Saturday, 23 September 2017

The Deceitfulness of Riches will Snare Many Professing Believers, and Take Them to Hell

And these are they which are sown among thorns; such as hear the word,
And the cares of this world, and the deceitfulness of riches, and the lusts of other things entering in, choke the word, and it becometh unfruitful (Mark 4:18-19).

Many in the modern western Church simply assume that there is nothing wrong with seeking or desiring riches.  They think it is simply understandable, legitimate, or even a good thing which will help one "glorify" God.  Among those who claim to think that seeking or desiring riches is wrong, they play all kinds of games with the word 'riches', saying that it refers to an amass of wealth, rather than that which is regarded as so-called 'basic financial security' from the earthly perspective.

However, no where in the Bible is such a distinction made between an amass of wealth and so-called basis financial security. Such is a distinction from the Pit of Hell itself, a doctrine of demons!

Some professing Christians in Australia even think that borrowing money to invest on usury in multiple properties is a means to "glorify" God. They even think that charging usury honours God! What foolishness!

To say that one can glorify God by desiring riches is to spit in the face of Jesus Himself who said: "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 God and mammon" (Matthew 6:24).

To those who say that "their" wealth can be used to glorify God, know this: God does not need "your" wealth. He already owns it. He gives it to you only out of His grace, and not as of "right", so that one use it to learn how to give sacrificially, and not to accumulate it for oneself, or to acquire possession for one's own desires. 

Proverbs 22:9 explains: "He that hath a bountiful eye shall be blessed; for he giveth of his bread to the poor." This is because the poor cannot give in return. Therefore, those who give to the poor are blessed, because they give sacrificially, and not to acquire possessions for themselves. They give with a sacrificial spirit, making a true sacrifice. Those who do not give sacrificially are not blessed because they live for themselves, and their own desires.

The widow who gave her two mites gave far more than those who gave out of their wealth. She was honoured because not because of the amount, or that she gave money away. Rather, she was honoured because her giving was a true sacrifice of herself, denying her whole self:

And he looked up, and saw the rich men casting their gifts into the treasury.

And he saw also a certain poor widow casting in thither two mites.
And he said, Of a truth I say unto you, that this poor widow hath cast in more than they all:
For all these have of their abundance cast in unto the offerings of God: but she of her penury hath cast in all the living that she had.
 (Luke 21:1-4)

She gave away her entire 'financial security', a true indication that she fully trusted in God, that He will provide her. Most Christians in the west would have thought she was a lunatic, irrational or absolutely foolish. They would have looked down on her all the more, and even thought of her as arrogant in daring to think she had enough giving capacity, which they measure in accordance to amount of wealth possessed. They would look at her and think "you think you have enough money?", sarcastically and mockingly, and despising her all the more for how she even thought about giving money.

However, most people in the modern Church in the west have much to learn from her, and would be wise to learn from her true and genuine trust in God's provision (Matthew 6:30-34). To put such professing Christians to their shame, she probably would have accumulated more true riches than they ever will, by living a life that truly honours and loves God intimately and faithfully.

What is your wealth that you think it comes by your own strength, apart from Heaven? There is nothing good that you have that does not come from Heaven. Even a sparrow falls onto the ground because God approves it:

Are not two sparrows sold for a farthing? and one of them shall not fall on the ground without your Father.

But the very hairs of your head are all numbered.
Fear ye not therefore, ye are of more value than many sparrows.
(Matthew 10:29-31).

Every good thing you have is approved by God, and so who are you to be anxious for earthly security, thinking you know better than God about what is good for you? Anxiety for financial security is itself an indication of pride, a very subtle form, which thinks it knows better than God as to what is good for oneself. This includes anxiety for an average relatively lower-paying job, and even anxiety for earthly needs, such as food, water and shelter.

Indeed, Jesus warned of the seeds sown among the thorns:

And these are they which are sown among thorns; such as hear the word,
And the cares of this world, and the deceitfulness of riches, and the lusts of other things entering in, choke the word, and it becometh unfruitful (Mark 4:18-19)

This verse itself indicates the having cares for the world, and desiring the things of the world is itself a deadly trap, that can cost a person his life. Desire for such things is not merely dangerous and can lead one astray. It is itself a sin, and because it is a sin, will lead one astray from Jesus Christ. Such people will tragically not be saved in the end. Indeed, Jesus warned that:

Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven.

Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? and in thy name have cast out devils? and in thy name done many wonderful works?
And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity.
(Matthew 7:21-23).

The people who were the seeds sown among the thorns are included. Many in the professing Church go to church simply to gain something for themselves, other than truly know Jesus, and to run the race of faith faster and harder (Hebrews 12:1). They seek the friends, companionship, good life advice, even solid Biblical doctrines, but only applying them and accepting to the extent that it does not challenge their trust in mammon.

Trusting in mammon is diametrically opposed to trusting in God (Matthew 6:24-25). Therefore, it is a serious matter of the heart. A person who trusts in mammon is in a spiritually dangerous position and he better believe it. 

Do not be seduced by the cares of the world, nor the deceitfulness of riches. Such riches give nothing, except for all that will fade away and have no meaning for eternity. As long as one is anxious in the slightest about the cares of the world, and one's earthly comfort or security, one is trusting in mammon. 

Repent of your trust in mammon, or mammon will take you to Hell. He is out there and seeks to devour your soul. Flee from mammon, and all of his snares.



Friday, 22 September 2017

The Decline of Christendom Spelt the Rise of Capitalism

This is an excellent summary of Church history in the reformation era by Ted Shoebat. The death of Christendom was capitalised upon by profit-orientated merchants to bring in a mammonised financial system, all under the guise of 'industry':

With the decline of Christendom came the rise of industrialism. Profit was put on a pedestal at the expense of virtuous valor. Hence, in the 16th century, with the rise of protestantism, the gradual cultivation of nationalism, and the indifferentism of much of the Catholic States, we find France, Naples, Venice and Genoa, making alliances with the Ottomans for commerce; we find Calvinist Hungarians fighting Catholics under Ottoman favor; we find the Calvinist Dutch attacking Catholics in Tunisia; we find the French making military incursions in alliance with the Ottomans against Catholic Christendom; we find Dutch pirates capturing Christians for sex trafficking (selling both women and young boys) under both the Dutch flag and the Crescent banner of the Ottoman Empire. 

The Dutch protestants even chose to continue profiteering with the Ottomans, and made trade with them right in the same proximity wherein Catholic slaves were held in Muslim ships. 

This was the mark of the rise of commercialism and industrialism, and the shift towards the slow death of Christendom. Remove Christendom, and you are left with the worship of industry and profit. 

Hence why, today, we have major pharmaceutical industries and financial companies that are making profit from the murder and the experimentation on unborn children. Its all reminiscent to how the Nazi death camps depended on the innovations of its major medical and engineering companies, as well as major banks both in Germany and in the US. 

Where there is industrialism, there is genocide.


The Sovereignty and Wisdom of God's Timing in Every Season

Many people in the modern western Church claim to believe in God's Sovereignty. However, actually believing in God's Sovereignty in one's heart, and not one's intellect is a different matter. 

How many people in the modern Church today wait on the Lord in finding a job, finding a church, finding a wife, or finding anything? Hardly any. Instead, they profess to believe in God's Sovereignty, but do not wait on the Lord. Instead of waiting patiently, they let their passions flow, and drive them to get what they want. Many of such people earnestly claim to ask God to lead them to do His Will. However, most people in saying that have already made up their mind as they want they want to do to satisfy their own desires, rather than simply follow the will of God. 

When disappointed, they seek to manipulate God into asking Him to giving them what they want, as if God could even be manipulated by a mere puny pathetic little human being who is like grass (Psalm 103:15; 1 Peter 1:24).

God not only has a Will for each person who truly obeys Him. He has a timing. His timing is far wiser than our own. Thus, the wise person would totally and absolutely submit to His timing, and not strive to get anything in accordance to his own timing.

There is a season for everything, not most things or some things, but everything as Ecclesiastes 3:1-8 tells us:

To every thing there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven:

A time to be born, and a time to die; a time to plant, and a time to pluck up that which is planted;
A time to kill, and a time to heal; a time to break down, and a time to build up;
A time to weep, and a time to laugh; a time to mourn, and a time to dance;
A time to cast away stones, and a time to gather stones together; a time to embrace, and a time to refrain from embracing;
A time to get, and a time to lose; a time to keep, and a time to cast away;
A time to rend, and a time to sew; a time to keep silence, and a time to speak;
A time to love, and a time to hate; a time of war, and a time of peace.

Ecclesiastes 3:1 tells us that there is a time for every single purpose under heaven. That is, there is a purpose for every timing as ordained by God. Ecclesiastes 3:11 testifies of God's Sovereign wisdom: He hath made every thing beautiful in his time: also he hath set the world in their heart, so that no man can find out the work that God maketh from the beginning to the end.

No person can even fathom the work of God from the beginning to the end, because of His Sovereignty. Every thing in its timing is for His purpose and His glory. Who does man think he is to change it?

Who do you think you are to think your timing is better than God's? Who do you think you are to think you can manipulative God into changing His timing which He has determined in His infinite wisdom?

The wise person waits on the Lord, knowing that His Will is the best for him. He is not being selfish in doing so, but rather, is trusting in the Lord. Rather, it is the fool who is proud, and ignores and despises the wisdom of God's timing, seeking his own best in according to his wisdom. To those of you who think the wise are selfish in seeking their best, does the fool not also seek his best? 

As Proverbs 3:5-6 exhorts: 

Trust in the Lord with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding.
In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths.

It is an instruction about how to do the will of God. Doing the will of God does not mean seeking or striving to get into ministry, preacher, or pastor, or prophet, to find a job, find a house, or to find a spouse. Trusting in the Lord with all of one's heart, refusing to trust in one's own understanding, and acknowledging Him in all of one's way is to do the will of God.

For example, Apostle Paul did not strive to become an Apostle. He was an Apostle "by the will of God" (Ephesians 1:1). He was made an Apostle of Jesus Christ by God who directed his paths to become an Apostle. 

In the same way, neither can one strive to become a pastor, or preacher. One must trust in the Lord, refuse to trust in your own understanding and acknowledge that all of one' circumstances are engineered by God to direct you to the path He wants you to follow.

What hinders people from fully and properly obeying Proverbs 3:5-6 is their lack of humility in fully submitting oneself before God, fearing Him in all of one's ways. Indeed, "the fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom: and the knowledge of the holy is understanding" (Proverbs 9:10).

The wise person has genuine faith in the wisdom of God's Sovereign timing. The foolish person seeks his own timing, and strives to make things go according to his timing, rejecting the wisdom of God's timing.

Wednesday, 20 September 2017

Every Temporal Thing is Vanity, Even if it is Good

 Ecclesiastes opens with the words:

The words of the Preacher, the son of David, king in Jerusalem.
Vanity of vanities, saith the Preacher, vanity of vanities; all is vanity.
What profit hath a man of all his labour which he taketh under the sun?
(Ecclesiastes 1:1-3)


How can even gifts given by God be meaningless as the preacher says? They are meaningless because their meaning or value is not found in those gifts themselves, but rather in how they are used in worshiping God. They only have meaning when used to worship God, in fearing God. Such gifts are empty vessels or cisterns which can only be filled when truly dedicated to serving God.

All works in relation to such gifts will be judged by God.

As Ecclesiastes sums up:

Let us hear the conclusion of the whole matter: Fear God, and keep his commandments: for this is the whole duty of man.

For God shall bring every work into judgment, with every secret thing, whether it be good, or whether it be evil.
(Ecclesiastes 12:13-14).

Indeed, even the good things which are temporal are vanity, for they do not last. One cannot profit from such things spiritually, unless one worships God in using such good things. Otherwise, such things will be a curse to oneself, for though God had given one much, and one was not rich towards God.

The Paradox of Finding Joy in God-given Gifts

The book of Ecclesiastes is wisdom literature. Many commentaries simply regard it being about 'enjoying earthly pleasures', by which they mean, enjoying it in the Epicurean sense, rather than in the proper Biblical sense. Implicit in such commentaries and popular thought in the Church today on what Ecclesiastes means is a human-centred view of pleasure. 

It is implicitly assumed that such gifts are for humanity to glorify itself, rather than God being enjoyed for what they in and of themselves, rather than being for the purpose of glorifying God, toiling for God. Ecclesiastes therefore is a commentary on the perversion of God-given gifts such as work, by which humanity turns them into things to find contentment in apart from God, without even giving Him thanks.

So, hence Solomon's narrative in Chapters 1 and 2 about the vanities of his pursuits of such things:

So I was great, and increased more than all that were before me in Jerusalem: also my wisdom remained with me.
And whatsoever mine eyes desired I kept not from them, I withheld not my heart from any joy; for my heart rejoiced in all my labour: and this was my portion of all my labour.
Then I looked on all the works that my hands had wrought, and on the labour that I had laboured to do: and, behold, all was vanity and vexation of spirit, and there was no profit under the sun.
(Ecclesiastes 2:9-11).

It is not that he did not find joy in his labour. He clearly did as Ecclesiastes 2:10 says: "for my heart rejoiced in all my labour: and this was my portion of all my labour." Work is indeed something from people can derive joy. However, such joy in the work itself, as opposed to being derived from God is not only a short-lived joy, but a false one. 

Joy is indeed a paradox which even many mature Christians do not understand, particularly those from cultures which are so entrenched with the idea of having a comfortable life. God does indeed gifts to humanity to enjoy. However, such gifts are not to be enjoyed for one's own consumption. They can only be enjoyed, that is, to find true joy, by being used to serve God with sincere thankfulness of heart in being given what He has given. Therefore, it is only those who are truly serving God and loving God who can find true contentment which does not die, even with old age. 

The purpose of such gifts is for God to either bless or curse people. By such gifts, God favours those who are good in His sight, and curses the sinner:

For God giveth to a man that is good in his sight wisdom, and knowledge, and joy: but to the sinner he giveth travail, to gather and to heap up, that he may give to him that is good before God. This also is vanity and vexation of spirit (Ecclesiastes 2:26).

Thus, for the righteous, His gifts are good to them. For the wicked, His gifts are a curse to them, for by such gifts He curses them with vanity and vexation of spirit. Such gifts become vanity, counting for nothing, as it is not done to serve God, thereby increasing one's spiritual riches. However, since man was created to enjoy work to serve God, but sins against God in enjoy work for oneself, such a vexation of spirit comes because one's desire for joy cannot be satisfied by work, but yet the only way in which it can be satisfied owing to how God created man. One is cursed with not being able to find contentment, and work becomes a heavy burden, rather than joy.

God's bestowing of gifts is to teach people to be content. It is not those with all material things which are the most content, but those who in having such gifts, serve God with such gifts. God's purpose of giving gifts is not for one's own enjoyment, but for His own enjoyment.

To say it is for one's own enjoyment is to soften the doctrine of God' sovereignty, that all works are to be done for Him and Him alone:

What profit hath he that worketh in that wherein he laboureth?
I have seen the travail, which God hath given to the sons of men to be exercised in it.
He hath made every thing beautiful in his time: also he hath set the world in their heart, so that no man can find out the work that God maketh from the beginning to the end.
I know that there is no good in them, but for a man to rejoice, and to do good in his life.

And also that every man should eat and drink, and enjoy the good of all his labour, it is the gift of God.
 I know that, whatsoever God doeth, it shall be for ever: nothing can be put to it, nor any thing taken from it: and God doeth it, that men should fear before him.
That which hath been is now; and that which is to be hath already been; and God requireth that which is past.
And moreover I saw under the sun the place of judgment, that wickedness was there; and the place of righteousness, that iniquity was there.
 I said in mine heart, God shall judge the righteous and the wicked: for there is a time there for every purpose and for every work.
(Ecclesiastes 3:9-17).

Whenever the gifts of God are sought to be enjoyed for oneself, as opposed to be used to serve God, those gifts become vanity in themselves. It is not the God was wrong in making those gifts, but rather that they count for nothing to the person to whom it is bestowed.

All gifts that God gives are to be exercised for worshiping God. As long as such gifts, whether it be food or labour, are used to oneself for one's own enjoyment and self-contentment even to the slightest, that itself is the failure to worship God, and therefore idolatry.

Idolatry is not simply the elevation of anything else above God, although that is true. However, is only one truth. Idolatry is the failure to worship God. Failure to totally give up one's own self and to dedicate all that one has been given by God for His glory is itself the failure to worship Him.

To enjoy His gifts for oneself is itself to elevate gift about Giver, which is an abomination in and of itself. Any enjoyment of His gifts must be a manifestation of a fear of God, or else such gifts would be vanity in themselves. 

There is utter lack of the fear of God in the modern Church. God is spoken of the modern Church as one who owes not so much the world anything, but rather, His people something. God does not owe anyone, including His people anything. Yet, it is simply assumed that He is obliged to give His children what they want or need, because of their worship of Him. 

True worship of God fears God for who He is. It worships God no matter what the cost or reward. It regards God as worthy of being worship, and to be worshiped, even if it still meant that one is headed for Hell as a reward for serving God. To think that God is to be worshiped because of the blessings He gives oneself or rewards is the height of arrogance and pride, in seeking to serve God, only because of what one thinks one will gain in return. 

The Bible repeatedly tells us to seek the Lord (2 Chronicles 14:4; Isaiah 55:6-7; Amos 5:4-6; Zephaniah 2:3; Matthew 6:33; Luke 12:31) not seek the blessings of the Lord.

Whenever the Bible does command people to seek gifts, it says that it is to be sought for the good of others. The example of this can be found in 1 Corinthians 14:1-4:

Follow after charity, and desire spiritual gifts, but rather that ye may prophesy.
For he that speaketh in an unknown tongue speaketh not unto men, but unto God: for no man understandeth him; howbeit in the spirit he speaketh mysteries.
But he that prophesieth speaketh unto men to edification, and exhortation, and comfort.
He that speaketh in an unknown tongue edifieth himself; but he that prophesieth edifieth the church.
Any gift God gives is given to the recipient to give in return for the good of others, not for oneself. Such radical giving is part of the self-denial required as part of the true life in Christ:

Then said Jesus unto his disciples, If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow me (Matthew 16:24).

This is because it is no longer one who lives, but Christ who lives:

For I through the law am dead to the law, that I might live unto God.
 I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me.
I do not frustrate the grace of God: for if righteousness come by the law, then Christ is dead in vain.
(Galatians 2:19-21).