Insanity In The Church, Money Madness

Table of Contents

1. Money Madness

  • …and in every sort of evil that deceives those who are perishing. They perish because they refused to love the truth and so be saved. (2 Thessalonians 2:10)

While “every sort of evil” has been unleashed in the church, the sin of loving money towers over all sin. Satan uses money to influence, move, and motivate men to do all manner of evil. Satan will unite the world against true Christians through money. Money controls man and Satan will use its power. All through history, Satan has enjoyed corrupting the church with money. Satan greatly desires for men to have money in its “proper perspective.” Bestselling books in Christian bookstores expound on using money “wisely,” or with a “proper perspective.” However, they know nothing of the offensive cross and the crucified life. Such books are worse than neutral good advice, they get in the way of the will of God. Were one to remove religious quotes from these materials, it would read just like any other worldly investment book. The messages contain common sense advice on how to use money in the world, not the cross that makes a man poor.1 The writers never mention a Jesus that demands we “give up everything.”

  • In the same way, any of you who does not give up everything he has cannot be my disciple. (Luke 14:33)

“Go sell everything you have” and come follow Him is not declared.

  • Jesus answered, “If you want to be perfect, go, sell your possessions and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven. Then come, follow me.” (Matthew 19:21)

If the books contained or understood in the smallest degree the “message of the cross” they would not be bestsellers. If we are to be like Jesus, then we must follow in His footsteps. Footsteps that lead to personal poverty because we make others rich.

  • For you know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, that though he was rich, yet for your sakes he became poor, so that you through his poverty might become rich. (2 Corinthians 8:9)

Paul, a mighty example of the power of the cross knew this reality in his life. He would have found no use for the money advice that fills the church and bookstores today. Indeed, not only does his life still rebuke such things, but he would have judged them if he were alive today.

  • …sorrowful, yet always rejoicing; poor, yet making many rich; having nothing, and yet possessing everything. (2 Corinthians 6:10)

No greater evil do we see in the church than the love of money. The insanity effects even those who think they have money in its “proper perspective.” Jesus has only one perspective on money. He who does not “hate” and “despise” money, loves it. Period. There is no middle ground. Men will often quote 1 Timothy 6:10 “For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil.” They will declare with a cool conscience they don’t “love money.” In fact, if anyone mentions that Jesus said we must “hate” and “despise” money the auPaulatic response is to declare, “That is right. It is the love of money that is wrong, but not money itself.” But how does a man know if he really doesn’t love money? The answer, as with everything, is to look at Jesus and the cross He carried. Jesus told us how we could know if we love money or not. If we do not “hate” and “despise” money, we love it.

  • “No servant can serve two masters. Either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve both God and Money.” (Luke 16:13)

We can only not love money by obeying Jesus. By the power of the Holy Spirit, through the cross, we must come to “hate” and “despise” money. If we do not have these attitudes, we cannot serve God. This book will not take the time to explain how to hate money, but will focus on how the Powerful Delusion blesses greed. For the moment let us understand that desiring more than “food and clothing” constitutes greed in God’s sight. After all, greed is the desire for more than what we have, and God has told us to be “content” with “food and clothing.” Any desire for something beyond that is greed. Being worried and concerned beyond daily bread and clothing is sin before the Lord.

2. Lot’s Wife

Every person must remember “Lot’s wife,” who simply turned her head to see if the world she knew would be utterly destroyed. She looked back because she missed something more important to her than fleeing the wrath of God. For you it may be a picture of the family, a friend, a dress, or a keepsake. There must arise a deep and very serious rejection of the world if we want to escape the wrath to come. We are to be a people so crucified to the world that we will not “go back for anything.” If we do not lose our life now, we will lose it for eternal life. So let us conclude at the outset that desiring, liking, or wanting even one thing is greed. Think of Satan’s trap. He steam rolls the economy, getting everyone used to money and fun, adds in a measure of spirituality, even using Scripture to bless the materialism, then brings it all crashing down.

Satan addicts us to our sin and then in order to feed the addiction, we must come to him.

  • On that day no one who is on the roof of his house, with his goods inside, should go down to get them. Likewise, no one in the field should go back for anything. Remember Lot’s wife! Whoever tries to keep his life will lose it, and whoever loses his life will preserve it. (Luke 17:31–33)

3. Despising Money

Now don’t fall for the Exaggeration Justification trap. We always think there are individuals more greedy and vile than ourselves. To look at someone else for a justification that you don’t love money will prove to be a very costly mistake. It will cost you your soul. In reality, money controls us more than we want to admit. For who can resist a good sale? Who doesn’t say, “Praise God, I got this bargain.” We rejoice as if God needed a bargain in order to help His people get through another day. How easily saving 15% motivates us to sign up early for a seminar. From radio shows that give away free items, to coupons and contests, we let money fulfill and motivate us far too easily. Therefore, Jesus said we must not only “hate,” but also “despise” money. It is interesting to note that Jesus said you only have to “hate” your life, father, mother, wife, children, brothers, sisters but when it comes to money you have to also “despise” money.

Listen to the warning. Unless you willingly allow God to teach you how to “hate” and “despise” money, you leave yourself wide open to the insanity in the church. Indeed, God will see to it, as we have already seen, that you will take the mark of the beast. For only those who know how to despise the dollar on a daily basis will have the grace, and thus the power, to refuse the mark of the beast.

We live in a time when the Pharisees and religious church goers “sneer” at any mention of this money issue. Greed and the love of money have been so loudly preached that many give into this without even realizing it. They feel no pain in the conscience as they keep money in its proper perspective.

  • The Pharisees, who loved money, heard all this and were sneering at Jesus. He said to them, “You are the ones who justify yourselves in the eyes of men, but God knows your hearts. What is highly valued among men is detestable in God’s sight. (Luke 16:14–15)

Before we move on, notice how God views money. Jesus declares it is, “detestable in God’s sight.” It is a vile, wicked thing that only fallen, evil man could invent. Money never entered God’s mind or heart. Money is, in and of itself, a wicked thing. Because men “highly value” money, God permits the Powerful Delusion to bless it. Again as we take a look at the worst of the money blessers, keep in mind and heart that anyone who does not hate money, loves it.

Turn back and examine your own heart first, for if we cannot be found “trustworthy” in hating and despising “worldly wealth” why would Jesus ever give us “true riches?” No wonder God cannot give the church true riches of self-discipline and His holiness—He cannot trust us to hate and despise money. Since we have not been “trustworthy” to do this, we are left to our own devices, gimmicks and wisdom.

  • So if you have not been trustworthy in handling worldly wealth, who will trust you with true riches? (Luke 16:11)

The arrogance of prosperity churches is utterly amazing. They love money and refuse to hate it, and still think God pours out miracles and spiritual gifts. God does not give “true riches,” grace, love, mercy, or fellowship to those who refuse to despise money.

Prosperity teachers, those who teach that God wants to bless His people with worldly goods, lead the Powerful Delusion and are the most deluded and insane. They far surpass the Pharisees of Jesus’ time that could “justify” themselves in the eyes of men, because prosperity teachers use the words of Jesus to bless their covetousness. They are experts in greed, knowing how to make it look holy and normal. The yeast Jesus warned us about spreads through the whole batch of dough. Prosperity teachers are experts in making the outside of the cup look good while they remain full of greed. They know how to mix their love of money with teachings about giving to the poor. They use noble causes to justify their greed. They declare in magazines that they are kings but inside are full of “greed” and “self-indulgence.”

  • Woe to you, teachers of the law and Pharisees, you hypocrites! You clean the outside of the cup and dish, but inside they are full of greed and self-indulgence. (Matthew 23:25)

4. In Balaam’s Footsteps

These Pharisees are the priests helping to prepare a people and the world for the anti-Christ. What a scheme of Satan! He fills the church with false prosperity prophets while turning up the economy, getting us used to the pleasure of a detestable thing, only to bring it all down upon our heads later. The insanity of the prosperity teachers infiltrates the conservative church even while it condemns the teaching. The conservatives feel safe, but do not despise the dollar themselves. Although they stand firm against the prosperity teachers by human logic, they will not find the grace to resist the anti-Christ.
When the situation arises where no one can buy or sell without Satan’s approval, a great falling away will happen as Jesus predicted. People will not have the grace to resist since they fed the flesh for too long. Like the foolish virgins, they will only have enough oil to get them through one day, with no extra for the dark days of the Lord. Of course the prosperity people will be devastated and unable to resist the anti-Christ because denying self is a totally foreign concept to them. Only those on the very “straight way” of hating and despising the dollar by the power of the Holy Spirit will not “wander[ed] off to follow the way of Balaam.”

  • They have left the straight way and wandered off to follow the way of Balaam son of Beor, who loved the wages of wickedness. (2 Peter 2:15)

Balaam, because he did not hate and despise money, loved it. He wanted God to allow him to be blessed with riches and prosperity in this world. Like Balaam, prosperity teachers have become “experts in greed.” They know just how to preach a sermon in such a way as to make it sound logical, holy, and righteous to be greedy. They commit adultery against the Lord and are loaded down with all kinds of sin. They preach and gain large followings by seducing those “unstable” in the Lord. For only those “unstable” in the church follow the teachings of the prosperity teachers and their doctrine. Like an adulterer they have “eyes full” looking for new converts to seduce.

  • With eyes full of adultery, they never stop sinning; they seduce the unstable; they are experts in greed—an accursed brood! (2 Peter 2:14)

5. Springs without Water

The prosperity teachers are “an accursed brood,” and there is indeed a whole “brood” of them. This is hard for most people to accept. Since the average Christian has not allowed God to teach them how to “hate” and “despise” money, they find it hard to pronounce judgment against these teachers, for to condemn them is to judge themselves. Nevertheless they are “an accursed brood” for whom the “blackest” of “darkness” in hell is “reserved.”

  • These men are springs without water and mists driven by a storm. Blackest darkness is reserved for them. (2 Peter 2:17)

These teachers look like they have the river of life, but are “springs without water.” They appear strong in the Lord, so confident in their faith, but are “mists driven by a storm.” Not only can you gain nothing from them, but to follow any of their teachings is to share a corner of blackest darkness with them. For to love the flesh, money, and self in the name of the Lord is a worse crime then being an atheist and living for money. Better to be honest and live for self, than use the name of the Lord to justify sin.

Just listen to the prosperity teachings and preachings. They boast of God’s power and sPaulping on the devil. They appeal to man’s flesh in order to win converts to Jesus. After all, who doesn’t in their flesh want to be rich, disease free, and victorious in a worldly way at all times. They appeal “to the lustful desires of sinful human nature” to win folks over. Who wouldn’t want to be out of debt, have a financial breakthrough, retire early, and live a com-fortable life in this world?

Have you ever noticed, however, their style of preaching? They “mouth empty, boastful words,” laying claim to heaven and earth while they mock Satan, shouting and laughing at him. They boast and ensnare those who are just starting to come to God.

  • For they mouth empty, boastful words and, by appealing to the lustful desires of sinful human nature, they entice people who are just escaping from those who live in error. (2 Peter 2:18)

6. Good Beginnings

This chapter looks at prosperity teachers, the worst of the lot, but many churches are growing in the Powerful Delusion concerning money. The idea that the church needs to show the world it can have fun and be blessed like the world has invaded multitudes of groups. Churches that would fully reject the prosperity teachers remain just as insane, but in a quieter way. For like the prosperity leaders, they “promise” others “freedom” in Jesus, but do not un-derstand in the least what the crucified life is all about. They are also “mastered” by the self that lives in them even as they go about their religious work.

  • They promise them freedom, while they themselves are slaves of depravity—for a man is a slave to whatever has mastered him. (2 Peter 2:19)

Many of these prosperity teachers, and those who do not “hate” and “despise” money, started out following Jesus. But when the road became too narrow and too long they turned their backs on God one inch at a time.

As a very young Christian, just starting to carry my cross, I heard a sermon preached on radio by one of the granddaddies of the prosperity movement. I couldn’t believe what I heard. It was exact and powerful as he preached about the crucified life and the power of hating one’s life for Jesus. I thought to myself, How can this be? How can he understand the cross and still preach such a terrible lie?

I listened on until the sermon finished and then the announcement came that made everything clear. The announcer stated, “That was a very old sermon done many years ago.” The comment sent terror into my heart, for I knew that if God did not crucify the greed in me, one day I could be like him, having known the truth, but then finding the road too hard and turning back to the world. Peter describes such men.

  • If they have escaped the corruption of the world by knowing our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ and are again entangled in it and overcome, they are worse off at the end than they were at the beginning. It would have been better for them not to have known the way of righteousness, than to have known it and then to turn their backs on the sacred command that was passed on to them. Of them the proverbs are true: “A dog returns to its vomit,” and, “A sow that is washed goes back to her wallowing in the mud.” (2 Peter 2:20–22)

As men turn cold toward Jesus in the last days, instead of just returning to the world, they will “wallow” in the mud of the world while singing, “Jesus we love you.” They will eat the “vomit” of money, while they chew on God’s Word, the most detestable mixture for a man to eat. Is it any wonder that God reserves such heavy judgment for them? As Peter declares, “it would have been better for them not to have known the way of righteousness.” Better to die a God hating atheist than to die a prosperity teacher or believer who has money in its proper perspective. Hell is bad enough, but the blackest darkness in hell cannot be comprehended by the human mind. If you want to view how God views prosperity teachers, then go watch a dog eat vomit.

7. Church Business

The church wallows in the mud like the prosperity teacher, selling everything. We are insane, wanting to promote our ministry, our name, or our cause. The church is loaded down with moneychangers. It has gotten so bad that even the world wants to tax the churches, and rightly so. The church has become more like a business than a sanctuary. The church should be known as a “house of prayer” and a sanctuary from the world. Get rid of the business in your church and get on with the business of the gospel. When someone goes to church it should be a place of rest from the world. Yet the church today boasts that it is like the mall, with coffee shops and books stores in the main lobby. Sales, coupons, savings accounts, IRAs, and early registrations motivate Christians just as they do the world. The church believes that the inheritance mentioned in Proverbs 13:22 refers to money. They do not understand that true riches are not money, or how God often uses earthly things to demonstrate a deeper truth. The church points to David’s riches, not his planned poverty, purpose, and sufferings for God. They don’t show by their lives or their words that they understand why David was given wealth.

  • Then King David said to the whole assembly: “My son Solomon, the one whom God has chosen, is young and inexperienced. The task is great, because this palatial structure is not for man but for the Lord God. With all my resources I have provided for the temple of my God—gold for the gold work, silver for the silver, bronze for the bronze, iron for the iron and wood for the wood, as well as onyx for the settings, turquoise, stones of various colors, and all kinds of fine stone and marble—all of these in large quantities. Besides, in my devotion to the temple of my God I now give my personal treasures of gold and silver for the temple of my God, over and above everything I have provided for this holy temple: three thousand talents of gold (gold of Ophir) and seven thousand talents of refined silver, for the overlaying of the walls of the buildings, for the gold work and the silver work, and for all the work to be done by the craftsmen. Now, who is willing to consecrate himself today to the Lord?” (1 Chronicles 29:1–5)

David, before he died, gave his “personal treasures of gold and silver for the temple of my God, over and above everything [he] had provided for this holy temple.” Those who have money handled can’t hold a candle to the heart of David—a man whose heart burned only for the temple of the Lord, who counted nothing he owned as personal gain. David not only spoke words of such devotion and truth, but his life matched it also. Unless we who have the fullness of the Truth in the message of the cross surpass this by hating and despising money, we live a lie.

8. Covering Costs

Indeed everyone wants to cover their costs as they sell their wares, products, and sermon tapes in the church. For over twenty years our church never charged, hinted, or begged for money. Everything has been given away free, because that is the way of the cross and according to Jesus’ command. Jesus said, “freely give.”

Heal the sick, raise the dead, cleanse those who have leprosy, drive out demons. Freely you have received, freely give. (Matthew 10:8)

How pathetic that you even have to buy this book. For neither the church, nor individual Christians know how to “hate” and “despise” money any more. Few give without being promised something in return and this puts undue pressure on churches and ministries to charge for items.

On the other hand, most ministries have forgotten that Jesus overturns tables when we sell things in His name. In fact, it was the only time Jesus displayed full-blown anger. The insanity of the Powerful Delusion has so watered us down that few people have any anger about the situation concerning money in the church. The insanity has increased so much, that ministries use Christian celebrities to get people to help feed the poor overseas! There needs to be some whip snapping and table turning in almost every ministry. No wonder the zeal for purity in God’s house is at an all-time low. We are not “consume[d]” with “zeal” for God’s “house” and so with each passing day the church looks more and more like a marketplace.

  • So he made a whip out of cords, and drove all from the temple area, both sheep and cattle; he scattered the coins of the money changers and overturned their tables. To those who sold doves he said, “Get these out of here! How dare you turn my Father’s house into a market!” His disciples remembered that it is written: “Zeal for your house will consume me.” (John 2:15–17)

9. Forced To Sell

The love of most grows cold, as Jesus said it would in the last days, and the zeal for God’s house dies. Churches, ministries, and Christians trade, sell, barter, and get their fair share without even a hint of shame. We have grown so used to comfortable giving where we check a box and receive something in return for our donation that we feel no shame. Ministries are forced to sell items because the giving by others is not from a selfless heart.

People will often ask how our church can give away so many things for free. They are literally astonished by all that God does. They think we have some magic gimmick. The answer of course is good old fashion sacrifice and faith. Nothing loud or worth promoting, just simple cross carrying, rich faith in God.

Ministries have been forced to beg for supplies because of the heart of the average Christian. Those who smugly whine about the sin of selling sermon tapes and goods are the very last to give for what they take from the church. A double-edged sword must be used when discussing true repentance. This insanity has so grown that many fine organizations that help suffering Christians must put a catalog in the center of their news magazine. Do we really need a coffee cup about suffering Christians? Or a music CD to support our persecuted brothers and sisters? No longer can groups just appeal to the cross and to the Holy Spirit to motivate people to respond to a need. We live in desperate times when the very “foundations are being destroyed” in the church so what is a ministry to do?

  • When the foundations are being destroyed, what can the righteous do? (Psalms 11:3)

10. Silver And Gold

No longer is poverty in the Lord held up as a goal. No longer are the poor in the church looked to for spiritual wisdom. The church insults the poor and places the rich and successful in positions of authority and ministry.

  • Listen, my dear brothers: Has not God chosen those who are poor in the eyes of the world to be rich in faith and to inherit the kingdom he promised those who love him? (James 2:5)

Let us listen again to the words of God when He tells us He has “chosen those who are poor in the eyes of the world to be rich in faith.” The rich, successful, and powerful ministries do not give us the understanding of real faith. Instead, let us look to the poor in the Body who can say, “Silver and gold I do not have.”

  • Then Peter said, “Silver or gold I do not have, but what I have I give you. In the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, walk.” (Acts 3:6)

Is it not amazing how all these modern day miracle worship sermons are rich in gold and silver? It is amazing how they have become kings and gods when Peter who walked with the Lord on earth was still so poor. Or how Paul was “poor, yet making many rich.” Paul rebuked the Corinthians for this superior attitude of thinking they are “kings.”

  • Already you have all you want! Already you have become rich! You have become kings—and that without us! How I wish that you really had become kings so that we might be kings with you! (1 Corinthians 4:8)

The truth is, we are not kings, but bondservants who might become kings in the Lord if we remain faithful unto death. Right now no one is a king in the Lord. We are still creatures of the fall and only those who remain faithful will be rewarded. For now, all who live in the world, whether Christian or non-Christian, still have weeds in their gardens, they still have to work for a living, they get sick, and women still have great pain in childbirth. The fact is, God often uses our sufferings to preach the gospel and even permits an “illness” so that we might be given a chance to share Jesus.11 Indeed, for a true Christian, suffering only increases when they follow Jesus because all of hell rages against them.

11. A Clear Distinction

You do not have to be a spiritual giant to see who rewards these miracle workers of today. God permits Satan to reward them so men will follow a lie. Only those who understand money’s true perspective, who have the heart of God in the matter will see through these vile men. The question is, can you see through yourself? Are you repulsed by men who beg, ask, plead, urge, and motivate others to give by offering items for them to buy? Do you demand that your church no longer have a store or business in its building? Are you worn out with all the borrowing and lending among brothers and sisters that you see going on in the church?

I don’t know about you, but I cannot wait for the anti-Christ to come on the world stage. For then there will be no gray area. God will set up a situation where there will be only two camps. You will not have the luxury of saying someone loves God, or that they have good fruit because it will be revealed one way or another. There will only be those who have money and love it and those who have no money and despise it.

Soon God will set the price for a day’s bread. It will take a whole day of labor just to buy a “quart of wheat.” It will be a welcomed release from the hypocrisy one must endure today. For either a man will have the mark of the beast, or he will not.

  • Then I heard what sounded like a voice among the four living creatures, saying, “A quart of wheat for a day’s wages, and three quarts of barley for a day’s wages, and do not damage the oil and the wine!” (Revelation 6:6)

Of course the “oil and the wine” of the Holy Spirit will not be damaged. Those who know God will be given power to endure those days and to rejoice at their coming. They will rejoice over the distinction between those who love money and those who hate it.12 For either you will take the mark of the beast so that you can make money or you will be deprived of all money.

  • He also forced everyone, small and great, rich and poor, free and slave, to receive a mark on his right hand or on his forehead, so that no one could buy or sell unless he had the mark, which is the name of the beast or the number of his name. (Revelation 13:16–17)

This hour of decision will be “forced” on the whole world. Gone will be every ministry work, every calling, all fun and food; except for those willing to take the mark. Slowly and not so slowly one can see the love for Jesus turning cold as the vast majority of the “church” embraces the love of money.

12. No Shame

So many, cold in the Lord concerning money, think that this coolness toward God is normal and of course it is easy to look hot when everyone around is cold. Like the church in the Old Testament, we no longer blush about sin. “Are they ashamed of their loathsome conduct?” Jeremiah asks even as he answers the question. The same is true today, people just will “not listen” and take warning about the Powerful Delusion coming on the scene.

  • Are they ashamed of their loathsome conduct? No, they have no shame at all; they do not even know how to blush. So they will fall among the fallen; they will be brought down when I punish them,” says the Lord. This is what the Lord says: “Stand at the crossroads and look; ask for the ancient paths, ask where the good way is, and walk in it, and you will find rest for your souls. But you said, ‘We will not walk in it.’ I appointed watchmen over you and said, ‘Listen to the sound of the trumpet!’ But you said, ‘We will not listen.’” (Jeremiah 6:15–17)

Let us obey verse 16, stand at the “crossroads and look” for the “ancient paths” that are “good.” Look to the New Testament church for an example. After their very lives had been “shaken” by the Holy Spirit what fruit was produced? Lives freed from the love of money and things. They had hearts that despised money with great zeal. Without rules, regulations or the church leadership taking everyone’s property, they willingly let the Holy Spirit work the “hat-ing” and “despising” of money.

  • After they prayed, the place where they were meeting was shaken. And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and spoke the word of God boldly. All the believers were one in heart and mind. No one claimed that any of his possessions was his own, but they shared everything they had. With great power the apostles continued to testify to the resurrection of the Lord Jesus, and much grace was upon them all. (Acts 4:31–33)

13. New Joy

Until the church allows the Holy Spirit to put money and things in God’s proper perspective—as detestable—the church will never have true unity. No wonder the first church preached with true power and much “grace was upon them all.” Self was crucified and set free from money.

Hating and despising money is one of the greatest freedoms a person can experience. Each day you can find a new freedom and a new joy to experience as you live this out. Even as a church our joy grows as we have “all things in common,” never “claiming” that anything belongs to ourselves. And all of this happens without rules, regulations, or programs, but by the simple working of the Holy Spirit through the cross.

This joy in the Lord, this Festival, causes true Christians to not want fellowship with anyone who claims to be a Christian, but is greedy, as defined by Jesus. After all how can those who love money enjoy fellowship with those who hate it? And how can those who despise the dollar find a common point of reference with those who tolerate money? Indeed, they cannot get along and those who hate and despise money will be driven to not associate with them. When hearts beat the same, sweet fellowship follows in the Lord. If you claim to be a Christian, get on with letting the Lord show you how to hate and despise money. If you refuse to allow God to work this, don’t expect to eat lunch with those who do.

But now I am writing you that you must not associate with anyone who calls himself a brother but is sexually immoral or greedy, an idolater or a slanderer, a drunkard or a swindler. With such a man do not even eat. (1 Corinthians 5:11 emphasis added)

14. Holy Judgement

Let there arise a spirit of holy judgment in the church in these the last days. Let it start first with a resounding denunciation of prosperity teachers. Not talk, debate, or reasoning, but a total rebuke that denounces this teaching, its preachers and followers. Right now hardly a whimper can be heard. Oh, we debate, we talk, we discuss, we reason, but we do not denounce. We are not even as bold as Balaam’s donkey who “rebuked” his master. A donkey that stood its ground, crushed his master’s leg, and rebuked him in the clearest of terms.

Can’t we as a church at least come up to the level of Balaam’s donkey? Where is the indignation, the fire of excommunication?

Where is the holy anger and lives that match those rebukes? Like the apostles we remain too enthralled with our ministries, projects, and church buildings to see the widows around us put into the temple treasury everything they have to live on.

  • Calling his disciples to him, Jesus said, “I tell you the truth, this poor widow has put more into the treasury than all the others. They all gave out of their wealth; but she, out of her poverty, put in everything—all she had to live on.” (Mark 12:43–44)

We don’t see the widow’s copper coins because we want the approval of those powerful in the church. We stand too enthralled with the “magnificent” mega churches to give any attention to what Jesus says about the “poor widow.” Oh that those who love God would wake up. Better to fellowship with a humble poor widow than to even notice a magnificent ministry. Like the disciples we cannot see what Jesus sees, viewing money as He does, because we love the impressive ministries in our towns.

  • As he was leaving the temple, one of his disciples said to him, “Look, Teacher! What massive stones! What magnificent buildings!” (Mark 13:1)

15. True Revival

We say to Jesus, “Look, Teacher!” and go on to talk about our churches, projects, and “magnificent” ministries. We are such fools. Let us pray that we would no longer be fools. Pray that true revival would happen in the land where all who profess to give all to God, but hold back some for themselves would be struck dead by the Holy Spirit. Let us pray for a movement of the Holy Spirit that would strike and kill those who outwardly look like they give all to God, but inside privately hold back for themselves. Little wonder we never hear prayers for revival like this, for if God really moved His Spirit like this again, the vast majority of churches would be nothing but ruins piled high with dead bodies. For like Ananias, many keep some for themselves as they profess to give all. So many people claim to give all to God, but still live for self. May God strike them dead. Indeed, He will, but for now the Powerful Delusion weeds out false Christians.

  • Then Peter said, “Ananias, how is it that Satan has so filled your heart that you have lied to the Holy Spirit and have kept for yourself some of the money you received for the land? Didn’t it belong to you before it was sold? And after it was sold, wasn’t the money at your disposal? What made you think of doing such a thing? You have not lied to men but to God.” When Ananias heard this, he fell down and died. And great fear seized all who heard what had happened. Then the young men came forward, wrapped up his body, and carried him out and buried him. About three hours later his wife came in, not knowing what had happened. (Acts 5:3–7)

Let all who are “young men” in the Lord carry the bodies out and bury them. Let them consider with much seriousness what it really means to call oneself a “Christian.” Twice in Acts 5 God records that young men came forward and carried out the bodies of Ananias and his wife. Now is the time to repent. To ask the Holy Spirit to teach you how to pick up a cross that will instruct you how to view money as God does. Walk in the footsteps of these young men and think what they thought as they marched out of the city to bury those struck by the Lord.

We fast approach the time of the anti-Christ, when all that will be required, in order to have money, is to take a small mark. Anyone who does not take this mark will not be able to buy, sell, or have fun. Do not fool yourself, unless you can die to money now, God will see to it you take the mark of the beast. Unless you become sane in Jesus, you will embrace the mark of the beast as a blessing from God. If we can’t say “no” to the influences of coupons in our buying and selling, how will we ever stand against the anti-Christ? Is it little wonder our gospel calls get cheaper and cheaper as everyone looks for a discount! It’s a Powerful Delusion indeed.

Endnotes

6. Money Madness

  • 2 Corinthians 8:9
  • Mark 10:21
  • 1 Timothy 6:8
  • Matthew 6:25
  • Luke 14:26
  • 1 Corinthians 1:17
  • Ecclesiastes 11:8
  • 1 Timothy 5:18
  • Psalms 132:1
  • 2 Corinthians 6:10
  • Galatians 4:13
  • Malachi 3:18

Twilliams
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