Creflo Dollar - The Spirits of Mammon - Part 1
Now, tonight what we're going to talk about is we're going to talk about three spirits of mammon. Spirits have a tendency to hang out together. And we're going to look at some things and I want to go over some stuff that I didn't have a chance to hit like I wanted to hit on Sunday, and then I'm going to show you the distinctions between those three very subtle spirits. Now, I know it sounds like weird and, "Oh my God, we're in church and they're talking about spirits". But those are real. In fact, you are a spirit being. You possess a soul. You live in a physical body. God is a spirit. Yeah, see? And they that worship him worship him in spirit and truth.
There's a spiritual realm which is more real than this physical world, and I taught a sermon 20 years ago is the physical world really real because I realized that running concurrently to this physical world there is a spiritual world. It is as real and more real, and I say that because everything in this physical, natural world came as a result of that spiritual world. God is a spirit and all physical things came from him. So it shouldn't sound strange when you hear us referring to spiritual things and yet we've got to understand that there are influences that come from that realm. And if we don't understand those influences and don't understand the Word, because the Bible says the Word is spirit, you see?
And so when we get ahold of the Word of God we get ahold of spiritual things, and the more we understand about God's Word the more we understand about spiritual things and then we put ourselves in a better position to, you know, have the right kind of encounter with those things and not be deceived by them. So, again, in Luke chapter 16, this is a story talking about a steward who did not show himself to be faithful with his lord's money and what he was overseeing. In fact, he even began to negotiate deals with his lord's money that he hadn't had the right to negotiate. Well, the end of the story is that this guy was found unfaithful. He was found untrustworthy with his lord's money. He was found unfaithful. He was found untrustworthy with his lord's money. And let's pick up in verse 10; Luke chapter 16 and verse 10.
So now Jesus begins to continue his teaching on this parable. And speaking of the steward who was found unfaithful with his lord's money, the subject here is basically a steward and his unfaithfulness with his lord's money. That's important to me because when we keep things in context then we can get ahold of what Jesus was saying, and in verse 10 Jesus now says, "He that is faithful," or trustworthy, "in that which is least..." The whole chapter has been talking about money, but Jesus now calls money here the least. What was he saying about money? He is saying that the least use of your faith in the kingdom of God is in the area of money. He said everything else is going to be greater; but when you use your faith in the area of money, that's the least use of your faith. The least use of your faith is in the area of giving and receiving.
Now, most church folks think that money is the bigger matter. It is not. It's the least matter in the kingdom. It's the least matter in the kingdom. In other words, you should get more success in that area than you get in any other area. But look what he says. He is not saying that money is in the category of the least. I thought that for years. He is literally calling money the least. Okay? So the next verse is going to show us this, but he is literally calling money the least, and he's saying that he that is faithful and trustworthy in that which is least, or I could say it like this. He that is faithful and trustworthy in money is faithful and trustworthy also in much.
Now, this much is also something that we need to look at, because when we talk about the much, we're talking about all of the things that have been made available to us by the grace of God; everything that's been made available: your deliverance, your healing, your prosperity. Everything that's available, all these things that have been made available. Now listen to me now. Grace has made everything available that you'll ever need in life, but you need faith to get it. Okay? We were saved by what? Grace. But we got it how? Through faith. Okay? Even though you were saved by grace, you can't apprehend it or appropriate it without faith. Grace makes, faith takes. Faith will take what grace has made available.
Now, the reason why that is so important is that it, you know, taking requires effort. Taking requires something on your part, but I don't want you to confuse the works of faith with the works of the law. It takes faith to get what grace has made available. All right? And so now what he is saying is that he that is faithful and can be trusted in that which is least, money, is faithful also in the much. Okay. This is a powerful statement. But he says if you can be faithful and trustworthy where money is concerned, you will automatically put yourself in the place where you can trust God where those other things are concerned. You can trust him for everything that grace has made available. You can trust him for everything that the blood has made available to you. Trust is the currency in the kingdom of God. Everything faith has made available to you, it requires faith and trust. Those words, faith and trust, are used synonymously.
There is no faith without trust and vice versa. And so trust is the currency in the kingdom. All right. So if we're going to spend our trust to appropriate what grace has made available, that's the only way you can get it. You can't buy favor. You can't give $20 for favor. Trust is the currency of the kingdom. But what Jesus is saying here, that your level of trust is going to be based on the least level in the kingdom. Can you trust him in the least? Can you trust him where money is concerned? He says if you can trust him where money is concerned, which is the least issue in the kingdom, you'll be able to trust him with the much. You'll be able to trust him with all that grace has made available. You'll be able to trust him in all other areas.
So the currency that we're spending here is not money, the currency that's being spent is trust. What he says is, "We're going to test your trust level with money". And if you can trust God where the least is concerned, money, then you will be able to trust God where the much is concerned. So really here's what you're doing. You're proving to yourself that you can trust God where this is concerned, where that is concerned. You're proving to yourself that you can trust God where giving is concerned. And what Jesus is saying; once you prove to yourself where money is concerned and giving is concerned, he says most likely you will be able to trust him in all other areas. Isn't it interesting, isn't it interesting that God is saying, "Trust me over money"? That's all he's saying here. "Can you trust me with the money issue"?
Now, as we go on, we're going to see why. Because every time he taught about money in the New Testament it was, "Can you trust me"? Jesus with the widow woman with two mites. He's looking at you, the giving over the treasury, and it was about trust. Somebody say, "How do you know it's about trust"? 'Cause he said it. Listen to what he said. He said this woman with the widow's mite gave more than the rich men. Well, you know he couldn't have been talking about an amount. She only had two mites, and Jesus says she gave more than the rich men. You know they gave more than two mites. They're rich. So how in the world could she have given more than those rich men? He wasn't talking about in the measure of money; he was talking about in the measure of trust, that this woman outgave everybody. Why? Because she trusted God to the point where she didn't have no more money left and yet she was living by the trust, and God was saying, "If she could trust me with the money by giving it, hers is greater than the rich men who gave but they still had money left over to trust".
So the issue is trust, trust, trust. You notice I try to go over this as much as possible. Get it on the inside of you. You know, you hear it for the first time, you freak out. You hear it the second time, you kind of get it. Hear the third time, all right, maybe you hear it the fourth and fifth time, you're like, "I see this". Then you go back and read the whole thing in context, you're like, "I got this". But isn't it amazing that all these years that the enemy has attacked any teaching on giving because people have said, "What does it have to do with anything else"? You're finding out that the entire measure of your trust is being measured against money. Why? Why not other areas? Why can't he test our trust where sickness is concerned? How come he can't test our trust maybe where deliverance is concerned or where our prayer life is concerned? Because none of those things have the ability to be your master. None of those things have the ability to control you like money can.
Now, understanding all of the stuff, I'm filling the blanks. Now as we read this, he is saying, very specifically he is saying if you can be trusted with money, then you can be trusted with the bigger things. He says in essence if you can't be trusted with money, you won't be trusted with the much. That's huge. But you can see how a person can read this and take least and much and put it into this category and make it a fill-in-the-blank where you can just put anything in that blank. No, Jesus didn't use this word like a fill-in-the-blank. He used this word referring specifically to money 'cause that was the only thing that we were talking about being faithless to where this story was concerned. I hope you understand what I'm saying. When I say least, we have the tendency to say, "Well, you know, if you're not, can't be trusted with the least," and then we fill in all these things that's the least.
Of course that's going to be true, but in context he is specifically talking about something very specific: money. That's what he was not faithful to. And basically he says if you can't be faithful with money, you won't be faithful with the much. If you can't be trusted with money, you won't be trusted with much. If you can't prove to yourself that you can trust God with money, neither will you be able to prove to yourself that you can trust God with being healed. And now you have the connection that has ruined lives, and I'll show you why in a minute 'cause I want to show you these three spirits that always accompany the spirit of mammon. Go to verse 11.
So now verse 11, as I take the risk all the time to prove this before I read verse 11, I like to prove it, and then you see exactly what Jesus said 'cause Jesus is talking here in this chapter, and Jesus said, "If therefore you have not been faithful in the unrighteous mammon..." So now he clarifies what I just said. This word mammon is an Arabic word which is translated money; and in most translations it is used mammon, which means unrighteous money. So Jesus is saying, "If you have not been faithful to trust it with unrighteous money, mammon or money or riches," which is translated, "who will commit to your trust the true riches"?
Notice, he's talking about committing to your trust. Can he commit to your trust true riches? He says, no, if he can't commit to your trust money. He said it right there. If he can't commit to your trust money, who's going to commit to your trust the true riches, which is in that same area of the much? So now all of a sudden, ladies and gentlemen, there's an undeniable connection between your faithfulness with money and the rest of your life, your faithfulness or trustworthiness for other areas in your life. Now, I'm going to pause for a moment. If you feel weird, funny, or all kinds of things going on, I'm going to show you what's going on. That's the spirit of mammon, always going to show up when you talk about giving or always going to show up when you're getting ready to give. That's the job of it. So now notice here Jesus makes it very plain in 11. "You can't be faithful and trusted with money, that's what unrighteous mammon is, who will commit to your trust the true riches"?
Notice the issue is trust. Notice the issue is trust. Let me say it like this. Can he commit money to your trust? Can he trust you with money? In what area can he trust you to do what he tells you to do with money? That's what he's saying. Can he commit to your trust money? Can God commit to your trust money? That's what he's saying. He says if he can't commit to your trust money, who is going to commit to your trust the true, and riches is in italicized, indicating, again, if you cannot be trusted with the least, money, nobody's going to put to your trust the much because your trust can't even handle the least. It's an issue of what can your trust handle, what can your trust handle. If you understand that, say, "Amen". Then it goes to verse 12, and in verse 12 he says, and he uses this carnal illustration or an illustration that we can see in the natural world. "If you've not been faithful," and trusted, "in that which is another man's, who will give you that which is your own"?
So if you put $2 in the hands of somebody that you know and you couldn't trust them with it, you don't want to make them the vice president of your new multibillion-dollar company 'cause he says whatever, however, their trust couldn't handle $2. What you think they're going to do if you commit to their trust a billion-dollar company? Are you following what I'm saying? And so he's using a natural illustration to let you know, again, he's in the same situation of saying your trust, and here's what I asked the Lord. I said, "Well, why won't I trust"? He says, "The issue is not why won't I trust you, the issue is, can your trust be trusted. Can you trust your trust"? And I'm thinking, "Oh, you love us. You want us to you". We need to answer that question. "Can my trust be trusted"? I thought, "Ain't nobody ever said nothing to me like that before".
And I immediately saw, again, it was committing to my trust. All right? And so then he gets to the real issue, verse 13. And I'm going to try to do the same teaching every time I start off with this so I can just get it in, get it in, get it in and you start getting revelation on it. Verse 13 says, "No servant can serve two masters". Now, here's the key here. Notice the two things he's been talking about now. Okay? Can we commit to your trust some, God, can you, can God trust you in the area of money or something else? And this is to me, you know, I've read this Scripture over and over again over the last so many years and I, you know, don't know what happened, but, "No servant can serve two masters: for either he will hate the one, love the other; or else he will hold to the one, despise the other. You cannot serve God," who is a spirit, "and mammon".
But what I didn't see, I didn't, I missed the translation the first time it was translated and throughout the Bible is translated money. But what he is saying here in this verse is, who is driving you where money is concerned? Is God... I like to use the word, not drive, but is God governing you where money is concerned, or is a spirit of mammon governing you where money is concerned? Money by itself is neither good or bad. So whoever picks it up is either going to be someone that's controlled or governed by God or somebody that's controlled and governed by mammon. Two spirits. The question is you cannot serve both the Spirit of God and the spirit of mammon. Okay? It creates a double-mindedness. Double-minded man is unstable in all his ways. Let not that man think he shall receive anything from the Lord.
So you're going to have to choose to serve God in order to get out of this. There's no two choices in here. You have to choose to serve God. Now, you can choose to serve mammon, but here's what I'm saying. If you don't choose to serve God, you will serve the spirit of mammon by default. If you choose not to serve God, you will serve the spirit of mammon by default. Now, I want to make this very clear. I am talking about a spirit of mammon now. I am not talking about money, and this is the thing people mess up. Money, you can't make money the evil spirit. There is a spirit that governs people where money is concerned, and there is a spirit, God, who will govern people where money is concerned. God says, "Will, can I trust you to do what I want you to do with the money"? And it's very clear. That's why it's got to be taught. How in the world do you go to church and the preacher says, "I don't get into that prosperity stuff".
So he never teaches you about what God said to do with the money. So here's the problem with that. You never hear those sermons, guess what? You're not interested in knowing what God told you to do with the money so by default you've made yourself subject to the spirit of mammon. And so in church, I have a message I'll preach down the line where the voice of mammon sounds like a religious voice in church. And it's just an amazing stuff that we've certainly just uncovered this thing, but now we're talking about a spirit of mammon, a demon spirit of mammon versus the Spirit of God. Who is controlling you? Okay.
Now, I'm going to be very plain with you. If you're not under the influence of God to give, you will be under the influence of mammon. And sometimes mammon will allow you to give, but it happens you won't notice him till after you give. You give and you think, "Dang, I shouldn't have gave that. Why do I have this fear about it"? Or, "Dog, I lost that," or, "Oh my God, what did I just do"? To the point where you'll call the church, "I need that back". Call this church and we'll say, "It left this morning at 2 o'clock". Are you following what I'm saying? So we're not talking about cash. We're not talking about serving God or serving cash, we're talking about serving God by submitting to what he tells you to do or serving the spirit of mammon and submitting to what that spirit of mammon tells you to do.
Now, let's go just a little deeper into this. Thank God for Wednesday night. To be able to cover something like that is just, I love it. Let's look at the characteristics of subtlety that comes from demonic spirits. Matthew 16, verse 21 and 23. I want to show you the subtlety of a spirit. So in other words, you know, if you're not careful, it's like, "How do I know that I'm being governed by a spirit of mammon"? It's not going to be obvious. Satan works in deception, which means there's got to be a little trickery and truth to make it seem like it's okay or you won't welcome it or buy it. So I'm going to show you an illustration of a subtle demonic influence, and that's what is called. The spirit of mammon wants to give you a demonic influence where money is concerned. God wants you to give a godly influence.
Now look at this very carefully, verse 21. This is so interesting because this is in the same context in Matthew chapter 16. Let me show you this. This is very interesting. Mike and I were talking about this, I think, this past week. This is in the same chapter. If you read the whole chapter of Matthew 16, it's talking about Jesus comes up and ask the question, "Who do men say that I am"? He says, "Some say that you're Elijah. Some say you're this. Some say..." And Jesus said, "Who do you say that I am"? And Peter by revelation, Peter by revelation spoke, "Thou art the Christ, the son of the living God". Okay?
And, boy, when he said that, Jesus responded to him and said, "Flesh and blood has not revealed this unto you, Peter," or Simon. 'Cause see, his name was Simon bar Jonah or Simon son of Jonah. And he said, "Flesh and blood hath not reveal this unto you; but my Father which is in heaven, he revealed it unto you". And then Jesus went to talk to him. He says, "Now you're going to be more solid than you've ever been before," and he says, "And upon this rock I'll build my church". And Peter, that's what he's talking about, a fragment of rock. Upon this rock of revelation, okay? "Upon this rock of revelation I'll build my church and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it". And now, this is the same thought. So now here's Jesus saying, "Blessed art thou, Simon bar Jonah". So he's saying blessed art thou because what he said out of his mouth was godly influence.