Christian’s duties in these perilous times (Money Management)

This know also, that in the last days perilous times shall come. (2 Timothy 3:1)
And indeed, perilous times are here, the world is facing financial difficulties of epic proportions.

The financial condition in the world shows that everything is just about in place to cause the world to demand a new financial order which will bring about the mark of the beast.

In James chapter 5, the Bible tells of the financial condition of the world in the last days, where the rich have hoarded the wealth of this world.
“Go to now, ye rich men, weep and howl for your miseries that shall come upon you. Your riches are corrupted, and your garments are motheaten. Your gold and silver is cankered; and the rust of them shall be a witness against you, and shall eat your flesh as it were fire. Ye have heaped treasure together for the last days.” (James 5:1-4)

Rome who actually controls the wealth of the world, “For all nations have drunk of the wine of the wrath of her fornication, and the kings of the earth have committed fornication with her, and the merchants of the earth are waxed rich through the abundance of her delicacies.” (Revelation 18:3 Read the entire chapter), will enforce through goverments and religious bodies the mark of the beast.

“And he causeth all, both small and great, rich and poor, free and bond, to receive a mark in their right hand, or in their foreheads: 17 And that no man might buy or sell, save he that had the mark, or the name of the beast, or the number of his name.” (Revelation 13:16-17)

The world, financially has reached a point of no return, as prophecy predicts it would. Below are the words from billionaire investor George Soros.

“I am not here to cheer you up. The situation is about as serious and difficult as I’ve experienced in my career,” Soros tells Newsweek. “We are facing an extremely difficult time, comparable in many ways to the 1930s, the Great Depression. We are facing now a general retrenchment in the developed world, which threatens to put us in a decade of more stagnation, or worse. The best-case scenario is a deflationary environment. The worst-case scenario is a collapse of the financial system.” Newsweek Magazine

“Billionaire investor George Soros said Europe’s sovereign-debt woes are “more serious” than the financial crisis of 2008 and that the world faces the prospect of a “vicious circle” of deflation.

“We have a more dangerous situation now than in 2008,” Soros, 81, said in response to a question at an event in the southern Indian city of Bangalore today. “The crisis in Europe is more serious than the crash of 2008.”” http://www.businessweek.com

With the increase of financial inequality and instability, what will this cause?

“At the same time anarchy is seeking to sweep away all law, not only divine, but human. The centralizing of wealth and power; the vast combinations for the enriching of the few at the expense of the many; the combinations of the poorer classes for the defense of their interests and claims; the spirit of unrest, of riot and bloodshed; the world-wide dissemination of the same teachings that led to the French Revolution—all are tending to involve the whole world in a struggle similar to that which convulsed France” – {Ed 228.2}

“As anger rises, riots on the streets of American cities are inevitable. “Yes, yes, yes,” he (George Soros) says, almost gleefully. The response to the unrest could be more damaging than the violence itself. “It will be an excuse for cracking down and using strong-arm tactics to maintain law and order, which, carried to an extreme, could bring about a repressive political system, a society where individual liberty is much more constrained, which would be a break with the tradition of the United States.”” http://www.thedailybeast.com

What are we to do as Christians in these times? are we to sit back and just wait, because our bread and our water will be sure? Here is a quote below, that some may mistake to mean just that.

“The Lord has shown me repeatedly that it is contrary to the Bible to make any provision for our temporal wants in the time of trouble. I saw that if the saints had food laid up by them or in the field in the time of trouble, when sword, famine, and pestilence are in the land, it would be taken from them by violent hands and strangers would reap their fields. Then will be the time for us to trust wholly in God, and He will sustain us. I saw that our bread and water will be sure at that time, and that we shall not lack or suffer hunger; for God is able to spread a table for us in the wilderness. If necessary He would send ravens to feed us, as He did to feed Elijah, or rain manna from heaven, as He did for the Israelites.” – {EW 56.2}

A closer examination of the quote will show that this is referring to “The Great Time of Trouble”, when the plagues will be falling. The following quote below shows that there are two times of trouble

On page 33 is given the following: “I saw that the holy Sabbath is, and will be, the separating wall between the true Israel of God and unbelievers; and that the Sabbath is the great question to unite the hearts of God’s dear, waiting saints. I saw that God had children who do not see and keep the Sabbath. They have not rejected the light upon it. And at the commencement of the time of trouble, we were filled with the Holy Ghost as we went forth and proclaimed the Sabbath more fully.” – {EW 85.2}

This view was given in 1847 when there were but very few of the Advent brethren observing the Sabbath, and of these but few supposed that its observance was of sufficient importance to draw a line between the people of God and unbelievers. Now the fulfillment of that view is beginning to be seen. “The commencement of that time of trouble,” here mentioned does not refer to the time when the plagues shall begin to be poured out, but to a short period just before they are poured out, while Christ is in the sanctuary. At that time, while the work of salvation is closing, trouble will be coming on the earth, and the nations will be angry, yet held in check so as not to prevent the work of the third angel. At that time the “latter rain,” or refreshing from the presence of the Lord, will come, to give power to the loud voice of the third angel, and prepare the saints to stand in the period when the seven last plagues shall be poured out. – {EW 85.3}

We are to get out of debt

The rich ruleth over the poor, and the borrower is servant to the lender. (Proverbs 22:7)

“Houses and lands will be of no use to the saints in the time of trouble, for they will then have to flee before infuriated mobs, and at that time their possessions cannot be disposed of to advance the cause of present truth. I was shown that it is the will of God that the saints should cut loose from every encumbrance before the time of trouble comes, and make a covenant with God through sacrifice. If they have their property on the altar and earnestly inquire of God for duty, He will teach them when to dispose of these things. Then they will be free in the time of trouble and have no clogs to weigh them down.” – {EW 56.3}

God does not now call for the houses His people need to live in; but if those who have an abundance do not hear His voice, cut loose from the world, and sacrifice for God, He will pass them by and will call for those who are willing to do anything for Jesus, even to sell their homes to meet the wants of the cause. [5] – {AH 373.4}

Outgo must not exceed income

Many, very many, have not so educated themselves that they can keep their expenditures within the limit of their income. They do not learn to adapt themselves to circumstances, and they borrow and borrow again and again and become overwhelmed in debt, and consequently they become discouraged and disheartened. [7] – {AH 374.2}

You ought to be careful that your expenses do not exceed your income. Bind about your wants. – {AH 375.4}
It is a great pity that your wife is so much like you in this matter of expending means so that she cannot be a help to you in this direction, to watch the little outgoes in order to avoid the larger leaks. Needless expenses are constantly brought about in your family management. Your wife loves to see her children dress in a manner beyond their means, and because of this, tastes and habits are cultivated in your children which will make them vain and proud. If you would learn the lesson of economy and see the peril to yourselves and to your children and to the cause of God in this free use of means, you would obtain an experience essential to the perfection of your Christian character. Unless you do obtain such an experience, your children will bear the mold of a defective education as long as they live…. – {AH 375.5}

Accurate record of expenses

Habits of self-indulgence or a want of tact and skill on the part of the wife and mother may be a constant drain upon the treasury; and yet that mother may think she is doing her best because she has never been taught to restrict her wants or the wants of her children and has never acquired skill and tact in household matters. Hence one family may require for its support twice the amount that would suffice for another family of the same size. – {AH 374.3}
All should learn how to keep accounts. Some neglect this work as nonessential, but this is wrong. All expenses should be accurately stated. [8] – {AH 374.4}

Cut out extravagant habits
The Evils of Spendthrift Habits—The Lord has been pleased to present before me the evils which result from spendthrift habits, that I might admonish parents to teach their children strict economy. Teach them that money spent for that which they do not need is perverted from its proper use. [9] – {AH 374.5}
If you have extravagant habits, cut them away from your life at once. Unless you do this, you will be bankrupt for eternity. Habits of economy, industry, and sobriety are a better portion for your children than a rich dowry. – {AH 375.1}
We are pilgrims and strangers on the earth. Let us not spend our means in gratifying desires that God would have us repress. Let us fitly represent our faith by restricting our wants. [10] – {AH 375.2}

Economy does not mean niggardliness
Our economy must never be of that kind which would lead to providing meager meals. Students should have an abundance of wholesome food. But let those in charge of the cooking gather up the fragments that nothing be lost. [18] – {AH 377.5}
Economy does not mean niggardliness, but a prudent expenditure of means because there is a great work to be done. [19] – {AH 378.1}
Provide Conveniences to Lighten Wife’s Labor—Brother E’s family live in accordance with the principles of strictest economy…. Brother E had conscientiously decided not to build a convenient woodshed and kitchen for his large family, because he did not feel free to invest means in personal conveniences when the cause of God needed money to carry it forward. I tried to show him that it was necessary for the health as well as the morals of his children that he should make home pleasant and provide conveniences to lighten the labor of his wife. [20] – {AH 378.2}

Pay up squarely as we go

You should learn to know when to spare and when to spend. We cannot be Christ’s followers unless we deny self and lift the cross. We should pay up squarely as we go; gather up the dropped stitches; bind off your raveling edges, and know just what you can call your own. You should reckon up all the littles spent in self-gratification. You should notice what is used simply to gratify taste and in cultivating a perverted, epicurean appetite. The money expended for useless delicacies might be used to add to your substantial home comforts and conveniences. You are not to be penurious; you are to be honest with yourself and your brethren. Penuriousness is an abuse of God’s bounties. Lavishness is also an abuse. The little outgoes that you think of as not worth mentioning amount to considerable in the end. [27] – {AH 379.4}

Country Living – Gardening

If the land is cultivated, it will, with the blessing of God, supply our necessities. We are not to be discouraged about temporal things because of apparent failures, nor should we be disheartened by delay. We should work the soil cheerfully, hopefully, gratefully, believing that the earth holds in her bosom rich stores for the faithful worker to garner, stores richer than gold or silver. The niggardliness laid to her charge is false witness. With proper, intelligent cultivation the earth will yield its treasures for the benefit of man. The mountains and hills are changing; the earth is waxing old like a garment; but the blessing of God, which spreads a table for His people in the wilderness, will never cease. – {CL 17.4}

Serious times are before us, and there is great need for families to get out of the cities into the country, that the truth may be carried into the byways as well as the highways of the earth. Much depends upon laying our plans according to the Word of the Lord, and with persevering energy carrying them out. More depends upon consecrated activity and perseverance than upon genius and book-learning. All the talents and ability given to human agents, if unused, are of little value. – {CL 17.5}

The earth is to be made to give forth its strength; but without the blessing of God it could do nothing. In the beginning, God looked upon all that He had made, and pronounced it very good. The curse was brought upon the earth in consequence of sin. But shall this curse be multiplied by increasing sin? Ignorance is doing its baleful work. Slothful servants are increasing the evil by their lazy habits. Many are unwilling to earn their bread by the sweat of their brow, and they refuse to till the soil. But the earth has blessings hidden in her depths for those who have courage and will and perseverance to gather her treasures. Fathers and mothers who possess a piece of land and a comfortable home are kings and queens. – {CL 18.2}

Many farmers have failed to secure adequate returns from their land because they have undertaken the work as though it was a degrading employment; they do not see that there is a blessing in it for themselves and their families. All they can discern is the brand of servitude. Their orchards are neglected, the crops are not put in at the right season, and a mere surface work is done in cultivating the soil.—Fundamentals of Christian Education, 326, 327 (1894). – {CL 18.3}

The Madison School example

In the Madison school the students are taught how to till the soil, how to build houses, and to perform other lines of useful labor. These are some of the lines of work that the Lord instructed us to introduce into our school in Australia. With a practical training, students will be prepared to fill useful positions in many places. – {SpTB11 25.1}
Skill in the common arts is a gift from God. He provides both the gift, and the wisdom to use the gift aright. When He desired a work done on the tabernacle, He said, “See, I have called by name Bezaleel the son of Uri, the son of Hur, of the tribe of Judah; and I have filled him with the Spirit of God, in wisdom, and in understanding, and in knowledge, and in all manner or workmanship.” – {SpTB11 25.2}

Lay up treasures in heaven

Some give of their abundance, yet feel no lack. They do not practice self-denial for the cause of Christ. They give liberally and heartily, but they still have all that heart can wish. God regards it. The action and motive are strictly marked by him, and they will not lose their reward. But those who have less means must not excuse themselves because they cannot do as much as some others. Do what you can. Deny yourself of some article you can do without, and sacrifice for the cause of God. Like the poor widow, cast in your two mites. You will actually give more than all those who give of their abundance; and you will know how sweet it is to deny self, to give to the needy, to sacrifice for the truth, and to lay up treasure in heaven. – {RH September 16, 1884 Par. 11}

Conclusion

It is not necessary to specify here how economy may be practiced in every particular. Those whose hearts are fully surrendered to God, and who take His word as their guide, will know how to conduct themselves in all the duties of life. They will learn of Jesus, who is meek and lowly of heart; and in cultivating the meekness of Christ, they will close the door against innumerable temptations. [28] – {AH 380.1}

 

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