Copyright 1994 - 2020 Bill's Bible Basics
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Published On :
March 26, 2020
Last Updated :
April 8, 2020
National And Personal Obligation To Assist The Poor Elderly Sick Orphans Widows And Other Disadvantaged People, Don't Be Ashamed to Ask Your Government For Help, It Is Not Wrong Or A Sin Or Denying God Or Making Money Our God By Asking For And Accepting Government Assistance, Government Agencies Are Created To Help People In Need, Trump Administration And The Stimulus Packages, Joseph In Egypt: A Government-Sponsored Public Assistance Program And Stimulus Package, God Mandated The Jubilee For The Israelites, Through Jesus We Receive Rest Have Our Debts Forgiven And Are Set At Liberty, Old Testament Rituals Were Foreshadows Of What Jesus Fulfilled Spiritually, God Likes To Assist And Relieve Us And Give Us A Break, God Will Use Whoever He Pleases To Help Us Including A Government, My Page My Rules Your Page Your Rules, Rejection Comes With The Territory, Jesus Is The Rejected Cornerstone, Persecuted For Our Faith, My Friend Persists In Their Belief, All Money Is A Product Of The Government, Time Eventually Reveals All Things And Divides Truth From Error, Beware Of False Prophets
Continuing our discuss from part two, what are all of those previous verses telling us? Well, they are basically telling us three important things. First of all, they make it clear that national governments have an obligation, imposed upon them by God, to make sure that they are taking care of the needy in the nation. That is, the poor, the elderly, the sick and dying, the orphans, the widows, and other disadvantaged individuals. This same obligation applies to each of us as individuals when it is within our means and ability to do so. This is exactly what we read in the following verse that is found in the Book of Acts, in regards to the First Century Church:
"Then the disciples, every man according to his ability, determined to send relief unto the brethren which dwelt in Judaea:"
Acts 11:29, KJV
The second thing that those verses tell us is that when we personally find ourselves in a place of need in our lives, we should NOT be ashamed to seek assistance from our government. Furthermore, contrary to the opinion that is embraced by my friend, not only should we not feel ashamed for requesting assistance from the government, but we should in fact EXPECT our government to offer us such a helping hand, because it is in fact their obligation to do so.
To reiterate this important point, based on my understanding of the Scriptures, it is NOT a sin to expect your government to assist you, or to accept their assistance. It's NOT wrong. It is NOT denying God. It is NOT making money into a god. It is NOT selling your soul to the Devil. It is in fact THEIR sin -- meaning the government -- when they fail to help you, as required by the Lord. Based on the plethora of verses I have shared in this series, I honestly do not know how this person arrived at such an erroneous conclusion. As far as I know, there is no Scriptural basis for making such a claim. Therefore, I must conclude that they are wrong.
The fact of the matter is that those government assistance agencies were specifically created to help people in need. They realize that people sometimes fall on hard times and require a helping hand. How much more is this true at this current time as the entire world experiences the financial disruptions which are being caused by the coronavirus? We are quickly approaching a financial crisis, and everyone is aware of it. Many people are already finding themselves in a tight spot financially, and the problem is only getting worse by the day as the coronavirus pandemic continues to expand and drags on.
This is precisely why the Trump administration is now doing everything that it can to prop up the economy. As many of you will already know, this is the specific purpose of the various stimulus packages. As we have discussed, by helping the citizenry, they are in fact fulfilling their Christian obligation. Yet in the midst of all of this current economic upheaval, this person is actually contradicting God's Word, criticizing and condemning people, and making them feel as if they are big sinners because they expect to receive, and are even happy to receive such assistance from the government.
Wow! The Lord is so faithful! Something just came to me. For those of you who may be feeling discouraged or perhaps under condemnation because of the extreme things which have been stated by certain Christians, maybe the following will help you. We have been discussing government-sponsored assistance programs. Well, I was just reminded of the story of Joseph in Egypt. Do you realize that by His own design, God placed Joseph in charge of just such a program? I am sure you know exactly what I am talking about. So consider the following verses.They start with the beginning of the seven years of famine, or what these verses also refer to as a dearth:
"And the seven years of dearth began to come, according as Joseph had said: and the dearth was in all lands; but in all the land of Egypt there was bread. And when all the land of Egypt was famished, the people cried to Pharaoh for bread: and Pharaoh said unto all the Egyptians, Go unto Joseph; what he saith to you, do. And the famine was over all the face of the earth: And Joseph opened all the storehouses, and sold unto the Egyptians; and the famine waxed sore in the land of Egypt. And all countries came into Egypt to Joseph for to buy corn; because that the famine was so sore in all lands. Now when Jacob saw that there was corn in Egypt, Jacob said unto his sons, Why do ye look one upon another? And he said, Behold, I have heard that there is corn in Egypt: get you down thither, and buy for us from thence; that we may live, and not die. And Joseph's ten brethren went down to buy corn in Egypt. But Benjamin, Joseph's brother, Jacob sent not with his brethren; for he said, Lest peradventure mischief befall him. And the sons of Israel came to buy corn among those that came: for the famine was in the land of Canaan. And Joseph was the governor over the land, and he it was that sold to all the people of the land: and Joseph's brethren came, and bowed down themselves before him with their faces to the earth."
Genesis 41:54-42:6, KJV
Now think about that for a moment. Dear Joseph was placed in charge of Egypt's public assistance program. You might even refer to it as an economic stimulus package. After all, the the land of Egypt was certainly going to profit from the sale of all of that corn, because the whole world was begging to have some of it. But imagine if Joseph's brothers thought in the same fashion as the individual we have been discussing in this series. If they had, the outcome of this story would no doubt have been very different. In fact, Jacob and his sons would have all died from starvation in the land of Canaan. So imagine if instead of what actually happened, this is the way the conversation really went that day in Egypt:
"What? Joseph is in charge of this program? No, but wait! We cannot possibly purchase corn from him. After all, this our brother is a part of the Egyptian government. What will God think if we turn to the pagan Egyptian government for help during this crisis? Won't the Lord be really angry with us? Won't He think that we have actually betrayed Him and maybe even abandoned Him? Are we going to get struck down because of our lack of faith? Nope, nope. We better not do this. Yes, we really need the help, but perhaps it is just better for us to starve to death."
But they didn't do that, did they? Of course not. It would've been ridiculous and very foolish of them to say the least. So what they in fact did do was to humble themselves, and allow Joseph and the Egyptian government to save their hides! Wow! Now are you starting to get the point? Did it mean that they had lost their faith, abandoned God and sold their souls to the Devil? Of course not. Now, if God used a pagan government which worshipped their own leaders as gods to help His people, what is so wrong about accepting financial assistance, or any other kind of assistance, from a government which has members who clearly share our same Christian faith in some fashion? Would you rather starve or fall into financial ruin? Well, it is your choice, my friends.
Let me remind you one more time what this individual said in their misguided post: "Stop looking for financial breaks and stimulus's from the government." Well, I will tell you what. Joseph's brothers and father certainly got a break. In fact, it was a break which saved their lives. I have no doubt that they were thankful that the government of Egypt was willing to sell them corn. All of that corn was most certainly a stimulus too, because it prolonged their existence on this Earth. Forgive my pun.
Taking this idea of breaks a step further, as I have shared with my readers before, in the Old Testament Scriptures, the Lord commanded the nation of Israel to observe a "jubile" -- or "jubilee" -- which occurred every seven years, and also every forty-nine years, meaning each fiftieth year. During this period, the land was left fallow. In other words, it was given a break -- or rest, or sabbath -- so that it could be revitalized. But that is not all that occurred during this special year. The Scriptures also inform us that the poor and strangers were given relief from their suffering, slaves and prisoners were freed, and debts were also forgiven. Consider the following sample verses, paying particular attention to the words I have placed in uppercase:
"And six years thou shalt sow thy land, and shalt gather in the fruits thereof: But THE SEVENTH YEAR THOU SHALT LET IT REST AND LIE STILL; THAT THE POOR OF THY PEOPLE MAY EAT: and what they leave the beasts of the field shall eat. In like manner thou shalt deal with thy vineyard, and with thy oliveyard."
Exodus 23:10-11, KJV
"And the LORD spake unto Moses in mount Sinai, saying, Speak unto the children of Israel, and say unto them, When ye come into the land which I give you, then shall the land keep a sabbath unto the LORD. Six years thou shalt sow thy field, and six years thou shalt prune thy vineyard, and gather in the fruit thereof; But in THE SEVENTH YEAR SHALL BE A SABBATH OF REST UNTO THE LAND, a sabbath for the LORD: thou shalt neither sow thy field, nor prune thy vineyard. That which groweth of its own accord of thy harvest thou shalt not reap, neither gather the grapes of thy vine undressed: for it is a year of rest unto the land. And the sabbath of the land shall be meat for you; for thee, and for thy servant, and for thy maid, AND FOR THY HIRED SERVANT, AND FOR THY STRANGER THAT SOJOURNETH WITH THEE, And for thy cattle, and for the beast that are in thy land, shall all the increase thereof be meat. And thou shalt number seven sabbaths of years unto thee, seven times seven years; and the space of the seven sabbaths of years shall be unto thee forty and nine years. Then shalt thou cause the trumpet of the jubile to sound on the tenth day of the seventh month, in the day of atonement shall ye make the trumpet sound throughout all your land. And ye shall hallow the fiftieth year, and PROCLAIM LIBERTY THROUGHOUT ALL THE LAND unto all the inhabitants thereof: it shall be a jubile unto you; and ye shall return every man unto his possession, and ye shall return every man unto his family. A jubile shall that fiftieth year be unto you: ye shall not sow, neither reap that which groweth of itself in it, nor gather the grapes in it of thy vine undressed. For it is the jubile; it shall be holy unto you: ye shall eat the increase thereof out of the field. In the year of this jubile ye shall return every man unto his possession."
Leviticus 25:1-13, KJV
And speaking of forgiving debts, giving rest and proclaiming liberty, Jesus was of course no stranger to these things. In fact, as I have mentioned a number of times before in some of my articles, all of these rituals which were performed in the Old Testament, and which were associated with the fifty-year sabbatical -- also known as the jubilee -- were in reality a foreshadow and archetype of things which Jesus would perform in a spiritual sense in the New Testament. Many of you will in fact be familiar with the following verses:
"The Spirit of the Lord GOD is upon me; because the LORD hath anointed me to preach good tidings unto the meek; he hath sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives, and the opening of the prison to them that are bound; To proclaim the acceptable year of the LORD, and the day of vengeance of our God; to comfort all that mourn; To appoint unto them that mourn in Zion, to give unto them beauty for ashes, the oil of joy for mourning, the garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness; that they might be called trees of righteousness, the planting of the LORD, that he might be glorified."
Isaiah 61:1-3, KJV
"And forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors."
Matthew 6:12, KJV
"And he [Jesus] came to Nazareth, where he had been brought up: and, as his custom was, he went into the synagogue on the sabbath day, and stood up for to read. And there was delivered unto him the book of the prophet Esaias. And when he had opened the book, he found the place where it was written, The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he hath anointed me to preach the gospel to the poor; he hath sent me to heal the brokenhearted, to preach deliverance to the captives, and recovering of sight to the blind, to set at liberty them that are bruised, To preach the acceptable year of the Lord. And he closed the book, and he gave it again to the minister, and sat down. And the eyes of all them that were in the synagogue were fastened on him. And he began to say unto them, This day is this scripture fulfilled in your ears."
Luke 4:16-21, KJV
As we all know, Jesus indeed came to give us rest from the burden of the Law; to pay the required debt for our sins; and to proclaim liberty from our certain death, through His own death on the Cross. I discuss all of these points in a number of other articles. Thus, I won't be going into detail in this current series. If there is one thing which I hope you can see here, it is that God believes in assisting His children. He believes in giving us relief from all of our suffering. He enjoys giving us a break from our burdens. Not only that, but He is willing to use anybody and anything in order to provide us with those things, including a secular government, if He so pleases.
Returning to the person who compelled me to write this series, no doubt you will find it interesting that after I had shared some of the same points from this series with my friend, they deleted their entire post, as well as the comment thread that was beneath it, which contained comments from other people in addition to myself. Why would they take such a drastic step? Well, we could argue that perhaps they did it simply because they did not agree with what I was telling them. They didn't like it, so they deleted it. As I have often said, when it comes to Facebook, it is "My page, my rules. Your page, your rules."
Of course, another possibility regarding why they chose to take such action is that they realized that they were wrong, and they did not want their friends and readers to see the Scriptural truth that I was sharing with them. Whatever the case may be, I am not going to ask them. In fact I am quite done engaging with them, being as we appear to be on rather different roads insofar as our understanding of the Bible is concerned. Furthermore, they made it rather clear in their final response to me that they have no interest in hearing what I have to say anyway. So that was the end of it.
As I have mentioned in other commentaries, this is not the first time that someone has either deleted my FB comments, unfriended me, or blocked me, rather than humbly admit that they hold to an erroneous point of view. But, as they say, whatever floats your boat. I've grown a thick skin over the years, and I am not going to let it bother me. We just have to accept that not everyone -- including our own Christian brethren -- is always going to agree with us. In fact, some people will take offense at what we deem the truth, and they will indeed treat us poorly and sometimes reject us. But, as you may know, rejection comes with the territory. Just look at Jesus as an example and be encouraged. He endured more than any of us ever possibly could:
"He is despised and rejected of men; a man of sorrows, and acquainted with grief: and we hid as it were our faces from him; he was despised, and we esteemed him not."
Isaiah 53:3, KJV
"The stone which the builders refused is become the head stone of the corner. This is the LORD'S doing; it is marvellous in our eyes."
Psalm 118:22-23, KJV
"Jesus saith unto them, Did ye never read in the scriptures, The stone which the builders rejected, the same is become the head of the corner: this is the Lord's doing, and it is marvellous in our eyes?"
Matthew 21:42, KJV
"And he began to teach them, that the Son of man must suffer many things, and be rejected of the elders, and of the chief priests, and scribes, and be killed, and after three days rise again."
Mark 8:31, KJV
"And have ye not read this scripture; The stone which the builders rejected is become the head of the corner: This was the Lord’s doing, and it is marvellous in our eyes?"
Mark 12:10-11, KJV
"Saying, The Son of man must suffer many things, and be rejected of the elders and chief priests and scribes, and be slain, and be raised the third day."
Luke 9:22, KJV
"But first must he suffer many things, and be rejected of this generation."
Luke 17:25, KJV
"He came unto his own, and his own received him not."
John 1:11, KJV
"This is the stone which was set at nought of you builders, which is become the head of the corner."
Acts 4:11, KJV
"To whom coming, as unto a living stone, disallowed [that is disapproved, rejected, repudiated] indeed of men, but chosen of God, and precious, Ye also, as lively stones, are built up a spiritual house, an holy priesthood, to offer up spiritual sacrifices, acceptable to God by Jesus Christ. Wherefore also it is contained in the scripture, Behold, I lay in Sion a chief corner stone, elect, precious: and he that believeth on him shall not be confounded. Unto you therefore which believe he is precious: but unto them which be disobedient, the stone which the builders disallowed, the same is made the head of the corner, And a stone of stumbling, and a rock of offence, even to them which stumble at the word, being disobedient: whereunto also they were appointed."
1 Peter 2:4-8, KJV
So if Jesus Himself was persecuted and rejected by His own generation for speaking the truth regarding the Kingdom of His Father, should we modern Christians really expect to be treated differently if we are likewise faithful to preach the full Gospel of the Kingdom? Our spiritual ancestors did not escape this fate. Consider the following sample verses which clearly demonstrate this point. You will find more in the Bible study resources that I include at the end of this same series:
"Then shall they deliver you up to be afflicted, and shall kill you: and ye shall be hated of all nations for my name’s sake. And then shall many be offended, and shall betray one another, and shall hate one another."
Matthew 24:9-10, KJV
"But before all these, they shall lay their hands on you, and persecute you, delivering you up to the synagogues, and into prisons, being brought before kings and rulers for my name's sake. And it shall turn to you for a testimony. Settle it therefore in your hearts, not to meditate before what ye shall answer: For I will give you a mouth and wisdom, which all your adversaries shall not be able to gainsay nor resist. And ye shall be betrayed both by parents, and brethren, and kinsfolks, and friends; and some of you shall they cause to be put to death. And ye shall be hated of all men for my name's sake. But there shall not an hair of your head perish. In your patience possess ye your souls."
Luke 21:12-19, KJV
"If the world hate you, ye know that it hated me before it hated you. If ye were of the world, the world would love his own: but because ye are not of the world, but I have chosen you out of the world, therefore the world hateth you. Remember the word that I said unto you, The servant is not greater than his lord. If they have persecuted me, they will also persecute you; if they have kept my saying, they will keep yours also. But all these things will they do unto you for my name's sake, because they know not him that sent me."
John 15:18-21, KJV
"They shall put you out of the synagogues: yea, the time cometh, that whosoever killeth you will think that he doeth God service."
John 16:2, KJV
"If we suffer, we shall also reign with him: if we deny him, he also will deny us:"
2 Timothy 2:12, KJV
"Yea, and all that will live godly in Christ Jesus shall suffer persecution."
2 Timothy 3:12, KJV
"And what shall I more say? for the time would fail me to tell of Gedeon, and of Barak, and of Samson, and of Jephthae; of David also, and Samuel, and of the prophets: Who through faith subdued kingdoms, wrought righteousness, obtained promises, stopped the mouths of lions, Quenched the violence of fire, escaped the edge of the sword, out of weakness were made strong, waxed valiant in fight, turned to flight the armies of the aliens. Women received their dead raised to life again: and others were tortured, not accepting deliverance; that they might obtain a better resurrection: And others had trial of cruel mockings and scourgings, yea, moreover of bonds and imprisonment: They were stoned, they were sawn asunder, were tempted, were slain with the sword: they wandered about in sheepskins and goatskins; being destitute, afflicted, tormented; (Of whom the world was not worthy:) they wandered in deserts, and in mountains, and in dens and caves of the earth. And these all, having obtained a good report through faith, received not the promise: God having provided some better thing for us, that they without us should not be made perfect."
Hebrews 11:32-40, KJV
At any rate, after deleting their entire post and comment thread, I discovered a short while later that this person had written a new update on their timeline in which they again emphasized the very same point. That is, that they believe that Christians should not rely on money from the government for our survival. Any money from the government is simply a no-no in this person's eyes:
----- Begin Quote -----
You can't rely on money from the government in order to survive. The economy is not going to recover. I believe that. I am preparing myself to have a financial storm from which the country and the world will never be the same. Only God sustains.
---- End Quote ----
As you can see, despite everything I had shared with this person, they still clung to their misguided notion that to accept money from the government is both wrong, and a sin, as we saw in other quotes which I shared with you earlier. The strange thing is, they fail to recognize that every bill and every coin that they have in their pocket -- whether it is from an assistance program of some type, or from working at a regular job -- is in reality directly or indirectly a product of their government. After all, who is responsible for printing and minting all of the money? So if this person is going to adopt such a narrow-minded, strict position, I hope that they are fully prepared to immediately trash every single bill and coin that they own. Otherwise, they are making themselves a hypocrite.
Concerning their financial prediction regarding the economy failing and not recovering, that remains to be seen. I have never claimed to be a Prophet. As such, I obviously cannot see the future. But if this person wants to put themself out on a limb and predict something so definitive like that, I hope they don't end up embarrassing themself. As I have often said, time reveals all things. It reveals those things which are true, and those things which are false. It divides truth from error, and true Prophet from false prophet. So we shall eventually see which one this person is. As the Lord said through the Prophet Moses:
"But the prophet, which shall presume to speak a word in my name, which I have not commanded him to speak, or that shall speak in the name of other gods, even that prophet shall die. And if thou say in thine heart, How shall we know the word which the LORD hath not spoken? When a prophet speaketh in the name of the LORD, if the thing follow not, nor come to pass, that is the thing which the LORD hath not spoken, but the prophet hath spoken it presumptuously: thou shalt not be afraid of him."
Deuteronomy 18:20-22, KJV
The Lord likewise spoke quite a few heavy things through the Prophet Jeremiah in regards to the many false prophets which polluted the land of Israel prior to the Babylon invasions. Consider this interesting group of verses, and beware:
"The prophets prophesy falsely, and the priests bear rule by their means; and my people love to have it so: and what will ye do in the end thereof?"
Jeremiah 5:31, KJV
"Then the LORD said unto me, The prophets prophesy lies in my name: I sent them not, neither have I commanded them, neither spake unto them: they prophesy unto you a false vision and divination, and a thing of nought, and the deceit of their heart. Therefore thus saith the LORD concerning the prophets that prophesy in my name, and I sent them not, yet they say, Sword and famine shall not be in this land; By sword and famine shall those prophets be consumed."
Jeremiah 14:14-15, KJV
"Behold, I am against them that prophesy false dreams, saith the LORD, and do tell them, and cause my people to err by their lies, and by their lightness; yet I sent them not, nor commanded them: therefore they shall not profit this people at all, saith the LORD."
Jeremiah 23:32, KJV
"For thus saith the LORD of hosts, the God of Israel; Let not your prophets and your diviners, that be in the midst of you, deceive you, neither hearken to your dreams which ye cause to be dreamed. For they prophesy falsely unto you in my name: I have not sent them, saith the LORD."
Jeremiah 29:8-9, KJV
Please go to part four for the conclusion of this series.
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