In the September issue we showed that money is not the root of all evil. We explained what money really is, how it originated and how our whole banking system developed. In this concluding installment, you will discover who is the true source of wealth and what is your best investment. ON ONE side of a five-dollar bill I have in my hand, it says: "In God we trust." It is through a great deal of controversy that this statement has remained on our money. But what does this mean? Unfortunately, I'm afraid it doesn't mean much more than the hollow circular reasoning behind the expression "Federal Reserve Note," which was explained in the previous installment.
In fact, when you understand what money is, it seems that there must have been a typographical error in the printing of this currency. It should read, "In this God we trust." Surely you have heard the expression "the almighty dollar"!
We do literally trust in that physical piece of paper to bring us our needs to supply us with goods and services of our choice at the time of our choice. Our trust is in the money itself and in what stands behind the money the economy of the nation.
There is a deeper hypocrisy in bringing God into the picture than might be supposed. Let's read again that verse from the Phillips translation mentioned last month. "Tell those who are rich in this present world not to be contemptuous of others, and not to rest the weight of their confidence on the transitory power of wealth but on the living God, who generously gives us everything for our enjoyment" (I Timothy 6:17).
God's message clearly throughout the Bible is that we should put our trust in Him, not in princes or governments or land or money or people or institutions, but in Him! This does not mean that the land and the resources on that land, and the money and everything else that is freely given to us from God, is evil of itself or should not be used freely; but that in the use of it we should always maintain our ultimate trust and faith and confidence in God and not in any of these things! It's all too easy to focus on the physical.
Source of Our Wealth Let's understand where the wealth comes from in the first place the real wealth! The Eternal God is the Possessor of the heavens and the earth as well as being their Creator. It is, He that made the earth habitable for mankind in the first place. It is that great God who put the abundance of wealth into the earth for man to dig it out. It was a loving Creator that covered the millions of square miles of the surface of this globe with riches beyond imagining in the natural resources we not only take for granted, but greedily destroy beyond measure as we consume them.
That same great God made a covenant with a man called Abraham and promised that man that if he would serve Him unswervingly, if he would put his absolute and total and complete trust and confidence in the living God, no matter what, that He in turn would share as a co-owner with Abraham this entire earth and indeed even the entire universe! And you share in that promise if you are Christ's and heirs to that promise made to Abraham (Galatians 3:29).
That promise God made to Abraham was dual: Part of the promise showed that Abraham was to have that inheritance from God forever. In order for that to happen, Abraham had to have offered to him eternal life as well as all of those great possessions, or else the sad and incisive truth would come to pass that Christ mentioned in the New Testament: If a man gain the whole world and lose his life, what has he got? (Matthew 16:26.)
In Which God Do We Trust? So the great God who gave all the wealth is rather upset when He sees Himself denied by those possessing and using that wealth and yet sees His name mockingly printed on the nation's money!
In Hosea that God says: "Little she knew it was I who had given her the grain and oil and wine, who had heaped on her silver and gold [they devoted it to Baal]. So now I recall my grain in its season, my wine in its month; I reclaim my wool and my flax, that went to cover her nakedness; and I leave her all bare to the eyes of her lovers [international allies and trading partners]" (Hosea 2:8-10, Moffatt translation).
This principle applies to any nation, because God is the Creator of the whole earth. "Their land also is full of silver and gold, neither is there any end of their treasures; their land is also full of horses, neither is there any end of their chariots [that is, in modern language, automobiles and mobile weapons of war] : Their land also is full of idols; they worship the work of their own hands, that which their own fingers have made [they trust and have confidence in their own ability to produce a prodigious economy]" (Isaiah 2:7-8).
Since the great nations came to affluence, they have steadily departed from even a semblance of godliness. They have been absorbed in their own affluence. They worship their own economies and forms of government. They are hell-bent on a toboggan slide to the depths of immorality. They have trust and faith and confidence in what their economies can produce and not in the God who gave them the resources from His earth to produce those manufactured goods. The mocking statement, "In God we trust," is printed blasphemy!
The God of Abraham Lives That same God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, disowned and unrecognized by modern peoples, is right now in the process of taking away the great wealth that He gave to us because of our blatant and total rebellion. Actually the main way God takes these things away from us is merely by letting the natural laws He set in motion take their toll. To permit the greedy nature which has led us into the economic chaos in which we live to destroy us. To allow us to fall into the pit we have dug for ourselves.
God is going to allow us to fall into total collapse in the near future. A collapse in every sense of the word and a final, actual physical captivity! A financial collapse, a moral collapse, a collapse in the health and even the daily sustenance of food on our plate's, a collapse of our great cities in nuclear holocaust, a total collapse of the entire nation and economy in which we trust and have our confidence that which our money is based upon our god: our manufacturing capacity!
Not until the remaining few left alive, who are in captivity, come to see their mistakes and recognize who their God is, will He intervene and restore to them, not only the riches they had before, but those far beyond our ken in the wonderful world tomorrow.
Beware the Golden Calf Although last month we showed the key role of gold and silver in international finances and monetary history, we by no means advocate the buying or hoarding of gold and silver as your best investment.
This series of articles is neither pro- nor anti-gold, neither right- nor left-wing. Rather it is third-dimensional, revealing to you the best long-range investment.
If you wish to invest in this world's securities, be sure to consult experts in the field. Trust neither the "underground" investment letters, nor the established "name" stockbrokers, but seek a multitude of wise counsel, from all financial viewpoints, before investing.
Christians, above all, should avoid making an idol out of any investment, as the Israelites worshiped the golden calf of Aaron (Exodus 32). Instead, use your investment capital as a tool toward your best investment, as Christ showed in Luke 19:12-27, which is to do the will of God, support His Work on earth, and inherit eternal life.
It is not wrong to invest in this world. Jesus Christ said: "Make to yourselves friends of the mammon of unrighteousness; that, when ye fail, they may receive you into everlasting habitations. He that is faithful in that which is least is faithful also in much..." (Luke 16:9, 10). But He also said: "... Be ye therefore wise as serpents, and harmless as doves" (Matthew 10:16). Be extremely cautious with your investments.
Unfortunately, the tradition of men in regard to money has all too often made money take on a role God reserves for Himself.
At that moment when the great God of heaven and earth decides to intervene in mankind's affairs, and particularly in the affairs of the descendants of His friend Abraham, people will begin to recognize that there is only one source of true confidence, the most reliable "nonhuman Governor" who will establish His desperately needed discipline (Hebrews 12:6), one secure hope for eternal prosperity: God Himself!
"In that day a man shall cast his idols of silver, and his idols of gold, which they made each one for himself to worship [whatever you have trust and faith and confidence in, whatever you worship, is your god], to the moles and to the bats; to go into the clefts of the rocks, and into the tops of the ragged rocks, for fear of the Lord, and for the glory of his majesty, when he ariseth to shake terribly the earth. Cease ye from man, whose breath is in his nostrils: for wherein is he to be accounted of?" (Isaiah 2:20-22.)
God is returning to take over the governments of this world, to establish the economy of the world tomorrow, to put down all war and see to it that people do not learn to make war anymore. The Creator God is coming to restore this polluted planet to its intended beauty by teaching man how to use the great blessings He gives.
All men everywhere are going to discover that whatever they trusted in before, whatever they had confidence in before, is no longer of any worth or value. Everyone will discover of his own hand, of what he can manufacture or make, with a gold or silver or paper representation of wealth that he cannot even supply the simple" necessities of food, clothing and shelter for himself but must in all things rely on God.
Expanding World Economy When man's society, drunk on its own apparent success, sees that God of heaven and earth intervening, a great cry of lament shall go up: "And the merchants of the earth shall weep and mourn over her [the end-time Babylon which controls the world at the return of Christ]; for no man buyeth their merchandise any more: The merchandise of gold, and silver, and precious stones, and of pearls, and fine linen, and purple, and silk, and scarlet, and all thyine wood, and all manner vessels of ivory, and all manner vessels of most precious wood, and of brass, and iron, and marble, and cinnamon, and odours, and ointments, and frankincense, and wine, and oil, and fine flour, and wheat, and beasts, and sheep, and horses, and chariots, and slaves, and souls of men.... The merchants of these things, which, were made rich by her, shall stand afar off for the fear of her torment, weeping and wailing, and saying, Alas, alas, that great city, that was clothed in fine linen, and purple, and scarlet, and decked with gold, and precious stones, and pearls! For in one hour so great riches is come to nought..."! (Rev. 18:11-17.)
God's Economy Along with all her other monstrous debts, public and private, the United States of America has a debt to its Creator God! This past year alone that debt amounted to a figure in excess of 200 billion dollars! "How can that be?" you say. That can be, because that figure is roughly one-tenth or ten percent of our gross national income for this year. One-tenth of that which we worship as a god instead of giving it to God.
"Will a man rob God? Yet ye have robbed me. But ye say, Wherein have we robbed thee? In tithes and offerings. Ye are cursed with a curse: for ye have robbed me, even this whole nation" (Malachi 3:8,9).
Yes, any nation, forgetting its God, wandering godless in a godless world, refusing to recognize its debt to its Creator is guilty in the light of this scripture.
This nation spends, on its defense alone, an amount billions greater than its tithe would be! It trusts in its manufacturing ability and armies to preserve it in the face of enemies; it trusts in its economy to sustain it financially. It trusts in its technological know-how to continue to produce a giant volume of goods from the good earth rather than trusting in the Creator of the good earth!
Let's notice just briefly, in contrast to the world's way of doing business, what God's way of doing business is. Instead of God loaning us some hard piece of metal which we would agree with Him represents wealth, God gives us the earth! Out of that earth by His generous laws, sustained by His might every second, come the untold riches God designed to be ours in the first place: that is one hundred percent of everything we have!
Instead of requiring us to pay back that 100 percent to Him every year plus 30 percent, or 20, or any other figure we might pick (where we would, get that percent ' I don't know!), God gives us the full 100 percent and requests that we return to Him ten percent!
It's all His!
But He tells us that if we have our faith and trust and confidence in Him, then we will return to Him that which is His anyway. But He only requires one-tenth of all the 100 percent He has given us freely in the first place!
If we put our trust in Him rather than in the manufactured goods or the cold metal that comes from the earth, then His promise is that He will pour us out such a blessing that there will not be room to receive it! That the crops of the next years will exceed those of the years before. That our health, our well-being, our safety will be ensured this promise applies to every individual as well as to every nation! (See Malachi 3:8-12.)
Things Money Can't Buy As you well know, happiness cannot be purchased with money. True love cannot be purchased with money. Health cannot be purchased with money. Safety from our many enemies cannot be purchased with money, and certainly eternal life cannot be purchased with money! Salvation, forgiveness of sin, sonship in the Kingdom of God cannot be purchased with money. Not even by the faithful paying of tithes and offerings!
Let's notice an unusual statement made by God in the book of Isaiah: "For thus saith the Lord, Ye have sold yourselves for nought; and ye shall be redeemed without money" (Isaiah 52:3).
That's good news!
To think that, very soon, the great God who made everything is going to set His hand to save the world! To think that God is not going to require payment of any kind but gives freely all those things which cannot be purchased is good news!
The purpose of this Work of God is to see that as many people as possible realize that the time of God's intervention is at hand. That it is time for all of us to check our securities, to examine our true wealth, to find out what it is we have our faith in and how confident we are in the true and everlasting values of good character as described by our Maker!
And so, as it goes on to say in verse 7 of this same chapter in Isaiah: "How beautiful upon the mountains are the feet of him that bringeth good tidings, that publisheth peace; that bringeth good tidings of good, that publisheth salvation; that saith unto Zion, Thy God reigneth! The watch man shall lift up the voice; with the voice together shall they sing: for they shall see eye to eye, when the Lord shall bring again Zion" (verses 7-8).
Use Money God's Way No, money of itself is not evil it is how we think about it or what we do with it that is either evil or good. So those of us who know and believe this truth from the innermost part of our beings have put our confidence and faith and trust in God and His promises. To prove this, in every way we endeavor and strive to do what God says, whether it is with our time, our effort and energy, or our money. Jesus Christ put it very aptly in the New Testament when He said: "Where your treasure is, there will your heart be also" (Matthew 6:21).
If we trust in money, whatever its form, to solve our problems, give us health, protect us, heal and help us, then we have our trust in money and we are worshipers of that god called mammon about which the Creator God has a great deal to say.
He uses many analogies regarding money, such as the parable of the talents, which shows that we should use everything that we have been given by God to serve Him and to increase with the power of His Spirit and according to His laws those gifts that He has given to each and everyone of us (Matthew 25:14-30). He warns us very sternly not to put our trust and confidence in physical representations of wealth that we have laid up where "moth and rust" and He might well have added "inflation and collapse of an economy" corrupt, but to make for ourselves treasure in heaven (Matthew 6:19, 20).
That is not just an ecclesiastical phrase. It is not just a gimmick to get the clergy supported. It is a statement from your Savior endeavoring to get across the important point that your total trust, your absolute confidence, must be in God who made all things, and not in any physical representation of wealth dictated and stipulated by your fellow mankind that you do not trust in things but in the Creator of all things!
Our Creator goes on to command of us that we be good stewards of the physical things that we find in our hands (Luke 16:1-13). That is, that we use the money, the property, the abundance that comes from the soil, to serve and to worship God and not to worship that abundance itself as a god.
God wants us to be His business partners. We establish that partnership, we prove our trust and faith in Him, by returning to Him one-tenth of what He gives to us. A very simple token and a small one, as physical and monetary proof of our belief.
Those of us who have so dedicated our hearts and treasures in complete trust and confidence into the hand of Almighty God will come with confidence to that place in human history when all the economies of all nations dissolve into nothingness. At that time the great treasure which God has in heaven will be brought with Him from heaven to this earth and given freely, abundantly, overflowingly in the currency of true wealth in the sharing and possessing of the heavens and the earth as a SON OF GOD!
Truth Is Free Truth should be given freely. "Freely ye have received, freely give" (Matthew 10:8). Let's see some inspiring things that God has to say about the spiritual truth of the purpose of life and the reason for His creation of mankind: "Ho, everyone that thirsteth, come ye to the waters, and he that hath no money; come ye, buy, I and eat; yea, come, buy wine and milk without money and without price. Wherefore do ye spend money for that which is not bread? and your labour for that which satisfieth not? Hearken diligently unto me, and eat ye that which is good, and let your soul delight itself in fatness. Incline your ear, and come unto me: hear, and your soul shall live; and I will make an everlasting covenant with you, even the sure mercies of David" (Isaiah 55:1-3).
This is talking about that soon-coming time when God will be ruling this earth. The good news of tomorrow's world! It does not mean that money or gold or banks will not be used. It means that the trust and faith and confidence 'will be in God and not in things.
In so warning us ahead of time, God urges us to recognize what our true source of wealth is, and so he says: "Seek ye the Lord while he may be found, call ye upon him while he is near: Let the wicked forsake his way, and the unrighteous man his thoughts: and let him return unto the Lord, and he will have mercy upon him; and to our God, for he will abundantly pardon" (Isaiah 55:6-7).
Make your investment an eternal investment. Make God your partner! Put your heart into the Work that God is doing in this end-time age the Work of warning the world of the immediately impending troubles soon to come the Work that is publishing the message of the good news of the world tomorrow a world at last at peace living under the loving auspices of our Creator God.