This article addresses issues brought up in the teachings of the Prosperity Gospel, also known as the Prosperity Movement or the NAR, New Apostolic Movement and the New Apostolic Heresy. It also applies to any similar message.
Table of Contents
Teachings of the Prosperity Gospel
The prosperity gospel is a set of teachings in churches or among Christians that focus on the aspects and verses in the Bible that talk about Gods gifts, power and provisions to His children. These verses are used in many cases to create a belief that God will give you the desires of your heart, no matter how carnal they may be, putting a focus on sensual gratification. Therefore, these teachings become very dangerous, as they lead people away from the true message and meaning of the Gospel of Christ, into a materialistic or carnal mindset (Phil 3.19).
Every teaching in the Bible is good, however if the methodology of a person teaching is to detract from other teachings or verses in the Bible, then it becomes a form of deception. Ever teachings in the Bible is important, and each subject should be taught taking in consideration everything God tells us about a specific subject.
God Wants You to be Rich
The Teachings of Wealth and Prosperity from God
One of the primary teachings of the prosperity gospel is the teaching that God wants His people to be rich, specifically with material wealth. Often times, Prosperity Teachers will proclaim that the way to get rich is to give to their ministry. These are two different issues that are usually presented together; each issue is examined below:
God wants His People to be Wealthy
The prosperity teaching that God gives riches, or desires for His people to be rich, often comes from the following verses:
Examples of rich men in the bible are often used to justify the stance that God wants His people to be rich. Men of God such as Abraham, Joseph, Job, King David, King Solomon, etc. However, there are many examples of poor men in the bible, most of the prophets where poor, Joseph was a slave for thirty years, over ten of which he was imprisoned. King David lived homeless in the wilderness while running from Saul for over a decade. Our Lord Jesus even said that the Son of Man has nowhere to lay his head (Matt 8.20), meaning he was homeless and was poor during his time on earth until death.
Promises of Riches to Those who Give
The second issue is the proclamation of prosperity teachers to their congregation of the need to give or tithe specifically to their ministry, often citing the scripture of Malachi:
You say, how have we robbed God? In tithes and offerings. Bring all the tithes into the storehouse that there may be meat in my house and test me in this, if I will not open you the windows of heaven and pour out such a blessing that you will not be able to receive it. – Malachi 3.8-10
How are Believers Called to Give
In the strictest sense, tithing was an Old Testament law given by Moses. The tithe was meant to be used for temple maintenance and for the priests. The term tithe literally means 10% (Gen 14.20), and this was commanded of the Israelite people to give of their income.
Believer in Jesus Christ are no longer under law but under grace. Believers are called to give to support for the ministry out of their abundance and to give graciously with joy. There is no set amount or specific ministry or organization God commands us to collectively give to. As believers, God will guide us to whom He wants us to support with what He has given to us. For all that we own is Gods already (Ps 50.12)!
He who sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and he who sows bountifully will also reap bountifully. So let each one give as he purposes in his heart, not grudgingly or of necessity; for God loves a cheerful giver – 2 Corinthians 9.6-7
Christians are called to give generously. This does not necessarily mean to give to churches or ministries either, God may call you to give to those who are in need directly, as we see in Matt 19.21 and 1 John 3.17.
Attitude of the Wealthy Believer
What is the attitude of the wealthy believer, and how should they behave. The Bible teaches us that the believers that are gifted with wealth should be humble and very careful not to trust in their riches and have the attitude of simple stewards of Gods possessions.
Believers in humble circumstances ought to take pride in their high position. But the rich should take pride in their humiliation—since they will pass away like a wild flower. For the sun rises with scorching heat and withers the plant; its blossom falls and its beauty is destroyed. In the same way, the rich will fade away even while they go about their business – James 1.9-11
Message of Gaining Wealth vs. Warning of Desiring Wealth
Not all believers will be rich; in fact over the duration of the Church age, it will be those who have that gift of being able to handle it. Prosperity teachers make an appeal to the lust of the eyes in humanity, promising wealth to their listeners while cutting specific Bible verses in attempt to prove their position (Jude 1.12). When this emphasis only leads to a carnal mentality and to the greed of an individual. God does give material wealth to people but as mentioned before, it is for the purpose of laying up treasures in heaven (1 Tim 6.1-19).
God gives different gifting and different responsibilities to His people in this life, however all believers will be accountable for what they have been given. This is why the apostle Paul exhorts believers not to be rich, as wealth causes those who have it to be pierced through with many sorrows. Believers should be content with having their needs met and not to look for anything beyond this, as it comes with a great warning:
If anyone teaches otherwise and does not agree to the sound instruction of our Lord Jesus Christ and to godly teaching, 4 they are conceited and understand nothing. They have an unhealthy interest in controversies and quarrels about words that result in envy, strife, malicious talk, evil suspicions 5 and constant friction between people of corrupt mind, who have been robbed of the truth and who think that godliness is a means to financial gain.
If anyone teaches otherwise and does not agree to the sound instruction of our Lord Jesus Christ and to godly teaching, 4. they are conceited and understand nothing. They have an unhealthy interest in controversies and quarrels about words that result in envy, strife, malicious talk, evil suspicions 5. and constant friction between people of corrupt mind, who have been robbed of the truth and who think that godliness is a means to financial gain. 6. But godliness with contentment is great gain. 7. For we brought nothing into the world, and we can take nothing out of it. – 1 Timothy 6. 3-7
If we have food and clothing, we will be content with that. 9. Those who want to get rich fall into temptation and a trap and into many foolish and harmful desires that plunge people into ruin and destruction. 10. For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil. Some people, eager for money, have wandered from the faith and pierced themselves with many grief’s. – 1 Timothy 6.8-10
God makes both the rich and the poor and decides who He will give to. He takes riches away and gives them to whomever He chooses. The prayer of believers should be as King Solomon, who said “don’t make me rich or poor, but just fulfill my needs.”
God takes wealth away, Surely the wealth God has taken away from our father belongs to us and our children, now do what God has said to you – Gen 31.16
The Lord makes the poor and the rich, He brings low, He also exalts – 1 Sam 2.7
Give me neither poverty nor riches; feed me with the food that is my portion – Proverb 30.8
Jesus goes on to say that all our needs shall be met as long as we are seeking Gods Kingdom and His righteousness first before anything else. Then God will add to it what we need:
Do not worry about what you shall eat or what you shall wear as the Gentiles do. For your Heavenly Father knows that you need them. But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things will be added unto you – Matt 6.31-33
Many believers will experience poverty in their lives, but they remain rich in Christ, as we see with the entire church of Smyrna.
I know thy works, and tribulation, and poverty, (but thou art rich) and I know the blasphemy of them which say they are Jews, and are not, but are the synagogue of Satan – Revelation 2.9
What is Gods Purpose for Wealth
God is rich in all things and will provide for all our needs. He will bless some of His children in riches and material wealth, but the purpose of material wealth is to build up Gods kingdom and to use it for eternal things. God does want every one of us to be rich in spiritual and heavenly things – Luke 12.21, and all those who are in Christ are rich spiritually now, and will be rich spiritually when they get to heaven.
The material things we have in this world only last for a moment and are temporary, that is why God does not want us to be mindful of those things (2 Corin 4.18). God will hold every person accountable for what He gave to them in this world. For those whom He did bless with wealth, they are to ensure that it is all committed into His hands as a good steward of Christ.
And my God will meet all your needs according to the riches of his glory in Christ Jesus. – Philippians 4.19
Command those who are rich in this present world not to be arrogant nor to put their hope in wealth, which is so uncertain, but to put their hope in God, who richly provides us with everything for our enjoyment. 18 Command them to do good, to be rich in good deeds, and to be generous and willing to share. 19 In this way they will lay up treasure for themselves as a firm foundation for the coming age, so that they may take hold of the life that is truly life. – 1 Timothy 6.17-19
The problem with teaching God wants all believers to be rich emphasizes temporary carnal material things of this world and leads many people away into living in sensuality. Christians should always be looking towards the kingdom of Heaven and looking to use what they have in this life to build up God’s kingdom, on the eternal not the temporary.
We are to keep our eyes focused on Gods kingdom and not on the temporary things of this world. God’s purpose for blessing you and fulfilling your needs is so that you will abound in every good work for Him. God blesses you so that you may serve Him and give to His people.
Jesus said “I tell you, use worldly wealth to gain friends for yourselves, so that when it is gone, you will be welcomed into eternal dwellings. – Luke 16.9
Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moths and vermin destroy, and where thieves break in and steal. 20. But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where moths and vermin do not destroy, and where thieves do not break in and steal. 21. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also. – Matt 6.19
The generous will themselves be blessed, for they share their food with the poor – Proverbs 22.6
God is able to bless you abundantly, so that in all things at all times, having all that you need, you will abound in every good work.- 2 Corin 9.8-9
God Wants You to Live the Abundant and Good Life
Prosperity teachers proclaim that God only wants what’s best for you, and for you to have a good and happy life. They teach that we should live a life full of abundance without troubles or problems, and that if you are facing difficulties, it’s because you lack the faith to overcome them. A few verses that are often quoted for this teaching is:
I have come so that they may have life, and life more abundantly. – John 10.10
God works all things together for the good of those who love Him. – Rom 8.28
Again this prosperity teaching takes context from one portion of the Bible without giving us the entire picture with all verses related to the issue. Jesus did come to give us the abundant life. It’s how people define the ‘abundant life,’ that skews the understanding from a biblical perspective, which is different from the world’s perspective and creates a point of contention over the definition.
From a worldly point of view, the abundant life is one that focuses on material wealth and worldly prosperity, or temporary things of this world. God desires for us to be rich or abundant in the things of God, regardless of your material wealth. When you are rich towards God you understand that He is your provider, and He is all you need. The abundant life is having a life full of God, for He is life.
Whoever has the son has life. – 1 John 5.12
This is eternal life that they may know you the one true God and Jesus Christ whom you have sent. – John 17.3
All Believers Will Face Difficult Times
Believers will have an abundant life in Christ; part of having the abundant life is facing trials and every type of difficulty that exists in this world, and retain joy in them. Believers will face trials in their hard times, persecutions from the world and those that work against them, and temptations from the flesh, the world and Devil.
(Apostle Paul speaking) I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want. 13 I can do all this through him who gives me strength. – Philippians 4.12-13
Believers will face difficult times and emerge victoriously through faith. In fact we are to face difficult times with a faith that glories or find joy in those difficult times knowing Gods strength is made perfect in weakness. To even boast joyfully in those hard times knowing the power of Christ is resting upon us.
God said “My grace is sufficient for you, for My strength is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore most gladly I will rather boast in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me. 10. Therefore I take pleasure in infirmities, in reproaches, in needs, in persecutions, in distresses, for Christ’s sake. For when I am weak, then I am strong. – 2 Corinthians 12.9 – 10
Persecution in promised to believers along with the abundant life. We are to rejoice when persecuted, knowing our name is written in heaven.
(Believers receive) … receive a hundred times as much in this present age: homes, brothers, sisters, mothers, children and fields—along with persecutions – Mark 10. 30
Blessed are those who are persecuted because of righteousness, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. 11. Blessed are you when people insult you, persecute you and falsely say all kinds of evil against you because of me. 12. Rejoice and be glad, because great is your reward in heaven, for in the same way they persecuted the prophets who were before you – Matthew 5.10-12
Blessed is the one who perseveres under trial because, having stood the test, that person will receive the crown of life that the Lord has promised to those who love him. – James 1.12
Suffering and Trials Lead to Maturity
The point is this; knowing this world is temporary and understanding how precious our faith is to God, all our works in this life and hard times are stored for us as treasure in heaven, to the point we continue through them in faith to glorify God (James 1.12, Heb 10.34, 1 Corin 3.12-15).
We boast in the hope of the glory of God. 3. Not only so, but we also glory in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; 4. Perseverance, character; and character, hope. – Romans 5.2-4
Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds, 3. because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. 4. Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything. – James 1.2-4
Dear friends, do not be surprised at the fiery ordeal that has come on you to test you, as though something strange were happening to you. 13 But rejoice inasmuch as you participate in the sufferings of Christ, so that you may be overjoyed when his glory is revealed. 14 If you are insulted because of the name of Christ, you are blessed, for the Spirit of glory and of God rests on you. – 1 Peter 4.12-14
Suffering According to Gods Will
Biblical Christianity teaches suffering in this fallen world and is about sacrifice. We are to live our lives sacrificing our desires for God’s will. This is what allows our will to become aligned with God’s will, because we are denying our own carnal nature for the Spiritual nature (Matt 16.24-26). God gave us the entire book of Job to understand how to suffer in faith towards God, trusting He is good and right (Job 2.10).
Jesus said even his desires are not to seek His will but the Fathers will, as an example for us (John 5.30).
Jesus said we must take up our cross and follow Him – Luke 9.23.
Therefore let those who suffer according to God’s will entrust their souls to a faithful Creator while doing good. – 2 peter 4.19
Name it and Claim it and Words of Power
Teaching that God Gives you Whatever you Ask For
Another popular prosperity teaching of the prosperity gospel is the ‘name it and claim it,’ or ‘believe it and receive’ teachings. These are two terms commonly used in conjunction with the belief that God will give a believer whatever they ask for. This teaching comes from using the following verses:
Therefore I tell you, whatever you ask in prayer, believe that you have received it, and it will be yours – Mark 11.24
Whatever you ask in prayer, you will receive, if you have faith- Matthew 21.22
How much more will your Father who is in heaven give good things to those who ask him – Matt 7.11
All things are possible for one who believes – Mark 9.23
Most assuredly, I say to you, whatever you ask the Father in My name He will give you. – John 16.23
How Does God Teaches Us to Pray
The prosperity teaching that God will give believers anything they ask for, does not take into account all the verses concerning the biblical subject of prayer, requests and supplication. Any teaching that does not take into account all the verses concerning an issue, tends to lead people into error.
God makes it clear that we are to have the right attitude when we pray and ask God for something. We must truly believe in Him (Heb 11.6) trusting He rewards those who seek Him. Jesus tells us that we need to abide in Him and His word is in us (John 15.7), and pray according to God’s will (1 John 5.14).
Believers are rebuked for coming to God and asking for things according to their carnality or worldly imagination. We don’t even know what tomorrow will bring; therefore, we should pray with the attitude of submission to Gods will (James 4.13-16), trusting God will take care of our needs and our prayers. Since the end result of all prayer, it to honor and glorify God (John 14.13), even when He says no or that we must wait (Luke 18.7) we are to trust Him through faith.
If we abide in Christ and pray according to God’s will in faith, then we know we can believe that we will receive whatever we ask. It is imperative to understand all of the Bible verses that teach us how to have the mind of Christ, in humility and focus on Jesus, so that we can know what is the perfect will of God (Rom 12.2).
We are to seek Gods will first for everything, then give up our own will and align our will to His; afterwards, pray and act according to the will that God reveals (John 5.19) just as Jesus did.
Again I say to you, if two of you agree on earth about anything they ask, it will be done for them by my Father in heaven – Matt 18.19
Delight yourself in the Lord, and he will give you the desires of your heart – Ps 37.4
Whatever you ask in my name, this I will do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son – John 14.13
If you abide in me, and my words abide in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be done for you – John 15.7
Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God – Phil 4.6
You ask and do not receive, because you ask wrongly, to spend it on your passions – James 4.3
Now we know that God does not hear sinners; but if anyone is a worshiper of God and does His will, He hears him – John 9.31
And whatever we ask we receive from him, because we keep his commandments and do what pleases him – 1 John 3.22
This is the confidence that we have toward him, that if we ask anything according to his will he hears us. And if we know that he hears us in whatever we ask, we know that we have the requests that we have asked of him – 1 John 5.14
You who say, “Today or tomorrow we… (shall do this or that)” 14. you do not even know what will happen tomorrow…15.Instead, you ought to say, “If it is the Lord’s will, we will live and do this or that.” 16. As it is, you boast in your arrogant schemes. All such boasting is evil. – James 4.13 – 16
For we do not know what to pray for as we ought, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us with groanings too deep for words – Romans 8.26
All the Promises of God are Yes and Amen (2 Corin 1.20)
All of God promises will come true for all believers, however he never promised to give us everything we ask for. We see this evidently as we take into account all of what God tells us in His word. All of the things God has promised to someone will come true as He is faithful to do all He has promised.
If God reveals to you something specifically that He is going to do, then you need to believe Him. However if He has not told you something specific, don’t presume it to be true. Rather trust Him no matter what the outcome may be, for you know it is in His hands, and He will work everything out for the good of those that love Him and are called according to His purpose (Rom 8.28)!
Sometimes, God’s Answer is No
Even Jesus prayed for something that God the Father said no to. He wasn’t going against God’s will He was just asking as an example for us. He asked God the Father if there was any other way to save humanity rather than going to the cross, for He knew how much suffering He would have to face. In the end He submits and performs going to the cross for our sake (Luke 22.42). This serves as an example for all believers to follow, in humility and servitude towards God. The question is are you going to trust God and walk by faith no matter what happens in your life, no matter what the answer is to your prayer?
Sometimes God’s answer is not yes or no, but wait and continue contending with the faith. As we see in Jesus’ story of the widow and the judge (Luke 18.1 – 8).
God told the Apostle Paul no, that he would not have the thorn in his side removed, rather that Gods grace was sufficient for him. – 2 Corin 12.9
You have Authority
Prosperity teachers will emphasize the power and authority that believers have in Christ. Often times, they use this emphasis in conjunction with the teaching of asking for whatever you desire as evidence that God will give you whatever you want. They will proclaim things such as a child of God has all authority, and with God’s power you can have whatever you desire.
This first verse has to do with power over the enemy, which we know we have in Christ:
I have given you authority to trample on snakes and scorpions and to overcome all the power of the enemy; nothing will harm you.- Luke 10.19
Speaking to Peter, Jesus is talking about how He will set up the church on the confession of faith. That He will give the church the keys to the kingdom so that the gates of Hell will not prevail. This verse is a reference to the authority of the realm of darkness:
And I will give unto thee the keys of the kingdom of heaven: and whatsoever thou shalt bind on earth shall be bound in heaven: and whatsoever thou shalt loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven. – Matt 16.19
Finally we see the purpose for which God gives us power; it is to do His will, not our own:
The Spirit God has given us comes in power, the power to do God’s will, whatever that is in our lives. For this reason I remind you to fan into flame the gift of God, which is in you through the laying on of my hands. 7. For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power, love, and self-control. – 2 Timothy 1. 6 – 7
All Authority and Power Belongs to God
God has all the power in the universe, believers do not direct God or His power, He directs and instructs us, God is omnipotent. As we reviewed before in the section on prayer, God gives us the power to do certain things if it is His will, but it is all done according to His purpose and His power. Our prayers are requests to God, but it is God who does the work or act (Phil 2.13). Just as a little son or daughter asks their dad to do something for them. It’s the power of the father that makes it happen; the Child’s part was simply the request.
As God’s children we are to have the same attitude as Christ, that of humility, taking the position of a servant to God and others and giving up all privileges.
Once God has spoken; twice have I heard this: that power belongs to God – Psalms 62.10
You must have the same attitude that Christ Jesus had.6. Though he was God, he did not think of equality with God as something to cling to. 7. Instead, he gave up his divine privileges; he took the humble position of a slave and was born as a human being. When he appeared in human form. 8. he humbled himself in obedience to God and died a criminal’s death on a cross. – Phil 2.5-8
Do Your Words have Power
Another popular teaching in the Prosperity movement derives from the previous two points on prayer and authority, it is the teaching that your words have power. Two of the most popular verses used for this are as follows:
The tongue has the power of life and death. – Proverbs 18.21
Proverbs is not saying that a person can speak life or death into a person merely by saying some words, causing them to instantly drop dead or come back to life. Even a king that pronounces the death sentence; his words may carry the decree, but death comes in accordance to the executioner’s hand. We have power in our words as far as words can go; to exhort, bless, to put someone down or to curse them. The verse is meant to be a warning on how far your words can go in a person’s life. James gives us a clearer picture to explain this verse:
With the tongue we praise our Lord and Father, and with it we curse human beings, who have been made in God’s likeness. 10. Out of the same mouth comes praise and cursing. My brothers and sisters, this should not be. – James 3.9-10
Again as believers, our words are to be used to petition and speak to God, the display of power and the act comes from the hand of God. Believers should be careful of their words as they want to encourage others and lead others closer to Christ and towards Godliness.
God may bless a believer with a prophetic or miraculous word that will cause something supernaturally to occur. The Apostle Paul did speak a word and blinded the sorcerer Bar-Jesus in Acts 13. 6-17, but again we see everything works in accordance with Gods will and purpose, as we are lead by Gods Spirit.
Prosperity Movement: God Will Always Heal You
One of the most common teachings from the Prosperity Movement is the belief that God will heal you from every infirmity and disease, as long as you have faith to be healed. It is a teaching that typically proclaims that Gods people should never be ill or sick. A number of verses used to teach this belief are as follows:
He (Jesus) was wounded for our transgressions, He was bruised for our iniquities; The chastisement for our peace was upon Him, And by His stripes, we are healed – Isaiah 53.5
This verse is often quoted that God will heal all our infirmities; however the primary context of this verse and meaning of the prophecy should always be emphasized first. The most important healing we can receive in our lives is the eternal spiritual healing and restoration of our souls to be born again, and made spiritually alive unto God and that is what Jesus died for. Any healing we receive in our physical bodies and in this world is only temporary, as this body of death (our physical bodies) is perishing (Romans 7.24). This verse is first and foremost about the eternal salvation and restoration we have in Christ as believers.
We do not want to detract from the importance of the fulfillment of this prophecy to spiritual things only, as we find in Matthew 8, Jesus healed the sick and drove out the demons in fulfillment of Isaiah 53.
When evening came, many who were demon-possessed were brought to him, and he drove out the spirits with a word and healed all the sick. 17 This was to fulfill what was spoken through the prophet Isaiah: “He took up our infirmities and bore our diseases.”– Matthew 8. 16-17
Prosperity teacher’s argument for this belief follows the verse that states Jesus gave the disciples authority to heal every types of disease. Further in verse 8. Jesus tells them to heal the sick, raise the dead, cleanse those with leprosy, and drive out demons and not to take any money. If you take this to mean they where to heal every disease, every time, would this also stand to reason that they where to raise every dead person they came into contact with? Is this what God desires for all believers to do, all the time?
God gives us the bigger picture concerning healing, and to understand how He heals throughout the entire Bible.
Faith healers in the Prosperity Movement often take biblical teaching that is skewed towards an interpretation they are pushing for, focusing on specific verses, rather than allowing God to teach us what He means in these verses. They will exclude the other verses that are needed to portray clarity on the topic.
God heals His people. God works through His creation, He uses other people and He heals through supernatural means, everyday. God reveals his word this way, He performs miracles this way, and He heals in the same way. All throughout the Bible we see examples of this. God supernaturally healed Hezekiah and added 15 years to his life (2 Kings 20). He healed Nabal through the waters of the Jordan. And the prophet Elisha brought a young boy back from the dead through prayers and intercessions to God.
God Chooses Not to Heal
God also chooses not to heal His people sometimes. Jesus said that Elijah was send not to the rest of the Israelite’s but to the one widow in Israel (Luke 4.24) when the famine was on the land for 3 years. There were many leapers in Israel but only Naaman the Syrian was cleansed in those days (2 Kings 5).
In John (chapter 5 v1-17). Jesus healed only one man by the pool of Bethesda, a man who was sick for 38 years, as He passed by many others who were sick that day. Immediately after this event, Jesus tells us that even He can only do what He sees the Father doing (v.19).
There are many examples throughout the New Testament of believers and Christians not being healed or having to deal with physical ailments. God healed many people and ailments through the apostle Paul, but He did not heal everyone, every time.
Paul told timothy to take some wine for his stomach problems and constant infirmities.
Drink no longer water, but use a little wine for thy stomach’s sake and thine often infirmities. – 1 Tim 5.23,
Even the apostle Paul had a thorn in his flesh (Gal 4.13), most scholars agree it was some type of an eye infirmity (2 Corin 12.7-10, Gal 4.15.) Paul learned to take pleasure that God’s strength would be shown in his weakness and suffering.
Paul left brethren who where very ill on at least two occasions –
Erastus stayed in Corinth, and I left Trophimus sick in Miletus – 2 Tim 4.20,
Philippians 2.25 – Epaphroditus was sick almost unto death. Then in time God has mercy upon him.
If my people who are called by my name humble themselves, and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven and will forgive their sin and heal their land – 2 Chronicles 7.14
The Lord heals those who have regard for the weak – Psalms 41. 1 – 3
God teaches us that we are to trust Him and know that He can heal anything at any time. However more importantly do we trust Him even if He does not? As mentioned above, Christians are to glory in their suffering and trust God in their trials and tribulations, this included physical ailments.
Prosperity Movement: We are gods
Finally the culmination of many prosperity gospel teachers leads to the teaching that we are all gods. This is one of the lies that many false teachings begin to display to their followers. It is a calling card of the Devils teachings.
That we can have equaled power with God the father. All the other teachings are bad fruit, but this leads directly into false doctrine, and the turning away of people from the true faith, following a false Jesus.
This is the very first deception of Satan to Grandmother Eve, the promise that we can be like God. This is the false teaching spoken about throughout the Epistles or Paul and Peter.
It is so important to understand that we are Gods creation, and are not like God. We were made in His image, but to reduce God to anything like that of a man or any created being is exactly what is spoken about in Romans 1.
They teach that Jesus only became God after reading from the text in Luke 4.18 and receiving the baptism of the Holy Spirit. That Jesus was just a man until God filled Him with His spirit. This is known as adoptionism. Then they teach in the same way we can all become like God.
Gospel of Christ
What is the difference between the message of the Prosperity Gospel and the message of the Gospel in the Bible? The term gospel means ‘good news.’ And it is the central theme in the Bible. The gospel is the good news given to humanity through a message.
The Prosperity Gospel twists the message in the bible into a portrayal of good news that is centrally focused on how a person can prosper from a relationship with God; it sets man as the central focus of the message. How you can get what you want from God and satisfy your carnal, fleshly desires.
The Gospel of Christ, simply stated, places the central focus on Jesus Christ (1 Corin 2.2), and the restoration of the relationship between God and mankind. This is the main point of our lives as we grow in Christ, to have a loving relationship with God. As we grow in Christ, we learn that God is the center of all things; the center of our lives, the center of every purpose, the center and purpose for all creation is to glorify and put Him first (Luke 14.26).
The message of the gospel centers on Jesus Christ. Its focus is on the fact that He came so that people may know the one true God and Jesus Christ whom God has sent (John 17.3). As a response we understand that God is to be glorified and be put first before all things, for He alone is worthy to be the center of all things, He is the Lord of all (1 Chron 29.11)!
As His people we are to take the correct position, as created beings willfully taking the place of humility (Phil 2.5). The same position that Jesus set as an example for us (Phil 2.6-8), as we exist in this world to the point we are crucified with Christ (Gal 2.20). To put to death all our own desires, interested and will (Gal 3.5), as a willing sacrifice to put Christ first, delighting in being obedient to Him in all things (2 Corin 10.5).
The gospel is the power of God for salvation to believers – Rom 1.16
Beware of any angel or man that preaches another gospel to you. – Gal 1.8
God’s wrath is upon those who do not obey the gospel of our Lord Jesus – 2 Thess 2.14
In the last days many will listen to false doctrine, and not walk according to sound doctrine. – 2 Tim 4.3
I am sure that, when I come unto you, I shall come in the fullness of the blessing of the gospel of Christ. – Rom 15:29
The god of this world hath blinded the minds of them which believe not, lest the light of the glorious gospel of Christ, who is the image of God, should shine upon them- 2 Corin 4.4
The message of Christ is simple and should always be presented as such. The Devil is always working to try and make understanding the gospel something that is more difficult then what God made it to be, or to twist it into another message.
I fear, lest by any means, as the serpent beguiled Eve through his subtlety, so your minds should be corrupted from the simplicity that is in Christ. – 2 Corin 11.3
Biblical Christianity Teaches Against Heresy
The Bible warns believers about any teaching that goes against sound doctrine and what God teaches us. We are to call it out and call out the false teaches just as the Apostle Paul did.
Take no part in the unfruitful works of darkness, but instead expose them – Eph 5.11