"Pilgrim and Sojourner." - 1 Peter 2:11
| God Doesn't Want Your Money! by brother Greg|
[b]God Doesn't Want Your Money![/b]
by brother Greg
Never in the history of Christianity has there been so many sermons and preachers begging for money. Is God broke? God says "blessed are the poor" we say in our twisted days "blessed are the rich". God says "godliness with contentment is great gain!" we say in our materialistic age "godliness is great financial gain!". Right now as I am writing this article there are 1000's of T.V. preachers begging for money. There are 10,000's of people opening envelopes and emails as we speaking right now of ministries pleading for financial support. What a travesty that the first impression of the mind of unbelievers in North America is that Christianity is about money.
I admit personally in my life and ministry there were times where I asked for financial support and went against my conscience in that matter. I do believe there is reason and balance and it will vary from ministry to ministry of making some need known. But I do feel the best and most excellent way is to serve God and ask the Father in secret for your needs.
Judas was the money changer and it is surprising so many pastors want to follow in the steps of Judas rather then Jesus. Never has so little been done with so much money for the Gospel. The Gospel work of Jesus Christ requires little money but much men. It requires little financial begging but much knee work before God in prayer. If we were prevailing with God instead of pleading with men for our needs they would have been met overabundantly by this point.
Zac Poonen said this: "The early Christians were humble enough to acknowledge their lack of wisdom in such matters. That was why they gave their gifts to the apostles to be distributed to the poor. But those apostles never touched any of that money themselves." Their are needs for money to be given for the poor, helpless, and to some workers of the gospel "the workman is worthy of his hire." But what a contrast we see between these Apostles in the Scriptures and the modern day pastor.
This is a challenge to all Christians to stop giving to these ministries on T.V. who are fleecing the sheep and making themselves rich. Give to ministries that are humble, small, that don't beg. Find modern day prophets to give to. Don't give to the slick sleek pastor who just says "nice" things to comfort you.
I close with a very profitable list from Zac Poonen which he calls the "Ten Commandments" on money for Christian workers:
1. Never make your financial needs known to anyone but God (Phil.4:19).
2. Never accept money from unbelievers (3 John 7).
3. Never expect any gifts from anyone (Psa.62:5).
4. Never allow anyone to control you or influence your ministry by giving you money.
5. Never accept money from those who don't receive your ministry.
6. Never accept money for your personal or family needs, from anyone poorer than you.
7. Never be dependent on any man for your financial needs.
8. Never handle God's money in a way that would cause others to suspect mishandling (2 Cor.8:20,21).
9. Never be excited when you receive money.
10. Never be depressed when you lose money.
SI Moderator - Greg Gordon
| 2009/4/9 16:12||Profile|
| Re: God Doesn't Want Your Money! by Greg Gordon|
| 2009/4/9 16:31||Profile|
| 2009/4/9 17:23|
| Re: God Doesn't Want Your Money! by Greg Gordon|
May the Lord bless that message brother. I wrote this a couple of years ago. I think some of the stats may shock. We need to be shocked....Frank
This particular subject has always been in my spirit. Its always a controversial subject and I respect other views on how we as the Christian community handle the issues of money. Some believe wholeheartedly in the tithing system while others believe that this system was part of the Old Covenant and is not part of the New Covenant. I have a view on that subject but I believe that is a different debate. The one group I do not respect are the "peddlers of the Gospel." These are wicked men indeed and they will hear these terrifying words "depart from me you workers of iniquity for I never knew you."
Peddlers come in many forms and can be found in many parts of Christendom. Some areas of the Church are more infested than others Sad to say, the part I truly identify with, the "Pentecostals," for lack of a better phrase, seems to have the most peddlers. I believe that is because the people in these circles, generally, have good sensitive hearts, therefore they are more easily manipulated by "wolves in sheeps clothing." When you always want to think the best of someone or people in general(this is a truly great state to be in) then you are more likely to be burned by hustlers.
The prosperity Gospel , so called, has the most members of this infamous club. And so, I will try and dispel some myths about who we are as Christians, and what God wants for His people. I would like you to consider the following statistics. These statistics can be found on the "World Challenge,Inc," webpage which is the home page of David Wilkersons Ministries, a highly respected worldwide ministry......................
6.5 Billion people live on planet Earth
1.5 Billion people live on 23 cents a day
2 Billion people live without electricity
80% of the population of the world live in substandard housing.
1 Billion people are without safe drinking water
Every 16 seconds someone dies of hunger.
57 million people died in 2006
10.5 million of these were children under 5
Now brothers and sisters consider these stats........
$8 Billion yearly on cosmetics in the USA
$11 Billion yearly on ice cream in Europe
$17 Billion yearly on pet food in Europe and USA
$105 Billion on alcohol in Europe.
The poorest amongst us are richer than most of the people of the world. Now we know that God is not only the God of America, that He is the God of the whole world. We know that God so loved this world, this whole world, that He gave His only Son to die for it, that was the measure of His sacrifice. So what do you think God thinks when He hears the richest people in the world, a world that is predominantly poor, crying out for more riches and for God to bless them more?
The logic for this I am told is so that we can win the world for Christ. If God will just enrich us, then we can use those resources to win the world for Him. Yet, as we have already seen, we are already the richest people on the planet in the history of the planet.
1Ti 6:6 But godliness with contentment is great gain.
1Ti 6:7 For we brought nothing into the world, and it is clear that we can carry nothing out.
1Ti 6:8 But having food and clothing, we will be content.
1Ti 6:9 But they who will be rich fall into temptation and a snare, and into many foolish and hurtful lusts which plunge men into destruction and perdition.
In 1Tim 6:9 we can clearly see that those "who will be rich," those who desire to be rich are in extreme danger. It does not say that some who would be rich, the mere desire to be rich, regardless of your motivations, is sinful and tempting disaster upon your spiritual life. What it does say is that we are to be content by merely having food and clothing, and when you consider the world statistics , this is great advice.
Heb 13:5 Let your way of life be without the love of money, and be content with such things as you have, for He has said, "Not at all will I leave you, not at all will I forsake you, never!"
So, is there something wrong with people who are rich? Absolutely not. Some are born rich and some by hard work and diligence and integrity become rich.These attributes are Godly and we are compelled by the Scriptures to work hard even when the boss is not looking, we should work as unto God. So it is not riches in and of themselves that are sinful, but it the desire to be rich.
The problem is that there is teaching in the Church to the contrary. We are taught by certain leaders not to be content with our position( a violation and a contradiction of Scripture) The logic that they give is that in order for the Gospel to be preached and the lost to be won for Christ we need resources. And, quite conveniently enough, the way to get Gods resources, to enrich yourself, in order to do Gods work(we have already seen that the desire itself to be rich is ungodly) is to give generously, and give generously to them. If we give generously to them then we will be rewarded perhaps a hundredfold or more. So the very premise of their teachings is wrong.
How do today's modern day peddlers compare to the saints of old? The people who actually turned the world upside down for Christ.
Hudson Taylor is a great hero of mine. For those of you who do not know him, he was one of the greatest Missionaries that the Body of Christ has produced. He founded China Inland Missions and brought the Gospel to the vast interior of China when it was a vast unknown territory back in the 1860s and he did so for the following four decades. He lost three children and a wife to the extremes of living in China at that time.
Hudson Taylor never allowed a collection in his whole career. There was a monthly periodical in which there was accounts of his work, yet he depended upon faith in God. In one famous incident in Herefordshire in England at a service convened and ran by a Colonel Puget. Now, even although it seemed strange to Colonel Puget, the service had been advertised with the announcement that there would be no collection at the service. Well the service got going and the Holy Spirit was moving and the congregation were greatly affected by Hudson Taylor's sermon. Colonel Puget realized at the end of the service that the people, because they were greatly moved, would give generously so he decided to overrule Mr Taylor and announced a collection. Mr Taylor stood to his feet and here is the quote from the book "The Spiritual Secret of Hudsaon Taylor," by his brother.
"It was his earnest desire that the hearers should go away burdened. Money was not the chief thing in the Lords work, especially money easily given under the influence of emotion. Much as he appreciated their kind intention, he would far rather have each go home to ask the Lord very definitely what He should have them do. If it were to give of their substance, they could send a contribution to their own or any other society, but in view of the appalling facts of heathenism, it might be more costly gifts the Lord was seeking, perhaps the life service of one's own son or daughter. No amount of money could save a single soul. What was wanted was that men and women filled with the Holy Spirit should give themselves to the work of China and to the work of prayer at home. For the support of God sent missionaries would never be lacking.
"You made a great mistake , if I may say so, remarked the host at supper. "The people were really interested, we might have had a good collection." Mr Taylor tried in vain to explain his standard. The next morning his host came down rather late for breakfast. He explained that he could not sleep all night as he thought about all the souls of China going to hell not having heard the Gospel. He handed Mr Taylor a check for 500 pounds,an amount that today would be worth several thousand dollars and told him that if he had given at the collection the night before he would have given 5 pounds."
Let me say this brothers and sisters, the God of Hudson Taylor, the God of 150 years ago, is the same God today. The principals have not changed. Mr Taylor used to say that God did not beg for money and neither should his ministers.
The Wesley Brothers, who founded the Methodist church, were men of equal integrity. When the more famous brother died, he left behind $7, an old cloak and a Bible, and of course the Methodist church and a thousand glorious hymns to the glory of Jesus. These were men who were wholly dependent upon Jesus for everything and they shook the world. Mr Taylor only ever traveled in third class, how does that compare to the "leaders," of today who have their own private jets? These same leaders of the peddlers movement live in mansions and compounds ranging from $2 million to $5 million.
As in all things we have to look to Scripture for the final word on all things. What does the New Testament have to say about riches and the desire for money. In Mark 12:41 We have the famous story of the widows mite. This story was told in the context of bewaring of the Pharisee. 1Tim 6:10 is also a well know Scripture, it talks about the love of money being the root of all evil. Much has been taught on this scripture, especially by people who love money, yet the context is being content with what you have. Matt 13:22 talks about the deceit of riches and the context is anxiety, fearfulness and how this desire for money chokes out the word and those who run after it become unfruitful.
In Mark 10:23 Jesus explains how difficult it is , nigh impossible, for a rich man to enter heaven, yet all we ever really hear preached is how nothing is impossible for God, which of course is true but Jesus had a purpose in stating what He did, it was a warning. In Luke 16:13 it states "No servant can serve two masters. For either he will hate the one and love the other, or else he will hold to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and mammon."
Luk 16:14 And being money-lovers, all the Pharisees also heard all these things. And they derided Him.
Luk 16:15 And He said to them, You are those who justify yourselves before men, but God knows your hearts. For that which is highly esteemed among men is abomination in the sight of God.
Can you see what Jesus was saying? The Pharisees were money lovers. Yet the Pharisees had the reputation for living frugal lives. The Pharisaical spirit will always have to explain itself to men in regard to money, "But God knows their hearts," and what is taught by these men is an "abomination in the sight of God." Here is what Rev 3 says about a rich church...................
Rev 3:14 And to the angel of the church of the Laodicea write: The Amen, the faithful and true Witness, the Head of the creation of God, says these things:
Rev 3:15 I know your works, that you are neither cold nor hot. I would that you were cold or hot.
Rev 3:16 So because you are lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will vomit you out of My mouth.
Rev 3:17 Because you say, I am rich and increased with goods and have need of nothing, and do not know that you are wretched and miserable and poor and blind and naked,
Rev 3:18 I counsel you to buy from Me gold purified by fire, so that you may be rich; and white clothing, so that you may be clothed, and so that the shame of your nakedness does not appear. And anoint your eyes with eye salve, so that you may see.
So what are the riches that we should desire ? Let us see what Scripture has to say. Romans 11:33 says that the wisdom and knowledge are riches of God. Ephesians 1:7 says that His grace is riches. Eph 1:18 talks about the riches of His glory.Eph 3:8 says that Christ is true riches.Col 2:2 says that "full assurance," is true riches. Heb 11:26 says that the "reproach of Christ," is greater riches than all the treasure of Egypt. Romans 10:12 says that to be rich is to be able to "call on Him." Eph 2:4 says that we are rich in the mercy and love of God.
So what we should truly hunger after and desire is this, the wisdom and knowledge of God, and we should revel in His great mercy and His glory. We should desire to be identified with His sufferings and we should know that we are rich because we can call on Him and that we have full assurance of salvation. Yet most of all, we should glory in the Living God that we are rich in His love. Brothers and sisters, I urge you not to hunger after the riches of this world, regardless of your motivations, it is not a Godly desire. Hunger after the true riches and in this you will find peace and contentment. Some say we should desire wealth so that we can further the Kingdom, some say we should desire more wealth so that we can wear $700 shoes and Italian suits worth 2 or 3 thousand dollars and that this glorifies God. In light of Scripture I ask you to consider the matter and let the Lord lead and guide you into all truth. It is men and woman , rich in the true riches of God that will change this world...................may His name be praised.................Frank
| 2009/4/9 21:44|
| Re: God Doesn't Want Your Money! by Greg Gordon|
Amen Mr. Gordon
| 2009/4/13 12:06||Profile|
| Re: God Doesn't Want Your Money! by Greg Gordon|
Sounds like more legalistic bondage to me.
"Never" be excited when you receive money?
When your living from faith to faith and you get a cheque in the mail from someone you don't know and your trusting God to pay your bills, I am going to be excited for receiving that money, Hallelujah!!
"Never" be dependent on any man for your financial needs? Aren't we limiting God? What if God would want you to be dependent on someone for a while to show you some humility. Yes trust God, but trusting God means to trust Him where ever He lead you into.
Elijah was told to stay at a widows house and there she put a roof over his head and fed him.
Jesus said: "Give, and it shall be given unto you; good measure, pressed down, and shaken together, and running over, [b]shall men give into your bosom[/b]. For with the same measure that ye mete withal it shall be measured to you again.
Does it say God will give into your bosom or men?
Yes we trust God, we put our faith in Him and we are not to be dependent on anyone, but God works through His creation and if He decides to send Ravens to feed us, then Ravens will be sent. If knowing that Ravens will come, I am depending on those Ravens to come and feed me. If God sends a man to pay my bills, then I am depending on that man to pay my bills, praising God for what He has done.
God gives us a job. I am dependent on that employer to pay me for work done, praising God for giving me that job.
Zac's Ten Commandments 1, 2, 4, 5, 6 is iffy, 8, 10. are all good things to consider.
But I do feel the best and most excellent way is to serve God and ask the Father in secret for your needs.
Quote:No scriptural evidence to say they did or didn't.
But those apostles never touched any of that money themselves
Quote:How true and How sad.
But what a contrast we see between these Apostles in the Scriptures and the modern day pastor.
Quote:The sad thing is about these guys is that they say a little truth and that is what ensnares so many to give to these nut crackers. I wouldn't say ALL of them are bad, but the majority makes the good ones look bad as well. Deceived and being deceived.
This is a challenge to all Christians to stop giving to these ministries on T.V. who are fleecing the sheep and making themselves rich.
| 2009/4/13 14:08|
| Re: |
I might agree that the word "never," should be carefully used. I know that growing up in poverty, there were times when my mother had literally nothing, no money, no food. At these times she would pray that the Lord would provide. I believe this happened about half a dozen times over the span of about ten years. Every time, an envelope would drop through the letter box with money in it. We found out decades later that is was a very Godly woman who , when the Holy Spirit so led, put her tithe through our door. Every time that happened we greatly rejoiced. Not only rejoiced, but stood amazed at God's faithfulness to us. Yet, the need was never spoken, it was all the work of the Holy Spirit and obedient believing servents. I think brother Greg and others , and I would include myself in that number, are disgusted that the Gospel message has been so defiled and and abused by these peddlers that it would be better to err on the other side.
The Apostle Paul himself argued forcibly about the rights of the workers of the Gospel to be fed, but would not avail himself of it lest any man think he was preaching to profit from the message. In other words , he was sensitive to what people thought and his highest consideration was the Gospel itself. If that were the case today, no one would be asking for money, on TV, or anywhere else. One last point. For almost nine years I was a part of a church called "Full Faith Church of Love." That church, and it was a pentecostal church, had a policy of no collections. Visiting guest were also not allowed to have collections. There were boxes fixed to the walls, outside the sanctuary. The believe was that if you were genuinly saved then you would give whatever the Lord put on your heart. That church grew to almost 5000, with 12 ministers, and supported over 50 missionary families, and not one collection. God is faithful, He supplies the need, he equips whom He has called. I think there can be no better "modern day,' example that Hudson Taylor............brother Frank
| 2009/4/13 15:45|
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Very nice post Frank. A Good testimony indeed!
| 2009/4/13 15:52|
| Re: |
I think brother Greg and others , and I would include myself in that number, are disgusted that the Gospel message has been so defiled and and abused by these peddlers that it would be better to err on the other side.
I think the saying, "The cure for abuse is [u]not[/u] 'non-use' it is 'right use' is in order. The tragedy I am seeing is that the attitude of non-use is prevailing among the dissenters (and I count myself in that number) - not only towards money, but towards spiritual gifts, worship, prophetic utterances, etc.
The enemy prevails when we over react. It is a strategy of control that goes almost undetected. It is a device that we are largely ignorant of. This is why level heads have to prevail.
I refuse to legislate against God's revealed word in order to control rebellious people. What makes us any more obedient to the word if we are contrary to the word in trying to correct their wrong? Two wrongs still does not make a right. We need 'right use' and someone with the courage in these areas to look past the excess and lead their people in the truth as an example as to how these things are rightly done.
Robert Wurtz II
| 2009/4/13 17:00||Profile|
| Re: |
Hi brother Robert,
I think that I gave you a good example of a church that did not beg for money every week. It is not Biblical to ask for money every week. There is one example in the NT where Paul is coming and they are having a special collection for the poor saints in Jerusalem. Paul asks them to collect that on the first of every week, according to their excess, in order that it might be in place when he comes.
As for the gifts of the Spirit, I totaly agree with you. Level heads do prevail in Gods Church brother. The Pentecostal theologian Fee says that the path of God lies in the "Radical center." I agree with him. Because of abuse we see that the "baby is thrown out with the bathwater," when it comes to the gifts. Yet as always, God has His remnant..........brother Frank
| 2009/4/13 17:50|