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The only reason I'm writing this long letter, on giving and receiving is because of all of the false misrepresentations on this subject. The leaders of the church in the book of Acts wouldn't think too highly of the way many are fleecing the body of Christ, with false hope and deception. My spirit has been grieved by those letting people know what God is going to give back to them if they give. I've seen in meetings where it has been said, "God's told me there is x amount of people that can give x amount of dollars and receive x amount of blessing, please come up". After that, a lower amount was given and those were told to do the same, and it would continue on and on. Then whoever was left was told to come up and give what they could. This is totally unbiblical. Mt. 6:1 Jesus says, "Take heed that you do not your alms before men. To be seen of them: otherwise you have no reward of your father which is in heaven." "But when thou doest alms, let not thy left hand know what thy right hand doeth:" Mt. 6:3. This procedure and others like it, in the pulpit and over the air waves, is a stench in the nostrils of God.
For God so loved the world that he gave his best (his one and only son). God wouldn't give anything less in order for our sins to be forgiven. God forgave us and honored us through the shedding of His son's blood. Is the body of Christ honoring God? Malachi 1:6 "A son honors his father and the servant his master, if then I be a father, where is my honor?" In the five previous verses of Malachi chapter one, God is asking this question to the disobedient children of Israel.
If works are not done with love it means nothing 1Cor 13:1-3. Eight times in the chapter it talks about the attributes of love (charity). The word love is many times misused. It's used in describing our feelings for objects such as food, automobiles, homes, clothes etc. However, that's a one way street. None of those things can love you back. The proper word should be "like". The true biblical love is sacrificing your will for God's will. Some examples are: The widow women who gave her last meal to Elijah; The poor widow women who gave her last 2 coins; Stephen who was stoned to death and asked God to forgive them; Abraham who was willing to sacrifice his best, his son of the promise.
If you're following Jesus, the Word of God commands us to give a tithe to the Lord (10 percent). Malachi 3:8-11 tells us that if one doesn't tithe they're robbing God. How would you feel if someone said they loved you and stole a possession of yours? You'd feel hurt and angry. How do you think God feels when his children tell him they love him, and don't tithe? I believe he'd feel worse than the pain you felt, because of the price he paid at the cross. When one tithes, there will be a blessing of honor coming back to you. Doing this, you have honored God. The whole man will be abundantly blessed in the natural and spiritual.
I shake my head in disbelief, when I hear a prayer like this said over the tithes and offerings. "God, bless those who can't give, so that the next time they'll be able to give". What an unbiblical prayer. Everybody can give something, but many don't. If you're working you can give: If you're getting unemployment you can give; if you're receiving welfare there is money to give, or disability or a pension etc. When you're giving are you giving for the wrong reason? Are you giving to get? It should be the opposite; one should get to give. "Every man SHALL GIVE as he is able according to the blessings of the Lord Thy God which he has given thee" Deut. 16:17.
Tithes are different than offerings. 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." Before the law was given, Abraham tithed (10%) to Melchizedek the high priest of the Most High God) of the spoils he captured Gen. 14:18-20. In turn Melchizedek brought him bread and wine. Hebrews 7 establishes that Jesus is the High Priest after the order of Melchizedek. The name Melchizedek means King of righteousness (who Jesus is). He was also King of Salem, which means king of peace (which Jesus is). You can plainly see Melchizedek is a type of Christ, who was given the tithe. In return Abraham was given bread and wine which represents communion. In actuality, Abraham through his tithe was having communion with the Lord, and so it's for all who tithe. Romans 4:12 speaks of believers walking in the steps of that faith of our father Abraham.
Here is what the scripture says concerning a believer honoring God, Proverbs 3:9-10 "Honor the Lord with thy substance, and with the first fruits of all thine increase: So shall thy barns be filled with plenty, and thy presses shall burst out with new wine". As I mentioned before, tithing was before the law, under the law, and now under the dispensation of grace. Under grace one's attitude should be, it's a privilege to honor God with my tithe.
So far I've talked mostly about tithes and now it will be about offerings. Under the new covenant of grace one should give out of a cheerful heart, for God loves a cheerful giver 2 Cor. 9:7. Again, take a look at the sacrifice Jesus did for us. The human race deserved God's wrath instead we're offered his love, mercy and forgiveness. In light of this, there is no reason for a believer not to trust God for all their needs, while supporting his kingdom. If you're not a cheerful giver ask the Lord to make you one.
In the Old Testament the liberal giving to those who were the workmen had to be restrained. "And they came, every one whose heart stirred him up, and every one whom his spirit made willing, and they brought the Lord's offering to the work of the tabernacle of the congregation, and for all his service, and for the holy garments. And they came, both men and women, as many as were willing hearted, and brought bracelets, and earrings, and rings, and tablets, all jewels of gold: and every man that offered, offered an offering of gold unto the Lord." Exodus 35 21-22. And they spoke unto Moses, saying, "The people bring much more than enough for the service of the work, which the Lord commanded to make". And Moses gave commandment, and they caused it to be proclaimed throughout the camp, saying, "Let neither man nor woman make any more work for the offering of the sanctuary". So the people were restrained from bringing. For the stuff they had was sufficient for all the work to make it, and too much" Ex. 36:5-7. May every born again believer get a revelation of the heart of those who gave.
The early church had such a revelation of the resurrection and heaven that their earthly goods didn't matter. They willing sold their homes and gave the money for the working of the Kingdom. Their focus was on saving of souls and meeting the needs of the saints. The church at Philippi reminds me of what happened in the book of Exodus. Paul said they were the only ones to communicate with him concerning giving and receiving Phil. 4:15. "Not because I desire a gift: but I desire fruit that may abound to your account. But I have all, and abound: I am full, having received of Epaphroditus the things which were sent from you, an odour of a sweet smell, a sacrifice acceptable, well pleasing to God". He then goes on to say, because of this, "God will supply all your needs" (not only here on earth but also in glory by Christ Jesus) Phil. 4:15-19. The bottom line of the above is when you honor God's servants with your offerings, you're honoring God. The Philippians and the children of Israel both honored God through their liberal giving. "If we have sown unto you spiritual things is it a great thing if we should reap your carnal things" 1 Cor. 9:11.
In Scripture it talks much about a farmer planting and reaping. You must plant what you expect to harvest. Your harvest size is established when your seed is sown. Plant a few seeds; you'll get a small crop. Plant much and you'll reap much 2 Cor. 9:6. Your seed must be planted in good ground. Some will reap a hundred fold, some sixty and some thirty fold. There is a waiting time between planting and harvesting. A part of your harvest is for sowing again. By the measure you give, by the same measure it shall be given unto you Luke 6:38. Giving of ones finances is a born-again Christian's way of affirming to God; I'm not my own, all I have is the Lords and this is the reason why I give, "to favor God's righteous cause".
John D. Rockefeller, Sr. was a tither. He brought his $1.50 a week wages home to his mother. She asked him if he would give a tenth to the Lord. He did, and from that week on he tithed on every dollar God entrusted to him. In his own words he said, "If I had not tithed on the first dollar, I would not have tithed on the first million dollars I made". In my opinion, if you're not tithing and cheerfully giving offerings, your heart is not in the right place. There is nothing harder to get from man than his money. Deut. 8:18 says "Don't forget that it's God that has given you the power to get wealth". "No man can serve two masters: for either he will hate the one, and love the other; or else he will hold to the one, and despise the other. Ye cannot serve God and mammon (money)" Mt. 6:24.
Thank you for your continued financial and prayer support for me and this God appointed ministry. Please make out your tax deductible check to The Master's Hand Christian Fellowship. If you have a PayPal account please send it to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Serving Our King Together, Thank you for your prayers and financial support, you've made a difference. Rev. Benjamin
Serving Our King Together,