a Christian get sick? “No!” Should a Christian be financially
prosperous? “Yes!” So many say, as they preach from the Bible on T.V.
and in pulpits across the country. They confidently affirm that Jesus
will reward His disciples with both health and wealth. But did Jesus
promise what these preachers promise? What does the Bible say?
The teaching that many advocate on health can be summed up
by a quote from a tract, “Watch and Pray” put out by the Unity School of
Christianity. The tract reads, “We watch that we do not claim sickness or
negation by talking about ‘my’ cold, ‘my’ headache. We keep the watch of
Truth and see ourselves as God sees us, whole and perfect in every part.
The cells of our bodies respond to our strong healing consciousness, and
good health is quickly restored to every part.”
But, in the Bible, the apostle Paul says of his
fellow-disciple, “Trophimus I left sick at Miletus” (2 Tim 4;19). Paul
wrote about Epaphroditus, the faithful Christian and minister to his need,
“He was sick unto the point of death.” To Timothy, Paul advised, “Use a
little wine for the sake of your stomach and your frequent ailments.” (1
Tim 5:23). And, the apostle spoke frankly about the Christian’s suffering
in this life and the hope of it ending when he receives a new body, “… but
we ourselves, having the firstfruits of the Spirit, even we ourselves
groan within ourselves, waiting eagerly for our adoption as sons, the
redemption of our body.” (Rom 8:23).
The “Watch and Pray” tract says concerning financial
prosperity, “There is a never ending
prosperity that comes to us from God… We believe that God’s will is
But, in the Bible, Paul, the devout and totally committed
disciple of Jesus, wrote, “I have been in labor and hardship, through many
sleep-less nights, in hunger and thirst, often without food, in cold and
exposure.” (2 Cor 11:27). Later, he penned these words to the church at
Philippi while in prison preaching the gospel, “I know how to get along
with humble means, and I also know how to live in prosperity; in every
circumstance I have learned the secret of being filled and going hungry,
both of having abundance and suffering need” (Phil 4:12).
God’s will for the Christian does not rule out and may
very well include both financial adversity and ill health. God uses
suffering to strengthen His children’s faith and to develop their
character. In fact, in the Bible, through His ser-vant James, God
instructed His people to rejoice when in trials, realizing the spiritual
benefit God would bring from their suffering. God said, “con-sider it all
joy, my brethren, when you encounter various trials, knowing that the
testing of your faith produces endurance. And let endurance have its
perfect result that you may be perfect and complete, lacking nothing.” (Js
Do not be deceived by the false teachers of the “health and wealth
gospel! The advantage in obeying Jesus is spiritual, not physical and, o,
what an advantage it is! Obey Jesus, be forgiven, live in joy and peace
(even in trial), and go to heaven after this short and troubled life!
Americans will once again be able to see for themselves the treasures of
ancient Egypt, as the King Tut exhibit makes another round. These
treasures, as well as the magnificent pyramids, testify to Egypt’s past
greatness. But, now the glory of Egypt is but a memory, as the country
that once was a great world power struggles among the “developing”
When Egypt was at the height of its glory, the prophets
Isaiah and Ezekiel made these predictions:
There would more be a Prince of the land of Egypt (Eze 30:13).
Egypt would be diminished into a lowly kingdom (Eze 29:14-15)
The Nile River canals would dry up and Egypt would become desolate (Eze
29:9-10; 30:12; Isa 19:5-9)
The amazing 3000-year dynasty of the Pharaohs ended in
343 B.C. Since then there have not been any native rulers, but the
country has been ruled by foreigners, including those of Arab descent
Though others ruled them, Egypt remained rich for
centuries. Augustus Caesar called it “the granary of the world” in the 1st
century B.C. Even when the Arabians conquered it in A.D. 640, Egypt was
the richest nation in the world.
when and why did Egypt so diminish? Herodotus called Egypt “the gift of
the Nile”. After the Arabians took control, they neglected to remove the
silt from the canals and the Nile began to quit “giving”. Now over 96% of
Egypt is desert!
As predicted, the industries of agriculture and fishing
have been destroyed and reeds no longer line the shores of the shrunken
river. In 1991, the now lowly kingdom could by no means feed the world-
they only grew half the wheat they needed to feed their own people!
Could Isaiah and Ezekiel, who lived when Egypt had power
and riches and the Nile made the country fertile, have foreseen the
destiny of Egypt with human eyes? Obviously not! They wrote as prophets
of God and their work is part of the abundant evidence that should
convince you to believe that the Bible could not be the work of men, but
must be, as it claims, the Word of God!