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What Is The Real Meaning of Binding and Loosing?

What Is The Real Meaning of Binding and Loosing?

THEOLOGY BLOG

THINKING BIBLICALLY ABOUT GOD

 THEOLOGY

THINKING BIBLICALLY ABOUT GOD

BINDING AND LOOSING

WHAT DOES IT REALLY MEAN?

BINDING AND LOOSING

WHAT DOES IT REALLY MEAN?

Many modern day pentecostals and charismatics teach that Christians have the power to bind and loose sickness, disease, finances and circumstances. Some teach that Christians can bind their neighborhoods, countries and even the devil! They often appeal to passages such as Matthew 16:19, 18:18 and Mark 3:27. Is this true? Can Christians bind all of these things? Let’s look at what these passages say in context beginning with Matthew 18:18;

“Now if your brother sins against you, go and tell him his fault between you and him alone. If he listens to you, you have gained your brother. But if he does not listen, then take with you one or two others, that by the testimony of two or three witnesses every word may be established. If he refuses to listen to them, tell it to the church. But if he refuses to listen even to the church, let him be to you as a Gentile and a tax collector. “Truly I say to you, whatever you bind on earth will be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth will be loosed in heaven. “Again I say to you, that if two of you agree on earth about anything they ask, it will be done for them by My Father who is in heaven. For where two or three are assembled in My name, there I am in their midst.” Matthew 18:15-20 

This passage has nothing to do with binding demons, finances, sickness, circumstances or the Devil. The context of the passage is about sin and church discipline. This passage is about the authority of the local church to pass judgment on unrepentant sinners. 

Bind and loose refer to the judicial authority of gathered Christians to decide cases on the basis of God’s law. Most scholars thus recognize that this passage applies to church discipline. IVP New Testament Commentary 

What this passage is saying is that the local church has authority to make binding judicial decisions on matters of church discipline, and it has the authority to loose that member when they repent. It’s interesting that as you continue reading Matthew 18 Jesus continues to teach about forgiveness.

Then Peter came to Him and said, “Lord, how often shall I forgive my brother who sins against me? Up to seven times?” Jesus said to him, “I do not say to you up to seven times, but up to seventy times seven. Matthew 18:21 

So, the context clearly continues on the subject of personal offense and forgiveness. What about Matthew 16:19? Let’s look at that passage in context as well;

When Jesus came into the region of Caesarea Philippi, He asked His disciples, “Who do men say that I, the Son of Man, am?” They said, “Some say that You are John the Baptist, others say Elijah, and others Jeremiah or one of the prophets.” He said to them, “But who do you say that I am?” Simon Peter replied, “You are the Christ, the Son of the living God.” Jesus answered him, “Blessed are you, Simon son of Jonah, for flesh and blood has not revealed this to you, but My Father who is in heaven. And I tell you that you are Peter, and on this rock I will build My church, and the gates of Hades shall not prevail against it. I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven, and whatever you bind on earth shall be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven.” Then He commanded His disciples to tell no one that He was Jesus the Christ. Matthew 16:13-20 

Notice here that there is nothing about binding and loosing sickness or finances or demons or anything remotely like that. The Father has just revealed to Peter that Jesus is the Messiah, the king of the Jews, and the Son of God. The keys to the Kingdom of Heaven represent the Apostolic authority of the disciples to admit people into the Kingdom of Heaven. The terms “bind and loose” are being used as references to their authority to declare whether or not someone has been forgiven or not, and on what basis that forgiveness was granted or withheld. This declaration is not to be made on the basis of their own personal whims or preferences. It is to be made on the basis of the gospel message entrusted to them as messengers and witnesses of Jesus Christ and his resurrection. Notice also in verse 19 Jesus says, “I will give you the keys”. This is in the future tense and was fulfilled after the resurrection. 

On the evening of that first day of the week, the doors being locked where the disciples were assembled, for fear of the Jews, Jesus came and stood in their midst, and said to them, “Peace be with you.” When He had said this, He showed them His hands and His side. The disciples were then glad when they saw the Lord. So, Jesus said to them again, “Peace be with you. As My Father has sent Me, even so I send you.” When He had said this, He breathed on them and said to them, “Receive the Holy Spirit. If you forgive the sins of anyone, they are forgiven them. If you retain the sins of anyone, they are retained.” John 20:19-23 

This is what it means to bind and loose. Remember the context of binding and loosing in Matthew 18? It’s all about whether someone’s sins and offense have been forgiven or retained. 

 

What about Binding the Strong man? 

We mustn’t confuse the authority to cast out demons with some imaginary power to bind the devil, or sickness, or finances and things like that. The Apostles were all poor, hungry, thirsty, dressed in rags and homeless. Both the Apostle Paul and his companions were frequently afflicted with sickness. Christians have not been given the authority to bind the devil, that privilege has been given to Christ alone and he will do it at his second coming. 

And I saw an angel coming down out of heaven, having the key to the bottomless pit and a great chain in his hand. He seized the dragon, that ancient serpent, who is the Devil and Satan, and bound him for a thousand years. Revelation 20:1-2 

So, in conclusion, Christians do not have the power to bind and loose anything they want. They have not been given power or authority to bind their finances, sicknesses, circumstances or the devil.

Why Did Jesus Call The Canaanite Woman A Dog?

Why Did Jesus Call The Canaanite Woman A Dog?

THEOLOGY BLOG

THINKING BIBLICALLY ABOUT GOD

 THEOLOGY

THINKING BIBLICALLY ABOUT GOD

WHY DID JESUS CALL THE CANAANITE WOMAN A DOG?

UNDERSTANDING THE GOD OF ISRAEL

WHY DID JESUS CALL THE CANAANITE WOMAN A DOG?

UNDERSTANDING THE GOD OF ISRAEL

The account of Jesus delivering the Canaanite woman’s daughter from a demon has caused many readers to pause and ask themselves the question “why did Jesus call the Canaanite woman a dog”? It’s a difficult passage to grasp and I want to try help you understand it. So let’s work through the passage together.

Then Jesus went from there and departed into the regions of Tyre and Sidon. Matthew 15:21

Tyre and Sidon were Gentile, Phoenician regions. This was gentile territory and Jesus was outside the land of Israel. These regions had always been outside of the land of Israel, even during the reigns of David and Solomon.

In Mark’s account of the story, the woman is identified as a Syrophoenician.

The woman was a Greek, a Syrophoenician by race. And she begged Him to cast the demon out of her daughter. Mark 7:26

Interestingly, the only thing Jesus did in the region was heal this women’s daughter, then he left. In other words, the sole purpose of leaving Jewish land and coming to this Gentile region was to heal this women’s daughter. This is not only true in Matthew’s account, but Mark’s also. The story does not appear in the other gospels. So, he obviously cared enough about this woman to go well out of his way to meet her.

There, a woman of Canaan came out of the same regions and cried out to Him, saying, “Have mercy on me, O Lord, Son of David. My daughter is severely possessed by a demon.” Matthew 15:22

Notice here that this is a Gentile woman, in a Gentile land, and she refers to Jesus as the Son of David. This means that as a Gentile she had knowledge of the Jewish scriptures and recognized Jesus as the Jewish Messiah. This is an important point.

But He did not answer her a word. And His disciples came and begged Him, saying, “Send her away, for she cries out after us.” But He answered, “I was sent only to the lost sheep of the house of Israel.” Then she came and worshipped Him, saying, “Lord, help me.” Matthew 15:23-25

Jesus tells this woman that he has only been sent to the lost sheep of the house of Israel.
In response, she, as a Syrophoenician women, now bows and worships Jesus as the King of the Jews and again asks Jesus for help. You have to remember that this women is not a Jew, and her people have their own gods. Her people do not worship the God of Israel.

But He answered, “It is not fair to take the children’s bread and to throw it to dogs.” She said, “Yes, Lord, yet even dogs eat the crumbs that fall from their masters’ table.” Matthew 15:26-27

The word translated as “dogs” here is the Greek word for puppy. The Jews didn’t keep dogs as pets. Dogs in Israel were wild scavengers, but wealthy Greek families did keep dogs as pets. The children naturally partake of the food first and the dogs ate whatever fell on the floor or was given to them. Now, Jesus wasn’t trying to make the women feel unloved or worthless, he was testing her. He wanted to see if she would accept that the Messiah was sent first to the Jews because they were the people of God and their God was the one true God.

Remember the story of Naaman? He was a great general of the Arameans. He was afflicted with leprosy. He went to Elisha to be healed and Elisha didn’t even come out of his house to meet him and instead Elisha sent a servant out to tell him to go wash in the Jordan River seven times. Have a look at Naaman’s initial response;

But Naaman became angry and went away and said to himself, “Surely, he could have come out, and stood and called on the name of the Lord his God, and waved his hand over the infected area, and taken away the leprosy. Are not Abana and Pharpar, rivers of Damascus, better than all the waters of Israel? Could I not wash in them and be clean?” So, he turned and went away in a rage. 2 Kings 5:11-12

Eventually Naaman was convinced to wash in the Jordan River and he was healed, and then he said this.

Then he returned to the man of God, he and all his company. He came and stood before him, and he said, “Now I know that there is no God in all the land, except in Israel. 2 Kings 5:15

By washing in the Jordan River, as opposed to the rivers of Damascus, he was accepting that the God of Israel was the one true God. Furthermore, by Elisha not coming out he was implying that Naaman was not worthy to even meet with a prophet of the one true God. None of us are worthy of God’s mercy and kindness.

In the same way, when this woman accepted that the Children of Israel had priority over the Gentiles, she was acknowledging that the God of Israel was the one true God.

Then Jesus answered her, “O woman, great is your faith. Let it be done for you as you desire.” And her daughter was healed instantly. Matthew 15:28

Because this Gentile women, living in a Gentile land, recognized that the God of the Jews was the one true God, and that she was unworthy of any goodness or grace from the one true God she was considered to have great faith and her daughter was instantly healed. The gods of Africa, Asia, India and Europe are all false gods. The one true God is the God of Israel. That is the God we worship and obey.

The Three Tithes of The Mosaic Law

The Three Tithes of The Mosaic Law

THEOLOGY BLOG

THINKING BIBLICALLY ABOUT GOD

 THEOLOGY

THINKING BIBLICALLY ABOUT GOD

THE THREE TITHES OF THE MOSAIC LAW

BY CALEB CORNELOUP

 

THE THREE TITHES OF THE MOSAIC LAW

THIS IS MY UNEDITED NOTES. THIS BLOG WILL BE PROPERLY FORMATED OVER THE WEEKEND.

 

 The festival tithe

 Thou shalt truly tithe all the increase of thy seed, that the field bringeth forth year by year. And thou shalt eat before the LORD thy God, in the place which he shall choose to place his name there, the tithe of thy corn, of thy wine, and of thine oil, and the firstlings of thy herds and of thy flocks; that thou mayest learn to fear the LORD thy God always. Deuteronomy 14:22-23 

 

  • When the Israelites settled the land, they all had enough space to farm whatever they desired. They had other trades but they only tithed on the farm produce from their land.
  • Notice, that this is a yearly tithe and it has nothing to do with supporting the priests or religious leaders.
  • This was a yearly celebration in which the people of Israel feasted together with thankful hearts for all that God had provided them.

 

And if the way be too long for thee, so that thou art not able to carry it; or if the place be too far from thee, which the LORD thy God shall choose to set his name there, when the LORD thy God hath blessed thee: Then shalt thou turn it into money, and bind up the money in thine hand, and shalt go unto the place which the LORD thy God shall choose: And thou shalt bestow that money for whatsoever thy soul lusteth after, for oxen, or for sheep, or for wine, or for strong drink, or for whatsoever thy soul desireth: and thou shalt eat there before the LORD thy God, and thou shalt rejoice, thou, and thine household, And the Levite that is within thy gates; thou shalt not forsake him; for he hath no part nor inheritance with thee. Deuteronomy 14:24-27 

 

  • This is the same tithe and it’s pretty straight forward.
  • If it’s too far to carry your tithe to Jerusalem, then sell it and purchase whatever you desire in Jerusalem and consume it all during the festival.
  • It doesn’t say anything about giving money to the temple or to the priest, it say go and buy what you desire and consume it in God’s presence.
  • Don’t forget to invite the Levites because they have no land to farm and therefore they cannot bring anything to the festival.

 

 NEW COVENANT APPLICATION

 We are no longer under the Mosaic Law.

  1. Most Christians are not farming in the Promised Land.
  2. We no longer celebrate this festival.

 

 

The poor tithe

 

At the end of three years thou shalt bring forth all the tithe of thine increase the same year, and shalt lay it up within thy gates: And the Levite, (because he hath no part nor inheritance with thee,) and the stranger, and the fatherless, and the widow, which are within thy gates, shall come, and shall eat and be satisfied; that the LORD thy God may bless thee in all the work of thine hand which thou doest. Deuteronomy 14:28 

 

  • This is the tithe referred to in Malachi 3:10.
  • It was only every 3 years and it was based upon only one of those three years.
  • Each city had a storehouse, and the tithes were for the Levites and the stranger, the fatherless and the widow within that city.

 

 

NEW COVENANT APPLICATION 

  1. We are no longer under the Mosaic Law.
  2. Most Christians are not farming in the Promised Land.
  3. The government of the land takes care of the poor.

 

 The Levitical tithe

 

Leviticus 27:30-32  And all the tithe of the land, whether of the seed of the land, or of the fruit of the tree, is the LORD’S: it is holy unto the LORD. And if a man will at all redeem ought of his tithes, he shall add thereto the fifth part thereof. And concerning the tithe of the herd, or of the flock, even of whatsoever passeth under the rod, the tenth shall be holy unto the LORD. 

 

  • The tithe is from the land, anything from the seed of the land, the fruit of the tree and anything from the herd or the flock.

 

Then the LORD said to Aaron: “You shall have no inheritance in their land, nor shall you have any portion among them; I am your portion and your inheritance among the children of Israel.”Behold, I have given the children of Levi all the tithes in Israel as an inheritance in return for the work which they perform, the work of the tabernacle of meeting. Numbers 18:20-21 

 

  • The Levites get no land for themselves, therefore they can’t do any farming.
  • Their job was to perform the work of the tabernacle of meeting.
  • Not all Levites were priests and only 10% of the tithe went to the priests (1% of all the farm produce).

 

“Speak thus to the Levites, and say to them: ‘When you take from the children of Israel the tithes which I have given you from them as your inheritance, then you shall offer up a heave offering of it to the LORD, a tenth of the tithe. Numbers 18:26

 

  • So, the Levites set aside a tenth of the tithe, 1% of all the farm produce of the land.

 

And your heave offering shall be reckoned to you as though it were the grain of the threshing floor and as the fullness of the winepress. Numbers 18:27

 

  • So, because the Levites don’t do any of their own farming, they are to tithe on the produce that they receive from the people.

 

Thus you shall also offer a heave offering to the LORD from all your tithes which you receive from the children of Israel, and you shall give the LORD’s heave offering from it to Aaron the priest. Numbers 18:28 

 

  • Only Aron and his sons could be priests and they got 1% of all the farm produce of the land of Israel.
  • So, 9% of all the farm produce went to the Levites, and 1% went to the priests.

 

 What did the Levites do?

 

(Numbers 3:21-39) In the wilderness 22,300 Levites were appointed to assist the priests and to look after the tabernacle and all its components and furnishings

 

  • The daily sacrifices as well as the tabernacle maintenance required 22,300 Levites.
  • The work was manual labor, not preaching and teaching.
  • The preaching and teaching was the job of the priests.

 

And I, behold, I have taken your brethren the Levites from among the children of Israel: to you they are given as a gift for the LORD, to do the service of the tabernacle of the congregation. Numbers 18:6 

 

 So when David was old and full of days, he made Solomon his son king over Israel. And he gathered together all the princes of Israel, with the priests and the Levites. Now the Levites were numbered from the age of thirty years and upward: and their number by their polls, man by man, was thirty and eight thousand. Of which, twenty and four thousand were to set forward the work of the house of the LORD; and six thousand were officers and judges: Moreover four thousand were porters; and four thousand praised the LORD with the instruments which I made, said David, to praise therewith. 1 Chronicles 23:1-5 

 

Work of the house of the Lord: David appointed 24,000 to build the temple. Chapter 22 is all about the preparations for the building of the temple.

 

  • There is no physical tabernacle or Temple in the New Covenant because the global body of Christ and the individual believer is the temple of the Holy Spirit. There are no church buildings in the New Testament either.

 

Officers and Judges: Government officials and judges spread throughout the nation of Israel. They would be very similar to the executive and judicial arms of the government today. The Levitical officers and judges were spread throughout the land of Israel administering the law and commandments of the King.

Porters: 1 Chronicles 26:1-19 seems to indicate that these were guards stationed around the Temple.

Singer & musicians: That’s pretty self-explanatory.

 

NEW COVENANT APPLICATION

 

  1. We are no longer under the Mosaic Law.
  2. Most Christians are not farming in the Promised Land.
  3. There is no temple system anymore and no religious buildings in the New Covenant.
  4. If people want to meet in buildings, that’s fine, but those who want to do that, especially the pastors and church leaders, need to pay for it.
  5. If pastors insist we all meet in a dedicated church building on Sunday then they should pay for it.
  6. Take the synagogues for example; there was no law requiring God’s people to go to or meet in a synagogue. There was no law requiring people to tithe towards the cost of a synagogue.
  7. It was all free will offerings.

The True Meaning Of The Widows Last Mite

The True Meaning Of The Widows Last Mite

THEOLOGY BLOG

THINKING BIBLICALLY ABOUT GOD

THE WIDOWS LAST MITE UNDERSTOOD IN CONTEXT

 

The story of the widow’s last mite has widely been misunderstood as being an example of Christian giving. It’s frequently used to guilt Christians into giving to their church even if they are in poverty. However, the story of the widow’s last mite is not a story about giving. It’s a sad story about the Jewish religious leaders conning poor widows of their livelihoods.

The story appears in both the gospel of Mark and the Gospel of Luke. In each appearance of the story Jesus had been in the midst of rebuking the Pharisees for devouring widows houses and making long sanctimonious prayers while doing so.

While all the people were listening, Jesus said to his disciples, “Beware of the teachers of the law. They like to walk around in flowing robes and love to be greeted with respect in the marketplaces and have the most important seats in the synagogues and the places of honor at banquets. They devour widows’ houses and for a show make lengthy prayers. These men will be punished most severely.” Luke 20:35-47

 Although the story of the widows mite appears only in Mark and Luke, the devouring of widows homes is mentioned in all three synoptic gospels (Matthew 23:14, Mark 12:40 and Luke 20:47). Mark and Luke say that they will be punished most severely because of it and Matthew says that they will not escape the damnation of hell. Jesus used incredibly strong words in his rebuke to the Pharisees.

 

Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For ye devour widows’ houses, and for a pretence make long prayer: therefore ye shall receive the greater damnation. Matthew 23:14

Ye serpents, ye generation of vipers, how can ye escape the damnation of hell? Matthew 23:33

What’s fascinating is that immediately following this, in all three synoptic gospels, Jesus begins to prophecy the complete and utter destruction of Jerusalem and the Jewish Temple. It’s in this context that Mark and Luke present the story of the widow’s last mite. They both squeeze the story in-between Christ’s condemnation of the Pharisees and his prophecy about the destruction of the Jewish Temple and the City of Jerusalem. This is something that the prosperity preachers will never tell you. With that in mind let’s look at the story of the widow’s last mite.

As Jesus looked up, he saw the rich putting their gifts into the temple treasury. He also saw a poor widow put in two very small copper coins. “Truly I tell you,” he said, “this poor widow has put in more than all the others. All these people gave their gifts out of their wealth; but she out of her poverty put in all she had to live on.” Luke 21:4

Notice that she put in everything that she had to live on. There was nothing left for food, for clothing, for anything! Is that what these pastors are asking people to do today? While they live in luxury? How is that different to the Pharisees devouring widow’s houses? If Jesus condemned the Pharisees for devouring widow’s houses and pronounced damnation upon them and destruction upon Jerusalem for doing so, then wouldn’t he be equally angered at today’s religious leaders for doing the exact same thing? New Testament Scholar Dr Craig Evans agrees and makes the following statement in his Commentary on Luke.

He (Jesus) saw in the episode an illustration of what he had said earlier in 20:46–47. In other words, because of the teaching of the religious authorities of her day, the poor widow gives up her last penny and so is victimized for the sake of an oppressive religious system. Her wealth, or what little wealth there was, was “devoured” (see v. 47). Jesus’ statement in 21:4, therefore, is not one of praise, but one of lament. It may be because of this great economic injustice that Luke is satisfied to have this episode immediately precede Jesus’ prediction of the temple’s destruction. Evans, Craig A. Evans. Luke (Understanding the Bible Commentary Series)

As Christians, we should not be teaching these kinds of lies or deceit. When we look at the teaching of the Apostles in the New Testament we see something very different to what the Pharisees were teaching. In the corrupt Temple system the religious leaders took money from widows, but in the church the believers looked after the widows (Acts 6:1-6, 1 Timothy 5:3, James 1:27). James tells us that true religion is to visit the fatherless and the widow in their time of need. Paul exhorted the church to honour widows with financial aid just as surely, and in the same chapter, that he exhorted the church to honour church elders with financial support.

Sadly, preachers and so called bible teachers are all too frequently using this verse as a passage about Christian giving, when in reality it’s about religious abuse and divine judgement upon false teachers.

Written By Caleb Corneloup

 

 THEOLOGY

THINKING BIBLICALLY ABOUT GOD

The Lukewarm Church of Laodicea

The Lukewarm Church of Laodicea

THEOLOGY BLOG

THINKING BIBLICALLY ABOUT GOD

 THEOLOGY

THINKING BIBLICALLY ABOUT GOD

THE LUKEWAR CHURCH OF LAODICEA

BY CALEB CORNELOUP

 

THE LUKEWARM CHURCH OF LAODICEA

Ancient ruins

BIBLE COMPARES THE LUKEWARM CHURCH TO SODOMY

I want to show you something in scripture that you have probably never noticed before. I want to show you two passages of scripture, one from the Old Testament and one from the New Testament. When you look at what is being said in both of these verses you will quickly see that according to the Bible a lukewarm church makes God just as sick as incest, bestiality and homosexuality.

Thou shalt not lie with mankind, as with womankind: it is abomination. Neither shalt thou lie with any beast to defile thyself therewith: neither shall any woman stand before a beast to lie down thereto: it is confusion. Defile not ye yourselves in any of these things: for in all these the nations are defiled which I cast out before you: And the land is defiled: therefore I do visit the iniquity thereof upon it, and the land itself vomiteth out her inhabitants. Leviticus 18:22-25

And unto the angel of the church of the Laodiceans write; These things saith the Amen, the faithful and true witness, the beginning of the creation of God; I know thy works, that thou art neither cold nor hot: I would thou wert cold or hot. So then because thou art lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will spue thee out of my mouth. Revelation 3:14-16

Notice here that in the same way that the land of Canaan vomited out the Canaanites for adultery, incest, bestiality, homosexuality and child sacrifice, so too will Jesus vomit out lukewarm Christians. Lukewarm Churches make Jesus just as sick as someone who has sex with animals. Think about that. What is it about these people that makes them lukewarm and makes God want to vomit them out? It’s their works.

I know thy works, that thou art neither cold nor hot. Revelation 3:15

The issue Jesus had with this lukewarm church is their works! In fact, when you look at all seven of the churches in Revelation, each time God was examining their works. Jesus was examining the fruit of those that claimed to have faith in Him.

And why call ye me, Lord, Lord, and do not the things which I say? Luke 6:46

Not everyone that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven. Matthew 7:21

I will shew thee my faith by my works. James 2:18

It’s not that works contribute to our salvation, rather, works are a result of our salvation. In the same way a fruit tree bears good fruit because its a fruit tree, we as Christians produce good deeds because we are already Christians. The lukewarm church thinks it is rich but really it is poor.

Because thou sayest, I am rich, and increased with goods, and have need of nothing; and knowest not that thou art wretched, and miserable, and poor, and blind, and naked: I counsel thee to buy of me gold tried in the fire, that thou mayest be rich; and white raiment, that thou mayest be clothed, and that the shame of thy nakedness do not appear; and anoint thine eyes with eyesalve, that thou mayest see. Revelation 3:17-18

Jesus calls them wretched and uses the same word that Paul uses to describe himself prior to conversion in Romans 7:24 when he says “wretched man that I am”. He calls them pitiful or miserable using the same word Paul uses to describe those who have no resurrection hope in 1 Corinthians 15:19. When the Laodicean church looked at themselves with their physical eyes they appeared to be wealthy, well dressed and increased with material goods. But when Jesus looked at them they were poor, like beggars, blind and naked. Man looks at the outside but God looks at a person’s spiritual condition. They professed to know God and claimed to be Christians but their works revealed that they were not saved at all.

In place of their poverty he encourages them to buy gold tried in fire that they can become rich. 1 Peter 1:7 tells us that gold refined in fire represents a tested and tried faith. In place of their nakedness he encourages them to buy white raiment so that they can be clothed. Revelation 19:8 tells us that white raiment represents the righteous deeds of the saints. Their blindness refers to their ignorance and lack of understanding and the only solution is for them to humble themselves and ask God to help them understand the Word of God. To man people base their beliefs on their own wisdom and understanding or some spiritual experience they have had or heard from others. Without the Bible these people are blind.

Compare this to the church in Smyrna;

And unto the angel of the church in Smyrna write; These things saith the first and the last, which was dead, and is alive; I know thy works, and tribulation, and poverty, (but thou art rich). Revelation 2:8-9

True riches are not material, they are spiritual and they are found in Christ.

Most Church Worship Is A Stench In God’s Nose

Most Church Worship Is A Stench In God’s Nose

THEOLOGY BLOG

THINKING BIBLICALLY ABOUT GOD

 THEOLOGY

THINKING BIBLICALLY ABOUT GOD

MOST CHURCH WORSHIP IS A STENCH IN GOD’S NOSE

BY CALEB CORNELOUP

 

MOST CHURCH WORSHIP IS A STENCH IN GOD’S NOSE

Worship

Did you know that most of today’s church worship is a stench in God’s nose? I want to show you a passage of scripture where the Israelites from the Northern Tribes of Israel were coming regularly to worship God and God sent a prophet to tell them that their worship was a stench in his nostrils!

“I hate, I despise your religious festivals; your assemblies are a stench to me. Even though you bring me burnt offerings and grain offerings, I will not accept them. Though you bring choice fellowship offerings, I will have no regard for them. Away with the noise of your songs! I will not listen to the music of your harps. But let justice roll on like a river, righteousness like a never-failing stream! Amos 5:21-24

Now you might look at that passage and say “what’s that got to do with modern church worship”? Well, what a lot of people don’t realise is that the issues that made their worship was a stench unto the LORD are issues we see all over the modern church today. Amos 6:4-6 that the Northern Tribes of Israel were living in prosperous times, eating choice lambs and fattened calves, drinking wine by the bowlful and using expensive lotions. Amos 2:7-8 tells us that they were sexually immoral, Amos 5:11 says that the rich taxed the poor while they themselves lived in mansions and Amos 4:4-5 tells us that the people brought the tithes and offerings to Bethel and Gilgal, where the two golden calves were worshipped, instead of bringing it to the temple in Jerusalem. They sought to worship Yahweh at Bethel and Gilgal and even worshipped idols in Beersheba. While living these lives of sin and iniquity, they also sought to worship Yahweh assembling on God’s appointed festival and feast days. Amos 5:10 tells us that they detested those that spoke the truth and Amos 2:12 says that they commanded the prophets, who were rebuking them, not to prophesy. It is in this context that God says, “I hate, I despise your religious festivals; your assemblies are a stench to me

Now let’s look at the church today. It’s prosperous and wealthy. The pastors live in multimillion dollar mansions and demand the common man with little money give them their tithes and offerings. Those tithes and offerings are meant for the LORD, not for the pastors to live in luxury. Just like the Israelites brought the tithes and offerings to Bethel and Gilgal, today’s modern church gives tithes and offerings to false prophets and false teachers. The church congregations are soaking up the prosperity gospel and the Bible tells us in Ephesians 5:5 and Colossians 3:5 that greed is idolatry. People in the church are fornicating together and going to nightclubs getting drunk. The pastors just excuse it and say that their under grace. Divorce and remarriage is rampant and pastors just approve of relationships which destroy homes. Today’s churches despise and mock anyone who speaks the truth and exposes iniquity! They silence anyone who speaks about God judging sin and demean anyone who challenges someone’s salvation. Then in their iniquity they come, without remorse or repentance, to worship God and God says that their worship is a stench in his nostrils!