Join Our Mailing List

Christ Church Int

Bible Search
Teaching

                                   

 

STEWARDSHIP

BY J.P. TIMMONS

March 19, 2018

©2018 CCI PUBLISHING

ALL RIGHTS RESERVED

 

 

“Now He was saying to the disciples, ‘There was a certain

Rich man who had a steward, and was reported to him as

Squandering his possessions …for that which is highly

Esteemed among men is detestable in the sight of God.”

†Luke 16:1-15

 

 

Back in the late ‘80s the Lord spoke to me about “giving” and stewardship principles. He told me that “The Church has not been taught the biblical concepts of giving.” Of course He meant by that not that there was no teaching on giving (and receiving, with a lot of emphasis since the early ‘80s on receiving), but that what people were being taught were not “biblical”; i.e., correct teaching.

But you must understand the importance of these principles of stewardship because the Bible talks about it a lot and Jesus especially taught much on the subject as did the Apostle Paul. And no matter what you think about it as a Christian, you “will give an account of those things done in the body whether good or bad.” You will give an account of your stewardship directly to the Lord Jesus at the bema—judgment seat of Christ.

I’ve mentioned this on occasion in my writings and preaching but never written an article devoted to this. But this morning at 4 A.M. the Lord began talking about this again emphasizing the importance of being a good steward of all that He’s given to each of us. I wrote at some length about this in our book The Gifts and Operations of the Holy Spirit (G&Ops) because stewardship is part of the Fruit of faithfulness (Gal. 5, The Fruit of the Spirit). Therefore, if you are not faithful in giving you are not faithful because we are commanded to give.

Now one of the reasons that the Lord wants to emphasize this today is because of all the perverted teaching in the Body of Christ and especially in the false churches because it is a false teaching and has no place in a true Church. This teaching is the false prosperity message that has been used for decades to separate gullible church members from their cash.

And the main reason that this message is false is because it incorrectly defines “prosperity” as money—meaning that if you have a lot of money, you are prosperous. Nothing could be further from the truth! Remember what I always say—“What does the Word say?”

And Jesus tells us right here in Luke 16 an important concept—“What is highly esteemed in the sight of man is an abomination in the sight of God.” Now that’s in red; Jesus Himself said that. And the word is clear that He was referring to money—cold, hard cash! He said it was “an abomination in the sight of God.” That’s an Eye of the Eagle statement isn’t it? What did He mean by that? You should meditate on these verses over and over and let the Holy Spirit tell you Himself.

But the Lord showed me one morning back in 1982 when I was reading Psalm 73 that “money was the lowest form of prosperity.” We certainly see that in the Book of Revelation concerning this church age—the Seventh—that we are living in. He said that we think we are “rich” but we are really “naked, blind, wretched, miserable and poor.”  (Rev. 3:17). In other words, this church (meaning the people of this church age who are Christians) have a lot of money in the bank but they are still “poor” and “naked”; in other words, they are spiritually poor—meaning that they have no treasures laid up in Heaven! The nakedness represents the fact that they have no “acts of righteousness.”

When we lived in Libby, Montana, and had the church there the Lord gave me a vision of this I shared in the book, Revelations from God, Vol. 1 as “The Vision of the Naked Lady.” That is this church of today—the lukewarm church that is “naked” as Jesus reported in Revelation 3 but she is not “ashamed” of her nakedness. But she will be on the Judgment Day! And many of those who claim to be speaking for God today, especially the Balaam Boys & Girls, will not make it into Heaven as a result of their lies, false teaching and dishonesty. Remember, Jesus said, “Many (not just a few) will say to me on that Day (italics added for emphasis that this is the Judgment Day), ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name, and cast out demons in your name, and do many mighty works in your name?’ Then I will say to them: ‘I never knew you; depart from Me …” (Matthew 7:22-23).

Now the fact is that the Lord does want to prosper you and He wants to give you more than you have now but if you are not a good steward, then you’d better get a high paying job because you will not be blessed much by the Lord; He will not act contrary to His Word.

So in the text for this particular teaching, the first verse, Luke 16:1, informs us that the “rich man” is the Lord Jesus and we are His stewards, or some translations use the word “manager.” And we see this word translated “steward” first in the book of Genesis. Abraham had a steward and Joseph both was a “steward” in Potiphar’s house and later on had his own steward who looked after his “house” (all his possessions, including his family—that’s an important point). Abraham trusted his steward  so much that he sent him on a journey to select a bride for Isaac. That should speak to you about your duty as a faithful steward for the Lord—are you seeking a “bride” for the Lord Jesus? Remember, and we will mention this later, this a portion of Jesus’ teaching here in Luke 16.

Now in those days, a person utilized a steward to take care of what might be considered the ordinary affairs of life. The “rich man” as I wrote in G&Ops was preoccupied with more important matters like perhaps running the entire Universe. But you must understand, and unless you are a foolish steward then you do, that one of the main reasons the Lord Jesus does this—and He also discusses this in our text here in Luke 16—is as a test.

Yes, the Scriptures are quite clear that one very important aspect of this life on earth is tests—the Lord will test you! Over and over if you fail the test the first time but even if you pass you will still be tested again and you will be tested in other areas. And you will always be tested in the area of morality and the Word. Psalm 105 informs us that Joseph “was tested” by the Word. My very first visitation with Satan, when I was taken into his office under the earth in hell, made it plain to me that my primary “test” in life by the devil would be whether or not I would believe the Word vs. what Satan was trying to tell me. And I’m proud to say that I’ve passed that test over and over. I believe 2 Cor. 4:18 much more than anything I was ever shown by the devil. Remember, and the Lord Jesus knew this well during His temptations—and the Word makes it plain that He was “tested” in all areas like we are and He never sinned—the world and whatever you see in the world with your physical eyes is not the truth—it’s a fabrication by Satan to fool you. No, the truth is the Word, praise God. The truth is the Kingdom of God and the Word of God. If the world is contrary to the Word, which one are you going to believe? And the Holy Spirit gave me this particular scripture, 2 Cor. 4:18, when He spoke to me about the spirit of cancer. In 1980, He spoke to me one day and said, “Son, the devil is going to put cancer on more and more Christians.” Now I never asked Him at the time just why or how the devil was going to be able to do this but this scripture is the key that He showed me. He said in 2008, “Christians are doing the opposite of what that verse says to do. Instead of looking at “the things that are not seen” (i.e., the Word and the promises of God for healing and deliverance from the spirit of cancer) they are looking at the “things that are seen” (i.e., they are looking at the tumors and saying, “Guess I wasn’t healed the tumor’s still there; in fact it’s growing larger.”)

The reason finances are so important as a test is because this is normally the last thing that a born-again person lets go of. And some people never do. But remember, anything you put ahead of the Lord is an idol whether it’s money, entertainment, glory, sex, etc. And Jesus told us first in the Ten Commandments—“Thou shalt have no other gods before Me.” So you can expect to be tested over and over again if you are not tithing and/or giving offerings and alms to the Lord.

Now in the text we are studying—and I pray that you will not just read this teaching article but also read and meditate on the text from the Bible yourself at least 5 times—we learn that this particular steward was “dishonest” or unfaithful. His master had entrusted him with the affairs of the house but then received a report that he was abusing his position through dishonesty or perhaps just having a cavalier attitude, after all, it was not his money. Now the Greek word translated “Master” is kurios which is normally “Lord” in all translations.

So the Master calls his steward and makes him give an accounting because he is being fired for being untrustworthy. And we should expect this too, in our jobs if we were found to be dishonest or not trustworthy. One of the biggest problems businesses have today is finding honest employees. Employee theft is a huge problem as well as just putting in an honest day’s work for your wages. Companies are looking for honest, productive employees. And the Lord expects this of us on our jobs as well because we are representing Him if we claim to be a Christian.

So in the text, when the unfaithful steward finds out that he is getting fired he uses wisdom because he doesn’t want to be a beggar or do manual labor—he discounts the bills or in accounting terms the accounts receivable that people owe to his master. By doing this these former clients will owe him a big favor; after all, he’s just saved one 50% on his bill and another 20%.

Now interestingly, the Master who was firing him commended him for his actions as being “shrewd” or “wise” in his financial dealings because he had made “friends” for himself that would benefit him in life since he was now out of a job. Although the Master was no doubt glad to get some “cash” back on the books this was not what he commended the steward for and the lesson is clear because Jesus emphatically states it in v. 8, “For the sons of this age (or world, meaning unbelievers) are more shrewd in their generation than the sons of light (i.e., believers).”

But notice v. 9 or you will miss Jesus’ point of stewardship as a principle: “And I say to you, make friends for yourselves by unrighteous mammon, that when you fail, they may receive you into everlasting habitations.”

Jesus is saying that we as believers should use our “unrighteous mammon”—our money—as wisely as unbelievers. Unbelievers—to the extent that they are able—are shrewd or wise with one another in financial matters to win friends and influence people through money. This allows many of them to be rich and to provide well for their families. But the “sons of light” normally fail to properly use the resources that their Lord has given to them to win people over to the Kingdom of God and thus they are not “welcomed into eternal dwellings.” The lesson in this portion of Luke 16 is that we should use all of our available resources to win people to the Kingdom of God so that when we go to Heaven there will be people there who would not be there if it were not for our giving of our finances and our time to win the lost.

Then the Lord Jesus informs us of something I’ve heard Christians say over and over again as an excuse for not giving their tithes and offerings: “I don’t have enough to give; I can barely pay my bills now. But whenever the Lord blesses me with more then I’ll give my tithe.”

Well, if you believe that lie then Jesus has a Word for you in Luke 16:10—“He who is faithful in what is least is faithful also in much; and he who is unjust in the least is also unjust in much.”

In other words, you have failed the test of faithfulness! You are an unfaithful steward. And when the Lord spoke to me about this over 20 years ago He quoted v. 11 and spoke the following: “The true riches are the souls of men.” So maybe if you’ve been waiting on your ministry all these years it’s because you were never faithful in giving of finances to the Lord; He’s been waiting on you all this time to correct this deficiency and be faithful before He will entrust you with the true riches of the Kingdom.

Now v. 12 speaks directly about stewardship as well and especially the tithe because the Bible is clear that the tithe belongs to the Lord and so that first 10% does not even belong to us—it’s His and if we take it we are “stealing” from the Master—we are unfaithful stewards. The tithe is that “which belongs to someone else” in the case of finances and this verse can also speak to your ministry of being tested. Like Joshua of old, you will be tested in how you act and are faithful in another person’s ministry. If you are not faithful there, God cannot ever trust you with your own ministry. I don’t care if you have a 12” thick file of prophecies speaking about how great your ministry will be it will never come to pass if you don’t pass God’s tests. And unfortunately here in America because only about 3% of Christians tithe or give offerings, most Christians never pass God’s test.

But now also understand this—the tithe belongs to the Lord; not to your local church or xyz ministry. I believe you should support your local church if you go there and you should support genuine ministries that “feed” you but the Scripture is plain—the tithe belongs to the Lord. So maybe you should ask Him what He wants you to do with it? Don’t be pressured to give as many are today in Nigeria to 5-6 offerings a service. You are welcome to give offerings to whoever you please though the point of this teaching text is that it should be sown into fertile soil but the tithe belongs to the Lord so you should spend time n prayer and then be faithful to give it where He tells you to.

In v. 13 we find a verse that is often quoted along with 1 Timothy 6:10 but it is seldom understood or else more Christians would be givers to the Kingdom. The implication in this verse is that if you are not serving God with your finances then you are a “lover” of money and you “despise” your Master Jesus, while serving Satan and the Power of Mammon who is one of the eight powers in the Dark Kingdom (see MSDK).

So I want to encourage you today—because many if not most of you have a problem in this area—to repent for your disobedience in the area of finances. Give to the Lord abundantly from your finances and you will reap rewards both here and especially later in Heaven. And you will take away a door of sin that the devil uses to attack your finances. I’ve shared many times a vision the Lord gave me just as I began preaching in Akure, Nigeria, in December, 1989, when the pastor asked me to teach on tithing. I didn’t have any prepared notes but just began to read from Malachi  and as soon as I began an open vision broke right in front of me. I saw Satan go before the throne of God and he said, “This person is not a tither so I have a right to attack their finances.” And since that day, most of the time when Ev or I counsel people who have a lack in the area of finances it’s because they are not tither.

I pray that you will read over this teaching several times—it’s not for my benefit—you’re not paying tithes or offerings to us—but for your benefit both here and when you get to Heaven.

 

 

Maranatha!

 

 

 

 

 

Comments
James Johnson on 01-03-2018 at 9:36 AM
Bless you sir,I have analysed this your teaching on Christmas but how can we reconcile the word of God on the birth of our Lord Jesus as recorded," while shepards watch their flocks by night all seated round below, the Angel of the Lord came down and glory came...Luke 2:8, is it possible for Shepard's to keep watch over their flocks in a cold winter? Yes the birth of our Saviour needs to be celebrated but not on a pagan date fixed by pagans who once ruled the whole world for 500 years. Our God is a God of all season,let's keep on waiting for His coming which shall annihilate completely all the false festivals enunciated so far
James Johnson on 01-03-2018 at 9:09 AM
How do we reconcile the celebration of our Lord with this date of December if we consider Luke 2:8 very carefully with historical and biblical evidence,is it possible for Shepard's to sit under a cold winter their flocks
Roxanne Evans on 01-02-2018 at 3:46 AM
Thank you. This teaching on Christmas has set me free I this area. I figured, if you celebrate Christmas, then it cant be a taboo for us. So many Christians are no longer celebrating Christmas because of the teachings that are going around that it is pagan; that putting up a Christmas tree is idolatry.

Thank you!
Richard Barwick on 11-20-2017 at 9:39 PM
Blessed reminder of our Lord when He said if the foundation be destroyed what can the righteous do, many of us forget about our basic foundation, and try to build a new one built on faulty ground, waiting to crumble and wondered what happened, deception cannot be built on truth.
Stacey Vogel on 11-12-2017 at 10:49 PM
There is so much truth in this teaching. It totally fed my spirit. Thank you.
Kathy Kelley on 10-13-2017 at 9:55 AM
Praise God! Thank you Brother Timmons for the Word of Truth. Glory Be To God
Scott Carney on 10-05-2017 at 11:08 AM
Excellent as always...Arise... let Prophets come to the surface as such as time as this .
Evangelist baafi Boateng Richison on 09-15-2017 at 10:58 AM
jp timmons God almighty bless you cuz my life has been a a lot through your books in the name of Jesus Christ Amen
Ps Samuel Gbormenu on 07-11-2017 at 12:04 PM
Rev. JP Timmons . I am so grateful for this great insight given me. I want to say I am a Police Officer, and a Pastor in Ghana with a Jesus Generation Ministries. I was led by The Holy Spirit to buy your book Mysterious Secrets of The Dark Kingdom about two months ago and since then I have given out as many as 15 which I had given out to pastors and church leaders. In fact I have not regretted buying same at all . My area of operation is deliverance and this book has enhance my knowledge on the subject. I am preparing to go into full time ministry and seeking direction from The Lord to do so.
Esme Louw on 07-03-2017 at 10:07 AM
Agree with you and thank you for this teaching.
david tamah on 07-03-2017 at 8:00 AM
God bless you sir
Felicitas on 05-30-2017 at 4:00 PM
Thank you so much. The teachings and your book Mysterious Secrets of the dark kingdom helps a lot as we prepare for the soon return of Jesus. Jn 2v5. Let's read the bible as much as we can
Christopher Agwuncha on 04-19-2017 at 5:31 AM
An eye opener for believers.God bless you man of God.
james on 04-17-2017 at 12:45 AM
From this day I pray God Almighty to bring you to Milan Italy in our church.I don't want to exaggerate the inestimable value of your teachings,publications and materials,once again may you be anointed stronger and stronger in the mighty name of JESUS CHRIST,amen
david tamah on 04-04-2017 at 9:08 AM
God bless you, sir.
Barbara Nelson on 04-02-2017 at 5:40 PM
Thank God for the word you gave my brother...We need to hear this especially in the times we are in. Praise God
Michael Clement on 04-02-2017 at 3:41 PM
I'm blessed sir
Ezeka Gabriel on 03-08-2017 at 12:40 PM
Am alway blessed! Does not being ordained makes one calling ineffectual?
pastor kemsian josephh on 03-07-2017 at 4:01 AM
help send everyting that will revive me
oluseye adeola oluwole on 03-06-2017 at 12:49 PM
Very informative. I will work on it. I have a question for you timmons. I am working on getting another job in a brewery. It later occurred to me that the brewery makes both alcoholic and non alcoholic beverages. Does that not make me an enemy of God if I work there?
Stephanie Coetzee on 02-28-2017 at 5:00 AM
Precious teaching, how blessed are we to learn from you! We are living prayers, coming to see the truth of Ephesians 1 verse 18 ... how rich is His glorious inheritance in the saints ... Be blessed!
Olumide Orisafeyijimi on 02-26-2017 at 11:29 PM
Thank God for the teaching gift and thank God for your testimonies and teaching ministry. It's almost calibrates your mind to comply with the word when you understand it. I'm gonna let the river of emotions flow even more in prayer And God help me to be a bit more repeated about prayer.

Question pls: Can continuous mean, setting a specific day of the week to prayer about an issue or it requires you prayer day after day over that issue...I recognise that the spirit of God can guide us in this matters on an individual basis (to avoid legalism) but what's your take Sir?

Also why do some prayers e.g. for healing happen almost immediately while others has to be long worn battle?

God bless Rev Timmons
Kathy Kelley on 02-26-2017 at 4:41 PM
Thank You Bro.T
I so enjoyed this and it was something I needed to hear at this moment and time. I am encouraged to not give up the good fight of Faith and to continue praying. God Bless
Rena TreviƱo on 02-14-2017 at 6:02 AM
Thank you for your teaching ! It rings true today in my area also.I thank God, He has been raising a select few who have been going into the churches to Pray these things down. May the Lord Abundantly Bless you !
Pastor Abraham Abiel on 01-25-2017 at 9:37 PM
May the good Lord bless and increase your ministry in Jesus name. You shall not fail God, may you remain rapturable in Jesus name.
james on 01-23-2017 at 2:03 AM
Your materials are highly anoited,I thank God for the Brother who reommended your book to me,I noticed a lot of positive changes in my life and ministry.What you you give out free of charge that some American pastors would place a cost on. My prayer is that God should anoint you more and more and increase His power on you,God bless you
Igwe Collinsmary on 11-18-2016 at 5:08 PM
Thanks bro Jp Timmons! You're indeed a blessing to me.
Joanna belmont on 07-23-2016 at 3:32 PM
Love the four 4 s. Matthew 4:4, Luke 4:4. Two 4s are 8. New beginnings. Regeneration. Meditate on The Word more!
Post a Comment