Jim Baker (on video) teaching students at a bible college in the United States started teaching on Revelations but was sidetracked down this issue of True Riches. What follows is my brief notes on what he had to say, based entirely out of scriptures in the Bible.
1 Cor 13:1-13
(1) Though I speak with the tongues of men and or angels, but have not love, I have become sounding brass or a clanging cymbal (2) and though I have the gift of prophecy, and understand all mysteries and all knowledge, and though I have all faith, so that I could remove mountains, but have not love, I am nothing. (3) And though I bestow all my goods to feed the poor, and though I bestow all my goods to feed the poor, and though I give my body to be burned, but have not love, it profits me nothing.
(4) Love suffers long and is kind; love does not envy; love does not parade itself, is not puffed up; (5) does not behave rudely, does not seek its own, is not provoked, thinks no evil; (6) does not rejoice in iniquity, but rejoices in the truth; (7) bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.
(8) Love never fails. But whether there are prophecies, they will fail; whether there are tongues, they will cease; whether there is knowledge, it will vanish away. (9) For we know in part and we prophesy in part. (10) But when that which is perfect has come, then that which is in part will be done away. (11) When I was a child, I spoke as a child, I understood as a child, I thought as a child; but when I became a man, I put away childish things. (12) For now we see in a mirror, dimly, but then face to face. Now I know in part, but then I shall know just as I also am known.
(13) And now abide faith, hope, love, these three; but the greatest of these is love.
It is not by works, it is our relationship with God.
For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: Not of works, lest any man should boast.
Unless a [seed] falls into the ground and dies, it remains alone;
That’s why we are lonely… You have to die daily!
Then Jesus said to His disciples, “If anyone desires to come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow Me.
(17) Now as He was going out on the road, one came running, knelt before Him, and asked Him, “Good Teacher, what shall I do that I may inherit eternal life?” (18) So Jesus said to him, “Why do you call Me good? No one is good but One, that is, God. (19) You know the commandments: ‘Do not commit adultery,’ ‘Do not murder,’ ‘Do not steal,’ ‘Do not bear false witness,’ ‘Do not defraud,’ ‘Honor your father and your mother.’ ” (20) And he answered and said to Him, “Teacher, all these things I have kept from my youth.” (21) Then Jesus, looking at him, loved him, and said to him, “One thing you lack: Go your way, sell whatever you have and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven; and come, take up the cross, and follow Me.” (22) But he was sad at this word, and went away sorrowful, for he had great possessions. (23) Then Jesus looked around and said to His disciples, “How hard it is for those who have riches to enter the kingdom of God!” (24) And the disciples were astonished at His words. But Jesus answered again and said to them, “Children, how hard it is for those who trust in riches to enter the kingdom of God! (25) It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter the kingdom of God.”
I used to teach that the eye of the needle was a gate in Jerusalem that was so low the camels had to kneel down and crawl under. That is not true. The eye of the needle is just that. Anything is possible with God.
…and the cares of this world, the deceitfulness of riches, and the desires for other things entering in choke the word, and it becomes unfruitful.
People are following teaching that itches their ears.
He has filled the hungry with good things, And the rich He has sent away empty.
But woe to you who are rich, For you have received your consolation.
Now the ones that fell among thorns are those who, when they have heard, go out and are choked with cares, riches, and pleasures of life, and bring no fruit to maturity.
And He said to them, “Take heed and beware of covetousness, for one’s life does not consist in the abundance of the things he possesses.”
So likewise, whoever of you does not forsake all that he has cannot be My disciple.
(19) “There was a certain rich man who was clothed in purple and fine linen and fared sumptuously every day. (20) But there was a certain beggar named Lazarus, full of sores, who was laid at his gate, (21) desiring to be fed with the crumbs which fell from the rich man’s table. Moreover the dogs came and licked his sores. (22) So it was that the beggar died, and was carried by the angels to Abraham’s bosom. The rich man also died and was buried. (23) And being in torments in Hades, he lifted up his eyes and saw Abraham afar off, and Lazarus in his bosom. (24) Then he cried and said, ‘Father Abraham, have mercy on me, and send Lazarus that he may dip the tip of his finger in water and cool my tongue; for I am tormented in this flame.’ (25) But Abraham said, ‘Son, remember that in your lifetime you received your good things, and likewise Lazarus evil things; but now he is comforted and you are tormented.
Everytime there’s a bad guy it seems to be a rich man.
Now behold, there was a man named Zacchaeus who was a chief tax collector, and he was rich.
(1) And He looked up and saw the rich putting their gifts into the treasury, (2) and He saw also a certain poor widow putting in two mites. (3) So He said, “Truly I say to you that this poor widow has put in more than all; (4) for all these out of their abundance have put in offerings for God, but she out of her poverty put in all the livelihood that she had.”
The Beatitudes in Matthew 5:1-12 are often quoted and well loved. An interesting omission from them is that they do not mention anything about “things” or money. There is no “blessed are you if you have lots of money”.
(1) And seeing the multitudes, He went up on a mountain, and when He was seated His disciples came to Him. (2) Then He opened His mouth and taught them, saying:
(3) “Blessed are the poor in spirit, For theirs is the kingdom of heaven. (4) Blessed are those who mourn, For they shall be comforted. (5) Blessed are the meek, For they shall inherit the earth. (6) Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, For they shall be filled. (7) Blessed are the merciful, For they shall obtain mercy. (8) Blessed are the pure in heart, For they shall see God. (9) Blessed are the peacemakers, For they shall be called sons of God. (10) Blessed are those who are persecuted for righteousness’ sake, For theirs is the kingdom of heaven. (11) “Blessed are you when they revile and persecute you, and say all kinds of evil against you falsely for My sake. (12) Rejoice and be exceedingly glad, for great is your reward in heaven, for so they persecuted the prophets who were before you.
Watch out for a different Jesus or Gospel or Spirit.
2 Cor 11:4
For if he who comes preaches another Jesus whom we have not preached, or if you receive a different spirit which you have not received, or a different gospel which you have not accepted–you may well put up with it!
The phrase “you may well put up with it” is in effect saying “you may as well put up with it”. This is made clearer in verse 20 where it says, “For you put up with it if one brings you into bondage, if one devours you, if one takes from you, if one exalts himself, if one strikes you on the face.”
(6) I marvel that you are turning away so soon from Him who called you in the grace of Christ, to a different gospel, (7) which is not another; but there are some who trouble you and want to pervert the gospel of Christ. (8) But even if we, or an angel from heaven, preach any other gospel to you than what we have preached to you, let him be accursed. (9) As we have said before, so now I say again, if anyone preaches any other gospel to you than what you have received, let him be accursed.
But He answered and said, “It is written, ‘Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceeds from the mouth of God.’ “
A misused verse
Some have used 3 John 1:2 as a verse to indicate that God wants us to prosper financially. Here John writes that we may prosper in all things. The word “prosper” here is Euodoo in the Greek. This comes from Eu which means good or well, and Hodos which means road, progress and/or journey. So this combined word means, to be in good health on your journey. This is highlighted by reading the same word translated in Romans 1:10 as “find a way”.
3 John 1:2
Beloved, I pray that you may prosper in all things and be in health, just as your soul prospers.
making request if, by some means, now at last I may find a way in the will of God to come to you.
1 Tim 6:5-12
Lk 15:12 Prodigal son – “give me!” (proverbs)
Act 8:15 give me!
2 Kings 5:1-27 Naaman seeks healing from Leprosy
We must seek God – not man. Jesus – not miracles.
1 Tim 3:1-8
Vision: Cattle herded without any skin on them. Raw and bleeding they walked past. God said that this is His church, this is what has been done to them.
Long horn sermons – a point here, a point there and a lot of bull inbetween.
A Brief History on Jim Baker
Convicted of crimes while running a huge evangelistic ministry, Jim Baker spent a number of years in jail. It was during this time that he came to realise this was not God’s punishment but rather His mercy.
These years were the sweetest years of his life, says Jim. He wrote down everything that Jesus spoke in the Bible, abbreviating it into short sentences that still conveyed the main theme of the passage where possible, and then memorised it all. “It was only then that I began to realise just how wrong I was.” It was during these years that he came to realise just how wrong he was, how wrong his teachings on financial prosperity were, and how shallow his relationship was with God. During these years he came to know God in a completely new way.
When I saw Jim Baker on the video he was a different man, a broken man. He presented only the Bible and stayed away from teaching on his ideas or thoughts. He was passionate only about one thing, and that was for people to know God more.