Friday, 11 January 2013
TITHES AND OFFERINGS BEFORE THE LORD
A sister in The LORD from the nation of The Philippines wrote to me a couple of days ago and this is what she wrote: “Good evening, I would like to ask some help please? My pastor wants me to speak on our Sunday school on the topic about "TITHES". Will you please give me some ideas about this?”
So The LORD is going to give ideas not only for the children of The LORD in Philippines, but also everybody across the nations of the earth. The LORD is thus going to take us through this very very fundamental issue even as His bride prepares the way for the very very imminent coming of The LORD Jesus Christ to rapture His bride.
Tithes and offerings should be part and parcel of a believer in The LORD God Almighty, The LORD Jesus Christ and The Holy Spirit. It is an act of showing appreciation and gratitude to The LORD. It is actually an act of worship, because it puts the focus of a believer not on the materiality of the wealth, money or income but the focus of the believer is put on the provider of the wealth, income, money and indeed life itself: This is the creater of everything both seen and unseen and His name is The LORD God Almighty; The LORD Jesus Christ and The Holy Spirit.
In the olden times, the Israelites were required to bring to the house of The LORD; their first harvest. This in itself was an act of worship by dedicating a portion of their harvest to The LORD, and in so doing this they were essentially saying (Including the present remnant church): “If it were not your blessings LORD, I would not have got this harvest, money, income, wealth and indeed life itself, and so here I am to come before you and present this before you as I worship you!!!”. In other words, it’s an act of saying: “I worship the creater and not the created!!!” That’s why The LORD commanded the Israelites in the book of Exodus 23:19 “Bring the best of the firstfruits of your soil to the house of the Lord your God.” But it is also very important to note that The LORD gave a very powerful disclaimer/caution before telling the Israelites to bring the best of the firstfruits of their soil to the house of their LORD. And so when we slightly go back in this very mighty conversation that The LORD was having with the Israelites, The LORD told them in the book of Exodus 23:18 “Do not offer the blood of a sacrifice to me along with anything containing yeast.” In other words, The LORD was requiring absolute Repentance, Righteousness, Holiness and Complete Surrender to Him when one is bringing before Him a tithe or an offering. This means that one should be cleansed of their sins even as they go before The LORD with their tithes and offering. So absolute Repentance is very paramount as one brings their tithes and offerings before The LORD. Because if you bring your tithes and offerings before The LORD and you have unrepentant sin(s) in your life then it’s like bringing before The LORD tithes and offerings which are contaminated and defiled i.e. containing yeast. An example of the sins include Pride, and so when one brings to The LORD their tithes and offering with a boastful heart, while proclaiming: “Look LORD, how my own effort, strength and intelligence has made me rich, let me divide for you some of my wealth just to show you how tough and successful I have become!!!” . This is where humility will come in, and so one needs to go before The LORD with respect, reverence, Thankfulness and a very humble heart; a heart of worship and praise to no one else but The LORD.
The bringing of tithes and offering in the onset is best illustrated by Abraham when in a very mighty visitation of The LORD, he offered to worship and praise The LORD by bringing a tenth of his wealth(Everything/Plunder) before The LORD (Melchizedek The King of Salem). This is well expounded in the book of Hebrew 7:1-10 “This Melchizedek was king of Salem and priest of God Most High. He met Abraham returning from the defeat of the kings and blessed him, and Abraham gave him a tenth of everything. First, the name Melchizedek means “king of righteousness”; then also, “king of Salem” means “king of peace.” Without father or mother, without genealogy, without beginning of days or end of life, resembling the Son of God, he remains a priest forever. Just think how great he was: Even the patriarch Abraham gave him a tenth of the plunder! Now the law requires the descendants of Levi who become priests to collect a tenth from the people—that is, from their fellow Israelites—even though they also are descended from Abraham. This man, however, did not trace his descent from Levi, yet he collected a tenth from Abraham and blessed him who had the promises. And without doubt the lesser is blessed by the greater. In the one case, the tenth is collected by people who die; but in the other case, by him who is declared to be living. One might even say that Levi, who collects the tenth, paid the tenth through Abraham, because when Melchizedek met Abraham, Levi was still in the body of his ancestor.”
The LORD goes further to clarify to the church on the tithes and offerings while having a very mighty conversation with the Israelites (The Church) through His servant Malachi in the book of Malachi 3:10 “Bring the whole tithe into the storehouse, that there may be food in my house.” ; meaning let the people bring an acceptable tithe before The LORD; A tithe and an offering that is brought before The LORD wholeheartedly with a heart that has embraced Repentance of Sins, so that such tithes and offerings be not contaminated with yeast(sin). It also means that when The LORD has blessed you with harvests, income, wealth etc, then one should faithfully go before The LORD with their tithes and offerings so that the poor, the orphans, the widows, the sick, the helpless etc that are in the house of The LORD can be taken care of. It is very very important to note thatthe tithes and the offerings are not meant to enrich the pastors, the Bishops, the clergy etc that serve at the altar of The LORD. The pastors, the Bishops, the clergy etc should serve The LORD with humility and once their essential needs are catered for then that’s okay; No purchasing of private jets for pastors!!!; No purchasing of the latest and most expensive Golden wrist watches for the pastors!!!; No Purchasing of the most spacious and luxurious mansions for the pastors!!!, No Financing the pastors and their wives holiday and shopping trips overseas!!! While the flock; the fatherless and the motherless go hungry and have no one to feed them!!!. NOT WITH THE MONEY BROUGHT BEFORE THE ALTAR OF THE LORD AS TITHES AND OFFERINGS!!!!!!!!!!!!. The clarion call at the altar of The LORD should be about: “Prepare the way in absolute Repentance, Righteousness, Holiness, Truth and Complete Surrender to The LORD Jesus Christ; The Messiah is very very very imminently coming to pick His bride!!!”
Bringing tithes and offerings at the altar of The LORD is an act of obedience and faithfulness to The LORD without which is a robbery. This is well expounded by The LORD in the book of Malachi 3:6-15 “I the Lord do not change. So you, the descendants of Jacob, are not destroyed. Ever since the time of your ancestors you have turned away from my decrees and have not kept them. Return to me, and I will return to you,” says the Lord Almighty. “But you ask, ‘How are we to return? “Will a mere mortal rob God? Yet you rob me. “But you ask, ‘How are we robbing you?’ “In tithes and offerings. You are under a curse—your whole nation—because you are robbing me. Bring the whole tithe into the storehouse, that there may be food in my house. Test me in this,” says the Lord Almighty, “and see if I will not throw open the floodgates of heaven and pour out so much blessing that there will not be room enough to store it. I will prevent pests from devouring your crops, and the vines in your fields will not drop their fruit before it is ripe,” says the Lord Almighty. “Then all the nations will call you blessed, for yours will be a delightful land,” says theLord Almighty. Israel Speaks Arrogantly Against God “You have spoken arrogantly against me,” says the Lord. “Yet you ask, ‘What have we said against you?’ “You have said, ‘It is futile to serve God. What do we gain by carrying out his requirements and going about like mourners before the Lord Almighty? But now we call the arrogant blessed. Certainly evildoers prosper, and even when they put God to the test, they get away with it.’”
So it is about obedience and faithfulness to The LORD and that’s why The LORD Jesus Christ declared in the book of Mark 12:41-44“Jesus sat down opposite the place where the offerings were put and watched the crowd putting their money into the temple treasury. Many rich people threw in large amounts. But a poor widow came and put in two very small copper coins, worth only a few cents. Calling his disciples to him, Jesus said, “Truly I tell you, this poor widow has put more into the treasury than all the others. They all gave out of their wealth; but she, out of her poverty, put in everything—all she had to live on.” The LORD was in essence stressing the need for obedience and faithfulness. So the LORD wants obedience and faithfulness in bringing of tithes and offerings so that He can bless His obedient and faithful Children through the outpour of The Holy Spirit so that His children can be cleansed, purified, refined, sanctified as they prepare the way for the coming of The LORD. Remember also that in the same way, The LORD promised in the book of Mathew 6:28-34 “And why do you worry about clothes? See how the flowers of the field grow. They do not labor or spin. Yet I tell you that not even Solomon in all his splendor was dressed like one of these. If that is how God clothes the grass of the field, which is here today and tomorrow is thrown into the fire, will he not much more clothe you—you of little faith? So do not worry, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ For the pagans run after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them. But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.”
Bringing tithes and offerings before The LORD is an act of investment in the kingdom of God as is explained in the book of Mathew 6:19-21 “Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moths and vermin destroy, and where thieves break in and steal. But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where moths and vermin do not destroy, and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also. This is based on the faithfulness and obedience even as one brings an acceptable (without yeast) tithes and offerings before The LORD; i.e. a tithe and an offering that is without yeast meaning that The LORD requires utmost Repentance, Righteousness, Holiness and complete Surrender to Him when one is bringing before Him a tithe or an offering. This means that one should be cleansed of their sins even as they go before The LORD with their tithes and offering. So the aspect of investment in the kingdom of God becomes very relevant when it comes to tithes and offering when one is also walking on the narrow road which leads to the kingdom of God: On this road are them who have embraced absolute Repentance, Righteousness, Holiness, Truth and Complete Surrender to The LORD Jesus Christ. This means therefore that when one is on the broad road that leads to destruction (Hell), they for sure cannot invest in the kingdom of God which is in Heaven. This should serve as a warning to the lukewarm Christians and also should serve as a warning to the false pastors, apostles, prophets, clergy etc so that they may embrace absolute Repentance and living in Righteousness, Holiness, Truth and Complete Surrender to The LORD Jesus Christ. These false pastors, apostles, clergy, prophets etc are well expounded on in the book of Mathew 7:15-20 “Watch out for false prophets. They come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ferocious wolves. By their fruit you will recognize them. Do people pick grapes from thornbushes, or figs from thistles? Likewise, every good tree bears good fruit, but a bad tree bears bad fruit. A good tree cannot bear bad fruit, and a bad tree cannot bear good fruit. Every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire. Thus, by their fruit you will recognize them. And therefore, let me note at this juncture that any preaching that is centered on calling the flock “who want to be blessed through wealth and other earthly material riches to bring their tithes and offering so as to have investments, wealth and richness here on the earth!!! while not telling the flock to focus on the kingdom of God in Heaven and the very very very imminent coming of The Messiah Jesus Christ is a false preaching from hell and it is known as The preaching of prosperity Gospel. These preachers of prosperity gospel are the ones The LORD Jesus Christ talked about as we have read in the scripture above. These preachers of prosperity gospel normally have such language as: “Sow a seed if you want to receive your blessing, if you want me to pray so that you be blessed with a luxurious house, then run to my feet with $ 2,000, and if you want me to make a special prayer for you, a prayer that will come with more blessings then you better run here with $ 3,000!!!” etc. It is very important to note that one cannot bribe The LORD to bless them for He is the creater of everything: What The LORD requires is obedience, faithfulness, Righteousness, Holiness, Truth and Complete Surrender to Him. If you attend any of such prosperity preaching and may be also attending a church where there are ferocious wolves who instead of building the kingdom of God are building the kingdom of men; then it’s high time you run away from such a place because your tithe and offering is defiled and is full of yeast before the LORD.
PREPARE THE WAY IN ABSOLUTE REPENTANCE, RIGHTEOUSNESS, HOLINESS, TRUTH AND COMPLETE SURRENDER TO THE LORD JESUS CHRIST (YAHUSHUA HA MASHIACH). TIME IS ABSOLUTELY OVER; THE MESSIAH JESUS CHRIST IS IMMINENTLY COMING TO PICK HIS BRIDE!!!
I acknowledge today that you are lord and savior of all mankind,
and today I have recognized my shortfall,
I repent and turn away from all sin.
Please cover me with your precious blood,
and establish your word in my life,
that I may be found in righteousness and holiness
and write my name in your book of life
and baptize me with the power of the Holy Spirit
in the mighty name of Jesus Christ.
Shalom!!! Shalom!!! Shalom!!!