In last week's blog I introduced you to the idea that contrary to what you hear preached, the Laws of God touch on all areas of life and have never been revoked. I want to illustrate that to you with a contrast between "easy grace" prosperity preaching and Kingdom Law prosperity teaching. There is an "easy grace" way to hundred-fold return and then there is a Kingdom Law of economics. You judge which is scriptural.

In 1970 Oral Roberts launched the easy prosperity gospel with his book "The Miracle of Seed-Faith" soon followed by numerous other preachers with their similar take on the issue of prosperity such as Kenneth Copeland's "The Laws of Prosperity". Typical of all these books is Copeland's declaration "Do you want a hundredfold return on your money? Give and let God multiply it back to you. No bank in the world offers this kind of return!" (pp.66,67).

No bank true, but a casino and the lottery offer you bigger returns except that your gain is someone else's loss or what is commonly called a "zero-sum game", losers hand over their money to winners. What is really happening is that the televangelist gets the debt free mansions and private jet in return for selling you hopes and dreams and you get to "believe" for a miracle. Casinos offer the same deal...they are also in the business of selling dreams of big money for little outlay. And so are the all the various financial scams in the form of Ponzi schemes, multilevel marketing hype, can't lose investments...someone out there will do the work and you will get the reward.

South Africa is an absolute breeding ground for such scams. The financial press reported last week that in the last 10 years R50 billion rand of people's savings were lost on 48 financial scams. The incredible amount of Bible believing Christians caught up in these boondoggles, I believe, is directly as a result of the popularity of "easy grace" prosperity preaching!

I am not going to get into an extensive scriptural refutation of "seed-faith" prosperity preaching, instead let me give you the basic principles of Kingdom Law of Prosperity:

1) The earth is the Lord's and everything that God made in it is good and there is enough abundance in God's creation for everyone to prosper which in fact is God's will.
2) We are given God's creation on a rental basis to care for but it needs to be subdued to bring forth its abundance (Gen. 1:28) in order for us to fulfil God's ultimate command to be fruitful and multiply. God is a Father and He wants kids, lots of children and they need homes, food, clothing, education, care, enjoyment.
3) Subduing the earth requires work but intelligent, productive work. If we do not work we will not eat the good of the land.
4) Intelligent work means to do what Proverbs tells us; seek earnestly knowledge and understanding so you can get wisdom. With wisdom comes Prov. 8:12 "I wisdom dwell with prudence (meaning you make smart decisions) and find out knowledge of witty inventions" (yes that is in your Bible, it means you discover new ways to be more productive in your work).
5) Productive work means you get more done and multiply your output when you work in cooperation with others and also harness energy and capital tools to your efforts (which are your "witty inventions" that God will reveal to you!).
6) You take the product of your labours whether they are goods or services and you trade them in the market place for other people's goods and services.

Now comes into effect Luke 6:38 (that is always twisted by prosperity preachers) and God's Law of Equity and Prosperity. Read this carefully and understand and get out of "something for nothing" deception....

"Thou shalt have a perfect and just weight a perfect and just measure thou shalt have that thy days may be lengthened in the land which the Lord thy God has given thee. For all that do such things, all that do iniquity are an abomination unto the Lord thy God" (Deut. 25:15-16)

Perfect weights and just measures were the means of financial exchange in Israel. They did not have notes and coins with denominations on them to tell you value. They had weights of gold and silver and copper. God hates unfair exchange. It is called "iniquity" which means "in-equity" or unfairness. It is an abomination to God.

When a preacher gives you the idea that you can give R10 and you will get R1000 back he is sanctifying iniquity or in-equity or unjust trade. For you to get R1000 for which you have not produced goods and services and go into the market place and buy goods or services that others have produced you are stealing their labour. If someone gave you that R1000 because you were in need and had no money that is fine. But that is not God's continuous plan for your life or a means to prosperity. It is emergency measure for a desperate need.

Now with God's Law of Equity in mind lets look at that favourite verse of prosperity preachers, Luke 6:38 and you will now be able to see how Jesus confirms the law of Deut.25:15-16:

"Give and it shall be given unto you; good measure pressed down, and shaken together and running over shall men give into your bosom. For with the same measure that you mete withal it shall be measured to you again."

So the first thing to note here is that Jesus confirms the Law of Equity. The same measure that you measure will be returned to you by men. Nothing here about R10 gets you R1000 by some miracle. "The same measure" Jesus says gets you the same measure, R10 gets you R10. If you want a R1000 then you must produce a R1000 of value for trade!

The second thing to note here is that Jesus is talking about men giving to you not God giving to you. If you want men to give you to in abundance then by God's Law of Equity you must give to them in abundance what they need and want. And that brings a very important truth about God's economy.  In ages past wealth was gotten by stealing and raiding the next village or tribe or nation. Germany had to invade Russia in the Second World War to obtain oil and "lebensraum" for food production. Today Germany trades Mercs and BMW's for all the oil and food they need.

God's laws of prosperity work for all who will obey them. If you want abundance from men in the marketplace then you must produce abundance to trade but the critical thing is you must find out what they need and want. That means serving other people's needs leads to successful trade and prosperity. It means wars are becoming increasingly costly and don't want to kill possible customers! Which is just another reason why the meek will inherit the earth just as Jesus said they would!

The deception that prosperity preachers pull on gullible Christians is to confuse them on this crucial issue: How do I get from God what I need and how do I get from people what I need?  The simple answer is this...

1) Everything that you get from God, every blessing and every favour has been bought and already paid for by the death of Jesus Christ on the cross. If any preacher tells you that you need to first give to God anything including money before you get anything from the Lord then he is in the same heretical business as the Catholics selling "indulgences". You cannot create a "bank account" in heaven to draw on from your good draw on the grace of God through faith in the finished work of Christ. Just ask your heavenly Father Jesus said...not give to your heavenly Father!

2) Anything you get from men must be by the Law of Equity. You must produce value for the market meeting the needs of consumers and then trade your value for their value and in this way you create prosperity through productive work and fair trade. That is God's law as confirmed by Jesus in Luke 6:38.

What the prosperity preachers tell you is give money to God (i.e. their ministry) and miraculously men will give you money. They are selling the grace of God. This is an abomination in God's sight!

I am very concerned about the desperate financial plight of so many of God's people. I am in fact busy now with a another book "God's Kingdom Economy" to deal with this issue. But I can tell you now it is not going to come through "miracle seed-faith". The issues I am going to present are God's principles of skilled, productive work, capital accumulation, cooperatives, community, new banking principles, skills development, avoiding fools and foolishness, time and asset management, etc etc. It time for Christians to get serious about Gen 1:28 and take dominion over the earth and establish righteousness in the earth so that gospel can be good news to the poor....including the poor Christians!

But let me close with this: If you want to put the Lord under an obligation for blessing there is only one way to do it: Prov. 19:17 "He that has pity on the poor lends unto the Lord and that which he has given he will pay him again".  God takes on the obligations of the poor in the Law of Equity. Jesus said if you have done it unto the least of these you have done it unto Him. Whatever you give to the poor and needy God will restore to you and knowing Him, probably much more!



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