Enmity Towards Christ’s Cross in Relation to Finances (Compilation)

1 Timothy 6:7-10: “For we brought nothing into this world, and it is certain we can carry nothing out.  And having food and raiment (clothing) let us be therewith content.  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 (eternal damnation).  For the love of money is the root of all evil: which while some coveted after, they have erred from the faith, and pierced themselves through with many sorrows.”

Any and every manner of evil might have the love of money at the root of it.  This is not saying that every single wicked action has the love of money at the root of it.  The pursuit of money is such a key way that those governed by their own gain pursue it (their own gain).  It is not the only way to pursue self-interest, yet it is one of the most common and especially destructive ones.  It is also especially tricky to avoid since making and managing money is a part of life for virtually everyone.

Attachment to money and attachment to (perceived) financial security have always been major stumbling blocks in every generation and society which prevent people from faithfully serving the true God.  Yet the standard of living, which is common in the first world for the average person, is unprecedented.  Pressure to earn big, as well as entitlement mentalities, have increased- while the third world yet starves and dies of diseases which could have easily been cured if not prevented (causing those in the first world who neglected the needy to have guilt before God for the suffering and death due to poverty which they, as individuals, could have helped alleviate).  

And prosperity and the normal way of life in the first world has just plain made it easier for people to deceive themselves that they can practically live without looking to God.

Luke 12:15-21: “And he (Jesus) said unto them, Take heed, and beware of covetousness: for a man’s life consisteth not in the abundance of the things which he possesseth.  And he spoke 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?  So is he that layeth up treasure for himself, and is not rich toward God.”

Jesus even warned that it is impossible to faithfully serve God and mammon at the same time (Matthew 6:24, Luke 16:13).  His Word also warns about how the double minded are unstable in all their ways and cannot be in fellowship with God in their double minded state (James 1:5-8).  This makes it clear that the pursuit of mammon and the pursuit of the true God are rival pursuits.  Though there are some who do not pursue either with much diligence at all, there will surely be enmity in pursuing both. 

The way of the world in general, and even more so in our time, is to value mammon in an inordinate way.  Some people express that by getting as rich as they can.  Often it is the uber-rich (very richest) who are the least content and who are the most obsessed with getting more.  That is virtually always how the uber-rich have come to be uber-rich to begin with.  Yet for many this inordinate value, and the pursuit of mammon which they are a slave to, takes the form of seeking an above average lifestyle and/or a relatively high social status.  For some, it is the obsession with obtaining or maintaining a certain lifestyle that involves a little or a lot of luxury and self-indulgence.  Perhaps closely related, but not necessarily, for some it is the determination to do everything possible so that they (and perhaps their children too) will never be in poverty.  For many, it is holding onto the measure of financial security they’ve already attained in having their job- to the point where they would do anything to keep it- like allowing an experimental poison to be injected into their body (in essence, bowing to the demands of big pharma and corporatocracy) and/or cause them to praise abominable behavior before God and perhaps speak evil of people who did nothing wrong (this pressure in some corporations and other work environments stems much from the evil influence of wicked Marxist and Woke ideologies).  Others express covetousness with mammon in refusing to work when they could support themselves but rather insist on others providing for them instead.  For others, it is the pursuit of easy money through things like playing the lottery, sports betting, and other forms of gambling (a Christian has no business at a casino except perhaps to drag someone out of one).

Whatever the reason, it is covetous and idolatry to be bound to mammon (and being rich by world and historical standards, like most in the first world, actually tends to make people greater slaves to mammon). 

Luke 18:17-23: “Verily I say unto you, Whosoever shall not receive the kingdom of God as a little child shall in no wise enter therein.  And a certain ruler asked him, saying, Good Master, what shall I do to inherit eternal life?  And Jesus said unto him, Why callest thou me good?  none is good, save one, that is, God.  Thou knowest the commandments, Do not commit adultery, Do not kill, Do not steal, Do not bear false witness, Honor thy father and thy mother.  And he said, All these have I kept from my youth up.  Now when Jesus heard these things, he said unto him, Yet lackest thou one thing: sell all that thou hast, and distribute unto the poor, and thou shalt have treasure in heaven: and come, follow me.  And when he heard this, he was very sorrowful: for he was very rich.”

No one can enter into the way of righteousness in Christ which leads to eternal life, and walk therein faithfully, who does not dig deep, set their priorities straight in God’s eyes, and actually make sacrifices and suffer loss in keeping with those straight priorities.  Jesus said what He said expecting us to use common sense and receive His point without coming to the wacky conclusions which some people come to over statements like the one we just read, while still letting His point sink deep into our hearts to mold our value system properly, to bind us firmly to doing what is right before God in all things and at all times, and to free us from being slaves to mammon so that the truth of God can reign in us and shine forth through us.

John 6:27: “Labor not for the meat which perisheth, but for that meat which endureth unto everlasting life, which the Son of man shall give unto you: for him hath God the Father sealed.”

You may not be called to make great sacrifice and suffer great loss immediately like the Rich Young Ruler was, but we must rearrange our priorities and value system in compatibility with following the real Jesus like Jesus’ demands of the Rich Young Ruler implied for him.  Otherwise, eternal life will be beyond our grasp in this world and in the next.  

There is a basketball team called the Washington Generals.  Their job is basically to play half-hearted basketball games against the Harlem Globetrotters so the Globetrotters can entertain the crowd with things like outrageous plays, flamboyant moves, and trick shots which would never happen in a fully competitive basketball game.  And those who don’t make it their unquestioned principal intention to be faithful to Christ’s Word and hold onto Him no matter what earthly loss and suffering this brings upon them will basically be to Satan what the Washington Generals are to the Harlem Globetrotters (only worse actually, because the Generals have actually beat the Globetrotters a few times over something like 19,000 games).  Jesus is basically saying that if you don’t hate your earthly life and its various attachments and affections compared to Him (who is both Lord and Savior; Prophet, Priest, and King) then you don’t have any chance at all at of overcoming Satan and eating bread in the kingdom of God.  You must resist sin unto blood.

Revelation 21:6-8: “And he said unto me, It is done.  I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the end. I will give unto him that is athirst of the fountain of the water of life freely.  He that overcometh shall inherit all things; and I will be his God, and he shall be my son.  But the fearful (i.e. cowardly in regards to truth and righteousness), and unbelieving, and the abominable, and murderers, and whoremongers, and sorcerers, and idolaters, and all liars, shall have their part in the lake which burneth with fire and brimstone: which is the second death.”

And yet many people oppose a message like this, even and especially many in evangelical churches, saying that such a message opposes or misrepresents the grace of Christ.  Yet many, probably most of these (in an pathetically ironic way) actually frequently sing the hymn “The Old Rugged Cross” in their meetings.  And yet this hymn actually obviously states this message in a concise way in its chorus.  Often though, people sing songs over and over without applying the words practically to their own doctrine and their own lives.

Whether someone dies with a billion dollars worth of assets or dies with just the clothes they are wearing, each was fully guaranteed to die eventually.  And ultimately, since we also all surely brought nothing into this world, neither the billionaire nor the exceedingly poor man lost any more than the other by their death except in terms of things which they had acquired on a temporary basis.  

It is typical to be driven by money so that righteousness is neglected in order to be able to earn more and/or righteousness is compromised in earning money itself.  It is also typical that those who do not do either of these things often still have an entitlement mentality which expects others to take care of them and any under their care.  And often even those who are driven by money still have an entitlement mentality which says that they ought to be taken care of by the Government if they were to fall into hard circumstances; and this mentality underlies their drive to earn lots of money.  Though potentially looking so different, these are all ungodly attitudes which conform to ungodly values promoted by the corrupt world system.  Having an authentic Christian mindset means not expecting that the Government or anyone else take care of you (and this is not ruling out accepting help which is freely offered).  And as we’ve seen, it also means being willing to not live as well as one might be able to live in order to give to the needy and to have proper time for godly duties (and this is not saying we should enable moochers and freeloaders who could work but refuse to).  Having an authentic Christian mindset towards money also means not placing the burden of providing for yourself and those under your care on others (and this does indeed mean that Socialists and Communists are going to hell since this entitlement mentality, and even simply agreeing with and enabling others who have it, is in itself damnable due to the theft and covetousness involved in it).  

Proverbs 11:4: “Riches profit not in the day of wrath: but righteousness delivereth from death.” 

James 4:13-17: “Go to now, ye that say, To day or to morrow we will go into such a city, and continue there a year, and buy and sell, and get gain: Whereas ye know not what shall be on the morrow.  For what is your life?  It is even a vapor that appeareth for a little time, and then vanisheth away.  For that ye ought to say, If the Lord will, we shall live, and do this, or that.  But now ye rejoice in your boastings: all such rejoicing is evil.  Therefore to him that knoweth to do good, and doeth it not, to him it is sin.”

Having a covetous heart will prevent one from doing good in God’s eyes.  Those who don’t do the good which they know they ought to do resist God’s grace and live in sin, even if they are acceptable to society and they are generally praised for their values.   Yet God sees all and knows the whole story.

A great quote related to these things: “I shall pass through this world but once.  Any good, therefore, that I can do or any kindness I can show to any human being, let me do it now.  Let me not defer it or neglect it, for I shall not pass this way again.” -Stephen Grellet, 19th century evangelist

No one can be an honor to God and pleasing to Him if they are not living demonstrations of the proper attitude towards mammon, using money and material wealth faithfully in the service of God’s kingdom and righteousness, while discerning and honoring the boundaries of their limits- the righteous limits in obtaining them and in storing them.  A living faith before God which He deems acceptable is diligent to obey His instructions, active to side with His verdicts, ready to sacrifice to proclaim Christ to all nations to advance His kingdom, and heartily ready to do good for God’s people and any in genuine need.  The Christian life is more than giving up your most destructive sins in the eyes of men.  It is a wholehearted turning from sin, striving against sin, and living commitment to learn and follow through with doing well before God in a diligent, consistent, and persistent way looking unto Jesus.  

Covetousness and the idolatry related to mammon are among the most prevalent, as well as among the most deceitful sins.  And there are many aspects to its deceit, but a key one is how it can masquerade as things like proper diligence, being a responsible person, and sometimes doing the very things which a faithful Christian would do.  And even making covetous choices before God is often socially acceptable before men anyways.  The rich man in Luke chapter 16 was well regarded and highly respected among the Jews, yet he went to hell.  Lazarus, who was laid at the rich man’s gate full of sores, was not well regarded nor respected at all, though he died in God’s favor (see Luke 16:19-31). 

Hear the testimony of a man bound to the truth of God, a man who by God’s own testimony to Satan and his own honest testimony about himself, practiced pure and undefiled religion before God.  He diligently and persistently heard the Word of God and did it.  

(God’s own testimony about Job) Job 1:1: “There was a man in the land of Uz, whose name was Job; and that man was perfect and upright, and one that feared God, and eschewed evil.”  Job 1:6-8: “Now there was a day when the sons of God came to present themselves before the Lord, and Satan came also among them.  And the Lord said unto Satan, Whence comest thou?  Then Satan answered the Lord, and said, From going to and fro in the earth, and from walking up and down in it.  And the Lord said unto Satan, Hast thou considered my servant Job, that there is none like him in the earth, a perfect and an upright man, one that feareth God, and escheweth evil?”

(Job’s own testimony about how he lived) Job 23:11-12: “My foot hath held his steps, his way have I kept, and not declined.  Neither have I gone back from the commandment of his lips; I have esteemed the words of his mouth more than my necessary food.”

Now look at a sample of what that practically looked like (consider also here that Job was an actual Judge at one point; we see in Job’s testimony the key distinction between righteous judicial action according to one’s jurisdiction to punish and restrain evil in comparison to nonresistance to evil on a personal level- this is a key distinction most professing Christians do not understand).

Job 29:11-17: “When the ear heard me, then it blessed me; and when the eye saw me, it gave witness to me: Because I delivered the poor that cried, and the fatherless, and him that had none to help him.  The blessing of him that was ready to perish came upon me: and I caused the widow’s heart to sing for joy.  I put on righteousness, and it clothed me: my judgment was as a robe and a diadem.  I was eyes to the blind, and feet was I to the lame.  I was a father to the poor: and the cause which I knew not I searched out.  And I broke the jaws of the wicked, and plucked the spoil out of his teeth.”

Job walked before God and diligently sought Him in everything he did.  This is a man who feared God to the point where he sought to do what was right before Him in everything.  He would be inconvenienced, he would adjust as more light came before him, he shunned “feel good religion”, and he built his whole life, in a very practical way around worshiping the true God acceptably.  There was no attitude of “no way I’m doing that.”  He would have stood against the world alone if he had to.  There were no people which he considered out of the question to help, or be in the company of, if need required.  

The Bible condemns status symbols in every form.  People might try to give the impression of having an elevated status through the neighborhood they live in, where they go on vacation, what kind of car they drive, through dress, jewelry, even the type of pets that they have, and in many other ways of course.  Status symbols are an expression of loving the pride of life- and loving the pride of life is an expression of loving the world.  And the Bible is clear that the love of the Father is not in those who love the world.

Just as it is wrong to be a slave to the passions and impulses related to the body, it is also wrong to be a slave to attitudes which cause one to want to give others the impression that they are wealthy, successful, accomplished, etc.  These attitudes lead to an inordinate desire for wealth, they lead to dishonesty, they lead to other unrighteous actions to obtain wealth, and they lead to improper use of wealth.  These attitudes also can, and often do, abound in those who have not even actually obtained great financial and material wealth.

People generally think that financial wealth can do things for them which it actually cannot do.  This thinking inevitably draws people away from the true God and practically makes mammon to be their chief god.  God’s warning to Israel before He enriched them materially is proof, and a reminder of, how easily man can turn material riches into a curse for himself.  

Deuteronomy 6:10-13 says: “And it shall be, when the Lord thy God shall have brought thee into the land which he sware unto thy fathers, to Abraham, to Isaac, and to Jacob, to give thee great and goodly cities, which thou buildedst not, And houses full of all good things, which thou filledst not, and wells digged, which thou diggedst not, vineyards and olive trees, which thou plantedst not; when thou shalt have eaten and be full; Then beware lest thou forget the Lord, which brought thee forth out of the land of Egypt, from the house of bondage.  Thou shalt fear the Lord thy God, and serve him, and shalt swear by his name.”

It is a necessary expression of trust in God to look out for those in need and to open one’s hand to the needy.

Luke 3:10-11: “And the people asked him (John the Baptist), saying, What shall we do then?  He answereth and saith unto them, He that hath two coats, let him impart to him that hath none; and he that hath meat (food), let him do likewise.”

Proverbs 19:17: “He that hath pity upon the poor lendeth unto the Lord; and that which he hath given will he pay him again.”

It is thus especially important to help those who need help who can’t pay us back and whom there is no reward from men as a result of helping.

People have a strong tendency to latch onto the Scriptures which they see as promoting financial security for themselves- while ignoring the things which they see as attacking their financial security- if they were to actually follow them.  We indeed need to work to support ourselves and any dependents we have.  Some people presumptuously think that they are absolved from this.  Some people also give to people and groups whom they should be able to see are taking advantage of them.  Yet these are all variations from Christian principles related to money which are not the narrow way of true Christianity- whether you turn to the right hand or to the left.

Setting the heart on becoming rich is inherently covetous and idolatrous.  

1 Timothy 6:9-10 says: “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.  For the love of money is the root of all evil: which while some coveted after, they have erred from the faith, and pierced themselves through with many sorrows.”  

And Ephesians 5:3-6 says: “But fornication, and all uncleanness, or covetousness, let it not be once named among you, as becometh saints; Neither filthiness, nor foolish talking, nor jesting, which are not convenient: but rather giving of thanks.  For this ye know, that no whoremonger, nor unclean person, nor covetous man, who is an idolater, hath any inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and of God.  Let no man deceive you with vain words: for because of these things cometh the wrath of God upon the children of disobedience.”

Attempts to get rich quickly are inherently covetous and are also inherently foolish.  This includes playing the lottery, sports betting, and all games of chance to attempt to obtain money.  Proverbs 28:22 says: “He that hasteth to be rich hath an evil eye, and considereth not that poverty shall come upon him.”

It is right to earn money so we can support ourselves, not be a burden to others, to help others in need, and be ready for emergencies and other unexpected circumstances.  Yet if we neglect our duties towards God to make more money or we harden our hearts to those in need in order “to get ahead” then saving money becomes counterproductive to righteousness.  We should only save money as doing so is conducive to righteousness.  And the same can be said regarding earning money in and of itself.  If we are not surrendered to Christ so that we reckon Him to be the Master of our money, then we are living unrighteously (living in sin) and are at enmity with God.

Matthew 6:24-27: “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.  Therefore I say unto you, Take no thought for your life, what ye shall eat, or what ye shall drink; nor yet for your body, what ye shall put on.  Is not the life more than meat, and the body than raiment?  Behold the fowls of the air: for they sow not, neither do they reap, nor gather into barns; yet your heavenly Father feedeth them. Are ye not much better than they?  Which of you by taking thought can add one cubit unto his stature?”

When we see God in His proper place and ourselves in our proper place, that eliminates any room to think that what God commands is too hard or to think that we have any rightful cause to grumble that His commandment is unreasonable.  We can even say that no one is going to be in heaven who didn’t give God glory, and put themselves in their proper place on earth, when there was temptation to go contrary to God’s commandments and their constraints.  In considering God’s sovereign authority and His absolute right to man, and in considering man’s low state on earth when reality is acknowledged, there is an aspect to modesty which might have nothing to do with sexual lust.  When we think of modesty overall we should think of moderation.  Not provoking others to sexual lust indeed is one aspect to that, but other aspects are not showing off in general, not seeking to make ourselves the center of attention, not being gluttonous, not being luxurious, not being excessive when it comes to possessing stuff, being willing to help those in need and not being tied to our excess money and goods in order to truly help those in need, doing what is in our power to not provoke others to strife, not unnecessarily shaming others by our wealth, abilities, good circumstances, etc.  Those are all aspects of modesty.

Even Israel’s King had restraints put on him by the Law of God in terms of obtaining riches and other expressions of power.  He even had to write out his own copy of God’s Law, something other men did not have to do.  This was so he’d be reminded that he is still just a man despite his position, is still a servant, and even especially a servant, due to the advantages and opportunities he has to do righteousness, execute judgment and justice, and to help the needy in his position as a king (see Deuteronomy 17:14-20).  

With this in mind, there is never any great blessing or fortunate circumstance which a person might righteously attain which doesn’t in some way increase his obligations and accountability before God.  Jesus said Luke 12:48b: “For unto whomsoever much is given, of him shall be much required: and to whom men have committed much, of him they will ask the more.”  

Man’s state on earth is so low and pathetic, that even the thing which man most esteems- riches- tend to bring great problems, temptations, and stress.  And rich people still get sick, rich people still die in car accidents, rich people still can be in great physical pain, etc.  Along the same lines, no one is ever beyond things like sweeping and cleaning toilets.  There might be times when such things are our main jobs.  But even when such things are not our regular jobs, we are never too great for such jobs.  And beyond that, doing such jobs is never some great act of humility for anyone (besides of course Christ Himself whose very incarnation was a great act of humility).

James 1:9-10: “Let the brother of low degree rejoice in that he is exalted: But the rich, in that he is made low: because as the flower of the grass he shall pass away.”

We’re talking about poverty or richness of spirit here, yet verse 11 will show a key theme in this epistle, that echoes the tendency which Jesus so greatly stressed in the Gospels- that riches greatly tend to make people proud before God and to trust in a false security.  Remember too that most in the first world now are materially rich by world and historical standards, and are materially better off than many who would have been considered rich in the first century.

Proverbs 18:10-11: “The name of the Lord is a strong tower: the righteous runneth into it, and is safe.  The rich man’s wealth is his strong city, and as an high wall in his own conceit (his own imagination).”

James 1:11: “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.”

Psalm 62:9-10: “Surely men of low degree are vanity, and men of high degree are a lie: to be laid in the balance, they are altogether lighter than vanity.  Trust not in oppression, and become not vain in robbery: if riches increase, set not your heart upon them.”

James 1:27: “Pure religion and undefiled before God and the Father is this, To visit the fatherless and widows in their affliction, and to keep himself unspotted from the world.”

We need to have this!  Widows and orphans represent any in true need.  And keeping oneself unspotted from the world is multi-faceted.  Going to live out in the wilderness of Alaska will not do it.  We’re about to get into an example which I think few would consider when they hear that term.

James 2:1-4: “My brethren, have not the faith of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Lord of glory, with respect of persons.  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 (fine) 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 evil thoughts?”

Though James is using the example of preferring the rich over the poor because that is obviously a common sin people commit, we cannot be respecters of persons at all! 

James 2:5: “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?”

This is not saying that all poor people will be saved or it’s not saying that only poor people can be saved.  However, these have the greatest capacity for genuine faith.  Since we must be poor in spirit to be saved, there is a sense in which any who would be saved and enter God’s kingdom must relate to Him as a poor person.

Remember: Proverbs 18:10-11: “The name of the Lord is a strong tower: the righteous runneth into it, and is safe.  The rich man’s wealth is his strong city, and as an high wall in his own conceit.”

Also consider, in relation to man with God.  Proverbs 22:7: “The rich ruleth over the poor, and the borrower is servant to the lender.”

We saw back in James 1:27 how exercising pure and undefiled religion before God means visiting the needy in their affliction.  You can’t really do that without identifying with such.

James 2:6-7: “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?  Do not they blaspheme that worthy name by the which ye are called?”

Blaspheming His name can be done through professing to love Jesus while serving money.  The rich, especially the ultra-rich, tend to be obsessed with money, power, and the pleasures and cares of life while practically denying the true God- even if they profess to love Him.  

James is exhorting the Christians not to regard these as above other people.  The exhortation is no less applicable now.

James 5:1-2: “Go to now, ye rich men, weep and howl for your miseries that shall come upon you.”

In speaking to rich men directly, though he might have counted on some rich men reading this, he is teaching the Christians not to overestimate the benefit of riches nor regard the rich too highly.  Many now need the same lesson.  Look at how many Instagram followers many celebrities have.  Don’t think this lesson is any less relevant now.

James 5:2-3: “ 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.”

It is almost like James foresaw people collecting cars and other expensive stuff that they rarely or never actually use at all.

James 5:4: “Behold, the hire of the laborers who have reaped down your fields, which is of you kept back by fraud, crieth: and the cries of them which have reaped are entered into the ears of the Lord of sabaoth.”

Lord of sabaoth= Lord of hosts or armies.

James 5:5: “Ye have lived in pleasure on the earth, and been wanton; ye have nourished your hearts, as in a day of slaughter.”

Think of cows getting fattened up before they’re slaughtered.  That is whom James is comparing the rich who live in pleasure to.

Also remember with savings that all money is uncertain.  Due to an economic collapse or due to countless other factors, it could vanish or become worthless in a very short period of time.  There is really no such thing as being “set for life” financially.  That is a delusion.  Nobody can even truthfully say that they are set for life with reality taken into account.

Proverbs 23:4-5: “Labor not to be rich: cease from thine own wisdom.  Wilt thou set thine eyes upon that which is not?  for riches certainly make themselves wings; they fly away as an eagle toward heaven.”

1 Timothy 6:17-19: “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 against the time to come, that they may lay hold on eternal life.”

This is proof that the Apostolic mindset about money is not to make sure that you are set for life.  And if you seem to be set for life, and you give so that you’re definitely not anymore, that is a godly thing- provided you’re giving to godly causes for godly purposes.

Ecclesiastes 5:9-17: “Moreover the profit of the earth is for all: the king himself is served by the field.  He that loveth silver shall not be satisfied with silver; nor he that loveth abundance with increase: this is also vanity.  When goods increase, they are increased that eat them: and what good is there to the owners thereof, saving the beholding of them with their eyes?  The sleep of a laboring man is sweet, whether he eat little or much: but the abundance of the rich will not suffer him to sleep.  There is a sore evil which I have seen under the sun, namely, riches kept for the owners thereof to their hurt.  But those riches perish by evil travail: and he begetteth a son, and there is nothing in his hand.  As he came forth of his mother’s womb, naked shall he return to go as he came, and shall take nothing of his labor, which he may carry away in his hand.  And this also is a sore evil, that in all points as he came, so shall he go: and what profit hath he that hath labored for the wind?  All his days also he eateth in darkness, and he hath much sorrow and wrath with his sickness.”

Consider also how the entire Book of Ecclesiastes culminates in a warning not to live for pleasure but rather to use life and its circumstances to prepare to meet your Creator who requires us to fear Him, keep His commandments, and will bring every work into judgment with every secret thing, whether it be good or whether it be evil (read the book from the beginning to the end- like we should do with every book of the Bible).

We should stay out of debt above all to not possess that which rightfully belongs to others nor to be in bondage to others (being in debt causes these things to happen).  We should not stay out of debt so we can live like no one else or live our best now.  Getting out of debt so we can live like no one else or so we can live our best life now would be exchanging one ungodly way of living for another ungodly way of living.  

Consider: What the Good Samaritan did for the wounded man cost him a lot of time, effort, and money.  And it is possible that it cost him a business opportunity.  He may have lost out on a lot of money by doing what was pleasing to God in this situation, by doing the thing which logic required that he do in order to love his neighbor as himself.  He could have passed by the man like the first two guys did, he could have complained and cut corners in helping the man.  Yet he regarded himself as a servant of God and a slave to righteousness, not as a servant to his carnal appetites (and don’t consider servitude to money as any better than being a slave to drugs, alcohol, or sex- which typically involve servitude to money anyways- all of this is in the realm of servitude to passions and bondage to the flesh).  Christ died to deliver us from bondage to the world, the flesh, and the devil in order to make us His servants who live for what we were created to live for.  

It is never right to compromise righteousness to obtain money, never right to compromise righteousness to keep money nor is it ever right to use money for unrighteous purposes.  Otherwise, you’re living in sin.  We can’t walk in truth before God and demonstrate a right heart before Him unless we do so in the things which greatly affect us.

Romans 6:10-11: “For in that he (speaking of Jesus Christ) died, he died unto sin once: but in that he liveth, he liveth unto God.  Likewise reckon ye also yourselves to be dead indeed unto sin, but alive unto God through Jesus Christ our Lord.”

Revelation 4:11: “Thou art worthy, O Lord, to receive glory and honor and power: for thou hast created all things, and for thy pleasure they are and were created.”

Malachi 1:9: “And now, I pray you, beseech God that he will be gracious unto us: this hath been by your means: will he regard your persons?  saith the Lord of hosts.”

They were of course already beseeching God that He would be gracious unto them.  Yet such pleas were pointless because they were strategically coming up with ways to shortchange God in terms of offering what He required in order to hold onto more (and better) for themselves.  They were acting like Cain.  And like in His dealing with Cain, God was not going to accept them nor their offerings.  God makes it clear all over the Bible that His mercy is only for those who confess and forsake their transgressions and keep His covenant.

Malachi 1:10: “Who is there even among you that would shut the doors for nought (nothing)?  neither do ye kindle fire on mine altar for nought.  I have no pleasure in you, saith the Lord of hosts, neither will I accept an offering at your hand.”

I believe the most likely explanation for this verse is that God is telling the priests that they wouldn’t even shut the doors of the Temple if they weren’t being compensated with payment for doing so.  And yet, they are offering burnt offerings to God which have cost them nothing (and we will see this defined more going forward).  They are insistent on getting their due yet they devise means not to give God what He is due (specifically here, His offerings as He prescribed them).  

Ephesians 4:18-19 (says of the heathen at heart): “Having the understanding darkened, being alienated from the life of God through the ignorance that is in them, because of the blindness of their heart: Who being past feeling have given themselves over unto lasciviousness, to work all uncleanness with greediness.”

This can describe many attitudes, activities, and forms of entertainment that are prevalent.  Yet here are several of the most blatant, obvious, and destructive forms of corrupting, heathen activities fitting of the description above which are commonly promoted, indulged in, profited from, and justified in America.

  • Pornography (which we have also as a society allowed to be easily exposed to minors- woe to any society which doesn’t protect its youth from such a corrupting thing!)
  • Dependence upon nicotine and the waste associated therewith.
  • Dependence upon drugs and alcohol (including abuse of prescription drugs), drug and alcohol abuse overall, along with the impaired sobriety associated therewith and the waste associated therewith.
  • Gambling

All of these evil things inherently involve idolatry and covetousness. We didn’t even yet cover the internet, television, and phone addictions which are evidently prevalent in America too.  These are also covetous and can also be taken to the extremes of vanity, wastefulness, and leave people in a drunken stupor like drugs and alcohol do (to not be sober is a sin).

Psalm 10:3: “For the wicked boasteth of his heart’s desire, and blesseth the covetous, whom the Lord abhorreth.”

Jeremiah 6:10-15: “To whom shall I speak, and give warning, that they may hear?  behold, their ear is uncircumcised, and they cannot hearken: behold, the word of the Lord is unto them a reproach; they have no delight in it. Therefore I am full of the fury of the Lord; I am weary with holding in: I will pour it out upon the children abroad, and upon the assembly of young men together: for even the husband with the wife shall be taken, the aged with him that is full of days. And their houses shall be turned unto others, with their fields and wives together: for I will stretch out my hand upon the inhabitants of the land, saith the Lord. For from the least of them even unto the greatest of them every one is given to covetousness; and from the prophet even unto the priest every one dealeth falsely. They have healed also the hurt of the daughter of my people slightly, saying, Peace, peace; when there is no peace. Were they ashamed when they had committed abomination? nay, they were not at all ashamed, neither could they blush: therefore they shall fall among them that fall: at the time that I visit them they shall be cast down, saith the Lord.”

Related to the prevalent covetousness in America displayed through sexual immorality and various other sins of sensuality, which all involve covetousness, there is the covetousness related to money and the neglect of the poor and needy, particularly the most needy in the 3rd world who are dying from man-made poverty at a rate of more than 20,000 daily.  As I look at different studies on how much the average percentage of their income that the average American gives to charitable causes each year (not even considering the actual worthiness of the cause nor the reliability of those the donation is entrusted to), the average American is only giving away somewhere between two to five percent of their income, with perhaps about 40 percent giving away nothing at all.  If we have a roof over our heads, adequate clothes, adequate food and water, and we still have money left over then we are rich.  Much of the world, perhaps one third of it, does not have clean water and/or adequate food.  

Even many in poverty by American standards are rich by the world’s standards, yet complaining and wanting more from the government (i.e. from the money which tax-paying Americans earned from their own labor) is much more common in America than seeking to help those in truly dire need in other countries (Socialism and Marxism promote greed; and they sure do nothing to remedy it).  The norm is to want more, in many cases to want more that is not even earned through honest work, rather than to thank God for how good we have it and using our abundance to help those who are in extreme poverty through no fault of their own.  They are crying for help at this very moment; and most are too busy with vain things to even be able to hear their cry. 

Proverbs 21:13: “Whoso stoppeth his ears at the cry of the poor, he also shall cry himself, but shall not be heard.” 

Americans in general are too wrapped up in their lives and their plans to do the good before God which He requires.  

Further related to decadence, the debt that Americans pile up irresponsibly, and often over frivolous things and in relation to loving pleasure more than God, is also vast.  You can look up the stats about that yourself.  So many borrow for things which they could easily do without and/or borrow without the absolute intent or resolution to pay back.  Psalm 37:21 says: “The wicked borroweth, and payeth not again: but the righteous sheweth mercy, and giveth.”  

Many even want this theft justified and sanctioned by the law- and they have had some significant victories recently too.  We are driven much further into debt by corruption at the highest levels, and especially one imposter entity which controls the US financial system, which is so powerful that those behind it (i.e. the Federal Reserve) even control the mainstream media enough so that it is rarely scrutinized and never really exposed as the criminal entity which it is.  Yet the general population’s covetousness related to mammon, and its overall unrighteous dealing with mammon, gives reason to believe that this entity and the oligarchs associated with it are a fitting judgment.  And these oligarchs will get theirs too in due time.  Be sure of that.

Hebrews 11:24-26: “By faith Moses, when he was come to years, refused to be called the son of Pharaoh’s daughter; Choosing rather to suffer affliction with the people of God, than to enjoy the pleasures of sin for a season; Esteeming the reproach of Christ greater riches than the treasures in Egypt: for he had respect unto the recompence of the reward.”

Yet many are held back or turn back from being a partaker of Christ because they shrink back when they perceive that their life will, or at least might, take on the characteristics of a wanderer if they exercise faith in Christ appropriately and walk before Him in order to do what His Word requires of them.  Their compromise might be in relation to their church, their family (very common), their job, or in some other matter where their perceived security , physical comfort, and perception of being an “insider” is at stake.   

The Apostle Paul perceived that the compromise with sin, acceptance of false doctrine, ungodly factions, and overall spiritual decline at the Church of Corinth had a lot to do with the Corinthians’ complacency related to their feeling of being insiders in their own little world and their attachment to their insider status to the point where they weren’t taking the risks that they needed to in order to stand for truth and do what is right in God’s eyes.

Paul thus told them (what he told them) in 1 Corinthians 4:7-16.

1 Peter 1:17: “And if ye call on the Father, who without respect of persons judgeth according to every man’s work, pass the time of your sojourning here in fear:”

Peter is emphasizing that we all, Christians included, will be judged according to our deeds.  No one is an exception, no one gets a special pass, no one will be spared from condemnation for living in sin because of their race, ethnicity, their family, the economic status they had, who they know, or anything like that.  We are on earth temporarily; then we go meet God on His judgment throne.  We are commanded therefore to live our lives in fear in relation to the coming judgment, especially considering the price which was paid to redeem us.  

1 Peter 1:18-19: “Forasmuch as ye know that ye were not redeemed with corruptible things, as silver and gold, from your vain conversation received by tradition from your fathers; But with the precious blood of Christ, as of a lamb without blemish and without spot.”

Corrupt religion may teach wicked traditions related to money being able to be paid to redeem one from the guilt of their sin and into God’s favor, but that is corrupt religion (Judaism had been corrupted by such practices by the first century and ceremonialism labeled as Christian invites such corruption too, as is proven by the history of Christendom), but only the precious blood of Christ is a sufficient redemption price to actually bring us to God and out of our sins.  To partake of His redemption we must call upon Him believing this and dealing with Him (that is, submitting to Him) as the risen Lord and Ultimate Authority figure whom He in truth is.  Peter is emphasizing to the Christians that they ought to value Him as their life or they are no better off than those who blatantly look for a way around coming to Him as He ought to be received.

Aaron’s email is: [email protected]