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On September 03, 2007 while having my daily morning commune with the Lord; the Holy Spirit spoke these words to and through me. He said: "Every time you give unto the Lord, you give unto His Kingdom!" He again repeated these words: "Every time you give unto the Lord, you give unto His Kingdom." He said: "Think Heavenly and you will see My Glory! Remain Kingdom-focused!"
Practically every week we receive e-mails and telephone calls from pastors and other ministers of the gospel from all over the world requesting some form of financial assistance. Needless to say, there is no cost that we can equate to that of a soul. However, the reality is that there are tremendous financial cost associated with building and sustaining every ministry. We, like many others, have stepped out on faith to do the will of the Father.
A couple of months ago, I felt the Holy Spirit nudging in my heart to teach and speak to our community of faith concerning "Health and Wealth." He told me to place a page on the website! Considering much of the controversy that exists in the Body of Christ today with respect to "The Prosperity Gospel" and its negative connotations; I struggled. I have spent the last couple of months meditating on this issue; and now feel led of the Spirit to express some the revelation that He has given to me; and how our ministry will seek to remain "Kingdom-focused" as it relates to health and wealth.
"Beloved, I wish above all things that thou mayest prosper and be in health, even as thy soul prospereth.
For I rejoiced greatly, when the brethren came and testified of the truth that is in thee, even as thou walkest in the truth.
I have no greater joy than to hear my children walk in truth." (I John 3:2-4 KJV)
As I searched the scriptures further, I was really astonished to observe that the Holy Spirit led Apostle John in this scripture to addresses both health and wealth. I don't equate the instructions of God or His revelation in a similar context to what the world calls coincidence. Therefore, it is the desire of the Lord that we should prosper and be in good health. The Greek word for prosper here is euodoo from a compound eus meaning good or well. Thus, to help on the road i.e. to pass, succeed in reaching; or figuratively succeed in business affairs or some other desired goal in life. Let us now examine the terms health and wealth in their biblical context.
The Old Testament Hebrew
words speak specifically to sickness; as opposed to health. The terms used
include: (mahlah;) for ailments (tahluim), and for weakness or
illness (hli). The root word from which most of these are derived is "halah
"to be weak or sick." Notably the vocabulary of health is
very limited! Rapa means "to
heal" or "to make healthy." It cognates and synonyms stand in
contrast to sickness. In contrast to weakness, there is strength; in contrast
to debilitating illness, there is health and wholeness. Therefore, it is
impossible to teach on health; and the importance of health without; dealing
with sickness. There are mutually exclusive! The Bible views health as
wellness, a condition in which a person fully exercises all of his or her
capacities of wholeness in mind, body, soul and spirit. Sickness is weakness, a
diminishing or limiting of these capacities in an individual's life.
Theologically sickness is related to sin; whereas God is the source of all health and wellness. Sin is an enemy of the body and the spirit! Hence, personal sin may bring sickness as a result of the choice made by human beings in every aspect of our lifestyles; including poor health and nutrition habits. Furthermore, our environment is trapped in a wreckage of pollutants and antioxidants; many of which are as a result of not exercising prudent dominion over the earth that God extended to us. Again, there is a spiritual relationship between health and wealth. Jesus in His teachings on wealth; primarily focused on spiritual attitude; rather than on material gain. In other words; if God blesses us what will be our attitude to His blessing. The key is not the blessing in itself! However, should He decide to bless us with material blessings; will we continue to Kingdom-minded and Kingdom-focused. God blesses us that we may establish His covenant; that He swore to Abram. (Genesis 13:2).
Hebrew has an extensive vocabulary of words linked with wealth. Many are synonymous, with basic meanings overlapping. Some of the major terms used are: huzzah ("possession" or "property,") used in relation to land promised by God. Oser ("riches," "treasure), gadol ("rich," indicating one whose possessions have increased in size and importance), hon (a poetic term for wealth, indicating a great enough supply of goods to make life easy), hayil ("wealth" in the 30 of the approximate 240 OT occurrences but meaning "strength," "might"), hosen ("treasure," "wealth," "material prosperity"); kabod (the riches that make a person weighty or significant in society. This list is not exhaustive; but serves to illustrate the diversity of the word WEALTH; which our present day vocabulary associates almost entirely with MATERIAL RICHES.
"But thou shall remember the Lord thy God: for it is he that giveth thee power to get wealth, that he may establish his covenant which he sware unto thy fathers, as it is this day.
And it shall be, if thou do at all forget the Lord thy God, and walk after other gods, and serve them, and worship them, I testify against you this day that ye shall surely perish.
As the nations which the Lord destroyeth before your face, so shall ye perish; because ye would not be obedient unto the voice of the Lord." (Deuteronomy 8: 18-20 KJV)
Our New Testament perspective is critical to our understanding of this doctrine. Several Greek words communicate the idea of riches or wealth. Bios simply means "life," or one's property as a means of sustaining life. More significant are thesauros and ploutos. Thesauros means "treasure." It speaks of that which is stored up and saved by human beings as especially precious. Hence, the New Testament makes it clear that God's value system is different from that of human beings; thus, often what human beings treasure has little value to Him. Ploutos is "wealth" or "riches." It refers primarily to the world's goods; though "rich" is frequently used in a figurative and spiritual sense (II Corinthians 8:9; Ephesians 2:4; James 2:5). Other key words that call for our attention are mamonas; translated "Mammon" in many English versions. It means "wealth" or "property" as does chrema. These New Testament terms provide a means of refining and defining how we as Christians are to govern our lives with respect to wealth.
It is important to note that wealth and riches are blessings from God; ONLY if they are gained in harmony with God's values. Jesus taught about wealth frequently in the synoptic gospels: (Matt 6:5-34; Matt 13:18-23; Matt 19:16-30; Luke 12:13-21; Luke 16:1-15; Luke 16:19-31); too mention a few. The desire for riches is a trap, for the LOVE of money is the root from which grows every kind of evil (I Timothy 6:3-10). The wealthy can "lay up treasure for themselves as a firm foundation for the coming age;" by refusing to put their hope in their riches and being "generous and willing to share;" (I Timothy 6:17-19). Believers are also not to show favoritism to the rich (James 2:1-13). Furthermore, wealthy oppressors are warned. The riches for which they have defrauded the innocent not only rot and corrode but also cry out to God against them. Most importantly, love calls us to use material possessions for brothers and sisters who are in need. We can thank God if He chooses to give us riches, and then we can use our money in His services.
Those of us who view spirituality as something related only to a person's inner life are in tragic error. It is our bodily life on earth that sin found expression; it is in our bodily life on earth with all its relationships that Christ's gift of newness is also to find expression. The revelation that the Holy Spirit gave to me on September 03, 2007 to which I refer above is the key to understanding how I believe we ought to deal with heath and wealth. We are to treat our bodies as His temple; i.e. we are to exalt Jesus in our physical bodies (I Corinthians 6:19-20); that He might be revealed in and through us (II Corinthians 4:11). This has personally given me a revelation to seek to use more wisdom in my daily health and nutrition habits; and to seek to create a greater awareness of same for the Body of Christ. Secondly, to provide what I believe from my due diligence are honest and legitimate means opportunities to create to support Kingdom building. As a servant of the Lord; it is my command from Him to speak prophetically to health and wealth. In the coming years this mega-industry will create more Christian opportunities for legitimate wealth creation than any other industry. This wealth creation is to provide much-needed financial resources for the poor! We must "be obedient to remember the Lord;" "keep our covenant with Him;" by blessing others when He blesses us. "Think heavenly so we will see His glory;" and "remain Kingdom-focused in our ministry."
God bless you,
Apostle John E. N. Daniel