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THE PHARISEES, INCLUDING THE CHRISTIAN VARIETY, ARE LOVERS OF MONEY

         I quoted Paul in my last post in his second letter to Timothy. One of the charges he made against false believers and rejecters of the Lord was that they were lovers of money. So was Judas.

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          Now the Pharisees, who were lovers of money, were listening to all these things and were scoffing at Him. And He said to them, “You are those who justify yourselves in the sight of men, but God knows your hearts; for that which is highly esteemed among men is detestable in the sight of God.” [Luke 16:14-15]

         There are a great many Christian bigwigs who are highly esteemed among men. They rule their roosts as the flaming little peacocks they are. It continues to amaze me how gullible Christians are in supporting these people. The Lord could walk in to most churches and everyone there would pay Him no mind. They would simply not recognize Him. He would not look the part. He would be invisible.

         But the great mighty platform-strutters and gaudily-attired clergyites, many of which are going straight to hell, are honored much as the original Pharisees were honored.

         Such Pharisees also loved dressing the part. They would do anything to pass themselves off as legitimate in order to gain great social standing and much money.

          Perhaps this is in part why gaining money is not so easy for real Christians or why they are less motivated toward wealth. Real Christians already know they are the wealthiest people in the world anyway because they have a close relationship with the Lord Jesus. What can possibly be better than that? The Lord ALWAYS takes care of His children but His children must put Him first.

        “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.” [Luke 16:13]

         Those who knowingly reject the Lord do so in large part because they love money and refuse to submit to real discipleship which will curtail their gaining of it. Thus, without the Lord, they are free to seek wealth to their heart’s content. Those who put money before God will also engage in much evil against the Lord and His people. One of these evils is betrayal. Spending money on the Lord, His people, and His movement is considered a waste. He always wants to help good-hearted people who strive to do good. Such people are often looked down upon by the world because they are seen as losers who won’t fight, cheat, lie, and deceive to get ahead. The lovers of money do this. The two always go together. Here is a good example:

         Jesus, therefore, six days before the Passover, came to Bethany where Lazarus was, whom Jesus had raised from the dead. So they made Him a supper there, and Martha was serving; but Lazarus was one of those reclining at the table with Him. Mary then took a pound of very costly perfume of pure nard, and anointed the feet of Jesus and wiped His feet with her hair; and the house was filled with the fragrance of the perfume. But Judas Iscariot, one of His disciples, who was intending to betray Him, said, “Why was this perfume not sold for three hundred denarii and given to poor people?” Now he said this, not because he was concerned about the poor, but because he was a thief, and as he had the money box, he used to pilfer what was put into it. Therefore Jesus said, “Let her alone, so that she may keep it for the day of My burial. For you always have the poor with you, but you do not always have Me.” [John 12:1-8]

          Right after this the indignant money-loving Judas left to make his deal with the money-loving chief priests to betray the Lord.

         Then one of the twelve, named Judas Iscariot, went to the chief priests and said, “What are you willing to give me to betray Him to you?” And they weighed out thirty pieces of silver to him. From then on he began looking for a good opportunity to betray Jesus. [Matthew 26:14-16] [1]

          © 2019 by RJ Dawson. All Rights Reserved.   


[1] 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.

$$$ Contract With The Devil: No Sellouts In Heaven (Part 2)

          “And others are the ones on whom seed was sown among the thorns; these are the ones who have heard the word, but the worries of the world, and the deceitfulness of riches, and the desires for other things enter in and choke the word, and it becomes unfruitful.” [Mark 4:18-19]     

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         The Lord Jesus taught His followers to take on what is essentially a non-wealth credo, to appear to the world as not only credible but perfectly innocent regarding the “deceitfulness of riches.”

         If one has this attitude he can then be trusted with money. If one does not he will compromise his morals and attempt to enrich himself, will eventually lose his soul in the process, and possibly take many with him.

            For perspective, contrast the Lord Jesus with King Solomon. The latter possessed the land and bound the Lord’s people with exorbitant taxes and slave labor to enrich himself. The Lord did the very opposite, in that He personally supported his disciples financially, including their families, but took next to nothing for Himself. He treated them like kings. He stepped into the low place and afforded them a higher place. Which of these two best reflect Unreal Christianity?

         Money in itself is, of course, not evil. It is the love of money and one’s dependence upon it other than the Lord that is evil and bewitching. Not only can the real Christian break this evil power by engaging in the proper attitude and spiritual mindset as taught by the Lord, he can also break the spirit of poverty that might be inflicting him.

         Many of the poor are poor because they do not do things God’s way regarding money. But the Lord was voluntarily of low income for a purpose. He had authority over a relatively large amount of ministry income but used next to none of it for Himself. By this example, He teaches us there are times His people must be voluntarily of low income for a purpose also.

         We have learned that proper giving actually increases our incomes instead of what would seem to be the opposite. Giving properly with a right heart breaks the spirit of poverty. But much more importantly, proper giving breaks the deceitful and bewitching power of mammonas, the false god of riches and avarice, over us, and gives it no foothold in our lives.

         Would that all Christians, Christian ministries, and Christian “churches” practice this truth. That most do not should be obvious. The fact that it is not obvious for many Christians means they are in a state of enchantment brought on by a love of money and the fear that they may not gain it or will lose it. Those who use it improperly not only enrich themselves with God’s money but build monuments to themselves and their false beliefs.

         Perhaps this is why the Lord and His original disciples never built “church” buildings or ministry centers or whatever. And perhaps this is why they met in homes or in public places. And perhaps this is why they were ostracized by well-to-do society—a society that looked down on them because they possessed none of the accoutrements of wealth or at least minimal standing in the culture.

         And no more evident was this disdain toward them exhibited than by the members in good standing of religious establishments. Presently this disdain descends especially from “Christian” establishments—some of the most judgmental, absconding, condescending, and contemptuous of all.

         Let no one ever forget that the Lord was killed by His own, that the apostle Paul received most of his persecution from his own, and that most real Christians throughout history have received the worst of it from their own. And the majority of such persecution was and is due to the persecutors being threatened in a way that involved their wealth, power, religious prestige, and standing in this world.

         “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.” [Luke 16:13]

         “So then, none of you can be My disciple who does not give up all his own possessions.” [Luke 14:33]

         At this point, further explanation is demanded. Christianity 101 states that each human being is a sinner in need of the salvation paid for by the Lord through His sacrificial death. For those who accept the Lord’s salvation, they must also accept the fact that He purchased them by His blood. In other words, the Lord Jesus has rightful claim to those who are blessed with the salvation He paid for to set them free. He paid our ticket out of jail. He gives us power over sin. He blesses us with abundant life. This is the most all or nothing transaction possible regarding any human being.

         Part of giving our lives to Him involves being willing to walk away from everything we possess. This is what He means by giving up our possessions. In reality, though, this NASB95 translation and others like it are somewhat poor. Check out what the Young’s Literal Translation says:

         ‘So, then, every one of you who doth not take leave of all that he himself hath, is not able to be my disciple.’ [Luke 14:33]

         Now, compare that with The Complete Jewish Bible by David Stern:

         “So every one of you who doesn’t renounce all that he has cannot be my talmid.” [Luke 14:33]

         Now let’s consider the context. The Lord was explaining that our discipleship must require such single-minded loyalty to Him that we will “hate” our family members by comparison. The Lord, of course, is not telling us to hate. The translation comes off that way, but what he is saying is that not even any family opposition must deter one from his or her discipleship. So, if one is willing to give his entire life, carry his cross, and renounce family and the family religion if need be, walking away from one’s material possessions is not that big a deal.

         It is all a question of loyalty to God and a recognition that He owns the title deed to everything, to the entire planet and the universe itself. And He obviously also must have authority over His children.

         But Peter still had his house because we know the Lord stayed there. So Peter had not given up his house. But he did give it up for the cause of the Lord and His community. This is the point.

         In Acts, when the disciples went “house to house” they had houses to go “house to house” to (Acts 2:46). They were doing this after they sold their property, possessions, and goods (Acts 2:45). What they did when they sold their possessions etc. was give up their extra stuff to those in the community that lacked, and offered their stuff to be shared if need be.

         BUT IT WAS ALL VOLUNTARY. IT WAS NOT COERCED. IT WAS NOT SOME AUTHORITATIVE FORCED SOCIALISM.

         Those who gave and shared had to do it with a spirit of love and compassion, with no condemnation or judgment for anyone who did not give or share. This was the Lord’s exact attitude. He did not lay guilt trips on people. But He explained that if one were to join His community, he or she must deny self and any individual ownership toward possessions in case the Lord needed those possessions for another, or the money their sale could bring.

         Isn’t it obvious that if the Lord calls a person into ministry, and a person surrenders to the Lord for ministry, the Lord Jesus pretty much has authority over that person? How much more then does He have authority over his or her stuff?

         Regardless of how plain this truth is, it is almost never applied in “official” churches or ministries, and as a result most Christians have thrown the entire concept right out the window. They won’t touch it with a million-foot pole. This proves official churches are not real communities, but mere collections of disassociated people who share geography weekly. Some good stuff does happen. Some give, and some give a lot. Many share in some way.

         Imagine then, how much more could be shared if there was not the monumental expenditures of church buildings and all their related expenses. But that’s another teaching for another time. (See my book!)

         “For there is no good tree which produces bad fruit, nor, on the other hand, a bad tree which produces good fruit. For each tree is known by its own fruit. For men do not gather figs from thorns, nor do they pick grapes from a briar bush. The good man out of the good treasure of his heart brings forth what is good; and the evil man out of the evil treasure brings forth what is evil; for his mouth speaks from that which fills his heart.” [Luke 6:43-45]

         “For all these things the nations of the world eagerly seek; but your Father knows that you need these things.

         “But seek His kingdom, and these things will be added to you.

         “Do not be afraid, little flock, for your Father has chosen gladly to give you the kingdom. Sell your possessions and give to charity; make yourselves money belts which do not wear out, an unfailing treasure in heaven, where no thief comes near nor moth destroys.

         “For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.” [Luke 12:30-34] [1]

         It does seem as though there is a contradiction here. The Lord told His disciples to seek the kingdom first, and all that the world seeks would be given to them. He then tells them to sell their possessions.

         Could it be the Lord is telling them to take their restrictive personal ownership out of the equation? Remember, the Lord had need of things that other people owned, and He somehow gained access to those things (He needed money to pay a tax and gained it from a fish).

         He needed a colt to ride into Jerusalem upon that someone else owned. He needed an upper room for the Last Supper that someone else owned. He accepted monetary donations from others. If those who owned the possessions He needed did not possess them, the prophesied Biblical events that must take place would never have taken place. Therefore, personal ownership and having title to possessions is necessary, is not wrong or evil in itself, and I do not think He is telling us as a point of doctrine to go sell everything we own, though He might tell that to some, and there might be occasions when we must.

         There is a spiritual principle at work here that He wants us to know and use. If a possession owns us, it is not good. If the money we possess possesses us, it is not good. How can we be free in the Lord if we are bound by riches and possessions? How can we serve God if we serve mammon?

         Whoever owned the upper room shared it when it was needed for God’s purposes, as did the one who owned the colt. But because they had title, they took care of the possessions for whenever they might be needed. This shows both a complete willingness to share and give, but also the responsibility required to take care of them.

         There was a man whom the Lord had blessed, and it was most likely not a financial blessing. He had given this man the Words of Life, and the gentleman was eternally grateful. When the time came that he needed to bless the Lord, this man gave not only of the fullness of his heart, but blessed the Lord with a very expensive possession that he owned and had just built. With his gift, one of the greatest happenings in human history took place. And the really cool thing about it, whether the man knew it would work out that way or not, was that the Lord would end up giving it right back.

            His name was Joseph. He owned a tomb…

         © 2014 by RJ Dawson. All Rights Reserved.


[1] 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.

$$$ Contract With The Devil: No Sellouts In Heaven (Part 1)

         In serving the Lord Jesus, a believer can have no conflict of interest of any kind that would keep him from doing his duty. He must be sold out to the Lord.

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         Many,  however, are lovers of money and material goods, which often stems from being a lover of self. Lovers of self and money cannot be lovers of the Lord.

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         Those who do not love the Lord are not aligned with Him and are consequently defenseless against the forces of evil.  

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         The enemy is a blackmailer. He will always attempt to buy a person’s silence through such a conflict, and he preys on the conflicted for the opening in their armor. Once finding it he begins slipping in the sword of threats and fear.

         The two principle ways he does this is through threatening harm to one or one’s loved ones, or threatening one’s income.

         Many have been silenced especially by the latter. Everybody has a price. The enemy starts there first. If one is willing to compromise one’s walk with God over fear of losing money the devil never has to go any further—he never has to threaten harm.

         Most people are bought off long before they are threatened with physical harm. They cannot fathom losing their job or income over a spiritual or honesty issue, or for possibly taking a stand. This is especially true if it’s a relatively high paying job with perks that took a person much time and effort to acquire. But the same is true on the other end of the scale for those dependent on government welfare or entitlement income. It is obvious that for most people, money is the top priority.

         Yet the clear words of the Lord continue to echo forth:

         “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.” [Luke 16:13]

         The Lord demonstrated this statement in His own life by living what amounted to a virtual life of poverty. Along with the above statement, He mentioned something else that rarely or never gets mentioned by Christian ministers who buy into the money lie.

         I’m certainly not harping on it, but merely acknowledging its presence. He said it for a reason. There’s a spiritual purpose for its existence. It’s in the Gospels. It’s a part of Holy Writ. It must dovetail with all the other statements of the Lord Jesus somehow. And it applies to all disciples:

         “So then, none of you can be My disciple who does not give up all his own possessions.” [Luke 14:33]

         The Lord Jesus was threatened with death on numerous occasions, including the very first day of His ministry in Nazareth, but His would-be murderers were never successful. However, at the end of His ministry, when He cleaned out the Temple, those who hated Him had gone ballistic because the Lord attacked their dirty money scheme. This happened simultaneously with the Lord reaching the point where He would lay down His life. This action allowed them to get their hands on Him when their hate was at its depraved zenith. They then relished the fact that they had Him and could inflict upon Him all the pain and misery they had long desired in their hearts.

         This juxtaposition of the Lord’s highest demonstrated love and His enemy’s highest demonstrated hate displays itself repeatedly throughout history regarding His people who are called by His Name. Persecution raises its ugly head in the most pronounced manner whenever the dirty money of evil people is threatened. They will do absolutely anything to protect their wealth and the power derived from it.

         And this love-hate paradigm is also at its greatest height when the wealth and the means to gain it are in the religious realm.

         Hence, the Lord’s ministry reached its zenith when He attacked all the evil wealth-oriented schemes of the House of Annas that had been located within and around the temple complex in Jerusalem. By doing this He was reclaiming His own land that Abraham had initially claimed for Him from the evil Canaanites. The new temple complex had not only been built by Herod, an Idumean and descendant of Esau, it had been stolen by Herod, and the evil House of Annas the High Priest worked in conjunction with him. This cabal also included the Sadduccean Party.

         As a result of the Lord’s bold action He was hit with everything the devil had, but only because He made Himself vulnerable by removing His protection in order to fulfill His calling as the Sacrifice Lamb.

         There will never be any real physical persecution against Christians until they attack the evil spiritual powers that be on this earth, as the Lord said we must. He said the gates of hell would not prevail against his people. But in the process the devil will strike back, especially when it concerns an attack against his and his people’s ill-gotten wealth.

         At those times when the Lord’s people must be vulnerable, as He was, they will be persecuted. But any and all real persecution against His people always results in great spiritual gains. In other words, there must be a price to pay for the spiritual victories and gains that take place, and this distinguishes real Christians from fake ones.

         The current Great Awakening in America fits this profile exactly. Though still in the early stages, real Christians are standing forth for the truth and God’s way of doing things, and are consequently standing against the evil which is resident in this country and the world, including the evil machinations of illicit, unconstitutional actions by those in authority, and especially against those using money for evil means.

         This is not necessarily a direct assault. It is merely the standing up for what is right that happens to affect those who are not right. If the Lord did not clean out the temple He would have effectively been in agreement with the evil that had become resident there. This is why there are so many millions of compromised Christians. They have chosen to silence their voices and have refused to be used of God to clean up evil precisely because they have chosen to embrace the very evil they should be standing up against.

         Many Christians hear this repeatedly and are certainly convicted, but still cannot bring themselves to act. Much of this is because their leaders and churches are also compromised and continually look the other way and make excuses.

         And though the evil money masters in this world are forever going about their deceptive, unscrupulous behavior in their lust for wealth, it is only when real Christians attack the evil of serving mammon within Christianity that the devil gets the most riled up.

         For example, if the church or ministry one is associated with does not subscribe to the Lord’s proper methods regarding money and remains silent, then one is essentially in agreement with the evil practice that is resident there, no matter how good or proper it may appear.

         Those who do speak out know, however, that they will pay a price, and are often branded as malcontents or evil in some way, simply because they speak out as the Lord did.

         Many real Christians have spoken out and have been banished in some way or another. It may start with simple indifference, gossip, and exclusion, but it will end in “disfellowship,” a word falsely used by power and wealth controllers within “Christian” establishments who are threatened with being revealed for what they are, and the demonic wealth practices they ascribe to becoming exposed.

         And if one wonders what these may be, simply look at the Lord’s example—He never became enriched with “ministry” money. In fact, He made sure He would do the very opposite by going 180 degrees in the opposite direction, even doing things He did not have to do, to make absolutely sure He would set the right example for His people to steer absolutely clear of being taken in by the temptation of loving money.

         This is why He made Himself to be of very low income in pocket, yet always having access to whatever He may need. Imagine the freedom, faith, and confidence He had regarding things that normally only money can buy: He could multiply bread and fish, He could tell Peter to go get money out of a fish’s mouth to pay a tax (for both of them), He could acquire a donkey on a moment’s notice for His ride to the temple, and He could even procure an entire upper room when it was necessary.

         Consider the following passages and let it build your faith:

         When they came to Capernaum, those who collected the two-drachma tax came to Peter and said, “Does your teacher not pay the two-drachma tax?” He said, “Yes.”

         And when he came into the house, Jesus spoke to him first, saying, “What do you think, Simon? From whom do the kings of the earth collect customs or poll-tax, from their sons or from strangers?”

         When Peter said, “From strangers,” Jesus said to him, “Then the sons are exempt. However, so that we do not offend them, go to the sea and throw in a hook, and take the first fish that comes up; and when you open its mouth, you will find a shekel. Take that and give it to them for you and Me.” [Matthew 17:24-27]

         Right.

         When they had approached Jerusalem and had come to Bethphage, at the Mount of Olives, then Jesus sent two disciples, saying to them, “Go into the village opposite you, and immediately you will find a donkey tied there and a colt with her; untie them and bring them to Me. If anyone says anything to you, you shall say, ‘The Lord has need of them,’ and immediately he will send them.” [Matthew 21:1-3]

         Okaaay…

         And He sent two of His disciples and said to them, “Go into the city, and a man will meet you carrying a pitcher of water; follow him; and wherever he enters, say to the owner of the house, ‘The Teacher says, “Where is My guest room in which I may eat the Passover with My disciples?”’ And he himself will show you a large upper room furnished and ready; prepare for us there.”

         The disciples went out and came to the city, and found it just as He had told them; and they prepared the Passover. [Mark 14:13-16] [1]

          © 2014 by RJ Dawson. All Rights Reserved. [To Be Continued]


[1] 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.

Pompous Coveters and the Scum of the World

        The majority of churches and ministry organizations are profit based. It is never called that, of course, but facts are facts.

         The IRS as authorized by Congress has allowed for this through 501c3’s by requiring churches and ministry organizations to possess this designation so donations can be tax deductable.

         As a result, church members and those who donate to ministries are now conditioned to expect the benefit of a tax deduction for their donations, and three very bad things, intended or not, have resulted:

(1) Donators will not give if they don’t get a tax deduction.

(2) Donators perceive ministries and churches that do not offer tax deductions as illegitimate.

(3) Government, including the IRS, has become intricately entwined within one’s charitable giving with full records of all transactions.

         And because of all this, churches and ministries become quasi government-sponsored entities with government issued charters and many requirements that must be met to be compliant, including all the legal ramifications inherent in such enterprises.

         Imagine the Lord Jesus jumping through all these hoops for the right to attend to His ministry. Imagine the early Church going through all this. In reality, early Christian communities were almost all illicit (unlicensed) according to Roman Law and state dictates, and had no official organizations that are required today.

         Maybe that’s why the Lord Jesus and the early Church never built church buildings or ministry centers, or became entangled in government regulations, and kept ministry lean and quick and transportable and FAST. They traveled LIGHT! 

         The really bad thing about current conditions is that the majority of Christians want it this way. Those who run such organizations demand it be this way. Power and fear of bucking the government have gone to their heads. Some of these Christian leaders are downright vile and disgusting in their attacks on fellow Christians and New Testament formats, and will have a special place at the judgment.

         But the bottom line is MONEY. Since most churches and ministry organizations are “for profit,” though classified by the government as “non-profit,” they are still run almost exactly as any business. But instead of providing a service or commodity in return for money or profit, they provide a service in return for donations. In other words, the money is not earned, but is given.

         However, regardless of semantic gymnastics, the donations still consist of money and are thus, profit.

         And there’s a LOT of profit. And many of the leaders of these organizations have become enriched. And they employ in some cases hundreds of people. And these people look at their ministry positions as jobs the same way everyone else does theirs.

         The worst offenders are probably some television ministries simply because they require gargantuan amounts of money to function. Hence, they see no problem having telethons and other ridiculous money-making operations to gather funds. According to their view, their ministries are obviously much more important than most ministries and churches, and they have no problem whatsoever prostituting themselves for money. Their arrogance is off the scale.

         “I have coveted no one’s silver or gold or clothes. 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 20:33-35]

         Since it is more blessed to give, and if giving is the means of receiving, then why don’t all the preachers begging people for money (“You’ll be blessed!”) simply start GIVING money so they can be blessed?   

         I know it’s a bummer, but individuals can’t have telethons. They have to go to work to earn a buck. Smaller churches and ministries can’t go on television or the radio and beg for money either.

         But the big boys can hire, and I do mean hire, professional ministry shysters that specialize in getting people to fork over their money.

         Therefore, another form of replacement theology has transpired: The Lord Jesus is not King. Money is King. And I think the Lord said something about not being able to serve both.

         Here’s an idea: Instead of making it the priority to invest in lands and buildings and mega-church complexes and ministers living like kings or at least living comfortably on donated money that only they get to have while everyone else must slave away, why don’t we do what the Lord did and invest in people.

         We hear it all the time that a single human being, from a Christian point of view, is more important than the entire Universe. The Lord did not die for Christian mini-kingdoms and self-righteous fiefdoms and the few who sit atop the many man-made pyramids and the shoulders of others.

         He died for people. All people. His Blood can cleanse anyone of sin.

        People are the priority.

         But the people are not getting the money. The majority of the money is going elsewhere. Much of it is wasted.

         It’s all fine and good to have facilities to help meet the spiritual needs of people, but humanity lives on the ground. We have house payments and rent payments and car payments and utility payments and we have to buy food.

         So we go to church. Great. But what good does a prayer do at church if it is not followed up by helping people where they live?

         “Well, I’m sorry. But we have only so much money to go around. And we certainly can’t be just giving money to people to help them out.”

         Really? Well, where do you get your money from Mr. or Mrs. Church or Ministry Leader?

         Freely you received, freely give. [Matthew 10:8]

         Speaking of which, many ministers do exactly that. I have a friend who was an official church pastor for many years and he also had a fulltime job. If that’s not giving what is? The vast majority of those working with the Lord Jesus in the world today look nothing whatsoever like what we have come to see as official Christian ministers. Some of these require donations. And for all ministers who the Lord has blessed with donations, there is not a problem, but I would think that every single one would show the proper humility and gratitude instead of projecting an arrogant, superior-minded entitlement attitude, as some do.

         Some ministers will demand your money and take a chunk of it for themselves but can’t see helping someone else out in the same way. What this means is that in their mind only a few select chosen ones are worthy of handouts, I mean, donations.

         For consider your calling, brethren, that there were not many wise according to the flesh, not many mighty, not many noble; but God has chosen the foolish things of the world to shame the wise, and God has chosen the weak things of the world to shame the things which are strong, and the base things of the world and the despised God has chosen, the things that are not, so that He may nullify the things that are, so that no man may boast before God. [1 Corinthians 1:26-29]

         If anyone cares for a little truth, there is no Levitical Priesthood in the community of the Lord. The Lord never invented a clergy class. The Word of God declares that we are a kingdom of priests, in that EVERY real Christian is a priest and the Lord Jesus is the only High Priest.

         Part of the lack of this truth stems from poor Bible translations. For example, the KJV translators (400 years ago) made a critical error when they wrote the following two verses:

         And hath made us kings and priests unto God and his Father; to him be glory and dominion for ever and ever. Amen. [Revelation 1:6]

         And hast made us unto our God kings and priests: and we shall reign on the earth. [Revelation 5:10]         

         The actual Word of God never said we are kings and priests.

         IN THE LORD’S KINGDOM, THERE IS ONLY ONE KING!

         This translation error has been corrected by some Bible versions but much damage has already been done and traditions die very, very hard.

         The real and correct translation, in this instance according to the NASV95, is as follows:

         And He has made us to be a kingdom, priests to His God and Father—to Him be the glory and the dominion forever and ever. Amen. [Revelation 1:6]

         “You have made them to be a kingdom and priests to our God; and they will reign upon the earth.” [Revelation 5:10]

         So again, we are a kingdom of priests.

         The following passage from Peter, which includes clear OT references, corroborates this truth:

         But you are A CHOSEN RACE, A royal PRIESTHOOD, A HOLY NATION, A PEOPLE FOR God’s OWN POSSESSION, so that you may proclaim the excellencies of Him who has called you out of darkness into His marvelous light; for you once were NOT A PEOPLE, but now you are THE PEOPLE OF GOD; you had NOT RECEIVED MERCY, but now you have RECEIVED MERCY. [1 Peter 2:9-10]

         And furthermore, the brilliantly sarcastic tone of none other than the apostle Paul is illustrated in the following passage regarding those who are unclear on the concept and wouldn’t know true humility if it smacked ‘em in the face:

         For who regards you as superior?

         What do you have that you did not receive?

         And if you did receive it, why do you boast as if you had not received it?

         You are already filled, you have already become rich, you have become kings without us; and indeed, I wish that you had become kings so that we also might reign with you.

         For, I think, God has exhibited us apostles last of all, as men condemned to death; because we have become a spectacle to the world, both to angels and to men.

         We are fools for Christ’s sake, but you are prudent in Christ;

         We are weak, but you are strong;

         You are distinguished, but we are without honor.

         To this present hour we are both hungry and thirsty,

         And are poorly clothed,

         And are roughly treated,

         And are homeless;

         And we toil, working with our own hands;

         When we are reviled, we bless;

         When we are persecuted, we endure;

         When we are slandered, we try to conciliate;

         We have become as the scum of the world, the dregs of all things, even until now.

         I do not write these things to shame you, but to admonish you as my beloved children. For if you were to have countless tutors in Christ, yet you would not have many fathers, for in Christ Jesus I became your father through the gospel.

         Therefore I exhort you, be imitators of me. [1 Corinthians 4:7-16] [1]   

         Maybe if the guy on the stage appeared a little more like the apostle Paul, the people in the congregation could appear a little more like the guy on the stage.

         Now we pray to God that you do no wrong; not that we ourselves may appear approved, but that you may do what is right, even though we may appear unapproved. For we can do nothing against the truth, but only for the truth. For we rejoice when we ourselves are weak but you are strong; this we also pray for, that you be made complete. [2 Corinthians 13:7-9]     

         © 2013 by RJ Dawson. All Rights Reserved.


[1] 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.