05 Aug 2012
What is the Prosperity Gospel? What has it got to do with us? How does it impact our churches and influence our lives? Watch this sermon as Pastor Paul Choo explains it. Transcription
Alright, good morning everyone, today, I want to speak on an event that has confused a lot of people, discouraged some of us, angered a few of us. I want to speak on an event that has given a lot of pleasure to those who do not know Christ. Given a lot of ammunition for them to hit the things of Christ. This event, has also discouraged a lot of people from ever wanting to know Christ. I am talking about the latest, biggest scandal in our religious scene in this country ever. It involves, the biggest church in this country, allegedly, involves $50 million in abuse and misuse of funds. You know what I'm talking about and today, a lot of us are unsure what's happening.
I get emails sent to me, with a little triumphant from friends who have not known Christ and just forwarded to me, all kinds of stuff. And I think, a lot of you, may be faced with questions and you do not know how to answer them. We are talking about the scandal that involves this huge church that is a leading promoter of the prosperity Gospel in Singapore.
So, first, we need to ask ourselves, what is the prosperity Gospel. A lot of us are not clear, I hope at the end of today, you will be clear and you will know, this is not a Gospel. The Gospel is good news, this is bad news. He will leave this place, clear that this is a scam and I believe the truth will set a lot of people free today.
Alright, the prosperity Gospel is also called the "health and wealth Gospel". You know, health and wealth attracts everybody. Very rarely, will a person say I'm not interested in my health, I don't care if I had good health or bad health, very rarely, will a person say I am dead broke and I don't have a penny on me. I think, everybody is concerned about health and wealth so, we are talking about something that attracts loads of people. This is a Gospel message that will attract a lot of people.
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When did this new message come out? About 50 years ago, from the early 60s, to the late 50s, in the charismatic movement and then, it was propagated through TV. TV was a big thing at that time and through, very very charismatic, able tele-evangelists, this thing went, really surged the country. And today, three out of the four largest churches in all of America, our churches that promote the prosperity Gospel. I think, the situation is fairly similar in our country.
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Typically, a prosperity Gospel church is one that is independent, non-denominational. Usually, led by a very charismatic personality, very able person. This kind of people, some of them you may have heard names, some names that may ring a bell, I'm sure you're familiar with some of those names. Benny Hinn has been here, several times I think. Joel Osteen, David Yonggi Cho, formerly called Paul Cho Yonggi. There was a little bit of a scare for me. (Laughter in the congregation) because, I went to different places and they say, can I have your signature? I say, I've never wrote a book. (Laughter in the congregation) No, you wrote the book, I read it from cover to cover. You are Paul Cho from Korea ? I said "No", alright.
Thankfully, now be a change his name to David, after some dream of this. Now, my son has got the nightmare, now. OK, David Yonggi Cho, leads the largest church in the whole wide world. Some say, half 1 million, some say, 1 million, depends on how you count, alright. And these are men that are very, very influential. So, today, when we say the prosperity Gospel, you say, what's that got to do with you and me. Well, let me tell you this. These men, are so influential that whether, you know it or you don't know it, a lot of the stuff, they have been teaching and preaching has impacted our churches in Singapore, mainline churches and influenced, many of us sitting right here. I will show you some statistics in a few moments, alright.
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So, this is something that impacts us, it's impacted our country and I hope we will be very, very clear. What do they teach? What is this doctrine, that is so new, so exciting that attracts, so many people, that three out of four largest churches are brand-new churches. I mean, churches have been about hundreds of years. People abandon those, and go to this new that because this attractive Gospel. What are they teaching that is so attractive?
Well, basically they tell you that God has promised us, in the Bible that we can be rich, financially and God wants, listen carefully, every Christian, to be financially rich. Right, so that is what they teach. Now that sounds good, what's wrong with being rich. Sounds nice, sounds actually quite attractive and so, that's their promise and they tell you that if you are poor, you are a bad testimony. You scare people from being Christian. So, poverty or bad health, is a curse, that needs to be broken. What a terrible thing, if you are sick and if you're sick today, you are a shame to your faith, that's what they will tell you. You should be in brimming with health, oozing with wealth and that is what you should be, that will be a good testimony, that will attract people to come to Christ.
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How do they prove their case? Well, they prove their case by using what I call proof verses or proof texts in the Bible. And they have a few favorites, and I will show you, some of their favorites of their top hit verses and these are the ones that are used and reused. And from these verses, they have deduced this prosperity Gospel. Before, I go into showing you the verses, let me give you a very simple principle of reading the Bible. When you take a text or a verse out of its context, you can give a pretext. Get it? Anybody, who says a whole bunch of words and you take, one line out with, out of context, you can make him, look superhero or super bad. Any statement, big fat statement with hundreds of words, and the Bible has got a lot of words, you take some out of context and you can get a pretext and you can make a case out of anything.
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I don't like to be taken out of context, I don't think you like. You don't like people to quote you out of context, that's not fair. But, let's just see what happens as people proof a theology to suit their purpose. Favorite one, favorite one Malachi 3:10
Bring ye all the tithes into the storehouse, that there may be meat in mine house, and prove me now herewith, saith the Lord of hosts, if I will not open you the windows of heaven, and pour you out a blessing, that there shall not be room enough to receive it.
Favorite text, used to tell Christians, now my friend, all you need to do now is understand this and you will have so much blessings, you would be oozing with wealth. Sounds good. If I were to read this verse by itself I was see this is wow, this is the little missing key to prosperity, for all of us, wow, we've only just got this, why didn't I read Malachi earlier, some of you don't even know where Malachi is, right. (Laughter in the congregation). Is it, Old Testament or New Testament. Malachi is the last book in the Old Testament, a book written to a nation of Israel, that was so degenerate, spiritually they have spunned so literally down to the bottom of the pit. They were desperately, desperately in bad shape. This is not written for good Christians, who know God and then, wow, we just find this missing formula to move on. Let's see, the context of Malachi 3:10, go back, and please read this all yourselves. The context of Malachi 3:10, begins actually from Malachi 1. It's a book, telling these degenerate Jews, you are such horrible conditions, please, get back right. Oh, if you just obey God, things would be okay. You are so miserable. It's one horrible book, you read, you get depressed.
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So let's just see, for sick of time, Malachi 3: 8-10
8 Will a man rob God? Yet ye have robbed me. But ye say, Wherein have we robbed thee? In tithes and offerings.
9 Ye are cursed with a curse: for ye have robbed me, even this whole nation. (Added by Pastor : I hope God would be saying this thing to us, today, I will like this to be applying to me, being a robber is bad, being a robber of God, get caught and still deny it, that's tough and then, God goes to say, please, you are in such horrible conditions, will you still, please, get back and get right with me. So, just look at that, this is their favorite verse)
10 Bring ye all the tithes into the storehouse, that there may be meat in mine house, and prove me now herewith, saith the Lord of hosts, if I will not open you the windows of heaven, and pour you out a blessing, that there shall not be room enough to receive it.
Now, let's look at another one and this will cover, I have only about four verses and is cover like 80%.
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2 Corinthians 9:6 says,
But this I say, He which soweth sparingly shall reap also sparingly; and he which soweth bountifully shall reap also bountifull
Wow, this sounds good. If I put the little bit of money into the offering bag, then, I get a little bit of blessings, from God. If I put more, into the offering bag I get a big blessing from God, that what is for taught through this verse. Wow, if I put more, God gives me more, I can drive my BMW, I can have a nice car, a Sentosa Cove house, why not? You put, guarantee get more.
Now, let's look at the context, 2 Corinthians 9, go to verse 5. The text, must be read in its context. Therefore, I thought necessary, I want you to understand this whole context, it's not about Christians learning how to get more money and live more fancy, this whole passage is about Christians, making an offering, a love offering, to a very needy group of poor Christians, somewhere. They were taking an offering, because, there were a group of Christians that were in great need. And Paul, writes to them about preparing a love offering to be given to these poor Christians.
Therefore I thought it necessary to exhort the brethren, that they would go before unto you, and make up beforehand your bounty (Added by Pastor : the word there, put "Love offering"), whereof ye had notice before (Added by Pastor : I told you that we should take a love offering to help these people), that the same might be ready, as a matter of bounty, and not as of covetousness.
2 Corinthians 9:5
Therefore I thought it necessary to exhort the brethren, that they would go before unto you, and make up beforehand your bounty, whereof ye had notice before, that the same might be ready, as a matter of bounty, and not as of covetousness.
So, Paul says, I have told you about their needs, now, I am sending some brothers so that they can prepare you to give generously to this love offering, so you can help these poor group.
6 But this I say, He which soweth sparingly shall reap also sparingly; and he which soweth bountifully shall reap also bountifully.
7 Every man according as he purposeth in his heart, so let him give; not grudgingly, or of necessity: for God loveth a cheerful giver.
Look at verse 8
8 And God is able to make all grace abound toward you; that ye, always having all sufficiency in all things, may abound to every good (Added by Pastor : Nice car, every nice house? No!, You might abound to every good) Work:
I am going to bless you, I am going to bless you that you can bless others, that's what it is saying.
9 (As it is written, He hath dispersed abroad; he hath given to the poor: his righteousness remaineth for ever.
10 Now he that ministereth seed to the sower both minister bread for your food, and multiply your seed sown, and increase the fruits of your righteousness;)
11 Being enriched in every thing to all bountifulness, which causeth through us thanksgiving to God.
12 For the administration of this service not only supplieth the want of the saints, but is abundant also by many thanksgivings unto God;
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What is the context of this? Don't be afraid to give, I know you guys are not that rich too. And there is this other group out there, that has needs and you know, every time you want to give, you think, I give, then I might get broke. And God says, "Don't worry, you help those guys, and then I will take care of you." Get the context? Is not that when you put money in the offering bag, more, bounced back into your pockets, you can buy, nicer houses. It's got nothing to do with that. The context, is don't be afraid to help others because, God will supply your needs.
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You can be generous to help others. You know, every time you want to help, don't you have that feeling sometimes? I am not the rich too, you tell me, there's people with needs, I also have needs, I've got to pay my bills and every month, I am up to there. Better, don't give too much. And Paul is saying, don't worry, as you generously help others, God will take care of you. It is not about self, is about, may abound to good works, not about to have more things.
Another favorite one, this one, Matthew 13:8, it's a parable of the sower, you remember, this parable of the sower.
8 But other fell (Added by Pastor :, the seed) into good ground, and brought forth fruit, some an hundredfold, some sixtyfold, some thirtyfold.
8 But other fell into good ground, and brought forth fruit, some an hundredfold, some sixtyfold, some thirtyfold.
Wow, investors love this kind of things (Laughter in the congregation) Woo, I put one dollar, I get $30, while, that's a lot man, I get 10% extra, it's very good. You mean, I get 3000%, thirty times hundred, 3000, right? Wow, that is amazing. So, you put in, and give your seed money, seed money, put in the offering bag and behold, you will get thirtyfold, sixtyfold, hundredfold. Now, how many of you, if I told you it was in investment, that if you put in one dollar, you get $30 would not put money in. If you put your hand up, I tell you, you need to go to the asylum. (Laughter in the congregation) if I guarantee you that, if you put one dollar, you get $30 and you will not one dollar, you need a check up, serious, very serious case.
But, let's see the context, of this thirtyfold, sixtyfold. It's the parable of the sower. What's the parable of the sower about? Sowing money, seed money? No! It says in verse 13, Matthew 13:18-19
18 Hear ye therefore the parable of the sower.
19 When any one heareth the word (Added by Pastor :Christ, sowing what here, sowing the Word, not sowing money.)
When I preach to you, maybe I only preach only a few words. Maybe, I only preach, John 3:16 to you and it took me one second, or one minute to explain John 3:16 to you and you know something? It changed your life, in an amazing way. It's not about money folks. This whole thing about thirtyfold, sixtyfold is, freely share the Word of the kingdom of God. And what you will share in your weakness, sometimes, somebody who came back from E-campaign, you went up there, you stood, you shivered, you speak Singlish, and all the Filipinos, look at you, what are you talking, what talking you? Ugg, ugg, so nervous, the first time you talk and then, at the end, you just go John 3:16, because, that's the only thing you know well, all the other verses, you jumbled and mumbled and you know what happens, some got saved.
You know why? Because, God has a way of multiplying the word in people's hearts in amazing ways.
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I got saved, through exactly no preachers, through one verse called John 3:16, no preacher and the impact, has lasted 32 years and will last eternity, now, that's what it's talking about. It's about the Word, is not about you putting seed money in there, and then it comes out thirtyfold. Nevermind, people love to take things out of context but we were not allowed that the pretext.
Another favorite one and these four, covers 80% of all their favorite verses.
Beloved, I wish above all things that thou mayest prosper and be in health (Added by Pastor : Wah, I love that) even as thy soul prospereth.
Wah, not bad, my soul, spiritually well, my wallet full, brimming with health, wow, verse, I like this, God promised me this. Really? Context again, got the context ? This is an introduction to a letter to a man called Gaius, whoever he is, I don't know. But when you write a letter, you don't straight away, you say, "Dear John, I trust that God is blessing you and all is well with you", that's a nice, I think you guys in the SMS age, maybe, you don't know this kind of thing. But my generation, we don't go straight into the letter, which actually greet first. We actually, have a few words of greeting. That is polite.
So, when John wrote this letter to Gaius, in 1 John 1-2, this was a greeting, it's not a promise from God, this is a greeting from John to Gaius, not a promise from God to you. Is your name Gaius? (Laughter in the congregation). Imagine, if you intercept one of my SMS and you see, wow, then, you say this is for me. Sorry lah, wrong address. (Laughter in the congregation)
All right, now we see, all these are taken, merrily taken and then, a whole doctrine of God wants every Christian to be prosperous, because you see, you give, windows of heaven open, wow, it's quite big, heaven, cannot receive, wow. Then, if I give little,wow , the windows small. Give more, window big. Wow!. Then, I put seed money, into the wallet, into the bag, whoa, thirtyfold comes back. Can talk,lah, I think, this doctrine, not bad. Quite nice and God wants me, my soul to prosper, my health prosper and my wallet, wow, this is a beautiful doctrine.
And so, this is now taught, re taught, emphasized, re-emphasized.
See that before O$P$ (Laughter in the congregation), I hope you didn't see it on the wall outside your house, outside your own house. Owe money, pay money, this is a loan shark, very simple, cryptic SMS, Owe money, pay money. When you see that, you get terrified, and that with a pig's head and a few other things, just to terrify you.
Let me show you something, just the exact opposite of owe money, pay money, it doesn't terrify. It seduces and attracts. (Laughter in the congregation). P$G$$$$$$$$$$.... (Laughter in the congregation). I couldn't put, 100 dollars signs there. But that's what it is.
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In summary, let me summarize, the doctrine of a loan shark can be summarized like Einstein's theory, E=². Ah Long says, O$P$. Prosperity Gospel says P$G$$$$$$$$$ (makes an air rushing out sound). You know, if this doesn't draw people, attracts people, I will be surprised.
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So, here we have this doctrine that is so, so much perpetuated. Now, some of you would say, come on pastor, that doesn't affect me. I don't go to the prosperity Gospel church. What has it got to do with me. You don't have to go to church, the church can come to you. Today, we don't need to look for evil, evil looks for us. You don't need to go to be a bad place to see bad things, the computer will bring it back to your room. You don't need to go to a casino to gamble, it will bring it right to your room. You don't need to go to a bar to find a girl to go with and get into trouble with, the computer will bring it right to your room. Let me tell you, these influential men, have got these doctrines right where you are.
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Some statistics, taken from America because we don't have anything in Singapore, but let me tell you, and American statistics are usually, only a few months ahead of us. What happens that, happens here.
17% of all Americans are members of prosperity Gospel churches
31% of them, believe the formula, that you give to God, it will come back as more, financially, money, money I am talking about.
61%, that's a lot, that scary, that's the majority, 61% believe Christians should be financially rich. Scary, isn't it, 61%, majority.
Always so spirituals, are we in another world, do we live in and out of orbit that this all doesn't affect us? I don't believe so.
I believe, this bombardment, this constant bombardments has influenced our minds. A lot of people come to church, I'm not saying, that's the only motive, but one of their motive is, I am good God, God would be good to my wallet. Later, you all will see the perspective, let's try and get the right perspective.
They preach that it's not something wrong to be rich and that's true, but they use Jesus name and they say, Jesus was rich. If you don't believe me, just key in, the church's name, and Pastor Kong Hee preached, 10 reasons why Jesus is rich.
1. When he was even a little baby, he got gold. (Laughter in the congregation).
You know, when we, Chinese here, when you are, when your little someone is born, I don't know about this generation, but the older generations when little babies is born, they will buy a little piece of gold, especially when the price of gold is not so high, a little piece of gold, tiny, skinny, skinny thing to hang around the kids anklets, or whatever. But, the sermon said, you think, the wise men brought little bit of gold, they were kings from the East, they brought boxes of gold. You know, the baby is just borned, he is full of gold. Wow. Go and Google, just type it, listen to the sermon yourself. Jesus is rich, I tell you, he was rich all his life, you know why? He never worked a day in his life and yet, he never lack anything. How many of you don't work? (Laughter in the congregation), three years, can survive, if you are not rich? Wow, makes a lot of sense.
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You see, Jesus needs were few. Greeds are limitless.
Another reason, there were 10, I can't even remember them. After the third or fourth, I had enough. (Laughter in the congregation)
Do you know how much it costs me to do a citywide campaign ? Millions of dollars. Jesus did a citywide campaign, every day. Now, who paid for all that, who paid for the sound men, the audio men, the what ever man ?
You see, twisted and turned.
So, here we have, people, sitting in churches like this, are told, over and over again. So, let's now, transport ourselves, into a little, not a little, they don't come little, a prosperity Gospel church. Say, we are all now in a prosperity Gospel church.
1. You all don't fit.
Because, you're told to dress well, I don't means, Sunday best. You must dress, so you look a picture of success.
I look at you, I think, (looking at Frank sitting in front) (Laughter in the congregation) sorry lah, I don't know who would come to Jesus with you guys, Bata shoes, shirt no brand, my goodness which barber did you go to, $10 one, $10 barber. No wonder your hair looks like that (Laughter in the congregation). Who, will come to this church, when all you can afford is a $10 barber and a Bata shoe. (Laughter in the congregation). You know, they are told, listen carefully, they are told, you want to be a good testimony, dress and show the world you made it.
All right, the crowd was there, all dressed, nice. Of course, they are innocent bystanders, don't get me wrong. Sometimes, they invite friends and the friends actually wear Bata shoes and come, but that's okay, but, he doesn't know any better. One day, he will know the truth. Now, a lot of innocents, why those innocent bystanders are there and not here, because, you didn't invite them here. (Laughter in the congregation). Those people, they are more zealous than you. And so, there is this crowd of expectant, crowded foyer, of successful looking people, all excited, all expectant, expecting to hear something wonderful that will change their lives. It's not about God, it's about their finance. Very clear, very focused.
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It's almost like Warren Buffett came to town and Bill Gates, and they're going to give you the secret of wealth, wow wee, everybody is so excited. All early, that's why those churches, you have to take numbers, (Laughter in the congregation), I am serious. Our church, half an hour after starting, should we start yet? I think can lah, 1/3 full, can, can start. (Laughter in the congregation). Where the expectancy? None. You guys dragged yourselves here this morning. But I told you, if tomorrow a Warren Buffett is going to come and tell you, how to make money, money, I will have tell you, seats are limited (Laughter in the congregation), otherwise, I am sorry, is going to be crowded, all your friends, all your invites. So, there is this sense of expectancy.
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Music... music, by Jonathan Chong taught this morning, Abiding Peace.. Let me tell you, it's charged up, it's charged. Your adrenaline, is pumping. Okay, let me tell you, let me sidetrack for one moment. That is a silly idea in Christianity that music is neutral; it's the lyrics that count. That is a dumb idea. Music is the most powerful language in the world, without words, no need words. Everybody understands, music can make you cry, can make you laugh, can make you jump, can make you fight. At the door, someone said to me, pastor, I watch Korean serials, no music, I cannot cry. (Laughter in the congregation). She just told me, before I came in. I watch, I don't even understand, I cried. Music's powerful, don't you, with this nonsense that music has no language. Music it's a language of the soul. It's more powerful than anything. Aw, come on, it's just the lyrics.
Tell, a nightclub singer, a nightclub owner, let's say, you own a nightclub, I tell you, play Amazing Grace, but use, sexy words in it, I tell you, you will be a bankrupt nightclub owner. It's not the words; the words, add on to the music.
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Anyway, they understand that and they played this charged up music and everybody is ready for action, expecting something, pumping music and there are two sermons usually. Before offering, and after offering. Not BC, BO. (Laughter in the congregation)
Before offering, is about give, give, give and usually, preceded by some testimony some guy is going to come up, tearfully, tell you, how he was broke and he had to decide whether to buy milk for his child or give it to the church and he took a step of faith and he gave it to the church and today, he drove in his BMW and his kid can drink boutique milk (Laughter in the congregation). One after another. If you think I am exaggerating, just go to your internet, folks.
And then, the hype begins. After the testimony, the preaching, the real preaching begins, it's the first one, not the second one. The second one, it's just motivational, feel-good message, second sermon. First sermon, it's about giving. How many of you believe, God is great, hey, hallelujah, hallelujah, praise the Lord. How many believe, God owns everything in the world, hallelujah. How many believe, God is generous, hallelujah.. Hallelujah, everywhere. How many believe God loves you, hallelujah, praise the Lord. How many of you believe, God wants you to be rich, hallelujah. Then I looked, but not all of you are rich. You, what kind of shoe is that? How do you come to church, by bus? You expect to be a good testimony, you come by bus. You, the Japanese car, secondhand (Laughter in the congregation). If God wants you to be rich, why did you come in a secondhand car?
Wow, no faith, if you have faith, if every one of you have faith, God will bless you. You give your offerings and God will open the windows of heaven and pour out the blessings on you. Wow, sounds good ah. You put your little seed faith in the offering bag. 30 times, 60 times, a hundred times will return to you. God promised you that. Wow, sounds good. And so on.
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Now, tell me, if you were sitting in that crowd, you don't know the Bible, but you keep hearing these verses, popping in front of you, you see success all around you, you see things being pushed and you are told that all you need, all you need is to put money in the bag. Let me tell you how they do it. They believe, that God promises, those ones that I showed you, a bit taken out of context can be claimed by the word of faith, they call it the word of faith, or by actualization.
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Two things, the word of faith, or sometimes called, positive confessions simply said that if I recite that verse that was told to me, alright, example, I'm told now, give, give, give and then, I remembered this verse, if I give my offering, God will open the windows of heaven and pour out a blessing for me. Now I must not only say that verse, that's called positive confessions, but I must actualize it in my mind. Actualize means, actually imagine it. So, as I before I put my money in, I must say, if I will keep in offering to my God, he will open the windows, and when my mind ..................., curtains go back, .. offerings are coming and you can actually, according to the teachings, actualize, exactly what you want, BMW, sunroof, sports rim, silver color. If you can actualize it that's called faith, faith. You think I'm joking read it, read it. It's called the fourth dimension. Cho Yonggi teaches it. Three dimensions, length, height, witdh. The fourth dimension is inside here.
Wow, as you put your money in, he mentioned, not 30 fold, too small, hundredfold, hundredfold, wow, all the money all came back (sounds like bouncing back). Sentosa Cove, facing the sea and God must give it to you, because you exercised faith.
Who is the master now, who is the slave, whatever I can imagine, God must give me, who becomes the master? God's the office boy, you know. Sentosa Cove, I can picture everything, curtains and all, come on, bring it to me. BMW, come on, give it to me, I have pictured it already, very clear, I can actually, see that shine, I see my wife sitting there, it's real, it's faith. They become the master! God is the servant.
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Alright, so this is what happens, people passed round the bag, people feel guilty.
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Now, what kind of crowd, I just look at the congregation, I am looking at the congregation, all, majority, very driven, very focused, I looked hard at you, I can see dollar signs in your eyes, dollar signs. Very focused crowd, very clear motivation, they are here, to make money.
Now, let me ask you a question, when you get a person with very focused and determined to make money, in a country like this, like Singapore, would you make money? Chances are, yes, yes, very likely. And so, that crowd, some of them become very wealthy, they make money and when they make money, they give money and when they give money, they see themselves as men of more faith, they had greater courage and the invest more in something and you know something, they make money and they give more. Wow, seems like a wonderful spiral. But some of you are wise, you say come on, pastor, even if they have got motivation, even if they got talent even if they are focused, can everybody make money? No! Some won't make.
Okay, now let's picture some of those less successful ones. They came in, they started a business, they believed that they got to make some money and they actually lose money every week. What do they do? Give more, lah, give, that's what it is alright. You know why you got no money, you've got no faith. So, what do you do? Put more. Next week, the business still lousy, what do you do? Give more, deep in, tell your wife, sell this, sell that, we need to invest, give more. But then, some of you are wise, you say, reached a stage, no more to give, then how? (Laughter in the congregation). So, now you are bankrupt right Frank, you are bankrupt, you've got no money, you are discouraged, he don't believe what I preach to you, what you do, you leave right? Do I cry for you, why should I, you have got nothing more to give what? You might as well go. Furthermore, you are taking one of my seats. You know how it is, you know how crowded the places are, you bankrupt and you take one of my seats, you are lousy testimony, you can by bus this morning, your shoes, all broken broken and then, you discouraged everybody, you take one seat, some more. You might as well go. So, am I going to cry for you? I don't think so.
Time stamp in audio 0:43:10.7.
What about skeptics might some of you? Your friend bring you there, you're saying, wah, I don't think this is from God lah. The buildings made of titanium, wow, what a fountain, how much is the fountain, 580,000 ah, wah the toilet, so stylo ah. So, you are skeptics, some of you are skeptics, you go in there, like that. So, after a while, skeptics, you will go. Do they cry for you ? No use, lah, cry for skeptics, for what? He will never give, he wants to give 5 cents, he looked round, looked round, looked round, alright, think so hard, forget it.
Time stamp in audio 0:43:49.3.
In the words of all, our Bible believing Christians. Bible believing Christians, go there, eh, that verse, taken out of context. For goodness sake, that's about preaching the word, that's not talking about money. Wah, that type, they want to get you out fast, please, please, please, show you out, because, you will never give money, you discourage people, you would tell people all those things that will discourage them, please, please, go. You know something, is not only a big crowd, it's a select crowd. Are you with me? It's a select crowd, self, selecting.
Time stamp in audio 0:44:23.1.
Beautiful, the whole business model, it's amazing. You know something and it's even recession proof. Let's say, a big recession come, the euro crisis, all kinds of crisis comes, every one of us, no money, what will you do? We go to church more faithfully, you know and will give more, you know. It's recession proof, up to a point. It's a fantastic business model. You give me 100%. As an investor, you give to a company 100%, it will have to give you back, dividends, they pay you out, right? This one, no need, you give me 100%, I keep the 100%, God will give you the rest. (Laughter in the congregation) Wah, not bad. You give me, I take all, then God gives you. Don't, disturb me alright, please. You don't need to know my account, none of your business.
Time stamp in audio 0:45:15.6.
Tax-free, some more, tax-free! Wow, you make money, you make 100% and no tax. You know, is tax-free because it's a charity. And then, the best of all, its blame proof ! Let me explain, okay. If I am the leader of a charity, let's say, NKF, National Kidney Foundation, you came to my toilet by chance, with a plumber, and he saw gold tap. Wah, NKF got gold tap ah. Wah! Then, one day you saw me go into the aeroplane, I walked up, first class. Ugh ! Dr Choo, sit first class, ah, SIA, you know. Wah, I am in deep trouble. Three weeks later, I will be in Changi, because, how dare you, you take public money and then, you spend on yourself. You die.
Time stamp in audio 0:46:18.9.
But this, business model, no worries. If I've got Sentosa Cove house, five, you cannot point a finger at me, you can only say, hallelujah, because, you know why? I've got plenty of faith, that's why I've got plenty money. If I've got ten Sentosa Cove, you better respect me more, you know, that? You get it? If I don't have money, I prove, I don't have faith. The more I have and the more I show it off, the more I am telling the world something, not I am a spendthrift, not I am greedy, not I am abusing funds, but, I am a man of God, because, God is blessing me. Are you with me?
Wow, you can have the cake and eat it, this is amazing, you know, people who cheat, they always pretend to be very poor here. Then, one day, they run off to some place and then, the Caribbean, they sit there and enjoy their money. This one, you can enjoy it right here. Wow, this is unbelievable. Brilliant.
Time stamp in audio 0:47:32.8.
Now, questions then will be asked to you. I hope now you more or less have the answers.
Why, you all, Christians, so stupid, why? This guy, take your money, spend, show off, do all these things and people, you all, still want to give him more money? What's wrong with you guys? Just for the record, do you know that, their attendance has gone up, after this scandal? Just check on Google, the Internet, actually went up, not down, up. That shows you, the resilience of this business model. And people ask, wah, what kind of people are you guys, you all Christians, stupid or what? This guy is swindling you and you people go more to his church and give more ? Well, he's prepared that already. You give more to me, I live it up, is nothing more than a mark of God's window of heaven, opened, and pour on me, not on you. You've got no faith, I've got faith. You see.
Time stamp in audio 0:48:47.9.
So, people who are brainwashed, many of them, are going to support him. Don't get confused, don't get discouraged and baffled, because, that's how they think. Why don't they leave the church? Why more, go? You mean, everybody is brainwashed, everybody is like that? Well, let me tell you. Many will not leave, because, this is the best scheme, they have ever seen in their life. You know, you put money in the bank now, how many percent do you get? Less than 1%, right? A quarter %, I heard, someone told me.
Time stamp in audio 0:49:35.0.
You put money, in a bank, banking go bankrupt, you know. Some banks, have gone bankrupt. You put money, in this scheme, prosperity Gospel scheme, backed by God, you know, not backed by banks, not backed by the US government, not backed by Swiss government or Singapore, it's backed by God, you know. You know how powerful God is? If you can't trust God, who can you trust? Sometimes, you buy schemes, you go to a salesman, he just underline, just highlight the nice things, to see then you say wah, this contract, how do I know it's real or not. Let me tell you, this scheme, according to them, it's backed, not by God but also by the Bible. I show you lah, Malachi 3:10, you don't believe me, I show you.
Time stamp in audio 0:50:20.3.
So, here we see, how can they believe a scheme like this, it's so attractive. 1/4% ? This one gives you minimum, 3000%, 30 fold. Did I get my maths right, 30, right, 100? 100 fold ? 10,000%. Why do you want to take your money out and put in the bank, you are stupid or what? This is backed by God, endorsed, by men of God. You know something, one reason, why this whole scheme has continued, is because not of one man but because, this one man has been endorsed many other people, good men, pastors, who say, who are we to judge. Pastors, who keep quiet. Let me tell you, when you keep quiet, when people ask you a scheme like that, silence is consent, do you know that? You, as a Christian, what do you think of this? Don't know, lah, it's okay, lah, the want to think too much about these things. You know what you're saying? It's not bad.
Time stamp in audio 0:51:31.5.
Let's say, you are a financial guy, let's say, you are a banker and you know, that it is a scam that everybody is using and scamming people, as a banker, what must you do? You must tell people,eh, please, run from that, have nothing to do with that. But you and I as Christians, most times, we keep quiet. And there are pastors of big churches that endorsed this. It's not about one man, is about a whole system that stinks, is about a whole system of men who keep quiet so that bad men can do scams and I will not be a part of that. We must not be part of that. We know the truth, we must speak the truth. I don't like to do this, I rather preach the Gospel, good news is better than telling about scandals and bad things.
Time stamp in audio 0:52:20.8.
Why should I go around and run down people, you think it's a nice thing? As a Christian, we don't like to do these things. I rather say, God loves you, Jesus died for your sins, Jesus paid the price, these are wonderful, wonderful things to talk about. Why do we talk about these things? Because, somebody has to say something and I hope we will.
Time stamp in audio 0:52:45.7.
Someone asked me, his wife, have you seen the video? I say, no, I haven't. He said, you better see. You can watch it for three minutes, five minutes, and if you still watch more than that, you are sick. (Laughter in the congregation), you are sick. Half nude, for doing provocative things with men, a bunch of men, in the name of God, saying, this is how you reached the world for Jesus? China wine.
Time stamp in audio 0:53:24.7.
And people say, how, you Christians, even if I'm not a Christian, I look at this, I get sick, if my wife like that, I slap her, they would tell me. (Laughter in the congregation).Quote Unquote. They look at me in the face, you guys, this is Christianity? You know, why people cannot say anything about it, because, the key performance index is money. How can you question her, she is so rich. If she so rich, from nothing, it must be from God right? If she is anointed by God, why you want to say anything against her? The thing that makes a difference in this thing is, have you got money? If you have got money, you are anointed, you are specially blessed by God. They don't preach holiness. The second message, the second sermon, I told you, there are two, one before giving, the second is motivational. It's not about holiness. And so, all these are reality, folks. People are going to ask you this, what are going to say?
Time stamp in audio 0:54:38.3.
You know, at the end of it all, only God can stop it and only God will do it. God is a patient God, I thank God for being this patient. If God dealt with me, the moment I sin, I am dead. He is a patient God, amazingly patient. But there, will come a time, when God will say, you have taken My name in vain, and I will not hold you guiltless, you will pay. Till that day, our job is to warn people, this is not Christianity, this is not the Gospel this is a scam, period. Using the name of God, is a financial scam, don't mince Your Words, when you have to explain that, don't try to win popularity like all those pastors, ah, he's not that bad, who are we to judge others. We are not here to win popularity, we are here to tell truth.
Time stamp in audio 0:55:47.0.
If you go to church to be popular, you are in the wrong place. We came here because, there's truth. Truth, will set us free. So, I hope today, you have the truth and you will speak the truth, but speak it in love. Many victims, they are victims. Don't treat them as if they are perpetrators. Speak the truth, in love, put your arms round the guy and say, can we talk, can I show you something, take those verses, ask them, think about it. Is this about money? Is God, the God of money, is that all He is ? You want to God or money, go to the casino, go to the temples, you have got little things that's called, god of money. Go to the Cantonese, canton pop, there is a god of money and the god of luck. He is not the god of money, He is God.
He doesn't just care for my wallet, He cares for me, He loves me.
You know, having said all this about the prosperity Gospel, let's not swing to the other extreme and say, God does not prosper us, right, don't go to the extreme. Swinging to the extreme left is not the answer to the extreme right. Standing on the Bible truth is the answer.
What is the truth, let's hear a few things, help put us in perspective. We don't have time to go this, too much, just in perspective. Let's see it.
Time stamp in audio 0:57:36.6.
Has not God chosen the poor of this world, rich in faith ? Is poverty a shame to God ? Is it when you are poor you have got no faith ? I thought it was opposite in my bible ? It's the exact opposite. God allows poverty in many of our lives so we would turn to God. You know, when I reached, I have a lot of friends, I have a lot of ATMs, I have a lot of credit cards, I have a lot of support from the people of this world, I may not even turn to God. I may forget my God. But every now and then, God allows us to go through trials that really (sounds like??), And through trials, our friends leave us, our doctors cannot help us, nothing can help us. You know what we do ? We turn to God, and our faith, is built up.
Time stamp in audio 0:58:24.2.
God allows, poverty, because He cares for us, He wants us to know the best things in the world, is relationship with Him, not a big fat wallet. He is not an idol, He is not the God of money, He is the God that cares for me, head to toe.
So, don't you go around thinking, someone is sick, someone is poor, he lacks faith. Sometimes, that is what is going to build him up, to be the man of the greatest faith. How discouraging, when you are sick and someone tells you, you have no faith, give more and I have no more money, give more.
Time stamp in audio 0:59:10.1.
Alright, let's get our balance. Jesus said, I am come, that ye may have life and you might have it, abundantly. When I trusted Jesus as my Savior, 32 years ago, I can say, every word of that is true. I trusted the One, went on the cross for my sins, that day, all my sins was settled, past sins, present sins, future sins, I knew my Savior, took them all and paid the price. I had peace, the peace, last till now, it will last forever.
I don't fear death, I am ready. I sleep well, why? Because, I have a Partner, He is in me, I can go to sleep, He will take care of me. That's a life of abundance, I have peace, that passes all understanding, wallet or no wallet, I can lose my wallet, I can't lose Him! He lives in me, He will never leave me or forsake me. 32 years ago, I received Jesus, I had peace in my heart, purpose in my life, a Partner for life, for eternity, my relationship, my family, my wife, my kids, my mom, my dad, all better. Is that life abundant?, Yes! It is not about this, folks, not what is in that fat wallet. I can tell you, thousands of people, big fat wallet are miserable. That's the wrong place to start to look for happiness. The right place is God. When you have got, that's where it begins.
Time stamp in audio 1:01:04.9.
We don't come to church because you have money, because you will find God. How can we reduce God to just an idol that gives money and then, let me end by this. I do want to discourage those they are wealthy. God does, gives us wealth, it tells us here.
Charge them that are rich in this world (Added by Pastor : Some of you, God has blessed you well, don't feel guilty about it. God's blessed you. God bless you with talent, don't feel guilty about it, be thankful, God gives you wealth, what must you do?) that they be not highminded (Added by Pastor : you have got wealth, don't think you are special, you are different), nor trust in uncertain riches (Added by Pastor : don't think, your money is your protector), but in the living God, (Added by Pastor : when God gives you money, still, love the Giver, more than the gift) who giveth us richly all things to enjoy; (Added by Pastor : peace, joy, peace in my heart, in my mind, in my family, with my God, all things to enjoy)
Now, why did God give us wealth, look at the next verse
That they do good, (Added by Pastor : 1 Timothy 6:17-18, that they do good), that they may be rich in ? Nice car, nice houses, no! good works, ready to distribute to those in need, willing to communicate, the best the word, in modern English, share, willing to share.
When God gives us much, we can bless, many people. It's not God gives us, so that we bless ourselves, but with what we have, when God gives us much, we can make a lot of difference to many lives. Laying up in store for themselves a good foundation against the time to come, that they may lay hold on eternal life.
1 Timothy 6:17-19
17 Charge them that are rich in this world, that they be not highminded, nor trust in uncertain riches, but in the living God, who giveth us richly all things to enjoy;
18 That they do good, that they be rich in good works, ready to distribute, willing to communicate;
19 Laying up in store for themselves a good foundation against the time to come, that they may lay hold on eternal life.
Salvation, cannot be bought. It's not about that you may get eternal life, but that you may have that firm grip, I don't mean that you can lose it, but that all your life, the devil will come to you and say "How do you know that you are a Christian, how come you know you are a Christian, you mean, just John 3:16, you are saved? You say no, you know why? I know with all my heart, because, He changed my heart from a selfish guy, one, when I had money in the past, looked down on others, loved my money, loved to take care of myself. You know something, He not only gives me wealth, He gave me a new heart. How would you know you are Christian, how do you know you have eternal life? I know, because He changed my life. It's not just a verse. Sometimes, you're just saved, by the skin of our teeth and we wonder and the devil shakes us. When you live a life of abundance, and give to others as opposed to, the unsaved, who makes money and see it as their rights to do what they want with their money, I can say, you can say, is not mine, He gave it to me, He is my Master, you lay hold, the devil cannot shake your faith. The devil cannot take your salvation away. He can take your confidence of your salvation away.
Alright, today, I end by saying, stand for truth. Not many in this country are going to stand for this. Many, are just going to pretend, they don't know and they don't care. You are witnesses, not only of the good news, but you're also to warn of deceivers. May God bless you.
More Episodes from Pastor Paul Choo:
19 Apr 2019
10 Mar 2019
23 Dec 2018
17 Jun 2018
30 Mar 2018
17 Apr 2017
22 Feb 2017
16 Oct 2016
Episodes from other sermons:
25 Dec 2019
22 Dec 2019
15 Dec 2019
27 Oct 2019
21 Apr 2019
19 Apr 2019
10 Mar 2019
30 Dec 2018