Prosperity, Eternity (6): Between Holiness and ‘Prosperity’ Preaching

I believe strongly in miracles! But source matters. Listen carefully to the messages in many places today. How much of hell and the sins that would cause men to end up in such eternally damnable place and of how to avoid all that do you hear? How much of Jesus and His (vicarious) suffering on the Cross to redeem people from that eternal damnation if only they can go to Him to settle their account of sin with Him now or today – being the only guaranteed day of salvation – do you hear? How much of Heaven and the holy life we must live by His grace and obedience to His commands that guarantees our making Heaven and dwelling eternally with an Eternal God do you hear! How much of the essence of Christianity do you see in the messages? How much of it do you seriously hear even in the so-called gospel messages, songs and choruses? And you begin to wonder what is ‘gospel’ or ‘good news’ after all. What else under the sun could be good news or gospel; the good news or gospel of Jesus Christ and the Cross; the good news or gospel that Peter, Paul and those blessed saints forever presented?

As I wrote in the introduction to the book The Rapture: Catching away of the Saints: “Even today, mammon inspired music, songs, and choruses with so-called worship and dance steps they occasion are beginning to eclipse those highly thoughtful and inspired hymns of old or yesteryears that holily presented the gospel from all ramifications, even those hymns that enrich fellowship with God, and that help us look up; that help us examine our lives from time to time, help us deepen our consecration, help us find our closets; that help stir up faith and put us out to zealous and faithful service for our God.” What generation is this! What is this that Satan has made many to believe is Christianity today?

Do we see anything like broad-way Christianity in Scriptures? Christianity is a holy heavenly Seed God brought from holy Heaven to this world of sin, planted into the earth, and which sprouted and brought up holy seeds called saints who are now growing up in holiness towards their holy source and root: Heaven, while beaming the heavenly light for men to see and embrace, and not too long after now shall be caught up in the rapture to that sublime eternal place of God; from whence the Seed (God’s only begotten Son of the Father) and the seeds (the sons that the Son now begets for the Father) return in all holiness, glory and power to plant and lead God’s righteous rule on the earth.

What is this we are doing? One finds it real difficult representing a very sad issue. Truly, except we repent our “judgment now of a long time lingereth not”, and our “damnation slumbereth not”.

Fleshly Recourse to the Old Testament
There is really no way you can promote mammon with New Testament Scriptures without wresting, twisting and giving those fleshy interpretations. So we are not surprise that some now do just that; we are only sad because of its general evil and the peril awaiting victims. And because, you cannot promote mammon in the New Testament without sounding real odd, these ordinarily New Testament believers think they are more at home with the Old Testament Scriptures. They think they can truly justify their growing appetite in those pages. And they often bring in Old Testament characters. Because they often refer to Abraham and Job, we have elected to talk about these blessed and holy patriarchs in separate parts in this series. But we must preempt our take there here:

Both men actually represent the sum of this series we have styled: “Prosperity, Eternity: Why receive, why give!” Talk of the righteousness that must be home to God’s provision lest we make shipwreck of our faith you find it in these two. Talk of caretakers of God’s provision for His people then talk of both men. Talk about channels of distribution, and what examples in these! And talk of how God’s provisions with us can be used by us to secure Heaven or lay hold on eternal life these are rare human examples. Abraham and Job knew the ministry of money so perfectly. In the Day of Judgment I see their examples condemning very many of us, except we repent and stop justifying the actions of our flesh with saintly characters like Abraham and Job.

Those who talk about David in this wise know nothing about this man after God’s heart, man of war fighting the Lord’s battles, the king of Israel and custodian that is anything Israel, the great Psalmist who is always in the presence of God receiving all graces, and a wonderful type of Christ. David is a man sold out to God. Understand David in the Psalms and you will know He has nothing of his own, but all of God’s. Understand him in the historical books and you will know him as a man who will not give anything to God except it cost him something. And for a thing to be said to cost you something implies giving from beyond your excesses; it means giving that which you need, that which is vital and necessary: It means you making sacrifice! Mammon evil: not David!

Hear David in Psalm 37:23-26: “The steps of a good man are ordered by the Lord: and He delighteth in his way. Though he fall, he shall not be utterly cast down: for the Lord upholdeth him with His hand. I have been young, and now am old; yet have I not seen the righteous forsaken, nor his seed begging bread. He is ever merciful, and lendeth; and his seed is blessed.”

David says that the steps of a good man (a righteous man that is) are ordered by the Lord. How wonderful for a man to live a righteous life. This is the heartthrob of David, not mammon of unrighteousness. He says God delights in him (the righteous man) and that no matter what he goes through God is with him upholding him in His Hands. And we know how God was really with David: a righteous man. Now hear the righteous or seeker of the Kingdom and its righteousness give us a revelation: “I have been young, and now am old; yet have I not seen the righteous forsaken, nor his seed begging bread.” That is what happens to the righteous. These additives come automatic for all who live right for God. They just come, but don’t forget: they come according to our needs, and the needs of others but coming through us. So, we are not through with David yet: He is ever merciful, and lendeth; and his seed is blessed. Who is ever merciful here? David says it is the righteous. Do we need to explain what ‘ever’ means? And, of course, we know what merciful means, at least grammatically.

Then one aspect of merciful or one way ‘merciful’ manifests itself gains the highlight here. David says he lendeth; not in our modern sense of loan but he gives, provides, bestows or distributes. He lends. That is always the purpose of the excesses, all that is above our sincere needs. That is blessed David. So, Church: why not major in the majors, fundamentals and essentials of the faith and allow God to add what He says He will add, and ask for grace to use them as He purposes; grace to be able to faithfully distribute whatever is in excess of our genuine needs; so that there would be equality in the household of faith.

Solomon is also their major reference point, and we will briefly draw attention to Solomon now. It is written in 1Kings 3:11-13: “And God said unto him, Because thou hast asked this thing, and hast not asked for thyself long life; neither hast asked riches for thyself, nor hast asked the life of thine enemies; but hast asked for thyself understanding to discern judgment; Behold, I have done according to thy words: lo, I have given thee a wise and an understanding heart; so that there was none like thee before thee, neither after thee shall any arise like unto thee. And I have also given thee that which thou hast not asked, both riches, and honour: so that there shall not be any among the kings like unto thee all thy days.”

What did

Solomon asked for? Was it mammon of unrighteousness? Not at all! He asked for himself understanding especially with a view to discern judgment among God’s people as God’s representative. God answered precisely thus: “I have given thee a wise and an understanding heart”. And God also gave the additives. That is the way in both Testaments. Solomon sought after doing God’s will and His good pleasure. You would say in New Testament parlance that he sought the Kingdom of God and its righteousness first; and God added these things the heathen seek after to him. Only the heathen seek after these things.

But they are added to seekers of the Kingdom and its righteousness. They are added according to needs of the individual and of the Household of Faith through the individual or steward. But the individual steward that consumes the commonwealth has an account to render. Let not our appetite take us from the plan of God through us for our generation. “And put a knife to thy throat, if thou be a man given to appetite” Proverbs 23:2 tells us. Of course, how these additives took Solomon off track is well known. But his Proverbs (words of wisdom) and Ecclesiastics (words of the preacher) we have a restored picture of Solomon and they (Proverbs and Ecclesiastics) must be lessons enough for us in this our present subject matter because many have made shipwreck of their faith today for either seeking after the things God says He will add or misusing the additives.

Happy is the Man that finds Wisdom
Proverbs 3:13-14 says that “Happy is the man that findeth wisdom, and the man that getteth understanding. For the merchandise of it is better than the merchandise of silver, and the gain thereof than fine gold.” It is not carnal wisdom that is referred to here. James 3:15-18 tells us that wisdom can be earthly, sensual and devilish; and that such did not descend from above. Carnal wisdom is what is throwing up most of the messages on prosperity today. That is what is promoting most of the management, economic and psychology messages coming from our pulpit today. That is what is taking logical reasoning to the same realm with the world today. That is what is appealing to the emotions of the people today. This is what is stirring up many a minister to ask for money or ‘preach prosperity’ (whichever you prefer), ‘pray miracle prayers’, and give their prophecies today. And the people are preyed upon. It is mostly merchandising.

Carnal wisdom or feigned words! This is what is promoting most of the miracles, breakthrough and those family of messages today that ‘humans need badly’ even as they hardly care to present (let alone thoroughly present) the greatest miracle and greatest breakthrough that man needs which is freedom from sin and the other side of the coin; which is, living holily unto God, seeking the Kingdom of God and its righteousness, becoming more and more like Christ; with the final result that we can dwell with God eternally. These are the real miracles, the real breakthroughs: Freedom from sin and living holily unto God (which translates to freedom from Satan and all that Satan represents), becoming more and more like Jesus Christ, seeking the Kingdom of God and its righteousness and inhabiting eternity with God.

Only Satan, I dare say, would want men to take these to the rear why we are almost always bombarded with the things Christ say He will add. Most of us have fallen prey to the devices of Satan because the things that touch the flesh are felt much and men want to quickly fix them; and messages tilted thus can bring in the money. Yes, they may not be told that they are buying their solution but there are other expressions (2 Peter 2:3) that they employ to take care of that. And the money comes anyway. Men can give anything to take care of this perishing clay.

But O where are the ministers that would look beyond the flesh of men into the soul that perishes not (it lives forever in either ends of eternity) and present the true gospel and give sound Bible teachings. Yes, the offering may not become as fat. But that supposed lean, but of course, holy offering in the Hands of God can do more things than we can ever imagine. But more than that: What can really be used to exchange one single soul that genuinely finds His Maker and is restored to fellowship with Him, fellowship in Truth and in Spirit. Can a trillion dollar offering compensate? Many a ministers may prefer the cash than the soul. But it ought not to be so. The salvation of the soul is and must be paramount.

O the pardon Christ’s Cross offers!
Its unconditional forgiveness:
You’re not obliged to come with a price,
Or character deserving of mercy.

Refrain

Emmanuel invites all today:
“Unto you, O men, I call.
And My voice is to the sons of men”,
“Ho! Everyone that thirsts,
Come you to the waters”;
“Come unto Me all you that labor,
And are heavy laden,
And I will give you rest”.

O the pardon Christ’s Cross offers!
It is compassionate forgiveness:
“Turn you; turn you from your evil ways,
For why will you die”, says the loving God.

Refrain

O the pardon Christ’s Cross offers!
It is instantaneous forgiveness.
The same day Zacchaeus met Jesus he heard:
“This day is salvation come to this house”.

Refrain

O the pardon Christ’s Cross offers!
It is full and glorious forgiveness.
The day the young son returned home,
He got his royal robe, ring, shoes and feast.

Refrain

O the pardon Christ’s Cross offers!
He that is forgiven is reckoned
As if he had never sinned at all.
So is he who answers the call today.

Refrain

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