The Real Deal: Biblical Prosperity Theology
 by Heidi Swander

"Here in America, prosperity theology sells!"  So says Pastor David Barnhart in his new book, Living in the Times of the Signs.  It’s true!  There are so many church movements today that are busy telling Christians how independently wealthy God wants them to be that they have kept the church of God in the dark about essential teachings that they desperately need in these end days in which we live.  In fact, prosperity theology is steeped in New Age philosophies that are abhorrent to our Holy God.
 
Barnhart also rightly deduces that, "The focus of prosperity theology is SELF.  What is in it for ME? It’s central message is, ‘How to get God to give you everything you want.‘"  Is that what living life for the King of kings who died in my place is all about?  Honestly.  Think about that question for a moment.  Time’s up!  Paul told Timothy that, "Those who desire to be rich fall into temptation and a snare, and into many foolish and harmful lusts which drown men in destruction and perdition.  For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil, for which some have strayed from the faith in their greediness, and pierced themselves through with many sorrows" (I Tim. 6:9,10).
 
But I’m here to bring you good news today!  God has a prosperity theology!  I’m not making this up!  There are two specific things we can do and if we do them, God promises to prosper us.  Are you ready?
 
Number one:  Meditate on God’s Word
Joshua 1:8.  God commanded Joshua, as he was leading the children of Israel into the Promised Land, to meditate on the Word of God day and night and promised him that if he did so, God would make his way prosperous and successful!  Who knew? 
 
Psalm 1:1-3.  Check it out:  If our delight is in God’s Word and we meditate on it day and night, then God says whatever we do will prosper! 
 
This flies in the face of the contemplative prayer movement that is leading the charge in the Emergent Church. 
We talked about this a couple weeks ago.   
 
According to Webster, the word "meditate" means, "To reflect upon; ponder . . . to engage in contemplation."
 
Okay, I know, I know.  The word "contemplation" is sending shivers up your spine since I told you about contemplative prayer as the Emerging Church defines it.  Don’t let them mess with your head.  Here’s what "contemplation" means according to Webster: "To ponder or consider thoughtfully."
 
Please note that in both cases, meditation and contemplation require you to think — specifically about God’s Word in the context of our discussion.  This is the polar opposite of contemplative prayer as the Emerging Church defines it and others into "Christian mysticism." They would tell you to stop thinking about anything!
 
Number two:  Pray for the peace of Jerusalem
Psalm 122:6.  God commands us to pray for the peace of Jerusalem, and then promises that those who love Jerusalem (a signpost for Israel and her people) will prosper!  Another aha! moment.
 
Do you pray for Israel?  She’s in sore need of our prayers today.  She’s surrounded on all sides by those who would like to see her people obliterated. 
 
Do you understand that Israel is still the apple of God’s eye and that He won’t abide those who do her harm? 
Jan has written plenty about so-called evangelicals who would throw Israel under the bus.   So Israel is not only physically surrounded by enemies, but some who call themselves Christians have also squarely placed themselves in that camp.
 
Let me (Heidi) give you a couple pointers on how you cannot just pray for Israel (please do that!) but also stand by her:
 
Learn about Israel.  Jan has a
wonderful new DVD that gives you a bull’s-eye synopsis of the history of Israel right up to the present.  I was there when she spoke for this DVD and I promise that it’s excellent.  Not only that, but there’s a powerful heart-grabber ending on this item!

Keep up with news on Israel so you know more specifically how to pray for her.  There are a number of wonderful sites from which you can sign up to have news sent to your inbox daily or weekly.  Some of these include Israel National News, Jerusalem Online, Israel Today, and Jerusalem Newswire
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