The message of prosperity and its far reaching choke hold on many people today is not one that is new to our time and culture. Albeit the definition of prosperity now, as defined by an American context is simply being able to have peace through financial securities. However, other cultures that are not bombarded by the commercialism, abundant resources, and freedoms of American life have very different definitions of prosperity. The bottom line still equates to a matter of "wealth" and the amount of resources you have readily at your disposal. These individuals typically express that these riches bring "peace" and provide comfort.
One of the major tenets of Satanic Cultists is, ‘do what thou wilt is the whole of the law.’ It is a promotion of self and demotion of the needs of others. Mark Cahill's newsletter this month shares an interesting witness encounter with one such person. This philosophy has it's origins in the fall of Satan and is embedded in the nature of man. Sinful rebellion and selfishness is a natural born trait of all those born of Adam's race. This selfishness and natural state is harnessed and becomes fertile ground for those who preach or teach messages that appeal to such a perspective.
The proponents of financial prosperity, as in it being the sole purpose of and definition of financial prosperity found in Scripture, usually state that, "Prosperity is biblical." Indeed it is actually found in several Hebrew words that occur in seventeen different verses of the Old Testament. Context clarifies the intent and meaning of such uses and clarifies the prosperity not only meant wealthy situations for the nation of Israel, but peace and well being due to the blessing of the Lord and His care for them when they were obedient. There is also Scriptural advice that teaches peace and joy during abundance and prosperity but yet during adversity or evil one must remember where it is coming from and that it's origination is a result of sinful behavior (Ecclesiastes 7:14-15.)
Proverbs 1:31-33 exemplify the results of straying from the Lord's counsel, and show the true meaning of prosperity having origin in the comforts of "knowing" the True God. Deuteronomy 13:1-3 is classically cited to disprove those who call themselves modern day prophets, but also give provision for measurement against anyone who may teach a message that consistently lines up with the doctrines found in the Word of God and aspires to worship and follow other gods. A good lesson on this can be found in today's lesson of 'TableTalk Magazine.' Being a professor of faith and then led astray into denunciation of the Lord God is labeled Apostasy, and most Orthodox Christians would affirm that this indicates a lack of true saving faith. Jeremiah 2:19 declares fear of the Lord not being in a dissident. Ezekiel 13:20-23 tells of how the One True God feels and deals with proponents of false messages. The most aberrant aspect of these teachers is the lack of a call to repentance and an insinuated encouragement to continue on in sin. This chapter (Eze. 13) makes much emphasis on the falsehoods of those who preach 'peace' when there is no peace. Not knowing the one true God is an absence of peace, because there is only one name under heaven by which men can be saved (Acts 4:12.)
Finally, we see in the New Testament the wish for one to prosper. This example is found in the third letter of John. Simply stated in 3Jn. 1:2 the author wishes the well being of a disciple. One who is doing the work of the ministry and acts toward others in all charity and Christ-like devotion. This prosperity seen here is also one of the well being of the recipients' soul and business affairs. His well being is based solely upon his obedience to the Word of God and the blessing that comes from keeping his counsel (Ecclesiastes 12:13.) His soul's prosperity is contingent upon his faithfulness to the Lord and is a blessing that provides strength to overcome the war against the flesh and sinful temptations. This reprieve is indeed true prosperity.