Prosperity for the Believer
by Dennis Kelly
I have come to believe that poverty and lack is not God's intended condition for his people. I believe that Jesus preached prosperity for people and that the Bible teaches prosperity for those who believe. The best work on this subject is Kenneth Copeland's book: Managing God's and your Mutual Funds.
In the Bible, in Luke chapter 3 and 4, Jesus is baptized in the river Jordan by John the Baptist. When Jesus came out of the water the Holy Ghost came upon him in the form of a dove. Then Jesus goes into the desert and is tempted by the Devil. After several temptations the Devil gives up.
Jesus comes back to town and begins to preach. He goes to a synagogue and asks for the book of Isaiah and quotes from that book. The first thing he does is preach good news to the poor. There are several other things that he says but the first one is good news to the poor.
What is good news to the poor? One preacher says: "Good news to the poor" means:
"You don't have to be poor any more."
I think "Good news to the poor" means:
Things have changed. You are not poor any more.
If you are a Christian, then you are a member of the household of God. Not just a servant but rather a child of the King. You were not adopted and taken in just the way you were. You were changed, born again, into the household of God. You became a new creature. The first time anyone saw anything like you was in the upper room in Jerusalem, when the Holy Spirit came to the 120 people on the Day of Pentecost. When the Holy Spirit came on you, you became a new creature in Christ Jesus.
Now, you are of the household of God. All you have to do is ask Daddy for some money. If you are doing what is right, He will send it to you. John 16:23... "I (Jesus) assure you that My Father will grant you whatever you ask in My name."
One of the ways that you know that Jesus is here is that the Good News is preached to the poor. Matthew 11. John the Baptist said some things that the King of Judea did not like, John got thrown into prison. John was Jesus cousin. He baptized Jesus. He probably thought that Jesus was going to take over and rule
Jerusalem. But things were not going well. John was in prison and he was about to be beheaded.
So John sent out some of his friends to find Jesus:
"Are you the Anointed One of God that we were expecting, or not?"
Jesus replied: "Go back and report to John what you see and hear. The blind receive sight, the lame walk, those who have leprosy are cured, the deaf hear, the dead are raised up and the good news is preached to the poor..."
These are Jesus' credentials. (Check out Isaiah 61:1.) The last item of credentials that Jesus cited was:
"The poor have the good news preached to them."
Things have changed, You are not poor anymore. Because Jesus is in you, now, through the Holy Spirit You get to live like a Prince. Your Father is the Almighty God, the King of Kings. You need to receive the last part of Jesus' credentials.
2 Corinthians 8:9: "For you know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, that though he was rich, yet for your sakes he became poor, so that you, through his poverty, might become rich.
2 Corinthians 9:8: "And God is able to make all grace abound to you, so that in all things at all times, having all that you need, you will abound in every good work." 2 Corinthians 9:11 "You will be made
rich in every way so that you can be generous on every occasion, and through us your generosity will result in thanksgiving to God."
Ephesians 3:20: "Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us..." Because you are in the family of God, He can give you as much as you can possibly use and more. God is not limited to what He can do for us except by the amount of His power that is within us. We can control the amount of His power that is at work in us by the way we speak. If we speak the word of God, then His power is at work within us. If we speak something else, then some other power is at work within us. There is only one other source.
God challenged us to test him through prosperity. Malachi 3:10. It is the only place in the Bible where He directly challenges us. ( in Psalms 34:8 He says "Taste and see that the Lord is Good." Most reports don't claim that this is a challenge to test Him. I call it the: Try it you will like it verse. But I
digress.) Mal 3:10-11: “Bring the whole tithe into the storehouse, that there may be food in my house. Test me in this,' says the Lord Almighty, 'and see if I will not throw open the flood gates of heaven and pour out so much blessing that you will not have enough room for it. 11. I will prevent the pests from devouring your crops, and the vines will not cast their fruit,' says the Lord Almighty."
If you tithe, He will give you more than you have room for -- so much that you will have to give it away.
Luke 6:38: "Give and it will be given to you. A good measure, pressed down, shaken together, and running over, will be poured into your lap. For with the measure you use, it will be measured to you."
Proverbs 19:17 "He who is kind to the poor lends to the Lord, and He will reward him for what he has done." I like the King James version which says: "He that hath pity on the poor lends to the Lord and that which he hath given will He pay him again."
Matthew 6:33: "But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness and all these things will be given to you as well." All these things referred to here are all those things that are needed for life and sustenance on this earth.
According to the Bible, Jesus was the son of God. He always pleased God, therefore, he never lied in his whole life. That means that everything he said was true.
Mark 10:29-30: “’I tell you the truth,' Jesus replied, 'no one who has left home or brothers or sisters or mother or father or children of fields for me and the gospel will fail to receive a hundred times as much in this present age (homes, brothers, sisters, mothers, children and fields -- and with them persecutions,) and in the age to come eternal life.'"
Jesus, who never lied, was talking to his own staff and said: tell you the truth." I am not lying. This is for real. You can believe it! If you give up any of these things, you will get it back, in kind, 100 times as much.
I add: Or any thing else that you give up, you get the same thing back: 100 times. If you give money, you get money back. If you give quilts you get quilts back. My wife has made and given away 16 quilts. I expect to get 1600 blankets back, any time now. We don't have room for 1600 blankets. We will have to
give them away also. This fits with Malachi 3:10 and 2 Corinthians 9 that I presented earlier.
Gen 26:12 Then Isaac (who was Abraham's seed) sowed in that land, and received in the same year, an hundredfold: and the Lord blessed him. Isaac lived 4,000 years ago. This has been going on for 4,000 years. God gives back 100 fold.
Mark 10:21-23. "Jesus looked at him and loved him. 'One thing you lack,' He said, 'Go sell everything that you have and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven. Then come, follow me.'" Lots of people will say that Jesus was telling you that a rich man cannot get into heaven unless he gets lucky.
However, what if we take this direction and go back and read what happened in Proverbs 19:17: “He that gives to the poor lends to the Lord and the Lord will repay." Well, now, the rich guy gets his money back. He keeps giving it to the poor and it keeps coming back. Pretty soon he gives some to Jesus and then he gets 100 times as much back. Mark 10:29-30. The rich guy learns that the best thing that he can do financially is give to the Lord’s work.
It doesn't work only for the rich; it works for the poor, too. Give and it will be given to you. Give $1 and get $100. Give $100 and get back $10,000. How does it work? I do not have a clue. Does it work? I have gotten 100 fold return overnight. I have also given and I am still waiting for the return. But I know its coming. God did not lie.
Luke 5:1:11. (I am going to paraphrase somewhat, but I challenge you to go to the Bible and see what it says. See if it is not what I am telling you.)
Jesus was preaching on the shore of the lake. The crowd was pushing in, and he saw a boat pulled up on the shore. So he said to the fishermen that were there washing their nets, "Can I use your boat to preach from? The crowd is pushing me into the lake. If I get up on the boat I wont get wet and they can hear better."
So the fishermen say, "Sure." and go on cleaning their nets while Jesus preached.
I don't know how long he preached, but I suppose for 2 or 3 hours. When he was done preaching and he said, "Come on. Lets go fishing. Lets go out where it is deep and get some fish."
Peter looks up from his nets and says, "We have been fishing all night long. We just got our nets cleaned. You are a preacher not a fisherman. What would you know about fishing? All right, just because you say so, we will go out."
In a few minutes they catch a boat load of fish. The catch is so big that it breaks their net, and almost sinks their boat. Peter calls to his two partners and they bring out their boats. The fish are so many that it almost sinks their boats too. That is three boat loads of fish. They finally get the boats to shore and the crews take the fish over to the market and get the biggest pay for one day that they have ever received in their lives. All because Peter let Jesus use his boat for the gospel. God paid him back.
Galatians 6:7: "Do not be deceived: God cannot be mocked. A man reaps what he sows." Hosea 8:7: "For they have sown the wind and they shall reap the whirlwind." These two verses are describing bad things for not following the direction that God has given. It also describes the benefits of doing what God has directed. These verses do not contradict Mark 10:29-30 and Luke 6:38 but rather reinforces them. It works both ways. Give and it shall be given to you -- in spades.
Matthew 7:12 "In everything, do to others what you would have them do to you,..." This verse, the golden rule, takes on a new meaning in light of Galatians 6:7 and Hosea 8:7 because what you do to others will come back to you. So give money. It will come back to you.
Isaiah 48:17: "I am the Lord God which teaches you to profit."
Deut. 8:18 "Thou shall remember the Lord thy God, for it is he that gives you the power to get wealth that He may establish his covenant which He swore unto thy fathers." God will show you how to become rich.
Galatians 3:29: "And if ye be Christ’s, then are ye Abraham's seed and heirs according to the promise.
Galatians 3:13: "Christ has redeemed us from the curse of the law by becoming a curse for us...He redeemed us in order that the blessing of Abraham might come to the Gentiles through Christ Jesus, so that by faith we might receive the promise of the Spirit."
The following verses are some of the promises given in the law by Moses to the descendants of Abraham. Go to the Bible and read Deut. 28:1-15. These verses list many blessings that we are to receive. Prosperity is included.
Deut. 29:9: "Keep, therefore, the words of this covenant, and do them, that ye may prosper in all that ye do."
Gen. 12:2-3 "...I will make of thee (Abram who became Abraham) a great nation , and I will bless thee, and make thy name great; and thou shall be a blessing. I will bless them that bless thee and curse him that curses thee."
Gen 13:2: "And Abram was very rich in cattle, in silver, and in gold."
Gen 15:1: "After these things the word of the Lord came unto Abram in a vision, saying, Fear not, Abram: I am thy shield and thy exceeding great reward."
Gen 39:2 "The Lord was with Joseph (who was Abraham's seed) and he prospered, and he lived in the house of his Egyptian master. When his master saw that the Lord was with him and that the Lord gave him success in everything he did, Joseph found favor in his eyes..."
Gen 26:21-23 "but while Joseph was there in prison, the Lord was with him; He showed him kindness and granted him favor in the eyes of the prison warden. So the warden put Joseph in charge of all those held in prison, and he was made responsible for all that was done there. The warden paid no attention to anything under Joseph's care, because the Lord was with Joseph and gave him success in whatever he did."
God knows who you are. He can make you wealthy in the midst of a crowd burdened with poverty. He can bless you wherever you are.
Exodus 8:23 "I will make a distinction between my people and your people."
Exodus 7:7 "...Then you will know that the Lord makes a distinction between Egypt (the world) and Israel (and the Christians).
Malachi 3:18 "And you will again see the distinction between the righteous and the wicked, between those who serve him and those who do not."
Numbers 11:23: "The Lord answered Moses, 'Is the Lord's arm too short? You will now see whether or not what I say will come true for you.'"
You need to do what the Lord says. You need to obey his commandments. You need to follow the leading of the Holy Spirit.
Deut. 6:24: "The Lord commanded us to obey all these decrees and to fear the Lord our God, so that we might always prosper and be kept alive, as is the case today."
Deut. 7:12-15 "If you pay attention to these laws and are careful to follow them, then the Lord your God will keep his covenant of love with you, as he swore to your forefathers. He will love you and bless you and increase your numbers. He will bless the fruit of your womb, the crops of your land -- your grain, new wine and oil -- calves of your herds and the lambs of your flocks in the land that he swore to your forefathers to give you. You will be blessed more than any other people; none of your men or women will be childless, nor any of your livestock without young. The Lord will keep you free from every disease...."
Deut. 15:4-6: "However, there should be no poor among you, for in the land the Lord your God is giving you to possess as your inheritance, he will richly bless you, if only you fully obey the Lord your God and are careful to follow all these commands I am giving you today." Tithe. Bring your tithe to the high priest of the day -- Jesus.
Deut. 26:15: "Then say: Lord, look down from heaven, and bless your people (I am one of them) Israel and the land you have given.…”
Joshua 1:7-8: "Be strong and very courageous. Be careful to obey all the law my servant Moses gave you; do not turn from it to the right or to the left, that you may be successful where ever you go. Do not let this Book of the Law depart from your mouth; meditate in it both day and night, so that you may be careful to
do everything written in it. Then you will be prosperous and successful." You, as a Christian, have a better deal than anyone in the Old Testament:
Hebrews 8:6 But the ministry of Jesus is superior to the Old Covenant because the New Covenant, of which He is mediator, is superior to the Old Covenant because it is based on better promises. (I paraphrased slightly).
Jesus said, Matthew 11:11: "I tell you the truth: among those born of woman there has not arisen anyone greater than John the Baptist; yet he who is least in the kingdom of heaven is greater than he." If you are a Christian, then you are in the kingdom of heaven. You are greater than -- have a better deal than -- any and all of the prophets of the Old Testament. Better than Elijah. Better than Elisha. Better than Abraham. Better than Samuel. Better than David. Better than Isaiah. Better than Solomon.
Samuel 12:7-8 "The Lord God of Israel says: 'I anointed you (David) king over Israel, and I delivered you from the hand of 8. I gave your master's house to you, and your master's wives into your arms, I gave you the house of Israel and Judah. And if all this had been too little, I would have given you even
more.'" You got a better deal than this. Can you imagine?
1 Kings 3:5 "...The Lord appeared to Solomon during the night in a dream, and God said, 'Ask for whatever you want me to give you.'"
1 Kings 3:12:14 "I will do what you have asked. I will give you a wise and discerning heart, so that there will never have been anyone like you, nor will there ever be. Moreover, I will give you that you have not asked for -- both riches and honor -- so that in your lifetime you will have no equal among kings. And if you walk in my ways and obey my statutes and commands as David your father did, I will give you a long life."
You got a better deal than this. For you, as a Christian, are greater than any man born of a woman in the Old Testament. For you are a part of the kingdom of God. You have a better deal than anyone in the Old Testament -- including Solomon.
3 John. If anyone got his prayers answered, John should have had his answered. John opens this book in verse 2 with:
"Beloved, I wish above all things that thou may prosper and be in health, even as thy soul prospers."
If you want to prosper your soul, you had better read the Bible. As much as you can. Then read it some more. If you are not a Christian, become one!. Now!
Romans 10:9 "That if you confess with your mouth, 'Jesus is Lord,' and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved."
Romans 10:10 "For it is with your heart that you believe and are justified, and it is with your mouth that you confess and are saved."
Romans 10:11 "As the Scripture says, 'Everyone who trusts in him will never be put to shame.'"
Romans 10:12 "For there is not difference between Jew and Gentile -- the same Lord is Lord of all and richly blesses all who call on him."
Romans 10:13 "For everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved."
The Lord's name is Jesus!.