Kenneth Copeland - It's Your Decision To Prosper Your Soul
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Kenneth Copeland: Well, you're here again, praise God. I'm so glad, I was just thinking about... I wish, you know, we have Billy Graham Classics on Sunday nights, and I was watching last night and they had two stadiums full of people. This big football stadium full and the overflow stadium. But he got to see all of this. And I don't get to see all of you out there, all I can see is this hole in that camera, but I know you're there and that's what's important. And, Father, I thank You and I praise You for every one of them in whatever country they're in. And it all over the world, the body of Christ is thriving in the midst of chaos. To those that have learned to live by faith and cause and learn that their words count, their thoughts count, their decisions count, and that for their own believing and standing on your Word. Thank You for it in Jesus' name, Amen. Now, I want to mention this. My dad was never without a job 24 hours during the Great Depression. They were married December 1927. So Lindbergh flew the Atlantic. But the best decision they ever made was to tithe consistently. My dad's dad taught him to tithe. My grandfather was, because of no fault of his own, but he didn't have formal education at all. But my grandmother oh, you talk about a tither. I'm telling you, that Southern Baptist woman, I mean, you're going to pay those tithes. And my grandfather, he kinda griped about it a little bit, but then he smiled about it he knew because she'd show it to him in the Bible. And they made the decision to tithe during very, very hard times because of Malachi 3:10.
Greg Stephens: God won't force you to do that.
Kenneth Copeland: No, no, no, no, no. And she said, "Kenneth," they lived out in the country of course and she said I would watch him just as far as I could see him. And I'd pray all day long. And sure enough, he'd come back home with a job. And it was part of that that shaped my life because he had gone early, early to a cotton gin, now, if you're not from Texas I'm not talking about gin like you drink, okay. Where you gin cotton and that raw cotton has got a lot of trash and stuff in it. You take it in there and then they have equipment machines that tear those things apart and clean out and then bale it. Well, it's quite a process.
Greg Stephens: Dirty and dangerous job.
Kenneth Copeland: Yes it is, and so he like his dad taught him, he was there before daylight, standing on the front door and the guy open the door. And my dad's a very positive man, he didn't say, "Y'all got any jobs"? No. He said, "What do you want"? My dad said, "I've come to go to work for you". Now that's the positive way, I've come to go to work for you because that he just had it in his heart to go there. Can you keep books?
Greg Stephens: Yes, sir.
Kenneth Copeland: Come on in. I said, "Well, Dad, have you been taking any bookkeeping class"? He said, "No," but he said, "I knew, now Kenneth you know that I'm good at math". I said, "Yes, sir". He said, "I knew if I could follow the former bookkeepers ledger..." But he said, "and that's the reason I went to Drone's Business College in Lubbock, Texas, to take a course on bookkeeping". Then I was born in Lubbock, December the sixth, 1936. Now, listen to these decisions and how it changed my life. My dad made a critical decision at that point. Now, this is 1936. The country is still in depression. They came to him and said, "Copeland, we have two jobs available". Two jobs in 1936. Whoa, but he had to make a decision. They said, "We would really like for you to come here at the school and teach here in the school on a guaranteed salary". He said, "What's the other one"? Well, he said that's in Abilene, Texas. He said, "What was the deal with that"? Oh, he said, "That one's on commission". Then my dad said, "I'll take that one". Well, the man offering the job couldn't understand why. I didn't either.
Greg Stephens: Make more.
Kenneth Copeland: I said, "Dad, why did you do that"? He said, "If I work for a salary", now you young people listen to me, "If I work for a salary, they're going to keep most of it. My decision was to take the commission and I'm in control of the money that I earn. I work hard, tithe, then I control the income, listening to God being led of God to take that job". So he said, "I took that job". And so he just kept going up. And then he took a job with National Life and Insurance Company in Little Rock, Arkansas. I look back now, that was the Spirit of God, because in October of 1961, TCU was playing Arkansas.
Greg Stephens: And you met the prettiest girl in Arkansas.
— I did. Now I made an outstanding decision to marry that woman. Whoa you talk about a God led decision. Because then the Lord said it to me while I was in Tulsa.
— He directs your steps Brother Copeland, means you're moving. Many religious people have so much difficulty truly believe in God because religion has taught them don't make a choice that God is sovereign and he is supreme and he decides our destiny.
— That the greatest prayer of all, if it be your will.
— Yes, that's right.
— That God is in control so I don't need to do anything, you're fixing to get stopped. Because the God of this world will take his place.
— I knew so many kids when I was young and in youth camp that they wouldn't fully commit to God because they didn't want to go in the mission field. They wanted to live their life before they would commit to God because he was going to ask them to do something they didn't want to do. He doesn't do that. That's not who he is. And so if you learn, and so what happens is, is then you get people that want to be in somebody else's place, somebody to build something and they're jealous of it.
— Did you notice what Heidi Baker did yesterday in that service? She changed shoes.
— That's right.
— With this very big, very fine, one of the finest Swedish men in God I have ever met in my life. But he's a big man. Were you all there yesterday to see that and she's walking around in these shoes that's three or four times too big. She just had to drag them. She said, "Don't walk in somebody else's shoes. You walk in your shoes, you walk in the shoes that God put on you".
— Example is Third John.
— That's it.
— Over in Third John we're talking about making a choice, making a decision. We've talked about getting your spirit in shape and now we're kind of talking about getting your soulish realm in shape. And in Third John...
— Greg, before you read that, this is the scripture that convinced Oral Roberts that we're supposed to prosper, he had... Evelyn saw it. She said, "Oral, stop the car". He stop. She got out. She had her Bible. She got out and laid her Bible on top of the car and said, "Oral, listen to this, 'Beloved, I pray above all things that you may prosper and be in health as your soul prospers.'" He said, "Is that in the Bible"? Oral Roberts said, "Is that in the Bible"? Now, they lived all through all the depression and all of that. Yes, we're supposed to prosper and be in health.
— Well, religion tradition won't teach that to you. Going down to the next verse, "For I rejoiced greatly, when the brethren came and testified of the truth that is in thee, even as thou walkest in the truth". That's a decision. "I have no greater joy than to hear that my children walk in truth". You go on and you read this entire passage and you'll see that there was somebody over here in verse nine, that had wrote in to the church. "But this guy here Diotrephes, who love to have their preeminence among them, receiveth us not". That's a bad choice.
— "Wherefore, if I come, I will remember his deeds which he doeth, prating against us with malicious words: and not content therewith, neither doth he himself receive the brethren, and forbiddeth them that would, and casteth them out of the church. Beloved, follow not that which is evil, but that which is good. He that doeth good is of God: but he that doeth evil hath not seen God". You talk a man so full of pride. Here is a man that lived with the master. Here is a man that was in that last supper. Here is a man that had been in the empty tomb. And here is another man that has an empty head.
— Jesus gave that man charge of his own mother.
— Yes, he did. And here is this mule headed.
— Well he's trying to walk in somebody else's shoes.
— That's right. He wanted preeminence. You can't get preeminence over another man. That's not your decision.
— It's getting your soulish realm, what's right in front of that, prosper and be in health, even as your soul prospers. He got puffed up in his mind.
— So what's preeminents? Pride.
— That's it. So we go over to Philippians chapter four.
— That's the reason he had such a dumb name, Diotrephes.
— Yeah, that's right.
— Well, it proves he was a Greek.
— No, you're right. You're right. Philippians chapter... Well he's probably very educated. The Greeks loved education and mentally. He's probably very much that way, I don't know, I'm speculating.
— Well, and here's a young man hadn't been school.
— No, John. Well, he had been to school, school of the Spirit.
— And you know what they said about that. These are ignorant men. But they have been with Jesus.
— That's it.
— So I forgive Diotrephes, whatever his name is. I have to, I must. Because he's educated beyond his intellect. And there are other people that are like that when it comes to spiritual things.
— So it's making the choice to get our mind, will and emotions in line with our spirit. Philippians Chapter four... Now, wait a minute there's another thing here. The people that got kicked out of the church have a decision to make.
— Oh, that's good.
— Well, what do I need to do? Forgive him, get mad at him. Go find me another church. This is the valley of decision. There's no such thing as a day without decision. You'd have to be asleep all day. But you had to make a decision to sleep all day to not make a decision.
— They were cut off, when you do that, you cutting yourself off from the head of the church. And I think Heidi Baker's example that she had with the chicken that got his head cut off and it's just flopping around everywhere and it didn't even realize that it was separated from the church. And that's what happens in our churches. People get separated from the head of the church and they're busy. She was talking about callings and so forth. But now the chicken has wings. But the chicken can't fly, what are chickens' wings for? To raise her children. Jesus said so. Like a hen. I've seen them do it.
— Then he said, "I desired to do that for you but you chose to make a decision not to".
— I've seen them do it, a little storm come up and I mean, you've got a bunch of little yellow chicks running around out there. And she'll... and do this and here they come... get all up under her and she just squats down like this, she'd rather take the storm than to have it hurt her family.
— That's the way we should be in our churches. Let me show you Philippians four, talking about making a choice with our soul. Four, verse eight, "Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things". We have to make that choice. God does not force your thoughts on you at all. You choose what you think on. And now as a believer, I have access to the mind of Christ that I didn't have before. I don't have to say I don't know what to do. I don't know what to think. I can't remember what I should do here.
— I used to Greg, I was getting an airplane. The day I soloed, I didn't pray about that. I wasn't saved, I was excited. I wanted to fly that thing by myself. I had no fear about it. I was not against prayer and I did pray, scared prayers. But it never crossed my mind to pray about that. I never made the decision to pray about all things like Jesus said in the 18th Chapter of Luke. Men ought to always pray and not to faint. Here's the difference now, if I'm flying, I'm in the cockpit before I ever do anything. I'm thinking about Saturday. Duane and I were we're about to go fly. And so we just and course I've done this with him and then and the crew does it too. We just bow our heads, I said, "Father, I plead the blood of Jesus over this airplane today for protection against every evil spirit, every evil person, every evil thing, every evil plan of the devil is bound and stopped and thwarted, ministering spirits lift us up in Your hands, lest we dash our foot against the stone and keep us in all of our ways, according to the 91st Psalm. And bless our partners all over the world. And Lord, today I have the mind of Christ. But today I have the flying mind of Christ. And Lord, all the things that You've taught me over the years concerning flying from Your Word and in other things and in other ways. And I receive all of those things into my mind that I don't forget anything that I've received from my instructors, anything I've learned from Duane or Steve and all the things I've learned from You in Jesus' name. Amen". Now let's start this thing. I don't ever fly without it. And I'm back in the cabin. I never go in and never get... Don't fire up an engine until that prayer is prayed. It's an established, it is established, my heart and mind are fixed trusting in the Lord.
— So you're setting a fix, if you will, or setting a direction for a spirit-controlled mind rather than a natural controlled life.
— Back before, when we would go on airlines, I had the Lord say to me one time, he said, "There's coming a time when the airlines will not be fit to fly. And right now you start believing God for your jets and you start believing, he said that time is coming". Well, it came quickly but there were times we didn't have an airplane that would go overseas, so we had to ride other airplanes. So we'd get on the airplane. I'd take my boarding pass and Gloria and I would catch hands and I'd say, "Father, we own this space right here".
— You paid for it?
— We paid for it. This is ours. So the rest of the airplane is wrapped around it. Then we would pray that prayer and we pray and we thank You that we will come back to this spot. And we will thank You for an uneventful trip. There never was even an incident on an airplane. Now Jesse Duplantis, several of them, the devil tried to kill him on airplane and one time, he just went up and took the mic away from the stewardess and started praying over the whole thing. Flaps wouldn't come down. That's bad deal in a big airplane. But they did.
— So you make a choice to account for every idle word. Either don't say it or you repent of what you said.
— Now you just hit on, in my opinion, concerning decision and thought and words. Jesus said, "You'll be condemned by your words, justified by your words, and you will be held responsible for every idle word that precedes out of your mouth". What is an idle word? Well, I'll see y'all later if a train don't hit me. Ha ha ha ha.
— Just did it.
— It sounds funny, but it is not. That young man that Brother Hagin told the story about. He said, you know, this young man is born again, Spirit-filled. He and his brother were born so close together, they were almost like twins. And his brother said when he gets here, he said, "You know, I'll never live to be 50". And he just said it all the time. Well, Brother Hagin was praying in the Spirit over this young man, and the Spirit of God said, "Certain spiritual laws have been put in motion that cannot be changed at this time".
— "I'll never touch it again in my thought life" is what Brother Hagin would always say whenever something like that happened.
— He died just a few months before his 50th birthday.
— That God's fault?
— No, that was an idle word that he said most of his life. But he said it so many times, it took over his life and we're out of time. I don't want to quit.
— I don't either.
— Anyway, we'll be back in a little bit.