Every real Christian is subject to everything experienced by the Lord Jesus, one of which is cold betrayal. This is always done by someone close, usually a trusted one.
THE JUDAS KISS
The reason it works so well is because one’s defenses are down. One has no reason to put up a shield against friends, family members, or Christian associates. In this sense the victim is essentially defenseless. His or her sense of loyalty, good faith, and thinking and believing well of others, without which one cannot have good relationships, is the very thing taken advantage of by the Judas spirit and the person aligned with it. However, this does not mean the victim was not necessarily wise or watching. It does not mean the victim of betrayal was not being exactly what the Lord wanted him or her to be or was not walking with the Lord. One may wonder, then, is this is true, why the Lord did not warn them before the attack.
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In reality, there are often clues along the way that are certainly acknowledged but usually not taken as seriously as they should be, but again, to take them too seriously can damage the relationship, a relationship the victim appreciates and protects. There is thus a fine line. Potential Judases, as deceiving and conniving as they are, sometimes reveal themselves for what they are in relatively minor ways. Sometimes their outer packaging slips a tad. Sometimes their mask fails to hide completely. They may say or do something that arouses suspicion but because they are such excellent liars, something the victim can’t quite conceive of since it is so diabolical, they manage to stay above any suspicion that may otherwise reveal them for what they actually are.
Now, some people, a relative few, have their suspicion motors running at high speed much of the time. Others are never suspicious. Most people, however, with regard to close personal relationships, have a healthy mindset which allows for suspicion but are not focused on it. It kicks in when it is called for, when something appears off and when things don’t quite add up. But even then it is likely that these are mere general warnings that don’t have actual merit. Such warnings let a person know the system is running properly.
Those who are always suspicious have likely been burned to a high degree at some point, maybe several times, and feel they are forced to always be on high alert. Those who are never suspicious are those most vulnerable to attack and are often the kind of people who are easily taken advantage of. These may be placed in that general group that contains the naïve, the gullible, and those more easily prone to indoctrination. Interestingly, along with these are people of status so sure of their beliefs they believe it ridiculous to second guess their station in life. Why they are so trusting without testing is too broad a subject to discuss here but could be due to never seeing any reason to be guarded. It could even be because they perceive guarded people, even those only slightly such, as paranoid. Still, allowing for suspicion is a vital part of one’s defenses. Most people learn at a young age that some people can be trusted and others can never be. Defending oneself is a vital component of life and part of the way God made us.
Regarding the Lord’s betrayal, it may not be the best of examples in that it never surprised Him but He did allow for it. He did this in part to show what is possible and what one should watch for. He was obviously wise and knowledgeable enough to know all about the man Judas Iscariot, his makeup, and his motivations; he was never fooled by Judas. But the other disciples were, at least in part. One or some of them may have known Judas before the Lord chose him. Some of them didn’t take long to figure out that Judas was certainly a man to be suspicious of. They knew he was a thief, for example, though this knowledge may not have come until later in the Lord’s ministry. They knew he was a lover of money. They also must have known that he was highly religious in the Pharisaical sense. In fact, Judas was actually a type of the unbelieving Israelites who rejected the Lord Jesus as Messiah. Hence, the Judas spirit and the antichrist spirit are closely aligned.
I think he probably was a Pharisee though a stealthy one. Considering how he so easily met with temple insiders to betray the Lord suggests he apparently had close relationships with some who worked in the temple. These might have been long term or may have only arisen after he became a disciple by spies who desired to cultivate an inside spy. And Judas, due to his own concerns about the Lord and his lack of full commitment to Him likely granted him access to the intrigue of the evil inner circle where others had none. For example, no other apostle had any such relationship. All the others had given their hearts and lives wholly to the Lord and this cut them off from any worldly relationships on the outside.
So this is a clue. If one has a potential Judas in one’s life then one likely has an unhealthy friendship with the world to some degree manifested through friends or family. This may be hard to understand for many Christians but the student of the New Covenant Scriptures is very aware of such passages as the following:
“Therefore, come out from their midst and be separate,” says the Lord. “And do not touch what is unclean; And I will welcome you.” [2Corinthians 6:17]
You adulteresses, do you not know that friendship with the world is hostility toward God? Therefore whoever wishes to be a friend of the world makes himself an enemy of God. [James 4:4]
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. [1Peter 2:9-10]
According to the latter passage, whether or not we receive mercy is contingent upon leaving the world of darkness, joining up with the people of God, becoming God’s own possession, and serving as a spiritual priest of the Lord. (This must include real repentance.) According to the former passages we must be separate from the world, never be a friend of the world, and not touch what is unclean. Whoever fulfills these requirements will be welcomed into His kingdom by the King Himself, will be a friend of God, a member of His holy nation, and again, will receive mercy. One will never have to be concerned about being betrayed by such people.
One will not have to worry about being betrayed by non-Christians either because real Christians have no spiritual relationships with non-Christians. Therefore, the Judas people will appear somewhere in the middle. They are those who have one foot in the world and give the appearance of having the other foot in the kingdom. This may appear impossible but on the other hand some people are flakes. Some people are commitment-challenged. Some people are a mile wide and an inch deep. Unreal Christianity is rife with such people.
It kind of reminds one of the present condition of the Mississippi River. The Mississippi has not been this low in a very long time. There are vast stretches that are only about five feet deep. Stuff that has been forever under water is now being revealed. An old ferry barge over a century old has been exposed. Human remains have been found. There have been other discoveries. One can now walk across large swaths of exposed river bottom. Upstream barges cannot get their crops to market. What is more, there is little hope for the necessary rain beyond the immediate future. This sounds like those virgins who neglected to keep their oil lamps filled. It reminds one of the corruption of hidden sins never repented of or dealt with that hide beneath the surface waiting to be revealed when the masquerade comes off.
And this is reminiscent of the Judas spirit living within or around a potential traitor who keeps his or her treachery well-hidden by high enough water until the time of their strike. And though the river is muddy, it is up to his or her potential victim to see the signs, to look overboard once in a while, do some catfish noodling, and maybe partake of a scuba dive or two. Even then it is sometimes not possible to avoid attack because the devil is sly and Judases are good liars and very deceptive.
SOMETIMES CHRISTIANS GO SOUTH
Generally, people don’t lose their religion all at once. It is most often a gradual thing. It usually has something to do with not repenting of a certain sin and allowing it to fester and turn into a problem. When sins are small they can much more easily be dealt with. If not they have a tendency to propagate. It seems that sins have little seeds attached that grow into new sins. If not dealt with, such sins become a bumper crop and overcome the ability of the person to deal with them. Because the person likes the sin at least to some degree he or she thus coddles the sin instead of KILLING IT. Then the next phase kicks in when evil spirits are attracted to the darkness. Evil spirits love sin. They love darkness. They love corruption. This is why, when someone possesses such a ponderance of unrepented sin, they also open themselves up to demon oppression or possession. And according to the account of that tomb-dwelling demon-possessed guy in the country of the Gerasenes on the other side of the lake (see Luke 8:26-39), it is possible for a person to be possessed by thousands of demons at the same time, kind of like a mass of flies of a particular kind. (The term Beelzebul is actually a derogatory takeoff on the ancient deity of the Ekronites, the lord of the flies.)
Because Judas Iscariot never dealt with his minor sins they compounded and became major sins. Then, evil spirits were attracted to him. The temple insiders were also attracted to him and saw an opening to use him to murder the Lord. But guess what? Things got so bad and so out of hand within Judas due to his embrace of sin, his bitterness, his anger, and his frustration with his inability to change the Lord or manipulate Him that he not only attracted those guys but also attracted the devil himself:
And Satan entered into Judas who was called Iscariot, belonging to the number of the twelve. And he went away and discussed with the chief priests and officers how he might betray Him to them. They were glad and agreed to give him money. So he consented, and began seeking a good opportunity to betray Him to them apart from the crowd. [Luke 22:3-6]
Here is another clue: Betrayal of this kind usually involves money. It involves a payoff for causing either great suffering to the victim, eliminating the victim altogether, or both. Some people have no problem destroying a person’s life for a reward of some kind. Also, keep in mind that there is a natural form of manipulation that is purely of the flesh but is used in the same way. Some people are manipulators. They are devious tricksters who do their evil under the radar in order to change a person to his or her way of seeing things in order to use them for their own purposes. Those who are best at this are never or rarely perceived for what they are. It is often the case if not always that such schemers are too personally weak or outnumbered to get their way otherwise and must therefore resort to double-dealing and perniciousness. Or it could be that there are laws against such behavior, whether legal or moral, and the person must find a way to get around such laws without appearing to break them overtly in order to keep up appearances and not arouse suspicion.
However, when it comes to evil spirits, it is a different ball game altogether. When a person is betrayed with the assistance of such demonic entities he or she is dealing with a much higher level of strength which most often overpowers the person’s natural strength and ability to perceive what is happening. Accordingly, this also involves a much higher level of deception and manipulation. The person and the demon work together. Judas Iscariot, remember, would never have been able to betray the Lord without human help and demonic help. Of course, the Lord was aware of the entire scheme the entire time whereas all others are not though they may be suspicious to varying degrees. The early Christians were well aware of demonic entities and their machinations and knew they could only defeat them using the power of God. They were spiritual warriors. It is in part why they knew they must be Spirit-filled.
BE CAREFUL WHO YOU TRUST
As a final warning, one based purely on Scripture, one must be careful who he or she is in relationship with. In the Early Community of the Lord in the first century, believers were strictly instructed by the Lord and then one another to make only a 100% commitment to the Lord and nothing less once they decided to follow Him. One’s relationship with the Lord Jesus must be such or there is no real relationship. He will not accept anything less. Spiritual Covenant is impossible without a full commitment.
Then, when two believers have done this—when they have each done their part to create a vertical covenant relationship with the Lord Jesus—they can each create a horizontal spiritual relationship with each other based on the same covenant teaching. They then need not worry about betrayal from one another because both have fulfilled the entry level requirement (“You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your strength, and with all your mind.”) and both have fulfilled the second requirement as well (“And your neighbor as yourself.”). Again, both would also be filled with the Holy Spirit which greatly aids in being aware of or identifying potential Judases.
The same is true for a group of twelve or 120 as on the Day of Pentecost. It is also true for thousands. In fact, when one considers the many hundreds of thousands or millions of people which comprise the entire Body of Christ on the planet—the actual Body of Christ comprised of real Christians—one can see that one will always be safe with the Lord and mature real believers dedicated to the Word. One will never be betrayed by these, especially of course, by the Lord Jesus who has already proven His love and faithfulness a million times over. He will never leave you or forsake you. He gave everything for us He possibly could give. He did everything for us He possibly could do.
For other relationships, however, there is no guarantee. It is why each disciple must be their own watchman on the wall.
© 2022 by RJ Dawson. All Rights Reserved.
That is, they preach whatever gives them the best monetary return. This would otherwise be obvious based simply on their “success” but deceived congregations are spiritually blind to this truth.
Most are willingly blind. They choose their church leaders and denominations, support them, and take great pride in them. They feel good knowing they belong to the right church teaching the right doctrines. Their leaders, knowing where their support comes from, preach only what their congregants want to hear. That is why, of course, their congregants are there. If they didn’t like what goes on there they wouldn’t be there. If they were not there their money would not be there either.
This dynamic creates a synthetic non-Scriptural symbiotic giving-receiving relationship allowing only that which is acceptable by those giving financial support. These are usually comprised of the greater percentage of the congregation, though it is often the case that the few give the most. Anything which the financial supporters reject must never be taught. In this way both parties are pleased and satisfied and the relationship contract is fulfilled. The “leader” who gives the teaching receives monetary compensation. The “followers” who receive the teaching give monetary compensation. As long as the leader gives the correct teaching, that is, the teaching that the givers want, he will be compensated. The more he pleases them the greater he will be compensated.
Real Christians understand right away that such a model is inherently flawed in that the Word of God cannot possibly work its wonders to convict people of sin under such an arrangement. Without conviction of sin there is no need for repentance, that is, admitting one’s guilt and subsequently getting right with God. This means sinners masquerading as Christians come to church with sin and leave with sin. They are never separated from their sin. Their sin is coddled. This only leads to more sin and the acceptance of greater forms of sin. Sinners find these places comfortable. Their sin is never revealed. Nobody cares about it including the preacher (or priest or reverend or minister or whatever).
“Woe to the rebellious children,” declares the LORD, “who execute a plan, but not Mine, and make an alliance, but not of My Spirit, in order to add sin to sin.” [Isaiah 30:1]
Successful preachers who partake of the false giving-receiving relationship rarely or never preach about sin. To do so could possibly anger their partners who would then likely withhold their support. In their estimation it is better to have compromised Christian sinners who support them financially than anyone who does not or cannot. Of course, in the Lord’s eyes congregations are not supposed to be made up of sinners. But if one never preaches sin, how will anyone ever be convicted of their sin and thus seek a solution to their conviction?
If one never preaches the full teachings of the Lord Jesus, how will anyone ever learn the truth and act upon it?
Real Christians know the New Testament definition of sin. They are aware of the many sinful practices mentioned or listed in the Word of God. The Lord Jesus certainly preached against sin and instructed His disciples to do the same. They were interested in bringing people to salvation. They were not there to make a living. They were not interested in money. They were not bought or controlled by money. If you supported them financially they would preach the same pure Word of God anyway. Whatever they received monetarily had no bearing whatsoever on what they would teach and preach.
We know, however, that they did not receive so much. The Lord Jesus set the perfect example by his frugal lifestyle that He could be supported with next to nothing. Imagine that. The Lord did incredible things. Thousands were saved, set free from sin, and delivered. He was always performing miracles to help people. He could do anything. And it would cost you nothing. He did it all for free. He was fasting all the time and thus took food sporadically. He slept outside except for those occasions when he was in a village and stayed with a supporter. Other than food his stay added no additional expense to a household. And whoever did anything for Him was blessed many, many times over.
I remember once, when I was a spiritual rookie, a young missionary family visited our church. I was already thoroughly enmeshed in the Word of God and well aware of the frugal practices of early Christianity. When I thought of missionaries I thought of hardy souls doing without and subjecting themselves to the rigors of preaching the Gospel and making converts in a foreign and often hostile land. The “missionaries” who showed up that night were nothing of the sort.
They were well-fed, well-clothed, and appeared better off than many of the people in the congregation. The man was somewhat effeminate and soft (but he played piano very well).
There was a hint of entitlement and smugness. These people were certainly none the worse for wear. I found out later that their “missionary” activity consisted in merely administering a conventional church plant. The denomination had simply created an American church building and grounds in a Latin American country in a relatively good area and called this missionary work, a far cry from early Church examples. They likely had more money and comfort than converts.
I knew from my own “missionary work” in witnessing to pretty much everybody, that a man could get slammed and have his head handed to him in a heartbeat. It went with the territory. But I mostly had a great many enjoyable experiences telling people about the Lord and attempting to help bring them to salvation. And this was coming from a young man with little money working fulltime and going to church four or five times a week. To me it was always a labor of love and this is how it should be. And after working all week and witnessing “in the field” you would go to church and get preached at (slammed) and the Lord would make more progress through the Word to conform you to His will. It was not easy. And I always gave what was required freely and with a good conscience. I had no control whatsoever over the preaching.
SOWING TO THE WIND AND REAPING AN F5 TORNADO
The Spirit explicitly says that in later times some will fall away from the faith, paying attention to deceitful spirits and doctrines of demons, by means of the hypocrisy of liars seared in their own conscience as with a branding iron… [1Timothy 4:1-2] 
At this point in American history the majority of conventional churches and ministries are abject spiritual failures. Many, however, are financially successful. Many preachers are very well off. They preach to money. American Christianity in general has thus also become an abject failure. There is more sin in the country now than ever before and it is growing exponentially. All of this happened on their watch, that is, the watch of those who refuse to preach the real Word of God but instead work for money and success. And it continues to happen on their watch. They have failed the Lord. They have failed the country. They are responsible.
But they are not convicted. Like their supporters, no-sin preaching has lobotomized their own minds as well.
© 2019 by RJ Dawson. All Rights Reserved.
Desperation for money and spiritual faith don’t go together. People who do their Christianity for money are desperate. If they build their lives and ministries that way they only build away from God.
And without faith it is impossible to please Him, for he who comes to God must believe that He is and that He is a rewarder of those who seek Him. [Hebrews 11:6]
One of you, my readers, had a recent post in which you quoted a famous preacher. I can’t remember the exact words. He had been a minister for decades and said something recently to the effect that he had really messed up a lot of people. I thought his sentiment, or apology, was in one sense a tad refreshing. Of course I also thought that it was about time he finally admitted what so many had always known. This guy was a first class idiot. The devil played him like a banjo. I used to wonder how such an obvious shyster managed to fool so many people.
I don’t name names here. It’s not the way I work. If you know who I’m talking about and care to comment, don’t use his name. It could be that he might actually be repenting. It may be possible that he has headed down redemption road. But it could also be, and likely is, that he’s still the shyster he always was.
And there are a lot just like him. The celebrity Christian world has gotten really dark recently. There was steady progress toward that goal. They may still look bright the way the devil looks bright with his fake lighting. They may be more rich and powerful than ever. They may command respect and have lesser “ministers” cowed and afraid to say a word. But the Lord knows the truth. He knows what they are. They took the wrong road long ago.
Were they desperate? Well, if a man needs to make a buck and he’s really down on his luck he forces himself to do absolutely anything he can to survive. If he’s a good man he does honest work the right way. But there are men in this world who refuse to work like a man and instead seek an easy way out. “Ministry” has always been one of those easy ways. Once a man gets past that first plea for cash and gets a little offering money and sees how easy it was to do, his conscience doesn’t bother him as much. He then figures if a little money is okay why not more?
I remember stories of this guy raking in so much cash he was paying ten thousand dollars for one night in a hotel. They could buy anything. While the people in congregations all across the country were trying their best to live right before God and were struggling to buy another used tire for their old car or more baling wire to hold it together and doing their best to feed their kids right, these fake idiot ministers had no money problems whatsoever. It would be different if they earned it. And it’s not wrong to give or receive help. But all these guys do is take up collections. There’s nothing hard about that.
The Lord’s example means nothing to them. They don’t care. They reach a point early on when they can never go back. They are too dependent on the easy money. They had become masters at getting it. There was a guy in the gospels that did something similar but not as a preacher. He was just your common every day little runt rip off artist. And he found redemption:
He entered Jericho and was passing through. And there was a man called by the name of Zaccheus; he was a chief tax collector and he was rich. Zaccheus was trying to see who Jesus was, and was unable because of the crowd, for he was small in stature. So he ran on ahead and climbed up into a sycamore tree in order to see Him, for He was about to pass through that way. When Jesus came to the place, He looked up and said to him, Zaccheus, hurry and come down, for today I must stay at your house.” And he hurried and came down and received Him gladly. When they saw it, they all began to grumble, saying, “He has gone to be the guest of a man who is a sinner.” Zaccheus stopped and said to the Lord, “Behold, Lord, half of my possessions I will give to the poor, and if I have defrauded anyone of anything, I will give back four times as much.” And Jesus said to him, “Today salvation has come to this house, because he, too, is a son of Abraham. For the Son of Man has come to seek and to save that which was lost.” [Luke 19:1-10]
Based on this story I would say there’s probably somewhere in the vicinity of several trillion dollars that needs to be restored to Christians who were ripped off by fake ministers. It would great if every one of these high-living low-life idiots would make restitution just as little Zaccheus did. But that idea is a pipe dream. There may be one or two here or there but most of the whole lot will keep being what they always were.
And now they have a lot more power. They have also made good friends with the world and the line between both has gotten so blurred it no longer exists. Nothing will convince them to give it up. They believe their success is due to God’s blessing. Their big brotherhood gives them solid protection. And though they know all about the gross sin among them they strive to keep it hidden so the others won’t suffer.
That’s in part why you never see one of these guys rat out another. They know if they do they will likely lose their place at the trough.
The Lord will have to separate these goats out from His sheep.
MEANWHILE, ON THE OTHER SIDE OF TOWN
When you do it right you have to struggle. I’m old enough to remember the tales of old-timers when I was new to the Spirit-filled life back in the 1970s. I heard about how, in their early days, they often barely had enough to eat. These were good Christian people and real ministers. I was told they had to depend on prayer and “pray things in” just to survive. Think about that.
I also remember a young evangelist who preached at our church. He had a wife and small children. They would travel the country in their car. He was dependent on offerings. These people received very little. I remember how thin he was but also how much the Spirit of the Lord had shone forth in his face. He was so sincere. He told the following story as I remember it:
“We spent what little money we had from our last offering. I had what I thought was just enough gas to take us a few hundred miles to our next destination. We were traveling at night. It turned out that gas starting running low and we still had many miles to go. We decided to pray. We had a small console in the front seat. We asked the Lord if he would please bless us with the money we needed so we wouldn’t be stranded. I kept driving on in the dark and at last found an open gas station still a ways from our destination. My wife and I prayed again because we had no money for gas. Being satisfied that the Lord honored our request we lifted up the console and there before us was a five dollar bill…”
I remember another story from that time. I had a friend who was married with two small children and money was tight. His wife knew how to pray. She had to go buy a few groceries one day but had very little money. She asked the Lord for help. While walking to the store she heard a little rustling behind her and saw what looked like a small bit of rolled-up paper. She continued walking and it kept following her! I remember her laughing when telling the story. She finally stopped to pick it up and it was two or three dollar bills. She was able to buy some milk for her kids.
The point with these stories is that the people involved had more desperation for the Lord instead of for mere money, and because their priorities were right they had greater faith. They knew when they prayed that the Lord would provide. They had no doubt. He didn’t dump gold bars on them but gave them what they needed at the time.
“When you pray, you are not to be like the hypocrites; for they love to stand and pray in the synagogues and on the street corners so that they may be seen by men. Truly I say to you, they have their reward in full. But you, when you pray, go into your inner room, close your door and pray to your Father who is in secret, and your Father who sees what is done in secret will reward you.” [Matthew 6:5-6] 
Those who are monetarily successful in the ministry without using or needing faith and prayer are likely never receiving anything from the Lord. They are nothing more than carnal people using carnal means and are duded up to appear outwardly spiritual. When the time comes that they desperately need personal faith and prayer they’ll be up you know what creek without a paddle.
But the Lord’s real sons and daughters will ALWAYS be provided for by Him. And I say Amen to that.
© 2019 by RJ Dawson. All Rights Reserved. [To Be Continued]
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.
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] 
© 2019 by RJ Dawson. All Rights Reserved.
For those who believe in the false concept that only those with the Lord’s blessing and approval always have abundance, where does that put the apostle Paul? Where does that put Peter and John in the following?
But Peter said, “I do not possess silver and gold, but what I do have I give to you: In the name of Jesus Christ the Nazarene—walk!” [Acts 3:6]
Would that the majority of Christian ministers had this spiritual power and ability, but they don’t. And they never will because they always put this world above the Lord’s spiritual kingdom. They always put money ahead of spiritual power. Their priority is always funding and having control, instead of more of the Lord Jesus, His love, His spiritual power, and His control.
In reality, putting the Lord Jesus, His kingdom, His righteousness, and one’s obedience to Him first actually does result in abundance, although the term is relative. By having the right priorities, one can have both the spiritual power of God and also be blessed by God materially and financially (to whatever degree He decides is appropriate).
Nevertheless, because the compromised ministers with wrong priorities make up the vast bulk of “ministry,” they also garner the vast bulk of the money.
This also means, of course, that honest ministers with the power and real love of God are in the decided minority. That is not necessarily bad on the surface, but it is when the majority—Unreal Christianity—treats them with contempt, cuts exorbitantly into the general Christian funding pool, and discriminates against them as illegitimate ministers.
But if you show partiality, you are committing sin and are convicted by the law as transgressors. [James 2:9]
Why one cannot see the arrogant me-first outlook on the part of the Christian elite and those with religiously correct social standing most often means such a one is a part of that group—One can’t see the forest for the trees if one is one of the trees.
If one’s top priority is to fit in socially both in church and the community and be financially successful then it is impossible to do the will of God and hence, be blessed by 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.
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 16:13-15]
There was a time when the apostle Paul openly REBUKED the apostle Peter. Imagine that. Here we have two of the Lord’s very best men who were both used in spiritually tremendous ways. Both were filled with the Spirit of God. Both had been used for great miracles. Yet Paul thought Peter was wrong enough to be rebuked.
What would Paul think of all the current minister frauds of the present? If Paul would rebuke Peter, he would obviously rebuke, and much more severely, all of the money-grubbing elitist frauds who have made money, power, prestige, success, and a perfect outer image their priority. If such people would rebuke their own it would be a great sign, but such never happens.
It is the same with sycophant church boards and congregations who never speak out about the error from within. That means the only rebuke possible must come from without.
It also means that the Lord Jesus never leaves Himself without disciples with a strong and powerful anointing, like the apostle Paul, in any generation.
It means that, for all real Christians, part of their discipleship allows for possible rebuke by God, not for harm, but to insure that His community is strong, healthy, in possession of the full truth, and able to perform spiritually for the benefit of others. Whoever inoculates oneself from this process through the shield of gaining an improper exalted position, wealth, and influence has chosen the wrong path, and without repentance and redirection will lose one’s soul.
The author of the Book of Hebrews said it this way, at first quoting from Proverbs:
“MY SON, DO NOT REGARD LIGHTLY THE DISCIPLINE OF THE LORD, NOR FAINT WHEN YOU ARE REPROVED BY HIM; FOR THOSE WHOM THE LORD LOVES HE DISCIPLINES, AND HE SCOURGES EVERY SON WHOM HE RECEIVES.”
It is for discipline that you endure; God deals with you as with sons; for what son is there whom his father does not discipline? But if you are without discipline, of which all have become partakers, then you are illegitimate children and not sons. [Hebrews 12:5-8]
In this we see who the real illegitimate children are and exactly why America is in decline: For the most part, spiritual imposters are in control. They have no salt, no light, and no power with God to successfully and effectively fight a spiritual war with evil. As a result, evil has gained the upper hand.
The Lord Jesus knew exactly what the reason for the decline of His own nation was, just as this writing is revealing what is causing America’s decline. The Lord also dealt with it directly in a powerful and confrontational way by exposing the false religionists for who they were and laying the blame exactly where it belonged.
If one seeks the party most responsible for the spiritual decline of America, forget the usual suspects. The reason for the decline is elsewhere. Look no further than the few in charge within Unreal Christianity, since they are the ones with the authority to make the most substantial choices that affect everyone else.
In closing, let’s look once again at the incredible statement of the Lord Jesus, for which this series is titled. All Christians must consider its implications. Its application reaches very far. It is at once a severe rebuke but it also puts things in stark spiritual perspective. All real Christians must learn this truth:
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] 
© 2015 by RJ Dawson. All Rights Reserved.
THE NON-PROPHET / FOR PROFIT MINISTRY MODEL: That which is Highly Esteemed among Men is Detestable in the Sight of God (2)
“I know that you are Abraham’s descendants; yet you seek to kill Me, because My word has no place in you. I speak the things which I have seen with My Father; therefore you also do the things which you heard from your father.”
They answered and said to Him, “Abraham is our father.”
Jesus said to them, “If you are Abraham’s children, do the deeds of Abraham. But as it is, you are seeking to kill Me, a man who has told you the truth, which I heard from God; this Abraham did not do. You are doing the deeds of your father.”
They said to Him, “We were not born of fornication…” [John 8:37-41]
One of the many things the Lord Jesus was falsely accused of by religious people was illegitimacy in both physical birth and ministry calling. Everyone except His own mother and maybe a few others believed he was conceived in a sinful union out of wedlock. It is also apparent that some people thought Joseph was not His real father. Though they were correct, it was certainly not for the reason they thought.
There were many other lies told about Him. He was said to be crazy, demon-possessed, a drunk, a glutton, a false prophet, and a liar. Even with a preponderance of obvious miracles performed by Him, most still did not believe the truth but preferred the lies. Only a relatively small percentage of His own people thought He was who He said He was.
Hence, it was next to impossible for the Lord Jesus to have a good reputation within society in general, even though He is perfect, had never sinned, and never did anything wrong. He kept the Law of Moses perfectly and in the right spirit.
A GOOD REPUTATION WITH GOD OR MEN?
Therefore, rather than personal reputations, the Lord cares much more about correcting whatever keeps people from real discipleship, such as false doctrines, false teachings, false operations, and false set-ups. He cares about removing all the stuff He never put there. It is far better to have a great reputation with the Lord and be thought of as an idiot in the eyes of the world than it is to reject God’s correction and sell out to His enemies.
This presents a problem for the fakers, however, because much of the income in many ministries is tied to such things. Consequently, there is a ton of not-so-good stuff hidden behind the scenes that no one ever sees and the people involved must keep it that way or they will lose funding. It is the same in many churches.
That is why the most important reason no one speaks out about minister frauds is because some of them bring in the greatest amount of cash. The cash not only enriches them, but in a general sense enriches everyone associated with them.
It is the idea of a rising tide raising all ships. It is why so many ministers attempt to get their boat out on that particular body of water even if financial pirates are present. There’s just way too much money and influence to sail away from.
Any churchgoer who pays any attention whatsoever knows that every individual church or ministry has to establish a good reputation and must always defend that reputation. One would think this would be based on fending off lies and otherwise unfounded malicious attacks that arise primarily from unseen evil forces intent on doing damage to a God-founded entity. These could in part be malcontents and disgruntled former members with axes to grind. But such are not the real reason for defensive ministry postures.
Though such spiritual attacks do occur from time to time, most “attacks” are not attacks at all, but simply someone pointing out the sin and error most often found within church leadership. As a result, church leadership has long-since instituted a no-rebuke hierarchical set-up that protects it not only from actual attacks, but also from the Lord’s rebuke.
This non-rebukable, non-accountable, top-of-the-pyramid leadership structure can thus go about its business with no fear of any possible spiritual correction that might harm its outward reputation.
As a result, such non-New Testament leadership models grow ever-corrupt (with pretty faces) in their unceasing quest to dodge necessary correction in order to keep their monetary and worldly success and societal reputations intact—the leaders thereof have gained great esteem in the sight of men but not so with God.
“And whatever city or village you enter, inquire who is worthy in it, and stay at his house until you leave that city. As you enter the house, give it your greeting. If the house is worthy, give it your blessing of peace. But if it is not worthy, take back your blessing of peace.
“Whoever does not receive you, nor heed your words, as you go out of that house or that city, shake the dust off your feet. Truly I say to you, it will be more tolerable for the land of Sodom and Gomorrah in the day of judgment than for that city.
“Behold, I send you out as sheep in the midst of wolves; so be shrewd as serpents and innocent as doves. But beware of men…” [Matthew 10:11-17] 
Church leadership learned a long time ago how to circumvent and censor the honest, informed people in their churches who, by the anointing of God and because of their love for the Truth, act as their Lord and Master did when He pointed out the spiritual errors of the religious elites of His time.
Because the majority of that which can be classified as “church leadership” has obvious vested interests in their respective enterprises, they must protect those interests at all costs. What they need are supporters with money, the same way any legitimate business needs clients and customers. They need people who ask no questions, accept everything as presented, and always give as directed.
Most churches and ministries are run like a business. If one disagrees, try doing church as usual with no money.
A business cannot exist unless it has a commodity or product to sell. Good businesses create good products and people are willing to buy said products. Many churches and ministries are actually no different. If they are to exist and be successful they must have a good product that produces a good revenue stream. Without money they are out of business. It is a very simple proposition.
Some ministers are actually honest about this. They know very well the nature of the set-up. They also know, however, that because they are honest they must do things the Lord’s way. They know that whatever money they receive must come with the approval of the Lord Jesus attached to it. They will not ask for money otherwise. They know the entire money issue is never “business as usual.” They know the money they receive as donations or earn through their own labor is due to the Lord’s blessing and approval.
However, many ministers do not follow this clear spiritual protocol. They act like they do, but this acting is the same as all their other acting. They have in fact bought into an act that has been around for centuries. Maybe some of them are deluded, but most know it is a very simple proposition—money will either make them or break them. For them (the vast majority of Christian ministers), money is the solution. Without money they cannot operate or even exist.
The very few honest ministers reject this entire notion. They know it is not Biblical. They know it does not stem from the teachings of the Lord. They know the Lord has called them to a specific work and as long as they draw breath they will do that work come hell or high water, whether they have any money or not.
© 2015 by RJ Dawson. All Rights Reserved. [To Be Continued.]
“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]
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] 
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.
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]