By Rick Becker 22 February 2018
Judas betrayed Christ for a mere thirty pieces of silver. Today many charlatans follow the path of Judas, betraying the Lord and the true gospel for money. Kris Vallotton of Bethel church is one such charlatan. Vallotton will be releasing his new book “Poverty, Riches and Wealth” in March this year. In this post we review the first chapter sent out free to subscribers. There are no surprises, although Vallotton boasts he can “go a week without sinning” he is a shameless prosperity teacher, twisting God’s word to come to his conclusions. Vallotton loves to speak about himself, 75% of the first chapter is about him, a further 20% are his opinions, and bible verses that he has twisted out of context make up the remaining 5%.
The foreword is by Jentezen Franklin, a word of faith and prosperity heretic. Right from the start, Franklin nails his colors to the mast with the following words: “Know this: God’s dream for you is so much bigger than yours. He promises prosperity and good success. Why is this important? Because it does matter to God. He can take you beyond anything you ever imagined, and He can take you places you have only dreamed about. I find most people are bound by a spirit of limitation.”
All of the disciples would disagree with Franklin, most of the early church would disagree with Franklin and most importantly scripture itself exposes Franklin as a liar. Believers currently being held in custody and tortured for their faith would disagree with Franklin’s assertion that a “spirit of limitation” is what’s holding them back.
God promises us eternal life, not a comfortable life, but that message does not put dollars in the coffers these prosperous charlatans who cross the globe in their jets as they peddle their false doctrines. They teach as a means for gain, the apostle Paul on the other hand knew that nothing can compare to what we really gain as believers – Christ himself: “ But whatever gain I had, I counted as loss for the sake of Christ. Indeed, I count everything as loss because of the surpassing worth of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord. For his sake I have suffered the loss of all things and count them as rubbish, in order that I may gain Christ and be found in him, not having a righteousness of my own that comes from the law, but that which comes through faith in Christ, the righteousness from God that depends on faith – that I may know him and the power of his resurrection, and may share his sufferings, becoming like him in his death,” Phlippians 3:7-10
Franklin: “The difference between living in prosperity and living in poverty is a choice. Choices have consequences. God told Israel that He set death and life, blessing and cursing, before them. They had to choose life or death (Deut. 30:19). It is not by chance that you are blessed; it is by choice.”
That’s it – a simple choice? What went wrong with the apostle Paul? At times he was hungry, naked, cold and homeless. Millions are living in poverty, and many of them are true believers and like the beggar Lazarus may not experience financial relief in this world. Why were God’s people who suffered tremendously and never tasted prosperity commended for their faith: “Some were tortured, refusing to accept release, so that they might rise again to a better life. Others suffered mocking and flogging, and even chains and imprisonment. They were stoned, they were sawn in two, they were killed with the sword. They went about in skins of sheep and goats, destitute, afflicted, mistreated – of whom the world was not worthy – wandering about in deserts and mountains, and in dens and caves of the earth” Hebrews 11:35-38
Kris Valloton (KV) begins in his introduction by criticizing “God’s noble people” for “despising wealth” and creating “doctrines to enshrine poverty.” There have always been extremes throughout church history. It is true the some have unfortunately practiced asceticism or monasticism in order to attain a higher degree of spirituality or to “get closer to God.” This generation however is aptly described in 2 Timothy 3:1-4 : “But understand this, that in the last days there will come times of difficulty. For people will be lovers of self, lovers of money, proud, arrogant, abusive, disobedient to their parents, ungrateful, unholy, heartless, unappeasable, slanderous, without self-control, brutal, not loving good, treacherous, reckless, swollen with conceit, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God”
The first time he mentions scripture he does so in a mocking tone.
KV: “Paul’s exhortation to his beloved Timothy was inscribed in the halls of our conscience, like the thundering voice of God echoing from some holy mountain: “For the love of money is a root of all sorts of evil, and some by longing for it have wandered away from the faith and pierced themselves with many griefs” (1 Timothy 6:10).
Lets be clear – money is not evil, but the love of it is. Vallotton has ignored the warning in verse 10, and it’s ironical that just a few verses earlier, Paul describes the likes of Vallotton: “If anyone teaches a different doctrine and does not agree with the sound words of our Lord Jesus Christ and the teaching that accords with godliness, he is puffed up with conceit and understands nothing. He has an unhealthy craving for controversy and for quarrels about words, which produce envy, dissension, slander, evil suspicions, and constant friction among people who are depraved in mind and deprived of the truth, imagining that godliness is a means of gain.” 1 Timothy 6:3-5
Vallotton laments the fact that he carried his “poverty prejudice with him” for many years, but then something happened a few months after he and his wife became pastors at Bethel church.
KV: “Then suddenly, it all happened—my poverty spirit crashed on the shores of adversity and my tiny boat of small thinking began to break apart, torn by wave after wave of revelation. The Scriptures that used to be my safety net were now ripping under the weight of exponential increase. I scurried around in a panic, trying desperately to mend my broken nets of poverty, but they simply could not carry the load of prosperity that was being charged to our account.”
And then another suddenly…
KV: “Then suddenly, thousands of dollars began pouring in from a number of different sources, from real estate deals to book sales, and from teaching materials to conference offerings. Thousands of dollars found their way into our bank accounts.
Soon we were giving away about half our profit, yet there was still enough left over to live in abundance. The whole thing came to a climax in May 2016, when a man I had never met before insisted on paying off our house, to the tune of $487,000!”
Any money that Vallotton makes from business deals is his business, but receiving money from teaching false doctrine that tickles ears is called “teaching for shameful gain.”
KV: “The payoff of our house was the final straw for me. I saw it as a confirming sign from God, and I was compelled to tell the world what the Lord was revealing to us about wealth”
There is nothing new about wealth that God needs to reveal to the world. The problem is that today’s new breed of celebrity teachers have to concoct new doctrines to stay relevant. These teachers have replaced servanthood with self-aggrandizement. If you think about, the church is merely capitalizing on the cravings of this world. This is what sells in the world – you design the life you deserve, you can attract wealth, you can be successful at whatever you choose, you are awesome! This is the same message Valloton & co preach, it sells because it’s what people want to hear. Whenever there’s a new book release from any of these charlatans, there’s always the claim that God told them to write it, and that it will reveal new information that God has apparently withheld for 2000 years.
KV: “I knew I had to brave the criticism of those who would question my motives and/
or methods and write a book about true Kingdom wealth. I think this revelation is a catalyst to overthrowing the principality called Mammon and establishing a wealth mentality rooted in heavenly wisdom. My primary motive in writing this book is to break the back of poverty and release a spirit of prosperity on the world.”
Wrong Kris – the source of your “revelation” IS mammon.
Do the scriptures teach about prosperity being the answer to the world’s problems?
“But godliness with contentment is great gain, or we brought nothing into the world, and we cannot take anything out of the world. But if we have food and clothing, with these we will be content. But those who desire to be rich fall into temptation, into a snare, into many senseless and harmful desires that plunge people into ruin and destruction. For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evils. It is through this craving that some have wandered away from the faith and pierced themselves with many pangs.” 1 Timothy 6:6-10
Quick quiz – Vallottons book is going to appeal to those who
A Desire to know how to live a godly life in an ungodly world
B Desire to learn the secret of contentment in all circumstances
C Desire to have an eternal perspective of life
E Desire to be rich
False teachers prey on the weak, vulnerable, hurting and poor. Vallotton’s book is not going to be snapped up by the wealthy, but by those who “desire to be rich.” The outcome will be a wandering away from the faith and destruction.
A master of obfuscation, Vallotton says that he does not use the word “prosperity” in the same way that the world describes riches, he means “Kingdom wealth” which is far more inclusive and sounds more spiritual. Part of his definition below:
KV: “Wealth is light in the darkness, healing in sickness, prosperity
in poverty, wholeness in brokenness, favor in obscurity, love for
the unlovely, beauty for ashes and victors among victims. Wealth is a “can-do” attitude, a “more than enough” mindset and a “nothing is impossible” belief system.”
That sounds nice – prosperity IN poverty. A believer may be poor, yet in his spirit he is prosperous, I agree with that, but that is not what Vallotton means. How do I know this, because this whole chapter is about money…. obscene amounts of cash flowing into his bank account! In a recent blog, this master of obfuscation writes:
“Both Solomon’s riches and Abraham’s riches were directly attached to their relationships with God. Genesis 13:2 says, “Now Abram was very rich in livestock, in silver, and in gold,” and 2 Chronicles 9:22 says, “So King Solomon became greater than all the kings of the earth in riches and wisdom. So maybe wealth is not a sign of your relationship with God, unless it is”
Have you noticed how often prosperity teachers use examples from the Old Testament without explaining the context of the text. They will never explain the law, who it applied to, it’s conditions or its curses. If we apply God’s promises of prosperity to Israel under the law, we must also apply God’s punishment for false prophets, in which case Vallotton would be dead. This is part Vallotton’s “word for Russia” in 2016. Tell me what has come to pass: “I saw a great reformation flowing through the entire country of Russia. It began in Red Square and flooded the nation with a spiritual awakening that is unprecedented in modern history. Every city was filled with joy and prosperity. Creativity was released in the land inspiring medical breakthroughs, inventions and innovations. This resulted in an historic economic boom as Russia began exporting their medical cures, automobiles (I saw two new brands of automobiles emerge with excellence out of Russia), and inventions to the nations of the worldI saw great collaboration happening between government, commerce and business. Many corporations moved to the land to be celebrated and empowered. There were great incentives given by the government to those that created wealth. They were lessons taken right out of the parables of the Talents and the Minas that Jesus told. The righteous reigned in the land and a Jesus movement that will touch the entire world will be birthed in the universities, beginning in Moscow.”
Remember what I was saying about the claims that accompany new books?
KV: “My prayer is that you would find keys in this manuscript that would unlock your legacy and release prosperity on your children’s children. I hope that you will be so transformed by the revelation in this book that it will literally alter the course of your history. May it be on earth as it is in heaven!”
That’s a pretty impressive sales pitch, but not one you will find in any of the gospels or epistles. Here is how Jesus presented keys that would unlock your legacy and alter your history: pick up your cross and follow me.they will hate you…they will persecute you…if you love your family more than me you are not worthy of me….etc
The church in the book of Acts have missed out on Vallotton’s new revelation: “So they went on their way from the presence of the Council, rejoicing that they had been considered worthy to
prosper suffer shame for His name” Acts 5:41
“if children, heirs also, heirs of God and fellow heirs with Christ, if indeed we
prosper suffer with Him so that we may also be glorified with Him” Romans 8:17
Part one of the book is under the heading :The True Meaning of Kingdom Wealth
KV: “In the first part of this book, we will discuss the true meaning of Kingdom wealth as we contrast it with poverty and riches. I will prove that there is a power to make wealth and that there is a spirit behind poverty. I will also help you discover how to embrace the abundant life that Jesus promised and how to avoid becoming rich instead of wealthy.”
Sounds tantalising, this is how false teachers appeal to the senses of their carnal followers: “But false prophets also arose among the people, just as there will be false teachers among you, who will secretly bring in destructive heresies, even denying the Master who bought them, bringing upon themselves swift destruction. And many will follow their sensuality, and because of them the way of truth will be blasphemed. And in their greed they will exploit you with false words. Their condemnation from long ago is not idle, and their destruction is not asleep.”
2 Peter 2:1-3
The first and only chapter we review, is entitled: “The Net Worth of Jesus”
KV: “if you make the mistake of judging Jesus’ net worth by His humble earthly condition, you will misjudge His prosperity and undermine His mission. The apostle Paul put it like this: “For you know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, that though He was rich, yet for your sake He became poor, so that you through His poverty
might become rich” (2 Corinthians 8:9). Wait! What did Paul say? Jesus was rich, but then He became poor so (the reason He became poor) we might become rich. That is incredible!”
Wait! Did Vallotton take the time to explain the meaning of that text – of course not! Christ became poor in the sense that during his incarnation, he took on the form of a servant, took on human nature, his attributes were veiled, and he suffered death on a cross. Christ did not give up earthly or material wealth because heaven does not consist of monetary wealth as we understand it. We are made rich spiritually through Christ’s sacrifice: “ To me, though I am the very least of all the saints, this grace was given, to preach to the Gentiles the unsearchable riches of Christ” Ephesians 3:8
“ Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in Christ with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places” Ephesians 1:3
In the book of Revelation, Smyrna was one of the seven churches addressed. It suffered no rebuke from our Lord. The church was being persecuted, and was warned of more suffering to come including imprisonment and death. Far from experiencing prosperity, they were poor, yet Jesus refers to them as being rich. They were rich in spirit, despite material poverty. “I know your tribulation and your poverty (but you are rich)…” – Rev 2:9
Why did Jesus not condemn them for their poor choices, lack of faith and spirit of poverty?
Vallotton has commended himself to us because of the dollars pouring into his account. Lets compare that with how Paul commend himself:
“ but as servants of God we commend ourselves in every way: by great endurance, in afflictions, hardships, calamities, beatings, imprisonments, riots, labors, sleepless nights, hunger; by purity, knowledge, patience, kindness, the Holy Spirit, genuine love; by truthful speech, and the power of God; with the weapons of righteousness for the right hand and for the left; through honor and dishonor, through slander and praise. We are treated as impostors, and yet are true; as unknown, and yet well known; as dying, and behold, we live; as punished, and yet not killed; as sorrowful, yet always rejoicing; as POOR, yet making many rich; as HAVING NOTHiNG, yet possessing everything.” 2 Corinthians 6:4-10
The fact that Vallotton believes if we misjudge Jesus’ networth we “undermine his mission” means that Vallotton does not understand the gospel. That is why he does not preach the gospel.
KV: “I want to point out again that Jesus became poor for a reason. His
celestial mission was to make us wealthy. It is the great exchange—
beauty for ashes, joy for mourning, hope for the hopeless, healing
for sickness, prosperity for poverty. You get the idea: Jesus called it
Yes, wealthy in the spiritual sense Mr Vallotton! Prosperity IN poverty has now morphed into prosperity FOR poverty. To use well known phrases from Isaiah 61:3 (beauty for ashes, joy for mourning) and then insert “prosperity for poverty” is crafty and exactly how false teachers operate. The abundant life Christ promised is spiritual and eternal: “And this is eternal life, that they know you, the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom you have sent.” John 17:3
Vallotton has made it clear that he has made a bad exchange – mammon over Christ.
“No one can serve two masters, for either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and money”
KV:”First of all, if wealth and riches are inherently evil, what are they doing in heaven? Why would God describe heaven so lavishly if wealth were bad, or even bad for you…wealth cannot be intrinsically evil, or the Bible would not describe heaven as a place full of unimaginable riches. In fact, if heaven is God’s goal for us, then wealth must be a piece of our prize!”
They are not inherently evil, but Vallotton seems to think of heaven in earthly terms. The gold he loves so much on earth, will serve as pavements in heaven. There is no condemnation for wealthy believers who love God, steward their finances for his glory, and don’t have a love for their money. There is condemnation for those who believe God guarantees us material wealth. Furthermore, scripture are replete with warnings to those who have succumbed to the temptation of wealth:
“Come now, you rich, weep and howl for the miseries that are coming upon you. Your riches have rotted and your garments are moth-eaten. Your gold and silver have corroded, and their corrosion will be evidence against you and will eat your flesh like fire. You have laid up treasure in the last days. Behold, the wages of the laborers who mowed your fields, which you kept back by fraud, are crying out against you, and the cries of the harvesters have reached the ears of the Lord of hosts. You have lived on the earth in luxury and in self-indulgence. You have fattened your hearts in a day of slaughter” James 5:1-5
“ Keep your life free from love of money, and be content with what you have, for he has said, “I will never leave you nor forsake you.” Hebrews 13:5
KV:”Our idea of “poor Jesus” is similarly skewed. Although Jesus left
heaven, heaven never left Jesus, because Kingdom prosperity always begins from the inside out. You can put Jesus in a manger, but you can’t put a manger in Jesus. Wealth, glory and power seeped out of His pores like sweat on a hardworking man on a hot, humid day”
This is what Vallotton craves, wealth, glory and power. Keep in mind Bethel teaches that Jesus came to model what life should be like for every believer. This is why Bethelites attempt to raise the dead, walk on water, and outshine whatever Christ did because “greater things” in their minds points to the miraculous. This is what Bethel teach their children: “Having the keys of power and authority means that we have the same position, recognition, and abilities that Jesus had.” – ” Kids carrying the kingdom”
Vallotton then goes on to recount the miracle when Jesus changed water into wine.
KV: “Mary and Joseph may have been a middle-class carpenter family, but they might have been drinking wine that reminded them of heaven at home. In fact, the wine was so good that the Bible says that when Jesus made wine, He “manifested His glory.” Now, that is great wine! I guess He was not kidding when He said that He is
the vine and we are the branches (see John 15:1–14).”
Vallotton misses the whole point of the miracle. John tells us why these signs are recorded: “Now Jesus did many other signs in the presence of the disciples, which are not written in this book; but these are written so that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, and that by believing you may have life in his name.”
Vallotton then describes the miracle where Jesus instructed Peter to catch a fish in order to pay tax. The first fish Peter caught, would have a Shekel in it’s mouth. This story sets Vallotton up to deliver an over the top and simply dishonest assessment.
KV: “Apparently, Jesus took God’s command to “rule over the fish of the sea” seriously (Genesis 1:26), because He became quite famous for impacting the fishing industry. The gospels record Jesus supernaturally chumming the fish into the disciple’s nets on at least two occasions” (Read Luke 5:4-7)
“These guys are not fishing recreationally; this is how they make their living. Fishing was a middle-class, feast-or-famine kind of occupation . . . that is, until Jesus showed up. He quickly transformed a meager living into a prosperous vocation.”
The fishing industry was barely impacted by Christ’s miracle. Since when did the disciples now step into a prosperous vocation after Christ’s miracle? In this instance, it was the opportunity Jesus used to call some of his disciples. The lesson was not about prosperity or wealth, it was about Jesus being the son of God who performed miracles. It was about the holiness of God and the sinfulness of man. Peter’s response to the miracle was not relief due to the fact that he would now be wealthy thanks to a revitalized fishing industry: “But when Simon Peter saw it, he fell down at Jesus’ knees, saying, “Depart from me, for I am a sinful man, O Lord.” For he and all who were with him were astonished at the catch of fish that they had taken.” Luke 5:8-9
This miracle caused the disciples to actually forsake the little they had gained in this world: “And when they had brought their boats to land, they left everything and followed him” Luke 5:11
KV: “Let’s look at one more fishing expedition so we understand that the previous story was not an isolated incident. It was the nature of Jesus to behave extravagantly. He never provided just a few more fish . . . heck no!”
“Just as day was breaking, Jesus stood on the shore; yet the disciples did not know that it was Jesus. Jesus said to them, “Children, do you have any fish?” They answered him, “No.” He said to them, “Cast the net on the right side of the boat, and you will find some.” So they cast it, and now they were not able to haul it in, because of the quantity of fish. That disciple whom Jesus loved therefore said to Peter, “It is the Lord!” When Simon Peter heard that it was the Lord, he put on his outer garment, for he was stripped for work, and threw himself into the sea. The other disciples came in the boat, dragging the net full of fish, for they were not far from the land, but about a hundred yards off.” John 21;4-8
This was his third appearance after his resurrection, this was not just a matter of Jesus behaving extravagantly. Far from setting an example of wealthy and extravagant living, after breakfast Jesus described Peter’s destiny as follows: “Truly, truly, I say to you, when you were young, you used to dress yourself and walk wherever you wanted, but when you are old, you will stretch out your hands, and another will dress you and carry you where you do not want to go.” (This he said to show by what kind of death he was to glorify God.) And after saying this he said to him, “Follow me.” John 21:18-19
There are many lessons in Christ’s miracles, but none of those lessons are about extravagant displays of wealth or guaranteed prosperity for his disciples. Vallotton begs to differ, in his mind, it’s all about the money.
KV: “Jesus is into the boat-sinking, way-too-many, catch-of-the-year kind of fishing. In America we say time is money, but in the fishing business fish are money. Jesus was not just increasing their catch; He was increasing their cash! It is worth mentioning here that if having a lot of money is a bad thing, then Jesus should have made sure they had minimal catches.”
It is worth asking here – how many rebukes or warnings did Jesus give to the poor as opposed to the wealthy? What Kris is preaching is called the American dream, it’s not the gospel. Having a lot of money is not inherently bad. Teaching that one of the reasons for Christ’s incarnation and death was to ensure an increase in cash on our part is an abomination.
KV: “What I am pointing out is that if Jesus can circumvent the process of wealth creation by creating money out of thin air, or by making wine instantaneously from water, or by taking a boy’s lunch and multiplying it ten thousand times to feed a crowd that would fill an entire NBA basketball stadium, or by increasing a fisherman’s
catch by 1,000 percent, then there is no way He can ever be called poor . . . at least by worldly standards. Yes, Jesus became poor when you contrast His heavenly home with His earthly visitation. But Jesus was no homeless transient, traversing the countryside
with twelve vagabonds. He actually was a famous traveling rabbi who grew up in a middle-class carpenter’s home and had a very well-funded ministry.”
It’s worth pointing out that Jesus performed miracles out of compassion, and to prove that he was the messiah. Secondly, he did not perform any miracles in order to enrich himself. Vallotton just does not understand that Jesus became poor, not in financial terms, but through the constricts of the incarnation. Vallotton presents a successful Jesus, famous, well funded, with wealth, power, and glory seeping out his pores. Can you see how hard Vallotton is trying to justify his own lifestyle?
Vallotton will use any opportunity to take an incident in scripture and highlight money
KV : “Many scholars believe that Jesus had a substantial amount of money from the Magi treasury that launched Him into ministry. Yet traveling for three and a half years with twelve other men had to be pretty expensive.”
He makes mention of the women who supported Jesus financially (Luke 8:1-3) He revels in the fact that Jesus had wealthy supporters such as Mary who poured expensive perfume over his feet, and suggests that Mary, Martha and Lazarus were “probably His primary financial supporters.”
At this point Vallotton is at great pains to deal with these words of Jesus: “Foxes have holes, and birds of the air have nests, but the Son of Man has nowhere to lay his head.” Luke 9:58
KV: “Much of the misunderstanding about the status of Jesus’ personal financial condition comes from a story told in the gospels of both Matthew and Luke.”
“As they were going along the road, someone said to him, “I will follow you wherever you go.” And Jesus said to him, “Foxes have holes, and birds of the air have nests, but the Son of Man has nowhere to lay his head.” To another he said, “Follow me.” But he said, “Lord, let me first go and bury my father.” And Jesus said to him, “Leave the dead to bury their own dead. But as for you, go and proclaim the kingdom of God.” Yet another said, “I will follow you, Lord, but let me first say farewell to those at my home.” Jesus said to him, “No one who puts his hand to the plow and looks back is fit for the kingdom of God.” Luke 9:57-62
KV: “His “foxes have holes and birds have nests” comment had more to do with the heart of the person who was inquiring than it did with the accommodations available in that location. Especially since a few seconds later, Jesus turned to another guy and said, “Follow Me.” If Jesus were telling the first guy, “I’m sorry you can’t go with us; I have no accommodations for you,” then why did He invite the other guy to travel with Him? Again, Jesus was not homeless.”
That unfortunately is the kind of shallow argument Vallotton needs to resort to.
There were times when God provided for the needs of Jesus and his disciples (Mark 14:12-16) Vallotton assumes this was always the case. Furthermore, God provided for their daily needs, not their greeds. Jesus did not live in luxury or own properties, he could not even afford his own grave.
So what did Jesus mean by his statement ““Foxes have holes, and birds of the air have nests, but the Son of Man has nowhere to lay his head.” Vallotton is partly correct, his answer did have something to do with the heart of the enquirer – a scribe and probably a wealthy citizen. Jesus was clearly demonstrating that his life was not his own, he came to do the will of the Father which culminated in his death on the cross. The scribe would be asked to do the same, and what is envisaged in the answer is not exactly a life of extravagance and earthly wealth. There would be no worldly security in following Christ, no guarantees of comfort or even stability, and perhaps this is what the scribe was wishing for. The apostle Paul knew what Jesus meant: “To the present hour we hunger and thirst, we are poorly dressed and buffeted and homeless“ 1 Corinthians 4:11
KV: “Dressed for Success
Not only was Jesus not homeless; He actually dressed well for His day. If you compared Jesus’ clothes to the people of that time, you would have to conclude that He was at least somewhat affluent. Jesus wore a seamless tunic woven in one piece. When He was crucified, the four soldiers who stripped Him cut His outer garments into four pieces so that they each got something. But because His tunic was seamless, it was so valuable that the soldiers gambled for it (see John 19:23–25). Some modern theologians call His seamless tunic the Armani suit of the first century.”
Dressed for success – that’s really a pathetic introduction to his paragraph, and reveals what’s in his own heart. Vallotton at first argued that Jesus became poor so that we can be rich, now he claims that Jesus was at least somewhat affluent. According to Vallotton Jesus became somewhat affluent so that we could be wealthy. If Jesus was somewhat affluent, why did he depend on the hospitality and funding of others? His seamless garment was probably a gift, he may have had it for his whole 3 years of ministry. Vallotton focuses on the value of the garment, instead of the valuable lesson of fulfilled prophecy: “For dogs encompass me; a company of evildoers encircles me;
they have pierced my hands and feet – I can count all my bones – they stare and gloat over me; they divide my garments among them, and for my clothing they cast lots.” Psalm 22:16-18.
KV: “Let me be clear: I am not trying to propose that Jesus was a rich tycoon on earth, although He clearly had the means to be one through the supernatural abilities He demonstrated. What I am trying to point out is that Jesus was not poor by any earthly standard. He had everything He needed to take care of His team and cover their
travels. He was incredibly generous, He often helped people prosper financially, and He taught more parables about money than about any other subject.”
God provided for the needs of Jesus. That does not mean Jesus was somewhat affluent as Vallotton proposes. Jesus was generous, how he “helped people prosper financially” only Vallotton can explain. Jesus did speak a lot about money, not to give advice that would make people wealthy, that was not his goal. The way people use money reveals the condition of their heart. I wish Vallotton would work through some of these parables on money. Are they encouraging wealth for all, do they provide keys for gaining wealth, do they reveal the secret of obtaining the power that produces wealth?
Lets look at one chapter on money, Luke 16. These words come directly after the parable of the dishonest manager: “If then you have not been faithful in the unrighteous wealth, who will entrust to you the true riches? And if you have not been faithful in that which is another’s, who will give you that which is your own? No servant can serve two masters, for either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and money.” vs 11-13
The same chapter recounts the story of the rich man and Lazarus vs 19-31. I’m sure you know how things worked out for the wealthy man.
Although there is wisdom in what Jesus taught on money, the purpose of parables was not to give sound financial advice,. The purpose of parables was to instruct his disciples (not the world) in matters pertaining to the kingdom of God. The kingdom of God is not about earthly concerns, but about true wealth – righteousness and peace and joy in the Holy Spirit.
Has it not dawned on Vallotton that if Jesus was so concerned with his material possessions, he would never put a thief in charge of the moneybag. Judas helped himself to the offerings, fulfilling Christ’s own warning: “Do not lay up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy and where thieves break in and steal, but lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also” Matt 6:19-21
That concludes the first chapter, one can only imagine what this charlatan will conjure up in the remaining chapters. Vallotton boasts about his ranch, his vehicles, and the fact that he makes obscene amounts of money – he is not merely storing up treasures on earth, he is boasting about them. As we know, Judas turned out to be the one who would betray Jesus, this was a shock to the other eleven. Judas flew under the disciples radar, like many charlatans in the visible church today. Thirty pieces of silver was enough for Judas to betray Christ. Vallotton, like Judas has betrayed Christ for silver.
Since Vallotton enjoys parables about wealth, it seems fitting to end this post with one:
” And he said to them, “Take care, and be on your guard against all covetousness, for one’s life does not consist in the abundance of his possessions. And he told them a parable, saying, “The land of a rich man produced plentifully, and he thought to himself, ‘What shall I do, for I have nowhere to store my crops?’ And he said, ‘I will do this: I will tear down my barns and build larger ones, and there I will store all my grain and my goods. And I will say to my soul, “Soul, you have ample goods laid up for many years; relax, eat, drink, be merry.”’ But God said to him, ‘Fool! This night your soul is required of you, and the things you have prepared, whose will they be? So is the one who lays up treasure for himself and is not rich toward God.”