James 1:10, The rich.
Castles, palaces and mansions dot the landscape in many regions of Europe. These edifices are silent monuments of the wealth that has been concentrated into the hands of a few over the millennia. The sizes of these homes are staggering. It becomes especially evident when one tours these palatial residences—some of which boast hundreds of rooms and vast acreages. What are castles, palaces and mansions really all about? What’s behind it all. How does YHVH Elohim view what they represent? These are the questions I found myself asking on my recent trip to the British Isles, Ireland and Paris.
In many cities you visit, the castles, palaces and mansions of the wealthy “elite” top the list of the most popular tourist attractions. Everyone wants to experience the lifestyles of the rich and powerful if only vicariously. People the world over flock to them in droves as they purchase their tickets, board buses and often travel great distances to some remote and exclusive location with commanding view on a mountain or cliff top, beach or lake side or some other venerable piece of real estate, where they will spend the better part of a day touring the extravagant grounds, gardens and residences. We did! Some palaces are so elite that photography is even forbidden. It’s hard not be awed at the sight of throne rooms, mirrored ballrooms with frescoed ceilings and dozens of yards of rich tapestries, exotic wood carvings and paneling and marbled flooring and enormous art galleries with paintings up to the gilded ceilings.
But all of this richness is, in reality, a pathetically thin veneer covering, in most cases, a sinister and evil side of palaces, castles and mansions. The tour guides, while giving the awestruck tourist the front story, will every so often allude to the backstory of how these wealthy “elite” obtained their vast lands and wealth. Yes, this background information paints a completely different story that betrays the rich but superficial patina of tree lined boulevards leading up to these grand estates as you drive past the high stone walls and gate houses, through the wrought iron gates to these homes surrounded by formal botanical gardens with their lakes, fountains, statuary and Greek-styled columned verandas, porticos and even garden sheds.
Yes, the tour guides don’t want to ruin the fun for their bedazzled paying guests, but the honest guides, when pressed with questions, will let slip out the truth of how these rich folks often acquired their land, and it’s not a pretty picture—certainly not as nice as the homes they left behind.
In England, we visited four castles, two of which are still inhabited by royalty, and toured two of them. In Ireland, we visited one castle and one mansion. In Scotland, we saw many palaces, castles and mansions and toured two, one of which is still the Queen of England’s home when she visits that country. In Paris, we toured the Louvre Museum, which is so large and wealthy that it makes most of the English palaces look like country cottages, and which was the castle of the French kings until the Louis the Fourteenth decided it was too small and not luxurious enough. So what did he do? You guessed it. He gave into to his lust and greed and went and built a larger and grander castle at Versailles and nearly bankrupted France, the wealthiest country in continental Europe at the time, in the process. The impoverished French people, who paid for Versailles with their taxes, eventually had enough of their kings’ royal extravagance, so they revolted in the infamous French Revolution during the time of Louis XVI.
The truth be told, nearly all of these kings, queens, princes, dukes, lords, barons and the rest of their ilk acquired their lands and fortunes through theft, pillaging, sacking, relentless bloody warfare, torture, raping, pillaging, slavery, exploitation of the peasants, militaristic and exploitative ventures overseas involving the same. Even my own family on my mother’s side has a castle (now a heap of stone rubble) in southern Ireland on lands that the English sovereign stole from the Irish and gave to their sycophantic minions in the middle of the sixteenth century.
Study the history of the British Isles, the British Empire, Ireland, Scotland, France and every other government down through the history of human civilization up to and including the present-day political, economic and religious systems (the Bible calls Mystery Babylon the Great, and which the global “elites” call the New World Order) that rule the nations and the modern world and the same story emerges. Most gained what they have through the love of money and power, lust, greed, murder and theft because they had the power to lord it over and exploit others.
Perhaps the ultimate irony is that when you tour huge Westminster Abbey (where the royalty of England is married and crowned)—the great Gothic mausoleum masquerading as a cathedral in downtown London, every nook and cranny of the place is packed to the gills with the tombs and marble sarcophagi of England’s bloodthirsty and avaricious regents and their illustrious military and political minions now heros. The floor in many places is literally paved with tombstones, so that you’re literally walking on dead people because so many folks wanted to be buried there! And on top of the sarcophagi cram packing the huge cathedral’s many side chapels are marble statue likeness of the stone box’s occupants lying in peaceful repose with the hands of each king or queen folded in solemn prayer as if begging for mercy for the evils the committed while alive, and all are facing the east in anticipation of the resurrection of the righteous dead at the second coming. Are you kidding me? In real life, most of these people were brute beasts violating every Christian virtue their marble likenesses now feign to typify, while lying in beatific repose in England’s most illustrious house of worship. It’s as if the eternal salvation that eluded them in their lifetime because of the heinous evils they committed, they now hope to gain postmortem by the mere fact that they’re being represented as saints in a church building. Do you really think that such theological and unbiblical nonsense will carry weight with the Just Judge of the universe on Judgment Day? Highly doubtful!
The Bible has something to say about these folks, and it’s not complimentary. Their day of judgment is coming at the hands of the Almighty, who will balance the scales of justice in favor of the little guy. Yeshua the Messiah, our King of kings, will dash to pieces with his rod of iron the modern descendants of these ruling “elitist” scumbags who continue to tyrannize the majority of humanity to this day. HalleluYah! Come Yeshua, come!
Here’s what the Bible says about many of these arrogant, rapacious and murderous castle, palace and monument builders past and present:
Let the lowly brother glory in his exaltation, but the rich in his humiliation, because as a flower of the field he will pass away. For no sooner has the sun risen with a burning heat than it withers the grass; its flower falls, and its beautiful appearance perishes. So the rich man also will fade away in his pursuits. (Jas 1:9–11)
Where do wars and fights come from among you? Do they not come from your desires for pleasure that war in your members? You lust and do not have. You murder and covet and cannot obtain. You fight and war. Yet you do not have because you do not ask. You ask and do not receive, because you ask amiss, that you may spend it on your pleasures. Adulterers and adulteresses! Do you not know that friendship with the world is enmity with Elohim? Whoever therefore wants to be a friend of the world makes himself an enemy of Elohim. Or do you think that the Scripture says in vain, “The Spirit who dwells in us yearns jealously”? But He gives more grace. Therefore He says: “ELOHIM RESISTS THE PROUD, BUT GIVES GRACE TO THE HUMBLE.” (Jas 4:1–6)
Come now, you rich, weep and howl for your miseries that are coming upon you! Your riches are corrupted, and your garments are moth-eaten. Your gold and silver are corroded, and their corrosion will be a witness against you and will eat your flesh like fire. You have heaped up treasure in the last days. Indeed the wages of the laborers who mowed your fields, which you kept back by fraud, cry out; and the cries of the reapers have reached the ears of the Lord of Sabaoth. You have lived on the earth in pleasure and luxury; you have fattened your hearts as in a day of slaughter. You have condemned, you have murdered the just; he does not resist you. Therefore be patient, brethren, until the coming of the Lord. See how the farmer waits for the precious fruit of the earth, waiting patiently for it until it receives the early and latter rain. (Jas 5:1–7)
I have seen the wicked in great power, and spreading himself like a native green tree. Yet he passed away, and behold, he was no more; indeed I sought him, but he could not be found. (Ps 37:5–6)
Those who trust in their wealth and boast in the multitude of their riches, none of them can by any means redeem his brother, nor give to Elohim a ransom for him—for the redemption of their souls is costly, and it shall cease forever—that he should continue to live eternally, and not see the Pit. For he sees wise men die; likewise the fool and the senseless person perish, and leave their wealth to others. Their inner thought is that their houses will last forever, Their dwelling places to all generations; they call their lands after their own names. Nevertheless man, though in honor, does not remain; He is like the beasts that perish. This is the way of those who are foolish, and of their posterity who approve their sayings. Selah. Like sheep they are laid in the grave; death shall feed on them; the upright shall have dominion over them in the morning; and their beauty shall be consumed in the grave, far from their dwelling. (Ps 46:6–14)
For I was envious of the boastful, When I saw the prosperity of the wicked. …Surely You set them in slippery places; You cast them down to destruction. Oh, how they are brought to desolation, as in a moment! They are utterly consumed with terrors. As a dream when one awakes, so, Lord, when You awake, You shall despise their image. (Ps 73:3, 18–20)
As he came from his mother’s womb, naked shall he return, to go as he came; and he shall take nothing from his labor which he may carry away in his hand. (Eccl 5:15)
Then He spoke a parable to them, saying: “The ground of a certain rich man yielded plentifully. And he thought within himself, saying, ‘What shall I do, since I have no room to store my crops?’ 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. 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.” ‘But Elohim said to him, ‘Fool! This night your soul will be required of you; then whose will those things be which you have provided?’ “So is he who lays up treasure for himself, and is not rich toward Elohim.” (Luke 12:16–21)
Consider the lilies, how they grow: they neither toil nor spin; and yet I say to you, even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these. (Luke 12:27, emphasis added on all)
In reality, the Bible categorizes most of these ruling “elites” as wicked fools, for they are part of the Babylon the Great worldwide system that will be destroyed when Yeshua the Messiah returns to this earth to the righteous and the wicked. Speaking about end times Babylon and its eventual demise, Revelation 18 states,
The kings of the earth who committed fornication and lived luxuriously with her will weep and lament for her, when they see the smoke of her burning, standing at a distance for fear of her torment, saying, ‘Alas, alas, that great city Babylon, that mighty city! For in one hour your judgment has come.’ And the merchants of the earth will weep and mourn over her, for no one buys their merchandise anymore: merchandise of gold and silver, precious stones and pearls, fine linen and purple, silk and scarlet, every kind of citron wood, every kind of object of ivory, every kind of object of most precious wood, bronze, iron, and marble; and cinnamon and incense, fragrant oil and frankincense, wine and oil, fine flour and wheat, cattle and sheep, horses and chariots, and bodies and souls of men. …The merchants of these things, who became rich by her, will stand at a distance for fear of her torment, weeping and wailing, and saying, ‘Alas, alas, that great city that was clothed in fine linen, purple, and scarlet, and adorned with gold and precious stones and pearls! For in one hour such great riches came to nothing.… For in one hour she is made desolate.’ Rejoice over her, O heaven, and you holy apostles and prophets, for Elohim has avenged you on her! Then a mighty angel took up a stone like a great millstone and threw it into the sea, saying, “Thus with violence the great city Babylon shall be thrown down, and shall not be found anymore.…The light of a lamp shall not shine in you anymore, and the voice of bridegroom and bride shall not be heard in you anymore. For your merchants were the great men of the earth, for by your sorcery all the nations were deceived. And in her was found the blood of prophets and saints, and of all who were slain on the earth” (emphasis added).