Thursday, 12 October 2017

Competitiveness is the Manifestation of Coveteousness which brings the Wrath of God

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.
Be not ye therefore partakers with them.

(Ephesians 5:3-7)

The modern Church rightly condemns sexual immorality, as an abomination to God. Yet, the sin of covetousness receives no where near the same condemnation as sexual immorality of all kinds, be it fornication, adultery, or pornography, with the exception of the sin of homosexuality which many in the modern Church are reluctant to condemn as an abomination.

Covetousness is in the same category of sexual immorality. Like sexual immorality, it is a sin of the flesh which brings the wrath of God:

Mortify therefore your members which are upon the earth; fornication, uncleanness, inordinate affection, evil concupiscence, and covetousness, which is idolatry:

 For which things' sake the wrath of God cometh on the children of disobedience
(Colossians 3:5-6).

Galatians 5:19-21 says:

Now the works of the flesh are manifest, which are these; Adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lasciviousness,
Idolatry, witchcraft, hatred, variance, emulations, wrath, strife, seditions, heresies,
Envyings, murders, drunkenness, revellings, and such like: of the which I tell you before, as I have also told you in time past, that they which do such things shall not inherit the kingdom of God.

Sexual sin is a vile sin. However, do not think that it is the only vile sin, such that as long as one does not struggle with such sins, one is so holy and righteous. To do so would be to diminish righteousness to merely abstaining from sexual sin, minimising and belittling the righteousness and holiness of God. Covetousness is also such a sin, as with numerous other non-sexual sins, such as murder, heresy, wrath, hatred and witchcraft.

The modern Church in the west is full of covetousness. How do I know? All the competitiveness among many people in the Church, who love to compete with others over all kinds of things, be it wealth, professional success and the pace of such success, ability to buy a house, whether one is married, the quality of one's marriage, the talents of one's children, the ability to "retire" well, the ability to go on frequent holidays in luxurious places and so on.  Even among pastors, there is much competition over church growth, promotions to a higher position in the ministry and how well-received one's ministry is. 

Such competitiveness is all the manifestation of covetousness. Plain and simple. Such covetousness is carnality, that which shows nothing but spiritual immaturity, if one is even a true convert, or simply, spiritual darkness:

And I, brethren, could not speak unto you as unto spiritual, but as unto carnal, even as unto babes in Christ.
I have fed you with milk, and not with meat: for hitherto ye were not able to bear it, neither yet now are ye able.
For ye are yet carnal: for whereas there is among you envying, and strife, and divisions, are ye not carnal, and walk as men?
For while one saith, I am of Paul; and another, I am of Apollos; are ye not carnal?
(1 Corinthians 3:1-4).

The Bible warns us not to be deceived about the sin of not only sexual immorality, but also others sins in the same category, being sins of the flesh. Covetousness is one of them.

Know ye not that the unrighteous shall not inherit the kingdom of God? Be not deceived: neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor abusers of themselves with mankind,
Nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners, shall inherit the kingdom of God.
 (1 Corinthians 6:9-10)

This should absolutely frighten you, if you call yourself a follower of Christ, but is yet full of covetousness and envy.

The desire to compare oneself with others, and feel superior because one has what others do not, and be smug and self-satisfied is itself a manifestation of covetousness. Such a desire itself shows not merely a lack of contentment with all that God has given to oneself, but a hatred of those who do not have what one has. Such a hatred will also lead to a hatred of those who have what one does not have. It is precisely for this reason that such a person, when he or she has what others do not have, feels smug and self-satisfied, and can only but despise others for not having what he has. 

The heart of covetousness is pride. Covetousness expresses itself as that which is smug in having what one has, and thus, despising those who do not have what one has, which one wants, and despising those who have what one wants but do not have. It is full of misery,  seeks to make others misery by what one has, and by jealousy against others who have what one wants but do not have. Such misery loves company, as it cannot be satisfied with one has, and cannot be happy for others.

James 4:1-3 describes covetousness and its manifestations:

From whence come wars and fightings among you? come they not hence, even of your lusts that war in your members?

Ye lust, and have not: ye kill, and desire to have, and cannot obtain: ye fight and war, yet ye have not, because ye ask not.
Ye ask, and receive not, because ye ask amiss, that ye may consume it upon your lusts.

Such a person asks not as he is not only too proud, but because thrives on his covetousness, so that he may feel good when he has what others do not have but want. He does not even know how to ask to get what he wants from God, as his entire mindset is wrong. He asks for what he wants so that he may consume it on satisfying his own self-centred lusts, which do not and cannot glorify God, but can only glorify himself, and be filled with pride and hatred of God. 

The wars and fightings among people that James 4:1 refers to do not only include overt arguments and quarrels. It includes all kinds of division, and the thriving on divisions between people caused by covetousness and envy.  Such divisions can be subtle, manifesting in all kinds of unspoken, quiet unrighteous judgments against others for having something or not having something, resulting in hatred.

Covetousness has no joy. He who is covetous, joyless is he. It causes nothing but misery to not only the covetous person, but his target who he seeks to destroy. Indeed, "wrath is cruel, and anger is outrageous; but who is able to stand before envy" (Proverbs 27:4)?

The covetous person destroys his neighbour by causing him to stumble in lacking joy, which leads to covetousness in that person himself. 

Covetousness is bitter poison, like poison a person gives to his enemy because he wants but does not have.


Tuesday, 10 October 2017

The Ensnaring Power of Envy and Jealousy

We live in a world full of people who love to make others envious or jealous of them. Such people cannot rest until they makes others envious or jealous of them. Whenever they fall to make others envious or jealous of them, they are full of anger, and hate the person who they seek to stir up envy or jealousy in, all the more. Such is the perversion of envy and jealousy.

Advertising is the most obvious example. It feeds on the lust of the flesh, lust of the eyes and pride of life (1 John 2:16), seeking to promise fulfillment of such things, but yet being only too delighted to show that one cannot. That is exactly how envy and jealousy work. They not only thrive on, but love to only show people seeking to fulfill their lusts and pride, how they cannot find such fulfillment, whereas another can.

Jealous and envy make a person spiritually weak because just as death and destruction are never satisfied, the same is with the lust of the eyes: Hell and destruction are never full; so the eyes of man are never satisfied (Proverbs 27:20). The lust of the eyes is not simply the desire to not only have what others have. Such desire is only a mere manifestation of the lust of the eyes. 

The lust of the eyes is the desire to seek what one sees is good for oneself, and seek it in accordance to one's own way. Such lust of the eyes then grows into the lusts of the flesh the object of that lust. Lust of the flesh is the desire to seek what one wants, and seek it in accordance to one's own way. This lust of the flesh then gives birth to the pride of life, which is never satisfied until one obtains what one wants. Until that want is fulfilled, it despises anyone who has that want fulfilled, and not only does not, but cannot love a person who is fulfilled in that respect. Such inability to love is a serious sin, as the lack of love is hatred (1 John 4:8). 

The lust of the eyes is extremely subtle and deceptive, as constitutes entire mindset of the person, in thinking himself justified to seek what he thinks good for himself, in his own way. As Matthew 6:23 says: "But if thine eye be evil, thy whole body shall be full of darkness. If therefore the light that is in thee be darkness, how great is that darkness!". Such is how lust of the eye blind a person with such lust. He will not see it in himself. When confronted about how he has such lust, he can only but seek to justify himself, to the point of attempting to justify lust, or twist the meaning of lust so that his lust falls short of being lust.

Satan loves to stir up envy and jealousy in people, including, if not especially in true followers of Christ. Why? He wants to steal his or her joy in Christ, because by doing so, he weakens his faith in Christ, and therefore his strength. For the joy of the Lord is your strength (Nehemiah 8:10).

Envy and jealousy hold a person to spiritual bondage of the most destructive kind. Such a person has no joy, but only anger, hatred and bitterness, resulting from the lust of the eyes, which becomes lust of the flesh, and then becoming the pride of life, which can never be fulfilled. Therefore, a person in bondage to such sins can only hate people, which is murder in the eyes of God, which leads to eternal damnation: Whosoever hateth his brother is a murderer: and ye know that no murderer hath eternal life abiding in him (1 John 3:15).

A person with envy and jealous can have no peace, as he finds not his peace in God, but in satisfying his lusts. Therefore, envy and jealousy are utter foolishness, as they deny God's peace. It is the manifestation of the heart saying that there is no God in whom he can find peace. Who does the Bible say is a fool? The one who says in his heart that there is no God (Psalm 14:1). It is not simply the one who says with his mouth there is no God, but the one who says with his heart there is no God. 

Attempting to satisfy one' lusts, which is a self-centred, self-glorifying desire, as opposed to one which seeks to glorify God, and love God, will always bring anxiety. Anxiety is itself the manifestation of pride, as it trusts not in God, but oneself. It has the gall to deny that God who created the entire universe cannot sustain oneself. It has the gall to say that God who sent His only begotten Son Jesus Christ to die for the sins of the whole world to save people from His just wrath, does not love oneself. 

It will always bring anxiety, not because of  God's "failure" to give what one wants when and how one wants, but because it indulges in the flesh. When one has no peace because of one's envy or jealousy, it is one's own fault. The flesh can never be satisfied once indulged because once it is entertained, it craves for more, owing to its pride.  

Such is the ensnaring power of envy and jealousy. It does the person full of envy and jealousy nothing but feed his pride, give no peace, steal his joy, and lead him to eternal destruction, for such a person is filled with nothing but hatred. 

Sunday, 8 October 2017

Debt is a Trap from the World Seeking to Enslave People to Mammon, and Devour Souls

And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God (Romans 12:2).

The Bible warns about not following the world (Romans 12:2), loving the world (1 John 2:15), or being friends with the world (James 4:4).

The world is an organised system designed to not only to encourage sinners to sin, but to seduce those who resist sin into sin, and enslave them to sin. It seeks to not only enslave, but actively force people to enslaved to the world's systems. The prince of the world is not passive in seeing sinners sin. His focus is on the saints, hell-bent on ensnaring them into the systems of the world, seeking to seduce them with all kinds of allures. Of the most dangerous allures he uses is the allure of ease, comfort and security. 

Debt is a powerful way of alluring people. There is a whole system in the western world designed to enslave people to debt. That rent is much more expensive than owning a home over the same period of time is a deliberate manipulation of the market to appease the banks. This is truly frightening, as it only shows how hell-bent the system is in trapping, almost as if coercing people to get into debt, just to buy a home. 

As such, even many Christians are unfortunately getting into debt for years, if not decades. Many Christians are constantly criticising Christian mothers for working in a full-time job, as being unbiblical. They say that house prices have gone up because both persons work. That, however, is only a very small, if not negligible part of the entire picture. The rise in house prices is largely owing to market manipulation by governments and banks, rampant property investment by the rich in multiple properties, and of course, the willingness of so many to borrow money to buy a house. 

The rise of house prices which require most people to get into debt for years to own a house is entirely the result of a system designed to enslave people to banks.

So, what should a Christian do?

He or she needs to radically trust in God, and rely on Him, with utter dependence. Remember there is not a good thing which you have which does not come from Heaven. Know that no good thing will he withhold from them that walk uprightly (Psalm 84:11).

One needs to radically change one's mind into fully accepting that one is to pursue God, and not pursue wealth or the needs which wealth buys. Rather, it is only when one serves God first, that he will give you all your material needs. Work is designed by God to pursue Him, and not finances. Finances will come from God after. Pursue God first, and let the finances come to you. Do not pursue finances, and then seek God later. To seek one's needs first, even if legitimate needs, is to have little faith:

Wherefore, if God so clothe the grass of the field, which to day is, and to morrow is cast into the oven, shall he not much more clothe you, O ye of little faith?

Therefore take no thought, saying, What shall we eat? or, What shall we drink? or, Wherewithal shall we be clothed?
(For after all these things do the Gentiles seek:) for your heavenly Father knoweth that ye have need of all these things.
But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you.
Take therefore no thought for the morrow: for the morrow shall take thought for the things of itself. Sufficient unto the day is the evil thereof.
(Matthew 6:30-34).

If a Christian needs, not wants, a house, he should plead his case before God, stating why he needs a house, and how he needs it to glorify God, and not himself.  He should plead that he seeks not to get into debt for debt enslaves one to mammon, and he refuse to bow the knee to mammon. He should then give an reason acceptable before God as to why he needs a house, be it to raise a family, provide a place for an elderly or needy family member to live, or start on orphanage or whatever it may be. 

God does amazing things when one truly trusts in Him, and absolutely refuses to be independent of God, but rather, totally acknowledging that all things are from Him, and that one depends on Him for all things. 

No matter what, do not get into debt for the borrower is servant to the lender (Proverbs 22:7). Debt may seem like a quick or convenient way to get what one needs, but he provides false promises. You will feel the pains of getting into debt when you borrow money, in knowing you brought it upon yourself, failing to trust in God.

If you are in debt, repent of your self-reliance  and ask God for His grace in getting your out of debt as soon as possible. Ask this so that you may be able to fully and truly serve Him, by being released from the bondage to mammon (Matthew 6:24).

Do not be seduced by debt, not even for a house. It will enslave you to debt who will be your master, and therefore, you will not be able to serve God.

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).

Friday, 6 October 2017

The "Protest"-ant spirit of Liberalism and the Abominable Fruit of its Rebellion

Many in the modern western protestant Church love to blame the secularists for their liberalism and how they ruined the west with all their humanistic movements. Few things satisfy the typical western protestant Christian than criticising and blaming sinners for sinning, be it secularists, islamists, or their favourite target, the catholics.

However, what many such rebellious protestants do not realise is that their protestant reformation which they so celebrate was of the spirit of such liberalism. Their liberalism, unlike that of the secularists, is of  worse kind, one that hides under the false guise of "righteousness" and "holiness" which has caused many to stumble and not be saved.

Such is a hard saying. But love must speak the truth, and so that is what one must do.

Before the reformation, the only denomination was catholicism. Indeed, even the most calvinist reformed protestants of the 21st century accept that the saints of old such as Polycarp and Augustine were true converts. They lived for Christ, suffered for Christ, and died for Christ. We may all look an admire that,  and praise him in such a trite way, in the typical way that many in the modern Church praise those who go on long-term overseas missions. But no, it is not for us to judge or admire, as it is not about what we may think. It is about what God thinks and God alone.

The protest-ant reformation claimed to fight heresy, and indeed there was much spiritual corruption in the catholic church by the end of the 15th century. As such, those of the rebellious spirit of protestantism, the spirit of legalism, which manifests in the spirit of liberalism, which many do not realise, took advantage of such circumstances to spread their rebellion. Just as misery loves company, rebellion loves company:

Enter not into the path of the wicked, and go not in the way of evil men.
Avoid it, pass not by it, turn from it, and pass away.
For they sleep not, except they have done mischief; and their sleep is taken away, unless they cause some to fall.
For they eat the bread of wickedness, and drink the wine of violence.
But the path of the just is as the shining light, that shineth more and more unto the perfect day.
The way of the wicked is as darkness: they know not at what they stumble.
(Proverbs 4:14-19).

You may say, how are those protestant reformers wicked? They sought to sow discord, all under the false guise of correcting heresy. For they themselves planted the seed of heresy in the Church that so plagues her today. That heresy is that it is up to oneself to interpret the Bible for oneself where the Bible is "ambiguous".

Many protestant intellectuals of old, and of today, love to find ambiguity in the Bible, and debate about them, be it ambiguity about usury, and divorce and remarriage. By intellectual, I am referring to those who are theologically-oriented and use a purely academic approach in interpreting the Bible, rejecting all spiritual revelation, or rejecting spiritual revelation simply because it challenges them. 

There are even contemporary protestant intellectuals who make fools to themselves, in trying to argue that pornography is not sin, pleasure-seeking is legitimate, and that even lust and sensuality are good! They wrangle the Word of God, and twisting the Scriptures to their own destruction:

As also in all his epistles, speaking in them of these things; in which are some things hard to be understood, which they that are unlearned and unstable wrest, as they do also the other scriptures, unto their own destruction (2 Peter 3:16).

Who do they think they are in trying to mock God? My friends "be not deceived; God is not mocked: for whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap" (Galatians 6:7).

This has sadly led to not just liberalism in respect of money matters, but also sexual liberalism in the professing Church! And so many sadly follow the trend. Indeed, was he right when one person told me the professing modern Church in the west has become a circus. But I would say, it is worse than a circus. It has became that which is too shameful to speak about.

The belief in one's "right" to the money one has earned, as opposed to regarding it as money belonging to God and God alone is rampant in the protestant Church of today. That was how the rebellion started, with the idea of the false protestant ethic that work is determined by one's productivity, as opposed to one's faithfulness in serving God. 

Jesus' command that one must seek first the Kingdom of God and let God provide one's needs (Matthew 6:30-34) is absolutely despised by the majority in the modern protestant Church. They are not convinced by it, which is itself to despise not only Jesus' command, but Jesus Himself. Thus, the idol of money has already established its foothold.

The belief in one's "rights" to do as one chooses and as one pleases crept in, tickling the ears of the many who claim to seek Christ, but are only seeking him for the money and now, one's own pleasure. The idol of power had now made its foothold over the protestant Church.

With great shame, the belief that sex can be sought for pleasure has crept into the Church. Many in the Church may claim that they believe that fornication and adultery are sins, so as to imply that they are so righteous, unlike the pagans. Well, who else believes such are sins? The demons, and they tremble with fear, for they know they fate. 

A sad manifestation of such a vile, abominable, and self-centred hedonistic belief is the rise of "Christian dating" which is really just a defiance of God's will and plan for marriage, in seeking a relationship for oneself, instead of submitting to God and letting Him place you in a relationship He thinks is needed to sanctify you and teaching you to be holy and righteous and grow in agape love.

Even more disturbingly, there is the rise of young professing Christians getting married young, for the primary or main purpose of sexual pleasure. They seek to married for this reason, and despise the idea of having children, and as such, are embrace birth control, just like the world. Even when they do have children, they deliberately seek to limit their number of children so that they can enjoy their own lives more, but yet have children to care for them in old age. Such is double-mindedness, in wanting pleasure and fulfilling duties only to seeking more pleasure.

Such people are lovers of pleasure, rather than lovers of God (2 Timothy 3:4). Yet, when the marriage ends because such pleasure is gone, they blame and curse God. The third idol of sex has made its stronghold over the Church.

Pleasure-seeking is deceptive. Such is the deceptiveness of sin. It promises a life of fulfillment, but the end is really an empty tunnel. Pleasure makes a person foolish in the mind, for he is merry and cares not about the reality. Sorrow makes a person wise, for he sees the reality: Sorrow is better than laughter: for by the sadness of the countenance the heart is made better (Ecclesiastes 7:3).

Yet, many protestant intellectuals try to justify their pleasure-seeking mindset by saying that God made such things for our pleasure so that we can enjoy Him more and be more drawn to Him. That is an an extremely dangerous and perverted half-truth that is so full of deception. Yet, a discerning person will see how deceptive such a ruse is. 

The error lies in claiming that one "enjoys" God. The Bible never speaks this way. Such is to speak of Him in an irreverent way, as though he is the object subject to our enjoyment.  It speaks of God as one who is to be worshiped and feared. The Bible does speak of delighting in the Lord (Psalm 37:4). Delighting in the Lord means to seek God joyfully giving Him the due to Him, and not seek Him as a means to an ends, being joy.

It is also God Himself who is to be worshiped. One worships God in spirit and in truth (John 4:24). Never in the Bible does it say that one worships God in pleasure, including pleasure in seeking Him, nor material things. Yet, so many in the modern Church in the west think that way, without realising it.

It is only a absolute and total obedience to God in all things that one can find true fulfillment.  True contentment cannot be found by self-will, acting independently from God, and seeking to gratify the lusts of the flesh, lusts of the eyes and pride of life. Such is rebellion against God which gives nothing but pain in the flesh, which is justified against those who are rebellious. It manifests in the form of godliness, but denies its power, because it strives to make man God, and God subject to man, disputing and twisting His teachings to suit oneself. Such is the way of many in the modern protestant Church in the west.

Separate from this whore of a church, those who strive to be holy and righteous!

The spirit of liberalism has established his stronghold over the modern western Church, blinding those who want their ears tickled. Eradicate and throw out all liberalism, which is of the spirit of rebellion, before it devours.

Thursday, 5 October 2017

God made Work so that People May Give to the Needy, Not so that One can Acquire Things for Oneself

Let him that stole steal no more: but rather let him labour, working with his hands the thing which is good, that he may have to give to him that needeth (Ephesians 4:28).

The Bible has much to say about helping the needy. One sure way as to how to determine whether a person is filled with the love of God in him is whether he has concern for the needy:

But whoso hath this world's good, and seeth his brother have need, and shutteth up his bowels of compassion from him, how dwelleth the love of God in him? (1 John 3:17).

Apostle John makes it very clear. If a person does sees a needy person, and has no compassion for him, the love of God does not dwell in Him. He has no love. The spirit behind this verse is that how can a person say that he loves if he cares not for the needy. Such love is one that manifests in compassion, and is not stingy, or begrudging, nor proud. 

While 1 John 3:17 especially refers to loving a needy brother or sister in Christ, it spirit is of the agape love of God, and therefore refers to love of God towards all people, including those undeserving of help according to the Law of God. It is that which is full of mercy and grace, that which is patient with people, and hopes for people to be saved for their own good. It loves despite the rejection by the person being loved.

Such love holds nothing back, loving people, despite that the person may be undeserving. This is not to deny that one must love with discernment and wisdom. For love is not soft, mushy, or sentimental, as so many people so erroneously think. Rather, love is tough, in upholding the righteousness and holiness of God, despising with an immense hatred of all sin, and anything that taints a person with sin. It is zealous for the true righteousness and true holiness of God, and absolutely any righteousness or holiness that is false or hypocritical in any way.

Love gives only that which is good for the recipient, and refuses to give anything to the recipient that is bad to him or her. For example, it does not give $5 to a person who he knows will only use it to buy drugs, which will do nothing but will damn that person further to Hell. As such, God may allow a mammonised Christian to buy a house with debt, beyond his means, allowing him to be happy for a while but only to later be full of anguish, such that he may learn that repent of his failure to totally depend on God.

True agape love often manifests with a apparent harshness and even anger, anger of the genuine sort that consistently insists on truth, and cares not about the faulty feelings, or sinful or fleshly desires of others. Rather, it despises such sin in others, and seeks to prevent people from appeasing it and being trapped by it. Despite opposition, it continues to rebuke, and will never ever ever ever compromise or succumb to appeasing the person's sinful mindset, desires, thoughts or feelings. It has no respect for such, for it seeks true righteousness and holiness.

It may even reject the person, shunning him. Such may seem cold and cruel, but such rejection where done to uphold all righteousness and holiness of God, is love. Failure to shun a person, but rather, entertain him foolishness, be it in twisting Scriptures for his own agenda, or to justify his sin, is not love. It does nothing but in making him think he is wise, will damn him, or take him off the path of righteousness, hindering his race for the faith, in the case of a true convert. For it rejects the foolishness of the fool, therefore exposing his foolishness, which is for his good. A true convert is not exempt from being a fool. 

For Proverbs 26:4-5 says: 

Answer not a fool according to his folly, lest thou also be like unto him.
Answer a fool according to his folly, lest he be wise in his own conceit.

A fool is to be answered not by his foolishness, for one will be foolish. A fool must be answered by exposing his foolishness. One such way is to totally and absolutely reject his foolishness, telling him that one will not accept his foolishness, and shunning him, exposing his foolishness. 

Do not be deceived by the fools in the professing modern western Church. It is full of fools. Many of those who are praised as wise are fools, for they appear wise on the outward, but are outwardly full of foolishness. They appear to seek the will of God, but seek to fit it within their own will. Where God's will is inconsistent with their own, they bend the will of God, and attempt to alter it. Such persons are dangerous, for they are not truly seeking the will of God at all in trying to fit it into their will, in totally and absolutely surrendering themselves to him, no matter what the cost. This requires one to daily beat one's flesh, the whole of oneself into submission:

But I keep under my body, and bring it into subjection: lest that by any means, when I have preached to others, I myself should be a castaway (1 Corinthians 9:27).

This is how one must live to truly follow the Lord Jesus Christ. It requires not just humility, but utter and total humility that one must absolutely strive for. It is sheer humility that one needs to truly love God. 

To truly love God is to absolutely and totally acknowledge one's utter dependence on Him, and his mercy, and as such, actively seek to sacrifice the whole of oneself to do the will of God. It means to consecrate all that God has given oneself to serve Him. All freedom is to be used to serve Him in full. All food and shelter one has is to be acknowledged as given by His grace alone, and not a so-called "right", to glorify Him. Such things are not to be enjoyed, or indulged in for oneself. 

Food and shelter are that which one is to be contented with, no matter what amount. Whether one has a full course meal, or a spoon of rice and small fish each day, such is given by God's grace for one to survive, so that one may glorify God, and not oneself. Whether one lives in a mansion, or under a coconut tree in a small makeshift hut, such is given by God's grace for one to survive, so that one may glorify God and not oneself. 

One glorifies God from having such needs met by being able to have the energy, intellect, talents, gifts and time to serve Him. True glorification of God does not just involve total sacrifice. It is total self-sacrifice. One does not glorify God by having such needs met, by being self-satisfied, smug behind being so well-cared for, and even having the audacity to assume that such things are one's "rights" that God is obliged to meet them.

Many people in the modern West, including many in the modern western Church are full of pride, and self-satisfaction, smug behind their wealth. They thinks they are so prosperous and "blessed", out of their pride. Do not be deceived, such thinking is just pure pride and nothing else. In their pride from having their needs comfortably met, they think they are not needy, but they truly are needy. 

They just as needy as the person in a third world nation who lives under a coconut true and just eats one spoon of rice a day. They, like the people of poor nations, are just as utterly dependent on the mercies of God, every millisecond on their lives.

However, the pride of a rich person, being one whose needs are all comfortably met, prevent him from acknowledging this. This is why he despises those who lack their needs,  because of his pride, in thinking himself superior, that because he has his needs more comfortably met than the person who lacks his needs being meet, he is more deserving and worthy. This manifests in a lack of compassion, not just an absence, but lack of compassion for those who lack of their needs being met. 

Such lack of compassion so easily justified by the reality that one works, in which one claims that because one has worked for what one has, why should one give to the needy? If a person is poor, not in any way his own fault, there is absolutely no excuse to not give to the needy, helping him with is a true need of his. 

However, even if the person is not a deserving poor, such a person is to be treated with mercy. Mercy is a manifestation of love, which is all to keen to give a person a second chance so that he or she may have a chance to repent. Though such persons may be enemies of Christ, the Bible says:

But love ye your enemies, and do good, and lend, hoping for nothing again; and your reward shall be great, and ye shall be the children of the Highest: for he is kind unto the unthankful and to the evil.Be ye therefore merciful, as your Father also is merciful (Luke 6:35-36).

To think that one deserves one's needs to be met because one works is simply the manifestation of pride, and therefore the hatred of God. Work is to be done so that one may give to others, not just one's own family, but those who are needy:

Let him that stole steal no more: but rather let him labour, working with his hands the thing which is good, that he may have to give to him that needeth (Ephesians 4:28).

Work is not to be done to have things or consume things for oneself.

That is why the Bible says that he who has no compassion on the needy has not the love of God in Him. The lack of compassion towards the needy is abominable in the eyes of God, for it is nothing but the height of arrogance and pride, and the hatred of God. Among other things, you will be judged on the Day of Judgment by how you treated the poor and the needy.

To have no compassion on the needy is just a sin as much as any other sin, which the true follower of Christ should absolutely abhor and despise.

Friday, 29 September 2017

Earthly Wealth is Not a Sign of God's Favour. It is to Truly be Satisfied in Christ and Christ Alone that One is Truly Blessed.

Many in the modern western Church think that they are more blessed than others by having more material wealth or possession is a sign that God's favours them more than others. They think that earthly wealth is a measure of God's blessings, that is, favour. A person who has less earthly wealth is therefore less blessed by God. Such is a despicable abominable doctrine of demons.

What is so abominable about this doctrine you may ask? What makes it truly abomination is that it perverts the very meaning of what it means to be favoured by God. 

To be blessed by God is to be favoured by God. The Greek word for blessed is 'makarios' meaning happy because God's grace has come upon a person and favour. It is the word used in the Beattitudes in Matthew 5. 

The Beattitudes tell us the God favours the poor in spirit, those that mourn, the meek, those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, the merciful, pure in heart, peacemakers, those who are persecuted for righteousness' sake, and those who are reviled because of Christ (Matthew 5:1-11). They are blessed because "for great is your reward in heaven: for so persecuted they the prophets which were before you" (Matthew 5:12). 

This indicates that true blessing are heavenly blessings, not earthly "blessings" of wealth, or other things that wealth can buy, nor even good earthly things like a good health, family or marriage. Plenty of people who are unsaved have much wealth, good health, good marriages and a loving family. Yet, they are not blessed by God in that He favours them. Rather, His kindness to the unsaved is intended to draw them unto repentance (Romans 2:4). Such kindness is not his favour, being his approval of them at all. To say such things are His blessings to the unsaved, or for that matter, the saved, is to deny that God's favour is truly only manifested in heavenly riches. 

Hence, Matthew 5:12 says that those who are blessed by God are blessed because great is their reward in Heaven. There is no reference to so-called earthly "blessings" at all. Furthermore, it is only through persecution for the sake of Christ that can gain such blessings:

Blessed are ye, when men shall revile you, and persecute you, and shall say all manner of evil against you falsely, for my sake.
Rejoice, and be exceeding glad: for great is your reward in heaven: for so persecuted they the prophets which were before you.
(Matthew 5:11-12).

The Greek word for persecution in Matthew 5:11 is 'diokos' which means to harass or trouble in the specific context of Matthew 5:11. Such persecution may come in many forms. It may be less extreme such as the loss of friendship with the unsaved, isolation by unsaved family members, denial of a job or promotion, having one's employment terminated, to have one's business boycotted, being taken to court for preaching the Gospel publicly, or taking a stance on an issue because of one's faith, being attacked on social media, or be publicly ridiculed, all because of one's faith in Christ. Persecution may be more extreme, taking the form of being made stateless by a government, tortured, raped or murdered because one is a follower of Christ. 

Indeed, 2 Timothy 3:12 makes very clear: "Yea, and all that will live godly in Christ Jesus shall suffer persecution." All who live a truly godly life will, not might be, by will be persecuted. It is a guarantee by Christ Himself. It is only those who are persecuted for  Christ who are truly blessed. Their blessings are Heavenly, and not earthly.

God favours the righteous and holy for their righteousness and holiness. He cares not that they may be poor, needy, friendless, ill or despised by the world, or rich in the eyes of the world. The righteous and holy poor, needy, friendless, ill, or those despised by the world are favoured by God. However,  caution must be exercised in speaking of whether poor or rich person is blessed. Most of those truly favoured by God would be despised by the world, as not many of those who God chooses to be truly saved are respectable in the eyes of the world:

For ye see your calling, brethren, how that not many wise men after the flesh, not many mighty, not many noble, are called:
But God hath chosen the foolish things of the world to confound the wise; and God hath chosen the weak things of the world to confound the things which are mighty;
And base things of the world, and things which are despised, hath God chosen, yea, and things which are not, to bring to nought things that are:
That no flesh should glory in his presence.
(1 Corinthians 1:26-29).

Yet, so many professing Christians think that God blesses them because they are rich or favoured by the world in being able to have much power, respect or any type of earthly thing which satisfies oneself. What foolishness!

No where in the New Testament does it ever say that a person is blessed because of his wealth, or other earthly comfort. No where! In fact, it says that those who are blessed are those who are persecuted. Their reward is not found in any earthly treasure at all, whatsoever. 

Clearly, having material riches or earthly comfort or security is not a sign of blessing, no matter what anyone tells you. Do not think that only prosperity preachers think that riches are a sign of blessing. Many people in the conservative, evangelical, orthodox modern western Church have such thinking, that the more wealth one has, the more blessed by God one is. So, what makes you who think the same and boast in hating prosperity preachers so different from such preachers who you hate? Not much at all.

The book of Job makes it very clear that suffering is not a sign of God's curse, or disfavour against such a person. Job suffered immensely. Yet, God was with Him all the while, and favoured Him. The three friends who rebuked Job, and simply assumed that he was not 'blessed' by God because he had no more earthly comfort or security were rebuked by God:

And it was so, that after the Lord had spoken these words unto Job, the Lord said to Eliphaz the Temanite, My wrath is kindled against thee, and against thy two friends: for ye have not spoken of me the thing that is right, as my servant Job hath.
Therefore take unto you now seven bullocks and seven rams, and go to my servant Job, and offer up for yourselves a burnt offering; and my servant Job shall pray for you: for him will I accept: lest I deal with you after your folly, in that ye have not spoken of me the thing which is right, like my servant Job.
So Eliphaz the Temanite and Bildad the Shuhite and Zophar the Naamathite went, and did according as the Lord commanded them: the Lord also accepted Job. 
(Job 42:7-9).

God had vindicated Job by His rebuke of his three friends who in blaming him, and assuming that he was not blessed because of his suffering (Job 42:9-17). God's restoration of Job's riches could not be read as indicative that riches in themselves are God's favour in the sense of approval of a person. For God had not ever through the book of Job punished him for his sin. Yet, he was impoverished, ill, deserted, and constantly falsely accused of being cursed by God, for much of the duration of the entire book. Rather, his restoration of riches is more likely to be symbolic of Job's eternal rewards, as opposed to being blessings for Job in themselves. 

Regardless of the true meaning of the restoration of Job's earthly riches, it cannot be denied that suffering, be it the impoverishment, illness, desertion or abandonment by one's family, or constant false accusations, are not a sign of God's disfavour against a person. 

Indeed, in the context of New Testament, a person who is righteous, though suffering, is blessed by God:

And who is he that will harm you, if ye be followers of that which is good?
But and if ye suffer for righteousness' sake, happy are ye: and be not afraid of their terror, neither be troubled;

(1 Peter 3:13-14).

The NKJV says "But even if you should suffer for righteousness’ sake, you are blessed. “And do not be afraid of their threats, nor be troubled” at 1 Peter 3:14.  Indeed, the Christian who obeys God is always blessed, even when he or she is suffering for righteousness' sake. He is blessed all the days of his life, whether he be impoverished, starving, imprisoned for the sake of Christ, tortured, threatened, ill, abandoned by God, made a slave, or murdered. 

For God never abandons those who truly trust and obey in Him: Let your conversation be without covetousness; and be content with such things as ye have: for he hath said, I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee (Hebrews 13:5).

To be blessed is to have God. That is the whole of the matter. It is not to have both God and money, God and health, God and pleasure, God and family, or God and marriage, or God and a job, that one is blessed. It is to have God and God alone. He is sufficient. As long as one has God, one is blessed, for one has God. 

Nothing else is a blessing, but to have God with one wherever one goes, in whatever one does, all the days of one's life. What makes one truly blessed is whether one is truly satisfied in Christ and Christ alone, serving Him single-mindedly, and wholeheartedly with joy, all the days of one's life. That is the source and only source of God's blessing.