Better than the Blood of Bulls and Goats

FROM THE CROSS TO THE RAPTURE
(Our part in the new covenant)
Money
Lesson 14

What does God want? He wants us to have a good attitude concerning money. The subject of giving is in the top ten of things Christians don't like to hear about. This subject is also known as "MY MONEY."  Tithing and giving are established rules of God, and these rules are not open for debate.

Leviticus 27:30  And all the tithe of the land, whether of the seed of the land, or of the fruit of the tree, is the LORD'S: it is holy unto the LORD.

A clear statement that Abraham obeyed even before it was given. Genesis 14:20. We are Abraham's seed. Galatians 3:29 If the blessings of Abraham belong to us, then the commandments to Abraham apply to us.

In much of the Bible, we find  recorded first a rule, then the result of following that rule. This is particularly so in the book of Proverbs, chapter 3, follows:  

Proverbs 3:1-10
THIS IS A RULE,
"My son, forget not my law or my teaching, but let your heart keep my commandments;".

THIS IS A RESULT, "For length of days, and years of a life (worth living). and tranquility (inward and outward and continuing through old age till death), these shall they add to you." A life worth living is the result of obeying.

RULE, "Let not mercy and kindness (shutting out all hatred and selfishness), and truth (shutting out all deliberate hypocrisy or falsehood) forsake you. Bind them about your neck; write them upon the tablet of your heart."

RESULT, "So shall you find favor, good understanding and high esteem in the sight (or judgment) of God and man."

RULE, "Lean on, trust and be confident in the Lord with all your heart and mind, and do not rely on your own insight or understanding." In all your ways know, recognize and acknowledge Him." Verse 5 and part of 6.

RESULT, "and He will direct and make straight and plain your paths."

RULE, "Be not wise in your own eyes; reverently fear and worship the Lord, and turn (entirely) away from evil."

RESULT, "It shall be health to your nerves and sinews, and marrow and moistening to your bones."

RULE, "Honor the Lord with your capital and sufficiency (from righteous labors), and with the first fruits of all your income;"

RESULT, "So shall your storage places be filled with plenty, and your vats be overflowing with new wine."

God has not given us rules in order to restrict us, He has given us these rules in order to bless us. To tithe, is an established rule of God.

Malachi 3:8-9  "Will a man rob or defraud God? Yet you robbed and defraud Me.  But you say, In what way do we rob or defraud You? You have withheld your tithes and offerings. You are cursed with the curse; for you are robbing Me, even this whole nation."

Two separate things are mentioned, tithes and offerings.

Malachi 3:10  "Bring all the tithes, the whole tenth of your income, into the storehouse, that there maybe food in My house, and prove Me now by it, says the Lord of hosts, if I will not open the windows of Heaven for you and pour you out a blessing that there shall not be room enough to receive it."

It is God, who says prove me. The author of this teaching, is merely repeating what God said. If you don't believe me, discuss it with Him.

Malachi 3:11-15 amp.  "And I will rebuke the devourer (insects and plagues) for your sakes, and he shall not destroy the fruits of your ground; neither shall your vine drop its fruit before the time in the field, says the Lord of hosts. And all nations shall call you happy and blessed; for you shall be a land of delight, says the Lord of hosts.   Your words have been strong and hard against Me, says the Lord. Yet you say, what have we spoken against You? You have said, it is useless to serve God; and what profit is it if we keep His ordinances, and you walk gloomily and as if in mourning apparel before the Lord of Hosts. And you say, consider the proud and arrogant, they are happy and favored. Look at how the evildoers are exalted and prosper; yes, and when they test God they escape unpunished."

These children of God took their eyes off of God and put them on the wicked. It looked like life was going pretty well for the wicked. They had bread in their baskets. The children began to say, why should we serve God, if you can have bread in your basket and still do wicked things. Because of this, God said, your words have been strong against ME, for you have said it is useless to serve God. The children are in a lot of trouble at this point. They have withheld their tithes and their offerings because they have looked around at the people of the world; and the people of the world seemed to prosper even though they didn't tithe and give offerings. They were walking by sight (looking, looking, looking) instead of by faith. Eyes are for seeing, not believing. They were not obeying the commandments and precepts of God, as a result they were gloomy. They had on mourning apparel. Their attitude was, "I guess, I have to give God this tithe, but my heart is not in it. It's just our burden in life to have to go to the temple and give. We have to bring our sacrifice, it doesn't do any good, but its our duty. After all we come from a religious nation so we have to do it. Apparently some of them went but did not bring their tithes.

Maybe you've met someone that has done or is doing the same thing, (maybe it's you). Perhaps you have said, it's my duty to go to church. It's my duty to bring my sacrifice, doesn't do any good but its my duty. I come from a religious family, we have always gone to church on Sunday. Can't tell it makes any difference, but they say there is going to be the great white throne judgment. Then everything I've done will all count. After all, I played the piano every week, went to all those boring meetings at church. God will bless me for that in heaven. No joy, because you think God doesn't care about you now. But "someday" all those sacrifices will bring rewards. God calls that having words that are strong and hard against Him. When we do not have joy, we have no strength. The result is, we make terrible decisions and get into awful messes. Joy and the expectation of good from the hand of God will flee from us if we are outside of the established rules of God.  What do we do, to get out of a mess like this? We seek wisdom. The word says Jesus has been made our wisdom.

So God's word is wisdom. If you are thinking, "I've heard that and I've heard that and I've heard that," you probably need an attitude adjustment. If you are wanting out of the mess and into His plan, you need meekness instead of a know it all attitude. Meekness is a teachable spirit, it is a good attitude toward God. Meekness says, I don't know everything. Meekness says, I need to seek out someone who is established in the word of God; and ask them to share their wisdom on this particular subject. The Laodicean spirit (called lukewarm by God) is a spirit that says I know everything, you can't teach me anything. I have need of nothing. Revelation 3:17-19. If this describes you, God says you are wretched and pitiable, poor, blind and naked. You need to repent and seek Him and His wisdom.

Malachi 3:16  "Then those who feared the Lord talked often one to another and the Lord listened and heard it, and a book of remembrance was written (and placed) before Him of those who reverenced and worshipfully feared the Lord, and who thought on His name."  

Seek Godly counsel. It is true the world system has some good principles. Many of which have been taken from the Bible. God's principles will work no matter who applies them. If there is a lack of any kind in your life, don't sit under the counsel of the ungodly, following their plans and purposes. Psalm 1:1

Seek Godly wisdom. Don't wallow around in lack. It is NOT your lot in life, don't claim it. A lack in our lives is a signal to change. Crisis is an opportunity to learn, not lose.

Haggai 1:7  "Thus says the Lord of Hosts; Consider your ways (your previous and present conduct) and how you have fared."

When we begin to walk with God, He says one of us must change, and then He says, "I am the Lord and I change not." We must consider our ways and be willing to change. When we see where we have gone wrong, we come with Godly repentance.   Godly repentance is different from worldly sorrow. The world's kind of sorrow says, "I'm really sorry I got caught." Godly repentance is a sorrow that causes your inner being to cry out, "God forgive me and help me not to do that again. "True repentance is a sorrow that says I am willing to change, self denial. A change from I am going to do it my way, to I am willing to do it God's way. When we are willing, then the ability will begin to form in our lives and step by step, we change.

It is an established rule of God for us to tithe, never should we withhold our tithes or give them with mourning apparel on. God says obey my rules and the result will be provision. God's plan for each of us is that we have abundance in our lives. If we do not, it is a signal for us to seek Godly counsel, and change our ways. When we bring the tithes into the house of God, it is so there will be meat in the house of God. Tithes are different from offerings. Tithes are meant to provide for the house of God. Tithes keep the utilities on, pays the salaries of the pastor and staff and often sends funds to the mission fields. (Many churches give the first ten percent of general offerings to missions.) Tithes go to the church that nourishes and cares for us day by day.

Galatians 6:6  "Let him who receives instruction in the Word (of God) share all good things, with his teacher...contributing to his support."

It is an established rule of God that we give offerings above and beyond our tithes. Offerings are to help support the five fold ministry. Those who are moving about in the body of Christ sharing revelation from the word of God with the local church. Offerings are for people like Kenneth Copeland and Jerry Savelle. Offerings are for people like Irv Goodman. Maybe you never heard of him, but he is moving about in the body of Christ sharing and blessing the lives of people. One of those blessings came my way, so he received an offering from me. Space does not allow a list of people who are in the five fold ministry.   You probably know of many that I do not. The point is, offerings belong to the people of God who have contributed to our growth and understanding of the word. Try giving a love offering to your own Pastor once in a while. There are many Pastors who do not receive a salary. If yours is one of those, they need your love offering. Both vocal and material.

This offering to the five fold ministry is best given on a regular basis. My Father-in-law was a gardener. He taught that raising corn for the table should be done in a serial fashion. Instead of planting two pounds of corn seed all at once, he planted four or five rows of seed. After waiting a week, he planted four or five more rows, then another week and another four or five rows. The reasoning behind this is, there will be a continual harvest coming in. Instead of waiting until the end of the year and planting all of our seed, (money is seed) we should plant on a regular basis. Then our harvest will be continual.  We give into the kingdom of God so God's covenant maybe established upon the earth. Deuteronomy 8:18 That's the rule. The result is that we get a harvest back into our lives.

God sends forth sowers, and He never sends them forth without seed. If we are to sow, then God must first give us the seed. When we receive the seed and plant it, there will be a harvest. I've never met a gardener who expected only one tomato for each seed he or she planted.  A gardener always expects to receive back more than they plant. Offerings are planting seed in the kingdom of God. The return on that seed will allow us to give unto every good work and have enough left over to fulfill the desires of our hearts. Read the following, carefully.

2 Corinthians 9:6-11 amp. "Remember this: he who sows sparingly and grudgingly will also reap sparingly and grudgingly, and he who sows generously and that blessings may come to someone, will also reap generously and with blessings. Let each one give as he has made up his own mind and purposed in his heart, not reluctantly or sorrowfully or under compulsion, for God loves (that is, He takes pleasure in, prizes above other things and is unwilling to abandon or to do without) a cheerful (joyous, prompt to do it) giver...whose heart is in his giving. And God is able to make all grace (every favor and earthly blessing) come to you in abundance, so that you may always and under all circumstances and whatever the need, be self sufficient...possessing enough to require no aid or support and furnished in abundance for every good work and donation. As it is written, He (the benevolent person) scatters abroad. He gives to the poor; His deeds of justice and goodness and kindness and benevolence will go on and endure forever. And God who provides seed for the sower and bread for eating will also provide and multiply your (resources for) sowing, and increase the fruits of your righteousness which manifest itself in active goodness, kindness and charity. Thus you will be enriched in all things and in every way, so that you can be generous......" 2 Corinthians 9:6-11 amp.

If we want corn, we do not plant turnips. If we want apples, we do not plant a peach tree. When we take seed in our hands, we have a goal in mind. We desire corn, so we plant corn. We are going to plant this seed, and it is going to come up and provide food for our table in great abundance. In fact we expect to have many baskets full to give away. This same principal applies in the kingdom of God. When we give an offering to one of the five fold ministries of God, we ought to plant the seed with a purpose. We need to determine the harvest we wish and release our faith toward it.

Choose a specific target. Thank the Father as you plant. Say

"Father, I am obedient to your word, I sow this seed so that the gospel may be taken to the world and because I need or desire. (Now name the harvest expected.) Thank you for your provision and abundant life. I am a cheerful giver, for I know I can not out give you. Father, I believe your word is truth, so I thank you that the harvest is mine, in the name of Jesus. Amen"

Galatians 6:7 says what we sow, we will reap. The rule is that we must first sow, before we can reap. Everyone has something to give. If not money, then deeds. Write a encouraging letter. Find a job to do at church or for the pastor that will ease the work load for him or her. Remember the widow of 1 Kings 17, Elijah gave her an opportunity to give a offering. She gave a handful of meal and a small jar of oil. She let go of what was in her hand, and God let go of what was in His. Seed must be planted, before it will grow. It is not wrong to expect a particular return. Jesus the Son of God was given so there would be a return. God expected to harvest after He planted. We are a part of that harvest. It is an established rule of God that we bring the tithe and the offering. God wants us to have abundance in our lives. He has laid down the rules, in order that we may have the results. His rules are not meant to harm, they are meant to help us.

It is an established rule of God that we give alms.

Proverbs 28:27  "He who gives to the poor, will not want, but he who hides his eyes (from their want) will have many a curse."

What does "not want" mean? It means there will be enough. But if we hide our eyes from the needs of the poor, we will have many a curse.

What is a curse? It is sin, sickness and poverty.    

THE RULE, give to the poor.

THE RESULT, freedom from sin, sickness and poverty,

Three kinds of giving, tithes, offerings and alms. God declares that we are stewards. A steward is one who manages another persons property and goods. All that stuff we have squirreled away, is not really ours. It is on loan to us. We are channels. Channels are something that things move through. We are not meant to be holding tanks. A Good attitude concerning money is that it is not to have us. We are to have it, to use to establish God's covenant on the earth and to provide for our own. If we give, there will be more. If we do not, the source will dry up. Whatever we clutch, we will lose. If we hold things loosely in our hands, knowing they belong to God instead of us, we will have plenty. IF WE ARE WISE, WE WILL SERVE GOD AND LET MONEY SERVE US.
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