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False Teaching on Wealth

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False Teaching on Wealth

The very basis of the Word-Faith doctrine on money is that it is a God-given guarantee. It is supposedly guaranteed because of God’s covenant with Abraham. It is argued that we are under that same covenant. All we need to do is look at the covenant God made with Abraham and we will see that wealth and health is not even mentioned. God made a two-fold covenant. Look at these passages:

Genesis 15:

 18 On the same day the LORD made a covenant with Abram, saying: "To your descendants I have given this land, from the river of Egypt to the great river, the River Euphrates --

Genesis 17:

 2 "And I will make My covenant between Me and you, and will multiply you exceedingly."

 3 Then Abram fell on his face, and God talked with him, saying:

 4 "As for Me, behold, My covenant is with you, and you shall be a father of many nations.

 5 "No longer shall your name be called Abram, but your name shall be Abraham; for I have made you a father of many nations.

 6 "I will make you exceedingly fruitful; and I will make nations of you, and kings shall come from you.

 7 "And I will establish My covenant between Me and you and your descendants after you in their generations, for an everlasting covenant, to be God to you and your descendants after you.

 8 "Also I give to you and your descendants after you the land in which you are a stranger, all the land of Canaan, as an everlasting possession; and I will be their God."

Even the casual reader can see the promises of this covenant: your descendents will inherit the land and I will make you a great nation. God renamed him from Abram, which means _exalted father_ to Abraham, which means _father of a multitude_. When God called Abraham at the beginning, God did give him a command and promised that obedience would produce blessing. However, we can_t mistake the covenant as being God_s promise of blessing because of obedience. God_s word is filled with promises of blessing to those who obey. God_s blessings are not obtained by claiming it with words alone. Every blessing has a command and every command is a blessing. God deals with individuals. Because God promised to make Abraham_s name great and produce a great nation does not mean that each of us will have that same promise.

The bread and butter of the Word-Faith movement is the message of wealth. It is out of desire for gain and the promise of wealth that millions flock to Word-Faith _revivals_ and send in their money. Word-Faith teachers use the allure of money to convince money-seekers to send in their donations. As Faith teachers flood the airways with petitions for _seeds of faith_, the world sits by mocking. Christianity has been turned into a marketing scam instead of a lifestyle focused on Christ. He is an example:

Tonight I want to speak that hundredfold increase. If you will call right now and you will say to your counselor, I want to be involved in the hundredfold. I want the hundredfold prayer prayed over my giving tonight. I will at the time God leads me to do it, lay my hands on everyone of those cards and will speak the hundredfold increase into your life. The phrase to say is 'the hundredfold'.

Look at Luke 6:

 34 "And if you lend to those from whom you hope to receive back, what credit is that to you? For even sinners lend to sinners to receive as much back.

 35 "But love your enemies, do good, and lend, hoping for nothing in return; and your reward will be great, and you will be sons of the Most High. For He is kind to the unthankful and evil.

If you lend hoping to receive back, the Bible says that this is not credit to you. God blesses those who give out of a desire to love, not out of a desire to gain. Of course the true church understands that Christianity is not a quest for money, but in the world_s eyes, the Word-Faith movement is the same as Biblical Christianity. Word-Faith teachers claim to be mainstream and the church does not challenge their doctrines, therefore no distinction can be identified. If anything, we are seeing mainstream Christianity shifting toward the Word-Faith movement instead of calling people out this movement and into a relationship with Christ. Before we examine some of the key doctrines of the Word-Faith movement on money, let_s take a moment to consider the purpose of money.

Is Money Evil?

Money is not good nor is it evil. Money is completely neutral. It becomes good or evil depending on the heart of the person possessing or seeking it. Look at 1 Timothy 6:

10 For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil, for which some have strayed from the faith in their greediness, and pierced themselves through with many sorrows.

It is the love of money that is evil and creates a desire that leads to sin. Greed and a love for money is just as much idolatry as bowing down and worshipping a statue of Buddha. Since money is a necessary part of life, loving money is easy to justify. Loving money, I believe, is an affection for wealth that puts it above God in our lives. Loving money is when it no longer is a tool, but the priority in our life. Loving money is when I consider myself the owner of it rather than the God_s appointed steward of it. Colossians 3:5 tells us that covetousness is idolatry. In the passage above, we are warned that many stray from the faith because of greed. Instead of finding the _blessings of God_, they are headed for sorrow and pain.

God is not against money; however, God is against loving money. People are not wealthy because they are not able to handle wealth and keep God on the throne of their lives. The Bible teaches us that God will not give us more than we are able to handle. If my life is already so crowded that I cannot find time for God, how can I ask God to give me more? If I struggle to find consistent prayer time, consistent Bible study, and a consistent walk with God, what will wealth do to me? Wealth produces opportunities that can be good, but it also produces opportunities to become busier and less focused on the correct priorities. Ironically, if getting wealth is a priority, it shows that God_s will is not.

Money is not the standard of faith or godliness, but it can reveal a lot about me. For example, what I do with my money reveals what is important in my life. We frequently hear about giving our tithes to God, but this is only part of the picture. Giving tithes does not make me righteous; it only sheds light on my relationship with God. If I cling to my money, I show that I don_t trust God. Everything that I have belongs to God. I am only a steward _ or caretaker _ of what God has entrusted to me. If I don_t give to God what already belongs to Him, it reveals that I don_t understand my role in this life. Possessions become my fulfiller instead of God. If my spiritual life has the right focus, the natural result is that I will give to God out of love. That is why the Bible says that God loves a cheerful giver. A grudging giver doesn_t have any more understanding about their relationship with God than a non-giver. My relationship with God affects every area of my life. If I exclude God from any area, I am not making Him Lord.

This doesn_t just apply to money; it applies to my entire life. I give my time, my praise, my finances, my desires and everything I have to God. The greatest commandment is to love the LORD your God with ALL your heart, mind, soul and strength. Nothing in our life is excluded. Of course it is a growing process of learning to surrender each area one-by-one and making Him Lord. It does not happen automatically in every area. Spiritual maturity is learning to love God and make Him Lord. If I am struggling to make Him Lord, how can I expect God to give me more? Wealth opens many doors that crowd God out. I may say that I can worship God on a boat, but in reality, boats, cars, things and activities can easily become my god. If God is not on the throne of my life now, He won_t be even if I have everything that I think I need.

Apostles were rich

In order to persuade people to accept the wealth _gospel_, Faith teachers must first persuade people to believe that Jesus and the Apostles were teaching the same things. As we look at this Word-Faith doctrine, you will see that they knowingly and willingly contradict scripture. Begin by looking at John Avanzini_s claim to the wealth of Paul:

"People say the apostles didn't have money. Man did they have money! Paul had the kind of money so that people would block up justice just to get a bribe out of old Paul". _ John Avanzini

I find this quote disturbing. What man of God would pervert justice by bribing officials? This quote attempts to transform Paul from a minister of the gospel to someone who is powerful and wealthy and willing to bribe justice to get what he wants. Consider these passages:

Exodus 23:8 "And you shall take no bribe, for a bribe blinds the discerning and perverts the words of the righteous.

Deuteronomy 16:

19 "You shall not pervert justice; you shall not show partiality, nor take a bribe, for a bribe blinds the eyes of the wise and twists the words of the righteous.

Proverbs 17:23 A wicked man accepts a bribe behind the back To pervert the ways of justice.

Psalm 26

 9 Do not gather my soul with sinners, Nor my life with bloodthirsty men,

 10 In whose hands is a sinister scheme, And whose right hand is full of bribes.

Is the one who provides the bribe innocent? If the Bible calls the person who receives a bribe a wicked man who perverts justice and the one who gives the bribe sinister, could the Apostle Paul be a man of God and a briber at the same time? Is the one who encourages sin any more innocent than the one who actually commits sin?

If officials blocked up justice to get a bribe, this clearly implies that Paul had a reputation of bribing justice. What a shame it is to rewrite the work of God into a perversion of justice. No scripture references were given to back this claim. There reason is because there is none. No one can read the book of Acts and draw the conclusion that Paul was bribing officials. In fact, we see just the opposite. Paul was unjustly imprisoned. The Romans were going to deliver Paul to the Jewish leaders that were plotting to kill him. To prevent this, Paul had to notify officials that he was a Roman citizen and then he appealed to Caesar. In Acts 16, officials were afraid when they found out Paul was a Roman because they had beaten him unlawfully. Let_s go deeper into this false teaching. Avanzini also claims:

I don't know where these goofy traditions creep in at. But one of the goofiest ones is that Jesus and His disciples were poor. Now there's no Bible to substantiate that. You can't become like Him until you understand what He was. He was anything but poor.

In the next section we will examine the claims that Jesus was rich. In this section, let_s examine the claim that there is no Bible to substantiate that the disciples were poor. In reality, there is no substantiation that they are rich. We know by their own words that they lived in poverty. Look at 1 Corinthians 4

 9 For I think that God has displayed us, the apostles, last, as men condemned to death; for we have been made a spectacle to the world, both to angels and to men.

 10 We are fools for Christ's sake, but you are wise in Christ! We are weak, but you are strong! You are distinguished, but we are dishonored!

 11 To the present hour we both hunger and thirst, and we are poorly clothed, and beaten, and homeless.

 12 And we labor, working with our own hands. Being reviled, we bless; being persecuted, we endure;

 13 being defamed, we entreat. We have been made as the filth of the world, the offscouring of all things until now.

Does this sound like a proclamation of wealth? Paul said in unmistakable terms, _to this present hour we both hunger and thirst, and we are poorly clothed, and beaten, and homeless_. Homeless? Hungry? Poorly clothed? Does this sound like Paul bribes justice and has high living in wealth? In 2 Timothy 4, Paul sent a letter asking that someone be sent to bring his cloak and come before winter. Why didn_t Paul ask for his money? Why didn_t Paul just buy a new cloak? Let_s look at Philippians 4 to get more details:

 14 Nevertheless you have done well that you shared in my distress.

 15 Now you Philippians know also that in the beginning of the gospel, when I departed from Macedonia, no church shared with me concerning giving and receiving but you only.

 16 For even in Thessalonica you sent aid once and again for my necessities.

Paul thanked the Thessalonian church for sending him aid and meeting his needs. Why was Paul in need? Philippians 3 answers this:

 8 Yet indeed I also count all things loss for the excellence of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord, for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and count them as rubbish, that I may gain Christ

Paul clearly states that he has lost all things. He is not grieving in his poverty, but rejoicing because of the greater inheritance that he has in Christ. It is not only Paul, but the early church suffered severe persecution and many lived in poverty. Look at Hebrews 10:

 34 for you had compassion on me in my chains, and joyfully accepted the plundering of your goods, knowing that you have a better and an enduring possession for yourselves in heaven.

 35 Therefore do not cast away your confidence, which has great reward.

Like Paul, this church suffered the loss of their possessions. They were plundered by their persecutors and Paul reminds them not to lose confidence in God but to look ahead and know that they will have greater possessions in heaven. God will restore abundantly more than anything that can be lost in this life. Romans 8:18 tells us that the loses in this life are not even worthy to be compared to what will be gained in heaven. In Christ, there is no such thing as a loss. Every loss in this life is a reward in heaven. There is a tremendous testimony to substantiate that Jesus and the apostles were willingly poor. They were poor because they chose to count the things of this life as trash compared to what lies ahead. There is not, however, any Bible to substantiate the wealth of Jesus and his followers. Not everyone will be poor, but we also know that not everyone will be rich. The truly rich are those who chose sacrifice in this life knowing that what awaits in heaven is incomparable. It is easy to pursue earthly wealth because we can see and touch it. It is hard to put aside worldly possessions and pursue heavenly wealth because we can_t see it. We can only believe God_s word. That is the choice everyone will make.

Jesus was rich

To justify their teachings, Word-Faith teachers must convince you that Jesus was as they are trying to become. John Avanzini tells us that John 19 shows that Jesus wore designer clothes. There are only two mentions of clothing in John 19. The first reference is where the Roman soldiers dress Jesus up in purple to mock His claim to be King of the Jews. They bow down mockingly and then beat Him. Was the purple robes designer clothes? The second reference is when Jesus was hanging on the cross. The soldiers gambled for His tunic. It was seamless and could not be torn apart. A tunic is the undergarment worn during this time in history. Either example shows how ludicrous it is to use Jesus as an example they are following by wearing golden watches and designer suites. Wearing expensive clothing is not necessarily wrong in itself, but rewriting scripture to justify spending is wrong. The pursuit of wealth as the meaning to life is also wrong. Here is John Avanzini refuting Jesus_ claim to be homeless.

John Avanzini - (Regarding Luke 9:58 - foxes have holes and birds have nest but the Son of Man has nowhere to lay His head.) Is not a declaration that Jesus didn't have a house. If you read a few verses above that, it means the Samaritans canceled the meeting. In those days there wasn't a Holiday Inn on every corner. If your advancement got canceled, you walked to the next city. It's very clear that He had a house. The Bible states He had a house.

Let_s take John Avanzini_s advice and read a few verses above this:

Luke 9:

 52 and sent messengers before His face. And as they went, they entered a village of the Samaritans, to prepare for Him.

 53 But they did not receive Him, because His face was set for the journey to Jerusalem.

 54 And when His disciples James and John saw this, they said, "Lord, do You want us to command fire to come down from heaven and consume them, just as Elijah did?"

 55 But He turned and rebuked them, and said, "You do not know what manner of spirit you are of.

 56 "For the Son of Man did not come to destroy men's lives but to save them." And they went to another village.

 57 Now it happened as they journeyed on the road, that someone said to Him, "Lord, I will follow You wherever You go."

 58 And Jesus said to him, "Foxes have holes and birds of the air have nests, but the Son of Man has nowhere to lay His head."

When we read this in context, the conclusion Word-Faith teachers draw becomes absurd. This passage does not say _the meeting was cancelled_; this passage tells us that the Samaritans would not allow Jesus to come into the city. They were treated with hostility. Otherwise it would not make sense for the disciples to ask Jesus to destroy them with fire from heaven. A mere cancellation of a meeting would not cause the disciples to seek judgment against the city. Even if there was not a Holiday Inn on every corner, there were Inns in most cities. However, if you read through scripture you will see that the most common way to treat a guest was to house them in your own home. Only strangers needed an inn. If Jesus and the disciples were a walking caravan of wealth, do you think that no one would want to give them lodging for a night?

John Avanzini said, _The Bible states that Jesus had a house_. I challenge anyone to find a single passage that even implies that Jesus had a house. Consider the facts surrounding Jesus. Every event in Jesus_ life was with borrowed property. He was born in a borrowed stable. His first miracle of turning water into wine was with borrowed jugs. He fed the 5,000 twice with borrowed fish and bread. To get the money to pay taxes, Jesus sent Peter to catch a fish that would have a coin in its mouth. I also find it interesting that one coin was enough to pay the taxes for a very wealthy Jesus and 12 wealthy disciples. His triumphant entry into Jerusalem (the greatest prophecy in the Old Testament) was done on a borrowed donkey. He had the last supper with his disciples in a borrowed room. He was buried in a borrowed tomb. Because there were no servants to perform the traditional lowly task of washing the feet of guests, Jesus humbled Himself to do this task. Where is the wealth? The Bible carefully paints the picture of Messiah with humility, but Word-Faith doctrine attempts to recreate him into what they want themselves to be. Here is an example:

I'm trying to get you out of this mealy of thinking that Jesus and the disciples were poor and then relating that to you thinking that you as a child of God have to follow Jesus. The Bible says that He [Jesus] has left us an example that we should follow His steps. That's why I drive a Rolls Royce. I'm following Jesus' steps. You can talk about me all you want - while I'm driving by in my Rolls Royce. It's a lot easier to be persecuted when I'm driving around in my car with the pick slip than it is when I am riding in my car and owe my soul to the company store.

- Fredrick Price

The problem is that people don_t want a Jesus that says, _Anyone who desires to come after Me must deny himself. For whosoever loves his life will lose it, but whosoever loses his life for My sake will find it_ (Luke 9:23-24). People want a Jesus who promises them heaven on earth and instant gratification.

I am sick and tired about hearing about streets of gold in glory, I gotta have it now. _ Benny Hinn

Esau said the same thing. He could not wait and he sold his inheritance to Jacob for instant gratification. Jesus taught not to seek the things of this life. In John 6:27, He said not to labor for food that perishes, but for what endures for eternal life. In Matthew 6:19 Jesus said not to lay up treasures on this earth which is perishing, but work for that which is in heaven. Wouldn_t this be hypocritical to teach others not to pursue wealth while He was doing the opposite?

One of the defenses for the wealthy Jesus doctrine is Judas. Word-Faith teachers asked why the disciples did not know Judas was stealing. After all, the Bible says that He was a thief from the beginning. Frederick Price says that if there were only three oranges in the purse and Judas took one, then they all would have known. If there was a lot of money, it could have gone unnoticed.

The question I have is, _how did they know Judas was a thief in the end?_ Why would Judas have to steal if they all were lavished in wealth? Why would 50 pieces of silver entice Judas to betray Christ if he was rolling in the dough? If all the apostles were wealthy and they found out that Judas had a stash after he died, no one would have been surprised. But if they were not wealthy and they found Judas_ stash, they would have all known that he must have been stealing from the beginning. Considering that Judas was the treasurer and they often used their money for the poor, it would have been relatively easy to pilfer during his errands. We know from John 13:26-29 that it was not unusual for Judas to go out alone to buy necessities or to give to the poor. After Judas_ suicide, if they found a substantial amount of money in his belongings, they would have known that he was a thief from the beginning.

Not only do faith teachers attempt to transform Jesus into the money man, but they insult grace by claiming that poverty is a sin. Look at this quote:

Robert Tilton - That's the Bible! That's the word of God! There is prosperity. Not only is worrying a sin, but being poor is a sin.

Every Christian in impoverished nations are condemned by sin according to Word-Faith teachers. We have already seen that the apostles themselves declared that they were plundered, lost everything and were homeless and in need. According to Word-Faith doctrine, the apostles were guilty of sin. You cannot find one passage in the Bible to support this claim that poverty is a sin. On the contrary, look at 2 Corinthians 8:

 1 Moreover, brethren, we make known to you the grace of God bestowed on the churches of Macedonia:

 2 that in a great trial of affliction the abundance of their joy and their deep poverty abounded in the riches of their liberality.

 3 For I bear witness that according to their ability, yes, and beyond their ability, they were freely willing,

 4 imploring us with much urgency that we would receive the gift and the fellowship of the ministering to the saints.

The background of this passage was that the churches of Jerusalem were in desperate need. They were under heavy persecution and did not have the money to meet their basic needs. They were on the verge of starvation. The apostle_s took up a collection from various churches to meet this need. They did not come to the church in Macedonia. The reason was that Macedonia was also in deep poverty, though not as severe as the church in Jerusalem. Macedonia heard about the collection and they gave beyond their ability.

Was this church a bunch of sinners because of their poverty? This church will be a witness in judgment against the Word-Faith teachers who claim poverty is a sin. They were poor in wealth, but rich in joy and the grace of God. Also notice who they gave to. They did not give to someone driving a Rolls Royce and claiming that God would make them rich. They gave to those who had less than they had. True giving is giving to those who are in greater need than you are. Look at Luke 14

 12 Then He also said to him who invited Him, "When you give a dinner or a supper, do not ask your friends, your brothers, your relatives, nor rich neighbors, lest they also invite you back, and you be repaid.

 13 "But when you give a feast, invite the poor, the maimed, the lame, the blind.

 14 "And you will be blessed, because they cannot repay you; for you shall be repaid at the resurrection of the just."

This passage flies in the face of faith teaching. We are not asked to give to the wealthy who have _mastered faith_. We are to give to those who have need. Also contrary to Faith doctrine is the time of repayment. It is true that God may indeed bless us in this life so that we can be instruments of His grace to others, but your reward is at the resurrection not in this life. Blessings in this life are for us show faithfulness and to become a blessing to others. Each of us must decide how much we are willing to sacrifice. Some people who could be wealthy commit themselves to poverty so that their reward will not be in this life alone. Some sacrifice a little, some a lot. I believe that there must be a continuous self-examination to determine how much we will give and how much we will absorb into our own life. We should never be bound to the 10% tithing rule. We are to be givers, not tithers. Tithing is good and is needed for the finances of the church, but if I don_t consider all that I have as God_s property, then I have missed the big picture.

Asking of God

What does the Bible teaches us about asking? Here is the Word-Faith doctrine on asking:

Hickey

"If you need money, start speaking it into existence. Speak to your billfold, checkbook. Speak to your body, God will create the fruit of your lips. Speak faith and God will create what you are speaking".

Avanzini - (from Mark 12:44) But she [the widow] gave out of her want...she wanted something. Even though she was a widow, she was smarter than the apologists. She was smarter than the theologians. She knew how to get God's attention. She cast it in. She threw it in because she wanted something from her God.

Is God bound by the _fruit of your lips_? Is it our wants and desires that gets God_s attention? Before we look at the Bible_s teaching on want, let_s take a moment to examine Avanzini_s comments about the widow_s want. This is poor exegesis of the text of scripture. The word _want_ in the KJV is the Greek word _husteresis_ which means poverty. Today we rarely use the word _want_ to mean poverty. However, in context the intent it is still clear in the KJV. The poor widow, out of her want (poverty), cast in all she had. This passage is not saying that she wanted something, but that she was giving something. Word-Faith doctrine has taken this teaching and reversed the meaning. The intent of the passage is to show that a poor person like this widow can give more in God_s eyes than the abundance of the wealthy. It is not the amount that God looks at, but the sacrifice that comes from the heart. It is also an irrelevant illustration for the Word-Faith doctrine. She was praised for her giving, but the Bible never tells us that she received anything in this life. In true Christianity, the illustration serves to show that God deals with us based on our heart.

1 Timothy 6 addresses the issue of using God as gain:

 3 If anyone teaches otherwise and does not consent to wholesome words, even the words of our Lord Jesus Christ, and to the doctrine which accords with godliness,

 4 he is proud, knowing nothing, but is obsessed with disputes and arguments over words, from which come envy, strife, reviling, evil suspicions,

 5 useless wranglings of men of corrupt minds and destitute of the truth, who suppose that godliness is a means of gain. From such withdraw yourself.

 6 Now godliness with contentment is great gain.

 7 For we brought nothing into this world, and it is certain we can carry nothing out.

 8 And having food and clothing, with these we shall be content.

How does the Bible command us to respond to those who claim that godliness is a means to gain wealth? _From such withdraw yourself_. We ask of God to show our dependence on God. When I don_t pray, I reveal that I am proud and don_t see my need for God. We are commanded to take all things to God in prayer _ even the little things. We are commanded to ask God for His will, wisdom, our daily bread, our sins, our enemies, and every need that we have. In Matthew 6, after Jesus taught His disciples to pray for these things, then He taught them not to worry about their needs. Your heavenly Father knows that you need these things before we ask. Yet we are still commanded to ask so that we understand that He knows, we understand that we need God and so that we do not get lifted up with pride and take God_s provisions for granted.

Our motives are found in Matthew 6

33 "But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you.

Most people have no concept that they are in fact seeking their own kingdom and not God_s. People think that whatever you ask, God must do. This is not true and the Bible does not teach this. We can take one verse out of context to create these doctrines, but the Bible is a complete revelation. We must allow scripture to interpret scripture. Look at John 14:

13 "And whatever you ask in My name, that I will do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son.

People love to quote the first half of this verse and ignore the second half. The purpose of asking is that the Father may be glorified in the Son. If you are asking for self-centered motives, you can claim this passage all you want but you can_t expect God to honor it. Jump down one chapter to John 15:

 7 "If you abide in Me, and My words abide in you, you will ask what you desire, and it shall be done for you.

 8 "By this My Father is glorified, that you bear much fruit; so you will be My disciples.

Once again, there are guidelines to the promise. If you abide in Christ and His words abide in you, then you will ask for God_s glory and it will be done. The purpose of asking _ that you bear much fruit. You are laboring for God_s kingdom and not your own. Look now at 1 John 5:

 14 Now this is the confidence that we have in Him, that if we ask anything according to His will, He hears us.

 15 And if we know that He hears us, whatever we ask, we know that we have the petitions that we have asked of Him.

Once again, if we are asking according to His will, we can have confidence in our petitions. The Christian life is a life that is focused on eternity. We may get sidetracked and lose focus, but when our focus is on Christ, we will have the right motives and will inherit the promises of God. There are many more passages, but I believe these clearly show that our motives must be examined in light of God_s word. In the book of James, the Bible says that we can ask and will not get because we ask with world-centered motives.

Conclusion

The reason why this issue is important is that Word-Faith teachers are trying to recreate Jesus into their image. Jesus chose to come _ not as a king to be served _ but as a suffering servant who willingly chose poverty. If God chose to identify Himself in this way, what right does any man have to declare this as wrong and then chose to make God fit his ideals?

Look at 1 Peter 2:

 20 For what credit is it if, when you are beaten for your faults, you take it patiently? But when you do good and suffer, if you take it patiently, this is commendable before God.

 21 For to this you were called, because Christ also suffered for us, leaving us an example, that you should follow His steps:

Word-Faith doctrine teaches that Jesus_ example is luxury, but the passage they pull this phrase out of tells us to endure suffering as He did. If Word-Faith teaches that our example is a carefree, self-indulgent, self-centered life and the Bible teaches that Jesus_ example is to endure patiently the suffering of this life knowing that the reward that lies ahead is incomparable to a moment of suffering, then we have a serious discrepancy. If you are following the Word-Faith Jesus, then you are not following the Biblical Jesus. The Word-Faith Jesus has got to have it now; the Biblical Jesus suffered and endured patiently. He endured the cross for the joy before Him that lay beyond the suffering.

It is important that we understand fully the choice that we are making. If we choose the Jesus modeled after the world, then we have no reward in heaven. That is a great sacrifice to make for a temporary life. If the Bible says that the suffering of this life is not worthy of comparison against the rewards of heaven, then the benefits of this life are not either. If you are following Jesus_ steps, you must know what steps Jesus took.

Eddie Snipes

Exchanged Life Outreach

http://www.exchangedlife.com

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