My views on the so-called “Prosperity Gospel”…

John speaking:

“After these things I looked, and behold, there was a door standing open in heaven. And the first voice which I heard was like a trumpet speaking with me, saying, “Come up here…” (Revelation 4:1)

Having just listened to the conference call that was just posted by a friend and a sister in the Lord on the Watchman on the Wall Fb group, I’d like to make the following comments:

What is the open door that God has placed before us?

After reading Revelation 3:20, where Jesus has been locked out of His own church and we find Him outside knocking asking to come in and have fellowship with her.

Then John says in chapter 4 verses 1-2,

The Throne Room of Heaven
4 “After these things I looked, and behold, a door standing open in heaven. And the first voice which I heard was like a trumpet speaking with me, saying, “Come up here, and I will show you things which must take place after this.” 2 And immediately I was in the Spirit…”

We actually have access now into the very throne room of God (the Holy of Holies) but this access has ONLY been granted us through the cross and the shed blood of Jesus Christ!

“Let us then with confidence draw near to the throne of grace, that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need.” (Heb 4:16)

The author of Hebrews writes to inform readers of the superiority of Jesus and to urge them to follow Him closely.

In Hebrews 4:16 the author explains that we can come boldly to the throne of grace:

Notice we are told, “to approach God’s throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need.”

So, following Jesus is about confidence, not timidity.

The author explains how: because of Jesus, our High Priest.

Jesus is described as a merciful and faithful high priest in Hebrews 2:17, and He accomplished propitiation for sin (or the satisfaction of God’s wrath because of sin).

In the Mosaic Law, the high priest would intercede on behalf of the people and was at least a symbolic head of the current priestly administration (Numbers 25, 28).

The priest would bring sacrifices to God on behalf of the people of Israel and would do so repeatedly, as the law prescribed.

While ordinarily the high priest would bring the sacrifice, Jesus Himself was the sacrifice.

His personal sacrifice was an incredible act of mercy, and He could be the sacrifice because He had become like those for whom He was giving Himself up (Hebrews 2:17).

It’s because of Jesus the High Priest, that we can come boldly to the throne of grace (Hebrews 4:16).

Elsewhere in the epistle, Jesus is the “High Priest of our confession” (Hebrews 3:1).

Jesus is a trustworthy high priest, as God the Father counted Him faithful (Hebrews 3:2).

If the Father counts Him as faithful, then we can, too.

In the Mosaic Law, that which was sacrificed died, and so new sacrifices were necessary to (temporarily) cover sin.

But Jesus as high priest brought a different kind of sacrifice.

Jesus sacrificed Himself, and He was resurrected and ascended into heaven (Hebrews 4:14)—another evidence that
He is faithful and has the ability to accomplish salvation for ALL who would believe in Him.

Because of Him we can come boldly to the throne of grace (Hebrews 4:16).

He is a high priest who sympathizes with our weakness (He knows our weaknesses because He became like us when He became a man)—He even has been tempted in all things as we have, yet He remained sinless (Hebrews 4:15).

Because Jesus was a man, He could be our substitution—He could stand in our place to pay the price for sin: death.

None of us can finish paying the price because our debt is so great and we have nothing left with which to pay it.

He could pay the price in our place as a man.

Because Jesus was God, He had no sin of His own and He could arise from the grave showing that He conquered sin and death.

His one-time sacrifice was enough (Hebrews 9:26).

Because of Him we can now come boldly to the throne of grace (Hebrews 4:16)—not on our own merits, bringing our own sacrifice—but on His merit and His sacrifice.

Now that He has made it possible for us to come to God, we come to Him by faith—for “without faith it is impossible to please God” (Hebrews 11:6).

Because of what Jesus has done for us, we can come boldly and with confidence to the throne of grace—it is no longer a throne of judgment for us; rather, it is where we have received forgiveness in mercy and righteousness in grace.

And you also have to follow certain protocols to enter into God’s presence.

We find these protocols listed in Psalms 100

Psalm 100:4-5
New King James Version

4 Enter into His gates with thanksgiving,
And into His courts with praise.
Be thankful to Him, and bless His name.

5 For the Lord is good;
His mercy is everlasting,
And His truth endures to all generations.

And in 1st Thessalonians, chapter 5:16-18 we are told:

16 “Rejoice always, 17 pray without ceasing, 18 in everything give thanks; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.”

And it goes on to tell us in verse 19, “…that we need to do this in order that we not quench the Holy Spirit in our life.”

To quench something is like what we do when we pinch the end of a hose, which restricts the flow of water through that hose; and so this is definitely something we never want to do with God.

Here is where it really gets good as we come into God’s presence, which is the Holy of Holies:

Psalm 91:1-12
New King James Version

Safety of Abiding in the Presence of God
1 He who dwells in the secret place of the Most High
Shall abide under the shadow of the Almighty.

2 I will say of the Lord, “He is my refuge and my fortress;
My God, in Him I will trust.”

3 Surely He shall deliver you from the snare of the fowler
And from the perilous pestilence.

4 He shall cover you with His feathers,
And under His wings you shall take refuge;

His truth shall be your shield and buckler.

5 You shall not be afraid of the terror by night,
Nor of the arrow that flies by day,

6 Nor of the pestilence that walks in darkness,
Nor of the destruction that lays waste at noonday.

7 A thousand may fall at your side,
And ten thousand at your right hand;
But it shall not come near you.

8 Only with your eyes shall you look,
And see the reward of the wicked.

9 Because you have made the Lord, who is my refuge,
Even the Most High, your dwelling place,

10 No evil shall befall you,
Nor shall any plague come near your dwelling;

11 For He shall give His angels charge over you,

To keep you in all your ways.

12 In their hands they shall bear you up,
Lest you dash your foot against a stone.

These are the benefits to every covenant Child of God, who loves the Lord, follows Him by faith; who also keeps God’s Word and obeys it.

The Bible makes it very clear that “We are saved by grace (unmerited favor) through faith, and that not of ourselves it’s a gift of God lest any man should boast. (Eph 2:8-9)

We need to understand however that though this is a gift that comes to us free of charge, it did not come cheap; it came only by way of Jesus’ shed blood on Calvary’s Cross, that He poured out for us.

Based on all that God has done for us, Paul asked the question, what should be our reasonable response?

Romans 12
New King James Version

Living Sacrifices to God
1 I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that you present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable to God, which is your reasonable service.

2 And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God.

And then Jesus tells us,

Matthew 16:24-26
New King James Version

Take Up the Cross and Follow Him

24 Then Jesus said to His disciples, “If anyone desires to come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow Me.

25 For whoever desires to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for My sake will find it.

26 For what profit is it to a man if he gains the whole world, and loses his own soul?

Or what will a man give in exchange for his soul?
____

You live for Christ ONLY as you die to yourself; this is what Jesus means by if anyone wants to follow after Me let him pick up his cross (the symbol of his death to self) each and every day.

Paul put it this way (and this should also be our confession every single day):

Galatians 2:20
New King James Version

20 I have been crucified with Christ; it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself for me.
___

Jesus told us in the Sermon on the Mound (Mat 6:33) that God already knows our needs, and that we should first seek the kingdom of heaven and its righteousness (God’s way of doing things) and then all of these other things will be added to us.

When you add all these scriptures together, it becomes apparent that God cannot be our Savior, unless He is also first our Lord!

We need to each heed Jesus’ warning:

Matthew 7:21-23
New King James Version

I Never Knew You
21 “Not everyone who says to Me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ shall enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father in heaven.

22 Many will say to Me in that day, ‘Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in Your name, cast out demons in Your name, and done many wonders in Your name?’

23 And then I will declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from Me, you who practice lawlessness!’
___

The Holy Spirit says to us through John’s 3rd Epistle, in verse 2:

“Beloved, I pray that you may prosper in all things and be in health, just as your soul prospers.”

God, like any loving father, wants to bless His children; but He doesn’t want to give us stuff that will cause us to forget about Him, and start worshiping the creation rather than the Creator.

The Bible tells us that the grapes have to be crushed before you can get the wine and the kernel of wheat has to die before it can multiply; and so it is with us.

We are at War, and God is not about teaching us how to live in ease and comfort, but rather, according to Romans 8:29 and 30, He is trying to teach us how to be conformed into the image of His Son, of which the Bible even says that Jesus learned obedience through the things He suffered (Heb 5:8).

It is for these reasons that I have some real problems with the so-called “Prosperity Gospel.”

Any message that talks about God wanting to make you rich, give you a new house and a better car and lots of money in the bank, is a complete aberration of what God and His Word teaches us.

In order to really understand the Bible, you have to take into consideration the whole counsel of God’s Word, and you have to rightly divide the Word of Truth.

This should be the first message that every new Christian should be given, that if you thought you had hard times before you committed your life to Christ, then you ain’t seen nothing yet!

God is teaching us how to fight a war and we are told to put on our spiritual armor each and every day!

Selah (let us pause and calmly think about these things)

Come join the Adventure!

Skip 🕊️

Author: SPARKS FROM THE ANVIL OF LIFE

This is an open forum where we look into and investigate the Rhema Mysteries of God's Word; and also other issues of importance for our day and time.

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