Monday, 31 August 2015

"God blessed me with material abundance" is a false teaching

Many in the modern Church think that God blesses people with material things. This is a false teaching. It is precisely this teaching that is the seed of the prosperity "gospel". Many pastors who are true converts, often fall into praising the earthly, empty, temporal success of a Christian who they know, whenever talking about such a person with a good intention. In doing so, they claim that God has blessed them materially, which is itself to imply that the material things he or she has received are the blessings from God. This is a very subtle lie, a very deceptive lie that mixes truth with error. 

What is a blessing? A blessing from God is God's favour upon a person He gives on the condition that he pleases God. It is grace, however, of a different type from salvation which is by grace alone through faith. It is not common grace, which God gives to both the wicked and the righteous: 

"That ye may be the children of your Father which is in heaven: for he maketh his sun to rise on the evil and on the good, and sendeth rain on the just and on the unjust" (Matthew 5:45). 

Common grace is given even to the wicked to draw them to repentance, not because they deserve grace, or because they are not "that wicked".  Romans 2:4 makes it clear: "Or despisest thou the riches of his goodness and forbearance and longsuffering; not knowing that the goodness of God leadeth thee to repentance?"

Blessings are rewards that God gives to only those who please Him, and seek to do His will. This is by no means to claim that they are deserve.  Blessings are grace from God, and absolutely undeserved. Blessings are given by God to a person for the purpose of glorifying Him and Him alone. They are not for glorying the person receiving the blessing, such that he can take credit for it. God only gives blessings to those who please Him, not because they deserve it, but because only those who seek to please Him can glory Him and make Him known among the nations. 

In Matthew 5:3-16, the Beatitudes, Jesus explains what it means for a person to be blessed, and exhorts what one should do because one is blessed:

Blessed are the poor in spirit: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
Blessed are they that mourn: for they shall be comforted.
Blessed are the meek: for they shall inherit the earth.
Blessed are they which do hunger and thirst after righteousness: for they shall be filled.
Blessed are the merciful: for they shall obtain mercy.
Blessed are the pure in heart: for they shall see God.
Blessed are the peacemakers: for they shall be called the children of God.
Blessed are they which are persecuted for righteousness' sake: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
Blessed are ye, when men shall revile you, and persecute you, and shall say all manner of evil against you falsely, for my sake.
Rejoice, and be exceeding glad: for great is your reward in heaven: for so persecuted they the prophets which were before you.

Ye are the salt of the earth: but if the salt have lost his savour, wherewith shall it be salted? it is thenceforth good for nothing, but to be cast out, and to be trodden under foot of men. Ye are the light of the world. A city that is set on an hill cannot be hid. Neither do men light a candle, and put it under a bushel, but on a candlestick; and it giveth light unto all that are in the house.  Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven.

Jesus by no means ever says that God gives people blessings to use for themselves. Blessings are to be used only ever to glorify God. Blessings, rather are rewards for persevering to follow Christ.  After going through the Beattitudes, He says in Matthew 5:12, "Rejoice, and be exceeding glad: for great is your reward in heaven: for so persecuted they the prophets which were before you"Does it say, your rewards are riches and that God will give you material riches, earthly, temporal, and worthless riches, as blessings? No!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Only a fool would say that God gives those who obey Him material blessings.

Do you think you deserve to even have a single breath? Do you think God is your servant? Do you think you have authority or a "right" to demand from God what you want or desire? No!!!!! How dare you even think that you deserve to have even a single breath from God, after coming to the knowledge of God. How dare anyone think God is his servant! How dare anyone think he can demand from God, or entitled to receive from God what he wants or desires! How dare anyone think that God is subject to him, that God must provide his so-called basic needs! Such is the vile abomination of many in the professing Church, including many true converts, who, when they fall into carnality as did the Church of Corinth,  even think such evil thoughts! 

God absolutely entitled to kill us all or starve us all to death for His righteousness sake. You do not even deserve to have a single breath. To Hell with your beliefs that basic earthly needs are a blessing from God, thinking that God is somewhat obliged to give you basic earthly needs!

God does bless those obedient to Him, those who are striving to seek first the Kingdom of God and His righteousness, those who seek to rescue souls from darkness and bring more into the Kingdom of God. That is exactly what Jesus meant when He told His followers to be the salt and light of the Earth (Matthew 5:13-16). A person either seeks first the righteousness of God as Jesus commanded in Matthew 6:33, or serves mammon through serving his or her own desires (Matthew 6:24). How, you may ask? 

As Jesus was teaching the Beatitudes, He was teaching people to live in a life worthy of God.If one is truly seeking first the Kingdom of God, one would be poor in spirit, mourn over sin, meek, hunger and thirst for righteousness, merciful, pure in heart, a peacemaker, persecuted for righteousness' sake, and revile and falsely accused of all kinds of evil for being a follower of Christ. Jesus was indeed listing the signs of such as person who is seeking to be godly.

Only by such godliness will one enter the Kingdom of God which one can only seek by God's grace, and be salt and light to the world. Being the salt and light of the earth is to walk in the ways of God, seeking to love God, and deny oneself. The Truth of Love and Love of Truth will shine the light on a world full of lies, and the worshiping God in spirit and in truth will convict all those who are unrighteous. Just as "They that forsake the law praise the wicked: but such as keep the law contend with them" (Proverbs 28:4), those who forsake God praise the wicked, but those who seek God content with them for God is Truth and He is Love. He who seeks after truth loves, and he who loves seeks after truth.

A person does not nor cannot seek first the righteousness of God where is allows himself to be seduced by mammon. He may now after been truly regenerated, seek to serve God. However, the spirit of mammon is always there to prowl around, seeking to snatch the seed that God has planted in a person.

In 1 Timothy 6, where Apostle Paul is warning of false teachers, he specifically refers to one particular teaching that false teachers have in common. It is that false teachers teach that gain is godliness. He warns that they "perverse disputings of men of corrupt minds, and destitute of the truth, supposing that gain is godliness: from such withdraw thyself" (1 Timothy 6:5).

He counters this damnable heresy and blasphemous idolatrous doctrine that gain is godliness by explaining in 1 Timothy 6:6-11:

But godliness with contentment is great gain. 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 fall into temptation and a snare, and into many foolish and hurtful lusts, which drown men in destruction and perdition. 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. But thou, O man of God, flee these things; and follow after righteousness, godliness, faith, love, patience, meekness.

If a person loves mammon, or is seduced by him, in the case of many in the modern Church, he cannot truly seek righteousness, godliness, faith, love, patience and meekness. This is because loving mammon is what one does as long as one succumbs to one's flesh. There is no alternative. You are either a slave to mammon or slave to God. However, it would be absolutely arrogant for a true Christian to think he could never be under the spirit of mammon, for one will serve mammon if one serves one's flesh. Thus, as long a person lives by the flesh, or in the case of the true Christian, falls into seeking to satisfying the fleshly desire for any lust of the flesh, lust of the eyes and pride of life, he is under the spirit of mammon.

Enslavement to mammon manifests itself in the true follower of Christ who is unable to grow in righteousness, godliness, faith, love, patience and meekness. He is also anxious and constantly, or often thinks about his earthly duties, not only work, but also his family and whether their needs are met, rather than trusting in God. He is anxious about whether he has "enough" money to make repayments for his mortgage.  A person who is truly seeking first the righteousness of God will not even ask whether he has "enough" money to repay his mortgage. Instead, he trusts God completely will not even think of that. Such as person who even thinks about whether he has enough money to survive is under the spirit of mammon, showing a failure or lack of trust God.

That not looking after one's family is to deny the faith is to be worse than an unsaved person, is by no means an excuse to seek only one's own earthly needs, or that of one's family,, which itself is an excuse to be enslaved by the spirit of mammon, choked by the cares of the world. Any professing Christian who uses 1 Timothy 5:8 as an excuse to justify enslavement to mammon is a liar, and sought to question his salvation.

One might ask, can one still be rich and a true convert. That is not the question. The question is a matter of where one's heart lies, in God or in self, and therefore the spirit of mammon. If your heart is leaning towards serving mammon, even in the very slightest, manifested in anxiety to repay debts, or to obtain basic needs, your heart is not right with God. Jesus said: "No man can serve two masters: for either he will hate the one, and love the other; or else he will hold to the one, and despise the other. Ye cannot serve God and mammon" (Matthew 6:24). What it means is that if one does not give up all one's desires, visions, dreams, aspirations and ambitions, absolutely all of oneself, one cannot be His disciple. Then said Jesus unto his disciples, If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow me (Matthew 16:24). There is absolutely no middle grounds whatsoever. If you are true convert who has fallen into serving mammon, run back to Christ now! 

Gain is not godliness at all (1 Timothy 6:5). Many in the modern Church may not say think this in their mind or use the exact same words. However, they say that God blesses those who are obedient to Him with basic material needs, and their actions show that they think that gain is godliness. They think that working to gain more temporal earthly things is a sign that they are obedient to God and godly. This is a perversion of all true doctrine and of what Jesus said about seeking first the righteousness of God, instead of seeking earthly things which God will provide. 

To think that God blesses those who are obedient to Him with basic earthly needs is not only to love material things itself. It is blasphemy as it is to call Christ a liar by that very statement, denying that He command His followers to deny oneself, and to not seek after earthly basic needs, but rather to seek first the righteousness of God. It is to say that one can serve both God and mammon. 

You may say that you need to take care of your basic earthly needs by seeking such things, and question how can one not think about such things, and that one need to seek such things to care for one's family. That is exactly what seeking to serve both God and mammon means. You want to seek God on one hand, because of what it brings. On the other hand, you do not want to give your all to God because you allow carnality to rein in you. 

Do you know why you think that? It is because you think you deserve good from God, and what He gives to you on the grounds of what you do for Him, rather than Him for you out of His grace. Yet, you want to enjoy things of the world because you think are beneficial to you.  You think that out of your double-mindedness. That is why you think that. You are like a wave that moves from one part of the sea to another, depending on where the wind blows. Here is what the Bible says about you faithless people:

But let him ask in faith, nothing wavering. For he that wavereth is like a wave of the sea driven with the wind and tossed. For let not that man think that he shall receive any thing of the Lord. A double minded man is unstable in all his ways (James 1:6-8).

Unlike the common saying that a book cannot be judged by its cover, a book can be judged by its cover by the very words you say and don't say (Matthew 15:18; Luke 6:45). Seeking first the righteousness of God is a command from Jesus, which is exactly just that - a command, not an opinion, advice or a view. It is a command. End of story. There can be no question to that whatsoever.

If you claim that to be a follower of Christ one can serve both God and mammon, or that one must serve both God and mammon, you are a vile, abominable fool, and your salvation warrants questioning if you claim to follow Christ.

The doctrine that God blesses those who are obedient to Him with material possessions is a false doctrine. It is a doctrine of demons. It is of the spirit of mammon, which blinds double-minded Christians who want to escape from Hell by serving God, and yet at the same time want to enjoy material things for themselves, into thinking they can serve both God and mammon.