A Christian can determine how much love and respect he has for the Lord Jesus by whether or not he actually believes this statement and is willing to apply it.
And looking at them Jesus said to them, “With people this is impossible, but with God all things are possible.” [Matthew 19:26]
Looking at them, Jesus said, “With people it is impossible, but not with God; for all things are possible with God.” [Mark 10:27]
But He said, “The things that are impossible with people are possible with God.” [Luke 18:27]
I KNOW GOD LOVES ME ‘CAUSE I’M RICH
Many Jews of the Lord’s time believed prosperity was a sign of God’s approval. The Sadducees were certainly well off. The Pharisees were lovers of money. Accordingly, those without such prosperity, though otherwise hard workers and sincere commandment keepers, were undoubtedly looked upon by more than a few as essentially forsaken or rejected of God. They were seen, even among themselves, as somehow falling short due to some unknown inexpressible inherent weakness. They likely believed that God knew something about them or their character that excluded them from His greater blessings.
This is why the Lord’s disciples were shocked at His teaching regarding the rich:
And Jesus said to His disciples, “Truly I say to you, it is hard for a rich man to enter the kingdom of heaven. Again I say to you, 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.” When the disciples heard this, they were very astonished and said, “Then who can be saved?” [Matthew 19:23-25]
THE RICH YOUNG RULER
There is a man referred to in Scripture as “the rich young ruler.” But don’t go searching for this particular collection of terms because you will not find it. It does not exist. The phrase appears nowhere in the New Testament. It is actually a descriptive compilation using separate single words from three different passages in three different gospel accounts which were later conformed into a whole, likely by preachers and Bible expositors.
In the gospel of Matthew, this individual is referred to directly as “someone” and “the young man.” He is referred to by implication as “a rich man.” In the Matthew narrative it says he was one who owned much property. In Mark he is called “a man” and by implication “wealthy” and “a rich man.” Mark also says he was one who owned much property. In Luke the man is referred to as a “ruler” and by implication “wealthy” and “a rich man.” He is also said in the narrative to be extremely rich.
So here we see an overall synopsis of a nameless historical character who unknowingly in his time provided a teaching example for all time. He became the subject of an object lesson that is still used today to present an eternal truth relative to everyone: Will we trade what we consider riches for a walk with the Lord? Will we take the chance? Will we risk everything? Those who do have satisfied themselves, at least to some degree, that all things truly are possible with God. In other words,
They know that whatever they must surrender of this world to make the transformation to spiritual life simply does not matter and they would do it anyway regardless of what their new future may be.
They know what the Lord has done in bringing them into the light and adopting them as His children, and that their life has changed dramatically for the better.
They know as well that the Lord will provide spiritual riches far more valuable than whatever they surrendered.
They also know He will bless them with compensation of a material or monetary nature necessary for sustaining one’s life in this world.
(As an illustration, I will quote George Bailey from the movie It’s a Wonderful Life, when he finds out that Clarence the angel has no money: “Ah, well, it comes in pretty handy down here, bub!”)
The English word “ruler” is from the Greek word archon. Generally, this is one who has rule over others in either the religious or civil realms. The members of the Sanhedrin or synagogue officials were referred to as archons, as were civil magistrates and judges. Beyond these there were also men of wealth and influence known by this term. Scripture is not definitive on what kind of ruler the young man was but it appears clear that he had inherited great wealth from his father who must have been a significant individual. Hence, the young archon felt responsible not only for what he possessed and his own reputation but that of his father as well, who had undoubtedly worked very hard to attain his possessions and place in life.
Yet we also know that this “rich young ruler” had spiritual things on his mind. Something had been nagging at him. From his demeanor there was no doubt he respected his father but he also had little or no input into the creation of the wealth he now possessed. He was grateful but he wanted something more. He knew there must be more. He had heard about this new prophet called Jesus and made it a point to address Him when he discovered the Lord was near.
In the narrative we find that the man was raised well in that he knew the Law of Moses and kept it from his youth. Why could he not be satisfied? He was rich, a man of honor, from a good family, and respected the commandments of God. Why would he ever ask the following question: “Good Teacher, what shall I do to inherit eternal life?” (Luke 18:18). Had he not already fulfilled what the Law required? There is something missing here, and it is indicative of a person who is dutiful and respectful of God, his family tradition, and his culture, but is otherwise empty on the inside. His spirit is crying out for more, for spiritual sustenance, and his heart for something beyond the wealth of material and social benefits.
When I was a young man my friends and I, though not Christians at the time or familiar with Scripture, would discuss such topics as wealth and social structure. We were raised on the lower end of middle class. We were not against wealth necessarily but could certainly see the adverse effect it had on people. In general, people with money appeared arrogant. They saw themselves as better than others. I was on a spiritual quest then and was searching for truth. Consequently, I was not as concerned with giving myself over to the acquisition of wealth and position. We worked. We earned money. But it wasn’t an obsession. I knew there had to be more. We talked about the concept of either owning stuff or stuff owning us.
The Lord understood right away what the problem was. This is what that young man so long ago was going through. In his heart of hearts he wanted to follow the Lord. But with all of his wealth, obligations, and upper class authority over others he knew he could not. The simple solution then, was for him to just get rid of all his stuff, surrender his social status, and quit living for this temporary world. These things were holding him back! They were keeping him from going where he wanted to go and being what he wanted to be.
“One thing you still lack; sell all that you possess and distribute it to the poor, and you shall have treasure in heaven; and come, follow Me.” [Luke 18:22]
Think about that. Would you rather have the world’s temporary treasure or treasure in heaven? If you lived back then and were given a direct invitation from THE LORD JESUS to come and follow Him and hang out with them and do all the fun stuff they were doing, would you do it? Could anything possibly be better?
But the wealthy young archon could not. He couldn’t do it. And this is the test.
EXCUSES AD INFINITUM
“He would have to give up everything!” And I answer that by saying that everyone who comes to the Lord has to give up everything. And whatever one must surrender is relative to one’s station in life. There is always a great cost because one must give his or her entire heart.
“But what about making up for all one has surrendered or lost!” Well, I say, the Lord makes provision for that. He said as much in the same passages:
“And everyone who has left houses or brothers or sisters or father or mother or children or farms for My name’s sake, will receive many times as much, and will inherit eternal life.” [Matthew 19:29]
Jesus said, “Truly I say to you, there is no one who has left house or brothers or sisters or mother or father or children or farms, for My sake and for the gospel’s sake, but that he will receive a hundred times as much now in the present age, houses and brothers and sisters and mothers and children and farms, along with persecutions; and in the age to come, eternal life.” [Mark 10:29-30]
And He said to them, “Truly I say to you, there is no one who has left house or wife or brothers or parents or children, for the sake of the kingdom of God, who will not receive many times as much at this time and in the age to come, eternal life.” [Luke 18:29-30] 
If the young man had actually done it, if he had chucked it all in and threw in his lot with the Lord, the Lord would certainly have taken care of him. The cries of his heart would have been answered. Whatever he needed concerning the good things of this world the Lord would have given him. He would be rid of the monetary, family, and social obligations keeping him from a higher call. He would have activated his faith, trust, and confidence in the Lord. This in turn would have opened up a door to an entirely new life previously thought to be something that did not or could not ever exist. He would have entered into the glorious kingdom of heaven on earth. His heart would have been filled to overflowing with pure joy. Most importantly, he would have had a King who loved him.
And he would have seen that all things are indeed possible with God.
© 2019 by RJ Dawson. All Rights Reserved.
 Unless otherwise noted all Scriptures are taken from the New American Standard Bible, © 1960, 1963, 1968, 1971, 1972, 1973, 1975, 1977, 1995 by The Lockman Foundation. Used by permission.
Teaching the Truth is hard. It is not for the squeamish or religious sissies. It will cost you everything.
There’s a fat boy minister who sold out a long time ago who has managed to deceive enough people to gain a very comfortable living and much undeserved respect and honor from Christians who appreciate his ability to bring in high television ratings and subsequent elevated funding. There are obviously many ministers like him. In fact, most are like him. They have done all they can to insure monetary success and high community social standing as if that was what the Lord taught us to strive for.
Of course, the Lord never taught this. As I have related here several times a fact that most never know, believe, or teach, the Lord Jesus worked very hard throughout His life and earned a lot of money prior to His public ministry. He then used that money for His ministry. He called relatively young men into His ministry and told them to drop whatever they were doing and follow Him exclusively. This meant they had to quit whatever they had been doing to earn money. This meant their wives and children would no longer have any money coming in for support. What were they to do?
Because general Christianity is relatively grossly unaware of the basic facts of New Covenant Scripture, it can hardly be expected that general Christianity would know such facts as I am presenting here. The Lord Jesus was simply supposed to be a person who dutifully and quietly went about His business as a young man and young adult earning a little money as a carpenter. There is generally little or no understanding that He was actually quite successful monetarily. One might ask, after thinking about it, how someone could not be monetarily successful if one worked hard and obeyed all the commandments. The Lord Jesus is as moral as one can be. He worked hard and never wasted His money. He must have had a lot.
We know this is true from Scripture itself, though most ministers choose to either downplay it or reject it, or change the clear meaning of Scripture (but what else is new?). The following is what the apostle Paul said on the subject:
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. [Corinthians 8:9]
It has usually been argued that the Greek word used here refers to spiritual riches, not monetary riches, which makes no sense, of course, especially within the context of the verse. If this was true, then the Lord was spiritually rich and then became spiritually poor so we could become spiritually rich. The problem with this is that it is impossible for the Lord Jesus, who is God Himself, to become spiritually poor. It can be argued that this indeed is what happened while He was on the cross when the sin of the world was laid upon Him, when Paul seems to say the Lord actually became sin:
He made Him who knew no sin to be sin on our behalf, so that we might become the righteousness of God in Him. [2Corinthians 5:21] 
However, the words to be do not appear in the Greek. This makes the supposition incorrect. Paul never said what many ministers think he said. The Lord Jesus never sinned in His entire life. Therefore, the Lord did not become sin but was treated as sin. He was a sacrificial substitute on behalf of all those (us) who should otherwise have been there. Each person who ever lived should have suffered His fate but He did it for us. He suffered and died on our behalf.
His sacrificial death as a sin offering is activated when we believe in Him, follow Him, obey Him, and dedicate our lives to Him. Otherwise His sacrifice does not apply.
But getting back to the Lord Jesus and the money He earned, this must have been true because He had to support twelve men and their families after He called these men into full time ministry. If one begs to differ then one must believe the apostle’s wives and children were forced to become dependent on family or friends after their husbands ran off on a wild goose chase with an obscure itinerant preacher. Or they will argue that the Lord had somehow gained enough ongoing donations to support His cause, which would make Him dependent on outside donations. He certainly did accept donations but He could have made it monetarily on His own. Also, one must remember that He was given an unknown amount of gold as a baby which was likely taken well care of and possibly invested, as His teachings on investing money at interest would suggest.
According to the Lord’s example, ministry was never for earning money and making riches, which means the sellout ministers are violating His teachings. But who cares, right? Don’t they violate His teachings anyway by either not teaching them in their fullness or teaching things He never taught? I would think these compromised sellouts, like Mr. Fat Boy himself, would be very concerned about their eternal futures because they will have a lot of explaining to do when so many ministers who actually lived and taught correctly will be put before them as examples. And no one was a greater example than the Lord Jesus Himself who did indeed become poor so others could become rich.
This obviously means it is perfectly fine to work hard earning money honestly and becoming monetarily rich according to His will.
Though He had a lot of money He earned the bulk of it with “the sweat of His face” and then gave it all for the ministry He was called to. He used much of it to support His first disciples (students) who were BLESSED not only to attend His school but attend it for free! How many “Bible schools” do you know of in which this is true?
Here’s one more thought: I have known people who worked hard and earned money which they later used for ministry. As one example, I knew a man who was an independent oil man who later started a church and from which he never drew a salary. None of the other men helping him ever drew a salary either. They served in ministry for free. His church ended up becoming very large. They had a very large building and associated buildings. All that real estate had to have cost a lot of money but it was all initially provided for free of charge. There was obviously no debt.
They also never took up donations during services. There was never an “offering” in which ushers passed a plate or reached in the pews with velvet baskets on long poles to extract money as if the church was a beggar on the street. (“Please help the beggar Christians! Please help the beggar Christians!”) No, this church community only had a small obscure box in the entry to collect donations anyone may want to give and that was all. They never even mentioned anything about collecting money during services and yet funding was never a problem. I found it all very refreshing.
If this resonates with you I suggest you stick to your beliefs and scruples all the more as they reflect what the Bible really says on the subject and continue exposing (and praying for) the faker sellouts like Fat Boy however you are directed to. The Lord certainly did this regarding the hard core religious fakers and sellouts of his time.
But it cost Him everything.
© 2018 by RJ Dawson. All Rights Reserved.
 Unless otherwise noted all Scriptures are taken from the New American Standard Bible, © 1960, 1963, 1968, 1971, 1972, 1973, 1975, 1977, 1995 by The Lockman Foundation. Used by permission.
Please See This Link From Linda’s Bible Study: BLIND WATCHMEN
There is a gnarly ten-foot tall giant that must be defeated and killed. His ugly head must be chopped off—using his own sword. Guess who David is?
When the Philistine looked and saw David, he disdained him; for he was but a youth, and ruddy, with a handsome appearance. [1Samuel 17:42]
I began writing this article almost three weeks ago on January 18. At that time the US economy remained in an apparent boom and the Dow Jones continued rising to new all time highs. On that day it was hovering around 26,150 and closed just above 26,000, having shot up 8,000 points from the day before the 2016 presidential election. It continued shooting up and reached an all time high of 26,616 on January 26, 2018. Incidentally, I know some of you probably don’t think much of the meaning of numbers in Scripture, but the Biblical number of man is 6. There were a lot of sixes going on that day. It can easily be said such a thing is mere coincidence or hooey and I understand that. But sometimes it makes sense to at least consider such possibilities as part of a much larger overall picture.
The Philistine said to David, “Am I a dog, that you come to me with sticks?” And the Philistine cursed David by his gods. [1Samuel 17:43]
THE NUMBER SIX
The all time Dow Jones high of 26,616 contains three sixes. It happened on Friday (the sixth day of the week), January 26. But a giant drop was soon in store that many people didn’t see coming. The next week the market began falling. By Friday of last week it had fallen all the way down to 25,490, a loss of over 1100 points. One week after the market high of January 26, from closing on Thursday February 1 to closing on Friday February 2, the market fell 665.75 points, or 666. More sixes. And again, three of them. All in a row this time. Was that just another coincidence? Or was it a strange portent?
All of these sixes refer to “man,” which can mean several things. It can mean the economy is rigged by people behind the scenes. Of course, we already knew that. Since 1913 with the creation of the Federal Reserve System, the levers of the American economy were gained by a handful of private bankers hiding behind a curtain like you know who. Therefore, rigging the economy behind the scenes is nothing new. In fact, it’s precisely what they do.
The Philistine also said to David, “Come to me, and I will give your flesh to the birds of the sky and the beasts of the field.” [1Samuel 17:44]
REVEALING THE JUDGMENT PATTERN
The number nine is the Biblical number of finality or judgment.
Last August (2017), I revealed the existence of a repeating economic judgment pattern upon the American economy. I had been researching the phenomenon several years ago. I posted my initial findings on my previous website nine years ago in 2009, right after the rock bottom of the last crash. We have now approached the time when economic judgment is due to strike once again. But will it?
I wrote the preceding paragraph on Thursday, January 18, 2018. There was an important date coming up. I wanted to complete this article then and post it before the next week. The following Monday was the anniversary of the Roe v. Wade Supreme Court decision legalizing abortion on January 22, 1973. That decision kicked off an ongoing series of economic recessions, some severe, in America.
The following passage is from my post of August 17, 2017, REVEALING THE HIDDEN ECONOMIC JUDGMENT PATTERN:
“I discovered the following economic judgment pattern and wrote about it in an article I posted in early March of 2009. I cannot prove that abortion is causing these ongoing economic downturns, but the pattern started in 1973. Approximately every nine years it strikes again, right on schedule. The severity of each judgment may be somewhat lessened based on Christian prayer, repentance, actively seeking the Lord Jesus, and proactively speaking out in public. There have certainly been times when much more of this was going on. There are some who continue to do this presently and they should be greatly commended.
It could very well be that America is being hit with nationwide economic judgment every nine years as an ongoing wake-up call to face the evil of abortion and end it, in part because it is causing a slow destruction of the country, and it could be that each judgment, according to Biblical models, is more severe than the former based on the nation’s closeness or distance from God.”
Then David said to the Philistine, “You come to me with a sword, a spear, and a javelin, but I come to you in the name of the LORD of hosts, the God of the armies of Israel, whom you have taunted.” [1Samuel 17:45]
We serve a God who is always open to prayer and repentance. He is a loving and forgiving God. We know from His written Word that He has often staved off sure judgment, bad karma, and His people getting exactly the evil return they deserve for their sins and rebellion, which they brought on themselves. If His people expressed sorrow, repentance, and a contrite heart, and proclaimed a new effort to get right and do right, He would often stop what was otherwise coming. I hope this is the case this time around regarding economic judgment.
REVEALING THE CLEAR EVIDENCE
What follows are the dates which set everything off and the chart I created in 2009, with the brief descriptions of each recession I wrote at the time. I have included embedded links for further study and verification. Please judge for yourself and draw your own conclusions:
1. Roe v. Wade Argued Before the Supreme Court: December 13, 1971
2. Roe v. Wade Reargued Before the Supreme Court: October 11, 1972
3. Roe v. Wade Decided by the Supreme Court: January 22, 1973
JUDGMENT RANGE U.S. RECESSION CHARACTERISTICS
1973 1973-1975 1973 Oil Crisis, 1973-1974 Stock Market Crash, Recession
1982 1980-1982 Continued Fallout from 1973 and 1979 Oil Crises, Recession
1991 1990-1991 Savings & Loan Collapse, Energy/RE Slump, Recession
2000 2000-2001 Collapse of Dot Com Bubble, Sept 11 Attacks, Recession
2009 2007-2009 Housing Market Collapse, Stock Market Crash, Recession
2018 ? – ? ?
America has already suffered five major economic downturns since 1973. The next one will be the sixth. Yesterday, February 5, the market “crashed.” It was not a crash in the historical sense of 1929 or 1987, but it lost a whopping 1597 points in a single day, the greatest point loss in history, all the way down to 23,923. Some of that was made up before the market closed. There was another big drop this morning even farther to 23,778 before it began rising again. It was a crazy up and down morning filled with wild swings, an eventual evening out process, and then a big gain. Today’s market closed with an increase of 567 points at 24,912.
Most forecasters are disregarding the reality of what is actually transpiring in the current American economy. Until this massive stock market drop most bought into the notion that it would never stop. I want to make a point here that I am never in favor of economic judgment. I don’t want it to happen. I am not saying it will this time around but the pattern is there. I personally want everyone to be blessed. But a great evil has been taking place in America for 45 years and it remains ongoing. Abortions in America peaked about a quarter century ago and have been declining. This is good. But abortion is still legal in America. Since 1973, a baby has been aborted every 23 seconds. The current total is over 60 million.
Over the last three years abortions in the United States have averaged about 900,000 per year. The good news is that there is a slight decline in the numbers, as 2016 was approximately 893,000. But that is still almost 2,450 per day or over 100 abortions per hour. Should we feel good that abortions are declining? Of course. It’s a good sign. But they are still happening at very high rates. If America continues to suffer economic judgment every nine years due to the ongoing wicked sin of abortion, judgment will likely not stop until legal abortion is outlawed completely.
Another good sign is that, for the first time ever, President Trump became the first president to take a public stand and speak at a Pro-Life rally. He should be greatly commended for this as well as for appointing a Pro-Life justice to the Supreme Court.
Considering bad signs, however, there was a vote in the Senate a week ago that would have banned abortions after 20 weeks like almost every other country in the world has done. This would have been great progress and no one in their right mind should have opposed it. However, the Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act failed to make it out of debate in a 51–46 vote to a final floor vote after Democrats filibustered the bill. 48 Republicans and 3 Democrats voted for the bill. 44 Democrats and 2 Republicans voted against the bill. President Trump would have signed it into law had it passed. But almost every Democrat senator voted against it.
“This day the LORD will deliver you up into my hands, and I will strike you down and remove your head from you. And I will give the dead bodies of the army of the Philistines this day to the birds of the sky and the wild beasts of the earth, that all the earth may know that there is a God in Israel, and that all this assembly may know that the LORD does not deliver by sword or by spear; for the battle is the LORD’S and He will give you into our hands.” [1Samuel 17:46-47]
Overall, abortions are trending down and many more Americans are seeing abortion for what it really is. It is the murder of a baby in the womb. Despite indications to the contrary, the American economy is not nearly as strong as many purport. The latest ten-percent stock market “correction” has proven that. I remain concerned that the bubble of optimism may burst as the economy may do likewise, since several economy watchers continue to insist that we are in an economic bubble. Maybe all will be well. Maybe there will be a rebound. Maybe economic judgment will be staved off. Maybe enough people will pray and repent and the Lord will have mercy.
And maybe the economic judgment will come only to those who deserve it.
Then it happened when the Philistine rose and came and drew near to meet David, that David ran quickly toward the battle line to meet the Philistine. And David put his hand into his bag and took from it a stone and slung it, and struck the Philistine on his forehead. And the stone sank into his forehead, so that he fell on his face to the ground. [1Samuel 17:48-49] 
© 2018 by RJ Dawson. All Rights Reserved.
 Unless otherwise noted all Scriptures are taken from the New American Standard Bible, © 1960, 1963, 1968, 1971, 1972, 1973, 1975, 1977, 1995 by The Lockman Foundation. Used by permission.
When John the Immerser blasted onto the scene he warned his hearers of losing eternal life and loosing national destruction. The means of avoiding both was encapsulated in one word: REPENT.
REPENTANCE DRIVES GREAT AWAKENINGS
But when he saw many of the Pharisees and Sadducees coming for baptism, he said to them, “You brood of vipers, who warned you to flee from the wrath to come? Therefore bear fruit in keeping with repentance; and do not suppose that you can say to yourselves, ‘We have Abraham for our father’; for I say to you that from these stones God is able to raise up children to Abraham.
The axe is already laid at the root of the trees; therefore every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire.” [Matthew 3:7-10]
John did something then that next to no American Christian does today: He blasted the religious leaders. These were men who had total control of the religious establishment in first-century Judea. They controlled the entire Temple complex. They controlled every single synagogue. Their control was such that John was preaching way out in the wilderness.
In today’s terms these would be the religious leaders who control denominations, churches, seminaries, and major Christian media, including publishing and television. The Pharisees and Sadducees had a lock on all things religious back then just as Christian controllers have a lock on most things Christian at present. Both have a single denominator: MONEY.
ONLY TWO GODS FROM WHICH TO CHOOSE
Getting to the root of Christian intention begins with the simple question: Is it serving the Lord Jesus or is it serving the money-god?
“No servant can serve two masters; for either he will hate the one and love the other, or else he will be devoted to one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and wealth.” Now the Pharisees, who were lovers of money, were listening to all these things and were scoffing at Him. [Luke 16:13-14]
One will either submit to the Lord Jesus and make money a servant, or one will submit to the money-god and make oneself its servant.
If one serves the Lord, one’s life will look increasingly as being under the primary influence of the Lord and His teachings. If one serves the money-god, one’s life will look increasingly as being under the primary influence of the money-god and its teachings.
Here’s is a quick contrast and illustration: John the Immerser served the Lord. His life looked like the Lord. The Pharisees and Sadducees served the money-god. Their lives looked like the money-god. Compare both to the present.
John warned everybody, but especially the brood of vipers otherwise known as the Pharisees and Sadducees, that the entire nation was about to suffer complete destruction for one principle reason: IT CHOSE THE MONEY GOD.
Money can make you and it can break you. If there was a way to exist without it we would never have to deal with its powerful influence and temptation. We would never have to submit to its effects. But the international money system has been with us a while and unless we somehow manage to go completely off the grid we have little choice but to enter the game and play according to the rules.
It is for this reason that most people believe there is no escape and the only solution is to try to gain as much money as possible in order to gain the upper hand. In other words, the way people think they can beat the powerful effect of money on their lives is to defeat it by gaining enough of it that it no longer rules them but becomes their servant.
This works for some people. For a while. It never works for the vast majority. The system has limited resources. Some are able to gain the upper hand and remain relatively personally free or at least maintain the appearance of freedom, and do not seem on the surface to be anxious regarding money matters. If one does win the money battle by doing whatever they feel they must to gain authority over it by having much of it, it rarely lasts. One must keep doing whatever it takes to gain access to the money well. Most do it legally. Some do not. But even if one does find a way to beat the system, so to speak, and gain great piles of gold, one cannot leave this world with it. It must all stay right here where one found it.
MONEY IS NO GOOD OVER YONDER
It has been said that rich people don’t have armored trucks full of money following their hearse to the graveyard. Money does not translate into eternity. To the degree that one depends on money is to the same degree that one does not depend on the Lord. This equation portends one’s final location in the afterworld and often whether one even believes in an afterworld.
One of the best things that can ever happen to a person is to discover early on in life that the pursuit of money for the purposes of mastering life is a heartbreaker. The money-god is a deceiving, bewitching taskmaster. It is a hard lesson to learn. It can be quite cruel. On the other hand, if money always comes relatively easy then the odds of having a spiritual life with the Lord are next to zero. Most people will always choose much money over a disciplined spiritual life. Here’s why:
Making the decision to give oneself totally to the Lord involves:
(1) Faith in the Lord Jesus instead of faith in the money-god and all it portends.
(2) The need to repent, which means one must accept the fact that one is a sinner and a violator of God’s laws and commandments. Who wants to do that? Especially in these days? To admit that one is messed up like this, that one is not the great person he or she thinks he or she is can have a devastating effect on one’s psyche. And yet the Lord is persistent. He says that prior to our born again experience we are sinners. He says we violate His laws. He says we have uncircumcised flesh that must be dealt with. This fleshly nature is not always on display but certainly reveals itself on occasion, with some people much more than others, especially when under stress.
TEST AND SEE THAT THE LORD IS RIGHT
A simple test to prove God is right and humans are compromised in this way is to simply see how often we violate the Golden Rule. Do we always treat others the way we want to be treated? Do we do this especially when we are stressed out or under a lot of pressure? Do we always contain the pressure that builds up, find a way to keep it from building up, manage to channel it off in some safe way in which nobody is hurt, or even stop it completely in the very beginning? Do we always master our impulses? Do we have impulse control or do we simply vent all the time everyday at everybody?
If so, it is the opposite of real discipleship and thoroughly proves the need for heart circumcision surgery and real repentance. It proves the Lord knows exactly what He is talking about though many people may successfully hide their true nature. Occasional mess-ups are understandable. A lifestyle of trashing others and violating the Lord’s teachings is not.
The Lord looks on the heart, not the outward appearance. He is not fooled by outward appearances. He knows what a dirty, fleshy, sinful, uncircumcised heart looks like. It doesn’t matter how much one may try to cover it up and deceive people about one’s true nature. God knows. And He demands that we fix it! The Pharisees and Sadducees fooled almost everyone because they dressed to look the part. They were mere religious actors. That’s what hypocrites are—stage players. Is it any wonder then that the majority of Christian leadership at present does all its work on a stage? What would they be without the stage? It was money that made the Pharisees and Sadducees successful. They served the money-god while pretending to serve God. IT IS EXACTLY THE SAME TODAY. God is not fooled.
A FOOL’S PARADISE
If there appears to be a way around the repentance and discipleship the Lord demands, most people, including most Christians, will do the end run. They will run from God. They will find substitutes in which they can keep themselves in charge. They will choose counterfeit belief systems, of whatever variety, in which they do not have to submit to the Lord. They will try to convince themselves and everyone else that they are good people.
Of course, they are playing a fool’s game. There is no other way than the way the Lord Jesus prescribed. Better to find this out early in life than to build one’s house on sand, but most people always end up building their house on sand and it works great as long as everything remains constant. But we all should know this is ridiculous. Next to nothing in this life remains constant. Change is ever-burgeoning, is always messing up the best laid plans, and the tide always comes in and wipes out sand castles no matter how well or elaborately they are constructed. Wise people know this. Yet, there are apparently not many wise people when it comes to applying known knowledge if it clashes with one’s authority.
“For whoever wishes to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for My sake, he is the one who will save it.” [Luke 9:24]
Real repentance is the end of one’s personal authority. What unrepentant religious leaders do not know, however, is that they do not have any personal authority anyway because they are bound by sin. And they are deceived about it. Sin is in charge but they are not aware. They reject the notion. They are not accountable. Most are spiritual adulterers. It is why they refuse to preach the real Gospel. It is why the Lord stated what He did in the preceding verse. The word “lose” in that verse is translated from the Greek word apollumi. This word means “to destroy.” It is only by losing one’s life (or destroying it) through real repentance and submitting fully to the Lord Jesus that one breaks the power of sin and the powerful grip of the money-god. The Lord gave His very life to set us free from this monster.
OPPOSING THE GREAT AWAKENING
Isaac Newton’s Third Law of Motion states: “For every action, there is an equal and opposite reaction.”
As did John the Immerser, the Lord warned the people of His nation that total destruction was soon coming and that it was coming because they rejected His love and leadership for the love of money. The more He attempted to bring forth a Great Awakening the more the religious leaders who were sold out to the money-god opposed Him. Their continued rejection of the Lord and His real teachings, their intransigent rebellion against truth, their refusal to repent, and their worship of mamônâi brought forth a witch’s brew of arrogance, ignorance, and religious pride. It increasingly enflamed their wicked uncircumcised hearts and removed all semblance of impulse control. They sowed the seed of murder and reaped over a million deaths. Literally.
THROWN INTO THE FIRE
As time marched on toward 70AD, they became ever more strident in their opposition to the Lord. They were incorrectly fulfilling Newton’s Third Law of Motion. They were resisting that which they should have surrendered to and surrendering to that which they should have resisted. They had a completely different agenda. Their persecution of the Lord’s people—those who chose the Lord as Messiah—increased dramatically. They were doing to them, on an ever-advancing scale, exactly what they did to the Lord.
The same dynamic is at work today. Christian Pharisees and Sadducees look great on the outside and preach what sounds like the real Gospel. They don’t look compromised. They look successful. They’ve been in control seemingly forever. Their status quo rendition of official Christianity appears as the only accepted rendition, but it has little or no resemblance to the Lord’s original and has almost zero impact within the spiritual world. They can’t handle anything they can’t control. They can’t handle anything that exposes them as pretenders. They can’t handle anything from which they cannot extract a living. It would be good if they could learn from the past.
Judea had been in the midst of a Great Awakening during that final generation in the first century and the religious leaders continually put much effort toward their opposition to it. The more they tried to stop it the more it grew and yet they could never stop opposing it. Their unrighteous stand for the old dead religious order—the only one they could control, the one that gave them power and wealth—was thoroughly compromised by a love of money and service to the money-god. Their unrighteous rebellion must eventually end. Their opposing reaction to God’s action must finally stop. Justice was demanded. Only God could administer it. He did. Judea was no more. Jerusalem and the Temple were destroyed, by fire, exactly as John prophesied.
“The axe is already laid at the root of the trees; therefore every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire.” [Matthew 10:10]
© 2017 by RJ Dawson. All Rights Reserved.
From the very beginning the Lord built into His ministry model committed followers pledged to carry on His legacy. He trained distinctly loyal men recruited largely from the working class and lower levels of society.
He had no need of anyone already vested in and sold out to this world. Such men could never be counted on when the going got rough. They were culturally comfortable and would inevitably desert or betray Him. As it was, Judas Iscariot proved that even qualified disciples could go bad.
ALL THESE HAVE I KEPT FROM MY YOUTH UP
A ruler questioned Him, saying, “Good Teacher, what shall I do to inherit eternal life?” [Luke 18:18]
The gospel story of the rich young man seeking greater discipleship illustrates the Lord’s selection process perfectly. He was used as a living example to reveal why the Lord would not choose disciples who were compromised socially or monetarily.
When the young man first spotted the Lord, he actually ran up and fell on his knees before Him. This individual, who had kept the Torah from his youth, appeared upstanding and sincere, and was certainly devoted to his father and family.
Jesus confirmed that the man had indeed been observant of the Torah as instructed by Moses. Though he hailed from the privileged class, the young archon looked like a great ministry candidate. But to make sure the man’s heart was in the right place the Lord said he must do just one more thing to inherit eternal life:
Looking at him, Jesus felt a love for him and said to him, “One thing you lack: go and sell all you possess and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven; and come, follow Me.” [Mark 10:21]
At once the man was floored with the unexpected. He never saw it coming. Even the observers were shocked by the Lord’s command. The young man, so rich and comfortable in this temporary fallen world, stood before the Lord contemplating deeply the ramifications of such a course of action. In considering all his options, his hesitancy had already given him away. He went from confident and contented to very sad and insecure in a mere moment. Money had too great a hold on him. He could not break free. There is no record of a verbal response. The young man turned down a one-in-a-million chance and slowly walked out of history.
But at these words he was saddened, and he went away grieving, for he was one who owned much property. [Mark 10:22]
CHURCHES BOUND BY MONEY
Part of the reason the Lord displayed an open acceptance of non-servitude to money was because He knew how bewitching money in itself could be toward people without full integrity. He set the example. He would never have been overcome, but He also had to demonstrate the proper distaste and inherent wrongness for the attempt to achieve spiritual objectives through money. The Lord said it is IMPOSSIBLE to serve God and wealth. One can therefore serve only one or the other.
Money is necessary for ministry to an extent, of course. It is essentially benign. It only gains an untoward connotation while in the hands of unregenerate or compromised people who make it their be-all and end-all.
Because the church realm has historically forced itself into subsisting on donations, and since one must ask to receive donations, it is obvious that the compromised leaders thereof spend much more time and effort begging and even demanding money from others than they do in seeking assistance from the Lord in faithful and humble prayer.
That’s why non-Spirit-filled churches and denominations—those composed of non-disciples like the Torah-observant rich man in Luke’s gospel—reject real discipleship and replace the Spirit of God with money. They are not seeking the spiritual success instructed by the Lord but a different form of success made impossible without money. They are by and large successful in ministry only because of money. Such institutions have proven this over many centuries. They have done quite well completely devoid of the Lord’s control, authority, and spiritual power. They have easily bypassed the Lord by convincing people to support them monetarily. That is the secret of their success.
REAL CHRISTIANS UNBOUND BY MONEY
In contrast, the Lord Jesus teaches that His disciples can be spiritually successful whether they have any money or not. Think of Peter and John who were used as vessels of the Lord in the healing of the lame man as recorded in the Book of Acts. They told him they had no money, but would give him what they did have—the healing power of the Lord and eternal life.
As real Christians we must first commit to the Lord and be His disciples. That’s the top priority. This will involve surrendering whatever we have been dependent on beforehand. He will then grant us the spiritual power and anointing we need. At some point after that He will give us the money we need. The money must be subject to Him and fit within the parameters of discipleship. When He does give us money it is almost always based on need rather than want. The desire to store up large amounts of money for no ostensible purpose is actually self-defeating for the spiritual man or woman. Money is necessary but it is only good if it is properly subjected to the Lord. This is what sanctifies it. The majority of “Christian” money and holdings are not sanctified because such are not fully subjected to the Lord. If money will not be sanctified it is better to not have it.
This is in part why “Christianity” in general spends multiple billions of dollars with absolutely no spiritual effect. Most of it is spent improperly. There is very little spiritual return on the investment. Why? Because it is spent on lands, buildings, furnishings, stocks, businesses, salaries, maintenance, and etc—much of the stuff the Lord never spent it on. The great bulk of it never reaches the ones who need it most.
The Lord Jesus died for PEOPLE. He loves PEOPLE. His priority is PEOPLE.
CHRISTIAN CORRECTNESS PROGRAMMING
Unreal Christianity has controlled the outward accepted narrative since it was created many centuries ago after forcing the Lord’s narrative underground. It falsely legitimizes what Christians are made to believe. Though its precepts are based on the Word of God, it deceptively adds its own distinctive doctrines. Such doctrines become traditional and accepted over time. Congregations are none the wiser. They are taught to submit, to be passive and never dynamic. Such Christians become dependent and even addicted to the religion thereof and cannot escape, just as the rich man was bound by money. When presented with the opportunity to break free, most will not. They exist in religious captivity.
Unreal Christianity has survived many fairly recent attempts over the last 50-60 years to expose it for what it is in order to reclaim the narrative. At present it is being seriously exposed but many of its followers still cannot bring themselves to disconnect, in part because it takes a while to admit to being deceived. Most people do not enjoy being told they are wrong. Much pride is involved.
“It is easier to fool people than to convince people that they have been fooled.” [Mark Twain]
RESISTERS OF THE HOLY SPIRIT
The professional clergy are never going to promote spiritual freedom. They will never fight for anything greater than themselves and their own enterprises. Only the truth can make us free and they don’t practice the truth. Only the Lord does. It is a dominion issue. The Lord Jesus gives us an absolutely perfect example of how this works:
(1) He exposed the fakes.
(2) They murdered Him for it.
(3) He essentially said, “Fine. I will awaken from the dead and blow your minds. I will awaken millions of others also. You cannot and will not ever stop me. ”
A TRUTH AWAKENING
Truth exposes falsehood and deception. It exposes lies. It exposes ulterior motives. It exposes personal agendas masquerading as religiously “good” agendas. Truth exposes everything.
We exist in a time when a Great Awakening is coming forth. IT IS AN AWAKENING BASED ON TRUTH. It is a Truth Awakening. Christians are tired of being kept uninformed of the higher truths taught by the Lord, coddled as children, and used by clergyites who, even if well-intentioned in the beginning, always succumb to the real nature of clergyism: It is nothing more than the religious upper classism of a very few ruling over 99% of everyone else. These blind leaders of the blind, like the Sumerian high priests of antiquity, exist atop their many heaven-reaching steepled ziggurats spread all over the landscape.
They keep their congregants regimented, controlled, programmed, and spiritually uninformed or misinformed. They downplay the Word of God and promote their own theologies. And by means of a clear violation of Scripture, they subsist like ticks off culturally obligated donations, coerced cash, and public collections of money.
“Beware of practicing your righteousness before men to be noticed by them; otherwise you have no reward with your Father who is in heaven. So when you give to the poor, do not sound a trumpet before you, as the hypocrites do in the synagogues and in the streets, so that they may be honored by men. Truly I say to you, they have their reward in full. But when you give to the poor, do not let your left hand know what your right hand is doing, so that your giving will be in secret; and your Father who sees what is done in secret will reward you.” [Matthew 6:1-4] 
© 2016 by RJ Dawson. All Rights Reserved. [Part 2]
“How in the world did Paul learn directly from the Lord since the Lord had already died, was resurrected, and went to heaven? How was it that Paul appropriated the Lord Jesus as his new and only Rabbi?”
. . .
Most official ministers are not aware of how the Lord Jesus financed His ministry, and there is a very good reason for that. Actually two reasons. The first is a basic lack of knowledge, which is completely understandable in that most members of the clergy are taught by other clergyites in official Bible schools, seminaries, and colleges. Very few of these people learn spiritual truths as did the apostles and even Paul—directly from the Lord.
This method is actually the New Testament model. One may learn the basics as a rookie in churches and Bible Studies from any number of sermons and teachings but at some point must graduate to higher spiritual learning. The apostles were certainly well-versed in Scripture prior to joining the Lord’s school, and the apostle Paul was likely the most well-versed, but these men had no knowledge of the spiritual things the Lord Jesus must teach them. It is why they were often such hard cases and gave off the appearance of being clueless though good-hearted Forrest Gumps. If it had been any of us it would have been the same.
That’s why the general Christian clergy attitude is so defeating and backwards regarding higher Christian education. It is far too controlling, egg-headed, and dogmatic. It leaves little room for free thought. In case you may think I’m starting to drift here, I must remind all that the apostle Paul learned the Gospel directly from the Lord out in the desert somewhere. He never went to any official New Testament school. And in case one may think he was the exception, this was actually not the case. The Lord Jesus made it clear that He must be our only teacher:
“But do not be called Rabbi; for One is your Teacher, and you are all brothers.” [Matthew 23:8]
Regarding this fact, how in the world did Paul learn directly from the Lord since the Lord had already died, was resurrected, and went to heaven? How was it that Paul appropriated the Lord Jesus as his new and only Rabbi?
For I would have you know, brethren, that the gospel which was preached by me is not according to man. For I neither received it from man, nor was I taught it, but I received it through a revelation of Jesus Christ. For you have heard of my former manner of life in Judaism, how I used to persecute the church of God beyond measure and tried to destroy it; and I was advancing in Judaism beyond many of my contemporaries among my countrymen, being more extremely zealous for my ancestral traditions.
But when God, who had set me apart even from my mother’s womb and called me through His grace, was pleased to reveal His Son in me so that I might preach Him among the Gentiles, I did not immediately consult with flesh and blood, nor did I go up to Jerusalem to those who were apostles before me; but I went away to Arabia… [Galatians 1:11-17]
Official Bible schools, seminaries, Christian colleges, and churches are not as open and transparent as they purport to be. They are each agenda-based though this fact is often played down or concealed. Each of these institutions has their respective, unique, and exclusive teaching agenda. They each have their own distinctive curriculum and teaching format. Thus, one establishment will frequently disagree completely with another regarding doctrine, liturgy, or ecclesiastical infrastructure, which makes them contradictory!
Because they are agenda-based and not purely New Testament-based, they will be lacking in some of the Lord’s teachings, will have introduced some of their own dogma which is not representative of the Lord’s teachings, and will thus not fulfill the Lord’s directive that He must be the only Teacher.
Let me put it this way: Elementary school prepares us for junior high, which prepares us for high school, which prepares us for college or university if we get that far. Some go beyond this. A university degree thus prepares some students for master’s or doctoral programs. Therefore, as disciples of the Lord, it is understandable to learn the basics through lesser and general means.
I know in my experience, after being filled with the Holy Spirit, I had an insatiable appetite for the Word of God. I was attending church services four times a week but was also doing the bulk of my reading and study on my own. It didn’t take me long to read the entire Bible. I was also engaged in much interaction with many different believers. I got familiar with different denominational beliefs. All of this served as great background and foundational learning. During that early time I also did what I could to buy books and slowly start building my library. All of this set the tone and served as vital prerequisites for greater learning directly from the Lord.
This is where things get interesting. A disciple starts receiving revelation and learning that goes beyond the received education of most, simply because most Christians do one of the following:
- They do very little if any Bible reading or study on their own.
- They depend far too heavily on whatever preachers or teachers they submit to and rarely go beyond that agenda.
- They develop an attitude of suspicion and eventual criticism toward anything and anyone that is not fully ensconced within their own little Christian world.
Regarding the latter, Christian schools of higher learning do exactly the same. Generally speaking, this does not mean that much good cannot be learned in such institutions or even in churches. The key is being led of the Lord Jesus. What is vitally necessary, then, if one is to progress as an effective and mature disciple and learn directly from the Lord, is that one must move on from basic convention at some point to arrive at that place of higher spiritual learning the Lord has for each of us.
“I love those who love me; And those who diligently seek me will find me.” [Proverbs 8:17] 
© 2016 by RJ Dawson. All Rights Reserved.
“How was it possible that the Lord could just go up to men and call them into ministry, telling them to leave their jobs and livelihoods, without somehow taking care of them and their families financially?”
. . .
Jesus said to him, “The foxes have holes and the birds of the air have nests, but the Son of Man has nowhere to lay His head.” [Matthew 8:20]
No one is more selfless and humble than the Lord Jesus.
I have promoted a truth on this site in several posts and comments that I have never heard preached or taught anywhere else. It has to do with the Lord and money. How did He finance His ministry?
Most Christians never consider this question. Here’s the bigger question, however: How was it possible that the Lord could just go up to men and call them into ministry, telling them to leave their jobs and livelihoods, without somehow taking care of them and their families financially? These men were all working very hard to make a living. Their wives and children needed them. How could they just drop everything and walk off with the Lord? Who would take care of their own?
The reason this equation is a stumper and head-scratcher for many Christians is probably because they have been taught the Lord was poor. The preceding passage of Scripture seems to denote this: He had nowhere to lay His head. But the apostles, their wives, and their children had to be provided for during the Lord’s ministry and their simultaneous spiritual education. The necessary money was certainly not coming from the synagogues or other rabbis. This leaves only one possibility: It came from the Lord. It was He who had the money. There were later donations, of course, but He didn’t go around making collections of the vast sums He would need prior to His ministry.
When one considers all the people He had to take care of, including as well older relatives dependent on these apostle families, the number is substantial. I’ve written before that it could be like it was when Jacob and his extended family moved to Egypt at the behest of Joseph. There were seventy people (Genesis 46:27). It was roughly the same with the Lord.
In our day, we have what is virtually the very opposite: One man becomes a preacher and puts the onus on the many to provide for him. This is not necessarily a bad thing. The standard in the recent past was that a local preacher would take a church and receive the tithe. This was his understood entitlement. If the church was small he would not receive much and would have to work like everyone else to supplement his income. Larger churches had more money. You see where this is going…
The only answer, then, for how the Lord was able to start His ministry from scratch and immediately stock it with chosen disciples was simply that He had to pay their way. He provided for them. This meant He had to have money. Where did He get it? HE EARNED IT. He worked very hard as a carpenter and builder until He was thirty years old. He took care of His mother and siblings after Joseph died. He saved His money for His later purpose in life.
But He was also provided for as well, long before He could provide on His own. It was a picture of divine providence in which heaven was interspersing itself into the needs of humanity according to scriptural promise, investing in the One who would later give everything He had, when the One was very young…
After coming into the house they saw the Child with Mary His mother; and they fell to the ground and worshiped Him. Then, opening their treasures, they presented to Him gifts of gold, frankincense, and myrrh. [Matthew 2:11] 
© 2016 by RJ Dawson. All Rights Reserved.
It must be mentioned that the Lord certainly accepted donations. He denied that possibility to no one if their heart was right. He obviously knew the BEST ground was His ministry, and it still is. But He never put Himself in a place where He was dependent on the giving of others.
Many “ministers” don’t know what it is to work, but they know a lot about taking up offerings. They all made straight A’s in that course in Bible school or seminary. Taking up offerings is Biblical, of course, but it must be in accordance with the way the Lord did it and by His direction, and for the proper purpose.
But many preachers refuse to preach the real Gospel, are not Spirit-filled, and are thus not capable of engaging in the required spiritual work necessary for all real ministries.
Thus, they have no choice but to be beggars since they have no other means and certainly no spiritual power, and many also refuse to work. They end up calling what they do their job so as to appear to work. Would that we could all have such a “job.” I don’t say this to belittle real ministers who work all the time at whatever is required, but toward those who will only work under their conditions.
Wouldn’t it be great if all we had to do when we needed money was take up an offering? A mere handful of people are apparently afforded this pleasure but 99.99% of all Christians must get their money the hard way—they must earn it.
And we all know when some preachers need their tithes and offerings they will let everyone know it post haste. They cannot make their enterprises work if the congregation does not work at earning what they need.
Why does it appear as if the Lord Jesus blesses those few who don’t earn it and not the vast majority of His children who do? Why are those few so special? Why is it okay for them to operate in violation of the way He operated and yet be blessed anyway?
The answer is simple. These people have done an end around and bypassed the required mandatory hard work and dispensed with doing their half, and convinced other people to do their half for them. Instead of earning money the way the Lord did they tax their congregations for it, and that’s what the tithe has become in most places—a TAX. It is a coerced tax with a different name. And it is taught (insisted upon) that if one does not PAY THE TAX the Lord will not bless them. They even scare the hell out of people by telling them God will get them, ruin their lives, and even destroy them if they don’t pay.
“Just give us the money and no one gets hurt.”
These guys have turned tithing into a racket, putting the squeeze on people and threatening to destroy them if they don’t fork over the protection money.
“If youse don’t do what we say and pay us we’ll sick the Angel Vinnie on youse.”
I understand the scriptural truth of the principle of tithing, and I have certainly been blessed. But the real blessing only comes if the tithe is GIVEN, not paid, because the tithe is not a tax, and it must be given to the Lord Jesus, meaning He must direct it. It IS His money, by the way.
Many preachers cannot preach that, however, for fear of donations drying up and hence losing their jobs. Yet, all real ministry only works if gifts are given free of charge with a good heart expecting nothing in return, and that includes giving tithes and offerings, or any monetary gift.
So, if you want to bless someone monetarily or materially, clear it with the Lord first and then bless that person, ministry, or organization. But if one has to be forced into forking over their cash there is no blessing whatsoever. (This explains in part why so many tithers never receive any increase.)
But concerning the ones doing the forcing—those “legally” allowed to take up donations—they can apparently be blessed to their heart’s content. It only depends on how much they are willing to do to rip people off in the guise of legal “donations.”
And if you’re wondering how particular people manage to do this with a straight face and with absolutely no reservations, it can be summed up in the following principle:
Being pretentious and being dishonest ALWAYS go together. In other words, for the sake of this particular discussion, all religious posers are rip-off artists. Every single one. And the more a clergyite has to dress up to fake you out the more he will corrupt the correct giving process to rip you off.
So I thought it necessary to urge the brethren that they would go on ahead to you and arrange beforehand your previously promised bountiful gift, so that the same would be ready as a bountiful gift and not affected by covetousness.
Now this I say, he who sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and he who sows bountifully will also reap bountifully. Each one must do just as he has purposed in his heart, not grudgingly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver.
And God is able to make all grace abound to you, so that always having all sufficiency in everything, you may have an abundance for every good deed; as it is written, “HE SCATTERED ABROAD, HE GAVE TO THE POOR, HIS RIGHTEOUSNESS ENDURES FOREVER.”
Now He who supplies seed to the sower and bread for food will supply and multiply your seed for sowing and increase the harvest of your righteousness; you will be enriched in everything for all liberality, which through us is producing thanksgiving to God. For the ministry of this service is not only fully supplying the needs of the saints, but is also overflowing through many thanksgivings to God.
Because of the proof given by this ministry, they will glorify God for your obedience to your confession of the gospel of Christ and for the liberality of your contribution to them and to all, while they also, by prayer on your behalf, yearn for you because of the surpassing grace of God in you.
Thanks be to God for His indescribable gift! [2Corinthians 9:5-15] 
© 2015 by RJ Dawson. All Rights Reserved. (Part 3 of 3)
The Lord Jesus did not get all the money He would need by asking other people for it. It started with gifts from the Magi when He was a child, which was obviously used properly. He likely never took up offerings before His ministry began. He did not use telethons. He did not strong arm good-hearted Christians to bless Him.
Instead, He went out and worked quietly for many years with his own hands and His own strong back, sweating through the days doing hard labor building stuff.
This is something ninety sum-odd percent of all pastors, priests, denominational higher-ups, religious hierarchy high hats, and ministers, especially the television variety, never do. They must all consider earning their money in such a way to be beneath them. One thing is for sure, however:
There is a spiritual theorem in effect that essentially illustrates a clear connection between a certain type of person’s lack of desire to gain funding the Lord’s way with a great desire to shamelessly demand donations their way. These people have mastered the craft of manipulating others to give and thus, have no need of earning money like everyone else. And with so many Christians conditioned to give unconditionally, getting donations is a piece of cake if one possesses the “proper” credentials.
They used to call these guys confidence men. They’re actually con men on steroids.
This is one more clue toward differentiating between the real and the fake, especially in light of Paul’s statement in light of the Lord’s statement:
“You yourselves know that these hands ministered to my own needs and to the men who were with me. In everything I showed you that by working hard in this manner you must help the weak and remember the words of the Lord Jesus, that He Himself said, ‘It is more blessed to give than to receive.’” [Acts 20:34-35]
Paul said the strong must financially support the weak. The Lord Jesus said we must give to the poor. Could it be we’re giving way too much money to the wrong people? Could it be that there are many honest and gifted ministers of the Gospel who must work full time jobs earning money because they are seen as non-ministers? While the fakes taking most of the money are seen as real?
Some ministers do earn money, however, to support the ministries to which they are called. They have no choice. They will never quit on God. I have one particular friend who served for many years as a pastor and builder who did both. He worked a full time job in construction and also worked full time in ministry as a pastor. It can be done, and often must be done.
The Lord Jesus set the right example, though what He did is not necessarily applied to all. Some people are called into ministry without much of anything, but only a few understand what a real calling entails. It does not mean one begins by subsisting on donations right off the bat.
When the Lord calls His people into ministry, AND HE CALLS EVERY SINGLE ONE OF HIS CHILDREN TO SOME FORM OF MINISTRY, it is only the beginning. It took Him three and a half years to train His own men. There is the initial call, but there is also a preparation period that often lasts many years. Real Christian ministers know this. There is a price to be paid. He expects us to understand that we must do our part to provide for said ministry.
In general terms this works out to a fifty-fifty proposition. He will not provide any more for us than what He already has until we first provide for Him. He began the process by giving His entire heart and life to us free of charge. It continues with each of us doing the same for Him. This giving of hearts is what makes for an actual blood covenant—the New Covenant.
Christians who never do this are not real Christians.
Concerning earthly material needs, the Lord Jesus has already started the process for us by providing each of us with a human body within which we can be housed and from which we can operate. These bodies are given by God free of charge. Their creation is miraculous. People plant the seeds and carry the babies, and carrying a precious baby to term is not at all easy though extremely rewarding.
Yet human beings cannot create human beings without the miraculous power and ability of God. We can only do our part, and both parts—God’s and ours—are required. God has His role and we have ours. And He will certainly help with parenting if we want His help and guidance.
Regarding all the things we need in this life, God also blesses us with the initial seed to get started as well as the strength to gain more. He arranged things in such a way that His many gifts can be combined with our own to produce blessing.
It is the same with ministry. We do our half, God does His half. God provides what we can never provide and we provide something God can never provide without us. He cannot do our work and He won’t try to do our work for us. It is OUR work. He gave it to us. It is a gift. Ministers who understand this understand that they must first give their half toward the process, without which God’s half—His gift (seed)—can never be effective.
In the beginning, a new minister shows good faith and a good heart by thus not asking God to provide any more than He has already provided and by not asking others to provide, but by first providing for God and others his own gift (seed), just as the Lord did. By this one proves their heart for God.
Giving is what starts the process just as planting a seed starts the process.
And speaking of seed, the best seed to give with the highest yield is seed we have created ourselves with God’s help through the process of earning it doing our own labor with our own hands. If one plants this seed according the Lord’s direction, which obviously requires giving it to Him first, one will receive a high return. This process is achieved by utilizing God’s granted portion as well as our own, and by giving this seed with no strings attached.
Though we cannot help but mentally acknowledge the fact that we will receive a good return, selfish raison d’être cannot be our motivation. If we plant good seed in good ground and nurture production, just as a farmer does when he plants a crop, we will see a good ministry result. But the proper motivation is to minister to others by giving freely and cheerfully. The Lord taught this.
“Freely you received, freely give.” [Matthew 10:8]
How do we give to God?
“Then the righteous will answer Him, ‘Lord, when did we see You hungry, and feed You, or thirsty, and give You something to drink? And when did we see You a stranger, and invite You in, or naked, and clothe You? When did we see You sick, or in prison, and come to You?’
“The King will answer and say to them, ‘Truly I say to you, to the extent that you did it to one of these brothers of Mine, even the least of them, you did it to Me.’” [Matthew 25:37-40] 
One must remember that all of the above needs are not only practical needs but also spiritual needs. The Lord’s real community gives both.
So, unlike the plague of prima donnas who think they’re better than everyone else and deserving of coerced money—those who have no problem at all putting the pressure on anyone but themselves for funding—the Lord Jesus never put pressure upon anyone to render His living, whether it was His close disciples or general followers.
He began by putting pressure on Himself. This is also how all real ministers of the Gospel operate. They put the pressure on themselves to make it work, and once they have achieved something in God’s eyes, He will also give toward the goal doing His part.
© 2015 by RJ Dawson. All Rights Reserved. (Part 2 of 3)
In the Gospel accounts, the Lord Jesus often talks about giving money to the poor.
Does He ever talk about giving money to ministers?
Real ministers of the real Gospel never demand pay for the work they do. They never demand the attachment of a donation to the word they teach. They never associate preaching the Gospel as a means to making a living. They never coerce people into giving, manipulate hearts toward that goal, or summon the specter of guilt to fall upon the undecided in yet another effort to extract their money.
Those who do will have hell to pay, because they have allowed themselves by their own lust for the funding of their enterprises to be deceived into believing they are more worthy than the people whose hard-earned money they covet.
Each one must do just as he has purposed in his heart, not grudgingly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver. [2Corinthians 9:7] 
One will notice when reading the Gospels that the Lord Jesus knew how to stretch a denarius. He got a lot of bang for His buck. There was never anything wasted. There was no extravagance. There was, however, sleeping on the ground, traveling far from home, and being thankful for the good will of others whenever such good will was given. Whatever the case, however, whether the Lord had any money or not, nothing stopped Him from His purpose. He had a job to do, a duty to accomplish, and was, as some say, on a mission.
He was and remains the greatest individual of all time with the greatest amount of willpower. Like anyone else, He learned it. He earned it. He is the only actual unstoppable Irresistible Force. He is also the only actual Immovable Object and spiritual Rock. By way of illustration, the entire Universe will surrender and cease to function and will admit defeat and give up while the Lord Jesus continues being resolute, determined, and on task.
He is driven by love for us all. He fights for His people.
This is the real King, the real God, the one real Christians follow. He is not for the soft, the easily intimidated or swayed, or those who refuse the rigors of real discipleship.
He has an iron will.
Thus, one will never find the Lord Jesus stopped or stymied for a mere lack of funding, or see Him stoop to demanding payment for spiritual services rendered as a means of funding. If anything, and if all money avenues are dried up and blocked and no one helps Him whatsoever, He’ll just go to work with His hands and earn His own dough. He calls His followers to do the same.
EARNING HIS OWN SUPPORT
In fact, that’s exactly what He did His entire life before beginning His ministry. He worked very hard for many years with His own hands, quietly and unknown. He blended in with society to the point of complete obscurity, never giving any hint to the outside world of His future mission. Until He went public at age thirty, the Gospel accounts only speak of Him as a baby, a very small child, a twelve year-old, and then nothing more for eighteen years.
And the outside world who knew Him as a nobody was pretty much everybody beyond Joseph and Mary. The parents of John the Immerser, Zacharias and Elizabeth, also knew in the relatively brief time they were still alive at and shortly after the birth of both John and the Lord. The latter couple were advanced in years and even more mystery surrounds the life of their son before his ministry. These were about the only people aware of whom the Son of Joseph and Mary really was and they knew there was no sense talking to anyone about it.
Though traditionally, the Lord was thought to be a carpenter, a man who works primarily with wood, He was more accurately both a carpenter and a builder, in that He constructed things using a variety of materials. He provided not only for Himself, of course, but also for His mother and siblings, especially after the death of Joseph, since He was the first born. He did all this while also preparing for future ministry.
But as importantly, He spent these years building up the necessary funding He would need for His earthly ministry. And unlike the modern day paid located minister who subsists from the wallets of his congregants, the Lord Jesus did the exact opposite. He did something most ministers see as impossible and completely uncalled for:
He set the proper example by also providing for the needs of His twelve chosen ones and their families.
One never hears this fact preached probably because it is far too convicting for those who demand money from those they preach to. There is no way the Lord would tell those twelve men to quit their livelihoods and the means to provide for their families and come follow Him, thus leaving their wives and children in the lurch, without also paying their way. Such a demand upon His disciples and their families would be 100% asinine, and the Lord never did it. But many “Christian ministers” would have no problem doing it, just as most ministers prefer congregants with money. And this gives us a direct clue into the main differences between real ministries and unreal ministries:
Real ministries and spiritual communities are led by the Lord Jesus, are empowered by His Holy Spirit, and are unified by adherence to His teachings and love for Him and one another.
Lacking the above, unreal ministries must be led by someone other than the Lord, must be empowered by something else, usually money, and must be unified by religious control and belief systems other than the pure Word of God.
The twelve original apostles needed to be with the Lord Jesus 24 hours a day to learn all He must teach them. He was their Rabbi. Thus, they had to quit their jobs. Thus, they had no money coming in. Thus, the Lord had to provide for them.
There is no other plausible method of financial support if one must build a foundational ministry team destined the change the world, especially one composed of hard-working blue collar tradesman and societal misfits without any savings. These men also greatly respected the Lord because they all knew He was a real Man like they were, but so much more, and could outwork any of them any day of the week.
On the flip side, unreal Christianity has transformed the real Lord Jesus into the image of a sissy. Tell me, why would all those hard-working hard-living guys give up their lives to follow a sissy? Maybe the false sissy image of the Lord is actually a reflection of the unreal ministers who created it. The fakers obviously cannot handle the real Lord Jesus and thus want no part of Him. They could never stand up to the required discipleship and they thus reject Him outright. His missing presence perfectly explains dead churches.
So imagine the Lord Jesus working with His hands all those years to build up enough funding to provide not only for Himself but also however much money it would take to provide for perhaps as many as sixty people for a period of three and a half years or so (counting an average of three children per apostle).
Add to that the Lord also providing, after the death of Joseph, for His mother and probably as many as seven or eight younger brothers and sisters (we know He had at least four brothers). That’s about seventy people all together. That’s the same amount of people comprising Jacob’s extended family when they all moved to Egypt during the famine to live with Joseph. Coincidence?
© 2015 by RJ Dawson. All Rights Reserved. (Part 1 of 3)