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Monday, May 23, 2016

Unveiling the deceptive spirits of "mammon" and "commerce"

Deitrich Bonhoeffer said it well:
“…the cross is not the terrible end to an otherwise god-fearing and happy life, but it meets us at the beginning of our communion with Christ. When Christ calls a man, he bids him come and die.” (1)
"God has no use for our flesh and its talents (see Romans 7:18). They are useless to Him. The more talented we are, the larger obstacle these talents become and the greater temptation to 'do something great for Christ' without His Spirit leading us."


"How many of us American Christians have heard the lie of Satan that we as Christians are called to live a happy, successful life in the eyes of the world as a living advertisement on why they should also be Christians? This is not the gospel of God’s kingdom, but rather a false gospel designed by Satan to keep us under his control in his kingdom."


"The flesh in man loves religion because religion gives him an opportunity to have the best of both worlds. With religion we can claim Christ as our Lord, yet remain the one in control of our lives, seeing His cross as a thing of the past and go after “life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.” After all, isn’t this our God-given “inalienable right”? This phrase from the Declaration of Independence is the opposite of desiring the things of our Father in heaven, yet you would think it came from the very mouth of Jesus Christ if you observe the lives and goals of American Christians. There is no life, liberty and true happiness outside of living IN Christ in obedience to and unity with the Father. We might think we are independent of Satan as we pursue the things of this world, but we are deluded and have not yet been converted in the eyes of God."


These quotes from a blogger named Michael ( https://awildernessvoice.wordpress.com/2016/05/22/do-we-desire-the-kingdom-of-god-or-the-kingdoms-of-men/ )
begin to uncover something that both my wife and I are beginning to have un-veiled to us by the
Spirit of God.  Mammon and Commerce are two very deceptive spirits that have been allowed onto holy ground in the church and they are being worshipped in subtle ways that are not visible if you are still "buying into the lie" that Christ died to make us happy. 


Yesterday part 6 of the series "Good or God" by John Bevere was shown in our church and it was 98% correct.  Two statements were made that demonstrate the subtle deception that we are up against. (1) "When you seek first the kingdom of God, He will cause you to prosper materially and with that you can further the kingdom of God."  False.  God does not need our finances or our support to advance His kingdom, in fact I have a friend who visits Haiti and comes back humbled every time, by the evidence and manifestations of the kingdom of God that take place in this, "poorest nation in the western hemisphere."  (2)  "When others see your material prosperity, they will ask you about your God."  False.  What leads the Jew to jealousy and what draws other people to us, and what Jesus praises the remnant for in each 'church' in Revelation is the exact same thing.  Perseverance in the face of suffering, trial and tribulation.  Faith that is not moved by the circumstances but continues to cling to and trust in the faithful love of the Father.  Endurance not abundance is the what separates the follower of the Lamb, from the world.  He had no place to "lie His head", He knew and made known and lived the truth that suffering is the pathway to glory, ultimate glory.  Nothing that can be obtained in this life in the form of possessions is going to ultimately point to eternity.  We are called to be a people surrendered to the will of God, in Christ.  Period.  Prosperity does not advance the kingdom of God, poverty does not hinder the kingdom of God, the "one thing" is to be "in Christ."

1 comment:

Chuck said...

Related stuff on coveting by Bob Deffinbaugh..."Covetousness is something which our culture seems to value, and which the church has become accustomed to, even catering to it instead of condemning it. I honestly believe that if coveting were to immediately cease in America, our economy would be in shambles. Madison Avenue incites us to covetousness, and credit buying enables us to buy what we don’t need and can’t afford. If coveting stopped, our economy would collapse. Coveting therefore seems to be one of those “sacred sins” which we dare not tamper with.

Competitiveness is another of the foundational elements in American society. We will hardly consider hiring or promoting anyone who does not have great ambition, but at its roots, ambition is built upon the competitive desire to do better than his neighbor so that we can have what he or she has: their position, their prestige and power, and their pleasures.

With covetousness so interwoven into the fabric of our society, one would expect that the church would be condemning covetousness, especially among the saints, as the Old Testament prophets did. This is seldom the case. Instead, the church treads softly on matters of covetousness.

Worse yet, the church has come to accept covetousness as one of the “givens” of our culture, and has gone so far as to capitalize on covetousness by appealing to this illicit desire to motivate people to serve and to give. The “gospel of the good life” is one form of this error. We tell people that if they “do things God’s way” God will wonderfully bless them and prosper them. We tell people that God’s desire is to prosper everyone, if they will simply follow God’s prescribed guidelines for success. We appeal to men’s covetousness when we present the gospel, making it sound as if discipleship were the key to success and prosperity. We minimize the cost of discipleship or its demands of self-denial and self-sacrifice. We speak only of its benefits and blessings."