Escape from the World’s Ways

Scripture: Proverbs 11:4-28, Psalm 119:11, Ephesians 6:18
Date: 01/27/2018 
Lesson: 4
"What do you pray for? What do your prayers tell about your priorities? What other things might you need to be praying for?"
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(Music) Hello and welcome to another edition of the Sabbath School Study Hour. It's so good to be able to have you join us here today as we come together, not only with all of us here that are live and members of the granite bay church, but also, of course, we always have many that are online members that are joining us - other visitors and guests that are online watching us live even here today. It's always good to be able to have you come and join us as well as those who are watching this recorded issue in the future on various television networks.

It's always good to be able to have you come as we come together here near sacramento, california to be able to study the Word of God as we come together and we look at a relatively new quarterly that we've been studying now for the last three weeks. And today we're looking at study #4 - lesson #4 which is entitled escape from the world's ways - escape from the world's ways - and, of course, our quarterly is entitled stewardship: motives of the heart.

Now, if you don't have a copy of this particular quarterly yet, you're missing out on a lot of good material. And so, I just want to highly recommended to you take the opportunity to go to your local seventh-day adventist church and ask for a copy of that. Now if that is not possible we also want to encourage you to go on to the Amazing Facts website. That's - and you can find, on that website, a link to find a digital copy and you can download load that onto your computer, your tablet, your phone, or whatever would work for your convenience. So, once again, thank you so much for joining us.

We're happy to have you here. We always have a free offer that we like to give you as well and I'm excited about today's free offer, it's called alone in the crowd - alone in the crowd. And that's offer #714 - all you have to do is dial 1-866-788-3966 and we'll be happy to give that to you. Once again, if you're not able to call and, of course, this is only available for those who are in north america. If you're outside of north america and you'd still like to be able to enjoy this particular free gift, you can go to Amazing Facts website again and you can find a link for a free digital download of that. And, again, I highly recommend that. We're going to invite our singers back forward - as they come forward and lead us in song - as they always do so faithfully from week to week and thank you very much. (Piano music) thank you for singing with us. Have a blessed Sabbath. (Piano music)

Father in Heaven, I want to thank you so much for this opportunity to be able to study together. We thank you for the freedom to be able to open up your word. And God, as we open up your world today, we want to pray that your Holy Spirit will be with us. We want to pray that you will be with the mind of Pastor Doug as he shares with us that your spirit will guide him and lead him to understand and remember all that you gave to him to share with us together as we open your word. We pray that your Holy Spirit will be our teacher today. We claim that promise that when we come to you in the name of Jesus and ask for your spirit that you will give it and that you'll give us understanding and guide us into all truth. Help us to do that today as we look at this important and relevant subject. And we pray it in the precious name of Jesus. Amen. Pastor Doug, thank you.

Thank you, Pastor Shawn and thank you to Michelle and our musicians - our singers - morning friends. Morning. Want to welcome you to - if you're visiting to granite bay church, we know there are always people who are visiting that are watching online or watching on satellite television or one of the different stations and it's a little confusing for you. This will seem like the fourth installment in our study on stewardship. At the time of recording it, it is the first Sabbath of 2018. So I want to wish those of you here a blessed new year. This is our first Sabbath in the new year and a special time. And I also want to remind you if you have any questions regarding the lesson today, for those that are watching the live stream right now, you can go to the Facebook page and send any questions.

If they give me the signal here we'll bring some of those questions to you live right during the presentation. And we'll have a few of our friends here actually help us read. Our lesson, again, today is #4. It's escape from the world. And this is in the major lesson on stewardship. We have a memory verse. Memory verse is from proverbs 11, verse 4 and verse 28 proverbs 11:4 and then verse 28 - it's going to be easier for you to read that right out of your quarterly than jump from verse to verse. You ready? "Riches do not profit in the day of wrath, but righteousness delivers from death." - And then verse 28 - "he who trusts in his riches will fall, but the righteous will flourish like foliage."

So the theme of this lesson is really talking about the principle that fulfillment, happiness, success do not come from earthly wealth and a part of stewardship is having the right perspective of how do you live in the world without the world living in you? How do you deal with the practical necessities of the things that we need from day to day without them having such a grip on us that they control us? And so, we'll be talking about that little bit. Now just to sort of pave the way. There is a couple verses I want to bring to your attention and one is from - well, they're both from David - one is psalm 34, verse 10.

David said, "the young lions lack and suffer hunger; but those who seek The Lord shall never lack any good thing." So we worry sometimes will we run out of things? Will we have the things that we need? I heard a fact this week. I heard it in a sermon. It's actually an old sermon so it probably needs to be updated. But if you go back a hundred and fifty years ago there is only about three hundred things you could buy - a hundred and fifty years ago there was about three hundred things you could buy. Right now there are multiplied millions of things you could buy. And so there's so many things, it's easy for us to be confused into thinking that a man's life consists in the abundance of things you could possess. And have you ever had a garage sale?

Have you ever been to a garage sale to buy things that people could not fit in their garage? And then you take it home and you put it in your garage. I may have told you a few weeks ago I was walking around harbor freight tools. Some of you men have been there maybe some you ladies have been there. It's a tool store and they've got just all kinds of different tools there and then somehow I'm on their mailing list so they email me when they've got a sale. And I got their new year's special special. It had twenty-five percent off any item in the store, which was kind of cool - whatever it is, 25 percent off. And then if you bought something, you got these kind of bonus gifts free and you could choose. It could be some tarps or rags, some flashlights, screwdrivers - whatever I want.

I thought, 'boy, I've got go buy something on sale and then I get these free gifts.' So I took my coupons with me and I went to harbor freight tool, and I'm wandering up and down the aisles for quite a while and someone said, 'can I help you?' And I said 'well, probably not.' - I said, 'i just know there's something here that's going to bring me lasting happiness, I just haven't found it yet.' And they laughed because, you know, sometimes we think you, buy something there is some temporary pleasure on acquiring some new shiny thing, but does it last? A man's life does not come from the abundance of things he possesses. By the way I did buy something - 25 percent off. I got it home and it was broken. I was so excited I had to take - I returned it the next day - but I got to keep my bonus gift. So I did come out ahead in the long run. So - and you know, during the holiday season, they say more and more people, now, are buying gifts online. You ever try and shop online? And you just type in the word and there are thousands of things. And you know what they do now? This is in keeping with the lesson so stay with me. The companies and Google and some of these other companies are so sophisticated now that they are able to track when you type in a search for a particular product.

I know a few months back I typed in that I was looking for some shoes and I ended up buying my shoes at a local store. But somebody in that deep dark sophisticated web found out that doug was searching for shoes and they sold that information to all these shoe companies, and now every time I search for anything the side of my computer is trying to sell me shoes that I don't want. You know what I'm talking about? It's just kind of spooky. They know everything. Well, a lot of stuff you can buy. But is that what happiness comes from? Psalm 37, verse 25. King David said, "I have been young and I am now old, yet I have not seen the righteous forsaken nor his seed" - his descendants - "begging for bread." David is saying, 'don't worry about things.

God is going to take care of you. It's like we said in an earlier lesson, 'seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness and all the other things that you need will be added to you.' God says - or David said, 'I've been young I'm now old. I've never seen the righteous forsaken or his seed begging bread.' David lived in a cave, he had his ups and downs. He ran for his life, but God always miraculously, somehow, took care of him. God's people in the wilderness, did he feed them? Did he provide water for them? And he not only - the things that they needed, he either gave it to them or he made it last forever. Their shoes lasted 40 years. I had a pair of shoes like that once. They went out of style; they came back in style. They went out of style; they came back in style. And - it's true - I only wore them once a week but they lasted forever and ever. So he'll bless what you have.

So we shouldn't be preoccupied and worried all the time about stuff because stuff is - how much stuff do we take to heaven from this world? You know I am frequently - as I travel, I not only go to schools and I talk to young people but sometimes I go to seminaries and I talk to young pastors that are training. And I tell 'em you've got the best job in the world because, while I'm thankful for auto mechanics, and I like working on cars myself, all the cars that the mechanics have worked on will not go to heaven. They're going to rust or burn or melt when Jesus comes. And I am very thankful. For carpenters that can build a house or make a cabinet, but - and I like building, but all the houses are going to burn when Jesus comes. And all the things that we make and we do and we create here - I am thankful for people that are artistic and crafty. They can make things. But none of that stuff is going to heaven. You've probably seen the poster before where it showed a hearse pulling a u-haul. It's a joke.

You can't take it with you. Right? And I tell the young pastors, I say, you're working with something that you will see the results of what you do through eternity. The mechanic will never see his car again in heaven and the carpenter will never see his house again in heaven. But when you work for souls, you're working with something that lasts forever. So this is the priority that we need to keep. Now the way some pastors preach the gospel, you would think that it's all about stuff here. It's these prosperity preachers - it's all acquiring the glitter and the - and the toys in this life. I heard about one pastor that said God had told him that he - his congregation was supposed to buy him a bentley - a new bentley - and he somehow persuaded them that was from The Lord. And they bought him a new bentley and he drove that thing around as evidence of God's blessing.

Boy, that is not the gospel. That's what you call doctrines of devils. It's materialism and that's what our lesson is about today. Escape from the world's ways of viewing these things. You know, there's an interesting introduction in the lesson. It says here "even if we don't have many earthly possessions the passionate desire to attain material goods can become a terrible curse that will lead a soul away from salvation. Satan knows this, which is why he uses the love of material possessions to ensnare as many as he possibly can." He tried to use that snare on Jesus. He did it in a couple of different ways. One is, he said 'you can turn these stones into bread. Money'll buy you food and the delights of the senses. Or' - he said - 'i will give you all the kingdoms and all the glory and all they contain. Jesus resisted that temptation. We don't always have the same success.

Look in some - now someone's going to read for me, in a moment, matthew 6:19 to verse 21 so you can get ready for that. I'm going to read Hebrews 11:24. "For by faith, when he was become of age he refused to be called the son of pharaoh's daughter choosing, rather, to suffer affliction with the people of God than to enjoy the passing pleasures of sin. Esteeming the approach of Christ greater riches than the treasures in egypt, for he looked to the reward.' You know Mark twain wrote a very interesting story called the prince and the pauper about this poor boy. It's kind of historical fiction because he bases it in england during the reign of one of their kings - but a poor boy who just happened to look identical to the crown prince. And they go through this swap. Where the crown prince he wants to find out how the poor people live. And the pauper just - what pauper doesn't want to be king? And it's a very interesting story about how, you know, it's en - its enchanting to people to read the story because so many people that want to go from being Cinderella to being the princess they want to go from being the pauper to being the prince or the king. And yet, in this story, you've got a king who goes to pauper. Well you know there's a few of those stories in the Bible and even though Mark twain was pretty much an agnostic, he was pretty biblically literate. He used to read it and you wonder if that's where he got some of the idea.

Here you've got the story of moses who goes from being born a slave to being adopted by the princess. But then he rejects having all of the treasures of egypt and he chooses to suffer affliction with the people of God rather than to enjoy the richest kingdom and all the treasures it could afford. Every Christian needs to make that decision. Did you get me? You have to decide 'where do I want my kingdom?' Do I want all the toys and the treasures in this world, or am I willing to say 'lord, I'm putting everything in this life on the altar. I want the eternal kingdom.'? That doesn't mean you won't enjoy any of the things in this world, it means that will not be the priority. The priority is going to be the kingdom of heaven. And - please read for me Matthew 6:19. Matthew 6:19 "lay not up for yourselves treasures upon this earth where moth and rust doeth corrupt and where thieves break through and steal. But lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven where neither moth nor rust doeth corrupt and where thieves do not break through nor steal, for where your treasure is, there will your heart be also." Very good. Thank you.

That's pretty clear, isn't it? You notice Jesus uses the words 'lay up'? It's not like a go make one purchase, it means as you go from day to day you are compounding treasure. You're either developing - piling up treasure here. You know, as time goes by, if you have space in your house you will fill that space even homeless people collect stuff. And have you ever seen - kind of - the sad story - a homeless person they can't even fit it all in one shopping cart - they've got two shopping carts. You will collect stuff as you go through life. So where are you collecting? Are you laying up treasure for yourself in heaven, or are you laying up treasure here on earth? Because wherever your treasure is, that's where your heart is. If you get too much stuff here you start worrying about all your stuff. You've got to insure your stuff here and you've got to get alarms to watch you stuff here. But - and I think you maybe heard me reference this before, that old song freedom's another word for nothing left to lose. And I think that was written by kris kristofferson. Sometimes you have great peace when you don't have anything. And the more stuff you have the more you have to worry about. But if you treasure's in heaven, you're really - your heart is going to be there in heaven as well.

Alright, I want to read Colossians 3, verse 2, "set your mind on things above not on things of the earth." So where's our focus and our attention to be? It's - we'd be focusing there. I remember hearing a story where, years ago, just before the civil war when slavery was still in America this plantation owner was being buried and the preacher was talking about how brother Charles was up in heaven - whatever his name was - and while he was preaching this sermon are one of his faithful slaves, tom, was standing there by the grave site and he was shaking his head and he said, 'he ain't in heaven.' And the people sitting around thought, 'well, that's kind of a rude thing to say at the funeral.' And the preacher kept preaching and talking about how he was up in heaven, enjoying heaven and he kept shaking his head and saying, 'he ain't in heaven.' After the service someone couldn't control themselves and said, 'tom, why did you keep saying 'he ain't in heaven' during the sermon?'

He said, 'because I know my master' - and he said - 'whenever he was goin' anywhere' - he said - 'he would plan and he would pack and he'd make notes and he'd talk about it.' And he said - 'he never talked about heaven. He never planned. He never packed.' - He said - 'he's not there.' In this life, if we're going to be going to heaven, wouldn't we be thinking about it and talking about it more? Yes. Yeah. And so, we should be preoccupied with the glories of heaven. Alright. Psalm 119 verse 11, it says, "your word I have hidden in my heart that I might not sin against you." So what are our protections to develop this relationship with Christ? It's through the word. It's through the word we learn about heaven; we continue to grow and think about these things that are heavenly. Luke 21, verse 34, "take heed yourself lest your heart be weighed down with carousing, drunkenness, and the cares of this life, and that day come upon you unexpectedly." So we're going to want to be focusing in on the things that are going on down here.

No, we want to be focusing on the things that are going on up there. Where is your - where is your mind? Is it in heaven. The Bible says you can become so preoccupied with the things that are happening in this life that that day overtakes you as a thief. And so it can be - it can be very discouraging if you are just always thinking about this stuff down here. You can lose your joy. You can be worried about it and you're not preparing for eternity. And the very fact that Jesus said, 'take heed to yourself lest your hearts be weighed down.' Now do you have to think about stuff? I preached a sermon a few weeks ago called worrying about stuff.

Do we have to think about stuff? Sometimes? I tried to instill in my boys that you can't just drive your car, you have to think about your engine. You gotta check your oil, you gotta look at your tire tread and think about things like rotating them now and then. I said, 'you gotta think about stuff.' You gotta take care your stuff or your house falls apart. But you don't want your heart weighed down with stuff, you really want that to be having that be secondary to your love for heaven. And Philippians - still talking about what we think about, "finally brethren, whatever things are true, whatever things are noble, whatever things are just, whatever things are pure, whatever things are lovely, whatever things are of good report, if there is any virtue, if there is anything praiseworthy, meditate on these things." You know, one of my resolutions - I think I already failed.

I know I have, but I'm not giving up - is I want to be positive. It is so easy to gravitate into saying something critical or negative or complaining, and you will always find other people that will commiserate with you. You know what commiserate means it means con misery - sharing misery with you. But what does Paul tell us we ought to be thinking about? I want to be more positive and, you know, how do you change something like that? You pray for the Holy Spirit to help you notice whenever you're being pulled off in that direction. And so just pray that God will help us to keep our minds on those things. Notice what he says: true, noble, just, pure, lovely, good report, virtue, praise worthy. Think about the positive things. And finally, I'm still under the first section on relationship with Christ, in ephesians 6:18, "praying always with all prayer and supplication in the spirit, being watchful to this end with all perseverance and supplication for all the saints." It says, 'all prayer, all perseverance, all the saints, always praying.

There is effort involved in maintaining an attitude of walking with God. Now, when the Bible talks about praying always so you can keep your mind on the things above and not the things below, does that mean you go through your day on your knees? You can go to a home depot and get kneepads and you just go around on your knees all day long. What does it mean to be praying always? Can you really pray always - like when you're reading a recipe and cooking? You can be in attitude of prayer, where you're sending up little prayers all the time, you're talking with The Lord you're communing with him. What does it mean when it says Enoch walked with God? Noah walked with God. The disciples walk with Jesus. Being constantly aware of his presence.

You find if you do that, that you don't become so dependent on the things of the world around you. Alright, next section, in the word. And this is - in this section we're talking about how to escape the world's ways. One of the ways to escape the ways of the world is to stay in the word and not the world. Hebrews 4:12, "for the Word of God is living and powerful and sharper than any two-edged sword piercing even to the division of soul and spirit in the joints and marrow. And it is a discerner of the thought and the intents of the heart." Now if a computer - let me say this differently - do you believe there's something supernaturally different about the Word of God? I believe there is. I wondered what you believe. Is it different from other words?

Can you read a dictionary and have your heart changed? You can read an encyclopedia and you'll be a lot smarter. But there's something about the words of God that are powerful. Now are the words of God powerful if nobody hears them? Well, God said, 'let there be' - and there was, so there's some power to God's word in that sense, but the power of God's word in your life is as you hear it. That's why the Bible says 'let him who hears'. So have you ever heard the expression 'if a tree falls in the woods and no one's around, does it make any noise? You ever heard that question? And then, you know, this is one of those dumb philosophical questions, of course it makes noise, but how do you know if nobody is there? Well you - now we've recorded it so we know. We listened to it later and it made noise. But if the Bible - if a computer-generated voice is reading the Bible in an empty room, is there power to change hearts. Doesn't happen unless you're listening to it. But when you listen to the Word of God something supernatural happens. The Word of God is powerful if it's spoken - not everybody can read - the Word of God is powerful if you read it off a page. I have learned the Word of God is powerful if you read it off a tv screen.

The Word of God is powerful if you read it on paper or a digital device. There's something about the words of God that have a supernatural effect that it converts, it convicts, it changes, it soothes, it comforts, it inspires. And if you want to keep your perspective right, then you need to be reading those words. It's living, the Bible says, it's powerful. It's sharper than any two-edged sword piercing even to the division of soul and of spirit. Matthew 4:4 Jesus said, 'it is written: man shall not live by bread alone but by every word that proceeds from the mouth of God.' Now we need things. We need food. We need houses. We need clothes. We need jobs and stuff. But Christ said that's not what you really live by. What you live by s the words of God, because that shapes you. Do you know what? The Word of God is so powerful, it even shapes things.

The Word of God'll shape governments. The Word of God'll shape products in a country. In heaven, the Bible says that - it uses some poetic language in Isaiah and it says we are going to beat our swords into pruning shears. The products are different. Why? Because of the Word of God. We're not going to be using metal to kill, we'll be using it to prune, you see what I'm saying? And so the world changes everything in your society, in your life, in your priorities. Here's a few other verses from the gospel of John that just talk about how to stay in the word. John 5:39, "you search the scriptures for in them you think you have eternal life. These are they that testify of me." So how much of the Word of God tells us about Jesus? If a Christian is a follower of Christ and if we want to be like Christ,where do we go to find out what he's like? New testament or the old testament? Both.

When Christ made that statement - John 5:39 - "you search the scriptures in them you think you have eternal life; these are they that testify of me." I mean just get my Mark. My point here just okay. Here you've got the old testament - it's approximately three quarters. Here you've got the new testament - it is about three quarters because this Bible's got a lot of additional study material in the back. How much Bible was written when Jesus made that statement? The old testament. All the old testament. Was any new testament written? So does that mean Jesus cannot be found in the new testament? No, he's in both because the new testament talks about Christ. But some churches don't realize that when Christ made the statement there was only an old testament. And so can you find Jesus in the story of Joseph? Do you find Jesus in the story of Abraham?

Do you find Jesus in the story of moses and David? He's all through the Bible. And so, when you read the Bible with that in mind, you'll find Christ - you find out how to live like a Christian through reading his word. John 14:6, "Jesus said to him, I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the father except through me." So if we want to find out how to be saved - it's only through Christ - where do we find out about Christ? Can we fly to the middle east and talk to Jesus? No. Where do we find him? He's in his word. But you can't come to the father except through him. You find him through speaking to him through prayer and through his word. John 6:63, "it is the spirit that gives life. The flesh profits nothing." Jesus said, "the words that I speak to you, they are spirit and they are life. This comes up, actually, later today in our message. The words that I speak, they're spiritual.

Paul said spiritual things are spiritually discerned. And so as we read the Word of God we need to pray for the Holy Spirit to bring them to life. You know, if you've got a hearing aid and you've got no battery, it's not helping you. Some of you out there know what I'm talking about, it won't be long before I know how that works also. If you're reading the Bible without the Holy Spirit - have you ever heard someone say, 'i read the Bible, I'm just not getting anything out of it'? Did you ask the author to help you understand it? Spiritual things are spiritually discerned and without the spirit, you can't discern 'em.

So when you read the Bible and you say, 'lord I don't understand' or 'I'm not getting anything out of it.' Now here we are at the beginning of a new year. Have any of you made a covenant to try to read the Bible every day? A resolution? Don't have to raise your hands. I hope you have. You'll get more out of it if you take a few moments before you read and say, 'lord, help me to understand. Give me your spirit to guide me.' So the spirit helps us escape from the world's ways through the word. And then you read in John 8:36, "therefore if the son will make you free, you will be free indeed." Do we need to be enslaved to the things of the world? No, he sets us free and it's a real freedom. Now there is a practical challenge that we all grapple with and it is this: you've got two sides. We are physical creatures that live in a physical world. We've got physical needs - we need stuff - we need food, we need shelter - we need these things. That's called the carnal side - the fleshly needs.

When you become a Christian you do not lose your body and its needs. You do not lose the practical necessities of life that need to be considered every day. What changes between the spirit and the flesh? Before you are converted, you are controlled by the flesh. You might have the Holy Spirit convict you but you are controlled by the flesh. You make your decisions based on the flesh - the carnal nature. After you're converted, you make your decisions based on the spirit. You've still got the carnal nature. There's a story I like to tell, in the Bible. This man is carried to Jesus on a bed. He is paralyzed. He can't go anywhere. He depends on friends to carry him. He goes with the bed - the bed carries him everywhere. Jesus heals him, after he's brought to Christ. He still has the bed, but when he leaves Jesus, he carries the bed. Christ said 'stand up, take your bed, and go your way.'

It's kind of like the carnal nature. You know, before we come to Jesus, it carries us around. After Christ you've still got it but you carry it. So you still have your physical needs but they don't control you. Here is a verse that talks about that - romans 8:5 and 6 - matter of fact, you can read the whole chapter in romans there - chapter 8, "for those who live according to the flesh set their minds on the things of the flesh, but those who live according to the spirit the things of the spirit. To be carnally - the word 'carne' means flesh or meat - to be carnally minded is death but to be spiritually minded is life and peace." So if are being controlled by the flesh - the things of the world, it's death. To be spiritually controlled, that is life and peace.

Now, how many of you want life and peace? Then you need to be controlled by those things. The next is the life of prayer. Now someone's going to read for me Mark 11:24. Who's got that? Alright, go ahead, you can read that for me. Mark 11, verse 24, "therefore I say unto you, what things so ever ye desire, when ye pray believe that ye receive them and ye shall have them." So he says 'whatever you ask, pray for it and you'll have it.' Now, how many of you have tried that? And maybe you don't get it. Maybe you did. Are there certain criteria? Do you pray for stuff? Janice Joplin used to tease some of the religious materialistic people. She wrote a song that many people remember. 'Oh lord won't you buy me a Mercedes Benz.

My friends all have Porsches I must make amends. Worked hard all my lifetime no help from my friends. Oh lord won't you buy me a Mercedes Benz." Something like that. And someone else made a song up to tease - would Jesus wear a Rolex? - What are you praying for? You know, at the heart of every prayer it ought to be 'lord what will bring you glory' right? Now, while I've been teaching we'll back to the lesson if time permits. We do have some questions that came in on Facebook. Pastor Ross is sick today so I'll be - and Pastor Brummond is teaching another class, so I'll be reading some of these questions. One person is asking, 'does tithe' - we're talking about materialism and stewardship - 'does tithe go for a specific purpose or can you give your tithe to other non-profit organizations in the church? Well, let's talk about that for a moment. If everybody in the church says I'm going to send my tithe to my favorite ministry, and if the pastors in the church are supported from the tithe, what would happen to pastors if everybody sent their tithe to their favorite ministry? Eventually churches would not have money for their pastors. And so there needs to be a commitment to support the - now, you know, the Bible actually talks about a second tithe. Some people pay a second tithe.

If The Lord has blessed you and you can do that and you might, you know, say 'I'm going to make a commitment to another ministry,' but tithe needs to go for the furtherance of the gospel and the support of the organized ministry. 'What do I do if my spouse gets upset when I give tithe?' You've got a believer married to an unbeliever. Unfortunately, I've even seen where you've got two believers and one doesn't believe in tithe. Supposed to be believers. What do you do? Now this is not as much a problem if the one who's doing the giving is the one who is working. What's difficult is if one, let's just use the typical analogy - you've got a husband who's working the wife staying home taking care of the children. The husband is not the believer and he says, 'I'm not giving to that church. I'm not paying tithe - 10 percent? You out of your mind? How are we going to get by on our budget with 10 percent?' Well, I would say, to start with, you need to have communication with your spouse and say, 'i work at home.

I'm taking care of the kids and taking care of the home and the other affairs of life that can be a full-time job. Does any of your income belong to me? Do you think I have a right to any discretionary income or are you saying it's all yours?' Well you have to be a pretty despotic spouse that would say 'it's all mine.' And then say, 'alright, what part of the budget is mine? Then I'm going to pay a tithe of whatever you believe is fairly mine. So you might negotiate that way or he might say, you know, convince them 'do you want God to bless any of what you have? God says it'll be cursed if you don't pay tithe. And reason with them. Sometimes after spouses see that their funds are being cursed, they say, 'well, maybe I ought to try the tithe paying.' Do you know God will even bless the tithe of a person who doesn't have a hundred percent of faith? Does God keep his promises?

He says, 'if you prove me in this and see if I don't open for you the windows of heaven.' So I'd say ask him to prove God. So that is a challenge though. 'I give my tithe to the church, but I ask them to give it to the poor. Is that okay? Well, if you give it to the church, once you give your tithe to someone you don't then dictate how it's to be used. If you give something to someone and you tell them what to do, you haven't really given it yet. You've got to give - tell them what your suggested recommendation is before the gift and that's called restricted income. Every now and then Amazing Facts we get a gift and someone says we want this to go to china. We, by law - and by ethics, need to make sure that money is registered - it's allocated to just China. And sometimes we'll raise money for a particular project and we get in more than we need for the project. We keep it in a restricted fund and it may help with Indonesia or china - whatever it is - for years to come until it's used up, because it's restricted money. So when you give tithe the church has designated what the tithe is to go towards. If you want to give money to the poor then don't give it to the church and then tell the church what to do, you give it to the poor. But are you not supposed to be doing that with tithe. And some - no, I think most of the tithe goes towards - there was a second tithe in the Bible when they went to the feast they could give to the poor. And read about that in Deuteronomy.

Okay, is there any other questions. Yeah. Another question: 'should we get rid of all things we have collected in life, so I'm available to go where God sends me?' Maybe. You know, I think as you as you get older - I've been sending things to our kids and they say, 'well don't you want to keep this? It's a great memory.' I said, you know, when I'm gone you're just going to have to go through this stuff so I'd just as soon have more room in my house now.' So we're downsizing. You know, Karen and I sold our house. We moved into a smaller house. So we moved out of our house into a smaller house. We're trying to downsize. It frees you up more. Some people get pets and you can't go on a mission trip because you can't do anything but your pets.

I love my pets but I'm afraid to get another pet because I want to be free and available to God. So I think everybody ought to try and do what they can so they can do as much as they can in missionary work and soul winning. If your things are weighing you down, you might want to lighten the load. You travel lighter, you can go sometimes farther, right? Any other questions? Yeah we do. 'I believe in tithing but sometimes I don't have enough money for food and bills. What should I do? That's tough. Well, let me ask this question. If you're short on food is it okay to steal? No. What does God call it if we refuse to return tithe to him? Stealing. Stealing.

Now I know that may seem brutal and there's some unbeliever watching this broadcast and thinking, 'you pastors, you have no compassion. You're telling people that say they're having trouble giving' - what did Jesus say of that widow that gave her last two cents? Did he say 'woman are you out of your mind? Here you might have orphaned children and what are you doing coming to the temple giving your last two cents?' I mean shouldn't he have said, 'no, no give it back to her. She has nothing else.' Jesus commended her for her faith. Now do you think The Lord let that woman go hungry? No. I am confident that he provided. It's like David said, 'i was young, I'm now old, I've not seen the righteous forsaken or receive begging bread.' You seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness and all the other things will be added. And so prove The Lord and the very fact you're asking this question means you're still alive. Whoever asked last question, right? Which means he has taken care of you and he will continue to take care of you.

Alright, we're going to get back to the lesson. We still have a few more thoughts - I like that, where they just - some of our viewers that are watching right now are able to get involved in sharing their questions. Alright, so we read that verse, 'pray whatever you ask, believing you will receive.' Is that a carte blanche statement? Is that a blank check? 'Pray, just believe you're going to get whatever you ask for.' Some people have read it that way. There are other mitigating verses you need to combine with that. First of all, will it glorify God? Go to John 14, verse 13, "whatever you ask in my name that I will do, that my - that the father might be glorified in the son. If you ask anything in my name I will do it." If it is something that will be glorifying the Father and the Son. And then you also need to - you can read James - James 1:6, "but let him ask in faith nothing doubting, for he who doubts like a wave of the sea driven and tossed by the wind. For let no man suppose that he'll receive anything from The Lord." So one of the ways we escape from the world's ways is we read the word. The other one is prayer. These are just some of the most important aspects to success in the Christian life. But you can't just pray and say 'lord I want to believe.' You do need to ask in faith. James also says, in the same book, 'you ask and you do not receive because you ask amiss that you may spend it on your pleasures.'

So are there those who ask and maybe they think they're asking in faith and they still don't get it? Why? You're asking for the wrong thing. You're asking for something that can be squandered selfishly. And he doesn't promise to answer that prayer. What is another criteria to having your prayers answered? Bible says if I turn away my ear from hearing the law, my prayer is an abomination. So if there's some area in your life where you are living in an ongoing and deliberate disobedience - I'm not saying that if you sin God won't answer your prayers. I'm saying if you're living in known rebellion to God's will, and then you're praying and you're giving God your shopping list. If you turn away your ear from hearing the law your prayer is an abomination. The Bible also says 'if I regard iniquity in my heart he will not hear me. If your heart is filled with evil - what about forgiving others? Is that a criteria? So when you pray in Jesus' name what does that mean? Is that like just putting the period on the end of your prayer? You've got to always say, 'in Jesus' name' and that's sort of, like, you know, that seals your prayer? It's the magic word at the end of your prayer. When it means praying in Jesus' name that means praying in Jesus' spirit. Do you have forgiveness in your heart?

Do you have the faith of Christ? Are you asking trusting in his merits? And so it's these kind of prayers that help us escape. Alright, last section here that we're going to probably have time for is a life of wisdom. Someone's going to read a verse for me - proverbs 3:13 and 14 - okay, Manjeet I'll get to you in just a moment. First I'm going to read psalm 111, verse 10, "for the fear of The Lord is the beginning of wisdom. A good understanding have all they that do his commandments." You need wisdom to know how to balance your spiritual needs with the practical needs of life. But the spiritual needs to be the priority. And it says obeying his commandments is the beginning of wisdom. Go ahead, read for us proverbs 3:13 and 14. Proverbs 3:13 and 14, "happy is the man who finds wisdom and the man who gains understanding for his profits are better than the profit of silver and his gain then fine gold." Anyone out there want more gold and silver. What does Solomon say?

Did Solomon have a lot of gold and silver? Solomon had one of the biggest inheritances of any prince that came into the throne. David was at the zenith of his conquest just before he died. And you start reading the last few chapters there in chronicles and it tells you about all the wealth that David got from the Edomites, from the Moabites, from the Ammonites, from the Syrians. Trade was coming in from Egypt and, basically - have you ever been - you ever driven across a toll bridge like around San Francisco - the bay bridge - and you see that river of cars? Five dollars a car - it's a river of money. Karen and I were watching something on the panama canal this week. You know when one of those shipping containers goes through the panama canal, it's like a nine hundred thousand dollar fee and there's a one after another and then you look at the tall skyscrapers in panama you know how they got there. Just a river of money. Israel had a river of money coming in when Solomon became king because all the tariffs to pass through that land for the trade route, they were on the bridge. Israel owned the bridge between Asia and Africa and Europe - middle east.

He had a river of money. The Bible says the silver was counted for nothing everything was made of gold during the time of Solomon. And you know what Solomon said? 'Wisdom is more important than all of that.' Wisdom is the most important thing. So pray for the Holy Spirit to give you the gift of wisdom. And I'm going to just read the last section here, the Holy Spirit. Christ said, 'no one can come to me unless the father who sent me draws him and I'll raise him up the last day.' The Holy Spirit must draw us. We need to have the spirit leading us if we're going to escape the world's ways. 1 John 2:16 and 17, "for all that's in the world the lust of the flesh and the lust of the eyes and the pride of life, it's not of the father but the world, and the world is passing away and the lust of it. But he that does the will of God will abide forever."

So we need to be listening to the spirit guiding us away from the things of the world. Christ said John 16 13, "however, when he" - Holy Spirit's not an it, he is a he - "for when he the spirit of truth has come he will guide you into all truth. He will not speak on his own authority but whatever he hears he will speak and he will tell you things to come." I just like to emphasize that because there's some people that still insist the Holy Spirit is just an impersonal force. It's the electricity God uses or something. Jesus made it pretty clear the Holy Spirit is a he. He is the third person of the Godhead. But he will guide you. He teaches you. He shows you things to come. Well I think we learned some profitable things about how to escape the world's ways.

Want to thank those of you who joined us and remind you just in closing we have a free after it's called alone in the crowd. We'll send it to you simply for asking. Call 866-788-3966 that's 866-study more and it's offer #714. God bless you till we read his word together again. Thank you. Let's face it, it's not always easy to understand everything you read in the Bible. With over 700,000 words contained in 66 books, the Bible can generate a lot of questions. To get biblical straightforward answers call in to Bible answers live - a live nationwide call-in radio program where you can talk to Pastor Doug Batchelor and ask him your most difficult Bible questions.

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