Friday, August 21, 2015


A Treatise on Mammon

          To the Church of the Living God, that sojourns abroad in divers places. Grace, mercy, and peace from God the Father and our Savior Jesus Christ.
          As time passes on and our view becomes shortsighted, it at times is vital for the servants of God to be reminded of firmly founded precepts that mark the fundamentals of our universal faith. The apostle Paul rightly admonishes the Church at Ephesus “in all meekness and lowliness of mind, with long-suffering, forbearing one another in love, endeavor to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace. For there is one body, and one Spirit, even as you are called in one hope of your calling; One Lord, one Faith, one baptism. One God and Father of all, who is above all, and through all and in you all.” Likewise, the Didache states that “let nobody consider what he has as his own, for if we are partakers in that which is incorruptible, how much more in things which are corruptible.” Furthermore, Christ Himself said “give to everyone who asks of you, and lend expecting nothing in return. For if you lend to others expecting return, what do ye more than sinners? For even sinners lend to sinners to receive the same again.” And “sell what you have and give to the poor, obtain for yourselves bags which wax not old, a treasure laid up in the heavens where no thief approaches nor moth corrupts.” “Woe unto the rich, blessed are the poor and poor in spirit, and forsake all or you cannot be my disciple. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.” If we truly believe we are one body, having common faith and hope, serving The Christ our Lord, King of kings, Alpha and Omega; that we have a common salvation to be in the unified kingdom of God, for the Savior Himself said, “a kingdom divided against itself cannot stand”; that Christ meant everything He said, and that His words will judge us in the last days; then how can we willfully disobey the above teachings and think that we love and serve God?
          The apostle John clearly stated that “if we have this worlds goods, and see our brother in need, and close up our bowels of compassion, how does the love of God abide in such a person? Beloved, let us not love in word or in speech, but in deed and in truth.”  Likewise, “love not the world, neither the things that are in the world, for he that loves the world does not have the love of the Father abiding in him.” Brothers and sisters, if we are to be truly Christ’s disciples, laboring for that which is eternal, a city set on a hill that cannot be hid, why do we continue to labor for our own land, crops, businesses, houses, etcetera, while we see brothers in need, millions without basic necessities, lost people in false churches, and billions of people on the broad way to destruction as the world quickly waxes from bad to worse. What hinders us from obeying these teachings; from forsaking all, denying ourselves of divers dainties, luxuries, and “foolish and hurtful lusts that drown men in destruction and perdition”? When we refuse to help our brethren with legitimate needs, continuing in the futility of our own mind after vanities, much business, building, planting, buying, selling, are we a city set on a hill? A light to the world? Free from all hypocrisy? Of a single eye? Beloved, let us not delude ourselves into thinking we are still the Christian Church when we will not bring our goods into common stock, having sold houses and possessions, forsaken our worthless pursuit of various kinds of foods and drinks, decorations and idols, vacations and useless hobbies, and distribute unto all according as each have need.
          I assert now plainly and boldly that if we cannot receive these admonitions and be cut to the heart to repent, to pray for mercy and obey in the fear of God, we have our allegiance to the god of Mammon and not to Christ. Paul would say unto such as deny these sayings “no not to eat with such a one who is a covetous man and an idolater”. If greediness or covetousness is not once to be named among us as is fitting for saints, then how can we be so deceived as to think that we do not love money when our Church does not emulate or strive for that which we see in Acts? Brethren, Christ has declared plainly “no man can serve two masters, for either he will hate the one and love the other, or be devoted to the one and despise the other, you CANNOT serve both God and Mammon”.
          I recently heard a dream, which I believe to have been from God, to awaken His people to rise from the dead and let the light of Christ shine on us. Beloved, let us earnestly seek to understand the intricacies of this dream, hearken and repent if need be, to be the Church of Christ that the gates of Hades cannot prevail against and that turns the world upside down. If there be any brotherly love, any adoration for Christ our pierced Savior and eternal High Priest who for our sins suffered affliction unto death, to deliver us from death and wash us from our sins in His own blood, that we might be holy and without blame before Him in love, or any fear of God in our hearts with devotion to the Holy Gospel and the Holy Spirit; let us ask God once more to deliver us from the thorns and thistles of riches and pleasures, to anoint our eyes to see our covetousness and self-indulgence, to clothe us in righteousness and brotherly affection to cover the shame of our nakedness, and to have that precious pearl of great price which this world cannot understand. If we heed these admonitions, and ask God to aid us in understanding the dream, surely we will accomplish what is revealed in it. Be not lukewarm my brothers, he that has ears to hear let him hear what the Spirit says to the Churches.
          The dream is as follows as best as my memory can serve me: There was a man and his wife driving along a road with their children. They were in their van, beholding all the peril and destruction that was happening round about the city, seemingly safe in their vehicle. An admonition of strong warning sounded through the air “Stay in your vehicle, get out at your own risk” said someone over a speaker of some sort. Tribulation and anguish was upon all as great disaster took place to many houses and families. As the family drove along, looking right and left, there was what seemed to be a strange occurrence. Something had destroyed a number of houses, but left others intact. The ones in shambles and rubble seemed to be of lesser value, while the more luxurious ones seemed, as it were, unscathed by the thing that destroyed the others. This was a reoccurring pattern along the road to the city. House after house, rich and poor side by side, rich intact, poor destroyed. The destruction was not localized or confined to a single area. Whatever was destroying the houses seemed to be a selective process, for it was found that two houses on either side of a rich house, could be utterly destroyed while the rich one remained unharmed.
          Proceeding further, the family arrived at the intersection of 101 and 20, and seeing a few empty police cars with lights flashing, heard yet again the warning voice “Stay in your car, get out at your own risk”. Not knowing what else to do than to keep going, perhaps unable to go forward further because of the police cars, they turned into what seemed to be a parking lot. There they saw manifold amounts of people wandering about aimlessly, having nothing to do but to weep and despair, many parents expressing the nature of their grief with loud shouts of “where are my children”, or “where is my son or daughter”. Then the man also heard one say “my children have gone missing, I cannot find them, somebody has killed them.” As the man looked roundabout from the safety of his own vehicle he saw blood and bodies lying about, with various kinds of debris scattered about the parking lot. The voice sounded again, of what was now clearly a police officer, “Stay in your vehicle, get out at your own risk, some man is shooting people”. Suddenly, the man’s wife brings it to his attention that one of their children has gone missing. Looking all around the van, he is nowhere to be found. With the police man warning yet again to stay in the vehicle, the man is met with a tough decision, either lose his own son for certain, or get out at his own risk with a chance to find him. Disregarding all else but love for his son, he quickly exits the vehicle to go looking for him. Now walking about amongst the people, he hears something more about the situation from one of the people who has lost a child, “there is some man shooting people from on top of the building”. Now met with much uncertainty about finding his son, he looks down and sees a bunch of broken glass and a puddle of blood, then sounding in his ear is the voice of the police officer “Stay in your vehicle, get out at your own risk, some Jewish man is on top of the building shooting people”. Torn between his life and that of his son, he proceeds forward to look for his son, despite the police officers clear warning.
          A little while later, the man finds himself on top of a building, which seems to be the building that the police officer was referring to. He observes close to the edge exactly what the police officer described, an older Jewish man in a white baggy shirt, with a gun leaning against one hand, a black beard and sober resolve. The man perceives the Jewish man to be one of strong resolute conviction, one that cannot be shaken, as he observes another man standing next to him. The second man is in a blue business suit, smooth shaven, your typical business professional with matching attire. He is exclaiming something to the Jewish man with his hands raised in somewhat of a disgust, while the Jewish man calmly but strongly replies “No.” Yet again the business man speaks and the Jewish man replies “No!” This time he looks up in the air, closes his eyes, and having gained his composure, he exhales, opening his eyes with intent. There appears around him smoke rising up to heaven like the burning of incense for sacrifice, as he quickly, methodically and masterfully, wields his weapon, dropping to one knee (displaying to the man looking for his son that he is by far no novice in the use of his weapon) and quickly fires off three rounds in the distance where there seems to be nothing. Then, suddenly the bullets strike against something, revealing yet another man. This man is a strong, robust man, military, clean cut, wearing a black tight shirt and tall black boots, military trousers, and a bullet proof vest. The three bullets strike him at separate intervals, the man only appearing as each bullet strikes him, having as it were, the characteristics of a strobe light. The military man is only visible as each bullet strikes him, disappearing after each strike. Two strike him in his vest, and one grazes his neck. He falls to his knees, dropping his sniper rifle, but wielding a secondary pistol from off the side of his leg, he fires shots back at the Jewish man. The business man still reasoning his case with the Jewish man, the Jewish man pays no attention to his words, and delivers a few more shots to the military man, one delivering a mortal wound. The Jewish man is struck by the shots, and it is uncertain the damage done to him (as far as the writer can remember). All the while the business man continues to babble on, his hands raised in disgust about the actions of the Jewish man. This concludes the dream.
          The interpretation of each individual aspect of the dream is unclear, and the writer is not certain the dream is exactly how the person experienced it. Nevertheless, many aspects of what is written above did happen in the dream, and have application to servants of God. The rich houses being unharmed, and the poor being destroyed, and that right next to each other represent the inequality in the Church and in the world. Many live in want, while few indulge in excess, this is monstrous and such as maintain this type of lifestyle and practices while claiming Christ are in fact not a part of the Christian Church. Brethren, “how hard it is for the rich to inherit the kingdom of God. It is easier for a camel to pass through the eye of a needle, than for a rich man to inherit the kingdom of God.”
          The police officers’ warnings represent carnal reasoning to persuade those who are on the way which leads to life to love their lives in this present world, and do nothing to help those who are suffering because of the destruction upon many because of the luxury and self-indulgence of a few. Beloved, Jesus our Savior said “unless a grain of wheat falls to the ground and dies, it abides alone, but if it dies it shall bring forth much fruit. Therefore, he that loves his life will lose it, but he that hates his life in this world will save it unto life eternal”.
          The van represents earthly security; the children dead or missing are those that have died because of poverty due to violence of wanton luxury and self-indulgence, or children that have forsaken the faith because of the love of money they saw in what called itself the church causing them to blaspheme because of the hypocrisy. Missing children represent those who perhaps have forsaken the vain conduct of their families to earnestly pursue Christ. The dazed and confused families represent those drowning in destruction and perdition because they have coveted after wealth and forsaken the faith, having justified these deeds with carnal reasoning. The intersection 101/20 represents Psalms 101:20 and verses around it in the Septuagint, 102 in the KJV which reads “for He hath looked down from the height of His sanctuary; from heaven did the Lord behold the earth; to hear the groaning of the prisoner; to loose those that are appointed to death; to declare the name of the Lord in Zion, and His praise in Jerusalem”.
Exiting the car represents forsaking earthly security to trust in the Living God, leaving the 99 to look for the one lost sheep, and forsaking one’s own possessions to be Christ’s disciple.
The continuing after seeing blood and broken glass represents loving not one’s own life unto death, the testimony of a saint of God.
The Jewish man represents the Church; modest, firm on conviction, sober, and wielding the word of God against all enemies (our weapons are not carnal). The business man represents another form of carnal reasoning, godliness for gain, which the Church must never listen to as the apostle Paul told Timothy, “from such withdraw thyself”. The military man represents the god of Mammon: his strobing appearance, his hidden nature in the Scriptures; the vest, his defense of Scriptures from the Bible; his weapon being stealthy, fired from afar, killing many without notice with his sniper rifle pinpoint accuracy on deceiving the heart that it trusts not in him for security and that one can have treasure on earth and not set his heart on it.
The Jewish man’s incense is the Church, the called out ones, offering their bodies as living sacrifices holy and acceptable unto God, this is their reasonable service showing why he yields the weapon with ease and expertise as one quite trained in the art. His Jewish nature signifies how carnal reasoning and the god of Mammon defame the Church for being legalistic or Pharisaic as it judges righteous judgment and truly upholds the saying “the Church is the pillar and ground of the Truth,” applying Scripture and following the Holy Spirit, making judgments beyond clear Scripture by the grace of God.
The three shots fired represent the following fundamental precepts of the faith; “sell what you have and give to the poor”, “be content with food and clothing”, and “take no thought for your life, what you are to eat, drink, put on”. The return shots of the military man, the god of Mammon, are persecution, imprisonment, deep poverty, unjust confiscation of property lands, goods, and even execution if there is no recantation. The uncertainty of death of the Jewish man represents the teaching “when I return, will I find faith on the earth”, and “he that endures to the end shall be saved”.
          Beloved brethren, elect chosen of God, hear now and hearken unto these words of the Savior and the apostle Paul, this is the mortal wound: “And [Jesus] looked up, and saw the rich men casting their gifts into the treasury. And he saw also a certain poor widow casting in thither two mites. And he said, of a truth I say unto you, that this poor widow hath cast in more than they all: for all these have of their abundance cast in unto the offerings of God; but she of her penury hath cast in all the living that she had.” And “moreover, brethren, we do you to wit of the grace of God bestowed on the churches of Macedonia. How that in a great trial of affliction, the abundance of their joy and their deep poverty abounded unto the riches of their liberality. For to their power, I bear record, yea, and beyond their power they were willing of themselves; praying us with much entreaty that we would receive the gift, and take upon us the fellowship of the ministering to the saints. And this they did, not as we hoped, but first gave their own selves to the Lord, and unto us by the will of God. Insomuch that we desired Titus, that as he had begun, so he would also finish in you the same grace also. Therefore, as ye abound in everything, in faith, and utterance, and knowledge, and in all diligence, and in your love to us, see that ye abound in this grace also. I speak not by commandment, but by occasion of the forwardness of others, and to prove the sincerity of your love. For ye know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, that, though he was rich, yet for your sakes he became poor, that ye through His poverty might be rich… for I mean not that other men be eased and ye burdened, but by an equality, that now at this time your abundance may be a supply for their want; that their abundance also may be a supply for your want, that there may be an EQUALITY”. He that has and ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the Churches. Grace be with you all. He that does not love the Lord Jesus Christ let him be Anathema Maranatha. Amen [Luke 21; 2 Corinthians 8; 1 Corinthians 16]

Ryan Luedeker

1 comment:

“Reason dictates that persons who are truly noble and who love wisdom will honor and love only what is true. They will refuse to follow traditional viewpoints if those viewpoints are worthless...Instead, a person who genuinely loves truth must choose to do and speak what is true, even if he is threatened with death...I have not come to flatter you by this written petition, nor to impress you by my words. I have come to simply beg that you do not pass judgment until you have made an accurate and thorough investigation. Your investigation must be free of prejudice, hearsay, and any desire to please the superstitious crowds. As for us, we are convinced that you can inflict no lasting evil on us. We can only do it to ourselves by proving to be wicked people. You can kill us—but you cannot harm us.” From Justin Martyr's first apology 150 A.D. Martyred A.D. 160