Five Years Ago And Was 1/2 As Old As Paula That Which is Not

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That Which is Not

At a time when 700 people apply for one housekeeping position; or where more than a thousand people show up to ask for 35 firefighters; where people lose their jobs, homes, retirements and minds; or where there used to be billionaires are now millionaires, to say that times are tough or that we are in a recession (global recession), will be an understatement.

So, we can lose everything in an instant. This is why we cannot trust riches, which the Bible rightly calls, ‘uncertain.

In fact, there is no better time to glorify God than in difficult times. When people can see you going through hard times, showing God’s abundant and unfathomable peace and His unspeakable joy. This is why the Apostle Paul said that he learned in whatever state or condition he found himself satisfied; and because he was content, he could do all things through Christ, whether he was full or hungry, whether he was rich or poor (Philippians 4:11-13).

Although it sounds good to be recession proof, it is not biblical. Moreover, you don’t have to be recession-proof to be who God has called you to be or to do what He has told you to do. So, for a preacher to talk about recession proof is a bummer! It’s just another scam to get people out of whatever money they have left. I mean, even the preacher talking about recession proof, I believe, has been affected by the recession, especially in terms of giving, because some of his members or viewers have lost their jobs, and as such have no tithes, offerings or donations for to give to his ministry. This is why he wants the little money you have left to make up for the lost gifts.

Speaking of giving… the other day, I was flipping through the channels and came upon Daystar Television Network’s 2009 Spring Share-a-Thon (actually, it’s sharing!), and heard Joni and Marcus Lamb ( the founders of Daystar ), along with Mike Murdock, asking viewers to pledge $58 over 12 months. Why $58? For the people to receive, wait for it, the 58 blessings of the Bible! Huh? are you kidding me

Now you tell me how giving $58 dollars for 12 months gives someone the 58 blessings of the Bible? As if the US dollar is the currency of heaven! Is that how the Bible should be interpreted? $58 for 58 blessings!

However, you had people calling to pledge $58 for 12 months. If only these people could just stop and ask, “Why US dollars and not some other currency, especially those weak currencies of the world like the Indian rupee, the Nigerian naira, the Ghanaian cedo, the Russian ruble or even the Japanese yen . . , etc.?” Because they claim to broadcast around the world. I mean, I get the 58 part because I want the 58 blessings, but why dollars? Why can’t I send you 58 naira, 58 rupees, 58 rubles etc.?

Maybe like me, you wonder if there are 58 blessings in the Bible. Let me say, up front, “Negative!” There is no such thing as 58 blessings in the Bible. That was a scam that someone (Mike Murdock) came up with to get you out of your money. how do i know I researched it. Like you, I wanted to know.

Since there is no such thing as 58 blessings in the Bible, out of curiosity I decided to do a little more digging to find out what the 58 blessings are according to Mike Murdock and his disciples. I found an e-book, titled, The Blessed Bible, written by, you guessed it, Mike Murdock! I didn’t buy the e-book because I had better things to do with my money than make a spiritual con-artist richer. But I found this site,

Needless to say, most of the so-called verses had nothing to do with blessings. And some of those that did, could not be applied to us, because God did not speak to us. Rather, most of the verses are scriptures taken completely out of context just to come up with a money-making scheme. The verses ranged from the ridiculous to the abused. To give you an idea, here are some of the ridiculous scriptures for the 58 blessings of the Bible:

I was happy when they told me:

“Let us go into the house of the Lord.” – Psalm 122:1

As for the Almighty, we cannot find Him;

He is great in power,

In judgment and abundant justice;

He doesn’t push. – Job 37:23

Your goodness, O Lord, is in heaven;

Your faithfulness reaches the clouds. – Psalm 36:5

To further prove that this $58 for 58 blessings thing is all a scam taken from the same playbook of prosperity preachers, I wrote in another article about Paula White’s TBN telethon appearance, a few years ago. In the article titled:

For example, recently, Paula White on a TBN telethon, read Psalm 66:12, to ask the viewers to call to pledge $66.12 over the next 12 months to help support TBN, so they can receive the blessing of Psalm 66: 12! My God! How do these people come up with these scams? Ah! How can they sleep at night? Don’t they have a conscience?

By the way, if you’re wondering what Psalm 66:12 says… it says

You made people ride over our heads; we passed through fire and water; but you brought us out to rich people fulfillment

I don’t know if you noticed the similarity between the amounts TBN asked its viewers to pledge over 12 months a few years ago and how much Daystar is asking its viewers to pledge this year — $66.12 for 12 months and 58 USD for 12. months respectively. If you noticed, it’s somewhere in the $50-$70 range; something that seems affordable to many people. But when it’s spread out over a year, it’s in the $700-$800 range. Pretty slick, wouldn’t you say!

But while all these so-called preachers search the scriptures looking for manipulable scriptures, wondering what their next scam will be, they ignore such scriptures where Jesus said, “Do not lay up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy. and where thieves break in and steal…” (Matthew 6:19) Why? For both the earth and the treasures that you keep in it will not only be corrupted, but will also perish. Or where the apostle Paul admonished us saying: “If then you have been raised with Christ, seek the things that are above, where Christ is, sitting at the right hand of God. Set your mind on things that are above, not on the earth.” ( Colossians 3:1-2 ) Why? For the things which are seen are temporal, but the things which are not seen are eternal (2 Corinthians 4:18).

Anyway, while I may not be able to convince these false preachers to stop their evil and evil ways, at least I could warn you about their exploits. But more important to remind yourself not to fix your eyes on what is not.

Remember…

For riches [are] not forever, nor a crown [endure] to all generations.

— Proverbs 27:24

As he came out of his mother’s womb, naked he will return, to go as he came; and he shall take nothing of his work, which he shall carry away in his hand. And this too [is] severe evil — Just as he came, so he will go. And what profit has he who labored for the wind? — Ecclesiastes 5:15-16

As the Psalmist says:

It is better to trust in the Lord

Than to put faith in man.

It is better to trust in the Lord

Than to put faith in princes. — Psalm 118:8-9

Why not put everyone your faith in Him today?

Selling anointing oils, with a list of scriptures with the 58 blessings of the Bible. Actually, the site has an anointing oil called, “HIS 58 Covenant Blessings Anointing Oil!” Go count!Is Money Needed to Spread the Gospel? I noted how Mrs. White misused scriptures to raise money. Here is an excerpt from the article:

And even if there were 58 blessings in the Bible, do you think you could buy God’s blessings simply by sending $58?

In fact, according to news reports, financial markets around the world lost a whopping $50 trillion in 2008 alone! 50 billion dollars in one year! That is, trillions with a ‘T!’ That’s money that just disappeared, literally evaporated from people’s investments, retirements, etc! Just gone, perhaps, with the wind!

“This is by far the most serious crisis to hit the world economy since the Great Depression. Although this crisis originated in the United States and some European countries, now no region or country is isolated. I fear that things may get worse before they will get better,” said Haruhiko Kuroda president of the Asian Development Bank (ADB).

But such confusing news about the global economy, although shaky, only brings to mind the ancient truth of God’s Word, especially regarding wealth or riches.

God, in His Word, through the wisest and richest man who ever lived, King Solomon, said:

Will you fix your eyes on what is not? For riches surely make themselves wings; they fly away like an eagle to the sky. — Proverbs 23:5

When Solomon, in the above verse, called wealth ‘that which is not,’ he meant wealth as ‘that which hardly exists;’ or ‘that which is transitory;’ or ‘that which soon dissipates’ or ‘that which is not reliable;’ or ‘that which is here to-day, but gone to-morrow;’ or ‘that which literally vanishes into thin air,’ etc. So if fortunes hardly exist, why be surprised when they disappear? Wealth is like illusions — now you see, now you don’t.

To us Christians, the grim global economic news is not surprising to us, at least it shouldn’t be. Yes, it may not be like anything many of us have seen or experienced before in our lifetime. However, the Bible has always told us about money, and what our attitudes should be about it.

Therefore, more than anything, the current economic crisis, while on the one hand, confirms what we have always known about the Bible, as the true and unchangeable Word of God, on the other hand, it should remind us and convince us why we should. do not rely on uncertain wealth. And it is very easy to trust in riches, even when we think or say that we trust in the Lord.

We all have the tendency to rely on fortunes, especially when we think it is safe. Whatever safe means. But when you think about it, there is no safe wealth. And certainly no safe investments! Really! No CDs, no bonds, no savings, no gold, or even stuffing money under the mattress! That is why the apostle Paul said to Timothy:

Command those who are rich in this present age not to be haughty, nor to trust in uncertain riches, but in the living God, who richly gives us everything to enjoy.

— 1 Timothy 6:17

Yet we all go to bed at night thinking our money is where we think it is. But really? For all we know, it could be in someone else’s personal bank account while we think it’s working and earning interest for us. After all, all we pass is some monthly paper or electronic statement. But we all know how that goes, thanks to Bernie Madoff. He sent his clients falsified statements, while diverting their money elsewhere. By the way, if you don’t know, Bernie Madoff is an investment manager who pleaded guilty to defrauding his clients of over $50 billion.

Now, the question that begs to be asked is this: “If the Bible says that wealth is ‘that which is not’ or ‘uncertain,’ then why do so many so-called preachers spend an inordinate amount of time preaching about prosperity? Why? do so many preachers encourage their members to keep grasping more and more of what is not?” “Why are we Christians so fixated on it?” Why, as Solomon said in another proverb, do we work for the wind? (Ecclesiastes 5:16)

So, another thing that this whole economic crisis has done is burst the boom bubble – pop! It took the air out of all the naming and claiming, talking and cart-catching going on in many churches today.

But then, just when you’re wondering, “What are they going to preach now?” Like the great spiritual scam artists, these preachers are always coming up with something, some catchphrase or catchphrase to keep their victims trapped.

My wife told me that, while flipping channels, she heard a preacher on TV talking about recession proof. Yep, that’s the new buzz phrase. Well, maybe not a new phrase, because this is not the first recession. But it is becoming popular again. To which I ask, “How can anyone be recession proof?” You’d have to be dead to be recession proof! Even if you didn’t lose money in the Market or lose your job, somehow, some way you were affected directly or indirectly by the recession.

Just because you haven’t lost your job, retirement or investment doesn’t make you recession-proof. It just means it hasn’t affected you yet. If the recession continues, chances are, it will affect you. And if it does not affect you, it does not mean that you have any special favor with God or that determines your high level of spirituality. Because whether you have it or not, you are still His. God not only gets glory when we have, but especially when we don’t.

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