A Message From The Lord To His Church
It isn't often I publicly disclose what God has shown me, but recently He gave me a message He wants me to deliver to His Church. Well, actually, I have two messages. The first is what God impressed upon me to deliver, and the second is what I asked permission to share since it puts the first into perspective. They both have to do with the times we live in, but the second has to do with what is coming and what we need to do to prepare.
The issue God wants me to speak to can actually be closely related to a number of attacks that have been directed at the Church. If you're Christian then you probably already know there are those who are often critical of Christians. They strive to depict us in a negative light, hurl countless accusations at us, and ply us with disparaging comments and insults.
This is nothing new, of course, and as much as I'd like to say these attacks haven't affected the Church, they have. In some cases they have played a role in keeping people from receiving Christ. In other cases they have contributed to people abandoning God entirely. And in what is probably the most widespread, yet least recognized effect of all, they have successfully managed to incense the Church... against the Church.
How have they done this, you might ask? Well, one way has been by hitting people where they live... financial matters. That's right, I'm talking about the dreaded "T" word -- tithing -- and by extension, offerings.
Yes, I know, the mere mention of tithing can elicit everything from sighs and eye-rolls to outright anger, and often the knee-jerk reaction is to walk away. But don't confuse this with a typical teaching on tithing -- it's not. This is a message from God, to His Church, with a little bit of perspective thrown in.
The truth is, many of us have been influenced by the world on financial issues, and have chosen to walk shoulder to shoulder with them in their views and tactics. Don't believe me? Then let's look at a few examples.
On the world side, we have people who are constantly pushing the narrative that ministers are guilty of financial impropriety. They have a habit of making statements that allude to financial impropriety knowing that even a hint of such a thing is enough cause suspicion. On the Church side, we have Christians doing much the same thing.
On the world side, we have people putting the possessions of some ministers on display, and pushing the narrative that they have become wealthy off the backs of the poor and innocent whom they have so viciously exploited. They play on people's emotions, inciting envy and indignation, knowing that good people will be moved when they hear their tale. And, moved we are, because, on the Church side, some Christians have taken to doing much the same thing.
On the world side, people openly mock God and His principle of tithing. Be it in movies, TV shows, comedians, video games, or wherever else, the same tired old narrative often repeats itself. Those who give money into God's work are made to look like ignorant rubes who were swindled by that "TV preacher." Ministers are portrayed as money hungry charlatans who want you to "give until it hurts." And God? God is nowhere to be found. Do you really need me to tell you there are Christians who have this very same viewpoint?
The world calls out Christians for these things whether they are valid or not, and they jump at the chance to assign any negative stereotype that will stick. However, have you noticed, when it comes to their own, they are strangely silent?
After being repeatedly inundated with these kinds of assertions it can begin to have an effect. Seeds of doubt germinate and take root. Soon people begin to echo these sentiments, which, in turn, cause even more people become suspicious without merit. Before we know it, perception becomes reality, and assumption becomes the way by which we judge.
If you don't believe this can happen, or that it has happened, then you may want to take a closer look at the world stage. These kinds tactics are being used in many arenas, and with one intent -- to stop the opposition. And in case you didn't know, for some, WE are the opposition.
Church, you've been duped, and you don't even realize it. In fact, you've been programmed, and you don't even realize it. Not only have we come into agreement with the world, but we have fully embraced what was meant to harm us. We've taken the lies as truth without recognizing their true nature, and done so willingly, because it appealed to us.
I know many will take exception with this saying, "No, you don't understand, this is the way it really is, you just don't see it!" Okay, gotcha -- but for a moment, take a break from seeing what you see, and look at what I see.
Apart from allowing the world to lead us on this issue, where we have went wrong is believing that tithing is about the money. It's not. Every lie, every excuse, every skewed perspective have all been more or less geared to turn our focus onto the money. Why? Because if we fix our eyes on the money, not only does it become more difficult to part with God's portion, it also opens the door to a myriad of excuses to not tithe or give offerings.
Think about it; with all the excuses people offer when this issue arises, how many of them don't center on the money? A minister tells people they should tithe, it must be because he wants to get people's money. I can't tithe because I don't have enough money. I don't trust that guy, I think he'll just steal my money. I'm not giving anything to those people, they have more money than I do. Every excuse we make, in some way, shape, or form, centers on the money -- even the excuses that masquerade as God's grace.
However, if we fix our eyes on the real reason to tithe, all these excuses go away. And the real reason we should tithe is very simple -- because God said so. This is the real issue we should focus on, but how many of us do?
Instead, many of us have made tithing about the bottom line. We've conjured excuse after excuse as to why tithing doesn't apply today, why we can't trust anyone with our tithe, why we can't afford to tithe, and on, and on, and on.
I'll say it again Church; you've been duped, and you don't even realize it... and it's doing all of us harm.
I'm trying to be as terse as I can be for length, but of course, I can't leave it there. There are many reasons why people deny the truth of God's word, so I have to address at least some of them. Yes, I know, this is a long message. So, if you must, you can skip to the message God gave me to deliver -- it's clearly marked. Nevertheless, I really hope you take time to read through these as I believe they will give you some insight you may have never considered before. And what better place to start than with the elephant in the room.
EXCUSE #1 - "You're nothing more than a charlatan trying to swindle people out of their money!"
No, I'm not, and you have no evidence of such accusations. In fact, it's these kinds of assumptions that I've been addressing. The truth is, if you knew the details of my life -- where I've been, what I've gone through, and what I've done in service to the Lord -- you would be ashamed for making these kind of accusations.
EXCUSE #2 - "The grace of God means I don't have to tithe."
If you've read some of my past messages, then you know I wholeheartedly embrace God's grace. However, God's grace is never an excuse to sin or to violate His principles.
Honoring God with our substance is a fundamental principle written into the fabric of existence. No matter how much we try to ignore God's principles or wish them away, when we violate them, we will bear the consequences for doing so, grace or not. Grace doesn't wipe away the consequences of violating God's principles -- who fooled you into thinking it does?
But also, consider this: Tithing serves a purpose. Just like abstaining from sexual immorality keeps us from turning into another Sodom or Gomorrah; just like not allowing murder or thievery to thrive makes us safer; and just like not making false allegations against one another upholds justice in society, tithing also serves a purpose. Without it, those called to ministry are starved for resources to do the job they were called to do.
Can you imagine how ineffective the Church would be if it were destitute? Some people in the world can, which is why they have sought to interrupt the flow of funds. Yet, those who misuse God's grace only see one side -- their side -- without understanding that they ultimately support the demise of the Church, even if that isn't their intent.
Money doesn't come out of thin air, and God doesn't float down checks from heaven. God has intentionally set the Church up to be a cooperative relationship between spiritual leaders and the body -- one helps the other. How can anyone with a right heart believe that God would approve of either side not doing what they were called to do?
So we can shout "grace! grace!" all we want, but God's grace didn't make these needs go away, neither does it make the relationship God established go away. Claiming grace only means the needs tithing is intended to fulfill go unmet, and for this we all suffer. No one else is going to fund the Church for us -- we're it.
EXCUSE #3 - "The grace of God means I don't have to give a full tithe."
Isn't it funny how God's grace often seems to mean we no longer have to rise to a higher standard? It's curious how people often choose a lower standard -- one that lines up more closely with their desires -- wouldn't you say?
Need I say more?
EXCUSE #4 - "Ministers are corrupt and just want to take my money."
Yes, sometimes ministers are corrupt, just like non-ministers can be corrupt. However, not all of them are, and I think any reasonable person knows this.
Of course, this is a rather convenient excuse, isn't it? Chalk them all off, therefore we don't have deal with anything we don't want to deal with, including tithing. But let me ask you a question: have you recognized the stunning irony -- some may say hypocrisy -- of choosing to not be faithful to God because someone else isn't faithful to God?
When others commit adultery, do you believe this gives you permission to commit adultery? If not, then why do you believe corrupt ministers absolve you from tithing?
But also, consider this: God knew there would be corrupt ministers, don't you think? Yet, He didn't add an exception to His word that absolved us from tithing if we suspected financial misconduct, did He? The answer is, no, He didn't.
No, I'm not saying we should support corrupt ministers, if in fact they are corrupt. What I'm saying is, don't fool yourself -- don't choose to be unfaithful to God just because someone else is unfaithful. We can't control what other people do, but we can choose what we do, and this is the basis on which we will all be judged.
EXCUSE #5 - "Ministers solicit people for money all the time, and I'm tired of it."
Yes, sometimes they do, but this isn't as one-sided of an issue as some like to make it. For instance, have you ever considered the possibility that ministers have to ask for financial support because people won't do so voluntarily?
Ministers don't charge for ministry unlike nearly all other services in the world do, so they are dependent on people having a heart to give. But after having served under a few different ministries I can tell you two things. First, many ministries lack proper support. And second, many people don't have a heart to give.
Speaking from my own experiences, in all the years I've been ministering to people, I have received exactly one financial gift. Yes, one, out of the thousands of people I've ministered to. But, would you like to guess how many people have accused me of being a greedy money monger? I don't know the exact number, but it's far more than one, I assure you. So, from this perspective, who actually appears to be greedy?
Unfortunately, this is an accurate picture of where many Christians hearts are on this issue. This is why some ministers have had to find creative ways to move people to action, but as we know, even this has come under fire, hasn't it?
EXCUSE #6 - "I don't have enough money to tithe."
The faithful find a way to be faithful, even if all they get is a little. Remember the poor widow who gave her two copper coins? (Luke 21:1-4)
I know it can be hard; I know this because I've lived it, and done so for a very long time, but the faithful find a way to be faithful. As much as my heart goes out to those who truly don't have very much, telling them to keep what they have would rob them of the opportunity to prove their faithfulness to God.
For all others who make this claim primarily because they consume all they receive... you need to get your act together. There is just no excuse for this.
EXCUSE #7 - "You're just preaching the prosperity gospel, you heretic!"
No, I'm talking about being faithful to God and His word. Notice, I didn't promise anyone anything. If you want promises, go read the Bible, there are plenty of them in there for those who are faithful with what they have been given.
But, yes, I realize there are those who have abused scripture for their own gain. However, what you must realize is, much of the word they abused IS God's word. We shouldn't be disregarding scripture just because someone abused it. And, once again, just because someone abused God's word, that still doesn't mean we're absolved from being faithful to God.
EXCUSE #8 - Let's bring this thing home with a flurry of excuses. "Jesus wasn't rich, therefore you shouldn't be either." "My dad worked three jobs and still pastored a church on Sunday, therefore you should too." "Paul worked to earn money and encouraged others ministers to do the same." "These ministers have more money than I do, so I won't give them a dime." And on, and on, and on.
There are so many confused logic puzzles people use to excuse themselves from tithing. But listen; it doesn't matter what the reason is, all we have to do is ask ourselves one question: How do any of these excuses absolve us from being faithful to God? If we are being honest, and if we are seeing clearly, then there is only one answer -- they don't. God's word stands, and no line of confused logic, no matter how convincing, and no matter how appealing, is going to change it.
There are so many more things I could say about this, including the negative effects we just aren't recognizing, but it would take far too long. Nevertheless, we as a Church and as a people are quickly losing our way. We need to make this right... and I'm going to tell you why, right now.
MESSAGE #1 - THIS IS WHAT THE LORD SHOWED ME...
Church, our heart is not right on this issue (tithes and offerings) and the Lord is calling on us to make it right. Many of us have become misguided, envious, and self-serving. We have put ourselves and our own reasoning before God and His word. And whether we realize it or not, we are headed down the wrong path.
The Lord showed me that there are many who have become focused on what they can receive, rather than what they can give. For instance, some will go to church, or get online, and look for encouragement, edification or guidance. When they find what they're looking for they gladly receive it... then they leave. This is the cycle they have lived; they come, they take, they leave, but they rarely, if ever, give back.
Some are even more aggressive about it. These will actively seek out ministers and ministries to latch on to. They will then drain them of their energy and resources by repeatedly seeking prayer, ministry and comfort. The Lord compared their actions to stealing since they constantly demand more and more attention and resources for themselves, and leave little, if anything, for others.
The Lord showed me there are some who do give, but they do so sparingly, and begrudgingly, and sometimes only when asked. Sometimes they are angry about giving, and sometimes they want to dictate how their portion is used. While they do give, unlike the others, they only give a fraction of what they are called to give, and keep the rest of what belongs to God for themselves.
The Lord also showed me those who are willing -- those who want to do the right thing, but for whatever reason, they don't. They know they should be tithing, and they want to do what God says to do, but for whatever reason they hold back. They don't step up and do what God has called them to do.
Church, our heart is not right on this issue, and the Lord is calling on us to make it right. He's calling on us to rid ourselves of all the excuses for not being obedient to His word. He's calling on us to stop all the slanderous accusations, the suspicion, and the wild assumptions. He's calling on us to have His heart for giving, rather than only looking for what we can take.
We often don't make this connection, and I don't blame anyone for not doing so, but participating in these things has brought illness upon us; illness in our mind, our body, our spirit, and our life.
Stop turning a blind eye to the truth in favor of what appeals to you. Turn away from these things, and change your thinking. Be faithful to God; not because someone promised you something, not to get something in return, but because it's the right thing to do. God has always, and will always, be faithful to you... be faithful to Him.
MESSAGE #2 - WHY YOU SHOULD TAKE THIS SERIOUSLY...
I told you I had a second message I wanted to share with you -- one which puts the first in perspective. So let me tell you why you should take this seriously.
In 2013, the Lord showed me that He was examining His people for their readiness. Readiness for what, you might ask? Well, let's say, readiness for future events, and leave it at that.
To do so, the Lord has not only been examining our thoughts, actions, beliefs, and general conduct, but most importantly, He has been examining our hearts. (1 Samuel 16:7) God knows that what is in a person's heart is what truly matters; everything we do springs forth from it. (Proverbs 4:23) And it's our heart that is God's gauge in how to deal with us. As God says in Jeremiah 17:10...
Jeremiah 17:10 (NIV) "I the Lord search the heart and examine the mind, to reward each person according to their conduct, according to what their deeds deserve."
Unfortunately, many of us are failing the test. There are many who have been weighed and found wanting. How many and who these are is up to Him, but I can guarantee you one thing: many will be shocked when they learn they've been found wanting.
Nevertheless, at His discretion, the Lord intends to set some things right. He intends to correct those of His choosing, in due measure, and according to His purpose. In other words, chastisement is coming to many in the Church.
God often speaks symbolically, and the symbolism God chose to convey His message was that many of His people will be going to prison. In other words, they are going to lose any number of freedoms and comforts they have previously enjoyed. They will find that some things which were under their control no longer will be. I saw various circumstances and attributes in people's lives, homes, churches, and more, suddenly breaking, to people's dismay. But I also saw the Lord repairing some of these, making them into what they should have been in the first place. This process of breaking and repairing happened repeatedly, and it wasn't a pleasant thing; it was, however, necessary, as many have focused on appearances while neglecting true substance.
And these things are only the beginning. Worse things are coming our way, such as, greater persecution to the Church.
No, this isn't God's wrath, this is God being a Father to His children. It's God changing our direction for the better, and bringing us back on course. And to do so, He's going to make many people very uncomfortable. Why? Because nothing makes people more willing to change than being put in uncomfortable positions.
I'm not going to place any specific timing on these events as they will unfold over the course of many years to come, but I will say, our time to get it together is running out. It's for this reason, if you go back and look at the books I've written as well as the various messages I've published, many of them deal with heart issues. I've been trying to get people to realize that the condition of their heart matters.
We need to get serious -- and by serious, I don't mean we need more witch hunters, or people condemning one another for being "sinners." I mean, we need to get our heart right. We need to stop being the people who are always critical of others, and who are quick to point out others flaws and failings. We need to be followers of Christ in heart and in deed, not just in name with a carefully crafted facade which fools even ourselves.
But there is good news; it doesn't have to be this way. God says, those who turn from these things, and make restitution for any damages they may have caused, they will be absolved. It is a rare opportunity for us to escape the consequences of our actions, and one I would highly recommend we take.
Restitution is something we don't hear much about in modern times, but it is biblical, and it's something God regards even today. Restitution is essentially repaying any damages a person may have caused another. So those whose actions, or lack of action, have damaged the Church, a minister, a ministry, or drained ministries by being unsupportive, this is their way out of bearing the consequences of their actions.
I don't want to see these things come upon my brothers and sisters in Christ, but if we don't get our act together, these things are coming. God is serious, and we need to take Him seriously. If we don't, He will prove Himself to be serious.
Remember, many have been praying for decades for God to make the Church the beacon of light He wants it to be; will we discount God's move merely because it looks differently than we envisioned?
At the risk of soliciting unreasonable accusations, as I do at the end of all my longer messages, I'd like to ask you to please consider contributing to the work God has called me to do by giving a financial gift. Your support is vital in helping the message of "Freedom in Christ" go forth, bringing liberty to all. (Galatians 5:1) The Lord has made us to lean upon one another, and in doing so, together we are strengthened. (Ecclesiastes 4:9-12) So take all that I have freely offered, but then, consider giving back, as this is what the Lord would have us do.
May God bless you richly!