November 29, 1947 was an epoctual moment in all of the history of mankind, for it was on this date, when David Ben Gurion signed Israel's declaration of independence (click on highlighted references for the scripture), that all the prophecies given over the past centuries concerning the rebirth of Israel came to fulfillment for the entire world to witness. This people, the only people on the face of the planet - ever - that He has called His People, are being gathered from the four corners of the earth to this tiny strip of land, the only land on the face of the planet - ever - that He has called His Land, as has been foretold by the ancients (Isaiah 11:11-12).
June 7, 1967 was another epoctual moment for that was the day Israel, as prophesied by Yeshua in Luke 21 above, reclaimed and asserted her rightful sovereignty over the entire city of Jerusalem and, thus, the times of the Gentiles became fulfilled. Some would say that, since the mosque is still there, this scripture has yet to be fulfilled. I would submit to you that the only reason the mosque is still there is because Israel allows it to be - she is still the principal authority over the area.
God does not do anything in a stark manner, for He deals in generations - not specific dates. Consequently, there is always a phasing in and a phasing out of His Plans and Purposes for man. We have been in a 'phasing' since 1967 and we are now seeing His Hand 'phase' across the globe. The chaos that has come upon the earth in the past six months has eclipsed everything that has come before it. What is to come will eclipse that. We have only just begun. There are many who believe that the spirit of man will rise above the turmoil we find ourselves in to subdue it and overcome it. Those who believe that do not understand the depth, the width, the longevity and the unforeseen magnitude of where we are - even at this moment. To show you an example of how quickly something can be eclipsed, consider the graph shown below as just a sampling of the severity of the situation we find ourselves in.
This graph was authored by the Saint Louis Federal Reserve and shows the amount of US Dollars that has been in circulation since the 1920's, when they began keeping these records, to the present. Counting World War I, we came through four wars without much change in the amount of money that was printed until the elimination of the gold standard by President Nixon in the early 1970's. The next 35 years eclipsed the previous 100 and within this past, six months, including the amount before the US Congress right now, we have seen an eclipse of everything that came before it. Everyone who is associated with this event says we are not through it yet and, where they were once saying it will start to turn around by the end of 2009, are now saying it will be years before we see any significant movement in the opposite direction.
The leading economic forecasters are now stating there will be no recovery. They are saying that when this crisis finally bottoms, it will be so severe that there will simply be a new reality. They have no idea of the magnitude of what is yet on the horizon. The God of Creation, the One True God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob is causing His Words to come to fulfillment. He is causing all of the earth to tremble and quake before Him as He enters this earthly realm (see "A Vision")
There are many who believe that the Church, His Body, will be taken away before this tidal wave of severity crashes upon mankind. They will be unprepared for the disappointment that will surround them (Revelation 2:10, Revelation 12:11, Matthew 10:22, The Rapture). There are those who are hoarding supplies and preparing to flee to remote areas. They fail to appreciate there will be no escape for anyone, anywhere - that were not this time shortened by the Lord, the very elect would fail before its intensity. It will touch 'all flesh' - everywhere (Matthew 24:22, Mark 13:20).
So, what do we do? How are we to prepare for what is to come? The facts presented above are not meant to instill fear in you - they are designed to cause you to look at these circumstances through different eyes. For, if we are to survive what is to come with our faith intact, we are going to have to move beyond 'tradition-think'. We are going to have to embrace Who He Is outside the box of what has been handed down to us as true and discover Truth. We are going to have to depend on Him as the Head and on one another - the Body of Christ.
'Tradition-think' has led us into many crevices and to embrace many precepts that He never intended for us. He came to set us free from the tradition of men - for it is in the tradition of men that the Power of the Word (and He is the Word) is rendered null and void - of 'none effect' (Mark 7:1-16, John 1:1-14). If we think and read scripture outside of what has traditionally been presented to us, just for what it says, we are given an insight as to how those early saints functioned and moved in the dynamic Power of the Holy Spirit.
For instance, scripture says that when Peter was in prison (Acts 12) that 'fervent prayer for him was persistently made to God by the church (the assembly).' But, when he got out of prison and went to Mary's house it says, 'where a large number were assembled together (the church) and were praying.' (verse 12). Now, this was shortly after the day of Pentecost where 3,000 were added to the church in a single day, and later, another 5,000 - and back then, they only counted the men. I doubt seriously that all those people were at Mary's house that day. But, yet, it still says they 'assembled'.
"Not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as the manner of some is; but exhorting one another: and so much the more, as you see the day approaching." Hebrews 10: 25
The Greek word for assembling is 'episynagoge' from the verb (epi-syn-ago) meaning to assemble. This word has 3 parts. ago means to lead. syn means together and epi means at or to, synago (from which we get synagogue) means to lead or gather together. The word for assembling (epi-syn-agoge) therefore means a gathering together at.... but it doesn't say where or when. To find out where, we need to turn to 2Thessselonians 2:1 - 'Now we beseech you, brethren, by the presence (or coming) of our Lord Jesus Christ, and by our gathering together. to him.' We have the same word episynagoge, but this time it does tell us where! We have to gather together to Him! He is the meeting place. Therefore, whenever two or more are gathered together, that is 'church' - the assembly, because they are meeting together with Him. This agrees with what Yeshua Himself said. His words were: 'Come to me' - not 'Go to church' (Matthew 11:28). Church is individuals (1Corinthians 3:16). (Thanks to Robert Beecham for this contribution).
Where, then, do we pay our offerings to fund God's work if not to a religious organization with a 501(c)3 tax-exempt charter (http://hushmoney.org)? Most people pay tithes because they were always taught to give 10% of their earnings to the 'church' since in the Old Testament it says that the people would bring 10% of their harvest to the Lord. This is why we should not be "taught" of anyone other than the Holy Spirit (1John 2:27). The Holy Spirit will only speak of Yeshua and His Life (John 14:26) and will guide us into all Truth (John 14:16-17) God gave us the scriptures to validate what we are hearing is truly from Him. So, let us see what the scripture has to say about tithing and giving.
The only three places in the gospels where Yeshua even mentioned tithes are in castigation of the hypocrisy of the spiritual leadership of His day (Matthew 23:23, Luke 11:42, Luke 18:10-14). Leviticus 27:30-32 says that the tithe of everything - land, trees, crops, herds, houses along with money - everything is the Lord's and is to be given, made holy (or set apart) to the Lord for His use. Not to man - to the Lord. Later, in Numbers 18:24-28, He says to allow the Levis, the sons of Aharon, who are set aside as priests and, as such, because they have no inheritance in the Land they are to occupy, to partake of the tithes set apart for Him - YHVH.
Paul uses tithes as a talking point in regards to who it is that occupies the priesthood in Hebrews 7:5-9. As far back as Exodus 19:6), God's plan was to have a 'Kingdom of priests and a holy nation'. The only reason for a King was because of the grumbling of His people (1Samuel 8). 1Peter 2:5&9 and Revelation 1:6 brings it all full circle back to we, the Body of Believers, being the royal priesthood God intended from the beginning - priests set apart for God without any inheritance in this world. In other words, our giving should be first to that part of the Body of Christ (the priests) we come in contact with that shows us to have an immediate need. Now, this requires of us to do some work in praying and seeking the Lord as to where we should be giving to instead of just turning it over to a hireling. If we depend on an organization to do it for us we will see, as we are already, they won't have the resources available in this dwindling economy for their primary consideration is for their own viability - that is the nature of institutionalism. The Nature of the Father is to give - even to the detriment of our own seeming viability.
Should we give? Absolutely - and we should give abundantly, especially to those in the Body who are in need (and this is important) as the Lord directs, when He directs and how much He directs with a cheerful heart because He first gave to us (Matthew 5:42, Matthew 10:8). But, it should never be out of a sense of "duty" or obligation or because someone behind a pulpit says you should or where you should. It has been my experience that, when directed by Him, I wind up giving much, much more than 10%. In fact, it is not uncommon for Him to direct me to give away the last of what I have; only to turn a corner and have what I need laid at my feet. It is an incredibly exciting way of living (Luke 6:38).
In Acts 2:40-47, it says those early saints were of "one accord�breaking bread from house to house�were together, having all things in common�sold their possessions and goods and divided them among all, as anyone had need.' As we assemble together in one accord with those believers in our immediate sphere, illumination will come from the Rauch haKodesh (the Holy Spirit) as to how to meet the needs of the particular saints who are hurting among us. We should be looking on the things of our brethren as more important than our own and, as we do, the Lord will utilize what we have to minister to the Body during these days of wonder and awe (Philippians 2:4, 2Corinthians 9).
|"Therefore, as we have opportunity, let us do good to all, especially to those who are of the household of faith." Galatians 6:10|