Did / do these people really believe what they preached ? on the one
hand I would say they did ,however on the other hand they knew religion
was a gold mine for them .
The bible actually teaches that God gives riches and wealth to those whom he favors.
Furthermore, as for every man to whom God has
given riches and wealth, He has also empowered him to eat from them and
to receive his reward and rejoice in his labor; this is the gift of God
There are even examples of this like Abraham, King Solomon, actually the majority of the Kings who ruled for Jehovah. And tons of scriptures to fortify this idea.
People like Tammy, the GB, Pope, read these accounts and verses in the bible and come to the conclusion that God Chose them.
The Apostle Paul also thought that many of the Old Testament prophesies applied to him and not to Jesus. For example;
Isaiah 42:6 I chose you to bring justice, and I am here at your side. I selected and
sent you to bring light and my promise of hope to the nations.
Paul confirmed this in Galatians 1: 15 - But when God, who had chosen me--
and set me apart before I was born, and called me through His grace, was pleased to reveal His Son in me so that ------I might preach Him among the Gentiles [as the good news—the way of salvation]
Also Jehovah's witnesses read the bible and come to the conclusion that they are the favored generation that will survive the coming great tribulation and not die.
People in general have a tendency to read the bible and apply the good things to themselves and the bad things to others.