Article Archive

11 - Opposing the Prosperity Gospel

By Dr. Paul M. Elliott
"We must stand firm against this dangerous false teaching and fight to bring the truth to those whom the prosperity gospel exploits."

From the TeachingtheWord Bible Knowledgebase

Part eleven of a series. Read part ten.

"We must stand firm against this dangerous false teaching and fight to bring the truth to those whom the prosperity gospel exploits."

As he concludes his Answers magazine analysis of the prosperity gospel, Costi Hinn addresses the need for authentic Christians to expose this false teaching, and to avoid association with its advocates.

If the prosperity-gospel Jesus is not the real Jesus, then the prosperity gospel is not the real Gospel. Without broad-brushing every person involved in the prosperity gospel, it is no stretch to say that there are millions of false converts who think they are saved but are being deceived (2 Timothy 3:13). That's why our mission is so vital. The Holy Spirit guides people into truth (John 16:13), but God's people need to be those who proclaim truth (Romans 10:14-17). He said that knowing the truth brings freedom (John 8:32).

We must expose prosperity gospel preaching and avoid those who preach and partner with it (Romans 10:16-17; Ephesians 4:11-14). We must stand firm against this dangerous false teaching and fight to bring the truth to those whom the prosperity gospel exploits. When we stand on the authority of God's Word, we may not experience health or wealth here on our fallen earth, but our treasure is laid up in Heaven. [1]

I think it is well worth presenting the full texts of the passages Pastor Hinn cites above, in their contexts.

The Firm Foundation of Scripture

The answer to prosperity deception - and all of Satan's lies - is the uniquely authoritative written Word of God:

But you have carefully followed my doctrine, manner of life, purpose, faith, longsuffering, love, perseverance, persecutions, afflictions, which happened to me at Antioch, at Iconium, at Lystra - what persecutions I endured. And out of them all the Lord delivered me. Yes, and all who desire to live godly in Christ Jesus will suffer persecution. But evil men and impostors will grow worse and worse, deceiving and being deceived. But you must continue in the things which you have learned and been assured of, knowing from whom you have learned them, and that from childhood you have known the Holy Scriptures, which are able to make you wise for salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus. All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, thoroughly equipped for every good work. (2 Timothy 3:10-17)

The Illuminated Work of the Spirit

The indwelling Holy Spirit will guide the Christian in understanding the authoritative Word and applying it to the refutation of error:

I still have many things to say to you, but you cannot bear them now. However, when He, the Spirit of truth, has come, He will guide you into all truth; for He will not speak on His own authority, but whatever He hears He will speak; and He will tell you things to come. He will glorify Me, for He will take of what is Mine and declare it to you. All things that the Father has are Mine. Therefore I said that He will take of Mine and declare it to you. (John 16:12-15)

The Necessity of Biblical Preaching

It is by "the foolishness of preaching" (1 Corinthians 1:21) that we answer falsehood and proclaim authentic Christianity in contrast:

How then shall they call on Him in whom they have not believed? And how shall they believe in Him of whom they have not heard? And how shall they hear without a preacher? And how shall they preach unless they are sent? As it is written: "How beautiful are the feet of those who preach the Gospel of peace, who bring glad tidings of good things!" But they have not all obeyed the gospel. For Isaiah says, "Lord, who has believed our report?" So then faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the Word of God. (Romans 10:14-17)

The Practical Effect of Biblical Preaching

The practical effect of Biblical preaching is to drive falsehood and deception out of our thinking and fill us with confidence in the truth of the Word of God:

And He Himself gave some to be apostles, some prophets, some evangelists, and some pastors and teachers, for the equipping of the saints for the work of ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ, till we all come to the unity of the faith and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to a perfect man, to the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ; that we should no longer be children, tossed to and fro and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the trickery of men, in the cunning craftiness of deceitful plotting, but, speaking the truth in love, may grow up in all things into Him who is the head - Christ - from whom the whole body, joined and knit together by what every joint supplies, according to the effective working by which every part does its share, causes growth of the body for the edifying of itself in love.

This I say, therefore, and testify in the Lord, that you should no longer walk as the rest of the Gentiles walk, in the futility of their mind, having their understanding darkened, being alienated from the life of God, because of the ignorance that is in them, because of the blindness of their heart; who, being past feeling, have given themselves over to lewdness, to work all uncleanness with greediness.

But you have not so learned Christ, if indeed you have heard Him and have been taught by Him, as the truth is in Jesus: that you put off, concerning your former conduct, the old man which grows corrupt according to the deceitful lusts, and be renewed in the spirit of your mind, and that you put on the new man which was created according to God, in true righteousness and holiness.

Therefore, putting away lying, "Let each one of you speak truth with his neighbor," for we are members of one another. "Be angry, and do not sin": do not let the sun go down on your wrath, nor give place to the devil. Let him who stole steal no longer, but rather let him labor, working with his hands what is good, that he may have something to give him who has need. Let no corrupt word proceed out of your mouth, but what is good for necessary edification, that it may impart grace to the hearers. And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, by whom you were sealed for the day of redemption. (Ephesians 4:11-30)

As we conclude this series we shall examine some crucial questions that remain, on which the prosperity gospel spreads much falsehood: Is it God's will to heal our sicknesses and diseases? In what ways does God heal? What are His purposes in healing? God willing, we shall look at six principles that we find in Scripture.

Next: Biblical Principles of Healing


1. Costi W. Hinn, "Healthy, Wealthy, and Lies", Answers magazine, January-March 2022, page 74. Used by permission.


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