God’s money is sacred.
Rev Dr John Avanzini spoke strongly in his offering message “My child, remember this, God’s money, you must not touch!” That was really a prophetic warning from our Holy Spirit spoken through John. Deep inside my heart and soul, I acknowledged these words as Union of the Holy message ever since the day I was reborn on 7 Dec 2007. This happened during one of the Asia Conference session by our City Harvest Church in Expo Hall 8.
There is a saying “Money is the source of all evil.” That is far from truth if wrongly understood. Money in itself is not evil. It is kind of funny, if that is true, then whoever holds the money can become evil. Everybody needs to hold and use money for their daily necessity and needs. In another word, money can be used for doing good deeds or evil. There are people who used money to do good to help the poor, while there are others who used money to do evil such as hire assassins to kill people, drug money or even to support terrorism. There is another way of looking at it, how do you obtain the money? Heard of the saying “Dirty money” which mostly associates with money obtained from providing sexual services, drug dealing, and money laundering and all sort of illegal way of obtaining money like bribery etc. If you do proper decent business and get pay cheque from your employer, that is “clean money”.
Why God’s money is sacred and ultimate consequences of cheating or touching it?
God’s money is to be set aside for HIS Kingdom building. NOT for personal gain or use.
Ananias and Sapphira struck dead by God for lying and cheating God’s money.
In Acts 5:1-2. At first read, it may appear that Ananias and Sapphira’s sin was that they did not give all the money to the apostles, but rather kept some for themselves. As we read on and study Peter’s response, we will see that the sin came about because they misrepresented how much they had been paid for the property. They had the right to keep back whatever they chose and to give to apostles whatever they chose, but instead they lied and claimed that they were giving all the proceeds from the sale to the church. Notice that Sapphira knew exactly what was going on; this was not something that her husband was doing behind her back. Why did they do this? They wanted to seem more pious and spiritual and generous than they really were, by claiming they had given all the money, instead of just a portion.
Remember, there were two people involved in this deceit. Now we’ll read Sapphira’s story. As God is just, He confronts Ananias and Sapphira separately, so that each may be judged on their own actions, not on the actions of their spouse.
Read Acts 5:7. I found this verse to be very fascinating – the woman’s husband dies, is buried, and no one goes to find her to tell her what happened! I think this had to be the work of the Holy Spirit, speaking through Peter, though it is not specifically recorded here. I think Peter (or another apostle) would have made some sort of announcement to the crowd commanding them not to tell Sapphira what had happened.
Read Acts 5:8. Here Sapphira is tested and oh, how easily she could have escaped her husband’s fate! Peter is blunt and to the point. All she needed to have done was to tell the truth. Before all those witnesses, however, as well as before God, she chose to lie.
Read Acts 5:9. Notice what Peter says: “to test the Spirit of the Lord!” When she lied to Peter, she was lying to God’s representative, which meant she lied to God. I know lying of any sort (though we all do it, most of the time not even meaning to) is a sin, but I think lying to a spiritual authority over us is particularly grievous, since that person represents God on earth.
Ultimate consequence of taking God’s money is dire.
Not all people will suffer greatly for doing so because God is merciful and sinners should not take God’s grace for granted! Remember Judas who betrayed Jesus for 30 pieces of silvers? His ultimate destiny was death by suicide.
John 12:1-7 tells of how the Lord was anointed with some very expensive perfume by Mary, sister of Martha and Lazarus. We know that as Judas witnessed this event, he objected, saying, “Why wasn’t this perfume sold and the money given to the poor? It was worth a year’s wages” [three hundred denarii in Greek]. We know that Judas was not concerned with the poor and that he was a thief, because verse 6 tells us so. “He did not say this because he cared about the poor but because he was a thief; as keeper of the money bag, he used to help himself to what was put into it.”
John 12:3 tell us that the other disciples apparently had no idea that Judas was dipping his hand into the group’s “treasury.” Some secret sins today, in the same way, can be kept secret for a long time. Sometimes even those who know us best—husband, wife, family member, co-worker, close friend—have no idea what is going on.
Matthew says he returned to the priests to give them back their money, but they refused to listen to him, so Judas hanged himself in despair.
Jesus knew beforehand He would be betrayed and who the betrayer would be. Long before it happened, even before it entered Judas’ heart to do so, Jesus called the traitor a devil, although not naming him explicitly (see Jn. 6:64,70-71). In Matthew 26:20, Jesus revealed to Judas that He knew what he intended to do. Knowing what a person will do, however, is not the same as causing him to do it. Therefore, Judas still had a choice and was not powerless in the matter.
Since Lord Jesus is God, all knowing and omniscient, why he didn’t stop Judas from taking money?
Remember that Jesus is as human as everyone and he had already told his disciples that he will only do what Father God had revealed to HIM. Thus Judas behavior wasn’t revealed to HIM so as the prophecy could be fulfilled, else Lord Jesus would had rebuked Judas in the same manner as Peter as HE loved all HIS disciples.
Jesus clearly and repeatedly indicated that He is not the one who “calls the shots”.
John 14:31 “the world must learn that I love the Father and that I do exactly what my Father has commanded me.”
John 7:16 “Jesus answered, “My teaching is not my own. It comes from him who sent me.”
Is it because that Lord Jesus already knew that the prophecy has to happen, that’s why he didn’t rebuke and stop Judas?
As can be seen in the NT, only John wrote in this manner that Judas had been taking money. More likely that he is only one who knew about this but didn’t inform Lord Jesus about it. It is very strange though that certain thing are allowed to happen to fulfill God’s prophecy. Rev Dr A.R. Bernard once said “God will allow things to happen as long as benefits outweight consequences.”
The 30 pieces of silver paid to Judas for the betrayal of Jesus (Matthew 26:14-15) is understood to have been prophesied in Zechariah 11:12: “So they weighed out for my wages thirty pieces of silver.”
The last chapter in Judas’ life is written in Matthew 27. “Early in the morning, all the chief priests and elders of the people came to a decision to put Jesus to death. They bound him, led him away and handed him over to Pilate, the governor. When Judas, who had betrayed him, saw that Jesus was condemned, he was seized with remorse and returned the thirty silver coins to the chief priests and the elders. ‘I have sinned,’ he said, for I have betrayed innocent blood.’ ‘What’ is that to us’? they replied. ‘That’s your responsibility.'” So Judas threw the money into the temple and left. Then he went away and hanged himself.”
How must God’s money be treated since it is sacred?
God’s money must be handle with care in correct manner like the Ark of Covenant. We use the real happening of Uzzah’s death to explain in clarity.
2 Samuel 6:6-7 “ But when they came to the threshing floor of Nacon, Uzzah reached out for the Ark of Covenant and grasped it, for the oxen had stumbled. The LORD was incensed at Uzzah. And God struck him down on the spot for his indiscretion, and he died there beside the Ark of God.”
However, a close reading of the text supports just the opposite: Uzzah was likely killed for NOT correcting his priesthood leaders, who themselves were not following the scriptures. This conclusion is based on three items in the text:
1. King David, not Uzzah, was the responsible party, was in error, and later admits it.
2. Uzzah’s did what his leaders asked him to do, rather than what the scriptures said he should do, both in moving the ark, and in keeping it from falling. Thus, Uzzah’s core error was following his priesthood/political leaders rather than the scriptures.
3. Underlings were often killed for a king’s misbehavior, further supporting the idea that David, not Uzzah, was at fault; the Lord’s actions were meant primarily as a lesson for David.
Mal 3:10 “Bring ye all the tithes into the storehouse, that there may be meat in mine house, and prove me now herewith, saith the LORD of hosts, if I will not open you the windows of heaven, and pour you out a blessing, that there shall not be room enough to receive it.”
Which means the money that was originally set aside for God is sacred, you can only take and use the money that is being overflowed out of the storeroom. If you had taken money or touch the money in the storeroom, than miracle will not happened. As a matter of fact based on biblical economics, such immense blessing doesn’t need anyone to touch the money that was pledged in the storehouse (symbolically for money kept in the bank). Certainly, the blessings of overflowing may not happen overnight but may takes time and Christian to be patience and wait for God’s provision to happen at HIS right timing and place.
The problem is some Christian did not wait for God’s provision for the funding and they go ahead and do funding that maybe illegal in that country. Yes, it is no doubt that one maybe doing God’s will but the problem is that the method of getting the funding maybe illegal and God could had let the event happen and even bless the occasion with many souls saved but bottom-line is that it didn’t follow God’s plan. Moreover, every country has their own law and all citizens must abide by the laws as also written in the Bible. Doing self provision without waiting for God’s provision is an act of lack in faith and disobedience.
Yes, the Church can defend themselves that they are doing this for a good cause but still it is breaking of the local that is punishable.
King David did not keep the money set aside for himself but to built God’s temple. Just before King David died, he gave his son, Solomon, gold, silver and treasure that he had set aside for the building of the Temple, and then crowned him King. In the fourth year of his reign, Solomon began to build the Temple.
In the whole saga that is still ongoing when this article is being published, our Holy Spirit had revealed to me that the article that I had written as inspired by HIM “Cutting the Rope” 27th July 2008 is the true parable prophetic of the event. Part of the prophecy had already been fulfilled. The group that is pulling everyone else down had been cut loose themselves.
Matthew 6:24 (NLT) “No one can serve two masters. For you will hate one and love the other; you will be devoted to one and despise the other. You cannot serve both God and money.”