Spiritual Satisfaction

Sermonette by Martin G. Collins

Martin Collins observes that, when people are concerned about survival (as they naturally become when they fast), their minds become dull to covetousness. The Parable of the Rich Fool illustrates that, when one has all the material possessions he could want, he may still not be rich toward God—to the extent of abject …


It's Important to God Too (Part One)

Sermonette by John W. Ritenbaugh

John Ritenbaugh, focusing upon Deuteronomy 16:16 and Exodus 23:17, the traditional verses calling for an offering, admonishing not to come to Holy Day services empty-handed, reminds us that we are not really giving God anything because He owns everything. The experience of giving an offering is for our benefit. We receive …


Offerings and Taxes

Sermonette by Richard T. Ritenbaugh

Richard Ritenbaugh, comparing the tax systems devised by human governments with God's offerings, observes that mankind's tax laws are intricate, while God's system of offerings are straightforward. Deuteronomy 16:16 does not specify the exact amount of the offering, but does ask us to make a thoughtful recollection of the …


Money, Control, and Sacrifice

Sermonette by John W. Ritenbaugh

John Ritenbaugh, focusing on Solomon's observation that "money is the answer to everything" (Ecclesiastes 10:10), suggests that, though wealth is neutral, the inordinate and obsessive desire for money as a means of control is evil. Equating money with power is an illusion when one factors in the exigencies of …


The Purpose of Offerings

Sermonette by Richard T. Ritenbaugh

The Pastor General of a well-known church made a statement that turned the giving of offerings into a competition and a rich man's game. Is this God's intent?


A Motivation for Giving

Sermonette by John W. Ritenbaugh

John Ritenbaugh, reflecting on offertory sermonettes he has heard in the past, many of which seemed to emphasize that people were not sacrificing enough for the work, explores other motivations for giving. When Paul attempted to motivate the Corinthians (a wealthy congregation which had received spiritual gifts), he compared …


Money, Control and Sacrifice (2015)

Sermonette by John W. Ritenbaugh

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 …


The Presence of the Eternal

Sermonette by Martin G. Collins

Martin Collins, acknowledging that, after Adam and Eve's sin, being in God's presence has been problematic for all of their offspring, points out that the intercessory prayer of Moses led to the promise of God to accompany His people and dwell among His people, sanctifying them by His glory. When God shows mercy, it is because …


An Acceptable Sacrifice

Sermonette by John W. Ritenbaugh

John Ritenbaugh, focusing on the theme, "An acceptable sacrifice," reflects upon the relative acceptability of the offerings of Cain and Abel. Perhaps God sent fire to totally consume Abel's offering, indicating acceptance of his offering. Interestingly, Abel was totally consumed, becoming the first martyr for faith. …


The Meaning of the Offering

Sermonette by John W. Ritenbaugh

The New Covenant sacrifices are far more demanding than the Old Covenant sacrifices. But there are poignant lessons to be learned from animal sacrifices.


A Vivid Comparison

Sermonette by John W. Ritenbaugh

John Ritenbaugh, drawing comparisons between the vast offerings given collectively by the nation of Israel for the building of the temple, equaling 1 billion, 400 thousand dollars in today's wealth, and King David's personal contribution, in excess of 1 billion, 600 thousand dollars, avers that both were dwarfed into …


Holy for the Lord

Sermonette by Martin G. Collins

Martin Collins, reflecting on the foulest smelling item on the earth, namely the Titan Arum flower, emitting the odor of rotting flesh, contrasts it with the wonderful aromas recorded in scripture, sweet aromas from burnt offerings, fragrant incense, symbolic of prayers. If the Israelites were to use this incense for profane or …


Eternal Paradoxes

Sermonette by Martin G. Collins

Martin Collins, examining the properties of a paradox (a statement that is seemingly contradictory or opposed to common sense and yet is perhaps true), suggests that paradox plays an essential role in the lives of those called by God. Some of the paradoxical truths of God include, "He who loses his life will find it," …


Offerings and Sacrificing

Sermonette by John W. Ritenbaugh

John Ritenbaugh, reflecting that we have been marking nearly 6,000 years since Abel's offering was accepted and Cain's offering was rejected by God, an event revealing the carnal proclivity for jealousy leading to the first murder, reminds us that the Bible clearly shows that the requirement for the offering was in-force at the …


How to Become Rich

Sermonette by John W. Ritenbaugh

John Ritenbaugh, relating some insights from economist Gary North, an unusually religious man who has authored (or co-authored) over 60 books, all demonstrating a clear support of biblically-based law and economics, examines some of the causes of poverty and scarcity, concluding that material wealth is an inaccurate gauge of …


A Brief Overview of Biblical Prosperity

Sermonette by John W. Ritenbaugh

John Ritenbaugh focuses on Proverbs 30:7-9, in which Agur asks God to cushion him from the extremes of poverty or excessive wealth, allowing himself to live a balanced life of contentment. Wealth has a powerful influence on one's life, causing us to overestimate our own prowess and underestimate God's involvement with us. We …


Sowing and Reaping

Sermonette by John W. Ritenbaugh

John Ritenbaugh in this offertory message suggests that unfortunately, for many people, much their lives have often been dominated by fear of loss. Fearing loss of face (or loss of image) may lead to lying. Fear of any kind is never an excuse to break any of God's laws. God wants us to learn the principle of reciprocity- that …


Investing in Eternal Life

Sermonette by John W. Ritenbaugh

John Ritenbaugh, reflecting on the Protestant notion that "a person's works are of no avail" asserts that this is a faith -killing prescription because faith without works is dead. Protestants also feel that any thought of reward taints the whole process of salvation. When all of the scripture are not brought into the …


What the Sacrifices Mean

Sermonette by John W. Ritenbaugh

The sacrificial system of Leviticus typifies spiritual sacrifices which we perform under the New Covenant. The animal sacrifices focused on total commitment.


Giving a Gift Strengthens and Bonds

Sermonette by Martin G. Collins

Martin Collins, maintaining that giving a gift strengthens the bond between individuals, bringing about a warm feeling in the giver toward the one receiving the gift, suggests that there is a sentimental dimension factored into offerings. Jacob, in his voluntary gift to the leader of Egypt (whom he discovered later to be Joseph) …


It's Important to God Too (Part Two)

Sermonette by John W. Ritenbaugh

John Ritenbaugh, reminding us that God does not do things uselessly, and certainly does not need our physical goods, examines the role of the offering and sacrifice rehearsed at each Holy Day. The nouns offering and sacrifice derive from two separate Greek words meaning "to bring forth" and "to kill" …


Keep It Clean

Sermonette by John W. Ritenbaugh

John Ritenbaugh, reflecting upon the Middle East connotations casting disdain upon dogs, points out that the grounds of comparison may be their inclination to be sneaky, groveling scavengers feeding on the refuse of humanity, including human flesh. God's Word describes the ritual harlot and the sodomite as disgusting, vile dogs …


Offering From the Heart

Sermonette by Ronny H. Graham

Ronny Graham, reflecting on the history and circumstances of offerings in the Bible, including the Queen of Sheba's fabulous gift to Solomon, Cain and Abel's respective offerings, and Abraham's offering to Melchizedek, focuses on the most significant offering ever given to a dignitary—gold, frankincense, and …


Supreme Permanence and Value

Sermonette by Martin G. Collins

Martin Collins, reflecting that precious stones are highlighted in Scripture 26 times, focuses on the stones in the New Jerusalem referenced in Revelation 21:9ff The 12 precious stones radiate pure light. When precious stones are the recipients of polarized light, all colors of the rainbow are generated (anisotrophic) or they go …


According to the Blessing

Sermonette by John W. Ritenbaugh

John Ritenbaugh, reflecting on the "blessings of the Lord" descriptor in Deuteronomy 16:16, reminds us that though many of us are not well off materially, nor are we counted among the great of the world, we have nevertheless been given a priceless calling and a spiritual conduit (through His Holy Spirit) which more …


Spiritual Food Satisfies

Sermonette by Martin G. Collins

Those who view religion as a life of gloom and deprivation are too short-sighted to realize that the world's entertainments do not satisfy the deepest need.


Standing Before God's Judgement

Sermonette by Martin G. Collins

Martin Collins, maintaining that America culture prides itself on rugged individualism and independence, cautions that in spiritual matters, dependence upon God gives us the resolve, firmness, and tenacity for our spiritual journey. None of the heroes are heroines of faith faced their challenges by themselves, but were aware of …


Giving Flows From the Focused Work of God

Sermonette by Mark Schindler

Mark Schindler, focusing upon the unfaithful servant in Matthew 25, warns that God has given each one of His people spiritual responsibilities as well as gifts enabling them to perform those responsibilities. If God's people keep their focus upon His purpose for them as outlined by His Holy Days, they will be able to accomplish …


Indifference and Offering

Sermonette by John W. Ritenbaugh

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 …


Made By Fire

Sermonette by Richard T. Ritenbaugh

Richard Ritenbaugh, reflecting how flames from a fire can be mesmerizing, observes that the fire quickly consumes what it touches, reducing the thickest log to ash and smoke. The phrase "offering by fire" is used 63 times throughout the Scriptures (King James Version). The sons of Aaron had to be consecrated through the ritual …


On Earning Wealth

Sermonette by John W. Ritenbaugh

The three principles for acquiring prosperity (diligently working, wisely managing what one has earned, and meticulously saving) all militate against laziness.


Assessment Now, Judgment Later!

Sermonette by Martin G. Collins

Martin Collins, cautioning us to properly value the infinite blessings that God has given us, warns that underestimating God's gifts can lead us to undervalue the spiritual or overvalue the physical. Esau, despised his birthright, preferring a bowl of lentils to placate his stomach; Lot's wife, preferring material prosperity, …


Abel Glorified God!

Sermonette by Martin G. Collins

Martin Collins, analyzing the differences between the offerings of Cain and Abel, emphasizes that failure to obey the command specifically requiring a livestock offering rather than produce from already-cursed ground (Genesis 3:17) disqualified Cain's offering. The observation that Cain's countenance fell suggests that he had …