QUESTION 1

WHY HASN'T GOD MADE EVERYONE ON A SAME PLATFORM--ALL HAVING EQUAL RICHES, TRIALS, CHALLENGES, PRIVILEGES, OPPORTUNITIES, ETC.?

 

          There are some who are born rich and some who are born poor; some are more privileged and some are not. Some have better opportunities to excel and increase in wisdom and knowledge, but some don't. Now all this is because we are living in a sinful world where everything has gone topsy-turvy.

          There are some natural laws that take over. And God does not alter this law, because God is a God of order and sequence.

          If parents are brilliant, their children will most likely be brilliant too; the same is true when parents are not so brilliant. Similarly, when parents are rich, the riches are passed on to their children and they stand a better chance to do well in life than the child of a poor man.

          Whatever the background of anyone-rich or poor, brilliant or not, educated or uneducated, having opportunities or closed doors-does not matter in the sight of the Lord on the final Judgment Day. Only according to the light and opportunities one has received he will be judged. In one of the parables, Jesus said:

But he that knew not, and did commit things worthy of stripes, shall be beaten with few stripes. For unto whomsoever much is given, of him shall be much required: and to whom men have committed much, of him they will ask the more. (Luke 12:48)

          Again the Lord said:

He that is faithful in that which is least is faithful also in much: and he that is unjust in the least is unjust also in much. (Luke 16:10)

So the principle is clear. In the final reckoning God will take into account all things that pertain to our life. Our problem is not about what we don't have, but it's about what we possess and how we have utilized it. Our problem is not what we don't know, but it is what we do know and are not performing accordingly. We are held accountable only for what we have.

          If you cannot help someone because of your poor situation, God will not hold you responsible. But if it is in your power to help, and still you neglect a poor, helpless person, you stand guilty. God said:

Withhold not good from them to whom it is due, when it is in the power of thine hand to do it. Say not unto thy neighbour, Go, and come again, and to morrow I will give; when thou hast it by thee. (Proverbs 3:27, 28)

James the apostle added:

Therefore to him that knoweth to do good, and doeth it not, to him it is sin. (James 4:17)

          It does not matter if we are not all that privileged in this world, as this is only a temporary world. All the advantages a "better off" person has are only a passing one. Paul wrote:

While we look not at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen: for the things which are seen are temporal; but the things which are not seen are eternal. (2 Corinthians 4:18)

          Even our very lives in this world we are expected not to hold back if it needs to be sacrificed for truth's sake. Jesus who Himself laid down His life for us, said:

And fear not them which kill the body, but are not able to kill the soul: but rather fear him which is able to destroy both soul and body in hell. (Matthew 10:28)

He that findeth his life shall lose it: and he that loseth his life for my sake shall find it. (Matthew 10:37)

Some are tested more, because they can bear more, and some are tested less as they can take only a lighter test.

          God is fair not to allow trials and temptations that will be beyond our capacity to bear. A beautiful text from Paul really comforts as we go through any hard time. The apostle wrote:

There hath no temptation taken you but such as is common to man: but God is faithful, who will not suffer you to be tempted above that ye are able; but will with the temptation also make a way to escape, that ye may be able to bear it. (1 Corinthians 10:13)

          The truth is plain-whatever position we are in, it does not matter as far as eternal things are concerned. Whatever trials and temptations we face, we can bear it by the grace of God; He will not permit us to be tried more than we can bear. In the final Day of Judgment, God will consider everything that we had, and had not, and make a perfect judgment. Even where we were born, the background, advantages and disadvantages, are all written in the record book of Heaven. The Psalmist wrote:

The LORD shall count, when he writeth up the people, that this man was born there. (Psalm 87:6)

          BUT ONE MIGHT SAY: If we are born rich in this world, we stand a better chance to be more positive, as there will not be this extra pressure of financial burdens that pulls us down! Well, that needn't be true. In fact riches can be a snare to get us on the wrong foot! Jesus warned about it. He said:

It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle, than for a rich man to enter into the kingdom of God. (Matthew 19:24)

That does not mean rich people will not be in Heaven-Abraham, David, Job were rich (See Genesis 13:2; 2 Samuel 3:1; Job 1:3). But riches could be a stumbling block for many, as "the love of money is the root of all evil" (1 Timothy 6:10). It is not money that is the root of all evil, but the love of money. If God wants to make a person rich or poor, He can do it. The Bible declares:

The LORD maketh poor, and maketh rich: he bringeth low, and lifteth up. (1 Samuel 2:7)

          The Lord is the one who gives talents to man. To some He gives:

Five talents, to another two, and to another one. (Matthew 25:15)

          Even the various gifts of the Spirit are given to each one according to the decision of God. It is written:

But all these worketh that one and the selfsame Spirit, dividing to every man severally as he will. (1 Corinthians 12:11)

          Whatever we naturally possess at birth, and whatever talents and gifts God bestows, we have to make the best out of it and glorify God. A stronger brother has to support the weaker one; this is a moral duty God requires of each of us. It does not matter at all, as far as salvation is concerned, about the "advantages or disadvantages" one might have. In Christ there is no disadvantage. He said:

My grace is sufficient for thee, for my power is made perfect in weakness. (2 Corinthians 12:9)

There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither bond nor free, there is neither male nor female: for ye are all one in Christ Jesus. (Galatians 3:28)

          One day, very soon, when sin, sinners and Satan are destroyed, he platform will be same for all, for all eternity. Praise God!

 

 

                                                                            QUESTION 2

 

HOW COME THE MAJORITY OF THE JEWS REJECTED JESUS AS THE MESSIAH EVEN THOUGH THE FATHER TESTIFIED FROM HEAVEN?

 

          The saddest text in the Bible could be what John penned down regarding Jesus being rejected by His own country men:

He came unto his own, and his own received him not. (John 1:11) 

          Yes, the Father spoke from Heaven testifying about His Son. The Holy Spirit came down in public view and lighted on Him in the form of a dove. The Old Testament Scriptures clearly confirmed who He was. The greatest prophet, John the Baptist, introduced Jesus as the "Lamb of God" to the world. Christ's life and works were a powerful testimony that He was what He claimed to be. (Matthew 3:16, 17; John 5:39, 36; John 1:29)

          How come, then, the vast majority of the people did not believe Him? The Lord Himself gave us the answer as to where the problem was. Jesus told the unbelieving Jews:

Search the scriptures; for in them ye think ye have eternal life: and they are they which testify of me....For had ye believed Moses, ye would have believed me: for he wrote of me. But if ye believe not his writings, how shall ye believe my words? (John 5:39, 46, 47)

"For had ye believed Moses, ye would have believed me", Jesus said. Therefore it is obvious that the people did not believe the Scriptures! That was the problem.

          If one does not believe the Bible, even if God speaks from Heaven, or even if God comes down as man he will not believe! That is shocking, but true. That is exactly what happened two thousand years back.

          Jesus said that they believed not Moses' and other writings of Scripture. For sure Jesus was speaking the truth. But if you see the Bible record, you will notice many times the enemies of Jesus quoting the Scriptures, and in fact they declared that they were Moses' followers! On one occasion they told the blind man whom Jesus healed:

Thou art his disciple; but we are Moses' disciples. We know that God spake unto Moses: as for this fellow, we know not from whence he is. (John 9:28, 29)

          Did they really believe the writings of Moses and the prophets? Jesus said they didn't! Though they were quoting Moses and the prophets often, believing is more than just reading them and knowing what is written therein. The problem with them was along with the writings of the Scriptures they had their own traditions which they were practicing. Look at how closely they followed traditions:

Then came to Jesus scribes and Pharisees, which were of Jerusalem, saying, Why do thy disciples transgress the tradition of the elders? for they wash not their hands when they eat bread. But he answered and said unto them, Why do ye also transgress the commandment of God by your tradition?... Ye hypocrites, well did Esaias prophesy of you, saying, This people draweth nigh unto me with their mouth, and honoureth me with their lips; but their heart is far from me. But in vain they do worship me, teaching for doctrines the commandments of men. (Matthew 15:1-3, 7-9)

          The truth of the Scriptures mixed with the traditions of men made the Jews reject the Messiah! Will Jesus be rejected today, in the Christian world, if He came back as a man?

          We know that Christ will come again in the clouds with power and great glory. There is no question of man rejecting Him at His Second Coming. The question is--will He reject us at His coming?

          Many who expect to be accepted by Him will be shocked on that day. The reason they would be rejected is because of the repetition of the same mistakes of the Jews. Man is still committing the fatal error of mixing truth with tradition; therefore the truth of the Word of God is not fully obeyed. The Lord Himself presents this shocking news that most will hear at His coming.

Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven. Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? and in thy name have cast out devils? and in thy name done many wonderful works? And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity. Therefore whosoever heareth these sayings of mine, and doeth them, I will liken him unto a wise man, which built his house upon a rock: And the rain descended, and the floods came, and the winds blew, and beat upon that house; and it fell not: for it was founded upon a rock. And every one that heareth these sayings of mine, and doeth them not, shall be likened unto a foolish man, which built his house upon the sand: And the rain descended, and the floods came, and the winds blew, and beat upon that house; and it fell: and great was the fall of it. (Matthew 7:21-27)

 

 

QUESTION 3

 

WHY WASN'T THE NAME "JESUS" PROPHESIED IN THE OLD TESTAMENT AMONG THE MANY OTHER MESSIANIC PROPHECIES?

 

 

First let us look at some of the prophecies regarding the coming of the Messiah in the Old Testament.

  • His Virgin birth was prophesied (Isaiah 7:14; Luke 1:27)
  • His place of birth was foretold (Micah 5:2; Matthew 2:1)
  • The exact year of the beginning of His Messianic ministry, and His death was predicted (Daniel 9:24-27; Luke 3:1)
  • The exact date and time of His death was foreshadowed by the feast of the Passover (Leviticus 23:5; John 13:1)
  • The details of His public ministry was given (Isaiah 60:1, 2; Luke 4:16-21)
  • The accurate picture of the final week was penned down (Isaiah 53; Matthew 27)
  • The betrayal by His own friend was written in advance (Psalm 41:9; John 18:2)
  • The exact amount of the betrayal price was shown (Zechariah 11:12, 13; Matthew 27:3)
  • The parting of His garments was predicted (Psalm 22:18; John 19:24)
  • The way He would die was also described (Psalm 22:16, 17; John 19:34)
  • His cry of agony on the Cross too was written. (Psalm 22:1; Mark 15:34), and much more.

God even gave His name in the Old Testament! A name signified character. God said:

For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given: and the government shall be upon his shoulder: and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counsellor, The mighty God,

The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace. (Isaiah 9:6)

The name "Jesus" is in the English language. In the Hebrew language of the Old Testament "Jesus" is "Jehoshua" or "Joshua".

And in the Greek language of the New Testament it is "Iesous".

We know from the Bible itself the meaning of the name "Jesus" as told by the angel:

And thou shalt call his name JESUS: for he shall save his people from their sins. (Matthew 1:21)

"Joshua" too means the same thing-Jehovah saves.

That is the reason we see a confusion occur in the English translation in the book of Hebrews regarding the name. It is written:

For if Jesus had given them rest, then would he not afterward have spoken of another day. (Hebrews 4:8)

Paul was not referring to the New Testament "Jehoshua", but to the

Old Testament "Jehoshua", that is, Joshua the son on Nun.

As the Old Testament Joshua led the children of Israel into the promised land of Canaan, so will the New Testament Joshua lead Sthe children of God to the promised land of His Father's house at

His Second Coming! Therefore they both share the same name

"Jehoshua" or "Jesus"!

 

QUESTION 4

 

IF SALVATION IS ONLY THROUGH JESUS, THEN WHAT ABOUT THE MAJORITY OF THE PEOPLE WHO HAVE NEVER HEARD OF HIS NAME? DOES GOD HAVE ANOTHER WAY OF SAVING THEM? OR WILL THEY BE DAMNED?

 

 

Peter, being filled with the Holy Spirit, told the leaders of Israel about Jesus:

Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved. (Acts 4:12) 

The name of Jesus is the only name that brings salvation. Jesus speaking about Himself said:

Whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life. (John 3:16)

Believing in Him brings us salvation. In His prayer to the

Father, before His death, Jesus said:

And this is life eternal, that they might know thee the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom thou hast sent.

(John 17:3)

In B.C. and A.D. periods it is only Jesus who saves. It is Jesus who is the theme of the entire Bible. Talking about the Scriptures that the Jews had, our Lord said:

Search the scriptures; for in them ye think ye have eternal life: and they are they which testify of me... For had ye believed Moses, ye would have believed me: for he wrote of me. (John 5:39, 46)

The Scripture that Jesus referred to was the Old Testament, as the New Testament was not yet written. And the New Testament is full of Jesus too! He is the one linking Heaven and earth, standing between God and man. Paul wrote:

For there is one God and one mediator between God and men, the man Jesus Christ. (1 Timothy 2:5)

Nearly in every generation many would not have heard of Jesus, the only way of salvation. But Jesus the Good Shepherd knows all His creatures. It is not we who save ourselves; it is Jesus who saves us.

Many wonderful people, who did not know Jesus by name, are not lost, because Jesus knew them personally.

The rule of the Bible is clear. God does not condemn anyone for not knowing Him or the truth. If they live up to the light they have,

God will accept their devotion and save them.

The same Peter who said earlier that Jesus is the only way, also said, God accepts even the gentiles (who know Him not by name),

who do righteous deeds. In the house of a gentile, by the name of

Cornelius, Peter confessed:

Of a truth I perceive that God is no respecter of persons:

But in every nation he that feareth him, and worketh righteousness, is accepted with him. (Acts 10:34, 35)

God accepted the worship and prayers of Cornelius, a Roman, though he did not know Jesus at that time. Since he lived to the light that he had and was doing righteous acts, God considered Cornelius as His own child. God sent Peter to his house to teach him about

Jesus and shed more light on the truth. Cornelius accepted the advanced light.

Jesus clearly told us about who stands condemned. It is not the ones who do not know the light, but the ones who refuse light when

it comes. Jesus told Nicodemus:

And this is the condemnation, that light is come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil. (John 3:19)

Isn't God fair? In fact, God winks at acts of ignorance. Paul told the gentiles:

And the times of this ignorance God winked at; but now

commandeth all men every where to repent. (Acts 17:30)

When God winks it is a good sign, but be careful when He stares! When you know what is right and still do wrong, God will not wink.

I have seen some people trying to "outwit" God. They have heard of the text of Acts 17:30 and they want to remain in ignorance and have God wink at them. That is being willingly ignorant, which is dangerous. Peter talked about people opting to be ignorant. He wrote of such:

They willingly are ignorant. (2 Peter 3:5)

And what is the end for these "smart" ones? Peter continued:

But the heavens and the earth, which are now, by the same word are kept in store, reserved unto fire against the day of judgment and perdition of ungodly men. (2

Peter 3:7)

These "willingly ignorant" people are called "ungodly men", and their destiny is fire on the Day of Judgment.

The rule of God is-Live to the light that you have and He will shed more light on you; and when that happens, advance with the light!

Everyone who is born into the world is enlightened with some knowledge of God. Because of Jesus being our Mediator, the Holy

Spirit enlightens everyone with the light of Jesus in a small degree to start with.

John wrote of Christ's light shining on every person who is born into the world. He wrote:

That was the true Light, which lighteth every man that cometh into the world. (John 1:9)

In the book of Job, it is written:

Upon whom doth not his light arise? (Job 25:3)

A person who lives to whatever light he has is called a righteous or a just man. And God gives him more light as he keeps obeying and walking in the moral and spiritual light of God. The wise man wrote:

The path of the just is as the shining light, that shineth more and more unto the perfect day. (Proverbs 4:18)

And on the other hand a person who does not live to the light that is shining upon him will even lose the little light that he has, and will be walking in darkness ultimately. Such a man is called an unrighteous or a wicked person.

For there shall be no reward to the evil man; the candle of the wicked shall be put out. (Proverbs 24:20)

Whatever he does is a trap to him, as he cannot see when the moral light is blown out. It is written:

He that diggeth a pit shall fall into it; and whoso

breaketh an hedge, a serpent shall bite him. (Ecclesiastes

10:8)

Jesus added to this truth. He said:

And if the blind lead the blind, both shall fall into the ditch. (Matthew 15:14)

Advance with the light or else you will backslide into perfect darkness. There cannot be a static experience in a Christian's life.

The Lord Himself said:

Unto every one that hath shall be given, and he shall have abundance: but from him that hath not shall be taken away even that which he hath. And cast ye the unprofitable servant into outer darkness: there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth. (Matthew 25:29, 30)

God is clear in His Word. If anyone is true to the light he has received, he will be saved, whether he knew the intricacies of the Gospel or not. If, in his lifetime, he receives more clear knowledge of Jesus and His Gospel, he has to fall in-line, or perish. We need to praise God for the fairness of His judgment.

Our main worry should be-whether we are living to the light we have, and not whether others know the light. God will send light to them. Once we live to the light, we will, for sure, share this light in the wisdom of God.

Read the following passage of Scripture carefully and see how several of the gentiles pleased God, while most of the Jews didn't!

Paul wrote:

Who will render to every man according to his deeds: To them who by patient continuance in well doing seek for glory and honour and immortality, eternal life: But unto them that are contentious, and do not obey the truth, but obey unrighteousness, indignation and wrath, Tribulation and anguish, upon every soul of man that doeth evil, of the Jew first, and also of the Gentile; But glory, honour, and peace, to every man that worketh good, to the Jew first, and also to the Gentile: For there is no respect of persons with God. For as many as have sinned without law shall also perish without law: and as many as have sinned in the law shall be judged by the law; (For not the hearers of the law are just before God, but the doers of the law shall be justified. For when the Gentiles, which have not the law, do by nature the things contained in the law, these, having not the law, are a law unto themselves:

Which shew the work of the law written in their hearts, their conscience also bearing witness, and their thoughts the mean while accusing or else excusing one another;) In the day when God shall judge the secrets of men by Jesus

Christ according to my Gospel. (Romans 2:6-16)

The Jews knew more than the gentiles, but did not live up to the great light they had. But many of the gentiles did what they knew best and God was pleased with them and not with the "enlightened" Jews.

James too spoke on the same theme of how God judges an individual.

He wrote:

Therefore to him that knoweth to do good, and doeth it not, to him it is sin. (James 4:17)

That is it! When you know what is right, and do not do it, it is sin. If you don't know, how can you do it? It will be terribly unfair to punish someone who has not got information about it. If we, human beings, punish people only when they are enlightened, and disregard the light, how much more God!

Paul wrote that a person is not in a position to believe unless he has been given the opportunity to do so. He wrote:

For there is no difference between the Jew and the Greek: for the same Lord over all is rich unto all that call upon him. For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved. How then shall they call on him in whom they have not believed? and how shall they believe in him of whom they have not heard? and how shall they hear without a preacher? And how shall they preach, except they be sent? (Romans 10:12-15)

The sins of ignorance God takes care of. He will not write it against our names in the Heavenly records. The blood of Jesus will cleanse it freely. He died for all sins, which includes the sins of ignorance too. Paul wrote of the priests, who reflect Christ, the

High Priest, that they were to show:

Compassion on the ignorant, and on them that are out of the way. (Hebrews 5:2)

What sins we have knowledge of we need to confess. You cannot confess what you do not know. John wrote:

If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. (1 John 1:9)

The ones who did not know anything about Jesus, how will

God cleanse them? He cleanses them freely by His grace and compassion! As mentioned earlier, if they live to the light they have, and do not know anything more, God will forgive them of the other wrongs freely.

Please notice carefully what John says about how God cleanses a person:

But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship one with another, and the blood of Jesus

Christ his Son cleanseth us from all sin. (1 John 1:7)

John could have said: "The blood of Jesus Christ his Son cleanseth us from all sin, therefore we need to walk in the light, as he is in the light". But what he said was, if we walk in the light (obviously, the light that one has) God cleanses us all our sins. That does not mean that we needn't confess our sins. We confess all our known sins, but they are cleansed finally on the judgment day only when we start walking in the light. All who live to the light that is shining their way, Christ cleanses them of all sins.

ONE MIGHT SAY: How can God save someone who has not known Him?

But I ask you-How much of God do Christians know anyway?

God is infinite, and whatever we know of God is like a drop in the ocean. And if we think they don't deserve to be in Heaven, do we deserve it anyway?

All who will ultimately be saved at the Second Coming of Jesus would have been cleansed with the blood of the innocent Lamb of God. All are qualified for Heaven only because of the merits of

Jesus. He knows who are truly His. There will be several thousands of people who never would have heard the precious name of Jesus whom He will save by His grace and love. They will ask Him in

Heaven about the scars in His hands, not knowing that it was because of these cruel marks of Calvary they are there! Listen to the beautiful answer of Jesus to them:

And one shall say unto him, What are these wounds in

thine hands? Then he shall answer, Those with which I was wounded in the house of my friends. (Zechariah 13:6)

What a question from the ignorantly innocent ones! And what an answer from the Lamb of God!

Finally, let us read a passage each from the apostles John and

Paul:

And he is the propitiation for our sins: and not for ours only, but also for the sins of the whole world. (1 John 2:2)

Is he the God of the Jews only? is he not also of the Gentiles? Yes, of the Gentiles also. (Romans 3:29)

 

QUESTION 5

 

DOES SATAN GIVE RICHES? IF SO, HOW TO KNOW WHETHER IT IS FROM GOD OR THE DEVIL? 

 

 

Who is the owner of the entire universe-God or Satan? We know that it is God. God also owns this planet earth, and all in it, as

He is the Creator of it. It is written:

The earth is the LORD'S, and the fulness thereof; the world, and they that dwell therein. (Psalm 24:1)

The silver is mine, the gold is mine, saith the Lord of hosts. (Haggai 2:8)

Whatever riches people have are the treasures of the Lord. It is God's riches in nature that man possesses.

Does God give riches to men? Let us see what the Bible declares:

But thou shalt remember the LORD thy God: for it is he that giveth thee power to get wealth. (Deuteronomy 8:18)

And God said to Solomon, Because this was in thine heart, and thou hast not asked riches, wealth, or honour, nor the life of thine enemies, neither yet hast asked long life; but hast asked wisdom and knowledge for thyself, that thou mayest judge my people, over whom I have made thee king: Wisdom and knowledge is granted unto thee; and I will give thee riches, and wealth, and honour, such as none of the kings have had that have been before thee, neither shall there any after thee have the like. (2 Chronicles 1:11, 12)

Yes, God gives wealth. And when He does He blesses it too, to bring joy. The preacher wrote:

Every man also to whom God hath given riches and wealth, and hath given him power to eat thereof, and to take his portion, and to rejoice in his labour; this is the gift of God. (Ecclesiastes 5:19)

We need to now ask another question: Can a person become rich without the hand of God in it? Let us see what saith the Scripture:

Wealth gotten by vanity shall be diminished: but he that gathereth by labour shall increase. (Proverbs 13:11)

Wealth can be gotten by vanity! And obviously God is not involved in vanity. Here "vanity" means without laboring. And on the other hand the writer says, "But he that gathereth by labour shall increase".

We are all aware of how vanity money can be gotten! God wants us to work and make a living, and not to go-in for the shortcuts.

There is a blessing in work.

The wise man made a very interesting statement. He wrote:

The wealth of the sinner is laid up for the just. (Proverbs 13:22)

It is because it was illegally gained. It was not according to the method of God. Obviously riches can be gained apart from the hand of God in it.

Remember the temptation of Jesus in the wilderness? In one of the three temptations the devil talked about giving Christ the riches and wealth and all things, on a condition.

Again, the devil taketh him up into an exceeding high mountain, and sheweth him all the kingdoms of the world, and the glory of them; And saith unto him, All these things will I give thee, if thou wilt fall down and worship me. (Matthew 4:8, 9)

God, in the beginning, gave Adam and Eve the privilege of being caretakers of this planet earth. In fact He made this earth for man-for man to rule and enjoy the blessing and riches of its soil. It is written:

The earth hath he given to the children of men. (Psalm 115:16)

This whole planet was given to Adam and Eve. But when they sinned they became the servants of sin. Satan claimed it now to be his. Therefore, he made that statement to Christ in the wilderness.

On Calvary, Christ legally got back what Satan robbed from man. It was God's by creation, and man sold it to Satan, and Christ purchased it back with an infinite price, and will finally give it again to the redeemed.

Since Satan is still around and very much at work with all his tricks, he is alluring people to take the wrong path to prosperity and riches. He does not want people to get rich and wealthy in a just way.

God has commanded man to labor for his daily bread. He told Adam:

In the sweat of thy face shalt thou eat bread. (Genesis 3:19)

And He tells all:

Six days shalt thou labour and do all thy work. (Exodus

20:9)

And Jesus said, when a man works, he deserves his due:

Workman is worthy of his meat. (Matthew 10:10)

A man has to be paid. That is the rule of God. But his work has to be honest. For it is written:

A false balance is abomination to the LORD: but a just weight is his delight. (Proverbs 11:1)

A person who gains riches by dishonest labor, a work that God does not approve of, a work that His Word does not approve of, is not from God. If the method of getting rich is contrary to God's Word (false balance, lying, cheating, fraud, illegal and forbidden by the law of the land, and the law of God, see Romans 13:1-7), then that wealth is not from God. And if it is not from God, it is from the enemy of God, the devil, who offers these riches from his stolen property.

The unjust way of getting rich is called, "wages of unrighteousness" (2 Peter 2:15).

Money is a necessity but not everything. God has promised to supply all our basic needs if we trust Him. We need to ask to receive. We need to ask the owner of this planet:

Give us this day our daily bread. (Matthew 6:11)

Some have thought money to be a curse, a hindrance to spiritual pursuit. Money is not evil in itself; it is the love of money that is the problem.

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 6:10)

God warns us not to love money, though it is a necessity. We must love God, and He will provide our needs as we labor honestly and lawfully. And even if one becomes rich by getting the means rightfully, the caution is:

If riches increase, set not your heart upon them. (Psalm 62:10)

That is where many have failed. Look, for instance, at the rich young ruler in Matthew 19:16-22. He was losing Heaven because he clung on to his riches. It was here that Christ made the startling statement:

It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle, than for a rich man to enter into the kingdom of God. (Matthew 19:24)

There were many rich men who were also very rich in faith like Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, King David, Job, and others. They were the richest, probably, in their times; yet they were close to God. So, if a man's heart is fixed on God, then riches will be a blessing to him, as he blesses others with it; if not, it is a curse to him.

Wealth can come from God and also from the devil. When God gives, it is His own riches He is sharing with us, but when the devil gives, it is stolen riches! He is stealing from God's land of treasure and exporting it to people! So watch out and check out how you get your riches; ask Him to help you if you have a problem. And ask God for wisdom as to how to use it for His glory.