Click the File Folder to Download Your PDF

OR Read Online Below


Grace Bible Church
Robert R. McLaughlin Bible Ministries


The Tree of Life is a weekly teaching summary.
The Tree of Life from the week ending 07/22/07
God’s Laws of Prosperity are founded upon the fact that He owns everything, and we own nothing.
Our corrected translation of PHI 4:14-15, “However, you have functioned honorably when you shared money with and entered into partnership with me, in my adversity. Now you yourselves also recognize, Philippians, that in the beginning with reference to the Gospel, after I departed from Macedonia, no church shared with me with reference to the doctrine of giving and receiving but you alone;”
            In verse 16 we have the causal use of the Greek conjunction hoti translated for which is a legitimate translation. However, the word hoti has many other meanings, and here it is best translated because. So PHI 4:16Because even in Thessalonica you sent a gift more than once for my needs.” On departing Philippi, Paul went immediately to Thessolonica (Acts 17:1-9) and even after he departed, they (the Philippians) were sending offerings. This indicates that the Philippian congregation immediately undertook the support of Paul simply because they had responded quickly and positively to doctrinal teaching.
            The phrase you sent, in the Greek, is pempo, meaning to send. This is a culminative aorist which views several financial gifts in their entirety. It means that the Philippian church took up regular offerings. Those regular offerings were the result of spiritual growth which motivated true giving. It is also in the active voice, meaning the spiritually growing believers of Philippi produced the action of the verb. The indicative mood is declarative for a historical reality.
            The word for needs in the Greek is the noun chrelan, and it means that even though Paul was in Thessalonica, the Philippians were still sending offerings to Paul for his needs. Paul didn’t have to dramatize his needs as so many missionaries and pastors often do.
            So, again PHI 4:16 “Because even in Thessalonica you sent a gift more than once for my needs.” We see some important principles regarding this verse:
            1. To send an offering once might indicate emotional giving, but to send an offering more than once denotes correct motivation. Especially in this context where the motivation has already been documented as correct.
            2. It is not the impulsive one shot emotional gift that counts, but the consistent and faithful application of doctrine and giving under grace orientation.
            3. Grace orientation in giving is based on maximum doctrine resident in the soul, and/or spiritual growth.
            4. Giving in the Christian life must never be associated with bribing God for blessing. Under the principle of grace, God cannot be bribed, and that knocks out and removes any form of tithing.
            5. Grace giving reflects grace motivation.
            6. Grace giving denotes grace growth.
            7. Grace giving is that spiritual function of the royal priesthood expressing worship commemorating God's grace, and with the Philippians denoting occupation with the person of Jesus Christ.
            So far in our brief study of prosperity, we have seen the first law of prosperity: Always keep God first.
            The second law we have just looked at is: God's way for prosperity is different than the world's way.
            There is a third law for prosperity we need to look atbefore we go in our passage, and that is the fact that He owns everything and that we own nothing. God's Word clearly tells us that we don't own anything. It is very important for believers to grasp the concept that we don't own anything, and that God really just lets us use things. Once you really understand this, God's laws of prosperity will start to fall into place. We came into this world empty-handed and we will leave this world the same way, 1TI 6:7 “For we have brought nothing into the world, so we cannot take anything out of it either.”
1CO 4:7 “For who regards you as superior? And what do you have that you did not receive? But if you did receive it, why do you boast as if you had not received it?”
            Look at 1CH 29:1-16, Then King David said to the entire assembly, ‘My son Solomon, whom alone God has chosen, is still young and inexperienced and the work is great; for the temple is not for man, but for the Lord God. Now with all my ability I have provided for the house of my God the gold for the things of gold, and the silver for the things of silver, and the bronze for the things of bronze, the iron for the things of iron, and wood for the things of wood, onyx stones and inlaid stones, stones of antimony, and stones of various colors, and all kinds of precious stones, and alabaster in abundance. And moreover, in my delight in the house of my God, the treasure I have of gold and silver, I give to the house of my God, over and above all that I have already provided for the holy temple, namely, 3,000 talents of gold, of the gold of Ophir, and 7,000 talents of refined silver, to overlay the walls of the buildings; of gold for the things of gold, and of silver for the things of silver, that is, for all the work done by the craftsmen. Who then is willing to consecrate himself this day to the Lord?’ Then the rulers of the fathers' households, and the princes of the tribes of Israel, and the commanders of thousands and of hundreds, with the overseers over the king's work, offered willingly; and for the service for the house of God they gave 5,000 talents and 10,000 darics of gold, and 10,000 talents of silver, and 18,000 talents of brass, and 100,000 talents of iron. And whoever possessed precious stones gave them to the treasury of the house of the Lord, in care of Jehiel the Gershonite. Then the people rejoiced because they had offered so willingly, for they made their offering to the Lord with a whole heart, and King David also rejoiced greatly. So David blessed the Lord in the sight of all the assembly; and David said, ‘Blessed art Thou, O Lord God of Israel our father, forever and ever. Thine, O Lord, is the greatness and the power and the glory and the victory and the majesty, indeed everything that is in the heavens and the earth; Thine is the dominion, O Lord, and Thou dost exalt Thyself as head over all. Both riches and honor come from Thee, and Thou dost rule over all, and in Thy hand is power and might; and it lies in Thy hand to make great, and to strengthen everyone. Now therefore, our God, we thank Thee, and praise Thy glorious name. But who am I and who are my people that we should be able to offer as generously as this? For all things come from Thee, and from Thy hand we have given Thee. For we are sojourners before Thee, and tenants, as all our fathers were; our days on the earth are like a shadow, and there is no hope. O Lord our God, all this abundance that we have provided to build Thee a house for Thy holy name, it is from Thy hand, and all is Thine.’”
            While we are on this earth, God allows us to make use of possessions that actually belong to Him. DEU 10:14 “Behold, to the Lord your God belong heaven and the highest heavens, the earth and all that is in it.”
1CO 10:26 “for the earth is the Lord's, and all it contains.”
HAG 2:8 “The silver is Mine, and the gold is Mine,” declares the Lord of hosts. God owns everything in heaven, everything on earth and everything in between including the sun, the moon, the stars, and all the planets of the universe. Every bit of our money belongs to God; we belong to God.
PSA 24:1The earth is the Lord's, and all it contains, The world, and those who dwell in it.”
God's Word says in DEU 8:17 “Otherwise, you may say in your heart, ‘My power and the strength of my hand made me this wealth.’ But you shall remember the Lord your God, for it is He who is giving you power to make wealth,”
            Most people who have become wealthy following the world's system of prosperity don't understand this concept. This is why God's Word says that it is so difficult for wealthy people to enter into God's kingdom; MAR 10:23 says, “How hard it will be for those who are wealthy to enter the kingdom of God!” God's laws of prosperity require us to trust in Him instead of trusting in riches. The world's way is to trust in material assets, and to continually try to accumulate more of them. The more of these assets people accumulate, the harder it is for them to enter into God's kingdom. The world's system of prosperity is totally opposite of God's laws for prosperity. Many people think everything would be great if they could only have unlimited funds. However, close observation of people who have more money than they can spend shows they often do not find any lasting satisfaction from their wealth without appreciating the fact that it all comes from and belongs to God.             It is foolish to think that the world's prosperity satisfies. The more we get the more we want. ECC 5:10He who loves money will not be satisfied with money, nor he who loves abundance {with its} income. This too is vanity.” Worldly possessions never satisfy because God didn't make us that way. True satisfaction can only be found deep within ourselves, not in any external worldly possessions. Remember what Job said in JOB 1:21 after he suffered a tremendous loss, And he said, “Naked I came from my mother's womb, And naked I shall return there. The Lord gave and the Lord has taken away. Blessed be the name of the Lord.”Solomon said in ECC 5:13-16, “There is a grievous evil {which} I have seen under the sun: riches being hoarded by their owner to his hurt. When those riches were lost through a bad investment and he had fathered a son, then there was nothing to support him. As he had come naked from his mother's womb, so will he return as he came. He will take nothing from the fruit of his labor that he can carry in his hand. And this also is a grievous evil, exactly as a man is born, thus will he die. So, what is the advantage to him who toils for the wind?”
            Most people who become rich without following God's laws of prosperity sooner or later realize there is no satisfaction in that wealth. We see many people who have prospered by the world's system of prosperity who have nothing but constant problems. They experience severe problems as they approach death, and realize that their worldly estates and riches which will soon be given up to be fought over by selfish heirs and heiresses. PRO 21:6 says “The getting of treasures by a lying tongue Is a fleeting vapor, the pursuit of death.” Often, wealthy people find that the years of pursuing wealth have given them nothing but high blood pressure, ulcers, heart disease, mental illnesses and other illnesses. Everyone who prospers by methods other than God's laws of prosperity sooner or later will find that this prosperity will become a curse. PRO 1:32 says, “The prosperity of fools shall destroy them.” God's Word gives this definition of a fool in PSA 53:1The fool has said in his heart, ‘There is no God,’” Many people who are financially successful acknowledge God with their words, but not with their hearts. Their hearts are caught up with making money and with the things it can buy, so in reality money becomes their god. This is why man's methods of prosperity eventually destroy the people who follow them. Prosperity apart from God brings nothing but trouble. PRO 15:6“Much wealth is {in} the house of the righteous, But trouble is in the income of the wicked.”
            The world's system of prosperity has its price. Financial prosperity achieved by the world's methods will bring sorrow, but God's Word clearly teaches us that God's laws will enable us to prosper in every area of our lives without any sorrow. PRO 10:22 “It is the blessing of the Lord that makes rich, And He adds no sorrow to it.” God's Word tells us that sorrow comes from loving money, from putting money ahead of God. 1TI 6:10 says, “For you see the love of money keeps on being a root of all sorts of evil, through which [love for money] certain ones by intensively desiring it [money] have gone astray from doctrine, and pierced themselves with many types of pain.” When we covet money and the things that it will buy, we will go astray from doctrine.
            The love of money isn't limited to the rich; many people who don't have much money still love it. They still want it more than anything else in their lives and would do almost anything to obtain large amounts of it. These people are often tempted by get rich quick schemes. By the way, God's Word says these schemes are evil. PRO 28:22 “A man with an evil eye hastens after wealth, And does not know that want will come upon him.” God's Word warns us over and over against coveting, against being greedy, always wanting more.
PSA 10:3 “For the wicked boasts of his heart's desire, And the greedy man curses and spurns the Lord.” His Word says that the right thinking with regard to riches will cause us to prolong our days. PRO 28:16 “A leader who is a great oppressor lacks understanding, {But} he who hates unjust gain will prolong {his} days.” God doesn't want our lives to center around money and the things that money will buy. His Word tells us that the accumulation of money and possessions is wrong and that this will hurt us.
            ECC 5:13 “There is a grievous evil which I have seen under the sun: riches being hoarded by their owner to his hurt.”
Millions of Christians have never really had to trust God for their finances, especially Christians in the middle and upper income classes. Too many believers have lived a lifetime based upon worldly job security backed up by such things as bank accounts, investments, equity in property, pension and profit-sharing plans, insurance, etc.
            These things are not wrong, but they can tend to turn people against learning and applying God's laws of prosperity. God's people have to stop placing their trust in their various financial cushions and start trusting in God. He'll always do His part, but we must do our part. God's laws of prosperity will show us exactly how to profit even during a coming economic crisis. ISA 48:17Thus says the Lord, your Redeemer, the Holy One of Israel; I am the Lord your God, who teaches you to profit, Who leads you in the way you should go.”
            No matter how bad our economy might get, God's laws of prosperity, if followed exactly, will provide us with the financial substance that we need. If and when difficult times do come upon us, we will not solve our problems by storing up money and possessions. If we store up riches, we violate one of God's most important laws. The more we hoard and store up, the more we show our trust in what we have stored up instead of trusting in God. PRO 11:24-26, There is one who scatters, yet increases all the more, And there is one who withholds what is justly due, but {it results} only in want. The generous man will be prosperous, And he who waters will himself be watered. He who withholds grain, the people will curse him, But blessing will be on the head of him who sells {it.}
            Instead of trusting in worldly riches, our Father clearly wants us to trust in Him and to share what we have with others.1TI 6:17-18, “To those who are rich in this present age or dispensation, instruct or command them not to be arrogant or proud and not to have confidence in the uncertainty of riches, but to depend upon the God, who richly supplies us abundantly with all things for our pleasure and enjoyment. Instruct them to do good, to be rich in good works, to be generous and ready to share,”
Scroll to Top
Scroll to Top