The Holy Bible is many things to many people. While some believe it is only a collection of ‘religious stories’ and not to be taken literally, others, such as myself, believe it is the unchangeable, eternal Word of the Eternal Living God, the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, the actual Word of God, delivered to various people and faithfully recorded by them throughout history as they were inspired by the Holy Spirit. It IS the Word of a loving God and Father, intended to show His true nature to all men and is His means to deliver messages that He wants man to hear, receive and act upon.
From the very beginning, in the Book of Genesis, when God created man in His own image and after His own likeness (Genesis 1:27), God provided Adam and Eve with everything they needed to live and prosper. God placed his man in a garden which he had planted for him, expecting him only to dress and keep it (Genesis 2:15). Their food was ready to be picked from trees that God created specifically for them, and the trees provided food that contained perfect nutrition, without even having to break the ground and place a seed in it (Genesis 2:9).
Shortly after they were created, God gave Adam and Eve His ‘rules to live by’ and fully expected them to obey them all. One very specific rule concerned the tree of the knowledge of good and evil which was among all the other trees in the garden. They were told that they could freely eat of every tree in the garden except that one (Genesis 2:16-17). God’s edict was that they would ‘surely die’ if they ate the forbidden fruit. Knowing God as personally as they did, obedience should have been an easy thing for them, but, in a short time, Eve was approached by the serpent, who had given his body over to Satan to be used. The serpent questioned God’s Words about the command to avoid eating the forbidden fruit and made the fruit of the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil appear to be very desirable. In a short time, Eve succumbed to the wiles of the serpent’s deception and lies, disobeyed God’s rules, and ate of the forbidden fruit; she then persuaded Adam to eat as well. The deception that Satan used to bring about man’s fall from grace? He simply told them that, if they ate of the fruit that God had commanded them NOT to eat, their eyes would be opened and they would be like gods, knowing good and evil. Knowing God so personally, and having experienced His Father-like love for them, they should have ignored anyone questioning God, but their intimate knowledge of the creative power of God made the temptation to experience that same power too much for them; they both disobeyed God and ate of the forbidden fruit. Their evil desire for ‘power’ became their downfall, as well as that of the entire human race.
Since that day, mankind has been subject to the same lies and deception of Satan that caused the fall of Adam and Eve—the desire for the power that comes from ‘being like gods’. However, for Adam and Eve, the result was not exactly what they expected. They saw their own nakedness and were ashamed and afraid, and hid from God when He came down to fellowship with them. When their ‘eyes were opened’, and they ‘knew good and evil’, they immediately became afraid and so, as a result of their disobedience and failure, fear entered the human realm. After hearing their confession of disobedience, with each of them trying to lay the blame for their deed on someone else, (Adam blamed the woman, Eve blamed the serpent) God delivered His pronouncement of the punishment for their disobedience. Nothing would ever be the same for them, and indeed has not been the same since for any of us. Sin, or ‘disobedience’, always brings conviction, judgment and punishment.
As a result of their failure, God judged their sin of disobedience, and the curse, which is ‘The Law of Sin and Death’, the curse that God had warned them about, became activated. With one decision, they both went from a life of absolute ease and blessing to a life of sweat, toil, and eventually, death. As a part of the curse, God told Adam, and it is recorded in Genesis 3:17(b)-19: cursed is the ground for thy sake; in sorrow shalt thou eat of it all the days of thy life;18 Thorns also and thistles shall it bring forth to thee; and thou shalt eat the herb of the field;19 In the sweat of thy face shalt thou eat bread, till thou return unto the ground; for out of it wast thou taken: for dust thou art, and unto dust shalt thou return. After their punishment was pronounced, God drove the man out of the garden and placed guards at the entrance in order to keep them out of the Garden. There are those who cite this act as a sign only of God’s judgment; however, it is truly an indication of His mercy since He desired to keep them from accessing the tree of life and living forever in a spiritually dead, sinful and fallen state. His plan was to provide salvation from the curse, in His own perfect time, by sending the promised Messiah (Genesis 3:15).
When God delivered His judgment it immediately became Law (His Word on the matter), not just for Adam and Eve, but for the entire human race that was still inside of them. In case you haven’t noticed, God does NOT change His Word; from the moment this Law came into being until this present day, the curse demands that man eat his food as a result of hard work, with much sweat and toil. Throughout the ages, man has worked diligently to find ways around that curse. Some seem even to have succeeded and have spent their lives in relative luxury, by deceit or by stealing the food, money, or other resources from their fellow men. But, God ALWAYS has the final word. It is recorded in Galatians 6:7, Be notdeceived; God is not mocked: for whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap.
The Love of Money—The Root from an Evil Seed
One of the most important subjects that Jesus taught His disciples was concerning the “Law of Sowing and Reaping”. No matter what is sown (seeds) by a man during his lifetime, he will reap whatever the seed that was sown was meant to produce. This is also a law instituted by God, and it is unchangeable
A recent study of St. Paul’s First epistle to Timothy revealed some truth that I had not seriously considered before, though I had read it many times. In this letter to Timothy, Paul is teaching his disciple about what is required for the Man of God to be successful and to remain righteous before God. Eventually, Timothy would become the Bishop of the Church at Ephesus, so Paul’s teaching was critical, not only for Timothy, but for the entire Body of Christ. In I Timothy 6:10, Paul states, ““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.”
It is very interesting, and perhaps very telling, that Paul uses the words, “the ‘root’ of all evil” in this passage. Having been an amateur gardener/landscaper for many years, it has long been obvious to me that the roots of a plant are what provides life for the plant after a seed is germinated, and also provides for its continuous growth. Whether the plant is a beautiful rose, or a noxious weed, the visible part is fed by the root system. So, of all the plants that we can see with our eyes, with its growth of foliage and flowers, or thorns, the real action is taking place hidden, below the surface. In the natural world, the roots of plants are only fully seen when the plant is dug up and that action, in turn, destroys the plant if the roots are exposed for more than a very short period of time. So, the only way for any plant to survive and prosper is to keep the roots hidden. So, it follows that any desirable plant should never have its roots exposed to the air, but rather they should be kept hidden in the ground. But, what about a plant that is obnoxious and undesirable? The only way to destroy the plant is to expose the roots. However, man is a ‘spiritual being’ who has a soul (made up of the mind, the will and the emotions), and lives in a human, flesh and blood body. From the human perspective, since the true man, the spirit, cannot be seen with the natural eyes, it can be quite easy at times to keep the nature of ‘the roots’, living in the human heart, hidden from the view of other humans: Jeremiah 17:9, The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked: who can know it? But eventually, the visible plant, that which is seen by others, (our actions, good or evil) will reveal the nature of the roots supporting the plant.
As important as the root is to the life of a plant, the root does not actuallydecide what will be produced by the plant; that is the work of ‘the seed’. So then, it is important to note that every living plant, roots and all, originates from a seed which must be placed into the soil, and nurtured, in order to germinate, grow and produce. As hard as one might try otherwise, the visible results of this planting/nurturing action will be determined by thetype of seed that was planted. A seed of corn will produce a corn plant, a seed of wheat will produce a wheat plant, etc. The ground into which the seed is planted, according to natural law, simply does what it is programmed to do: it tries to make the seed grow without any consideration for what the plant will produce. The root simply becomes the network of supply lines that send the necessary nutrition to the visible plant. These are the natural laws that govern the sowing and reaping cycle. There is no ‘moral control apparatus’ that allows the ground to terminate the growth of a seed placed into it. Unless the root is starved of all nutrition, or removed from the soil and exposed to the light, it will continue to send the required nutrition for the plant to survive.
Jesus told His disciples, in Matthew 7:19-21, that a tree is “known” by its fruit, or the visible result of the life of the tree. The tree he spoke of, as well as all other trees, started from a natural seed which had within it the distinctive characteristics that would determine what will emerge (the fruit) from the plant produced by the seed. The botanical process is very simple: a farmer sows a natural seed into the ground based on the fruit he desires, the seed germinates and produces roots along with a visible plant, the roots develop and then provide the visible plant with the nutrition needed to become a fruit-bearing plant, which then produces the fruit of the seed that was sown. The fruit which eventually appears was already IN the seed; the seed cannot ever produce a fruit other what was IN the seed. In the case of a person, the process is very similar: a spiritual seed (a word expressing greed or covetousness for example) is sown in the human heart that WILL produce the roots (the love of money) which will then supply the plant (the human life) with the nourishment needed to produce fruit (all forms of evil). Just as with the case of a natural seed, corn, wheat, etc., the fruit that results from a spiritual seed will always be that which was IN the seed. The fruit of ‘evil’ was IN the seed of covetousness from the beginning (“I want what that person has”). Most importantly, just as a farmer knows what was planted by seeing the form, or nature, of the plant and, especially its fruit, the true nature of the person is ALWAYs known to God who sees the heart.
In order for a ‘visibly evil’ plant to exist, a seed of evil (word, or words, against God), or greed, must have been planted beforehand. The ‘ground’ into which the evil seed is planted is the invisible human heart. In the case of the ‘love of money’ being the root that sends the necessary nutrition that produces visible (bodily) evil actions, it could be any of a number of seeds (words), all of them evil (contrary to God’s Word), that was planted, and accepted, by the ground, the unseen human heart. But, in the end, the seed had greed as its ‘nature’. Just as the natural seed requires nurturing, so also the spiritual ‘seed of evil’ must be accepted into the ground and provided the needed nurturing in order to produce the results that are seen.
However, unlike the natural ground, the soil, which has no ‘moral control apparatus’, or a way to stop bad seeds from entering and germinating, the human heart does—and it is called, the conscience. The conscience is the spiritual apparatus that monitors all the seeds going into the ground, the heart. One dictionary definition of “conscience”: The awareness of a moral or ethical aspect to one’s conduct together with the urge to prefer right over wrong: “Let your conscience be your guide”. It is the role of the human conscience, controlled by the human spirit, to cause theheart (the ground) to reject all bad seeds and make sure they are never allowed to be introduced into, and germinate in, the heart. God designed the conscience to be a perfect control apparatus, and it works perfectly until, or unless, it is overridden by the will of the person whose conscience it is. When this occurs habitually, the Bible describes the result as a ‘seared conscience’, according to I Timothy 4:2. If human flesh contacts a hot iron, the result is a ‘searing action’ that burns the flesh and renders it totally insensitive forever. All the nerve endings are destroyed along with the ability to ‘feel’ anything in that area. Likewise, the spiritual ‘conscience’ can be made totally ineffective when the ‘recommendations’ from the conscience – “do this, don’t do that”, are continuously and habitually ignored. The big question is: how does a person use the conscience to keep the bad seeds out of the heart? Paul provided the answer in II Corinthians 10:3-5, 3 For though we walk in the flesh, we do not war after the flesh:4 (For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal, but mighty through God to the pulling down of strong holds;) 5 Casting down imaginations, and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ; The imaginations mentioned here by Paul are our thoughts, which, when spoken, become the words that are planted in our hearts as seeds, and these seeds can produce very bad fruit if they are not controlled by the conscience.
The above passage is usually referenced in conjunction with spiritual warfare, but many misunderstand what real spiritual warfare is. We have unseen enemies who are determined to see our destruction take place by any means at their disposal. I am not talking about men we cannot see, but rather the ‘unseen spiritual enemies’ around us. As Paul said in Ephesians 6:12, For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places. These creatures, who are evil fallen angels and demons, approach us in the mental realm with their ‘suggestions’ that, if considered, can become thoughts which can then become our words, or seeds. These are the spiritual warriors we must defeat or they WILL take control of our minds and destroy us with our own words. Any word or thought that is contrary to God’s Word can become a seed that will produce whatever is in that seed (hatred, covetousness, lust, etc.) Paul explicitly demands that all such ‘imaginations’ be cast down, or defeated, before they can do their deadly work.
In the natural realm, it is well known by the farmer that the seed he is sowing must be tested to prove that it is good quality and is actually what the provider claims it to be. He knows that, once the seed is in the ground, and is germinated, it has already formed the roots that will produce the visible plant. If the seed is bad, it is much easier and less costly to keep that seed from being sown than it is to try to pull up the plant once the root is established. In the spiritual realm, this is also true. Every seed (word) should be tested to see if it is something that is really wanted, or needed, in the life of a person. Some of the words (seeds) that come to us in the form or thoughts, or imaginations, sound SO good that the temptation is to immediately accept them and allow them to take root and grow. However, once the visible plant (our actions) are seen, and the determination is that the seeds were bad, it is a lot more difficult to destroy the root than it would have been to reject the seed. More importantly, the ‘collateral damage’ that can be done by the actions resulting from accepting bad seeds (words) can be absolutely devastating to all those around us. I believe this is why The Holy Spirit, through Paul, told us about the real battle we face from our REAL enemies, the unseen evil beings who attack us in the mental realm.
It is interesting to note that the word translated “love” in I Timothy 6:10 is the Greek word, philarguria, from the Greek words ‘philos’, meaning “a fondness for” and ‘arguros’, meaning “silver”. Each word used separately is not a problem, since being fond of someone is good, and silver, or money, in and of itself can be good. The combination of the two words, as used by Paul, makes the literal translation, “the love of money”. Paul’s use of the word here indicates covetousness, or being avaricious, having a strong, earnest greed for silver, or money.
Money is a completely inanimate object, devoid of life and incapable of loving anyone The only true value of ‘money’ is in the intrinsic value of things for which it can be exchanged, since money, specifically paper currency, is, or at least was, only the token of something of ‘real’ value, for example silver or gold. In reality, money simply represents the time one spent in earning it; its actual value then is in the objects for which it can be exchanged, So, any ‘love’ directed toward money can not only NOT be returned; it either produces the seed that then creates, or ‘reinforces’ the ‘root of evil’ where it eventually manifests in evil actions. Man’s ability to love is most profitable and healthy when it is “Zoe’, the God kind of love, directed toward an object capable of returning love in kind.
One must develop the habit of appreciating, and respecting, the things that money can provide, from food and clothing to housing and transportation. None of these things can be had honestly without money unless you have a very rich patron, or someone in your family from whom the money was ‘inherited’.
It is also very interesting that Saint Paul, in writing to Timothy, describes the love of money as “the root of ALL evil”. There are a lot of different evils in the world, aren’t there? From Paul’s writing, it appears that there may indeed be many evils, or actually many ‘manifestations of evil’, hence his use of the word “all”. Even though there may be many manifestations of evil, they all proceed from the original evil one, or Satan, through his insidious suggestions that question the Word of God, just as he did to Adam and Eve.
As the natural, visible plant is fed by natural roots, and the visible part of the plant is determined by the original seed, so also humans’ actions (the visible part of us) are determined by our roots which come from the seeds planted in our hearts. In the case of a good, or righteous person, the root (spiritual in nature) must have proceeded from the original seed (God’s Word) which is embedded in the heart by faith; however, in the case of an evil, or unrighteous person, the root (also spiritual in nature), is the love of money; it also proceeded from a seed, usually envy which produces a ‘coveting for’ money and power.
The dictionary definition of the words “to covet” is:
· v. To feel blameworthy desire for (that which is another’s). See Synonyms at envy.
· v. To wish for longingly. See Synonyms at desire.
· v. To feel immoderate desire for that which is another’s.
The action here is that of a person who sees something desirable that is owned by another and longs for it, sometimes with the follow up action of physically taking it, either by deception or force. Paul is saying that the act of coveting, or desiring, money owned by another and NOT earned by the sweat of one’s own face, is the seed that produces the root of all evil. While the act of covetousness is a spiritual, and not a physical, action until, and unless, it is ‘acted upon’, covetousness is the most likely evil seed that, when planted and nourished in the heart (acted upon), produces the root that, in turn, produces visible evil actions, usually illegal, and those actions become an immoral means of obtaining money. This was stated very well by Janwillem van de Wetering who said: “Greed is a fat demon with a small mouth and whatever you feed it is never enough.”
Paul also said, in I Thessalonians 5:22, “Abstain from all appearance of evil”. If the love of money is so closely connected to, indeed cannot be separated from, evil, how can this be accomplished? Do we always keep one eye on every ‘living plant’ (think human beings) to see if they are ‘evil’, then remain separate from them? Do we shun the very appearance of money, as though we assumed that money is evil? Of course not. It simply cannot be done. But, if the Bible says to abstain from ‘the appearance’ of evil, it must be possible. We all know that it is NOT possible to live on this earth, at least for very long, without money. So, how do you abstain from the ‘appearance of evil ‘, which has the love of money as its root, while still surviving on this earth, needing money on a daily basis?
The only answer is to be able to separate ‘having money’ from ‘the love of money’. The word ‘abstain’ means “to keep oneself from doing, engagingin, or partaking of something”. I Timothy 6:9 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”. Notice in this passage of scripture that there is a “will” involved. So, the big question then becomes, what is the difference between “being rich”, or having sufficient money for living, and “willing to be rich”? According to the dictionary, the word “will” indicates:
- The mental faculty by which one deliberately chooses or decides upon a course of action
- The act of exercising the will.
- Diligent purposefulness; determination: an athlete with the will to win.
There must then be a ‘will’ or a ‘willingness’ to abstain from, or avoid, the love of money at all times and at any cost.
Paul certainly seems to be saying that, even though we need money for survival, the means by which it is gotten, as well as the motivation for getting it, is more important than the money itself. It stands to reason that the means must be honest, moral/ethical and without the ‘love of money’ factor having any influence. Any other means would, of necessity, make the money gotten fall under the category of “ill-gotten gain” which would result in evil.
There can only be two areas of motivation that apply to Paul’s writing: the motivation to (1) have the money needed to survive, or (2) have money merely for the sake of having it, along with the power it produces, usually with the plan to get even more, by whatever means necessary. Usually, one who falls under (2) will be hard put to ever let go of any of the money gotten, except for survival, or to satisfy his own lusts. Those who fall under the (1) category are usually too busy surviving to exercise their will to become rich. Because of the sins of Adam and Eve, God told the man in Genesis 3:19, “In the sweat of thy face shalt thou eat bread, till thou return unto the ground; for out of it wast thou taken: for dust thou art, and unto dust shalt thou return”. Throughout the ages, many men (and women) have desired to “eat bread” by means other than honest work, whether physical or mental; if they manage to accomplish this, it is usually through theft, deception or other dishonest efforts. Many who succeed by taking the fruits of others’ hard work then go on to ‘become rich’ by any necessary means other than honest, hard work, whether physical or mental. However, since God’s Word never lies, the end result for such people always becomes a ‘snare’ as described by Paul.
This is not to say that there is anything wrong with having money or being rich. The old adage about “having riches” as opposed to “riches having you” applies here. Anyone whose life revolves around becoming rich, or being rich, easily falls into the snare described by Paul. I can’t remember the number of times I’ve heard the statement “Money is the root of all evil”, in books, movies and TV, when the Bible clearly states that it’s the LOVE of money that is the true root of all evil, not the money itself.
The Love of Money and the Church
As stated earlier in this discourse, in his first epistle to Timothy, the Apostle Paul was imparting his wisdom and knowledge unto the disciple Timothy, whom Paul called his “son in the faith”. Timothy was the son of a Jewish mother and a Greek father, was a sound Christian, and became one of Paul’s most constant companions and helpers during much of his ministry. The entire letter is full of sound doctrine and instruction, not only to Timothy, but also to all those who would be taught by him in the future as the bishop of the Church of Ephesus. This letter is one of the best in the New Testament for providing the basics of successful Christian living, especially for those would become leaders in the Church.
I was reminded again of the words written to Timothy and recorded in I Timothy 6:6-10, where Paul is cautioning Timothy about the dangers of desiring wealth and riches, which nearly always equates to a desire for ‘power’. It is critical to read and understand verses 6-9 of chapter 6 to understand why Paul considered it so dangerous for the Man of God to fall into the trap of desiring riches. In verse 10, Paul states: “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.”
In this letter to Timothy, Paul, through the Holy Spirit’s inspiration, is speaking not only to Timothy, but to all Christians, and especially those who are called to be leaders in the Church. God, who knows all things, knew full well that, in order to be effective witnesses of the Gospel to a ‘spiritually dead world’, all pastors, teachers and evangelists as well as deacons and all church leaders must refrain from being caught in ‘The Love of Money’ trap. Any person who places the desire for money ahead of the desire to please God is easily controlled by evil forces who control large sums of money. The Church of Jesus Christ, being built by Him, should have no loyalty to anyone except the Lord. We can only have one Master, and we MUST not be servants to any other. During His ministry on earth Jesus continuously spoke words of wisdom and encouragement to His disciples. He was training them to be His voice in the world after His departure. The central element in the Gospel message, the message that the Church should be sending to the world, is that Jesus Christ is the Anointed One, the Messiah promised by God to Adam and Eve after they had sinned and disobeyed His commandments. Through Jesus, and ONLY through Him, should we expect, and receive, the things necessary to fulfill our calling as the Church. Throughout the centuries since the Church started, God has expected His Church to be exactly what Jesus had been during His earthly ministry. He summed this up in the words recorded in Matthew 5:13-16, Ye are the salt of the earth: but if the salt have lost his savour, wherewith shall it be salted? it is thenceforth good for nothing, but to be cast out, and to be trodden under foot of men. Ye are the light of the world. A city that is set on an hill cannot be hid. Neither do men light a candle, and put it under a bushel, but on a candlestick; and it giveth lightunto all that are in the house. Salt is a preservative, used for centuries to stop a rotting, decomposing condition of the flesh. However, if the salt has lost its strength, or its ability to preserve, it has become worthless. The Lord’s Church is to be the “salt” that ‘saves (preserves) the people’ of earth. Light was created to oppose darkness (Genesis 1:1-4), and only by presenting the “Light” of God’s Word to the lost people on earth, will The Church ‘obliterate darkness in their lives’. If the Light is kept hidden, it cannot keep the darkness away.
Unfortunately, the Church has, for the most part, lost its saltiness, and the light it is presenting is now but a dim glow. In searching for the reason why the Church has so miserably failed, especially in the last 50-75 years, and since God’s Word says that the love of money is the root of all evil, there must be a connection between The Love of Money and the failure of the Church. In two separate places in the Book of Matthew, the answer to this question can be found, and it shows a very direct connection to The Love of Money. In Matthew 17:24-27, 24 And when they were come to Capernaum, they that received tribute money came to Peter, and said, Doth not your master pay tribute? 25 He saith, Yes. And when he was come into the house, Jesus prevented him, saying, What thinkest thou, Simon? of whom do the kings of the earth take custom or tribute? of their own children, or of strangers? 26 Peter saith unto him, Of strangers. Jesus saith unto him, Then are the children free. 27 Notwithstanding, lest we should offend them, go thou to the sea, and cast an hook, and take up the fish that first cometh up; and when thou hast opened his mouth, thou shalt find a piece of money: that take, and give unto them for me and thee. Then in Matthew 22:15-22, Jesus was confronted by the Pharisees, regarding paying ‘tribute’: 15 Then went the Pharisees, and took counsel how they might entangle him in his talk.16 And they sent out unto him their disciples with the Herodians, saying, Master, we know that thou art true, and teachest the way of God in truth, neither carest thou for any man: for thou regardest not the person of men. 17 Tell us therefore, What thinkest thou? Is it lawful to give tribute unto Caesar, or not? 18 But Jesus perceived their wickedness, and said, Why tempt ye me, ye hypocrites? 19 Shew me the tribute money. And they brought unto him a penny. 20 And he saith unto them, Whose is this image and superscription? 21 They say unto him, Caesar’s. Then saith he unto them, render therefore unto Caesar the things which are Caesar’s; and unto God the things that are God’s. 22 When they had heard these words, they marveled, and left him, and went their way.
Jesus made it clear that His Church was to only depend on God for their every need and sustenance. In the first passage in Matthew, He even used the miracle of a fish providing a piece of money to pay the required tribute. In the second passage, He used the Wisdom of God to spoil the trap set by the Pharisees, and send them away marveling. In the sixth chapter of Matthew, Jesus made it clear that man cannot serve God and mammon (money). Jesus said, 24 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.
When churches decided it was better to allow the government to provide a “tax-exempt” status, and avoid paying the ‘tribute’ to the government, they obviously failed to take into account the fact that governments always demand something in return for anything they grant. This became abundantly clear when, in 1954, Senator Lyndon B. Johnson, reeling from severe criticism of his extremely liberal policies by a group of pastors in his Texas senate district during his U.S. Senate reelection campaign, returned to Washington and had an evil amendment added to an IRS funding bill that was pending in the Senate. This amendment presented by Johnson, and passed without opposition, forbids any church with a 501c3 status to speak from the pulpit, either for or against any political candidate. Johnson’s plan was to demand that words from the pulpit be censored in exchange for a few dollars of tax money. When the bill was passed, the Church was essentially silenced and prevented, to a certain degree, from being what the Church should be—-Salt and Light. Jesus never backed down from a confrontation against evil., and he never allowed the government to decide what He could or could not say. I dare say that, had there been any such thing as a law like the IRS 501c3 status in Jesus time, He would have forbidden His Church from taking part in it. I believe His Words, recorded in the two passages from Matthew (above), confirm that acceptance of a government-provided ‘tax-exempt status is the worst thing to have happened to the Church in this country, and has seriously damaged our ability to function as Jesus did in His earthly ministry. We, the Body of Christ, should never rely on a government to provide that which God has 10already promised us. Until the Church makes the decision to break the bondage of the 501c3 yoke, the Church’s voice will be weak at best.
Obviously, Jesus was trying to teach his disciples that they should learn to depend on Him for every need, including the money needed to pay the tax. In His wisdom, he knew that when the Church begins to look toward any source other than Him, the power needed to be the Church is diminished, or possibly lost. How long will the pastors in God’s Church continue to have their voices silenced in return for a tax exemption? How long will the Church allow The Love of Money to take precedence over the Love of God’s Word and the love for a lost and dying world. I believe the tax-exempt status that most church leaders hold so dear has for years been, and continues to be, the biggest impediment to bringing the whole truth of God’s Word to the people who need it most.
The Love of Money, and the ‘Politics Connection’
Is there a connection between The Love of Money and politics? To know the answer to this question, one must know more about ‘politics’. One dictionary defines politics as: the use of intrigue or strategy in obtaining any position of power or control, as in business, university, government, etc. I highlighted the words “power or control” since this seems to be what modern politics is truly all about, especially in the USA. Frank Herbert once said, “Power attracts the corruptible. Absolute power attracts the absolutely corruptible.”
When a person of low, or no, moral character or values, is given power, or authority, such as that which goes along with most elected positions, especially at the Federal level in our country, that person will become a thief. When the practice of thievery becomes habitual in that person’s life, the result will usually be a ‘seared conscience’. The practice of politics, or the desire for power or control, in the ‘modern age’, is very expensive, since it involves the use of the modern media to achieve the desired results, i.e., the spreading of ideas, information or rumors intended to influence the way people think and therefore the decisions they make. The dictionary defines these ideas and information as ‘propaganda’. History has shown that propaganda is used by corrupt politicians to keep ordinary citizens in the dark as to their true motives and agenda (the gathering of more wealth and power), and their tactics (lies and deception).
Because of the expense involved, money is critical to a successful political campaign of any kind, whether in business, education, or government. It is recorded that, in the 1896 campaign for POTUS, Mark Hanna, the campaign manager for William McKinley, stated: “There are two things that are important in politics. The first is money, and I can’t remember what the second one is.” How interesting that he did NOT make a connection between politics and the importance of moral standards or ethics. So, the connection between a successful political campaign and large amounts money is certainly nothing new. The desired result of any such campaign is to make people think the way you want them to think, and therefore make decisions based on the information you provide them. If successful, the result is a population under the power and control of the campaign managers. In government, this places the entire population, to some extent, under the power of the politicians who are elected to “representative office”.
The amount of money used for a successful political campaign is mind-boggling, and seemingly wasteful, to most Americans. However, to the power-hungry politician, it is only a pittance since the power and control gained from winning elections places the politician in a position to appropriate even more money in the direction he, or she, wants. It is not surprising then that so much of the ‘appropriated funds’ end up in the hands of the “so-called” elected representatives, rather than going to benefit the citizens from whom the funds originate in the form of taxes. The cycle of corrupt politics continues when politicians realize that they can gain even more riches by using public funds to get themselves re-elected for many years. This allows them to continue to gain more power and control over the citizens of a nation, so it is no surprise that most “career politicians” leave office (finally) as multimillionaires.
The immoral politician establishes a behavioral pattern of using money to get and maintain control over people. The love of power/control is fed by the love of money and vice-versa. Those who desire to “control” the lives of others and have “power” over them are suffering from the evil of avarice, or greed. It is not enough for them to merely be in control of their own lives, but, they also have such high opinions of themselves that they feel they are fully qualified to control others as well. They usually use the money gained through their greed/love of money to accomplish the desired control. The connection between money and politics is, therefore, the love of money in conjunction with the love of power and control. This could easily be a great dictionary definition of the love of money, or as Paul stated it, avariciousness/greed as used by him in his first letter to Timothy. Since Paul clearly said that the love of money is the root of all evil, and the political process actually feeds off the love of money and power, it stands to reason that the end result of politics is, for the most part, evil. The argument could be made that there are some good results from politics, such as programs that benefit segments of the citizenry; to some extent, that may be correct. But there is always a cost involved in any so-called ‘beneficial program’, usually a cost paid by those who receive absolutely no benefit at all, only the bill for the costs. If there is ever any question about the benefit of any governmental program, start at the beginning of the political process that produced the program and “follow the money”.
So then, why is it so important to understand the connection between the love of money, and politics? For anyone willing to look honestly, it is not difficult to see, and understand, why there is a serious, and evil, connection between the love of money, and politics in the US. The politically dominated system of government in our nation has become nearly totally corrupted, and a far cry from the system of government Almighty God and our Founding Fathers initially planned for us. The corruption began when men lacking character and moral ethics became so-called “representatives” of the citizens of the country. When they realized that they could legally (not lawfully) vote themselves financial gains, leading to great wealth, in their elected positions, the future of the nation began to become clouded and uncertain. Because money was the source of their ‘power’, they used it to increase their wealth, and also to increase their power through ill-gotten gains. They completely ignored the warnings of the Founders about such an occurrence and so, neglected their Constitutional duties to serve and represent their constituencies. They demonstrated exactly what Lord Acton spoke when he said: “Power tends to corrupt, and absolute power corrupts absolutely. Great men are almost always bad men”.
We are now a nation, indeed a world, governed by a group of powerful, wealthy (in some cases ‘super-wealthy’) men and women, who have allowed their love of money, and the power it can buy, to totally corrupt their natures so that they are like the people Paul mentions in II Timothy 3:13, “But evil men and seducers shall wax worse and worse, deceiving,and being deceived. This cabal of evil people, possibly dates back to the time of Nimrod, who was the great-grandson of Noah, and the man described as a ‘mighty hunter before God’ who tried to start the first “One World Government” in defiance of God, by building as ‘tower that will reach to the heavens’. He desired to ‘be like God’, and, over centuries, and generations, those who have followed Nimrod’s example have allowed Satan to control their lives through greed and a desire for power and have become totally corrupted, having their consciences seared beyond all feeling. Paul also speaks of people of faith throughout the years who have been deceived by these evil people in I Timothy 4:1-2, “Now the Spirit speaketh expressly, that in the latter times some shall depart from the faith, giving heed to seducing spirits, and doctrines of devils; 2 Speaking lies in hypocrisy; having their conscience seared with a hot iron…Anything that has been seared with a hot iron loses all feeling in the area where seared. The function of the nerves, or the source of feeling, has been literally and permanently destroyed.
The extremely evil group of globalist elites is made up, somewhat, of members of the oldest and wealthiest banking families throughout history, the people who now literally control almost every government on the planet. By means of their vast wealth, and the power it can buy, they have been collecting (think ‘buying’) politicians like trophies and using them to influence both the domestic and foreign policy of their respective nations. Through this control, they have caused numerous wars to start; as a result, the wealthy cabal lends the money to various governments needed to finance the wars and by controlling the arms manufacturing and energy resources, they profit from the sale of both and then demand to be repaid the loans, with interest. They have no concern for the millions of people who are killed and injured as a result of their greed; they are only concerned about increasing their wealth and control.
Since Paul in his first letter to Timothy (Chapter 6, verse 10) speaks the words about the love of money being the root of all evil, it stands to reason that allowing oneself to become corrupted by the love of money, and the power it can buy, is definitely not a trait one would expect in a person of good moral character; however, it has become expected from the person who has been strongly influenced by the Evil One, Satan. According to Paul in this passage of scripture, the person with a seared conscience is rendered incapable, or nearly so, of making sound, moral, honest decisions. This person has become the epitome of evil through decisions made with regard to the love of money and the greed for power. In a sense, politicians, except for those very few who still have honesty and ethics as the foundations of their lives, become a great example to all people of “what not to become”, and their decisions show us all “what not to do when it comes to money”. The bottom line is, have money, get it honestly, follow Biblical guidelines when making decisions about money and— NEVER allow money to have you or control you.
One of the Founding Fathers of our nation, Samuel Adams, who was a politician from Massachusetts, is quoted as saying: “He therefore is the truest friend to the liberty of this country who tries most to promote its virtue, and who, so far as his power and influence extend, will not suffer a man to be chosen into any office of power and trust who is not a wise and virtuous man. The sum of all is, if we would most truly enjoy this gift of Heaven, let us become a virtuous people.” He, along with many, if not most, of the founders knew that our nation would not long survive if evil, self-seeking people were allowed to be elected to powerful political offices.
The person elected to the office of the US President should be, not only a virtuous person, but a proven statesman, able to deal fairly, though firmly, with all allies as well as enemies. One dictionary defines a statesman/person as:
1) n. A person who is a leader in national or international affairs.
2) n. A political leader regarded as a disinterested promoter of the public good.
3) n. A person who is a respected leader in a given field
As I write this, our country is in the midst of another cycle of US presidential election politics. The race has now narrowed to one candidate from each party. There have been many citizens questioning the values of each candidate, and rightly so. I believe God expects us, as representatives of His kingdom, to thoroughly vet each person whose name appears on a ballot seeking public office. However, even as this vetting process has taken place, and the real values of each candidate have been exposed to the eyes of anyone willing to take the time to do the research, there seem to be many deceived and willingly blind Americans who think nothing of voting for a person whose known criminal actions have cost the lives of many Americans.
One of the current POTUS candidates has been caught in more lies during her political career than is conceivable. She, along with many of her ideology, thinks nothing of calling a lie, the truth and the Truth, a lie. It is obvious to all but the willingly blind that she is completely motivated by her unbridled greed and desire for more money and power. The media seems to feel its main duty is to protect her from scrutiny so that she can continue to amass more of each, so they willingly fail to report on her more questionable actions.
The main reason for the existence of a ‘free press’ should be to monitor the lives of all public officials and alert the citizens to any and all wrongdoing on their part. However, it appears that the liberal MSM, along with many of the so-called ‘conservative’ news outlets are giving this particular candidate a ‘free pass’; however, in doing so, they have become complicit in her crimes. The love of money, which also drives most of the owners of the news outlets, has absolutely corrupted the freedom of the press for many years; we are now being fed mostly lies and deception by the major news outlets who willingly cover up, or actually lie about, the wrongdoings of our elected officials at every level. If this candidate ends up facing indictment for her alleged criminal activities/schemes, the press should face the same indictment.
All one needs to know about this candidate and her husband, and where their TRUE motivations lie can be seen in the video linked here:https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7LYRUOd_QoM . Due to its content which exposes the sordid nature of this criminal family, the video may not be available when you read this. If not, it can be found in other places by searching on the name of the film, or its producer. Every American should view this film and make their own decision about the candidate’s fitness to even be considered as a serious candidate for POTUS.
This candidate not only has NO proven record as a statesman, she places her own desires and agenda above the needs of the citizens of the US, and certainly does not fit into the mold of a ‘virtuous person’.
I am becoming convinced that the ‘strong delusion’ mentioned in the Bible has started. Paul told the church at Thessalonica, in II Thessalonians 2:10-13, “And with all deceivableness of unrighteousness in them that perish; because they received not the love of the truth, that they might be saved. And for this cause God shall send them strong delusion, that they should believe a lie: That they all might be damned who believed not the truth, but had pleasure in unrighteousness. …
Considering the close connection between politics and governments, one can easily see why the world is in such a serious state of chaos and disarray. Politics, the use of intrigue or strategy in obtaining any position of power or control determines who rules in most governments of the world, so is politics a good thing? If politics IS a GOOD thing, then why has the entire world slipped so far from what God intended it to be? After all, He gave our parents, Adam and Eve, everything they needed to thrive and prosper, yet there is precious little thriving and prosperity to be seen anywhere. I know people will look at the United States and say that we are a truly prosperous nation, living in the lap of luxury. However, given the current state of debt that has our nation trapped in a ‘no-way-out’ mess, there is no real prosperity here. We have simply utilized debt to form a pseudo-prosperity that has now made it impossible for our children and grandchildren to ever realize ‘The American Dream”; rather we have forced them to accept ‘The American Nightmare’ of a debt-centered existence.
I submit this question: “Is politics a good thing”? God planned for man to have dominion on the earth: Genesis 1:26; 26And God said, Let us make man in our image, after our likeness: and let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over the cattle, and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth. In other words, God planned for man to take the responsibility that HE had shown when he created a perfect earth with all its inhabitants. God is KING and He is righteous, as was man when he was created; he had not yet sinned. A righteous king not only has dominion; he has total responsibility for the success of everything under his dominion. God intended for man to use the same principles and power that He used in creation to replenish the earth and maintain it as a paradise. I have no doubt that man would have succeeded had not his original disobedience messed up God’s plan.
When the fall of man took place, man’s ‘human governance’ began, albeit without the righteousness that God has. Lucifer had become the ‘god of this world’, and he has had major influence over it ever since. Satan, or Lucifer, created politics to use as a tool for gaining and exercising control over the entire world. He has always known and understood the politics of human governance, indeed is the master of it, and has used it to control governments throughout history, mainly through “The Love of Money”. There is an undeniably evil connection between politics, which is NOT a good thing, and The Love of Money, which always was the enabler of Satan to use his ‘politics tool’ for control. The result of the connection between politics and The Love of Money is the increasing darkness we now see encompassing the entire world. I am becoming more and more convinced that only when Jesus Christ returns to set up His righteous kingdom will this evil connection be broken and righteous government be restored on earth, administered by THE Righteous KING.
Human government has been a nearly complete failure for almost 6000 years. No government, either democratic, or dictatorial, or empirical has lasted long enough to accomplish that which God intended: to take dominion (responsible, righteous dominion) over all things on the earth, to replenish the earth and to maintain God’s original creation.
James Garfield, the 20th US president said, “Now more than ever before, the people are responsible for the character of their Congress. If that body be ignorant, reckless and corrupt, it is because the people tolerate ignorance, recklessness and corruption. If it be intelligent, brave and pure, it is because the people demand these high qualities to represent them in the national legislature…. If the next centennial does not find us a great nation … it will be because those who represent the enterprise, the culture, and the moralityof the nation do not aid in controlling the political forces.” If the US were truly still a ‘Christian nation’, the Church would/should be the leading voice for exercising the control described by President Garfield. In essence, the Church has failed to do that and our nation is in danger of being forever lost.
Future—The Love of Money and the End Times
The Bible clearly describes a person known as ‘the Antichrist’ who, in the last days, will emerge as a very charismatic ‘leader’ that will attempt to control every person on the planet, to the extent that he will desire their worship of him. Since this person is also described as ‘the evil one’, it stands to reason that he will have a great desire to obtain more and more wealth by controlling people, and thereby, their wealth. He will undoubtedly surround himself with others who share this evil desire for power and control. He will, at one point, become the very embodiment of Satan, and will cause many who had been considered ‘Christians’, or followers of Christ, to desert the true messiah and cleave to the evil one. All those who refuse will be severely persecuted or even beheaded. In the beginning of his end-times role, he will be very successful through guile and deceit, and will cause many to follow him, to their own damnation. The current cabal of global elitists, made up of international bankers, CEOs’ of large multinational corporations, political leaders of many nations and to some extent, ‘scholars and philosophers’, appear to have a very solid base laid for the appearance of this mystery person known as ‘the Antichrist’. They are the final epitome of evil men who, beginning with Noah’s great-grandson, Nimrod, longed for the power to control every person on earth (Genesis 10:8-10 and Genesis 11:1-9). Their modus operandi has always been to seize control of entire nations in whatever way possible, usually by controlling the money. And no matter how much they manage to grab and control, it is never enough. As stated previously, a quote by Janwillem van de Wetering pretty much sums it up: “Greed is a fat demon with a small mouth and whatever you feed it is never enough.” These forerunners of the Antichrist are definitely laying the groundwork for the appearance of the “Man of Sin/Perdition”.
Those who have been poorly trained to recognize evil will become easy prey for him. Anyone who doesn’t know the truth about money, and especially the LOVE of money, could easily be deceived into following the Antichrist. In 2 Corinthians 11:13-14, Paul, speaking about men who were leading believers astray, described them as ‘false apostles, deceitful workers, masquerading as apostles of Christ’. He then said that Satan himself masquerades as an angel (special messenger) of light. It will be very difficult for believers at that time to avoid persecution when/if they refuse to follow this false, charismatic person. In the Gospel of Matthew, when Jesus was fasting in the wilderness, and Satan appeared to Him to try to get Jesus to worship him, Satan promised great wealth and power, showing Him all the kingdoms of the world. Obviously, they were his to give since he became ‘the god of this world’ when Adam and Eve betrayed God and obeyed Satan. However, Jesus, knowing everything, refused to give in to the temptation of the love of money/power. In Matthew 4:10, Jesus gave His answer to Satan: “Then saith Jesus unto him, Get thee hence, Satan: for it is written, Thou shalt worship the Lord thy God, and him only shalt thou serve.
Those who have been raised to put money, and all it can buy, ahead of other, more important considerations, will easily fall for the promises made to them by the Antichrist. A solid grounding in God’s Word, and especially, a knowledge of the truth about the love of money, could be the only thing that will allow a person to escape.
Life is a TEST
Most Americans who have gone through public school, or private school, realize soon enough that the measure of success of the time spent in ‘formal education’ is determined by a series of tests along the way, some of which are a combination of (1) multiple choice and (2) calculation-problems which must be answered correctly before one can proceed to the next level of education. Personally, looking back on my ‘learning years’ of formal education, it is far easier to remember the good times I had between tests, and to not remember the tests themselves. Occasionally though, a particular test might stand out in my memory since the level of study and effort required to successfully pass the test was so great and intense. In fact, the sense of accomplishment at having passed, and/or excelled at the test was most difficult to forget. True enough, there were many who managed to pass these tests by cheating in one way or another. This action might produce a ‘sense of relief’ at getting by the test, but certainly not a ‘sense of accomplishment’.
There were many times during testing that I would become frustrated and ask myself (never the teacher) why this testing was so important. I was certain that I would never use this particular information at any time in the future. It was only much later that I realized the testing, or the information on the tests, was not the most important reason, or even the real reason for the test. The purpose of the test was to determine if a person could establish the self-control needed to not only learn how to study, but how to apply the knowledge supposedly learned before the test. True, there were many tests I took that produced absolutely no benefit as far as using the information in the future (just as I had thought), but the ability to buckle down and exercise the self-control needed to pass the test was the true reason for the test. The years of formal education seemed to fly by and the tests were soon forgotten; however, the ability to exercise self-control, especially when it might produce critical, even life-changing results stuck with me, at least most of the time (I am only human, you know)
Tests in school were usually announced before they were given, so one usually had ample time to study and prepare (except in the case of a “pop quiz”, which several teachers I had truly loved—sadists, all of them). I did find that, when I studied for a test, I usually fared much better than when I just tried to ‘wing it’. But, it can sometimes be difficult to know when one is in the middle of a test in real life. They may all seem to be just a part of everyday life happening spontaneously. But, tests in life are usually trials, sometimes temptations, sometimes persecution, that are seldom, if ever, announced in advance. Just as in school, the way to successfully pass these tests is to be prepared in advance, by studying the textbook for the particular course, since the answers are always in the textbook. A good teacher will cover all the information in the textbook that he feels is important for his/her students. Since he experiences a sense of accomplishment when his students pass his tests, the good teacher will make the material as easy as possible to understand.
Even though some students were able to pass a test in school by cheating, and fooling the judge of the test, or the teacher, no one can pass the test of Life by cheating. As I stated earlier, Paul wrote in Galatians 6:7, Be notdeceived; God is not mocked: for whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap.
In much the same way the years of formal education seemed like a constant series of tests, life is a series of tests, or more to the point, life IS a test. Just as the years of formal education seemed to pass quickly, so do the years of our lives. And, just as one must have passed the numerous tests to graduate, or move on to the next level or on to ‘real’ life, one must successfully pass the tests of life, or more importantly, the TEST of life.
Since life is a test, the course is LIFE, and the textbook is THE WORD OF GOD, one must assume that all the answers to every problem are in the textbook. It is very important to know all the material in the textbook in order to successfully pass all the tests that come our way. Knowing that the Bible, the Word of God, deals with the constant struggle between Good (God) and evil (Satan), it follows that most of the real-life tests we face will be about recognizing good, and evil, then choosing good and renouncing, and abstaining from, evil.
God says that His word is Truth (John 14:6) and the Holy Spirit is the guide (teacher) into Truth (John 16:13)
Based on the last several paragraphs, the scripture I used to begin this discourse, I Timothy 6:10, becomes one of the most important study points that one can ever find in the textbook. “10For 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.” This scripture simply provides the most obvious lesson in recognizing evil, and the root of evil. If bullet points were used in this scripture for a lesson outline, it might look like this:
The Love of Money
- Root of all evil
- Money in and of itself is NOT evil, only the ‘love of it’
- Leads to covetousness
- The desire to have what belongs to another
- Causes one to err from the faith
- Leads to a type of spiritual suicide…..being
- Pierced through with many sorrows.
This outline might seem a little simplistic, but, I believe God wants His Word to be easily understood, especially in light of the statement He makes in John 16:13, about the Holy Spirit being the “Truth Guide”. Since the scripture in I Timothy 6:10 clearly identifies the root of all evil, it seems to me that the “Truth Guide” (Holy Spirit) is making it very easy to identify evil so that we can avoid it, and to actually abstain from (refuse to take part in) even the appearance of it (I Thessalonians 5:22).
As I stated earlier, having money is NOT a bad thing. Just try living without it; not an easy task to do. However, if one expects to live in a manner that provides the benefits of a lifetime lived in honesty and integrity, the decisions made during that lifetime become critical, especially those decisions made regarding money. Money is one of the most discussed subjects in the entire Bible, so it stands to reason that God considers it to be extremely important, so much so that, he called the love of money the root of ALL evil. If the subject of money is that important to God, it might also be important for every man, woman and child to be aware of it, and work to live according to God’s guidelines about the subject. God never said that money is evil, even though many men have erroneously stated it that way, and have accepted, and promoted it, as truth. He did, however, in no uncertain terms, warn about The Love of Money. A person’s lifelong decisions made about money, such as how to get it, and how to handle it, then become some of the most important decisions he or she will ever make, and those decisions will likely determine the worth of his or her life, and eternal destiny.
God, in His infinite mercy and grace, has always provided a way of escape from a life dominated by The Love of Money for any man who chooses His Way. For those who have already chosen Jesus Christ as the Way, the Truth and The Life, God has provided a pathway to the wisdom needed to avoid the ‘Love of Money’ trap and that pathway is clearly lighted through the passage of scripture in I Timothy 6:10, as well as I Thessalonians 5:22. One only needs to take God’s Word to heart and allow it to lead to knowledge, wisdom and understanding.
From the time of the creation of Adam, God’s desire has always been to bless mankind. He provided everything Adam and Eve would ever need in the beautiful, perfect Garden of Eden. Surely, the Adamic blessings of God would have continued eternally had man not disobeyed God. One can only imagine what it would be like if sin had not entered our realm. With a clear understanding of just how destructive The Love of Money can be, what can a person to do to avoid the ‘Love of Money’ trap? God through Paul made it abundantly clear in I Timothy 6:9-10 what happens to a person who gets caught in the trap: 9 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.10 For the love of money is the root of all evil: which while some coveted after, they have erred from the faith, andpierced themselves through with many sorrows.
Even though God cautioned about the ‘will to be rich’, many have still gone against His Word and spent their lives seeking fortune in ways contrary to God’s will. I would think that some might have even considered it worthwhile, and even a ‘blessing’ to have gotten so much money, and lived so luxuriously, at least until they discovered what is ‘added to it’, namely condemnation, judgment, destruction, perdition and countless sorrows along the way. However, as I just stated, God always makes a way of escape for the person who seeks it. One of the best ways is found in Proverbs 10:22:The blessing of the Lord, it maketh rich, and he addeth no sorrow with it.
The world in which we live now, especially in the USA, as well as other nations in the western world, has become more about material possessions and getting all that we can, than about the moral values that make life truly important. Developing technology that constantly changes has produced more gadgets that we seem to think are impossible to live without. I will admit that cell phones, iPads, digital cameras, and all the other sundry objects that we now possess and use (sometimes way too much) are very convenient and do improve our lives when used properly. But, when a person ‘camps out’ for hours/days at a cell phone store to “get the very latest phone”, I have a difficult time understanding such actions. Does that person actually think that, if he waits a few days, the manufacturer will not have made a lot more of them that can be had simply by walking into the store and leisurely buying it, and avoiding the crowds and waste of time trying ‘to be the first’? How much better use of a person’s time can be made than camping in front of a store to get something that will be (deliberately) obsolete within a few months.
Imagine how much happier, less fearful, worried and anxious we would be if we were only concerned about having our needs met, and being able to help meet the needs of others, and less concerned about having every new gadget that the world produces. All the ‘stuff’ that the world produces and tries to convince us we absolutely cannot live without, becomes obsolete, breaks or fails at some point, usually sooner than later, and we’re left with nothing worthwhile. However, in that same first letter to Timothy, Paul stated in I Timothy 6:6, “But godliness with contentment is great gain.”
Life, in this human body, is not infinite. It ends for everyone, sooner or later. Some are very fortunate and live very long lives. Others lives are cut short, suddenly and, usually, unexpectedly. It’s what takes place between maturity and the grave, that truly matters. I stated several paragraphs back that money, in and of itself, is NOT evil, in fact is very necessary. However, having more and more money cannot provide true happiness and inner peace and joy. If the money becomes the object of one’s love, just the opposite occurs: a life of sadness, spiritual chaos, fear and turmoil. There is no contentment, or peace, in turmoil or chaos. Paul knew this well and in his letter to the church at Philippi, recorded in Philippians 4:11, he said, Not that I speak in respect of want: for I have learned, in whatsoever state I am, therewith to be content. After his meeting with Jesus on the road to Damascus, Paul lived his life with no regard for how it would be sustained. He placed his trust 100% in God, every day. He was willing to lose his life for the sake of the gospel; by living such a life, he was privileged to write much of what became the New testament.
Jesus said it best, in Matthew 16:25-27: 25 For whosoever will save his life shall lose it: and whosoever will lose his life for my sake shall find it.
26 For what is a man profited, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul? or what shall a man give in exchange for his soul? 27 For the Son of man shall come in the glory of his Father with his angels; and then he shall reward every man according to his works.
Only by obeying the Words of Jesus, recorded in Matthew 6:33, can true blessing be found that will make life worthwhile, free of worry and anxiety, and not add the sorrows that result from a bad case of greed:
33 But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you.
I mentioned earlier in this discourse that the only way to destroy an obnoxious plant is to dig up the roots and expose them to the light. Sometimes, bad seeds become mixed in with the good seed that a farmer sows, but a good farmer will diligently look over his fields for signs of obnoxious weeds that could choke out the desirable plants. When found, he works hard to pull up the bad plants and toss them aside. By the same token, even for Christians who diligently strive to follow Jesus, bad seeds may become mixed in with good seeds. Remember, from the spiritual perspective, seeds are ‘words’. Good words, those that are in line with God’s Word, will take root and, if properly nourished, will provide the necessary good nutrition for a successful life, or a life marked by good fruit. But, by the same token, bad words (not necessarily curse words, but any words of doubt, disobedience, hatred, strife, greed etc.) will also take root, and when nourished with the same words spoken repeatedly, and especially when followed by evil actions, will take root and provide the evil nutrition that will bring about a life that is ‘pierced through with many sorrows’.
Thus, considering that LIFE is a test, every person is presented with a choice concerning words (seeds) and the fruit that they can produce. Choosing (speaking) good words (planting good seeds) over the bad words (bad seeds) will make life much easier from the get-go. But, what can be done about the roots that are already growing from the bad seeds? They must be pulled up, and, by exposing them to The LIGHT (God’s Word), the process of providing evil nutrition to the plant (our lives) can be stopped and reversed. However, pulling up those evil roots can be a serious problem for most people. The easy choice is to allow the bad seeds/roots to continue to grow and ‘hope for the best’. But, Paul stated in the Book ofHebrews 4:12, For the word of God is quick, and powerful, and sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart.”. God’s Word, when read, understood and followed, has a way of causing the human conscience to respond and help any person make the hard choices correctly.
As Paul stated in his letter to Timothy, Christians are to work diligently to avoid ‘The Love of Money trap’ and to trust God for everything. This tells us that we, as individual believers, are as subject to this evil trap as the highest level politician in any government. Indeed, as the ‘salt’ and ’light’ of the earth, we have even more responsibility than they to keep ourselves free of greed. Maintaining this freedom from greed requires very difficult choices every day of our lives. It is impossible to fulfill God’s commands to us to be the salt and light if we continually find ourselves ‘pierced through with many sorrows’ as a result of giving in to ‘The Love of Money’. No one said the choices in life would be easy, and God will not make an exception for anyone. Recorded in Deuteronomy 30:19, God told the Israelites after He had miraculously delivered them out of Egypt: 19I call heaven and earth to record this day against you, that I have set before you life and death, blessing and cursing: therefore, choose life, that both thou and thy seed may live.
This same choice is presented to every one of us at some point in our lives. The final decision is up to us and the big question is: how will we choose? Which seeds will we plant?