THE DECEITFULNESS OF RICHES
& THE "MARXIST PARADIGM"
by: S.R. Shearer
| The Laodicean Church- which, unfortunately, bears a striking
resemblance to the American Church- is referred to in Rev. 3:14-22
as being particularly apostate, but which nonetheless thought
of itself as being blessed by God because of its great wealth;
but Christ condemned it as worthy only of being vomited out of
His mouth. The reason for its condition was that it had confused
material wealth for spiritual wealth.
And unto the angel of the church of the Laodiceans write; These things
saith the Amen, the faithful and true witness, the beginning of the
creation of God; I know thy works, that thou art neither cold nor hot:
I would thou wert cold or hot. So then because thou art lukewarm, and
neither cold nor hot, I will spue (i.e., vomit) thee out of my mouth.
Because thou sayest, I am rich (with material things), and increased
with goods (i.e., material goods), and have need of nothing;
and knowest not that thou art (spiritually) wretched, and (spiritually)
miserable, and (spiritually) poor, and (spiritually) blind, and (spiritually)
naked: I counsel thee to buy of me gold tried in the fire, that thou
mayest be rich; and white raiment, that thou mayest be clothed, and
that the shame of thy nakedness do not appear; and anoint thine eyes
with eyesalve, that thou mayest see. As many as I love, I rebuke and
chasten: be zealous therefore, and repent. Behold, I stand at the door,
and knock: if any man hear my voice, and open the door, I will come
in to him, and will sup with him, and he with me. To him that overcometh
will I grant to sit with me in my throne, even as I also overcame, and
am set down with my Father in his throne. He that hath an ear, let him
hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches." (Rev. 3:14-22)
INTRODUCTION: A LETTER
FROM ONE OF OUR SUBSCRIBERS
Recently we received a letter from a somewhat disgruntled subscriber
(I will call him brother "R") who labeled us "Marxists." He wrote:
"Essays posted on the site (i.e., www.endtimesnetwork.com [now www.antipasministries.com
- editor]) tend to characterize the gospel as a revolution of the
poor against the rich, or at least they try to frame spiritual questions
in the context of the Marxian class struggle paradigm ..."
He continues in a second letter:
"... don't you sometimes get a little uncomfortable with the notion
that the rich elite are motivated 'solely' by a mindless desire to
accumulate material possessions? There is no acknowledgment of their
individuality in this claim ... Let me put it another way. Suppose
we overheard a conservative Republican mutter, 'Those homosexuals
are all the same. All they care about is buggery' [i.e., sodomy -
editor]! How would we size up his attitude from a rational, Christian
perspective? We would say that he demonizes homosexuals, i.e., he
takes the pederast's salient vice and presents it as the sum total
of the latter's personality. Applying the same standard to Antipas's
description of the wealthy, may we not conclude they are also being
This is, of course, not the only letter on this subject that we have
received; nor is it the first time that we have been called "Marxists"
- though I suppose by this standard, "R" would have consigned the Church
in Jerusalem to "Marxist" status since, according to the Book of Acts,
they "... had all things common" (Acts 2:44) and they
were of "... one heart and of one soul: neither said any of them
that ought of the things which he possessed was his own; but they
had all things common" (Acts 4:32). Nonetheless, the fact is
there are a lot of people who feel like "R" does and are apparently
bothered by our attitude towards the rich and money.
"R" takes exception to the broad brush we use with regard to the rich;
he says that in doing so, we are failing to acknowledge their "individuality
in this claim." He asserts that we are making the same mistake a conservative
Republican makes when condemning homosexuals as a class without ever
taking into account their own individual natures.
But let's look at the facts here. First, with regard to our imagined
sympathy for the Political Left (socialism and communism) over
and against the Political Right (capitalism) - it doesn't exist!
We are favorably disposed to neither. That we tend to attack
the Right more than the Left can be accounted for on one basis,
and only one: THE COMMUNISTS AND THE SOCIALISTS DON'T SPREAD
THEIR MISERY IN THE NAME OF CHRIST; BUT THE CAPITALISTS AND
THE "CAPTAINS OF INDUSTRY," WITH VERY RARE EXCEPTIONS, DO.
Second, "R" makes a mistake in comparing the danger of wealth to the
danger of homosexuality, or any other type of sexual sin, or - for that
matter - any kind of sin, e.g., idolatry (Ex. 20:4), blasphemy (Ex.
20:7), murder (Ex. 20:13), adultery (Ex. 20:14), stealing (Ex. 20:15),
false witness (Ex. 20:16), covetousness (Ex. 20:17), envy (Rom. 1:29),
debate (Rom. 1:29), deceit (Rom. 1:29), gossip (Rom. 1:29), anger (Col.
3:8), wrath (Col. 3:8), malice (Col. 3:8), filthy communication (Col.
THE DANGER OF MONEY
That's mixing apples with pears. Wealth - unlike the wrongdoings listed
above - is, in and of itself, not sin. The truth is, money is a rather
neutral thing. But this in no way lessens its danger. Why? - because
money - in a very real way - is the thing that makes sin possible. It
is the CATALYST that makes sin work. Like heat applied
to a chemical reaction, it makes the process percolate, it makes it
"bubble and boil," and "roll and go." Otherwise the two reagents in
our chemical analogy here (sin and sinner) are likely to simply lie
together in a dormant fashion without any kind of real interaction.
Money brings the sinner (for example, you) and the sin (for example,
fornication, adultery, drug use, etc.) into reaction with each other,
and produces an outcome - the corruption of one's body and soul.
Money and wealth produce the "free time" and the opportunity necessary
for an occasion to sin. It makes the women (or men) available for one's
sexual indulgence; it buys the drugs; it purchases the liquor; it gives
opportunity to malice and mischief on a grand scale; it buys the legislators,
judges and government officials necessary to the corruption of society;
it gives opportunity to murder and bloodshed; it buys respectability
when none is deserved; it produces secrecy insofar as the corruption
of one's character is concerned while at the same time offering a facade
(the coiffeured hair, the pin striped suits, the Armani shirts, etc.)
to hide behind; it buys safety from the backlash of society against
one's conduct and misbehavior, and impunity against the vengeance of
those one has harmed, etc. That's why men cherish money - and that's
precisely why the Bible says -
"For the love of money is the ROOT OF ALL evil
..." (1 Tim. 6:10)
Now think about that! - the love of money is "THE ROOT OF ALL
EVIL!!" That's exactly what the Bible says! If you disagree, your
argument is not with us, but with the Bible! Think about it! - ALL
evil; not just some evil, but ALL evil. And so much so
that in the very next verse the Bible warns Christians to flee from
"But thou, O man of God, flee these things (i.e., the
love of money and wealth) ..." (1 Tim. 6:11)
And listen here, we are not to casually walk away from it, but we are
to FLEE from it! - much as one would flee before a raging
MONEY AND THE "LOVE OF MONEY"
There are some, of course, who would say that it is possible for a
man to live in close proximity to and in intimate relationship with
great wealth and not use it as an opportunity to sin; that there is
a difference to be remarked upon insofar as "money" and the "love of
money" is concerned. But that is a very fine line to walk - and while
there may be some who are able to navigate safely along this line, they
are very much the exception rather than the rule, and you are taking
a very grave chance in assuming that your life proves the exception
rather than the rule.
That's a thin string to hang the weight of eternity on - your
eternity. Not even Solomon, in all his wisdom and knowledge of God,
was able to live in close relationship with wealth and not have it affect
him adversely. What makes you think you will be able to accomplish what
even Solomon was unable to do? Perhaps you can; maybe you will be able
to rise above the temptation to sin that money affords. I've known people
who have been able to do so.
Conceivably you may be one of those few who has the gift to do it [And
if you do, you will, no doubt, be a person noted for your generosity
in the God-given GIFT of "helps" and "giving"
to the needs of the saints and to the "work of the ministry" - Rom.
12:13 and I Cor. 12:28]. But you need to think long and hard about whether
you really possess such a gift - especially in light of Matt. 19:23-24:
"Then said Jesus unto his disciples, Verily I say unto you, THAT
A RICH MAN SHALL HARDLY ENTER INTO THE KINGDOM OF HEAVEN.
"And again I say unto you, 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." (Matt. 19:23-24)
Now, this is certainly not to say that sin isn't possible in the absence
of money. After all, we are all sinners, rich and poor alike. Sin -
as a principle - is resident in all of us, prince as well as pauper.
We are all held in bondage to it. (Heb. 2:15) Indeed, the Bible says:
"For ALL have sinned, and come short of the glory of
God ..." (Rom. 3:23)
And, the Bible goes on to say,
"If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth
is not in us." (1 John 1:8)
MONEY AND ITS RELATIONSHIP
TO THE POOR AND TO THE RICH
But the very real fact of the matter is, the occasion to sin is not
quite as available to the poor (and we are not necessarily talking
here about the criminal poor, just the poor, i.e., the working poor)
as it is to the rich. And if, as is so often the case, virtue in this
life is often no more than the absence of opportunity, then the poor
are far less ravaged by the consequences of sin than are the rich -
and, as a result, far less depraved in character and mind by its working.
The truth is, the poor simply don't have the time or the money to indulge
themselves in sin in quite the way the rich are able to do. To a great
extent, money makes sin possible; it makes sin operative in our lives.
When temptation arises, money makes it possible for one to translate
his thoughts and temptations into action.
You're shocked by this? - this isn't what you learned in Sunday School?
This isn't what your pastor told you? This isn't what you hear over
the radio? This isn't what Michael Reagan and Rush Limbaugh say? This
isn't what the Protestant Ethic is all about? Or the "American Dream?"
This isn't what you learned at business school at Harvard or Yale? Maybe
not, but it is, nonetheless, the truth! There is a consequence to sin,
and the fact is, the more one has indulged himself in sin and the deeper
he has plumbed its depths, the more depraved his character will be.
MONEY FACILITATES SIN
Yes! - I tell you the truth! Yes! - there is an outcome to one's individual
acts of sin; to the QUANTITY of sin one has indulged himself
in; even to the TYPE of sin one has participated in. That's
the reality of the matter. There is a process to sin; a pathology to
it. The big sins of life don't emerge out of nowhere. Every time one
indulges himself in sin, his conscience is that much more seared to
it (I Tim 4:2), and made that much less effective as a guide in avoiding
the corruption of this life. As a result, little sins lead to bigger
sins; little lies lead to bigger lies; the sexual dalliances of youth
lead to the hideous sexual perversions and iniquities of adulthood (many
of which are too heinous to mention here); malice and envy lead to murder
and bloodshed. One thing leads to another, and then another, and still
another, each worse than the former - AND MONEY FACILITATES THIS
PROCESS; it hurries it along; it relentlessly pushes it forward;
it greases the way.
Dom Helder Camara of Brazil has written:
"I used to think, when I was a child, that Christ might have
been exaggerating when He warned about the dangers of wealth. Today
I know better. I know how ... (impossible) it is to be rich and still
keep the milk of human kindness. Money (or the desire for money) has
a dangerous way of putting scales on ones eyes, a dangerous
way of freezing peoples hands, eyes, lips and hearts."
WHERE THERE IS MONEY THERE IS SIN
The reality of the matter is, more often than the BMW and SUV Christians
of today would like to admit, there is more hope for those who reside
in the neighborhoods of the poor than there is for those who live in
the gated communities of "Yuppie Land" - many of which are Republican
Party bastions (the party which most Christians seem to think is "God's
party"). And more than that - and more than the followers of Kenneth
Hagin, James Kennedy, Kenneth Copeland, James Robison, and Pat Robertson
would like you to believe - there is far more salacious and degenerate
modes of life and sexual deviance in the middle class suburbs of America
(as any number of studies have noted) than there is in America's more
poverty-stricken communities where the followers of the Democrats (which
is - to hear some Religious Right advocates tell it - the "party of
Antichrist") live. The only difference is, those in "Yuppie Land" are
able to hide their sin more easily than those who live in America's
Where there is money, there is sin; and where there is lots of money,
there is lots of sin. And where there is lots of sin, there depravity
and corruption are to be found - and all the pin striped suits, and
all the Armani shirts, and all the gucchi paraphernalia, and all Lancome
perfume, and all the Este Lauder makeup, and all the Ralph Lauren cologne
cannot hide that fact. Maybe man can be fooled, but not God! Man looks
on the outside; but God looks on the inside. It's not without reason,
then, that the Bible says:
"For ye see your calling, brethren, how that not many wise men after
the flesh, not many mighty, not many noble, are called:
"But God hath chosen the foolish things of the world to confound
the wise; and God hath chosen the weak things of the world to confound
the things which are mighty;
"And base things of the world, and things which are despised, hath
God chosen, yea, and things which are not, to bring to nought things
that are." (1 Cor. 1:26-28)
This is, of course, not what Religious Right Christians and the followers
of James Robison, Paul Crouch, Tim LaHaye, etc. - all of whom have made
their bed with the rich - want to hear, but it is, nonetheless, the
THE SACRED BIAS OF THE SCRIPTURE
TOWARDS THE POOR AND AGAINST THE RICH
It is for precisely this cause that the Bible (and especially the New
Testament) seems to be so much more favorably disposed to the poor than
it is to the rich. A short perusal of the New Testament easily proves
the point, For example, the Bible says of the rich:
"But woe unto you that are rich! for ye have received your
"Woe unto you that are full! for ye shall hunger. Woe unto you that
laugh now! for ye shall mourn and weep. (Luke 6:24-25)
"Go to now, ye rich men, weep and howl for your miseries that
shall come upon you.
"Your riches are corrupted, and your garments are motheaten.
"Your gold and silver is cankered; and the rust of them shall be
a witness against you, and shall eat your flesh as it were fire. Ye
have heaped treasure together for the last days. (James 5:1-3)
"For the sun is no sooner risen with a burning heat, but it withereth
the grass, and the flower thereof falleth, and the grace of the fashion
of it perisheth: so also shall the rich man fade away in his ways."
And, of course -
"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." (Mark 10:25)
But of the poor, the Bible says:
"And he lifted up his eyes on his disciples, and said, Blessed
be ye poor: for yours is the kingdom of God." (Luke 6:20)
"Hearken, my beloved brethren, Hath not God chosen the poor
of this world rich in faith, and heirs of the kingdom which he hath
promised to them that love him?" (James 2:5)
And finally, Jesus said:
"The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he hath anointed me
to preach the gospel to the poor; he hath sent me to heal the
brokenhearted, to preach deliverance to the captives, and recovering
of sight to the blind, to set at liberty them that are bruised" (Luke
What? The Bible favors the poor over the rich? - again, that's not
what one hears today from the pulpits of America's churches. What is
it about the church in America? Why is it always to be found on the
side of the rich and against the poor? Could it be that today's church
is more the servant of money than it is of God? Maybe "R" could answer
this question for us? Probably not. He - like so many other Christians
today - are so focused on the sin of the homosexuals and the radical
feminists that he has been blinded to the master he really serves (i.e.,
And the verses listed above are just a few of the verses that reveal
the sacred bias of Scripture against the rich and in favor of the poor.
There are, of course, a few verses that move in the opposite direction;
but not many, and the sheer volume of Scripture in preference to the
poor over and against the rich is staggering - hardly the kind of odds
one would like to bet against when one's soul is at stake.
YOU CAN'T SERVE BOTH MONEY AND GOD
"Lay NOT up for yourself treasures upon the earth,
where moth and rust doth corrupt, and where thieves break through
and steal: but lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven,
where neither moth nor rust doth corrupt, and where thieves do not
break through nor steal: for where your treasure is, there will your
heart be also ... No man 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. Ye cannot serve (both) God and mammon (i.e.,
money)." [Mat. 6:19-24]
Now listen to this, and please listen carefully. Get this clearly
in your mind: The Bible says that no man can serve two masters: you
cannot serve both God and Mammon. YOU CAN'T DO IT! That's
what the Bible says! There is no getting around it, and if you are trying
to do so, the only person you may be kidding is yourself.
Money INVARIABLY leads away from God! Moreover, it not
only opens up the way to sin, but it also promotes a second condition
that is equally as dangerous to one's soul: WORLDLINESS;
a condition of things that makes one feel more at home in this life
than in the next. The fact is, money makes you comfortable in this life,
and in doing so, it hides from you the very transient, ephemeral and
fleeting nature of life in the "here and now." Anyone who tells you
differently is lying to you - and so much so, that the Bible labels
him an "ENEMY" of the Cross of Christ:
"For I have told you often before, and I say it again now with
tears in my eyes, there are many who walk along the Christian road
who have become THE ENEMIES OF THE CROSS OF CHRIST.
Their future is ... loss ... (for) all they think about is this
life here on earth." [Phil. 3:18-19 (Amp.)]
MONEY IS A HINDRANCE TO THOSE
WHO WANT TO GO ON WITH GOD
Moreover, that's not all. Wealth is also a hindrance to those who want
to go on with Christ; who want to surrender themselves wholly to His
service. I have been young, and now I am old, but in all my life I have
rarely seen the possession of money as anything else but an obstacle
to one's walk with Christ - even to those who dearly love Christ, and
who are deeply loved by Him in return. And I am not alone in thinking
this, this is what the Scriptures suggest as well. Take the matter of
the "rich young ruler" in Mark 10:17-25:
"And when he was gone forth into the way, there came one running,
and kneeled to him, and asked him, Good Master, what shall I do that
I may inherit eternal life?
"And Jesus said unto him, Why callest thou me good? there is none
good but one, that is, God.
"Thou knowest the commandments, Do not commit adultery, Do not kill,
Do not steal, Do not bear false witness, Defraud not, Honour thy father
"And he answered and said unto him, Master, all these have I observed
from my youth.
"Then Jesus beholding him LOVED him, and said unto
him, One thing thou lackest: GO THY WAY, SELL WHATSOEVER THOU HAST,
AND GIVE TO THE POOR, and thou shalt have treasure in heaven:
and come, take up the cross, and follow me.
"And he was sad at that saying, and went away grieved: for he had
"And Jesus looked round about, and saith unto his disciples, How
hardly shall they that have riches enter into the kingdom of God!
"And the disciples were astonished at his words. But Jesus answereth
again, and saith unto them, Children, how hard is it for them that
trust in riches to enter into the kingdom of God!
"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. (Mark 10:17-25)
This actually happened! This is not some story that Christ dreamed
up to make a point - and consider what the "rich young ruler" would
do NOW to change things around! But he can't! - he made
his choice and he is stuck with it for all eternity!
THE GRIP OF MONEY ON OUR LIVES
Oh, I tell you the truth, the hold that wealth and money have on all
of us is so great that only death has a tighter grip. Nonetheless,
you must break its hold on you, for it's not without reason
that the Bible warns:
"But THEY THAT WILL BE RICH FALL INTO TEMPTATION AND A SNARE,
and into many foolish and hurtful lusts, WHICH DROWN MEN IN DESTRUCTION
AND PERDITION." (I Tim. 6:9)
Those who pursue money are in danger of perdition! To say this makes
you angry at us? Why? - these are the Bible's words, not ours. Your
anger should be directed at the Bible, not us.
You say, it won't happen to you. Money will never lead you astray.
You are secure in your relationship with the Lord; secure in His love
for you; God loves you too much to let you be ensnared by money. What
happened to the "rich young ruler" will never happen to you. But, unfortunately,
insofar as all this is concerned, this is not a matter of love, but
a matter of CHOICE.
If it had only been a matter of love, then the "rich young ruler" would
have had no problem. He obviously loved the Lord. Nor can it be said
that Christ didn't love him. He did! The Bible says that He did
(verse 21). Moreover, if the "Christian walk" and salvation revolved
simply around the question of love, then everyone would be saved, for
the Bible says,
"For God so loved the world (and that means everyone in the world),
that he gave his only begotten Son ..." (John 3:16a)
But not everyone is saved! There is a part for man to play here - he
must accept the Gift that God gave (i.e., His Son); that's what the
next part of the verse means, to wit:
"... that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have
everlasting life." (John 3:16b)
You must "believe on Him" for His love to reach you! So also with anyone
who wants to go on with Him; to make his life count for something! Yes,
Jesus loved the "rich young ruler." But the rich young ruler had to
RESPOND to that love, and make the actual decision to
go on with Him by relinquishing his wealth! By giving it all away! CHRIST
LOVED THE MAN! - but Christ's love alone couldn't break the hold
that wealth had on his heart! So also with our wealth! There has to
be a response on our part.
WE SAY MONEY HAS NO HOLD ON US? WE'RE
THE EXCEPTION RATHER THAN THE RULE? - REALLY?
We say that money has no hold on us. But are we willing to give it
up? Are we really? - and I don't mean here what Christ demanded of the
"rich young ruler" - i.e., that he had to surrender all
His wealth - but do we liberally give to the needs of the saints, not
with a stingy and miserly heart, but liberally and copiously ASKING
ABSOLUTELY NOTHING IN RETURN, NO FAVORS, AND NO RECOGNITION.
The Bible says:
"Take heed that ye do not your alms (i.e., your giving to the needs
of the saints, and the work of the ministry) before men, to be seen
of them: otherwise ye have no reward of your Father which is in heaven.
"Therefore when thou doest thine alms, do not sound a trumpet before
thee, as the hypocrites do in the synagogues and in the streets, that
they may have glory of men. Verily I say unto you, They have their
"But when thou doest alms, let not thy left hand know what thy right
"That thine alms may be in secret: and thy Father which seeth in
secret himself shall reward thee openly. (Matt. 6:1-4)
Are we willing to live as if we possessed nothing? Are we able to resist
the temptation to believe that because God has given us wealth that
we are better than those whom God has not so blessed? Are we able to
resist the temptation of being "high-minded" insofar as our wealth is
concerned? Are we able - despite our wealth - to NOT trust
in it, but rather to hope in God for our deliverance from the vicissitudes
of life? Are we RICH in good works, READY TO DISTRIBUTE
our wealth to those less fortunate?
And if all this is the case, do we account our ability to handle our
wealth as a GIFT from God, not of our own making - and
nothing more? Or do we believe that we have been blessed with our wealth
because of something we have done? - because of some kind of innate
quality in ourselves not possessed by our fellow-believers?
Be careful here! For how we answer these questions will determine eternity
for us. The Bible says:
"Charge them that are rich in this world, that they be not highminded,
nor trust in uncertain riches, but in the living God, who giveth
us richly all things to enjoy;
"That they do good, that they be rich in good works, ready
to distribute, willing to communicate;
"Laying up in store for themselves a good foundation (i.e., charity
towards the saints and the "work of the ministry") against the time
to come, that they may lay hold on eternal life. (I Tim 6:17-19)
WE MUST BE CAREFUL HOW WE ANSWER
Are we able do this? Are we really? This is a question only we and
God can answer. But we must be careful how we answer.
Not many have such a gift, though they would like to believe that they
do in order to justify their attachment to money - i.e., that their
pursuit of wealth be seen by others as a "calling" from God;
that they be seen by others as engaged in the accumulation of
wealth not for their own sakes, but for the sake of God - and yet all
the while very little of their money finds its way into the work of
the ministry and the care of the saints, and most of it can be found
invested in a beautiful home, a SUV, and a lavish life-style.
THE DECEITFULNESS OF RICHES
The Bible speaks of the "deceitfulness of riches" (Matt. 13:22, Mark
4:19) - i.e., that riches are a sham and a fraud - one of those things
that makes one's Christian life UNPRODUCTIVE.
Yet knowing what the Bible says concerning this matter, most of
us continue to believe that we are masters of it, WHILE WE ARE REALLY
ITS SLAVES! - and all this despite the fact that money and riches
are such fleeting and cursory things. Death comes to all men - the rich
as well as the poor - and much sooner than most expect. Jesus says:
"... a man's life consisteth not in the abundance of the things
which he possesseth.
"And he spake a parable unto them, saying, The ground of a certain
rich man brought forth plentifully:
"And he thought within himself, saying, What shall I do, because
I have no room where to bestow my fruits?
"And he said, This will I do: I will pull down my barns, and build
greater; and there will I bestow all my fruits and my goods.
"And I will say to my soul, Soul, thou hast much goods laid up for
many years; take thine ease, eat, drink, and be merry.
"But God said unto him, THOU FOOL, this night thy soul
shall be required of thee: then whose shall those things be, which
thou hast provided?
"And he said unto his disciples, Therefore I say unto you, Take no
thought for your life, what ye shall eat; neither for the body, what
ye shall put on.
"... life is more than meat, and the body is more than raiment.
(Luke 12:15-20, 22-23)
Christ called the man here a FOOL - and He calls everyone
who pursues wealth and trusts in riches "fools" - and this despite the
fact that He forbids our use of the word - i.e., "whosoever shall say,
Thou fool, shall be in danger of hell fire" (Matt. 5:22). Obviously,
there is something here of great importance that He is trying to get
across to us. The Bible says,
"For we brought nothing into this world, AND IT IS CERTAIN
THAT WE CAN CARRY NOTHING OUT.
"And having food and raiment let us be therewith content. (I Tim.
"Having food and raiment, let us therewith be content." Unfortunately,
that's not what today's Christians want to hear! But, nonetheless, whether
you want to hear it or not, it's the truth.
THE "END OF DAYS" IS ABOUT MONEY
There is, therefore, a very somber and earnest reason that we come
to grips now, while there is still time, with our love of money - BECAUSE
THAT IS WHAT THE "END OF DAYS" IS ALL ABOUT. IT IS ABOUT MONEY!
You're surprised? You thought it was about "false signs and wonders,"
"false doctrine," etc. Well, it is that, but it is also about money!
The Bible says:
"And he (i.e., the "false prophet") 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 (i.e., the Antichrist), or the number
of his name." (Rev. 13:16-17)
"Buying" and "selling?" - what's that all about? - it's about MONEY!
Yes - again - the "Great Deception" of the "end of days" will
involve false "signs and wonders," "false doctrine," the "New Age,"
false forms of ecumenicism, etc. But more than most Christians want
to admit, it is also about money - that's what the "Mark of the Beast"
is all about! - MONEY!
WHAT DOES THIS MEAN TO US PERSONALLY
What does that mean to us on a personal basis? - Well, it means this:
We may be clear on the "New Age;" we may be doctrinally correct insofar
as the Word of God is concerned; we may not be "taken in" by false "signs
and wonders." But what about money? What is our connection with money?
Does it have a hold on our life? Are we able to walk away from it? -
and saying "Yes, we are able to do so" means nothing. It's what we do
on THAT DAY that counts! Saying so means nothing. Doing something
about it is what means something.
If we are unable to let go of our money now, if we are unable to give
liberally NOW to the needs of the poor, the saints, and
the "work of the ministry" (whatever that might mean in our lives) what
makes us think that we will be able to walk away from our money then?
I've used this example before, but it puts the point so succinctly,
and so well (and in terms which are very understandable), that I will
use it again: A wonderful Christian friend of mine [someone most of
you probably know, if only by reputation (she is a well-known writer
in Christian circles)] once told me a story about a friend of hers.
It concerned a married man who had become infatuated with a female co-worker
at his office. Soon he began to make excuses to meet her at the coffee
machine; then they began to meet for lunch - and all the while, his
conscience was warning him to stop.
But he didn't - after all, they were just being friends. Then
the lunches turned to dinner - and now his conscience was screaming
at him to stop, but he didn't. Finally, one evening he found himself
in bed with her at a cheap motel - and now he thinks he can stop? Hardly!
If he couldn't stop at the coffee machine, if he couldn't stop at the
lunches, if he couldn't stop at the dinners, what makes him think that
he could stop now as he is lying naked in bed with her? So also with
all of us!! So also with our connection to money. If we can't give it
up in the little things, what makes us think we will be able to give
it up on "THAT DAY?"
Now is the time to affect a change in our hearts with regard to our
money! Now! Don't wait until it's too late. Start now!
We need to develop a habit of "giving" now! If we wait until THAT
DAY, we will have waited too long. Habits of a lifetime are not
changed overnight. Stinginess of heart does not simply evaporate away
in a puff. Liberality must be cultivated and fostered; it must be nourished.
It doesn't just happen! If we can't let go of our money now, we won't
be able to let go of it then.
THE LAODICEAN CHURCH
Brothers and sisters, listen to me! We are living at the "end of the
age?" We really are! And if that is the case - and
it is - then the warning of Rev. 3:14-22 applies to us as to no
other generation since the beginning of time! The warning exists for
our specific edification; for our specific
guidance; for our specific instruction; it applies to
us in a very particular and consequential manner! And what is that warning?
- it is this:
"And unto the angel of the church of the Laodiceans (i.e., that church
that holds sway at the "end of the age" - please see Things
To Come by Dr. Dwight Pentacost of Dallas Theological Seminary)
write; These things saith the Amen, the faithful and true witness,
the beginning of the creation of God;
"I know thy works, that thou art neither cold nor hot: I would thou
wert cold or hot.
"So then because thou art lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will
spue (vomit) thee out of my mouth.
Because thou sayest, I am rich (with material things), and increased
with goods (i.e., material goods), and have need of nothing;
and knowest not that thou art (spiritually) wretched, and (spiritually)
miserable, and (spiritually) poor, and (spiritually) blind, and (spiritually)
"I counsel thee to buy of me gold tried in the fire, that thou mayest
be rich; and white raiment, that thou mayest be clothed, and that
the shame of thy nakedness do not appear; and anoint thine eyes with
eyesalve, that thou mayest see.
"As many as I love, I rebuke and chasten: be zealous therefore, and
"Behold, I stand at the door, and knock: if any man hear my voice,
and open the door, I will come in to him, and will sup with him, and
he with me.
"To him that overcometh will I grant to sit with me in my throne,
even as I also overcame, and am set down with my Father in his throne.
"He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the
churches. (Rev. 3:14-22)
We are warned that we possess a "lukewarm" spirit; that we are neither
"cold" nor "hot." As a result, we are in danger of being vomited out
of His mouth. And why are we in this condition? - because our riches
have turned us away from Christ. That's what the Bible says!
No doubt, there are many other contributing factors which have led us
as the Laodicean church to our present abominable condition, but Christ
pins the principal blame on our relationship with riches and money.
That may not be our assessment; we may lay the blame elsewhere, but
that's Christ's assessment.
ASSESSING OUR REAL CONDITION BEFORE GOD
We, of course, would rather place the blame on anything else but our
money! Money is such a comfortable thing - and besides as Rev. 3:14-22
suggests, we are in the habit of viewing money as a very evident token
of God's favor towards us. But IT IS NOT! - and God says
so! He says we have made a grave mistake in thinking so: "Because thou
sayest, I am rich (with material things), and increased with goods (i.e.,
material goods), and have need of nothing; and knowest not that
thou art (spiritually) wretched, and (spiritually) miserable, and (spiritually)
poor, and (spiritually) blind, and (spiritually) naked ..."
In God's eyes, we are "wretched," "miserable," "poor," "blind," and
"naked." Think about that for a minute. In God's eyes, we are in an
utterly abject, degrading, and contemptible condition - and, according
to the plain meaning of Rev. 3:14-22, it is principally due to our relationship
with money. That's what the Word says! That is God's assessment! If
you disagree, your argument is not with us but with the Bible!
TRIBULATION AS A GLORY TO GOD
God warns us to anoint our eyes with eyesalve so that we might see
and appreciate more clearly what our condition is before it's too late;
so that we can come to a realistic understanding of where we are before
Him; to buy of Him "gold tried in the fire" before time catches up with
us. Yes, that will mean tribulation, but the Bible says:
"... that we must through MUCH tribulation enter into
the kingdom of God." (Acts 14:22)
And this is what will produce the "gold tried in the fire" that will
get us through the times that lie before us, and so much so that, according
to Paul, we should -
"... GLORY IN TRIBULATIONS also: knowing that tribulation
"And patience, experience; and experience, hope:
"And hope maketh not ashamed; because the love of God is shed abroad
in our hearts by the Holy Ghost which is given unto us. (Rom. 5:3-5)
exactly the attitude of most Christians today, is it?. Still, that is
the attitude all of us must begin to cultivate in our lives - at least
those of us who take God's Word seriously. That's what we are doing
here in Forest Grove, British Columbia, Canada. That's what has led
us to adopt the lifestyle that we have done - so that we can free up
as much of our money as possible for the "work of the ministry" and
tending to the needs of the saints that are among us here. (Please see
our article, "A Plan Of Action For Antipas Ministries.")
FOLLOWING OUR EXAMPLE
We do this not necessarily because we think that it is "extra-spiritual"
to do so, but because necessity is laid upon us if we are to continue
in the work to which God has called us - ESPECIALLY INSOFAR AS THESE
"LAST DAYS" ARE CONCERNED! We urge all of you to take note of what
we are doing here in Sacramento. Sooner or later, those of you who really
want to go on with the Lord in these "Last Days" are going to have to
follow in our footsteps in your own local communities.
Get ready now! Remember what prophecy is all about: prophecy is like
a road sign saying: "Slow down, sharp right hand turn ahead!" But if
we fail to heed the sign, if we fail to slow down BEFORE
we get to the turn, it will be too late to brake once we finally get
there, and we will surely slide off the road and crash. Like a road
sign, prophecy tells us things before they happen so that we can take
evasive action before events catch up with us. If we wait until they
finally overtake us, it will be too late to do anything - we will crash!
Watch, therefore, for the "signs of the times," and don't wait to take
action. You may wait too long! Jesus said,
"... When it is evening, ye say, It will be fair weather: for the
sky is red. And in the morning, it will be foul weather today: for
the sky is red and lowering. O ye hypocrites, ye can discern the face
of the sky; but can ye not discern the signs of the times?" (Matt.
And Paul warns us,
"But ye, brethren, are not in darkness, that that day should overtake
you as a thief. Ye are all the children of light, and the children
of the day: we are not of the night, nor of darkness. Therefore let
us not sleep, as do others; but let us watch and be sober." (I Thess.
A FINAL NOTE TO "R"
All this to say, "No, 'R' - we are not "Marxists." Neither do we think
in a "Marxist paradigm." But we do take seriously what the Bible says
about money. And there is, of course, a corollary to all this: in this
life, money INVARIABLE pollutes those who possess it,
so that one can easily make the case that the rich are polluted or well
on their way to being polluted. Maybe not always, but certainly most
of the time. It's for this reason that the apostle James warns us against
"For if there come unto your assembly a man with a gold ring, in
goodly apparel, and there come in also a poor man in vile raiment;
"And ye have respect to him that weareth the gay clothing, and say
unto him, Sit thou here in a good place; and say to the poor, Stand
thou there, or sit here under my footstool:
"Are ye not then partial in yourselves, and are become judges of
"Hearken, my beloved brethren, Hath not God chosen the poor of
this world rich in faith, and heirs of the kingdom which he hath
promised to them that love him?
"But ye have DESPISED THE POOR. Do not rich men OPPRESS
you, and draw you before the judgment seats (i.e., what we today would
call the bankruptcy court). [Note to "R" - sounds pretty Marxist,
doesn't it "R?" What is the Apostle James trying to promote here -
"CLASS WARFARE?" James wouldn't be allowed in the churches
that you and your cohorts preside over, now would he?].
"Do not they (i.e., the rich) blaspheme that worthy name by the
which ye are called? [Note to "R" again - again, "R," wouldn't you
say this pretty much "demonizes" the rich in a very sweeping and generalized
way? Where is there any care by the Apostle James for their so-called
"individuality" in this comment? If you condemn us in our characterization
of the rich, than you must be consistent and condemn the Apostle James
"If ye fulfil the royal law according to the scripture, Thou shalt
love thy neighbour as thyself, ye do well:
"But if ye have respect to persons, ye commit sin, and are convinced
of the law as transgressors. (James 2:2-9)
God bless all of you.
We need your help to spread the word concerning Antipas Ministries and the
eschatological viewpoint it represents; WE NEED YOUR
HELP BECAUSE WE DO NOT "LINK" WITH OTHER SO-CALLED "CHRISTIAN"
WEBSITES which are, for the most part, "in the tank"
insofar as their loyalty to the United States is concerned
- a loyalty that has made them partners in the BLOODY
trail the American military has left in its TERROR-RIDDEN
rampage throughout the world, as well as making them partners
in the abject poverty that American corporations have
imposed on the peoples and nations the American military
machine has ravaged - A BLOODY, TERROR-RIDDEN RAMPAGE
THAT HAS TO A LARGE DEGREE BEEN CARRIED OUT IN THE NAME
OF THE "PRINCE OF PEACE." [Please see our articles,
"The Third World
as a Model for the New World Order," Inside
the American New World Order System" and "The
American Empire: The Corporate / Pentagon / CIA / Missionary
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