Donations – BT8






A divine dream and prophetic rhema word about the nature of God’s work.



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On 12/6/2020 I woke up from a very disturbing dream, and it turns out to be about this “Donations” page I had planned the night before to work on!  God sure does know how to “make straight and smooth your paths” as Proverbs 3:5-6 says!


In my dream I was a new hire as an IT guy in hydrology – see About Us page for my 15 years total experience in these 2 fields.  I had my suit and tie on and was carrying my briefcase – a typical experience in white-color corporations in the 1990’s – and was escorted in through security down a hall past a lot of cubicles and workers into a small break room with a coffee pot, 1 cheap hard plastic chair, and a copy machine.  I was told to wait there, and I waited and waited and waited for almost an hour.  I thought “What kind of company is this that are not even ready for me on my start date?  But then I thought how many companies actually were?  Almost every one I’ve worked at was missing some aspect of readiness!  In some cases I sat around for a week doing busy work while “the left hand caught up with the right hand” so somebody could actually tell me what I was supposed to be doing.  My other IT friends have told me crazy stories with their companies and the Veterans Administration, which is total inept!  My job with the U.S. Bureau of Land Management was a joke – people just moved one stack of papers from one side of the desk to the other and collected a good paycheck and pension!  Now in my dream, I felt worse and worse about how I was being treated and I was about to stand up and just walk out.  I felt completely devalued as a human being.  Then I woke up!


The first thing I did was say, “Lord, why did I have such a horrible dream?  It was so demeaning and depressing!  I asked, “How does that have anything to do with my life now?  I feel blessed to be working on this BLOG website and teaching my drum students.  My IT and hydrology careers were 10 years or more ago!  Why should I remember those days so long ago?”  I just laid there feeling depressed about all the years that I put up with so many demeaning people and impossible situations, so many self-serving bosses and employees, and so many manufactured crisis that just stressed people literally to death.  I laid there for 15 minutes wondering why I would have that dream now?  You can see from my About Us page, I’ve had some long career paths and a lot of small jobs between to get money for several degrees, a house, various cars, and my share of recreation.  Well I was about to leave the dream a mystery, get up, and get on with my day.


Then the Lord said, “You will never have another ‘job’ again.”  Well, I was shocked and worried.  I said, “I’ve never been without a job.  I need money.  I have to work!”  Then He said, “Remember how many times I’ve said that I wanted you to share something with Me, whether it was the joy, creativity, and exploration of drumming, the many colors of a beautiful sunset, the comfort of sleeping in under warm covers on a cold morning, showering your yard plants with water, or feeding the birds in your backyard?  Remember I told you that I was sharing My love for truth and justice in law with My servants fighting in courts and before legislative hearings to expose 2020’s extensive election fraud, and that I’ve shared this with 1000s of witnesses?  Don’t be afraid; I’m in control!  Remember how I told you that by sharing in these things with Me that the feelings you were feeling were a small fraction of My feelings that I have when I did, do, and will again do those things?  And that those feelings are not something separate from Me, thus not creations of Mine but are all facets of who I AM, My nature, My identity?  They are like facets on the diamond that I AM, like the subtle flavors of the complex fruit of the vine that I AM, or the many exotic flavors in a that soccer-ball-sized grapefruit you saw in the Spirit one day that I said to take a bite of?  Remember what happened?  You were filled with overwhelming unconditional-love, then tears of joy, that incredible peace, and as the day went on, I showed you even more aspects of Me.  Remember that I said you feel them, you feel Me, because I’m sharing Me with you in order that you will come closer to know Me?  You have already studied a lot about this genuine, experiential, relational epignosis knowledge and its koinonia sharing/partnership.  When I tell you that you will never have another job, it’s not to depress or worry you, but to give you something much better – ME!  Yes, you have always worked hard at every one of your ‘jobs,’ but that is over now!”


Now I’m really starting to worry!  I said, “I actually need more students and gigs, times are more uncertain than ever because of the COVID-19 and election frauds.  Who knows what more chaos BLM and Antifa have in store for us to disrupt our economy?  Who knows how much more aggressive China and North Korea will be?  And I don’t know how much more I can “cut back” to make things “stretch” before having to look for even more work!”  The Lord knows I’ve always had fears about not having enough, but He keeps working on me!  Then He says, “It’s always been about your work and your job, but that is over because I want you to share in My work, My job.  This is not work I’m assigning or ordering you to do like so many bosses you have had – I’ve shown you before the demonic spirit of the “taskmaster” that whipped My people Israel for 400 years, cruelly whipping them to make more bricks with less.  Haven’t you seen that in almost every business, that: “The love of money is the root of all evils” (a).  These are not more commandments, rules, regulations, and rituals to work on – that’s religion (b)!  No, this is My work that I want to do inside and through you to help the others I unconditional-love and want to share Myself with.  I want to share My work with you so that you will know My feelings about it and then know Me more genuinely.  You will never learn this in a book no matter what book it is.  You can only learn this by doing it WITH Me.” <Notes> a) 1 Timothy 6:10, b) See New Covenant Way and Only 2 Commandments.


Wow, what do you do with that?  I immediately understood many NT verses more deeply like: “We are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for great works, which God (the Father) prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them” (a), for “it is God who is routinely working in you both to will/desire/purpose (d) and to ongoingly do/work for the sake/benefit of [His] good pleasure/delight” (b), “equipping you with everything good that you may do His will, working in us that which is pleasing in His sight through Jesus Christ – to whom be glory forever and ever” (c).  And I suspect that it has something to do with His October declaration to me (see “My Story” on the About Us page):  “You are an anointed musician, who knows what it means to be filled by My Spirit, who knows what it is to play by My Spirit, and one day you will play in My courtyards with many others that I have chosen.”  Tonight while deeply sharing in the sunset with the Lord He said, “Do you think I really need billions of angels to work for Me to accomplish My will?  Remember with 1 thought and 1 word by My Son We created the universe and I am still creating the same way.  Do you think I really needed Adam to name all the animals in the garden?  I made them all, so I certainly can name them!  No, I include others in My work so they can share in My feelings, so they can share in Me.” <Notes> a) Ephesians 2:10, b) Philippians 2:13, c) Hebrews 13:21, d) thelo.


And I suspect it has something to do with the BLOG website which He led me to create.  But neither of these will be anything like my old ‘jobs’ because they will be completely New in kind and far superior since they will be His ‘jobs’ that He will share with me – see the New Covenant Ways, Anointing, Might and Power, and Promised Spirit pages for how “New” is “completely different in kind.”


I would really be interested in hearing your conversation with God about the nature of work, jobs, what ministry really is!




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Categories: Donations

Donations – BT7






“Paid ministry” was actually a sign of false prophets/teachers in the early Church!



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Seeking “gain or profit” was another sign of false teachers:  “For the time is coming when people will not endure sound teaching, but having itching ears they will accumulate for themselves teachers to suit their own passions” (a). Paul says, “They must be silenced, since they are upsetting whole families by teaching for the sake/favor/pleasure/cause (b) of shameful (c) profit (d) – what they ought not to teach” (e).  “Teaching for profit” is what is “shameful” – the adjective describes the phrase “teaching for profit,” not just the noun “profit” as too many like to read it!  We also know this from the context and other verses about this “error” of Balaam!  <Notes> a) 2 Timothy 4:3, b) charin, c) aischros: base, filthy, disfigured, dishonorable, disgraceful, of indecorum, d) kerdos: advantage, profit through the trading ‘might and power’ assets for trusting-relying-faith in Christ: Philippians 1:21-25, 3:7-9.


These “false teachers” use “words of flattery as a pretext (a) for greed” (b), “showing favoritism for advantageous profit (c)” (d). “In their greed they will exploit you with false logos messages” (e).  I witnessed this first hand!  The godly pastor of a little inner-city church I played on the Worship-Team for was near to dying and there were rumors that his wife wanted to take over for him when he died.  She had never come to one of our rehearsals, but now she non-expectantly shows up one night and wants to pray with us.  Something clearly was up!  During our prayer to God, she was actually eloquently preaching a logos message (f) to us and flattering members of the band as our heads were bowed.  It was very obvious!  <Notes> a) prophasis: outward show as a cloak, b) 1 Thessalonians 2:5, c) opheleia:  advantage, usefulness, profit, d) Jude 1:16, e) 2 Peter 2:3, f) It sure wasn’t the logos gospel message of The Truth.


Well I looked up as she was doing this and I saw in the spirit a yellow wasp flying around the room looking for various members of the band to land on to sting with its poison, and I instantly knew the demonic spirit of greed and cunning flattery to secure allegiance to her.  I couldn’t take her long-winded ‘prayer’ any longer and I boldly said, “Are you praying or are you preaching?  Because it sure sounds like you are preaching!”  And she stopped immediately.  She never spoke to me again!   Soon after, it was confirmed that she did try to take over the church to get at its finances, and when the main denomination they belonged to heard about this, they sent in a team to depose her!  She wasn’t the only one that came out of nowhere to assume control of the church – people I’ve never seen before just showed up and offered their valuable advice!  And wow, were they smooth talkers!


Paul warns Timothy of these false teachers in 1 Timothy 1:3-10: “If anyone teaches a different doctrine [than what Paul taught Timothy] and/coupled does not absolutely in fact agree with the sound logos gospel messages of our Lord Jesus Christ and/coupled the teaching that accords with [true] godliness . . . He has an unhealthy craving for controversy and for quarrels about words (c) . . . who are depraved in the mind and/coupled deprived of The Truth (d), imagining that godliness is a means of gain (a), but great gain (b) is godliness with contentment, for we brought nothing into the world, and we cannot take anything out of the world.  But if WE have food and clothing, with this WE will be content. But those (the false teachers) who desire to be rich fall into temptation, into a snare, into many senseless and harmful desires that plunge people (like them) into ruin and destruction.  For the love of money is a root of ALL kinds of evils.  It is through this craving that some (e) have wandered away from The-trusting-relying-Faith and pierced themselves with many pangs.” a) porismos: acquisition, source/means/route of procuring/furnishing gain, especially money, b) porismos, c) this was characteristic of the Jewish scribes and Pharisees, experts in the wording of the Mosaic Law, always comparing manuscripts and writing commentaries on the words, teaching endless genealogies of names, and rabbinic speculations/controversies/arguments/quarrels about the Law – see Acts 8:15; 1 Timothy 1:4; 2 Timothy 2:14, 23; Titus 3:9, d) Jesus and His sound logos gospel message, e) implies that these “false teachers” weren’t just Jewish teachers of the Law but actually Jewish-Christian teachers who fell away.


This was the ‘error’ of the false prophet/teacher Balaam “who loved pay/wages for service (b) of/belonging to unrighteousness” (c).  “Woe unto them for they have . . . run greedily, liberally, or rushed headlong out after (d) the error of Balaam for pay/wages for service (b)” (e).  Clearly the “error” of ministry is doing it for “pay/wages for service” to “suit your own passions,” “teaching for profit, [which is] shameful” – again, that adjective describes “teaching for profit,” not just “profit” as too many like to read!  The “unrighteousness” of Balaam belonged to (genitive case) that fact he “loved pay/wages for service!”  <Notes> a) 1 Timothy 6:5-6, b) misthos, c) 2 Peter 2:15, d) ekcheo, e) Jude 1:11.


Therefore, Church’s shepherd-overseers were explicitly warned “to do so not in possibility in compulsion, force, or constraint (a) but instead willingly and eagerly and not in possibility in eagerness for gain [, this being] base, sordid, or filthy (b) but willingly with passion/enthusiasm/spontaneous generosity” (c), “not in possibility eager for gain [, this being] base, sordid, or filthy (d)” (e).  Furthermore, the same was required of deacons (f).  In Acts 20:17-35, Paul gathers the elders/overseers/shepherds, . . . for from among your own selves will arise men speaking twisted things, to draw away disciples after them, so be alert . . .”  Paul then says:  “I worked by my own hands to take care of my necessities and those with me.  In all things I have shown you that by working hard in this way we must help the weak/feeble/impotent ….remembering Jesus, ‘It is more blessed to give than to receive.’”  It seems a lot of pastors nowadays sure want to “receive” money, submission to their authority, and even fame!  I knew a well-known internet New Ager named “Shadow” that said he was going to start a Christian church in California and teach his New Age stuff in it to become filthy rich and said that Christians and Californians were so gullible that they will believe anything!  I couldn’t believe how he boasted of this! <Notes> a) anagkastos, b) aischrokerdos, c) 1 Peter 5:2, d) aischrokerdes, e) Titus 1:7, f) 1 Timothy 3:8.


We can see above that Church leadership likely wasn’t even supposed to get paid any more than serving deacons were, and that a clear sign of the “fakes” were those who were eager for pay!  This was Balaam’s error!  The fact that they were “in it for the money” is what made it “base, sordid, and filthy,” because the Greek word is simply an adjective modifier describing “the gain they were eager for” or the “gain they were teaching for!”  In other words, these verses aren’t saying that there is “good gain” and “bad gain” to be eager for and to “choose wisely,” but that “choosing to teach for gain is what is bad!”  Well, that rules out most churches today.  SpiritMusicMeetups will follow Paul’s ministry team’s example!


“Paid Ministry” was a common “sign” of a false teachers:  Paul “headed this objection off at the pass” by saying he and his staff worked to provide their own needs (a), not making use of any so-called “right of support” (b) or “demands as apostles/missions” (c), but instead “preaching free of charge” (d), so as to be “no burden to them or the gospel” (e), telling Christians “to keep away from the brother who is walking . . . not in accord with the tradition that you received from us.  For you yourselves know how you ought to imitate us . . . with toil and labor we worked night and day, that we might not be a burden to any of you. It was not because we do not have the [so-called] ‘right’ (f) but to give you in ourselves an example to imitate.  For even when we were with you, we would give you this charge:  If anyone is not willing to work, let him not eat. . . . Now such persons we charge and encourage in the Lord Jesus Christ to do their work quietly that they may eat their own bread” (g). <Notes> a) Acts 18:3, 20:35; 1 Corinthians 4:12, 9:15; 1 Thessalonians 2:9, b) 1 Corinthians 9:12, c) 1 Thessalonians 2:6, d) 2 Corinthians 11:7, e) 1 Corinthians 9:12; 2 Corinthians 11:9, 12:13; 1 Thessalonians 2:9, f) to eat and drink, to take along a wife, to refrain from working for a living: 1 Corinthians 9:3-6, g) 2 Thessalonians 3:6-12.


Evidently, these Corinthians were eager to give money to so-called “super-apostles” (a), likely a reference to false apostles (b), for Paul says of himself and Barnabas in 1 Corinthians 9:12-15, “If others be partakers of this ‘rightful claim’ from you, should not we even more?  Nevertheless, we have not made use of this ‘right,’ but we endure everything rather than put an obstacle in the way of the gospel of Christ. . . . The Lord (c) prescribed (d) that those who proclaim the gospel should get their living by the gospel.  However I have made no use of any of these rights, nor am I writing these things to secure any such provision.” <Notes> a) 2 Corinthians 11:5, 12:11, b) 2 Corinthians 11:13, c) Kurios: Master, rightful owner.  We know from Donations-BT4 that this likely is a reference to Yahweh from Oral Torah teachings, d) arranged through appointment.


Now it’s possible that Paul is referring to Matthew 10:10, “Deserving is the workman for his food,” quoting from the OT.  However, it is here that Jesus also said in v. 10:8: “Freely (without pay) you received, so freely (without pay) give.” Many commentaries rightfully point out that there were many travelling “preachers for pay” like the Cynics, so Christ’ prohibition to carry a “bag (a) for your journey” would certainly distinguish His disciples from MANY others. <Notes> a) for clothes and money.


The first century “Teaching (Didache) of the 12 Apostles” Church-order document, contemporary with Paul’s writings, warned about those “that don’t teach that which has been said before” (a), but “a different doctrine” (b) than that which “increases righteousness and the knowledge of the Lord [Jesus]” (c).  Furthermore, “concerning prophets and apostles, they shall not dwell more than a single day or second, but if three days, he is false (d), receiving upon departure nothing but bread, but if he asks for money he is false (e), and if they prophesy that a table be laid for food, if he eats of it, they are false (f), and if they say in the Spirit to receive money or anything else, you shall not listen to him unless he orders it be given to others (g). Boy, the modern Church’s requirement for “paid ministry” staff sure has departed from the NT and early Church model! <Notes> a) 11:1, b) 11:2, c) 11:3, d) 11:4-7, e) 11:8-9, f) 11:14-15, g) 11:20-21.




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Categories: Donations

Donations – BT6






The arguments for pastor compensation all fall apart when carefully examined.



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The “right to pastor compensation” folks will also say 1 Timothy 5:17 proves that the “double honor (diplous time)” we are to give “elders who stand-before-others (superintend) well, especially those who labor in preaching and/coupled teaching” obviously means “verbally and financially” or hopefully “twice as much money” because of them having to do 2 tasks!  But the Greek word time simply means “giving perceived value, worth, or honor,” but in many verses it never means money (a), and in fact it’s clearly not money in Romans 13:7.  It’s only used of money for the silver Judas took (b), the money from the sale of houses that some Christians were deceptively withholding (c), the tomb that Abraham bought (d), and the value of the books that Christians burned regarding sorcery (e).  That’s it!  The “right to pastor compensation” folks once again have twisted bible verses out of context to support their so-called “right.” <Notes> a) John 4:44; Acts 28:10, 1 Corinthians 6:20, 7:23, 12:23-24; Romans 2:7, 10, 9:21; 1 Timothy 1:17, 6:1, 16; 2 Timothy 2:20-21; 1 Thessalonians 4:4; Colossians 2:23; Hebrews 2:7, 9, 3:3, 5:4; 1 Peter 1:7, 2:7; 2 Peter 1:17; and Revelation 4:9, 11, 5:12-13, 7:12, 21:26, b) Matthew 27:6, 9, c) Acts 4:34, 5:2-3, d) Acts 7:6, e) Acts 19:19.


The “right to pastor compensation” folks will also say that Galatians 6:6’s “The one who has been catechized (a) the logos gospel message must share all good things with the one who catechizes (b)” is obviously talking about monetary compensation, but the context is actually of “bearing one another’s burdens to fulfill the Law of Christ” (v. 6:2).  Doesn’t that mean giving money to the pastor?  No!  We know from early Christian writings, that these “catechizers” were people training others for water-baptism, people that many mistakenly idolized and became followers of (c)!  Verse 1 talks about gently restoring a brother in sin – that’s the burden to carry!  If anything the so-called catechizing “leader” of v. 6:3 is more in the spotlight, the one that needs to gently help the sinners he is instructing, for “if anyone thinks he is something, when actually is nothing, he deceives himself.”  This is exactly the “leader-follower” problem that Paul speaks disdainfully of in so many letters of his (d).  We still have this problem – see Coaches and Facilitators!  Now in v. 6:5 Paul talks about his work ethic again, “For each will have to bear his own load.”  That’s the context of v. 6:6!  Paul is simply qualifying or balancing out v. 6:5’s personal “work ethic and responsibility” by saying that the water-baptism disciple should share “all good things” with these so-called “somethings” who are the water-baptism catechizers. <Notes> a) katecheo: repetitive instruction of foundational truths, b) katecheo, c) 1 Corinthians 1:10-17, d) 1 Corinthians 1:10-17, 3:1-23.


What is the “burden” that this water-baptism instructor has that needs to be “sharedby their pupil?  How about understanding how much work it is to instruct so many people who want to get water-baptized – the Church was exploding!  It is tough “being in front of others” so much, water-baptizing so much, and it’s easy just to be grudgingly stuck in a sense of duty.  That’s why Paul says these “leader-teachers” should use that grace-gift with zeal (a), and Barnabas adds: “Let them do this with joy and not with groaning” (b), in addition to Peter saying:  “Exercising oversight not under compulsion but willingly” (c). Well it certainly helps “lighten the load” when the pupils are encouraging the instructors instead of giving them a hard time!  <Notes> a) Romans 12:8, b) Hebrews 13:17, c) 1 Peter 5:2.


But it’s a big leap to say that the water-baptism pupils needed to pay their instructors to water-baptize them!  In fact, there’s so many warnings about “leaders” in it for the “gain, which is dishonest and greedy and shameful.”  The Greek phrasing isn’t saying there is “honest, non-greedy, and shameless” gain that was okay for “leaders” to pursue, but that if they are in ministry for “gain,” then this is dishonest, greedy, and shameful (d). <Notes> a) 1 Timothy 3:8, 6:5; Titus 1:11; 1 Peter 5:2; 2 Peter 2:3, 15; Jude 1:11.


Romans 12:2-10 is absolutely not talking about offices, positions, and titles as the Catholic Church and many Protestant churches have interpreted it, which is simply “borrowing” from the ungodly world – these are the worldly stones building The Great Wall quenching the Holy Spirit!  The Greek makes it clear that this is talking about praxis “functions, sustained activities, deeds, and/or responsibilities” based on the charismata grace-gifts that God alone “measures out” without any consideration of our merit, thus it is by unconditional-favor-of-grace.  Paul warns in Philippians 2:3 to “Do nothing in possibility from eritheia selfish ambition or empty self-glorifying pride, but instead each of you should in self-humility be motivated to treat one another as more important than yourself.”  This Greek word literally means “work for hire, work done merely for money, acting like a mercenary for one’s own gain regardless of the strife it causes, placing your own self-interest ahead of the Lord’s good for others.  The NT usage is the seeking of followers as a self-seeking pursuit of office for gain, which is worldly.”  These worldly methods were actually seeping into the Church, and sadly we see this continued through Catholic and later Protestant church history!  See the Body-of-Christ ministry and Teach One Another pages.


This word eritheia is listed in Paul’s “works of the flesh that are evident” (a), and Paul was afraid to find this when he revisited an unrepentant church:  “I’m afraid that somehow when I come I will not find in you what I wish . . . but . . . eritheia selfish-ambition . . .” (b).  God’s “wrath and anger are to those who live in this eritheia selfish ambition” (c).  Paul said there were “some, to be sure, who are preaching Christ through envy contention strife (eris comes from eritheia) . . . proclaiming Christ from eritheia selfish ambition, not sincerely, because they think they can cause trouble for me during my imprisonment” (d).  There were also so-called “wise and understanding” Jewish teachers in the early Church, who were actually against “The Truth” (e), that James had to deal with:  “If you have bitter jealousy and eritheia selfish-ambition in your hearts, do not go about boasting and tell lies against The Truth.  Such ‘wisdom’ does not come from above but is earthly, soulish (f), demonic.  For where there is jealousy and eritheia selfish-ambition, there is disorder and every evil practice” (g).  <Notes> a) Galatians 5:19-20, b) 2 Corinthians 12:20, c) Romans 2:8, d) Philippians 1:17, e) Jesus and His gospel, f) the adjective of psyche – see the Identity page, g) James 3:13-16.


In summary, people who want to get paid to share the gospel and minister for God, will find some way to interpret some verse in their favor.  They will use the verses above and miss the main points and obvious contextual meaning.  This is nothing new!  The 1st century had Greek “Cynics” and other groups that were paid to preach their religions and philosophies, often requiring this from who they delivered it to.  Jesus sure wasn’t asking His disciples to be anything like them!  The Canaanites, the ones in the temple that Jesus drove out, were the merchants at peddling religion and anything else that could make a buck.  The last martyred OT prophet Zechariah in his last verse (Zechariah 14:21) says “there shall no longer be a Canaanite in the house of Yahweh of hosts on that Day [of His great return].”  The early church’s “Teaching of the 12 Apostles” or Didache, circulating at the time of Paul, strictly prohibited churches from paying any teacher, preacher, or prophet if they settled down for more than 3 days, but to send them on their way.  If they insisted, they were to be quickly judged as “false prophets and teachers.”  This was a real problem in the early Church because there were lots of people “in it for the money,” which the NT makes clear such “gain is dishonest, greedy and shameful.”  And it sounds like they really took Paul’s advice, a contemporary!  The modern church sure hasn’t!


SpiritMusicMeetups is following Paul’s ministry team example – we aren’t exercising any so-called, “rights to a living because of ministry for the Lord.”  So be free in your giving to the Lord and His work.  It simply will be a blessing to share together with you in all aspects of this ministry.




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Categories: Donations

Donations – BT5






Paul’s approach to Christian support of NT ministry



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Maybe the answer is in Philippians 4:9-19 where we really see Paul’s understanding of Christians sharing in support of NT ministry:  “What you have learned and received and heard and seen in me – practice these things . . . You were actually concerned for me, but you had no opportunity [to show it].  Not that I am speaking of presently being in need – Paul isn’t subtly begging, as we’ve all heard all too often from the pulpit – for I have learned in whatever situation I am, to be content. . . . Yet it was kind of you to presently share/partner (a) [in] my trouble.  And you Philippians yourselves know [that] in the beginning of the [preaching of the] gospel when I left Macedonia, absolutely in fact, not even one church shared/partnered (a) with me in giving and receiving, except you only.  Even in Thessalonica you sent me help for my needs once and again.  Not that I seek the gift [now], but I seek the fruit (b) that increases to your credit.  I have already received full payment and more!  I am presently well supplied, having already received from Epaphroditus the gifts you already sent, a fragrant offering, a sacrifice acceptable and pleasing to God.  Moreover my God shall actually supply your every need down-from/according-to His riches in glory in Christ.”  <Notes> a) koinonia, b) karpos: by-product of their one’s nature.


Some will say that Paul is still cleverly asking for even more money, despite what he says, but I believe he is being very grateful, even bragging in them, and wants them to experience even more fruit from the money they have already given.  He reassures them that God will take care of them, despite their previous sacrifices.  Once again, Paul uses his own life as an example – he isn’t asking them to do anything that he doesn’t do himself.  Notice the emphasis on sharing/partnering with Paul’s ministry trials, needs, and in giving and receiving!  That is exactly my emphasis in this SpiritMusicMeetups ministry – it’s all about sharing together every aspect of the ministry!




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Categories: Donations

Donations – BT4






Paul continues to defend his ministry finances model.



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Paul continues his “defense” in 1 Corinthians 9:7-10, 13-14 using more analogies, essentially saying:  “Don’t soldiers get paid for their service?  Don’t vineyard planters get to eat some of the fruit from it?  Don’t shepherds get some of the milk?  This isn’t just my authoritative words!  The Law of Moses talks about not muzzling the ox when it treads out the grain, but God’s not talking about oxen, but about plowman and threshers both having hope in sharing in the crop.  Don’t the temple and sacrifice workers get their food from a portion of these sacrifices?”  The Torah Law of conditional-favor specifies this!  Not only that, but Paul adds: “The Lord had authoritatively ordered (a) that those who are routinely proclaiming the ‘Great News’ gospel to be living of/from the Great News” (b).  Remember from the context Paul is absolutely not arguing for this “order” to be applied to NT ministers such as their team.  Remember he is saying all this to drive home his main point – that they are inconsistent in their freewill giving to others and worse – selfish! <Notes> a) diatasso: fully, thoroughly, systematically, authoritatively ordered, b) 1 Corinthians 9:14.


Furthermore, there is no record of this diatasso “authoritative order” being made by Jesus.  Also, the only time Jesus used the word diatasso is when He ordered a family to feed the little girl he raised from the dead (a).  So, then where did Paul hear this?  Was Paul paraphrasing his great understanding of the Torah Law of conditional-favor and adapting it to his unconditional-favor “Great News” gospel, since he talked about this right after quoting Moses’ Law?  Was it part of the Oral Law, the traditions of the elders?  Can we be so quick to assume that the “Lord who had authoritatively ordered” compensation here refers to Jesus Christ, since Paul just referred to the Law of Moses?  I’ve seen too many Christians say just that!  <Notes> a) Luke 8:55.


Fortunately we know the answer, because Paul is in the habit of repeating himself.  He already said nearly the exact same thing to his evangelist trainee in 1 Timothy 5:17-19 regarding “doubling the honor” of “elders who stand-before-others (superintend) well, especially those who labor in preaching and teaching.”  Here Paul again quotes the Law of Moses about “muzzling the ox” and couples to it (using kai) “the laborer worthily deserves his wages.”  Now, this is significant because both parts are coupled together implying that they both come from the OT Law of Moses.  Furthermore, Paul is not quoting in 56-57 AD what the Lord Jesus had said in a completely different writing of Luke 10:7 later in AD 80.  It’s impossible, but it doesn’t stop too many bibles and commentators from implying this.  It’s much more likely that the same “Yahweh ‘LORD’ of scripture” in 1 Timothy 5:19 is the “Lord” in 1 Corinthians 9:14!


In both of these verses, Paul uses the OT scripture to argue for a current practice under the New Covenant.  This is nothing new!  Everywhere Paul cites OT scripture in his writings, he does so to prove how they were actually written for us in a future time, and particularly the topic that he is presently discussing (a).  But even though his partner Barnabas recounts all of the trusting-relying-faith of the OT forefathers in Hebrews 11:1-40 as an example to us, he concludes: “Though commended because of their trusting-relying-faith, they did not receive what was promised, since God had provided something better for us.  Therefore, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us . . . look to Jesus, the founder and perfecter of our trusting-relying-faith.”  So, once again, we see OT scripture and examples used to point us forward to what is better, and so never to go backwards – this is a foundational problems many Christians and churches have that is building The Great Wall quenching the Holy Spirit! <Notes> a) 1 Corinthians 9:10; 10:6, 11; Romans 4:23-24, 15:4.


Then why did Luke 10:7 record in AD 80 what Paul said years earlier around 56-57 AD in 1 Timothy 5:19?  Jesus said in Luke 10:1-8 when He sent 72 out in front of His own ministry: “Carry no moneybag, no knapsack, no sandals, and greet no one on the road (being shrewd as a snake) . . . remain in the house (the ones you find peace in), eating and drinking what they provide, for the laborer worthily deserves his wages, but do not go from house to house.  Whenever you enter a town and they receive you, eat what is set before you.  Heal the sick in it and say to them, ‘the kingdom of God has come near to you.’”  Similarly Jesus said this to 12 apostles in Matthew 10:5-10, written in 70AD, again long after 1 Timothy writing:  Jesus sent the 12 apostles out to only the Jews to preach that the kingdom of heaven is at hand, heal the sick, raise the dead, cleanse lepers, and cast out demons.  He told them to not fill their money-belts or bring a lot of extra clothing, “for the laborer worthily deserves his food” per Matthew 10:10.


Paul simply can’t be quoting either Luke or Matthew’s gospel because Paul wrote long before they wrote their gospel accounts.  It’s possible in 48 AD when Paul met the other disciples in Jerusalem that he heard about Christ’s teaching on this, but Paul in Galatians 2:6 said they “added nothing to me,” so that rules that theory out!


It’s much more likely that 1 Timothy, Luke 10:7, and Matthew 10:10 all are either quoting a Greek OT Law that we simply don’t have a manuscript of, or more likely are quoting the Oral Torah.  The latter is what I’m seeing the scholars saying: “‘The laborer worthily deserves his wages’ appears to have been the prevailing interpretation of Deuteronomy 24:14-15 according to the Oral Traditions of the Jews during the 1st c. and beyond” citing the 1st c. Jewish historian Flavius Josephus who made the same connection of the “ox” to “workers wages.”  In the Babylonian Talmud several hundred years later that codified the Oral Torah, add the stipulation that they must be “full-time” employees to be entitled to these “fringe benefits,” saying that “He may eat the produce on which he is working only if he works with both his hands and his feet:  The worker is analogous to an ox.  Just as an ox is entitled to nibble only if he is working with forelegs and hind-legs, so the worker may eat only if he is engaged in work that requires both hands and feet.”  Leviticus 19:13 and Malachi 3:5 also talk about compensating the worker fairly and in a timely manner, which James 5:4 also refers to.  So both Jesus and Paul are likely quoting from the Oral Torah.  Therefore, the “Lord” who diatasso “authoritative orders” this is none other than Yahweh of the OT, and all this is simply OT tradition!  Since this is likely the case, is Paul then telling future Gentile pastors to follow OT Law and Oral Traditions that were written for Jews or Gentile converts to Judaism?  That’s what we will explore next.




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Categories: Donations

Donations – BT3






Paul’s financial approach to ministry is unconditional-love



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In 1 Corinthians 9:19-20, Paul really gets to his point:  “Though I am free from all (a), I have made myself a servant to all, that I might win more of them.  To the Jews I became as a Jew in order to win Jews.  To those under the Torah Law [of Moses for conditional-favor] I became as one under the Law [of Moses] – though not being myself under the Law [of Moses] (c) in order that I might win those under the Law [of Moses].  [Now] to those outside the Law [as Gentiles would be] I became as one outside the Law [thus like a Gentile] – not being outside the Law of God [this is certainly not the Law of Moses], that is, under the Law of Christ (b) – that I might win those outside the Law [of Moses, thus to win Gentiles].  To the weak I became weak [in faith, thus the Jews], that I might win the weak.  I have become all things to all people that by all means I might save some.  I do it all for the sake of the gospel.” <Notes> a) OT commandment, rules, etc. and even their ‘rights’ in Christ, b) “to unconditionally-love one another as I have unconditionally-loved you” – see Only 2 Commandments, c) as Christians aren’t per Romans 6:14.


Paul adapts himself to his audience, motivated by Christ’s unconditional-love, to win them to Christ:  “I try to please everyone in everything I do, not seeking my own advantage, but that of many, that they may be saved” (a).  This is the main point of the 1 Corinthians 9 passage above, not whether pastors should be compensated, or even apostles like Paul!  Now we can start to see why Paul’s ministry team won’t exercise an OT “right” to ministry support!  Sure, it would “be to his own advantage,” but he wanted absolutely nothing to hinder the gospel!  Paul sure isn’t buying into applying OT compensation of priests to supporting NT apostles or any workers of the gospel, but if some claim to have that right, he and Barnabas sure won’t.  He doesn’t speak for others, only themselves.  They will operate solely out of unconditional-love for others.  They won’t take the risk of being accused of “pay for play” as many traveling speakers in that day were!  And from the Thessalonians passage, he drives home the point that it is actually the Lord’s command to follow their example. <Notes> a) 1 Corinthians 10:33.



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Categories: Donations

Donations – BT2





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But what is this so-called ‘right?’



In 1 Corinthians 9:1-2, Paul sets his argument up:  “Are you not my workmanship in the Lord . . . at least I am to you an apostle!”  Are you saying, “Doesn’t a person get paid for their work?  Especially an apostle?” Then in vv. 9:3-7, Paul explains his “defense to those who would judge/critique my inward motives (a):  Don’t we have the ‘right’ to eat and drink?  Don’t we have the ‘right’ to travel with a believing wife, as do the other apostles and the [physical] brothers of Jesus and Peter?  Or is it only Barnabas (b) and I who have no ‘right’ to not in possibility be presently/ongoingly working?”  In verse 9:11, Paul and Barnabas said they “sowed Spirit-kind-of things among them, so shouldn’t they have hope in reaping flesh-kind-of things (c) from them?”  Since the other apostles above evidently had partaken of this ‘right’ from the Corinthians, shouldn’t Paul and Barnabas have this more to a greater degree?  Is Paul really asking them for money?  If you think that, you haven’t been reading very carefully! <Notes> a) anakrino: to judge/distinguish vigorously ‘down to up’ by closely, even forensically, examining, investigating, or interrogating, thus careful study or evaluation, b) likely the author of Hebrews, c) sarkikos, adjective of sarx: human needs.


Is Paul saying that these ‘others’ have a legitimate ‘right’ to compensation, which all other pastors in history should then be quick to claim?  Is that Paul’s actual point?  We also have to remember that Paul had many run-ins with James, the brother of Jesus.  Look how James 2:24 “a person is justified by works and not by trusting-relying-faith alone” directly attacks Paul’s “We hold that one is justified by trusting-relying-faith apart from works of the Law” (a) and “the one who does not work but has trusting-relying-faith in Him who justifies the ungodly, His trusting-relying-faith is counted as righteousness” (b).  Paul also had run-ins with Peter.  Look how in Galatians 2:12-14, Paul had to “call out” Peter and his Jewish brothers for their hypocrisy because they were shunning the Gentiles at meals because they feared “the circumcision party.”  He said “James, Peter, and John, who seemed to be pillars” in the Church “seemed to be influential, but what they were makes no difference to me, for God shows no partiality and they added nothing to me” (c). <Notes> a) Romans 3:28, b) Romans 4:5, c) Galatians 2:6, 9.


So, we can’t be too quick to think Paul is giving these “pillars” his thumbs-up concerning the exercising of their ‘rights’ to support.  More importantly we have to keep verses in their context!  If we do, we will see that Paul is simply prodding the Corinthians to consider why they have been so selfish and unloving towards their team, while others have been treated much better.  Their self-centeredness has caused a lot of problems, like during their love feasts where they also celebrated the Lord’s Supper (a).  But Paul criticized them:  “Love does not insist on its own way” (b), so “let no one see his own good, but the good of his neighbor” (c).  In our immediate context of 1 Corinthians 8:7-13, these Gentile-Christians were exercising their ‘right’ to eat food offered to an idol (d) because to them it didn’t violate their particular gnosis info-knowledge of their “freedom in Christ” (g), but by eating it in front of others who were weak in this understanding (e), they were encouraging them to violate their consciences, so “by your gnosis knowledge this weak person is destroyed, a brother whom Christ died for.  Thus, this sinning against your brethren by wounding their conscience when it is weak, causes you to sin against Christ.  Therefore, if food makes my brethren stumble, I will never eat meat (f), lest I make my brethren stumble.” <Notes> a) 1 Corinthians 11:17-34, b) 1 Corinthians 13:5, c) 1 Corinthians 10:24, d) it was routinely sold in the marketplace for better prices, e) Jewish-Christians brought up on strict dietary laws, f) that’s how far Paul would go, g) Galatians 5:1.




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Categories: Donations

Donations – BT1






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Why is our ministry following the Apostle Paul’s team financial example?



Just like Paul and Barnabas did, I have no intention of making my living off ministry, but instead work for a living like most everybody else, currently by playing and teaching drums professionally.  You can see from my story in About Us that this is not the identity God gave me, but I’m really just learning how to walk more fully into “You are an anointed musician . . .”  My wife also has a day job and an antique booth.  God has always provided a job – I’ve never collected unemployment once!  God will continue to provide!


Paul and his companions were tent-makers but they used their spare time to evangelize (a).  Paul’s job “served his necessities and those who were with him” (b).  He “preached God’s gospel to them free of charge” (c).  He didn’t “want to make himself a burden to them” (d).  He said they “labored and toiled, working night and day, that we might not be a burden to any of you, while we proclaimed to you the gospel of God” (e).  He and his group “labored, working with our own hands” (f). <Notes> a) Acts 18:3-4, b) Acts 20:34, c) 2 Corinthians 11:7, d) 2 Corinthians 12:13, e) 1 Thessalonians 2:9, f) 1 Corinthians 4:12.


They even gave Christians a command “in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, to keep away from any brother who is walking in idleness and/thus not in accordance with the tradition that you have received from us.  For you yourselves know how you ought to imitate us, because we were not idle when we were with you, nor did we eat anyone’s bread without paying for it, but with toil and labor we worked night and day, that we might not be a burden to any of you.  It was not because we don’t have that right, but to give you in ourselves an example to imitate.  For even when we were with you, we would give you this charge:  If anyone is not willing to work, let him not eat.  For we hear that some among you walk in idleness, not busy at work, but busybodies. Now such persons we charge and encourage by the Lord Jesus Christ to do their work quietly and to earn their own living (a).  And that “earning their own living” sure wasn’t “doing ministry,” even if you think you have the ‘right’ to be compensated for “the Lord’s work.”  Paul would have called such people “walking in idleness, not busy at work.”  It seems like most paid church staff sure hasn’t read this! <Notes> a) 2 Thessalonians 3:6-11.


Again Paul says he will not exercise this so-called ‘right.’  In 1 Corinthians 9:12, 15, and 18, Paul reiterates what he said above:  “We have not made use of this ‘right,’ but we will endure anything [even hunger] rather than put an obstacle in the way of the gospel of Christ . . . I have made no use of any of these ‘rights,’ nor am I writing to secure any such provision.  For I would rather die than have anyone deprive me of my grounds for boasting. . . . What then is my reward (it sure wasn’t their money)?  That in my preaching I may present the gospel free of charge, so as not to make full use of my ‘right’ in the gospel.”  Whatever his ‘rights’ were, the great apostle Paul to the known Gentile world sure didn’t think that he or his companions should exercise them!  Why is it that so many churches think they should?  I thought we were told to “be imitators of me (Paul), as I am of Christ” (a), for “you know how you ought to imitate us” (b).  Paul is implying that he is a tentmaker (c) because he is following the Lord’s example.  The Lord told me once that He gave Paul such work not just to make money but to work with Him to reach people others wouldn’t have reached.  Paul was actually sharing (d) in the Lord’s work!  In other words, it wasn’t just a job!  Christians, and certainly ministers, should follow Paul’s team example as they followed Christ’s example, and Paul charges them to do this “by the name/authority of Jesus.”  Wasn’t Christ a carpenter for 30 years and only a missionary-preacher for 3 short years? <Notes> a) 1 Corinthians 11:1, b) 2 Thessalonians 3:7, c) or possibly a leather worker for books and scrolls, d) koinonia fellowship.




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