The "God" of Mammon (Wealth).
we have studied enough to be convinced that Jesus was indeed the Son of
God, and have accepted the fact that His sacrifice (and all that it
entails) can take away our sins, then we should have no problem with
being called a Christian (Acts 11:26).
As Christians, we
understand that there is only one God, who we are to obey and worship.
That God is the father of Adam (and thus all mankind), and the father of Jesus, and hence we
often refer to the God revealed by the Bible as "God the Father".
As potential spiritual children of God the Father, we want to
"fit in", and hence we are trying to learn the "house rules" - the Ten Commandments.
summarized the Ten Commandments in,
Mat 22:37-40 NET. Jesus said to him, " 'Love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind.' (38) This is the first and greatest commandment. (39) The second is like it: 'Love your neighbor as [if they were] yourself.' (40) All the law and the prophets depend on these two commandments."
we struggle through this physical life to learn how to apply the First
and Second Great Commandments as given by Christ, we might think that God the
Father has the most influence on our life. Unfortunately, this is not
always the case.
Who has the greatest influence?Of course, God the
Father does influence a Christian's life, and in a perfect world, He
should have the greatest influence. But , for the majority of
people, He does not.
As I will try to show, the god of mammon, has the greatest influence at this time.
Why does God the Father have less influence?To
fully understand why God the Father is willing to take somewhat of a
"back seat" position in our lives at this time, requires us to
understand the plan of God, as outlined by the Holy Days of Lev 23. To
give you a brief thumb-nail sketch, when Adam and Eve rejected God's
instructions and followed Satan's suggestions instead, God allowed man
to "do his thing" for around 6000 years, to prove to man that there is no way
he can find eternal life by his own means. Every man and woman
who has died, will come up in the resurrection knowing that they did
not just "go to heaven" and start playing harps, when they died.
To put it another way, we do not get eternal life any other way
than by God giving it to us. The article "Not Immortal" tries to show that humans are not somehow born "immortal".
the bulk of humanity has ignored God and His laws, there have been a
few in each generation that have tried to have a relationship with God.
These are the ones who are most likely to be part of the first-fruits
of Pentecost, and make up the
144,000 of Rev 14, and are resurrected to be with God and Christ at the
start of the Kingdom of God. They are the ones who have had the
strength to reject the "god of mammon", the "god of this world", and
instead have tried to find
- and have a relationship with - God the Father.
6000 years after creating Adam and Eve, God has taken a "low key
position" in people's lives because He wants to see what we will do
with the information we have. God is not trying to "save the world" at
this point in time, but is very interested in what people do with their
"freedom" to partake of the "fruit of the knowledge of good and evil"
(Gen 2,3). But please understand, while God is not
"in our face" at the personal level at this time, He certainly has a "hands on" role
in lifting up those people and nations that give Him recognition, and
putting down those people and nations that reject Him and His laws.
Understanding the Comforter.When
Christ knew that the time for His departure (to His Father in heaven)
was getting close, He told the disciples that another "force" would be
Joh 14:16 NKJV And I will pray the Father, and He will give you another Helper, that He may abide with you forever—
chose to quote from the NKJV because I think "helper" is more
meaningful than "Advocate" in this day and age. The Holy Spirit
(how God operates in a remote location) helps us, but will not force us
to do good, and nor will it stop us from doing wrong. We are
still in control of our actions, but if we are actively trying to use
the help of the Holy Spirit, then often we will see things differently
from those who do not have the help of the Holy Spirit. What I am
trying to say is that "helper" is subtle, but nevertheless real.
This concept is difficult for some people to work with, and they
opt for looking to a man, or an idol, or some other "force" that they
feel is more meaningful.
This "close", but still unseen, position
that God has with Christians, leaves the gate wide open for another
"god" to promote his version of how the world should operate. In case
you have not caught up with it yet, there certainly was a battle
between the man Jesus and the "god of this world". By rejecting Satan -
as Adam and Eve did not do - Jesus has the right to supersede Satan
(but that has not yet happened on earth).
16:7-13 NET. But I tell you the truth, it is to your advantage
that I am going away. For if I do not go away, the Advocate will not
come to you, but if I go, I will send him to you. (8) And
when he comes, he will prove the world wrong concerning sin and
righteousness and judgment — (9) concerning sin, because
they do not believe in me [without believing in Christ, our sins stay with us]; (10) concerning righteousness,
because I am going to the Father [the fact that Jesus could go into the
presence of God is proof of His righteousness] and you will see me no
longer; (11) and concerning judgment, because the ruler of this world has been condemned
[Satan lost the battle]. (12) "I have many more things to say to
you, but you cannot bear them now. (13) But when [it], the
Spirit of truth, comes, [it] will guide you into all truth. For [it] will not speak on his own authority, but will speak whatever [it] hears, and will tell you what is to come.
we live in the period of time between when the Holy Spirit is being
available (starting at Pentecost, 31AD) to all who make the effort to
show God that
they want it, and before the coming to earth of God and His Son, who
will then replace Satan as the "god of this world". During this
intervening 2000 years, we have not been left in a vacuum, but rather
Satan has had a field day getting people to break God's laws, and thus
not qualify for a position in the Kingdom of God. Remember, God the
Father is always in charge, so having Satan around to tempt us is no
accident. It is all part of the testing we have to go through to find
out if we are the "right stuff".
Eph 2:2-3 NKJV in which you once walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air,
the spirit who now works in the sons of disobedience, (3)
among whom also we all once conducted ourselves in the lusts of our
flesh, fulfilling the desires of the flesh and of the mind, and were by
nature children of wrath, just as the others.
The "god of mammon".We are introduced to the concept of mammon in,
6:24 NKJV "No one can serve two masters; for either he will hate
the one and love the other, or else he will be loyal to the one and
despise the other. You cannot serve God and mammon.
The Wordweb (Oxford) defines "mammon" as "wealth regarded as an evil influence".
It is a good definition, and as I hope to show, when people put
wealth before God's laws, evil abounds. The Collins adds that mammon is also the "false god of covetousness".
Ephesians 2:2 we can
see Satan described by the phase "prince of the power of the air".
This, along with v3, begins to tell us a number of things about Satan.
First up, he has power, but he can not use any power that God does not
authorize (Job 1,2). Thus, his power is limited to what God allows. This
power can vary according to what God wants to achieve at the time. When
God is ready to bring this present world to a close - before ushering
in the Kingdom of God - Satan will be given the power to perform great
miracles, even bringing fire down from heaven. But for now, he mostly
operates by influencing the decisions made by non-Christian men and
women. Christians - if they are using the "helper" - are not usually
"attacked" by Satan. Of course, slack Christians can be.
What Satan is trying to do, is to get people to "fulfill the desires of the flesh and of the mind".
God is doing is asking Christians to reject the suggestions of Satan,
reject the pull of our carnal mind, reject peer pressure and reject the
pull of the world.
The Apostle Paul referred to this struggle that all humans have, in
Gal 5:16-17 NET. "But I say, live by the Spirit and you will not carry out the desires of the flesh. (17) For the
flesh has desires that are opposed to the Spirit, and the Spirit has
desires that are opposed to the flesh, for these are in opposition to
each other, so that you cannot do what you want."
No wonder Jesus said we can not serve both camps.
have to make a choice as to which one we will serve. If we make no
conscious choice, then we take the line of least resistance and slide into
serving the god of mammon.
The classroom of God.As
I have mentioned elsewhere, an easy way to understand what life is all
about, is to imagine you are in a classroom with God the Father as
teacher. During class (Bible Study) He teaches us the Law of Love
- summarized by Jesus as the First and Second Great Commandments (Mat 22:36-40) - and
then when class is dismissed, we are to go out into the world and put
what we have learned into practice. Those who do better in their practical , rise to
the top of the class; those who do not do well, sink to the bottom of
The "wild card" in this simple formula, is that the
"power of the air" (His influence can be anywhere at any time) is
trying to "take away our crown" and make us all fail our final exams. He is the
Adversary, and is against doing things God's way.
While not the only
weapon in His armory, but certainly one He uses a lot in this day and
age, is to get people to make judgment calls - not based on God's law
of love, but on whether money can be made on the transaction. In other
words, by encouraging people to put wealth - along with the temporary fame and
fortune that it can bring - on a higher level than showing love to our neighbor.
How "the prince of the power of the air" (Satan) uses wealth to generate evil.I
think that it is impossible for me to list out all the ways Satan
encourages people to put wealth as their primary concern. So what I
will try to do is to take some everyday examples, and then you can
apply the principles to other situations.
While Satan wants us looking at money, God wants us to look at something else.
Mat 6:33 NKJV But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you.
has to eat. Selling food for people to eat makes a lot of money. But
often, making even more money is the aim of the game.
spoils before people have paid for it, then the food-sellers miss out
on some profit. The god of mammon has inspired some solutions to their
foods in their natural state have an "acquired" flavor. To get
around this problem - and thus sell more - manufacturers aim for the
lowest common denominator in flavors (with a few exceptions) which is
either salt or sugar.
- Add preservatives to the foods.
the food to a high temperature. While this will stop the bad bacteria
from growing, it also stops the good bacteria - benificial to man -
from giving health.
- Add more salt. This slows the growth of bacteria, but pushes our salt intake too high.
- Crops are sprayed with poisons to kill the pests, but residues get through to humans.
- Add emulsifiers and/or other products to make the food look and feel fresher than it really is.
- Add color to disguise the foods age, or to make it look more desirable.
people tend to stick with what they are used to, food sellers have to
resort to massive advertising to get new products into the market. Sometimes
the facts given in food advertisements are irrelevant or misleading, or
the so called positive factors are over stated. Often a "celebrity" is
used to endorse a new product, to create an "image", but the
actual nutritional value may well suggest that people are better off without
the new product at all.
- Almost all packaged goods today, for sale in a supermarket, have some form of modified carbohydrate in them.
is added to almost all foods, and often is the major ingredient. This
is not showing love to our fellow man, as sugar is a "negative" food -
it takes more goodness out of our bodies than it puts in. Also it is a
factor in many major diseases. Unsweetened foods show the most love,
but sweetened foods make the most profit, because our taste buds have been trained to the sweetness.
so many foods
have the salt content on the maximum allowed, people end up with a diet
that is too high in salt. There is no love in giving people products
that are not good for them. On the TV the other night, there was a
report on a current affair type program about the amount of salt in the
foods in a supermarket. One breakfest cereal had the recommended daily
intake of salt in just one serving. It might have helped to sell the
product (make money), but it is not showing love to those foolish
enough to eat it.
- Especially in America, but in
Australia too, corn syrup (in all its forms) is added to "bulk out" the
product being sold. It is not a healthy food, but does increase profits.
But the god of mammon says - "if it can make a profit, do it".
of the biggest costs of running a car these days, is the cost of fuel.
Over the last 100 years or so, there have been many patents taken out
for devices that can save fuel. However, most of these have been bought
and then shelved, presumably by people who want to make
money out of selling fuel. There have been patents for batteries that
will last a life-time, but you can not buy one today. [Update Feb 2013
- NiFe batteries (can last 100 years) are now being produced again - but mainly for solar
not cars]. Just think about
how much money is made by selling every car a new battery every three
or four years.
Which "god" do you think men are serving? The God
that says show love to your fellow man, or the god that entices men to
do whatever it takes to keep the money flowing?
I know there are
honest second-hand car dealers, but stories keep coming to the surface
about cars that have been "doctored" just enough to look good, yet have
potential major defects. The "desires of the flesh" - I want/need money
- wins the battle, and an inferior product - sometimes an outright dangerous one - is created to fulfill that
Sometimes the performance of the car is overstated.
There have been reports of speedometers being "turned back".
have used many "tricks" to make money out of cars, and the products
they need to run. The god of mammon says it is OK to do anything if it
is going to make money. The God of love says it is not OK to do shoddy
workmanship and put your fellow man at risk.
order to make extra profit (serve the god of mammon), men have often
exploited the animal kingdom. When men have used/abused animals for
extra profit, the welfare of the animals has always come out second
Chickens have been housed in small cages and turned into "egg factories".
have been penned up in relatively small yards and feed somewhat
unnatural feed so that they produce more meat. In the natural state,
cows walk around and graze on pasture.
Men have even put dogs
into "puppy farms", where dogs are penned up for the sole purpose of
producing litters of puppies for the pet stores. The need to make money
is seen as more important than the welfare of the dogs.
is a truism that is often expressed in the phrase "life can only come
from life". I know, those who promote the theory of evolution would try
to convince us otherwise, but so far no one that I have heard of, has
brought forth proof that it can be done.
We have life, because God gave it to us.
We maintain our life by eating things that had a life of their own - clean animals (Lev 11), and plants and fruits.
soil beneath our feet is also full of living "things" - some large like
worms, and some small like microbes, and plenty in between. The more
"living" the soil is, the better it is able to produce healthy food for
humans to eat. These living "things" need organic matter to live
on. God, who created everything that has life, understands this, and
has decreed that the land is to rest every seven years so that this
organic matter can build up (Lev 25:2-4). Even many nonreligious men
today admit that the organic material grown in one year, is enough to
keep the soil healthy for the next six years.
make more money, the god of mammon has convinced men to plant a crop
every year, and then, to make up for the depleted soil, to use artificial
fertilizers. Then to kill off the bugs that are trying to eat the
unhealthy plants, use poisons. These poisons are strongly promoted by
the chemical companies that manufacture them because it is their way of
making money - and the god of mammon promotes that too.
end result is foods that look good on the outside (still very saleable)
but lacking nourishment and containing poison residue on the
inside. Not a loving thing to do to those who have to eat it.
Methods of Selling.As
well as short-changing people by over stating the value of the product
they are selling - to make more profit - people have resorted to
different methods of selling to catch people's attention.
If you buy this product, you could win .... .
Buy this product and we will give you ..... .
Fill in the coupon when you buy this product and you are in the draw to win .... .
above "angles" and many others are trying to get people to break the
10th Commandment and lust for something that they think they don't have
to pay for. That is NOT how the God of love wants it done, but
the god of mammon certainly encourages it.
Pharmaceutical and Chemical Companies.How
these companies go about extracting money out of people and governments
is too big a story for this sort of article. Because they have "excess
funds" (money in reserve) they have finely tuned the system to make
even more money.
will quite willingly sell you a product with a known side-effect - that
requires yet another drug to treat those side effects.
of the medical profession are "won over" with "free" gifts and so on, to particular companies,
making a virtual pipe-line from the manufacturing plant to the patients.
I said, this topic is so big that you need to research it on your own.
The test.To find out which god is being served, when you have to make a decision about what to do, ask two questions.
1. Will (what I am about to do) make money?
2. Will (what I am about to do) help someone else (and it may even cost me a bit)?
If you accept the answer to question one as being what you want - you serve the god of mammon.
If you accept the answer to question 2 as being what you want to do - then you serve the God of love.
"making money" is your goal in life, then chances are that you will
eventually end up being influenced by the god of mammon.
is nothing wrong with making money - so long as it is never done in a
way that disadvantages the person/s paying you the money.
problems start when "making money" is used as a justification for
taking short-cuts, taking advantage of others, or producing an inferior
you can find a way of helping others AS you make some money, then that
is a better way to go, and shows that you support God's law of love,
and not the god of mammon.
Bob Orchard Jan 2010
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