Proverbs 21:20 - [There is] treasure to be desired and oil in the dwelling of the wise; but a foolish man spendeth it up.
I first want to point out that many may have the wrong impression about the rich people. If we look into the world today, if you take a look at America, based on the rest of the world, what would be considered poor in America would be considered rich in the rest of the world. So those of you who have a dwelling place in America, having three square meals or two a day and you have a job with clothing on your back that you don’t wear every day, don’t think for a moment that because some in America or in other places are richer than you that you’re poor. The foolish rich man applies to all who have all that they need while others have almost nothing. You want to see poor, come to the Philippines, go to Africa where we have brethren there too.
Furthermore, one thing that draws my mind to this title is how this does not apply to money, but to Spiritual things. How do I mean? All who are in the truth today are very rich in knowledge and you are in abundance of the rich things of heaven. If you do not go to work and go reach the lost somehow, that is considered a foolish rich man or woman. Holding the riches of the Lord back or hiding it will result in anyone’s eternal death. Thus saith the Lord God of Israel.
So, with that said…
Today, we will be reflecting on a number of things, and by using the foolish rich man as an example so to learn to be wise to our trust, or to be wise with whatever talent the Lord has provided for us in our lives to serve God’s purpose, because that is what talents are. Talents are given to use in this great battle to defeat the enemy in helping the cause of God in whatever God has provided for you.
So, with that said, may the God of heaven and earth bless us all with ears to hear, eyes to see, a mind to understand and the Holy Spirit to bring forth the application to walk as Christ walked.
1 John 2:6, 7 -He that saith he abideth in him ought himself also so to walk, even as he walked. The old commandment is the word which ye have heard from the beginning. Again, a new commandment I write unto you, which thing is true in him and in you: because the darkness is past, and the true light now shineth.
Let us allow the True Light to shine forth in our lives no matter where we are at. If we are to all have a ministry that speaks for God, and when we do then we will prove that Christ is living and abiding in our walk and not Satan. Which banner are we reflecting in our life? Are we reflecting darkness or are we reflecting the True Light? Are we passing our tests? Are we accepting correction or are we placing it under the rug and staying quiet to the point we are just ignoring the help that Christ is offering?
This earth is nothing but a classroom for all of us. And seeing that it is, are we preparing for that final exam? Are we passing our minor tests that will help us pass that final test? These are things you need to answer just as I have to answer. Are we going to graduate from this earth and receive that eternal education where we will forever be learning? Now is the time to start making corrections in our work.
Do we not hear the Greatest Teacher that ever lived on this planet speaking to us? Do we not hear Him instructing us that we have got to change this, or we have got to change that? Every test that comes to our desk we need to do the best we can on so to pass it and take our next exam. And when we get our papers back with corrections on them, learn to correct the wrong answers, learn to correct the mistakes, the selfishness, the do-nothing attitude, the laziness, the drinking, the drugs, commandment breaking, the partying with demons at night clubs and bars where the demons are guiding you to go with all their satanic human agents and other instruments of the like, the smoking, learn to get serious and correct the bad/wrathful attitude that is reflecting the life of so many, learn to correct that temper, and whatever it is that is working against us. Let us not take lightly the bad attitude and tempers that so many of us still are clinging to. This type of spirit will not pass inspection for heaven. It is foolish to be unwise and full of wrath.
Proverbs 12:16 -A fool's wrath is presently known: but a prudent [man] covereth shame.
We have got to stop with all these foolish things of the world and stand up like a real man or woman for God, and remember, if we fail one test, we will surely have the chance to take it over and over again till we perfect it if we are showing signs that we want to change, as God reads the heart and He knows all things and if those things that He sees can be made good, His tender mercy and grace will remain with us till all ends.
1 Chronicles 16:34 -O give thanks unto the LORD; for [he is] good; for his mercy [endureth] for ever.
Praise His name for giving us all the time to change before all ends.
We have a perfect teacher and He requires perfection in all things.
Matthew 5:48 -Be ye therefore perfect, even as your Father which is in heaven is perfect.
He also understands that there are evils that exist, and they are trying to detour us from doing good. We have got to establish His perfect doctrine in our life and doing so, we will establish a strong heart and powerful mind. We will be proving that the raindrops of His perfect truth are falling upon us that will publish the name of the Lord before a wicked world. We have got to ascribe to the Lord if we expect to stand and pass our tests. This world is a field of test and everyone’s tests are different. Everyone has their own tests to pass. And no matter what it is, no matter where we go, no matter what is going on, no matter how difficult it may seem to be, we can have the ROCK, whose work is perfect and who will make us perfect if we would but put the works of Satan out of our lives and reflecting Christ in our every moment.
Deuteronomy 32:1-4 -Give ear, O ye heavens, and I will speak; and hear, O earth, the words of my mouth. My doctrine shall drop as the rain, my speech shall distil as the dew, as the small rain upon the tender herb, and as the showers upon the grass: Because I will publish the name of the LORD: ascribe ye greatness unto our God. [He is] the Rock, his work [is] perfect: for all his ways [are] judgment: a God of truth and without iniquity, just and right [is] he.
We are not in this classroom of the Lord’s to become foolish but to become wise. We are being taught to depart from old selfish and foolish self.
Proverbs 12:15 -The way of a fool [is] right in his own eyes: but he that hearkeneth unto counsel [is] wise.
We were taken away from the foolish things that made us that foolish man/women before, while we under the guidance of the foolish works of Satan.
So, I ask: Are we foolish in our works today? Or are we becoming wise with good and perfect works? Foolish works are seen in our daily lives that work the works of the flesh: getting upset easily, getting irritated to the point that people can’t stand being around you or listening to you anymore, speaking out harsh words, complaining all the time about every little thing, murmuring about worldly things that have no weight in eternal things and what have you. These temporal things in this world are a test to many. For some they cannot seem to bear their tests because they are giving into their emotions, which is proof that they do not trust in God, but they trust more in the things that God has provided for them to not only be a blessing to themselves, but more so for others.
Understand this: the moment we claim these words written in
Genesis 4:9 -And the LORD said unto Cain, Where [is] Abel thy brother? And he said, I know not: [Am] I my brother's keeper?
If we are echoing these words today that came from the first foolish son of Satan about our fellow brothers and sisters: I speak to your shame, what love the Lord has shown to you and your life, but what little you have shown to love and help others.
As one who has the privilege of working and laboring for others in the Lord’s vineyard, those who are harboring such foolish statements in the Lord’s vineyard, depart from Satan and receive the gift of love and learn charity.
It is wise to learn of Christ before you enter in any service of the Lord. The service of the Lord requires love for fellowman, especially when those who Christ is calling us to help, who may irritate your comfort zone. This work of departing from foolish things: it requires the sacrificing of self, of self-treasures, of one’s own self-interest, of talents in building up His church on this earth and in the world to come.
As we look into the life of Christ, we will also see that there is not a ONE MAN show going on. Everyone has a different talent to bring to the work and it is to be exercised or it will be removed and given to others. It is wise for all to look to Christ and His sacrifice He gave for us where you will see a perfect man. Study Him if we expect to be partakers of His heavenly kingdom.
2 Corinthians 8:9 -For ye know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, that, though he was rich, yet for your sakes he became poor, that ye through his poverty might be rich.
God, our Christ, our heavenly King is the richest man in the universe. He stepped off His heavenly throne, put off His riches and became poor, that through His poverty, His self-denial, through His example, through His life sermon, through His faith in God where He did not put His trust in His riches, that through His poverty we may learn to become rich in good works and walking as He walked and then at the end of our journey and letting go of self and what riches we may have been given to extend the Lord’s work, we would gain eternal life that this world’s money cannot buy. It is so hard for a rich man who can’t let go of what God gave to Him to help others and His work, who is selfish, who will murmur and complain and look for faults to secure his claims, that he does not need to help others more than himself.
We have all got to learn to depart from selfish, me, me, me. We must give up what we have when we are clearly being called to do it. In the time of Ellen G. White, there were literally thousands upon thousands just as it was in the times of the apostles who were called to sell all their lands and homes and give it all to the Lord’s service and they did without delay or murmuring and complaining and they lacked nothing where they became wise; however, there were two mentioned in the Bible that became fools with their riches and they met the sting of death as so many will do at their sounds of murmuring and complaining and withheld what belongs to the Lord. Let us obtain wisdom and learn of our current ways and not fall into foolishness and deceit. Let us take away the hot iron and come to reality of heavenly lessons that will speak to our conscience.
Proverbs 14:8 -The wisdom of the prudent [is] to understand his way: but the folly of fools [is] deceit.
Everyone has talents in this world. We have to exercise those talents away from foolishness and work as Christ worked. We should be perfecting those talents. Those talents are designed to be a help and a light to others in this world; otherwise, foolishness will be a spot on our garments. If we harbor those talents and not set it up for all to see and share with them by putting it away from the world so they can benefit from our talents in seeing God, then we are proving to be a failure for God who was the source of what He gave to you to be that help and that light. This is a faithless, unhelpful, slothful, selfish servant that says to God, "this is mine that I worketh for and I will keep it to myself and remain in my comfort so I will not become as what you claim to be wise, my Lord." Everything belongs to the Lord and it is not yours. And how dare anyone keep to self what the Lord has given to us to bless others with. Some would go so far to give, but request it back or profess to give, but then not to give. Over the years, especially in Pastor Nic's service, oh, how many people have given or said they would give and did not but asked for it back. What a stain they will have. Remember, the law says thou shall not covet, but how many people keep that which belongs to the Lord? God gives to many the abundance to serve as His purpose and many don't realize it because they are blinded by their secret hidden idol, their unnoticed god that teaches the soul to covet that which God freely gave to them.
Psalms 24:1 -A Psalm of David. The earth [is] the LORD'S, and the fulness thereof; the world, and they that dwell therein.
Psalms 50:10-12 -For every beast of the forest [is] mine, [and] the cattle upon a thousand hills. I know all the fowls of the mountains: and the wild beasts of the field [are] mine. If I were hungry, I would not tell thee: for the world [is] mine, and the fulness thereof.
Everything belongs to the Lord and that means everything that we have is the Lord’s. Every job you have been given to obtain honest money is from the Lord. We don't own anything. It all belongs to the Lord. Whatever we have in this life belongs to God and it is to serve His purpose, not our own selfish interest. The moment we do the works of claiming that what has been given to us is for our own interest and having that spirit of even a slight selfishness, you then begin to put your faith in your material things.
We were created for His glory, not our glory and therefore, we are not our own. We have been bought with a price. We cannot do what we want and think that we are going to be blessed and make it to heaven by not fulfilling the Lord’s will.
1 Corinthians 6:20 -For ye are bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body, and in your spirit, which are God's.
We need to wake up and face reality. If we were truly walking with the Lord and He came to you asking you to give up ALL that you had and put it into the treasure of the Lord for His purpose and you say no or take it back, what reward is for that or for those that murmur and complain about all they have been required of? It is amazing how so many can accept the blessings and live in easy go life while helping very little for the cause of God with whatever talent God has entrusted to them.
The Lord has entrusted men/women with life, good health, with reasoning powers, with great understanding, and He has given us physical and mental strength to be exercised to the fullest as well, with sound speech, with perfect judgment, having lands and houses ready to be called upon for service to pay for the Lord’s cause on His earth with ALL their portion; and should not these gifts be faithfully and diligently employed to His name's glory, it would prove to be their ruin in the end as an unfaithful servant. We have got to consider that we must give an account for all the talents placed in our possession. All that we have were given to us to help others and not self. God gives for a future purpose for His glory and for a servant to claim it belongs to him and he will do with it as he pleases, and for self gain, they will answer to the Lord in due season. It is better to give up ALL that is required of us than to lose eternity. As it was FREELY given to us, we are to freely give it for the cause of God and let it be and not expecting anything in return but have a good and right spirit that speaks of faith in God.
Matthew 10:8 -…freely ye have received, freely give.
There are many who are failing to bear the cross after Jesus because of the substance they have gained on this earth. Many who were privileged with precious, God-given opportunities have wasted their lives and are soon to be found in suffering and wanting.
This all falls under the life of Ananias with Sapphira. They were given talents regarding lands and a house worth a lot of money. This was to be a talent unto the Lord for His purpose when it was time to call them upon it. The land and house were only given to them to later serve God’s purpose, BUT they would sell and withhold a portion, not realizing that they would have been more blessed if they would have done their faithful portion of giving all they had been given. Many were called throughout this world’s history to sell ALL that they had for the Lord’s purpose in the earth, not just the tenth but all to pick up their cross and follow HIM, but many withheld it or took it back, not realizing that one day they will all be called to account who waste the talents the Lord provides for everyone to later render back to God to bless others and in return, the Lord would bless them more than what they gave if they would remain faithful. But because they lack the faith, they claim they have, they will meet the same faith as did Ananias with Sapphira when it is all over with. These ones on the earth who waste their talents have a form of godliness but deny the power and have not the faith that is required of us to have as a child to do our God given duty and to fulfill His will in this earth.
So, let us take a look at the story of those who took back ALL that was required of them for the Lord’s purpose. There was a great awakening to the people in the book of Acts where they had seen the Spirit of God moved and they were moved by the Spirit to sell their lands and houses to give all to the cause of God. They all did this, and they lacked NOTHING, but there were the two foolish rich ones who sold their lands and house but did not give it all to the Lord’s work. The ones who did were blessed and became wise, but the ones who did not became fools and were not blessed and died.
4:31 And when they had prayed, the place was shaken where they were assembled together; and they were all filled with the Holy Ghost, and they spake the word of God with boldness.
4:32 And the multitude of them that believed were of one heart and of one soul: neither said any [of them] that ought of the things which he possessed was his own; but they had all things common.
4:33 And with great power gave the apostles witness of the resurrection of the Lord Jesus: and great grace was upon them all.
4:34 Neither was there any among them that lacked: for as many as were possessors of lands or houses sold them, and brought the prices of the things that were sold,
4:35 And laid [them] down at the apostles' feet: and distribution was made unto every man according as he had need.
4:36 And Joses, who by the apostles was surnamed Barnabas, (which is, being interpreted, The son of consolation,) a Levite, [and] of the country of Cyprus,
4:37 Having land, sold [it], and brought the money, and laid [it] at the apostles' feet.
5:1 But a certain man named Ananias, with Sapphira his wife, sold a possession,
5:2 And kept back [part] of the price, his wife also being privy [to it], and brought a certain part, and laid [it], at the apostles' feet.
5:3 But Peter said, Ananias, why hath Satan filled thine heart to lie to the Holy Ghost, and to keep back [part] of the price of the land?
5:4 Whiles it remained, was it not thine own? and after it was sold, was it not in thine own power? why hast thou conceived this thing in thine heart? thou hast not lied unto men, but unto God.
5:5 And Ananias hearing these words fell down, and gave up the ghost: and great fear came on all them that heard these things.
5:6 And the young men arose, wound him up, and carried [him] out, and buried [him].
5:7 And it was about the space of three hours after, when his wife, not knowing what was done, came in.
5:8 And Peter answered unto her, Tell me whether ye sold the land for so much? And she said, Yea, for so much.
5:9 Then Peter said unto her, How is it that ye have agreed together to tempt the Spirit of the Lord? behold, the feet of them which have buried thy husband [are] at the door, and shall carry thee out.
5:10 Then fell she down straightway at his feet, and yielded up the ghost: and the young men came in, and found her dead, and, carrying [her] forth, buried [her] by her husband.
5:11 And great fear came upon all the church, and upon as many as heard these things.
It is just a sad truth what had happened. Truly…
1 Timothy 6:10 -For the love of money is the root of all evil: which while some coveted after, they have erred from the faith, and pierced themselves through with many sorrows.
The love to withhold what talents the Lord has given to us while we pass through but for a moment in this world, where many would chose to withhold and remove what is to bless the workers of the Lord to do a mighty work, it is so sad to see that they love what was given to them by God, but they don’t love to do what they are called to do for returning it back to the Lord to serve His purpose.
Here is how I see it: we are all soldiers in this world for Christ. There are those who are on the front lines of the world wherever they may be working for the Lord fulltime. The Lord has His work armed with weapons to work together. In the front lines of the work, in the battle where the ministers of the Lord could do a greater work with his frontline soldiers whose talents are needed to be funded to drive forward the fight, if the soldiers who have the funds to purchase more weapons and armors to beat back the enemy and to gain more ground for the Lord, BUT instead, these soldiers refuse to give the funds that were given to them by the Commander and Chief, they can't see the danger they are in for doing such things. People don't see the battle we are in but would rather spend their life planning what easy-go life they can have till they die in a covetous spirit. Do you know what kind of soldier that is? It is the highest sin to rebel against the government of God: treason, treachery, AWOL, missing in action, betrayal, unfaithful soldier, and unfaithful to his trust. That is a foolish soldier. The cares of this world have blinded that soldier.
Let us all awake to this parable: The foolish rich man who wasted his life by keeping his talent.
THE FOOLISH RICH MAN:
Luke 12:16-21 - And he spake a parable unto them, saying, The ground of a certain rich man brought forth plentifully: And he thought within himself, saying, What shall I do, because I have no room where to bestow my fruits? And he said, This will I do: I will pull down my barns, and build greater; and there will I bestow all my fruits and my goods. And I will say to my soul, Soul, thou hast much goods laid up for many years; take thine ease, eat, drink, [and] be merry. But God said unto him, [Thou] fool, this night thy soul shall be required of thee: then whose shall those things be, which thou hast provided? So [is] he that layeth up treasure for himself, and is not rich toward God.
et’s take a look at this and break it down:
The Foolish rich man - He did not think about his obligation to God who gave him everything. He should have given all He could not just His tenth. You take what you need to have your simple comfort and take your storage means and give it to God for His service to provide for all His work.
- Next, he did not consider helping the needy in the church who have nothing or very little. He thinks only for himself. I wonder how the foolish rich man would feel if he was sent out into the field like Nebuchadnezzar who slept and ate with the beast of the field? Maybe many are soon to lose their jobs so they can learn to depend upon God and not what God has already given for his purpose but used it for self-gain.
- Next, he used his riches only to minister to his own comfort.
Many people know they have plenty of money and will do fine without most of it, but they don’t care. They want their trusted god called money, their idol carefully stored away in the vaults, which is where they bury their talents. Many are following not their master and considering the Greatest Giver. They think of themselves and their loved ones while hoarding up all they can. Many make excuses and look for loops to sooth their conscience. Some just go through this world giving only their tenth, some come to church Sabbath after Sabbath getting schooled by the truth and getting feed daily by the Lord’s messengers but give absolutely nothing. I think if everyone would go to Africa and take nothing with them, but the clothing on our backs and lived there for one year, I wonder if that experience would help millions see Christ? Only those who truly love God will ever see Christ as they should.
Let us not be like the foolish rich man and close our ears to the cries of the Lord who is watching you sit in your easy-go life. Learn to use what talent the Lord has given to you and exercise it. Compare your life to that of the poor and tell me if you’re rich or if you’re poor? Look at what you have or what you have saved or what your plans are and evaluate your life and see if there are things in your life that will benefit the Lord’s work. I can preach this all day because it was preached to me through visible good works. I will make this sermon a part two and share my testimony next sermon that will touch on this very subject of talents and what I was called to do just like the millions before having done throughout the ages.
Be mindful of Christ and your purpose and your talents on this earth that were only given to you to serve Christ’s purpose.
This is a lesson for us all to check self. We have got to wake up and be wise and depart from foolishness. When the foolish rich man’s life is over with, His riches will be worthless; all that he worked for will be worthless. At his or her death, in one moment that which he has toiled through his whole life to secure, it all becomes worthless to him."So is he that layeth up treasure for himself, and is not rich toward God."
You may plan for merely selfish good, you may gather together treasure, you may build mansions great and high, as did the builders of ancient Babylon; but you cannot build a wall so high or gate so strong as to shut out the messengers of doom. Many may say that I am looking for all you have, and I say, “claim what you want, the day of the Lord will come as a thief in the night and accounts will be settled.”
Wherefore He says, "Take heed, and beware of covetousness; for a man's life consisteth not in the abundance of the things which he possesseth." -Luke 12:15.
The foolish rich man’s treasures became his losses because he was covetous, thinking only of self and forgetting his obligation towards God in using his means to glorify the Giver in His work on this earth.
ne thing that SO MANY accusers need to realize is this: God has poor and very rich children. Don't dare for a moment think that because your brother is rich and has lots of money that he is going to hell. Having money is not sin. It is not a sin to be successful or to gain through honest hard work. Poverty comes by choice, just like having money comes by choice and God providing it.
Again, the Bible condemns no man for being rich so long as he is faithful to his talent, if he has acquired his riches honestly and not storing things up and keeping from the Lord. If you see that what you have will suffice for your life and you have thousands you can do without, knowing you can make it back with the life God has given to you, think twice and give to God.
In closing, remember, it is God who gives men power to have wealth. It is a talent and instrument of the Lord to serve His purpose, and the rich man’s riches are not his, but God’s; and in the hands of these rich people is to act as God's steward, and not using his means unselfishly, wealth is a blessing, both to its possessor, and to the world it is a snare when it is not managed after the Lord’s purpose.
Many are absorbed in their interest in worldly treasures and the love of riches and show, become insensible to the claims of God and the needs of their fellow Christian man.
Brethren, let us review our own lives and study Christ's example. Let us work with the talents we have and what God has given to us.
Remember, eternal riches are most important. God can provide men with temporal riches in order to secure eternal treasures by investing money and abundance to helping the work, providing for the helpless and needy and anything that will glorify God. You may spend all your money for the Lord but remember, your temporal riches are now converted to eternal treasures where moth and rust cannot corrupt.
God loves a cheerful giver. If the murmuring and complaints reach His throne, what good has been done, if not repented of, what good he has done will be lost in the second death.
The Lord bids us all, "Charge them that are rich in this world" that they trust not "in uncertain riches, but in the living God, who giveth us richly all things to enjoy; that they do good, that they be rich in good works, ready to distribute, willing to communicate; laying up in store for themselves a good foundation against the time to come, that they may lay hold on eternal life." 1 Timothy 6:17-19.
God bless dear brethren and let us all learn from these rich parables that have been spoken and are soon to come... Peace.