Moses 3 verse 7 – What about my finances and tithes?

I can already see people sitting up with their hairs on their necks standing up straight. All you need is another person to go of about your finances. I believe you will be disappointed to see what I am going to say about it. It will not be your standard Malachi 3 verse 10 sermon, as that verse will be dealt with at the end of this chapter.

During the first sitting of the Church synod in Acts 15, we find certain decisions that the apostles decided on. These were the only decisions recorded by the synod, and the only ones enforced on the early believers of Church. What does that scripture actually say: “For it seemed good to the Holy Ghost, and to us, to lay upon you no greater burden than these necessary things; That ye abstain from meats offered to idols, and from blood, and from things strangled, and from fornication: from which if ye keep yourselves, ye shall do well. Fare ye well.” (Acts 15:28-29)

Where do we start?

Lets begin at the beginning, in other words the Old Testament or covenant and its prescriptions. What you are going to read, might even shock you, but that is what is declared in the Bible.

The legal prescriptions

In order not to cause any confusion, I will quote the scriptures in totality, and I would like to ask you to read it very carefully. I know we have all read these scriptures, but read it and let it sink in. “Thou shalt truly tithe all the increase of thy seed, that the field bringeth forth year by year. And thou shalt eat before the LORD thy God, in the place which he shall choose to place his name there, the tithe of thy corn, of thy wine, and of thine oil, and the firstlings of thy herds and of thy flocks; that thou mayest learn to fear the LORD thy God always. And if the way be too long for thee, so that thou art not able to carry it; or if the place be too far from thee, which the LORD thy God shall choose to set his name there, when the LORD thy God hath blessed thee: Then shalt thou turn it into money, and bind up the money in thine hand, and shalt go unto the place which the LORD thy God shall choose: And thou shalt bestow that money for whatsoever thy soul lusteth after, for oxen, or for sheep, or for wine, or for strong drink, or for whatsoever thy soul desireth: and thou shalt eat there before the LORD thy God, and thou shalt rejoice, thou, and thine household, And the Levite that is within thy gates; thou shalt not forsake him; for he hath no part nor inheritance with thee. At the end of three years thou shalt bring forth all the tithe of thine increase the same year, and shalt lay it up within thy gates: And the Levite, (because he hath no part nor inheritance with thee,) and the stranger, and the fatherless, and the widow, which are within thy gates, shall come, and shall eat and be satisfied; that the LORD thy God may bless thee in all the work of thine hand which thou doest.”  (Deuteronomy 14:22-29)

Did you know that the Israelites had to eat their tithes, which comprised of their first fruits, and that only a portion of the third year’s tithes was for the Levites? If you were a farmer and had 100 sheep, of which 6 had lambs for the first time with no twins, then your tithe would have been 6 lambs. This meant that you could eat all six during the year, as long as it was not the third year, the year of the tithes, when the six lambs would have to go to the Levite, the poor, the widows, and the strangers. Why did they have to eat it? In order to have food. They were not allowed to use their total crop for commercial reasons, and then ended up with nothing to eat. No, they had to keep the first born as food for themselves.

The third year’s tithes, the year of the tithe, also had very strict rules that they had to abide by. “When thou hast made an end of tithing all the tithes of thine increase the third year, which is the year of tithing, and hast given it unto the Levite, the stranger, the fatherless, and the widow, that they may eat within thy gates, and be filled; Then thou shalt say before the LORD thy God, I have brought away the hallowed things out of mine house, and also have given them unto the Levite, and unto the stranger, to the fatherless, and to the widow, according to all thy commandments which thou hast commanded me: I have not transgressed thy commandments, neither have I forgotten them: I have not eaten thereof in my mourning, neither have I taken away ought thereof for any unclean use, nor given ought thereof for the dead: but I have hearkened to the voice of the LORD my God, and have done according to all that thou hast commanded me. Look down from thy holy habitation, from heaven, and bless thy people Israel, and the land which thou hast given us, as thou swarest unto our fathers, a land that floweth with milk and honey.” (Deuteronomy 26:12-15)

It is again emphasised that the Levites should only receive part of the third years tithe. So, the Israelites had to take two thirds of their tithes over a three-year period, and eat it, and a third had to be split four ways, for the Levite, the fatherless, the stranger and the widows. We also have to remember that the Levites included all the musicians, the helpers, everyone who had to work at the temple or teach the families.

It is also mentioned in Numbers that the Levites had to give a tithe of their tithe to the High Priest and the other priests doing duty at the temple. “Thus speak unto the Levites, and say unto them, When ye take of the children of Israel the tithes which I have given you from them for your inheritance, then ye shall offer up an heave offering of it for the LORD, even a tenth part of the tithe. And this your heave offering shall be reckoned unto you, as though it were the corn of the threshingfloor, and as the fulness of the winepress. Thus ye also shall offer an heave offering unto the LORD of all your tithes, which ye receive of the children of Israel; and ye shall give thereof the LORD’S heave offering to Aaron the priest. Out of all your gifts ye shall offer every heave offering of the LORD, of all the best thereof, even the hallowed part thereof out of it. Therefore thou shalt say unto them, When ye have heaved the best thereof from it, then it shall be counted unto the Levites as the increase of the threshingfloor, and as the increase of the winepress. And ye shall eat it in every place, ye and your households: for it is your reward for your service in the tabernacle of the congregation. And ye shall bear no sin by reason of it, when ye have heaved from it the best of it: neither shall ye pollute the holy things of the children of Israel, lest ye die. “(Numbers 18:26-32)

One point that we can learn from the quoted scriptures is that it is my responsibility to take care of those who do not have the means to take care of themselves. I must ensure that everyone has food to eat and to be able to make ends meet.

So, to summarise this section. The Israelites had to take their first fruits and tithes of grain to the place appointed by the LORD, and had to eat it there. If this was to much for the party, they could exchange it for money and then treat themselves to whatever they desired. The third years’ tithe had to go to the Levites and for the underprivileged.

What was the purpose of the Levites?

Have you ever wondered what their purpose was, and why they never received an inheritance in Canaan? Numbers 4 gives us the answer. “And when Aaron and his sons have made an end of covering the sanctuary, and all the vessels of the sanctuary, as the camp is to set forward; after that, the sons of Kohath shall come to bear it: but they shall not touch any holy thing, lest they die. These things are the burden of the sons of Kohath in the tabernacle of the congregation.” (Numbers 4:15) “At the appointment of Aaron and his sons shall be all the service of the sons of the Gershonites, in all their burdens, and in all their service: and ye shall appoint unto them in charge all their burdens.” (Numbers 4:27) “And this is the charge of their burden, according to all their service in the tabernacle of the congregation; the boards of the tabernacle, and the bars thereof, and the pillars thereof, and sockets thereof, And the pillars of the court round about, and their sockets, and their pins, and their cords, with all their instruments, and with all their service: and by name ye shall reckon the instruments of the charge of their burden.”(Numbers 4:31-32)

From these scriptures we see that they had to carry the tent and tabernacle from one place to another. That was their task in the desert, but once they entered into Canaan, each family were assigned a Levite to teach them the Law of Moses, and to bring the sacrifice of the family to the LORD. The amazing fact is that when Moses counted the Israelites, the firstborn from every family, which belonged to the LORD, and the number of Levites were just about the same at 22,000. This meant that every household got their own Levite to look after. This was the reason Israel had to give the third year’s tithe to the Levite, as he had to have enough to live from and to support his own family.

The view of Hebrews

Hebrews changes all these rules again, as we find that Jesus was from the tribe of Judah, and thus the rules surrounding sacrifices and tithes had to change. But what does it inform us? “And verily they that are of the sons of Levi, who receive the office of the priesthood, have a commandment to take tithes of the people according to the law, that is, of their brethren, though they come out of the loins of Abraham: But he whose descent is not counted from them received tithes of Abraham, and blessed him that had the promises. And without all contradiction the less is blessed of the better. And here men that die receive tithes; but there he receiveth them, of whom it is witnessed that he liveth. And as I may so say, Levi also, who receiveth tithes, payed tithes in Abraham. For he was yet in the loins of his father, when Melchisedec met him. If therefore perfection were by the Levitical priesthood, (for under it the people received the law,) what further need was there that another priest should rise after the order of Melchisedec, and not be called after the order of Aaron? For the priesthood being changed, there is made of necessity a change also of the law. For he of whom these things are spoken pertaineth to another tribe, of which no man gave attendance at the altar. For it is evident that our Lord sprang out of Juda; of which tribe Moses spake nothing concerning priesthood.” (Hebrews 7:5-14)

The book of Hebrews explains from chapter six verse 10 up to the end of the book the priesthood of Melchisedec, which Jesus came to establish. We find that there was never a priesthood like this before, but, that is the priesthood we as new covenant Christians should belong to. The writer explains that we have to believe that Jesus came to fulfil the earthly rules of the tabernacle as depicted in scriptures, as He Himself became both sacrifice and High Priest. From this we can then establish that Jesus annulled the need for the Levites. This in turn means that we do not have to pay the Levites any longer to do their job. Remember the scripture where Jesus declared that He will destroy the temple and rebuild it in three days? This is what He did, and with it went the need to pay the Levites.

The whole book of Hebrews is written to explain that Jesus came according to the priesthood of Melchisedec. Before the Levitical priesthood was instituted by Moses, another priesthood existed where these priests were appointed by the LORD. In chapter 7 of Hebrews, the writer explains that no tithing applied to these priesthoods, but that Abraham still gave a tenth to the priest of his spoils. The only reason Abraham gave, was because he knew that Melchisedec was appointed by the LORD. Jesus came not as priest, but as High Priest according to the order of Melchisedec to establish a new dispensation where no prescribed laws are valid any longer, and at the same time declared the old Levitical priesthood that was governed by laws and various washes, null and void. I therefore no longer can go to the Old Testament to see what applies today, as those laws prescribed by Moses were fulfilled by Jesus when He established the New Covenant.

Chapter 13 gives us the new commandments of the New Covenant: “Let brotherly love continue. Be not forgetful to entertain strangers: for thereby some have entertained angels unawares. Remember them that are in bonds, as bound with them; and them which suffer adversity, as being yourselves also in the body. Marriage is honourable in all, and the bed undefiled: but whoremongers and adulterers God will judge. Let your conversation be without covetousness; and be content with such things as ye have: for he hath said, I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee. So that we may boldly say, The Lord is my helper, and I will not fear what man shall do unto me. Remember them which have the rule over you, who have spoken unto you the word of God: whose faith follow, considering the end of their conversation. Jesus Christ the same yesterday, and to day, and for ever. Be not carried about with divers and strange doctrines. For it is a good thing that the heart be established with grace; not with meats, which have not profited them that have been occupied therein. We have an altar, whereof they have no right to eat which serve the tabernacle. For the bodies of those beasts, whose blood is brought into the sanctuary by the high priest for sin, are burned without the camp. Wherefore Jesus also, that he might sanctify the people with his own blood, suffered without the gate. Let us go forth therefore unto him without the camp, bearing his reproach. For here have we no continuing city, but we seek one to come. By him therefore let us offer the sacrifice of praise to God continually, that is, the fruit of our lips giving thanks to his name. But to do good and to communicate forget not: for with such sacrifices God is well pleased. Obey them that have the rule over you, and submit yourselves: for they watch for your souls, as they that must give account, that they may do it with joy, and not with grief: for that is unprofitable for you.” (Hebrews 13:1-17) Verses ten and eleven explains to us the Jesus was the sacrifice that was slain outside the camp, the offer no one had the privilege of eating, as it was burnt outside the camp. The blood from this sacrifice was then used by the high priest to enter into the holiest of hollies. This is the sacrifice Jesus came to fulfil, and that is the reason He was slain outside Jerusalem. You and I then have to go outside to the cross and get forgiveness for our sins. Once we have laid down our lives at the cross, we have free entry into the holiest of hollies to God the Father. I now do not have to pay the Levites any longer to do this for me. I can and must do it.

New Testament obligations

How do we then work with our finances? Jesus gave us the answer in Mathew. “Woe 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. (Matthew 23:23) We see in these scriptures that the Pharisees even brought tithes of things not prescribed in the law of Moses, but they neglected the other tasks they had to do. Remember the third year’s tithes had to be shared between the Levites, the widows, the homeless and the fatherless. They were so busy impressing everyone with their sacrifices that they did not even bother about making a difference in the lives of everyday people. Jesus tells them what is the most important aspect of being a child of God, and that is to see that others are well looked after, and not bringing tithes to the priests.

This scripture is used by some churches to declare that even Jesus said that you should bring tithes. Wrong. Jesus was still alive and could not tell them not to bring tithes, as that would have meant that He would tell them to sin against the law. Jesus himself was born under the old covenant, and was circumcised as part of this covenant. We have just seen in the book of Hebrews that only when Jesus died, did the new covenant start with the priesthood of Melchisedec. In this priesthood there is no need to pay the Levites to sacrifice on our behalf. We are priests ourselves.

Jesus gave us some guidelines as to what is acceptable: “Then shall the King say unto them on his right hand, Come, ye blessed of my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world: For I was an hungred, and ye gave me meat: I was thirsty, and ye gave me drink: I was a stranger, and ye took me in: Naked, and ye clothed me: I was sick, and ye visited me: I was in prison, and ye came unto me. Then shall the righteous answer him, saying, Lord, when saw we thee an hungred, and fed thee? or thirsty, and gave thee drink? When saw we thee a stranger, and took thee in? or naked, and clothed thee? Or when saw we thee sick, or in prison, and came unto thee? And the King shall answer and say unto them, Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me.” (Matthew 25:34-40) This is the sacrifice acceptable to the LORD.

This scripture is a confirmation of Jeremiah 7. “For if ye throughly amend your ways and your doings; if ye throughly execute judgment between a man and his neighbour; If ye oppress not the stranger, the fatherless, and the widow, and shed not innocent blood in this place, neither walk after other gods to your hurt: Then will I cause you to dwell in this place, in the land that I gave to your fathers, for ever and ever.” (Jeremiah 7:5-7). The Bible wants to teach us here that we have to do what the LORD requires. We cannot bribe the LORD with our sacrifices. He examines the heart, to find the motive behind the action.

Paul gives us a guideline as to what we should contribute as part of the new covenant. “For if there be first a willing mind, it is accepted according to that a man hath, and not according to that he hath not. For I mean not that other men be eased, and ye burdened: But by an equality, that now at this time your abundance may be a supply for their want, that their abundance also may be a supply for your want: that there may be equality:” (2 Corinthians 8:12-14) The LORD does not expect from you to give if you do not have anything to give. No, He wants us to be equally yoked. He wants us to give in order that there should be equality between people. If you are blessed with lots, it is required of your to give to those who have not, in order for them to be able to give to you again at a time when you are in need.

How did the first Church do it?

And all that believed were together, and had all things common; And sold their possessions and goods, and parted them to all men, as every man had need. And they, continuing daily with one accord in the temple, and breaking bread from house to house, did eat their meat with gladness and singleness of heart, Praising God, and having favour with all the people. And the Lord added to the church daily such as should be saved.” (Acts 2:44-47)

So how should we live then as new covenant Christians? Have you ever wondered why we find some people that are clever and others who are not? Then we get people who are good business people, and others that do not have an idea of how to do business. Paul, in the preceding scripture, gives us the answer. If I am good in something, then I have to help others who have a need in that area. And this does not only cover finances.

Why do I have to share my money with someone else? Firstly, the first church did it. What did Jesus declare the summation of the law is? You have to love the LORD God with all your heart, and your neighbour as yourself. If I now decide to keep everything I receive from the LORD to myself, then I am not doing the second part, the part concerning my neighbour. That is one reason. Another reason is that I can use it to spread the Gospel. When I start living the life as discussed in Acts, I will know when the people I meet with on a daily basis has a need. This way I will allow myself to be used by the LORD to bless these people. I am then starting to live the Gospel, and the LORD is then in a position to channel more and more through me. I cannot make a difference in someone’s life if I keep on ignoring my neighbour and his needs.

And what about the income for the local congregation?

Where would their money come from to see to the needs of the pastor? Paul was very specific on this issue. “For it is written in the law of Moses, Thou shalt not muzzle the mouth of the ox that treadeth out the corn. Doth God take care for oxen? Or saith he it altogether for our sakes? For our sakes, no doubt, this is written: that he that ploweth should plow in hope; and that he that thresheth in hope should be partaker of his hope. If we have sown unto you spiritual things, is it a great thing if we shall reap your carnal things?” (1 Corinthians 9:9-11). Verse 14 continues with this: “Even so hath the Lord ordained that they which preach the gospel should live of the gospel.” Paul in the book to Galatians also expounds on this subject. “Let him that is taught in the word communicate unto him that teacheth in all good things.” (Galatians 6:6)

What about a building to gather in? That is something the local congregation has to decide about. If everyone agrees that a building is required, then everyone should share the cost. That is the way the Israelites shared the responsibility when they returned from being exiled in Babel. You can read the full story in Nehemiah. No tithes were used for this.

Conclusion

Tithes were meant to supply food for the tribe of Levi who did not receive an inheritance in Canaan. It also had to provide for widows, orphans and the stranger. Everything took the form of a sacrifice. It was given to people as food, although it was also meant as a sacrifice unto the LORD for forgiveness of sins. The book of Hebrews informs us that Jesus brought the final offer and was accepted by the Father. I do not need to pay someone any longer for bringing sacrifices to the LORD for forgiveness of sins. So what do I have to do? I have to ensure that everyone, the pastor included, have clothing to wear and food to eat. I have to ensure that there is equality. I also have to ensure that the person who teaches me, does not have a shortfall, but that he shares in everything I have.

The last question: How much do I have to give? That we can establish equality amongst all believers. Nobody should have a want, the pastor included. That gets rid of all the arguments surrounding this subject. Then we do not have to argue if it is before or after tax, including or excluding all my fringe benefits, etc. I have to give wherever I see a need. The LORD has to use us as His hands and feet.

And now on to Malachi.

Why do the church then still use this scripture. The only reason I can think of, is that they must be mistaken, and think that they are talking to Jews in a synagogue, as that is where it can still be used. But even the Jews won’t believe it, as they at least know Malachi from chapter one to chapter four. If we look at the introduction of all the chapters of Malachi, we will find that chapter one is aimed at the everyday person, while from chapter two to three is aimed at the priests. “The burden of the word of the LORD to Israel by Malachi”. (Malachi 1:1). “And now, O ye priests, this commandment is for you.” (Malachi 2:1). That is the only reference in this book to whom the message is addressed. I would recommend that you read all four chapters of Malachi. You will then see that chapter one is aimed at the Israelites as He tells them that He still loves them, but accuses them of bringing sick and lame animals as sacrifices. This already tells us that the priests were telling them that it does not matter what state the sacrifice is in they bring to the LORD. This informs us what their inner state was, they were paying lip service to the LORD.

In chapter two we find that the prophet tells the priests that they are supposed to act as teachers. “For the priest’s lips should keep knowledge, and they should seek the law at his mouth: for he is the messenger of the LORD of hosts.” (Malachi 2:7). The prophet now spells out to them what is wrong with them. “But ye are departed out of the way; ye have caused many to stumble at the law; ye have corrupted the covenant of Levi, saith the LORD of hosts. Therefore have I also made you contemptible and base before all the people, according as ye have not kept my ways, but have been partial in the law. Have we not all one father? hath not one God created us? why do we deal treacherously every man against his brother, by profaning the covenant of our fathers? Judah hath dealt treacherously, and an abomination is committed in Israel and in Jerusalem; for Judah hath profaned the holiness of the LORD which he loved, and hath married the daughter of a strange god. The LORD will cut off the man that doeth this, the master and the scholar, out of the tabernacles of Jacob, and him that offereth an offering unto the LORD of hosts. And this have ye done again, covering the altar of the LORD with tears, with weeping, and with crying out, insomuch that he regardeth not the offering any more, or receiveth it with good will at your hand. Yet ye say, Wherefore? Because the LORD hath been witness between thee and the wife of thy youth, against whom thou hast dealt treacherously: yet is she thy companion, and the wife of thy covenant. And did not he make one? Yet had he the residue of the spirit. And wherefore one? That he might seek a godly seed. Therefore take heed to your spirit, and let none deal treacherously against the wife of his youth. For the LORD, the God of Israel, saith that he hateth putting away: for one covereth violence with his garment, saith the LORD of hosts: therefore take heed to your spirit, that ye deal not treacherously. Ye have wearied the LORD with your words. Yet ye say, Wherein have we wearied him? When ye say, Every one that doeth evil is good in the sight of the LORD, and he delighteth in them; or, Where is the God of judgment?” (Malachi 2:8-17). From these verses we know that the priests were doing things totally contrary to what they were supposed to. But this is not the end.

In chapter three we find that the prophet informs them that the LORD is going to send someone to judge them. “Behold, I will send my messenger, and he shall prepare the way before me: and the Lord, whom ye seek, shall suddenly come to his temple, even the messenger of the covenant, whom ye delight in: behold, he shall come, saith the LORD of hosts.” (Malachi 3:1) The next couple of verses deals with what the messenger will do, and only then do we find verses eight and nine, the ones used by most pastors to get money from their congregations. But, the message is to the priests, and is about the tithe that they were supposed to give to the high priest, as that is the only tithe they had to give. Remember Numbers 18? It has nothing to do with you as an ordinary person, but everything to do with them as priests. Malachi then continues in his attack on the priests. “Ye have said, It is vain to serve God: and what profit is it that we have kept his ordinance, and that we have walked mournfully before the LORD of hosts?” (Malachi 3:14). This whole section of Malachi is a word from God against the priests, and has nothing to do with you. He tells them their heart is wrong, and they do whatever they feel like.

The book of Malachi then ends with a prophesy about the coming of the LORD Jesus Christ, and what His purpose will be. That He will establish a new order, and that we will see the difference between those that know the LORD and those that don’t. Why? Because we will see it in the lives of people. They will do what the LORD expects of them, and that is to make a difference in the world.

The whole book of Malachi is not about bringing your money to the church, unless you are a Levite or Jewish priest, or if you have not heard about Jesus yet. It doesn’t have anything thing to do with bringing your whole tithe to the church, as even in those days you were to leave your tithe at the entry into the city where the widow, orphan, and Levite had to collect their tithe. This means that you don’t have to feel guilty next time you are confronted with this passage, as the person who does that, exposed himself as someone who does not know the Bible.

What sacrifices, both old and new testament, are acceptable to the LORD?

For thou desirest not sacrifice; else would I give it: thou delightest not in burnt offering. The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit: a broken and a contrite heart, O God, thou wilt not despise.

The LORD is nigh unto them that are of a broken heart; and saveth such as be of a contrite spirit.

By him therefore let us offer the sacrifice of praise to God continually, that is, the fruit of our lips giving thanks to his name.

Did you know that the LORD was not interested in, neither did he ask for any sacrifices? “Thus saith the LORD of hosts, the God of Israel; Put your burnt offerings unto your sacrifices, and eat flesh. For I spake not unto your fathers, nor commanded them in the day that I brought them out of the land of Egypt, concerning burnt offerings or sacrifices: But this thing commanded I them, saying, Obey my voice, and I will be your God, and ye shall be my people: and walk ye in all the ways that I have commanded you, that it may be well unto you. But they hearkened not, nor inclined their ear, but walked in the counsels and in the imagination of their evil heart, and went backward, and not forward. Since the day that your fathers came forth out of the land of Egypt unto this day I have even sent unto you all my servants the prophets, daily rising up early and sending them:” (Jeremiah 7:21-25)

Another scripture that is even more condemning that this is the following: “Wherefore I gave them also statutes that were not good, and judgments whereby they should not live; And I polluted them in their own gifts, in that they caused to pass through the fire all that openeth the womb, that I might make them desolate, to the end that they might know that I am the LORD.” (Ezekiel 20:25-26). Remember that all that opened the womb the first time had to be sacrificed to the LORD. However, this scripture says that anything that went through fire, and meat has to go through the fire to cook, causes death. Why did the LORD give them commandments that lead to death? Because he looks at the heart of people, the reason we do things. So my request is that you should look at the reason why you handle your finances the way you do. If you tell me that you tithe and can show me that it works, I know it does. God set a commandment in order for it to work. But I want to ask you to rather believe in Jesus and Him as sacrifice.

Let us ask the LORD what and how we should live our lives, as we will then be a nation holy unto Him.

What about the sowing and reaping principle? The Bible declares that the LORD loves the cheerful giver. If you want to sow, choose wisely, and do not sow in someone else’s field that has nothing to do with your life.

This paragraph was added quite a long time after writing the original article, after meditating on the subject again. What you read in the original article is correct, but we have to add a couple of points. If you do not belong to a congregation, you are free to give where you see fit. Just remember the basic guidelines of the Bible, and that is to give to the poor, the less privileged (widow and orphan), and the stranger (those without an income). If you are a member of a congregation, it will be the way Samuel told the Israelites, in that the king (your congregation or group) will take your contribution. “And he will take the tenth of your seed, and of your vineyards, and give to his officers, and to his servants.” 1Sa 8:15. If you do not do as your king tells, you are in rebellion, and the LORD will deal with you accordingly. Your king will however be judged one day as is explained in Ezekiel 34.

The last paragraph I am writing as a prayer. If you want to, you can pray it. “Father God, we come to you in the Name of Jesus Christ our Saviour, who purchased us with His blood on Calvary. He paid the final sacrifice for us, which You accepted. Father I now ask you to break every curse that was ever put on my finances through ignorant people. I ask You to break the hold of Satan on my finances, as I did not know what the Bible actually taught. I ask that every blessing you have for me, will now manifest in my life. Thank you LORD that we can know that you are a rewarder of those who seek you. Amen.

Moses 3 verse 6 – Who does the LORD call to the ministry?

How do I know if the LORD has called me to the ministry? One can ponder on this question for a long time without ever finding the answer. I have seen people change their lives to “answer” a call to the ministry, only to see them returning to their prior lives.

How many Pastors and Ministers do you think are there who are doing an ordinary job, selling houses, insurance or something of that nature who thought that they were called to the ministry. Other people only answer the call in their forties of fifties when they realise that the LORD actually wants to use them.

In order to answer this question, I would like to look at some examples we find in the Bible. We will look at three people.

Firstly we can look at the life of Moses. The Farao’s daughter brought Moses up as a prince. He attended only the best schools, and received the best tuition. This is a logical conclusion, as he grew up in the palace. But at age forty, he does a very sorry thing. He decides to stand up for an Israelite and kills an Egyptian. Even the Israelites thought it was a stupid thing to do. Moses had to flee. Ex.2:11-14 “And it came to pass in those days, when Moses was grown, that he went out unto his brethren, and looked on their burdens: and he spied an Egyptian smiting an Hebrew, one of his brethren. And he looked this way and that way, and when he saw that there was no man, he slew the Egyptian, and hid him in the sand. And when he went out the second day, behold, two men of the Hebrews strove together: and he said to him that did the wrong, Wherefore smitest thou thy fellow? And he said, Who made thee a prince and a judge over us? intendest thou to kill me, as thou killedst the Egyptian? And Moses feared, and said, Surely this thing is known.”

Moses fled to the desert and ended up being a shepherd in Midian and ends up marry the daughter of one of the priests of Midian. Another forty years later, Moses is called by the LORD. “Now Moses kept the flock of Jethro his father in law, the priest of Midian: and he led the flock to the backside of the desert, and came to the mountain of God, even to Horeb. And the angel of the LORD appeared unto him in a flame of fire out of the midst of a bush: and he looked, and, behold, the bush burned with fire, and the bush was not consumed. And Moses said, I will now turn aside, and see this great sight, why the bush is not burnt. And when the LORD saw that he turned aside to see, God called unto him out of the midst of the bush, and said, Moses, Moses. And he said, Here am I.” (Exodus 3:1-4)

I have emphasised a couple of words in order to illustrate the point. Why the backside of the desert? This is where we would least expect the LORD. We always seek Him in the limelight, where all the activity is. We want to share the limelight with Him. When we are the limelight, it means that we are alone, because God is at the backside of the desert. Jesus was not welcomed by a extravagant reception, neither was a hero’s funeral held for Him. No, He was crucified; the most humiliating death one could die. So if it didn’t happen to Jesus, don’t be surprised if the LORD doesn’t show up at our glittering ceremonies on a Sunday, but where two or three are gathered in His name.

What did the LORD wait for? He waited to see if Moses turned aside to see what was happening. Moses had to show his interest, before being called by the LORD. Ex 4:10-14 “And Moses said unto the LORD, O my Lord, I am not eloquent, neither heretofore, nor since thou hast spoken unto thy servant: but I am slow of speech, and of a slow tongue. And the LORD said unto him, Who hath made man’s mouth? or who maketh the dumb, or deaf, or the seeing, or the blind? have not I the LORD? Now therefore go, and I will be with thy mouth, and teach thee what thou shalt say. And he said, O my Lord, send, I pray thee, by the hand of him whom thou wilt send. And the anger of the LORD was kindled against Moses, and he said, Is not Aaron the Levite thy brother? I know that he can speak well. And also, behold, he cometh forth to meet thee: and when he seeth thee, he will be glad in his heart.”

So when we look at Moses, we find that he had a very good schooling, but that the LORD had to humble him first before he could be used. Moses had to be interested in what was happening, and not just accept everything at face value. He also tried to deliver Israel by himself by killing an Egyptian, but had to return to Egypt as a shepherd, a work seen by the Egyptians as despicable.

What qualified Moses as someone to be used by the LORD? He was a prince, murderer, shepherd, and stutterer, scared and curious. But he knew the LORD.

The next person is Paul. Now Paul was a Pharisee. Fortunately for us, he also supplied us with a very well written testimonial. “For ye have heard of my conversation in time past in the Jews’ religion, how that beyond measure I persecuted the church of God, and wasted it: And profited in the Jews’ religion above many my equals in mine own nation, being more exceedingly zealous of the traditions of my fathers. But when it pleased God, who separated me from my mother’s womb, and called me by his grace, To reveal his Son in me, that I might preach him among the heathen; immediately I conferred not with flesh and blood: Neither went I up to Jerusalem to them which were apostles before me; but I went into Arabia, and returned again unto Damascus. Then after three years I went up to Jerusalem to see Peter, and abode with him fifteen days.” (Galatians 1:13-18) A very interesting point made by Paul, is that he also had to go to the desert, before starting his ministry.

What can we say of Paul? Excellent Bible school education, zealous, hardworking, ambitious, ardent follower of his traditions, persecutor of the Church. But found himself blinded by the LORD in order to teach him to be humble, to love his neighbour, and to teach him about Jesus.

The last person I want to look at is Peter. Who was Peter? “And Jesus, walking by the sea of Galilee, saw two brethren, Simon called Peter, and Andrew his brother, casting a net into the sea: for they were fishers. And he saith unto them, Follow me, and I will make you fishers of men. And they straightway left their nets, and followed him.” (Matthew 4:18-20) Peter was a fisherman. Most probably taught how to fish by his father. I believe he only had the education required by a fisherman, which I believe does not require a four year degree or even a diploma. But is this all? “Peter answered and said unto him, Though all men shall be offended because of thee, yet will I never be offended. Jesus said unto him, Verily I say unto thee, That this night, before the cock crow, thou shalt deny me thrice. Peter said unto him, Though I should die with thee, yet will I not deny thee. Likewise also said all the disciples.”(Matthew 26:33-35) “Now Peter sat without in the palace: and a damsel came unto him, saying, Thou also wast with Jesus of Galilee. But he denied before them all, saying, I know not what thou sayest. And when he was gone out into the porch, another maid saw him, and said unto them that were there, This fellow was also with Jesus of Nazareth. And again he denied with an oath, I do not know the man. And after a while came unto him they that stood by, and said to Peter, Surely thou also art one of them; for thy speech bewrayeth thee. Then began he to curse and to swear, saying, I know not the man. And immediately the cock crew. And Peter remembered the word of Jesus, which said unto him, Before the cock crow, thou shalt deny me thrice. And he went out, and wept bitterly.”(Matthew 26:69-75). “Then Simon Peter having a sword drew it, and smote the high priest’s servant, and cut off his right ear. The servant’s name was Malchus.” (John 18:10)

What do you think went through Peters mind as he denied knowing Jesus? Remember that Peter sat through all of Jesus’ teachings, which included the teaching where Jesus declared that if we will proclaim Him before men, He would proclaim us before His Father. But he just denied Him. Can such a person be used? Absolutely! The LORD allowed that Peter be stripped of everything that was still Peter, before He could use him.

So apart from the fact that Peter was a fisherman, he had a short fuse, and you could not depend on his word. But that was before Pentecost.

What did Jesus declare about Peter? “And Simon Peter answered and said, Thou art the Christ, the Son of the living God. And Jesus answered and said unto him, Blessed art thou, Simon Barjona: for flesh and blood hath not revealed it unto thee, but my Father which is in heaven. And I say also unto thee, That thou art Peter, and upon this rock I will build my church; and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it. And I will give unto thee the keys of the kingdom of heaven: and whatsoever thou shalt bind on earth shall be bound in heaven: and whatsoever thou shalt loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven.” (Matthew 16:16-19)

How did Peter react after receiving the baptism with the Spirit? “Then Peter said unto them, Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost. For the promise is unto you, and to your children, and to all that are afar off, even as many as the Lord our God shall call. And with many other words did he testify and exhort, saying, Save yourselves from this untoward generation. Then they that gladly received his word were baptized: and the same day there were added unto them about three thousand souls.” (Acts 2:38-41)

What did the Pharisees declare about him? “Now when they saw the boldness of Peter and John, and perceived that they were unlearned and ignorant men, they marvelled; and they took knowledge of them, that they had been with Jesus.” (Acts 4:13)

In summary. Peter was unlearned, ignorant, unreliable, but had been with Jesus, immovable from his love for Jesus, and declared by Jesus as the rock on which the Church will be built.

What do we learn from these examples? The LORD will use anyone from any background, education and social standing. But He will use people that choose to follow Him. Did He call you? For sure. What does the Bible declare? “Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost:” (Matthew 28:19) If you really have to use words, then do it by all means. First complete this calling, and maybe you will find that the LORD will call you to do something else.

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Moses 3 verse 5 – Is it a sin to have sex?

I have had this question asked many times by Christians. We live in a time where sexual perversity is at an all time high, and where pornography is freely available. Even primary school children are boasting about their experiences. But what does the Bible teach?

Origins of sex.

For this we have to go to the first book and chapter of the Bible. Genesis 1:28 “And God blessed them, and God said unto them, Be fruitful, and multiply, and replenish the earth, and subdue it: and have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over every living thing that moveth upon the earth.” From this we see that God instructed them to multiply, which meant bring forth one’s own offspring, before the fall. So to declare that sex is sin is a lie. Why did He institute sex? In order for the human race to grow, and that meant sex between a man and a woman. That was the way the LORD introduced sex, between a man and his wife, as Adam and Eve were man and wife.

What does the New Testament declare about sex?

Paul wrote extensively on this subject, and declares the following in 1 Cor. 7: “Now concerning the things whereof ye wrote unto me: It is good for a man not to touch a woman. Nevertheless, to avoid fornication, let every man have his own wife, and let every woman have her own husband. Let the husband render unto the wife due benevolence: and likewise also the wife unto the husband. The wife hath not power of her own body, but the husband: and likewise also the husband hath not power of his own body, but the wife. Defraud ye not one the other, except it be with consent for a time, that ye may give yourselves to fasting and prayer; and come together again, that Satan tempt you not for your incontinency.” (1 Cor. 7:1-5) We see here that Paul emphasises that every man should have his own wife, and every woman her own husband, should they not be able to control their sexual desires. He also stated that neither man or woman have control over their own bodies, but that the woman have control over her husbands body and therefore have to respect her desires, and the husband over his wife’s body and therefore his desires.

What about sex outside the marriage?

Both scriptures quoted above declares that sex is meant for married people. That is it. We do not find consent for sex outside of the marriage, except later on in 1 Cor. 7: Verse 36 “But if any man think that he behaveth himself uncomely toward his virgin, if she pass the flower of her age, and need so require, let him do what he will, he sinneth not: let them marry.” (1 Corinthians 7:36) If sex does happen while two people are not married, the man must take the woman as his wife. No exceptions are allowed. Every other case is sin, and should be repented of. This means that one has to stop doing it. If you don’t that means that you are not repenting of the sin as you are continuing in it. While continuing with the sin, no forgiveness can be had. How does Paul define repentance in Romans 6: 14-16 “For sin shall not have dominion over you: for ye are not under the law, but under grace. What then? shall we sin, because we are not under the law, but under grace? God forbid. Know ye not, that to whom ye yield yourselves servants to obey, his servants ye are to whom ye obey; whether of sin unto death, or of obedience unto righteousness?” Paul points out in this scripture that when we repent of sin, we are saying that we will be obedient to the LORD, and that means to break with sin. I have to act on the Word. I must repent and conversion must take place. There is no room to say that we have to try it out and to see if we are sexually adaptive. No, what the LORD puts together, will be able to adapt. We cannot follow our own rules.

What about homosexuality?

This is a question that many parents are struggling with, as our children are reared where all types of individual rights are embedded in our constitution, which are totally incompatible with the Bible. We as Christians cannot accept these rights. Many so-called Christian magazines even proclaim that we must be tolerable towards this viewpoint. Some groupings even allow their leaders to practice this lifestyle, while other will even allow these people to marry. But, what does the Bible declare? “If a man also lie with mankind, as he lieth with a woman, both of them have committed an abomination: they shall surely be put to death; their blood shall be upon them.” (Leviticus 20:13) You may wonder why they had to be put to death? The Lord declared that it is a grievous sin, and that it should not be tolerated. As soon as it is tolerated, it would be accepted as approved. This is what happened in our lives. The true Church kept quiet, and it is now acceptable. To now say it is acceptable, is a lie. Paul also wrote about this subject to the Romans. “For this cause God gave them up unto vile affections: for even their women did change the natural use into that which is against nature: And likewise also the men, leaving the natural use of the woman, burned in their lust one toward another; men with men working that which is unseemly, and receiving in themselves that recompence of their error which was meet.” (Romans 1:26-27) Now we still wonder where AIDS comes from.

Let me use an example. The homosexual person might use the argument that they have a different preference when it comes to sex. It sounds pretty logical. But what about the person who also has a different preference, in that they prefer children? In our law such a person is declared a paedophile, and normally receives a very heavy jail sentence. But when it comes to homosexuality, I have my rights. It is proclaimed in our constitution. Both preferences are the same, the one children, the other, a person from the same sex. This way we all fall into the trap prepared by Satan.

But what about the person who lives such an exemplary life? They only have this one little thing in life. “Nevertheless, if thou warn the wicked of his way to turn from it; if he do not turn from his way, he shall die in his iniquity; but thou hast delivered thy soul.” (Ezekiel 33:9) This scripture tells us that many people will end up in hell, because they do not turn from sin. Only people who repent and turn from sin, in other words, become born again, will be saved. I might sound like a prophet of doom, but that is what the Word of the LORD declares. To put your trust in the patience of the LORD, is to lie to yourself. The LORD declares His love to those who seek Him earnestly, with their whole heart, and with everything in them.

In our experiences we have found that most people with homosexual tendencies, were molested early on in their childhood. Close friends or relatives of the family molested the majority of these people. People you would not expect. Such a person needs help. They should go to their pastor or other Christian counsellors who have experience in handling these situations. These persons would typically lead them in a prayer of repentance, to forgive the person that molested them, and to declare that what happened to them was sin. Even though they had no control over it, they have to declare that the deeds itself were sin, and that they should receive forgiveness for this. This is normally the only action required to set the wheels in motion. The LORD will then bring to the light all the sin that happened as a consequence of this, and forgiveness will be required for every action as a result of the initial molestation.

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Moses 3 verse 4 – How should I rear my children?

In today’s life with all our social advances, one sometimes wonders if you are still rearing your children correctly. We are taught to fight for the rights of children, that we shouldn’t use corporal punishment, that we must allow them to explore life, that we shouldn’t treat any two children the same, and a lot of other ways of rearing children.

However, somewhere along the way something is amiss. Children will not subject them to authority any longer, crime figures have gone through the roof, and every generation is becoming worse than the previous. It is nothing new though. We can actually learn a lot from the Bible on this subject. Not only do we find examples we can use, but also some very strict guidelines we should follow.

Let me start by quoting a number of examples in the Bible. During the times of the kings in Israel, we find that each generation slipped further and further into idolatry, up to the point where the LORD decided to end it by taking Israel into exile in Babylonia. Even before this time we find a very good example in the Bible. Let us examine the life story of Eli and his sons.

Eli was high priest for Israel and served the LORD. But there came a day when the LORD spoke to him through a unknown prophet. This person told Eli what would happen to him as well as to his sons. We all know the story of how Eli and his sons died on the same day.

Why did this happen? Why was the LORD upset? How does the Bible put it: 1Sa 2:12 – “Now the sons of Eli were sons of Belial”,. Not that Eli their father was Belial, a wicked man; but although they had a good father, they were very wicked men, unprofitable abandoned wretches, that cast off the yoke of the law of God, and gave themselves up to all manner of wickedness: “they knew not the Lord”; not that they had no knowledge of God in theory, or were real atheists, but they were so practically; they denied him in works, they had no love to Him, nor fear of him, and departed from his ways and worship, as much as if they were entirely ignorant of him.

Isn’t it amazing that the Bible can declare that someone who grew up in the temple of God, did not know Him. If we look at the rules of orthodox Jews today, we will find that in order to become a rabbi, you have to be able to recite the first five books of the Torah at age five. By age twenty-nine, you have to be able to recite the full Torah. Eli’s sons were brought up to become the high priests, and as such had to understand the workings of the temple and what they could and could not do. They were priests.

What was their problem? They did not want to be subjected to authority. This is what we find further on in 1 Samuel 2: “And the priests’ custom with the people was, that, when any man offered sacrifice, the priest’s servant came, while the flesh was in seething, with a fleshhook of three teeth in his hand; And he struck it into the pan, or kettle, or caldron, or pot; all that the fleshhook brought up the priest took for himself. So they did in Shiloh unto all the Israelites that came thither. Also before they burnt the fat, the priest’s servant came, and said to the man that sacrificed, Give flesh to roast for the priest; for he will not have sodden flesh of thee, but raw. And if any man said unto him, Let them not fail to burn the fat presently, and then take as much as thy soul desireth; then he would answer him, Nay; but thou shalt give it me now: and if not, I will take it by force. Wherefore the sin of the young men was very great before the LORD: for men abhorred the offering of the LORD.”(1 Samuel 2:13-17).

Does that sound familiar? Isn’t that what the children are doing? They have no respect for authority. Why not? We as parents have become like Eli. We allow our children to do that which is wrong, without teaching them to submit themselves to authority. How did Eli react when he was told what his sons were doing? “Now Eli was very old, and heard all that his sons did unto all Israel; and how they lay with the women that assembled at the door of the tabernacle of the congregation. And he said unto them, Why do ye such things? for I hear of your evil dealings by all this people.” (1 Samuel 2:22-23) How many times have I seen and been told that we should not interfere with the children as they are only going through a certain phase in their lives. No, they have never been taught how to submit themselves to authority. We have just given in to their demands every time. Never have they received any punishment for wrong doings.

Unfortunately there are no phases in a child’s life to work through. It is however our job as parents to educate them, and not only to give them information on how to react to circumstances that they will face in life. If we educate them, there wouldn’t be any phases to work through. But that was Eli’s problem too. He only told them that what they were doing was wrong. That was giving information, and not education.

What is the difference between the two subjects? To pass knowledge through to someone, is how our school system works. They are given information, and then tested to see what they can remember. To educate someone is to establish habits and to establish a way of life. It is like teaching someone to replace a plug on an appliance. If I give the person the information on how to do it, the person might still end up electrocuting himself by doing it, as he wasn’t taught how to do it. If the person however were taught how to do it by example, and by watching how it was done a number of times, the chances will be slim that he will electrocute himself when replacing a plug.

The same principle applies to rearing children. Educating your children is building their character, to teach by example and by practising how to do it, to lead the way, to prepare them for their battles in life. This means that a child should not only learn to listen only, but also learn to be obedient.

You might say that I am old fashioned and this is an old fashioned method. We live in a different time where we do it based on psychology. My question immediately is: Why are the results between the two ways so different? When I grew up children knew how to behave. Some of today’s children do not have an idea of how to behave. Proverbs put it as follows: “There is a way which seemeth right unto a man, but the end thereof are the ways of death. (Proverbs 14:12)” If you feel strongly that the way you teach your children are correct, then I do not think that I will be able to change you viewpoint. But this proverb questions that point of view .

We live in an era where people tend to believe the creation more than the Creator. The LORD has been raising children for over 6000 years and taught everyone from Adam to our parents and grandparents how to raise children. We tend to believe someone who spent maybe four years at university, and maybe also have some year’s practical experience. We all end up the same as Eli, who did not raise His children in the fear of the LORD. We are quick to accept certain passages in the Bible, but ignore others. Unfortunately, the Bible is the Word of God, and we cannot accept only the parts we like and forget about the parts we don’t like. This is the way the LORD puts it to Eli: “Wherefore kick ye at my sacrifice and at mine offering, which I have commanded in my habitation; and honourest thy sons above me, to make yourselves fat with the chiefest of all the offerings of Israel my people?” (1 Samuel 2:29) You see Eli also thought he was rearing his children correctly, but that is not what the LORD thought.

How does the Bible proclaim that we should rear our children. Proverbs gives us some indication.

  • Proverbs 13:24  He that spareth his rod hateth his son: but he that loveth him chasteneth him betimes.
  • Proverbs 19:18  Chasten thy son while there is hope, and let not thy soul spare for his crying.
  • Proverbs 23:13-14  Withhold not correction from the child: for if thou beatest him with the rod, he shall not die.  (14)  Thou shalt beat him with the rod, and shalt deliver his soul from hell.
  • Proverbs 29:15  The rod and reproof give wisdom: but a child left to himself bringeth his mother to shame.
  • Proverbs 29:17  Correct thy son, and he shall give thee rest; yea, he shall give delight unto thy soul.
  • Proverbs 22:15  Foolishness is bound in the heart of a child; but the rod of correction shall drive it far from him.

Remember that your action will not limit your child. We still want our children to grow up without any inhibitions and to be free. We have to remember that our actions will not cause his spirit to be destroyed, but that we will be teaching him to subject his will to ours. This could save him a lot of problems later on in his life. When we use the rod with the right spirit and self control and with love, the result will bring love.

We always hear that all children are different and therefore must be treated differently. I agree that every child has his own temperament, and personality, but that does not change the fact that every child is born with a self-centred nature. For that reason it is necessary to bring the child to a point where they have to learn to willingly submit himself to the God given authority. Following the LORD’s way can only do this, and that is by using the rod. Remember that children think you have a favourite child if they are not all treated the same. This point requires faith on your side. Believe this and do what the Word of God says. The LORD will ensure that His Word will produce the correct results, as long as it is applied in love.

How do we apply the method of the Bible? The first principle we have to teach the child is discipline. Discipline is the ability to control your will and to subject yourself to predefined requirements, and that is taught by using the rod. The pain caused by the rod, will clean the inner being of the child. This will cause the child to have a determined will to do what is right. It will also force the child to think of the consequences before embarking on doing something. Let me give you an example. A woman we knew had three sons in her house. When she wanted them to do anything for her, she had to ask, ask again, and the third time shout before they would do it. She decided to follow the Bible’s way, and after the first request used the rod. These boys were very surprised, as they were used to the fact that they could wait until their mother shouted before doing anything. After this incident they acted promptly after the first request.

What happened in this example, and that brings me to the second point, is that limits were set. The boys knew that they had to react after the first request, or the rod would be used. The same applies to any child. If we do not define these limits, the child will not know and hence would not know how to react. As soon as these limits are set, both child and parent can feel secure. The child will know where these limits are, and the parent will know when to discipline. The child will always try and test these limits, and the parent will have to know not to give in. This requires self-control on the part of the parent. An example I want to use has its origins in the USA. A field between two highways were walled in and playground equipment were placed on the grass. A group of pre-school children were taken to this spot and told they could play there. The children played without being scared of cars on the other side of the walls. Some even played up the walls separating the highway and the playground. The same children were taken to the same spot the next day and left to play. The children all huddled in the centre of the playground, as the walls were removed during the night. The same applies to our children. They will go up to the edges when they know were these limits are. Some might even test these edges. The moment we remove these boundaries, the children are confused and will not know what is allowed and what not.

How will the child test these limits? By being whimsical and moody. What is the solution? Use the rod, as this is the only way to get rid of the self-centred will of the child. Remember it will not destroy the child’s spirit, as it will only cause responsibility and force the child to make the correct choices. The Word of God teaches that this method will cause the child to fully develop their personality and character. So next time your child decides to throw a tantrum in the shop, don’t give in, use the rod. Let them know that they are disobedient.

To end of, a couple of pointers that I believe is necessary:

If a child’s self centred will is not broken, how will that child ever learn to subject his will to that of the LORD? How will he decide that he needs the authority of the LORD in his life? This can only be taught by being obedient to the parents.

Always pray for your children. Don’t ever think that they do not need your prayers. Remember the Bible tells us that Jesus also intercedes for us at the Father.

I trust that you will search the scriptures, and decide to rear your children the Biblical way.

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Moses 3 verse 3 – What does the Bible teach about this subject?

You might wonder what subject I am talking about, as I did not mention any subject. But that is exactly what this chapter is all about. We all want to know what the Bible has to say about a specific subject, that we are always just trying to find a verse that either allows or disallows it.

I want to answer this question by using a number of examples. Let us look at hypnosis. Does the Bible give us any information about hypnosis, as the term hypnosis is not mentioned directly anywhere in the Bible? The only way we can look at this subject is to see if there is any reference to similar subjects. In the Bible we find two scriptures however that tells us why hypnosis should not be practiced or used by Christians.

The first comes from Proverbs 25 verse 28. This quotation is from the Amplified Bible. “He who has no rule over his own spirit is like a city that is broken down and without walls.” This passage declares that if you do not have control over your spirit, the enemy can come and plunder at will, as you do not have any walls to keep the enemy out. This is exactly what happens during hypnosis. During hypnosis you lose control over your mind, and the person in charge of the session can implant anything he wants. A study done in the USA found that more and more psychologists are using hypnosis to implant reasons for trauma situations in their patient’s lives. This now gives the patient a reason why certain situations happened to them. This is the implanting of a lie and must be avoided at all costs.

We must realise that lies are not only implanted during hypnosis, but by believing in one self. The same study mentioned above, found that if people were asked to make up a fictional story about a traumatic event, 25% of these people will tell their story as true after time. So it is not only hypnosis that can implant a lie, but if we live in a dream life, we can implant lies ourselves. This is not what the LORD wants. Such a person has allowed that his spirit, his walls, were unattended.

The second scripture is from 1 Peter 5:8 “Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour:” This passage not only declares what happens when we are drunk, but equates it to not being vigilant. When one submits oneself to someone else during hypnosis, you lose your vigilance. This is what Peter cautions us about. Under no circumstances should we lose our vigilance, as during this time the enemy has free access to me, without me knowing it.

What about depression? This is one of those difficult subjects that a lot has been written about, and where we will always find many opposing views. When a person suffers from depression, it is normally caused by circumstances in that person’s life. These circumstances normally require a person to digest and work through them, or they might require the person to make a decision. I can say that I have been intimately involved in a depression case, and at that time could not understand what the problem was.

In most cases depression to a normal thinking person would not look like a problem. However, to the person in the midst of it, it is a crisis. But what does the Bible declare? I cannot think of a specific reference to depression in the Bible, but I can think of a number of people in the Bible that at some stage in their lives, suffered from it. Think about Job. He had lost everything, wife, children, cattle and everything he had. Did he suffer from depression? For sure. How did his friend react? They tried to find the problem with Job. Was the problem with Job? Yes, but not what his friends tried to convince him of. Job had to admit that that which he feared most, had happened to him. His reaction to this problem caused his depression. What was the solution to the problem? He had to admit that the LORD knows best, and that he had to put his trust in the LORD only. Once Job accepted this and subjected himself to the LORD, everything changed. The Bible declares that he was actually better of then than before.

I can think of other people also, like Jonah that got angry because the LORD took away his shade and saved Nineveh. He could not accept the LORD’s answer. Elijah actually hid himself after killing all the Baal prophets. All these people of name entered into depression, as they could not believe the way of the LORD. Think of David who hid himself in a cave with all the so-called washouts. But David also gave us the solution. He started praising and worshipping God for who He is, and received his liberty. That is the way the LORD wants us to act. He doesn’t want us questioning His every move. No, we should act in faith. Israel also asked the LORD why things were happening, but the LORD’s answer through Isaiah was: “Surely your turning of things upside down shall be esteemed as the potter’s clay: for shall the work say of him that made it, He made me not? or shall the thing framed say of him that framed it, He had no understanding?” (Isaiah 29:16)

This actually brings me to the point I want to make. We all have questions about how we should react to events in our lives. What do we do? We look for a verse that will tell us what is happening and will clear it in our own minds. We all want an instant answer to our trials and questions. But that is not the answer. When the Father decided to send His Son to die for our sins, it wasn’t an instant cure. No, it took around 4000 years to happen. During that time He tried to teach the people to love Him for who He was and still is, before He sent His Son to die for us.

How many times have you tried to find a verse just to continue with life? Or maybe you just happened to have a verse handy for someone else who needed one. It might even have helped. How many church bulletins have I seen with lists of verses for every type of circumstance? These will help you to deal with every possible question you could get from people in need. This however, makes us verse-Christians and not disciples.

What is my point? It doesn’t help to be armed with the right verse for the right question. I have to grow in my relationship with the LORD to make me dependant on Him, and not on a verse in the Bible. I must know instinctively what is acceptable and what is not.

We have to look at nature at times and learn from it. Like a newborn animal that watches his mothers every move, what to do and what to eat, we have to look at Jesus to see what to do and what to eat. He should be our teacher. We must study His word in order to become like Him, to become a disciple. A disciple is someone who follows in the footsteps of his Master. That is how we should live. But first we have to receive Him in our lives, like Ezekiel says in chapter 36 verse 26: “A new heart also will I give you, and a new spirit will I put within you: and I will take away the stony heart out of your flesh, and I will give you an heart of flesh.” (Ezekiel 36:26)

I have to receive Him in my heart. That will change me, and will allow me to become like Him. The LORD wants us to live in such a close relationship with Him that He doesn’t have to talk to us through our circumstances. No, He wants us to follow Him every day. Our problem is that we are not looking for Him, we only want answers to why things are happening, how to act, and to know what we can and cannot do.

If we look at Job again, we find that he argued with his friends, as he believed he was righteous and thus the punishment he received from the LORD was incorrect. His friends argued that he sinned and was now receiving his punishment from the LORD. Fortunately someone told them that they shouldn’t decide by themselves what was happening, but that they should seek the LORD and ask Him.

How did Job react when he asked to LORD? “I know that thou canst do every thing, and that no thought can be withholden from thee. Who is he that hideth counsel without knowledge? therefore have I uttered that I understood not; things too wonderful for me, which I knew not. Hear, I beseech thee, and I will speak: I will demand of thee, and declare thou unto me. I have heard of thee by the hearing of the ear: but now mine eye seeth thee. Wherefore I abhor myself, and repent in dust and ashes.” (Job 42:2-6)

Verse 4 hold the key for me. “Hear, I beseech thee, and I will speak: I will demand of thee, and declare thou unto me.” Job says that he will ask the LORD, and that the LORD will instruct him. That is what the LORD wants. He wants us to ask Him, so that He can instruct us. It doesn’t help running to the pastor or reverend or psychologist with every problem in your life. No, I must ask the LORD, and He will instruct me. How does the one friend of Job put it? “But there is a spirit in man: and the inspiration of the Almighty giveth them understanding. Great men are not always wise: neither do the aged understand judgment.” (Job 32:8-9)

Next time you have a problem in your life that you cannot find the answer to, ask the LORD. Search the scripture to find similar situations and learn from them. Find the answer yourself. The LORD wants us to ask Him, in order for Him to instruct us through His Holy Spirit.

Remember to build you viewpoint on the message of the Bible, and not on a single verse.

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Moses 3 verse 2 – What is the will of the LORD?

Where do we find what the will of the LORD is? Can we always be a hundred percent sure of what the will of the LORD is? Are we not busy with spiritual soothsaying when we say that we know what the will of the LORD is? These are just some of the questions that spring to mind when one wonders about this subject.

Many people have been devastated or disappointed in their lives because what they thought was the will of the LORD, turned out not to be his will. They then stand on one side and are very cynical when people start talking about this subject.

How many times in my own life have I experienced the same situation? The more I searched for the will of God, the more it seemed to dodge me. I was so convinced at times that I needed to know what the LORD’s will was that I can now stand back and laugh at myself.

Maybe you also had an experience or two like this in your life. I would like to highlight one of my own experiences. We were living in Port Elizabeth at the time, and had to find a new home as the one we were renting was required by its owners for their own people. We were offered a home in Sea View, 20 kilometres west of Port Elizabeth, with the aim of starting a congregation in Sea View, as nobody knew of a local congregation.

Even before we could move, did we find that the people that invited us there were not keen any longer to start a congregation as they could not agree on anything. I still believed that we should start a congregation in Sea View that I sent a flyer out to all the households that we wanted start a congregation and serve the community. I was very surprised to get feedback that four different groupings were already active in the area, and decided to through my weight behind one of these groups.

The house we got there was basically right on the edge of the land. One could throw a stone from the living room into the sea. I know, because I actually did it. Instead of starting a congregation, I sat down in the living room behind my computer and started writing the original version in Afrikaans of this book. I sat there for hours writing and just watching the sea, the dolphins and the whales. So what actually transpired was that the LORD gave me a holiday at the sea for three months, for free. It was also His will to teach me so much about the Bible that it empowered me to write this book. That was His will for us. What I thought was His will, and what His will was, were two worlds apart.

Is that maybe your experience?

Back to the original question. How do I find out what the will of the LORD is for myself? My first step would be to ask myself why do I need to know what the will of the LORD is for me. Many times one wants to know in order to make your life easier, or to know what decision to make regarding questions in one’s life. Maybe I want to know it because I want to save myself a lot of heartache and suffering.

Let me use an example again. A while ago we went to a service at a local congregation, and the pastor said he wanted to pray for some of their members as some lost just about everything they owned in an investment scam. Apparently some of the people even heard directly from the LORD that this was a good scheme and they would double their money in a short space of time. The prayer of the pastor was that the LORD would show them which schemes were good and which were not.

How do we reconcile this with the will of the LORD? What does the Bible declare should our attitude be towards finances? Hebrews 13 verse 5: “Let your conversation be without covetousness; and be content with such things as ye have: for he hath said, I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee.” And Solomon in Proverbs? “Labour not to be rich: cease from thine own wisdom.” (Proverbs 23:4). “A faithful man shall abound with blessings: but he that maketh haste to be rich shall not be innocent.” (Proverbs 28:20) “He that hasteth to be rich hath an evil eye, and considereth not that poverty shall come upon him.” (Proverbs 28:22)

That is what the Bible declares. We should not exert ourselves to become rich. Why not? Jesus gives us the answer in Matthew 6. “And why take ye thought for raiment? Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow; they toil not, neither do they spin: And yet I say unto you, That even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these. Wherefore, if God so clothe the grass of the field, which to day is, and to morrow is cast into the oven, shall he not much more clothe you, O ye of little faith? Therefore take no thought, saying, What shall we eat? or, What shall we drink? or, Wherewithal shall we be clothed? (For after all these things do the Gentiles seek:) for your heavenly Father knoweth that ye have need of all these things. But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you. Take therefore no thought for the morrow: for the morrow shall take thought for the things of itself. Sufficient unto the day is the evil thereof.” (Matthew 6:28-34)

Jesus declares in this passage that we must live in faith, in complete dependence on Him. I know this is not the way we want to live. We want to be in control every moment of the day, make all our own decisions and not allow the LORD to share our lives. I will even go to someone else who can tell me that what I am doing is the will of the LORD. I do not want to take responsibility for my life. If something goes wrong, then I know that I can blame the LORD, as He told me to do this. Or maybe I can blame the person who told me that it is what the LORD wanted. It is impossible, and I mean totally impossible for me to do something wrong.

What is the correct thing to do then? Can I still ask the LORD what His will is? Absolutely yes. We all know that the LORD wants everyone to have the opportunity to live for Him. This is the starting point. The next thing is that we know that we must all grow to the full purpose of Christ.

But what about His will for my life? Depending on the circumstances, the LORD still wants us to live our lives dependant on Him. What about my investments? The LORD supplied us with a common sense to investigate everything, to prove all things; and to hold fast to that which is good. Should I make a wrong decision, I have to take responsibility for it. What about my choice of a husband or wife? If you can make the same decision without taking finances and physical appearance into consideration, then that person is more than likely your mate. Just remember the basic guidelines of the Bible: Do not marry with an unbeliever in the hope that the person will change to your belief. No, the LORD will bring one to you that you do not have to meddle with. Someone who will respect you for who you are, and not someone who will attack you with his fists every night.

Can I still ask the LORD for specific guidelines? Of course you can. The prayer Jesus taught us, contains a very important phrase: Mat 6:10  “Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done in earth, as it is in heaven.” This passage actually declares a very important point, in that His will is the same on earth as in heaven. He always wants only the best for us. Even when we think of Jesus in the garden of Gethsemane, where He asked that the cup can pass Him, He still asked that the Fathers will be done. If He forced His will on the Father, the whole plan of redemption would have been gone. But we know that the Fathers’ will was done, so that you and I can be saved. This will then lead me to the point where I know that when I ask the LORD for His will in my life, that I have to use His perspectives on the issue, and not mine.

Sometimes we claim that we will do so much for Him if He only does this one little thing for us. Remember, He doesn’t need our works or promises to accomplish anything at all. He wants for us to be saved, and even that is by grace. So when we ask something from the LORD, we have to ensure that it doesn’t interfere with His will.

If you ask Him for a new job, think about it before asking. Think of the impact it will have on your life. Maybe your request will make you less dependant on Him whereas His will is that He will provide for us. If what I ask will have a negative impact on my relationship with Him, do not bother asking, as He will not give it to you. All I am asking is that you examine every aspect of the situation before asking Him, and not to look at the financial benefit only. Maybe He wants to bless you with a job that will give you more free time with your family, so look at all the aspects before deciding. I am not asking you to stay in poverty, no, the LORD wants us to have enough. But, He also doesn’t want us to go astray. He still wants us to look at Him as our provider.

The same applies to all aspects of life. Before asking the LORD, I have to examine my reasons for asking what I want. Many times He will not tell you what His will is in your life as you will not be able to bear it. When these unbearable times do arrive, the possibility is that it is not because of sin in our lives. No, many times it happens to draw us closer to God. The following scriptures will provide us with reasons why these times do happen.

Many shall be purified, and made white, and tried; but the wicked shall do wickedly: and none of the wicked shall understand; but the wise shall understand. (Daniel 12:10)

Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, which according to his abundant mercy hath begotten us again unto a lively hope by the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, To an inheritance incorruptible, and undefiled, and that fadeth not away, reserved in heaven for you, Who are kept by the power of God through faith unto salvation ready to be revealed in the last time. Wherein ye greatly rejoice, though now for a season, if need be, ye are in heaviness through manifold temptations: That the trial of your faith, being much more precious than of gold that perisheth, though it be tried with fire, might be found unto praise and honour and glory at the appearing of Jesus Christ: Whom having not seen, ye love; in whom, though now ye see him not, yet believing, ye rejoice with joy unspeakable and full of glory: Receiving the end of your faith, even the salvation of your souls. (1 Peter 1:3-9)

What is the will of the LORD in my life, and where do I find it? Know the Word of the LORD. This will give you His answers on just about every subject in life, your work, your partner in life, etc. Remember that the LORD also speak to us through our circumstances. Maybe He will give you a dream about something you asked Him. This might only come to pass later in your life, or maybe you realise that He actually showed you what to do when you are in a certain situation. All we have to do is use all our senses, including our spiritual sense, to listen to Him.

Let me use my own life as an example again. When we reached the end of our time in Port Elizabeth, we were in a rather precarious situation. All the people we could minister to, could not provide for themselves, let alone give us something. I tried doing what I could, but this only brought in about sixty percent of the rental for the house we were renting. I asked the LORD that morning to provide for us in a way that He knows how to. I felt that the answer was for us to return to Pretoria, as I would have a better chance there of doing some business. I did not mention it to Hettie, as I wanted the LORD to speak to her and tell her what we should do. After lunch she came to me and told me that she felt the LORD told her to go back to Pretoria.

She phoned the one ministry in Pretoria where she worked as a counsellor earlier, and was told to pack up and move back, as they really needed her to help with the ministry.

Was that the will of the LORD? For sure. We packed, arranged for the removal people to come in, everything within a 10 days including finding a place to stay in Pretoria again. We also could not believe the way the LORD provided for everything. The Sunday morning at the service, a person that I spoke to once while worshipping there, walked up to me and gave me all the money we needed for the move. He told me that earlier that morning the LORD told him to stop at an ATM on the way and draw the money and hand it to the person the LORD would show to him. As I got out of my car, the LORD told him to give it to me. Nobody knew that we were moving before that day. When we arrived in Pretoria, Hettie was so fully booked that for the first four months her fees covered all our expenses.

I want to end of this subject, by quoting from Matthew 6:24 “Take therefore no thought for the morrow: for the morrow shall take thought for the things of itself. Sufficient unto the day is the evil thereof.” (Matthew 6:34)

Let us examine the Bible, the Word of God, and do everything that is required of us, before we worry about His will for my life.

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Moses 3 On life’s everyday questions

1 Thessalonians 4:1-8

Furthermore then we beseech you, brethren, and exhort you by the Lord Jesus, that as ye have received of us how ye ought to walk and to please God, so ye would abound more and more. For ye know what commandments we gave you by the Lord Jesus. For this is the will of God, even your sanctification, that ye should abstain from fornication: That every one of you should know how to possess his vessel in sanctification and honour; Not in the lust of concupiscence, even as the Gentiles which know not God: That no man go beyond and defraud his brother in any matter: because that the Lord is the avenger of all such, as we also have forewarned you and testified. For God hath not called us unto uncleanness, but unto holiness. He therefore that despiseth, despiseth not man, but God, who hath also given unto us his Holy Spirit.

MOSES 3 – ON LIFE’S EVERYDAY QUESTIONS
Moses 3 verse 1: What is the purpose of the LORD with me?
Moses 3 verse 2: What is the will of the LORD?
Moses 3 verse 3: What does the Bible teach about this subject?
Moses 3 verse 4: How should I rear my children?
Moses 3 verse 5: Is it a sin to have sex?
Moses 4 verse 6: Who does the LORD call to the ministry?
Moses 3 verse 7: What about my finances?
Moses 3 verse 8: Which is which, sin or demon?
Moses 3 verse 9: How do I overcome rejection, inferiority, rebellion and those types of emotions?
Moses 3 verse 10: Is you sieve clean?
Moses 3 verse 11: What does the Bible teach about people with HIV/Aids?

Download the book for free from here

This is a list of all my books that can be downloaded for free. Just remember the following quotation from The Bible: ” For the Scripture says, “YOU SHALL NOT MUZZLE THE OX WHILE HE IS THRESHING,” and “The laborer is worthy of his wages.” So there is a space in my shop where you can donate to our ministry and my fight against stage 4 cancer.

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Moses 2 verse 15 – What is love?

The Bible is extremely clear that the relationship between the LORD and His people are always portrayed as a love relationship between a man and his wife. Jesus himself referred to it on numerous occasions while on earth. The book Song of Solomon can be read with this in mind, and a whole new world would open up to us.

We are taught by almost everyone that we must love the LORD and our neighbour, but we still find intolerance between Christians from different groups and congregations. This same intolerance is even evident between a man and his wife, where sometimes not even a trace of love is to be seen in this relationship, and we find that they only live together because they do not know how to separate, or do not see their way clear to go their separate ways.

How does one demonstrate love?

This subject had me troubled for a number of years. John gives us the answer in 1 John 4 verse 20: “If a man say, I love God, and hateth his brother, he is a liar: for he that loveth not his brother whom he hath seen, how can he love God whom he hath not seen?” This passage declares that we show our love to God by loving our neighbour. But how do I show my love to my neighbour? Is it by just saying to him: “I love you?” John also gave us the answer to this question in verse 10. “Herein is love, not that we loved God, but that he loved us, and sent his Son to be the propitiation for our sins.” This scripture informs us that God proved His love to us by giving Jesus to die in our place, so that we can live. In other words, He served us with an undeserved gift. And it was the best gift he, the Father, could give. He did not skimp, but He gave His only, His everything. That is love. To do or give something to someone without being asked, or without that person deserving it.

If we look at the love of the LORD, we find that the sun rises every morning, the rains fall, and the seed brings forth its food, and so the whole of creation is maintained. The LORD does everything without us deserving it or even asking for it. He serves us with His gifts. This is what love is: To serve someone with gifts without that person asking for or deserving it.

If we decide to apply this principle between my neighbour and me I cannot turn a blind eye when I see him without food or clothes, or any other shortfall. I have to serve that person with my gift without being asked. This confirms the scripture in Matthew 25, where Jesus says that He will tell those on His right to enter into heaven because they showed their love to others, and therefor to Him, whereas those on His left is sent to receive the eternal damnation, for not showing their love.

How do I manage to show this kind of love? It happens as soon as I enter into a covenant relationship with the LORD, and not have to fear eternal damnation. John describes it as follows in verses 17 and 18: “Herein is our love made perfect, that we may have boldness in the day of judgment: because as he is, so are we in this world. There is no fear in love; but perfect love casteth out fear: because fear hath torment. He that feareth is not made perfect in love.” I must realise that I can only call myself a child of God because I received His love, only because He bestowed His gift of everlasting life through the new covenant on me, without me deserving it.

There are so many people and congregations that teach their members that they only have to make a decision to serve the LORD, and then they are declared children of the most high God. In the more traditional churches a person only has to decide to follow their teaching and be confirmed as a member to become a child of God. In the more charismatic churches the person only has to pray this prayer with the pastor or the person who made the altar call, and then you are a child of God. Both of these methods leave the love of the LORD out in their approach, and hence make it impossible to live a life of love.

What do I actually mean? I can only experience the love of God when I know that I need a redeemer due to my sinful nature. I must know that only through what Jesus did can I stand in a righteous relationship with the Father. Then I will know that I do not have to fear the judgement day, and will it motivate me to show His love to my neighbour. The passage where Jesus told the disciples that we must love our neighbour will then make sense to me as I will know that I am no better than anybody else, as we all deserve death. But only through the love of Jesus can we live.

But who is my neighbour? I believe the closest neighbour we have, and one that we tend to forget about, is our spouse. That is the first person I must show my love to. You may ask if it is the same love we have to show to our spouse as the love that we have to show our neighbour. My answer is yes. The same principle still applies. I have to serve my spouse with my gifts without them having to ask for or deserve it. If I as husband want to fulfil the role as priest of the household, then I have to know that the role is not to boss everyone around, but to serve everyone. The priest in the Old Testament had to prepare the sacrifice, cook and serve it to the person who brought the sacrifice. I always have to put my spouse’s interest above my own. I have to respect my spouse and expect to serve them with my gifts.

I have seen it many times that men decide to accept the role as priest in the house, and then the trouble starts. He now has to approve everything in the household, and mommy does not move without him approving it, and as he is being held responsible, the trouble starts. Then the husband decides he is the boss, and everyone has to spark as soon as he snaps his fingers. Or even worse, he now definitely does not have to listen to his wife, as he is the boss. Even if she asks for something, she is ignored, as he has never listened to her before, so why should he do it now. Or he dominates to such an extent that she either doesn’t make any suggestions anymore, or he would do just the opposite of what she suggests. But as we have seen from the scriptures above that we must show our love by showering our gifts on them. That is true love. The same applies to the wife. How many relationships are there where the wife shouts like a real army corporal and everyone in the household has to spark. That is not love. Love means that I must bestow my gifts on my spouse at all times, even to the point of trying to out do my spouse without keeping score. I must put the requirements of my spouse ahead of my own.

Paul states in the first letter to the Corinthians that the man is not in charge of his own body, and neither is the wife in charge of hers. That is love. When your spouse seeks affection that you will give yourself to him or her. We have to remember that there are limits. Maybe I will treat her to such an extent that she would want me to seek affection. But it requires real love. Then I will realise that I can only show my love to the LORD, by loving those that He loves.

Jesus takes this love one step further, by saying we should love our enemy. That is even more difficult than loving your family and those that love the LORD. I have to ensure that my enemy can see that I love the LORD, by showering my gifts on them.

How do I show my love to the LORD? By serving my neighbour, and my enemy with love.

Why don’t we see it today? I believe we are not told what true love is, as well as the fact that the church does not teach true love. Charles Finney wrote the following in Revival Fire: “I have already intimated that pains enough had not been taken to search the heart and thoroughly detect and expose the sinner’s depravity, so as to make him see the need of the gospel remedy. If I am not mistaken, there has been, in many cases, an error committed in urging sinners to submission before they are prepared to understand what true submission is. They have been urged to repent, before they have really understood the nature and dessert of sin; to believe, before they have understood their need of Christ; to resolve to serve God, before they have at all understood what the service of God is. They have been pressed to make up their minds to enter immediately upon the service of God, and have been taught that they needed only to make a resolution to obey the Lord. Hence their religion, after all, has been only a religion of resolutions, instead of a religion of faith, and love, and of a broken heart. In short, it appears to me that, in many instances, the true idea of what constitutes pure religion has not been developed in the mind, and that consequently spurious conversions have been distressingly numerous. I have been more and more surprised from year to year, to find how very numerous those professors of religion are who manifestly have not the true ideal of pure religion before their minds. It seems that, in many instances, the idea that love is the essence and the whole of religion, is left almost, if not entirely, out of view.”

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Moses 2 verse 14 – What about my children?

This might not be a problem for you as you might think you have all the answers, but when someone asked me how children fitted into the Israel experience, I could not answer the question immediately. I had to do some soul searching and eventually turned to the LORD for His answer.

This question can also open up a minefield if you are not careful, depending on your own background. If you come from a traditional Roman Catholic/Luther/Calvinistic background you might think that all that has to happen is that the baby must be baptised within the first three or so months and then everyone can relax, as the child now belongs to Jesus. But what about the infant that dies within the first couple of hours? What happens to them? That is why the Roman Catholic Church baptised dead persons as they could still be saved according to them. Maybe you think that the child will belong to Satan as Jesus has no say over the child if it isn’t baptised.

If you have a Pentecostal background you believe that the child must believe in the saving grace of Jesus before being baptised. As the child was brought up in a Christian home the child will be saved, even before baptism can be administered. As soon as the child is eleven or twelve most Pentecostal and Charismatic churches will baptise the child and then everything is all right.

But where in the Bible do we find answers to this question in the Bible? I asked the LORD to answer it for me, as I did not know how to overcome everyone’s objections. Even if we look to Israel’s’ example, we find that the children were baptised with their parents in the Red sea and therefore their sinful nature was removed. They were thus baptised with their parents and thus were part of Gods nation. Or are they?

Let us look at a couple of scriptures before we continue. The first scripture comes from Galatians four verses one and two. “Now I say, That the heir, as long as he is a child, differeth nothing from a servant, though he be lord of all; But is under tutors and governors until the time appointed of the father.” (Gal 4:1-2) This scripture confirms that a child is under the authority of its tutors and governors until the time decided on by their father. Only when the father decides that the child can stand his own ground, will the child be allowed to accept responsibility for himself.

Romans 5 verses 1-2: “Therefore being justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ: By whom also we have access by faith into this grace wherein we stand, and rejoice in hope of the glory of God.” (Rom 5:1-2) This scripture points out that we are saved by faith only and not by baptism. This is an extremely important issue, as everyone rushes of to say that Peter said it is the baptism that saves us, but the Bible spells it out in Roman and Galatians as well as other books, that we are saved by faith in Jesus Christ. He is the only one that can save me from hell. If we examine the scripture referred to in the first book of Peter, he declares that it is near impossible to believe and not to be baptised. That is why he declares it is the baptism that saves you. Noah had to first believe that the LORD was going to destroy the earth through water before he built the ark. These scriptures all confirm that it is faith that will save us.

These scriptures also confirm various other parts of scripture. Both Galatians and Romans follow a set sequence, firstly repentance, then faith and then baptism. These verses in Hebrews give us the exact sequence. “Therefore leaving the principles of the doctrine of Christ, let us go on unto perfection; not laying again the foundation of repentance from dead works, and of faith toward God, Of the doctrine of baptisms, and of laying on of hands, and of resurrection of the dead, and of eternal judgment.” (Heb 6:1-2) Mark also uses the same sequence. “And he said unto them, Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature. He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved; but he that believeth not shall be damned”. (Mar 16:15-16). This scripture tells us that we would not be damned if we aren’t baptised, but we will be damned for not believing. Only once you put your faith in Christ can you be baptised.

This sequence was first given to us in Exodus. Israel had to first call out to the LORD, (repentance), then call out to the LORD to save them, (faith), and then had to have the Passover meal. They then left Egypt and were baptised in the Red Sea, and at Mara were baptised with the Holy Spirit.

If we then look at our children, we find that the LORD did not expect them to believe that they would inherit Canaan, as they were still under the jurisdiction of their parents. The same is true today. The LORD expects me to take responsibility for their lives until we can trust them never to stray of His way. But that is where the problems start. We as parents do not want to take this responsibility and hence want to get them baptised in order for them to be responsible for themselves. No, the LORD wants us to shoulder this responsibility until we can rust them to make this decision. He will judge these children according to our lifestyles. That is why Moses declared in Deuteronomy as follows: “And thou shalt love the LORD thy God with all thine heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy might. And these words, which I command thee this day, shall be in thine heart: And thou shalt teach them diligently unto thy children, and shalt talk of them when thou sittest in thine house, and when thou walkest by the way, and when thou liest down, and when thou risest up.” (Deu 6:5-7)

How convinced am I? The first time Israel reached the Jordan river and were ready to inherit Canaan, they declared that they were scared to cross the Jordan, as their wives and children would suffer and die. “And wherefore hath the LORD brought us unto this land, to fall by the sword, that our wives and our children should be a prey? were it not better for us to return into Egypt?” (Num 14:3) The Israelites tell the LORD that they are worried about their wives and children. We do exactly the same. We declare that we want to do what is best for the children as it is them that we are worried about. The LORD gave Israel the following answer: “Say unto them, As truly as I live, saith the LORD, as ye have spoken in mine ears, so will I do to you: Your carcases shall fall in this wilderness; and all that were numbered of you, according to your whole number, from twenty years old and upward, which have murmured against me,” (Num 14:28-29). The LORD is not interested in my arguments concerning others, no He is concerned about my relationship with Him. If I have received the baptism as a believer, He will not judge my children, but give them the ability and chance to decide for themselves.

This also tells us that nobody is born in Canaan. No, everyone is born in Egypt, in other words all have sinned and must be saved. We all must decide for ourselves to serve the LORD, or to go to Canaan. If they never decide to get out of Egypt they will be damned and die in Egypt, and receive a sinners judgement. Ezekiel puts it as follows: “The soul that sinneth, it shall die. The son shall not bear the iniquity of the father, neither shall the father bear the iniquity of the son: the righteousness of the righteous shall be upon him, and the wickedness of the wicked shall be upon him.” (Eze 18:20) “Therefore I will judge you, O house of Israel, every one according to his ways, saith the Lord GOD. Repent, and turn yourselves from all your transgressions; so iniquity shall not be your ruin.” (Eze 18:30) I am aware of the fact that it is very harsh words, but it doesn’t help putting it any other way. I as father or guardian of the child will have to take the responsibility for my children until age twenty. Only after that will the LORD judge them according to their own life. He did that to Israel and will do the same to us.

Something else that crept out of the woodwork while working on this issue, is the covenant meal, commonly referred to today as communion. As soon as I believe that the LORD is the only one that can save me is the time I am allowed to partake of this meal. It is only a meal for believers, and hence children cannot partake of it. My children cannot share in it as they must have something to look forward to when deciding to follow Jesus. The communion must become a meal again as it was meant to be, something to go up to Jerusalem for. It must remind us that the first time we took part of it was the first time we took responsibility for our own lives and based on that death could not have a hold on me. I can now appear before the LORD without fear or anxiety as I am now clothed with the righteousness of Jesus Christ. This is also the place where those that administer childhood baptism get stuck, as they never leave Egypt. This is why they have to fight against the enemy everyday; as they never get rid of their sinful desires and wants. You have to leave Egypt for that to happen, as they all die in the Red Sea.

In closing I want to mention something else. Jesus was both First born and Lamb. He had to die the death of the first-born and declare the tenth plague null and void, so that we do not have to be circumcised. He could not plead the Blood of the Lamb over Him, as He was the Lamb that had to die. This means that I no longer have to worry about the death of the first born, as Jesus paid the price for that. The only thing I have to worry about is to teach my children to walk in the ways of the LORD, and when they come of age, to lead them to Jesus, which they have to decide if they would follow Him or not. I also have to ensure that they do not decide at a young age to get baptised, as they have to understand the full consequences of their decision before being baptised. If we don’t this scripture will remind us of what would happen to them should they decide to stray or deny Him during their teenage and young adult lives. “For it is impossible for those who were once enlightened, and have tasted of the heavenly gift, and were made partakers of the Holy Ghost, And have tasted the good word of God, and the powers of the world to come, If they shall fall away, to renew them again unto repentance; seeing they crucify to themselves the Son of God afresh, and put him to an open shame” (Heb 6:4-6) We as parents have to understand the impact of this decision and then would probably agree that we cannot allow children before their teenage years or early adult life to make this decision to follow Jesus. Once they have gone through these years will they have to make the decision.

Paul tells is what the LORD felt like when He realised that Israel did not trust Him to take them into Canaan. “Moreover, brethren, I would not that ye should be ignorant, how that all our fathers were under the cloud, and all passed through the sea; And were all baptized unto Moses in the cloud and in the sea; And did all eat the same spiritual meat; And did all drink the same spiritual drink: for they drank of that spiritual Rock that followed them: and that Rock was Christ. But with many of them God was not well pleased: for they were overthrown in the wilderness. Now these things were our examples, to the intent we should not lust after evil things, as they also lusted.” (1Cor 10:1-6)

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Moses 2 verse 13 – What is the LORD to you, an injection or a blood transfusion?

This is one of those funny sorts of questions to ask someone. But it actually is a life saving question that has to be asked. We are growing up in an era where permissiveness is the rule, people do not care about authority, and where blowing up of the human ego is commonplace. We only have to look at television for a couple of hours at night to see the filthy language, sexual deeds, robbery, murder and everything else that is dished up by the media for us. Not to mention even the humanism exhibited. I must admit that when I grew up, none of this happened as we did not have TV. Even the radio stations were totally different than today.

One thing that did not change during this time is the LORD. He is still the same today as He was 50 years ago. The church might have changed the message a little so as to fit in with our modern life style, but the LORD has not changed. In some churches they have changed the services drastically as we have to move with the times, and we have to attract the people back to the church. But is this the solution?

I have, in my own life, ended up in situations where I suddenly felt the need for God. The one time this happened, was when our son, he was only six years old, was involved in a motorcar accident. He ended up spending months in hospital. I was in such need to get an injection from the LORD just to carry me through this period, as I could not face it alone. Fortunately He is always trustworthy. I remember the one morning ten days after the accident that I went to the hospital on my way to the office. I asked the LORD to do me a favour. It might not sound like a favour to you, in fact, you might think how I could even contemplate such a question, but to me it was asked in all sincerity. My son was in a coma as a result of his injuries. He had a cracked scull, multiple fractures of the left leg, and a severely damaged left foot. This foot was so badly damaged that you could see all the bones in his foot from the top, with just the skin at the bottom of his foot holding it all together. No operations could be done yet, and the nurses had to ensure that his wounds were free from infection. I could not take it anymore to see him suffer, and asked the LORD to bring a change in his circumstances. I asked that when I get to his bed, that he would either regain his consciousness so that his wounds could be treated, or that he would die and his suffering be stopped.

I know it sounds ruthless to pray like this, but do you know how I cried when I got to his bed, and when I touched his hand that he said to me “Morning daddy”. The nursing staff cried with me, because when they changed his dressings five minutes earlier, his condition was unchanged. That injection carried me for a number of years, as I knew that when I ask something from the LORD, that He listens and answers prayer.

There were other times also when I got injections from the LORD. One of the injections I received, was a couple of days after a surgeon told me after a bladder scope that he found a tumour in my bladder, that he removed it, but that the tumour was malignant. Without any panache he told me that I was going to die of cancer, as everyone I had ever known to have cancer, was either dead or dying. But I prayed to the LORD that I would see my children grow up, the youngest was not even in school yet, and that they would not grow up without a father figure in their lives. The LORD is faithful, and after three years I was declared not to have cancer anymore. In fact, it is now, in 2003, seventeen years ago.

I don’t know what your circumstances are. Maybe you have had injections like this also. Maybe you also had experiences like I had that I am not proud of. Times in my life when I had an excuse every night why I had to have a beer after work or during lunchtime. I had excellent excuses every time as I had to meet some of my clients there to discuss business. The next moment you fall down on your knees again and ask the LORD for forgiveness, and you feel that you can face the world again.

The one thing I have discovered was that these injections worked, but it only lasted a while. Then I have to ask for another injection just to continue again. Others get a weekly injection at the church service on a Sunday, or others at the weekly cell meeting. That is the place where they refuel in order to last another week.

Maybe your life is like this. The Bible declares in Ezekiel 18 verse 4 that the soul that sins must die. Where is the life of man? Lev 17:11 “For the life of the flesh is in the blood: and I have given it to you upon the altar to make an atonement for your souls: for it is the blood that maketh an atonement for the soul.”

Every time I received an injection from the LORD, I tried to kill the germs that were in my blood. I tried to kill that which was wrong. It is like someone who gets an injection against AIDS. It cannot kill the AIDS virus as the virus is in the blood. The injection will only make life more manageable. The portion of scripture in Leviticus declares to us what must be done to get your condition changed forever and ever. Jesus poured His blood on the altar in order for us to get His blood.

I have to take myself to Him and ask Him to do a blood transfusion for me. I must get rid of my blood and my life, in order to receive His Blood and His Life. This is what the requires of us. We have to receive a blood transfusion from Him, in order to live.

As soon as I have done this, my life will change. I will not even be interested in watching all the rubbish on TV. I might even decide to take the authorities on because of the sexual and satanic programs we get bombarded with. You might even decide to discover the Bible. I can promise you, it is a journey where you will never reach the end. So next time you feel that you just cannot cope anymore, or that you cannot continue with life, ask Jesus to give you a blood transfusion. But remember one thing, He comes and lives inside of you.

This is what Ezekiel declares will happen to us. Ezek 36:26 “A new heart also will I give you, and a new spirit will I put within you: and I will take away the stony heart out of your flesh, and I will give you an heart of flesh.”

Why do I have to receive a new heart? Because a heart of stone cannot give life, only a heart of flesh can do that. But the LORD has to do the operation. I cannot change myself and declare that I am now His child. No, I have to get rid of my blood and my heart, and get clothed with His Blood and His heart.

So next time you need a touch from the LORD, ask Him to do a blood transfusion, and not just an injection. Why wait time the next time when I need Him? Healthy people do not need a doctor. People who have problems, that cannot continue any longer, they need the Doctor. The same is true about our spiritual life. Only once I have tried all the earthly medicine and plans, will I be ready to ask the LORD to do it. Then I am ready for a blood transfusion.

This was also what Isaiah meant when he wrote Isaiah 61. Verse 1: “The Spirit of the Lord GOD is upon me; because the LORD hath anointed me to preach good tidings unto the meek; he hath sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives, and the opening of the prison to them that are bound; 2 To proclaim the acceptable year of the LORD, and the day of vengeance of our God; to comfort all that mourn; 3 To appoint unto them that mourn in Zion, to give unto them beauty for ashes, the oil of joy for mourning, the garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness; that they might be called trees of righteousness, the planting of the LORD, that he might be glorified.”

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