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Buy The Truth and Sell It Not
4And the woman was arrayed in purple and scarlet colour, and decked with gold and precious stones and pearls, having a golden cup in her hand full of abominations and filthiness of her fornication: 5And upon her forehead was a name written, MYSTERY, BABYLON THE GREAT, THE MOTHER OF HARLOTS AND ABOMINATIONS OF THE EARTH. Revelation 17:4-5.
Bible scholars generally say that this infamous harlot with many daughters was birthed when Constantine made Christianity the State Church, and her many daughters are said to be the Protestant Churches that rebelled against their mother and became independent from her. Could this be true? We will see.
Anglican priest, Rev. Sam Pascoe, sums it up in a very short version of the history of Christianity that devolved into harlotry. He said: "Christianity started in Palestine as a fellowship; it moved to Greece and became a philosophy; it moved to Italy and became an institution; it moved to Europe and became a culture; it came to America and became an enterprise."
It is doubtful that we could find many voices today that would deny that the church in America has become a major enterprise, and an enterprise by definition is a business. We are also told that the Church is the body of Christ. But make no mistake about it, a business is not the pure, unadulterated, living body of Christ. Moreover, an enterprise that claims to be is an imposter. In short, when a religious body becomes an enterprising business, it is not only an imposter, but a prostitute. Not in the literal sense, of course, but when a woman, which is a type of that church, sells the word of God and her services, she becomes a religious prostitute, plain and simple.
For instance, I was brought to this understanding in 1987 after I had left my barber business (Shiloh Hair Sculpturing) and started full-time writing and mailing out The Pathfinder as well as traveling once a year for several weeks at a time. One of our stops was a special three day conference where I was one of the speakers. The music, worship, and the word of life flowed freely from the heavens. Everything was great--except for one point that troubled us. It was when one of the elders of the church took the offerings. We knew the church wanted the invited ministers to be blessed; but the manner in which the offerings were taken (not received) did not set right in my spirit, nor in Margit's.
I was praying about this the evening after the last meeting, and after the gratuity had been given to us, a question was formed in my mind. When a man or woman renders his or her services and gets paid for services rendered, what does that make them? Prostitutes!
I knew that the word I had ministered was the living seed of God, and it was sown into the wombs of the people's souls. They then gave their money to me via the church. Needless to say, this gave me great concern; for ministering by writing and speaking would be my only source of income since we no longer had our business. In my thinking, I felt that I would never be able to receive another offering; for in doing so I thought I would by default be a prostitute. I would starve before that happened. I had no idea how our calling could continue by turning down all donations to the ministry; but one thing for certain, I refused to be paid for my services.
This attrition remained with me until the next day when we were to spend the night with our friends Preston and Lorain Eby. They took us out to dinner, and while waiting for our orders, I expressed my concern about all this. Preston responded by saying something to this effect: "Today is my 50th birthday, and Lorain wanted to take me out to dinner, and I can guarantee that she did not do it for services rendered. She took me to dinner because she loves me, and she wanted to bless me. It had nothing to do with anything else." He continued by saying: "And it is the same when I minister. People give, not because of services rendered, but out of the love of Christ by which they are filled. They want to bless me. I have blessed them with the word of God, and they in turn have a loving desire to bless me. However," he added, "there have been times when I would refuse the money from certain ones when I discerned that their motives were wrong. What made it wrong was that they were paying for my talents and/or wanting to impress me. Therefore, it is an honor to receive the offerings made in the spirit of Christ's love. It is not prostituting the word of God. Some do, of course, but not you nor me."
What a relief! A word of understanding, wisdom, counsel, and might set me free that evening of J. Preston Eby's 50th birthday. I don't know about him--but it was my Jubilee!
You see, the body of a wife and that of a prostitute can perform the same act, but one is holy and for love while the other is unholy and is for money. There are various reasons church members pay their Old Testament tithes: pride, self-esteem, to ease the conscience, or with hopes of escaping hell, and some truly give out of a real love for God, Jesus, their pastor and church. However, I believe that many in denominations over the earth minister and/or pay their tithes who do not know God nor have any love for Him whatsoever. For how can they love Him when they don't know Him? How many, do we suppose, really know and love Him?
You may disagree, and that's alright; but the evidence we have states very clearly that the gods that many Christians love are the ones of their own making, their own ideas, their own imaginations about Him. The challenging question may have been raised in some of your minds, "What evidence do you have that their gods are merely the ones of their own imaginations?"
Simply said, when their god is one who is an all forgiving god on this side of the veil, but will never forgive a sinner on the other side--that is a god of their own imagination. When their god on this side of the veil is the god of infinite love, but on the other side he hates sinners throughout eternity--that is a god of their own imagination. If their god will have all men to be saved, but most will be forever lost--that is a god of their own imagination. If their god is going to reconcile all through Christ Jesus, but most will be tormented forever--that is a god of their own imagination. If their god gathers all things together in Christ as one, but billions remain eternally separated and lost--that is a god of their own imagination. If all die in Adam, and their god only makes a few alive in Christ, and without grace much more abounding--that is a god of their own imagination. If all men are condemned by Adam's offense, and their god does not justify all by the one just act of Christ--that is a god of their own imagination. If all die in Adam, but their god does not make all alive in Christ--that is a god of their own imagination. If they say that at the name of Jesus every knee will bow and every tongue will confess Jesus Christ as Lord, but on the other side their god will not hear or receive their confession--that is a god of their own imagination. If, on one hand, their god will become All in all, but on the other, they say the majority of humanity will be eternally separated from him--that is a god of their own imagination. Frankly, such a god appears to be schizophrenic--and that is a god of their own imagination. This is more evidence that they do not know God; for those gods do not exist in the Bible nor in reality. These are gods of man's own making, products of religious minds that began a long time ago, and those ancient images have been passed on and carried down to this day.
It is little wonder that Paul said: "Casting down imaginations, and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ." 2 Corinthians 10:5. Such things as the above are imaginations of exalted thoughts that became prevalent by the Church of Rome, and they spread like a plague sweeping through all Christian agencies over the centuries. These imaginations of God have been raised high in the minds of people, standing against any reality of knowing the true God, and without knowing Him there can be no love for Him. All they can muster up is a love of their own image of Him.
How can this be anything other than idol worship? That's what it is! And we are told: "You shall have no other gods before Me," and "You shall not make unto you any graven image, or any likeness of any thing that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth. You shall not bow down thyself to them, nor serve them." The indictment of this commandment is that images are not to be made for the purpose of serving and worshiping them whether it's a carved tree, a chiseled stone, or a mythical image formed in the mind. Moreover, part of this harlot's name, Abominations, speaks of idol worship in the Greek.
It stands to reason then, most Christians neither know the living God nor love Him, especially when all they have known is to follow and abide by their churches' creeds, dogmas, doctrines, laws and by-laws. I believe the primary root of this condition of not knowing or loving God originated in how we came to God, or perhaps, came to church.
Many were born and raised in churches. Some came to Him because of what they were told He would do for them, such as pie in sky; you know, heaven, mansions, golden streets, and prosperity here and now. What a marriage, to say the least! Many married Him for His riches/money/heaven, and there are some, we assume, that don't care if He lives or dies as long as they can get His stuff.
The church system, especially in the U.S., is a very enterprising business. It has grown materially wealthy by merchandising the scriptures, the gifts of God, and His anointing. It's all been for sale, and this woman makes herself known on every street corner of society and window of opportunity.
It is not this way, praise God, with the Bride of Christ. With her it is the way it is supposed to be. She is His lover because of her deep rooted genuine love that came from knowing Him so very intimately. This intimacy was when His word would flow deeply into her being by the anointing of His Living Spirit, when she was bathed in His presence during time of quietness and solitude, when His Spirit and word swept over and through the high assemblies of the saints. Knowing Him and loving Him came by walking with Him and talking with Him in everyday life. Knowing and loving Him came during times of fierce storms, deep valleys of darkness, peril, and in the wildernesses of loneliness and deep sorrows. Although adversities unnumbered compassed her about, she knew her Lord and Love was not far away, was guiding and directing the way, and awaited her beyond her scope of vision. Perfect trust was her companion; for she knew Him, she knew He would never leave Her. She knew He would not forsake her at any cost. This, my dear friends and sojourners in Christ, is what burns love into every fiber and breath of our being. It is impossible for the thrills and frills of Mystery Babylon the Great to work the same.
It is impossible to love anyone, even God, without truly knowing them. It is possible to be very fond of the image of someone that's been formed in our minds from what we have been told; but that is not love for the person or for God. Millions thought they loved Elvis Presley, the Beatles, President Kennedy, Pope John Paul II, or the one who has been placed as leader of this nation, Barak Obama; but the only ones who ever loved any of them were those who knew them. Albeit, knowing them did not guarantee their love. Some who knew them, really knew them, might not have cared too much for them, discounting the Pope, of course. Everyone who knew him surely loved him as well, don't you think? Even so, being such a lovable man did not make his god the true God, unless, however the Pope came to know Him; but given what we still see in that system he ruled, it would appear that he did not know God. It is my own opinion; but I believe if he had known God and submitted himself to Him in all things--Catholic priests today would be married, as well as the nuns.
Even if we know someone or a religious organization, that does not insure that we truly love them. Many know and love their pastor and church, while others know both, and that is why they may not love them. But when you know God, you will love Him! That, I promise!
Now, let me pose a question to those whose well-being depends on offerings from their congregation or what is coming in from the articles, tapes, and CDs that are mailed out, which applies to Elwin Roach as well. What would happen to most preachers, evangelists, writers, and priests should God stop paying them? Would they continue preaching, teaching, writing, and ministering? Depending on their motives for serving God would determine what they might do or not do. It would make a huge difference whether their god was created by their own imagination or if it is the living God that is known and love. Those who are true lovers would remain true and faithful to their call, while those who serve because of blessings and promises of heaven, or it is merely a job, would promptly tender their resignations and exit the house; this I truly believe.
But there are things other than prosperity and security in the world with which to be tested on whether we are lovers or prostitutes. What if we started losing the most precious things in our lives--our family members, our firstborn son or grandson, our husband or wife, our brothers or sisters, and all at a much too early age? Or what would we do if our children and grandchildren who were raised in church, in home fellowships, who were home-schooled, who praised God and worshiped with us for years, but in spite of it all--they rebelled, turned to drugs and alcohol, dropped out of high school, seared their lungs with tars from cigarette smoke, became pregnant, or just defied all logic to what we expected and futilely demanded of them? Would we still love, be faithful, and serve God? If things didn't turn out the way we had planned, which is usually the case, what would we do? I will tell you. If it was formed in our minds by our godlike ability to create, most likely, we would not be faithful to remain in the midst of our fire-storm, and the love for the image of the god of our minds would fail. However, if it was the God we knew and loved, we would continue come hell or high water. We would prove to be lovers rather than prostitutes and not abandon ship as soon as our livelihood was threatened.
This could sound harsh, or even brash; but please don't think I have any ill thoughts or feelings toward anyone in any established church or denomination--for I don't! I do not know whether or not any given church is functioning in the love for God or the love for their ideals. That is for each to discern for him or herself. This is a spiritual issue that I feel is of paramount importance and must be addressed, especially in this day of The Revelation of Jesus Christ--The Apocalypse!
Are we beginning to see, at least in a small way, what MYSTERY BABYLON THE GREAT, THE MOTHER OF HARLOTS is all about? She is a woman that grew from Eve to become a world-wide system comprising all religions. Denominations and churches that operate by the same spirit are daughters of that religious system. However, that spirit has been in the corporate body of Christ as well as in individual members. Remember, this book is a book of the Revelation/Apocalypse of Jesus Christ, and this harlot, whether world-wide or in one member of Christ's body, will come to an end. Until that end, however, the woman's foundation in every vessel and organization has been beastly, earthy, carnal. They have become inebriated, excited, elated, and overwhelmed by the beauty and mesmerizing spirit of the harlot arrayed in purple. She has appeared to be of the royal lineage of the King of kings, but she is not. The kings of the earth, the inhabitants of the earth, and all nations have been made drunk with the wine (religious spirit) of her fornication that they paid for. The merchants of the earth in that system were made rich. Those earthy men, women, and organizations of this harlot were made rich by merchandising the word and gifts of God. They were selling their services, for this is what prostitutes do. They have a false prophet that preaches, teaches, and ministers the word of God, but there is no truth or life therein it. A false prophet, as it was with the Pharisees, can only speak lies; for they are of their father the devil who is the father of lies. The people have bought those lies as they lay in the bed of Mystery Babylon the Great, the Mother of Harlots.
But it is not so with the ones in whom the harlot has suffered God's plagues and has been burned with fire unto mourning, famine and death; for strong is the Lord God who judges her in the world and in us. (Rev. 18:8). That which the holy ones buy is the truth, the unadulterated word of God in its pure form of life that will endure the ages.
Buy The Truth and Sell It Not
We buy what may appear to be the same as the word and spirit that those of the world buy from the harlot. It may look like the same act of giving and receiving of the word, wisdom, discernment, understanding, and the spirit: but one is for services rendered, while the other is for love. One renders death, the other genders Life.
The richest man in the world at that time understood the value of that which came from God rather than man. King Solomon said: "Buy the truth, and sell it not; also wisdom, and instruction, and understanding." Proverbs 23:23. From the very beginning, it was this way with him. After David died and twenty year old Solomon took his father's place as the king of Israel, the LORD appeared to him in a dream and asked what He should give him. He asked for understanding and discernment so that he could rightly judge the people. In doing so, he was not only given that for which he had asked, but what he didn't ask for as well:
"And God said unto him, Because thou hast asked this thing, and hast not asked for thyself long life; neither hast asked riches for thyself, nor hast asked the life of thine enemies; but hast asked for thyself understanding to discern judgment; 12Behold, I have done according to thy words: lo, I have given thee a wise and an understanding heart; so that there was none like thee before thee, neither after thee shall any arise like unto thee. 13And I have also given thee that which thou hast not asked, both riches, and honour: so that there shall not be any among the kings like unto thee all thy days." 1 Kings 3:11-13.
There is a great undergirding of truth with Solomon choosing on behalf of the people rather than for himself. Such a heart can not only be trusted with the spiritual treasures of God, but with that of the earth as well. It is no wonder that he said to "buy the truth, and sell it not." However, there is more to it than refraining from merchandising the word of God. For instance the Hebrew word for buy is qanah and according to Strong's Exhaustive Concordance, it means "...to erect, that is, create; by extension to procure, especially by purchase; by implication to own." And to sell it not is makar and means, "...to sell, literally (as merchandise, a daughter in marriage, into slavery), or figuratively (to surrender).
So with this, what can we see in Solomon's charge to buy the truth and sell it not?
We will first notice the phrase, sell it not. As the word states, the truth is not to be sold. We are not to merchandise those spiritual things that we have so freely received, that which a part of our Lord Jesus who is the Truth. Sons of God are not money mongers standing on street corners hawking the gems of the Kingdom. There are no schemes up our sleeves, and we don't peddle God's wares. However, there is a legitimate form of selling that which pertains to spiritual matters. If someone has a bookstore or website and they can offer books to others for a price, I see nothing wrong with that; for you see, books should not be necessarily classified as the "truth," even though there may be potential truths contained between their covers, yet there is still no truth in them unless what is read happens to be by the Spirit of Truth. Jesus said, "I am the way, the TRUTH, and the life." Just because something is a fact does not make it the Truth. It's the same with Bibles; the book is packed full of potential truths, and I say potential, because until a word or scripture is quickened by the Spirit, it is but the letter that kills. Therefore, I could sell Bibles all day long and do it with a clear conscience, knowing I would not be transgressing Proverbs 23:23. However, when it comes to priceless, spiritual truths that are received at times and transposed to the pages of The Pathfinder, I cannot and will not sell them; for these truths have been quickened to me, they are alive, they are living entities, and to sell them would be like selling Jesus or our daughter into slavery or prostitution.
Selling is generally an exchange of money for a product or service. However, there are other ways to sell the truth that do not involve money, and are just as wrong. Let us consider the words Ray Prinzing penned quite some years ago:
"How precious, we are to be BUYERS, but not SELLERS: Methinks [Ray often used that old English word, methinks] we have often sold a word of truth--sold it (exchanged it) for a fear, for a worry, to satisfy the flesh, to gain a little prestige, or whatever. Sometimes we do learn by our experience--and I recall once that in a corporate share time, people were sharing their 'portions of revelation,' and it almost seemed to be a 'can you top that?' type of sharing. Yet I went ahead and shared a very special thought which God had quickened to me, and realized the moment I shared it that I had sold it. Not because I wanted it sold, but responding to the moment, I had given it away for a moment of pride--'that I have a revelation that surpasses yours.' The sorrow was that in that moment of self-pride, the life had gone out of the Word that was shared. So we learn to keep God's secrets. You buy the truth, but you do not sell it. It is not given to us to sell, but to DWELL--to dwell within us, that it might work within us, that it might change us. As was said of Joseph, 'Until the time that his word (of deliverance, release from prison) came: the Word of the Lord tried him.' (Psalm 105:19)"
Haven't we all done the same? A word of revelation came so clear and living; but as soon as we spoke it, the life of it left, it died , and we couldn't revive it. This does not mean that we can never share that which has been given to us by the Spirit; but it does mean that the motive can abort the living word. And then there are those times when the motive is right, yet any given word of truth has not worked in us to be mature enough to give it birth.
There are other ways to sell the truth, and one would be in the form of prostitution. It is the way I, and perhaps all of us, had done in our earlier years. That form was to plant the word of Truth into the womb of Mystery Babylon the Great, the mother of harlots and her daughters. Although with honorable, but ignorant intentions, we would impart the precious truths we received from on high to those who were joined to and were one with the Babylonian church system of the world. We would even share it to our own carnal souls. This was done by receiving a revelation only to take it into our adamic minds, structure it, shape it, compose it, or decompose it to the lower level of the human intellect, and from there broadcast it to whosoever we could find that would listen, supposing we had something of value to give. Ah! Harlotry!
Praise God! Those days are gone, and the new day of buying the truth has dawned upon us. No longer will we prostitute it; but we will certainly procure it as the Greek and English word, buy, means. It also means, to purchase. There is a price to be paid. However, the price for the truth is not like the price one would pay to a harlot. Truth will cost something, this is sure, yet it is entirely different from what is paid to the woman of the night.
Jesus said to John while on his Isle of Tribulation, called Patmos: "18I counsel thee to*buy of me gold tried in the fire, that thou mayest be rich; and white raiment, that thou mayest be clothed, and that the shame of thy nakedness do not appear; and anoint thine eyes with eyesalve, that thou mayest see. Revelation 3:18. *[buy: Greek, agorazo; to go to market, that is, (by implication) to purchase; specifically to redeem. From Strongs #58, agora; to gather.]
This tried gold, of course, is not heaven's pavement that carnal imaginations have wrought; rather, this is the gold that speaks of the pure, refined nature of God in earthen vessels. It is priceless, and Jesus said that we are to acquire it, gather it, to melt it into every fiber of our being. Although the word buy in this verse can mean exactly that, to buy something by paying money for it, we know that the nature of God cannot be bought any more than I could buy my natural father's nature. I was born with it, and over the years it was refined in me by the fires suffered, and it's been the same with you. That's the way it works in the natural, and that's the way it works in the Spirit. I do believe, however, that Jesus was telling John that whatever it might cost a person, whatever he had to sacrifice, whether it was his reputation, his fame, his fortune, his earthly wares, his all--that is what he must do. So the bottom line is this: When tribulation comes, suffer it. When fire comes, suffer it. When floods come, suffer it. And that which has been birthed in you, the nature of God, will be refined and have great worth.
By the time you have come to the end of this life's journey, it will most likely have cost you everything, but you will not have paid a dime for it. This is what happened with Jesus when He sold everything He had, His Life, to be exact, and bought the field, the world, that contained the Pearl of Great Price. But no money was exchanged, except for the thirty pieces of silver that Judas was paid. Talk about prostituting the Word! He sold the manifested Word of God for a pittance; but at the great loss of his life after casting the silver pieces back to the chief priests who paid him for his adulterating services.
Again, "23Buy the truth, and sell it not; also wisdom, and*instruction, and understanding." Proverbs 23:23. None of these commodities, truth, wisdom, instruction, and understanding is bought with money. One might think that instruction could be bought with money, such as by a college professor. But noticing the footnote, we can see that only a masochist would pay someone to beat him; yet with the well disciplined son, he pays not only with the pain and sorrows of chastisement, but also by giving up his rebellion, envy, pride, arrogance, and selfishness of the old nature. Not one of these good virtues come except by fire. First by the fiery revelation of and from the one whose eyes are coals of fire, and then by the same one whose judgment feet are fine brass as if they are burning in a furnace. There is a fiery revelation of Jesus Christ and His mysteries as He sets ablaze the truth in us. His eyes of fire tell us this. And ultimately that revelation is tried by the fire of His feet. What a two-fold apocalypse, to say the least! The beginning and the end of perfection. It starts with the eyes in the head and finishes in His burning feet. What a process! It first works in us individually, then corporately, and afterwards the world. *[instruction: Hebrew, mūsār; From H3256, chastisement; reproof, warning or instruction; also restraint. (Strongs). H3256 yāsar; to chastise, literally (with blows) or figuratively (with words). (Strongs)]
Moreover, we can gain some understanding when we look more closely at the Hebrew word qanah for buy. According to Strong's Exhaustive Concordance, it means "...to erect, that is, create; by extension to procure, especially by purchase; by implication to own."
Qanah is often used in the sense of buying something with money. Such as: "The field which Abraham purchased (qanah) of the sons of Heth..." Genesis 25:10.
"And he bought (qanah) a parcel of a field, where he had spread his tent, at the hand of the children of Hamor, Shechem's father, for an hundred pieces of money." Genesis 33:19.
And, "But if the priest buy (qanah) any soul with his money..." Leviticus 22:11.
Following are a couple of verses that use the same word, and we can see that the English word, buy, could not be used when translated.
"And Adam knew Eve his wife; and she conceived, and bare Cain, and said, I have gotten (qanah) a man from the LORD." Genesis 4:1. You see, Abraham bought a field; but Adam created/erected a man.
"And he blessed him, and said, Blessed be Abram of the most high God, possessor (qanah) of heaven and earth." Genesis 14:19. God is a Possessor, Creator, Maker, Erector--but not a buyer.
With a little understanding, especially by knowing that qanah means to erect, create, to procure, we can more readily see the apocalypse of what has been hidden to many for so long. When that revelation comes, and it has been tried in the fire, regardless of what it might cost us, let us procure, lay hold of, and take possession of the very substance of God. Let us, therefore, draw upon the power within and create that which we see and are becoming. Erect that glorious expression of Truth in the world, who is Jesus Christ. This is what Paul called the manifestation of the Sons of God.
There are many things that do not cost us anything. They are freely given, and often before maturity sets in: "8Heal the sick, cleanse the lepers, raise the dead, cast out devils: freely ye have received, freely give." Matthew 10:8. These are gifts and callings of God, but some use them as merchandise. They sell them. They prostitute them to the kings of the earth and the members of their congregations. But praise God others use them in the spirit of love to the glory of God. With them, many souls are saved and blessed. These possess the truth with thanksgiving and go on to raise a standard of our Lord Jesus in the world. They create portions of God's Kingdom wherever they are; for they have truly bought the truth and sold it not.
I have used Proverbs 23:23 "...buy the truth and sell it not" in the disclaimer of our articles, and although some may not know it, this is to convey a simple fact, and that fact is this--we do not sell the truth. Moreover, this is not to send a message that our readers should be buying the truth by sending us offerings. The gifts that come in are not received as anyone "buying" what we write, but they are expressing their gratitude as family members do, one to another out of love, and certainly not for services rendered.
The truth is, God does not need mammon/money to send His word to an individual or to the world. I don't recall any campaigns that the disciples of Jesus held to raise money so the truth could go to the next city. The Kingdom of God is not made of peddlers, hawkers, beggars, or merchandisers, all of which are the job descriptions and comprise the work ethics of prostitutes; namely, MYSTERY BABYLON THE GREAT, THE MOTHER OF HARLOTS AND ABOMINATIONS OF THE EARTH!
Elwin R. Roach
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