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What is prosperity?

 2007/11/19 1:41

 Re: Another Minister Spending Habits Exposed

chandras asked

What is prosperity?

Hi chandras,

I'm glad you asked, because until I heard Esther Ibanga's exposition, I didn't understand exactly where lay the mistake in thinking, by those who are encouraged to preach that faith in Christ is bound to bring material riches.

Let me say immediately, I believe God supplies our need. But I believe He does it in absolute terms, that we may be like Jesus who had nowhere to lay His head, and who gave to the poor every day. The servant is not above His lord. (John 13)

'For you have the poor with you always.' (Matt 26:11)

The talk I recommended answers your question thoroughly within the hour available. Much more could have been said, though. (Are you able to listen to the talk?)

I always knew there is nothing in the gospel that promises a person to become free of poverty, but I have not realised till this year, that 'the prosperity gospel' is the fulfillment of one verse in Daniel's prophecy, by which we are [i]additionally[/i] [u]sure[/u] 'prosperity preaching' is a lie.

(Daniel 8:25 middle (NASB)
[b]And he will destroy many while they are at ease[/b].

(NKJV) [b]He shall destroy many in [i]their[/i] prosperity[/b]. )

But perhaps you are not in favour of the prosperity gospel either, and are using the word 'prosperity' only to describe [i]true spiritual health[/i].

Here are some further thoughts, not covered in the talk through lack of time. The lady (speaking in Times Square Church, New York, under appropriate spiritual covering) began her exposition in Genesis, with the main critical factors for dividing between earth and heaven.

First, words of Jesus, then from Paul's letters.

Mark 10:21
Then Jesus, looking at him, [u]loved him[/u], and said to him, "One thing [u]you lack[/u]: [so, do this] Go your way, sell whatever you have and give to the poor, [u]and you will have treasure in heaven[/u]; [u]and come[/u], take up the cross, and follow Me."

Luke 12:15 - 21
And He said to them, "Take heed and beware of covetousness, for one's life does not consist in the abundance of the things he possesses." Then He spoke a parable to them, saying: "The ground of a certain rich man yielded plentifully. And he thought within himself, saying, 'What shall I do, since I have no room to store my crops?' So he said, 'I will do this: I will pull down my barns and build greater, and there I will store all my crops and my goods. And I will say to my soul, "Soul, you have many goods laid up for many years; take your ease; eat, drink, [i]and[/i] be merry." ' But God said to him, 'Fool! This night your soul will be required of you; then whose will those things be which you have provided?' So [i]is[/i] he who lays up treasure [u]for himself[/u], and is not rich toward God."

Luke 16:25
"But Abraham said, 'Son, remember that in your lifetime you received your good things, and likewise Lazarus evil things; but now he is comforted and you are tormented.

John 12:25
"He who loves his life will lose it, and he who hates his life in this world will keep it for eternal life.

Philippians 4:11, 12 Not that I speak in regard to need, for I have learned in whatever state I am, to be content: I know how to be abased, and I know how to abound. Everywhere and in all things I have learned both to be full and to be hungry, both to abound and to suffer need.

Philippians 4:19
And my God shall supply [u]all your need[/u] according to His riches in glory by Christ Jesus.

James 2:5
Listen, my beloved brethren: Has God not chosen the poor of this world [i]to be[/i] rich in faith and heirs of the kingdom which He promised to those who love Him?

2 Corinthians 3:11, 18
For if what is passing away [i]was[/i] glorious, [b]what remains [i]is[/i] [u]much more[/u] glorious[/b]. Therefore, ... we all, with unveiled face, beholding as in a mirror the glory of the Lord, [u]are being transformed into the same image from glory to glory[/u], just as by the Spirit of the Lord.

 2007/11/19 7:29


Thank you so much sharing your views.

 2007/11/19 7:36


Chandras... I hope you might consider entering into the conversations instead of just throwing down one line statements. I think you could add a lot to the discussion. Just saying "Give and it shall be given unto you" is kinda like me standing on the sidewalk and telling everyone who walks by "Repent!" without explaining to them what it is that they need to repent of, and why.


 2007/11/19 7:58


In regards to the topic of this forum... all I can say is: Buckle your seatbelts because this is just the tip of the iceberg. As Congress begins to look into the spending habits of Benny Hinn and others, there will be an avalanche of ministries being exposed by the media. Kinda like a feeding frenzy.

But I think it's a good thing. God demands a spotless bride, and right now, the church in America is anything but spotless. God will use our government to clean house if we refuse to do it ourselves. And as this happens many will cry out against our government... but God is in control. If the church wont cleanse herself, God will use other methods... just as He used Israels enemies to cleanse Israel.


 2007/11/19 8:03


Wait and see.

 2007/11/19 8:04


Wait and see.

There's no wait and see about it... God is cleaning house. Before it's over it will make the scandels of the 1980's (Bakker & Swaggart) look like Mr. Rogers Neighborhood.

I dont say that with any joy... I say that knowing that if God is cleaning house, He wont stop with just the big names. We [b]all[/b] had better make sure we're clean before our Lord.

Chandras, you've indicated that you are willing to defend folks like Joyce Meyer. I truly pray that this cleansing that is beginning to take place will reveal the truth to you about WOF, and those who teach it. It's time to exercise discernment and righteous judgement about what we're being taught.


 2007/11/19 8:41

Joined: 2003/6/11
Posts: 9192
Santa Clara, CA

 Re: Manipulation

Read through this yesterday and felt that where the similar discussion on the US senators investigation had me keying in perhaps on one aspect, namely not passing on things by what amounts to here-say, a sort of pragmatism that clouds integrity .... It still fell short of emphasis on what this whole industry is up to. I mean that by way of not so much a collective effort but by a shared philosophy and teaching, a strip mining of the scriptures and the sheer damage being done in the name of God.

It didn't take long to go back into reflection and recall the mechanisms and contortions, yes sheer manipulation that I was once somewhat bound up in, have another word in mind, but first a note;

We might remember that many who have followed the prosperity teachings, are not wealthy to begin. The propsperity Gospel does not attract just the middle and upper classes. Many people who are attracted to this promise are struggling already. For these superstitous people, their only mistake is the thought that these teachers might have some kind of spiritual solution to the crippling financial struggles in their lives. When poverty holds onto you like a spiritual curse, it's not so hard to believe there is a spiritual cure.

Yet how is it that poor and destitute people believe they have something to bargain with? All it takes to work their mojo is to pull the levers and turn the knobs of the pernicious bi-covenental gospel that Doracs mentioned. So we must be clear in our own Gospel, that there are no levers and knobs and that only bankrupt people need apply for grace..and then enjoy the life of Jesus without condemnation.

Right there is the crux of it. Without a doubt being a fairly new Christian and also a conveniently struggling self employed businessman (a contradiction, businessman I was not, hence the difficulties) there was a great taking advantage of both my gullibility on the one hand, which, make no doubt about it was my own fault and also a complete abuse of a new found faith. This is what the recollection brings back and the indignation begins stirring again.

It shouldn't be difficult to imagine that fresh converts often show far more an earnest faith at the beginning than some of us who have been perhaps beaten down a bit by trials or been ... indoctrinated into a sleepy slumber by accepting what is being forced fed into our lazy thinking without question ... many reasons could be noted.
But it is a diabolical thing this ...

think there will be alot of HURTING, DISILLUSIONED people out there who will need compassion and truth in love. I have seen the damage done from the Church without Walls ministry of Randy/Paula White. When the divorce news broke, all the spending habits of the two was also exposed and many, many who gave to that ministry were so very hurt.

All of us need to speak the truth about these "wolves" among us who teach that Godliness is gain, but we also need to walk in compassion, knowing that many have been deceived by such. When they are exposed many are hurt..........some blame God. They need brothers and sisters around to love and assure them it was not God who let them down, but fallen man/woman who did not seek after the things of God, but the things of the flesh.......

And this just further illustrates the point sister, exactly. When I could no longer hold down the knot that was forming in the gut, the counter voices challenging (Thank God for them!) when the realization began to come into force that we had been dupes, foolish and ignorant ... There was a part that just wanted to chuck it all as mere rubbish, [i]all of it[/i], and I mean Christianity as a whole. It can put one in a place not only where the enemy can gain a foothold but as you mentioned, some may blame God but I would say the greater part will condemn themselves.

I was and to some extent still am fighting my way out of a substantial debt due to a variety of factors, the business as mentioned, just as well, poor decision making, the usual fare of common abilities and blunders many of us get bound up in. But add in now this new paradigm of mixing [i]faith[/i] as it is so cleverly contorted and, the word I have been holding back;


COERCION, n.[/b] Restraint, check, particularly by law or authority; compulsion; force.

However one wants to dice it up, this is the result. Have seen the tactics and bought the gimmickry. The high pressure situations and collective kind of 'group think' attributes that put a force upon people to give on the spot, without any true prayer or contemplation, a sense of foreboding that you might be failing God by not giving [i]something[/i], anything and then this feeling that you have not done enough, that you are a miser and are ... lacking [i]faith[/i].

I need to repent right here that I did not speak more forcefully in the other thread to this. It is unspeakable what these people are doing, there is no quarter to be given and if I gave off that illusion ... woe is me. Have been in the worst of these types of situations, Benny Hinn and his sudden 'prophetic utterances' of "some of you the Lord is telling me are able to contribute $1000 right now" (paraphrased) and watching someone write out a check right before my eyes for that very amount and what did that do but also create a sense of being on the spot? What should we do? A quick prayer .. a turning to the wife, a sense of urgency ... 50 bucks, a hundred, I don't even recall now. Plea after plea, newsletters and gimmickry, the church we attended all caught up in the same, the same Creeflo's and Hinn's and Hinckley's and on and on.

And look at them! These are the leaders and teachers and ... by God it works! They are well off, growing congregations, why shouldn't they have nice things, shiny new cars and the finest suits and watches, this is what Christ died for ... ?

But this is hardly but the symptoms of the greater disease. The fleecing of the flock, the abuse of the gullible and even the truly sincere, certainly are not most of them? Hard to tell, the element of greed, goodness even the appealing to it spoken or not, the leaders and teachers of this diabolical manipulation are wearing it on their very sleeves. But there are those who would love nothing more than to be out of debt. and free from their bondage and that presents yet another problem...

The sheer, sickening aspect is the contorting of all this. Many of these will also teach principles of stewardship at the very same time, of course with a subtle twist, that you are still supporting whatever construct they are holding up ladened with [i]promises[/i]. From the link given here;


'Giving fatigue'

As word has spread within the church about some of Godwin's expenses, a growing number of members have been calling the church with questions. Godwin has directed most inquiries to finance committee members and elders.

Some church members say they have "giving fatigue" from numerous pledge drives. In recent years, the church has launched drives to pay off the loan for the existing church building and pave and light the parking lot there, buy the land for the new church, buy the children's carousel for the new church and construct the building. In recent weeks, they have been asked to buy the first 2,500 chairs in a $300,000 drive.

To counteract such feelings, the church has broadcast video announcements on its large screens in the sanctuary, using parody and contemporary music.

A man with devilish-looking horns on his head and burning flames behind him speaks in one of the videos, saying he's glad to see church members dislike giving money for new church building funds.

"People just run for the doors," he says. "They think up all kinds of excuses, like we disagree with this and we think the church is putting too much into that and we hate the drapes. ... They just don't want to cough up the money to get the job done. And frankly we applaud them for that."


Hard to believe there could be a new low, this is just galling and appalling ... [i]Lord, wilt thou that we command fire to come down from heaven, and consume them, even as Elias did?[/i]

Tempting ...

Mike Balog

 2007/11/19 8:53Profile


Mike... I wish I could write like you. You have a gift, brother.

And I agree with all you said. Well done.


 2007/11/19 10:07

Joined: 2007/11/5
Posts: 15
Houston, Tx

 Re: Another Minister Spending Habits Exposed

Well said Mike....beautiful anointed words, I hear your heart cry

As I was reading the word today the following scripture came to mind and Cater's message.

Reprobates & Trembling Nations by Cater Conlon

2Ti 3:1-7; This know also, that in the last days perilous times shall come.For men shall be lovers of their own selves, covetous, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy,Without natural affection, trucebreakers, false accusers, incontinent, fierce, despisers of those that are good,Traitors, heady, highminded, lovers of pleasures more than lovers of God; Having a form of godliness, but denying the power thereof: from such turn away.For of this sort are they which creep into houses, and lead captive silly women laden with sins, led away with divers lusts,Ever learning, and never able to come to the knowledge of the truth.

Very Somber Warning to the Church

 2007/11/19 10:27Profile

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