What the recession taught me Pt I
“We should have tithe”
Synopsis of Bible Study 10/28/09
Delivered by Bishop Walker III
We discovered wisdom is the proper application of truth in the series we just came out of. We learned that once we receive truth, it must be applied to our lives. If you have the spirit to hear what God says, you will realize that God doesn’t let things happen that do not have a blessing in it for us. The recession happened and you survived it.
There are 4 lessons that we should have learned during this recession. Today we will discuss one of them.
I. We should have tithed
Recessions back in the bible days were called droughts or famines. In a drought, God would let things dry up by not allowing the rain to come. Droughts were always a result of people breaking covenant with God.
1 Kings 17:1-16: 1 Now Elijah, who was from Tishbe in Gilead, told King Ahab, “As surely as the Lord, the God of Israel, lives—the God I serve—there will be no dew or rain during the next few years until I give the word!” 2 Then the Lord said to Elijah, 3 “Go to the east and hide by Kerith Brook, near where it enters the Jordan River. 4 Drink from the brook and eat what the ravens bring you, for I have commanded them to bring you food.” 5 So Elijah did as the Lord told him and camped beside Kerith Brook, east of the Jordan. 6 The ravens brought him bread and meat each morning and evening, and he drank from the brook. 7 But after a while the brook dried up, for there was no rainfall anywhere in the land. 8 Then the Lord said to Elijah, 9 “Go and live in the village of Zarephath, near the city of Sidon. I have instructed a widow there to feed you.” 10 So he went to Zarephath. As he arrived at the gates of the village, he saw a widow gathering sticks, and he asked her, “Would you please bring me a little water in a cup?” 11 As she was going to get it, he called to her, “Bring me a bite of bread, too.” 12 But she said, “I swear by the Lord your God that I don’t have a single piece of bread in the house. And I have only a handful of flour left in the jar and a little cooking oil in the bottom of the jug. I was just gathering a few sticks to cook this last meal, and then my son and I will die.” 13 But Elijah said to her, “Don’t be afraid! Go ahead and do just what you’ve said, but make a little bread for me first. Then use what’s left to prepare a meal for yourself and your son. 14 For this is what the Lord, the God of Israel, says: There will always be flour and olive oil left in your containers until the time when the Lord sends rain and the crops grow again!” 15 So she did as Elijah said, and she and Elijah and her son continued to eat for many days. 16 There was always enough flour and olive oil left in the containers, just as the Lord had promised through Elijah.
1. After God announced that there was going to be a drought or recession, God comes to Elijah and tells him to go to Kerith Brook (Verse 2-3) -The lesson here is that you have to be in the right place.
2. God tells Elijah that if he gets into position, he can drink of the brook a raven will be sent to feed him (Verse 4)-. Just like this, God says he is going to make stuff bless us. He will make a supernatural occurrence out of the natural. God will always take care of us. In this case in the scripture, God is going to use a bird to feed Elijah. In that day, just getting bread was a blessing. God hooked him up so he would get bread and meat in the morning. He gave him breakfast and dinner so to speak. Elijah got his water from the brook at the place where God told him to be and the raven brought him the rest.
3. The brook dried up (recession) (Verse 7). God stopped the rain and Elijah’s water supply runs out. Now we will see Elijah will represent God and he will meet a woman that will represent us.
4. When in recession, you have to be connected to the right people. (Verse 8-9-10). The fast track to this point is this. Here is a woman who is impacted by the recession (drought). The widow and her son are down to their last. They had accepted their situation, because the widow said that her and her son had planned to eat their last and die. Elijah asks her to make him a cake of bread first. If you are down to you last and you have said it is over after this, you would say step away in the name of Jesus, when someone asked for the last meal you have! The bible says she obeyed the man of God and made him a cake of bread and as a result, her meal and bread never run out. God never gave her overflow, but he just kept something in her barrel. Every time she went back for more, there was something there. We don’t have to have 15 cars, just let the car start every time we start it up. We don’t have to be rich, but let us have money every time we go to pay a bill (during the recession).
5. The recession was a test for the kingdom of God. People of the world couldn’t handle it. They were losing their money and committing suicide. We are the people of God. If we had done things before the recession, we wouldn’t have known there was a recession. The country didn’t run out of money as a cause of the recession. The money just changed hands. You should have tithed.
6. The real issue of tithing is about ownership. Some argue that the tithe is about Old Testament Law. 400 yrs exactly before Moses went up Mount Sinai and got the law on tablets, Abraham paid tithes. Some of us miss this because we think our money is ours. You say it is yours, but it really belongs to the Lord. Psalm 24:1: 1The earth is the LORD’s and the fulness thereof; the world, and they that dwell therein. – God says he owns everything. Job says he gives and he takes away, blessed be the name of the Lord.
7. Hosea falls in love with Gomer who is a worldly woman. She represents Israel’s back sliding. She did not know that God gave her what she had. Hosea 2:8: 8For she did not know that I gave her corn, and wine, and oil, and multiplied her silver and gold, which they prepared for Baal.- Since she did not know that God gave her everything she had, she spent it all on Baal instead of God. Because she didn’t know, she made the devil rich and grew his kingdom and not God.
8. Genesis 14 reflects that Abraham gave his tithes. Genesis 14:20:20 And blessed be God Most High, who has defeated your enemies for you.” Then Abram gave Melchizedek a tenth of all the goods he had recovered. – Abraham is the father of our faith. Out of Abraham come 3 major world religions. Muslim, Christianity, and Judaism all come out of this one man. Even here in America, everything we do, we do in the spirit of our founding fathers. Everything is based on the constitution. Most of the time, the laws we make or defend is based on what are founding fathers meant when they wrote the constitution. We are constantly in pursuit about original intent. We value the constitution because it speaks to what our forefathers said. If Abraham got his blessing, it was a result of Abraham paying his tithes. Jacob, his grandson, paid tithes – Genesis 28:22: 22And this stone, which I have set for a pillar, shall be God’s house: and of all that thou shalt give me I will surely give the tenth unto thee. – In this scripture, Abraham proclaims that all God gives to him; he will give a 10th back to God.
9. Everything that comes to you as increase belongs to the Lord. Leviticus 27:30: 30And all the tithe of the land, whether of the seed of the land, or of the fruit of the tree, is the LORD’s: it is holy unto the LORD.-Everything that comes to you as increase, belongs to the Lord. Therefore a 10th goes back to God.
10. There is a penalty for not paying your tithe. Leviticus 27:31: 31And if a man will at all redeem ought of his tithes, he shall add thereto the fifth part thereof. – If a man does not pay his tithe, he must add a fifth to the value of it. Proverbs 3:9-10: 9Honour the LORD with thy substance, and with the firstfruits of all thine increase: – The first born of each flock belongs to God also.
11. Do we tithe off of our net or our gross 19 The teachers of religious law and the leading priests wanted to arrest Jesus immediately because they realized he was telling the story against them—they were the wicked farmers. But they were afraid of the people’s reaction. 20 Watching for their opportunity, the leaders sent spies pretending to be honest men. They tried to get Jesus to say something that could be reported to the Roman governor so he would arrest Jesus. 21 “Teacher,” they said, “we know that you speak and teach what is right and are not influenced by what others think. You teach the way of God truthfully. 22 Now tell us—is it right for us to pay taxes to Caesar or not?” 23 He saw through their trickery and said, 24 “Show me a Roman coin.[a] Whose picture and title are stamped on it?” “Caesar’s,” they replied.25 “Well then,” he said, “give to Caesar what belongs to Caesar, and give to God what belongs to God.” – Everyone went to Rome to pay taxes. The question was asked directed to Jesus by the Scribes. They wanted to know if it was lawful to pay taxes to Caesar. He replied to them, give to the IRS (Caesar) what is the IRS (Caesar) and what is God’s, give to God. Where does Caesar or the IRS get their cut? They get theirs off the top? If Caesar or the IRS gets theirs off the top, then so why shouldn’t God. If you don’t let the devil allow you to tip out before this is over, what we share is going to change your life about tithing.
12. It is 1500 years after Moses received the law that Jesus affirmed the principle of tithing. Matthew 23:23: 23Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye pay tithe of mint and anise and cummin, and have omitted the weightier matters of the law, judgment, mercy, and faith: these ought ye to have done, and not to leave the other undone.
II. Why I believe in tithing
1. Tithing is bible doctrine with continuity in the scriptures, before, during, and after Moses law.
2. The Tithe is not mine, it belongs to the Lord. The earth is the Lords and the fullness thereof.
3. . Tithing is an indicator of our faithfulness. It is a weekly, semimonthly, or monthly opportunity to demonstrate to God our faithfulness.
4. Tithing is an indicator of our generosity. It is about your attitude. 2 Corinthians 9:7:7Every man according as he purposeth in his heart, so let him give; not grudgingly, or of necessity: for God loveth a cheerful giver.- We tithe because we want to be a blessing to others., Proverbs 22:9: 9He that hath a bountiful eye shall be blessed; for he giveth of his bread to the poor.
5. Tithing allows God called Ministers to devote themselves fully to the word. Numbers 18:21: 21And, behold, I have given the children of Levi all the tenth in Israel for an inheritance, for their service which they serve, even the service of the tabernacle of the congregation.- Those that are preaching the word of God, tithing makes it possible for them to live. What are they supposed to live off of?
6. We tithe because we wouldn’t want to take a chance on God considering us to be a robber. A burglar and a robber are two different things. A robber will rob you when you are there often with the intentions of harming you. A burglar waits until you are not at home and sneaks in. When you rob God, you are considered a robber according to the scripture. You cause bodily harm to the congregation. You hurt the body of Christ by preventing her to do what she is supposed to do for the kingdom.
7. God says he wants his house to be abundantly supplied. Every preacher says the kingdom went down (through church tithing and offering) during the recession. Here was the perfect opportunity to show the world we were still going strong, but we missed it! We got scared and tightened up our wallet and start acting like the world. We made God look like a dead beat dad by our lack of faith. We made it look as if God had children he didn’t take care of.
8. God says if we are faithful in tithes and offering, he will open the windows of heaven and pour us out abundant blessings.
9. We are honoring the Lord when we give the tithe. Proverbs 3:9-10: 9Honour the LORD with thy substance, and with the firstfruits of all thine increase: 10So shall thy barns be filled with plenty, and thy presses shall burst out with new wine.- Imagine a banquet in your honor. 500 people are there with their money. When it is time to honor you monetarily, 200 people get up walk out. It is like this on many Sunday mornings. People worship the Lord and get full on the word and then they walk out at the end before giving their offering. When you honor God in your giving, you are remembering when you reached for something and didn’t have it. God loves a cheerful giver! If you can shout on receiving from God, why can’t you shout on giving?
10. God in turn grants you abundance. God grants us abundance as a result of tithing. Malachi 3:10: 10Bring ye all the tithes into the storehouse, that there may be meat in mine house, and prove me now herewith, saith the LORD of hosts, if I will not open you the windows of heaven, and pour you out a blessing, that there shall not be room enough to receive it.
11. There is a bible principle of sowing and reaping. We tithe because the bible teaches it as a part of sowing and reaping. We sow the tithe and we reap blessings as a harvest.
12. Our heart is in the kingdom of God and in the churches where we are fed. If our heart is there, our treasure will be also. That is what this test (the recession) was about. It was about where your heart was. You are supposed to tithe where you are getting fed. Matthew 6:21: 21For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also.
Malachi 3:6-12: 6For I am the LORD, I change not; therefore ye sons of Jacob are not consumed. 7Even from the days of your fathers ye are gone away from mine ordinances, and have not kept them. Return unto me, and I will return unto you, saith the LORD of hosts. But ye said, Wherein shall we return? 8Will a man rob God? Yet ye have robbed me. But ye say, Wherein have we robbed thee? In tithes and offerings. 9Ye are cursed with a curse: for ye have robbed me, even this whole nation. 10Bring ye all the tithes into the storehouse, that there may be meat in mine house, and prove me now herewith, saith the LORD of hosts, if I will not open you the windows of heaven, and pour you out a blessing, that there shall not be room enough to receive it. 11And I will rebuke the devourer for your sakes, and he shall not destroy the fruits of your ground; neither shall your vine cast her fruit before the time in the field, saith the LORD of hosts. 12And all nations shall call you blessed: for ye shall be a delightsome land, saith the LORD of hosts.
1. God says he is over this thing (verse 6). Just because things happen in the world, God does not change. We are in the blood line, because we are sons of Jacob and Abraham. We will not go under, because we have a blood line. We have a covenant with God.
2. God says he wants us to return to him (Verse 7). He wants us to return to him and he will return to us. God says in verse 8, the easiest way to know where you heart is, is to ask about your money. We asked how we rob God. Well it is in tithe and offerings. Because we robbed him, verse 9 says our stuff will not grow. We allow a curse to enter into our home. Stuff will break down, before it supposed to break down.
3. You can’t play with this; bring the entire tithe to the storehouse (Verse 10). The storehouse is where you are getting fed. God says his house should never have to struggle. Ex- Bishop Walker explains that we are going to cancel this debt (referring to Old HB) through tithe and offering just like we did Antioch! Bishop explains that we are not going to be selling M&M’s, fish sandwiches, or anything like that. The meat is in the house. It’s just not being released. The issue of tithing is the only place in the bible where God says put him on trail. God says he will put everything on the line for this particular principle. Why do you let the devil try and stop you from doing this? God is not a man that he would lie!
III. Why are we teaching this?
1. The reason the recession happened was to reveal to us that we should have tithe. It is not just about the increase, it is about verse 11 where it says he will stop the taker from taking from us. The enemy took your 401k, your house, your job, your stuff … If you haven’t been consistently tithing, then you anger God. God says he had a generation of folk that wasn’t consistent. When Israel was on their way out of Egypt, he said the death angel was going to ride. He told them to put blood on the post. When the death angel saw that, he would pass over that particular house. God says foreclosure is supposed to pass over you because of who you are in the kingdom. God will rebuke. It is supposed to be a recession, but it was supposed to pass over you. All those people in the world that hated on you take look at them now. These are the same people that were supposed to look at you and say like in verse 12, all nations shall call you blessed!
2. Antoine Walker, #8 for the Celtics is on the front of yahoo.com today. He made $110 million playing basketball during his career. Today he is broke and in debt. Mike Tyson made 300 million dollars during his career. He is broke today too. We make more money today than our grandparents ever did. Some of us are the first generation in our families to make over $50,000/yr and yet we will come to church and maybe give 5 dollars to God. If you went to grandmother’s house who never made of what we make, you will have to recognize that she always had enough to food to feed everyone. Ex-Mother Holland joined Mt Zion in 1932, but if she could stand up and testify for us right now, she would say she has seen a lot. She saw the election of President Franklin Roosevelt all the way up to the election of President Barack Obama. She has seen a lot, but she would tell you that she has never seen righteous begging bread. Never again will we be affected like this again come recession or whatever!
We are preaching this message because Bishop Walker says he watches people struggle that didn’t have to struggle during the recession. This is a critical area that we should have learned before now. If this stuff happens again, it will not affect us, because this time we have heard this word. God never intends for us to struggle. Remember, we are the lenders not the borrowers!