Posts Tagged ‘tithes’

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TREASURE IN EARTHEN VESSELS

 

Today, giving and receiving are considered as transactions that manifest the active presence of the Creator.  More than simply a duty, a habit, exaggerated pride, showing off and vainglory, or even the expression of gratitude, giving, receiving, and returning are aspects of organic relationship.  The breath of life imparted to Adam and his mate came directly from the makeup and substance of divine person, and, despite death as a penalty for sin, their offspring eventually will be restored to exist as living companions to divinity.  With this in view, the endowment of mankind may be understood as akin to respiration that sees the intake of breath, its corruption, its being exhaled and expelled as well as its becoming refreshed and renewed.  The many practices among mankind that involve bestowing and giving gifts, offerings and sacrifices to Deity are further appearances of the character, makeup, and process of divinity as abundant, immeasurable, inexhaustible, and radiant.  The fighter at “Yahoo! Answers” who uses the ID “Solitary Wiccan” (Level 5 with 8,670 points, a member since May 06, 2014) posted the following:

 

How can I convince religious people to stop giving their money to Televangelits?

 

THE GOLDEN ARROW:  Even from the days of your fathers ye are gone away from mine ordinances, and have not kept them. Return unto me, and I will return unto you, saith the LORD of hosts. But ye said, Wherein shall we return?  Will a man rob God? Yet ye have robbed me. But ye say, Wherein have we robbed thee? In tithes and offerings.  Ye are cursed with a curse:  for ye have robbed me, even this whole nation.  (Malachi 3:  7-9, King James Version, KJV)

 

THE DOUBLE DAGGER:  Diversity and Prophetic Gifts (11/22/2016); More On Sacrificial Giving (11/03/2015); A $1,000 Dollar Seed? (11/02/2015);  Christ Receives the Tithes? (08/04/2015); A Price for Religious Liberty? (06/30/2015); On Being Good Stewards (12/17/2013); Traditional Marriage? (12/18/2013)

 

“Solitary Wiccan”, the giving of believers has to be understood in accordance with the appearance of GOD within mankind through divine spirit.  Along with being accountable and obedient (unselfishly putting aside ones own will, carrying out the will of another), to give and share are among the highest expressions of mature love (thus, stealing comes into view as hate, death, and the destruction of life).  In the same way communication, exchange, and interaction are accomplished among nations by using emblems, tokens, and symbols, relationships with divinity are established and maintained using multiple “common” elements for meaning and value.  Included are blood, currency, images, intentions, music, purposes, and words.  Things that, in fact, are carnal, material, secular, and social can be used in limited ways as vessels that carry and transfer spirit content (e.g., water, wine, a burning bush).  The inseparable aspects of Spirit imparted from the makeup of GOD (e.g., faith, holiness, longsuffering, meekness, wisdom, wrath against sin) are immutable, invisible, and without physical form except as established through sacred operations (e.g., anointing, consecration, Incarnation, sanctification).  The awareness that GOD is active and present is to continue as uninterrupted within created beings and living creatures.  Divine order and sacred law therefore require behavior, devices, and mechanisms that express, “call to mind,” and make the operations of Spirit recognizable and visible.  Consider again the following you may have read before:

(1.)  2nd Corinthians 4:  3-7, King James Version (KJV):  3 But if our gospel be hid, it is hid to them that are lost:  4 In whom the god of this world hath blinded the minds of them which believe not, lest the light of the glorious gospel of Christ, who is the image of God, should shine unto them.  5 For we preach not ourselves, but Christ Jesus the Lord; and ourselves your servants for Jesus’ sake.  6 For God, who commanded the light to shine out of darkness, hath shined in our hearts, to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ.  7 But we have this treasure in earthen vessels, that the excellency of the power may be of God, and not of us.

(2.)  Colossians 3:  16-18, KJV:  16 Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly in all wisdom; teaching and admonishing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with grace in your hearts to the Lord.  17 And whatsoever ye do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God and the Father by him.

There is far more to be said, correctly applied, and spiritually apprehended.   (For example, (3.)  Hebrews 7:  4-10, KJV:  4 Now consider how great this man was, unto whom even the patriarch Abraham gave the tenth of the spoils.  5 And verily they that are of the sons of Levi, who receive the office of the priesthood, have a commandment to take tithes of the people according to the law, that is, of their brethren, though they come out of the loins of Abraham:  6 But he whose descent is not counted from them received tithes of Abraham, and blessed him that had the promises.  7 And without all contradiction the less is blessed of the better.  8 And here men that die receive tithes; but there he receiveth them, of whom it is witnessed that he liveth.  9 And as I may so say, Levi also, who receiveth tithes, payed tithes in Abraham.  10 For he was yet in the loins of his father, when Melchisedec met him.)  Even so, I trust this fragment will be useful.  Be it unto you according to your faith.

THE BLACK PHOENIX
Washington, DC

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More is shared, today, on the curses in Scripture lifted by the work of Jesus Christ upon the cross.  Those who claim the ministry of Jesus denied the sacred history of Israel must surely be ignorant of the various curses incurred from GOD that include Moses denied setting foot within the Promised Land, and the house of David rejected by the 10 tribes that established a kingdom under Jeroboam the son of Nebat (who caused Israel to sin through worship of the golden calf at both Bethel and Dan).  Many see captivity and exile as having been curses.  Restoration and repair of the covenant of Moses should come into view at the cross as well as acknowledgment of Jesus as the heir for a new covenant in his blood replacing Solomon (who supported the idolatry of his many wives).  Because the anointing of David by Samuel the Prophet included that he would serve as king, judge, high priest and prophet, and that he wore a sacred ephod and commanded the courses for service within the Tabernacle—and even called GOD, “father”—the establishment of a permanent house for GOD (we say, Temple) appears as part of the inheritance granted to one that would come from his loins.  However, David acquired a name as a “bloody man.”  Consider the following from Scripture, and the points presented below:

Genesis 4:  11, King James Version (KJV):  11 And now art thou cursed from the earth, which hath opened her mouth to receive thy brother’s blood from thy hand;

1st Chronicles 22:  7-9, KJV:  7 And David said to Solomon, My son, as for me, it was in my mind to build an house unto the name of the LORD my God:  8 But the word of the LORD came to me, saying, Thou hast shed blood abundantly, and hast made great wars:  thou shalt not build an house unto my name, because thou hast shed much blood upon the earth in my sight.  9 Behold, a son shall be born to thee, who shall be a man of rest; and I will give him rest from all his enemies round about:  for his name shall be Solomon, and I will give peace and quietness unto Israel in his days.

Numbers 35:  33, KJV:  33 So ye shall not pollute the land wherein ye are:  for blood it defileth the land:  and the land cannot be cleansed of the blood that is shed therein, but by the blood of him that shed it.

Ezekiel 22:  4,  KJV:  4 Thou art become guilty in thy blood that thou hast shed; and hast defiled thyself in thine idols which thou hast made; and thou hast caused thy days to draw near, and art come even unto thy years: therefore have I made thee a reproach unto the heathen, and a mocking to all countries.

Amos 9:  10-12, KJV:  10 All the sinners of my people shall die by the sword, which say, The evil shall not overtake nor prevent us.  11 In that day will I raise up the tabernacle of David that is fallen, and close up the breaches thereof; and I will raise up his ruins, and I will build it as in the days of old:  12 That they may possess the remnant of Edom, and of all the heathen, which are called by my name, saith the LORD that doeth this.

Colossians 1:  19-21, KJV:  19 For it pleased the Father that in him should all fulness dwell;  20 And, having made peace through the blood of his cross, by him to reconcile all things unto himself; by him, I say, whether they be things in earth, or things in heaven.  21 And you, that were sometime alienated and enemies in your mind by wicked works, yet now hath he reconciled

Jesus would be “the man of rest” (we also say, prince of peace) from the House of David.

 

THE GOLDEN ARROW:  Now is the judgment of this world:  now shall the prince of this world be cast out.  And I, if I be lifted up from the earth, will draw all men unto me.  This he said, signifying what death he should die.  The people answered him, We have heard out of the law that Christ abideth for ever:  and how sayest thou, The Son of man must be lifted up? who is this Son of man?  Then Jesus said unto them, Yet a little while is the light with you. Walk while ye have the light, lest darkness come upon you:  for he that walketh in darkness knoweth not whither he goeth.  While ye have light, believe in the light, that ye may be the children of light. These things spake Jesus, and departed, and did hide himself from them.  (John 12:  31-36, KJV)

 

THE DOUBLE DAGGER:  Draped Upon The Cross? (02/22/2016); Solomon Punished For Sins Of David? (08/28/2015); Christ the Son of David? (06/12/2015); The House Ye Build Unto Me? (07/31/2014); Errors of King Solomon? (06/13/2013); Salvation for Atheists? (06/14/2013)

 

THE BATTLE AXE:  The Cross Broke Every Curse? (02/25/2016)—(5.)  Simply being in covenant does not establish salvation.  In the same way family fortunes, honor, prestige, and reputation are stabilized and passed on from generation to generation, covenant and curses are transmitted through inheritance; and salvation may begin or be ended as an aspect of ones family life and heritage.  Because an infant does not have prerogative regarding baptism and circumcision, or the peculiar benefits and protection that are placed upon his life by being entered into covenant (we also may say, a framework of law), formal events for voluntary confirmation of faith and public confession of commitment are held that include bar mitzvah and first communion.

(6.)  Covenants with divinity establish direction for life experience by declaring and detailing standards and terms for continuing exchange and interaction.  Repeated violations by those within covenant have underscored the need for divine salvation that could be inclusive and permanent.  Like covenants, curses pertain to the living, and their future offspring as conditions for their existence and life experience.  Along with the closeness and strength of relationships and their benefits, eternal life and judgment also are placed in the balance.

(7.)  The earth is the Lord’s and the fullness thereof.  For those in covenant who had left Egypt with Moses, the tithe was more than a peculiar portion (10%) of ones goods and produce.  In the same way, Pharaoh ruled as a god claiming ownership of the land, livestock, and people of Egypt, the true GOD revealed himself having ownership of the firstborn of all, and the entire earth.  Thus, the return to GOD of a tithe was more than simply an acknowledgment of duty through inheritance that resulted from the oath of Jacob, who became Israel in his relationship with divinity.  The tithe was not a payment or a reward so much as an holy offering, a divine indulgence, and a spirit process acknowledging the ownership of GOD.  Christian believers also are to understand that Levi offered tithes while yet unborn, and still in the loins of Abraham.  Clearly, then, the biblical tithe is revealed as an aspect of communication and spirit expression, not process that is carnal, material, monetary, or social.

Even so, there is far more to be said, understood, and spiritually apprehended.  (For example, (8.)  As a new creation, the church of Jesus Christ is not a copy of things from ancient times, nor a device to repeat the prayers and praises of our forefathers.  Yet, given that GOD is a spirit who is immortal, invisible, and unchanging, many of the patterns established earlier are continued because we acknowledge that same GOD, today.  With this in view, tithes are in no way a portion of what we possess that is to be given to GOD.  Rather, tithes are what belong to GOD, and are to be acknowledged and restored as a prerequisite for our ongoing use of things belonging to divinity.)  I trust this fragment will be useful.  Be it unto you according to your faith.

THE BLACK PHOENIX
Washington, DC

New Disclaimer

 

 

 

 

 

Covenant with divinity, with a chosen worship community, and the curses broken by the death of Jesus upon the cross are topics, today.  Curses are manifestations of the wrath of GOD against sin.  The Savior’s death on the cross granted mankind a new level of freedom as believers in GOD.  What we speak of as “the curse of the law” are the errors and limitations that result from the character, nature, and operations of the divine directives that expose and identify sin, yet, do not eliminate and remove it.  Being “under the works of the law” means being dependent upon correctly performing all the actions required within the law, and trusting the law for necessary sacred knowledge, relationship with divinity, and salvation.  Curses may be broken through commitment, expiration, and the operations of faith; thus, we see Ruth of Moab, an ancestor of Jesus Christ, becoming accepted as a covenant-partner first through marriage, then through Naomi, and again through Boaz (see the Book of Ruth).  In this a curse was broken (Deuteronomy 23:  3-4, King James Version (KJV):  3 An Ammonite or Moabite shall not enter into the congregation of the LORD; even to their tenth generation shall they not enter into the congregation of the LORD for ever:  4 Because they met you not with bread and with water in the way, when ye came forth out of Egypt; and because they hired against thee Balaam the son of Beor of Pethor of Mesopotamia, to curse thee.)  Believers who enroll as members of a congregation are given opportunity to “break the curse.”  Members agree to cooperate with and obey those who have been appointed as leaders, supervisors and fellow-workers.  Unspoken and unwritten terms may include agreement to avoid having firearms, quarreling, and committing criminal acts and physical violence on church grounds.  The peculiar agreement for church membership shared among some congregations is no less a legal obligation than that for a credit card, and may include participation in meeting the financial needs of the group.  In the same way, ones household must make payments to meet the demands of those supplying goods and services, the congregation must have a reliable and steady cash flow to respond to its various creditors.  Many church groups now employ mechanisms and secular rules for association that have been used widely among businesses, schools, and government agencies.  With this in view, an assembly may conduct some form of background check, and is not required to accept every candidate for membership.  Consider again the Scriptures and the presentation below:

Hebrews 7:  14-19, King James Version (KJV):  14 For it is evident that our Lord sprang out of Juda; of which tribe Moses spake nothing concerning priesthood.  15 And it is yet far more evident:  for that after the similitude of Melchisedec there ariseth another priest,  16 Who is made, not after the law of a carnal commandment, but after the power of an endless life.  17 For he testifieth, Thou art a priest for ever after the order of Melchisedec.  18 For there is verily a disannulling of the commandment going before for the weakness and unprofitableness thereof.  19 For the law made nothing perfect, but the bringing in of a better hope did; by the which we draw nigh unto God.

Malachi 3:  9-11, KJV:  9 Ye are cursed with a curse:  for ye have robbed me, even this whole nation.  10 Bring ye all the tithes into the storehouse, that there may be meat in mine house, and prove me now herewith, saith the LORD of hosts, if I will not open you the windows of heaven, and pour you out a blessing, that there shall not be room enough to receive it.  11 And I will rebuke the devourer for your sakes, and he shall not destroy the fruits of your ground; neither shall your vine cast her fruit before the time in the field, saith the LORD of hosts.

John 8:  34-36, KJV:  34 Jesus answered them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, Whosoever committeth sin is the servant of sin.  35 And the servant abideth not in the house for ever:  but the Son abideth ever.  36 If the Son therefore shall make you free, ye shall be free indeed.

The writer at “Yahoo! Answers” using the ID “Daisy” (Level 4 with 3,301 points, a member since April 20, 2011) posted the following:

 

If Jesus came to break all curses, then..?

Why do Pastors say a curse will fall upon us if we don’t give our tithe? Please answer, I don’t understand this…

 

THE GOLDEN ARROW:  Know ye therefore that they which are of faith, the same are the children of Abraham.  And the scripture, foreseeing that God would justify the heathen through faith, preached before the gospel unto Abraham, saying, In thee shall all nations be blessed.  So then they which be of faith are blessed with faithful Abraham.  For as many as are of the works of the law are under the curse:  for it is written, Cursed is every one that continueth not in all things which are written in the book of the law to do them.  But that no man is justified by the law in the sight of God, it is evident: for, The just shall live by faith.  And the law is not of faith:  but, The man that doeth them shall live in them.  Christ hath redeemed us from the curse of the law, being made a curse for us:  for it is written, Cursed is every one that hangeth on a tree:  That the blessing of Abraham might come on the Gentiles through Jesus Christ; that we might receive the promise of the Spirit through faith.  (Galatians 3:  7-14, KJV)

 

THE DOUBLE DAGGER:  Christ A Curse? (01/25/2016); Christ Receives the Tithes? (08/04/2015); Some Points on Tithing (03/19/2015); The Curse of Black Skin? (02/05/2015); A Curse Removed (12/26/2013); Intercession (12/27/2013)

 

“Daisy”, through operations of the Holy Spirit, blood and truth from the cross are flowing despite time and space to here and now.  The death of Jesus Christ upon the cross did not totally eliminate or remove sin as an influence from the earth.  A new divine provision was established that is crucial to atonement, forgiveness, rebirth, repentance, and sanctification, yet, did not automatically annul all curses, disobedience, and transgression.  The many curses from GOD inflicted upon Israel even included condemnation of the Aaronic priesthood as a continuing line from the time of Eli (with his sons, Hophni and Phinehas) and Samuel the Prophet.  Similarly, because those from the mob that demanded Jesus be crucified also agreed his blood should be upon themselves and their future generations, the divine provision for a remnant has been established, that does not automatically extend to every one.

Many of the “curses” described in the Bible are negative conditions in contrast to blessings that result from violation of “covenant law” that includes what we call the Ten Commandments, commandments to observe peculiar ceremonies, offerings, and observances as well as laws regarding diet, food, health and personal relationships.  The 12 tribes of Jacob and the mixed multitude of Gentiles who left Egypt with Moses all agreed to the terms for continuing as a people of GOD when they heard the law proclaimed by Jehovah at Mt. Sinai.  Realizing the covenant agreement would have to be repeated many times in order to maintain the commitment of the people, Moses commanded that, after crossing the Jordan River to enter the Promised Land, the blessings and curses of the law should be proclaimed from the top of two opposing mountains, Ebal and Gerizim.

Believers, today, often fail to recognize that their own membership within a congregation of believers is “on condition,” has been through their own word, and is a formal agreement and “signed pledge” that also may detail their accountability, specific duties, and necessary responsibilities.  (At first, children only have place in the agreement through their parents.)  The ceremonies of the church such as baptism, confession and confirmation are to establish ones spiritual commitment, while the bond of love and unity within the congregation must come through such practical tasks as decorating the altar, food distribution, fund raising, making repairs, and group study.  The basis for agreement is different, and turns upon principles for association, and necessary discipline, not upon ceremonial law.  Correctly understood, violation of ones “oath” is cause for denial of status as a “member in good standing,” dismissal, and excommunication.  Consider how this is stated in the language of the Bible:

(1.)  Deuteronomy 11:  26-29, King James Version (KJV):  26 Behold, I set before you this day a blessing and a curse;  27 A blessing, if ye obey the commandments of the LORD your God, which I command you this day:  28 And a curse, if ye will not obey the commandments of the LORD your God, but turn aside out of the way which I command you this day, to go after other gods, which ye have not known.  29 And it shall come to pass, when the LORD thy God hath brought thee in unto the land whither thou goest to possess it, that thou shalt put the blessing upon mount Gerizim, and the curse upon mount Ebal.

(2.)  1st Samuel 3:  10-14, KJV:  10 And the LORD came, and stood, and called as at other times, Samuel, Samuel. Then Samuel answered, Speak; for thy servant heareth.  11 And the LORD said to Samuel, Behold, I will do a thing in Israel, at which both the ears of every one that heareth it shall tingle.  12 In that day I will perform against Eli all things which I have spoken concerning his house:  when I begin, I will also make an end.  13 For I have told him that I will judge his house for ever for the iniquity which he knoweth; because his sons made themselves vile, and he restrained them not.  14 And therefore I have sworn unto the house of Eli, that the iniquity of Eli’s house shall not be purged with sacrifice nor offering for ever.

(3.)  James 4:  17, KJV:  17 Therefore to him that knoweth to do good, and doeth it not, to him it is sin.

There is far more to be said, understood, and spiritually apprehended.  (For example, it should be shared, (4.) Romans 3:  20-22, KJV:  20 Therefore by the deeds of the law there shall no flesh be justified in his sight:  for by the law is the knowledge of sin.  21 But now the righteousness of God without the law is manifested, being witnessed by the law and the prophets;  22 Even the righteousness of God which is by faith of Jesus Christ unto all and upon all them that believe:  for there is no difference:)  I trust this fragment will be useful.  Be it unto you according to your faith.

THE BLACK PHOENIX
Washington, DC

New Disclaimer

 

Points are shared, today, on tithing as a spiritual practice among Christian believers.  Rightly understood, to tithe is to maintain ones consciousness of GOD.  Many think of tithes as necessary to maintaining the priesthood and formal activities of the church.  However, as our divine High Priest, Jesus Christ receives the tithe as an actual appearance of ones Spirit before the divine presence.  When tithing is regarded as only another earthly financial routine like donating, giving, and investing, paying tithes becomes a secular process from the world that is focused upon material needs, political process for distributing resources, and social aspects of interaction.  Regrettably, such tithing is often experienced as merely more indebtedness and “bill-paying”.  Yet, there are things that believers must do, and that may not be left to those who disbelieve.  While ones offerings, sacrifices and tithes legitimately are to be applied to addressing the practical needs for a congregation, the tithes nevertheless must be understood as a peculiar sacred mechanism for acknowledgement and contact with the Resurrected Christ (see Hebrews 7:  8, KJV).  The fighter at “Yahoo! Answers” who uses the ID 2.718281828459045235360287471352662497757247093699 (Level 7 with 117,278 points, a member since February 26, 2006) posted the following:

It’s my understanding if you cheat on your tithing you go to hell. Can someone back me up on that?

Me I’ve been condemned to hell four times on here already. By church people. So I have nothing to lose. I can cheat on my tithing all I want, or simply refuse to pay it. Like what are they going to do.

My question is this, what about you holy fervent people that are hoping to get into heaven? Don’t tell me none of you cheat on your tithing. Earnest replies appreciated.

THE GOLDEN ARROW:  For this Melchisedec, king of Salem, priest of the most high God, who met Abraham returning from the slaughter of the kings, and blessed him;  To whom also Abraham gave a tenth part of all; first being by interpretation King of righteousness, and after that also King of Salem, which is, King of peace;  Without father, without mother, without descent, having neither beginning of days, nor end of life; but made like unto the Son of God; abideth a priest continually.  Now consider how great this man was, unto whom even the patriarch Abraham gave the tenth of the spoils.  And verily they that are of the sons of Levi, who receive the office of the priesthood, have a commandment to take tithes of the people according to the law, that is, of their brethren, though they come out of the loins of Abraham:  But he whose descent is not counted from them received tithes of Abraham, and blessed him that had the promises.  And without all contradiction the less is blessed of the better.  And here men that die receive tithes; but there he receiveth them, of whom it is witnessed that he liveth.  (Hebrews 7:  1-8, KJV)

THE DOUBLE DAGGER:  A Price for Religious Liberty? (06/30/2015); Some Points on Tithing (03/19/2015); Ananias, Liar, Thief or Blasphemer?  (01/12/2015); On Being Good Stewards (12/17/2013); Traditional Marriage? (12/18/2013); Sacrificial Relationships? (10/23/2013); Relationship by Unselfish Giving? (10/24/2013)

“2.718281828459045235360287471352662497757247093699 ”, in their understanding of what it means to live by faith, many Christians today deny any obligation to the laws of tithing.  They fail to grasp that tithing pertains to continuing their spiritual relationship with divinity expressed as accountability, commitment, duty, and promise so that tithing is not merely a matter of ceremony, economics, finances, legal requirements, opinions, personal preferences, ritual, and tradition.  Tithing pertains to trust.  Consider the following points:

(1.)  Every believer is challenged to continue the life of Christ by operating as part of a collective (we say, assembly, body, congregation, church) that embraces believers past, present and future.  In addition to voluntary donations and gifts from the members (we say, offerings) to pay for necessary materials and services, there also must be “sacrifice” (i.e., enduring loss; letting go of what one wants to retain; relinquishing; surrender; yielding) that makes visible the continuing awe, gratitude, humility, respect, reverence, and suffering on behalf of, and within the body.

(2.)  Most correctly understood and practiced as a spiritual act (like confession, forgiveness, petition and praise during prayer), tithing is accomplished properly only through consistency, dependability, discipline, maturity, regularity, and stability.

(3.)  Believers are permitted to “borrow” and use for personal needs the monies that should be given the church as tithe.  It is understood, emergencies and unanticipated problems may occur.  Even so, as surely as refinancing does not eliminate ones mortgage and indebtedness, because a new process of repayment comes into view, borrowing tithes requires penalty and repayment.  Ten percent (10%) becomes fifteen percent (15%).  Just as foreclosure and revocation of ones ownership of their home is not cancelled immediately by missed mortgage payments, and one must make focused efforts to meet the financial demand, one is not damned immediately by mishandling tithes, or by displaying attitudes and behavior within the church that is immature, unrepentant, unreliable and untrustworthy.

There is much more that could be said, and that must be correctly understood and spiritually taken into account.  (For example, (4.)  For Christian believers, tithing appears as an expression from and movement by the Holy Spirit to edify and nourish the body, to feed his lambs.  Like breathing and speaking truth, tithing is something believers do to stay alive (i.e., to make a ceaseless, uninterrupted expression of faith; to continue with “peace of mind”).  Tithing is not done from motives of ambition and reward.  Mature believers all acknowledge that, without their own full participation, the church will not exist; and an important aspect of the work by Jesus Christ will not be able bear its intended fruit.)  I trust this fragment will be useful.  Be it unto you according to your faith.

THE BLACK PHOENIX
Washington, DC

Offerings, sacrifices, and tithes are topics, today.  Within the divine economy for believers, at no time do crops, livestock, or money become sacred objects that are to be worshiped. Yet, their meaning and merit are transformed when they appear as aspects within divine operations, eternal purposes, and sacred use. We say offerings are commanded and mandatory; sacrifices are whatever one promises and volunteers to give.  Correctly understood, paying tithes for Christian believers is a commitment to make visible on earth the priesthood of Jesus Christ as Risen Lord in heaven.  Tithing is a priestly duty and sacred practice as opposed to private charitable giving, philanthropy, or benevolence and donations that express impulses and sentiment.  Paying tithes is as much a contractual obligation and lawful duty as having to compensate ones bank or lending institution.  For many followers of Christ there is confusion on ones accountability regarding tithes due to the false teaching that the covenant and Ten Commandments once given to Israel are annulled along with circumcision and the many other obligations from Jewish culture and tradition.  The Adversary has taught, Ye shall not surely die—for refusing to continue gestures of obedience, covenant, and respect by tithing.  Consider this:  An employer and a worker are in a relationship that is maintained and structured on the basis of more than familiarity, friendliness, and personal integrity.  There are legal obligations for payment and reward defined and regulated through civil law.  Similarly, where believers in Jesus Christ sign a contract for church membership (that may include pledging (promising to give) tithes as a fiscal device to maintain the physical plant, the clergy, and the programs of the church), they enter a formal relationship that also must respond to civil and ecclesiastical law.  While the church does not pursue or punish believers by confiscating a members property or using debt collection, late fees, liens, and proceedings against the membership to expose fraud, finances for the congregation must be made regular and stable in the same way the billing cycles to the institution (mortgage, repairs, utilities) are scheduled and routine.  Therefore, in some situations, failure to pay ones tithe may even be regarded as misrepresentation and criminal neglect.  A writer at “Yahoo! Answers” using the ID “Zachary” (Level 1 with 104 points, a member since February 13, 2015) posted the following:

 

What do i tithe on?

recently ive made about 500 dollars but it was all a mix of birthday money and money i made off of ebay. the money off of ebay has technically already been tithed on (the items were older gifts i outgrew and i know my parents tithed on the money they bought them with originally) and birthday money is kind of a bonus..

 

THE GOLDEN ARROW:  Will a man rob God? Yet ye have robbed me. But ye say, Wherein have we robbed thee? In tithes and offerings.  Ye are cursed with a curse:  for ye have robbed me, even this whole nation.  Bring ye all the tithes into the storehouse, that there may be meat in mine house, and prove me now herewith, saith the LORD of hosts, if I will not open you the windows of heaven, and pour you out a blessing, that there shall not be room enough to receive it.  And I will rebuke the devourer for your sakes, and he shall not destroy the fruits of your ground; neither shall your vine cast her fruit before the time in the field, saith the LORD of hosts.  And all nations shall call you blessed:  for ye shall be a delightsome land, saith the LORD of hosts.  Your words have been stout against me, saith the LORD. Yet ye say, What have we spoken so much against thee?  Ye have said, It is vain to serve God:  and what profit is it that we have kept his ordinance, and that we have walked mournfully before the LORD of hosts?  And now we call the proud happy; yea, they that work wickedness are set up; yea, they that tempt God are even delivered.  Then they that feared the LORD spake often one to another:  and the LORD hearkened, and heard it, and a book of remembrance was written before him for them that feared the LORD, and that thought upon his name.  And they shall be mine, saith the LORD of hosts, in that day when I make up my jewels; and I will spare them, as a man spareth his own son that serveth him.  Then shall ye return, and discern between the righteous and the wicked, between him that serveth God and him that serveth him not.  (Malachi 3:  8-18, KJV)

 

THE DOUBLE DAGGER:  Ananias, Liar, Thief or Blasphemer? (01/12/2015); Consecrated in Christ? (06/21/2014); On Being Good Stewards (12/17/2013); Traditional Marriage? (12/18/2013); Sacrificial Relationship? (10/23/2013); Relationship by Unselfish Giving? (10/24/2013)

 

“Zachary”, here are a few points shared among Christian believers who are careful to make serving GOD their focus so they avoid the sin of making it “all about money” (idolatry):

(1.)  For those who accompanied Moses, the “tithe” is a tenth from (we say, 10% of) whatever one may plant and produce using their portion within the Promised Land.  While the land itself is not anointed, consecrated, and sanctified (specifically set apart for service to GOD), and the crop itself is not holy, the tithe is to be understood as though already resting upon an altar of sacrifice that serves as the point of contact for earth and heaven.

(2.)  The primary income and inheritance for those serving as priests was a portion from the offerings and sacrifices brought to them by those among the twelve tribes.   In this sense, Jehovah was the inheritance and their portion for the clergy.  While prayer, study and worship could be carried out everywhere using the system of local synagogues, offerings and sacrifices were to be made only at the place that GOD would name as the divine residence (e.g., Shiloh, Jerusalem).  Those who received tithes also were expected to give a tithe that would be used to maintain the tabernacle (later, temple)  services.

(3.)  For many today, the tithe is a portion of ones income (meaning whatever they receive from GOD—found money, gifts, return from investments, etc.).  Filthy lucre is held to be wealth from illegal and immoral activity, and may include money from cheating on ones taxes, drugs, gambling, loan sharking, lotteries, pornography, prostitution, robbery, sale of stolen goods, and usury.  Others understand it differently:  the tithe is a 10% “tax” upon whatever they earn as wages (before federal and local taxes, or other deductions).  Still others, insist that the principle of tithing only is correct where ones labor and resources are handled and respected in terms of seed and harvest.

There is far more to be plainly said, correctly understood, and properly apprehended.  (For example, (4.)  The person who tithes must understand, they are a manager and steward within the household of GOD.  The tithe is not their own, and must be rendered for continuing the ministry of Jesus Christ in the earth.  The enrollment of a believer as a new member of an assembly or congregation, in effect, establishes a legal contract requiring their regular financial support, and is not merely a personal oath and promise to perform the peculiar duties for spreading the Gospel.  Therefore, indebtedness and mismanagement of ones own finances is damaging to the church.  As in Malachi 3:  8 (KJV), a man may rob GOD; and there will be judgment against him.)  Even so, I trust this fragment will be useful.  Be it unto you according to your faith and spiritual maturity.

THE BLACK PHOENIX
Washington, DC

The Apostle Peter, the couple Ananias and Sapphira, and the Holy Spirit are in view, today.  In the same way Adam and Eve began having an endowment of the Holy Spirit (we say, the breath of life) and later lost their gifts, Ananias and Sapphira also were gifted from Christ, and failed to maintain their blessing.  The writer at “Yahoo! Answers” using the ID “Ian” (Level 1 with 43 points, a member since June 12, 2014) posted the following:

 

Help with Acts 5:1-11 Ananias’ Embezzlement?

I understand that Ananias was accused of lying to the Holy Spirit, but what is the context or where does it say that Ananias had to give all the money from the land sale to the Church? I don’t get that. I understand that you are supposed to tithe 10% of all your earnings so the Church has some money to function (like most non-profit organizations have to pay a membership fee). Is that what he did? The Bible doesn’t really clarify and this is something I have found a lot in the Bible. It is very cloudy, at least in the English translations I have read. I mean, I am a poor college student and I seriously just can’t afford to tithe, and feed myself and have books for class but I haven’t been struck dead yet lol. Some help interpreting this would be great. I just don’t understand what the heck is going on. I’ve heard this story in church a million times as justification to tithe but never understood WHY Ananias had to give ALL the money when he only supposed to give 10%. Also it’s a story connected to Peter and in ever story connected with Peter I feel like some shady deal is going down… Maybe it’s just me but sometimes I wonder why Jesus chose that guy. Since he is God incarnate shouldn’t he have known Peter May not have been the BEST choice. John the Beloved or James seemed to me a much better choice. But who am I to argue with God, I guess.

 

THE GOLDEN ARROW:  And it came to pass, that, while Apollos was at Corinth, Paul having passed through the upper coasts came to Ephesus:  and finding certain disciples,  He said unto them, Have ye received the Holy Ghost since ye believed? And they said unto him, We have not so much as heard whether there be any Holy Ghost.  And he said unto them, Unto what then were ye baptized? And they said, Unto John’s baptism.  Then said Paul, John verily baptized with the baptism of repentance, saying unto the people, that they should believe on him which should come after him, that is, on Christ Jesus.  When they heard this, they were baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus.  And when Paul had laid his hands upon them, the Holy Ghost came on them; and they spake with tongues, and prophesied.  (Acts 19:  1-6, KJV)

 

THE DOUBLE DAGGER:  Help Thou Mine Unbelief (12/31/2014); Sacrificial Relationships? (10/23/2013); Relationship by Unselfish Giving? (10/24/2013); Separated and Sealed? (03/29/2013); Acknowledging Divinity? (03/30/2013); Caesarea Philippi (10/22/2012); Love in Christ (10/23/2012); The Spirit by Measure (09/22/2012); A Man in Heaven? (09/23/2012)

 

“Ian”, here are some points for consideration that are important for all mature Christian believers:

(1.)  Our reading of the holy writings requires discernment (comparing spiritual things to spiritual things), for the Scriptures document the operations of divinity among created beings and living creatures (we say, thousands of lives over the course of thousands of years); and are more than a mere account of human behaviors, conduct, and interaction.  Spiritually, the offense of Ananias and his wife Sapphira is no different than that of Adam and his spouse Eve.  Money and ownership of property are not at issue, rather, acknowledgement (we say, worship), commitment, respect, reverence, and trust.

(2.)  The sacred process of rebirth through water baptism signifies death of ones inborn spirit, burial of their former nature, and new birth from a fresh deposit of the same divine content that is the makeup of Deity.  Included are inseparable aspects of divinity such as faith, holiness, joy, longsuffering, love, wisdom, and wrath against sin.  Fire baptism (we say, receiving divine gifts, the Comforter, the Holy Ghost, the Holy Spirit, the Spirit of Prophecy, the Spirit of Truth) signifies the empowerment and ordination authorizing a believer to serve as an agent and spokesperson (we say, prophet) of GOD through Jesus Christ.

(3.)  Beginning ones new life in Christ requires no payment of worldly goods and material belongings.  However, born again, one must “grow up again” experiencing change through life challenges and “growing pains” upon the earth.  One expects to receive the Gospel and water baptism before receiving fire baptism; yet, as with Cornelius and his household, believers receive the Pentecost experience on divine terms, and by divine prerogative (we say, grace).  Peter and the other apostles appointed by Christ to be witnesses of his resurrection were also to authenticate appearances of the Holy Spirit falling upon believers.  Thus, there was no quarrel between Peter and Ananias, and the impartial judgment that came upon the false couple was directed at the violation of faith, not a law for tithing.

There is far more to be said, correctly understood, and spiritually apprehended.  (For example, (4.)  That believers agree and understand that they themselves must provide resources to support the life and work of the body of believers (we say, our assembly, our church, our congregation) is a “common sense” conclusion that derives from our social awareness.  The issues of how much and when to give derive from individual and personal concerns.  The realization that ones life is completely intertwined with that of other believers—that GOD is active and present within us and others; that we are interdependent and must continue together for survival; that “freewill” and independence are “sacrificed” for something higher, holier—must come from GOD through operations of the Holy Spirit.)  Even so, I trust this fragment will be useful.  Be it unto you according to your faith.

THE BLACK PHOENIX
Washington, DC

Adultery, divine order, and covenant relationships are topics, today.  Also, there is more on the proclamation, Let “us” create mankind.  A “Yahoo! Answers” writer using the ID “Nero Angelo” (Level 5 with 9,620 points, a member since September 22, 2010) posted the following:

 

Just wondering.. why is adultery an offense to God? 

If my lover cheats on me then i’ll have deal with her..how exactly is adultery offensive to God?

and for that matter why is God concerned about anyone’s love life?

Has God ever heard of the term “PRIVACY”?

What i do with someone else in the bedroom is none of his cosmic business!

 

THE BATTLE AXE:  Let Us Make Mankind? (06/10/2014)—(5.)  Understanding use of the word “us” when speaking of Creation requires application of sacred knowledge that many believers overlook.  Creation has been, and continues to be, dynamic, organic, and eternal.  In addition to knowledge of the GODhead, Christian believers come to understand that created beings and living creatures pre-existed within the heart and mind of GOD.  That Levi is said to have offered tithes while yet in the loins of Abraham points to this teaching.  Even so, it is perhaps during a prayer by Jesus prior to his crucifixion that this peculiar truth is most clearly expressed (I in thee, thou in me, they also one in us).  Sacred operations (e.g., baptism, judgment, redemption, resurrection, salvation, sanctification) are presently being completed to establish mankind as a permanent companion to immortal, immutable, incorruptible divinity.  Consider again Hebrews 7:  1-10 and John 17:  20-23, KJV.

 

THE GOLDEN ARROW:  And unto the married I command, yet not I, but the Lord, Let not the wife depart from her husband:  But and if she depart, let her remain unmarried or be reconciled to her husband:  and let not the husband put away his wife.  But to the rest speak I, not the Lord:  If any brother hath a wife that believeth not, and she be pleased to dwell with him, let him not put her away.  And the woman which hath an husband that believeth not, and if he be pleased to dwell with her, let her not leave him.  For the unbelieving husband is sanctified by the wife, and the unbelieving wife is sanctified by the husband:  else were your children unclean; but now are they holy.  But if the unbelieving depart, let him depart.  A brother or a sister is not under bondage in such cases:  but God hath called us to peace.  For what knowest thou, O wife, whether thou shalt save thy husband? or how knowest thou, O man, whether thou shalt save thy wife?  (1st Corinthians 7:  10-16, KJV)

 

THE DOUBLE DAGGER:  The Male, the Female, and GOD (02/09/2014); Destroying the Resurrected Body? (02/10/2014); Bible Justice? (01/26/2014); GOD Inhabits Praise (01/27/2014); How To Love GOD? (03/24/2013); A Second Adam? (03/25/2013); Lawful Divorce (11/17/2012); The Faith of Ones Parents? (11/18/2012); A Life Companion? (11/07/2012); On Asking Why (11/08/2012); Why Clothing? (10/15/2010)

 

“Nero Angelo”, here are a few points important to Christian believers that you may find helpful:

(1.)  While Almighty GOD is a spirit who is exalted, sovereign and separate from created beings and living creatures, GOD is active in maintaining the conditions for their duration and survival, and for continuing their spheres of existence.  Divine order has been established for the entire universe through finite devices such as the frameworks of time and space as well as carnal, material and mechanical progression (e.g., aging, growth, learning).

(2.)  GOD is revealing divine person (we say, describing and making divinity known) using devices that express active presence.  Included are being, birth, consciousness, covenant relationship, death, sacred law, eternal purpose, and sanctification.

(3.)  Adultery is the violation of covenant relationship (we say, holy matrimony), and pertains to “fornication” (defilement of ones spirit by the joining that occurs through sexual activity).  Because ones spirit essence is also expressed in utterance (we say, breath, word), marriage vows (we say, promise) is a proclamation of commitment by and through GOD.  Such human issues as casual sex, premarital sex, same sex partnerships, and sexual addiction are forms of corruption that do not fulfill the divine intent.  Operating as sin, such elements oppose the continued existence of divine law, of GOD as lawgiver, and of the Creation maintained through sacred law.

There is far more to be said, correctly understood, and spiritually apprehended.  (For example, (4.)  Those having respect to GOD recognize that both marriage and divorce are emblems of divine  authority, like a policeman’s badge and holster.  Marriage is elevated by the joining of spirits for life companionship.  Just as the first male and female were both called Adam by GOD, and the two were “one flesh” before their Maker; through holy matrimony there is a joining of flesh and spirit:  the human pair are one flesh, and GOD is the other.).  Even so, I trust this fragment will be useful.  Be it unto you according to your faith.

For the LORD, the God of Israel, saith that he hateth putting away:  for one covereth violence with his garment, saith the LORD of hosts:  therefore take heed to your spirit, that ye deal not treacherously.  Ye have wearied the LORD with your words.  Yet ye say, Wherein have we wearied him? When ye say, Every one that doeth evil is good in the sight of the LORD, and he delighteth in them; or, Where is the God of judgment?  (Malachi 2:  16-17, KJV)

THE BLACK PHOENIX
Washington, DC