(Tithing #1)

Fred R. Coulter—November 28, 2015

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I got a very interesting note here. It says: 'Here's a thought-provoking little ditty: What if you woke up today with only what you thanked God for yesterday? If we all thank God every day for as much as we can, as well as what we do on Thanksgiving, then that will help us all. Very interesting. It's quite amazing what God does and how He does it.

Even those in the world have a lot to be thankful for, even though they don't know God. You hear me say this quite often, so I'm going to say it again. Dolores has informed me that in our old age we can repeat ourselves. That is: You have nothing you didn't receive! Everything you have you received, whether you bought it or it was given to you. We 'live and move and have our being' in God and so God loves even the unthankful and the unjust and gives them breath and air and their heart beats.

It's calculated that the human heart beats about 100,000 times a day. So, I double-checked that out at 72 for the pulse and it came out right about 100,000. Then I said, okay, how much for a year? WOW! Then I said, okay, how much for eighty years? You know how much it is for eighty years? 8-billion, 300+million. Think of that!

God has given us a body that works so wonderfully and automatically, that until something happens we're not grateful for it. Think about all it takes so that we have eyes to see and that we can breathe. You don't have to think about breathing, it happens automatically, and all the different kinds of food that God has given that we can eat.

God does watch out even for the unthankful and unholy to the extent that He gives them breath and live and how they cut that short is by their own actions.

Luke 6:32: "But if you love only those who love you, what praise is it to you?…." It's harder to love someone you don't like. It's easy to love someone when they love you back. That's real easy.

"…For even sinners love those who love them" (v 32).

That's very interesting. I'm reading a book by Dinesh D'Souza. He was born in India and came here as an immigrant. He did the movie, What the World Would Be Like Without America. The political people didn't like that, so they caught him in doing something he shouldn't do, that is give money to person A and person B to give to candidate C. That way the candidate could receive $30,000, because a person is only supposed to give $10,000.

They caught him, threw him into a detention center where he had to stay there all night. He was writing. He wrote a new book now called, Stealing America. He was amazed how that in this detention center—there are people there who have done some pretty bad crimes—they all laughed at him when he said he's there because he gave too much. Most of them are there because they took too much.

He was amazed that even among the thieves and the liars and the cheats there is a courtesy and an honor that they give to each other. He also knows this is not because of the goodness of their hearts, but so they won't have to spend more time there.

What he did find out was that those in the political class—and we can add to it the religious class—all take from the people. They go into office dirt poor and come out millionaires or billionaires. 'Hillary-Billary' was dead broke when she left the White House. Now they've got over $300-million in the Clinton Foundation.

D'Souza found out how to get along with them and they with him, but everything amounted to stealing. That certainly is true.

Verse 34: "And if you lend to those from whom you hope to receive, what praise is it to you? For even sinners lend to sinners, that they may receive as much again. But love your enemies…" (vs 34-35). That's a hard thing to do. Someone asked me about that the other day: How do I love a Muslim?

  • ask God to keep them far away from you

that's how you love them

  • if possible, there may be some conversions
  • if not, stay away from them

You can judge what they do. That's not hating them, but because even they serve a purpose for God. What is that purpose? That's when the people of God—physical descendants of Israel, and the people in the Church—don't do what God wants them to do. We need to be thankful:

  • for God
  • for His Spirit
  • for His Word
  • all the physical blessings that He gives to us

He says, v 35: "…and do good, and lend, hoping for nothing again; and your reward shall be great, and you shall be the children of the Highest…" Isn't that what we want to be? The children of God the Father? Yes! It does depend on our behavior. It depends on how we think, what we do, how we love God, all of those things.

"…for He is good to the unthankful and the wicked" (v 35). There are even some Psalms back there, Psa. 37 & 73 that say, 'I can't understand how all these wicked people are prospering.' God says, 'Don't worry, their day will come.' And it always does.

Verse 36: "Therefore, you also be compassionate, even as your Father is compassionate. And do not judge others…" (vs 36-37). That is to condemnation. We are to look at their fruits and we judge them and know them by their fruits. It doesn't really matter what they say if their works are the opposite of what they say.

"…Do not condemn others, so that you will not be condemned in any way. Forgive, and you shall be forgiven. Give, and it shall be given to you. Good measure, pressed down and shaken together and running over, shall they give into your bosom. For with the same measure that you mete out, it shall be measured again to you" (vs 37-38). Very interesting indeed.

Let's see some Psalms concerning

  • giving
  • receiving
  • blessings
  • God's way

Psalm 50:7: "Hear, My people, and I will speak, O Israel, and I will testify against you; I am God, even your God. I will not reprove you for your sacrifices, or your burnt offerings, which are continually before Me" (vs 7-8). Those are necessary, when the temple was there. Today, we don't offer offerings by fire, but we pray. We pray every day. We study every day. This is how we yield to God.

Verse 9: "I will take no bull out of your house, nor he-goats out of your folds, for every beast of the forest is Mine and the livestock upon a thousand hills. I know all the birds of the mountains; and the wild beasts of the field are Mine. If I were hungry, I would not tell you, for the world is Mine, and all the fullness of it" (vs 9-12).

God gave the world to human beings and told them to be fruitful and multiply, have dominion over the earth, that is use it, make things of it, etc. He has made it, everything.

Verse 14: "'Offer to God thanksgiving; and pay your vows to the Most High; and call upon Me in the day of trouble; and I will deliver you, and you shall honor Me.' But to the wicked God says, 'What right have you to declare My statutes, and to take up My covenant in your mouth? Yea, you hate to be taught, and you cast My words behind you'" (vs 14-17).

We're going to see:

  • thanksgiving
  • praising
  • loving God
  • obeying God

All of those are tied together in a package. It's like there's one over here and one over here; one up here and one down here and they're not connected. They are all connected.

Psalm 95:1: "O come, let us sing to the LORD; let us make a joyful noise … [for everybody who can't sing] …to the Rock of our salvation. Let us come before His presence with thanksgiving…" (vs 1-2).

Like this little ditty that this lady wrote me: What if you woke up in the morning and you only had what you thanked God for. So everything, thanks goes to God all the time.

"…and make a joyful noise to Him with psalms, for the LORD is a great God and a great King above all gods" (vs 2-3). That's not only the gods that are called gods, but everything else that men make and use and abuse and avoid God and turn from Him to go their way.

Look at all the things that human beings have made. Yet, God gave them everything to make it, plus the ability to think of it, design it and create it. We have nothing we didn't receive!

If you say, 'This is my property.' It may be, but someone had to make it and you had to buy it. It all came from something that God created. So, even though you received it on purchase, you still received it and it's something that you received. It's not something that you have created.

Men can create and make things out of that which God has already created and made. But only God can call forth life. No man can. Just think what would happen if men could call forth and create life. Given the evil disposition that people have, that would be a disaster. Yes, indeed!

Verse 4: "In His hand are the depths of the earth; the peaks of the mountains are also His." The next time you see a television presentation where the video picture was made when a plane was flying just above the mountains and you see these mountains, how many ever tens of thousands of feet they are, and the snow is up there, and it comes right up to the top and peaks out. Then down the other side. God made the mountains. Think of the power that took. Then created the climate. Everything that there is.

Verse 5: "The sea is His, and He made it…" The next time you watch a documentary on the oceans, I think they're running that now on NatGeo. Quite a thing!

Have you ever seen off the east coast of Africa when the sardines all hatch? There are hundreds of millions. They swim in these big schools. They swim as if they're kind of like one huge thing. Here come the porpoises, the sailfishes. the sharks and the birds. Quite a thing that God has created! He feeds all of them off the sardines. They still can't get rid of them.

The birds dive-bomb right into the water. When they get in the water, they swim with their wings. So, everybody's feasting on this thing. I thought, what a fantastic thing that is, all those fish.

"…and His hands formed the dry land. O come, let us worship and bow down; let us kneel before the LORD our Maker" (vs 5-6)—because it all comes from God. On top of that, we are made in the image and likeness of God.

Sidebar: We're getting closer to finishing the book, From a Speck of Dust to a Son of God: Why Were You Born? Working on the cover. You saw that one that I showed you with the baby. The man who did that lives in England and we have to have it in four layers of color. The printer won't take it unless it's layered. So it's taken a couple weeks for him to get around to doing it. When we get that, we'll have almost everything finished. That's going to be really quite a book. It's going to be a book that is going to help an awful lot of people.

Verse 7: "He is our God, and we are the people of His pasture …" What is His pasture? The Word of God! Remember what God said to the Apostle Peter, 'Do you love Me? Feed My sheep. Do you love Me? Feed My lambs. Do you love Me? Shepherd My sheep.'

Then we have in Ezek. 34 that God is against all of those who take money and aggrandize themselves, instead of serving the flock and feeding the people.

"…and the sheep of His hand…. [Jesus is the true Shepherd (John 10)] …Today, if you would but hearken to His voice" (v 7). God has it simple: Obey My voice! But how many people will listen? Because of carnal minds and human nature, we don't want to listen to God, and it's very easy for people to forget God.

Verse 8: "Harden not your heart as in the rebellion, as in the day of temptation in the wilderness." God gave them manna six days a week for forty years. They wouldn't have had to have it that long had they not rebelled. But even after forty years, the first opportunity that people get to get away from the Sabbath and do what they want, they do it.

Verse 9: "When your fathers tempted Me, tried Me, even though they saw My work. For forty years I was grieved with that generation, and said, 'It is a people who go astray in their hearts, and they have not known My ways'; to whom I swore in My wrath that they should not enter into My rest'" (vs 9-11).

You go back and you see how long-suffering, kind and forbearing that God was. They couldn't even wait forty days. Remember? Right after they heard the Ten Commandments and the covenant was ratified, Moses went up on the mountain and was there forty days and forty nights with God. They couldn't wait. You know what happened.

They got to Aaron and he made a golden calf and they had a sex orgy. Moses came down and broke the tablets of stone. How quickly people turn aside. This is why we need the Sabbath. How did He start the Sabbath commandment? Remember the Sabbath Day. Why? Because it's so easy to forget.

The more that I really study the Old Testament, and I've been reading and studying to find out how the Gospel was really preached in the Old Testament, but with the missing element of Christ and the Spirit of God. It has to go and tie together.

Psalm 147:1: "O praise the LORD… [when you thank God, you will praise Him] …for it is good to sing praises to our God, for praise is pleasant and becoming. The LORD builds up Jerusalem; He gathers together the outcasts of Israel" (vs 1-2). There are many ways that can apply:

  • you can apply that to the Jerusalem that was then
  • you can apply it to the second temple
  • you can apply it to the Church, because the mother of us all is Jerusalem above
  • you can apply it to the coming New Jerusalem

All can be applied, because God is the One Who does it.

Here's something that no man can do, only God with mercy, forgiveness and His Holy Spirit can this be done.

Verse 3: "He heals the brokenhearted and binds up their wounds." But the brokenhearted have something they need to do and that is

  • put the past behind them
  • quit blaming others

Some people contribute to the things that are difficult in your lives, and they may have a good deal of responsibility, but it is our responsibility when we find ourselves in this condition here to forgive, to ask God to heal us spiritually, mentally and physically.

"…and binds up their wounds" (v 3). Notice how powerful God is. Why would anyone want to run off and forget God?

  • He has called you to be on His side
  • He has given you His Spirit
  • He has given you His Word
  • He has given you His laws and commandments

This is a very good lesson in how to deflate ego and vanity, v 4: "He counts the number of the stars…" Men don't even know anything about them except to look at them and make speculations.

"…He calls them all by their names. Great is our LORD and mighty in power; His understanding is infinite" (vs 4-5). He inspired the Bible.

Verse 6: "The LORD lifts up the meek; He casts the wicked down to the ground. Sing unto the LORD with thanksgiving; sing praises… [thanksgiving and praise go together] …upon the lyres unto our God, Who covers the heavens with clouds, who prepares rain for the earth…" (vs 6-8).

We need the rain. The Midwest doesn't need it now, they're floating. I think they're going to have an ark sale somewhere because they have so much rain.

"…who makes grass to grow upon the mountains" (v 8). Out here we've had enough rain, so what happens? Nobody tells it to do it. No one has to think about it. God has created grass and grass works automatically. If there's soil and there's moisture, it grows. Doesn't matter what else is going on, it grows. We've had this drought for three and a half years. I looked out the window this morning and I saw green grass. What was it before? Gray, almost you couldn't see even the straw that was left over. But given a little water, it starts sprouting.

Verse 9: "He gives the beasts their food and to the young ravens which cry. He delights not in the strength of the horse; He takes no pleasure in the legs of a man. The LORD takes pleasure in those who fear Him, who hope in His steadfast love. Glorify the LORD, O Jerusalem; praise your God, O Zion" (vs 9-12). That is quite a fantastic thing!

Let's read the rest of it, because it all ties together. Notice, each one of the next verses start out with He. So He's the One Who has done it.

Verse 15: "He sends forth His commandment upon earth…" Whatever commandment for whatever it is. What did He tells the seas and oceans? This far and no further. Once in a while you get a tsunami that comes over the top. He gave the command.

"…His Word runs very swiftly. He gives snow like wool; He scatters the hoarfrost like ashes. He casts forth His ice like crumbs. Who can stand before His cold? He sends out His word and melt them… " (vs 15-18).

  • What is His Word?
  • Did He put the earth in motion?
  • Did He put it at the right angle so there would be seasons?
  • Yes, indeed!

So His Word by command of His creation is whenever the earth comes around at this angle and the North Pole is closer to the sun, the snow and the glaciers melt. That's when all the politicians go up and look at it and say, 'Oh, the glacier is melting. The polar bears are dying.' Not true! Because when it comes around the other way then, when it's over here, and the South Pole is pointed toward the sun, guess what? It all freezes back and it loses 40% of its ice that freezes up here in the winter when it comes around here spring, summer, early fall.

Same way at Antarctica. God had to create. Don't tell me that any evolution could possibly under any circumstances make the emperor penguin. You know how they do, don't you? They all come to Antarctic and the female lays the egg and the male puts it right on top of his feet. There's a big flap that comes down from his belly because God made him to have a belly flap, and he keeps the egg incubating all winter in total darkness, with winds up to 150 miles an hour.

They all huddle together in this big mass. Then when it's starting to get spring, the eggs hatch, and all the females come in and they take over. All the males go out to the sea and they gorge themselves for six months and come back.

Evolution could never do that! God made that just so we would wonder. What an amazing thing. To just stand there, because they can't lie down, on the ice at the temperature way, way below zero, with winds up to 150 miles an hour. Huddled together protecting and keeping that egg so it would hatch. They do it every year. Quite a thing! God does all of that.

We're going to talk about

  • thanksgiving
  • remembrance
  • how do we remember God

Just like everything else that there is, God has to teach us and remind us. That's why we have the Sabbath every week, the Passover every year, all the Holy Days and Feasts every year. All of those are to teach us God's way.

Satan has the same thing with his holidays. They come every year. Everybody's locked into the whole system. How? By doing what Satan wants! He mixes as much of God in there as needs to be so they think they're doing 'good.' After reading this book by D'Souza, everything's stealing. If you don't keep the Sabbath, you're stealing time from God. God says, 'This is My Sabbath.' He says, 'You keep My Sabbath.'

When they come along and say, 'We've transferred it to the first day of the week,' that's forgery. God never did, because God said of the Sabbath Day, 'Remember.' He didn't say, 'As soon as you don't have Me around, forget it.' That's Satan who does that.

He explains why they went through all the difficulties for their rebellion and had to wander an additional thirty-eight and a half years before they received the 'promised land.'

Deuteronomy 8:1: "All the commandments which I command you this day shall you be diligent to observe and to do that you may live and multiply and go in and possess the land, which the LORD swore to your fathers…. [everything they ever wanted] …And you shall remember… [Here's something else we are to remember: the world, what it was before God called us, what our lives were really like.] …all the way which the LORD your God led you these forty years in the wilderness in order to humble you…" (vs 1-2).

There is purpose is our trials. That's why Paul wrote, 'All things work together for good to those who love God and are called according to His purpose.' To humble you, because you can't be lifted up in pride and vanity.

"…to prove you, to know what is in your heart… [that's what God wants to know, what is really in your heart] …whether you would keep His commandments or not. And He humbled you and allowed you to hunger, and then He fed you with manna which you did not know, neither did your fathers know it, so that He might make you know that man does not live by bread alone; but by every word that proceeds out of the mouth of the LORD does man live" (vs 2-3). Right there tells the whole story of the Bible.

Now then, He performed a miracle, v 4: "Your clothing did not wear out on you, nor did your foot swell these forty years." Everything was hand-me-down. Remember, the rebels all died? Everyone over twenty died.

Verse 5: "And you shall consider in your heart that as a man chastens his son, so the LORD your God chastens you. And you shall keep the commandments of the LORD your God to walk in His ways and to fear Him… [because everything comes from God] …for the LORD your God brings you into a good land… [Have to say that's where we are today] … a land of brooks of water, of fountains and depths that spring out of valleys and hills, a land of wheat and barley and vines and fig trees and pomegranates, a land of olive oil and honey" (vs 5-8)—and whatever else you want to add to it.

Look at us today. This whole generation is so spoiled. Just think of this.

  • What would you do if you did not have your supermarket to go to?
  • Do you know how to plant?
  • Do you know how to harvest?
  • Do you know how to raise animals?

I've got a dog. How about a cow? goats, sheep? Chickens? turkeys?

Remember the turkey we ate yesterday? We had a great turkey. I know how to cook turkeys, roast them and mom knows how to make dressing. So between the two of us we had a real good layout.

I thought about everything we had there: cranberries, that was good. Mashed potatoes, small peas, all fantastic. Pumpkin pies, whipped cream. All of it! We didn't have to work for it. Our greatest burden was bringing it home and carrying it up the steps, because we have an upside-down house. We have the bedrooms downstairs and the living upstairs. That's because if you have the bedrooms upstairs and you sleep with your eyes closed at night, you can't enjoy the view in the daytime.

So the greatest work we did was carry it up the steps. Then got to thinking, what would we do without a refrigerator? Anybody know how to make a root cellar? How to preserve the food?

Think of all that God has given us. We are filled to the full, so much so that you have to be careful less you put on fifteen pounds during Thanksgiving. But, oh, it's good, isn't it?

He wants you to know, you don't—"…live by bread alone; but by every word that proceeds out of the mouth of the LORD does man live. Your clothing did not wear out…'" (vs 3-4).

Verse 5: "And you shall consider in your heart that as a man chastens his son, so the LORD your God chastens you. And you shall keep the commandments of the LORD your God to walk in His ways and to fear Him, for the LORD your God brings you into a good land, a land of brooks of water, of fountains and depths that spring out of valleys and hills, a land of wheat and barley and vines and fig trees and pomegranates, a land of olive oil and honey, a land in which you shall eat bread without scarceness. You shall not lack any thing in it…" (vs 5-9)

You are going to have everything, because you have nothing you didn't receive, God made it. Not only that:

"…It is a land whose stones are iron, and out of whose hills you may dig copper" (v 9). That also means coal, oil, zinc and whatever else you want to mine out of it.

And even stones. I remember one time we went up on Burkhart's ranch, and they said, 'Come on, we're going up on the hill here, because this used to be a volcano hill and there are these round rocks.' I forget what they call them.

We got a whole bunch of those. We came back and said, 'I want you to take this hammer and hit it and break it.' Opened it up and here are all these crystals in there. Fantastic! Everything that we see and look at demands a Creator. So that was quite a thing. He had this big dairy ranch, and so forth.

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We just read, v 9: "…you shall eat bread without scarceness. You shall not lack any thing in it…." If there's something you want, you can go buy it. Look at all that we have.

"...It is a land whose stones are iron, and out of whose hills you may dig copper. When you have eaten and are full, then you shall bless the LORD your God for the good land, which He has given you" (vs 9-10). Don't take anything for granted.

A warning, v 11: "Beware…"—because when you have eaten and are full, then you discount a lot of things.

"…that you do not forget the LORD your God by not keeping… [interesting how He phrased this]: …His commandments…" (v 11). When you keep His commandments, you are remembering Him. It becomes an important thing.

"…and His judgments, and His statutes, which I command you today… [because if you do that and you forget God]: …lest when you have eaten and are full and have built goodly houses and lived in them" (vs 11-12).

Even the most modest of the homes that any of the brethren have are mansions compared to what those in the third world have, that is lost in every storm, rain, monsoon, whatever. Amazing!

This D'Souza came from India. He says in India everything is stealing, corruption. He said America is the only country that has a Constitution that is designed to prevent stealing. That's as far as I've gotten in the book. But likewise you can take the same principle. When you decide not to keep the commandments of God, you're stealing from God, because He said do it! Same way with the Sabbath and the Holy Days.

Verse 13: "And when your herds and your flocks multiply, and your silver and your gold is multiplied, and all that you have is multiplied… [your wallet is filled with credit cards and debit cards] …you become haughty of heart, and you forget the LORD your God…" (vs 13-14).

You get lifted up! 'Oh, how great we are. Look what we've done.' Every time I hear Donald Trump say, 'I'll make America great again,' I think, oh, oh, be careful. That's a good goal, but be careful. As God gives warning here, we will see.

"…and you forget the LORD your God Who brought you forth out of the land of Egypt from the house of bondage, Who led you through the great and terrible wilderness with fiery serpents and scorpions and thirsty ground where there was no water, Who brought forth water for you out of the rock of flint, Who fed you in the wilderness with manna, which your fathers did not know, so that He might humble you and that He might prove you to do you good in your latter end. Beware lest you say in your heart…" (vs 14-17).

This always happens generations later, because people leave off God bit-by-bit. Finally, here comes a test. Then you fail that.

"…'My power and the might of my hand has gotten me this wealth'" (v 17). I made myself great! Remember: You have nothing you didn't receive!

Verse 18: "But you shall remember the LORD your God, for it is He Who gives you power to get wealth… [He alone! Why? Because He made everything there is, including you!] …so that He may confirm His covenant, which He has sworn to your fathers as it is this very day."

Remember, the most important part of the covenant with Abraham was the spiritual seed, which we are.

Verse 19: "And it shall be if you do at all forget the LORD your God and walk after other gods serving them and worshiping them, I testify against you this day that you shall surely perish—yes, perish. As the nations whom the LORD destroys before your face, so you shall perish because you would not obey the voice of the LORD your God" (vs 19-20).

Three times in this He says about His voice, what He has given. This happens in everything that comes along. He also repeats it and says that 'Remember what God has done for you.' (Deut. 9).

One of the things that people forget are tithes and offerings. We're going to talk a little bit about tithes and offerings this time. But let's see the whole principle in it, repeated again in Prov. 3; here we have the same thing again. Very interesting. Between when Proverbs was written and the Law was given was approximately 450 years. Notice how this sounds almost the same. Why? Because it's inspired by God!
Proverbs 3:1: "My son…" The sonship of God, as I point out in the book, Why Were You Born?, sonship refers to being the offspring of God, having to do without male or female. So, when it says son, that also means daughter.

Verse 1: "My son, do not forget my law…" What did we just read? Lest you forget! What happens when you forget? You don't do! Sometimes you deliberately forget.

"…but let your heart keep my commandments" (v 1). What could I read in Matt. 22? The great commandment: 'Love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your mind, with all your soul, with all your being. Love your neighbor as yourself. On these two hang all the Law and the Prophets.' What are we reading? The same thing here!

Verse 2: "For they shall add length of days, and long life, and peace, to you." For us: eternal life! How important was the sin of Adam and Eve when they decided not to obey God and decided to obey Satan? Of course, Satan is the number one thief. How important was that? That was so important that every human being from that day until the time there are no more human beings die in Adam. Because he sinned, death passed into all mankind. That death passed into us:

  • it's inherited
  • you can't stop it
  • you can't turn it back

You may live a longer life than some other people and that may be either good or bad depending how you take care of yourself and what genes you inherited from your parents. There's a lot of things in what food you eat, and all that, what goes into your mind. All of these things affect how long you're going to live.

Verse 3: "Do not let mercy and Truth forsake you…" What is it that we have as human nature? 'The heart is deceitful above all things and desperately wicked.' There are some people who don't think that it applies to them. Your raw human nature without the Spirit of God is that way, precisely. Some people just activate it and become more evil, but nevertheless, those very same kinds of thoughts go on in the minds of human beings.

Conversion is going to be in the mind and in the heart! That's where it has to be. Unless it is conversion in the mind and heart, what you do out here is only so much of a show.

I'm going to see if I can get that video that shows how some of these ministers con people into sending money and what they do. It's done by a comedian and it's really very funny. It shows how they bilk people out of their money, and everything else.

"…bind them around your neck; write them upon the tablet of your heart" (v 3). What we think is written here. What we believe is written here.

Verse 4: "And so you shall find favor and good understanding in the sight of God and man." You want God's blessing? Yes! You want people to treat you nicely? Yes!

  • be merciful
  • be forgiving
  • be understanding
  • be kind

—but don't be a yokel and be taken down the garden path.

Verse 5: "Trust in the LORD… [when you're in trouble. Doesn't say that.] …with all your heart…" That means all the time Trust in Him!

  • His way
  • His Spirit
  • His Laws
  • His goodness

"…and lean not to your own understanding" (v 5)--because 'there's a way that seems right to a man, but the end thereof is the way of death.' It seems natural and right. Don't lean to your own understanding. That tells you how deceptive the human heart is.

Verse 6: "In all your ways… [not some, or most, or part, or the important ones] …acknowledge Him, and He shall direct your paths." We are to be led by the Holy Spirit of God.
Verse 7: "Do not be wise in your own eyes; fear the LORD and depart from evil. It shall be health to your navel and marrow to your bones. Honor the LORD with your substance and with the firstfruits of all your increase" (vs 7-9).

Your substance includes whatever you have or whatever you produce. Even if you have nothing! Let's say you have nothing and you're unemployed. You find a job, now you're employed. Do you have an increase from what you had? Yes, you do, whatever they pay you. But your substance is whatever you have, and "…the firstfruits of all your increase."

Verse 10: "And your barns shall be filled with plenty, and your presses shall burst with new wine…. [God promises that] …My son, do not despise the chastening of the LORD, nor be weary of His correction; for whom the LORD loves He corrects, even as a father corrects the son in whom he delights. Blessed is the man who finds wisdom, and the man who gets understanding" (vs 10-13).

Let's look at some of the things concerning tithing. Let's come first of all to Lev. 27. {Note sermon series on Tithing that goes into every one of these things in great, great detail.} It's important for us to understand.

The principle works the same way today. You will find, and that's why I need to cover it, that there are some commentaries which say that tithing and offering was only for the Old Testament. We're going to find that that is not true.

Some others will say, 'The Lord never commanded tithing in the New Testament.' We will see that is not a true statement. What is the statement about God? He is the same yesterday, today, and forever! So just as the priesthood could not work without tithes and offerings for the Levites and the priests, neither can the preaching of the Gospel without tithes and offerings.

Let's read just a summary of it here; I'll let you read all the rest of it. Leviticus 27:30: "And all the tithe of the land, of the seed of the land, or of the fruit of the tree, is the LORD'S. It is Holy to the LORD"—everything that grows.

Same way with the livestock. The firstborn belonged to God. All the males. The females, the owners keep it for the Holy Days. Of an unclean animal, like a donkey or a horse or a camel, the firstborn was to be redeemed with a lamb. All of that is important to God. Why? Because that is the first of His creation of whatever, whether it be man or beast, God has made it. That's why.

Verse 31: "And if a man will at all redeem anything of his tithes, he shall add to it the fifth part of it." Twenty percent penalty for wanting to redeem a bull that would go to God. You pay that twenty percent. How important then is the tithe?

Verse 32: "And all the tithe of the herd, or of the flock, all that passes under the rod, a tenth shall be Holy to the LORD." That's after the firstborn. Then you run them through the chute: one, two, three, four, five, six, seven, eight, nine, ten. Tenth one is God's.

Verse 33: "He shall not search whether it is good or bad; neither shall he change it. And if he changes it at all, then both it and the change of it shall be Holy.…" How's that? That is there because even the sneaky carnal mind will not want to put up with that. So, God made it a pretty heavy penalty there.

"'…It shall not be redeemed.' These are the commandments which the LORD commanded Moses for the children of Israel in Mount Sinai" (vs 33-34).

We know from Gen. 14 that Abraham paid tithes to Melchizedek, Who was priest of the Most High. Everything up to this point is the special offerings that would be offered at the temple or tabernacle. Those would go to the sons of Aaron.

When you look at how Israel was set up, they had certain cities in every tribe for the Levites and the priests. They'd have three or four cities in different tribes and they would all tithe to the Levites. Then the Levites would take and send a tenth up to Jerusalem or they would bring it when they went up to work. All Levites worked at the temple twice a year. Otherwise, back in the tribe they were living in, they taught in the synagogues. They taught in the schools and they conducted the various things they need to do, like weddings and funerals, and so forth.

Numbers 18:21: "And behold, I have given the sons of Levi all the tithe in Israel for an inheritance… [it all belongs to God; He is the One Who says to whom it goes] …for their service which they serve, the service of the tabernacle of the congregation. Neither must the children of Israel come near the tabernacle of the congregation from this time forward, lest they bear sin and die. But the Levites shall do the service of the tabernacle of the congregation, and they shall bear their iniquity, it shall be a statute forever throughout your generations, that among the children of Israel they have no inheritance. But the tithes of the children of Israel, which they offer as a heave offering to the LORD…" (vs 21-24)—most of the time something other than an animal.
What if you were a seamstress, a weaver, a shoemaker or a baker, and you get paid, what do you do with that money? Then a tenth of it goes to God of your substance.

"…I have given to the Levites to inherit. Therefore, I have said to them, 'Among the children of Israel they shall have no inheritance'" (v 24).

Then it talks about all the things that they were to do, v 25: "And the LORD spoke to Moses saying, 'And you shall speak to the Levites, and you shall say to them, "When you take tithes from the children of Israel, which I have given you from them for your inheritance, then you shall offer up a heave offering of it for the LORD, even a tenth of the tithe"'" (vs 25-26). That was to go up to Jerusalem.

Verse 27: "And your heave offering shall be credited to you as grain of the threshing-floor…" There was a comparable. If you don't have grain to give, if you have money to give, or if you want to donate cloth that you have weaved, or whatever it is that you have made, then you send it. That was to go on up to Jerusalem.

"…and as the fullness of the winepress. So, you also shall offer a heave offering to the LORD of all your tithes, which you receive from the children of Israel. And you shall give from these the LORD'S heave offering to Aaron the priest" (vs 27-28). That's how the system worked there. Today it works a little differently. We'll explain that and get into it in the subsequent sermon here.

Verse 29: "Out of all your gifts you shall offer every heave offering of the LORD of all the best of them, the Holy part out of it." So, you were to set aside the very best. That was to go to the temple.

Verse 30: "And you shall say to them, 'When you have lifted up the best of it, then it shall be credited to the Levites as the increase of the threshing floor, and as the increase of the winepress. And you shall eat it in every place, you and your households.…'" (vs 30-31). Whatever they bring in the way of tithes, you can eat in your household if you are a Levite.

"…For it is your reward for your service in the tabernacle of the congregation. And you shall bear no sin because of it when you have offered up the best of it. Neither shall you profane the Holy things of the children of Israel, lest you die" (vs 31-32). So, God makes it very clear what it should be.

In the first part of Mal. 2, the priests were slacking off on what they should do. They were taking the animals that God said don't offer and were replacing and taking the best for themselves.

Malachi 2:1: "And now, O priests, this commandment is for you." And every minister who receives tithes needs to understand this. The tithes that are sent in, I don't receive them myself. They go into the Church account. I do just like Paul did, as we'll see a little later, he drew wages. We will see that he does talk about tithing and things like that as well.

So, this is correction for those who handle the Holy things of God, because they belong to God and should be used to do the things of God. Today that is preaching the Gospel and feeding the flock.

Verse 2: "'If you will not hear, and if you will not lay it to heart to give glory to My name,' says the LORD of hosts, 'then I will send a curse upon you, and I will curse your blessings. Yea, I have indeed cursed them already because you do not lay it to heart.'" What is this? No one can go against God.

Verse 3: "Behold, I will rebuke your seed… [their offspring] …and I will spread dung upon your faces, even the dung of your appointed feasts.…'" That's talking about all the holidays of this world. How does God look at them? God says, 'I hate, I despise your feasts' (Amos 5). Yet, look what the world's doing with it. Look what has happened even within the Church of God, because they didn't handle the tithes and offerings that they had received correctly and did exactly what God said not to do.
What did God do? Let's think about the example. Remember Eli and his two sons, Hophni and Phinehas. Eli was very slack. He let his sons commit adultery with the women right at the entrance of the tabernacle. They took the long spear fork and pulled the best parts of the meat for themselves, instead of giving the offering to God.

God sent him a warning, a man of God came and told him, 'You are going to die and your sons are going to die in one day.' That happened. 'I'm going to raise up a faithful priest,' and that happened and that was Samuel. But look at what happened.

God says as an everlasting lesson, 'Look at what I did to Shiloh.' We can say today, God tells us, 'Look at what I did to Pasadena, to Bricket Wood, to Big Sandy.' Did He take it away because of abuse? Yes, indeed! That's why it starts out to the priests!

Verse 4: "'And you shall know that I have sent this commandment to you, so that My covenant might be with Levi,' says the LORD of hosts." Today that covenant is with all the children that God is calling, plus all the elders, and so forth. There is a special covenant that comes along with the laying on of hands and that is to serve the people of God. That's what it's for.

It's not an office of exaltation! It's not like when you see these generals with all of their ribbons and badges and stars and banners and everything, that they're big important people. No!

  • we are to serve
  • we are to help
  • we are to teach

If we don't teach and learn and grow ourselves, then God is going to correct us and deal with us. That's what He says. I've had some people come and tell me that they've attended a Feast and it was pretty much like v 3.

Verse 5: "My covenant with him was one of life and peace, and I gave them to him for fear; that he might fear Me, and he was in awe before My name. The Law of Truth was in his mouth, and iniquity was not found in his lips. He walked with Me in peace and uprightness, and turned away many from iniquity, for the priest's lips should keep knowledge, and the people should seek the law at his mouth; for he is the messenger of the LORD of hosts" (vs 5-7). That's what it's supposed to be for.

Verse 8: "'But you have departed out of the way; you have caused many to stumble at the Law… [apply that to Protestantism, Catholicism, even some Churches of God] …You have corrupted the covenant of Levi,' says the LORD of hosts…. [God does this]: …Therefore, I have also made you contemptible and base before all the people…'" (vs 8-9).
When we see this little short clip about some of the evangelicals today, it's going to be funny, but it's going to be sad. He says here, and we all need to remember that:

"'…just as you have not kept My ways but have been partial in the Law.' Have we not all one father? Has not one God created us? Why do we deal treacherously, each man against his brother, by profaning the covenant of our fathers?" (vs 9-10). Because of that God had to destroy Jerusalem twice. How many times has He had to correct His Church?

Verse 11: "Judah has dealt treacherously, and an abomination is committed in Israel and in Jerusalem, for Judah has profaned the sanctuary of the LORD which He loves, and has married the daughter of a foreign god." Isn't that exactly what happened, beginning with Solomon? Then none of the kings of Israel were faithful, not a one.

What did He do? Verse 12: "The LORD will cut off from the tents of Jacob the man who does this—the one who calls and the one who answers—and him who offers an offering to the LORD of hosts." He's going to correct them!

Verse 13: "And this is a second thing you have done, covering the altar of the LORD with tears, weeping and groaning, so that He does not regard the offering and no longer receives it with delight from your hand. Yet, you say, 'Why?' Because the LORD has been a witness between you and the wife of your youth, against whom you have dealt treacherously…" (vs 13-14).

I remember there was a time that it was bragged, 'All of those who graduate from this college and marry, we haven't had one divorce.' What is it now? Same statistics as the rest of the society!

God never said marriage would be all lovey-dovey and idealistic with no problems and no difficulties. Every marriage is going to have its ups and downs. That's life; that's the way it happens. What do we do? Do we seek a way to overcome it? Yes! Do we seek a way to resolve it? Yes, God's way!

But notice, they didn't do that. Remember what was happening there during the days of Ezra and Nehemiah? The priests were marrying foreign wives.

"…—yet, she is your companion and your covenant wife" (v 14). Isn't that interesting? Because the marriage ceremony says, 'Do you covenant with God in the presence of these witnesses to take so-and-so as your lawful wedded wife, or so-and-so as your lawful wedded husband? Covenant wife/covenant husband. Today, living in an adulterous generation, everything is upside down. Some of it is so bad it's almost impossible to even seek out to correct some of it.

Verse 15: "And did He not make you one? Yet, the vestige of the Spirit is in him. And why one? That He might seek a godly seed. Therefore, guard your spirit, and do not act treacherously against the wife of your youth." Likewise wives against the husband of your youth. That's all you see in these soap operas anymore. Yes, indeed!

Verse 16: "The LORD, the God of Israel, says, 'I hate divorce…" Look at all the trouble it causes. Look at all the difficulties that come about. Sometimes it's necessary because it's so bad and Jesus said that divorce is counted allowable if it's for the sake of sexual immorality. The whole purpose of marriage is to have sex the way that God wants people to have sex and bring forth children. Everything else leads to difficulties and problems.

I've got a report, I'll have to do some churchathome.org or add to it at churchathome.org. I think I mentioned it last week. Twenty-million young people every year get sexually transmitted diseases. Quite a thing!

Verse 16: "The LORD, the God of Israel, says, 'I hate divorce—and the covering of violence with one's garment,' says the LORD of hosts. 'Therefore, guard your spirit, and do not act treacherously.'" That is to take to yourself the thought that you can do whatever you want to do. Nonsense!

Verse 17: "You have wearied the LORD with your words. Yet, you say, 'In what way have we wearied Him?' When you say, 'Every evildoer is good in the eyes of the LORD, and He delights in them'; or, 'Where is the God of judgment?'"

It's like we have today. Protestantism is being destroyed because they say, 'It's all done in Christ and you don't have to do anything. God loves you unconditionally wherever you are, whatever you do. It doesn't matter what you're doing.' God says He hates that!

Scriptural References:

  • Luke 6:32-38
  • Psalm 50:7-12, 14-17
  • Psalm 95:1-11
  • Psalm 147:1-12, 15-18
  • Deuteronomy 8:1-8, 2-20
  • Proverbs 3:1-13
  • Leviticus 27:30-34
  • Numbers 18:21-32
  • Malachi 2:1-17

Scriptures referenced, not quoted:

  • Psalms 37, 73
  • Ezekiel 34
  • John 10
  • Deuteronomy 9
  • Matthew 22
  • Genesis 14
  • Amos 5

Also referenced:


  • Stealing America by Dinesh D'Souza
  • From a Speck of Dust to a Son of God: Why Were You Born? (coming soon)

Sermon Series: Tithing

Transcribed: 12-9-15
Formatted: 12-11-15

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