God is at work in the marketplace, bringing forth an army of business men and women of high moral charactor and integrity. This new generation of Kingdom business people understand their anointing and are captivated by the call to re-possess the marketplace for the Kingdom of God.
I am convinced God calls and equips certain people to business in the same manner He calls Apostles, Prophets, Evangelists, Pastors and Teachers. Unfortunately, most church leaders have failed to recognize the calling of the business person and their place in the advancement of God's Kingdom. This failure has severely hampered the growth and establishment of the Kingdom in many regions of the world. Futhermore, the business person is not being used their greatest potential and effectiveness.
Business people are a key to the development of the Kingdom of God. As the Kingdom expands and grows in any certain area, church growth is inevitable. Church leaders tend to focus on growing their church rather than the Kingdom of God. Its like having the cart in front of the horse. The Biblical model is to expand the Kingdom and the church will grow accordingly.
Why does the business person have such a crucial role in this? The answer is found in this scripture:
Deuteronomy 8:18 "And you shall remember the Lord your God, for it is He who gives you power to get wealth, that He may establish His covenant which He swore to your fathers, as it is this day." (NKJV)
This scripture reveals the true purpose of wealth to establish God's covenant in the earth. Wealth, and lots of it, is needed to further the Gospel throughout the world.
It's interesting to note that the word "establish" in this passage also means "confirm". Just as signs, wonders and miracles are a confirmation of the Gospel, so is wealth. All the patriarchs in the Old Testament were very wealthy men.
Look at Abraham, a man whom God blessed, and through Christ, we also receive his blessing. Abraham's servant made this observation of his master:
Genesis 24:35 "And the Lord has blessed my master greatly; and his is become great: and he hath given him flocks, and herds, and silver, and gold, and menservants, and maid servants, and camels and donkeys."
Furthermore, the blessing passed on to Isaac, the second generation:
Genesis 26:12-14 "Then Isaac sowed in that land (Gerar), and received a hundred fold; and the Lord blessed him. And the man became great, and went forward, and grew until he became very great. For he had possession of flocks, and possession of herds and a great store of servants. And the Philistines envied him."
King David, who is a type of the New Testament believer, was also extremely wealthy. I Chronicles 29:3 records the tremendous wealth King David had saved then gave from his own personal treasury toward the construction of the Temple.
The ministry of Jesus Christ had a great degree of finances flowing through it. Remember when Jesus told the disciples to feed the 5,000 who had gathered to hear him speak? The disciples asked Jesus if he expected them to go into town and purchase enough food for all of them. If they wouldn't have had enough money to do it, they wouldn't have asked Jesus if that was what he wanted them to do. There was so much of an abundance that the money Judas was stealing from the ministry wasn't even missed, only Jesus was aware of his actions because He could see Judas' heart.
I could continue with many other examples, but suffice it to say that the enemy of our souls perverted the truth of prosperity. By withholding finances from God's people, the advancement of the Kingdom has been greatly hindered.
I'm the owner of a travel agency in America. Our main focus of business is selling wholesale airline tickets to missionaries, church groups and ministers who travel throughout the world. When a missionary or a church purchases an airline ticket from my agency, we do not accept faith as payment. We want either cash, a check or a credit card for payment.
I have been traveling overseas in mission work since 1985 and exclusively in Ukraine since 1995. Our ministry has taken us all over Ukraine teaching Kingdom principles. It requires money to purchase train and airline tickets, to pay for hotel rooms and fill the petrol tank in the car. Those who travel with me expect to eat at least once a day. No, I do not force my ministry associates to fast and pray all the time.
It is the strangest thing, when we conduct our conferences, the director of the cinema buildings require us to pay rent for the use of the building. Not one of them has allowed us to use their building for free. And though I have not asked, I'm sure not one of them would accept faith as payment. All them want to be paid with cash.
These examples seem childish and simple but I want to make this point. It takes money to preach the Gospel, hold seminars, plant churches and expand the Kingdom of God. It does not happen for free, someone must pay the bills.
The kingdom of God advances through the ministry of business people with finances, the ministry of giving, dominion & authority and ministering to the poor.
Advancement Through Finances
This is where the business person fits into the picture. Their purpose, their calling is to finance the advancement of the Kingdom of God.
I often ask pastors this question: If you had more finances, could you do more for the Kingdom in your city? Guess what? The answer is always the same, an enthusiastic yes! I've also noticed something. Successful pastors always have a greater vision than their current provision. They have plans to do more than their current financial situation will allow. This is a good thing because it compels them to continue to walk in faith, in fact, to grow from faith to faith.
This is what faith is for. To believe for the necessary finances to accomplish the vision God has placed in your heart. Unfortunately, many church leaders have failed to recognize the tool God generally uses to bring this to pass. They must think God has a printing press in Heaven and they beg God to send them some money down occasionally.
However, recognizing the business person and their ministry will bring dramatic change to any church's financial situation. Suddenly, financial resources will be released in greater measure. And more importantly, business people will discover their true calling, prosper in greater measure and function in the ministry God has called them to. In other words, they will be more fruitful.
I believe the major reason most Christian business people are not prospering according to God's standards is because of a lack of understanding in this area of their calling.
I know many business people who are also Christian. Most of them have no clue why they are in business. Sure, its to provide for their families and earn a living. But there is a higher purpose, a higher calling. God has shown us in His Word that we are to remember it is He who gives us the power or ability to accumulate wealth. We are to remember it isn't our great wisdom or business skills that make us wealthy. They are important, but ultimately, it is God Himself who does it.
Another aspect of Deuteronomy 8:18 is the fact that God works with us in our businesses. As we work, His power or ability to prosper is released in us. If you sit at home and do nothing, there is no power for prosperity in your life. Poverty will be that man's portion.
Many business people do not accumulate wealth for the sake of wealth alone. No, there is a feeling of power that comes with it and it is a perversion of the real purpose of wealth. They actually begin to lust after that feeling of power and their wealth is consumed on material things. It is such a waste. This is what the devil does to many of the wealthy when there is no understanding of their true purpose and calling. Their lives and wealth are wasted and no lasting fruit is produced for God's Kingdom.
Listen, your greatest satisfaction will come when you understand why you're in business. Understanding your calling and functioning in it will bring clarity of purpose and fruitfulness to your life. Your business is a ministry, a tool in the Hand of God to finance the advancement of His Kingdom throughout the earth. That is your highest purpose, your highest calling.
Wealth Does Not Make You Happy
There is a scripture that reveals the truth about prosperity:
Proverbs 10:22 It is the blessing of the Lord that makes rich and adds no sorrow to it. (NASV)
The world has an incredible amount of wealthy people in it. But most of them are not happy. Their lives are no different than anyone else, they experience disease, depression, divorce, worry, fear, etc. Their wealth does not exclude them from the ills that plague humanity. In fact, by reading the headlines of the newspapers, we see that most of the wealthy have more problems than the rest of us. Their children, in many cases, are worse off than the rest.
Just because a man has wealth is no guarantee of happiness for himself or his family. If their wealth isn't directly connected to the Lord and His blessings, they are going to have sorrow.
Understand this, you can have wealth and a great deal of sorrow to go along with it. But when our heart and purpose is right toward wealth and prosperity, there will be no sorrow to accompany the riches.
Avoiding the Snare of the Devil
We are blessed, we prosper in our business ventures for a purpose. That purpose is to be a blessing to others. One of the basic traps to avoid in business is the temptation of greed.
In the business world, greed is the unnatural desire to consume our blessings, our prosperity on ourselves. A greedy businessman will be unfair with his employees, he will not pay them fairly. He will be unfair to his customers, he will attempt to extort more money from them than is fair. A greedy businessman will lie and steal from his partners and associates. His greed will cause him to cheat and not pay his proper taxes to the government.
The greedy man is driven by the lust to accumulate riches for himself in the same way an adulterer is driven by sexual lust to illicit relationships.
This is not a new problem. God warns the Israelites,
Dueteronomy 8:18 "Do not forget the Lord your God, for it is He who gives you the power to get wealth..."
As we are being blessed and enjoying prosperity, we must not forget it is God Himself who has given us the power to get wealth. The temptation to forget and fall into the trap of greed is powerful. If it were not so, God would not have put this warning in the Scriptures.
But for every temptation, God has a preventative remedy. For greed, God calls us to give, to be a blessing to others. Being a giver puts our purpose in action.
Our attitude should be that our business exists to be a blessing for the Kingdom of God, our cities, those whom we do business with and to those who work for us.
The attitude I have for my business I own in Oklahoma is that it is a blessing to the city I live in. Through my company, we bring commerce and revenue from all over the nation to our city. From that revenue, we buy products and services from other local businesses. My employees buy food and clothing for their families from local merchants. We contribute to the overall economy of the city.
Proverbs 11:11 By the blessing of the upright a city is exalted...(NASV)
As the owner of the company, I am a blessing to my employees. I pay them very well, especially considering we are located in a small city. A long time ago, I decided I would have the best employees and I would treat them as such. I want them to be excited and to look forward to coming to work each day.
How did I do this? I made a decision that I would be a blessing to them. Many years ago I worked for a company that was motivated by greed. Their main purpose was to make a profit, even at the expense of their employees and customers.
They grudgingly paid us and had no concern for us as human beings. Often, they put us in harms way by ordering us to work in adverse conditions. They had no concern for our families as they made us work long hours and often on holidays, too.
I learned much while I worked for this company, most of it was how not to run a business.
Do not misunderstand me, I expect my employees to work hard and they do. However, I reward them well in return. If they need to leave early for an appointment, they are allowed to go. I often bless them by buying their lunch for them. When I return from an overseas trip, I bring them a small gift in appreciation for operating the business while I am gone. When they go on holiday, I will give them a blessing to help cover expenses.
I treat my employees with respect. I honor them and watch out for their welfare. I treat them as I would want to be treated.
Another important aspect of my business is the office atmosphere. I do not allow coarse or rough language, off color jokes, gossip or disrespectful talk. How do I make this happen? I set the example, I only speak good, encouraging, edifying words in my office. Business leaders are like shepherds and employees are like sheep. They follow the leader. I set the good example.
You see, I understand that by having an exceptional staff of employees, I am allowed to fulfill the call God has placed on my life. Because they have risen to a level where they can work when I am not there, they will receive the same reward as I do.
A business will grow to its potential only as the owner understands and grows in his purpose. For example, in the early years after I started my company, it provided a living for me and the employees. But now, not only does it do that but it also provides for the ministry of Family Aid International. I believe this is the highest purpose for a businessman. I call this Kingdom Purpose.
In recent years, my company has contributed much to the ministry of Family Aid International in Ukraine. Because of that giving, thousands have been blessed, encouraged, strengthened, healed and saved. The books I've published are fruit that has come from my company's giving.
This is real purpose, this is what motivates me each and every day. It is the Kingdom of God in action. There is no room for greed when you are consumed with the purpose of the Kingdom of God.
The Ministry of Giving
All Christians are to give their tithe and offerings. I know some find it difficult to participate in this grace and fail to give their tithe. Some pastors are even guilty of heaping condemnation on those who aren't tithing. The missionary who was my mentor in my early years as a believer told me this.
He said, "Any church leader who encourages his people to tithe for any other reason than to be blessed has a wrong motive."
I believed him then and now 20 years later, I believe it even more. Especially after seeing the financial scandals that ravaged the American church in recent years.
God wants you to participate in His program of blessing and financial prosperity. Giving the tithe enrolls you in God's financial blessing. Heaven will not go bankrupt because you do not tithe. Rather, you will miss the greater blessing of God in your life.
Having said these things about the tithe, I want to talk about a ministry that is rarely mentioned, the ministry of giving. It is different than giving the tithe and offerings.
Romans 12:8 "...he that gives, with liberality..."
In this passage of scripture, seven gifts are mentioned. We call them motivational gifts because they are deposited in the believer when he receives the grace of God at repentance. These gifts motivate the believer to Christian service.
One of the gifts is the gift of giving. I have seen this gift in operation in others as well as experienced it myself. It is not talking about giving the tithe or an offering. It is different. The ministry of giving is the gift of God to give, the desire to give at any given moment, whenever the Lord would show you a person, project, ministry or need.
Recently, the Holy Spirit led me to teach on this wonderful ministry in a conference in Ukraine. The message was received with great joy. Afterwards, one of the ladies in the church gave me this testimony:
When I heard David Tinney?s message "The Ministry of Giving", my spirit rejoiced with happiness and the Holy Spirit told me, "That is why you love to give. I gave you this gift according to my grace. The gift of giving lives in you."
She continued, saying, "As soon as I came to the Lord I heard the message that we are to tithe and bring offerings to the Lord?s house. For there to be food and it is a great blessing for the giver, because the heavenly windows will be open. I came home after the church service and shared it with my husband. He allowed me to tithe. Later he began to do it himself. We were at peace when we did it. We started giving to others who were in need. The debts left our house. The more we gave the more we got. God is faithful, He gives the seed to the sower. He loves those who give in joy. Also we give to widows and orphans on a regular basis having joy and peace in our hearts. We are only God's channels."
I cannot think of a more descriptive testimony of a believer who participates in this ministry of giving.
Typically, this ministry gift operates in business people, however, its not limited only to them. It's just that business people usually have greater amounts of finances flowing through their lives than the average Christian. But let me also say that this gift doesn't just operate with large amounts of money. My wife, Judy and I both are motivated in this ministry and we are not overly wealthy by American standards.
We have a saying in the American church, "If God can channel finances through you, He will channel finances to you." Simply, this means that if you have a generous heart, God is very willing to give you finances so you can be extremely generous.
Proverbs 11:25 "Be generous and you will be prosperous." (Good News Bible, Today's English Version)
This scripture also reveals to us that your prosperity is directly related to your generosity. For my wife and I, there is no greater joy than giving, generosity is a lifestyle for us. Both of us have this ministry gift and its a joy to flow in it. It is the same as an anointed speaker, their greatest joy is flowing in the ministry gifts of God. Generosity releases prosperity.
There is beautiful passage of scripture that reveals the ministry of giving in the life of King David. Nearing the end of his life, David's son Solomon was about to become king of Israel. David's heart was to build the Lord a temple. But because he had been a man of war, the Lord prohibited David from constructing it. That task was left to his son Solomon.
I Chronicles 29:3 "Moreover, because I have set my affection on the house of my God, I have given to the house of my God, over and above all that I have prepared for the holy house, my own special treasure of gold and silver" (NKJV)
Continuing, the scripture lists the thousands of talents of gold and silver that King David gave from his personal account. This was over and above all the materials he had already gathered for the construction project. We're told why David was motivated to do this. "Because I have set my affection on the house of my God."
David operated in this ministry of giving because his heart was connected to the house of God. I pray that God would raise up a generation of business people whose hearts are connected to the Kingdom of God! That His plans and purposes would be theirs, that they would give above and beyond the normal. That the ministry of giving would operate without measure in their lives and businesses.
In recent years there has been talk about the end time harvest, the final thrust that would reap the nations and bring about the coming of the Lord. Those who operate in the ministry of giving will be strategic ministers in this final chapter of human history. For it will take large amounts of finances to support ministries that will literally sweep entire nations into the Kingdom of God.
Advancement through Dominion & Authority
Jesus taught his disciples to pray for the Kingdom of God to manifest on earth as it was in heaven, Luke 11:2. I have been speaking much about the Kingdom, perhaps you are asking, "What is the Kingdom of God?"
Briefly speaking, we could say the Kingdom of God is the influence, rule and reign of God in every realm of human existence. Jesus is the model or pattern son of exhibiting the dominion of God on the earth. He exercised dominion over the elements by causing the storm to cease at His word. By casting out devils, he demonstrated His dominion over the spiritual realm. Do you see the picture?
The life of Joseph is a type and shadow, a forerunner of what God is doing with businessmen today. He was sold into slavery, falsely accused and put in jail. And in one day, he went from prison to Prime Minister. Let's look at Joseph's life and how it challanges Christian business people in our generation.
Joseph was an economist, a CEO of a huge business enterprise, a great investor, and also a high-ranking government official. An economist, you ask? Remember how Joseph predicted the 7 years of good times (economic boom), followed by the 7 years of famine (economic recession)? He wasn't just an economist, he was a great economist who could accurately predict turns in the economy. Of course, he predicted it with the help of God, but in your current job or business, isn't that how you're supposed to work, with the help of the Holy Spirit's voice?
Joseph was also the CEO of a huge food-storage business. It was so big that it makes a Walmart supermarket look like a shop in the bazaar compared to it. Joseph had to oversee the business and logistics for storing up food of such magnitude that would be enough to feed millions of people for 7 years. Now to do that, you need top management skills, and Joseph was appointed and anointed by God to do the job.
Joseph was also a great investor, in fact, better than most New York Wall Street investors of today. When he started to accumulate food stocks in the warehouses, he was strategically positioning himself, confident that the prices of food would go up. Doesn't that sound like investing in the stock market, accumulating stocks in view that prices will go up in the future? Joseph was correct in his market views - prices of food soared so high, that in the end he was able to exchange it for all the money, all the livestock and all the lands in Egypt and Canaan.
Joseph was so successful, he became the top minister, second only to Pharaoh. He ruled over the people with great leadership skills, and the masses looked to him for direction and wisdom. In Genesis 47:25, the people said to Joseph "You have saved our lives, let us find favor in the sight of my lord, and we will be Pharaoh's servants." As business people, this is an integral part of our calling and purpose. We are to enter the marketplace and be such great business leaders that the world will look to us for leadership, for wisdom and also for our favor over them. True success in business is realized when we're influencing and saving lives for the Kingdom of God.
When Jacob was old, he called his sons in to pronounce blessings over their lives. When he came to Joseph, he said, "Joseph is a fruitful bough by a well, whose branches go over the wall." Genesis 49:22. I believe this is prophetic for the businessman. Our ministry as business people is to go beyond the walls of the church and into the marketplace, bringing fruit into the Kingdom of God.
In the realm of economics and finance, we have not seen Christians in the place of dominion. But this is rapidly changing. All over the world, Christian business people are bringing the power and influence of God to the workplace.
I am hearing reports from different parts of the world how Christians are starting business schools, teaching Kingdom principles as the basis of business. In other regions, I hear Christians are forming banks based on Biblical principles.
This is essential and critical in these last days. This scripture gives us the reason.
Proverbs 22:7 "The rich rule over the poor." (Good News Bible, Today's English Version)
It is a fact, wealth brings power and influence. Have you ever seen a nation ruled by a poor man? Do you see business people or politicians seeking the advise of a poor man? Have you ever seen anyone seeking the counsel of a beggar sitting on the street? Of Course not! The rich rule over the poor.
In America, and probably any other Democratic nation, it takes an enormous amount of finances to win a national election. So much, in fact, that in the USA, a common person is excluded from national political office by virtue of his lack of finances. Sure, the political parties contribute a large amount to the candidates. But do you think they will support a poor person? Of course not, they know the principle, the rich rule over the poor.
Wealth has a powerful effect on politics and government. Governments in turn rule over the people. Do you see the picture? The rich rule over the poor.
During the Soviet era, the middle class was abolished by those in power. There were only two classes in the empire, the rich who were in power and all the rest. And by Western standards, the masses in the Soviet Union were poor. They did this because the knew the principle, the rich rule over the poor. The leadership of the former Soviet Union lived opulent lives, especially when compared to the rest of the citizenship.
After the collapse of the Soviet empire and the free market system was re-established, its interesting to note the middle class has re-emerged and poverty among them is actually shrinking.
As business people, it is our destiny to possess, to take dominion of the economic realm on earth. It is our land to possess, just as the children of Israel were destined to possess the land of Canaan. It is time that we who are rich toward God rule over the rest of the world righteously.
Advancement through ministry to the poor
Ministering to the poor releases the blessings of God. This is perhaps one of the least understood principles of God's Kingdom.
Many Christians neglect this vital ministry. In fact, some even consider the poor inferior and have hardened their hearts against them. This attitude is so contrary to the heart of God.
Psalms 8:23 "Defend the poor and fatherless, do justice to the afflicted and needy." (NKJV)
Proverbs 21:13 "Whoever shuts his ears to the cry of the poor will also cry himself and not be heard." (NKJV)
God is a just God. His righteous judgement demands the poor and oppressed be defended and even helped. This is his nature. As His offspring, it should be our heart and nature also.
Proverbs 22:9 "Be generous and share your food with the poor. You will be blessed for it." (Good News Bible, Today's English Version)
There's a Divine principle involved here: generosity releases blessings. Earlier we learned that generosity releases prosperity. As we minister and give to the poor and afflicted, blessings are released in our own lives, ministries and businesses.
I remember how Pastor Sunday Adelaja began his ministry in Kiev, Ukraine a number of years ago. They began reaching out to the drug addicts, prostitutes, the poor and those who lived on the streets. God blessed them for this ministry. Today, the influence of the Embassy of God reaches around the world, to every continent! The church continues this vital ministry as well as to many other segments of society and the blessing of God is flowing like a mighty river through the church. Do you understand the importance of this principle?
A few years ago, we began ministering to the poor and orphans in the city of Chernigiv, Ukraine. Our ministry purchased shoes and personal hygiene items for the children. We bought basic food items for the poorest of the poor. Something supernatural happened. God began to bless our ministry in a greater measure. He began opening doors of opportunity to us that we could not have created ourselves. Over time, the we saw the influence of our ministry increase.
Today, I can trace the success and growth of our ministry, Family Aid International, directly to our ministry to the poor and the orphans.
Proverbs 19:17 "When you give to the poor, it is like lending to the Lord, and the Lord will pay you back." (Good News Bible, Today's English Version)
Giving to the poor activates another principle of God. It is like the law of cause and effect and the law of sowing and reaping. The action sets in motion a reaction. When we give to the poor, it sets God into motion to repay us. Isn't that incredible? Out of our generosity, we give to the poor and then God repays us for our generosity.
For the business person, this creates a cycle of giving and receiving of blessing into the business. I know this concept may seem strange to some. But God's ways are much higher than our ways, His thoughts are higher than our thoughts. The principles of His Kingdom are definitely contrary to the world's system.
Let me sum this chapter up this way. God is raising up a new generation of business people whose heart is connected to His Kingdom. Their wealth doesn't belong to themselves, it is at God's disposal, ready to be used for whatever purpose He directs.
This generation of business people have a revelation of the ministry of giving and actively operate in it. Their hearts are full of generosity, especially for the poor and oppressed. Because of this, God is releasing to them enormous amounts of wealth through their business ventures.
Prosperity, real Kingdom prosperity has come to them. This generation is repossessing the economic kingdom from the devil and firmly establishing His Kingdom economically! Amen!
Copywrite 2005 by David Tinney. May not be reproduced in any fashion without permission from author.