Feb 28, 2014

I Am Re-Naming My Recent Post "If This Offends You" To "Stewardship Is Not About Money"

Common Sense Commentary: After printing a recent blog post on Common Sense Commentary, entitled "If This Offends You ... It Is Your Problem", I received several responses. For those Christians who believe tithing is strictly an Old Testament ordinance, go back and read my remarks again. That post was not about "tithing" per se, but rather about "giving, receiving and Health and Wealth preachers."
Giving is a much broader subject than just tithing, which means one tenth. Though tithing, as a New Testament teaching,  may be debated by a sincere Christian, generosity in "giving" certainly cannot be denied. Generous giving is taught abundantly in both Old and New Testaments and to argue that point is disingenuous, to say the least. It is, therefore, my opinion that if you deny tithing as a New Testament principle, then do it as a matter of voluntary, generous giving, which has attached to it the promise of "abundant" receiving as well. Jesus, Himself, said "Give, and it shall be given unto you; good measure, pressed down, and shaken together, and running over, shall men give into your bosom. For with the same measure that ye mete withal it shall be measured to you again." Luke 6:38. Jesus' words make it clear, as do many other N.T. references, that generous giving is a New Testament principle ... with an even more generous promise of return attached to it. And yes, yes I know that we are not supposed to give in order to receive ... it goes without saying.  I did not add the "receiving" part ... Jesus did. That is what my recent post was about... giving.... not tithing. Tithing is not "giving".  

The very first and only mention of tithing, before God gave the Law to Moses, was under a previous and different dispensation when Abraham gave a tithe to Melchizedek. That tithe was a voluntary reaction of Abraham motivated by his great appreciation to God for giving him victory in battle and recovery of stolen treasure. The very next mention of tithing was it's incorporation into the Law God gave Moses as an obligation of all God's people, in Lev.27:20 ... "And all the tithe of the land, whether of the seed of the land, or of the fruit of the tree, is the LORD'S: it is holy unto the LORD."   Tithing is never again mentioned as a matter of choice. It is God's for carrying on the work of His Churches.

I have just done a study of Old and New Testaments concerning the approximately 1600 mentions of the words give, gave and given. Out of those 1600 references, other than the pre-Law one mentioned above, just one was used in reference to tithing. That one reference was in the prayer of the self righteous hypocrite, who boasted, as he "prayed thus with himself, God, I thank thee, that I am not as other men are, extortioners, unjust, adulterers, or even as this publican. I fast twice in the week, I give tithes of all that I possess." Lk.18:11-12. Every other mention of the tithe was preceded by some such verb as "bring", "brought", "receive", "pay" or "take" tithes. The phrase, "All the tithe ... is the LORD's" is also found several times. I have never heard this fact of "giving" before in all my years as a pastor, either by myself or by anyone else. Tithing is not "giving" to the Lord. It was and is already His. "Giving" is only giving if it is above the 10%. There are a number of mentions of God's people "giving" or who "gave" offerings.

For an earlier post, last year, on New Testament Tithing, click of the following link .... It may surprise you. RB


Feb 27, 2014

Is God's Word Restricted To A Hebrew And Greek Funnel ?

Common Sense Commentary:  Saving faith comes only from"hearing God's word" (Rom.10:17), but even nature itself drives the seeking soul to God's will and God's word... that they might be saved.
"The heavens declare the glory of God; and the firmament sheweth his handywork. Day unto day uttereth speech, and night unto night sheweth knowledge. There is no speech nor language, where their voice is not heard." Psm.19:1-3.
God has the power to cause the sincere seeking soul to arrive at the right place and at the right time to hear God's word ... by some miraculous way, as at Pentecost,  .... that they might be saved.
"Now when this was noised abroad, the multitude came together, and were confounded, because that every man heard them speak in his own language." Acts 2:6.

The first known movable type printing system was invented in China by Bi Sheng around 1040 AD. It beat hand printing but was too primitive to reach much beyond it's printer's location. An improvement in the Chinese system was a moving metal type developed in Korea, but was still too slow and cumbersome to print on a large scale. Then a German goldsmith named Johannes Gutenberg made a huge leap forward using a hand mould to produce movable metal type which could be rapidly produced in great quantities and set in his improved screw press. This happened in 1450 and had the potential of mass producing of both press printing systems and printed materials. It took a while for the new age of printing presses to spread throughout Europe, but by the end of the 16th century (the 1500's), printing was spreading like a wild fire into millions of pages and entire books were being produced. One of the first things printed on a Gutenberg press was the Gutenberg Bible. Since it was written in Latin, and there were few copies of that, it could not be considered a Bible for the masses, but was a theologian's Bible, and therefore was not yet spread abroad to all people. By 1600 the demand for an absolutely authentic English version of the Textus Receptus (Received Texts), of the Holy Scriptures, moved Briton's King James to commission and demand, on penalty of their lives, from Hebrew and Greek theological scholars , an accurate English translation of the Bible. It is my belief that God, Himself, chose that particular King, and those particular scholars, to translate a Bible for printing, on the newly developed printing press technology, for the masses of the common people to read. At the exact same time, that the Holy Bible was being translated into English and printed en-mass, the mighty British Empire was in its initial phase and would spread around the world ... carrying that King James Bible of God's word. And for the next 400 years the King James Version of the Bible was the fresh green tree bearing seed from the Textus Receptus root of God's word. There were other versions, but none reached the zenith of acceptance as did the 1611 King James. Almost everyone saved during those 400 years were brought to Christ under the preaching, teaching and witnessing from the King James Bible.

From Wikipedia:
The British Empire comprised the dominionscoloniesprotectoratesmandates and other territories ruled or administered by the United Kingdom. It originated with the overseas possessions and trading posts established by England between the late 16th and early 18th centuries. At its height, it was the largest empire in history and, for over a century, was the foremost global power.[1] By 1922 the British Empire held sway over about 458 million people, one-fifth of the world's population at the time.[2] The empire covered more than 13,012,000 sq mi, almost a quarter of the Earth's total land area.[3][4] As a result, its political, legallinguistic and cultural legacy is widespread. At the peak of its power, the phrase "the empire on which the sun never sets" was often used to describe the British Empire, because its expanse across the globe meant that the sun was always shining on at least one of its territories.

The King James Bible came into existence at the most strategic and opportune moment in history (Rise of British Empire) ... to gain world coverage for the final three stages of the Church Age, prophesied in Revelations 3, before the return of Christ and rapture of His Bride. Prior to the King James Version of the Bible, only highly educated theologians could read and teach God's word. The average person, of course, did not know Hebrew for the Old Testament, Greek for the New Testament or Latin for other translations of the Bible. The King James has since been translated into every other language on earth.

It was during that same historic time period, of the beginning of the British Empire and mass printing of the Bible, especially the King James Version, that the Reformation happened in Europe and America was being settled by emigrants, bringing their Bibles with them. That was the Revelation "Church Age" time of the Sardis (Remnant) Church period of Rev.3:1-6. Sardis was followed by the 1800-1900's Philadelphia (Brother Love) Revival Church period of Wesley, Finney, Edwards, Torrey, Spurgeon, Moody, Sunday and probably Billy Graham was the last of the Philadelphia Revival Church period. Now, since that period of the Church Age obviously ended with the 1900's, we are presently in the final period of the Church Age ... the Laodicean, luke warm Church period of Rev.3:14-22.

My final point is this. Even before copies of the King James Bible were mass produced, translated into all other languages and taught from, all over the world, God was, even then, reaching souls for Christ through His Churches and His Christian people. You do not have to be a Hebrew and Greek scholar, or trust one, to understand all that is necessary and essential to become or be a Christian. There was a time, before the King James Bible translation, and the printing press, when that may have been the case ... but no more. Practically everyone on earth can read by the time they reach the age of accountability.

If only Greek and Hebrew scholars could properly understand, and teach the O.T. and N.T. Scriptures, a lot of scholarly unbelievers, who happen to know these languages would be more qualified to teach the Bible than the vast majority of Christians who do not know those languages. If that were the case, our faith would depend more on them and their word than God's word and they would surely pervert it. The ministry of God's Holy Spirit gets His word into people's hearts no matter who they are or what language they understand. How does He do that? He has all the ways ... Preaching, teaching, witnessing, gospel tracts and His "Spirit of Truth shall guide you into all truth"....... Jesus said....
"Nevertheless I tell you the truth; It is expedient for you that I go away: for if I go not away, the Comforter will not come unto you; but ... I will send him unto you. And when he is come, he will reprove the world of sin, and of righteousness, and of judgment:  Of sin, because they believe not on me; Of righteousness, because I go to my Father, and ye see me no more;  Of judgment, because the prince of this world is judged.  I have yet many things to say unto you, but ye cannot bear them now .....  when he, the Spirit of truth, is come, he will guide you into all truth....John 16:7-13.

Feb 25, 2014

The Christian Witness Advantage... The Boldness Of Certainty

Common Sense Commentary:

God does not give faith to believe a lie. "So then faith cometh by hearing ...the word of God." Rom.10:17. God only gives faith to the receptive heart upon hearing God's word, the Holy Scriptures.
God, Himself, is the only source of true and believing faith which only flow through the Holy Scriptures and only into the receptive, hearing heart.  Everything else the world calls faith is not faith at all. It may be fleshly confidence, strong determination, hard headedness, self delusion, human deception, ignorant fanaticism or a belief system of sorts, but it is not "faith", the Greek word "pistis", which comes only from God to the heart receptive to Him.

The atheist and other unbelievers, rejectors of God's word, and of the Lord Jesus, do not and cannot have faith in their unbelief, no matter how convincing their pretended confidence may appear. A true Christian, however, can know that he knows that he knows that his faith in God and Jesus Christ is absolute and eternal truth because God gives that kind of faith.  Whereas, unbelievers are not and cannot be sure of their denial of God, His Bible, His Church, His Holy Spirit, Heaven and Hell.... because they are wrong, and God does not give faith to believe a lie. They may swear what they say they believe is true but they do not know that they know that, because they can't .... God does not give faith to believe a lie. Every atheist and worshiper of false gods doubts their position and fears they are wrong, and that doubt and fear are chinks in their armour, their Achilles Heel, the weak link in their slave chain of unbelief.  It is the spot a Christian witness should aim his arrow of truth and testimony... at their doubt and fear.

Therefore, the Christian witness should never retreat from confronting unbelievers with the gospel ... never forgetting that they have hidden doubt and fear lurking deep in their unbelieving heart of every non-Christian. That is an open door directly into their hearts and we should be bold in our witness as the Apostle Paul was in his witness to the religious lost ......"And he spake boldly in the name of the Lord Jesus, and disputed against the Grecians: but they went about to slay him." Acts 9:29.  Their confidence in their religion had holes in it and Paul's boldness in his faith shook their confidence and made them angry. That, my friends, is The Christian Witness Advantage and Boldness Of true faith's Certainty. RB

Feb 24, 2014

Why Are The Chinese Suddenly Buying Gold Like Groceries?

Common Sense Commentary:

The present currency wars, which are raging across the world, between nations, in a devaluing race to the bottom, in order to be able to sell and export more of their goods overseas, is causing inflation around the world.  Inflation drives the value of currency's buying power down and the value of real property, including precious metals, up. The U.S. dollar, being the world's reserve currency since the end of WWII,  jerks other national currencies around like a big dog and a bunch of little dogs fighting over a piece of meat. The U.S. government policy of trying to keep the dollar in control, has, for the past few years been manipulating all markets, including the stock market, bond market, interest rates, foreign exchange and, of course the precious metals market. They make the dollar look stronger by constantly buying in and out of  "paper" gold and silver to keep it's price low. For that reason and others, like derivatives and High Frequency Trading programs, the average investor, though he exercise perfect due diligence, and buy the absolute best stock investment, can no longer count on winning in this rigged atmosphere. He is competing against HFT programs which buy and sell multi-millions of shares in seconds, in and out. That, in addition to the failed efforts of the Federal Reserve System's TARP and Quantitative Easing scam has convinced the Chinese to corner the world gold market. They have over a Trillion of our dollars which they received from us for a trillion dollar mountain of mostly junk we bought from them, and they are now using that trillion dollars to buy our gold, silver and other real assets.

For over a year now, the Chinese government and it's people are buying up more world gold than the total amount mined per year.  China mines more gold than any other nation but exports not one ounce.
It is thought by many experts in the field that the Chinese government, though unreported by them, now has more real (as opposed to paper) gold reserves than any other nation. When a survey, done on the streets of China last week, asking the people why they were buying so much gold their answers were quite interesting. Here are a few which are typical of the answers given. RB

#1 "Because Credit  does NOT equal Gold ..  they prefer 'wealth you can hold' "

#2 "I told my husband : do not keep any money in the bank...
He did not listen , so I took all my money out and bought Gold....
I will get the last laugh"

#3 "Chinese invented paper money and they know what happens to nations that spend more money than they have on wars and social benefits."

#4 "A wise man once said .. .'Anytime you can trade paper wealth for Gold is a good day' "

#5 "Americans laugh as they get our goods for their dollar.
We will get the last laugh as we trade their dollars for their Gold"

#6 "China has a long memory and a longer history ; The Federal Reserve is only 100 yrs. old".    etc. etc.

The two links below are two pictures taken in a gold shop, in Beijing, China, late last week by the uncle of a friend. RB



Feb 23, 2014

Two Hard Questions Lead Dad To Seek Answers

Common Sense Commentary: "... a little child shall lead them." Isaiah 11:6.

A second grade girl asked her Dad "Hard Question #1".

"Daddy, where did we ... and all the little animals come from?"

"We just kinda happened Juney."

"All of us ... at the same time?"

"It's hard to explain ... It's called evolution."

"Did evil lution just pop us out of thin air?"

"It was more likely the ocean we came from."

"Well, where did the ocean come from?"

"It probably fell out of the sky ... like rain."

"So, where did the sky and rain come from?"

"The sky is just a small part of the universe."

"So, where did the uverse come from?"

"Dear God, June Bug, you ask the hardest questions."

"That's what my friend Jimmy, at school, said too."

"He said what, that you ask hard questions?"

"No, that Dear God made all this stuff." RB

A fourth grade boy asked his Dad "Hard Question #2"

"Dad, where are we going?"

"You mean tonight? We're going to Joe's for hamburgers."

"No, after that."

"As usual, we'll come home and go to bed."

"I mean ... after that."

"You mean tomorrow? I'll go to work and you'll go to school."

"No Dad, I mean long after all that."

"Well, long range, you will eventually graduate grade school,
High School, and go to college someday."

'Even after that, Dad."

"Oh, you mean when you someday get married and have
children of your own, and your Mom and I are retired?"

"Dad, I mean at the end of all our lives."

"Son, are you worried about dying? All of us, your mom and 
I and you and your sister ... we will all die and be buried like
everybody else."

"But Dad, I mean after that."  RB

Feb 22, 2014

Democrats ...Here's A Congresswoman, Disabled Vet To Run Against Hillary In the Primaries

Common Sense Commentary: Any way you might compare this woman to Hillary Clinton, she towers over Hillary like the Empire State Skyscraper over an Arkansas chicken coup, Quality over Corruption and Honesty over Deception. I hesitate to mention clear eyed, open faced, wholesome attractiveness over ugggggg. She's the only Democrat I might could vote for unless she was running against one of the only two Republicans I could vote for. This guy Castillo, the object of her disaffection, is, of course, a more typical type of  Democrat. RB

Congresswomen Duckworth was brilliant and brings to mind the fact that
 she is a real war hero. She held the rank of captain and was a
 helicopter pilot. Her helicopter was shot down over Iraq and she lost
 both of her legs and use of her right arm.

 Mr. Castillo's business received $500 million dollars in federal
 business because he claimed he was a disabled veteran.  Mr. Castillo's
 injury consists of hurting his foot while playing football at an elite
 college prep school!  He never served a day in the service of his
 country, but he claimed playing football at a college prep ROTC was
 the same as an injury in combat!

 Watch what Duckworth says to Mr. Castillo, who has made millions from
 his "disabled veteran status," while real disabled veterans live under
 viaducts and in alleys because of what they saw or did in the defense
 of this nation.

 Give her four minutes to set this guy up before belittling him in
 front of a congressional hearing. And the speaker of the meeting let
 her talk longer than allotted regular time.


Feb 21, 2014

Was He A Prophet Or Just An Honest Christian With Spiritual Vision?

Common Sense Commentary: Where were God's preachers and where were His Christians?   "His watchmen are blind: they are all ignorant, they are all dumb dogs, they cannot bark; sleeping, lying down, loving to slumber." Isa.56:10.  So God spoke through a radio commentator......

Forty seven years ago, April 3, 1965, he spoke these words on his daily radio broadcast. Millions of Americans listened in to one of the 1200 radio stations he was on across the nation. He was the famous ABC Radio commentator, Paul Harvey, who was loved by nearly everyone in the country. His amazing predictions were spot on and became the reality we now see in every city and town in America. The pictures on this video were, of course, added by the producer since Harvey was speaking on the radio and he used only his voice to communicate with his audience. Every thing he predicted has come true ... America listened to him but either didn't hear or didn't take action by speaking out, by prayer and by voting for the right people to lead our country. The result is .... we have lost the America we all knew at that time. May God have mercy upon us. RB   

 Click here: If I Were the Devil by PAUL HARVEY 

Feb 20, 2014

Does This Trail Of Dead Bankers Lead Somewhere?

Common Sense Commentary: If a multi-national corporation, in serious financial trouble, suddenly had a rash of several questionable suicides and accidental deaths in it's financial department, eyebrows would raise, surviving families would demand an investigation, the press would headline the odd occurrence and the police would be investigating any possible connection between the deaths. Here is a summation of just such an occurance among top level, international bankers. So where is the press? RB

Does The Trail Of Dead Bankers Lead Somewhere?

Dead Bankers don't talk.
 By Michael Snyder, on February 18th, 2014
Trail - Photo by Ws47What are we to make of this sudden rash of banker suicides? Does this trail of dead bankers lead somewhere? Or could it be just a coincidence that so many bankers have died in such close proximity? I will be perfectly honest and admit that I do not know what is going on. But there are some common themes that seem to link at least some of these deaths together. First of all, most of these men were in good health and in their prime working years. Secondly, most of these "suicides" seem to have come out of nowhere and were a total surprise to their families. Thirdly, three of the dead bankers worked for JP Morgan. Fourthly, several of these individuals were either involved in foreign exchange trading or the trading of derivatives in some way. So when "a foreign exchange trader" jumped to his death from the top of JP Morgan's Hong Kong headquarters this morning, that definitely raised my eyebrows. These dead bankers are starting to pile up, and something definitely stinks about this whole thing.
What would cause a young man that is making really good money to jump off of a 30 story building? The following is how the South China Morning Post described the dramatic suicide of 33-year-old Li Jie...
An investment banker at JP Morgan jumped to his death from the roof of the bank's headquarters in Central yesterday.
Witnesses said the man went to the roof of the 30-storey Chater House in the heart of Hong Kong's central business district and, despite attempts to talk him down, jumped to his death.
If this was just an isolated incident, nobody would really take notice.
But this is now the 7th suspicious banker death that we have witnessed in just the past few weeks...
- On January 26, former Deutsche Bank executive Broeksmit was found dead at his South Kensington home after police responded to reports of a man found hanging at a house. According to reports, Broeksmit had “close ties to co-chief executive Anshu Jain.”
- Gabriel Magee, a 39-year-old senior manager at JP Morgan’s European headquarters, jumped 500ft from the top of the bank’s headquarters in central London on January 27, landing on an adjacent 9 story roof.
- Mike Dueker, the chief economist at Russell Investments, fell down a 50 foot embankment in what police are describing as a suicide. He was reported missing on January 29 by friends, who said he had been “having problems at work.”
- Richard Talley, 57, founder of American Title Services in Centennial, Colorado, was also found dead earlier this month after apparently shooting himself with a nail gun.
- 37-year-old JP Morgan executive director Ryan Henry Crane died last week.
- Tim Dickenson, a U.K.-based communications director at Swiss Re AG, also died last month, although the circumstances surrounding his death are still unknown.
So did all of those men actually kill themselves?
Well, there is reason to believe that at least some of those deaths may not have been suicides after all.
For example, before throwing himself off of JP Morgan's headquarters in London, Gabriel Magee had actually made plans for later that evening...
There was no indication Magee was going to kill himself at all. In fact, Magee’s girlfriend had received an email from him the night before saying he was finishing up work and would be home soon.
And 57-year-old Richard Talley was found "with eight nail gun wounds to his torso and head" in his own garage.
How in the world was he able to accomplish that?
Like I said, something really stinks about all of this.
Meanwhile, things continue to deteriorate financially around the globe. Just consider some of the things that have happened in the last 48 hours...
-According to the Bangkok Post, people are "stampeding to yank their deposits out of banks" in Thailand right now.
-Venezuela is coming apart at the seams. Just check out the photos in this article.
-The unemployment rate in South Africa is above 24 percent.
-Ukraine is on the verge of total collapse...
Three weeks of uneasy truce between the Ukrainian government and Western-oriented protesters ended Tuesday with an outburst of violence in which at least three people were killed, prompting a warning from authorities of a crackdown to restore order. Protesters outside the Ukrainian parliament hurled broken bricks and Molotov cocktails at police, who responded with stun grenades and rubber bullets.
-This week we learned that the level of bad loans in Spain has risen to a new all-time high of 13.6 percent.
-China is starting to quietly sell off U.S. debt. Already, Chinese U.S. Treasury holdings are down to their lowest level in almost a year.
-During the 4th quarter of 2013, U.S. consumer debt rose at the fastest pace since 2007.
-U.S. homebuilder confidence just experienced the largest one month decline ever recorded.
-George Soros has doubled his bet that the S&P 500 is going to crash. His total bet is now up to about $1,300,000,000.
For many more signs of financial trouble all over the planet, please see my previous article entitled "20 Signs That The Global Economic Crisis Is Starting To Catch Fire".
Could some of these deaths have something to do with this emerging financial crisis?
That is a very good question.
Once again, I will be the first one to admit that I simply do not know why so many bankers are dying.
But one thing is for certain - dead bankers don't talk.
Everyone knows that there is a massive amount of corruption in our banking system. If the truth about all of this corruption was to ever actually come out and justice was actually served, we would see a huge wave of very important people go to prison.
In addition, it is an open secret that Wall Street has been transformed into the largest casino in the history of the world over the past several decades. Our big banks have become more reckless than ever, and trillions of dollars are riding on the decisions that are being made every day. In such an environment, it is expected that you will be loyal to the firm that you work for and that you will keep your mouth shut about the secrets that you know.
In the final analysis, there is really not that much difference between how mobsters operate and how Wall Street operates.
If you cross the line, you may end up paying a very great price.

Feb 19, 2014

Stewardship Is Not About Money

Common Sense Commentary: Some Pastors and Evangelists preach what is known as a Health and Wealth Gospel ... in order to entice and motivate their followers to give more money, in hopes of being healed or becoming wealthy.  Any kind of preaching or teaching which is not solely for the true spiritual blessing of the hearers, and to the glory of God, is being done by a false prophet. To use God's Church, his Bible or the ministry for personal gain is wicked greed and brands the speaker as a heretic. Health and wealth, like money are not bad things. It is the "love of money" which is "the root of all evil", and that is worse for a professing minister than for other Christians, because he is supposed to representing the Lord, not his own selfish lusts. Many T.V. evangelists have had mansions, several luxury cars, two or three airplanes and their own airports and are still promising health and wealth to gullible little widows who can barely afford groceries, if they would just give more to Jesus. But Jesus never gets much, if any, of that blood money.

I do not know of any of the Apostles who were wealthy, not that there is anything wrong with being wealthy, if you serve God with it. The well educated Paul may have been quite well off before he was saved but later depended on the offerings of the churches and tent making for an income (Acts 18:3). He also seemed quite healthy but had a doctor, "Luke the beloved physician" traveling with him.  All the Apostles were seemingly healthy but even if healthy, they suffered stonings, beatings, and were otherwise persecuted, and most were finally martyred (murdered)... which is quite detrimental to your health. Even though they were exemplary Christians and no doubt tithed and gave generously, the Lord did not deliver them from normal weariness, thirst, hunger, sore feet and other physical distractions, and I assume they all had normal human illnesses from time to time.... they all died of something.

The Christian churches, the Apostle Paul founded, obviously supported him financially. But sometimes their support lagged for some reason and he went without, but, little or much,  he was content "in whatsoever state" God saw fit to put him.  He was thankful for whatever God provided..."But I rejoiced in the Lord greatly, that now at the last your care of me hath flourished again; wherein ye were also careful, but ye lacked opportunity. Not that I speak in respect of want: for I have learned, in whatsoever state I am, therewith to be content. I know both how to be abased, and I know how to abound: every where and in all things I am instructed both to be full and to be hungry, both to abound and to suffer need." Phil.4:10-12.

By Paul's experience we see that it is not always God's will for all Christians to always be healthy and wealthy, but it is God's will to fulfill His word as concerning these things. Monetary wealth, beyond what is necessary to supply the needs of a Christian, is primarily given by God to His stewards to be used to support His church ministries, help others and invest for additional income ... for the same purposes. However, stewardship is not about money.

Stewardship includes one's time, talent, testimony, truth, witnessing, possessions and treasure (money). In fact, stewardship includes just about everything in our possession, under our control.  It is all about our responsibilities and God given assignments and the good use of our possessions. It is not about money but it does not exclude money. In fact, most of the references to stewardship in the Bible have to do with the faithful use of material wealth. The primary reference to Stewardship, spoken by Jesus, in Luke 16:1-8, is all about using our masters wealth wisely and giving an account to Him for the use of it. Similarly, Jesus' teaching about the distribution of wealth to stewards by their master, in Matt.25:15-28, also had to do with material wealth in "talents". A talent, during Jesus' time on earth, was equal to 3000 shekels ... money.  These two references used words like "gain", "loss", "debtor", and money .... "Thou oughtest therefore to have put my money to the exchangers, and then at my coming I should have received mine own with usury (interest)." Mt.25;27.  In other words, "If you weren't going to invest the money I put into your hands, you should have at least loaned it out for interest." Even though both of these lessons of Jesus had to do with material wealth, the broader meaning undoubtedly includes all of our personal responsibilities, thoughts, words, actions and material wealth used wisely for the purposes and glory of God, which includes paying your bills.

The verse, "Give, and it shall be given unto you; good measure, pressed down, and shaken together, and running over, shall men give into your bosom. For with the same measure that ye mete withal it shall be measured to you again" Luke 6:38, has to do, primarily with material things which can be measured, pressed down, shaken together and running over .... and that, given into the bosom of the giver by "men".  So what do "men" have to give us? That has to be physical, material things.  This verse has to do, primarily with receiving not giving. The first word is "Give" but all the rest of the verse is receiving. Preaching this promise from the lips of Jesus, is not preaching a health and wealth gospel, it is preaching the promises of Christ for the blessing of the giver not the deacons, treasurer or pastor who are charged with spending it. You cannot call that verse a health and wealth gospel or you pervert the scripture. It means exactly what it says.

The bottom line of "giving and receiving" stewardship is the all inclusive verse ... "Be not deceived; God is not mocked: for whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap." Gal.6:7. This verse says it all about it all. It includes every thought, word, and action of every sort.  Sow wheat, reap wheat; Sow good, reap good; Sow bad reap bad; Sow hate, reap hate; Sow mercy, reap mercy; Sow forgiveness, reap forgiveness;  Sow whatsoever, reap whatsoever... and that includes one other little thing ..... $.... It was my experience, as a pastor, that 80% of Christian giving, to our church ministries, was done by 20% of the members. I don't know how healthy or wealthy those supporting believers are today, but I do know their giving built some great and lasting ministries, and they  have eternal rewards awaiting them in heaven. 

I am an 83 year old former pastor. I am no longer a pastor, evangelist or church staff member. If what I write motivates my readers to increase or decrease their giving to some church or other ministry, it will benefit me not in the least. I do not accept tithes, offerings or contributions to this blog ministry in any way. The introductory paragraph at the top of this blog page says ....This is a "life" investment site. I will never ask anything of you. God does not need anything you have and neither do I....I mean exactly that. God doesn't need anything we have but we need to obey him in our giving. It is for our own good not His. I would send it back if you sent money to me. Neither do I accept pay for preaching in churches, weddings or funerals.  Neither am I looking for a place to preach. I therefore have no other reason to write about giving to the cause of Christ, than this ... It's in the Bible.  If that offends you, it is your problem.  If you have misgivings about your misgivings, then stop missing giving. RB

I am adding the following observation after the fact of the above post.  Today is 2-27-2014.

The very first and only mention of tithing, before God gave the Law to Moses, was under a previous and different dispensation when Abraham gave a tithe to Melchizedek. That tithe was a voluntary reaction of Abraham motivated by his great appreciation to God for giving him victory in battle and recovery of stolen treasure. The very next mention of tithing was it's incorporation into the Law God gave Moses as an obligation of all God's people, in Lev.27:20 ... "And all the tithe of the land, whether of the seed of the land, or of the fruit of the tree, is the LORD'S: it is holy unto the LORD."   Tithing is never again mentioned as a matter of choice. It is God's for carrying on the work of His Churches.

I have just done a study of Old and New Testaments concerning the approximately 1600 mentions of the words give, gave and given. Out of those 1600 references, other than the pre-Law one mentioned above, just one was used in reference to tithing. That one reference was in the prayer of the self righteous hypocrite, who boasted, as he "prayed thus with himself, God, I thank thee, that I am not as other men are, extortioners, unjust, adulterers, or even as this publican. I fast twice in the week, I give tithes of all that I possess." Lk.18:11-12. Every other mention of the tithe was preceded by some such verb as "bring", "brought", "receive", "pay" or "take" tithes. The phrase, "All the tithe ... is the LORD's" is also found several times. I have never heard this fact of "giving" before in all my years as a pastor, either by myself or by anyone else. Tithing is not "giving" to the Lord. It was and is already His. "Giving" is only giving if it is above the 10%. There are a number of mentions of God's people "giving" or who "gave" offerings.

For an earlier post, last year, on New Testament Tithing, click of the following link .... It may surprise you. RB


Feb 18, 2014

I Have Been Blessed To Live The Pennacle, Capstone Heights Of America's Glory Years

Common Sense Commentary: I have been privileged to have lived in the greatest years in the history of America.  1930 to 2000  were seventy years of magnificent progress and change, and then, since the turn of the century in 2000, there has been an implosion of all that made America great. The seed of the fall of the American empire must have been planted much earlier but wasn't recognized by most until a new president began violating the U.S. Constitution with impunity, issuing new laws without consulting Congress, and undermining the nation with increasing and blatant regularity.

My time in the U.S. reaches from saddles to satellites, from segregation to integration, from personal responsibility to mass irresponsibility, from national patriotism to treason in the highest leadership realm, from national reverence to God, the Bible and Churches to national irreverence of all that is holy, from national self reliance to national dependence on Government hand-outs, from small, efficient government to huge inefficient government, from a free, non-partisan press to a Liberal, Socialist, partisan press, from national intolerance of perversion to national encouragement of it .... and on and on.

About the time I was born, my father, who worked on a ranch southwest of Sweetwater, Texas, rarely went into town. One Saturday, he went to town to buy a new shirt and trousers. While there, he decided to treat himself to a malt. When he went to pay the clerk the ten cents price, he handed the clerk a ten dollar bill, most of a weekly salary.  The clerk didn't have enough in the register to cash a $10.00 bill and told my father he could pay the 10 cents the next time he was in town.  Though my father had no business to do in town, he went all the way back to town the next Saturday to pay that drugstore the 10 cents he owed them. That kind of honesty and reliability was not unusual, in our country, in those difficult days. I never knew my dad to curse, lie, steal or neglect to pay his bills.  A lot has changed.

Click below for a video of past times in America:


Feb 14, 2014

Take What You Want And Leave What You Don't

Common Sense Commentary: No two people agree on every single thing unless one or the other is totally subservient to the other and has no freedom of thought whatever.

When I In Awesome Wonder
I know not which is most awe inspiring, to stand on the lip of Grand Canyon with a cool, Indian campfire sunset, or at the foot of the Grand Tetons on a flaming winter dawn, or on the Appalachian Trail during the glorious Autumn changing of the leaves, or atop the Chisos Mountains on a starry, starry Texas night with no lights on except God's.   Oh Lord my God, when I in awesome wonder, consider .... RB

Consequences Follow Bad Actions Automatically, Though Not Always Instantly
"Because sentence against an evil work is not executed speedily, therefore the heart of the sons of men is fully set in them to do evil."  Ecc.8:11

Wait Until The Scab Falls Off
"...Man looketh on the outward appearance, but the LORD looketh on the heart." 1Sam.16:7. We can't see under the scab until it falls off and there, under the ugliness is healing, new skin and a small miracle. That is what God sees under the flesh of the redeemed soul, but as a much greater miracle. Mrs.B.

Not So With The Unredeemed Soul
There are a lot of talented, capable and even genius people .... but nobody is infallible or who always does the right thing or who never sins, in the flesh. There are no supermen, superwomen or Santa Clauses. People are all just people, with faults, failures and sins. God does not see any of us as "worthy of Salvation" or anywhere near it ... except through the prism of Jesus Christ dying on the cross for our sins. That and only that will get you into heaven ... if you repent and believe on Him. RB

Bailing Out The Disobedient
You cannot bail someone out from under the judgement of God, though you dedicate full time to the effort and spend a hundred thousand dollars trying. They must, themselves, turn to Jesus, in faith, repent and follow Him as their Savior. Neither can you bail them out from under God's judgement if they are simply a disobedient Christian. It is a transaction between God and them. You cannot do it for them though you spend your life and life's savings trying. RB

New Diet Never Fails
A fabulous, miraculous, almost unbelievable diet has the most descriptive name and works every time. It was discovered in old manuscripts and is free. It is, in fact, already in your kitchen. It is called .... "Moderation". "Let your moderation be known unto all men. The Lord is at hand." Phil.4:5.

Do you have misgivings about your misgivings? Then stop missing giving. RB

Why Don't I Avoid Politics?
A woman asked me, "Why don't you stick to religion and avoid politics and secular subjects like Socialism, abortion, homosexual marriages and our government?" My answer ... "Because mine is a practical faith. First pray, believe, trust God to protect and bless; but then, work, plan, sacrifice, prepare and fight when necessary ... because ....
as we read God's word in James 2 .... "Faith without works is dead, dead, dead"

14 What doth it profit, my brethren, though a man say he hath faith, and have not works? can faith save him?