GREATEST CRIMES OF BABYLON – II

[Forward:  If the following verses quoted from Ps 26:2-8 is your sincere prayer, then you are in the right place.  If not, you are still in the right place for the Spirit who brought you here will guide you to it so that the prayer becomes your eternal inheritance.  And, this is my prayer for you in Jesus Christ our Lord.  Amen!

Ps 26:2-8, “Test me, O Lord, and try me, examine my heart and my mind; for Your love is ever before me, and I walk continually in Your truth.  I do not sit with deceitful men, nor do I consort with hypocrites; You abhor the assembly of evildoers and refuse to sit with the wicked; I wash my hands in innocence, and go about Your altar, O Lord, proclaiming aloud Your praise and telling of all Your wonderful deeds.  I love the House where you live, O Lord, the Place where Your glory dwells.”]

Introduction:

It is but imperative that Cain-like corrupt practices in the Worship of God will be the hallmark of Babylon.  This sequel to the Greatest Crimes of Babylon exposes them by teaching the God-ordained practice of Worship.

As Virgin Christians, each one of us ought to leave behind our ignorant and pagan backgrounds to begin anew in the knowledge of God and fellowship of the Holy Spirit.  Whether it was Jewish, Catholic, Protestant, or any other religious or godless background.  The renewal of our minds has to take place in all matters, which includes the true understanding of how to worship the Living God.  God warns us not to continue in our old ways: “You must not worship the Lord your God in their way.” (Deut 12:4). 

The fallen and sinful man, we know, was not abandoned by God even though they were estranged from Him.  God’s Word continued to bring them hope, Truth and understanding.  And the divide between one that heeded and one that resisted became apparent in their new surroundings right from the start.  So that, from the time Abel and Cain, the first children of ‘man’ worshiped God, two patterns of worship emerged in this world (Read Gen 4:3-7):

1.   One that is PLEASING TO GOD.

2.   And the other that is DISPLEASING TO GOD.

The outcome is that, Abel, i.e. the one who pleased God was killed by Cain, the one who did not.  And we know, when the time came, even the Son of God Himself was not spared

Why is there this huge difference obvious even between those who seem to take the Name of the Lord?  Jesus reveals the reason as He speaks to the Samaritan woman in Jn 4:22, “You Samaritans worship what you do not know, we worship what we do know, for salvation is from the Jews.”  Yes, just as Jesus adds, Jn 4:24,God is Spirit, and His worshipers must worship in Spirit and in Truth.”, the most important criterion is to know your God. It is to have actually savored Him (Ps 34:8), so much so that you are in constant fellowship with Him.  Only then one will enjoy the counsel of the Spirit which is Truth and grow in His knowledge and be able to offer Him the perfect worship.

Worship that is displeasing to God and its consequences:

The evil intent of the devil is this:  to deny God the worship and honor due to Him, and he will keep at it till the very end.  It will continue to be manifested in same fashion in order that he may establish his worship.  And so it shall be.  For God will briefly hand complete dominion over to Satan – when men all over the world will unite and follow only the evil pattern.  This will be the Hour of Reckoning for one and all, when the winnowing fork of God will sift the righteous from the wicked whether alive or dead.

For no one can deny God’s amazing faithfulness and grace towards men.  This world stands as a testimony to His mercy and compassion.  Though martyrs after martyrs followed and His prophets and servants were put to death one after the other, God’s Word continued to be heard unhindered until the fullness of His righteousness was revealed to one and all in Jesus Christ, His Son.  Therefore, men on their part are without excuse.

At the appointed time, the wrath of God will finally be revealed.  For the Spirit of God will not strive with the spirit of man forever.  Read Ezek 7:11, “Violence has grown into a rod to punish wickedness; none of the people will be left, none of that crowd – no wealth, nothing of value.”  The superficial lull or the twisted semblance of peace with which the evil one will first manifest himself will be the prelude to total darkness or ‘the midnight’, as it is called to describe his evil reign and worship.  There will remain none who will not be pulled into it.  Only those who truly belong to the Lord will resist and refuse to submit to the evil dominion, and for all their trouble they will be put to sword, taken into captivity or left to starve. 

This spiritual ‘midnight’ will only be broken into when Christ shall appear in all His glory with the sound of the heavenly trumpet and wage war – the briefest little war in the history of mankind – and judge the world.  And then, just as Jesus has promised, “………all the righteous blood that has been shed on earth, from the blood of righteous Abel to the blood of Zechariah…..” (Matt 23:35; also Rev 6:9-11), i.e. from A to Z – all will be avenged!

The worship that is pleasing to God and its consequences:

I will begin with the consequences first and then move on to the teaching of the worship that is pleasing to God, for it is the chief purpose to which this article is dedicated.

As it is written, for instance, read James 2:13, “Mercy triumphs over judgment”, God will establish His kingdom with the righteous.  Judgment will not be the end.  For the righteous shall rise from their resting places in the fullness of His glory.  They will begin their reign with Him on earth a thousand years and then forever in the eternal kingdom of God.  The new heaven and the new earth will be filled with His glory so that there will no longer be the use of the sun or the moon, and they shall be no more.  All creations, angels and men included, will worship the One True God.  And there will be no more death, tears, pain or sorrow.  The dwelling of God will be with men, and nations will walk in His Light and bring their glory and honor, the majestic splendor of His righteousness to it.

Now, for the perfect and pleasing will of God in the matter of Worship:

“Worship the Lord in the splendor of His holiness.” Ps 96:9, Ps 29:2, 1 Chron. 16:28-29 etc.  Not the holiness dictated by man or any church, but in His holiness – the surpassing holiness of the Lord!  For eg. Read Matt 5:20. 

Having partaken of Truth and Grace through Jesus Christ and having begun to live in the fellowship of the Holy Spirit, we are able to understand that the period we live in is spiritually known as the ‘period of Grace’.  Grace is the anointing of His Word.  And it means the abundance of His Word is here.  As such, in the face of the infallible and irrefutable Word of God there is no room left for doubts or difference of opinion or heresies and factions, for that matter, to those who obey Him.

As the Word of God unfolds here, the true pattern of worship becomes clear.  Perhaps not one instant from the past will be able to teach us all we need to know.  But having found the fulfillment in Jesus Christ, we see that each of them concur to work together and render the complete and perfect picture. To begin with, I have divided this lesson into 5 categories owing to the 5 questions that pop up in one’s mind regarding Worship:

  1. Deity or Object of worship
  2. Place of worship
  3. Day of worship
  4. Worshipers or worshiping subjects
  5. Offerings of worship

DEITY OR OBJECT OF WORSHIP

1.  IN THE KNOWLEDGE OF GOD – the total absence of an idol or an image:

Jesus reveals in Jn 4:24, “God is Spirit, and His worshipers must worship in Spirit and in Truth.”  True worship is only possible by our total adherence to the counsel of the Holy Spirit which is God’s Word.  Any other form of worship only goes to betray our divided allegiance to Him. 

Read Deut 4:15-19, “You saw no form of any kind the day the Lord spoke to you at Horeb out of the fire.  Therefore watch yourselves carefully, so that you do not become corrupt and make for yourselves an idol, an image of any shape, whether formed like a man or a woman, or like any animal on earth or any bird that flies in the air, or like any creature that moves along the ground or any fish in the waters below and when you look up to the sky and see the sun, the moon and the stars – all the heavenly array – do not be enticed into bowing down to them and worshiping things the Lord your God has apportioned to all the nations under heaven.”  It is also known as the first of the Ten Commandments (Ex 20:3-4).  Refer Ex 20:22-24.

Outwardly it may appear as if Cain had got this one right.  But as his disobedience comes to light, the spirit of Anti-Christ at work in him had made itself conspicuous.  He paves the way for idolatry by his unfaithfulness.  Because, idolatry is the fruit of unfaithfulness or ‘adultery’ towards God.   

Let us understand that Death reigns over man, and everything that man creates or procreates has the seal of lifelessness and corruption on them.  In sharp contrast, God is the very Source of life – the Resurrection and the Life, and everything God creates or procreates (by the Spirit) has life in them.  A glimpse into heaven (for eg. Ezek 10:9-17) will show us how full of life, insight and surpassing wisdom everything in heaven is – even a wheel! – which is something very commonplace and inanimate in man’s world.  Therefore, do not rely on the dying man and his perishing works – whether they are his many sons, his teachings, his idols or even his fanciful ideals.

2.  IN THE HONOR OF GOD –  by honoring Jesus Christ, the Firstborn or the Firstfruit over all creation:

God begins His lesson on Worship by introducing Himself in the deity of Jesus Christ, the Firstborn over all creation. 

Col 1:15, “..He is the firstborn over all creation.”  Also, Jn 1:1-3, Col 1:16.  He is the Alpha, the Beginning, the Ancient of days, and as we now know the scriptures testify about Him from the very beginning.  And, Col 1:18, “…He is the firstborn from among the dead.”  That is right, He is the Resurrection and the Life (Jn 11:25-27), and He is also the Omega, the End (Rev 22:13) because in Him is endlessness.   Again, read Col 1:19-20, “For God was pleased to have all His fullness dwell in Him, and through Him to reconcile to Himself all things, whether things on earth or things in heaven, by making peace through His blood, shed on the cross.”

Refer Ex 13:1-2, “The Lord said to Moses, ‘Consecrate to Me every firstborn……. The first offspring of every womb among the Israelites belongs to Me, whether man or animal.” and Ex 34:26, “Bring the best of the firstfruits of your soil to the house of the Lord your God….”

[Note:  The offering of Abel demonstrates his divine insight with which he honored God.  Hence a look into it is appropriate here:  “But Abel brought fat portions from some of the firstborn of his flock. The Lord looked with favor on Abel and his offering.” (Gen 4:4)By bringing the fat portions from some of the firstborn of his flock, Abel offered the perfect worship by honoring Jesus Christ the Redeemer to come.  Cain, on the other hand dishonored God and displeased Him by showing contempt for His Word.  He just brought, “…. some of the fruits of the soil as an offering to the Lord.”  (Gen 4:3).]

3.  IN THE HONOR OF THE LAMB OF GOD WHO WAS SLAIN –  just as it is in heaven (Rev 5): 

Also read Jn 1:29b, Jn 3:16 etc.  As God warned Moses, Heaven is the model in matters of worship (eg. Heb 8:5).  But the Israelites failed to grasp it.  So Jesus teaches us to pray that His will be accomplished on earth as it is in heaven (Matt 6:9-10).  The Book of Revelations, chapter 5, gives us a glimpse of the magnificent worship that takes place in heaven.  It is the worship that honors the Lamb of God who was slain, who is worthy to receive power and wealth and wisdom and strength and honor and glory and praise from every creature in heaven and on earth and under the earth and on the sea, and all that is in them.

God introduced and taught us this eternal Truth, which in truth is the first and only eternal covenant, the covenant of His Blood, when He appointed His first priest – king Melchizedek of Salem.  Read Gen 15:18, “Then Melchizedek king of Salem brought out bread and wine.  He was priest of God Most High.”   

Yet, how this divine knowledge came to be obliterated from man’s memory will itself testify against him!  However, praise be to God for His great and incredible faithfulness, which has revealed it to us once again when Jesus Christ reinstated the ‘Lord’s Table – of bread and wine’ symbolically on the eve of His vicarious death on the cross. Read Lk 22:15, “And He said to them, “I have eagerly desired to eat this Passover with you before I suffer.”  And just as He adds, to make known that it is also the eternal covenant for we shall eat and drink with Him anew in the kingdom of God –  read Lk 22:16, “For I tell you, I will not eat it again until it finds fulfillment in the kingdom of God.”  Also read Matt 26:29, Mk 14:25, Lk 12:37, etc.

Therefore, “Do this in remembrance of Me.” (Lk 22:19b, 1 Cor 11:25b).  Let us not trifle with His commandment. Lord’s Table ought to be the integral part of our worship as it is the perfect honor of Him.  No worship is complete without it.

ONE PLACE OF WORSHIP

IN ZION, THE HOLY AND INVISIBLE MOUNTAIN OF GOD – built on the prophesied ‘altar of earth’:

Like the Samaritan woman in Jn 4:19, we lay foolish emphasis on the ‘place of worship’.  Jesus instructs, Jn 4:20-23, “……’Believe Me, woman, a time is coming when you will worship the Father neither on this mountain nor in Jerusalem…..a time is coming and has now come when the true worshipers will worship the Father in Spirit and Truth, for they are the kind of worshipers the Father seeks.” 

“Then the Lord said……’….You have seen for yourselves that I have spoken to you from heaven…… Make an altar of earth for Me and sacrifice on it…… where I cause My Name to be honored, I will come to you and bless you.” (Ex 20:22-24).

The term ‘altar of earth’ was symbolic of the holy sacrifice of Jesus that was to take place on the earth and also the prophetic calling of His people, the real temples or churches of God, the living altars of earth offering themselves as living sacrifices – holy and pleasing to God in the perfectly spiritual act of worship (Rom 12:1).  For once again, that which has been made known since ancient time (Isa 46:10), and that which is common to both the Father and the Son (eg. Jn 10:37) and made known to us by the Spirit (Jn 16:13-15) is the eternal truth found fulfillment before our very eyes.

Read 1 Cor 6:19-20, “Do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God? You are not your own; you were bought at a price. Therefore honor God with your body.”  This is the fullness of our knowledge as worshipers –  that we are the temples of God. Abel, we know, is the first of the chosen altars of earth.  Refer Matt 18:20, Jesus has said, “For where two or three come together in My Name, there Am I with them.”

And, together, we become the holy and invisible ‘Mountain of God’ along with all else that comprise it.  Every single ‘altar of earth’, for eg. Abel, together constitute the holy Mountain of God.  God Himself is our Sanctuary wherever we may be, scattered across the globe (eg. Ezek 11:16).

Read Heb 12:22-24,  “But you have come to Mount Zion, to the heavenly Jerusalem, the city of the Living God. You have come to thousands upon thousands of angels in joyful assembly, to the Church of the firstborn, whose names are written in heaven.  You have come to God, the Judge of all men, to the spirits of righteous men made perfect, to Jesus the Mediator of a New Covenant, and to the sprinkled Blood that speaks a better word than the blood of Abel.”  Also read Psalms 15, Jn 2:19-22, Matt 12:6, Matt 23:16-22. 

Therefore, as it is revealed in Rev 6:14, Rev 16:20 etc., every visible hill and high places and mountains will be moved from its place and not be found. So that at Christ’s Second Coming, the now invisible and the unshakable Mountain of God will become visible and remain forever (eg. Rom 8:18-19, Rev 19:14, Matt 13:26-27, Rev 21:10)Read Isa 2:2, “In the last days the Mountain of the Lord’s temple will be established as chief among the mountains; it will be raised above the hills, and all nations will stream to it.”

DAY OF WORSHIP

ON SABBATH – the blessed and holy Seventh Day of Rest:

Jesus Christ is the Lord of the Sabbath.  Therefore the Day that is blessed and made holy by God for rest and worship is the seventh day, also called the Sabbath.  Please read The First of the Greatest Crimes of Babylon for complete understanding of ‘keeping the Sabbath holy to the Lord.’  It will open one’s eyes to the paganry that exists in every adulterous heart.  Read Ezek 8:16b, “…. With their backs toward the temple of the Lord and their faces toward the east, they were bowing down to the sun in the east.”  This has been true of the rebellious leaders of Israelites.  Are the churches any different?

Instead of keeping the Sabbath holy by honoring the Lord of the Sabbath in it – the blessed and appointed Day of the Lord, His people have once again turned their backs to the True and Eternal Light to honor sun which governs the temporal light of this world by appointing the first day holy for their paganry, thus profaning His Holy Name among the people of this world.  

How can such a people hope to either enjoy the thousand years of Sabbath rest on this earth or the eternal Sabbath rest in the kingdom of God? 

AND, INDEED, HAS IT OCCURRED TO ANYONE WHY SATAN WOULD USE MAN TO CHANGE THE SET TIMES AND LAWS OF THE LORD THAT IS SINCE THE BEGINNING?  (Ref Dan 7:25)  THE ANSWER IS GIVEN IN ZECH 14:20 FOR IT REVEALS THE DAY OF THE LORD OR THE GLORIOUS COMING OF THE LORD WILL BE ON A SABBATH – THE DAY ‘HOLY TO THE LORD’.   BUT AS IN THE DAYS OF NOAH, PEOPLE WILL GO ABOUT THEIR AFFAIRS AND WILL BE TAKEN BY SURPRISE (Matt 24:37-39).  AND AS IT IS REVEALED IN MATT 24:36, NO ONE KNOWS ABOUT THAT DAY – OR THE SABBATH WHEN IT WILL TAKE PLACE.  NOT EVEN THE SON.  HOWEVER, LET US NOT FORGET IT IS HE WHO IS COMING IN ALL HIS GLORY!  AND HE WHO IS THE HOLY ONE OF ISRAEL, WHO IS FAITHFUL AND TRUE (REV 19:11) WILL NOT BE FOUND NOT READY.  WHAT ABOUT YOU?

{Note:  Let us remember that in relation to passover was the only time when Israel worshiped on the first day as well as the seventh day (Lev 23:7-8, Num 28:18 & 25 etc.).  Spiritually speaking, First Day here symbolizes the Eighth Day or the First Day after Jesus’ sacrificial death on the cross – the Day He rose again after His brief sleep of death or Sabbatical rest.  And it is in honor of which and to proclaim the resurrection of the True Passover Lamb that in relation to the feast of passover the Israelites worshiped in addition on the first day too.  However, we must note that never was Sabbath compromised or replaced.  One is only right to worship on ALL DAYS including the ‘eighth day’ or more specifically in addition the ‘first day’ too (as divined by the feast of tabernacles – eg. Lev 23:33-36, Neh 8:18 WHICH INDEED WAS THE PRACTICE OF THE APOSTLES AND THE BELIEVERS OF THE TIME – eg.Acts 2:46-47),  BUT NEVER at the cost of ignoring, neglecting or replacing the Seventh Day, the Sabbath Day, that which was blessed and made holy by the Lord since the very beginning! (Gen 2:2-3)}

WORSHIPING SUBJECTS

1.  IN THE ONENESS OF GOD – the perfect oneness of the Triune God:

We know that the image of the perfect Oneness of God in ‘man’ was shattered with the fall of the first man.  Spiritual life became individual and personal.  For eg. Eve (Gen 4:1), Abel (Gen 4:3) and Enoch (Gen 5:24).  It did appear in between, after Cain was banished and subsequent birth of Seth,  that men had at large begun to call on the Name of God (Gen 4:26) for a brief period.  But that the oneness required had not been met becomes apparent with the calling of Noah.  Spiritually speaking, I call this the period of Recall. 

We see that when God called Noah, He once again taught and established perfect oneness.  Read Gen 6:13-21 and note Vs 18, “But I will establish My covenant with you, and you will enter the ark – you and your sons and your wife and your sons’ wives with you.”

It is another matter that this oneness did not last long in Noah’s own household.  Even all those who came after him, beginning with Abraham, continued to break the covenant of oneness.  Here’s the sampling of God’s Word on oneness as it was given to Abraham.  Again, spiritually speaking, I like to call this the period of Reawakening. 

Read Gen 17:15-22, particularly note vs 21, “But My covenant I will establish with Isaac, whom Sarah will bear to you by this time next year.”   When God called Abraham, he was already married to Sarah.  But, unlike Abraham, God only saw them as one (refer Isa 51:2, Gen 2:24).  Therefore, though Sarah was kept in the dark and as a result ignorant of her calling at that time, God makes it very clear to Abraham here that it will be through Sarah that He will bring to fulfillment and establish His covenant.  Of course, seeing that Abraham had only laughed it off and continued to keep Sarah in the dark, God Himself speaks to Sarah to make known her divine election to her.  One would expect the prophesied subjection to slavery of Israel would have restored it.   Sadly no, and we see that man’s heart remains hardened.  So that, once again, God made it understood that freedom from slavery was all inclusive – men, women, young, old, infants and children and that they could not leave Egypt unless all were ready to leave and worship Him together.

God’s Word continued to teach and as Israel’s household multiplied with servants and subsequently slaves too, He made it apparent to them that they were not to be omitted.  For instance, Deut 12:12, “And there rejoice before the Lord your God, you, your sons and daughters, your menservants and maidservants……”  Worship is all inclusive and with the oneness of the Spirit.  Refer Jn 17:20-23.

And just as it was promised, Holy Spirit and all the spiritual gifts thereof are received by one and all.  Refer Acts 2:17-21. Yes, there is no gift of God that is exclusive either for men or for women or for any particular race or nation for that matter. Read Gal 3:28, “There is neither Jew nor Greek, slave nor free, male nor female, for you are all One in Christ Jesus.”  Yes, “The King is mighty, He loves justice – You have established equity.” (Ps 99:4a).  And how?  Read Isa 40:3, “….’In the desert prepare the way for the Lord; make straight in the wilderness a highway for our God.  EVERY VALLEY SHALL BE RAISED UP, EVERY MOUNTAIN AND HILL MADE LOW; THE ROUGH GROUND SHALL BECOME LEVEL, THE RUGGED PLACES A PLAIN.  AND THE GLORY OF THE LORD WILL BE REVEALED AND ALL MANKIND TOGETHER WILL SEE IT.  FOR THE MOUTH OF THE LORD HAS SPOKEN.'”  

In fact, for all the foolish pride and rebelliousness of the house of Israel, she will become the least on the Day of the Lord – read Isa 19:23-25, “In that Day there will be a HIGHWAY from Egypt to Assyria.  The Assyrians will go to Egypt and the Egyptians to Assyria.  The Egyptians and Assyrians will worship together.  In that Day Israel will be the third, along with Egypt and Assyria, a blessing on the earth.  The Lord Almighty will bless them, saying ‘BLESSED BE EGYPT MY PEOPLE, ASSYRIA MY HANDIWORK, AND ISRAEL MY INHERITANCE.’”  A glimpse into heaven of the spiritual Israel provided in the Book of Revelations, reveals that though multitudes (countless) will return to the Lord from all nations and race, physical Israel or the house of Israel will only have a remnant that will be numbered exactly – 1,44,000, i.e. 12000 from each tribe.  And this too, because of His faithful and eternal promises to His few and faithful servants from the house of Israel. 

Finally, Read Eph 4:3-6, “Make every effort to keep the unity of the Spirit….. There is One body and One Spirit – just as you were called to One hope when you were called – One Lord, One faith, One baptism; One God and Father of all…….”

2.  IN THE HOLINESS OF GOD – the awesome splendor and majesty of the righteousness and kingdom of Jesus Christ:

“Come and worship him in the splendor of His holiness.” (Ps 29:2).  Jesus exhorts to “First seek His kingdom and His righteousness” (Matt 6:33), and adds, “For I tell you that unless your righteousness surpasses that of the Pharisees and the teachers of the law, you will certainly not enter the kingdom of heaven.” (Matt 5:20). 

The surpassing righteousness is that which is exemplified by Him. And the Counselor, the Holy Spirit, is likewise faithful to “teach you all things and.. remind you of everything I have said to you.” (Jn 14:26).  Therefore, “Circumcise your hearts..…and do not be stiff-necked any longer.” (Deut 10:16).  Also refer Deut 30:6, Jer 4:3-4, Rom 2:29.

“Consecrate yourselves and be holy, because I am the lord your God. Keep my decrees and follow them.  I am the lord, who makes you holy.” (Lev 20:7-8).  And, I am the Lord your God; consecrate yourselves and be holy, because I am holy.  Do not make yourselves unclean by any creature that moves about on the ground.” (Lev 11:44).  And, “Keep My commands and follow them.  I am the Lord.  Do not profane My holy Name…….” (Lev 22:31-32)

The wayward ‘man’, like Cain, pursues his own imaginations and ideas of righteousness or holiness.  They are never rooted on the Word of God and will come crumbling down like house on sand.  Read Matt 7:26-27, Ezek 13:10-16.

OFFERINGS OF WORSHIP

This is that part of worship where each one of us as living stones enjoy individual and active roles.  For, this is that part where we offer ourselves and our individual gifts.  Remember, this is the part where Abel distinguished himself.

Besides renewing our daily fellowship with God (Jn 13:8), known as consecrating of self or Our Spiritual Act of Worship (Rom 12:1), we also offer spiritual (1 Pet 4:8-11) and material gifts (eg. Mk 12:41-44) so that the house of God in our midst does not suffer any lack and all needy are provided for –  God’s servants, strangers, widows, orphans etc.  It is a sign of our sincere gratitude, for it is He who enables (Deut 8:18).

Praising God, singing with the aid of instruments, psalms, ministering the Word etc. are all part of our offerings to Him (Matt 26:30a, Ex 15:1-21, Ps 150, etc). 

Whatever the Spirit leads us to do, when we gather together as His household, let us not forget we do them with Christ as our Mediator, the Intercessor and most of all as the Eternal High Priest. 

Often one comes across vile men who boast that they are given the keys of the kingdom of heaven and that they have the power to bind or loosen anything at will.  And, those that claim that Jesus called them to make them greater than He is by virtue of the greater things that they do, also belong to this evil tribe of wicked and godless men.  For as it is revealed in Isa 22:22, Rev 3:7, JESUS IS THE KEY!  Read and understand Jn 14:12-14.  Unless one concurs with His will so that He brings it to pass on one’s behalf, one will be exposed beyond redemption!   Therefore, let us understand the true meaning of offering of Spiritual Gifts.

Read 1 Pet 4:8-11, “Above all, love each other deeply, because love covers over a multitude of sins.  Offer hospitality to one another without grumbling.  Each one should use whatever gift he has received to serve others, faithfully administering God’s grace in its various forms.  If anyone speaks, he should do it as one speaking the very words of God.  If anyone serves, he should do it with the strength God provides, so that in all things God may be praised through Jesus Christ.  To Him be the glory and the power for ever and ever.  Amen.” 

Likewise, when we offer material gifts, let us do the same in the perfect and pleasing manner of the one approved of God.  Read Mk 12:41-44, “Jesus sat down opposite the place where the offerings were put and watched the crowd putting their money into the temple treasury.  Many rich people threw in large amounts.  But a poor widow came and put in two very small copper coins, worth only a fraction of a penny.  Calling His disciples to Him, Jesus said, ‘I tell you the truth, this poor widow has put more into the treasury than all the others.  They all gave out of their wealth; but she, out of her poverty, put in everything – all she had to live on.”

This is the sign of  growing faith – from that of a tither to that of a 100% giver.  Why would one want to shortchange God who gave us His all?  Does He deserve anything less than our 100% – whether it is in matters of wealth, health, children, devotion, obedience or service?  As members of His household, unless we learn how to obey the First and the Greatest Commandments (eg. Mk 12:29-31), we will be in danger of becoming nearsighted and blind, and as His servants – ineffective and unproductive!  Read 2 Pet 1:5-9. 

Conclusion:

If you heed His Word and take care not to profane His Holy Name among the peoples of this world, God will heal you, and you will no longer ail spiritually (Isa 29:24).  Read Deut 30:6, “The Lord your God will circumcise your hearts and the hearts of your descendants, so that you may love Him with all your heart and with all your soul, and live.”  For this has been and will be the first and foremost commandment at all times (eg. Mk 12:30). 

Deut 6:4-9, “Hear, O Israel:  The Lord our God, the Lord is One.  Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your souls and with all your strength.  These commandments that I give you today are to be upon your hearts.  Impress them on your children.  Talk about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up.  Tie them as symbols on your hands and bind them on your foreheads.  Write them on the doorframes of your houses and your gates.”

BE WARNED:  THOSE THAT FAIL TO RECEIVE AND OBEY HIS WORD, STUMBLE WHEN TRIALS AND TEMPTATIONS COME AND RECEIVE INSTEAD ON THEIR HANDS AND FOREHEADS THE MARK OF THE BEAST (Rev 13:16). 

May God Bless You!