CHAPTER 11

SWEET SMELLING MONEY

                                 I Samuel 16:14 says, “Now the Spirit of the Lord departed from Saul”....

When the Holy Spirit of God leaves or is leaving, there is always one thing that will be very evident in the Visible
Church. The Church will begin to cry out for something to give her power. She will look for something to help as the
Holy Spirit formerly helped. And a Church, such as the Saul Church which has already chosen to be like the world,
understands exactly what it needs. The Saul Church will cry out for this power giver as if its life depended on it. The
power giver they desire is the power giver that the world has known about and sought after for centuries. The power
giver is MONEY. In the past generation, as the anointing of the Lord has been steadily disappearing, we have been
hearing an increasingly desperate cry for money. From virtually every TV ministry this cry has become almost
deafening. These great men and women of Faith seem to put their whole trust in their ability to collect money for their
respective works.

George Mueller did not ask men for help but instead he cried out to God to meet every need and saw God mightily
and abundantly provide. This spirit is all but gone today. George Mueller’s faith, which primarily addressed God
regarding the need, is declared impractical by the ruling kingdom builders of the Saul Church. They need, cry out for,
and seek Big Money from men because they have LITTLE faith in God: they have little faith in the Spirit of God to
accomplish the works of God without money.

When a man or ministry starts to cry out for money, in many cases, it is because he has been so busy with Saul’s
work that he has forgotten how to cry out to God and trust Him to provide. He may still cry out for God’s Holy Spirit to
touch his heart to love God more and also to touch his ministry that it might truly be anointed, but he is double-minded.
He is still worried about failure. He is still worried about having sufficient funds to build the kingdom, the work or the
denomination. His heart is not right and his cry to God is muffled by his anxiety for mammon. Many cry out for their TV
audience to send in money as if God was not in charge but the TV audience was in charge. TV evangelists say things
like, “The very future of World Evangelism and our ministry is in your hands. Do your best!” This may be a sincere
appeal for money but they DO NOT understand! God’s ministries will survive and flourish, as He desires and when a
man is willing to trust in Him plus NOTHING and NO ONE! The tragedy is you cannot serve both God and mammon.
You will finally choose one or the other. If you are double-minded, eventually mammon will be what you seek and what
you fear losing. You will even have good reasons for getting more, and you may never use a penny for your own
comfort, but you will essentially be depending on it for your ministry. You will feel “without money, this work of God will
fail”, whereas at one time you would have said, with a single-minded heart, “Without His anointing and direction this
work will fail.”

When the Spirit of the Lord begins to depart men get desperate. More and more church growth seminars must be
attended. More and flashier entertainment must be found. More people must attend the church and be taught to give.
The church must look respectable so respectable people will attend. No loud messages in tongues, no unusual
manifestations can be tolerated. No negative prophecies can be delivered. More and more secularized education must
be obtained. More degrees, more Ph.D.’s, more psychological counseling, more programs, more sports, more movies,
more bands, more specials, more humor, more activity, more radio ministry, more television ministry is necessary. And
we must not forget the most important principle of all, WHEN THE ANOINTING GOES, WE CAN ALWAYS BUILD
THE KINGDOM WITH MONEY. The Saul Church’s lifeblood is money. Whether Charismatic or Evangelical, MONEY
becomes a KEY issue when the anointing leaves. The Church becomes “practical”, materialistic and money
conscious. The continued cry for money is a sure sign that a ministry has begun to lose or has lost the anointing of
God.

Previously in Chapter 8, I spoke of a denomination that had some leadership difficulties and eventually lost
$15,000,000 to religious con men. They were able to solve their $15,000,000 loss with one simple act. They sold the
denominational radio station that they had used for ministry for 75 years. They sold the property at a phenomenal
profit. It first transmitted the gospel in the 1920’s and was originally purchased for a small fraction of its selling price in
the 21st century. Some sources said, it sold for a quarter of a BILLION dollars. With this money they easily covered
the $15,000,000 loss to the scam artists and they put money back into other denominational programs. It is likely not
merely a coincidence that this sale was made after the $15,000,000 debacle. I am sure that they legitimately helped
many ministries that were in the red and needed a transfusion of money. And I am in NO WAY looking upon the sale
itself as an evil venture. BUT, it must be noted that the money gathered from that sale took care of a large number of
financial problems and left them with a very healthy bank balance. It may have been a sound financial decision, but it
is sad that the difficulties that were overcome and the problems that were solved were essentially financial. They
completely ignored the spiritual problems. The problem with the denomination was foundational. They had a wrong
view of the value of money and how to use it for the kingdom. This denomination greatly valued men and ministers
who were able to raise large amounts of money and build churches that raised large amounts of money. They valued
money gatherers more than they valued men who preached a pure and powerful Word from the Lord.

But men that greatly value money will cry, “You don’t understand! Times are different now! The modern kingdom of
God NEEDS money and lots of it!” That’s true, the Saul Church DOES need lots of money; especially lately, because
the Anointing is going and soon will be completely gone.

We can see in the Church today how our appeals for money have become much more sophisticated and much
stronger. At first, the appeal was usually based on guilt, “If you don’t give, many will be lost forever and you will bear
the responsibility of not having given to this ministry.” The appeal to guilt has been replaced by the appeal to greed.
Greed has now become one of the best methods of gathering money. Modern Christian psychology has taught us that
positive motivation is better than negative motivation. “If you give...you’ll get…”

We even have doctrines which encourage greed, such as seed faith; prosperity doctrines, etc. Misrepresentation is
also extremely effective. We SELL tapes for a “DONATION”! That is a contradiction in terms; it is either a gift or a
donation that you give from your heart to the ministry, or it is a sales transaction (you PURCHASE the tape or you
PURCHASE the book). Of course, they call it a “gift” so they don’t need to pay taxes on the profit received as a non-
profit organization. This is scripturally wrong: we must render unto Caesar that which is Caesar’s and render unto
God, that which is God’s. Our part in this is uncomplicated obedience in representing a purchase as a purchase and
not as a gift or donation.

It is a serious thing to cheat the government out of their rightful taxes and the Lord speaks clearly about those who
handle money properly. He says in Luke 16:10-11, “He who is faithful in that which is least is also faithful in much; and
he that is unjust in the least is unjust also in much. If therefore ye have not been faithful in the unrighteous mammon
(the least), who will commit to your trust the true riches (spiritual riches).” Another way of putting it is if you don’t know
how to deal correctly with unrighteous mammon (the least), how can you be expected to be given the responsibility of
dealing with godly or spiritual matters (the true riches)? This Scripture clearly indicates the importance of handling
money with integrity and godly wisdom.

Possibly the reason God is so concerned about the way we handle money is because money is to the world as faith is
to the Christian. The world believes that the more money you have the more influence, pleasure, power and important
things you will be able to get. The world also knows that without money it is impossible to please the people. The
Bible makes it clear that selfless faith is the way to apprehend the true riches of the kingdom and without faith it is
impossible to please God.

When we deal deceitfully in the realm of offerings or donations, which the Bible indicates is a form of worship, we are
perverting one of our most sacred and fundamental ways of relating to God. When we give from the heart to Him and
His work, we are worshipping Him and showing our love, our trust and our thankful hearts for taking care of us and
loving us so much. When ministries demand a “freewill offering” but are actually selling something, the ministry
perverts and/or erases the worship aspect of giving and we grieve the heart of God.

Gifts and donations certainly can be solicited for concerts, church services or special meetings either for the visiting
speaker or any other need. But they must be free-will offerings and not mandatory payments. If it is mandatory
payment, then these are purchases and must be considered as profit for the sponsoring organization and also must
be considered payment (not donations) by the payee. You can deduct a donation or offering from your taxes but you
cannot deduct a non-business related purchase.

The Early Church of the first generation of Christians as represented in Scripture gave no notice that any of their
ministers charged money for any of their ministry. Paul requested donations and gifts for some of the churches, but
never charged money for any ministry. Even the Didichae (one of the earliest Christian writings) warned that if a
prophet asked for money for his ministry he was to be considered a false prophet. We see then that there were people
who charged for their ministry, but they were looked down upon.

From at least the Middle Ages on, the Catholic Church has charged her people for services rendered. One of their
most grievous practices was discussed at length by Martin Luther in his 91 Thesis which he hammered on the
Wittenberg Door in 1517. Indulgences were purchased from the Church for either great sums of money or smaller
sums of money dependent upon the need of the church or the ability of the giver. These indulgences would grant
extended periods of relief from the pains of purgatory to relatives or friends of the purchaser. Also, the people could
purchase letters that would forgive them for specific sins. The purchase of relics for obtaining special powers against
Satan or special ability in prayer was also wide spread. These relics were represented as anything from John the
Baptist’s toe bone to small pieces of the True Cross. Luther made it clear that the purchase of indulgences and relics
never enriched the purchaser, only the seller (the Catholic Church).

These practices ceased entirely in the Reformation Church that protested the heresies of the Roman Catholic Church.
However, in the 20th century these practices under different guises began to emerge again. The Protestant
Evangelicals began to negotiate payments with major speakers and singers. Then (probably in the 1950’s or 1960’s)
a new phenomenon appeared: the Christian concert. The Church noted that secular concerts not only drew large
crowds but also large amounts of money. Ticket prices of Christian concerts were fairly consistent with concerts of
mildly successful secular groups. There have been some groups or singers that only took a donation to cover
operational expenses, but most charged money for their services. To be fair if these were merely entertainments that
represented themselves as having no spiritual value, perhaps this would be fine. Some of these groups however;
represented their groups as being there for the purpose of either reviving God’s people or reaching out to the
unsaved. They justified their charges on the basis of a need to cover advertising expenses, hall rentals and general
wear and tear. In all likelihood they really did not believe that God would provide for their needs as ministers of His
Gospel. How different this is from the ministry of men like Jonathan Edwards, George Whitfield, John Wesley and
Charles Spurgeon. Whitfield did solicit donations for the care of orphans but spent his life for the gospel and never
established any wealth for himself. The other three men likewise made the world and the Church a much better place
but ministered freely and with great faith and power. One may argue that musicians and singers are different than
revivalists and evangelists. However, if they really consider themselves as those who bring God’s people into worship
of the Lord or desire to bring the unsaved into His kingdom, then they are ministers of the Lord. Because they are His
ministers, they can expect God to provide for their needs. He may never make them famous. He may never give them
“Rock Star” status, but He will save souls and lift God’s people into the heavenly realm to love Him more purely and
more passionately. Both ministers that preach and ministers that play music and sing must have a single mind and
trust God to lead them into His will and provide for them as they do His will and His work.

I believe this Saul mentality that charges for ministry is changing and we are seeing more and more singers and
musicians involved in leading WORSHIP without charge and not merely entertaining for money. Especially in the field
of music, we are beginning to see a division of the David Church from the Saul Church. Those who trust that God will
provide are being divided from those who trust in ticket sales. Those leaders who want people to enter into God’s
presence are being divided from those who want to entertain people.

Another group of people that feel it is important to charge money, particularly in a crisis situation, is the Christian
counseling ministry. Their rationale is that it cost money for their education and they need to be paid on an hourly
basis in order to continue to perform their duties. For some reason, unlike most pastoral ministry, they feel that an
offering either directly to them or through a church facility as a monthly income is not enough. It is inconceivable that
Paul or John or Peter or Jesus would EVER charge money to a desperate person to help him or her grow in grace or
be set free from some trap set by the Enemy. The ministry of the Biblical counselor should either be through the local
church and paid for by the offerings of the local church or it should be gifts and offerings that are not demanded by the
counselor or even suggested by him from those to whom he ministers. No TRUE Christian should EVER turn away
someone who came to be ministered to in a time of need because he could not afford the ministry.

Indulgences are still bought by desperate Catholics. Also they will probably be purchased until Jesus comes. Men and
women who demand or strongly suggest that they should receive money for prayer cloths, anointing oil or counseling
fees are no better than those who sell indulgences.

Because the Anointing of God has slowly but steadily been going away over the last 50 years or more, these
unscriptural practices of gathering money have continued and even increased. Perhaps, however, it is because we
ask for or demand money for services rendered that the anointing is leaving. Money has been the mortar that has held
the bricks of our house of ministry together. Money has brought us comfort and money has allowed ministry to
continue and even flourish. Unfortunately, when judgment hits the people of God, the ministries whose mortar is
money will collapse. The only ministries that will stand are the ministries that selflessly trust God to provide for their
needs and to provide the Anointing of His Holy Spirit.

The Charismatic Church will have NO REVIVAL until she renounces her dependence upon and love of MONEY. If she
will not do so, God will take away her candlestick of godly authority. Over the centuries He has removed the authority
of the Roman Catholic Church and many Protestant denominations that depended more on people and money than
they did on God. Very possibly we will not again be able to say with any degree of Real faith and Real expectancy,
“such as I have (healing for the man at the Gate Beautiful) I give unto you”, until we can say with equal conviction,
“Silver and gold have I none!” We want to minister like Peter and John but we don’t want to live like them. Many of us
have become infected with the LAODICEAN spirit of the Saul Church.

God is not against honest requests to fill real needs. He is not against men and women being paid a decent salary.
The workman IS worthy of his hire. But He IS against any so-called ministry that is motivated by any other reason than
to glorify God and to feed His sheep. But He does ask the preacher and the teacher to exercise mercy and faith in
God’s provision as they respond to needs and requests for ministry. He does not even mind if a man gets blessed
financially, but it is AN ABOMINATION the way we plead for money; especially while the pleader has a $500,000
home, a $3,000 a month housing allowance, an ample expense account, and a $l00, 000 a year salary. Sell your
home - get a smaller one - take a cut in pay, especially that expense account and housing allowance; and THEN ask
for money. OR SHUT UP and trust God to supply. But He probably will not allow you to move into truly spiritual
teaching and ministry of the Holy Spirit until you deny yourself a bit of that financial security, and start trusting Him
more on a day-to-day basis. Remember “Not by might (Money), not by power (What Money Supposedly Enables), but
by My Spirit says the Lord” Zech. 4:6.

Can you imagine Paul, Peter, John or Jesus crying for money like we do? We Charismatics are particularly guilty. On
the one hand we all cry for a return to New Testament Book of Acts Christianity, but on the other hand we feel we
need lots of money to spread the Gospel. We do not merely ask for money but we beg, plead, lie, con, mislead and
entice for money. On radio and TV sometimes we steal tithe or offering money from the local churches. The Saul
Church does whatever it takes to get as much as it can to fulfill their destiny. Oral Roberts, the man who made one of
the most outrageous appeals for money in the history of the Church, has been the almost perfect example of the Saul
Church attitude regarding money.

Oral Roberts started ministering in the mid-to-late 1940’s with one of the most amazing healing anointings of the last
several generations. Many blind eyes and deaf ears were opened, many lame people walked, many growths
disappeared. Then, several decades later, the anointing of God started to dry up, so Oral, as the years went by,
became interested in television as a way to reach the people. He preached about seed faith and brought us some of
the first televised Christian entertainment. Oral taught us to give to his ministry and people began to give and give
generously.

Later he started massive building programs. He built a school and he built a hospital. The cost was tremendous but he
raised hundreds of millions to build and support Oral Roberts University and The City of Faith hospital. The Anointing
of God to heal for the most part had left him, but he was very busy on great projects and gathered millions for his
kingdom. Money became not merely a means to an end, but something to seek after with a passion.

About twenty-five years ago at a denominational pastor’s conference which I attended in California, Oral told the
assembled pastors that it took half a million dollars a day or a week or a month to finance his ministry. After this
confession, he gave a rousing sermon on the value of money: the text was a ludicrous misrepresentation of Scripture
from Philippians 4. He even went as far as to lead at least a thousand pastors in the chant of, “Sweet smelling
money.” Then with a “Louder! For the Lord!” they repeated it. Then with a “One more time” the cries were deafening:
“SWEET SMELLING MONEY!” The leader of the conference assured us that Oral’s teaching on money from
Philippians 4 was the most balanced teaching on money or prosperity that he had ever heard, and we were all
encouraged to clap for Oral and generously give to his ministry.

This was followed by Oral’s insistence that the pastors “claim from God what they truly deserved.” He said that many
of us made $18,000 a year ($1,500 a month) and we should rightly claim $80,000 a year ($7,500 a month). After this
confession of faith, we would receive this great blessing and we could then live and minister in a manner befitting our
efforts. As a body, the ministers stood to their feet crying out to God to get what they deserved. And, to God’s great
despair, many probably did.

When the anointing goes....

Get all the money you can….

You’ll need it.
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