Word for the day
Open your Bibles to Matthew 6 verse 19.
This will be the third message on the Treasures in Heaven’s teaching. We’ve been looking at verses 19, 20, 21 in chapter 6 in Matthew. We also went to Luke. Tonight we’re going to look at verses 22 and 23 in Matthew 6.
I’ve been reading from several different authors. Sometimes I agree with them and sometimes I don’t. I expressed why I didn’t agree with a certain author and what he said on last Wednesday night’s program. When I can find things that I can share with you from outside sources, I don’t mind doing it as long as they stay in God’s Word and rightly divide it, especially on the subject of giving. You have many of different opinions on giving that are drawn from the Old Testament. The question that I have raised in this series is what’s the New Testament concept of it? I’m not saying to ignore the Old Testament concept. What I have been saying it goes above and beyond, and just about everyone teaches on that old concept structure. Jesus takes it to a whole other level if you really understand and want to understand Matthew 6:19.
“Lay not up for yourselves treasures upon earth, where moth and rust doth corrupt, and where thieves break through and steal: But lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust doth corrupt, and where thieves do not break through nor steal: For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also.”
Verse 21, this verse is the most misunderstood verse when it comes to giving. “For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also.” Furthermore most people just don’t want to understand it or live by it. This takes it too far; it demands too much from them; so they ignore it.
How many preachers or pastors do you even hear preaching on this subject on any given Sunday? Just the opposite is preached; lay up your treasures here on earth because that’s a God given promise. That’s their message; that’s the prosperity message. And as I said before, the disciples that eventually became apostles sure didn’t get that message. They missed that memo. They must have been out to lunch and they didn’t get the news. Forget denying yourself, it’s all about you now. Like I said they must have missed the office memo because now it’s all about me, me, because I can claim promises. I can have everything I want here and now. It’s a God given right and promise.
As I said before the Lord might give you an abundance of money and possessions but if He does, you should not forget why He did it in the first place, and without exception you were called and chosen to be a funnel to achieve His purposes. If you get blessings along the way then so be it. Jesus is not a cosmic killjoy. Thank you Jesus! And some will, but your attitude should not be what I can get out of the here and now.
He wants you to have those rewards. In fact they asked me what the message should be titled for last Wednesday night’s message that I preached. Title it, Inexhaustible Rewards. If you missed it go the archives. It’s an important message in this series.
He knows what you need in the here and now and scripture is laden with promises that take care of your here and now needs. But He wants you to have an attitude and a viewpoint that goes beyond the myopic viewpoint of the here and now and look at the long term outcome which never ends. If you missed it you need to listen to it.
“But lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust doth corrupt, and where thieves do not break through nor steal: For where your treasure is, there will your heart…” The Greek word is kardia. It means the center and seat of spiritual life. “For where your treasure is, there will your…” In a sense your everlasting spiritual life will be also.
Let me continue reading where I left off: Christ’s words were direct and profound.
I understand that a group of you are going to tune me out because you just don’t want to give. Or if you are going to give anything at all you want some return in the here and now. I know what’s preached out there and what most people assume. You might say well giving was in the law; therefore the law is fulfilled so I no longer have to give.
Are you not reading? Are you not listening to what Jesus was trying to communicate? You have become deaf and blind DELIBERATELY. And I realize a lot of you are going to tune out. This will probably sort out who will continue participating in this ministry.
This teaching on giving will sort out their viewpoint and it will become as clear as black and white. It becomes black because they justify it to be so, and as I’m going to preach later tonight they’re not living in the light; they’re living in darkness. They’re not living in Haplous as defined in the Greek which I’ll get to in a few minutes but they’re living in darkness.
But let me continue reading: Where your treasure is there your heart will be also. What we do with our possessions is a sure indicator what is in our hearts. Jesus is saying show me your check book, your credit card statement and your receipts for cash expenditures and I’ll show you where your heart is. What we do with our money doesn’t lie. It is a bold statement to God of what we truly value. But what we do with our money doesn’t simply indicate where our heart is. According to Jesus it determines where our heart goes. This is an amazing and exciting truth. If I want my heart to be in one particular place and not in another then I need to put my money in that place and not in the other. (That’s fairly simple to understand.) I’ve heard people say I want more of a heart for missions. I always respond, Jesus tells you exactly how to get it. Put your money in missions and your heart will follow. Do you wish you had a greater heart for the lost? Then give your money to help and reach the lost. Do you want your heart to be in your church? Put your money there. Your heart will always be where your money is and not where your money isn’t.
I have to read that again: Your heart will always be where your money is and not where your money isn’t.
That’s almost like the saying on the street put your money where your mouth is. Well there’s a lot of professing Christians but when the rubber meets the road you can find out the truth quickly.
If most of your money is in mutual funds, retirement, your house or your hobby that’s where your heart is going to be. Suppose you’re going to give to African children with AIDS or you’re sponsoring a child in Haiti when you see an article on the subject you’re hooked. If you’re sending money to plant churches in India and an earthquake hits India you watch the news and fervently pray. Why? Because your heart is where your treasure is. My heart isn’t in all things of God. Is it because your treasure isn’t in the things of God? Put your resources, your assets, your money and possessions, your time and talents and energies in the things of God. As surely as the compass needle follows north, your heart will follow your treasure. Money leads, hearts follow. After discussing the true treasures Jesus speaks of two perspectives. The eye is the lamp of the body. If your eyes are good your whole body will be full of light but if your eyes are bad your whole body will be full of darkness.
Now that’s a simple and not a complete explanation of the verse found in Matthew. “The light of the body is the eye: if therefore thine eye be single, thy whole body shall be full of light.” Single is a bad translation. “But if thine eye be evil, the whole body shall be full of darkness. If therefore the light that is in thee be darkness, how great is that darkness!”
Now I’ll get to that in a minute and straighten that out but this is where this particular author is at right now. He gave you a simple explanation of what it says but its incomplete and I will fill in the gaps because a complete definition is important to understand for the word single used in this verse.
Physical vision is used here as a metaphor for perspective; the way we look at life. Unbelievers look at life at a brief interval that begins at birth and ends at death and looking to the future they look no further than their own life span, if even that. Their vision is pitifully short and narrow, restricted to the horizons of the world. Like a myopic horse with blinders on the person without Christ can see neither far nor wide bereft of eternal perspective. (Bereft means deprived of eternal perspective.) Unbelievers are bound to take all the wrong turns and come to all the wrong conclusions and thinking if this life is all there is why deny myself any pleasure or possessions.
That’s the short term view. You don’t have the long term perspective of eternity as your viewpoint. It’s all about here and now and what you can get out of it. What gives you pleasure. Sucking up every little bit of pleasure you can and what you put your heart in to concerning the here and now.
If this life is all there is why deny myself any pleasures or possessions. Given this premise, why would they come to any other conclusion? People only live for a higher purpose when they see a higher purpose.
Then who’s responsible to show them what the higher purpose is? Politicians? News media? Lawyers? Secular teachers? It’s not available in the archives, but I preached around a half a dozen messages “Woe to the Shepherds” in the first year of this ministry. Some of you that were here remember those messages. I came on strong to pastors and preachers that don’t live up to why they were called and chosen in the first place to preach and teach, not only on this subject but others also, what that higher purpose is all about and how to be involved in it. All they’ve produced is onlookers and do-nothings for Jesus that are only concerned what they can achieve and what Jesus can do for them here and now.
The world’s going to hell and the biggest contributor of that and it’s quite evident; because of people-pleaser pastors and preachers and you can see it in Isaiah and in Ezekiel. They preached Woe to the Shepherds and in our day the under-shepherds, the under-shepherds of Jesus Christ that don’t challenge you to reach those higher purposes to use this author’s words and to see those higher purposes.
Listen, I could preach a watered down Old Testament message on giving like most do. They preach that 10% tithing message, hoping that you’ll give somewhere between three and five percent. Most of you give more to Uncle Sam. Uncle Sam is what we call our government here in the United States of America. What an embarrassment and a shame.
When you break down the tithing and offering system it breaks down to about 23% give or take a percent or two. You think most preachers are going to preach that concept. They know most of the people that are sitting in front of them will say I’m out of here. This preacher has obviously lost his mind. New Testament concept of giving by Christ Himself goes beyond that. He wants to see what you are made out of and how you are being transformed into Christ likeness; What the Fruit of the Spirit imputed in you has really accomplished. One of the attributes of the Fruit of the Spirit (some of you weren’t around when that was taught) is Agathasune. In the Greek it is not goodness as you read in the King James. Agathasune means generous giving; giving liberally; there is nothing that’s going to hold you back. That’s one of the attributes of the Fruit of the Spirit that’s imputed in you to give.
I told you this is going to lose some individuals that are just sitting on the fence. They like what they’re hearing but the demand is too much. I’m not saying you’re all going to get to this point overnight but you’d better have a desire to always seek ways of how you can give more. And like I said most of you are stuck in the old Mosaic Law system of numbers. God wants to see what your heart is made of. Every time you write that check and send your hard earned money or possessions in He’s looking at your heart. Well doesn’t God want me to have good things? OF COURSE! But your perspective is still on the here and now. He knows what’s best for you and everybody will agree to that. He knows what’s best for you and if He knows what’s best for you, then why wouldn’t He think in the eternal viewpoint more than what’s in the here and now. See, you’re stuck on the here and now. Well I can’t comprehend that. WELL YOU BETTER. You better slap yourself around or beat your head up against the wall, figuratively speaking, to get this concept because that’s what He dwells on. And He has given us the information and tools in the here and now to prepare for the thereafter.
As believers in Christ our theology gives us perspective. It tells us that this life is the preface not the book. (It’s just the introduction in other words. This life is just the introduction.) It’s the preliminaries not the main event. It’s the tune up not the concert. When you’re on a long airplane flight you naturally talk to people, socialize, eat, read, pray, sleep or maybe talk about where you’re going but what would you think if a passenger by the window seat started hanging curtains over the window, taped photographs to the seat in front of him, paint murals and put up wall hangings? Youwould think, hey it’s not that long of a trip. Once we get to the destination none of this will matter. Even a long plane flight is short compared to the span of your entire life.
I think of our lives in terms of a dot and a line signifying two phases. Our present life on earth is the dot. It begins, it’s brief. However from the dot the line extends and goes on forever. That line is eternity which Christians will spend in heaven. Right now we’re living in a dot.
Let me just go to the board. You can just take a piece of paper and go through this exercise with me also. Draw a dot. That dot represents our life on earth. That’s the here and now. Now draw a line to the right of the dot with an arrow at the end of the line. That represents eternity or let’s just says life eternal. Life on earth; that’s the dot where we’re at now but after the here and now life continues. Life continues folks.
(Here and Now) (Eternity)
This line represents the eternity of life and of course there’s no end point to it. It continues so what you do here and now will go with you forever. FOREVER! Like I said most of us are stuck right here in the here and now. That’s our viewpoint and we can’t comprehend beyond the dot. Well do you trust? Do you faith? Do you believe the verifiable Word of God that there’s the line? If you do, then why don’t you comprehend that what you do here and now affects everything from that point forward that doesn’t have any ending point. That’s what this author is trying to communicate here. Let’s continue.
I think of our lives in terms of a dot and a line signifying two phases. Our present life on earth, it begins and it ends. (It begins and it ends; it has finality about it.) It’s brief. (Compared to eternity there’s no definition to describe how brief it is.) However from the dot if you extend the line it goes on forever. (Which I did there on the board.) That line is eternity which Christians will spend in heaven. Right now we’re living in a dot but what are we living for? The shortsighted person lives for the dot.
Go back to the board. Like I said the dot is your viewpoint; the dot is your life on earth; the dot is what you’re living for. You can’t comprehend the line so what you’re saying you don’t trust and you don’t have faith that the line exists if the dot is the only viewpoint you have. You’re pretending to be a Christian here because you can’t comprehend the line. Well Jesus says trust Him and if you trust Him the line exists and if it exists, He’s telling us to put our treasures there, not in the dot. Come back to me.
The shortsighted person lives for the dot. The person with perspective lives for the line. This earth and our time here is the dot. Our beloved Bridegroom, the coming wedding, the great reunion, our eternal home in the new heavens and the new earth are all on the line. The person who lives for the dot lives for treasures on earth that end in junk yards. The person who lives for the line lives for treasures in heaven that never ends. (As I preached last Wednesday night, the inexhaustible treasures that never ends.) Giving is living for the line.
Will each part with our money? The only question is when. We have no choice but to part with it later but we do have the choice whether to part with it now. We can keep earthly treasures for the moment and we may get some temporary enjoyment from it but if we give it away we will enjoy eternal treasures that will never be taken from us. Foolish people live for the dot; wise people live for the line. It’s all about perspective. The believer’s view of reality should be radically different than the non-believer’s.
And believe me even to Christians this sounds radical. The preachers and the pastors are to blame because they’ve watered down the Word of God so you can accept it. They will be accountable for that.
Imagine if you lived in Jesus’ day. He just taught you this concept. Then He sends you on a mission to preach this concept. Even though you believe this is the truth you don’t know how the crowd will react to it because it’s fanatically extreme. If you look at it that way it’s radical, even beyond a Mosaic Law type of system of giving. So you decide to water it down. What do you think Christ would have done when He heard about it? We have preachers; we have pastors and many individuals that only have the viewpoint of their life on earth, the dot. They don’t see the ramifications of what will happen on that line of eternity. They’ve become myopic. Foolish people live for the dot. And what’s more evil, preachers have been preaching that it’s okay to live for the dot. Wise people live for the line. It’s all about perspective.
The believer’s view of reality should be radically different than the non-believer’s. We should live differently because we see differently. We witness the same current events but interpret them differently. We eat the same food, exchange the same currency but live according to two different purposes. These purposes are based squarely on two different perspectives. One that looks at life in the short run and the other that looks at life in the long run. When our eyes are set on eternity the news that someone has come to know the Savior means a great deal more than the news of a salary rais, or the prospect of getting the latest high tech gadget. Of course the salary raise and perhaps the gadget can be used for the Kingdom of God but the point is that neither one in itself is ultimately important. Whereas new birth which affects the eternal destination of a precious human being, is vitally important. The Christian who accumulates lands and houses and bank accounts but doesn’t invest in eternity isn’t depicted by Jesus in His sermon as unrighteous, greedy or selfish though he might be any or all of these.
Let me read that again to you slowly so you don’t take anything I said and twist it: The Christian who accumulates lands and houses and bank accounts but doesn’t invest in eternity isn’t depicted by Jesus in His sermon as unrighteous, greedy or selfish though he might be any or all of these. Rather, he is depicted as shortsighted and blind. (He is depicted as shortsighted and blind.) Unwise is too weak of a word. This person is stupid; stupid on the grandest scale. As stupid as the rich fool of Luke 12; as stupid as the man who found the treasure in the field would have been to hold on to his paltry possessions instead of trading them in for what was far greater value.
And why are they stupid according to this author? And I agree. Why are they shortsighted? Why are they blinded?
Let’s go to the scriptures Matthew 6verses 22 and 23. These verses give us further details to distinguish the problem. Let’s read the verses “The light of the body is the eye: if therefore thine eye be single, thy whole body shall be full of light. But if thine eye be evil, thy whole body shall be full of darkness. If therefore the light that is in thee be darkness, how great is that darkness!”
I preached years ago “The light of the body is the eye: If therefore thine eye be single, thy whole body shall be full of light.” Circle the word single. The Greek word is haplous. Haplous does not mean single; the definition is not single. “The light of the body…” Remember verses 19 and 21, the previous verses and all the verses after 22 are still talking about money and possessions. Why should Jesus just in that one sentence divert to another subject. He didn’t.
“The light of the body…” Haplous is the eye. “…if therefore thine eye be Haplous, thy whole body shall be full of light.” Haplous. The eye is the window by which light gets into the whole body. If it’s clear it’s going to illuminate everywhere, the light would be hindered if it were frosted, colored or dirty or in darkness; in darkness. “…If therefore the light that is in thee be darkness, how great is that darkness!”
In verse 23 it reads, “But if thine eye be evil, thy whole body shall be full of darkness, if therefore the light that is in thee be darkness…” Circle that word darkness. This is something I didn’t cover before. What does it mean? It was a particular common word that was used to describe a certain condition especially at night. So dark you couldn’t even see in front of you so therefore it would restrain your progress in going from point A to point B. So you can put there “…If therefore the light that is in thee be darkness…” Why? Because you have been restrained or stopped because you have been overcome by something. In this case it was used in the general population as darkness and that’s why the King James decided to use the word darkness there. Get it folks? You are in the dark in other words. You cannot see the true meaning of anything, especially about giving and you are lost. You are walking around in total darkness.
“The light of the body is the eye: If therefore thine eye be Haplous, thy whole body shall be full of light.” There’s another thought in this section coming from the word which the King James translators rendered single and the new English founders rendered sound. In some texts the word means simple and simplicity. However other texts say that the only proper translation (and I searched this out far and wide my friends) is generosity. That’s what it means, generosity. Some translators recognized this truth when they came to the 12th chapter of Romans, verse 8 (when they’re using the same kind of language there). In that verse the word simplicity used in the King James Version was changed to liberality. So the text now reads “…he that giveth let him do it with liberality”. In other words very generously.
Some Greek dictionaries define the word Haplous as simplicity as manifested in generous giving. This verse refers to money and possessions. Not the nonsense a lot of authors and commentators like to enlighten you with that is incorrect. It has always been about money and possessions and it has always been about how to give God’s way.
“The light of the body is the eye: if therefore thine eye be generous, the whole body shall be full of light.”
Nothing is going to restrain you. Nothing is going to stop you from the act of giving. You will not be hindered because you can’t see. You’ll be seeing clearly because you’ll be illuminated and not only will you be illuminated but watch and see if others don’t get illuminated by what you’re doing that will affect them because they get to hear the Word of God. Not to mention how much it pleases the Lord that you’re being obedient to His instruction.
The eye is the window by which light would be generous; “…thy whole body shall be full of light. But if thine eye be evil (or not generous), thy whole body shall be full of darkness…” In this particular verse it has never been about anything except money and possessions.
I remember preaching this before: I looked up the 26 Translations Bible. I was curious to see how many of the 26 translators would even want to deal with this particular verse. I only found two. The one translator that really stood out was Moffat. His translation is “…so if your eye were generous” (so if your eye were generous). Why should it be generous? Because you’re laying up treasures in heaven not here on earth. If you lay up your treasures here on earth then you are in darkness. “If therefore the light that is in thee be darkness, how great is that darkness!” In other words the tighter your wallet and the harder you hang on to your possessions, the more darkness you will have.
These are hard-hitting words, but what do you think Jesus was saying? You think He was trying to confuse you or to bring clarity to the subject matter. These are His words. Haplous in the Greek. Generous not single; darkness, light. He’s looking to see where your heart is by the way you generously give back to ministries and churches that feed you the Word of God. In addition if you do it with the right attitude, your heart is seated and centered on His Word that gives you spiritual life. Then you will be living in the light that illuminates your whole body.
Let me move forward. I was just reading you part of this message. It goes on to say: Do you want to live in the light or do you want to live in darkness? That’s the two choices. That is the two perspectives. One deals with the here and now only. The other is a perspective viewpoint of eternity which is that line that never ends on the board.
Are you accumulating riches in heaven or here on earth? You can accumulate them in heaven by giving to the ministry that gives you light and hope by teaching the Word of God. That has always been God’s plan.
I go on further in the message. You can read it on the website. If you’re not laying your treasures up in heaven you have a sight problem, you have an eternal viewpoint problem. You have chosen the wrong perspective how to view these scriptures. That’s why you don’t see these preached on that often. These scriptures force you to make a decision. Once you’ve heard the truth you either have to go about trying to disprove everything I’m saying tonight, or reject it completely which places you in darkness; in darkness. You have become your own restraining force. You have become the one that makes your life so dark that you cannot even take another step because you cannot see anything in front of you except your own viewpoint which has darkened your path.
You get it folks? Yes, it’s shortsighted. Yes, you’re blind. Yes, as this author says it’s just plain stupid to make that choice.
The one with good eyes, the one with eternal perspective is accurate in his or her appraisal of what is important. Like the poor widow in Mark 12 this person is eternally wise with vision corrected by Biblical laser surgery.
That’s the kind of Lasik you need if you’re in darkness. A Biblical laser surgery to take you from a blinded state to one that really does see the light. No pun intended. This person is eternally wise with vision corrected by Biblical laser surgery. Not only in this topic matter, but in just about every topic matter, that’s what we need today in these last days, Biblical laser surgery.
This person sees life through the eyes of eternity. Unlike the average person, the believer stares through the haze and peers beyond the horizons of this world to another.
Put it on the board. They’re no longer on this viewpoint, the here and now, that dot up there where we started. They are trusting and faithing in Jesus Christ and they understand what He presents in Matthew 6:19 that our treasures are to be stored in heaven, for our benefit because that’s His promise. We will receive benefits in Heaven but in the here and now others will benefit also by hearing the Good News concerning salvation and grace through Jesus Christ alone. And if you have that viewpoint you are no longer stuck in this box, in this dot viewpoint. You’re now in this line; this line of heaven which has a life eternal viewpoint.
You’re in a Haplous condition and not in a lukewarm condition as a Christian.
The choice is yours folks. I have presented you the truth. Go try to disprove it. These are not my words. See, I know once I start preaching on New Testament giving and start peeling off the layers of Old Testament giving, which is just the standard, it‘s going to affect some of you and some of you are going to rebel. Some of you are going to tune out and some of you are going to open your hearts. I have already seen some of those results like never before.