[Home] [How to Measure Your Beliefs] [The Man-Made Church] [Misc]

[Home]>[The Man-Made Church]>[18. How to Control Money]

 

This is the 18. Chapter of "The Man-Made Church."

 

18. How to Control Money

 

by Frank L. Preuss

 

You have got only two choices: either you control money or money controls you. God created you to rule - to rule over the circumstances in this life. This is delegated authority you are using - God gave you this authority. You can only use this authority successfully when you yourself are completely under the authority of God. This means that you do what God says - what he says in his word. If you let the devil take over in one area of your life, then you have lost authority there and he is in control. The devil likes it when you are not in control of your money because then he can control your money and he can control you. When he controls your money then he makes you spend more money than you have got and makes you spend your money faster than it comes in. He wants you to suffer. And what you read just now is written so that you find a way - in detail, a step-by-step procedure - to get out of the control of the devil over your finances. When you have learnt to control your money - and only then - will you be able to start to prosper.

You might spend 8 or even 10 hours per day to make money and you might spend no time at all to control that money which you earn. When you are a working person then you are running a business; your business is it to make money for yourself and for others. To keep a record of your money is a very important part of your business. Only if you keep a written record of the incoming and outgoing money will you know what is going on and will you be able to control it.

If you are in a situation where your money runs out before the end of the month then there is only one way of getting out of that situation: you have to do something about it and you have to do something drastically.

If you are not prosperous and if you have not more money than you need then you have no control over your money. Your spending is not controlled by you but by somebody else and you have to put an end to that.

The King James Version of the Bible says in Ecclesiasticus 42:7, "put all in writing that thou givest out, or receivest in."

And this does not just apply to important amounts, the small amounts you spend are as vital as all others. It says "all" and it says "in writing." And in Ecclesiasticus 19:1 it says, "and he that despises small things shall fall by little by little."

You have to start to keep an exact record of every amount of money that comes in and of every amount that you spend. Especially every amount you spend you have to carefully write down. Start today and today will be the day you start prospering.

At the end of this chapter "How To Control Money" you will find two lists. Both are called "Spend List." The first is an example, where some figures are written in, to show you how the list works, and the second is empty and is for you to copy and to use for yourself.

Make some copies of the second list which is at the very end - the empty one - and start today writing down all amounts of money you spend and all amounts of money you receive. As an alternative make yourself a spreadsheet. Then you have got the advantage that the calculations are done by the computer.

On top you write the name of the month and the year. Into the first line you write the date of today. Let us say today is the first day of the month. So you write a "1" in the first column called "Day." In the second column, the column called "Description," you write "Cash on hand." Then you count the money you have got and let us say you count an amount of 700.00. This amount of 700.00 you write into the third column called "Received." This is the money you received or that was left over from the previous month. It is your starting balance. Go to the attached list called "Spend List," but the one where this example is indicated. When you now carry on reading, always compare what you read with this example. The example is very simple and when you read every entry made in this example, you will understand how it works and you will understand how simple the whole procedure is.

Then you spend the first amount. Let us say today is the first of the month, so you write a "1". This "1" you write into the first column called "Day". This you write into the second line of your Spend List. Into the second column you write a short description for what you spend the money, let's say you bought something for lunch, so write the word "lunch". This is the column called "Description". And into the column named "Total" you write the amount you spend for the food, let us say the amount was 4,80. Then you repeat that amount in the column called "Eat". While you are writing this you think about this money you spent and you evaluate this purchase. Was it really necessary to spend this money? Would it may be have been better to bring some fruit from home and eat that? Would not that may be also have been healthier for your body? Make a plan for tomorrow accordingly. The reason why you are writing your expenses down is to learn to control your money. Only when you learn that, will you start to prosper.

And with this procedure you are learning to control money, but actually this is the way to learn to control yourself. You could also start to learn to control your tongue, your thinking, certain body functions like waking up at a desired time, or studying the word of God regularly. There are many things we can use as learning examples and we can even start with several at the same time. So start today and enjoy the whole thing. And after some time look back and see how you have advanced and then gain strength and confidence from this achievement. Every step you do, do it in a spirit of achievement.

In the afternoon it was hot and you bought a soft drink. You paid may be an amount of 1.30 for that. Write in the third line in the first column again "1" for the first day of the month and write into the second column the word "soft drink" and write into the fourth column, the column called "Total" 1,30 and repeat that amount in the column "Drink". When you came home you filled up petrol and you spend an amount of 63,81. Record this in the fourth line and write it also in the column "Travel". See the attached sample list how to do this.

Now you have to do this every day you spend money or you receive money. Some days you might have to do this twice per day because otherwise you might forget details. Don't delay this until the next day; discipline yourself to do it the same day the transaction of money has taken place. Buy a lever arch file and a punch and put these lists into the file and also put all cash slips into this file. This helps you to find things and to investigate your spending pattern. Keep this file at a place where you have easy access to it so that it is little effort to record all your money movements all the time.

After you have recorded the purchases of the day you perhaps pay your rent - an amount of 220.00. Again write a "1" into the first column, the word "rent" into the second column and the amount into the fourth column called "Total" and again into the column called "Live", because you pay for the place where you live. The reason why you write the amount twice, that means into two columns, is to split up your spending into different categories to make it easier for you to see where the money is going. These different columns of the main column called "Spent" are there to help you to break down your spending by categories that are important to you and you can change them in such a way that it becomes more visible to you where the money goes.

At the end of the month - on the last day of the month - you add up all the columns to get the totals. By then you have got already a fairly good picture of your expenses of that month. But now is the time to spend evaluating all the figures. And then you have to start to make plans in your life how to cut down your spending. You see, it is no good to write down all your expenses and then you don't do anything about it, because then you just have it in writing that you spend more money then you earn and that does not do you much good. You have to do something about it.

Have a close look at all the amounts you have added up. Have a very critical look at each of them. Look for example at the column called "Phone". May be there is one of your weak points. May be it is your main spending problem. May be you have to cut down on that item. What about a radical move: You don't use the phone any more for outgoing calls, only for incoming calls. You start answering all incoming phone calls with a letter, not any more by phoning back. May be your problem is far deeper than spending too much money on phone calls, may be you want to escape out of situations and your first reaction is to phone. Many people pick up the phone instead to lean back and to think. May be your problem is that you turn to the phone instead of turning to God? May be this phone is something like a god in your life and you can't really live without it? What about a more drastic move? Go to the telecommunication company and cancel your phone. You might say: "But what if something happens to my child and nobody can phone me?" Now you can see that there is may be a lot more wrong in your life: fear and lack of trust in God's protection.

I was once sitting on a bench relaxing after a walk. Next to me sat a child playing with a mobile phone and next to the child sat a lady. The lady started a conversation with me and I commented on the ability of such a young child being able to operate a mobile phone. And then the lady told me that it was her daughter and that she was very able to use the phone and then she said - it was something like an excuse - that the mobile phone was just for emergencies. After a short while the lady stopped talking to me and searched her handbag for her own ringing mobile phone and then started to talk to this device. Suddenly her casual tone of voice changed into one of panic and she told the person on the other end that she would be at home just now. She stopped phoning, excused herself, saying that something had happened to her son at home and she has to leave now and the two said goodbye and left. May be for this lady this event was a confirmation of the usefulness of a mobile phone, especially in an emergency. But what she probably does not realize is that she believes in having emergencies and that this belief of hers creates her emergencies. For me it was such a dramatic demonstration of a person's belief expressed in words and of the manifestation of that belief. Just a view minutes had passed after she had put in words what she believed - that she believed in emergencies - and the emergency was created and was reported back to her. I on my side I measured her belief - heard her words and evaluated them - and then the power of these words and of this belief was demonstrated to me. Indeed a powerful demonstration.

This event also demonstrates how beliefs, and especially negative limiting beliefs get installed in a child's mind and life. Such a child just grows up with this and for her it is how life works and it is reality to her. Now imagine the effort that would be required for the members of this family to rid themselves of this belief. Imagine all the different steps they had to do in order to renew their minds. They would have to realize what fear is and how it works. They would have to realize what their beliefs are and how believing effects their speaking and how speaking effects their reality. Just to realize that we create our own reality would be a big step, and to realize that fear takes such a powerful place in this activity of creation.

So check yourself for fear in your life. Is fear the reason for having and using a phone? Is the fear of emergencies causing you to do and to have certain things? And is this fear of emergencies creating these emergencies?

If you really want to prosper then there is only one way: to cut all expenses that are unnecessary and to especially cut those where you spend money for something you are addicted to, spending money on things that are bad for you and poison you.

That is the whole point of controlling money. You are addicted to spending money when you are spending more than you get in. And that is what you have to overcome: this addiction of spending money. And this addiction is there in other areas as well, for example phoning all the time. This phoning I just use here as an example, it may be something else, or a lot of other things.

You can be addicted to the phone without having one. May be because of your inability to control your spending - and therefore to control yourself - the phone company disconnected your phone because you did not manage to pay. Or you never were a telephone subscriber, but you still like to use the public phone. Now you say, "Yes, but that is a very small amount." It is not so much how big the amount is, it is more a question if you are a compulsive doer of something.

Now you might say, "I am not addicted to phoning and I am also not addicted to spending too much money. I also don't think that I make unnecessary calls. The calls I normally do are actually helpful and in a way it is a ministry to people." A question could then be, what does your husband think of this? Is he making sometimes, or quite often, statements that indicate that he does not think too much of your phone calls and that he also thinks that it is his money that is used and that the calls are often unnecessary or too long? But now a more earnest objection. What about the person on the other end? Is that person so prosperous that it can afford to return your calls? May be for that person the cost of that phone call is quite something. And may be in addition to that that person also tries to overcome the addiction to phone and now you, a person he respects much, tempts him and he thinks he might not be polite by never phonic back.

Such situations are sometimes similar to situations we face when we deal with drinking alcoholic beverages. We might feel free to sometimes drink a glass of wine. But what about the person that sees us doing so? What is the effect of this? Especially if this person is just busy trying to overcome a drinking problem.

Coming back to our spend list, especially look at the big amounts you have spent. Like the big groceries payments may be. Have a good look at the details of the cash slip. Maybe there are items which are simply unnecessary. What about sugar, sweets, biscuits etc.?

Some Christians think that we have to live ascetic, that we must buy always the cheapest and that we must not allow ourselves anything. That would be completely wrong. A Christian should be prosperous, but he should be free from being under compulsion. There are many areas of addiction, like speaking too much (especially on the phone), like alcohol, cigarettes, coffee, gambling, overeating. A man says "I can't sleep at night" and you ask him "Why can't you sleep?" and he replies "I am drinking 6 to 8 cups of coffee during the day" and you say "But why don't you stop drinking coffee?" and he replies "But it tastes so nice". Such a person is a slave, he is under heavy bondage, he has no peace - the devil has got him nicely.

Is there anything wrong with drinking a cup of coffee? Why should I put toxic stuff into my body? Why should I put all these additives in my body? Why should I even put all these manufactured foods into my body? Why don't I simply put food into my body that is fresh and alive, like fruit, raw fruit? May be I am even fortunate enough to live in a country that has fresh fruit all the year round or in a country that is importing fresh fruit in winter times. If this is not the case then I should at least eat fresh fruit during the time it is available.

When somebody drinks 6 or 8 cups of coffee per day then he is not in control. Then the devil is lording it over him and takes his sleep away. This man has an area in his life where the devil is lord. There are only two possibilities, either the devil is in control or God is. Either the devil is lording it over you or Jesus Christ is Lord. So when you say that Jesus is Lord in your life then check if there are not areas which still have to be brought under His lordship.

Do you think drinking soft drinks can be an addiction? First of all is it necessary? Is it healthy? Would not water be very much better? What about the sugar? You might say "That is not a big expense". What about a person with a very low income? Might not such a person do this because it is the accepted thing to do? May be he drinks soft drinks because he thinks that if he drinks water people will look down on him. What is the effect of advertising on him? Are you free from the influence of adverts?

If you are blessed to live in a place where you have tap water and if you are even more blessed to live in a place where you can also drink this tap water then you should do so. The only drink you ever buy might be some milk. And whenever you go out you might take a bottle of tap water with you. The saving of money is not really the important thing here but more important is the healthier living and the saving of time. Just think of the handling of bottles, of going shopping and of carrying the stuff into your place. And then of storing all the goods and then of handling the empties again, of deposing the containers. What time and energy could you save and use more efficiently? You might not even need a car anymore. What kind of influence would all of this have on the environment?

You should start going into a shop or into a shopping centre and look at all the goods and say to yourself, "These are all the things I don't need." Become completely unconcerned regarding consumer goods. Start saying, "I am not a consumer."

By now you should have realized that it is not really the money that matters, it is the question if you are in control of the things you do or not. If you want something you actually can't pay for - and that is it when you spend more money then you earn - then you have got a couple of serious problems. Let us look at them.

Now when you read this paragraph, you will find several motives for overspending. While you are reading this, check if may be some apply to you. The following are motives for overspending: You are actually spending money that is not yours. You actually want to live from other people's money. Because if God decides to demand this very night your life from you (Luke 12:20) who is going to pay your bills? The people that expect money from you might get nothing - so you actually have taken their money away. You are not happy with the situation God has put you in - you are not content. Instead of thanking God for what he has given you, you want more and you want it now. You don't want to wait until the right time - until you can afford it. You are jealous. You see what other people have and you want it as well. You want to show off. What other people think of you is important to you. You think if you don't live in the right suburb then people will look down on you. You are full of pride. You want to be able to say that you live in your own house, you are better than people who only can afford to live in rented places. You want to fulfil the desires of the flesh (Ephesians 2:3). You are not spiritual but carnal, the physical things in life are more important for you than the spiritual.

We now have arrived at the basics. The devil's fall was because of pride, jealousy and lust for material things and he wants you to be where he is and therefore he wants you to suffer as well. You simply have fallen for the basic tricks of the devil and you are reading this to get out of it. It is the truth that will set you free. You will know the truth, and the truth will set you free (John 8:32). The first step to the cure is to realize what the situation is. The second step is to fight the battle in your mind. The third step is to ask the Holy Spirit to remind you always when you are overcome by all these desires of the flesh to just help you to realize them as such so that you can change your thinking patterns and think the opposite: Thankfulness, contentedness, humility, spirituality.

Now whenever you enter an item into your "Spend List" ask the Holy Spirit to show you what the reason behind this spending was - let him show you the real spiritual reason why you made that purchase. And then lead these thoughts to Christ - check what would have been the right thing to do. This is an excellent way to learn to be led by the spirit of God. Spend some time doing this work. You spend so many hours making money or running after money - so spend some time handling your money. Do a proper job of it.

There is a business rule that says that it is more important to spend time on how to cut down costs then to spend time on how to make more money. Put more effort into reducing costs and less effort into increasing income.

Not to buy something helps you to reduce spending, but also consider another, may be even more important, aspect of the purchase. This purchase might cause you to spend time to look after it, it needs may be maintenance, this again might cost more money. But what is more important is your time. If it needs maintenance it needs your time. Your time to do the maintenance or your the time to organize it. If you spend 8 to 10 hours making money per day, then there is very little time left to seek God and read His word - the main activities to become prosperous. This is the reason why a Christian should live a simple life, so that he is not distracted by "things". Leisure is what gives the student the chance to gain wisdom; the person with few business affairs grows wise (Ecclesiasticus 38:24). This should be one of your reasons to prosper, that you have more time to seek God's wisdom. And this also works the other way round, the more time you spend to seek God, the more you will prosper. But the first step is to get out of bad spending habits. When the devil suggest to you to buy something then is the time to resist him and to use the name of Jesus.

When you write down such an expense where the devil tricked you again into spending on things you don't need, make a plan in your mind to fight the devil the next time he wants you to fulfil the desires of the flesh. These columns under the subject "Spent" can be changed in order to make it easier for you to detect where problem areas lie. You also can change them to make it easier to get your figures for your income tax return. For example you could have several columns which cover "Travel" items. You could for example have 4 columns just for your car expenses like "Fuel & oil" and "Repairs & maintenance" and "Insurance & licenses" and finally "Wear & tear" which is depreciation.

And because you are going to prosper as from now on, you may run your own business one day and then you know already how to keep your books, which is an important part of running a business. And then you might have to keep two sheets per month, one for your private spending and another one for the business spending. But when you start a business choose a form that allows you to have more time than you had when you were working for wages or for a salary. It is no good to start a business and then become a slave again - a slave to this business. A business should allow you more time to seek God, because you might work only half a day or only parts of the year.

Now let us look at such a simple and basic expense as soap. Such a purchase seems so basic and necessary that one should not even discuss it. But what is the reason for buying soap? Why do you use soap? Let me suggest a reason. The traditions of the Elders, the parents, society etc. tell you to use soap. If you don't then you will be an outcast. Just imagine you telling somebody that you don't use soap. They will back away from you. What happens when you use soap? You remove all the moistures and natural oils of your skin. Your skin becomes dry. Soap strips off the skin's natural acidity. Once this acid cover is removed you have created the need to replace it. You now have to buy products to put on your dry skin. With the purchase of soap and the purchase of all kinds of skincare products and bath additives you help to keep, further develop, and sustain the chemical industry and the further deterioration of the environment.

The system, especially all the people from the pharmaceutical and chemical industry to the drug stores and supermarkets, will not be impressed with a movement away from their products. But your body will like it - and the environment, God's creation.

What about hair shampoo? Is it good for you or is its use similar to the use of soap?

Just stop to use deodorant for a longer period of time and observe the result. After some weeks or months your skin in that area will start to smell rotten - this is because your body now starts to secrete all the toxic stuff your cells had to absorb all these many years by you putting deodorant on them. Your body starts to expel the bad and to build up again the good. And when the good is re-established you will be so glad about it that you can't understand how you could treat a part of your skin so badly all these years.

To remove the natural acidity of your skin also helps bacteria - the wrong bacteria - to breed and prosper. And these again help scratches and sores on your skin to deteriorate.

So how should you treat your skin? Clean it with water and with a brush. Be nice to your skin. Don't act against it. Using a brush also helps to remove dead skin cells, chemical skin care products like soap and shampoo and deodorant do not.

It is such a good feeling to touch your skin and feel that it is alive, happy, smooth and healthy, especially when you then remember how it was when you still treated it every day with soap and all the other unnatural stuff.

So do yourself a favour and stop buying all kinds of unnecessary and harmful goods, like artificial chemicals, and become healthier.

If you think that not using soap is a tough one, then I have here an even better one for you.

I read about a guy called Sebastian Kneipp (1821-1897), who is known for his water cures, called "Kneipp Cures," that he warns people not to wash themselves too often. How is that for a nice statement issuing to the people around you? "Don't wash yourselves so often!" Kneipp thinks that people try to wash away their sins and fears with water. We should not wash our whole body, including our heir, every day. Our glands have to produce too much and are never successful, because we irritate our body with water every day. Our body tries to develop a cover made up of mainly scents and odorous substances - a cover to protect us. And we should let him do so and not spoil this effort by daily baths.

And then we would probably smell really nice. And this would be a natural fragrance, not an artificial one, not a smell like that of a chemical plant.

Now thanks be unto God, which always causeth us to triumph in Christ, and maketh manifest the savour of his knowledge by us in every place. For we are unto God a sweet savour of Christ, in them that are saved, and in them that perish: To the one we are the savour of death unto death; and to the other the savour of life unto life. And who is sufficient for these things? (2 Corinthians 2:14-16).

We would start to spread everywhere the fragrance of the knowledge of Christ. We would become the fragrance of life.

The elimination of waste and toxins is a very important function in our body. The body parts that are included in this process are the mouth when we spit out something or when we vomit, the eyes when we shed tears, the ears when wax is emitted, the nose when it is running but especially every time we breathe out, the bowels and the bladder when we relieve ourselves and the skin when we sweat. Now the skin's part in elimination is extensive because of its size. There are about two square metres of skin, so it is quite a large part of our body. To keep our skin in good running order should be a real concern of ours. So let us treat it nicely, keep artificial chemicals away from it, keep it healthy, in top condition and let it have a divine fragrance.

We would do our body a favour as well as our environment. And our body is just one area. What about the cleaning chemicals for cleaning the house, the washing powders for cleaning the clothes, the things we spray on our furniture, the pesticides for keeping the bugs from the food we grow in the field, the chemicals we consume for getting transported?

So much on expenses for chemicals and pharmaceutics. But this is just an example. There are so many areas in our lives where we spend unnecessary money for unnecessary things. What do we really need? Most of the stuff I really need is free, like air, sun and the natural world around me. The things I need that cost me money are a pleasant place to sleep and live, clean food, good water, and rest and relaxation. Very helpful is it to have access to things that interest me like books, magazines and internet. If I can have fellowship with other believers then I am already very blessed, but that again does not cost money. If I really need transport is already a question. May be sometimes it would be nice. But it could already be a luxury - for many people in the world it is. How much more will I enjoy such luxuries once I have reduced my need of material goods to a minimum and have freed myself from the fear of scarcity. If I have freed myself from the fear of scarcity then I have overcome a main area of fear, greed, because greed is the result of fear of scarcity.

Talking about fear. How do you feel about paying tax? What is your attitude towards the taxman? Do you feel bad about the tax or even the taxman? Or do you even use abusive language when you think about tax or even curse the taxman? You should be full of joy when you pay your tax, because it is a direct indication that you have income. There are not many people in the world who pay tax, most of them have an income that is below the tax threshold or don't even have any income at all. So you are really a blessed person when you have to pay tax. If you are angry because of tax payments then it is quite possible that you fear something - that you fear scarcity - you fear the lack of money. So this is a good example how to check if there is fear in your life - and when you discover it then you can also deal with it. Think it right through and adopt a positive attitude towards all tax aspects. Gratitude should be your attitude when you make tax payments, thanking God to give you income, thanking God to give you strength to gain wealth.

Thinking of tax should remind you how important it is to keep written records of everything, of all incoming amounts and of all outgoing amounts. What happens if you don't when you run your own business? If the taxman finds out that you don't then he will do it for you. But as he has got no details from you he will estimate the amounts. And he will do it to his advantage. And then he will send you the results of his calculation and ask you to pay - to pay now. And if you then have not anticipated this coming expense and have not put aside money for it, then it may come as a shock to you and you suddenly look bankruptcy in the face. How many people become insolvent because of such a situation. So stay in control.

Let's return to our needs. Whole sections of industry can become uninteresting to me. So to the chemical-pharmaceutical industry I could for example add the entertainment industry. What about the tourist industry? Or the legal industry, or insurance, security, advertising, sport? The list of things I don't really need seems endless. Things I don't really need and things that actually cost me money and time and energy. All things which I could manage well not having them. My life would simply improve when I cut them out and do away with them. I become more relaxed, save money or don't need time to work for. With other words I would have more money and have more time for the nice things in life: leisure - leisure that gives me the chance to gain wisdom.

Just sit in a public place and watch all the people walking and running and driving and flying around and being busy - to a great extent - to make money. They are after the money. And what are they doing with the money they are making? Much of this money that they are after, they are spending on things they don't really need. And much of these things they don't really need are even harmful for them - are doing them no good. Some of the people are even vigorously displaying this fact - they are overweight. They are spending their money on too much food, or on the wrong kind of food. They are killing themselves - slowly. They are suicide cases. What if all these people would spend their money only on things they really need and that are good for them? Just imagine how much money would be left over. Or even better, just imagine how much more time they would have if they just would work only so much as to cover their real needs. The world would be full of prosperous people - because they can control money. The people would only work a certain time, would have leisure, would reflect on life, study to become wise, and the whole world would improve dramatically.

So let us carry on looking at expenses. You must not forget that there are expenses that occur only every couple of months or years. You must put money aside every month to allow for these future costs. And also start to always have more money available than you need. It becomes much easier to give to a needy person when you know that this money is not short anywhere.

So when you have added up all the columns for a month and calculated the totals then look at columns 3 and 4. In column 3 you have the total of all money you received. There might be just two items in that column: The amount that was left over from last month which you called "Cash on Hand" and your salary cheque. So you just calculate the total of these two amounts and write that figure at the bottom. And next to it, at the bottom of column 4, you have the total of all your expenses. Now you compare these two figures. You take the total in column "Received" and deduct from it the total in the fourth column. This amount, in our example it is 1400.00 minus 680.00 and this gives a remaining amount of 720.00. If you would be a prosperous person than your income should be much higher than the total figure in column 4, your spending. In our example the amount of your income is 700,00, and the amount of your spending is 680,00. Here your spending is far too high, because if you consider the money you have to put aside for things that occur only every couple of month or every couple of years then you will not have this money available.

Think about school fees, Which occur only every couple of month or only once a year. Think about buying another car. You have to put away money for these things long before the actual purchase is done. Take time and calculate these costs. Work out how much you have to put aside each month for these items.

And to calculate a total every month is just a suggestion. You might find it more convenient to do this every fortnight, because you get paid every fortnight and then it would be a very much better idea to do a total always after you have been paid. You should also consider doing a total every week. This is a smaller amount of figures and also a shorter time period and in the beginning when you are still getting used to this book keeping it will help you to quicker learn the system and by seeing the figures for each week you can foresee already if your spending is low enough or if you still have to decelerate your spending speed.

You can even do the balancing every day. Especially in the beginning it would help getting used to the system - and to controlling your money.

If the two figures, the figure of your income and the figure of your spending, are more or less equal or if the total amount of your spending is higher than the money you received, then you are spending too much money. You can also check your calculations. When you add up all the totals of the different categories of the "Spent" part of the sheet then you come to the total amount of column 4. This helps you to see if your figures are correct. It will also help you to stay mentally awake, because doing calculations is a good mental exercise. What is even more important it helps you to become disciplined. Being disciplined in record keeping will again help you becoming disciplined in spending.

Use this kind of exercises to learn to get control over your life. Enjoy them and know that with every new success you are coming closer to gain complete control over all aspects of life.

And when you have calculated the totals, then count the money you have left over and see and check if that amount agrees with the calculated amount. If it does not agree, then you know that your record keeping or your calculations are not accurate and that you have to improve them.

And at the end of every month take the totals to a new sheet, a sheet that summarises the expenses for a whole year - where the expenses of every month are shown. And after you have written the monthly figures in, you look at the previous months and you can see how your spending pattern changes. And when the year is over then you summarize all the twelve months and you have the totals for a whole year and then you spend again time analysing all these figures and looking at them and make decision where to change your spending pattern.

And then you start a new "Spend List" and enter the totals of every year into it and then you can see the change over longer periods of time. And as I said before, do it regularly, every day after you have spent money on something, leave no item out. And then you will have achieved something else, you will have learned how to keep books. Because this recording of all items - not just some - is what makes book-keeping a real success. This is the most important part of accounting procedures: Not to forget one item. And then you will have mastered the probably most important part of any business - book-keeping. But what is more important is that you will have overcome your love of money.

And you have to set aims. The first aim must be to spend less money than you get in. Another aim must be to get rid of all debts.

An important step to prosperity is to get out of debts. Take the shortest reasonable way to get out of debts. If you have goods that were bought from money that was not yours - from borrowed money - sell them and give back the money you still owe. If the goods are not yours yet, give them back or get permission to sell them or let them rather fetch the goods back. And overcome your pride. Let the neighbours watch as the goods are fetched from your home and tell your neighbours that you are now getting out of debts and that is why these goods are going back. Get out of debts as fast as possible; the sooner you are rid of them the sooner you can start to prosper. And it also gives you a feeling that you really can overcome this situation and that you can handle money. If your bed was bought from borrowed money and there are still payments outstanding give it back and sleep on the floor - that might in any case be healthier for you. If you bought a car or a house on credit sell the car and sell the house. Any day you wait is a day you carry on living without prosperity. And never again buy anything with money that is not yours. Not even a house - or especially not a house. He that buildeth his house with other menís money is like one that gathereth himself stones for the tomb of his burial, says Ecclesiasticus 21:8. Even if you have your own money to do so, don't do it. Stay mobile, live in rented places. It is also a better investment. The people who really gain from buying and selling property are the estate agents, the building societies, the lawyers, the contractors, the architects, the quantity surveyors, the surveyors, the banks, the newspapers. They like you to invest in this industry, and they are the people who really make money there and they are the ones telling you that it is a wonderful investment. It is - for them.

God wants that all is well with you. He does not want you to be poor. "There should be no poor people among you" (Deuteronomy 15:4). It is not a good testimony to others when you have money problems. It is not very attractive for others to join the living church of the living God when its members are not better off than the rest of the world. That was the situation in the church of the New Testament: There were no needy persons among them (Acts 4:34). How will you be able "to give to anyone as he has need" (Acts 2:45) if you have not got enough for yourself? Just think of all the blessings that will come your way after you have started to give to anyone as he has need. But this will only come after you have first learned to overcome your own needs - your need to overcome your spending addiction.

How do you overcome an addiction? Let us say you want to stop smoking. You make a decision that smoking is no good for you and that it must come to an end. You realize that you cannot do it in your own strength. You ask God to help you to get rid of this habit and of the power the devil has in your life. And you do this really believing that God is doing it - you act in faith. And to confirm your faith, you speak accordingly. You say "I only put healthy things into my body." Your believing and your speaking have to agree. You can overcome any big and any "small" addiction, especially after you have overcome the first one, with the help of God. You will have learned how to receive from God. There is no way that the devil can keep you in bondage. You have got God on your side and you simply resist the devil and he will flee from you. And the way to overcome the addiction to smoking is the same as to overcome the addiction to spending money. Start saying, "I handle money in a very responsible way."

When making these statements or other such statements that cause you to reframe your thinking and your beliefs then pay attention to the fact that you should not use negative words. So don't say, "I don't smoke anymore," which is negative, but rather say, "only good and healthy stuff goes into my stomach and into my lungs." Or don't say, "I don't overspend anymore," rather say, "I am in full control of my money spending and I am very prosperous."

Not only people who have not got enough money should learn to control money, also people who have plenty of money must learn this, because if they don't, they will not have plenty of money soon. How many fortunes have been lost because people couldn't control their spending - because they spend more than their income was and their capital became smaller and smaller and one day it was gone.

Now a lot of people think that in order to get out of a situation where they have financial problems, problems like the once we are discussing here, is to earn more money. If they would get an increase - they think - then all their problems will be solved. Or if they get a better job, then they would finally have made it. Or if they would just get this promotion - that would do the trick. Or they contemplate to do freelance work or they plan to start their own business. All these ideas will not help you because you will still have the old problem - you can't control your spending. The more money comes in, the more you will spend. At the end of the month you will still have no money left. There are plenty of people who earn tens or hundreds of times the amount of money per month as you earn and they still have no money left.

Your problem is not that you have not got enough money and it is also not that you have so many expenses - your problem is that you are a compulsive spender. You are addicted to spending money and probably addicted to a lot of other things as well. And because of this - the fact that you cannot handle money - God is not giving you more money. He can't give you more money, because you would not know how to use it. You would just get deeper into all your addictions - into the claws of the devil.

Rich people can be affected by greed because they want more and more and they don't want to use their money to help others; they want to keep it all for themselves. But actually their greed has exactly the same reasons why others are poor or why others have financial problems, like spending more than they have. It is the lust for things, the love of money, the love for material things.

Set your affection on things above, not on things on the earth. Colossians 3:2.

Consumerism, a preoccupation with consumer goods and their acquisition, is the result of this love for material things. When this is accompanied by the use of so easily available credit, then financial enslavement is usually encountered.

So as from now on you should decide to be free from the love of money. Live and think and speak accordingly. Say "I control money, in Jesus' Name."

And from now on don't let the devil trick you again. Learn to measure your prosperity by watching what comes out of your mouth. Watch your words. I will give you some indication you should watch for.

As we have discussed already the basic problems are jealousy, pride and the lust for material things. If you listen carefully to the words that come out of your mouth you will know if these problems still exist in your heart.

Love of material things and love of money is more or less the same because with money you can buy material things. The Bible might call it the lust for things. Now pride comes in when you have something what the other one does not have. And jealousy comes in when you do not have what the other one has. Pride and jealousy are however even more dangerous because they can extend to mental areas, areas of the mind and even to spiritual areas. Somebody is proud of the spiritual gifts God has given him or he is jealous of a gift God has given to somebody else.

If you live in a house and you do repayments of your bond, then you have debts. You should get out of that debt situation as soon as possible. Sell the house and repay any outstanding money to the building society. As long as you still have debts you will be a slave, see Deuteronomy 28:44, Proverbs 22:7 and Romans 13:8. And when you have sold the house then do another drastic step: don't move again into a house. You probably have been a slave to many things. You probably also have been a slave to the idea that you have to live in a house and that to live in a flat or just in a room would be under your status. Check your heart for these things pride does in our lives. The devil wants us to suffer and a very good means to get us to suffer is to appeal to our pride. Start considering a place may be close to work, maybe start considering a job that comes with accommodation; it would also allow you to live without you having to have your own transport. Make some drastic changes in your life. The less you get attached to the things of this world the more God will be able to start to use you. Just to achieve mobility in your life will already be a big step in the right direction. Start checking your motives for living in a house. Are there such excuses like, "I want to be able to invite friends to my place" or even an excuse like this, "I want to give accommodation to a man of God when one comes around?" Start reducing your standard of living dramatically and forget about what others will think of it. You will only impress others really if you can handle the things of the world and become an overcomer who is not controlled by the god of this world, but controls his life because you are controlled by Jesus.

Check your motives regarding "living in the right suburb." When the conversation comes to the place we live, do you like to mention the name of the part of town you live in, because you think that mentioning that suburb will impress others?

You might now think, "I will never be able to do such drastic changes in my life." Don't allow the devil to direct your thinking in such a way. Resist him immediately and tell him, "I can do all things in Christ who strengthens me."

Consider hiring a couple of square metres in a room that is also occupied by others. Think about situations in life where such accommodation would be a great blessing.

Accommodation is often the biggest expense people have. In our example the person earns an amount of 700.00 and spends on rent 220.00. That is 30 per cent of the income and that is quite high. Start looking especially at the big items on your spend list. Look at car costs. If you make payments on your car, then you have debts. Sell your car and repay the amount outstanding. Get out of debts. And then consider buying a second hand car for cash or better not buying another car at all. Use public transport or walk. Buses, trains, cycling and walking all produce much lower amounts of carbon dioxide than cars. Get used to do something that seems to you quite unacceptable in the society you live in. It is a very good way to get the world out of your life, to get pride out of your system.

Set your aim. And set your aim high. Start setting a certain amount of money apart for the things of God. And then start increasing this amount. Start seeking God. Start giving spiritually. Only when you know how to give spiritually will you really be able to give money as well. Start spending time seeking God. Time is money. Start saving money over a period of let us say three years and then take one year off to study the Bible and seek God. That would mean that you will have to save about a third of your income over a period of these three years. And then you will have money to live for one year without income. But increase that amount. Increase that amount to 100%. Now you say that to give 100% to the work of God is impossible. It is not impossible. It simply means that all you have and all you earn will be used for the things of God, that there is nothing of this world left any more in your life. That everything has one purpose: doing the will of God. Think of Paul, he worked, but it was so that he could support himself and not be a burden to the churches and that he even could support his co-workers.

The receiving and the giving out of money is probably the most excellent way to learn to be guided by Jesus. It is such a good area to practice the leading of the spirit, because of its tangibility. Make it a habit to always hesitate before any financial transaction and let your thoughts turn to Jesus. Start doing this even if this transaction is a very small amount you spend. Get your Lord involved in everything you do. And learn to act according to scripture. Never think that godliness is a means to financial gain. Never accept any payment for things you do for God. Never become a "pastor" or a "missionary." Never work for a salary for a "church" or a Christian organisation and never become a clergy. And when you receive a gift, check the motives of the giver. Only accept gifts where the motives are right. If you have the slightest doubts, then do not accept that gift. Rather stay away from gifts then to have any feeling of becoming into debts towards the giver. If the giver is not happy you not accepting his gift then this is probably a sign for you that he had the wrong motives. He should be happy either way. He should be happy you accepting his gift and he should be happy you not accepting it. Learning to be led in financial matters is the best way to learn to be led by the Holy Spirit.

And when you sell your house or you look for a flat or you look for a job, in all these circumstances, get Jesus involved. Let Him be your guide. Have complete trust in Him to organize your life. Let your thoughts always return to Jesus. Mention His Name. Say "Jesus" and proceed to the next step. Thank Jesus at all times.

Set aims. Set an aim to save 10% of your income, but when you calculate this amount, make allowance for the other amounts you have to set apart for payments that do not occur every month. Set another aim. Set your aim to reduce your spending by 50%. Spend only 50% of your income. Set some high aims and achieve them. Learn to control money and let not money control you.

Most of the people around you are controlled by money and that is why for example pension funds exist and are maintained by employers and companies and governments. Pension funds are there because they force employees to set money aside for old age. And people are not allowed access to that money before they reach old age. There are other financial arrangements that have the same aim. These schemes force people to not spend all their money.

But these schemes also have disadvantages. One is that you have no access to your money; it is actually not yours. For example you can see that the company your money is invested in goes the wrong way and dishonest people are managing it and there will not be any money left very soon. Or you see the country in which this pension fund exists is going under, because it falls into the wrong hands. You see it all happening and you cannot take your money back, you have to watch it being stolen by others. Now why have you come into such a situation? Because you could not control your money, that is why you put your money into such a scheme. If you had confidence that you are quite able to control your money and if you had confidence that you never spend more money than you earn and if you had confidence that you do not spend impulsively, that you are not an impulse buyer, and if you had confidence that you would put money aside for your old age and if you had confident that God will protect you and your investments, then you would not have chosen such a scheme, then you would have chosen a scheme where you could pull out your money when you can see that the institution you have invested it in is going the wrong way. So learn to control money and then you can avoid such schemes. This is one of the reasons to learn to control money, so that you cannot be cheated by others so easily.

The worst disadvantage of such a scheme is that when you die all the money you paid in will remain in that scheme. Your heirs, your children, will get nothing. If you had paid all that money to yourself and not to others - the pension fund - then you could have lived from the interest when you were old and after you died your children would be rich people. Or even better, you could give all the money before you die to your spiritual children - the children of God.

Look at countries that have these pension schemes since generations; most of the people there have little assets, but if they would not have paid their money into their pension schemes, but have kept their money and invested it, then most of them and their children and their grandchildren would be wealthy.

Give not thy son and wife, thy brother and friend, power over thee while thou livest, and give not thy goods to another: lest it repent thee, and thou intreat for the same again. As long as thou livest and hast breath in thee, give not thyself over to any. For better it is that thy children should seek to thee, than that thou shouldest stand to their courtesy. In all thy works keep to thyself the preeminence; leave not a stain in thine honour. At the time when thou shalt end thy days, and finish thy life, distribute thine inheritance. Ecclesiasticus 33:19-23.

This is very sound financial advice. In all your works keep yourself the pre-eminence. Be in charge. Don't give others charge over you. Don't make a will. To make a will means to decide to die, means that you have decided that the time has come to abdicate. When you make a will you tempt others to let your will come to pass earlier than you wanted it to happen. Don't give others that power. To make a will means that you believe there might come a time when your mental faculties are not anymore able to make good decisions. It means you believe you might become weak and sick. It means that you expect that an emergency will happen and you will not be able to make a good decision and not be able to make it in a calm state and at a quiet moment and be completely at peace. It means that you believe that what happens to others - that they suddenly get struck and get incapacitated and end up in hospital and in the emergency ward - will also happen to you. So to not make a will is a good way of preventing these things to happen to you. Just enjoy the feeling of others, the comments of the people around you, when they realize that you don't make a will, how they think how irresponsible you behave. May be their comments give you some good indication how to distribute - or better how not to distribute - your estate.

When you think about making a will then this is a good opportunity to find out about your beliefs. Think about all the situations and possibilities and events that could occur and then have a good look at all these things because they will very nicely expose all your beliefs.

Are you making plans to move into an old age home? Do you believe a time might come when you can't look after yourselves anymore? Are you looking for an old age home that also has a ward for helpless customers? Is that what you take into consideration? Is that your belief?

To make a will means to give power to the executor. Don't leave the distribution of your estate to the executor - to an administrator. Do it yourself. DIY. Have the confidence that you will remain strong until your last breath. Have the trust that you will know when your last day is approaching. Be full of faith. Don't allow any worries about your abilities in old age creep into your thinking. Remain strong in your whole approach to old age. Be as Caleb.

And now, behold, the Lord hath kept me alive, as he said, these forty and five years, even since the Lord spake this word unto Moses, while the children of Israel wandered in the wilderness: and now, lo, I am this day fourscore and five years old. As yet I am as strong this day as I was in the day that Moses sent me: as my strength was then, even so is my strength now, for war, both to go out, and to come in. Now therefore give me this mountain, whereof the Lord spake in that day; for thou heardest in that day how the Anakims were there, and that the cities were great and fenced: if so be the Lord will be with me, then I shall be able to drive them out, as the Lord said. And Joshua blessed him, and gave unto Caleb the son of Jephunneh Hebron for an inheritance. Hebron therefore became the inheritance of Caleb the son of Jephunneh the Kenezite unto this day, because that he wholly followed the Lord God of Israel. Joshua 14:10-14.

Speak and behave as Caleb did. Whenever you hear something about the city of Hebron, remember Caleb - and his strength in old age. Just wholly follow the Lord God of Israel.

Remain independent; remain strong and independent until your last days. Set this as your aim and enjoy all the years of your life, including the years of old age. Enjoy the respect of the people. Why are so many old people not respected today? They have given away their independence. If, for example, they would not have put their money in a pension fund, but would have put it into their own bank account, then they would be rich at old age - and respected. But now they have put their money into a pension fund and when they die there will be no money for their heirs to inherit. And therefore there will be little respect for them. On the contrary they will be looked down on. They will be considered a burden to society. The longer they live the less will be in the pension fund for the children.

Trust that you will be spiritually, mentally and physically strong in your last days. Trust that you will know when death is approaching. Practise the present of the Lord now and then, when you are old, you have no problems knowing what is going on. And then you will distribute your inheritance. Watch the people around you and make plans to whom and when and how to do this distribution. But leave the actual distribution to the right time, the day your life draws to a close.

The time of your death is determined by yourself. So just learn to be attuned to your higher self and you will know the date and the time.

And this day is a positive occurrence. You choose it. It is a matter of choice.

The approach to death should not be a worldly approach where we act in fear and are full of anger against everyone and against the whole world and where our thinking is fear, pain and terror. Our approach to "death" should be - as our whole walk on this earth - filled with thankfulness. We thank our body that it was available for our walk here on earth - coming from God and walking back to God in this life on the physical plane. We are full of thanks for the service the body has given us. We thank God for all the experiences we could gather here - here on this realm where we have to walk by faith because we cannot see the spiritual realm, our real home. Under these quite difficult conditions we had our body and it served us well. We walked towards God without seeing him and we were let by the spirit of Christ without having any physical evidence for it. But now, after "death," all this will change and we will be free of our heavy body, of gravity, of limitations and we will see and experience the real "world" and enjoy the fruit we laid up for ourselves. We have not really died but we have become really alive.

So our "death" should be a quiet choice that we make joyfully and at complete peace. Whatever the reason may be to come to an end of this earth life we leave our body as we leave a coat that we leave because the weather is now to warm for it and we don't need it anymore. We leave our body despite the fact that it is still very useable. We leave it because we want to do something else now. Our whole life has been a song of thanksgiving and this singing of thanks just continues as we let it come to an end. Our liberation is at hand. Gently we are released and we welcome it.

What is the key to this kind of death? The key is to walk in divine health while alive. We have to realize that all sickness comes from spiritual problems and that the spiritual cause of an illness has to be removed because if this is not done then the spiritual cause will simply cause another kind of sickness to appear. But when all spiritual reasons for sicknesses are removed then I walk in divine health and death becomes a thing I am looking forward to because it is a big improvement of my situation. I have practised all my life to stay away from sin consciousness, from feelings of guilt, from self-condemnation, from suffering thinking, from unforgivingness. And now I simply change over to the other realm.

Whenever you think of death think of your birth. Your birth was the real problem; your death will not be one. At your birth you had to experience something really shocking. You had to experience a transformation of your soul from absolute freedom and from complete lack of limitations to a situation where you became highly restricted.

Death is the easy part of life, birth is the part that is not easy at all. For a soul to take over a body is quite an encounter. A Soul that is immortal and that knows no limits has to now suddenly live within a physical body. The soul now has to live in a body that is highly vulnerable and extremely limited. It is an awful experience. Only highly brave and courageous souls chose such an experience. So remember that you are such a soul and make the best out of it while you are here and enjoy this experience of limitation. There is no such thing as "death". Everything is alive and conscious, and energy can only get transformed but not annihilated. Birth is limitation, death is freedom.

The reason why men fear death is that they do not know what happens afterwards. So we can overcome that fear by finding out all about it. When we are attuned to our soul - to our higher self - then we will know that freedom awaits us and an end to limitation.

"Orthodoxy" - the man-made churches - makes death an highly unpleasant thing. It should be an occasion of jubilation - a celebration of freedom. But that is the whole purpose of denominations: to bring bad news. They choose the cross as their symbol - a symbol of death. And more than that, it is also a symbol of torture, of cruelty, of persecution, of pain. And some denominations go even further and go beyond the cross and use the crucifix. It is just terrible. Instead of teaching how to be free of sickness and to be free of pain - teaching salvation here and now - they glorify the opposite. The cross and the crucifix are the symbols of the clergy killing God. And in that respect they have chosen the right symbols because that is what they are still doing today, killing the body Christ wherever they find it.

But we look forward to our next life. We look forward to a feeling of freedom, to a life where we have nothing to worry about, there we will have nothing to support, not ourselves and not others, there will be no duties, we will not have to provide drink and food, housing worries will be a thing of the past and we will close ourselves as we wish because we create the things we wear with a thought of ours, travelling will be as easy as changing a thought, hot weather and cold weather will have no effect on us. We will no longer be sick; we will have no pain, no hunger, no cold, no heat, no dictatorships, no suppression, no lack of freedom.

Let us come back to the financial side of death.

At the time when thou shalt end thy days, and finish thy life, distribute thine inheritance. Ecclesiasticus 33:23.

To whom do we distribute our inheritance? To our family?

All the time you are alive don't forget who your real family is. If the members of your natural family are also members of the spiritual family you are very fortunate. But important is to know all this time that your real sisters and brothers are the other children of God. The family of God is your family.

But he answered and said unto him that told him, Who is my mother? and who are my brethren? And he stretched forth his hand toward his disciples, and said, Behold my mother and my brethren! For whosoever shall do the will of my Father which is in heaven, the same is my brother, and sister, and mother. Matthew 12:48-50.

And don't accept any fear of old age. Never operate in fear. Never allow this thing in your life. Be free from fear of lack. Don't believe in scarcity. There is plenty of everything: life, health, money, mobility, independence, security, transport, accommodation. Only entertain thoughts of prosperity of everything. Start to use the word abundance often. The word plenty.

If you believe in the second coming of Christ then you know that there will be dramatic changes to our life on this planet. If you have learned to be independent from the world system, then it will be much easier for you to cope and to anticipate His coming. God is very able to save you out of the worst imaginable situation, but that will be possible only when you are not attached to this system. Get out of this system. Get prepared for His coming and for the things that will happen before His coming. Start saying with David, "In times of disaster I will not wither; in days of famine I will enjoy plenty" (Psalm 37:19).

If you then still have debts, if you still have a bond on your property, and that house gets destroyed, and that area conquered by the enemy or whatever, the people and the company you borrowed the money from will still want to have their money back. They might not have much of a security any more, but that will not stop them from demanding their money from you. May be even because there is now no more security they want all their money now; all of it at once. You will suddenly find yourself in a situation where you will not enjoy plenty at all, the famine will affect you very much and God can't save you because you were not obedient to His word. Don't get wiped out because you cannot pay your debts.

Learn to control money. Stop struggling through life barely coming out on your salary, always battling to keep a roof over your head. Become independent. You might think to live in your house is to be independent and nobody can tell you what to do in your house. But maybe it is exactly the other way round. If a sudden crisis comes and you have no financial means to cope with this unexpected expenditure, but quite contrary, you also have debts, then you are actually very dependent, dependent on your bonds. You are in bondage. You are financially in bondage and in bondage to your pride. The devil has got you nicely. Become financially independent. Become independent of the devil. If you learn to handle your personal finances then you will also be able to handle other people's finances, you will be able to become an asset to your company. The first step should be to cut your expenditure to the bone. Start with this today. Don't leave it for tomorrow. At the same time start to write down every item you spend and every amount you receive. Keep track of all your expenses and income. And start using this information to control all your money affairs. Control your money; don't let your money control you. Spend less than you earn. Never buy anything on credit.

If you use a credit card and this piece of plastic causes you a lot of temptations then cut it up and throw it away. But there is a more elegant way to react to your bad spending habit. Start to put money into your credit card account, and do so every time before you run into minus. You deposit a nice amount of money into it, and now the name "credit card" gets a complete new meaning: you are giving the bank credit - you become the one who gives credit to the bank and the time is over that the bank gives you credit. Make all these changes in your life and enjoy them as experiences of success. They will give you a sense of achievement. You can then look back at them, for example every time you get a statement from your credit card account, and know that you can achieve and know that you also now can achieve the next thing you have set your goal for.

So make always sure that you always have a positive balance. Never let the bank from which you have a credit card or a cheque account give you any credit. Always make sure that you give credit to the bank. Let the word "credit card" have a complete different meaning to you. Let it always be you who gives the credit, never somebody else giving you credit. You see, if you can control money, then it is not a problem to have a credit card, because then you are in control of that thing, and not the devil. If you do not stop spending more than you earn, if you carry on spending more than you earn, you are heading for bankruptcy. Don't let that happen to you.

If you have learned to be prepared when the economy turns down, if you have learned to cut down your expenses far below your income, then you will also be able to face far greater problems - problems we see when we study the end times. A good way to measure your own attitude is to check out the following. Are you afraid of the end times? If you are afraid of the end times and of what is going to happen then, then you are not really prepared for them. You operate in fear; you do not really trust God for your protection. The world system is still very much your system. If you have separated yourself from the system of the world, then all these things will not affect you anymore and you will start seeing a complete different side of the end times. You will start looking forward to them, because you know that it will bring the rule of the Lord. You will anticipate the kingdom of God and therefore the end of this present system.

But if you are still part of the world system, it will be very likely that you will turn against God when he pours out his plagues. If you still have debts, then the people or the organization you owe money are your lords and you are their slave. The borrower is the slave of the lender (Proverbs 22:7). And these people most probably are pagans. So you have pagans as your lord. And their lord is the devil. And therefore the devil is also your lord. And this situation is confirmed, because you want to have things before you can actually pay for them. Things and material goods are your god. The devil actually runs your life. He causes you to overspend, he causes you to overspend on your credit card, he causes you to buy on impulse, he causes you to take out a mortgage, he causes you to stare bankruptcy in the face. And he also causes you to avoid the issue, hoping that it will go away - which it won't.

Start knowing just where you stand so that you can evaluate your financial situation. Start finding out how much money you still owe, how much you have paid back already and how much interest you have paid until now. Just look at this interest you have paid and you will get an idea what things really cost if you buy them on hire purchase, on credit.

Today I walked past a car and I saw a sticker at its window and read it and carried on thinking about it and I then stopped and walked back to write down what I had read. The sticker read, "I owe, I owe, it's off to work I go." That is a nice description of a situation a slave is in. This person is a slave. He is a slave to money. But what is even worse is that generally his mental attitude, not just regarding the financial side of his life, but probable many aspects of it, is wrong. He not only thinks and speaks wrong but he even puts it in writing and not only that, but he makes it known publicly. "It is written."

Stop trying to avoid facing the situation. Start facing it and start turning the table around and get back into credit. Start to analyse your own approach to personal finance. It will help you to stop debt getting you down. When invoices and statements arrive open them immediately and pay them on time. Do not delay opening them. Do not forget about them. If you cut your expenses down to 50% of your income you could repay your debt very much faster. This is a way to get out of debt. It will also save you a lot on interest. This is a good approach, when selling the house or the goods you bought on credit, is not possible. But a much better approach is to sell and to give back the money you still owe. And from then on never again get involved in taking out a mortgage, a bank loan, a store card, never buy on hire purchase, never open an account.

Let us think for a moment of the implications that ownership of a house has on mobility. When you own a property there might be the possibility that the country, in which this property is located, has a system that the personal details of all the owners of property are part of a public domain database. The Deeds Office makes all your data available. Everybody can obtain these details. You might get junk mail or you might get telephone calls of people who want to sell you something. It might be normal that marketers use this information to make contact with prospective customers. A heretic hunter might find it a suitable tool to locate you and to get the state to persecute you. And you might be very hesitant to get out of such a situation that makes you an easy task for marketers and religionists. Owning property can be a real bondage and an obstacle to mobility.

Why is it so important to get out of debts as soon as possible? It is your attitude, your outlook on life. It determines all your creations - your financial creations especially. As long as you have debt you will have a slave mentality. As soon as you are free from debts you will also be free of this servant mind-set and your mind, your conscious mind and your subconscious mind, can start to work out ways to prosper and to be an overcomer. As you have paid off the last outstanding amount you will feel like stepping out of a prison and into freedom.

Free yourself out of your debt load and never go back into it. Make a commitment to get out of debt. Get the problem out in the open. Gain some perspective of the reasons why you are in debt. And start saying that you are overcoming this situation, that you are achieving your goals, that you are overcoming in Jesus' name. See yourself as a person free of debt and prospering and see yourself as a giver. See yourself giving to the poor.

What is the solution for the fact that we have so many poor among us? What would happen if the rich people would share part of their riches with the poor? Would that be the solution? An important reason why people are poor is a lack of self-control. Especially of course of self-control related to finances.

What is the difference between people with financial problems and people who prosper? It is the degree of self-control and the way temptations leading to bad habits, to addictions, are handled. A person that prospers will always have some surplus money available. He will have this because he does not spend everything he has. If a business opportunity arises he will have the means to go after it. A person who has not got this spare money will not even be able to by a bus ticket or an airline ticket to attend a meeting or a job interview. It always seems to come down to who controls whom. Does the mind control the body or is this ability to control not exercises and therefore the whole man seems to be controlled by his body and its desires?

The main reason why we are here on this earth is to learn to create and in order to do this we have to loosen ourselves from the power gross matter has over us. We must free ourselves from the tyranny of matter. Our aim is that matter is not our ruler but that it becomes our servant. We must learn to use matter, and that we do not serve matter, but that it serves us. And money is part of the world of matter. Matter and money must become our servants.

If I watch people who have financial problems and how they spend money then it seems obvious why they are not prospering. A person who seems to live from small hand-outs, tips and gifts might more or less immediately after receiving something invest that money by going to a shop to buy a tea or a can of soft drink or some cigarettes or a snack. To start with all these things seem to be quite unsuited for having a healthy body. It seems that one of the reasons they are bought is that people don't like the disapproval of their peers. This is important to them - that their actions find approval. They are trying to please men. They are under peer group pressure. Other reasons are bad habits. But the main disadvantage all these purchases have is that they are expensive when they are compared with healthy food like some fresh fruit that can be bought just around the corner or even better with tap-water that is available for free. So what is the solution? I think we have to realize the nature of the problem. My people perish due to lack of knowledge. Hosea 4:6. My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge. We have to go in this direction: doing something about this lack of knowledge. I think these details collected here are useful to fight this lack. If a poor man has no knowledge how to handle finances then it will help him little when the rich man shares a considerable part of his means with the poor man. The rich man might give half of his wealth to the poor man and both will have then the same amount of money. But that will not last very long when the poor man can't handle this money and when this money is gone soon. Let us take this to the extreme and assume that the rich man gives all his money to the poor man. The result will probably be that soon both men will be poor. The man who was poor at the beginning will even be poorer now because the man who was rich at the beginning can't now even give him a small gift. When he was still rich he was giving gifts and encouraged him and showed the poor man - by example - what he could be like, but now he can't even do this anymore. Now this possibility of generosity is gone. The capital that helped both has vanished. So the solution is what we find described in the book of Acts: the way the real church handled money and how they gave it to the poor and how the spiritual people used this occasion of the distribution of money that came from the sales of land to counsel the poor and guide them out of their poverty. And this is exactly what is missing when we have a look at the man-made churches. There is a lot wrong with them and especially with their dealings with finances, but the main thing is of course that instead of giving the money to the poor the clergy gives the money to themselves. They simply keep it. They rob the poor of their money. And because of this they obviously miss this important opportunity to give this counsel to the poor. This is especially sad because it is exactly the Christian teachings that have all the answers to these problems. So let us do something about this lack of knowledge, let us take some practical actions.

Record every expenditure you make. Divide your spending in to categories. Record your spending daily. Summarize everything weekly or fortnightly or monthly - or even daily. Plan your spending. See the difference between essential items and items you do not have to buy. And start selling surplus assets. Especially items you have not fully paid for yet. This is the quickest way to cancel debt. Start selling items, especially those that are just a negative influence in your life. If you have a television set, sell it. And if you find a buyer sell it to him, don't wait until you find someone who gives you more. The sooner you sell it, the sooner you will start to give your personal finances a new direction, the right direction. You will have an extra income, an amount you can record in your "Receive" column. You will have fewer possessions. But the most important thing will be that you have more time to listen to the Lord and less time to listen to the influence of the world. Know that all the worldly influence, especially that related to finances, comes from such sources as television. And do not use the excuse, "But I always watch these great men of God." Most probably they are not great man of God, they are just Balaams, who think that godliness is a means to financial gain and who peddle the word of God for profit. Start listening to Jesus. You have been now a Christian for a long time and should be mature now and should be directly guided by the Lord. Have fellowship with those Christians around you who are also directly related to the Lord and who stay away from man-made churches. These people are the real church and there you will find what your heart has been looking for all the time. There you will be able to participate and grow and learn to minister to others. There is the place where the Lord can train you to become a servant of His.

So if you pay tithes to a church, then that should be the first item you cancel. Stop paying tithes immediately. The clergy of man-made churches will teach you to tithe, because it is an excellent method for them to get a steady income. And if you support a man-made church, then you support those forces who will finally support antichrist. The church in the New Testament is not taught to tithe, but there are many pages in the New Testament that teach us how to handle finances and how to do that under the leading of the spirit. To receive and to give finances is one of the best areas to start to learn to be guided by the Holy Spirit. If you are tithing, then you are robbed of this learning and that is what the clergy wants: they want you to be dependent on them. Let nothing control you but the Lord.

And this applies to all areas of your life - not just the financial area. Let us take your thinking. Who controls it? Does the devil do? It should be your higher self. Are you having thoughts of not forgiving others? This is a very important one because it is the major cause of sicknesses, like heart problems or cancer, or poverty. So be very selfish and drop this habit. Are you thinking thoughts of fear, of lack, of limitation, of revenge? What about areas like time, or eating and drinking, or friendships, or business? Who is in control in these areas? Regain control in all areas of life. Make a detailed plan. Writing down things is often very helpful. Make a plan and stick to it. Be diligent. Work yourself out of every slavery you might be in. Become an achiever. Become an overcomer.

And make a decision and stick to that decision. And make the decision to stick to all the decisions you make. And when the devil comes and tells you that you can't then tell him that you can. Quote to him, "It is written" (Matthew 4:4-10), (Philippians 4:13) "I can do all things through Christ which strenghteneth me."

Now you might say, "I think I am not really addicted to anything, at least as far as I am aware of. But it would be nice to have something in my stomach, to have some clothes to keep me warm and dry and to have some money in my pocket and to have a shelter over my head." I think that in such a situation the ideal solution would be to join the living church. This would actually be the ideal solution to many of men's problems. The real church will always look after their members.

Neither was there any among them that lacked, it says in Acts 4:34. There were no needy people among them. There was no scarcity. Christians are prosperous people.

To look after the poor was in the book of Acts a major activity. It was actually so important that the apostles themselves did this service. The apostles themselves undertook to hand out the money to the poor. Why did they do it? Because it requires quite some spiritual discernment. Is it right to give money to this person or would it be better to teach him a certain aspect of living? Is this other person really in need or just too lazy to work? Is this next person really in need of money and is the purpose for which he thinks he needs money really a need or is it a thing that might become a burden to him when he gets it - when he spends the money the way he intends to do? The apostles probably used the event of people coming to them seeking financial support as an opportunity to talk to them and to minister to them and to find out the real reason why they were in need and to help them in an even better way than to just give them money or to help them with money but also with some good insight.

If a person is in a predicament then it is oft difficult for such a person to see the way out. An outsider, especially a spiritual person, might, from a distance, be more able to grasp the situation and the belief system of such a person and therefore more able to help. Just to listen to such a person might already bring the solution.

Now you might say, "I see what you are saying, but I haven't heard of any such real church and I doubt that I would find one." This might be good reason to ask God for guidance and then to rely on His leading. But there is another way. Start yourself one. Come together with a sister or a brother and when there are none then bring people you know and you meet into a position where they will become your brother or your sister. And then meet together and practise all the little details shown you here in this chapter and in all the other chapters of "The Man-Made Church". You probably have read some of the chapters already and therefore have a pretty good idea of how the real church works. And then this assembly will probably grow and people of all walks of life might join - and not just poor people. And then the more prosperous people will want to bring money and make it available to the needy. It would be wrong for the church to ask for money and to display a collection box and to pass the collection plate. But when people out of their own free will bring money, because for example they sold land and now want to make use of that money so that the body of Christ gets strengthened, then this money should be used in that way.

It might be a good idea when you start a church to be aware of your motives. Is the main motive gain? Is my motive genuine? Am I really after having true fellowship with other believers?

There are plenty of believers who would like to give to needy sisters or brothers but find it difficult to find such people. They might not like to give to organizations or to people they don't know. And if they can find a real needy person they might be quite glad and rejoice even more if they also can have fellowship in a real assembly. May be that is what they have been searching for all their life - to experience the book of Acts today.

It is actually not so easy to establish if a person has a real need and if he really would make use of the money in a sensible way. It requires spiritual insight to see the real situation. That is why the early church went to such an effort to find the right people for such work and chose the first deacons. The deacons had to be real spiritual people, people who could take over the job from the apostles - the job to distribute the money. And they did not distribute food, they did not serve soup at the tables, as some bible translators expect us to believe, they distributed the money that people like Barnabas, Ananias and Sapphira had brought to the assembly and put at the apostles' feet.

If you give a monetary gift to a needy person then you might want to give some encouragement rather than helping that person with a material present. You give in a measure that that person can handle. If you would give a too generous gift then that money might not be used as it should. But when people sell a piece of property and give money they received for the land to the church, like Ananias and Sapphira did, and like Barnabas did, then we are talking of quite some amount, and such a substantial sum of money we would like to be distributed in a way that makes sense and that reaches people who will make proper use of it and who will really obtain through it a better state of living standard and who will not waste it and who will not handle it in an irresponsible manner just for the gratification of some fleshly desire. They will know that the distribution of it will be done by highly qualified, spiritual brothers. So if I give a small gift then I might not mind if it used in a way that I would not like it to be used. But when I give in a notable way then this should be done with much consideration and with much intellect and wisdom applied to it. And the optimal way to do this is to use the living church of the living God.

Look at the different models of society men have come up with. And then look at the model for a society that transpires when studying the emerging of the church of God as we find it described in the New Testament. This model seems to be ideal in every respect. It is the ideal model for men to live by. Just consider the way the wealth was distributed as we have done just now above. There is no worldly model that comes even close to this. It is a model that comes directly from the creator of everything. And so does everything else what is good and what shows us how to live. We feed our body from the fruit that growth from the soil beneath us and we simply don't eat what is not good for us - what is poisoning. And we feed our soul from the spiritual input that comes from above, from spiritual influences and from spiritual beings of the realm above us, and we simply don't accept what is bad there for our soul and what is poisoning us. We are, in all aspects of living, guided by the holy spirit within us.

So start a church and many blessings might come your way - and not just financial blessings. Use this whole situation as an exercise in being led by the spirit. Let it become an adventure. Be full of expectation: "I wonder who will be the first person who will become a sister or a brother of mine. I wonder when I will meet this person. I wonder how God is going to do this. I really would like to be blessed through the church and I would like it to be a blessing to many people." And when the church then exists there might come the day when - for the first time - someone brings some money. Then make this act of giving, and especially the act of distributing it, a major activity of the body. Don't handle the whole thing outside the assembly, outside the main meeting; don't handle it behind closed doors. Use it as an act of practising real church life. Discuss how to handle the whole situation. Discuss all options that come to the minds of the people present. May be you choose one or several persons to keep the money until a final decision is made. May be you decide to distribute some of the money now and here because there are people who need it here and now. Be open to the leading of the holy spirit. May be you use the situation to study and teach the relevant parts of the Bible. And remain open to God's prompting. May be he does something completely new. May be someone suggests to pass the offering plate around the people present, but this time not as the man-made churches do in order to collect money, but in order to distribute money. Don't shout such suggestion down. Consider proposals that might sound crazy. Give everybody present the opportunity to take part in the thing. May be you put some money in the plate and pass it around. And when it has gone around and there is still some, or all, the money on the plate then let it pass again. There might be people who are shy to take the money, or some of the money, or they might think that there are people present who have more urgent needs than they themselves. Or you might place some money on a table so that people can help themselves to it at the end of the meeting. So don't shout such or similar suggestions down, use them as the spirit leads. And don't make a sacrament or a liturgy or a rite out of it. It is just an idea. There may be completely different ideas. But be careful not to take such ideas and make traditions and rules and rituals out of them. It might be a bad idea to now do it every time you meet. You might tempt some of the people to misuse the thing. So only do it when the spirits leads so. Don't become religious about it. It might be the right thing to do in a particular meeting where this stranger is present and for him it might be a mighty gift from God and a miracle - and the turning point in his life. And you will never get to know about it because this stranger leaves and never returns. And now you have no evidence - you just have to believe.

 

Spend List

Month: December

Year: 2007

 

D
a
y

Description

Received

Spent

Total

Spent

Give

Spent

Eat

Spent

Drink

Spent

Wear

Spent

Live

Spent

Clean

Spent

Read

Spent

Write

Spent

Phone

Spent

Travel

1

Cash on hand

700.00

                     

1

lunch

 

4.80

 

4.80

               

1

soft drink

 

1.30

   

1.30

             

1

petrol

 

63.81

                 

63.81

1

rent Dec 07

 

220.00

       

220.00

         

7

bible

 

12.00

           

12.00

     

9

overall

 

48.00

     

48.00

           

10

telephone

 

143.24

               

143.24

 

12

soap

 

1.20

         

1.20

       

12

groceries

 

145.29

 

145.29

               

14

bread

 

2.40

 

2.40

               

14

milk

 

1.24

   

1.24

             

14

washing powder

 

6.80

         

6.80

       

19

milk

 

1.24

   

1.24

             

19

eggs

 

3.94

 

3.94

               

19

bread

 

2.40

 

2.40

               

21

milk

 

2.34

   

2.34

             

21

gift to man

 

20.00

20.00

                 

28

wages

700.00

                     

31

Total Dec 2007

1400.00

680.00

20.00

158.83

6.12

48.00

220.00

8.00

12.00

-

143.24

63.81

31

Money left over

720.00

                     
                           
                           
                           
                           
                           
                           
                           
                           
                           
                           
                           
                           
                           
                           
                           
                           
                           
                           
                           
                           
                           
                           
                           
                           
                           
                           
                           
                           
                           

 

 

Spend List

Month:

Year:

 

D
a
y

Description

Received

Spent

Total

Spent

Give

Spent

Eat

Spent

Drink

Spent

Wear

Spent

Live

Spent

Clean

Spent

Read

Spent

Write

Spent

Phone

Spent

Travel

 

Cash on hand

                       
                           
                           
                           
                           
                           
                           
                           
                           
                           
                           
                           
                           
                           
                           
                           
                           
                           
                           
                           
                           
                           
                           
                           
                           
                           
                           
                           
                           
                           
                           
                           
                           
                           
                           
                           
                           
                           
                           
                           
                           
                           
                           
                           
                           
                           
                           
                           
                           
                           

 

 

This is the end of "How to Control Money"

Next chapter: [19]

 

[Home]>[The Man-Made Church]>[18. How to Control Money]

[Home] [How to Measure Your Beliefs] [The Man-Made Church] [Misc]

The address of this page is:
http://www.fpreuss.com/en2/en218.htm