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    -by David Ryser.

    A number of years ago, I had the privilege of teaching at a school

    of ministry. My students were hungry for God, and I was constantly

    searching for ways to challenge them to fall more in love with

    Jesus and to become voices for revival in the Church. I came across

    a quote attributed most often to Rev. Sam Pascoe. It is a short

    version of the history of Christianity, and it goes like this:

    Christianity started in Palestine as a fellowship; it moved to Greece

    and became a philosophy; it moved to Italy and became an institution;

    it moved to Europe and became a culture; it came to America and

    became an enterprise.
    Some of the students were only 18 or 19

    years old--barely out of diapers--and I wanted them to understand

    and appreciate the import of the last line, so I clarified it by adding,

    "An enterprise. That's a business." After a few moments Martha,

    the youngest student in the class, raised her hand. I could not

    imagine what her question might be. I thought the little vignette was

    self-explanatory, and that I had performed it brilliantly. Nevertheless,

    I acknowledged Martha's raised hand, "Yes, Martha." She asked

    such a simple question, "A business? But isn't it supposed to be

    a body?"
    I could not envision where this line of questioning was going,

    and the only response I could think of was, "Yes." She continued,

    "But when a body becomes a business, isn't that a prostitute?"

    The room went dead silent. For several seconds no one moved or

    spoke. We were stunned, afraid to make a sound because the

    presence of God had flooded into the room, and we knew we were

    on holy ground. All I could think in those sacred moments was,

    "Wow, I wish I'd thought of that." I didn't dare express that thought

    aloud. God had taken over the class.

    Martha's question changed my life. For six months, I thought about

    her question at least once every day. "When a body becomes a

    business, isn't that a prostitute?" There is only one answer to her

    question. The answer is "Yes." The American Church, tragically,

    is heavily populated by people who do not love God. How can we

    love Him? We don't even know Him; and I mean really know Him.

    ... I stand by my statement that most American Christians do not

    know God--much less love Him. The root of this condition originates

    in how we came to God. Most of us came to Him because of what

    we were told He would do for us. We were promised that He would

    bless us in life and take us to heaven after death. We married Him

    for His money, and we don't care if He lives or dies as long as we

    can get His stuff. We have made the Kingdom of God into a business,

    merchandising His anointing. This should not be. We are commanded

    to love God, and are called to be the Bride of Christ--that's pretty

    intimate stuff. We are supposed to be His lovers. How can we love

    someone we don't even know? And even if we do know someone,

    is that a guarantee that we truly love them? Are we lovers or


    I was pondering Martha's question again one day, and considered

    the question, "What's the difference between a lover and a prostitute?"

    I realized that both do many of the same things, but a lover does

    what she does because she loves. A prostitute pretends to love, but

    only as long as you pay. Then I asked the question, "What would

    happen if God stopped paying me?"

    For the next several months, I allowed God to search me to uncover

    my motives for loving and serving Him. Was I really a true lover of

    God? What would happen if He stopped blessing me? What if He

    never did another thing for me? Would I still love Him? Please

    understand, I believe in the promises and blessings of God. The

    issue here is not whether God blesses His children; the issue is

    the condition of my heart. Why do I serve Him? Are His blessings

    in my life the gifts of a loving Father, or are they a wage that I have

    earned or a bribe/payment to love Him? Do I love God without any

    conditions? It took several months to work through these questions.

    Even now I wonder if my desire to love God is always matched by

    my attitude and behavior. I still catch myself being disappointed

    with God and angry that He has not met some perceived need in

    my life. I suspect this is something which is never fully resolved,

    but I want more than anything else to be a true lover of God.

    So what is it going to be? Which are we, lover or prostitute?

    There are no prostitutes in heaven, or in the Kingdom of God for

    that matter, but there are plenty of former prostitutes in both

    places. Take it from a recovering prostitute when I say there is no

    substitute or unconditional, intimate relationship with God. And I

    mean there is no palatable substitute available to us (take another

    look at Matthew 7:21-23 sometime). We must choose.

    -Dr. David Ryser.

    Note from Lou:

    This is a question I have pondered many times for my own life.

    But if we apply this question to the church of our nation then this scripture comes to mind. It is a very sad question to ponder. See post # 2 for the scripture.

  • #2
    Revelation 17 (NIV)

    Babylon, the Prostitute on the Beast

    17 One of the seven angels who had the seven bowls came and said to me, “Come, I will show you the punishment of the great prostitute, who sits by many waters. 2 With her the kings of the earth committed adultery, and the inhabitants of the earth were intoxicated with the wine of her adulteries.”

    3 Then the angel carried me away in the Spirit into a wilderness. There I saw a woman sitting on a scarlet beast that was covered with blasphemous names and had seven heads and ten horns. 4 The woman was dressed in purple and scarlet, and was glittering with gold, precious stones and pearls. She held a golden cup in her hand, filled with abominable things and the filth of her adulteries. 5 The name written on her forehead was a mystery:

    babylon the great

    the mother of prostitutes

    and of the abominations of the earth.

    6 I saw that the woman was drunk with the blood of God’s holy people,the blood of those who bore testimony to Jesus.

    When I saw her, I was greatly astonished. 7 Then the angel said to me: “Why are you astonished? I will explain to you the mystery of the woman and of the beast she rides, which has the seven heads and ten horns. 8 The beast, which you saw, once was, now is not, and yet will come up out of the Abyss and go to its destruction. The inhabitants of the earth whose names have not been written in the book of life from the creation of the world will be astonished when they see the beast, because it once was, now is not, and yet will come.

    9 “This calls for a mind with wisdom. The seven heads are seven hills on which the woman sits. 10 They are also seven kings. Five have fallen, one is, the other has not yet come; but when he does come, he must remain for only a little while. 11 The beast who once was, and now is not, is an eighth king. He belongs to the seven and is going to his destruction.

    12 “The ten horns you saw are ten kings who have not yet received a kingdom, but who for one hour will receive authority as kings along with the beast. 13 They have one purpose and will give their power and authority to the beast. 14 They will wage war against the Lamb, but the Lamb will triumph over them because he is Lord of lords and King of kings—and with him will be his called, chosen and faithful followers.”

    15 Then the angel said to me, “The waters you saw, where the prostitute sits, are peoples, multitudes, nations and languages. 16 The beast and the ten horns you saw will hate the prostitute. They will bring her to ruin and leave her naked; they will eat her flesh and burn her with fire. 17 For God has put it into their hearts to accomplish his purpose by agreeing to hand over to the beast their royal authority, until God’s words are fulfilled. 18The woman you saw is the great city that rules over the kings of the earth.”

    What great city ruled over the kings of the earth for centuries ? Was it not Rome ?

    Babylon The Great is NOT Babylon, just as Alexander The great is not Alexander. Natural Babylon was destroyed centuries ago and God has said it will never rise again. Soulish Babylon, or political Babylon went from Babylon to Persia to Greece to Rome to France to Britain to the US. The Greatest Babylon that can ever exist is spiritual for the spiritual is the greatest realm. Babylon the great is spiritual.


    • #3
      Revelation 18 (NIV)

      Lament Over Fallen Babylon

      18 After this I saw another angel coming down from heaven. He had great authority, and the earth was illuminated by his splendor. 2 With a mighty voice he shouted:

      “‘Fallen! Fallen is Babylon the Great!
      She has become a dwelling for demons
      and a haunt for every impure spirit,
      a haunt for every unclean bird,
      a haunt for every unclean and detestable animal.
      3 For all the nations have drunk
      the maddening wine of her adulteries.
      The kings of the earth committed adultery with her,
      and the merchants of the earth grew rich from her excessive luxuries.” Warning to Escape Babylon’s Judgment

      4 Then I heard another voice from heaven say:

      “‘Come out of her, my people,’
      so that you will not share in her sins,
      so that you will not receive any of her plagues;
      5 for her sins are piled up to heaven,
      and God has remembered her crimes.
      6 Give back to her as she has given;
      pay her back double for what she has done.
      Pour her a double portion from her own cup.
      7 Give her as much torment and grief
      as the glory and luxury she gave herself.
      In her heart she boasts,
      ‘I sit enthroned as queen.
      I am not a widow;
      I will never mourn.’

      8 Therefore in one day her plagues will overtake her:
      death, mourning and famine.
      She will be consumed by fire,
      for mighty is the Lord God who judges her. Threefold Woe Over Babylon’s Fall

      9 “When the kings of the earth who committed adultery with her and shared her luxury see the smoke of her burning, they will weep and mourn over her. 10 Terrified at her torment, they will stand far off and cry:

      “‘Woe! Woe to you, great city,
      you mighty city of Babylon!
      In one hour your doom has come!’

      11 “The merchants of the earth will weep and mourn over her because no one buys their cargoes anymore— 12 cargoes of gold, silver, precious stones and pearls; fine linen, purple, silk and scarlet cloth; every sort of citron wood, and articles of every kind made of ivory, costly wood, bronze, iron and marble; 13 cargoes of cinnamon and spice, of incense, myrrh and frankincense, of wine and olive oil, of fine flour and wheat; cattle and sheep; horses and carriages; and human beings sold as slaves.

      14 “They will say, ‘The fruit you longed for is gone from you. All your luxury and splendor have vanished, never to be recovered.’ 15 The merchants who sold these things and gained their wealth from her will stand far off, terrified at her torment. They will weep and mourn 16 and cry out:

      “‘Woe! Woe to you, great city,
      dressed in fine linen, purple and scarlet,
      and glittering with gold, precious stones and pearls!
      17 In one hour such great wealth has been brought to ruin!’

      “Every sea captain, and all who travel by ship, the sailors, and all who earn their living from the sea, will stand far off. 18 When they see the smoke of her burning, they will exclaim, ‘Was there ever a city like this great city?’ 19 They will throw dust on their heads, and with weeping and mourning cry out:

      “‘Woe! Woe to you, great city,
      where all who had ships on the sea
      became rich through her wealth!
      In one hour she has been brought to ruin!’

      20 “Rejoice over her, you heavens!
      Rejoice, you people of God!
      Rejoice, apostles and prophets!
      For God has judged her
      with the judgment she imposed on you.” The Finality of Babylon’s Doom

      21 Then a mighty angel picked up a boulder the size of a large millstone and threw it into the sea, and said:

      “With such violence
      the great city of Babylon will be thrown down,
      never to be found again.

      22 The music of harpists and musicians, pipers and trumpeters,
      will never be heard in you again.
      No worker of any trade
      will ever be found in you again.
      The sound of a millstone
      will never be heard in you again.
      23 The light of a lamp
      will never shine in you again.
      The voice of bridegroom and bride
      will never be heard in you again.
      Your merchants were the world’s important people.
      By your magic spell all the nations were led astray.
      24In her was found the blood of prophets and of God’s holy people,
      of all who have been slaughtered on the earth.”

      Note from Lou:

      Notice that God says, Come out of her, my people....... God's people are not in heathen cults or false religions like Islam, they are in churches that claim to be Christian. This is very sad.


      • #4
        Glen B Smith
        To:Lou Newton

        Jul 31 at 12:05 AM
        Enjoyed this post and your scripture references.
        This question, "Why do we serve the Lord?" is one the Holy Spirit asks of all believers.
        The young woman's perspective of using the body of Christ as a business is appropriately described as spiritual prostitution.
        From this perspective, Revelation 17 &18 become relevant for the Christian life today. It is common to identify the Babylonian harlot as Rome and the Roman Catholic Church. However, stated simply as "using the body of Christ as a business" these chapters point the divine message directly at the prosperous Christian TV broadcasts and wealthy churches and raises the question for all believers, "Why do we serve the Lord?"