~ Profiteering by Catholics and Evangelicals has reached unbelievable depths...Jesus, once again, must throw modern-day money changers from Temple!
MAKE NOT MY FATHER’S HOUSE A HOUSE OF MERCHANDISE!
By Doug Krieger
MERCHANDISING THE WORD OF GOD JUST GOT WORSE!
Just when you thought that depths of “evangelical ministries and churches” seeking after filthy lucre and “mammon of unrighteousness” could not get any more ostentatious—we’re hit with recent LA Times articles on financial excesses of Trinity Broadcasting Network—the world’s largest evangelical programming network!
Nothing like having “world” hang out your dirty underwear for all to see and scorn. WHY IS IT THAT THE WORLD MUST SIT AS JUDGE AND JURY TO PRONOUNCE OUR INTENTIONS ARE WRETCHEDLY DEFILED BY THE GOD OF MAMMON? The Bible declares: “For time has come for judgment to begin at house of God; and if it begins with us first, what will be end of those who do not obey gospel of God?” (I Peter 4:17)
JOHN REVEALS WHAT GOD IS AFTER TODAY!
Now, you thought that Jesus tossed out “money changers” from Temple in Jerusalem just prior to His crucifixion—and, actually, you’re right. Shortly after His “Triumphal Entry” into Jerusalem (Matthew 21), He entered Temple (Matthew 21:12-13) and declared while overturning tables of money changers, that they had made it a “den of thieves.” Then, he visited Bethany (Matthew 21:17); gave parables and “Olivet Discourse” (Matthew 21:28-25:46); and then Passover and ultimate crucifixion—all within a matter of days (Matthew 26:1-27:56)!
So, how is it that in John’s Gospel (at very beginning of His three-plus-years’ ministry), immediately following account of His first miracle at “Wedding of Cana of Galilee,” John records: “He had made a whip of cords, He drove them all out of temple . . . poured out changers’ money and overturned tables . . . and He said to those who sold doves, ‘Take these things away! Do not make My Father’s house a house of merchandise!” (John 2:15-16)? Note: This “appears” out of chronological order by some three years! But some commentators allege that Jesus literally accomplished this fete TWICE—at beginning and at end of His ministry—making issue all more significant!
John’s “accounting” is, however, “spiritually-designed” to convey to us Christ as our Life:
“And truly Jesus did many other signs (i.e., “miracles”) in presence of His disciples which are not written in this book; but these are written that you may believe that Jesus is Christ, Son of God, and that believing you may have life in His name.”
John presents Christ as Son of God—OUR LIFE! As our Life, He pours Himself as NEW WINE into empty human vessels. He is our true enjoyment—the One Who fills us; Who changes “water into wine” (the transforming power of His Life) to create, through His Divine Life, His “Ultimate Intention” – THE BRIDE OF CHRIST! In John’s first miraculous accounting, performed by Son of God, He immediately sets forth why He has come to earth as our Life—the setting is altogether too clear: His Life will “bring forth” Bride of Christ—He is our Bridegroom—He is looking for a Bride—we are that Bride!
BUT—John immediately brings us to Temple and money changers? Why? Because, although He is desirous for a Bride, there is a huge problem—the Temple of God (which, again, is a type of God’s “Ultimate Intention” and/or a picture of His Habitation (II Corinthians 6:16)) is abused and has become a “den of thieves” – IT MUST BE PURGED! For Son of God, Who has revealed in John’s Gospel His desire for a Bride—must “cleanse” His Temple and make it a “house of prayer for all peoples.”
FALSE PROPHETS MAKE MERCHANDISE OF YOU!
The unsuspecting members of Jewish Diaspora scattered throughout Roman World came to Jerusalem to offer their sacrifice. They entered Temple of Jesus’ time and were provided a “much-needed” service in conversion of their foreign currency into shekels, in order to purchase their particular sacrifice (be it a dove, etc.).
Eventually, however, these “services” evolved into nothing more than ripping off people of God—“a den of thieves.” The Apostle Peter speaks of these very same thieves in Church who afflicted Church; to wit:
“But there were false prophets also among people, even as there shall be false teachers among you, who privily (“privately” or “secretly”) shall bring in damnable heresies, even denying Lord that bought them, and bring upon themselves swift destruction. And many shall follow their pernicious ways; by reason of whom way of truth shall be evil spoken. And through covetousness shall they with feigned words (Lit., “well-turned words” – i.e., “spin”) MAKE MERCHANDISE OF YOU; whose judgment now of a long time lingereth not, and their damnation slumbereth not” (II Peter 2:1-3) (Emphasis, DWK).
Indeed, how clever are these modern-day Church thieves? In essence these “evangelical money changers,” with their “pernicious ways” and their modern-day “spin” of seductive, well-turned words—prey as much upon those who have come to offer their sacrifices within Temple of God as thieves of yesteryear who were driven out of Temple, had their tables upturned, and their money bags EMPTIED by Son of God! MAKE NOT MY FATHER’S HOUSE A HOUSE OF MERCHANDISE!