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When God gives up part one
When God Gives Up part two
YOUNG AND COPING, in the days of youth
Divorce Remarriage And Beyond Part 2
Totally Ill Prepared

Those who preach the gospel of health, wealth and prosperity, say that their teachings has its origins, in the teachings of Christ.   They say Christ himself was rich, and instructed the believers to be as well.    As we know, it is being widely taught, that Jesus gave the believers the authority to call down and create health and wealth upon themselves.   Believers  are told, that when they have enough financial resources to merely pay bills and barely nothing else, they are living beneath their privilege. On the surface the assumption seems reasonable, that  those who obey, and respect God, should expect to be blessed of Him.                                                                                   

KEEPING THE FAITH--- Those who teach the name it, claim it  doctrine of prosperity , highlight Psalm 84, as proof. "For the LORD God is a sun and shield: the LORD will give grace and glory: no good thing will he withhold from them that walk uprightly."  Psalm 84:11.   The name it claim it group say,  the good things God won't withhold, presumably includes, a large bank account, the best car, a big house, etc.  Believers are also told, that under the new covenant,  the wealth of the wicked is stored up for the believers.  Therefore the believers should claim the wealth and prosperity of the wicked as belonging to them, "A good man leaveth an inheritance to his children's children: and the wealth of the sinner is laid up for the just."  Prov 13:22 .   Those who teach this doctrine of prosperity  say,  God promised that if we delight ourselves in him, and obey his word everything that we do would prosper.  The apostle Paul was aware of all these scriptures, yet he tells us of the things he and the other believers sufferered.  Near the end of his life, Paul reflected back over all that he had endured, and rejoiced in the fact that in spite of it all he still had his faith.   I have fought a good fight, I have finished my course, I have kept the faith: 2ND Tim 4:7.  Like Paul and the other early believers, we also can endure, if we keep the faith. 

Today there are many hurting people, who have sincerely and faithfully applied this doctrine, but without the promised results.  Many have applied these verses to their day to day life situations and gauged their conduct and conversation according to these verses, yet for many it has not worked out as they had hoped.   Financial blessing did not manifest themselves, as expected. Certain  loved ones (a spouse, a child, etc) did not come to Christ as believed for.  Certain sicknesses did not leave, and in some cases death came instead of healing.    There are many believers who have tried to do everything, they were told to do by faith.  They have made every positive confession,  given of their financial resources by faith, and cast out every negative thought they possible could.  Yet their eyesight is still bad, their wallet still lean, and their family is still troubled. 

Over a period of time many who have applied the name it claim it principle have come to realize that it simply does not always work as prescribed.  They find that many who teach this doctrine, also began to put on glasses because of failing eyesight.  They find out that many of those who teach the WOF doctrine and their loved ones end up going to the hospital for medical treatment like most of the rest of us, etc.  This is not said to mock anyone who goes through the struggles which are common to us all.  But rather we state this fact because it is true.  There are some glaring error in the way some who teach this doctrine do so, but it's often covered over for one simple reason. 

The reason being you can always blame the victim.   Thus when  the negative things which commonly befalls us all as humans occur in the lives of the believer, blame the victim. If people face adversity, debt, illness, etc., it is because they are unable to purge the mind of negative thoughts, or are unable to believe enough to receive their desires. This can create a great deal of emotional trauma on the part of the victim.  These individuals have experienced loss, the loss of loved ones or disappointment and failure. They have experienced tragedy, and now their notion of God's faithfulness is shaken and sometimes even destroyed.   CLICK THE NEXT TAB TO ADVANCE THE SLIDES BELOW

JOHN THE BAPTIST FACED DOUBT AND FEAR, IN SPITE OF BEING THE GREATEST PREACHER OF ALL TIME.    One of the best examples of the impact trials and suffering can have on our faith is John the Baptist. As we know John boldly proclaimed Christ to be the messiah, and called for Israel to repent and turn to God.  As a result multitudes came to hear him and repented. Because of his bold stand for righteousness John was thrown into prison for denouncing the sins of Herod Antipas. While in prison John the Baptist hears about the miracles of  Christ, and sends his disciples to ask:  " 2 Now when John had heard in the prison the works of Christ, he sent two of his disciples, 3 And said unto him, Art thou he that should come, or do we look for another?  Matt 11:2.

It seems amazing that John would ask such a question. Remember, this John the Baptist is the same person who, upon seeing Jesus in the crowd by the River Jordan, pointed him out to his own disciples, declaring "Behold the Lamb of God!"  In fact, as a result, at least two of John's disciples, Andrew and John, left John to follow Jesus instead. He is also the same John the Baptist who baptized Jesus, while boldly stating, that assuredly Jesus was the Messiah. And now he sends his disciples to ask if Jesus is "the One"?  When John found himself in prison, it seems that he actually began to question the very message he himself had preached. His question may make us wonder: Was John, after all the time he had spent preaching Christ, still not sure that He was the Messiah? Or was he beginning to doubt, in the depressing and fearful darkness of a prison cell, what he had been sure of?

When he sends his disciples to ask Jesus,  "Are you the One?" he isn't really asking about the identity of Jesus.  He already knows that Jesus is the Messiah; he has known that ever since he was in his mother's womb.  What he means is: "Are you really the One?  Because if you are, shouldn't you be helping me get out of this prison cell??   Christ sent a message of assurance to John that he was the true messiah.  John evidently stood fast from that point on, (As we know John was killed by beheading shortly after this).   Many of us as believers (like John before) have boldly proclaimed Christ to be the one.  We also have found ourselves in situations (Such as sickness, family problems, financial problems, fiery trails, emotional trauma, etc), which have challenged testimony.  regardless we must still proclaim Christ  to be the way in the midst of our trials and suffering. 

The lack of healing is not always due to a lack of faith, Pastor Chris McMillan list five different reasons (with a lack of faith being one of them).                                                                                                                                                                                               

1. Unconfessed sin.  At its root sickness is the result of sin. Adam and Eve sinned and because of their sin sickness, disease and death corrupted the world. The Bible makes it clear that in some instances people remain sick because they refuse to repent of their sin. Sometimes sickness or disease is a consequence of our sin (i.e., STD's, Alcoholism, worry, etc). Sometimes God disciplines unrepentant sinners with physical affliction. In James 5:16 we are told to confess our sins to one another that we may be healed. In John 5 Jesus healed a paralyzed man and told him to go and sin no more lest a worse thing come upon him. In Revelation 2:20-23 Jesus speaks to the church in Thyatira tells them that he is going to punish a false prophetess by the name of Jezebel by casting her onto a bed of sickness and those that commit adultery with her He will cause to suffer intensely. So if we don't want to be afflicted confess your sin. "If we confess our sin he is faithful and just to forgive us of our sin and cleanse us from all unrighteousness" (1 John 1:9). While sin is the original root of sickness personal sin is not always the cause of sickness. In John 9 Jesus and His disciples came across a man born blind. The disciples asked Jesus who sinned that caused this man to be born blind, him or his parents? Jesus said neither but he was born blind so that the glory of God might be displayed. So sometimes sickness doesn't come because of personal sin but because sin is in the world. {Paul said that some of the saints were sickly, because they were taking communion without addressing the sins, 1st Cor 11}                                                                                                                   

2. People don't really want to be healed. Sometimes people aren't healed because they don't want to be. In John 5 Jesus encountered a man that had been paralyzed for 38 years. Jesus looked at the man and the first thing He said to him was, "Do you want to be well?" Some people thrive on sickness. Their identity is wrapped up in their sickness. If they were to get healed they wouldn't know what to do.

3. Lack of faith. The Bible tells us that without faith it is impossible to please God (Heb.11:6). Faith is the currency of the kingdom. Jesus said that faith moves mountains and makes the impossible possible. If we want to be healed we must have faith. When Jesus ministered in His own hometown He could do no miracles there because of their unbelief (Mark 6:5). Unbelief hinders God from doing miracles in your life.  But we must also keep in mind that just because you have faith doesn't mean that you will be healed. Many people with great faith still remain sick. Yet they continue to trust God anyway. Just because you are sick doesn't mean you don't have faith.

4. Demonic power. Sometimes demonic power keeps people bound in sickness. You see this especially in third world countries where there is pantheism and idol worship. In Luke 13 the Bible tells us that a woman was bent over with a spirit of infirmity. Jesus said that Satan had bound this woman. Paul said that his thorn in the flesh was a messenger of Satan that had been sent to torment him. This doesn't mean that Satan or his demons possess believers - that is an impossibility - but it does mean that they can afflict with sickness. Job was afflicted with sickness from the enemy. So sometimes we are sick because of demonic power.

5. God's sovereignty. Out of all the reasons that people don't get healed I think this is the most important one. Some people don't get healed because God chooses not to. Now that may offend our sensibilities but God is sovereign, which means He is in control and calls the shots. Therefore, we have to learn to trust Him even when we don't understand. Sometimes God chooses to heal people immediately and others He doesn't.  If there is one thing we need to understand about God it is that more than anything else He wants to be glorified. God doesn't heal because He feels sorry for us He heals because it brings Him glory. Go back and remember the man born blind in John 9. Jesus said he was born blind so the glory of God could be revealed (i.e., also Lazarus in John 11:3-6). You see we don't have a whole lot to do with our healing. Yes we must have faith but God decides if and when healing comes. God will always do what brings Him the most glory. Sometimes what brings God the most glory is to withhold healing for a season or permanently!  Now you may ask how can God withholding healing bring Him glory? Because those that suffer bring God glory and honor through their suffering. Through their faithfulness, and perseverance God is glorified.  "we also rejoice in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; 4perseverance, character; and character, hope" (Rom.5:3-4). Someone might say that wouldn't God healing someone bring Him greater glory than allowing them to suffer? That's not up to you to decide. Only God can decide what will bring Him glory. The clay cannot say to the potter make me a certain way (Rom.9:21). The clay has no say. The potter does whatever He wants to with the clay.

MY GOD IS ABLE, BUT IF HE CHOOSES NOT TO DO THIS,  I STILL TRUST HIM-- One of the greatest expressions of faith, is to trust, God even when things don't go the way we hoped.  A commonly taught doctrine today, states that the right amount of faith and positive confession, brings healing every time.  Those who learn to properly trust God, do trust God in times of sickness, but this is a flexible trust.  They know God can heal, But if he does not, they will still trust him.  This is the same time of faith exemplified by Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, when facing the possibility of being cast into the fiery furnace.  True faith and trust has two components, #1. GOD IS ABLE, #2. BUT IF NOT, I still trust.

 16 Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, answered and said to the king, O Nebuchadnezzar, we are not careful to answer thee in this matter.  17 If it be so, our God whom we serve is able to deliver us from the burning fiery furnace, and he will deliver us out of thine hand, O king.  18 But if not, be it known unto thee, O king, that we will not serve thy gods, nor worship the golden image which thou hast set up.   Larry Keefauver tells us,  "Some of the deepest feelings of people about the human predicament may find expression in mythical form. These myths do have some basis in fact, are rooted in deep emotions, and find some support in Scripture. But a myth only seems true for some times, for some people, and in some situations. Truth is that which is true for all time, for all people, and in all situations. Some may be healed in time, while others are healed in eternity. Both walk by faith. Their courage, faith, hope, and spiritual depth will help us in our journey of faith to know the God who heals!  Between now and eternity, time will pass. How we spend that precious commodity will result in either treasure or trash. That time will be either redeemed or wasted. The choice is ours. Until our healing is manifested either in time or eternity, we will either walk by faith or merely talk faith. Walking by faith is really living, whether for a moment longer or for years. When God doesn't heal now, we may be tempted to diminish our trust and increase our trying. Our trying will not get us healed. We cannot make a miracle happen. However, we can expect God to meet us at our point of need and walk with us every moment of life. Christ remains at our side to lift us up and see us through. That God must always heal now, because we believe, obey, or confess the Word is myth. Will we still love God, if we aren't healed now? Are we at peace with God's sovereignty? Does His plan, and will reign supreme in our life? Nothing really matters, but totally trusting God and walking by faith. Without being healed eternally, being healed in time is meaningless. Faith is the ultimate issue. The real spiritual battlefield on which we war against disease is not healing, but faith.                                                                                                              


The paramount struggle in which we find ourselves will never be the temporal battle between health and disease, but rather a spiritual war that will rage between faith and fear--trust and doubt.  Is it possible to walk by faith through pain, suffering, and even death? Can one believe in the God who heals even if healing isn't manifested now? Are we trusting for our healing or trusting the healer? The most important thing in life is Jesus, because He alone is life. The only time death and disease will defeat us is when our myths about healing replace the truth about the God who heals. Where do we turn for rock-solid truth that will see us through even the valley of the shadow of death? What are some of the myths we banter about when talk and cheap and life seems endless? Here are a few:  If a person has enough faith, they will be healed. While a lack of faith may hinder healing, healing does not always take place even when we have faith. Claim Him as your healer, whether we see your healing manifested now or in eternity."

In many church circles today, it is not enough to be born again (saved),  but modern day, in the know believers are expected to have all of the amenities, of modern day covenant salvation.  These amenities includes, but are not  limited to items such as, a big house, a nice car, lots of cash, a healthy body,  positive marital and family relationships etc.  Many are being taught, that perfect health, and prosperity (being rich) is a major part of God's covenant promises for all believers.  Believers are told they have a right to expect to prosper, because God has always dealt with mankind through the usage of covenants and that he is legally bound by the New Covenant of New Testament  to bestow blessings upon all Christians.  Faith teachers then go on to say that, under this covenant agreement with God, spiritual laws have been revealed for believers to enjoy their legal birthrights as children of God, rights that mandate the Christian to enjoy a life of ruler ship not only over sin, but over sickness, bad relationships and poverty as well.


This doctrine has attracted millions of followers, who have in turn generated millions and millions of dollars in revenues, for some of its most eminent proclaimers.  Those who preach the prosperity gospel, say, Any minister or ministry, which says God permits his children to be poor, sick, and go through all manner of trials, is in error and a hindrance to the body of Christ. One well known preacher of prosperity said "for a Pastor or anyone to drive a Chevrolet instead of a luxury car isn't being humble, but is being ignorant of God's "law of prosperity." For many today, the doctrine which proclaims that "every believer is supposed to be rich and healthy" is a doctrine which many ministers have been afraid to question or challenge it, for fear of being classed as a doubter of the provisional powers of God.  How could any minister or ministry argue with the most often quoted verse concerning with prosperity and health, which is found in the book of third John?  2Beloved, I wish above all things that thou mayest prosper and be in health, even as thy soul prospereth.  

On the surface the word of faith prosperity gospel, seems to be very logical.  The message as presented appears to be, God honoring, Satan binding, faith promoting,  and scripturally sound.   There is no denying the fact that God has the power to bestow wealth.  The Psalmist tells us,"Praise ye the LORD. Blessed is the man that feareth the LORD, that delighteth greatly in his commandments.  His seed shall be mighty upon earth: the generation of the upright shall be blessed.  Wealth and riches shall be in his house: and his righteousness endureth for ever."  Psalm 112:1-3 .  

The problem is not with having money, the problem is how having money is being portrayed today. In this Study we will look at what is commonly known as the "Gospel Of Prosperity".  The apostle Paul encountered teachings concerning money which troubled him, so much so that he sent a warning to the believers about this doctrine.  Paul was not telling the believers that they should NOT be prosperous, but he warned about a doctrine which stated, that ones wealth, was a berromerter of ones faith, maturity, spirituality, and favor before God.  He told the saints that they should flee from those who taught this doctrine.  Today we are seeing just the opposite. Instead of People fleeing FROM they are fleeing TO  here this doctrine in droves,  "GAIN PROVES GODLINESS AND FAITH."  The fact that Paul warned us about this and simular doctrines should cause us all to pause and think.  If there ever was a time when we should give heed to the warning of Paul, this is the time.  Paul tells of teachers of his day who were,  5Perverse disputings of men of corrupt minds, and destitute of the truth, supposing that gain is godliness:  {HE WARNS}, from such withdraw thyself.  6But godliness with contentment is great gain.  7For we brought nothing into this world, and it is certain we can carry nothing out.  8And having food and raiment let us be therewith content. 9But they that will be rich fall into temptation and a snare, and into many foolish and hurtful lusts, which drown men in destruction and perdition.  1st Tim 6:5-9.  Paul evidently saw something, many other ministers did not see.  Paul experienced loss, suffering , and trials first hand.  He knew that the way this message was being taught, did not line up with the things he had experienced and wrote about.   Paul in his wisdom knew that embracing the health, wealth and prosperity message the wrong way would only lead to hurt and disillusionment.  "But they that will be rich fall into temptation and a snare, and into many foolish and hurtful lusts, which drown men in destruction and perdition."  1st Tim 6:9. 

Even though we are looking at the health and wealth gospel, and how some have become disillusioned:  There is no denying the fact that any of us who are trusting God can become discouraged when things don't work out.  The closer we get to the end, the more we see, the word and those who believe it under attack.  Those who tell the believers that they should not expect trials (including financial and physical), do the saints a disservice.  Peter tells us to arm ourselves with a mind to suffer.   There are some who say no pain or suffering is ever of God, (even though he may at times permit it).   So how do we reconcile this apparent paradox, God can heal, yet there is sickness and suffering all around?                                                                                                                                              

Even Satan could not pass up an opportunity to quote scripture, when it allowed him to question Gods faithfulness.  Thus as Christ suffered during his wilderness temptation, Satan pointed out, For He shall give His angels charge over you, To keep you in all your ways. In their hands they shall bear you up, Lest you dash your foot against a stone. Psalms 91:11-12.  If Satan sought to use this verse against Christ, concerning not dashing his foot against a stone, we can be sure he attacks our attempt to trust God in other areas, because there are many who are hurting in much more than just their feet! There is no denying the fact that many people are hurting, sickness, and  famine is taking a terrible toll on many. Why would God permit sickness and suffering in our world? If Jesus has already suffered for us, and by his stripes we are healed, why does pain and suffering continue? Does He not care what is happening to people as they die hard deaths of sickness, starvation and suffering?   In World War II, many people in Europe looked at this question when they saw the suffering, death, and total destruction of the war. They saw that war was vicious and cruel, and that they could not come up with an answer as to why it was being allowed to happen. The kinds of answers that kept rising to the surface was: God either does not care about what is happening on the earth; Or He is too weak of a God to do anything about it; Or possibly He does not exist at all!  It is said that many in Europe lost their faith as a result, and began to turn their churches into restaurants, museums and night clubs.   Many sincere believers have had to come to terms with the fact, that much of what the rest of society encounters, by way of life's trials, they also encounter.   The apostle Paul made mention of this truth.  He told the early believers, that they were facing many of the same trials as everyone else.  But he also gave them a word of encouragement.  He told them that God would sustain them through their trying times.   There hath no temptation taken you but such as is common to man: but God is faithful, who will not suffer you to be tempted above that ye are able; but will with the temptation also make a way to escape, that ye may be able to bear it.  1st Cor 10:13.  Even with this fact in mind, many still wonder, why would God allow those who trust him, encounter pain and suffering.

Many sincere individuals, who have faithfully spoken a word of faith, honestly have expected from God, because of their willingness to trust Him.  After all the scriptures does say, Take delight in the LORD, and he will give you the desires of your heart, Psalm 37:4 . One infertile couple who (to no avail)  had continually spoken a word of faith in regards to having a child, became very perplexed.  After years of not being able to have a child,  the wife wondered aloud how could this be, when so man who can have children, don't want them and in some cases abort them.  They would from time to time reexamine their faith, thinking that perhaps this was the problem.  Many believers are faced with a simular dilemma. If Jesus says whatever we ask in his name he'll do, why doesn't he? Where is God when the bills can't be paid? Where is God when we want to have children but we can't? Where is God when someone we love dearly is dying? Where is he????   While on earth Christ sought to prepare our minds to this reality.  Yet it seems that many of us (myself included)  Struggle at times, when the dream seems to fail. "I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world." John 16:33 The greek word used for trouble is "thlipsis" it means tribulation, distress, affliction. Suffering and pain, Trouble in this world you will suffer you will have pain. People you love will get sick and they will die. You will have disappointments, things are not always going to go the way you want,  You may get laid off from your job for no fault of your own. An unknown writer said it best,  "Some people are starving, some have no clean drinking water. Earthquakes and tsunamis can take us out without warning. Horrible people can have baby after baby and not care for them, while people who want nothing more than a child to love on grow old without children In this world you WILL have trouble, pain, suffering, distress, agony, affliction, tribulation, grief. This is the stark reality of the broken world we live in.                                                                                                               


We live in a sin sick world and because of this everything is incomplete, disconnected, broken. Trouble Sometimes hurts so bad that we feel like God has abandoned us."  At times we feel anger toward God, and be on the verge or refusing to pray and believe any longer.  I know the feeling, I have been there before myself. How do we reconcile this with the idea that we have a loving caring God? How is it that we can believe that God is in control of all things, and yet live in this chaos? In this world there will be trouble.  What kind of trouble??  shake your entire life trouble, bring you right down to your knees trouble, rip your guts of faith right out of you trouble. But in the midst of it all Christ tells us to take heart,  "be of good cheer, for I have overcome the world." How do we rest in the sovereignty of God's control of all things yet live in the chaos? We cling to the cross. We live in the hope of the promise that was given to us that this world is not the be all and the end all. The brokenness and sadness we feel today is not the end of our story. It's probably not even the middle of our story, it is only the beginning. God is in the process of restoring ALL THINGS. That is what the resurrection proves. That is what we celebrate at Easter, the renewal the restoration of all things.


Understanding God's Covenant Promises?   The testimony of a believer,  "Years ago when I first came to Christ, I was taught that because of my covenant relationship with God, I had special privileges.  I was told that I could by faith, lay claim to perfect health for life.  I therefore decreed by faith that I would walk in perfect health, and no illness or frailty would EVER come near my door.  I encouraged others to stand on these same covenant promises. Thirty years later  I'm now wearing dentures, using this cane, wearing glasses and have gone bald. In fact these same things have happened to the ministers who taught me about my prosperity covenant rights. How can this have happened, does this mean that God is not upholding his covenant promises? Some of the more recent and younger converts, at my church tell me I must not accept my present condition, they say to do so would be a lack of faith.   What makes this so ironic stems from the fact,  that this is the same thing I've told others who were where I am now.  I know I am in a covenant relationship with God, therefore how can these condition persist??"

The message of God willingness to provide for those who believe on Christ,  is a encouraging word, when expounded on correctly.  But when this message is tailored to suit the ambitions, carnal understanding, and desires of men, it becomes a corrupted message.  Jesus taught his disciples what real prosperity and success could not always to tied to monetary and worldly success.  While it's true that Christ clearly confirmed the fact that the new covenant was for the believers. A question to ponder is, if the apostles came back today, would they recognize, the teachings concerning the new covenant promises, as being what Christ taught them?  If Paul, James, and Peter came back today, and saw what was being taught today, concerning the covenant,  they would be outraged.  They would know immediately that the doctrines being taught today, in regards to health, and wealth and the covenant,  was not the same  The doctrines of faith and prosperity, and the bestowing of the covenant promises,  as taught by many  is a far cry from the original message, taught by Christ.   In his most famous message, early on in his earthly ministry,  Jesus told the poor, who sought to obey and please God,  they were blessed, and the kingdom (covenant) of heaven belonged to them, "And he lifted up his eyes on his disciples, and said, Blessed be ye poor: for yours is the kingdom of God," Lk 6:20 .  Today the impression is given that the less affluent believers are missing out on their covenant rights.   Many today don't understand what the new covenant benefits consist of,  (click on the next tab button to advance the slides below).

A REALITY CHECK, LIFE HURTS---"How can a good God allow the righteous to suffer?" This question has puzzled saints and pleased skeptics over the centuries. This question is perhaps one of the most favorite arguments put forth by skeptics who seek undermine God and justify themselves. WHY WOULD A MERCIFUL AND LOVING GOD PERMIT THE RIGHTEOUS TO SUFFER?? Rather than addressing this matter, in response to the non believing skeptics, we do so in light of the struggle many believers, have with this matter. In Psalm 73 we find that even the Psalmist struggled with this matter.  It perplexed him so much (why the righteous suffer and the wicked prosper) that he tells us, he almost backslide, 2 But as for me, my feet were almost gone; my steps had well nigh slipped. 3 For I was envious at the foolish, when I saw the prosperity of the wicked. Psalm 73:2 3.                                    


According to Bob Deffinbaugh,  "This psalm and the question with which it deals is extremely important to us, both for the purpose of apologetics (defending our faith) and in order to preserve our faith in the midst of life's trials. Many Christians today seem to think that faith in God comes with a guarantee of freedom from adversity. In fact, too many of our evangelistic appeals are tainted with the false promise (implied or stated) that coming to faith in Christ will deliver men from their trials in life. When young Christians come to the realization that this is not so, their faith is sometimes severely shaken. The suffering of the saints and the prosperity of the wicked is an issue which is frequently addressed in the Word of God. We find the Book of Job dealing explicitly with this matter. We come face-to-face with it again in Psalm 73. In each passage of Scripture the issue is considered from a slightly different perspective. The unique contribution of Psalm 73 is that it deals with suffering not so much on the level of defending God but rather as defining good.  The question, "How can a good God allow the righteous to suffer?" reveals several fallacies in our thinking. The first is the assumption that suffering is always evil and therefore irreconcilable with God's goodness. The second is a failure to understand righteousness, so far as it relates to the saints. In answer to the problem of pain, this psalm forces us to take another look at our definition of good, lest we accuse God of being the author of evil by allowing us to suffer. In response to the matter of the righteous suffering, it is now being taught that it is not the will of God for his children to ever suffer, or endure trails. 


Most people don't study the Bible for themselves.  Many who do study, do so with blinders on,  they go to the Bible looking only for verses which line up with what they want to hear.  Thus, when we study the Bible with the mindset, that God wants us all to be millionaires,  this is what they will find, even if the teaching of Christ himself, contradicts their beliefs and doctrines.  Many are pointing to the covenant promises, God made to the Hebrews in the Old Testament, claiming that it is applicable to the New Testament church. The Old Testament was very different to the New.  In the OT the covenant  was a "physical" covenant, while the New Testament is a "spiritual" covenant.  They had physical riches; we have spiritual riches.   In the words of Andrew Strom, he writes, " I do not believe you can argue that "God wants Christians wealthy" from the Old Testament. I would ask everyone who wants a real answer on this issue to simply get out a Concordance, such as "Strong's" or another resource.  Then look up the words riches, poor, mammon, rich, etc.  Look at all the occasions these words were used in the New Testament, and you will develop a very good picture of the correct NT view of this issue.  Simply look up every NT Scripture relating to this issue and it will all become very clear.  I believe that Jesus' view of this is pretty much the opposite of today's prosperity teachers.  Look up the Scriptures and see for yourself!   The Prosperity gospel basically teaches that not only does Jesus want to take away your sins and heal your body, but He also wants you to be prosperous and even "rich". -Not just 'SPIRITUALLY' rich, but actually blessed with all kinds of possessions, cars and houses, etc. Because, of course, any kind of poverty and suffering is a "curse", and we know that Jesus came to set us free from the 'curse'.  Now of course there is some truth in this. If there wasn't, then this false teaching would never get off the ground. But the Bible makes it very clear that Jesus' followers can expect to SHARE IN HIS SUFFERINGS (Rom 8:17, Lk 14:27, etc).  It is amazing to me that the Prosperity teachers can get away with the things that they say. Doesn't anybody read their Bible any more? What I would encourage anyone to do, who wants to research this subject, is to get a Concordance and look up EVERY VERSE in the New Testament that contains these words: (1) Rich or Riches, (2) Money, (3) Poor, (4) Mammon (5) Possessions, (6) Treasure, (7) Sell or Sold, etc. You will be absolutely amazed at how strong the NT Scriptures are on this subject. I did this exact search years ago, and was astonished at what I found. When you look up the word 'Rich' you find Scriptures such as this: "Woe unto you that are rich! For you have received your consolation" (Lk 6:24) and "How hard it is for the rich to enter the kingdom of God! It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter the kingdom of God" (Lk 18:24-25, NIV) and "People who want to GET RICH fall into temptation and a trap" (1 Tim 6:9) and "You rich people, weep and wail because of the misery that is coming upon you" (Ja 5:1).

One of the main things Christ taught extensively on was the deceitfulness of riches.  Today many have succumbed to the misguided teaching concerning prosperity, to the point where this doctrine has created a movement in itself, complete with doctrines which claim to be scriptural.  As we shall see what is being taught by those in this group, bares little if any resemblance to what Christ and his disciples after him taught concerning worldly gain.    Even as far back at the infancy of the New Testament church, many of the early believers, had lost sight of what constituted true wealth, and based their confidence, of their spirituality, on the glimmer of gold.  To which Christ warned them, if they did not repent, he would cut them off (literally, give up on them, and allow them to go their own carnal way). 17  Because thou sayest, I am rich, and increased with goods, and have need of nothing; and knowest not that thou art wretched, and miserable, and poor, and blind, and naked:18  I counsel thee to buy of me gold tried in the fire, that thou mayest be rich; and white raiment, that thou mayest be clothed, and that the shame of thy nakedness do not appear; and anoint thine eyes with eyesalve, that thou mayest see, Rev 3:17-18. Today there has been an explosion of teachings on the subject of prosperity.  Even many believers seem to think that this (the teaching on prosperity) is the secret and hidden truth, Satan did not want them to know about.  Many are being taught that prosperity (being rich) is a major part of God's salvation plan and covenant promises for all believers.  It would seem with the sheer volume of teachings on the subject of prosperity, one would think that verse after verse in the Bible would make mention of, getting rich. In fact it may come as a surprised to some, to learn that the word prosperity is never used in the New Testament.  As we know there is only one verse in the entire NT, which even comes close.  "Beloved, I wish above all things that thou mayest prosper and be in health, even as thy soul prospereth,,"  3RD Jn 1:2.  This verse is used so often, mainly because it is one of the few verses in the New Testament which speaks of prosperity in this manner.




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