Sacrifice in the New Covenant

Malachi 3:8-11
Can a person rob God? You indeed are robbing Me, but you say, ʻHow are we robbing you?ʼ In tithes and contributions! You are bound for judgment because you are robbing me – this whole nation is guilty.
“Bring the entire tithe into the storehouse so that there may be food in my temple. Test me in this matter,” says the LORD who rules over all, “to see if I will not open for you the windows of heaven and pour out for you a blessing until there is no room for it all. Then I will stop the plague from ruining your crops, and the vine will not lose its fruit before harvest,” says the LORD who rules over all.

The two biggest taboo subjects in religious church circles are: Sex and Money. Those two things upset people. It is amazing. Yet they are the two things people struggle with and desire the most. Greed and Lust. It is no wonder people create the unspoken pressure upon supposed Pastors to ‘not go there’ on teaching both matters. But hey, the world is happy to instill its version into your mind and the mind of your children!! And it does!

In Malachi (above), God is rebuking Israel for neglecting to be faithful in tithing to the Temple. Notice God says they were headed for judgment by Him. Does God consider it a serious matter to take His name (call one’s self His child) and behave to the contrary? Yeah, He will find no person blameless who does so. In other words, such a person will not enter Heaven. But one might argue: “Chris, tithing was Old Testament, or Old Covenant.” Well, one would be correct in the use of the term “tithing.” Tithe means “tenth.” Ten percent. But one is greatly wrong in the use of the term “Old Covenant.” The Old Covenant post-dates tithing. Tithing began with Abraham, long before Moses received the Mosaic Law. But in the use of Old Covenant, in saying we no longer “tithe” in the New Covenant is true. In the New Covenant, we are to exceed ten percent. It is called sacrificial giving, first to God’s house, and also to those in genuine need. And one does not suffice for the other!

Genesis 14:20
and blessed be God Most High,
who has delivered your enemies into your hand!” And Abram gave him a tenth of everything.

Matthew 5:20
For I tell you, unless your righteousness exceeds that of the scribes and Pharisees, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven.

In the context of giving, what exactly was the righteousness of the Pharisees? What did they give?

Luke 11:42
“But woe to you Pharisees! For YOU TITHE mint and rue and every herb, and neglect justice and the love of God. These you ought to have done, without neglecting the others.

This passage makes another point: If we are faithful in giving the commanded portion of our earnings or gain, but we neglect to be faithful elsewhere, our financial offering is null and useless. In American beast church, where the message is all about us and God’s blessing on us, we are taught to expect God will give us more money for our offerings. It is sad too, because the false prophets who teach that, live better than you off of that gimmick. God’s promise is that by our faithfulness we will be under His providence. Providence is a much more broad idea than money, folks. Only a greedy nation would interpret God’s promises through the narrow lens of wealth. How about health? Spiritual well-being? Protection from the evil powers of the unseen realm? How about a divine covering over our children when they are out of our sight? What about air, food, water, shelter, clothing? You see, God is more than a source of money. I mean, if you’re greedy, shown by your ingratitude in refusing to be faithful to God first in what you already have, why would God even prosper your greed? Would you give your drug addicted child drugs? God does not bless a sin problem or a disobedient person. Ever!

Matthew 7:8-11
For everyone who asks receives, and the one who seeks finds, and to the one who knocks it will be opened. Or which one of you, if his son asks him for bread, will give him a stone? Or if he asks for a fish, will give him a serpent? If you then, who are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father who is in heaven give good things to those who ask him!

Right there is the answer to why people don’t understand their Bible! They don’t try! They want everything, through the faithful work of others , just handed to them. Same with money. It is the “god of Me” complex. A person who will not sacrifice to study to know God, and to live what they learn, is the same kind of person who will not be faithful to give to God. They look for shortcuts to God! At the beginning of Jesus’ earthly ministry, and then again at the end of His ministry, He walked into the Temple plaza and flipped over the merchants’ tables, and took a whip and beat the hell out of these greedy reprobates who had set up street stands, selling people sacrificial animals to offer to God. Why was that blasphemous? Because God demanded that families offer something of the greatest value to them. He demanded they give Him their best sacrifice. Has he changed? Having read this far, do you see yourself as loving Christ according to the standard of His word, or according to your self-imagined view of serving Him? That is what the people buying those sacrifices had relegated themselves to. They told themselves, “we HAVE TO offer to God today, so let’s stop by the Temple Mount Tractor Supply and pick up a quick turtledove, and give it to the priest so we can get on the road to the beach at Jaffa for our fun in the sun!!! But let’s get a good deal on the bird, so we will have more left over for our trip.” And that folks, is the so-called American Christian of 2021! Now tell me, does such a person really love Jesus? No. They want heaven without a surrendered heart that really is grateful to Jesus. Not happening! There must be a proverbial ‘circumcision’ of the cutting away of our flesh nature in order to see God face to face.

Luke 12:34
For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.

A person who is unfaithful to sacrifice for God in their giving, and life in general, is never faithful in anything. This person is always double-minded and unstable. We’re focused on our excessive bills, and paying down our credit cards, and all the things we went in debt for from our lusts for things, pleasure, and status. You know, the three things we call the “love of the world/ mark of the beast?” Yeah….. The same three things Satan offered to Eve, and the same three things that Satan offered Jesus, and the same three things that he uses to sway every human being away from God’s will for them.

You know what annoys me? The first question I’m often asked is: “Do we have to give 10% of the gross income or the net income?” My instinctive answer in my mind is usually, “How about you just keep it all, be the greedy spirit you are, be honest, and stop claiming to follow God!! (But I rarely say it.) I mean, really the fact that a person asks that is selfish. “Well, how much do I HAVE TO give to appease God so I don’t have to go to Hell? I can afford both, but I’d rather give the least, because the federal government is already getting 25%!” Analyze that comedic example! I mean really think about that logic! Uncle Sam get’s more of our income than the Christ who was beaten unrecognizable and nailed to a tree for us!He didn’t HAVE TO do that. He CHOSE to do that, because He loved us!! So then there is this thought: the fact that they hold to the “tenth” idea is either in ignorance, or in greed. You can witness which is the case by what they do following your instruction. Did they repent and begin giving to God before Uncle Sam, and giving more than 10%, or did they do nothing, so they can continue in their love of things here in the world? Therein lies the heart issue. What did the verse above say from the lips of Jesus? “Your heart is where your treasure is!!” God accepts nothing given grudgingly, nor done in motive. Yet because of the TBN heretics, who beg for money in God’s name, (so they can consume it upon their lusts), people take an attitude against giving. If you have given to those false believers, that’s your fault. Been there, done that! Join the club! But because heretical liars have always existed is no excuse for disobeying the command of God, to supply His true houses (though few), to support His true shepherds and the work of the ministry. This is a kingdom law, folks. It is not debatable. No one is exempt who has a chance at heaven. You are commanded to give to those who have fed you HIS WORD. Whose ministry has saved your soul, and fixed your blindness? What have you done to honor God in return for answering your prayers for truth, and for loving you enough to send such a prophet your way? Selah!

2 Corinthians 9:6-7
My point is this: The person who sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and the person who sows generously will also reap generously. Each one of you SHOULD GIVE JUST AS HE HAS DECIDED IN HIS HEART, not reluctantly or under compulsion, because God loves a cheerful giver.

Why did Jesus set no percentage? Paul just told us. He wants a free-will offering within the confines of what He has made known. Give above ten percent of your total income (before any other entity gets theirs), because God is FIRST, right? And you decide from the gratitude of your heart posture how much you give, how much of your worldly possessions you really don’t need, and offer to Him. Jesus is looking at the heart of those who take His name upon them. You can always tell a child of God from a person who merely likes the “idea” of Jesus. You see, the “idea of Jesus” thinks of Him as a genie to call on when you need a wish answered. But the real Jesus answers the faithful. He is near to those who draw near to Him by faithfulness. Those people don’t have to be told to give. They can’t wait to! A person who is not loyal to give to God sacrificially, is not of God! Just a fact. Income is income, folks. If you received, you are to sacrifice from it. Not because I have shown you you should. What did he say in the passage above? Do not give of compulsion. It’s a heart problem that needs addressed. Forcing yourself to be faithful won’t work. We must root out the issue and fall in love with Jesus. Then there is no struggle. Believers do not struggle with this. They have a made-up mind. If you don’t, you need to take inventory of your faith. Remember this lady?

Mark 12:41-44
Then he sat down opposite the offering box, and watched the crowd putting coins into it. Many rich people were throwing in large amounts. And a poor widow came and put in two small copper coins, worth less than a penny. He called his disciples and said to them, “I tell you the truth, this poor widow has put more into the offering box than all the others. For they all gave out of their wealth. But she, out of her poverty, put in what she had to live on, everything she had.”

Notice: Jesus sat by the offering plate and observed the faithfulness of people who claimed to follow God. Hmmm. You can learn a lot about a person claiming to love Jesus by how loyal they are with money. A person who gives when it is convenient to them, but not sacrificing to God first, and making a commitment to live on the remainder, is not a faithful servant. Honestly, they are just like these two:

Acts 5:1-11
Now a man named Ananias, together with Sapphira his wife, sold a piece of property. He kept back for himself part of the proceeds with his wifeʼs knowledge; he brought only part of it and placed it at the apostlesʼ feet. But Peter said, “Ananias, why has Satan filled your heart to lie to the Holy Spirit and keep back for yourself part of the proceeds from the sale of the land? Before it was sold, did it not belong to you? And when it was sold, was the money not at your disposal? How have you thought up this deed in your heart? You have not lied to people but to God!”
When Ananias heard these words he collapsed and died, and great fear gripped all who heard about it. So the young men came, wrapped him up, carried him out, and buried him. After an interval of about three hours, his wife came in, but she did not know what had happened. Peter said to her, “Tell me, were the two of you paid this amount for the land?” Sapphira said, “Yes, that much.” Peter then told her, “Why have you agreed together to test the Spirit of the Lord? Look! The feet of those who have buried your husband are at the door, and they will carry you out!” At once she collapsed at his feet and died. So when the young men came in, they found her dead, and they carried her out and buried her beside her husband. Great fear gripped the whole church and all who heard about these things.

So Jesus praises the widow woman who was in a hard place, but put her hope and faith in God by really sacrificing to show her faith. He didn’t commend any of those who gave large offerings from their wealth. They were not sacrificing! (FYI: If you are a millionaire, giving a $10,000 offering will not alter your lifestyle! It will not make you depend on God.) A godly offering is a sacrifice. It alters the way we live in order to humble ourselves and become more like our example: Jesus Christ. But He struck dead two people, as an example to the early church not to be blasphemers of truth, and tried to lie to God. They owned the property and sold it. They weren’t told what to offer. They didn’t even have to. They just had to be honest about their loyalties, either to their money, or Christ. But what was their crime? They kept a portion for themselves but tried to deceive and lie about it, pretending that it was all they made from the sale. People do this with their offerings. God knows what you have earned or have been given. He doesn’t need your money. The principle of giving is a test of your loyalty. The love of money is the root of all kinds of evil. Do you trust in money or God? Did you give above ten percent of your stimulus checks? Was that income for you? Your paychecks? What if someone blessed you in your need, or just wanted to bless you with money for no reason? Did God receive honor by your sacrifice from it to Him? If not, why not? Was He not worthy of His portion for providing for your needs? Really? Search your heart. And remember the widow above? The wealthy aren’t sacrificing according to Jesus, if their offering isn’t altering their lifestyle comfort. But the woman who was praised of Jesus? She gave her last two pennies. She showed her faith by her works. You cannot give what you don’t have. God knows this. But if you have received, and withheld being faithful to God in returning to Him His portion, trusting in yourself to make sure YOU come first, how are you or I any different than Cain? After all, what was his sin? He made sure he took enough for himself to be comfortable, before he offered God anything. Abel offered God HIS FIRST-FRUITS, and resolved to live off of what was left over. If we aren’t Abel, then we are Cain!!! And we are greedy. !

Genesis 4:3-5
In the course of time Cain brought to the LORD an offering of the fruit of the ground, and Abel also brought of the FIRSTBORN of his flock and of their fat portions. And the LORD had regard for Abel and his offering, but for Cain and his offering GOD HAD NO REGARD. So Cain was very angry, and his face fell.

Putting ourselves first is the breaking of the first commandment. It is having other gods before Him. “Before Him” means “in His presence.” In this case, the god of Me.

Mark 12:30-31
And you shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.’ The second is this: ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ There is no other commandment greater than these.”

Ephesians 5:5
For you can be confident of this one thing: that no person who is immoral, impure, OR GREEDY (such a person is an idolater) has any inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and God.

Selah! Selah! Selah!

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