A Dollar's Worth Of The Devil


never cease to
be surprised at the way the "love of money," as the root of all
evil (I Timothy 6:10), still grips huge numbers of Christians
in America. Furthermore, one of the strange ironies is the fact that
it is frequently the poor that have yet to learn the
truth about money. 

Believers of modest means read the verse about how "it
is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle, than for
a rich man
to enter into the kingdom of God" (Matthew
19:23), and they are strangely comforted as many resent how the
successful in our society always seem to get away with everything; yet
when it comes to the deceitfulness of dollars, the truth is,
the Christians are among the most deceived people on the
planet.

Many believers look on the prosperity preachers
(also known as the name it and claim it crowd) with significant
disdain - and rightfully so. Such "ministries" practically promise
that if you give them a dollar bill, the Lord will give you
back a twenty. These preachers, many of which are on
television, have twisted the issue of monetary support of ministry
into a manipulative formula that is the religious equivalent of
purchasing a retirement stock portfolio they "guarantee" will increase
in value. In reality, the support provided to the prosperity prophets
is a bit more like ordering a dollar's worth of the devil

On the other side of the denominational aisle, popular
mainstream evangelical ministries seem to have no difficulty
sustaining their ministries through the "miracle" of the
tax-deductible donation. These don't need to promise you a
prosperous return on your "investment," as it's clear every
dollar you give them will come back every April 15th in the
form of a reduced tax liability. However, buried beneath the
barrage of "Christian" corporations clamoring for your check, are
those that know if they tell you the truth, you will most
likely not support their efforts with your rapidly
diminishing supply of dollar bills.

The Heaping Of Teachers

 Few recognize biblical prophecy actually predicts a
free market economy - something that was unheard of when the
scriptures were written - will emerge in the last days. The
Apostle Paul
intuitively tell Timothy  

"...the time will come when they [the Christians] will
not
endure sound doctrine; but after their own lusts shall they
heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears;
and they shall turn away their ears from the truth, and shall be
turned unto fables" (II Timothy 4:3,4).

This verses tell us that, in the time of the end,
the money will come to control the message. The KJV phrase
"itching ears" means the people will only support the preachers that
tell them what they've already decided they want to
hear. Colloquially speaking, they'll be "scratching" those "itching
ears" by "heaping" to themselves teachers that will reaffirm that they
already have the truth. Because of this upside down way of
controlling the prophetic content, Christians by the millions
have steadily eroded any possibility of an independent ministry
actually preaching the hard truth on a large scale concerning what is
about to happen on planet earth.

In effect, the "sheep" have gotten together and
foolishly hired shepherds who will allow them to graze on dangerous
'feel good' grass - even when that idol shepherd knows of the
danger. Jesus Christ specifically predicted this process would
emerge when He stated

"I am the good shepherd: the good shepherd giveth his
life for the sheep. But he that is an hireling, and not
the shepherd, whose own the sheep are not, seeth the wolf coming, and
leaveth the sheep, and fleeth: and the wolf catcheth them, and
scattereth the sheep. The hireling fleeth, because he
is
an hireling, and careth not for the sheep" (John
10:11-13).

Remnant ministries, such as this one, are thoroughly
convinced the LORD will soon bring about an event we call the
reckoning
. A rather ominous term that essentially means
"accounting," the reckoning is the event seen in Matthew 25
where "after a long time the lord of those servants [sheep in the
above analogy] cometh, and reckoneth with them" (Matthew
25:19).

The term "reckon" has a definite sense of judgment
associated with it, for the Bible tells us JESUS CHRIST was "reckoned among the
transgressors" (Luke 22:37) - a figure of speech indicating He was
scheduled
to be "cut off...in the midst of the week" (Daniel
9:26,27). Since Christ tells His true disciples that "Ye shall
indeed drink of the cup that I drink of (Mark 10:39), we are not
expecting the unscriptural evacuation taught by the rapturists.
Instead, we are expecting the wide-open judgment that is the
reckoning.

At the risk of belaboring the issue, literally
millions of Christians still believe they will be "taken" away to
safety before the tribulation -- as their hirelings
continue to misinterpret Christ's description of the end times --
which He taught would be analogous to the time of Noah and the
great flood. The last days will be "just as it was" in the days of
Noah, when "they bought, they sold, they planted, they builded"
(Luke 17:28 - notice the commercial aspect of the activity),
and they "knew not until the flood came, and took them all away..."
(Matthew 24:39).

Obviously, Noah and his family knew the
flood was coming, so the ones "taken" away had to be the unsuspecting
people that were unaware the great reckoning was about
to occur. Yet, to this day, the blind believers think the ones
taken away
will be "raptured" when the analogy plainly states the
ones that are "taken" are killed. In fact, when the disciples
asked Jesus "where, Lord?" - (in effect, 'where were they taken,
Lord?'), He said their "carcase" could be found wherever "the eagles
be gathered together" (Luke 17:37, Matthew 24:28).

This is hardly a popular view; thus for every letter of
support with a check in it sent in by some sweet soul trying to help
us warn the masses that they're in terrible peril, we receive three or
four letters from "Christians" reviling us, and angrily
demanding they be taken off our mailing list as they never want to
hear this again. Amazingly, vast amounts of believers only
support
those "prophets [that] say unto them, Ye shall not see
the sword, neither shall ye have famine; but I will give you assured
peace in this place" (Jeremiah 14:13).

In Jeremiah, we see the LORD rebukes those that
preach a rapture instead of a reckoning. He writes

"The prophets prophesy lies in my name: I sent them
not, neither have I commanded them: They prophesy unto you a false
vision and divination, and a thing of nought, and the deceit of their
heart" (Jeremiah 14:14).

This amazing truth places those that have a genuine
calling from God in a position that is practically impossible to
sustain. To put it another way, the world's political and economic
systems have deteriorated in such a fashion that ALL ministries
have a progressively more difficult task in sustaining the ability to
speak the truth to a population that is inexorably moving in the wrong
direction. In short the collective "flock" is moving towards the
spiritual edge of the cliff, and very, very few are hearing the cries
of the true prophets that are now shouting from the rooftops that the
wolf is at the door. .

Many pastors have simply given up fighting this
downward spiral, and are now moving in sync with the flow of apostasy.
Such are the "hirelings," and they will be held accountable; however,
the sad truth is, this lethal spiritual inertia is cumulative, as
the people themselves
are dictating, with their collective fiscal
support, or lack thereof, the destructive direction the herd is moving
in.  

Be Thou Warm And Filled

The Apostle Paul demonstrated a brilliant
strategy in his evangelistic efforts in that he was a tentmaker
who could sustain himself with that profession, and thus be able to
afford to preach the gospel without the need of any tithes. To
the Christians in Thessalonica, he wrote

"Neither did we eat any man's bread...but wrought with labor and travail
night and day, that we might not be chargeable to any of you...." (II
Thessalonians 3:7)

This verse (and several others), have been
misinterpreted to mean that ministries should never charge
any money for anything associated with the Gospel. This could not be
further from the truth, for Paul is simply saying that in his
evangelistic efforts, he intentionally worked for his own "bread" so
that he would be free to say whatever he chose when he
first established the church at Thessalonica - thereby avoiding the
disastrous fate of the "hireling."

However, in the very next verse, Paul stated that he
chose
to earn his own way with his trade, "not because we have
not power [read authority to receive tithes], but to make
ourselves an ensample unto you to follow us" (II Thessalonians 3:8).
Indeed, he noted (to the Corinthians) that that he had received
funds from "other churches," because the Corinthians were too
spiritually immature to understand that it was scripturally
appropriate for them to provide financial support to Paul as their
spiritual leader.

Of course, this fiscal responsibility goes well beyond
the assembly's need to sustain their shepherd as it it also seen in
terms of charity for those believers that are "naked, and destitute of
daily food...." (James 2:15). James writes how the Christian's
faith will be evidenced by their works. James says it is
not enough to just "bless" someone when the need is clear. With just a
hint of sarcasm, he writes of those that behold the need for support,
but say to the person in need "depart in peace, [and] be ye warmed and
filled" -- without actually providing any of "those things that are
needful to the body..." (James 2:16).

In the Old Testament book of Nehemiah, we find
one of the key ingredients to the huge revival that took place in
Jerusalem was related to the tithing that sharply
increased. In the beginning of the book, Jerusalem was desolate with a
depressing outlook. After Nehemiah taught the people about
their glorious heritage in the LORD, they demonstrated their exuberant
obedience through the gifts made to the temple and the priesthood.

"And the rest of the people separated themselves...from
the people of the lands....everyone having knowledge, and having
understanding...Also we made ordinances....to charge ourselves yearly
with the third part of a shekel for the service of the house of our
God....to bring the first fruits of our ground, and the first fruits of
all fruit...and of our cattle, as it is written in the law, and the
firstlings of our herds and of our flocks, to bring to the house of
our God, unto the priests that minister in the house of our God:

"And that we should bring the firstfruits of our dough,
and our offerings, and the fruit of all manner of trees, of wine and
of oil, unto the priests...For the children of Israel ...shall bring the
offering of the corn, of the new wine, and the oil, unto the
chambers...and the priests that minister, and the porters, and the
singers: and we will not forsake the house of our God." (Nehemiah
10:28,32,33,35-37,39).

As many believers have convinced themselves there is no
requirement to sustain their spiritual leadership (and validating that
rationale by reasoning they are not "under the law"), they have
completely forgotten that same law is allegedly written in their
hearts. Thus, like Paul before us with his tentmaking profession, we
distribute books, tapes, and health items as a means of support as
many remnant believers have yet to discover they are only robbing
themselves of rewards in the kingdom of God through their refusal
to tithe. Indeed, we count it all joy whenever some foolish believer
periodically chastises us for "selling" books - posturing that
anything having to do with the LORD should be free.
Predictably, those that complain that all things Christian should be
free, never donate a dime to the LORD's work.

The irony is that God will bring all He desires
to His millennial kingdom through His Son and the work of the true
remnant - and we will have done all we can do with whatever resources
He provided (Matthew 25:15). We see this principle in the parable
of the talents wherein the first two servants utilized their
abilities (the "talents" in the parable) to increase the scope of
God's great bounty, while the third "buried" his talent altogether. In
essence, those that do not take part in the work can only be
viewed as the "wicked and slothful servant" in Matthew 25. Such are
missing the opportunity to add their "talents" to the project -
thereby diminishing their reward at the time of the great harvest -
assuming they make it into the kingdom at all. 

Intriguingly, the book of Matthew tells us this
great accounting applies to the "servants" of the great man who
returned "after a long time...and reckoneth with them"
(Matthew 25:18) - apparently an allusion to the believers.
Likewise, in Revelation, we see how the LORD counsels the rich
"believers" to "buy of me gold tried in the fire, that thou mayest be
rich; and white raiment, that thou mayest be clothed..." - clearly an
admonition to place their treasure in the things of God. When we stand
before the LORD, we pray that He will see us as His disciples
who "have left all, and have followed" Him (Mark 10:28), and not
as the wicked and slothful servants - who instead decided to hold on
to a dollar's worth of the devil.

- James Lloyd

Copyright © 2005 Christian Media Network

See Also

Blood Beast Of Babylon

Strongholds And Stumblingblocks

Article Source: 
CMC
Article Number: 
82