(1Timothy 6:6-10) “But godliness actually is a means of great gain when accompanied by contentment. (Vs.7) For we have brought nothing into the world, so we cannot take anything out of it either. (Vs.8) If we have food and covering, with these we shall be content. (Vs.9) But those who want to get rich fall into temptation and a snare and many foolish and harmful desires which plunge men into ruin and destruction. (Vs.10) For the love of money is a root of all sorts of evil, and some by longing for it have wandered away from the faith and pierced themselves with many griefs.”
Everyone remembers the song titled “Money Money Money” by the pop group ABBA. One of the lines in the lyrics says; “Money Money Money. Always Sunny in the rich man’s world.” This line could well describe the hyper-faith money preachers infesting the wider Body of the Messiah today preaching their brand of the gospel and into money big time!, if you can even call it the gospel Biblically. These greedy so called ‘shepherds,’ feeding themselves at the expense of the sheep, are in reality preaching covetousness and peddling the Word of God for profit (2 Corinthians 2:17). It is always “sunny” in their world but things are going to change when they stand before the judge of all men to give an account to Him for what they have been doing.
Our Lord Jesus and the apostles warned us that in the last days spiritual deception would be an infestation within the wider Body of the Messiah. In Matthew Chapter 24 the Lord Jesus warns His disciples four times about guarding against the spiritual deception from those claiming to be from God and having a false anointing and some even claiming to be the Messiah (Matthew 24:4, 11, 23-24-26).
Today within wider Christendom, especially in the Charismatic and Pentecostal assemblies, you have those claiming to be apostles and prophets that are into money and love money and accumulate great wealth. These are the hyper-faith and kingdom Dominion proponents ‘working the crowd’ with their prophecies, dreams, visions and the delusions of their own imaginations.
As the Lord said to Jeremiah concerning the false prophets plaguing the Southern kingdom of Judah; “The prophets are prophesying lies in My name,” replied the LORD. “I did not send them or appoint them or speak to them. They are prophesying to you a false vision, a worthless divination, the futility and delusion of their own minds” (Jeremiah 14:14).
Counterfeit Miracles, Signs and Wonders
Counterfeit miracles, signs and wonders are a mark of these greedy connivers and charlatans fleece the sheep of their hard earned money and using their persuasive speech as a mask for covetousness. They are telling their ‘audience’ that God wants them to have it good in this world. The internet is infested with these wolves in sheep’s clothing! We are also told in God’s Word that all kinds of counterfeit miracles, signs and wonders will usher in the man of sin (2 Thessalonians 2:9).
So called ‘Prophets?’
You can see these false prophets and teachers on the internet…
Just watch one false prophet dancing up and down on thick piles of dollar notes all scattered at the front of his church and extolling the importance of money.
Watch a ‘so called ‘prophet’ getting everyone to laugh and roll around on the floor in hysterics or slide down their seats in the auditorium.
Watch a so called ‘prophet’ blowing on people and waving his coat over them and shouting “fire” “fire” and see people falling backwards into some euphoric state or onto the floor having virtually passed out!
Watch two well-known so called ‘prophets’ boasting to each other and to their audience how God has given them million dollar jets to use in their ministries while at the same time living in multi-million dollar mansions, staying in five-star hotels, living in the lap of luxury and all at the expense of their ‘flocks’ they have fleeced financially.
Watch a certain mega-church ‘pastor’ preaching to thousands in his large multi-million dollar mega-auditorium about money and riches and success and that God wants this for His people in this world. Watch him preach feel-good, positive messages conveying the idea that God is a kind of blessing dispensing machine! Watch him give motivational talks propped up with a Bible sitting on the pulpit to make it look as if he is preaching it when he really isn’t. These connivers who love money and are into the Golden Calf Syndrome do not even know how to rightly divide the Word of God!
No solid exposition of God’s Word!
The solid exposition of God’s Word is the one thing missing in all of these so called ‘ministries.’ In fact expository preaching in the power of the blessed Holy Spirit is a rare thing to hear in most churches today whether they be of evangelical or charismatic persuasion.
‘New’ Apostles and Prophets
There is a certain movement today that has resurfaced and re-packaged promoting an unbiblical view of apostles and prophets that are telling their congregations that the Lord wants these ‘apostles’ to have the money so that they can orchestrate their kingdom Dominion doctrines upon naive and undiscerning Christians to control local congregations and some of these ‘super apostles’ actually implying they have equal authority with the original apostles. Of course those into money and hyper-faith and kingdom dominion we are told by the apostle Peter are “experts in greed, an accursed brood” (2 Peter 2:14).
Sitting in the Circle of the Merrymakers!
They are past masters at twisting certain scriptures out of context to bolster their view of apostolic and prophetic authority. Even on their website if one sees themselves called to be an apostle there is a joining fee to be paid and for an apostolic couple the fee is higher. It is the same with the ‘prophets’. If you have the money then you can join the band, join the rich man’s world while also enjoying the company of the merrymakers as the false prophets are called in the prophet Jeremiah. Being a true prophet of God Jeremiah could not sit in the circle of the merrymakers but sat alone grieving over the spiritually backslidden state of God’s people and the Babylonians coming from the North that would devastate Jerusalem and destroy the Temple. Jeremiah felt the indignation of the Lord against the apostasy of the Southern Kingdom of Judah (Jeremiah 15:17).
This so called ‘apostolic’ movement is widespread within the wider Body of the Messiah and advocating a form of apostleship that is unscriptural. Paul; calls them super-apostles or in reality they are pseudo apostles preaching a different gospel (2 Corinthians 11:4-5).
Deceiving and Being Deceived
Then you have major Christian television networks promoting these false apostles and prophets selling their DVD’S, CD’s and books as they rake in the dollars to finance their ministries. Then you have those into manifestations, dreams, visions, mystical experiences, and personal prophecies of one sort or another and into occult practices such as reading destiny tarot cards and grave soaking and of course money and power is at the centre of it all. These are those whom the Bible calls imposters and enchanters going from bad to worse, not only deceiving others, but deceiving themselves and believing their own publicity (2 Timothy 3:13).
Godliness a Means to Financial Gain?
In 1 Timothy Chapter 6:3-5 Paul writes to Timothy about those teaching false doctrines who ignore sound teaching, who are conceited and understand nothing of spiritual truth, who through an unhealthy interest in controversies and arguments, results in envy, quarrelling, malicious talk, evil suspicions and constant friction between men of corrupted minds who have been robbed of the truth and who think that godliness is means to financial gain. These are conspicuous marks within the wider Body of the Messiah today.
Now briefly let’s look at our text found in 1Timothy 6:6-10 that teaches about true contentment but also addresses the spiritual dangers of wanting to be rich in this world! Let’s now look at these verses briefly.
(Vs. 6) “But godliness actually is a means of great gain when accompanied by contentment.
One of the marks of a truly godly person is that they have learnt to be content in whatever circumstances they are in. As the apostle Paul wrote to the Assembly at Ephesus; “I have learned to be content in whatever circumstances I am. I know how to get along with humble means, and I also know how to live in prosperity; in any and every circumstance I have learned the secret of being filled and going hungry, both of having abundance and suffering need” (Philippians 4:11-12).
While the apostle Paul knew that as an apostle he was entitled to financial support according to the Torah, he often worked with his own hands so as not to financially burden the assemblies that he worked amongst. As he said to the Assembly elders just before he departed Ephesus; “I have not coveted anyone’s silver or gold or clothing. You yourselves know that these hands of mine have ministered to my own needs and those of my companions” (Acts 20; 33-34).
Writing to the assembly at Thessalonica he said; “Surely you recall, brothers, our labour and toil. We worked night and day so that we would not be a burden to anyone while we proclaimed to you the gospel of God” (1 Thessalonians 2:9).
As an apostle Paul knew he had a right according to the Torah to receive wages for his ministry but often did not avail himself of this privilege in order that his ministry might remain pure and untainted spiritually (1 Corinthians 9:13-18). This is far removed from the attitude of those claiming to be ‘apostles’ and even in some cases claiming they have equal authority with the original apostles including Paul or at least implying this by what they say.
Discontentment does not promote or facilitate godliness but leads one under its power to constantly feel unsatisfied and striving to possess the things of this world and ultimately having an unthankful attitude towards the Lord. Grumbling and fault-finding are also bed-fellows with discontentment! True godliness is established by contentment which produces a thankful heart for whatever God chooses to give or even to withhold according to His good, acceptable, divine, perfect and loving will for those that belong to Him. And so Paul continues…
(Vs.7-8) “For we have brought nothing into the world, so we cannot take anything out of it either. If we have food and covering, with these we shall be content.”
Two men standing in a crowd were watching the funeral procession of the rich shipping magnate Aristotle Onassis and one said “How much did he leave behind?” and the man next to him said “Everything!” This is a sobering thought that the money preachers and lovers of money need to meditate upon and not only them but those who listen to them that have itching ears they want scratched with how they too can get rich and have things good in this world (2 Timothy 4:3-4).
What is wrong with living in a modest house, driving an average car, having food on the table and enough money to meet ones needs and that of one’s family, and have some left over to contribute to God’s work and to those less fortunate? A New Covenant believer with a thankful heart will always see the blessing of God on whatever they do and upon their families and associates and their occupation. If one has the mortgage paid and regular work and a moderate bank account in this life, what more do they require?
Trusting the Lord means being content with what we have. If one can better their standing in life, or get a promotion or a better job, this is also a good thing but one must always allow for the will of God and that He might want to change one’s plans. There is nothing more satisfying in knowing and having the deep inward assurance from the Holy Spirit that you are walking in the centre of God’s will. His will is always good, acceptable and perfect for those who completely and without reserve submit their will to His will in everything that pertains to life and godliness through having the revelation knowledge of the Lord Jesus (Romans 12:1-2) (2 Peter 1:3). This attitude in itself will make you content with what you have.
Added to this, thanking God for the blessings you have will only bring more blessing but not necessarily in the financial realm or even where one’s health is concerned but one’s needs will be met and at times in abundance (John 10:10). Now let’s read on…
(Vs.9-10) “But those who want to get rich fall into temptation and a snare and many foolish and harmful desires which plunge men into ruin and destruction. For the love of money is a root of all sorts of evil, and some by longing for it have wandered away from the faith and pierced themselves with many griefs.”
Watching these hyper faith money preachers “strut their stuff” on stage you can see how naive Christians and even pastors who lack discernment can be hooked in especially if they have financial problems or want to better their lot in life. God’s definition of prosperity is not the world’s definition of prosperity. The late Derek Prince once said; “To prosper according to the Word of God is to have successfully completed the will of God.” As a New Covenant believer what can be more satisfying when you come to life’s end than to have the assurance that you have done the will of God and knowing that your labour in the Lord has not been in vain and that your reward is waiting for you in the Millennial age to come on earth and ultimately of course in the perfect and eternal state after the Millennium is over? (2 Timothy 4:6-8).
These money preachers will end their lives having been snared by many spiritually harmful desires that will ultimately plunge them into ruin and destruction, not knowing that the love of money is the root of all kinds of evil and that chasing after money will cause them to wander from the faith, to embrace false doctrines and at life’s end to pierce themselves through with the barbs of many griefs which they will feel intensely and in many cases for all of eternity. They will leave it all behind! Their end will be according to what they have done!
What does Jude say about these false apostles and prophets and covetous greedy shepherds and teachers who feed only themselves and abuse the sheep? Jude writes…
“Woe to them! For they have gone the way of Cain, and for pay they have rushed headlong into the error of Balaam, and perished in the rebellion of Korah. These are the men who are hidden reefs in your love feasts when they feast with you without fear, caring for themselves; clouds without water, carried along by winds; autumn trees without fruit, doubly dead, uprooted; wild waves of the sea, casting up their own shame like foam; wandering stars, for whom the black darkness has been reserved forever” (Jude 1:11-13).