave my life to our Lord Jesus Christ in February 1991, I read and did only what the Bible said. Later on I joined a local church and attended services every night for more than six (6) months. I have a notebook in which I recorded all the notes and Scripture references as given by my then pastor. This led me to slow down my Bible reading and instead study these verses. Being a young Christian, my faith was shaped through these teachings. As new born babes in Christ, we always value the experience of those who were or are in the faith before us. In fact the Scriptures encourage us to submit to make their work easy (Hebrews 13:17). This is true and must be obeyed and the Lord said this is only applicable when we are under the authority of our leaders’ teaching. Just last week, the Lord said to us, we must discern if what we are told is consistent with the rest of the other teachings and examples in the Bible. The Lord also said this Scripture does not give a minister of the gospel a life-time authority over our salvation; it is only “… until we all reach unity in the faith and in the knowledge of the Son of God and become mature…” (Ephesians 4:12-13). We do not remain infants forever like all living organism in nature, but we must fend for ourselves and start bearing fruit (Ephesians 4:14-16). I am not encouraging division here; we must reach unity in the faith and allow the Lord to whom we all belong to sustain those He committed under our care. The Lord Jesus Christ has not called us to ‘… lord it over those in your charge…” (1 Peter 5:3 NRSV). I have mentioned this with the hope of delivering those who are in bondage to the every word of “authority” by their leaders. We have been given freedom in Christ and we must honour Scriptural truth over the word of teaching of man. That is why I encouraged you to judge our teaching using the Bible and the Holy Spirit.
The Love of Money
Furthermore, if we base our Christian lives on the teachings and following the life examples of the God-fearing men and women in the Bible, our confusions and ignorance would be answered. In our Christian faith, we are taught to seek God’s riches of holiness and righteousness more than earthly wealth (Matthew 6:19-21, 33). It is deceptive to use the gospel to encourage people that this is their way out of poverty. While the Lord will supply all our needs, this should not be the only reason we have come to the Lord. The most important need of us serving the Lord is for the salvation of our souls (1 Peter 1:9). If we have been given earthly riches by God as a result of our faith, then He has blessed us to share with others so that His abundance can be seen and not our showing off. This is bragging, and sadly this is not a Godly attitude of humility, but a worldly attitude.
Kindly allow me to say this: some pastors make very good financial advisers and they have an “anointing” to preach and teach on finances. These ministers encourage you to “store riches here below” and are even paid for telling you that this is what God wants for you. This is the promotion of the spirit greed. If you are to take their advice, listen to God and sow in needs around you. This is a ministry and service to God and not in man’s self-enrichment scheme. Recently, the Lord warned us to be aware of pastors who are constantly looking for money saying the Lord wants them to build big buildings, domes, etc. While we must have a proper place of worship, God cares more about His word and souls. Therefore, invest your wealth into people’s salvation; this is where true riches are (Luke 16:9).
Briefly, before I was called to minister full time, I worked for about US$600 or R6000.00 a month. I have a family of 5, including myself. We faithfully contributed to the church out of this money. Later on the Lord added 4 more people to my family. Honestly, and being human, this was a very hard thing for me to do. I prayed and fought every kind of excuse until I submitted and told the Lord to let His will be done. I am testifying the truth here and this is verifiable. The Lord blessed whatever little finances we had, as we lived on basic and simple needs only. Again, we are not saying this to be commended by man; we say this to demonstrate the power of Christ and our deliverance from greed, selfishness and the love of money. The Lord taught us how to live and share our lives and possessions with others.
Also, some people in our ministry have been severely warned by the Lord not to practice greed. A particular sister, the Lord revealed, stashed her cash away while there was want around her. If we ignore a need around us while we do have money, we are possessed by greed and the love of money. The Lord also revealed how one person, motivated by his greed, lent money to someone he lives with, and at the same time benefited from it while he reserved his money. Beloved, this is what some people practice, including pastors. We must not pursue love for worldly things, but we should be content with what we have (Hebrews 13:5). The prosperity doctrine encourages the love for money and greed. I have been to some churches where the spirit of greed is so rife; people are encouraged to just give and keep giving. Some even charge for using the bathroom facilities. This is a trend that has been set and almost all new pastors desire neither souls nor the Lord, but to be like the trend-setters. Judge therefore for yourself if that is the commission of the church (Matthew 28:19-20).
In conclusion, are we serving the church and its needs more than what God called us to do? Do we minister to the needs of others around us or have we decided to donate to the church only so they will do it on our behalf? Are we individually bringing glory to Christ or do we only believe that only doing so corporately matters? This is not the gospel we preach! The gospel we represent is for individuals who will give account for themselves one DAY before God (Romans 14:12). God called you into the body to “prepare you for works of service” (Ephesians 4:12); this is your individual ministry.
To accept Jesus Christ as your Lord and Savior, please pray this Prayer of Sincere Repentance. For any questions or comments on this article or our ministry, please contact us.