Mark 11:23, The Secret to Donald Trump’s Success

donald-trump

 

What I’m about to say isn’t hard to understand, yet I have no doubt it will be misunderstood by the majority of people who read it.

Why?

Because mainstream Christianity has strayed so far from the simple practice of reading the Bible and accepting it, that unless their pre-selected group of pastors or Bible teachers tell them something, no matter how clear it is in the Scriptures, they can’t accept it.

 

We have been told multiple times that this election season will go down as one of the greatest, and strangest upsets in American history.

While political talking heads struggle and scramble to explain the Trump phenomena, there is something all of them (and all of us, for that matter) have missed. And that is the fact that the universe is governed not only by physical laws, it’s also governed by spiritual laws. One of which Jesus tells us about in Mark 11:23

 

Whoever should say to this mountain, “be removed and be cast into the sea” and shall not doubt in his heart, but shall believe that those things which he says will come to pass, he will have whatever he says.

 

I’ve been watching Trump (who hasn’t, right?). But not for the same reasons most have. After a while of listening to what he was saying, I noticed the level of confidence he has is almost unprecedented in any other human being I’ve come across. So I told my wife six or seven months ago that I suspected there was more at work here than just a guy running for president.

As many of you may or may not know, as a child, Trump’s pastor was Norman Vincent Peale, author of the famous book, “The Power of Positive Thinking.” Mr. Trump has accredited his worldview, and accomplishments heavily to what he learned from this man.

While watching Donald this campaign season, time after time you have seen confessions of victory in the face of contradicting circumstances.

 

MEDIA: “Your numbers among hispanics are down, what are you going to do to get them up?”

TRUMP: “Hispanics love me.”

MEDIA:”Your numbers among women have never been lower.”

TRUMP: “No one respects women like I do. And I’m doing great with them. They love me.”

MEDIA: “You have the highest unfavorable ratings of any candidate.”

TRUMP: “I’m gonna win, and I’m gonna win big. And we’re going to make America Great Again.”

No matter the stat, or poll, The Donald has remained unmoved and has stood steadfast in confidence about what he will do. While it’s not uncommon for presidential candidates to say delusional things, there seems to be a difference, here. Trump really believes it, and circumstances over time seem to somehow align with what he has said.

 

New Age, and Christians Who Don’t Read the Bible

As previously mentioned, we unfortunately have a lot of Christians who don’t understand this, and never will because they have decided the Bible needs layers of theological commentaries in order to clarify it’s meaning. So when they come across Mark 11:23, they just can’t accept it. There’s gotta be some hat trick to it that will essentially convert it’s meaning to, “It’s not as incredible as it sounds. Relax, and go back to being normal.”

People can explain it any way they want, but in a nutshell, that is the outcome of both our interpretations of Mark 11:23, and the majority of other spectacular claims made in the Bible.

And when you don’t understand something, human nature is, and always has been, to fear it, and label it as evil. So people say it’s of the devil. It’s New Age. It’s demonic, etc. But regardless of what you think it is, God created the principle, and it still works. 

Others say, “It’s a man- centered false doctrine.”

Boloney.

Pardon my directness, but I will tell you what a man-centered false doctrine looks like: When you down play the words of Christ in order to retain a false sense of humility.

True humility accepts what God says, and practices it, instead of sweeping it under the rug for fear of what mainstream Christianity will think of you.

For Those Who Want to Understand It

The context of Jesus’ words about speaking, and having, was the cursing of a fig tree. As many of us are aware, Jesus walked up to a fig tree one day, found that it had no figs, and responded by saying to it, “let no man ever eat from you again.” When the disciples saw that the tree had withered, they were shocked. This is when Jesus said, “If you have faith, not only will you be able to do what was done to the fig tree, but . . . Whosoever shall say unto this mountain, be removed and be cast into the sea, and shall not doubt in his heart but shall believe that the things he says will come to pass he will have whatever he says.”

Many argue that this would never work for Donald Trump because he isn’t a Christian. Firstly, I don’t know if he is a Christian or not. In my opinion, he is certainly more honest than a lot of Christians I know (but I digress). Assuming he wasn’t, this principle is not just for Christians. Jesus did not say “Whichever Christian should say . . .” He said, “whoever.” —-That’s anybody.

It works for saved and unsaved, alike. Short, tall, skinny, fat. Arrogant. Bad hair. It’s whosoever.

Now, ready to be shocked?

Jesus never said faith in God was required for this to work.

He actually tells you what you have to believe in in order for it to work. And what he said was, “believe that those things which he says shall come to pass.” Belief that it will actually work. That what you say will really happen. This is the requirement Jesus put on this principle, and it is unfortunately why so many Christians can’t understand it. Because they want to turn everything into a generic faith in God. “Just trust God.” But Jesus corrected this type of thinking and told us we need a specific belief in a specific outcome. People don’t like that because it puts responsibility on them, but that’s what it says.

It can also work for good, or it can work for bad.  See, we have over-spiritualized many of these things. We understand, for instance, that God created and gave us our hands. And that our hands can be used for working, for loving, for helping, or for hurting. We live in a world of God-given gifts and principles that we operate in every day. Sometimes we use them for good, sometimes for bad, but they’re all gifts from God. In Mark 11:23 Jesus tells us another gift God has given to us, and He tells us how to use it. Christians get confused and think because it’s abstract that it must be some weird isolated concept from the rest of the physical world we live in. But it isn’t.

I’ve used this principle all my life and I know hundreds of people who have as well. I’m not perfect, of course, so there have been times I tried to use it and failed. But I could tell you story after story of miraculous outcomes from operating in Mark 11:23.

Will Trump Be President?

My guess is that he will.

He has spent his life practicing and developing the concepts of Mark 11:23 much like a musician does on an instrument. The end result is an uncommon level of success.

Even with all the odds against him, he has consistently risen above them.

Many are concerned that if he gets elected, he will ruin the country.

My opinion?

He has said all along that he will make America Great Again, and I think that he truly believes it.

A Different Perspective On The Creflo Dollar Debacle

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Many are running to criticize Creflo Dollar because he asked for donations for an extremely expensive jet. But criticism is a thin line to walk and before you do it, you have to be sure you have all the right information.

 

The Rundown

 

So here’s a rundown of things we know about the situation . . .

1. We know he wasn’t telling the truth about the necessity for it in order to meet the needs of his schedule.

 

 

. . .  Wait, no we don’t.

 

2. Alright fine. But we do know he is being greedy.

 

 

. . . No, we don’t actually do.

Attempting to measure greed in another person is extremely difficult. You may be greedy for feeling like you needed the computer/iPad/Whatever that you’re using right this moment to view this article. You may be greedy for wanting to have a nicer car.

Now, I’m willing to  concede that these examples are much  less expensive than what he was asking for, but is that how you measure greed? By the amount of money something costs?

While we may feel there is evidence of greed here, we don’t know for certain.

 

3. Maybe so. But we know he isn’t sorry for what he asked for and doesn’t see it as a mistake.

 

 

. . . Um . . . . Still wrong.

Evidence that he does could be the fact that he took down the video.

 

4. We know he had wrong motivations for asking.

 

. . . And where do you keep your crystal ball?

 

5. Okay, okay. But we definitely know everything that was said in the video so there is absolutely no chance that things have been taken out of context.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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No.

In fact, at this point, we can’t even be positive there was ever a video.

 

In Summation . . .

As you can see, we have quite a strong case for why it was necessary to attack this man.

By the way, is that how this whole, “being a Christian” thing works? We pounce on one another when we make a mistake (assuming this was a mistake)?

. . . Really?

Some argue, “he is a public figure so its okay to talk bad about him.”

It is? And what Scripture says its okay to talk trash about men of God in high rankings of leadership?

I can think of quite a few that say not to speak evil of one another. Not to sow division among the brethren. But I can’t think of one that says we are supposed  to talk crap about leaders—even when they have done something wrong.

Others will claim they’re issuing a rebuke to Creflo.

Come on, now.

Creflo isn’t following you on Twitter, reading your Facebook feed, or subscribed to your YouTube channel.

There is a word for talking negative about people when they are not present . . . And it ain’t, rebuke.

Now, here’s what we really do know: the Bible tells us that love rejoices in the truth. It’s always willing to believe the best about every person. It covers a multitude of sins.

Gossip, backbiting, sectarianism, and division are all works of the flesh.

Since we don’t know the man’s heart, why don’t we all take a moment to analyze the one we do?

God Wants You Wealthy: An FAQ On One of the Most Controversial Issues in the Body of Christ

 

 

 

 

The Bible teaches that God wants His children to be wealthy (not necessarily millionaires, please don’t misunderstand me—but wealthy. ie, To have an abundant supply enough to meet all their needs, and more left over).

 

Let’s begin.

 


Objection/Question

“All the first century Christians including the apostles were poor and struggled to get even the most basic of necessities.”

ANSWER:

A few things about this:

Firstly, this isn’t entirely true. There were Christians in the early church who lived in abundance  (1Tim 6:17).  Paul had his moments as well (Phil 4:18).

Secondly, I’m going to say something that I have never heard anyone else say on this subject: Aclose examination of the Bible will reveal that the only instances poverty was condoned were in connection to persecution or the preaching of the Gospel.

See, the modern Western world of Christianity is vastly different from that of first century Christianity. Back then, many believers were being put to death. They were run out of their homes and cities and forced to live in hiding. Many were stripped of all worldly possessions and thrown in prison.

Why? Because they had low paying jobs? Because of a recession? Because of a bad economy? No. It was because of their faith in Christ and the preaching of the Gospel.

So here’s the thing—If that is why a believer is struggling financially, neither I nor any prosperity teacher I know would have a beef with that type of a situation. Persecution is a mark of the Christian and the Scriptures are crystal clear on that.

But let’s get back to the original objection—- if we wanted to do a comparison between Western Christianity, and First Century Christianity, we would need to be fair and ask the question like this: If there were no persecution, and early Christians were practicing the wealth-building principles of the book of Proverbs by working hard, spending responsibly, and being charitable, would most of thembe poverty stricken?

When put in this light, a whole new perspective arises, doesn’t it?

The thing is, we really don’t have that sample to draw from when it comes to the New Testament. As previously mentioned, early believers were under severe persecution which led to severe poverty. The closest thing we would have for an accurate comparison is the Old Testament. Here, followers of Jehovah had periods of time where they were under no persecution. And when we study these instances, what we find is a pretty consistent pattern of prosperity.

 

 

Objection/Question:

“Proponents of the Prosperity Gospel are out to get money. They twist the Word of God in order to make the preaching of the Gospel a money making venture.”

ANSWER:

I can’t argue this. I have seen it many times. However, the old saying, “Don’t throw the baby out with the bath water” applies here. There will always be bad examples in Christianity for ANY doctrine. So we need to be fair and look at the idea itself, apart from any of it’s abuses.

 

 

Objection/Question:

“These teachers wouldn’t dare spread such a message in third world countries where people are severely poverty stricken.”

ANSWER:

Actually, I think you’ll find this message is often even more wide spread in these types of countries than it is here, in America. I’ve spoken to multiple missionaries who tell me this is the case.

Really, if it’s in the Bible, then it needs to be preached everywhere, regardless of outward circumstances, or popularity.

 

 

Objection/Question:

“If God wants us rich why are there so many poor, struggling Christians? And why does it seem it is only working for these Faith Teachers?”

ANSWER:

Let’s broaden this scope a bit to include anything that God wants for us. When we do, we find that most Christians are not living up to their potential in MANY areas. They are depressed, divorced, struggling with multiple sins and bad habits. None of these are God’s Will yet MOST believers find themselves still in bondage to them.  Why would we assume that the fact that God wants us rich and prosperous would somehow work automatically when these other things don’t?

As far as the, “faith teachers” who it seems to work for—- Again, you have to think of this like any other topic. How would you like to hear a pastor teach about being free from lust while he is committing adultery? Or a Bible teacher on having the joy of the Lord while he is miserable? Or someone else talk on witnessing to the lost when he has never led someone to the Lord?

We view a person as an authority in any field in which they are able to achieve an uncommon level of success. There is nothing suspicious or underhanded about leaders leading by example.

 

 

Objection/Question

“People who see you driving expensive cars and living in big houses will be motivated by the wrong reasons to get saved.”

ANSWER:

First of all, our duty is to preach the Word of God regardless of what motivates people to get saved. Secondly, one could argue that Peter was motivated by the wrong reason to follow Christ in Luke 5 after Jesus blessed His fishing business so much so that his boat almost sank. Yet, even though he had experienced, “divine prosperity” it still caused him to realize he was a sinner and needed Jesus (vs 8). Same with those who believed and followed Jesus after He multiplied the fish and loaves (John 6:26). Regardless, what some may consider, “the wrong reason” could be the only way some may realize their need for salvation and follow Jesus.

 

 

Objection/Question

“The Bible says the love of money is the root of all evil.”

ANSWER: That’s true. It’s very wrong and very destructive to pursue money or to be greedy. It’s unbiblical to elevate anything or anyone above a personal relationship with Jesus Christ and our allegiance to Him.

 

 

Objection/Question

“Jesus said don’t lay up treasures for yourself here on earth.”

ANSWER:

This passage actually presents a problem for the non Prosperity crowd more than it does Word of Faith people. Because if you’re WOF, you believe God has provided for you riches. So you’re not laying up anything. It’s a gift God has given you and you are simply RECEIVING it.  On the other hand, if you don’t believe God wants you to be rich and that you shouldn’t be storing up for yourself  treasures,  then what are you doing with a bank account?

 

 

Objection/Question

“The Bible says to be content with just food and clothing.”

ANSWER:

This is another of what I call, “self hanging” arguments. In other words, the passage challenges more than just what is known as the, “Prosperity Gospel.” Because if you live in America and have a computer, car, tv, iPhone, iPad, etc then we must ask, Are you being content with just food and clothing? And why are you saving up all that money for a vacation?

 

 

Objection/Question

“Jesus told the rich young ruler to sell all he had before he could follow Him.”

ANSWER:

He also told Zacchaeus (another rich man) nothing of the sort (Lk 19:2-5). So what should we take away from these stories?  If it’s that we should not put riches before God—- I agree. If it’s that we should sell all we have and follow Jesus—-lead the way, chief.

You first.

 

 

Objection/Question

“There just isn’t any solid biblical evidence for this doctrine.”

ANSWER:

Well that depends on what you mean by, “solid biblical evidence.” All I can do is tell you what the Bible plainly says. To me, that’s solid. I get that there are other criteria many of us look at. Commentaries, digging around in the original languages, etc. Those are all fine and good (heck, what you’re reading now could technically qualify as Bible commentary) but at the end of the day, the emphasis should be on what the Bible says. Not on what we think it says. Not on what we think it means, or what others say about it, but what God Himself, actually wrote down for us.

So here are a handful of my personal favorite passages on the subject.

By humility and the fear of the Lord are riches, and honor, and life

(Proverbs 22:4 KJV)

 

Through wisdom is a house built. And by understanding it is established. And by knowledge shall the chambers be filled with all precious and pleasant riches.

(Proverbs 24:3-4 KJV)

 

Wealth gotten by vanity shall be diminished, but he that gathers by labor shall increase.

(Proverbs 13:11 KJV)

 

“Jesus said, “Truly, I say to you, there is no one who has left house or brothers or sisters or mother or father or children or lands, for my sake and for the gospel, who will not receive a hundredfold NOW IN THIS TIMEhouses and brothers and sisters and mothers and children and lands, with persecutions, and in the age to come eternal life.”

(Mark 10:29, 30 ESV)

 

For you know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, that though He was rich, yet for your sakes He became poor, that you through His poverty might become rich.

(2 Corinthians 8:9 NKJV)

 

Command those who are rich in this present age not to be haughty, nor to trust in uncertain riches but in the living God, who gives us RICHLY ALL THINGS TO ENJOY

(1 Timothy 6:17 NKJV)

 

Therefore let no one boast in men. For ALL things are yours: whether  . . . THE WORLD or life or death, or THINGS PRESENT or things to come ALL are yours.

(1 Corinthians 3:21, 22 NKJV)

 

And if you’re tempted to doubt what is included when the Bible says, “ALL” in the above verses, this passage has always helped me to keep from trying to put a lid on it . . .

He who did not spare His own Son, but delivered Him up for us all, how shall He not with Him also freely give us all things?

(Romans 8:32 NKJV)

 

Conclusion

 

At this point, I’d like to open the floor to hear from you.

What are you thoughts on this subject?

Would early Christians have prospered if not for persecution?

What is your take-away from Jesus’ words to the rich young ruler?

How does one avoid laying up treasures here on earth?

Should God’s Will for prosperity be expected to work automatically when His Will in so many other areas of our lives does not?

 

Why Your Suffering is Probably Your Fault

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The story of the man born blind in the Gospels is pretty well known. We often think of it as a demonstration of how clueless the disciples were concerning spiritual things–Actually having the audacity to ask Jesus whose sin was responsible for making him blind.

What kind of jerky theology would hold people accountable for their disabilities?

Well . . . The Bible.

I know that it makes us feel really compassionate to read this passage and think, “Well, DUH. Of course no one was responsible.” But that may be us reading through the lenses of our American Christian Goggles more than anything else.

The question the disciples asked Jesus was actually pretty legit. We probably don’t think of it that way because we have never had a well rounded Bible lesson on this topic.

Both Old and New Testaments draw a correlation between our overall health and our choices. (Deut 28: 15-35, Psalm 119:67, John 5:8, 9, 14, 1 Cor 11:29-30).

That is not to say  that every time someone gets hurt, sick, or is born with some disability that its because they sinned (sinning before you are born? Don’t expect an answer from me about that . . . I have no idea.)

What I am pointing out, however, is that we have probably overused this passage (along with Job) to relieve ourselves from taking responsibility where we should have. It’s become our Go-To-Scripture of defense as for why sometimes things just, “happen.” Our Ol’ Stand-By used for knocking down straw men that we erect. Like the commonly referred to fanatical preacher who accuses sick people of not repenting for their sins . . . You know . . .  The one who no one really seems to have ever actually met . . . Or know the name of . . . Or . . . Come to think of it, know anything about other than that he’s out there–lurking.

It is true that with this instance in the Gospel of John, the man had not sinned. It’s also true that neither had Job. But the rest of the Bible has a whole lot more to say on this subject than just these stories. We often ignore passages that are clear and addressed to a broad audience (us)  in favor of  uncertain applications that are forcefully deduced from biblical accounts.

This is a practice in Bible interpretation that continues to bewilder me. We take an event that occurred once or twice, and we set it up as the Golden Standard by which we will evaluate any similar situation happening now or moving forward . . . Which, I wouldn’t completely disagree with if we were actually consistent with it. But we’re not. Both Job and the blind man were healed. If we are going to use this as some sort of template for our own suffering, then we must expect to be healed . . . But we don’t.

In the scientific community, this is what they would refer to as, wonky science. A little bit fishy. A little sloppy. And wreaks of a doctrine that was arrived at by emotion, and not actual Scripture.

As previously stated,  not saying every suffering person out there is an evil sinner. Only that the Scriptures give us a little bit more responsibility in these matters than we often care to accept.

 

God’s Not a Socialist

 

Funny how some Christians believe God is a kind of socialist and probably don’t even realize it. They think that if a believer has a lot of money, the percentage they give to charities, missions etc, should be higher than a Christian who doesn’t. Even though the the wealthy ends up giving more than a Christian who makes less, they are still viewed as greedy because of what they have left over.

Why is that? Because people are not judging the situation based on numbers, they’re judging it based on how it appears. The perception is, “This guy’s got too much money. Look, he went out and bought himself a BMW and a Mercedes. That money could have been used to feed starving children or missions! All I’ve got is a Honda.”

Translation=

“I don’t want him to have more than me. His ‘leftover’ money is more than my ‘leftover’ money. And even though I sometimes spend my money on frivolous things, they’re still less expensive than the frivolous things he spends his money on.”

That, my friend, is socialism. You are not outraged at his lack of giving. You are outraged that he’s got more than you. You want him to give and give and give until he can’t afford his Mercedes and BMW and has to go out and buy a Honda.

There are obvious issues with this type of thinking. One of which is the complete subjectiveness of it all. What happens when we leave out the guy with the Mercedes and compare you to someone who only has a Ford? Now you become the greedy one. And what happens when the guy with the Ford is compared to someone with a bicycle? And we’re only talking within the economy of America. I’d venture to say all of us are living above and beyond people in mud huts in third world countries.

The whole thing is nonsense.

The book of Proverbs is full of practical advice on how to work hard, honor God, and (gasp) make a lot of money.

Don’t let someone make you feel guilty concerning what you give or how much money you make. There is a good chance you probably give about the same percentage, or even more, than they do.

Give to the poor. Give to the ministry. As much as you have decided in your heart. But also, enjoy the fruits of your labor (Eccl 9:9).

Never thought I’d say this but . . . Haters gonna hate.