Sid: We want everyone everywhere to hear the good news but there is a problem in America. It’s got to do with money, it’s got to do with the lust connected with money, it’s got to do with misunderstanding God’s principles of finance. I have felt for a long time there’s something off there’s something that needs to be corrected having to do with money in the body of Messiah and the approaches for raising money, and the reasons and the motives for giving money. I got ahold of an audio cassette series by an individual a teacher that we’ve had on Messianic Vision before friend of mine Craig Hill he’s founder of the Family Foundation International. They conduct seminars on helping families, teaching seminars they’re based in Littleton, Colorado. I have Craig on the telephone right now and you gave an example in your series I don’t think anyone could ever forget and you call it “Sparrow Faith.” Would you explain this Craig?
Craig: Sure. That comes Sid from Matthew chapter 6:24 – 26 and of course verse 24 we talked about in the last couple of days “You cannot serve God and mammon.” We’re talking again about the fact that mammon is a spirit it’s not money, but Jesus goes on in verse 25 and He says “Therefore” which of course means because of what I just said you cannot serve God and mammon, “therefore I say to you do not worry about your life.” What we find most Christians doing a spending a lot of time worrying about their life. Jesus said “Don’t do that, not what you will eat, what you will drink, nor about your body, what you will put on is not life more than food and the body more than clothing.” And verse 26 is really the interesting one, and of course I’ve read this verse all my life and it was just only a couple of years ago that something new and it came alive to me because verse 26 is Jesus’ example of how provision comes to us. So how are we supposed to be provided for? Every one of us needs provision, every one of us needs food, we clothing, we need shelter, we need these types of things. So how is that meant to come? And Jesus tells us in verse 26 His picture here is “Look at the sparrows,” or some translations say “The birds of the air for they neither sow nor reap, nor gather in the barns yet Your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not of more value than they?” The thing that just shocked me Sid when this came alive to me is all my life what I’ve always heard people say is “When you’re in need, when you don’t have enough money the thing that you need to do is you need to give. And the reason you need to do that is because of sowing and reaping because of the principle of sowing and reaping.” The thing I saw in the scripture was that that’s not wrong to give when we’re in need but usually people are doing it for a wrong motive. The motive is they are giving to try to get God to meet their need and the problem with that is that throws God’s provision back on the basis of my works again instead of His grace. Whereas Jesus is actually saying here He says the example of the picture is the sparrows, “Look at the sparrows they don’t sow or reap, or gather in the barns. The reason they’re provided for is their Father in heaven loves them and it’s His good pleasure and delight to give to them, to make provision for them.” Something came alive in my spirit Sid when I saw that I suddenly realized God’s provision for me is not based on anything I do or don’t do. God’s provision for me is as a result of His grace to me…
Sid: And yet there is a truth in the law of sowing and reaping, and yet what it’s saying there is it’s not based on their sowing and reaping it’s based on God’s care.
Craig: That’s right sowing and reaping is not for the purpose of getting your need met according to Jesus here. Jesus says “I’m going to meet your need because I love you, or My Father’s going to meet your need because He loves you.” Another picture…
Sid: Sounds like a good God to me.
Craig: Oh it’s wonderful to understand who God is. Another picture that would go along parallel with that is a little child in the home of his parents. Most little children that I know of would not be required to sow and reap in order to receive their provision. In other words, how ridiculous would be for a little child to come up to his mother at lunch and say “Mommy if I give you half of my peanut butter sandwich, or if I give away half of my peanut butter sandwich to somebody that’s in need could I please have dinner?” Well no his mother says “I’m going to give you dinner anyway just because I love you.” Not that giving away half your peanut butter sandwich would be a wrong thing to do, but that’s not the reason to do it you give it away because you want to bless that person that has need but I don’t try give away half my peanut butter sandwich as a little child to try to induce my parents to make provision for me. No my parents made provision for me when I was a child because they loved me. Jesus’ point here is “My Father in heaven wants to make provision for you because He loves you.” The powerful scripture that I saw in the Amplified is Hebrews chapter 13 verse 5 and 6. It says:
“Let your character or moral disposition be free from love of money [including greed, avarice, lust, and craving for earthly possessions] and be satisfied with your present [circumstances and with what you have]; for He [God] Himself has said,” Now this isn’t your father who said this, or your pastor who said this, or your husband, this is God Himself who said this: “I will not in any way fail you nor give you up nor leave you without support. [I will] not, [I will] not, [I will] not in any degree leave you helpless nor forsake nor let [you] down (relax My hold on you)! [Assuredly not!] So we take comfort and are encouraged and confidently and boldly say, The Lord is my Helper; I will not be seized with alarm [I will not fear or dread or be terrified]. What can man do to me?”
Sid: You know Craig as you’re aware many and many of the Mishpochah are I come from a Jewish background. I had what was known as a classic Jewish mother I had a good father too, but I had what was known as a classic Jewish mother.
Sid: Whenever I had a need mom would come through.
Sid: Whether I was good or bad, stupid or smart I knew unconditionally my mom would come through. Now when I became a believer in the Messiah somehow that picture of my mom coming through was transferred to my heavenly Father. I can’t tell you how but it was it was like a natural step. I have always felt that God would provide and guess what, He has.
Craig: That’s your experience.
Sid: But someone may not have had an experience like that and may treat God the way perhaps their mother or father treated them…
Craig: That’s right.
Sid: …And have that wrong picture on the inside of them.
Craig: That’s exactly right. That’s true for an awful lot of people that they have a wrong picture or often times through wrong teaching. They’ve been taught that their provision is dependent upon what they do that they better do this, they better do that and if they don’t God isn’t going to provide for them. That is a wrong picture of God because God loves us. You don’t see sparrows running around having anxiety attacks…
Sid: (Laughing) You gave a story of a man that didn’t… just had enough money for a bus ride home, the weather was bad, the distance was far…
Sid: …And you did something that some people would say “Shame on you Craig Hill.” What did you do?
Craig: (Laughing) I felt like when it happened I had a man come for counsel. Our ministry at that time was supported by the offerings people gave. So we always prayed with each person at each time each session and said “Let’s pray and ask the Lord what you’re to give in the offering.” So I did that same with this man and he said “Well we don’t even need to pray I have nothing.” And I felt, it was real strange Sid, I felt the Spirit of God just rise up in me and I said to him something that I would’ve never in my own natural mind wanted to say, but I said “I don’t believe you. Empty your pockets.” He emptied his billfold, and he emptied his pockets, and sure enough he had nothing in his billfold but out fell 50 cents from his pocket.
Sid: Big deal!
Craig: Yeah, and I said “I knew you had something.”
Craig: And he looked at me with terror in his eyes and he said “No that’s my bus fare home. I live 16 miles away I’m going to have to walk home in the snow if you take that away from me.” I felt the Lord just rise up again in me and I said “You know what we’re going to pray and ask God what part of that you’re going to give in the offering.” Terror just struck his heart and that’s when I realized why God was asking me to do that and the reason was… again this spirit of mammon had so gripped this man’s mind that he was trusting in 50 cents he wasn’t trusting in God to get him home he never trusted in God he always trusted in those little coins to get him home. And of course as we said a couple of days ago in reality there’s no power in those coins there’s power in God.
Sid: There’s some people listening and they’re say “Well that’s not me I have more than 50 cents.” But you know what in principle that’s many people, you’re speaking to many people Craig right now.
Craig: And I told that man “You’ve got to know I’m not after your money. I mean you could give the whole 50 cents and I don’t think it’s going to change anything in our ministry one way or the other, but what I’m after is faith in your heart to begin to rise up toward God. What I call Sparrow Faith to know that God loves you and he’s going to provide for you. And what we’re going to do right now is break the power of that spirit of mammon…”
Sid: How do you, that’s a good question, how do you break the power of that spirit?
Craig: Yeah 2 things:
- First of all recognize it and repent.
- You begin to give. You begin to break the power of that spirit by taking money which was designed for buying and selling and you begin to give it, not for the purpose of… here’s the distinction that’s tricky. Not for the purpose of trying to get God to meet my need because of my giving, but what I’m doing is breaking the power of that spirit’s hold over my mind.
Jesus did it for example with a rich young ruler that came to Him. He asked that rich young ruler to sell everything he had and give it to the poor. And of course the disciples I’m sure were thinking “Well we have some stuff do we have to do the same Jesus?” People may be listening today “Well is that what I really need to do? Should I sell everything and give it to the poor?” You know what I’ve told some people Sid “If you have ask the question maybe you do?” Because the issue is not the money or the stuff the issue is “In what is my trust?” and that was the issue for this man.
Sid: Did the man give his 50 cents?
Craig: In the end we prayed and he felt like the Lord was speaking to him to give 5 cents.
Sid: Yeah but he needed 50 cents to get home.
Craig: That’s right.
Sid: So 45 doesn’t cut it.
Craig: That’s and that’s what he was afraid of. So he gave his 5 cents walked… and we prayed over it, walked out of my office came back the next week with a miracle story. He said “I was still angry when I went down to the bus stop” but he said “It was an amazing thing I found a nickel at the base of the bus stop sign.” He said “It was halfway home before I even acknowledged it was God.” He said “I was still angry and I said to myself ‘Boy that was sure lucky I found this.’” Then halfway home he realized “God that was You, You did that!” When he got home he in addition found an unexpected check for $5 in the mail which he attributed to God. He came back the next week excited he said “I’m ready to pray! Can we pray in advance I want to begin to give in the offering,” and that man’s life turned around and changed as that spirit was broken over him…
Sid: No matter what is going on in your life things can turn around, and if the good that can be better and if they’re bad allow for the supernatural.
Sid: We want every one everywhere to get a handle on your finances so that you will really be the head and not the tail, but make sure that the spirit behind it is not a wrong spirit. That’s why I have on the telephone right now I’m speaking to him at his headquarters in Littleton, Colorado, Craig Hill who is the founder of Family Foundations International. They conduct seminars having to do with the family, and I got a hold of his teachings titled “God’s Principals of Finance.” Now my background is finance, I have interviewed many men and women on this subject and this is the freshest approach and the most Biblical approach I have ever seen and that’s why I have him on the air. On yesterday’s broadcast we were talking about a scripture that we’re all familiar with Matthew chapter 6 verse 24 “And you can’t serve God and mammon.” Most people even some Bibles translate mammon as money, but Craig you found out that it has another meaning and actually makes more sense when you realize what Jesus really meant by that meaning of mammon.
Craig: Yeah that’s right we were talking yesterday about the fact that that word mammon doesn’t actually mean money but it was talking about an idolatrous god worshipped by Philistine people at the time of Jesus. Of course the demonic principality or spirit behind that god that influences people’s minds and influences people’s emotions. We were saying yesterday there are two basic ways that that spirit does that, or there are two primary things just like any spirit. What it wants of course is worship unto itself, and it wants the allegiance of people’s hearts. It wants your heart to give allegiance to it, obviously nobody would do that on purpose so it has to deceive to do that. So what it does is it causes people to greatly fear the lack of money and to make money very very important, or money is the goal, then God becomes the means. So what happens when the spirit of mammon is involved is the master slave relationship is inverted. Money becomes the master and God becomes our servant to get us money.
Sid: You know I hear what you’re saying and I hear many people seem to say the right words “I want you to give to my ministry so you will have money to give to other ministries.”
Sid: And that’s a correct stance…
Craig: That’s right.
Sid: …but still behind it is the greed principle, or as you put it “A false god by the name of mammon.”
Craig: That’s right. That actually captures people’s hearts and I think sometimes as Christian leaders we actually can play upon that fear that spirit has created in people’s heart of not having enough money, and cause money to be the end, money to be the goal, and we’re using Biblical principles then to tell people then “If you will just do this or do that we’re going to use God to get money as opposed to just the opposite,” which would be the truth. We’re going to use money to expand the kingdom of God. So money is meant to be our servant not our master. Just when you think about how powerful that really is. If the Holy Spirit were to speak to someone today “I want you to go on a mission trip to China in 3 months’ time.” Do you know that most Christians would immediately say in their own mind “How am I going to get the money?” The governing factor is not the Holy Spirit, the governing factor is the money.
Sid: So then when you go back to Matthew 6:24 “You can’t serve both you either serve that governing spirit, or you serve God.”
Craig: That’s right and the issue is to which one has your heart given over an allegiance because the issue is there would be people listening to the broadcast… as a matter of fact Sid I bet you there are people have tuned into the broadcast because they heard we were talking about this today. The reason you tuned into the broadcast is because you wanted to find out “How can solve all of my financial problems? How can I get out of debt? How can I make money?” What we’re saying is God wants to accomplish those purposes but that not’s the goal, the goal is not “How can I get more money?” The goal is “I want to serve God, how can I pursue God?” Money then becomes a tool, or money becomes a… my servant to expand the kingdom of God. You know we’ve found some of the symptoms of this spirit of mammon are really interesting. A lot of things people wouldn’t necessarily think of but how gripping this spirit really is in terms of grabbing ahold of people’s minds and demanding allegiance to it. I thought of 10 different symptoms of this spirit of mammon. You know this is an interesting thing I thought, money actually is impotent. Money has no power God has power, the spirit of mammon has power and your heart is going to go after one of the two of those, but in reality money is impotent. But until a person recognizes how impotent money truly is his heart will never be free from its pursuit. So a person will continue to pursue money as long as he believes that’s where the real power is, whereas in reality the power is with God, or mammon and your heart is going to be given over to one of the two of those. But in terms of talking about the symptoms of mammon here would be some of the symptoms that I’ve found Sid:
- Simply worry and anxiety over money. People that lie awake at night would worry in anxiety.
- Mismanagement of money. “I don’t know where it all went.” Or in other words, too much month left at the end of the money.
- Never having enough. You know I found out what afflicts either rich people or poor people, some people would not recognize that even people that have great sums of money or asset values still never have enough. So in other words you’re consistently spending 120% of the resource that’s available it doesn’t matter what is available you never have enough.
- A mentality of “I can’t afford it. No matter how much I have I can’t afford it.” I know one man that has probably over $3 million in assets but has great difficulty of letting go of money to purchase clothing for his family because, and he always says “Well we can’t afford it.” Well obviously he CAN but that’s a mentality that that spirit creates.
- Another symptom would be impulse buying “Can’t turn down the deals.” A lot of times you’ll have… this’ll create tremendous arguments between husbands and wives. One will come home having purchased something and the other one will say “Well what is that for? What do we need that for?” The one who purchased it says “I don’t know but I got a deal. It was cheap.” So an inability to turn down things that we would buy on impulse.
- Stinginess would be another one. Sort of the thing that goes along with that is a fear of tithing. Many many people have a sense that tithing is the right thing to do but there’s a tremendous fear if “I ever began to do that I would perish.” So I need to hang on to everything I have. A symptom of that spirit’s influence.
- Greed would be another symptom. I define that as an inordinate desire to acquire or possess.
- Discontentment would be an 8th
- Bondage to debt. Many many people in this nation have a tremendous bondage to debt that’s just overwhelming to them. Then the last one that I noticed is:
- An exaggerated importance of money and overestimate of its power. When you hear people talk about somebody that has a lot of money they talk as though that were a very valuable person. Somebody who doesn’t have any money is sort of a not valuable person. So there’s an exaggerated importance of money overestimate of its power.
Again Sid I believe if we don’t recognize the spirit behind that and deal with that, that what’s going to happen is many of us know the things to do, we know that we ought to live on a budget. We know ought to tithe, we know we ought to be giving offerings, we know we ought to get out of debt but I find so many people have an absolute inability to do the things they know and the reason that is they’ve never dealt with the spirit that has grabbed ahold of their mind and all the emotions and thoughts that go along with that that they don’t even recognize have been operative in their life for years and years and years.
Sid: What you point out is this spirit has a name.
Sid: His name is mammon.
Craig: Hmm hm.
Sid: He’s been around a long time but then you say if you don’t get free of that spirit it links with other spirits.
Craig: It’ll link with other spirits and it’ll couple with other areas of iniquity. Bitterness it’ll couple with often times. It can couple with greed, it can couple with other types of emotions that sort of thing and really influence people’s lives. We see an example of that in Acts chapter 8 where we find the man Simon the sorcerer who wanted to buy the Holy Spirit with money. Again the issue there was a spirit of mammon operative in his life that had coupled with what Peter described as the gull of bitterness and had really twisted his mind around in thinking that he could buy the power of God with money. Again just the opposite of what Jesus had in mind.
Sid: Once you recognize it’s a spirit, what do you do about it?
Craig: I think the first thing to do is to repent for allowing it to grab hold of a person’s mind. A lot of times I’ve found it’s generational it’s come through several generations of time. So…
Sid: I’ve noticed most of these curses are generational like an alcoholic you’ll find there’s alcoholics in the family.
Sid: But you mean even the poverty and there are problems with money run in generations.
Craig: I think it does. A lot of times a lot of us are of the age group that our parents went through the depression. So we heard time and time again “You’ve got to be careful. You could lose everything. You’ve got to be very attentive to money, collect all the money you can , save it for a rainy day and be very careful.” Again what it does it directs people’s attention off of God and makes God simply the means to get money, but money is the real answer.
Sid: Now have you seen people take your seminar and their lives changed by getting rid of this spirit of mammon.
Craig: We’ve seen so many people changed Sid it’s unbelievable and changed in practical results in terms of practical financial results but also to see the pressure lifted off of somebody, to see the fear come off somebody. To see somebody’s focus really return to be on God…
Sid: I imagine a lot of marriages are saved just by getting at this spirit.
Craig: That really is true because that spirit just wreaks havoc in a marriage. If you go to a divorce court you’ll hear probably I think 80% of the divorces have a tremendous influence of money and arguments over money…
Sid: Give me one specific case that comes to mind of someone that’s applied these principles and had help.
Craig: You know there was a young woman that came to a seminar in New Zealand. When we began talking she initially came and said “I felt like I had a pretty good handle on my finances.” She wrote me later she said “You know I found out that it wasn’t a handle it was a grip that I had fine finances.” She said “I know idea it was a spirit of mammon” but what she did on one of the evenings we were talking about tithing and that was just intently scary to her and her husband because there was no way she could live on 100% of her income she couldn’t see a way that she could possibly begin to tithe. But to make a long story short she and her husband made a commitment in their heart that they were going to tithe and trust God to be their provider. You know the day they made that commitment they had a supernatural release of finances that came to them that just changed their financial situation…
Sid: Oh Craig we’re out of time!
Sid: One of the biggest problems in marriage today, one of the biggest problems among people today, in this one of the most blessed countries the world has ever seen the United States of America is money. One of the most misunderstood areas is money, debt it’s unprecedented. The little plastic cards that people have managed to get themselves in so much debt and paying so much interest that there appears to be no way of getting free unless you go bankrupt. I have on the telephone the founder of Family Foundation International, Craig Hill. This is a seminar teaching ministry primarily in areas of the family. There are so many misunderstandings to the point where people are turned off on a lot of the appeals by ministries, or approaches if you, will by money. We did with the area of prophecy we corrected some misunderstandings on the air and this week we are going to correct some misunderstandings on money. I have Craig Hill on the telephone I’m speaking to him at his office in Littleton, Colorado. I just recently listened to a 7 audio cassette series on God’s principles of finances. I’ve got a question for you Craig I want to start out with.
Craig: Sure Sid.
Sid: I know an individual that decided to go into business for himself.
Craig: Hmm hm.
Sid: He felt God gave him the idea. He’s a strong Spirit filled Christian. A young man and…
Craig: Hmm hm.
Sid: …he didn’t have money. So he decided this was such a great idea “I’m going to borrow money on my plastic, on my credit cards.” And he borrowed a large sum of money on a number of credit cards which I think it’s just a crime that credit card companies would just give this amount of money to a young person with no assets starting a new business. The business went under, and now he’s in a position of having to pay so much in interest the interest is growing faster than he can pay the principal.
Sid: He’s in a first class mess and looking at bankruptcy. If you were counseling this young man what would you say?
Craig: Well I think that could be any number of a lot of people Sid. I would think that there’d probably be a lot of people listening right now that would be in a similar type of situation. The thing that… first that people need to understand is that this has afflicted many types of people and that we live in a society that is drunk on debt. That usually when people find themselves in that kind of situation it’s certainly no secret to them that they’ve made mistakes…
Sid: You know I want to interject something. A lot of people don’t know this but before I became a believer I was an account executive at Merrill Lynch…
Sid: …in the investment business. Before that I was in the life insurance business. I used to say to people “We will never have another 1929 because there are laws that have been instituted to not allow people to borrow so much on their stocks,” it was called margin. As a result of these, and this is what I was told to say “we won’t have another 1929.” But you know what? We’ve got worse situations because of plastic credit cards than they ever had in the borrowing on stocks on the margin accounts in 1929.
Craig: That’s really true. I was reading a newspaper article not too long ago here in our Denver newspaper about several people, young people – college students, several of them who had committed suicide as a result of the pressure of the debt that they had gotten involved in through credit…
Craig: …through the credit cards, plastic cards. One young woman had called her mom up and just weeping on the phone “What am I going to do? What am I going to do?” Her mom said “Don’t worry we’ll help you” but that pressure was so intense they found that girl dead a couple of days later having committed suicide with a raft of credit cards spread all over the room and bills and she had just been overwhelmed with the pressure of that and not knowing how to get out of it.
Sid: Well there is a new marketing strategy of getting credit cards in the hands of college students. So start them in debt before they even get their degree.
Craig: Sure. That’s really true. You know an interesting thing, I think a lot of times as Christians we haven’t really realized that we have opened the door for that ourselves toward our own children by utilizing credit cards in that same way ourselves as…
Sid: Monkey see, monkey do.
Craig: Yeah that’s right. In Proverbs 22:26 says “Train up a child in the way he should go, when he is old he will not depart.” We’ve opened the door and trained a lot of children in that way and they do start very very early.
Sid: Okay you’re advising this young man. He’s made his mess, now what advice do you give him?
Craig: Yeah he’s going to have to do 2 things that I know of for sure Sid. First thing that’s he’s going to have to understand is that there is a spiritual aspect to this as well as a practical aspect. So there are things that always needs to be kept in balance in terms of what is happening spiritually as well as what is happening practically. Jesus said you know in John chapter 4 verse 23 “Those who worship the Father will need to worship Him in Spirit and in truth.” So the first thing I’d advise this young man he’s going to have to understand the spiritual side of what’s happening to him. There are a lot of things that he’s feeling, a lot of pressures the things he’s experiencing are absolutely spiritual and need to be dealt with in at realm. Then there’s a practical that he’s going to have to deal with to walk out of this in terms of stepping up to his debt. In terms of stepping up to each one of these creditors he owes and beginning to make agreement with them. What we’ve found that happens an awful lot of times regarding debt is that people are willing many times to eliminate the interest. They’re willing to renegotiate all kinds of prior agreements when a person is honest…
Sid: But it’s so much easier when it’s overwhelming to just go bankrupt. There’s whole industries that are set up. Is there anything wrong with a Christian going bankrupt?
Craig: That’s very true that a whole lot of industry is setup to do that. What I think happens Sid is a lot of people are not counting on the supernatural at all. They’re not looking to God at all they’re only looking in the natural and what I find that debt does to people is it is so overwhelming it creates so much shame, so much pressure people feel absolutely overwhelmed , overloaded that many times they choose that option when there’s no need at all for choosing that option when if they would simply step up to their debt, begin to talk to their creditors do what they can do. What I notice you know there’s always a pressure the enemy on all of our lives that cause us to focus on what we don’t have and what we can’t do. I find so many times that when people quit focusing on what they don’t have and can’t do and begin to focus on what they do have and can do, and they begin to do the natural things then God will begin to do the supernatural things.
Sid: Okay let’s make a shift right now because we’re talking about this whole series on money. There’s something that has disturbed me, it’s been hard for me to even articulate it which is hard to believe because that’s what I do.
Sid: But it’s hard for me to… there is something about the spirit that is behind a lot of evangelists that ask for money…
Sid: …that say, this isn’t what they’re saying but this is how it’s received by many people. “If you will give to me God will give you a 100 fold back on what you’re giving…”
Sid: “…and give everyone that gives a $1000 today watch what God is going to do.” Somehow there is a greed motivation…
Sid: …and I don’t even think God honors that even though there’s a law of sewing and reaping. Somehow we tap into that but there’s something in this greed that causes it to not even work and the only one that makes money is perhaps the evangelist.
Craig: Yeah I think what you’re saying Sid is absolutely true. Well what a lot of people have not recognized is I think there really is something very powerful operative in the spirit realm that people haven’t recognized. Now first, I saw this in Matthew chapter 6 verse 24 a scripture that would be very familiar to most of us where Jesus said “No one can serve two masters for either he will hate the one and love the other, or else he will be loyal to one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and mammon.” All my life I’ve heard mammon taught as simply being another word for money, even in some translations of the Bible it translates it directly as money.
Sid: I’ve seen that.
Craig: Sure, but the way that Jesus has set this up is these two things are absolute opposites. God and whatever mammon is, and if indeed mammon were money if we were to fully give our hearts over to God and serve God then we should have nothing to do with mammon. If we do have anything to do with mammon then we are not serving God. Well if mammon meant money the obvious point is that we should have nothing to do with money. People in past centuries of course have taken that approach checked themselves into a monastery taken a vow of poverty and had nothing to do with any kind of money or worldly possessions for the rest of their life. But the thing that was startling to me that finally gave me some help in understanding this was when I heard a friend of mine with WYAM in Canada, a man by called Earl Pitts. Had done some research with another founder of school of Biblical studies with WYAM, Ron Smith, into the etymology and origin of that word mammon, and Sid do you know what they found the actual original meaning of that word was, is it didn’t mean money but it was actually an idolatrous god that was worshipped by Philistine people in the days of Jesus.
Craig: So when Jesus said “You can’t serve God and mammon” He wasn’t talking about money per se He was actually talking about an idolatrous god that people worshipped. I think that it’s pretty evident to most people that behind every one of those idolatrous gods was a demonic principality or a demonic entity that was working behind that. I really believe that that same… that what that mammon is is actually the proper name of demonic principality that is operative still on planet earth today. The purpose of which is to grip and grab hold of people’s minds and I think that spirit is doing 2 powerful things in the lives of people in this country:
- Is to cause an intense focus on money and cause people to highly value money and look to money as the answer to all of their problems.
- To cause people to greatly fear the lack of money.
So if an evangelist as you say, in the example that you were just sharing is motivated by that spirit without realizing it, what can happen is he can indeed use the principle of sewing and reaping as you were suggesting to key in, or tie in, to the fear that is already in people’s hearts that they don’t have enough money and suggest that… the goal of this whole exercise is to get you money and we’re going to use God now to get you money. Of course all of us have heard offerings taken up in that way, or have been in services where that happened and there’s something that just grates on your spirit on the inside. The thing that I finally discovered that was is there’s a wrong spirit behind that.
Sid: Craig we’re out of time we’ll pick up right here on tomorrow’s broadcast.
Sid: I believe that God has risen up my guest I’m speaking to him at his office in Tulsa, Oklahoma the he’s Senior Pastor of Family Prayer Center Dave Roberson just for you. Dave many people would question why did Jesus fast for 40 days? Why was it even necessary? What did he really accomplish by fasting?
Dave: Sid it says in Matthew 4 that Jesus is led up of the Spirit He was led into the wilderness by the Holy Spirit to be tempted by the devil. And while He was in the wilderness He fasted for 40 days. And the question I had over that in the Lord’s prayer He said “Lead us not into temptation.” Yet here He’s saying that He was led up the Spirit into the wilderness for the purpose of being tempted by Satan. See when He went into the wilderness He was actually going in as part of the substitution in identification work that He did for you and I. Such as He was made to be sin, you and I was made the righteousness of God in Christ. He bore our sicknesses and He carried our pains that we might be whole. And the chastisement of our lack of peace was laid up Him with His stripes we were healed. So He began the redemption work substitution identification when he was led by the Holy Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted by the devil. But He fasted to shut His flesh down to prepare Himself for that temptation. And He went out into the wilderness as my substitute to be tempted in my place. So He fastest to prepare His flesh to face Satan and He was tempted in 3 realms, 3 areas spirit, soul and body. In the Body it says that “If you are the Son of God turn of God turn those stones into bread.” And Jesus He stood up to him the horriblest strongest temptation that could ever be brought to a man. Jesus had to be able to stand up under it and He did and He said “Man shall not live by bread alone but by every word that proceeds out of the mouth of God.” So Satan then moved his temptations up a level into the soul when he couldn’t defeat Him on the level of the flesh. And he said “If You’re the Son of God jump off the pinnacle of the temple he said because it’s written that the angels would bare you up less you dash Your foot against a stone.” And Jesus resisted the emotional level of torment and temptation that would put a man in the levels of an insane asylum on the miss interpretation of a verse. He said “Jump off the pinnacle of the temple” as he tempted him in the emotions of the soul he said “Jump off.” And Jesus resisted and He says “I will not tempt God.” So when he could not defeat Him in the realms of the soul he moved onto the realms of the spirit. And he said “Look I’ll make you a world ruler” he said “Look at all of the kingdoms of this world look at the glory of them, look at the wealth of them all you have to do is fall down and worship me” and he said “I’ll give all of them and all of the glory of them to you.” And Jesus said “I will not,” He said “I’ll worship the God and God alone will I serve.” And so He was tempted inconceivably in those 3 areas spirit, soul and body as my substitute and he defeated Satan. And then as an act of grace that victory that standing that he received from passing that temptation and defeating Satan by an act of grace He turned around you and I Sid and by grace He gave us His standing that standing that He defeated Satan with. So that when you turn around to the devil and say “Come out” that devil has to come out because Jesus defeated him in the wilderness. So Jesus fasted for the same reason that you and I fast that was to prepare his flesh for that temptation that Satan tried to bring Him under and defeat Him with. So somebody asked me “Well what if the devil doesn’t come out when I tell him to come out Brother Roberson?” I said “This is why Jesus said ‘This kind cometh out by prayer and fasting.’” Fasting will drive your flesh down below the level of the operation of your spirit and enforces that position of grace that Jesus gives you which is His standing. When that standing He has given you is free then those devils will come out because it’s not you see it’s Him. So He fasted Sid for the same reason that you and I fast and that was to positionally or to prepare His flesh for that temptation and to defeat Satan.
Sid: Dave for the past number of years there have been men and women moving in a very strong anointing we’ve been calling it revival and then people’s lives have been touched and they literally got excited and passionate for the Lord. But then over a period of time they slipped back to right where they were before. Is this really revival that’s it’s been labeled as revival in a number of churches in America?
Dave: What I’ve seen Sid is what some classify as revival you know I wouldn’t classify it as revival and a lot of times when the pastor is not hungry you know and people will get hungry and he said “One being taught is not above the disciple the one teaching him or the teacher.” And a lot of people are just held there just held passively in one place to just abide their time till the years go by and they remain exactly the same they just kind of babysit them in their salvation until Jesus comes. I’ve seen moves of the Spirit and things they classify as revival, but then and but then I’ve seen and read about revival that has come in times past and I haven’t seen too many of them but I have seen some. One was in the Amazon State in Brazil by a man Sid that got our fasting series and right now he’s causing a raging revival in the village along the Amazon. But this man we trained for 5 years and for the last 6 months up to this time in fact this last year for 6 months he did the series fasting a few days on and off. And ended it with a 36 day fast and was caught up into heaven Sid and they talked to the creatures that worshipped God around the throne and came back. And he told me 1000’s are pouring out now down in the Amazon and they’re coming to this village wherever he is they’re laying them down and they’re getting them healed. I mean the things that are happening are absolutely incredible.
Sid: Are you impressed with a seeker sensitive church that’s got 5000 people and just seems to grow and grow and grow, but really isn’t close to a demonstration to the power of God are you impressed with that?
Dave: No not at all Sid. The other day Sid a good friend of mine said “What do you measure the success of your ministry on Brother Roberson?” And I said “That’s easy on the permanent change that it brings in people’s life as they grow in Christ.” No it doesn’t impress me at all because I know that numbers has nothing to do with that.
Sid: Going back to fasting tell me some changes you’ve seen in other people that have moved into fasting.
Dave: The biggest changes that I see Sid is like it happened in me that whatever’s in these ceilings that causes them to be weak the Holy Spirit and the fasting begins to destroy them. And I’ve noticed that it will bring those problems in view where you yourself can see them and understand the weakness and understand the complacency and the difference. Myself I begin to hate those things so bad as He revealed them that God said “Good to me” He said “Good that you hate them because when you loved them indifferently in the world what did I have to work with? But now that you’ve fasted and you hate them as much as I do you’ve given Me something to work with and I can move them out of your life and I can destroy them.” And they range from habitual things to strongholds from people’s past such as being hurt very bad and generational things as they would call and generational things as they would call them, curses and things like that. But the change is phenomenal Sid because as it breaks the power of the flesh.
Sid: I have on the telephone Dave Roberson I’m speaking to him at his office in Tulsa, Oklahoma where he’s Senior Pastor of the Family Prayer Center. And Dave is a man of the Spirit but he had certain limits that he seemed he just couldn’t breakthrough areas in his life that he calls it ceilings, in difference to people that were needy. There was something more and his spirit knew it but there was something limiting him something putting a ceiling on him. And God started teaching him about the true purpose of fasting and his life was revolutionized. Dave tells me something some of the personal things that happened in your own life through fasting the way that God instructed you to.
Dave: Sid after ministering for several years that something would not even know hot explain what it was except that a strongman or ministry came under attack in my mind and since then I’ve run into so many ministers that were under the same attack and have even had been destroyed by it not counting the believers just people that love God. That to this day I thank God for the road that fasting played in bringing me out of that. Because when it seemed that the strongman came almost like an assignment to destroy me even though I was doing camp meetings and people were set free and I’d ministered to them and I’d heard the same thing from so many preachers like there was a ceiling over my ministry I just couldn’t break through. And I’d would go in the service to minister to the people and then I’d go to my hotel room or go home and this torment would begin horrible I mean. And it felt like a 1000 fish hooks was in my flesh and I couldn’t break through it. And so when I learned about fasting I’d begin to fast and to pray and break that off of me. And when I was fasting and praying I didn’t know the role that fasting and praying played at that time, well prayer fasting linked together with prayer. All I knew I just couldn’t go on anymore and I just got so tormented in my emotions I just couldn’t hardly open my Bible I couldn’t pray it didn’t seem like I could do anything. I could remember in desperation I just remembered what people said about fasting, “I’m just going to fast and pray until I break this.” I just…one day I quit eating and even though I was in a fast I still couldn’t pray or anything. But after so many days I woke up and I just felt like I could pray again I could open my Bible again. Well I’d finished that fast but then before the year was over I went on another one and things was waking up and I was getting so hungry for God that on this one I fasted, well I fasted so long that my wife got worried about me that I wasn’t because I had such a supernatural peace on the inside. And near the end of the fast the devil literally manifested himself to me in such a way that he was exposed. I knew what was fighting my ministry I couldn’t see him but I could hear him. And he said to me he said “I’m going to kill you.” And I said “Oh you can’t if you could kill me you’d already done it.” And he said “I’m going to destroy you and your family” but I said “You can’t if you could have done it.” And he threatened me and said “I’m going to empty your church out.” And he almost succeeded in that and I never will forget what followed that fast such an increase in revelation and Satan’s war machine and how he fights and overturns ministries tempts them and draws them off and I’ve learned so much.
Sid: You can understand how well there’s no need to mention by name a number of prominent ministries just hard to believe that slipped, those are the reason?
Dave: Yes when a person fasts you destroy the hold that the flesh has over you and many of them just don’t understand that. A lot of the people they did at that time the devil made it that far to attempt to run people out of the church that I never will forget the result when the day come that I was able to break it. Sid I’ll never forget it I remember when I come out of the prayer closet and had my first prayer life I’ll never forget it that I just lifted my hands to pray for people and it was a line that people got in that were bound by devils habitual things and had a lot of trouble things like smoking and had addictions to drugs and also prescription drugs and a lot of tormented people from their past that had strongholds of abuse, inner healing things the whole front was full of people. And so I got up to lay my hands on some of the first ones and the glory of God came so strong that it literally through them through the air and they landed on their back. And I heard this wimpy little voice and crying out of this one that just couldn’t get free and I mean in the past this wimpy little voice crying and whimpering saying “Do I have to come out?”
Dave: It was the devil talking “Do I have to come out? Do I have to come out?” And I could remember I was so shocked about it that I just simply answered you know I was amazed usually I would muster up my voice of authority you know.
Dave: But I could say and announce it it’s not how large you are, it’s not how quiet you are it’s that if he can come and do what you’re asking Him to do. He said “This kind cometh not but by prayer and fasting.” Anyway I was so shocked at that devil whimpering instead of screaming challenging me like so many had done “I’ll not come out!” many of them would say but this one said “Do I have to come out?” And just the voice like I’m talking to you I said “Yes you do, you have to come out.” And he came out and this was happening to many people. And Sid this I found out that fasting it is absolute death sentence to indifference and complacency and this is what Jesus was talking about prophecy in Isaiah 58 in the 7th verse it says “This is the fast he’s chosen this is the fast He has chosen He said to give thy bread to the hungry, that you bring the poor that are cast out of your house, that when you see the naked that you cover him.” And then he said “That you hide not yourself from your own flesh.” And this verse I didn’t know what that means. I said “Father God what do you mean that you hide not yourself from your flesh?” Well I can tell you now, Sid the day that a man decides to fast, the day is the day that you’ve decided not to hide from your own flesh anymore. You’ve decided to quit hiding from whatever it is on the inside of you it just doesn’t care about the naked, that just doesn’t care about the poor, about the hungry about those that are cast out of God’s house whatever it is that’s in you just does not care. The day that you decide to fast is the day that you’ve decided to quit hiding from your own flesh whatever it is that is in you that just doesn’t care. Nobody has to show you movies anymore, the starving children, the horrendous needs of people in the world to be saved; surely you’re need you’re not hiding anymore. Fasting is a death sentence to indifference and complacency.
Sid: Dave when you talk about fasting there’s a lot of questions that are triggered, “Is Dave intimated that I should fast for 40 days, what does he mean by fasting what is he telling me to do?” How would you answer that?
Dave: When a man fast there are several levels of fasting and the highest is nothing but water and lock yourself away. But the serious of fasting the personal fast a few days on and a few days off and possibly just drink a little bit of liquids in a partial fast. But there are times when people fast 40 days and they were discouraged because nothing appeared to happen. But you have to remember your fast is not moving God it’s moving you into a place by destroying the flesh to receive from God so don’t get discouraged.
Sid: Would a one day fast benefit moving into these areas?
Dave: Yes it would because in serious fasting or one day, 10, or even 40 the thing is don’t stop just keep going back to fasting don’t get discouraged don’t put all of your eggs in one basket. Say 40 day and you don’t see what you wanted to see because you actually line upon line you moving your flesh out of the way and moving yourself into a place of the Spirit. It may take a little longer but eventually you will cross that line and you will see God begin to move for you like He’s never moved before.
Sid: Dave I believe that we’re talking to specific believers right now that God orchestrated for them to listen to this discussion that God has heard their prayers and is saying “This is your answer.”