Sadly, many believers living in the once Christian West today do not know that the majority of the Churches they attend are not operating in the same spirit of Brotherly Love that the Early Church did. They also do not know that this is why so many believers are suffering today, and the Church is under siege all around the world. In fact, the Scriptures are clear about how a Church that is soundly grounded on God's Word should operate. According to the Apostle Luke's writings in the New Testament, both our Messiah Yahshua or Jesus and the Apostle Peter said that all disciples in the Church community should share everything in common. They also said that, when needed, the rich members of the Church should sell their possessions to provide for those in need!
Most believers have no idea that the rich in the Church are biblically called to give to the poor among their Church community as an act of love. In fact, most Churches are grossly missing the mark of what Christ and the first Apostles envisioned and encouraged within the first Churches in Judea and Asia Minor. The New Testament makes it clear that the leaders of the Early Church advocated that those with much wealth should sell it and redistribute it to those with the biggest need in the congregations of the faithful. This was to be done so that the wealth distribution in the congregation would be much more balanced. They also called for all believers to live together in close-knit communities unless they were travelling to spread the Gospel. They were also called to share possessions and chores so no one in the community would work alone, be hungry, go naked, or be without care when young, elderly or sick. This groundwork is laid in the Gospel of Luke and in the Book of Acts (which were both written by Luke):
~*~ Luke 12:22-34 - Sell What You Have, Travel Light ~*~
“Then He (i.e. Christ) said to His disciples, “Therefore I say to you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat; nor about the body, what you will put on. Life is more than food, and the body is more than clothing. 24 Consider the ravens, for they neither sow nor reap, which have neither storehouse nor barn; and God feeds them. Of how much more value are you than the birds? 25 And which of you by worrying can add one cubit to his stature? 26 If you then are not able to do the least, why are you anxious for the rest?” 27
“Consider the lilies, how they grow: they neither toil nor spin; and yet I say to you, even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these. 28 If then God so clothes the grass, which today is in the field and tomorrow is thrown into the oven, how much more will He clothe you, O you of little faith? 29 And do not seek what you should eat or what you should drink, nor have an anxious mind. 30 For all these things the nations of the world seek after, and your Father knows that you need these things. 31 But seek the kingdom of God, and all these things shall be added to you.” 32
“Do not fear, little flock, for it is your Father’s good pleasure to give you the kingdom. 33 Sell what you have and give alms; provide yourselves money bags which do not grow old, a treasure in the heavens that does not fail, where no thief approaches nor moth destroys. 34 For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.”
~*~ Luke 22:35-38 - Knapsacks, Moneybags and Sandals ~*~ “And He said to them, “When I sent you without money bag, knapsack, and sandals, did you lack anything?” So they said, “Nothing.” 36
Then He said to them, “But now, he who has a money bag, let him take it, and likewise a knapsack; and he who has no sword, let him sell his garment and buy one. 37 For I say to you that this which is written must still be accomplished in Me: ‘And He was numbered with the transgressors.’ For the things concerning Me have an end.” 38
So they said, “Lord, look, here are two swords.” And He said to them, “It is enough.”
~*~ Acts 2:40-47 - The Early Church Shared Everything ~*~ “Then Peter said to them, “Repent, and let every one of you be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins; and you shall receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. 39 For the promise is to you and to your children, and to all who are afar off, as many as the Lord our God will call.” 40NOTE ESPECIALLY:
And with many other words he testified and exhorted them, saying, “Be saved from this perverse generation.” 41 Then those who gladly received his word were baptized; and that day about three thousand souls were added to them. 42 And they continued steadfastly in the apostles’ doctrine and fellowship, in the breaking of bread, and in prayers. 43 Then fear came upon every soul, and many wonders and signs were done through the apostles. 44 Now all who believed were together, and had all things in common, 45 and sold their possessions and goods, and divided them among all, as anyone had need. 46
So continuing daily with one accord in the temple, and breaking bread from house to house, they ate their food with gladness and simplicity of heart, 47 praising God and having favor with all the people. And the Lord added to the church daily those who were being saved.”
Luke 12:32-34 - “Do not fear, little flock, for it is your Father’s good pleasure to give you the kingdom. 33 Sell what you have and give alms; provide yourselves money bags which do not grow old, a treasure in the heavens that does not fail, where no thief approaches nor moth destroys. 34 For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.”
Acts 2:44-45 - “Now all who believed were together, and had all things in common, 45 and sold their possessions and goods, and divided them among all, as anyone had need.”
Skills can also be shared within the community of believers. Hairdressers, craftspeople, painters, artists, seamstresses, tailors, doctors, herbalists, massage therapists, engineers and many other skilled professionals can work together to care for everyone in the congregation that they belong to. But they have to learn to be content, and to want to serve one another without being paid. Instead, they need to trust their fellow believers to be fair and generous with them in return, and to rely on God to bless them as He sees fit.
Luke 10:25-28 ~ “And behold, a certain lawyer stood up and tested Him, saying, ‘Teacher, what shall I do to inherit eternal life?’ 26 He (i.e.Yahshua) said to him, ‘What is written in the law? What is your reading of it?’ 27 So he answered and said, ‘You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your strength, and with all your mind,’ and ‘your neighbor as yourself.’ 28 And He said to him, ‘You have answered rightly; do this and you will live.’”
WHY VERY FEW RICH PEOPLE
CAN ENTER THE KINGDOM OF GOD
The Scriptures do not say that having money or wealth is evil. In Luke's Gospel and in Paul's epistles called 1 and 2 Timothy, it says that the love of money is the root of all evil because - if one loves money and the acquisition of wealth more than anything else - there will be no room in one's heart for true charity and Brotherly Love. Contrary to what the Health and Wealth Gospel Preachers, and Prosperity and Positive Thinking Preachers out there in ministry today teach, money, wealth and pleasure can't be your focus if you want to serve God. As it says in the following Scriptures, the lovers of money in this present generation cannot serve God:
Luke 16:13-15 ~ “‘No servant can serve two masters; for either he will hate the one and love the other, or else he will be loyal to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and mammon.’14 Now the Pharisees, who were lovers of money, also heard all these things, and they derided Him. 15 And He said to them, ‘You are those who justify yourselves before men, but God knows your hearts. For what is highly esteemed among men is an abomination in the sight of God.’”
1 Timothy 6:10 ~ “For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil, for which some have strayed from the faith in their greediness, and pierced themselves through with many sorrows.”
2 Timothy 3:1-5 ~ “But know this, that in the last days perilous times will come: 2 For men will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy, 3 unloving, unforgiving, slanderers, without self-control, brutal, despisers of good, 4 traitors, headstrong, haughty, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God, 5 having a form of godliness but denying its power. And from such people turn away!”Many types of preachers in the West today don't preach the whole Gospel, which includes the above passages pointing to the wickedness of greed and the love of money. They also rarely or never talk about sin and repentance, and instead only focus on the most agreeable parts of the Gospel. This means that they fail to explain that being a true servant of God often involves hardship, loss, poverty, deprivation, pain, rejection and mistreatment at the hands of those who hate God, and want to use and abuse the selflessness and kindness of others for their own gain.
In fact, the love of money and wealth can only lead to corruption, and it totally gets in the way of serving God. That is why Yahshua our Messiah told the rich man to get rid of His wealth (See Luke 18:18-29). We can't allow ourselves to be enslaved by caring for many costly possessions, especially if we want to serve God. The ONLY time rich people are serving God with their money is when it is used to build His Kingdom and help His saints, and NO successful businessmen I've heard of built a billion-dollar financial empire by giving freely to help others in need.
The wealthiest people in the world do not build wealth by being charitable. They build it by investing their money in acquiring and building more wealth-producing ventures. They may be nice to people who serve a purpose in their businesses, and they may produce jobs and indirectly bless people that way, but it is not an act of charity. People have to work hard to earn good wages, and in some cases, be married to their jobs or risk losing it. Some of these types of people that have spent their lives creating wealth to live lavishly and to create more wealth and power are the kind that Trump is appointing in his administration because they are JUST LIKE HIM, and not all of them likely have our best interests at heart. As it says in Scripture:
~*~ Matthew 19:23-24 ~*~ “Then Jesus (i.e. Yahshua) said to His disciples, ‘Assuredly, I say to you that it is hard for a rich man to enter the kingdom of heaven. 24 And again I say to you, it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter the kingdom of God.’”
The truth is that, though blessing can come to believers in many forms, it does not often come in the way of material wealth. Otherwise every born again believer would be rich, and yet I see the exact opposite. Although God can and will bless those who serve Him with some degree of provision for their daily needs, it never says anywhere in the Word of God that He will make us materially rich, or that our happiness is to be gauged by how much we own. It says that those who use their talents to serve God and build His Kingdom will acquire blessings from Him, and these may be in the form of charitable gifts from others, material provision acquired through our day to day jobs or ministry work, and kind words spoken, and good deeds done on our behalf by grateful people that we have helped.
People that truly serve God with their wealth would never want to become billionaires in this world just so that they can live lavishly and enjoy the pleasures of this life - like Donald Trump and so many others that he is appointing in his administration have done. Sadly, however, those like the Prosperity, Health and Wealth, and Positive Thinking Preachers in the Protestant Churches and their adherents, and the Pope and the career Priests, Cardinals, and Bishops in all the Catholic, Orthodox and Protestant Churches think they have a biblically ordained right to live well ostentatiously on the tithes of their congregations. In addition, they think they are serving God by preaching and offering counselling alone, and are receiving blessings from God in the form of material wealth for these services. However, they don't actually serve God at all, but the Devil because of their greed, lack of compassion, and lack of love and charity toward those less fortunate than themselves within their congregations.
This is why I keep telling others that very few believers are going to be taken in the Rapture. Unless the Churches of the West begin to operate more like the Early Churches did, and all believers begin to act with Brotherly Love toward everyone in their Church communities, many who think they are saved are in danger of being spit out of God's mouth for being lukewarm, and left behind to suffer through the Great Tribulation.
In conjunction with this study, be sure to read my earlier Ministry blog post linked to below:
If every one of the 15 thousand plus believers that my ministry has touched over the years since I began publishing books and articles in 2004 sent just $5.00 USD to me in the mail or via the internet this Holiday Season, I would have enough money to pay my past due bills and keep my ministry going for a year without having to ask for more help. Just think about that before you buy your next $5 cup of Starbucks coffee. And if you decide to forego the coffee to help a sister in need, you have my sincerest thanks, and I know that God will bless you for it. To help, there are PayPal and Go Fund Me links - as well as my street address and e-mail address - on the web page at the link below.
In the meantime, may God bless you, and may our Father God and His Son and Spirit bless you, just as you have blessed me. Merry Christmas and Happy Chanukah! ~ Helena Lehman