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is God still saying to man "Prove me through the tithe?" No, He is not. God says instead: "This is my Son in whom I am well pleased.....
This is truly beautiful Paul. Deeply prophetic.
| 2014/4/12 18:02||Profile|
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Excellent point. All of God's "proofs" are consummated in the advent of Jesus Christ. All the validity a man can seek, the brokerage of every one of His promises in the OT, and the immortal assurance of His love and compassion for mankind are all encapsulated in Jesus Christ and in our spiritual marriage to Him. From this single union God grants us all we need. It is not right therefore to adapt a mindset that although I am in Jesus Christ, God is still somehow obligated to prove something more - especially when this proof is needing to be evidenced in the form of mammon.
Exactly! In the light of the suffering, death and resurrection of Jesus, and now the deposit of His Spirit, what else are we saying He should prove to us?
Going to Paul's point, "For all the promises of God in him are yea, and in him Amen, unto the glory of God by us." (2Co_1:20)
There is no such theology in the NT about proving God, who has proven His love for us and in fact, is our great High Priest, who is making intercession for us daily.
"Wherefore he is able also to save them to the uttermost that come unto God by him, seeing he ever liveth to make intercession for them." (Heb 7:25)
Did Christ, being faithful to His Father, prove His Father's faithfulness to Him? Absolutely! We are to allow the character of God to be expressed through us. "As He was in the world, so are we".
We are actually to prove our love for Him, not Him proving His love for us. He has already done that. Loving others is an expression of God's loving character. And we are now the ones to give (as He gave). Christian giving is an expression of God's giving character which has been given to us by the presence of the Spirit of Christ, the presence of Jesus indwelling the Christian.
The whole Christian life is a life of giving, but we have categorized and cordoned off when and where and to whom Christians are to give. In reality, the religious world does not reflect the giving heart of God as they are more consumed with taking and making sure THEY GET their 10%.
Religious administrators and clergy are more like the government telling people when and to whom they should give and how much. Like the government, they would have no power, lest the people give it to them. That's what the religious world looks like, but that is not what the Church of Jesus Christ looks like. Well meaning godly people have ignorantly adopted worldly, religious practices.
| 2014/4/12 18:30|
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Behold the stones are gathered thus
by men of ill and fated wrong,
by means of righteous shouts, and all,
shall of His servants join the throng?
Better to speak in the dark of the night than to share what you mean in the presence of such righteous and well informed men.
| 2014/4/12 18:41|
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That could have been said of all the prophets and Jesus, too. The truth hurts and it never makes you any friends.
| 2014/4/12 19:31|
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How often have you heard the following (or something to the same affect)?
"If you will just give us $100, God will give you back ten-fold."
Have you ever just wanted to write them back and say "If you really believe what you say, then you send me the $100, and you can keep the $1000."
But that would expose their fund-raising scheme.
The self-indulgent, "gimme" religion of today that promises health, wealth and prosperity is foreign to the Early Church and the gospel of Christ.
And, where did a religion that tries to bribe God ever come from?
| 2014/4/13 0:41|
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I have followed this thread with great interest. It has yielded very profitable insights into the matter of giving and also the excuses we make not to give,
The wealth of information accumulated will surely yield great rewards and we will treasure its proceeds.
| 2014/4/13 9:47|
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Giving is the heart of God, and all true Christians support giving. It is a way of life for them 7 days a week.
Fund raising schemes done in the name of Christ are wholly different than true Christian giving and that is what Christianized tithing is: a compulsory fund raising scheme.
Even Rabbis will tell you tithing is no longer valid since it is tied to the temple, the sacrifice and the Levites, all of which no longer exist.
| 2014/4/13 11:16|
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From another new post. Special thanks to Paul for providing some inspiration and insight on the matter...
A Terrible Lie: You need to Tithe to be Blessed
Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places in Christ (Ephesians 1:3 NASB)
Have you ever been told that in order to experience God's blessings in your life that you need to do x, y, and z? Does any of the following sound familiar...
If you want to be blessed financially, you need to tithe.
If you want to experience a special touch from God, then you just need to go to listen to so-and-so preach.
If you want to be a super strong Christian full of the Holy Spirit, then you just need to pray 2 hours a day, read 3 chapters of your Bible daily, and regularly fast.
If you want to have a successful ministry, you need to trust God with God sized dreams.
If you want to be freed from sins you habitually struggle with, then you need to go and get deliverance.
If you want to experience peace and joy, then simply do these 10 things.
If you only do ... then only will you have...
The truth of the matter is that all of these things are terrible lies.
The truth of the matter is that everything you could ever possibly need you have already been given and blessed with by Jesus Christ. Re-read Ephesians 1:3 cited above. How does it read to you? Does it say you need to do anything to be blessed? Or does it say you ALREADY ARE blessed?
Here is a truth that regularly escape us: Everything you could possibly need to do in order to be blessed was already done for you by Jesus Christ in His work on the cross.
There remains nothing left for you to do, other than to walk in and enjoy the blessings God has already richly supplied as a kind of act of grace.
You see, the Bible teaches that when Jesus Christ was crucified, resurrected, and ascended into heaven, that you and I were spiritually made participants with Him during everything He experienced.
When Jesus was crucified, we died with Him on the cross.
When Jesus was resurrected from the dead, we were made to live.
When Jesus Christ ascended into heaven to sit at the right hand of God the Father, we too were raised with Him into heavenly places, and are made to presently enjoy all the blessings He currently enjoys as the One who lives forever.
In recent essays I have given considerable attention to the modern day practice of tithing. And I have done so, not because it is some sort of pet issue of mine that I enjoy giving considerable attention to. I've only done so because I believe this particular issue exposes a deeper problem within the church, and magnifies a set of problems that reveal our true spiritual condition, and how immature we truly are.
You see, almost all teaching you will ever hear on tithing from the pulpit these days tells us that the reason we aren't experiencing everything God has for us is because we aren't trusting Him with our finances. If only we would tithe, then the windows of heaven would be open, and we would be blessed financially. If only we would tithe, we would get a promotion at work and be able to pay off all of our bills, and experience God's 100 fold blessing.
The days of "if only we would..." are over because of what Jesus Christ has already done.
The truth is that as Christians we don't give in order that the Lord might bless us financially. We give because we are already blessed.
We are already blessed financially because of our union with Jesus Christ, as we sit with Him and enjoy the same life He enjoys sitting in heaven at the right hand of God the Father. We don't need to go chasing down some 100 fold blessing. We have already been blessed 100 times over, and with everything beyond what we could think or ask. We lack nothing.
Therefore, we as Christians give, and do so abundantly, not from our arms being twisted by a preacher employing coercion and guilt tripping us, or fear of "the devourer" unleashing hell in our lives and somehow causing us to be ruined as a result, but we give out of the realization that we've already been blessed financially, and that it is the joy of our heart to do so.
We bless others financially because we have discovered that we are already blessed, and want others to enter into the same joy that we have in the knowledge of Christ.
We don't give in order to tap into God's open heaven. For the doors of heaven have already thrown open for us when the King of Glory took His place in heaven, and He has invited us to come in and participate with Him in the blessings of that heavenly kingdom.
The only thing that remains for us to do is to open our eyes to see what has already been given to us, to see our true position in Christ, to see the riches that have already been supplied to us, and to live out our lives making the most out of what He has already done and what He has already provided.
We are blessed, therefore we give. And when we give, we don't worry in fear about somehow having less or going without. We have faith that God has already provided us all things, and that He has done so out of the work of Jesus Christ and what He accomplished in the cross, and that He will continue to enable us to always be able to give.
| 2014/4/13 13:09||Profile|
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Jimmy, that was one of the best things I've ever read in this forum.
Paul Frederick West
| 2014/4/13 13:23||Profile|
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Realising that this will sound contradictory and possibly even argumentative I post with some unease. Nevertheless I must post.
I rejected the Wealth, Health and Prosperity gospel some thirty years ago on first hearing it. It was so obviously false that I couldn't even bring myself to try to understand any part of it at all. Today I feel no different, and still speak against this false gospel whenever I have need to do so, for the sake of others.
When I was saved I knew from the very first moment, by an exceptional act of the Father's grace, that I was seated in Christ Jesus at His right hand.
Having asked the question 'who is Christ' I was translated into heaven and found that I was sat on the Lord's knee. Nothing more clear and unshakable could have happened to me which could have taught me something of a wonderful reality which seems to elude so many believers.
In this thread this reality is being spoken of. Yet the experience of the overwhelming majority of believers I have met has been to find no corresponding reality in their lives with the true knowledge, that in Christ we are complete and in Him we are supplied with the fullness of the rich mercy and blessings of the Father.
The worse thing for me over the past thirty years has been listening to fellow believers speaking about this wonderful truth and yet never knowing much of its reality in their lives. I have looked brothers in the eyes and seen that they were groaning under a weight and burden of difficulties, finically and in other ways, and asking themselves, 'when will my day come?' Many times I have sought to relieve such brethren and have done so with a willing and fearful heart realising that in some profound way they were missing the very reality which they knew ought to be theirs. It has at times been impossible for me to repeat that which they already understood with their minds and yet did not know in their spiritual minds so as to walk in it. Their faces are etched in my mind and the knowledge of their faithfulness, in that which they had received at the hands of their brethren, still makes me indignant.
For this reason I can say without intending any offence that I am myself offended for all those believers I know who suffer and pain through the inexplicable gap between what they have been taught concerning the fullness of salvation and laying hold of Christ Himself, and their own living experience of being defrauded by their brethren who take from them even the little they have. Many believers are used and abused by even the least of the brethren and yet when these things are taken up in a cry, even the one who is being used becomes offended because they simply cannot imagine their lives without their brethren. So they suffer the offence. When I speak with them in the momentary silence of the finger of God, their countenance speaks of injustice and they cannot fathom it at all.
When a truth is presented so decisively as it is in this thread, yet which for the overwhelming majority of believers, is simply unknown in experience of their lives, the effect is not liberty it is a weight of confusion and added doubt. Not only this, but when this liberty is pressed because it is out of place, the thing becomes a single word 'REST". None of which is a falsehood of itself, but I say that it is a stumbling stone. The revelation that we are in Christ Jesus seated at the right hand of the Father, and that in Him we have all things which pertain to life and godliness, is both true and it means to enter His rest. It is to cease from ones own labours and it is to know the unimaginable goodness and mercy of the Father in Christ Jesus in your daily life. But simply saying these things is of no true value.
I have no way at all to explain how it is that some do enter into this rest and why so many others, even the overwhelming others, do not come to it. What I can say is that if in order to deal with the offence of tithing, which is of little consequence altogether, even though by compulsion it is an offence, we offend against that which speaks of the very substance of eternity itself. In doing this we will have made offence more important than eternal life. So many times over the years I have asked the Lord how it is that He continues to bless my life and the lives of those I have responsibility over, and each time I realise that it is because of Christ Himself and for no other reason at all. I have fallen and sinned, boasted in the flesh, wrestled with authorities at times and missed doing even the little things often. Yet the Father continues to bless and to pour out His blessing.
What is the relationship between such blessings and the source of those blessings? I believe it is just as simple as seeing the source, even Christ. That desire to know Him and to truly know Him overwhelms every other desire when it is met with the merciful hand of the Father.
This is a terrible thing and a weight and burden to say it.
We must be of such a mind that we truly comprehend that unless the Father Himself leads you, you cannot know Christ in this way of resting in Him. When the Father filled my understanding with the knowledge of His presence in 1984 I was kicking against His Son and openly declaring that hate was more potent and desirable than love. I wrote it down in words and I shouted it from my anger and hatred of that which was good, for no other reason than because I was hated myself.
I asked the Father in 1984 'who is Christ?' Now I ask was this faith? It was not yet faith to believe into Him. It was the mercy of the Father. Then after some hours I knew Christ in visibility and touch. If any man were to ask me today what must I do? I would say cry out to the Father, call upon Him and ask Him to fill you with the Holy Ghost, not for power to bear witness of Christ, but for revelation that you might know His Son Christ Jesus as He is. Rest is that which follows on. But to speak of the rest which is in Christ Jesus and to do so in terms of wrestling with the offences of men will prove to be of no benefit whatsoever. Even if we removed all the offences of men, we would still not know Christ as He is. There is nothing that men can do to make good the lack of faith and the evil desires of the heart. Whether the Father sets you free or ties you down is a matter for the Father and when you know it, of His hand in the rest which is in His Son, there will be no distinction of meaning, because it will all be a true resting from your own labours.
In finality unless the work of the Father in our lives produces true compassion we will ourselves make ruin of everything. That means compassion for the one who is defrauded and compassion for the one who defrauds.
May the Father help that man who makes of this a mystery and thereby puts it beyond the reach of men! May the Father rebuke that man who makes of this an offence and thereby makes of this a ruination!
| 2014/4/13 15:50|