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Sunday English Service - 30 APR 17 - The power of the blood of Jesus


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Please turn with me to 2 Corinthians chapter 8. We have been teaching on the power of the blood of Jesus. We said a lot of the things about the power of the Blood of Jesus. Then we started talking about how to appropriate all that the blood of Jesus has done for us. This appropriation of all the benefits and the blessings of the blood of Jesus is very important. Now how that is done? Revelation 12:10 and 11, says they overcame him, that is, the saints overcame the devil by the blood of the Lamb and word of their testimony.

Three elements in the victory of the Saints:One, is the blood of the Lamb; Two, the word of God, and their testimony. The blood of the Lamb was shed 2,000 years ago. Jesus is the Lamb of God. The word of God teaches from cover to cover about the benefits that this blood has brought to us in every realm of our life. And to this the third element must be added, that is our testimony. What do you say about these things? Do you believe these things? And I say, very often that Christianity is a great confession. If you believe something in the Christian faith, it is not enough to believe in your heart - it is important to believe in your heart, but it not enough to believe in your heart. It is always to be spoken with your mouth. Why? Because the bible says only when you say it with your mouth, that is an indication that thing has filled your heart. Out of the abundance of the heart, the mouth speaketh. So if you believe something and your heart is full of it, you will always say it. If you say you believe a certain thing but you speak something else that means you really don't believe that thing you claim to believe.

See some people sing songs like, The Lord is my shepherd, hear sermons and so on, but then, they talk as if the Lord is not their shepherd; that they are in want and so on. Now what is wrong is this: they really don't believe it. They think they believe it because they heard a sermon like that. They think they believe it, because they sang a song saying that; but they really don't believe it. What gives the indication that they don't believe it, is their words. Their words are betraying the fact that they really don't believe it. If they really believed the Lord is their shepherd they would never open their mouth and say the things that they say about they say and their needs. If you believe the Lord is your shepherd then your mouth will always speak it. Every word that you speak about your needs and how they are met would be an indication that you believe that the Lord is your shepherd and that you shall not want. So the confession part is very important; and only by confession, you will possess. One great man said confession is possession - that is the great truth in it. Only when you confess, then your believing has reached a point where you can appropriate and make it your own. Until you confess you have not really believed, and therefore you cannot really take it for yourself.

Now in order to confess what the blood of Jesus has done and appropriate its benefits, you need to know what the blood of Jesus has done. So we have been covering several things. First we talked about the forgiveness of sins. The bible says we have the forgiveness of sins; redemption, the forgiveness of sins through his blood. Now forgiveness of sins is not the end; it is not the ultimate thing; it is the beginning. It begins with the forgiveness of sins, where we are brought back to God. But then that opens the door for many different kinds of blessings and benefits in our life. Sin brought it all kinds of problems into our lives; marital problems, family problems, financial problems - problems of all kinds, came in to man's life because of sin. If that is so, when sin is forgiven, then you will see that there is a difference in the way that you deal with those problems - and that you overcome those problems. So when your sin is forgiven it opens the door for many blessings and benefits which show that your sin is really forgiven. And that is, we talked about several things. It starts with the forgiven of sin, then we went to healing - bodily healing; and then we went into righteousness; you know righteousness is the ability to stand before God without guilt, condemnation or inferiority.

The bible says the prayer of a righteous man avails much. Why? Because a righteous man believes that he has the ability to stand before God without condemnation. Why? Because he is not standing by his own righteousness; he is standing by Christ's righteousness that has been given to him. Therefore his prayer is effective when he prays with such confidence, and so on. And we talked last week about abundant life and how the blood of Jesus has brought to us abundant life.

Now today I want to talk about how the blood of Jesus has brought to us prosperity. Please read 2nd Corinthians Chapter 8 verse 9. I will read; if you have your bibles turn with me to 2nd Corinthians 8 verse 9: For you know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, that though he was rich, yet for your sakes he became poor, that you through his poverty might become rich. - Here the Apostle Paul says to the Corinthian Christians, you know how the grace of God works; he says, that though he was rich; a lot of people say Jesus was poor - he says, though he was rich. Jesus was rich; he is the maker of heaven and earth. Though he was rich, yet he became poor for your sakes, that you through his poverty might become rich. He was rich, but he became poor for our sakes, so that we might become rich; that means, he clearly says, that Jesus took our poverty, and gave us his riches. Where did this exchange happen? On the cross of Calvary; Jesus did not become poor just by coming into this world. You can't call a man who just fed 5,000 people - have you ever fed 5,000 people? Anybody here. Actually it is only 5,000 men; but if you include the women and children, they say it would be somewhere between 15,000 to 20,000 people. Have you ever fed that many people; and ask the biryani fellow how much it costs. If not biryani then asksambar and rice, how much it would cost. If you had to feed 15,000 to 20,000 people; such a person cannot be poor.

It is a very misleading thing to say that Jesus became poor just by coming into this world. No, he was rich, yet he became poor. If he became poor, when did he become poor? This is talking about something that happened when he hung on the cross; when he hung on the cross, he became poor. What was he doing? He was taking our poverty which has come to us through Adam'ssin; it has become the entire human race's lot now. Human race has now fallen into poverty, and now Jesus on the cross takes our poverty so that we can have his riches. Redemption is something that changes our life and spirit, soul and body in every area of our life. So, let's talk about this a little bit. You know poverty is a bad thing; let me put it very simply like that; because a lot of Christian people think it is a good thing. You hear preachingand opinions like this: poverty is good to develop you to a holy person. Rich person cannot go to heaven; a poor person will go to heaven. And poverty is good for you because you won't get spoilt. Such teachings are given very often in the Christian circles. Now if you were raised in the Christian circles, you are going to find it very difficult to accept this truth particularly. Because when you grow up as a Christian - I am not trying to blame anybody in particular, I am just saying, the general talk, opinion that is prevalent out there in the Christian world is this: that if you are a good Christian that you should have nothing - that you should be poor. If you have a lot then you cannot be a Christian; if you are a Christian, you should have nothing.

You know we are all victims of our society and circumstances in the society in which we live. And somehow, this idea has been conveyed to us. When I was growing up I remember, every which way you turn, they would talk like that only; they will glorify how they have only two sets of clothing. They would actually say that; I have it said from the pulpit; they only have two sets of clothing. And they don't wear anything but rubber slippers; they would not sleep in a bed with mattress, and sleep on a floor. These things are emphasized much. Why? Because poverty is emphasized and poverty is glorified. Poverty is spoken about as something very good, and beneficial and virtuous, and so on. This tendency is out there everywhere. But poverty is bad.

I have lived, born and raised in this country; and lived here all of my life, basically. And I have seen a lot of poverty; and I don't know how these people that have also been born and raised here and seen all the poverty can call poverty good. I have seen poverty. I have seen the terrible effects of poverty and what it has done to damage people and I don't know how you can call it poverty. I know of some people who take poverty voluntarily. They decide that they are going to be poor; they decide that they will not eat good food; they decide that they will not wear good clothes; they decide that they will not live in a very decent place. They decide to live in poverty - voluntary poverty. Even that, the bible doesn't teach that. The bible doesn't teach that they there is any benefit for them or others, by voluntary poverty. I know that people who do it are good people; they are well-intentioned. Maybe they are very holy people and so on. Don't mistake me; I am not saying that they are bad people. I am sayingthat people do it but yet the bible does not teach it. The bible never teaches that poverty is virtuous. You read from the first pages of the bible, it starts with the abundance of God's provision for one man and woman; God provided so abundantly everything that they need. That's the place where God puts them. That is a statement on how God wants people's lives to be like. He put them on the Garden of Eden, thousands of fruit-bearing trees; four rivers for one person. And gold literally - tamilbible says, gold growing under the earth; you know, gold-mines. That's the kind of place that God put man in; a place where there was everything that man would have ever want was there.

So God never invented poverty; God never wished for people to have poverty. It is wrong to say that. Poverty is lack and prosperity means abundance. And you read from the first pages of the bible, it only speaks about abundance; and makes the statement that God wants abundance for his people; that is the point of chapter 1 and 2 of Genesis. But now turn with me to 2nd Corinthians; we read chapter 8 verse 9. But look at Chapter 9 verse 8. A very important verse - I am going to kind of pay a lot of attention to it this time. And God is able to make all grace abound toward you, that you, always having all sufficiency in all things may have an abundance for every good work. - It is a very important verse; a very special verse in fact. If you read it in the Greek language, it has the word "all" five times there. In the English it comes in a varied form; in English we read like: God is able to make all (there is one word all) grace abound towards you; that you always (some translations would have it as "at all times". Always means "all times" ...there is another all.) And then having all sufficiency(that is the third one) in all things (that is the fourth) may have an abundance for every good work ("every" is another all). In the Greek language is all, all. Five times in one verse, the word "all" comes.

Now anytime you have one word repeating itself so many times within such a few lines, one verse, you need to stop and take note, because it trying to convey something. It is making the point that God wants His people to have abundance. The word "abundance" or all sufficiency (abundance also is mentioned once and all sufficiency is mentioned here; and abound is mentioned). So the abundance or abounding, or having all sufficiency in all things; abundance is mentioned only twice, but "all" is mentioned five times - making the point that God wants His people to have abundance in every way in their lives; in all areas of their lives, they must have abundance. That is the point that is made. That is why that many "alls" - all sufficiency, at all times, having all grace, having all sufficiency in all things at all times, for every good work. I don't think you can say it any better than that. That makes a good verse for preaching there. So many times, again and again, the word "all" is repeated.

Now Christian people, if you are raised a Christian and come from a Christian background you will have difficulty in accepting this truth. Somehow this idea that poverty is good has been conveyed. I found when I went on television, what I was preaching went over well with non- Christian people. They received it well because they didn't have this excess baggage of somebody having taught them that poverty is good and virtuous, and better for them. They don't have that teaching. So when I started preaching this, people got attracted to this and they started listening and seeing how God wants us to be well. Jesus died on the cross so that he can carry the poverty and give us riches; he can take our sin and give us the forgiveness of sins; he can take our sin and give us righteousness; that he can take our curse and make us blessed - these things they could understand it very well. But Christian people have a great many difficulties when it comes to the idea prosperity. They always find it difficult to believe that prosperity comes to us through the redemptive work of Jesus Christ. But I will show it to you today.

Let us look at the curse of poverty and what it is. The bible tells us that poverty is a curse. That is why I think you should never say that it is good. It is evil, it is bad, it's a curse. If you turn with me to Genesis chapter 3; we will read from Genesis chapter 3 first, and then we will go to Deuteronomy Chapter 28. So Genesis chapter 3 verse 17 onwards I am going to read; actually from verse 14, God comes in after Adam and Eve's sin; God comes in and pronounces the judgement - what is going to happen as a result of their sin. The whole thing begins in verse 14. The punishment is going to be such that is going to affect all areas of their lives - their marriage will be affected, they will be tension between husband and wife; child birth will be affected - they would be excessive pain in child-birth. There would be problems in other areas of their lives. Tension in marital relationship, your desire shall be for your husband, he shall rule over you; that's a marriage problem - that tension is felt even today; that continues.

Verse 17- verse 17 to 19 is very special because it addresses the financial difficulties, the poverty that comes as result of man's sin. Three verses concentrates on that; because that is a very important issue; that's a major change that is going to happen as a result of sin coming in. sin affects man's life in such a way. Look at verse 17: Then to Adam He said, because you have heeded the voice of your wife and have eaten from the tree of which I commanded you, saying, You shall not eat of it:Cursed is the ground for your sake;In toil you shall eat of itall the days of your life. Both thorns and thistles it shall bring forth for you, and you shall eat the herb of the field.In the sweat of your face you shall eat bread till you return to the ground. For out of it you were taken;For dust you are, and to dust you shall return." -So these three verses most of the words, except the last line - all the words in three verses are about the poverty issue; because you have done this God says, the ground is cursed now; because the ground is cursed, in toil you shall live; that is, you are not going just to plant something and let it grow - that is the way it was in the beginning. But now it is going to be difficult. Why? Because thorns and thistles shall grow; and out of the sweat of your face you shall eat bread; that speaks of the toil, the hardship in work;you are going to work much, earn very little. There is always going to be lack and insufficiency. That is what he is saying here. Definitely, the sin of Adam has affected the life of man in such a way that it has brought poverty into his life.

Now turn with me to Deuteronomy; Deuteronomy is even more descriptive. Deuteronomy Chapter 28 - the famous chapter on blessings and cursings. Have you ever read that chapter? Deuteronomy 28 up to 14, you find the blessings. It says, you will be blessed going out, blessed coming in; the fruit of your womb will be blessed; the fruit of our cattle will be blessed; the fruit of your land will be blessed; even your grinder will be blessed; your enemy will come one way, run seven ways; the Lord will bless you in such a way that the others will see and be afraid of you; the Lord will open his treasure/store house of heaven and pour out rain in due season; you will not borrow, you will lend to many nations; you shall not be beneath, you shall be above only; you shall not be the tail, but shall be the head. That is the essence of the first 14 verses. I have said it many many times, so I don'teven have to look at now. I just remember it; because I love it. I oftentimes think about it. That is mine, that's the blessings; that is the blessings of covenant that belongs to each and every one of us. We should know it; we should put all our eyes there and concentrate on it, and dwell on it, speak it; I believe it, I say it; and I have said it thousands of thousands of times that it just flows out. In my prayer I say it; in blessing other people, I say it; when I go to house dedications, I say it. I just open my mouth it just comes out; because I have said it so many times, because that is what I believe.

But from verse 15, it's all about curses; I have not memorized it. I have read it several times, but I have not memorized it. I have analyzed it, it is a long passage - 15 to 68 verses, you know; quite a lot of verses. It is all about curses. If you don't obey the voice of God and do according to what God says, these are curses that will come upon you, it says. Now I am not going to read all the curses but I am going to read just 2 or 3 verses, just to show you how the bible defines poverty. Because we need to know what poverty is, so that we can know how Jesus dealt with that poverty. You need to first define what poverty is from the bible, and then go and see how Jesus did away with it on the cross of Calvary. So I am going to read to you from verse 45: "Moreover all these curses shall come upon you and pursue and overtake you, until you are destroyed, because you did not obey the voice of the Lord your God, to keep His commandments and His statutes which He commanded you. And they shall be upon you for a sign and a wonder, and on your descendants forever. - Look at the way it says: sign and wonders - it is a wrong kind of sign and wonder; that people are going to look at these people when they go through those curses/experiencing those curses and people are going to see that as a sign and wonder; this is what happens to a people that are disobedient, rebellious.

And then it says in verse 47: Because you did not serve the Lord your God with joy and gladness of heart for the abundance of everything - see, when they had in all in abundance of everything, they forgot about God - they did not serve God; because you did that (now God says), therefore you shall serve your enemies, whom the Lord will send against you, in hunger, in thirst, in nakedness, and in need of everything; and He will put a yoke of iron on your neck until He has destroyed you. - Now, look at how poverty is defined here. You want to define poverty and look at the essence about poverty is and look at how poverty looks at. What does poverty look like? Four things are stated here: hunger, thirst, nakedness, need of everything. Amazing. Need of everything means in all areas of life there is lack, there is insufficiency. Not just finances;every area of life, there is lack and insufficiency. There is no peace, there is no happiness, there is no joy, there is no sleep, there is no peace in the marriage, there is no peace with the children, there is no peace at work, in the profession; there is no profit in the business - nothing is working out. In everything there is lack, in everything there is insufficiency. What a way to state it. I think these four things every Christian ought to remember. This is how poverty looks it; poverty is when you hungry and you don't have food; thirsty, you don't have anything to drink; and you are naked you can't buy proper clothes for you to cloth yourself decently and, you are in need of everything. There is not a thing in which you have sufficiency.Amazing description; something to think about.

And the thing is: how did Jesus deal with this poverty. See this is poverty: hunger, thirst, nakedness, and need of all things; how did Jesus deal with it? On the cross when he hung there, Jesus was hungry he has not eaten the whole day; he has carried the cross, up to Golgotha; been toiling all day, but has never eaten. Just imagine what he would have felt like. He would have felt utmost hunger. He opened his mouth and finally said I am thirsty. He was thirsty; And then they took off all his clothes. They say that a man in those days dressed with four items of clothing; just like we wear pants, shirts, coat, whatever; there were four items of clothing. And usually with the Roman crucifixion happens, when they crucify a person, four people, four soldiers would be involved in the crucifixion.So the four of them would share the man's belongings as far as clothing. It is not like now; the situation there, you can be robbed for your clothing back then - clothing was precious. They didn't have all these companies making millions and millions of shirts and pants and all that; so clothing was very hard to come by. Paul says I never lusted after other man's clothing.. To lust after another man's clothing was something in those days. Today you can go out and buy whatever you want. Clothing was a big deal then. So the soldiers, four of them, would share the four pieces of clothing of a man; but in Jesus' case; remember they had a problem with one piece and that is, the piece that was so special with one stitching from top to bottom - it was quiet expensive, very specially made clothing. Jesus was wearing that. And these people could not decide which one should take it. Other items no problem, but this one they could not decide who should have it. So they cast a lot and decide who should take it. So his clothing was taken. They said that Jesus was stripped of all clothing and hung there, totally naked on the cross of Calvary. Unbelievable.

Next week I am going to talk about how Jesus...To cover shame, I am going to talk about shame - what is the source of shame; where shame comes from in life. How people go through shame and so on, and how God takes away the shame and bring honour into our life; and glory into our life through the shed blood of Jesus Christ. We are blood sprinkled people - shame must be out of our life. And I will talk about it next week. Shame is a very important issue these days.

Jesus hung there on the cross, he experienced shame. Through one of the main reasons our shame comes, is when you are stripped naked in front of all others. I have heard of especially women who were treated like that by some people under some circumstances; killing themselvesnot being able to bear the shame of standing without any clothing before all the people that are gathered there. Shame is such a terrible thing. It can hurt you very deeply. And Jesus was hanging there, suffering shame, totally naked. So he was hungry, he was thirsty, and he was naked; and he was in need of everything. Even his burialhad to be done in another man's grave. He is the creator of heaven and earth, stripped naked, hung there like he had nothing; that he owns nothing; yet he is the owner of everything. All things belonged to him; cattle and a thousand hills belong to him. Everything belongs to him. He is rich, but he became poor. The words are so true; it must ring in our ears and in our hearts: Though he was rich, yet became poor. On the cross, when Jesus hung there, thisson of God, who created the heaven and earth; owned everything, was rich; has now literally become poor, by bible definition. Bible definition poverty is hunger, thirst, nakedness and in need of everything. And here he is hanging in hunger, thirst, nakedness and in need of everything. When he was in this world, he was not poor. Some people are mistaken when they say that when Jesus came into this world itself that he became poor. No he was not poor. How can you a man who fed 5,000 people with 12 baskets leftover, poor? No, a man who did so many miracles and met people's needs, and healed people, delivered people, he can't be poor. He had treasurer with a money box, not with a wallet. A guy carrying and he was tempted to put his hand in it. That is what the bible says; that kind of a treasurer. If he was a poor preacher, nobody will be tempted to put a hand in it. So think about these things; Jesus literally became poor on the cross of Calvary.

Now by becoming poor, he shows that he has taken our poverty. When he took on hunger, thirst, nakedness and need of everything, and become like that on the cross,hung there, He took our poverty. He was rich, but he became poor for our sakes. Why? So that we might be rich. You can state it like this in a powerful way: Jesus not only endured poverty on the cross, but he exhausted poverty. I say exhausted because; after he got through carrying hunger, thirst, nakedness, and in need of everything, there was nothing more to carry about poverty. Poverty is absolutely carried away from us and was placed upon Him. There was nothing left out. It's not like he took 90% and we have to carry 10%. He took everything. Everything about poverty completely, he took it upon himself.

Now many years ago, I became very convinced about this: asI was taught by some people that this is the truth, I began to see. Like I said, I was raised in a Christian background, generally with the impression that if you are a Christian you should have nothing; that you should be poor; poor is virtuous, it's good for you. You will be holy,you will be fit for heaven, and so on. I believed all that. But then, when I first taught it I did not simply receive it. I went through the bible; I checked it. I saw that this is the truth - what an eye opener it was, and how it has helped me in my life. I began to live it, I began to believe it. I am so full of it. I believe it with all my heart, and I speak it. And it has changed my life and my ministry in every way. I totally believe it now; that Jesus has completely taken my poverty, and that tells me that poverty is bad. That is why he took it away from me. Poverty is what sin and the resulting poverty; and all the curses and everything. That is what caused so much agony and suffering for Jesus on the cross of Calvary. Why did have to die such a horrible death? Why did he have to shed the last drop of his blood and suffer like that on the cross of Calvary? Because poverty is one of the things that cause so much pain, agony and suffering for him.Poverty is bad, I am convinced of it. Nobody can tell me that poverty is in anyway good. It is not good for even one person here. There are some people that would say, "Well it is good for some people brother" No, it is not good for anybody.

You will always notice those who opposed poverty, always are prosperous. They already have it all made. They are getting their pension coming for them and their wife. They are comfortablysettled; they are enjoying life and they don't care about all these preaching about prosperity and poverty and all that, because they don't want anything from it. Whether they believe in poverty and prosperity, doesn't matter because the government sends them pension, you know. One fellow was like that talking to me. I said, look you are all settled and you are depending on the government, but I am talking to people who are struggling, who have no other way. I am telling them that poverty is bad, and prosperity is good; and Jesus took the poverty, which is bad, and gave us the good, that is prosperity. He took everything that is bad from me upon himself, and gave everything that is good from himself unto me; and of that - forgiveness of sin, righteousness, healing, abundant life, and even prosperity is part of that. Now I have believed it for a long time like I said it made a big difference in my life, it changed me,the way I thought about things.

Christians need mind changed; renewal of the mind, the bible calls it. That is why preaching is necessary. Why preaching is necessary? Because preaching changes the way we think; and when the way think is changed, then the way we live is changed. As long as you never change a person‘s mind and his thoughts, you are never going to change his life. You can take him and dip in baptism, dip him upside down, baptize him here and every church, nothing is going to happen. Just by going into water and coming, just by going into churchand coming out also, nothing is going to happen.

Today is Sunday, millions and millions of people all over the world go into the church and come out of the church; and out of them how many have experienced any change by going in and coming in. Just by going through the motion of going into a church and coming out, nothing happens; going through a motion of baptism and all that, nothing happens. Unless something happens in your heart, where you are born again and something happens in your mind; where your mind is renewed by the word of God and your thoughts are changed; so that you begin to think differently, so that you live differently. That is why preaching is important. Now back in the old days when I was growing up we thought we could solve all people's problems by just putting our hands on them. So we put our hands on everybody. We wanted to help them. We said, alright come here. So this great preacher would come, he will put his hands on them and solve everybody's problems. I had so many hands laid on me.

Then I went and I met some of these people that taught me these truths. That grand old man used to say, "What is use of putting empty hands on empty heads". Then only the light dawned on me. I said: "Yea, my head is empty for sure, I don't know about the preacher's hand". Even if his hand is powerful, my head being empty, it's not going to change anything; because after he lays his hands also, my head is going to be empty.I am not going to be changed. So, empty hand on empty head is not going to work. So if something has to go inside the head, in the mind, the thinking has to change.And then the Christian preaching is the only way that it can change. And I tell you, the renewal of the mind is the essence of the Christian life. That is why Paul says, don't be conformed to the world, but be transformed. - Christian life is a transformation; not conforming to others, not just trying to look like others. Everybody that comes to church, trying to look like a Christian. Back in those days we used to have Pentecostal hair-cuts, crew cut. No!mind has to be changed. It is not about looking like others; it is like thinking with a mind of Christ. Let this mind be in you which was in Christ.That kind of thinking mentality must change. And I tell you I have preached this in so many ways. Today I am preaching it yet in another way. Every time I preach it, it comes out still more differently, but I have preached it for such a long time and I will tell you hundreds and hundreds of people are here right in this church, whose lives have been transformed, when they grasp the truth that poverty is bad, evil destroying me, and that Jesus on the cross took my poverty; and not only just endured it, but exhausted it; there is nothing more to carry. He has completely carried away my poverty; that I am indeed set free. When people believe it, something happens.

See Christians, are not bound in any other way except in the mind; in the mind there is a bondage. They think in a certain way - that is bondage. I have told the story many timesabout the dog that was tied to a pole for many years. And it could travel only 10 feet from the pole; 10 feet radius. Got used to it then finally they took the rope off its neck. And the dog was still going only 10 feet; because as far as he knows if he goes beyond 10 feet the neck will hurt. He has learned it, memorized 10 feet. Now he doesn't need the rope to guide it - he thinks 10 feet; 10 feet thinking. So he goes 10 feet, comes back. The rope is not there. I think many Christians are like that. They still think I am poor. Why are you poor? They say, I am born in a poor country. Why you are poor? Because my grandfather was poor. Why you are poor? Because we are from a poor village, brother. One preacher said to me, in our village everybody is poor, so I am poor. I went to the same village; you won't believe it. I went to the same village and I preached there. One person came and put a big goat in my car. And another person came, give some chicken. And another person came, brought some rice. Pretty soon, my trunk was full. Where am I going to eat all these? I said, I thought you said you were poor;because everybody was poor. They have all the goat, the chicken, the rice, the eggs - everything. You open the rice, there are eggs inside. They believe such things; it's just that they are used to that. Well everybody is poor, so I am poor. Everybody doesn't have anything; so I don't have anything. As long as you think like that you will be poor only. And they also believed that poor is very chosen call of God. That we are so blessed by being poor and that God really is favouring them. But when people hear this, something happens in their mind; light begins to dawn - people are set free, the chains are loosened. They begin to think Jesus carried it because it is so bad; it destroys me in every way. Destroys my family; destroys my whole existence on this earth, makes me totally ineffective and useless. I must be fruitful for God,I must live for God. So this is bad; they come to a conclusion. Life begins to dawn. I will tell you, they will become a different kind of people. And we have hundreds of people like that, right here in this church.

Alright, now let's go on. When the bible defines what curse is, it is those four things. And we showed you Jesus carried that curse on the cross at Calvaryand totally exhausted it. And now, on what level does God want us to live in this world? How does God want us to live? How should we be; should we be poor or should we be medium something? Some people preach the medium, you know, in all kinds of philosophies. But what does bible teach? There are four levels, if you want to look at it like that; Fourlevels ofprovisions (not the provision of God), but four levels in which we can live:

The first one I would call, "The not enough level". And I think we all know it; we have all been there. I have been in the not enough level. You need 100 and you have only25, 30. Not in a very bad - with that 25, 30 you cannot do anything. You need a 100, but you have only 25% of it or 30% of it, you can't do anything. Not enough level. When the people of Israel were in bondage to Egypt as slaves, they were on that level. Never had enough, never had sufficiency, not enough. Lack and want in every area of their lives, a not enough life. But you will be surprised when God delivered them with His mighty hand; look at the miracles. I mean, you won't read about miracles like that in all of the bible in anywhere else. Amazing miracles God did. Ten plagues God sent. Just snatched them out of the hands of Pharaoh, drowned the Egyptian army in the sea, delivered them with a mighty hand and wants to take them to the Promised Land, flowing with milk and honey. And on the way in the Wilderness they are complaining and saying, we want to go back to that wonderful state that we were in before. Amazing to me. So that tells me,that in not enough level, you got to be careful because you can get settle there. People can get very settled. I heard about a man who has been in jail for many years in America. And when they let him out he said, "Please don't let me out, I don't know what to do out there". He got very settled. He is working inside the jail, he is having friends inside the jail, his whole life he spent in jail. Now they are going to letting him out, he got worried. What I am going to do? Out there I don't know anybody. I got to learn everything. I have not been in the world for so long. You get so used to something, that mentally you get settled in that kind of a life. That is why it is possible, even though people are saved, people know God, their sins are forgiven; when it comes to prosperity, they never move out in that not enough level. They live in that not enough level, and actually choose to live in that level because they feel comfortable there, many times. You better to watch out - you should never settle down in the not enough level. You must always make sure that you march towards that Promised Land; into the land to which you appropriate every promise, every blessing of God.

Then there is the next level which is called "Just enough level". Am sure you have been there also. The "Just enough level", for some people that's a very spiritual level. So for many years they told me you must have "Just enough"; no more than just what is needed. You must not have 1 cent more than what you needed. I wasted so many years just believing all this stuff. You must not have anything more than just enough. And those people will always refer to the Wilderness. Everyday manna will come - daily manna and you pick up the manna; and you pick up only for that day - you cannot store for the next day; that is the condition that God laid on them. If they pick up for the second day, it will become rotten. So daily supply - daily manna. So there'sa lot of daily manna Christians. So they think something miraculous will happen, that God will provide us the daily manna. God somehow daily provides. I have been there; believe me I have experienced God's wonderful miracles of provision when I was in need. Daily God graciously took care of my needs in the beginning stages of my life as a student. I was very much in need. I could not even work in that country in that time. And I was very much in need and God amazingly met my needs, every day something will happen. Very often, something will happen. Miracleafter miracle. I told you at time how I had only 2 quarters - two 25 cent coins in my pocket, and I travelled with a guy for 1,500 miles in his car with just 2 quarters. I would always had my hands in the pocket to check to see if the two quarters are there; because that is all I had. And I am going with this guy - I don't know where I was going. In the first year of my stay there.And by the time I came back I had enough money to pay my fees. I had money to spare after that, and go out and eat in an Indian restaurant, some curry. That was a big blessing, miracles.

Those days I used to read a book by Oral Roberts that said: "Daily Miracles" l loved it because every day I needed miracles. I thought this is the way to live. Everyday miracles must happen. Well, even today, God is a miracle working God. Am sure that many times God comes through in our lives, He does miracles. But miracle is a thing that was happening in the Wilderness. Everyday a miracle was happening; everyday manna came from heaven. Is that not a miracle? Every day, miraculous provision of manna. But that was not God's will. God's will is the Promised Land; God's will is not daily bread. God's will is Promised Land; God's will is barns that will be plenty and vats that shall overflow. Where did He get the idea of barns? Some people developed this idea of daily manna to such an extent they even forbid savings account, on the basis of daily manna. But God says, I want to take you to the Promised Land, where your barns shall be filled with plenty, yourvats shall overflow. So it is very easy to get sidetracked and settle down in the Wilderness. Just think of the people of Israel; only 11 days they were scheduled to go through that; and 11 days they were supposed to learn some faith lessons that God is the Provider.

You know how long they stayed? Forty years they stayed there. Very easy to stay in the "Just enough life" Don't settle down in the "Just enough life". A lot of Christians are in the "Just enough life" And they think they are doing wonderful. God is doing great miracles. I was one time thinking: God what happened all those wonderful miraclesare not happening now? God said, you want to get back to the 50cent level again, then I will do the miracles. That time you needed the miracles because you had only 50 cents. Now you are not in that level. You don't need miracles. You are on a different level. See miracles are fine, but blessings are greater than miracles. Do you want to live by miracles or you want to live by blessings. See, when we go have a crusade, I preach miracles. I talk about how God is a miracle working God. And God does miracles. And when I preach in church, I preach only blessings. Have you noticed that? Why? Because those people don't know God. They need a miracle, they are in deep problem; a lot of troubles. God will do miracles for them. And I preach miracles for them and I encourage them to believe in miracles. When they come to church I preach blessings, because blessing is a totally empowerment and miracles come into that. Miracles are not greater than blessing; blessing is greater than miracles. So you need to live by blessings, not just by miracles.

And then, there is a third level. It is "More than enough level". Now where do find that in the bible? Turn with me to Ephesians chapter 4 and verse 28: Let him who stole steal no longer, but rather let him labor, working with his hands what is good, that he may have something to give him who has need. - Wonderful verse. What is it saying? He says to the Christians; if you have been stealing, don't steal anymore, you are a Christian, you are a believer, born again person. What do you do? Labour - that means work with your hands. Labour with your hands to do what? He says, labour with your hands working;labour with your hands so that you may have something to give to him who has need. What a philosophy of work. I am going to one of these days talk about/do a series on work. He says, don't steal, but work. Work for what? So that you can pay your rent and eat your food. No! He says, work so that you can help the guy who is need; somebody who is in need. In other words what he is saying is; he is not sayingwith your work you should not pay your rent and eat your food. No. What he is saying is that you work and expect to earn more than enough. If you are working, you must expect to earn more than enough. Why earn more than enough? Because you can meet the need of those who are suffering - who don't have anything; somebody out there that you know.

I was recently talking to a person and his parents are not taken care of so they are complaining. He said, "Where will I go. My income in very income is very limited; I can't keep them and take care of them." I said that is why I am preaching about prosperity. Why don't you come? He said, No, no, I don't believe in that. So if you believe in prosperity you can take care of your parents very well. You can feed them, you can get into their medical needs, you can take them to the hospital, see the doctor - you can do everything for them. Why don't you do it? The guy says, No, I won't believe in prosperity. I won't take care of my parents. With my salary I can't do it, he says. Christian. Yet the bible says, Do your work and why work? So that you may help those that are in need. In other words, it is simply saying, those who are working and earning must be earning always more than what is enough for them so that they can give to those that have need. That is more than enough. You can't even help one other person. And if you say my salary is just enough for me; or my salary doesn't go beyond what I need. Then I tell you, you got to change your philosophy of work and you got to believe God, so that you earn enough to do something for others who are in need. That is the Christian philosophy of work. So that is "more than enough level".

But there is another level; that is the will of God. Even more than enough level is not the will of God. There is a level called, "Much more than enough". That's the Promised Land level. That is what the Promised Land is all about. And in the new Testament you read about it here; 2nd Corinthians 9 - the verse that we just read. In 2nd Corinthians 9 verse 8, you read about the Promised Land kind of level. 9: 8 - God is able to make all grace abound toward you, that you, always having all sufficiency in all things, may have an abundance (everybody say abundance) for every good work. - Everybodysay: abundance, for every good work. What does this mean? It means that God's will is this for every believer. Paul is teaching this concerning finances is teaching it. God's will is this regarding every Christian; that God's grace must be so seen in your life that you must have all sufficiency in all things, so that you have abundance for every good work.What is a good work? Now everything that youdo is not good. Everything good is not good in the sight of God; it may be good - what you do is good. But you know what good work is in the bible? Good work is work that is done because God has commissioned you to do it; God's will is that you do it. That is the good work. Now in Ephesians Chapter 2, in verse 10, we read this: For we are his workmanship (that is we are made by him) - what is he saying? Created in Christ Jesus. This is about the new creation; our born-again experience. When we were born-again, God made us and recreated us for good works, which God prepared beforehand that we should walk in them. - Amazing.

When God brought us to Himself, He did that so that we can do the good works; and those good works, God had prepared beforehand. Beforehand means before the world began, that we should walk in them. See today I am doing this; this is the work that I am doing. This is a good work because God has ordained that I should be doing this. God has chosen me, and placed me here, and brought me all this way; saved me for this purpose - lead me and guided me and given me all the abilities, and whatever I needed to do this work and put me here to do this work all these years. God has prepared beforehand, long time ago, even before I was born, God had prepared this for me. That is the way the bible puts it. For every person, it is the same way. God saves us so that we may do the things that He has planned for you. Remember when the Apostle Paul was going and killing the believers, persecuting the church, shutting down churches and killing the men of God; he was chosen by God to do some other work - building churches and producing men of God like Timothy and others. He was chosen by God to train others to be pastors and teachers and so on; men of God. And chosen to build churches, pioneer churches and go all over the world, preach the gospel and establish churches. Yet he was doing exactly the opposite - he was killing preachers, destroying churches. But one day he found Jesus and he found the purpose of life. And from that day, he went all over the world - preaching the gospel, establishing churches.

So finding Jesus, coming to a relationship with Jesus is that amazing thing. Until then we do our own wish; we just go around doing whatever we want to. But the day we come to Christ is the beginning of a remarkable change in our life; And the remarkable change is this - that God shows us what we need to do in our life. God shows us the way; His will to us and we begin to do. That is what we call good works.

Let me read one passage here about good works and then we close. 1 Corinthians chapter 3 verse 9: For we are God's fellow workers; you are God's field, you are God's building - we are God's fellow workers, you are God's field, you are God's building. According to the grace of God which was given to me, as a wise master builder I have laid the foundation, and another builds on it.But let each one take care how he builds on it. For no other foundation can anyone lay than that which is laid, which is Jesus Christ. Now if anyone builds on this foundation - now listen to this. He is talking about his ministry and what he is doing there. He says I am laying the foundation as an apostle that means he comes and he starts churches; others become pastors, build it. He says for no other foundation can anyone lay than that which is laid which is Christ Jesus.Now if anyone builds on this foundation with gold, silver and precious stones, wood, hay, straw, each one's work will become clear; In other words, he goes and establish churches, lays the foundation, starts the churches, others become preachers - how are they going to build the church?

Their work can be classified into two different categories: Some people may do a wonderful work called gold, silver, precious stone kind of work they do in the ministry. And others do wood, hay andstubble kind of work. Now you can have lorry loads of wood, hay and stubble
Truck loads of wood, hay and stubble that will not amount how much handful of gold, silver and precious stone is worth. Meaning that: some people do a lot but they never do what God says. They do a lot; they are not sinning and going and living riotously or something like that. They do a lot, but yet they are not doing the will of God. So when you do a lot and don't do the will of God that is like just like wood, hay and stubble that is of no value; when you do what is God's will then it is considered like gold, silver and precious stones. Each one's work (verse 13) will become clear.That means it will become evidence what kind it is. For the day will declare it. Which day? Because it will be revealed by fire; The Judgement Day the fire will reveal who has got gold, silver, precious stone kind of work and who's got wood, hay, stubble kind of work. Why? The fire will burn wood, hay andstubble. It will all become ashes; and gold, silver and precious stone will remain. And the fire will test each one's work of what sort it is. If anyone's work which he has built on it endures, he will receive reward. If anyone's work is burned he will suffer a loss, but he himself will be saved, yet so as through fire

Alright, what is Paul saying here? He is talking about works and how important it is to do the work that God has told us to do.Now, it is for the work that God has told us to do sometimes you need much more than enough. You need much more than enough for the work that God has told you to do.

See in the country there is a lot of missionaries came that did a lot of work. Ida Scudder built a great hospital, CMC in Vellore. A young lady felt the call of God, went and studied medicine; with a great vision, came back and started building. Today so many generations of people are benefitting from it, year to year, day to day. How many people have lived their life/through their life because of that hospital? You know so much has happened because of a vision. Now that lady all by herself could not have done it. She did it.She had a vision and God brought finances, money into her hands that is far beyond anything that she would need. Nobody needs that kind of money unless they have a vision. If you have a vision, money is not a problem. Sometimes people have no vision, but they just want the money, for the sake of money. But the bible says that God gives us a vision to do something and the money to do it with. That is the meaning of so that you may abound in every good work; so that you may do every good work that God has called you to do.

2nd Corinthians 9:8 says: So that you may have all sufficiency and all things and do every good work; that means everything that God has called you to do, so that you can accomplish. So what is prosperity? What is riches? What is the meaning of riches and prosperity? The meaning of riches and prosperity is that God provides you with enough resources; financially and otherwise - even with wisdom and ability, and knowledge and boldness, and confidence, and courage and everything. God fills you with everything that you need to do what He has called you to do and accomplish. That is the meaning of biblical prosperity. God has a vision and money is for that vision; prosperity is for that vision. And because God's vision always is God sized - seeHe thinks big, I don't think big. I come from a small town, so I think small. I come from a small background, so I think small. But He thinks big. So when He thinks big and when He comes to me and begins to work, He begins to make me think big also; make you think big also. And that requires a lot. And God brings it; that is the meaning of that verse in 2nd Corinthians 9 and verse 8; so that you may have all sufficiency in all things; that you may have abundance for every good work. Everybody say, abundance for every good work.That kind of abundance. What kind of abundance? Abundance to do whatever God wants you to do. That is the will of God for every believer.

Prosperity's ultimate meaning is this: and when Paul talks of gold, silver, and precious stones, that's the real gold. What is the real gold? That you have done the will of God. When you stand before God one day, God is not going to ask you how much gold have you got. You lived so many years on this world, how much gold did you earn? How much diamonds you have or how much money you have? That is not the question. What did you do with it, is the question. What did you do with all the resources, all the knowledge, all the wisdom, all the abilities, and all the finances, all the resources that I have given you? What did you do with it? So when you stand before God, God considers that good work as gold, silver and precious stone. Not our gold that we are wearing. It's fine, you wear it, but the thing is: to God, what are the gold, silver and precious stone? The good works that we did; and what is the good work?The work that we did, because He called us to do it, and told us to do it. That is the gold; real gold, that is the real silver; that is the real precious stone. That is the real thing of value before God.

Now I know some Christians also say: Why have gold, why have all these things? Why have a lot of money because you are not going to have to take it. So as soon as you build a house some people say, "Why build a house? You are going to go to heaven". Why do you need a house, why do you need this, why do you need that. Some people are into this business. You need everything as a tool for the work; so you use it. And when you use it, when you do the good workswith what God has giving to you -you use it as tool, that becomes the good work. You use everything that God has given you - see, he is building is there. You use for God and do what God has told you to do and called you to do; that building is not just too big and pretty and just a wonderful thing you have got. No, what have you done with it? And what we do with it, I am going to tell you - we take it with us to heaven. You can't take the building with you, your house with you. You can't take your vehicle with you, you can't take your gold or silver with you; or your diamonds with you. You can take the good things that you did with them with you. Because the bible says in Revelation 14:13: Blessed are those that die in the Lord for they have ceased from their labor, and entered into their rest and their works do follow them. - Don'tbelieve the lie that says you don't take anything when you go. No, what you did travels with you and goes with you; and stays with you all your life, and the rewards and the returns with come all through eternity to you because that is the meaning of real prosperity. That is why God blesses a person. That is the meaning of why you should have much more than enough. Not so you can say, I got this much - I got more than the other person. No! The much more than you have is about every good work; abundance for every good work.

Abundance is a Latin word that means "wave that flows over". You see the waves that comes to the shores; the shores are to define the borders or the boundaries of where the waters can go. That's a shore; but when the waves come, many times the water goes over/flows overs. And God wants the prosperity wave to flow over; and you must cross all boundaries and borders and see new territories and experience new blessings, and increase in your life in that way; because in order to do what God wants you to do, you need that. Amen. Let's all stand together

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