This message was written by Mark Moore whom I had mentioned in a previous message on my blog regarding prophetic words and dream interpretations. Mark is a pastor to a number of pastors in Africa and he wrote this message for them. But this is the best teaching that I have ever read on the prosperity gospel and I thought that the readers of my blog would find it enlightening and educational.
Dear Servant of God,
I know that this message, in its entirety may not be for everyone, but everyone needs to know this & receive it, as it relates to them personally. So I am sending it to all of you, so that no one is missed & no one can say that they didn't know this. The teaching that I give below, is in no way complete or conclusive, but I just wanted to share some important things regarding the "prosperity teaching". We all would agree that we must guard our hearts against the workings of the devil & there is much confusion & error about the "prosperity teaching".
The prosperity doctrine is now sweeping into the 3rd world countries, because of all the poverty that is there & is causing people to take hold of the "false hope" that God will "bless them" IF they give their resources to these "prosperity preachers". For this is the message that comes from most of them, as they teach the people that "giving to them & God will bless them"...when all that really happens, is most of these people become even poorer & it is mostly only these "preachers" that become richer. They have put their faith in the words of man & then they wonder & question why God didn't "bless them".
Many believers may not know this, but those that fall for this erroneous teaching don't realize that they have been deceived into a type of "witchcraft". They think that they can "command God to honor His word" & "command Him to bless them" with cars, homes & other possessions, by their claiming certain scriptures & telling God He MUST bless them. While God's word is truth, we must be careful that what we DO believe is sound doctrine & not the devices of cunning men that are making merchandise of God's people & compelling many to fall into utter idolatry.
If we are to believe what "prosperity teachers" tell us, then the Lord Jesus Christ, who said He had "no place to lay his head", by their own teaching, is considered a failure, as were all of the apostles, including Paul, who spent many years in prison & poverty. They surely all had "faith" on a level that Christians today probably never will & they lived simple lives, being tortured & their lives were hazarded as they "ministered the Gospel". And all of them had this one thing in common...they did not seek after "material gain".
My wife & I were part of the "prosperity" movement back in the early 1990s, but years later the Lord opened our eyes to the deception that is there & led us into true prosperity - which is "seeking His face & spending time in His presence". There is no greater riches or blessing than to seek His face & be in His presence. But, most people that follow after the "prosperity" teaching, do not realize that they secretly lust for material gain & do not really seek after the Lord....they seek after other things. They forget that we are commanded:
Col 3:1 If ye then be risen with Christ, seek those things which are above, where Christ sits on the right hand of God.
Col 3:2 Set your affection on things above, not on things on the earth.
Col 3:3 For ye are dead, and your life is hid with Christ in God.
Col 3:4 When Christ, who is our life, shall appear, then shall ye also appear with him in glory.
Col 3:5 Mortify therefore your members which are upon the earth; fornication, uncleanness, inordinate affection, evil concupiscence, and covetousness, which is idolatry:
Col 3:6 For which things' sake the wrath of God comes on the children of disobedience:
Col 3:7 In the which ye also walked some time, when ye lived in them.
Col 3:8 But now ye also put off all these; anger, wrath, malice, blasphemy, filthy communication out of your mouth.
The context of the above deals with seeking the THINGS on the EARTH. Those that seek the "things" here, are living in covetousness, which God says IS idolatry. Contrary to what "prosperity preachers will tell us, it is blasphemy to say that God wants us to seek after the things on the Earth. I know that there will be some that will say: "but what about 3 John 2, doesn't God wants us to prosper?". Ok, lets look at 3 John 2:
3Jo 1:2 Beloved, I wish above all things that thou may prosper and be in health, even as thy soul prospers.
This is just one of many verses that has been "twisted" to mean something other than what God meant. 1Co 2:13 tells us: "Which things also we speak, not in the words which man's wisdom teaches, but which the Holy Ghost teaches; comparing spiritual things with spiritual".
John, speaking by the Holy Spirit said that it was his greatest desire that God's people prospered & be in health, even as their soul prospered. So, what is a soul that is "prospering"??? We again look at Col. 3:1 above, which tell us that we are to seek those THINGS that are above, where Christ sits on the right hand of God. A "soul" that is seeking "things" on Earth is NOT prospering...it is a soul that has been deceived by the devil to lust for other things & it says that "the wrath of God comes on the children of disobedience" (Col. 3:6 above). Look at what happened when the devil offered Jesus the bait of "prosperity":
Mat 4:8 Again, the devil takes him up into an exceeding high mountain, and shows him all the kingdoms of the world, and the glory of them;
Mat 4:9 And saith unto him, All these things will I give thee, if thou wilt fall down and worship me.
Mat 4:10 Then saith Jesus unto him, Get thee hence, Satan: for it is written, Thou shalt worship the Lord thy God, and him only shalt thou serve.
Jesus made it clear that we are to worship ONLY the Lord our God & serve ONLY HIM...we are not to seek the things that the devil offers. We must be careful...for the Lord is looking for those who will seek Him, as Jesus did. Jesus only sought God's face...He did not seek material things. We too, must seek the Lord alone & not get snared by seeking material things. There is going to be a time, in the very near future, when many will fall from their faith, because their faith is built upon what God "gives them" & not on "what God's word really says".
Mat 6:19 Lay not up for yourselves treasures upon earth, where moth and rust doth corrupt, and where thieves break through and steal:
Mat 6:20 But lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust doth corrupt, and where thieves do not break through nor steal:
Mat 6:21 For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also.
Jesus was saying that where our treasure is, there our heart will be also. In other words...if we are seeking "things on Earth", our heart's treasures are things on Earth...not in Heaven, where we are suppose to be laying up by the giving of our lives to serve the Lord & seek to save the lost.
Many years ago, the Lord told me something that was one of the many things that really changed my life. He said: "I am not against you having things"..."I am against things having you". What an eye opener!!! I knew He meant that He didn't want anything to come between Him & me. Anytime we seek something MORE than God, we are committing idolatry. This is something that many Christians are guilty of & do not really know that God is grieved by an idolatrous heart. The things that we possess are never to have any priority in our lives or draw our devotion away from the Lord.
Beloved, very soon, the whole world will be thrown into chaos & confusion, as horrible world events begin to occur that will cause much destruction: nuclear war...great earthquakes\tsunamis....asteroid impacts...new diseases...increased famine, rampant looting & murders. These are ALL told to us by our Lord Jesus, in Matt 24 & Luke 21, as well as in the book of Rev. But, most Christians do not even believe that "the end" will ever come in their lifetime...they think...maybe some time far, far away in the future, but not now. BUT all of the "signs" are there, that the end is quickly coming upon us.
Soon these world events will shatter the faith of many who do not have their faith only in the Lord Jesus Christ, the Rock of their salvation, Himself, but trust in the things that they possess. Because when these terrible events start happening all over the world, many will see that God doesn't seem to answer their prayers of prosperity & all of their "toy" possessions, comforts & luxurious living are taken away from them, they will begin to curse God & say that He is a liar & doesn't keep His word, as He "seemed to do" before. When their prosperity fails them, they will have no other place to go & because they will refuse to repent of their idolatry, they will fall into perdition. Because, it wasn't God that was granting them their supposed "prosperity"...it was an angel of light that deceived them into trusting satan, the father of lies.
The Bible teaches us that "how many "things" we own or the "luxury" that we have are not a "gauge" our spirituality. Look how Paul instructed Timothy:
1Ti 6:3 If any man teach otherwise, and consent not to wholesome words, even the words of our Lord Jesus Christ, and to the doctrine which is according to godliness;
1Ti 6:4 He is proud, knowing nothing, but doting about questions and strifes of words, whereof comes envy, strife, railings, evil surmisings,
1Ti 6:5 Perverse disputings of men of corrupt minds, and destitute of the truth, supposing that gain is godliness: from such withdraw thyself.
1Ti 6:6 But godliness with contentment is great gain.
1Ti 6:7 For we brought nothing into this world, and it is certain we can carry nothing out.
1Ti 6:8 And having food and raiment let us be therewith content.
1Ti 6:9 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.
1Ti 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.
1Ti 6:11 But thou, O man of God, flee these things; and follow after righteousness, godliness, faith, love, patience, meekness.
1Ti 6:12 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.
Look how Paul the Apostle tells us the truth again when he said this.
Phi 4:11 Not that I speak in respect of want: for I have learned, in whatsoever state I am, therewith to be content.
Phi 4:12 I know both how to be abased, and I know how to abound: every where and in all things I am instructed both to be full and to be hungry, both to abound and to suffer need.
Phi 4:13 I can do all things through Christ which strengthens me.
So, we see that even this "famous" scripture, that most everyone today uses to claim that they "they can do all things through Christ", is actually referring to being able to being content, whether being abased (living in lack) or abounding. Yes, He promises to "supply all our need, according to His riches in glory, by Christ Jesus"...but that truth is taken out of context & does not even mean that He will lavish upon us earthly riches & treasures, cars, homes, new "toys", etc. The Bible tells us to flee from idolatry, but the prosperity teaching tells us to seek after things, not God.
We are to look to the Bible, which is our guidebook of Life. It is our "owner's Manual" for living. But, actually, most of what the body of Christ believes today, is not even "scriptural" & is really only a type of "religious idolatry". The current church "structure" is actually FAR from what the Bible actually teaches. Let's keep reading & see what else Paul reveals, that most people have never truly seen:
Phi 4:14 Notwithstanding ye have well done, that ye did communicate with my affliction.
Phi 4:15 Now ye Philippians know also, that in the beginning of the gospel, when I departed from Macedonia, no church communicated with me as concerning giving and receiving, but ye only.
Phi 4:16 For even in Thessalonica ye sent once and again unto my necessity.
Phi 4:17 Not because I desire a gift: but I desire fruit that may abound to your account.
Phi 4:18 But I have all, and abound: I am full, having received of Epaphroditus the things which were sent from you, an odour of a sweet smell, a sacrifice acceptable, well pleasing to God.
Phi 4:19 But my God shall supply all your need according to his riches in glory by Christ Jesus.
We see that in this GREAT scripture (verse 19) "my God shall supply all your need according to his riches in glory by Christ Jesus" is referring to the reality of why God will provide for His people. It is because the saints were gracious & gave unto Paul's need. They did NOT give so they would PROSPER...they gave out of sacrifice & they did it out of COMPASSION for Paul's need. This is a FAR cry from what the prosperity preachers say, when they take scriptures out of context, to preach covetous doctrine. Also, when we read the word "need" here, it means need...not "want". This scripture is NOT talking about the things people lust for (want). Yes, God has the law of "sowing & reaping" (Gal. 6:6-9), but that even law has also been abused & been turned into a form of idolatry & is not focused on the reality of that truth:
Gal 6:7 Be not deceived; God is not mocked: for whatsoever a man sows, that shall he also reap.
Gal 6:8 For he that sows to his flesh shall of the flesh reap corruption; but he that sows to the Spirit shall of the Spirit reap life everlasting.
Gal 6:9 And let us not be weary in well doing: for in due season we shall reap, if we faint not.
Gal 6:10 As we have therefore opportunity, let us do good unto all men, especially unto them who are of the household of faith.
This scripture is NOT talking about how we are suppose to sow, so we can reap "things"...in fact, it is warning to us that God means what He says. The actual statement is: "STOP deceiving yourselves...God is not mocked...you will reap what you sow". He is saying that we WILL reap whatever we sow...if we sow to the flesh, we will reap corruption...if we sow to the spirit, we will reap life everlasting. It is also an encouragement to remain faithful during difficult times, as He promises we will reap, if we do not faint in our faith.
It is time that God's people stop taking things out of context & start reading His words & see them & understand them His way, for His ways are not our ways, neither are His thoughts, our thoughts (Is. 55:8-9). So, why do we think that we can interpret His word to give us materialistic gain, when God speaks of that which is spiritual gain? How do we think that God will wink, at idolatry??? Even the apostle James tells us in James 4:1-10 that this way of thinking is wrong:
Jam 4:1 From whence come wars and fightings among you? come they not hence, even of your lusts that war in your members?
Jam 4:2 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.
Jam 4:3 Ye ask, and receive not, because ye ask amiss, that ye may consume it upon your lusts.
Jam 4:4 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.
Jam 4:5 Do ye think that the scripture saith in vain, The spirit that dwells in us lusts to envy?
Jam 4:6 But he gives more grace. Wherefore he saith, God resists the proud, but gives grace unto the humble.
Jam 4:7 Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.
Jam 4:8 Draw nigh to God, and he will draw nigh to you. Cleanse your hands, ye sinners; and purify your hearts, ye double minded.
Jam 4:9 Be afflicted, and mourn, and weep: let your laughter be turned to mourning, and your joy to heaviness.
Jam 4:10 Humble yourselves in the sight of the Lord, and he shall lift you up
God's leaders must be careful in the time ahead...we must stay humble under the Lord...for there is much confusion & deception that is about to be unleashed & we all must stay secure, under the shadow of God's wings & be on guard against false doctrine & deception:
2Ti 4:3 For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but after their own lusts shall they heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears;
2Ti 4:4 And they shall turn away their ears from the truth, and shall be turned unto fables.
We MUST keep our hearts attuned to the truth. We must run unto the Lord alone & seek His face. We must spend time in His presence so He can speak to us & show us what we are to do. In the time coming, God says that we will need to hear His voice just to stay alive & by His voice, He will lead us to safety & needed provision. If our hearts are given over to seeking the "things of this world" & not Him alone, we will not survive in the time that is coming. John, the apostle, who was closest to Jesus' heart said this:
1Jo 2:15 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.
1Jo 2:16 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.
1Jo 2:17 And the world passes away, and the lust thereof: but he that does the will of God abides for ever.
We must take a strong look at the true motives of our hearts & come to the realization of what is really there. Are we seeking after the Lord & those things that are above...or are we seeking after & loving the things of this world??? Years ago, Jesus said something else to me that penetrated the very core of my heart & has changed my life forever. I pray that it will touch you, as it has touched me over these many years:
John 10:1 Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that enters not by the door into the sheepfold, but climbs up some other way, the same is a thief and a robber.
John 10:2 But he that enters in by the door is the shepherd of the sheep.
John 10:3 To him the porter opens; and the sheep hear his voice: and he calls his own sheep by name, and leads them out.
John 10:4 And when he puts forth his own sheep, he goes before them, and the sheep follow him: for they know his voice.
John 10:5 And a stranger will they not follow, but will flee from him: for they know not the voice of strangers.
This is the true measure of spirituality...this is the true measure of true "prosperity"...hearing & obeying His voice...for without it, we are NOT His sheep. We must hear & obey HIS voice. If we are listening to & obeying the voice of strangers, what will our ultimate end be???
It is all about our heart condition, to the Lord. That is what He is most interested in...that is what concerns Him above all other things. It is time that we as God's people humble our hearts before Him...it is time that we all surrender our lives & seek only Him.
In His great love & mercy,
Pastor Mark Moore