Prosperity Preachers – The False Gospel of Health and Wealth

          Prosperity Preachers

           The False Teaching

           of Health and Wealth

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 Wolves in lamb’s clothing. Greed machines, who prey on the most ignorant and desperate people in our society. Rarely if ever teaching how to obtain eternal riches, through faith in Jesus Christ, rarely if ever calling an unregenerate person what he is, a sinner, rarely if ever mentioning hell. It’s all about physical health and worldly wealth, in which the true word of God speaks of as a worthless, waste of time. “Send Me Money”, “Plant A Seed”, “watch your riches grow!”  Lies from the money hungry mouths of those who only want to build personal wealth for themselves and use the precious word of God, a distorted version none the less, to propagate their business. Of course anyone who is spiritually led, knows that God’s word teaches nothing of their fantasy of name it, claim it and send me some dollars.  God’s word speaks of the false teachers in Titus 1:11 “Whose mouths must be stopped, who subvert whole houses, teaching things which they ought not, for filthy lucre’s sake.”   Filthy Lucre being defined as money, worldly goods. The requirement for a pastor is that he is not in love with money  Tit 1:7  For a bishop must be blameless, as the steward of God; not selfwilled, not soon angry, not given to wine, no striker, not given to filthy lucre; Scammers using the Gospel for a means of gain. The money hungry “teachers” are already disqualified from even being a pastor.
 
                                Million dollar homes, the finest cars and all the best this world has to offer. All at the expense of the true Gospel. Those scammed are as guilty as these scammers. For if those who are being scammed knew their bible, which is the individual responsibility of everyone,  they would be able to discern these spirits as being not of God. But instead the scammed keep sending the scammers more and more filthy lucre, until now it is a multi-million dollar business. The doctrines of these false teachers are designed to stimulate people with enthusiasm. The more emotion, the more dollars. Make ’em feel good, tell ’em how great they are and how all they need to do is learn the “secrets” of God’s prosperity. The only problem is their secret is sending them more cash, “sowing more seeds”, the money kind that is.  Twisting scriptures, although they rarely open a bible. What they teach has nothing to do with God’s word or God’s teachings and is more on the line of witchcraft and spells.

                               Building mega churches to impress the world into believing they are prosperous and therefore of God. Beware my friends of following the masses. Throughout biblical history it was always a small remnant who were in the right, while the masses fall off into the pit. Jesus said in Matthew 7:13 Enter ye in at the strait gate: for wide is the gate, and broad is the way, that leadeth to destruction, and many there be which go in thereat: Jesus said in  Matthew 16:26  For what is a man profited, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul? or what shall a man give in exchange for his soul?   These blind teachers and their followers somehow fail to realize that this life is temporary while the next life is eternal. God desires us to be prosperous in spiritual things that will last throughout all eternity. Not things of this short life that fades like a vapor as James writes in James 4:14   Whereas ye know not what shall be on the morrow. For what is your life? It is even a vapour, that appeareth for a little time, and then vanisheth away.  Non spiritual people just don’t understand this. This life is deteriorating by the minute. We are all slowly dying. Job 21:13  They spend their days in wealth, and in a moment go down to the grave. 
Health is another big issue to these frauds. They will say “God always wants you to be healthy, by His strips you were healed”. Let me say both of these are distorted. It is not always God’s will to heal, and they take “by His strips you were healed” out of context. We will study more on their “health” gospel later. But first…
                                                                            

Let’s take a look at the only authority, 
          God’s word. We’ll call it 
   The Bible vs Prosperity Preachers. 

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Does God want me to be wealthy?

                             First we’ll take a look at the Old Testament under the Mosaic Law. Remember, the Old Testament gives us the mind and will of God. Deut. 17:16-17   God says “But he shall not multiply horses to himself, nor cause the people to return to Egypt, to the end that he should multiply horses: forasmuch as the LORD hath said unto you, Ye shall henceforth return no more that way. Neither shall he multiply wives to himself, that his heart turn not away: neither shall he greatly multiply to himself silver and gold. “   Now the mind of God is very clear here as God commands the Israelites not to multiply up for themselves horses, being the main worldly trade in that day, and also not to multiply up for themselves “silver and gold”.   God’s servant must carefully avoid every thing that would turn him from God and his service to God. Riches, honor and pleasures, are three great hinderances of godliness, (the lusts of the flesh, the lusts of the eye, and the pride of life). 

                                 This of course was Solomon’s downfall. Solomon exploited the gift of wisdom that he had received from God and used the gift for financial gain. God did not approved of Solomon’s wealth, but allowed his gains as a source of instruction for those of us in the future who would study the life of Solomon, who in the end, declared all to be Vanity of vanities all is vanity. Solomon was no doubt the wealthiest man who ever lived. In fact his wealth has been calculated at today’s economic measurements and he would measure up today as a multi-billionaire. But in the book of Ecclesiastes, which is a memoir of Solomon’s life, he declares of all his riches, Vanity of vanities all is vanity, meaning it was all a vain and meaningless waste of time. 

                              The life of Solomon should be our example, our school master. It should teach us that wealth, lust, worldly goods and pleasure, only take our mind away from God, just as it did Solomon. Solomon was a saved man, and in the beginning loved God. But Solomon’s wealth over the course of his life, changed him into a degenerated and ungodly form of a man. Note the bible in 1 Kings 11:7  Then did Solomon build an high place for Chemosh, the abomination of Moab, in the hill that is before Jerusalem, and for Molech, the abomination of the children of Ammon.  Solomon in all his wealth abandoned the true God and was building high places, that is places where sacrifices were made to false gods. Notice especially that Solomon was building alters for Molech, the sacrifices of Molech were children!   This is what Solomon had become, a man who loved God, and who God blessed with all the wisdom of this world, yet the filthy wealth had lowered him to the level of sacrificing children.

                              Many times the false health and wealth prosperity preachers quote passages in the wisdom books of the bible such as Proverbs and Psalms. But they fail to realize these scriptures for the most part speak of spiritual wealth that will last for all eternity. It can all be summed up in Proverbs 22:4  By humility and the fear of the LORD are riches, and honour, and life. Friends, God teaches us that riches can be found only through our humbling ourselves and fear God. Not with arrogant attitudes and high minded ideas that God has a design for us to be rich with filthy lucre beyond anything we can imagine. We as God’s creation are ignorant and our knowledge is limited, but God is all knowing. While we may think of this puny existence, as we are here on this earth, as significantly important, but God sees through the porthole of time. He knows our true existence is in eternity.
             

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What did Jesus, God incarnate, teach about wealth?

                                     Jesus, who was the Creator God, the great I Am, taught us by example. Jesus very well could have come to earth born of kings and royalty. He could have lived His life in the luxuries of this world.  But Jesus chose to be born of a poor virgin girl, and continued in earthly poverty until the day He was crucified. He was born in an animal stable, with no room at the inn, which even at the inn would have been a lowly state, but Jesus’ birth even degraded beyond that. Many times He hungered, with little to eat, many times He was tired with nowhere to sleep, Jesus said in Matthew 8:20  And Jesus saith unto him, The foxes have holes, and the birds of the air have nests; but the Son of man hath not where to lay his head.  Jesus being God, created all things and by Him all things consist. Jesus left the mightiness and tranquility of heaven to die for our sins, and His atoning blood takes our poverty of being in debt to God away. We are made rich throughout eternity! But Jesus could have incarnated Himself as a rich man and still die for our sins. So why did Jesus chose to be poor in worldly goods?  For our example. As Christians we are to yield to the Holy Spirit’s work of conforming us to Christ. Jesus sought after only spiritual things and the physical necessities were simply daily needs that were acquired on a daily basis. This is how believer’s are to think, as Jesus thought. Be content.  
                              1 Timothy 6:8 Paul wrote  And having food and raiment let us be therewith content.   And this is exactly what Jesus promised, Luke 12: 23-29 , my friend read this carefully, “The life is more than meat, and the body is more than raiment. Consider the ravens: for they neither sow nor reap; which neither have storehouse nor barn; and God feedeth them: how much more are ye better than the fowls? And which of you with taking thought can add to his stature one cubit? If ye then be not able to do that thing which is least, why take ye thought for the rest? Consider the lilies how they grow: they toil not, they spin not; and yet I say unto you, that Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these.  If then God so clothe the grass, which is to day in the field, and to morrow is cast into the oven; how much more will he clothe you, O ye of little faith? And seek not ye what ye shall eat, or what ye shall drink, neither be ye of doubtful mind.”  This in a nutshell was Jesus’ teaching on wealth. Jesus promises God will supply our daily needs as believers. Never, as these prosperity preachers claim, does God make promises of sowing money seeds and reaping wealth. Jesus goes on to say a few verses down in Matthew 6:33  “But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you.”    This is what the prosperity preachers don’t want you to know. The bible promises only food and clothing and even that promise has an ultimatum, to claim this promise one must SEEK GOD AND HIS RIGHTEOUSNESS FIRST. This would apply to all believer’s, as the saved have the righteousness of God imputed to them through their faith in Jesus Christ. Food and clothing, that’s it. This is not to say that God doesn’t richly bless us in many other areas beyond food and clothing. But were are to be content with food and clothing and not seek wealth and riches of this decaying world.

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What about the wealth and health of the Apostles?

                                          The Apostles, other than Jesus Christ Himself, were the most important men in history. These great  men of God were the foundation to the beginnings of the Christian Church. All had personally witnessed the resurrected Jesus and called personally by Jesus Himself, as these were a prerequisite for becoming an Apostle. So although there are those who title themselves “apostle” today, the gift of Apostleship is not given as no person in the last 2000 years can possibly qualify. 

What were the lifestyles of the Apostles after the resurrection?

                                 There was a certain man who thought he could buy God’s blessings just as the wolves are teaching today. He wanted the power of the Apostles which was through the Holy Spirit. Read carefully Acts 8:18-20   “And when Simon saw that through laying on of the apostles’ hands the Holy Ghost was given, he offered them money,  Saying, Give me also this power, that on whomsoever I lay hands, he may receive the Holy Ghost. But Peter said unto him, Thy money perish with thee, because thou hast thought that the gift of God may be purchased with money.”   Peter reprimanded Simon immediately. Informing him that God cannot be bought. The blessings of God are granted through our faith and obedience to Him.  Seeking after His righteousness, found only in Jesus Christ, and desiring to be conformed to His image. Sending money to “ministries” with the premise that God will bountifully bless you is simply not scripturally sound, in fact, it is in total error of what God’s word instructs.

                                The Apostle Paul wrote under inspiration in  1 Timothy 6:10  “For the love of money is the root of all evil: which while some coveted after, they have erred from the faith, and pierced themselves through with many sorrows.”  Naturally the scammers will say they don’t love money, they are just claiming God’s blessings, but their lavish lifestyles prove otherwise. The Bible not only teaches us by words, but gives us example after example, that riches corrupt a man, and we are not to seek after riches of this world. 

                                 Perhaps the greatest of all the Apostles was without a doubt, the Apostle Paul. Paul was the preacher to the Gentiles. Paul was taught by Jesus Himself.  Galatians 1:12 Paul wrote;  “For I neither received it of man, neither was I taught it, but by the revelation of Jesus Christ.”  Paul was used by Jesus to carry out probably the most important mission in Christendom, to carry the Gospel to the Gentiles and go on to pen no less than 12 of the 27 books of the New Testament. Paul had many gifts including Apostleship, miracles,and healing. Paul raised a man from the dead. Paul was allowed into the third heaven, in God’s presence, and witnessed all it’s glories. Paul, through the Holy Spirit, did more miraculous things than probably any other Apostle. What great power this man was given from God. But how was Paul’s health and wealth? All you have to do is open your bible to find out. Personal bible study has become absent from those who call themselves by the name of Jesus. That is why ignorance is rampant. That is why so many are lost and confused and being led away by frauds, the blind leading the blind. Let’s take a look at Paul’s wealth.

         Paul described his wealth in 1 Corinthians 11: 23-28   “Are they ministers of Christ? (I speak as a fool) I am more; in labours more abundant, in stripes above measure, in prisons more frequent, in deaths oft. Of the Jews five times received I forty stripes save one. Thrice was I beaten with rods, once was I stoned, thrice I suffered shipwreck, a night and a day I have been in the deep; In journeyings often, in perils of waters, in perils of robbers, in perils by mine own countrymen, in perils by the heathen, in perils in the city, in perils in the wilderness, in perils in the sea, in perils among false brethren; In weariness and painfulness, in watchings often, in hunger and thirst, in fastings often, in cold and nakedness. Beside those things that are without, that which cometh upon me daily, the care of all the churches.”   I personally would give Paul the title; The Greatest Christian Who Ever Lived. Paul explains that he has suffered as much as the other Apostles and more. He says first, he had worked hard labor, he had been beaten more than all, he had been in prison more than the rest, he had received 5 times the famous 39 stripes of the Jews, which is 195 strikes of the whip at the whipping post. He had been beaten with rods, stoned until he was believed to be dead, shipwrecked, in dangers of the oceans, robbers, Jews, Gentiles, in danger in the cities, in the wilderness. In weariness and pain, hungry and thirsty often, cold and naked, suggesting he had no home or shelter. Paul was undoubtedly even denied many times the food and clothing promise made by Jesus to those who put God and His righteousness first. What an amazing man and how he loved Jesus.  

                                Paul was absolutely in total poverty to the things of this world, but oh my friend how Paul is blessed today within the comfort and riches of Glory. The physical, mental and emotional anguish this great man of God dealt with on a daily basis is heart wrenching, and yet money hungry ravenous wolves tell the world, “God wants the believer to be rich”  Paul writes in 1 Corinthians 11:1  “Be ye followers of me, even as I also am of Christ.”  Paul followed Jesus so profoundly and obediently,  that under inspiration, he could write to the Christians at Corinth to follow him and his example of following Christ. Do the prosperity preachers follow Paul, in his humility, in his poverty, in his sufferings and in his obedience? I should think not. All the Apostles suffered traumatically. Their end of life was to be murdered in horrible ways by ungodly people who loved money, power and wealth. 

                                                  

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What about Health?

      
                                             Many times the prosperity crowd can’t use money blessings as an incentive to send them dollars because some people are already well off and don’t need financial blessings. Well they have an answer to this, something everyone desires, rich and poor, that issue is HEALTH. Yet another of the false teachings of many of those in the Pentecostal, Charismatic and Word Faith movements, and especially among the prosperity crowd, is God always desires you to be healthy. Selling health blessings for bucks is big business and attracts multitudes of desperate people who may have a terminal illness or just someone who wants to remain in good health.  Is this biblical? Does the bible teach that God wants us to always be healthy?

                                   Our bodies are constantly deteriorating. Everyday we are closer to the day of our death. It must first be noted that Jesus did not heal everyone He came into contact with and God creates all life whether it be acceptable by our standards or not. Exodus 4:11  “And the LORD said unto him, Who hath made man’s mouth? or who maketh the dumb, or deaf, or the seeing, or the blind? have not I the LORD?”   Moses here was complaining to God that he was not a good speaker and that God should choose someone else for the calling of setting Israel free from the Egyptians. God made it clear that He knew what he was doing because no matter what imperfections we may have, God creates all to His sovereign will. Don’t ever think because someone is deaf, blind or sick that they are that way because of sin or the devil. God works in a fallen creation, caused by Lucifer and man’s willingness to listen to him. But God is still in ultimate control of all things.  For what ever reason He chooses, God makes the deaf, blind, sick, the child with downs syndrome, the lame and so on. Knowing that “unhealthiness” comes from the sovereign God,  as God created and is in control of all things, does God then always desire that we be healthy?
   
                                       The bible tells us in  1 Timothy 4:8 “For bodily exercise profiteth little: but godliness is profitable unto all things, having promise of the life that now is, and of that which is to come.”    Now Paul writes to Timothy here that exercise profits us little. Exercise or any form of health benefits we may promote for our bodies are really a waste of time. Our bodies are dying and there is nothing we can do to stop it. All the medical technology in the world, although can add a few years to physical life, cannot stop the death process. Isn’t it sad that health is a billion dollar a year business. People taking vitamins and denying themselves of great tasting foods, spending billions on exercise equipment, not to mention youth serums and plastic surgery. And all for what really?  It doesn’t matter what you do you are still going to die, like most people in their 70’s, if you’re blessed you may live to 100. But any way you sum it up you are going to die in the same time frame of normal longevity.  Paul teaches that godliness is profitable to all things, godliness has a promise of this puny life on earth, but more importantly, the eternal life. Health, just like wealth, is temporary and only pleasurable for a short season. We shouldn’t purposely abuse our bodies as to shorten our lives, but spending time and money to look good or prolong our life, simply as Paul says, profits little. People in our lost world are obsessed with health, because they know not God, and this life is all they have to cling to.  

                      So does God always want us to be healthy? Let’s again look at the life of the Apostle Paul. Paul described himself going up into heaven, into paradise, he then goes on to tell of his illness in 1 Corinthians 12:7-10  “And lest I should be exalted above measure through the abundance of the revelations, there was given to me a thorn in the flesh, the messenger of Satan to buffet me, lest I should be exalted above measure. For this thing I besought the Lord thrice, that it might depart from me. And he said unto me, My grace is sufficient for thee: for my strength is made perfect in weakness. Most gladly therefore will I rather glory in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me. Therefore I take pleasure in infirmities, in reproaches, in necessities, in persecutions, in distresses for Christ’s sake: for when I am weak, then am I strong.”   After Paul saw heaven he stood the chance of becoming exalted and high minded because of receiving a revelation no one had seen, he saw heaven! So there was a thorn in the flesh, that is some sort of illness or infirmity. Some believe it was eye or sight problems, but whatever it was, he prayed for God’s help 3 times.
 
                        This is the man who did miraculous healings and even raised the dead, but he had an illness himself and was at the mercy of God.  God refused Paul’s request of healing and said through Paul’s weakness or illness that God’s strength is made perfect. In other words, through Paul’s illness, God was strengthen and glorified. Therefore Paul’s request of healing was denied. Paul humbly accepted God’s will and took pleasure in his illness that God may be glorified. 

                        Perhaps no man recorded in biblical history suffered with physical ailments as did Job. A careful study of Job teaches us that God allows Satan to bring hardships in our life. Again, God is sovereign and Satan can do nothing without God’s permission. Physical afflictions are introduced in our lives because it places us in the valley, where we can grow. Nothing grows at 20,000 feet, but in the valley, life is green, thriving and growing. It is God’s will that we be conformed into the image of Christ, and many times this is achieved by taking us down that we may be lifted up.  Job stood-fast in his afflictions and he was rewarded with magnificent blessings after his time in the valley.   So we have learned that God creates those with afflictions, and He allows Satan to afflict God’s children.

                        So, is it always God’s will to heal as the movements claim? Absolutely not. Prosperity wolves often use the scripture in 1 Peter 2:24  “Who his own self bare our sins in his own body on the tree, that we, being dead to sins, should live unto righteousness: by whose stripes ye were healed.”  By His stripes you are healed.  Friends this passage speaks of spiritual healing and death. By His beating  and scourging which ultimately lead to the Savior’s death, we are brought into reconciliation back to God. Our wound of sin and eternal destruction has been healed by Jesus’ atoning blood.  Jesus conquered hell and the grave for us, defeating both, that our eternal destiny may be forever changed, by placing our faith in Him. This precious verse has been lowered to a meaning of a lesser degree, so much more than bodily healing,  He healed our standing with God.

      
                       In closing, the false prosperity charmers of health and wealth are probably going to be around awhile. They are tares among the wheat, but one day God their creator will judge them and I suspect hell will be a little hotter for these frauds. It is the duty of all those who know the truth to pull the wool off the lamb and expose these wolves for what they are. The writers of the bible epistles didn’t hesitate to do so, and neither should we.  Teach and preach the truth, no matter who it offends. Be steadfast in Godly doctrines, and study to show thyself approved, rightly dividing the precious, eternal word of God.

 

 
 
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