Robert Morris — The Principles of Multiplication
And let me just let you know a little bit before I get into this, the scripture. I'm a math person, I've told you that before. I think in numbers. And people ask me like, are you for this, do you want to do this? Do you want to expand, Pastor Robert, in this way? Or Debbie will ask me about maybe remodeling something. So, okay, she knows this by now, my team knows this by now. Until you say a number, I don't know if I'm for it, or not. I can be for it philosophically, but I may not be for it, because you might be thinking of a completely different number that I'm thinking.
And I've even shared with Debbie, I can't hear the words that are coming out of your mouth, until I hear a number. Some of you, this might age you, but it's like listening to Charlie Brown's parents. What I hear is wa-wa-wa-wa-wa-wa, $4.000.00. I heard that, I heard $4.000.00, that's what I heard. And that's okay. I can decide how long will that take me to fulfill the wa-wa-wa, but I have to have a number.
Okay. In the same way, the title of this message is the Principles of Multiplication. Multiplication is a mathematical term, like addition, or subtraction, or division. But, multiplication is better than addition when it comes to our resources. And our God is a God of multiplication. He is a God who can multiply. So let me ask you a question. Would it be all right with you, if God multiplied your resources? Would that be alright? Okay. Let me show you the two principles of multiplication from a very famous passage.
Luke 9:12, it says, "When the day began to wear away, the 12 came and said to Him, 'Should the... send the multitude away, that they may go into the surrounding towns and country and lodge and get provisions for we are in a deserted place here". But He said to them, "You give them something to eat". And they said, "Well, we have no more than five loaves and two fish, unless we go and buy food for all these people," for there were about 5.000 men. Now, let me stop just for a moment because many, many people believe that Jesus fed 5.000 people. But that is not the case. Though in Jewish culture, at that time, the way they counted crowds, is they only counted the men because they were counting families. So when it says there were 5.000 men, if you include the spouses and the children, and assuming that just each family had just two children, which per capita, at that time, it was four to five. But let's just say there were only two children, that'd be husband, wife, two children, that's four times 5.000, that's 20.000. This is a much larger miracle.
Now, just so you know, the Bible backs us up, say in Luke 9. But the parallel passage of this scripture, in Matthew 14:21 says, "Now, those who had eaten were about 5.000 men, besides women and children. So you can refer to the feeding of the 5.000, that's fine, as long as you know in your mind, it's 5.000 families, not 5.000 people. So with five loaves and two fish. I would say that our God is the God of multiplication. Okay. Go back to verse 14, there were about 5.000 men. And he said to his disciple, "Make them sit down in groups of 50".
I just want to comment here that Jesus is also a math person. And they did so, and made them all sit down. And then he took the five loaves and two fish and looking up to heaven, He blessed and broke them, and gave them to the disciples to set before the multitudes so they all ate and were filled. And 12 baskets of the leftover fragments were taken up by them. Now, again, because numbers jump out at me, I think, well, why were there 12 baskets. And there are some reasons, theological, because of the region they were in was called the Region of Twelve, and things like that. But one reason could have been that Jesus wanted each disciple to have a doggy-bag. I mean, it could have — I'm just saying, all right? Twelve baskets leftover, right.
Now, here's what I like to do. I don't know if you've ever done this before, but I like to put myself in a Bible story. Have you ever done this? And imagine how would I have responded had I been there that day. So I want you to do that today. That's what we're going to do today. Alright? I want you to imagine you're one of the twelve. Alright. And you're on the Messiah search committee. And you've got a great candidate, He's healing the sick, and raising the dead, and walking on water, which is like a bonus Messianic sign. It was not prophesied in the Old Testament. Jesus like threw it in, as a bonus. And so, you have a high attendance weekend. Okay.
And so everyone sends out a mass email, and you tweet about it, and you have the largest crowd you've ever had. Most theologians believe this is the largest crowd that — with whom Jesus ever spoke, most theologians believe that. So out of all these people, 20-25.000 people, I mean, it's phenomenal. All right? And so you have real good worship and let's say it's a Sunday morning service, and then you turn it over to the guest Messiah to speak. And he gets up and at 12:00 noon, he should be, you know, wrapping up. That's the way — the time of service should end if it begins at, you know, 10:45 or 11:00, so it ought to be wrapping up at that time. But he keeps going. 1:00, he's still going. 2:00, he's still going. I mean, if this is during football season, you've already missed the first game. 3:00, 4:00, 5:00, 6:00, okay, listen, I am not exaggerating the text.
Look at verse 12, it says, "When the day began to wear away," you know what that means in the Greek? In the Greek, that means, when the day began to wear away. So this is just my holy imagination. I think the disciples formed a little committee, and I think they said, "What are we going to do"? I mean, this is good, but this guy, he won't shut up. I mean, he's going all day, we've not had a lunch break, snack break, anything. And I tell you what, if I don't eat soon, I'm going to die. I mean, right here, I'm going to die right here, I promise. I will die if I don't get something to eat soon.
And I think one of them probably said, "You know what, that's it". And they said, "What, what's it"? Let's tell Jesus that the people are hungry. He seems to care a lot about the people. He doesn't seem to care much about us, but he does seem to care a lot about the people. So now, let's pretend that you get elected the spokesperson. All right.
So I want you to see this in your mind, Jesus is up there, he's speaking, he's teaching thousands of people and you approach him while he's speaking, that is the inference from scripture, is that he was still speaking when they went up to talk to him. Alright, so, see it in your mind. Alright. So you say, "Oh, Lord, Lord, excuse me. Excuse me, Lord. Excuse me, boy, this has been good today. I tell you, this is really good. This series, the messages that you're bringing all in one day. But, we were talking and we feel like that, that the people are getting hungry. Now, I could go all night. I was just saying to the guys," I said, "John, I could go all night. I tell you this is so good. But, we feel like the people are getting hungry and it's getting late, and the restaurants are just about to close, Lord. And so we feel like that it would be better if you would just wrap it up".
And the Lord says, "You're concerned about the people"? "Yes, Lord, it's all about the people". And then, maybe you've never seen this, but I want you to pretend you're that disciple. Look what he says then in verse 13. So he said to them, "Well, then you give them something to eat". Excuse me. Yeah, you and your little group over there, you're concerned about the people. Why don't you give them something to eat. Okay. It didn't go like you planned, did it? But now you have to report back to the committee. See, that's the hard part, always reporting back to the committee.
So you go back over and they say, "Well, did you tell the people we're hungry"? Yes, I did it. I used those words exactly, I said, "The people are hungry". So is he going to dismiss the service? Well, what did he say? He said for us to give them something to eat. What? What'd he say? He said for us to give them something to eat. What? Oh, this is a disaster, just wait until the First Church of Pharisees hears about this. Oh, and then there's some little kid that snuck back into town and he's walking by and he's got a Long John Silver sack.
And so, you know, they just kind of grab the sack and they open it up. He got the two piece meal with extra rolls. And you can imagine Peter, you know, Peter probably just grabbed one of the rolls and they said, "Stop it, Peter, stop it. That's all we have, that's all we have". And then one of them said, "That's it". They said, "What's it"? Let's tell Jesus this is all we have and he'll dismiss the service.
Now, I want you to think. Think with me just for a moment. Think about this. If you had never read this story in the Bible and you had 20.000 people and two-piece meal. And you said, "This is all we have," don't you think he would have dismissed the service? Doesn't that make sense? Does it? Yes or no; does that make sense. Listen to me, tithing doesn't make sense. Doing it God's way, doesn't make sense. But it works.
So, again, you're the spokesman, and so, you know, you say, "Lord, excuse me, Lord, you know, a moment ago, we were talking. I was telling you how good this series is, you know, Lord. And you said for us to, you know, get the people something to eat. And we've been working on that. But all we have, Lord, all we have, we have two fish and we have almost five rolls, Lord, Peter ate some". And, but that's all we have, Lord. So we're thinking we should just go with our original idea and just, you know. And the Lord said, "Okay, let me get this straight. You have two pieces of fish and almost five rolls. I know how Peter is. That's what you have, right"?
Yes, Lord, that's all we have. Oh, yeah, that'll be great, have them sit down in groups of 50. Excuse me? Lord, I don't think I was clear. We don't have a lot of these snack packs, Lord. There was a kid walking by. Peter took it from him, Lord. I didn't take it from him. Yeah, yeah, that'll be great. Have them sit down in groups of 50. So now they're getting all these people to sit down in groups of 50.
Now, I want to give you just a little bit of my personal opinion here. I think while they were getting them to set down, I think one of them might have remembered a scripture from the Old Testament and gathered the guys together and said something like this, "Hey, guys, I think I know what's going to happen. Do you remember in 2 Kings 4, Elisha fed 100 men with 20 loaves of bread. The bread multiplied and they even had some left over. That's in the Bible. And we have one greater than Elisha.
By the way, those 20 loaves of bread, it's specifically tells us they were first fruits. In other words, God can multiply the tithe. So he said, "I'll bet you when he prays over it, it's going to multiply right there in front of us and that is actually what many Christians believe happen. That when Jesus prayed, it just multiplied. But that's not what happened. Now, here's what I can see what happening. Peter probably just grabbed one, because that's kind of like Peter, he's kind of the forceful one. You know, he probably grabbed one and said, "Here, here, here, Lord, pray over mine first. Here, pray over mine first. Here, Lord, pray over mine first".
Watch, what happens when he prays over it, just watch, just watch. Pray over mine first. But look at what verse 16 says, "He blessed and broke them and gave them to the disciples to set before the multitude. Okay. So here's Peter, saying "Here, here, Lord, bless mine". And so Jesus takes this piece of bread from Peter, lifts it up to heaven and says, "Father, bless it". Breaks it and hands half of it back to Peter. Are you through praying? Yes, Peter, it's blessed. Now go give it away. And you just watch what happens, because the master has blessed it. You want to pray some more? No, Peter.
Now, I know the text doesn't say this. But the principle, think about the principle. Think about this, Jesus blessed it. Here's what he's thinking. Peter, you don't understand. Once you bring it to me first, and I bless it, you watch what happens because I blessed it. Personally though, I think Peter walked up to the first person and said something like this, "Take just a little piece". What would have said? Take a little piece, a little piece. He's going down the row, you know, take a little piece, take a little piece. I said, little piece, you pig, what is wrong with you? You can't follow instructions, let me see, take a little piece. He gets down to the last guy. There's a crumb in his hands. Sweat from his brow down on his cheek, a little drop of sweat there. And right before the guy reaches to grab it, this crumb grows in Peter's hands. And Peter says, "You can have more".
Listen, the miracle did not happen in the Master's hand, it happened in the disciple's hands. Once they gave the first to Jesus and he blessed it, and then they gave over and above away. So two principles of multiplication, all right? They're real simple. Here's number one. It has to blessed before it can multiply. It has to be blessed before it can multiply. And we've learned from this series the way our finances are blessed, we've seen this over and over again, is we bring the first 10% to the House of God. Even Hebrews backs it up, New Testament that Jesus himself receives and blesses our finances. So you have to give the first.
See I know some people who give a little here and give a little there. But they don't bring the first 10% to the House of God. Listen to me, their finances are not blessed and they will never multiply because only Jesus can bless them. Think about this. What if the disciples had given away, given out the two fish and the five loaves before Jesus blessed it? I want to say that again because that's extremely important. What if they had just started giving it away and Jesus had not blessed it? Would it ever have multiplied? No. It's the same way, when you give a little here and a little there, but you don't bring the first 10% to the house of God. It does not have the blessing of Jesus on it.
There's a couple in our church that when I shared this series one time, they had been giving 10%, but they had been giving 5% to Gateway and 5% to a missions organization. And when I shared about the tithe — we do believe in giving to missions organizations, but that's over and above the tithe. The tithe comes to the local church where you are. And so they had, "We had the check written. We tore it up and made the check out for the full 10% to the church". And here's what they said, that was on a Sunday. On a Monday, we had waiting for a bonus, that we were supposed to receive, been told we were going to receive it. We've been waiting for months for this bonus. And on Monday, it was in the mail.
And they wrote a letter that said, "We feel so badly that this took so long for you to get this that we actually added some to it, and the amount was added was the exact amount that they added the day before on their check". You will never convince me that was a coincidence. It's God saying, do it my way. So it has to be blessed before it can multiply. Here's principle number two. It has to be given away before it can multiply. It has to be given away before it can multiply.
So, the first principle refers to tithing, bringing the first 10% to the local church and Jesus blesses it. But once he's blessed it, now you can give over and above. You can give an extra offering, or two, for — in our case, we call it heart for the kingdom. You can give offerings over and above to missions organizations, to things like this. Okay. But it has to be given away. Think about this. What is the disciples, after Jesus had blessed it, what is the disciples had eaten it? It never would have multiplied. Two fish, five rolls, what if Jesus blessed it, and then they just ate it. It never would have multiplied. There are a lot of people who will tithe, but they don't give anything above. And here's the sad thing, it has the potential to multiply, but they just keep eating it.
So let me tell you how this worked out in my own life and in Debbie's life. I got saved nine months after Debbie and I were married. A few months later, I heard my first message on tithing and immediately we tithed, and God began to bless us. I went to Bible College and then I was a traveling evangelist, so I did not work at any church, I didn't receive any salary from a church. At that time, I only received offerings or honorings when I would travel and speak. And so while I'm doing that for a living, and the Lord spoke to me one day in my quiet time and He said, "I want you to get your finances in order, so I can bless them".
Now, I want you think about that. That's a very important impression that I received from the Lord. I want you to get your finances in order, so I can bless them. God cannot bless things out of order. And we have a stewardship department that can help you get your finances in order. So, I said, "Well, Lord, what do you want me to do"? Back then, I didn't know what to do. And He told me three things, so I'm going to tell you the three things He told me. He said, "Number, one, get out of debt". Now, this means different things to different people. Different people have different convictions. Okay. For us, we could still have a mortgage, but we were not to borrow for depreciating items, only appreciating items, like a mortgage on a home.
So we have a mortgage to this date, and we have had a mortgage, but we put it on a 15-year note, and we do our best to pay it off. Okay. So I just want you to know because when I say that, I don't want you to — I want you to let the Lord apply it to you how He applies it to you. Okay. So number one, He said, "Get out of debt". So for us, the first thing that we need to do, we had this car that was too big for us, the payment was too big. And so we sold that car and we bought a car for cash, $750.00, that was all we could afford. So we bought a car for $750.00, but you got to hear me, we actually loved that car. I mean, we loved it, because we were getting our finances in order. We loved that car. We prayed over it. We anointed it with oil — about a quart a week.
The second thing the Lord said to me was, "Don't manipulate". Now, I was in ministry, but a whole bunch of people manipulate for money. And God never blesses manipulation. Manipulation comes from a root word that means witchcraft. So you cannot manipulate, you can't drop hints and expect God to provide for you. And so for me, I said, "Well, Lord, how does that work out"? He said, "Well, when someone asks you to come speak, they say, 'What are your financial requirements for coming?' And you say, 'Pay our expenses and give us an offering.'" And some of my friends would actually say, "Pay our expenses, give us an offering and the offering has to be a minimum of," I never even said that. I just said, "Whatever, just pay our expenses and give us an offering".
Here's what the Lord said to me, He said, "From now on, you say, I have no financial requirements for coming". By the way, this was about 30 years ago, and I still do that to this day. I have no financial requirements for coming. And the Lord said to me, "I want to teach you who your provider is. That's it not how you arrange things, it's me. Now, again, other people, you can do things differently, don't put this on you. Let the Lord speak to you, what he wants you to do.
So this guy calls me, I will never forget, the first guy that calls and says, "Robert, can you come and speak"? I said, "Yes". We worked out a date. He said, "What are your financial requirements for coming"? I said, "I have no financial requirements for coming". And I remember, he said, "Well, that's good because I don't even think we can pay your gas". Now, he didn't say your expenses, he said, pay your gas. Let me tell you why that's important. We get in that $750.00 car, we start driving, it was to Oklahoma. We start driving to Oklahoma. I stopped to fill the car up with gas, I went in to pay for that, and the lady said to me, "It's taken care of". I said, "What do you mean, it's taken care of"? She said, "Because when you pulled in, God told me that I was to fill your car up with gas". And I went out and I got in the car and I said, "Lord, I sure like doing it better your way than my way".
And here's the third thing the Lord said to me, "Give". So I said, "Well, Lord what do you mean, give"? He said, "I mean, give, over and above the tithe, that's when you give". And I asked him three very important questions. I said, "Well, Lord how will I know when to give, how will I know where to give, and how will I know how much to give"? Aren't those important question? Listen to his very simple answer. Here's what he said, "I'll tell you. My people hear my voice. My sheep hear my voice".
God really does want to bless you so you can be a blessing. I'm going to continue this same message next time. I want to encourage you to watch because there are two principles for God to multiply our finances and I want to encourage you because God doesn't want to just add to your finances, He wants to multiply your finances so that you can be a blessing. I love you so much. I'll see you next time.