FOLLOWING IN THE PATH OF THE DIVINE….JERUSALEM (Part 7 of 10).
“And they come to Jerusalem; and Jesus went into the temple, and began to cast out them that sold and brought in the temple, and overthrew the tables of the moneychangers, and the seats of them that sold doves. (Mark 11:15).
I remember way back when…I could go to almost any Christian church and enjoy a gospel concert or an afternoon worship service for free! These were the times when the gospel was truly free! However, nowadays we are charged a fee to hear the Word of God preached! Jesus reacted in righteous anger at the Temple in Jerusalem. I believe he would react the same way today, if he would walk into many churches. In fact, he is reacting through those of us who are witnessing churches selling any and everything in the house of prayer. “Is it not written, my house shall be called of all nations the house of prayer? But ye have made it a den of thieves.” (Mark 11:17). Let it be noted that selling and brokering in God’s house could not take place, unless it was instituted and approved by the leadership. Jesus disapproves of racketeering in any shape form or fashion in the house of prayer. Following in the Path of the Divine in Jerusalem, Jesus’ ignited a holy cleansing in the Temple. He had to establish once again, the purpose for gathering in the House of prayer. Jesus’ indignation brought about, misunderstanding and rejection and a planned persecution that will eventually lead to his death.
Jerusalem was the mother church and she was the most despicable of all the churches. This is where the high priests and counsel governed the churches. Their leadership was supposed to be based on the Torah (The first five books of the OT). Consequently, the laws that God had given to Moses, were now greatly distorted for monetary gain. The moneychangers were now in the temple. The place that God established his presence, and had been acknowledge as a most holy place, had now been reduced to a money making enterprise. As Jesus approached public the desecration of his Father’s glory, he exercised his spiritual authority to cleanse these irreligious representatives of the Temple. Sadly, this is what we see today in the house of prayer. There are all kinds of fundraising events going on! I see Christians selling second hand goods and food in front of the church building! Members use the church as their personal venue to build their businesses. Instead of evangelizing, they are promoting their business and giving out their business cards! This is so shameful, and I know that the Lord is not pleased. When we do these things, we are telling the world that God cannot take care of us, and that God is a deadbeat dad! If we would pay our tithes and offerings, as we should, there would be no need for this type of gross behavior! Also, if the church would simply follow in the path of Jesus, and live a humble existence, so great a sum of money would not be necessary! I will not even go into the elaborate living of the leadership, which is completely ridiculous!
The church is not called to be a worldly business or a pompous corporation. The church is called to evangelize to the world. “Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost. Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you always, even unto the end of the world. Amen.” (Matthew 28: 19-20). Following in the path of wealth, is like a truck that is stuck in the mud. The more the truck driver presses on the gas, the more it sinks deeper into the mud! The truck will need a strong tow to pull it out of the mess. The Church needs a strong tow, which is a spiritual cleansing and a re-direction to the path of the Divine. The leadership of the church have to overthrow the tables of buying and selling in the church. If money exchange is its primary function of the church, it will continue to sink into the abyss of sin. This outrage from Jesus was not well received by the chief priests, and scribes and the elders. As I know, this message will not be well received by many leaders who are reading this post! This is the time when I am unfriended and blocked for telling the truth! It’s a normal response when the truth is slapping someone in the face! Rejection is what Jesus encountered when he, by all heavenly authority, corrected the actions of those who were desecrating the house of prayer. This is a call for all churches to stop using the house of prayer as a business; and start using as it was intended. A place where the saints of God meet to worship God, to be healed, and pray for guidance and instructions to overcome this upside down world!
We can clearly see in the scriptures, that there is a strong hatred for those who come into their own Jerusalem. Those who speak out against irreligious practices in church. The reason you will be hated and feared is because you are pulling off the veil of deception. When Jesus starting cleansing the temple of these “den of thieves,” he was declared an enemy to those in leadership. “And the scribes and chief priests heard it, and sought how they might destroy him: for they feared him, because all the people were astonished at his doctrine.” (Mark 11:18). The truth will astonished people who have been lied to in the church about its true purpose. The truth will awaken the slumbering hearts, and light the path of Christ the Divine. We must work for those who are snoozing, that they may come to see the light of Jesus, and follow him. In Jerusalem, we have to overthrow the tables of the “den of thieves,” which will cause the chief priests, and scribes and the elders to plan for your destruction. This is what the leaders did to Jesus, and we are not greater than the master, so expect it! This is the backlash when we speak out against immoral practices in the church. But I give you this message from God, “Blessed are ye, when men shall revile you, and persecute you, and shall say all manner of evil against you falsely, for my sake. Rejoice, and be exceedingly glad: for great is your reward in heaven: for so persecuted they the prophets which were before you.” (Matthew 5:11-12).
It is impossible to be true to God and mammon. The time has come for the righteous to call sin out on the carpet and rebuke it in the name of Jesus! We cannot continue to ignore man’s fabricated righteousness. Following in the Path of the Divine in Jerusalem, requires a boldness that can only be ordained by Jesus. Pray that the Lord will give you the power and authority to overthrow the tables of carnality and restore his house to the “House of Prayer!
For the record, this message is a call to repentance and a call for the righteous to take a stand against the “den of thieves.” God bless you and amen!
Written by Jessica L. Matthews