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“There is a direct correlation between the measure of God’s Word in our lives and the measure of prosperity we enjoy.” – Phil Pringle, Faith, 2001, pg 14.
“When we have no room for the Word of God in our lives we have no room for success.” – Phil Pringle, Faith, 2001, pg 14.
How can this ‘truth’ comfort any believer who faces poverty daily? Isn’t a believer to live by faith and not by sight? If a believer fails in his job, is the Word of God absent in his life? What is the secret to remain in salvation that promises wealth and success?
We’ve got commend Phil Pringle for ‘researching’ this first before claiming everyone he looked up to be misinformed. However, here are some verses he clearly hasn’t considered.
“Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.” Matthew 5:3
So is the kingdom made up material things? Is the kingdom in this age?
“My kingdom is not of this world.” John 18:36
Truly Jesus has blessed us when he died, ascended and gave us his Spirit. But did Jesus bless us materially through this cross-pentecost process?
“Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places in Christ.” Ephesians 1:3 (Emphasis mine)
If there was any place Paul could have said, “Jesus has blessed us with every material blessing,” that would have been it. Paul makes it clear that Jesus ONLY shared the “Jews’ spiritual blessings” to the Gentiles.
“For if the Gentiles have shared in the Jews’ spiritual blessings, they owe it to the Jews to share with them their material blessings.” Romans 15:27 (Emphasis mine)
With this in mind, read the below blurb from Pringle’s book ‘Dead For Nothing? What The Cross Has Done For You’ (2000):
“2 Corinthians 8v9 “For you know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, that enough He was rich, yet for your sakes He became poor, that you through His poverty might become rich.”
Paul is referring to the fact that Jesus Christ died without one possession to his name, without one stitch of clothing on His body without any money at all so that he could take poverty to the cross and secure its defeat for those who embrace the saviour.
The Scripture is couched right in the middle of two chapters written to the Corinthians dealing almost exclusively with the subject of money. Many commentators have great difficulty admitting that this passage is actually dealing with money. In fact, I don’t think I’ve yet found one who agrees that Paul is speaking regarding finances. The most common comment is that it is a reference to spiritual riches. The Thompson Chain Reference Bible is a wonderful resource and study bible, but at this point he too in the margin describes what Paul is referring to as ‘spiritual riches’; Jamieson, Fausset and Brown comes the closest saying, ‘ …in the heavenly glory which constitutes His riches, and all other things, so far as is really good for us’, Matthew Henry interprets it as, ‘rich in the love of God, rich in the blessings of the new covenant, rich in the hopes of eternal life.’ The Word Biblical Commentary, claiming a team of respectful international scholars who were a ‘showcase of the best in evangelical critical scholarship for a new generation’, states regarding this verse; ‘Here, surely health and wealth are ciphers, not for material prosperity and penury but for spiritual exchange as the Incarnate Christ became what we are, so we could become what He is.’ For that to be consistent, the scripture would have to read, ‘Christ…became (spiritually) poor, that you might become (spiritually) rich.’ This then becomes an absurd, almost blasphemous proposition. To say or even intimate that Jesus Christ was a spiritually poor person is ludicrous.
Here is a person who raised the dead, healed the sick, displayed complete prowess over demons and the devil, revealed truths regarding God, man and the entire purpose of God that have withstood every kind of test and scrutiny. This person was not a spiritually poor person. Rather it was because of His spiritual wealth that he was able to go to the cross and bear away the curses that afflict mankind. Even if we limit His poverty to the time He was on the cross, claiming it was our poverty He took, are we to conclude that the ‘hope’ (Acts 2v26) he entered into was a spiritually poor position!? To maintain and kind of hope, and faith through His ordeal demonstrates an extraordinary spiritual richness. In our effort to read more into the statement than is actually there we make fools of ourselves and prevent God fulfilling His great promises in our lives. Jesus became poor regarding the wealth of this world on the cross, that those who receive Him may become rich with the wealth of this world.
Right at this point many people, (mostly Christians) have a terrible amount of trouble accepting this fact. The scheme of the devil has been to deceive the Church into believing that it is far more pious to be poor than it is to be rich. Suspicion is cast upon those who have accumulated wealth. God is seen as one who would rather his people be poor than enjoy abundance in their world. Abundance has always been the will of God for His people.
Getting over a poverty mindset however, is a lot more difficult than most realise. A spirit of religiosity is at the root of this consciousness. Paul encountered it as early as the first century when dealing with errors of the Colossian church.
Colossians 2v18 “Let no one cheat you of your reward, taking delight in false humility and worship of angels, intruding into those things which he has not seen, vainly puffed up by his fleshly mind…”
The religious spirit enjoys being ascetic because it draws pride from the effort. This spiritual indulgence actually only severs a person from Christ. As Esau was cheated out of his inheritance so the believer can be cheated out of theirs. Ascetism, (self inflicted austerity and poverty) posing as spirituality cheats believers out of all the blessings Christ has won for them through the work of the cross. The thinking that says high spirituality is at the expense of physical blessing defrauds the believer of their inheritance, whereas the Word causes us to gain it (Act 20v32).” - Phil Pringle, Dead For Nothing? , 2000, pg. 53-56. (Emphasis mine.)
We encourage you to read his later edition here as well: