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Posts by: Denver House of Prayer

Death and the Afterlife

Study-guide

 

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  1. Explore the common phrases for ‘death’ in the Bible (See John 11:11, Deut 31:16, 2 Cor 5:1, Luke 12:20, Job 16:22, Gen 49:33, Psalm 115:17, Acts 5:10, Gen 3:19, Job 14:2, Phil 1:23).
  2. How did death enter the world and what is ‘the last enemy’? (Rom 5:12, 1 Cor 15:26)
  3. Is death still an issue for a Christian? Do those in Christ now have ‘immortality’? (2 Tim 1:10)
  4. There are two terms,’ immortality’ and ‘incorruption’ which are both used with reference to the resurrection of the body (1 Cor 15:53-54). Look both words up in a dictionary, then compare with the term mortal. Are Christians mortal in your opinion? Try to delineate which terms apply to the soul or body.
  5. Are all people resurrected or just Christians? (John 5:29)
  6. Is Immortality a future event, present or past? (Rom 2:7; 1 Cor 15:53). Eternal life in contrast to Immortality concerns man’s spirit and soul and is a present possession for the believer, unaffected by the death of the body. All people are eternal beings, but only those who receive Christ will have ‘eternal life’. Immortality always refers to the glorification of our mortal bodies at the resurrection, as Jesus demonstrated in his earthly sightings after the cross.
  7. Are the dead floating around the earth in some other dimension or under the control of God who has the keys to both destinations (Heaven and Hell)? (Rom 14:9, Rev 1:18)
  8. Are the dead vagrants? Floating around in some ‘middle ground’ or immediately in the presence of Heaven with the Lord or Hell? (2 Cor 5:8, Luke 16:22)
  9. Investigate the concept of purgatory or ‘middle ground’ between Heaven and Hell in your Bible and find scriptural references to justify this doctrine…………………. (Hint: you won’t find any).
  10. Is it ok to talk to your dead relatives? Is this practice mentioned in Scripture? What does God have to say about this practice, also known as ‘Necromancy’ or ‘Spiritism’? (Study Lev 19:31, 20:6-7; Isa 8:19, Deut 18:7-12)…………(Hint: Abomination is not a good word).
  11. Are the supposedly ‘dead people’ that mediums and Necromancers talk to really departed loved ones? or more sinister and seducing evil spirits, trying to deceive humanity? (1 Kings 22:22, 1 Tim 4:1)
  12. Is there such a thing as soul sleep? As some Christian denominations believe. This is described as the soul existing in an ‘unconscious state’ after physical death until the resurrection. Scour the word of God and find evidence for this concept if you can. Does the bible teach that souls are conscious or unconscious after physical death? You might start with these Scriptures (Isa 14:9-11, Psalm 16:10, Luke 16:23,;23:43, 2 Cor 5:8, Phil 1:23, Rev 6:9).
  13. Is it beneficial for a Christian to die, providing he has done all that the Lord has asked of Him on earth? (Phil 1:21). Does man have a ‘second chance’ after physical death or not? (Heb 9:27)
  14. Meditate upon the many names for Heaven: 1) Paradise (Garden) reminding us of our ancestors walking with God (Rev 2:7, 2 Cor 12:4). 2) Fathers House and mansions (John 14:2). 3) A Heavenly Country (Heb 11:13-16). 4) A city (Heb 11:10, Rev 21:2).
  15. Consider the many Blessings of Heaven:-
    1. Light and Beauty (Rev 21:23, 22:5).
    2. Fullness of Knowledge (1 Cor 13:12) – The mysteries of the universe will be made plain, knowledge will be perfected, theological issues resolved.
    3. Rest (Rev 14:13, 21:4) – No more weariness, worries, sorrow, grief, pain or suffering.
    4. Service – (Rev 7:15, 22:3).
    5. Joy Everlasting (Rev 21:4).
    6. Social Joys (Heb 12:22; 23; 1, Thess 4:13-18) – In Heaven friends and relatives will be faultless, including you. No more bickering or strife!
    7. Fellowship with Christ (John 14:3, 2 Cor 5:8, Phil 1:23) – In that day we shall be like Him!

 

Synopsis

Though physical death continues for all on earth, it becomes a door to life in the case of those who accept Christ. It was never God’s intent for man to experience death. Death entered through sin. When Adam and Eve ate of the tree of knowledge of good and evil, they died both spiritually and physically (Gen 3:6) simultaneously. Spiritually because they were immediately disconnected from God (Gen 3:7) and physically because at that moment physical death began in their bodies. Had they eaten from the tree of life in that condition, they would have lived forever in a fallen corruptible state. That’s why God mercifully banned them from the Garden of Eden (Gen 3:24), as He planned to redeem them later on, through His Son. Since man is spirit, soul and body, the redemption must include all three facets of man’s tripartite being and whilst man may become right with God spiritually (Eph 2:1), he is still subject to physical death due to his racial inheritance from Adam. In the beginning God created man both spirit and body, and when spirit and body came together, they became a ‘living soul’. Physical death is separation of the body from the spirit (which we will all encounter), spiritual death or the second death (Rev 20:14,20:6, 2:11, 21:8) is separation from God (eternally), which no-one needs to encounter as Christ gave his blood for everyone’s redemption (John 14:6, John 3:16), should they choose him in this lifetime.[1]

 

Print Me

 


[1] Some Excerpts taken from, “Knowing the Doctrines of the Bible” by Myer Pearlman (Pentecostal Classics, Gospel Publishing House, Springfield, Mo. 1937, 25th Printing 2010).

Are we condemned or justified?

handsJustification is the act of God, as the infinite Judge, pronouncing the penitent believing soul free from the condemnation of His righteous law. It is preceded by forgiveness and followed by regeneration.

 

Forgiveness removes the guilt of sin; justification lifts the condemnation caused by those sins from the soul. God convicts, the devil condemns. It is crucial we know the difference. The just God makes the soul just and upholds His just laws. His law is righteous, and the trusting soul being made just is also made righteous by the same act. Both are one.
 

How are justification and righteousness similar?

Justification and righteousness come from the same word in the original scriptures. The “righteousness of the law is fulfilled in them who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit.” Justification opens the way for the heart’s regeneration. A simple meaning of righteousness is “right standing” with God. Or another way of looking at it is, “just-as-if-I’d” never sinned!

The penitent believer is rightly related to law and justified by it through faith. The law endorses him because he is in Christ. Forgiveness, justification, and regeneration are not identical, but they all take place at the same time. The three are simultaneously received by the same act of faith.
 

How can I be justified?

We are justified by faith in the blood of Jesus only. We believe in the efficacy and sufficiency of the shed blood of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins committed in the past: for the regeneration, or new birth from above, of penitent sinners, and for salvation or deliverance from sin and sinning.

Scriptural references can be found as follows:

  • Matthew 26:28
  • Luke 22:20
  • Acts 20:28
  • Romans 5:9; 6:22; 7:24, 25; 8:1-4
  • Ephesians 1:7; 2:13
  • Colossians 1:14, 20
  • 1 Peter 1:18, 19
  • 1 John 1:7; 2:1; 3:5-10; 5:18
  • Revelation 1:5; 5:9

 
 

What is faith?

Faith is the result of divine persuasion effected by the promises of God.Faith comes by Hearing, and hearing by the word of God” (Romans 10:17). Faith in Hebrew simply means trust. Faith stems from the heart and is an encompassing word that means trust and confidence.

 

The promises, “exceeding great and precious,” express the faithfulness of God in the heart thus persuaded: confidence is begotten; trust is inspired. “The promises are yea [established] and amen [fulfilled] in him” (2 Corinthians 1:20) – the Christ; He, by them, is the “originator of faith” in the heart (Hebrews 12:2).

 

Confidence in and reliance (or trust) upon Christ, and the act of faith following repentance brings to the heart the realization of the forgiveness of sins. Faith grows by the same process that gives it birth – the promises of God, centered in Christ and fulfilled by Him. He is the finisher (also known as the perfecter) of faith.

 

The bible says that we have all been given the measure of faith to receive Christ (Romans 12:3). Learn more about this topic by clicking the button below.

 

How do I get to heaven?

 

 

What does God say about healing?

We believe provision was made in the atonement (Christ’s death, burial and resurrection) for the healing of our bodies as set forth in the following Scriptures:

 

  1. Isaiah 53:4-5
  2. Matthew 8:16-17
  3. Mark 16:15-18
  4. James 5:14-16
  5. Exodus 15:26
  6. Romans 8:26-28

 

And, while we do not condemn the use of medical means in the treatment of physical disease in any way, we do believe in, practice, and commend the laying on of hands by the elders or leaders of the church, the anointing with oil in the name of the Lord, and the offering of prayers for the healing of the sick (James 5:14).

 

A biblical perspective

All true healing comes from God. The use of medication is a wonderful gift to man having the capacity to control symptoms of sickness and disease, whilst the body is repairing itself or fighting infection. The human body, designed by God always strives for balance and repair. We are grateful for the wisdom of God, operating through man (via medicine and surgical means), to help in this fight against sickness and disease.

At DHOP, we also believe in the ongoing responsibility of preventative action in maintaining the body God has given us. Some disease can be caused by gross negligence and gluttony and is considered sin (Prov 23:21). There are natural consequences for actions in this world and many ailments are preventable with proper nutrition, hydration and exercise. God is merciful to assist us in healing if preventative measures are not taken and that’s where medicine and divine healing comes in to play. We should always seek God for healing first, not as an afterthought.

In the Gospels, approximately 75% of the healing that occurred were ‘by faith’ and the remaining 25% were by divine intervention. Often times the faith of the person came into play and they were healed because of it (Matt 9:29, Luke 8:48). Other times Jesus healed by the gift of healings and miracles. In the case of being healed ‘by faith,’ the person involved has an impact on the outcome. In the case of divine intervention, the person’s faith was independent of his healing. God has performed and still does perform both kinds of healing today.

 

God desires to heal all

Regardless of the outcome, it is always God’s will to heal just as it was for Jesus when he walked this earth. Jesus said, “If you’ve seen me, you’ve seen the Father” (John 14:9) and Jesus was a representation of God and His intentions on this earth. If Jesus healed all then it is the fathers will to heal all. If healing is not received, it is never Gods fault. The belief that God uses sickness and disease to ‘teach’ his people is perverse and blasphemous; otherwise Jesus would have left people in their sickened condition for more ‘learning’s’; this he never did. Not one person was left in their condition, Jesus healed all and he still does today.
 

Matthew 4:23 “And Jesus went about all Galilee, teaching in their synagogues, and preaching the gospel of the kingdom, and healing all manner of sickness and all manner of disease among the people.”
Acts 10:38,How God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Ghost and with power: who went about doing good, and healing all that were oppressed of the devil; for God was with him.”

 
 

What is cleansing?

submissionWe believe Jesus Christ shed His blood, not alone for our justification and the forgiveness of actual transgressions, but also for the complete cleansing of the justified believer from all indwelling sin and from its pollution, and this transaction takes place subsequent to (or after) regeneration (the new birth.)

Scriptural references can be found in the following locations:

  • Acts 26:18
  • Ephesians 5:25-27
  • Titus 2:14
  • Hebrews 9:13, 14; 10:10, 14-22; 13:11-12
  • 1 John 1:7-9

 

The importance of crucifying the flesh

Regardless of the ‘cleansing’ whilst we remain in a physical body, the flesh will be ever present. The influence of the flesh does not go away until the spirit man departs the body at physical death. We must therefore crucify the flesh and its appetites, by choosing to die to carnality each and every day. Sin has and always will be a choice. The potential for a Christian to sin never goes away (whilst he lives in a physical body on earth), but that does not mean he should not resist its potential vehemently and is adequately equipped to do so, by using the weapons of the blood, the name, the word and prayer.

This is the negative side of sanctification – the cleansing or taking away of the sin principle – the circumcision of the heart to make it possible for us to love the Lord our God with all our heart and soul (Deuteronomy 30:6). It is the crucifixion of the “old man” (Romans 6:6; Ephesians 4:22-24; Galatians 2:20), the destruction of the “carnal mind” (Romans 8:5-10), the purging of the fruit bearing branch so “it may bring forth more fruit” (John 15:2). It is the “cleansing from all sin” – “from all unrighteousness” (1 John 1:7, 9).

Sufficiency of Christ’s blood

We believe in the efficacy and sufficiency of the shed blood of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins committed in the past: for the regeneration, or new birth from above, of penitent sinners, and for salvation or deliverance from sin and sinning.

Scripture references can be found on this topic as follows:

  • Matthew 26:28
  • Luke 22:20
  • Acts 20:28
  • Romans 5:9; 6:22; 7:24-25; 8:1-4
  • Ephesians 1:7; 2:13
  • Colossians 1:14, 20
  • 1 Peter 1:18, 19
  • 1 John 1:7, 2:1; 3:5-10; 5:18
  • Revelation 1:5; 5:9

Is it a sin to have fun?

Of course not! I bet you’re reading this website thinking, “why on earth would a pastor post this on his website?!” Well, the reason I’m doing it is because some people have perverse thinking when it comes to having fun and enjoying themselves in the context of religion or Christianity. People sometimes feel guilty or think God is mad at them when they enjoy themselves. This is a lie of the enemy.

 

What do you do for fun, Pastor Carl?

I read, cycle, play golf, tennis, exercise, watch a movie, or go for a walk. It is important to have balance in life and the soul, spirit and body need to be exercised, replenished and rested.

The word ‘fun’ is not in the Bible. Don’t try; I already looked it up, but the word that closest resembles it is “joy.” The word joy in the Miriam Webster’s dictionary is defined as, “the emotion evoked by well-being, success, or good fortune or by the prospect of possessing what one desires…..a state of happiness.” I can tell you right now that once you possess Jesus in your heart, you can experience true happiness. The wonderful thing about joy is, that it’s not based on circumstances or conditions around us. One can be joyful in Christ regardless of our environment because we have constant access to the rivers of living water within us (John 7:38). The Apostle Paul spoke of joy in the book of Philippians and this ‘epistle of Joy’ was supposedly written whilst Paul was imprisoned in an open sewer where human excrement wafted by, as he penned the words, “Always in every prayer of mine for you all making request with joy,” (Phil 1:4). Paul learned to be joyful despite his circumstances and we need to take a page out of his book.
 

Emotions and Joy

Did you know that your emotions can affect your physical condition, and if anger, bitterness and resentment are not released then ailments can occur in the body? I highly recommend a book on this topic that will help you; it’s called, “Deadly Emotions” by Dr. Don Colbert. In this book he explains how cancer patients have been cured with laughter and how anger can cause bone marrow to deteriorate because it alters the pH levels of the blood to become more acidic. In the book of Proverbs, there is mention that “envy rots the bones” (Prov 14:30) and “a broken spirit dries up the bones” (Prov 17:22). The word ‘envy’ in the Amplified version can be referred to as, “wrath or jealousy.” So quite literally the drying up of the bone marrow was spoken of by King David, thousands of years ago, which just goes to show, the Bible has much truth to say about emotions and their impact even if science is just now catching up!
On a positive note, there is much to say about the power of words on the soul condition:
 

Proverbs 16:24 – “Pleasant words are as an honeycomb, sweet to the soul, and health to the bones.”

Proverbs 14:30 –“A sound heart is the life of the flesh

 

Now I’m not saying we can have fun at the expense of sin. The bible does say that, “there is pleasure in sin for a season, “ (Heb 11:25) but the harvest will eventually come and with it, sorrow and hopefully repentance. God gave man to have dominion and subdue the earth and part of that was to enjoy His creation and all that was within its sphere (Gen 1:26-28).

 

The connection between joy and peace

Joy and peace are synonymous because we can’t really have joy until we are walking in peace. Joy and peace are like inseparable twins. In the first place, the feeling of peace on the inside of us comes with right standing with God and a human cannot attain true peace in its proper context until he or she makes their heart right with the living God.

The Bible says to, “Let peace be our umpire” and that we are to let the peace of God, “rule in our hearts” (Col 3:15). Coming from the UK, I am used to the term ‘umpire’ as we have several in the game of cricket. I won’t get into the rules of cricket as its volume might match Leviticus in content and interest, suffice to say, an umpire acts as a judge of what is right and wrong in accordance with the ruling and governing body. When making a decision, let your peace level be the judge, when you step out in a certain direction. If you get a check in your spirit and feel uncomfortable on the inside, then stop. The judge (Holy Spirit) is telling you there is danger ahead. In contrast if your peace remains then proceed in that direction, as the saying goes, “if the Lord doesn’t say no, then go!”

If you lose your peace on the inside of you, decision making becomes more difficult. Brother Kenneth E. Hagin would talk of the ‘velvety feeling on the inside’, or the ‘inner witness.’ When we lose our peace, it can be difficult to sense the leading and prompting of the Holy Spirit. This can be a dangerous situation if we don’t remedy it swiftly, as to lose one’s peace is to be without a GPS in navigating life. Fight for your peace and let it rule and reign in your heart.

 

Getting right with the Lord

It is important that when we lose peace, we must get right with the Lord immediately, cast out fear and restore unity with the Holy Spirit. My old mentor would say, “if you’ve lost your peace, you’ve messed up somewhere along the line.” It is true as Jesus himself said, “Do not let your heart be troubled, do not let it be afraid” (John 14:1). Notice the responsibility is on us as to whether we allow our heart to be troubled. Do not give satan the pleasure of gaining this foothold.

 

Thank Jesus today for his peace and allow him to minister to you in this area with His word and be equipped to enjoy life to full measure.

 

 

What are the ordinances of God?

Although there are many meaningful religious services and ceremonies, there are only two practices that clearly rise to the level of ordinances. The true test of the scriptural validity of a Christian ordinance rests in the affirmative answer to three questions:
 

  1. Was it commanded by our Lord Jesus as recorded in the four Gospels?
  2. Was it practiced in the early church as described in the Acts of the Apostles?
  3. Is its spiritual significance clearly expounded in the Epistles?

 
Only Water Baptism and Holy Communion clearly meet this threefold requirement.

By submitting to the ordinance of Water Baptism and by regular observance of the Lord’s Supper, the Christian proclaims to the world that he has renounced his former life of living for sin and self and now belongs, body, soul, and spirit, to Christ as the Lord of his life.

 

Water Baptism

Water Baptism is intended only for those who have professed faith in the Lord Jesus Christ. It is a God-given illustration of each Christian’s identification with Christ in His death, burial, and resurrection. Obedience to this ordinance demonstrates the believer’s public confession of this fact to others.
 

  1. All who unite with any local church on profession of faith in Christ should further confess Christ by receiving water baptism, preferably by immersion, as early as possible.
  2. Baptism shall be administered according to the divine command of our blessed Lord, “In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost (Spirit).

 

Holy Communion

Holy Communion commemorates our redemption by Christ’s death. It points to Calvary and to the return of Jesus, whose blood cleanses us from all sin and prepares us for His blessed return (Matthew 26:17-30; 1 Corinthians 11:23-30).
 

  1. The bread and the wine should be administered to all Christians (only unfermented wine should be used).
  2. The Lord’s Table should be open to all who love Him, and all of the Lord’s children should be invited to His Table to commemorate together the death of their common Lord.
  3. This shall be administered at least once each quarter.

 
At DHOP we baptize people once per month and take Holy Communion once per month.
 
 

How will I be judged when I die?

ponderingContrary to what many people think, God has not made this topic ambiguous in his word.

 

The believer will be judged at the “Judgment Seat of Christ” (Rom 14:10, 2 Cor 5:10) and the unbeliever will be judged at the “Great White Throne Judgment” (Rev 20:11). The believer will be judged sometime between the Marriage Supper of the Lamb and Christ’s Second coming on the Mount of Olives (with the saints). Believers will be judged in Heaven during the 7 year time period of the tribulation, whilst simultaneously, the world is enduring tribulation on earth. We do not believe that the Bride of Christ will have to endure the tribulation and we are thereby considered, ‘Pre-Tribulation’ in our eschalatogical viewpoint. This pattern has been established in scripture (see later discourse on this topic).

 

The verdict for both categories is based on whether or not you received the Son of God as your personal Lord and Savior during your time on earth. It is not sufficient to believe in ‘God’ alone, as there are many gods, with many names on this earth. The crux of the matter is belief in the Son (Jesus Christ) and the one true God, Yahweh (1 John 5:11-12, Rom 10:8-10, John 3:3).

 

How will the believer be judged when they die?

If you received Christ by Faith, then you will be judged not on your salvation (as that is already established) but your works on earth that you performed in the name of Jesus. As a believer’s salvation is secure (by grace through faith (Eph 2:8-9)), their works will be tested with fire to see if their motives were pure. That which is ‘wood’, ‘hay’ and ‘stubble’ will burn up (impure motives for self-gain) and that which survives the fire (Gold, silver, jewels etc.) represents works that will endure. These works stem from a pure heart, that seeks to glorify Christ (1 Cor 3:10-14).

In addition, there are also several crowns available for reward and these require certain qualifications to attain them. They are:

 

  1. The Incorruptible Crown (1 Cor 9:24-25)
  2. The Crown of Rejoicing (1 Thess 2:19-20 ,Dan 12:3)
  3. The Crown of Life (James 1:12)
  4. The Crown of Righteousness (2 Tim 4:8)
  5. The Crown of Glory (1 Peter 5:1-4)

 

We believe we have eternal life through faith in Christ (John 3:14-16, 36); and that Christ has prepared a place for His own in Heaven (John 14:1-3). This is a portion of the reward of the righteous. Jesus said he has gone to prepare a place for us and there are many mansions or rooms in the Fathers House (John 14:2). He promised he would return again to receive us into this preparation (John 14:3).

 

How will the unbeliever be judged when they die?

We believe in a literal hell, as it was never allegorical. Man made it allegorical for his convenience; God’s opinion has never changed. Hell or “Hades” is a holding place for the unrighteous dead until the end of the Millennial Reign. They will then be brought out of Hell and judged, only to be cast into the eternal lake of fire with the devil and demon forces (Rev 20:15, Rev 19:20). Only dreadful as this truth may seem, we believe, and must so believe because of the consistent teaching of God’s Word, that “everlasting banishment from the presence of the Lord and unending torture (or punishment) in hell is the wages of the persistently wicked” (Psalm 9:17; Matthew 5:22, 29,30; 18:9; 23:33; 25:41, 46; Mark 9:43-48; Luke 16:23-25). Think of hell as the jail and the eternal lake of fire, the penitentiary.

Who is Jesus Christ?

JesusJesus Christ is the one and only begotten son of God. Jesus is the Messiah. Jesus’ name means ‘Savior’ and Christ means, “the Anointed One.” There is no way to heaven except by Him (John 14:6). Jesus will return soon.

What do we believe?

The scripture makes it plain that, “this is the record, that God hath given to us eternal life, and this life is in his Son. He that hath the Son hath life; and he that hath not the Son of God hath not life.”
(1 John 5:11-12).

  1. We believe that Jesus laid aside his divine nature and operated as a man on this earth, with the assistance of the Holy Spirit. He was often referred to as the Son of man (Luke 22:48, Luke 22:69, Luke 24:7). He performed no documented miracles in scripture, prior to the Baptism of the Holy Spirit (Luke 3:21-22). Any reference to miracles prior to 30 years old are referenced in Gnostic Gospels and/or writings that are outside the Canon of Scripture which are neither inerrant nor inspired by God. We believe the resurgence of these texts to be an attack on the Holy Scriptures and the character of Christ.
  2. We believe in the incarnation of Christ through the virgin birth, which we hold without question, as written in the Word of God (Isaiah 7:14; 9:6; Matthew 1:18-25; Luke 2:26-35). We believe He was a perfect, sinless human being in whom dwelt all the fullness of the Godhead bodily (Colossians 2:9), that He was very God and perfect man. We believe He lived a sinless life and died upon the cross as an all-sufficient atonement for our sins, for our personal transgressions and also for original sin.
  3. We believe in the bodily resurrection of Christ, in His triumphant ascension into heaven, and that He (in His glorified body, as a complete human being, with all things appertaining to the perfections of man’s nature) now sits at the right hand of heaven’s Majesty until He shall return to judge the world at the last day. Perfect, sinless humanity is at the heart of the moral universe, participating in the government of creation and interceding for His saints, until He shall come to judge the living and the dead in the end of the age (Luke 24:1-7; Romans 1:4; 1 Corinthians 15:12-19).

 

And remember, Jesus is bigger than any problem you have!

 

What is tithing?

ponderingBefore I begin this topic, I want to say right out of the gate that if you’re not tithing, you’re missing out on God’s best for your life.

Tithing is a biblical principle that is based on the blessing that God has provided for us. Our spirit longs to give, but our flesh does not. We work hard every day to provide a livelihood for our families and there is seemingly a resistance or indeed a fear against giving just 10% back to God as we think we are losing this money and will never see it again. The purpose of tithing is to finance God’s kingdom on this earth and bless the giver. As the giver is blessed financially, he can then pour more into the kingdom again (Luke 6:38).

The demonstration of fear in us, is an indication that we have not been perfected in the Father’s love. If we fully trust the Lord we know that He is taking care of all our matters, the least of which is our finances. By giving to an unseen God, we are demonstrating our faith in His sovereignty over our lives.

 

Serving God or money?

Friends, before we begin this topic, we must make a decision and that decision is that we are going to serve God, not money during our time on earth. Money is a great servant but a poor master. Jesus said in Matthew 6:24-34 that you cannot serve two masters, either you will hate one and love the other. This contention for service will always be present whilst you are on earth. Who are you going to serve? Choose this day.

There is no better way of keeping that spirit of covetousness constrained than choosing to give to God of your income. Now 10% is a great start but scholars have indicated that the total tithing requirement under the law was as high as 23%, so 10% today certainly isn’t that high compared to historical giving. Jesus mentions in Luke Ch 21:1-4, that a woman gave two mites, and he commended her for her generosity because she gave from her lack, whereas the others in the temple were giving out of their abundance. It is not the amount we give friends but the proportion we give. To whom much is given, much is required (Luke 12:48). We are accountable for our blessings, certainly to sow back.

 

Is tithing required today?

Many people today think that tithing is merely an outdated Old Testament practice that was only required under the law. However we must recall that tithing occurred BEFORE the law and if tithing occurred before the law, it was performed by faith. Faith has never passed away and never will.

The first mention of a tithe is in Genesis chapter 14. A group of four kings from the east came into Canaan to attack a group of five that had rebelled and quit paying tribute. Sodom was one of the cities plundered, and Abraham’s nephew, Lot, was carried away with the captives. Abraham, 318 of his trained servants, and three other men of the area who were in covenant with him pursued the invaders and slaughtered them.

When Abraham returned with the people and the goods, the new king of Sodom came out to meet him. Melchizedek, king of Salem, also came out with bread and wine and pronounced a blessing upon Abraham. Genesis 14:20 says that Abraham “gave him tithes of all.” Hebrews 7:4 confirms that it was a tenth of the spoils of the battle (or gain).

Friends, by faith, Abraham tithed to this mysterious figure, King Melchezidik, who had no lineage, he seemingly came from nowhere and some contend to be the Lord Jesus Christ himself or a typology of Him.

It is a fact that tithing in its pure form was never money originally but the harvest of fruit, grain, cattle or spoil. As the Levitical priests had no means of income for themselves a portion of 10% of labors was set aside for the priest’s livelihood and also for the times of Jubilee and other seasonal festivals. (Leviticus 27:30; Numbers 18:26; Deuteronomy 14:24; 2 Chronicles 31:5). Some understand the Old Testament tithe as a method of taxation to provide for the needs of the priests and Levites in the sacrificial system. As time progressed from a bartering system into monetary affairs, the Hebrews gave of their finances.

Tithing quite simply means a tenth or 10%. Whether or not you tithe Gross or Net is entirely your choice. If you tithe net then obviously if you get a tax return, you would need to tithe on your return to be consistent. To tithe on the gross amount is the preferred method, but it is up to you how you do it.

 

Well, what did Jesus say about tithing?

What did Jesus have to say on the topic of tithing? Well Jesus never spoke against tithing and therefore approved of it, as He came not to abolish the law but to fulfill the law. Talking to the Pharisees, he said,

Ye pay tithe…these ought ye to have done, and not to leave the other undone” (Matthew 23:23).

We need to understand that Jesus became a curse for us on the cross. So we are indeed redeemed from the curse of the law (Galatians 3:13) and we don’t come back under a curse for not tithing. We are not cursed today if we don’t tithe, I will say it again, we are not cursed today if we don’t tithe BUT we are missing out on God’s best for sure. Some pastors use scriptures on tithing to get people in some sort of guilt trip, but this is simply not true. This is a classic example:

“Will a man rob God? Yet ye have robbed me… in tithes and offerings, Ye are cursed with a curse: for ye have robbed me.” (Malachi 3:8).

Notice however despite what I’ve said regarding the curse, God does consider that you are robbing Him by not paying the tithe. Notice that Jesus said you ‘pay tithe’ because we are supposed to pay tithes because we are indebted to God. If you pay something, it is required of you…you pay utility bills, taxes etc. these are requirements and tithing is no different…you pay tithe.

If the law of sowing and reaping is in effect, then if you sow nothing you will reap nothing. By choosing not to sow into the Gospel then you will not reap, this is a law my friends and it works every single time. You can read about this law for yourself in (Galatians 6:9). This law has been in effect since the days of Noah and will remain until Christ’s return.

 

God’s promise regarding tithing

Check this out, God wants you to test him on this aspect of paying tithes, He is waiting for you to prove Him in this!

“Bring ye all the tithes into the storehouse… 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 ” (Malachi 3:10). (See also Luke 6:38).

If we go by strict interpretation of the Epistles nowhere explicitly does it command that Christians should tithe. However, Paul states that believers should set aside a portion of their income in order to support the church.

1 Corinthians 16:1-2 – “Now concerning the collection for the saints, as I have given order to the churches of Galatia, even so do ye, Upon the first day of the week let every one of you lay by him in store, as God hath prospered him, that there be no gatherings when I come.”

The bottom line is this my friends, in this dispensation of Grace; if God required 10% under the law then do you think he requires less in this time? In this age of grace we are more accountable to God for our actions because of the abundance that has been shown to us. The truth is that we own nothing in the new covenant; we are merely stewards on this earth. In fact Jesus is the owner of everything we have, we are stewards of our time, resources, even our very lives.

Each man should give what he has decided in his heart to give, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver” (2 Corinthians 9:7). Be a cheerful giver friends knowing that Jesus has an abundance for you.

 

Statistics and tithing

Looking at some statistics I came across whilst researching this segment, only as few as 6% of Christians actually tithe their income. Think about that for a minute. So few actually give to God. Friends I am amazed, shocked and saddened by this statistic! Just think what could be done for the Gospel throughout the earth if only Christians had the courage to give to the Lord a small portion, even if it’s only 10%.
 

Choose today to obey

Friends, choose to give to God today, don’t be one of the 94% of Christians who will hang their head in shame when they meet the Lord Jesus and have to explain why they didn’t honor Him in giving on this earth. Don’t be one of those servants who hid his talent because he was afraid of the master and fearful of losing what he had (Matthew 25:25).

Have the courage to give at least what was required under the law (which was 10%) but especially to give what the Holy Spirit asks you to give. Pray to the Lord and ask Him what to give as He has prospered you. You can give 10% by faith as Abraham did or better still, you can give in abundance by faith as you can NEVER out give God!