There are many preachers out there preaching a prosperity gospel/doctrine saying that if you tithe ten percent of your income, that God will bless you some ten fold, some fifty fold and some a hundred fold. They teach that you can get rich by sowing good seed, and to back up their prosperity gospel/doctrine they are rich themselves selling books, DVD box sets and traveling all around the world from stage to stage in the best suits money can buy. It's alluring and they are rich and prosperous and so the masses flock to hear them and sow good money into their collection plates and buy all their resources. In this article I will scripturally look at the floors in this prosperity gospel.
There are eight scripture passages I want to look at in the midst of this article/sermon on the great prosperity gospel/doctrine lie. I hope that at the end of this article that you might feel happy to see it preached on my website. The first scripture reference is:
James 4:1-4 (New King James Version)
1 Where do wars and fights come from among you? Do they not come from your desires for pleasure that war in your members? 2 You lust and do not have. You murder and covet and cannot obtain. You fight and war. Yet you do not have because you do not ask. 3 You ask and do not receive, because you ask amiss, that you may spend it on your pleasures. 4 Adulterers and adulteresses! Do you not know that friendship with the world is enmity with God? Whoever therefore wants to be a friend of the world makes himself an enemy of God.
As I write this we have been at war in Iraq for a number of years. The president of the USA, my prime minister of Australia, and the popular media would have us believe that we went to Iraq to destroy the weapons of mass destruction. Then when they could not be found, we were told that we went there to liberate the people of Iraq and the terrorist organisations that he has links to. Then he was caught, his government put out of power and still the killing continues. As of writing credible news sources that are not popular estimate that over one million innocent people have died in this present war and occupation. But still the war continues between the factions of the Iraq terrorist organisations, all because we continue to occupy the land and not leave them to sort out their own government.
Most people seem to believe that the war was part of the war on terror and so the occupation is in Iraq's best interests and the interests of the West. I don't believe that. I think James was right. The war is all about the oil supply for that region and giving the USA a viable presence in the volatile middle East where Israel is of high interest.
You lust and do not have. You murder and covet and cannot obtain.
It is a common motive in murder on both TV and in movies and in fact in real life, the fact that someone has money and the person who murders them stands to inherit the fortune. For eons the world has been at war when one country has gone to war on another for their resources.
Coveting is a sin in this world that is absolutely out of control. In fact, without the sinning of coveting every person in the world could be fed. It's man's insatiable appetite to keep up with their neighbours and desire his neighbours car, house and DVD player that keeps the massive economies of the West going. Most every Christian is guilty of coveting, very few Christians are sowing a third of their income into the gospel, but are constantly buying and buying always wanting the best that they can afford of everything.
You fight and war.
And when a country is simply not getting their way and getting everything that they want, they invade another country and take what that countries people own.
Yet you do not have because you do not ask.
The Lord has promised in his scripture that he shall supply all our needs according to His riches in glory, yet without consulting the Lord in prayer as a nation and as individuals we go to war.
As an individual we can go to war, or murder in our heart simply by gossiping to a boss about our work colleague who has the job that we want. Bad things can be said to defame a person's name and character and the result be the person who informed the boss gets the promotion. This goes on so often it's simply not funny.
One day I read this scripture that I do not have because I do not ask, and the Holy Spirit spoke to my heart and encouraged me to ask God for things. I never used to ask God for anything in prayer, I simply used to chat to Jesus. From that day on in times of need I have asked the Lord and he has done a wonderful job of supplying.
But not everyone gets what they ask for because:
You ask and do not receive, because you ask amiss, that you may spend it on your pleasures.
This is the root of where the prosperity gospel is wrong and a lie. The prosperity gospel preachers preach a prosperity doctrine that says that if you tithe ten percent into what they call good soil, then when you get wealthy you can have all the pleasures that you like.
James says if you live for pleasure you are adulterers and adulteresses. Yes, he says that a person that is coveting all the best they can have in the world they are spiritually having sexual relations with the world. They are committing adultery on Jesus the bride groom. They are essentially saying that they love the world more then him.
Do you not know that friendship with the world is enmity with God? Whoever therefore wants to be a friend of the world makes himself an enemy of God.
Let me ask you a question.
How many of His enemies is God going to let into heaven?
Do you think you can be an enemy of God, and be at enmity with Him and inherit eternal life in heaven when you die?
Not at all!
So how far can you love the world BEFORE you are an enemy of God? How many pleasures can you have on earth and how much coveting on earth can you do before you are an enemy of Gods?
It's an important question to ask yourself. Now let's go to our next scripture passage.
1 John 2:15-17 (New King James Version)
15 Do not love the world or the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him. 16 For all that is in the world-the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life-is not of the Father but is of the world. 17 And the world is passing away, and the lust of it; but he who does the will of God abides forever.
Do not love the world or the things in the world.
Do you hear what this scripture says? Do NOT love the things of this world. That's don't love your car, don't love your house, that's don't love the best life that the world has to offer.
How can you possibly do that?
Love God and people. Concentrate on your life financing more people coming into the kingdom of God, and more people being brought closer to God through teaching. Teach people how to be a pilgrim in this world, how to work and live in this world, but to actually hate the world and live entirely for God and His fruits to be manifest in your life.
If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him.
Like James, John echoes the theme that a person that loves the world is far away from God. In fact if you are not sad in your spirit at the state of this world and are not obeying the Lord to make this a better world through Christ and the ministries he has, then you don't really know God very well. And His love is far from you.
The prosperity gospel/doctrine teachers teach that as long as you sow money into the kingdom of God, you can live it up with the very best houses, the best cars and all the best the world has to offer. I think if the message they were preaching was so liberating to the human soul and brought them closer to the Lord, then they would tithe 95% of their income by simply offering their resources for free as teachings on Google video and You Tube.
Teaching people you can love the world as long as you give the Lord 10% of your income into good soil, is a prosperity gospel lie, and their people are not happier and more content, they are moving away from the Lord of hosts.
For all that is in the world-the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life-is not of the Father but is of the world.
The lusts of the flesh are, fornication, adultery, envy, wrath, eating too much, wanting too much, coveting, being jealous, and the list goes on. It's what our flesh wants without being controlled by the Spirit of God. It's that second helping of desert, it's a large pizza to yourself, it's that coffee you shouldn't be having, and it's going out with that guy that you know you shouldn't.
The lust of the eyes wants everything that looks good. It's the best dressed women at the party that everyone wishes that they had her dress. It's that BMW with the sunroof and it's that Jetski that looks so flash. The lust of the eyes wants that girl who you just can't take your eyes off. It wants that fruit in the Garden of Eden that looks so good and God said not to eat.
The pride of life likes the fact that you are called the executive manager of marketing. It's being called the operations manager. It's being the guy that owns that Ferrari that everyone is looking at. Pride in yourself, pride in how nice your house is or how well your children did at school, are all things that are a little dodgy with God. God wants us to be confident in whom we are in Him, not boasting and proud of whom we are from our own works.
These three things the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life are not of the Father, but they are of the world and God is not happy with them existing in our Christian lives.
And the world is passing away, and the lust of it; but he who does the will of God abides forever.
One day all you have amassed on earth will be left and you will die but if you at that time are a person that has lusted after the things of the world all your life, you will die being in a state of enmity with God and you will NOT abide with God forever.
2 Timothy 2:3-5 (New King James Version)
3 You therefore must endure hardship as a good soldier of Jesus Christ. 4 No one engaged in warfare entangles himself with the affairs of this life, that he may please him who enlisted him as a soldier. 5 And also if anyone competes in athletics, he is not crowned unless he competes according to the rules. You therefore must endure hardship as a good soldier of Jesus Christ.
The prosperity gospel/doctrine teachers will have you believe as long as you are tithing and giving to the Lord that life is all rosy. Yet to be a good soldier of Jesus Christ you must endure hardship.
I put it to you, how would you endure hardship as a Good soldier?
Well two ways I will mention here.
First, if you start to obey Jesus Christ and all His commands many people will start to rise up against you as you will stand out. If you begin to preach that a person needs to obey Jesus to actually love Him people will take exception.
The second way we can endure hardship, and I am sure there are many ways, is when you make the decision to tithe 10 percent of your income to the Lord. When you are on a low income 10 percent can be an awful lot, but I can assure you the hardship cannot be compared to the joy you have sowing into worthwhile causes and ministries that are making a difference. Knowing that a poor person has their own Bible now because of you is a joy to the heart.
No one engaged in warfare entangles himself with the affairs of this life, that he may please him who enlisted him as a soldier.
Once again we see being involved with the things of this world or the affairs of this life as Paul says, is NOT being a good soldier and pleasing to the Lord Jesus who enlisted us. One way to divorce yourself from the world is to get into the Word, get into Christian books and get involved in a ministry in your spare time. One way to be a good soldier is to spend a lot of your money on the true gospel and sow your money not into prosperity ministries but to ones preaching the liberating Word of the Lord.
A soldier goes on active duty and is away from his family. The soldiers in Iraq aren't out at the movies every night and coming home to a wife and child. They are in a foreign county under unfriendly fire. So to the world and its lusts must be foreign to you as a good soldier.
And also if anyone competes in athletics, he is not crowned unless he competes according to the rules.
Paul talked a few times about the race we are in. As followers of Christ we actually should be following Christ. John puts it this way.
1 John 2:4-6 (New King James Version)
4 He who says, "I know Him," and does not keep His commandments, is a liar, and the truth is not in him. 5 But whoever keeps His word, truly the love of God is perfected in him. By this we know that we are in Him. 6 He who says he abides in Him ought himself also to walk just as He walked.
Therefore combining John and Paul we see that the rules that we are competing with in our race are the very commands of Jesus and if we really are abiding in Jesus Christ we must walk just as Christ did. 1 Timothy 6:6-11 (New King James Version)
6 Now godliness with contentment is great gain. 7 For we brought nothing into this world, and it is certain we can carry nothing out. 8 And having food and clothing, with these we shall be content. 9 But those who desire to be rich fall into temptation and a snare, and into many foolish and harmful lusts which drown men in destruction and perdition. 10 For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil, for which some have strayed from the faith in their greediness, and pierced themselves through with many sorrows. 11 But you, O man of God, flee these things and pursue righteousness, godliness, faith, love, patience, gentleness.
Now godliness with contentment is great gain. 7 For we brought nothing into this world, and it is certain we can carry nothing out.
To be godly and content in this world is of great worth Paul says to Timothy and His church. For it is certain that we were born with no money and we can take no money with us when we die. Do you know the only thing you can take to heaven on this earth?
It's the people that you bring to the Lord personally, or the people your money sponsored to bring to the Lord that you can take with you. That's it. Of course they won't die when you die, but one day in heaven if they walk right before God and don't become his enemy, the people you bring to the Lord will join you in heaven. These people are the people that your time and money should be directed at saving. And having food and clothing, with these we shall be content.
Do you see this? With the food in our bellies each day and with clothes on our back that can be washed each week, with this alone should we be contented. Nothing has changed folks from the time Paul wrote this scripture. If you are not content with just food and clothing, you are coveting.
Of course food now goes in fridges and houses are good to have, but Paul is making a very good point here. A third of the world doesn't even have these two items. These are the people that need the gospel and our love, not ourselves.
Any desire for riches is dangerous.
But those who desire to be rich fall into temptation and a snare, and into many foolish and harmful lusts which drown men in destruction and perdition. 10 For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil, for which some have strayed from the faith in their greediness, and pierced themselves through with many sorrows.
harmful lusts which drown men in destruction and perdition
Do you know that Judas was called the son of perdition? For money and lack of faith he lost his life and eternal life. So too, people will lose their life in Christ and their eternal life with Christ if they drown themselves in the lusts of the flesh that riches bring.
for which some have strayed from the faith in their greediness, and pierced themselves through with many sorrows.
People actually lose their faith, they stray so far away from the true gospel that they lose their holiness and they are covetous and non repentant and therefore as they have not repented they continue in sin to their death and their love of money causes them instead of great joy, much sorrow.
The prosperity gospel teachers who once escaped the world and its pollution though salvation, yet through money are enticed back into the world and its lusts. Peter speaks about them here.
2 Peter 2:20-22 (New King James Version)
20 For if, after they have escaped the pollutions of the world through the knowledge of the Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, they are again entangled in them and overcome, the latter end is worse for them than the beginning. 21 For it would have been better for them not to have known the way of righteousness, than having known it, to turn from the holy commandment delivered to them. 22 But it has happened to them according to the true proverb: "A dog returns to his own vomit," and, "a sow, having washed, to her wallowing in the mire."
Paul admonished Timothy to rebuke those in error and in this teaching it is my intention to rebuke the prosperity gospel/doctrine preachers and wake up the people that are trapped in this sow one dollar and receive a hundredfold return. I implore you to come away from that teaching and watch my video of the same name on my website for more information.
2 Timothy 4:2-4 (New King James Version)
2 Preach the word! Be ready in season and out of season. Convince, rebuke, exhort, with all longsuffering and teaching. 3 For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine, but according to their own desires, because they have itching ears, they will heap up for themselves teachers; 4 and they will turn their ears away from the truth, and be turned aside to fables.
I hope this teaching has been profitable to you so far for you to see that you cannot love the world and its lusts and be a friend of God's. Sure God's anointing and peace may be with you while you are in error, but His Holy Spirit will continue to try and teach you the error of your ways. Tonight I am spending two hours of my time typing up a 5000 word teaching in obedience to Paul's letter to Timothy here.
but according to their own desires.
People want to be rich and prosperous and the prosperity gospel/doctrine teachers promise them a life that will be rich. It's not that the Bible does not work. If you sow, you will reap and the Bible is clear on that and God will fulfil his promise in that regard. A person is not wrong sowing their money into God's kingdom, but they are wrong in wanting to be rich firstly as they should be content with food and clothes, and secondly they are wrong as they want to spend up and be a friend of the world with all the very best the world can give them for their money.
It's because the followers of the prosperity doctrine have the desires to be blessed that they won't listen to correction and most probably not click on this article to read it. They have their teachers that tickle their ears and say what they want them to say and they consider everyone else just having a poverty mentality. That is where you come in as an evangelist to your saved friends and Christians you know caught up in this. You can print out this teaching and give it to them, or you can go to Google video and search the title of this article and download my sermon and burn it on CD and give it to them.
James 5:1-5 (New King James Version)
1 Come now, you rich, weep and howl for your miseries that are coming upon you! 2 Your riches are corrupted, and your garments are moth-eaten. 3 Your gold and silver are corroded, and their corrosion will be a witness against you and will eat your flesh like fire. You have heaped up treasure in the last days. 4 Indeed the wages of the laborers who mowed your fields, which you kept back by fraud, cry out; and the cries of the reapers have reached the ears of the Lord of Sabaoth. 5 You have lived on the earth in pleasure and luxury; you have fattened your hearts as in a day of slaughter.
It is not long before the United States stock market and then the world stock markets are going to crash. This crash will be the biggest in the history of the market and it won't recover and massive losses are going to be wrought on all types of people. Pension funds, stocks and bonds and even banks investments are going to be lost.
On that day the rich will be weeping and howling.
Jesus taught that a person must store their riches in heaven not on earth where the moths eat them, and they are corroded and thieves steal them. He said in heaven they won't be able to be touched and that when a persons treasure is stored in heaven that their heart will be there also as where there treasure is that is where there heart will be.
Let me let you in on a secret.
I own a TV a DVD player, a computer, three DVDS, a fridge, a washing machine and two weeks worth of clothes. Oh I also have about fifty Christian books that I have read.
That's all I own.
I use the computer for this ministry and the ministry owns a thousand dollar video camera and we compress and upload the sermons we have started to preach on my roommate's laptop.
My treasure is the rights to a book I have written which turned out through a vanity publisher to be too expensive for people to consider to buy, and 262 articles on EzineArticles. 1200 people a week read my articles of which this is one and roughly one in ten people click through to my amateur website where they can read my best articles and read about prophecies I have done and begin to pick a sermon they might want to watch. You see, folks, my treasure is all in the kingdom. If someone got through our security lock and stole my computer, my roommate's laptop and the camera I am sure someone I know might simply give me the money to go back into ministry.
I see angels on a weekly basis. In fact most times I go walking at night they come down to greet me and wave and say nice things to me. Quite often Jesus comes to me on earth and walks and talks with me. Not in the flesh, but as a ghost like figure, a vision.
My whole life is focused on saving people and bringing those that are saved into closer relationship with God.
This verse above says that the riches are going to be corrupted and the garments moth eaten. It says that the corrosion will be a witness against them and will eat your flesh like fire.
I personally believe that this fire that eats their flesh is the fire of hell. In Mary K Baxter's book. A divine revelation of hell she described people in hell as they were in pits and their flesh was burning off them and when it was all burnt off then it would return and burn off again for eternity. With all of my heart, though I shudder to say it here, I believe that some people who are Christians right now will get so much into the world and its lusts that their wealth will not only corrode but it will burn them in hell.
You have heaped up treasure in the last days.
The prosperity gospel/doctrine teachers say that it's fine to be rich and have all the best of the world and to heap up treasure. James says heaping up treasure in these last days of the earth is not a wise thing to do. The people caught in this lusting after the things of this world, the covetous behaviour of idolatry are in a very dangerous position with God.
Indeed the wages of the laborers who mowed your fields, which you kept back by fraud, cry out; and the cries of the reapers have reached the ears of the Lord of Sabaoth. 5 You have lived on the earth in pleasure and luxury; you have fattened your hearts as in a day of slaughter
These labourers who have mowed our fields are people like the Chinese. We pay them like ten cents an hour to make our goods so we can make big profits. We all purchase good the Chinese have made for no money at all, good Christian Chinese have worked for us and they cry out to the Lord for justice. At present there is an estimated 80 million Chinese Christians in the underground church. 60 million of them do not own their own Bible. These people weep and wonder why the rich Christian West will not buy them a Bible. And in James the Lord God is saying to us rich nations that we are defrauding these guys.
The prosperity gospel/doctrine is a lie from the pit of hell.
Come out of it my people, saith the Lord God Almighty.
Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/681872