34. The corrupt world system

(What it is…what it does ….and how rampant it is in the church today)

 

Many preachers accuse the people of God of being worldly because they do not give the money which church leadership believe they need. The following scriptures are often quoted.

Phil 2:19-21

But I trust in the Lord Jesus to send Timothy to you shortly, that I also may be encouraged when I know your state. 20 For I have no one like-minded, who will sincerely care for your state. 21 For all seek their own, not the things which are of Christ Jesus.    NKJV
 

2 Tim 4:9-10

Be diligent to come to me quickly; 10 for Demas has forsaken me, having loved this present world, and has departed for Thessalonica — Crescens for Galatia, Titus for Dalmatia.     NKJV

These scriptures are NOT about people who have to work to feed their families…and therefore being ‘worldly’ when they won’t give their money to the local church leadership.

Paul wrote this to and about Timothy when he was feeling abandoned…..by fellow apostles. This is NOT addressed to the body but to the leaders. The context indicates that Paul was taking a swipe at those who had been itinerant apostles like Demas and Titus and probably for taking a located and supported pastoral 'ministry’ position  ….which was something that Paul had preached against strongly in many places…..and demonstrated by his life that it was NOT to be the way in the church!

 

1 Tim 6:3-5

If anyone teaches otherwise and does not consent to wholesome words, even the words of our Lord Jesus Christ, and to the doctrine which accords with godliness, 4 he is proud, knowing nothing, but is obsessed with disputes and arguments over words, from which come envy, strife, reviling, evil suspicions, 5 useless wranglings of men of corrupt minds and destitute of the truth, who suppose that godliness is a means of gain. From such withdraw yourself.      NKJV

A key is that it is men who seek to make a livelihood out of ministry  ...who teach things that Jesus did not teach....who are men of corrupt minds. The ONLY wage Jesus said that the 'worker was worthy of ' was HOSPITALITY....or keep (Mat 10:10). NONE of the apostles was EVER paid money as a salary to minister!

Receiving money which is freely offered for support is NOT the same as being paid a salary to do a job!

 

2 Cor 2:17

17 For we are not, as so many, peddling the word of God; but as of sincerity, but as from God, we speak in the sight of God in Christ.    NKJV

 

Jesus put it clearly to the apostles

Luke 16:13

13 "No servant can serve two masters; for either he will hate the one and love the other, or else he will be loyal to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and mammon"     NKJV

 

The corrupt world system, brethren, is not about us having to work to support our families….it is what pervades the church today where those who WILL NOT work deceive others into believing that GOD requires us to support them by giving tithes!

It is a demonstration of their total lack of faith in God to supply their needs….and a total lack of financial integrity towards the body!

 

Paul commanded ALL believers to work and be self supporting where possible....including located ministers. The travelling apostles and itinerant preachers were allowed to receive hospitality where they could not work and be self-supporting.

1 Thess 4:10-12
But we urge you, brethren, that you increase more and more; 11 that you also aspire to lead a quiet life, to mind your own business, and to work with your own hands, as we commanded you, 12 that you may walk properly toward those who are outside, and that you may lack nothing.     NKJV

 

God's provision comes where ministers OBEY this command...rather than deceiving the church about false obligations to give!
 

2 Thess 3:10-12

10 For even when we were with you, we commanded you this:  If anyone will not work, neither shall he eat. 11 For we hear that there are some who walk among you in a disorderly manner, not working at all, but are busybodies. 12 Now those who are such we command and exhort through our Lord Jesus Christ that they work in quietness and eat their own bread.    NKJV

There are to be NO free-loaders...the disorderly manner was clearly that of  NOT working

 

Gal 6:5

5 For each one shall bear his own load.    NKJV

Eph 4:28

28 Let him who stole steal no longer, but rather let him labor, working with his hands what is good, that he may have something to give him who has need.    NKJV

2 Cor 12:14

And I will not be burdensome to you; for I do not seek yours, but you. For the children ought not to lay up for the parents, but the parents for the children.    NKJV

 

Paul commanded the body NOT to give to preachers who would not work….but to withdraw support from them

 2 Thess 3:6-9

But we command you, brethren, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that you withdraw from every brother who walks disorderly and not according to the tradition which he received from us. 7 For you yourselves know how you ought to follow us, for we were not disorderly among you; 8 nor did we eat anyone's bread free of charge, but worked with labor and toil night and day, that we might not be a burden to any of you, 9 not because we do not have authority, but to make ourselves an example of how you should follow us.    NKJV

 

So what is the corruption that the world system brings?

 

  1. It is where we allow fear of lack to drive us to rather than FAITH (trust in God’s goodness and provision for us) …this leads us to HOARD rather than to be generous and express God’s love

Matt 6:31-34

31 "Therefore do not worry, saying, 'What shall we eat?' or 'What shall we drink?' or 'What shall we wear?'  32 For after all these things the Gentiles seek. For your heavenly Father knows that you need all these things.  33 But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you.    NKJV

This is not an instruction to the body not to work…it is an instruction to trust that when we work God will provide all our needs.

Matt 6:19-21

"Do not lay up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy and where thieves break in and steal;  20 but lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys and where thieves do not break in and steal.  21 For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.     NKJV

This is not a command to give your money to ‘church organizations’ claiming to be God’s authorized financial representatives…it is an instruction not to let the cares of this world prevent us from putting our relationship with God first...and from showing His love to the world by our generosity.

The ‘kingdom of God’ is not synonymous with ‘church world’….it is the realm where we each relate to God and share God’s reality with people.

2 Cor 9:10-11

10 Now may He who supplies seed to the sower, and bread for food, supply and multiply the seed you have sown  and increase the fruits of your righteousness, 11 while you are enriched in everything for all liberality, which causes thanksgiving through us to God.    NKJV
 

As we sow God blesses us to enable us to continue being generous

 

           2.  It is when we will not work and then with an evil eye covet that which others have earned

Deut 5:21

21 'You shall not covet your neighbor's wife; and you shall not desire your neighbor's house, his field, his male servant, his female servant, his ox, his donkey, or anything that is your neighbor's.   NKJV

Luke 12:15

15 And He said to them, "Take heed and beware of covetousness, for one's life does not consist in the abundance of the things he possesses."     NKJV

Prov 28:22

22 A man with an evil eye hastens after riches,   NKJV

This is what the world almost universally claims it experiences when they come to many 'churches'

 

          3.  It is when we trust in our riches to sustain us rather than trusting God who is our life

Mark 10:24-25

24 And the disciples were astonished at His words. But Jesus answered again and said to them, "Children, how hard it is for those who trust in riches  to enter the kingdom of God!  25 It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter the kingdom of God."  NKJV

1 Tim 6:17

Command those who are rich in this present age not to be haughty, nor to trust in uncertain riches but in the living God, who gives us richly all things to enjoy.   NKJV

Luke 12:16-21

16 Then He spoke a parable to them, saying: "The ground of a certain rich man yielded plentifully.  17 And he thought within himself, saying, 'What shall I do, since I have no room to store my crops?'  18 So he said, 'I will do this: I will pull down my barns and build greater, and there I will store all my crops and my goods.  19 And I will say to my soul, "Soul, you have many goods laid up for many years; take your ease; eat, drink, and be merry."'  20 But God said to him, 'Fool! This night your soul will be required of you; then whose will those things be which you have provided?'    21 "So is he who lays up treasure for himself, and is not rich toward God."   NKJV

This is pride and faith in our own abilities rather than gratitude for God's blessing on our lives 

 

         4.  It is when we have this sense that no matter how much we have, it might not be enough

1 Tim 6:10

10 For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil, for which some have strayed from the faith in their greediness, and pierced themselves through with many sorrows.    NKJV

Heb 13:5

5 Let your conduct be without covetousness; be content with such things as you have.   NKJV

Phil 4:11

11 Not that I speak in regard to need, for I have learned in whatever state I am, to be content    NKJV

Matt 16:26

26 For what profit is it to a man if he gains the whole world, and loses his own soul?    NKJV

 

           5.   It is when we can look at the needy and not give alms because we care less about them than we fear our own lack     

                 (ie a failure to trust our Father to provide for us in abundance )

The parable of the good Samaritan…what matters is NOT our religiosity…but our LOVE demonstrated

Luke 10:36-37
36 So which of these three do you think was neighbor to him who fell among the thieves?" 

37 And he said, "He who showed mercy on him."

Then Jesus said to him, "Go and do likewise."      NKJV
 

Gal 5:6
6 For in Christ Jesus neither circumcision nor uncircumcision avails anything, but faith working through love.   NKJV
 

The rich man and Lazarus…if we can consistently blindly step over a poor starving man we do NOT know God

Luke 16:19-21

"There was a certain rich man who was clothed in purple and fine linen and fared sumptuously every day.  20 But there was a certain beggar named Lazarus, full of sores, who was laid at his gate,  21 desiring to be fed with the crumbs which fell from the rich man's table. Moreover the dogs came and licked his sores.    NKJV
 

Matt 25:34-40
'Come, you blessed of My Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world:  35 for I was hungry and you gave Me food; I was thirsty and you gave Me drink; I was a stranger and you took Me in;  36 I was naked and you clothed Me; I was sick and you visited Me; I was in prison and you came to Me.' 

37 "Then the righteous will answer Him, saying, 'Lord, when did we see You hungry and feed You, or thirsty and give You drink?  38 When did we see You a stranger and take You in, or naked and clothe You?  39 Or when did we see You sick, or in prison, and come to You?'  40 And the King will answer and say to them, 'Assuredly, I say to you, inasmuch as you did it to one of the least of these My brethren, you did it to Me.'     NKJV

  

           6.   It is when men set up worldly institutions where they ‘lord it over’ and seek to control others so that they can

                 deceive people into supporting them under promise of blessings…..or extort money from them under threat of

                 sanction from God!

Acts 20:29-30

29 For I know this, that after my departure savage wolves will come in among you, not sparing the flock. 30 Also from among yourselves men will rise up, speaking perverse things, to draw away the disciples after themselves.    NKJV

And what might these PERVERSE things be?

33 I have coveted no one's silver or gold or apparel. 34 Yes, you yourselves know that these hands have provided for my necessities, and for those who were with me. 35 I have shown you in every way, by laboring like this, that you must support the weak. And remember the words of the Lord Jesus, that He said, 'It is more blessed to give than to receive.'"    NKJV

It is when they take instead of giving...and tell the poor that they MUST tithe!

 

         7.   It is where, when the unsaved world comes into our church meetings, they KNOW that we are ‘after their money’

1 Tim 3:1-7

This is a faithful saying: If a man desires the position of a bishop, he desires a good work. 2 A bishop then must be blameless, the husband of one wife, temperate, sober-minded, of good behavior, hospitable, able to teach; 3 not given to wine, not violent, not greedy for money, but gentle, not quarrelsome, not covetous; 4 one who rules his own house well, having his children in submission with all reverence 5 (for if a man does not know how to rule his own house, how will he take care of the church of God?); 6 not a novice, lest being puffed up with pride he fall into the same condemnation as the devil. 7 Moreover he must have a good testimony among those who are outside, lest he fall into reproach and the snare of the devil.    NKJV

Luke 16:11-12
11 Therefore if you have not been faithful in the unrighteous mammon, who will commit to your trust the true riches?  12 And if you have not been faithful in what is another man's, who will give you what is your own?      NKJV
 

There is hardly a church where the bishops or elders qualify IN THE EYES OF THE WORLD in this regard

 

Brethren these issues are RAMPANT in our churches today……and much of it is caused by the ‘prosperity’ doctrine 

 

 

What about Adam before the fall....wasn't work a part of the curse you say?....a curse which Jesus did not live under?

 

Before the fall Adam lived in a world where everything he needed was provided by God....but he still had to work

Gen 2:15

15 Then the LORD God took the man and put him in the garden of Eden to tend and keep it.   NKJV

He however worked in a relationship of trust in God
 

When Adam chose not to trust in God....but sought his own way....he came under a curse

Gen 3:17-19

"Cursed is the ground for your sake;
In toil you shall eat of it
All the days of your life.
18 Both thorns and thistles it shall bring forth for you,
And you shall eat the herb of the field.
19 In the sweat of your face you shall eat bread
Till you return to the ground,
For out of it you were taken;
For dust you are,
And to dust you shall return."     NKJV
 

God basically said...."You did not appreciate all the GOOD things I gave you....as proof of my love for you...and how GOOD I am. You were suspicious of Me and thought you could be your own God. So now you will have to work without the awareness of my support....and discover that you are indeed mortal and I indeed am God...... because you will die"

 

Now Jesus came to deliver us from the curse of the Law. This is NOT the curse of WORK which God put on Adam.

Jesus as the Son of God DID work......he was a carpenter or builder for probably 15 years. He frequently taught about people working....and told them to work (ie 'cast out your nets..').....and to anticipate the blessing of God on their labours (Mat 17:27).

However while he was ministering in the apostolic role (Heb 3:1)... in his last 3 years ...as an itinerant preacher He frequently relied on the hospitality which was freely offered.

He himself did as he advised the apostles to do....ie to go out without money in their purses and rely on the hospitality which was offered in response to the BLESSING (gospel, healings, casting out demons, etc) which they administered.

Matt 10:7-11
7 And as you go, preach, saying,'The kingdom of heaven is at hand.'  8 Heal the sick, cleanse the lepers, raise the dead, cast out demons. Freely you have received, freely give.  9 Provide neither gold nor silver nor copper in your money belts,  10 nor bag for your journey, nor two tunics, nor sandals, nor staffs; for a worker is worthy of his food.  11 "Now whatever city or town you enter, inquire who in it is worthy, and stay there till you go out.   NKJV
 

Brethren do not be DECEIVED....no one paid Jesus a salary for ministering ...or the apostles. Money did not 'magically appear' in his purse. Jesus could have turned stones into bread...but he did not. He relied on HOSPITALITY....that which was freely given.

Jesus did not collect tithes....he was of the tribe of Judah and it would have been SIN...tithes were FOOD for the Levites! (Numbers 18:23-24)

Hospitality is what the wages were to be....NOT tithes which are today extracted from God's people by deception and extortion!

 

Today we are all to work....but with the certain knowledge that God is our Father...a loving God who will ensure that when we work we will have all that we need.

Matt 6:31-33

31 "Therefore do not worry, saying, 'What shall we eat?' or 'What shall we drink?' or 'What shall we wear?'  32 For after all these things the Gentiles seek. For your heavenly Father knows that you need all these things.  33 But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you.    NKJV

 

All we have to do is to have our PRIORITIES right....first our relationship of total trust in our Father God.....then work for our material needs out of the knowledge of His sovereignity and His love for us!

 

This is what faith is!

 

 

  

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