The Prosperity Gospel Exposed
Ezekiel 34:1- 4
“And the word of the LORD came to me, saying, ‘Son of man, prophesy against the shepherds of Israel, prophecy and say to them, ‘Thus says the Lord God to the shepherds: “Woe to the shepherds of Israel who feed themselves! Should not the shepherds feed the flocks? You eat the fat and clothe yourselves with the wool; you slaughter the fatlings, but you do not feed the flock. The weak you have not strengthened, nor have you healed those who were sick, nor bound up the broken, nor brought back what was driven away, nor sought what was lost; but with force and cruelty you have ruled them.’’”
Today we have many Televangelists who feed on the flock rather than care for their needs. They are false shepherds, false prophets and false teachers, and unless they repent their judgment will be so sever (James 3:1), for they cause the name of Jesus to be blasphemed among unbelievers. It grieves the Holy Spirit, and it grieves my heart to see.
Take a look at these pictures and decide for yourself what you think:
This is where these preachers lay their head, and their transportation.
This is where Jesus laid His head and His transportation. See the difference?
Jesus told us not to lay up treasures for ourselves on this earth, but in the life to come (Matthew 6:19- 21). With all the millions these people spend on their own pleasures and comforts (tax free), they could be using to further the kingdom of God, they could be feeding and housing the poor, they could be supporting other ministries that are helping the persecuted Church around the world. Jesus said, “sell what you have and give to the poor, provide yourselves money bags that do not grow old, a treasure in the heavens that will not fail, where no thief approaches nor moth destroys, for where your treasure is, there your heart will be also. (Luke 12:33, 34)
You can see where these peoples treasure is; it’s on the earth where their heart is. These false teachers have smooth speech by which they convince people, flattering them for their own advantage. They even deceive and confuse you by using some truths, so that you believe they are from God, yet their message is different than that of Christ’s. He tells us to go to the cross and die to this life; they, like satan, tell us not to die to this world, but rather they give us license to live for the world and its possessions (1 John 2:15- 17). Jesus said we cannot serve both God and mammon (worldly riches), for we will love one and hate the other (Luke 16:13). He even goes on to tell a parable of a rich man who dresses lavishly and fared sumptuously every day, while ignoring the poor beggar at his gate. The rich man ended up in hell.
Instead of preaching that people are free to pursue riches for themselves in Jesus name, they should be preaching the gospel; that people must repent and put their trust in Jesus to have eternal life. They should be encouraging a money loving country to die to themselves, pick up their cross and follow Jesus. But because the Spirit of God is not in them (Jude 1:19), they won’t. Instead they will persuade you to send them your money so they can “do God’s work”, while people hope that God will bless them for sending their money to these guys. There are stories of people sending these preachers much of their life savings, in hopes of being healed or becoming prosperous, yet dying without hope. That is so sad.
Never support a ministry that focuses so much on money; that continually asks for your support. Rather look to those ministries where their main focus is on God’s real work of reaching others. Ministries like “Voice of the Martyrs”, “Living waters”, “Hearts Cry”, Good Fight ministries or End Time Research Ministry whose focus is to help strengthen you to reach others, who even offer free books and magazines to strengthen your Christian faith. They love God and seek to do His will.
A minister is supposed to give to you. We are called to care about your life and your soul. We are supposed to lay down our lives for your sake, just as the Good Shepherd laid down His life for us (John 10:11). We are called to live humbly and modestly, not with fancy clothing and rich apparel, so that those who want to reproach us will have nothing to say (1 Peter 2:11, 12; 1 Peter 3:3)
To end this, read Paul’s words to Timothy: (1Timothy 6:5-11) “useless wranglings of men of corrupt minds and destitute of the truth, who suppose that godliness is a means of gain. From such withdraw yourself. Now godliness with contentment is great gain. For we brought nothing into this world, and it is certain we can carry nothing out. And having food and clothing, with these we shall be content. But those who desire to be rich fall into temptation and a snare, and into many foolish and harmful lusts which drown men in destruction and perdition. For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil, for which some have strayed from the faith in their greediness, and pierced themselves through with many sorrows. But you, O man of God, flee these things and pursue righteousness, godliness, faith, love, patience, gentleness.”
(1 Timothy 6:17- 19) “Command those who are rich in this present age not to be haughty, nor to trust in uncertain riches but in the living God, who gives us richly all things to enjoy. Let them do good, that they be rich in good works, ready to give, willing to share, storing up for themselves a good foundation for the time to come, that they may lay hold on eternal life.”
There we have it. Material itself is not evil, but man’s heart is, and often riches turn people away from God; therefore Scripture strongly warns us about desiring them. But we must be thankful for all that God does give us, as all of His gifts are good. Above all we must be ready to use what we have for the glory of God, to give to others, and to focus on eternal things, not earthly wealth.
Love in Christ Jesus, Jonathan Ball
(Ephesians 4:12) Equipping the saints for the work of ministry; edifying the body of Christ.