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  • Writer's pictureGene Benjamin II


Filthy Lucre

Now that’s a title you don’t often hear anymore, nor will this be a blog post you read very often. Selling the gospel of Yeshua HaMashiach is a sin. There, I said it. I was watching Christian television yesterday with my wife. We heard a preacher say he just received a new revelation from Yehovah, our Father and Creator in Heaven, concerning the end times. In his next breath the preacher stated we could hear and see the revelation by purchasing his new DVD! I about fell out of my chair. Can you just see Moses coming down Mt. Sinai with the two stone tablets of revelation from Yehovah, with a $29.95 price tag dangling from the stone, blowing in the wind? Did the prophet Samuel charge Saul or David when he anointed them as king of Israel? Did Yeshua charge admission to His sermon on the Mount? No, He did not. In fact, He stated in Matthew 10:8, “Heal the sick, cleanse the lepers, raise the dead, cast out demons: freely you have received, freely give.” Does anyone on this planet trust Yehovah for anything anymore? Yehovah freely gives, we should too. Romans 8:32, “He that spared not his own Son, but delivered him up for us all, how shall he not with him also freely give us all things?” Friends, Yehovah is just a little upset with His children, those who claim to be his followers.

Selling words from Yehovah is a sin. What is filthy lucre? It’s being greedy for money. When discussing qualifications for overseers, or elders, Paul wrote in 1 Timothy 3:3, “Not given to wine, no striker, not greedy of filthy lucre; but patient, not a brawler, not covetous;” Those four English words, “greedy of filthy lucre” are just one word in the original Greek, aischrokerdēs, which means sordid, eager for base gain, greedy for money. Did the Apostle Paul ever charge for his letters he wrote to the churches? No, of course not. Paul continued with his qualifications for deacons in 1 Timothy 3:8, “Likewise, deacons are to be pure, not double-tongued, not addicted to much wine, not greedy of ill gain,” Paul emphasized it again when writing to Titus about the qualifications for elders in Titus 1:7, “for the overseer must be blameless as a steward of Yehovah, not self-willed, nor prone to anger, not excessive in the use of wine, not quick to strike with his fist, not greedy of ill gain;” Yehovah is looking for servant leaders, not arrogant, drunk, greedy brawlers. To work with or for Yehovah takes humility and faith. How does selling the gospel to Yehovah’s people demonstrate faith? It demonstrates a severe lack of faith. Paul goes on to tell these people to shut up, in Titus 1:11, “whose mouth you must stop, who overturn whole houses, teaching things which they ought not for the sake of ill gain.” Peter agrees with Messiah and Paul, as seen in 1 Peter 5:2, “Just as shepherds watch over their sheep, you must watch over everyone Yehovah has placed in your care. Do it willingly in order to please Yehovah, and not simply because you think you must. Let it be something you want to do, instead of something you do merely to make money.”

Yeshua died to save us from our sins, without charge, without obligation other than to wholeheartedly follow His commands for the rest of our lives. We are obliged to preach, teach, heal, raise the dead, and train disciples simply because we love Yeshua, not to make money! Yehovah’s business is to take care of your needs, your business is to give out the Gospel of Yeshua HaMashiach, FREE of charge. We are to give out the food of Yehovah, His Word, and physical things as well, FREE to people who can never pay us back. The words of Yehovah are priceless, the revelations of Yehovah are priceless, why cheapen them by selling them? Plant the word in good ground and expect Yehovah to pay you back. Stop fleecing Yehovah’s sheep!! 2 Corinthians 2:17, “For we are not as the many, peddling the Word of Yehovah; but according to the truth, as men of Yehovah, we speak through Messiah, in the sight of Yehovah.” That word peddling is the Greek word, kapēleuō, meaning to retail and by implication, to adulterate. Dr. Thayer defined that word as:

1) to be a retailer, to peddle

2) to make money by selling anything

2a) to get sordid gain by dealing in anything, to do a thing for base gain

2b) to trade in the word of God

2b1) to try to get base gain by teaching divine truth

2c) to corrupt, to adulterate

Paul made it clear we are not to trade in the Word of Yehovah. We are not to sell the Word of Yehovah. I know it costs to produce Christian books, DVDs, movies, etc.. So what? If Yehovah wants you to print a book, He’ll give you the money to do it. But He NEVER wants you to sell that book to anyone who needs your information. Give it to them. Plant into the Kingdom of Yehovah. Pray about it, your fruit will be everlasting!! You need to understand sowing and reaping in the Kingdom of Yehovah. If you do not get a grasp on sowing and reaping, you may not make it into the Kingdom of Yehovah.

Luke 13:22-30, “And he [Yeshua] went through the cities and villages, teaching, and journeying toward Jerusalem. 23Then said one unto him, Lord, are there few that be saved? And he said unto them, 24Strive to enter in at the narrow gate: for many, I say unto you, will seek to enter in, and shall not be able. 25When once the Master of the house is risen up, and has shut the door, and you begin to stand outside, and to knock at the door, saying, Lord, Lord, open unto us; and he shall answer and say unto you, I know not where you come from: 26Then shall you begin to say, We have eaten and drunk in your presence, and you have taught in our streets. 27But he shall say, I tell you, I know not where you come from; depart from me, all you workers of iniquity. 28There shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth, when you shall see Abraham, and Isaac, and Jacob, and all the prophets, in the kingdom of Yehovah, and you yourselves thrust out. 29And they shall come from the east, and from the west, and from the north, and from the south, and shall sit down in the kingdom of Yehovah. 30And, behold, some are last who shall be first, and some are first who shall be last.”

Yeshua is looking to reward the lowest most humble disciple maker of disciple makers in His kingdom, not the top salesman hawking Christian books, DVDs, and movies. That word iniquity means injustice, unrighteousness of heart and life. Selling the word or gospel of Yeshua is unjust, it is unrighteous. Retailing the word of Yehovah will lead you down the wide road to destruction. Stop it immediately, confess your sin, repent, turn back to Yehovah and begin planting righteously into His Kingdom.

Gene Benjamin II

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