We've spent a great deal of time (Not enough apparently judging form the comments at YouTube.) trying to establish that the Bible teaches that God wants us to prosper. In fact, we demonstrated that the Bible teaches that God has promised to give us power to get wealth. We then established that the Bible teaches that these promises of prosperity belong to the Christians, they are not "just for the jews," as some like to say.
So if you're convinced, as I am, that God wants us to prosper the next questions is: But how does the money come? That's what we want to start talking about here.
We Previously discussed the importance of faith and one of the things we saw was that, at least according to the Bible, our faith can heal others:
James 5:14 Is any sick among you? let him call for the elders of the church; and let them pray over him, anointing him with oil in the name of the Lord: 15 And the prayer of faith shall save the sick, and the Lord shall raise him up; and if he have committed sins, they shall be forgiven him.
The word "save" here is the Greek word for healing and so most modern Bibles translate it heal or restore or make well. If we can learn to pray the prayer of faith then we will be able to heal the sick. In order to pray the prayer of faith we're going to have to learn what faith is.
Faith has two parts, we could call them revelation and action. Revelation is the inside part of faith, the spiritual part it is that which motivates, directs, informs, instructs … the second part of faith, i.e. action. Without both you don't have faith. Action without revelation is what we derisively refer to as religion., i.e. action with no spiritual motivation. Revelation without action the Bible calls "dead" faith.
Here I want to discuss the first part of faith, the revelation part.
We've been teaching on the subject of prosperity for quite a while now, but before continuing I want to discuss the why of prosperity. Why does God want you to prosper? There's more that one reason that God desires are prosperity. Prosperity is good and God is a good God therefore he desires our prosperity… God has promised to prosper us, to keep his promise we have to prosper… It takes money to help the poor so we need to prosper in order to be able to help them. But I believe the most important reason God wants us to prosper is to free us from dependence on the world system. He wants us free to serve him. He wants us free to do what he has created and called us to do. God has promised to prosper us materially and financially so that we can be free to serve him. That's what this message is about.
This is the first episode in a series on the ABC's of Faith. Here I discuss the importance of faith.
The promises set forth in the Bible present a problem for the Christian. For example Philippians 4:19 says "and my God shall supply all your need according to his riches in glory by Christ Jesus." Well then how come my needs aren't supplied? One obvious answer is that the promise is a lie, it's not true, it's con, but that's hardly an acceptable answer for a Christian. So Christians have come up with a variety of ways of explaining the discrepancy between reality and the promises.
Some Christians say that the promises are for a future time. "Eschatological" is the favorite word of many Christians. These Christians might say, 'This promises is true but will only be fully true in some future world.' Other Christians respond that the promises are spiritual. What they mean by spiritual, other than not susceptible to disconfirmation by the senses, isn't particularly clear. In this example they might suggest that the needs referred to are "spiritual" needs.
While both of those answers help to resolve the discrepancy they don't seem to fit the simple meaning of the scripture. If someone wrote you a letter telling you they would take care of all your needs, you probably wouldn't expect that they were promising to do so at some unknown point in the future. Neither would you expect that they were talking about spiritual needs.
I believe there is a better solution to the problem of unfulfilled Biblical promises, faith. Faith is the requirement to receiving from God. Without faith none of the Bible promises will become real in our lives. It is faith that pleases God, that receives answers to prayers and accesses the grace of God. It is faith which allows us to inherit the promises and receive the blessings. It is through faith that we can be healed, heal others and do the works of Jesus.
In this episode I discuss the importance of faith. These are my Keynote slides with audio attached.
Continuing on the theme of prosperity. I've shown you so far that the Bible teaches that God has promised to prosper us. That God swore an oath to Abraham and that part of that promise was that he would give Abraham and his descendants power to get wealth. At this point some people say yes Greg but those promises have nothing to do with the Christian. So in these next two lessons I want to show you that the promises God made to Abraham and his descendants belong to us.
In this episode we're still on the subject, God Wants You Rich, and we're looking specifically at Deuteronomy 8:18
But thou shalt remember the LORD thy God: for it is he that giveth thee power to get wealth, that he may establish his covenant which he sware unto thy fathers, as it is this day.
The context of this scripture is that the Children of Israel are about to enter into the promised land. Moses describes what a great land it is, a land where they will not lack anything, where they will live in goodly houses and their gold and silver will multiply. He then warns them against thinking that it is through their efforts that they have become rich and as result turn away from God. But that they must remember it is God who has given them this power to become rich.
A few points we should see from this scripture.
- God is not against people being rich. He is so not against it that he gives them power to become rich.
- God's idea of rich is: no lack, fine houses, gold and silver multiplied.
- God gives this power to get rich in order to fulfill the covenant he swore to Abraham, Issac and Jacob.
What I would really like you to see is that this covenant promise is your God given right.
This is the first episode in a new series, God Wants You Rich. In this first program I briefly deal with the origin of the Christian idea that material things are bad, or that material things are not as important as spiritual things.
The Apostle John wrote that he desired above all things that we prosper and be in health even as our souls are prospering. In spite of this most Christians think that prospering is a bad thing or at best a not very important thing. If they ever hear this scripture, 3 John 2, most Christians conclude that it must not mean what it obviously says. In fact the opposite is true. John is trying to be direct and to the point. I believe John wrote this specifically to counter gnostic ideas that were already effecting Christian thought toward the end of the Apostle John's life. John links prosperity and health with having a prosperous soul to make the point, a point so radical to modern Christians, that material well being is just as important as the prosperity of your soul.
John was a Jew. In fact, all of the founders of Christianity were Jewish. Jesus was Jewish. Mary was Jewish. Joseph was Jewish. Peter, James, John, Matthew and the Apostle Paul were all Jewish.The Bible is a Jewish book. But this idea about the evil or the unimportance of the material world is not a Jewish idea. The Jews believed that the material world was good. That gold was good. That the things of this life were good. That the pleasures of this life were good. They believed this because the Bible said that God had created the world and said it was good. (Check out this link to Amazon's page for Thou Shalt Prosper a book written by a Jewish rabbi. Or search the book yourself for the word "Gold" and read pages 26 and 27)
On the other hand Greek philosophy assumed that material things were evil or inferior or imperfect. (For a little background on that check out this link to Amazons page for Our Father Abraham, or search the book yourself for the word "Plato" and read pages 168 and 169.)
So here's the long and the short of it. Modern Christianity's attitude toward material things has much more in common with the Greek philosophical attitude toward material things than it does with the Jewish, i.e. Jesus', Peter's, James', John's, Paul's, attitude toward material things. How did this happen?
One last little blurb about Jesus reigning through the Church and then we'll move on to what it takes for the church to reign or put differently why isn't the church reigning? I was reading Luke 10 where Jesus sends out the seventy and the verse that stood out to me was,
Luke 10:2 Therefore said he unto them, The harvest truly is great, but the labourers are few: pray ye therefore the Lord of the harvest, that he would send forth labourers into his harvest.
We're the more laborers. God calls many but few enlist but that's a different sermon. The point I want you to see is that we're laborers just like those disciples. What did Jesus tell those laborers about their job:
Luke 10:9 And heal the sick that are therein, and say unto them, The kingdom of God is come nigh unto you… Luke 10:18 And he said unto them, I beheld Satan as lightning fall from heaven. 19 Behold, I give unto you power to tread on serpents and scorpions, and over all the power of the enemy: and nothing shall by any means hurt you.
That's what we're supposed to be doing… redeeming mankind from the hand of the enemy.
Before moving on to the next point I'm taking this program to review what I've been teaching for the past several months. That's pretty good I think, distilling 18 months of teaching into 28 minutes. Here's the outline of that 18 months of teaching:
1. Before Jesus came Satan was the king of the world. The world, mankind were under his dominion. The Bible sometimes calls Satan's kingdom the reign of death or the power of darkness.
2. Jesus came with the good news that the time was fulfilled, the reign of God, the Kingdom of God, the Kingdom of heaven was here, another King was taking over.
3. This message, the Gospel of the Kingdom of God, was Jesus main message. It is what he preached, what he told his disciples to preach, what he said he had been sent to preach, what he told his disciples they were to preach in all the world, it was the message that the apostle Paul preached.
4. Jesus meant by the Kingdom of God, (Which is better translated, the Reign of God.) God's will being done upon the earth. Where things are the way God wants them to be. Where God's delivering power rescued people from the reign of Satan. The sick were healed. The captives were set free. The poor, for once, got some good news. So much of Christian theology seems dedicated to explaining God's absence in the world. his failure to act on our behalf. Jesus came with the message that the reign of God was now here.
5. As the result of his death and resurrection Jesus became the King of this world.
6. Jesus is now reigning until he overthrows all those supernatural powers which oppose the reign of God.
7. Jesus does this reigning through the Church.