In 1982 , when I returned to Sweden from America, where I had been attending Bible School, the first thing the devil told me was, “You can preach faith and healing here but not finances because people will think you are Americanized, so don’t say anything about money!”
Just as I was about to except this thought, I recognized where it came from. The Lord then spoke to me and said, “You need to preach prosperity in Sweden more than anything else.”
……….We, on the other hand, will continue to teach about financial prosperity as we become increasingly dependent on “El-Shaddai.”
~ Excerpt taken from article titled God’s Character- Riches and Abundance by Rev. Dr. Ulf Ekman
I read Harvest Times, a quarterly publication by City Harvest Church recently which presented the article by Rev. Dr. Ulf Ekman. In my personal opinion, it was quite disturbing.
I do not know if the article written represented accurately the totality of the author’s doctrine or beliefs in God, but if it is, then it is worrying what people are receiving from him under his leadership.
With a glance, the article looks very sound and biblical with quoted scriptures to support some of his points about God’s views and character towards being rich. However, in my personal opinion, there is something not right beneath those persuasive words.
My personal viewpoint
In my viewpoint and own understanding about God and His word, God’s ultimate directive has always been to preach SALVATION for the souls of man thru’ Jesus Christ and not prosperity. Even Jesus during His active ministry days didn’t preach a tinge on the subject of financial prosperity.
As recorded in the Gospels, Jesus went from town to town telling people to repent from their sins and live a godly life and nothing about a prosperous life. In fact, there was an instance where He even told a rich young man to give up all the riches He had if he truly wanted to follow Him. So this scenario refutes the claim that God wants us to be rich and in abundance materially because it is His character. God’s main aim is for us to be rich and abundant in Him- full of His love, compassion and holiness (c.f. Matthew 19:16-23).
Nevertheless, I do believe strongly that God wants to bless us in richness and abundance which may include worldy wealth, but it will and does NOT supercede the richness and abundance that springs from our salvation; our relationship with God. We are never complete without God in our lives. With Him, we are spiritually rich with abundance of His blessings walking closely with Him.
Being fully rich in Him
Lastly, Jesus did say in the Gospels that “the poor you will always have with you…..” (c.f. Mark 14:7) so that means not everyone will be rich in this world we live now. It is a fallen world. Then how can we be on a sole mission to preach and pray against financial proverty?
I reckon that the most we can do is educate people on financial management in the light of being a faithful and productive steward. As Christ-followers, we need to grow holistically with our financial intelligence being one of those aspects.
As illustrated with the parable of the talents, some will have plenty and some will have little (c.f. Matthew 25:14-29). Hence whether we are have plenty or we have little, we need to be content and thankful to God. Subsequently, fully utilising what we have (plenty or little) with the expansion of God’s Kingdom in mind.
Knowing God in His fullness
We need to know God with His Word as the fundamental basis and framework where we draw our understanding about Him. And it needs to be complete, balanced and in depth.
I just pray that those who receives his message of prosperity would not follow God only because of the strong allure of wanting to be rich financially. But to worship God for who He is as our merciful and loving Abba Father who forgave our sins by laying His life selflessly, and to do His will in preaching the Good News of salvation.
Note: Views are shared on a personal capacity and not targeted at the character of Rev. Dr. Ulf Ekman but the message. Corrections on my views are gratefully welcome.
4 thoughts on “Disturbing proclaimation”
No Correction from me.
On my point of view, he is trying to preach prosperity because with money, churches all over the world preach the gospel much more faster and efficient. In the biblical term, it is not about richness, but certain kind of enrichment – some of thing that come from the inside. Poor people still can have enrichment even if they never accumulate wealth. Some people will have this enrichment to manifest into wealth.
For example, one person who face problem, he will see that thing troubling.
Another person who face the same problem, he will see that thing as a opportunity – after solving his problem – he sold the idea to the first person. Just imagine if he sold the solution to a million people – he is a millionaire.
While the first guy will use the solution to solve his problem and go say bye-bye – that is what people call consumer mindset.
It is not about fair or not fair, it just some miss chances.
After all, the existence of rich people are to give hope to poor, while the poor people will impart faith to the rich. See the divine exchange.
But the real world, this seldom take place – largely they do not know God, or they do not know God enough.
That is why some Churches will promote prosperity to order to this kind of exchange take place.
“Do not stop him,” Jesus said, “for whoever is not against you is for you.” – Luke 9:50
I also see people claimed that he or she may know more than certain pastors. I think they have look at themselves again. I discover that those pastors have build a big group of believer – but I look at those people who claim to know more have not much follower. Furthermore, they have go a little too far to judge against God’s aniont one. You know what – it is just like Aaron and Miriam who claimed to know more Moses, when they only see vision, while Moses speak face to face to God. See below
5 Then the Lord came down in a pillar of cloud; he stood at the entrance to the Tent and summoned Aaron and Miriam. When both of them stepped forward, 6 he said, “Listen to my words: “When a prophet of the Lord is among you, I reveal myself to him in visions, I speak to him in dreams. 7 But this is not true of my servant Moses; he is faithful in all my house. 8 With him I speak face to face, clearly and not in riddles; he sees the form of the Lord. Why then were you not afraid to speak against my servant Moses?” 9 The anger of the Lord burned against them, and he left them.
One shall think before he speak, or else he is not be greater than the one he speaking against, furthermore, he make a fool of himself.
I read this recently…
“Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only he does the will of my Father who is in heaven.
Many will say to me on that day, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in Your Name, and in Your Name drive out demons and perform many miracles?’
Then I will tell them plainly, ‘I never knew you. Away from me, you eveildoers!'”
I believe from this passage, apart from it fore-warning against complacency towards salvation, it also tells us what is of ultimate importance as His people- to do His will; not ours.
His will is defined as His ways according to the Bible which He left for us to use as a framework/blueprint in building His kingdom on earth as it is in heaven.
From the passage, it is quite clear and ‘scary’ too that even if we may be healing or prophesying in His Name, we may not ultimately be doing His will.
Just some food for thought that hopefully would trigger us to find out His True Will for us and follow it whole-heartedly.
Many prophesy, many drive out demons and perform many miracles. How much people giving credit to the Lord. When they do godly thing, some of them want recognize from other, some of them want power. But at that moment, did they seek God? This is matter of priority and attitude, A man after God’s own heart, will seek his kingdom (as his priority), then His Righteous (as his attitude).
For God is God Almightly, if He want to prophesy, drive out demon or perform miracle – He don’t really need them. Some of them maybe good follower of Christ, but in the middle or the end – they forsake the race for Christ. I read a book Samuel – God Prophet, this book talk about obedience. Partial obedience is also consider as rebellion.
All in all, it is the heart that matter.
In Short, Heart Matter.