Don’t turn a house of prayer into a den of thieves!

Just like in the bible, its the same today. Grievous wolves have entered into the flock of God, and turn prophets into prostitutes for a profit. What can we do?

Matthew 21: 12 And Jesus went into the temple of God, and cast out all them that sold and bought in the temple, and overthrew the tables of the moneychangers, and the seats of them that sold doves,

13 And said unto them, It is written, My house shall be called the house of prayer; but ye have made it a den of thieves.

14 And the blind and the lame came to him in the temple; and he healed them.

BUILDING A HOUSE OF PRAYER

We need to separate the selling and publishing from the worship. It needs to be done at separate times and separate places. In worship people should be able to give and receive freely.

Why? Jesus turned over the tables in the temple and he said “you have turned my fathers house of prayer into a den of thieves.”

DOES THIS MEAN SELLING IS EVIL?

This doesn’t mean that Christians cannot sell at all. If that’s the case, then anytime two saints got together they couldn’t do any business. Jesus specifically went into the temple, the place that was set up for worship and prayer and made this declaration: my house shall be called a house of prayer, but you made a den of thieves.

Is selling a sin? Is publishing a sin? No, not according to Psalms 68:11 or Proverbs 11:26.

However, selling and publishing do need to be separated from worship and prayer.

HOW DO THIEVES HIDE? WHY DO WOLVES MASK THEMSELVES?

If you look at a group of sheep in the temple and instead of thinking “what can I feed them?” or “what can I give them?” you think “what can I sell them,” then you are a wolf or you will soon become a wolf. A Shepherd is thinking about feeding the flock not making a profit off of them.

Yes it’s okay for shepherds to get paid but the system that God has set up for ministers to get paid is tithing and offering, not buying and selling. Even Jesus had financial supporters (Luke 8:3).

Tithing and offering is the primary way to fund any ministry. It’s not a sin to sell or publish according to Proverbs 11:26, and Psalms 68:11. But those things have to be clearly separated from the house of prayer.

If you have a publishing company then sell it somewhere else, not at the church. Sell through a website. Sell in a public place. Sell at a concert. Not at a church or temple.

Also think about this: when you sell in the temple, wolves smell blood. Their appetite gets turned back on. Thieves think: “I can do that too, even better!” Then they hide in the temple waiting for their chance.

Let’s say you go to a church and you sell a product that is 100% pure. What if a false apostle sees your example, figures out that he is more talented than you, and then decides to sell a product that is 85% pure? Now the church has been corrupted.

That’s why it’s not a good idea to sell products or advertise brands in the church temple or house meeting. Jesus is the brand and Gods Word is the message. Even a 100% pure biblical product can eventually be corrupted by making room for someone with the wrong motives.

WHAT ABOUT CONCERTS?

I have definitely changed a lot of what I’ve done in the past. I used to promote concerts and sell CDs and I would rent churches and regular venues alike.

Nowadays i wouldn’t even sell my book in a church i spoke at. I would not even push it, if someone asked about it I’d tell them to check my website or meet me at my car. I might give some away. When God teaches me something I try to figure out ways to obey, not ways to do the same thing I did before.

In some situations a concert is different, but if it’s at a church and it’s promoted to the church, isn’t it really a church event? If its not, why are tithes and offerings being used to fund a concert venue? If a concert is a church event then it’s a not a good idea to sell there.

If a concert is specifically a publishing event, not at a church then I’d say it’s okay to publish and sell at it.

We need to turn the house of prayer into a house of prayer, not selling, publishing or even branding. Even if it’s a 100% pure biblical product.

BUT WE ARE THE TEMPLE, THE BUILDING DOES NOT MATTER

True, our bodies are the temple of God. But Jesus is also clear that there are church gatherings that are to be set aside for church purposes. He is also clear that his house of prayer was a temple and was to be set aside for certain purposes.

I don’t think Jesus was doing a great acting job. I don’t think he was joking around. I don’t think he was giving a false prophecy. I think he was giving us part of his heart. I think obedience to his heart will help to lead us into the greater fulfillment of his word which is our bodies becoming a house of prayer also.

DOES EVERYTHING WITH A SCRIPTURE ON IT HAVE TO BE FREE?

It would be great if all bibles, books, and musical recordings were free. However, that is not a clear scriptural mandate. I try to focus on what is clear in the Bible.

My focus in this discussion is on the purpose of the temple of God. It’s not a place to rack up profits on products and brands but it’s a place to serve, give, pray, and worship. That’s what’s clear scripturally so that’s enough to make our hearts clean.

IMAGINE

What would happen if all church bookstores were converted into prayer rooms?

What would happen if the motivation for the preacher was not to sell his latest book but to say what God is saying?

What if the church focused on discipling all believers and letting them operate in whatever gifts they had instead of getting some “special” people to pay extra MONEY for “extra” training?

I believe if we start taking God’s word more seriously, soon He will start to take our churches more seriously.

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