Thursday, July 2, 2015

Is Tithe the Same as Income Tax?

There is a teaching going on that "tithes" in the Old Testament were a kind of income tax that the Israelites paid to the Levites in their theocracy, and so Christians are not obligated to bring tithes to the Church since they are already paying taxes to the government. However, this view is very misinformed. Governmental tithe as tax was separate from the Temple one (1Sam.8:15). Abraham gave tithes, not to a Levite, but to Melchizedek when the Levitical order was not there. In 2Kgs.4:42, a man brings firstfruits to Elisha who was from the tribe of Issachar, at a time when they could not go to Jerusalem. In the NT, Paul talks about Christian workers living by the Gospel in the same way that the Levites lived by the offerings in the Temple (1Cor.9:9-14). There are things of Caesar, but there are also things that belong to God if we belong to the Body. And, in a Body, it is not just about voluntary giving. Suppose, the eye says to the finger, "I am only going to look when I feel like looking, because I am no longer under the Law"; how will the finger of a watchmaker be able to work properly? In the Body, everyone is obligated to give even as one takes. Tithe is just the minimal; we are called to love God with all we are and present our bodies as a living sacrifice. To treat our talents, treasures, and time as first belonging to Christ. This is not to feed the vain, luxurious, "visions" of carnal-minded leaders, but to give in order that the work of the Gospel is provided for (2Cor.9:12)
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Monday, June 29, 2015

7 Keys to Multiplication

Acts 1:8 – Power of Holy Spirit
Acts 3.6 – Authority. Not Silver and Gold… Jesus didn’t leave them with monetary assets, but gave them authority in His Name.
Acts 4:30,31 – Not to flee the field, but to boldly proclaim despite opposition
Acts 5: 11,12 – Purity of Church
Acts 6:7 – Administrative Wisdom
Acts 9:31 – Divine Breakthrough. The Big Fish
Acts 12:24 – National Changes. The church prayed.
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Classification of Miracles

Miracles of Creation – e.g Blind Eyes Opened, Aaron's Rod Budded
Miracles of Multiplication – e.g. Multiplication of Bread and fish, Widow's Oil Multiplied
Miracles of Resurrection - e.g. Raising Lazarus
Miracles of Power over Nature – e.g Stilling Storm, Walking on Water, Dividing Red Sea, Iron swims
Miracles of Destruction – e.g. Withering of the Fig Tree, Uzzah Struck Dead
Miracles of Healing - e.g. Healing of Naaman
Miracles of Transformation - e.g. Water Turned into Wine
Miracles of Opening - e.g. Balaam's Donkey Speaks, Elisha's Servant's Eyes Opened
Miracles of Protection - e.g. Daniel in Lions' Den; Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego

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Tuesday, June 23, 2015

The Basket and the Rope (Acts 9:25)

"Then the disciples took him by night and let him down through the wall in a large basket." (Acts 9:25)

Christians having access to the wall are responsible to help save lives of other Christians threatened by enemies of the Gospel; if unable to physically help, then at least fervently pray and send relief by any means possible. (Matt.10:23; 2Cor.11:23; 1Sam.19:12; Rom.15:30-32; Acts 12:5; 2Thes.3:1,2; Matt.25:37-40; Phil.4:15-18).

When they persecute you in this city, flee to another. For assuredly, I say to you, you will not have gone through the cities of Israel before the Son of Man comes. (Matt.10:23)

In Damascus the governor, under Aretas the king, was guarding the city of the Damascenes with a garrison, desiring to arrest me; but I was let down in a basket through a window in the wall, and escaped from his hands. (2Cor.11:32-33)

So Michal let David down through a window. And he went and fled and escaped. (1Sam.19:12)

For if you remain completely silent at this time, relief and deliverance will arise for the Jews from another place.... Yet who knows whether you have come to the kingdom for such a time as this? (Esther 4:14)

Now I beg you, brethren, through the Lord Jesus Christ, and through the love of the Spirit, that you strive together with me in prayers to God for me, that I may be delivered from those in Judea who do not believe, and that my service for Jerusalem may be acceptable to the saints.. (Rom.15:30-31)

Peter was therefore kept in prison, but constant prayer was offered to God for him by the church. (Acts 12:5)

Finally, brethren, pray for us, that the word of the Lord may run swiftly and be glorified, just as it is with you, and that we may be delivered from unreasonable and wicked men; for not all have faith. (2Thess.3:1-2)

Then the righteous will answer Him, saying, 'Lord, when did we see You hungry and feed You, or thirsty and give You drink? 'When did we see You a stranger and take You in, or naked and clothe You? 'Or when did we see You sick, or in prison, and come to You?' And the King will answer and say to them, 'Assuredly, I say to you, inasmuch as you did it to one of the least of these My brethren, you did it to Me.' (Matt.25:37-40)

Now you Philippians know also that in the beginning of the gospel, when I departed from Macedonia, no church shared with me concerning giving and receiving but you only. For even in Thessalonica you sent aid once and again for my necessities. Not that I seek the gift, but I seek the fruit that abounds to your account. Indeed I have all and abound. I am full, having received from Epaphroditus the things sent from you, a sweet-smelling aroma, an acceptable sacrifice, well pleasing to God. (Phil.4:15-18)
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