The "housing bubble" may finally be bursting. Inflation is rising. Wages are stagnant. Jobs are harder and harder to find. Amid this uncertainty, there is a way to achieve genuine financial security—if you will follow God's instructions!
How can you be absolutely sure of your financial future? How can you know that God will be with you?
Most Americans realize that their nation's debt is astronomical! A financial "iceberg" is slowly moving toward the ship America. In the next few years, the dollar will be dropping even further in relation to European and Asian currencies. A real estate downturn has already begun. Millions of lost jobs will ensue. An upheaval in society is probable because of the growing problems caused by financial indebtedness. Some will lose homes directly because of financial difficulties; others will suffer through disasters such as prophesied hurricanes, earthquakes, droughts and disease epidemics.
In a time of such danger and uncertainty, there is only one way to be truly certain that the great God of creation is with you personally, spiritually and financially. Yet it is amazingly simple—you must be willing and eager to obey your Creator and to let the real Jesus Christ of the Bible truly live His life in you in all you think, say and do!
In His word—the Bible—Jesus Christ often told His followers to do exactly this. However, because God and Christ are not "real" even to most professing Christians, the vast majority neglect or "water down" Jesus' clear instructions about how to conduct their lives, and fail to realize how completely God controls our personal and financial destiny.
In Matthew 6, Jesus Christ instructed us not to "worry" about the physical necessities of food, clothing and material goods. Jesus said, "For after all these things the Gentiles seek. For your heavenly Father knows that you need all these things" (Matthew 6:32). Then, the Son of God told us what we should do to ensure our physical and financial well-being: "But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you" (v. 33).
So, we certainly must look forward to—and prepare for—Christ's return to this earth as King of kings. We are to "seek" God's righteousness, and we are to do His will in our lives. As the Apostle John—Jesus' "beloved apostle"—was inspired to tell us: "And whatever we ask we receive from Him, because we keep His commandments and do those things that are pleasing in His sight" (1 John 3:22).
Interestingly, the Sabbath commandment not only tells us to rest on the seventh day, it also commands us to work on the other days. "Six days you shall labor and do all your work" (Exodus 20:9). Yet we have created a society in which people often live on welfare, take early retirement or find other reasons not to work or to be productive! As a result, they often fall into financial difficulties.
Also, because of our emphasis on pleasure and "having fun," millions of modern people simply coast through the day and do not really work hard and genuinely try to be productive. Yet the inspired Word of God tells us, "Whatever your hand finds to do, do it with your might; for there is no work or device or knowledge or wisdom in the grave where you are going" (Ecclesiastes 9:10).
If you truly want God's blessing and guidance in your financial life, you will need to plan, educate yourself and prepare for gainful employment that allows you to be truly productive during the six working days of each week. And you will do your best. You will work "with your might" as God tells us.
The Apostle Paul also instructs us, "And whatever you do, do it heartily, as to the Lord and not to men" (Colossians 3:23). Real Christians will "heartily" work at their chosen jobs. They will educate themselves so as to constantly "grow" in their jobs or professions. They will think about how they can accomplish more and better serve their employers, their families—and their God!
Also, truly wise Christians will learn to totally avoid going into debt far beyond their means. This is vital. For, as most of you have read and heard often, millions of Americans, Canadians and Britons are massively in debt. They live far beyond their means—buying things they do not really need with money they do not actually have. They are voracious consumers. They are "hooked" on the idea of having more and more material goods even though they rarely need the latest gadgets, toys and "things" that advertisers continually put in front of them.
Now, American consumers are finding that their past borrowing binge is coming back to haunt them. The home mortgage debt in America has surged at double digit rates every quarter for the past several years. Americans now owe about nine trillion dollars on their mortgages alone—double what they owed in the year 2000!
So personal bankruptcies and home foreclosures are increasing. Retail sales are disappointing. The American economy is headed for terrible trouble—big time!
Earlier this year, the Press Association of Great Britain released some shocking news: "Government figures are expected to show a record number of people went bankrupt this spring. Financial services group KPMG predicts the number of people who went into insolvency in England and Wales between April and June rocketed to 27,000. That is the highest figure ever and well above the 15,645 in the same period last year and the 23,351 who went through the courts between January and March this year. And KPMG believes the total number of people going bankrupt in 2006 will exceed 100,000 for the first time—the equivalent of one every minute of the working day. The figures from the Insolvency Service come a day after the Bank of England raised interest rates for the first time for two years—leaving millions of homeowners facing higher mortgage repayments" ("Record number declared bankrupt," August 4, 2006).
In all of these and other ways, intelligent Christians will do all they can to be productive, to genuinely earn their daily bread. But such Christians will also in faith look beyond their own human efforts, and will seek God's direct blessing in achieving physical and financial security.
For only the very God of creation can protect us and our families from crippling illness, storms, earthquakes, fires and other "natural" catastrophes. Only the true God can guarantee that we will never be destitute or starving.
God's word tells us, "Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and comes down from the Father of lights, with whom there is no variation or shadow of turning" (James 1:17). God also inspired His servant David to tell us pointedly, "I have been young, and now am old; yet I have not seen the righteous forsaken, nor his descendants begging bread" (Psalm 37:25). So, the God of creation truly does take care of those who serve Him and do His will.
Yet, though most do not seem to realize it, there is a vital instruction from God that has been almost totally neglected by most who call themselves Christians today—even though they enjoy tremendous blessings from God. Sadly, the majority of people in the United States and British-descended nations neglect this vital instruction, though the God they ignore has blessed and blessed these nations beyond all other peoples on earth with material blessings. God gave these blessings because of His promises to Abraham, which we explain thoroughly in our revealing and powerful booklet, The United States and Great Britain in Prophecy. Please request your free copy of this booklet if you have not yet read it!
The great God is working out an awesome purpose. He is now beginning to intervene more and more powerfully in world affairs in specific ways which this Work—the Work behind the Tomorrow's World magazine and Tomorrow's World telecast—is revealing to you. And the Creator God will not be mocked. The professing Christian peoples—and entire nations in the "Western" world—are coming under a divine curse because most have not obeyed the Creator in a very fundamental way.
Speaking primarily to the modern descendants of the "House of Israel"—including specifically the American and British-descended peoples—God challenges us in His inspired word: "Will a man rob God? Yet you have robbed Me! But you say, 'In what way have we robbed You?' In tithes and offerings. You are cursed with a curse, for you have robbed Me, even this whole nation. Bring all the tithes into the storehouse, that there may be food in My house, and try Me now in this,' says the Lord of hosts, 'If I will not open for you the windows of heaven and pour out for you such blessing that there will not be room enough to receive it. And I will rebuke the devourer for your sakes, so that he will not destroy the fruit of your ground, nor shall the vine fail to bear fruit for you in the field,' says the Lord of hosts'" (Malachi 3:8–11).
For your own good, please do not think that those inspired instructions are just some obsolete teachings for men of past ages. They are not obsolete at all! The law of tithing is what God intended for His faithful people from the very beginning—and which Jesus Christ Himself validated in His own teaching. The tithing principle is real—and those who disobey it do so at their own peril.
The Creator God is the "Landowner" of the entire earth. We all need to realize that we are living on His earth, breathing His air, drinking His water and eating His food. This great God is not "real" to most people. But, as He begins to intervene more and more in powerful ways—ways we are explaining to you regularly in the pages of this magazine—you who understand will see that God is very much alive! His word is true, and His laws and ways are living laws—as real as the law of gravity!
In the New Testament, the prophet Abraham is in several places called the "father" of the faithful (Romans 4:1, 11, 16). The book of James also calls Abraham the "friend of God" (James 2:23). In that very passage, referring to Abraham's example, God tells us that "faith without works is dead" (v. 26).
You and I may say that we "believe" in God and in Christ. But unless we are willing to obey our Creator, then our faith is "dead." So we must be willing to actively seek out God's will, and to do what God clearly indicates is His will in every part of our lives—in our marriages and families, in our businesses and in financial matters.
God certainly reveals His "mind"—His will and the way He thinks—in the pages of the Bible. Most genuine Christians realize this, but they often fail to follow through on it, or they "water down" many clear examples and instructions from God if they do not please them or fit into their lives conveniently.
Tithing may not seem "convenient." Many people think they "can't afford to tithe." Yet, from decades of experience, I can tell you that I have personally seen thousands of people blessed and protected physically, financially and in many other ways because of their willingness to put God first in every aspect of their lives—including their financial choices.
Even Abraham, the very "father" of the faithful—who lived long before there was even such a thing as an "Old Covenant"—faithfully practiced tithing. God reveals this to us clearly in His word.
God granted Abraham a remarkable victory over the pagan kings who had kidnapped his young relative, Lot. What happened next? "So he brought back all the goods, and also brought back his brother Lot and his goods, as well as the women and the people" (Genesis 14:16). These "goods" which Abraham brought back were not "earned" by his normal work of raising crops or herds. So although God specifically tells us to tithe on our "increase"—our income or the produce of our fields—Abraham's example shows that as a principle it can be applied to any wealth God grants us!
When Abraham returned with all these goods that God had so remarkably granted him, "Then Melchizedek king of Salem brought out bread and wine; he was the priest of God Most High. And he blessed him and said: 'Blessed be Abram of God Most High, Possessor of heaven and earth; and blessed be God Most High, Who has delivered your enemies into your hand.' And he gave him a tithe of all" (vv. 18–20).
Here—long before tithing was introduced as part of the "Old Covenant"—God reveals that Abraham, the spiritual "father" of all true Christians, tithed to God. In the New Testament, Christ called Abraham, Isaac and Jacob the patriarchs of His Church and His true people. So it is significant that the patriarch Jacob also acknowledged the principle of tithing. When Jacob surrendered to God, he made a vow, saying, "If God will be with me, and keep me in this way that I am going, and give me bread to eat and clothing to put on, so that I come back to my father's house in peace, then the Lord shall be my God. And this stone which I have set as a pillar shall be God's house, and of all that You give me I will surely give a tenth to You" (Genesis 28:20–22).
Most people who have any familiarity with the Bible recognize that a "tithe" means a tenth. God requires that His faithful servants pay Him—as the "Landowner" and Governor of all that is—a certain rent as an acknowledgment of His sovereignty. Abraham did this, Jacob did this and—as we shall see—Jesus Christ also acknowledges this continuing law of our Creator.
In the New Testament, we find that Jesus Christ often rebuked the scribes and Pharisees—the religious leaders of His day—because of their emphasis on all the "picky" points not only from the law of Moses, but especially from their humanly devised "religious traditions" not found in Scripture. Yet, in the very midst of correcting them for their wrong emphasis, Jesus acknowledged that tithing "ought" to be done! Jesus told them, "Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you pay tithe of mint and anise and cummin, and have neglected the weightier matters of the law: justice and mercy and faith. These you ought to have done, without leaving the others [i.e. tithing] undone" (Matthew 23:23). In His powerful rebuke, Jesus showed that the Pharisees had neglected such vital matters as justice, mercy and "faithfulness"—as the NKJV "faith" ought to be translated. The Pharisees were not demonstrating the personal concern and kindness that God requires of all faithful Christians, as in His command to "love our neighbors as ourselves" (Matthew 22:39). But Jesus also admonished the Pharisees not to leave tithing "undone!"
So the "other" matter—tithing carefully—ought not to have been left "undone!" This is the very clear meaning of this verse, as many scholars acknowledge. The matter of tithing was given to Abraham long before the Old Covenant. It was administered in a specific way through the Levites when that system was being followed, and now remains as a law of God for true Christians who are willing to follow the "faith of Abraham" today!
My friends, we are definitely at the end of an age. As the events swirling around us indicate, God is now beginning to intervene in world affairs in increasingly powerful ways. He—through His servants and His true Church—is preparing the way for Jesus Christ's return as King of kings!
God wants all of us to be in His Kingdom, each in due time. But, first, He has to know where our "heart" is. Jesus Christ tells us, "And he who overcomes, and keeps My works until the end, to him I will give power over the nations—'He shall rule them with a rod of iron; they shall be dashed to pieces like the potter's vessels'—as I also have received from My Father" (Revelation 2:26–27).
It is the overcomers who, in the Millennium, will join Christ in ruling over the nations of this earth, ending centuries of confusion and war. God will give this privilege to those who are zealous in serving their Maker—not to those who are "lukewarm." In fact, describing people living in the very last era before His return, Jesus said, "So then, because you are lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will vomit you out of My mouth" (Revelation 3:16). God wants each of us—those who will be part of His coming "team" of saints resurrected to rule the earth—to be "on fire" now for His Kingdom, for His purpose and for His great commission to powerfully proclaim His message to a dying world while we have the opportunity.
So, to those who are looking for an excuse—for any possible way to deny the need to tithe—God's word clearly indicates that they are pursuing a lost cause! Such people are not truly surrendered to God. They are not fervently involved in wanting to do His will, nor do they want to proclaim Christ's message to the world with all of their being.
Once, when Jesus was questioned about missing His lunch, He replied, "My food is to do the will of Him who sent Me, and to finish His work" (John 4:34). Jesus went on to tell us that we should all do our part in "reaping the harvest" of those whom God is calling at this time. He said, "And he who reaps receives wages, and gathers fruit for eternal life, that both he who sows and he who reaps may rejoice together" (v. 36).
Indeed, you will not be "worse off" because of giving to your Creator a full tithe of your income and any other "increase" you may receive (Proverbs 3:9)! Rather, you will "receive wages" which lead to eternal life! You will be given a greater position of honor and opportunity if your "heart" is truly in doing God's will and helping in the proclamation of His message in every way you can.
It is in that spirit that I urge all of you to practice God's law of tithing. It is in that spirit that I encourage all of you to ascertain where Christ is working—to be sure that you pay your tithe to the true representatives of Christ who are teaching His message to the world today, explaining His inspired prophecies and actually doing His Work at this time. Remember that the book of Malachi is a kind of "bridge book" between the Old and New Testaments. It is definitely pointing—time after time—to the New Testament and to what God's people ought to be doing today.
Remember what God tells us in this inspired prophecy: "Will a man rob God? Yet you have robbed Me! But you say, 'In what way have we robbed You?' In tithes and offerings"(Malachi 3:8). Those who try to do away with tithing, and neglect God's instruction to give additional offerings, will be severely shaken in the day of God's wrath!
Yet God reveals that those who faithfully obey their Creator in this vital financial matter will be blessed in many ways. He promises to "open for you the windows of heaven and pour out for you such blessing that there will not be room enough to receive it" (Malachi 3:10). Although God promises no one that he or she will be a millionaire, God will never forsake those who are truly faithful to Him (Hebrews 13:5). He will watch over them, bless them financially, protect them and guide them as they learn to "walk with Him" in sincerity and truth. May God help us to understand, and to do what His word clearly reveals. May God help each of us do our part zealously in carrying out His Work at the end of this age!