The Good News to the Poor, that Jesus declared was a central tenet of his ministry and purpose, can really be summed up with seven words: “You don’t have to be poor anymore!” Poverty is diametrically opposite to the intention of God towards human kind.
True bible Prosperity is:
The ability to use the resources of God for the benefit of all humanity. This is in the realms of 1. Spirit 2. Soul (the mind the will and the emotions) 3. Body (including divine health) 4. Financially and 5. Socially.
True prosperity is obtained in that order. Anything else is worldly and subject, as Jesus said, to: ” Rust, theft and destruction.” Matthew 6:19. Yes he said to build up that wealth in Heaven. But, he didn’t say it had to stay there. He, on more than one occasion, referred to God’s ability to make it available both on request and where you have need, by Faith.
Throughout the Old and the New Testaments, that make up the Christian Bible, the principle of God causing, or enabling his people to prosper, in this life, as a result of the covenant they had with him, is a constant.
There are so many references. From Deuteronomy 8:18:
“And you shall remember the Lord your God, for it is He who gives you power to get wealth, that He may establish His covenant which He swore to your fathers, as it is this day.” (NKJV)
“You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies;
You anoint my head with oil; My cup runs over.” (NKJV)
Do Not Rob God
“Will a man rob God? Yet you have robbed Me!
But you say,‘In what way have we robbed You? ’
In tithes and offerings. You are cursed with a curse,
For you have robbed Me, Even this whole nation.
Bring all the tithes into the storehouse,
That there may be food in My house,
And try Me now in this,”Says the Lord of hosts,
“If I will not open for you the windows of heaven
And pour out for you such blessing That there will not be room enough to receive it. And I will rebuke the devourer for your sakes, So that he will not destroy the fruit of your ground,
Nor shall the vine fail to bear fruit for you in the field,”
Says the Lord of hosts; “And all nations will call you blessed, For you will be a delightful land,” Says the Lord of hosts.” (NKJV)
All of these promises, by God, to his people, are based upon the Old Blood Covenant with Abraham and are still passed on to his descendants.
We are informed by the writer of the Book of Hebrews, in Hebrews 8:6:
“But in fact the ministry Jesus has received is as superior to theirs as the covenant of which he is mediator is superior to the old one, since the new covenant is established on better promises.” (NIV)
Since under the Old Covenant the blessings could only be received by the descendants of Abraham and thereby the Children of Israel, also referred to as The Children of Promise. Under this new covenant it would appear that that promise has in fact been transferred to the Gentiles who will believe. In Galatians 3:13-14 Paul writes:
“But The Messiah has redeemed us from the curse of The Written Law, and he became a curse in our place, for it is written: “Cursed is everyone who is hanged on a tree,That the blessing of Abraham would be with the nations by Yeshua The Messiah, and we would receive The Promise of The Spirit by faith.” (The Aramaic bible in Plain English)
And is expounded further:
“Christ has redeemed us from the curse of the law, having become a curse for us (for it is written, “Cursed is everyone who hangs on a tree”), that the blessing of Abraham might come upon the Gentiles in Christ Jesus, that we might receive the promise of the Spirit through faith.” (AMP)
Since God is a God who never changes it would appear that the same God who prospered the Jews under the Old Covenant, desires that his children, restored to him through the spilt blood of Jesus, as the first-begotten (firstborn) from the dead (Col 1:18) desires that, under the New and Better Covenant those who accept the Lordship of Jesus should enjoy life to the full (John 10:10).
Prosperity is kicked around in religious circles as a popular football and used as a weapon to attack this, or that Minister of God, all because of a poverty mentality that came into play under the Emperor Constantine, when the church changed from “The Way” into the Institutional and State Sanctioned religion.
The manipulation of the poverty doctrine was a way to manipulate the people, most of whom were not scholars, or educated, in a way that would ensure their compliance. However, its similarity to the actions of the Pharisees of the Jewish religion cannot be ignored.
One of the reasons they (the Pharisees) as a group, despised Jesus, was because he continually pointed out the deficit between the people’s rights, to expect, under the Abrahamic Covenant and the lived experience under their administration of that covenant. This was particularly evident when he healed the woman bowed low, and the number of times that lepers were cleansed under his ministry.
Poverty does NOT honour God.
I can’t say it any more plainly than that. If it did then every unemployed person, every homeless person, every dependent upon welfare would be a demonstration of the wonder of the almighty ‘god’. That’s a LIE from the very Pit, of Hell, itself.
Tell me, do these images give glory to God? These are some of the extremes, I know. But, this is truly the image of that Lie that has been sold to the church. This doesn’t create piety, holiness, a love for, or of God; instead it has people question why?
One of the redemptive names of God under the Old Covenant is El Shaddai; The God of Plenty. He is MORE than ENOUGH.
Jesus teaches that the Father, in Heaven, knows what you have need of and he will meet it. Matthew 6:33
In 3John :2 he writes:
“Beloved, I pray that you may prosper in all things and be in health, just as your soul prospers.” (AMP)
The preaching of the poverty gospel has been the downfall of the church; particularly in this day and age. People are more educated now than they have ever been and they don’t just take a person’s words without question.
As a result the preaching of poverty has come under attack from people who are able to see the hypocrisy of those teaching that it is better to be poor in this world and to build up riches in Heaven, for the future. While those preaching that line live in grand palaces, and accumulate great wealth, at the expense of the widowed and the homeless.
There are multi-million dollar edifices all over the world, often in some of the poorest neighbourhoods, where the poor are made to feel unwelcome and unworthy to enter, because they’re dirty, or they small bad, that are only used for a couple of hours a week; whilst, within those same towns and cities, children starve and go homeless; the custodians of that wealth using “The poor will be with you always.” (Mark 4:7) as their excuse to do nothing, yet still require the upkeep of the building to be paid for.
It is interesting to note that this is not the whole of that particular verse of scripture and that it is in fact Jesus’ response to Judas, the treasurer of his ministry, who would, only days later, betray him. Let’s look at the whole thing in context:
The Anointing at Bethany
“And being in Bethany at the house of Simon the leper, as He sat at the table, a woman came having an alabaster flask of very costly oil of spikenard. Then she broke the flask and poured it on His head. But there were some who were indignant among themselves, and said, “Why was this fragrant oil wasted? For it might have been sold for more than three hundred denarii and given to the poor.” And they criticized her sharply.
But Jesus said, “ Let her alone. Why do you trouble her? She has done a good work for Me. For you have the poor with you always, and whenever you wish you may do them good; but Me you do not have always. She has done what she could. She has come beforehand to anoint My body for burial. Assuredly, I say to you, wherever this gospel is preached in the whole world, what this woman has done will also be told as a memorial to her.” Mark 14:3-9 (AMP)
This is but one example of where the Word of God is manipulated to support doctrine that has no concert with the truth of the Gospel. As a result the people are robbed and God is blamed for atrocities that are truly anathema.
Jesus taught in Luke 6:38:
“Give, and it will be given to you:good measure, pressed down, shaken together, and running over will be put into your bosom. For with the same measure that you use, it will be measured back to you.” (AMP)
In this weeks teaching we look at the example of how the story of the Rich Young Ruler has been twisted and manipulated to say something completely different to the message and the blessings contained within it.
The Gospel is not a hard thing to grasp. But, you need to actually have the Good News of the Gospel preached for people to build Faith in it. The Gospel is Good News to the Poor.
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