when GOD is FIRST
ENJOYING THE BENEFITS OF THE LAW OF FIRST THINGS
when GOD is FIRST-Author-Mike Hayes published by Mike Hayes Ministries Copyright by S Mi!hael Hayes "###
$a!ket Design %y Sta!ey Do!kery sta!eydo!kery>e net
Author 'hotograph %y (urt )elson-Inno*ati*e I+ages, Fris!o, Te-as
All rights reser*ed .-!ept /or use in re*ie0s, this publi!ation +ay not be reprodu!ed, stored or trans+itted in any /or+, or by any +eans +e!hani!al or ele!troni!, photo!opying, re!ording or other0ise 0ithout prior 0ritten per+ission o/ the author
ho0 do 0e do it8 Mike Hayes gi*es so+e !hallenging ans0ers to these <uestions in =. 0hat does this really +ean in pra!ti!al appli!ation8 Ha*e you e*er 0ondered 0hy so+e people 9perhaps e*en you9are not being blessed or ha*ing basi! needs +et9e*en though they are gi*ing to the :ord8 . abo*e all else.hen God Is First = As you read this book. and ulti+ately /or His (ingdo+ Paul F.FOREWORD
One o/ the basi! prin!iples 0e are taught as %elie*ers is that 0e +ust put God /irst in our li*es Sounds si+ple. but there is a !ru!ial key to this la0 As you read this i+portant book you 0ill learn this key9and then. Crouch Trinity Broa ca!tin" #$t%or&
. =Gi*e and it shall be gi*en unto you=8 >es. doesn7t it8 %ut. i/ you apply it to your li/e.hat are the results o/ putting God /irst in our li*es9or the !onse<uen!es i/ 0e don7t8 And. you 0ill learn that God has !lear la0s on gi*ing and re!ei*ing both blessings and !urses These la0s are dire!tly i+pa!ted by the priorities 0e gi*e to God in e*ery area o/ our li*es As %elie*ers. it 0ill bring God7s pro*ision /or you personally. 0e ha*e the glorious pro+ises o/ God7s blessing and pro*ision Didn7t $esus hi+sel/ say.
ur"h.ur"h Pitt!. Garlo% S$nior Pa!tor S&ylin$ W$!l$yan Church San Di$"o. )i.a!ade+i! degrees.CRITICA' ACC'AIM
='astor Mike Hayes7 tea!hing +inistry has !onsistently been +arked by re*elatory insight into the po0er/ul truths o/ S!ripture He has parti!ularly e-!elled in his gi/t to !o++uni!ate /aith in the sensiti*e area o/ the kingdo+ o/ God and +oney =)o serious Christian should be 0ithout this body o/ tea!hing = Bi!ho( )o!$(h '. yet I had ne*er heard this a+a?ing bibli!al !on!ept until Mike prea!hed the ser+on I /ound +ysel/ sitting on the edge o/ +y seat thinking. heard ser+ons all +y li/e and ha*e si.P$nn!yl*ania =Mike Hayes7 +essage on =/irst /ruits= is !o+pelling. Garlin"ton S$nior Pa!tor Co*$nant Church o+ Pitt!.Cali+ornia
. !on*in!ing and !on*i!ting I ha*e studied the %ible /or years. 7Ho0 !o+e I ha*e ne*er heard this be/ore87 %ut that <uestion 0as superseded by. 7Ho0 !an I learn to apply this in +y li/e87 =I7+ e!stati! this !on!ept is /inally in book /or+ This !on!ept is one o/ those /e0 that is truly li/e !hanging= Dr.
=In @2 years o/ pastoring $ubilee Christian Center. no Christian should be 0ithout this po0er/ul tool that is guaranteed to /ore*er !hange your perspe!ti*e on the +essage and pra!ti!e o/ tithing and /irst /ruits gi*ing = Bi!ho( Carlton D.Cali+ornia ='astor Mike Hayes7 +essage. no elder.Hi"h$r Di. P$ar!on Pr$!i in" Bi!ho(.ily Church Tul!a. I !an truth/ully say 'astor Mike Hayes7 +essage on /irst things 0as the +ost li/e !hanging ser+on 0e e*er heard =. rele*ant. 0hi!h still !ontinues =)o pastor.*ery serious belie*er +ust read this bookA= Dic& B$rnal S$nior Pa!tor )u.$n!ion! Fa.= is one o/ the +ost re*olutionary.A/u!a F$llo%!hi( Int$rnational S$nior Pa!tor. relati*e and re*elatory +essages I7*e e*er heard on the subBe!t o/ tithing and /irst /ruits His deeply propheti! and insight/ul +essage strongly i+pa!ted our !hur!h !ausing our 0eekly gi*ing to in!rease by +ore than "# per!ent ea!h 0eek.il$$ Chri!tian C$nt$r San )o!$. =The De*oted Thing.
od has given me no greater gift. /or her dedi!ation to this proBe!t She has taken it on as a personal !hallenge. George Spill+an and his 0i/e (aryn. (aren Geer and Sta!ey Do!kery /or their tireless !o++it+ent to the !o+pletion o/ this book I !ould not ha*e done it 0ithout the+
. She is the most loving. !hank you sweetheart for all you are"
I 0ish to thank /ro+ the botto+ o/ +y heart +y daughter A+ie. /eeling the sa+e sense o/ urgen!y that I ha*e about the i+portan!e o/ the +essage getting out Also. A+y Hossler.DEDICATIO#
I would make no other dedication than to my wife and dearest friend Kathy. faithful and balanced person I have ever known. Next to the Holy Spirit. thank you toC Denise Glenn. Andria Ayers.
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6 TH.ITH ACHA)8
4 GOD :IF. MD:TI':I.. ).AT TH.TT.RFIC.)A)T9A %. COMMISSIO)
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G TH.S %> HIS O.A: . COF. 'ROMIS.TAB'E OF CO#TE#TS
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" FD:FI::I)G TH. 'A>CH.HO7S )DM%.R O).H.) ..D TO %.C(
2 HO. 'ROOF IS I) TH.
.OR( I) 'ROGR.M'TIF.@# R.D.SS
M> GOA:S FOR GIFI)G
Top @# Huestions on Tithing
=0e ha*e a <uestion . ho0e*er.hen %ill and (athleen 0alked into +y o//i!e I 0asn7t sure 0hat the purpose o/ their *isit 0as I kne0 their +arriage 0as suspe!t at ti+es.I#TROD0CTIO#
This day 0as not unlike any other day /or the pastor o/ a s+all /ledgling !hur!h Che!k the appoint+ent book.e do not understand 0hy 0e /aith/ully pay our tithes to support our !hur!h and 0e are not being blessed Most o/ the ti+e 0e !annot pay all o/ our bills I/ so+ething doesn7t !hange.hat I 0asn7t prepared /or. this ti+e their proble+ 0as not +arriage ='astor=. 0as the e*ents that this si+ple day 0ould set in +otion . +ake a /e0 phone !alls and spend a little ti+e praying in preparation /or 0hate*er the day 0ould hold . they began. 0e 0ill be /or!ed to /ile /or bankrupt!y .hat are 0e doing 0rong8 =
. but +any young !ouples need !ounsel 0hen a +arriage is ne0 As I 0as soon to learn.
to pray about it and try to help the+ 0ith an ans0er A/ter they le/t +y o//i!e I slu+ped ba!k into +y !hair and dri/ted o// into thought Re*ie0ing the /a!ts. about t0o 0eeks later I !alled the !ouple ba!k into +y o//i!e to ask the+ so+e spe!i/i! <uestions I asked %ill to des!ribe to +e the pro!ess /ro+ the ti+e they re!ei*ed their pay!he!k to the +o+ent their tithe tou!hed the o//ering plate %y the end o/ the
. it 0asn7t God7s /ault I/ I hadn7t kno0n %ill and (athleen so 0ell. I /elt that there 0as so+ething to be learned on +y part So. ho0e*er. I probably 0ould ha*e spouted o// the sa+e old things I kne0 about gi*ing %ut this 0as di//erent They 0ere pra!ti!ing 0hat I had been prea!hing to the+ As I re+e+ber. I kne0 one thing 0as sure9God is /aith/ul and His . I ad+itted that I did not ha*e the solution /or the+ I did pro+ise.*en still. I 0as a young pastor desiring to be the sour!e o/ all inspired in/or+ation . /aith/ul people and their gi*ing see+ed to be espe!ially !onsistent I thought o/ e*ery possible reason and !he!ked it o// in +y +ind I didn7t 0ant to send the+ a0ay 0ithout an ans0er A/ter all.IN!#$%&'!I$N
I kne0 this /a+ily to be hard 0orking.ord is true So i/ the pro+ised results o/ obedien!e to God7s 0ord 0ere not happening.
you +ay ask yoursel/. anyone !an I also belie*e that the se!ret un!o*ered in this book has been one o/ the +ost i+portant ingredients in our su!!ess As you begin reading.###. repla!ed by the o*er0hel+ing !larity o/ the ans0er The re*elation reali?ed in +y little o//i!e not only !hanged the !ourse o/ this !ouples7 li*es. =. but also a//e!ted the destiny o/ our !hur!h and thousands o/ li*es /ore*er A/ter all. our !hur!h at that ti+e ser*ed about "## +e+bers and 0e 0ere struggling to keep 0hat 0e had )o0. our !on/usion 0as gone.hy didn7t he Bust tell us 0hat to do to be blessed8 Couldn7t I ha*e gotten the point 0ithout being dragged through an!ient %ible stories8=
.e no0 ha*e an annual budget o/ +illions o/ dollars and a +e+bership approa!hing @#. 0orshiping 0eekly on a !a+pus o/ +ore than 5# pri+e a!res Our !hur!h has birthed a s!hool /illed 0ith 0orld !lass /a!ulty and /ields a sports progra+ o/ !ha+pionship !aliber I a+ so hu+bled to see 0hat God has doneA I only played a s+all part by stepping out in /aith "4 years ago.(hen $% is )I#S!
!on*ersation. 0ith +y 0i/e (athy I belie*e i/ I !an be su!!ess/ul. a /e0 years later. 0e ha*e e-perien!ed +ore o/ God7s blessing than 0e e*er drea+ed possible .
0ould that understanding dra+ati!ally in!rease the i+portan!e you pla!ed on obeying those instru!tions8= In @256. +y /ather 0as a young D S )a*y re!ruit . settling in the +iddle o/ the high0ay The sailors began to yell at the dri*er asking hi+ to stop 0hile banging their /ists on the roo/ o/ the
. not e*eryone 0as !elebrating There 0ere ene+y $apanese soldiers hiding out in the +ountainous Bungle 0ho didn7t e*en kno0 that the 0ar 0as o*er One day a group o/ sailors.orld . talked their !o++ander into gi*ing the+ a day o// to go to the bea!h . they piled into the ba!k o/ a +ilitary tru!k /or the trip to the o!ean a /e0 +iles a0ay The !o++ander then ga*e spe!ial instru!tions to the dri*er not to stop along the high0ay under any !ir!u+stan!es As they ru+bled do0n the road through the Bungle.hen they 0ere told they !ould go.IN!#$%&'!I$N
:et +e ans0er that 0ith a <uestion o/ +y o0n =I/ you not only had the instru!tions but understood the reasons behind the+. +y /ather lost his hat in the 0ind He 0at!hed the hat as it /loated to the ground. in!luding +y /ather.ar II had Bust ended and the ship he 0as stationed aboard stopped in the 'hilippines /or an airsho0 !elebration Although +y dad and his A+eri!an buddies 0ere glad to see the end o/ the 0ar.
he 0ould not stop /or any reason %ut be/ore the tru!k rounded the ne-t !ur*e the sailors suddenly understood the reason /or the !o++ander7s stri!t orders $ust a /e0 se!onds a/ter the hat hit the ground. it is best to start at the beginning
. it see+ed as i/ he !ould not hear the+ I a+ sure he heard the+. ene+y $apanese soldiers !a+e out o/ the Bungle /ro+ both sides o/ the road They pi!ked up the hat and then disappeared ba!k into the Bungle The rest o/ the trip to the bea!h 0as so+ber and <uiet as ea!h young +an thought about 0hat had Bust happened Seeing the potential !onse<uen!es o/ disobedien!e rein/or!ed the !riti!al i+portan!e o/ obeying the !o++ander7s orders The young sailors didn7t !al!ulate the risk 0hen they !hose to disobey They had been 0illing to take a !han!e be!ause they didn7t understand the reasons behind the orders Isn7t it the sa+e 0ith you and +e8 The understanding o/ Godly instru!tion !an rein/or!e our ability to obey And 0hen you ha*e the desire to understand.(hen $% is )I#S!
tru!k to get his attention Although they 0ere +aking a great deal o/ noise. but 0ithout pause he !ontinued dri*ing Deter+ined to obey orders.
and his throne is upheld by the people7s loyalty = 'ro*erbs "#I"G )IF
. preser*e the king. truth and /aith/ulness.1
WHO2S #0MBER O#E3
=:o*ing-kindness and +er!y.
0e do kno0 that he 0as the /irst sour!e o/ rebellion Isaiah @5I@"-@5 tells us that he /ell into pride and rebellion and de!lared.ord is translated /ro+ the Hebre0 0ord adown.= and od is de/ined as.(hen $% is )I#S!
. . +eaning.+ )($F :u!i/er 0as so /ull o/ hi+sel/ that he le/t no roo+ /or God His beauty 0as un+at!hed a+ong the angels in hea*en He 0as !o*ered in Be0els 0hi!h enabled hi+ to literally re/le!t the glory o/ God %ut this 0asn7t enough /or hi+9he 0anted +ore :u!i/er7s /irst +istake 0as belie*ing that he 0as the sour!e o/ beauty He /ailed to reali?e that he 0as only beauti/ul 0hen he 0as re/le!ting the glory o/ God His o0n sel/-!enteredness and pride blinded hi+ to the /a!t that he !ould ne*er be greater than the :ord God In /a!t. =the supre+e or ulti+ate realityC the one 0ho is 0orshiped as Creator and Ruler o/ the uni*erse =
. =I will exalt my throne above the stars of od and I will be like the *ost High.*en be/ore ti+e began. there 0ere !ontenders /or God7s throne :u!i/er 0as the /irst in his e//ort to oust God /ro+ His position Although 0e don7t kno0 +u!h about :u!i/er7s ti+e in the hea*ens be/ore he 0as !ast do0n. =so*ereign= or =there is none abo*e.
he 0as not the last >ou see. the throne o/ God. and e*ery angel that has anything to do 0ith hi+ =
ATTIT0DE3 WHAT ATTIT0DE3
Although :u!i/er 0as the /irst !ontender /or God7s throne. =Cast hi+ out o/ hea*en./# $N/0
God !ould not tolerate an obBe!tion to His :ordship. so He responded to :u!i/er7s !hallenge God !o++anded Mi!hael. God +ust no0 !ontend 0ith our pride.+ >ou !an bet that 0hen =I= !o+es /irst in our li*es. greed and thirst /or personal po0er It is possible to e-alt oursel*es to the pla!e o/ =lord= in our o0n li*es and not e*en be a0are o/ it >et this is the sa+e spirit or attitude that !aused :u!i/er to lose his pla!e in hea*en I/ 0e allo0 it.(H$-S N&*. :u!i/er7s !on/ession 0as. trouble 0ill +ost likely /ollo0
WHAT IS FIRST3
The o//i!e o/ :ordship and the station o/ the throne 0ere !reated /or the one true God It is i+possible /or
. e-ists not only in the hea*ens. or His pla!e o/ rule. this :u!i/erian attitude 0ill !hallenge God7s right/ul position as :ord o/ our li*es be!ause it is in dire!t opposition to God Re+e+ber. Chie/ o/ the 0arring angels saying. +I will exalt my throne above the stars of od and I will be like the *ost High. but also in the li*es o/ His !hildren Sadly.
I +ay be taking /or granted that 0e all ha*e the sa+e understanding o/ its +eaning.a!ic (rinci(l$ o+ a !u..5$ct.ith all this talk about the 0ord First. 0hi!h *aries 0ith it7s o!!upation 0ithin a senten!e FIRST.$thin".th$ .$in" $*$lo($ .$r on$ in a !$ri$!$arli$!t in ti.(hen $% is )I#S!
anyone or anything to repla!e God as /irst . FIRST.$r$!t . 0hen used as a noun. as a synony+ o/ /irst.$thin" ca(a. God 0ould be the noun And ho0 0e !hose to des!ribe Hi+ 0ould be the adBe!ti*e Many o/ us 0ould agree that He should be de/ined as the /irst person.$ntary.$in" nu.$"innin" o+ !o. is de/inedI a . in the sense that He 0as earliest in ti+e and /ore+ost in i+portan!e Ho0e*er. So.$ntion$ .ran&4 +un a. 0e +ay ne*er ha*e !onsidered de/ining Hi+ as being nu+ber one in a series It is essential that you understand this point be/ore 0e go /urther 0ith this subBe!t One aspe!t o/ the de/inition o/ /irst. i/ li/e 0ere a senten!e.a++$ctin" th$ +oun ation! o+ !o.o!t in i. that has not !learly been brought out is that although 7first.$ntal4 ru i. is de/inedI th$ +ir!t ($r!on or thin" .+eans nu+ber
.+or$. 0hen used as an adBe!ti*e is de/inedI .a!ic $!!$ntial.(ortanc$. as a synony+ o/ /irst. The 0ord rudimentary. is de/inedI a .$.l$ o+ . )undamental.
hen God !reated +an. it does not +ean that it is an island unto itsel/. but to rule on His behal/ as kings All God asked o/ the+ 0as that they lea*e one sele!ted tree alone Ada+ and . it is de/ined as the beginning or /oundational prin!iple In other 0ords. ha*ing no e//e!t on all that !o+es a/ter %ut instead.*e 0ere !o++anded not to tou!h it or eat it7s /ruit God7s intention 0as not to te+pt the+ 0ith the /ruit o/ that tree. but to re+ind the+ that He 0as :ord The tree o/ the kno0ledge o/ good and e*il 0as to be a !onstant re+inder that. only 0hen it 0ill /all
THE FA'' OF MA#
one.(H$-S N&*.ithout a /oundation there is no <uestion as to 0hether a building 0ill /all. although they had been gi*en po0er and
.*e 0ere !reated to rule o*er all the earth They 0ere not !reated to be sla*es to God. so+ething is +issing >ou see. He !reated all things /or his bene/it Ada+ and . but it 0ouldn7t take a s!ientist to /igure out that. the /oundation +ust al0ays !o+e /irst This prin!iple is seen in design and !onstru!tion It 0ould not take long to /ail in the !onstru!tion business i/ the !ontra!tor de!ided to start the building pro!ess 0ith the 0alls or the !eiling I kno0 that +ay sound silly. the !ontra!tor !ould not e*er su!!ess/ully go beyond his /irst +istake .
!hallenging God7s authority. so the te+ptation to take 0hat 0as God7s held no real pleasureC it 0as si+ply a +irage All that the serpent !ould o//er the+ 0as the kno0ledge o/ e*il and the pain that !a+e 0ith su//ering %e!ause o/ the de!eption o/ the serpent. their agenda took /irst pla!e and set in +otion the perpetuation o/ e*il a+ong +an Far too o/ten. they disobeyed God and de/iled the+sel*es by partaking o/ 0hat belonged to Hi+ The per!eption e-ists that there 0as so+ething spe!ial about the /ruit o/ that tree and that God had +ade it as te+pting as possible be!ause it thrilled Hi+ to torture +an The truth is that the !urse !a+e to the+ be!ause they negle!ted to put God and His !o++ands /irst Ada+ and .*e7s desire =to be like God= ruled their ability to +ake a <uality de!ision :ike :u!i/er. i/ 0e /ollo0 our o0n agenda instead o/ God7s plan /or our li*es
.*e had no kno0ledge o/ e*il Dnder the prote!tion o/ God. our desires and plans are +ore i+portant to us than God7s . they 0ere not +ade *ulnerable to the ene+y They kne0 the goodness o/ God.e !an display a :u!i/erian attitude. they 0ere still ruled by Another Their /irst step to0ard /alling 0as /orgetting their Foundation In the garden. Ada+ and .(hen $% is )I#S!
$a+es and $ohn 0ere rebuked by $esus /or ha*ing this attitude .hen the Sa+aritans re/used to re!ei*e $esus into their *illage. =Oh. our thinking has be!o+e 0arped by the 0orld in 0hi!h 0e li*e Our =bleeding heart= so!iety is /ull o/ people
. +1ou do not know what manner of spirit you are of. 0hile His obBe!ti*e 0as to sa*e the+ In the sa+e 0ay. in :uke 2I4@-43. you and I !an be :u!i/erian in attitude. I a+ a Christian $esus is :ord o/ +y li/e./# $N/0
In /a!t. =>ou and I aren7t e*en on the sa+e page I didn7t !o+e to this 0orld to destroy +en9I !a+e to sa*e the+A= $a+es and $ohn thought they kne0 ho0 the situation should be handled.= but your a!tions +ay re/le!t the spirit o/ :u!i/er >ou don7t ha*e to be de+on-possessed to !arry this spirit It is +ani/ested through an attitude or +ind-set that sets itsel/ abo*e God God 0ill not adBust His standard to our +ind-setC 0e +ust adBust our thinking to His standard Dn/ortunately. He 0as saying.+ :uke 2I44-43 )($F In other 0ords. )or the Son of *an did not come to destroy men-s lives but to save them. $a+es and $ohn asked Hi+ i/ they !ould !o++and /ire to !o+e do0n and !onsu+e the pla!e $esus rebuked the+ by saying. but they didn7t ha*e the sa+e obBe!ti*e as $esus Their agenda 0as to Budge the people.(H$-S N&*. yet Christian by !on/ession >our !on/ession +ay be.
as !iti?ens in God7s (ingdo+. this prin!iple re+ains9I/ you don7t gi*e God /irst pla!e. it is i+portant to +ake a di//eren!e in our so!iety by !asting our *ote The proble+ is that so+e belie*ers bring this attitude into the !hur!h and their relationship 0ith God Ho0e*er. *ote.e li*e in a ti+e in 0hi!h 0e are obsessed 0ith +aintaining and e-panding 0hat 0e belie*e to be our rights And as Christians. 0e are at an e-tre+e disad*antage in understanding %ibli!al relationship to
. He has the right to +ake !ertain !lai+s to our li*es 0ith 0hi!h 0e aren7t al0ays !o+/ortable As A+eri!ans. He 0ill take it He is God and He 0ill not allo0 anyone to *iolate His right/ul position %e!ause God is so*ereign. or !a+paign in the (ingdo+ o/ God God 0ouldn7t be God i/ He ran things by publi! opinion polls and +aBority *ote .*en in the abundan!e o/ His gra!e and +er!y. but !hoose to +urder hundreds o/ babies e*ery day 0ith absolutely no !ons!ien!e The reali?ation needs to o!!ur that our so!iety7s standards are set by ungodly priorities and +ust be adBusted to God7s prin!iples
WHAT ABO0T MY RIGHTS3
.(hen $% is )I#S!
0ho are 0illing to lay do0n their li*es to sa*e a tree. 0e ha*e no spiritual 7rights7 that o*er-ride the 0ill and 0ord o/ God There is no politi!al pro!ess.
so+e people +ay say. !an ha*e yours re+o*ed In the sa+e 0ay. +. the (ingdo+ o/ God is not a de+o!ra!y He rules His (ingdo+ 0ith absolute po0er and authority And i/ 0e disagree9too badA Ro+ans EI5 says. you !ould +ar!h in the street pro!lai+ing your rights.+ )($F od be true but every man a
This s!ripture +akes the point *ery !learly9that i/ 0e disagree 0ith God. allo0ing *iolations to go un!he!ked 0ould destroy the syste+ that God has put in pla!e /or a purpose This also holds true in !reation For instan!e.(H$-S N&*. you !an7t o//er an opinion that usurps the opinion o/ the king I/ you 0ish.e 0ant to be the /irst planet instead = .hat 0ould happen i/ it 0ere possible to do su!h a
. =:ook. it7s not /air that the earth has to be the third planet /ro+ the sun . but the ruler o/ that kingdo+.hen you li*e in a +onar!hy.et liar. 0e are *iolating the truthA >ou see. 0ith the nod o/ his head./# $N/0
God Do you kno0 0hy8 %e!ause 0e are one o/ the /e0 people groups that ha*e been raised 0ith little or no understanding o/ a +onar!hy .
0e reali?ed ho0 sel/-!entered 0e 0ere by thinking that H. the Chie/ Shepherd. i++oral hands o/ the +asses Although I +ay not understand 0hat He7s doing. I pre/er the sa/ety o/ the hands o/ the Chie/ Shepherd As young pastors +y 0i/e. 0e auto+ati!ally /elt reBe!ted 0hen they le/t A/ter God brought to light our +istaken per!eption. (athy. 0as unable to go*ern His o0n sheep
.(hen $% is )I#S!
thing8 To say the least..e 0ere al0ays grate/ul to 0el!o+e ne0 +e+bers to our little !hur!h >et i/ a parti!ular /a+ily de!ided that God 0as leading the+ a0ay /ro+ our +inistry. they see+ed to !arry our !on/iden!e right out the door 0ith the+ %e!ause 0e 0ere honored 0hen they !a+e to us. it 0ould upset the natural order o/ li/e on this planet God positioned the earth 0here it is /or a reason Mo*e it !loser to the sun and 0e 0ould !ook9+o*e it /urther a0ay /ro+ the sun and 0e 0ould /ree?e So+eti+es an argu+ent /or /airness 0ill result in unintended destru!tion %ut 0e !an rest in the /a!t that God7s 0ay is al0ays right90hether 0e agree or not I 0ouldn7t 0ant +y /ate to be le/t in the in!apable. and I 0ere al0ays e-!ited to see ne0 /a!es !o+ing into our +inistry .
it didn7t see+ /air to +e 0hen people that 0e had lo*ed and pastored /elt led to lea*e our +inistry Ho0e*er. he 0as an idolater 0ho didn7t kno0.hen 0e think about the patriar!hs o/ the %ible./# $N/0
It 0asn7t until 0e learned to trust God and lo*e people un!onditionally that our +inistry /lourished to the point 0here 0e !ouldn7t keep !ount o/ all the ne0 /a!es Sure. 0hi!h 0ould re<uire +y trust It 0as during those ti+es that I had to trust God and depend on +y relationship 0ith Hi+ to resol*e the unans0erable /or +e
ABRAHAM A#D ISAAC
. no0 I kno0 that Bust as sure as their identity !ouldn7t be 0rapped up in +e as their pastor. the story o/ Abraha+ !o+es to +ind He kne0 nothing o/ God or :ordship 0hen God !alled hi+ In /a!t. the one true God .hat then ga*e Abraha+ the !ourage to lea*e e*erything /a+iliar to /ollo0 the *oi!e o/ an unseen God8 Can you i+agine the le*el o/ trust it +ust ha*e taken /or Abraha+ to obey8
. +y identity !ouldn7t be 0rapped up in the nu+ber o/ +e+bers in +y !ongregation God 0as broadening +y /o!us to in!lude the greater pi!ture.hen speaking o/ trust.(H$-S N&*. 0e tend to /orget that +ost o/ the+ didn7t begin their Bourneys as /aith/ul /ollo0ers o/ God . +u!h less ser*e.
God brought Abraha+ outside o/ his tent one starry night and pro+ised hi+ a son 0hose des!endants 0ould be as !ountless as the stars abo*e his head Abraha+ 0as a 64 year old +an 0hen God ga*e hi+ the pro+ise. Isaa!. God re!ogni?ed hi+ as the =Father o/ the Faith/ul= The result o/ Abraha+7s /aith/ulness 0as a 0onder/ul pro+ise /ro+ God In Genesis @4I4. (ing o/ Sale+. so it +ust ha*e taken /aith to belie*e it 0ould !o+e to pass True to His . a tenth.ord. paid a tenth or tithe o/ his spoils to Mel!hi?edek %e!ause Abraha+ re!ogni?ed Mel!hi?edek as the priest o/ the Most High God and ga*e the tithe. =I 0ant you to +eet +e on a +ountain I 0ill sho0 you. "4 years later. God !a+e to Abraha+ and said. the pro+ised seed. blessed Abraha+ And in turn. be/ore there 0as any re<uire+ent to do so. 0as born to Abraha+ and Sarah
>ears later. o/ all the spoils o/ 0ar 0ith 0hi!h God had prospered hi+ This is the /irst +ention in the %ible o/ a tithe being paid So Abraha+. Abraha+ paid hi+ a tithe.(hen $% is )I#S!
God had no personal relationship 0ith +an at this point in history Abraha+ 0as the /irst +an 0ith 0ho+ God +ade a !o*enant A/ter the battle o/ the kings in Genesis @5. Mel!hi?edek. and
=to gi*e re*eren!eC to sho0 0orth to = . +!he lad and I will go yonder and worship.+ Genesis ""I4 )($F The 0ord 0orship +eans./# $N/0
sa!ri/i!e your only son unto Me = And yet.hen they arri*ed.hen they rea!hed the top o/ the +ountain. Abraha+ sho0ed an eager obedien!e to do as God !o++anded He rose early the ne-t +orning and took the donkey. + od will provide Himself a lamb for a burnt offering. Isaa! built
.+ Genesis ""IG ($F . Abraha+ said to his ser*ants. Isaa! said to his /ather.(H$-S N&*. the %ible says that Abraha+ did not stagger at the pro+ise o/ God .orship also denotes a sho0ing o/ de*otion Abraha+ had de*oted hi+sel/ to God and 0as pro*ing God7s 0orth in his li/e by his 0illingness to sa!ri/i!e his only son So Isaa! !arried the 0ood /or the sa!ri/i!e on his ba!k As they Bourneyed up the +ountain. =Dad. 0e ha*e the 0ood /or the sa!ri/i!e.*en as di//i!ult as this 0as. and Isaa! and began the Bourney to0ard the +ountain God 0ould sho0 hi+ It took the+ three days to get to Mt Moriah . you are !arrying the kni/e and 0e ha*e the /lint to start the /ire. the ser*ants. but 0here is the la+b8= Abraha+ +ust ha*e looked a0ay /or a +o+ent to gather his thoughts Then he turned to Isaa! and spoke propheti!ally.
Isaa! <uestioned. I ha*e the altar all ready The 0ood is there and I7*e done it Bust like you ha*e sho0n +e so +any ti+es be/ore. =Isaa!. =Son. but 0here is the sa!ri/i!e8= Abraha+ replied. I had the pro+ise be/ore I had you So I trust God to kno0 0hat He7s doing >ou are +y /irstborn. =It7s +e8 . and the /irstborn al0ays belongs to God = So in obedien!e. as the seed /or a nation8 I7+ not e*en +arried I/ I die. Bust as he had done hundreds o/ ti+es be/ore 0ith sheep Ho0e*er.hat do you +ean.(hen $% is )I#S!
the altar as he had seen his /ather do +any ti+es be/ore He asse+bled the stones and the 0ood 0hile Abraha+ rested Then Isaa! !a+e and said. Dad8 Re+e+ber all o/ the ti+es that you took +e outside the tent and told +e about the night that God ga*e you the *ision about the stars8 Did God not gi*e +e to you. Isaa! sub+itted Abraha+ then approa!hed Isaa! as he lay on the altar He took hi+ by the hair and pulled his head ba!k. you are the sa!ri/i!e = 'u??led by his /ather7s response. ho0 0ill the pro+ise be /ul/illed8= Abraha+ +ust ha*e replied. this 0as not a sheep9this 0as his son The +o+ent o/ truth had !o+e 0hen Abraha+ took the
+ Genesis ""I@" )IF The 0ords. Abraha+7s /aith !onsisted o/ +ore than e+pty 0ords9it !onsisted o/ absolute obedien!e
I ha*e a dear pastor /riend in 'uerto Fallarta. it see+ed
.. but e*ery /e0 0eeks he 0ould rent a large hotel ballroo+ /or a rally so that all o/ his +e+bers !ould be together in one pla!e They 0ere looking /or property to pur!hase and build on but. now I know that you fear od.(H$-S N&*./# $N/0
kni/e in his hand As Abraha+ put the kni/e to Isaa!7s throat. +Now I know. i+ply that at the botto+ o/ the +ountain. na+ed Saul Gon?ale? I !all hi+ the =Apostle 'eter= o/ Me-i!o He is a +an 0ho is a passionate soul 0inner and !hur!h builder The /irst ti+e Saul in*ited +e to speak in 'uerto Fallarta. I 0itnessed a tre+endous +ira!le o/ pro*ision against i+possible odds Saul held regular ser*i!es up and do0n the !oast around 'uerto Fallarta. be!ause 'uerto Fallarta had be!o+e one o/ the +ost popular *a!ation spots in the 0orld. the Angel o/ the :ord !a+e and stayed his hand and said.+.. +2braham. Me-i!o. God <uestioned His pla!e in J Abraha+7s li/e It 0as not until Abraha+ raised the kni/e to sa!ri/i!e his /irstborn son that God kne0 His position in Abraha+7s li/e >ou see.
God dropped a propheti! 0ord in +y spirit The :ord said.lders and they all 0rote the pro+ise God had gi*en the+ in the /ront !o*er o/ their %ibles The /ollo0ing 0eek Saul /le0 to Dallas and 0alked into our +id-0eek ser*i!e 0ith the biggest s+ile I7*e e*er seen and a testi+ony to go 0ith it
. God had so+ething else in +ind .*en though they had gi*en sa!ri/i!ially +any ti+es.(hen $% is )I#S!
i+possible /or this s+all Me-i!an group o/ belie*ers to !o+pete 0ith the high-dollar hotel industry Ho0e*er. their building /und 0as *ery s+all Ho0 !ould this !o+e to pass8 Saul sat do0n a/ter the ser*i!e 0ith his . =Tell the people that be!ause they ha*e pro*en that I a+ /irst in their li*es.hen I /inished speaking that e*ening. I 0ill pro*ide the+ 0ith property and t0o buildings One 0ill be a san!tuary and the other one 0ill be used /or training and edu!ation These buildings 0ill be !o+pletely paid /or by one person and you 0ill see it begin 0ithin ten days = I shared this *ery spe!i/i! 0ord 0ith 'astor Saul and he shared it 0ith the people . the +usi!ians !a+e and began to 0orship There 0as tre+endous brokenness throughout the !ongregation As 0e 0orshiped.
=Saul. ha*e you seen +y hotels8 They ha*e +arble /loors and !rystal !handeliers I 0ill not build God a house 0ith poles and a tin roo/A= I ha*e been to 'uerto Fallarta and prea!hed in the ne0 !hur!h building9built and paid /or by a +an 0ho had ne*er been to a ser*i!e God is able to pro*ide 0hat He pro+isesA %elie*ing that God 0ill do 0hat He says be!o+es easier 0hen 0e /o!us on God7s pro+ise instead o/ our sa!ri/i!e I/ Abraha+ had /o!used on the sa!ri/i!e o/ his only son. =Sir. he asked Saul to take a ride 0ith hi+ He took Saul to a beauti/ul !ity blo!k o/ property and said. i/ you !an get us this beauti/ul property you !ould Bust put up so+e poles and a tin roo/ and 0e 0ould be so grate/ul = The builder said. God 0ould not
. a lady 0as in attendan!e 0hose husband is a de*eloper o/ hotel properties Three days a/ter the prophe!y./# $N/0
The night o/ the rally in 'uerto Fallarta. =Saul. I a+ not a Christian but I kno0 0hen God is speaking to +e God has told +e to build you a !hur!h on this property = Saul began to 0eep He said.(H$-S N&*. he !alled Saul to ha*e lun!h A/ter in<uiring about the !hur!h building plans. he 0ould ha*e lost the pro+ise o/ a nation Had Abraha+7s !hoi!e been di//erent.
but he 0ould ne*er ha*e be!o+e the =Father o/ +any nations=
.(hen $% is )I#S!
ha*e stopped lo*ing Abraha+.
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F0'FI''I#G THE PROMISE
=I 0ill +ultiply your des!endants, as the stars o/ the hea*en and as the sand 0hi!h is on the seashoreC and your des!endants shall possess the gate o/ their ene+ies = Genesis ""I@6 )($F
(hen $% is )I#S!
A/ter Abraha+ passed the test o/ /aith, the angel o/ the :ord appeared to hi+ restating the pro+ise using the 0ords SA)D and STARS to des!ribe ho0 nu+erous his des!endants 0ould be!o+e Ha*e you e*er 0ondered 0hy God used the 0ord STARS8 ;hy !ouldn7t God ha*e si+ply said, =Abraha+, you 0ill ha*e +illions o/ des!endants=8 Today, there are o*er si- billion people on our planet, but in Abraha+7s day there 0ere *ery /e0 earthly inhabitants So God, in His sensiti*ity to Abraha+7s la!k o/ understanding, used /a+iliar 0ords to des!ribe 0hat He 0as pro+ising Abraha+ kne0 stars At night, outside his tent, it +ust ha*e see+ed as i/ e*ery !ubit o/ the sky 0as /rosted o*er 0ith +a-i+u+ star potential Abraha+ also kne0 sand Although it 0ould take /aith to belie*e, Abraha+ !ould not re!ei*e the pro+ise i/ he did not understand it So, be!ause there 0asn7t an aba!us 0ith enough beads to illustrate God7s +essage, He /ound a 0ay to +ake the pro+ise rele*ant
BECOMI#G A #ATIO#
Isaa! 0as the pro+ised seed o/ the nation that 0as to !o+e Isaa!, 0ith his 0i/e Rebe!!a, produ!ed t0o sons The /irstborn o/ their t0in boys 0as na+ed .sau and
)&,)I,,IN !H/ 3#$*IS/
the se!ond-born they na+ed $a!ob .sau7s na+e, +eaning =hairy=, des!ribed his looks, ho0e*er, $a!ob7s na+e +eant =!heater=, des!ribing his !hara!ter $a!ob 0as so na+ed be!ause he is said to ha*e been holding onto his brother7s ankle, *ying /or position, at the ti+e o/ their birth $a!ob be!a+e, /or a ti+e, e-a!tly 0hat his na+e +eant, a !heater And he too 0ould be !heated by his /ather inla0 out o/ the 0i/e he so desired, Ra!hel As a re<uire+ent o/ his /ather-in-la0, he +arried :eah in order to gain Ra!hel $a!ob loathed the pattern that this na+e had brought hi+ and /eared it 0ould be his end i/ God did not inter*ene to !hange hi+ A/ter $a!ob struggled 0ith 7the Angel o/ the :ord7 all night, God !hanged his na+e /ro+ =!heater= to Israel, 0hi!h +eansC =prin!e 0ho has po0er 0ith God= $a!ob, or Israel, as he 0as rena+ed, e*entually had t0el*e sons The sons 0ere na+ed Reuben, Si+eon, :e*i, $udah, Issa!har, Kebulun, Gad, Asher, Dan, )aphtali, $oseph and %enBa+in, and their des!endants be!a+e the @" tribes o/ the nation o/ Israel O/ the @" sons, $oseph 0as his /ather7s /a*orite )aturally, this aroused the en*y o/ his brothers, 0ho later sold hi+ into sla*ery Most o/ us ha*e heard o/ $oseph, or at least his /a+ous
$oseph 0as able to pro*ide *aluable /ood and 0ater /or his /ather.gyptians to store up /or its arri*al $oseph instru!ted his brothers to return to Canaan and bring his /ather to hi+ to d0ell under the shelter o/ . sla*ery and reign in .gypt nu+bering 6#.gyptians %ut not long a/ter the reign o/ $oseph had passed.gypt $oseph7s long Bourney led hi+ to the pla!e o/ authority and honor he had seen in a *ision as a young boy Many years later. the sa+e brothers that had sold hi+ into sla*ery appeared be/ore hi+ in .+ )IF So.gypt begging /or assistan!e As se!ond in !o++and.(hen $% is )I#S!
!oat o/ +any !olors. and stayed /or /our !enturies In the beginning. and ten female donkeys loaded with grain and bread and other provisions for his 4ourney. the !hildren o/ Israel 0ent into . but +any don7t kno0 the rest o/ the story that in!ludes $oseph7s i+prison+ent. the !hildren o/ Israel 0ere re!ei*ed by the . +2nd this is what he sent back to his father ten donkeys loaded with the best things of /gypt. the
.gypt until the drought 0as o*er Genesis 54I"E says. $oseph had seen the !o+ing o/ the /a+ine and instru!ted the . his brothers and their /a+ilies during the se*en year drought 'ropheti!ally.
.gyptians !a+e to dread the Israelites and 0orked the+ ruthlessly The ta!ti!s o/ the . Moses d0elt in the 0ilderness God 0as +aking Moses into the leader He 0ould use to deli*er His people out o/ . -!hus says the .### people 0ithin 5## years They had be!o+e a nation )o0.gyptians ba!k/ired be!ause the !hildren o/ Israel not only +ultiplied.###.IN !H/ 3#$*IS/
!hildren o/ Israel be!a+e a threat to the . +!hen you shall say to 3haraoh.
P'AG0ED BY THE 'AW
In . God instru!ted Moses.gyptians be!ause they <ui!kly gre0 to out-nu+ber the+ The . He pi!ked Moses as the +an /or the Bob Although Moses had been raised in 'haraoh7s pala!e.gypt For 5# years 5which is the number of transition 6.)&. stru!k and killed an .)I. Moses le/t . 0hen God 0as ready to bring the !hildren o/ Israel out o/ . the +ore they +ultiplied and spreadC so the .gyptian 0ho 0as beating an Israelite .gypt. but re+ained set apart due to their station as sla*es The !hildren o/ Israel +ultiplied /ro+ 6# to roughly ". 0hen he learned o/ his Israelite heritage.-odus 5I"".gyptians pla!ed sla*e +asters o*er the+ to oppress the+ 0ith /or!ed labor %ut the +ore they 0ere oppressed.ord7 Israel is *y son. he 0as born an Israelite Moses.ith his true identity re*ealed and /earing /or his li/e.
(hen $% is )I#S!
*y firstborn. /lies and the death o/ li*esto!k They began to get +ore se*ere by degrees until boils plagued the . your firstborn. let *y son go that he may serve *e. gnats.*ery one o/ the+ in the land = God 0as establishing a pre!edent 0hen He instru!ted Moses to tell 'haraoh to let His /irstborn go so that the /irstborn +ay ser*e Hi+ He 0as ready to initiate His :a0 o/ First Things and His /irst !ourse o/ a!tion 0as to deli*er His =/irstborn= God !onsidered Israel His /irstborn be!ause they 0ere des!endants o/ Isaa!.ut if you refuse to let him go. i/ you don7t /ree My /irstborn. Israel. then I a+ going to take your /irstborn . indeed I will kill your son.-+ )($F In other 0ords. the /irstborn son o/ Abraha+. God 0as saying. a darkness that !ould be /elt spread O*er
. he re/used to release the !hildren o/ Israel So God began to unleash plagues 0hi!h be!a+e progressi*ely +ore se*ere against the . So I say to you. to ser*e Me.gyptians and hail le/t the !ountryside in ruins to be eaten by the plague o/ lo!usts Then. 0ho+ God pro+ised to +ake a holy nation 'haraoh didn7t respond positi*ely to God7s !o++and In /a!t. . ='haraoh.gyptians in response to 'haraoh7s de/ian!e to His !o++and The /irst plague 0as the turning o/ 0ater to blood Then !a+e the plague o/ /rogs.
IN !H/ 3#$*IS/
. ho0e*er. like the .)&.gypt !o*ering e*erything /or three days The Israelites. =:et My /irstborn go to ser*e Me I/ you don7t.. 0ere spared and had light in the pla!es 0here they li*ed Ho0e*er.gyptians !ould ha*e a*oided the death o/ the /irstborn a/ter the /irst plague i/ they had said.)I.gyptians. 'haraoh7s heart only gre0 harder 0ith ea!h plague9until the tenth plague The tenth plague 0as the death o/ the /irstborn . all o/ these /lies are a sign /ro+ God So+eone7s 0arning us that 0e are out o/ line = The story o/ the plagues isn7t a popular parallel that anyone 0ould 0ant to !o+pare the+sel*es 0ith >et. there are those 0ho /eel like they are getting by be!ause Budg+ent hasn7t /allen Ha*e you e*er /elt like so+eone 0as trying to tell you so+ething8 Maybe those little proble+s you are ha*ing in your li/e are God7s 0arning plagues to say.*ery /irstborn +ale o/ !attle and !hildren died during the night Re+e+ber that God sent Moses to 'haraoh 0ith a +essage saying. =It7s Bust a
. ea!h plague 0as +ore se*ereC but the . =>ou kno0 0hat. then I a+ going to kill your /irstborn = )o0 isn7t that 0hat God said He 0ould do in the beginning8 God 0asn7t *ague in His !o++and to 'haraoh %ut look ho0 +er!i/ul God is9God 0ent through nine plagues be/ore doing 0hat He said He 0as going to do in the /irst pla!e See.
-odus !hapter @". He will see the blood on the top and sides of the door frame and will pass over that doorway. =. +aybe the old !ar Bust broke do0n9but it !an be /i-ed That7s all it is9Bust a little troubleC but at so+e point you7*e got to ask. and paint the door posts. God +ade a 0ay o/ es!ape /or anyone 0ho 0ould !hoose to obey In .(hen $% is )I#S!
/e0 /lies and lo!usts no0.ord goes through the land to strike down the /gyptians.+ )IF This is 0here the ter+ 3assover !o+es /ro+
. +(hen the . abo*e and do0n the sides. and He will not permit -the destroyer. and e*en the threshold. Moses addresses the Israelites 0ith the kno0ledge o/ ho0 to properly redee+ their household He said that they +ust slay a la+b and !ook the +eat and eat the +eat o/ that la+b 0ith none to be le/t o*er They 0ere then to take a hyssop bran!h.here is this leading8=
Through the instru!tion gi*en to Moses. but it7s progressi*e Ho0 /ar 0ill it go until you reali?e that so+ething is out o/ order8= >ou +ay ha*e lost your Bob9but you7ll get another Bob Or. 0ith the blood o/ that la+b Then Moses said in *erse "E.to enter your houses and strike you down.
*eryone 0ho obser*ed the la0 li*ed And the /irstborn o/ e*eryone 0ho did not obser*e the la0 perished I !an only i+agine 0hat the ne0spaper headlines looked like in . God used an un/orgettable e-a+ple to begin His tea!hing He allo0ed the+ to redee+ their /irstborn 0ith the blood o/ a la+b And i/ they ga*e the pri!e o/ a la+b. there 0ould be a /uneral soon a/ter God designed this test to separate the Israelites /ro+ the . +. =to buy ba!k by repla!ing 0ith an a!!eptable sa!ri/i!e = . blood 0ould !oat the door post o/ their ho+e And i/ they did not belie*e... for there
.there was loud wailing in /gypt. 0hen the destroyer 0as released.-odus @"I E#..)&. /riend /ro+ /riend At +idnight.gypt the ne-t +orning The death toll +ust ha*e been enor+ous It says in .*en though they had not been taught the !on!ept o/ rede+ption.)I. they 0ere able to keep their /irstborn and e*erything else in their house 0as redee+ed .IN !H/ 3#$*IS/
The test o/ :ordship had been re<uired o/ Abraha+ and 0ould no0 be re<uired o/ the Israelites Their belie/ 0ould be 0itnessed by all their /riends and neighbors I/ they belie*ed and trusted. i/ the blood o/ the la+b 0as applied to the post o/ their door the li/e o/ the /irstborn o/ that house 0as spared or redee+ed Redee+ +eans. neighbor /ro+ neighbor.gyptians..
+aybe they didn7t kno0 about God7s la0 = %ut you see. in /a!t. =%ut 0ait. had to keep the rules and the prin!iples that He had established He 0anted the !hoi!e to be !lear but not /or!ed It is a+a?ing that in this day and age people !ould !lai+ ignoran!e o/ God In /a!t. you 0ould think that by no0 A+eri!a +ust surely ha*e rea!hed a pla!e 0here there is no e-!use /or anyone to be lost The Gospel is broad!ast on the air0a*es and tele*ision and
. then la0 is e<ually +easured out It 0orks the sa+e /or e*eryone >ou +ay say. in order to be God. I !an still see the +er!y o/ God in it be!ause God used nine plagues to 0arn the+ It 0as not an a!t o/ hostility by God but.(hen $% is )I#S!
was not a house without someone dead. a re/usal by God to *iolate His o0n established la0 . but He 0ould not tip the s!ales to the point 0here no /aith 0as re<uired God.ord o/ God and 0itnessed the e*iden!e o/ His po0er but re/used to !o+ply God !ould ha*e done +ore to sho0 His po0er.+ )IF )o0. ignoran!e o/ God7s la0 is no e-!use /or not keeping God7s la0 'haraoh heard the . but 0hen God is the Righteous $udge. as !ruel as this see+s.hen the :a0 o/ God is established it is nondis!ri+inatory >ou +ay or +ay not ha*e /aith in our Budi!ial syste+.
)I.ord for the generations to come.ecause the . the Israelites 0ere dri*en out o/ the !ountry in a hurry So in the +iddle o/ the night.. it does not stop God /ro+ being /irst :ike 'haraoh. on this night all the Israelites are to keep vigil to honor the .+
.ord kept vigil that night to bring them out of /gypt. 0e !an !lai+ there is no God but that doesn7t !hallenge His :ordship at all And it doesn7t eli+inate Hi+ /ro+ being God I/ He is not /irst. they le/t . rede+ption +eans to buy ba!k /ro+ and. then there is no rede+ption at 0ork in our li*es And the unredee+ed portions o/ our li*es 0ill be!o+e a !urse to us As 0e kno0.gypt /or /reedo+ +.)&.gypt %e!ause o/ the destru!tion that !a+e upon the . be/ore their bread !ould rise.IN !H/ 3#$*IS/
there are billboards and !hur!hes on e*ery !orner And yet. in this !ase. there are still so +any 0ho sleep late on Sunday +ornings and ha*e absolutely no desire /or the kno0ledge o/ the things o/ God The lesson o/ the plagues is thisI I/ 0e /ail to put God /irst.gyptians. it is to buy ba!k /ro+ destru!tion
EGYPT I# THE REAR86IEW MIRROR
God deli*ered the !hildren o/ Israel /ro+ bondage 5E# years to the *ery day they had entered .
-!his is done because of
. slaughter it and !onsu+e it all = So 0ith this announ!e+ent /ro+ God. God said in .-odus @EIG. =This +onth is to be /or you the /irst +onth o/ your year Tell the 0hole !o++unity o/ Israel. ea!h +an is to take a la+b And on the /ourteenth day. the /east o/ 'asso*er 0as established so that none 0ould /orget ho0 God had deli*ered the+ 0ith a +ighty hand
THE 'ESSO# OF THE 'AMB
There are /e0 things +ore tou!hing than the lo*e a !hild has /or his /a*orite pet And +any ti+es.(hen $% is )I#S!
. an e-planation 0ould be in order So.-odus @"I5" )IF The :ord said to Moses. = and you shall tell your son in that day. but their pets 0ere usually the sheep and other ani+als that 0ere !o++only raised by the Israelites And He kne0 that 0hen it !a+e ti+e to sa!ri/i!e a sheep that had be!o+e a pet. the bond that is /or+ed is one o/ the +ost signi/i!ant in a !hild7s early years Many o/ us !an re+e+ber a !hildhood pet that be!a+e a part of the /a+ily and 0as lo*ed by all God kne0 this 0ould happen in e*ery Israeli /a+ily The Israeli !hildren also had pets that they lo*ed and took !are o/. at t0ilight. saying. that on the tenth day o/ the /irst +onth.
=. that7s true %ut this one is the :ord7s and this one goes to the te+ple . there 0ould surely /ollo0 a barrage o/ <uestions about . you7re the one that na+ed it.gypt Any !hild 0ould 0ant to kno0 the details o/ su!h an e*ent that !ould !ost the+ their la+b so +any years later >ou see. yes.IN !H/ 3#$*IS/
what the .ord-s law may be in your mouth8 for with a strong hand the .-+ )($F )o0. =)o. no son.hen an Israeli dad headed to0ard the pen to pi!k out a sheep and started to0ard the te+ple 0ith his boy and the /a+ily pet.ord did for me when I came up from /gypt. 0hen and 0hy did He say /or the /athers to e-plain the sa!ri/i!e ritual to their sons8 .gypt 0ith a +ighty hand = A/ter this trau+ati! e*ent. the proble+ is that the son doesn7t re+e+ber anything about .)&.gypt9but his dad does His dad re+e+bers the beatings /ro+ 'haraoh7s !ruel task+asters that le/t the
. that is the /irstborn and the /irstborn isn7t yours I kno0 that you took great !are in /eeding it. that the .)I.hy that sheep..ord has brought you out of /gypt. and you 0ere there 0hen it 0as born and it is *ery spe!ial and.e do this be!ause the :ord brought us out o/ .e ha*e to get pra!ti!al 0ith this . It shall be as a sign to you on your hand and as a memorial between your eyes. God kne0 the son 0as going to ask. Dad8 That one is +ineA= And the dad 0ould say.
they 0ill ne*er kno0 0hat you ha*e !o+e through in your li/eti+e So.gypt 0as like8 It 0ould be bene/i!ial to routinely gi*e .gypt 0as like. and then thank your Deli*erer /or a grand e-odus /ro+ the old li/e o/ bondage
. the ongoing sa!ri/i!e syste+ 0as set in pla!e by God so that His !hildren 0ould not lose tou!h 0ith the +e+ory o/ their past This story is an i+portant lesson /or the +odern day parent I/ you don7t tell your !hildren. unless you enlighten the+. but the boy has no 0ay o/ kno0ing the horrors o/ sla*ery There/ore. ho0 0ill they e-perien!e the sa+e gratitude /or the great deli*ering po0er o/ God8 Ho0 +any o/ you re+e+ber 0hat .(hen $% is )I#S!
s!ars on his ba!k He re+e+bers 0hat li*ing in .gypt a ba!k0ard glan!e.
CHI:DR. FIRST%OR) • GOD .
S. .AS TH. A HO:> )ATIO)
CO)SID. FOR A)>O). TH.) OF ISRA.:> R.S .
A)D STA>.)TH ':AGD.S'O)S. • GOD
MAD.S %.D FOR FODR C. A .R. H.D DID)7T R.
. A THR.AS GOI)G TO DO I) TH.AD> TO %RI)G TH..:
• SO GOD
TO D):.)T I)TO
'ROGR.FIA)C.D TO MA(. TO HIS COMMA)D
• TH.CADS. AGAI)ST TH.SSIF.HICH %.D MOS. SAID H.) OF ISRA.G>'TIA)S
'HARAOH7S D. CHI:DR. ':AGD.)T THRODGH )I).S'O)D 'OSITIF. TH. TH. .HOM GOD 'ROMIS. FIRST ':AC.HAT H.:> TO
TO R. T.ATH OF TH.: ODT OF .> . . CHI:DR.: %.)TDRI. FIRST%OR) SO) OF A%RAHAM.> HDIC(:> GR.G>'T )DM%.CADS.ASH
• TH. TO
MOR. 'IC(.G>'T.R..CAM.AS R.H.) OF ISRA.SCA'.'H23!/# S&**2#1
• TH. . .S AS TH.: HIS FIRST%OR) %.A> OF . TO ODT-)DM%.) GOD .: .R
• . CHI:DR.RI)G 6#.AT TO TH. $O% • GOD ISRA.HO . DOI)G .AS.SC. D.)
OF ISRA.)DA)TS OF ISAAC.FOR.R. D.CAM. MA) FOR TH.
D.AS A'':I.IR DOOR. ..D TH.R.D TO TH.ITH A MIGHT> HA)D
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TH.OD:D FORG. . FAI: TO 'DT
GOD FIRST. %:OOD OF TH.M.D
• .T HO.D OR R. :AM% .
:A.AS S'AR. :IF.I)G FIRST
• 'ASSOF. GOD HAD D.
and do not the things 0hi!h I say8= :uke 3I53 )($F
'ORDSHIP OR 'IPSER6ICE3
=%ut 0hy do you !all +e :ord.
0hile only gi*ing Hi+ Christ+as and . =I7ll be /aith/ul to you /or E3# days out o/ the year. 0e !lai+ that $esus is :ord. He 0as disappointed
.(hen $% is )I#S!
The !hildren o/ Israel 0ere His people and He 0as their God He 0asn7t one o/ se*eral gods. He 0as the only God %ut +ore i+portantly.gypt. ho0e*er. but I7ll need a *a!ation on!e a year /or /i*e days to do 0hate*er I please9 0ithout a!!ountability /or +y a!tions =8 I don7t belie*e anyone 0ould !hoose that kind o/ a relationship And yet. then He7s not :ord at all
'AYI#G DOW# THE 'AW
Although God lo*ed the Israelites.ould you be 0illing to +arry a person 0ho said. =I lo*e you pretty +u!h8= Or ho0 about so+eone 0ho said. He 0as to be /irst God 0as 0eary. at /irst opportunity they turned to un/aith/ulness God had Bust +ira!ulously deli*ered the+ /ro+ the bondage o/ . 0ith His !hildren7s te+porary and sporadi! !o++it+ents to /irstness Although they 0ere de*oted to Hi+ during the hard ti+es. yet He /ound the+ !elebrating their deli*eran!e 0ith a golden !al/ Allo0 +e to pose a <uestion .aster :ordship 0ill not 0ork that 0ay be!ause the ter+s o/ the relationship are not being /ul/illed I/ He7s not :ord o/ all.
upon the +ountain. God e-plained ho0 the Israelites !ould pro*e their desire /or the leadership and :ordship o/ His a!!o+panying presen!e There.+ )IF In the /ollo0ing pages.-odus EEI@@.. /or the+ to re+ain blessed so+ething +ore than a yearly /east had to be established to ensure His position as :ord in their li*es He kne0 He !ouldn7t lea*e :ordship to their e+otions. Moses kne0 God7s nature and had su!h an inti+ate relationship 0ith Hi+ that God spoke 0ith hi+ openly The %ible says in . +!he . then teach me !our ways.I3S/#9I'/0
0ith the+ He !ould not sho0 Hi+sel/ to the+ until they ga*e the+sel*es 0holly to Hi+ Ho0e*er.$#%SHI3 $# . +e+ories or +ood s0ings So along 0ith the !onstru!tion o/ the Taberna!le. God installed !he!ks and balan!es in His syste+ o/ :ordship
. as a man speaks with his friend.ord would speak to *oses face to face. God ga*e Moses the appli!ations to /ul/illing the re<uire+ent o/ !alling Hi+ :ord and re!ei*ing His /a*or It is i+portant /or us to understand that God 0anted His people to be blessed. =I/ 1ou 5 od6 are as pleased with me as 1ou say.+ In the passages /ollo0ing 0e !an /ind an interesting !on*ersation bet0een God and Moses Moses begins by saying. healthy and prosperous >et.
the stru!ture o/ the ritual o/ sa!ri/i!e. whether from herd or flock.ring the best of the first fruits of your soil to the house of the .-odus E5I@2. #edeem all your firstborn sons. including all the firstborn males of your livestock. the statutes o/ the Taberna!le and 0hat 0e no0 !all The :a0 o/ First Things
GOD2S 'AW OF FIRST THI#GS
The :a0 o/ First Things is the gi*ing o*er as re<uired.(hen $% is )I#S!
to ensure that their !on/ession 0as +ore than Bust 0ords %y doing this. God established a syste+ o/ sa!ri/i!e in 0hi!h
.+ +#edeem the firstborn donkey with a lamb. "3 )IF And so. "#.+ +No one is to appear before me empty handed. but if you do not redeem it. /irstborn and /irst /ruits as an o//ering in /aith. break its neck.+ .+ +.ord your od. pro*ing the position held by God +!he )irst offspring of every womb belongs to me. He established 0ays /or His !hildren to pro*e that He is /irst The re<uire+ents 0ere the Ten Co++and+ents.
,$#%SHI3 $# ,I3S/#9I'/0
ani+als 0ere to be burnt as an o//ering upon an altar In :e*iti!us @, God designated /i*e ani+als as !lean La!!eptableM sa!ri/i!es, 0hile de!laring the rest un!lean So, there 0ere t0o !ategories o/ /irstborn ani+alsI !lean and un!lean The !lean sa!ri/i!es 0ere o-en, goats, sheep, pigeons and turtledo*es It is also interesting that these sa+e /i*e ani+als 0ere sa!ri/i!ed by Abraha+ 0hen God +ade !o*enant 0ith hi+ in Genesis @4 ;hile the 0ealthy sa!ri/i!ed o-en, the turtledo*e 0as the poor +an7s sa!ri/i!e %ut be!ause +ost o/ the Israelites raised sheep, the +ost !o++on sa!ri/i!e 0as a la+b )o0, the /irstborn !lean ani+al 0as !onsidered to be an o//ering that 0as de*oted to destru!tion or 2th$ $*ot$ thin"2. %evoted +eans =the irre*o!able gi*ing o*er to the :ord, not to be taken ba!k again = and destroyed +eans =to be !onsu+ed 0ith /ire as a sa!ri/i!e = +.ut the firstborn of the animals, which should be the ,ord-s firstborn, no man shall dedicate8 whether it is an ox or sheep, it is the ,ord-s. 2nd if it is an unclean animal, then he shall redeem it...Nevertheless, no devoted offering...shall be sold or redeemed8 every devoted offering is most holy to the ,ord.+ :e*iti!us "6I"3-"G )($F
(hen $% is )I#S!
The !on/using part o/ the pre*ious *erse is the part about dedi!ating the /irstborn !lean ani+al This si+ply +eans that /irstborn !lean ani+als !ould not be dedi!ated /or any other type o/ sa!ri/i!e They had to be destroyed by /ire as a tithe o//ering, as it 0as not a!!eptable to dedi!ate a /irstborn la+b as a sin o//ering Also, God did not allo0 the substitution o/ a /irstborn !lean ani+al >ou !ould not redee+ one !lean 0ith another, as that pra!ti!e 0as reser*ed /or the un!lean I/ it 0as /irstborn and one o/ the /i*e a!!eptable sa!ri/i!es 9it had to die
REDEEMI#G THE 0#C'EA#
Although God7s instru!tions regarding the sa!ri/i!e o/ the /irstborn !lean thing see+ed straight /or0ard enough, 0hat 0as to be done 0ith /irstborn ani+als that 0ere !onsidered un!lean9su!h as a donkey8 Re+e+ber the de/inition o/ 7redee+7 is =to buy ba!k by repla!ing 0ith an a!!eptable substitute = In :e*iti!us "6I"6a, God gi*es us the ans0er9+If it is an unclean animal, then he shall redeem it according to your valuation...+ NK:9 %y redee+ing so+ething /ro+ God, 0e are a!kno0ledging His !lai+ on it by paying /or it 0ith an a!!eptable substitute ;hat i/ the Israelites had an
,$#%SHI3 $# ,I3S/#9I'/0
un!lean /irst ani+al but didn7t ha*e an a!!eptable substitute 0ith 0hi!h to redee+ it8 God addressed this issue in .-odus @EI@E 0hi!h says, +/very firstborn of a donkey you shall redeem by substituting for it a lamb, or if you will not redeem it, then you shall break its neck...+ A+pli/ied Ho0 !ould killing the donkey be +ore o/ a bene/it to God7s !hildren than keeping it8 The /irstborn donkey is God7s and i/ /or any reason it is not a!kno0ledged as His, it be!o+es an open door /or the de*ourer %y breaking the donkey7s ne!k the Israelites 0ere taking a stand against the !urse and 0ith their a!tions saying, =It is better to break its ne!k than to disobey God I/ I do not gi*e God 0hat is right/ully His, I 0ill bring a !urse upon +y li/e, and I !annot a//ord to do that = In breaking the ne!k o/ the donkey, the o0ner 0ould sustain the blessing o/ God and keep the prote!tion against the de*ourer I/ the /irstborn donkey 0as not redee+ed, it 0ould bring a !urse upon the household and !ause +ore trouble than it 0as 0orth God +ade it !lear that by redee+ing the un!lean things 0ith a!!eptable sa!ri/i!es, the Israelites 0ould be spared the !urse o/ destru!tion
it did not e*en !ount as being gi*enA To hu+an reasoning. i/ I a+ raising 4#. 0hy should it +ake a di//eren!e 0hi!h one it is9as long as I bring Hi+ a sheep ..hy !ouldn7t I bring hi+ a big. and God re<uires one /ro+ +e e*ery 'asso*er. the !hild had to be dedi!ated to the :ord and le/t at the synagogue God re<uired the /irst o/ e*erything And i/ it 0asn7t the /irst. God said. @## or @. a la+b 0as sa!ri/i!ed I/ this 0as not done. you +ay be thinkingI =. that 0as not a sa!ri/i!e He a!!epted In .. +. the /irstborn son belonged to the :ord and in order to redee+ the li/e o/ that !hild.hy is gi*ing the /irst thing so i+portant to the :ord8= The Israelites probably had si+ilar thoughts =I/ He is :ord. /at 0oolly one or the one 0ith the biggest horns or +aybe the 5-H !ontest 0inner8 God said.+ A+pli/ied Dnder the Old Testa+ent syste+ o/ sa!ri/i!e. =I 0ant the /irst one I don7t !are i/ it7s /rail The only de/ining adBe!ti*e I !are about is 7/irst7 The /irst are MineA= In reading this.and every firstborn among your sons shall you redeem. He doesn7t need +y sheepA He doesn7t need +y kidsA He doesn7t need +y +oneyA He7s :ordA He +ade
.-odus @EI@Eb.(hen $% is )I#S!
God didn7t 0ant hu+an sa!ri/i!e In /a!t.### sheep.
He says. I7+ not e*en hanging out on your /ar+A= I/ His portion is not /irst. =I7+ not nu+ber eight9so don7t bring +e the eighth sheepA I7+ :ord and that status deser*es )u+ber OneA And i/ I7+ not nu+ber one.$#%SHI3 $# . blessing 0ill not !o+e to the rest o/ our li*es I read an interesting arti!le releasing the /indings o/ a study !ondu!ted o*er a span o/ se*eral years A 0ellkno0n institution /ollo0ed "4 !ouples do!u+enting the !hanges in ea!h o/ their relationships The study 0as /or+ed to deter+ine that the /irst three +inutes o/ !onta!t bet0een the t0o partners 0ould deter+ine ho0 the rest o/ the e*ening 0ould progress At the !on!lusion o/ the study. their resear!h had been su!!ess/ul in deter+ining the i+portan!e o/ the /irst /e0 +inutes o/ engage+ent bet0een t0o partners I/ the !ouple had guarded their 0ords.. but He put an auto+ati! !ontrol +e!hanis+ in pla!e as a re+inder to us o/ 0hat position He holds in our li*es He !annot /ill any other pla!e you !hoose to gi*e hi+ It is i+possible /or God to be!o+e se!ond or third In /a!t. keeping the
. ea!h !ouple /ell into one o/ the t0o !ategories And to the institution7s a+a?e+ent.I3S/#9I'/0
it allA= That is true.
+ade !o*enant 0ith the+. i/ they had started their /irst !on*ersation out on the 0rong /oot. but that it also !hanged the /inal destination o/ the relationship I/ the /irst portion 0as gi*en to negati*ity. 0ere happy and re+ained together So. the out!o+e 0as positi*e The :a0 o/ First Things di!tates that 0hate*er is done 0ith the /irst deter+ines 0hat happens to all the rest It 0orks in any situation you apply it to
During the ti+e in the 0ilderness. and no0 desired
. the rest o/ their ti+e together 0ould /ollo0 suit Ho0e*er. it 0as near i+possibility to !hange the negati*e !ourse o/ intera!tion It 0as /ound that the relationships that had /ailed to 0ork had distin!tly /allen into /a+ily dys/un!tion o/ one kind or another The !ouples 0ho had +anaged to +ake their /irst /e0 +inutes together a positi*e e-perien!e. sa*ed the+.(hen $% is )I#S!
the+e positi*e. the study not only deter+ined that the /irst three +inutes !hanged the !ourse o/ the e*ening. the out!o+e 0as negati*e and i/ the /irst portion 0as gi*en to praise. God 0as tea!hing the Israelites that He !ould not inhabit their li*es and bless the+ i/ He 0as not First He had /ound the+.
. literally. they !a+e into the land 0hi!h God had pro+ised the+ +any years be/ore through Abraha+
.$#%SHI3 $# .I3S/#9I'/0
to get to kno0 the+ God didn7t intend this ti+e in the desert to be tortureI it 0as supposed to be a honey+oon /or His people to get rea!<uaint-ed 0ith Hi+ So He ga*e the+ +ira!les. e*ery day They ate +ira!le /oodC <uail so+eti+es /ell right out o/ the sky O!eans stood on end Ri*ers o/ 0ater !a+e out o/ a ro!k by either striking it or speaking to it The %ible says that not one eye gre0 di+ nor 0as anyone ill and their shoes and !lothes 0ere !ontinually rene0ed It 0as a honey+oon season They 0ere li*ing in !orporate blessing God 0as restoring and preparing the+ And then at the end o/ 5# years.
• TH. ACC.HDIR.
FIF. GOATS.. AC()O.R.'H23!/# S&**2#1
THA) $DST .)SDR. FIRST%OR) A)D FIRST FRDITS .C. FIRST%OR)9FIRST FRDITS .SS
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S'ORADIC COMMITM. THAT TH. A'':ICATIO)S TO FD:FI::I)G TH.C(S A)D %A:A)C.
OF TH. FIRST OF .A) A)IMA:S COD:D )OT %.D THI)G7 D.FOT. :A.D
• THOS.:.RMI).ITH A) ACC. .ITH. AS A
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OFF.'I)G OC:.)A • TH.THI)G FROM GOD.FOT..
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• (.A) A)IMA: .FOCA%:. TA(.R )OT GIFI)G IT
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0ho brought trouble on Israel by *iolating the ban on taking de*oted things = I Chroni!les "I6 )IF
WHE# WI'' WE DEA' WITH ACHA#3
God designed a plan that 0ould !ause other nations to shudder in /ear at the thought o/ the Israelites . the Ar+y o/ the :ord +o*ed to the !ity o/ $eri!ho . assu+ing they 0ere under siege. tightly shut up the 0alls o/ the !ity = Now :ericho was securely shut up because of the children of Israel8 none went out. and none came in+ $oshua 3I@ )($F . the people o/ $eri!ho. God spoke to His people through $oshua God instru!ted the+ that
. 0ith the /uture o/ His !hildren in +ind. it 0as /inally ti+e /or the !hildren o/ Israel to be established as a nation God 0as going to rena+e the+ as He had $a!ob They 0ere !alled =Hebre0 sla*es= and =%edouins= be!ause o/ the past they had endured %ut that 0as about to !hange I/ they 0ere obedient. they 0ould be kno0n as.hile the !hildren o/ Israel en!a+ped around $eri!ho 0aiting /or the instru!tion /ro+ God.= a!!o+panied by all the bene/its a good na+e has to o//er So.0EST OF CITIES
A/ter 5E# years in sla*ery and 5# years in the desert. =The Children o/ the One True God.ith $oshua as their leader.(hen $% is )I#S!
THE CO#.hile the inhabitants o/ $eri!ho 0aited.
. God told Israel ho0 he 0ould gi*e the !ity to the+ He +ade it *ery !lear He 0as gi*ing the+ $eri!ho They 0ould not ha*e to stri*e.days. (/ %/2. the !hildren o/ Israel reBoi!ed be!ause they kne0 that 0hen God said this 0as the /irst then there 0ere +ore to !o+e God ga*e Israel detailed instru!tions about the battle o/ $eri!ho For @3 *erses in the book o/ $oshua. in the original (ing $a+es Fersion it says.(H/N (I.. but 0ere !o++anded to burn it 0ith /ire It is interesting to kno0 that the root 0ord doomed in the original language is the sa+e 0ord /ro+ 0hi!h 0e get devoted. and then se*en ti+es on the se*enth day Then on God7s !o++and they shouted in unity and the 0alls o/ $eri!ho /ell in0ard on the !ity
DO#2T TO0CH THE DE6OTED THI#G
The :ord instru!ted the+ that $eri!ho 0as 7doo+ed /or destru!tion7 They 0ere not to tou!h anything 0ithin the !ity. be!ause He 0ould /ight the battle /or the+ All he re<uired o/ the+ 0as !orporate obedien!e and the !ity 0ould be theirs >ou kno0 the story They +ar!hed around the !ity on!e a day /or si. (I!H 2'H2N0
$eri!ho 0ould be the /irst !ity the Israelites 0ould !on<uer At this ne0s.
0hat happened8 They +ar!hed around the !ity on!e a day /or si. 0hen it 0as ti+e to !arry out their instru!tion.days. it 0as 7the de*oted thing7 So. the !ity o/ $eri!ho /ell in on itsel/ The people o/ God 0ere so /ull o/ /aithA They had ne*er taken a !ity be/ore nor had they o0ned land I !an only i+agine their e-!ite+ent as they re/le!ted on the pro+ise that God 0as Bust beginning to /ul/ill The 0ealth o/ $eri!ho 0as a+a?ing There 0ere bars o/ gold and shekels o/ sil*er sta!ked all along the streets by the inhabitants o/ $eri!ho 0ho 0ere planning their /light out o/ the !ity The ar+y o/ Israel 0as ordered to !arry /iery tor!hes and light e*erything until it 0as !onsu+ed The gold and sil*er 0ould be taken to build the te+ple. but no one !ould take o/ the 0ealth o/ $eri!ho /or the+sel*es
. they understood the ter+inology God 0as ensuring that e*eryone understood that this !ity 0as not theirs to keep.(hen $% is )I#S!
=de*oted to destru!tion = %e!ause God had been tea!hing the+ about The :a0 o/ First Things. nor the 0ealth held 0ithin it %e!ause $eri!ho 0as /irst. Bust like He pro+ised. and then se*en ti+es on the se*enth day And on the se*enth day.
ith no one !lose enough to see hi+. =I did pretty goodA :ook 0hat I7+ going to take ho+e to +y /a+ily = >ou see. !usto+arily. he 0ould ha*e taken his booty o/ 0ar and /launted it to his /riends saying. (/ %/2.*eryone in the Israeli ar+y belie*ed God7s pro+ise e-!ept a +an na+ed A!han . (I!H 2'H2N0
%e!ause e*eryone in the ar+y o/ Israel understood the !on!ept o/ 7the de*oted thing7. he 0rapped his dis!o*ery in a %abylonian gar+ent. put it on like a ba!kpa!k and took it to his tent That e*ening he dug a hole in the /loor and buried his treasure there A!han kne0 he had sinned Ho0 do 0e kno08 %e!ause he hid 0hat he had taken I/ he 0as una0are o/ his disobedien!e. they belie*ed the :ord and reBoi!ed in burning this !ity .hile they 0ere sa!king the !ity and preparing to burn it 0ith /ire as an o//ering to the :ord. he sa0 a sta!k o/ gold bars and sil*er !oins and +ade a de!ision . A!han7s /aith /ailed As the ar+y ran through the !ity burning it 0ith /ire..(H/N (I. the spoils o/ battle 0ere gi*en to the soldiers So+eti+es sharing in the ri!hes o/ 0hat they !on<uered 0as their only pay %ut not this ti+e9 $eri!ho 0as 7the de*oted thing7
(hen $% is )I#S!
WHAT2S THE DEA'3
The ne-t !ity God 0anted to gi*e Israel 0as a !ity !alled Ai )o0, !o+pared to $eri!ho, Ai 0as a little hi!k to0n 0ithout a standing ar+y It 0as basi!ally a 0ide spot in a !a+el trail So $oshua told his ar+y, =I don7t e*en need to go I 0ill send a /e0 o/ you to take that !ity = A/ter the battle o/ $eri!ho, $oshua treated this like a si+ple, e*eryday errand %ut there 0as nothing si+ple about the lesson God 0as prepared to tea!h His !hildren As the Ar+y o/ the !hildren o/ Israel approa!hed the !ity o/ Ai, their /aith <ui!kly /aded The +en o/ Ai thre0 open the gates o/ the !ity and !a+e running to0ard the+ 0ith /ar+ i+ple+ents and sti!ks It did not take long /or the Israeli ar+y to reali?e they 0ere losing +ore than the battle Men 0ere dying So+ething 0as 0rongI losing 0asn7t part o/ the plan ;hen the Israeli soldiers returned a/ter running /or their li*es they said to $oshua, =So+ething is 0rong ;hen God7s blessing 0as on us, the !ity o/ $eri!ho /ell in on itsel/ and 0e didn7t lose one +an %ut 0hen 0e 0ent up to take the little !ity o/ Ai, 0e lost E3 +enA Tell us, 0hat did 0e do 0rong8 So $oshua /ell on his /a!e be/ore God asking Hi+, =;hat7s the deal8= And God said, =I7ll tell you 0hat the
(H/N (I,, (/ %/2, (I!H 2'H2N0
deal is There is a thie/ a+ong you and 0hen you deal 0ith that, +y blessing 0ill return = It +ay see+ harsh that God 0ould risk the li*es o/ His !hildren be!ause o/ the sin o/ one +an, but God !ould not tolerate a *iolation o/ His la0 ;e talk a lot about breaking la0s, but is that really possible8 Maybe 0ith +an-+ade la0s, but not 0ith God7s ;e don7t e*er really break a la0C 0e *iolate la0s and pay the !onse<uen!es :et7s use the la0 o/ gra*ity /or an e-a+ple Ha*e you e*er seen anyone break the la0 o/ gra*ity8 ;ould anyone dare say that they 0ere atte+pting to break the la0 o/ gra*ity by thro0ing the+sel*es /ro+ the highest building they !ould /ind8 I don7t think so, but 0hy hasn7t this been atte+pted8 %e!ause the la0 o/ gra*ity !annot be broken And it is !o++on kno0ledge that 0hen you *iolate the la0 o/ gra*ity it 0ill ha*e its !onse<uen!e It si+ply !annot be ignored ;ell, this +ay see+ si+ple and ob*ious, but there are +any people that !on/use ignoring la0s 0ith breaking the+ Ho0e*er, God has undeniably set in pla!e natural and spiritual la0s that ha*e i++ediate reper!ussions /or those 0ho do not sho0 a respe!t /or the+ ;hen a spiritual la0 is *iolated, God7s response is not deter+ined by His e+otion to0ard the in!ident or the
(hen $% is )I#S!
person in*ol*ed His established la0s apply e<ually to e*eryone and so +ust the !onse<uen!es
THE ACHA# FACTOR
So $oshua, understanding that they !ould not go on in *iolation o/ the la0 o/ God, +ade all o/ Israel a!!ountable to the sin o/ one +an God had $oshua line up the 0hole nation, tribe by tribe Interestingly, these tribes e<ualed the entire population o/ a +aBor +etrople-C about E,###,### people The arduous pro!ess o/ bringing all t0el*e tribes o/ Israel be/ore $oshua took all-day and part o/ another All the 0hile, God is allo0ing A!han to stand there, gi*ing hi+ the opportunity to !on/ess ;e kno0 that God e*entually sho0ed $oshua by a 0ord o/ kno0ledge 0ho it 0as So, 0hy didn7t He lead hi+ straight to A!han7s tent in the beginning8 He then !ould ha*e taken A!han out and stoned hi+ to death and it 0ould ha*e been o*er %ut, instead, God ga*e A!han the opportunity to repent ;hat a 0itness o/ His +er!yA There 0ere se*eral thousand people standing there and God 0as 0aiting /or A!han %ut, hoping to es!ape punish+ent, A!han stood in silen!e So, e*entually $oshua narro0ed his sear!h and the other @@ tribes 0ere dis+issed A!han +ust ha*e been /eeling the heat but !ontinued standing, unrepentant
his ani+als and e*erything that he o0ned A!han. then !ontinued to his /a+ily until he 0as /inally standing dire!tly in /ront o/ A!han $oshua looked into A!han7s /a!e. there 0ould be +ore !ities to !o+e .*erybody understood the !on!ept. gi*e God the glory = That see+s like a strange greeting a/ter su!h a long sear!h >et it 0as +ore appropriate than any tongue lashing $oshua !ould ha*e gi*en It 0as a si+ple !on!lusion A!han had stolen the glory o/ God be!ause he took o/ 7the de*oted thing7 $oshua instru!ted A!han to go to the tent and dig up 0hat he had taken and bring it be/ore the people And the %ible then says that $oshua gathered the ar+y o/ Israel around A!han. and he said.(H/N (I. =A!han. his /a+ily. be/ore you think this punish+ent 0as too harsh. God ga*e hi+ plenty o/ ti+e to repent and !on/ess See. God 0as telling Israel that $eri!ho 0as Bust the /irst I/ they belie*ed God and obeyed. re+e+ber this9God had Bust spent 5# years tea!hing Israel about the de*oted things A!han had the sa+e understanding e*erybody else did And besides. belie*ed God
. (/ %/2. by designating $eri!ho as a de*oted thing. (I!H 2'H2N0
$oshua sorted through A!han7s !lan.. his /a+ily and all his possessions 0ere stoned until there 0as nothing le/t but a pile o/ stones and a tri!kle o/ blood )o0.
I !annot na+e one !hur!h 0here e*eryone 0ho !o+es under that +inistry has +ore than enough . taking !ity a/ter !ity9but only a/ter they dealt 0ith the thie*ery o/ 7the de*oted thing7 I/ 0e are /a+ily and 0e are one in the :ord. 0hile I kno0 indi*iduals 0ho are blessed.hen Israel 0as under !orporate blessing in the 0ilderness. 0e see+ to be !ontent to ha*e on one end o/ a pe0 a +an 0ho has +ade his /irst +illion. 0e hear about a +ira!le o/ pro*ision here and there Ho0e*er. /itly Boined together as a !hur!h. 0hile at the other end o/ the pe0 there is a single +other 0ho doesn7t ha*e /ood in the !upboard /or to+orro07s +eal
. like the s!ripture says. and i/ 0e are a body. Israel +ar!hed on. the entire nation o/ Israel su//ered the !onse<uen!es They had to deal 0ith the A!han /a!tor a+ong the+ be/ore they !ould !o+e ba!k under the blessing o/ God And a/ter0ards. then +y disobedien!e a//e!ts ea!h one o/ you This 0ould e-plain 0hy +ost !hur!hes are not under !orporate blessing In /a!t. all o/ the+ ate +annaC none o/ their !lothing 0ore outC their shoes 0ere rene0edC their eyes 0ere not di+ and they 0ere blessed9e*ery one o/ the+ O!!asionally.(hen $% is )I#S!
and obeyed9e-!ept A!han %e!ause o/ one +an7s disobedien!e.
=Father. =. that7s li/eA= Ignoran!e o/ God7s la0s and unrepentant hearts ha*e blinded so +any belie*ers to the blessing o/ God a0aiting the destru!tion o/ A!han
WAR OF ATTRITIO#
Many o/ us are in a 0ar o/ attrition 0ith the ene+y Are you 0illing to lose one !hild o/ your three in order that you +ay keep t0o8 Ho0 +u!h are you 0illing to lose be/ore you get on your /a!e and say. kills and destroys asking. (I!H 2'H2N0
The !hur!h is not under !orporate blessing and I think it is be!ause 0e aren7t serious enough about the A!han /a!tor a+ong us . 0hat happened to >our blessing on +y li/e8= Ho0 insensiti*e to loss ha*e you be!o+e8 Ho0 +any teenagers are 0e 0illing to lose8 Ho0 +any /a+ilies 0ill 0e allo0 to be broken by di*or!e8 Ho0 +any business deals 0ill go south be/ore
.e +ust not look around to see 0ho a+ong us +ight be an A!han The point is.ell.(H/N (I.e ha*e be!o+e a!!usto+ed to the la!k that surrounds us e*ery day It isn7t unusual to pass a ho+eless person on our 0ay ho+e /ro+ 0ork . there is a little bit o/ A!han in all o/ us .. (/ %/2.hat7s the deal8= 0e Bust say =.e are used to belie*ing that 0e all /end /or oursel*es and 0e need to take 0hat 0e !an get 0ithout e-pe!ting too +u!h /ro+ li/e Instead o/ running ba!k to God 0hen the de*il steals.
the de*il is not 0illing to lose anything 0ithout a /ight He is not 0illing to let you keep anythingC he 0ants it all He 0ill !lai+ 0hat God has gi*en you i/ he is gi*en the !han!e I/ you think the ene+y doesn7t re+e+ber 0hat has been stolen /ro+ hi+.hen >assar Ara/at. it7s really rather piti/ul %ut be!ause a spirit o/ anti-Christ !ontrols hi+. =$eri!ho is the /irst !ity 0e 0ant ba!k = I/ the de*il 0ants all you ha*e.hy 0ould he de+and $eri!ho8 He +ay not e*en kno0 0hy. the leader o/ the ':O. you 0ill /ind this interesting . unlike us. =God. 0hy are you 0illing to let hi+ take anything at all8 He 0ill not be satis/ied until your li/e is in ruins and you are <uestioning the ability o/ God to pro*ide God7s :a0 o/ First Things is
. strategi!ally or +onetarilyC in /a!t. the /irst !ity he de+anded 0as $eri!ho .hy8 %e!ause $eri!ho 0as the /irst !ity that God ga*e His people 0hen they !a+e out o/ bondage So thousands o/ years later in response. be!ause that land doesn7t ha*e +u!h *alue. 0here ha*e I gone 0rong8= This +ay be ne0s to you but. =>assar Ara/at said. began to take !ities.(hen $% is )I#S!
0e re!ogni?e there is a proble+8 Ho0 +u!h are you going to endure be/ore you get on your knees and say. his possession o/ this !ity is an atte+pt to threaten God .
(/ %/2.(H/N (I. but i/ it really 0orks. does He Hi+sel/ li*e by it8
. (I!H 2'H2N0
your insuran!e that God 0ill rebuke the destroyer and break the !urse o*er your li/e God instituted this :a0 /or our bene/it..
• .D TO GIF. OTH.
TH.AS FIRST.AS 7TH.:
. FIO:AT. %. CO)S. %ATT:.> . %DT
.'T A MA) )AM.:I.D
AI ISRA.. A FIO:ATIO) OF HIS :A. D. COMMA)D.S
. :A..ITHI) TH. THODGHT OF TH.R )ATIO)S
DID )OT TA(.
• ACHA)7S FAITH FAI:.F. :O)G FOR TH.RICHO .
ARM> TO R.:IT.R.HD.CADS.RAT.OD:D %. ISRA.A::> %R.A( A :A.RICHO
CO)HD.R R.D ACHA)
'ROMIS.)C. :OSI)G MOR.AS A CIT>
CA::. $..A)T. FIRST CIT> TH.NT CIT>
• %.D A ':A) THAT .D • TH..R I) F.F.
• GOD COD:D )OT TO:.R>O).SIG).R.D TO %DR) IT .D THI)G7 • .OD:D CADS.AR AT TH.NC..R.C .OD:D
). )OT TO TODCH A)>THI)G .:I ARM> .'H23!/# S&**2#1
A)D 'A> TH.ITH FIR. IT .A:IK. CIT>. THA) TH.FOT.
%D(.R> OF 7TH.R TH.CADS.CT FOR TH.D TH.RCDSSIO)S FOR THOS. OF FIRST THI)GS IS >ODR I)SDRA)C.D O). OF O).FOT.DI.S THAT HAF.I:: R.R >ODR :IF.STRO>.DIAT.R.A( TH. D. TA(I)G CIT> AFT.S'. . R. THAT GOD
. MA)7S DISO%.HD.)TIR.M
• %.> D. THI. D.. OF.S • ISRA.'.F.: SDFF.)C. )ATDRA: A)D S'IRITDA:
• GOD HAS D)D.R CIT>9%DT O):>
.R A)D %R.HO DO )OT SHO. IMM. CO)S. .ITH TH.T I) ':AC.:
• GOD7S :A. TH. A R. OF ISRA.)IA%:> S.
its po0er being 0eakened by the /lesh Sending His o0n Son in the guise o/ sin/ul /lesh and as an o//ering /or sin.= Ro+ans GIE.5 AM':IFI.<
GOD 'I6ES BY HIS OW# 'AW
=For God has done 0hat the :a0 !ould not do.D
. God !onde+ned sin in the /lesh subdued. o*er!a+e. depri*ed it o/ it7s po0er o*er all 0ho a!!ept that sa!ri/i!e So that the righteous and Bust re<uire+ent o/ the :a0 +ight be /ully +et in us .
gypt .1 HIS $(N . de*ouring their understanding o/ Hi+ God +ade +an 0ith the /reedo+ to !hoose Hi+ on his o0n. and hu+anity had lost a!!ess to Hi+ God had not spoken through a prophet in o*er 5## years and the Ark o/ the Co*enant had been +ispla!ed The Taberna!le and later the Te+ple 0ere both Bust a +eeting pla!e /or God and +an >et. 0ith it7s sa!ri/i!ial rituals. but that had /ailed in the garden Although He had a !lose relationship 0ith a /e0 +en throughout the years. the people !ould only see the bo-.ithin the :a0 o/ Moses 0as the la0 o/ sin and death. the ritual and the rules that they lost sight o/ the /ul/ill+ent They 0ere +ore !on!erned 0ith the boundaries God had set /or the+ than the opportunity /or relationship a*ailable to the+ The :a0 o/ Moses.I9/S . 0hi!h stated si+plyI Those guilty o/ sin +ust die
. not the pre!ious gi/t resting 0ithin it The Israelites had be!o+e so ensla*ed to the 0alls.2(
God looked upon a 0orld that He lo*ed. that He !reated and people that He 0anted to be in /ello0ship 0ith %ut there 0as an ene+y ra*aging the+. He had lost a!!ess to hu+anity. ser*ed as a !onstant re+inder o/ the seriousness o/ sin The sa!ri/i!ial ritual had been un!hanged sin!e Israel had le/t the sla*ery o/ .$% .
(hen $% is )I#S!
%ut. the te+ple had been !orrupted by the lust /or 0ealth and po0er The /o!us o/ sa!ri/i!e 0as no longer based on the pain o/ death asso!iated 0ith sin. be!ause o/ His great lo*e /or His !hildren. the blood o/ bulls. the daily o//ering o/ sa!ri/i!e had be!o+e the /re<uent /or+ o/ !o*ering sin Any indi*idual 0ho had kno0ingly sinned !ould bring a sa!ri/i!e to the te+ple and re!ei*e atone+ent Sa!ri/i!es gi*en /or pea!e or !onse!ration 0ere *oluntary. the sa!ri/i!ial syste+ 0as a te+porary plan and it 0as /alling apart In the 5## years be/ore Christ. but 0as /o!used instead on ho0 +u!h it 0ould !ost the sinner There 0ere sa!ri/i!es o/ puri/i!ation. goats and sheep had stained the altars and pooled on the ground beneath Countless ani+als had been gi*en as atoning sa!ri/i!es be/ore God The la0 e-a!ted a terrible pri!e /or the sins o/ Israel %ut the purpose o/ the :a0 o/ Moses 0asn7t to gi*e the+ a +eans o/ sal*ation. God allo0ed a !lean ani+al to be sa!ri/i!ed on behal/ o/ the sinner Ho0e*er. pea!e and !onse!ration For puri/i!ation. it 0as to tea!h the+ that they needed a Sa*ior
. but 0ere still !ondu!ted 0ith +u!h regularity For !enturies.
thought or deed o//ensi*e to God So /or this reason. no one !ould per/e!tly re!all e*ery single a!t. the priest 0ould slay the ani+al and !at!h the /irst /lo0 o/ blood in a !up Mo*ing into the Holy 'la!e.$% .1 HIS $(N . the High 'riest 0ould then assu+e his duties at the table o/ sho0bread and the golden la+pstand The High 'riest 0ould li/t the *eil !on!ealing the Most Holy 'la!e and enter in He 0ould then +o*e to the
. on!e a year. >o+ (ippur9The Day o/ Atone+ent ser*ed as a !orporate !leansing /ro+ these unintentional LignorantM or unkno0n sins One o/ the rituals o/ >o+ (ippur that +ade it di//erent /ro+ the rest o/ the holy days. 0as the !ere+ony o/ the s!apegoat The priest 0ould !hoose t0o goats One 0ould be !hosen to die and the other to de+onstrate the relin<uishing o/ sin Israel7s !ri+es against God 0ere !ere+onially laid on the ba!k o/ the s!apegoat and then it 0as allo0ed to /reely trot a0ay into the desert The other goat 0as pla!ed on the altar and sa!ri/i!ed to !o*er the sin o/ the s!apegoat This !ere+ony 0as a !lear de+onstration o/ the /uture !o+ing o/ Christ >o+ (ippur 0as a !onsu+ing ritual First.2(
YOM KIPP0R=TO CO6ER
Although the :a0 pro*ided /or the atone+ent /or their sin/ul nature as 0ell as their trespasses.I9/S .
it 0as ti+e /or God to produ!e a Redee+er
BEHO'D THE 'AMB
God had a Son9His /irstborn and only begotten Son
. He 0as gi*ing +an e*ery opportunity to understand the lo*e and desire He had /or a true one-on-one relationship God had gi*en Israel the Ten Co++and+ents to li*e by. =to !o*er= God 0ould then push the Budg+ent o/ sin /or0ard one year until >o+ (ippur returned He did not push the sin /or0ard.(hen $% is )I#S!
Ark o/ the Co*enant and pour out the inno!ent blood onto the Mer!y Seat There the blood 0ould !o*er the translu!ent gold lid. 0hi!h !ontained the e*iden!e o/ the sin o/ Israel All God !ould then see 0as the blood o/ an inno!ent la+b and not the sin o/ His people Hen!e !o+es the ter+ 1om Kippur 0hi!h +eans. but only the Budg+ent o/ it %y postponing their Budg+ent. He had to !o+plete the original purpose o/ the :a0 . but He kne0 He !ouldn7t thro0 out ten rules and !hange the 0orld And be!ause the :a0 o/ Moses +ade nothing per/e!t on it7s o0n.hi!h 0as9relationship So.
1 HIS $(N . He 0as sinless .I9/S . unlike any other hu+an.
. He 0ould bypass the geneti! inheritan!e o/ ini<uity There/ore.$% . =%ehold The :a+b o/ God 0ho takes a0ay the sin o/ the 0orldA= $ohn @I"2 )($F These 0ords 0ere po0er/ul $esus. a propheti! anointing !a+e o*er $ohn and he turned and pointed his /inger and !ried out to the !ro0d o/ people.hen $esus 0as a +an o/ about E# years. standing ba!k 0ith a big s+ile on His /a!e $ohn the %aptist 0aded in the $ordan Ri*er about !hest deep a/ter /inishing his +essage All o/ the sudden. a :a+b8 The :a+b 0ho taketh a0ay the sin o/ the 0orld8 This 0as the greatest parallel e*er dra0n There 0as so +u!h about a la+b that Israel understood They kne0 that /irstborn la+bs +ust be sa!ri/i!ed The /irstborn la+b 0as a rede+pti*e pay+ent /or that 0hi!h 0asn7t a!!eptable to God The la+b 0as the +ost !o++on sa!ri/i!e. he en!ountered His /irst !ousin in the /lesh. $ohn the %aptist $ohn 0as bapti?ing in the $ordan Ri*er and $esus 0ent do0n to Boin the gro0ing !ro0d o/ /ollo0ers on the banks I !an pi!ture $esus 0ith His ar+s /olded. she !on!ei*ed $esus 0as born o/ a *irgin and raised in 0isdo+ and stature %e!ause $esus didn7t ha*e an earthly /ather.2(
The Holy Spirit !arried the Seed o/ God to the 0o+b o/ Mary O*ershado0ing her.
he sealed His /ate A/ter 5# days in the desert. hoping a +ighty 0arrior 0ould !o+e to their physi!al 0orld and lead the+ to politi!al po0er >et.(hen $% is )I#S!
a*ailable to all The la+b 0as the !lean sa!ri/i!e by 0hi!h anything !ould be redee+ed I a+ sure that $ohn the %aptist7s 0ords sho!ked and !on/used the on-lookers Israel had long anti!ipated a king to res!ue her. not a la+b to redee+ her They 0ere 0restling 0ith /lesh and blood. 0ould erase the past and gi*e gra!e /or the /uture
THE 'AST DAY OF ATO#EME#T
.hen $ohn the %aptist by propheti! designation !alled $esus a la+b. $esus stated repeatedly that His kingdo+ 0as not o/ this 0orld This also +ust ha*e been !on/using /or the !hildren o/ Israel The $e0s 0ere !ontent 0ith their yearly sa!ri/i!e and e+pty traditions They 0ere si+ply una0are that the :a0 +ust be /ul/illed Israel did not kno0 ho0 badly they needed a Sa*ior. $esus understood 0hat He +ust endure and yet. He sub+itted He !ould ha*e re/used His +issionC a/ter
. a Redee+er9a :a+b God kne0 that :a0 0ithout gra!e !ould not sustain hu+anity /ore*er He 0as 0ithdra0ing His blessing be!ause o/ sin and the syste+ o/ sa!ri/i!e 0as nearing its end $esus. as the :a+b.
nothing !ould prepare Hi+ /or the e*ents ahead The tearing at His heart 0as undeniable He 0as God. bloodied and beaten And
. re*iled. I 0ould ha*e to turn hi+ o*er to a rebellious. abused. and there is nothing in the 0orld I 0ouldn7t do /or hi+ O//ering +y pre!ious son to be killed.2(
all He 0as /lesh He had a 0ill o/ His o0n At ti+es. the te+ptation to reBe!t His !alling +ust ha*e see+ed o*er0hel+ing. reBe!ted. politi!al and religious /or!es united in hatred to e-e!ute the Son o/ God Although $esus 0as inno!ent. hate/ul. He 0ould die a horrible death usually reser*ed /or thie*es and +urderers The Father had anti!ipated the pain and had begun to grie*e long be/ore the /inal Day o/ Atone+ent Although /allen +an had 0ounded and reBe!ted Hi+ +any ti+es be/ore.1 HIS $(N . reprobate +ob to be insulted. but !ould not res!ue He 0as po0er.$% . but He 0ould hide His strength I+agine the restraint needed to allo0 the torturous death o/ your only son I ha*e a son. but He o*er!a+e by resigning His 0ill to the Father And $esus retained the sinless nature o/ God that +ade Hi+ a 0orthy sa!ri/i!e A/ter three years o/ po0er/ul +inistry. is beyond +y ability--I lo*e hi+ too +u!h %ut let7s assu+e that I !ould so+eho0 /or!e +ysel/ to o//er hi+ And Bust to +ake the analogy a!!urate.I9/S . as God o//ered His Son.
God hid His /a!e . 0ho had opened the+sel*es to this.hen they began the !ru!i/i-ion pro!ess.*en 0hile kno0ing the out!o+e.+ Isaiah 4EI33 )($F That +eans that the e*il o/ e*ery pedophile. e*ery per*ert that 0ould e*er 0alk the /a!e o/ the earth 0as laid upon $esus Dnder de+oni! in/luen!e the !ro0ds abused and beat Hi+ They ripped His beard out.(hen $% is )I#S!
0hen they 0ere through 0ith that.ord has laid on Him the ini.uity of us all. I 0ould gi*e all to pay /or the !han!e to ha*e a relationship 0ith the +e+bers o/ that sa+e rebellious hate/ul +ob )ot a guarantee. 0ere +anipulated by e*ery de+oni! /or!e bel!hed out o/ hell The %ible says. not a likelihood $ust /or the !han!e The last Day o/ Atone+ent 0ould pro*e to be the +ost po0er/ul day in history God7s /irstborn Son 0ould be!o+e the sa!ri/i!e la+b and die /or a drea+ The s!ripture says that during the torture and death o/ $esus. +2nd the . e*ery rapist. not a pro+ise. e*ery +urderer. he 0ould su//er an agoni?ingly slo0 and hu+iliating death on a !ross Co+pelled by +y lo*e /or the+. they spit in His /a!e and they bruised His body /ro+ head to toe
. both Ro+ans and $e0s. God did not negle!t to /eel the !onse<uen!es o/ His de!ision to put us /irst .
0hile $esus 0as slain on the altar /or our sins
)ES0S THE HIGH PRIEST
In be!o+ing /lesh.2(
'ilate. stret!hed Hi+ out and nailed Hi+ there They 0ounded Hi+. that 0as not enough They took Hi+ to a !ross. God had e+pathi?ed +ore than e*er about the /railty o/ /lesh $esus.+ :uke "EIE5 ($F It7s as i/ He said. =Father. 0ho 0as a !old-blooded Ro+an e-e!utioner. I don7t e*en re!ogni?e Hi+ :ook 0hat you ha*e done to Hi+ = And yet. bruised Hi+ +ore. but re+e+ber 0hy >ou sent Me >ou sent Me be!ause they don7t kno0 any better . $esus +ade the i+possible9reality Sin!e $esus7 ti+e on earth. torturous +urder And in the +ean ti+e9 0e 0alked a0ay /ree and He died in our pla!e So in type. forgive them8 for they know not what they do.1 HIS $(N . /ully God.e ha*e a
.$% . 0ould re!on!ile both The last 0ords $esus spoke as a +an sho0ed He understood ho0 God the Father /elt about His !hildren at that +o+ent 9+)ather.I9/S . and spat on Hi+ again and again De+ons by the thousands reBoi!ed in an @G hour. 0e 0ere the goat spanked on the ba!kside and told to run to0ard /reedo+. I kno0 >ou +ust hate 0hat >ou are seeing. =I ha*e ne*er seen a +an7s /a!e +ore +arred than this +an7s %ehold the +an. and /ully +an. !ursed Hi+. said. agoni?ing.
/ull o/ !o+passion /or His people. 0ould take on the !urse o/ the :a0 and allo0 Hi+sel/ to die God 0as 0illing to do 0hate*er it took to restore us to /ull relationship 0ith Hi+ At the +o+ent $esus ga*e His li/e be!ause o/ His lo*e /or us.hen they are Boint heirs. our Great High 'riest. they 0ill understand = )ot only 0as $esus pleading our !ase. sa0 us /or 0hat 0e 0ere and pri?ed us /or 0hat 0e !ould be!o+e He 0anted !o++union 0ith the /a+ily He !reated The rede+pti*e release o/ the la+b 0ould +ake the possibility o/ that relationship a reality Could the /ul/ill+ent o/ the :a0 be +ore !lear than this8 $esus 0as the :a+b . He e-!used our beha*ior This 0as $esus.e 0ere the s!apegoat
. there 0as nothing lo*able about us In /a!t. the Son o/ God. 0e 0ere spitting in the /a!e o/ the One 0ho !a+e to sa*e us %ut $esus.(hen $% is )I#S!
greater perspe!ti*e and understanding I a+ doing this to bring the+ to a pla!e o/ right standing . +aking inter!ession /or us e*en as He 0as dying God 0as re+inded o/ His 0ord and the reasoning behind the a!t o/ sa!ri/i!e $esus.
1 HIS $(N . and He still is I/ God had not been. so the Father sent a !lean. God 0as re<uired to sa!ri/i!e His only Son That e-a+ple ans0ered the <uestion asked by generations o/ Israeli !hildren 9=Dad.e 0ere the un!lean. in order to /ul/ill the :a0. /irstborn. sa!ri/i!e %e!ause the !lean ani+al.+ Matthe0 4I@6 )($F I/ 0e take 0hat 0e ha*e learned about redee+ing the un!lean 0ith the !lean. then He 0ould
.aw or the 3rophets8 I did not come to destroy. then all that !o+es therea/ter is redee+ed . the un!lean $esus 0as /reely gi*en as 7the de*oted thing7 God ne*er asks us to /ollo0 His established la0s o/ the earth 0ithout being !o+pletely !o++itted Hi+sel/ His :a0 in :e*iti!us re<uired the gi*ing o/ the /irst born la+b So.2(
$esus poured out His o0n blood as the High 'riest $esus7 death and the +ethod by 0hi!h it took pla!e /ul/illed the :a0 This is 0hat $esus +eant 0hen He said. +%o not think that I came to destroy the . $esus the !lean. the lesson o/ the :a0 is !lear I/ the !lean is /irst gi*en. !annot be redee+ed. redee+ed hu+anity.$% .I9/S . spotless. but has to die. 0hy are 0e doing this8= God 0as serious about The :a0 o/ First Things then. but to fulfill.
(hen $% is )I#S!
ha*e ignored it 0hen it !a+e to His only Son. He 0ould gi*e 0hate*er He had to be /irst in our li*es
. $esus9 but He did not So does God li*e by His o0n la08 He does God has not asked us to do so+ething that He has not done Hi+sel/ God prepared Hi+sel/ a sa!ri/i!e and His sa!ri/i!e 0as the ulti+ate e-pression o/ lo*e /or His people 'utting us /irst.
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. but li*es by itsel/ alone %ut.0A'IFIED TO BE M0'TIP'IED
= unless a grain o/ 0heat /alls into the earth and dies. it produ!es +any others.D
. it re+ains one grainI it ne*er be!o+es +ore. and yields a ri!h har*est = $ohn @"I"5 AM':IFI. i/ it dies.
he asked +e a pro/oundly si+ple <uestion that probed +y thoughts /or a +u!h deeper ans0er =Dad.= I said And a/ter a little +ore thought I started to reali?e Bust ho0 true that 0as )ot too long be/ore. +y 0i/e (athy had re!ei*ed a /as!inating old ne0spaper arti!le about a 0o+an born August "E. I guess God7s been sa*ing it /or us sin!e !reation. @G4G in 0hat is no0 Carrollton. +y son Stephen and I 0ent /or a dri*e to take a look at a pie!e o/ property /or sale . Te-as It
.ell Stephen.e had outgro0n the !hur!h building that had been !ontinually added on to sin!e 0e built it in @2G# The neighborhood had gro0n up around us and 0e /ound oursel*es out o/ options and out o/ pe0s So I kne0 I7d better !he!k out this opportunity Stephen Bu+ped up in +y tru!k and 0e headed a !ouple +iles east to0ard the Dallas toll0ay As 0e approa!hed the open plot o/ land.(hen $% is )I#S!
In @22#. I 0ondered ho0 +any ti+es that I had passed it 0ithout the !onsideration o/ one day building on it It 0as "" pri+e a!res o/ unde*eloped land dire!tly in the !enter o/ ne0 de*elop+ent As Stephen and I got out to take a 0alk around. ho0 long has this land been here8= he asked As I turned to /a!e hi+. I 0as unsure o/ ho0 to ans0er until the 0ords !a+e =.
the late Dn!le %ud M!Cor+i!k. she !alls the !hur!h her ho+e = =The pert little lady./ *&. the +en-/olk didn7t think they !ould a//ord to repla!e the log !abin %aptist !hur!h in Hebron 0hi!h Aunt )anny had helped establish E" years earlier %ut. and the 0hole shebang 0as !on*erted = =She and her husband. to soli!it /unds = =Harry :ord. 0as running the Hebron gin Aunt )anny 0alked in and told the+ o/ the ne0 !hur!h plan and it didn7t set 0ell So she !losed the door and said.<&2. =:et7s talk to the :ord about it = =%y the ti+e she got through prodding the+ 0ith real prayer. is a+a?ingly alert. ga*e all their sa*ings to !o+plete the stru!ture. 0ith Mrs Gus Mar!y dri*ing her o*er hill and *ale in a ri!kety early day auto.I/%
read as /ollo0sI =>ou 0ouldn7t think Aunt )anny M!Cor+i!k o/ Carrollton is 22 years old = =%a!k in @2@4. 0hi!h still stands They had pin!hed their pennies /or a ne0 ho+e but sa!ri/i!ed the sa*ings Sin!e then.I)I/% !$ .!I3. 0ho still li*es in Carrollton. looking /or0ard to her
. 0hose hair still hadn7t 0holly 0hitened. Dn!le %ob Curtis ga*e the land /or the ne0 building. that 0as be/ore she had set her +ind to a ne0 building.
= she re!alls =One ti+e a prea!her +entioned to a +e+ber that the syrup he7d got 0as a0/ul thin. /lour. too = =Her keen +e+ory and 0it are sharpened by endless e*ents. and syrup and stu//. 0e didn7t kno0 o/ any an!estry in the entire +etro area. re/erred to as =Aunt )anny7.S H. 0ith hu+or =.M%. let alone Carrollton %ut God had gi*en us a burden /or this !ity. and the arti!le about Aunt )anny 0as the key to learning 0hy 0e 0ere here >ou see. 0ho had li*ed a !entury earlier This arti!le 0as +ore than Bust interesting to us The land+arks in that arti!le 0ere easily re!ogni?able as 0e li*ed 0ithin a /e0 +iles o/ the+ >ou see.R @246M (athy and I be!a+e /as!inated 0ith this 0o+an.RA:D D.e didn7t pay the prea!her in +oney $ust ha+s.C. 0e /ound out Aunt )anny 0as +y 0i/e7s
. and the +e+ber told hi+ that the prea!hing had been pretty thin. God had sent us to Carrollton to build a !hur!h in @263 At the ti+e.(hen $% is )I#S!
@##th birthday She re!alls the days 0hen she organi?ed the !hur!h to begin ser*i!es in @GGE. sausage. 0hi!h she re!alls 0ith !larity And the li*es o/ her /ore-bearers are steeped in !ontribution to the parade o/ pioneers = LTIM.
hen 0e. si+ply o*er0hel+ed us And be!ause o/ one 0o+an7s desire to see a !hur!h built /or the glory o/ God. and His 0illingness to ans0er prayer.<&2. as God7s people.I)I/% !$ . great-aunt A/ter0ards. begin to see history as the i+ple+entation o/ God7s plan in the earth.I/%
great. =Mike.###./ *&. then 0e 0ill begin to learn the heart o/ God And +ore i+portantly. a spiritual seed 0as planted in the !ity o/ Carrollton that 0ould !ontinue to bear /ruit /or generations Today our !hur!h o0ns o*er 5# a!res o/ land and has built Q"#. +y 0i/e said.### buildings to the glory o/ God Although 0e are seeing the +ani/estation o/ a *ision. understand His purpose
'EAR#I#G BY COMPARISO#
The si+ilarities bet0een the story o/ Abraha+ and
.e both had one o/ those +o+ents 0hen you see the plan God is a!!o+plishing through you Seeing the hand o/ God.!I3. it didn7t begin 0ith us It didn7t e*en begin 0ith Aunt )anny It really began at !reation . do you think 0e really had anything to do 0ith !o+ing to this !ity8= . and not si+ply as a se<uen!e o/ rando+ e*ents.
0illingly !li+bed upon the altar An obedient Son.(hen $% is )I#S!
Isaa! and the story o/ God and $esus are not !oin!idental Abraha+7s sa!ri/i!e 0as /oreshado0ing God7s ulti+ate e-pression o/ The :a0 o/ First Things Abraha+ and Isaa! 0ere an e-a+ple o/ the plan to !o+e :et7s e-a+ine the si+ilarities A pro+ise to produ!e a nation A pro+ise to produ!e a kingdo+ An agoni?ing /ather that li*ed by the /irst things la0 An agoni?ing Father that li*ed by His o0n la0 An obedient son. o/ the original pro+ise God had gi*en Abraha+ The te+ptation /a!ing Abraha+. 0as be!o+ing so o*er0hel+ed 0ith lo*e /or his only son that he !ould /orget the pro+ise 0as /or an entire nation Although Abraha+ 0as a +an 0ho trusted God. the sa!ri/i!e 0as pro*ided /or the son On a hill no0 !alled Golgatha. the sa!ri/i!e was the Son Sa+e hill Sa+e prin!iple Distin!tly di//erent One *i!tory de!lared sub+ission to :ordship One *i!tory de!lared He is :ord
I# YO0R HEART OR I# YO0R HA#D
Isaa! 0as the do0n pay+ent. 0illingly hung upon a !ross On a hill !alled Moriah. he +ust ha*e
. the deposit. ho0e*er.
/ *&. you 0ill be te+pted. as A!han 0as. he7s yours %ut re+e+ber. be!ause your son9your /irstborn son9is the seed Isaa! +ay li*e a long ti+e. but he 0ill be a seed unredee+ed. and I +ake no plans /or unredee+ed seed %ut i/ you 0ill lay hi+ do0n. but /or a nation And i/ you 0ant to keep the one boy. Abraha+. the pro+ise 0asn7t /or one boy. I 0ill raise hi+ up He 0ill be redee+ed be!ause he is +ine and I 0ill build a nation /ro+ hi+ And e*erything that !o+es a/ter0ards 0ill be anointed and blessed be!ause you ga*e the /irstborn to +e = I/ you e*er lose sight o/ the pro+ise o/ God. but /or a nationA He had to be 0illing to o//er the son i/ he 0anted the nation that 0as pro+ised long be/ore he had the son
. he7s yours to keep %ut your /a+ily 0ill li*e and die and ne*er go /urther than your tent.I/%
0ondered at God7s re<uest to sa!ri/i!e Isaa! be/ore Isaa! had any !hildren .ouldn7t this short-!ir!uit the 0hole pro+ise8 . I ga*e hi+ to you.!I3. to grab the tangible 7no07 in lieu o/ the /uture pro+ise Abraha+ had to release 0hat 0as in his hand i/ he 0anted to re!ei*e the pro+ise o/ God that 0as in his heart And this is the situation +any o/ us are in today Abraha+ kne0 the pro+ise 0as not /or one son.<&2.hat 0ould ha*e happened i/ Abraha+ had de!ided to keep Isaa!8 I belie*e God 0ould ha*e said =Okay. and i/ you 0ant to keep hi+.I)I/% !$ .
0hat do you think has to happen /or that seed to ger+inate and be!o+e a li*ing plant that !an produ!e a har*est8 It has to dieA In the death pro!ess.*en in nature.
. the husk breaks open and the ger+ o/ li/e bursts out o/ the shell and produ!es ne0 li/e >ou don7t e*er lose 0hat is gi*en to GodA He is a Creator.+ L$ohn @"I"5M AM':IFI.ut. be!ause First Things gi*en are ne*er lost >ou +ay ask.hen $esus 0as laid do0n as the !lean o//ering sa!ri/i!e. it produces many others. =Raise hi+ up = . if it dies.(hen $% is )I#S!
RES0RRECTED I# POWER
. God 0as obliged to raise Hi+ up.unless a grain of wheat falls into the earth and dies. God !an raise the dead. but there 0as a resurre!tion The . not a !onsu+er .. Isaa! 0as 7resurre!ted7 in po0er to /ul/ill his God-gi*en purpose %y /aith. but He !annot redee+ that 0hi!h has not been gi*en A/ter being gi*en to God as the /irstborn. .D . God said. =Did $esus really die8= Sure He did. e*ery ti+e a seed /alls to the ground. +. and yields a rich harvest. it remains one grain7 it never becomes more. but lives by itself alone. Abraha+ had gi*en Isaa! to God.hen Isaa! 0as laid on the altar.ord says..hen you gi*e to God there is a +ultipli!ation o/ the seed9a resurre!tion And there is al0ays a resurre!tion in GodA >ou see.
/ *&.hy ten !a+els8 %e!ause ten is the nu+ber /or rede+ption Sin!e Isaa! had been gi*en to God. there 0ould be +ore to !o+e therea/ter $esus 0ould be the rede+pti*e o//ering The Chur!h o/ the :ord $esus Christ is the /ul/ill+ent o/ that pro+ise God is 0aiting /or His %ride and He has sent rede+ption to us loaded do0n 0ith a pro+ise o/ our /uture I/ Isaa! 0as the do0n pay+ent o/ the blessing that /ollo0ed Israel i/ they 0alked in obedien!e.I)I/% !$ . God ga*e $esus 0ith nothing but a pro+ise that i/ $esus 0ould be gi*en. in /aith. ho0 +u!h
.<&2. as the /irstborn o//ering $ust like He asked Abraha+ to gi*e Isaa! 0hen Abraha+ had no other !hildren. he 0as the redee+ed seed The ten !a+els sy+boli?ed the rede+pti*e 0ork o/ God.I/%
be!o+ing <uali/ied to be +ultiplied through Isaa!. but that 0ork !ould only happen a/ter Abraha+ had gi*en Isaa!.!I3. thus /ul/illing the pro+ise God had gi*en hi+ )o0 0hat 0as the ne-t +aBor e*ent in Isaa!7s li/e8 Abraha+ !alled in his !hie/ ser*ant and asked hi+ to go and /ind a 0i/e /or Isaa! Abraha+ sent the ser*ant 0ith ten !a+els loaded 0ith gi/ts /or Isaa!7s /uture bride .
and she 0as %ut in planting her sa!ri/i!e she be!a+e the perpetuation %ut that7s the 0ay seed 0orks. God 0ill /aith/ully resurre!t it Only then. do you be!o+e <uali/ied to be +ultiplied
. e*en in the spiritual real+ A/ter the sa!ri/i!e is laid on the altar. Aunt )anny had taken pride in the parade o/ pioneers and /ore-bearers /ro+ 0hi!h she had !o+e She probably thought that she 0as the /ruition o/ +any years o/ prayer and sa!ri/i!e.(hen $% is )I#S!
+ore blessing should 0e e-pe!t i/ $esus 0as the do0n pay+ent /or our )e0 Co*enant8 It is no !oin!iden!e that God has raised up Co*enant Chur!h /ro+ the sa+e soil in 0hi!h Aunt )anny planted a seed I7+ sure she didn7t kno0 she 0as planting a seed and that 0hat she 0as birthing 0ould !ontinue long a/ter her death In /a!t.
R :OST • GOD IS A CR. HISTOR> AS TH..AITI)G
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=For the :a0 o/ the Spirit o/ li/e 0hi!h is in Christ $esus. has /reed +e /ro+ the :a0 o/ Sin and Death = Ro+ans GI" AM':IFI.D
past. the la+b7s blood 0as splashed on the door posts.2N
. and pro+ises 0ere done a0ay 0ith at the !ross./!!/# 3. right8
THE DEATH OF A SYSTEM
$esus 0as sa!ri/i!ed as God7s 'asso*er la+b be!ause God 0as pro*iding a 0ay /or the rede+ption o/ His !reationC Israel sle0 their la+bs on their thresholds on the e*e o/ their rede+ption /ro+ . !o++and+ents.gypt. but $esus 0as sa!ri/i!ed on the threshold o/ a ne0 era In . the destroyer 0as rebuked and they 0ere blessed For 5# years Israel enBoyed national !orporate blessing in the 0ilderness 0hen they obeyed God ga*e the+ !o+plete pro*ision and per/e!t health Although they +ar!hed in total *i!tory 0hen they put God /irst. present. but the blood o/ $esus 0as splashed on e*ery generation. like A!han7s.e sa0 that 0hen Israel obeyed God by obeying the :a0 o/ First Things.gypt. e*ery la0 and !o++and+ent 0as
. 0hat does this ha*e to 0ith us8 All o/ those Old Testa+ent la0s. brought destru!tion by re+o*ing God7s prote!ti*e blessing )o0. 0e also learned that disobedien!e. and /uture $esus7 sa!ri/i!e 0as the bridge bet0een the old syste+ and the )e0 Co*enant Many people are !on/used about 0hat e-a!tly 0as !ru!i/ied 0ith Christ So+e think e*erything related to the Old Testa+ent.!H/ N/( '$9/N2N!=2 .
=I 0ant the /irst portion o/ e*erything = . but that isn7t true The Ten Co++and+ents 0ill still pro*ide blessing to anyone trying to li*e by the+ God ne*er intended to do a0ay 0ith the :a0 itsel/ His intent 0as to !hange our natures so that the spirit o/ the :a0 0as 0ritten in our hearts and +inds . and i/ the destroyer sees the blood o/ $esus applied to your li/e. /ruit o/ the tree 0hate*er90ere to be gi*en to God God said.hen Israel 0as a nation o/ /ar+ers and shepherds.e kno0 that God. !o++anded the people o/ Israel to gi*e the First Things Re+e+ber the /oundational prin!ipleI The /irst things9!hildren. he +ust pass o*er youA
FROM SHEEP TO SHEKE'S
So ho0 do 0e obey God7s :a0 o/ First Things today8 Does tithing. the gi*ing o/ the /irst tenth o/ our in!rease. as a re+inder o/ His :ordship.(hen $% is )I#S!
done a0ay 0ith. ani+als.
.hat died 0ith $esus 0as the !urse o/ the :a0 o/ Sin and Death Sin no longer re<uires death /or rede+ption $esus died on!e /or all. apply to us8 :et7s re*ie0 0hat 0e ha*e already learned . !rops.
deter+ining the /irst thing 0as easy be!ause it 0as the /irstborn or /irst /ruits Ho0e*er. i/ it is a rede+pti*e 0ork. is the . i/ it is +oney. guess 0hat God 0ould say8 He said. ho0 +u!h should it be8= . 0hy a tenth8 %e!ause. whether of the seed of the land or of the fruit of the tree.gypt Ten Co++and+ents-/or the Israelites to obey Anyti+e there is a rede+pti*e 0ork in progress.ord-s8 it is holy to the . ten in the s!ripture is al0ays the nu+ber /or rede+ption Ten Ca+els-/or Isaa!7s 0i/e. God had to +ake a 0ay /or the gi*ing o/ /irst things in a !ash e!ono+y So.+ :e*iti!us "6IE# AM':IFI.D I/ the tithe +eans a tenth. =O( God.!H/ N/( '$9/N2N!=2 . God kne0 that the li*esto!k-and-!rops e!ono+y 0ould gradually e*ol*e to a +onetary syste+ Thus./!!/# 3.ord. the 0ord tithe +eans 7tenth7 +2nd all the tithe of the land. =:et it be the tenth part = That is 0here the @#R tithe !a+e /ro+ In /a!t. Rebe!!a Ten Donkeys-sent to bring Israel to .gypt Ten 'lagues-used to /ree the Israelites /ro+ .2N
e*eryone o0ned land and li*esto!k There/ore. there 0ill be a nu+ber ten in*ol*ed So there 0ere ten plagues and then the !hildren o/ Israel 0ere redee+ed
God is 0orking to buy ba!k that 0hi!h He desires I/ the tenth is a type o/ rede+ption.(hen $% is )I#S!
out o/ . =I/ you 0ill obey these ten things. but the rede+pti*e blessing is reser*ed /or the /irst portion Re!ently. then 0hy +ust it be /irst8 %e!ause 0hen it7s gi*en /irst it breaks the !urse o/ destru!tion o// o/ the re+aining 2#R. e*ery ti+e ten is used.= I de+onstrated +y point by laying ten gold !oins in a ro0 on the !o//ee table in /ront o/ us on the set
. 0as hosting the progra+ A/ter sharing so+e o/ the tea!hing about =First Things. I 0ill redee+ you = Ho0 +any o/ you understand that God !ould ha*e thought o/ +ore than ten things to re<uire o/ His people %ut. and so the blessing o/ the tithe is not on that 0hi!h re+ains I/ it is not /irst.gypt There 0ere Ten Co++and+ents. an e*angelist /ro+ )e0 Orleans. and God said. I 0as a guest +inister on The Trinity %road!asting )et0ork $esse Duplantis. releasing it to be used /or its best purposeA
TITHI#G OR TIPPI#G GOD3
It is possible to be gi*ing ten per!ent o/ your in!o+e and not be tithingC there/ore. it is only an o//ering God 0ill bless o//erings.
your !ars paid o//. a little bit o/ a nest egg put ba!k so that then you !an say.hi!h !oin represents +y tithe8= $esse laughed and said.2N
. i/ these !oins represented +y in!o+e this 0eek. =I7+ not sure I should ans0er thatA= The audien!e 0as shouting. your insuran!e !urrent. not 0hat He pro*ides It +ay be ten per!ent but i/ it is not the /irst
. e*ery Christian in the 0orld kno0s that. =Okay no0. the test o/ :ordship does not 0ait until you ha*e all o/ your retire+ent arranged. =I 0ould like to ask t0o <uestions in light o/ the truths I ha*e Bust shared First.!H/ N/( '$9/N2N!=2 . =The /irst oneA= They got itAA The /irst one is the only one that !arries the po0er o/ rede+ption All o/ the re+aining !oins are =redee+ed= be!ause o/ 0hat is done 0ith the /irst one Sin!e the night o/ that tele!ast. =OneA= I said. but the re*elation is !ontained in the ans0er to the ne-t <uestion . I ha*e /ound that there is a third <uestion that 0e +ust ans0er Ho0 do 0e kno0 0hi!h !oin is the /irst one8 The ans0er is that it is the /irst one spentA See. I said to $esse and the audien!e./!!/# 3. ho0 +any !oins do I o0e God as +y tithe8= $esse ans0ered. =)o0 I 0ill gi*e God a little tipA= Tithe is gi*en first in /aith to guarantee God that He deser*es /irst pla!e be!ause o/ 0ho He is.hile pointing to the !oins.
and Cain 0orked the soil And in the !ourse o/ ti+e Cain brought to the :ord an o//ering o/ so+e o/ the /ruit o/ the ground And Abel brought o/ the FIRST%OR) o/ his /lo!k and o/ the /at portions And the :ord had respe!t and regard /or Abel and his o//ering. it is Bust an o//ering Most o//erings are an a/terthought brought on by an inspiring 0ord or blessing /ro+ God Don7t get +e 0rong. but /or Cain and his o//ering.(hen $% is )I#S!
/ruits it doesn7t !ount as tithe. sin is !rou!hing at your doorI it desires to ha*e you.hy are you so angry8 And 0hy do you look sad. He had no respe!t or regard So. but you +ust +aster it 7= ($FS)IF . 0e !an e-a+ine the di//eren!e in God7s response to those 0ho deter+ine to put Hi+ /irst and those 0ho do not =)o0 Abel kept /lo!ks. 7. o//erings are bene/i!ial to the 0ork o/ the +inistry but are not +eant to establish :ordship :et7s look at the e-a+ple o/ the /irst o//ering e*er re!orded In Genesis 5I"-6.hen you understand the :a0 o/ First Things. Cain 0as e-!eedingly angry and indignant. 0ill you not be a!!epted8 %ut i/ you do not do 0hat is right. and he looked sad and depressed And the :ord said to Cain. the story o/ Cain and Abel is so +u!h +ore interesting It is e*ident that Cain7s in/a+ous anger 0as triggered by the
. and depressed and deBe!ted8 I/ you do 0hat is right.
i/ 0e disobey and keep 0hat belongs to Hi+. and He7ll ha*e it a/ter you7re done 0ith it . it buys ba!k Oor redee+sP all that re+ains /ro+ the !urse o/ destru!tion God7s :a0 o/ First Things is !reated /or our bene/it Ho0e*er. =I/ you do 0hat is right.hat God 0as e+phasi?ing in this e-a+ple is thisI the order o/ that 0hi!h is gi*en to Hi+ !learly de/ines His pla!e in your li/e He does not need 0hat 0e are gi*ingA He is GodA He o0ns the !attle o/ a thousand hills He had it be/ore you earned it. Cain did not Cain did not +ake Hi+ :ord. but Cain brought only an o//ering o/ some o/ his in!reaseA And God blessed Abel and 0arned Cain Cain 0as !learly disobeying9God said. be!ause that is the position reser*ed /or Hi+ .hen the /irst is gi*en.2N
la!k o/ a!!eptan!e /ro+ God %ut 0hy 0as God un0illing to release blessing upon hi+8 :et7s e-a+ine 0hat the story 0as truly about9their +ethod o/ gi*ing Abel brought an o//ering o/ the firstborn.!H/ N/( '$9/N2N!=2 . Cain7s 0as not Abel put God /irst. the /irst things be!o+e a !urse to us Did you kno0 God !alled
.hat 0as the di//eren!e bet0een the t0o8 Abel7s o//ering 0as the /irst portion./!!/# 3. 0ill you not be a!!epted8= . and there/ore he 0as *ulnerable to sin .hat He does need is the First.
then break its ne!k I/ you ride +y donkey.(hen $% is )I#S!
7the de*oted thing7 7a!!ursed7 i/ 0e 0ithhold it8 Re+e+ber that God said. it 0ill be!o+e a !urse to you = He ne*er intended /or us to bring the !urse upon oursel*es It is not an issue o/ hea*en or hell It is an issue o/ su!!ess or /ailure . 0e pro*e not only to God His i+portan!e in our li*es. He stops the po0er o/ the destroyer in our li*es And +ore i+portantly. = I need to repent. I didn7t kno0 about The :a0 o/ First Things :ast 0eek I signed a ne0 !ontra!t 0ith the tea+ and re!ei*ed a large signing bonus I7+ Bust a /ar+ boy 0ith si+ple tastes but be/ore doing anything I bought a ring /or +y 0i/e and a Cor*ette /or +ysel/ I didn7t gi*e God the /irst /ruits and I7+ sorry Here is a !he!k /or +y tithe
. unredee+ed.hen 0e put the :ord /irst.= he said. =I/ you don7t redee+ your /irstborn donkey. but 0e rein/or!e that in our o0n +inds I re!ently shared the =First Things= +essage /or one o/ +y good /riends 0ho pastors in the Mid0est His !hur!h is an e-!iting group o/ people in*ol*ed in an aggressi*e *ision to rea!h their !ity A young +an in the !ongregation 0ho plays pro/essional /ootball heard the +essage A/ter the ser*i!e he !a+e to the pastor7s o//i!e +o*ed to tears ='astor.
and +y pro+ise that I 0ill ne*er /ail to put God /irst again = My /riend reBoi!ed to re!ei*e one o/ the largest tithe !he!ks his !hur!h had e*er been gi*en And better still./!!/# 3. this young +an has be!o+e one o/ the highest paid players in his position in the )F: He ne*er /ails to gi*e his /irst /ruits tithe to the :ord In /a!t.here did it go8 Haggai @I3 says that /or all your stri*ing to take !are o/ yoursel/ and all o/ your needs. throughout their li/e 0hat has been done 0ith the +oney they !ontrolled8 . +ost people do not ha*e enough +oney le/t o*er to !o*er burial e-penses So. he a!tually +ails his tithe o*ernight to his !hur!h God is /aith/ul to bless those 0ho put Hi+ /irst And He 0ill /orgi*e those 0ho ha*e /ailed to put Hi+ /irst in the past
REB0KE THE DE6O0RER
It is in keeping 0hat belongs to God and denying the pro*ision and prote!tion o/ :ordship that is the !urse Our disobedien!e pro*ides an open door /or de+oni! destru!tion At the end o/ li/e. you ha*e earned 0ages and put the+ in a bag 0ith holes in it This is the sa+e s!enario that I /a!ed in !ounseling 0ith the young !ouple I +entioned in the introdu!tion They
. i/ he is playing out o/ to0n.!H/ N/( '$9/N2N!=2 .
0hen the destroyer !o+es. 0e bind His hands He !annot de/end us against the destroyer or de*ourer 0hen 0e ha*e 0ithheld the /irst things Could it be that this is the sa+e spirit that 0as released in . should be e+bra!ed as the Head o/ your table I/ 0e ser*e Hi+ /irst.(hen $% is )I#S!
0ere open to the de*ourer and their pro*isions see+ed to /all through their /ingers )ot only /ro+ +y !hur!h but also through +y !onta!t 0ith the Chur!h 0orld0ide.gypt8 Re+e+ber 0hat happened 0ith the plagues The %ible says that God ga*e the Israelites a 0ay to di//erentiate the+sel*es /ro+ the . there 0ill be +ore than enough to go around . they are setting a pla!e at their table /or the de*ourer $esus.hen 0e disobey and rob God o/ His pla!e. he 0ill pass o*er your house and your /irstborn and all that you ha*e 0ill li*e =
. as the Head o/ the Chur!h. =I/ blood is on your door post. he 0as looking /or one thing alone And so God said. I ha*e seen that this !ouple has not been alone in their struggle There are Christians e*ery0here doing 0ithout needed pro*ision Out o/ ignoran!e.gyptians God allo0ed the destroyer the right to enter the ho+e o/ anyone 0ho did not !o+ply 0ith His !o++and %e!ause the destroyer respe!ts nothing but the blood o/ the :a+b.
I sure 0ouldn7t try a!!using God be/ore I looked at +y o0n heart God has put la0s in pla!e that are in e//e!t 0hether 0e a!kno0ledge the+ or not I/ 0e *iolate these la0s.. He re*erses the !urse o/ the de*ourer and rebukes hi+ /or our sake.2N
Can you i+agine ho0 +u!h +oney is 0asted in the li*es o/ belie*ers as a result o/ the !urses at 0ork in our li*es8 %ut 0hen 0e put Hi+ /irst.hen the !hildren o/ Israel purged the+sel*es o/ the =A!han /a!tor=. it 0ill be their destru!tion =
.+ Mala!hi EI@@ )($F >ou !an gi*e o//erings but that 0on7t be enough i/ the de*ourer is not rebuked . the blessing returned i++ediately This +ight be a suggestion /or so+e o/ us I/ blessing 0asn7t in +y li/e.!H/ N/( '$9/N2N!=2 ./!!/# 3.. =Shut o// the blessing do0n there /or a0hile. but it7s not His /ault He 0ill si+ply say.2nd I will rebuke the devourer for your sakes. the result 0ill be a la!k o/ blessing /or 0hi!h 0e o/ten bla+e God It7s not God7s /ault It +ay be Hi+ allo0ing it. the blood o/ $esus applies to the+. be!ause they7*e got to learn so+ething I lo*e the+ and I ha*e been +er!i/ul to the+ My gra!e has !o*ered the+. be!ause He is :ord +. but I !annot let the+ by 0ith that *iolation I/ I do.
HIS I)T. GIFI)G OF FIRST THI)GS
I) A CASH .D TO >ODR :IF.RF. A )DM%. OF D.STRO>. .H.ARTS A)D MI)DS
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says the :ord o/ hosts. that there +ay be /ood in My house. and pro*e +e no0 by it.@
THE PROOF IS I# THE PAYCHECK
=%ring all the tithes9the 0hole tenth o/ your in!o+e9into the storehouse. i/ I 0ill not open the 0indo0s o/ hea*en /or you and pour you out a blessing that there shall not be roo+ enough to re!ei*e it = Mala!hi EI@# AM':IFI.D
but they ha*e been spending their tithe on their o0n pursuits They see+ to intend to gi*e their tithe. 0ho the %ible says are 7+inistering spirits sent to the heirs o/ sal*ation7. =God. =:ord. it see+s >ou are Bust too /ar ba!k in the line =
. /or e-a+ple.hen the prayer is o//ered. =Angels go get the re!ord I7+ hearing /ro+ one o/ +y !hildrenA= As the angel returns to the throne o/ God. it !o+es be/ore God7s throne o/ ulti+ate authority in Hea*en sounding so+ething like this. +y !hildren are in trouble= or. ha*e not been gi*en The spirit o/ A!han is present and they didn7t gi*e the /irst portion to >ou They earn good in!o+e :ord. +y Bob is at stake9and I !an7t a//ord to be laid o// = The angels. a prayer o//ered by the head o/ a /a+ily that +ay be /a!ing /a+ily trouble or /inan!ial la!k . but e*ery 0eek they run out o/ +oney be/ore they get to >ou :ord. Father. stand by 0aiting /or their orders And the :ord says. and they are praying about losing their Bob.!H/ 3#$$) IS IN !H/ 321'H/'K
In the story o/ Cain and Abel 0e talked about God7s response to the 0ay 0e gi*e This ti+e let7s illustrate the =behind-the-s!enes= response in hea*en :et +e take a poeti! li!ense /or a +o+ent 0ith regard to ho0 prayer 0orks Take. 7=The /irst /ruits. he says.
in the dispensing o/ their ti+e. God says. they are stingy 0ith God Ho0 !an a true belie*er !o+plain about the length o/ a !hur!h ser*i!e8 I/ the ser*i!e goes E# se!onds o*er
. ignoran!e and barrenness instead o/ su!!ess. and He 0ill not *iolate those la0s God !hooses to li*e by la0s that He has pre-established. =:ord. :ord. no. He is So*ereign and He !an do anything He 0ants = )o. God !annot do anything He 0ants God has established la0s and peri+eters that He operates 0ithin. and it is to our ad*antage to kno0 those la0s The :a0 o/ First Things is the 0ay God establishes His :ordship in the li*es o/ His people /ro+ generation to generation
THE PRACTICA' MEAS0RE
The !hoi!es 0e +ake !on!erning our ti+e and the dispensing o/ our /inan!es are t0o o/ the pri+ary 0ays that 0e sho0 God His pla!e in our li*es God allots ea!h o/ us so +u!h ti+e . >ou are :ord = >et.*erybody has "5 hours in a day and se*en days in a 0eek 'eople e*ery0here say. be!ause the ene+y has pla!ed a !urse on the+. 0isdo+ and abundan!e My hands are tied be!ause they ha*e stolen the /irst /ruits I a+ not :ord in their li/e = %ut you say.ait a +inuteA He is God. =. =I a+ sorry /or the+. so that there 0ill be /ailure.(hen $% is )I#S!
0e +ight stay in !hur!h all a/ternoon seeking the /a!e o/ God
S0CCESS BEGI#S O# S0#DAY
The early !hur!h understood the !on!ept o/ gi*ing the /irst portion o/ their ti+e The reason 0e ha*e !hur!h on Sunday is not be!ause Sunday is the Sabbath In /a!t. i/ 0e really belie*ed 0e are the righteousness o/ God in Christ.!H/ 3#$$) IS IN !H/ 321'H/'K
the allotted ti+e /ra+e. and has al0ays been the Sabbath day There is no !o++and+ent that !hanged the Sabbath to Sunday The reason 0e ha*e !hur!h on Sunday is be!ause the early !hur!h began gathering on the 0eekly anni*ersary
. people say. 0hen by the sa+e standard. and 0e ha*e stu// to do. it7s not a long ti+e to sit in a +o*ie theater8 Ho0 +any Christians sit in /ront o/ the tele*ision /or hours 0ithout blinking8 It is *ery easy to sit do0n and 0aste t0o hours 0at!hing so+ething on tele*ision that has little or no +oral redee+ing *alue I/ 0e 0ere as hungry /or the things o/ God as 0e ought to be. 0e ha*e pla!es to go and people to see = Ho0 !an you /eel that t0o hours in a !hur!h ser*i!e is a long ti+e. Sunday is not the Sabbath Saturday is. i/ 0e really 0anted to !hange the 0orld. then not only 0ould 0e not !are about the length o/ the ser*i!e. and i/ 0e really 0anted to raise great kids. =This is the t0enty/irst !entury.
and our su!!ess truly does begin on Sunday
Money is a +eans to an end Dollars and !ents Bust happen to be the !o++odity in our so!iety that e<uals
. ho0 0e use our ti+e !learly indi!ates 0hat is truly /irst in our li*es . Sunday 0as the /irst day o/ the 0ork 0eek So 0hile the unbelie*ers 0ere out there trying to get ahead. in those days. the belie*ers 0ere gi*ing the /irst day o/ the 0eek to the :ord They understood the i+portan!e o/ de*oting the /irst /ruits o/ their ti+e to God as a rede+pti*e o//ering /or the rest o/ the 0eek For so+e people.e !annot !ontrol ti+e I don7t !are ho0 +any day-planners you ha*e or !lo!ks or 0at!hes Ti+e +ar!hes /or0ard ne*er to return >et. their 0eek starts on Friday They !an7t 0ait to /inish their 0ork 0eek and start the 0eekend They li*e to partyA %ut /or a Christian. their 0eek begins on Monday They !an7t 0ait to get that /irst business deal started For others. our 0eek starts on SundayA The /irst day o/ the 0eek 0e o//er to 0orship As you !an see. 0e ha*e a glorious pro+ise through the :a0 o/ First Things Our ti+e !an be redee+ed.(hen $% is )I#S!
o/ $esus7 resurre!tion to !elebrate and 0orship They de!ided they 0ould rather de*ote the /irst /ruits o/ their ti+e to the :ord than to spend it on the+sel*es >ou see.
hen you tithe you are literally gi*ing yoursel/ I/ gi*ing is an indi!ation o/ :ordship then ho0 do you think 0e are doing as the %ody o/ Christ8 :et7s look at so+e statisti!s The +ost re!ent sur*ey taken sho0s that only @GR o/ Christians in A+eri!a tithe in any /or+. I really belie*ed 0e =!arried= the rest o/ the global !hur!h by supporting at a +u!h higher rate I 0as surprised
. Christians ga*e Q"6# billion D S dollars to !hur!hes and para-!hur!h organi?ations That a+ounts to @ GR o/ total in!o+e %elie*e it or not.hen you gi*e the /irst portion o/ that +oney to God. that is the !losest you 0ill e*er !o+e to hu+an sa!ri/i!e .n!y!lopedia= OO-/ord Dni*ersity 'ress AD "###P In @22G. global Christian in!o+e 0as Q@4 " trillion D S dollars Globally.!H/ 3#$$) IS IN !H/ 321'H/'K
ti+e spent Ti+e spent 0orking on your Bob is in turn translated into +oney or a pay!he!k . the Dnited States did less than thatA %e!ause 0e are the +ost prosperous nation in the 0orld.orld Christian . and that in!ludes those 0ho =think= they are tithing :et +e gi*e you so+e statisti!s that I think you 0ill /ind both sho!king and disappointing I re!ently re!ei*ed the latest /igures a*ailable on 0orld0ide gi*ing. /ro+ the !o+pilers o/ the ne0 =.
0hen the :ord said to pro*e Hi+ 0ith the tithe. I a+ not trying to bring !onde+nation upon Christians I Bust 0ant to pro+pt a reality !he!k I 0ant to re+ind you o/ the !hallenge in Mala!hi EI@#. that /ound hi+sel/ in the sa+e dile++a 0hi!h +any o/ us today are in He possessed so +u!h stu// that his barns
. not pay Hi+ 0ith it He is daring you to apply the :a0 o/ First Things and see 0hat happens . they are springing up e*ery0here . by per!entage.e ha*e so +u!h =stu//= that 0e need to rent 0arehouses to store it /or us $esus said our li*es do not !onsist in the abundan!e o/ =stu//= 0e ha*e $esus des!ribed a ri!h +an in :uke @". 0e !olle!ti*ely gi*e less. Christians ga*e Q2" billion D S dollars to their !hur!hes and all Christian para-!hur!h organi?ations That e<uals @ 6GR o/ our !olle!ti*e in!o+e That +eans that e*en though God has blessed us to li*e in the +ost prosperous nation in the history o/ +ankind.hen you do this9be prepared He 0arns that you 0ill not ha*e roo+ to !ontain the blessing that /ollo0s
B0I'DI#G BIGGER BAR#S
I /ind it interesting that one o/ the biggest in*est+ent opportunities in A+eri!a is to in*est in te+porary storage /a!ilities I/ you7ll noti!e.(hen $% is )I#S!
The total D S in!o+e o/ Christians in @22G 0as Q4 " trillion D S dollars In the Dnited States. than the rest o/ the 0orld %y re*ealing these statisti!s.
=The night your soul is re<uired o/ you. you are redee+ed I/ He is not :ord. you are under the !urse o/ the de*ourer Does God not lo*e you8 Certainly He lo*es youC that is the reason $esus died /or you >OD see. then you ha*e +issed the 0hole point o/ this +essage It is no +ore about +oney no0 than it 0as about sheep in the Old Testa+ent It is about :ordship I/ He is :ord.!H/ 3#$$) IS IN !H/ 321'H/'K
0ouldn7t hold it all His de!ision 0as to tear do0n his barns and build bigger barns It is too bad that this +an did not ha*e a !ause or a purpose to his li/e higher than that9the storage o/ stu// $esus !alled hi+ a /ool $esus asked the ri!h +an the <uestion 0e should ask oursel*es. then your li/e is +eaningless
IT2S #OT ABO0T MO#EY
This is not about +oney at all I/ you think it is. 0ho 0ill this stu// belong to8= I long to see the day 0hen the %ody o/ Christ 0ill resign /ro+ the <uest /or e-!ess and begin to pass our e-tra pro*ision on to the ones 0ho need it I 0ant you to re+e+ber thisI i/ there is no :ord in your li/e. there is no rede+ption in your li/e And i/ there is no rede+ption at 0ork in your li/e and you don7t kno0 0hat to do 0ith your li/e. it is not a +atter o/ His lo*e /or us9it7s a +atter o/ His :ordship in our li*es
not ignoran!eC healthy babies. not di*or!eC health. let7s !hange the story around a little There is prayer o//ered by the sa+e head o/ this /a+ily and God says. and His response to the one 0ho did not gi*e the /irst portion8 )o0. not depressionC /ruit/ulness. I ha*e the opportunity to set in +otion the rede+pti*e /a!tor and di*ine pro*ision Sin!e the First Fruits 0as gi*en. there 0ill be su!!ess. grinning /ro+ ear to ear. there ha*e been so+e tough ti+es and they didn7t al0ays kno0 ho0 they 0ere going to do it. but >ou are /irst in their li/e be!ause they al0ays ga*e the First portionA= I !an Bust see the Father reBoi!e and say. =%e!ause I a+ /irst. not si!knessC li/e and not deathA= This is the rede+pti*e releaseA
I think e*eryone should e-perien!e those ti+es 0hen God !o+es through /or you I had Bust su!h an e-perien!e as a young pastor. not po*ertyC a strong +arriage. =Angel. =:ord. and says. not /ailureC pea!e o/ +ind. not barrennessC intelligen!e. not +is!arriageC 0ealth. 0e +anaged to buy a +u!h-needed air !onditioner A pre!ious +an /ro+ the area *olunteered
.(hen $% is )I#S!
Re+e+ber the prayer o//ered to God. go !he!k the re!ords = The angel !o+es ba!k. Bust a/ter starting our !hur!h A/ter renting an old bank building /or our ser*i!es. a/ter hearing and applying the +essage.
he said.hen it !a+e ti+e to !onne!t the t0o parts the installer asked +e i/ I had brought the !opper tubing I ran to the !ar and brought it to hi+ He ran it /ro+ the root unit do0n to the inside unit and it /it al+ost per/e!tly A/ter he !ut o// about /our in!hes o/ e-tra tubing. it 0as so /oggy I !ould hardly see Still trying to 0ake up. I anti!ipated being e+barrassed. I /ell into a pea!e/ul sleep Dri*ing to the !hur!h early the ne-t +orning. I had no +oney to buy it 0ith At /irst. I looked out the side 0indo0 and there lying beside +y !ar in the +iddle o/ the street 0as a roll o/ !opper tubing I !ouldn7t belie*e itA I got out. =>ou don7t kno0 ho0 !loseA= I
. but then I re!alled the +ira!ulous 0ays God had already pro*ided sin!e I had !hosen to put Hi+ /irst in +y li/e and +inistry De!iding to trust God and deal 0ith the +atter in the +orning.hile 0aiting /or the light. 0e began to install the air !onditioning unit .!H/ 3#$$) IS IN !H/ 321'H/'K
to install it on the /ollo0ing Saturday and he !alled +e the e*ening be/ore and told +e 0hat supplies to bring I had e*erything he +entioned9e-!ept a roll o/ !opper tubing And not only did I not ha*e the !opper tubing.hen I arri*ed at the !hur!h. I stopped at a red light . =>ou really /igured this !lose = I laughed and said. pi!ked up the !opper tubing and put it in the ba!k o/ +y !ar .
that !opper tubing 0as only 0orth about 4# dollars but it 0as 0orth a +illion dollars to +eA God 0ill pro*ide 0hen you put Hi+ /irstA
.(hen $% is )I#S!
shared the story o/ God7s di*ine pro*ision 0ith hi+ and 0e reBoi!ed together In +onetary *alue.
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HOW GREAT THE COMMISSIO#
=Go ye there/ore and +ake dis!iples o/ all the nations. tea!hing the+ to obser*e all things that I ha*e !o++anded you = Matthe0 "GI@2 )($F
. bapti?ing the+ in the na+e o/ the Father and o/ the Son and o/ the Holy Spirit.
".### years. to e-e+pli/y the kind o/ !are and !on!ern God has /or those He !o++its Hi+sel/ to Se!ondly.### years ago.(hen $% is )I#S!
For 5. the ter+ 7Gentile7 literally +eans 7one 0ho has no !o*enant 0ith God 7 Israel 0as God7s e-a+ple nation a+ong all the nations God7s a+a?ing inter*entions on behal/ o/ His people. He 0anted to sho0 that e*ery !o*enant or agree+ent bet0een t0o parties al0ays !arries t0o-0ay responsibility The pro+ises o/ God to Israel 0ere al0ays !onditional =I/ you 0ill then I 0ill. $esus began His publi! +inistry That +inistry 0as designed /or one purpose9 to !on*in!e not Bust the Israelites but the entire 0orld o/ God7s lo*e Through Christ. $esus !a+e to the earth to open a ne0 !hapter in God7s dealings 0ith Man on the earth A/ter rea!hing the age o/ E#. God 0as in*iting the
. 0ere e-a+ples o/ His /aith/ulness to those He lo*es Then. to the sun standing still /or an entire day at $oshua7s re<uest. /ro+ the di*iding o/ the Red Sea.= 0as usually the 0ay e*ery pro+ise 0as 0orded . God dealt al+ost e-!lusi*ely 0ith the $e0ish people as a nation His !o*enant 0ith the+ 0as designed /or se*eral reasons One.e ha*e to re+e+ber as )e0 Testa+ent Christians that God did not o//er !o*enant relationship to all the people on the earth at that ti+e His !o*enant 0as e-!lusi*ely 0ith Israel In /a!t.
those 0ho had no !o*enant.+ Matt "GI@2 . this is a huge responsibilityA Can you i+agine ho0 +u!h +oney. ho0 +u!h
. He !o++anded His dis!iples to +go ye into all the world and preach the gospel to all people. =%ehold the :a+b o/ God that takes a0ay the sins o/ the 0orldA= >our sin and +ine 0as taken a0ay by $esus I/ you are not in relationship 0ith God. /ree Con/ess Hi+ as your :ord.H$( #/2! !H/ '$**ISSI$N
Gentiles. they had no =Great Co++ission = . and Master Ad+it that you are a sinner9He already paid /or your sins He 0ill a!!ept you instantly into His /a+ily As $esus prepared to birth the )e0 Testa+ent !hur!h be/ore His as!ension to the Father. this is a good pla!e to stop and re!ei*e the pre!ious gi/t o/ sal*ationA $ust thank God /or o//ering you the gi/t o/ sal*ation. both $e0s and Gentiles As e-!iting as this is. ho0 +any +illions o/ li*es. to !o+e into !o*enant relationship 0ith Hi+ $esus7 sa!ri/i!e 0as the pri!e paid /or the sins o/ +ankind That is 0hy $ohn the %aptist said o/ $esus.e doA The Great Co++ission 0as God7s in*itation /or all.e !all this =The Great Co++ission = As +u!h as God !ared /or the )ation o/ Israel in the Old Testa+ent. Sa*ior.
(hen $% is )I#S!
sa!ri/i!e. 0hen they had no 7Great Co++ission= to rea!h the 0orld. ho0 +any tragedies ha*e been in*ested in the +ission to /ul/ill that !o++and+ent8 I/ God re<uired the tithe o/ Old Testa+ent Israel. ho0 +u!h +ore should 0e in the )e0 Testa+ent Chur!h be !o++itted to a plan o/ gi*ing to /und the +ost +assi*e outrea!h e*er atte+pted8 The Apostle 'aul had the right plan I Corinthians @3I" says. +$n the first day of each week. This is the ingenious plan o/ God I/ e*ery Christian 0ould si+ply gi*e God the /irst /ruits Othe /irst @#R o/
.D :et us look at a list o/ the spe!i/i!s o/ 'aul7s instru!tion FIRST DAY OF EACH WEEK9FIRST FRDITS o/ your ti+e EACH O#E OF YO09Total parti!ipation 'AY ASIDE A# OFFERI#G9'repared gi*ing AS GOD HAS PROSPERED YO09'roportionate or per!entage gi*ing #O SPECIA' CO''ECTIO# WI'' BE #EEDED. let each one of you put aside something and save it up as he has prospered in proportion to what he is given>so that no collection will need to be taken after I come.+ AM':IFI. ho0 +u!h pain and 0eariness.
I thought about his ans0er I think be!ause +ost people put their o//ering into a bu!ket or a plate. about an hour /ro+ Dallas As you probably
. 0e 0ould ha*e enough resour!e to rea!h the 0hole 0orld and still be able to +eet needs at ho+eA A!!ept the personal !hallenge
One o/ the +ost i+portant things 0e !an do is drea+ It is o/ten not easy to do Today is a good e-a+ple I !a+e up to our ran!h retreat to 0rite this !hapter God has blessed our !hur!h 0ith a beauti/ul. I ga*e it to the bu!ketA= A/ter 0e all had a good laugh.H$( #/2! !H/ '$**ISSI$N
all they earnP there 0ould be no need /or =spe!ial !olle!tions= Fund raising proBe!ts 0ould be eli+inated My se!ond born grandson is no0 three years old As +any grandparents kno0. =)o Mo++y. things they say !an be either /rightening or enlightening On a Sunday +orning a 0hile ba!k. 0hen his +other pi!ked hi+ up /ro+ !lass she asked hi+. his +other tu!ked his o//ering in his po!ket and sent hi+ to Sunday s!hool 0ith a re+inder to gi*e it :ater on. =Sta!en. @"# a!re geta0ay. they /ail to see 0ho their +oney is really gi*en to $esus and his Chur!h should be the heartbeat o/ our e-isten!e I/ 0e all ga*e the 0ay God designed. did you gi*e your o//ering to $esus8= and he 0orriedly replied.
talking about ho0 +u!h 0e lo*ed ea!h other I told (athy then. +y !apable !hur!h sta// !o*ering /or +e at ho+e. !leared so+e brush. ho0 +u!h I appre!iate her sharing her li/e 0ith +e She is truly the +ost enBoyable !o+panion in the 0orld to +e She is so easy to be 0ith %ut she !hallenged +e 0hen she told +e I 0asn7t going to get this !hapter 0ritten that day There is a point to this story The point is this9here I 0as. in the +iddle o/ a pea!e/ul en*iron+ent. =>ou 0on7t get to itC you ha*e too +any distra!tions = She didn7t intend to hurt +y /eelings. and I still +ean it. and I 0as 0orking like !ra?y on e*erything but the book That is the reason I !a+e up hereA It is so di//i!ult to /ind ti+e to drea+ Do you /ind it di//i!ult8 It see+s that one o/ the !urses o/ this +odern era is busyness
. she said. Bust last night 0e 0ere sitting out under the stars. 0atered the la0n and killed a snake 9all be/ore break/astA (athy 0as getting ready to return ho+e ahead o/ +e . there is a lot to do in +aintaining a ran!h property I got up early this +orning and got started I tri++ed so+e trees.hen I told her I 0as going to 0rite this !hapter be/ore I headed ho+e. a/ter enBoying a beauti/ul sunset. ho0e*er.(hen $% is )I#S!
kno0. but she did A/ter all. hauled so+e trash.
ord of the Harvest to send out laborers into His harvest.+ L)($FM I a+ not sure i/ He 0ere 0ith us today. there is only one pla!e that $esus spe!i/i!ally re<uested prayer In Matt 2IE6. +!he harvest truly is plentiful.H$( #/2! !H/ '$**ISSI$N
I titled this se!tion =$ust I+agine= be!ause it is i+portant /or us to take a little =drea+ ti+e= to !apture the reality o/ the opportunity be/ore us In the ti+e o/ $esus7 earthly +inistry. 0e !an see that i/ 0e are a!!o+plishing 0hat is being done 0ith only @ GR o/ our in!o+e. !herefore. that this 0ould still be His prayer re<uest A/ter all. but the laborers are few. 0e ha*e been praying that prayer no0 /or !enturies I belie*e that prayer has largely been ans0ered Today there7 see+s to be !hur!hes /ull o/ 0illing laborers all o*er the 0orld I belie*e i/ $esus 0ere 0ith us today He 0ould say. but they ha*e no support 'ray that the :ord o/ the har*est 0ill send a spirit o/ obedien!e and generosity on the !hur!h to support the 0ork o/ the har*est = The statisti!s I shared 0ith you earlier re*eal se*eral things One. He said. =The laborers are +any. pray the . 0hat
. they re*eal that 0e are not serious about taking the gospel to the 0hole 0orld Do 0e really belie*e that @ GR o/ our in!o+e is an earnest in*est+ent in the /urtheran!e o/ the (ingdo+8 Se!ondly.
/a!tor.(hen $% is )I#S!
!ould 0e a!!o+plish i/ 0e truly ga*e the =/irst /ruits= o/ all our in!rease8 I/ you do the +ath on these statisti!s you 0ill dis!o*er a si.ti+es +ore /inan!es to 0ork 0ith8 It is possible All it takes is the de!ision o/ e*ery belie*er to honor God 0ith the /irst /ruits o/ their in!rease I not only belie*e it is possible. 0e 0ould possess so +u!h pro*ision.e !an do itA I a+ pro*iding a ne!essary /oundational understanding to
.hat 0ould the 0orld be like i/ e*ery !hur!h. e*ery +inistry. but o/ hope. /aith and possibility . 0e 0ould ha*e had Q3# +illion to 0ork 0ith to rea!h our !o++unity instead o/ Q@# +illion I si+ply 0ant to askI =. youth ho+e. 0e !ould literally !hange the 0ay =+inistry= is *ie0ed . TF +inistry and +issions organi?ation had si.ti+es +ore in!o+e to a!!o+plish their +ission than they !urrently ha*e :et +e gi*e you an e-a+ple Our gi*ing in!o+e last year at Co*enant Chur!h 0as o*er Q@# +illion dollars I/ you apply a si./a!tor That +eans that i/ 0e Bust tithed properly. i/ e*ery belie*er si+ply tithed. +issionary. prison +inistry. I belie*e God has !alled +e to be a *oi!e9not o/ !onde+nation. !hur!h. Christian +edia +inistry 0ould ha*e si. !risis pregnan!y !enter.hat is possible 0hen God is FIRST8 Can you i+agine8= Drea+ /or a +o+ent $ust i+agine. pastor.
H$( #/2! !H/ '$**ISSI$N
begin our i+aginary Bourney Are you ready8 :et7s go I+agine9e*ery lo!al !hur!h ha*ing its o0n s!hool through uni*ersity le*el 0ith /ree edu!ation to e*ery +e+ber I+agine9e*ery lo!al !hur!h !ould sta// its o0n +edi!al !lini! 0ith !are +ade a*ailable /ree o/ !harge to all its +e+bers I+agine9e*ery !hur!h ha*ing a youth !enter 0ith state o/ the art e<uip+ent /ro+ +o*ie theaters to sports /a!ilities9+inistering to the young people o/ our !o++unities /reeA I+agine9e*ery !hur!h being able to send +issionaries and /ully /unding the+ so they don7t ha*e to spend +ost o/ their ti+e raising /inan!ial support I+agine9ha*ing enough +oney to buy out your lo!al abortion !lini! and turn it into a birthing !enter 0here e*ery baby born is adopted and lo*ed by Christian parents I+agine9e*ery !hur!h being able to pro*ide support /or single parents that 0ould allo0 the+ to stay ho+e and raise their !hildrenA
D Se!ondly. as though the o//ering is all /or the+. the people 0ill not be released to 0alk in it The s!ripture says. sel/ish people 0ho didn7t 0ant their stinginess !hallenged The natural rea!tion is to /old your tent and try to a!!o+plish your +inistry +andate 0ithout e*er +entioning +oney again It !annot be done $esus spoke +ore about +oney than hea*en or hellA
. +1ou will know the truth and the truth ?you know@ will set you free. I belie*e 0e !an dis!o*er the +aBor reasons 0hy the per!ent o/ =/irst /ruits= tithing is so lo0 First o/ all. there is /ear on the part o/ the +inistry to boldly !hallenge the people to gi*e Many ti+es others in +inistry ha*e shared 0ith +e that re!ei*ing the o//ering is the +ost di//i!ult part o/ the ser*i!e /or the+ to do It is be!ause o/ the /ear o/ !riti!is+ That /ear is not 0ithout reason Many pre!ious.(hen $% is )I#S!
It is possibleA I/ 0e +ust return to reality /or a +o+ent. dedi!ated +en o/ God ha*e been personally atta!ked. there is a la!k o/ re*elational tea!hing I/ the +inistry does not possess a =0ord=. by !ruel.+ $ohn GIE" AM':IFI.
!annot deli*er On the other hand.hat is the =de!eit/ulness o/ ri!hes= as re/erred to in Matt @EI""8 Ri!hes de!ei*e by !on*in!ing you o/ their po0er to supply happiness. I hope you are !aptured by the *ision o/ the kind o/ 0orld it 0ould be i/ the (ingdo+
. i/ 0e pursue 0ealth 0ith the idea that 0e are a pipeline o/ blessing through 0hi!h resour!es !an /lo0 to bless the (ingdo+. but to li*e /or the !ause %e!ause $esus already died. in the end. did you take a +o+ent to drea+8 I/ you did.here do you /it into the statisti!al pi!ture I shared earlier8 Did you do +ore or less than the 0orld0ide a*erage o/ @ GR gi*ing8 I guess a better <uestion is. as the !hur!h. then e*eryone 0insA It has been said that you don7t ha*e a li/e 0orth li*ing i/ you ha*en7t /ound a !ause 0orth dying /or I ha*e /ound that !ause My s+all pla!e in the e*er in!reasing (ingdo+ o/ God is a !ause 0orth dying /or but guess 0hat8 I ha*e not been asked to die.H$( #/2! !H/ '$**ISSI$N
Finally. the =de!eit/ulness o/ ri!hes= is the reason 0e. se!urity and /ul/ill+ent They si+ply !annot %ut in our relentless sear!h /or signi/i!an!e. 0e are !alled to li*e /or His glory Take a +o+ent to e-a+ine your o0n li/e . 0e o/ten 0eary oursel*es by seeking so+ething that. don7t do +ore gi*ing than 0e do .
hen 0e 0ake up soon in the presen!e o/ the :ord.(hen $% is )I#S!
o/ God had 3 ti+es +ore pro*ision at our disposal Don7t e*er stop drea+ing that drea+A . =. enter into the Boy o/ the :ord =
.ell done. good and /aith/ul ser*ant. it 0ill be 0orth +ore than you !an e*er drea+ to hear Hi+ say.
.S= IS TH. . GIFI)G THA) .A>S CARRI. . I)COM. . TH.)T.. A :ITT:. .. TO M.)A)T OR AGR. GOD TH. =D.
'ASTOR.SODRC. ..ITFD:). TH.DIA MI)ISTR> .ASO) CHDRCH.OD:D %.= TO
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• AS MDCH AS GOD CAR.T ).SS OF RICH. SIN TIM. A%:.)7T
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/or 0ith the :ord is un/ailing lo*e and 0ith hi+ is /ull rede+ption = 'sal+s @E#I6 )IF
. put your hope in the :ord.1B
REDEMPTI6E WORK I# PROGRESS
e only ha*e so +u!h ti+e in this 0orld to +ake a di//eren!e Are 0e intent on +aking a di//eren!e. =I/ God didn7t play ga+es 0ith The :a0 o/ First Things. then
. is going to /igure out an e-!use to t0ist this +essage around to +ake it into so+ething !on/using or you 0ill /eel an urgen!y to !lai+ all God has /or you I hope this +essage re*erberates in your spirit. or are 0e Bust along /or the ride8 Are 0e people that 0ant to be kings and priests unto God. but He is God and He is 0orth /irst pla!eA >ou 0ill +ake a de!ision that 0ill a//e!t the inhabitants o/ this earth /or all eternity >our de!ision 0ill !ause people that ha*e yet to be rea!hed. or are 0e Bust patty!aking /or $esus8 Are 0e Bust looking /or /ire insuran!e or are 0e serious about !hanging a hurting 0orld8 I/ 0e rea!hed the le*el o/ !o++it+ent to say. and I hope it a//e!ts you the ne-t ti+e you 0rite a !he!k or pay your tithe I hope that you !an de!ide today that it is Bust ti+e and +oney. to ha*e the opportunity to +ake Hi+ :ord .#/%/*3!I9/ ($#K IN 3#$ #/SS
Right a0ay. 0ith logi! and reasoning.ither your /lesh. one o/ t0o things is going to happen .
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I7+ not going to play ga+es 0ith /t either = Reading this book is only the beginning o/ the Bourney o/ blessing that is there /or those 0ho honor God 1our appli!ation o/ the :a0 o/ First Things 0ill deter+ine the ending o/ this book Su!!ess or /ailure is yet to be 0ritten9by you The rede+pti*e 0ork o/ this +essage 0ill not be !o+plete until you re!ei*e it and His pla!e in your li/e is !learly de/ined as FIRST
R OF A:: THAT I 'OSS..I:: GIF.ST THAT . R.A' A R.R TO HIM TH. .SS.I:: .)C.).R AS( • I . FIRST FRDITS L@#RM OF A:: THAT H.)T GIFI)G . O.HAT I ).ISDOM TO .FD::> ACC. OFF.ITH DI:IG. • I .MY GOA'S FOR GI6I#G
• I R. .RI)GS FROM TH. %:.MAI)S • I .S .F.FOR.ARD
.I:: %. THOS.COG)IK..AR) I)COM.D TO M.ITH • I .I:: R.)CODRAG.D %.I:: GRAT. 'ORTIO) THAT R.I:: . I .OR( .'T TH.TDR). .HO MA> DOD%T THAT CO)SIST. HARF.SS RIGHTFD:
• GOD ()O. GOD AS TH.I:: OFF. A)D
• I .S M.
et! " Isn-t the concept of tithing an $ld !estament law that was not taught in the New !estament scriptures0 The prin!iple o/ tithing is a!tually older than the old !o*enant be!ause Abraha+ paid tithes to Me!hi?edek in Gen @5 $esus endorsed the paying o/ the tithe in Matt "EI"E Also.0ESTIO#S O# TITHI#G
@ %o I tithe on the gross amount of my income or the net0 Tithe on the gross The di//eren!e bet0een the gross and the net in!ludes bene/its to you like health insuran!e. =On the /irst day o/ ea!h 0eek let ea!h one o/ you bring an o//ering as God hath prospered you = This is speaking o/ per!entage or proportionate gi*ing
. poli!e and /ire. in I Cor @3I" said. 'aul. the apostle. go*ern+ent supplied roads.TOP 1B .
don7t Bust assu+e your spouse 0on7t allo0 it Choose a ti+e to appeal to hi+Sher and ask i/ you !an gi*e a regular portion o/ in!o+e Se!ondly. i/ you do. ho0e*er. not ha*e +oney to gi*e. t0o options First. gi*e ti+e to the +inistry o/ your !hoi!e and God 0ill honor it 5 I own a business. How do I tithe from my business0 Tithing is !o+puted based on in!rease or pro/it There are se*eral 0ays to !o+pute pro/its and !ertain ti+es 0hen that !an be done . are not !onne!ted to a lo!al !hur!h In that !ase try to +ake sure there is an
.!$3 AB <&/S!I$NS $N !I!HIN
E (hat if my spouse is not saved and does not allow me to tithe0 >ou are not held a!!ountable /or 0hat you do not possess I 0ould suggest.ork out the details 0ith your a!!ountant I belie*e God is !alling large nu+bers o/ Christians to start businesses /or the purpose o/ /urthering His kingdo+ 4 (here should my tithe be paid=all to my church or part of it to a missions cause or media ministry0 The s!ripture says in Mal E =%ring all the tithes into the storehouse that there +ay be +eat in My house = This is nor+ally translated to +ean the lo!al !hur!h Many people ho0e*er.
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a!!ountable leader responsible to ad+inister /inan!es in a godly +anner 3 %o all the tithes belong to the pastor or minister0 The s!ripture says in )u+ @GI"5 that the tithes are /or the :e*ites 0hi!h 0ere the +inistry tribe That does not +ean, ho0e*er, that all o/ the tithe is to be used by the pastor Only one :e*ite /un!tioned as the high priest and hundreds o/ others did the =0ork o/ the +inistry = Their 0ork 0as also supported out o/ the tithe The +inister or pastor in a )e0 Testa+ent !hur!h should be supported by and ad+inistrate the tithes to the e//e!ti*eness o/ all the 0ork o/ the +inistry Tithe should not be paid to any organi?ation that is not dire!ted by God-!alled +inistry 6 Is the tithe limited to 4ust ten percent0 )o, e*en though this is 0here it begins you !an add to the per!entage o/ your in!o+e that you tithe, as you 0ish Although the 0ord, tithe, by de/inition +eans @#R, it is said that $ C 'enney, the /ounder o/ the store !hain, 0as tithing 2#R o/ his in!o+e and retired a 0ealthy +an %egin by praying that God 0ill double and triple the a+ount you gi*e as tithe So that @#R o/ your in!o+e 0ill be t0i!e or three ti+es as +u!h +oney
!$3 AB <&/S!I$NS $N !I!HIN
G (hat if I am in a situation where there is financial abuse0 God 0ill ne*er hold you a!!ountable /or the per/or+an!e o/ those ste0ards He pla!ed o*er you God 0ill Budge His ser*ants >ou pray /or the+ and re+ain /aith/ul 2 Should ministers pay tithe0 >es, /or t0o reasons First, be!ause as a leader 0e +ust be e-a+ples Se!ondly, the s!riptures say in )u+ @GI"3 +(hen you ,evites take tithes from the Israelites which I have given you from them for an inheritance, then you shall present an offering from it to the ,ord, even a tenth of the tithe+. @# (hat if I have not been tithing properly0 This is the beauty o/ )e0 Testa+ent gra!e In the Old Testa+ent you 0ould be punished %e!ause o/ the /orgi*eness 0e ha*e through $esus7 blood, you si+ply repent and purpose in your heart to begin no0 being /aith/ul in gi*ing the tithe /ro+ this day /or0ard
ith little +ore than a *ision. A+ie. a t0o-year old daughter and a /ish tank.ABO0T THE A0THORC
. Sta!ey. their son-in-la0 and /our grand!hildren. Tate and Molly-(ate. 0ith his 0i/e (athy They ha*e a daughter. Stephen. and an e-tended /a+ily o/ +ultiple thousands
. Sta!en. Mike Hayes *entured to the Dallas9Fort .His +ission9to rea!h the lost. a young 0i/e. Grayson. and a son. ti+ely 0ord addressing the +ost di//i!ult o/ issues in the %ody o/ Christ today He +akes his ho+e in north Dallas. didn7t see+ i+possible be!ause he had been pro+ised he 0ould be sent 7a tea+7 to help in +aking the *ision reality God 0as /aith/ul and no0 in the )orth Dallas suburb o/ Carrollton stands a beauti/ul !hur!h !alled 7Co*enant7 0hi!h houses a 7tea+7 approa!hing ten thousand His purpose in li/e is e*ident by the o*er0hel+ing har*est attributed to the e-pository 0ord that !o+es /ro+ +ore than thirty years o/ +inistry e-perien!e Mike Hayes is a +essenger 0ith an easily understood.orth +etrople.