I had a someone post a comment to a post yesterday, and I thought it worth visiting in a bit detail. In this post, I wrote a sermon review of a pastor named Daniel King who came to town as a guest speaker. The sermon was bad, bad, and more bad, and was your typical word-faith heresy. For example, we heard “The Secret of Obed-Edom will teach you how to activate God’s plan for wealth creation in your life. Hidden in this book are the secrets of Godly promotion and how to achieve unprecedented wealth in your life” The rules of the prosperity gospel are simple- God wants to do nothing but give you blessings, health and wealth. If anything bad happens to you- you get sick, get laid off from work, lose any of your money, or have a relationship fall apart, its because you are disobedient and don’t have enough faith. To acquire the wealth and prosperity, you need to have faith- which is evidenced by you giving money to the preacher to “activate” your faith. You can see a complete refutation of Daniel King and his secrets of Obed-Edom HERE, as well as the original comment, which I’ve posted below.
“I agree with Daniel King.In talking about blessings in Deuteronomy 28:1-14, there was nothing like poverty. lack, diseases and sicknesses. Rather theses were results of curses due to disobedience. Jesus also said the poor shall always be with us because of people like Austin who think that Christians should remain poor in order to go to heaven.”
Deut 28 1 and 15 is essentially the summary of the old covenant blessings-cursing system which was in the process of being established. It was summary of the moasic law, in that
“ If you fully obey the Lord your God and carefully follow all his commands I give you today, the Lord your God will set you high above all the nations on earth. All these blessings will come on you and accompany you if you obey the Lord your God….However, if you do not obey the Lord your God and do not carefully follow all his commands and decrees I am giving you today, all these curses will come on you and overtake you:”
So according to Deuteronomy 28. If you follow all the commands of the preceding 27 chapters, you will be blessed in these ways.
You will be blessed in the city and blessed in the country.The fruit of your womb will be blessed, and the crops of your land and the young of your livestock—the calves of your herds and the lambs of your flocks.Your basket and your kneading trough will be blessed.You will be blessed when you come in and blessed when you go out.The Lord will grant that the enemies who rise up against you will be defeated before you. They will come at you from one direction but flee from you in seven.The Lord will send a blessing on your barns and on everything you put your hand to. The Lord your God will bless you in the land he is giving you. Deuteronomy 28:3-8.
But what happens if you don’t follow ALL the commands from the entire book of Deuteronomy that God gave the Israelites thousands of years ago? The law that not even the apostles could keep, and which Paul described as the law of death.
The Lord will send on you curses, confusion and rebuke in everything you put your hand to, until you are destroyed and come to sudden ruin because of the evil you have done in forsaking him.The Lord will plague you with diseases until he has destroyed you from the land you are entering to possess. The Lord will strike you with wasting disease, with fever and inflammation, with scorching heat and drought, with blight and mildew, which will plague you until you perish. The Lord will turn the rain of your country into dust and powder; it will come down from the skies until you are destroyed.
The Lord will cause you to be defeated before your enemies. You will come at them from one direction but flee from them in seven, and you will become a thing of horror to all the kingdoms on earth. Your carcasses will be food for all the birds and the wild animals, and there will be no one to frighten them away. The Lord will afflict you with the boils of Egypt and with tumors, festering sores and the itch, from which you cannot be cured. The Lord will afflict you with madness, blindness and confusion of mind. At midday you will grope about like a blind person in the dark. You will be unsuccessful in everything you do; day after day you will be oppressed and robbed, with no one to rescue you.
You will be pledged to be married to a woman, but another will take her and rape her….Your sons and daughters will be given to another nation, and you will wear out your eyes watching for them day after day, powerless to lift a hand. A people that you do not know will eat what your land and labor produce, and you will have nothing but cruel oppression all your days. The sights you see will drive you mad. The Lord will afflict your knees and legs with painful boils that cannot be cured, spreading from the soles of your feet to the top of your head.
The Lord will drive you and the king you set over you to a nation unknown to you or your ancestors. There you will worship other gods, gods of wood and stone. You will become a thing of horror, a byword and an object of ridicule among all the peoples where the Lord will drive you.
Because of the suffering your enemy will inflict on you during the siege, you will eat the fruit of the womb, the flesh of the sons and daughters the Lord your God has given you. Even the most gentle and sensitive man among you will have no compassion on his own brother or the wife he loves or his surviving children, and he will not give to one of them any of the flesh of his children that he is eating. It will be all he has left because of the suffering your enemy will inflict on you during the siege of all your cities. The most gentle and sensitive woman among you—so sensitive and gentle that she would not venture to touch the ground with the sole of her foot—will begrudge the husband she loves and her own son or daughter the afterbirth from her womb and the children she bears. For in her dire need she intends to eat them secretly because of the suffering your enemy will inflict on you during the siege of your cities. [portions from Deuteronomy 28:15-59]
So here are a few questions of the commenter. Why do you think any of that is for you? Why quote me Deuteronomy 28, and try to make the case that this is normative for you? Deuteronomy states that unless you follow every command in that book, dietary laws, tithing laws, festival laws, clean and unclean laws, animal sacrifices, etc, that God will destroy you, and that your fiance will be raped and that you will be forced to eat your own children due to sickness and starvation, and a host of other unspeakable horrors. Are these the consequences that you foresee happening?
You can’t claim that all these blessings were written specifically for you and that God is still working under the old covenant law system, while ignoring the consequences of what happens when you fail to keep up your end of the bargain. You don’t get Deut 28 blessings without accepting Deut 28 curses. I would ask my commenter; are you being fully obedient? Are you obeying every rule and law in Deuteronomy? Are you living up to the standards that not even the apostles could?
No? I didn’t think so. So don’t try to put people under the law and return us to this system which was a shadow of things to come, which is a new and better covenant under Christ.
Also, no one said that you needed to be poor to go to heaven. That is a very strange thing to say, but it is interesting. In the word-faith system, people are poor because they don’t have enough faith, or are disobedient. You heard the commenter say it just now- if you have poverty and lack and sickness- pretty much everyone living in third world countries, it’s because you are disobedient in some way.
That is a scary and tragic way to look at the world, and a scary and tragic way to use scripture.