I'm totally down with the message that God meant His children to live in abundance and prosperity as they serve His Kingdom, despite the rancid greed that has infiltrated many ministries to distort that message into one of self-centered narcissism (afflicting millions in The Body today). But the baby must never be tossed out with the bath-water. A distorted doctrine impugns the one(s) who distort(s) it, not the original doctrine itself - which in most cases is holy and tested with scripture to be true.
To deny The Lord's desire to help His children walk in His blessings would be like tossing the doctrine of God's unfathomable grace to the dogs because huge sections of The Body of Christ believe grace to be a "get-out-of-guilt-free" card (also known as the "indulge-sin-guilt-free" card). That wicked twist of doctrine is what Paul called a doctrine of demons - but acknowledging the error does NOT remove from our lexicon the truth of God's great grace for those who truly repent. Why, then, do so many judge the biblical truth of God's desire to prosper His people (there were many rich saints depicted in scripture) as TOTALLY false, just because we have many in The Body of Christ who are treating that doctrine like an ATM card?
That said - here is the truth of the matter...
Jesus' seminal quote, which is used by supporters and detractors alike as it pertains to the teaching of prosperity, is as follows:
"But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well." (Matt. 6:33).
Do you see it?
The reason why so many fall into error on this subject (on both sides) is not because they miss the first part of the statement (seek first his kingdom), but because they almost entirely ignore the second portion of the edict (AND HIS RIGHTEOUSNESS). Both elements are equally weighted in Yeshua's order - you cannot hope to enjoy the benefit of the promise that is attached to The Lord's order if you are failing to adhere to both elements. When this balance goes awry, error inevitably follows. Either you will ignore the Lord's promise and linger in self-righteous poverty, or you will (on the flip-side) wander into greed and be ensnared by the love of money.
But those who are truly seeking The Lord's Kingdom above all things - while walking straight paths before Him in righteousness - these are the ones to whom The Lord made the tethered promise, "...and all these things will be given to you as well." Incidentally - there is no metaphor in play with this particular scripture. Read it carefully and "greek-it-out" to your theologian's heart's desire - and you will find that The Lord was speaking specifically of every day items like food and clothing (things of this temporal world).
Which brings effervescing to the surface one final point that is seminal to the issue:
It is believed by many (and I was once such an individual) what the "safe play" in this doctrine is to ignore wealth entirely or impugn it as an "evil unto itself" - rather than to risk running into the error of displeasing God in the process of becoming wealthy. This is utterly false. Sin is sin - and if (on one side of the doctrine) we risk the error of greed and narcissism, on the other side we see copious examples of bald envy and judgmental-ism as people (who cannot possibly know the heart) make blanket judgments against anyone who would dare speak of prosperity in The Body of Christ.
The Kingdom of Heaven is NOT a commune; where everyone "deserves" to get the same thing (or it must be evil). Nor is it a socialistic society; which is essentially water-down communism. No - the Kingdom of Heaven is an absolute monarchy; wherein the King desires to graciously pour out His Goodness upon ANY who will prove themselves worthy (through obedience), and upon those who are open to receive His great abundance. Those who refuse to believe for The King's blessings also tend to get the things for which they believe (and then wonder why) - it's that simple. God's heart is to give to His children abundantly - but we must be proven trustworthy with little before He will trust us with much.
Is the prosperity message the most important in The Kingdom? Not even close... But it IS a vital issue concerning the dark times of testing for The Body of Christ in the not-too-distant future. Just as the world needs rich people running businesses (in order to provide employment for those who wish to support a family), so also does The Body of Christ need people to whom great wealth can be entrusted. This has always been the case - for (in this world) churches and ministries cannot be built without money, and there have always been wonderful saints of "great-means" who have (by God's direction) helped make that happen. So also will the Remnant be supported during the dark days that lay ahead.
We must really pray for a people to be raised up who have The Lord's words written on their hearts in this matter - people with whom great wealth can be entrusted. These are those who will be faithful to pour out for God's children in times of great need that are soon to come upon the Earth.
Walk righteously before your Lord - seek first His Kingdom (with pure and unselfish motives) - and then believe that God is as good as His word. You need not wonder - He will not let His word fall to the ground and abundance will find you in due course.
Your brother and servant in Christ Jesus our Lord,
Mark Scott Grimmett