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Holy Cows!

August 19th, 2010 | 12 Comments | Posted in Kim Clement, Twisted Scriptures

cow“God owns the cattle on a thousand hills.”

The above statement — quoted from Psalm 50:10 — has become a favorite in apostolic-prophetic churches where “prosperity theology” is a key teaching.

If God owns the cattle on a thousand hills and everything else besides, then He will certainly give His people anything they desire — money, mansions, muscle cars.

Or so the teaching goes.

Click here to see how “prophet” Kim Clement used this verse to teach that God will give Americans land, property and miracles.

But is this actually what Psalm 50:10 teaches? Does it promote the idea that God wants His people to amass land, houses and money? I will show that it doesn’t.

A Closer Look

Let’s look at Psalm 50:10. God is the person speaking:

for every animal of the forest is mine,
and the cattle on a thousand hills. (Psalm 50:10, New International Version)

It’s clear: God owns all the forest animals and cattle. The next two verse are also clear: He owns all the birds and field creatures and, in fact, He owns everything: “for the world is mine, and all that is in it” (verses 10-12).

So the statement — “God owns the cattle on a thousands hills” — is just a poetic way of saying that God owns everything. That’s certainly a biblical teaching. So far so good.

But what about the implication that, because God owns all things, He will give His people all things?

That’s not what this psalm teaches. In fact, it’s not even an announcement of blessing on God’s people. It’s an announcement of blame.

Look at the rest of the verses in the psalm. God states His anger at the Israelites for just “going through the motions” in their worship of Him. They bring him animal sacrifices, but don’t honor Him with thankful hearts and obedience to His law.

More specifically, God accuses them of quoting His Words and then turning around and promoting theft, adultery, lying and slander (verses 16-21). Psalm 50 is His response to their insincerity. He basically says:

I don’t need your sacrifices! I own all the animals that exist, so you’re not doing me any favors when you present your piddly offerings of cattle and birds to me. What I want from you is heartfelt gratitude and obedience.

So Psalm 50:10 does not teach a self-serving, get-rich theology. It’s a rebuke of hypocrisy.

True Promises

It’s true that God promises to provide for the needs of His children, such as food and clothing. Other places in the Bible teach this comforting truth, such as Matthew 6:33:

But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.

We know that, one day in the future, we will enjoy all spiritual — and material — riches in our eternal home. But keep in mind that none other than Jesus, himself, eeked out a meager living. He and his disciples relied on the generous financial support of His followers (Luke 8:3).

Jesus didn’t even own a house (Luke 9:58). We shouldn’t expect more for ourselves.

Empty Stalls

In fact, true faith in God shows itself by continuing to trust His goodness — even when our external circumstances are bleak. This is the main lesson in the book of Habakkuk — which also has something to say about cattle.

Though the fig tree does not bud
and there are no grapes on the vines,
though the olive crop fails
and the fields produce no food,

though there are no sheep in the pen
and no cattle in the stalls,

yet I will rejoice in the LORD,
I will be joyful in God my Savior. (Habakkuk 3:17-18, emphasis mine)

Yes, God does own the cattle on a thousands hills. But that doesn’t guarantee that you’ll find any cows in your stalls. Will you still trust Him?

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12 Responses to “Holy Cows!”

  1. victor Says:

    We need more Elijah’s in this world. God-fearing messengers who refuse to twist the Scriptures to meet their own needs, and who are bold enough to stand up against this type of heretical teaching. Holly, I hope that you continue to be an Elijah. We need more.

  2. Adam Minneapolis Says:

    Very good study, and great job examining this Scripture passage in its context, a seemingly lost art these days. I loved how you brought in the passage from Habakkuk 3. What a powerful expression of truth, and of faith in our Lord!

  3. Roger Souden Says:

    Amen to your teaching Holly.    Whatever happened to “…give us this day our daily bread…”  and “…your (Gods) will be done…”   most of what we see today is “…gimme, gimme, gimme..” and that attitude is rife in christendom!!   but thankfully not amongst the genuine, repentant, spirit filled, cross carrying, God seeking, self decreasing, body of Christ.  

  4. Roger Souden Says:

    As confirmation to your message Holly, not that we need one if truly we follow Jesus Christ….  see http://herescope.blogspot.com/ the recent two teachings on “The Money God”.

  5. DeeAnn Says:

    What we need is to stop using the scriptures as an excuse for our own agendas.  On one side, we stop making excuses for greed in the pulpit.  What a “no-brainer”.  Obvious as the extra large nose on my face.  Yet the pendulum swings both ways and the other side needs to stop making excuses for living faithless lives of compromise.  The same Jesus who told us to not store up in treasures on earth is the same one who told us to not worry about what we’d wear and that His father in heaven actually cares about what we wear.  The “gospel” I hear preached from this crowd is a heartless one that could care less about the weaker or less privileged around them.  They also drive really nice cars.  They just stepped on a few backs to get them.  I’m not one to lurk on this sight and take pot shots at the editorials but government funded search engine google keeps putting your stuff in my face.  I find most of what’s written here as heretical in the extreme other direction as the people you try and out.  The author uses many bait and switch tactics.  It’s rather sad and breaks my heart.

  6. Ann Says:

    Your interpretation of those simple scriptures is exactly right, Holly.

    That scripture also shows how much God yearns for us to have friendship with Him.

  7. Edward Says:

    This is the first time on this blog. I don’t know much about what the apostolic/prophetic movement stands for and haven’t read their statements if they have any, but I have seen Clement on tv and it breaks my heart to see it. Its like there is a desire for some christians to listen to this, reminding of those in the world who use drugs and cause evil people to become rich or those who use pornography. It is bad for christians to listen to these false prophets as it is bad to use drugs or view porn. Thanks for your work on exposing them Holly.

  8. Diane Says:

    I attended a bible school that tended toward this kind of prosperity teaching and have found many of the ministries that came out of that school were unaccountable to anyone and lax on teaching character and integrity from the word of God.  Many of the ministers were basically dishonest in the area of finances, and the people under them felt used and unsupported.  It’s a fallow field and the sheep in it are underfed.  Thank you for your sound teaching, Holly. 

  9. Michael Says:

    i used to go to harvest rock church in pasadena (now its called, H Rock or City Rock, depends on the day, I guess). these organizations (i refuse to call them churches) gain momentum in various ways. after going to hrc, i can attest to the lack of biblical support to their message. ie – teaching out of biblical context/perspective, scratching itching ears (they have millionaires that go to that church – you can bet they want to hear about money), and just lack of knowledge. a lot of those people don’t really have a solid in-depth understanding of scripture. they pair scriptures together a lot (find something in Habakkuk and pair it with something in psalms) and wala! a biblical teaching! well, its true that its all in the bible. but is it in the context and setting?

    one positive thing that i did come away from hrc, was, they did a lot of evangelism and prayer. with positive results. but, unfortunately, these new christians were brought into a health and wealth gospel church.

  10. Mark Says:

    Its a convienant doctrine. Money….infomercial for the deceived leave to Western greed and idolatry.
    St Paul said:
    10 For even when we were with you, this we commanded you, that if any would not work, neither should he eat (2Thess 3:10)
    I like some of these people get a job work at McDonalds and make a honest living. Hmmm it seems the only one benefiting from this doctrine are the preachers.

  11. TB Much Says:

    I can attest to the commenter s on the subject of the popular “prosperity” preaching that is going on, that mostly those that are on the stump are feeding themselves and not caring for the flock, but then Paul, an Apostle of Christ warned us in the holy scriptures that after he left, there would come “grieving wolves; not caring for the flock,” they are here.

  12. Rae Marie D'Andrade Says:

    Jesus is the Way, The Truth and the Life. You have exhausted quite a lot of time and energy into ‘exposing’ this movement – but what are you doing to build the Kingdom of God. If all Apostles/Prophets are just out to decieve the people then what is truth, what is the way? i would never say that there are not those who have raped the church with their selfish desire for fame and fortune, but the danger of what you are doing is broad-sweeping an entire movement because you do not understand. The true Apostolic-Prophetic Movement is not about fame and fortune but about the purifying of the Church. Understand the season of the Church. If Jesus is the way – the truth and the life , then our multiplicity of doctrinal disagreements is one of the biggest hindrances of the advancement of the church – for there is only one way, one truth and one church. The world has not been able to see the true ekklesia that Christ said He would build. Thus this movement is going to bring the church into one place of operation and the foundation of this operation will be truth and every crooked path is made straight.

    You are to me a very learned woman and that is indeed your biggest problem. Just like the scribes and pharisees you know the very letter of the law, but you are unable to understand. Your crusade is dangerous and imbalanced because you are not functioning in understanding. I am not asking you to regurgitate what someone has told you, i am asking you what is the heart of God for now. How does the Church affect today’s world? With every article you become more sarcastic, harsh and bitter – it is echoing in your articles.

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