Selling the Word of God
By Edwin Christiaan
I remember when I came to the USA in the late nineties, I went to see a certain famous preacher. He was heavily promoting his new book from the pulpit, saying that the book contains a very important breakthrough revelation teaching from God – especially in the financial area – and also that it was an absolute eye opener and a must for every Christian to have. He urged everybody to go to his merchandise table in the back of the church at the end of the service and buy his book for a special offer. The whole congregation was pumped up and excited about this preacher’s sales pitch.
During his sermon he gave little nuggets and teasers from his book, and in doing so, he built up a tremendous anticipation in his listeners for the need to get his exceptional book in order to obtain the whole revelation of God for their breakthrough. I did not have money left over in my wallet to buy his book since I gave most of it in the offering basket.
After the service, I went to the preacher’s crowded book stand hoping and praying that somehow, I would get his book. At one point He looked at me as if he was saying; “Don’t you want to buy my book?” I felt embarrassed, and I slowly walked away extremely disappointed that the preacher did not give me his book. I felt like I missed out on the greatest opportunity to know God’s Word better.
This occurrence bothered me greatly for some time after that. I remember asking myself the question; “Why is it that if a preacher has received an “important revelation” from God, I have to pay for it?” “If these so-called revelations from God are that important and it is must for everybody, why not give it away so everybody can reap the benefits of it and be blessed by it?” “Did Jesus ask money for His teachings?” And what about the scriptures where Jesus says to His disciples: “Freely you have received, freely give.” (Matthew 10:8 NKJV) and “It is more blessed to give than to receive.”? (Acts 20:35 NKJV)
The other day I saw on cable television, a preacher offering his church members and the television audience a package of his teachings on CD and DVD for a minimum gift of $120 or more. This is new, I thought. Now there is a minimum gift required to obtain Gods Word?
Then one day God spoke to me, saying that He is very upset with those who are commercializing and selling His Word in the church/temple. Just like His Son, Jesus, drove out those who bought and sold in the temple, that is how God is driving these so-called modern merchant ministers and preachers out of His church in these last days. His Church has to go back to what it is supposed to be; a house of prayer.
Then He went into the temple and began to drive out those who bought and sold in it, saying to them, “It is written, ‘My house is a house of prayer,’ but you have made it a ‘den of thieves.'” Luke 19:45-46 NKJV
As God continued to speak to me, He said that these ministers and preachers have it all backwards. Instead of asking and trusting Me to provide the means for them in order for them to freely give it away or ask only for whatever people are led to give for it, they are selling and begging to make profit, like My apostle, Paul, said about people like that in 2. Corinthians 2:17 and 1. Thessalonians 2:3-5:
You see, we are not like those hucksters — and there are many of them — who preach just to make money. We preach God’s message with sincerity and with Christ’s authority. And we know that the God who sent us is watching us. 2. Corinthians 2:17 NLT
So you can see that we were not preaching with any deceit or impure purposes or trickery. For we speak as messengers who have been approved by God to be entrusted with the Good News. Our purpose is to please God, not people. He is the one who examines the motives of our hearts. Never once did we try to win you with flattery, as you very well know. And God is our witness that we were not just pretending to be your friends so you would give us money! 1. Thessalonians 2:3-5 NLT
God, in His grace, gave me the mandate to teach about this deceptive subject of selling the Word of God and educate the body of Christ since He is going to revolutionize His Church and bring it back to its original calling, which is to freely preach and give the Gospel instead of selling it!
Go into all the world and preach the Good News to everyone, everywhere. Anyone who believes and is baptized will be saved. But anyone who refuses to believe will be condemned. These signs will accompany those who believe: They will cast out demons in my name, and they will speak new languages. They will be able to handle snakes with safety, and if they drink anything poisonous, it won’t hurt them. They will be able to place their hands on the sick and heal them. Mark 16:15-18 NLT
Copyright©2010 Edwin & Sophia Christiaan