True Biblical Prosperity (Part 1)
A pillar of the perverse message of prosperity teaching today is: 3 John 2. The Greek word, number 2137, for prosper is euodoo (yoo-od-o-o) from two root words: 2095, eu (yoo) meaning "well done", and 3598, hodos (hod-os) meaning "progress in a long journey, to help on the long road, to succeed in reaching, an act in traveling a great distance. And yoo-od-o-o, a combination of the two root words, means "to succeed or have a prosperous journey." It continues: "and be in good health, even as thy soul prospereth." Now the 2nd prosperity, that of the soul, is the same Greek word as the first one. Also, the key to the verse is the 2nd or "as thy soul prospers."
Many say this means God wants us all rich. The prosperity, being material blessing. They quote this scripture to back up their doctrine: "He became poor that we might become rich." 2 Corinthians 8:9 For ye know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, that, though he was rich, yet for your sakes he became poor, that ye through his poverty might be rich.) But what kind of poverty did Christ have? In the physical, He had no place to lay His head. 2 Corinthians 6:10 says Christ had nothing, yet possessed all things! Physically He had nothing, but spiritually He had everything.
So, was God saying He wanted us to be physically rich? James 2:5 says, He chose the poor, us, to be rich in faith. Here, it’s the spiritually poor! Rich in faith is our coming to the place in the Lord, where we totally rely and depend upon Him. We live on His strength.
The preachers of prosperity say, doesn’t God want us to have the best? And so they go after it! But our primary attitude & objective is not to seek wealth and material blessings, but to seek the Lord. Matthew 6:33 Need! Philippians 4:19.
The prosperity message is a total delusion that has taken captive many of God's people. They’ve become chained to this goal for physical prosperity, which has caused them to be totally tied up and consumed with the things of this life.
2 Timothy 2:4 They always live in the outer court and can never enter into the holy place. God told His prophet ______________ "measure the inner court". Ezekiel 43:5 says, "The glory of the Lord filled the inner court," not the outer court where these people dwell.
In 3 John 2, God didn’t say He wanted us to be materially prosperous. He said "yoo-od-o-o." Remember the root word yoo – "well done." That’s part of what God is going to tell us when we finish this journey, if we do so as faithful and obedient servants. "Well done thou good and faithful servant." Matthew 25:21. The Greek word yoo is the "well done" in "well done thou good and faithful servant."
What John was saying when he said "I pray that in all respects that you may prosper," he was speaking of our success or prosperity on this long journey, as we travel the narrow road that leads to eternal life.
The prosperity preachers say "We’re Kings Kids," "we’ve got to have the best this world offers." All are catchy phrases that appeal to the lust in man. 1 John 3:15. "Love not the world, neither the things that are in the world" has become nonsense to them. That’s their goal, to possess all they can.
Mark 8:36-37. The word "profit" here is the key word. It’s the Greek word ophelco (o-fel-ch’-o) meaning to be useful, to benefit, advantage, better, profit. Jesus is saying, what is the benefit, the advantage, the profit in prevailing in business, in gaining the whole world. What help, what service, what eternal profit is there, if you gain everything this world has to offer and end up losing your soul and spending eternity in hell.
John 6:27. We know we have to make a living out of the world, but we are not in it. The word "labor not" is the Greek word #20 (2088 or 2038)
Ergazomai (er-gad-zom-ahee). It means trade, spend time engaged in doings, labor for toil, occupations, efforts, jobs, minister about. "Labor not" for the meat that perishes. Jesus is saying, "Don’t labor for the things that perish; don’t let that be your drive, that which controls your thoughts and time and energies now that you belong to Him; but labor for that which will endure to eternal life.
Luke 12:15 Then to emphasize His point, Jesus told this parable. (v.16-21) It’s not being rich in the physical, natural things that is of value, as we were told in charismatic churches; but it’s being rich toward God. There’s a wealth, riches in God. That should be the driving force in our lives, not material wealth. Now Jesus speaks to His disciples! That is one whose life is disciplined by the Word, one who obeys the Word, and does of the Word, not just a hearer…. (v.22-23) The life in verse 22. He tells us not to be anxious about this natural life. "The life" in verse 23 is divine life. Divine life, the spiritual life is more than food. Jesus said, "I have meat – food to eat that you know not." He said, "My food is to do the will of Him that sent me, John 4:34. Jesus is making a differentiation between the natural and divine life that is in Him. (v.29) Jesus told His disciples, not those of the world, don’t worry, don’t be too concerned, don’t be anxious about the physical life. We are to seek Him and trust Him, and not seek things. (v.30) The nation(s), are not God's people. The plural is the enemies of God. They eagerly seek these things. They seek after these things. But, you seek my Kingdom. (v.31, 34) Whatever is driving and compelling your life is your treasure. What motivates you, that is your treasure, and there is your heart.
1 Timothy 6:3 The prosperity delusion appealed to our flesh, our pride, and lust and greed. To the fleshly fallen nature, to selfishness and self-centeredness and ego in us. And many today have bought it. But thank God He brought us out of it. All sound or wholesome teaching is according to the words of Jesus Christ and according to the doctrine of godliness, not the doctrine of prosperity. You should be hearing teaching that will shape, mold, and press your life into His nature and character, His image and likeness, not that of the world. Any doctrine or teaching that won’t push you to become more like Jesus comes from this kind of heart.
1 Timothy 6:4-5 NASB "He is conceited, he understands nothing (about the things of God). But, He has a morbid interest (meaning everything he’s interested in causes death) in controversial questions and disputes about words out of which arise envy, strife, abusive language, evil suspicions, and constant friction between men of depraved minds. (Romans 1 tells about depraved minds. This man is deprived of the truth and here is what he thinks.) "Who suppose that godliness is a means of gain". From such withdraw thyself. Get away from them. (v.6) "But godliness is a means of great gain when accompanied by contentment". (v.7-9) NASB (v.9) "But those who want to get rich fall into temptation and a snare", (Into a trap he can’t get himself out of.) "and into many foolish and harmful desires." (The desire for Christ and His Kingdom becomes forgotten, put aside. It’s crucified and he is filled with worldly desires.) "Harmful desires that plunge men into ruin and destruction." (v.10) Those that go after money, after prosperity of material things, have wandered and left the faith. Here is part of the great falling away spoken of in 2 Thessalonians 2:3, "and they pierced themselves with many pains." What causes many pains - the desire for material prosperity. Then God warns His people again. (v.11) ‘Flee’ means to run from in terror. Run from the doctrine that tells you godliness is a means of gain. Instead, you run after and pursue, follow, meaning to search for, to seek out, pursue righteousness. These are some of God’s riches that will keep us from being earth bound. If anything takes your attention more than seeking Christ, to become more like Him, you are earth bound and you will never enter into the inner court where God’s presence is.
Luke 16:13 Jesus said, "You can’t serve God and money." It can’t be done, even the Pharisees understood this. (v.14) The Pharisees "scoffed" Jesus because they were "lover’s of money". (v.15a) Jesus knew their heart was on money and not on the things of God. (The religious leaders.) They justified their love of money. (v.15b) That which is highly esteemed by men is money. Are you beginning to see that the prosperity message is a lie? This is just enough to provide a foundation; not all God’s word has to say on the subject. So we can see the difference between the truth and what God meant when He said He wanted us to be prosperous in 3 John 2, and what men in their greed have made it. The prosperity message is nothing but a religious cloak for covetousness!!
There are several Hebrew words in the Old Testament for ‘prosperity’. (1) tsa’leach (tsaw-lay’-akh), saleah – to press through with great pressure, to break out, to be well, righteous, to overcome great odds; be profitable, cause to make to prosper. That sounds like an overcomer. 2 Chronicles 31:20-21 Hezekiah caused God’s people to come to repentance. Joshua 1:8 Joshua was a man God testified ‘has a different spirit’ from the rebellious, unbelieving children of Israel. God told him how to be prosperous. And that is not material prosperity, although the preachers of prosperity say it is. It’s a different kind of prosperity, a spiritual prosperity. Psalms 1:3 ‘Prosper’, again the Hebrew tsaw-lay’-akh! Genesis 24:40 ‘Prosper’. Hebrews tell us his angels are ministering spirits sent forth to minister to the heirs of salvation. This servant was sent on a long journey to get a wife for Isaac, a type of Christ. Salvation is a long journey and we pass through many trials and tribulations, temptations, and deceptions. The Lord sent his angel to make the servant'’ mission successful. (v.42) is the same word. 2 Chronicles 18:11, 14 Here it’s used referring to being victorious in battle to overcome the enemy. 2 Chronicles 20:20 The same word is used here. It’s not physical prosperity; it’s overcoming in this life, being well, whole, (v.21-22). 2 Chronicles 26:5 The word is still tsaw-lay’-akh, (v.6-7). Proverbs 28:13 The same word is used again. If you hide your sin, you won’t overcome it, you’ll be destroyed by it. Isaiah 55:11 The same Hebrew word is used again. Does it sound like material prosperity? Ezekiel 16:13 Did God make us kings and priests unto Him? That’s part of our prosperity. Judges 18:5-6 Do you want your way to be prosperous? You walk in the narrow way, the way of holiness to keep you from going ‘the way that seemeth right unto man, but its end is death?’ Psalms 45:4 The word prosperously is the same Hebrew word. Here the proper translation and use is ‘victoriously’. It’s speaking of Christ and He was victorious. He overcame in this life and said because He overcame, we could overcome and be victorious in life. Does that sound like material prosperity? Tsaw-lay’-akh! It’s a prosperity we need!!! God’s prosperity! Are you beginning to see that what God calls prosperity and what man calls prosperity are different? God’s prosperity lasts forever. Man’s is cursed. That’s why John 2:15-17 says love not the world. (It’s all going to pass away, it’s nothing, like a vapor.)
2) #7919, Sakal (saw-kal). It means make to understand, make to have wisdom, make wise, prosper, to have good success. Deuteronomy 29:9 Understanding and wisdom from heaven is never granted unless you become a doer of the word and not just a hearer. Jeremiah 9:23-24 The word ‘understandeth’, saw-kal. Paul said, ‘that I may know Him and the power of His resurrection’. But to know the power of His resurrection (to be resurrected from the dead, given a glorified body), you have to know the fellowship of His sufferings. If you want to glory, glory in that you have wisdom and understanding of God and not in your own wisdom and riches. Don’t boast in natural riches or ability, but in spiritual riches, spiritual prosperity, the knowledge of God. When God speaks of blessings, He also speaks of curses and judgment. (v.25) Those who think they’re saved. Romans 2:25-26 explains. Coming to Christ will only benefit you if you continue in the Lord and obedience to His Word. ‘He’s the author of eternal salvation to those who obey Him.’ Hebrews 5:9 Otherwise your circumcision will be counted as uncircumcision. Only faith that brings corresponding action is of any value. James said, ‘faith without works is dead’. Abraham’s faith caused him to offer up Isaac, his only begotten son! These circumcised in Jeremiah 9:25 know God’s word and ways, but never let it change their life. It’s those who only confess Christianity.
Jeremiah 3:12-14 God will take a remnant out of today’s families and churches. Didn’t Jesus tell us ‘two would be sleeping, or two in the field, or two grinding, and one taken and one left’ (Matthew 24:40-41). He will bring them to Zion, His place of salvation, deliverance, and into His presence. Not those who sit in the outer court, but those who come to the inner court; those whose lives are being changed. These have a relationship with the Father, they hear His voice speaking to them, ‘this is the way, walk ye therein’. God is directing and guiding them. Then, when God brings us to the place of His abiding presence, He says, (v.15) The word ‘knowledge’, saw-kal’. I will give you pastors who will cause you to prosper in the divine things of God, in wisdom and understanding and knowledge of me, and in victory over the enemy. 1 Chronicles 28:19 The only way to get understanding, saw-kal, is His hand upon us. Jesus had to open the disciples understanding for them to understand the scriptures concerning Himself. What kind of prosperity is this? Daniel 9:20-22 ‘saw-kal’. The angel came to give Daniel insight with understanding. You say that you’ve been speaking about knowledge and understanding, not prosperity in those verses. It’s the same Hebrew word as in these, Jeremiah 23:5.
2 Kings 18:5-7 ‘saw-kal’. God gave him wisdom in what to do, how to overcome his enemies, and be in victory and liberty. That’s prosperity. Joshua 1:7 ‘prosper’, ‘saw-kal’. (Joshua 1:8 was tsaw-lay’-akh)
1 Kings 2:3 ‘saw-kal’, prosper. What kind of prosperity is it? It sure isn’t dollar bills or silver and gold. We’ve been learning not how to get wealthy in the natural, but spiritual wealth, spiritual prosperity. That’s prosperity in God’s eyes!
3) #7951, shalah (shaw-law’). Remember 3 John 2, ‘I pray that you may prosper and be in health, even as your soul prospers. Shaw-law means to be at rest (secure), quietness from the enemy (to be in safety), and to have peace, to be successful and prosper. It’s used in the negative in Job3:26. He was speaking of the evil, the terrors of hell upon his life and said, ‘I have no rest, no peace, no prosperity’!! My life is in turmoil, I have no peace from my enemy, no prosperity. Psalms 122:6 ‘Peace’. Jerusalem was called out to be peculiar to God, different from the surrounding nations. It means city of Peace. When we came to Christ, we came to the heavenly Jerusalem and we’re supposed to enter into Christ’s rest and have the peace of Christ, who is the Prince of Peace. God is saying, ‘pray for the peace of my people’. I don’t believe this is only speaking of praying for the physical city of Jerusalem. Remember, the true Jew is one circumcised in the heart, by the Spirit. Unless the inhabitants of the physical Jerusalem come to the heavenly Jerusalem and transfer their citizenship by being born of the Spirit, they will all perish and be destroyed like any other sinner. The Jew is one that has been circumcised in the Spirit and not the flesh and not the letter of the law. Those who are citizens of the heavenly Jerusalem pray for the peace, the prosperity of my people. ‘That love thee’ is not referring to the physical city of Jerusalem. What difference and spiritual benefit could that have?! We can only dwell in His peace, when we dwell in His presence, when we are continually coming before Him, living in the heavenlies and dwelling with Him, in the spirit. When we leave His presence, when we leave righteousness, we lose His peace. To keep His peace and be prosperous on this long journey of salvation, we have to abide in His presence and have His holiness working in our lives. Anytime we walk in disobedience to His Word, His Throne is removed from our lives, where He is supposed to dwell and reign and we lose His presence, peace, and spiritual prosperity. We lose the benefit of the sovereignty of Christ’s Throne when we don’t live our lives in the inner court, in His presence, ruling and reigning with Christ in heavenly places, instead of in the flesh and this world. Only by walking in holiness and righteousness does Christ come into our lives as Lord and bring His Throne and all He has to make our journey prosperous and protect us from our enemies. When we lose His presence by unrighteousness, we no longer have His protection over our lives, His peace and prosperity in our lives. So, effectively, it’s as if He said, ‘pray for the righteousness of Jerusalem’. Psalms 34:7 says, ‘the angel of the Lord encampeth round about them that fear Him and delivereth them’. What is it to fear God? According to Psalms 119:120, to fear God is to fear His judgments, His judgments against all sin, even in His house. Psalms 101:6 ‘To dwell with Him’, is to dwell in His presence. The word ‘serve’ is correctly translated ‘minister to’; ‘He that walketh in a perfect way shall minister to me’! If you want to minister to the Lord, which is a requirement to be able to minister to the people, you have to have a perfect heart. That doesn’t mean you’re sinless. You have a sanctified heart and life. (Look at Aaron.) Exodus 28:35,43 You can’t come before God with unconfessed sin. Exodus 30:20-21 Hands and feet are your life, what you do and how you walk, your lifestyle in this world. Only if our life is sanctified can we have His presence in our live. Exodus 29:44-46
Psalms 101:7 The one who is deceitful will not maintain his position before God to dwell in His presence. A person not pure and upright in his walk before God. (v.8) ‘early’, every morning. One scripture says that ‘His mercy is renewed every morning’. But, that’s only to the righteous. Also, every morning, He’s destroying the wicked from the ‘land’ – singular, from God’s people! He will destroy the wicked in His house! And He will ‘cut them off from where’? He will cut them off from the city of the Lord! What city? Jerusalem. So God’s Throne, His mercy, His protection and peace are removed from the wicked, those who know Him and return to iniquity. God will remove and has removed His blessing and protection and prosperity from His church, His people in America, because they have taken Him for granted and continued in their sin. God cuts off those in His house in His midst who sin. Psalms 78:56-59 Who is Israel? The people of God. They turned back from His in their hearts and were unfaithful to Him and so He abhorred His own people. God hasn’t changed. He feels the same way today against those who turn their back on Him as He did then. High places – churches) (Graven images – in the heart) (v.60) It’s speaking of the tent of God’s presence among His people. God removed His presence. (v.61-64) God judged His people when they departed; when they turned back from holiness and righteousness. He took away His presence and protection and delivered them over to their enemy. And still they didn’t repent. Sounds like many today. They say that the devil has done it to them. True, because God gave them over to their enemy because of their sin. That’s what they’ve missed. In John 5:14, Jesus told the lame man that He healed – ‘Sin no more, lest a worse thing come upon you!
Yet many preachers preach only a God of love and blessing and material prosperity who wants you rich. And many are bowing to the golden image of money. It’s the image in their heart in (v.58). Psalms 97:103 When you practice righteousness, the Lord brings His throne and places it within you and with it comes His presence, His anointing, His power and authority over the enemy so that you can rule and reign victoriously over all your enemies in this life.
Are you beginning to understand what true prosperity is? Psalms 89:13-18 It’s saying when we walk in His presence and hear His voice and walk in righteousness, He will continue to make us stronger than our enemies. He increases or exalts our strength to overcome all evil. When God’s throne is established in a life, then, the Holy Spirit is continually poured out upon that life. It’s the power of His resurrection. What does His resurrection power in our life do? It continues to raise us up and give us His life and keep us in heavenly places, above the power and working of demon powers against us. What’s our part? It is to continue to walk in righteousness and cry out to God with our whole heart to be changed and made like Him. 2 Chronicles 26:5 says of Uzzi’-ah, "As long as he sought the Lord, God made him to prosper". Our prosperity is the power of God’s throne, His presence, His anointing in our life. Our prosperity is victory to overcome all our enemies. It’s His resurrection power in our lives; but, it’s only when we stay in His presence and are one with Him. Jesus prayed in John 17:21, ‘that they all may be one – that they also may be one in us’ (in the Father and son, as they are one). 1 Corinthians 6:17 If we are one with Christ, joined with Him, then His Spirit, His anointing, His power is working in us. This is divine prosperity! His resurrection power that Paul desired. That is to truly know Him. So if you fall, what do you do? You cry unto the Lord to restore you. He then joins Himself with you and raises you up to sit with Him in the heavenlies, in the spiritual realm, to live in the spirit and not the flesh. We need His prosperity, His power, working to strengthen and deliver us from our enemies and to cause us to have a successful journey in this life. If there’s still something in the world that your heart goes after and is attached to, you are earth bound. As long as you walk in the flesh – in anger, gossip, lust, unforgiveness – you are earthbound. The only place of God’s throne, His habitation, is where there is righteousness and truth. Psalms 51:6 ‘truth in the inward parts.’ That’s a crystal clear heart, a pure heart, pure motives and desires. That’s where His throne is and all the sovereignty and power behind it. That’s the heart where His throne descends, too. It’s those who aren’t trying to use their religion and Christ as a means of gain and physical wealth, but those with a heart like the seven women in Isaiah 4:1. That’s a resurrected life, living on the earth, but not earthbound. That’s a life that is free from this world. Paul put it this way, ‘I am crucified to the world and the world is crucified to me!’ That’s the only way to dwell in the heavenlies. How do you get there? Prayer. Jesus said, ‘My house shall be called the house of prayer.’ Today, we are God’s house, not a physical building. That’s why people today hate prayer. Revival will come when people desire to pray more than hear some big name preacher. When you can call a prayer meeting and get the biggest crowd. The church today is dead because God has removed His throne, His presence; but He has promised to restore those who cry out to Him and desire His restoration. The reason we need God’s spirit poured out upon us is to resurrect us from the dead state of being and living as and like a normal man – to live in His presence and walk and live victorious over all that is in this world and over every enemy. This is divine prosperity.
1 Samuel 10:6 God wants us to walk as a changed, transformed, resurrected person, as Christ was, empowered by the Holy Spirit. Salah: This is the prosperity we need and should be praying for. ‘Lord, bless me with Salah!’ It means to be changed, transformed into another man.
Amos 5:6 says, "Seek the Lord, and ye shall live." It’s talking about eternal life.
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