Martin Collins, focusing on Proverbs 21:5, which teaches that diligence leads to plenty while haste leads to poverty, cautions that this principle applies to far more than just money and wealth, but also to the creation and maintenance of societal institutions. As one snowflake does not cause an avalanche by itself, wisdom dictates that we cogently size up potential cause-effect relationships—aware of the devastation which unintended consequences can bring—in the creation of economic and social systems, and in the implementation of public policy, building law-based resiliency into them. Ineffective and counter-productive policies can reach critical mass quickly, resulting in major societal disruptions, an avalanche. The snowflakes that continue to add to the mass (such as natural disasters, policies of economic redistribution, irresponsible reporting by mainstream media, compromises to infrastructure, etc.) will continue to the accumulate until the avalanche finally destroys the village. Like Noah and his family, God's called-out ones live in a world in which secularism and leftist miscalculations array themselves against the righteousness of God's law. The diligent will learn how to prepare for the onslaught of evil which will only be quashed by God's Kingdom.
John Ritenbaugh, reflecting on the thesis of Eric Hoffer's book, The True Believer, agrees that all mass movements share a cluster of similar characteristics. Although Herbert W. Armstrong, through his advertising acumen, was able to create in a peoples' minds a hope for radical change for their personal benefit, that hope was not for material, but for spiritual benefit, separating it from all other mass movements. Herbert W. Armstrong transferred his advertising skill from marketing products to teaching truth of God, unlike those peddlers of the 'Prosperity' gospel, who promise material blessings right now. When people begin to lose interest in what originally gave them hope, the movement is in danger of dying. Much of the apostle Paul's admonition was to remain steadfast in the faith. The Prophet Haggai issues an appeal for funds to repair of the physical temple when the people were apparently living in prosperity. Haggai suggests that, because their interest in spiritual priorities had waned, their prosperity was not bringing them frustration instead of satisfaction. As the world's system is crashing, it becomes easy to fall into the mindset of the people of Haggai's time, working increasingly harder, but not living by faith. We must not become indifferent to God due to world events. If we step out on faith, God promises blessings will accrue. Realizing that God is the source of all our prosperity, we must choose where our real treasure is.
John Ritenbaugh, observing a gigantic chasm between conservative talk radio, alternative media, and the 'official' Federal Government's portrayal of the American economy, concludes that the Obama Administration's calculations of economic indicators are not only full of equivocation and sleight of hand, but also weighed down by shameless prevarication. The rosy 5% unemployment figure touted by the government is deceitfully achieved by counting a plethora of part-time entry-level jobs, enough to provide spending money for teenagers but not enough to support a family, under-employed workers compelled to make ends meet by cutting the neighbor's grass or driving Uber taxis, and tens of thousands of unemployed people who have given up looking. Government statisticians and economists smugly count people working 30 hours a week at a minimum wage as fully employed. The real statistics, suppressed by the government-controlled media, bare the truth that only 41percent are employed, with most people skimping by, succumbing to indebtedness. Not even considering the shameful national debt amassed by the current Administration, personal indebtedness is now in the trillions of dollars: College students owe one trillion dollars in accumulated tuition debt, while millions of Americans will never fully "catch up on the credit card debt. A recent article in the Atlantic Monthly exposed the fragility of the disappearing middle class, suggesting that most Americans, because of governmental economic policy, are so cash poor that they could not scrape $400 together for an unexpected bill unless they sold something or borrowed money from a friend or relative. 47% of the American citizenry are dependents of the Federal government, which sadly, because of gross incompetency, is also cash poor. Most of our citizenry is ignorant about the causes of this demise, failing to realize that God is plaguing this nation for its blatant, calloused sin.
Martin Collins, returning to the annoying questions asked by the priests in the book of Malachi as to God's alleged tardiness of justice, declares that their call for justice was unwise, considering that they would be fried to a crisp when they received what they deserved. The same applies to us: we need to be careful when we ask for justice, for our request might very well come back to bite us.. Those relentlessly begging for justice will indeed get what they ask for. Their presumptuous questions are all answered by Malachi, indicting both ancient and modern Judah and Israel. God's coming in judgment will be against those who are critical of His judgments. God, like a refiner of precious metals, will skim off the dross until He can see His face. Before the day of vengeance, a lengthy time of grace will precede, including 400 years from the time of Malachi to Christ's reading from Isaiah about bringing liberty and sight to the blind. Another 2,000 years have been added, and the same national sins, such as defiling God's Sabbath and robbing His tithes and offerings (both given before the Mosaic law), still dog our society today. Even though it is axiomatic, according to surveys conducted by Christianity Today and the Barna Group, that individuals who give 10% or more are generally better off than those who do not, the majority of modern Israel have cursed themselves by withholding tithes and offering, mirroring the days of Malachi and Haggai. All we have belongs to God, yet paradoxically if we give back 10%, we are incredibly blessed. Tithing provides for preaching the Gospel, Feast expenses, and helping the needy. Robbing God of His tithes brings curses on the created order, interpersonal relationships, and the covenental relationship. In the matter of tithing, God (1) calls for obedience to bring all the tithes into the storehouse, (2) issues a challenge to test Him, (3) accompanies His challenge with bountiful promises, and (4) reminds us of the ultimate blessing of being an example to the world.
John Ritenbaugh, observing that the news of Iran, Iraq, Pakistan, and Israel has diminished, suggests that the economic woes of America have taken over in the news. Economist Martin Weiss suggested that this demise has been coming at us like a roaring freight train. A family, a company, or nation cannot keep spending beyond its means without suffering consequences. It is illogical that we need to spend money in order to get out of debt. Like ancient Rome, who tried to entertain its citizenry by bread and circuses, while it spent itself into oblivion. The Chinese, economically in better shape than we are because of the industrial base we have given them, have guaranteed 15% of our national debt. The foolishness of the government in thinking it can spend itself out of debt by printing more "funny money" will bring hideous economic slavery to this nation. When nothing backs up the currency, it becomes worth nothing.
Richard T. Ritenbaugh: All the news that is fit to print these days seems to revolve around our hobbled economy. ...
Martin G. Collins: A news headline this week reads, "7 States Begin Fiscal Year With No Budget. ...
Martin Collins, in reflecting upon God's promises to bless the righteous, asks us to carefully consider the standards upon which we measure blessings. After eliminating obvious reasons for curtailment of blessings, we must be on guard against comparing ourselves with others, a practice that leads to pernicious envy, lust, and coveting, destroying peace, tranquillity, and contentment. Too often prosperity and financial gain militate against godly character and spiritual well-being as it unleashes idolatry and covetousness. To be rich toward God means to seek first the Kingdom of God (tasting and testing God's way of life), living God's way (continually doing His commandments),and continually trusting God regardless of temporary, visible circumstances.
Most of us have heard the courtroom mantra, "the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth." John Reid, however, applies these criteria to our behavior, showing that many of us shy away from "nothing but the truth"!
We tend to forget how different holy days and their offerings were under the Old Covenant as compared to the New. However, the important part of giving offerings remains the same!
The subject of tithing is bound to spawn arguments in this time, but the biblical teaching about it is very simple: The tithe is God's and still in force!
In this comprehensive overview of tithing, John Reid explores the attitudes we should have toward tithing, the purposes of the tithe, and the benefits of tithing. Tithing expresses both our honor and love for God (the Supplier and Sustainer of all things) and our love for our neighbor, actively expressing God's great law. The first tithe is reserved exclusively for God's purpose, enabling the ministry to perfect the saints. The second tithe is reserved for festival purposes, enabling us to learn to fear God. The third tithe is used to show love for the helpless and people who have fallen on bad times. Incredible blessings accrue to those who keep these tithing principles.
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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