Monday, August 4, 2014
“And when Jesus saw that he was very sorrowful, he said, How hardly shall they that have riches enter into the kingdom of God! For it is easier for a camel to go through a needle’s eye, than for a rich man to enter into the kingdom of God” (Luke 18:24,25 KJV).
Understandably, “health-and-wealth” preachers and teachers never quote Jesus’ words in today’s Scripture!
When Jesus spoke today’s Scripture, He had Israel’s prophetic program in mind. The book of Proverbs had already foretold: “Riches profit not in the day of wrath: but righteousness delivereth from death” (11:4). “Neither their silver nor their gold shall be able to deliver them in the day of the LORD’S wrath; but the whole land shall be devoured by the fire of his jealousy: for he shall make even a speedy riddance of all them that dwell in the land” (Zephaniah 1:18).
Once Israel’s Messiah, Jesus, arrived, her program was in its “last days” (Hebrews 1:2; cf. Acts 2:16-21; Joel 2:28-32; Luke 16:16; Matthew 3:7-12). After the outpouring of the Holy Ghost on the day of Pentecost (Acts chapter 2), the day of the LORD’S wrath, the seven-year Tribulation, was to begin. Then, the Antichrist, the false Messiah, would con Israel, and cause her to rest in a false peace policy. He would then manifest himself as satanic by implementing a tyrannical economic agenda: “ And he causeth all, both small and great, rich and poor, free and bond, to receive a mark in their right hand, or in their foreheads:  And that no man might buy or sell, save he that had the mark, or the name of the beast, or the number of his name” (Revelation 13:16,17).
Jesus knew that material riches would spiritually hinder and destroy His little flock, for they would be tempted to take the Antichrist’s mark and accept his name or number in order to retain their physical possessions. He even warned Israel’s believers not to be attached to material goods during the Tribulation period (Matthew 24:15-18; Mark 13:14-16). If they sold all they had, they would be guarded against materialism. However, those rich would value their possessions, and thus submit to the Antichrist….