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6. Lay Up Your Treasures: Earning Interest in the Bank of Heaven

Alistair Huong
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Alistair Huong

Executive Director of AudioVerse

Conference

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  • January 2, 2016
    3:15 PM
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This message was presented to the Jew I see twenty fifteen come from chosen other resources like this visit us online at W W W G Y C web gracious Heavenly Father we thank you for the Sabbath day. What a high sabbath it's been already. The testimonies. The message we've heard the singing. The fellowship. And Lord as we pause at this moment. Of this hour to conclude this topic of practical. Spivak old stewardship. Help us to think clearly about our role as the managers of the assets you've given to us and may we be faithful to the end. This is our prayer in Jesus' name amen. So our topic this week has been called Beyond the time. And I hope you've seen now. Why and title that because we haven't talked about the tithe at all yet really. And so it goes to illustrate that the concept of stewardship. Involve far more than just. You should pay your tie right. But today. We are actually going to be focusing on this aspect a little bit more. Yes a little bit. And the title of session number six here is called lay up your treasures. Earning interest in the bank of heaven and. I apologize to those have heard the six times but it's the same announcement I've made every time but saving the crumbs. You can check out more information there and download the handouts. And you can look for the recordings on from G Y C N R U. verse later. So we already are familiar with the term lay up your treasures. And it's found in Matthew chapter six verses one nine hundred twenty one. Lay not up for yourselves treasures upon earth where mock and rust of corrupt and where thieves break through and steal. But lay up for yourselves treasure in heaven where neither nor rust us corrupt and where thieves do not break through nor steal for where your treasure is there will your heart be also. And we talked about how laying up treasures upon the earth hoarding the gold that gets corrupted and that gets mob beaten and cantered. That's not the goal. We save up for future knees but anything extra goes to God that's that's not us. So we shall continue. But I want to focus on this phrase this is the title that we are in tunneling the session and lay up the treasures in heaven. What does that mean. When we think of the idea as. When we think about laying up our treasure in heaven. For a long time my magic assumption is what that means. Spiritual treasure. Right. We're going to heaven. The blessing. Is dispirit whole aspect of being free from sin. Being with Jesus. You know the joy that is set before us. Right because we think of heaven as a place where materialism has gone away the earth has passed away so. Laying up our treasures in heaven. It clearly. Generally at least in my mind. Represents just a spiritual treasure. It must be metaphorical or figurative or symbolic. Spiritual that's the idea that I have. But notice what spirit a process is a evidence home page five forty one paragraph three. She says. A fear of making the future inheritance seem to material has led many to spiritualize away the very truth. Which lead us to look upon it as our home. So there is a balance. Even when we talk about heaven. Yes we are not going to heaven because we want to walk in the streets of gold only. There are the spiritual reasons. But it is a reward to be able to walk in the streets of gold a man and to eat up from the tree of life and to you know build our homes and you know see the giant gates of pearl on the city. And all of those things. It is a real physical place. Heaven is. And so with that foundation in mind. Lay up your treasures in heaven. May be. There's more to it than just a spiritual. And like sense of well being or something to that effect. So you know. We say this line a lot you can't take it with you. But if we take Jesus at His word. And he says. Live up to treasures in heaven. What that means is you can send it on ahead. And let's make this explicitly clear. Testimony for the church wine three pitch to forty nine paragraph to it as this. Every opportunity to help a brother in need or to aid the cause of God in the spread of the truth is a pearl. That you can send before hand and deposit in the bank of heaven for safekeeping. Now again. If you were just to read this passage. Without the little preamble that I just gave you my hunch is that most of us would read this and we would assist. Automatically assume this is all it is a figure of speech that we have a pearl. A bank of heaven that's just a metaphorical statement that represents all the treasures that God has spiritually. For us. And because that's just what how we associate talk like this right. Well let's look at another wonder Vienna Herald July one eight hundred ninety paragraph seven A says the only safe place to deposit our treasures. Is in the bank of heaven. Every deposit made in this bank will accumulate. Abundant. Interest. You will be laying up in store for yourselves against a time to come. It really. Is difficult for me to spiritualize. Every single piece of this the way I think the simplest reading of this passage is to just take it at face value. In fact the Spirit of Prophecy. Through all of these passages that we just read including Christ words lay out your treasure in heaven. This gives me the idea that there is actually a bank in heaven. And not only that we have an account there. We have our name on an account. And God is managing their get that account at every time. In the previous quote. We advance the work of God who are giving helping a brother in need God makes of the posit on our behalf. In our account. And that account. Accumulates interest. We talk about investing yesterday. And I mention this briefly and that is. This is the only safe. Truly safe investment. A guaranteed rate of return with no risk of loss. The only risk. Is he does is of you don't show up the claim your deposits. And so with this in mind. OK. Think of the charitable giving our ties and offerings that we think God is saying oh you know. You are robbing me. Right of ties and offerings guess what. You remember when your little kids right. Mom and Dad you know they want to train us to be generous people like hey do you. Would you be willing to give mom and dad a gift or. You know. If mommy needed five dollars would you give it. You know those experiences and. You know as little kids we give our parents the five dollars or whatever that we are and what do our parents do. They save it up for us until later that our parents usually don't spend that money is just to train us. And so look this is what God is doing he's saying. You are robbing me unties and offerings. Yes that is true because there's an element of selfishness and and covetousness and the love of money involved in all of that. But yet when we return to him what is rightfully his He's actually going to give it back to us. So it's not up. Expense. When we give we get it back with interest. So you got to think of it this way when we return. The ties and offerings we got it's an investment. At the end it's an investment that cannot go down in value only goes up. And when we get to heaven. We'll have a bank account there already opened for us. And you know. This is sort of curious to me because I'm like So what are we actually going to be using the bank account for. I don't know but I know we're going to be building houses. We're going to be farming. There still might be some medium of exchange. It won't be a corrupt banking system like we have in the world today. But somehow. There is going to be a use for it and it is a reward for the righteous. And that's one of the reasons why we want to be there. Amen. But as they say. But wait there's more councils on stewardship H three forty three Paragraph three says this The Lord has made us as Alman nerds. Meaning. We are the managers of his funds to dispense to those in need. He places in our hands his gifts in order that we shall divide with those who are needy and. It is this practical giving that will be to us as sure. Panacea for all selfishness. What does the word panacea me. It's a cure. Right is a summary of you know the old to cure all. So if I can substitute that word this practical giving of us. Dispensing God's gifts to others in need. This is the cure for all selfishness. I want to think about. I want you to take this war selfishness and file it on a shelf in your head because in your brain because you're going to see that word again well tipple times throughout this. This session. And I want you to see the relationship between personal finance and particularly giving with selfishness. But let's focus on this right here. A panacea. A.Q. or for selfishness. Now what is so bad about selfishness Well let's take a look. Evangelism pay sixty three. Selfishness is a root of all evil. So let's put two and two together. Practical giving according to the ways a God has designed. Is the cure for all selfishness. Which is the root of all evil. So. Practical giving is a cure of what the root of all evil. And of course we know but the Bible says first of the six percent for the love of money is a root of all evil. You see how it all fits together. God's has given us the institution of the tie then the offering and he requested us to do it. Not just because he needs the money because guess what God doesn't need our money. But because we need to sanctification a cure for all evil. And so when we the. What I'm trying to say here is that how we manage our money. Has a lot to do with our characters. It's a cure for selfishness but we can phrase it in all different sorts of ways we can see if personal finance is an entire girl. Element of our experience of sanctification. Because if you are becoming sent the fied you will manage your money in the way the God designed you will have the generous heart of God. And as we learn to give as God requests us to give it cures us. It root out the evil. In our heart and the selfishness. And there's another way that explain it. When we talk about a cure. OK. This is not an over the counter or prescription medication. This cure is a natural remedy. It's an exercise. Generosity. A generous spirit is like a muscle. You have to exercise it. In order for it to get stronger. And so when we are dealing with selfishness the opposite of selfishness is self. Lessness in order for us to become self less. We must practice selflessness. And so God gives us a practical way to do it. Everybody understands money. And he says. As you learn to give your building this muscle of generosity. You're building the muscle. A self. Lists in this. And as a result it cures your selfishness. OK. And so this is the reason why and. Another way to look at is it burns the fact of selfishness. OK. It builds the muscle of self lessness. It burns a fat of selfishness and. This is the reason why. Giving is something that God expects not just of the wealthy but of. Everyone because if you're not willing to give got one dollar out of ten. What makes you think you're going to give ten percent of a million. You've got to exercise this muscle. Right. And it's a lot easier to lift the. The lighter weights. But as you lift the lighter weights you're able to lift the greater weights. And so generosity self. Lessness is a muscle that you can exercise and. It is this natural remedy that God's given to us that's a cure for selfishness. And just like all things in the life of a cent of geisha. It is not the work of a moment. But it's a work of a lifetime. So personal finance and this is what I say to money is not everything. But money pervades everything. And so that is why. There is no escaping. Character development and character refinement. Without addressing money in the life. It's not because we need to make money the big trophy that we're striving after that's not that's not what we're doing. But it just happens to be. The current that flows through. Pretty much all aspects of life. And so. This leads us to the question. How ought we then to give All right so we see the importance of it. We see how God. It will be given back to us with interest later so we're not really losing anything I mean we have everything to gain. I mean there is no reason not to but how do we do it do we have instruction. Well the Lord has actually given to us very definite instruction counsel on stewardship page eighty. Paragraph three. This matter of giving is not left in polls. God has given us. Definite instruction. In regard to it. Ha. Before I ask you she'll answer. So what does this say here he has specified ties and offerings. As the measure of our obligation. And he desires us to give regularly and systematically. OK and I'll summarize this later. Let's review the passage and I'll summarize the high points. Same page. Let each regularly examine his income which is all a blessing from God and set apart the tide. As a separate fund to be safe to leave the Lords this function not in any case be devoted to any other use. It is to be devoted solely to the support of the ministry of the gospel. After the tie the set apart like gifts and offerings to be apportioned as God hath prospered you. OK So in this passage. We have been given a point like bullet point instructions on how this should work for let's break it down. How we ought to give give regularly and systematically now. Which means. Don't wait until you die. There's another statement if I can paraphrase it says something to the fact. Dying benevolence. Is no substitute for living charity. I might a switch some of those words around but you get the idea you can look it up in the C rom. The point here is as we read earlier. Giving is not just because it's not because gun it's our money. So it's not like oh if I just invested now I'll have a larger sum later to give the god's work. Well that's sort of nice. But that's not the point. God's point as sense of occasion is a work. A daily work. It's a muscle that his continual exercise. And so regularly and systematically now. Rule number one how do we give and we're to set aside the tide and by definition the word tie. Means ten percent. As sacred from each paycheck. And what it says regularly examine it. That's how I interpret every paycheck set aside ten percent. Then give offerings. On top of the ten percent as God has prospered. And this is an important point this is not to be done by impulse. So these are very simply broken down the four bullet points that we just read straight from the spirit prostate God's definite instruction on how to give. All right. I need to talk about the impulse. Segment. A little bit. Councils are stewardship page twenty five tells a selfishness there's that word again. Is the strongest and most general of human impulse. The struggle of a soul between sympathy and covetousness is an on equal contest. For while selfishness is the strongest passion. Love and benevolence are too often the weakest and. As a rule. The evil. Gains. The victory. Therefore in our labors and our guests are God's cause. It is unsafe to be controlled by feeling or impulse. So practical. Notice what she says here. We should not give to God's work or labor for God simply out of feeling or impulse. Why is why should we not do that it's because for selfishness is the strongest impulse selfishness is the strongest motivator within the natural heart the carnal man. And so is an unequal contest and so if we're sitting there. And we have like. We have to you know make the subconscious gut reaction and reactive response to something. You know. The majority of the time. The natural reaction will be the selfish one. And so we need to understand that. Developing the self. Lesson is the cure the panacea. It involves. Breaking this cycle. You know. Going against the natural human tendency to selfishness. And so we continue reading to give more to labor when our sympathies are moved and to withhold our gives or service when the emotions are not stirred is an unwise and dangerous course. If we are controlled by impulse or by mere human sympathy then a few instances where efforts. For others are repaid with ingratitude. Or where our guests are abused or squandered will be sufficient to freeze up. The springs up and if a sense. Christians should act. From fixed. Principle following the serious example of self-denial and self-sacrifice. You know when you are exercising is the natural tendency to want to exert that effort and feel the burn in your muscle or is the natural tendency to just not go to the gym or not go running the day. You understand the the natural up momentum right. The. The natural impulse is to not move. This is the same principle. The natural tendency is to be selfish. But it says Christians should act from Fix principle and not go by motions. Don't go by in polls and don't go by feelings because we're going to lose that battle. We need to exercise that muscle. And so what we look at it this way. That means. There are several important things to remember when it comes to our gifts. Our offerings. And our time. It's giving our ties and offerings. Back to God is not to be viewed as payment for spiritual services that we received. This is not exactly the picture of the of the widow but I think it's communicate the same concept Jesus come and that the widow with the to meit's. Even though perhaps she was aware of the corruption of the church. Every day. Maybe she understood that this is not. You know a church that is the most welcoming to her but she gave anyway. And Christ commanded her. How often do we have a consumer mindset towards God in this church. We come to the church we say I don't enjoy the pastor's sermon. Someone offended me. I think the church should be doing this or that. And then we feel as though as a consumer. With our wallet. In the store. We can pressure the church by withholding are tied. Guess what. We're being ruled by the human impulse. And what is the ruling impulse in that kind of a decision. Well. It's the stronger one which happens to be selfishness the example of Christ was that he commended the woman who dropped in all that she had into the very Treasury from which the money comes out to pay Judas to be train him. Ladies and gentleman. Tines and offerings. It is not an optional thing that we return to God when we feel like it. It is our duty to do so as God's managers of his funds. And so this is the next question so how much should I give Let's go quickly through this three verse a will a man rob God yet you have robbed me. But you say where in every Robbie in times and offering So we mentioned earlier ties. Ten percent ten percent. And offerings. That's the question mark and I just want to make this little disclaimer. I'm actually going to focus primarily for the rest of the time here on offerings. Because I believe there are vast number of resources dealing with the time. Already. Not to say is not important. It's very important so important that just about every pastor you talk to probably has a library of sermons. Trying to encourage the church members to pay their tide. But offerings here is where I believe there is more to be discovered through study. OK So tide we understand that is the ten percent. But what about the offerings. First Corinthians sixteen verse two this is where L N Y quoted from earlier when she gave the instructions on how to give She says upon the first day of the week let every one of you lay by him and store as God hath prospered him. That there will be no gatherings when I come now interestingly this is the passage that we generally hear explained as. What it doesn't say. Right this is the one of the few first day of the week verses and everyone says. You know we use this verse to say no we don't worship on the first day of the week this verse is not saying that so we're using this verse to say what it doesn't say. But less actually look at the verse to see what it does say right. So when the first day of the week. What that means is as soon as you get your paycheck. Early in the week. You're going to church on Sabbath which is the last day of the week. But the first day of the week. Set aside your offerings. That's what it's saying. And so in actuality this verse. Supports seventh day Sabbath keeping far more than first day keeping. But that's beside the point right now. But this is the question right here as God has prospered him. What does that mean Ella why quoted it. There it is. What does it mean. OK So ties and offerings the question the big question we're asking right now is how much should I give. So I know I'm I'm I need to give God the ten percent tie then that's not should also not discretionary. You know it's a robbery from God If we don't give that. But he also says you're robbing me of my offerings. And we here. See here the possible defines the amount as. God has prospered. But what does that mean. Generally when we discuss this. The way that we explain it is as you are able. Right. As you are able to give give a free will offering. In addition to the ten percent to God. That's what we say. But what those that are really mean practically when we apply it. Generally if you're like me. OK. Maybe you're not like me. Generally my guess is most of us. It just means. Whatever we feel like right. We open our wallets. It's got to be a one dollar bill in here. As God has prospered whatever I feel like you know. The dollar bill is generally. What we interpret as offerings. And if nobody's looking. And the offering plate goes by. Maybe will say. God will process of me more next week. So this is where I have to share some new passages that I have actually just been ruminating on myself fairly recently. Let me share with you. This is a biblical example. Ellen what is describing this in the book paychecks and PAF it's Page five twenty seven. To illustrate what it means to give as God has prospered. The contributions required of the Hebrews for religious and charitable purposes. Amounted to fully. Was that word. One fourth of their income. What percent is that one for twenty five percent very good. Good math students. Keep that in mind. She actually element here already knows what you're thinking because look what she says. So heavy attacks upon the resources of the people might be expected to reduce them the poverty. But on the contrary. The faithful observance of these regulations was one of the conditions of their prosperity. On condition of their billions God made them this promise. Our bigger devour for your sakes. And he shall not destroy the fruits of the ground. Neither show your vine caster food before the time in the field. And all nations will call you blessed for you shall be at the light some land. Saith the LORD of hosts. This is tough to swallow isn't that. Twenty five percent. So twenty five percent I looked at this and say OK so this ten percent to tie. What's left for offerings what's the percentage for offerings that fifteen. So I know for at least for me when I first read this I'm like there's got to be in it. There's got to be a reason. Like it surely must not apply to us. I mean that's that Hebrews. Come on Old Testament Jesus came and died on the cross in the other hand writing ordinances there's got to be included in that right. Well until US kept reading this chapter. Next page. In the days of Israel the tie that freewill offerings were needed to maintain the ordinances the divine service. Should the people of God give less than this is a. The principle laid down by Christ is that our offerings to God should be in proportion to the light and privileges enjoyed. On to whomsoever much is given of him. Shall be much more required. The work of the Gospel as it widens requires greater Providian to sustain it then was called for anciently. And this makes a lot of ties and offerings of even more urgent necessity now. Than under the Hebrew economy. There is no escaping is there. Let's mention a couple things. First of all. We were asking the question What this in MEAN WHEN THE BIBLE SAYS answer prosecutes as God has prospered. We usually associate that to mean whenever God gives us a little bit more money. Prosperity in material possessions. Should then translate into additional offerings that sort of the proportionality that we're considering here. But according to this. That's not how got sees it as God has prospered. Is in proportion to the light and privileges. Enjoyed. So the more light that God has shown on you. Of truth. The more obligated. We are. And that is wise she says. The Her going to gospel. It is. Or rather it is more urgent now than it was then. So you know sometimes we look at the sphere of prophecy and we wish. At least I do. We wish. Can she be more specific. I want to know God's will for my life I have the situation. Can't you just tell me a lie just give me a percent. Until or she does. And then we wish. Why didn't you just give us broad principles for us to apply. But of course. This is a principle to apply and I want to be very clear. I want to be very very clear on this and that is. That's why I have the title. It's a recommendation because you notice. She is making a soft appeal. There are times if you read severe prophecy she will make something so clear. You know what. You must do. But here she asked the question should the people of God give less in this age. It's as though she is saying. She's appealing to our better natures. She saying look at the situation. The work of God needs a lot more work now than it did back then you are privileged with a lot more a light and privileges. Than they did that back then. And so. Wouldn't it be nice if we could give even more back to God. You notice that this is the way that she is phrasing it. So I do not read this to say. Everyone ought to be required to give twenty five percent. OK Please don't walk out of that other some are saying that I am telling you you must however she does make the appeal. So we can't escape. That she does give us this council to consider. And of course there are certain. There are some differences. There are some differences between. Israel's day in our day. The twenty five percent for the Hebrews. Actually included. All of their taxes. Because that was their economy it was their government whereas now we have the actual secular government as well as giving back to God And so I'm not sure I not sure that that necessarily changes anything but there are differences. And so just as a testimony. I have a friend. I actually mentioned him in a seminar before. About some other way some other things that he does with his personal finances. He tells me that because he sees this portion down here. And even though he earns a sizable paycheck and it has a family. Or he has his grandmother to take care of and things like that he chooses to return to go thirty percent. And he still gives all of his time for service and that So there are people who take this. At its face value and just. Does it. And I know for me. It's a challenge. But it is something that I take seriously and I I believe that God's people should look at this and be seriously considering whether God is calling us to do more for him. And the next passage here is a promise. Not from the same chapter but I believe it ties together this from a test most for the church Volume three page for over a paragraph or says should all whom God has prospered with Earth riches. Carry out his plan by faithfully giving a tenth of all their increase. And should they not withhold the trespass offerings and there to thank offerings. The Treasury would be constantly replenished. If systematic benevolence were universally adopted according to God's plan and the tithing system carried out as faithfully by the wealthy as it is by the poor classes. There will be no need of repeated and urgent calls for means are large religious gatherings. Can you imagine going to a avatars gathering where they don't convert offering. I've never been the one. And we just had one this morning here as well and if you go to A.S.I. you know that sort of the highlight of the set of the Sabbath service. But look at this. If we were faithful in following God's plan. And not just the wealthy but also the poor not just the poor but also the wealthy. The Treasury be constantly replenished. And there would be no need of repeated fund raising campaigns. So there is a promise. If God's people were to be faithful to the plan that he has laid out his work would be constantly funded. It would be like building the tabernacle. Moses said stop. We've got too much know are. When that be a nice problem to have. And so this is where I need a pause moment because we talk about all this times and offerings and twenty five percent and all this. There have been a question that come in the what if I'm in debt. What does what happens then what's the priority level. OK So a lot of God makes it clear you have robbed me in ties and offerings. The Tines ten percent. It goes to God. No matter what god. The fact is it's not that you can't afford to pay the tide. You can't afford not to because the very next verse is says. Prove me and see if I want to open the windows of heaven the poor a blessing so there you can. You don't have the space to receive it. You know this kind of situation right here. So the ten percent tied. Absolutely goes to God first. However he also says that we the offerings. Would be viewed as. We're also robbing God when we're not paying our offerings. And so I believe there is the necessary of giving. Also the freewill offering. However I believe that the twenty five percent that we're talking about is not a law. Right. It's not a law. It is something to strive towards. And so the way that I would look at this is hey got the ten percent. Without question. And then pay and offering that is reasonable. With in the greater that payoff plan. And once you pay off your debts. Then continue to strive to give more to the Lord. Going up to twenty five percent or more. As I make sense. The ten percent. Is always the Lord's offering. I believe we should still give some. But how much that is. That's up to you to the side with the Lord and leave the twenty five percent. As a goal to strive towards OK. So that's what I would say to that and there may be other other applications as well. So let's let's continue as we wrap of this section and we need to move into another section. Dealing with the end times with difficulty. But when I was preparing for the seminar I asked people. You know what they want to talk. What they want to hear about them one person said they want about radical giving. And I you know I was thinking radical giving is sort of has a nice ring to it. But what does it mean when we think about radical giving Are we think of people who drop hundred dollar bills in the offering plate. Are we thinking of people that single handedly fund. Church building projects. And then their name is on the. You know the plaque at the cut the ribbon is that radical giving or maybe is guys a guild Gates. Richest Man in the world Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation curing polio and malaria or and all sorts of things poverty I don't know what else they're doing but billions of dollars is that radical giving or is radical giving just simply doing what God says. You know really the entire seminar has been building up to this point because we talk about spending less. Saving more living a modest life. Right. Living a modest life that limits. Waste and reduce the spending. Living contrary to the common. American way of thinking. The American dream. Type of lifestyle. Because we are managing our finances in order to give more. You see it's not like OK let's make a line item in our monthly budget and let's just say fifteen percent and OK we've done our giving and then let's get back to life. No no no it's the whole point of our personal finance. We we men are Germany in such a way that we can give not just money to God. But we give our time and energy and resources that sort of the foundation of the whole week that we spent together. That's why I believe that is the crux of radical giving you make it. The whole purpose of how you manage your money. Instead of just thinking. I'll just give a big check. So radical giving is making Jesus. The first last and best of our money. This is the passage where I get that thought from thoughts of amount of blessings page nine paragraph to Jesus does not release us from the necessity of effort. But he teaches us that we have to make him first and last and best in everything we have to engage in no business. Follow no pursuit. Seek no pleasure that would hinder the outworking of his righteousness in our character in life. What ever we do is to be done heartily as unto the Lord. And so it's a business. Everything we do. So then the cesspit effort. So clearly in must apply to our finances. So in our money management God must be first and last and best. And so let me summarize that for you in how I believe it applies in our giving. So we were talking. We've been talking about the systematic giving. We make Jesus first in our times and offerings. Aiming for twenty five percent or more. OK So that's the target twenty five percent or more. But we make Jesus first by paying the times and offerings are returning our ties and offerings. First. Surplus giving is when we make Jesus a last by giving him any surplus. After all of our needs have been met. We've talked about this before saving and investing is for defined. Future needs once your needs are met. Everything extra goes to God and that surplus giving and that is giving the Jesus. At the end. You give it to them first get him at the end. And then there's sacrificial giving. Which is making jesus best. By being ready to give any and all. If you ask it of us. The rich young ruler. Jesus asked him. Sell everything give to the poor and come and follow me. He was unwilling to do that and you know within all of this yes there is regularity Yes there is systematic. You know yes we say for the future but there are those moments those Abraham and Isaac type of moments were Goss big to you in a very distinct away. And he says I want you to give this to me. You better listen to the Lord. And we need to be ready to do that when ever he asks. And so making Jesus first last and best systematic giving give them first surplus give him give them at the end. Sacrificial giving. Whatever you want you can half. And that takes us to this question. What about the end times. I'm just dealing with these two questions OK and it has. It does have to do with this idea of giving in the end times particularly recently we've been hearing a lot of people making statements that. It's time to sell everything because Jesus is coming soon. Or the time of trouble is right upon us. So we need to give everything the God's work right now. There have even been some who say Jesus is coming so soon you're not going to pay off your credit cards to charge him up take out all the mortgage you can on your house given to God's work. You laugh. But I've heard it with my own two years. Should I sell everything because Jesus is coming soon this is a serious question because it can literally bankrupt you if you make the wrong decision and worse. It could bankrupt you spiritually. And so what about the financial collapse because this is the reason why people say we should do this right. So obviously there are lots of other questions about the End Times I want to talk about preparation for the end times are lots of other ministries and resources. Audio verse and maybe a lot of the blues even here A G Y C you can and can deal with that but I want to specifically dealing with personal finance these two questions and the concept of the End Times. So a couple of foundational principles as we look at this scenario. OK. Don't make a time of trouble before it comes. I love this quote. You will get to a soon enough brother and. We are to think of today and if we do well the duties of. Today. We will be ready for the duties of tomorrow. Spitter prophecy is so balanced. Let's keep reading and by the way. For those who are listening mind character and personality Volume two page four seventy paragraph two that's where that quote came from next one selected messages Volume three page three a three paragraph or many will look away from present duties you notice how often that word appears. Don't neglect present duties. If you do them well now. You'll be ready for future duties. Many look away from present duties present comfort and blessings and be borrowing trouble in regard to the future crisis. We shouldn't be borrowing money and we certainly shouldn't be borrowing trouble. This will be making a time of trouble before hand. And this is key. And we will receive no grace. For any such anticipated troubles. That's troubling to me. Because where would we be word not for grace. Have mercy. We are to wait on our Lord Jesus will be an ever present help in every time of need. So what is the foundational principle I'm trying to lay down here. Is there going to be a trying time of trouble. Such as never was is there was a nation. Yes. But the reality is we're not there yet. And so through a process says we should not borrow trouble from the future because by doing that we are compromising our ability to do God's work and he's given us today. And if we compromise our ability to do that today. That will guarantee we're not going to be ready for that then. We've got to keep that in mind. And so tying this in with what we read earlier councilman stooge ship issue a five paragraph one. Therefore in our labors and gifts of God because it is unsafe to be controlled by feeling or impulse because guess what. When we think about all of this talk. Time of trouble. Because sell everything is going to hard. Let's admit it. So often we are moved by feeling or impulse. That is the gut reaction the wide eyed panic is the time to run in the mountains. It's a fear of pain or a fear of being lost. I don't know what it is but I've experienced it myself. I mean I'm human and I know exactly how that feels. But guess what. Even in the end times. It is still unsafe to be controlled by feeling on polls. I might say especially in the end times. So this is the question right. It's all predicated on this. You should sell everything because Jesus coming so soon well do we know when he's coming. Are you sure. Haven't you heard that there is this prophecy called the shit meta. I've heard that there were some that were talking about it that there was going to be this financial collapse and fall of two thousand and fifteen is based on the Hebrew calendar the seven year cycle and where his. Coming up on the seventh. Seven year cycle of the Jew believe that they correspond the stock market collapses. You know you have heard about that. Well anyway. There are some people who said even advantages who say. This might be your last chance to sell everything. But this comes back to this question right here. It is presuming that we know when he's coming. And of all people some of the avenues we've got the scars to show what happens when we set dates. No we don't know when Jesus is coming and so as a result of that issue. Affect the way we arrange our lives. Especially the practical living that affects God's work. So evangelism pay shoot one one paragraph one is as you will not be able to say when he will come. You will not be able to say that he will come and one two or five years. Neither are you to put it off as coming by saying that he may not be for ten or twenty years. We are not to know the definite time. Either for the outpouring of the Holy Spirit or for the coming of Christ. And so. Let's say that we do go out and we say I am convicted the Jesus coming back next year. Twenty sixteen seventeen whatever it is. And we do go and sell everything. And then it turns out that Jesus does not come back within the next twelve months. What what will happen to us then we think that God will provide. But we just read earlier that four anticipate a time of trouble God gives no grace for that. What a terrible position to be in and guess what the worst part of it is. Maybe twelve months from now we have that much closer to Jesus coming and he needs us that much more there to spread the three engines messages. And we have bankrupt. Ourselves. Literally. Do you know who is only one that's happy about that the enemy of souls because he has successfully. By using our fear. Our impulse and our feelings. He has robbed the God of a capable bodied worker. You see the danger of relying on our impulses. We've got to stick with what the Bible a spirit prophecy has to say. So we do not want to hamper God's work because of rash or impulsive decisions. Because he has already told us we will get no grace. To deal with borrowing trouble from the future for ourselves. But yet here is the balance we've got to make sure we keep straight right. Does this mean that we should say my lord delays is coming. Clearly not you know the parable. One man says Oh my Lord I come back and start to eat and drink with a drunken and beaches fellow servant while the other servant. Is giving his meat and do season. No we are neither are we to say my lord delays is coming. Here's an example story. The Ellen White. Tells last event of a forty two one brother said to me sister what do you think the Lord will come in ten years. We still have these kind of conversations every day right. Adventists do. She says what difference does it make to you whether you should come and want to four or ten years. Why said he I think I would do differently and some things that I now do if I knew the Lord was a come in ten years. What would you do said I. Why said he I was sell my property and begin the search a word of God and try to warn the people and get them to prepare for us coming. And I would prefer God that I might be ready to meet him. Then said I if you knew that the Lord was not coming for twenty years. You would live differently. Said he I think I would have selfish There's that word again. How selfish was the expression that he would live. A different life. If he knew his Lord was to come in ten years. Why Enoch walked we've got three hundred years. This is a lesson for us we shall walk with God every day. And we are not safe. Unless we are waiting and watching. How applicable. Right. People are saying. Time to sell. Jesus coming. The stock market is about to collapse. It's all going to break. You know everything going to break loose. You better hurry. But guess what. What are they appealing to. They are appealing to the very same nature that this man was operating from. We are motivated because no if Jesus coming soon. Then I need to protect myself and I need to sell everything. So that because I've got limited time. But what his own wife saying here. In a walk with God for three hundred years. And so it's like this man is only willing to sell. Because he thinks that Jesus coming in ten years. But if he's not coming for twenty years on honor I mean I know so you see the dilemma with that kind of thinking. And so the principle here that just a simple principle is whether Jesus is coming into years or twenty years. The principles by which we live by the principles by which we manage our money and make our money decisions. Should not change. It shouldn't change. Simply because all of a sudden we think oh the sky is about to fall. So should it matter that we don't know when he's coming. The answer is no. The principles should remain the same. Jesus tells a live one nine hundred eleven verse thirty and verse thirteen. And as they heard these things he added speak a parable because he was nine to Jerusalem and because they thought that the Kingdom of God should immediately appear. Notice Jesus talking to people who was expecting him or the Kingdom of God to come immediately. Just like a lot of evidence today. Jesus coming so soon. What should we do. He said there for a certain nobleman went into a far country to receive himself a kingdom and to return. And he called his ten servants and deliver them ten pounds and said unto them do one Occupy till I come. He doesn't say well one. Five miles away you need to do this. He says. Until I get back doing faith leave the work that I've given you to do. And we have already talked about the parable of the talents in Matthew but this is the Luke. Account of it. We are to occupy till he comes. So what does that mean. We need to manage our money. Prudently. We need to get out of the slavery of debtors. We need to be giving sacrificially and systematically and regularly. To God's work. We need to be working for the advancement of the three angels messages to every nation kindred tongue of people. We need to work. So that every soul has a gospel. Available to them. We need to prepare the world for the mark of the beast in the third engines message. Those are things that we should be doing whether Jesus coming. One year. Ten years or one hundred years from now. And just like we said earlier. When it comes to selling all that we have Should I sell everything. The fundamental posture that we have is that it's all God's anyway. But let's take a look. Some more specific council we looked at this yesterday. Pay fifty nine paragraph or so as I was shown that it is the will of God at the same every incumbent before the time of trouble comes and make a covenant with God through sacrifice if they have their property on the altar and earth inquire Gover duty. He will teach them when to dispose of these things. Then they will be free in the time of trouble and will have no clocks to weigh them down. So indeed the God or to tells us in His inspired writings that there will come a time in which we will have to cut loose from everything. But he will teach us when next page. Same book. I also saw that God had not required. Always people to dispose of their property at the same time but if they desired to be taught. He would teach them in a time of need. When the cell. And how much to sell. And this is keep page three twenty four councils a stitch of paragraph one. Some men are Must we actually dispossessed ourselves of everything which we call our own there is that question Should I sell everything. Exactly the question. She says we may not be required to do this now. But we must be willing to do so for Christ's sake. And we've this is exactly what we've been discussing earlier. It is not saying you must sell everything five years before Jesus comes. That's not the principle. The principle is you need to be willing to give got everything. When ever he wants it. We must acknowledge that our possessions are absolutely his by using of them freely whenever his me means is needed to advance his cause. And so this is the question. When we think about selling. What is the premise of that question. Are we asking the question. Out of a fearful. Motive. A legal listicle interest of self preservation. When to ourselves I can protect myself. Or are we asking. Lord. When do you need these resources for the finishing of your work. Two different ways of approaching the question. And we need to be willing. When ever it is that God says now is the time. And the fact of the matter is if you think practically. It doesn't make sense for God to have all of his people. Unload all of their assets. All of the same time. Because who's going to make use of the assets because everyone sold everything that makes sense. So practically just simply for the management of capital. Mathematically there's got to be a staged process. And guess who is managing that staging process. It is God Himself. It is up to the Holy Spirit to move on individual church members and say this is the time. I see the need good the Lord has moved upon me to sell in stages or to sell everything. And to move this work forward. And so whenever someone comes up here and says now is the time to sell this might be your last chance. I am afraid they are trying to take the place of God have mercy. And so there will be a time. Indeed. When we should sell everything. But it is an individual matter God will make known the right time for you specifically individually. But we must be willing to sell all anytime got ask. And how do we get to the point of being willing to sell everything. By exercising this generosity muscle. By giving regularly systematically we exercise this muscle so when God says it's time to give me the rest of it. We've developed that muscle memory. It just bam it just happens. And the motive will be for the finishing of the work. Not for protecting ourselves. You see sanctification this is exactly what it is if the transformation of the heart. So what about the financial collapse. As I mentioned earlier the idea there has been shared. Not just recently but if you remember back even to two thousand and seven two thousand and eight. There were predictions. There's going to be a financial collapse. And the financial collapse. Is the reason given for why we should sell everything. Well let's look at a some historical data. Since the year nine thousand nine hundred there have been twenty nine market crashes in the world. Twenty nine. And I bowled a two of them this is one hundred twenty nine of course that is the Great Depression the beginning of the Great Depression and then two thousand and eight. In all of our lifetimes I assume that was the second greatest financial crisis in history. And in probably every single one of these cases some well meaning Adventists somewhere or maybe not have at this predicted that this is going to be the end of the world. So let's take a look this is the Dow Jones Industrial Average. From the year one thousand nine hundred to about twenty. Eleven I believe. And I circled the Great Depression. Right there. And this is the two thousand and eight. Collapse. Now I need to mention that if you might not be able to see it this is not a regular graph paper this is a logarithmic graph paper. Which means. This is not a straight line. It's actually more like an exponential curve. Goes like this was like a hockey stick. But it has to be logarithmic. In order to be for you to actually see it or also be really small. But what a much trying to say here. Throughout the span of history. You notice the stock market went from really low. To really high. You know that throughout this time we have the two largest financial collapses in history. We had two world wars. We had the Cold War Vietnam. To go force. HIV Ebola. The climate change crisis whether you believe is a legitimate or not. We have the issue with the Middle East now. We have the most costly natural disasters in history. We have the development of the nuclear bomb. And look. All of those things we associate with Matthew twenty four the signs of the end. There is absolutely no correlation to the stock market. I'm not I'm not using this to give you investment advice that's not what I'm trying to say what I am trying to say is just a very simple point. The stock market is a terrible predictor of the end of the world. That's it that's all I'm trying to say. As the unrest in the nations are progressing the stock market does not reflect that reality. Jesus did not say that there is going to be financial and rest in Matthew chapter twenty four. But that does lead us to the next question which is is there's any legitimacy to this. Right. The fact is one hundred percent of the people who use the stock market to protect the end of the world has been wrong. One hundred percent. And moreover. You've got to think of it this way. There are two hurdles to overcome. If you are going to use the financial world. As the barometer or as the time. You know time or for the end of the world number one. You need to be able to predict when the market is going to collapse. And let me tell you every single person on Wall Street wants to know how to predict the next. Collapse. Everybody. And by the way. Everybody agrees there will be another collapse. All the economists understand that it is just it's bound to happen. It's just a systemic thing. Just expected. Everyone wants to get rich by predicting when it will happen. How do we think that we as just you know. Lay people can beat Wall Street at their own game. That's number one. And then the number two problem is even if we do get a ride. We have to know. Be able to predict that. It's the last one. And guess what. One hundred percent of those who predicted have been wrong so far. So what's my point. My point is just this. We have the Bible so let's use the Bible instead. This is my point. We should not be filtering. The Bible through the news. We should be filtering the news. Through the Bible. Does that make sense. And we get caught up. Because all of this guy has some fancy theory about the should meet the seven years I would like own Sabbath. Oh. Sanctuary all Jewish. Must be right. Listen. We have been given the Bible and the Spirit of Prophecy so let's use it. So we're going to conclude our session today with a little bit of Bible prophecy. I love Bob Ross I can't leave this out. So financial crises and prophecy so why do we go to the economists and. And the stock prognosticators. And the finance people to tell us about the end of the world. When we already have Bible prophecy. That's my point. Don't like. If somebody is trying to tell you a little sob market. It's a bubble is going to collapse. Is end of the world. Just tune them out and study your Bible. Well there's a Bible have to say. Will there be financial crises. Yes. Relish and thirteen percent of the tells us there is going to be a time when no man can buy or sell unless he is the mark of the beast. And then Revelation Chapter eighteen vs ten through nineteen. It's a very graphic picture of how the world commerce. Crumbles when God starts pouring out his judgments on Babylon. Revelation eighteen. So of course the question is when will these things happen. When will man no longer be able to buy and sell. Well this is very clear in the previous verse. After the enforcement of the mark of the beast. That stands to reason I believe. And then revelation eighteen if you go back a few verses revelation eighteen vs two through five. They exactly is once. Her sins. Reach unto heaven meaning Babyland sins. Once it reaches on to heaven. Then the judgment start pouring out. So the question is When is the mark. One of the sins reaching into heaven. OK Let's take a look at the book evangelism page two thirty four Paragraph two no one has yet received the market beast. The timing. The testing time has not yet come when the decree shall go forth and forcing the counterfeit Sabbath and the loud cry of the three a third into war many get the worship the beast and his image. The line will be clearly drawn between the false and the true. Then those who will still continue transgression will receive the market beast. I don't. I hope I have to go through a whole bible study by the market beast. I think here at the Y.C. We should got that we should have got that covered. Right. But the point here is the time is not yet come. Where no man can buy or sell. But what's the sign the sign is the creed to enforce the count of the Sabbath. National Sunday long next. Last Events page. One ninety eight paragraph five. When do her sins reach into heaven. Quoting revelation eighteen to five. Exactly the question we have. When she tells us in a sentence. When the law of God is finally made void by legislation. And within the context. It is specifically legislation. Enforcing worship. That is contrary to the law of God. And so the crisis in prophecy. The movement toward the national Sunday law is still the crisis that we are to be focused on the movement towards a national Sunday law and not. The movements of the stock market. Because ladies and gentlemen Revelation Chapter thirteen. It is still true. The truth has not changed. America is going to set up an image to the beast. Church and State will unite. A posse crossing tism will use a civil arm of the United States to enforce. Her dogmas pasta daughters of Babylon. Willed unite with the lamb like Beast who speaks like a dragon. And guess what that is what we should be focused on. Because it is when the Vatican's then what comes next is No ma'am I buy or sell. Then what comes next is the world commerce and the judgements on Babble And so what that means is that some who. If they are relying on the financial markets as their boat Ramat are for end time preparation. They might be waiting too long. And if you read elsewhere the spirit process I don't have those quotes here with you but you can look it up it's very clear. National apostasy. Is followed by national ruin the signs that we have been given the prophetic way marks that we are looking for. It is what our people have been teaching and believing all along. Revolution Chapter thirteen. Revelation Chapter fourteen. It is the national Sunday law the Union Church and State. And our responsibility is not to worry about. Oh as a stock market going to predict the end of the world. Our responsibility is to warn people to not receive a major car it's called the third angels people for engines message. And so we did tell that to every nation kindred song and people. And so do we know when these things will happen. The answer is no. And just like we don't know when Jesus coming. We don't know when the mark of the beast is going to come. We believe that it's clearly very soon we see the movements happening. And so what are we supposed to do. Just like Jesus says. Occupy Hill. I come to Lee comes be the faithful servant who continues doing his duty we got this one the master may return. We need to live by the Bible same Bible principles whether Christ coming is in two years or twenty years or two hundred years for that matter. Be willing to sell all of God asks us to and be motivated by our love for Jesus and faithful in his word and not out of fear for the time of trouble. Of course the title of our message. This afternoon but a lay up your for yourselves treasures in heaven. We need them on the roster of corrupt and with these in our breakthrough or steal. That is how we prepare our material possessions by sending them on ahead to heaven so let's summarize. We must reduce our lifestyle so we can save and give more and have fewer attachments to this world. We must lay all on the altar recognizing it's all God's anyway. And he will make known to us when to sell. How much. And what phases. And when we should invest in the bank of heaven. We will get it all back plus interest when we get there. Practically giving is a cure for The Root of All Evil sanctification in the most practical sense. We must make Jesus first last and best in our giving our Christian Commission. Change no matter when Jesus is coming. We should interpret the news by the Bible and don't interpret the Bible by the news. And we believe it and obey it. Laden's and gentlemen thank you so much for staying with us all successions. It's been a pleasure sharing with you. I encourage you study. Be faithful. Jesus is coming soon. Let's pray. Father in heaven I pray that you will guide us this afternoon. And the remain of the Sabbath. Thank you for the tremendous blessing. I pray that the messages that we have heard and the lessons we've learned in the seminar. Will be practical and not just practical and helping us manage the sense in the dollars practical in helping the sanctification of our souls and making us be prepared helping us be prepared for your return. So teach us as we go from this place. And meaning as we head there now with this message was recorded at the July see twenty fifth. Chosen. Supporting Ministry of the Seventh Day Adventist Church. 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