The Word of Faith Controversy

I come from a Word of Faith background and this is a transcript of a sermon I preached during that time. While I no longer actively identify with the Word of Faith label, I have also been careful not to go too far in the opposite direction. In spite of some excesses, the movement has nonetheless restored a great deal of neglected truth to the Church which is the main point of this sermon.

As many of you know, Word of Faith is a term that carries different meanings to different people and not all of them are very complimentary! Has anyone ever accused you of being in a “cult” because you believe in the Faith message? “Oh, you’re one of those ‘name-it-and-claim-it-health-and-wealth” types. There have been a lot of really nasty books and web sites published about us over the years. Some are from sincere believers who have understandable concerns, others are from self-appointed “answer men” who are obviously pursuing their own agendas.

What our critics call “Name it and claim it,” we call having simple faith in the integrity in God’s promises. When properly understood, the message of Faith is a thoroughly biblical, Jesus exalting message of God’s love and goodness. I want this to be a message you can share with your friends who may have honest questions about what you believe. And if you are one of those people, I ask that for the duration of this message that you lay aside any prejudices you may have and simply keep your mind and your Bible open. You may be surprised at some of the things you learn!

Turn with me to the Book of 2 Chronicles, chapter 34. This is a passage that I shared with the Bible training center last week, but we are going to look at it from a slightly different angle this morning. I’ll begin reading in verse 14 from the New International Version:

14While they were bringing out the money that had been taken into the temple of the Lord, Hilkiah the priest found the Book of the Law of the Lord that had been given through Moses. 15Hilkiah said to Shaphan the secretary, “I have found the Book of the Law in the temple of the Lord.” He gave it to Shaphan.

16Then Shaphan took the book to the king and reported to him: “Your officials are doing everything that has been committed to them. 17They have paid out the money that was in the temple of the Lord and have entrusted it to the supervisors and workers.” 18Then Shaphan the secretary informed the king, “Hilkiah the priest has given me a book.” And Shaphan read from it in the presence of the king.

19When the king heard the words of the Law, he tore his robes. 20He gave these orders to Hilkiah, Ahikam son of Shaphan, Abdon son of Micah,a Shaphan the secretary and Asaiah the king’s attendant: 21“Go and inquire of the Lord for me and for the remnant in Israel and Judah about what is written in this book that has been found. Great is the Lord’s anger that is poured out on us because our fathers have not kept the word of the Lord; they have not acted in accordance with all that is written in this book.”

22Hilkiah and those the king had sent with himb went to speak to the prophetess Huldah, who was the wife of Shallum son of Tokhath,c the son of Hasrah,d keeper of the wardrobe. She lived in Jerusalem, in the Second District.

23She said to them, “This is what the Lord, the God of Israel, says: Tell the man who sent you to me, 24‘This is what the Lord says: I am going to bring disaster on this place and its people—all the curses written in the book that has been read in the presence of the king of Judah. 25Because they have forsaken me and burned incense to other gods and provoked me to anger by all that their hands have made,e my anger will be poured out on this place and will not be quenched.’ 26Tell the king of Judah, who sent you to inquire of the Lord, ‘This is what the Lord, the God of Israel, says concerning the words you heard: 27Because your heart was responsive and you humbled yourself before God when you heard what he spoke against this place and its people, and because you humbled yourself before me and tore your robes and wept in my presence, I have heard you, declares the Lord. 28Now I will gather you to your fathers, and you will be buried in peace. Your eyes will not see all the disaster I am going to bring on this place and on those who live here.’”

So they took her answer back to the king.

29Then the king called together all the elders of Judah and Jerusalem. 30He went up to the temple of the Lord with the men of Judah, the people of Jerusalem, the priests and the Levites—all the people from the least to the greatest. He read in their hearing all the words of the Book of the Covenant, which had been found in the temple of the Lord. 31The king stood by his pillar and renewed the covenant in the presence of the Lord—to follow the Lord and keep his commands, regulations and decrees with all his heart and all his soul, and to obey the words of the covenant written in this book.

This passage describes the recovery of God’s Law, which had been lost for a very long time. As the result, King Josiah renewed his covenant before God and a great revival resulted. I believe this has happened many times throughout the centuries.

There is no such thing as “new truth.” The Truth has been there all along, but truth can fall into neglect and disuse like it had in King Josiah’s day. This has happened many times throughout the history of the church. This even happened to the most foundational truth of all, salvation by faith until God raised up Martin Luther to rediscover it.

Similarly, the truth that water baptism should be by immersion and should be for believers, rather than infants had been grossly neglected until God used the Anabaptists to restore it to us. The same could be said about the baptism and gifts of the Holy Spirit until the great Pentecostal revival brought those truths back to the forefront.

But there was also another pattern. When these truths began to be proclaimed, they met with bitter, even violent opposition from the established church of the day. I believe there are parallels to many of the attacks on the faith message today.
It’s not a coincidence that the Word of Faith message came into prominance once the truths embodied in the Pentecostal and Charismatic revivals were well established. As Jesus pointed out, old wines kind cannot hold new wine. It took a Spirit filled, Spirit empowered people to embrace these truths. Traditional churches simply did not have the capacity.

Maybe more than any other theological controversy in recent history, the Word of Faith debate has become more about personalities than about issues. Whenever the issue comes up, it becomes flurry of finger pointing and name calling. Everyone has their collection of TBN sound bites: “Kenneth Copeland said this…” or “Benny Hinn said that…” Upon further investigation, you’ll find that many of these quotes have been taken completely out of context. But even if they were not, the core truth of the Faith message does not stand or fall based on any individual personality.

I’ve thought about this a lot, and I can honestly say that if every preacher on TBN were caught sacrificing a goat at a black mass, it would not change my personal beliefs at all, because ultimately, they are not my source. What we need is to look beyond personalities and examine the core doctrines of Faith theology.

So I’m going to spend the next few minutes going over some of the most basic Word of Faith distinctives. Tfor most of you, these will be things you’ve heard before, but it never hurts to review. First, let’s look at one of our most foundational Scriptures. Let’s look at Mark 11:23-24. I’m reading from the New Living Translation:

22Then Jesus said to the disciples, “Have faith in God. 23I tell you the truth, you can say to this mountain, ‘May you be lifted up and thrown into the sea,’ and it will happen. But you must really believe it will happen and have no doubt in your heart. 24I tell you, you can pray for anything, and if you believe that you’ve received it, it will be yours.

Contrary to popular belief, these words were not written by Kenneth Copeland! It was Jesus Himself who told us to “Speak to the mountain.” As I see it, this would make Him the original “Faith teacher!”

Some of your translations will word this “Have the faith of God” or “have the God kind of faith.” Sometimes people get upset with the idea that God has faith, but doesn’t it make sense that God should believe in His own power? So then how does God exercise that faith? Romans 4:17 says that God “calls those things which be not as though they were.” For example, Genesis says the He created the world by speaking it into existence. The world didn’t exist, then at God’s command, it did exist.

So if we are to have the God kind of faith, it must work the same way. Lets look next at Romans 10:8, King James Version: “The word is nigh thee, even in thy mouth, and in thy heart: that is, the word of faith, which we preach…” This echos Jesus’ statements in Mark , and we see that, in order to work, faith must be both in the heart, as well as in the mouth. In fact, that is how we are born again in the first place. Romans 10:9 says that if we confess with our mouths the Lord Jesus and believe in our hearts that God has raised Him from the dead, we will be saved. Christians of all persuasions believe that.

So does that mean we can create worlds with our words? No, but we can definitely shape our worlds. The book of James says that our tongues steer our lives just like a helm steers a ship.
The power of the spoken word is vital to the application of faith. Notice that Jesus didn’t say for us to pray that the mountain be removed. He said to command it! We see that pattern throughout His ministry. He spoke to diseases. He spoke to demons. He spoke to a storm. He spoke to a fig tree and they all obeyed Him!

Some people piously say “lets just preach the Gospel and leave all of the healing and prosperity business alone.“ The problem with that kind of thinking is that you can’t separate the two. We generally define the word “salvation” as simply meaning going to Heaven, instead of Hell, when you die. This is certainly the most important part of it, but it is not, by any means, all there is to it. The Greek word for salvation comes from the word “sozo” (see Strong’s # 4982) which means to save, heal, preserve, and make whole. It involves all of the blessings bestowed on men by Christ. It shows that salvation is for the whole man, spirit, soul, and body, and is for the here and now, not just for the afterlife.

One criticism that faith theology draws is that it teaches that Christians do not have to face difficulties in life. I know that I certainly don’t teach that, and I don’t know of any responsible faith teacher that does either. When a lot of people first encounter this sort of teaching, they get the idea that if the simply begin to tithe and throw out a few faith confessions, that they will instantly be on “easy street” and never face problems or trials in life. Friends, that is foolish. Its important to remember that faith is a lifestyle, not a quick fix. It is through faith and patience that we receive the promises of God. I’ll show you a beautiful illustration of this. Turn with me to the Gospel of Luke, chapter one beginning with verse five:

When Herod was king of Judea, there was a Jewish priest named Zechariah. He was a member of the priestly order of Abijah, and his wife, Elizabeth, was also from the priestly line of Aaron. 6Zechariah and Elizabeth were righteous in God’s eyes, careful to obey all of the Lord’s commandments and regulations. 7They had no children because Elizabeth was unable to conceive, and they were both very old.
8One day Zechariah was serving God in the Temple, for his order was on duty that week. 9As was the custom of the priests, he was chosen by lot to enter the sanctuary of the Lord and burn incense. 10While the incense was being burned, a great crowd stood outside, praying.
11While Zechariah was in the sanctuary, an angel of the Lord appeared to him, standing to the right of the incense altar. 12Zechariah was shaken and overwhelmed with fear when he saw him. 13But the angel said, “Don’t be afraid, Zechariah! God has heard your prayer. Your wife, Elizabeth, will give you a son, and you are to name him John. 14You will have great joy and gladness, and many will rejoice at his birth, 15for he will be great in the eyes of the Lord. He must never touch wine or other alcoholic drinks. He will be filled with the Holy Spirit, even before his birth.b 16And he will turn many Israelites to the Lord their God. 17He will be a man with the spirit and power of Elijah. He will prepare the peo5ple for the coming of the Lord. He will turn the hearts of the fathers to their children,c and he will cause those who are rebellious to accept the wisdom of the godly.”

This is the story of Zacheriah and Elizabeth, who eventually became the parents of John the Baptist. But at this point, they had been believing God for a son for many years. By this time they were both well advanced in years. This was in a day when there was no Social Security or Medicare, and people relied on their children to care for them in their later years. To be childless was also a tremendous social stigma. Since children were seen as signs of God’s favor, those who didn’t have them were seen as being “second class” spiritually.

So in spite of all this, Zacheriah and Elizabeth saw their prayers go seemingly unanswered for many years. Were there periods of discouragement? No doubt. Were there times when they asked God “Why?” I’m sure there were many. So what did they do in the meantime? This is important: They kept right on faithfully serving God. Notice that Zacheriah was serving in his priestly duties when the angel showed up and told him his prayers had been heard. Friend, this is a major word for you. If you’ve been believing God for something for a long time, don’t be discouraged.

Another accusation is that Faith theology denies or downplays the sovereignty of God. Again, that is not true at all. In fact, establishing the principles of faith was itself a gracious act of His soveriegnty! Write this down if you’re taking notes: Faith doesn’t change God’s will, it activates it! Faith is an active process, not a passive one and that is why blindly tacking “if it be thy will” onto each prayer is not enough. Jesus only prayed that way one time, and that was a special prayer of consecration when He was about to go to the cross. He never questioned the Father’s will when it came to healing or the other blessings He gave to people.

Its important to remember that, in His soveriegnty God has volunatrily bound Himself to His Word. That’s what the Faith Message is all about! When you know the Word of God, you know the will of God and you can exercise your faith accordingly!

Still another accusation we hear is that Faith theology is some kind of cult, comparable to mind science cults like Unity and so-called Christian Science.

The accusations of Word of Faith being a cult is generally traced back to one of our most influential preachers, a man often considered the “father” of our movement. In reality, though, this man was a Christian thinker who in many ways was decades ahead of his time. His name was Essek William Kenyon. If you’ve ever read any of E.W. Kenyon’s work, you know that he had a real gift for relaying deep, profound truth in a beautiful, almost poetic manner. Next to the Bible itself, his book “The Wonderful Name of Jesus” probably impacted my prayer life more than anything I have ever read. If you read his little book called “The Blood Covenant,” you will never take communion the same way again.

Unfortunately, in his zeal to make his point, he did sometimes have a tendency to overstate his case. For example, in his book “What Happened from the Cross to the Throne?” Kenyon make the statement that “Satan Conquered Jesus on the Cross.” Now friends, this should go without saying, but that is not right.

Jesus did NOT die as a victim. No one took His life, He voluntarily laid it down Matthew 26:53 tells us that legions of angels were standing by to rescue Him, all He had to do was say the word. There was not one split second in which Jesus was not in full control.

Although statements like that were a major blunder on Kenyon’s part, we have to remember it in light of his teaching as a whole. Was his intent to demean the cross? Not at all. Kenyon revered every aspect of Jesus’ redemptive work and we will look at that in more detail in a few minutes.

But the typical argument is that Kenyon was somehow connected to metaphysical mind-science cults. Anyone who would make this sort of accusation is either tragically ignorant of Kenyon’s teaching or is outright lying.

Kenyon was born on April 24, 1867, in Hadley, New York. He was saved when he was 17 years old at a Methodist prayer meeting

When Kenyon returned to the Lord, he became a minister in the Free Will Baptist church, a very conservative, Bible based denomination. There is no way they would have ordained Kenyon if he had been teaching cultic ideas. Not only did he not advocate these cults, he openly condemned them! Here are some of Kenyon’s own words about these cults:

“Christian Science,Unity,and other Metaphysical and philosophical teachers of today do not believe that God is a person. They will tell you He is perfect mind,but He has no location. It is just a great,universal mind which finds it’s home in every individual. He has no headquarters…. They do not believe in sin as Paul taught it in the Revelation given to him. They do not believe that Jesus died for our sins,but that He died as a martyr. They do not believe He had a literal ressurection, but put it as a “metaphysical ressurection”(whatever that means.) If God is not a person,and Jesus did not put sin away,then who is Jesus,and what is the value of our faith in Him?”

“Which Jesus do you worship?” The Jesus of the various cults has very little resemblance to the Jesus of the apostle Paul. They spell the name as Paul spelled it…I think it might be well for us for a few moments to look at the different gospels that are preached and the different spirits that are received and the different Jesus’s who are preached. ..There is the Jesus of Unity, who did not have a pre-existence as a person; who was not conceived of the Holy Spirit… He did not die an actual physical death, and his soul and spirit did not go into the place of anguish and suffering for our sins…He didn’t satisfy the claims of Justice and did not set man right with God on the ground of Justice. He is not the Lord Jesus Christ of whom Paul tells us.”

Pastor Joe McIntyre in Kirkland , Washington was the author of Kenyon’s official biography and he summed it up well:
Anyone reading Kenyon’s writings in much depth would be struck by his high regard for the Scriptures. All the metaphysical cults use the Bible, but consistently disregard what they don’t like or what doesn’t fit their systems. Kenyon’s respect for the Word places an impassable gulf between him and the cults.

One of Kenyon’s greatest legacies is his profound insights into substitution and identification.

He was cursed, so that we could be blessed (Galatians 3:13-14). He was made sin, so that we could be made righteous. (2 Corinthians 5:21). He was wounded, so that we could be healed. (Isaiah 53:5; 1 Peter 2:24) He was made poor, so that we could be made rich.(2 Corinthians 8:9). He died, so that we could live (John 3:16, Hebrews 2:14-15).

Each one of these could be a series of messages so there are obvious limitations to how much detail I can go into in one sermon. But these truths are key to an understanding of what Jesus did for us and I want to spend some time on each of them.

He was cursed, so that we could be blessed
Turn to Galatians 3:13-14. This is from the King James:
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: That the blessing of Abraham might come on the Gentiles through Jesus Christ; that we might receive the promise of the Spirit through faith.
I begin here because everything else Jesus did for us hinges on this point. As soon as man fell in the Garden of Eden, it put the entire planet under a curse. Turn with me to the Book of Genesis, chapter 3. I’ll begin reading from the NIV in verse 17: 7To Adam he said, “Because you listened to your wife and ate from the tree about which I commanded you, ‘You must not eat of it,’ “Cursed is the ground because of you; through painful toil you will eat of it all the days of your life. 18It will produce thorns and thistles for you, and you will eat the plants of the field.

So we see here that when God describes the curse to Adam He said that the earth would produce thorns and thistles. This is important because throughout the Bible, you see thorns as types of God’s displeasure and judgement. How many of you will agree with me that everything in the Bible is there for a purpose? What was Jesus crowned with? Thorns.

To understand this whole concept of blessings and curses, the best place we can look is Deuteronomy 28. Let’s go there now.

“If you fully obey the Lord your God and carefully keep all his commands that I am giving you today, the Lord your God will set you high above all the nations of the world. 2 You will experience all these blessings if you obey the Lord your God:
3 Your towns and your fields
will be blessed.
4 Your children and your crops
will be blessed.
The offspring of your herds and flocks
will be blessed.
5 Your fruit baskets and breadboards
will be blessed.
6 Wherever you go and whatever you do,
you will be blessed.

7 “The Lord will conquer your enemies when they attack you. They will attack you from one direction, but they will scatter from you in seven!

8 “The Lord will guarantee a blessing on everything you do and will fill your storehouses with grain. The Lord your God will bless you in the land he is giving you.

9 “If you obey the commands of the Lord your God and walk in his ways, the Lord will establish you as his holy people as he swore he would do. 10 Then all the nations of the world will see that you are a people claimed by the Lord, and they will stand in awe of you.

11 “The Lord will give you prosperity in the land he swore to your ancestors to give you, blessing you with many children, numerous livestock, and abundant crops. 12 The Lord will send rain at the proper time from his rich treasury in the heavens and will bless all the work you do. You will lend to many nations, but you will never need to borrow from them. 13 If you listen to these commands of the Lord your God that I am giving you today, and if you carefully obey them, the Lord will make you the head and not the tail, and you will always be on top and never at the bottom. 14 You must not turn away from any of the commands I am giving you today, nor follow after other gods and worship them.

These are wonderful promises, to be sure, but notice that they are conditional on having “fully obeyed God and kept all of His commandments.” Can any of us say we have done that? NO! And if we study Israel’s history, we see that they certainly didn’t either. Galatians 3:24 tells us that God gave us His Law is a “schoolmaster” or “tutor” designed to lead us to Christ. In other words, the Law shows us our sinfulness and our need of God’s salvation.
Understanding this is important to keep us from making faith into a legalism. How many of us have heard messages about the “Laws of Faith?” Generally, these include things like tithing, seed-sowing, keeping our confession right and all of these things are certainly important, they do have their place and we should absolutely practice them. But we are still imperfect, growing believers and even if we get all of these things “right,” there will still be plenty of other areas where we get it wrong. That is why we need to think of faith, not in terms of “laws,” but it terms of God’s grace. Because without that, we are all sunk!
The remainder of this chapter shows us the curses for disobedience. But reading them through the lens of God’s grace and Him redeeming us from the curse of the law, we see the things that Jesus has redeemed us from!
However, if you do not obey the Lord your God and do not carefully follow all his commands and decrees I am giving you today, all these curses will come upon you and overtake you:
16You will be cursed in the city and cursed in the country.
17Your basket and your kneading trough will be cursed.
18The fruit of your womb will be cursed, and the crops of your land, and the calves of your herds and the lambs of your flocks.
19You will be cursed when you come in and cursed when you go out.
20Th15e Lord will send on you curses, confusion and rebuke in everything you put your hand to, until you are destroyed and come to sudden ruin because of the evil you have done in forsaking him.a 21The Lord will plague you with diseases until he has destroyed you from the land you are entering to possess. 22The Lord will strike you with wasting disease, with fever and inflammation, with scorching heat and drought, with blight and mildew, which will plague you until you perish. 23The sky over your head will be bronze, the ground beneath you iron. 24The Lord will turn the rain of your country into dust and powder; it will come down from the skies until you are destroyed.
25The Lord will cause you to be defeated before your enemies. You will come at them from one direction but flee from them in seven, and you will become a thing of horror to all the kingdoms on earth. 26Your carcasses will be food for all the birds of the air and the beasts of the earth, and there will be no one to frighten them away. 27The Lord will afflict you with the boils of Egypt and with tumors, festering sores and the itch, from which you cannot be cured. 28The Lord will afflict you with madness, blindness and confusion of mind. 29At midday you will grope about like a blind man in the dark. You will be unsuccessful in everything you do; day after day you will be oppressed and robbed, with no one to rescue you.

So Jesus redeemed us from these curses so that we could enjoy the blessings!

He was made sin, so that we could be made righteous.
Here we see Jesus acting in His role as Jehovah Tsidkinu: The Lord Our Righteousness . 2 Corinthians 5:21, again from the King James
For he hath made him to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him.
Lets look at this passage in two parts. First of all, “For he hath made him to be sin for us, who knew no sin.”
Although as I said earlier, Kenyon went too far with his wording, this was a large part of the point he was trying to make. Jesus became sin. That doesn’t mean that He Himself sinned. He certainly did NOT. But out of His love for us, He became sin, something that was totally foreign to who He was. I personally believe this happened when He prayed in the Garden of Gethsemane, before the first nail was ever driven. He made the final consecration to the Father’s will. The wages of sin is death and until He took our sin upon Himself, He was not subject to death since He never sinned. But once He finished His prayer in the garden, He walked out and presented Himself for arrest to get this horrible ordeal underway. This culminated when, for the only time in all of eternity, God the Father turned His back on His Son, resulting in Jesus’ crying out “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me? ”

“…that we might be made the righteousness of God in him.”

Through Jesus becoming sin and paying that horrible price for us, we are able to become righteous. That means when you receive it, ALL barriers between you and God have been removed! You stand just as righteous before the Father as Jesus Himself! Where we were once separated from God, we are now invited to “Come Boldly!”

Receiving this righteousness retores us to what God created us to be in the first place. Turn with me to Psalm 8 in the King James Version:

O LORD our Lord, how excellent is thy name in all the earth! who hast set thy glory above the heavens. 2Out of the mouth of babes and sucklings hast thou ordained strength because of thine enemies, that thou mightest still the enemy and the avenger. 3When I consider thy heavens, the work of thy fingers, the moon and the stars, which thou hast ordained;
4What is man, that thou art mindful of him? and the son of man, that thou visitest him?
5For thou hast made him a little lower than the angels, and hast crowned him with glory and honour.
Pay special attention to the word “angels.” The Hebrew word there is “Elohim” which is a name for God! God made humans a little lower than Himself! Mad was greated above the angels, but of course, he fell below them. But we are told in 1 Corinthians 6:3 that redeemed humans will one day judge the angels!

This brings us to another common accusation against the Faith message: The idea that we are “little gods.” In using this kind of terminolgy, its important that we define our words very carefully. Turn with me to the Book of Exodus, chapter seven verse one King James “1And the LORD said unto Moses, See, I have made thee a god to Pharaoh: and Aaron thy brother shall be thy prophet.”

So we see that in some limited cases, God does use this term to describe human beings. But does that put make us gods in the same sense as God Himself, absolutely NOT! Notice that “god” is spelled with a little “g.”

He was wounded, so that we could be healed.
This is a vivid illustration of how Jesus is Jehovah Raphe: The Lord Our Healer. Roughly two-thirds of Jesus’ recorded ministry involved healing, and the fact that Jesus died for our sicknesses along with our sins is an irrefutable biblical reality. This shouldn’t seem that far fetched when we consider the fact that any blessing we receive from God is because of Jesus’ redemptive work. Turn with me to one of the foundational passages on the topic, Isaiah chapter 53:

Who hath believed our report? and to whom is the arm of the LORD revealed?
2For he shall grow up before him as a tender plant, and as a root out of a dry ground: he hath no form nor comeliness; and when we shall see him, there is no beauty that we should desire him.
3He is despised and rejected of men; a man of sorrows, and acquainted with grief: and we hid as it were our faces f1rom him; he was despised, and we esteemed him not.
4Surely he hath borne our griefs, and carried our sorrows: yet we did esteem him stricken, smitten of God, and afflicted.
5But he was wounded for our transgressions, he was bruised for our iniquities: the chastisement of our peace was upon him; and with his stripes we are healed.

1 Peter 2:24:
He personally carried our sins in his body on the cross
so that we can be dead to sin and live for what is right.
By his wounds you are healed.

Now its sometimes asked “What about doctors and medicine”? They certainly have their place. Many faith teachers actively support Christian hospitals. Keep in mind that Luke, who God used to write both the Gospel of Luke and the Book of Acts, was a physician, likely one of the earliest medical missionaries. So keep in mind that when you read about the wonderful healings and miracles recorded in those books, you are rreading the accounts of a doctor.
2 Kings 20:1-11 tells us how God miraculously healed King Hezekiah, but a poultice of figs was used in the process. In 2 Timothy 5:23, Paul tells Timothy to use a little medicinal wine to treat a stomach ailment. Proverbs 18:9 in the Amplified Bible gives us sound advice: “…he who does not use his endeavors to heal himself is brother to him who commits suicide.”

Nonetheless, we have to make sure that our ultmate faith is in God, not medicne. To paraphrase Smith Wigglesworth, when the pill bottle take the place of the annointing bottle, then there is a problem!

He was made poor, so that we could be made rich.
Turn with me to 2 Corinthians 8:9:
You know the generous grace of our Lord Jesus Christ. Though he was rich, yet for your sakes he became poor, so that by his poverty he could make you rich.
Jesus died so that we could be financially prosperous. At first, that statement almost seems crass, doesn’t it? Traditional religious understanding of this verse has limited it to spiritual or heavenly riches and while that is certainly the ultimate manifestation of it, we can’t forget that material poverty was included in the list of curses we just read, curses which He has redeemed us from. Also note the reason that He redeemed us from these curses: So that Abraham’s blessing could come on us Gentile believers through faith.
Abraham, as well as Isaac, Jacob, Job, David, Solomon and many others were fabulously wealthy men who the Bible explicitly says were made rich by the blessing of God!

Much of the modern religious thinking about money is not only unbiblical, it is simply naive. Friends, lets face it: Many of the things that God calls us to do require us to have a certain amount of resources. He expects us to be faithful in our tithes and offerings, to care for our families, to help the needy, to have a storehouse for our own needs and to be able to leave an inheritance for our children and our children’s children! You can’t fulfill al of these requirements if you don’t have the “cabbage” to do it!

Believing that God wants me to prosper was what inspired me to go back to school at my age, I was going through some very difficult times in my life, including some serious financial problems. I had taken on a second job, doing some landscaping work. I was spreading mulch in a flower bed at this huge mansion out in Farragut. I looked at the mansion and thought “What is the difference between these people and me?”
As I said earlier, faith is not a quick fix and we don’t always see the manifestation all at once. Turn with me to Genesis 39, beginning in verse 1: “1Now Joseph had been taken down to Egypt. Potiphar, an Egyptian who was one of Pharaoh’s officials, the captain of the guard, bought him from the Ishmaelites who had taken him there. 2The Lord was with Joseph and he prospered, and he lived in the house of his Egyptian master”

So you see here that even as a slave, God still calls Joseph a prosperous man! Friends, prosperity is a mindset. Brother Hagin said that he preached prosperity when he didn’t have a dime in his pocket. Even if we may be struggling financially, we can never let ourselves buy into a poverty mentality. There may be steps we need to take to get us there. With me, it has involved getting some more education.

You can wear some bling! Now for me personally, I’m a pretty conservative dresser. I’m not really a “blingy” type person, but if you are, that’s fine! You might be saying …”doesn’t the Bible say not to wear gold?” No, 1 Timothy 2:9 simply says that our true beauty comes from within, not from outward ornamentation. As Jesse Duplantis puts it, God likes bling! Think about it: God sits on a throne surrounded by a rainbow in a city with streets of transparent gold and gates made of solid pearl! Friends, we are created in His image! This is the kind of life we’ve been conditioned for!

But now, I do need to talk to you about an all-important word and that word is balance.How many of you will agree that even a truth can become an error if it is emphasized at the expense of other truth? While material prospery is certainly God’s will for us, its important to remember God’s work in our life is often more subtle than that and often, it will involve making us less attached to earthly things, not more. Prosperity is a means to an end, not an end in itself. It is a matter of God putting wealth into the hands of people who He can trust to use it for godly purposes. With that in mind, let’s look at a few common misconceptions about biblical prosperity:
Biblical prosperity does NOT give us license to be greedy or materialistic.
Turn with me to Hebrews 13:5. This is from the Amplified Bible:
5Let your [a]character or moral disposition be free from love of money [including greed, avarice, lust, and craving for earthly possessions] and be satisfied with your present [circumstances and with what you have]; for He [God] [b]Himself has said, I will not in any way fail you nor [c]give you up nor leave you without support. [I will] not, [d][I will] not, [I will] not in any degree leave you helpless nor forsake nor [e]let [you] down ([f]relax My hold on you)! [[g]Assuredly not!](A)
I personally believe that every “God wants you to prosper” sermon needs to be counterbalanced with a sermon on a passage like this one. It was said of the early Pentecostals the “Heaven was more real to them than Earth.” I do hope that as we learn more about living victoriously here on the earth that we don’t lose sight of this eternal perspective. Have you ever heard of people being “so Heavenly minded they are no earthly good?” How many of you agree with me that that is one of the biggest crocks of religious nonsense anyone ever came up with? Friend, the more Heavenly minded you are, the more earthly good you will be!.

Prosperity, in and of itself, is not necessarily a sign of God’s blessing.
As this understanding of biblical prosperity has rightfully taken hold within the Body of Christ, an unfortunate consequence has been that some people don’t look any further than that to determine God’s blessing. They say “Oh, brother so-and-so has a new BMW. God is really blessing him!” Not necessarily. Don’t misunderstand: There is nothing wrong with the BMW in and of itself but some criminals drive them too! Its dangerous to measure God’s blessing in strictly material terms. Lets look at one of the most sober warnings about this in all of Scripture. Turn to Revelation 3:14-18;

(Jesus speaking) “Write this letter to the angel of the church in Laodicea. This is the message from the one who is the Amen—the faithful and true witness, the beginning[a] of God’s new creation: “I know all the things you do, that you are neither hot nor cold. I wish that you were one or the other! But since you are like lukewarm water, neither hot nor cold, I will spit you out of my mouth! You say, ‘I am rich. I have everything I want. I don’t need a thing!’ And you don’t realize that you are wretched and miserable and poor and blind and naked.
When we become so prosperity minded that everything we do has an ulterior motive. When we forget about the poor. Friends, if we don’t keep our priorities in order, this verse could very easily be talking about us!

Biblical prosperity does NOT mean that there will not be times when we have to live sacrificially for the Gospel’s sake. 1 Corinthians 4:10-13:
10 Our dedication to Christ makes us look like fools, but you claim to be so wise in Christ! We are weak, but you are so powerful! You are honored, but we are ridiculed. 11 Even now we go hungry and thirsty, and we don’t have enough clothes to keep warm. We are often beaten and have no home. 12 We work wearily with our own hands to earn our living. We bless those who curse us. We are patient with those who abuse us. 13 We appeal gently when evil things are said about us. Yet we are treated like the world’s garbage, like everybody’s trash—right up to the present moment.
Does this describe the whole of Paul’s life? I don’t believe so. In Acts 24:25-26, we see Felix trying to solicit a bribe from Paul. It would have been pointless to do that if Paul didn’t have a considerable amount of money! Further, in the little Book of Philemon, read about a man named Onesimus, who was a runaway servant Paul’s friend, Philemon. Paul meets Onesimus, leads him to Christ, then writes a letter of commendation to Philemon. But in verse 18 of that book, Paul offers to repay Philemon all of Onesimus’ debts and back wages. This was no doubt a great deal of money. In order to make an offer like this, Paul must have been a man of substantial means.

But in spite of this, when the “rubber met the road” material wealth was no obstacle to Paul’s mission. When the situation called for it, he was ready and willing to lay it all down and do without the luxuries of life, even clothing and shelter and endure horrible persecution for the sake of the Gospel. Unfortunately, we don’t often hear about this side of it.

This is why true prosperity is tied so closely with proper stewardship of the resources God gives us. Martin Luther said that “There are three conversions necessary: the conversion of the heart, the mind, and the purse” or as a bumper sticker puts it “Tithe if you love Jesus. Anyone can honk!”
One of Brother Oral Roberts’ greatest legacies was the vital insight he had into the principles of “Seed Faith.” These insights have revolutionized how countless Christians approach their stewardship. But even then, we have to watch our motives. We should never look at our giving as a way to manipulate God.

A lot of people don’t realize that one of the strongest voices for balance in this area was Kenneth Hagin! Later in his life, Brother Hagin published a book called “The Midas Touch: A Balanced Look at Biblical Prosperity.” If you’ve never read that book, I strongly recommend it to you. In it, he expresses concern that many ministers were taking principles in this area that they had learned from him and taking them to unbiblical excesses. Here is a quote:

Some have come to believe that demonstrating prosperity involves displaying a lavish, ostentatious lifestyle rather than being good stewards and efficiently harnessing abundant resources to promote the Gospel and to minister the goodness of God to those who are in need…So how does a minister integrate a certain truth that the Holy Spirit is emphasizing into the whole of the Word of God? I believe the answer is, by consciously presenting a balanced view of the subject, searching out as many scriptural foundation stones as possible, not just teaching on an isolated verse.
Brother Hagin also gives us a very helpful checklist to help us keep our priorities right when we give:
We are to give, first and foremost, because we love God.
Next, we are to give because we want to obey God.
Thirdly, we are to give because we want to support the great Commision and the Church.
Further, we are to give because we want to see people blessed.
Finally, with all these other prerequistes in place, we give to sow seed for our own needs.
Friends, this is what it means to seek forst the Kingdom of God
He died, so that we could live
Hebrews 2:14-15:
Because God’s children are human beings—made of flesh and blood—the Son also became flesh and blood. For only as a human being could he die, and only by dying could he break the power of the devil, who had[a] the power of death. Only in this way could he set free all who have lived their lives as slaves to the fear of dying.
John 3:16, in the Amplified Bible tells us that
For God so greatly loved and dearly prized the world that He [even] gave up His only begotten ([a]unique) Son, so that whoever believes in (trusts in, clings to, relies on) Him shall not perish (come to destruction, be lost) but have eternal (everlasting) life.
The penalty for sin is not just physical death. In order for us to enjoy Heaven, He faced the torments of Hell. Although the notion of Jesus descending into Hell is spurned by some in the Christian community, it is well documented by both Scripture
…when thou shalt make his soul an offering for sin, he shall see his seed, he shall prolong his days, and the pleasure of the LORD shall prosper in his hand. He shall see of the travail of his soul, and shall be satisfied…he hath poured out his soul unto death: and he was numbered with the transgressors; and he bare the sin of many, and made intercession for the transgressors. (Isa 53:10-11, KJV)
Psalm 16:10, King James
For thou wilt not leave my soul in hell; neither wilt thou suffer thine Holy One to see corruption.
Acts 2:27,
Because thou wilt not leave my soul in hell, neither wilt thou suffer thine Holy One to see corruption.
Ephesians 4:7-10, New American Standard:
7But (A)to each one of us (B)grace was given (C)according to the measure of Christ’s gift. 8Therefore it says, “(D)WHEN HE ASCENDED ON HIGH,
HE (E)LED CAPTIVE A HOST OF CAPTIVES, AND HE GAVE GIFTS TO MEN.” Now this expression, “He (F)ascended,” what does it mean except that He also had descended into (G)the lower parts of the earth? He who descended is Himself also He who ascended (H)far above all the heavens, so that He might (I)fill all things.)

and by church history. In fact, it was almost universally accepted among the early church fathers (11). As the great French reformer John Calvin put it:

If Christ had died only a bodily death, it would have been ineffectual. No – it was expedient at the same time for him to undergo the severity of God’s vengeance, to appease his wrath and satisfy his just judgment. For this reason, he must also grapple hand to hand with the armies of hell and the dread of everlasting death. (12)

The legendary evangelist Billy Graham echoes this theme:

Jesus’ cry, “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?” (Mark 15:34) has puzzled many. Jesus is actually quoting the opening line of Psalm 22 and using it to express His deep agony on the cross. He is suffering the penalty for our sin in our place. The penalty for sin is death (Romans 6:23). Death includes two dimensions — physical and spiritual. Physical death is the separation of the spirit from the body. Spiritual death is the separation of the spirit from God. Since Jesus was dying for our sin as our substitute, He was experiencing the agony of separation from His Father. It was the agony of hell. (13)

But thankfully, it didn’t end there! Colossians 2:15 tells us that Jesus “spoiled principalities and powers, he made a show of them openly, triumphing over them in it.” This is military terminology. The image being drawn is that of an army overthrowing a rival kingdom, stripping its ruler naked and parading him down the streets in humiliation. This is exactly what Jesus did to Satan. Had the forces of darkness known this, they would not have crucified Him . Jesus died as the sacrificial lamb, and was raised as the conquering warrior. As He majestically declares in Revelation 1:18: “I am he that liveth, and was dead; and, behold, I am alive for evermore, Amen; and have the keys of hell and of death.”

Friends, the Body of Christ desparately needs to hear these truths. The Word of Faith movement is not a cult. When properly understood, it is simply common-sense, Biblical Christianity based on the recognition of all Jesus is, and all that He lived and died for.

Anyone who would deny that these great truths are in the Bible is simply putting a blind eye to the telescope. If we don’t preach them we can’t say that we are preaching the Gospel in its fullness. We risk becoming a church that simply has a form of godliness, but denies the power thereof. Listen to another quote from Martin Luther: “If I profess, with the loudest voice and clearest exposition, every portion of the truth of God except precisely that little point which the world and the devil are at that moment attacking, I am not confessing Christ, however boldly I may be professing Christ.” After all, if we reject the message of faith, what are we left with other than a message of doubt and unbelief? Friends, there is a lot more riding on this than we may have thought.

Ultimately, what it all comes down to is this: We are labeled as “cultists” and “heretics” for simply believing that God is too good! But friends, He IS that good! Everything Jesus purchased for you can be yours before you leave here today! If you don’t yet know Him as your Lord and Savior, it would be our privelege to introduce you to Him this morning.

Appendix A: How To Be Born Again

(Jesus said) “…I assure you, most solemnly I tell you, that unless a person is Born Again (anew, from above,) he cannot ever see (know, be acquainted with, and experience) the Kingdom of God” (John 3:3, Amplified Bible).

These are strong words from the lips of Jesus. It is especially amazing
when you consider who Jesus was saying this to. He wasn’t talking to a
person that many people would consider to be a sinner. He was talking to
Nicodemus, a very devout, highly respected religious leader. This is a
powerful illustration of the fact that being devout, sincere, and
religious are not enough. In spite of his piety, Nicodemus was still a lost

What is this “New Birth?” It is the wonderful, dramatic transformation
done in a person’s life when they surrender their life to Jesus Christ.
When you receive it, your sins are forgiven ( Acts 3:19; 1 John 1:7,9,.
you are adopted into the family of God(Romans 8:14-16; Galatians 4:4-5;
Ephesians 1:5), you become a totally new creation, renewed in
righteousness and true holiness (2 Corinthians 5:17-18; Ephesians
4:24,)and you receive eternal life,to live with God forever! (John
3:14-21) It is a gift of God. Being a gift, it obviously cannot be
earned. It is given to us solely by the grace and love of God.(Ephesians

The New Birth is not a “religion.” This is vitally important. Religion is
man’s attempt to reach God. In the person of Jesus, we see just the
opposite. We see God lovingly reaching out to man, loving us in spite of
our sin, and willing to pay the ultimate price in order to have a
relationship with us:
“For God so greatly loved and dearly prized the
world that He (even) gave up His only begotten (unique) Son so that
whoever believes in (trusts in, clings to, relies on) Him shall not
perish (come to destruction, be lost) but have eternal (everlasting)
life.”(John 3:16, Amplified Bible)

Friend,there is no other way. Jesus Him self said “I am the Way, the
Truth, and the Life, NO ONE comes to the Father, BUT BY ME.” (John 14:6)
If there was another way, then Jesus died the most brutal, agonizing
death imaginable-for nothing.

“But I’m a good person.” It really isn’t a matter of “This person is a
good person vs.this person is a bad person.” God says that “ALL have
sinned and come short of His glory.”(Romans 3:23) Furthermore, He tells
us of the result of our sin. “The wages of sin is death”(Romans 6:23)
This has a twofold meaning. It does mean physical death, which exists in
the first place because of sin. However, it also means SPIRITUAL death,
which is far worse. Spiritual death is eternal, conscious torment in a
place called hell.(Revelation 21:8)

The good news, however, is that no one HAS to go to hell.God, in His love
and mercy, has provided us with a way out. His name is Jesus. If you have
never been Born Again by giving your life to Him, here is how to do it;

1.ACKNOWLEDGE-“For all have sinned and come short of the glory of God”
(Romans 3:23) “God be merciful to me a sinner”(Luke 18:13)

2.REPENT-“Except ye repent, ye will likewise perish”(Luke 13:3)

3.CONFESS-“If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive our
sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness” (1 John 1:9)If you
confess with your mouth Jesus as Lord, and believe in your heart that God
has raised Him from the dead, you shall be saved” (Romans 10:9)

4.BELIEVE-For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son,
that whosoever believes on Him should not perish, but have eternal
life”(John 3:16)

5.RECEIVE-“As many as received Him, to them gave He power to become the
sons of God, even to them that believe on His name”(John 1:12)

Friend, this is the most important decision you will ever make. If you have never given your life to Jesus, please don’t put it off. You can’t be sure you will have a tomorrow. Nothing in the world is worth missing out on this for. If you have further questions, don’t hesitate to write to us. If you have made the decision to receive Jesus, let us know so we can rejoice with you. Remember;

“Therefore, if any person is (ingrafted) in Christ (the Messiah) he is a new creation (a new creature altogether); the old (previous moral and spiritual condition) has passed away. Behold, the fresh and new has come! (2 Corinthians 5:17 Amplified Bible)

Appendix B: How To receive the Baptism in the Holy Spirit

“…you shall receive power,after the Holy Spirit is come upon you,and you shall be my witnesses…”Acts 1:8

In this verse,Jesus makes a wonderful promise to believers.He says that we can receive special power from the Father to witness for Him.

How important is it that we have this power?Consider this:When Jesus commissioned His disciples to go into all the world to preach the Gospel,he told them to wait until they were first “endued with power from on high.”(Luke 24:49.) In other words,He told them “Don’t even begin your ministry,until you receive the power from the Father to do it.”

Some ask “Don’t we get the Holy Spirit when we are saved?”The answer is yes.When we are saved,the Holy Spirit does come to dwell in us(Romans 8:9-16;1 Corinthians 3:16.)However,this is only the beginning of the Holy Spirit’s work in us.

Take a drink of water,and the water is in you.Jump into a swimming pool,and you are in the water.Similarly,we get a “drink” of the Spirit when we are saved,but the Holy Spirit wants to do much more with us.He wants to totally engulf us with His power.For an example of this let’s look at the Ephesian believers in Acts 19:2-7.

Paul visited the city of Ephesus,and found a group of Christians there.He asked them “Have you received the Holy Spirit SINCE YOU BELIEVED?”(verse 2)These were born again believers,who had the indwelling Holy Spirit,but they hadn’t yet been BAPTIZED in the Holy Spirit. How can you be baptized in the Holy Spirit?There are three basic prerequisites;

1.YOU MUST BE BORN AGAIN-an unsaved person cannot receive the Holy Spirit (John 14:17.)


3.DON’T BE AFRAID-If you ask God for bread,He isn’t going to give you a stone(Luke 11:9-13.)

If you have met these requirements,the next step is to simply ask in faith.God delights to give good gifts to His children.

When you do receive the baptism,the first evidence is that you will speak in other tongues.This is a consistent initial evidence found throughout the Book of Acts(see Acts 2:1-4;10:44-46;19:2-7.For more on this,request our study “Are Tongues for All?”)Now understand,God is not going to grab your tongue and force it out of you.He will give the utterance,but YOU must do the speaking.

If you want to receive this wonderful gift,pray this prayer now;

“Heavenly Father,I want to receive this power that Jesus spoke of.I ask you now to baptize me in the sweet,precious Holy Spirit.I say by faith that I receive Him now in all His fullness,and as the believers did in the Book of Acts,I will speak in tongues as He gives me utterance.”

Now, if you have prayed that prayer, the next step is to simply receive. Open your mouth,and speak the words that the Holy Spirit gives you. At first,it may just be a syllable or two, but as you use it in your prayer life, He will give you more.

Congratulations!You have just entered into a whole new dimension in your walk with Jesus.Your life will never be the same!

Appendix C: The Word of Faith: A Biblical Overview

It is known by many names: Word of Faith, positive confession, speaking the Word and the derisive term “Name it and claim it.” Although the idea is controversial in some circles, the Bible draws an undeniable connection between our faith and the words we speak.
The purpose of this message is to examine exactly how much the Bible does say about this subject (you might be surprised)! This is not intended to simply be a list of “positive confession” proof texts (although it would include that). Rather, we simply want to show that practically every facet of the Christian life is connected to the words we speak. That being said, lets look at God’s Word together:

Genesis 1 God creates the Universe by speaking it into existence. Note that God speaking to nothing and creating something involved an exercise of faith that what He spoke would happen. We will examine this “God kind of faith” later in our study.
Numbers 14:37 Many Israelites die because of the “evil report” they brought after being sent to spy out the land they were to conquer. In other words, the report was full of fear that they would not be able to do what God had called them to do (13:32-33).

Joshua 1:7-7 God tells Joshua that if he will meditate (Hebrew:”speak, mutter” see Strong’s # 1897) on His Word day and night and observe to do the Word,his way will be prosperous and successful.

Psalm 34:12-13 “Whoever of you loves life, and desires to see many good days, keep your tongue from evil and your lips from speaking lies” (NIV)

Psalm 45:1 The psalmist describes his tongue as the “pen of a ready writer.”

Psalm 91:2 Receiving the wonderful blessings of this Psalm are dependant on who we say God is.

Psalm 107:2 “Let the redeemed of the Lord say so, whom he hath redeemed from the hand of the enemy…”

Proverbs 4:20-22 God’s words are life and health to our flesh.

Proverbs 12:6 “The words of the wicked are to lie in wait for blood: but the mouth of the upright shall deliver them.”

Proverbs 12:14 “A man shall be satisfied with good by the fruit of his mouth…”

Proverbs 12:18 “There is that speaketh like the piercings of a sword: but the tongue of the wise is health.”

Proverbs 13:2-3 “A man shall eat good by the fruit of his mouth…he who guards his mouth preserves his life, but he who opens wide his lips shall have destruction”

Proverbs 15:2 “The tongue of the wise useth knowledge aright: but the mouth of fools poureth out foolishness.”

Proverbs 15:4 “A wholesome tongue is a tree of life…”

Proverbs 15:23 “A man hath joy by the answer of his mouth…”

Proverbs 18:20-21 “A man’s belly shall be satisfied with the fruit of his mouth; and with the increase of his lips shall he be filled. Death and life are in the power of the tongue.”

Proverbs 21:23 “Whoever guards his mouth and tongue keeps his soul from troubles.”

Job- Anyone who is at all familiar with the Bible has heard of the horrible trials endured by this great man of God. Although we certainly do not know of the reasons why all of this happened, some have suggested that 3:25-26 may hold a clue: “For the thing which I greatly feared is come upon me, and that which I was afraid of is come unto me.I was not in safety, neither had I rest, neither was I quiet; yet trouble came.” Previously, Job had been surrounded by a “hedge” of God’s protection (1:10). Could the fact that Job gave fear such a place in his life have caused a breach in the hedge? While it is overly simplistic to say that Job’s suffering was exclusively caused by his choice of words, we must remember the warnings of Ecclesiastes 10:8: “…whoso breaketh an hedge, a serpent shall bite him.”

Isaiah 43:25-26 “I, even I, am He who blots out your transgressions for My own sake; and I will not remember your sins. Put Me in remembrance; let us contend together; state your case, that you may be acquitted.”

Jeremiah 1:12 God is watching over His Word to perform it.

Daniel 10:12 As the prophet Daniel prays, the angel comes in response to his words.

Joel 3:10 “…let the weak say, I am strong.” This is an Old Testament preview of the concept of “calling those things that be not as though they were (Romans 4:17),” which we will examine shortly.

Malachi 3:13 God judges the backslidden nation because their words were “stout against Him.”

Malachi 3:16 God records the words of His people in a book of remembrance.

Matthew 8:3 Jesus cleanses a leper with a command of faith.

Matthew 8:5-13 A similar faith command brings healing to a Roman military officer’s servant. Notice the officer’s request for Jesus to “…speak the word only, and my servant shall be healed (v 8).”

Matthew 8:26 Jesus stills a storm by speaking to it.

Matthew 8:32 Jesus’ words bring deliverance to a demon possessed man.

Matthew 9:1-7 A similar command brings healing to a crippled man.

Matthew 12:34 “… out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaketh.” Whatever is on the inside will eventually come out, whether it be faith or unbelief.

Matthew 12:37 By our words we are justified and by our words we are condemned.

Mark 1:25 Jesus casts out another demon by speaking to it.

Mark 11:22-23 “And Jesus answering saith unto them, Have faith in God (Note: A more accurate translation would be ‘Have the faith of God’ or, as we previously mentioned, ‘Have the God kind of faith’). For verily I say unto you, That whosoever shall say unto this mountain, Be thou removed, and be thou cast into the sea; and shall not doubt in his heart, but shall believe that those things which he saith shall come to pass; he shall have whatsoever he saith.” Contrary to popular belief, this passage was not written by Kenneth Copeland. These stirring words from Jesus show that He was the original faith teacher! These verses are key in understanding Word of Faith theology. Just as God exercised His own power by speaking into nothing and creating the universe, we can use the “faith of God” within to speak to the “mountains” or other obstacles of life and cast them out of our way! Note that Jesus didn’t simply say to pray that the mountain be removed. Our spoken words are the means by which we release our faith, and are an often overlooked facet of having a victorious prayer life.

Luke 7:14 A dead man raised by Jesus’ words of faith.

Luke 11:2 Jesus begins the Lord’s prayer by saying “When you pray, say…” Prayer is to be verbalized, not silent.

Luke 13:10-17 Jesus’ words bring healing to a woman with an 18 year disability.

John 4:50 Jesus heals the nobleman’s son through a faith command.

John 5:20 Jesus makes the astounding promise that believers will be able to do, not only the works He did, but even greater ones! As we shall see, this was strongly tied to speaking the Word in His name.

John 6:63 Jesus’ Words are spirit and they are life.

Romans 4:17 A description of Abraham’s faith in God, who “calleth those things which be not as though they were.”

Romans 10:8 “The word is nigh thee, even in thy mouth, and in thy heart: that is, the word of faith, which we preach…” Echoing Jesus’ statements in Mark 11:22-23, we see that, in order to work, faith must be both in the heart, as well as in the mouth.

Romans 10:9 “… if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved.” Notice that even our salvation is received in this same manner: by believing in our hearts, and confessing with our mouths.

1 Corinthians 4:10-13 I include this passage to show what Biblical confession is not. Confessing the Word is not simply ignoring the realities of life. Here the Apostle Paul vividly describes some of the many difficulties he faced. Are we going to accuse him of making a “negative confession?” Of course not. Faith is not denial. Faith acknowledges that negative circumstances do exist, but through our faith in God’s power within us, we can overcome them.

1 Corinthians 10: 1-11 A sober reminder of the sufferings the Israelites endured in the wilderness. Although normally, this journey would have only taken a matter of days, it wound up taking forty hellish years (see Numbers 32:13). Among the reasons for this was misuse of the tongue, or “murmering” (v. 10).

2 Corinthians 4:13 It is written: “I believed; therefore I have spoken.” With that same spirit of faith we also believe and therefore speak.

1 Timothy 6:12 “Fight the good fight of faith, lay hold on eternal life, to which you were also called and have confessed the good confession in the presence of many witnesses.”

Hebrews 1:3 God upholds all things by the Word of His power. This is another clear indicator of the power of God’s spoken words.

Hebrews 3:1 Here Jesus is called the “High Priest of our profession”, i.e. our confession.

Hebrews 10:23 “Let us hold fast the profession (or confession) of our faith without wavering; (for he is faithful that promised)” or, as another translation words it: “Let us hold unswervingly to the hope we profess, for he who promised is faithful.”

James 3:2 A man who can bridle his tongue is a perfect man, able to bridle his whole body.

James 3:4-5 Just as a helm steers a ship, so do our tongues steer our lives.

Revelation 12:11 Believers overcome “by the blood of the Lamb, and by the word of their testimony…”
Appendix D: Divine Healing: A Biblical Overview

Genesis 1: 28 God creates man, His highest creation, and tells him to take rule over the earth. For a home, God gives man an idyllic garden called Eden (Genesis 2:10). The name “Eden” means “delight, pleasure, a place where all five senses are satisfied”. In the original state which God intended for man, there is no poverty, sickness, death, or defeat of any kind. Of course, sin did enter the world, along with the curses that accompanied it (see Romans 5:17). In spite of this, however, God has always had a plan to bring blessing, healing and prosperity to His people.
Genesis 6:14- God calls Noah to build the Ark from gopher wood. Interestingly, the sap of the gopher tree was used as a medicine, giving us some beautiful typology of God’s healing power.

Genesis 18:10; 21:1-8-Although Sarah is well past child bearing age, God still miraculously gives her a son.

Exodus 12:1-51- God institutes the Jewish Passover to preserve the lives of His people, even as He judges the pagan society around them.

Exodus 15:26-God is the Lord Who heals us.

Exodus 20:12- One of the Ten Commandments is that we honor our father and mother, “that our days may be long upon the earth.”

Exodus 23:25-God’s promise that if we will worship Him, He will bless our food and water, and take sickness from our midst.

Numbers 22:4-9- The Israelites are healed from poisonous snakebites as they look on a bronze snake, which we later find out was a type of Jesus’ death on the cross (John 3:14).

Deuteronomy 5:33. “Ye shall walk in all the ways which the Lord your God hath commanded you, that ye may live, and that it may be well with you, and that ye may prolong your days in the land which ye shall possess.”

Deuteronomy 7:15-God’s promise to keep His people free from disease.

Deuteronomy 30: 19, 20: The choice of life or death, blessing or cursing is ours.

2 Kings 5:1-14- Naman healed of leprosy.

2 Kings 20:1-11-After being told he is about to die, King Hezekiah turns his back to the wall” and seeks God for his healing. As a result, God adds 15 years to his life.

2 Chronicles 16:9- God’s eyes constantly look for opportunities to show Himself mighty on behalf of His people.

2 Chronicles 30:20-God heals the people in response to Hezekiah’s prayer.

Psalm 30:2 The Psalmist cries out to God and is healed.

Psalm 34:19 “Many are the afflictions of the righteous, but the LORD delivers him out of them all.”

Psalm 42:11 The Psalmisty puts his hope in God, because He is “the health of my countenance, and my God.”

Psalms 67: 1- A prayer for God’s saving health to be known among all nations.

Psalm 91:16-God promises to satisfy with long life those who will dwell in His “secret place.”

Psalm 103:3-He forgives all of our sins and heals all of our diseases.

Psalms 105:37 God brings the Israelites forth also with silver and gold: and there was not one feeble person among them.

Psalm 107:19-20 God sends His word, and heals us, and delivers us from our destructions.

Psalm 118:17-The psalmist proclaims that he will not die but live, and will proclaim the works of the Lord.

Psalms 147: 3-God heals the broken in heart, and binds up their wounds.

Proverbs 3:1-2-Following God’s Law gives us long life and peace.

Proverbs 3:7-8 “Do not be wise in your own eyes; fear the LORD and depart from evil. It will be health to your flesh, and strength to your bones.”

Proverbs 4:20-23-God’s Word is health (medicine) to a man’s whole body.

Proverbs 9:11- By God’s wisdom the days of our lives are lengthened and multiplied.

Proverbs 17:22-A merry heart doeth good like a medicine. It is a proven medical fact that laughter releases healing enzymes in the human body.

Proverbs 18:9, Amplified Bible-“…he who does not use his endeavors to heal himself is brother to him who commits suicide.” As important as divine healing is, God still expects us to take common sense care of ourselves.

Isaiah 9:6- One of Jesus’ titles is the Prince of Peace. The Hebrew word for peace is “Shalom.” This word does mean peace, but in addition, it also means favor, health, wholeness, and yes, prosperity (Strong’s #7965). Jesus is the Prince of Peace, health, prosperity and wholeness. Isn’t that wonderful?

Isaiah 53:4-5- A key verse in the doctrine of devine healing: “Surely He hath borne our griefs (Lit. sicknesses) and carried our sorrows (Lit. pains) yet we did esteem Him stricken, smitten of God and afflicted. But He was wounded for our transgressions, He was bruised for our iniquities; the chastisement of our peace was upon Him; and by His stripes we are healed.” NOTE – The last part of this verse,”by His stripes we are healed,” is not talking about spiritual healing, as some have taught, but definite physical healing. God does not “heal” a human spirit, he recreates it. He does however, heal our bodies and minds. This clearly shows that your healing was paid for at the cross! For a detailed study of this topic, see the book “Bodily Healing and the Atonement” by Dr. T.J. McCrossan, re edited by Roy H. Hicks, D.D. and Kenneth E. Hagin, D.D.

Isaiah 58:8 “Thy light shall break forth as the morning, and thy health shall spring forth speedily; and thy righteousness shall go before thee: the glory of the Lord shall be thy rear guard.”

Jeremiah 17:14 “Heal me, O LORD, and I shall be healed; save me, and I shall be saved: for thou art my praise.”

Jeremiah 30:17 But I will restore you to health and heal your wounds,’ declares the LORD, `because you are called an outcast, Zion for whom no one cares.’

Jeremiah 33:6 “Behold, I will bring you health and cure, and I will cure you, and will reveal unto you the abundance of peace and truth.”

Joel 3:10- Let the weak say, `I am strong!`

Malachi 3:6- “For I am the Lord, I change not…” If God ever did heal, He still does!

Malachi 4:2-The Sun of Righteousness (Jesus) will rise with healing in His wings.

Matthew 4:23-24-Jesus travels about healing “all manner of sickness and disease.”

Matthew 6:9-10-Jesus teaches us to pray for God’s will to be done “on earth, as it is in heaven.” How much sickness and poverty is there in Heaven? None! So it is not God’s will for it to afflict His people on earth, either.

Matthew 8:2-3 A man with leprosy came and knelt before him and said, “Lord, if you are willing, you can make me clean.” Jesus reached out his hand and touched the man. “I am willing,” he said. “Be clean!” Immediately he was cured of his leprosy.

Matthew 8:5-10-Jesus heals the servant of a prominent Roman military officer.

Matthew 8:16-17-Jesus heals and delivers a large crowd of people, further illustrating that He is the fulfillment of Isaiah 53:5: “He took up our infirmities and carried our diseases.”

Matthew 9:20-22- A woman is healed of an otherwise incurable blood disease after touching Jesus’ robe. This event is significant as we see how her faith was exercised: She said that if she could touch the hem of His garment, she would be made whole (note the role of the spoken word). Also note that Jesus asked who had touched Him, indicating that the healing took place without Jesus even actively dispensing it! His power was there, and it was simply a matter of “tapping into it.”

Matthew 9:27-36- Jesus heals two blind men.

Matthew 10:1- Jesus gives His disciples power to cast out demons and heal disease. Does He give His modern followers any less power and responsibility?

Mark 11:24 “Therefore I say to you whatever things you ask when you pray, believe that you receive them, and you will have them.” Surely this includes healing!

Matthew 12:15- Great multitudes come to Jesus, and He heals them all!

Matthew 14:13-14-Jesus is moved with compassion toward the multitude, and heals their sick as a result.

Matthew 14:34-36-Men travel throughout the region to bring the sick to Jesus, and as many as touch Him are made completely whole.

Matthew 15:29-31-Jesus heals a large crowd of people who are mute, blind and crippled.

Mark 1:40-42- A leper kneels down before Jesus (note the act of humility) and Jesus heals him.

Mark 2:1-12-A crippled man is brought to Jesus. Because of the huge crowd, the man has to be lowered down through the roof. Jesus is deeply moved by the man’s faith and heals him on the spot. Faith that is willing to do whatever it takes to get in Jesus’ presence is the faith that gets results!

Mark 5:1-43-Jesus brings freedom to a demon possessed madman.

Mark 6:4-6- Jesus is rejected in His home town, and is unable to do mighty works due to their unbelief. Note that it doesn’t say He would not, but that He could not. God is limited by our unbelief (see Psalm 78:41).

Mark 6:53-56-Wherever Jesus goes, people bring the sick to Jesus, who heals every one of them. Note that they bring the sick to Jesus. He doesn’t simply come uninvited, even to do miracles.

Mark 7:24-30- Jesus delivers a Syrophoenician woman’s daughter from a demon. In this encounter, Jesus refers to healing as “the children’s bread.”

Mark 9:17-29-Jesus delivers a demon possessed boy.

Mark 16:17-18- As part of the Great Commission, Jesus says that among the signs to follow believers is that we will lay hands on the sick, and they shall recover.

Luke 4:16-21-Jesus announces His mission of healing the brokenhearted, delivering the captives and restoring sight to the blind.

Luke 4:33-36, 40, 41-Jesus heals and delivers many who are sick and oppressed. As the demons leave, even they must acknowledge that Jesus is the Son of God.

Luke 4:38-39- Jesus heals Peter’s mother-in-law of a fever. Note that he “rebuked” the fever, commanding it to leave. Also note that her response to “minister” to Jesus and His disciples. Our response to Jesus work in our lives should be this sort of grateful service.

Luke 6:6-10-Jesus heals a man with a withered hand on the Sabbath, which sets up a dramatic confrontation with the religious leadership.

Luke 6:17-19- Multitudes of sick and oppressed people come to Jesus, and He heals every one of them.

Luke 13:11-17-Jesus heals a woman with a “spirit of infirmity” which had caused her to walk crookedly. Jesus goes on to describe her as the woman whom “satan had bound.” This clearly shows that sickness is the work of the devil, not God.

Luke 10:19-Jesus promises us power (authority) to “tread on serpents and scorpions, and over all the power of the enemy: and nothing shall by any means hurt you.”

John 4:46-54-A nobleman comes to Jesus on behalf of his gravely ill son. Jesus speaks the word, and the son “begins to amend.” In the case the healing was gradual, not instantaneous. Nonetheless, it was just as real. Keep this in mind when you don’t see instant results. God is at work even when we don’t see it. That’s where faith comes in (see Hebrews 11).

John 5:2-14-Jesus encounters a crippled man at the Pool of Bethesda. Although Jesus does heal him, first He asks if the man is willing to be made whole. This is important: We can become lazy or complacent in our weakness and subconsciously not want God’s help. When we are willing, so is He!

John 9:1-7-Jesus and the disciples encounter a blind man, and the disciples mistakenly assume that his blindness was due to sin, either by him or by his parents. After correcting this notion, Jesus heals the man, “that the works of God might be made manifest in him.”

John 10:10-The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; Jesus has come that we may have life, and have it to the full!

John 14:12-15-Jesus makes the astounding promise that those who believe on Him will do the same works He does, and even greater ones!

John 15:7 Jesus promises that if we abide in Him, and He abides in us, we can ask “what we will” and it shall be done for us.”

John 16:23-24-If we ask anything in Jesus’ name, (including healing) it will be given to us. (For an excellent study of this, see the book “The Wonderful Name of Jesus” by E.W. Kenyon).

Acts 2:22-Jesus’ ministry confirmed by miraculous signs and wonders. Compare this with John 14:12-15, in which He promises the same power to those who believe in Him.

Acts 3:1-4:22-Peter and John minister healing to a crippled beggar.

Acts 4:23-31-The early church prays that signs and wonder accompany the preaching of the Word.

Acts 5: 12-16-Signs and wonders done at the hands of the apostles.

Acts 6:8-15: Wonders and miracles done by a deacon named Stephen. This disproves the common argument that miracles and healings were only done by the apostles.

Acts 8:4-13-Miracles in the ministry of Phillip.

Acts 9:33, 34-Peter ministers healing to a man with palsy.

Acts 10:38-A powerful summary of Jesus’ ministry: “How He went about doing good, and healing all who were oppressed of the devil (note: they were not oppressed of God).

Acts 14:8-10-As Paul is preaching, he perceives that a crippled man in the audience has faith to be healed. He tells the man to stand to his feet, and the man leaps and walks for the first time in his life!

Acts 19:11, 12-Handkerchiefs and aprons from Paul’s body are brought to the sick, and they are healed. This is the Scriptural basis for “prayer cloths.”

Acts 28:1-10- Paul miraculously healed from a poisonous snakebite

Romans 4:17, 19-20-Because Abraham did not stagger in his faith, he received what God had promised him.

Romans 8:32- If God didn’t spare His own son to redeem us, will He not also give us everything else we need in life?

2 Corinthians 1:20-God’s promises are “Yes, and Amen”

Ephesians 6:1-3-A restatement of the commandment to “Honor our father and mother” that our day’s may be long upon the earth.

Colossians 4:14-Paul refers to “Luke, the beloved physician.” The fact that God used a doctor to write two books of the New Testament (The Gospel of Luke, Acts) shows us that He approves of those who practice medical science.

Hebrews 2:4-God bears witness through signs, wonders and miracles.

Hebrews 13:8- Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever. If He ever healed, He still does!

1 Peter 2:24- A New Testament restatement of Isaiah 53:5: “He himself bore our sins in his body on the tree, so that we might die to sins and live for righteousness; by his wounds you have been healed.”

James 1:17-Every good and every perfect gift, including healing, is from God.

James 4:7-We are to submit ourselves to God, resist the devil and he will flee (lit. “Run in terror”) from us.

James 5:14-15-The sick of the church are instructed to call for the elders of the church to anoint and pray over them, with the promise that they will be healed.

1 John 3:8- Jesus was made manifest that He might destroy the works of the devil (including sickness).

1 John 5:14-15 God promises that if we ask anything according to His will, He hears us, and if He hears us, we will receive what we are asking Him for. As this study abundantly proves, healing is certainly His will.

Revelation 21:1-22:5- God’s redeemed people enjoy His blessings for all eternity, never to be sick or afflicted again.

Appendix E: Prosperity-A Biblical Overview

Genesis 1: 28 God creates man, His highest creation, and tells him to
take rule over the earth. For a home, God gives man an idyllic garden
called Eden (Genesis 2:10). The name “Eden” means “delight, pleasure, a
place where all five senses are satisfied”. In the original state which
God intended for man, there is no poverty, sickness, death, or defeat of
any kind. Of course, sin did enter the world, along with the curses that
accompanied it (see Romans 5:17). In spite of this, however, God has
always had a plan to bless and prosper His people.

Genesis 13:12;26:14;33:5-Abraham,Isaac,and Jacob,the patriarchs of the
faith,were fabulously wealthy men,made rich by the blessing of God.

Genesis 31:1- The first time the word “glory” is used in the Bible, it is
in referance to Laban’s wealth.

Genesis 39:2- Even though Joseph’s brothers had sold him into slavery,
God still prospers him.

Genesis 41:57-Joseph’s prosperity continues, even in the midst of a
horrible famine.

Exodus 11: 1-3; 12:35, 36- God delivers the children of Israel from 400
years of Egyptian slavery, with all of mighty Egypt’s wealth in tow.

Deuteronomy 8:18-God gives us the power to get wealth, that His covenant
may be established in the earth.

Deuteronomy 28:1-14- Blessings for obedience to God include many material

Deuteronomy 29:9- God calls Israel to obey His covenant, so that they may
prosper in all that they do.

Joshua 1:7-7-God tells Joshua that if he will meditate (Hebrew:”speak,
mutter” see Strong’s # 1897) on His Word day and night and observe to do
the Word,his way will be prosperous and successful.

Ruth 2:1,12-Boaz, a mighty man of wealth, speaks a prosperity blessing
over his young wife, Ruth, who had embraced the true God, in spite of her
pagan heritage.

1 Kings 2:3-4-David tells his son Solomon to walk in the ways of God,and
if he does, he will succeed in all he does.

1 Kings 3:13-When Solomon asks God for wisdom rather than riches,God
gives him both.Matthew 6:33 in action!

1 Chronicles 4:10- The popular Prayer of Jabez, which includes a prayer
that God would bless Jabez, and enlarge his territory. We then read that
God granted his request.

1 Chronicles 22:13- Another promise of prosperity for obedience to God’s

2 Chronicles 20:20-Trust God’s prophets,and you will prosper.

2 Chronicles 26:5-As long as King Uzziah seeks God, he prospers.

2 Chronicles 31:21;32:30-King Hezekiah was one of Judah’s godliest kings.
As he seeks and obeys God, he prospers in all he does.

Nehemiah 1:11; 2:20-Nehemiah prays for God to prosper him, and has faith
that God will do so.

Esther 4:13-14-Queen Esther, one of the wealthiest women in the
Medo-Persian Empire, is told by Mordecai that she has been given her
position in order to deliver the Jews from oppression. A good Old
Testament example of 2 Corinthians 9:8.

Job – Job was a man whom God had blessed with great wealth (1:3).
However, Satan viciously attacked him, and Job lost practically
everything he had. All too often, people stop here, and don’t read on to
the end of the story, when God responds to Job’s prayer, and restores to
him twice what he had before (42:10)! A powerful illustration of John
10:10: Satan is the theif, God is the deliverer!

Psalm 1:1-3-Those who shun ungodly influences and meditate on God’s Word
day and night will prosper in all that they do.

Psalm 35:27-God takes pleasure in the prosperity of His servant.

Psalm 112:1-3-Wealth and riches are in the house of those that fear God
and delight in His commandments.

Psalm 122:6- Those who bless Israel will prosper (see also Genesis

Proverbs 10:4-The hand of the diligent makes rich.

Proverbs 10:22-The blessing of the Lord makes rich, and He adds no sorrow
with it. The world can sometimes make you rich, but it will add a whole
heap of sorrow with it!

Proverbs 11:10-11-When the righteous prosper,the city rejoices….Through
the blessing of the upright, a city is exalted.

Proverbs 13:22a-A good man leaves an inheritance to his childrens’
children. In order to do this, he must have sufficient resources.

Proverbs 13:22b-The wealth of the sinner is laid up for the just.

Proverbs 15:6-In the house of the righteous is much treasure.

Proverbs 22:4-By humility and the fear of the Lord are riches, and honor
and life.

Proverbs 28:13-Covering sin will block prosperity.

Ecclesiastes 3:13;5:19-To enjoy the fruit of our labor is a gift from

Isaiah 9:6- One of Jesus’ titles is the Prince of Peace. The Hebrew word
for peace is “Shalom.” This word does mean peace, but in addition, it
also means favor, health, wholeness, and yes, prosperity (Strong’s
#7965). Jesus is the Prince of Prosperity, just like He is the Prince of
Peace, health, and wholeness. Isn’t that wonderful? Jeremiah 29:7- Even
as the Jews are taken as captives into Babylon, God instructs them to
pray for the peace and prosperity, the “shalom” of that city.

Jeremiah 29:11- God’s plans for His people are to prosper us, not to harm

Daniel 6:28-God prospers Daniel as he serves the Kings of Babylon and
Persia. Joel 2:26-God’s people will eat in plenty, and be satisfied, and
praise the Name of the Lord.

Haggai- The exiled Jews had been lax in their duties to rebuild the
Temple. Because they had neglected the house of God, they had missed out
on His blessing. Their crops were failing, they did not have enough food,
and they were “putting their money in bags with holes.” (1: 5-6) God then
tells them to gather the materials, and go build His house (v.8.) When
they obey, God promises that from that day forward, He will bless them

Malachi 3:10-Unmeasurable blessings for those who are faithful in tithes
and offerings.

Matthew 2:1-12: Even from Jesus’ childhood, we see the Father’s
miraculous provision in operation. A caravan of Magi, wise men from the
east, make a long journey to bring priceless gifts to the child Jesus.
Researchers have estimated these gifts to be worth around $200,000,000 in
modern currency.

Matthew 6:33-Jesus promises that if we will seek first the Kingdom of
God,everything we need will be added to us.

Mark 10:29-30-To those who will forsake all to follow Jesus,He promises a
bountiful return IN THIS LIFE,not just in Heaven.

Luke 6:38-As we give to God, He multiplies it back to us again.

Luke 8: 2-3- Jesus had a doner base of people who “ministered to Him of
their substance.”

Luke 24:36-Jesus’ first words to His disciples following His ressurection
were,in the original Greek,”Peace and prosperity be unto you.”(See
Strong’s #1515)

John 1:35-39- Jesus had a home, large enough to have overnight guests.

(NOTE: This does not contradict Jesus’ statement in Luke 9:58, in which
He says he “Has no place to lay His head.” The context of the Luke
passage is seen in verses 52-53: He had entered a Samaritan village, and
they would not recieve Him. In this instance, He had no where to stay,
i.e. “Lay His head.” This does not imply that Jesus had no home at all.)

John 2: 1-12- Jesus’ first miracle is one of pure luxury: He turns water
into the finest wine served at the marriage feast (Note: for more on
this, see our previous article “Alcohol and the Bible” .)

John 10:10-Jesus came to give us abundant life.

John 19: 23-24- Jesus wore a seamless robe, which was a very costly

Acts 24:25-26- Felix attempts to solicit a bribe from Paul,indicating
that Paul must have been a man of considerable wealth.Why try to get
money from someone who has none?

1 Corinthians 16:1-2-Paul commands the church to give as God has
prospered them,indicating that God prospering His people was a normative
part of church life.

2 Corinthians 8:9-Jesus became poor (by comparison to the treasures of
Heaven) that we might be made rich. This could not be simply referring to
spiritual riches, as the entire context of this passage deals with money.

2 Corinthians 9:6-11-Sow bountifully to God,and you will bountifully reap
His benefits,so that we can have more to give.Notice particularly verse
8;God is able to make all grace abound to us,so that we have all
sufficiency to abound to every good work.The Amplified Bible translates
it “And God is able to make all grace (every favor and earthly blessing)
come to you in abundance,so that you may always and under all
circumstances and whatever the need be self-sufficient [posessing enough
to require no aid or support and furnished in abundance for every good
work and charitable donation.]

Galatians 3:13-Christians are redeemed from the curse of the law,which
includes poverty,as well as sickness and spiritual death. (see
Deuteronomy 28:15-45.)

1 Timothy 4:8-Godliness is profitable in all things.

1 Timothy 5:17-18-Ministers are to be well paid,or given “double
honor.”The word “honor”in this verse is the root of the word
“honorarium,”and is connected,both by context and by definition,with
financial support of the ministry (see Strong’s # 5092.) For more on
financial support for the ministry, see Matthew 10: 10; Luke 10: 7;
Galatians 6:6; Hebrews 7: 1-11)

1 Timothy 6:17-God gives us richly all things to enjoy.

Philemon 18-Onesimus was a runaway servant of a man named Philemon. Paul
meets Onesimus, leads him to Christ, then writes a letter of commendation
to Philemon. In this verse, Paul offers to repay Philemon all of
Onesimus’ debts and back wages. This was no doubt a great deal of money.
In order to make an offer like this, Paul must have been a man of
substantial means.

3 John 2-The apostle John’s number one desire was for us to be healthy
and prosperous as our soul prospers.

Revelation 21:1-22:5- God’s redeemed people enjoy His blessings for all

Prosperity 2: Checks and Balances

The message of Biblical prosperity is a precious blessing which more and more Christians are learning to walk in. This doctrine is discussed at length in our previous study, Prosperity: A Biblical Overview.However, there is another side to the issue, one which we must not neglect if we are going to rightly divide the Word of Truth. While the Bible does teach that God desires to bless and prosper His people ,He also expects us to be good stewards of what He entrusts us with. The prosperity message does not give us licence to be greedy or materialistic. The Bible contains strong warnings against allowing wealth to have an inordinate place in our lives. Prosperity is Biblical, avarice is not. With this in mind, we strongly encourage you to carefully study the following:
Genesis 12:2: God’s covenant with Abraham shows us that the primary purpose of being blessed is so that we can be a blessing to others.
Deuteronomy 6:10-12; 8:10-20: In your prosperity, make sure you don’t forget the God.who gave you the power to get it.
Psalm 37:16-A little that a righteous man has is better than the riches of many wicked.
Psalm 49:16-17: Don’t be afraid of the wealthy, because when they die, they will take nothing with them.
Psalms 73:3: King David repents for envying the prosperity of the wicked.
Proverbs 10:2: Wicked treasures profit nothing.
Proverbs 22:2- The rich and the poor meet together, and God is the Lord of both of them.
Proverbs 11:4- Riches do not profit in the day of wrath.
Proverbs 11:28: He that trusts in his riches will fall.
Proverbs 15:16: Better is little with the fear of the Lord than great treasure and trouble therewith.
Proverbs 15:27: A greedy person troubles his house, but a person who hates bribes will live.
Proverbs 16:8: Better is a little with righteousness than great revenues without right.
Proverbs 19:1: A poor person with integrity is better than a rich fool.
Proverbs 22:3-4- The primary purpose of our labour should not be to get rich.
Isaiah 3:16-26-God will judge the haughtiness of the wealthy women of Judah.
Jeremiah 22:13-19-Jeremiah prophesies a violent judgement against the evil King Jehoiakim for acquiring wealth and power by unjust means.
Amos 6:4-7- Judgement will come to those who live in wealth and pleasure while neglecting those in need.
Ecclesiastes 5:10-Love of wealth is vanity. It is never satisfied.
Zephaniah 1:18- Silver and gold cannot save anyone from God’s judgement.
Matthew 6: 19-20: Lay up treasures in Heaven, rather than on the earth.
Matthew 6:24, Luke 16:13: You cannot serve both God and money.
Matthew 6:33- God’s provision is dependant on seeking His Kingdom first.
Matthew 13:22, Mark 4:19- Cares of this world, deceitfulness of riches, and lust for other things are among the tools Satan uses to steal the Word of God from peoples’ hearts.
Matthew 16:26: For what is a man profited, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul?
Matthew 26:14-15: Judas’ love of money entices him to betray Jesus.
Luke 6:24: Woe to the ungodly rich, for they have received their consolation.
Luke 12:15: A man’s life does not consist of the things that he has.
Luke 12:16-21: The Parable of the Rich Fool shows the danger of being rich in worldly goods without being rich toward God.
Luke 12:32-34: For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also.
Luke 14:33: Following Jesus involves a willingness to forsake all you have.
Luke 16:10-11: If you are not faithful with your money, God cannot trust your faithfulness in other area.
Luke 16:19-31- The rich man and Lazarus teach us a solemn lesson about being rich while neglecting God and the poor.
Luke 18:18-23: The rich young ruler could not give his life to Jesus because of his idolatrous attachment to his money.
Luke 19:1-10-The conversion of Zacchaeus shows us that getting right with God means getting right in our financial dealings.
Acts 2:44; 4:34-35: The early church shows an admirable attitude toward material possessions, being quick to share them with those in need.
Acts 8:18-20: Peter sharply rebukes Simon for attempting to buy God’s gift (the Holy Spirit) with money.
1 Corinthians 4:10-13: Prosperity does not mean there will not be times when we are called to live sacrificially for the Gospel’s sake.
1 Corinthians 5:11- Do not fellowship with a (professed) brother who is greedy.
Ephesians 5:5- Greed is idolatry and will prevent entry into the Kingdom of God (also see Colossians 3:5).
Colossians 3:2: Our ultimate affections should be set on Heavenly things, not earthly things.
1 Timothy 6:5: Withdraw yourself from anyone who supposes that gain is godliness.
1 Timothy 6:7-8: 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 clothing let us be content. (Note: These verses are not telling us to be content with lack. Rather, they are telling us to trust God and to be content with His process of taking us to our place of blessing).
1 Timothy 6:10: The love of money is the root of all evil. (Note: this does not say that money itself is the root of all evil, but the love of it. You can commit this sin without having a penny to your name).
1 Timothy 6:17-19- Rich Christians are not to be highminded, but they are to always be ready to give to those in need.
1 Timothy 3:2, 8, Titus 1:7-Among the qualifications for church leaders is that they not be greedy.
1 Timothy 6:9: Being rich can make a person more susceptible to temptations, snares and hurtful lusts which can ultimately lead to their destruction.
Hebrews 13:5: Keep your life free from the love of money; and be content with such things as you have.
James 1:10- The ungodly rich will pass away like the flowers and the grass.
James 2:1-4- It is a sin to favor the rich above the poor.
James 4:1-2- War springs from lust and greed.
James 4:3: God will not answer prayers that are motivated by lust or greed.
James 5:1-3: The ungodly rich will suffer misery and ruin.
1 John 3:17: If a wealthy Christian sees his brother in need, and refuses to help him, how can he say that the love of God dwells in him? (See also James 2:15-16).
3 John 2: Prosperity of soul is a condition of prosperity in other areas of life.
Revelation 3:17-18: Although the Laodicean church was very wealthy, Jesus still saw them as being “…wretched, miserable, poor, blind and naked.”
Revelation 18:11-19- Mighty Babylon will fall, and its wealth brought to ruin.
These are certainly sobering words, especially in light of the many prosperity Scriptures we examined in the previous study. Is this a contradiction? Not at all.
When we expound on any Biblical concept, balance is crucial. While prosperity is clearly God’s will for His people, money is not the ultimate goal. To whom much is given, much is required (Luke 12:48). In the hands of a responsible believer, material prosperity is a tremendous blessing, but to a person who cannot handle prosperity, it can have disastrous consequences.
Take God’s Word as a whole. Stand on His promises, walk in His blessing, but at the same time, guard your heart closely. As it has been said, God is not against us having money, but He is against money having us!

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