God Doesn't Promise Health and Wealth

(Video here.)

Many churches are preaching an exciting message today. The message is that God doesn't want you to suffer, be poor, or anything like that. With enough faith and good works, He will bless you with great health and piles of money. God has indeed blessed some people with healing and riches. Prosperity preachers go further saying God promises all of us Abraham's riches, Jesus' authority to heal, and Elijah's anointing of power with prophecies and signs. That sounds awesome! What does it take to get all of this?

Those preachers especially emphasize giving. By giving, they mean you give them lot of your money. They say you can sow a seed, remind God of His promises in His Word, and He then owes you the physical or financial blessing you asked for. You can use your words to speak things into existence. You can "name it and claim it!" The preachers say you can believe it because their huge empires prove it worked for them.

Except, their money didn't come from miracles: it's all donations by or sales to their audience. They promise them they'll get health, wealth, or other blessings. Then, those people donate hoping to get those blessings. Then, these preachers use that income to live a lavish lifestyle. They reinvest part of it into expanding their organizations which use more false promises to sell more books and ask for more donations. Is what they're saying true, though?

How to Test Them

We can easily test this. We can look at the most-righteous people in God's Word to see if they stayed healthy and rich. It should've been true from Abraham on given what these people preach. We can see if these preachers were blessed like Solomon. We can see if their faithful followers got rich and healthy, or just poorer parting with their money. We'll compare their character to Biblical examples. We'll also link to clips where they make false claims like how sowing seeds, your money in their pockets, gets you God's blessings.

Spoiler: We'll find that these preachers were liars from the start. What they predict didn't happen in God's Word, almost never happens in their churches, and goes against what happened to Christians for most of history. People that believe in them are usually worse off for it. That's your warning to go ahead and stop listening to them. Now for the evidence.

What God's Word Says

What Jesus Said

Let's look at the Word. Jesus was the most righteous person to ever live. As God in the flesh, He could also make anything happen that He wanted. He left riches in heaven to be born on Earth in a manger, or animal feeder. When on Earth, He told people things like this about money:

"Don’t lay up treasures for yourselves on the earth, where moth and rust consume, and where thieves break through and steal; but lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust consume, and where thieves don’t break through and steal; for where your treasure is, there your heart will be also." (Matt. 6:19-21)
"Jesus looking at him loved him, and said to him, 'One thing you lack. Go, sell whatever you have, and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven; and come, follow me, taking up the cross.' But his face fell at that saying, and he went away sorrowful, for he was one who had great possessions." (Mark 10:21-22)

"Beware! Keep yourselves from covetousness, for a man's life doesn't consist of the abundance of the things which he possesses." (Luke 12:15)

"Sell what you have and give gifts to the needy. Make for yourselves purses which don't grow old, a treasure in the heavens that doesn't fail, where no thief approaches and no moth destroys. For where your treasure is, there will your heart be." (Luke 12:33-34)

"No servant can serve two masters, for either he will hate the one, and love the other; or else he will hold to one, and despise the other. You aren’t able to serve God and Mammon (god of money). The Pharisees, who were lovers of money, also heard all these things, and they scoffed at him." (Luke 16:13-14)

So, Jesus is constantly warning people to not focus on money. He reminds us people's hearts drive what they focus on. Those aiming for luxurious lives at their donors' expense have selfish, greedy hearts. Whereas, Jesus commands His disciples to sell their surplus possessions to give to others, especially the poor. The person who is most like Christ will live a modest or impoverished life because they spend almost all their money on others' needs, not luxuries. Do your favorite, prosperity preachers try to accumulate lots of possessions or give everything they have away?

How Jesus Lived

Now, let's look at how Jesus lived in practice.

While crowds followed Him, He still was teaching and healing for free. He not only was poor: he was homeless with no place to lay His head. Later, Mary, Joanna, Susanna, and many others provided for Him out of their possessions. Peter said, "We have left everything for you." Following Jesus made His disciples lose everything to wander around in poverty. Is that was prosperity preachers promise us?

Let's see how people reacted to His Gospel. Isaiah prophesied He'd be despised and rejected by men, a man of suffering. Most didn't repent. Jesus fled towns of people trying to lock Him up or kill Him. Later, Jesus screamed in agony, "My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?!" as He was being tortured to death. The most righteous person in history had to lose His health and wealth to live in obedience to God. Why would we be more blessed than God Himself?

Some false teachers claim that Jesus suffered like this so nobody else would have to. That the promises would kick in for everyone else. If true, then nobody else who was righteous within Abraham's line or faithfully followed Christ would experience the hardships He did, right? If so, they'd be temporary before followed by the suffering ending, they're healed, get lots of money, and huge ministries. Let's pause to see why they say that.

Does the Bible Promise Wealth?

Prosperity preachers often say we've inherited financial blessings through Abraham. They quote random verses all over the Bible. Their sermons rarely walk you through a passage in its historical context to understand what the author was really saying. Instead, they cut out specific verses that kind of sound like what they're saying. I'll give you an example that disproves the whole of prosperity theology.

The false teachers might start in Heb. 6:13 saying Abraham had a covenant with God, maybe add verses like Heb. 8:6 saying Christ got us better promises, and finish up with Heb. 11:17-35 that has people with all kinds of blessings. They stop there and tell you that you'll be blessed, too. They should keep reading because the rest of the verses say otherwise:

"Others were tested by mocking and scourging, yes, moreover by bonds and imprisonment. They were stoned. They were cut in two with saws. They were tempted. They were slain with the sword. They went around wearing sheep skins and goat skins; being destitute, afflicted, ill-treated — of whom the world was not worthy — wandering in deserts, mountains, caves, and the holes of the earth. These all, having had testimony given to them through their faith, didn’t receive the promise, God having provided some better thing concerning us, so that apart from us they should not be made perfect." (Heb. 11:36-40, ESV)

God's Word says they "didn't receive the promise." That's because the promise Hebrews is talking about is how God will wipe away everyone's sins once and for all. He will give us eternal life, not physical blessings, by Jesus Christ dying on the cross for us. If you doubt this, just... keep reading Hebrews from chapter 12 onward where it says exactly that.

Even if this was about our earthly lives, when do prosperity preachers ever say that you too will have your back shredded, live in prison, be stoned, be cut in half with a wooden saw, or just live your whole life in poverty? Hebrews says that happened to many of the most obedient people in history. Is God promising us blessings or suffering for following Christ?

God's Word Promises Suffering

Christ tells His disciples what to expect. He says people will hate, persecute, jail, and/or kill us. True enough, the book of Acts has them being chased out of towns, beaten by the authorities, locked up, James is killed by the sword, Stephen is stoned, and John writes Revelation in exile on the island of Patmos. Any prosperity preacher who tells you that your suffering is temporary, followed by material blessings in this life, will have a hard time explaining the deaths of the martyrs.

Their next claim is they lived healthy and rich but died afterward. Paul said they were blameless and hardworking. They should've gotten any blessings we'd get today. Instead, Paul said they lived lives full of poverty, pain, and persecution. Here's his words in two translations so you can double check it:

"Even to this present hour we (Apostles) hunger, thirst, are naked, are beaten, and have no certain dwelling place. We toil, working with our own hands. When people curse us, we bless. Being persecuted, we endure. Being slandered, we entreat. We are made as the filth of the world, the dirt wiped off by all, even until now." (1 Cor. 4:11-13)
"Are they Hebrews? So am I. Are they Israelites? So am I. Are they the offspring of Abraham? So am I. Are they servants of Christ? (I speak as one beside himself.) I am more so: in labors more abundantly, in prisons more abundantly, in stripes above measure, and in deaths often. Five times I received forty stripes minus one from the Jews. Three times I was beaten with rods. Once I was stoned. Three times I suffered shipwreck. I have been a night and a day in the deep. I have been in travels often, perils of rivers, perils of robbers, perils from my countrymen, perils from the Gentiles, perils in the city, perils in the wilderness, perils in the sea, perils among false brothers; in labor and travail, in watchings often, in hunger and thirst, in fastings often, and in cold and nakedness." (2 Cor. 11:22-27)

(Note: Also, Paul is an offspring of Abraham setting records for good works before a life of suffering, poverty, and near death. The Abrahamic promises clearly didn't guarantee safety or wealth for Paul. Us either.)

"I know your works, oppression, and your poverty (but you are rich), and the blasphemy of those who say they are Jews, and they are not, but are a synagogue of Satan. Don’t be afraid of the things which you are about to suffer. Behold, the devil is about to throw some of you into prison, that you may be tested; and you will have oppression for ten days. Be faithful to death, and I will give you the crown of life." (Rev. 2:9-10)

Jesus writes to Smyrna saying they live in oppression and poverty. He reminds them they're already rich with an inheritance and every blessing in heavenly places. Then, he says some will be in prison and some will die. Jesus is promising that church that their lives on Earth will be horrible, maybe cut short. If they endure faithfully, He promises they'll receive eternal life and rewards in heaven instead of blessings on Earth.

Later in Revelation, multitudes of Christians are killed during the Great Tribulation. It says:

"When he opened the fifth seal, I saw underneath the altar the souls of those who had been killed for the Word of God, and for the testimony of the Lamb which they had kept. They cried with a loud voice, saying, 'How long, O Lord, holy and true, until you judge and avenge our blood on those who dwell on the earth?' A long white robe was given to each of them. They were told that they should rest yet a little while longer, until the number of their fellow servants and their brothers who would be killed like they were, was complete." (Rev. 6:9-11)

You see that God is allowing believers suffer and die horribly. He could prevent it. Instead, He waits until the martyrs hit a certain number. Then, Jesus avenges them.

What's all that tell us? The most righteous people faced poverty and even murder. That included many prophets, Jesus Himself, the Apostles, the early churches, and many in today's churches. They kept their eyes on what waited for them in heaven.

It's very clear that anyone is a liar if they say Christ guarantees us safety, health, and wealth in this life. He might bless us that way. He doesn't promise to, though.

"You're Blessed if You Do X"

People like Joyce Meyer know they can't deliver on their false promises to their paying audiences. So, they put lots of conditions on the blessings tied back to Abrahamic promises. If you do X, Y, and Z, then you somehow earn God's blessing. If you're not rich and healthy, then you're not being obedient enough with good works, like giving them money (the "seed"). Preachers like her tell people in tragic circumstances that it's always their fault if things don't change. Whereas, God's Word says people suffer for many reasons.

Were promises like Abraham's done for blessings and tied to obedience? We actually see God come to undeserving people with these promises for His name's sake. Abraham had faith in who God is, not to extract blessings. Then, Abraham, David, Solomon, Elijah, and Israel herself all screw up at different points with several being huge (eg murder, idolatry). God still delivers on His promises despite their poor obedience. He does so for His name's sake, mercy, and faithfulness.

(Note: This article on Meyer covers that and more.)

We find that simply reading the stories show Joyce et al were lying about how their strong obedience got them the blessings. Instead, we see that God blessed failing people out of His grace for His own reasons. If God promised us earthly blessings, too, He would likewise give them to us. Even our failures wouldn't stop Him. Are you who follow these preachers as rich as Abraham or Solomon with perfect health?

God Blesses the Wicked

Many people say God must be with them because they're rich and successful. God's Word is clear that rich and successful doesn't mean they're doing the right thing. God's Word often calls out rich people for greed and corruption.

In Psalm 73 (exposition) and Habakkuk, God's people also wonder why He blesses the wicked while all the righteous the authors knew were suffering. That instantly shows you people might succeed or suffer for any reason. Don't ever believe God is behind someone's teachings just because they are successful. We don't live like Babylonians just because God once made them into a mighty empire. In these passages, Israel's national sins led to God's wrath which hurt righteous people, too. Therefore, don't assume an individual is suffering for their disobedience.

Why does God bless the wicked with money, power, and success? What good comes of that?

First, God loves even His enemies. Second, He uses them as instruments of His will to bless, test, or punish people. Third, some of them hear the Gospel to receive God's mercy. Fourth, everyone eventually stands before God in judgement where He will render to each according to their works. Psalm 73 and Habakkuk both end saying the wicked, even those with wealth and power, will eventually loose it all as punishment. Whereas, God rewards and preserves His righteous in eternity.

The Preachers' Net Worth

The prosperity preachers often claim to have received these blessings. They claim God is blessing them like He did Abraham, Joseph, and Solomon. Those three were among the richest people of their time. Let's look at the net worths of prosperity preachers vs people in the world who reject their teachings. Has God pushed them to the top like He did people with covenant wealth? If these preachers didn't achieve that, why would anyone believe they could get them that wealth?

Strangely, the net worths of these top, prosperity preachers usually don't top $10 million. The one with the highest donations and sales in history, Kenneth Copeland, barely topped J. K. Rowling who wrote Harry Potter. The Forbes list shows over 2,540 people are ahead of the guy who preaches and prays the most for wealth. All the other prosperity preachers look dirt poor compared to everyone else on the list!

They may talk like Jesus will rewards your sacrifices 100 fold with money. Yet, Bill Gates and Jeff Bezos are 100 times richer than them. They ain't no Solomon's. Their sermons probably won't make you one either. So, let's look at their audience to see if they're getting rich and healthy.

The Preachers' Failure to Deliver

They preached this prosperity gospel at events all over Africa, South America, and Asia. Those places have more people in churches like this than anywhere else. Areas in Africa full of the poor and sick are the easiest test of this theology. Poor and dying people there believed these preachers so much that they gave everything they had. If what they preach is true, then Africa and South America should have piles of millionaires and billionaires spreading the Gospel, healing the sick, and helping the poor. Like Joseph, God will have blessed them so much that Africa transformed and they started sending aid to us. Is that what happened? No!

Instead, the people who trusted these preachers almost all stayed poor, barely fed, and unhealthy. Many died of their conditions. Many were worse off than before since they spent all the money they had to live on hoping for a miracle that never came. They might have gotten medical treatment or something if these preachers never showed up. It's hard to get more low down than conning the poorest and sickest people you can find out of their money. That makes me sick. It gets worse, though.

They say we'll all be safe and healthy if we just obey and pray enough. The other side of that coin is that anyone who isn't must be faithless, bad people who deserved what happened to them. Like in the Word, faithful believers are hated on, beaten, robbed, raped, enslaved for life, turned into sex slaves, tortured, and killed. Voice of the Martyrs regularly has new examples. The prosperity preachers would have you believe they all deserved it. The martyrs show that's impossible.

In China, they regularly jail them. In Cambodia, they fed their kids to alligators before telling them to spit on their Bibles. In North Korea, they tried to turn believers against Jesus by hanging their kids in front of them and then running over the rest with steamrollers.

Prosperity preachers wasting money on luxury jets instead of missions and the poor said those who died weren't committed like them. People who were shot in the head instead of spitting on the Bible probably had a high amount of faith. Whereas, if they don't repent, these prosperity preachers spitting on their graves might have a high amount of flames.

Challenge: "Practice What You Preach"

I have a quick challenge for these prosperity preachers. They tell their followers that, every time they sow seeds with donations and good deeds, they get big blessings like Solomon in return. If they believe that, why don't they donate all their money? Why don't they non-stop build hospitals, orphanages, homeless shelters, universities, etc? If their preaching is true, wouldn't God grow their donations and money exponentially until each was a billionaire like Solomon? Why do they tell you to give your money while they are hoardings theirs? Or spending it selfishly and lavishly?

(Answer: They don't believe what they're preaching. They just want your money.)

Spotting False Teachers Easily

Since they appeal to worldly instincts, their sermons will focus on what God will do for you if you just do the right things. It's all about you: your problems, your works, what blessings God owes you. They'll always emphasize giving to them to get more blessings, esp money. They tickle people's ears telling them what they want to hear.

Jesus says His message would offend most people. It's that we're evil sinners who deserve to die, that Jesus died to help us avoid the wrath of God, we must repent of our sins, and solely trust in Jesus' work. That's the real Gospel. Most people hate the real Gospel since we don't want to let go of our sins or be seen as deserving God's wrath. That's why fake preachers talk a lot like self-help books since non-believers with money are happy to pay for that.

What about personal characteristics? They're rarely humble despite that being the top attribute of Christ. Instead, they often act highly confident and arrogant. They're aggressive in calling out those who don't believe their theology. They're focused almost entirely on material things, like big mansions and jets. They twist verses to say what they want them to say. They'll contradict over a thousand years of agreement on specific passages because they think they're that special. It's easier to spot when they are or have women pastors since the Word teaches the opposite.

For some reason, you can often listen to different, prosperity preachers but hear the same lies with the same words. It's like Satan gave all of them a script. They often tell you to "sow a seed" (your money in their pockets) which they claim God will turn into more money in your pockets. And more of everything else. If you hear this, they're already lying to you.

This expose opens with at least four saying it. This short clip adds Kenneth Copeland and T.D. Jakes. Andrew Wommach says more money gets you more results from God. Joyce Meyer says you get a receipt from God that you can cash in later.

We've already seen many examples in Scripture where none of this happened to righteous people. Instead, they were hated, poor, and suffered a lot. So, these people are liars.


Prosperity preaching is fake. God's Word says anyone who believes in Christ will be hated, the most obedient will have less than others, we will have more suffering, and might even be murdered for our faith. These preachers lie, couldn't live up to their own false claims, and led people all over the world into ruin. They tell you to sow a seed and name it and claim it. If you hear these things, run in the opposite direction. Make sure you warn any brothers and sisters along the way.

While we can pray for God to bless our lives, we need to store up treasure in heaven instead. We do that by believing the Gospel of Jesus Christ. That His perfect life and death for our sins earned our inheritance for us. That Him being raised from the dead proves He'll give eternal life to any who repent and put their faith only in Him. From there, we keep worshiping God, sharing the Gospel, and loving other people. We can't take credit for it since it's the Holy Spirit that gives us even the desire to do it. We stay focused on Christ, not for health or money, but for the best reason: Jesus is worthy of every second we give Him.

Bonus Resources

(More examples and links.)

Calling Out Every False Teacher by Name (YouTube)

The movie, American Gospel, has tons of video clips of these preachers vs the real Gospel. The difference is more obvious the more you listen. Real preachers focus on Christ, who He is, and what He did. False teachers focus on what God owes us, material blessings, and getting our money.

Adrian Rogers quickly calls out prosperity preachers. Craig's Greenfield, a missionary, wrote a short article with more examples of Christian suffering whom these preachers are mocking. Here's a short video by Straight Truth countering it.

I have to share this interview again showing Kenneth Copeland is probably possessed or on drugs on top of being a fraud. This short video is Copeland preying on the poor.

Both Todd White and Andrew Wommach have praised Copeland's ministry like he's their mentor or close friend. Wommach had Copeland and Duplantis as "special guests." Says a lot about them. (Unverified edit: This video appears to be Copeland laying hands on Wommach declaring him a prophet and saying Kenneth Hagin who preached the same garbage was his own mentor.) Although goofy, The Messed Up church channel has examples of Copeland/White and Andrew Wommach blaming victims for their illness.

This article points that all goes back further to New Thought, Kenyon, and Oral Roberts. Names others like Rod Parsley and Paula White.

Benny Hinn's nephew, Costi Hinn's, left his ministry to expose them as frauds. Here's a Youtube clip and his book about them.

Another trend is they claim you can speak things into existence, aka word of faith. Here's a short video from Olsteen illustrating it. John Hagee preached it, too.

TreasureChrist has many videos with clips of their videos.

Although I haven't reviewed the site, this article has a great list of attributes common among false teachers.

(The Gospel with proof it's true is here. Learn to live it here.)