"Removing the Nebulous Obfuscation" by Pastor Aamon R. Miller
My brothers & sisters, we cannot see what we cannot see. It's a simple concept; yet, very complex. Therefore, we must open our eyes. “Nebulous” = CLOUDY . . . “Obfuscation” = MUDDIED CONFUSION . . . So, let us NOW read Malachi 3:6-11 with clarity and without confusion. I have put emphasis in all caps & parenthesis to ties foundational text into this reading.
6 “I (GOD) the Lord do not change (FROM THE COVENANT THAT WAS MADE IN DEUTERONOMY 28). So you (PRIESTS, NOT THE PEOPLE), the descendants of Jacob, are not destroyed (i.e. I SHOULD KILL YOU, BUT I'M NOT LETTNG YOU OFF THE HOOK THAT EASILY. TAKE THIS WHIPPING & OPPORTUNITY TO REPENT).
7 Ever since the time of your ancestors you (PRIESTS) have turned away from my decrees (DEUTERONOMY 28) and have not kept them. Return to me (GOD), and I will return to you (PRIESTS),” says the Lord Almighty.
“But you (PRIESTS) ask, ‘How are we to return?’
8 “Will a mere mortal rob God? Yet you (PRIESTS) rob me (GOD).
“But you (PRIESTS) ask, ‘How are we (PRIESTS) robbing you (GOD)?’
“In tithes (THE LEVITICAL TITHE IN NUMBERS 18:21-32… STORED UP TITHES THAT WERE NO LONGER BEING BROUGHT TO THE STOREHOUSE BY THE PRIESTS.) and offerings (VARIOUS FREEWILL OFFERINGS. – LEVITICUS 1-5 & NEHEMIAH 13:10, SUCH AS THE BURNT OFFERING, GRAIN OFFERING, PEACE OFFERING, SIN OFFERING, AND GUILT OFFERING).
9 You are under a curse (SEE DEUTERONOMY 28 FOR THE LAW, BLESSINGS & CURSES, DEUT. 28:18, 23-24, 38-40, 45... AND NEHEMIAH 10:29) —your whole nation (EVERYBODY IN ISRAEL SUFFERS) —because you (PRIESTS) are robbing me (GOD).
10 Bring the whole tithe (THE AMOUNT THAT YOU FAILED TO BRING, LEVITICAL TITHE NUMBERS 18:21-32) into the storehouse (NEHEMIAH 12:44, 13:10), that there may be food (FOOD FOR THE LEVITES & TEMPLE WORKERS TO EAT DAILY. NOT MONEY) in my house. Test me in this,” says the Lord Almighty, “and see if I will not throw open the floodgates of heaven and pour out so much blessing that there will not be room enough to store it. (THIS IS NOT A NEW BLESSING. IT IS A REMINDER OF THE BLESSINGS/CURSES FROM DEUTERONOMY 28 again)
11 I will prevent pests from devouring your crops, and the vines in your fields will not drop their fruit before it is ripe,” says the Lord Almighty. (DEUTERONOMY 28:38)
12 “Then all the nations will call you blessed, for yours will be a delightful land,” says the Lord Almighty
WHEH!!!!! Do you see it???? It’s right there in the Word! . . . “So, now what Preacher man???” Well, I’ve said all of that to say this: Tithing is a PRINCIPLE by which we can teach giving and stewardship. It is NOT a LAW or MANDATE to give 10% of our earnings to the church! We are NOT CURSED if we don’t do it!!!! Each person is to give to support the church, give with a cheerful heart, give a good portion (some give 10% or MORE), and do it regularly. We make this personal commitment to God and HE BLESSES us as he sees fit according to our giving. Nobody should ever be shamed, bullied, embarrassed, peer-pressured, or punk’d into giving. Yes, it sounds juvenile. But, sadly, it happens all the time.
I see and teach the 10% as an EXCELLENT goal, earmark, & threshold for us ALL to aspire to or even do more than! The OT text is an excellent example of it. But, to mandate it & shame people into it is the equivalent of spiritual rape. For some, it’s statutory rape via consensual sex, in that some Preachers/Pastors just don’t know. BUT, for others who DO know, and purposely keep it to themselves, it is forcible rape, taking from the people for personal financial gain. The principle and example of giving 10% IS valid, But it is not law, nor is it required!
You’re ALMOST rid of me for the month of January. ;-) But, now that we’ve clarified through the Word what tithing WAS & IS, I will wrap this thing up with 3 final entries to drive home the Biblical context of Giving:
The PURPOSE of Our Giving, The METHOD of our Giving, The RESULT of Our Giving.
Until next time: Love GOD. Love PEOPLE. Love LIFE.
-- Pastor ARM
Topic: "Removing the Nebulous Obfuscations."
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