Plastic and Paper Not Accepted in Heaven

Thursday, June 21, 2012

“And when Simon saw that through laying on of the apostles’ hands the Holy Ghost was given, he offered them money, saying, Give me also this power, that on whomsoever I lay hands, he may receive the Holy Spirit” (Acts 8:18,19 KJV).

Mankind has always tried to purchase the things of God with money… unsuccessfully….

Simon is a sorcerer (wizard) who has “bewitched” Samaria with satanic deception and counterfeit miracles (verses 9-11). But, once he sees the apostles laying hands on believing Jews, and their subsequent receiving of the Holy Spirit (which belongs in Israel’s program, not ours), Simon sees an opportunity for economic gain. He offers the apostles money in exchange for their God-given abilities. The Apostle Peter, filled with the Holy Ghost, gives God’s response to such matters: “Thy money perish with thee, because thou hast thought that the gift of God may be purchased with money” (verse 20).

Religion, down through the millennia, has been notorious for extortion. Consider all the poor souls who believed they could pay for God’s forgiveness in advance by purchasing indulgences from the Church of Rome! Ponder the cash penances paid after confession to priests. Consider the tithe demanded for salvation in today’s “Bible-believing” churches (which do not “believe” 2 Corinthians 9:7 and Titus 3:5).

Even if you had all the monetary wealth of all the ages, heaven’s gates would still be closed to you! The price for your forgiveness was paid, not with cash, but with the precious blood of God’s only begotten Son, the Lord Jesus Christ (Acts 20:28). For salvation, you can offer God every cent you will ever earn, and He will refuse it. God wants perfect righteousness, and none of us have that.

Remember, you will be unable to write a check or swipe your credit card at heaven’s gate. God does not want your money. He only wants His Son, and those who have trusted in Christ’s sufficient payment for their sins. Salvation is a gift that only Jesus Christ could buy (Ephesians 2:8,9). “Thy money perish with thee, because thou hast thought that the gift of God may be purchased with money.”

A Den of Thieves #3

Friday, May 18, 2012

“And Jesus went into the temple of God, and cast out all them that sold and bought in the temple, and overthrew the tables of the moneychangers, and the seats of them that sold doves, and said unto them, It is written, My house shall be called the house of prayer; but ye have made it a den of thieves” (Matthew 21:12,13 KJV).

Notice in today’s Scripture how Jesus Christ rooted out thieves masquerading in a “godly” garb (religion). Beloved, we must exercise great caution when making financial contributions to churches… many are dens of thieves.

Giving is often a sensitive topic, for there is much abuse (the extortion in today’s Scripture). Even today, many church leaders are using God’s Word (usually Malachi 3:8-11) to coerce—extort!—billions from their followers. The poor Corinthian believers were gladly (!) allowing “fools” to “take of [them]” (steal from them) via religion (2 Corinthians 11:19,20).

One of the most lucrative devices of religion is to convince you that your King James Bible has errors, so you need to buy a “more scholarly” version (eventually, yet another “updated” “bible” is marketed, and you are encouraged this is the “bible” you need to buy). Be not deceived!

Another ploy preachers use to swindle is the reassurance, “Send us $1000, and God will bless you one-hundred fold!” (These preachers should “practice what they preach,” and then their begging would be unnecessary!) Be not deceived!

Understand that we give of our resources to further God’s Word, but we must carefully choose what church or ministry we support. If the church/ministry does not exalt our Lord Jesus Christ as He is presented in Paul’s epistles, and it does not hold to the authority of the King James Bible, it is opposing God’s work, and therefore does not deserve our time or our money.

Above all, we give willingly, as God’s Word working in us leads us to give (2 Corinthians 8:1-12; 2 Corinthians 9:6,7). That is not tithing (tithing was mandatory); that is giving under grace. Quite frankly, anyone who forces you to tithe is a thief.

Thus, beware of the dens of thieves….

A Den of Thieves #2

Thursday, May 17, 2012

“And Jesus went into the temple of God, and cast out all them that sold and bought in the temple, and overthrew the tables of the moneychangers, and the seats of them that sold doves, and said unto them, It is written, My house shall be called the house of prayer; but ye have made it a den of thieves” (Matthew 21:12,13 KJV).

As today’s Scripture teaches, religion robbed people in Christ’s day… and it is still “the world’s most profitable business!”

The world is dotted with millions of ornate, massive cathedrals, structures built with exquisite materials, housing trillions of works of art and gold and silver vessels. Unfortunately, many were (and are) financed by poor, naïve souls who paid clergy in hopes of escaping hellfire. Christ’s words echoing, “Dens of thieves!”

One Christian author wrote that religion’s price list reads: “High money = high mass; low money = low mass; no money = no mass.” Pay the church and the church will pray! Church organizations possess large sums of real estate, and are always looking to expand… into your soul, yard, and home! BEWARE!

Beloved, if God required church leaders not to be greedy of material wealth (1 Timothy 3:3,8; Titus 1:7), this is a warning that many will be money-hungry. These individuals, seeking to support their lavish lifestyles, demand, “If you want God’s blessing, sow your seed of faith into our ministry.” These “donations” are often pricey, but when threatened with “God’s curse,” people have no choice but to give. Malachi 3:8-11 was written to Israel (1:1), not to us; we are under grace, not law (Romans 6:14,15). Grace is against tithing (obligatory giving).

We give of our resources to sound Pauline dispensational (grace) ministries and local churches, but we do not give to get God’s blessings (that was for Israel). Today, in the Dispensation of Grace, God has already blessed us in Christ (Ephesians 1:3). Now, we give out of gratitude to God, and we willingly give an amount “as [we] purpose in [our] heart” (2 Corinthians 9:6,7). The amount is not the issue; the heart attitude is!

A Den of Thieves #1

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

“And Jesus went into the temple of God, and cast out all them that sold and bought in the temple, and overthrew the tables of the moneychangers, and the seats of them that sold doves, and said unto them, It is written, My house shall be called the house of prayer; but ye have made it a den of thieves” (Matthew 21:12,13 KJV).

Religion will not only rob you of monetary wealth, but spiritual wealth too.

Our Lord Jesus Christ, in today’s Scripture (cf. Mark 11:15-18; Luke 19:45-47), goes into the Temple in Jerusalem. He notices thieves who, in the name of “God,” sell overpriced doves for sacrifices. The term “moneychangers” refers to those who exchange and convert currencies (in other words, Jews from all over the globe are being swindled when they came to the Temple!).

On another occasion, prior to the one of today’s Scripture, Jesus again finds thieves in the Temple (John 2:13-17). In righteous anger (Matthew 5:22 KJV; Ephesians 4:26), Jesus braids a whip and drives them away. He overthrows their tables and pours out their money, sharply rebuking them, “Take these things hence; make not my Father’s house an house of merchandise!”

Shortly after Jesus exposed the extortion in the Temple, “the scribes and chief priests heard it, and sought how they might destroy him” (Mark 11:18). Jesus was “bad for business” indeed—He needed to be silenced!

Sadly, this spiritual robbery occurs today. The “storehouse tithers” quote Malachi 3:8-11 and urge you, “Do not rob God, or He will curse you.” Ironically, they demand you give ten percent of your income, thus robbing you! Rather than explaining to you that you are free in Christ to “cheerfully” give an amount “as [you] purpose in [your] heart” (2 Corinthians 9:7), they place you under the Mosaic Law (tithing). They rob you of your identity in Christ (what Paul calls “spoiling [cheating] you;” Colossians 2:8).

In this the Dispensation of Grace, we give of our resources, but we give willingly as God’s gracenot the Mosaic Law—leads us to give. God’s grace is not against giving—it is against tithing.

Be Not Blinded by ‘Bright Lights!’

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

“Let no man beguile you of your reward in a voluntary humility and worshipping of angels, intruding into those things which he hath not seen, vainly puffed up by his fleshly mind, and not holding the Head [Christ]…” (Colossians 2:18,19a KJV).

Religious—and even nonreligious—people claim to see heavenly “visions” or angelic creatures (“Mary,” “Jesus,” “deceased relatives,” et cetera). Seeking monetary gain, some have written “Christian” books discussing how they allegedly died, visited heaven (or even hell!!!), and then returned to earth. Are these experiences of God?

“Bright lights” and “supernatural” visits do not belong in our dispensation. Look at today’s Scripture: those people are intruding into those things which [they] have not seen….” Interestingly, modern “bibles” omit “not,” stating the opposite of the King James Bible!!!

Our sin-tainted minds and our deceptive emotions can get so hyped up about having a particular religious experience that it seems to come to pass (when it actually did not happen). We imagine we see things (“angels,” “devils,” et cetera) that are not really appearing. Beware; Satan and his “seducing spirits” use these phenomena to draw us away from the truth of God’s Word (1 Timothy 4:1).

Notice the Bible’s description of false teachers: “For such are false apostles, deceitful workers, transforming themselves into the apostles of Christ. And no marvel; for Satan himself is transformed into an angel of light (2 Corinthians 11:13,14). Satan is the master counterfeiter: he wanted to be “like the most High” (Isaiah 14:14). Satan appears not as an evil-looking monster, but as “an [INNOCENT-LOOKING] angel of light!”

Paul wrote, “But though we, or an angel from heaven, preach any other gospel unto you than that which we have preached unto you, let him be accursed(Galatians 1:9). Why would any “angel” “appear” to you in this the Dispensation of Grace? It would only be to deceive you! Angels have no ministry to us; their ministry and appearances belong in Israel’s program.

The Bible is the Final Authority, not emotional experiences. Let no one trick (“beguile”) you with false teaching… that includes preachers, “angels,” and “dead saints!”

Doctrines of Devils

Thursday, April 12, 2012

“Now the Spirit speaketh expressly, that in the latter times some shall depart from the faith, giving heed to seducing spirits, and doctrines of devils; speaking lies in hypocrisy; having conscience seared with a hot iron; forbidding to marry, and commanding to abstain from meats…” (1 Timothy 4:1,2 KJV).

Today’s Scripture describes modern-day lukewarm Christendom, especially its leadership. Many church leaders are “speaking lies in hypocrisy.” They appear as sincere and godly men, but they covet your trust… as to acquire your wallet!

Exactly what are “doctrines of devils?” Dabbling in the occult? Frequenting clubs and bars? Illegal activities? A doctrine of devils is any teaching that is contrary to the King James Bible rightly divided. Denominational teaching, church tradition, and human viewpoint are doctrines of devils.

God commanded Israel to observe the Sabbath, get water baptized, tithe, tongue talk, work miracles, eat kosher foods, and keep the Mosaic Law. If anyone tells you that you have to do those things—and much of Christendom does—they are teaching you doctrines of devils. God is not administering Israel’s program today; these activities do not belong in our dispensation.

These are Israel’s commandments and ordinances, not ours! God does not demand these activities from you. If someone wants to put you under the Mosaic Law, that is a doctrine of devils (Romans 6:14,15). If they tell you to work for your salvation instead of relying on Jesus Christ’s finished cross work, that too is a doctrine of devils (Galatians 1:6-9).

Satan is sneaky. A doctrine of devils may even use the name “Jesus,” “Gospel,” or “Spirit,” but Paul warns us of “another Jesus, another spirit, and another gospel” (2 Corinthians 11:3,4; Galatians 1:6-9).

One of the last things Paul wrote was, “This thou knowest, that all they which are in Asia be turned away from me” (2 Timothy 1:15). If a departure from God’s Word through Paul’s ministry existed 2,000 years ago, how much worse has that apostasy gotten! Since Paul’s time, 38,000-plus (!) “Christian” denominations have sprung up. There has been such an explosion of false teaching that it is unbelievable.

Beware of the doctrines of devils… in church circles.

Filthy Lucre

Saturday, March 17, 2012

“The scribes… which devour widows’ houses, and for a pretence make long prayers: these shall receive greater damnation” (Mark 12:38,40 KJV).

Recently, Harold Camping released an online letter of apology for (wrongly) predicting “Judgment Day” would come May 21, 2011. Thousands of dear people fell for the scam: some spent their college funds and retirement savings to finance one of religion’s most recent hoaxes. Beloved, fall not prey to those who “devour widows’ houses.”

God’s Word says, the love of money is the root of all evil” (1 Timothy 6:10). The idolization of material wealth has bred thousands of wars and millions of murders. It has also contributed to the everlasting damnation of billions of souls.

In today’s Scripture, Jesus rebuked Israel’s religious leaders for “devouring [consuming] widow’s houses”… robbing even widows of everything! Religion is the world’s most prosperous business: it was true in Jesus’ day, and nothing has changed. Mankind is still naturally bent toward accumulating much material wealth. I was aghast to learn that one of my community’s churches is “devouring” nearly $700,000 annually! The local mega-church must be “raking in” millions!

Once, when I told one of our former pastors that we are not bound to tithe today, he leaned over and whispered, “Shh, do not tell that to my people. They do not give enough as it is!” How sad. The dear man must have not known that one of the qualifications of bishops (pastors) and deacons was “not greedy of filthy lucre [extorted money]” (1 Timothy 3:3,8; Titus 1:7)—or did he know (?). Someone recently informed me that a lady’s purse was stolen at her church. (I am inclined to think it was the money-hungry denomination!)

Beloved, be cautious about where your money goes, especially regarding churches and ministries. Many churches and ministries are not serving the Lord; they are hiding God’s truth from the masses. How it grieves our heart to see so many good, sincere people being taken advantage of.

A FRIENDLY REMINDER: prayerfully and carefully research a church or ministry’s doctrinal statement (beliefs) before you financially support it. Make sure you are not financing the adversary (Satan)!