“If anyone advocates a different doctrine and does not agree with sound words, those of our Lord Jesus Christ, and with the doctrine conforming to godliness, he is conceited and understands nothing; but he has a morbid interest in controversial questions and disputes about words, out of which arise envy, strife, abusive language, evil suspicions, and constant friction between men of depraved mind and deprived of the truth, who suppose that godliness is a means of gain. But godliness actually is a means of great gain when accompanied by contentment. For we have brought nothing into the world, so we cannot take anything out of it either. If we have food and covering, with these we shall be content. But those who want to get rich fall into temptation and a snare and many foolish and harmful desires which plunge men into ruin and destruction. For the love of money is a root of all sorts of evil, and some by longing for it have wandered away from the faith and pierced themselves with many griefs. ” 1Timothy 6:3-10
Tanya Levin wrote the following about Phil Pringle (emphasis mine),
“Pastor Phil Pringle had been impressed by American Howard Cargill’s fundraising presentation to his congregation at Christian City Church and recommended that Brian meet with Cargill. `You don’t make money out of offerings, Brian,’ Phil is reported to have said, `you make it from bible colleges.’ Educational institutions, any buildings that are deemed for education, are the ones that get the biggest tax breaks.” - Tanya Levin, People in Glass Houses – An Insiders Story of a Life In & Out of Hillsong, Money Changes Everything, 2007, pg 99.
Pringle has found another way to capitalise from his bible colleges. He advertises his college as follows (emphasis mine),
“Leadership andMinistry C3 College is not for the faint hearted ‚Äö√Ñ√¨ it is for those who want to enter more deeply into the adventure of a lifetime ‚Äö√Ñ√¨ the radical life that is following Jesus.The Leadership & Ministry stream is designed to equip you for local church ministry, as well as ministry in the market place and you will be trained by world recognised practitioners
in the body of Christ. At C3 College you will have inspiring leadership training, informative and practical Bible teaching and receive skills for living your best life!
” - C3 College, http://www.c3college.com/main/, (Accessed 07/02/2011).
Principal Pat Antcliff that oversees the C3 Colleges misinforms the public saying in 2009 (emphasis mine),
“Lives that make a difference can’t be lived like everyone else. People who want to be fruitful in the service of God, need to be prepared. At C3 College that is what we’re passionate about, that is what we do!
We teach students the knowledge and skill they need to serve God with excellence. Our trainers are current, fruitful practitioners in leadership, creative ministry, youth ministry, children’s ministry, pastoral care and other key areas of local church.
Our specialist ministry and leadership skills are built on a firm foundation of biblical and theological understanding and Spirit empowerment – but our training doesn’t stop here. Lives that make a difference have strong character and well formed Kingdom motivations, attitudes and convictions.
The mentoring and discipleship that happen at C3 College build these areas of a person’s life. Thousands of our graduates around the world are living extraordinary lives serving God. Anything worthwhile has a price tag – However, the rewards for paying the price to prepare yourself to serve God are eternal.” - Pat Antcliff, About C3 College, http://web.archive.org/web/20110128141514/http://www.myc3church.net/node/46, 25/11/2010. (Accessed 07/02/2012)
In June 2010, guest speaker David Sumrall (a world recognised practitioner) taught C3 College students about money. It is clear that Sumrall’s motive was to groom the students to sacrificially finance Phil Pringle’s Vision Builders event. Pat Antcliff, the principal of the School of Ministry, was present in this meeting and did not speak against David Sumrall teaching (37:06).
Read how Sumrall unashamedly twists scripture and uses behavioural methods to convince students to give sacrificially to Pringle’s church.
“How many students were here yesterday? Are you still saved? Of all the meetings that are gonna take place about the Vision Builders this week this is probably this probably the most important meeting.
You’re the leaders of the church. You’re the staff . You’re the students. You set the tone. What happens here is going to determine the hearts of the people later on this week. I cannot possibly emphasise to you enough that what happens here this morning is going to completely determine the outcome what happens the rest of this week.
As the leaders go so the people go. Look to the person next to you and say ‘I’m a leader’. Bible school students I taught you yesterday that if pastors want to develop a prosperous church what are the things that has to happen is that the pastor has to be generous. This is where it begins with you as a student. As a student you say ‘I don’t have much money so why should I give’. Because this is where you begin to learn generosity. This is where you begin to practice generosity. This is where you begin to understand spiritual laws of reproduction that everything reproduces after its own kind. This is where the tone is set.
I like to dig and study in the bible and sometimes I get going after little rabbit trails that take me months to play with in my own devotions. One time I just started going after generational offerings.
And I got a little time today so I can relax – is that alright?
I started going after generational offerings. I told you a little about one yesterday in Romans chapter fifteen. That as Paul closed out an entire section of ministry of his life , he was saying ‘Alright I am done with this entire section of the world. When I’m finished with this offering, I’m headed to Spain’. He spent the last several years of his life just raising an offering from all of the Gentile churches to go to the poor Christians in the church of Jerusalem – to bring healing between the Jew and the Gentile churches – a generational offering.
And he went out to the church of Corinth. And I talked to you yesterday – that the church he had most trouble with was the church in Corinth because the church in Corinth never supported him. Their hearts had never followed their money to his leadership. And so when he is raising this generational offering, of all the other churches, he had to take the most time trying to teach the church in Corinth about giving – because they were the worst givers. Because he had never allowed them to support him and – probably a right decision. But he said you know, ‘Was this so wrong that I did that I sin when I did not allow you to support me’. But he said, ‘I’m still not going to let you’. And then you read on a little bit farther, (as I showed you in the scriptures yesterday in second Corinthians) , the reason! He said ‘Even now when I send to you Timothy you think ‘clever fellow that he is, he sent Timothy to exploit us’.
You know there are people who have such terrible attitudes. And the reason they have these attitudes is the pastor has never led them in giving… Are we still here?”
So he looks at the church in Corinth and he makes a very interesting statement. It’s one of those verses you honestly wish was not in the bible. I’m very serious. Second Corinthians chapter eight. Begin with verse eight. He said ‘I am not commanding you’ – and I am not commanding you today to give an offering. It should not be given under compulsion.
‘I am not commanding you but I want to test the sincerity of your love by comparing it with the earnestness of others – for or because you know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ. That though he was rich, for your sakes he became poor – so that you through his poverty might become rich’. He said ‘Hey! Look at the love of Jesus! Look at the sincerity of His love. He gave up everything to bring blessing to your life. He says “So now I’m looking at you church of Corinth. We’re trying to raise this last offering. I’m never going to be with you again. I’m never going to influence you again.
I’m leaving this entire section of the world and I’m going to go Spain. This is my last hurrah. And I’m trying to make peace with your future so that the Judeazers will no longer come and torment you. I’m trying to let you see that your heart needs to follow your money to the people that gave spiritual birth to you. And I’m trying to let them receive this offering. And ‘A gift given in secret soothe in anger and healing ’. So this is the last ‘hurrah’. Please. I am not commanding you. But let me test the sincerity of your love.”
I would look at you as leaders of the church. Of all people, you know the depth of this vision. You know the sincerity of this vision. Of all people in this church you live with it every day. But sometimes, sometimes staff begin to take things for granted. Sometimes with staff you allow a few little problems. Maybe your supervisor got upset with you because you were late for work two weeks ago and they got after you. You allow little human things to interfere with the sincerity of your love.
I looked at a deacon one time and we just finished pledges to take the church completely out of debt. And I started with my board. I asked each of them to write down an amount and pass it up to the head of the board table. I said ‘It starts with us’. One man says ‘I’m not going to do it’. And I said ‘I know where your heart is. Thank you’. I said ‘I’m not commanding you. I just tested the sincerity of your love’. See if you look at peoples giving, you can see their future. Their money goes long before their body goes. Are we still here?
This is why Paul says ‘I am testing the sincerity of your love’. Now again, we don’t like this verse. We don’t even like this concept because it makes us very uncomfortable. But it is a true test. Our giving is the true test of the sincerity of our love. Not just for God, not just for our leaders, but for the entire work of God. Are we still here?
Another ‘generational seed’ – and then I’m gonna get into a special kind of a seed. Another generational seed was David at the very end of his life. And I talked with you a little about that the other day – this man of stewardship. At the end of his life, David and his generation was – I-I kind’a liked David’s generation . I always look at myself more like a David than a Solomon. David was the generation that broke the territory. The first man since Joshua to take new territory. The only man that ever pushed Israel back to the borders of the full promises. These weren’t the politest groups of people. Ok? These were the warriors. These were the men that shed blood. These were the men that sacrificed. These were the men that paid the price so that the next generation could enjoy blessing. At the end of their life, they showed again the sincerity of their love.
At the end of their life, at the end of their term as they turned it over to the next generation… David and the men that built the nation with him sowed what I would call a ‘generational seed’. People talk about how Solomon built Israel and made it such a wealthy place. Nah! I would not take any credit away from him but I would also say ‘Maybe don’t take any credit away from a ‘generational seed’. Because David and his men at the end of their lives, gave the largest offering in the history of Israel – broke the back of poverty off of that nation for a next generation – tested the sincerity of their love.
Another seed that’s fascinating to study is what I teach my people especially my people that are living hand to mouth – I call the ‘seed of daily provision’. When our people just get born again and they are coming out of poverty, they’re selling vegetables at the side of the street or they’re selling little hamburgers off the little shop in front… We have one lady who started selling little hamburgers. She has never graduated from college. She has nothing. Just started selling little hamburgers . Two for one. Twenty five pesos – two for one. She is now selling three thousand hamburgers a day. Now she is becoming a wealthy woman. But she got hold of a little principle. – the ‘seed of daily provision’. This is based on the widow of Zaraphat. Every day she gave her first to God. Everybody say ‘Give first’. [Audience: Give first]
Some of you that are working and you doing daily wages, I would just sow a seed everyday first. And watch what God does for you. But the seed I want to talk to you today about – and it’s a wonderful seed. I call it the seed of wealth. Now people but stumble at the word but hold steady. Genesis chapter twenty six. Lets begin with verse one.
Now there was a famine in the land–besides the earlier famine of Abraham’s time–and Isaac went to Abimelech king of the Philistines in Gerar. The LORD appeared to Isaac and said, “Do not go down to Egypt; live in the land where I tell you to live. Stay in this land for a while, and I will be with you and will bless you. For to you and your descendants I will give all these lands and will confirm the oath I swore to your father Abraham. I will make your descendants as numerous as the stars in the sky and will give them all these lands, and through your offspring all nations on earth will be blessed, because Abraham obeyed me and kept my requirements, my commands, my decrees and my laws.” So Isaac stayed in Gerar.
When the men of that place asked him about his wife, he said, “She is my sister,” because he was afraid to say, “She is my wife.” He thought, “The men of this place might kill me on account of Rebekah, because she is beautiful.” … When Isaac had been there a long time, Abimelech king of the Philistines looked down from a window and saw Isaac caressing his wife Rebekah. So Abimelech summoned Isaac and said, “She is really your wife! Why did you say, ‘She is my sister’?” Isaac answered him, “Because I thought I might lose my life on account of her.”
Then Abimelech said, “What is this you have done to us? One of the men might well have slept with your wife, and you would have brought guilt on us.” So Abimelech gave orders to all the people: “Anyone who molests this man or his wife shall surely be put to death.” Isaac planted crops in that land – and now this is interesting! This only happens now! He made the promise up here in verses one to three. Verse eight, he’s been there a loooong time. He’s been there what? He’s been there a long time during a famine. Now maybe you’ll begin to understand why later on we’ll read ‘He became rich’. All of the wealth of Abraham was lost in this long time.
Isaac planted crops in that land and in that same year – now there’s no more ‘long time; – and in that same year reaped a hundredfold, because the LORD blessed him. The man became rich, and his wealth continued to grow until he became very wealthy. He had so many flocks and herds and servants that the Philistines envied him (welcome to life). So all the wells that his father’s servants had dug in the time of his father Abraham, the Philistines stopped up, filling them with earth.
Isn’t it amazing when people envy you they try to destroy your wealth. We’ll get into that in a little bit. “Abimelech said to Isaac, “Move away from us; you have become too powerful for us.” So Isaac moved away from there and encamped in the Valley of Gerar and settled there. Isaac reopened the wells that had been dug in the time of his father Abraham, which the Philistines had stopped up after Abraham died, and he gave them the same names his father had given them. Isaac’s servants dug in the valley and discovered a well of fresh water there. But the herdsmen of Gerar quarreled with Isaac’s herdsmen and said, “The water is ours!” So he named the well Esek, because they disputed with him. Then they dug another well, but they quarreled over that one also; so he named it Sitnah. He moved on from there and dug another well, and no one quarreled over it. He named it Rehoboth, saying, “Now the LORD has given us room and we will flourish – we will flourish in the land.”
Let me walk you through very quickly ‘the seed of wealth’. In just a little while you’re going to be asked to show the sincerity of your love. You’re going to be asked to commit to sow a seed. But I also want you to understand that this is not just a test of the sincerity of your love. This is a determination of your future as I talked to you yesterday. When you sow a seed you are not throwing money away – you are sowing a seed. That’s why in my church I don’t even like to use the word ‘offering’ because in people’s religious minds it’s just throwing money away. And the unbeliever relative’s say ‘Why are you giving all that money to the church? You’re throwing money down a rat-hole.’
I tried to stop using the concept and the word ‘offering’ in my vocabulary and keep referring to it as a seed so the people can understand that everything they are doing is working on their future. Who’s future? Now I want to talk to you about a seed of wealth for your future. In verses seven to ten we find a seed of wealth being sown. But the seed of wealth was only sowed – well lets go back up to verse three – a seed of wealth was only sown from a life of obedience. It was sown from a what? We already showed you earlier that Abraham obeyed. Look at verse three. God said
“Stay in this land for a while, and I will be with you and will bless you. For to you and your descendants I will give all these lands and will confirm the oath I swore to your father Abraham.”
Verse six “So Isaac stayed in Gerar”. You are not going to sow a seed and get blessing if you are not going to live an obedient life. Now there are Christians that want to come along and teach you that the law of the seed violates almost every other scriptural law – but it doesn’t work that way. The law of the seed, the law of sowing and reaping works in conjunction with all the other biblical principles.
Isaiah 1:19 If you are willing and obedient, you will eat the best from the land.
If you’re willing and what? [audience: obedient]. There has to be a principle of obedience in your life. Now when you look at Isaac, forgive me. He got as close as he could to disobeying and still obeyed. He was in the land of Gerar. In today’s world you’ call it the Gaza Strip. He was as close to Egypt as he could get and still be in the promised land. He was (forgive me), as close to disobedience as you could get – and still be in the Promised Land. But he was still in obedience!
Now I’ll show you later that that bought some more troubles for him. And you’ll find that when you get as close to disobedience as you can get and still not disobey, there’s always going to be people that will help try to push you over. So I’ve tried to live my life as far away from the edge as possible so that when people push I don’t fall over. We read you earlier how these guys were trying to push you out of the land. It always happens when you get as close as you can and still obey. So please, I am not recommending that you live in the land of Gaza – that you live in the land of Gerar. I’d recommend that you get as far – get up in Telaviv. Get as far as you can away from Egypt.
But here he was – and he understood a principle: “My father was blessed because He obeyed. I’m going to stay in this land. I’m going to obey. I may be a close to the edge as possible but I am going to obey.” Everybody say obey. [Audience: obey!]
So the first thing – if you’re going to sow a seed of wealth, take a good look at your life and make sure that there is no rebellion and there’s no disobedience in your life – that you are living where God wants you to live. [Puts hands to ears to hear audience’s response]
I can’t hear you. [Audience: Amen!]
Secondly – it is a seed that is sown from a family at peace. It is a seed that is sown from a family at peace. The bible teaches us that where you find strife you find every evil thing. Where you find strife you don’t blessing. Where you find strife you find every evil thing. Now I want you to notice he was not a family at peace. Now he did not have peace in his family for two reasons.
Number one – he had not peace in his family because he was living with a temporary attitude. And a temporary attitude messes up your relationships. “What do you mean ‘a temporary atiitude’?”
Nobody who has a permanent attitude of “This is where I stay”, walks around and lies about his relationship with his wife. Nobody said “This is my sister”, when it’s really your wife – if you think you’re going to have any long term relationship here. People only lie and exaggerate in temporary situations. How many people know what I am talking about?
I think that Isaac got focused on a few words: “Stay in this land for awhile”. I think he stayed in Gaza, as close to Egypt as possible because God – he focused on the second half of the sentence rather than the first half of the sentence. He focused on “for a while” and not “stay in the land”. And then he was afraid of these people. And because he was afraid of these people AND he had a temporary attitude, he lied about his wife. Now how many ladies are here? Will you raise your hands? How many married ladies in here – will you raise your hands?
How will you feel, in a strange country, in a strange place, and your husband said “Listen, I am not going to act like I married you”? In other words ladies, you’re on your own. “I’m not going to protect you. I am not going to act like a husband to you. Sweetheart, you’re on your own. You’re going to fend off all those advances on your own. I put no protection. I do not put my name on you.
Now let me ask you a question. What kind of relationship you think he had with her for a while?
I can just imagine coming home at night. “Hey sweetheart give me a kiss.” “Yeah! You want to own me now huh? When you’re out there in the market you don’t know me! When you come home, oh yeah!”
Do you think there was any peace in their house? Mm-mm! (Suggests no.)
No peace – I promise you. Single guys – you do not understand this yet. But as a married man, if you act like “She’s not mine”, that rips a woman’s insides apart. Makes her completely insecure. Makes her feekl completely afraid. So here he is. His temporary attitude – his fear of the people of the land and it has done nothing. These attitudes have done nothing but bring strife into his own family. Now you begin to understand verse eight – when Isaac had been there a long time.
I personally believe that in that long time, living in a famine, Abraham – all of Abraham’s wealth – that had been passed by inheritance to Isaac, was lost. Because in a few moments, I will show you in this way he became rich. He what? [Audience: became rich]
That means wealth started. That means something had been lost. That family strife delayed blessing in his life. God said “You stay in the land and I will bless you”. It was a long time before any blessing happened. Why? Strife! The temporary attitude! The fear that brought strife within his family. Only when that thing got fixed; only when the king exposed it – and I believe that was the grace of God that made it very uncomfortable for Isaac. But it was the grace of God that he got caught cos of his life. Finally the king said “That’s not your sister, that’s your wife!”
“Yeah it really is.”
“Why did you lie to us?”
“I was afraid.”
“NO BODY TOUCH HIM ANY MORE!”
And now, he’s very confident and secure. “Come hear sweetie, I’ll hold you in my arm.” Now it probably took him a few weeks probably even a few months to get her feeling good again. [Laughter] I don’t imagine that happened instantly. At least it wouldn’t with my wife. I would have some penalties to pay for awhile on that one. And every guy hear who is married understands exactly what I mean. I mean you don’t just don’t walk back up and “- Hi sweetie! Come here! You’re mine now!” “Rmm – when’s the next time you’re gonna walk away from me? Hmm?”
But when that peace was finally there, when the fear was no longer there, when he finally got over his fear of the people and his temporary attitude, then he planted the seed.
So when you ask “Why was there the delay?” – he had to get the strife out of his family. So if you’re going to sow a seed of wealth, you have to sow it from a life of obedience and you have to sow it from a family at peace. From a family at what? [Audience: Peace]
Thirdly, the seed that is sown is a reallocated asset. Verse twelve: “Isaac planted crops in that land”. Now again, Isaac had been raised his entire life to be a herdsmen. He was not a farmer. To plant crops, ties him to the land. He’s no longer thinking “God, how quick can I leave? You said “I only had to stay here for a while. God, how quick can I leave? You said “I only had to stay here for a while”. Now he’s finally putting down roots, literally. He’s planting a crop. He’s saying “My contemporary attitude is over”.
Now some of you: you can’t prosper because you won’t STICK some place. “When’s God gonna lead me out? When’s God gonna lead me out? When’s God gonna lead me out?”
I looked at one of my assistant pastors one time and he said “Pastor, why doesn’t God prosper me? All the other pastors on staff are prospering”. I said “Because you’re a TUMBLEWEED! You’re always talking about going someplace else!”. … … Are we still here?
I said “Why don’t you just understand God told you to be HERE? Settle in HERE!”. Are we still here? That one was free.
But in addition to getting over the temporary attitude, putting down roots so-to-speak, he had to do something he had never done before. The grain he would have had, he would have used to feed his family and to feed his flocks and herds. He had not been a farmer. It had never been in their family history, to be a farmer. They were herdsman. They constantly moved around. He had to do something he had never done before, (and that’s a whole ‘nother study), and he had to be willing to reallocate an asset that he had set aside for something else, literally for consumption. And instead of consuming an asset, sow an asset. Everybody say “instead of consuming… [Audience: Instead of consuming] … sow” [Audience: Sow].
Now forgive me but some of you here as you lead the way today, you’re going to some seeds that are going to be a re-allocation of assets.
You’ve saved money to buy an I-Pad. Some of you students, you’ve been saving your money to buy an I-Pad. There’s none for sale anyway, I tried all day yesterday to buy one. I’ve been to 3 Apple stores. Don’t worry about it.
Some of you saved money to buy an I-Pad. You’re gonna sow it. Notice how quiet it just got in here? Some of you, you’ve been saving money for a new car. You’re gonna re-allocate that asset and sow it. Some of you families, you’ve been saving money to buy a house. You’re gonna take that money and sow it.
And it’s gonna take a step of faith for you because it’s something you’ve never done before. But a seed of wealth is not a seed that is just …. “Ahhh… doesn’t mean anything to me”. It’s a seed that is a re-allocation of a consumption.
Fourth thing. A seed of wealth is a seed that is going to bring a harvest of wealth and of envy. Verses twelve and thirteen: “Isaac planted crops in that year and in that same year reaped a hundredfold, because the Lord blessed him. The man became rich, and his wealth continued to grow until he became – very wealthy”. We’ve talked about that. Verse fourteen: “He had so many flocks and herds and servants that the Philistines – envied him. Now envy is a funny word.
Envy is a bad attitude that seeks to destroy what you have. How many of you would like God to bless you – and make you rich? [Sumrall puts up his hand with audience.] Wave your hand at me. Are you sure? [Long pause]
Are you sure? You know what I noticed in my life? When my wife and I were poor and struggling and we had nothing, nobody bothered us. Nobody bothered me! I laughed at my wife and said to her, “Sweetheart. When we drove ten year old cars and we wore old clothes and we had nothing and you know – we were struggling for everything? Nobody bothered us! Now that there’s a harvest season in our life, it is AMAZING!” And you want to look at people and go “You know, you sure didn’t think about me for twenty years when I had nothing. Now that we have a nice car and are buying a house…”, you know, went out and bought my wife a gold watch for our twenty-fifth anniversary, (I figured any woman who could put up with me for twenty five years ought a have a gold watch!).
So I saved my money and bought her a solid gold – gold bracelet, everything – ahhmm… what was it – Franck Muller Conquistador in rose gold, cos red’s her favourite colour. She wore that watch the first day! – Board member walked up – “Pastor SUMRALL! Is your wife wearing a gold watch?” I said “Yeah! I brought it for her twenty-fifth anniversary. Isn’t it beautiful?”
“Well I just don’t think it’s appropriate.”
I said, “Well she’s not your wife, so don’t worry about it”. [audience laughs and applauses]
Now you’re going to have to understand. You sit here now and go “Yeah! I’m going to sow a seed of wealth!” But you’re going to have to understand, with that harvest of riches that God will bless you with, there comes envy. And envy will not be a quiet thing. They will work to destroy what you have. Now for sake of time I won’t go through it all, but how many times have they plugged up the wells? Now when you plug up the wells, and a guy owns flocks and herds – what happens to the flocks and herds when there is no water? They DIE!
So they weren’t just trying to take something away from him, they were trying to destroy everything he had. Now you’re going to have to understand that some Christisn’s out there… [gets theatrically frustrated and places bible frustratingly on forehead - audience laughs] … that when they see you blessed…
[Sumrall preaches really loud] Now they don’t know the price you pay. They don’t know the obedience. They don’t know the work of having a family at peace. They don’t know the sacrifice of sowing and a reallocated asset. They don’t care about any of that because they are not willing to do any of that. But when you do it and God brings you your harvest, and it’s not just a harvest that comes one time, you CONTINUE to grow richer. See, a seed of wealth is a seed that keeps growing. It keeps what? [Audience: Growing!]
It’s not like a ‘one time harvest’, it’s like… you… you get a harvest of something that continues to expand and – (my goodness! That’s a whole ‘nother study that I don’t dare get into today!)… it’s an expanding harvest. It’s like getting a-a little thing of bread and you stick a bunch of yeast to it and it just keeps getting bigger and bigger and bigger and bigger! That’s the kind-a harvest you get when you sow this ‘seed of wealth’.
But there’s always somebody trying to pop your bread. There’s always somebody trying to destroy what you’ve got and you have to be willing to face that. Now the thing that they will do, is they will try to push you into the place of disobedience. They kept stopping up the wells, trying to make him move away from the land. Where is water when you are in Gaza? Where is the closest water? Egypt.
This is why you don’t want to get too close to [long pause] disobedience. Because when the time of envy happens, the pressure that will come against your life is a pressure that will destroy your prosperity and now you don’t want to move because of fear – now you want to move because of frustration.
“How do I continue to take care of everything God’s given me when these people are trying to destroy everything? I’m just gonna get out of here!”
And they try to push you in to the place of disobedience. And once you get into the place of disobedience, what happens to the blessings? They stop.
So I want to encourage you today – as you the seed, move to the place of obedience and move as fr into the place of obedience as possible. As far in as possible. Because when the envy comes – and it will come, I promise you – and I wish I can take that away from you and say “Oh no! No! No! It’ll never!” – it will come! They will do everything they can to drive you away from the place God told you to be and bring blessing. They will drive you to the place of obed- uh, disobedience.
Obedience… family peace… sow the seed and understand verses twelve and thirteen – that his wealth continued to grow. It is going to be a seed – and I don’t know how to explain how it happens cos it happens in every person’s life differently. I can show you people in my church – people your pasters met: George (and Marie M?). They started with us years and years ago, long then we all walked and remembered. They never graduated college. And in the Philippines, if you haven’t graduated from college you’re basically going to be a [undecipherable] driver or a bus driver for the rest of your life, or a janitor. You have not future. They never graduated college.
They started a little export business making (I don’t know what you call them – knick-knacks – something that I don’t particularly have an affection for. [Audience: Laughs] Ok… It just takes up space and you have to hire a maid to dust them you know.) But they make knick-knacks and they make Christmas tree decorations – that kind of stuff. They just started making this little stuff that didn’t look like anything. And now today they supply Target, Maisees, Saxfifth Avenue, Bombay, (I think it’s called Combombay(?) or something like that). But the biggest companies in the United States – Walmart – they’re supplying them!
Companies come to them and say “Listen! We want to have it manufactured in China. But we want you to make the samples. So we’ll pay you ten times the normal price and you make an entire container of samples for us that we’ll use for quality control. I said “George, you need to go start a factory in China”. [Sumrall pulls a mopey face in response to own advice]
He’s brought a mountain now. He opened a restaurant for his son who is a professional chef and now they’re franchising it. Everything they touched just – it’s wealth that continues to grow. But I’ve watched that family. I’ve watched the life of obedience they’ve lived. I’ve watched the family peace that they’ve had. And I’ve watched every time we stood up and said: “We’ve got a vision to fulfill”.
I’ve watched them give the biggest seed they’ve ever sown in their lives and said “Pastor, what a privilege to be able to give into God’s vision. I’ve watched other people that have forgotten how they got where they are today. Owch! They got where they are because that’s how they started. But after sowing into the vision for seven years or ten years… it becomes so… ho-humm! [Sumrall pulls droopy-mocking face. Long pause.] Are we still here?
And they say “Why doesn’t God bless me like he used to bless me?”. Because you’re not acting like you did when He blessed you. It starts with us. Would you stand with me please.
[Music set up on stage starts.] Did you learn something? [Pause.] Would you join your hands together? In just a moment, you’re going to have an opportunity to make a commitment. You’ve heard all the cliché words: “Let it be the biggest commitment that you’ve ever made in your life – yadi-yadi-yadi-ya.”
But you know what? They’re all true because they are all about your future. (Pause.) Look at the person next to you and say “They’re all true…” [Audience: They’re all true…] … Because they’re all about my future [Audience: Because they’re all about my future.] You know, just because you heard something a thousand times doesn’t make it untrue. Truth is truth! [Piano music starts in background. Ryan Smith is still setting up guitar and mic.]
I got up this morning. First thing I did was text my wife, “Kiss me baby”. Now don’t you tell anybody I said that [laughter] because my wife would be embarrassed, OK? But it’s ‘our little thing’. As many times as I text her “Kiss me baby!” it’ll make her smile, and I just think about kissing her. Just because I’ve said it ten thousand times doesn’t make it not true. Just because a truth has been said to you a hundred times doesn’t make it not true. Never get ho-hum with truth because that’s when you start going into a different direction. I want you to follow me in a simple prayer: - I almost started talking in Tagalog. Look I’m sorry, I had to catch myself. Say this with me:
Father. [audience repeats]. In Jesus name [audience repeats] I recognize my place [audience repeats] as a leader [audience repeats] in this house [audience repeats]. I recognize the spiritual principles [audience repeats] and the laws that work [audience repeats]. I ask you today: [audience repeats] let the sincerity of my heart [audience repeats] be shown to you [audience repeats] that I am committed to your vision [audience repeats]. I am committed [audience repeats] to changing lives [audience repeats], that what we talk about here today, [audience repeats] is not just money [audience repeats] it’s something that’s going to change a life [audience repeats]. It’ s something that’s going to bring people to heaven [audience repeats], people I’ll never see until that day [audience repeats]. Let the sincerity of my heart [audience repeats] be proven today Lord [audience repeats] as I sow this seed [audience repeats] in Jesus name… [audience repeats] …” – David Sumrall, Combined Students & Staff Meeting Of C3 Colleges, http://www.c3churchglobal.com/video/dave-sumrall-teaching-at, C3 Oxford Falls, 16/6/2010.
NOTE: ALL SCREEN GRABS WERE TAKEN BEFORE THE 02/01/2012.
EDIT – 07/02/2012: More screen grabs added (07/02/2012). This was to quote Pat Antcliff and the C3 College Website.