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There were two dramatic times the Lord Jesus Christ revealed his anger at those who sold at the temple. For some reason most people think he cleansed the temple only once, but it is obvious he did it twice. We can read about the first time at the beginning of his ministry, and the second time at the end of his ministry. It behooves us, therefore, to investigate these verses because of ungodly Christian businesses today. Look out!

Flippin–n-Whippin

Part 1   Part 2   Part 3   Part 4   Part 5

Flippin–n-Whippin

Part 1

There were two dramatic times the Lord Jesus Christ revealed his anger at those who sold at the temple. For some reason, most people think he cleansed the temple only once, but it is obvious he did it twice. We can read about the first time at the beginning of his ministry, and the second time at the end of his ministry. It behooves us, therefore, to investigate these verses because of ungodly Christian businesses today. Look out!

Let us take a look at the first temple cleansing in John 2:13-16:

" And the Jews’ passover was at hand, and Jesus went up to Jerusalem, And found in the temple those that sold oxen and sheep and doves, and the changers of money sitting: And when he had made a scourge of small cords, he drove them all out of the temple, and the sheep, and the oxen and poured out the changers’ money, and overthrew the tables And said unto them that sold doves, Take these things hence make not my Father’s house an house of merchandise."

Of course, the Lord Jesus had been coming to the temple for about thirty years before this, so the businesses weren’t new to him. But God has a timetable he is working from, and it was at this moment the first cleansing took place.

The scripture says he “found in the temple” – something - as if he were inspecting the premises. You know, like the boss coming over to see how you are doing, but knowing you have been having a rubber band fight with your fellow employees. We might think the Father came to his temple, by his Son, knowing things were not in good order. And what did he find that angered him? Parishioners not tithing? Women wearing pants? Uncoordinated colors in the sanctuary? Nope, he found people carrying on businesses in the name of God.

When I was a young Christian attending a Nazarene church, the topic of selling was brought up from time to time. (They, like most, think the church is the building though they claim otherwise.) Some of the old timers would recall when they didn’t sell anything at the church on Sundays, because it was wrong, or even a sin. But as time went on, they allowed selling in the parking lot after services, if it was for a worthy cause. Then the selling moved from the parking lot to the sidewalk, then to the foyer outside the sanctuary, and then to the pulpit. Once, a visiting evangelist hawked his tapes and books from the pulpit, before and after his message, and offered a discount if you bought in quantity. Have you heard other preachers pitching something like a large print Bible - absolutely free – if you donate a hundred dollars to their ministry? Oy vey, such a deal!

Some churches have their own shops now. Another church I attended had a bookstore off their foyer, with the main entrance outside. During the week, they sold Bibles, study books, tapes, music, other publications, and, of course, Christian knickknacks. It was open for business on Sundays too. But, so as not to tempt any of their 8,000 members into the store during the services, it was closed then but opened promptly after the benediction.

I see in the scripture there were four levels of businesses: those who sold oxen (big businesses), those who sold sheep (medium businesses), those who sold doves (small businesses), and those who exchanged temple money for common money (small to large white collar businesses).

Scribes explain the livestock was being sold only for sacrifices, but I wonder if they sold animals, also, to those who traveled from afar …for barbecue! After all, someone had to have a food ministry for the wayfaring worshippers when they got to town. Why not? A large group could pitch in, and buy a beef to stuff themselves during the holy days, as it was party time in Jerusalem, like religious holidays are today. After all, nobody goes to a festival and packs a peanut butter and jelly sandwich, or goes on a Caribbean cruise and totes a pop tart, do they.

The entry-level entrepreneurs could easily catch or raise doves, and sell them to those of modest means, or to the white-meat-only faithful. And maybe some of the money changers were just starting out in business, and didn’t care for shoveling cow poop, or cleaning bird cages, and tried their investment skills at swapping temple coins for a fee.

This reminds me when I was a Marine in the Vietnam War. We were paid in MPC (Military Payment Certificates) which was a special currency issued instead of greenbacks. MPC helped to keep servicemen’s pay from flowing to the native population, and then into the hands of the enemy. You see, Vietnamese money wasn’t worth much, but American money was, and there were money changers all around. Some were just little boys and girls in remote villages, who would go and exchange greenbacks, if you had them, for MPC. Then you’d get MPC back, plus ten percent more in MPC. These little tikes also sold factory rolled marijuana cigarettes (ten for a dollar), liquor, and warm bottles of coke. I remember a little fellow having no bottle opener for a soda, and used his businessman’s ingenuity to twist the cap off with his teeth to make the sale. This was when you still needed a bottle opener to lever the tops off.

Anyway, when the Lord Jesus found businesses gathered in his name, he proceeded to get violent. His dramatization was somewhat like rolling up a newspaper, and smacking it against your hand to notify the dog he’s been a bad boy or shaking a wooden spoon at your child if he’s up to no good. When my dogs would start barking in the backyard, they knew when I stepped outside, waving the broom above my head, it was time to stop. I attribute their response to brooming them a few times as puppies, and consequently, they understood semaphore later. Likewise, I think if the Lord Jesus comes to you flippin’–n- whippin’ you might want to reconsider your activities though many people aren’t as smart as dogs.

Make a note: The Lord Jesus didn’t just whirl the whip and toss the tables. He gave a command to the dove salesmen:

“Take these things hence make not my Father’s house an house of merchandise.”

I suspect there are a few reasons Jesus directed the command to them. The oxen and the sheep were on the loose, and the cowboys and sheepherders had gone off on an emergency roundup. But the dove retailers stayed behind with their stock, because the Lord didn’t let the birds loose, and leave the poor owners poorer. That was nice. He also may have figured the dove dealers weren’t selling full time yet, and could quit sooner than the bovine businessmen could or would.

Make another note: When the Lord Jesus commands us not to make his Father’s house or church, or foyer, or auditorium, or fellowship hall, or parking lot a store - it will be the devil’s boys who are sure to do it.

Flippin–n-Whippin

Part 2

About three and a half years after the first temple cleansing, the Lord Jesus gave a repeat performance to show his great disapproval of conducting business in his name. This episode is mentioned three times in the gospels; so, at least by repetition, it ought to sink into our heads. Let’s look at Matthews account in Chapter 21:12-13:

"And Jesus went into the temple of God, and cast out all them that sold and bought in the temple, and overthrew the tables of the moneychangers, and the seats of them that sold doves, And said unto them, It is written, My house shall be called the house of prayer but ye have made it a den of thieves."

During the first cleansing (John 2:13-16) only the sellers were rebuked, but in the second cleansing, the buyers were also rebuked for being accessories to the crime. Listen: The ungodly religious business is like the illegal drug business. If there are no buyers, there are no sellers. However, the sellers of drugs know if they can create a demand for their product, they will also create buyers. Likewise, the racketeering religion in Jesus’ day, by tradition and ordinance, by stress and duress, and by cajoles and schemes, convinced the people of a mandatory seal of approval for sacrificial animals, along with the approved type of money to buy them with. These procedures were intended to rake in money for an evil agenda, and it is still doing today.

Sometimes it is easy to create a demand for a so-called Christian product or project. For example, a sheepskin toting and clothed preacher can pretend to look you in the eye from the television and proclaim, “Every Christian needs my book!” And of course, if we need his product for our betterment, a price is attached. Thank you, brother. But I wonder if he is my brother. If he is, why is he going to charge me for that which is needful? If I was hungry, and in need to fill my belly, would he sell me a hamburger? If I was thirsty, and in need to wet my whistle, would he sell me a drink? If I was naked, and in need to hiding my shame, would he sell me a sheet? Yep, he would, and they do. They are like your Uncle Sam, but I must ask, “Is he really your uncle?” If he is, would he tax you? I think not. I hear nations tax foreigners and those they conquer, but they do not tax their family members. Even the Lord Jesus pointed this out to Peter one day as the tax collector approached:

"What thinkest thou, Simon? of whom do the kings of the earth take custom or tribute? of their own children, or of strangers? Peter saith unto him, Of strangers. Jesus saith unto him, Then are the children free. Notwithstanding, lest we should offend them, go thou to the sea, and cast an hook, and take up the fish that first cometh up and when thou hast opened his mouth, thou shalt find a piece of money: that take, and give unto them for me and thee." (Matthew 17:25-27)

Sometimes it is difficult to create a demand for a so-called Christian product or project. For example, the biggest endeavor and expense a church usually has is a temple - ah, I mean, sanctuary. This can take a considerable amount of doing to convince the congregation to commit to a long-term loan, and is one reason they teach you to give tithes and offerings with your name or personal number attached to it. This is, however, contrary to the give-in-secret teaching of Jesus Christ. (Matthew 6:1-4) With their offering records, they can go to a bank, and present the information to help obtain a good credit rating and the loan. But more importantly, the nosey can see who is giving and who isn’t, and who the big fish are. This knowledge encourages the priests and pastors to suck up to the high rollers because they are the primary contributors to their paychecks. Did you ever notice the biggest expense most churches have is their staff? Many ministers, besides their salary, receive such benefits as family health insurance, vehicle insurance, car and gas allowance, continuing education tuition and books, sabbaticals, bonuses, holiday and birthday gifts, paid vacations, and seminars that include air, hotel, and restaurant reimbursements. Of course, if the priest or pastor is meeting his lover at the seminar, the church doesn't pay for her - or him - because they are his secret. And did you also ever notice, many, if not most church budgets presented for the congregation’s perusal, do not give a lump sum for the cost of their clergymen, but it is divided up and hidden in different expense categories. My friend, this is by deceptive design and not an oversight. Clerics can also be entitled to special government perks, such as exclusion from the military draft and jury duty, and to income tax deductions not unlike the state priests of Pharaoh. (Genesis 47:20-26) Are you aware that the state churches in America do not pay property taxes because they are the property of the state? After all, the state does not tax itself.

One argument to build a new sanctuary (unless you have a charismatic pastor), is the pew potatoes will not sit thigh to thigh because they need their personal space, except for the romantically same-sex inclined. In other words, people are more concerned about their comfort than the message of a mediocre preacher and need wiggle room until the benedictory lunch bell is prayed. And because of this truth, many a church has doubled the size of its congregations by simply building and offering more space to potential customers.

For census sake, one fellow, on a Catholic radio show, suggested building the biggest church in town, and lots of people would come just because of that. This is called, “The Cathedral Effect.” Whole cities and nations have been formed around such edifices, including the tower of Babel. Hmmm. I wonder if anyone has thought to build a crystal cathedral, with glass panels for walls and ceilings, and a large portion of a wall that dramatically swings open to the outdoors, allowing birds to freely fly inside, and excrete their intestinal contents on the congregation. What an idea, ay?

As mentioned in the verse under scrutiny, Jesus began to cast the buyers and sellers out, and he is still doing so today. Why just a while ago, I heard of a den o’ thieves who have mightily used their borrowing power and are over forty million dollars behind in debt. But, being a non-profit corporation, it affords the spenders of the forty million no liability, and they will not be directly affected when the church goes bankrupt. But look out, I do believe I hear that old whip a crackin’!

Now take a look at the place you meet at. It is either a house of prayer, or a den of thieves, but it cannot be both. If you sell, you smell but if you pray, this is the way.

 

Flippin–n-Whippin

Part 3

 

In Part 2 of Flippin-n-Whippin, we looked at Matthew’s account of the second cleansing of the temple, when the Lord rebuked those who were buying and selling in his name. They were a den of thieves. Now we are going to look at Mark and Luke’s account because they added a little more insight. As a matter of fact, it is always a good idea to study and compare the same events in the scripture when they are in different locations. Many times the accounts are not identical and have obvious independent points to make and sometimes there are subtle savory nuances. However, if two or more passages are identical, you can assume that God is emphasizing the same point over and over again for repetitious teaching, and thick heads. Me included.

In Marks account, there is the added information that the Lord Jesus “would not suffer that any man should carry any vessel through the temple.” (Mark 11:16) Not only was the Lord flippin-n-whippin about the religious merchants, buyers, and money changers, he also accosted those who were trying to move retail religiouswear through the temple area. I guess God doesn’t like it, even if it is just passing through his place, or being (supposedly) offered for free.

In regards to free, you’ve probably seen this jig used when a business or ministry is trying to give you something without charge, but it is what they call a “lost leader.” A loss leader is a giveaway to hook you into buying something later. A preacher’s lost leader may be a small free item, like a booklet or lapel pen that you ask for. Sometimes to sharpen the lure’s barb, they may ask you to give them your prayer request too. So you write or call, and of course, you have to give them your name and address which they never had before, and they send you the item. Now they have your number so to speak, (and that’s all you are to them), and they know from religious marketing statistics, for every person that responds to the lost leader, a certain percentage will also respond to future direct donation requests, or buy one of their products. It is a simple fact that the more names they net by casting out their lures, the more people will respond with money in the future. If a hundred lost leaders will get them a thousand dollars, then a thousand lost leaders will get them ten thousand dollars, and ten thousand lost leaders will get them a hundred thousand dollars. Do the math. All fishermen understand this principle. You can’t hook a fish on a lure unless it gets cast into the sea to attract the fish and the more times you cast, the more fish you may catch. Talk about fishy…

When I was a new Christian, I was donating money to one television ministry from two checking accounts: the ministry account, and my personal account. As I remember, I stopped giving from the personal account but was still giving from the ministry account. As time passed, I got a nasty form letter from the preacher. He told me I wasn’t giving lately, and others were footing the bill for his program being aired in my area. Shame on me! It was kind of a last resort letter to embarrass me into giving, but if it made me mad, it wouldn’t make any difference because I wasn’t giving anyway – he thought.

Also, there was another time a very popular evangelist asked his viewers to commit to his special charity and pay the pledge over time. I was paying off my pledge by the month, and his ministry would send a receipt with the new balance. Finally, I decided to send off the whole thing since I had it but didn‘t put my account number on the check. After a while, I received an intimidating bill for the balance due, with large red letters notifying me of the transgression. It was like a public utility warning me they were about to shut off the power if I didn’t pay up, or a credit card company going to hand me over to a collection agency. Well, that’s the way it goes with those look-you-in-the-eye television preachers.

Also in Marks account of the second temple cleansing, he tells of the so-called religious men of the day, upon hearing they were being called thieves, “sought how they might destroy him: for they feared him, for all the people were astonished at his doctrine.” (Mark 11:18) Luke added: “And he taught daily in the temple. But the chief priests and the scribes and the chief of the people sought to destroy him, And could not find what they might do: for all the people were very attentive to hear him.” (Luke 19:47-48)

Are you getting the picture on this? God had made himself a man, was walking among his own people, instructing and showing them the way to heaven, but the chief priest, the scholarly scribes, and other respected leaders of the community wanted to murder him. Why? Because he was taking away their glory as pious potentates. In other words, the spiritual and civil leaders were really wolves in sheep’s clothing, with sheepskin diplomas on their walls, and were pulling the wool over everyone’s eyes. But you, as a disciple of Jesus Christ, and student of his word, ought to know the truth by what kind of fruit these thieves are collecting in their collection baskets and plates. What do they collect from you at church, or from their television studios, and other outreaches? Your joy as you walk in the truth? (III John 1:4) Your testimony of how the Lord Jesus Christ saved you from the pit of hell one day? Your praises to God? Your gratitude for the life-changing and healing power of his word?

Now, here is a little fruit I would like to put in your collection basket if you want something more important than money. When you read the name of Jesus in scripture, or any of his other names, or pronouns, think at the same time “the Word of God.” For example, take this scripture:

“I am the vine, ye are the branches: He that abideth in me, and I in him, the same bringeth forth much fruit: for without me ye can do nothing. If a man abide not in me, he is cast forth as a branch, and is withered and men gather them, and cast them into the fire, and they are burned.” (John 15:5-6)

Now when you read it again and see the words I and me, you can think at the same time, “the Word of God,” like this…

The Word of God is the vine, ye are the branches: He that abideth in the Word of God, and the Word of God in him, the same bringeth forth much fruit: for without the Word of God ye can do nothing. If a man abide not in the Word of God, he is cast forth as a branch, and is withered and men gather them, and cast them into the fire, and they are burned.

This is not a quote, of course, but it is a powerful commentary, which emphasizes the greatness of Christ, and why the religious and civic leaders wanted to destroy him, the Word of God. How do they try to destroy the Word of God today? By omissions, additions, twists and turns, and that, by a little or by a lot. We can use the Authorized Bible translation, known also as the 1611 King James Version, to compare to the New International Version on a few points.

In the New International Version, in regards to casting out obstinate devils, (Matthew 17:20-21), verse 21 is totally missing, which is, “Howbeit this kind goeth not out but by prayer and fasting.” As a matter of fact, the NIV’s verse numbering in this chapter goes …19, 20, 22, 23….

In the same incident, in Mark 9:29, the verse and the word “prayer” is in the NIV, but “fasting” is omitted. And on another subject, in I Corinthians 7:5, fasting is again omitted by the NIV. The Authorized Version states: “Defraud ye not one the other, except it be with consent for a time, that ye may give yourselves to fasting and prayer and come together again, that Satan tempt you not for your incontinency.”

Well, figure it out. If part of the equation of casting out pigheaded devils, and other important activities, has to do with the combination of prayer and fasting, who do you think got rid of the fasting in the NIV?

These are not a few and far between examples of such omissions, and there have been many books written about the thousands of missing words, phrases, sentences, and paragraphs deleted from the scripture, especially copyrighted Bibles. Copyrighting is something to think about, as God’s word is not copyrighted because he is not in the money making book business. You may copyright your word because you thought it up, but you cannot copyright God’s word unless you are God. It’s just a fact. And another fact is, God has already preserved his perfect unadulterated words as his inspired Psalmist wrote:

“The words of the LORD are pure words: as silver tried in a furnace of earth, purified seven times. Thou shalt keep them, O LORD, thou shalt preserve them from this generation for ever.” (Psalm 12:6-7)

So, if someone wants to make a business of selling their aberrant copyrighted Bibles, flippin-n-whippin is probably not far behind.

One of the characteristics of the devil’s boys on this subject of omissions is revealed in the Lord Jesus’ temptation in the wilderness. Satan tried to use the scripture to talk Christ into doing something foolish, like jumping off the pinnacle of the temple, by omitting words, and using the scripture out of context. The devil said:

“He shall give his angels charge concerning thee: and in their hands they shall bear thee up, lest at any time thou dash thy foot against a stone.” (Matthew 4:6)

What he omitted was the conjunction “For” at the beginning of the sentence, which indicates the previous sentence was directly tied to it. And then, after the first phrase, there should be a comma instead of a colon, followed by the omitted phrase “to keep thee in all thy ways.” It may sound complicated, but it all makes sense how the omitter changed the meaning by his manipulation.

Here, compare what the devil said to the true citation in context:

“Because thou hast made the LORD, which is my refuge, even the most High, thy habitation There shall no evil befall thee, neither shall any plague come nigh thy dwelling. For he shall give his angels charge over thee, to keep thee in all thy ways. They shall bear thee up in their hands, lest thou dash thy foot against a stone.” (Psalm 91:9-12)

How tickled the tempter would have been to have pulled off his trick with a corrupt quotation, especially in light of what the next verse reveals about those who make the Lord their refuge and their habitation:

“Thou shalt tread upon the lion and adder: the young lion and the dragon shalt thou trample under feet.” (Psalm 91:13)

So, do your homework, and you can understand a disciple of the Word of God is to be trampling on slithery spiritual serpents, but not tricked into suicidal scenarios. And furthermore, God’s angels are assigned to help you along the way so you don’t stumble and tumble around too much, like a parent holding on to their child’s hand as he learns to walk.

I have noticed some of the current copyrighted Bibles have in their first editions more omitted portions than they have now, or placed the omitted parts as footnotes somewhere else.

When I was a child, I received a Revised Standard Bible at confirmation in the fifth grade. Confirmation for us was to go through a little group course with the church minister, and “Voila!” we were on our way to heaven, and got a Bible to put in a drawer somewhere. Well, as an adult reading the RSV, after being born again, I saw in the last chapter of Mark, Chapter 16, a not so cheery ending which concluded at verse 8, and this is what it said:

“So they went out and fled from the tomb, for terror and amazement had seized them and they said nothing to anyone, for they were afraid.”

It seemed peculiar to end the good Videos with bad Videos, but by and by, I did notice several footnotes with the omitted text in small print. Here the scholars reasoned why they cut and degraded these twelve verses. So, I guess over time, and having received lots of complaints, they put the text back in some cases, but still kept the unsavory footnote . Beware of the scribes….” (Mark 12:38-40)

One extreme case of omissions is the Reader’s Digest rendition of the Bible that flaunts its butchery skills as a selling point, with 55 percent of the Old Testament chopped off, and 25 percent of the New Testament cut out. Of course, after I heard about this Bible and saw it in a store, I immediately looked up Revelation 22:19 to see if it was missing. It was.

“And if any man shall take away from the words of the book of this prophecy, God shall take away his part out of the book of life, and out of the holy city, and from the things which are written in this book.”

And so, because the religious and civic leaders were envious that Jesus Christ commanded the attention and astonishment of all the people, they sought, and still seek, to destroy his word. In America, this is happening at an accelerated rate perpetrated by scholars, pastors, and priests discrediting the scripture by taking away the Bible from public school use by removing the Ten Commandments from municipal properties and by promoting political correctness instead of the righteousness of God.

Flippin–n-Whippin

Part 4

The Lord Jesus doesn’t express himself in frivolous terms like you and I might, for he says what he means and means what he says. So when he told those who were buying and selling at the temple they were “a den of thieves,” it was no light accusation. He meant they had conspired to use the temple as a hideout for crooked businesses under the banner of religion. Of course, the same crooks are in churches today.

Let me add this as a side note: Something helpful to study the scripture with, is a good dictionary. I use a modern Webster Dictionary, and a facsimile of his 1828 edition. Webster was a Christian, and in his original dictionaries he used many Bible quotations for word examples, and most of the words of the Authorized Version are there.

When we look up the word den, for example, as in “den of thieves,” we see it is the lair (living place) of a wild, usually predatory animal a hollow or cavern used for a hideout a center of secret activity. Now this doesn’t sound like the folks down at your neighborhood church, or your favorite television ministry, or the guys who dress up in ballroom gowns over at the pontiff’s palace, does it? (Well, to most it doesn’t seem that way. But it is that way.) And notice the religious thieves have camouflaged their dens, their lairs, their caverns, and their hideouts, with religious architecture, and accessories: steeples, crosses, crucifixes, confessionals, baptisteries, altars, kneelers, pews, pulpits, communion tables, flags statues and pictures of Jesus, his apostles and angels as well as images of their own denominational gods and heroes. How diabolically ingenious!

Therefore we can note that the devil’s boys have studied the word of truth, and know and put this truth into practice: “…the LORD seeth not as man seeth for man looketh on the outward appearance, but the LORD looketh on the heart.” (I Samuel 16:7) Sinful ignorant men operate by what they see in lieu of the truth most of the time, but the born again bunch ought to “walk by faith, not by sight.” (II Corinthians 5:7) Those who are selling religious merchandize do not care for you personally, but they do personally care for your money, and have their hearts “exercised with covetous practices.” (II Peter 2:14) “And through covetousness shall they with feigned words make merchandise of you: whose judgment now of a long time lingereth not, and their damnation slumbereth not.” (II Peter 2:3)

Making merchandise of us sounds funny, doesn’t it? But when you consider that pastors can be hired these days for a salary, plus a percentage of the tithes and offerings they bring in, and sell their pastorship to another preacher for a price, you may realize that you are a commodity. Also, a pastor or priest who is leaving a church, may coax the powers that be into giving the position to someone he recommends. Then that hired recommendee will, in turn, do favors for his benefactor, by having him come back for honorarium preaching engagements, or by giving him an outright cash present. Along the same line, denominational leaders may use their weight to get a preacher a job, with the same hope of being paid back plenty down the road. For example, you may think the visiting district superintendent is preaching at your church Sunday morning and night as part of his job, but he may be actually withdrawing from your tithes and offerings his travel, hotel, and restaurant expenses, plus a hefty honorarium, which may be several times your daily wage. (Sometimes you have to poke around in the church budget and ask questions to uncover these cover-ups.)

For some reason this reminds me of the pastor I knew who had cornered the ministry market with a monopoly of family members at his fellowship. He was the senior pastor, his wife the church counselor, his nephew the youth pastor, his niece the administrative secretary, his uncle the once a year revivalist, and his cousin his fill in pastor when he was away. Now that is what I call a pack of wolves, or a den of lions, or a brood of vipers. My friend, there are big bucks to be made in the religion world – millions and billions - and lots of crooks who want part of the action. And unfortunately they know you would investigate the ingredients of a box of dry cereal sooner than you would investigate their seedy serial backgrounds. Do not be naïve!

Another word, thief, is worth looking up, as in “den of thieves.” A thief is one who steals, especially stealthily or secretly: he may boldly rob you with a gun, or pick your pocket unawares.

There are many church robbers out there, like the preachers who declare if you don’t give to their cause or ministry and it fails, you will be personally held responsible to God. And there are the stickup artists who ambush you from behind the pulpit by poking their Hallelujah Offering in your face. In this plot, they surprisingly order the congregation to file out row by row, march on down to the offering plates on the communion table, and surrender their tithes and offerings in front of the peering eyes of their accomplices. Also there is the ministerial muggers who accosts you with a new church expense, and have the ushers pass out promissory notes to sign and turn in, or have you stand up and make a public commitment to retire the debt. Anyone care to remain seated? I think not.

Some religious thieves are not only bold robbers but stealthy stealers. Take those traveling evangelists and TV ministers who say they have personally founded an orphanage down in the Caribbean, or a home for wayward pregnant girls in an inner city. They’ll show you an informative presentation, and sure enough the facility has their ministry sign on it, with smiling children and counselors crowded around. They might even be in the pictures too. However, the same orphanage or girl’s home may have many so-called founders, and each founder has his own ministry’s sign in the exact same place, with the same smiling children and counselors. Of course the orphanage or girls home is happy to oblige for the photo shoots for a monthly fee or one lump sum.

Another stealthy scenario is the whimpering pastor from the pulpit who doesn’t have money to fly his daughter home from college for the holidays, which encourages the compassionate congregation to take an offering to help, even though he makes twice the amount as the average Joe in the congregation. And sometime later, he humbly informs the board of directors of his family’s exorbitant health insurance cost, and asks for a salary increase. And still later, he confesses he is unfortunately delinquent on back income taxes, and pleads for an emergency loan of thousands of dollars. This, however, he will not repay due to being caught in his affair with the church secretary he brought from his other church, and will pack up pell-mell, leaving in the middle of the night to destinations unknown. Many of these pleadings by pastors may happen within the first six months of their employment, because they know (while they are on the “honeymoon” with their new congregation) they can get most anything they pine for.

Listen up! The thieving theologian thespians at church have a lot in common with the whores down at the brothel but those who frequent the brothels are not under the illusion that the happy hooker gives a hoot about them, while the regular attending parishioners think their hired hands love them lots. My friend, take away their paychecks and they will soon be packing it up and heading down the road to Mammonville, telling those new folks how much they love them too.

Flippin–n-Whippin

Part 5

You’d think (by appearances anyway) that religious practitioners are of the highest order but keep in mind if the temple of God was a secret hideout for thieves then, “the Lord’s house” is being used for the same today. Usually, the biggest giveaway is their selling of religious merchandise a little or a lot, and they are in need of some of that ol’ time Flippin-n-Whippin.

Church corruption was not a new phenomenon when the Lord Jesus dramatically alerted the congregation to its dangers by tossing tables, cracking a whip, and pronouncing, “My house is a house of prayer, but you have made it a den of thieves.” (Luke 19:46) Even six hundred years before that incident, the prophet Ezekiel sounded the alarm after he was given a supernatural eye opener, and saw what was really playing out behind the backdrop of the religious stage. We ought to appropriate these truths the Lord reveals, and sound the alarm to our ignorant brethren as noted in Revelation 18:4-5:

“Come out of her, my people, that ye be not partakers of her sins, and that ye receive not of her plagues. For her sins have reached unto heaven, and God hath remembered her iniquities.” Amen to that.

In Ezekiel’s eighth chapter, we read how he was taken up above Jerusalem and got a bird’s eye view of the spiritual state of the Jews and then on the ground, and under and into the courts of the church property, to witness award winning actors running a gigantic religious scam.

In that chapter, there are seven references to abominations. They were in regards to idolatry, and like two peas in a pod, fornication goes hand in hand with idolatry: where you find one, you will surely find the other. So, it is a no-brainer when you see idolatry in religion, fornication is rampant also but most believers have been so deceived that they cannot see the idols for all the images. This is one reason when the Lord Jesus told the inquisitive disciples (Peter, James, John and Andrew) about the last days, he also forewarned them about abominable practices. Are you inquisitive? Thus saith the Lord:

“When ye therefore shall see the abomination of desolation, spoken of by Daniel the prophet, stand in the holy place, (whoso readeth, let him understand:) Then let them which be in Judaea flee into the mountains: Let him which is on the housetop not come down to take any thing out of his house: Neither let him which is in the field return back to take his clothes.” (Matthew 24:15-18)

Many have wondered what the abomination was, especially before the temple and Jerusalem was destroyed in 70 AD. Well, as you can read, the Lord didn’t give us any particulars, and his reference to the book of Daniel is not specific either. Therefore the obvious point being, there is not a detailed description necessary for the abomination to be perceived. It is as plain as if it was standing right in front of you, but ought not to be where Christian people and Christian activities are happening. One may, however, find the abomination standing over at the courthouse, or at the public school, or at the capital, or in the capitol. (By the way, there is a difference between the word capital with an “a” and capitol with an “o” which would be worth your looking up in a good dictionary.) This abomination is a serious thing today, and make a note, it is an idol: a thing made by the hands of men that is worshipped, revered highly, venerated, adored, respected with inordinate affection bowed, saluted, or pledged to and/or glorified along the side of God, or instead of God. It is not hard to hear the truth in that definition is it? But most of you are still in denial.

Talking about idolatry, perhaps you have heard of the numerous pedophile scandals of Roman Catholic priests. This is widely reported because it is serious a crime but consensual adult sex between priests and parishioners, or between pastors and their sheep, is not reported much because it is not a crime in most places. Gossip columns like to spice and serve these saucy scandals up, though, and those revelations may be a good thing. Hmmm! This brings back to my recollection the black chap who wrote a manuscript about his homosexual trysts with a well-known white married man who was a religious TV broadcaster. He was given a tidy sum to keep his tidings unpublished. Also, there was the sexy ministry tart who was doled some treasure from a popular Disneyland style ministry to keep her jibs from flapping in the wind. However, she probably made more money by keeping her jibs up and flapping than striking them down.

Back to the Matthew 24 citation again on the last days…

There is a promise to “whoso readeth, let him understand” about the abomination of desolation. Look at the e-t-h tacked on the end of the word “read.” Readeth means to continue to read and meditate on the scripture without cessation to gain more and more knowledge and wisdom from the Holy Ghost. How simple. And how simple the neglect of not doing so. In other words, if you do not want to know about the abomination of desolation or any other hard sayings of the Bible, do not keep on reading and reading, and surely do not ask God any questions about it. The choice is yours.

Now, when Ezekiel was lifted up by a lock of his hair in Chapter 8, the Lord had him look northward at the gate of the altar where an image of jealousy was: an abominable idol.

You may wonder how the Jews, who were publishers and caretakers of the Ten Commandments, and knew full well about the second one, would put up, and put up with an abominable image. Wasn’t the abomination obvious? Not to them, because they were told it was something else by the devil’s boys, and absorbed this notion through tradition, and could not or did not want to see the truth. (Some things, it seems, are too scary to think about, you know.)

It is like being told crosses represent Christianity because you have seen them all your life, and mostly in a religious context. We can see crosses posted on steeple tops, planted in church grounds, pictured in the Sunday school classrooms, festooned on priests’ ballroom gowns, and dangled prettily from earlobes and chains worn around the neck, as well as printed on flags and literature. But the truth is, the cross was and is the intimidating image of the Roman Empire’s sun god. Probably that is Videos to you, and won’t be digested right away, for it is strong meat and not that baby mush you’ve been eating all your life. You know, the baby mush whose primarily active ingredient is leaven, which creates a lot of hot air and alcohol. Listen. If you do not know the truth about the sun god cross, the joke’s on you - and believe me – you’ve been crossed. How ironic in the Roman Catholic Church, many have made it a habit of crossing themselves during their mindless repetitious praying, and consider their self-crossings a blessing. Ha!

Now think about it: Why was the Lord Jesus crucified on a cross? The cross (the image of the sun god) was used to torment and kill Rome’s worst offenders by crucifixion, tacking and suspending them in space while facing toward their god’s blazing rays, which kept the spectacle well lit, and added to the victim’s distress. But as I recall, we Christians are to preach the cross, not display the cross. (I Corinthians 1:18) In today’s churches, however, crosses, and the wearing of them, are like modern phylacteries which ignorant and phony Christians outwardly depend on to show they are righteously religious. For many others, however, wearing a cross is merely a matter of showing off a standard jewelry item, like a strand of pearls, a lapel pin, or an engagement ring.

Now back to the time and people who knew the second commandment well, but had images in prominent locations – Ezekiel Chapter 8.

We can note after the abomination at the northern gate of the altar, they got worse as Ezekiel got closer to the heart of the temple. And with getting closer to the temple were those ministers who were higher up in the religious food chain, even to the twenty-five prominent priests. Today we might think of that twenty-five as Cardinals, General Superintendents, Bishops, or the Board Members of the various denominations. In addition, the Lord pointed out to Ezekiel that he had left his sanctuary because of the image of jealousy, and the devil’s boys were running the show. (Ezekiel 8:5-6)

What is an image? An image can be a statue of a person, animal, a tree, or anything else found in nature. And the second commandment prohibition refers to the worship of images (not idols per se) and it can be anything that represents something worshiped. It can be a two-dimensional photo or icon, a geometric figure, an emblem, a pattern, a mark, or a number. Do you get it? An image can be something concrete or abstract, or something only certain people are aware of. In Ezekiel 8 if we do not know what the images of abominations are, it is because it is not necessary but we ought to be able to look around and see the ones that populate the planet now.

As we continue in Ezekiel’s tour, he descended to the ground level outside the wall of the public court, but he did not enter through the way of the gate. Instead, he was shown a hole in the wall, a beach, and told to dig it out and find the secret door used to gain access to the congregation. This other way into the sheepfold may remind you of what the Good Shepherd said about false shepherds, and you may have to do some digging in the Bible yourself (some labor) to find out about these secret activities. The good shepherd warned:

“Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that entereth not by the door into the sheepfold, but climbeth up some other way, the same is a thief and a robber. But he that entereth in by the door is the shepherd of the sheep. To him the porter openeth and the sheep hear his voice: and he calleth his own sheep by name, and leadeth them out. And when he putteth forth his own sheep, he goeth before them, and the sheep follow him: for they know his voice. And a stranger will they not follow, but will flee from him: for they know not the voice of strangers.” (John 10:1-5)

Ezekiel found the elders of the nation had climbed into the fold some other way, via their earthly ordinations instead of God’s heavenly appointments. You may have heard of double agents in espionage. Well, there are double clergy who are really sons of perdition like Judas Iscariot. (John 17:12) In Ezekiel’s example, the devil possessed ministers were swinging their incensors to create a spiritual smokescreen to hide their immoral activities, and foolishly believed “The LORD seeth us not the LORD hath forsaken the earth.” (Ezekiel 8:12) But if you think there are no devil possessed people out there today because of the enlightened age we live in, you are wrong. Some of the possessed are wandering homeless in the inner city, others are locked up in state hospitals and prisons, others are subdued by medications, and there is a sizeable number who wear robes or three piece suits and stand behind pulpits. Within the short epistle of Jude the latter group is addressed:

“Beloved, when I gave all diligence to write unto you of the common salvation, it was needful for me to write unto you, and exhort you that ye should earnestly contend for the faith which was once delivered unto the saints. For there are certain men crept in unawares, who were before of old ordained to this condemnation, ungodly men, turning the grace of our God into lasciviousness, and denying the only Lord God, and our Lord Jesus Christ.” (Jude 3-4)

As Ezekiel got closer to the temple, he discovered the devil was an equal opportunity employer, and women were involved in the abominable scheme. (Ezekiel 8:14) The faithful female temple attendees were outside the inner gate, and crying over one of their departed leaders, Tammuz, who was heralded as “the lord of the flocks.” This sobby scene is seen today as people (male or female) carry on when one of the Roman chief goatherders bites the dust, or a popular Protestant preacher or politician passes on. The Tammuz idolaters were in close proximity to the 25 high priests, rubbed more than elbows with the elite, and were hiding their malevolent agendas by emotional theatrics. They were not unlike the weeping and wailing mourners at the home of Jairus, a synagogue’s ruler. His little daughter had apparently died, and the mourners were dramatizing to convince the family they were also grief-stricken, hoping to keep up on the good side of Jairus. (This is known as “sucking-up.”) However, when Jesus Christ, the High Priest of the faith walked in and informed them the little girl was only asleep and not dead, the mourners exposed their schizophrenic mentality, and “laughed him to scorn.” (Mark 5:40) They showed their true selves and utter contempt and hate for the very God they said they served, and such are the Tammuz-type thespians today.

The last example of abominations Ezekiel saw reads thus:

“And he brought me into the inner court of the LORD’S house, and, behold, at the door of the temple of the LORD, between the porch and the altar, were about five and twenty men, with their backs toward the temple of the LORD, and their faces toward the east and they worshipped the sun toward the east.” (Ezekiel 8:16)

Did you see it? Did you hear it? Did you catch it at all? At the very top of the religious pyramid, the high priests who officiated at the temple itself, who placed the showbread on the table, lit the candelabra, burnt the incenses, and entered into the inner sanctum, were really the high priests of an occult syndication of secret satanic sun god worshippers! Imagine Ezekiel going around and shouting that fact all over the city afterward. Who would believe it? Not too many, I think. Do you believe it?

So, now do can understand what the Lord means when he commands his disciples to “Come out of her, my people…?”

Something else to consider about the twenty-five chief priests is in regards to the Zacharias that was killed between the temple and the altar where the sun god worshippers gathered. (Matthew 23:34-35) This was probably John the Baptist’s father who was the last prophet in scripture to proclaim the coming of the Messiah before Jesus Christ was manifested to Israel. (Luke 1:67-79) And now I wonder, when they killed Zacharias, what did they do with him? Did they put him on the altar to burn up the evidence like scripture might suggest?

“And when he had opened the fifth seal, I saw under the altar the souls of them that were slain for the word of God, and for the testimony which they held: And they cried with a loud voice, saying, How long, O Lord, holy and true, dost thou not judge and avenge our blood on them that dwell on the earth? And white robes were given unto every one of them and it was said unto them, that they should rest yet for a little season, until their fellowservants also and their brethren, that should be killed as they were, should be fulfilled. (Revelation 6:9-11)

The next part of Flippin-n-Whippin will be on how ministers of he Lord Jesus Christ are compensated for services rendered.

God loves you.  Read your Bible.

 

 

Maranatha


The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you all.  Amen