WARNING! It is time for the saints of the Most High Elohim to boycott the corporate entity called The Church Inc. Just walk away from it! This is part of the harlot system that YHVH Elohim is calling his people out of that has tickled ears and made people spiritually drunk for far too long. Wake up saints and come out of her!
2 Corinthians 2:17, Peddling the word of Elohim. Are you as fed up with peddlers of the Word of Elohim as I am? It’s everywhere you go—people standing along the highways of biblical religion with their hands out panhandling. Even in Paul’s day as in our, the ministry of the gospel has “many” gospel peddlers.
Show me just about any big name in Christianity, Messianic, the Hebrew Roots Movement and, in most cases, I’ll show you someone who has built their ministry on shameless self promotion, hype, glitz, corporate marketing techniques and their ability to cleverly woo people to their book seller’s table or website that is chalk full of wares that promise to fill your head with the latest prophetic insights, esoteric biblical head knowledge, pop-psychological, self-help, humanistic, new-age, ear-tickling pap. It’s all yours, if you’ll only plunk down some of your hard-earned cash.
Well, I’m not the only one who’s fed up with these modern-day merchandizers of the gospel. The Apostle Paul was too. Evidently it was rampant in his day as well as we have seen in the scripture verse quoted above: “For we are not, as so many, peddling the word of Elohim…” The word peddling there means “to be a retailer, to make money by selling anything, to get sordid gain by dealing in anything, to do a thing for base gain, to trade in the word of God, to try to get base gain by teaching divine truth, to corrupt, to adulterate, peddlers were in the habit of adulterating their commodities for the sake of gain.”
These guys don’t need to bother knocking on the door of the congregation I pastor, nor at the events our ministry sponsors. The welcome mat isn’t out for them!
Haven’t these spiritual beggars read the word of Elohim? Don’t those who support them know that this was not the way of Yeshua and the apostles? How many examples in the Bible are there of the true servants of Elohim peddling the Word of Elohim, and then living off the proceeds? None! Didn’t Yeshua tell his disciples when he sent them out to preach the gospel, “Freely you’ve received, freely give?” (Matt 10:8). What about this don’t we understand? Remember how Yeshua turned the money-changers tables over in the temple, and how he lambasted the greed of the Jewish religious leaders of his day who “devoured widows houses” (see Matt 21:12; 23:14)? Sadly, little has changed in religious circles since then.
Now I’m not opposed to people freely and without coercion giving to ministries who feed them by preaching and teaching the Word of Elohim. This is totally copacetic to the biblical norm. But selling, peddling and merchandizing is another thing. Of course, none of the offending parties are doing this are they? Just ask them, as they adroitly polish their 14 karat gold-plated hallows. The problem is that the gold plating is wearing thin, and the pot-metal is showing through. The discerning person see this and avoids such people.
The truth of Elohim cuts like a sword to reveal these characters for who and what they are—soulish, greedy, carnal and lazy bums who desire to live of the fat of YHVH’s sheep instead of submitting to the Spirit, truth and Word of YHVH Elohim (Heb 4:12). Go read, if you dare, what the prophet Ezekiel had to say about these guys in Ezekiel 34. YHVH’s judgments are coming against them (verse 20)! This is an end-times prophecy (see verses 23–25).
Other scriptures deal with this issue as well. Speaking of the qualifications of a spiritual overseer, Paul writes,
Not given to wine, no striker, not greedy of filthy lucre [covetous]; but patient, not a brawler, not covetous… (1 Tim 3:3)
Speaking of the qualifications of a spiritual overseer, Paul writes,
Likewise must the deacons be grave, not doubletongued, not given to much wine, not greedy of filthy lucre [money]… (1 Tim 3:8)
For a bishop must be blameless, as the steward of God; not selfwilled, not soon angry, not given to wine, no striker, not given to filthy lucre [money]… (Tit 1:7)
Speaking of false teachers, Paul writes,
Whose mouths must be stopped, who subvert whole houses, teaching things which they ought not, for filthy lucre’s sake [dishonest gain].”(Tit 1:11)
Feed the flock of God which is among you, taking the oversight thereof, not by constraint, but willingly; not for filthy lucre, but of a ready mind… (1 Pet 5:2)
Interestingly, the problem of spiritual pan-handling peddlers and money-grubbers persisted in the early church even after the death of Paul. The Didache, which is one of the earliest, non-canonical documents that exists from the apostolic age from the late first-century A.D., contains some warning, which are as cogent in our day as then. It lays down some guidelines pertaining to the traveling Bible teachers of that day, which we would do well to follow.
Let every apostle [and prophet] that comes to you be received as the Lord. And he shall remain one day, and if there be need the second also; but if he remains three days, he is a false prophet. And when the apostle departs let him take naught, save provision of bread till he be lodged. But if he ask for money, he is a false prophet.