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LOVERS OF MONEY: That which is Highly Esteemed among Men is Detestable in the Sight of God (3)

         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] [1]

         © 2015 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.

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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]

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          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] [1]

          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.]


[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.

PREACHER UNIONS AND “CHRISTIAN” TV: That which is Highly Esteemed among Men is Detestable in the Sight of God (1)

         They came to Capernaum; and when He was in the house, He began to question them, “What were you discussing on the way?”

         But they kept silent, for on the way they had discussed with one another which of them was the greatest.

         Sitting down, He called the twelve and said to them, “If anyone wants to be first, he shall be last of all and servant of all.” [Mark 9:33-35]

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         There is a time when spiritual bankruptcy sets in. In America, that time is far past. There is a reason America is in decline.

         Though the reason may seem odd, one can always trace guilt to the accountable party—the party that knows better but purposefully makes bad choices to further selfish interests.

         In other words, most people in general know right from wrong simply because they have a working conscience. When most people in a society make correct choices, the society in general is strong and moral. The only way to make such a moral society immoral is for an expanding percentage of that society’s individuals to go against their conscience, choose against what one knows to be right (for whatever reason—the reason doesn’t matter), and make bad choices.

         And again, bad choices are most often due to selfish purposes.

         Based on these facts, and the fact that America has a long history of strong Christianity and knowledge of God’s Word, 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 relative few in charge within Unreal Christianity, since they are the ones with the authority to make the most substantial choices that affect everyone else.

         There was a time in America when such people chose correctly. Most ministers honored God’s Word the best they could. They preached the real Gospel. They preached repentance. The preached against sin. Though many ministers still strayed from preaching the full Gospel, they preached enough of it to have a strong effect. Most ministers no longer have much effect on American society anymore. Most have become selfish with selfish motives.

         But Jesus called them to Himself and said, “You know that the rulers of the Gentiles lord it over them, and their great men exercise authority over them.

         “It is not this way among you, but whoever wishes to become great among you shall be your servant, and whoever wishes to be first among you shall be your slave; just as the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give His life a ransom for many.” [Matthew 20:25-28] [1]

         If one seeks a particular party most responsible for spiritual decline, then one must look to those with authority in that realm. The reason why is simple: There is no authority without responsibility.

         Of the many responsible parties with great authority, influence, wealth, and esteem, consider Christian television.

         There are obvious frauds associated within such enterprises. Everybody knows it. Yet no one who is a part of the various networks, especially the largest one, says anything about them. In saying this I am not speaking of employees, since there have been inside whistleblowers over the years who have shed light on sinister inner workings, and especially recently, when a veritable feud broke out between family members of one particular network. This became a blood feud, as is often the case when extremely high stakes are involved.

         No, the ones who never speak out about the frauds in their midst are all the fellow ministers that make up the bulk of the Christian television clan. They, like everyone else, know there are obvious frauds associated with Christian TV in general. Everybody knows it. But no ministers within the networks ever say anything publicly about it.

         Their silence is in part due to the fact that the great many large and successful clergy groups in America, of which one comprises television ministers, have become effectively unionized. They have managed, by their unions, minister associations, and closed cliques, to grab the lion’s share of the influence and available money. They protect one another.

         However, by creating mutual admiration societies and bless-me clubs, and by putting themselves out of reach, they have also established a clear no-rebuke policy. They are only accountable to one another, which means they are not accountable at all. Because of this, they have become non-correctable.

         Yet, non-correction always leads to corruption. What they gain in wealth and influence they lose in spiritual strength and righteousness.

         Hence, DECLINE.

         Secondly, individual members also know if they speak out, even in a general sense without naming names, the spotlight will turn on them, and they would rather not have the scrutiny. Their top priority is often their personal reputations and status within their groups. They know there are other “Christians” who have the wherewithal to destroy them. Therefore, they have learned they must not only repent of personal sin (if they’re honest), as all real Christians must do, but to also never step on the toes of those who help make them successful, since most of them see ministry as a professional career.

         However, God doesn’t care so much about personal reputations. With proper repentance, He can fix personal failures. He did not come to condemn us but to save us. The heart of the Lord is about mercy and grace. Each of us is an ongoing work of God undergoing His correction. It is how we become strong and mature disciples. Though the Lord never sinned or did anything wrong, His own reputation suffered due to the outright lies and malicious gossip of religious people. This means personal reputations often hang by a hair, even among the innocent.

         However, for those who insist on the power of outer image—that “image is everything”—and that outer image is tied directly to ministerial financial success, and convince others that they are already polished and perfect, how can the Lord possibly correct them? It is thus impossible for such people to ever become honest, mature disciples.

         © 2015 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.

$$$ 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.