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Satan's Plan for Your Money

G. Edward Reid

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G. Edward Reid

Former Stewardship Director, North American Division of Seventh-day Adventists

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Recorded

  • January 16, 2010
    4:00 PM
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Satan’s Plan for your Money

By Ed Reid

Someone told me one time, some of you may know that in edition to money management, in my spare time I’ve written several books on eschatology, Sunday’s coming, Even at the door, Ready or Not, Battle of the Spirits, those kind of books. This guy came to me and he said, you know I have this wonderful idea. We know that you believe Jesus' coming is near and you are excited about, and anybody that loves Jesus is excited about, aren't they? But you’re also recognizing that we need to raise money to finish the work. I’ve got a wonderful idea, why doesn’t everybody get cash advances on their credit cards, and get loans on their houses and everything, get all the money we can together and quickly finish the work? Now we can thumb our noses at the devil on our way to heaven and let him pay off the bills in the millennium. Does that sound like a plan? Anybody have an idea of why it wouldn’t work? Well, first of all it’s not a good Christian witness, you understand that. But the worst part about it is that Daniel 12 verse 4 comes into play. And that’s before Jesus comes back, there’s a time of trouble such as never was since there was a nation. And the people that are indebted are going to have the worst time of it. Really true.

People ask me, what do I think is going to happen in the economy. And I’ll tell you what I think, and then I’ll tell you what I think about economists. By the way, people are financials advisers to make weathermen look good. The whole idea is we really don’t know for sure what’s happening. But I read all the national news magazines, but I also get money magazines, Money Forbes and all those. And people are not sure what’s going to happen. But they know one thing for sure. We’re only putting a bandaid over a deep wound right now and it’s not going to hold very long. It’s going to get worse. Much worse. And I think God is giving us two or three years maybe at the most, where we can get our houses in order and get out of debt. Do you understand? This is what I think. That’s what I would certainly encourage you to do if you can do that. So that’s what we’re going to talk about here: Satan’s plan for your money.

Now a lot of people don’t understand this, but selfishness and materialism are really part of the devil’s plan. You understand that that’s the case? Now I’m going to show you how we know that to be the case. First of all, in the spirit of prophecy, Ellen White was given a vision of one of the Devil’s workers' meetings. Now I go to lots of workers meetings. I’ve been to workers' meetings around the world, all the pastors in the trans European division, for example, just a few months back. Just recently we were at pastors' meetings in New Jersey. And I'm going to the Chesapeake conference workers' meetings. So we have these workers' meetings where we have strategy for evangelism and so on. Well, if we have workers' meetings, don’t you think the devil also has workers meetings? Doesn’t it make sense that he would? Let me tell you something interesting. Ellen White was actually given a vision of one of the devil’s workers' meeting. You may not understand this or know it, but Ellen White actually quotes the devil in Testimonies to Ministers and in Counsels on Stewardship.

The one that I’m going to show you is Testimonies to Ministers, p. 473, 474. She overheard the devil saying, “Go make the possessors of lands and money drunk with the cares of this life. Present the world before them in the most attractive light, that they may lay up their treasures here and fix their affections upon earthly things.” Now let me just ask you if I stopped there, would you think the devil has been successful at this? You get the point. Pretty interesting. Let’s go on. “We must do our utmost to prevent those who labor in God’s cause from obtaining means to use against us. Keep the money in our own ranks, the more means they obtain, the more they will injure our kingdom by taking from us our subjects. Make them care more for money than for building up Christ’s kingdom and the spread of the truths we hate. And we need not fear their influence, for we know that every selfish covetous person will fall under our power and will finally be separated from God’s people.” That is incredible, speaking from six thousand years of experience, it works, he says, if we can get the people focused on selfishness. Isn’t that incredible? That is it.

Ellen White also noted in the little book Steps to Christ, p. 44. “The love of money, the desire for wealth, is the golden chain that binds people to Satan.” This is really incredible. So in my seminars, I don’t want to tell you how to become a millionaire. As a matter of fact, once your debts are paid, you ought to be the most generous person on your block. Because you want to be storing up treasures in heaven.

Oh I’ll tell you something interesting. Do you guys understand inside information? That term? You know you could write Martha Stewart and she could tell you. She spent time in federal prison because of trading on inside information, you understand. We’ve got inside information. 2 Peter 3:10 says, when Jesus comes back everything on this earth is going to get burned up. And that will reduce its value considerably as you can imagine. So the whole idea is, listen, we’re told that we should be getting our stuff in compactest form as possible, so not much of our stuff gets burned up at the end. Counsels on Stewardship, p. 60. Real interesting situation. Don’t let the devil tie you up. And that's the important part. So we’re going to look at this, how do we overcome it.

God says that he gave us the tithing system to overcome selfishness. You read about it Deuteronomy 14:23. The tithing system, listen carefully. God does not need the money. And the church doesn’t need the money either near as much as our people, all of us, need the blessings that can come to us from tithing. So I want to talk to you about tithing in this session. Because it can bring a lot of questions and a little bit of controversy. This may be your chance to write something done.

Abraham is called the father of the faithful. I’m going to tell you something interesting about Abraham. Do you think God can do whatever he says he can do? You got to believe that. It’s very very incredible. God came, in the twelfth chapter of Genesis, it’s recorded, and told Abraham get up and get out of your country to a land that I will show you and I will bless you and make you a great nation. And in you all the families of the earth will be blessed. In the next chapter, you read, Abraham was very wealthy in livestock, cattle and flocks and herds. And Lot that had gone with him was also wealthy. They were so wealthy that they had to divide because they didn’t have sufficient grazing land. That’s how they counted their wealth. Flocks and herds in those days.

You remember something amazing? He said to Lot, his nephew, I understand that our shepherds are arguing, it’s not good for brethren to argue. That should be in the church bulletin somewhere. But I’ll just tell you something amazing. He said, we’re going to have to divide, if you go over that way then I’ll go this way, but if you that way, then I’ll go this way. What should have Lot have said right then? Abraham you’re the senior man here, I’m just coming along. You know I asked if I could come along, you choose and I’ll go to the other one. But he didn’t. What he said was, there’s a beautiful valley over here and a river that runs through it, I want to go over there. And one of the saddest verses in the whole Bible is in Genesis 13. He pitched his tent toward Sodom.

Listen carefully. I have spoken four times in churches in New York City. And I’ve told people up there, you know, this is after 9/11, this is an incredible thing to understand. If you read through the scriptures, God suggests for his people that if possible they’re better off with houses in more rural locations. Not packed together in large cities. Do you understand? I know we don’t live in an ideal world, but if we did that’s the plan. I told that to somebody one time, about the new earth--build houses and plant vineyards, and everything. This guy says, yeah, but the main attraction is the city. So you know you can think about it.

The whole idea though, is we don’t move into the country to get away from people. We want to raise our families away from the noise, pollution, evil influences and the violence of the cities. And believe me, in every big city in America we’ve got big, big problems. I won’t tell you a lot about Washington, D.C. but I’ll just tell you, Abraham lived up on the plains.

Somebody came into his place one day, and said, your nephew Lot and his family have been taken captive. These four Elamite kings have come and ransacked Sodom and Gomorrah and they’ve taken all the stuff. And they have just plain taken it off and all the healthy people are going to be their slaves. What could Abraham have said right then? You guys aren’t mean enough. In the south they would say, he made his bed, let him sleep in it. He could be up here where he’s safe, but he chose to be down there. But instead by this time he was so wealthy, he had his own army, 318 trained servants in his own house, says Genesis 14:14.

And so he went, and with the blessing of God and the association of some of his friends he rescued the hostages. Now the neat part about this is when he comes back to Sodom. You like the details in the bible? It’s very interesting. The king of Sodom was not taken captive because he had hidden himself in a slime pit. You can imagine the froggiest pond you’ve ever seen in your life and then pour petroleum in on it, it’s all rusty looking. He’s down under there breathing through a bamboo tube probably. You know you learn the survival skills in the military. Anyway, he’s down there. When he comes back, he’s all drippy looking, and he sees Abraham coming with all this wagon loads of stuff. By the way, if he ransacked two cities like San Bernardino and Riverside, and you had all the stuff, you could retire. But the real deal is, the king came out and said to Abraham, because you have rescued everybody just let us go back and start over, you can have all the stuff. This would be like winning the powerball and the publishing clear house sweepstakes, and everything else you could think of, all in one day.

What did Abraham say? He said, I raised my hand before I left home and I told God, I’m not taking anything from these people, not even, the King James version says, a shoe lachet. Not even a shoe string. Because I trust you to take care of me. So he says to the king, thanks but no thanks, I don’t need the money. Wouldn’t that be fun to say that to somebody? I don’t think that Sarah was there when he said that. She wouldn’t have been in the army to start with but… unless it was today. Let me just tell you, she could have said, what do you mean we don’t need the money? We’re living in a tent after all. Do you guys understand that he lived in a tent like a Bedouin? He was a wealthy man. Do you know why he lived in a tent? Hebrews the eleventh chapter when it talks about the faith chapter, by faith Abraham, lived in a tent. Because he was looking for a city that had foundations whose builder and maker is God. He considered himself a pilgrim and a stranger on this earth.

But the reason I’m telling you that whole story is he said to the king, I’m not taking anything, but since you’ve given it to me and it’s technically mine, every time I get anything I always give God a tenth. So he took a tenth off the top and gave it to Melchizedek the priest of the most high God. And that’s Genesis 14:20 -- first time tithe is mentioned in the whole Bible. It’s not a command, because the faithful people have been doing it since the days of Adam according to Ellen White. Isn’t that interesting?

The next one I’ll show you real quickly is Jacob. This one is interesting because when Jacob deceived his old blind father... By the way, Isaac was so blind that he could not tell his sons apart. How did he tell them apart? Feeling their hands. So when Rebekah suggested that they make this… as an attorney I can tell you they conspired together, so they were equally guilty in this thing. We’re going to deceive the old man so you can get this. And Isaac said, "you kind of sound like Jacob". "Oh, no I’m Esau.” “How did you come back so soon?” “God blessed me. Just something right near by here.” “Well, let me feel your arm.” His mother had put goats skin on his arm. So he gave him the goat skin arm. He was so hairy apparently, that that fooled the old man. Isn’t that incredible? So he blessed him.

You understand that when Esau came back and heard that the blessing had already been given, he got livid. You understand the different levels of anger? Livid is when smoke comes out your ears. I mean you are really, really mad. Believe me I can tell you after many years of talking to people about money, people still fight today over inheritance monies. Is it true? They will almost kill each other.

So Esau -- "Let it be known in the camp, my father is old and blind and he will die soon. And when the days of mourning are past, I will kill my brother." You think he meant it? He was mad. He really meant it. So they said, you’re going to have to sneak away from here and go back to your mothers homeland, find yourself a wife and you know he’s going to cool down some day.

There are some sad things in the Bible. When Jacob left, he never saw his mother again. He was gone for twenty years and she died in the meantime. We’re told that she repented with tears and God forgave her. What you may not know, you can read in the fiftieth chapter of Genesis, she is buried along with Isaac and Abraham and Sarah in the cave of Machpelah. And Jacob and Leah are there too. Six people in the same grave, a cave. On the resurrection day, he will see his mother again. Can you imagine that day? "Jacob! Jacob!" "Mom! Mom!" And they’ll hug each other. This is an incredible story. But he never saw his mother again. But the old blind dad lived on and on and on. Isn’t this incredible? He must have made a charitable gift annuity to the conference or something, I’m not sure what happened.

The whole point I’m going to tell you about is something amazing. When Jacob ran from home, his brother was an outdoors man, was a good hunter, could track things. Jacob says, If my brother, when he finds out I’m gone, he’s going to track me down and kill me. Ellen White says in Patriarchs and Prophets, that he ran for two days without stopping. This is not literally possible, but he’d run as far as he could, and then catch his breath and guzzle some water and then run again and run again. He is just totally weary. And he found this place where there was a big rock he could hide behind. It says he took a big rock and lied down behind the big rock. He prayed that night. You know what he prayed about? Two things, "God, please don’t let my brother find me asleep", and "I want to come back here some day".

Then he dreamed a dream. To me it’s really incredible, its in the twentieth chapter of Genesis. About verse 12. He dreamed a dream. He saw the angels of God going up and down a ladder which was probably like a staircase. And at the top, God was there. And God said to him, "I am the God of Abraham, and the God of Isaac." He wanted to be Jacob’s God too. "The land on which you lie, I will give it to you and your descendants and they will be like the stars of heaven and the sand of the sea" and so on. Jacob woke up and he said, "Man, this is an awesome place. I’ve seen God here." And so he stood the big thing up on the end, and in the morning this big stone like an obelisk, he poured oil on the top and he called the name of the place Bethel, House of God. And then he said, Jacob vowed a vow -- the last two verse of chapter 28 -- "Since You’ve promised to do all this for me, bring me back to my homeland again. I will tell You as a young adult making a new commitment, You can count on me to be faithful with my tithe." Isn’t that incredible? Part of this experience was I promise I will be faithful. That’s the second mention of tithing in the Bible.

Deuteronomy says in the 16th chapter, “They shall not before the Lord empty handed, and every man shall give as he is able, according to the blessing of the Lord your God which he has given you.” Now this is really interesting. Giving to God is by far the most significant financial factor in life management. I really will tell you, since I’m near retirement age, there are three prerequisites to retirement. They are being debt free including your home; having a reasonable income to live on; and have health insurance. I know lots of people that are retired that have none of those three things. That’s the ideal situation. Do you understand?

Now Kathy and I have worked denominational wages since we’ve been married for 42 years. And Kathy has worked a good portion of that but not about the last 6 or 8 years. I will tell you something incredible. Who would think that we would put two kids through college with no students loans, that our house is paid off. You get the idea, I’m not going to tell you on and on and on. But the fact is, God has blessed us incredibly, you could not do it with the math. You get the point? It’s pretty simple to me. God has blessed us. There’s really hardly any question about that to us.

So that's the deal. When we put God first, he’ll give us wisdom, he is going to bless us. Proverbs 3, we read that, Deuteronomy 28, Malachi 3… you know this is the one that people typically think about tithing. The only one I’m going to tell you about there is verse 11. Verse 10, “Bring the tithes into the storehouse, I’ll open the windows of heaven and pour out such a blessing, you don’t have room enough to receive it.” And if you don’t have room enough to receive, what do you have? You have a surplus and you help others and help advance God’s cause with that. The real deal is something interesting. However, verse 11, God says, "I will rebuke the devourer for your sake.” I really, really like that. Do you understand what that means? I’m going to let your stuff last longer, your cars will run better, your clothes will last, etc. etc. that’s what it’s talking about. Pretty amazing.

So why do we give? Several motivations, and we’ll talk just briefly in just a minute about tithing. The first one, to glorify God as creator, to integrate God into the material side of our life, to show thanks for God’s grace and his blessings. I want to talk about biblical tithing. Tithing is not a matter of generosity or gratitude. Does everybody understand that tithe is not an offering? It’s a matter of simple honesty. Leviticus 27, “All the tithe of the land is the Lord, it is holy unto the Lord.” The Lord allows us. Tithe is a tenth part of our income or increase if we’re self-employed. This is the first part of our God-given increase that he claims as his own. The word for tithe and tenth are used interchangeably in the old testament and the new testament. I’m not going to spend a lot of time on that, I’m just going to show you a couple things. By the way, the last mention of tithing in the bible is in Hebrews 7:1-10 where tithing is mentioned about 8 times. And it’s talking about tithing after the order of Melchizedek.

Now remember that the jewish people, who were the priests? The tribe of Levi. Jesus was of the tribe of Judah. And there were no Levites when Melchizedek came to receive the first tithe. And Jesus is a priest after the order of Melchizedek of the tribe of Judah. Tithing goes on beyond Judaism. That’s just what I want to show you there.

So here’s the significance of tithing. First of all, Leviticus 27:3 says -- This is the main tithe legislation in the whole Bible, it’s not Malachi. It's this one. -- “All the tithe of the land is the Lords, it is holy unto the Lord.” Since the tithe belongs to God what could he do with it? Anything he wanted to. Is it true? He could take it all back to heaven if he wanted to. And here’s one that’s real scary. What would you think of it if after we took the offering today, at the University church here, that the brethren separated the offering from the tithe and so on. And the offerings they kept for its intended purposes, but the tithe they took it back out. Since the Loma Linda program is on TV this would really be great. And dump all this stuff into a little caldron, pour some lighter fluid on it and light it, just burn it up. The tithe. You know God did that with the sacrifices in the old testament. What kind of a lamb did the people bring? Their very best. To burn them up. God could do that if he wanted to. What did God decide to do with his tithe? Remember, it's his tithe. He decided in Numbers 18:21, “I have given the tribe of Levi the tithe as an inheritance in exchange for the work that they do, the work of the tabernacle with me.” This is very interesting. God pays the preachers, we don’t. Is it true? You see. Pretty interesting stuff.

Now we’ll show you something else, tithing and the tree of knowledge of good and evil. Now this is very, very interesting because a lot of people won’t understand this. The tithing system is the equivalent to the last day Christian the tree of knowledge of good and evil for Adam and Eve in the garden of Eden.

So George and I when we were students in the school of health years ago together, we found out something. One of my first classes was community nutrition, and I found out that it wasp not good to eat between meals. Those who eat between meals have more dental care, more hypertension, more obesity than those who don’t. Everybody understands, this is an absolute fact. So I thought when Eve was eating of the tree of knowledge of good and evil, she was eating between meals. We’ve got a big problem here. That’s what caused everything. I had to disavow myself of that when I found this interesting statement from Education p. 25. “There was nothing poisonous in the fruit itself, and the sin was not merely in yielding to appetite.” So there goes my between meals thing, you understand. I just put these little numbers in here, but everything else is a direct quote. “It was distrust of God’s goodness, disbelief of his word, and rejection in his authority that made our first parents transgressors and brought into the world a knowledge of evil.” So when we show that we’re faithful with our tithe we show that we trust God’s goodness, we believe his word and we accept his authority.

Oh, I’ll show you one other thing. Anybody who is enlightened in the area of tithing and is not currently a tither is not tithing for one of those three reasons. Pretty simple. Isn’t it true? Either we don’t trust God--you know, if I give this away I won’t have money to pay my rent--or, you don’t believe his word, or you reject his authority. Morris Venden wrote a book a number of years ago, 'God said, but I believe'. Here’s my idea about it. God isn’t smart enough to understand, he didn’t go to Loma Linda after all. I’m just kidding you guys about that part.

Let me just go on here. The significance of tithing. Tithing and our covenant relation with God. I’m going to show you this interesting statement. He who gave his only begotten son to die for you has made a covenant. What is a covenant? It is a promise or an agreement. He give you his blessings and in return he requires you to bring him your tithes and offerings. So what comes first, the blessings or the tithe? Blessings always come first, that’s what we tithe. We don’t tithe to get more blessings, we tithe the blessings we already got. That’s the whole point of it.

So I’m going to show another thing. Failure to tithe is robbery of God. I want to give you an illustration so you’ll never forget this. Really serious.

When I went to Law school, I did not intend to specialize in criminal law, but most of you know that any curriculum you take in graduate school, there’s certain core courses that you have to take whether you’re going to specialize in that or not. So I had to take criminal law and criminal procedure. I found when I was taking those two courses, that there are various levels of theft crimes and they’re treated differently.

For example, if when I’m gone some day somebody drives by, and I left my lawn mower in the front yard and they drive with a van and put it in and haul it off. If they were arrested, what could they be charged with? It’s just simple fact. Theft by conversion. We say taking the property of another person with no intention of returning it. Let me make it a little more serious. Let’s just say that some day I’m gone, somebody breaks into my house and steals my laptop computer. What could they be charged with? Well, there’s two crimes in many jurisdictions that merge into one, breaking and entering, and theft. Right? In many jurisdictions, it’s burglary. Classic burglary. Our son Andrew is an attorney. He actually does practice criminal law in Florida. Just a warning, if you were caught breaking and entering the dwelling of another person in Florida, even if you take nothing out, if you’re convicted, six years in jail. No questions asked. The Judge cannot commute your sentence and the constitution protects us in our privacy. Our homes are supposed to be secure. And that’s the real deal. But have I been robbed yet in what I’ve described to you? No. Robbery only occurs when the owner is present. This is very serious.

So I want to tell you a story that happened several years back. When I was at ASI as the secretary of ASI, some of the men decided it would be a wonderful thing for the fathers, businessmen at ASI, to take their sons and go on a father and son Maranatha trip to Guatemala. Maranatha was down there building schools and churches. So wouldn’t this be a wonderful idea? And indeed it was a wonderful idea.

So our group consisted of 16 men and their sons. And I was in the group. I didn’t plan the meeting, we just got the group together and we sent the money for our part of the church and the school to Sacramento to Maranatha. And they had arranged for all the building materials and all of that and our transportation. It used to be they didn’t like me to tell this story because of what happened, but now they don’t do that anymore.

But anyway, as things happened, when you fly to Guatemala, you typically get there in the evening from the United States. We got into there maybe 9:00 at night. By the time we collected our luggage and cleared customs, it was maybe 11:00 at night. I thought, I hadn’t planned that part, that they would take us to some elementary school or academy and we were going to sleep in the gym floor in our sleeping bags or whatever. But instead, they had rented a bus and it was an old school bus painted pink with big purple polka dots about foot over all around it. And then in black writing, inscripted, it said, Tu Rista on the side. Which in Guatemalan Spanish translated, “Rich Americans, please rob us”. And instead of going to a school, they decided to drive down the Pan-American highway to Totonicapan, Guatemala through the night.

So we’re on there, sixteen men and their sons, academy and college age sons. I was awake and saw this happen with my own eyes, so this is not hearsay. Most of the others were asleep because it’s like 2:00 in the morning. I don’t sleep very well when other people are driving. I sleep better when I’m driving. So anyway, I saw this pickup truck pull out across the road in a place where there was a cut on both sides, you couldn’t go anywhere, and stopped. And then the guns jump out. So I screamed to the guys wake up we’ve got problems. And I said to the bus driver, I took two years of Spanish when I was in high school, but I forgot every word I’ve ever known at that time. And I said to him, “Do not stop. Hit the ditch, try to go around.” But he skidded to a stop and a guy came up with a rifle and the guy hit the butt of the rifle into the rubber grommet around the door that was locked, reached in and unlocked it, and pretty soon there were men all over the bus with guns.

One guy with a rifle was standing at the back of the bus and none of us guys tried anything smart. The smart thing is not to do anything, as you know. At any rate, they started systematically. There were about 7 people on the bus with guns. They came down to our row, I’m sitting by the window and Andrew’s by the seat beside me here. And the guy looked at my watch. The row right in front of us, they had just stolen a genuine Rolex, a real one, not one of these kinds you see under somebody’s coat on the streets of New York City. But a real Rolex. But I had just purchased a brand new Timex at Kmart, it only cost me $9, because I knew I was going to be mixing cement and it gets on it and it’s going to die. Anyway, it looked shiny and nice. This guy started pulling on my watch. Because everybody was just handing them stuff. But I didn’t take mine off. So he started pulling on my watch. And I said, “Cheapo” I was trying to say it in Spanish. You don’t want this thing, it’s 9 bucks. This man had a 38 revolver stuck in his pants. He pulled it out and pulled the hammer back and stuck it right at my head and he was scared to death and I was scared to death. He was trembling, and I said, "My, this thing’s going to hurt. My brains are going to be all over the side of this bus.” I nearly lost my life for a $9.00 Timex. Andrew says, "Daddy, give it to him." I did. We were all robbed. Do you understand that?

Now why does God get by with saying failure to tithe is robbery? I thought the owner had to be present? What does the Bible say? Hebrews 4:13 -- "All things are naked and open before him before whom we must give an account.” Very interesting stuff. And David says, “Where can I flee from his presence, if I go to the highest mountain or the depths of the sea, God is there.” Do you understand how significant that can be? Very interesting stuff to me.

Okay, we’re going to go on here. The evasion of the positive command of God concerning tithes and offerings is registered in the books of heaven as robbery toward Him. It’s pretty serious, because several places we’re told he who embezzles his lord’s goods, not only loses the talent lended of God but loses eternal life.

There will be many reformed and forgiven robbers in heaven. But no active robbers in heaven. You get the difference. Okay, now we’re going to go on here.

By the way, tithing is an act of worship. Let me just tell you something interesting. There’s a lot of discussion now about the music styles and different worship styles and so on in the Adventist church. I’ll tell you one thing, the Bible does not address that so much, but it does say, there are four things always present in worship. One is the study of God’s word, one is prayer, one is music, and one is offering. Do not appear before the Lord empty handed. That’s a very interesting statement when you think about it.

Oh, I will show you this one. I was raised here in northern California and of course I spent two years here at Loma Linda. But the real interesting thing is when we talk about more than one person, we talk about You Guys. You guys still do that? But when you move back to the south, where I lived for 26 years working in the Southern Union, it’s Ya’ll. Ya’ll is kind of a nicer word. Than you guys, you understand? I mean it’s generic. You guys is guys and girls right? Anyway, I thought when I first heard ya’ll, that maybe Malachi was from Alabama or Mississippi or somewhere, because it says, bring ya’ll the tithe into the storehouse. He actually did say that, bring ye all the tithe in to the storehouse. But the answer is not you all bring the tithe. It is bring the whole thing. All the tithe. So the new king James version says bring all the tithe into the storehouse. Not ya’ll, but bring the whole thing. You get the point? Be faithful.

There are many things we could talk about. I think maybe we are going to crash here, because... Oh, I'll just show you this one last thing. You see the idea of the honest tithe here? By the way, most of us recognize that the final movements in our church will be rapid ones and part of that will be a great revival in God’s church. Isn't that awesome? And this was what was happening and what was needed at the time of Malachi. He says, return to me and I’ll return to you. God hasn’t moved, we’re the ones that have moved typically.

So I want to talk about an honest tithe. Here it is, three elements of an honest tithe. They are: portion, or percent which is one tenth; another one is place to return it which is the storehouse; and then the third one is the purpose and that is to support the gospel ministry or the ministry of God’s church. So it’s percent, place, purpose. One of the questions people have is "Where’s the storehouse?". And I wish I had time to tell you about that. I actually wrote a paper for the General Conference Biblical Research Institute on that topic. And I think I have something about that, but it’s the central storehouse.

And I’ll just leave it at this. When the israelites went into the land of canaan, God said to them you’re going to be separated from the Tabernacle, but wherever you are, three times a year you bring your tithe to the central storehouse and they did. It’s in the book Faith and Finance. Maybe I’ll scroll through this. Three times a year all the males would appear before the Lord, this is Exodus 23 right after the giving of the ten commandments. It tells when they were and when they camped. But I want to show you one little statement. God said, when you come with your tithe... By the way, two of those festivals, the Passover and the feast of Tabernacles were eight days long. Now the interesting thing was, they were away from home and their property about a month a year just to bring their tithe to the storehouse. But God said to them, I’m making you this promise, I’m going to cast out the nations before you and enlarge your borders, neither shall any man desire your land when you go to appear before the Lord thy God thrice in the year. Don’t worry about your stuff when you’re gone, I’ll take care of it. Isn't that incredible? This is an amazing stuff that I discovered.

The other were Passover, Pentecost, feast of tabernacles. And I think I will just show you, this is the last one that we are going to look at. Anciently, the lord instructed his people to assemble three times a year for worship, to these holy convocations, the children of Israel came bringing to the house of God their tithes, their sins offerings, and their offerings of gratitude. The answer to where is the storehouse is the place from which the pastors receive their salary. In the Adventist church, the church has designated the local conference as the place where the tithes are collected. By the way, nobody who is on the pastoral staff at Loma Linda, goes through the offerings Saturday Night and gets out his money. It goes to the conference and everybody gets paid on the same pay scale. We follow the best I’ve ever seen of what we call the biblical model in the Adventist church.

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