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.
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.
Those who do not love the Lord are not aligned with Him and are consequently defenseless against the forces of evil.
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]
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]
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] 
© 2014 by RJ Dawson. All Rights Reserved. [To Be Continued]
 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.