ddThe silver and gold here on earth

Some religious folks think that God doesn’t have anything good for us here on earth, but that’s not what the Bible tells us. God wants to bless us right here on earth, and then in heaven too!

Behold, the righteous shall be recompensed [rewarded] in the earth: much more the wicked and the sinner. Proverbs 11:31

Then Jesus pointed out that we shall can be blessed or rewarded for our deeds right here on earth!

And he said unto them, Verily I say unto you, There is no man that hath left house, or parents, or brethren, or wife, or children, for the kingdom of God’s sake, Who shall not receive manifold [abundantly] more in this present time, and in the world to come life everlasting. Luke 18:29-30

Who do we think that God deposited all the gold, silver, and wealth of this earth for? Who do you think God wanted to enjoy the riches that He’s blessed America with? Was it for sinners and the heathen? Or was it for His children, who seek first His kingdom, and are obedient to His Word?

God’s Word even talks about His people taking over and enjoying the WEALTH of the gentiles!

But ye shall be named the Priests of the LORD: men shall call you the Ministers of our God: ye shall eat the riches of the Gentiles, and in their glory shall ye boast yourselves. Isaiah 61:6

What kind of wealth is being spoken of here? Folks, money is the only kind of “riches” they have, since they don’t have Jesus!

Here again in Proverbs, we find the same thing – the wealth is laid up, or just waiting for the righteous to inherit it!

A good man leaveth an inheritance to his children’s children: and the wealth of the sinner is laid up for the just. Proverbs 13:22

The idea that God wants His children poor, unhealthy, and miserable, while the wicked are free to enjoy the good things that God has put here on earth, paints a terrible religious picture of our Heavenly Father that I am here to tell you, is 100% demonic! Of course Satan wants us to think that the sinners are going to have all the good things, and those who follow God are going to live just above the starvation level! God’s Word tells us differently though.

Jesus’ poverty to our benefit!

We all know that the forgiveness of our sins is included in the work that Christ has done for us, and you probably already know that healing and deliverance are also benefits that God has purchased for us. But did you know that Jesus also redeemed us from the financial curse that Adam brought upon himself? The Bible tells us that Christ redeemed us from the CURSE of the law.

Christ hath redeemed us from the curse of the law, being made a curse for us: for it is written, Cursed is every one that hangeth on a tree. Galatians 3:13

In Deuteronomy 28, we find that financial abundance is considered a blessing, and financial lack is considered a CURSE!

Blessed shalt thou be in the city, and blessed shalt thou be in the field. Blessed shall be the fruit of thy body, and the fruit of thy ground, and the fruit of thy cattle, the increase of thy kine, and the flocks of thy sheep. Blessed shall be thy basket and thy store…. The LORD shall open unto thee his good treasure, the heaven to give the rain unto thy land in his season, and to bless all the work of thine hand: and thou shalt lend unto many nations, and thou shalt not borrow. Deuteronomy 28:3-5,12

Cursed shalt thou be in the city, and cursed shalt thou be in the field. Cursed shall be thy basket and thy store. Cursed shall be the fruit of thy body, and the fruit of thy land, the increase of thy kine, and the flocks of thy sheep…. The stranger that is within thee shall get up above thee very high; and thou shalt come down very low. He shall lend to thee, and thou shalt not lend to him: he shall be the head, and thou shalt be the tail. Deuteronomy 28:16-18,43-44

I don’t know about you, but those list of blessings sound a LOT better than those list of curses!

Now let’s get to the point: as Jesus redeemed us from the CURSE of the law, He also redeemed us from financial LACK. Does the Bible stop there? No, it actually comes right out and tells us that Jesus was made poor and lived a life of poverty, so that we could be RICH!

For ye know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, that, though he was rich, yet for your sakes he became poor, that ye through his poverty might be rich. 2 Corinthians 8:9

Let me ask you this: was this poorness a mental poorness? As in, He was humble so that we could be prideful? Was this a spiritual poorness? Not when we see Him raising the dead, casting out demons, and healing the sick! So what kind of poorness is this speaking of? Material poverty is the only thing left. Now if we look up that word ‘rich’ in the NT Greek, we find the Greek word plouteo, which LITERALLY means:

“To be (or become) wealthy (literally or figuratively): – be increased with goods, (be made, wax) rich.”

To further prove my point, if you look up the word “poor” in the above verse, it refers to a BEGGER! Jesus became a poor begger, so that we could become wealthy and increase in goods. We can reason that away all we want, but if you want a literal interpretation of God’s Word, that’s what it tells us!

I think it’s also interesting that over half the chapter of 2 Corinthians 8 speaks of financial giving, and verse 9 is right in context with finances.

I don’t know about you, but I LOVE the prosperity gospel (when it is Biblically based), just like I LOVE health and healing, and I LOVE deliverance and freedom. I LOVE to receive the good things that my Savoir has so lovingly purchased for me!

How to be blessed

Now your question is, how do I enter into these blessings? While I won’t go into all the details, I do want to leave you with a basic education on some Biblical principals that lead to financial blessing. The first key is to realize that it is the blessing of the Lord, not money, that makes us rich.

The blessing of the LORD, it maketh rich, and he addeth no sorrow with it. Proverbs 10:22

How do we receive this blessing that makes us rich? We start by fearing the Lord, and seeking first the kingdom of God and His righteousness:

Therefore take no thought, saying, What shall we eat? or, What shall we drink? or, Wherewithal shall we be clothed? (For after all these things do the Gentiles seek:) for your heavenly Father knoweth that ye have need of all these things. But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you. Matthew 6:31-33

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. She is more precious than rubies: and all the things thou canst desire are not to be compared unto her. Length of days is in her right hand; and in her left hand riches and honour.  Proverbs 3:13-16

Praise ye the LORD. Blessed is the man that feareth the LORD, that delighteth greatly in his commandments. His seed shall be mighty upon earth: the generation of the upright shall be blessed. Wealth and riches shall be in his house: and his righteousness endureth for ever. Psalms 112:1-3

Another key to financial blessing is hidden in the concept of sowing and reaping. When we fail to give unto the Lord, it proves that we don’t trust Him when His Word tells us that it will be given unto us running over. Jesus taught that when you give, it will be pressed down, shaken together, and running over, shall men give unto you. Giving to the Lord through tithes and offerings is a foundation to financial blessing.

Give, and it shall be given unto you; good measure, pressed down, and shaken together, and running over, shall men give into your bosom. For with the same measure that ye mete withal it shall be measured to you again. Luke 6:38

Yes, RUNNING OVER financial measure shall be given unto us when we apply Biblical principals and give unto the work of the kingdom! Giving is a way of acting out our faith and trust in God as our provider. Paul tells us that sowing and reaping are keys to supernatural blessing and financial gain (the below verse was in context of financial giving).

But this I say, He which soweth sparingly shall reap also sparingly; and he which soweth bountifully shall reap also bountifully. 2 Corinthians 9:6

Why did God tell His children to tithe? Because He wanted to bless them abundantly! Does God want His children OVERFLOWING with SO much wealth that they cannot contain it? According to this Bible passage, that’s exactly what is being said!

Bring ye all the tithes into the storehouse, that there may be meat in mine house, and prove me now herewith, saith the LORD of hosts, if I will not open you the windows of heaven, and pour you out a blessing, that there shall not be room enough to receive it. And I will rebuke the devourer for your sakes, and he shall not destroy the fruits of your ground; neither shall your vine cast her fruit before the time in the field, saith the LORD of hosts. Malachi 3:10-11

Some use a verse in 2 Corinthians to say that we are no longer obligated to tithe, but if you look at the context, it isn’t referring to tithing, but rather an offering that Paul was taking up outside their local church. Proverbs also tells us to give unto the Lord from the firstfruits of our increase:

Honour the LORD with thy substance, and with the firstfruits of all thine increase: So shall thy barns be filled with plenty, and thy presses shall burst out with new wine. Proverbs 3:9-10

God’s Word also tells us that those who give to the poor shall not lack. God cares very much about those who are poor financially, and He’s made it a key to prosperity when we give to those in need.

He that is of a proud heart stirreth up strife: but he that putteth his trust in the LORD shall be made fat. He that trusteth in his own heart is a fool: but whoso walketh wisely, he shall be delivered. He that giveth unto the poor shall not lack: but he that hideth his eyes shall have many a curse. Proverbs 28:25-27

Yes, there are people who are poor due to laziness (some don’t want to find a job, because they would lose their government support checks!), but there are also very legitimate cases where they are poor due to circumstances outside their control. God cares very much about these people, and wanted to make it clear that those who bless them will be blessed.

Another key is through honoring God’s ministers through our tithes. When we honor God’s messengers, we honor God, and He will in turn honor us. In one teaching I remember telling how God takes it personally how His children are treated and His ministers are no exception. We are told to give double honor unto those who labor well, especially in Word and doctrine, and not to muzzle the ox that is laboring because they are worthy of their reward.

Let the elders that rule well be counted worthy of double honour, especially they who labour in the word and doctrine. For the scripture saith, Thou shalt not muzzle the ox that treadeth out the corn. And, The labourer is worthy of his reward. 1 Timothy 5:17-18

Let him that is taught in the word communicate unto him that teacheth in all good things. Galatians 6:6

How do we eat of the good of the land? For one thing, we must be willing (our heart attitude) and obedient (our actions). This is key to eating the good of the land. Not only is obedience to what God’s commands is vital to your prosperity, but also your heart attitude while you’re walking in His ways.

If ye be willing and obedient, ye shall eat the good of the land. Isaiah 1:19

God’s Word tells us that those who delight in the law of the Lord (His commands, and His ways) shall prosper in whatever he does. Now that is a blessing if I’ve ever heard one of!

But his delight is in the Law of the Lord, and in his Law doeth he meditate day and night. And he shalbe like a tree planted by the riuers of water, that bringeth foorth his fruit in his season, his leafe also shall not wither, and whatsoeuer he doeth, shall prosper. Psalms 1:2-3

Another key, I believe, is doing all we can to get out of debt and live within our means. God’s Word tells us to owe no man anything, but love.

Render therefore to all their dues: tribute to whom tribute is due; custom to whom custom; fear to whom fear; honour to whom honour. Owe no man any thing, but to love one another: for he that loveth another hath fulfilled the law. Romans 13:7-8

I believe that God gives revelation knowledge and wisdom to His children, which helps them in their businesses and careers. If God starts giving you wisdom on how to better run your business, then don’t be afraid to follow His leading. This is one of the ways that I believe He increases us.

And by knowledge shall the chambers be filled with all precious and pleasant riches. Proverbs 24:4

I have heard some very powerful testimonies from those who have done this. One man was about to close a loan for $100,000 to purchase dirt to fill a large hole in his property, then before signing the loan he was given that verse in the Bible and felt convicted. He didn’t go through with the loan, and within a short period of time, out of nowhere some contractors across town knew about his desolate property and called him because they had to move a mountain of dirt, and were willing to give him $50,000 just to dump their mountain of dirt (which filled his hole!) on the property. This man saved $150,000 just by standing on this one verse alone!

The Duggar family is another amazing testimony of God’s provision with this concept. I know that both Kenneth and Gloria Copeland, who are very much Bible believing ministers have applied this principal in their own lives and have seen some amazing supernatural provisions from God’s hand in their lives. So with those few stories, I tend to believe that there’s something very special in store for those who purpose to get out of debt and do their best to stay out of debt!

One day I felt like the Holy Spirit spoke to me about the “owe no man anything” concept, and as I thought about all these Christians being in debt, I felt this bubble up in my spirit, “What do you think that does for my reputation?” You know, it just makes sense, God Almighty, being our provider, carries a terrible reputation when His people are always in debt to others.

God’s Word tells us that those who borrow are a servant to their lender, and those who lend are ruler over those who are borrowers:

The rich ruleth over the poor, and the borrower is servant to the lender. Proverbs 22:7

And it shall be, as with the people, so with the priest; as with the servant, so with his master; as with the maid, so with her mistress; as with the buyer, so with the seller; as with the lender, so with the borrower; as with the taker of usury, so with the giver of usury to him. Isaiah 24:2

God’s Word also speaks of making His people the head and not to tail, and that if we walk in His ways, we will be the ones to lend, and we will have no need to borrow!

For the LORD thy God blesseth thee, as he promised thee: and thou shalt lend unto many nations, but thou shalt not borrow; and thou shalt reign over many nations, but they shall not reign over thee. Deuteronomy 15:6

I do believe that God wants us to rely on Him for our provision and not the world’s system of credit cards. I know that some people can’t help it, but our motive should be to purpose ourselves to get out of debt and stay out the best we can. I’ve heard that when people begin to do that, that’s when God begins to step in and begin to provide the means for them to become debt free and live according to God’s provision.

Righteousness or prosperity?

I have read this passage in Psalms many times, and always associated righteousness with holiness:

He restoreth my soul: he leadeth me in the paths of righteousness for his name’s sake. Psalms 23:3

But the other day I was thinking about how holiness is something you would expect God to cause us to walk in for His sake. However, that verse just doesn’t sound right. The other time that stands out to me where God does something for His sake, is when He chose to forget our sins for His name sake. It was telling us that it was for His sake, because otherwise we would naturally think it was for our own sake. You wouldn’t think that His forgetting our sins would be for HIS sake… but that’s what it says!

But I felt the Lord leading me to do a little bit of research on the Hebrew root word behind ‘righteousness’ in this passage. What did I find?

“From H6663; the right (natural, moral or legal); also (abstractly) equity or (figuratively) prosperity: – X even, (X that which is altogether) just (-ice), ([un-]) right (-eous) (cause, -ly, -ness).”

Apparently, that word can mean more than holiness, but also prosperity. Now that makes more sense the way that the passage was worded. He forgives our sins for His sake, and He also causes us to walk in paths of prosperity for His sake as well. God’s Word tells us that He takes pleasure in the prosperity of His servant (see Psalms 35:27), so this should come to no surprise to us. This is just the nature of our God!

Now let’s look at the context of this passage in Psalms 23. In verse 1 we read “I shall not want”, while verse 2 speaks of green or lush pastures, then in verse 5 we read about how “out cup runneth over.” Is this speaking of holiness, or prosperity? I think it’s talking about prosperity!

To help add weight to this interpretation, the Lord also turned my attention to Psalms 112, where it speaks of financial prosperity that He desires that we walk in:

Praise ye the LORD. Blessed is the man that feareth the LORD, that delighteth greatly in his commandments. His seed shall be mighty upon earth: the generation of the upright shall be blessed. Wealth and riches shall be in his house: and his righteousness [or prosperity?] endureth for ever. Psalms 112:1-3

There’s that same word righteousness, which I believe is clearly surrounded in a financial context. We’re talking about wealth and riches here in the same sentence!

The love of money is evil!

For the love of money is the root of all evil: which while some coveted after, they have erred from the faith, and pierced themselves through with many sorrows.1 Timothy 6:10

Now that we’ve broken down so many religious strongholds, I think it’s important to keep a balanced perspective on Biblical prosperity. God’s Word tells us that coveting is considered a sin right along side fornication, blasphemy, idolatry and so forth. God’s Word warns us that such people have no inheritance in the kingdom of God:

For this ye know, that no whoremonger, nor unclean person, nor covetous man, who is an idolater, hath any inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and of God. Ephesians 5:5

For men shall be lovers of their own selves, covetous, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy, Without natural affection, trucebreakers, false accusers, incontinent, fierce, despisers of those that are good, Traitors, heady, highminded, lovers of pleasures more than lovers of God. 2 Timothy 3:2-4

God’s Word even goes on to tell us not to keep company with those who claim to be Christian, yet go around coveting the things of this world.

But now I have written unto you not to keep company, if any man that is called a brother be a fornicator, or covetous, or an idolater, or a railer, or a drunkard, or an extortioner; with such an one no not to eat.1 Corinthians 5:11

Then we’re given a warning that those who seek after riches will fall into temptation and a snare:

For we brought nothing into this world, and it is certain we can carry nothing out. And having food and raiment let us be therewith content. But they that will be rich [meaning, those who desire to be rich] fall into temptation and a snare, and into many foolish and hurtful lusts, which drown men in destruction and perdition.1 Timothy 6:7-9

Pursuing the things of this world will choke out the Word of God in a person’s life.

And the cares of this world, and the deceitfulness of riches, and the lusts of other things entering in, choke the word, and it becometh unfruitful. Mark 4:19

We also need to remember to store up our treasures in heaven, and not live greedily here on earth. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also. This doesn’t mean we cannot enjoy financial abundance here on earth, but rather not to let it be the treasure of our heart.

Lay not up for yourselves treasures upon earth, where moth and rust doth corrupt, and where thieves break through and steal: But lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust doth corrupt, and where thieves do not break through nor steal: For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also.Matthew 6:19-21

A treasure is something that is very important to us. I like how Kenneth Hagin said that we ought to take the things of the world lightheartedly. When they become treasures in our heart, that is where sin enters the picture, for the love of money is the root of all evil (see 1 Timothy 6:10).

In 1 Timothy, we are given the secret to keep ourselves from falling into these terrible snares; be thankful for what you have!

But godliness with contentment is great gain.1 Timothy 6:6

I’d like to wrap up these warnings with a solution on how God wants us to go about things:

Therefore take no thought, saying, What shall we eat? or, What shall we drink? or, Wherewithal shall we be clothed? (For after all these things do the Gentiles seek:) for your heavenly Father knoweth that ye have need of all these things. But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you.

Matthew 6:31-33

When we put God first, and make the fear of the Lord our priority, then we are positioning ourselves for His blessing, and God’s Word tells us that it is His blessing that makes us rich (not the money). Not only does the Blessing make us rich, but there is no sorrow with it!

The blessing of the LORD, it maketh rich, and he addeth no sorrow with it.Proverbs 10:22

So what does this blessing look like when it manifests in somebody’s life?

Praise ye the LORD. Blessed is the man that feareth the LORD, that delighteth greatly in his commandments. His seed shall be mighty upon earth: the generation of the upright shall be blessed. Wealth and riches shall be in his house: and his righteousness endureth for ever.Psalms 112:1-3

Satan seeks to hinder the church!

Toiling the earth for a living was a result of the CURSE of sin. It was not a blessing or something God intended Adam and Eve to experience. God’s heart was that Adam would not even have to work, but live a life of fellowship with Him, having his every need provided for.

Poor people are unable to financially support ministries and missions, where lives are impacted and changed for the sake of the kingdom. Poor ministers cannot afford expensive tickets to go on mission trips and preach the gospel to those in other countries. Poor churches cannot do much in terms of outreach ministries, because everything in this world costs money. Poor church members make for poor churches. Do you see why it is important for God’s people to have an abundance? So that they can be a blessing to the world around them, and sow into the kingdom to further the message of Christ and impact the lives of people around the world! We are told to go into all the world and share the gospel, but how is that going to happen if we’re slaving just to put food on our own tables, say nothing about buying a $2,000 plane ticket to visit Africa and share the good news with precious souls over there? And $2,000 is just the plane ticket, say nothing about all the other expenses involved. I’m telling you, God’s people are hindered for lack of money! If Satan can keep the church poor, then the church won’t be able to do all that God has called them to do. Poor people are unable to help others who are in financial need, they are unable to afford the travel costs and such of delivering the gospel to other countries, and the list goes on. The Bible speaks of God’s people giving generously, but that is just not possible when they don’t have enough themselves.

My partner Jay Bartlett has ministered not too long ago to somebody in a poor area, and the demon in that person came right out and boasted about how it’s intention was to keep the people in poverty in that city or area. This ought to come as no surprise to us because Jesus had made it clear that it is the enemy who came to steal, kill, and destroy. Might I add that Satan came to render the church ineffective and unable to reach and impact lives for the kingdom?

Some closing thoughts

It’s a false humility that stands behind this whole idea of God calling His church to be poor. False humility, not faith in God’s Word, is nothing more than dead religion and spiritual pride. You can drive a rust bucket and be proud of it (“hey folks, look at me, I’m giving up everything to serve Jesus!”) or you can drive a spanking new Cadillac and be humble and thankful in your heart for what God has blessed you with.

I make such a strong point of how God wants to prosper us, but I also want to clearly define true prosperity gospel before I close. Yes, God does want to prosper us, but He also doesn’t want us to covet (longing to have the things of this world) or seeking God so that we can be rich.

True prosperity gospel is not about being rich, but seeking first the kingdom of God, and then experiencing the favor and blessings of the Lord. God’s Word tells us that the blessing of the Lord makes us rich, and adds no sorrow to it (see Proverbs 10:22). The whole idea is to seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, then receive the blessings of God that He wants to bestow upon us.

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