Did Jesus command Christians to sell everything? - Bible Q&A

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Question 20

 Did Jesus command Christians to sell everything?

All right, here we are. Question number 20. I'm Michael Pearl and we are here at The Door answering your questions.


"In Luke 12, Jesus commanded that disciples ought to sell everything and not to worry about the food, clothing for tomorrow. The message is direct to the disciples and not to the multitude, general population. What is the difference between the disciples and general Christians? Are those commandments for every believer or for those who have a special calling?"

Well, he has a strong opinion about the passage. He said this was just to the disciples and wants to know if it still applies to all people who have a special calling today or if it applies to everybody in general.


Now let's look at the passage. Luke 10:3-8 "To go your ways, behold, I send you forth as lambs among wolves. Carry neither purse nor script, nor shoes, and salute no man by the way. Under whatsoever house you enter first say, "Peace be to this house." And if the son of peace be there, your peace shall rest upon you. If not, it shall return to you again. In the same house remain, eating and drinking such things as they give you, for the laborer is worthy of his hire. Go not from house to house. And under whatsoever city, you enter and they receive you, eat such things as are set before you."  Now he's sending them out, the disciples, to commission them and he tells them what to do.

Now continues in Luke 12:28. "If then God so clothed the grass, which is today in the field and tomorrow's cast in the oven, how much more he clothed you, O you of little faith, and seek not what you shall eat nor what you shall drink. Neither be you of doubtful mind for all these things do the nations of the world seek after, for your father knoweth that you have need of these things, but rather seek you first the kingdom of God and all these things shall be added unto you. Fear not little flock, for it is your father's good pleasure to give you the kingdom. Sell that you have and give alms. Provide yourselves bags which wax not old, a treasure in the heaven that faileth not, where no thief approaches, neither moth corrupteth."

What Was Jesus Telling them?

Now if this were just to preachers and missionaries, then here's what it says to preachers and missionaries. He said, "Do not carry a billfold with you nor any books or writing material or computers or notepads and don't carry any shoes. And when you go someplace, don't stay at a motel. Stay in the house that takes you in and eat whatever they put without asking any questions. Don't go from house to house and stay there. And don't worry about your clothes because God feeds the grass and takes care of them. But just seek first the kingdom of God and sell everything you own and give it to the poor people. And you'll have treasure that doesn't wax old or fade away." That's what he taught.

Now, if he's just talking to preachers, I'm in trouble. If he's talking to Christians, I'm still in trouble because I haven't done all that. I've got on a pair of shoes tonight, very nice ones. Got them on the internet for $10, some of those used ones, but they're great shoes. SAS, in fact, $160 shoes for $10. I shouldn't have told you that. You'll be trying to outbid me, but my size is 13, send them in if you want, along with the cards and the offerings. Love SAS shoes. They're good on my feet. Now I have a billfold too here in my pocket and probably got a hundred bucks in it. And he is told you, "Don't slew to anybody when you go." In other words, "Don't say hi, how you doing?" Just ignore them and walk right on. Well, this wouldn't make a very good megachurch preacher, would it?

Who is he talking to?

So who's he talking to? Well, he's talking to everybody. He's talking to all the Christians of that day, talking to disciples too. This is Christianity in that day. This is what it meant to be a disciple of Jesus Christ because this was the kingdom of heaven they're preparing for. This was not the kingdom of God. This was a mandate for that time that was mandated. It's not a mandate for today. I'm going to prove it to you with scripture. It was not a mandate. It was a mandate for that time.

Now, same book of Luke, where we just read all those passages, 10 chapters later, Luke 22:35, Jesus is going to die in just a few hours. About less than 12 hours, he's going to die. "And he said unto them, 'When I sent you without purse and script and shoes, lack ye anything?'"

So he's recalling that three years earlier when he sent them out by two to preach and gave them this mandate. He said, "When I sent you out like that, did you lack anything? Did God provide for you?" "Yes, nothing," they said, "We didn't lack anything."

Luke 22:36"Then he said unto them,"  That was then, but now. "'He that hath a purse, let him take it with him.'"  He said before, "Don't take your billfold. Don't take your purse." Take it now. "And likewise, his scrip:” Take his script, take your Bible and your books and stuff now. "He that hath no sword, let him sell his garment and buy one."  Now, Jesus sent them out before and he said, "If they smite you on the right cheek, turn the other also. Compel you to go a mile, go with them too."

He said, "Did I take care of you? Did it work?" He said, "Yeah, it did." He said, "I'm telling you right now, you need to go back and get that sword. So if you have one coat, sell it and buy a sword. The sword is more important than the coat right now." So preacher, you ought to have at least one gun for every suit you got. You ought to have a gun before you got a suit according to Jesus, or a knife. A knife will do. But he said, "You need a sword." Here's what they responded.

A Different set of Rules

Luke 22:37"For I say unto you that this that was written must yet be accomplished in me. And he was reckoned among the transgressors: for the things concerning me have an end."  He said, "I'm going to die." 

So that's the reason he changed it around. He'd offered them the kingdom of heaven. You need to get my book, the Kingdom of God and the Kingdom of Heaven, they are calledEight Kingdoms”  because it discusses this. It's very clear to you in scriptures, Jesus came offering a kingdom of heaven, which did not come because they rejected the king and crucified him. So with the king dead, the rules for the kingdom of heaven were set aside. And now we live under different set of rules, not the kingdom of heaven. We're not under that. We're now under the kingdoms of this world with Satan, the God of this world. And you need to stay armed and prepared for self-defense, need to have money in your pocket, need to keep your books, your literature. The government may try to take away from you. So this is a time, not like that time, this is a time where you have to use self-defense and survival techniques. So it is very interesting, isn't it?

Luke 22:38 The disciples said, “Lord, behold, we have two swords.'"  So they were already carrying. Two of them were already carrying, 10 of them weren't. Actually, there's only 11 one of them there at the time. So that means nine of them weren't carrying, two of them were. So they hadn't given up their self-defense completely. They were a little backsliding there. In that time and age, they were supposed to trust in God to preserve them or die a martyr's death. And they said, 'Lord, we've got two swords here.' He said, 'That's enough.' For the time being, that was enough. They were only going to need one that night, only one ear going to be cut off.

And so one of them drew the sword, cut off the ear of Jesus said, put it back in its place because it was time for him to die, not to defend themselves. And so one ear got cut off, the sword got put back in its place. Didn't say, "Get rid of it, don't carry your sword." He said, "Put it back in its place." And so they did.

So that passage of scripture, you'd have to water it down to make it applied today, wouldn't you? How in the world would you water that down, still make it legitimate if it applied to anybody in our day and age? That only applied when there was the expectation that Jesus Christ would be sitting on the throne, ruling and reigning and he would have a government of righteousness and sin would be punished by Jesus Christ and the angels. That never came, that kingdom of heaven never came. Again, get the book, Eight Kingdoms” if you want clarity on that.

Bible teaching with Michael Pearl.
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