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Monday, August 20, 2012

Support Your Local Pastor

One of the many reasons that Pastors these days have to work is that they are not getting the financial support they are suppose to get from the people of God that they are ministering to. Some people really believe that they are paying for just the livelihood of the Pastor, not for the Gospel to be preached because they believe the Gospel comes without a cost..  Some other people believe that Pastors do nothing worthy of getting support, because they see the Pastor of a particular church driving the best cars, living in the best homes and eating food that for the most part, in the view of the non-supporter, that Pastor did not pay for. Their thought is, well why don't he get a real job, like the rest of us and keep the Gospel free?  Or the sentiment is, Paul, the Apostle worked as a tent maker and preached the Gospel, why can't the Pastor of churches do the same instead of charging us for the message the he preaches?  The fact of the matter is that if the Pastor or Preacher desires to work in order to support his family and the Ministry, he has the scriptural right to do so, but that is not what God desired or designed.   God's plan of support of the Man of God who he has sent to minister the Gospel to your church community is that the Man of God is supported by the people of God.  Let us Go to the word, shall we?

In the Book of Numbers Chapter 18 versed 20 to 24, God instructed Arron the selected High Priest that he has no inheritance among the people of Israel. It goes on to say that neither does the Levites have any inheritance among the people of Israel.  What was their inheritance?  Their inheritance was God himself, therefore whatsoever tithes God received of the people, the Levites also received.  After which they had done so the Levites were instructed to tithe the tithes that they received of the people to the Lord and his house (Numbers 18:26).   This is the principle that I stated before that Gods people must support Gods man,  but those of us who believe that this principle is not applicable to us today because of the belief that Jesus took away the Law and now we live by God's grace, we do not have to look far to find that even before the Law was ratified the principle that God people must support God's man selected to minister to them.  In Genesis 14:18-20 we find that Abraham gave tithes to the man of God in his day.  This occurred before there was ever a law given to the people of Israel, for Israel was not even born when Abraham gave tithes to Melchizedek.  Because Abraham gave tithes, not under any commandment, but by faith under the promise of blessing, we too must give support of God's  man by faith and not under any compulsion for we too are under the Abrahamic blessing by faith in Christ. The point is the principle is still God's people must support God's man is still in effect because the Bible stipulates that the Law which appeared 430 years after the Abrahamic promise can not put out of legal effect or disannul the promise that was made by God to him.                         (Galatians 3:15-18)

Well somebody will say that Jesus did not receive tithes when he walked the earth with his disciples, nor did he command people to give to God tithes.  Well yes he did, recall the the time when the religious leadership tried to ensnare Jesus in his words and asked him whether or not should they pay tribute to Caesar or give to God? How did Jesus answer them?  He said, "Give unto Caesar what the things that is Caesar's and to God the things that are God's" (Mark 12:17-21) Jesus did not oppose people giving to God what is His. Among the things that are His, the tithe offering is one of them.(Leviticus 27:30,32) The fact of the matter is that Jesus did not oppose the people tithing at all.  He opposed the way the conducted the tithing process, like it was a money making venture,. (Matthew 21:12-14,23:23+24) squeezing every coin out of it for themselves. It is true  that there is no record that Jesus did not receive tithes, but he did have a treasurer because he constantly was supported by God's people,which echoes the principle I mentioned before, God's people must support God's man.  Why did Jesus not receive tithes when he was among us?Jesus could not receive tithes while he walked upon the earth because he had not died yet and the old law of tithing was still in effect.  Remember Jesus came to fulfill, or satisfy the Law, not to destroy it, so while he was on this earth he could not receive tithes.

Furthermore, the Old Law gave power and authority to the priestly order in his day to determine sin and pronounce God's per-scripted judgement upon it. Understanding that God himself set up this order of priesthood, while the Law still had legal power Jesus could do nothing, while he was alive on this earth, that would offend it. All He could do is satisfy its righteous demands, which required His death. For sin gave the Law the power of judging it and exposing it.  As long sin is found, God must judge it, for he is Holy. God did so through the legal sacrificial system that God set up from the beginning of human existence,(Genesis 3:21,4:3-5,8:20-22) but mankind is frail and prone to sin. (Hebrews 8:8)  Therefore, finding the fault in mankind,  God had to do something to save mankind from the penalty of sin, which is eternal damnation in the Lake of Fire.  God sacrificed a part of Himself, he sent Jesus, His only begotten Son to save mankind from their sins and ultimately from the condemnation of the Law. (Galatians 3:13; Romans 8:1-4).  When Jesus satisfied the righteous demands of the Old Law, by shedding his own blood, he put a legal end to it. What people do not understand that God through Jesus set up a New Law which fulfills or satisfies the Old Law. (Jeremiah 31:31-34) That Law is the Law of Christ (Romans 8:1+2) His shed blood satisfied the righteous demands of the Old Law of God and also ratified forever the all the promises of God made to mankind. (1Corinthians 1:20).

When Jesus arose from the dead and entered into the true Holiness of Hollies, in the presence of the Father, God, He went showing Himself that all has been fulfilled as He has spoken concerning the redemption of mankind.  Jesus took his rightful place at the right hand of God, the Father interceding for us as a High priest over our profession of faith in Him and our confession of faith concerning things in this world.  So what does this have to do with supporting our local Pastors?  Before Jesus went to be with the Father, God, He instructed and called men to continue the Preaching of the Gospel to all men.  Anointing them with power of the Holy Spirit, they preached.  That tradition of preaching is continued today through our local Pastors, under that same anointing. Just as Jesus and His Apostles, even the Apostle Paul received support for the preaching of the Gospel, so should the Local Pastors ( Luke 10:1-12,17-24; John 13:29; 1 Corinthians 9:14). That God's people support God's man.  Point of clarification: When Jesus told his disciples to not carry a money purse or script of money on them when preaching the Gospel, it was not because he did not want them to receive  money, He was protecting them from depending upon money to corrupt the power He had given them. (Acts 8:9-20)

It is only in these recent times that people believe that Pastors should themselves pay for the Gospel to be preached and not, in their minds, force the people to pay anything.  Please understand that No offering is to be given under compulsion, but by faith in the one who has provided all good things to us.(2 Corinthians 9:6) To give as though it was a bill, or a tax is to dishonor the principle upon which the first tithe was given.  Which was by faith in the Goodness of God and to praise God for his goodness toward us.  It is only in these recent times that Churches have to pay for buildings to be constructed, and pay people to do it.  It is only in these recent times that giving an offering to the man of God is an option.  It is only in these recent times that people expect  God to change what he has written, to suit their own appetites.  Well God does not change, His word does not change and his principle that God's man is supported by God's people has not changed.  So what shall we do? We need to repent, and support our local Pastors that are preaching the Gospel, because of the sacrifice Jesus made for us and the commission he gave to us.  Nothing more nothing less.

How do I do that, when I don't have a church home?  Find a local Pastor and support him, church membership is not required to support the Man of God.  The Widow of Zerephath was down to her last meal, but there came a Man of God to her and instructed her sacrifice a piece of the meal to him first. This woman was not an Israelite, that means that she was not privileged to receive the blessing of the covenant, but she did what the Man of God instructed her to do.  God, blessed her for her obedience and provided for her throughout the famine.  This is what can happen if the people of God support the man of God, whether they are a church member or not, that is preaching the word of God.  (Luke 4:25-27; 1 Kings 17:8-16). In short, you don't have to be a Israelite to receive the blessing of God.  All you have to do is support God's man, that is preaching the Gospel. All you have is comply with the Biblical principle that God's man is supported by God's people.  The Local Pastor is God's Man in these days sent to preach the Gospel to God's people.

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