03-Real Wealth and Success
We know that God uses war, famine, earthquakes and pestilence as judgments upon unrepentant sinners. But, He also uses economic collapse as a form of warning and judgment. Read what James said to the early church, at a time when many Christians were trusting in earthly wealth and success for security.
1)”Come now, ye rich men, weep and howl for your miseries that shall come upon you. 2)Your riches are corrupted and your garments are moth-eaten. 3)Your gold and silver are rusted, and the rust of them shall be a witness against you, and shall eat your flesh as it were fire. Ye have heaped treasure together for the last days. 4)Behold, the hire of the laborers who have reaped down your fields, which is of you kept back by fraud, crieth; and the cries of them who have reaped are entered into the ears of the Lord of Sabboth. 5)Ye have lived in pleasure on the earth, and been wanton; ye have nourished your hearts, as in a day of slaughter.”
These backslidden Christians were in direct, open rebellion to the Lord’s command to not store up treasures on earth for themselves. That’s why in the 4th chapter, James calls them adulterers and adulteresses. Like Israel in the Old Testament, these people fell back into a friendship and love for the world. They were committing harlotry and “went a whoring.” Sadly, this is a graphic picture of the visible church in America today. They watch for the stock market reports more than they do for the return of the one they call their lord.
We are warned to not trust in earthly riches, but in the Lord, who alone is the source of true riches. People whose hearts are of this world will never know the treasures of Heaven while their earthly treasures remain valuable to them. That is what divine judgment is: The taking away of the means by which evil men satisfy their inner lust and appetite.
God is a jealous God. He will remove whatever has replaced Him, to give the person the chance to repent of his sin. Among other things, that’s what Daniel’s 70th Week will accomplish. Millions will seek God’s mercy because their earthly wealth and idols have been destroyed and desolated.
Let’s turn our attention to gold and silver that is not seen by the natural eye. The real treasures that produce real wealth and success. Let your heart receive the truth from Paul’s words to the Philippians, at a time when Paul was in prison for his testimony of Jesus.
11)”Not that I speak in respect of want; for I have learned, in whatever state I am, in this to be content, 12)I know both how to be abased, and I know how to abound; everywhere and in all things I am instructed both to be full and to be hungry, both to abound and to suffer need.”
Paul relates to us the secret to real successful living here on the earth, while waiting for Jesus to return. Instead of desiring, seeking and trusting in gold and silver, he has learned the secret of contentment. What is this secret?
Paul’s heart was set on the riches of Heaven. He trusted in the Lord no matter what financial condition he was in. His joy never depended upon the amount of food or money he possessed. He was instructed by Jesus to learn how to rejoice while in hunger and poverty, as well as riches. This is the only way to keep one’s heart on the Lord, and off the world. A Christian’s joy and fulfillment comes from knowing that our names are written in Heaven, not by the thickness of our wallet.
Paul suffered much lack and affliction because the devil couldn’t lure his heart from Jesus to jewels. He failed in his attempts to put desires for earthly wealth and success in Paul’s heart. When we are truly saved and searching to know Him more deeply, and to fellowship in His suffering, we no longer desire anything else. The more we learn of Him, the more our desires change from earthly to Godly. This is why Paul said that to live Godly in Christ Jesus, would bring persecution. Contentment is a result of God living in us.
We need to learn this secret of material contentment. However, this is not a popular teaching today, even though it is the mark of a true believer. For the devil has disguised himself, in the last days as an “angel of light,” to seduce people to desire after the riches of this world. This is all done in the name of Jesus! See what Paul declares to the church at Corinth, which was plagued with such counterfeits.
II Corinthians 11:4, 13-15,
4)”For if he that cometh preacheth another Jesus, whom we have not preached, or if ye receive another spirit, which ye have not received, or another gospel, which ye have not accepted, ye might well bear with him. 13)…For such are false apostles, deceitful workers, transforming themselves into the apostles of Christ. 14)And no marvel; for Satan himself is transformed into an angel of light. 15)Therefore, it is no great thing if his ministers also be transformed as the ministers of righteousness, whose end shall be according to their works.”
God is always warning us in the scriptures of the consequences of seeking and trusting in worldly wealth. Paul is warning us to flee from Satan’s ministers who only bring us back into bondage and slavery to things. They can’t and don’t teach us as Paul does, that “…Godliness with contentment is great gain.” Gain to them is gold, not God, even though they use His name.
God warns not to love and desire money because the devil is uniting the world. And money is the god of every unconverted or carnal heart. Not only is he uniting the world politically and religiously, but economically. We all know that whoever controls the money system of the world, controls the world. That’s why the Lord is warning us to “…Set your affections on things above, not on the things on the earth.” (Colossians 3:2)
Remember the two-headed serpent? It is the democratic head of the serpent that promises life, liberty and the pursuit of money, who controls the world’s money system.
Tragedy and tribulation from God awaits all the churches in America, who are so entangled with buildings, budgets and banks. There are preachers who have become dangerously bewitched by big bucks. Some even teach that before Jesus comes the church will control the money of the world. They teach that God will make available all the money, that He will take it from Satan’s people and give it to God’s people. There is a shred to truth to this but it sounds more like the teaching of the church of the antichrist than the body of Christ.
This false, misleading teaching succeeds in keeping the hearts of people separated from the cross and soon coming of Jesus Christ. They appeal to the carnal lusts of men and call it the desires of the heart, in Jesus name!