What is it about greed? It seems to permeate throughout our entire society and has affected ordinary individuals, professionals, politicians, corporate players and nations themselves. There just seems to be too great a longing for material gain, whether food, money, status, or power. It’s a desire to acquire or possess more than one needs, The Bible describes it this way, “The soul of the hard worker has worked hard for him … But greed is dangerous and destructive. It is desire out of control”. (Proverbs 16:26). I was reminded of this as I read Christian writer Daryl Branscombe’s dissertation entitled “What is truth”.
One example he gave related to the “gas shortage” of the 1970’s. He wrote, “I can still visualize the long lineup of cars waiting to get fuel, and the internet will show the reader photos of those long lineups together with signs of No More Gas! Gas was rationed and speed limits reduced in the US. The 1973 oil crisis began in October 1973 when the members of the Organization of Arab Petroleum Exporting Countries proclaimed an oil embargo. The same internet referenced stories of oil tankers anchored off the shore of the US waiting until the price spiked. By the end of the embargo in March 1974, the price of oil had risen from $3 per barrel to nearly $12 globally. And history has shown there was no shortage at all. What is truth?”
I remember a Harvard Business School professor, delivering a lecture on this very subject and showing the ultimate effects of the corporate and political worlds working together for power, prestige, control and money. We sure experience the heavy load today with gas and other prices, while at the same time, the growth of wealth of the corporate world and those involved has been astonishing, yet, obviously seemingly never enough for them.
Mr. Branscombe gave another example I like, “Remember the Y2K hoax. On December 31, 1999 night when government had people gathered from key departments in the Emergency Measures offices monitoring the roll out of Y2K around the world! People across the world were glued to their TVs: we were supposed to see power failures, major computer system failures, payroll system failures. Governments and businesses had invested hundreds of millions of dollars in technology; hardware, software, consultants. There was even a Y2K readiness audit process. Oh, we really got swept up worldwide. Shareholders in computer companies laughed all the way to the bank! Hype like the world never saw before!”
We sure got caught up with this hoax! Incidentally, Webster defines hoax as, “to trick into believing, or, accepting as genuine something false and often preposterous, or, something accepted or established by fraud or fabrication.” Indeed, the entire world was taken in, we should have watched the message of the movie “Wag the Dog” a couple of years earlier, about a fake war and how it too was believed. Still, while the ultimate power and money grab is not totally clear as yet, Y2K has had a great effect on the transfer of wealth to the corporate and political world, the two primary arms of Mystery Babylon.
Revelation 18 clearly demonstrates what is to happen to these two arms of Mystery Babylon and happily, the third arm, Ecclesiastical Babylon, will not escape either. It, too, has to pay for the abandonment of the Laws and Commandments of God and of Jesus Christ Himself and for preaching a new reality of the true Faith. No wonder Jesus said, “Nevertheless when the Son of man cometh, shall he find faith on the earth”. Remember, greed and cowardice are the prime reasons why there are so many false teachers in Christianity as well. For, sadly, instead of being Christian soldiers, most of our men of the cloth have exchanged courage for comfort. This has been the prime contributor, as Tim Stanley of the Telegraph wrote, why “Western Christianity isn’t dying out from natural causes, it’s dying of suicide.”
But, back to the men and women of the two arms of Mystery Babylon and all the individuals whose greed is dangerous and destructive, with their desire out of control. It must be stated that this does not include the rich men and women who instinctively do good with their wealth in an altruistic way. But the Apostle James pulls no punches when he describes what can be called, “the unscrupulous rich”. In chapter 5, he begins by saying “Come now, you rich men, weep and shriek over your impending miseries!” One prime reason is emphasized in verse 4 when he describes the treatment of labourers, such as shutting down plants in True Israel nations to use cheaper labour in other countries. These men and women have no regard for such actions, but simply comfort themselves in luxurious living, oblivious to what their actions have on communities, individuals or families. Think of our corporate leaders who make these callous decisions, or the politicians, too content with their own lifestyles to intervene! They obviously haven’t read James, because if they did, they would realize the implication of verse 6, “You have fattened yourselves for the day of your slaughter”.
You see, there really is a day of reckoning coming soon. All the signs in the Bible seems to be pointing to an early return of the Lord Jesus Christ; when that might be, no one knows, but all but a handful of prophecies have yet to come to pass. So, there is no better time to make amends ourselves, if we are guilty of greed, and also, to encourage the greedy we know to throw off the binds of the love of money and power. There is a movie that plays every Christmas on television about Ebenezer Scrooge and how he threw off greed to become a noble person. It can be done in real life as well. Surely, there are countless of our sick fellow Israelites, who, as James wrote, might recover through prayers of faith and receive God’s Healing. Yet, sadly, wealth and power have such a hold on most of the unscrupulous rich, that they cannot or will not listen. The Bible says, “See the man who would not make God his refuge but trusted in the abundance of his riches and sought refuge in his own destruction! (Psalm 52:7)