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)!

Peter’s Sick Mother-in-Law

Saturday, March 10, 2012

“And he arose out of the synagogue, and entered into Simon’s house. And Simon’s wife’s mother was taken with a great fever; and they besought him for her. And he stood over her, and rebuked the fever; and it left her: and immediately she arose and ministered unto them” (Luke 4:38,39 KJV).

Today’s Scripture exposes religion’s modern-day heretics and charlatans. By simply reading the Bible, we realize the difference between what religion claims the Bible teaches and what the Bible actually teaches. “The entrance of thy words giveth light; it giveth understanding unto the simple” (Psalm 119:130).

Notice what the Bible said in today’s Scripture. Firstly, the Apostle Peter—often (wrongly) assumed to the “first pope”—is not celibate as popes are. According to God’s Word, Peter was married, for Jesus went into Simon Peter’s house, where Peter’s wife’s mother” is sick. Secondly, this healing miracle was instant, unlike the shams and scams we hear about and see in religious circles today. According to the Bible, God’s healing miracles were immediate. (Jesus never charged her for the healing either!)

Lest someone dismiss this as being supported by a “scanty” number of Bible verses, we find that Matthew and Mark both substantiate Luke’s account. Matthew 8:14,15 and Mark 1:29-31 both confirm that Peter did have a mother-in-law (therefore, a wife) and Jesus did heal her instantly. Mark 1:30 says, immediately the fever left her, and she ministered unto them.” Not only was she instantly well, but physically able to get up and serve them! Please notice that unlike the “miracle” scams on religious television today, this was immediate healing (she did not need a long recuperation period of days or weeks).

Interestingly, there is nothing in these passages about “she had enough faith,” which modern-day “faith healers” demand you have in order to receive physical healing. Furthermore, the passage never said she desired healing—it was something Jesus did in response to the apostles’ request (Mark 1:30; Luke 4:38). Unlike today’s “miraculous” shams, this was a genuine miracle, for many ill people came to Christ afterward, and they too were healed (Matthew 8:16; Mark 1:32-34; Luke 4:40).

Shhhh, Grace Believers!

Sunday, February 26, 2012

“Moreover ye see and hear, that not alone at Ephesus, but almost throughout all Asia, this Paul hath persuaded and turned away much people, saying that they be no gods, which are made with hands: so that not only this our craft is in danger to be set at nought; but also that the temple of the great goddess Diana should be despised, and her magnificence should be destroyed, whom all Asia and the world worshippeth” (Acts 19:26,27 KJV).

God’s Word has always been unpopular with sinful mankind, but this is especially true of the Gospel of the Grace of God. In today’s Scripture, the Apostle Paul is preaching the death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus Christ as the only way to heaven, angering the pagan idol makers. “Paul, quiet down, you are a threat to our ‘business’ (religion)!” Not surprisingly, we grace believers are told the same thing!

My local grace church has a television ministry. Once, viewers had great difficulty hearing the program. They would increase the volume of their televisions, but our pastor’s preaching was barely audible. When church members visited the office of the cable television provider which broadcasts the show, they learned that a technician was lowering the master transmit volume when our program would air. (The grace message was too offensive to either his religion or his sinfulness, so he was turning down the volume for all viewers!)

The Bible speaks of people who know the truth of God, but “who hold the truth in unrighteousness” (Romans 1:19,20)—they suppress God’s Word so that Satan’s error can flourish! In today’s Scripture, these pagans wanted to turn the crowds against the Apostle Paul. Paul would not be quiet regarding the message of God’s grace, so they were determined to kill him in a mob (see Acts 19:28–20:1)!

God’s grace, the message of Calvary’s cross, is offensive to people preoccupied with works-religion, for Calvary charges works-religion (man’s performance) as insufficient for heaven (see Galatians 5:11). Let us continue boldly sharing the Gospel of the Grace of God, and the rightly divided King James Bible, especially when they cry, “Shhhh, grace believers!” 🙂

Cheerful Giving

Thursday, February 16, 2012

“Every man according as he purposeth in his heart, so let him give; not grudgingly, or of necessity: for God loveth a cheerful giver” (2 Corinthians 9:7 KJV).

The other day, I happened to meet an old friend, a dear brother in the Lord who has been studying the Bible dispensationally for a few years. He told me that, after decades of bondage in denominational systems, he finally understood his Bible, and added, “I realize much of today’s ‘Christianity’ is money, money, money!” My, sad to say it, but these few words contain much truth.

Months ago, another Christian brother told me that he watched a famous preacher’s television program. Shaking his fist, the pious preacher warned, “If you are not tithing, you are under God’s curse!” (Certainly, the preacher was biblical, for he was quoting Malachi 3:8-11. However, he was not dispensational because he willingly ignored that the “cursed nation” spoken of there was Israel, not America… according to Malachi 1:1 anyway).

According to the Bible, preachers such as the aforementioned heretic were besieging Corinth. The dear Corinthian believers were enthusiastically (!) letting false teachers slip in and “take of [them]” (2 Corinthians 11:20)—people were swindling them in the name of “God”/religion! In fact, Paul calls these false teachers “fools” (verse 19). Paul would use this term to describe the thousands of pastors who are still extorting, “robbing their church members blind!” If God should be unhappy with someone, it would be with the greedy preachers, not the meager givers.

Beloved, never, ever let someone make you give a certain amount. That is legalism (tithing), and legalism is against grace. Grace leads us to give “as [we] purposeth in [our] heart.” Unlike Israel, we do not give “grudgingly” or “of necessity.” We give “cheerfully” (happily, wholeheartedly), and as much or as little as WE decide (today’s Scripture). God is not cursing anyone today, and that includes people who do not give money to Him (2 Corinthians 5:18-20).

God’s grace is not against giving, for Paul taught giving under grace in 2 Corinthians chapters 8, 9, and 10. God’s grace is against tithing (obligatory giving, giving under law).

Cunningly Devised Fables

Sunday, January 8, 2012

“For we have not followed cunningly devised fables, when we made known unto you the power and coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, but were eyewitnesses of his majesty” (2 Peter 1:16 KJV).

Satan has been working for thousands of years. Spiritual warfare between good and evil begins in the denominational leadership. Ungodly, lost church leaders with religious clout entice the masses to follow them… to hell! Jesus explained, “Let them alone: they be blind leaders of the blind. And if the blind lead the blind, both shall fall into the ditch” (Matthew 15:14).

Religious authorities concoct nonsensical stories that play on gullible people’s emotions in order to gain followers and their savings. Last May, Harold Camping was the latest “date setter” for the end of the world. For years individuals have been calculating elaborate timelines that document the end of world, only to be mocked when the dates fail to come to pass. How people ridicule God because of these fools, too! But, the “cunningly devised fables” grow more and more far-fetched.

Tales of tumors miraculously falling from infirm bodies, Mary appearing in treetops, stigmata seen on hands and feet, weeping statues, “Holy Ghost” encounters, relics, and grotto shrines are but a few of religion’s “cunningly devised fables” used to deceive sincere souls. These “doctrines of devils” distract people from the truth of God’s Word, and because these stories are so preposterous, they cause people to doubt the Bible’s testimony (1 Timothy 4:1-3; cf. Ephesians 4:14; 2 Peter 2:1-3).

Beloved, the Bible warns us about people “beguiling [tricking] us with enticing [nice-sounding] words” (Colossians 2:4). The story appears to be godly, but do not be fooled. Compare it with the Bible rightly divided.

In today’s Scripture, the Apostle Peter reassures his Jewish readers that he did not fabricate the account of Jesus Christ appearing in all His glory on the Mount of Transfiguration (Matthew 17:1-8; Mark 9:2-8; Luke 9:28-36). Unlike the “signs, miracles, and wonders” of religion, it really did happen—visibly, physically, and literally.

As long as we believe the King James Bible rightly divided, we too “have not followed cunningly devised fables.”

Religion’s Untold Riches Revealed

Sunday, November 20, 2011

“And through covetousness shall they with feigned words make merchandise of you: whose judgment now of a long time lingereth not, and their damnation slumbereth not” (2 Peter 2:3 KJV).

Remember when our Lord Jesus Christ drove extortionists from the Temple in Matthew 21:12,13 (cf. Mark 11:15-18; Luke 19:45-47)? Sadly, nothing has changed since then, beloved.

When asked about the wealth of the world’s largest church, one official smugly replied, “Only God knows!” Indeed, God does know and those church leaders will give an account to God for every single cent they extorted from their followers!

Mega-church leaders literally resort to wheelbarrows because their collection plates are too few and too small. Although exposed as false teachers and charlatans, some televangelists continue raking in millions annually. Note also the “unholy hands on God’s Holy Word,” continually revising the Bible and copyrighting it (thereby securing fame and fortune).

If you pay enough, churches will pray enough! Notice Jesus’ rebuke in Matthew 23:14: “Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye devour widows’ houses, and for a pretence make long prayer: therefore ye shall receive the greater damnation” (cf. Mark 12:40; Luke 20:47). Like religious leaders today, they hypocritically uttered “long prayer” (for money).

Certainly, a man of God should be paid his wages: “Let the elders that rule well be counted worthy of double honour, especially they who labour in the word and doctrine. For the scripture saith, Thou shalt not muzzle the ox that treadeth out the corn. And, The labourer is worthy of his reward” (1 Timothy 5:17,18).

However, there is abuse: men who are “covetous” and “greedy of filthy lucre [extorted money]” (1 Timothy 3:3,8; Titus 1:7). Observe elaborate multimillion-dollar cathedrals, the “Christian” leader who “loves God” while claiming that she “deserved” her private jet, and the famous preacher who currently gives 90% (“reverse”) tithes. Just imagine being able to live off a mere one-tenth of your annual income! Outrageous.

In today’s Scripture, the Apostle Peter mentions false teachers (religious leaders) who covet their audience’s bank accounts. The damnation of these liars who speak “feigned [fake, hypocritical] words” is sure!