We can see in the Bible that there were a number of problems during the times
of the first congregation. Even though they were very active and God was
influencing them, they faced many troubles; the Bible tells us about them
There were false brothers and false apostles, legalism, as well as disputes,
envy and sects in the Corinth congregation. If we think congregations’ early
days were trouble-free we are wrong.
We can also
make similar or different mistakes in modern congregations. Next, we will study
some of the slips we may make or which others may make. Let’s start with false
CHAPTER 1 - False spirits: teachings
CHAPTER 2 - False spirits: guidance
CHAPTER 3 - False spirits and experiences
False spirits: Teachings
- (Eph 2:2) Wherein in
time past you walked according to the course of this world, according to the
prince of the power of the air, the spirit that now works in the children of
- (2 Cor 4:4) But if our gospel be hid, it is
hid to them that are lost:
In whom the god of this world has blinded the minds of them which
believe not, lest the light of the glorious gospel of Christ, who is the
image of God, should shine to them.
- (2 Cor 11:13,14) For such are false
apostles, deceitful workers, transforming themselves into the apostles of
14 And no marvel; for Satan
himself is transformed into an angel of light.
Many slips are caused by false spirits. Honest souls may be deceived
because they fail to realize that false spirits are imitating the work of God
and providing false guidance. We fail to notice that nobody fully understands
God, Satan and the principles of divine guidance right after having been born
again. We may also be misled because we do not know how God works and because
we fail to take seriously the warnings about the ruler of the kingdom of the
air, false spirits and false prophets even though we learn those warnings from
Sometimes it is really
difficult to see which activities are of God and which are not. Are we seeing
the Holy Ghost of God or false spirits that work through men? This means that
the message we are hearing may sound fully Christian: the information provided
may be correct and biblical, but the underlying source of the message is a
false spirit. Below are some examples of such false anointment. The examples describe
two trance preachers and who referred to God, Jesus and the Holy Ghost and gave
supernatural information. Nevertheless, the power behind their words was evil.
There was one person who could
not read or write, sleep-preacher Ovaskainen. People went to listen to her in
great numbers. The preaching spirit entered her every day around 5 p.m. I went
to listen to find out whether the activity was of God or not. When I entered
her home, the room was already full of people. The young sleep-preacher stood
behind a table. When the clock stroke five, the power entered her. She called
the number of a hymn, and people started to sing. When the song was over, it
looked like the girl browsed through a large Bible. She read the text. Her
voice was unnatural, like that of an old priest. The beginning of the sermon
was: “The soul is a white ball that the Holy Spirit carries on His palm to the
throne of the Father.”
this point, God intervened. The Spirit of God spoke to me and told me to say
the following to stop the spirit working in the girl: “Be silent, spirit, and
become sober, woman!” The girl woke from her trance and stopped talking. She
usually went on for around thirty minutes, and the people wondered why she
stopped short this time. I conducted a normal meeting and the people went back
to their homes. The girl has spoken only a couple of times after that. She has
expressed relief of being rid of the spirit. She said that it bothered her.
Thus, the Lord fulfilled His promise: ”they shall
cast out devils” (Mark 16:17). ”These signs
shall follow them that believe.” – Later on, the young women married a
A young sleep-preacher with curly hair appeared
in Rautavaara. I heard about her and went to listen. (...) I went in and sat in
the second or third pew. The prophet started to become ecstatic and started to
bless unsaved people with eternal life. That is when I understood that this was
not of God – after all, the Bible says: “Woe to those who call ungodly
righteous”. To some, it said: “You are a murderer, you have driven out your
foetus”. Then, the sleep-preacher went to an elderly gentleman, almost grabbed
him by the hair and said, “You practitioner of the sin of homosexuality!” The elderly
man left in shame, and was not born again – neither was the abortionist. At
this point, I saw even clearer that the Spirit of God will not disgrace souls
or give more reason for people to gossip.
true that the Spirit of God is the spirit of knowledge but He is discreet, not
disgraceful. When Peter talked on Whit Sunday, he did not name people's sins:
nevertheless, the Holy Spirit caused the listening people to feel a prick in
their heart so that they confessed their sins themselves. This is the work of
the Holy Spirit. Acts 2:36-48. (2)
- (Rom 16:17,18) Now I beseech you, brothers,
mark them which cause divisions and offenses contrary to the doctrine which you have learned; and avoid
18 For they that are such serve not
our Lord Jesus Christ, but their own belly; and by good words and fair
speeches deceive the hearts of the simple.
- (1 Tim 1:3,4) As I sought you to abide still
at Ephesus, when I went into Macedonia, that you might charge some that they
teach no other doctrine,
4 Neither give heed to fables and endless genealogies,
which minister questions, rather than godly edifying which is in faith: so do.
- (Acts 20:29,30) For I know this, that
after my departing shall grievous wolves enter in among you, not sparing the
30 Also of your own selves shall men arise, speaking perverse things,
to draw away disciples after them.
The activities of false spirits can be devoted to distorted teachings.
Correct teaching and doctrine were no small matters in the early congregation –
they were not concerns one could forget just because it felt convenient.;
Instead, they were highly regarded concerns. Properly understanding the Gospel
was a precondition for being saved. If people rejected the Gospel, they would
not know what Jesus had done for them and how they could receive grace through
Him. Thus, it was important to retain the purity of the Gospel in all preaching
Nevertheless, there were false
teachers and false apostles in the first congregation. Already then, the
congregation had to fight against teachers and lessons that turned people’s
minds away from God and Jesus Christ. Furthermore, Jesus and the apostles
prophesied that false prophets would come and people would be misguided after
the apostles stopped their activities. Some of the prophecies are especially
focused on the last days.
The next quote is about this
subject. It is part of a prophecy received by Stanley Frodsham in 1965, and it
is about misguidance. Many people who misguide others can at first say the
right things but at some point their message becomes distorted. At that point,
it becomes apparent that they are not of us (1
John 2:19: They went out from us, but they were not
of us; for if they had been of us, they would no doubt have continued with us:
but they went out, that they might be made manifest that they were not all of
us.). We see that they are being guided by a false spirit. This
spirit is trying to turn people’s minds away from God and Jesus Christ.
“Beware of misguiding people.
Do you think that a misguiding person has invented a new false doctrine and
flaunts it? They speak words of righteousness and truth, and present themselves
as apostles of light and preachers. This way, they win people's hearts over.
Not until they have won people’s hearts over will they give their own teachings
to misguide people. Then, people will say, ‘Didn’t he say so and so? And didn’t
we check that his teachings were from Scripture? This makes him a righteous
reverend. Even though this teaching is not in the Scripture, it must be correct
because he spoke the truth before.’
not be deceived. This is what misguiding people do: they first win over your
hearts and then give you their treacherous doctrine. At first, you will not be
able to tell apart people who are of Me and who are not of Me. Keep searching
for Me always so that you will be assured in your heart that these people are
not of Me when they start teaching their treacherous doctrine. (...)
is what a righteous person is: his life proves his teachings true and only
truth parts his lips instead of a mixture of truth and lies. If there is a
mixing of truth and lies, you will know that you are not dealing with a
righteous worker. Misguiding people first speak the truth and then misguide you
to cover their sins, which they love...” (3)
This means that one sign of the influence of false spirits is wrong
instruction. They leave out something that the Bible teaches such as the
incarnation of Jesus Christ, His divinity, the virgin birth, or resurrection;
or they add something to the Bible’s contents. The rise of new false “doctrine”
often begins when a person receives a revelation, or sees a vision or hears a
voice; they create a new doctrine based on this experience. Many Christian
cults and sects that deny important fundamental doctrine have come into being
in this way.
Instruction about God can vary, as shown
in the following examples:
▪ People talk about many gods even
though the Bible states that there is only one God:
- (1 Tim 1:17) Now to the King eternal,
immortal, invisible, the only wise
God, be honor and glory for ever and ever. Amen.
- (Isaiah 45:21) Tell you, and bring them
near; yes, let them take counsel together: who has declared this from ancient
time? who has told it from that time?
have not I the LORD? and there
is no God else beside me; a just God and a Savior; there is none
- (Isaiah 46:9) Remember the former things of
old: for I am God, and there is none
else; I am God, and there is none like me,
▪ People talk about the
presence of divinity in everything (New Age, Hinduism) even though the Bible
teaches us that God is separate from His creation and He created it:
- (Gen 1:1) In the beginning God created the
heaven and the earth.
- (Rev 4:11) You are worthy, O Lord, to
receive glory and honor and power: for
you have created all things, and for your pleasure they are and were created.
- (Rev 10:5,6) And the angel which I saw stand
on the sea and on the earth lifted up his hand to heaven,
6 And swore by him that lives for ever and ever, who created heaven, and the things that
therein are, and the earth, and the things that therein are, and the sea, and
the things which are therein, that there should be time no longer
- (Rev 14:7) Saying with a loud voice, Fear
God, and give glory to him; for the hour of his judgment is come: and
worship him that made heaven, and earth, and the sea, and the fountains of
▪ People teach wrong
information about the nature of God. They say that God is only love or only a
harsh judge, even though the Bible states that He is both. He is a loving and
merciful Father who wants all people to turn to Him and be saved, and Got is a
righteous judge who does not forgive unrepentant people:
- (1 John 4:8) He that loves not knows not
God; for God is love.
- (2 Cor 1:3) Blessed
be God, even the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies, and the God of all comfort
- (Rom 1:18) For the wrath of God is revealed from
heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who hold the truth in unrighteousness;
- (1 John 1:5) This
then is the message which we have heard of him, and declare to you, that God is light, and in him is no
darkness at all.
Lessons about Jesus. Many false
doctrines describe “another Jesus” (2 Cor 11:4). They deny or distort important
facts about Jesus. Here are some examples:
▪ Many false teachers deny the
fact that Jesus atoned for our sins and that we can be saved only through Him.
Their false doctrines may include that there are many roads to salvation or
that salvation is only possible for those who join their cult/sect (such as
Jehovah’s Witnesses). This contradicts many verses in the Bible:
- (John 10:9) I am the door: by me if any man enter in,
he shall be saved, and shall go in and
out, and find pasture.
- (John 14:6) Jesus said to
him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man comes to the Father, but by me.
- (Acts 4:11,12) This is the stone which was
set at nothing of you builders, which is become the head of the corner.
12 Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other
name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved.
▪ Many false teachers try to
deny Jesus’ divinity. They refer to a cosmic Christ, reaching the awareness of
Christ, or teach that Jesus was only an ordinary man who was a prophet and
teacher, rather than that Jesus was God and God’s only Son who came to earth
from heaven. False teachers may say that He was only one among many masters and
thereby demote Him. Such instruction fails to recognize the unique significance
of Jesus, His divinity and that He came from the Father, from heaven.
- (John 8:23,24) And he said to them, You are from beneath; I am from above:
you are of this world; I am not of this world.
24 I said therefore to you, that you
shall die in your sins: for if you
believe not that I am he, you shall die in your sins.
▪ There are two most commonly
found false lessons taught about the coming of Jesus: one lesson sets a
specific date when He will arrive even though the Bible denies this, and the
other lesson is that He has already arrived, in secret. This also goes against
what Jesus Himself taught us.
- (Matt 24:27-30) For there shall arise false
Christs, and false prophets, and shall show great signs and wonders; so that,
if it were possible, they shall deceive the very elect.
25 Behold, I have told you before.
26 Why if they shall say to you, Behold, he is in
the desert; go not forth: behold, he is in the secret chambers; believe it not.
27 For as
the lightning comes out of the east, and shines even to the west; so shall also
the coming of the Son of man be.
28 For wherever the carcass is, there will the eagles
be gathered together.
29 Immediately after the tribulation of those days
shall the sun be darkened, and the moon shall not give her light, and the stars
shall fall from heaven, and the powers of the heavens shall be shaken:
30 And then
shall appear the sign of the Son of man in heaven: and then shall all the
tribes of the earth mourn, and they shall see the Son of man coming in the
clouds of heaven with power and great glory.
- (Matt 24:36,37,42) But of that day and hour knows no man, no, not the angels of heaven, but my Father only.
37 But as the days of Noe were, so shall also the
coming of the Son of man be.
therefore: for you know not what hour your Lord does come.
▪ One false activity is accepting
Jesus’ atonement and redemption but then claiming that these are not enough (Acts 15:1: And
certain men which came down from Judaea taught the brothers, and said, Except
you be circumcised after the manner of Moses, you cannot be saved.) Teachers of this false doctrine say that we need to
participate in certain rituals or fully surrender ourselves; If we fail to do
this, God will not give us His grace and acceptance. Our salvation depends on our own internal change.
The testimony below of a
former member of the Unification Church describes such false teachings. People
who were members of the Unification Church believed that the atonement of Jesus
was incomplete and that people had to act in order to be saved. Finally, the
former member understood that this is impossible: a person can be forgiven for
all of his sins at once through Jesus’ atonement. This is the only way for all
of us, because we are all sinners and imperfect.
A person joining the Unification Church had to
give up everything and concede that the leader of the movement, Sun Myung Moon,
was the new messiah. You had to be prepared to do anything and go anywhere the
leaders told you.
had to give up all your belongings, all your time, everything you had to the
movement. If you were married, you had to get a divorce. You were not allowed
to remarry or even date until Moon himself had chosen your spouse and blessed
were specific rules about dressing: everything was clearly defined, starting
from how long your sideburns could be.
this was aimed at saving you, atoning your sins, reaching spiritual perfection.
You had to fast, pray, give, completely surrender yourself to the movement
until death, if necessary. According to the Unification Church, all of this had
to be done to complete Jesus’ unsuccessful atonement.
(...) I finally realised that people are so
sinful, so completely unworthy in front of God that nobody can clean himself.
Moon's answer to the question of sin was doing and suffering, whereas Jesus’ answer
was love. He came to earth and died for the sins of the humankind, gave Himself
as ransom. When I realised this, I practically started hopping in joy and
asking myself whether this was really true!
risked everything to save myself only to find that it was all in vain. Then
comes somebody who has already done it all for me!
This was a huge issue for a former member of the Unification
▪ People sometimes teach
information about the death of Jesus that is different from information found
in the Bible. According to the so-called JDS doctrine, Jesus’ atonement was
only realised in hell. According to JDS, when Jesus died He became sinful. Then
he went to hell where he was made righteous and then He defeated Satan and his
troops, thus solving the problem of sin. JDS switches the focus of salvation
from the cross to hell.
There are several pieces of
evidence, however, that show Jesus' atonement and defeat of Satan took place on
the cross, not in hell. While on the cross, He said, “It is finished. He
promised the criminal entrance to paradise on that same day. The veil of the
temple was ripped showing the way to God on the day when Jesus died, not three
days later or something like that. There are also other verses found in the Bible
that prove that atonement took place during the sacrifice of Jesus’ body on the
cross, not in hell:
- (John 19:30) When Jesus therefore had received the vinegar, he said, It is finished: and he bowed his
head, and gave up the ghost.
- (Luke 23:42,43) And he said to Jesus, Lord,
remember me when you come into your kingdom.
43 And Jesus said to him, Truly I say to you, To day shall you be
with me in paradise.
- (Mark 15:37-39) And Jesus cried with a loud
voice, and gave up the ghost.
38 And the veil
of the temple was rent in two from the top to the bottom.
39 And when the centurion, which
stood over against him, saw that he so cried out, and gave up the ghost, he
said, Truly this man was the Son of God.
- (Hebr 10:19,20) Having therefore, brothers, boldness to enter into the holiest by
the blood of Jesus,
20 By a new and living way, which he
has consecrated for us, through the veil, that is to say, his flesh;
- (Hebr 2:14) For as
much then as the children are partakers of flesh and blood, he also himself
likewise took part of the same; that
through death he might destroy him that had the power of death, that is, the
- (Col 2:13,14) And you, being dead in your
sins and the uncircumcision of your flesh, has he quickened together with him,
having forgiven you all trespasses;
14 Blotting out the handwriting
of ordinances that was against us, which was contrary to us, and took it out of the way, nailing it
to his cross;
- (Col 1:19-22) For it pleased the Father that
in him should all fullness dwell;
20 And, having made peace through the blood of
his cross, by him to reconcile all things to himself; by him, I say,
whether they be things in earth, or things in heaven.
21 And you, that were sometime alienated and enemies
in your mind by wicked works, yet now has he reconciled
22 In the body of his flesh through death, to present you holy
and blameless and unreproveable in his sight:
- (Eph 2:15,16) Having abolished in his flesh the enmity, even the law of
commandments contained in ordinances;
for to make in himself of two one new man, so making peace;
16 And that
he might reconcile both to God in one body by the cross, having slain
the enmity thereby:
- (1 Cor 1:17) For
Christ sent me not to baptize, but to preach the gospel: not with wisdom of
words, lest the cross of Christ
should be made of none effect.
False teachers describe the
nature of people differently from the way people are described in the Bible.
False doctrine usually stresses the inner strength of people, or even the inner
divinity in people: “There is something more to you and you should see that.”
Such teachings are common in Hinduism and New Age religions. They deny that
people are in fact sinners and corrupt by nature and that people need salvation
from the outside, i.e. through the atonement of Jesus Christ.
Understanding that we are
sinners is the first step towards salvation. When we understand that and turn
to God through Jesus Christ, we connect with the God in heaven and our sins
will be forgiven. The following verses describe our original sin and our
condition as sinners in front of God. Nobody is perfect; we need the salvation
we can only get through Jesus Christ.
- (Rom 5:12) Why, as by one
man sin entered into the world, and death by sin; and so death passed
on all men, for that all have sinned
- (1 John 1:10) If we say that we have not sinned, we make him a liar, and his word is not in us.
- (Rom 3:23,24) For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God;
24 Being justified freely by his
grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus
Instruction about life after
death. The instruction of false spirits about life after death is different
from the instruction we receive in the Bible. False doctrine ensures us that
people can be saved after death, or denies damnation altogether. The Bible
teaches, however, that we only have one life and we will be judged when it is
over. Furthermore, the Bible teaches that if we did not receive Jesus Christ as
our Saviour during our life on earth, we will end up in hell and be there
forever; hell is not a place of "not being", it is a place where
unrepentant sinners are punished.
- (Hebr 9:27) And as it is
appointed to men once to die, but after this the judgment
- (Matt 8:11,12) And I say to you, That many shall
come from the east and west, and shall sit down with Abraham, and Isaac, and
Jacob, in the kingdom of heaven.
12 But the children of the kingdom
shall be cast out into outer
darkness: there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth.
- (Rev 20:12-15) And I saw the dead, small and
great, stand before God; and the books were opened: and another book was
opened, which is the book of life: and
the dead were judged out of those things which were written in the books,
according to their works.
13 And the sea gave up the dead which were in it; and
death and hell delivered up the dead which were in them: and they were judged every man according to their works.
14 And death and hell were cast into the lake of fire.
This is the second death.
whoever was not found written in the book of life was cast into the lake of
teaching that includes a demanding and harsh god and focuses attention on how
our own actions affect our salvation are also signs of false teaching. These activities
do not clearly teach God’s grace through Jesus Christ.
Another extreme and sign of
the presence of false spirits is the rejection of biblical morality; followers
lose their sense of right and wrong, and come to believe that evil is only an
illusion. Such lessons are commonly found in Hinduism and New Age religions as
well as in Christian cults. Followers may consider sinful behaviour –
extramarital affairs and homosexuality, in particular – to be acceptable and
reasonable as long as the people involved feel good about such behavior. Such
instruction fails to separate good from evil (Isaiah 5:20 Woe to them that call evil good,
and good evil; that put darkness for light, and light for darkness; that put
bitter for sweet, and sweet for bitter!). False teachers fail to
teach that unrepentant sinners will be separated from God and finally end up in
- (1 Cor 6:9,10) Know you not that the unrighteous shall not inherit the
kingdom of God? Be not deceived: neither fornicators, nor
idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor abusers of themselves with
10 Nor thieves, nor covetous, nor
drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortionists, shall inherit the kingdom of God.
- (Rev 22:14,15) Blessed are they that do his commandments,
that they may have right to the tree of life, and may enter in through the
gates into the city.
15 For without are dogs, and sorcerers, and fornicators, and
murderers, and idolaters, and whoever loves and makes a lie.
- (Luke 13:1-5) There were present at that
season some that told him of the Galilaeans, whose blood Pilate had mingled
with their sacrifices.
2 And Jesus answering said to them, Suppose you that
these Galilaeans were sinners above all the Galilaeans, because they suffered
3 I tell
you, No: but, except you repent, you shall all likewise perish.
4 Or those eighteen, on whom the tower in Siloam fell,
and slew them, think you that they were sinners above all men that dwelled in
5 I tell you, No: but, except you repent, you shall all likewise
Unlawfulness. Lack of morals is
a common characteristic of groups following false spirits and teachers. Other
common characteristics found in such groups are unlawfulness, anarchy and
neglect of family relations. The Bible teaches a lot about these matters,
however. The Bible teaches us to obey higher powers, adhere to laws and take
care of one’s family; a person who fails to take care of his family has
rejected his faith and is even worse than a person having no faith at all. The
Bible also teaches that we must respect our king, our employer (1 Tim 6:1), our
parents and the elders of our congregation (1 Tim 5:17). These are good
guidelines. The only exception is a situation where a higher power asks someone
to do something that the person knows is wrong; In such a case, the person must
obey God rather than human beings (Acts 5:29). Fortunately, such situations
only rarely occur.
- (Rom 13:1,2) Let every soul be subject to
the higher powers. For there is no power but
of God: the powers that be are ordained of God.
therefore resists the power, resists the ordinance of God: and they that resist
shall receive to themselves damnation.
- (Pro 24:21,22) My son, fear you the LORD and
the king: and meddle not with them
that are given to change:
22 For their calamity shall rise
suddenly; and who knows the ruin of them both?
- (1 Peter 2:13,14,17) Submit yourselves to every ordinance of man for the Lord's
sake: whether it be to the king, as
14 Or to governors, as to them that are sent by him
for the punishment of evildoers, and for the praise of them that do well.
17 Honor all
men. Love the
brotherhood. Fear God. Honor the king.
- (Ex 20:13) You shall not kill.
- (1 Tim 5:8) But if
any provide not for his own, and specially for those of his own house, he has
denied the faith, and is worse than an infidel.
A leader may not abuse his power. This is behavior found in many cults. A
true shepherd in a congregation does not hunger for power or want to control
people. Instead, a true shepherd wants to be an example to others and assist
others in finding their place in spiritual service. If this is not the case,
the shepherd is misled.
- (1 Peter 5:1-5) The elders which are among
you I exhort, who am also an elder, and a witness of the sufferings of Christ,
and also a partaker of the glory that shall be revealed:
2 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;
3 Neither as
being lords over God's heritage, but being ensamples to the flock.
4 And when the chief Shepherd shall appear, you shall
receive a crown of glory that fades not away.
5 Likewise, you younger, submit
yourselves to the elder. Yes, all of
you be subject one to another, and be clothed with humility: for God resists
the proud, and gives grace to the humble.
- (2 Cor 1:24) Not for that we have dominion over your
faith, but are helpers of your joy:
for by faith you stand.
The next example shows how people can be misled in activity that is
biblical: leadership and respect are good but they must be held within the
reasonable bounds God intended. We must use common sense to know where the
In my opinion, one movement that focused on
people being disciples went awry in the congregation in the 1970s when the
obedience to leaders became unbalanced. The members of the congregation asked
the reverend if they could take a holiday, buy a car of a specific make, or buy
something else expensive, or marry a specific person. I was not involved in the
congregation at the time so I don’t know how far the problem spread but some
people who were involved said that the activity finally became unbiblical. (5)
False lessons about success have lead many
astray. People may have been told that if they turn to God, all their problems
would be immediately solved: they would be healed, they would get money and
they could get rid of all problems, suffering, shortages and financial
difficulties by means of positive confession. They may have been told that if
they were unable to do this, their faith was faulty.
Such instruction makes lies of
the Bible’s lessons and may create burdens in the same way as legalistic
teaching. It is true that God may give us material blessings, cure our bodies
and give us many good things. However, focusing only on material success is
wrong. We must seek God – not only when we are receiving His blessings but also
when we are not receiving any blessings.
Many examples taken from the
Bible and from real life show that people are not always freed from their
problems. For example, Paul had to suffer a lot, lived in want, and starved (1
Cor 4:11-14, 2 Cor 11:26-30). The problems were not caused by Paul’s lack of
faith; instead, God allowed these things in his life. As a result of these
troubles, Paul learned to live in any circumstances.
- (Phil 4:11-13) Not that I speak in respect
of want: for I have learned, in
whatever state I am, therewith to be content.
12 I know both how to be abased, and I know how to
abound: every where and in all things
I am instructed both to be full and to be hungry, both to abound and to suffer
13 I can do all things through
Christ which strengthens me.
Money or greed may be a stumbling block for many people. There is
nothing wrong as such in having money and property; however, if we need a
wonderful apartment, expensive cars, designer suits or a luxurious lifestyle, we
should ask where our treasure lies. This does not create a very positive image
of us in the world, and it can easily show people that our treasure lies in
this world only. The Bible says a lot about this:
- (Matt 19:21-23) Jesus said to him, If you will
be perfect, go and sell that you
have, and give to the poor, and you shall have treasure in heaven: and come and
22 But when the young man heard that saying, he went
away sorrowful: for he had great possessions.
23 Then said Jesus to his disciples, Truly I say to
you, That a rich man shall hardly enter into the kingdom of heaven.
- (Matt 6:19-21) Lay not up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust does corrupt, and where thieves break
through and steal:
20 But lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven,
where neither moth nor rust does corrupt, and where thieves do not break
through nor steal:
21 For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also.
- (1 Tim 6:6-10) But godliness with contentment
is great gain.
7 For we brought nothing into this world, and it is
certain we can carry nothing out.
8 And having food and raiment let us be therewith
9 But 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.
10 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: 17-19) Charge them that are rich
in this world, that they be not high minded, nor trust in uncertain riches, but
in the living God, who gives us richly all things to enjoy;
18 That they do good, that they be rich in good works, ready to distribute, willing to
19 Laying up in store for themselves a good foundation against the time
to come, that they may lay hold on eternal life.
- (Rom 12:16) Be of the same mind one toward
another. Mind not high things, but
condescend to men of low estate. Be not wise in your own conceits.