All Nine Chapters - Index and Summary
Chapter 1 - Introduction To The Prosperity and The Word-Faith Gospels. HERE
Chapter 2 - Alleged Biblical Support For The Prosperity Doctrine. HERE
Chapter 3 - The Never Mentioned Verses.
Chapter 4 - Uninformed People in The Scriptures? HERE
Chapter 5 - The Word of Faith Doctrine and New Thought. HERE
Chapter 6 - Joel Osteen - The Blind Leading The Blind. HERE
Chapter 7 - How Words Precede Form. HERE
Chapter 8 - God and Money. HERE
Chapter 9 - The Crown Without The Cross? HERE
The Never Mentioned Verses
Here is something I find really typical of the times but sad nonetheless. Apart from the fact than many proponents of the Prosperity Doctrine believe their pastors are anointed by God and entitled to live like kings, the defense of this doctrine almost always includes around one or more of the following,
They make their own money from the sale of books etc. and are entitled to spend it as they wish.
their church does a lot of good work - Look how many people they help materially, and how many have been baptized or helped spiritually.
They need security and privacy
In other words, it's all about what the defender believes is right and wrong. What is never ever mentioned is what God Himself has to say on the subject.
Prosperity doctrine teachers only use those texts that they imagine will "prove" their position. Quite obviously, their defenders never quote any of the Scriptural passages that clearly state that it is not necessarily God's will for us to prosper in this life. They never mention that the Bible repeatedly warns against focusing on the material things of this world, and clearly warns church leaders against being lovers of money or using godliness as a means to financial gain.
Note: The word "anointed" has become the most overused, overworked, misunderstood, misinterpreted term in the Pentecostal and Charismatic arenas. According to Scripture who really are the Lord's anointed? See The Anointing
Lets begin with a very specific statement our Lord made that flatly contradicts what the champions of the Prosperity Gospel teach. He told us to give, but to...
Expect Nothing In Return
Jesus taught his disciples to give and expect nothing in return"
"But love your enemies, and do good, and lend, expecting nothing in return; and your reward will be great, and you will be sons of the Most High; for He Himself is kind to ungrateful and evil men. (Luke 6:35 NASB)
Prosperity teachers teach their disciples to give because they will get a great return.
Needs Vs. Wants
Additionally, when Jesus pointed out that we need not worry about worldly requirements, He focused on the three things that are essential to human existence Ö food, drink and clothing.
"Do not worry then, saying, 'What will we eat?' or 'What will we drink?' or 'What will we wear for clothing?' "For the Gentiles eagerly seek all these things; for your heavenly Father knows that you need all these things. "But seek first His kingdom and His righteousness and all these things will be added to you. (Matthew 6:31-33 NASB)
In other words, the Lord was telling us is not to worry about the things we require - but to focus on God's righteousness and His coming kingdom - The essentials will be provided. As Paul told the Colossians our perception of material things has to undergo a radical change.
Therefore if you have been raised up with Christ, keep seeking the things above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God. Set your mind on the things above, not on the things that are on earth. For you have died and your life (Gr. zűť) is hidden with Christ in God. (Colossians 3:1-3 NASB)
Focusing on physical and material abundance in the here and now trivializes what has been promised us - the Kingdom of God that Jesus Himself said He was sent to proclaim. See The Message of the Bible.
See how the people of the Bible approached God and The Case of Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego in the next chapter
Biblical Verses That Contradict The General Principles Behind The Prosperity Doctrine
As shown in the previous chapter, not only do the specific Bible verses most quoted by Prosperity Doctrine teachers not support their doctrine, but the Bible often says quite the opposite.
The Prosperity Doctrine Teaches That It Is God's Will For You To Prosper. The Bible Does Not Agree
And Jesus said to His disciples, "Truly I say to you, it is hard for a rich man to enter the kingdom of heaven. "Again I say to you, it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle, than for a rich man to enter the kingdom of God." (Matthew 19:23-24 NASB)
"But woe to you who are rich, for you are receiving your comfort in full. "Woe to you who are well-fed now, for you shall be hungry. Woe to you who laugh now, for you shall mourn and weep. (Luke 6:24-25 NASB)
Speaking to the money loving Pharisees, Jesus said "No servant can serve two masters; for either he will hate the one and love the other, or else he will be devoted to one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and wealth." (Luke 16:11-13 NASB)
But those who want to get rich fall into temptation and a snare and many foolish and harmful desires which plunge men into ruin and destruction. For the love of money is a root of all sorts of evil, and some by longing for it have wandered away from the faith and pierced themselves with many griefs. (1 Timothy 6:9-10 NASB)
But the brother of humble circumstances is to glory in his high position; and the rich man is to glory in his humiliation, because like flowering grass he will pass away. For the sun rises with a scorching wind and withers the grass; and its flower falls off and the beauty of its appearance is destroyed; so too the rich man in the midst of his pursuits will fade away. (James 1:9-11 NASB)
Listen, my beloved brethren: did not God choose the poor of this world to be rich in faith and heirs of the kingdom which He promised to those who love Him? (James 2:5 NASB)
For we have brought nothing into the world, so we cannot take anything out of it either. If we have food and covering, with these we shall be content. But those who want to get rich fall into temptation and a snare and many foolish and harmful desires which plunge men into ruin and destruction. For the love of money is a root of all sorts of evil, and some by longing for it have wandered away from the faith and pierced themselves with many griefs. But flee from these things, you man of God, and pursue righteousness, godliness, faith, love, perseverance and gentleness. (1 Timothy 6:7-11 NASB)
'Because you say, "I am rich, and have become wealthy, and have need of nothing," and you do not know that you are wretched and miserable and poor and blind and naked, (Revelation 3:17 NASB)
Note: Jesus teaching in Matthew 19:23-24 (the first quote above) was triggered by the incident of the rich young man (Luke calls him a ruler) who came to Jesus and said he had followed all of the commandments from his youth. However, apparently not wanting to take any chances, he wanted to know what the one thing was that, so to speak, would take him over the edge and guarantee him eternal life. Jesus' instruction to sell all and follow Him revealed that although this young man claimed to desire the key to eternal life, he actually wanted the best of both worlds. As Matthew wrote, "he went away grieving; for he was one who owned much property" (Matthew 19:22 NASB)
In the final analysis, his earthly possessions and lifestyle meant more than anything else to him. (One has to wonder what our wealthy evangelists would do if told the same thing by our Lord.)
Jesus closed His teachings (verse 30) by saying - many who are first will be last, and many who are last will be first. The context tells us that the message has to do with who is or is not rewarded in the world to come. In other words.. the rich and famous in this world may not be the rich and famous in the next.. especially since Jesus was very clear that His followers had to deny themselves and daily take up their crosses, adding that those that did not do so were not worthy of Him.
They Teach That You Will Be Rewarded Now .. In This Life. The Bible Begs To Differ
"For the Son of Man is going to come in his Father's glory with his angels, and then he will reward each person according to what he has done." (Matthew 16:27)
And Jesus said to them, "Truly I say to you, that you who have followed Me, in the regeneration when the Son of Man will sit on His glorious throne, you also shall sit upon twelve thrones, judging the twelve tribes of Israel. "And everyone who has left houses or brothers or sisters or father or mother or children or farms for My name's sake, will receive many times as much, and will inherit eternal life. "But many who are first will be last; and the last, first. (Matthew 19:28-30 NASB)
But when you give a banquet, invite the poor, the crippled, the lame, the blind, and you will be blessed. Although they cannot repay you, you will be repaid at the resurrection of the righteous." (Luke 14:13-14)
They Teach It Is God's Will For You To Prosper, The Bible Repeatedly Warns Against Focusing On The Material Things Of This World.
'They will fling their silver into the streets and their gold will become an abhorrent thing; their silver and their gold will not be able to deliver them in the day of the wrath of the Lord. They cannot satisfy their appetite nor can they fill their stomachs, for their iniquity has become an occasion of stumbling. (Ezekiel 7:19 NASB)
1 Timothy 6:10 say it is the love of money that is the root of all evil. Referring to this verse, prosperity teachers have been known to pretend that there is no kinship between desiring money and loving money. But, as usual, the preceding verse has been glossed over.
But those who want to get rich fall into temptation and a snare and many foolish and harmful desires which plunge men into ruin and destruction. (1 Timothy 6:9 NASB)
The author of the book of Hebrews himself correlates love of money with wanting more than you already have.
Make sure that your character is free from the love of money, being content with what you have; for He Himself has said, "I will never desert you, nor will I ever forsake you," (Hebrews 13:5 NASB)
However, according to the proponents of the prosperity doctrine, God's wants me to prosper materially in this lifetime. In order to do so I have to see myself "rising to new levels". I have to take the time to learn the techniques that will cause God to 'increase me financially'. I have to see my dreams coming to pass. In other words I have to have the desire to obtain more than I have now. So why then does God warn that this desire is likely to plunge me into ruin and destruction - that the
"deceitfulness of riches, and the desires for other things" can choke out the Word of God? (Mark 4:18-19).
Because it does.
Note how when most prosperity teachers ascend their stages, there is a distinct lack of preaching on the Bible's Raison d'Ítre. Although these are the threads around which the entire fabric of the Bible is woven - the subjects that under-gird every one of the sixty-six books of the Bible - nothing, but nothing is said about Sin, the Wrath of God, Repentance and Salvation and Holiness.
Week in and week out, most of what you hear is how to achieve your own financial breakthrough and good health. Almost the only Biblical passages quoted will be the ones that they claim support their doctrine. The entire service is centered around motivating the congregation to give financially so that they can be "blessed".
A man with an evil eye hastens after wealth and does not know that want will come upon him. (Proverbs 28:22 NASB)
Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy, and where thieves break in and steal. "But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys, and where thieves do not break in or steal; (Matthew 6:19-20 NASB)
Some soldiers were questioning him, saying, "And what about us, what shall we do?" And he said to them, "Do not take money from anyone by force, or accuse anyone falsely, and be content with your wages." (Luke 3:14 NASB)
Set your mind on the things above, not on the things that are on earth. (Colossians 3:2 NASB)
But godliness actually is a means of great gain when accompanied by contentment. For we have brought nothing into the world, so we cannot take anything out of it either. If we have food and covering, with these we shall be content. But those who want to get rich fall into temptation and a snare and many foolish and harmful desires which plunge men into ruin and destruction. For the love of money is a root of all sorts of evil, and some by longing for it have wandered away from the faith and pierced themselves with many griefs. (1 Timothy 6:6-10 NASB)
For many walk, of whom I often told you, and now tell you even weeping, that they are enemies of the cross of Christ, whose end is destruction, whose god is their appetite, and whose glory is in their shame, who set their minds on earthly things. For our citizenship is in heaven, from which also we eagerly wait for a Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ; (Philippians 3:18-20 NASB)
Make sure that your character is free from the love of money, being content with what you have; for He Himself has said, "I will never desert you, nor will i ever forsake you," (Hebrews 13:5 NASB)
Many Church Leaders Live Lavish Lifestyles. The Bible Clearly Warn Them Against Being Lovers Of Money, Or Using Godliness As A Means To Financial Gain.
An overseer, then, must be above reproach, the husband of one wife, temperate, prudent, respectable, hospitable, able to teach, not addicted to wine or pugnacious, but gentle, peaceable, free from the love of money. (1 Timothy 3:2-3 NASB)
Deacons likewise must be men of dignity, not double-tongued, or addicted to much wine or fond of sordid gain, (1 Timothy 3:8 NASB)
For the overseer must be above reproach as God's steward, not self-willed, not quick-tempered, not addicted to wine, not pugnacious, not fond of sordid gain, (Titus 1:7 NASB)
shepherd the flock of God among you, exercising oversight not under compulsion, but voluntarily, according to the will of God; and not for sordid gain, but with eagerness; (1 Peter 5:2 NASB)
In the New Testament, the covetous man is linked with idolaters and others who will be excluded from the kingdom of God. in the New Testament Paul warns the Corinthians not to keep company, or even eat with a brother who is covetous.
But actually, I wrote to you not to associate with any so-called brother if he is an immoral person, or covetous, or an idolater, or a reviler, or a drunkard, or a swindler - not even to eat with such a one. (1 Corinthians 5:11 NASB)
For this you know with certainty, that no immoral or impure person or covetous man, who is an idolater, has an inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and God. (Ephesians 5:5 NASB)
And James was very clear as to the fate of those who trusted in riches
Come now, you rich, weep and howl for your miseries which are coming upon you. Your riches have rotted and your garments have become moth-eaten. Your gold and your silver have rusted; and their rust will be a witness against you and will consume your flesh like fire. It is in the last days that you have stored up your treasure! (James 5:1-3 NASB)
Continue On To Chapter 4 - If Positive Confession Is True, Why Didnít The People in The Scriptures Know Anything About It? If God wants His followers to be rich and healthy, then it is fair to assume that the giants of the Old and New Testaments must have had some idea as to how these blessings were to be obtained. So let's travel back in time and see if we can find some evidence of "Positive Confession" and whether negative statements really result in negative results - both bedrock principles of the Word-Faith movement. HERE