Money Changers

The Gospels record Jesus coming into Jerusalem on a donkey just as the prophets said would happen. But then after His entry He ties a whip together and drives out the money changers from the temple. The temple at the time was representative of everything of the Jewish faith. The priests performed the sacrifices and duties as given in the old testament and in the inner sanctuary was where the presence of the Lord was to be sitting on the Ark of the Covenant. It was a holy and precious place to be respected in the highest. But here the nation, the priests, the people from all the tribes had allowed money changers to come in to make it easy to exchange currency from whichever part of the earth they had traveled from to fulfill their religious duties. There is no doubt these money changers were making a decent living to continue the practice. I’m quite certain by educated assumption that the temple priesthood was also benefiting from their presence. For no space is filled by a vendor for free where the “land lord” allows them to set up. But now here is our Christ in the midst of them, overturning their tables and driving them out. Was He not making a statement of jealousy and contempt for what greedy men had turned His Father’s house into? Here’s a good spot to insert the verses I have been referring.

12 Then Jesus went into the temple of God and drove out all those who bought and sold in the temple, and overturned the tables of the money changers and the seats of those who sold doves. 13 And He said to them, “It is written, ‘My house shall be called a house of prayer,’ but you have made it a ‘den of thieves.’”(Mat 11:12-13)

15 So they came to Jerusalem. Then Jesus went into the temple and began to drive out those who bought and sold in the temple, and overturned the tables of the money changers and the seats of those who sold doves. 16 And He would not allow anyone to carry wares through the temple. 17 Then He taught, saying to them, “Is it not written, ‘My house shall be called a house of prayer for all nations’? But you have made it a ‘den of thieves.’ ”

18 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 teaching. 19 When evening had come, He went out of the city.(Mark 11:15-19)

13 Now the Passover of the Jews was at hand, and Jesus went up to Jerusalem. 14 And He found in the temple those who sold oxen and sheep and doves, and the money changers doing business. 15 When He had made a whip of cords, He drove them all out of the temple, with the sheep and the oxen, and poured out the changers’ money and overturned the tables. 16 And He said to those who sold doves, “Take these things away! Do not make My Father’s house a house of merchandise!” 17 Then His disciples remembered that it was written, “Zeal for Your house has eaten Me up.” (John 2:13-17)

This story of the moneychangers is recorded in 3 of the 4 Gospels. I am certain that our Lord wanted this Truth to be seen and recognized at it’s seriousness not to profane the Lord’s name through greediness for gain. It is also a sign of a lack of faith. Yet 2000 years later we find what is called the body of christ , according to mainstream christianity, practicing a more crafty and slick business. Though the nature of its practice today is quite different. The one thing that remains common is that someone benefits monetarily.

Everything we see in mainstream institutional church is built upon a business model. It begins with the preaching of the tithe as a means to support the institution and ends with the reinforced power of the pastor to rule over the assembly.  How can I make this claim? Easy, who in the church earns a salary or wage? Certainly the pastor. But also some churches hire secretaries, music leaders and other positions in some cases. So also in some cases these people are fired from their position. Does this sound like faith or being led by the Holy Spirit?

Please show me where in the Gospels Jesus is shown to have made or given instructions regarding a business plan or structure. Where in the Gospels has any other apostle laid down instructions for the assembly to follow a worldly business model? I have read the New Testament many times and have no such knowledge. But I am open if you can show clearly how this structure might be laid out in Scripture. What I have seen and been taught is that our Christ preached faith in Him and that we can pray and ask the Father to make our way in this world to preach the Gospel. If we need money for travel, God will provide it. If we need a place to lay our head, God will provide it. If we need food or drink or clothing, our Father knows what we need and will provide it. For Scripture bears these things out.

25 “Therefore I say to you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or what you will drink; nor about your body, what you will put on. Is not life more than food and the body more than clothing? 26 Look at the birds of the air, for they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns; yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not of more value than they? 27 Which of you by worrying can add one cubit to his stature?

28 “So why do you worry about clothing? Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow: they neither toil nor spin; 29 and yet I say to you that even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these. 30 Now if God so clothes the grass of the field, which today is, and tomorrow is thrown into the oven, will He not much more clothe you, O you of little faith?

31 “Therefore do not worry, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ 32 For after all these things the Gentiles seek. For your heavenly Father knows that you need all these things. 33 But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you. 34 Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about its own things. Sufficient for the day is its own trouble. (Mat 6:25-34)

Brethren, it is the world who makes business plans. When the so called church plans on how to raise money and plans on how to gain membership then they are not acting in faith towards Christ. They are making plans as worldly men do. We are warned plainly not to act or behave in worldly manner. For in the epistle of James it is written

Adulterers and adulteresses! Do you not know that friendship with the world is enmity with God? Whoever therefore wants to be a friend of the world makes himself an enemy of God.
(James 4:4)

If a church is functioning like the world, then they are attracting the world. If the world is attracted and corrupts the assembly further then this practice is sin towards God. So then, ought not these men (and or women) who claim the name of Christ repent of these practices?

Brethren our faith and our Lord are too precious to be caught walking in the world upon His return. For judgment begins in the house of God. Just as Christ showed us in driving out the money changers. Let us continue and persevere and keep our walk pure.

“Behold, I send you out as sheep in the midst of wolves. Therefore be wise as serpents and harmless as doves.” (Mat. 10:16)

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7 Responses to Money Changers

  1. Rich Kelley says:

    Thank you for your post. I agree the “church” model of today is totally man made, there can be no example found in the scriptures unless you want to use the Old Testament. Hirelings cannot give freely what they have been given in Christ if they are paid. Once you have received a paycheck you are obligated to perform a service. There are tons of out of context scriptures that those on the dole like to quote. This doesn’t make what they are doing correct, yet the seats are full of sheep that are willing to open their check books to remain in good standing with the man made teachings of the institutional church. There are over six hundred Old Testament laws that were followed by Israel, why are the modern money changers only observing the parts of the law that benefit their lifestyle? I would think the other four of the five ministries Paul mentions should feel a little left out not being paid like the Pastor/Shepherd. I say this in jest as what the Holy Spirit brings to the body of Christ to build it up is not for sale regardless the rationalization of man.

  2. When Christ first sends out the disciples, He commands them to take nothing: “These twelve Jesus sent forth, and commanded them, saying, Go not into the way of the Gentiles, and into any city of the Samaritans enter ye not: But go rather to the lost sheep of the house of Israel. And as ye go, preach, saying, The kingdom of heaven is at hand. Heal the sick, cleanse the lepers, raise the dead, cast out devils: freely ye have received, freely give. Provide neither gold, nor silver, nor brass in your purses, Nor scrip for your journey, neither two coats, neither shoes, nor yet staves: for the workman is worthy of his meat,” (Matthew 10:5-10).

    Later, when He is in the Garden of Gethsemene and is preparing the disciples for walking without Him, He tells them that the resources they currently possess are sufficient for answering the call of God on their lives and the command to preach and teach: “And he said unto them, When I sent you without purse, and scrip, and shoes, lacked ye any thing? And they said, Nothing. Then said he unto them, But now, he that hath a purse, let him take it, and likewise his scrip: and he that hath no sword, let him sell his garment, and buy one,” (Luke 22:35-36).

    Nowhere, do we find the command to gather resources from others before engaging upon a missionary work–or depending upon others for support in doing the work of the kingdom–for in Christ, we already possess all things. The work of the Holy Spirit is wholly sufficient in providing us whatever we need in order to accomplish the calling that Christ has in us.

    When we see people dependent upon others [instead of God] to complete a spiritual work, we can legitimately question whether they are answering their own calling [or the call of man], as opposed to the calling of God.

    This posses two necessary questions:

    1) Will God not support the work of those whom He has called?

    2) And if He will, what need do missionaries have of continually recruiting man’s support?

    Yet, when people begin with God and rely upon Him alone, it is no strange thing if other believers will provide supports as God leads them: what God will never do, however, is to lead missionaries to become dependent upon men, rather than God.

    The business model of missionary work [continually cultivating donations] eliminates the needs for missionaries to work within their locales and team up with other believers to function as a small assembly in the midst of such a locale, dividing the labor and working together to achieve a common goal, including providing for their own needs.

  3. Al Nelson says:

    Well now you’ve gone and done it haven’t you! Do you realize you’ve just taken away the need for paypal buttons and telethons?! 🙂 Hopefully the Lord will lead our brothers and sisters to these Scriptures to see the Truth.

  4. What will TBN do?

    Colin, TBN UK is right around the corner: is this a blessing or a curse?

    Will they preach the gospel?

    Will they teach traditions that make the word of God of none effect?

    Is TBN really about Jesus?

  5. Al Nelson says:

    Uhhh, tune in next week, same bat time, same bat channel? In all seriousness, I can’t do it. The Lord is more important to listen to than watching that stuff.

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