“…they will be like thorns in your eyes and like pricks in your sides, and they will trouble you…”
Working in banks for several years (without experiencing the teller role), I was always amazed how the most experienced tellers discovered counterfeit currency. As the paper bills slide through their fingers and whiz past their eyes, instantly they can sense something is not right. They might use a special marker to mark on the bills in verifying authenticity. Sometimes the money machines used can pick up an inconsistent bill that may be a counterfeit.
I remember a specific instance where this happened and the machines and the special marker verified the bills were authentic, but the teller was still not convinced. She knew something that the technology didn’t know. She sent the bills off to be analyzed further and they in fact were counterfeit.
MY MIND WAS BLOWN!!!
How can any of us discern lies, misconceptions, noise, and distractions? Like the bank tellers, discovering counterfeits is only possible by intense study of the truth. Anything that does not line up to the truth will be obvious and should be analyzed further for its authenticity.
I of course am speaking of the amazing abilities of the human mind to discern truth. I am not, in any way, speaking favorably toward our banking system or our fiat currency. My perspective on these subjects should be clear from other articles I have written.
In this article we will dive into another financial problem that plagues individual’s abilities to steward resources unto flourishing.
“Noise” Will Trouble You!
- Numbers 33:50 Then the Lord spoke to Moses in the plains of Moab by the Jordan opposite Jericho, saying, 51 “Speak to the sons of Israel and say to them, ‘When you cross the Jordan into the land of Canaan, 52 you shall drive out all the inhabitants of the land from you, and destroy all their idolatrous sculptures, destroy all their cast metal images, and eliminate all their high places; 53 and you shall take possession of the land and live in it, for I have given the land to you to possess it… 55 But if you do not drive out the inhabitants of the land from you, then it will come about that those whom you let remain of them will be like thorns in your eyes and like pricks in your sides, and they will trouble you in the land in which you live.
God specifically pointed out the corrupt, idolatrous behaviors of the existing inhabitants of the land of Canaan that He knew would distract and turn the people away from God.
If we truly want to follow God’s way and receive His blessings, we must avoid, and sometimes intentionally remove, all other ways that may be contrary to God’s way. The most difficult noise to discern are ones that use partial truth blended in to disguise the noise as truth. If we do not see and remove the noise, there will be consequences, either seen or unseen, at some point.
Israel had experienced this kind of distraction just before they left Egypt. It should have still been fresh on their minds to reflect on what God was teaching them.
What was Pharaoh’s response when Moses first confronted him to let the people go?
Exodus 5:5 Again Pharaoh said, “Look, the people of the land are now many, and you would have them cease from their labors!” 6 So the same day Pharaoh commanded the taskmasters over the people and their foremen, saying, 7 “You are no longer to give the people straw to make bricks as previously; have them go and gather straw for themselves. 8 But you shall impose on them the quota of bricks which they were making before; you are not to reduce any of it. Because they are lazy, for that reason they cry out, ‘Let us go and sacrifice to our God.’ 9 Let the labor be heavier on the men, and have them work at it so that they will pay no attention to false words.”
In some cases, “noise” is intentionally manufactured, proclaiming to be truth, to distract people from the REAL truth. As unfortunate as it is, many times the noise works, causing people to ignore the voice of God.
Exodus 6:7 Then I will take you as My people, and I will be your God; and you shall know that I am the Lord your God, who brought you out from under the labors of the Egyptians. 8 I will bring you to the land which I swore to give to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, and I will give it to you as a possession; I am the Lord.’” 9 So Moses said this to the sons of Israel, but they did not listen to Moses on account of their despondency and cruel bondage.
Most “noise” tends to be more subtle though. It can be spoken over many decades to individuals while they are young so that when they grow up it is normalized in society. Within a generation or two, the truth becomes unthinkable and forgotten.
Examples of Financial Noise:
There is overwhelming noise throughout the financial industry. This article will only be pointing out a few with more to come in the future.
#1 — Safe as money in the bank.
Many people have tremendous respect and trust in our national banking system. Banks have become so normalized in our society that we really don’t give them a second thought. We forget that many of our founding fathers were cautious of banks and certainly against a national bank.
“I sincerely believe that banking establishments are more dangerous than standing armies…” — Thomas Jefferson to John Taylor, 1816.
Quotes from other prominent American figures:
“Give a man a gun and he can rob a bank. Give a man a bank and he can rob the world.” — Jim Trotter
“It is well enough that people of the nation do not understand our banking and monetary system, for if they did, I believe there would be a revolution before tomorrow morning.” — Henry Ford
To be clear, I am not referring to transacting money but storing money in and borrowing from banks. Our current financial system makes banks (intentionally) the most convenient place for our money to flow through. I transact but personally do not store large amounts of cash in banking institutions for long periods of time. I would rather store my accessible value (capital) in my own privatized banking system as taught by R. Nelson Nash through his first book Becoming Your Own Banker: Unlock The Infinite Banking Concept.
NOTE: For anyone wanting to learn more about how our banking system works, a great place to start is to read How Privatized Banking Really Works by Carlos Lara and Robert P. Murphy, PhD., The Mystery of Banking by Murray N. Rothbard, and The Creature From Jekyll Island by G. Edward Griffin.
#2 — The markets are the best place to build wealth.
I have heard some say they do not trust banks but they do trust Wall Street to store their wealth. Again we fail to remember who started, owns, and controls Wall Street and who created the stock and bond markets.
The Civil War had the effect of causing the northern economy to boom, bringing greater prosperity to cities like New York which “came into its own as the nation’s banking center” connecting “Old World capital and New World ambition”, according to one account. J. P. Morgan created giant trusts; John D. Rockefeller’s Standard Oil moved to New York. Between 1860 and 1920, the economy changed from “agricultural to industrial to financial” and New York maintained its leadership position despite these changes, according to historian Thomas Kessner. New York was second only to London as the world’s financial capital.
The earliest securities traded were mostly governmental securities such as War Bonds from the Revolutionary War and First Bank of the United States stock, although Bank of New York stock was a non-governmental security traded in the early days. The Bank of North America, along with the First Bank of the United States and the Bank of New York, were the first shares traded on the New York Stock Exchange.
Wall Street is the leading US money center for international financial activities and the foremost US location for the conduct of wholesale financial services. The principal sectors are securities industry, commercial banking, asset management, and insurance.
If banks should not receive our trust, why should the markets? They are the same people. Assets are created for the benefit of their owners more than those that simply participate in them.
The most profitable businesses in the world are banks, but what do they invest in? Real Estate, Business equipment, Automobiles, etc. Everything we purchase for our daily lives. Are these not the best opportunities for us as individuals to be profitable? They have the capital so opportunities come to them.
“This is what ‘Building Your Wearhouse of Wealth’ (The Infinite Banking Concept) is all about. You have almost immediate access to money to take advantage of opportunities that will surely appear. In fact, if you have a readily available pool of cash, opportunities with track you down.” — R. Nelson Nash (Building Your Wearhouse of Wealth pg. 22)
NOTE: Great resources to learn specifics about the stock and bond markets are The Pirates of Manhattan and The Pirates of Manhattan II: Highway to Serfdom by Barry James Dyke.
#3 — This is “God’s Way” to manage finances.
There are many great resources and very intelligent people that have helped others overcome tremendous financial obstacles to achieve their goals. My concern is that this particular claim, by many popular financial programs utilized in churches, is not proven by a thorough and specific teaching of scripture accompanying the claim. They may have lists of bible verses about money/finances/stewardship, but there doesn’t seem to be real, practical, and specific application of them. Without the supporting bible passages, the principles are really just worldly advice. Which is fine for those that want it.
Another concern of mine is that one of these popular people/programs will openly complain about government and banks yet the results of their “advice” supports these very institutions to continue their nefarious behavior.
Though we can assume angelic intentions, we cannot change how others think and act. We can only change how we think and act, according to our understanding of the truth. We first must find the truth and understand it ourselves, before we can apply it.
Change The Way You Think
“…repent and turn to God…” — Acts 26:20
Acts 17:11 Now [the Berean] people were more noble-minded than those in Thessalonica, for they received the word with great eagerness, examining the Scriptures daily to see whether these things were so. 12 Therefore, many of them believed, along with a significant number of prominent Greek women and men. 13 But when the Jews of Thessalonica found out that the word of God had been proclaimed by Paul in Berea also, they came there as well, agitating and stirring up the crowds.
Are we Bereans, or Thessalonian Jews?
Repentance is more than simply acknowledging and confessing our wrong behavior, but change in our actions as well. Our Behavior can only change if our Belief (what we understand to be true) also changes. Once we understand TRUTH, which changes our beliefs, our behavior begins to change as evidence of our changed beliefs.
The only TRUTH that each of us needs to live a life of flourishing, is a thorough understanding of God’s Word through a personal relationship with our Lord Jesus Christ. There are many great resources that can be helpful in acquiring understanding, but the extra resources should NOT be a replacement or substitute.
But the one who looks into the perfect law, the law of liberty, and perseveres, being no hearer who forgets but a doer who acts, he will be blessed in his doing. — James 1:25
LOOK into the perfect law yourself & DO what it says. You will be blessed in your doing. If you want God’s Way of financial freedom, go directly to God’s Word like the Bereans did.
…Jesus said, “If you hold to my teaching, you are really my disciples. Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.” — John 8:31–32
The TRUTH is our Noise-Cancellation Device and the only path to [Financial] Freedom.