Prosperity Heresy in the American Church
There are sincere Christians who are being led astray by the shepherds who feed them. Some Christians embrace the doctrine of covetousness that prevails in America today because they have listened to men who work lying signs and wonders, and who use those lying signs and wonders as a stamp of God's approval on these men.
Signs and wonders are not a measure of whether a man is of God or not. The Bible speaks of a false prophet who would be an instrument of Satan, and who would come and work signs and lying wonders, deceiving those who do not love the Truth.
II Th 2:8 And then shall that Wicked be revealed, whom the Lord shall consume with the spirit of his mouth, and shall destroy with the brightness of his coming: 9 Even him, whose coming is after the working of Satan with all power and signs and lying wonders,
In the Old Testament, the Lord also warned His people from deceivers who work signs and wonders, with the intention of distorting the Word of God:
Deut 13:1 If there arise among you a prophet, or a dreamer of dreams, and giveth thee a sign or a wonder,
2 And the sign or the wonder come to pass, whereof he spake unto thee, saying, Let us go after other gods, which thou hast not known, and let us serve them;|
3 Thou shalt not hearken unto the words of that prophet, or that dreamer of dreams: for the LORD your God proveth you, to know whether ye love the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul.
4 Ye shall walk after the LORD your God, and fear him, and keep his commandments, and obey his voice, and ye shall serve him, and cleave unto him.
5 And that prophet, or that dreamer of dreams, shall be put to death; because he hath spoken to turn you away from the LORD your God, which brought you out of the land of Egypt, and redeemed you out of the house of bondage, to thrust thee out of the way which the LORD thy God commanded thee to walk in. So shalt thou put the evil away from the midst of thee.
Simply put, Jesus mentioned the fact that we cannot serve God and mammon.
Luke 16:13 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.
In the context, we can see that Jesus gave the word ”Mammon” personal attributes, as something that is served. He likens mammon as a master. Jesus, the Personification of TRUTH, makes a bold statement. He says emphatically, that a person CANNOT serve the True God and the false God of riches at the same time.
Before I go any farther, I believe that Deuteronomy 28 promises blessings to the people of God who walk in His ways, and who OBEY His Word.
The problem is that Deuteronomy 28 has been overused and abused by the false teachers who have crept in the church and have promised a disobedient people that they would receive the blessings of the Lord in their disobedience to Him.
THE TRUE GOD teaches us that He will be faithful to supply ALL our needs (Phil 4:19). Those false prophets who serve the god of mammon teach us to pursue after our greeds.
THE TRUE GOD teaches us that we are to learn to be content in whatsoever state we are in, whether we are abased, or whether we abound (Phil 4:11) and that if we pursue after mammon, we will end up falling into many hurtful lusts, and will eventually lead us to destruction and perdition (1 Tim 6:6-9).
Strong's Lexicon defines "perdition" as this:
684 apoleia-1) destroying, utter destruction; used of vessels 2) a perishing, ruin, destruction a) used of money b) the destruction which consists of eternal misery in hell
The false god of mammon would have his disciples to teach his followers NOT to be content where they are, but to call in the MONEY!
THE TRUE GOD teaches us that life doesn't consist in things (Lk. 12:15).
The false god of mammon shouts that as Christians, we are King's Kids, and we deserve to have fine things.
THE TRUE GOD teaches us that we are not to set our affections on the things of the world (Col 3:2).
The false god of mammon realizes that if Christians really got that Truth, they would be a threat to him and his master, Satan; so he has his false teachers preaching covetousness from the pulpit. And there are lying signs and wonders that are deceiving the children of God, keeping them from their purpose in furthering the True Kingdom of God on this earth.
This doctrine of covetousness that is permeating the church in America today has had it's day, but I believe that the gates of Hell cannot prevail against God's church, and that the TRUE children of God will eventually see this foolishness that has taken root in their lives for what it is, and that they will turn away from the false-hood, and embrace the Truth.
It won't change the fact that they were sidetracked for a number of years as they walked in that deception, and that they themselves were probably guilty of teaching others those same lies. But I believe God will have mercy on them, because they did these things in ignorance. God's Mercy is something that surpasses our understanding.
I personally believe that there are some who preach this covetous doctrine who are not wolves, but they themselves are deceived, and have bought a lie, and are ignorantly parroting that lie to others. These teachers may also receive mercy from God because they are doing this in ignorance.
BUT WOE TO THOSE TEACHERS WHO ARE WILLFULLY CHASING AFTER THE RICHES OF THIS WORLD, AND WHO ARE FLEECING THE FLOCK OF GOD, MAKING MERCHANDISE OF THEM AS THEY HEAP UP TO THEMSELVES TREASURES AND A NAME FOR THEMSELVES ON THIS EARTH (Isa 10:1-3). THEY HAVE THEIR REWARD (THEIR EARTHLY TREASURES).
Most pastors and “ministers” in America live better than the majority of their flock. What a far cry from Jesus, the Author and the Finisher of our faith, Who had no place to lay His head!
Ezek 34:2 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?
Micah 2:1 Woe to them that devise iniquity, and work evil upon their beds! when the morning is light, they practise it, because it is in the power of their hand. 2 And they covet fields, and take them by violence; and houses, and take them away: so they oppress a man and his house, even a man and his heritage.
The preachers of today's covetous doctrine teach the people to “violently” claim the objects of their covetousness. The word "oppress" here in Micah 2:2 carries with it the meaning “to extort”.
6231 `ashaq- to press upon, to oppress, to violate, to defraud, to do violence, to get deceitfully, to wrong, to extort a) (Qal) 1) to oppress, to wrong, to extort 2) to oppress b) (Pual) to be exploited, to be crushed
There are extortioners filling the pupits today, promising "hundred fold returns" if you sow into their “ministry”.
2 Pet 2:1 But there were false prophets also among the people, even as there shall be false teachers among you, who privily shall bring in damnable heresies, even denying the Lord that bought them, and bring upon themselves swift destruction.
2 And many shall follow their pernicious ways; by reason of whom the way of truth shall be evil spoken of.
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.
WOE TO THE SHEPHERDS WHO WINK AT SIN AND WHO ENCOURAGE THEIR FLOCK TO DO THE SAME, BECAUSE THEY ARE AFRAID OF LOSING THEIR CONGREGATION, AND THEIR EYES ARE ON NUMBERS INSTEAD OF THE TRUTH (Isa 5:20, Isa 29:15). THEY HAVE THEIR REWARD (THEIR RECOGNITION).
Gal 1:6 I marvel that ye are so soon removed from him that called you into the grace of Christ Into another gospel:
7 Which is not another; but there be some that trouble you, and would pervert the gospel of Christ.
8 But though we, or an angel from heaven, preach any other gospel unto you than that which we have preached unto you, let him be accursed.
9 As we said before, so say I now again, If any man preach any other gospel unto you than that ye have received, let him be accursed.
10 For do I now persuade men, or God? or do I seek to please men? for if I yet pleased men, I should not be the servant of Christ.(KJV)
Titus 1:10 For there are many unruly and vain talkers and deceivers, specially they of the circumcision:
11 Whose mouths must be stopped, who subvert whole houses, teaching things which they ought not, for filthy lucre's sake.
WOE TO THE CHRISTIAN WHO GOES FROM CHURCH TO CHURCH, WANTING TO HEAR A GOSPEL THAT PLEASES HIS OR HER EARS, AND THAT JUSTIFIES THEIR SIN (Isa 30:1; JER 13:25-27). THEY HAVE THEIR REWARD (THEIR EARTHLY PLEASURE).
2 Tim 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;
4 And they shall turn away their ears from the truth, and shall be turned unto fables.
WOE TO THAT ONE WHO DOES DESPITE TO THE SPIRIT OF GRACE, AND WHO EMBRACES A LIE INSTEAD OF THE TRUTH OF GOD (Isa 5:23). IF THEY EMBRACE A LIE, AND ARE NOT CHASTENED HERE ON EARTH, THEY HAVE THEIR REWARD (THEIR MOMENTARY SATISFACTION)
WOE TO THOSE WHO PROPHESY ACCORDING TO THEIR FEELINGS OR TO GIVE FEEL GOOD MESSAGES TO THE SAINTS, INSTEAD OF THE WORD OF GOD.
These false teachers and false Christians listed above are engaged in adultery against God, and there is a need for the Leaders and the flock of the Church in America to humble themselves, and to repent of thier adulterous ways.
Having said that, I want to be quick to say that the church in America also needs to humble herself and repent of pointing fingers and accusing each other of their wrongs. We need to be honest enough to call sin for what it is, and then to have such a heart as to encourage and to exhort one another to turn away from that sin; not to condemn each other for our errors.
Gal 6:1 Brethren, if a man be overtaken in a fault, ye which are spiritual, restore such an one in the spirit of meekness; considering thyself, lest thou also be tempted.
2 Bear ye one another's burdens, and so fulfil the law of Christ.
3 For if a man think himself to be something, when he is nothing, he deceiveth himself.
4 But let every man prove his own work, and then shall he have rejoicing in himself alone, and not in another.
I would say by my observance of how “brethren” handle those who have been overtaken in their faults, that most of them are carnal, and have no business trying to restore others. They tear and rip up each other instead of trying to see their brother or sister restored.
There are many things that I have done as a Christian that have been forgiven because of His Mercy and Grace that was bestowed on me, because I had done those things in ignorance and unbelief. When I was caught up in drunkenness, and drug abuse, God's Mercy was still with me because I did these things ignorantly and in unbelief. When I became aware of the weight of my sin, and the need to turn away from it, I became responsible for what I knew.
There is a great need for the church in America to repent of its adulterous practices, whether we are speaking of physical adultery, or spiritual adultery. In Malachi 3:5, God says that he would be a swift witness against the adulterers in the land.
Judgment begins at the House of God.