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John Calvin puts forward a very simple reason why love is the greatest gift: “Because faith and hope are our own: love is diffused among others.” In other words, faith and hope benefit the possessor, but love always benefits another. In John 13:34–35 Jesus says, “A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.” Love always requires an “other” as an object; love cannot remain within itself, and that is part of what makes love the greatest gift.
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Hidden Manna

The love of money

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We are told in 1Timothy 6:9-10 “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 have coveted after, they have erred from the faith, and pierced themselves through with many sorrows.”

 

This is a touchy topic with many, as many are also guilty of coveting after money and material things; and as many are also being led astray from the doctrine of Christ by a health, wealth, and prosperity doctrine. But this is an important topic for Christians to understand; as many have already been led astray and fallen away from their first love in Christ because of the cares of this world, and by the deceitfulness of gaining worldly riches.

In 1 Timothy 6:17 Paul warns his readers not to trust in uncertain riches, as Jesus also warned that we cannot serve both God and the unrighteous money. We are also told in Colossians 3:5 that covetousness is idolatry.

 

Let’s go back to see where this root of all evil is mentioned back in the garden of Eden, where also this spirit of covetousness would even enter into Adam. In Ezekiel chapter 28 we see the Lord is speaking to the Prince of Tyrus, but also notice in verse 13 the Lord says this man (Adam) has been in the Eden of God. We know the prince of Tyrus was not in the garden of Eden, so we know the Lord is speaking of spiritual things here concerning man (or Adam), and also the spirit that entered into Adam and also into the world.

So the Lord is not only speaking to the Prince of Tyrus as being a man, but the Lord is also speaking to the Prince of this world being the spirit that is called the “covering cherub” mentioned in Ezekiel 28:14.

 

Notice in Ezekiel 28: 3-5 the Lord tells this spirit working in the prince of Tyrus that he is wiser than Daniel and that with his wisdom and his understanding he has gotten him riches, and has gotten him gold and silver into his treasures. And by his great wisdom and by his traffic (merchandise) he has increased his riches, and his heart is lifted up because of his riches.

Jesus said the children of this world in their generation would be wiser than the children of light concerning the unrighteous money. This is why the Lord said this spirit working in the prince of Tyrus was wiser than Daniel; as it is also written the serpent was more “subtil”, or cunning and crafty, than any other beast the Lord God had made.

 

But let’s see what else the Lord says about this spirit working in the man in Ezekiel 28: 16-17. The Lord says to the Prince of Tyrus, that by the multitude of thy merchandise they have filled the midst of thee with violence, and thou hast sinned. The Lord also says in verse 17 Thine heart is lifted up because of thy beauty, thou hast corrupted thy wisdom by reason of thy brightness.

So we also see pride enter into the heart by way of a haughty spirit because man began to trust in his own wisdom, in his own outward material glory and beauty, and in his own riches.

 

The Lord also says to this Prince of Tyrus that they had also defiled their sanctuaries by the multitude of their iniquities, by the iniquities of their traffic; therefore will I bring forth a fire from the midst of thee, it shall devour thee, and I will bring thee to ashes upon the earth in the sight of all them that behold thee.

This is similar of what Jesus said the merchants did in the Lords house by turning His sanctuary into a den of thieves by the buying and selling of their merchandise in the house of the Lord for greedy gain.

 

One other thing I want you to know here before we go on further in this study is that the sea port of Tyrus is a similitude of the “great city” by which the kings of the earth are made rich in the book of Revelation. This similitude is also shown in the merchants being as ships on the sea of iniquity who got rich by her.

This similitude is also shown in the book of Revelation in the “great men” of the earth being the merchants, and concerning the harlot woman who sat on many waters; who was also forecast to be burned with fire as was the great city of Tyrus of old also burned. There is an interesting mystery spoken of by James concerning this fire of consumption that is to be on the rich of the world as well.

 

In James chapter 5 we read “Go to now, ye rich men, weep and howl for your miseries that shall come upon you. Your riches are corrupted, and your garments are motheaten. Your gold and your silver is cankered; and the rust of them shall be a witness against you, and shall eat your flesh as it were fire. You have heaped treasure together for the last days.”

 

These words of warning by James were also spoken by Jesus in Matthew 6:19 where Jesus said “Lay not up for yourselves treasures upon the earth, where moth and rust does corrupt, and where thieves break through and steal.” Jesus also says in verse 24 that no man can serve two masters: for either he will hate the one, and love the other; or else he will hold to the one, and despise the other. You cannot serve both God and the unrighteous money.

 

Now here is something else that is interesting that I’ve been shown concerning what James said in connection with the rich being burned as the harlot is also shown as being burned with fire in Revelation 18:8. In other studies we saw the curse from dust to ashes, with the “accursed thing” being the love of money and materialism; which is shown as covetousness, which is also shown as idolatry.

 

And now here is what God said by Moses of the “cursed thing” in Deuteronomy 7:25-26 “The graven images of their gods shall ye burn with fire: thou shalt not desire the silver or gold that is on them, nor take it unto thee, lest thou be snared therin: for it is an abomination to the Lord thy God. 26 Neither shalt thou bring an abomination into thine house, lest thou be a cursed thing like it: but thou shalt utterly detest it, and thou shalt utterly abhor it; for it is a cursed thing.”

 

So coveting the cursed thing could also make you a cursed thing. Or coveting the false idol would also make you like a false idol, like a form of self-worship; which false idol as Moses said, is meant to be taken and burned with fire.

This connection of worshipping the false idol and mourning over the fall of the false idol system is what we see in Revelation 18:11 “And the merchants of the earth shall weep and mourn over her; for no man buyeth their merchandise anymore”

 

This sorrow, weeping and mourning is also shown in 1 Timothy 6:10 “For the love of money is the root of all evil: which while some have coveted after, they have erred from the faith, and pierced themselves through with many sorrows.” Which is also why James said in James chapter 5 “Go to now, ye rich men, weep and howl for your miseries that shall come upon you.”

Jesus spoke of this erring from the faith in the parable of the sower in Mark 4:19. Jesus said the seed that was sown among thorns is as those who hear the word, and the cares of the world, and the deceitfulness of riches, and the lusts of other things enter in, and choke the word, and it becomes unfruitful.”

 

So you can see the importance of not being drawn away from serving the Lord by serving yourself, and by serving your own desires, by serving the unrighteous mammon which is by way of covetousness; which is idolatry.

Jesus said in Matthew 19:23-24 “Verily I say unto you, that a rich man shall hardly enter into the kingdom of heaven. And again I say unto you, It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle, than for a rich man to enter into the kingdom of God.”

 

Friends worship the Lord, and Him only should you serve. And seek not the temporal glory and riches of this world which are soon to perish. But rather seek the true riches of the Spirit and the eternal glory that is freely given to you by our Father in heaven through Jesus Christ our Lord.

Peace and God bless, Mark

 

 

 

 

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