3rd June, 2015
Apostle Charles Jacob, founder, Believer’s Family Assembly, Lagos in a recent chat with journalists, bares his mind on the issues surrounding christendom and why pastors preach prosperity
What is the correlation between holiness and prosperity in the ministry?
Holiness is the beginning of prosperity and without holiness you cannot prosper. But some Christians are misunderstanding it. Holiness is in the spirit while prosperity is in the heart, thus poverty is in the heart. Poverty is not holiness. When you are poor it is because you think you are. The two issues are different things altogether. But poverty and prosperity work together. Whether you are poor or prosperous, holiness is a different matter because holiness is in the spirit not in the heart. What poverty does is to dominate the mind; the same thing prosperity does. If you see a man that the spirit of prosperity has dominated his mind, you will see it by his speech. Also if you see a man that poverty has dominated his mind you will know by his speech. If you see a man that is holy and not pretending, you will know. If you are not holy and if you die, you go to hell. As a man if you wear earrings or pleat your hair and wear gold, if you are holy and you die, you will make heaven. Gold rings or bangles are not sin. During King David’s time, the Bible said that the handles and the pillars bought to build the house of God were all gold and any time God wants to ask for sacrifices He will tell Moses to tell the children of Israel to bring their gold, silver, and bronze for sacrifice so that He will use it to make ark. Even the ark of God was made of gold. Some people read Bible and they don’t have revelation inside the Bible. They just read it and don’t understand the interpretation or meaning. We are made to understand that Bible has no interpretation but the Holy man of God interprets Bible as the spirit moves and explains it to them.
How would you react to the issue of some people coming to church poor and become prosperous thereafter?
Why we see the poor in the church is because churches are there to change and transform lives. So, if the poor don’t come to church lives cannot be transformed. Miracle and testimonies cannot happen. Anybody that runs into the church and receives breakthrough but later forsakes the church and God to go back into the world, when he falls he would come back to look for that same God. The truth is that things you are looking for in the world, God has them aplenty. Man cannot rise without God no matter where you go.
What are the parameters to attract God’s blessings?
Number one is fear of God; the Bible says that the beginning of wisdom is fear of God. Another one is holiness; He said the generation of the righteous shall inherit the earth. Thirdly, your heart; devoting your heart to God and the fourth is your time; devoting your time to God. You must built relationship with God. You must know God before holiness. You have to devote your time for God. The fifth is faith. If these five things are in order, then you must become great in life. You have God first, you know Him, you have relationship with the Holy Spirit. That is the key.
But we still find some people in the church that are so religious, devoted and abide by the doctrines of the church and yet remain poor. How do you explain that?
The Bible says that my people perish for lack of knowledge. It is not about serving God, it’s about you having the understanding and the capacity that God can change your life. Remember that Jesus said: “Holy Spirit is coming, a Saviour, a Comforter, when He comes He will empower you, He will increase your strength and He will begin to show you the things that I cannot show you now”. You may be coming to church and not connected. Your eyes may never be open to the things of God. You never know the ability of God, which is talking about what God can do.
Why is it that we have more of prosperity preaching now than salvation and holiness?
Let me tell you, people that came before us have sold this holiness and salvation to people. So, now people want to prosper because this is the end time and God said “on the last day I will pour out my spirit upon all flesh.” In Joel 2 verse 28, he said the young men and the daughters will see vision and they will prophesy and things will be happening. He said that the old men will be dreaming dreams. So this is time of prophecy, this is time of vision, this is time of dream that is why now whoever that doesn’t have dream cannot excel, whoever that doesn’t have vision cannot excel, whoever that cannot prophesy cannot excel.
Could that be the reason why people flock to churches where they claim to see visions and prophesy?
On those vision carriers, I’m not for that but what I know is Bible. Like Pastor Chris Oyakhilome or Bishop David Oyedepo, you can be preaching the word and prophecy will come or revelation will come and you give it. It is not all about using prophecy as a business, meaning if you don’t bring money we can’t prophesy. There are prophets that prophesy in the name of the Lord. There are visioners that prophesy in the name of the Lord. the Bible says “one spirit but different gifts”. Any prophet that God gave vision or anointed can never take money from you before he prophesies. He can only prophesy to your life to change and not prophesy to take from you because every man of God that God called is to build and not to take. You are after building people, you are after making people, that’s why God called you. God is maker of men and He cannot come down to do that, that’s why He anoints some pastors and empowers them to do what they do.
What is your view concerning the affluent lifestyle of some clergymen while most of their members are poor?
It is good for men of God to ride good cars, fly private jets and live in good houses. Examples abound in the Bible. There is nothing wrong in a servant of God having those things, but it is bad if they use them with pride and pomposity. It is wrong if they are not sensitive to the plight of people around them. Concerning men of God using cars, using jets, building mansions while people in their community are suffering, I said it in one of my interviews that people that live with you can despise you because they knew you from your humble beginning and may not know that God brought you to change their lives. As soon as God’s mandate to prosper you manifests and you decide to be of blessing to them, some will even despise you while some will say its ritual money. Some Christians that call themselves born again would even join them and call you a ritualist because it is the anointing that is working for you. Even if you call them to pray for them they will not come because of familiarity. Why some pastors may not help people on their streets is because people on their streets or community despise them because they know them and when you start to make it shame will not allow them to come and bow down and say sir we need help. As for me, if God blesses me I will ensure that everyone around me partakes in the blessing no matter the little that gets to them. So, to have those good things is not bad but it is the manner they use them that matters. There is nothing wrong for a man of God to build estates. The Bible says that Solomon had estates, he built his house for 13 years alongside the house of God. I don’t understand why people are angry when a child of God is prospering. It is like envying people of God. Some will go to Babalawo who will tell them to bring N300,000 and they will not disobey. Some will use their children’s school fees, while some will not pay their house rent but in the night, they will put cow and ram inside their cars and sneak out to give the Babalawo the cow and ram, but any time the man of God collects tithe of prosperity, they become angry.
Why do some men of God acquire dubious powers to become rich?
The Bible says that many are called but few are chosen; that judgment is for God and not man. It is His prerogative to determine who He sent or who He didn’t send because you can never tell who God sent. Some men of God are sent and God anointed them but they are carried away by the things of life. Saul was called by God but he was carried away, even when it was in the hand of David to kill him, David said “I will not lay my hands upon God’s anointed”. So you cannot tell who God called or who God didn’t call. In the last day God will judge.