PEACE AND GRACE TO YOU THROUGH CHRIST OUR LORD.
The Holy Spirit has laid on my heart something I need to share with you. It is a loving warning from the very heart of Jesus, who said, "Take heed, and beware of covetousness..." (Luke 12:15).
Peter warned that false prophets would arise "and through covetousness shall they with feigned words make merchandise of you..." (2 Peter 2:3).
Covetousness is "excessive cravings." It is a constant reaching for more, for that which is bigger, more luxurious. It is a trap multitudes of Christians are falling into in these wild times. Peter warned us to beware of covetous ministers who would use the word to exploit believers - greedy preachers who would develop a false doctrine of avarice and greed.
Someone sent me a videotape of a convention sponsored by a well-known prosperity preacher. I was so appalled by what was being taught I could hardly contain myself. It was blasphemy! One preacher boasted, "I just spent $15,000 for a dog. This ring on my finger cost me $32,000. I live in an 8,000-square-foot house, but I'm going to build a bigger one -- one Solomon would be proud of. When the people in my town see my big house and my Rolls Royce in the driveway, they know there is a God in heaven." I wanted to weep because the entire time he spoke, people were running onstage and stuffing money in his pockets.
Another speaker warned the crowd, "Do not ever give to the poor -- give only to the blessed. You will be blessed yourself only as you give to the blessed. Giving to the poor is a waste of your money." These greedy men were boasting about their multimillion-dollar homes, jewelry, multimillion-dollar jet planes, luxury cars. One boasted he had ten million dollars. They all claimed to be rich men. The tragedy was, the people loved it! They were being exploited by a perverted gospel.
God's word says of these rich, greedy preachers, "Their judgment is near, and their destruction will not sleep" (See 2 Peter 2:3). They have become blatant and arrogant in their greed. They now preach that you cannot receive the fullness of the Holy Spirit until you prosper. That's blasphemy!
Beloved, do not listen to this false gospel. It is satanic. It comes from the heart of men who are light and frivolous, jokesters, greedy for more. Isaiah the prophet has their number: "Yea, they are greedy dogs which can never have enough, and they are shepherds that cannot understand: they all look to their own way, every one for his gain, from his quarter" (Isaiah 56:11).
I thank God that he has promised to supply all our needs. And I do not want any believer's money to make me rich. We are rich when we have his peace and can live without fear all the days of our lives in holiness before the Lord! Thank you for your prayers and support for this ministry to the masses in New York City.
Love in Christ.
* Dated 6/21/99; published by World Challenge, Inc; P.O. Box 260, Lindale, TX 75771