The Sheep are Feeding the Shepherd

I can’t find any place in the New Testament where pastors were paid a salary. It may have been that some evangelists were supported by the people since they couldn’t hold down full time regular jobs, but there was never any mention in the scriptures of a tithing system expected of the early Christians to pay money, or salaries to any of the apostles, prophets, teachers or pastors. So, the question is…who gave these modern day pastors the right to collect tithes for themselves, and live as wealthy, and in such luxury as the king of a small country, buying…. and flying around the world in private jets, and living in huge lavish mansions at the sheep’s aka laity’s expense? But these spiritually obese “pastors” expect to be well fed, as it has become the accepted model in today’s upside down apostate church.

Some things have never changed since Ezekiel’s time.

 

3And the word of the Lord came unto me, saying,

“Son of man, prophesy against the shepherds of Israel, prophesy and say unto them, ‘Thus saith the Lord God unto the shepherds: Woe be to the shepherds of Israel that feed themselves! Should not the shepherds feed the flocks?

Ye eat the fat, and ye clothe yourselves with the wool, ye kill the ones that are fed; but ye feed not the flock.

The diseased have ye not strengthened, neither have ye healed that which was sick, neither have ye bound up that which was broken, neither have ye brought again that which was driven away, neither have ye sought that which was lost; but with force and with cruelty have ye ruled them.Ezekiel 34:2-4

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Spiritual High Horses and Sacred Cows

sacred cow barbeque

Let’s have a Sacred Cow Barbeque!

Christians riding on a high horse of pride are religious narcissists. And you know what the bible says about pride. Falling off such a prideful high horse is going to be mighty painful in the end if not dealt with. I would venture to say that the Christian leadership of “Big Box Preachers” in today’s mainstream church is the most obvious example of ego’s on steroids, having exalted themselves far above, and too often apart from the common folks sitting in the pews hanging on their every word.

I remember a few years ago, when a certain rock star preacher had come into town and was hyping his latest best selling block buster book at a local church, a neighbor of mine who followed all the latest preachers du jour told me that she and a friend had gotten a front row seat at this meeting. All starry eyed, she excitedly exclaimed, “Just imagine…there we were, sitting just THAT CLOSE to Mr. Super Saint, (not his real name of course). OK, so….here we have a woman holding a sacred cow, “Mr. Super Saint, in total mind boggling adoration. Hey, this was just a MAN.  And so, he had written a best selling “Christian” book, not the Ten Commandments. In any case, from what I was able to discern, Mr.Super Saint himself was riding high on his own high horse, getting lots of attention and speaking engagements, TV time, and of course….lots of money. And by the way, although his book was a best seller in popular Christian circles, it was loaded with false teachings. just as many of the latest Christian fads seem to be….and Christians do seem to develop fads for some mysterious reason…following after the latest self help book or doctrine. This seems to be a pretty common tell tale sign of having the “itching ears”syndrome. Can’t sit still until some new doctrine or teaching comes along. The only cure for this disease is repentance and getting back into Bible study, prayer and walking the walk. 

Oh, and Mr.Super Saint’s books and doctrines are now being denounced by the very AOG and Southern Baptist denominations that promoted them, and him, in the first place. Don’t Christians read their bibles anymore? Enough to stop following these Sacred Cows on high horses? OH, maybe if we barbequed our own Sacred Cows and spiritual idolatry, pride, ego and self, we would be able to have eyes that see and ears that hear more clearly. At least, we should deal with any spiritual pride that clouds our judgment to the extent that we begin to feel we can’t be led astray and deceived by those who seem to be somebody in the Christian realm. Just because someone is a big shot preacher with a lot of followers means very little. We need to “let them decrease, and allow Christ to increase”. There is no bigger, grander, more powerful or truthful, greater or more magnificent teacher than Christ.

A little teaching on the spiritual narcissism of pride:

Undetected Spiritual Pride
One Cause of Failure in Times of Great Revival

by Jonathan Edwards
The first and worst cause of errors that abound in our day and age is spiritual pride.  This is the main door by which the devil comes into the hearts of those who are zealous for the advancement of Christ.  It is the chief inlet of smoke from the bottomless pit to darken the mind and mislead the judgement.

Pride is the main handle by which he has hold of Christian persons and the chief source of all the mischief that he introduces to clog and hinder a work of God.  Spiritual pride is the main spring or at least the main support of all other errors.  Until this disease is cured, medicines are applied in vain to heal all other diseases.

It is by spiritual pride that the mind defends and justifies itself in other errors and defends itself against light by which it might be corrected and reclaimed.  The spiritually proud man thinks he is full of light already and feels that he does not need instruction, so he is ready to ignore the offer of it.

On the other hand, the humble person is like a little child who easily receives instruction.  He is cautious in his estimate of himself, sensitive as to how liable he is to go astray.  If it is suggested to him that he is going astray, he is most ready to check into the matter.

Nothing sets a Christian so much out of the devil s reach than humility and so prepares the mind for divine light without darkness.  Humility clears the eye to look at things as they truly are.  Psalm 25:9—He leads the humble in justice, and He teaches the humble His way.

If spiritual pride is healed, other things are easily corrected.  Our first care should be to correct the heart and pull the beam of pride out of our eye and then we shall see clearly.

Growing Christians Beware!

Those who are most zealous in the cause of God are the most likely to be targeted as being filled with pride.  When any person appears, in any respect, to be noticeably excelling others in his Christian walk, odds are ten to one that it will immediately awaken the jealousy of those about him.

They will suspect (whether they have good reason or not) that he is very proud of his goodness and that he probably thinks no one as good as he is, so that everything he says and does is observed with this prejudice.

Those who are themselves cold and dead, and especially those who have never had any experience of the power of godliness on their own hearts, will easily entertain such thoughts of the best Christians.  This arises from nothing less than a secret hostility against essential and fervent holiness.

But the zealous Christian should take heed that this does not prove a snare to him, and the devil take advantage of it to blind his eyes from beholding the true nature of his heart and to think that because he is charged with pride wrongfully and with an unkind spirit, that such charges are not sometimes valid.

Alas, how much pride the best have in their hearts!  It is the worst part of the body of sin and death; the first sin that ever entered into the universe and the last that is rooted out.  It is God s most stubborn enemy!

Pride: a Secret Enemy

Pride is much more difficult to be discerned than any other corruption because of its very nature.  That is, pride is a person having too high an opinion of himself.  Is it any surprise, then, that a person who has too high an opinion of himself is unaware of it?  His thinking is that he thinks that the opinion he has of himself has just grounds and therefore is not too high.  If the grounds of the opinion of himself crumbled, he would cease to have such an opinion.

But, because of the nature of spiritual pride, it is the most secret of all sins.  There is no other matter in which the heart is more deceitful and unsearchable and there is no other sin in the world that men are so confident in. The very nature of it is to work self-confidence and drive away any suspicion of any evil of that kind.  There is no sin so much like the devil as this for secrecy and subtlety, and appearing in great many shapes that are undetected and unsuspected.

Spiritual pride takes many forms and shapes, one under another, and encompasses the heart like the layers of an onion: when you pull off one, there is another underneath.  Therefore, we have need to have the greatest watch imaginable over our hearts with respect to this matter and to cry most earnestly to the great Searcher of hearts for His help.  He that trusts his own heart is a fool.

Since spiritual pride in its own nature is so secret, it cannot be so well discerned by immediate intuition on the thing itself.  It is best identified by its fruits and effects, some of which I will make mention of below together with the contrary fruits of Christian humility.

Pride: the Great Fault-finder

Spiritual pride causes one to speak of other persons  sins, their enmity against God and His people, or with laughter and levity and an air of contempt, while pure Christian humility disposes either to be silent about them or to speak of them with grief or pity.

The spiritually proud person shows it in his finding fault with other saints, that they are low in grace and how cold and dead they are, and are quick to discern and take notice of their deficiencies.  The eminently humble Christian has so much to do at home and sees so much evil in his own that he is not apt to be very busy with other hearts.

He complains most of himself and complains most of his own coldness and lowness in grace.  He is apt to esteem others as better than himself and is ready to hope that most everybody has more love and thankfulness to God than he, and cannot bear to think that others should bring forth no more fruit to God s honor than he.

Some who have spiritual pride mixed with great learning and joy, earnestly speaking to others about them, are likely to be calling upon other Christians to emulate them and sharply reprove them for their being so cold and lifeless.

There are others who are overwhelmed with their own vileness, and when they have extraordinary discoveries of God’s glory, they are taken up by their own sinfulness.  Though they are disposed to speak much and very earnestly, yet it is very much in blaming themselves and exhorting fellow Christians, but in a loving and humble manner.

Pure Christian humility causes a person to take notice of everything that is good in others, to make the best of it and to diminish their failings; however, he turns his eye chiefly on those things that are bad in himself and to take much notice of everything that aggravates them.

Pride: Ministering in a Harsh Spirit

It has been the manner of spiritually proud persons to speak of almost everything they see in others in the most harsh, severe language.  It is frequent with them to say of other’s opinion, conduct, advice, coldness, silence, caution, moderation, prudence, etc. that they are from the devil or from hell.

Such kind of language they will commonly use, not only towards wicked men, but towards those who are true children of God and also towards ministers of the gospel and others who are very much their superiors.  Christians who are but fellow-worms ought at least to treat one another with as much humility and gentleness as Christ treats them.

Pride: Putting on Pretenses

Spiritual pride often causes persons to act different in external appearance, to effect a different way of speaking, to use a different sort of dialect from others, or to be different in voice, countenance or behavior.  But he that is an eminently humble Christian, though he will be firm in his duty, however different — going the way of heaven alone, though all the world forsake him — yet he does not delight in being different for difference s sake.

He does not try to set himself up to be viewed and observed as one distinguished, as desiring to be accounted better than others — despising their company or conformity to them — but on the contrary, desires to become all things to all men, to yield to others and conform to them and please them in all but sin.

Pride: Takes Offense Easily

Spiritual pride takes great notice of opposition and injuries that are received and is prone to be often speaking of them and to be much in taking notice of their aggravation, either with an air of bitterness or contempt.

Pure and unmixed Christian humility, on the other hand, causes a person to be more like his blessed Lord when reviled: quiet, not opening his mouth, but committing himself in silence to Him who judges righteously.  For the humble Christian, the more the world is against him, the more silent and still he will be, unless it is in his prayer closet, and there he will not be still.

Pride: Presumption Before God and Man

Another effect of spiritual pride is a certain self-confident boldness before God and men.  Some, in their great rejoicing before God, have not paid sufficient regard to that rule in Psalm 2:11 — Worship the Lord with reverence, and rejoice with trembling.

They have not rejoiced with a reverential trembling, in a proper sense of the awful majesty of God and the awful distance between Him and them.  There has also been an improper boldness before men that has been encouraged and defended by a misapplication of Proverbs 29:25 — The fear of man brings a snare…  It is as though it became all persons, high and low, men, women and children in all Christian conversation to wholly abandon all manner of modesty or reverence toward man.

Not that any should refrain from Christian conversation, but with such humility as in I Peter 3:15—But sanctify Christ as Lord in your hearts, always being ready to make a defense to everyone who asks you to give an account for the hope that is in you, yet with gentleness and reverence.

Pride: Hungry for Attention

Another effect of spiritual pride is to make the subject of it want attention.  People often tend to act in a special manner as though others ought to take great notice and regard of them.  It is very natural to a person that is very much under the influence of spiritual pride to take all the respect that is paid to him.

If others show a disposition to submit to him and yield in deference to him, he is open to it and freely receives it.  It becomes natural for him to expect such treatment and to take much notice if a person fails to do so, and to have an ill opinion of those who do not give him that which he feels he deserves.

One under the influence of spiritual pride is more apt to instruct others than to inquire for himself and so naturally puts on the airs of control.  The eminently humble Christian thinks he needs help from everybody, whereas he that is spiritually proud thinks everybody needs his help.  Christian humility, under a sense of other’s misery, entreats and beseeches, but spiritual pride tries to command and warn with authority.

Pride: Neglecting Others

As spiritual pride causes persons to assume much to themselves, so it treats others with neglect.   On the contrary, pure Christian humility disposes persons to honor all men as from I Peter 2:17. To enter into disputes about Christianity is sometimes unseasonable, such as in meeting for Christian conference or for exercises of worship.

Yet, we ought to be very careful that we do not refuse to converse with carnal men, as though we counted them not worthy to be regarded.  On the contrary, we should condescend to carnal men as Christ has condescended to us, to bear with our unteachableness and stupidity.

 

 

http://grace-abounding.com/Articles/Sin/Pride_Edwards.htm

 

 

Blind Leaders of the Blind

Spiritual Abuse Sanctuary

How many times must Jesus warn us not to be deceived by false teachers? And why is it so important that he emphasized this so much? Obviously because he doesn’t want ANY of his kids to be deceived by these spiritual rogue teachers and preachers, lest we fall into the ditch right along with them.

Have you ever heard the saying, “In the land of the blind, the one-eyed man is king”? This could possibly apply to Christians who take everything one of these men or women say as God’s truth, without checking it out for themselves by knowing the scriptures for themselves, applying it to their lives by being led by the Holy Spirit, and in prayer.

Are they just too lazy to do their homework, or have they been indoctrinated into the man made doctrines and traditions of men that Jesus also warned us about. Do they…

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The Lie of the “Prosperity Gospel” & Those Who Preach It!

This post isn’t just about the false prosperity gospel, it’s about the other lies perpetuated in today’s apostate mainstream church, that’s built on the same LIE AND DECEPTION based on the Old Testament defunct “tithe” they continue and MUST MAINTAIN to keep their Nicolaitan system intact and operational. Without the illegal “tithe”, “seed faith” offerings this old leaky ship would sink to the bottom of the ocean where it belongs.

 

http://www.letusreason.org/doct54.htm

“Those who hold the position of tithing for the church are confused of its purpose and history. No Christian should be coerced into giving a set amount to receive God’s blessings. The simple reason is that it removes them from walking in grace and puts them under the law. The Pharisees tithed and watched what people gave, and they continued to tithe as the church was birthed. The church did not tithe.

“Now concerning the collection for the saints, as I have given orders to the churches of Galatia, so you must do also: On the first day of the week let each one of you lay something aside, storing up as he may prosper, that there be no collections when I come.”(1 Cor. 16:1-2). Notice Paul says the collection for the saints. This is not necessarily a weekly tithe but appears to be a collection for others in need. Those saints in other areas that were in need of financial help, from one church to another. “A contribution made by the rich for the relief of the poor (from Adam Clarke’s Commentary). “A contribution, or collection of money for a charitable purpose (from Barnes’ Notes).

And what of the commands of helping the poor? Instead, we only hear about robbing God if we do not tithe. You are still sinning if you have something to give, and are selfish towards those in need. God would rather see people serve and participate willingly then be under compulsion to give large amounts of money to others to do the work. “Let them do good, that they be rich in good works, ready to give, willing to share, storing up for themselves a good foundation for the time to come, that they may lay hold on eternal life. (1 Tim. 6:18-19; Gal.5:13) Numerous needs go unmet inside our churches. We need to give to brethren who are in need, not just give to big ministries so they can become bigger. They are not the only ones who do God’s work.

The principle of tithing in the Old Testament was to benefit those in need as well: Deuteronomy 26:12: “When thou hast made an end of tithing all the tithes of thine increase the third year, which is the year of tithing, and hast given it unto the Levite, the stranger, the fatherless, and the widow, that they may eat within thy gates, and be filled.” Deut. 14:27-28: ”You shall not forsake the Levite who is within your gates, for he has no part nor inheritance with you. ”At the end of every third year you shall bring out the tithe of your produce of that year and store it up within your gates.” Have you seen any ministry that insists on tithing do this? Why not, it is part of the tithing law.

Are you listening to the “TV evangelist” telling you to sow your seed for your need? Promises, promises…
Paul writes, “For there are many unruly, vain talkers and deceivers, specially they of the circumcision: whose mouths must be stopped, who subvert whole houses, teaching things which they ought not, for filthy lucere’s sake” (Titus 1:10-11).

The most ingenious, imaginative ways were invented for gaining money. Tetzel was sent to the people to help raise funds to build Peters Basilica by bringing the law of indulgences to the people and it is no different today. Only then, the Roman Catholics did not have the Bible in their native languages to read; today we have no excuse as Protestants. The words of Hosea continue to echo to us today, (4:6) “My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge: because thou hast rejected knowledge.” Bible knowledge is he is referring to.

New Testament believers are never commanded to tithe but to give (the amount is between you and the Lord). Consider the story of Ananias and Sapphira that has been used and abused in so many ways– Acts 5:1-4: “But a certain man named Ananias, with Sapphira his wife, sold a possession. And he kept back part of the proceeds, his wife also being aware of it, and brought a certain part and laid it at the apostles’ feet. But Peter said, “Ananias, why has Satan filled your heart to lie to the Holy Spirit and keep back part of the price of the land for yourself? “While it remained, was it not your own? And after it was sold, was it not in your own control? Why have you conceived this thing in your heart? You have not lied to men but to God.”

This was not about tithes but a freewill promise they made and they did not keep their word. This does not mean as some claim every time you intentionally lie you will be judged so you must keep your vows (though we should have no intention of doing so); not if you were manipulated by lies into keeping the vow.

Consider what Paul wrote to Timothy the young pastor of Ephesus, “But godliness with contentment is great gain. For we brought nothing into this world, and it is certain we can carry nothing out. And having food and raiment let us be therewith content. But they that will be rich fall into temptation and a snare, and into many foolish and hurtful lusts, which drown men in destruction and perdition. For the love of money is the root of all evil: which while some coveted after, they have erred from the faith, and pierced themselves through with many sorrows. But thou, O man of God, flee these things; and follow after righteousness, godliness, faith, love, patience, meekness” (1 Timothy 6:6-11). If someone is always talking about mammon, then they are not serving God. You cannot have two masters.

New Covenant Principles

The guideline for our giving to God and His work is found in 2 Corinthians 9:6-7: “Now this I say, he who sows sparingly shall also reap sparingly.

; and he who sows bountifully shall also reap bountifully. Let each one do just as he has purposed in his heart; not grudgingly or under compulsion; for God loves a cheerful giver.” Grace means freedom- law means obligation. We should give back to God as he prospered us, as we purpose in our hearts.

The epistles are the teachings for the church. They contain numerous instructions, corrections and rebukes. Not one of these letters have tithing taught or practiced for the Church–The tithe is not mentioned as an obligation. Tithing is mentioned in the book of Hebrews which was written to Jewish believers in the Messiah, not to Gentile churches. The word “tithes” is found four times in Hebrews chapter 7, more than all the epistles combined. (Heb.7:5, 7:16, and 7:18.) The New Testament focuses on our High Priests ministry of Jesus Christ of whom Melchizedek was pre-figured in type (Heb. 7:2, 4, 5-9). Abraham’s tithe in Hebrews 7 is mentioned to explain the greater priesthood of Christ, it is not teaching the practice of tithing to the Church.

Hebrews 7:5: “And verily they that are of the sons of Levi, who receive the office of the priesthood, have a commandment to take tithes of the people according to the law, that is, of their brethren, though they come out of the loins of Abraham.” (Heb. 7:9-10 Levi was in the loins of his father when Abraham met the priest of Salem.) Only the sons of Levi were to receive tithes. This means if we do not have a Levitical priesthood we have no right to ask for tithes as if they are obligated to the church. In other words, the Levitical priesthood was instituted with the tabernacle, and the Temple– not the church. God has given a new priesthood to the church– according to the order of Melchizedek. Again, what was given to this priesthood was a freewill offering of the spoils, not a portion of Abram’s income. For the writer of Hebrews says, 7:11-12: “Therefore, if perfection were through the Levitical priesthood (for under it the people received the law), what further need was there that another priest should rise according to the order of Melchizedek, and not be called according to the order of Aaron? For the priesthood being changed, of necessity there is also a change of the law.”