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Saturday, 4 August 2012

Is God Our Broker? Rich Novek

Facebook on Thursday, 24 March 2011 at 02:28 ·
Warning: Read at your own risk. The contents of this writing may not be suitable for all who choose to read on. (At least you can't say you haven’t been warned!)

Do NOT...store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moths and vermin destroy, and where thieves break in and steal. But (Do) store up for yourselves treasures in heaven (the Spirit realm), where moths and vermin do not destroy, and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also. (Matthew 6:19-21)

All these people were still living by Faith when they died. They did not receive the things promised; they only saw them and welcomed them from a distance, admitting that they were foreigners and strangers on earth. People who say such things show that they are looking for a country of their own. If they had been thinking of the country (the world and it's way of life) they had left, they would have had opportunity to return. Instead, they were longing for a better country―A Heavenly One.  Therefore God is not ashamed to be called their God, for he has prepared a city for them. Hebrews (11:13-16)

I counted over 20 references to “a life of faith” in Hebrews chapter 11! By Faith, By Faith, By Faith....go ahead read it for yourself!

So if growing up IN Christ in order to walk by faith is why we are here, than what is the tithe really about?

I propose one reason the tithe is in place today is because it is an “easy way out” for those who want all of what God has for them but are unwilling to give their all to Him! I also say the tithe is really an act of disobedience, and is in reality a poor replacement for Paul's reference to our “growing up into all things” , which includes the testing of our faith, which is what God has ordained for us as 'adult" believers. I also propose that since Christ is our All IN All and is IN All, we were created to endure the good fight of faith, So that...we would see the True Manna, which is our daily bread, the Christ Life by which we live, and move and have our being. And that God also purposed that we be content to eat of Him only.
Otherwise, how will we ever arrive at the place of maturity in our walk with Christ?

I rejoiced greatly in the Lord that at last you renewed your concern for me. Indeed, you were concerned, but you had no opportunity to show it. I am not saying this because I am in need, for I have learned to be content whatever the circumstances. I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the 'secret" of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want. I can (rather he IN me) do ALL this through Him who gives me strength. (Philippians 4:10-13)

Not that I desire your gifts; what I desire is that more be credited to your account. I have received full payment and have more than enough.  And my God will meet all your needs according to...the riches of His Glory IN Christ Jesus. (Philippians 4:18-19)

Not one mention of tithing here, but only that God would supply (unconditionally) for all of our needs according to the riches of His (freely bestowed) Glory IN Christ Jesus!

Think about it for a minute?

What is different when you look at the way the average believer lives his life and how the "pagans" live. Both walk in fear most of the time, both do everything possible in their own strength to secure what they own for present and future use, and both continue to remain in disobedience according to biblical teaching!

Doesn't it make much more sense that God would allow, permit, purpose… situations and circumstances that go beyond us so we can learn to live by Faith? Doesn't it make more sense as His possession to relinquish ownership of all of our possessions to Him? Just as the mature believers who have gone before us, and know that apart from Him, there is no life. Doesn't it also make more sense that a God who wants a mature and active body would take every opportunity to create the circumstances of our life to bring us into the “Today” of our "Faith" life?   The awesome place He ordained for us to live trusting and resting IN His love. All so He can continue to reveal Himself as our…Daily Manna!

Let me ask you then, how can this growing up IN Him happen without His first placing us in situations and circumstances throughout our life which bring us to the end of our own natural resources, to that place of Total Trust IN Christ? How can this happen in a religious works based system, where we still believe maturity consists of paying off God like He is some kind of spiritual broker? A broker who will continue to work FOR us, just as long as He gets His percentage, and in the case of the tithe, that would be a 10% commission.  What a lucky God!

The tithe is law! The law has been swallowed up by Grace!

Therefore, there is now NO CONDEMNATION for those who are in Christ Jesus, because through Christ Jesus…the law of the Spirit of life IN Christ Jesus has set you free from the (condemning) law of sin and death.
And the tithe is no longer required under this new law of the Spirit of Life IN Christ."

That should make us all feel good, shouldn’t it?  This knowing we are no longer required to pay our 10% "brokerage fee" to God, just to insure He keeps taking care of us?

You see, the truth is God doesn’t want 10%, or even 5%, He only wants ONE thing…..EVERY-THING! And He doesn’t really care about our stuff.  What He is after is our whole heart!

And as far as our money is concerned, the real truth is we have no income, in fact we have nothing!  It is all His, and we are to live and see life in the same way as A.W. Tozer said in his book, The Pursuit of God.

Which is “knowing (IN Him) we have all things...yet possess nothing!”

Now, are investments and retirement plans and the like wrong? Or even other forms of looking out for the future? NO, they are not.

But if our dependence on those things are what is keeping us from moving into maturity, or if we believe in order to receive from God we have to pay Him a tenth of everything, or if we think we are out of the will of God because we encounter trials of various kinds. Then we may want to take a second look at why we have what we have.
Is it to consume it upon our own lusts, or is it to be a channel, vessel, temple, for God to flow through for the purpose of ministering to the needs of others?

Paul talks about our Freedom IN Christ, and in our freedom, how we are to now view giving of any kind.

Each man should give what he has decided in his heart to give, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves...a cheerful giver. (II Corinthians 9:7)

Actually the whole concept of New Testament tithing is designed to keep believers walking in the infant stage, or the “Jesus for me” stage of Christianity.

Especially the way the church seems to use it to it‘s advantage.

Think of the church as a major corporation (organization) instead of the living and breathing entity (organism) God created it to function as.

And the leadership of the day use tithing as just another sales device, a sales device to persuade the members to give.  They then justify this "pitch" to the people by giving it a biblical name, tithing. They then bring us to Malachi 3:10 to support their stance, and remind us that the organization is the “storehouse“, and without our tithe they can’t survive.
The multitudes of so called ministries which can in no way continue, not without the strong armed condemning tactics used today to keep the mammoth church “machine” operating.

So what about the Pastor? The pastor (correct spelling, small ”p”) has now become an elite position, rather than a “heart calling” where he serves selflessly as God leads. But in order for him to keep his position he has to have a salary. A guaranteed salary! So this man who is supposed to be leading the rest of the body into maturity by his own example of Total Dependence on Christ alone as his life is now subject to serving the congregation according to his need…and not God’s leading. So the teaching then becomes more diluted and seeker friendly. Now it's more about preserving the organization, than preaching what Paul described as “the foolishness of the message of the cross“, the message of POWER which is desperately needed in order for us to mature IN Him and not perish on the Vine!

And why is that? Because…their thought is now, “if we offend them, we won’t get the tithe from them.”
And the pastor, rather than “growing up into all things” as a mature leader, discovering who he is and who Christ is IN him, instead becomes just an administrator of sorts.  With his primary occupation being to manage the different programs needed to keep the people coming back for more, to keep the tithes coming in… to keep the people coming back for more, to keep the tithes coming in…to keep…well you get the point!

Having that steady income coming in as a result of the tithes now affords him the luxury of not having to “press in“ or “endure like a good soldier” the testing of his own faith.

David Wilkerson once said in one of his teachings concerning this kind of believer “Anyone can have faith when everything is going along nice and smooth, that isn’t faith, it is presumption!”

Unfortunately, it is in that comfortable place of “presumption” where he will never discover the ONE God who lives IN us and as us! Or will he understand True Faith, which is the faith of The Son of God! (Galatians 2:20)

And it doesn’t matter what flag they fly, whether it be charismatic, mainline, or anything and everything in between, this is how the modern day church functions.  This is what is considered Normal Christianity!

Is it any wonder why the congregation feels like the neglected and beaten down minimum wage workers of a major corporation, scraping by so they can make it to another Sunday, all so they can pay their tithe and can get another infusion of another “dead letter” message. And it's this Different Gospel message that they are buying, week after week, month after month, and year after year, that is being sold to them as mature Christianity! And just like any other money making operation, the pastor and the other “bought and paid for” leaders (elders and deacons), the one's who Jesus described as “the servants of all“, are routinely treated more like executives of a major corporation than humble servants of God.  The servants of God who are supposed to be laying down their own lives for their sheep!
And one major reason why the church has basically remained an immature non-entity in modern day society is because of this long-held, and almost worshiped practice called tithing!

We have much to say about this, but it is hard to make it clear to you because you no longer try to understand. In fact, though by this time you ought to be teachers, you need someone to teach you the elementary (school) truths of God's Word all over again. You need milk, not solid food! Anyone who lives on milk, being still an infant, is not acquainted with the teaching about righteousness. But solid food is for the mature, who by constant use have trained themselves to distinguish good from evil. (Hebrews 5:11-14)

Why is this? Why do we need to learn the elementary things again?

It is because we never had the opportunity to "Grow Up" IN Him…that is why!  If you think you are going to grow up in the American church system, guess again!  If you don't believe me, than why is the church powerless today?  And why does it in so many ways look suspiciously like the world?

And it is this performance based practice of tithing that is just one more way the church has avoided the preaching of the Cross, the message that challenges us on a daily basis to see Christ only as our our only Life! The message which opens up to us the wonderful mystery, hidden for ages and past generations.

The wonderful message which is…Christ IN you!

So the question remains…Is God our Broker?

Or is He who He truly proclaims to be? Which is the God of all god’s, and our loving heavenly Father! The ONE who loved us from the foundation of the world and provided by His own hand everything we need “Today” pertaining to Life and godliness. (II Peter 2:3)
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    • Cindy Marks Love your notes, Rich!

    • Linda Novek
      Sweetie...this is so inspired by God. I have much I want to say, but I must think on it all. We have everything already...given in abundance and overflowing. I loved what you said that any money we receive from him will be spilt out for ...See more

    • Linda Novek I want...not was...lol to spill out to others...HIM ALONE>

    • Rich Novek Amen sweetie, let's just sit back and watch His mighty hand!

    • Cliff Gableman We don't have to trust God, we GET to!! Trusting is an act of worship, Our Father loves it when we cling to Him.

    • Cliff Gableman Maybe we give 10% of our money and ten percent of our lives, and sow the other 90% to the flesh

    • June Melanson
      LOL....That first sentence spiked my curiousity....hahaha. Who could turn away after reading that! LOL
      I absolutely agree! The Lord showed me this years ago, even before coming into grace, that tithing is not for today, and it never was ...See more

    • Cheryl Lowry
      Thank you Rich! I remember when Blake and I were awakened to the truth of your message...The body has a growth stunt due to wrong teaching that is producing wrong believing. But, the Head of the Body (Christ) is revealing these truths to th...See more

    • Cindi Estep He's our Daddy! And He's no Dead beat Dad either!!! He loves to provide for His children....There are no formulas IN Christ....except for the 1+1=1. One Single Eye....Thanks Rich!! If all could read this...Many would take offense but He is a stumbling block to some and a stepping stone to others....♥

    • Donna Garden I wonder how many FB friends you lost after posting this one? Thank you brother for your obedience in sharing the TRUE message. I am thankful that I am no longer under that kind of bondage. I still hear the accusations at times regarding me not tithing...and I respond with "shut up you liar"....The ten percent doesn't suffice for He wants my ALL. Blessings to you!

    • Minister Pat G Forney Amen Rich! Some will be offended, but the truth does hurt. We have leaders in the church behind the pulpit satisfying their own selfish greed with the marketing strategy of tithing along with unholiness. One of my favorite scripture is St Mark 10:17-31. Keep teaching Rich.

    • Leslie Lawson
      Amen! Rich I totally agree! My husband and I are evidence of full provision in the ministry. We never ask or demand a dime. It comes every time for every need. We have stood amazed many times but we also believe that if our Lord is wanting ...See more

    • Rich Novek Praise His Name! FREELY WE HAVE RECEIVED ALL THINGS IN THIS ETERNAL DAY! Awesome testimonies of His Grace, and further evidence of.......who the Son sets FREE is FREE INDEED! Bless you all!:)

    • Kim Flink
      Brother Rich, there was a time when I really needed discipled , the church was a refuge for me. In having grown much with loving souls that I've gleaned from in many areas, Im very grateful for it being there. Again I did not even know how...See more

    • Kim Flink lol, I have to clarify about the statement the Lord will shelter the pure seekers(for a time) I was referring to some of the things behind the scenes that aren't so pretty in organized religion.... Im just in a good house, imperfect but Im there to love on those looking for Jesus(truth) halleujah!! I am gonna print this and pass on hehe

    • Rich Novek Bless you Kim, I wasn't really sure how you would receive this, but the message of freedom is compromised by following any part of the law, hopefully those you give this to will be as gracious to you as you are to me, love ya sis! :))

    • Kim Flink me too Rich, but if not, oh well....still love em hehe.....blessings to you too!

    • George Allen well, yes, I think He is... he's sure broke me a few times

    • Rich Novek I love it George....me too, lol

    • Mark Vilen Wonderful article, Rich!

    • Mary-Ann Urosev
      There is nothing we can give to God that will ever be able to pay for all He has already given us through His grace and the accomplished work of the cross. Let us cling to the cross and realize God's love is unconditional and not dependedn
      t on what we give but what He FREELY already gave us. Let is not be foolish and buy into the lie we can give our way out of sin and turning our faces from Him ... and surrender to Him ... because at the end of the day God is looking for a living sacrifice, not our wealth. He is after our hearts!

    • Chris Welch
      Wonderful and timely article.
      Now fasten your seatbelts......
      Remember if you were religious or weren't, when you put your idols aside , whether Catholic or Methodist in my case, or cars or job or whatever and actually sunk to your knees an
      d let Jesus become Lord?
      Well guess what happens to a Body that has tithing ripped away from it, and gets down and dirty with no holds barred fusion with God.
      You'd have thought nothing. You'd have thought all ministry would now be unfunded....and resemble a tumbleweed rolling silently down the road.....
      But I tell you what
      when we give finance over to the One Christ-our Life-ministriesthis is what happens.....
      all those verses that haunted us cos they didn't work before...the give and it shall be given you verses....
      all the prosperity stuff that just laughed at us before.....
      all this can start rolling . because we took our hands off the wheel. He is our Life, He is all the componants of our Life.
      You watch how He suddenly gives prosperous ideas. You watch how servants of the Lord open up their homes and lives and lands to you.
      You watch how the most blessed unexpected life comes to you...it's not all money...it's also money in kind....people giving favour....crazy situations opening up to share more, which leads to more sharing which leads to more sharing.
      Nation after nation. The rich , the poor. Nobody notices because we are all looking at inner jewelry. The jewelry of people's hearts.


      The KINGDOM STARTS HERE. NOW!!!

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