WHAT does the Bible say concerning how the early church functioned financially?
“And all that believed were together, and had all things common; And sold their possessions and goods, and parted them to all men, as every man had need.” Acts 2:44-45
When God’s people were in a perfect state of fellowship, pleasing Him fully, “as every man had need” the collective resources were distributed. Not one of them lacked. In fact, with no need for a sermon in the matter, naturally, as saved people, they sold their excess, emptied their bank accounts, and gave to those in need.
“Neither was there any among them that lacked: for as many as were possessors of lands or houses sold them, and brought the prices of the things that were sold, And laid them down at the apostles’ feet: and distribution was made unto every man according as he had need.” Acts 4:34-35
WOULD there be EVEN ONE among us who lacked anything if we were serving the LORD the way He prescribed in HIS WORD?
Quote from early church elder of the state of the body of Christ then:
“See,” [the Romans] say, “how they love one another!” . . . “How they are ready even to die for one another!” . . . The family possessions, which generally destroy brotherhood among you, create fraternal bonds among us. One in mind and soul, we do not hesitate to share our earthly goods with one another. All things are common among us but our wives. (Tertullian, Apology 39, c. A.D. 200)
What if someone has money in the bank or things he doesn’t need and could sell, and knows of a need a brother or sister has?
“We know that we have passed from death unto life, because we love the brethren. He that loveth not his brother abideth in death. 15Whosoever hateth his brother is a murderer: and ye know that no murderer hath eternal life abiding in him. 16Hereby perceive we the love of God, because he laid down his life for us: and we ought to lay down our lives for the brethren. 17But whoso hath this world’s good, and seeth his brother have need, and shutteth up his bowels of compassion from him, how dwelleth the love of God in him? 18My little children, let us not love in word, neither in tongue; but in deed and in truth.” 1 John 3:14-18
How do we know that we truly know Him and are ready to meet Him if we die today (and we might)? We obviously do not “love the brethren” or know the One who “is love” if we have the means to help a brother or sister in need and don’t. God is watching (Proverbs 24:10-12; Matthew 25:40-46)
What does saving faith truly looks like:
“What doth it profit, my brethren, though a man say he hath faith, and have not works? can faith save him? 15If a brother or sister be naked, and destitute of daily food, 16And one of you say unto them, Depart in peace, be ye warmed and filled; notwithstanding ye give them not those things which are needful to the body; what doth it profit? 17Even so faith, if it hath not works, is dead, being alone.” James 2:14-17
Catch this attitude James is pointing out here. The LORD is trying to get at something in us here. Where is our trust, truly? This is key.
“Depart in peace, be ye warmed and filled“ here means “Be warmed and filled. Be blessed but please don’t bother ME. ALL that matters is ME, so please don’t bother ME in MY comfort! I am doing well so please don’t mess with MY personal comfort. I will pray for YOU. But YOU go away and trust God for YOURSELF. I have in my possession what YOU need but run along. Go your way in YOUR lack, I have worked hard and have money for ME and MY security but YOU go on and trust God YOURSELF. I have the means to help YOU but YOU are not as important to ME as I am! Forget ME having to give up the money that is MY security and trust God, YOU trust God. I’M going to keep, to hoard what is MINE because I I I matter more than YOU. I will not give up MY security! No, YOU trust God YOURSELF. For ME, I will preserve MY life in this world by holding onto something that YOU have need of! YOU are not important to ME, I AM, so scat, go on, be warmed and filled while I enjoy the fruit of MY labors and YOU lack!”
This attitude clearly identifies a person who is not truly trusting God but rather self and is preserving his life in this fleeting, sinful world. Is the same God who put those resources in our hands now NOT ABLE to provide for us? Has He who created and owns ALL now bankrupt? Where is our faith?
When we know of a child of God who has a need and hoard instead of give to that member of Jesus’ body, are we not saying “Depart in peace, be ye warmed and filled”?
“All things come of thee (LORD), and of thine own have we given thee.” 1 Chronicles 29:14
Because we have resources in our possession does not negate our God-given personal responsibility to trust God for all things by faith.
“But without faith it is impossible to please him: for he that cometh to God must believe that he is (Provider), and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him.” Hebrews 11:6
Want someone to lie you right into hell? That will not be this disciple. Don’t like this type direct preaching straight from GOD’s Word? Well, don’t hold your breath – I won’t cease declaring it.
WHO do we truly love most? If we do love God, His body, His very people are not separate from us but rather our very members. In fact, we then give more abundant honor upon those who lack in His body, right? (1 Corinthians 12:23-25)
What are we truly trusting in?
A Rich Man Who Refused to Give
Not long ago, a brother in Christ who labors ceaselessly for Jesus, feeding His sheep daily and winning lost souls, led a lady to Christ. This lady happened to be the wife of a very rich man. The minister/servant of Jesus first met her husband, who said he was saved and talked a good talk. Yet, this husband (rich man) said his wife was not born again and that he greatly desired his wife to get saved. So, the brother, the minister of Christ, was later able to dialogue with and clearly communicate the Gospel with that rich man’s wife and successfully lead her to Christ. The minister led her to Jesus, snatching her soul from eternal damnation! She repented and put her faith in Jesus Christ. That minister of Jesus labored to see her come into God’s kingdom and not spend eternity in hell. This rich man, the husband,was an extremely wealthy man in this world’s goods. Yet, even after seeing the minister of Christ lead his very wife’s soul into God’s kingdom and then being notified more than once of the great need for financial support for the ministry work this minister with others were doing, the rich man refused to give a penny. With no dent in his mountain of wealth, this rich man whose wife was now saved as a result of that ministry work, could have given an amount to that ministry work that would have propelled it to new depths of fruitfulness for the King’s glory but yet refused when notified of the need. The bottom line is that the rich man should have jumped at the opportunity to give but he refused and that proves he is not truly of God. In order to in part illustrate how much money this rich man had, let’s say that he has a $150,000 “weekend car.” In other words, he own several toy vehicles, a mansion, etc. Apparently this is how important HE is to HIMSELF and yet, the work of the LORD Jesus through that ministry and servant of Jesus who led that man’s wife to Christ and ministered to that man, means nothing to this man. Sad but true!
Did not our LORD tell a similar story of a “certain rich man” and a pauper? Luke 16:19-31. Did not the rich man go to hell and the pauper to eternal comfort? This is a serious matter.
Do you have money you could be helping God’s people with? The Bible instructs Christians to “Charge them that are rich in this world … That they do good, that they be rich in good works, ready to distribute, willing to communicate..”
1 Timothy 6
“But godliness with contentment is great gain. 7For we brought nothing into this world, and it is certain we can carry nothing out. 8And having food and raiment let us be therewith content. 9But 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. 10For the love of money is the root of all evil: which while some coveted after, they have erred from the faith, and pierced themselves through with many sorrows. 11But thou, O man of God, flee these things; and follow after righteousness, godliness, faith, love, patience, meekness. 12Fight the good fight of faith, lay hold on eternal life, whereunto thou art also called, and hast professed a good profession before many witnesses. 13I give thee charge in the sight of God, who quickeneth all things, and before Christ Jesus, who before Pontius Pilate witnessed a good confession; 14That thou keep this commandment without spot, unrebukable, until the appearing of our Lord Jesus Christ: 15Which in his times he shall shew, who is the blessed and only Potentate, the King of kings, and Lord of lords; 16Who only hath immortality, dwelling in the light which no man can approach unto; whom no man hath seen, nor can see: to whom be honour and power everlasting. Amen. 17Charge them that are rich in this world, that they be not highminded, nor trust in uncertain riches, but in the living God, who giveth us richly all things to enjoy; 18That they do good, that they be rich in good works, ready to distribute, willing to communicate; 19Laying up in store for themselves a good foundation against the time to come, that they may lay hold on eternal life.” 1 Timothy 6:6-19
Make no mistake: God is watching each of us and will reward accordingly. Specifically, He sees that we know of those of His own people who have needs and have thus far refused to help them. Watch this:
“If thou faint in the day of adversity, thy strength is small. 11If thou forbear to deliver them that are drawn unto death, and those that are ready to be slain; 12If thou sayest, Behold, we knew it not; doth not he that pondereth the heart consider it? and he that keepeth thy soul, doth not he know it? and shall not he render to every man according to his works?” Proverbs 24:10-12
Did Jesus, the One who holds our eternity in His hands, warn us about having and trusting this fleeting world’s goods? Watch this:
“And Jesus looked round about, and saith unto his disciples, How hardly shall they that HAVE RICHES enter into the kingdom of God! 24And the disciples were astonished at his words. But Jesus answereth again, and saith unto them, Children, how hard is it for them that TRUST IN RICHES to enter into the kingdom of God! 25It 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.
What is the very Judge of your eternal soul going to say to you die having riches stored up that could and should have helped His people who were in need and HIS work?
We had better get this right. We, you, may have no other chance to do so if you do not repent and obey Him now (Isaiah 1:18-20).
“This people honoureth me with their lips, but their heart is far from me.” Mark 7:6
The Most Shocking Betrayal Will Come from Within
Just as Jesus’ betrayal came from one of His very own, so will yours.
The true follower of Jesus, who is called into full-time service of His people, will not be surprised when attacked and lied about by calvinists and catholics. However, that disciple will surely be shocked when attacked by those who claim to know the LORD. False Christians will slight, shun, and denigrate them while they are obeying the LORD by tending to their post and duties faithfully. This phenomenon is nothing less than mind-boggling and so I am warning you ahead of time. Count the cost as our LORD warned you (Luke 14:27-28).
It is an unspeakable atrocity and crime that those who have resources don’t help God’s children who are in need. Christ’s ministry work suffers grossly for lack of support!
There are many who are watchmen and serve the LORD on this list. Now, if you are called to serve the LORD and His people full-time in the days ahead, feeding His sheep and winning lost souls, be warned that many will sit back and refuse to help you. In fact, many around you will say “Atta boy” and “be warmed and filled.” However, God forbid that they might be inconvenienced for the most important work in the earth – the care of souls! Some of these same people who claim to be saved and give you their verbal lip service, will lift not one finger to help. In reality, they could care less. Why? They are apostate. They have backslid but still think they are saved. These are utterly deluded. These same people have $150.00 per month to support their cable TV addiction and nothing to give to help sustain and further CHRIST’s work on earth in this late hour. Laodicea! Just as Jesus warned, the love of “many” has already waxed cold due to iniquity abounding, much of which has come through their hellevision they pay so dearly to maintain! (Matthew 24:10-13) The five foolish virgins have fallen away! (Matthew 25:1-13) They are quick to use lip service with their “atta boys” to God’s servants, yet refuse to lay down their lives to worship Jesus in Spirit and in truth as the earliest saints did joyfully. Read Acts 2:44-45 and 4:34-35 and weigh the huge difference in fruit between the known true disciples of the early church and those (including ourselves) who claim to know the One who gave all in this last hour. If they are right with God – if we ourselves are right with God – we delight to worship Him and to bless HIS body and HIS work!
Jesus and HIS body cannot be separated. The way we treat HIS work and HIS body clearly reveals exactly what we thing of HIM (Matthew 25:40-46).
Do we realize how many souls are being damned to hell due to the refusal of those who claim to be serving Christ not helping?
Who really cares? Do you?
Some do, praise God! But it’s only a few – the “few” who are on “the narrow road that leads to life” everlasting (Matthew 7:13-14).
Mad at me now?
Please don’t hold your breath in hopes that I will change.
By His grace and mercy, I will remain on post.
If you want your ears tickled, move along!
I refuse to coddle anyone in their soul-damning sin.
The blood must be removed from my hands by delivering to you this message of mercy, where the LORD is calling you to truly repent and lay down your life, ceasing to lean to your own understanding and abandoning yourself to Him unreservedly.
If you want to know and truly serve the LORD Jesus Christ, learning daily with His true remnant body to die to self and live to bless Him and His people, let’s grow in His grace together!
“They profess that they know God; but in works they deny him, being abominable, and disobedient, and unto every good work reprobate.” Titus 1:16
Without exception, to each of the 7 CHURCHES the Son of God addressed in Revelation 2 and 3, Jesus said to them “I know thy works!” The unchanging, Almighty King says to you right now, “I know thy works.”
Jesus Christ knows “YOUR WORKS.” Do “YOUR WORKS” clearly demonstrate that you know, love, and obey Him? Or, are you serving yourself in this life and therefore, the works of your life prove that you do not know Him and will soon be spued from His mouth as “lukewarm”? (Revelation 3:15-16)
Here’s the LORD’s prescription and answer to this back slidden, apostate dilemma:
“Sow to yourselves in righteousness, reap in mercy; break up your fallow ground: for it is time to seek the LORD, till he come and rain righteousness upon you.” Hosea 10:12
When you truly repent and lay down your life, the works of your life will drastically change. You will cease serving self and begin serving the only Savior. You cut off the hand that offends and pluck out the eye that does not lead you closer to Him and to performing His good pleasure and doing His work.
“And were baptized of him in Jordan, confessing their sins. 7But when he saw many of the Pharisees and Sadducees come to his baptism, he said unto them, O generation of vipers, who hath warned you to flee from the wrath to come? 8Bring forth therefore fruits meet (consistent with) for repentance: 9And think not to say within yourselves, We have Abraham to our father (don’t dare boast of your ridiculous, self-righteous religious pedigree/accomplishments): for I say unto you, that God is able of these stones to raise up children unto Abraham. 10And now also the axe is laid unto the root of the trees: therefore every tree which bringeth not forth good fruit is hewn down, and cast into the fire.” Matthew 3:7-10
We are either real or we are fake. 1 John 3:18…. I have to start at home …. my own heart and life…. does it truly reflect the early Christians who were His true disciples? Or, am I a fake, kindling awaiting the fires of eternal damnation?
***COULD JESUS CHRIST HAVE BEEN ANY MORE CLEAR? “And I say unto you MY FRIENDS (His own disciples), Be not afraid of them that kill the body, and after that have no more that they can do. But I will forewarn YOU (My friends) whom YE (My friends) shall fear: Fear him, which after he hath killed hath power to cast into hell; yea, I say unto you, Fear him.” Luke 12:4-5
“And he (Christ) spake a parable unto them, saying, The ground of a certain rich man brought forth plentifully: And he thought within himself, saying, What shall I do, because I have no room where to bestow my fruits? And he said, This will I do: I will pull down my barns, and build greater; and there will I bestow all my fruits and my goods. And I will say to my soul, Soul, thou hast much goods laid up for many years; take thine ease, eat, drink, and be merry. But God said unto him, Thou fool, this night thy soul shall be required of thee: then whose shall those things be, which thou hast provided? So is he that layeth up treasure for himself, and is not rich toward God.” Luke 12:16-21
Stewardship | See “Filthy Rich” audios on Audio page on this site
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Comment from Rachel C.: