Sunday, August 25, 2013

The Prosperity Movement

which gave birth to the

The Industrial Revolution gave rise to individual prosperity which was not known among the common people. It was quite a phenomenon whose effects are seen openly today especially among the industrialized communities. Even the relatively poor have cars and television and enjoy forms of entertainment. The television and billboards show all kinds of material things which create a thirst in the average person. And most of them are within his economic reach especially through leveraging debt. And so the far flung communities rose in their economic standing and began to prosper.

Most children can be financially better off than their parents and certainly their grandparents. Of course it is difficult to gain a full perspective because although this has happened within decades it still is assimilated slowly. Some of us can remember only having one television and one telephone and even one car. Those days seem like ancient history. This culture of getting more and more and striving for status and economic prosperity has swallowed whole the entire western civilization. Every election is now based largely upon who people think can provide a climate conducive to their prosperity. The moral issues are of little consequence anymore.

And embedded within these communities are evangelical churches of all stripes and sizes. And while the culture was being assimilated into a hedonist mindset, and while prosperity became the obvious goal, the believers began to experience some of the same prosperity as did their unbelieving neighbors. The water level was rising and all personal boats rose with it. And there came a point when believers would have to address the blatant inconsistencies with what Scripture taught and what they were experiencing as well as enjoying. Believers by the millions were adopting the cultural mindset and by definition they were leaving the teachings of the New Testament.

And so there grew a tension which had to be resolved. The two belief systems were incompatible at their face. But the western believers were not only reticent to give up their prosperity, but they were downright indignant. Much of the church refused to even see, much less address, such spiritual infidelity especially because little was being heard from the pulpit. And even if a preacher began to speak out against the culture of prosperity there was always scores of other churches within driving distance. And many faithful preachers became frustrated and acquiesced in order to keep the members they had and draw new ones. Even churches which spoke out against the peddlers of prosperity were significantly compromised in their own practices and lifestyles. Yes, they enjoyed their own prosperity while parading their orthodox credentials.

Now most evangelical churches who claim to be against the so called “prosperity message” practice a distinct form of the same even if they do not teach it. When a family experiences some financial prosperity it is almost universally deemed a blessing from God throughout all of evangelicalism. Persecution bad – prosperity good. Bigger church buildings good – outdated church buildings bad. And on and on it goes. Even the preachers were suddenly living large within the culture and enjoying the benefits of having a membership which was prospering and could afford to give them significant salary packages. The entire church structure became more and more like a business and its practices became a reflection of the fallen culture. But everyone was happy and content.

But since there was a tension between what the Scriptures teach and what believers began to espouse something must be done. Something had to change and, of course, it was the Scriptures which had to change to accommodate the flood of prosperity and hedonism. And so by way of a clever twisting of the Scriptures through well coifed men and women there arose a teaching which is generally referred to as the prosperity gospel or message. Using an amazing set of distortions this message began to appeal to millions. Through juxtaposing the Abrahamic Covenant upon the New Testament the diabolical message was applauded by the evangelical masses and allowed for open hedonism to run rampant within the church.

You see, even the prosperity panhandlers had to reinvent the Scriptures because they knew that if interpreted on their face it presents an unshakeable problem for that kind of message. In short the Scriptures teach the exact opposite. So little by little carnal men deconstructed the Scriptures and created a false amalgam that seemed to open the door for lust, greed, and the pursuit of material gain. And professing believers by the millions loved it.

And so the tension was relieved through a doctrinal sleight of hand and believers were free to submerge into the culture and enjoy all the earthly benefits of a life of hedonism and pleasure through all the culture taught and had to offer. And men like Joel Osteen, Kenneth Copeland, Creflo Dollar, and others became obscenely wealthy by not only teachings a message of divine prosperity, but by pounding home that the avenue to this prosperity was giving. And of course this giving was to go the “God’s prophets”. It seems like such an easy scheme to debunk, especially in the light of obvious Scriptural teachings. But the lusts of men are incredibly strong and when nourished by all kinds of promises that lust becomes a monster.

People would give to get God to save their loved ones and to secure new homes and cars and to bless all sorts of business ventures and many other things. This doctrinal golden goose continues to lay all kinds of eggs for false teachers. Under normal circumstances people would be wise to what is happening, but when you leave the Scriptures and follow your lusts then spiritual blindness sets in and you go deeper and deeper into deception.

But let us not kid ourselves. Even orthodox churches practice a form of prosperity even while denouncing the men I have mentioned. Do not assume that we ourselves are not tempted and at times led by our own lusts. And sometimes our doctrinal stand against the prosperity message becomes camouflage for our own spiritual compromises. Yes, the culture takes no time off and its allurement is strong and relentless.

Watch and pray with a broken and contrite heart.


Chris Baumgart said...

Rick, spot on above. I am easliy lead off by the "want of mammon" ... It is the Holy Spirit that keeps me sober. What has always troubled me looking into the New Covenant was there seemed to be ONE Old Testament Law still remaining behind the preaching and teaching from the pulpit. While the Man who had no home, even foxes have dens...became my example to follow, preachers still held me to the bondage of the OT law of tithing. "Give 10 percent and God will increase it 10 fold" ... Fortunately I was very poor and I could put this to the test and discovered that contradictions ran rampant in the churches I attended. That giving my tithe wasn't enough that more blessings would come if I put more into the "other" offering basket that passed for "other" God ordained projects that the pastor and elders were to fulfill. Meanwhile I had the churches food pantry to sustain my wife and three children. Beef sticks and sodium enriched soup would do the trick... Working 9 hour days, standing, at 5 dollars an hour was just enough to keep us going week to week... Eventually my wrestling with this OT law just stopped. New shoes for my children were more important than "new chairs" for the church. In fact, when my church began to spin their doctrine to reflect more of Kenneth Copeland, we figured best to leave. ** I am not hardened by this experience, in fact, the New Testament and Christ's teachings of Love have freed me in my giving. God has 100 percent of my income to work with, not just 10 percent now. And I guess many would still consider me to be a poor, hard working family type man but now I serve the Holy Spirit in sharing what I have, it is he that I trust to keep my cup full so that I can give freely, cheerfully. (my story continues...)

Annette said...

Greetings Chris....just a note to encourage you in your faith in Jesus Christ....appreciate reading your testimony as you share from your heart.

God be with you and your family.

Anonymous said...

Again, this is a true teaching for the times we live in.

I remember a christian lady in my church who shared with us how another lady felt to give her a cheque, because it was felt this christian lady was always in need, she would let everyone know how she and her husband were just getting by.

She was overwhelmed with the cheque and went on to tell us how she used the money to buy herself two new end tables that were on sale for her home, that she so dearly wanted when she saw them the first time.

This is one little example prosperity gospel teaching; it teaches that whenever one received a check, that it's from heaven and a blessing from God and that He wants us to be blessed with more things. No one felt it was wrong that she spent it on herself. I love to see people blessed, but I had a feeling that the generous woman thought that it might be spent more wisely.

So many people believe they are entitled to gifts raining down from heaven (which really are well-to-do donors) and feel justified to use free money for their personal wants, rather than needs. I remember once a pastor's wife was speaking at a women's conference, handing out a paper with suggestions that the lay women do to make a pastor's wife feel appreciated. Things like, hand her an appreciation card with a $20 or more bill, give her money to buy herself a new dress, babysit her kids, make meals for her once in a while, send the pastoral couple on a trip, open their cottage for them to spend a getaway weekend.

All these suggestions were fine, and most generous people, if they can do these, but for the pastor's wife to 'demand' it and write it on paper, is well, a bit excessive. Also, this pastor's wife already had many people cater to her in every way. Most of the church couples were working $10/hour jobs, couldn't afford cough syrup for their kids, were overworked, never had vacations and were never invited or offered help when they were sick or tired. Every couple were trying to tend to their families, plus elderly sick extended families, and for clergy to become the head and demand everyone serve them was the pre-prosperity attitude. Again, this pastor's wife who was a senior superintendent's wife and who was sent to conferences all through the states and were always being graciously invited to vacation homes, just expected that this was how it should be. This was a holiness pentecostal church and at that time, they were not affected by the early prosperity teachings, and to this day, would never admit to following it, buy they were indulging in another form of easy grifting and, like the Nicolaitans, they, the clergy, demanding special gifts and privilege from the already poor and tired 10% tithing laypeople. "But we gave all we had", the answer always was, "give big and God will give back big".

So sorry this is long.......just one more point. They used to try to put the guilt trip on me with Malachi. Sorry I don't have a bible close with me tonight. Well, those verses that guarantee everyone feel to put their head between their legs when the leave church because they didn't give "big" - they didn't prove God enough, so he'll be very disappointed in our faith. I read that, and reread it again and again and see there are discrepencies there. This rebuke was for the priests of the time.

I believe there already was a scheme in mind with pastors and clergy before the prosperity movement. Many good-intentioned pastors had to follow the formats, but it's caused that schism of them versus us. Some clergy do utilize power over their people and they do it to their advantage.

The difference between the clergy/laypeople system versus the prosperity movement, is that clergy now promise reward to those who reward clergy first, and then they can use the same technique on each other. But pastor must get first dibs.


Cherie c. said...

Again, Law and Grace

Law (God's Commandments)
Grace (The Gospel of Jesus Christ)

keeps you on the straight and narrow and leads to holiness, salvation, and righteousness. There is no other way, or amount of money that will do this. It is to God's Glory, for His Good Pleasure, ONLY.


Jesus is coming.....are you ready?

Repent and be forgiven, and call upon the Name of the Lord! TODAY!

your sister in Christ Jesus,
Cherie c.

Anonymous said...

Where is our true prosperity found?It's found in Christ.
Jesus said in Matthew 5
18 For assuredly, I say to you, till heaven and earth pass away, one jot or one tittle will by no means pass from the law till all is fulfilled.

19 Whoever therefore breaks one of the least of these commandments, and teaches men so, shall be called least in the kingdom of heaven; but whoever does and teaches them, he shall be called great in the kingdom of heaven.

The Ten Commandments is God's word. It was given by the Lord. He wrote it with His own finger!

Reine Gnade

Anonymous said...

Where do we prosper? We prosper in God's word.

Precious readers, The Ten Commandments are God's word. They are still valid.

They have an abiding significance, for God’s character is unchangeable! These laws originate from God and from His eternal character; therefore, their value cannot change.

Jesus emphasizes the importance of the attitude of the heart: "Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God" (Matthew 5:8).

Josef Sefton

Anonymous said...

Well said Chris. God will not just keep our cup full but overflowing. This was David's witness and ought also to be ours.

Reine Gnade

Anonymous said...

Give 10 percent and God will increase it 10 fold
God is the great multipler. He isn't restricted to numbers. And we shouldn't finance the lives of blatant thieves.

Josef Sefton

Anonymous said...

Jackie, there is a lot of truth in the words "give big and God will give back big" but we must be so careful not finance those who bathe night after night in excessive luxury.

Reine Gnade

Anonymous said...

Cherie, is onto it. Let's not put on blindfolds everytime we see God's commandments in the Bible.

Reine Gnade

Anonymous said...

@Reine Gnade and Josef Sefton

For assuredly, I say to you, till heaven and earth pass away, one jot or one tittle will by no means pass from the law till all is "fulfilled".

The "Law" was fulfilled in Christ...we are now under grace...

Apostle Paul told those in his day that if they were just "circumcised", they made Christ void...

Today, if we believe we need anything but Christ, Christ is made void...Apostle Paul's words...

Romans 7 -

4 Likewise, my brethren, you have undergone death as to the Law through the [crucified] body of Christ, so that now you may belong to Another, to Him Who was raised from the dead in order that we may bear fruit for God.

6 But now we are discharged from the Law and have terminated all intercourse with it, having died to what once restrained and held us captive. So now we serve not under [obedience to] the old code of written regulations, but [under obedience to the promptings] of the Spirit in newness [of life].

Christ is the end of the "Law" to all who believe...we are now under the "Law of Christ"...Love fulfills the Law...Blessings...

Anonymous said...

Christ Fulfills the Law
Mathew 5
17 “Do not think that I came to destroy the Law or the Prophets. I did not come to destroy but to fulfill.

Luke 16
17 And it is easier for heaven and earth to pass away than for one tittle of the law to fail.

Truly a Christian is under the law of Christ but let's recall that Christ is the Lord.

So we can write the law of Christ as the law of the Lord. Christ is eternal. His thinking hasn't changed. His will has always been that we honor our father and mother and His thinking will never change otherwise He couldn't be God.

To reject this commandment is to reject Christ's teaching on the matter. Almighty God actually writes this teaching on the tablet of our heart as He does the other nine commandments.

Josef Sefton

Anonymous said...

We are not Love. Far from it. We are still students who need teaching. Do you really think God was a law giver then suddenly He said to Himself this life as a law giver is not for me.

You are overlooking the fact that He is all wise. His wisdom is unchanging. He is lawgiver from eternity to eternity.

Josef Sefton

Anonymous said...

Scripture cannot deny scripture...we are either under law or we are not...

The Sabbath is Saturday...did God abolish or change that law?

What makes a Christian think they can change the Sabbath to Sunday?

Rick Frueh said...

The Sabbath is no longer a day. It is Christ.

Anonymous said...

I agree with Rick's teaching on this matter. Christ is our Sabbath, for the LORD graciously allows us to find rest in Him.

Apostle Paul told those in his day that if they were just "circumcised", they made Christ void...
That's true because they were relying on their own efforts.

Today, if we believe we need anything but Christ, Christ is made void...Apostle Paul's words...

That's referring to the gift of Salvation, for all the glory belongs to God.

After we are saved we still have much to learn that is one of the reasons why God blessed us with both the Old and New Testament and His presence! He isn't frightened to teach us out His holy Bible and we shouldn't be afraid of the first five books in the Old Testament or any of the other thirty four. We shouldn't shut our eyes and force ourselves to keep them shut whenever we see the Old Testament.

Such an approach would even be found wrong by many an atheist.

Josef Sefton

Anonymous said...

Yes Brother Rick, that is "absolutely" (True), yet if you live by law, even one law such as the Sabbath, you are guilty of all...

Point...the law was never given to the gentile, Acts 15 tells us the believing Jews were trying to bring us (gentiles) under bondage to was decided not to put the burden on the gentiles that even the Jews couldn't keep...

Of course, I know you know that...Amen..

Anonymous said...

God is love so love ought to be our motivation. Christ calls on us to love.

1 John 4:7-8 declares, “Beloved, let us love one another, for love is from God, and whoever loves has been born of God and knows God. Anyone who does not love does not know God, because God is love.”

1 John 5:3 continues, “This is love for God: to obey His commands. And His commands are not burdensome.”The more we recognize the cherished value of Jesus’ sacrifice on our behalf, our response ought to be love, gratitude, and obedience.

When we understand the sacrifice Jesus made for us and others, our response is to be to follow His example in expressing love to others. Our motivation for overcoming sin should be love. We are to obey the law of Christ because we love Him.

Josef Sefton

Chris Baumgart said...

@ Rick, Christ is our sabbath, nicely put. Even better when we see this through the perspective of eternity. - its seems this kind of became a continuation from the previous article concerning "law". OT vs NT. and quite frankly my initial comment was about the years of following the "traditions of men" and how Tithing was taught and is being taught... It is not found in the New testament. And when it is, it is refers to those with Old testament mind sets. Christ tipping over the money changers tables... Knowing that Judas would sell Him out for a bag of silver, all the reference and warnings from the apostles concerning the the love of money and the manipulation of the innocent for gain... It is common sense that money used as a tool and invested into the work of God is an essential in fulfilling the Lord's commission. We are either to serve God or serve mammon. You cannot serve both according to the Word. Pretty clear here. We all know this, so why are we as a Church so messed up, so much so, we actually pursue riches now in the name of Jesus! So ingrained is this expectation of being blessed with wealth into the hearts of the Church that the devil has us measuring our pocket books as to be complaining about taxes that go to the relief of the poor and uninsured. Christians choose to live at the other end of gathering fine things. Better this and better that. They choose this. God also gives us a choice in the example of his Son to live at the opposite end where we learn to live modestly and simple. Not striving for things pleasing to the eye. Christians take a lot of trips to the Holy Land, and boat cruises to get closer to Jesus. I was taught that I can do that on my knees! Thy Kingdom come, Thy will be done, on earth as it is done in Heaven... Our hearts are the Kingdom, it is here His will is done. Jesus says, "In my Father's house are many mansions" - that's YOU. You are the mansions Christ is speaking about, it is You fashioned in His holiness, His love. We are dwelling place for Gods Spirit. We have many opportunities to spend our money on the poor, orphans, widows, the sick, the elderly, the imprisoned, the little ones, the homeless, the hungry, missions that serve the same in other countries... This is God's love at work by your hands, not through the T.V..

Anonymous said...

Josef Sefton

Apostle Paul suffered horribly for the same debate we are having here...

His worst enemy were the Jews trying to bring the Gentiles under the Law...they couldn't grasp the idea of "Grace" and Grace alone...

Christ plus something...Oh, we believe in Christ but you have to keep the Law...

The Law was never given to the Gentile -

Ephesians 2:11-15

Therefore remember that you, once Gentiles in the flesh—who are called Uncircumcision by what is called the Circumcision made in the flesh by hands— 12 that at that time you were without Christ, being aliens from the commonwealth of Israel and strangers from the covenants of promise, having no hope and without God in the world. But now in Christ Jesus you who once were far off have been brought near by the blood of Christ.

For He Himself is our peace, who has made both one, and has broken down the middle wall of separation,

having abolished in His flesh the enmity, that is, the law of commandments contained in ordinances, so as to create in Himself one new man from the two, thus making peace,

This is what Galatians is all about...This book ties in with Acts 15 -

Acts 15:5-10

But some of the sect of the Pharisees who believed rose up, saying, “It is necessary to circumcise them, and to command them to keep the law of Moses.”

Now the apostles and elders came together to consider this matter.

And when there had been much dispute, Peter rose up and said to them: “Men and brethren, you know that a good while ago God chose among us, that by my mouth the Gentiles should hear the word of the gospel and believe.

So God, who knows the heart, acknowledged them by giving them the Holy Spirit, just as He did to us, and made no distinction between us and them, purifying their hearts by faith.

Now therefore, why do you test God by putting a yoke on the neck of the disciples which neither our fathers nor we were able to bear?

Galatians 3 -

19 What purpose then does the law serve? It was added because of transgressions, till the Seed should come to whom the promise was made; and it was appointed through angels by the hand of a mediator.

But before faith came, we were kept under guard by the law, kept for the faith which would afterward be revealed.

24 Therefore the law was our tutor to bring us to Christ, that we might be justified by faith.

25 But after faith has come, "we are no longer under a tutor".

The Gentiles are children of Abraham by promise...this promise was made 430 years before the law even hit the earth...

The Law was given to the Jew not the Gentile...

Where is the scripture for your post that follows? -

After we are saved we still have much to learn that is one of the reasons why God blessed us with both the Old and New Testament and His presence! He isn't frightened to teach us out His holy Bible and we shouldn't be afraid of the first five books in the Old Testament or any of the other thirty four. We shouldn't shut our eyes and force ourselves to keep them shut whenever we see the Old Testament.

Such an approach would even be found wrong by many an atheist.

We need to be careful not to post our opinions...the world has over 35,000 different opinions of the Gospel...

What I posted is the revelation given to Apostle Paul...the following are his words, not my ideas -

Romans 7 -

4 Likewise, my brethren, you have undergone death as to the Law through the [crucified] body of Christ, so that now you may belong to Another, to Him Who was raised from the dead in order that we may bear fruit for God.

6 But now we are discharged from the Law and have terminated all intercourse with it, having died to what once restrained and held us captive. So now we serve not under [obedience to] the old code of written regulations, but [under obedience to the promptings] of the Spirit in newness [of life].

Apostle Paul said he "IS" the Apostle to the Gentile and to follow him as he follows Christ...

Apostle Paul never taught the Law, he did just the opposite...we are to follow him and his teachings...

Cherie c. said...

We live in the age of Grace. We are convicted of our sin through the law.

Why convolute this simple principle.

We cannot be under Grace until we repent of our sins and be forgiven. We cannot be convicted of our sin unless we know the Law.

Law and Grace go hand in hand. Cannot have one without the other.

Jesus is the Sabbath. The OT Sabbath was a "Shadow". In fact, the OT is all about Jesus. Another principle. Jesus said He came to fulfill the law, which He did. But He also gave a new Covenant, which He did. "It has been said of old"...."but I say"...... Done end of debate.

Whether we are of Jewish decent or Gentile, we all need to repent and be forgiven of our sins. Period.

To debate this is disobedience since this is what we are called to do. So many get caught up in the "technical" about the Word of God which causes additions and twisting.

Also, Reine don't you think it is time to be one personality, not two? Whether in Germany or Pittsburgh, USA, being two posters is just weird and borders upon deception. Just saying.

I must go now and face a hostile world. When I return, could we please fellowship instead of debate? God Bless. May the peace of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ be with you this day.

your sister in Christ Jesus,
Cherie c.

Anonymous said...

Thank you for your input. You are motivating me to a deeper study of this important subject.
I am very much a student but I shall endeavor over time to answer your questions.

"For whoever keeps the whole law but fails in one point has become accountable for all of it. For the one who said, 'You shall not commit adultery,' also said, 'You shall not murder.' Now if you do not commit adultery but if you murder, you have become a transgressor of the law. So speak and so act as those who are to be judged by the law of liberty" (James 2:10-12).

Notice that James referred to the Ten Commandments as the law of liberty! They are the law of liberty, not a burden!

Josef Sefton

Chris Baumgart said...

@Riene, Josef - I believe we here who gather to share, also are here to learn. I do not believe anyone is passing off the Old Testament as unusable. But it is a dangerous tool for preachers and teachers to manipulate from. This seems to be the core point of the last two postings. God's benevolence, Gods Love is key to laying a foundation when taking hold of the Word. God governs from His Character, which serve His supreme motive, that the attributes of Benevolence are sustained, period. Every word that comes from the Bible we think we know, aims toward this mark. Jesus is The Word. Jesus is mans example of perfect Benevolence lived! Jesus has the fullness of the Father in Him. The Holy Spirit dwelling within us allows us to participate in this same fullness. We are to live in this Benevolence. Jesus goes on to say, hate equates with murder, that lust of the heart equates with adultery... Old testament law is taken a bit further into the minds of reasoning man, to the inner man and our motives. Now we are to live Holy. Having the inner man completely changed through faith. Gods perfect Love thrives here. The Bride of Christ, His Church must reflect this perfect Love.

Anonymous said...

Hi Brcorcoran, thank you for taking this subject seriously.

Jesus said: "Do not think that I came to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I did not come to abolish, but to fulfill," (Matt. 5:17).

Paul said: "Do we then nullify the Law through faith? May it never be! On the contrary, we establish the Law," (Rom. 3:31).

Jesus and Paul are in total agreement about the Law.

As attentive readers can see both Jesus and the apostle Paul taught the Law and so will faithful teachers of the holy Bible.

Josef Sefton

Anonymous said...

Throughout his life Paul defended Old Testament scripture as not only inspired but also profitable for "instruction in righteousness" for all Christians (see 2 Timothy 3:15-17).

The Witness of Paul

But this I confess to you, that . . . I worship the God of my fathers, believing all things which are written in the Law and in the Prophets. I have hope in God, which they themselves also accept, that there will be a resurrection of the dead, both of the just and the unjust.

This being so, I myself always strive to have a conscience without offense toward God and men'" (Acts 24:10-16).

How unequivocally plain!

Years after he first became a Christian, Paul could declare that he still believed "all things which are written in the Law and in the Prophets"—a term for the entire Old Testament.

This testimony, from Paul's own lips, removes all doubt about where he stood in regard to the law of God!!

Josef Sefton

Anonymous said...

Also, Reine don't you think it is time to be one personality, not two? Whether in Germany or Pittsburgh, USA, being two posters is just weird and borders upon deception. Just saying.

I let my writing speak for itself.

Anonymous said...

Cherie, I don't restrict myself to using Reine Gnade which means pure grace. I also write under Neue Abenteuer which means new adventures. God is My teacher and He sees nothing weird in me proclaiming His good news. He desires us to use the power of search engines wisely!

Josef Sefton

Anonymous said...

@Josef Sefton...

You are debating scripture...scripture does not disagree with other scripture...

What you are failing to realize is the "transition" from "Law" to "Grace"

The early church was full of Jewish converts that were struggling making the transition to Grace and Grace alone...

The Law was not given to the Gentile...

If it was, please provide one simple scripture we can work with...Blessings...

Anonymous said...


@Josef Sefton

I also believe everything that is written in the Old Testament as well, it's just for me (as a Gentile), it was to the Nation of Israel to raise them up above all other Nations.

I was a barbarian until Christ came into my life...I am free in Christ, no Law and I'm not about to follow law now after 30 years...


Anonymous said...

Josef: Old Testament is not synonymous with the Law. Surely the Law of Moses compromises a large portion of OT. But we gentiles in the New Covenant era are not under Moses. Moses is fulfilled in Christ, and we are in Christ now.

The Lord initiated a covenant of faith with Abraham, before Moses and the Law was given. We enter into that covenant becoming children of Abraham after the faith, not of the flesh.

The Old Testament, all scripture, is edifying. No one here is saying the OT Scriptures are not God-breathed nor unprofitable; only that we do not live the faith by following the Law nor laws. It is an important distinction.

bcorcoran: Thank you for the scriptural teaching about the fulfilling of the Law by Christ and the new and living way (Jesus!)--the New Covenant. Scripture is clear and you made it plain.

Praise God for making the New and Living Way!

Rick Frueh said...

This weekend I will bring a post about law and grace.

Anonymous said...

We left the church we were very involved with many years ago. I had been a deacon for a few years, wife very involved. The pastor said a prophecy over my wife that even went against what he had taught before. After much prayer and agonizing, as I felt in my heart the prophecy was wrong and we confronted the pastor, this was several weeks after the prophecy. He basically kicked us out of the church and we were going to leave anyway after the talk with him, we dared to challenge the "voice of God", the pastor's prophecy. I had a revelation the he was prophecying out of his own heart one night before we went to see him while I was in the midst of prayer again over the prophecy. The very next day after receiving this revelation, we got the monthly paper from David Wilkerson about pillow prophets, men prophesying out of their own hearts, which was a confirmation. We began to attend another church only on Sunday mornings, also I quit tithing. I was afraid I would be "cursed with a curse" as I had been taught if you quit tithing, which never happened. Who would I tithe to anywyays? The people who hugged our necks every Sunday turned against us becuse we dared to confront the pastor? We confronted him privately and with much fear and humility also. Anyways after attending this new megachurch the pastor put out a challenge to begin tithing for a month to test God and get great blessings for tithing. So I began tithing and did for that month. I lost all my overtime after about two weeks into the month of tithing and figured I was losing 20% of my income that year for lost overtime income. He read a few letters from the pulpit of the few that received finanacial blessings during that month, but what happened to me?? Fleeciing the flock is what happened. We have been out of the church system now for years, isn't fun but can't go back into the false teachings and sit under that deception. Thankful for site like this and apostacy watch for some like minded fellowship.


Cherie c. said...

Amen! Pastor Rick.

I look forward to the teaching.

Cherie c.

Anonymous said...

Yes. Praise God for making the new and living Way, but are we desirous to listen to Him?

If you study the moral commandments of God attentively you will discover that Lord Jesus says "Yes" to them.
God is gracious but remember He will punish iniquity and for those who don't repent the future is very bleak.

The ceremonial laws that Jesus fulfilled on the cross are no longer applicable to a true believer but that doesn't mean that we should avoid reading all those passages in the OT. Christians can certainly be blessed by God when reading any section of the Bible.

Josef Sefton

Anonymous said...

@Josef Sefton

Jesus paid the price for not only the Christian's, but for the entire world...

"It Is Finished"

The sin the world is guilty of is "rejecting" Christ...

A Christian isn't saved one day, then lost the next when he misses the mark (sins)...

Once a person comes to Christ they are sealed...

All anyone has to do is receive this "Gift", not of works (by keeping the Law) are we considered any more righteous...

Sin has already been judged and Christ took it all...

Grace goes far beyond what we can even think...

We (Christians) need to be more "Grace" conscience verses sin conscience...

Hebrews 10
For the law, having a shadow of the good things to come, and not the very image of the things, can never with these same sacrifices, which they offer continually year by year, make those who approach perfect. For then would they not have ceased to be offered?

For the worshipers, once purified, "would have had no more consciousness of sins".

But in those sacrifices there is a reminder of sins every year.

For it is not possible that the blood of bulls and goats could take away sins.

But the Holy Spirit also witnesses to us; for after He had said before,

“This is the covenant that I will make with them after those days, says the Lord: I will put My laws into their hearts, and in their minds I will write them,” then He adds,

“Their sins and their lawless deeds I will remember no more.”

Romans 4
Even as David also describeth the blessedness of the man, unto whom God imputeth righteousness without works,

Saying, Blessed are they whose iniquities are forgiven, and whose sins are covered.

Blessed is the man to whom the Lord "will not impute sin".

Hebrews 8
None of them shall teach his neighbor, and none his brother, saying, ‘Know the Lord,’ for all shall know Me, from the least of them to the greatest of them. For I will be merciful to their unrighteousness,

and "their sins and their lawless deeds I will remember no more.”

In that He says, “A new covenant,”

"He has made the first obsolete".

Now what is becoming obsolete and growing old is ready to vanish away. works, sin is not imputed...meaning we "do not" lose our salvation because we have a weak moment...Christ "Paid the Price"...It Is Finished

Once a person receives Christ, their sins are no longer...we stand in the sight of Almighty God as though we never did anything wrong...Justified


Anonymous said...

I agree with your teaching about salvation. However after we are saved we still sin and there are consequeces for sinning. If a Christian fails to be attentive to their father and mother then the relationships between them could suffer.

God has written the commandment to honor our father and mother on our heart but should someone be negligent there will not be a closeness between the father and son/daughter or mother and son/daughter that is possible in the fullness of obedience to Christ.

Josef Sefton

Chris Baumgart said...

Respectfully, I believe the Word of God teaches something different here. As many would like to "ride" the free ride of grace and justification - they critically disregard the principles of growing in faith and sanctification. Jesus describes us growing in faith, as the mustard seed plant grows. We are told that through this faith, sin no longer will have a place to live in us. Faith is relative because it is "active" - obedience to the Words and work of Jesus is the good work spoken of... This is Faith in Jesus, this is abiding in Christ. Because of this I, we, should no longer live in bondage to sin. We are set free. This is the power that honors and is evidence of the finished work of Jesus Christ that through his death and resurrection I am free from sin. Through faith in Him I can pass through temptations and remain sanctified. What I am sharing are the fruits of Gods Grace extended toward us.

Anonymous said...

The Bible teaches that a true Christian can sin!

1 John 1:8-10
"If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. 9 If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. 10 If we say that we have not sinned, we make Him a liar, and His word is not in us."

The one who is born again does not habitually abide in sin. He may fall into it, but he does not practice it as a lifestyle!

Anonymous said...

I once read a hardcover book written around 1971 by one of the nation's leading "Christian motivational author/speakers", in which he urged his readers to pray that God would always keep America in state of constant, unending economic prosperity similar to what we had back in the 1960s, because if we ever had another 1929-style crash/Depression, the nation's teenagers would react by rioting, burning down cities, and slaughtering massive numbers of people. To me, this man was saying that Almighty God was obligated to pay "a ransom" or "protection money" to American teenagers so they wouldn't "burn the country down and kill everybody".