“Christ and the Rich Young Ruler” by Heinrich Hofmann
Note: If you are in a really big hurry, just read the “lesson” section.
When I was a young blue-pilled churchian I remember hearing the following lyrics from the song ‘Bullet The Blue Sky’ sung by U2’s Bono, regarding televangelists:
And I can’t tell the difference between ABC News,
Hill Street Blues, and a preacher on the Old Time Gospel Hour
Stealing money from the sick and the old.
Well, the God I believe in isn’t short of cash, mister!
I remember at that time thinking Bono was right that God wasn’t short of cash, but resenting that he had said so. For I feared that if word got out people would stop being guilted into supporting all the money-hungry churchian institutions, which at that point I naïvely believed were somehow a feature of us collectively living out Christianity, as though Christians collectively financed the working of God. Reminiscent of the old Catholic jingle:
“As soon as the coin in the coffer rings, another soul from purgatory springs!”
The story of Jesus and the rich young ruler is found in Matthew 19:16-26, Mark 10:17-27, and Luke 18:18-27. In it the young and successful man asks Jesus, “what shall I do to inherit eternal life?” and Jesus basically tells him to be perfect he must obey all the laws, which the young man claimed he always had, and then Jesus added, “If thou wilt be perfect, sell all that thou hast, and distribute unto the poor, and thou shalt have treasure in heaven: and come, follow me.” Basically Jesus asked the man to give up absolutely everything of himself including his very influential job and to become a homeless follower of Him. Jesus didn’t say that to everyone, but it is recorded for us in three Gospels as an example that nobody meets God’s righteous standards, not even a devout young leader of the traditionally theocratic Jewish nation who recognized that Jesus taught the truth.
Romans 3:23 For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God.
This was just like in Matthew chapter 5 when Jesus earlier told people that they would need to pluck out their eyes and cut off their hands to prevent themselves from sinning lest “that thy whole body should be cast into hell.” None of Jesus disciples took that as a literal command and maimed themselves. Jesus was just pointing out, in that case, that lust and hate were already in everyone’s hearts, and trying to make them realize that, even if outwardly they seemed blameless in relation to the law, inwardly they were still going to need a sacrificial savior. Because our nature is to sin, and we cannot be made holy through our own willpower.
I believe Jesus was illustrating that we all can’t even keep the first commandment.
The first commandment is: Exodus 20:3 Thou shalt have no other gods before me.
Eve the defiler put her own self-advancement before obedience to God, just like Satan had also previously done. Satan deceived Eve into thinking her disobedience would allow her to be like God, just like Satan had once tried to usurp and be like the Most High God. Adam then obeyed Eve’s request above God’s command. We all have things we put before total devotion to God every day, and those things that take God’s place in our life are “other gods”. I mean you still have stuff, right? You didn’t give all your stuff to the poor and aren’t reading this on a computer at the public library before you go out to witness for God and beg for bread crusts, am I right? Because if you’ve still got stuff, then Jesus said you’re not yet perfect. (to the rich young ruler)
No doubt the rich young ruler already tithed 10%. Tithing paid for the Levites and temple guards that provided a justice system and enforced law and order in the Old Testament theocracy that God had prescribed. Tithing was the Jewish taxation system that funded their national governance before they demanded to have kings. Then the kings also made demands of them separate from their 10% tithe. However, notice that Jesus told the man to go and distribute his wealth to the poor, He did not ask the rich man to give it to Him, or to the temple or synagogue.
That is contrary to many of today’s churchians who twist a single verse about Jewish tithing from the Old Testament and morph it into a self-serving doctrine called “storehouse giving”, whereby their dupes are required to give all of their charitable giving through, “the storehouse”, referring, of course, to that pastor’s church. And as they say, “funds are fungible”.
All of that has just laid a backdrop for the Biblical insight regarding money that I now want to explain to you:
~ Beginning of lesson ~
Matthew 22:15(NET) Then the Pharisees went out and planned together to entrap Him with His own words. 16 They sent to Him their disciples along with the Herodians, saying, “Teacher, we know that You are truthful, and teach the way of God in accordance with the truth. You do not court anyone’s favor because You show no partiality. 17 Tell us then, what do You think? Is it right to pay taxes to Caesar or not?” 18 But Jesus realized their evil intentions and said, “Hypocrites! Why are you testing Me? 19 Show Me the coin used for the tax.” So they brought Him a denarius. 20 Jesus said to them, “Whose image is this, and whose inscription?” 21 They replied, “Caesar’s.” He said to them, “Then give to Caesar the things that are Caesar’s, and to God the things that are God’s.” 22 Now when they heard this they were stunned, and they left Him and went away.
I think Jesus’ testing by two groups of Jewish men, the Pharisees and Herodians,(who believed Herod was the messiah) over paying Rome a tribute coin had more significance than we today usually realize. I believe Jesus was reminding those “Romanized” Jewish men that their overriding primary duty was in fact to their Creator, not Caesar. The tribute coin bore Caesar’s image and was circumscribed to him. The circumscription at the time of Jesus stated “Tiberius, son of the Divine Augustus”. As shown below:
So the coin was stated to bear the image of the son of a god. Jesus taught that it was OK to give Caesar the tribute coin (worth one day’s wages) that was made in Caesar’s image and was circumscribed to him. And I believe the reason that they marveled at his answer was because those Jewish men who studied and debated the Torah remembered how they were proud to claim to be both formed in God’s own image and to be circumcised or circumscribed as a signet in their flesh that their very beings were forever wholly devoted to God.
Genesis 17:10 This is my covenant, which ye shall keep, between me and you and thy seed after thee; Every man child among you shall be circumcised. 11 And ye shall circumcise the flesh of your foreskin; and it shall be a token of the covenant betwixt me and you. … 13 He that is born in thy house, and he that is bought with thy money, must needs be circumcised: and my covenant shall be in your flesh for an everlasting covenant.
We who are redeemed have all been bought with a price, bought into Christ at the cost of his flesh and blood. However, since God made women for men and gave them to men, who are God’s image and glory while woman are only the glory of the man,(1 Corinthians 11:7) God doesn’t want women circumcised as His possession. Men were intentionally created for God’s good pleasure and are His direct possession, whereas women were specifically designed and given to be the cherished possessions of men. You can’t circumcise a woman into the covenant between God and Jewish men, and any vain attempt to do so is just female genital mutilation. Women were made by God for men, and given to men, to be men’s cherished possession.
Jesus reminded those Jewish men that their lives and bodies were doubly God’s possession, both created in His image, as all men are, and in particular they as Jews were circumcised signifying that they were God’s chosen possession and an eternal posterity of God’s. The Pharisees and Herodians had come to lay a trap concerning whether or not Jesus, an unschooled religious teacher, would honor Rome’s demand of tribute over God’s chosen people. But instead they got stunned as Jesus countered by showing how their very lives into eternity were already claimed and owed as an infinitely greater tribute to God Most High, in the exact same way that the little coins which Caesar had made in his own image and inscribed to himself, were meant to be paid back to him. The returning of Caesar’s coins not only did not violate God’s duly established claim over the Jews, but as Jesus revealed Caesar’s coins were in fact a token replication of God’s exact ownership signets on all Jewish men who bore both God’s image, and God’s inscription.(circumcision)
If Jesus had only meant for them to similarly pay off both God and Caesar each with a portion of money, like most hirelings claim, the Jews would certainly not have been left marveling at that compromise that would have blasphemously portrayed Caesar and God the Father as relative equals.
It disgusts me that greedy pastors falsely teach that Jesus was trying to show us, in that passage, just to hand over some of our money to pay off their church. It is clear that the Pharisees and Herodians would not have been left marveling if Jesus had just been understood by them to be telling them to pay Roman taxes while also shilling for the temple fund-raiser. The Pharisees were likely wanting to condemn Jesus for blasphemy against God (a capital crime) if he said to pay tribute to the Roman god-Emperor, since they could privately, in their gentile-free temple courtroom, claim that Jewish tithes were due to Jehovah alone. While the Herodians would have also been there to turn Jesus over to Rome for sedition (a capital crime) if He had said not to pay Rome the tribute. Jesus corrected them that as self-professed sons of God their Father owned them outright. And without saying anything seditious Jesus made it clear that there was no comparison between them owing the true God everything, while returning the self-proclaimed “god” in Rome his mere pittance. There is a great and glorious truth in there to be marveled at, for those with ears to hear, who aren’t too focused on money to see the image of God, and the covenant of circumcision, and men’s required duty, divinely illustrated by Jesus through the coin.
~ End of lesson ~
But what about the churchian’s money?
Early church father, Tertullian, said: “Nothing that is God’s is obtainable by money.”
Most hirelings will spend a lot of time and money attending seminary to learn how to preach the same lies and excuses in conformity with all the other preachers that have left our nation daily descending further into depravity. Like Simon the sorcerer they sought to buy the calling and gifts of the Lord. And they are graduated though they are too cowardly to even face down this world’s Feminist influence and subject any woman to church discipline as Jesus tells churches to perform. Instead their “training” that they buy seemingly only teaches them how to make excuses and blame-shift for women.
No doubt they get fully trained to tell all the same old foolish hireling lies about how you can slowly boil frogs without them trying to jump out when the water gets too hot. Am I the only one who went home and tried it? Frogs are amphibious, when cold-blooded frogs warm up they get far more active, and the moment they feel it getting too warm, they jump out. It turns out that even with their tiny frog brains, God made them wiser than hirelings who blindly plagiarize other pastors sermon illustrations, because God’s Spirit doesn’t reveal to them truth to teach, so they wind up trying to be religious entertainers. Their “messages” sometimes remind me of political talk shows where the host has 2 minutes of new material and a two hour show to fill.
“God doesn’t want to take your money. He just doesn’t want your money to take you.” ~ Andy Stanley
I recall the New Testament telling of churches taking up a collections for other churches. That sure doesn’t sound like today’s churches.
While the churches have gone moneygrubbing and many are in permanent fund raising mode, I do think it is good for us to give when we can, but certainly not to them, since they are apostate. That would be ungodly stewardship to hand off an offering meant to please God to false teachers, who are the firstborn of Satan. God spoke of sharing with the needy, and of giving those gifts to them in the name of Jesus. Jesus also praised a widow who, in faith, gave all that she had to the Jewish temple. I would recommend that you only give as you are led by faith to give, and when you can do so in a way that seems right. Because God loves cheerful givers, not perturbed givers who finally give in to some greedy pastor’s browbeating or tear jerking spiel. If you don’t give your alms in the right way you’ll lose your reward anyway. So I personally wouldn’t bother giving anything until you are prepared to give it wisely and to do it properly.
Matthew 6:1 Take heed that ye do not your alms before men, to be seen of them: otherwise ye have no reward of your Father which is in heaven. 2 Therefore when thou doest thine alms, do not sound a trumpet before thee, as the hypocrites do in the synagogues and in the streets, that they may have glory of men. Verily I say unto you, They have their reward. 3 But when thou doest alms, let not thy left hand know what thy right hand doeth: 4 That thine alms may be in secret: and thy Father which seeth in secret himself shall reward thee openly.
The less fortunate will often need money, but God is never in need and accepts no bribes. God looks upon our hearts. Is there generosity and love in your heart? Not if you can’t share your blessings when you are blessed, even though you’d still prefer to have more. There’s no fooling God. If you aren’t happy sharing your blessings, you’ll need to begin trying and practicing until you can be.
Epistle of “Mathetes” to Diognetus from Chapter 10 … How will you love Him who has first so loved you? And if you love Him, you will be an imitator of His kindness. And do not wonder that a man may become an imitator of God. He can, if he is willing. For it is not by ruling over his neighbors, or by seeking to hold the supremacy over those that are weaker, or by being rich, and showing violence towards those that are inferior, that happiness is found; nor can any one by these things become an imitator of God. But these things do not at all constitute His majesty. On the contrary he who takes upon himself the burden of his neighbor; he who, in whatsoever respect he may be superior, is ready to benefit another who is deficient; he who, whatsoever things he has received from God, by distributing these to the needy, becomes a god to those who receive [his benefits]: he is an imitator of God.