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Soldier4Christ
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« on: January 31, 2007, 01:56:06 PM »

Apostasy And Prosperity


“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” (II Corinthians 9:Cool.

One of the most tragic movements in Christendom today teaches that God promises to make each Christian prosper in material wealth. Suffice it to say, the Bible teaches no such thing, as seen in our text and elsewhere, but this false teaching is not new, and is associated with apostasy.

Consider Chapters 17 and 18 of the Book of Judges, which describes a period of rampant apostasy and confusion. The chapters provide character sketches of an itinerant Levite, the tribe of Dan, and a man named Micah. First we see that Micah steals 1100 shekels of silver from his mother, who then places a curse on the unknown thief. Micah, fearing the curse, confesses the crime. His mother tries to lessen the curse by dedicating all the money to the Lord, and converts 200 shekels into an idol. Micah places the idol with his others, and consecrates his son as priest, even though they are of the tribe of Ephraim. Later, he hires the Levite to be his priest and exclaims, “Now know I that the LORD will do me good, seeing I have a Levite to my priest” (Judges 17:13).

In the next chapter, spies of the Danites go to the priest for God’s blessing on their efforts to find land that they can conquer. When the marauders return, they recruit the Levite to a more prosperous position. He joins them, having stolen Micah’s idols, and establishes the tribal priesthood.

Each one in this story was confident that God would bless them materially because they had the trappings of religion. The common denominator was greed. Their desire for personal prosperity led them to a prostitution of the true worship of God. But whenever religion is “used” to justify the “love of money,” it suffers degradation. “Ye cannot serve God and mammon” (Matthew 6:24).
« Last Edit: February 01, 2007, 07:35:29 AM by Pastor Roger » Logged

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« Reply #1 on: February 12, 2007, 12:38:00 PM »

Apostasy And Prosperity


“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” (II Corinthians 9:Cool.

One of the most tragic movements in Christendom today teaches that God promises to make each Christian prosper in material wealth. Suffice it to say, the Bible teaches no such thing, as seen in our text and elsewhere, but this false teaching is not new, and is associated with apostasy.

Consider Chapters 17 and 18 of the Book of Judges, which describes a period of rampant apostasy and confusion. The chapters provide character sketches of an itinerant Levite, the tribe of Dan, and a man named Micah. First we see that Micah steals 1100 shekels of silver from his mother, who then places a curse on the unknown thief. Micah, fearing the curse, confesses the crime. His mother tries to lessen the curse by dedicating all the money to the Lord, and converts 200 shekels into an idol. Micah places the idol with his others, and consecrates his son as priest, even though they are of the tribe of Ephraim. Later, he hires the Levite to be his priest and exclaims, “Now know I that the LORD will do me good, seeing I have a Levite to my priest” (Judges 17:13).

In the next chapter, spies of the Danites go to the priest for God’s blessing on their efforts to find land that they can conquer. When the marauders return, they recruit the Levite to a more prosperous position. He joins them, having stolen Micah’s idols, and establishes the tribal priesthood.

Each one in this story was confident that God would bless them materially because they had the trappings of religion. The common denominator was greed. Their desire for personal prosperity led them to a prostitution of the true worship of God. But whenever religion is “used” to justify the “love of money,” it suffers degradation. “Ye cannot serve God and mammon” (Matthew 6:24).

If the Prosperity teaching is an apostasy doctrine, why did God say:
Beloved I wish above all things that you would prosper and be in health, even as your souls prosper in
3rd John verse 2?

And why did he urge David to say: Let them shout for joy, and be glad, that favour my righteous cause: yea,
let them say continually, Let the LORD be magnified, which hath pleasure in the prosperity of his servant.
in Psalm 35 verse 27?

It would seem to me that IF the doctrine ogf prosperity was a doctrine of apostasy, then certainly
God wou;ld never delight in the prosperity of his servants, neither would he ever wish above all
things that his servants prosper!

 
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« Reply #2 on: February 12, 2007, 01:51:46 PM »

End Time

The verse that PR quoted as well as those that you cited.  You have to always remember their context and a couple of other items as well.  In the II Cor 9 that PR cited.  There is a word in there that is very very important, sufficiency.  God will bring His full grace upon us so that we will have all sufficiency in all things.  What we have to remember is what is sufficient.  God knows what is sufficient for us, God will provide that which is sufficient for us.  Even the verses you sited, we have to remember what is prosperous for us.  And who designates what is prosperous.  It is not us that determines that we are prosperous, or that anyone else is for that matter.  It is only up to God to determine that.  It is when we interject our own definitions of these things in that we come to problems.  When we say that "God needs $5 million dollars to do blah blah blah" that we have problems...God does not NEED anything we have.  That is sin interjecting and man saying that God needs something. 

There are examples after examples of how the Isrealites were prospering in their own terms, wealth, health, and power.  And they grew apostic.  When they truly prospered is when they were doing the will of God and prospered in their faith.  That is the true prosperity gospel we should be preaching.  It is not about money, cars, houses, positions, or anything else.  It is only about our prospering faith. 
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Brother Jerry

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« Reply #3 on: February 12, 2007, 02:01:09 PM »

End Time

The verse that PR quoted as well as those that you cited.  You have to always remember their context and a couple of other items as well.  In the II Cor 9 that PR cited.  There is a word in there that is very very important, sufficiency.  God will bring His full grace upon us so that we will have all sufficiency in all things.  What we have to remember is what is sufficient.  God knows what is sufficient for us, God will provide that which is sufficient for us.  Even the verses you sited, we have to remember what is prosperous for us.  And who designates what is prosperous.  It is not us that determines that we are prosperous, or that anyone else is for that matter.  It is only up to God to determine that.  It is when we interject our own definitions of these things in that we come to problems.  When we say that "God needs $5 million dollars to do blah blah blah" that we have problems...God does not NEED anything we have.  That is sin interjecting and man saying that God needs something. 

There are examples after examples of how the Isrealites were prospering in their own terms, wealth, health, and power.  And they grew apostic.  When they truly prospered is when they were doing the will of God and prospered in their faith.  That is the true prosperity gospel we should be preaching.  It is not about money, cars, houses, positions, or anything else.  It is only about our prospering faith. 

The statement was made that prosperity is apostasy.

That would insinuate that any person who prospers, in any area
of their life, has no other hope other than that of being
labeled by god as an apsotate.
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Soldier4Christ
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« Reply #4 on: February 12, 2007, 02:22:32 PM »

If you notice in that verse (3 John 2 ) it says "I wish". There is no promise of wealth or health. In fact it is not clear in this verse whether it is speaking of worldly riches or spiritual riches. If you look at the entire chapter of Psalm 35 you will see that David is talking of his emotional health and wealth, his inner hurting.

Being healthy and wealthy in and of itself is not an apostasy but those that say you are sick and poor because you don't have enough faith ... that is the apostasy. The only riches or health that God has promised us is not of this world. In fact He said that it was hard for a rich man to enter into heaven. Not that they can't but that it is hard. Why? Because they put their main interest into those riches and not into God.

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.

In a world that has so many poor and needy people in it how many of these health and wealth teachers do you see buying homes that are much bigger than they actually have need for yet do nothing to help their poorer brothers and sisters? Most of them will do nothing except to say I will pray for that you will have greater faith. How many truly Godly people do you see that are worldly poor or in bad physical health? I can tell you there are many in the latter group.

Who is of the greater faith, the rich man that has everything easy or the poor man that trusts in God to provide for the next meal when none is in sight? How many of those that are rich and fall on bad times will immediately blame God and go by the wayside?



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« Reply #5 on: February 12, 2007, 02:26:44 PM »

The statement was made that prosperity is apostasy.

That would insinuate that any person who prospers, in any area
of their life, has no other hope other than that of being
labeled by god as an apsotate.

No where did I say that "prosperity is apostasy". Those are your words. It is when worldly prosperity and physical health above what is sufficient becomes the main focal point above the spiritual health and wealth of people that it becomes apostasy.

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« Reply #6 on: February 12, 2007, 02:30:39 PM »

There are examples after examples of how the Isrealites were prospering in their own terms, wealth, health, and power.  And they grew apostic.  When they truly prospered is when they were doing the will of God and prospered in their faith.  That is the true prosperity gospel we should be preaching.  It is not about money, cars, houses, positions, or anything else.  It is only about our prospering faith. 

AMEN!

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« Reply #7 on: February 12, 2007, 02:55:37 PM »

No where did I say that "prosperity is apostasy". Those are your words. It is when worldly prosperity and physical health above what is sufficient becomes the main focal point above the spiritual health and wealth of people that it becomes apostasy.



According to 3rd John 2, it is Gods perfect desire, intent, and will that we prosper and be in health.

Any teaching contrary to Gods perfect will, IS apostasy.

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« Reply #8 on: February 12, 2007, 04:19:37 PM »

As I already said in accordance to 3 John 2 the word is "wish" not will. The original Greek word is "euchomai", meaning wish, by implication to pray to God: - pray. So it is not necessarily "Gods perfect desire, intent, and will that we prosper and be in health" as you portend.

 
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« Reply #9 on: February 12, 2007, 05:07:19 PM »

As I already said in accordance to 3 John 2 the word is "wish" not will. The original Greek word is "euchomai", meaning wish, by implication to pray to God: - pray. So it is not necessarily "Gods perfect desire, intent, and will that we prosper and be in health" as you portend.

 

The primary motive for every argumrent against prosperity,
and health, is jeaolousy, plain and simple.

Prosperity defined is having every need, Spiritual, Physical, and financial,
met, adequately, and on time every time.

Look that up in your Greek Dictionary, I did....
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« Reply #10 on: February 12, 2007, 05:36:42 PM »

No one is arguing the definition of prosperity. 
But what you have to realize is that God is the ultimate definer of what is prosperity for each and every person.

What happens is that when we decide that how prosperous we are is supposed to represent how faithful we are or how blessed we are by God is when we are not following the teachings of the Bible.  This is what the Jews had fallen into.  They were very big on financial wealth being a sign of God's blessings. 

We are to turn our entire lives over to God.  And thus in doing so it is up to Him to decide what is prosperous for us.  If God says that for me prosperity is living in a cardboard box under a bridge, then you can bet I will be thankful for what He has given me.  If God says that prosperity for me is living in a $500,000 home then I will be thankful for what He has given me.  It is not what I say or you say is prosperous.  The Bible lets us know it is what God says is prosperous.
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Brother Jerry

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I am like most fathers.  I, like most, want more for my children than I have.

I am unlike most fathers.  What I would like my children to have more of is crowns to lay at Jesus feet.
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« Reply #11 on: February 12, 2007, 05:57:04 PM »

No one is arguing the definition of prosperity. 
But what you have to realize is that God is the ultimate definer of what is prosperity for each and every person.

What happens is that when we decide that how prosperous we are is supposed to represent how faithful we are or how blessed we are by God is when we are not following the teachings of the Bible.  This is what the Jews had fallen into.  They were very big on financial wealth being a sign of God's blessings. 

We are to turn our entire lives over to God.  And thus in doing so it is up to Him to decide what is prosperous for us.  If God says that for me prosperity is living in a cardboard box under a bridge, then you can bet I will be thankful for what He has given me.  If God says that prosperity for me is living in a $500,000 home then I will be thankful for what He has given me.  It is not what I say or you say is prosperous.  The Bible lets us know it is what God says is prosperous.

Did I ever say the definition of prosperity was being wealthy?

No I did not.

I said Prosperity defined is having every need, Spiritually, Physically, and
Financially fully met, on time, everytime.

God promises he will do this, the subject of the thread is that having Prosperity is
evidence of apostasy.

THAT is what the author of the thread has implied, that any person who
seeks God for prosperity is an apostate.....
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« Reply #12 on: February 12, 2007, 06:10:59 PM »

No the subject of the thread is Apostasy and Prosperity

And PR's post was about seeking prosperity to the point of greed.  He cites some examples of folks that we see often in the Bible.  They seek for more and more and lay claim to it because they feel they deserve it from God, because they lay claim to being Godly.  He even used the term "personal prosperity" in the context of them defining for themselves what would be prosperous.

PR was not implying nor stating that someone who was prosperous in material things such as money could not be a Christian, nor did he state that that persons money or good health could not or did not come from God.  It is a matter of who is defining the prosperity and that was the message of PR's post.  Those people were greedy and using the trappings of religion (they brought in a Levite so that God would be happy), not that God told them to, but just so they would have it.  And thinking that once they did that then God would have to bless them with more money.

What is wrong is to think or preach that unless you are wealthy and healthy then you are faithful to God.  And that the poorer you are the sicker you are physically means that you are not walking with God.  That is placing our own ideas of prosperity of that which God deems.  And that is wrong.
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Brother Jerry

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I am like most fathers.  I, like most, want more for my children than I have.

I am unlike most fathers.  What I would like my children to have more of is crowns to lay at Jesus feet.
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« Reply #13 on: March 09, 2007, 12:28:59 PM »

I always find it interesting that two people can read the same information and have totally different perceptions of the content.  I did not interpret Pastor Roger's thread as being anti-prosperity or that he considers prosperity to be synonymous with apostasy.  My interpretation is that today there is a prosperity movement in many Christian churches that emphasizes wealth, with the contention that those who are lacking wealth are somehow less faithful than those who aren't.  I personally have encountered such ministries.  Generally, the pastor exudes worldly prosperity, ie. luxury cars, expensive home, etc.  Don't misunderstand me, I am not opposed to a pastor having money or living well.  However, I do have a problem with ministries that emphasize material wealth as prosperity.  Such ministries often have sermon after sermon on nothing other than prosperity, quoting scripture out of context to legitimize their extravagant lifestyles.  Another theme that tends to be prevalent in prosperity ministries is the notion that the more money one gives to the church, the greater the return will be from God.  We cannot "buy" blessings.

Yes, God does want us to prosper and live an abundant life.  I do no profess to be a Bible scholar, I simply rely on the Holy Spirit to guide me.  Please correct me if I am wrong, but I do not recall God exclusively equating prosperity or an abundant life with material wealth.  Quite the contrary.  In addition, prosperity is a relative term that differs with each individual.  Whatever the case may be, our prosperity should be to glorify God, not ourselves.  Matthew (19:24), Mark (10:25) and Luke (18:25) are clear indications of God's view of self-centered wealth.

Caution must be used to avoid confusing material wealth with prosperity in God's eyes.  There are many wealthy atheists, and there are many wealthy people who consider themselves Christian simply because they regularly attend church.  Many of these "good" Christians have never considered using their wealth to help the less fortunate, other than for public accolades or as a tax deduction.  Nor would they consider volunteering their time to help feed the hungry, or spend time holding an abandoned baby in a hospital ward, or run errands for the elderly.  Scripture taken out of context has been used for centuries to further the agenda of those who are not operating in the true will of God.

Mat 7:21-23
Not every one that saith Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven, but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven.  Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? And in thy name have cast out devils? And in thy name done many wonderful works?  And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity.
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« Reply #14 on: March 09, 2007, 01:03:32 PM »

Amen.

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