PROSPERITY, the message of covetousness
This study will cover every New Testament scripture on the message of Prosperity.
2 Cor. 2:17 For we are not, as so many, peddling the word of God: but as of sincerity, but as of God, we speak in the sight of God in Christ. (NKJ)
2 Peter 2:3 And through covetousness shall they with feigned words make merchandise of you: whose judgment now of a long time lingereth not, and their damnation slumbereth not.
What It Means To Be Poor...
One day a very wealthy man took his son on a trip to the country with the firm purpose of revealing how poor, poor people can be. They spent a couple of days and nights on the farm of what would be considered a very poor family.
On their return from their trip, the father asked his son, "How was the trip?" "It was great, Dad." "Did you see how poor people can be?" the father asked. "Oh Yeah" said the son. "So what did you learn from the trip?" asked the father.
The son answered, "I saw that we have one dog and they had four. We have a pool that reaches to the middle of our garden and they have a creek that has no end. We have imported lanterns in our garden and they have the stars at night. Our patio reaches to the front yard and they have the whole horizon.
We have a small piece of land to live on and they have fields that go beyond our sight. We have servants who serve us, but they serve others. We argue in the courts over what belongs to us, they freely give to those whom are in need. We buy our food, but they grow theirs. We have walls around our property to protect us, they have friends to protect them."
With this the boy's father was speechless. Then his son added, "Thanks dad for showing me how poor we are."
Hearken, my beloved brethren, Hath not God chosen the poor of this world rich in faith, and heirs of the kingdom which he hath promised to them that love him?
I have put together a study on the prosperity message that has invaded our churches today. While this grieves the Father in heaven, I feel it important to set the record straight concerning this doctrine. I hope and pray that this study will bless you as you take the gospel to the ends of the earth!
This study is intended to clarify these points:
First: Christians can prosper!
I believe that the scriptures do contain a message of blessings and prosperity to the Saints! But not prosperity so that the Saints can live in luxury, satisfying the lusts of the flesh, while their brothers are living in need. The rich can live without the expensive ultra-luxury cars, oversized homes and fine clothing in order to help those who are in need! Amen! Or does the word "sacrifice" have any meaning today!
1 Tim. 6:17-18 Charge them that are rich in this world, that they be not highminded, nor trust in uncertain riches, but in the living God, who giveth us richly all things to enjoy;  That they do good, that they be rich in good works, ready to distribute, willing to communicate (willing to share);
For a preacher to proclaim the gospel about the Lord’s desire to bless the Saints is true! God wants to bless us! But to create a covetous desire in the hearts of the Saints, to cause the Saints to desire MORE than what they need, is false and leads to idolatry!
Col. 3:5 Mortify therefore your members which are upon the earth; fornication, uncleanness, inordinate affection, evil concupiscence, and covetousness, which is idolatry:
1 Tim. 6:6 But godliness with contentment is great gain.
Ephes. 5:3 But fornication, and all uncleanness, or covetousness, let it not be once named among you, as becometh saints;
Philip. 4:19 But my God shall supply all your need according to his riches in glory by Christ Jesus.
Third: Prosperity Preachers!
To expose, through the scriptures, the evil, carnal doctrine of the prosperity preachers who, by creating a covetous desire in the hearts of the Saints, are making great profits from merchandising the saints. They preach the prosperity message and manipulate the saints in order to create large tithe collections, not for the provision of saints in need, but to fill their own bank accounts, buying large homes, private jets, luxury automobiles, expensive motorcycles, fine jewelry, clothing, food etc.! Could we compare these preachers to the Catholic priests of Old who used the gospel as a means of gaining wealth and power by manipulating the Saints?
2 Peter 2:3 And through covetousness shall they with feigned words make merchandise of you: whose judgment now of a long time lingereth not, and their damnation slumbereth not
Testimonies of manipulative methods used by these preachers
A brother in Christ, who pastors a church that feeds hundreds of homeless each week, recently spoke on one of the prosperity TV programs, viewed by nearly every Christian in America. The interviewer acted as though he was interested in the Pastors work for the Lord and hands him an envelope while the program is on the air. “We want to sow into your ministry,” the interviewer proclaimed publicly on the air. After the broadcast, the Pastor opened the envelope! It was empty! “You must have made a mistake!” the Pastor shared with the prosperity TV interviewer. “We will send it in the mail” the man responded. To this day, no check has ever been sent. But the TV viewers think they are blessing Pastors like this, and continue to send their money to this corrupt prosperity TV ministry. This isn't the only testimony of the covetous and deceitful practices of this TV ministry.
While TV viewers of the same TV ministry are watching the program feed homeless Americans on the streets, telling the people that their tithes were being used to feed the homeless, the truth is that the minister on the program is staying in a luxury hotel, paid for by the TV tithers, and a local ministry has dished out the cash and efforts to collect the food and provide the feeding. The TV ministry simply takes the credit while their ONLY service was to tape the outreach and air it, claiming to be it's own outreach. The local Pastor (the true laborer) receives nothing! At the home studio, this TV ministry sits in a gold filled luxury setting as though they are building their own kingdom, not God's!
Recently, I visited a Word of Faith church, where the guest speaker started out by stating that he was believing in God for a miracle. A miracle that souls would be saved during his meeting. He spent the next hour, not proclaiming the gospel of Jesus Christ, but rather telling his testimony of how God blessed him with riches. He then proceeded to take up an offering, I suppose, to give the listeners the chance to be “likewise” blessed with riches. Needless to say, the guest speaker made his riches by vehicle of his sermon. He made merchandise of the people (2 Peter 2:3) I don't recall that anyone got saved. He deceived the hearers into believing that he was winning souls into the kingdom of God, when he was only building a covetous desire in the hearts of the hearers, and enticing them to fill his own pockets. He used the gospel to create a scam, bulking the finances from tempted hearers, causing them to lust after the things of this world, instead of seeking the face of God.
In his testimony, this speaker proclaimed that after he gave to another preacher out of his money which he needed to make a large mortgage payment, that night, he commanded God to be faithful to His word, and give him the money he needed. He ordered, not just a car, but a new Cadillac, to his children a day at Disney World, and his wife a shopping spree at the most expensive dress shop in town. He then testified how a man rose from his sleep to call him immediately with a promise to give him $10,000. The next day, someone gave him a Cadillac, his wife went shopping for the expensive clothes at another's willful expense, and the children went to Disney world. WOW! Now the hearers with itching ears can proclaim “Let's give this preacher our $500 house payment and trust God to do the same for us!”
An excellent message to clean out the bank account of those who “have the faith!”
Where is the salvation gospel in all this? Where is the message of repentance from sin, and obedience to Christ? Where is the “sell what you have, give to the poor, deny ourselves, take up our crosses, and follow Jesus”? Did anyone gain the faith to trust Jesus and go to the nations and preach the “true” gospel?
If anyone did go forward for salvation, was it to find the face of God in fear and trembling, with a heart of repentance? Would he be faithful to continue to serve the Lord even if he was in poverty, tribulation and persecution, even death as so many of our Christian brothers in Muslim countries are enduring?
Or was it to seek God's hand of financial prosperity, blessings and gain? Would he continue to serve the Lord when he is abased and persecuted for the gospels sake?
Although God is truly faithful, and he truly does provide for those who sow bountifully, the “prosperity message” of the Word of Faith movement, is hording up riches into the pockets of men who call themselves “Preachers of the Gospel”. They are in reality, fleecing the sheep for gain. They have turned the gospel into a lottery ticket with a guaranteed return to those who believe by faith!
If this preacher would have told the listeners “Go home and give bountifully to the missionary of your own choosing”, refusing to take the collection for himself, I might have trusted his message as the gospel. If he would have built the faith of the hearers to sow bountifully to their suffering brothers and sisters in foreign lands, I could have said “Well done!” But instead the preacher immediately takes the collection for his own pocket, maybe sharing a portion with the church who invited him to speak.
Please don't mistake what I am saying! I believe that a man whom God blesses with a prosperous business by way of truthful and fair merchandising, and gives bountifully of his profits to minister to the poor as ordered by the Apostle Paul in 1 Tim. 6:17-19, and challenged by James 2:16-17, should not be compared to the preacher who becomes rich by way of using the Gospel for personal gain by fleecing the sheep of God! This profiteering is running ramped in our churches today.
I am not speaking here against prosperous Christians, but I am protesting against the message that these preachers teach, which is for self gain! While much of what they teach is certainly true, it only takes a small injection of “I won't be content until I get a brand new Cadillac” to distort that truth, and turn it into a covetous message. Should we all now demand Cadillacs from God when our need is for depandable transportation? A drop of poison in a clean glass of pure, clean water, is still deadly!
Ye ask, and receive not, because ye ask amiss, that ye may consume it upon your lusts.  Ye adulterers and adulteresses, know ye not that the friendship of the world is enmity with God? whosoever therefore will be a friend of the world is the enemy of God.
The word Lust, is defined as follows: hedone, hay-don-ay'; from handano (to please); sensual delight; by implication desire :- lust, pleasure.
So these prosperity preachers, are enticing the church to do exactly what scriptures tells us NOT to do, asking God to fulfill our LUSTS, turning our church's into hedonistic church's!
Paul learned to be content whether he was abased or abounded! Shouldn't we? Some of these preachers are making more money than some of the wealthiest CEO's of non-christian FORTUNE 500 corporations! While the laborers who are mowing the fields are living in great poverty in order to bring the gospel to the lost, these Prosperity preachers are amassing great treasures, building mansions, flying their own private jets, driving the most expensive luxury cars, wearing fine clothing and all of this comes from the believer who is barely able to make their next payment! Of course, these preachers promise that by giving them the next payment, God will come through for them and meet their needs. The whole message is for self gain as they heap up treasure that should be passed on to the laborers in the fields!
Go to now, ye rich men, weep and howl for your miseries that shall come upon you.  Your riches are corrupted, and your garments are motheaten.  Your gold and silver is cankered; and the rust of them shall be a witness against you, and shall eat your flesh as it were fire. Ye have heaped treasure together for the last days.  Behold, the hire of the labourers who have reaped down your fields, which is of you kept back by fraud, crieth: and the cries of them which have reaped are entered into the ears of the Lord of sabaoth.  Ye have lived in pleasure on the earth, and been wanton; ye have nourished your hearts, as in a day of slaughter.
This Old Testament charge against the Prosperity Preachers who feed themselves and not the sheep, holds true still today:
And the word of the Lord came unto me, saying,  Son of man, prophesy against the shepherds of Israel, prophesy, and say unto them, Thus saith the Lord God unto the shepherds; Woe be to the shepherds of Israel that do feed themselves! should not the shepherds feed the flocks?  Ye eat the fat, and ye clothe you with the wool, ye kill them that are fed: but ye feed not the flock.  The diseased have ye not strengthened, neither have ye healed that which was sick, neither have ye bound up that which was broken, neither have ye brought again that which was driven away, neither have ye sought that which was lost; but with force and with cruelty have ye ruled them.  And they were scattered, because there is no shepherd: and they became meat to all the beasts of the field, when they were scattered.  My sheep wandered through all the mountains, and upon every high hill: yea, my flock was scattered upon all the face of the earth, and none did search or seek after them.
 Therefore, ye shepherds, hear the word of the Lord;  As I live, saith the Lord God, surely because my flock became a prey, and my flock became meat to every beast of the field, because there was no shepherd, neither did my shepherds search for my flock, but the shepherds fed themselves, and fed not my flock;  Therefore, O ye shepherds, hear the word of the Lord;  Thus saith the Lord God; Behold, I am against the shepherds; and I will require my flock at their hand, and cause them to cease from feeding the flock; neither shall the shepherds feed themselves any more; for I will deliver my flock from their mouth, that they may not be meat for them.
The Lord is against these shepherds who feed themselves of the fat. They have become hirelings, not shepherds!
The heads thereof judge for reward, and the priests thereof teach for hire, and the prophets thereof divine for money: yet will they lean upon the Lord, and say, Is not the Lord among us? none evil can come upon us.
But he that is an hireling, and not the shepherd, whose own the sheep are not, seeth the wolf coming, and leaveth the sheep, and fleeth: and the wolf catcheth them, and scattereth the sheep.  The hireling fleeth, because he is an hireling, and careth not for the sheep.
New Testament scriptures on Prosperity!
Many scriptures have been used in error to indoctrinate this false prosperity message of covetousness, using it to fatten their own pocketbooks, the Old Testament being their best supporter. I would like to focus on the New Testament, since we are the New Testament church, and see what it really says about money!
The following are the New Testament scriptures dealing with money in chronological order.
Lay not up for yourselves treasures upon earth, where moth and rust doth corrupt, and where thieves break through and steal:  But lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust doth corrupt, and where thieves do not break through nor steal:  For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also.  The light of the body is the eye: if therefore thine eye be single, thy whole body shall be full of light.  But if thine eye be evil, thy whole body shall be full of darkness. If therefore the light that is in thee be darkness, how great is that darkness!
 No man can serve two masters: for either he will hate the one, and love the other; or else he will hold to the one, and despise the other. Ye cannot serve God and mammon.  Therefore I say unto you, Take no thought for your life, what ye shall eat, or what ye shall drink; nor yet for your body, what ye shall put on. Is not the life more than meat, and the body than raiment?  Behold the fowls of the air: for they sow not, neither do they reap, nor gather into barns; yet your heavenly Father feedeth them. Are ye not much better than they?  Which of you by taking thought can add one cubit unto his stature?  And why take ye thought for raiment? Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow; they toil not, neither do they spin:  And yet I say unto you, That even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these.  Wherefore, if God so clothe the grass of the field, which to day is, and to morrow is cast into the oven, shall he not much more clothe you, O ye of little faith?  Therefore take no thought, saying, What shall we eat? or, What shall we drink? or, Wherewithal shall we be clothed?  (For after all these things do the Gentiles seek:) for your heavenly Father knoweth that ye have need of all these things.  But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you.  Take therefore no thought for the morrow: for the morrow shall take thought for the things of itself. Sufficient unto the day is the evil thereof.
WHERE IS THE MAN OF FAITH, WHO WILL TRUST THE LORD, INSTEAD OF HIS RICHES? JESUS WARNS US NOT TO TAKE THOUGHT ABOUT TOMORROW, LAY YOUR TREASURE IN HEAVEN (GIVE TO THE NEEDY) AND DO NOT STORE UP RICHES ON EARTH! IF YOU SEEK THE KINGDOM OF GOD, HE WILL DAILY PROVIDE YOUR EVERY NEED!
He also that received seed among the thorns is he that heareth the word; and the care of this world, and the deceitfulness of riches, choke the word, and he becometh unfruitful.  But he that received seed into the good ground is he that heareth the word, and understandeth it; which also beareth fruit, and bringeth forth, some an hundredfold, some sixty, some thirty.
ONE OF THE THORNS THAT CHOKES THE WORD OF GOD IS THE DECEITFULNESS OF RICHES! THESE PROSPERITY PREACHERS, AS WELL AS THE SHEEP WHO GET CAUGHT IN THIS "PROSPERITY" TEACHING, BECOME SO ENTANGLED WITH THE WORLD THAT THEY OFTEN BECOME FRUITLESS CHRISTIANS.
Then said Jesus unto his disciples, If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow me.  For whosoever will save his life shall lose it: and whosoever will lose his life for my sake shall find it.  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?
I KNOW OF LABORERS WHO HAVE GONE TO THE MISSION FIELD, AND LIVE ON RICE AND BEANS, LIVE IN GRASS ROOF HUTS, AND SWEAT WITHOUT THE LUXURY OF AIR CONDITIONING. WHERE IS THIS SACRIFICIAL MESSAGE BEING TAUGHT TODAY IN OUR LUXURY FILLED MANSIONS WE CALL “CHURCHES”! INSTEAD OF TEACHING THE CHURCH TO DENY THEMSELVES, AND GO INTO THE SACRIFICIAL LIFE OF A MISSIONARY, THEY ARE BEING TOUGHT TO STAY AT HOME AND LIVE IN LUXURY!
Jesus said unto him, If thou wilt be perfect, go and sell that thou hast, and give to the poor, and thou shalt have treasure in heaven: and come and follow me.  But when the young man heard that saying, he went away sorrowful: for he had great possessions.
 Then said Jesus unto his disciples, Verily I say unto you, That a rich man shall hardly enter into the kingdom of heaven.  And again I say unto you, It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle, than for a rich man to enter into the kingdom of God.
JESUS DID NOT SAY TO STORE UP RICHES, AND THEN COME FOLLOW ME, HE SAID TO SELL WHAT YOU HAVE, AND THEN TRUST HIM BY GOING WHEN YOU HAVE NOTHING! THAT TAKES FAITH!
THIS SCRIPTURE IS A THORN TO THE PROSPERITY PREACHERS. HAVE YOU EVER HEARD THEM TRY TO EXPLAIN IT AWAY?
I LISTENED TO ONE OF THEM (who publically boasted about his Rolls Royce, $15,000 puppy dog, $32,000 ring and 8,000 square foot house) SPEND AN ENTIRE HOUR REWORDING AND DOING DEEP WORD STUDIES AND MORE TO EXPLAIN AWAY THIS THORN OF A SCRIPTURE FOR HIS DOCTRINE. IT WAS TRIPPING UP HIS CHURCH AND HE HAD TO DEAL WITH THIS SCRIPTURE TO RETAIN HIS DOCTRINE WITH THE HEARERS.
Footnote "Eye of a needle" - Jesus' words in Matthew 19:24 (also Mark 10:25; Luke 18:25), that it is easier for a rich man to enter heaven than "for a camel to go through the eye of a needle," reflect an idea found in early rabbinic writing. There is no archaeological or historical support for the common idea that the "needle's eye" was a small pedestrian gate through the city wall. The statement simply means that humanly speaking, this is an impossible thing. Only a divine miracle can make it possible. (Nelson's illustrated Bible dictionary, Logos Library System, (Nashville: Thomas Nelson) 1997, c1995.)
Note: The idea of applying "the needle's eye" to small gates seems to be a modern one; there is no ancient trace of it. The Lord's object in the statement is to express human impossibility and there is no need to endeavor to soften the difficulty by taking the needle to mean anything more than the ordinary instrument. Mackie points out (Hastings< Bib. Dic.) that "an attempt is sometimes made to explain the words as a reference to the small door, a little over 2 feet square, in the large heavy gate of a walled city. This mars the figure without materially altering the meaning, and receives no justification from the language and traditions of Palestine." Vine's complete expository dictionary of Old and New Testament words [computer file], electronic ed., Logos Library System, (Nashville: Thomas Nelson) 1997, c1996.
Then answered Peter and said unto him, Behold, we have forsaken all, and followed thee; what shall we have therefore?  And Jesus said unto them, Verily I say unto you, That ye which have followed me, in the regeneration when the Son of man shall sit in the throne of his glory, ye also shall sit upon twelve thrones, judging the twelve tribes of Israel.  And every one that hath forsaken houses, or brethren, or sisters, or father, or mother, or wife, or children, or lands, for my name's sake, shall receive an hundredfold, and shall inherit everlasting life.
MOST PROSPERITY PREACHERS ARE QUICK TO POINT OUT THAT YOU WILL RECEIVE A HUNDREDFOLD RETURN. A NICE MESSAGE TO THE WEALTH SEEKER WHO WOULD GIVE THESE PROSPERITY PREACHERS THEIR HOME AND ASSETS, COVETING FOR THE HUNDREDFOLD RETURN.
THEY FAIL TO POINT OUT THAT THIS SCRIPTURE IS SPEAKING OF THOSE WHO WILL GO TO THE UNSAVED NATIONS AND PROCLAIM THE GOSPEL. MANY OF THESE MISSIONARIES LIVE ON VERY LITTLE, AND EVEN DIE FOR THE SAKE OF THE GOSPEL. I KNOW SEVERAL OF THEM, AND THEY DO NOT HAVE THE NICE HOMES THAT THEY ONCE HAD IN AMERICA. THEY MADE GREAT SACRIFICES TO TAKE GOD'S WORD TO THE LOST NATIONS. THEY RECEIVE VERY LITTLE SUPPORT FROM THEIR RICH BROTHERS IN AMERICA!
THE TRUE RICHES OF THE GOSPEL IS NOT LAND, MONEY AND THINGS, BUT RATHER SOULS! BUT YET, EVERYWHERE THEY GO, THESE LABORERS HAVE A HOME TO SLEEP IN AND HUNDEREDS OF BROTHERS AND SISTERS IN CHRIST WHO JOYFULLY PROVIDE THEIR EVERY NEED, EVEN OUT OF THEIR POVERTY!
But woe unto you that are rich! for ye have received your consolation.  Woe unto you that are full! for ye shall hunger. Woe unto you that laugh now! for ye shall mourn and weep.  Woe unto you, when all men shall speak well of you! for so did their fathers to the false prophets.
 But I say unto you which hear, Love your enemies, do good to them which hate you,  Bless them that curse you, and pray for them which despitefully use you.  And unto him that smiteth thee on the one cheek offer also the other; and him that taketh away thy cloke forbid not to take thy coat also.  Give to every man that asketh of thee; and of him that taketh away thy goods ask them not again.  And as ye would that men should do to you, do ye also to them likewise.  For if ye love them which love you, what thank have ye? for sinners also love those that love them.  And if ye do good to them which do good to you, what thank have ye? for sinners also do even the same.  And if ye lend to them of whom ye hope to receive, what thank have ye? for sinners also lend to sinners, to receive as much again.  But love ye your enemies, and do good, and lend, hoping for nothing again; and your reward shall be great, and ye shall be the children of the Highest: for he is kind unto the unthankful and to the evil.  Be ye therefore merciful, as your Father also is merciful.  Judge not, and ye shall not be judged: condemn not, and ye shall not be condemned: forgive, and ye shall be forgiven:  Give, and it shall be given unto you; good measure, pressed down, and shaken together, and running over, shall men give into your bosom. For with the same measure that ye mete withal it shall be measured to you again.
VERSE 38 “Give, and it shall be given unto you; good measure, pressed down, and shaken together, and running over, shall men give into your bosom. For with the same measure that ye mete withal it shall be measured to you again” IS OFTEN READ JUST PRIOR TO TAKING UP AN OFFERING. BUT IF YOU WILL READ THE FULL CONTEXT, IT HAS NOTHING AT ALL TO DO WITH THE OFFERING, BUT RATHER GIVING TO YOUR ENEMIES! HAVE YOU EVER HEARD THAT TAUGHT IN THE CHURCH? IF YOU DESIRE THE BLESSING OF VERSE 38, YOU WILL HAVE TO “BLESS YOUR ENEMIES!”
And that which fell among thorns are they, which, when they have heard, go forth, and are choked with cares and riches and pleasures of this life, and bring no fruit to perfection.
RICHES AND PLEASURES CHOKE THE WORD, AND MAKE UNFRUITFUL CHRISTIANS!
And he said unto them, Take heed, and beware of covetousness: for a man's life consisteth not in the abundance of the things which he possesseth.  And he spake a parable unto them, saying, The ground of a certain rich man brought forth plentifully:  And he thought within himself, saying, What shall I do, because I have no room where to bestow my fruits?  And he said, This will I do: I will pull down my barns, and build greater; and there will I bestow all my fruits and my goods.  And I will say to my soul, Soul, thou hast much goods laid up for many years; take thine ease, eat, drink, and be merry.  But God said unto him, Thou fool, this night thy soul shall be required of thee: then whose shall those things be, which thou hast provided?  So is he that layeth up treasure for himself, and is not rich toward God.
 And he said unto his disciples, Therefore I say unto you, Take no thought for your life, what ye shall eat; neither for the body, what ye shall put on.  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.  For all these things do the nations of the world seek after: and your Father knoweth that ye have need of these things.
 But rather seek ye the kingdom of God; and all these things shall be added unto you.  Fear not, little flock; for it is your Father's good pleasure to give you the kingdom.  Sell that ye have, and give alms; provide yourselves bags which wax not old, a treasure in the heavens that faileth not, where no thief approacheth, neither moth corrupteth.  For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also.
THIS IS THE ONLY SCRIPTURE IN THE NEW TESTAMENT THAT SEEMS TO DEAL WITH “RETIREMENT” THERE IS NO RETIREMENT FOR THE WORKER OF THE LORD! THE ONE WHO ENDURES TO THE END WILL BE SAVED! (Matt. 24:13)
THE TRUE TREASURY IS NOT YOUR BANK ACCOUNT ON EARTH, BUT IN HEAVEN. IT'S NOT GIVING TO THE PROSPERITY PREACHERS, BELIEVING IN GOD FOR A LOTTERY RETURN. ON THE CONTRARY, HE SAYS TO GIVE ALMS (TO THE POOR AND NEEDY) NOT TO THE RICH PREACHERS!
Then said he also to him that bade him, When thou makest a dinner or a supper, call not thy friends, nor thy brethren, neither thy kinsmen, nor thy rich neighbours; lest they also bid thee again, and a recompence be made thee.  But when thou makest a feast, call the poor, the maimed, the lame, the blind:  And thou shalt be blessed; for they cannot recompense thee: for thou shalt be recompensed at the resurrection of the just.
THE RICH PROSPERITY PREACHERS GIVE TO ONE ANOTHER, KNOWING THEY WILL BE RECOMPENSED. THE RICH GIVE TO THE RICH! GOD'S WORD SAYS TO INVITE THOSE WHO CANNOT RECOMPENSE! GIVE TO THE POOR!
So likewise, whosoever he be of you that forsaketh not all that he hath, he cannot be my disciple.
 Salt is good: but if the salt have lost his savour, wherewith shall it be seasoned?  It is neither fit for the land, nor yet for the dunghill; but men cast it out. He that hath ears to hear, let him hear.
HOW MUCH ARE WE TO FORSAKE? ALL!
No servant can serve two masters: for either he will hate the one, and love the other; or else he will hold to the one, and despise the other. Ye cannot serve God and mammon.  And the Pharisees also, who were covetous, heard all these things: and they derided him.  And he said unto them, Ye are they which justify yourselves before men; but God knoweth your hearts: for that which is highly esteemed among men is abomination in the sight of God.
OH YES! THE PROSPERITY GOSPEL BRINGS US CAPTIVE TO ANOTHER MASTER! AND IT'S AN ABOMINATION TO GOD! WHEN I WAS A STOCK BROKER, AND HAD GIVEN MY LIFE TO JESUS, MANY OF THESE SCRIPTURES IN LUKE PRICKED MY HEART, UNTIL I OBEYED! “Ye cannot serve God and mammon”
I WOULD SAY THAT THESE PROSPERITY PREACHERS MAY VERY WELL FIT IN WITH THE PHARISEES. THEY PUBLICLY DERIDE ANY PREACHER WHO SPEAKS OUT AGAINST THEIR COVETOUS MESSAGE. THEIR OWN HEARTS CONDEMN THEM, BUT THEY WILL FIGHT TO PROTECT THEIR RICHES AND THEIR MESSAGE.
But Abraham said, Son, remember that thou in thy lifetime receivedst thy good things, and likewise Lazarus evil things: but now he is comforted, and thou art tormented.
THE RICH MAN WENT TO HELL, BUT LAZARUS, WHO WAS POOR, WENT TO ABRAHAMS BOSOM. THE RICH MAN NEVER ATTEMPTED TO HELP THE POOR MAN, LAZARUS.
Now when Jesus heard these things, he said unto him, Yet lackest thou one thing: sell all that thou hast, and distribute unto the poor, and thou shalt have treasure in heaven: and come, follow me.  And when he heard this, he was very sorrowful: for he was very rich.  And when Jesus saw that he was very sorrowful, he said, How hardly shall they that have riches enter into the kingdom of God!  For it is easier for a camel to go through a needle's eye, than for a rich man to enter into the kingdom of God.
IT SAYS TO GIVE TO THE POOR, NOT TO THE RICH! YOU MAY THINK THAT GOD WILL BLESS YOU FOR GIVING TO THE RICH, BUT WHAT DOES GOD'S WORD SAY?
WHEN I LISTENED TO THE PROSPERITY PREACHER DO HIS IN DEPTH STUDY OF Matthew 19:21-24, TRYING TO EXPLAIN IT AWAY, HE MADE IT CLEAR THAT MATTHEW DOES NOT SAY “sell all that thou hast” BUT THAT IT SAYS “sell that thou hast” MEANING THAT MATTHEW DID NOT SAY “ALL”! I HOPE YOU WILL NOTICE THAT HE FAILED TO REVIEW WHAT LUKE SAYS, FOR LUKE INCLUDES “ALL”.
And Zacchaeus stood, and said unto the Lord; Behold, Lord, the half of my goods I give to the poor; and if I have taken any thing from any man by false accusation, I restore him fourfold.  And Jesus said unto him, This day is salvation come to this house, forsomuch as he also is a son of Abraham.
ZACCHAEUS GAVE TO THE POOR! HE DIDN'T GIVE IT TO JESUS' DISCIPLES TO BUY A FINE HORSE!
And he looked up, and saw the rich men casting their gifts into the treasury.  And he saw also a certain poor widow casting in thither two mites.  And he said, Of a truth I say unto you, that this poor widow hath cast in more than they all:  For all these have of their abundance cast in unto the offerings of God: but she of her penury hath cast in all the living that she had.
THE PROSPERITY PREACHER GIVES HIS $1 MILLION TITHE FROM HIS $10 MILLION INCOME FROM THE FINANCIALLY STRAINED SAINTS HE HAS MANIPULATED AND THINKS HE DOES GOD A SERVICE? HE ONLY PROFITS $9 MILLION. BUT HE BOASTS IN HIS $1 MILLION GIFT. AND HE BOASTS ABOUT IT PUBLICLY. HE REALLY HASN'T GIVEN ANYTHING AT ALL!
ASSUMING THAT $50,000 IS AN AVERAGE INCOME, WHY NOT GIVE $9,950,000 AND LIVE OFF THE $50,000 LIKE THE AVERAGE PERSON! MANY GODLY PREACHERS LIVE ON MUCH LESS THAN $50,000.
And all that believed were together, and had all things common;  And sold their possessions and goods, and parted them to all men, as every man had need.
HAVE YOU EVER SEEN THIS HAPPENING IN THE CHURCH TODAY? EVERYONE SHARING EQUALLY? THE RICH WOULD HAVE TO STEP DOWN FROM THEIR HIGH LIFESTYLE TO DO THIS.
And the multitude of them that believed were of one heart and of one soul: neither said any of them that ought of the things which he possessed was his own; but they had all things common.
CAN WE RECEIVE ANY HINT OR HELP FROM THE ACTIONS OF THE EARLY CHURCH? THIS VERY THING IS WHAT 2 CORINTHIANS CHAPTER 8 IS ALL ABOUT! (I will cover this below)
Neither was there any among them that lacked: for as many as were possessors of lands or houses sold them, and brought the prices of the things that were sold,  And laid them down at the apostles' feet: and distribution was made unto every man according as he had need.  And Joses, who by the apostles was surnamed Barnabas, (which is, being interpreted, The son of consolation,) a Levite, and of the country of Cyprus,  Having land, sold it, and brought the money, and laid it at the apostles' feet.
IF WE WISH TO BE LIKE THE EARLY CHURCH, THE RICH SHOULD BLESS THE POOR, AND WE SHALL ALL COME TO EQUALITY! AMEN! YET WE HAVE NEVER SEEN THIS EQUALITY IN THE CHURCH IN AMERICA. As it is written, He that had gathered much had nothing over; and he that had gathered little had no lack. 2 Cor. 8:15
But a certain man named Ananias, with Sapphira his wife, sold a possession,  And kept back part of the price, his wife also being privy to it, and brought a certain part, and laid it at the apostles' feet.  But Peter said, Ananias, why hath Satan filled thine heart to lie to the Holy Ghost, and to keep back part of the price of the land?  Whiles it remained, was it not thine own? and after it was sold, was it not in thine own power? why hast thou conceived this thing in thine heart? thou hast not lied unto men, but unto God.  And Ananias hearing these words fell down, and gave up the ghost: and great fear came on all them that heard these things.  And the young men arose, wound him up, and carried him out, and buried him.  And it was about the space of three hours after, when his wife, not knowing what was done, came in.  And Peter answered unto her, Tell me whether ye sold the land for so much? And she said, Yea, for so much.  Then Peter said unto her, How is it that ye have agreed together to tempt the Spirit of the Lord? behold, the feet of them which have buried thy husband are at the door, and shall carry thee out.  Then fell she down straightway at his feet, and yielded up the ghost: and the young men came in, and found her dead, and, carrying her forth, buried her by her husband.
THESE TWO HAD KEPT BACK PART OF THEIR OWN MONEY! WHY WERE THEY CONDEMNED? IT'S CALLED “COVETOUSNESS!” THEIR SIN? THEY LIED TO THE HOLY SPIRIT. THEY TRIED TO FIT IN WITH THE SAINTS BY SELLING ALL THEY HAD AND DISTRIBUTING IT EQUALLY WITH THE OTHERS. THEY WERE PRETENDING TO BE LIKE THE OTHER SAINTS WHO WERE GIVING FREELY OF THEIR POSSESSIONS TO THOSE IN NEED. BUT THEY HAD NO INTENT OF GIVING IT ALL AWAY.
NEITHER DO THESE RICH PROSPERITY PREACHERS. THEY HOLD BACK THE MONEY THEY SAY THEY ARE GIVING AS I SHARED IN THE BEGINNING OF THIS STUDY. THE PROSPERITY INTERVIEWER GAVE AN EMPTY ENVELOPE TO THE PASTOR WHO IS FEEDING THE POOR. THE TV MINISTRY WAS NOT HELPING THE POOR, BUT GAVE THE IMPRESSION THEY WERE. WOULDN'T YOU CONSIDER THAT “LYING” TO THE HOLY SPIRIT?
I have coveted no man's silver, or gold, or apparel.  Yea, ye yourselves know, that these hands have ministered unto my necessities, and to them that were with me.  I have shewed you all things, how that so labouring ye ought to support the weak, and to remember the words of the Lord Jesus, how he said, It is more blessed to give than to receive.
PAUL DID NOT SEDUCE THE SAINTS INTO GIVING TO HIS MINISTRY SO THAT HE COULD BUY JET AIRPLANES AND EXPENSIVE CARS. HE COVETED NO MAN'S GOODS. HE WORKED WITH HIS HANDS, AS A TENT MAKER, AND SUPPORTED HIS MINISTRY BY HIS OWN LABOUR!
2 Cor. 2:17
For we are not as many, which corrupt the word of God: but as of sincerity, but as of God, in the sight of God speak we in Christ.
THE DEFINITION OF THE WORD "CORRUPT" IS:
G2585 kapeleuo Thayer Definition:
1) to be a retailer, to peddle
2) to make money by selling anything
2a) to get sordid gain by dealing in anything, to do a thing for base gain
2b) to trade in the word of God
2b1) to try to get base gain by teaching divine truth
2c) to corrupt, to adulterate
2c1) peddlers were in the habit of adulterating their commodities for the sake of gain
PROSPERITY PREACHERS SELL TICKETS TO THEIR "DIVINE TRUTH" SEMINARS, AND SELL TAPES AND BOOKS WITH THEIR "DIVINE TRUTHS!" WOULD YOU AGREE THAT THEY ARE "ADULTERATING" OR MAKING MONEY BY SELLING THE WORD OF GOD?
2 Cor. 8:1-3
Moreover, brethren, we do you to wit of the grace of God bestowed on the churches of Macedonia;  How that in a great trial of affliction the abundance of their joy and their deep poverty abounded unto the riches of their liberality.  For to their power, I bear record, yea, and beyond their power they were willing of themselves;
THE CHURCHES OF MACEDONIA WERE POOR CHURCHES, WHO GAVE LIBERALY OUT OF THEIR POVERTY! WHEN THE CHURCH IN JERUSALEM WAS IN A FAMINE, THE MACEDONIAN CHURCH GAVE SACRIFICIALLY TO HELP THEIR CHRISTIAN BROTHERS IN NEED. EVEN THOUGH THEY WERE POOR THEMSELVES! IN THIS LETTER TO THE CORINTHIANS, PAUL ADMONISHES THEM TO DO LIKEWISE!
2 Cor. 8:9
For ye know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, that, though he was rich, yet for your sakes he became poor, that ye through his poverty might be rich.
WE FINALLY FOUND A SCRIPTURE THAT SUPPORTS THE PROSPERITY GOSPEL. BUT WAIT, LETS LOOK AT THE REST OF THE CHAPTER! AS YOU READ THE FULL CONTEXT OF THIS SCRIPTURE, PAUL WAS ENCOURAGING THE CORINTHEAN CHURCH TO BE LIKE THE MACEDONIAN CHURCHES, AND TO BE WILLING TO GIVE TO THOSE WHO WERE IN NEED. THE FULL CONTEXT IS REVEALED IN THE NEXT VERSE BELOW!
2 Cor. 8:13-15
For I mean not that other men be eased, and ye burdened:  But by an equality, that now at this time your abundance may be a supply for their want, that their abundance also may be a supply for your want: that there may be equality:  As it is written, He that had gathered much had nothing over; and he that had gathered little had no lack.
THE RICHES WERE THERE NOT FOR SELF PROFIT, BUT TO MINISTER TO THE OTHERS WHO WERE IN NEED! HE MAKES US RICH, NOT TO BUY EXPENSIVE CARS, AND CLOTHES, BUT TO GIVE TO THE CHURCH'S WHO ARE IN NEED.
ACCORDING TO THIS SCRIPTURE, THE WHOLE BODY OF CHRIST SHOULD BE EQUAL! THE RICH GIVING TO THOSE WHO ARE IN LACK! OF COURSE THERE WAS A PROBLEM WITH SOME WHO WOULD NOT WORK. BUT WHAT ABOUT THE MISSIONARY WHO IS SACRIFICIALLY LAYING HIS LIFE DOWN FOR THE GOSPELS SAKE. DO YOU SUPPOSE THE PREACHER IN AMERICA'S CHURCH HAS THE RIGHT TO LIVE IN RICHES AND LUXURY, WHILE HIS BROTHER, WHO IS ALSO PROCLAIMING THE GOSPEL IN VERY DIFFICULT SITUATIONS, SHOULD LIVE IN POVERTY BY THE CHOICE OF THE PROSPERITY PREACHER THAT IS HOLDING THE MISSIONARIES WAGES? THE SACRIFICIAL GIVER HOPES THAT HIS TITHE WILL FURTHER THE KINGDOM OF GOD, WHILE THE PROSPERITY PREACHER USES THE MONEY TO BUY A LEXUS OR A PERSONAL JET! DO YOU THINK JESUS WOULD DO THE SAME?
2 Cor. 9:1-15
For as touching the ministering to the saints, it is superfluous for me to write to you:  For I know the forwardness of your mind, for which I boast of you to them of Macedonia, that Achaia was ready a year ago; and your zeal hath provoked very many.  Yet have I sent the brethren, lest our boasting of you should be in vain in this behalf; that, as I said, ye may be ready:  Lest haply if they of Macedonia come with me, and find you unprepared, we (that we say not, ye) should be ashamed in this same confident boasting.  Therefore I thought it necessary to exhort the brethren, that they would go before unto you, and make up beforehand your bounty, whereof ye had notice before, that the same might be ready, as a matter of bounty, and not as of covetousness.  But this I say, He which soweth sparingly shall reap also sparingly; and he which soweth bountifully shall reap also bountifully.  Every man according as he purposeth in his heart, so let him give; not grudgingly, or of necessity: for God loveth a cheerful giver.  And God is able to make all grace abound toward you; that ye, always having all sufficiency in all things, may abound to every good work:  (As it is written, He hath dispersed abroad; he hath given to the poor: his righteousness remaineth for ever.  Now he that ministereth seed to the sower both minister bread for your food, and multiply your seed sown, and increase the fruits of your righteousness;)  Being enriched in every thing to all bountifulness, which causeth through us thanksgiving to God.  For the administration of this service not only supplieth the want of the saints, but is abundant also by many thanksgivings unto God;  Whiles by the experiment of this ministration they glorify God for your professed subjection into the gospel of Christ, and for your liberal distribution unto them, and unto all men;  And by their prayer for you, which long after you for the exceeding grace of God in you.  Thanks be unto God for his unspeakable gift.
HERE AGAIN, WE SHALL SEE THAT THIS SCRIPTURE IS A CHARGE TO THE CORINTHIANS TO SOW BOUNTIFULLY FOR THE NEEDS OF THE POOR SAINTS. PAUL TELLS THE CORINTHIAN CHURCH THAT HE HAS BOASTED ABOUT THEIR DESIRE TO GIVE TO THE NEEDS OF THE SAINTS TO THE MACEDONIANS, WHOM WE HAVE SEEN ALREADY HAD GIVEN FREELY OUT OF THEIR POVERTY IN 1 COR. 8:1-2.
HERE IN VERSE 9, PAUL QUOTES PS. 112:9 IN THAT IT IS WRITTEN: “He hath dispersed abroad; he hath given to the poor” THE WEALTH OF THE GIVING CHURCH WAS TO BE DISPERSED ABROAD AND GIVEN TO THE POOR SAINTS.
IN VERSE 11, PAUL WRITES “this service not only supplieth the want of the saints” THE WORD “WANT” IN GREEK IS:
husterema, hoos-ter'-ay-mah; from Greek 5302 (hustereo); a deficit; specially poverty :- that which is behind, (that which was) lack (-ing), penury, want.
SO ONCE AGAIN, THE MESSAGE IS CLEARLY THAT THE PROSPERING CHURCH WAS TO GIVE FREELY AND JOYFULLY TO SUPPLY THE NEED OF THE POOR SAINTS ABROAD! THIS WOULD INCLUDE THE MISSIONARIES ABROAD! WHETHER IT IS TO THE POOR CHURCH ON THE OTHER SIDE OF TOWN, OR THE POOR CHURCH IN AFRICA! THE MESSAGE REMAINS THE SAME! GIVE TO THE POOR SAINTS! NOT ADDING TO THE BANK ACCOUNTS OF THE RICH!
Let him that stole steal no more: but rather let him labour, working with his hands the thing which is good, that he may have to give to him that needeth.
PAUL ENCOURAGES THE SAINTS TO WORK SO THAT THEY ARE ABLE TO HELP THOSE WHO ARE IN NEED! IN AMERICA, WE WORK BUT RARELY SHARE WITH THE SAINTS IN NEED!
For this ye know, that no whoremonger, nor unclean person, nor covetous man, who is an idolater, hath any inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and of God.
COVETOUSNESS IS IDOLATRY. A COVETOUS MAN HAS NO INHERITANCE IN THE KINGDOM OF GOD!
1 Tim. 6:5-12
Perverse disputings of men of corrupt minds, and destitute of the truth, supposing that gain is godliness: from such withdraw thyself.  But godliness with contentment is great gain.  For we brought nothing into this world, and it is certain we can carry nothing out.  And having food and raiment let us be therewith content.  But they that will be rich fall into temptation and a snare, and into many foolish and hurtful lusts, which drown men in destruction and perdition.  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.  But thou, O man of God, flee these things; and follow after righteousness, godliness, faith, love, patience, meekness.  Fight the good fight of faith, lay hold on eternal life, whereunto thou art also called, and hast professed a good profession before many witnesses.
WHAT IS THE “GOOD FIGHT OF FAITH?” TRUSTING GOD AND NOT MAN AND NOT MONEY! THESE PROSPERITY PREACHERS USE THE GOSPEL, EVEN QUOTING THIS VERY SCRIPTURE, TO MAKE GAIN BY WAY OF GODLINESS AS A MEANS OF GAIN! THIS SCRIPTURE IS A DIRECT BLOW TO THEIR DOCTRINE. THE PREACHER MENTIONED AT THE BEGINNING OF THIS STUDY, DEMANDING A CADILLAC FROM GOD, TOOK AN HOUR TO BUILD A COVETOUS DESIRE IN THE HEARERS, IN ORDER TO RECEIVE A FAT OFFERING. IN AMWAY, THEY DO THE SAME THING. THEY HAVE TO BUILD A “DISCONTENTMENT” IN THE HEART OF THE HEARERS, SO THAT THEY WILL BE COMPELLED TO BUILD THE AMWAY BUSINESS WITH THE PROMISE OF RICHES. HERE, THEY DO THE SAME ONLY THEY USE GOD AS A TYPE OF “GUARANTEED LOTTERY”. BUT PAUL WARNS US TO “FLEE THESE THINGS!”
WHILE COVETING AFTER RICHES, THESE PREACHERS NOTED AT THE BEGINNING OF THIS STUDY, HAVE ERRED FROM THE FAITH!
1 Tim. 6:17-19
Charge them that are rich in this world, that they be not highminded, nor trust in uncertain riches, but in the living God, who giveth us richly all things to enjoy;  That they do good, that they be rich in good works, ready to distribute, willing to communicate;  Laying up in store for themselves a good foundation against the time to come, that they may lay hold on eternal life.
PAUL CONTINUES HIS MESSAGE TO TIMOTHY BY TELLING HIM TO CHARGE THE RICH TO GIVE FREELY AND NOT TRUST THEIR RICHES.
For ye had compassion of me in my bonds, and took joyfully the spoiling of your goods, knowing in yourselves that ye have in heaven a better and an enduring substance.
THE HEBREWS HAD JOYFULLY LOST ALL OF THEIR POSSESIONS FOR THE SAKE OF THE GOSPEL! DOES THAT FOLLOW THE PROSPERITY MESSAGE? THAT GOD WANTS YOU TO BE RICH? MANY PROSPERITY PREACHERS POINT TO THE POVERTY OF OTHER BELIEVERS AND SAY THAT THEY DON'T HAVE FAITH! THEY STAND IN THEIR PRIDE AND WEALTH AND PUT DOWN THOSE WHO LABOR FOR THE GOSPELS SAKE AND LIVE IN POOR CONDITIONS. YET THEY THEMSELVES DID NOT RECEIVE THEIR RICHES BY FAITH, BUT BY MANIPULATION! FURTHERMORE, INSTEAD OF SHARING THEIR RICHES WITH THOSE IN NEED, THEY STORE UP AND BUILD THEIR OWN KINGDOM!
Women received their dead raised to life again: and others were tortured, not accepting deliverance; that they might obtain a better resurrection:  And others had trial of cruel mockings and scourgings, yea, moreover of bonds and imprisonment:  They were stoned, they were sawn asunder, were tempted, were slain with the sword: they wandered about in sheepskins and goatskins; being destitute, afflicted, tormented;  (Of whom the world was not worthy:) they wandered in deserts, and in mountains, and in dens and caves of the earth.  And these all, having obtained a good report through faith, received not the promise:  God having provided some better thing for us, that they without us should not be made perfect.
DID GOD REALLY PROMISE US A PROSPERITY GOSPEL? WHAT ABOUT ALL THOSE WHO DID NOT RECEIVE THE PROMISE, AND LIVED IN POVERTY, RECORDED AS PEOPLE OF FAITH IN THE HALL OF FAITH HERE IN HEBREWS CHAPTER 11!
A double minded man is unstable in all his ways.  Let the brother of low degree rejoice in that he is exalted:  But the rich, in that he is made low: because as the flower of the grass he shall pass away.  For the sun is no sooner risen with a burning heat, but it withereth the grass, and the flower thereof falleth, and the grace of the fashion of it perisheth: so also shall the rich man fade away in his ways.
JAMES HAS LITTLE GOOD TO SAY ABOUT THE RICH. THE LOWELY BROTHER IS “EXALTED” WHILE THE RICH MAN IS “MADE LOW”!
I COMMONLY HEAR THE EXPRESSION, “IF ALL THE RICH CHRISTIANS LEFT THEIR JOBS TO GO TO THE MISSION FIELD, THEN WHO WOULD FINANCE THEM?”
I HAVE SEVERAL REPLIES:
THE RICH ARE NOT DOING MUCH TO FINANCE THEM NOW! MOST MISSIONARIES THAT I KNOW, LIVE ON THE $10-100 GIFTS FROM MANY GIVERS, NOT THE LARGE GIFT FROM A SINGLE GIVER.
THE LABORERS ARE FEW RIGHT NOW! HOW MANY DO YOU SUPPOSE REALLY WOULD LEAVE THEIR JOBS TO GO TO THE ENDS OF THE EARTH!
WE HAVE FAITH FOR GOD TO PROSPER US, BUT NO FAITH TO TRUST HIM TO PROVIDE IF WE ALL LEFT TO GO AND PREACH HIS WORD! PERSONALLY, THIS REASONING SOUNDS LIKE THE TRUST IS IN MAN AND NOT GOD. WHERE IS THE FAITH?
For if there come unto your assembly a man with a gold ring, in goodly apparel, and there come in also a poor man in vile raiment;  And ye have respect to him that weareth the gay clothing, and say unto him, Sit thou here in a good place; and say to the poor, Stand thou there, or sit here under my footstool:  Are ye not then partial in yourselves, and are become judges of evil thoughts?  Hearken, my beloved brethren, Hath not God chosen the poor of this world rich in faith, and heirs of the kingdom which he hath promised to them that love him?  But ye have despised the poor. Do not rich men oppress you, and draw you before the judgment seats?
OH YES! MANY OF THESE PROSPERITY PREACHERS HAVE DESPISED THE POOR MAN. ONE PROSPERITY PREACHER SAID “If you want to be blessed, give to a rich man!” PEOPLE FLOODED THE PULPIT TO PUT MONEY IN THIS PREACHERS POCKETS WHILE HE PREACHED. THE SAME PREACHER BOASTS IN HIS ROLLS ROYCE, EXPENSIVE JEWLRY, AND LUXURIOUS LIFESTYLE! IF THEY WERE TO PREACH THE TRUE GOSPEL, THEY WOULD GIVE PLACE FOR THE POOR MAN TO SIT ON THE FRONT ROW, TO BE BLESSED WITH THE TITHES RECEIVED, AND GIVE HIM HONOR! OH HOW THE HEART OF GOD MUST GRIEVE OVER THESE FALSE PREACHERS!
What doth it profit, my brethren, though a man say he hath faith, and have not works? can faith save him?  If a brother or sister be naked, and destitute of daily food,  And one of you say unto them, Depart in peace, be ye warmed and filled; notwithstanding ye give them not those things which are needful to the body; what doth it profit?
WHERE IS THE GOSPEL OF GIVING TO THE POOR AND DESTITUTE IN THE PROSPERITY GOSPEL? CAN ANY PROSPERITY PREACHER, WITH A CLEAN AND PURE CONSCIENCE, LIVE IN LUXERY WHILE OTHERS GO NAKED AND DESTITUTE, SOME WHICH ARE IN THEIR VERY CHURCH?
From whence come wars and fightings among you? come they not hence, even of your lusts that war in your members?  Ye lust, and have not: ye kill, and desire to have, and cannot obtain: ye fight and war, yet ye have not, because ye ask not.  Ye ask, and receive not, because ye ask amiss, that ye may consume it upon your lusts.  Ye adulterers and adulteresses, know ye not that the friendship of the world is enmity with God? whosoever therefore will be a friend of the world is the enemy of God.  Do ye think that the scripture saith in vain, The spirit that dwelleth in us lusteth to envy?  But he giveth more grace. Wherefore he saith, God resisteth the proud, but giveth grace unto the humble.  Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.  Draw nigh to God, and he will draw nigh to you. Cleanse your hands, ye sinners; and purify your hearts, ye double minded.  Be afflicted, and mourn, and weep: let your laughter be turned to mourning, and your joy to heaviness.  Humble yourselves in the sight of the Lord, and he shall lift you up.  Speak not evil one of another, brethren. He that speaketh evil of his brother, and judgeth his brother, speaketh evil of the law, and judgeth the law: but if thou judge the law, thou art not a doer of the law, but a judge.  There is one lawgiver, who is able to save and to destroy: who art thou that judgest another?
 Go to now, ye that say, To day or to morrow we will go into such a city, and continue there a year, and buy and sell, and get gain:  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.  For that ye ought to say, If the Lord will, we shall live, and do this, or that.  But now ye rejoice in your boastings: all such rejoicing is evil.  Therefore to him that knoweth to do good, and doeth it not, to him it is sin.
[5:1] Go to now, ye rich men, weep and howl for your miseries that shall come upon you.  Your riches are corrupted, and your garments are motheaten.  Your gold and silver is cankered; and the rust of them shall be a witness against you, and shall eat your flesh as it were fire. Ye have heaped treasure together for the last days.  Behold, the hire of the labourers who have reaped down your fields, which is of you kept back by fraud, crieth: and the cries of them which have reaped are entered into the ears of the Lord of sabaoth.  Ye have lived in pleasure on the earth, and been wanton; ye have nourished your hearts, as in a day of slaughter.
IN VERSE 3, HE SAYS “Ye have heaped treasure together for the last days” WE ARE LIVING IN THE LAST DAYS RIGHT NOW! THOSE WHO LUST AFTER THE THINGS OF THIS WORLD, ARE CONSIDERED “adulterers and adulteresses” MAKING FRIENDSHIP WITH THE WORLD, MAKING PROFIT. THE RICHES ARE GOING TO BE A JUDGE AGAINST THEM. MAY I SHARE WITH YOU WHO IS BEING SPOKEN OF IN JAMES 5:4? “Behold, the hire of the labourers who have reaped down your fields, which is of you kept back by fraud, crieth: and the cries of them which have reaped are entered into the ears of the Lord of sabaoth”
THE FIELDS ARE THE LOST SOULS (THE WORLD), THE LABORERS ARE THE WORKERS WHOM HAVE GONE INTO THE WORLD TO TAKE THE TRUE GOSPEL TO THE LOST. WHILE THE PROSPERITY PREACHERS LIVE IN LUXURY, THE LABORERS HAVE LIVED IN POVERTY, WITH LITTLE HELP FROM THEIR RICH BROTHERS IN THE USA. GOD HAS HEARD THEIR CRY, AND WILL PUNISH THE RICH WHO LIVE IN LUXURY BUT WERE NOT RICH TOWARDS GOD!
But God said unto him, Thou fool, this night thy soul shall be required of thee: then whose shall those things be, which thou hast provided?  So is he that layeth up treasure for himself, and is not rich toward God. (Luke 20:20-21)
ON JUDGEMENT DAY, WHEN GOD SHOWS THESE PREACHERS THE POVERTY OF THE SAINTS WHO LEFT THEIR HOMES AND RICHES TO LIVE AND PREACH THE GOSPEL IN FOREIGN LANDS, THEN HE WILL SHOW THEM THEIR BANK ACCOUNTS AND LUXURY AUTOS, JEWLRY AND ASSETS, THESE RICHES WILL BE A WITNESS AGAINST THEM! (VERSE 3) THE VERY RICHES GOD PROVIDED FOR THESE UNFAITHFUL SERVANTS, WHO HORDED THE FINANCES AND MADE THEMSELVES RICH!
C U R R E N T N E W S S U M M A R Y
by the Editors of Religion Today
... a look at media coverage around the globe ...
Church Leaders Guilty of 'Indentured Servants' Ring
A Maryland pastor faces a federal prison sentence for bringing would-be
teen-age missionaries from the country of Estonia, putting them to work
cleaning offices and moving furniture for meager pay.
Joyce E. Perdue and two other leaders of the Word of Faith World
Outreach Church were convicted last week of alien smuggling and visa
fraud for bringing the teen-agers into the country under false
pretenses, The Washington Post reported. Each of the three faces up to
five years in prison.
In his ruling, U.S. District Judge Marvin Garbis said the church
officials turned the Estonians into "what amounted to indentured
servants." During the early 1990s, Perdue, 57, and the other leaders
went to Estonia as missionaries, where they attracted numerous teens
eager to attend Bible school and do missionary work, the "Post"
Garbis said rather than Bible study, the three church leaders had "a
substantial labor-for-hire enterprise going" - the students were given
$15 to $100 a week, depending on the job. "It was never meant to be a
sweatshop for these kids," Richard Bennett, an attorney for one of the
church leaders, said. Most of the teen-agers have since been sent back
2 Peter 2:3
And through covetousness shall they with feigned words make merchandise of you: whose judgment now of a long time lingereth not, and their damnation slumbereth not.
IS YOUR PREACHER MAKING MERCHANDISE OF YOU? ARE YOU THE PRODUCT OF HIS WEALTH?
1 John 2:15-16
Love not the world, neither the things that are in the world. If any man love the world, the love of the Father is not in him.  For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life, is not of the Father, but is of the world.
THOSE WHO LUST AFTER THE THINGS OF THIS WORLD, THE COVETOUS, DON'T HAVE THE LOVE OF THE FATHER.
3 John 1:2
Beloved, I wish above all things that thou mayest prosper and be in health, even as thy soul prospereth.
euodoo, yoo-od-o'-o; from a compound of Greek 2095 (eu) and Greek 3598 (hodos); to help on the road, i.e. (passive) succeed in reaching; figurative to succeed in business affairs :- (have a) prosper (-ous journey).
YES, THIS VERSE MAY CONTAIN A BLESSING IN BUSINESS AFFAIRS, OF WHICH THERE IS NOTHING WRONG WITH SUCH. OF COURSE, AS WE HAVE SEEN IN THIS STUDY, THE WEALTH OF THE SAINTS IS TO BE DISTRIBUTED AMONGST THE SAINTS IN NEED! THAT THERE SHOULD BE AN “EQUALITY”!
I BELIEVE THAT IT ALSO CONTAINS THE BLESSING OF PROSPERING OR SUCCEEDING IN THE WORK OF THE MINISTRY. ONCE AGAIN, A CHRISTIAN WHO PROSPERS FINANCIALLY, IS CHARGED IN 1 Tim. 6:17-19 TO GIVE TO THE NEEDS OF THE OTHERS. JOHN SAYS IN VERSE 7 THAT THESE STRANGERS DID NOT RECEIVE FROM THE GENTILES.
THIS CHURCH AT THE HOME OF GAIUS HAD RECEIVED THEM AND THIS CHURCH SHARES AS FELLOWHELPERS WITH THESE MEN.
PROSPERING CHRISTIAN BUSINESSMEN WHO GIVE FREELY AND ABUNDANTLY INTO THE WORK OF THE MINISTRY ARE BLESSED PEOPLE AND I HAVE NO CHARGE AGAINST THEM.
IT'S THE COVETOUS PROSPERITY MESSAGE WHERE PREACHERS ARE BECOMING WEALTHY FROM USE OF THE GOSPEL THAT I STRONGLY DISAGREE WITH IN THE CHURCH TODAY. THEY ARE KEEPING THE FINANCES AND LIVING IN LUXURY WHILE THEIR BROTHERS ABROAD LIVE IN POVERTY!
I know thy works, and tribulation, and poverty, (but thou art rich) and I know the blasphemy of them which say they are Jews, and are not, but are the synagogue of Satan.
I know thy works, that thou art neither cold nor hot: I would thou wert cold or hot.  So then because thou art lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will spue thee out of my mouth.  Because thou sayest, I am rich, and increased with goods, and have need of nothing; and knowest not that thou art wretched, and miserable, and poor, and blind, and naked:  I counsel thee to buy of me gold tried in the fire, that thou mayest be rich; and white raiment, that thou mayest be clothed, and that the shame of thy nakedness do not appear; and anoint thine eyes with eyesalve, that thou mayest see.  As many as I love, I rebuke and chasten: be zealous therefore, and repent.
WHO IS TRULY THE “RICH”? REV. 2:9 SAYS THAT THE POOR ARE REALLY THE RICH ONES… THEY ARE RICH IN FAITH. WHILE REV. 3:16-17 SAYS THAT THE RICH, ARE IN TRUTH, THE POOR!
THESE PROSPERITY PREACHERS ARE COUNTERFEIT. THEY HAVE NO FAITH WHATSOEVER. THEIR TRUST IS IN MAN, AND THEIR ABILITY TO MAKE MERCHANDISE OF YOU AND MANIPULATE YOU INTO GIVING YOUR MOST IN THE OFFERING PLATE. THERE IS NO FAITH IN THAT! IT'S A BUSINESS, AND YOUR BEING MERCHANDISED!
THE TRUE GOSPEL IS TO TAKE THE MESSAGE OF SALVATION TO THE LOST OF THIS WORLD! WOULD YOU FORSAKE ALL YOU HAVE AND COME INTO THE FIELDS OF LABOR?
GOD NEEDS LABORERS!
CHANCES ARE, YOU WILL NOT GET MUCH SUPPORT FROM YOUR PROSPERITY PREACHER, BUT GOD WILL PROVIDE YOUR EVERY NEED!
One of the best books I ever read on faith, is the testimony of George Mueller, a German missionary to England in 1830. He never took up offerings, but put a box in the back of the church with a sign which said
“Henceforth, minister will be supported only by contributions placed in this box by generous Christians. He will not at any time nor for any reason ask any man for financial assistance. He will only ask God.”
By faith, having NEVER asked any man, nor compeled any man, he built 5 orphanages housing 2,000 orphans
1 Tim. 6:11-12
 But thou, O man of God, flee these things; and follow after righteousness, godliness, faith, love, patience, meekness.  Fight the good fight of faith, lay hold on eternal life, whereunto thou art also called, and hast professed a good profession before many witnesses.
Then saith he unto his disciples, The harvest truly is plenteous, but the labourers are few;  Pray ye therefore the Lord of the harvest, that he will send forth labourers into his harvest.
Invest in People (not things), put your money where the laborer is working in the fields.
If you wish to send money to those who are truly working in the fields of harvest, may I suggest checking out these hard workers:
d Parsley, Kenneth Copeland, Kenneth Hagan, Hagin, Creflo Dollar, Fred Price, Jessie Duplantis, Duplantas