Mammon Merchandising Maestro
Is the wisdom of God for sale? Mike Murdock would have you believe so, and he is just the man to sell it to you. But when has anyone ever seen that arrangement in the Scriptures? Did Jesus Christ, the Head of all true believers and Wisdom Incarnate, behave that way? Let's consult with God, not with man, on His way of giving us His gifts.
“And in their desire for profit they will come to you with words of deceit, like traders doing business in souls: whose punishment has been ready for a long time and their destruction is watching for them” (2 Peter 2:3 BBE).
Mike Murdock, mercenary par excellence, sells “wisdom” for money. “Give me money,” he sings, day in and day out. “I have wisdom, you have money; give me your money, and I’ll send you a gift, precious partner. I am so excited about getting your $58 dollar gift, so I can send you the gifts the Lord has put on my heart. As long as your gift more than pays for mine, I’m good with that – very good, praise God!”
And he cries out, “Of course, who can put a value on wisdom? Sow your seed of money to me, and I will give you treasure beyond measure for my pleasure. How’s that, precious pecuniary partner?”
While Isaiah cries out:
“Ho, everyone who thirsts, come to the waters; and he who has no money, come, buy and eat. Yea, come, buy wine and milk without money and without price. Why do you weigh silver for what is not bread? and your labor for what never satisfies? Listen carefully to Me, and eat what is good, and let your soul delight itself in fatness” (Isaiah 55:1-2 MKJV).
Jesus took a whip to merchandisers, as He drove them out of the Temple:
“And He said to those who sold doves, Take these things away from here. Do not make My Father’s house a house of merchandise” (John 2:16 MKJV).
Will “Doctor” Murdock share all his “wisdom” with you free of charge, as commanded? Jesus said to His disciples, “Heal the sick, cleanse the lepers, raise the dead, cast out demons. You have received freely, freely give. Do not provide gold nor silver, nor copper in your purses, nor a bag for the journey, nor two coats, nor sandals, nor staves. For the workman is worthy of his food” (Matthew 10:8-10 MKJV).
The subtle serpent is never caught without “wisdom” to defend his ways. After all, of him it is written:
“Now the serpent was more cunning than any beast of the field which the LORD God had made” (Genesis 3:1 MKJV).
The merchandiser has his rationale. “We’re operating a ministry! We’re reaching the lost! We’re providing a crucial service to the world for the Lord! It costs money to advertise, record, staff, equip, print, televise, and mail! And you need to ‘sow your seed’ – what better thing to do than to pay me for wisdom?”
Does wisdom need to be sold? Are there no men of God giving their substance freely today? Whether men of God or otherwise, there are multitudes of websites who freely offer what they have. Many make a point of not charging. Not Mike. Mike needs money! Mike loves money! Mike milks you – he milks and milks you for all you’ve got or are willing to give.
Mike, maybe mammon makes more misery, do you think? It does! I know, because I’ve been there, living for mammon; though, by God’s mercy, I have not sold His spiritual treasure for mammon. Not that it matters; we have all been guilty one way or another. But now the Lord gives me to confront a manifest merchandiser of God’s goods (perverted as they are) in God’s Name.
Does wisdom need to be sold? She declares otherwise:
Proverbs 1:20-23 MKJV
(20) Wisdom cries outside; she utters her voice in the streets;
(21) she cries in the chief place of gathering, in the openings of the gates; in the city she utters her words, saying,
(22) How long will you love simplicity, simple ones? And will scorners delight in their scorning? And will fools hate knowledge?
(23) Turn at my warning; behold, I will pour out my Spirit to you; I will make my words known to you.
Does God send forth men to sell wisdom?
“For the LORD gives wisdom; out of His mouth come knowledge and understanding. He lays up sound wisdom for the righteous; He is a shield to those who walk uprightly” (Proverbs 2:6-7 MKJV).
“The fear of the LORD is the beginning of knowledge; but fools despise wisdom and instruction” (Proverbs 1:7 MKJV).
Does anyone think he can actually buy wisdom? Of such a one, the Lord says:
“Why is there a price in the hand of a fool to get wisdom, since he has no heart for it?” (Proverbs 17:16 MKJV)
The Lord sends forth men to speak and to give wisdom. Those who repent and believe, though with empty pockets, receive. Which of the prophets, apostles, pastors, or saints does one find in Scripture selling spiritual gifts and services? Not one. A couple of men come to mind who tried it, however.
Gehazi, Elisha’s servant:
2 Kings 5:20-27 MKJV
(20) And Gehazi, the servant of Elisha the man of God, said, Behold, my master has spared Naaman the Syrian, in not receiving at his hand that which he brought. But, as the LORD lives, I will run after him and take something from him.
(21) And Gehazi followed after Naaman. And Naaman saw him running after him, and descended down from the chariot to meet him. And he said, Is all well?
(22) And he said, All is well. My master has sent me, saying, Behold, this now, two young men from Mount Ephraim of the sons of the prophets have come to me. Please give them a talent of silver and two changes of clothing.
(23) And Naaman said, Be content, take two talents. And he urged him and bound two talents of silver in two bags, with two changes of clothing. And he laid them on two of his servants. And they carried them before him.
(24) And he came to the hill, and he took from their hand and stowed them in the house. And he let the men go, and they departed.
(25) And he went in and stood before his master. And Elisha said to him, Where from, Gehazi? And he said, Your servant did not go here or there.
(26) And he said to him, Did not my heart go with you when the man turned again from his chariot to meet you? Is it a time to receive silver and to receive clothing and olive-yards and vineyards and sheep and oxen and menservants and maidservants?
(27) And the leprosy of Naaman shall cling to you and to your seed forever. And he went out from his presence as leprous as snow.
Oh, the price of presuming to serve God while serving mammon!
Now please note that Naaman had freely offered gifts; Elisha and Gehazi did not solicit them. The offerings were Naaman’s idea; he wasn’t coerced into giving. Neither was he asked to sow a financial “seed” in order to receive a blessing, as Murdock incessantly asks one to do. Indeed, even after the miracle was performed, Elisha refused Naaman’s gift of gratitude and honor for healing:
“And [Naaman, the healed leper] returned to the man of God, he and all his company. And he came and stood before him. And he said, Behold, now I know that there is no God in all the earth, but in Israel. And now please take a blessing from your servant. But he said, As the LORD lives, before Whom I stand, I will receive none. And he urged him to take it, but [Elisha] refused” (2 Kings 5:15-16 MKJV).
Then there was Simon, who associated mammon with the gift of God:
Acts 8:5-24 MKJV
(5) And Philip went down to the city of Samaria and proclaimed Christ to them [without charge or request of gifts of “seed faith,” no doubt].
(6) And the people with one accord gave heed to those things which Philip spoke, hearing and seeing the many miracles which he did.
(7) For out of those having unclean spirits, many came out, crying with loud voice. And many who had been paralyzed and lame were healed.
(8) And there was great joy in that city.
(9) But a certain man called Simon had long been conjuring in the city, and amazing the nation of Samaria, claiming himself to be some great one.
(10) All gave heed to him, from the least to the greatest, saying, This one is the great power of God.
(11) And they were paying attention to him, because for a long time he had amazed them with conjuring.
(12) But when they believed Philip preaching the gospel, the things concerning the Kingdom of God and the Name of Jesus Christ, they were baptized, both men and women.
(13) Then Simon himself believed also, and being baptized, he continued with Philip. And seeing miracles and mighty works happening, he was amazed.
(14) And the apostles in Jerusalem hearing that Samaria had received the Word of God, they sent Peter and John to them;
(15) who when they had come down, prayed for them that they might receive the Holy Spirit.
(16) For as yet He had not fallen on any of them, they were baptized only in the Name of the Lord Jesus.
(17) Then they laid their hands on them, and they received the Holy Spirit.
(18) And when Simon saw that the Holy Spirit was given through laying on of the apostles’ hands, he offered them money,
(19) saying, Give me this power also, that on whomever I lay hands, he may receive the Holy Spirit.
(20) But Peter said to him, May your silver perish with you, because you have thought that the gift of God may be purchased with money.
(21) You have neither part nor lot in this matter, for your heart is not right in the sight of God.
(22) Therefore repent of this wickedness of yours, and pray God if perhaps the thought of your heart may be forgiven you.
(23) For I see that you are in the gall of bitterness and in the bond of iniquity.
(24) And answering Simon said, You pray to the Lord for me that none of these things which you have spoken may come on me.
People, we have no doubt that when God sends someone forth to preach on His behalf, He provides. There is no need to ask anyone to finance preaching, because He pays the wages to His workers and is more than generous with His servants:
“Go! Behold, I send you forth as lambs among wolves. Carry neither purse nor bag nor sandals” (Luke 10:3-4 MKJV).
They went as commanded, and when they returned, He asked them:
“When I sent you without purse and wallet and sandals, did you lack anything? And they said, Nothing” (Luke 22:35 MKJV).
Isn’t it wonderful to know that He picks up the tab and we needn’t ask any man for help? As Paul exhorts:
“Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God [not men]. And the peace of God which passes all understanding shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus” Philippians 4:6-7 MKJV).
In 1974, God taught me by practical experience through two disappointing events not to ask, or depend upon, any man for any kind of support. From that day forward, I never did. In 1984, the Lord told me that if I took care of His concerns, He would take care of mine – I would have nothing to worry about.
Well, I must confess I have spent much time since then worrying and stewing about financial and other matters. I’m ashamed to admit it, but… He never let us down – God faithfully kept His promise in spite of me.
“If we do not believe Him, yet He remains faithful; He cannot deny Himself” (2 Timothy 2:13 MKJV).
We’ve been in some tight spots, but He came through every time, no exceptions whatsoever. We were always provided for – in every need we had and then some. Not only so, but He said to me, “I will give you whatever you may need or want, and I’ll cover for losses and mistakes.” He has done so! Oh, glory to God, in spite of my horrible unbelief, He has done so to this very hour, since 1973 when I first believed and even before!
Mike, stop worshipping mammon. Drop it all like red hot coals in your bare hands. Put away your merchandising ways. Let God receive the glory. You didn’t buy the wisdom of God with money and you can’t sell it for money.
God and God alone gives wisdom. Rich men can’t buy it, poor men can’t beg it, no one can sell it, and truly, no man can even give it away. Only His grace avails us of it. Those who buy wisdom with money buy something else, and those who sell it for money sell something else. It is not the wisdom of God. Like love, wisdom is not for sale.
Are my words those of a mean, critical, unbelieving, divisive troublemaker, or have I spoken the wisdom of God here? Who will hear, know, believe, repent, and avail themselves of Him Who is wisdom, and prosper?