All that Glitters is Not God

All That Glitters Is Not God

Bill Burkett

Paul did not say….“All that live godly in Christ Jesus shall be blessed right out of their socks.” He said they would be persecuted to the point of suffering. 2 Timothy 3:12. Never is any heresy one hundred percent wrong. The fact that something seems to have certain merit is no proof that it is right.

Following are 21 facts the “prosperity teachers” will not tell you.

1. Prosperity Teaching Is Contrary To Mortification Teaching.

That prosperity as “the will of God for you,” as they teach it, is diametric to the Biblical doctrines of the crucified life, self denial, sacrifice, Christian altruism (living completely for others) and spiritual contentment. Titus 2:12

2. Prosperity Teaching Is Pagan.

The teaching of Jesus that, concern for, or occupation with the matters of earthly needs was a concern and practice of the heathen but not the Christian. Matthew 6:24-34

3. Prosperity Teaching the Doctrine of Apostasy.

That Jesus angrily condemned the church of Laodicea for their materialistic philosophy and lifestyle. Revelation 3:17

4. Prosperity Teaching Emphasizes This World, Not Heaven.

The paradox of the cross; to take up the cross and follow Christ in death to self. “He that will gain his life must lose it.” Matthew 10:30-39; 19:29

5. “Prosperity” Is The Devil’s Code Word For Covetousness.

Covetousness is the most grievous and gross form of human transgression against God and man. There is a very thin wall of partition between covetousness and the esire for wealth and abundance. Want for material things is clearly prohibited in the Old and New Testament.

To believe that we can gain worldly goods or even God’s blessings in any form with Biblical formulas is a scheme to use God for selfish purposes. Faith and love (the agape kind) are not so much interested in what they can get from God as they are in what God can get out of us. A teaching of receiving without proper emphasis on obedience to the moral disciplines of the Bible is just a respectable, religious form of lust.

6. God Cares For Our Needs, Not Our Lust for Material Gain.

In the Lord’s model Prayer He taught us to only pray for our daily human needs. He prayed “give us this day our daily bread.” Matthew 6:11

7. Contentment Is Biblical, Prosperity Not.

One of the chief doctrines dealing with Christian attitudes toward the material state is, CONTENTMENT. The pursuit of material wealth is diametric to this teaching. “HAVING FOOD AND RAIMENT WE ARE TO BE CONTENT.” 1 Timothy 6:8

8. Materialism Characterizes False Teachers.

In the sixth chapter of 1 Timothy Paul makes many references to false teachers. Note that his main opposition to the false teacher is the way they mishandle the matters of material gain. So emphatic is he about their error, he states, “…a corrupt man destitute of the truth . . . from such withdraw thyself.”

9. Prosperity Teaching a Provision Under Law, Not Grace.

Modern Christians are taught they can use faith to produce anything they profess. Faith can cause the miraculous to happen – but even miracles must be based on principles of what Scripture authorizes. The Bible, and especially the New Testament, has no provision for material wealth and gain. Faith is to produce spiritual results, not to pamper the cravings and lusts of carnal Christians! True spiritual faith has no desire for anything in the world! Pure faith does not find its resources in the world. In the Hall of Faith recorded in Hebrews 11, there is not one instance faith was used to heap wealth on the self life. Faith is concerned with the need of others and not with the wants of self. (1 Timothy 6:5)

10. The Apostle Paul Did Not Practice Prosperity Doctrine.

Paul sewed tents, suffered shipwreck and beatings. The proponents of positive confession tell us that the reason Paul suffered these things is because he did not have revelation knowledge. My, my! So these prosperity teachers have a greater ministry and insight into the mysteries of God than did the apostle Paul, because they DO have revelation knowledge! Therefore, Paul not having the light of positive confession he suffered the things he did. What splendid idiocy! In other words: (a) All Scripture is not divinely inspired. For if Paul did not have revelation knowledge then it means we cannot trust his writings which are a part of the New Testament canon. Ridiculous assertions always lead to ridiculous doctrines. (b) These modern teachers are more enlightened and trustworthy than the apostle Paul. But let us see where this leads us. © According to these prosperity pinheads some of Paul’s writings then were inspired and other of his writings not written under revelation knowledge were not inspired. Pray tell, which is, and which is not inspired? Christian, think! Are you going to be followers of Paul or those who blaspheme his sacred apostleship, implying his writings were not verbally inspired, as the Scripture assures us they were? 2 Timothy 3:16; 2 Peter 3:15.

11. It’s Better To Be Right Than Rich.

When Jesus told the story of the rich man who went to hell, it was the beggar who went to heaven in the arms of the angels. So there is such a thing as a rich beggar and a poor rich man; and a spiritual poor man who was right, and a rich man who was dead wrong. Take courage Christian, our riches wait for us on the other side when the overcomers are rewarded! Luke 16:19-31.

12. We Are To Be Dependent on God and Not Riches.

When Jesus sent the disciples forth in ministry He instructed them to “take neither purse nor script.” They were to stay in homes and make no elaborate provisions. Their faith was in putting complete dependence for all their needs upon God. True faith teaches us this dependence.

13. Riches Are Deceitful.

When Jesus gave the parable of the sower, He said, “In whom the cares of the world and deceitfulness of riches, choke out the Word… so he is unfruitful”! Riches aren’t for everybody as the faith teachers tell their tales.

14. The Bible Warns Against Seeking Riches.

In the writings of Jesus and James we are warned against the seeking of riches. “Hurtful lusts” and a lack of compassion are only two of many things money can bring into out lives with it. James 5:1-6; Mark 10:25

15. Materialism Is a Threat To Man’s Salvation.

Thrice did Jesus warn it was extremely difficult for the rich to enter into the Kingdom of Heaven! He did not say it was impossible but “hardly.” The word duskolos is used here which means difficult or impractical. Those who preach a candy man god are tripped up on this! In Matthew 19:26 Jesus said concerning the rich, “But with God all things are possible.” So the rich are not excluded from heaven but it is sure that Jesus never taught that the Church was a bunch of millionaires stumbling all over each other! Any godly rich man will say “Amen”! to that. Matthew 19:24; Mark 10:25; Luke 18:25

16. Prosperity Teaching Is A Cultural Phenomena.

It works only in developed nations, especially in the Western world. Churches purified by trials, poverty and persecution reject the teaching. We would, however, put this doctrine to the test. We ask its proponents to take it to Laos or India and lift these nations from the pits of starvation and human suffering. If it is true doctrine, take it where it is really needed and change the world with it. If we go where there is no television, no privileges of propagation, no computerized mailing lists available, and most of all, no economy to support it, will it work there? If this is true doctrine it could heal the world.

17. Prosperity Teaching Is Not Spiritual But Carnal.

The teaching of material prosperity is not a spiritual pursuit, nor does the spiritual man benefit from it. They tell us that money is needed to build up the work of God, but too often ends up spoiling God’s worker. Money has always been the chief corrupter of man. This is why I have a special respect for those rare rich brother’s I meet that have not had their character blighted by their abundance. “The love of money is the root of all evil.” 1 Timothy 6:10

18. Prosperity Effects The Heart Wrongly.

The prophet said, “I spake unto thee in thy prosperity; but thou sayest, I will not hear.” Jeremiah 22:21. Just look at what materialism can do to the church. Revelation 3:17. It not only effects the heart, the seat of our affections, it blinds the spiritual eyes and deafens the spiritual ear to the truth of God’s Word and the corrections of God’s Spirit. Matthew 23:16-26; Revelation 2:7.

19. Prosperity Teaching Is Contrary To the Lifestyle of Jesus

CHRIST. While we are not required to live the exact lifestyle of Jesus, He was a perfect example in all things. His example did not teach us to be involved with possessions of wealth but to the contrary he displayed a very simplistic and moderate lifestyle. Luke 9:58

20. Prosperity Teaching Ignores Reality.

Jesus and the apostles made it clear that the righteous would be afflicted, hated and persecuted. (Matthew 24:9; Romans 8:35; 2 Corinthians 12:10; 2 Timothy 3:11-12.) David said, Many are the afflictions of the righteous. Psalm 34:19. We are all in the university of the Holy Spirit. If Jesus “learned obedience by the things which He suffered” no amount of Christian Science acrobatics will change that Biblical fact! Hebrews 5:8; Psalms 34:19

21. Prosperity Teaching Denies the Disciplines of the Cross.

At the heart of Christianity is the doctrine of self denial as taught by our Lord. And he said to them all, If any {man} will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily, and follow me. Luke 9:23. The Roman cross which Christ took in our stead is His way to illustrate what discipleship is when once we become committed Christians. It illustrates a lifestyle of self denial, not an obsession with the wealth of this world. Jesus’ whole life revolved around His purpose and mission in this world – to accomplish our redemption.

Our lives are also to be lived in service to others. To accomplish this we cannot live for self. In simple terms, the cross of the Christians speaks of self denial. This is the spirit of the true disciple – self denial, not self gratification or self indulgence in this world’s pleasures and treasures! The Jesus way is the way of the cross and self denial. Prosperity teaching cannot be reconciled to this or any other Biblical teaching. Let true Christians be contented with whatever state they find themselves in, and rejoice in this, Not that you are rich or blessed with material possessions, but that your name is written in the Lamb’s book of life.

 

 

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