Pardon my abruptness in asking that question in the title of this blog entry. In the English language there are many words that sound the same but are spelled just a little differently and their meanings can range from as far as the east is from the west. For instance, there is the word “effect” which means to act upon something, then there is the word “affect,” which means how something was effected. Used in a sentence it would like the following. “They knew that the patient’s medications had an effect because he no longer had a flat affect.”
Another set of words that are often used in error are the words “affluent,” and the word “effluent.” These words are opposite in meaning by way of context. Let’s look at the words first before we go any farther. The word “affluent,” means:
- 1.(especially of a group or area) having a great deal of money; wealthy.“the affluent societies of the western world” synonyms: wealthy, rich, prosperous, well off, moneyed, well-to-do; More
- 2.archaic(of water) flowing freely or in great quantity.
- 1.a tributary stream.
It is quite easy to see that the word “affluent,” means to be rich or wealthy as it is used in our modern vernacular. The scripture is quite clear about the dangers of being rich in what this world considers richness and wealth:
Then said Jesus unto his disciples, Verily I say unto you, That a rich man shall hardly enter into the kingdom of heaven. And again I say unto you, It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle, than for a rich man to enter into the kingdom of God. Matthew 19:23-24
He hath filled the hungry with good things; and the rich he hath sent empty away. Luke 1:53
But woe unto you that are rich! for ye have received your consolation. Luke 6:24
He also that received seed among the thorns is he that heareth the word; and the care of this world, and the deceitfulness of riches, choke the word, and he becometh unfruitful. Matthew 13:22
There are many more scriptures that mention the ills of people having money. It must be emphasized the meaning of Yeshua in regard to a rich man having to pass through “the eye of the needle,” in his discourse is often misunderstood. There was a gate in Jerusalem that was so low that camels entering the city would have to get down on their knees to walk through it. Yeshua wasn’t saying that it is impossible for a rich man to get to heaven, he said that it would take a lot of prayer and circumspection for a rich man to practice in order for him to remain humble enough to get into heaven.
In essence, a rich man who knows and loves Yahweh Yeshua would probably feel a natural inclination to give his money away to the poor and would practice humility so much so that they would be at par with those who are in poverty.
Scripture does talk about a particular form of riches that the believer in Yeshua is supposed to strive for. Let’s take a look at some of them:
O the depth of the riches both of the wisdom and knowledge of God! how unsearchable are his judgments, and his ways past finding out! Romans 11:33
So we see that the riches we are supposed to seek are the wisdom and knowledge of God.
That he would grant you, according to the riches of his glory, to be strengthened with might by his Spirit in the inner man. Ephesians 3:16
We see that the riches that he gives are by Yahweh’s Glory and that they are spiritual in nature, given by His Ruach Ha Kodesh. Yahweh’s riches are incorruptible and are things that will last for eternity, things that will not burn up when Yahweh destroys the universe and replaces it with the New Heaven and New Earth.
And, having made peace through the blood of his cross, by him to reconcile all things unto himself; by him, I say, whether they be things in earth, or things in heaven. And you, that were sometime alienated and enemies in your mind by wicked works, yet now hath he reconciled In the body of his flesh through death, to present you holy and unblameable and unreproveable in his sight: If ye continue in the faith grounded and settled, and be not moved away from the hope of the gospel, which ye have heard, and which was preached to every creature which is under heaven; whereof I Paul am made a minister; Who now rejoice in my sufferings for you, and fill up that which is behind of the afflictions of Christ in my flesh for his body’s sake, which is the church:Whereof I am made a minister, according to the dispensation of God which is given to me for you, to fulfil the word of God; Even the mystery which hath been hid from ages and from generations, but now is made manifest to his saints: To whom God would make known what is the riches of the glory of this mystery among the Gentiles; which is Christ in you, the hope of glory: Whom we preach, warning every man, and teaching every man in all wisdom; that we may present every man perfect in Christ Jesus: Whereunto I also labour, striving according to his working, which worketh in me mightily. Colossians 1:20-29
The richness that we have in Yahweh is that He has redeemed us, He lives inside us, that He is our hope and glory and that we are the revelation of the mystery of Yahweh. And finally, our richness is the peace that we receive from Yahweh Yeshua through the Ruach Ha Kodesh.
Someone once said that this world is all the Hell that the believer in Yeshua will ever see, and it is all the Heaven that those that are perishing will ever experience. It is a sobering thought, but it is true. As we saw in a scripture above, rich people have already received their award. Yes, if they are true believers they will get to heaven and if they were righteous in nature while in this existence they will receive many rewards in heaven. The poor and the destitute however will receive riches that they have never imagined.
But as it is written, Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which God hath prepared for them that love him. But God hath revealed them unto us by his Spirit: for the Spirit searcheth all things, yea, the deep things of God. 1 Corinthians 2:9-10
So we know from the scriptures that while we live in this world, and while we’re waiting for the return of Yeshua or our entering Heaven through natural death, we have various promises that we will have peace and contentment no matter what this world or the god of this world will throw at us. Personally, I have not been allotted the worse life that one could have but my life has not been easy either. However, Yahweh has shown me what to avoid, and what is important. Sometimes I look back on life and note that there were times when I was knocked down a rung or two on the ladder of life and/or I have been knocked down so that I had to get up again. Again, it has not been the best life nor the worse life in worldly terms, but having Yeshua with me 24/7 has made life quite bearable and he has taught me to look at things that the world finds difficult at times that Yahweh wants me to walk through in order to bring me to a fuller relationship with Him.
So we have determined that affluent means to be rich and we have also looked that there are basically two types of rich, one being a worldly rich that Yahweh cautions us about, and a spiritual wealth that we are supposed to seek, and that is imparted to those who truly belong to Yahweh and who seek him earnestly. But what about the effluent aspect of the faith, and if it is effluent, can it even be labeled as faith?
Effluent is defined as:
- liquid waste or sewage discharged into a river or the sea.“the bay was contaminated with the effluent from an industrial plant”
synonyms: (liquid) waste, sewage, waste water, effluvium, outflow, discharge, emission“the effluent from papermaking contains may contaminants”
In essence, if it is a waste product that flows from your home, or from a factory or any other place, it is referred to as effluent. In plumbing terms, it is the waste that comes from sinks, basins, and sinks. If you live in a home that has a septic system you know that you have to be careful with effluent. Certain liquids and solids can interrupt the normal degrading process of effluent. Here in Oregon we sometimes read that an area of the state has received so much rain that the sewage treatment plants that process effluent have overflowed into rivers and/or streams. This causes the authorities to issue warnings to not drink water from or swim in the rivers and streams for a period of time. The rawer the effluent, the worse the contamination.
A few years ago I was sent to San Diego by an employer so that I could teach new employees an operating system to their new hires. On the plane, I was daydreaming about sitting on the beach and swimming in the ocean on my days off. The problem was that the ocean around San Diego has become polluted because of sewage waste (effluent) that was pumped into the water from Tijuana.
Effluent is never a good thing. In a structured environment, effluent is pumped to sewage treatment plants where it is put through a process of chemicals and turbidity that causes solids to fall to the bottom and fresh water to other ponds where it is refined more and more until it is released into a river or ocean. The problem is that there are some compounds that cannot be filtered out because they have a molecular bond to the water or their molecules are so small that they pass through filters that are meant to catch larger matter. We often hear about traces of human medications being found in lakes and rivers, a result of filtration that is not yet available to many sewage treatment plants. The only true way to rid water of contaminants is through distillation or evaporation, both forces involve some work process to accomplish.
It should be noted that in both affluence and effluent some sort of movement is involved. Where affluence is concerned, in the worldly realm, the saying is that you have to work to make money, some say that you have to spend money to make money. Businesses are constantly thinking up new ways to market their items to us because they know that people become tired of the same old thing. Governments think of new ways to tax people simply because taxes are the fuel of the political machine. In essence, some sort of work has to be performed by you and me in order to make a better living for ourselves. The man that decides to choose baseball for his life’s career first joins the minor league until he can prove himself worthy of being called up into the Major Leagues upon which time he starts to make a good living for his family, and if he can play in an extraordinary manner he will receive fame. People with drive have a want to make a name for themselves no matter what work field that comes into the discussion.
There is, however, a problem with the worldly attempt of becoming affluent. The problem is that people tend to take the credit for themselves and they fail to show respect or recognition to the one who allowed them to become affluent, and the sum total of that being it is Yeshua that allows all things to happen. After a time of being affluent, the person that is doing well starts to attribute their success to their own strength, and that is where people get into trouble. Since this is the way of the world, the world tends to recognize self-recognition and applaud it. A good example of this is the current practice of people like Colin Kaepernick and others to kneel in protest during the playing of the National Anthem. Oh, the press holds them up as shining examples of people who speak their mind in protest, but if you were to put them in a room together and ask each one to recite who is the greatest among them they would all fight each other trying to get the recognition that they feel that they have earned.
On the flip-side, a man named J.J. Watt, who plays football for the Houston Texans formed a relief organization for disaster relief for Houston after a recent hurricane ravaged the city receives little recognition. Why is this? Well, the answer is simple. J.J. Watt is using himself to be a funnel to aid other people. His motives are selfless and his purpose is pure. He is using his wealth, fortune and fame to help others, not to bring recognition to himself or some half-baked cause like Black Lives Matter. There is a story in scripture of a rich man that came to Yeshua and who asked to be a disciple of Yeshua. Yeshua asked the man if he kept Torah to which the man replied that he had. Next, Yeshua asked him to sell all of his possessions and give the money to the poor, then he could follow Yeshua. Scripture says that the man went away with a sorrowful heart. The twelve disciples left their livelihood behind and forsook all, most paying in the end with agonizing death for their faith in Yeshua. Affluence is okay if you are willing to give it all away to follow Yeshua when and if they are asked to do so.
Seeking effluent has always been a problem within the Body of Mashiach. One good example of seeking effluent was the case of Judas Iscariot. Judas was chosen by Yeshua to be a follower. He was made the treasurer of Yeshua’s following at that time. I think that Judas knew who Yeshua was but he tried to force Yahweh’s hand in order to make Yeshua into the Lion of Judah rather than the Lamb of Elohim. Judas wanted too see his own aspirations and the aspirations of the zealots of Israel come to fruition, rather than the allowing Yeshua to become the salvation for all of mankind. How many so-called Christians do we see today that treat Yahweh Yeshua as some sort of puppet and/or they pervert Yahweh’s Word in order to attain physical wealth at the expense of hundreds and sometimes hundreds of thousands of followers?
Yeshua made many promises to all of his followers. We are promised peace, love, joy, and abundance. We are promised calm in a time of trouble and we are promised that He will rescue us in times of calamity. Those are the things that we are promised to have in abundance. We are not promised an abundance of earthly things.
Lay not up for yourselves treasures upon earth, where moth and rust doth corrupt, and where thieves break through and steal: But lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust doth corrupt, and where thieves do not break through nor steal: For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also. Matthew 6:19-21
Hurricane Harvey brings us to another example. When Hurricane Harvey hovered over Houston Texas it dropped a lot of water on the city. The flooding of Houston was extensive and many people were displaced. Houston is where prosperity teacher (the Effluent gospel) Joel Olsteen has what is called a Mega-Church. It is a converted stadium that houses tens of thousands of people each Sunday. After a day or two of flooding, people started to ask why Olsteen wasn’t opening up his stadium as a place of refuge for the poor and displaced flood victims. He came up with many excuses but each excuse was refuted and after receiving bad publicity Olsteen decided to open up his building to the victims. Olsteen had the audacity to request an offering at the first service that consisted of many of the displaced people. This would be akin to the stable master asking Yosef and Miriam for rent for allowing them to birth Yeshua there that night. Joel Olsteen’s treasure is his church building, his home, and his fancy cars. He has his reward. His house will deteriorate sooner or later, his cars will rust and his church building will someday crumble to dust.
Years ago I attended a church in California that was run by who turned out to be one of the most crooked pastors I have ever had the displeasure to meet. He had an idea to start up a “needs ministry,” and he asked me to take care of the program. One day I was working in the yard of a woman that was recently divorced. She was having a hard time keeping the house because the mortgage payments were high and her cheating husband wasn’t taking care of her or their kids. I returned to the church and asked to see the pastor. When I was granted an audience with “his highness,” I told him about the woman and her desperate need. I explained that I was living on unemployment insurance so I was not able to help but asked if the church could offer her any sort of financial assistance. The pastor’s reply disappointed me. He told me that, “sometimes God allows us to go through bad times to teach us a lesson.” I told the pastor that I could not be part of a ministry that was so heartless and resigned right there and then. It wasn’t long before I left the church altogether.
The pastor that I mentioned above is how I learned about affluence and effluent. This man was living in an incredibly large house in the country, had rental homes and was asking people to second mortgage their homes to donate to the church building fund, yet he could not help a woman, who was left alone, thus making her akin to a widow and her children akin to orphans. Scripture is quite clear that Yahweh has a special regard for widow’s and orphan’s and in Torah, he made many provisions for the care of both. The church was quite affluent, but the pastor chose to make it effluent. I continued to do work around the woman’s house, like hauling away the trash and tending to the yard, but I could not help her financially. She ended up moving away to live with relatives. Maybe the words of the pastor were partially true because the woman did get to move away from a corrupt church pastored by a manipulative and evil man.
As I mentioned earlier, both affluent and effluent involve movement. In spiritual affluence, we take of what we have and distribute it to those who do not have. This is illustrated very well in the Book of Acts:
And the multitude of them that believed were of one heart and of one soul: neither said any of them that ought of the things which he possessed was his own; but they had all things common. And with great power gave the apostles witness of the resurrection of the Lord Jesus: and great grace was upon them all. Neither was there any among them that lacked: for as many as were possessors of lands or houses sold them, and brought the prices of the things that were sold, And laid them down at the apostles’ feet: and distribution was made unto every man according as he had need. And Joses, who by the apostles was surnamed Barnabas, (which is, being interpreted, The son of consolation,) a Levite, and of the country of Cyprus, Having land, sold it, and brought the money, and laid it at the apostles’ feet. Acts 4:32-37
I truly wonder how many people who call themselves by Yahweh’s name today would be as Barnabas was. Then there was Nicodemus, the Pharisee that Yeshua loved. Nicodemus was part of the Sanhedrin, the legal ruling body of the Jewish people at the time of Yeshua. All indications are that Nicodemus followed Yeshua secretly, probably because he feared the other members of the Sanhedrin but maybe because he thought he could help Yeshua’s cause much better by being an insider within that judicial body. We are told in scripture that it was Nicodemus that reminded the Sanhedrin that they couldn’t sentence Yeshua in absentia and that all accused persons had their say in court. Tradition tells us that he accompanied Yosef of Arimathea in the removal of Yeshua’s body from the place of crucifixion and brought the body to Yosef’s tomb and that he brought myrrhs and aloes to the tomb to anoint Yeshua’s body.
Yosef of Arimathea was another person who gave all. He too was a member of the Sanhedrin. He gave his tomb for Yeshua’s burial and according to tradition, he suffered a lot for doing that. He presented himself before the Sanhedrin and took them to task for killing Yeshua and gave a quite eloquent speech about the consequences of their action. They planned to kill him too and placed him in prison with their seal on the lock. Yeshua came to the prison and released him and sent him to his home, telling him not to leave his house for 40 days. Later, according to tradition, he was sent letters by the Sanhedrin asking him to forgive them and to come again and talk to them. The point is that both Nicodemus and Yosef had a lot to lose, high religious and political offices, riches and fame, but they forsook it all for the sake of righteousness.
I know that what I have presented sounds a lot like socialism and/or communism. I am not advocating either nor am I a fan of either. Yahweh does not demand that people with worldly wealth give away everything, but as we saw in the Book of Acts, the rich were compelled by the Ruach Ha Kodesh, who touched their hearts and gave them compassion for people in need. The compassion was born out of the spiritual gifts that were to them by the Ruach. We often hear the words of Yeshua who once said, “The spirit is willing but the flesh is weak,” but the incredible thing is that his spiritual gifts spur on the flesh to make the flesh aspire to fulfill the will of Yahweh.
Whether it is affluent or effluent there is a need for movement (no pun intended). If a believer is physically affluent they are spurred on to share their wealth with the needy and that spurring on comes from the Ruach Ha Kodesh who moves the believer through love and joy. If we fail to listen or to act we become stagnant. In other words, our spiritual plumbing becomes backed up. I think that all of us have seen what happens when drains back up in our homes or apartments, it leads to a smell that we can hardly bear and a sight that we’d rather not see.
I grew up in a family of plumbers. My grandfather had his own plumbing business when my dad was a teenager. My dad would tell me some things that he saw and or smelled that affected him his whole life. He told a story of having to go out on plumbing calls with his dad, and since my dad was the youngest he was often commissioned to stick his hand down the drain pipes to pull out clogs. Those clogs occurred because people placed things in the flow of the drain that causes clogs. He often talked about how he would pull out large clots of women’s hair and to his dying day, he could not stand accumulations of hair, like in a woman’s hairbrush.
So where am I going with that story? Well, I have to ask what people might be putting in the way of their flow. Are we putting things in the way of the flow? Are we becoming stagnant and not allowing things to flow at all? Are we taking on the traditions of men that would cause affluent to become effluent? Are we a funnel for Yahweh or a toilet for the world?
As a male believer in Yeshua, I can relate to things that get in the way of a flow of love toward others and service toward Yahweh. I’ve never been a big fan of sports. I guess that I can attribute that to my dad because he wasn’t a big sports fan either. My dad was a man of a more cerebral nature. He liked to think, to deduce things and to research many deeper things that impact us all and our future. He saw watching sports as more of an amusement than something of lasting value. He knew that the word “muse” means to think and he knew that many times when a word has the prefix “a” before it means a lack of the root word, thus he knew what amuse meant and he knew that the suffix “ment” means “the action of.” Thus he knew that “amusement” is defined as the action of a lack of thinking. He knew that amusement really causes a person to shut off their mind and he knew that when a person shut off their mind they either did stupid things or that malevolent forces saw a “vacant” sign and permission to move in.
So my dad liked to delve into astronomy, chemistry, and other sciences, as well as researching what made the universe tick and of course, what and who UFOs and their occupants, are. When I was a kid I think that a lot of the fathers in the neighborhood were jealous of my dad. While they were sitting in front of their televisions watching sports my dad would have a telescope set up in the yard and the neighborhood kids would come over to look at the moon or one of the visible planets. When me and dad built model rockets the other kids would want to go out to the big fields to watch the rocket launches. I do think that my dad inspired other kids aside from myself. Later, after my dad came to faith in Yeshua he dedicated himself to researching the error of certain cults and how the governments of this world are conspiring against the people of this world to enslave and annihilate us.
So why did I write all of that? Well, at the beginning my dad, although he wasn’t a believer in Yeshua in his early years, liked to delve into things that could do some good to instill in his own mind, as well as the minds of kids eager to learn, that there are things that apply to life and natural processes. They were things that a person could use to think and to wonder. He was taking stagnant minds and causing the nerve impulses to flow between the neurons, so to speak. He was causing lives to flow and to become proactive. Later in life, he would research subjects like the Illuminati, the Masonic Lodge, and the Jehovah Witness cult so as to be able to warn people about counterfeits in the spiritual realm of life. Dad’s research, some of which is published on The Delusion Resistance, has without a doubt helped people to understand these false doctrines for what they are. In the process, it has fostered anger and hatred toward the ministry because some people do not like to hear that their flow in life has come to a standstill because they have allowed their lives to become clogged with lies and deceit which they foster to disrupt the flow of others. In the place of truth and fidelity in a pure message, they have chosen to disseminate their affluence in effluent. Isn’t it interesting how people are readily spewing out effluent and they cannot tell or they refuse to admit that they are doing so?
There is a commercial on television of a product that can be used to mask smells in closed spaces like homes and cars. The commercial will often show situations that apply to what they are trying to mask. For instance, one of the product’s commercials shows a house full of cats and states that the people that live in the house see the house as being clean and odor free, but the next part states that their visitors see it like a cat-box, then they state that their product can take away the odor. The people that live in that house do not smell the cat-box because they have become accustomed to it, it has become a norm for them. People from the outside can smell the problem. There are instances where we allow crap into our lives and for whatever reason, we refuse to clean up the crap and the sense of perception fades, yet others can see the crap. They can see the effluent flowing within the person’s life. A good friend will tell the friend about the situation and if a person is honest they will put an end to the situation. Others deny that they are spewing effluent and will tell their friend that the friend has offended them by bringing the subject up. The third kind of person is the type that wants to allow effluent to flow so as to be purposefully offensive to others, in what one can only describe as a psychological or spiritual personality disorder.
There used to be a time when the Church of Yeshua was humble. They were a group of people who knew that sin is real, hell is real and that Yeshua talked more about sin and hell more than any other subject in his discourses. Yeshua’s people knew that it was only because of the shed blood of Yeshua, and their acceptance of His sacrifice for their sins that saved them from sin’s penalty. They were a people who were happy with being supplied with the essentials of life and they abhorred the things that caused clogging in Yahweh’s flow of things. In our current age, we see a reversal of roles where it seems like most of those who call themselves by Yahweh’s name have taken on what the church once avoided at all costs. In our society, the church seems to be taking its lasting gasps of air and they bemoan and beat their breasts while they ask what is happening, if they even care at all. They are choosing to race along with worldly people like they are trying to keep up with the Jones’ and the world can see it quite clearly. It used to be that the world would see the love that Christians had for one another it would draw people to a relationship with Yahweh through Yeshua. But nowadays the church tends to cater to the worldly by watering down the Gospel and turning the service into something that is akin to a meeting of the Moose or Elks Clubs or perhaps in an extreme case something that resembles a rave in a nightclub. Why should the world change? Why would they want to change? After all, there is no sin, no hell and everything is excused by grace by the gospel of convenience. The smell of effluent coming from the church is no different the flow coming from the world. If there is any affluence in the church it is a worldly affluence and it is in effect effluent because it’s of no Godly use and it yields no rewards whatsoever in the Kingdom of Yahweh. Back in 1989 I wrote the following poem because I saw the church’s corruption, it has only gotten worse, but now the excuse is that Yahweh wants Christians to be worldly rich:
The world is starving, dying,
For someone to bring them light.
They’re looking for someone,
To bring them truth, to make it bright.
Instead, the see the Christian,
As someone that’s just like them,
With many broken facets,
Like a worthless faulty gem.
They see them as preoccupied,
With so many cares,
Too busy in their worldly lives,
For Jesus to be shared.
They dress in style, fashion, craze,
So that all will behold,
And many souls see hellfire,
While the Christians count their gold.
Their music they call godly,
But it’s only Rock and Roll,
That kills the very spirit,
And corrupts their very soul.
And men say, do I need to be like them,
They’re really just like me?
I’ll just remain the same old man,
A sinner who’s carefree.
All just because the Christian Church,
Was wrapped up in a lie.
It couldn’t see the weeping souls,
It couldn’t hear their cries.
Copyright Holy Spirit 12/89 David Ben Yakov
That poem was written 18 years ago, and if anything, the condition of the church has gone from bad to worse. Back in the 1970’s, we called ourselves Kings Kids because we had been adopted by Yahweh through the actions of Yeshua. We were thankful for salvation and most if not all of us felt like we were going to enter heaven by the skin of our teeth. Today the church, through the antics and scripture twisting of the Charismaniac Church has turned it all around because they feel privileged and entitled to take the Kingdom of Yahweh by force and to conquer the world for Yeshua. New Flash, the spread of our faith never came from such actions, it always came through toil, persecution, and martyrdom. Yeshua’s Church is not prideful and vain, it is contrite and humble. The bride is never greater than the groom, never! Yeshua is not coming for a bride that is stained with effluent matter, no, HE is coming for a bride that dressed with affluence, the affluence that only can be had with a heart that is willing to give up everything to be with the groom and a bride that is willing to having nothing of her own possessions, but who wants to possess all that the groom has for her, and what he has for her comes from him and him alone.