Series Code: ASIC
Program Code: ASIC000007A
00:21 How beautiful
00:25 The hands that served
00:29 The wine and the bread
00:32 And the sons of the earth
00:36 How beautiful
00:40 The feet that walked
00:43 The long dusty roads
00:47 And the hill to the cross
00:51 How beautiful
00:58 How beautiful
01:05 How beautiful
01:10 Is the body of Christ
01:19 How beautiful
01:23 The heart that bled
01:27 That took all my sin
01:30 And bore it instead
01:34 How beautiful
01:38 The tender eyes
01:42 That chose to forgive
01:45 And never despise
01:48 How beautiful
01:55 How beautiful
02:03 How beautiful
02:08 Is the body of Christ
02:12 And as He laid down His life
02:19 We offer this sacrifice
02:26 That we will live just as He died
02:33 Willing to pay the price
02:40 Willing to pay the price
02:49 How beautiful
02:53 The radiant Bride
02:57 Who waits for her Groom
03:00 With His light in her eyes
03:03 How beautiful
03:07 When humble hearts give
03:11 The fruit of pure life
03:14 So that others may live
03:18 How beautiful
03:25 How beautiful
03:32 How beautiful
03:37 Is the body
03:40 Of Christ
03:46 How beautiful
03:50 The feet that bring
03:54 The sound of good news
03:57 And the love of the King
04:01 How beautiful
04:05 The hands that serve
04:09 The wine and the bread
04:12 And the sons of the earth
04:16 How beautiful
04:24 How beautiful
04:32 How beautiful
04:40 Is the body
04:44 Of Christ
05:10 Good morning, ASI.
05:13 So happy to be here today.
05:15 How many of you remember
05:16 the first ASI Convention you attended?
05:20 I see some hands.
05:22 It was a memorable time.
05:23 I'm sure mine was way back in 1979.
05:28 I'd love to say that I was only 10 years old,
05:30 but that just wasn't the case.
05:33 We were in Colorado Springs meeting in a hotel ballroom.
05:36 And we were excited went on Sabbath,
05:39 we almost hit 400 people.
05:43 We've seen the organization grow year after year.
05:48 I remember being invited by Dr. Raymond Moore,
05:51 and his sweet wife Dorothy.
05:53 And as soon as we got there,
05:55 we were befriended by Henry and Robin Martin
05:59 who became lifelong friends from that very moment.
06:02 I know all of you should feel like ambassadors to ASI.
06:08 This morning I'd like you to welcome
06:09 our guest speaker Julian Archer,
06:13 coming all the way from Queensland, Australia
06:15 to join us today.
06:19 How many of you would come that far
06:22 to address an audience like this?
06:26 Well, this retired businessman
06:28 by the way from a successful career
06:32 was in his 30s
06:34 when he decided to start
06:37 a nonprofit Faith vs. Finance.
06:42 Today he's going to ask the question,
06:44 "Is it possible to be financially secure
06:48 without becoming spiritually bankrupt?"
06:51 I think his personal testimony will address that this morning.
06:57 Immediately following this presentation,
06:58 he'll be doing a seminar in room 370B.
07:03 And there he'll be talking about the Christian atheist
07:06 believing in God, but trusting in money.
07:11 I feel that ASI is the perfect audience
07:15 for Julian to be speaking to this morning.
07:17 We're filled with business people
07:21 that make their living in a variety of ways.
07:24 But you all have one thing in common,
07:27 you're using the blessings that God has given you
07:31 to further His work by sharing Christ
07:34 in your sphere of influence.
07:37 I mean, you're going to hear more from Julian.
07:39 But in my ASI heart, I know that he too will be blessed
07:45 by the warm welcome that ASI gives him.
07:52 Thank you, Sharon.
07:56 Christen, we have a problem.
07:59 I always wanted to say that.
08:03 But thank God that we also have a solution.
08:07 We also have a solution.
08:09 Friends, we live in a time in earth's history
08:11 when it's not business as usual.
08:14 It's not business as usual.
08:16 And I want to this morning to open up a conversation.
08:21 Some say that it's a long overdue conversation.
08:25 It's not between me and you,
08:26 it's between your heart and God's heart.
08:31 And as Sharon has just shared it's around the question now,
08:34 "Is it possible to be financially secure
08:39 without becoming spiritually bankrupt?"
08:44 I want to start with my testimony.
08:49 My testimony is like any of yours
08:52 or like many of yours
08:54 begins not just with myself
08:57 but also with my family, my extended family.
09:02 There's a photograph of my family in 1971.
09:05 I'm the little guy, the smallest one.
09:08 My sister Kathie, beside me and my Mum and Dad,
09:11 Delphine and Ray Archer 1971.
09:16 Let's jump in ahead of the story.
09:18 Let's go back to when my dad back there on the ride.
09:23 I was 14 years old.
09:26 From birth through to 14 years of age,
09:28 my father had to attend church at least eight times a week.
09:33 In a busy week it was 11 times a week.
09:35 They weren't Seventh-day Adventist.
09:37 But he had to go to church between 8 and 11 times a week.
09:40 One of his jobs as a child
09:41 once he reached his teenaged years
09:43 was to be the home brew kid, that meant
09:46 that he was the member of the extended family
09:49 who had to make all of the beer for his own parents,
09:53 for the uncles and aunts, and everybody else.
09:55 And of course being the specialist,
09:57 brew maker in the family, he drank more than he should.
10:02 And so he had some challenges.
10:07 He hated church.
10:09 He hated God.
10:10 And he wanted to get away from his family.
10:14 He tried to not attend church.
10:16 He played with his parents.
10:18 He tried to disappear
10:20 when it was time to go to church
10:22 every day of the week.
10:24 But he kept getting dragged into church.
10:27 And so he thought the only solution.
10:30 There's only one solution to me to not have to come to church
10:33 next week or tomorrow
10:36 is if the church doesn't exist.
10:39 And he became what we would call a dynamite church planter.
10:43 He went to his uncle's farm and he got some gelignite,
10:47 it's like dynamite, and some fuses.
10:50 And at 14 years of age having sat there in church,
10:54 and looked at the structure of the building so many times,
10:56 he knew exactly where to place the gelignite and the fuses.
11:01 So that he could run in one door,
11:02 run around, light every fuse,
11:05 and then run out the back door before that church was planted.
11:10 He went to school that day.
11:11 He took the gelignite home.
11:13 He hid it at home.
11:14 He went to school and he told one of his friends,
11:16 "Tonight, I'm going to blow up my church."
11:19 Well, if anybody else had said that
11:22 other than Ray Archer,
11:23 the friend would have just gone,
11:24 "Oh yeah, whatever good one."
11:27 But because it was Ray Archer,
11:28 a young guy who had got the cuts on average every day
11:33 from grades 8 through to grade 10.
11:37 The friend knew that my dad was serious.
11:39 And so he told the principal,
11:40 and the principal told the police,
11:42 and the police came and took my dad away.
11:43 They said, "Son, what's the problem?"
11:45 And he explained to them
11:46 but he had to go to church between 8 and 11 times a week.
11:50 And they said, "Okay.
11:51 Where is the gelignite?"
11:53 And so they were probably not expecting that it was real
11:56 but dad took them home and gave them the gelignite.
12:01 And they then went and took his parents away,
12:05 they didn't take them far,
12:06 but they showed them the gelignite.
12:08 And they said, "Do you realize that your son Raymond
12:10 was going to blow up the church tonight?"
12:13 And they had no idea.
12:16 And the police said, "Look, you should probably back off
12:18 on the religion thing a bit."
12:20 Which they did but Dad already had enough
12:21 and soon after he left home.
12:24 Well, he went to live with his older brother
12:26 and they got into all sorts of mischief.
12:28 In fact it wasn't long before his older brother was in jail
12:31 for counterfeiting bank notes.
12:33 He didn't have a license
12:35 like your government to just print them.
12:36 And so he had to counterfeit them
12:39 on his own sort of printing system.
12:41 And so, Dad got into more troubles
12:45 drinking too much again, getting into trouble.
12:49 Ended up sort of living on and off the streets,
12:51 met my mother.
12:53 In the process was able to do a trade
12:56 in refrigeration mechanics.
12:58 And met Mum, had my sister and myself
13:01 as two young babies in the house.
13:03 The refrigeration mechanics business
13:07 while he was doing that well,
13:08 he started a small business on his 21st birthday.
13:10 He said, "On my 21st birthday, I want to be self employed."
13:14 And so he did that, right on his 21st birthday.
13:16 And he had a welder.
13:18 And a friend of his said,
13:19 "Can you weld for me a bench press machine?"
13:22 Now that's a piece of gymnasium equipment
13:24 for pushing the weights off your chest.
13:26 And so he welded it up for his friend.
13:27 And he sold it to his friend, and he made a small profit.
13:30 And he thought, "Hey, that's cool."
13:32 And so he made another one and he sold it.
13:33 And another and he sold it.
13:35 And he started another business
13:36 called Archer Body Building Equipment.
13:38 And this was in the late 1960s when the...
13:43 What would you call,
13:44 the pumping iron trend was beginning,
13:46 bodybuilding was happening
13:47 in California, in Australia, and in different places.
13:50 And so, Dad then decided, with, Mum, they said,
13:53 "Hey, we're making this equipment.
13:55 And so we can get it cheap,
13:56 why don't we open a gymnasium, a bodybuilding center."
13:58 And so they did.
13:59 And before you know it, they had 1000 members.
14:01 And so they opened another one and got another 1000 members.
14:04 And they thought, "Hey, we've got all these people
14:05 coming in for the gym,
14:07 why don't we open a health food store?
14:09 And then we can sell them all the protein drinks
14:10 and everything else that they need
14:12 to keep healthy."
14:15 By the age of 24, Mum and Dad had started,
14:20 and were running themselves five businesses.
14:24 They were what we would now call serial entrepreneurs.
14:27 They would see an opportunity and they would jump at it.
14:30 They were very successful.
14:33 But their marriage was absolutely hell.
14:36 Their marriage was completely shot.
14:38 God was not in the system.
14:40 They were working 18 hours a day.
14:43 My sister Kathie and I were being babysit quite a lot
14:46 because Mum and Dad were out a lot.
14:48 And they had to make a decision in 1974
14:52 between business and marriage.
14:55 And I thank God that they chose marriage.
14:58 We moved out to the what we call the bush,
15:00 you might call it the forest, or the wilds,
15:03 or I don't know some place hidden away out in the state
15:07 somewhere up in the mountains.
15:09 And we bought a little block of land in 1974.
15:12 It was only 33 acres.
15:13 On one side was a 1500 acre cattle property
15:16 with rolling hills and lots of forest,
15:18 and on the other side was a 2,000 acre cattle property.
15:22 And we lived there between those two.
15:23 And we tried to be self-sufficient.
15:26 Mum and Dad had sold all of the businesses
15:28 except the health food store.
15:30 We tried to grow our own food.
15:32 There was no electricity, there was no running water.
15:34 We were living in a shed
15:35 that was 8 foot wide and 14 feet long
15:38 out in the middle of nowhere.
15:41 We became hippies.
15:43 We're a little bit later, it was the 70s I know,
15:44 but that should've been done in the '60s
15:46 but we were busy in the '60s.
15:48 And so we became hippies with the long hair
15:51 and the long beard for Dad, and barefoot,
15:55 and we didn't wear a lot of clothes
15:57 because we didn't have washing machine.
15:59 And we didn't have neighbors.
16:00 And of course the only reason we wear clothes
16:01 is because we have neighbors.
16:03 And so we had the freedom.
16:06 And that's how I grew up
16:08 in a very carefree sort of lifestyle.
16:14 In fact on that I still remember
16:17 one day walking down to the dam where we used to bathe,
16:22 and of course no clothes, no towels.
16:24 Well, you don't need to towel,
16:25 you walk down to the dam to the pond,
16:27 you wash yourself off
16:28 and you walk back up to your little shed,
16:30 and by the time you get back to the shed you're drying,
16:31 you don't have to wash towels or anything.
16:33 So it was all good.
16:34 And I still remember walking down there.
16:36 And five years old and we met the neighbor on his horse
16:41 checking his cattle.
16:43 And I still remember in my little five year old mind
16:45 standing there looking up at the neighbor,
16:48 Mum and Dad, talking to him
16:50 about the weather, or his cattle,
16:51 or something and thinking
16:52 "Julian, there's something wrong with this picture."
16:55 It reminds me of a little girl and her dad
16:57 who were riding on their bicycle
16:59 somewhere I don't know I'm not sure where it was.
17:01 And Dad was out trying to show
17:02 his little girl a lot of nature.
17:04 And they're riding along there on their bikes.
17:06 And the father saw a sign that said, "Naturalist Camp".
17:08 And he thought, "Cool, we got to ride down there.
17:10 We'll see some more nature.
17:11 There's obviously a scenic spot down there."
17:14 And so as they're riding down the road,
17:15 coming the other way
17:17 three or four adults on their bicycles,
17:18 and they've got absolutely no clothes on.
17:21 It was a naturalist camp
17:22 or I thought it was a nudist camp.
17:25 And as the people go past going the other way, and they go on,
17:28 the Dad stops his bike and stops the little girl
17:30 and says, "Emily, Emily,
17:32 did you notice anything wrong with those people?"
17:34 And she said, "Yes, Dad,
17:35 they weren't wearing their helmets."
17:38 And that's a little bit like I felt as a five year old
17:40 standing there looking at this guy
17:42 going there's something wrong here
17:43 but I don't know what it is.
17:46 And so life went on.
17:48 And we had a health food store in Ipswich
17:53 that Mum and Dad used to go to one at the time
17:56 to work in the health food store.
17:58 And every day in that health food store a man would come in,
18:01 His name was Harry Walker.
18:03 Now Harry was an engineer in the railways.
18:05 And Harry would ask Mum and Dad, how are the kids?
18:09 How's the house building going
18:10 because by this time Dad was building a house.
18:13 In fact he was building a house out of sandstone and logs.
18:16 It took him seven years.
18:17 He cut a lot of the stone out of the ground himself.
18:20 And Harry would build this relationship.
18:23 Now looking back on what Harry was doing,
18:25 today we would call it friendship evangelism.
18:28 We had no idea what Harry was doing.
18:30 We just thought he was buying a loaf of bread every day.
18:31 And we couldn't work out
18:32 what he was doing with the bread
18:34 because Harry didn't have any kids.
18:35 It was just him and his wife Doth at home.
18:37 But Harry was building relationship
18:38 through those loaves of bread.
18:41 And one day Harry came into the shop
18:43 and he said to my Dad Ray,
18:45 he said, "Ray, there's a guy coming to town.
18:47 And he's going to tell us about
18:49 how the Egyptians built the pyramids out of stone.
18:50 Would you like to come along
18:52 because I know you're building a house out of stone."
18:54 And Dad went, "That sounds cool.
18:56 Harry, I'm going to come."
18:57 And so we piled into our old pickup.
19:00 And we drove down to town there every night
19:02 for this program to try and learn
19:04 about how the Egyptians
19:05 built the pyramids out of stone.
19:07 But we never actually worked out how to do that.
19:09 But we learned some wonderful people.
19:10 And then we went back to the bush.
19:12 Mum and Dad kept going to the health food store.
19:14 And Harry kept buying his loaf of bread every day.
19:17 One day Harry came in and eat, my mother was in the store.
19:20 And he said, "Delphine, there's somebody coming to town.
19:22 And they're going to be talking about vegetarian cooking.
19:26 Would you like to come along to learn how to do it?"
19:29 Well, Mum thought "Yeah, I suppose.
19:32 We're certainly not vegetarians.
19:33 But I'll talk to Ray."
19:35 So she went home and explained it to Dad.
19:36 And Dad said, "Vegetarians.
19:40 Well, you know, I'm a bodybuilder.
19:42 No, we have no interest in that."
19:44 And Mum said, "But, Ray, a lot of our customers
19:47 are vegetarians and maybe we could sell more stuff
19:50 if we knew how to cook vegetarian food."
19:53 Saw me up.
19:54 Dad just want to know where do we go.
19:57 So we all piled in the pickup again,
19:59 and we drove down there to the town of Ipswich,
20:01 and we learned how to cook vegetarian food.
20:03 And we went back to the bush.
20:05 And Harry kept coming
20:06 and buying a loaf of bread everyday.
20:08 Praise God for people like Harry.
20:11 One day Harry came in and he said to Dad,
20:12 he said, "Ray, would you like to go to church?"
20:15 Well, Harry didn't know all of Dad's background
20:17 and that he'd already been to church enough,
20:19 most of us will go in our entire lifetime.
20:23 And Dad would normally say, "Not a chance.
20:26 You know I'm..."
20:28 But Harry was his friend.
20:31 And he thought I've got to get a better excuse
20:32 and so he said, "That's it, that's it."
20:35 Harry, what day do you go to church?
20:38 'Cause he knew Harry would go to church on Sunday.
20:40 And Sunday was the only day that we never drove
20:42 from out in the country all the way into the city.
20:44 And so he's safe there,
20:46 and Harry said Saturday mornings.
20:48 And Dad went "Ah".
20:51 Because Saturday mornings were the only morning
20:53 that we all went to town
20:54 because Saturday morning
20:55 was when we went to buy our groceries.
20:57 And so sure enough the next Saturday morning
20:58 there we are all down in town buying all of our groceries
21:01 and driving up to the Ipswich Seventh-day Adventist Church.
21:05 We parked outside.
21:06 And we had a problem you see,
21:07 we, our old pickup was really old
21:09 and the doors didn't lock.
21:11 And we had a week's worth of groceries
21:12 in the back of a pickup.
21:13 And we thought "Well, what are we going to do
21:15 with the groceries."
21:16 And we thought "That's it, we'll take them into church."
21:18 So we picked up all their groceries
21:19 and the only cartons that we had to pack groceries
21:21 into would be cartons, 4 XB in Australia we spell "B".
21:26 Well, where I come from it's spelt XXXX
21:28 because we can't spell "B".
21:30 And so we had these 4 XB cartons.
21:32 And we walked into church.
21:33 Mum, Dad, Kathie, and myself carrying these cartons.
21:36 We put them under the backseats.
21:38 And then we went around
21:39 and we sat on those seats to look after them
21:41 because we weren't sure about some of the people.
21:44 But you know the interesting thing was
21:46 that the same people, and this was a curious thing,
21:48 the same people who had an interest in Egypt
21:51 also had an interest in vegetarian cooking
21:53 'cause we saw them at the same two programs.
21:55 And when we turned up at church those same people were there.
21:58 In a city the size of Ipswich.
22:00 This is a curious thing.
22:02 So we sat there.
22:04 Dad's long beard, my long hair,
22:07 Mum and Kath wearing hippie clothes,
22:10 bare feet, smelling different.
22:12 Dad was still smoking a bit, drinking too much.
22:15 And I give you all those details
22:18 because Ipswich Seventh-day Adventist Church
22:21 never said anything to us about any of it.
22:23 They just loved us.
22:25 They loved us into Christ.
22:26 And of course when we had questions
22:28 about some of those things
22:29 we had Harry, our friend Harry.
22:31 Hey, Harry, why don't people do this?
22:33 Why don't they eat this? Why don't they drink this way?
22:35 What? What?
22:36 And Harry would lovingly share us those answers.
22:40 Well, we went back into business.
22:42 And I won't go into a lot of the details about business
22:44 because I know you guys are business people
22:46 and you've experienced that all,
22:47 the stresses and challenges,
22:49 obviously you've experienced the miracles of God leading.
22:53 We started a small fruit and nut tree nursery.
22:55 God led us through Mum and Dad's faith,
22:58 they learned about Jesus through Egypt.
23:01 And so Dad just wants to tell everybody about Egypt.
23:03 And so he jumped on a plane, and flew over to Egypt,
23:05 and took photos of the pyramids, and came back,
23:07 and rented the local hall, and put an ad in the paper
23:09 and said, "Come along and learn about Egypt."
23:11 And people came and people were baptized.
23:14 And he moved to the next town.
23:15 And we ran the programs there and people were baptized.
23:17 And the next town, and the next town.
23:19 We finally ran out of towns.
23:21 And it was all self-supporting
23:22 through our little fruit and nut tree
23:23 nursery at the time.
23:25 And God led us to keep one of those we had 214 varieties
23:30 of fruit and nut trees in this little business.
23:32 And God led us to keep one of those trees,
23:34 it was the olive tree.
23:36 And we went out on the road doing evangelism,
23:38 we kept the olive trees.
23:40 And the olive trees then funded our evangelism
23:44 from that point onwards.
23:46 In fact God lead us, lead Mum and Dad
23:49 when they're on their knees going through that catalogue,
23:51 trying to work out which one of the 214 plants to keep.
23:54 He led them to the olive trees.
23:57 And the olive tree business within four years of starting
24:01 it became the largest olive tree nursery in the world.
24:04 Dad then led...
24:05 Sorry, God then led Dad and Mum,
24:07 primarily Dad into another business
24:09 called olive leaf extract
24:10 which is a herbal medicine business,
24:13 and we had 500,000 olive trees.
24:16 There may be some pictures here of an olive tree.
24:23 I'll come up when they're ready.
24:25 And in 2007, at the beginning of the global financial crisis.
24:34 I sort it down here.
24:35 In 2007, in the global financial crisis
24:39 we sold that business,
24:42 the last of 12 businesses for Mum and Dad.
24:44 And again went into full time ministries.
24:49 We have a family foundation and they got involved in that.
24:52 Dad, got involved with breeding butterflies
24:54 as a way of finding people for Bible studies.
24:58 And I am involved in a ministry called Faith vs Finance.
25:02 We saw God's blessing
25:04 in those ministries and businesses so much.
25:08 But as those businesses were blessed
25:10 and those hockey stick graphs went up rapidly,
25:13 the profits went up fast.
25:16 I wanted to ask you "What impact do you think
25:20 that had on my relationship with Jesus Christ?"
25:23 As we saw God leading in those businesses,
25:26 what impact did that have
25:28 on my relationship with Jesus Christ?
25:32 Did it go up, or did it go down?
25:37 You would think that surely with God leading
25:39 in so many different ways,
25:40 and us seeing the miracles in those businesses,
25:42 and using the profits of those businesses
25:44 to support God's work around the world
25:46 that my personal relationship with Jesus Christ
25:48 would have got stronger.
25:49 But it didn't, it actually got weaker.
25:53 Just having some trouble with the click here guys,
25:55 we've got no movement in that slide.
26:02 So let me tell you what happened in my life,
26:06 in those years of business.
26:12 Okay, we're back on track.
26:14 In those years of business, I became proud.
26:20 Number one, I became proud.
26:22 I became proud because God had given me a business to operate,
26:26 to run that was bigger than any of my friends had.
26:29 Regardless of the fact that the profits
26:31 were going into God's work primarily I became proud.
26:33 I became a Pharisee.
26:35 I became a Pharisee because in God's Word it tells me
26:39 "Julian, if you obey me, I will bless you."
26:42 I was always being blessed more than any of my friends.
26:45 And therefore I must have been being more obedient
26:47 than any of my friends.
26:49 Can you see the Pharisee coming through?
26:53 And I became self-reliant.
26:56 Subconsciously, I was thinking,
26:58 you know, God's blessed me so much
27:00 that I don't need Him anymore.
27:02 Of course I would never say that.
27:03 I was an elder at church.
27:05 I was taking sermons,
27:07 were supporting projects around the world.
27:08 On the outside, everything looked great.
27:13 But on the inside, I knew I had a problem.
27:16 I had let God's blessings become a curse in my life.
27:20 I started to focus on the gifts more than on the giver.
27:24 A few years ago, I was trekking in the Himalayas with my sons.
27:28 And I came across this quote by Mahatma Gandhi
27:31 which is say that, the fact is
27:33 the moment financial stability is assured,
27:36 spiritual bankruptcy is also assured.
27:42 For 15 years prior to reading to that quote,
27:44 reading that quote I had worked very hard
27:46 to become financially stable
27:48 and had succeeded beyond my wildest dreams.
27:52 But in my heart when nobody else saw,
27:56 not the person sitting beside me at ASI,
27:58 not the person sitting beside me on the plane
28:00 going off on a mission trip,
28:01 not the person listening to my Sabbath school lesson,
28:03 when nobody else saw I knew
28:07 that I was losing my first love with Jesus Christ.
28:09 I knew that money had its claws on me.
28:13 And I was in trouble.
28:15 I began to realize that when I was abundantly blessed,
28:19 I was actually in the most spiritually
28:20 dangerous stage of my life.
28:24 And I desperately needed to find out how to stop
28:26 God's blessings from becoming curses,
28:29 which brings us to the question,
28:30 is it possible to be financially stable,
28:35 financially secure
28:37 without becoming spiritually bankrupt?
28:40 And I thank God that the answer is yes.
28:43 We can.
28:45 But there's conditions attached.
28:47 Let's turn in our Bibles to Matthew 6.
28:50 Matthew 6:19-24.
28:52 It's Jesus speaking,
28:54 it's the middle of the Sermon on the Mount...
28:56 Matthew 6:19-24.
28:59 And in Matthew 6:19, we read this,
29:02 Jesus speaking do not lay up
29:04 for yourselves treasures on earth.
29:06 Is that a suggestion or a command?
29:10 It's a command, isn't it?
29:13 "Julian, do not lie up for yourselves treasures on earth,
29:17 where moth and rust destroying
29:18 with thieves break in and steal.
29:19 But lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven
29:21 where neither moth nor rust destroys
29:23 and where thieves do not break in and steal
29:25 for way your treasure is there you, what?
29:28 "There your heart will be also."
29:31 Let's skip down a couple of verses to verse 24.
29:35 Again it's speaking to me, it speaking to you,
29:36 Julian, put your name in there.
29:40 No one...
29:41 How many people?
29:42 No one can serve two masters,
29:44 for either he will hate the one and love the other,
29:46 or else he will be loyal to the one
29:48 and despise the other.
29:49 Julian, you can't serve God and money.
29:52 Yes, I can, Lord. Yes, I can.
29:53 What I'm doing is I'm working really hard in business
29:56 and I know that's taking like 60-70 hours a week,
29:58 and it's taking a lot of my family time.
30:00 And I know I don't have enough time to spend with You
30:01 in the morning sometimes.
30:02 But I'm working really hard in business
30:04 and it's Your business.
30:05 And you know I'm doing it for You.
30:07 And because we're giving lots of money into Your work,
30:08 and the gospel's going to all the world
30:09 because we're supporting it,
30:11 and that's how I'm serving You and money.
30:15 Julian, you can't do it.
30:18 Your heart can't do it.
30:21 You either love Me and serve Me,
30:23 or you love money and serve money.
30:26 Look at your calendar, Julian.
30:28 Who do you love?
30:30 Look at your bank account, Julian.
30:32 Who do you love?
30:34 You can't serve both of us.
30:37 Right in the middle between those verses
30:38 I skipped a couple of verses 22 and 23,
30:40 where he talks about the lamp of the body is the eye.
30:44 And I couldn't work out
30:45 why he would talk about our eyes
30:46 in the middle of a section on treasures
30:48 on heaven on earth and money.
30:51 And I thought well, maybe it's because with our eyes we covet.
30:55 And I thought, yeah, that's it, we covet things,
30:56 that's why it was in there.
30:58 But then I thought of something else.
30:59 As I looked at my own life
31:01 and the challenge that these passages brought to me,
31:05 I realized that I had one eye on my heavenly treasures
31:10 and the other eye on my earthly treasures.
31:14 And I was a cross-eyed Christian.
31:16 And I was wondering
31:17 why when I tried to follow Jesus
31:21 that I was stumbling because I couldn't see clearly.
31:22 I was a cross-eyed Christian.
31:25 One eye on heaven and one eye on earth.
31:29 The problem that I faced was this.
31:36 The teeter totter problem. Seesaw problem.
31:38 I don't know what you call it in your country
31:40 where you're from.
31:42 As my finances went up, my faith went down.
31:47 When my finances went down, my faith went up.
31:49 Please Lord, help me.
31:50 I need money. We got bills to pay here.
31:52 It's your business, you know.
31:55 But when He blessed me,
31:57 I didn't have enough time for Him again.
32:00 The teeter totter principle, faith vs finance.
32:06 Ellen White in the book Evangelism, page 561 says this,
32:10 "In the history of men
32:12 we learn how dangerous is prosperity.
32:16 Prayers are often requested
32:18 for men and women in affliction,
32:19 and this is as it should be,
32:21 but the most earnest prayers should be solicited
32:24 for those who are placed in a prosperous position.
32:27 These men, these women are in the greatest danger
32:30 of losing the soul."
32:34 Friends, when a person prospers,
32:36 either God gains a partner or the person loses their soul.
32:41 It's that simple.
32:46 We're going to talk more about this in the seminar following.
32:49 But I'm going to give you
32:51 the crux of the message right now.
32:53 And that is that as our blessings go up,
32:58 our knees must go down.
33:03 As our blessings go up
33:04 whether they are material blessings,
33:06 whether they are talents, whether it's education,
33:08 whether it's positional status, whatever it is
33:10 as those blessings go up, our knees must go down.
33:14 And if they don't, we're not going to heaven.
33:19 It's serious, friends. It's serious.
33:21 The more our blessings go up,
33:22 the more our knees must go down.
33:24 Otherwise, we're fooling ourselves
33:26 in our relationship with Christ.
33:30 Man looks on the outward appearance,
33:32 but the Lord looks at the heart.
33:36 The Gallup Poll,
33:37 those are international secular research agency.
33:41 On one of their surveys done in...
33:43 I think this was done in about 175 countries,
33:45 they asked this question.
33:46 Is religion an important part of your daily life?
33:49 It was a yes, no scenario.
33:52 And you can see that in nations
33:54 where the annual per capita per person income
33:56 was between $0-2,000 USD,
33:59 95% of the population said,
34:02 "Yes, religion is important in my everyday life."
34:06 But when the income got to $25,000 a year or more
34:10 on average per person in that nation,
34:12 less than half of the people
34:13 were still interested in religion on a daily basis.
34:17 Teeter totter friends, up and down, faith vs finance.
34:21 This isn't something that just affects individuals.
34:23 This is something that affects congregations.
34:25 This is something that affects entire nations.
34:29 Some of you will know of the group Credit Suisse of
34:33 a Swiss financial services company.
34:35 They do a lot of research around the world as well.
34:37 And in fact every year they put out
34:39 what's called the Global Wealth data book.
34:42 And I track this book every year.
34:45 And I look at a copy of it, you can see it for free online.
34:48 They survey around 200 nations,
34:51 not surveying the people by phone survey,
34:53 but looking at all of the government data
34:56 on wealth, and finance, and investments,
34:58 and everything in those nations.
35:01 And one of the things that they identify
35:04 is the average wealth level of adults in that nation
35:10 for more than 200 nations around the world.
35:13 Can anybody guess for me
35:15 which nation has the richest adults?
35:19 Not the biggest GDP
35:20 or some of these other measures.
35:22 But just the richest private wealth adults as on average.
35:26 Any guesses? Haven't heard it yet?
35:32 Norway. No.
35:34 Switzerland. I heard it down here somewhere.
35:35 Yeah, Switzerland, correct.
35:39 The Swiss adults are the richest in the world.
35:41 Let's have a look at some of the data.
35:45 There we go. Switzerland, number one.
35:48 Iceland, number two.
35:49 Australia, number three.
35:50 United States, number four.
35:52 Bermuda, Greenland, Luxembourg, Norway, New Zealand, U.K.
35:54 the list changes each year slightly.
35:58 But the top 15 nations
36:00 sort of take their ranks in the top overall.
36:04 But look at the column on the right hand side
36:06 for those top 10 nations
36:07 the percentage who answered
36:09 "No, religion is not important in my everyday life."
36:12 And compared with the percentage
36:13 that answered "No"
36:14 in the poorer countries at the bottom.
36:17 There it is again, Credit Suisse.
36:21 It's easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle
36:23 than for a rich man for a rich nation
36:26 to get into heaven.
36:28 When God blesses us, we tend to walk away from Him.
36:33 And some of you will have noticed something interesting
36:35 about those top ten nations.
36:43 And that is that those top 10 nations
36:44 were all founded on which religion.
36:48 Yeah, most of them were founded on Christian principles,
36:51 their laws were built on God's Word,
36:55 and God blessed us because of it.
36:57 And like the children of Israel
36:59 when they walked over the Jordan River
37:00 to the other side,
37:03 and lived in homes that they didn't build
37:05 and cities they didn't build,
37:06 and ate from vineyards and olive groves
37:08 that they didn't plant,
37:09 and drank from wells that they didn't dig,
37:11 what was Moses' warning to them before they crossed over?
37:13 He said that's what's going to happen to you
37:15 when you get over to the other side,
37:16 you're going to be blessed zillionaires.
37:19 But do not forget the Lord, your God.
37:22 And what did they do?
37:24 In the midst of the luxury, they walked away from God.
37:30 It's not a modern problem.
37:32 Well, it's a modern problem
37:33 but has been around for a long time.
37:36 John Wesley, founder of the Methodist church,
37:38 a man of God said this in 1789,
37:41 he said that, "Wherever true Christianity spreads,
37:44 it must cause diligence, hard work,
37:46 and frugality, careful spending
37:48 which in the natural course of things,
37:49 must create riches!
37:52 And riches naturally create pride,
37:54 love of the world, and every temper
37:56 that is destructive of Christianity."
38:00 Friends, I've seen that in my life.
38:02 I've seen it in the life of my nation.
38:06 It's true.
38:07 Wherever true Christianity spreads,
38:09 it must cause diligence and frugality.
38:13 Which in the natural course of things creates riches.
38:18 And riches naturally create pride,
38:21 love of the world, and every temper
38:25 that is destructive of true Christianity.
38:28 It's a dangerous cycle.
38:33 I asked a friend of mine
38:35 to illustrate for me to do a drawing that illustrated
38:39 what the inside of my heart looked like.
38:41 In those years, when I was living
38:43 as a cross-eyed Christian.
38:46 In Revelation 3 Jesus says, "Behold, I stand at the door
38:49 and knock the door of my heart,
38:50 the door of your heart,
38:51 but what I had done is I had taken the blessings
38:53 that God had given me."
38:55 And by the way we didn't own all of these blessings.
38:57 We saw the awful tale many years ago.
38:59 But the things in the picture represent things
39:03 that might be in your life that were in my life.
39:06 It could be sport, it could be travel,
39:07 it could be education, it could be preaching ability,
39:09 it could be music, it could be a screen time,
39:13 it could be a collection of something
39:15 that you just love to collect,
39:17 but it's getting between you and the door of your heart.
39:20 It's getting between
39:21 you and your relationship with Jesus Christ.
39:22 It's taking your time, your money, your energy,
39:24 your focus, your attention,
39:28 and drawing you away
39:29 from the urgency of the time in which we live.
39:33 And that's what my friend drew for me.
39:36 Billy Sunday, the American evangelist said
39:38 that many a man is going to slip into hell
39:41 with his hand on the door knob of heaven.
39:46 Maybe there's something in there
39:48 that you see in your life
39:50 that you really need to talk to God about,
39:52 you know, heart to heart conversation.
39:56 In the Review and Herald, November 2, 1886 says,
39:59 "The true witness behold I stand at the door knock,
40:03 the heavenly guest is standing at your door
40:05 while you are piling up obstructions
40:07 to bar his entrance."
40:08 Friends, I had never read this
40:10 when my friend drew this picture.
40:11 This is just my experience
40:13 and somebody sent this to me a couple of years ago.
40:14 And I was in tears when I read it.
40:16 Jesus is knocking through the prosperity He gives you.
40:19 He loads you with blessings to test your fidelity
40:22 that they may flow out from you to others.
40:25 Will you permit your selfishness to triumph?
40:27 Will you squander God's talents
40:28 and lose your soul through idolatrous love
40:31 of the blessings that He has given?
40:34 In Luke 16:13, 14, 15.
40:40 We read Jesus again saying,
40:45 "You can't serve God and money."
40:48 In verse 15, it says, "But the Pharisees
40:52 who loved money were sneering at Him."
40:57 And what did Jesus say to them?
41:00 Man looks at the outward appearance
41:02 but God looks at the heart.
41:06 And He said what is wonderful in your eyes
41:09 is an abomination in the eyes of God.
41:14 God looks at the heart.
41:16 In Ezekiel 14:3.
41:21 We have a similar problem,
41:23 in fact, if you got your Bibles,
41:24 turn there very quickly.
41:26 Ezekiel 14:3.
41:29 Remember Ezekiel was this reluctant prophet,
41:33 who was sent out.
41:34 And before he went, God already told him
41:36 that the people aren't going to listen
41:37 to what you have to say.
41:39 Mentioned that.
41:40 A life calling, where God says go out into your life calling,
41:43 you basically be of no effect but you need to go.
41:47 Man, Ezekiel went out.
41:48 And in chapter 14:1, let's start there.
41:51 Now, some of the elders of Israel came to me,
41:54 came to Ezekiel, and set before me.
41:57 And the word of the Lord came to me saying, "Son of Man,
42:01 these men have set up their idols in their hearts
42:06 and put before them that which causes them to stumble."
42:11 Ouch, idols in my heart.
42:15 Put before me things that causing me to stumble.
42:23 So what was the solution?
42:25 What was the solution to my faith vs finance battle?
42:29 Friends, I had to have a heart attack.
42:32 I had to have a heart attack.
42:33 You see the heart that I was born with
42:34 is a selfish heart.
42:36 The only way that I could clear all the stuff out of my heart
42:40 wasn't through trying to daily stop looking
42:43 at the advertising forward
42:44 and not focusing on it, and selling it,
42:46 and all that sort of stuff.
42:47 No, what I needed was found in Ezekiel 36.
42:52 And that's where I had an epiphany.
42:53 One morning, as I was battling this fight
42:55 faith vs finance battle.
42:57 I was doing my morning worship.
42:59 I came across Ezekiel 36:25-27.
43:02 I'm going to share what happened to you there.
43:05 What happened to me in that time.
43:08 One morning my son came home from school,
43:10 he was 14 years of age.
43:12 And he stood in front of me.
43:14 And he said, that afternoon he said,
43:16 "Dad, if I stand here like this,
43:17 can I turn over my hand from there to there
43:20 without twisting my wrist?"
43:22 And I said, "No, it's impossible."
43:23 And he said, "No, I can do it."
43:25 And I said, "You can't." He said, "I can."
43:28 I said, "Show me."
43:29 And he went like this.
43:31 One, two, three,
43:36 four, five, six.
43:41 When God puts blessings in our hands,
43:46 it's the exact same message that He gave to Abraham,
43:48 "I'm going to bless you, so that you can be a blessing,
43:51 so that you can pour it out.
43:53 I'm going to keep putting them in your hand
43:55 but you keep pouring them out.
43:56 Don't put them in your heart, pour them out.
43:59 Pour out those blessings."
44:01 Let's have a look at Ezekiel 36:25-27.
44:04 Do this movement with me if you'd like.
44:07 We're going to put your hand out in front,
44:08 we're going to go up, across, out, up, down, and out.
44:14 I'm going to do it as we read this text.
44:16 Every time I say, "I will or you will,"
44:17 we're going to move our hands once.
44:19 So we're going to see God do a miracle.
44:20 He's going to turn us over from our selfish heart
44:22 that wants to hold on to everything
44:24 to pouring it out.
44:27 You tell me how much of it do you, you do
44:29 and how much does God do?
44:31 Let's go.
44:32 It's God speaking, "Then I will sprinkle clean water on you
44:35 and you shall be clean.
44:37 I will cleanse you from all your filthiness
44:39 and from all your idols.
44:40 I will give you a new heart
44:42 and put a new spirit within you.
44:43 I will take the heart of stone out of your flesh
44:46 and give you a heart of flesh.
44:47 I will put my spirit within you
44:49 and cause you to walk in my statutes."
44:51 Which way is your hand facing?
44:53 How much of it did you do? None.
44:56 God did it all.
44:57 He gave you a new heart.
44:59 And then you will keep my judgments and do them.
45:03 Make a note of that in the marginal Bible,
45:04 friends, that's good one to share.
45:08 Ezekiel 36.
45:11 Ellen White, Steps to Christ, page 18 says,
45:13 "It is impossible for us of ourselves to escape
45:18 from the pit of scene in which we are sunken.
45:19 Our hearts are evil and we cannot change them.
45:22 Education, culture, the exercise of the will,
45:25 human effort, attending ASI, going to church every week,
45:28 taking lessons, being an elder at church,
45:30 going on mission trips
45:32 they all have their proper sphere
45:33 but here they are powerless.
45:36 They may produce an outward correctness of behavior,
45:39 but they cannot change the heart...
45:42 There must be a power working from within,
45:44 a new life from above,
45:46 before men can be changed from sin to holiness.
45:49 The power is Christ."
45:55 You remember in John 3 a man called Nicodemus.
45:59 Nicodemus was rich. He was powerful.
46:00 He was respected.
46:01 And he had lots of other problems too.
46:04 He was a member of the Sanhedrin
46:05 the 70 leaders of Israel, religio-political leaders.
46:12 He was looked up to, he was respected,
46:15 on the outside everything looked good.
46:17 But in his heart Nicodemus knew that he wasn't saved.
46:22 And so he went to Jesus at night time in the garden,
46:24 and remember that Jesus said a number of things to him
46:26 and one of them was "Nicodemus, you need to be born again."
46:31 Nicodemus was bit confused about what that meant.
46:33 We understand it much better now.
46:35 And it's a pillar of our faith.
46:36 It's a foundation of our faith.
46:38 And he said, "Nicodemus, I'll be lifted up.
46:41 I must be lifted up."
46:42 And later on in John, He says that, "When I am lifted up,
46:44 I will draw all men unto Me."
46:47 Another beautiful illustration that Christ gave
46:50 of the message of salvation and of Calvary.
46:53 But both of those fade into insignificance
46:56 when you realize that it was to Nicodemus.
46:59 A one man audience out there in the dark of the garden
47:03 that Jesus said, "Nicodemus, God so loved the world
47:07 that He gave His only begotten Son
47:09 that whosoever believes in Him should not perish,
47:11 but have everlasting life."
47:15 Nicodemus was convicted.
47:17 But he wasn't converted.
47:19 Nicodemus was convicted.
47:20 He went back into the Sanhedrin.
47:21 On two occasions we have record of him
47:25 acting to save the life of Christ
47:27 when the Sanhedrin wanted to kill Jesus.
47:29 He was convicted but not converted.
47:31 Friends, when was Nicodemus converted?
47:37 At the cross.
47:39 When he and Joseph of Arimathaea came
47:42 to take the body of Christ then.
47:44 It's the same time the disciples were converted,
47:46 "When I am lifted up, I will draw all men unto Me."
47:50 We're told in the Desire of Ages
47:51 that Nicodemus died a poor man.
47:53 If you want to know what he did with his money,
47:55 read the Book of Acts.
47:56 Nicodemus funded it.
47:59 He funded the gospel going to all the world.
48:00 Friends, it's not business as usual today
48:03 because Nicodemus set us an example,
48:07 that if God is blessing you,
48:08 it's so that you can take the gospel to the entire world.
48:12 In Florence, just up from what is my wife and children
48:17 tell me is the world's best chocolate shop
48:20 is a museum with a statue in it,
48:23 and it's called the Florentine Pieta...
48:28 carved by Michelangelo.
48:31 Michelangelo, incredible artist.
48:34 It was carved from the top of his own tomb.
48:35 The pope came to Michelangelo and said,
48:37 "Michelangelo, you've done so much for us,
48:38 we want you to carve this for your own tomb,
48:40 and so he carved it."
48:42 Nicodemus and the two Marys
48:43 taking down Jesus off the cross.
48:45 But the historians, the reason I wanted to see this
48:47 is because there's a plaque beside it.
48:49 And the historians say that the face of Nicodemus
48:51 is the face of Michelangelo.
48:53 It was a self-portrait.
48:55 Michelangelo was converted late in life.
48:58 After a life of much success,
49:00 finally he gave his heart to Christ
49:02 in the midst of success.
49:04 And he wanted everybody to know that if he had been there
49:09 when his Christ had died,
49:10 he would have done what Nicodemus did.
49:12 He never made it to his tomb.
49:14 There were some faults in the marble,
49:15 and he pushed it aside.
49:16 But to me it's a reminder that no matter where we are in life
49:20 God is a God of second chances, and third chances,
49:23 and 77th chances.
49:26 My dad used to say to me as I was growing up
49:28 and he was on fire for Christ.
49:29 I was a teenager.
49:31 He'd say, "Julian, if you died tonight,
49:32 could you be sure that you had eternal life?"
49:35 And I didn't know.
49:37 I want to tell you for many years
49:39 I knew that I didn't have eternal life.
49:42 But through that process in Ezekiel 36,
49:45 getting a new heart from God.
49:47 I want to tell you,
49:48 it's the most painful but most beautiful thing
49:50 that's ever happened to me, a new heart.
49:54 And now I love that verse John 5:13.
49:58 Where John says, "Beloved, I write to you, I speak to you,
50:02 who believe in the name of the Son of God
50:04 so that you may know that you have eternal life."
50:09 Not so that you might hope that maybe one day you could
50:11 if you're good enough for if you give enough.
50:14 No, he said, "I write to you so that you may know
50:18 that you have now eternal life."
50:24 Ministry of Healing, the life of the Apostle Paul
50:26 was a constant conflict with self.
50:28 Friends, that tells me that when you get the new heart,
50:30 the battle isn't over.
50:32 The battle is a daily battle.
50:34 He said, "I die daily.
50:36 His will and his desires every day conflicted
50:39 with duty and the will of God."
50:41 But here's the interesting thing,
50:42 "Instead of following inclination,
50:45 he did God's will,
50:46 however crucifying to his nature."
50:49 In Philippians 1:6, we have that beautiful assurance
50:53 "That he who has begun a good work in you
50:55 will complete it."
50:58 And then in Steps to Christ, page 64, "Don't be discouraged,
51:01 there are those who have known the pardoning love of Christ,
51:04 and who really desire to be children of God,
51:07 yet they realize that their character is imperfect,
51:09 their life faulty, and they are ready to doubt
51:11 whether their hearts have been renewed by the Holy Spirit.
51:15 To such I would say, it's Ellen White writing here,
51:18 "Do not draw back in despair.
51:19 We shall often have to bow down and weep at the feet of Jesus
51:23 because of our shortcomings and mistakes,
51:25 but we are not to be discouraged."
51:28 Friends, we do need to be cross-eyed Christians
51:33 not because we've got one eye on heaven
51:35 and the other eye on earth,
51:36 but because we've got both eyes on the cross of Jesus Christ.
51:42 Paul knew what he said, "I determined not to know anything
51:44 among you except Jesus Christ and Him crucified."
51:53 In 2 Timothy 4, the very last letter
51:55 that we have of Paul's life in 4:7,
51:59 there's a verse that to me is really important
52:01 in this faith vs finance battle.
52:05 He says, "I've fought the good fight.
52:06 I've finished the race.
52:09 And I have kept the faith."
52:13 Friends, I encourage you to keep the faith.
52:17 It's a battle.
52:18 It should be faith and finance.
52:19 It should be faith regardless of finance.
52:24 But in my life it's been faith vs finance.
52:27 And I thank God that whilst we have a problem,
52:30 God has the solution.
52:35 I encourage you as your blessings go up,
52:39 may your knees go down.