Chapter 14 -


Material and spiritual blessings are not dependant on a legal obligation to tithe to any minister or church.

To please God, man is to be thankful in deed as well as in attitude. If we aren't thankful in deed, most likely we are fooling ourselves should we consider ourselves to be thankful in attitude.

Christianity is a one hundred per cent call to perfection. It is a total dedication to God. God is not fooled because He knows all. Fortunately, He is merciful and provides us aid through His Holy Spirit to obey Him. Even more wonderful is that fact that etemal life is a free gift, totally unmerited. We can only receive it by Godly faith, not by human works.

I know your deeds, that you are neither cold nor hot; [would that you were cold or hot. So because you are lukewarm, and neither hot nor cold, I will spit you out of My mouth…Those whom I love, I reprove and discipline; be zealous therefore, and repent.

Behold, I stand at the door and knock; if anyone hears My voice and opens the door, I will come in to him, and will dine with him, and he with Me. He who overcomes, [will grant to him to sit down with Me on My throne, as [also overcame and sat down with My Father on His throne. (Revelation 3:15-21)

Principle of First Fruits

The foundational principle of offering is that of first fruits. It is the primary key to understanding how to approach giving as a disci­ple of Jesus.

Christians are me first fruits of God's harvest of all mankind because the Church is the very Body of Christ who is THE first fruit from the dead. Central to these concepts of first fruits is the very hope of the resurrection - God's gift of ETERNAL LIFE:

But now Christ has been raised from the dead, the first fruits of those who are asleep. For since by a man came death, by a man also Christ all shall be made alive.

But each in his own order: Christ the first fruits, after that those who are Christ's at His coming, then comes the end, when He delivers up the kingdom to the God and Father, when He has abolished all rule and all authority and power. (I Corinthians 15:20-24)

…concerning His Son, who was born of a descendant of David according to the flesh, who was declared the Son of God with power by the resurrection from the dead, according to the spirit of holiness, Jesus Christ our Lord. (Romans 1:3-4)

He is also head of the body, the church; and He is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead; so that He Himself might come to have first place in everything. (Colossians 1:18)

For the husband is the head of the wife, as Christ also is the head of the church, He Himself being the Savior of the body. (Ephesians 5:23, read verses 21-33)

Do not be deceived, my beloved brethren. Every good thing bestowed and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights, with whom there is no variation, or shifting shadow. In the exercise of His will He brought us forth by the word of truth, so that we might be, as it were, the first fruits among His creatures. (James 1:16-18)

And I saw thrones, and they sat upon them…who had not wor­shiped the beast or his image…and they came to life and reigned with Christ for a thousand years. The rest of the dead did not come to life until the thousand years were completed. This is the first res­urrection. Blessed and holy is the one who has a part in the first resurrection; over these the second death has no power, but they will be priests of God and of Christ and will reign with Him for a thousand years. (Revelation 20:4-6)

The First Resurrection of Saints

The First Resurrection from the dead is the first fruits of God's harvest to eternal life or the Saints. The term "the rest of the dead" refers to the rest of humanity who did not receive God's Holy Spirit in this life.

They will be resurrected later (the Second Resurrection) to a mortal life of judgment in the presence of Christ. So God "with whom there is no variation" - unlike a slot machine - will patiently accomplish His will of bringing all to repentance and eternal life with Him. (11 Peter 3:9; I Timothy 2:4)

Death is the doubter's choice. Unless God is real to each of us, ­unless you and I believe Jesus' sacrifice covered our sins and that God is therefore personally involved with us, then any belief we might have is a dead faith. It will not lead to life eternal for us, and it will not yield the works of righteousness that form the basis of God's reward.

The converted Saints, spiritual Church of God, will be the first fruits by the First Resurrection from the dead - just as Jesus is today declared God's Son by his own resurrection.

His resurrection as a first fruit is the proof of the power of God's promise to us. It is our hope. Jesus, as Head of the Church, is one with and a part of the Church. In type we are already resurrected in Him because we are His Body by which He will rule the kingdoms of this earth. (See also Revelation 11:15.)

Levites a Type of God’s First Fruits

Thus, the Levites were a type of the redeemed church, the first fruits of God. In this type of the church, God figuratively took the first born of every tribe, just a group of people with no connection to each other - no single identifying name, and "created" one priestly tribe. Out of a diverse, unholy, and unqualified many, He made a single priestly family.

Today God is doing the same thing by taking His first fruits from a mish-mash of peoples from around the world and to ultimately create one holy Melchizedek Priesthood, all brothers together, under Jesus Christ as High Priest.

It is a "church of the first born" who are chosen in Christ today as the first born of the dead. They shall be made immortal priests after the Order of Melchizedek by the power of the First Resurrection at Jesus' Second Coming. As His servants, Christians are also graced with a more abundant life today. Remember, abundance is not measured solely by material things:

Therefore, holy brethren, partakers of a heavenly calling, consid­er Jesus, the Apostle and High Priest of our confession. (Hebrews 3:1)

But you (the church, the first fruits) are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people for God's own possession, that you may proclaim the excellencies of Him who has called you out of darkness into His marvelous light; for you once were not a people, but now you are the people of God. (I Peter 2:9-10)

But you have come to Mount Zion and to the city of the King God, the heavenly Jerusalem; and to myriads of angels, to the gener­al assembly and church of the first-born who are enrolled in heaven, and to God; the Judge of all, and to the spirits of righteous men made perfect, and to Jesus, the mediator of a new covenant. (Hebrews 12:22-24)

And Thou hast made them to be a kingdom and priests to our God; and they will reign upon the earth. (Revelation 5:10)

These are important concepts from the standpoint of tithing because the entire church - both ministry and lay members - are equal in their calling as immortal priests of God in the resurrec­tion. The entire membership of Jesus' Body, the Church, are equal in their qualifications as priests, for the basis of our qualification is the same - the sacrifice and indwelling life of Jesus. The Levites were a type of the whole church - not just the ministry!

All True Believers are First Fruits

As priests to be, we are all first fruits. We are all chosen of God. There is no other mediator or source of redemption for us other than Jesus. There is no other man, no Levite or priest (not I for you, nor you for me) to stand as a mediator for us, as atonement for our sins toward God, but Jesus.

Simply put, it is illogical for anyone of us to owe tithes to another. We are all the same, chosen first fruits of God, and therefore, spiritually of equal station to each other. As first fruits, we are what is owed to God, not the money in our pockets.

Just as Jesus was born in the express image of the Father, so He also took on the Father's immortal likeness with His resurrection from the dead. As Jesus is the first of the first fruits, so God invites you to become one of those first fruits now. God's first fruits among men will be resurrected to eternal life at Jesus' return to become one with Him in the celebration of the wedding feast.

Let Jesus lead you in how to give to His work, where you find it, in the way He makes it possible for you to give. For we work with God and Christ towards perfection in love. In God's service, we work as one with Him through the indwelling Holy Spirit. In that same Spirit, we are one with His other servants, our brethren in the faith. As His servants, we aid each other in both the grace of spiritual gifts, in the works of time consuming labor, and in donating money.

This is how we yield ourselves to be one with God and our bodies as tools in His service. We are all ministers of God called to work together. This does not mean that we are all televangelists or pastors, but we are His servants or ministers. We administer His Word and Will in our lives through His Holy Spirit as lights to the world. We put out the loving effort to grow in grace and knowledge by extending the depth of our faith in forgiving ourselves and others ever more completely.

The Chosen Order of Melchizedek

God will be satisfied with nothing else, and He will reward us with nothing less than to be priests forever after the order of Melchizedek.

Those begotten of the Spirit are God's order of Melchizedek. Those begotten of the Spirit today are God's the first fruits of a future world­wide harvest. Today Jesus is the only first born from the dead and the High Priest in that same order.

God does not want your material things - your tithe, the mate­rial first fruits of your labor or dead works. God wants you – your li8fe - as His first fruits of grace, the fruits of Jesus’ life, death and resurrection.

He wants you to begin to enjoy His blessings in a better life now. By His Spirit, we can glorify Him through acceptable works of righ­teousness, obedience, as well as by financial donations.

God is not a slot machine that spits out uncertain material bribes and benefits to anyone, believer or minister, without thought or con­cern for the recipient. You cannot bribe God or play Him like the lot­tery hoping for some return on money given to those who claim to represent Him.

Personal sacrifices of any kind cannot move God to conform to any mortal's will. God only accepts the sacrifice of Jesus, His only begot­ten Son. If a man or woman conforms to God's will, then his or her mortality will put on immortality.

No, God is Not a Slot Machine. He is sure. The only variable, the only chance God has taken is that He left the choice up to you.

You must choose life in order to have it. That is the one thing God through Christ cannot do for you. He cannot give you the power to choose, but all power in the universe awaits to help in love those who do. It's guaranteed by His Oath and Promise.

So, choose life! Because everyone who so chooses shall abundantly live now and forever.

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