… a beast rises out of the sea … thoughts on the apocalypse …

…i think that most people on the planet would agree that these are strange and unusual days we are living in. so far, in this year alone, over 100,000 people worldwide have been killed in ongoing wars. And the probability for more and greater wars is immense… Korea and Iran come to mind, not to mention Syria…

…here in the United States, Congress has started their impeachment inquiry and the vitriol being spewed from both sides of the aisle is distressing and causes a lot more stress and anxiety for the average American than either side will acknowledge, not to mention that neither side seems to care about the average man or woman…

…all over the globe there is a rise in nationalism and the groups that just a few years ago were considered far right-wing, now seem to be mainstream if not in the majority in many nations-USA, Australia, UK, Slovenia, Hungary, Italy, Spain, Greece, and many others have seen tremendous rises in this mindset, and it seems that almost every nation is currently in a state of turmoil…

“And there will be strange signs in the sun, moon, and stars. And here on earth the nations will be in turmoil, perplexed by the roaring seas and strange tides. People will be terrified at what they see coming upon the earth, for the powers in the heavens will be shaken.” – Jesus

Luke 21:25–26

…and then there’s the weather…i live in Richmond, VA where we haven’t had rain since the end of August, and yesterday and today are record breaking heat days while, at the same time, the governor of Montana declared a state of emergency because of the record smashing 3′ of snow in his state, that fell one week after the official end of summer…

…there was this headline on the Weather Channel – “Extreme Fall Start Marked by Unusual Heat, Snow and Cold Records in the United States.” they say that over 100 cities in the US broke heat records yesterday alone…

…and so in many, many different Facebook and Twitter feeds, people are talking about “The Apocalypse” and “The Rapture.”

…i will get into “The Rapture” a little later, but my main purpose for this post, is to discuss “The Apocalypse”

Apocalypse comes from the Greek word ἀποκάλυψις (apokalypsis) meaning “making fully known, revelation, disclosure.”³ it’s interesting to me that the English word apocalypse has a completely different definition…

apocalypse /əˈpɒkəlɪps/
■ noun
1 an event involving destruction or damage on a catastrophic scale.
2 (the Apocalypse) the complete final destruction of the world, as described in the biblical book of Revelation.
▶ (especially in the Vulgate Bible) the book of Revelation.
—ORIGIN Old English, via Old French and ecclesiastical Latin from Greek apokalupsis, from apokaluptein ‘uncover, reveal’.

Concise Oxford English Dictionary (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2004).
Disaster Apocalypse Danger War Apocalyptic

…now, you can see an obvious difference between “making something known, revelation, disclosure,” and “an event involving destruction or damage on a catastrophic scale,” but i believe that is why so many people completely misunderstand the last book in the Bible, the book called The Revelation of Jesus Christ...

…i consider myself very fortunate to have a digital library of over 6,000 titles, including more than 20 different commentaries on the book of Revelation alone, and i can unequivocally tell you that there is NO consensus on what the book is about and how it is to be interpreted…

…some of the more popular interpretations include:

  • preterist: about the author’s own social world
  • church-historical: a prophetic survey of the history of the world
  • futurist: the future of the world yet to come
  • historist: associates biblical prophecies with actual historical events and identifies symbolic beings with historical persons or societies

…now i am not here to tell you which one is “right,” i am looking at what others believe and how it explains a lot of their words and actions that seem to make no plausible sense at all. for instance, how can people who self-identify as “Christian” support taking away babies from their mothers at the US border? how can they push for the so-called right to have more guns and weapons that cause extreme damage to people created in the image of God? how can they go on tv, radio,and print media and say some of the most vile things, while continuing to maintain their “christian” appearance?…

But understand this, that in the last days there will come times of difficulty. For people will be lovers of self, lovers of money, proud, arrogant, abusive, disobedient to their parents, ungrateful, unholy, heartless, unappeasable, slanderous, without self-control, brutal, not loving good, treacherous, reckless, swollen with conceit, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God, having the appearance of godliness, but denying its power. Avoid such people.

2 Timothy 3:1–5

…and so we need to look at the belief systems that can cause people who claim to follow the teachings of the Man called Christ to go against everything that is recorded that he taught…

Literal or Allegorical and Figurative?

…when looking at the Revelation of Jesus Christ, the first thing we need to figure out is, is the book written literally or allegorically? in other words, can we read the Revelation and know exactly what is to happen? or is it prophetic and figurative?

Then I saw a beast rising up out of the sea. It had seven heads and ten horns, with ten crowns on its horns. And written on each head were names that blasphemed God.

Revelation 13:1

…in this verse, Revelation tells us that “a beast” rises out of the sea. if we believe in a literal Revelation, then we should expect a Godzilla type figure to come up out of the sea (not an ocean, but one of the seas)…

Then I saw another beast come up out of the earth. He had two horns like those of a lamb, but he spoke with the voice of a dragon.

Revelation 13:11

…so now we have two beasts – or Godzilla type figures – one from the sea, and one from the earth. unlike the Godzilla movies, these beasts do not fight each other (see Godzilla vs. Mothra), but instead work together. in fact, it says “He exercised all the authority of the first beast. And he required all the earth and its people to worship the first beast, whose fatal wound had been healed.” Revelation 13:12

…so the two beasts work together, the second making “all the earth and its people” worship the first beast. and let’s not forget this: “Then I witnessed in heaven another significant event. I saw a large red dragon with seven heads and ten horns, with seven crowns on his heads. His tail swept away one-third of the stars in the sky, and he threw them to the earth. He stood in front of the woman as she was about to give birth, ready to devour her baby as soon as it was born.” Revelation 12:3–4

…so, if we believe it is literal, we must expect a dragon and two beasts (Godzilla types) to run around the world causing chaos…

The beast was allowed to speak arrogant and insulting things. It was given authority to act for 42 months.

Revelation 13:5

…i may be wrong, but i’m not expecting two Godzillas (maybe Godzilla AND Mothra) and a big fire-breathing dragon to show up. i think logic would dictate that these words are, in fact, allegorical and figurative…

…but there are many in the ‘church’ who do not consider these things to be literal, but do consider at least most of Revelation to be literal. i just read an article from someone who argues that because there are specific numbers mentioned in Revelation, it must be literal. logic leads me to believe that author is in error…

One World Government and Religion

One of the beast’s heads looked like it had a fatal wound, but its fatal wound was healed. All the people of the world were amazed and followed the beast.

Revelation 13:3

…there are many who believe that Revelation 13:1-8 tells us about a ‘One World Government’ while Revelation 13:11-14 and Revelation 13:16-18 is about the antichrist’s global domination of money…

…i truly believe most people don’t believe in a literal beast or a literal dragon. in fact, it would be hard to find anyone in the church who doesn’t believe that ‘the dragon’ is symbolic for ‘the devil/Satan.’ but many of those people believe in a literal interpretation of this passage. they expect that “all people of the world” will follow the beast. if we agree that ‘the dragon’ is symbolic for the devil, then how can we say that the first half of Revelation 13:3 is figurative and the second half is literal?

…does ‘all’ mean ‘all’? “And all who live on earth will worship the beast—all the people since the beginning of the world whose names are not written in the Lamb’s book of life. The Lamb is the One who was killed.” (Revelation 13:8) well, this verse tells us that ‘all’ doesn’t include the people “whose names are written in the Lamb’s book of life.” so, in a word, no, all in context of an allegorical book of prophecy, does not necessarily mean all. this is especially true when another verse five lines later, says otherwise…

Mark of the Beast

The second beast also forced all people, small and great, rich and poor, free and slave, to have a mark on their right hand or on their forehead. No one could buy or sell without this mark, which is the name of the beast or the number of its name.

Revelation 13:16–17

…this passage is a biggie in the church. ‘the mark of the beast’ has been discussed for at least my entire lifetime, and i have heard many different ideas on this one. i have heard it said that the UPC codes are the mark, or an implant is the mark, or some form of tattoo or stick-on is the mark…

…when i was in high school, i joined a Bible study group that showed us a series of movies about the ‘end times’ called A Thief in the Night series. these movies showed an interpretation of Revelation that reflects the pre-tribulation belief about the rapture, the tribulation, and the second coming of Christ. there have also been a number of movies called The Mark of The Beast (1997, 1998, 2012 at least)…

…in all of the above movies that have been watched by millions and millions of people, they teach a literal interpretation of the last half of these verses, but a figurative interpretation of the first half of the first sentence. in it’s review of the 1997 edition, dove.org states:

“The mark of the beast is one of the clearest prophecies of the Bible. It simply says that in the last days no man or woman will be able to buy or sell anything unless they are willing to receive “the mark” on their right hand or forehead.”

Dove.org

…so, there you have it. in all of the above movies the rapture takes place and all the ‘good Christians’ disappear, and then all the bad Christians and everyone else are faced with having to receive a literal mark on their forehead or hands…

…the major problem with this belief is that you have to take some verses literally and others figuratively in order to ‘get it right.’ who decides what is literal and what is figurative? will a Godzilla type beast force people to get ‘the mark’ or will it be a red fire-breathing dragon that does it? i haven’t found anyone who believes that an actual beast or dragon will do it. there seems to be a general consensus that ‘the beast’ refers to ‘the antichrist’ – although there is no consensus on whether the antichrist is an actual person or group/organization or something else altogether…

…the televangelist John Hagee has made millions of dollars selling his books about the rapture/tribulation/mark of the beast, and on his website under Prophecy for Tomorrow there is an article that says:

“All of this to say…in the immediate future, some of you are going to hear words that will determine the destiny of your immortal soul. “We interrupt this broadcast to announce that the Church of Jesus Christ has been raptured from the earth.”

Reports will pour into the news centers from every major city in America and across the world. Grave stones will be toppled over. Funeral homes from every region will report that those who were dead have resurrected and suddenly disappeared. Cars will be parked beside freeways, their engines left running, their passengers mysteriously missing. Airplanes will fall from the sky as pilots who are Believers are called home.

The news centers report that churches around the world are flooded with people who are sobbing uncontrollably. They know. They have missed the rapture.

Those who remain will be faced with the coming antiChrist who will force them to receive his mark in their right hand or forehead. The Bible says this will cause them to lose their eternal soul. Refusing to take the mark of the beast will be rewarded with decapitation.”

HageeMinistries
Rapture

(the Rapture) North American (according to some millenarian teaching) the transporting of believers to heaven at the second coming of Christ.

Concise Oxford English Dictionary (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2004).

… as to “The Rapture,” the word “rapture” is not in the Bible at all. in the Latin translation of the Greek New Testament, they used the word rapiemur from the Latin verb rapio meaning “to seize and carry off, snatch, tear, pluck, drag, hurry away¹ to translate the original ἁρπαγησόμεθα (harpagisometha), from the Greek verb harpazō (ἁρπάζω), meaning “to make off w. someone’s property by attacking or seizing, steal, carry off, drag away; to grab or seize suddenly so as to remove or gain control, snatch/take away.”²

Deinde nos, qui vivimus, qui relinquimur, simul rapiemur cum illis in nubibus obviam Christo in aëra, et sic semper cum Domino erimus.

1 Thessalonians 4:17, Clementine Vulgate

… and among those waiting for a literal rapture to take place, there is no concensus of when it will happen …

By Lamorak – Own work, CC BY-SA 3.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=6710032

The locusts looked like horses ready for war. They had gold crowns, human faces, women’s hair, the teeth of lions, and iron breastplates. The sound of their wings was the sound of horse-drawn chariots charging into battle. Their tails were equipped with stings, like scorpion tails. With those tails they were ordered to torture the human race for five months.

Revelation 9:7–10

… do the people who believe in a literal mark on their right hand or forehead also believe that literal locusts will come out of ‘the bottomeless pit’ with scorpion tails, etc? most do not…

Scofield’s Reference Bible ®

… so where did all these ideas about Revelation come from and how did so much of the church come to believe in a theology that takes a book and decides that some verses are literal and others are figurative?

… in my studies, i can only find a few examples of anyone in church history that believed this way, up until 1909 with the first publication of the Scofield Reference Bible ®…

“It was largely through the influence of Scofield’s notes that dispensationalism grew in influence among fundamentalist Christians in the United States. Scofield’s notes on the Book of Revelation are a major source for the various timetables, judgments, and plagues elaborated on by popular religious writers such as Hal Lindsey, Edgar C. Whisenant, and Tim LaHaye; and in part because of the success of the Scofield Reference Bible, twentieth-century American fundamentalists placed greater stress on eschatological speculation. Opponents of biblical fundamentalism have criticized the Scofield Bible for its air of total authority in biblical interpretation, for what they consider its glossing over of biblical contradictions, and for its focus on eschatology.”

Wikipedia

… the first edition of the Scofield Reverence Bible was published a few years before World War I. one of the components of Scofield’s notes was the belief in the establishment of a new nation of Israel. Scofield, almost exclusively, is the reason for what we call Christian Zionism and support for the modern nation that took the name of Israel.

“Since it was first published in 1909, the Scofield Reference Bible has made uncompromising Zionists out of tens of millions of Americans. When John Hagee, the founder of Christians United for Israel (CUFI), said that “50 million evangelical bible-believing Christians unite with five million American Jews standing together on behalf of Israel,” it was the Scofield Bible that he was talking about.”

The Scofield Bible—The Book That Made Zionists of America’s Evangelical Christians

… there were over 2,000,000 copies sold before the end of World War II alone. since then, 10’s of millions of copies have been sold, in numerous editions and translations in at least 7 different languages. Scofield’s study notes have been put in hundreds of seminaries and thousands upon thousands of pastors, teachers, and other church leaders have embraced his theology …

“The modern teaching of a secret rapture of the church, a seven-year tribulation, and a literal thousand-year reign of Christ on earth are not found in the Bible. More and more scholars have begun to doubt the validity of this teaching and have done research to uncover the facts. Their search has led them to libraries in England to the Plymouth Brethren, John N. Darby, Edward Irving, and to a fifteen-year-old orphan, Margaret MacDonald. Several Jesuit priests were also involved as well as Cyrus I. Scofield.

To date, this is the information that has come down to us. The first recorded history of a heretic writing and preaching the idea of a one thousand year reign of Christ on this earth was Cerinthus. He was contemporary in time and place with the Apostle John and was his enemy. The historian Eusebius wrote about him in his book Ecclesiastical History, A.D. 324.

The Protestants were calling the papacy the antichrist in the 16th century because of the millions of Protestant Christians being martyred. Hoping to take the heat off the Catholics, the Jesuit priests formulated doctrines calculated to counter the Reformation.”

ORIGIN OF SCOFIELD HERESIES, Emma Moore Weston

… it is primarily from Scofield that so many churches believe in:

  • a revived Roman Empire (kingdom of the beast),
  • a pre-trib rapture, and
  • Zionism – modern Israel and the Third Temple

… his teaching that the Pope is the antichrist and that the Catholic Church, vis-à-vis Rome, is Babylon, is deeply embedded in the minds of many Christians. because Scofield taught these theories as fact, many cannot see it any other way…

“Revelation 18:2 Babylon, “confusion,” is repeatedly used by the prophets in a symbolic sense (see Isa. 13:1, note). Two “Babylons” are to be distinguished in the Revelation: ecclesiastical Babylon, which is apostate Christendom, headed up under the Papacy; and political Babylon, which is the Beast’s confederated empire, the last form of Gentile world-dominion. Ecclesiastical Babylon is “the great whore” (Rev. 17:1), and is destroyed by political Babylon (Rev. 17:15–18), that the beast may be the alone object of worship (2 Thes. 2:3, 4; Rev. 13:15). The power of political Babylon is destroyed by the return of the Lord in glory. (See “Armageddon,” Rev. 16:14; 19:17.) The notion of a literal Babylon to be rebuilt on the site of ancient Babylon is in conflict with Isa. 13:19–22. But the language of Rev. 18. (e.g. vs. 10, 16, 18) seems beyond question to identify “Babylon,” the “city” of luxury and traffic, with “Babylon” the ecclesiastical centre, viz. Rome. The very kings who hate ecclesiastical Babylon deplore the destruction of commercial Babylon.”

C. I. Scofield, ed., The Scofield Reference Bible: The Holy Bible Containing the Old and New Testaments (New York; London; Toronto; Melbourne; Bombay: Oxford University Press, 1917), 1346–1347.

… and so today, many will ONLY see Babylon as a revived Roman Empire and will ONLY see the antichrist figure in the Papacy of the Roman Catholic Church. they mostly believe that in order for Revelation to complete its course, there MUST be a rebuilt third temple in Jerusalem- the temple in which the antichrist will proclaim himself to be God.

You realize, don’t you, that you are the temple of God, and God himself is present in you?

1 Corinthians 3:16

… conclusions …

… when we take a prophetic and allegorical book like The Revelation of Jesus Christ and decide that we KNOW exactly what will happen, our hearts become hard or unrepentant and when we KNOW something without a doubt, we lose the ability to change our minds. i personally think that much of this has to do with what i call The Cult of Repentance.

… again, i’m not trying to tell you what to believe, just trying to figure out how so many who say that they are Christians, who say they believe in the Bible and follow the teachings of the Man called Christ, could so openly support so many things that the Bible clearly teaches are evil. it causes me to join with Paul and say:

But I fear, lest by any means, as the serpent beguiled Eve in his craftiness, your minds should be corrupted from the simplicity and the purity that is toward Christ. For if he that cometh preacheth another Jesus, whom we did not preach, or if ye receive a different spirit, which ye did not receive, or a different gospel, which ye did not accept, ye do well to bear with him.

2 Corinthians 11:3–4

¹ Charlton T. Lewis, An Elementary Latin Dictionary (Medford, MA: American Book Company, 1890). (return)

² William Arndt, Frederick W. Danker, and Walter Bauer, A Greek-English Lexicon of the New Testament and Other Early Christian Literature (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2000), 134. (return)

³ William Arndt, Frederick W. Danker, and Walter Bauer, A Greek-English Lexicon of the New Testament and Other Early Christian Literature (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2000), 112. (return)

… the slanderer …

… what is slander?

.. slander is defined as:

1: the utterance of false charges or misrepresentations which defame and damage another’s reputation
2: a false and defamatory oral statement about a person—compare LIBEL

Inc Merriam-Webster, Merriam-Webster’s Collegiate Dictionary. (Springfield, MA: Merriam-Webster, Inc., 2003).

… when we look at synonyms for slander, we see words like; malign, defame, denigrate, libel, slur, belittle, disparage and scandal.

… so we can see that slander is basically lies told about someone to make them look bad with the purpose of destroying a person’s reputation. this includes name calling and should be familiar to anyone who has seen a political attack ad.

… when we look at the English Bible, we see that slander is used 13 times in the Old Testament and 17 times in the New. in the Torah, the Law of Moses, we read;

“Do not spread slanderous gossip among your people. “Do not stand idly by when your neighbor’s life is threatened. I am the Lord.

Leviticus 19:16

.. and in the Psalms we read;

Let not the slanderer be established in the land; let evil hunt down the violent man speedily!

Psalm 140:11
διάβολος (diabolos)

… and so, throughout the Old and New Testaments, the Bible is crystal clear on the LORD’s feelings about slander. in fact, one of the Greek words translated as slanderer is the word διάβολος (diabolos) – translated as; pertaining to engagement in slander, slanderous, one who engages in slander, slanderer, adversary, opponent and devil. and actually, every time you see the name “Satan” in the Old Testament, it is actually translating the word διάβολος (diabolos). yes, the very name and nature of the Biblical character called Satan and Devil is that of a lying slanderer, the adversary of everything that is good, decent, and honest.

.. it is recorded in the book of John that Jesus, called Christ, was having a discussion with the religious-right of His time. He tells the man;

You are of your father the devil, and your will is to do your father’s desires. He was a murderer from the beginning, and does not stand in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he lies, he speaks out of his own character, for he is a liar and the father of lies.” John 8:44, ESV

You are of your father διαβόλου…

βλασφημία (blasphēmia)

… another word used in the Greek New Testament is the word βλασφημία (blasphēmia) from where we get the English words like blaspheme and blasphemy. it is translated as; to revile, to defame, to blaspheme, profane speech, defamation, disrespect, insult, and slander.

The beast was allowed to speak arrogant and insulting things. It was given authority to act for 42 months.” Revelation 13:5, GW

…. to speak arrogant and βλασφημίας

But what comes out of the mouth proceeds from the heart, and this defiles a person. For out of the heart come evil thoughts, murder, adultery, sexual immorality, theft, false witness, slander.” Matthew 15:18–19, ESV

… and, just like his father, the beast of the book of The Revelation, aka; the man of lawlessness, the son of perdition, the man of sin, the adversary, the antichrist, will be known by his slander which he will use to knock off heroes and holy ones left and right. expect him to call people names and spread lies about his opponents and anyone who stands against his will as he claims to be the greatest at everything – even a god himself.

His power will swell enormously. He’ll talk big, high-handedly, doing whatever he pleases, knocking off heroes and holy ones left and right.” (Daniel 8:24, The Message)

καταλαλιά (katalalia)

.. the third Greek word, most translated as slander, is the word καταλαλιά (katalalia) with a meaning of; evil-speaking, slander, insult, evil report, defamation, and disparagement.

So put away all malice and all deceit and hypocrisy and envy and all slander. Like newborn infants, long for the pure spiritual milk, that by it you may grow up into salvation— if indeed you have tasted that the Lord is good.” 1 Peter 2:1–3, ESV

… envy and all καταλαλιάς

… i’m hoping, if you call yourself a Christian, that you can see calling people names, lying about them and trying to defame others is NOT what you should be doing.

… it is a dark time we live in, where so many who call themselves Christian, actively engage in slander on a regular basis. many of them are in the Congress of this country and you can watch them slander their opponents on TV daily…

.. but Jesus taught us a different way, and He taught us that we could tell His disciples from impostors by the way they act.

But Jesus called them together and said, “You know that the rulers in this world lord it over their people, and officials flaunt their authority over those under them. But among you it will be different. Whoever wants to be a leader among you must be your servant, and whoever wants to be first among you must become your slave. For even the Son of Man came not to be served but to serve others and to give his life as a ransom for many.”

Matthew 20:25–28, NLT

.. where is “slander” in the Bible?

Old Testament

Lev 19:16, Pr 11:13, Pr 20:19, Je 6:28, Je 9:4, Ex 22:9, 2 Sa 19:27, Ps 15:3, Ps 101:5, Pr 30:10, Ps 50:20, Ps 140:11, Pr 10:18

New Testament

Mt 15:19, Mk 7:22, Eph 4:31, Col 3:8, 1 Ti 6:4, Re 2:9, 1 Ti 3:11, 2 Ti 3:3, Tt2:3, 2 Co 12:20, 1 Pe 2:1, Ro 1:30, Ro 3:8, 1 Co 4:13, 2 Co 6:8, 1 Ti 5:14, 1 Pe 3:16

.. i will close with a passage from the letter that Paul the Apostle wrote to the church at Colossae.

But now is the time to get rid of anger, rage, malicious behavior, slander, and dirty language.
Don’t lie to each other,
for you have stripped off your old sinful nature
and all its wicked deeds. Put on your new nature,
and be renewed as you learn to know your Creator
and become like him.
Colossians 3:8–10, NLT

… mysterious land of idolatry …

.. in 2005 the church i was attending had a mission work trip to Chennai, Tamil Nadu, India.  there were a number of orphanages that this church sponsored that were in desperate need for work to be done.  one orphanage in the outskirts of Chennai was run by a man called Pastor Simpson.  the small orphanage and church took care of many children, mostly orphans, and scores of elderly widow women came for support and comfort.

… there were a number of tasks that we were to accomplish, including the installation of a concrete slab so that the children did not have to sleep in the dirt.  earlier that year, they had installed a 2 foot high wall around the perimeter to keep out the cobras.  apparently cobras don’t climb, so 2 foot was all that was needed to keep them out.

… when we arrived, they had already prepared the surface for us by spreading out broken pieces of brick. i was a general contractor in my country, and here we would install 57 gravel under the concrete, but in this village in India, bricks are very inexpensive because they are mostly made by slave labor, so the cheapest way to install the substrate for the concrete, is to break up the bricks into rock size pieces, and install that.  for a month or so before we got there, the widow ladies and orphan children broke up the bricks and spread them for us.

… at the other end of this building there was a wall about 6 foot from the exterior creating the place where pastor Simpson, his wife, and their children lived and slept in.  and just outside of that was the kitchen area where the widow women would use rocks as tools and the concrete floor as working surface to prepare the meals for the children.

.. on our trip back to the states, the pastor who went with us had to take a later flight, as they had overbooked the first class section on our flight, so a couple of members of our team waited and took the later flight so the pastor did not have to sit in coach with the poor people…

… in 2006, my wife, Laura and i set up a ministry, New Wind Ministries, Inc. for the purpose of setting up feeding projects around Chennai to feed countless scores of hungry children, and on a trip that year we visited Pastor Simpson and asked what they needed, so we bought them a refrigerator and mattress pads for the children to sleep on instead of just the concrete floor that the church we had attended had installed the year before.  the cost to purchase the refrigerator and mattresses was less than a tenth of the cost of a first class airline ticket to India…

… there are many poor in India that will buy bunches of jasmine flowers and string them together to make a type of jasmine garland that the rich put in their hair so they don’t have to smell human waste that is in many of the gutters in the cities of India. in 2006 my wife learned how to make them from a bunch of widow ladies that help take care of the orphan children …

…over the next couple of years we made 2 trips a year to India to visit our feeding projects and to hold conferences and we even took 100 of the slum children to an ocean side camp near Mahabalipuram for a three day kid’s camp.  we built up to feeding 240 kids/6 days a week before the economy caused our construction company to go under and eventually we had to close the projects.

… on my first trip, the church i attended booked us rooms in a 4 star hotel at the cost of $150 a night.  we were encouraged to take the shampoo, soap, and other personal hygiene items that the hotel gives out daily, to the people in the villages where we visited.  on future trips, we stayed in a hotel that cost $40 a night, and instead of taking what the hotel offered, we purchased soaps and things from the store to take to the villagers.

… i remember our first Sunday back at the church filled with people in designer suits, adorned in gold, silver and diamonds and the parking lot full of Hummers, BMWs, Mercedes Benzes, and Cadillacs.  i remember the 8,000+ member church that applauded our work and i wondered why it was so difficult to raise the $3,000 needed to replace the failing roof on one of their orphanages in Chennai.  i also remember the shock and horror as this mega-‘church’ decided that $1,500 a month to pay for 3 orphanages was just to much as they stopped supporting them a few months later…

… and i remember the words that the Apostle Paul wrote in his second letter to the Corinthian church.

For I do not mean that others should be eased and you burdened, but that as a matter of fairness your abundance at the present time should supply their need, so that their abundance may supply your need, that there may be fairness. As it is written, “Whoever gathered much had nothing left over, and whoever gathered little had no lack.”” (2 Corinthians 8:13–15, ESV)

… and the words that he wrote to the church in Colosse.

So put to death the sinful, earthly things lurking within you. Have nothing to do with sexual immorality, impurity, lust, and evil desires. Don’t be greedy, for a greedy person is an idolater, worshiping the things of this world.” (Colossians 3:5, NLT)

.. and i realized that this country has a much bigger problem with idolatry than India does…

You can be sure that no immoral, impure, or greedy person will inherit the Kingdom of Christ and of God. For a greedy person is an idolater, worshiping the things of this world.” (Ephesians 5:5, NLT)

… that greed and worship of money has now led to a majority of ‘churches’ supporting one of the greediest men on the planet to rule and reign over this country.  of the 1,810 billionaires in the world today, 540 of them live in this country, and now 5 of them have massive power in our government.

… i am mortified by the huge number of people who claim to be ‘Christians’ who are in favor of building a larger military by cutting programs that feed and help the poor.  but i am also aware that the Bible says that many people will support a lawless man because the LORD will cause them to be deceived because they are idolaters in their hearts…

The coming of the lawless one is by the activity of Satan with all power and false signs and wonders, and with all wicked deception for those who are perishing, because they refused to love the truth and so be saved. Therefore God sends them a strong delusion, so that they may believe what is false, in order that all may be condemned who did not believe the truth but had pleasure in unrighteousness.” (2 Thessalonians 2:9–12, ESV)

… there are over 21,000 children who die DAILY on this planet while we have ‘pastors’ who want more money to buy bigger and better jets.  and i am deeply saddened that the majority of the ‘Church’ in this country is deeply steeped in idolatry, and i realize that the ‘mysterious land of Idolatry’ isn’t India, but is actually the United States of America..

For you say, I am rich, I have prospered, and I need nothing, not realizing that you are wretched, pitiable, poor, blind, and naked. I counsel you to buy from me gold refined by fire, so that you may be rich, and white garments so that you may clothe yourself and the shame of your nakedness may not be seen, and salve to anoint your eyes, so that you may see. Those whom I love, I reprove and discipline, so be zealous and repent.” (Revelation 3:17–19, ESV)

… stop blaming God for making you rich …

Stop blaming God for making
you Rich (wealthy)

written:(5/25/2012)

““No one can serve two masters.
For you will hate one and love the other;
you will be devoted to one and despise the other.
You cannot serve both God and money.”
Jesus
(Matthew 6:24, NLT)

In many churches today we hear the testimonies of how God has provided Hummers , BMWs, Cadillacs, Mercedes Benzes, new houses, Rolex watches, iPods, expensive suits and purses; but is this scripturally accurate? Is it God that has provided these things? Lets look at what the Bible says.

It says that “Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today, and forever.” (Hebrews 13:8, NKJV) So God has not changed. From the foundation of the world, God has remained the same. He has the same principles that He always had. In Deuteronomy, under the Old Covenant Law, it says :

““There should be no poor among you, for the Lord your God will greatly bless you in the land he is giving you as a special possession.” (Deuteronomy 15:4, NLT)

This is a law to the believers, the partakers in the first Covenant, the Jews. What does He mean by ‘no poor’ among you? Let’s look at the word ‘poor’. What does it mean? The Hebrew word translated as ‘poor’ is אֶבְיׄון [ʾebyown /eb·yone/] Strong’s Concordance says that the King James translates this word as “needy” 35 times, “poor” 24 times, “beggar” once, and “poor man” once. It’s definition is: 1 in want, needy, chiefly poor, needy person. 2 subject to oppression and abuse. 3 needing help, deliverance from trouble, especially as delivered by God. 4 general reference to lowest class.* So God is saying to the people of the Old Covenant that there should not be anyone that is needy, or in other words, everyone should be well supplied. In the New Covenant it says

“And my God shall supply all your need according to His riches in glory by Christ Jesus.” (Philippians 4:19, NKJV)

I have had people tell me that it was God who made them rich. Doesn’t the Bible say that it is God who gives me power to gain wealth?

““And you shall remember the Lord your God, for it is He who gives you power to get wealth, that He may establish His covenant which He swore to your fathers, as it is this day.” (Deuteronomy 8:18, NKJV)

Does this verse say that He makes you rich? No. It says that because of the Covenant relationship that you have with God, He will give you the ‘power to gain wealth’. Or, in other words, when I join the Covenant, God has promised, on His part, to give ‘me the power to gain wealth.’ It does not say that He gives me the power to ‘be rich’.

There are many sayings in the Bible about ‘being rich’. Let’s look at some of them.

“There is one who makes himself rich, yet has nothing; And one who makes himself poor, yet has great riches.” (Proverbs 13:7, NKJV)

Isn’t it interesting that it says ‘one who makes himself rich’? So the Bible says that God ‘gives me power to gain wealth’, and it says that ‘there is one who makes himself rich’. Maybe we have the wrong definition of the word ‘rich’. Let’s look at that. The word translated as ‘rich’ in this verse is the Hebrew word עָשַׁר [ʿashar /aw·shar/] In Strong’s Concordance it says that the King James Bible translates this word as “rich” 14 times, “enrich” three times, and “richer” once. It is defined as: 1 to be or become rich or wealthy, enrich, pretend to be rich. 1a (Qal) to be or become rich. 1b (Hiphil). 1b1 to make rich. 1b2 to gain riches. 1c (Hithpael) to enrich oneself, pretend to be rich.1 It says to ‘become wealthy’. So this word is talking about money or wealth.

So what else does the Old Covenant say about ‘wealth’ or ‘riches’? The wisdom of Proverbs says:

“Do not overwork to be rich; Because of your own understanding, cease! Will you set your eyes on that which is not? For riches certainly make themselves wings; They fly away like an eagle toward heaven.” (Proverbs 23:4–5, NKJV)

This is the same Hebrew word עָשַׁר, translated as ‘rich’. In Psalms it says;

“They trust in their wealth and boast of great riches. Yet they cannot redeem themselves from death by paying a ransom to God. Redemption does not come so easily, for no one can ever pay enough to live forever and never see the grave.” (Psalm 49:6–9, NLT)

And again in Proverbs it says;

“Two things I request of You (Deprive me not before I die): Remove falsehood and lies far from me; Give me neither poverty nor riches— Feed me with the food allotted to me; Lest I be full and deny You, And say, “Who is the Lord?” Or lest I be poor and steal, And profane the name of my God.” (Proverbs 30:7–9, NKJV)

Someone might say, doesn’t the Bible say that Abraham was rich? “Abram was very rich in livestock, in silver, and in gold.” (Genesis 13:2, NKJV) Let’s see if it is the same Hebrew word. This phrase ‘very rich’ is the Hebrew phrase מְאֹד כָּבֵד [mâʿod /meh·ode/] [kabed /kaw·bade/] מְאֹד [mâʿod /meh·ode/], according to Strong’s Concordance, is translated in the King James Bible as “very” 137 times, “greatly” 49 times, “sore” 23 times, “exceeding” 18 times, “great” 12 times, “exceedingly” 11 times, “much” 10 times, “exceeding + 3966” six times, “exceedingly + 3966” five times, “diligently” four times, “good” three times, “might” twice, “mightily” twice, and translated miscellaneously 17 times. It is defined as: 1 exceedingly, much subst. 2 might, force, abundance. 3 muchness, force, abundance, exceedingly. 3a force, might. 3b exceedingly, greatly, very (idioms showing magnitude or degree). 3b1 exceedingly. 3b2 up to abundance, to a great degree, exceedingly. 3b3 with muchness, muchness.1 And כָּבֵד [kabed /kaw·bade/] according to Strong’s Concordance, is translated as “great” eight times, “grievous” eight times, “heavy” eight times, “sore” four times, “hard” twice, “much” twice, “slow” twice, “hardened” once, “heavier” once, “laden” once, and “thick” once. 1 heavy, great. 1a heavy. 1b massive, abundant, numerous. 1c heavy, dull. 1d hard, difficult, burdensome. 1e very oppressive, numerous, rich.1 The word translated as ‘livestock’ is the Hebrew word מִקְנֶה [miqneh /mik·neh/]. According to Strong’s Concordance, this word in the King James Bible is translated as “cattle” 63 times, “possession” five times, “flocks” three times, “substance” twice, “herds” once, and “purchase” once. It is defined as: 1 cattle, livestock. 1a cattle, livestock. 1a1 in general of a purchasable domestic animal. 1b cows, sheep, goats (in herds and flocks). It says that Abraham was abundantly supplied with these things, but it does not refer to him as ‘wealthy’. You could say that Abraham was ‘exceedingly abundantly supplied with substance’. Of course, if you are abundantly supplied with ‘silver and gold’ we would call you ‘wealthy’ or ‘rich’, but the supply was to take care of the throngs of people that were with him.

What does it say, under the Old Covenant, to do with the supply? In Proverbs it says, “He who has pity on the poor lends to the Lord, And He will pay back what he has given.” (Proverbs 19:17, NKJV) And then in Joshua we read, “Now to half the tribe of Manasseh Moses had given a possession in Bashan, but to the other half of it Joshua gave a possession among their brethren on this side of the Jordan, westward. And indeed, when Joshua sent them away to their tents, he blessed them, and spoke to them, saying, “Return with much riches to your tents, with very much livestock, with silver, with gold, with bronze, with iron, and with very much clothing. Divide the spoil of your enemies with your brethren.”” (Joshua 22:7–8, NKJV) He told them to ‘Divide the spoil of your enemies with your brethren.’ Interesting that he told them to share the spoil with their brethren, not keep it for themselves.

In the book of 1 Kings, God asks what He can give to Solomon; “At Gibeon the Lord appeared to Solomon in a dream by night; and God said, “Ask! What shall I give you?”” (1 Kings 3:5, NKJV) It goes on to say that he asked for wisdom, to which this is recorded: “The speech pleased the Lord, that Solomon had asked this thing. Then God said to him: “Because you have asked this thing, and have not asked long life for yourself, nor have asked riches for yourself, nor have asked the life of your enemies, but have asked for yourself understanding to discern justice, behold, I have done according to your words; see, I have given you a wise and understanding heart, so that there has not been anyone like you before you, nor shall any like you arise after you.” (1 Kings 3:10–12, NKJV) He is praised for not asking for ‘riches’. He was given what he wanted because he did not want riches. What are we asking for?

Are we seeing a pattern yet? “The rich man will lie down, But not be gathered up; He opens his eyes, And he is no more.” (Job 27:19, NKJV) And again, “Will your riches, Or all the mighty forces, Keep you from distress?” (Job 36:19, NKJV) And again, “A little that a righteous man has Is better than the riches of many wicked.” (Psalm 37:16, NKJV) And again, “Surely every man walks about like a shadow; Surely they busy themselves in vain; He heaps up riches, And does not know who will gather them.” (Psalm 39:6, NKJV) And this warning, “Do not trust in oppression, Nor vainly hope in robbery; If riches increase, Do not set your heart on them.” (Psalm 62:10, NKJV)

What does the Old Covenant say about the wealthy? “Behold, these are the ungodly, Who are always at ease; They increase in riches.” (Psalm 73:12, NKJV) “A thick bankroll is no help when life falls apart, but a principled life can stand up to the worst.” (Proverbs 11:4, The Message) Another warning, “He who trusts in his riches will fall, But the righteous will flourish like foliage.” (Proverbs 11:28, NKJV)

Well then, how is it that someone is ‘made rich’? The wisdom of Proverbs says it like this, “A gracious woman retains honor, But ruthless men retain riches.” (Proverbs 11:16, NKJV) A ruthless man retains riches. Oh, so I become ‘rich – wealthy’ when I choose to ‘retain – keep’ the provision that God has provided. So, that means that I make myself rich, according to the Bible.

You say, ‘fine, all of that is under the Old Covenant, but now I am under the New Covenant. Doesn’t the Bible say that Jesus came to make me rich”? “For you know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, that though He was rich, yet for your sakes He became poor, that you through His poverty might become rich.” (2 Corinthians 8:9, NKJV) Ok, let’s look at this verse. The first word ‘rich’, referring to Jesus, is the Greek word πλούσιος [plousios /ploo·see·os/] Strong’s Concordance says that in the King James Bible, this word is translated as “rich” 28 times. 1 wealthy, abounding in material resources. 2 metaph. abounding, abundantly supplied. 2a abounding (rich) in Christian virtues and eternal possessions.1 The second use of the word translated as ‘rich’ is the Greek word πλουτέω [plouteo /ploo·teh·o/] . Strong’s Concordance says that the King James Bible translates it as “be rich” seven times, “be made rich” twice, “rich” once, “wax rich” once, and “be increased with goods” once. 1 to be rich, to have abundance. 1a of outward possessions. 2 metaph. to be richly supplied. 2a is affluent in resources so that he can give blessings of salvation to all.1 It is interesting that it is two different Greek words. Maybe it would be more accurate to say that “For you know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, that though He was wealthy, abounding in material resources, yet for your sakes He became poor, that you through His poverty might become richly supplied.” Now you say that I am changing the Bible. Let’s continue to look at the New Testament and see if I am off base.

What did Jesus have to say, “Now he who received seed among the thorns is he who hears the word, and the cares of this world and the deceitfulness of riches choke the word, and he becomes unfruitful.” (Matthew 13:22, NKJV) He called it the ‘deceitfulness of riches’. What else did He say, “Then Jesus said to His disciples, “Assuredly, I say to you that it is hard for a rich man to enter the kingdom of heaven. And again I say to you, it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter the kingdom of God.”” (Matthew 19:23–24, NKJV) What did He mean by this, ‘easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle’? Nelsons Bible Dictionary says: “EYE OF A NEEDLE — a figure of speech used by Jesus to illustrate the extreme difficulty of a wealthy person’s attaining salvation: “It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter the kingdom of God” (Matt. 19:24; Mark 10:25; Luke 18:25). Much has been written in an attempt to explain this statement. Some have suggested that the “Needle’s Eye” was a particularly narrow gate adjacent to one of the main gates of Jerusalem. A camel could pass through this gate but only with great difficulty. First it had to be stripped of the goods it carried, and then it had to bow to its knees to get through the gate. However, this claim is unsupported by historical evidence. Another suggestion is that “camel” (kamelos) should be translated “rope” (kamilos) or “ship’s cable.” Neither of these suggestions has received much support from scholars. It is probably best to understand this figure of speech as an example of Jesus’ use of hyperbole, or exaggeration for effect. The image of a camel trying to climb through the eye of a needle would have been both vivid and amusing. When Jesus’ disciples heard this “hard saying” from their Lord, they asked, “Who then can be saved?” Jesus replied, “With men this is impossible, but with God all things are possible” (Matt. 19:25–26). Even man’s best achievements cannot attain salvation, which is granted as a gift of God.”**

What else did He say? He said, “And the disciples were astonished at His words. But Jesus answered again and said to them, “Children, how hard it is for those who trust in riches to enter the kingdom of God!” (Mark 10:24, NKJV) And you say, ‘well, that does not apply to me. I do not trust in my riches. I trust in God’. To you I would say, ‘If you don’t trust in your riches then do what Jesus said to the Rich Young Ruler’. He said, “So when Jesus heard these things, He said to him, “You still lack one thing. Sell all that you have and distribute to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven; and come, follow Me.”” (Luke 18:22, NKJV) Prove that you don’t trust in your riches. Take care of the poor people that are all around you. Then your generosity will cause them to praise God. How cool is that?

And again He says, “ “But woe to you who are rich, For you have received your consolation. Woe to you who are full, For you shall hunger. Woe to you who laugh now, For you shall mourn and weep.” (Luke 6:24–25, NKJV) And again, “Then He spoke a parable to them, saying: “The ground of a certain rich man yielded plentifully. And he thought within himself, saying, ‘What shall I do, since I have no room to store my crops?’ So he said, ‘I will do this: I will pull down my barns and build greater, and there I will store all my crops and my goods. And I will say to my soul, “Soul, you have many goods laid up for many years; take your ease; eat, drink, and be merry.” ’ But God said to him, ‘Fool! This night your soul will be required of you; then whose will those things be which you have provided?’ “So is he who lays up treasure for himself, and is not rich toward God.”” (Luke 12:16–21, NKJV) Do you still say that God made you rich?

How about this, Jesus said, “Therefore if you have not been faithful in the unrighteous mammon, who will commit to your trust the true riches? And if you have not been faithful in what is another man’s, who will give you what is your own?” (Luke 16:11–12, NKJV) So what does it mean to be ‘faithful in the unrighteous mammon’? If you recognize that all good things come from God, then you must recognize that the provision is for taking care of each other. It was Jesus that also said, “So now I am giving you a new commandment: Love each other. Just as I have loved you, you should love each other.” (John 13:34, NLT) Can you honestly say that you love someone when you have ‘money – mammon’ and you see someone who needs help paying their mortgage or buying food and you do not help them? Is that not what He is talking about?

I find this discourse very interesting. Jesus said, “Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you devour widows’ houses, and for a pretense make long prayers. Therefore you will receive greater condemnation. “Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you travel land and sea to win one proselyte, and when he is won, you make him twice as much a son of hell as yourselves. “Woe to you, blind guides, who say, ‘Whoever swears by the temple, it is nothing; but whoever swears by the gold of the temple, he is obliged to perform it.’ Fools and blind! For which is greater, the gold or the temple that sanctifies the gold? And, ‘Whoever swears by the altar, it is nothing; but whoever swears by the gift that is on it, he is obliged to perform it.’ Fools and blind! For which is greater, the gift or the altar that sanctifies the gift? Therefore he who swears by the altar, swears by it and by all things on it. He who swears by the temple, swears by it and by Him who dwells in it. And he who swears by heaven, swears by the throne of God and by Him who sits on it. “Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you pay tithe of mint and anise and cummin, and have neglected the weightier matters of the law: justice and mercy and faith. These you ought to have done, without leaving the others undone. Blind guides, who strain out a gnat and swallow a camel!” (Matthew 23:14–24, NKJV)

Let’s take this one apart. He said, ‘you devour widows’ houses’. What could that mean? Maybe, He is talking about those land grabbers in the congregation, who like to make money on foreclosed properties. Are these the ones who stand in our churches and declare ‘praise the lord. He put another property in my hands at a ridiculously low price. Isn’t god good?’ So you made a lot of ‘money’ by buying up the widow’s house on the foreclosure sale. Do you really believe that it was God who made that happen for you? He then talks about swearing on the ‘gold of the temple’. Talking again about the money. Interesting. He talks about the tithe. Do you say that ‘we have paid our tithe, why, we’ve even given up to 50% of our vast wealth. Haven’t I given enough’? To that He replies, ‘you have neglected the weightier matters of the law: justice and mercy and faith.’ What is more merciful; to buy a house at a foreclosure sale or to take the abundance of money that you have in your bank account and help someone pay their mortgage? Which option shows mercy? Wouldn’t your faith say that God could refill your bank account or better yet, that God will supply my needs without a large bank account? Isn’t that what this verse means, “And my God shall supply all your need according to His riches in glory by Christ Jesus.” (Philippians 4:19, NKJV)

Let’s look at the other verses in the New Covenant and see what they say. “Believers who are poor have something to boast about, for God has honored them. And those who are rich should boast that God has humbled them. They will fade away like a little flower in the field. The hot sun rises and the grass withers; the little flower droops and falls, and its beauty fades away. In the same way, the rich will fade away with all of their achievements.” (James 1:9–11, NLT) Did the Bible actually say that God has ‘honored’ the poor believers? Is that right?

And the many warnings; “But those who desire to be rich fall into temptation and a snare, and into many foolish and harmful lusts which drown men in destruction and perdition. For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil, for which some have strayed from the faith in their greediness, and pierced themselves through with many sorrows. But you, O man of God, flee these things and pursue righteousness, godliness, faith, love, patience, gentleness.” (1 Timothy 6:9–11, NKJV) And again, “Command those who are rich in this present age not to be haughty, nor to trust in uncertain riches but in the living God, who gives us richly all things to enjoy. Let them do good, that they be rich in good works, ready to give, willing to share, storing up for themselves a good foundation for the time to come, that they may lay hold on eternal life.” (1 Timothy 6:17–19, NKJV) “Listen, my beloved brethren: Has God not chosen the poor of this world to be rich in faith and heirs of the kingdom which He promised to those who love Him? But you have dishonored the poor man. Do not the rich oppress you and drag you into the courts? Do they not blaspheme that noble name by which you are called?” (James 2:5–7, NKJV)

“Come now, you rich, weep and howl for your miseries that are coming upon you! Your riches are corrupted, and your garments are moth-eaten. Your gold and silver are corroded, and their corrosion will be a witness against you and will eat your flesh like fire. You have heaped up treasure in the last days. Indeed the wages of the laborers who mowed your fields, which you kept back by fraud, cry out; and the cries of the reapers have reached the ears of the Lord of Sabaoth. You have lived on the earth in pleasure and luxury; you have fattened your hearts as in a day of slaughter. You have condemned, you have murdered the just; he does not resist you.” (James 5:1–6, NKJV)

And this,

“Because you say, ‘I am rich, have become wealthy, and have need of nothing’—and do not know that you are wretched, miserable, poor, blind, and naked— I counsel you to buy from Me gold refined in the fire, that you may be rich; and white garments, that you may be clothed, that the shame of your nakedness may not be revealed; and anoint your eyes with eye salve, that you may see.” (Revelation 3:17–18, NKJV)

When we always have to have that latest of everything and expensive clothes and thing, isn’t that what this verse is talking about?

“Do not love the world or the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him. For all that is in the world—the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life—is not of the Father but is of the world. And the world is passing away, and the lust of it; but he who does the will of God abides forever.” (1 John 2:15–17, NKJV)

So, what does the Bible say to do with the excess that has come into our hands?

“If someone has enough money to live well and sees a brother or sister in need but shows no compassion—how can God’s love be in that person?” (1 John 3:17, NLT)

Take care of the need. Plain and simple. If you have enough to live well – comfortably, if your needs are met; then meet someone else’s need. It is offensive to me that so many people say, ‘if God existed, then He would take care of the poor.’ Don’t you hear God’s heartbeat? Don’t you see that He has provided everything that we need? We just won’t share what He has given.

Jesus came to fulfill the Law of Moses.

““Do not think that I came to destroy the Law or the Prophets. I did not come to destroy but to fulfill. For assuredly, I say to you, till heaven and earth pass away, one jot or one tittle will by no means pass from the law till all is fulfilled.” (Matthew 5:17–18, NKJV)

“For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world through Him might be saved.” (John 3:17, NKJV)

Then He said it was done;

“So when Jesus had received the sour wine, He said, “It is finished!” And bowing His head, He gave up His spirit.” (John 19:30, NKJV)

He gave us the New Covenant rules.

“A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another; as I have loved you, that you also love one another.” (John 13:34, NKJV)

This is the only command – law of the New Covenant. The response of the first church is recorded in the book of Acts. It says,

“Now all who believed were together, and had all things in common, and sold their possessions and goods, and divided them among all, as anyone had need.” (Acts 2:44–45, NKJV)

And again it says,

“Now the multitude of those who believed were of one heart and one soul; neither did anyone say that any of the things he possessed was his own, but they had all things in common. And with great power the apostles gave witness to the resurrection of the Lord Jesus. And great grace was upon them all. Nor was there anyone among them who lacked; for all who were possessors of lands or houses sold them, and brought the proceeds of the things that were sold, and laid them at the apostles’ feet; and they distributed to each as anyone had need.” (Acts 4:32–35, NKJV)

Has anything changed?

So, once again I say, ‘Stop saying that God made you rich.’ To you I say “Nevertheless I have this against you, that you have left your first love. Remember therefore from where you have fallen; repent and do the first works, or else I will come to you quickly and remove your lampstand from its place—unless you repent.” (Revelation 2:4–5, NKJV)

“For it is impossible for those who were once enlightened,
and have tasted the heavenly gift,
and have become partakers of the Holy Spirit,
and have tasted the good word of God and the powers of the age to come,
if they fall away, to renew them again to repentance,
since they crucify again for themselves the Son of God,
and put Him to an open shame.”
(Hebrews 6:4–6, NKJV)

* Strong, J. (1996). The exhaustive concordance of the Bible : Showing every word of the text of the common English version of the canonical books, and every occurrence of each word in regular order. (electronic ed.). Ontario: Woodside Bible Fellowship.

** Nelson’s new illustrated Bible dictionary. 1995 (R. F. Youngblood, F. F. Bruce, R. K. Harrison & Thomas Nelson Publishers, Ed.). Nashville, TN: Thomas Nelson, Inc.

… trust in the LORD and do good …

… one issues that comes up over and over again in the Bible is the concept of ‘trust.’  this is especially true in the Psalms of David where the AV translation uses ‘trust’ 63 times in 62 verses alone. over and over again David proclaims his trust in the LORD.

Some trust in chariots and some in horses, but we trust in the name of the Lord our God.” (Psalm 20:7, ESV)

.. it is that trust that is the basis of any relationship with the LORD.  in the book of Genesis, we are told that father Abraham “ believed the Lord, and he counted it to him as righteousness.” (Genesis 15:6, ESV)

.. in the book of Hebrews we are told

“It was by faith that Abraham was made able to become a father, because he trusted God to do what he had promised.” (Heb 11:11, NCV).

… if you spend any time at all on social media you can’t help but see the fear and anxiety that is rising around the world as a consequence of the results of the US Election.  on the initial word, stock markets around the globe took sharp dives and the protests seem to be every night in major cities across the US.  all the great minds and talking heads of our day are giving us their analysis of who, what, where, when, how and why the results are the way they are and why the people are reacting the way they are and i can’t help but wonder what would be happening if the results were the opposite.

… but in the midst of all the fear and anxiety, i read the words of David, who spent most of his youth being chased by government soldiers who intended to harm and or kill him.  speaking prophetically, David gives instruction to himself and us.

A psalm of David.
Don’t worry about the wicked or envy those who do wrong. For like grass, they soon fade away.
Like spring flowers, they soon wither.
Trust in the
Lord and do good.
Then you will live safely in the land and prosper.
Take delight in the
Lord, and he will give you your heart’s desires.
Commit everything you do to the
Lord. Trust him, and he will help you.
He will make your innocence radiate like the dawn, and the justice of your cause
will shine like the noonday sun.
Be still in the presence of the
Lord, and wait patiently for him to act.
Don’t worry about evil people who prosper or fret about their wicked schemes.
Stop being angry! Turn from your rage!
Do not lose your temper— it only leads to harm.
For the wicked will be destroyed, but those who trust in the
Lord will possess the land.
Soon the wicked will disappear. Though you look for them, they will be gone.
The lowly will possess the land and will live in peace and prosperity.

(Psalm 37:1–11, NLT)

… Trust in the LORD and do good.

… and so, like Abraham, David instructs us to trust “God to do what He had promised” and to “do good”.  David then tells us the promises that God will keep. if you “trust in the LORD and do good, then you will live in safely in the land and prosper.”  if you “trust him,” then “he will help you. if you “trust in the LORD,” then you “will possess the land.”

… David, speaking in the book of 2 Samuel, says

This God—his way is perfect; the word of the Lord proves true; he is a shield for all those who take refuge in him.” (2 Samuel 22:31, ESV)

… so either we believe in the instructions found in the scriptures or we don’t.  that is the real question.  do we really trust the LORD to do what He said He will?  can we join with the Psalmist and say,

I lay down and slept, yet I woke up in safety, for the Lord was watching over me. I am not afraid of ten thousand enemies who surround me on every side.” (Psalm 3:5–6, NLT)

… because if we truly dare to believe that the LORD cares about and watches over me, then i don’t need to be afraid but i should follow the advise of another prophet of old and

But to you who are willing to listen, I say, love your enemies! Do good to those who hate you.” – Jesus (Luke 6:27, NLT)

… while Jesus taught us to ‘do good’ even to our enemies, James goes on to say,

Therefore, to him who knows to do good and does not do it, to him it is sin.” (James 4:17, NKJV)

… so ‘let your light shine.’ …

 

… ‘christian’ capitalist – or – what’s an oxymoron?

. And the disciples were first called Christians in Antioch.
(Acts 11:26b, NKJV)

… in order to look at the issue of ‘christian capitalism’ we should first start with simple definitions.  the disciples of Christ were first called Christians in Antioch, sometime around the year 42 AD/CE. so the Bible tells us that the first ‘Christians’ were the disciples of Jesus, Who was called the Christ.  upon further study, we find out that the followers of Christ did not call themselves Christian, but that the term was actually one of ridicule.  this is during the time when the Roman patriots would throw the Christians to the lions because they believed that worshiping the gods of Rome was one’s patriotic duty, and therefore people who would not worship their god must be destroyed for the good of society.  surprisingly, this is the attitude of the religious right today, who mostly call themselves ‘christians’ who believe that their god should be the only one freely allowed in this country.  most of these people would consider themselves ‘capitalists’ as well, their true god being money and the possessions it can afford them.

  Chris•tian \ˈkris-chən, ˈkrish-\ noun
[Latin christianus, adjective & noun, from Greek christianos, from Christos] 1526
1      a: one who professes belief in the teachings of Jesus Christ

Inc Merriam-Webster, Merriam-Webster’s Collegiate Dictionary. (Springfield, MA: Merriam-Webster, Inc., 2003).

… i would note that the dictionary states that anyone who ‘professes belief in the teachings of Jesus Christ’ is a ‘Christian’, but Jesus said that only those who actually follow His teachings are counted as His disciples.

“Not everyone who calls out to me, ‘Lord! Lord!’ will enter the Kingdom of Heaven. Only those who actually do the will of my Father in heaven will enter. On judgment day many will say to me, ‘Lord! Lord! We prophesied in your name and cast out demons in your name and performed many miracles in your name.’ But I will reply, ‘I never knew you. Get away from me, you who break God’s laws.’” – Jesus (Matthew 7:21–23, NLT)

… in order to understand what a ‘capitalist’ is, we should look first to the definition of ‘capitalism’ itself.

capitalism

■ noun an economic and political system in which a country’s trade and industry are controlled by private owners for profit, rather than by the state.

Concise Oxford English Dictionary (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2004).

.. the big ‘key’ ? to ‘capitalism’ is the ‘for private profit‘ part.  capitalism by definition is self serving, looking at the personal private profit of the owners of the business, rather than looking at how a business would profit society at large.  currently in the country of my birth, we have publicly funded fire stations, where collectively our taxes go to pay the salaries of the fire men as well as the equipment costs, etc, in order to run the station for everyone’s benefit.  under a pure capitalist system, the fire stations would only work for people who could afford their services. our publicly funded fire stations are actually part of a socialist system, as is our public schools, police departments, gas and water departments, national park service, military, and other services and industries where the profit, or benefits are mutually shared.

… in the area of the country where i live, you can see the effects of capitalism in our roads. our publicly funded roads are in major disrepair, but if you have the money, you can drive on the privately owned toll roads, which are very nice and can save you a lot of time as they are usually the choice route for your destination.  under a pure capitalist system, you would have to pay a toll to drive on any roads, as all lands would be owned by private individuals.

  cap•i•tal•ist \-ist\ noun
1781
1:      a person who has capital especially invested in business broadly: a person of wealth: PLUTOCRAT
2:      a person who favors capitalism

plu•toc•ra•cy \plü-ˈtä-krə-sē\ noun
plural -cies [Greek ploutokratia, from ploutos wealth; akin to Greek plein to sail, float—more at FLOW] 1652
1:      government by the wealthy
2:      a controlling class of the wealthy—plu•to•crat \ˈplü-tə-ˌkrat\ noun—plu•to•crat•ic \ˌplü-tə-ˈkra-tik\ adjective—plu•to•crat•i•cal•ly \-ti-k(ə-)lē\ adverb

Inc Merriam-Webster, Merriam-Webster’s Collegiate Dictionary. (Springfield, MA: Merriam-Webster, Inc., 2003).

.. now a ‘capitalist’ is a person who favors ‘capitalism’ and has generally become wealthy through a capitalist system.  remember, the primary motivation in capitalism is the personal profit for the owners of the capital.  you can not be a ‘capitalist’ if you don’t have any ‘capital’ and you are only going to get the ‘capital’ by serving the owners of capital and by getting them more capital to add to their stockpiles of capital.

… we see the results of the capitalist system in the Oxfam Davos Report which revealed that only 62 people own as much as half the entire planet. this is based on the 2015 numbers which show that the number of people who own half the planet is shrinking dramatically, even since 2010 where 388 people owned as much as half the planet. that number dropped to 177 in 2011, 159 in 2012, 92 in 2013 and 80 in 2014 before hitting 62 in 2015.  this report was made public in January of 2016, so it will be very interesting to see what that number is using 2016 numbers.  will we see a 42% drop like in 2013, revealing only 36 people own as much as half the planet? or will we see a more modest drop of 22% like in 2015, revealing only 49 people own as much as half the entire planet?

… the world and it’s systems …

… and so we get to the things that are recorded that Jesus, the Man called the Christ, said and taught about. one of the most popular ‘sermons’ that we have recorded that Jesus taught was in what is popularly called The Beatitudes, which is recorded in both Matthew 5:1-12 and in Luke 6:20-26.

Then Jesus turned to his disciples and said,
“God blesses you who are poor, for the Kingdom of God is yours.
God blesses you who are hungry now, for you will be satisfied.
God blesses you who weep now, for in due time you will laugh.
What blessings await you when people hate you and exclude you and mock you and curse you as evil because you follow the Son of Man. When that happens, be happy! Yes, leap for joy! For a great reward awaits you in heaven. And remember, their ancestors treated the ancient prophets that same way.

“What sorrow awaits you who are rich, for you have your only happiness now.
What sorrow awaits you who are fat and prosperous now, for a time of awful hunger awaits you.
What sorrow awaits you who laugh now, for your laughing will turn to mourning and sorrow.
What sorrow awaits you who are praised by the crowds, for their ancestors also praised false prophets.
– Jesus (Luke 6:20–26, NLT)

… and it should be obvious what Jesus is teaching about being rich.  a capitalist desires to be rich through the acquisition of capital, regardless of need.  in the Bible, this is the very definition of greed – “πλεονεξίαa, ας f: a strong desire to acquire more and more material possessions or to possess more things than other people have, all irrespective of need—‘greed, avarice, covetousness.’” (Johannes P. Louw and Eugene Albert Nida, Greek-English Lexicon of the New Testament: Based on Semantic Domains (New York: United Bible Societies, 1996), 290–291.)

Give to anyone who asks; and when things are taken away from you, don’t try to get them back.
Do to others as you would like them to do to you.
“If you love only those who love you, why should you get credit for that? Even sinners love those who love them! And if you do good only to those who do good to you, why should you get credit? Even sinners do that much! And if you lend money only to those who can repay you, why should you get credit? Even sinners will lend to other sinners for a full return.
“Love your enemies! Do good to them. Lend to them without expecting to be repaid.
Then your reward from heaven will be very great, and you will truly be acting as children of the Most High, for he is kind to those who are unthankful and wicked.
You must be compassionate, just as your Father is compassionate.
– Jesus (Luke 6:30–36, NLT)

… ” … give to everyone who asks… ” and “… love your enemieslend to them without expecting to be repaid…” are just a couple more examples of how completely contrary to capitalism His teachings are.

.. and so we see that the phrase “Christian Capitalist” is nothing more than a ‘pointedly foolish‘ oxymoron…

“Beware of false prophets. They come to you disguised as sheep, but in their hearts they are vicious wolves. You will know them by what they produce. “People don’t pick grapes from thornbushes or figs from thistles, do they? In the same way every good tree produces good fruit, but a rotten tree produces bad fruit. A good tree cannot produce bad fruit, and a rotten tree cannot produce good fruit. Any tree that fails to produce good fruit is cut down and thrown into a fire. So you will know them by what they produce.””  – Jesus (Matthew 7:15–20, GW)

… biblical world view …

… this morning i read a story about a Kentucky woman who was beat-up because she wasn’t feminine enough while people sat by and watched, and then another story about a woman who was harassed in a restroom because she had donated her hair to cancer patients and  ‘looked like a transgender person.’

… this new wave of hatred against the LGBTQ community is being stoked by the new bathroom law in North Carolina.  there is already video of male police officers dragging an actual woman out of a woman’s restroom because she did not have ID to prove to the officer that she was in fact – a woman.

… many so-called ‘christian pastors’ have come out in support of this bill, the most famous being Franklin Graham, the President of Samaritan’s Purse where he ‘makes’ a staggering $622,000 a year to ‘help poor people.’

“CEOs at the top 50 U.S. charities, including Samaritan’s Purse, earn in the $350,000 to $450,000 range, which makes Graham’s $622,000 salary from his aid organization alone about 40 percent to 50 percent higher than average, according to a Forbes story. He receives the rest of his $258,000 compensation as CEO of the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association.”  article

… ‘the good pastor’ claims that it is a Christian’s responsibility to stand against allowing transgender people to use the restroom of their choice.  he has even gone so far as to say “I hope that school districts across this nation will defy President Obama and his administration’s radical progressive agenda to promote and advance the sin of homosexuality and the LGBT agenda” in response to the President’s directive to allow transgender people in school to use the restroom.

…. what is reason that Franklin Graham uses to promote his anti-LGBTQ stance?  his ‘biblical world view.’

… so what does that mean?

A biblical worldview is how someone views the world based on the teachings of the Bible.

… so what exactly does the Bible say about transgender people who want to use the restroom?  nothing.  but on that topic, the Bible does say;  ““A woman must not put on men’s clothing, and a man must not wear women’s clothing. Anyone who does this is detestable in the sight of the Lord your God.” (Deuteronomy 22:5, NLT)

… and while we are on the topic, what does the Bible say about gays in general? ““Do not practice homosexuality, having sex with another man as with a woman. It is a detestable sin.” (Leviticus 18:22, NLT)

… it should be obvious that the LGBTQ community are in sin according to the Bible, but what else does the Bible say about the 613 commandments of the Old Testament?  “Cursed is every man that continues not in all the words of this law to do them: and all the people shall say, So be it.” (Deuteronomy 27:26, Brenton LXX En)

” … all the words of this law … “

… it is very easy for me to find a sin that you are guilty of, and to beat you over the head and call you evil, but am i following the entire 613 commandments?  according to the Bible, if i don’t follow the entire 613 commandments, then i am ‘cursed’.

… so what else is in these commandments that i might be guilty of?

“If one of your brothers falls into poverty and cannot support himself, support him as you would a foreigner or a temporary resident and allow him to live with you. Do not charge interest or make a profit at his expense. Instead, show your fear of God by letting him live with you as your relative. Remember, do not charge interest on money you lend him or make a profit on food you sell him.” (Leviticus 25:35–37)

“You must obey all my decrees. “Do not mate two different kinds of animals. Do not plant your field with two different kinds of seed. Do not wear clothing woven from two different kinds of thread.” (Leviticus 19:19, NLT)

… by now it should be obvious that EVERYONE is guilty, and i only showed you two passages.  check your clothing if you want to call me a liar, and how many of us have people living with us for free?   there are over 1,000,000 homeless schoolchildren in the USA, so every single one of us has the opportunity to ‘allow him to live with you’ at no profit to yourself.

… so far, i have only looked at the Law of Moses – which is where these false teachers get their teaching from.  they twist scripture and ignore the parts that apply to them so that they can pretend to be ‘righteous’ and the only bearers of ‘truth’ but, in fact, they are just as guilty as the LGBTQ people that they want you to hate.

For the person who keeps all of the laws except one is as guilty as a person who has broken all of God’s laws. For the same God who said, “You must not commit adultery,” also said, “You must not murder.” So if you murder someone but do not commit adultery, you have still broken the law. So whatever you say or whatever you do, remember that you will be judged by the law that sets you free. There will be no mercy for those who have not shown mercy to others. But if you have been merciful, God will be merciful when he judges you.” (James 2:10–13, NLT)

… to have a ‘Christian Worldview’ is to look at the world through the eyes of the entire Bible – Old and New Testaments.  the Bible teaches that ALL are sinners – every single one of us.

I urge you, first of all, to pray for all people. Ask God to help them; intercede on their behalf, and give thanks for them. Pray this way for kings and all who are in authority so that we can live peaceful and quiet lives marked by godliness and dignity. This is good and pleases God our Savior, who wants everyone to be saved and to understand the truth.” (1 Timothy 2:1–4, NLT)

… a truly biblical worldview believes that everyone was created in God’s image – EVERYONE including the LGBTQ community and that the LORD wants EVERYONE to be saved.  “God sent his Son into the world not to judge the world, but to save the world through him.” (John 3:17, NLT)

… so what makes people like Franklin Graham believe that it is his responsibility to make life more difficult for the LGBTQ community?  i believe it is the same belief that allows him to control over $100 million in assets, not including his own personal fortune of over $10 million, while he ignores the 15,000+ children who starve to death DAILY on our planet.

He will use every kind of evil deception to fool those on their way to destruction, because they refuse to love and accept the truth that would save them. So God will cause them to be greatly deceived, and they will believe these lies. Then they will be condemned for enjoying evil rather than believing the truth.” (2 Thessalonians 2:10–12, NLT)

… i believe that the LORD Himself has caused them to believe these lies.  they are so eaten up by greed that they can’t see the truth of the gospel.  and it’s not like we weren’t warned ….

But there were also false prophets in Israel, just as there will be false teachers among you. They will cleverly teach destructive heresies and even deny the Master who bought them. In this way, they will bring sudden destruction on themselves. Many will follow their evil teaching and shameful immorality. And because of these teachers, the way of truth will be slandered. In their greed they will make up clever lies to get hold of your money. But God condemned them long ago, and their destruction will not be delayed.” (2 Peter 2:1–3, NLT)

… if you want a truly biblical worldview, why not start here:

Dear friends, let us continue to love one another, for love comes from God. Anyone who loves is a child of God and knows God. But anyone who does not love does not know God, for God is love.” (1 John 4:7–8, NLT)

… abortion in the Bible? – the Law of Jealousy …

… many scholars believe that the man called Moses lived some time between 1526 – 1230 BCE.  many scholars believe that Moses is the author of the first five books of the Bible, referred to as the Pentateuch, Torah, or Law of Moses.  it is within these five books that the entire 613 Commandments of the Bible are contained.

… there is much more debate about when it was actually written.  some believe as early as 1446 BCE while Gmirkin maintains a date as late as sometime in the 3rd c.BCE.

“The Pentateuch may have been the first section of the OT to be written and recognized as canonical. It was basically the work of a single prophet of very early date, which was edited after his death but was not open to continual addition, whereas the other sections of the OT were produced by authors of later date, whose number was not complete until after the return from the Exile. No one doubts that the Pentateuch was both complete and canonical by the time of Ezra and Nehemiah, in the 5th century BC, and it may have been so considerably earlier.”

(R. T. Beckwith, “Canon of the Old Testament,” ed. D. R. W. Wood et al., New Bible Dictionary (Leicester, England; Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity Press, 1996), 167.)

… so who is right?

… does it matter?  the reason i point out these facts is that things need to be in the proper perspective.  for me to say that i know what happened 3,500 years or so ago, would be ignorant arrogance.  according to the New Bible Dictionary, it isn’t until the mid-2nd century BCE that there is even evidence that all five books were attributed to Moses

“the mid-2nd century BC we have evidence of all 5 books, including Genesis, being attributed to Moses (see Aristobulus, as cited by Eusebius, Preparation for the Gospel 13.12) Later in the same century the breach between Jews and Samaritans seems to have become complete, and the preservation of the Heb. Pentateuch by both parties since proves that it was already their common property. All this is evidence that the first section of the Canon was now closed, consisting of the 5 familiar books, neither more nor less, with only minor textual variations persisting.”

(R. T. Beckwith, “Canon of the Old Testament,” ed. D. R. W. Wood et al., New Bible Dictionary (Leicester, England; Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity Press, 1996), 167.)

.. within the pages of Torah, is a law that the scriptures calls the law of jealousy (Numbers 5:29).  this law has to do with a woman who’s husband thinks she cheated on him.  according to the Bible, when a man gets jealous over his wife, and thinks she cheated on him, he is to take the proscribed offering to the priest, and then the priest will make the woman take an oath and make her drink the water of the conviction that causes the curse, and if she was unfaithful, “The Lord bring thee into a curse and under an oath in the midst of thy people, in that the Lord should cause thy thigh to rot and thy belly to swell; and this water bringing the curse shall enter into thy womb to cause thy belly to swell, and thy thigh to rot.”

And the Lord spoke to Moses, saying, Speak to the children of Israel, and thou shalt say to them, Whosesoever wife shall transgress against him, and slight and despise him, and supposing any one shall lie with her carnally, and the thing shall be hid from the eyes of her husband, and she should conceal it and be herself defiled, and there be no witness with her, and she should not be taken: and there should come upon him a spirit of jealousy, and he should be jealous of his wife, and she be defiled, or there should come upon him a spirit of jealousy, and he should be jealous of his wife, and she should not be defiled, then shall the man bring his wife to the priest, and shall bring his gift for her, the tenth part of an ephah of barley-meal, he shall not pour oil upon it, neither shall he put frankincense upon it, for it is a sacrifice of jealousy, a sacrifice of memorial, recalling sin to remembrance.
And the priest shall bring her, and cause her to stand before the Lord. And the priest shall take pure running water in an earthen vessel, and he shall take of the dust that is on the floor of the tabernacle of witness, and the priest having taken it shall cast it into the water. And the priest shall cause the woman to stand before the Lord, and shall uncover the head of the woman, and shall put into her hands the sacrifice of memorial, the sacrifice of jealousy: and in the hand of the priest shall be the water of this conviction that brings the curse. And the priest shall adjure her, and shall say to the woman, If no one has lain with thee, and if thou hast not transgressed so as to be polluted, being under the power of thy husband, be free from this water of the conviction that causes the curse. But if being a married woman thou hast transgressed, or been polluted, and any one has lain with thee, beside thy husband: then the priest shall adjure the woman by the oaths of this curse, and the priest shall say to the woman, The Lord bring thee into a curse and under an oath in the midst of thy people, in that the Lord should cause thy thigh to rot and thy belly to swell; and this water bringing the curse shall enter into thy womb to cause thy belly to swell, and thy thigh to rot. And the woman shall say, So be it, So be it.
And the priest shall write these curses in a book, and shall blot them out with the water of the conviction that brings the curse. And he shall cause the woman to drink the water of the conviction that brings the curse; and the water of the conviction that brings the curse shall enter into her.
And the priest shall take from the hand of the woman the sacrifice of jealousy, and shall present the sacrifice before the Lord, and shall bring it to the altar. And the priest shall take a handful of the sacrifice as a memorial of it, and shall offer it up upon the altar; and afterwards he shall cause the woman to drink the water. And it shall come to pass, if she be defiled, and have altogether escaped the notice of her husband, then the water of the conviction that brings the curse shall enter into her; and she shall swell in her belly, and her thigh shall rot, and the woman shall be for a curse in the midst of her people. But if the woman have not been polluted, and be clean, then shall she be guiltless and shall conceive seed.
This is the law of jealousy,
wherein a married woman should happen to transgress, and be defiled; or in the case of a man on whomsoever the spirit of jealousy should come, and he should be jealous of his wife, and he should place his wife before the Lord, and the priest shall execute towards her all this law. Then the man shall be clear from sin, and that woman shall bear her sin.
” (Numbers 5:11–31, Brenton LXX En)

… in other words, the liquid will cause an abortion, or if you prefer, a miscarriage.

… i read an article where a ‘good christian’ politician says that raped women must be forced to carry their fetuses full term, because the pregnancy is a ‘gift from God.’

… if the Bible says that a married woman pregnant from adultery should have an abortion if her husband becomes jealous, then where do they get the idea that a raped woman MUST carry the baby full term?

But evil men and impostors will grow worse and worse, deceiving and being deceived.” (2 Timothy 3:13, NKJV)

… ‘christian banker’ … oxymoron ? … or blatant lie? ….

There are hired murderers, loan racketeers, and extortioners everywhere.
They never even think of me and my commands, says the Sovereign Lord.

(Ezekiel 22:12, NLT)

… bankers and credit ratings…

In thee they have received gifts to shed blood; they have received in thee interest and usurious increase; and by oppression thou hast brought thy wickedness to the full, and hast forgotten me, saith the Lord.” (Ezekiel 22:12, Brenton LXX En)

… i have seen many ‘good christians’ who say that our laws should be based on the Bible.  these same people will usually discuss ‘gay marriage’ and how homosexuals should not be able to share in the tax breaks and other financial benefits that people with ‘straight marriages’ are able to enjoy.

… many of these ‘good christians’ are also supporters of Capitalism – “an economic system characterized by private or corporate ownership*”.   this system is largely based upon the charging of interests or usuries – “the lending of money with an interest charge for its use especially * .

… in the ‘Law of Moses’ recorded in the Torah or Old Testament – there are specific laws about ‘usury/interest’.  basically – ILLEGAL.  ‘money lenders’ have always been evil people.

And if thou shouldest lend money to thy poor brother who is by thee, thou shalt not be hard upon him, thou shalt not exact usury of him.  And if thou take thy neighbour’s garment for a pledge, thou shalt restore it to him before sunset.  For this is his clothing, this is the only covering of his nakedness; wherein shall he sleep? If then he shall cry to me, I will hearken to him, for I am merciful.” (Exodus 22:25–27, Brenton LXX En)

And if thy brother who is with thee become poor, and he fail in resources with thee, thou shalt help him as a stranger and a sojourner, and thy brother shall live with thee.  Thou shalt not receive from him interest, nor increase: and thou shalt fear thy God: I am the Lord: and thy brother shall live with thee.  Thou shalt not lend thy money to him at interest, and thou shalt not lend thy meat to him to be returned with increase.” (Leviticus 25:35–37, Brenton LXX En)

Thou shalt not lend to thy brother on usury of silver, or usury of meat, or usury of any thing which thou mayest lend out.  Thou mayest lend on usury to a stranger, but to thy brother thou shalt not lend on usury; that the Lord thy God may bless thee in all thy works upon the land, into which thou art entering to inherit it.” (Deuteronomy 23:19–20, Brenton LXX En)

… many years after the LORD gave the 613 Commandments of the Law of Moses on Mount Sinai, David, of whom Samuel said, “a man after God’s own heart”, writes that ““He that walks blameless, and works righteousness,…He has not lent his money on usury, and has not received bribes against the innocent. He that does these things shall never be moved.” (Psalm 14:2–5, Brenton LXX En)

… when David is lamenting about the ‘voice of the enemy, and because of the oppression of the sinner’, he writes, :  “Destroy, O Lord, and divide their tongues: for I have seen iniquity and gainsaying in the city.  Day and night he shall go round about it upon its walls: iniquity and sorrow and unrighteousness are in the midst of it; and usury and craft have not failed from its streets.” (Psalm 54:9–11, Brenton LXX En)   he speaks of ‘usury’ being a sign of the ‘unrighteousness’ of the city.

… in a prophetic Psalm, David writes of the LORD ‘redeeming their souls from usury and injustice’.  “For he has delivered the poor from the oppressor; and the needy who had no helper.  He shall spare the poor and needy, and shall deliver the souls of the needy.  He shall redeem their souls from usury and injustice: and their name shall be precious before him.” (Psalm 71:12–14, Brenton LXX En)

… Solomon, son of David, of whom it is written :  “And the wisdom of Solomon abounded exceedingly beyond the wisdom of all the ancients, and beyond all the wise men of Egypt;” (3 Kingdoms 2:35b, Brenton LXX En)   he wrote :  “He that increases his wealth by usuries and unjust gains, gathers it for him that pities the poor.  He that turns away his ear from hearing the law, even he has made his prayer abominable.” (Proverbs 28:8–9, Brenton LXX En)

… the prophet Jeremiah who was sent to warn Israel of their sin wrote :  “There is usury upon usury, and deceit upon deceit: they would not know me, saith the Lord.” (Jeremiah 9:6, Brenton LXX En)

… and then we have Ezekiel, a prophet in Babylon who is revered as a Hebrew Prophet by the Christians, Jews and Muslims, write about what a ‘righteous man’ looks like.  he wrote :  “But the man who shall be just, who executes judgment and righteousness, who shall not eat upon the mountains, and shall not at all lift up his eyes to the devices of the house of Israel, and shall not defile his neighbour’s wife, and shall not draw nigh to her that is removed, and shall not oppress any man, but shall return the pledge of the debtor, and shall be guilty of no plunder, shall give his bread to the hungry, and clothe the naked; and shall not lend his money upon usury, and shall not receive usurious increase, and shall turn back his hand from injustice, shall execute righteous judgment between a man and his neighbour, and has walked in my commandments and kept mine ordinances, to do them; he is righteous, he shall surely live, saith the Lord.” (Ezekiel 18:5–9, Brenton LXX En) and the ‘unrighteous man is described as :   “and has oppressed the poor and needy, and has committed robbery, and not restored a pledge, and has set his eyes upon idols, has wrought iniquities, has lent upon usury, and taken usurious increase; he shall by no means live: he has wrought all these iniquities; he shall surely die; his blood shall be upon him.” (Ezekiel 18:12–13, Brenton LXX En)

… it is interesting to note that “Sharia prohibits acceptance of specific interest or fees for loans of money (known as riba, or usury), whether the payment is fixed or floating.” **  modern Judiasm, which is based on Talmud, specifically states “But how can one be exempt in the case of gentiles, for are they not in the classification of an human?”(Karitot 1:1, VII.1.D) – so only Jews are forbidden from loaning to other Jews with interest.  even with that – the banks in Israel still charge interest to everyone – Jew and Gentile.

… and that brings me to Christians.  to call yourself a ‘Christian’ is to say to the world that ‘i believe and follow the teachings of the man Jesus of Nazareth, son of Mary, Son of God, who i believe to be the promised Messiah or Christ of the Hebrew people.’  so it would be interesting to see what it is said that He taught.

Give to him who asks you, and from him who wants to borrow from you do not turn away.” (Matthew 5:42, NKJV)
And if you lend to those from whom you hope to receive back, what credit is that to you? For even sinners lend to sinners to receive as much back. But love your enemies, do good, and lend, hoping for nothing in return; and your reward will be great, and you will be sons of the Most High. For He is kind to the unthankful and evil. Therefore be merciful, just as your Father also is merciful.” (Luke 6:34–36, NKJV)

… and if that wasn’t enough, it is also said that He taught;  “Now as He was going out on the road, one came running, knelt before Him, and asked Him, “Good Teacher, what shall I do that I may inherit eternal life?” So Jesus said to him, “Why do you call Me good? No one is good but One, that is, God. You know the commandments: ‘Do not commit adultery,’ ‘Do not murder,’ ‘Do not steal,’ ‘Do not bear false witness,’ ‘Do not defraud,’ ‘Honor your father and your mother.’ ” And he answered and said to Him, “Teacher, all these things I have kept from my youth.” Then Jesus, looking at him, loved him, and said to him, “One thing you lack: Go your way, sell whatever you have and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven; and come, take up the cross, and follow Me.”” (Mark 10:17–21, NKJV)

… this system that we live under is an extremely oppressive system based on usuries and interests.  you cannot call yourself a ‘Christian’ and work to promote and serve such an oppressive system that is clearly against the teachings of the entire Bible.  you can’t work at a bank – or credit card company – or financial service company – or tax agency ; and be a true servant of Jesus.  it is impossible.

When He had called the people to Himself, with His disciples also, He said to them, “Whoever desires to come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow Me. For whoever desires to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for My sake and the gospel’s will save it. For what will it profit a man if he gains the whole world, and loses his own soul? Or what will a man give in exchange for his soul? For whoever is ashamed of Me and My words in this adulterous and sinful generation, of him the Son of Man also will be ashamed when He comes in the glory of His Father with the holy angels.”” (Mark 8:34–38, NKJV)

“No one can serve two masters. For you will hate one and love the other; you will be devoted to one and despise the other. You cannot serve both God and money.”” (Luke 16:13, NLT)

* Merriam-Webster, I. (2003). Merriam-Webster’s collegiate dictionary. (Eleventh ed.). Springfield, MA: Merriam-Webster, Inc.
**  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Islamic_banking

 

… kingdom wealth ..

… on my Facebook feed this morning, was an ad for a seminar coming up in South Carolina. here is some info from it’s webpage:

Kingdom Wealth - South Carolina
We believe that there is an entrepreneurial anointing resident for this generation and that when coupled with this next move of God, we will see an explosion of creativity, innovation and revenue.

The Lord is invading business, economics and careers because there is a massive global shift happening right now. Participate in 3 days of powerful teachings and activation and get ready to experience open heavens as you learn to walk in your divine assignment.

No matter what happens globally, the Kingdom of God will always prosper.

The Lord is invading business, economics and careers because there is a massive global shift happening right now. Participate in 3 days of powerful teachings and activation and get ready to experience open heavens as you learn to walk in your divine assignment.

“If you are in the business mountain called to wealth mastery and to be a steward of resources and influence, this may be one of the most important appointments you ever make for yourself.” – Lance Wallnau

… the Kingdom of God.

… the phrase “kingdom of God“, is in the Gospels 55 times.  the very first time is in the book of Matthew, in the words of Jesus Himself when He says;

Seek the Kingdom of God above all else, and live righteously, and he will give you everything you need. (Matthew 6:33, NLT)

… in the book of Luke, it is recorded that Jesus said;

Then Jesus turned to his disciples and said, “God blesses you who are poor, for the Kingdom of God is yours. (Luke 6:20, NLT)

… so, what is this ‘kingdom of God’ that Jesus talks about and the ‘kingdom wealth’ that these people are talking about?  are they the same thing?

… a google search on “kingdom wealth” reveals about 190,000,000 results.

googlekingdomwealth

… while the phrase “kingdom of God” reveals about 86,400,000 results.

… Jesus said “… indeed, the kingdom of God is within you.”” (Luke 17:21, NKJV)
“… ἰδοὺ γὰρ ἡ βασιλεία τοῦ θεοῦ ἐντὸς ὑμῶν ἐστιν.” (Luke 17:21, LGNTI)

ἐντός [entos /en·tos/] meaning;
* pertaining to a specific area inside someth., inside, within, within the limits of,
* pertaining to what is inside an area, content. *

*William Arndt, Frederick W. Danker, and Walter Bauer,
A Greek-English Lexicon of the New Testament and Other Early Christian Literature
(Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2000), 340.

… so, what Jesus is saying is that “… indeed, the kingdom of God is within you.”” (Luke 17:21, NKJV)

… if, “… indeed, the kingdom of God is within you”, as we are told that Jesus said, then what does it have to do with things like;

  • an entrepreneurial anointing,
  • revenue
  • business,
  • economics and careers,
  • and wealth mastery

“Then Jesus said to His disciples, “Assuredly, I say to you that it is hard for a rich man to enter the kingdom of heaven. And again I say to you, it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter the kingdom of God.”” (Matthew 19:23–24, NKJV)

… if i want to know what the other people say, i can ‘save money‘ and register now for ONLY $79 per person or, if it takes me longer to get my money together, $90 at the door.

“But there were also false prophets in Israel, just as there will be false teachers among you. They will cleverly teach destructive heresies and even deny the Master who bought them. In this way, they will bring sudden destruction on themselves. Many will follow their evil teaching and shameful immorality. And because of these teachers, the way of truth will be slandered. In their greed they will make up clever lies to get hold of your money. But God condemned them long ago, and their destruction will not be delayed.” (2 Peter 2:1–3, NLT)

… and i have the opportunity to take “the 5 Identity Passport Assessments” to determine my “individual destination that God has ordained for you at a reduced investment.”  this is so i may learn how to ‘find my place’ in the ‘Seven Mountain Mandate‘.  the 7 mountains are 7 sectors of society that Dominionists believe we are to ‘take dominion over’ in order to change the world so that Jesus can come back.

… this stuff reminds me of;

“But I fear, lest somehow, as the serpent deceived Eve by his craftiness, so your minds may be corrupted from the simplicity that is in Christ. For if he who comes preaches another Jesus whom we have not preached, or if you receive a different spirit which you have not received, or a different gospel which you have not accepted—you may well put up with it!” (2 Corinthians 11:3–4, NKJV)

… what is Paul talking about when he says, ‘the simplicity that is in Christ?’  some other translations say;

  • sincere and pure devotion
  • ‌the simple purity
  • pure and undivided devotion

… the original word is απλοτητοςhaploteetos -from the word ἁπλόος, ἁπλοῦςhaplous; meaning “1 simple, single. 2 whole. 3 good fulfilling its office, sound.”  απλοτητοςhaploteetos means  “1 singleness, simplicity, sincerity, mental honesty. 1A the virtue of one who is free from pretence and hypocrisy. 2 not self seeking, openness of heart manifesting itself by generosity.”  (James Strong, Enhanced Strong’s Lexicon (Woodside Bible Fellowship, 1995))

… it is simple.  either you do what Jesus and the Bible say to do, making you a ‘Christian’, or you don’t.  it was Jesus Who said, “No servant can serve two masters, for either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and money.”” (Luke 16:13, ESV)

“Don’t you realize that those who do wrong will not inherit
the Kingdom of God?
Don’t fool yourselves.
Those who indulge in sexual sin, or who worship idols, or commit adultery, or are male prostitutes, or practice homosexuality, or are thieves, or greedy people, or drunkards, or are abusive, or cheat people—none of these will inherit
the Kingdom of God.
Some of you were once like that.
But you were cleansed; you were made holy; you were made right with God by calling on the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and by the Spirit of our God.”
(1 Corinthians 6:9–11, NLT)

… so, although they speak of god and jesus and even the holy spirit, they are not the God, Jesus and Holy Spirit of the Bible.  and the Bible told us that these days would come.  wake up.

But understand this, that in the last days there will come times of difficulty. For people will be lovers of self, lovers of money, proud, arrogant, abusive, disobedient to their parents, ungrateful, unholy, heartless, unappeasable, slanderous, without self-control, brutal, not loving good, treacherous, reckless, swollen with conceit, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God, having the appearance of godliness, but denying its power. Avoid such people.” (2 Timothy 3:1–5, ESV)