Martin Collins, arguing that the subtle infiltration of secularism is the major cause of fissures in the greater Church of God, warns church members how secularism threatens spiritual growth. During our pre-Passover period of self-examination, we must focus on what the Father demands of us and embrace His truth with all our might, esteeming God's words over everything else. Sadly, mainstream 'Christianity' gives little heed to God's Word, valuing consensus (a plurality of 51%) over doctrinal truth as revealed by the Scriptures. We seriously err if we rely on the secular media to give us spiritual understanding. God sends strong delusion to those who do not love the truth. We cannot reject obeying God, but we must reject the world's theology, as it defends degeneracy. The dominant world culture militates against God's Sabbath, allowing sporting events, shopping, and entertainment to take its place. In the latter days, secular concerns have increased; "everybody does it." Being set apart requires we become an example (which will appear alien to the world), serving, metaphorically, as lighthouses in a dark world. Thankfully, Christ has our back by sanctifying us with His truth and giving us the will and power to do His work thorough the means of God's Holy Spirit.
Richard Ritenbaugh, asking us how long it will be until we are the United States of Amazon, stated that Jeff Bezos, poised to become the richest man in the world, having gobbled up over twenty-five lucrative dot com corporations, such as The Washington Post (turning it into a vicious propaganda organ for the far left), as well as retail, clothing and food stores, points out that in the current economic environment the rich are getting richer and the poor are getting poorer. The number of billionaires in the world has risen 18% this last year, with the United States claiming 565, China 316, Germany 114, and India 101. Two hundred and twenty-seven women are also on this list. Because of dramatic changes in technology, these new kids on the block have eased out the old titans—Rockefeller, Carnegie, J.P. Morgan and the Vanderbilt's. The volume of money traded back and forth is not an aberration, but simply the way the market works. If government would keep its hands out of the economic system, the free market would have a way of equalizing the excesses. Reflecting on Asaph's question as to why the wicked prosper, we do not need to worry about that, but realize that in the fullness of time, the righteous and the wicked will get their proper reward.
Martin Collins, continuing the "Money has Failed" series, contends that the move to a cashless society, in which the "bankster" elites have greedily commenced stealing the true physical wealth of society, replacing it with relatively worthless Federal Reserve Notes ('promissory' I.O.U.'s), will drastically drive up inflation, causing bankruptcies and foreclosures on a massive scale.The price of food has risen 8% annually, making it impossible to fill up a grocery cart for under $100 today. For example, the price of ground beef has risen 45%, a loaf of bread 39%, apples 36%, salt 34%, and vegetables 33.7%. Today, the inflated Federal Reserve Note is worth about 3 cents on the dollar since the establishment of the Federal Reserve System. Because of the disastrous process of quantitative easing (the continuous frenetic printing of valueless paper notes), the resultant damage appears beyond repair. National debt, hyperinflation, and negative interest rates for savings have burgeoned worldwide. God's people need to prepare for this impending disaster by getting out of debt as quickly as possible, and put effort into obeying God, valuing spiritual satisfaction above physical satisfaction.
Martin Collins observes that the Globalist war on cash is underway with the ultimate objective of taking away freedom and privacy for all. Though Globalists claim that the target of these measures are drug dealers and black market arms merchants, their true target is control of the world's wealth, 'legitimatizing' their right to steal the wealth of all the unsuspecting citizenry through electronic manipulation, maliciously controlling or 'regulating' what people can buy or sell. Consequently, the Globalist "banksters" can track all our purchases, can freeze our accounts for any reason, can levy confiscatory fees or taxes, can impose negative interest rates on our savings, and can confiscate all currency and re-issue less valuable electronic currency, driving up inflation, and destroy our privacy, eerily similar to the Mark of the Beast of Revelation 13.
Martin Collins, describing the nefarious plan of the world's banking institutions to pull nations into a cashless society, suggests that these institutions have accomplished their goals incrementally, by eliminating larger banknotes, as well as restricting how much cash can be used on a single purchase, or limiting the amount of cash one may withdraw. Ostensibly, the reasons given for these measures are noble—to safeguard the public from criminal elements trafficking in weapons or drugs. The cashless scheme has spread its tentacles to Venezuela, Australia, France, Greece, Spain, Israel, Turkey, Cyprus, Denmark, Norway, and Sweden, and will soon be coming to a bank near you. In this 'post-truth' era, we need to beware of "Greeks bearing gifts," realizing that the motives of those finance corporations who desire to create a cashless society are not pure; behind them lurks the sinister goal of controlling and stealing, rather than providing security. We may be approaching the time when the cash literally has failed (Genesis 47:14) as a result of the world's governments abandonment of their God -given duty to protect their citizenry, ultimately turning them into little more than penned and herded cattle.
Martin Collins, claiming that economists often refer to Daniel Defoe's Robinson Crusoe because it portrays a lone man facing a scarcity in economic goods without any means of exchange of value, suggests that one in such a situation will prioritize his needs in a hierarchy of value. In a world of limited resources, a person should make decisions as to how to achieve his goals. What would we do if we had no money? When it comes to eating or starving, money has no value compared to food. During the famine in Egypt, the value of money had fallen to zero. When there is no bread, the one who has bread can buy anything of value with it. One will sell himself into slavery for a morsel of life-sustaining food. The Patriarch Joseph bought all land and resources for the Egyptian Pharaoh by exchanging food for other material resources. Grain became the new form of money. Whatever everybody wants is true money. Today, cash has value; next year that may not be. Kenneth Rogoff, Harvard economist and champion of the Federal Reserve System, has seriously proposed a phasing out of cash because of the lack of centralized control. Electronic cash would make taxation and confiscation easier, facilities 'progressive' authoritarian regimes have always loved. Some governments around the world, such as the Indian government, have started to phase out cash, instigating massive panics and riots at ATM machines. The price of gold immediately skyrocketed. The India government wants to move its citizenry to a cashless society so it can control every aspect of its peoples' lives by its chokehold on the digital banking system. Failed money is the same as unmarketable money. Digital currency severely limits freedom of movement and choices, tethering one to immense authoritarian government control by elite, unelected globalist brigands.
Solomon declares in Proverbs 22:7, "The rich rules over the poor, and the borrower is servant to the lender." How true that is! ...
John Ritenbaugh, cuing in on Ecclesiastes 10:13, explains the context in which the statement "money answers everything" appears. Some people obsess about money, working their fingers to the bone to accumulate more. Money is neutral, but the inordinate desire or love of money has horrific, evil consequences. Money does indeed represent power, whether it equates to having more goods, influence over people, or control over one's life. Sadly, for those mesmerized by money, it is an illusory power, vulnerable to stock market crashes, inflation, and deflation—hardly something in which to put confidence. Money's perceived value may only be in the eye of the beholder. In the really important things in life, money is powerless. Wealth cannot buy the forgiveness of sins, eternal life, or God's Holy Spirit. Riches do not profit in the day of wrath. If we trust in our riches, we will fall. Wealth cannot compensate for bad character. If we do not have godly character, wealth will control us, leading to disastrous consequences. God commands us to bring an offering before Him, realizing that the money or wealth has the potential of being a competitor to Him. An offering gives God a clear opportunity to evaluate us, showing where our trust really is. God is our security, and we have already given Him control over our lives. Our willingness to sacrifice (or not to sacrifice) shows where our loyalty and heart really are. Our motivation to sacrifice should resemble the woman who washed Jesus' feet with expensive, fragrant oil, showing her immense gratitude for having her sins forgiven.
Ecclesiastes is a book of wisdom. The kind of wisdom that it teaches, however, is not of the purely philosophical variety, but is a spiritual sagacity combined with practical skill in living. John Ritenbaugh explains that this kind of godly wisdom, if applied, will protect a Christian as he experiences the trials and tribulations of life in this world.
John Ritenbaugh, reflecting on Solomon's ruminations about life being seemingly futile and purposeless, reiterates that a relationship with God is the only factor which prevents life from becoming useless. As many celebrities and public figures withdraw to spend more time with families, so must we withdraw from the rat race of the world to seek a relationship with God. Most people on this earth are not spending quality time at seeking a relationship with Him, but are living "under the sun" lives. God gave us the gift of His Spirit, enabling us to attain a sound mind, empowering us to choose the way that will bring satisfaction in life. At our calling we receive a gift of spiritual life enabling us to make good use of our physical lives. God has never given any physical object to us that can bring a sustained satisfaction in life, but His Holy Spirit can enable us to enhance our life with Him. The fruit of the Spirit (attained by walking in the Spirit) does bring a sustaining satisfaction within us. Humility attracts us to God; conceit and pride repels us from God. When we commit our works to Him, He will enable us to succeed by directing our steps, giving us maximum enjoyment and contentment, as well as softening the effects of any calamity that afflicts us. Conversely, a life without God will never bring us satisfaction spiritually, psychologically, or physically.
When Solomon visits the Temple, he comes away from his observations of the worshippers with a sense that too many treat religion far too casually and carelessly, forgetting that they are coming before the great God. As John Ritenbaugh explains, Solomon admonishes his readers to listen to God's Word when they approach Him and to be careful to follow through with what they promised when they made the covenant with Him.
John Ritenbaugh, cuing onto Ecclesiastes 5:18-20, observes that we must do what we must to keep a relationship with God. Solomon teaches us that money may provide some security, but it cannot be relied upon for satisfaction; only a relationship with God will fill that yawning vacuum. Money is neutral commodity, serving either good or bad purposes. If we use it in God's service, we will derive joy as we progress through our spiritual journey. In Warren Wiersbe's estimation, loving the gift but disregarding the giver constitutes idolatry. Satisfaction depends on being assured, having a low level of anxiety. The book of Ecclesiastes was expressly written for the sons of God, not really intended for those uncalled. For those called by God, life and work are not purposeless; for those called by God everything matters in the journey to Eternity, having a meaningful relationship with God, our Creator, Defender, Bridegroom , Sustainer, Intimate Friend, and Father, involved in every aspect of our lives. God has created us as "new' Creations, fashioning us for specific roles in His Kingdom. Whenever we fear the world or mankind, we are subject to neurotic or psychotic bondage and driven to sin; when we fear God, we are released from this bondage, given a balanced, sound mind through His Holy Spirit. No physical thing will ever satisfy us permanently; In John D. Rockefeller's estimation, it is never enough, but will always require a little more. God alone has the power to grant us satisfaction, allowing us to grow in grace and spiritual knowledge. We have a long way to go in developing a relationship with God, realizing that He is there at all times. Wealth, work, posterity, and the future carry absolutely No satisfaction unless God is involved in our lives. We need to live our lives in the here and now with our family in godly enjoyment with a large measure of godly love.
With both the United States and Europe dealing with an impending financial disaster, the world today is full of economic news. Economic terms and philosophies are common knowledge to many. While many doubters think that the Bible is not sophisticated enough to comment on such modern ideas, Richard Ritenbaugh explains that God's Word does indeed factor economics into the end-time equation in its prophecies.
Men discovered long ago that religion can be big business. ...
We live in a society that is increasingly concerned about ownership. We have a proclivity to assume ownership over things we find in our grasp. David Grabbe considers this principle in relation to the Sabbath. Who owns it—and how does the answer to this question affect our keeping of it?
If we don't know where we're going, we aren't going to get there! John Ritenbaugh illustrates that our vision of our goal—the Kingdom of God—is a compelling motivation to overcome, grow, and bear fruit in preparation for eternal life.
The Parable of the Unjust Steward has bothered Bible students for many years. Is Christ saying that Christians are foolish? Are we make friends with greedy people? Are we doomed to fail? This Bible Study answers these frequent questions.
John Ritenbaugh, soberly reflecting on the $19 trillion dollar national debt and with 25% of American private citizens two days away from bankruptcy, he warns that the prudent shouldn't continue to live in a fool's paradise, but should make common sense preparations, like the ant, (Proverbs 6:6-8) storing up provisions for at least a season. Prophetic warnings are given to motivate preparation. Both the watchman and the one who hears (Ezekiel 3:17) have a grave responsibility to make prudent economic and spiritual preparations for bad times, tightening belts, helping themselves and others through the tough times.
John Ritenbaugh points out the impossibility of serving two masters equally (Matthew 6:24), especially if each master's goals, objectives, or interests are antithetical to one another. If we try to serve both equally, we run the risk of losing both. Eventually one wil love the other and disrespect the other. Trusting mammon (any worldly treasure inspired by Satan) will erode faith, eventually turning us to idolatry and eternal death. We need to emulate the lives of Moses (who gave up power and massive worldly goods) and Paul (who gave up pedigree and prestigious religious credentials) to yield to and follow God's direction. The best way to attain true wealth and the abundant eternal life is to loosen our grip on worldly rewards and single-mindedly follow Christ.
Laodiceans think of themselves as rich, while God sees them as poor. On the other hand, the Smyrnans see themselves as poor, yet God says they are rich! What are true riches?
Do you sometimes worry about your financial situation? Knowing that just about everyone does, Mike Ford explains Jesus' simple solution to this common problem.
John Ritenbaugh stresses that God emphasizes the rather pessimistic theme of Ecclesiastes during the Feast of Tabernacles to show the consequences of doing whatever our human heart has led us to do. Without incorporating God's purpose (Ecclesiastes 12:14), our lives, even with all the creature comforts satisfied to the maximum, are absolutely meaningless. Solomon, by continuously evaluating the causes and effects of his calculated pleasure- or meaning-seeking experiment, records many shrewd, commonsense observations about the meaning of life. Even with vast materialistic, artistic, or academic accomplishments, life without the purpose of God is depressingly hollow, disappointing, meaningless, and vain. These disillusionments force God's called-out ones to live by faith. Consequently, God can turn something formerly disappointing and meaningless into something meaningful, purposeful, and profitable for those who fear and trust Him (Roman 8:28).
John Ritenbaugh focuses on the Old Testament emphasis on the dwelling in booths and the sacrifices as the context for rejoicing (Leviticus 23:40-44). Even though the Feast is an interlude from our customary activities, it is not a vacation (a cessation from our spiritual sacrifices, duties, or responsibilities). If we do not prioritize properly, (fearing God -Deuteronomy 14:23 and seeking God's Kingdom- Matthew 6:33), the miscellaneous distractions of this world (Mark 4:19) could railroad our most important priority. The booths depict our current lives as pilgrims, people on the move, not living in our own country, wandering single-mindedly toward our destination as our forefather Abraham had earlier set the pattern (Hebrews 11:8), fully determined that the cares of the world would not deter him from his goal.
Men have searched for centuries for the keys to success in life. Many have found rules to live by to bring them physical wealth and well-being, but all of them have neglected the most important factor: God!
Even with all the political, environmental and military problems hanging over us, Americans are most concerned about their personal finances. Herbert Armstrong shows from Scripture how your financial problems can be solved!
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