Thursday, May 12, 2016

 Today’s video [and post] is one of those ‘spur of the moment’ ones-
I made the video/post  yesterday- ‘off the cuff’-
I’m at the ranch as I write- and have no WiFi out here- or I’d post it now- I also don’t have my on-line concordance- so I’ll try and remember exactly where some of the verses are and add them in [I do have my on-line bible saved to the drive!]
This video/post is in keeping with some of the stuff I’ve been recently teaching.
As Christians- we often look for the things we are supposed to do.
Which is fine- but what I have learned in my experience of doing ministry for many years- is many Pastors/ministers- learn a certain pattern/form- early on-
And as well-meaning as these men are- they often unconsciously do not realize they are violating scripture in their efforts to do the right thing.
When people feel God has called them ‘to preach’ [ called into ministry] most of the times they are taught that this means ‘starting a local church’.
In the American mindset- this means starting a nonprofit 501 c3- either renting or building some type of structure to meet in-
And then teaching a form of giving- usually called ‘the tithe’ [meaning 10 percent]-
And then saying ‘the local church is this place/501c3- the storehouse- and you will be cursed if you do not tithe to the storehouse’.
And without realizing it- in the more extreme cases- actually teaching people that they will fall under the curse of God- if they do not put 10% of their income into the ‘local church’.
This verse from Malachi is often used- Malachi 3:8 Will a man rob God? Yet ye have robbed me. But ye say, Wherein have we robbed thee? In tithes and offerings.
Malachi 3:9 Ye are cursed with a curse: for ye have robbed me, even this whole nation.
Malachi 3:10 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.

And this basic idea of ‘church government’ is then propagated thru out the land.
I’ve discussed this recently- and for these short videos- I just want to note that the New Testament churches we read about in the bible- are talking about communities of believers living in your city/area.
The early Christians met in homes- and later on in church buildings-
I am not against any of these formats- but we need to be careful that we are not unconsciously telling people they will be under the curse of God if they do not ‘tithe to the storehouse’ [then applying the ‘storehouse’ to the building- and it’s 501c3 status- as- quote ‘the local church’].
The tithe was actually an income tax for the nation of Israel in the Old Testament- and it entailed more than simply putting goods/money into an ‘offering’ plate-
No- it was a system that supported 3 main things in the Jewish economy-
The Priests [who were forbidden to own property].
The poor [meeting their needs].
And for banquets-
So- in short- the churches we read about in the bible were communities of people who supported one another- and this included- yes- financial support for the minsters too-
That’s all ok-
But the balance about money in the New Testament is it is a tool to be used to help others-
And is never something we should seek after- sort of like ‘God has called me to become rich so I can fund ministries’ type thing. No- that ‘calling’ would violate many actual teachings in the bible- that warn against seeking to be rich- even for noble causes-
I’ve copied some of those verses the last few days-
So- as we continue to teach thru the bible in the next year- look at the relationship we see in these New Testament letters between giving and receiving-
How the early Christians viewed their roles in the church-
How the ministers related to the people-
The bible does give us guidelines about all of this- it actually makes it quite clear-
Ok- enjoy the video/post- talk to you soon.
1To the elders among you, I appeal as a fellow elder and a witness of Christ’s sufferings who also will share in the glory to be revealed: Be shepherds of God’s flock that is under your care, watching over them—not because you must, but because you are willing, as God wants you to be; not pursuing dishonest gain, but eager to serve; not lording it over those entrusted to you, but being examples to the flock. And when the Chief Shepherd appears, you will receive the crown of glory that will never fade away.
Acts 20:17 And from Miletus he sent to Ephesus, and called the elders of the church.
Acts 20:18 And when they were come to him, he said unto them, Ye know, from the first day that I came into Asia, after what manner I have been with you at all seasons,
Acts 20:19 Serving the LORD with all humility of mind, and with many tears, and temptations, which befell me by the lying in wait of the Jews:
Acts 20:20 And how I kept back nothing that was profitable unto you, but have shewed you, and have taught you publickly, and from house to house,
Acts 20:21 Testifying both to the Jews, and also to the Greeks, repentance toward God, and faith toward our Lord Jesus Christ.
Acts 20:22 And now, behold, I go bound in the spirit unto Jerusalem, not knowing the things that shall befall me there:
Acts 20:23 Save that the Holy Ghost witnesseth in every city, saying that bonds and afflictions abide me.
Acts 20:24 But none of these things move me, neither count I my life dear unto myself, so that I might finish my course with joy, and the ministry, which I have received of the Lord Jesus, to testify the gospel of the grace of God.
Acts 20:25 And now, behold, I know that ye all, among whom I have gone preaching the kingdom of God, shall see my face no more.
Acts 20:26 Wherefore I take you to record this day, that I am pure from the blood of all men.
Acts 20:27 For I have not shunned to declare unto you all the counsel of God.
Acts 20:28 Take heed therefore unto yourselves, and to all the flock, over the which the Holy Ghost hath made you overseers, to feed the church of God, which he hath purchased with his own blood.
Acts 20:29 For I know this, that after my departing shall grievous wolves enter in among you, not sparing the flock.
Acts 20:30 Also of your own selves shall men arise, speaking perverse things, to draw away disciples after them.
Acts 20:31 Therefore watch, and remember, that by the space of three years I ceased not to warn every one night and day with tears.
Acts 20:32 And now, brethren, I commend you to God, and to the word of his grace, which is able to build you up, and to give you an inheritance among all them which are sanctified.
Acts 20:33 I have coveted no man's silver, or gold, or apparel.
Acts 20:34 Yea, ye yourselves know, that these hands have ministered unto my necessities, and to them that were with me.
Acts 20:35 I have shewed you all things, how that so labouring ye ought to support the weak, and to remember the words of the Lord Jesus, how he said, It is more blessed to give than to receive.
Acts 20:36 And when he had thus spoken, he kneeled down, and prayed with them all.
Acts 20:37 And they all wept sore, and fell on Paul's neck, and kissed him,
Acts 20:38 Sorrowing most of all for the words which he spake, that they should see his face no more. And they accompanied him unto the ship.
 Understand here- that Paul is speaking to the leaders of the church- and he told them that for the 3 years he was with them he worked- supported himself- and those that were with him.
He then says he did this for an example- to show them [the leaders] that they too are not in ministry for the people to support them-
But for the benefit of the people-
We do read later in the writings of Paul that the Christians should meet the needs of their spiritual leaders- that’s ok.
But here he is showing them- leaders- that ministry is not about collecting a bunch of money for ‘ministry projects’.
It’s giving your life for others.
1Corinthians 16:1 Now concerning the collection for the saints, as I have given order to the churches of Galatia, even so do ye.
1Corinthians 16:2 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.
1Corinthians 16:3 And when I come, whomsoever ye shall approve by your letters, them will I send to bring your liberality unto Jerusalem.
1Corinthians 16:4 And if it be meet that I go also, they shall go with me.
 This is also a common verse to teach tithing-
Often times when ministers take offerings- they clap- do a sort of celebration-
But here Paul is saying ‘when I get there- I don't want to waste time making a big thing out of the offering- so take it up before I get there’.
This money was simply used as a charitable donation for the poor Christians living at Jerusalem- it was in no way a ‘tithe’ and it was not money for Paul.
1Corinthians 9:1 Am I not an apostle? am I not free? have I not seen Jesus Christ our Lord? are not ye my work in the Lord?
1Corinthians 9:2 If I be not an apostle unto others, yet doubtless I am to you: for the seal of mine apostleship are ye in the Lord.
1Corinthians 9:3 Mine answer to them that do examine me is this,
1Corinthians 9:4 Have we not power to eat and to drink?
1Corinthians 9:5 Have we not power to lead about a sister, a wife, as well as other apostles, and as the brethren of the Lord, and Cephas?
1Corinthians 9:6 Or I only and Barnabas, have not we power to forbear working?
1Corinthians 9:7 Who goeth a warfare any time at his own charges? who planteth a vineyard, and eateth not of the fruit thereof? or who feedeth a flock, and eateth not of the milk of the flock?
1Corinthians 9:8 Say I these things as a man? or saith not the law the same also?
1Corinthians 9:9 For it is written in the law of Moses, Thou shalt not muzzle the mouth of the ox that treadeth out the corn. Doth God take care for oxen?
1Corinthians 9:10 Or saith he it altogether for our sakes? For our sakes, no doubt, this is written: that he that ploweth should plow in hope; and that he that thresheth in hope should be partaker of his hope.
1Corinthians 9:11 If we have sown unto you spiritual things, is it a great thing if we shall reap your carnal things?
1Corinthians 9:12 If others be partakers of this power over you, are not we rather? Nevertheless we have not used this power; but suffer all things, lest we should hinder the gospel of Christ.
1Corinthians 9:13 Do ye not know that they which minister about holy things live of the things of the temple? and they which wait at the altar are partakers with the altar?
1Corinthians 9:14 Even so hath the Lord ordained that they which preach the gospel should live of the gospel.
1Corinthians 9:15 But I have used none of these things: neither have I written these things, that it should be so done unto me: for it were better for me to die, than that any man should make my glorying void.
1Corinthians 9:16 For though I preach the gospel, I have nothing to glory of: for necessity is laid upon me; yea, woe is unto me, if I preach not the gospel!
1Corinthians 9:17 For if I do this thing willingly, I have a reward: but if against my will, a dispensation of the gospel is committed unto me.
1Corinthians 9:18 What is my reward then? Verily that, when I preach the gospel, I may make the gospel of Christ without charge, that I abuse not my power in the gospel.
Here Paul clearly teaches them that they should support their leaders- yet he then goes on to say he himself would not use ‘this right’-
And he used strong language- making it sound like he would be charging them for his services- which- to him- would be wrong.

I could give more examples- but what I want you to see is we never see a type of ‘tithe or you will be cursed’ mindset when the New Testament talks about giving.
The Storehouse verse has nothing to do with the Ecclesia- it was a room in the temple- not a spiritual community of people.
John 13:1 Now before the feast of the passover, when Jesus knew that his hour was come that he should depart out of this world unto the Father, having loved his own which were in the world, he loved them unto the end.
John 13:2 And supper being ended, the devil having now put into the heart of Judas Iscariot, Simon's son, to betray him;
John 13:3 Jesus knowing that the Father had given all things into his hands, and that he was come from God, and went to God;
John 13:4 He riseth from supper, and laid aside his garments; and took a towel, and girded himself.
John 13:5 After that he poureth water into a bason, and began to wash the disciples' feet, and to wipe them with the towel wherewith he was girded.
John 13:6 Then cometh he to Simon Peter: and Peter saith unto him, Lord, dost thou wash my feet?
John 13:7 Jesus answered and said unto him, What I do thou knowest not now; but thou shalt know hereafter.
John 13:8 Peter saith unto him, Thou shalt never wash my feet. Jesus answered him, If I wash thee not, thou hast no part with me.
John 13:9 Simon Peter saith unto him, Lord, not my feet only, but also my hands and my head.
John 13:10 Jesus saith to him, He that is washed needeth not save to wash his feet, but is clean every whit: and ye are clean, but not all.
John 13:11 For he knew who should betray him; therefore said he, Ye are not all clean.
John 13:12 So after he had washed their feet, and had taken his garments, and was set down again, he said unto them, Know ye what I have done to you?
John 13:13 Ye call me Master and Lord: and ye say well; for so I am.
John 13:14 If I then, your Lord and Master, have washed your feet; ye also ought to wash one another's feet.
John 13:15 For I have given you an example, that ye should do as I have done to you.
John 13:16 Verily, verily, I say unto you, The servant is not greater than his lord; neither he that is sent greater than he that sent him.
John 13:17 If ye know these things, happy are ye if ye do them.

Locke taught that each man has individual rights- and he empowers government- an elected designated body- to have rule-
Yet- that government exists solely for the benefit of the people- and when/if that government ‘forgets’ this- the people have a right/duty to revolt.
Locke’s ideas were formed at a time when his own government experienced a sort of revolution [1600’s- England].
The people revolted against monarchy- and replaced it with a sort of Democratic Parliament-
Referred to as the bloodless revolution or the glorious revolution.
The king [or today- queen] would still play a role- like a figurehead- but the power was in the people- willingly given over to a Parliament.
The political ideas of Locke influenced our founding fathers- and our Declaration of Independence and Constitution are in parts almost word for word taken from the writings of Locke.
Locke believed in natural law- that morality was indeed a universal reality [some scholars/thinkers will say that Locke does not fully embrace the Christian concept of natural/moral law].
He taught that  knowledge comes from man’s experience- the things he interacts with thru the 5 senses.
That man is not born with innate ideas [like the early Greek thinkers said] but his mind is a Tabula Rasa- or blank slate at birth.
This is an Empirical understanding of knowledge.
Locke also believed in the concept of the separation of church and state- this idea was not unique to our founding fathers- no- they got it right out of the writings of Locke [his parents were Puritans- and they obviously influenced their son].
Locke’s political views were-
Contractual [social compact]-
These ideas differed from the early Greek thinkers [especially Aristotle] who held to a naturalistic view- meaning that nature itself ‘intended’ for certain individuals to have rule over others [the smarter should have rule over the ‘less smart’- and of course Aristotle saw himself in the more nobler crowd!]
Locke also believed in religious toleration- a view held by most in the Western world today.
He saw the Right to private property- as a natural right.
He believed that denial of the existence of God would lead to anarchy in the long run.
He believed that the cosmological argument for the existence of God was valid [called teleology].

While I was outside praying this morning- I didn’t see many stars. Over the years- when you’re outside between 2-5 am- you do see lots of them-
Many shooting stars over the years.
A few years ago- for the first time- I saw a nova [the death of a star].
Today I noticed one- huge star [thought it was a planet at first- it was bright- big- I’ve seen the red planet many times- Venus or one of the others- I’m not familiar with the names].
But today- the bright ‘planet’- which I saw for a while- went out.
Now- I kept watching for a while- thinking ‘This couldn’t be another nova’.
I’m pretty sure it was.
Now- I’m Leary when I mention this stuff.
Because people already think I’m nuts-
And look- I’m a smart guy- so I do leave that option open- to be honest.
But I quoted Acts chapter 2 on the video yesterday- read it last night.
And the famous prophecy that Peter quotes [Joel] does say there will be signs in the heaven before that ‘great and notable day’ [judgment].
‘John- what do you think t means’?
I’m not sure- but look- many of us say ‘we believe in the bible’- but do we- I mean ‘really’.
We read events- to be honest- harsh stuff- like when Peter executed judgment on some early believers- simply because they fudged the numbers on the sale of their property- and made it look like they were giving all the money for the offering-
Peter says ‘why did you lie to the Holy Spirit’- and they dropped dead!
Now- do you believe stuff like that happens or not?
I mean they were Christians even.
 I posted the picture to facebook a little while ago- that was the Psalm I read today.
Acts 2:16 But this is that which was spoken by the prophet Joel;
Acts 2:17 And it shall come to pass in the last days, saith God, I will pour out of my Spirit upon all flesh: and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, and your young men shall see visions, and your old men shall dream dreams:
Acts 2:18 And on my servants and on my handmaidens I will pour out in those days of my Spirit; and they shall prophesy:
Acts 2:19 And I will shew wonders in heaven above, and signs in the earth beneath; blood, and fire, and vapour of smoke:
Acts 2:20 The sun shall be turned into darkness, and the moon into blood, before the great and notable day of the Lord come:
Acts 5:1 But a certain man named Ananias, with Sapphira his wife, sold a possession,
Acts 5:2 And kept back part of the price, his wife also being privy to it, and brought a certain part, and laid it at the apostles' feet.
Acts 5:3 But Peter said, Ananias, why hath Satan filled thine heart to lie to the Holy Ghost, and to keep back part of the price of the land?
Acts 5:4 Whiles it remained, was it not thine own? and after it was sold, was it not in thine own power? why hast thou conceived this thing in thine heart? thou hast not lied unto men, but unto God.
Acts 5:5 And Ananias hearing these words fell down, and gave up the ghost: and great fear came on all them that heard these things.
Acts 5:6 And the young men arose, wound him up, and carried him out, and buried him.
Acts 5:7 And it was about the space of three hours after, when his wife, not knowing what was done, came in.
Acts 5:8 And Peter answered unto her, Tell me whether ye sold the land for so much? And she said, Yea, for so much.
Acts 5:9 Then Peter said unto her, How is it that ye have agreed together to tempt the Spirit of the Lord? behold, the feet of them which have buried thy husband are at the door, and shall carry thee out.
Acts 5:10 Then fell she down straightway at his feet, and yielded up the ghost: and the young men came in, and found her dead, and, carrying her forth, buried her by her husband.
Acts 5:11 And great fear came upon all the church, and upon as many as heard these things.
Note- forgot to mention I prayed this- this morning-
I did my normal prayer time this morning- and it includes all of ‘our community’- and I did ask for there to be an increase of these things among us- being I read acts 2 last night. I didn’t even make the connection till just now.



Try and watch this video- I cover lots of stuff that place this letter in context for this study. [ Read acts 10,11,15, Galatians 1-2]


This letter was written by James- the brother of Jesus.

He was one of the main church leaders at the church in Jerusalem- we read about him in Acts chapter 15.

This [Acts 15] was the first church council in the history of Christianity.

I already taught the book of Romans written by the apostle Paul.

And as we read the New Testament in context- we can see the reason why James penned this letter- and addressed it to Jewish believers.

Paul was the most influential missionary in the early church- he established most of the gentile churches we read about in the bible [Rome being the exception].

He also wrote most of the letters that make up our New Testament.

His main teaching was Justification by faith.

No comments:

Post a Comment