PROPHECY: Covetousness
July 18, 2002

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Dear WPA and other readers:

I was in attendance at a small meeting last night and during worship, the Lord quickened this verse:

"Then suddenly the Lord you are seeking will come to his temple: the messenger of the covenant whom you desire will come, says the LORD Almighty." Malachi 3:1

Then, after a few minutes, the leader of the meeting directed us to John 2, beginning with verse 12, which recounts the story of Jesus' first visit to the temple. This scripture was being read out loud. When the reader arrived at verse 16, this is how I heard it:

"To those who sold doves (the anointing of the Holy Spirit-slb) he said, "Get these out of here! How dare you turn my Father's house into a market".

Later that night, I was pondering these workings of the Holy Spirit in my heart, and I was cognizant that this night is, on the Hebrew calendar, the 9th of Ab, which commemorates the date on which both Hebrew temples were destroyed in antiquity. As I pondered this, another verse was quickened to me by the Holy Spirit:

"So when you see standing in the holy place, the abomination that causes desolation, spoken of through the prophet Daniel-let the reader understand-then let those who are in Judea flee to the mountains." Matthew 24:15

Note, in John 2, Jesus did come suddenly to the temple and clear it with great zeal. When challenged to demonstrate his authority to do all of these things, he prophesied about the temple of his body. It was taken, even later, to mean that he had threatened to destroy the brick and mortar temple, but he had been speaking about his death and resurrection.

I found myself, wondering, out loud, if what I have been looking at lately in the Church of Jesus Christ is the abomination that causeth desolation. If, in the sense of the meaning of God's temple, which we consider when we think of our own bodies, then, the "Holy Place"…..not the Holy Of Holies…..but the "Holy Place" might best be described as our meeting houses….the places where we Holy Spirit carrying temples of the living God gather together to worship. Is the reproach of the sacred assembly that David Wilkerson so eloquently writes about in July, 2002 the abomination that causeth desolation? Are we looking at it?

The scriptures give a good clue about this. The same Greek word that is used by Jesus in John 2:19 to describe the temple of his body is used in 2 Thessalonians 2:4 to describe the place where a man will set himself up in God's temple, proclaiming himself to be God.

I do not wish to deal with the long list of other abuses in the Holy Place that David Wilkerson has listed in his article. Some of them appear to me to be only slightly less serious because they do not directly threaten salvation. I wish to focus on covetousness and those teachings that provoke, aid, encourage and strengthen the hands of those who are in bondage to it because covetousness will keep a person out of heaven.

To be covetous, according to The American Heritage Dictionary, is to be excessively and culpably desirous of the possessions of another, and is marked by an extreme desire to acquire or possess. Websters calls it an inordinate desire for wealth or possessions and a craving for possession, especially of material possessions. The bible has this to say:

"For this ye know, that no whoremonger, nor unclean person, nor covetous man, who is an idolater, hath any inheritance in the Kingdom of Christ and of God. Let no man deceive you with vain words: for because of these things cometh the wrath of God upon the children of disobedience." Ephesians 5:3..5..6. This is New Testament teaching, and it is clear as clear can be. No covetous man can enter heaven! Period! It is idolatry.

Is not this prosperity teaching an abomination unto the causing of desolation? I believe it is what the Lord is saying in this hour. When the Lord came then, he told those sellers of doves (sellers of the anointing of the Holy Spirit-slb) to get out of there. HOW DARE YOU TURN MY FATHER'S HOUSE INTO A MARKET! Has this not been exceeded by a many fold multiple of severity today?

Now, I have read the defenses made for those who preach a 90% pure gospel, and who taint it with 10% or more of this covetousness laden brew. I don't buy it at all. Wilkerson is dead on right at the center of the bullseye. This stuff is pure poison.

Jesus told us in Matthew 24 that an abomination that maketh desolate will come, and that it was spoken of through the prophet Daniel. Daniel spoke of abominations in chapter 9, in terms of "an overspreading of abominations" (KJV)as being the reason why he (the messiah) would make it desolate.

I know what has been taught….that the actions of Antiochus Epiphanes in defiling the temple of God in Jerusalem were the first fulfillment of this, but is this accurate? Does not the whole sum total of scripture argue that it is the actions of those who mingle worship with God and idol worship together that defiles a land and a temple? Antiochus was no believer. No….the overspreading of abominations was that which was described by all the prophets whom God sent to Israel. Those abominations were committed by Israel and Judah.

Now, please roll forward in your minds to today. Most of Christianity is waiting for a political leader to build a temple and proclaim himself to be God because the popular "Left Behind" series has so proclaimed it. I tell you the likelihood of this scenario being the abomination that maketh desolate is so small as to be easily dismissed. Just as with Israel and Judah, we must look for the "overspreading of abominations" within the church, not outside of it.

When men teach, in the Holy Place, as they are doing in Kenneth Copeland's meetings, things such as this, HOW DARE THEY?

I'll repeat the quotes from their meetings, so that you may ponder on these things, and not be left in the valley of decision. These quotes are taken from David Wilkerson's article, and were transcribed by him from videotapes.

"If you want to be blessed, you have to find the most blessed evangelist or pastor you can find because he that has been given much receiveth much, he that has little, even that which he has will be taken from him. If you find the most blessed prosperous preacher and give him money, then you will be blessed. The more blessed he is, if you give to those that are most blessed….."

"if a poor widow on welfare hands you $5, you better take it. Elijah took the widow's last meal. You are the anointed one, you deserve it, you take it."

"I live in an 8,000 square foot house. I am going to build a bigger one now. One that King Solomon would be proud of. I just paid $15,000 for a dog. You see this gorgeous ring on my finer. I was in Jamaica and just paid $32,000 for it. I want you to know that when the people in my town come past my mansion and they see my Rolls Royce sitting in the driveway, they know there is a God in heaven."

"We made a covenant along with Brother Copeland that for the next 365 days none of us are going to suffer for a single day. We will not know a moment of discouragement. We will never be sick or in need. We are going to enjoy all the blessings. We reject all suffering, all pain, all financial problems."

"The Holy Spirit can't be poured out upon you until first you are in the money flow. Until you are prospering, the Holy Ghost cannot do His work."

JESUS said: TO THOSE WHO SOLD DOVES (SOLD THE ANOINTING OF THE HOLY SPIRIT-slb) "Get these out of here! How dare you turn my Father's house into a market!


"Also, thou son of man, the children of thy people still are talking against thee by the walls and in the doors of the houses, and speak one to another, every one to his brother, saying, Come, I pray you, and hear what is the word that cometh forth from the LORD. And they come unto thee as the people cometh, and they sit before thee as my people, and they hear thy words, but they will not do them: for with their mouth they shew much love, but their heart goeth after their COVETOUSNESS." Ezekiel 33:30-31

Stephen L. Bening

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