Merchants In The House Of God

John 2:13 And the Jews’ passover was at hand, and Jesus went up to Jerusalem.

John 2:14 And found in the temple those that sold oxen and sheep and doves, and the changers of money sitting:

John 2:15 And when he had made a whip of small cords, he drove them all out of the temple, and the sheep, and the oxen; and poured out the changers’ money, and overthrew the tables;

John 2:16 And said to them that sold doves, Take these things hence; make not my Father’s house an house of merchandise.

John 2:17 And his disciples remembered that it was written, The zeal of your house has eaten me up.

Jesus was infuriated by how men of God in his day had turned the house of God into a business centre. He was mad to see the priests more interested in selling sacrificial animals and running a bureau de change inside the Temple, than in ministering the Word of God, standing in the gap for the people and leading the people to God. The high and holy calling of the priesthood had degenerated into the business of selling commodities for pecuniary gains! Priests of God had become unscrupulous merchants in the house of God! They had turned the house of God into a den of thieves!

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,

Matthew 21:13 And said to them, It is written, My house shall be called the house of prayer; but you have made it a den of thieves.

If turning the house of God into a place of merchandise and a den of thieves infuriated Jesus so much that he had to whip people out of the Temple and scatter their wares (what a sight that was, from the meek and gentle Jesus!), I imagine he would be even more disgusted by such practices inside the Church he has purchased with his own blood!

The Church right now glories in the wealth and prosperity of her leaders and overseers who are having a swell time running very profitable businesses inside the Temple. Things have never been rosier financially, for CEOs and Founders and General Overseers of mega churches, who compete favourably with the multi-millionaires and billionaires of this world.

Revelation 3:15 I know your works, that you are neither cold nor hot: I would you were cold or hot.

Revelation 3:16 So then because you are lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will spew you out of my mouth.

Revelation 3:17 Because you say, I am rich, and increased with goods, and have need of nothing; and know not that you are wretched, and miserable, and poor, and blind, and naked.

The men and women who have replaced the Gospel with the preaching and pursuit of material and financial prosperity, and who have transformed God’s house into a place of merchandise and a den of thieves, are already having their heaven on earth right now. They are rich, increased with goods and have need of nothing! They’ve achieved their end result: fame and fortune from the pulpit!

It’s easy to identify a false minister of the Gospel, if one really wants to know. One of their key attributes is their unbridled love of money. They are called into ministry and motivated in it by the love of money. The material and monetary benefits they derive from preaching influence and condition the messages they preach and teach. False Ministers have no regards for the word of God, and absolutely no concern for the salvation of souls.

2 Peter 2:1 But there were false prophets also among the people, even as there shall be false teachers among you, who privately shall bring in damnable heresies, even denying the Lord that bought them, and bring on themselves swift destruction.

2 Peter 2:2 And many shall follow their pernicious ways; by reason of whom the way of truth shall be evil spoken of.

2 Peter 2:3 And through covetousness shall they with feigned words make merchandise of you: whose judgment now of a long time lingers not, and their damnation slumbers not.

These merchants in the house of God will twist the word of God anyhow, introduce damnable heresies into the Church, and preach and do anything that will attract a large crowd and fatten their bank accounts. Their target is your wallet, not your soul! Let’s look at some of the things these perverters of the Word of God do just for the love of money.

Merchants in the house of God take God’s people back to the bondage of the Law, so they can justify tithes, firstfruits and other sacrifices of the Old Testament. Paul, the Apostle to the Gentiles, preached and taught that the Gentiles were not under the Law of Moses, because they never had been! God’s Covenant on Mount Sinai was with Israel, not the Gentiles. The Mosaic Law was given to regulate that contract God made with Israel on Mount Sinai. It has nothing to do with Gentiles, who were not a part of that Covenant. In law, you cannot benefit or suffer from a contract you were never a party to. The laws of tithing, firstfruits and other sacrificial offerings to support the Levitical priesthood, under the Old Covenant, do not apply to Gentile believers in Christ, nor does any part of the Mosaic Law (Please see my teachings on : “The Relationship of the Gentile Believers To The Law Of Moses”, and “The Law Of Tithing Is Not For The New Testament Gentile Believers”). By subjecting New Testament believers to any part of the Mosaic Law, such tithe and first-fruit seeking ministers bring the Church of Christ back into the bondage of the Law! Once you agree to keeping any part of the Mosaic Law, you must keep the whole Law, otherwise you’re under a curse !

Galatians 3:10 For as many as are of the works of the law are under the curse: for it is written, Cursed is every one that continues not in all things which are written in the book of the law to do them.

And going back to observe the Mosaic Law or any part of it is tantamount to falling away from Grace!

Galatians 5:3 For I testify again to every man that is circumcised, that he is a debtor to do the whole law.

Galatians 5:4 Christ is become of no effect to you, whoever of you are justified by the law; you are fallen from grace.

These manipulative merchants in the house of God place God’s children under a curse for not paying tithe, whereas tithe-paying as a law has been abolished under the New Covenant of Grace in Christ! Giving financially to support God’s work and God’s servants under the New Testament is voluntary and inspired by love, not by any mandatory laws of tithing!

2 Corinthians 8:7 Therefore, as you abound in every thing, in faith, and utterance, and knowledge, and in all diligence, and in your love to us, see that you abound in this grace also.

2 Corinthians 8:8 I speak not by commandment, but by occasion of the forwardness of others, and to prove the sincerity of your love.

2 Corinthians 9:5 Therefore I thought it necessary to exhort the brothers, that they would go before to you, and make up beforehand your bounty, whereof you had notice before, that the same might be ready, as a matter of bounty, and not as of covetousness.

2 Corinthians 9:6 But this I say, He which sows sparingly shall reap also sparingly; and he which sows bountifully shall reap also bountifully.

2 Corinthians 9:7 Every man according as he purposes in his heart, so let him give; not grudgingly, or of necessity: for God loves a cheerful giver.

Thieves and fraudsters, masquerading as men of God, delight in selling and imparting the anointing for money! We see people being manipulated and psyched up to sow financial seeds into the lives and ministries of these so-called men of God, in order to tap into their anointing and grace. Most of these swindlers will tell you they sowed heavy financial seeds into their mentors’ lives before the anointing was transferred to them. The question to ask these merchants is: is the anointing of God for sale? If the anointing of God is to be imparted through financial exchange, the original Apostles of The Lord should know something about this. Let’s look at Apostle Peter’s reaction, when he was offered money, to transfer anointing to someone.

The Acts 8:18 And when Simon saw that through laying on of the apostles’ hands the Holy Ghost was given, he offered them money,

The Acts 8:19 Saying, Give me also this power, that on whomsoever I lay hands, he may receive the Holy Ghost.

The Acts 8:20 But Peter said to him, Your money perish with you, because you have thought that the gift of God may be purchased with money.

The Acts 8:21 You have neither part nor lot in this matter: for your heart is not right in the sight of God.

The Acts 8:22 Repent therefore of this your wickedness, and pray God, if perhaps the thought of your heart may be forgiven you.

The Acts 8:23 For I perceive that you are in the gall of bitterness, and in the bond of iniquity.

What a stinging rebuke from Peter! Your money perish with you! How dare you think you can buy the gift or the grace of God with money? How come these merchants in God’s house don’t see this scripture? And how come their blind followers haven’t read this part of the Bible? Let no man deceive you! No man can buy the gift of God with money. God freely gives his gifts to those he has called and sanctified for his work. You don’t pay money for God’s gifts! They are the free gifts of grace!

Isaiah 55:1 Ho, every one that thirsts, come you to the waters, and he that has no money; come you, buy, and eat; yes, come, buy wine and milk without money and without price.

Isaiah 55:2 Why do you spend money for that which is not bread? and your labor for that which satisfies not? listen diligently to me, and eat you that which is good, and let your soul delight itself in fatness.

Matthew 10:8 Heal the sick, cleanse the lepers, raise the dead, cast out devils: freely you have received, freely give.

Because they believe in monetary exchange for impartation of spiritual blessings, merchants behind the pulpit sell everything for money: anointing oil, holy water, aprons, handkerchiefs, stickers, wrist bands, and anything that can be mass produced and paraded as a talisman. The business behind the pulpit is indeed a mega business!

Businessmen behind the pulpit preach to satisfy itching ears in the congregation. A true servant of God preaches the uncompromising Truth of God to the people, whether or not the people want to hear it. The servant of God hears from God and speaks to the people as he is commanded. Most times, it’s not what the people want to hear, but what they need to hear! The word of God rebukes, exhorts and chastises, depending on the spiritual condition of the people. A true servant of God does not preach to please the people, but rather, he aims to prick their conscience and correct their erroneous ways !

Ezekiel 2:3 And he said to me, Son of man, I send you to the children of Israel, to a rebellious nation that has rebelled against me: they and their fathers have transgressed against me, even to this very day.

Ezekiel 2:4 For they are impudent children and stiff hearted. I do send you to them; and you shall say to them, Thus said the Lord GOD.

Ezekiel 2:5 And they, whether they will hear, or whether they will forbear, (for they are a rebellious house,) yet shall know that there has been a prophet among them.

Ezekiel 2:6 And you, son of man, be not afraid of them, neither be afraid of their words, though briers and thorns be with you, and you do dwell among scorpions: be not afraid of their words, nor be dismayed at their looks, though they be a rebellious house.

Ezekiel 2:7 And you shall speak my words to them, whether they will hear, or whether they will forbear: for they are most rebellious.

Ezekiel 2:8 But you, son of man, hear what I say to you; Be not you rebellious like that rebellious house: open your mouth, and eat that I give you.

Merchants in the house of God however preach to satisfy their listeners. Their preaching is aimed at pleasing the crowd. They neither rebuke sins nor chastise the people living unrighteous lives. They seek to please the people because they want a mega crowd that will enhance their chances of getting money.

2 Timothy 4:1 I charge you therefore before God, and the Lord Jesus Christ, who shall judge the quick and the dead at his appearing and his kingdom;

2 Timothy 4:2 Preach the word; be instant in season, out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort with all long-suffering and doctrine.

2 Timothy 4:3 For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but after their own lusts shall they heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears;

2 Timothy 4:4 And they shall turn away their ears from the truth, and shall be turned to fables.

2 Peter 2:1 But there were false prophets also among the people, even as there shall be false teachers among you, who privately shall bring in damnable heresies, even denying the Lord that bought them, and bring on themselves swift destruction.

2 Peter 2:2 And many shall follow their pernicious ways; by reason of whom the way of truth shall be evil spoken of.

2 Peter 2:3 And through covetousness shall they with feigned words make merchandise of you: whose judgment now of a long time lingers not, and their damnation slumbers not.

Jude 1:11 Woe to them! for they have gone in the way of Cain, and ran greedily after the error of Balaam for reward, and perished in the gainsaying of Core.

2 Peter 2:15 Which have forsaken the right way, and are gone astray, following the way of Balaam the son of Bosor, who loved the wages of unrighteousness;

2 Peter 2:16 But was rebuked for his iniquity: the dumb ass speaking with man’s voice forbade the madness of the prophet.

A true servant of God does not please men, but God! He does not care about the people’s money or their praise. He looks to God for his reward.

Galatians 1:10 For do I now persuade men, or God? or do I seek to please men? for if I yet pleased men, I should not be the servant of Christ.

John 5:44 How can you believe, which receive honor one of another, and seek not the honor that comes from God only?

Luke 3:7 Then said he to the multitude that came forth to be baptized of him, O generation of vipers, who has warned you to flee from the wrath to come?

Luke 3:8 Bring forth therefore fruits worthy of repentance, and begin not to say within yourselves, We have Abraham to our father: for I say to you, That God is able of these stones to raise up children to Abraham.

Luke 3:9 And now also the ax is laid to the root of the trees: every tree therefore which brings not forth good fruit is hewn down, and cast into the fire.

The Acts 20:24 But none of these things move me, neither count I my life dear to myself, so that I might finish my course with joy, and the ministry, which I have received of the Lord Jesus, to testify the gospel of the grace of God.

The Acts 20:26 Why I take you to record this day, that I am pure from the blood of all men.

The Acts 20:27 For I have not shunned to declare to you all the counsel of God.

Merchants in the house of God do not preach about the cross and the suffering it entails. Jesus said anyone who would come after him should be prepared to deny himself, take up his cross and follow in his footsteps. A true servant of God follows in Christ’s footsteps.

Luke 9:23 And he said to them all, If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily, and follow me.

Luke 9:24 For whoever will save his life shall lose it: but whoever will lose his life for my sake, the same shall save it.

Luke 9:25 For what is a man advantaged, if he gain the whole world, and lose himself, or be cast away?

Luke 9:26 For whoever shall be ashamed of me and of my words, of him shall the Son of man be ashamed, when he shall come in his own glory, and in his Father’s, and of the holy angels.

The cross of Christ is foolishness to the world, but to the believer, it’s the power of God that brings salvation.

1 Corinthians 1:22 For the Jews require a sign, and the Greeks seek after wisdom:

1 Corinthians 1:23 But we preach Christ crucified, to the Jews a stumbling block, and to the Greeks foolishness;

1 Corinthians 1:24 But to them which are called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God, and the wisdom of God.

The preaching of the cross entails embracing justification by faith in the finished works of Christ on Calvary, following the footsteps of Christ in living and suffering for righteousness, living humble lives, seeking first the kingdom of God, and being heavenly minded.

1 Peter 2:21 For even hereunto were you called: because Christ also suffered for us, leaving us an example, that you should follow his steps:

1 Corinthians 11:1 Be you followers of me, even as I also am of Christ.

1 Corinthians 1:17 For Christ sent me not to baptize, but to preach the gospel: not with wisdom of words, lest the cross of Christ should be made of none effect.

1 Corinthians 1:18 For the preaching of the cross is to them that perish foolishness; but to us which are saved it is the power of God.

Galatians 6:12 As many as desire to make a fair show in the flesh, they constrain you to be circumcised; only lest they should suffer persecution for the cross of Christ.

Galatians 6:14 But God forbid that I should glory, save in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, by whom the world is crucified to me, and I to the world.

Philippians 3:17 Brothers, be followers together of me, and mark them which walk so as you have us for an ensample.

Philippians 3:18 (For many walk, of whom I have told you often, and now tell you even weeping, that they are the enemies of the cross of Christ:

Philippians 3:19 Whose end is destruction, whose God is their belly, and whose glory is in their shame, who mind earthly things.)

Philippians 3:20 For our conversation is in heaven; from where also we look for the Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ.

Merchants in the house of God cannot preach and live by the message of the cross, because they do not want to live righteous and humble lives. They want the reward of ministry here and now! They are in ministry for their belly ( whose belly is their God, who glory in their shame and mind earthly things) and their end is destruction! Flee from such merchants of death!

Preachers who peddle the word of God for pecuniary gains are distinguished by their profound covetousness and unbridled love money! The hallmark of the businessmen behind the pulpit is their undying love for money! Their greed and covetousness know no bounds! They are driven and motivated by the god mammon, in whose temple they serve and worship.

Matthew 6:24 No man can serve two masters: for either he will hate the one, and love the other; or else he will hold to the one, and despise the other. You cannot serve God and mammon.

Luke 12:15 And he said to them, Take heed, and beware of covetousness: for a man’s life consists not in the abundance of the things which he possesses.

To these merchants of the Gospel, a man’s life consists only in the abundance of the things he possesses! To them, material and financial prosperity alone are proof of God’s favour and blessings! To them, the lack of money, and not its love, is the root of all evil!( I actually heard a prosperity minister say that!).
However they may twist the word of God, the love of money still remains the root of all evil! That’s what the Bible says:

1 Timothy 6:10 For the love of money is the root of all evil: which while some coveted after, they have erred from the faith, and pierced themselves through with many sorrows.

1 Timothy 6:11 But you, O man of God, flee these things; and follow after righteousness, godliness, faith, love, patience, meekness.

1 Timothy 6:12 Fight the good fight of faith, lay hold on eternal life, whereunto you are also called, and have professed a good profession before many witnesses.

The reward for ministry is not here. It will be given by the Lord at the end of ministry, not here, and not now!

2 Timothy 4:7 I have fought a good fight, I have finished my course, I have kept the faith:

2 Timothy 4:8 From now on there is laid up for me a crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous judge, shall give me at that day: and not to me only, but to all them also that love his appearing.

1 Corinthians 9:24 Know you not that they which run in a race run all, but one receives the prize? So run, that you may obtain.

1 Corinthians 9:25 And every man that strives for the mastery is temperate in all things. Now they do it to obtain a corruptible crown; but we an incorruptible.

1 Corinthians 9:26 I therefore so run, not as uncertainly; so fight I, not as one that beats the air:

1 Corinthians 9:27 But I keep under my body, and bring it into subjection: lest that by any means, when I have preached to others, I myself should be a castaway.

Finally, merchants of the Gospel are noted by the flamboyant and materialistic lives they lead. Men who make merchandise of the Gospel live very flamboyant and materialistic lifestyles. They live like kings and lords, at the expense of their flocks whom they fleece and milk dry, with reckless abandon, inorder to finance their ostentatious lifestyles. Obviously, they disdain men like John the Baptist, whom the Lord described thus:

Matthew 11:7 And as they departed, Jesus began to say to the multitudes concerning John, What went you out into the wilderness to see? A reed shaken with the wind?

Matthew 11:8 But what went you out for to see? A man clothed in soft raiment? behold, they that wear soft clothing are in kings’ houses.

Matthew 11:9 But what went you out for to see? A prophet? yes, I say to you, and more than a prophet.

Matthew 11:10 For this is he, of whom it is written, Behold, I send my messenger before your face, which shall prepare your way before you.

Matthew 11:11 Truly I say to you, Among them that are born of women there has not risen a greater than John the Baptist: notwithstanding he that is least in the kingdom of heaven is greater than he.

John the Baptist did not dress flamboyantly, and he didn’t live in a palatial mansion either. He lived a simple and humble life, but was he a fire behind the pulpit! He preached righteousness and condemned evil to the very end , and was so hated by evil kings and religious hypocrites. However, he was loved by the Lord and held in high esteem by the God who sent him. He may not have had many admirers on earth, but he was certainly the beloved of heaven! The reward of the Lord and his testimony are all that should matter to a servant of God!

What will it profit a man of God if he flies a private jet, travels with a retinue of armed police escorts, live in a palatial mansion, dresses like a dandy, only to lose his soul in hell? Why will you compromise God’s word just to please men and fill your pockets with filthy lucre? Why do you choose to serve Mammon rather than God? Think about this!

Published by Dr. Ndubuisi E. Ojo

Dr. Ndubuisi E. Ojo is a teacher and an expositor of the word of God with an intense passion for doctrinal purity and the restoration of the Church to the original Apostolic faith.

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