Welcome to the tenth podcast as I reach my first milestone in podcasting. Thanks once again for joining me. You can read today’s broadcast and all my previous ones as well at dreamwalker1960.com.
Today we will look into today’s world and how most have a misunderstanding of wealth. I apologies if this broadcast runs a bit long but the topic needs the time given to it.
First off we need to look again to Laodicea and what we established about this city. It was a city of commerce placed at the crossroads of major trade routes. They were so wealth that a few decades before they were mentioned in the book of Revelation, which was written in the last decade of the first century. This city was devastated by an earthquake. Yet due to their wealth they needed no outside money to rebuild the city.
Now we look at the world today. The majority of it’s wealth is due to worldwide commerce. A wealth on a global scale that is unequal to any other time in history. As an example in 1900 the average annual income for a carpenter was around just over $1000 per year. In 2018 the average was $47000 per year. Now I know there has been inflation and other factors to make this $47000 appear to not be much. But let’s just look at the pure numbers themselves. Going from $1000 per year to $47000 per year in just over one hundred years. Just look at this from perspective of the carpenter of 1900. Earning 47 years of his annual salary in one year. This simple comparison shows how wealth has increased over forty times in just over one hundred years. The discussion is not about the other factors that apply to this income. It is the pure cash itself to show how much wealth is in the world today.
Is that the city of Laodicea and the world today are and were both cash rich aka wealthy. Which helps to identify the time we now live within as the era of the lukewarm.
Now the other day I had a discussion about my earlier podcast entitled: “You are a ‘lukewarm’ if……..” Again you can read that at dreamwalker1960.com or listen to it in your history where ever you are accessing this podcast. In this discussion the point came up about my mention of the need for a couple or a single person to have need for a large home or mansion to live in.
In those podcasts I address the young rich man and Christ reply to the disciples about how difficult it is for a rich person to get into heaven. Due to this discussion I see the need to expand on the information given to us in the Bible itself.
1 John 3:17 – If someone has enough money to live well and sees a brother or sister in need but shows no compassion—how can God’s love be in that person?
Let’s look at it in the King James.
“But whoso hath this world’s good, and seeth his brother have need, and shutteth up his bowels of compassion from him, how dwelleth the love of God in him?”
This world’s – G2889 – kosmos – orderly arrangement, i.e. decoration, by implication the world (in a wide or narrow sense including it inhabitance literarily or figuratively) [Strong’s]
Good – G979 – bios – life, i.e. (literarily) the present state of existence, by implication the means of livelihood. [Strong’s]
To paraphrase the TDNT. The use of the word “kosmos” was something that was just coming into existence in the first century. Its use in the Bible was mainly done by John who wrote the books of John, 1 John, 2 John and Revelation. It’s reference here was pointed toward Strong’s word of “decoration.” Simply adornments of the body and of the home. What we call luxuries. However, his point was that these decorations were not the treasures of heaven but of the world.
To state this verse in its basic terms if someone who calls themselves “Christian” yet have the riches of the world however sees his or her fellow Christian in need financially and does nothing for them then how can God truly be in them.
Is this not a description of a “lukewarm.”
1 Timothy 6:17-19 – Teach those who are rich in this world not to be proud and not to trust in their money, which is so unreliable. Their trust should be in God, who richly gives us all we need for our enjoyment. 18 Tell them to use their money to do good. They should be rich in good works and generous to those in need, always being ready to share with others. 19 By doing this they will be storing up their treasure as a good foundation for the future so that they may experience true life.
This verse describes how those given worldly wealth should use that wealth if they call themselves “Christian.” So let’s look at this in the KJV.
Verse 17 – Charge them that are rich in this world, that they be not highminded, nor trust in uncertain riches, but in the living God, who giveth us richly all things to enjoy;
Them that are rich – G4145 – plousios – wealthy; figuratively abounding with [Strong’s}
World – G165 – aion – an age by extension perpetuity by implication the world [Strong’s]
Highminded – G5309 – hypselophroneo – to be lofty in mind, arrogant [Strong’s]
a – arrogant – unpleasantly proud and behaving as if you are more important than, or know more than, other people:
There is so much to unwrap just in this one verse. First off if you are rich. It is not you who made you so. God has given you everything.
Now let’s look at this from the point that I started this discussion with. That we now live within a rich era. Most people in general live a life that is full of earthly riches. Which in turn has led many to a mentality that their way is the right way. That they know better how others should live. So they make it their business to get into that other people’s business. This is high-mindedness.
We are also not to trust in worldly wealth. We are to look to God and enjoy what he has given us. However, we now need to go on to the next verse where we are given exact points on how those that are rich are to live their wealthy lives.
Verse 18 – That they do good, that they be rich in good works, ready to distribute, willing to communicate;
That they do good – G14 – agathoergeo- to work good, do good [Strong’s]
That they be rich – G4147 – plouteo – to be (or become) wealthy [Strong’s]
Good – G2570 – kalos – beautiful, but chiefly good, i.e. valuable or virtuous [Strong’s]
a – virtuous – having good moral qualities and behavior:
Works – G2041 – ergon – (to work); toil (as an effort or occupation); by implication an act [Strong’s]
In the TDNT they spend seventeen and a half pages discussing the word “works.” Its usage in the old and new Testaments. It’s meaning in Jewish society in Old Testament times and Greco-Roman times. It’s meaning to Plato and Aristotle. How Philo applied it and how Paul meant it to be used in the letters he wrote. What I boiled it down to is this. There are acts. Like paying taxes and there are works like helping your fellow human being in coming to the Lord God through Jesus Christ.
We all perform “acts.” And many today consider them to be “works.” The word “works” should always be considered doing something for the glory of God. Is God glorified when you pay your taxes? No He is not. Here is my point going back to 1 John 3:17. A Christian with money sees a fellow Christian in tough times. The one with money says: “Well this is why I pay taxes they should just go on welfare.” That is an act, it is also high-mindedness. Another Christian with money sees their fellow disciple in Christ in dire straits and gives them money enough to pay their bills feed their family and get them by until they can get on their feet once again. That is works. As is witnessed by the next part of verse 18.
Ready to distribute – G1511, G2130 – einai, eumetadotos
Einai – present in; to exist
Eumetadotos – good at imparting, i.e. liberal
a – imparting – to grant a share of, bestow
a1 – bestow – to give something as an honor or present
b – liberal – Given, used, or occurring in generous amounts.
Willing to communicate – G2843 – koinonikos – communicative, (pecuniarily) liberal
a – pecuniarly – in terms of money, financially
b – liberal – giving generously
So what are the points that have been established in this verse:
1) They do work that is good toward the will of God.
2) That they seek to be virtuous and thus valuable to God
3) They be ready to give willingly and generously of their money that has been given to them by God at a moment’s notice
4) That they make it known verbally that they are ready to be generous to those within the Christian community and showing no restraint in how much they are willing to give.
How is it possible to achieve these four points if most people’s money is tied up in a huge house, a fancy car or cars, maybe two homes or other things of the world?
This is how Jesus saw this issue.
Luke 12:13-21 – Then someone called from the crowd, “Teacher, please tell my brother to divide our father’s estate with me.” 14 Jesus replied, “Friend, who made me a judge over you to decide such things as that?” 15 Then he said, “Beware! Guard against every kind of greed. Life is not measured by how much you own.” 16 Then he told them a story: “A rich man had a fertile farm that produced fine crops. 17 He said to himself, ‘What should I do? I don’t have room for all my crops.’ 18 Then he said, ‘I know! I’ll tear down my barns and build bigger ones. Then I’ll have room enough to store all my wheat and other goods. 19 And I’ll sit back and say to myself, “My friend, you have enough stored away for years to come. Now take it easy! Eat, drink, and be merry!”’ 20 “But God said to him, ‘You fool! You will die this very night. Then who will get everything you worked for?’ 21 “Yes, a person is a fool to store up earthly wealth but not have a rich relationship with God.”
This is why James says this in James 5
Verses 1-6 – Look here, you rich people: Weep and groan with anguish because of all the terrible troubles ahead of you. 2 Your wealth is rotting away, and your fine clothes are moth-eaten rags. 3 Your gold and silver are corroded. The very wealth you were counting on will eat away your flesh like fire. This corroded treasure you have hoarded will testify against you on the day of judgment. 4 For listen! Hear the cries of the field workers whom you have cheated of their pay. The cries of those who harvest your fields have reached the ears of the Lord of Heaven’s Armies. 5 You have spent your years on earth in luxury, satisfying your every desire. You have fattened yourselves for the day of slaughter. 6 You have condemned and killed innocent people, who do not resist you.
This echoes what Christ said in Matthew 6:19-21, but in a sterner manner.
The world we now live within is filled with worldly riches which has distracted many away from God. Seeking after one’s own personal desires and wants is counter to what is taught in 1 Timothy 6. The majority of wealth per these verses should be managed in such fashion that the majority of it is set to be used for those within the body of Christ. This is witnessed in Mark 12
Verses 41-44 – Jesus sat down near the collection box in the Temple and watched as the crowds dropped in their money. Many rich people put in large amounts. 42 Then a poor widow came and dropped in two small coins. 43 Jesus called his disciples to him and said, “I tell you the truth, this poor widow has given more than all the others who are making contributions. 44 For they gave a tiny part of their surplus, but she, poor as she is, has given everything she had to live on.”
This gives you the true image of how those that profess to be “Christian” should be handling their money for God. The majority should be set aside for God and for use by body of Christ.
Simply those that say a person should tithe ten percent of their wealth to the church is wrong. It should be a majority of whatever their income is to be set aside for those within the Body of Christ and it is to be managed by the person that earned it. All the while they live off the least amount possible of their income. Then when someone within the Body of Christ has dire need this majority share it is able to be gotten into quickly and able to given freely without any concern if its return for it is a gift. Not by the giver but from God.
However this is not how those that live in today’s world can accept this philosophy. Why? Because they have never been taught the correct way to be a true child of God. All are guilty of this. All are sinners in this aspect of their lives. That includes me. All we can do is strife to correct this error.
For due to these riches our true focal point is not God, but ourselves. We have all broken the first commandment.
“Thou shalt have no other gods before me.” Exodus 20:3
Which is why Jesus Christ said:
“No one can serve two masters. For you will hate one and love the other; you will be devoted to one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and be enslaved to money.” Mathew 6:24