Today, a consistent focus can be found in the pulpit and in Christian conversation on the carnal things of this world. Preachers and Pastors make the promise that if you follow Jesus/Yeshua, you will be blessed with many earthly blessings. This focus existing to varying degrees is known by many as Prosperity Teaching. What is my next job going to be? Who will my husband/wife be? How will I find them? How can I make the most money in my situation? How can I save enough for retirement? How will I find my dream house? When will that next steak dinner be? How will God solve all of my earthly problems? Even, What will be the food spread at the next Super Bowl? These are all things that believe it or not are of major focus even in the pulpit today. To summarize, the focus of many Christian teachings today looks like this: money money money, house, savings, relationships, employment, entertainment, prosperity and feasting. I’ve listened to countless sermons myself over the course of my life on these many “carnal” (of the flesh) topics. In this article, you will see how the testimony of scripture reveals that these very teachings will over time groom the hearer to become an enemy of God.
Christianity in general today is viewed by many “primarily” as a solution to money problems, relationship problems, job problems, coping with abuses, sadness, rejection, etc., and “secondarily” as a means to salvation and eternal life. Many are instructed to pray to God for a long varying list of worldly things and he will answer their prayers sometimes with a “yes” and sometimes with a “no.” The Father becomes more of a sounding board for wants, rather than the giver of eternal life and provider of our needs. The amount of time Christian ministers in the USA today dedicate to these “worldly” carnal topics is astronomical. Did Jesus/Yeshua spend this kind of time on these topics?
“No man can serve two masters: for either he will hate the one, and love the other; or else he will hold to the one, and despise the other. Ye cannot serve God and mammon. Therefore I say unto you, Take no thought for your life, what ye shall eat, or what ye shall drink; nor yet for your body, what ye shall put on. Is not the life more than meat, and the body than raiment? Behold the fowls of the air: for they sow not, neither do they reap, nor gather into barns; yet your heavenly Father feedeth them. Are ye not much better than they? Which of you by taking thought can add one cubit unto his stature? And why take ye thought for raiment? Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow; they toil not, neither do they spin: And yet I say unto you, That even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these. Wherefore, if God so clothe the grass of the field, which to day is, and to morrow is cast into the oven, shall he not much more clothe you, O ye of little faith? Therefore take no thought, saying, What shall we eat? or, What shall we drink? or, Wherewithal shall we be clothed? (For after all these things do the Gentiles seek) for your heavenly Father knoweth that ye have need of all these things. But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you. Take therefore no thought for the morrow: for the morrow shall take thought for the things of itself. Sufficient unto the day is the evil thereof.” ~ Matthew 6:24-34
We are taught, we cannot serve both God and money. Here Yeshua makes very clear that we aren’t to worry about the things of this life and indicates “for after all these things do the Gentiles seek.” The Gentiles of this time were not included in God’s chosen people “Israel.” They were outsiders of the kingdom. They were constantly seeking after carnal fleshly things- what to eat, what to drink, what to wear, where to live, etc. Does today’s Christian resemble “Israel” or does today’s Christian resemble the outsider? With sadness those that are honest would say, many of today’s Christians have become infatuated with the things of this world, seeking after every earthly thing. This contradicts the teaching of Yeshua, to seek first eternal life in the Kingdom. He did not promise earthly mansions, riches, beautiful wives/husbands, dream jobs, etc. Rather He promised that we would be fed and clothed. He promised a fulfilling of needs if we follow Him, not wants. I’ve heard in many Christian circles also a teaching that God will bless his children with an abundance of earthly things and that it is a “sign of God’s blessing”, yet according to the scriptures the blessing of God under the New Covenant is spiritual, not carnal.
“Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who hath blessed us with all spiritual blessings in heavenly places in Christ” ~ Ephesians 1:3
Our blessings are spiritual and eternal, and will be received in the Kingdom. The Old Covenant was carnal, and God’s blessing under the Old Covenant was carnal. The New Covenant is spiritual, and God’s blessing under the New Covenant is spiritual. Our life on this earth is as the blink of an eye when you consider “eternity.” Many will look to those that are wealthy and have gained many worldly things as being “blessed by God.” They then seek spiritual guidance from these that have attained earthly riches because they assume “surely God has blessed them.” Do not be deceived, the blessing of Yeshua/Jesus is a spiritual one, and He promised the opposite of earthly riches if we truly follow him- rather He promised hatred and persecution:
“Blessed are they which are persecuted for righteousness’ sake: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. Blessed are ye, when men shall revile you, and persecute you, and shall say all manner of evil against you falsely, for my sake. Rejoice, and be exceeding glad: for great is your reward in heaven: for so persecuted they the prophets which were before you.” ~ Matthew 5:10-12
“If ye were of the world, the world would love his own: but because ye are not of the world, but I have chosen you out of the world, therefore the world hateth you. Remember the word that I said unto you, The servant is not greater than his lord. If they have persecuted me, they will also persecute you; if they have kept my saying, they will keep yours also. But all these things will they do unto you for my name’s sake, because they know not him that sent me.” ~ Matthew 15:19-21
Ask yourself, “Am I being persecuted for my faith in Jesus/Yeshua and for proclaiming the doctrine of the bible?” “Have people cast me away or disowned me because I testify of the doctrine of the bible?” I’m somewhat confident in saying that many Christians in the USA today would answer “No.” Earlier in life I went along with the numerous non-biblical teachings of mainstream Christianity, but I never understood why Jesus had said that I would be persecuted, because everyone seemed to love me just fine. I wondered, “what am I missing here?” Now that I proclaim the gospel and doctrine of the bible, and the bible alone, I can truly say that I’ve experienced this persecution that Jesus spoke of first hand, and much of this persecution comes from a source you’d never expect- mainstream Christianity. Many Christian churches today have left the doctrine of the bible and have become “conformed to the world.” The world today more than ever hates the true teaching of the doctrine of the holy scriptures.
The Apostle Paul also had much to say about the carnal vs. the spiritual. He explains that the flesh and the spirit are at war with each other, and a fleshly/carnal mind is enmity against God. If a carnal mind is at enmity with God, why would many of today’s pastors and preachers constantly speak and preach concerning carnal things?:
“For the flesh lusteth against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh: and these are contrary the one to the other: so that ye cannot do the things that ye would.” ~ Galatians 5:17
“For to be carnally minded is death; but to be spiritually minded is life and peace. Because the carnal mind is enmity against God: for it is not subject to the law of God, neither indeed can be.” ~ Romans 8:6-7
“For he that soweth to his flesh shall of the flesh reap corruption; but he that soweth to the Spirit shall of the Spirit reap life everlasting.” ~ Galatians 6:8
“And I, brethren, could not speak unto you as unto spiritual, but as unto carnal, even as unto babes in Christ. I have fed you with milk, and not with meat: for hitherto ye were not able to bear it, neither yet now are ye able. For ye are yet carnal: for whereas there is among you envying, and strife, and divisions, are ye not carnal, and walk as men?” ~ 1 Corinthians 3:1-3 (Paul scolding the Corinthians for being yet carnal)
How will Christians receive the spiritual teachings of Christ as Paul mentions, if they can’t get past the carnal worries and things of the flesh? Today’s teachings of God’s blessing in the form of earthly riches and a life full of privilege is extremely deceptive. Riches are not a sign of God’s blessing, just as poverty is not a sign of abandonment by God. There are even mystical teachings today of the “Law of Attraction” that teaches others that by our own human ability we can send out “postive energy” (as if we have power that is of our own merit apart from God), you invite earthly advantages- the focus again being on the carnal. These are doctrines of demons- as we know all good things come from the Father, and you and I alone are mere dust and powerless. Those that are blessed by god with spiritual blessings, are those that walk in obedience to the New Covenant with God’s laws written into their hearts- and as promised they will always have what they need. If you seek spiritual teachers, seek out those that bear the fruits of the holy spirit and are found walking in obedience to God’s commands, no matter how they look and no matter what their status is in society. You will see that God is glorified in all that they do, and they will walk humbly and with all meekness and sincerity. These are those that can be found storing up treasures in heaven, rather than treasures here on earth.
“Lay not up for yourselves treasures upon earth, where moth and rust doth corrupt, and where thieves break through and steal: But lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust doth corrupt, and where thieves do not break through nor steal: For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also.” ~ Matthew 6:19-21
Do not be fooled by today’s prosperity teachings. These are false doctrines that tickle the ears, and groom us to be God’s enemies. The scriptures warns against these teachers:
“For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but after their own lusts shall they heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears; And they shall turn away their ears from the truth, and shall be turned unto fables.” ~ 2 Timothy 4:3-4
“And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.” ~ Romans 12:2