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Bribing God

Feb 23, 2007

The Lord gave me a Word yesterday to write about "Prosperity," but not until later in the day did I get the inspiration to actually know what to write. Interestingly, I came across three articles that will provide the basis of today's study.

First, Kim Clement, who enjoys great respect in many Charismatic circles as a prophet, posted a prophecy dated February 3, 2007, which he gave in Seattle, WA, called "Favor, Grace, and Prosperity." It is posted on www.elijahlist.com . I have noticed that Clement prophesies a lot about prosperity, money, and wealth that is soon to come. He writes,

"There's going to be a major, major revival and restoration all along the Northwest--Watch your mountain, watch the puffing, this is a sign that there will be an eruption like you have never seen in the Spiritual realm affecting specifically your children and your family. Acceleration is beginning.

"There is a battle going on in the nation. An unusual battle shall arise, a spiritual battle. I will not end this year with defeat, I will end this year with victory. My Spirit, says the Lord, has been grieved as I've watched the division that has taken place in this nation. God says, The abolishment of the United Nations is one of My key tasks. It shall come to pass that I will pour out an incredible amount of favor, grace, and prosperity."

I do not doubt that some will see great prosperity in terms of financial things. America has seen its share of prosperity in general. Most of the resulting contributions have been spent on big cars, expensive hotels, and magnificent cathedrals. I have watched ministries go from humble origins to wealthy businesses. Most of these have become marketing agents, as the Gospel (and even some miracles) has been used as a means of increasing revenues for more lavish life styles.

When greed is a motive, there is never enough money. It seems to me that with so many multi-million dollar ministries today, one could say that the "Prosperity" has been with us for decades. Why do we need more prosperity promises? Probably because the average Christian and local Church is not experiencing prosperity at all, because they have sent too much money to those multi-million dollar ministries to help THEM prosper.

It seems that the only way to tap into the Prosperity is to go on television with slick promotional methods by those well schooled in modern marketing techniques. It is getting hard to tell the difference between these ministries and the rest of the world.

Prosperity can be a good thing, but it can also destroy people. Studies show that when people win big on the lotteries, they are broke within two years and friends have left them (for not giving them enough of their winnings), and since they have quit their jobs, they are jobless as well.

Prosperity is only good if a person has the character of Christ. It takes divine training to be able to withstand the pressures of prosperity. When someone comes into money, there are always thousands of others who want a share of it--and they will be angry if denied, as if they deserve their fair share. It takes some serious discernment to know how to utilize money, but if we are faithful in the little money of the present time, we will know how to be faithful in the greater sums that may come later.

Pastor Tunde Bakare of Nigeria has posted prophecies as well on his ministry web site. Prophecy #3 is entitled, "Prosperity Preachers and Seekers in Church." He writes,

"I have a fearful message for those who preach and those who embrace the message of prosperity without purpose in the Church; who think that God-ness is a means of gain . . . I saw a whirlwind rolling through the Church of the Living God, not only in our nation, but in the nations of the earth.

"I said: Father, what is this? He said, 'Hurricane Prosperity. It is rolling like that because over the years, they have manipulated, they have told lies. Those that are doing righteous seem to be weaker, and they seem waxing stronger.' The Lord says, 'In the year 2007, I'm letting this hurricane destroy them. Many will perish by prosperity.'

". . . It is easier to compromise than to live right . . . the life of a man does not consist of the abundance of the things he possesses. Greed for gain will take the life of its owner. As the saints are being given the kingdom to possess and manifest . . . so will the anti-Christ rise from the Church and they will use the tool of prosperity to deceive some or many. Daniel 8:15-25, 'he shall destroy many in their prosperity.' The prosperity of fools will destroy them. . ."

www.elifeonline.net/prophecies-bakare.htm

Paul says in 1 Tim. 6:10 "the love of money [GREED] is the root of all evil."  Earlier in verse 5 he wrote about contentious men "who suppose gain to be godliness" (lit. transl.). Too often, Prosperity preachers teach by word and by example that their material blessings are evidence of their spirituality and godliness. If that were the case, then the Rothschilds are the most spiritual men of all. But the fact is, such men are simply Rothschild imitators.

Charisma Magazine (March 2007) published a good article by David Ravenhill entitled, You Can't Bribe God. He writes,

"During the time of Martin Luther, the Roman Catholic Church was notorious for its widespread practice of selling indulgences. The people were taught to believe that by giving to the church, they could obtain God's favor, thereby enabling their dead relatives to be released from purgatory. Today we laugh at such a concept and wonder to ourselves how the people could fall for such false teaching. . . .

"Take, for example, the latest twist on the 'seed faith' teaching. It is based around Moses' instruction to Israel about their three annual feasts. The key phrase ministers emphasize is, 'You shall not appear before the Lord empty-handed" (see Ex. 23:14-15; Deut. 16:15-17).

"The teaching goes like this: In order to gain God's favor you have to bring Him an offering, and the larger the offering, the greater will be His favor toward you.

"One prominent shyster teaches that on the Day of Atonement each year God decides how He is going to treat us during the year ahead. What influences His decision is whether or not we have given Him a sufficient offering.

"No offering, no favors. . . According to this teaching, to appear before the Lord empty-handed is to sign your own death warrant. Hence, the popularity of the message."

Ravenhill goes on to explain that "God's blessing was not conditional upon their giving to Him but upon His having already given to them. They were not blessed because they gave; they gave because they were blessed."

"What sets God apart from all other gods is that He is a giver. What utter blasphemy, then, to suggest that God can be bribed to favor us by our giving to Him!"

www.charismamag.com

Many people treat giving like a personal investment, expecting to get something in return. Giving is a good thing, as long as the gift is given with a right heart. In Luke 14:12-14 Jesus told us how to give, whether to God or men:

" (12) When you give a luncheon or a dinner, do not invite your . . . rich neighbors, lest they also invite you in return, and repayment come to you. (13) But when you give a reception, invite the poor, the crippled, the lame, the blind, (14) and you will be blessed, since they do not have the means to repay you; for you will be repaid at the resurrection of the righteous."


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