Keys to Prosperity
I. Bible Concept of Finances
II. Private Personal Preparation
III. Know Biblical Giving Methods and Return
IV. Recognize the Divine Principle
V. Personally Decide the Amount
VI. Give Correctly
VII. You Determine the Harvest Potential
Keys to Prosperity
God wants you to have prosperity in every area of your life. In Acts 20:20,27 Paul says, “I am declaring to you the whole counsel of God.” God has a financial plan for His people. You know about the world’s financial plan. You have been involved in it all your life. I want you to recognize that God’s financial plan is going to contradict the world’s financial plan. There is no way you can compare them. One is a plan of man, the other is the plan of God. I believe that the financial systems in this country are the best there are in the world. But I want you to know that the best that man can offer is just a small portion compared to what God can offer.
The Biblical concept of finances starts with John 3:16. God so love the world that He sent His only begotten Son, Jesus, down here to be crucified and to die. He rose from the grave and became the first fruit of many that were to be born of God. All the rest of us are born of God now, because God started giving. The very nature of God is to give. He gave us the air we are breathing, the water that we drink, the heart that beats. He gave us the blood in our body. He gave us the ground to bring forth the food and the fruit that we need. He gave us the sea to bring forth the fish, and everything else that we need. He gave us the sun to keep warm. He gave us the moon and the stars. He gave us everything that we need.
Before you and I were ever born, God provided everything. Before man was ever placed upon the world, God had already provided the world, the earth, the food, the plants, the trees, the animals, the air, and the water. Before God ever put man here, He provided everything man would ever need to live and exist in this world.
Before Jesus Christ ever died at Calvary, God provided everything that you and I would ever need spiritually to live an abundant, victorious, and overcoming life. God made a provision before the demand was ever made. God provided the air before there was ever a human being to breathe. God provided the water before there was ever a human being to drink the water. God provided the ground to bring forth the food before there was ever a human being to eat the food. God provided a sun before there was ever a man to stand and feel the warmth of the sun. God provided all those things before you and I ever came into existence. When Jesus Christ died at Calvary, Jesus provided all the spiritual blessings you would ever need. All the air you will need and all the spiritual blessings you will ever need have already been provided. All the mental blessings and all the health you will ever need, and all the financial prosperity you will ever need have already been provided for you. You will have to learn how to receive it.
II Corinthians 8:7 says, “…SEE THAT YOU ABOUND IN THIS GRACE ALSO.” In chapters 8 and 9, Paul is talking about finances. “THEREFORE, AS YE ABOUND IN EVERYTHING…” “You abound in faith, in utterances, in tongues, in knowledge, and in all diligence, and so your love in us, see that you abound in this grace also.” He says, “SEE THAT YOU ABOUND IN THIS GRACE ALSO.” This is the grace of finances: the grace of giving, and the grace of receiving. It takes a great grace to give, and it also takes a great grace to receive. That is why the Bible says that it is more blessed to give than to receive. It takes a grace to be able to pull that green out of your billfold that you worked hard and sweated for, and drop it in the bucket or in the box. And it takes grace for you to receive the blessings of God, because until you learn how to receive these things, the Devil will keep you from receiving the blessings that God has in store for you. It is good to learn about faith, healing, tongues, and knowledge, but Paul says to see that you abound — exceed or excel — that there be an overflow in your understanding in this grace also. Don’t just stop with faith. Don’t just stop with love. Don’t just stop with tongues. Don’t just stop with the gifts. But go ahead and learn about this grace also. At most places this grace is not taught, because everybody says, “Well, we don’t want to have that in the church. We don’t want to fool with that.” But they go out and work 40 and 50 hours a week to get some of it. It’s a necessity for life. Do you realize that money is a necessity? It’s not a luxury. You have to have it. Air is a necessity for life. Water and health are necessities for life. Well, God knew that you would have to have finances in this world to be able to put bread on the table. He knew what was going to be happening in 1978. I believe He knew all about it, so He set up a system to start with to help you and me.
In II Corinthians 8:19, Paul said he wanted the Corinthians to travel with this grace. Paul collected the money, and they were going to take it to other people in the body of Christ. So Paul said, “I want you to travel with me within this grace.” It’s a grace in your giving and in your understanding of the spiritual things of God.
Biblical Concept of Finances
It is Bible. It is just as Bible as Romans 10:13 — “WHOSOEVER SHALL CALL UPON THE NAME OF THE LORD SHALL BE SAVED.” Matthew 6:10 says, “OUR FATHER WHICH ART IN HEAVEN, HALLOWED BE THY NAME. THY KINGDOM COME; THY WILL BE DONE IN EARTH AS IT IS IN HEAVEN.” You won’t have any financial needs up in Heaven, and you don’t have to live with them here. If you do, you’re living in the Devil’s lie. You can’t get hold of this and come into the prosperity that God wants you in overnight. But you have to start somewhere. If you ever get to the top of a house, somewhere you’ll have to descend the ladder to get to the bottom. I can assure you, if you will get yourself grounded and based in the Word of God, and stay with it, God’s Scriptures about financial prosperity will work for you just as well as those for salvation, baptism, healing, or deliverance. And it’s something we have to have. I need to speak in tongues every day. It edifies me. But I need finances, too. I have to have beans on the table. I have a wife and children to feed. So it’s an important part of our lives. It’s nothing to get uptight about or be embarrassed about, because this is what the Devil has done. He has kept God’s people from discussing finances, because he didn’t want them to find in the Word of God that God wants them to be blessed.
Do you know why the Devil wants to keep you ignorant about financial prosperity? He knows you love God, and knows that every one of you would be giving a lot more if you had it. Not to the Devil, but to the Gospel. He knows that you love Jesus. He knows that you want to give, but he keeps you where you can’t. He keeps it so that you can just make it. Religion has taught us to be humble; you have to just be getting by. The way to be humble is to have holes in the knees and the seat of your pants, and then you’re a good Christian. Religion and the world have taught us that if you have anything, you have to be stealing to get it. Well, God has a plan whereby He can give it to you.
Private Personal Preparation
In II Corinthians 8:5 Paul says, “…FIRST THEY GAVE THEMSELVES TO THE LORD…” That means that there has to be that personal relationship between you and Jesus Christ. You can’t work God, you work with Him. You can’t con Him. You can’t fool Him. He knows you. So, what you do is get honest with yourself and with the Scriptures, and look into the Word and say, “God, I need finances. Lord, I want to be blessed financially.” And ladies, it’s not wrong for you to want a nice home. It’s not wrong for you to want a good car. It’s not wrong for you to want enough money to take a good vacation, or take your children out to dinner.
The world will teach you that the only way you will ever have a home is to pay $250 a month for 30 years. You can buy a $30,000 home for $250 for 30 years, and you will pay $60,000 for it. You will keep it up for 30 years, and you will insure it in case something happens to you. That’s the world’s financial system. The world will say, “Now, we’re going to sell you this house, but just in case something happens to you, to prevent us from losing our money, you buy this insurance policy made out to us. I’m not going to settle with you unless you protect me.” It’s just a wrapped-up deal. And we’ve been taught that this is a good deal. We’ve been so “good deal” trained that it has kept us in bondage all these years.
You have to first give yourself. Your relationship with the Lord needs to be right. You need to make up your mind that you are going to serve Him, and that you are going to go all the way with Him. So you have to prepare. When you give yourself, one thing you will do is learn the Scriptures. Many men around the country are beginning to teach about financial prosperity. God gave this to me about six years ago. The first time I ever taught it, I was on my way to Oxford, Mississippi. The Lord spoke to me and said, “Son, I want you to teach about financial prosperity up there.” He had been giving it to me. I had been living it, but I hadn’t taught it.
I said, “God, you know how these Charismatics are. If you mention money, they run. Do you want me to teach it? God, why me?”
He said, “Son, I gave it to you, because I knew that you would put it out.”
I went up there and started teaching. We were up there Thursday and Friday nights, and were going to close out on Saturday afternoon. That Saturday morning I decided to teach about prosperity. I figured that there would be the least amount of people there then. The biggest crowd we had had was about 60 or 70. That Saturday morning we had about 50. God began blessing, and the people began to run and shout. We had a tremendous time. When we concluded, we prayed, and the people understood. God really used them and gave us a tremendous financial blessing. But God showed me from there on that if I would begin to teach His people how to be blessed financially, He would bless me financially. I am receiving letters all the time telling how God has financially blessed others. They are finally beginning to realize that God wants to bless them. You are going to have to learn this and get the Scriptures. You can’t do it without the Word of God. It won’t work for you. Hoping and wishing will not do it. They won’t do it for healing or anything else, so you will have to prepare, by learning what God’s Word says.
Know Biblical Giving Methods and Return
Romans 10:17 says, “FAITH COMETH BY HEARING, AND HEARING BY THE WORD OF GOD.” I go over the Scriptures about prosperity at least once a week, and many times more often. I confess financial prosperity at least seven times a week. And most of the time, more than that. I continually go over these Scriptures, and meditate upon them, and I continually stay prosperous. I continually go over the healing Scriptures and meditate upon them, and I continually stay healthy. I continually go over the Scriptures about guidance, and God continually guides me. I continually go over the Scriptures about walking in victory every day, and God continually gives me victory every day. So, you can’t just take it one time, and hear one teaching about financial prosperity, and say, “Oh, I believe it.” You’re going to have to meditate on the Word and stay with it. I don’t eat just once a week. It takes more than that for me to live. Well, if you want to be prosperous financially, you are going to have to take these Scriptures, get in the books and get in the tapes, and base it upon the Word of God. Then God will bless you for it.
A. The Tithe
Malachi 3:10 says, “BRING YE THE TITHES INTO THE STOREHOUSE OF THE LORD.” The tithe is ten per cent. If you make a dollar, a thousand dollars, or a million dollars, a tithe is still ten per cent. I’ll never forget the first time, 14 years ago, when I sat in the Baptist church in Oakdale, Louisiana. I had faced all the trouble I had been in; we had lost our home, we had lost our cars, and everything. I had just got a little job, and made $50 that week. We were living in a two-room house. Not a two-bedroom house; a two-room house, with no bathroom and no hot water. I had finally got a job and made $50 that week. Our cupboards were bare. We had spent $45 of my pay that morning. I got to the Sunday School service that day with $5 in my pocket. I sat there in the classroom, and they brought the little envelopes out. I wished that they didn’t have them. I did not want to face that thing. But I sat there and looked at the little piece of paper where it said, “Tithes.” I knew that I had made $50 that week, and I knew that tithes were ten per cent. That’s all I had, and we were living in a two-room house. I knew it would be the next Friday before we received anything else. I sat there and made up my mind that day. I made my mind up that I was going to follow God. If God said to tithe, I was going to tithe. I reached in and pulled my billfold out, and put the five dollars in the envelope. I made a one-time decision to tithe for God. I’ve never made that decision again.
The reason that God said to tithe is one that anybody can figure. You can’t fool Him on the tithe, because when you get to the end of the year and figure your money, and have given less than the tithe, then you haven’t tithed. This illustration really blessed me: I was in New Orleans a long time ago. There was a big, tall barber who was of Catholic background, and who had been saved a few years before. He came up to me while I was there and said, “Brother Willis, I want to tell you something about tithing. Used to be, when I played poker, before you could get into the game, you had to put up ante.
“God spoke to me and said, ‘Son, if you haven’t put your tithe up, you haven’t even put up your ante yet. You’re not even in the game.’”
Your tithe is your ante for you to get into the game. Anybody who has played poker has to put up an ante to get into the game. So what God says is, “Okay, if you want to get into the game with Me, the financial game, you put your ante up.” That’s ten per cent. He wants a big ante, but He’s going to give you a big blessing. If you’re in a small game, you ante up a nickel, and all you can win is a few nickels. The size of the ante is the basis of how much you stand to win. Well, God says, “I’m going to get you in the game right. Give Me ten per cent.” He says first fruits. It’s your business and you can do it how you want to. But if you don’t give Him His, He’s going to get it sooner or later. A preacher once said that every member of his congregation of 500 tithed. Someone asked, “Do you mean they
He said, “Yes; half of them give it to God, and He takes it away from the other half.
You can’t beat God. There’s no way. People think they can, but sooner or later it catches up with them. I’m not trying to put fear in you. It’s your decision, not mine. But if you want to move with God, you will have to follow His rules and regulations. If you want to do business with a local bank and get that interest, you can’t go down there and put nothing in, and ask them to give you interest on nothing. It doesn’t work that way. If you are going to draw interest from them, and get their financial plan, then you are going to follow their rules. It’s their rules or else.
It’s God’s rules or else. God knew how we would be. That’s why He designed the tithe. A lot of people say, “Oh, if I would just be making a thousand dollars, then I would tithe.” If you can’t give $1, then you’ll never be able to give $100,000. It’s harder to give $1, when $10 is all you have, than it is to give $100 out of $1,000 when you’re rocking along. This is the tithe.
Then, there is the return. God says IF YOU WILL BRING THE TITHES INTO THE STOREHOUSE, HE WILL OPEN THE WINDOWS OF HEAVEN, AND POUR YOU OUT A BLESSING THAT YOU WON’T BE ABLE TO STAND. He promises that He will do it. In Malachi 3:12, God promises that He will rebuke the devourer for your sake. That’s the Devil. The Devil is the one who causes you to have all the trouble you have with your car, your tires, your clothes, and your house. God says that if you will be faithful in your tithing, He will rebuke the Devil when he starts tearing your equipment up. If you go out and buy a refrigerator that should last ten years and only lasts five, the Devil is the one who ate that thing up. If you buy a set of tires that should be good for 40,000 miles, and you get 25,000, the Devil is devouring it; he’s eating it up for you. He will make you buy a set twice a year, when you should buy one just once a year.
God says, “IF YOU WILL BRING THE TITHE, I WILL OPEN UP THE WINDOWS OF HEAVEN AND POUR YOU OUT A BLESSING.” How much will the return be? I don’t know. But He cannot pour you out a blessing unless you are obedient to the Scriptures. “Well, Brother Willis, how long do I have to tithe?” Until you get to Heaven. “Well, Brother Willis, how long do I have to tithe before it starts working?” I don’t know. I tithed for about seven years, and it seemed that all I was doing was barely making it. It didn’t make any difference to me, though, because I had made up my mind. If I had tithed 70 years, God said to do it, and I was going to do it. Of course, I never did believe for the return. When I finally saw that in Malachi, I said, “Hey, Lord, I’m ready for you to pour out my blessings. I’m dry, dry ground. I’m in the receiving place.”
This is a decision everyone has to make. Everybody has to make a decision about the tithe. You either make the decision to or not to. You may have postponed it, but you will make that decision. I want to encourage you to keep good books with God. I keep good books with Him. I give that ten per cent off the top. At the first of every month, I cut a check of whatever comes to us personally, and put it in the Charismatic Teaching Center. I’m just as responsible to God to tithe off what I get as anybody else. At the end of the year, I check it. A couple of years ago when I looked at the end of the year, I noticed it was about $100 shy. I got my checkbook out and wrote an extra check. “Well, Brother Willis, I just don’t think it’s necessary to keep it that close.” Well, maybe it’s not, but I keep good books with God. By doing this year after year, I can stand before God when I need something and say, “Father, I have the figures to prove I’m a tither.” He can’t even argue with me. I don’t stand before Him wondering whether maybe I tithed on the net and it should be a gross. You know what I do? I tithe on the gross, and that way, I have no questions. Therefore, when I get ready to pray and ask God for money, I can say, “Father, in the Name of Jesus, I have the figures to prove I’m a tither.” I say, “I stand before You, upon Your Word, Father God.” He said that if I would bring the tithe to the storehouse He would open up the windows of Heaven and pour me out a blessing.
A lot of people operate this way: they go to the Bonanza and get a $2.50 steak, then throw a quarter up there when they are through. Then they go over to the coffee shop and get a cup of weak coffee, and throw $5 up there. This is what a lot of people are doing with their money. They come here and get the steak, then go to those weak joints and throw up fives. A lot of people give the places where they get their steaks quarters, then go over to their religious churches and give them fives.. I’m teaching you how to get your blessings. Whatever you do about it is your business. You’re going to have to account for you, and I’m going to have to account for me. But I am sharing with you the truth about these things.
B. Give to the Needy, to the Poor
Proverbs 19:17 says, “HE THAT HATH PITY UPON THE POOR LENDETH UNTO THE LORD, AND THAT WHICH HE HATH GIVEN WILL HE PAY HIM AGAIN.” So that means that if you find some brother or sister who’s in financial need, you can easily give him or her something and say, “Father God, giving to a brother or sister in need is like lending it to You, and God, I believe Your credit is good.” That way, everything I’ve ever given to a brother or sister in the Lord is like lending to the Lord. Do you think that God will pay me back? I know He will. Therefore I don’t have any difficulty about giving to people, because I know that the method is giving to the poor, and this is referring to your brothers and sisters in the Lord. Proverbs 19:17 tells the return.
C. Give to the Gospel
Mark 10:29,30 is what we call giving to the Gospel. Remember that Mark 10:29,30 and Luke 6:38 are in red letters. Jesus said it, and He does not lie. In Mark 10:29 we see the method, and in Mark 10:30, we see the return. “AND JESUS ANSWERED AND SAID, VERILY I SAY UNTO YOU, THERE IS NO MAN THAT HATH LEFT HOUSE, OR BRETHREN, OR SISTERS, OR FATHER, OR MOTHER, OR WIFE, OR CHILDREN, OR LANDS, FOR MY SAKE, AND THE GOSPEL’S.” So whenever you give your money, you are giving it for His sake and the Gospel’s. You are giving it to see that the Gospel is carried out. You are giving it to see that the Word of God is spread. He described the method of giving to the Gospel monetary things: money, land, property, stocks, or bonds. The thirty-first verse tells you the return: “THEN HE SHALL RECEIVE AN HUNDRED FOLD NOW IN THIS TIME.” Notice that He says it twice. I wonder if He’s trying to tell us something. He said that you will receive it back one hundred fold now in this time. Now, no one can offer you that kind of deal but God. If anyone else offers you a deal half that good, you just look at them and run. Because nobody can offer that kind of deal and produce. No man can, and no organization can. The only one who can offer you that kind of deal is God, because it takes the supernatural power of God to bring it about.
“BUT HE SHALL GIVE YOU AN HUNDRED FOLD NOW IN THIS TIME, HOUSES, AND BRETHREN, AND SISTERS, AND MOTHERS, AND CHILDREN, AND LANDS, WITH PERSECUTIONS.” Realize that when God starts blessing you, you will be persecuted. “…AND IN THE WORLD TO COME ETERNAL LIFE.” So if you give to the gospel now, He will multiply it back to you one hundred fold now in this time; and in the next, eternal life. We won’t need houses and lands over there. So it’s for the here and now that He wants us to do the giving.
D. Give Praise Offerings
Luke 6:38 is also in red letters, so it is Jesus who stated it. “GIVE, AND IT SHALL BE GIVEN UNTO YOU: GOOD MEASURE, PRESSED DOWN, AND SHAKEN TOGETHER, AND RUNNING OVER, SHALL MEN GIVE INTO YOUR BOSOM.” “Well, how will men give unto my bosom, Brother Willis? I’m not a minister.”
I don’t know how, but God has said they will. Your boss may give you a raise, and put you in business for yourself. God may have to move a new company in town to hire you to give you that raise you need. He will bring you the sales, the contracts, and the business. It just works for you, but the longer you stay with it, the better it will work. Glory to God! We are building a teaching center and paying for it as we go. God has been giving us all the money. The Word says, “GIVE, AND IT SHALL BE GIVEN UNTO YOU: GOOD MEASURE, PRESSED DOWN, AND SHAKEN TOGETHER, AND RUNNING OVER, SHALL MEN GIVE INTO YOUR BOSOM.” Don’t try to figure out how God is going to give it to you. What you will do so many times is say, “Well, I just have a salary” or “I don’t have much of an education.” God doesn’t say that He will multiply it back to you if you have a college degree. “Well, Brother Willis, I can’t talk very well.” He doesn’t say that He will multiply it back to you if you can talk well. “But Brother Willis, with my experience, all I can ever be is a ditch-digger.” Well, He will make you the king of ditch-diggers.
He doesn’t give the conditions, but the Devil and the world get you to thinking about the conditions. If you let the world get you thinking about how it’s going to come, it won’t work. You don’t look out there, you look up there, because God is the One Who said if you give, He will give it back to you in good measure, pressed down, and shaken together, and running over, shall men give into your bosom. I’ve never looked to man for it. I’ve looked to God. If you look to man, you’re going to be disappointed. But if you look to God you will never be disappointed, because God is not a human that He can lie. His Word is eternally true. So the method is to give, and He says He will give it back to you: good measure, pressed down, and shaken together, and running over.
I remember the first time God spoke to me about this. He showed me a bag filled with $1 bills. I saw hands on this paper bag start to shake it. It settled down to about a third full, then He just stacked more in it. “How much will I get back, Brother Willis?” I don’t know how much it will be. He promises 100 fold.
He promises that whatever you give to the poor is like lending to the Lord. He will return it to you. He promises here that if you will give the tithe, you will get into the game. You will be in the game just for obedience. When you start thinking about giving 10 per cent of your money, it takes grace. I’ve been there. I started off with just $5, but if that’s all you have, it takes grace. I had a job making $50 a week, a wife, three children, and one on the way. I had to give $5 when I had nothing, and faced 60 years in prison and a $20,000 fine. Nobody would hire me and everything was gone. I couldn’t do the kind of work I had been doing, because the federal government wouldn’t let me. So, I was thankful to get a job. I had been sitting behind a desk all my life, and ended up on a pipeline. I’ll never forget the first day in one of the cane fields in Franklin, Louisiana. It was hot! I asked the boss how far it was back to the cars. He said about five miles.
I said, “That’s all right.”
He asked, “Why?”
I said, “If I could walk that far, I’d quit.” So I just stayed. I didn’t realize it then, but the Lord reminded me that I had always said that I could do anything. He said, “Let’s see you do it.” Man, I was out there sweating and getting with it. And I stayed with it. I lost about 15 or 20 pounds real quick, and got into shape. I found out that God would take care of us. He has done it all the time and all the way since that time.
Recognize the Divine Principle
Galatians 6:7-10 says, “BE NOT DECEIVED, GOD IS NOT MOCKED. FOR WHATSOEVER A MAN SOWETH, THAT SHALL HE ALSO REAP.” Notice that it says, “whatsoever.” That means kindness, love, etc. “FOR HE THAT SOWETH TO HIS FLESH SHALL OF THE FLESH REAP CORRUPTION: BUT HE THAT SOWETH TO THE SPIRIT SHALL OF THE SPIRIT REAP LIFE EVERLASTING. AND LET US NOT BE WEARY IN WELL DOING: FOR IN DUE SEASON WE SHALL REAP, IF WE FAINT NOT.” You will reap if you don’t faint; if you don’t give up on God. Don’t be weary in your giving. In due season, you will reap if you don’t faint. Don’t begin to justify it. “AS WE HAVE, THEREFORE, OPPORTUNITY, LET US DO GOOD UNTO ALL MEN, ESPECIALLY UNTO THEM WHO ARE OF THE HOUSEHOLD OF FAITH.” All right, the Divine principle of Galatians means that if you sow peace, you get peace. If you sow corn, you get corn. There’s a law of Genesis. Life begets life. Dogs beget dogs. Cats beget cats. Pigs beget pigs. There is a law of beginning, that whatever is planted will beget the same things. So peas, peas; corn, corn; tomatoes, tomatoes. If you plant love, you will get love. If you plant kindness, you will get kindness. Well, what if you plant money? In the Gospel, the Word of God says that you will get it back.
If you can’t give of what you have now, you sure won’t be able to give when you have more. If you’re making $200 a week, and can’t turn loose $20 of it, then you will never be able to let go of $200 or $200,000. Many people say, “If I had a lot of money, I’d be a big giver.” No! Do you know the ones whom you will see ending up being the big givers? The ones who start giving 10 cents of a dollar. The next thing you know, they can give $1 of 10, then $10 of 100, then $100 of 1,000. And the next thing you know, they are the ones who have their pockets lined. You can hear it and hear it and hear it, but it will never work until you do it.
I know that God has blessed me, because I know His Word. I’ve got on it, and I’ve stood on it. I had gone to college, graduated from seminary and was pastor of the First Baptist Church. My kids’ pants were too short, and my wife was wearing old clothes that would have embarrassed anybody. The suits I was wearing were too old, but I stood on that Word. You may ask me, “Well, Brother Willis, you are in prosperity now, and are doing well. Has it always been this way?” I started at the bottom of the ladder. I remember once when God told me to give a man a quarter. I just walked up and slapped it in his hand and said, ” ’Bye.” I couldn’t stand there and face him, but I gave him the quarter. Do you think that I had any pride? The Lord may have been trying to get rid of that pride. Because all those other years I had said, “I can stand on my own two feet.”
In December, 1971, I gave away a bookkeeping business. So, we started by sowing in 1971. Since December, 1972, we have not had any bills. All we have done is cut the top 10 per cent off for God. Then we say, “God, we are going to eat as we want to eat, wear what we want to wear, go where we want to go, do what we want to do; anything we have left we will find someplace to give. We always have some left to give. That’s not bragging, it’s teaching. It works like that for the ministry, too. Whenever we buy something and receive a statement, we write a check. If we order something, and get sent an item, as soon as we receive the bill, we pay it. We owe no man anything but to love him.
You will prosper. God will bring it back to you. So there is a law, a Divine principle. This is not a man’s principle. This is a Divine principle. This is a principle of God. God established this principle in the very foundation of the world. And any man or any woman who knows the Word of God and will operate according to this principle will be blessed by God for it.
If you plant one row of peas, how many rows of peas will you harvest? Your harvest is determined by how many rows of peas you plant. How about corn and tomatoes? If you plant a little love, how much love do you think you will get? If you plant a lot of love, what will you get? If you are kind just to a few people, how many people do you think will be kind to you? If you are kind to a lot of people, how many people will be kind to you? If you plant 10 rows of corn, all you will get multiplied back is 10 rows of corn. If I planted 10 rows of corn, for example, and went to the local grocery store, and said, “Hey, I’m going to bring you a thousand bushels of corn, because I planted 10 rows.”
The grocer would say, “Something’s wrong. It won’t work that way.”
That’s like a lot of God’s people. They are planting $10, and start believing God to give them $10,000. The principle is there. You can’t violate it. You can strain, work, try, cry, moan, and do everything else you want, but the only way you will get it is to obey the Word of God. You say, “Well, Brother Willis, I don’t see it that way.” Tough. You’re wrong. You can’t be more right than God. God is the One Who said, “WHATSOEVER YE SOW, THAT SHALL YE REAP.” It will be multiplied back to you according to what you sow. You must recognize that there is a Divine principle of sowing and reaping. Whatever you sow, that shall you reap. If you don’t do any sowing, you don’t have any reaping to do. There are a lot of people who are trying to reap when they have not sown. It’s like a farmer who had a 100-acre farm, and who sat on the porch when springtime came around, and said, “Well, as soon as fall gets here, I’m going to go out there and harvest me a big crop.” He would sit there all summer. When fall came what do you think he got? That’s like a lot of God’s people. They want God to give to them, but they never plant a crop.
They want people to love them, but they never love anybody. They want people to be considerate toward them, but they are never considerate toward others. They want people to be kind to them, but they are unkind. They want people to smile at them, and yet they never smile at anyone, unless they are smiled at first. If you give a smile, you get a smile. You will get what you give. Wives, when your husbands come home, give them sugar, and you will get some sugar. I’m talking about finances now, but it’s a Divine principle in every area of your life. Whatever you plant is what you will get. If you go around slapping people, I can tell you what you will get. You won’t get love! You’re going to reap what you sow. Whatever you want to receive you are going to have to plant. But that old natural man says, “No, let them do it to you first.” A lot of people say, “If God would just give me a lot of money, boy, I would give.” But those people never get it. Do you know why? God knows they are lying. They wouldn’t give it.
You Must Personally Decide the Amount You Are Going to Give
II Corinthians 9:7 says, “LET EVERY MAN ACCORDING AS HE PURPOSETH IN HIS HEART, SO LET HIM GIVE, NOT GRUDGINGLY, OR OF NECESSITY: FOR GOD LOVETH A CHEERFUL GIVER.” So you must personally decide the amount, and decide according as you purpose in your heart. “Brother Willis, how shall I decide? How should I purpose in my heart.?” You should purpose in your heart to give according to the Word of God. Don’t let anyone tell you what to give. You should let no man tell you how much you are supposed to give. You can read, and if you can’t, you can listen to tapes. Read the Bible, find out what the Scriptures say, and obey them. II Corinthians 8:8 says, “PROVE THE SINCERITY OF YOUR LOVE.” We tell God, “Oh, God, how I love you. Thank You, God, that You are going to take me to Heaven.” But when it comes to supporting His Gospel and supporting His Message, sometimes we don’t prove the sincerity of our love. II Corinthians 8:24 says, “WHEREFORE, SHOW YE TO THEM, AND BEFORE THE CHURCHES, THE PROOF OF YOUR LOVE…” He’s saying, “Hey, get your money ready, and prove to them the sincerity of your love. You said that you were going to give, so prove it to them.”
II Corinthians 9:7 says, “…GOD LOVETH A CHEERFUL GIVER.” Now, how can you be a cheerful giver? That Scripture used to plague me, because I never could give cheerfully. I would give it, because I knew that the Word of God said to. But I would say, “God, how in the world can I give $10 of $100, when I need it more than You do, because You don’t need any money? Yet You say to be a cheerful giver.” Do you realize that God doesn’t need the money? He has us giving so that we, not He, can be blessed.
As I began to meditate on that, God began to show me. Knowing the keys causes one to give cheerfully. Here’s an example that I’ve always used. If you went down to the bank tomorrow, and deposited your check, you could do it cheerfully, because you would know that you could get it out any time you wanted to. If you went tomorrow and put some money into your savings account, you would do it cheerfully. Just because some person put a stamp or signature into your savings book, you would walk off believing that you could get it out any time you wanted to. You believe that you are going to get the six or seven per cent interest, also. Well, in Mark 10:29-30, the principle is WHATEVER I GIVE UP FOR THE GOSPEL, HE WILL MULTIPLY IT BACK ONE HUNDRED FOLD NOW IN THIS TIME.” So whenever I do my giving, I can do it cheerfully, because I know I will get it back 100 fold. If you settle for six or seven percent while I’m getting 100 fold, it’s no wonder that I stay so far ahead. I can do it cheerfully.
Years ago we were in Tulsa, Oklahoma, at Kenneth Hagin’s camp meeting. They were starting a Bible college, and I didn’t know it then, but God was having me sow for a Bible college. They were taking up offerings for the Bible college, and I said, “Well, I’m going to give $100.” I started to write that check, and God said, “One thousand.” All at once, it ran through my mind that $1,016 was all we had. I asked my wife to look at her checkbook, and I was right. I went ahead and wrote that check for $1,000, wrote Mark 10:29,30 on the back of it, and said, “Glory, hallelujah! What’s 100 times $1,000?” I would rather put my money in the bank of Heaven than all the banks of the world put together, because it will never fold or close up. When I give my money to the Gospel, I have a guarantee that I will get 100 fold return. When I give a praise offering, or give my tithes, I have a guarantee that God is going to give it to me, because the God Who guarantees that He will multiply my money back to me is the same God Who guarantees that there is a place called Heaven. And He’s going to take me there. If He is not good for this down here, then maybe He will not be good for that up there, either. How can you believe Him for the sweet bye and bye, and not believe Him for the present? God loves a cheerful giver.
When God first started showing me this a few years ago, I didn’t have a lot of money, but everybody I could find to put a buck on, I’d put it on. I’d walk around and say, “God, can I give to him?” People thought I was crazy. They thought I was nuts. The next thing they knew, I came up here with my new (paid for) station wagon. I started telling this to people years ago, and they said it wouldn’t work. Then I came up here with my new Oldsmobile, and they said it wouldn’t work. The same year, I came up here with a new Cadillac, and they said it wouldn’t work. The same year I got a new five-bedroom home, and they said it wouldn’t work. It still won’t work, but I’m still driving and riding and living in it. Oh, it works, brothers and sisters! It works. It takes diligence to get on it, and it had better be faith, but you have to start sowing somewhere.
Our ministry operates that way. Just the postage to send 200,000 Fill the Gap newsletters to homes in the U.S. costs $4,000. We’re sowing that much Gospel to people we will never see until we get to Heaven. This is why God is blessing us. We are sowing to people we will never see, in just about every state. You may wonder where the money is coming from. Well, don’t ask me. I don’t look at the books and I don’t want to. I just believe God, and keep giving. I’m looking to God. We just sit and God blesses us. God has given us the money to buy eight acres of land to start building a new teaching center. Don’t ask me where the rest of the money will come from, because I don’t know. That’s God’s business.
God impressed my wife and I to sell our house and sow the money to the ministry. We sowed that $79,500 to the teaching center. At 100 fold, I could never spend all that money. I haven’t even tried to figure it up, and don’t need to. That’s more than I’ll ever need, so I’ve got it made. If you are a doer and not a hearer only in financial prosperity 365 days a year, it will produce, brothers and sisters. This is not the teaching of a man that I am giving you, but the teaching of God. I am giving you what the Word of God says. I’m not teaching history, or sociology, or philosophy, or anything else. I’m teaching the Word, and it is supported by the eternal God, the King of Kings and the Glory of Glories. Whenever a man or woman gets on the Word of God, the Devil and all the demons of Hell can’t stop the Word from working. Do you think anything can keep you from going to Heaven if you believe that Word? Well, if you believe the same way about prosperity, there is nothing that can keep you from prospering. If Satan can’t stop you from going to Heaven, then he can’t stop the money from coming. If he can’t stop you from going to Heaven, then he can’t stop you from getting your healing. If he can’t stop you from going to Heaven, then he can’t stop your mind from getting free from fear and frustration, worries, insecurities, disappointments, and heartaches. He can’t stop it. He would like to and he wants to, but he just doesn’t have what it takes. Jesus pulled his fangs at Calvary. He whipped him.
The Bible says that the wealth of the wicked is laid up for the just. All those wicked people making all that money are just laying it up for us. I’m glad they are making it, because the more they make, the more there is laid up for us. I am just using my faith and tapping what is mine.
You Determine the Harvest Potential
II Corinthians 9:6 says, “BUT THIS I SAY, HE WHO SOWETH SPARINGLY SHALL REAP ALSO SPARINGLY: AND HE WHO SOWETH BOUNTIFULLY SHALL REAP ALSO BOUNTIFULLY.” Now if God said it, then it is true. Therefore, if you sow sparingly, then you can only reap sparingly. If you sow bountifully, then you will reap bountifully. You say, “Brother Willis, how does it work?” I don’t know how it works, but it works just because God said so. You determine the harvest potential. If you sow one row of peas, then you can’t get a blessing from but one row of peas. You say, “Brother Willis, I can’t afford to give and invest in the Gospel. I just owe too much now!” Well, you can’t afford not to, because if you will invest in the Gospel, then you will get out of whatever else you are in. God will get you to where you can pay it off. I started with quarters. I was giving my tithe and I started giving the extra quarters. I can remember the times when all I could put in was a dollar, or when it was a strain to put just a couple of dollars in. You may never have lived that way, but I remember where I came from. I know where I have been. I can remember when we sat in that little house in Oakdale, Louisiana. If we had beans and rice for supper, it was because someone had brought us the beans and rice to eat. If we had flour gravy and biscuits, someone had brought us the flour gravy and biscuits. A lot of times that was all we had, and I blessed it and thanked God for it. But I got with His Word, and just stayed with it. God is no respecter of persons. He doesn’t say, “GIVE, AND IT SHALL GIVEN UNTO YOU MEASURED, PRESSED DOWN, AND SHAKEN TOGETHER” is just for ministers. He doesn’t say, “I’ll multiply it 100 fold just for Rev. Willis, but it won’t work for the rest of you.” He doesn’t say that. He says, “GIVE, AND IT SHALL BE GIVEN TO
YOU; GOOD MEASURE, PRESSED DOWN, AND SHAKEN TOGETHER, AND RUNNING OVER, SHALL MEN GIVE UNTO YOUR BOSOM. FOR WITH THE SAME MEASURE THAT YE METE WITHAL IT SHALL BE MEASURED TO YOU AGAIN.” I’m looking for the running over. And, glory to God, He’s going to do it!