May God Guide You on Your Journey!

The False Teaching of Prosperity

“At that time Michael, the great prince who protects your people, will arise. There will be a time of distress such as has not happened from the beginning of nations until then.  But at that time your people – everyone whose name is found written in the book – will be delivered. Multitudes who sleep in the dust of the earth will awake: some to everlasting life, others to shame and everlasting contempt. Those who are wise will shine like the brightness of the heavens, and those who lead many to righteousness, like the stars for ever and ever.  But you, Daniel, close up and seal the words of the scroll until the time of the end.  Many will go here and there to increase knowledge.

Then I, Daniel, looked, and there before me stood two others, one on this bank of the river and one on the opposite bank. One of them said to the man clothed in linen, who was above the waters of the river, “How long will it be before these astonishing things are fulfilled?”

The man clothed with linen, who was above the waters of the river, lifted his right hand and his left hand toward heavens, and I heard him swear by him who lives forever, saying, “It will be for a time, times, and half a times. When the power of the holy people has been finally broken, all these things will be completed.”

I heard, but I did not understand. So I asked, “My lord, what will the outcome of all this be?”

He replied, “Go your way, Daniel, because the words are closed up and sealed until the time of the end.  Many will be purified, made spotless and refined, but the wicked will continue to be wicked. None of the wicked will understand, but those who are wise will understand.”

“From the time that the daily sacrifice is abolished and the abomination that causes desolation is set up, there will be 1,290 days. Blessed is the one who waits for and reaches the end of the 1,335 days.”

“As for you, go your way till the end. You will rest, and then at the end of the days you will rise to receive your allotted inheritance.” (Daniel 12: 1-13 NIV)

The prophet Daniel was given a vision of what the time of the end would look like.  His vision was filled with symbolism and details that even he did not understand.  From that moment, God’s people have strived to see the world that was foretold to come.  Man has presented interpretations to explain everything that Daniel saw and have created the rise of many false prophets due to this search.  People have been told throughout time that they understood what Daniel was trying to tell the final generation.  From Daniel’s own writings we are told that only the final generation would be able to understand these images and events.  That only the wise of that chosen generation would have the understanding to know what he was truly being shown.

Our God has provided every bit of information that we need to know, that we are indeed living in the prophetic time that Daniel was speaking about.  We can turn on the television and witness the horrors unfolding on our world and feel the helplessness of watching it impact every human being on the face of the world.  We are told that the entire Earth will be inundated with turmoil in a way that the world has never seen.  We have been warned that this dark time would be like no other time in history.  Considering Scripture tells us that there is nothing new under the Sun and that everything has been done before, this time is very special indeed.  (Ecclesiastes 1:9)

Daniel is also warned that the wicked will continue to be wicked and that they will not understand what is happening right before their eyes.  The lawlessness and evil of the final generation is stuff that many a Biblical scholars have written about.  There are already numerous books available about the evil that will be present during the End Times and how the final generation will appear.  For those that are able to see, living within this dark generation is completely different then reading about it.

It is no secret that our society has traveled down the dark pit of greed and lust.  Our society is filled with those who no longer love their God but choose to pursue their selfish ambitions instead of watching for their Savior’s return.  Those that actually study and understand what is happening are being cast as outsiders and liars, even by their own congregations.  The separations that are happening within our society and the Church are allowing the most extreme beliefs and personalities to rise to the forefront and cast those who can see to the side.  If the message is not exactly what the leaders want to present, the message is not heard.

Many have been cast aside as unknowing, unknowledgeable, and with lack of understanding.  Unless you fit within their message, which is dictated to the masses, you are not seen as credible or part of God’s people.  What has been true to God, throughout the entirety of creation, we as a society have rejected.  We have chosen to interpret Scripture for our own selfish ambitions while presenting the hope of avoiding God’s eternal judgement.  We are filling the churches with those that want to hear of their removal and redemption without trial.  Our Church leaders have made the masses weak and without understanding, instead of preparing them for the judgements that are coming. We are told that this would be exactly how the final generations would be when John wrote to the church of Laodicea:

“To the angel of the church in Laodicea write: These are the words of the Amen, the faithful and true witness, the ruler of God’s creation. I know your deeds, that you are neither cold nor hot. I wish you were either one or the other! So, because you are lukewarm – neither hot nor cold – I am about to spit you out of my mouth. You say, ‘I am rich; I have acquired wealth and do not need a thing.’ But you do not realize that you are wretched, pitiful, poor, blind and naked. I counsel you to buy from me gold refined in the fire, so you can become rich; and white clothes to wear, so you can cover your shameful nakedness; and salve to put on your eyes, so you can see.

Those whom I love I rebuke and discipline. So be earnest, and repent. Here I am! I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in and eat with him, and he with me.

To him who overcomes, I will give the right to sit with me on my throne, just as I overcame and sat down with my Father on his throne. He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches.” (Revelation 3: 14-22 NIV)

Jesus talks about this final generation with a sense of betrayal.  He wishes that the people of the Earth would chose a side, that they would show where their alliance lies.  Instead this final generation longs for nothing.  They are deceived enough to believe that they have everything that they need and that they no longer need the guidance or love from their Creator.  But there is a portion of this generation that is loved and does show their loyalty toward God.  Those chosen few are not rewarded with riches and luxuries of this world.  Instead they are rebuked and disciplined by the one they follow.  Unfortunately, this is the exact opposite of what the masses are being taught today.

The Church is filled with the teaching of prosperity.  The teaching of prosperity is the belief that if you do God’s will, and follow him correctly, that your life on Earth will prosper.  This fits very well within our modern society of Capitalism and the American way of life.  The world looks at the riches of the American public with longing eyes as the appearance of wealth is abundant.  Every social media post shows happiness and blessings abound.  Combined with the teaching of prosperity, we can see the exact description that Jesus provided to the Church of Laodicea.  There is no fancy interpretation needed to compare our modern American society with the society spoken about in this letter.  We can see that it is describing the American way of life with exact precision.

This way of life has unfortunately spread to all corners of the globe.  Every aspect of society has been infiltrated with this illusion of prosperity.  Our global society is no different than the American culture that we fight so hard to preserve.  This sickness has spread to every country and the stench from our sins has now infected every nation and people.  Look at each country and you will see greed and suffering.  Those in power, who have prospered from this way of life, take from those that have less. The income disparity is widening and we are seeing a global structure being put in place that removes the wealth from the majority of mankind.

Jesus says that this final generation will have the illusion of wealth and happiness but that they are poor and wretched.  He begs them to seek him and his kingdom with the guarantee that they will be rebuked and disciplined.   Jesus never says that they will be given abundance and thrive due to their works.  Jesus only guaranteed to them that they will be granted eternal life, through his grace and his grace alone:

“As for you, you are dead in your transgressions and sins, in which you used to live when you followed the ways of the world and of the ruler of the kingdom of the air, the sprit who is now at work in those who are disobedient. All of us also lived among them at one time, gratifying the cravings of our sinful nature and following its desires and thoughts. Like the rest, we were by nature objects of wrath. But because of his great love for us, God, who is rich in mercy, made us alive with Christ even when we were dead in transgressions – it is by grace you have been saved. And God raised us up with Christ and seated us with him in the heavenly realms in Christ Jesus, in order that in the coming ages he might show the incomparable riches of his grace, expressed in his kindness to us in Christ Jesus. For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith – and this not from yourselves, it is the gift of God – not by works, so that no one can boast. For we are God’s workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.” (Ephesians 2: 1-10 NIV)

At no time is there a mention of grace’s redemptive power combined with financial prosperousness.  Instead the scriptures illustrates that we are to look to the coming ages for our riches and prosperity.  This combined with Jesus stating in Revelation 3 that those he love will be rebuked and disciplined show that modern man is striving toward the wrong goal.

Many a teacher will state that God wants his followers to be prosperous and happy in this world and that by doing good deeds, they will be give favor over the heathens.  Unfortunately this teaching only leads to the depiction of the generation warned by Jesus in the letter to the church of Laodicea.  It is a false teaching that is deteriorating the spirit of God’s people and leading them toward destruction.

Even if this depiction is false, how does the teaching of prosperity bring the fruits of our Heavenly Father’s kingdom?  How would God benefit from enriching his people on Earth and providing for all of their needs?  Unfortunately, if this was His plan, then Jesus would be contradicting himself when he spoke of the difficulties of a rich man to enter heaven. “Then Jesus said to his disciples, ‘I tell you the truth, it is hard for a rich man to enter the kingdom of heaven. Again I tell you, 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.’” (Matthew 19: 23-24 NIV)

The act of a camel fitting through the eye of a needle is impossible so we can understand that if God used the teaching of prosperity, he would be ensuring that no one would get into heaven. The odds of being the one that does accomplish this goal would be completely against the millions of believers who long to be prosperous and wealthy.

For those who are following our Lord and Savior, the road is much more difficult.  The trials to be faced by the chosen are going to be beyond measure, but necessary.  We are told that this chosen generation will be tried by fire and made pure.  They will witness events that the prophets of old longed to see and that we have all been warned about.  To be part of this generation, we must be ready to endure many trials and become a new being for our Lord!

Clinton Kowach

5/24/18

 

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