By Gary Amirault, Tentmaker Ministries
“My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge.” (Hosea 4:6)
“You cannot serve God and mammon.” Matt. 6:24, KJV
“‘No worker can serve two bosses: He’ll either hate the first and love the second or adore the first and despise the second. You can’t worship God and the Bank.’ When the Pharisees, a money-obsessed bunch, heard him say these things, they rolled their eyes, dismissing him as hopelessly out of touch. So Jesus spoke to them: ‘You are masters at making yourselves look good in front of others, but God knows what’s behind the appearance. What society sees and calls monumental, God sees through and calls monstrous.'” (Luke 16:13-15, The Message)
“For 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.” 1 Tim. 6:10, KJV
I personally love the way Eugene Petersen, author of The Message paraphrase of the Bible comes through so plainly. I think the reason many preachers love quoting the antiquated 1611 King James Bible rather than a more contemporary English version is that sins like greed for money, (at trait common to all of us) is somewhat concealed in the KJV. Covetousness and a lust for “mammon” sound more like some kind of Old Testament disease than a character flaw that is still all too common in church today.
Speaking of covetousness, greed, mammon and money, it’s amazing how much of that stuff comes up in my research for Hell Sells. Jesus accused Jewish leaders of making the temple a den of thieves. “You cannot serve two bosses…you cannot worship God and Money both!” If we love Money, we will conform the image of God to our lusts thereby transforming God’s image to our own corrupt nature. By the way, one doesn’t have to have a lot of money to have a love for money and what money can do. Poor people may have just as much lust for money as rich people.
Jesus was the true image of God expressed in the earth. He was the Truth made flesh. And yet most of the leadership of Israel (a consortium of religious, political and business socialites) sought to kill Him. Why? Because they had exchanged the true image of God for a lie. If Jesus stepped into our modern Judeo-Christian-Greco-Roman Western world would things have gone any better for Jesus today? I personally believe that the same unholy trinity is at work in the Western “Christianized” world that was in the earth in Israel when He walked the earth. “What society sees and calls monumental, God sees through and calls monstrous.” The “monster,” as we shall see, cleverly disguises itself using well camouflaged societal institutions to hide its murderous wickedness.
The Gates of Hell
Jesus prophesied that the “gates of Hell/Hades” will not prevail against His ekklesia, His called-out ones. (Matt. 16:18) I purposely avoided using the English word “church” because I personally do not believe the institutional church is Christ’s “called out ones.” I have a lengthy teaching on this subject one may order entitled The Church is a Sorceress. Briefly, the English word “church” does not come from the Greek ekklesia, it comes from the Greek “Kirke,” a mythological character who had the power to turn men into animals. And now you know why “Church History” is so dark. For a thorough study, you may want to get the CD.
The term “gates” in the ancient Semitic world implied much more than physical gates of a city. At the gates, the entrance to a walled city, the leaders of the city sat to do business, to make contracts, to control what went into and out of the city. Those men who sat at the gates politically, religiously and economically controlled the city’s populace. The people were at the mercy of those “gatekeepers.” If those gatekeepers were true servants of people and not into personal power and wealth, the people would have had a good life. But if the gatekeepers were covetous and were more concerned for their own welfare and power, (as well as those who dwelt in the city or those living outside that depended upon the goods and services of the city) would all suffer.
This is what is happening today in the world, only on a world-wide scale. A few “gatekeepers” have amassed political, military, religious, economic, educational and media control on such a large level that they almost have control of the wealth of the world. On a spiritual level, what kind of ideas about God do these gatekeepers, past and present, allow to come into our minds? Were they ideas and teachings that presented a true image of God? Chapter 14 of Ezekiel speaks about the many idols Israel’s priests had in their heart. What kind of false images of God are in the 30,000 plus denominations of Christianity? They can’t all be right. Who are the gatekeepers of the modern institutional church? What kind of teachings do they allow into the “city of God,” (those who call themselves Christians)? Do they present a true image of the incorruptible God? Or do they cause confusion, contradictions and gross misrepresentations? Isn’t it strange that the average Christian is not concerned that there are tens of thousands of denominations often named after some long deceased church leader, especially in the light of Paul’s warning in his first letter to the Corinthians against dividing the body of Christ and following men?
Spiritual Wickedness in High Places
“We wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.” (Eph. 6:12)
Let us take a closer look at some “spiritual wickedness in high places.” As we have seen, from a spiritual point of view, the gates of Hell are people — powerful people who control institutions that determine the welfare of the people under them. The Greek word behind our English word Hell is Hades. The word Hades is made up of two components a (not) and dases (seen). These counselors, then, control the world of the unseen, that which is covered up. The origin of our English word Hell has a similar etymology. The Anglo-Saxon hel, or hele in its secular, common form simply meant covered up, hidden, concealed. Even today in Scotland, when farmers cover up potatoes with earth to protect them from cold in the winter are said to “hell their potatoes,” they are covering them up. We find then, before the gatekeepers got into the act, when a person died and was buried or cremated, they went to the unseen, they were hidden from us, they were out of sight. Men of power (who felt our natural fear of the unseen could be used to control people on this side of the grave) invented stories of what went on beyond the grave. Let us uncover what men and women of great power have covered up so cleverly that I believe they, themselves can no longer see the wickedness of their actions. I think the teaching of Hell by men who lust for power is perhaps Satan’s greatest “cover-up.” The lust for power by unscrupulous men (and a few women) is, I believe, the source for the invention of the church “hell.” Because of the perpetuation of this lie we ignorantly think it is in the original writings of the Bible. It is not!
Gold Calf Worshippers
Before I begin “uncovering” the Christian Publishing Industry, I want to say that I am sooooo grateful for God’s grace. If God had not stopped me twenty-six years ago, I would have undoubtedly created a monster similar to the ones I am about to reveal. Let me explain. Before Jesus redeemed me, I was a small businessman. As I began to fellowship with other Christians, I was naturally attracted to other businessmen trying to make their businesses successful so that they could use a portion of the income generated to help bring people to Christ. Most of us wanted to make a lot of money so we could pour a large portion of it into “God’s work.” I was in the process of trying to start a chain of Christian book stores focusing on books and products pointing to being born again. I had all kinds of bright ideas for this chain of stores. When it came to purchasing the books for the first store, I realized that I did not have maturity and understanding of doctrine to know which books to put into the stores. When I told the Lord that I couldn’t move further because I couldn’t decide which books to order, He made it plain to me that He never gave me the OK to start this project in the first place. My own zeal to “help God” was the driving source to start these book stores, not the Holy Spirit. Had I continued in my Christian book store endeavor 26 years ago, even if successful financially, it would have been a disaster, spiritually speaking. I’m sure I would have grossly misrepresented the true God of the Bible. I shared this information to let the reader know that I do not judge the people I will be talking about in the rest of this series. The individual people are not the issue, it is the system that must be closely looked at. Children who are born into families of great wealth, for example, typically never come to the realization in their lifetimes that their wealth was often accumulated at the expense of the poor and often gained by means God would not approve of. Very few children who inherit great wealth walk away from it or simply give it away or try to change its way of generating income to a more noble way.
The Christian Publishing Industry: Loyal to “The Prophet,” or Profit?
“My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge.” (Hosea 4:6) Sadly, it is not the love of truth that greases the political and economic machinery of this world. It may come as a surprise to the Christian reader that the love of the truth is not what greases the Christian Publishing Industry either. Profits, not Prophets rule much of the Christian Publishing Industry. The God of wrath and eternal damnation has been the choice of the Christian Publishing Industry for many centuries. Let us take a quick look into some of the leading companies in Christian Publishing. Perhaps we will be able to uncover and to reveal the power of darkness known as “counselors of Hell.”
Since Rupert Murdoch and his son James, both heads of News Corporation, have made headlines in recent months for wiretapping heads of state, victims of 9/11, family members of victims of the 7/7 bombings of London’s transit system, family members of British troops killed overseas, a 13-year-old missing British girl who was later found dead and others, it might be appropriate to begin with them. What does the world’s second largest media conglomerate (just behind the Walt Disney Company) have to do with Hell and Christian publishing? Much more than is being revealed by the very media they control.
To Be Continued.