Pastor Roger Anghis
January 2, 2011
The subject of a Christian’s right to wealth has been the subject of question for many centuries. Even as a young child I had a hard time understanding the churches point of view on this subject which was for the most part, Christians are not supposed to have good things. Christians are to have small houses, used cars, buy your clothes from a discount store and so on. We are told in scripture that God owns it all: Psalm 24:1 “A Psalm of David. The earth is the LORD'S, and the fullness thereof; the world, and they that dwell therein.” The Hebrew word used here for ‘fullness’ is melo and means the all that is therein, that which fills, entire contents. Now the entire contents includes all the gold, all the silver, all the wealth that this earth holds. If that is all His, then as His children, why wouldn’t we be entitled to what is His? That is the question that I had when I was no more than ten years old. I have studied most of the verses in scripture and found that, for the most part, the church has missed the mark on this teaching. Part of the reason the church has taught against wealth is the fear of promoting greed. This concept is unbiblical as we will see that God speaks positively about material wealth.
I will, in this study, begin in Genesis and go through each book and give a word for word meaning on what some refer to as ‘prosperity scriptures.’ God calls them promises. I will not touch on every single verse as there are thousands of them, but I will explain many of them so that when we get done you will have no doubts as to what is rightfully yours. We will look at a few verses for laying a foundation for this study so that we will understand what God has promised and how He fulfills the promise and what our role is in receiving the promise. I simply refer to these verses as the promises of God that His children should be living in.
I want to also state that even though this study does concentrate on wealth, I want it understood that wealth is not the main objective. Total salvation is the objective of a Christian and wealth is only part of that salvation just as healing is part of salvation, deliverance is part of salvation and restoration is part of that salvation. Most of the church has concentrated only on the eternal aspect of salvation without looking at the whole meaning of the Word. The Hebrew word used for “salvation” is yeshuwah and means something saved, deliverance, aid, victory, prosperity, health, and help.
The first verses that we need to look at is in the first chapter of Genesis and it is God speaking about and to the man He created, Genesis 1:26 And God said, Let us make man in our image, after our likeness: and let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over the cattle, and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth. 27 So God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them. 28 And God blessed them, and God said unto them, Be fruitful, and multiply, and replenish the earth, and subdue it: and have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over every living thing that moveth upon the earth.
In these verses we see that God made man in His image and that man is to have dominion over all of the earth. That dominion includes time (Joshua 10:12-14), weather patterns (Mark 4:39), and all things concerning how the earth operates. It also means having dominion over the wealth that the earth holds. In verse 28 the word “blessed” is the Hebrew word barak and it means God blessing man abundantly, an empowerment to prosper. If God empowered us to prosper, then why don’t we? Some have said that it was for Adam, but when he sinned that blessing was negated because of his sin nature and we are not to strive for that type of prosperity. There is no Biblical basis for this concept at all. God blessed man, His creation, and who He intended to be His family, His sons and daughters. As born again believers, that includes you and me. What father would let others enjoy the wealth that he created and not let his own family be partakers of that wealth? When a man/woman obeys God, He has always prospered them. There are no exceptions. Even though man fell, God’s intention was to still bless those that followed after His ways. We see this with God’s treatment of Abram.
God called Abram out of his influences which were his family and his culture. They were worshipers of the moon. He separated Abram from his relatives so that God could begin to teach him the ways of God. God gave Abram a promise that if he would follow Him, He would do things for Abram. The first thing God told Abram was that He would prosper him greatly; Genesis 12:2 And I will make of thee a great nation, and I will bless thee, and make thy name great; and thou shalt be a blessing: 3 And I will bless them that bless thee, and curse him that curseth thee: and in thee shall all families of the earth be blessed. In Abram’s day extended travel presented three hardships on the traveler.
First, the harsh environment of travel made it hard to bear children, something that was, no doubt, of high concern to Abram. Second, extended travel would diminish ones wealth and thirdly, extended travel was not good for one’s reputation. It gave the impression that you were not of good character. God promises that none of these circumstances would come upon him. Plus God tells Abram that he will be able to bless whomever Abram wishes to bless and his blessing will set the standard not just for his family, but the whole world will judge by his standard. This means that his treasury would not be depleted. We have to realize that one cannot bless another if one is not blessed first. God also states that anyone who blesses Abram, God Himself will bless in return.
This event in and of itself assures us that God’s intention for those that obey Him will be one of prosperity and blessing. The first thing one might ask is there proof that God DID make that promise good? In the very next chapter of Genesis (13) we can see proof that because Abram was obedient God did fulfill His promise: Genesis 13:2 And Abram was very rich in cattle, in silver, and in gold. The Hebrew word used for “rich” is kabad and it means burdensome, heavy, numerous, rich, exceedingly and honorable. Notice that the verse says very rich. We will find that God’s blessings are directly related to our obedience. God had required that Abram do something, separate himself from the influence of his family and his culture, and when he did God began to show Himself to Abram as He had promised. God had promised that He would make Abram’s name great and one of the ways that was to be done was to make Abram wealthy.
So many have stated that all of God’s blessings for us are spiritual and the treasures of heaven are for when we get to heaven. That philosophy would work if it wasn’t for Malachi 3. We see in this scripture that God is not holding back until we get to heaven. Here we see a direct relationship between obedience and blessing: Malachi 3:7 Even from the days of your fathers ye are gone away from mine ordinances, and have not kept them. Return unto me, and I will return unto you, saith the LORD of hosts. But ye said, Wherein shall we return? 8 Will a man rob God? Yet ye have robbed me. But ye say, Wherein have we robbed thee? In tithes and offerings. 9 Ye are cursed with a curse: for ye have robbed me, even this whole nation. 10 Bring ye all the tithes into the storehouse, that there may be meat in mine house, and prove me now herewith, saith the LORD of hosts, if I will not open you the windows of heaven, and pour you out a blessing, that there shall not be room enough to receive it. 11 And I will rebuke the devourer for your sakes, and he shall not destroy the fruits of your ground; neither shall your vine cast her fruit before the time in the field, saith the LORD of hosts. 12 And all nations shall call you blessed: for ye shall be a delightsome land, saith the LORD of hosts.
God is telling Israel that they have forsaken His Commandments and His ways. They have not brought the tithe to His house. At this point I have to mention that there is one thing that connects us with God and that is the tithe. If we are not tithing, we are robbing from God. He doesn’t need the money; we just need to be obedient. If we can’t be trusted with money, we can’t be trusted with much in the kingdom of God. The tithe is what opens the door. Your offerings will determine the return. We will discuss that when we look at Luke 6:38.
God is telling Israel that they are not tithing; therefore they are operating under a curse: “Ye are cursed with a curse:” The first Hebrew word for the word “cursed” is qalal and it means despise or make contemptible. The second Hebrew word for the word “curse” is arar and means to bitterly curse. Webster’s 1828 dictionary defines ‘curse’ this way: To injure; to subject to evil; to vex, harass or torment with great calamities. God then tells them how to solve their problem, get back to tithing. As in all covenants, both parties have responsibilities.
If one party fails their responsibilities, the other party does not have to keep up their end. In this verse, Malachi 3:8, we see where the children of Israel are experiencing many problems, sickness, cash flow, bad crops. God promised them health, money and increase of their crops, but they had to keep His commandments: Deuteronomy 6:2 That thou mightiest fear the LORD thy God, to keep all his statutes and his commandments, which I command thee, thou, and thy son, and thy son's son, all the days of thy life; and that thy days may be prolonged.
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3 Hear therefore, O Israel, and observe to do it; that it may be well with thee, and that ye may increase mightily, as the LORD God of thy fathers hath promised thee, in the land that floweth with milk and honey. Covenant always requires actions by both parties. If we keep our part of the agreement, God WILL keep His part.
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� 2011 Roger Anghis - All Rights Reserved
Pastor Roger Anghis is the Founder of RestoreFreeSpeech.org, an organization designed to draw attention to the need of returning free speech rights to churches that was restricted in 1954.
President of The Damascus Project, TheDamascusProject.org, which has a stated purpose of teaching pastors and lay people the need of the churches involvement in the political arena and to teach the historical role of Christianity in the politics of the United States. Married-37 years, 3 children, three grandchildren.
Web site: RestoreFreeSpeech.org
E-Mail: [email protected]