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Worldly Prosperity vs. Godly Prosperity

   In the Lord’s rebuke of His careless priests in the book of Malachi, He declared;

 

“‘And now this commandment is for you, O priests. If you do not listen, and if you do not take it to heart to give honor to My name,’ says the Lord of hosts, ‘then I will send the curse upon you and I will curse your blessings [1293- “a blessing; prosperity, a gift, a treaty of peace”]; and indeed, I have cursed them already, because you are not taking it to heart. Behold, I am going to rebuke [1605- “to chide (“to scold, to quarrel, to find fault, to contend in words of anger”), to rebuke, to reprove, to corrupt”] your offspring [2232- “seed; fig. fruit, plant, descendants, posterity, children”], and I will spread refuse [6569- “dung, fecal matter”] on your faces, the refuse of your feasts [2282- “feast, festal sacrifice (the “victim” sacrificed to God)”]; and you will be taken away [5375- “to lift, to carry, to be taken away, to be carried off, to be swept away”] with it.’”

(Malachi 2:1-3/NASU)

  

   The Lord was saying that He had, like the church in America, cursed their blessings already but they were not taking it to heart. He said He would rebuke their seed, which He is now doing among the whore churches, spreading crap on their faces, and even taking them away, or sweeping them away like the sacrificial victim afterwards (see the Bible study Swept Away or Snatched Away).

   One of the definitions for the Hebrew for “blessings” in Malachi 2:2 is prosperity. This word has become a curse through the mouths of the so-called Prosperity Gospel preachers, and for all who accept their feces as truth. The Lord declared through Jeremiah;

 

“I spoke to you in your prosperity [7962- “security (genuine or false); quietness, ease, prosperity”]; but you said, ‘I will not listen!’ This has been your practice from your youth, that you have not obeyed My voice. The wind [7307 ruwach – “a wind, breath, the spirit, the Spirit of God”] will sweep away all your shepherds, and your lovers will go into captivity; then you will surely be ashamed and humiliated because of all your wickedness.”

(Jeremiah 22:21-22/NASU)

 

   When “bought in to,” the worldly prosperity (i.e. of worldly goods, and in particular money) that these pick-pocket preachers proclaim is yours when you come to Jesus, and of course give to them, which they refer to as “sowing a seed of faith” into their ministry, meaning their pockets. When they tell you to “sow a seed of faith” into their ministry, which is more like a “seed of greed,” so that you will receive back more money from God then what you gave, and you believe them, they create a false sense of security, per the Hebrew definition above in [7962], among its adherents.

   In the book of Proverbs, chapter one, the Lord rebukes those who, when He called, refused to listen. He actually said that He would “laugh at your calamity; I will mock when your dread comes.” (Proverbs 1:26) He goes further in His rebuke saying;

 

“For the waywardness of the simple will kill them, and the complacency [7962] of fools will destroy them; but whoever listens to me will live in safety and be at ease, without fear of harm.”

(Proverbs 1:32-33/NIV)

 

   The KJV actually says, using the same Greek word, “and the prosperity [7962] of fools shall destroy them.” This is another definition of the self-destructing character of a foolish virgin that seeks after the world’s prosperity. They will be shut out of the marriage feast of the Lamb. On the other hand, those among God’s children who have listened to His warning to prepare their hearts, and are more concerned of internal prosperity (i.e. security in Christ) through obedience, will find themselves with a genuine sense of security as the world is plunged into total chaos.

   Webster’s 1828 Dictionary defines prosperity as;

 

“PROSPER'ITY, noun [Latin prosperitas.] Advance or gain in any thing good or desirable; successful progress in any business or enterprise; success; attainment of the object desired; as the prosperity of arts; agricultural or commercial prosperity; national prosperity Our disposition to abuse the blessings of providence renders prosperity dangerous. “The prosperity of fools shall destroy them.” (Proverbs 1:32)”

 

This is godly prosperity; the “attainment of the object desired,” which is the image of Christ, the possessor of “true riches.”

   In a comparison between godly and worldly prosperity, Jesus gave the following exhortation;

 

“He who is faithful in a very little thing is faithful also in much; and he who is unrighteous in a very little thing is unrighteous also in much. Therefore if you have not been faithful in the use of unrighteous wealth, who will entrust the true riches to you?”

(Luke 16:10-11/NASU)

 

“Unrighteous wealth,” as Jesus says, is only a test to see whether or not we can be entrusted with “true riches.” In his letters, Paul wrote about these riches in more than one place.

   To the Ephesian Christians he said;

 

“Although I am less than the least of all God's people, this grace was given me: to preach to the Gentiles the unsearchable riches of Christ… I pray that out of his glorious riches he may strengthen you with power through his Spirit in your inner being, so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith…”

(Ephesians 3:8, 16-17/NIV)

 

"The unsearchable riches of Christ” is that which strengthens our inner man, and can only be given to us by the Holy Spirit. These riches are way beyond anything the world can give us.

   To the Colossian church he said;

 

“And my God will meet all your needs according to his glorious riches in Christ Jesus.”

(Philippians 4:19/NIV)

 

   Yes, money can help in regards to physical needs such as food, paying bills, and clothing, but they cannot meet your inner mental and emotional needs. Only the riches of Christ can do that.

   To the Colossian Christians Paul said;

 

“I want you to know how much I am struggling for you and for those at Laodicea, and for all who have not met me personally. My purpose is that they may be encouraged in heart and united in love, so that they may have the full riches of complete understanding, in order that they may know the mystery of God, namely, Christ, in whom are hidden all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge.”

(Colossians 2:1-3/NIV)

 

   This is a great description of godly prosperity; “the full riches of complete understanding.” Yes, “the mystery of God, namely, Christ, in whom are hidden all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge.” This is a wealth that those with a heart of greed for worldly prosperity will never receive.

   In one of his Psalms, David declares;

 

“Pray for the peace [7965- “peace, completeness, welfare, health”] of Jerusalem: ‘May they prosper [7951- “to be at rest, to prosper, to be quiet, to be at ease”] who love you. May peace [7965] be within your walls, and prosperity [7962- see def. in Jeremiah 22:21 above] within your palaces.’”

(Psalm 122:6-7/NASU)


Only godly prosperity, through Christ’s “unsearchable riches,” can bring us into the rest of Christ, a quietness and ease of mind and heart. The opposite is true of worldly prosperity.



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