Saturday, December 27, 2014

11 21 14 Me teaching at the Lexington

11 18 14 Me teaching at NeWay

12 26 14 Justice


When I was teaching in San Antonio a few weeks ago- I mentioned how ‘anyone can do this’.

Do what?
Basically do the things Jesus taught us [go into the whole world and preach the gospel- baptize- make disciples of all nations].

And do it- without your focus being on how much money it will take to ‘reach the world’.

Look- even a homeless person can do what I do- the only actual physical property I own- for ministry- is a laptop- that’s it.

‘John- what about the great finances needed to do all this’.

That’s what I’m saying- there are NO FINANCES.
Jesus- and the writers of the New Testament did talk about this stuff- and often.

Jesus tells his men ‘when I send you out- don’t take 2 coats- or a purse [wallet] - whatever city you enter- whoever lets you stay there- stay until you leave’.

No ‘big cash faith’ here- as a matter of fact Jesus warned us not to fall for the idea that you need ‘big cash’ to do this.

Then you read In the book of Acts- the same thing.

Paul and the other Apostles/missionaries did this same thing- I quoted Acts 20 a few weeks ago- and Paul is talking to the church leaders- and says ‘when I was with you guys- I worked- supported my self- to give YOU an example’.

Peter actually warns that Pastors are NOT TO SHEPHERD the flock- for ‘filthy money’.

Wow- Peter and Paul obviously weren’t aware of their ‘covenant rights’ as ‘children of the king’

Now- look- the church went thru a stage [still to a degree] where we have taught a whole generation of young people to ‘believe God for lots of wealth- because you can’t reach the world without it’.

Actually- you can reach the world without it- but you need ‘faith’- faith to believe the answer is actually not ‘more cash’ but more obedience- see?

Look at the verses below- how the desire to be rich- the money mindset- is equated with idolatry- and in the list of those who will not ‘inherit the kingdom’ this is one of the sins that keeps people out.

Not given to wine, no striker, not greedy of filthy lucre; but patient, not a brawler, not covetous;
 For a bishop must be blameless, as the steward of God; not self willed, not soon angry, not given to wine, no striker, not given to filthy lucre;
Whose mouths must be stopped , who subvert whole houses, teaching things which they ought not, for filthy lucre's sake.
Keep watch over the flock of God which is in your care, using your authority, not as forced to do so, but gladly; and not for unclean profit but with a ready mind;
And he said unto them, Take heed , and beware of covetousness: for a man's life consisteth not in the abundance of the things which he possesseth .
But fornication, and all uncleanness, or covetousness, let it not be once named among you, as becometh saints;
Mortify therefore your members which are upon the earth; fornication, uncleanness, inordinate affection, evil concupiscence, and covetousness, which is idolatry:
Let your conversation be without covetousness; and be content with such things as ye have : for he hath said , I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee [note- the apostle says to ‘be content with your present financial state’ [material goods]- he never teaches the idea to believe for more wealth- which would create a ‘discontent’ with their present material goods- It’s important to see this theme all thru out the New Testament- this is not an exception to the rule- but Jesus and the writers of the New Testament- when dealing with money- never teach a doctrine of an ‘abundant kingdom harvest of wealth’ that is not a biblical idea at all].
No man is able to be a servant to two masters: for he will have hate for the one and love for the other, or he will keep to one and have no respect for the other. You may not be servants of God and of wealth.
 If therefore ye have not been faithful in the unrighteous mammon, who will commit to your trust the true riches?

Few notes- why is it important to see this?
Some of you- even those trained in ministry- might be surprised- just reading thru these verses.
Many good men- trained Pastors- went to bible schools/colleges that rose up in the 20th century- by good men.

But- these schools- though well meaning- in some ways have made the mistake- that Jesus warned about- and taught their good students- a sort of doctrine that focused on the ‘abundant harvest’ and built within these men a belief that you do need lots of wealth to ‘complete the mission’.
Many of these good Pastors find themselves in financial difficulty- often- because they see a big vision for what God wants them to do- and then they fall into an unconscious snare of trying to preach to the people to give more.

And they often unknowingly fall into the trap that these verses warn us about- they begin to ‘desire to be rich’- or have more money- even for a noble cause- but that wrong desire violates the scriptures that teach ‘don’t seek to be rich’.

Ok- few more verses-
But those who have a desire for wealth are falling into danger, and are taken as in a net by a number of foolish and damaging desires, through which men are overtaken by death and destruction.
But people who are trying to get rich fall into temptation. They are trapped by many stupid and harmful passions that plunge people into ruin and destruction [note here- just ‘trying’ to get rich- in this bible verse- is wrong. So- if your’ trying’ thru ‘sowing seed for a kingdom harvest’- or thru ‘a positive money confession’ or thru any other religious method- it’s still wrong- because your mindset is on wealth- and that violates the teaching of these scriptures- see?]
But people who want to get rich keep falling into temptation. They are trapped by many stupid and harmful desires which drown them in destruction and ruin.
But those who are determined to be rich fall into a temptation and a snare and many foolish and harmful lusts, such as drown men in ruin and destruction. [These are bible verses by the way].
 Lay not up for yourselves treasures upon earth, where moth and rust doth corrupt , and where thieves break through and steal : 20But lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust doth corrupt , and where thieves do not break through nor steal : 21 For where your treasure is , there will your heart be also. 22 The light of the body is the eye: if therefore thine eye be single, thy whole body shall be full of light. 23 But if thine eye be evil, thy whole body shall be full of darkness. If therefore the light that is in thee be darkness, how great is that darkness! 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 money.

The dynamic of seeking money so you could do God’s will is simply not found in the ministers we see in the New Testament.

The small finances that were given- both to the ministry of Jesus [note- some teach that Jesus and the disciples had great wealth- actually that’s not so- this too came out of a misguided teaching that I spoke about above] and the Apostles- were primarily for basic needs- and for the poor [1st Corinthians 16].

But woe unto you that are rich! for ye have received your consolation.
So is he that layeth up treasure for himself, and is not rich toward God.
 Let the brother of low degree rejoice in that he is exalted: 10 But the rich, in that he is made low: because as the flower of the grass he shall pass away . 11 For the sun is no sooner risen with a burning heat, but it withereth the grass, and theflower thereof falleth , and the grace of the fashion of it perisheth : so also shall the rich man fade away in his ways.
1 My brethren, have not the faith of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Lord of glory, with respect of persons. 2 For if there come unto your assembly a man with a gold ring, in goodly apparel, and there come in also a poor man in vile raiment; 3 And ye have respect to him that weareth the gay clothing, and say unto him, Sit thou here in a good place; and say to the poor, Stand thou there,or sit here under my footstool: 4 Are ye not then partial in yourselves, and are become judges ofevil thoughts? 5 Hearken , my beloved brethren, Hath not God chosen the poor of this world rich in faith, and heirs of the kingdom which he hath promised to them that love him? 
1 Go to now, ye rich men, weep and howl for your miseries that shall come upon you. 2 Your riches are corrupted , and your garments are motheaten. 3 Your gold and silver is cankered ; 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 labourers who have reaped down your fields, which is of you kept back by fraud , crieth : and the cries of them which have reaped are entered into the ears of the Lord of sabaoth. 5 Ye have lived in pleasure on the earth, and been wanton ; ye have nourished your hearts, as in a day of slaughter. 6 Ye have condemned and killed the just; and he doth not resist you. 
Few notes here- in these verses there is no distinction between the ‘worlds wealth’ and ‘Christian wealth’- meaning- they are not teaching a doctrine that Christians need to believe for great wealth- and that’s ok.

This is important to see- because the good pastors/people who were taught these things- have in many ways been held back- because they see ‘the answer’ as more money- then they begin to seek to ‘be rich’ and they fall into the snare [desire to be rich].

I have been teaching this for years- and I have learned that even good men- Pastors- when they see what I’m teaching here- for the ‘first time’- they see it’s true.

But yet- many have been trained to see ‘faith for the harvest’ as a money thing- and it actually is hard to break from the ‘wealth mindset’- and some never do.

Some have been taught to never listen to this type of ‘re-proof’ because any ‘non wealth’ talk will ruin the harvest [of money].

Some actually use a verse from the epistle of James to teach this ‘a double minded man shall not receive’- even though James hit’s the hardest against this teaching.

Ok- some teaching from Jesus about money and the mission-
‘Nor scrip for your journey, neither two coats, neither shoes, nor yet staves: for the workman is worthy of his meat’ meaning- when you get to the town were you will be preaching- the people in that town will take care of you- in the book of Acts we see this process as well. When the New Testament preachers were spreading the message- they were supported by the Christians in the towns- minimally. In Paul’s case he supported himself at times. The point is- they were not preaching to the people to ‘sow financially into their ministries’ in a way that would make the preachers rich- or the people].
And commanded them that they should take nothing for their journey, save a staff only; no scrip, no bread, no money in their purse:
And he said unto them, Take nothing for your journey, neither staves, nor scrip, neither bread, neither money; neither have two coats apiece.
And he said unto them, When I sent you without purse, and scrip, and shoes , lacked ye any thing? And they said nothing.
What I want you to see in the above verses- is Jesus actually deals with how much ‘abundance’ of money we need for the mission- and in context- none! [Carry neither purse- money].
He is saying that the simplicity of carrying the message- which contains the power in itself to transform lives- only requires that we GO.
Now- to be fair- we do read bible verses where the Apostles and Pastors did receive financial help from those they were preaching to- Paul himself teaches this.

The main point I’m making- is these same preachers [Paul] actually wrote in their letters- to these churches- about the danger of seeking to be rich [quoted some of these in this post].

So- what has happened in some circles- is they have by-passed the actual teaching about wealth- and have used some of the other verses from these same men [about giving- primarily to the poor- Corinthians 16-1Corinthians 16:1 Now concerning the collection for the saints, as I have given order to the churches of Galatia, even so do ye.
1Corinthians 16:2 Upon the first day of the week let every one of you lay by him in store, as God hath prospered him, that there be no gatherings when I come.
1Corinthians 16:3 And when I come, whomsoever ye shall approve by your letters, them will I send to bring your liberality unto Jerusalem.
] and have taught Christians to focus on wealth- which is a contradiction of the actual teaching from these same men.

There might be some good men- Pastors even- reading this- and maybe have never really SEEN THIS.
If you have been steeped in this movement- warning- it’s very hard to break from it- the mindset.
Because it’s hard to let go of a materialistic mind- that’s why the warnings that Jesus gave- are there![ He also that received seed among the thorns is he that heareth the word; and the care of this world, and the deceitfulness of riches, choke the word, and he becometh unfruitful.].

Look here- the ‘deceitfulness’ of riches ‘chokes the word’- in this post I’m giving you THE WORD- And as clear as it is- some of you will struggle with what I’m telling you- because the materialistic mind is an obstacle to truth- see?

One more point- I said the only actual material thing I need for what I do- is a laptop.

‘John- what about church buildings- baptism pools- etc.’?

Now- I have written/spoken on this a lot over the years.

But just a brief re-cap

You have seen videos I made this year- many by the bay- or beach- that’s my ‘baptism’ pool- cost to use it?
The meetings I’ve done – for many years- well- you saw a few in the pic’s/videos- we met in homes- or anywhere- and held meetings- cost?

Now- I am not against church buildings- or baptism pools- etc.

But Jesus and the New Testament preachers had a radical ‘freedom’ in the carrying out of the message- you can read about it in the book of Acts.

They lived the teaching that Jesus gave them ‘when you enter a city- stay with whoever puts you up- eat what they give you- preach- baptize- move on’.

I simply want you guys [especially Pastors] to take another look at ministry- as defined by the New Testament- and Jesus himself.

These guys knew what they were talking about- it worked.

 And he said unto them, Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature. 16 He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved ; but he that believeth not shall be damned . 17 And these signs shall follow them that believe ; In my name shall they cast out devils; they shall speak with new tongues; 18 They shall take up serpents; and if they drink any deadly thing, it shall not hurt them; they shall lay hands on the sick, and they shall recover. 19So then after the Lord had spoken unto them, he was received up into heaven, and sat on the right hand of God. 20 And they went forth , and preached every where, the Lord working with them, and confirming the word with signs following . Amen.

 Forasmuch as ye know that ye were not redeemed with corruptible things, as silver and gold, from your vain conversation received by tradition from your fathers; 19 But with the precious blood of Christ, as of a lamb without blemish and without spot: 20
When I survey the wondrous cross
        on which the Prince of Glory died;
        my richest gain I count but loss,
        and pour contempt on all my pride.

2.      Forbid it, Lord, that I should boast,
        save in the death of Christ, my God;
        all the vain things that charm me most,
        I sacrifice them to his blood.

3.      See, from his head, his hands, his feet,
        sorrow and love flow mingled down.
        Did e'er such love and sorrow meet,
        or thorns compose so rich a crown.

4.      Were the whole realm of nature mine,
        that were an offering far too small;
        love so amazing, so divine,
        demands my soul, my life, my all.

Note- Do me a favor, those who read/like the posts- re-post them on other sites as well as the site you read them on. Thanks- John. Don’t forget to scroll down on the timeline [FaceBookl#] - I have posted lots. visit- my radio shows.