Give, Don’t Tithe

Are you really cursed if you do not pay tithes? Does God really require you to give 10% of your earnings? Will abstaining from paying tithes really disqualify you from receiving God’s blessings? These are controversial questions in churches today. More attention has been paid to it recently due to the rapid increase of millionaire pastors worldwide. These pastors flaunt wealth in the forms of megachurches, mansions and private jets and build schools with hardly affordable tuition – all on your tithes and offerings. Their poor tithe paying members can’t afford life’s essentials but keep paying 10 percent of their earnings out of fear of God’s curse or not getting God’s blessings. This is not a call to stop Christians from giving; however, in order to be like the Berean Christians who were referred to as “noble” because they searched the scriptures after Paul preached to determine if “those things were so” (Acts 17:11), let us therefore rightly divide the Word of Truth (2 Timothy 2:15) to see for ourselves what the scriptures say. May the Spirit of the Lord in His infinite mercy, guide us as we do. Amen.

History of Tithes

Tithe means one-tenth of something. This was part of the Mosaic law where the tribes were obligated to pay 10 percent of their earnings to one tribe – the Levites. The Levites had no inheritance save the Lord (Joshua 18:7, Deuteronomy 18:1-2), so this was how the Lord catered to their needs as they ministered in His name. Their families could NOT partake in any other work outside of being ministers in Israel (Numbers 8:11-26). There were other kinds of tithes like the tithes for the strangers, fatherless, widows and the Levites which were paid once every three years (Deuteronomy 14:28-29, Deuteronomy 26:12), and the Potluck tithes (Deuteronomy 14:22-27) where every household was supposed to use their tithes to buy whatever consumable their souls lusted after and eat it in a place God chose.

Malachi 3 is a champion scripture used by most pastors when trying to convince members of their congregation to pay tithes. This tactic has succeeded in instilling deep fear within the hearts of the children of God who don’t willingly adhere to the practice. It says in verse 8 – 10 that the people of Israel had robbed God through tithes and offerings and therefore, they were cursed. To avoid the curse, they had to pay their tithes to the Lord’s houses. Doing this would attract the Lord’s blessings on the people. It is also important to point out that Malachi 2:1 says “And now, O ye priests, this commandment is for you”. The Lord was talking to them. In light of this, Malachi 3:8-10 applies to the priests also. It could even suggest that the priests mishandled the tithes being paid to them. This passage doesn’t say tithes were not being paid. It however suggests that it wasn’t brought into the storehouse so that there would be meat in the Lord’s house (used for the work of the Lord). It would not be farfetched to interpret it this way. After all, in 1 Samuel 2:12-36, the sons of Eli the High Priest (Hophni and Phinehas) acted irresponsibly in the Lord’s house and this led to the deaths of both father and sons. It causes us to think, and compare this idea to what is going on with members’ funds in numerous churches today.  Since this is the champion scripture used by most pastors, let us see what has been said about the child of God under the New Covenant.

The New Covenant

Before going into why a child of God in the New Covenant can’t be cursed by not adhering to an Old Covenant practice/law, let us first understand covenants and their significance in scriptures. A covenant is a promise or agreement. The Old Covenant was an agreement between the Jews and God in order to be made righteous by the law. Every year, the High Priest shed the blood of an animal as an atonement to renew this covenant for the Jews. The New Covenant is an agreement between Jews or Gentiles and God, mediated by the Lord Jesus where righteousness comes by faith and not the law (Galatians 2:21). It is the Word of Faith (Romans 10:8) which we are called to preach. Its foundation is “That if thou shall confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised Him from the dead, thou shalt be saved.” Romans 10:9. Its engine is the Holy Spirit. “But if the Spirit of Him that raised up Jesus from the dead dwell in you, He that raised up Christ from the dead shall also quicken your mortal bodies by His Spirit that dwelleth in you”.

The New Covenant commenced when Jesus Christ died and shed His blood once as atonement for our sins. Hebrews 9:15-17 says “And for this cause He is the mediator of the new testament (covenant), that by means of death, for the redemption of the transgressions that were under the first testament, they which are called might receive the promise of eternal inheritance. For where a testament is, there must also of necessity be the death of the testator. For a testament is of force after men are dead: otherwise it is of no strength at all while the testator liveth.” This ushered us into a new era of no longer living under the law but under grace. Christ became the END of the law for salvation to them that believe (Romans 10:4). This would now lead us to the meat of this write up – Galatians 2 – 3.

Galatians 2 – 3

As children of God under the New Covenant, we should no longer live under the law but under grace. Let us go through the verses to understand what the aforementioned statement means.

  • 2:16-21 – Paying tithes to the Levites was a law in the Old Covenant. Another law that we are no longer justified by is calling the Gentiles unclean and therefore not eating with them. Paul speaking here was rebuking Peter about this from verse 11-21. Peter had refused to eat with the Gentiles because it was unlawful. However Paul said in verse 19 and 20 that we are dead to the law, so that we might be made alive in Christ. If righteousness comes by the law, then Christ died in vain.
  • 3:1-9 – Here, Paul continues to convince the Galatians that were not justified by works of the law, but by the hearing of faith. If the Holy Spirit (the glorified Christ) came to dwell in us through faith, how can we then be made perfect by the flesh? Beloved, the goal is to be made perfect (Matthew 5:48, 1 Thessalonians 5:23) and achieving perfection is through life in the Spirit. This is what Paul was trying to get them to understand.
  • 3:10-14 – I was present at a sermon recently where the pastor was reading from Malachi 3. He said we needed to pay our tithes to avoid God’s curse on us. Beloved, let us read Galatians 3:13 together. “Christ hath redeemed us from the curse of the law, being made a curse for us: for it is written, Cursed is every one that hangeth on a tree”. No being should ever tell you again that you are cursed, if you have Christ. Jesus paid it all! Verse 10 further explains this. It says everyone that continues to try to be justified by the works of the law, continue to be under the curse. This is because for you to be justified by the law, you have to observe “ALL THINGS” written in the book of the law! How many of us obey the Sabbath? Or wash our hands before any meal? Or observe the feasts of Pentecost, Passover or the Tabernacle? Or eat pork? Well, then why do we pay tithes? No man is justified by the law in the sight of God, “THE JUST SHALL LIVE BY FAITH”. So we might ask, why was the law given?
  • 3:19-29 – Verse 19 tells us that the law was given because of transgressions, till the seed (Jesus) should come to whom the promise was made. Verse 23 tells us that before faith came, we were kept under the law, but Jesus Christ revealed faith which set us free from the law. Verse 24 further explains the purpose of the law. It was our school master (tutor) to bring us to Christ, so we could then be justified by faith. So if it brought us to Christ, and we have put on Christ, why do we still try to be justified by a tutor?  We have faith, so we are no longer under a tutor.

Christ’s approach to the law

Let us look at Matthew 12:1-13. Jesus’s disciples plucked corn in the field to eat on the Sabbath day. The Pharisees pointed out that this act was unlawful. But Jesus in verse 3 reminded them of 1 Samuel 1-5. David and his men unlawfully ate the shewbread in the house of God. It was meant for the priests only. He also said in verse 12 that it was lawful to do good works on the Sabbath. The fact that He was even bringing up the law was because of the era He lived in. He had not yet been crucified, so there was not yet a provision for the New Covenant. This is also why He did not condemn the Pharisees for paying their tithes in Matthew 23:23 but instead rebuked them for ignoring the weightier matters of the law (judgement, mercy and faith). It was a way of weaning them away from the law and unto Him, revealed in whosoever believes and overcomes. This is why Jesus took time to address some practices in Matthew 5:38-48 (an eye for an eye etc.). This was Him fulfilling the law and not abolishing it. While He was on earth, people still kept trying to be justified by the law. Feasts were observed, people still went to the temple to pray, the Sabbath, washing of hands, not relating with the Samaritans etc. However, He didn’t expect these to continue after He established the New Covenant by us receiving salvation by faith, through His death on the cross.

What the New Testament says about giving

Beloved, we are called to give. Jesus in Luke 6:38 shed some light on this. He said give, and it shall be given unto you. This is a spiritual law, and we all should be encouraged to give as the Spirit allows us to. However, we cannot buy God’s blessings. The motive for giving should be because of our love for God and not what we can get from Him. He has already blessed us. Read Matthew 6. We show that we have love for Him when we give. We show His character when we give. He loved us so much that He GAVE us Jesus (John 3:16).

Also, let us consider 2 Corinthians 9:7. “Every man according as he purposeth in his heart, so let him give; not grudgingly, or of necessity: for God loveth a cheerful giver.” The keyword here is “not of necessity”. This means out of compulsion or obligation. Does subtracting 10 percent of every paycheck qualify under this category? I would think so. We should give everything. Not just money, but our time, efforts and other resources. As we learnt earlier, our Christian race is about achieving perfection. It is about Christ revealed in us.

So how should the church give?

This question will lead us on a needful journey that the Lord in His mercies actually wants us to embark on. Revelations 18:4 says “…Come out of her, my people, that ye be not partakers of her sins, and that ye receive not of her plagues.” “Her” here is Babylon which is described as the backslidden church in Revelations 17:5-6 and Isaiah 1:21. Numerous institutions of man have been established in the form of “churches”. These institutions can only be sustained through tithes and offerings, hence, why this problem seems not to have a solution. How will these mega churches be funded? How will the bills be paid and the lights kept on? How will that pastor of that mega church buy his fleet of cars or private jet? How will “my church’s” university be built? How will “God’s blessings” show on the “man of God”?

Returning the church back to its original purpose of edification (building one another up in the Lord), eliminates these money problems created by man. God is not found in man made buildings, nor is He found within four walls; He is found in us. We are His dwelling place, not a building (study Hebrews 9). God desires to be found in His people. The “House of the Lord” is His people. As His people, there lies an onus on us to shine light in the darkened places (Zechariah 14:7). We should give to one another as the need arises, fund missions to spread the gospel and encourage fellow brethren across the globe. Giving to the poor, the widows, and the less fortunate are ways the church should give. Giving mustn’t always be monetary. Give your time, kindness, spiritual gifts, and what you’re able to out of a cheerful heart.

Do we really love God, or do we just love His benefits? What is fueling your prayer life? Yes, God rewards those that diligently seek Him, but those rewards shouldn’t be the reason that we come to Him. How would you feel if someone only came to you when they needed something? It’s not about what we can get from God, but rather, what we can do for Him. We must approach Him with a pure heart. God knows when He’s being used. He’s not a genie. Let your relationship with Him be sincere and not driven by ulterior motives. The perks are just additional bonuses. Seek Him first. Everything else will follow suit.

Food for thought: “By humility and the fear of the Lord are riches, and honour, and life.” Proverbs 22:4

 

 

 

Do you feed where the eagles feed?

These are important questions that you as a Christian should ask yourself in these last days. Why? Because the eagles are already being taken to where the body is, and you shouldn’t be left behind.

 

WHO ARE THE EAGLES?

 

Isaiah 40:31 says:

 

“But those who wait on the LORD shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings like eagles, they shall run and not be weary, they shall walk and not faint.” [NKJV]

 

This passage shows the characteristics of those represented as eagles. Some of us already have all these characteristics, some of us are still growing in these characteristics and some of us don’t have these characteristics but desire to have them. So long as your heart hungers for God, you are an eagle. However, some eagles are more mature than others. Some are fully grown, and some are still babes. But all who desire the Lord are eagles. And in these last days, God is moving His eagles. To where? Our Lord Jesus said: “Wherever the body is, there the eagles will be gathered together.” He is moving them to where the body is.

 

WHAT IS THE BODY?

 

The body is the body of our Lord Jesus Christ. He is the bread of life. In John 6:51, He said:

 

“I am the living bread which came down from heaven. If anyone eats of this bread, he will live forever; and the bread that I shall give is My flesh, which I shall give for the life of the world…Most assuredly, I say to you, unless you eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink His blood, you have no life in you. Whoever eats My flesh and drinks My blood has eternal life, and I will raise him up at the last day. For My flesh is food indeed, and My blood is drink indeed. He who eats My flesh and drinks My blood abides in Me, and I in him.”

 

This is what these eagle believers are gathered to do: to eat the flesh of our Lord Jesus and drink His blood so that they can have life. But how do they eat His flesh and drink His blood to gain eternal life? Our Lord Jesus explains in John 5:24 saying:

 

“Most assuredly, I say to you, he who hears My word and believes in Him who sent Me has everlasting life, and shall not come into judgment, but has passed from death into life.”

 

And in Luke 11:28, He said:

 

“… blessed are those who hear the word of God and keep it!”

 

So we see that the eagle believers eat of our Lord Jesus’ body [to gain eternal life] by hearing His words, doing them and using them to grow in faith in God. Moreover, when we remember that our Lord Jesus is the Word of God, we can understand that eating His body simply means feeding on the Word of God.

 

Knowing these [that the body which the eagles feed on is the body of our Lord Jesus and that they feed on Him by hearing His Word, believing it and doing it], we can move to the next question:

 

WHERE IS THE BODY?

 

This is probably the most important question. It’s important because our Lord Jesus said the eagles will be gathered to where the body is. So if we are to be gathered, we need to know where the body is.

 

With what we have learnt from the previous question, this question can be rephrased as “where is the Word of God?” or “where can we feed on the body of our Lord Jesus?” Interestingly, our Lord Jesus has already given the answer. In Matthew 18:20, He said:

 

“For where two or three are gathered together in My name, I am there in the midst of them.” [NKJV]

 

This means that our Lord Jesus is spiritually present to feed His eagles with His body [with His word] WHEREVER AND WHENEVER they are gathered together in fellowship. But for Him to actually feed them [for them to actually receive His body to eat] they must consciously allow Him to lead their meeting through His Spirit. They must not display any of the characteristics He complained about in His letters to the seven churches in Revelation 2 and 3. Some of the characteristics are:

 

  • Revelation 2:4: “Nevertheless I have this against you, that you have left your first love.” If a gathering of God’s people has left love for God’s word and pursued other things, or if they have replaced the leading of the Holy Spirit with organizational procedures, then they have left their first love. They cannot truly feed on the body of our Lord Jesus.

 

  • Revelation 2:14-15: “But I have a few things against you, because you have there those who hold the doctrine of Balaam, who taught Balak to put a stumbling block before the children of Israel, to eat things sacrificed to idols, and to commit sexual immorality. Thus you also have those who hold the doctrine of the Nicolaitans, which thing I hate.” The doctrine of Balaam represents using immoral means to get what you want. Balaam told Balak to use ladies to seduce the Israelites so that they would sin and Balak would get rid of them. As such, if a gathering of God’s people use immoral means to get anything [e.g. financial support, membership, etc.], then the body of our Lord Jesus [the true Word] will not be available among them. Our Lord Jesus also complained about the doctrine of the Nicolaitans. The Nicolaitans were followers of Nicolas and Nicolas means “to be victorious over the people.” Having this doctrine means that in a gathering of God’s people, some people are regarded as the “Nico” [the clergy] while the rest are the laity. Under this arrangement, the clergy dominates the laity contrary to the teachings of Matthew 23:8-11 and 1 Peter 5:1-3. God hates this doctrine because it sets up a structure where man takes the place of Christ [as Head over the church]. Churches that operate in this pattern are represented as the great whore [the adulterous bride] in Revelation 17 instead of the faithful bride in Revelation 19:7. All such assemblies that have man as head of the church instead of Christ cannot have the body of Christ [the true Word] to feed on. They may appear rich, but spiritually, they are poor. They may seem to be feeding, but the word has little or no spiritual nutrients.

 

  • Revelation 2:20: “Nevertheless I have a few things against you, because you allow that woman Jezebel, who calls herself a prophetess, to teach and seduce My servants to commit sexual immorality and eat things sacrificed to idols.” If a gathering of God’s people has sexual immorality going on among them and it is not addressed, then they cannot receive the true word of God.

 

  • Revelation 3:1-2: “And to the angel of the church in Sardis write, These things says He who has the seven Spirits of God and the seven stars: “I know your works, that you have a name that you are alive, but you are dead. Be watchful, and strengthen the things which remain, that are ready to die, for I have not found your works perfect before God.” If a church judges their progress by how much money they get, how large their membership and assets are, or by how much religious activities they engage in, rather than by how spiritually mature the people are and how much of the life of God is revealed among them, then in God’s eyes they are dead. Such a gathering cannot feed on the body of our Lord Jesus [the true Word of God].

 

  • Revelation 3:15-17: “I know your works, that you are neither cold nor hot. I could wish you were cold or hot. So then, because you are lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will vomit you out of My mouth. Because you say, ‘I am rich, have become wealthy, and have need of nothing’ – and do not know that you are wretched, miserable, poor, blind, and naked” If a gathering of God’s people is lukewarm then it means that they are mixing the things of God with the things of the world. They are comfortable seating on the fence on many issues, not going all the way with God so as not to offend the world. They try to be politically correct in order to be accepted by the world, something we notice in many churches today. Such behaviors are symptoms of an assembly of people whose connection with God has weakened significantly, and such an assembly will not be able to feed on the body of our Lord Jesus Christ [the true Word of God that is able to give life to their spirits].

 

These are characteristics that can deprive a gathering of God’s people from having the body of our Lord Jesus to feed on. So, when our Lord, in Luke 17:34-37, says “… in that night…wherever the body is there the eagles will be gathered together,” He means that in these last days where there is so much darkness, God is moving His eagle believers out from assemblies where His body is not available to assemblies that allow Him to feed them.

This move of His eagles in these last days is so important; that’s why our Lord Jesus chose to mention it. It is important because it is the last push to build His faithful church – the church that will be a bride without spot or wrinkle, holy and without blemish, ready for marriage to Him. Majority of what is called church today have backslidden from God. But out of these unfaithful church systems, God is gathering His eagles to simple fellowships where they can worship Him in Spirit and in Truth, and can be well nourished with His living Word – His Word that is able to transform them into His likeness.

 

God spoke about these things again in the book of Revelation, chapters 11 and 12, using symbols. In those passages, He likened this move of His people out from the backslidden church systems to how He moved the Israelites out from Egypt to the wilderness. He used the ministry of Moses and Elijah to symbolize the type of empowerment He will give the people He will use to begin this move. And just as He referred to Moses as an eagle in Exodus 19:4 [the eagle that He used to bring His people out into the wilderness], so also God used a great eagle, in Revelation 12:14, to symbolize the people He will empower in these days to move His people to the symbolic wilderness – where they can be nourished with the body of our Lord Jesus [the true and sincere Word of God].

Moreover, God, in Revelation 11:8, has shown that the backslidden church system is also spiritually called Sodom and Egypt. In that verse [Revelation 11:8], the backslidden church system is referred to as the great city, which in Revelation 17:18 is also called the great whore [the great harlot]. And this great whore is the symbol for the adulterous bride of Christ, just as God through the prophet referred to the Israelites as a whore in Jeremiah 3, because they had backslidden from Him and become an unfaithful bride. This great whore had therefore evolved from being the backslidden Jewish religious system, which lasted till the days of our Lord Jesus, to being the backslidden church system in these days.

 

It is from this great whore, this adulterous bride of Christ that has structured itself into a great city, this church system that is also spiritually called Sodom and Egypt that God is moving His eagles out from to the symbolic wilderness – to the simple and true gatherings of His people – the gatherings that are truly in His own name alone. It is there, in such gatherings, that He will wash them [Ephesians 5:26] and feed them, with His word, so that they can grow into the bride that gives Him pleasure and is ready for marriage [Revelation 19:7]. May the Lord help us to be part of such people, especially now that His return and the marriage supper are near. Amen.

 

As for us [your brethren sharing these things with you], we are a people who have heard the call of God and have been gathered out of the denominational church system of man. We simply fellowship in Spirit and in Truth, consciously desiring that the Lord Jesus leads each of our meetings through His Spirit. And He has been faithful to feed us with Himself, working on us individually and collectively, and leading us toward the standard in Ephesians 4:13. That is, till we [as a fellowship] have unity of spirit, unity of faith, unity of our knowledge of the Son of God; till we [as a body of people] become stable in operating as one perfect man, under the singular Headship of Christ Jesus alone, and till we [as a body of people] measure up to the full stature of life we see in our Lord Jesus Christ [such that the virtues found in Him are also found in us].

 

This is the mind of God in these last days. God is building His church to be a bride without spot or wrinkle, holy and without any blemish. And to do this, He is gathering His eagles [as many as desire to feed on the true Word of God], out from churches that do not allow Christ to lead, to simple fellowships where Christ is the one and only Head.

 

Kindly reflect on these things and judge whether or not the church you are part of is an Egypt; judge whether or not it is a place where God’s eagles can feed. If it isn’t, pray and ask God to lead you to where the body is. Remember:

 

Wherever the body is, there the eagles will be gathered together.” [Luke 17:37, NKJV]

 

Moreover, in Revelation 18:4-5 He has said:

 

4 … Come out of her, my people, lest you share in her sins, and lest you receive of her plagues. 5 For her sins have reached to heaven, and God has remembered her iniquities.” [NKJV]

 

The “her” He is referring to is the great whore, the adulterous bride of Christ, the backslidden church system.

 

May the Lord guide your heart as you prayerfully consider these things. And may He cause you to be among those who are taken to where the body is, and not left behind to share in “her” sins and receive of “her” plagues. Amen.

 

God bless you.

The call to come out of Babylon and why it’s important to respond now

  1. What is Babylon?

 

Babylon is the symbolic name for what the church has unfortunately become. Where does this name come from? Revelation 17:1-5. In this passage, we are shown a vision of a great whore, and we are told that one of her names is Babylon. A whore is a harlot, or an adulterous wife-a bride that leaves her husband to go for other men. This whore is used as a symbol to represent the bride of Christ [the church] that has turned away from Christ [the Bridegroom], and set up others in His place.

 

How do we know this-that the whore refers to the adulterous bride of Christ [the church]?

 

God used a similar symbol in Jeremiah chapter 3 to refer to the people of Israel when they turned away from Him and set up idols in His place. Verses 1 and 14 clearly show that the covenant between God and the people of Israel was a symbolic marriage relationship. That’s why, in verse 9, when they turned from Him to worship idols made of stones and stocks, He saw it as adultery, and called them a whore [a harlot].

 

We can therefore understand that the whore in Revelation 17 is a symbol for a body of people who ought to be in a faithful marriage relationship with God but have turned away from Him and replaced Him with something else. But unlike the Old Testament where the rebellion of the Israelites was quite obvious, this rebellion of the whore in Revelation 17 is not quite obvious. That’s why she is also called Mystery.

 

Ephesians 5, from verse 22, makes it clear to us that the marriage relationship in the New Testament is between Christ and His Church. As such, the great whore in Revelation 17 is a symbol for a Church that has committed adultery-a church that has turned away from Christ, in a mysterious way, and has set up another to take His place as husband of the Church.

 

Now we live in an era where there are many church denominations, so we may be tempted to ask: which church is the bible referring to as the great whore in Revelation 17? The truth is, although this great whore began as one church, she has multiplied herself into many churches, and will soon return again to be one church [which is why we need to understand these things now]. So what church did the great whore begin as?

 

Verse 3 of Revelation 17 tells us that, in the vision, the great whore was seen sitting on a beast with seven heads and ten horns. This gives us a clue to which church she began as. But we first need to understand what a beast represents, and particularly, what the beast with seven heads and ten horns refers to. We can find the answer in Daniel 7. From Gabriel’s answer in verse 23, we can understand that a beast is the symbol for a kingdom. As such, we can understand that the four beasts shown to Daniel in verses 1-8 actually refer to kingdoms. These kingdoms are the same kingdoms shown symbolically in Daniel chapter 2, in the dream God gave to Nebuchadnezzar. When we read Daniel chapter 2, from verse 28, we will see that the first kingdom is represented as gold. This was the Babylonian Empire, and it is the one shown as the first beast in Daniel’s vision in Daniel chapter 7. The second kingdom is represented as silver. This was the Empire of the Medes and Persians, and it is the second beast in Daniel 7. The third kingdom is represented as brass. This was the Grecian Empire, and it is the third beast in Daniel 7. The fourth kingdom is represented as iron. This was the Roman Empire, and it is the fourth beast in Daniel 7 [the one with seven heads and ten horns]. There was a fifth kingdom in Nebuchadnezzar’s dream. It is represented as iron mixed with clay. This kingdom has not yet come. It refers to a return of the Roman Empire in an evolved resurrected form, and it is also included in the fourth beast in Daniel 7.

 

Our concern for now is not the calendar of kingdoms that will rule the world before the Kingdom of God is established on earth. Rather, we came to find out what the beast with seven heads and ten horns represents, and we have seen that it refers to the fourth kingdom, the Roman Empire.

 

Now with this, we can return to the vision of the great whore in Revelation 17. We know that she represents a church that has backslidden from Christ by setting up another to take His place as husband of the church, and now we know that the beast she was riding on is the Roman Empire. So we can then ask: which church rode on the strength of the Roman Empire, and became very rich and glamorous in the process? The answer is none other than the Roman Catholic Church. So if you are part of the Roman Catholic Church, you now know that you are part of the great whore. And what does God say? “… Come out of her, my people, that ye be not partakers of her sins, and that ye receive not of her plagues.” [Revelation 18:4, KJV].

 

But it’s not just the Roman Catholic Church that people should come out of. As we mentioned earlier, the great whore began as one church, but has multiplied herself into many churches and denominations, and will soon be re-united to become one church again. In Revelation 17:5 we are told that this great whore is also called Mother of harlots. Meaning, just as she is a harlot, out of her have come out other churches [or church denominations] that are equally harlots. And why are they harlots? It’s because they have copied her system of setting up another to take the place of Christ as the true Husband and Head of the Church-a system where man receives the glory and allegiance of the people, rather than Christ.

 

The problem is men have become idols [that the people worship] knowingly or unknowingly, willingly or unwillingly-the system ensures this. And the result of this is similar to what God said to the Israelites in Jeremiah 3:3-“Therefore the showers have been withholden, and there hath been no latter rain; and thou hadst a whore’s forehead, thou refusedst to be ashamed”. For them, it was physical showers of rain that God withheld, but for the church, it is the rain of His presence and His revelatory word to move us into the next level of being His bride in glory. This rain is withheld from majority of the denominational church system, and it’s no wonder they have devised various programs and activities to fill in the gap. As God said in Jeremiah 3:3, they have a whore’s mindset-they refuse to be ashamed.

 

Unfortunately, the greater majority of her harlot daughters are now expressed as Pentecostal and Evangelical churches. And they are included when God says in Revelation 18:4 “… Come out of her, my people, that ye be not partakers of her sins, and that ye receive not of her plagues.” [KJV]

 

  1. Why is it important to respond now?

 

God already gave the answer in Revelation 18:4. He said “… Come out of her, my people, that ye be not partakers of her sins, and that ye receive not of her plagues.”. Meaning, we need to respond now so that we do not take part anymore in Babylon’s sins [both the ones she has been committing-adultery], and the one she is about to commit-outright rebellion and worship of satan]. It is important to come out now so that we do not have any part in this, and are not included when God is judging her.

 

From the way God spoke in Revelation 18:4, we will notice that even in Babylon, there is a distinction between those who are God’s people and those who are pretty much gentiles [unbelievers masking as Christians]. The outright rebellion that is coming will be welcomed by these gentiles, but God is calling those who are truly His to come out as soon as possible, before it is too late, or too costly.

 

We should therefore ask: What is coming? What is Babylon about to do? Or what is Babylon about to become, and how will it happen?

 

Simply put, Babylon is about to evolve into the image of the beast mentioned in Revelation 13:14. If we remember, the beast simply refers to a kingdom that will rule the world. And we mentioned that the fourth beast, the one with seven heads and ten horns, will resurrect again as a fifth kingdom. It is this resurrection as the fifth kingdom that is shown in Revelation 13, and verse 3 points it out clearly by saying the beast had a deadly wound which was healed. But the point is that the beast in Revelation 13 is a kingdom, or governing power, that will rule the world. Some of us may have heard of one world government. That is pretty much what this beast will be when it resurrects.

 

Now, the image of the beast simply means the replica of the beast. Image means replica. So since we know that the beast will be the one world government [in simple terms], then we can understand that the image of the beast is also a governing system that is similar to the one world government. If we read, Revelation 13 and Revelation 16:13, we will see that the creature that came out of the earth in Revelation 13:11-14 is also symbolically called “the false prophet”, meaning it is a religious entity. It simply refers to the system of backslidden and false religious leaders that will work together to establish the image of the beast. Since these are the people behind the image of the beast, then we know that the image of the beast is not just any replica of the beast, rather it is particularly a religious replica of the beast. In simple terms, as the beast is the one world government, so the image of the beast is the one world religious system-a system which is equally a resurrected version of the polytheistic religious system within the Roman Empire, where there were multiple gods, temples and traditions, and all were acceptable paths of worship.

 

Babylon [the backslidden church system] will evolve into this one world religious system by coming together with other religions, and elevating them as equally acceptable paths of worship or access to God. A move that is in clear rebellion against our Lord Jesus Christ who alone is the way, the truth and the life, besides whom no one can come to the Father [John 14:6]. But this transition from a backslidden church system to the one world religious system will not be smooth. It will be more like a take-over. Gentile forces will come at the church system to take it over and make it conform to the new order. Some of the gentile forces are currently operating as Christian religious leaders in Babylon. In God’s eyes they are clearly gentiles [unbelievers]. So, again, God says “… Come out of her, my people, that ye be not partakers of her sins, and that ye receive not of her plagues.” [Revelation 18:4, KJV]

 

So how do we know these? How do we know that gentile forces will come at the church to take it over and make it conform to the one world religious system? It’s because our Lord Jesus prophesied it. We can find this prophesy in Luke 21:20-24. This prophecy has two levels of fulfillment: one to the physical Jerusalem and one to the spiritual Jerusalem. In case we didn’t know that there are two Jerusalems, Paul explains it in Galatians 4:22-27. The spiritual Jerusalem is the one shown symbolically as the holy city in Revelation 21:2-10. The spiritual Jerusalem is the New Jerusalem, the Jerusalem of the New Covenant, which is the Lamb’s wife-the Church. So when our Lord prophesied that Jerusalem will be surrounded by armies and will be trodden down by the gentiles, it was fulfilled for the physical Jerusalem and is about to be fulfilled for the Church. It is the fulfillment of this prophesy for the church that is re-echoed in Revelation 11:2 [which was written after the prophecy had already been fulfilled for the physical Jerusalem].

 

So what does the prophecy mean for the church? What does it mean that the church [New Jerusalem] will be surrounded by armies? What does it mean that the people of the church will fall by the edge of the sword? What does it mean that they will be led away captive into all nations? What does it mean that the church will be trodden down of the gentiles?

 

The church surrounded by armies simply means that she will be surrounded by ungodly forces whose aim is to corrupt her totally. These ungodly forces will be expressed physically as governmental powers. It will be similar to how the physical Jerusalem was surrounded by the Roman armies under General Titus. Their original agenda was to take over the temple and make it a place of worship for the many gods in the Roman Empire. But there was resistance so they burnt it down with fire. Likewise, the ungodly forces of governmental and political powers will come at the church to make it part of the one world religious system by force and manipulation. And we should keep in mind that the church they’ll come after are such that are registered as religious organizations with the government-all of which we have understood are Babylon.

 

When the Lord said that the people of Jerusalem will fall by the edge of the sword, for the church, it simply means that the faith and spiritual life of many will be slain by false doctrines. Psalm 64:3 tells us that the tongue is like a sword. Ephesians 6:17 tells us that the Word of God is the Sword of the Spirit. Thus, the words of the enemy are their swords [symbolically speaking]. It is with these deceitful words and doctrines that they will destroy the faith of many. And it is in Babylon that they will be [and are already] able to do so, through leaders who parade themselves as God-sent, but are actually gentiles in God’s view.

 

When the Lord said that the people of Jerusalem will be led away captive into all nations, for the church, it means that people will be led away into other beliefs. The other nations are symbolic of other religions, beliefs, traditions, etc. With their true faith slain, many people will be led away as spiritual prisoners in chains of false doctrines into other beliefs that are contrary to the truth of God. And when our Lord said that Jerusalem will be trodden down by the gentiles, for the church it means that the truth of what the church should stand for will be cast down and ridiculed. And the church will become something completely opposite of what it should be.

 

But be mindful that all these are true for Babylon. It is the visible church systems registered with the government that they will come after and do these things to. And in verse 21 of Luke 21 our Lord Jesus instructed that when we see these things beginning to be fulfilled then we should flee. Why? So that we are not caught up in it. Even Revelation 18:4 says: “… Come out of her, my people, that ye be not partakers of her sins, and that ye receive not of her plagues.” [KJV].

 

  1. What is the vision after coming out?

 

The answer to this question will become obvious when we understand the prophetic parallel between coming out of Babylon and the people of Israel coming out of Egypt. Interestingly, Babylon [the great city in Revelation 17:18] is also spiritually called Sodom and Egypt in Revelation 11:8. As such, “coming out of Babylon” can be rephrased as “coming out of Egypt”. We should therefore not be surprised if we are faced with opposition from church leaders when we want to come out, because they are like pharaohs in Egypt [whether or not they know it].

 

The most potent kind of deception is when the deceiver doesn’t even know he/she is a deceiver. And unfortunately, such is the case for many church leaders who, unknown to most of them, they are actually pharaohs in Egypt, and they act oppressively whenever anyone wants to leave their congregation. But God has already ordained and prophesied victory for those who will chose to come out. With a Mighty Hand, He will bring His true people out. Amen. He is willing again to path every red sea so His people can pass safely away from the influence of “Egypt” and its “pharaohs”. Amen.

 

So what was the vision of the people of Israel when they came out of Egypt? It was to enter into the promised land. And to enter into this promised land, they journeyed through the wilderness, maturing from simple slaves to armies of faith that could conquer established kingdoms.

 

This is what our vision is-to obtain the promise God has ordained for His people-that we should be the fully unified bride and body of Christ in glory, honour and immortality. A body of people who operate in oneness under the Headship of Christ Jesus the Lord as helpers with Him to govern the Kingdom of God over all creation [in heaven and on earth, spiritual and physical] for all eternity.

 

Paul speaks of a point we need to get to [as a fellowship] if we want to obtain this promise of being the bride and body of Christ. He says: “Endeavoring to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace… Till we all come in the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, unto a perfect man, unto the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ.” [Ephesians 4:3&13].

 

This is the standard we should strive for with our fellow brethren [prayerfully and with godly effort in love] after coming out of Babylon [Egypt]. That is, we should endeavour to maintain unity and peace, we should encourage and carry everyone along so that we have the same faith and hope and same understanding of who the Son of God is, and we should press on to a level of fellowship where we operate as one body [one perfect man headed by Christ Jesus]-a body that expresses a level of life that measures up to the stature of the fullness we see in Christ. This is what we should strive for as a fellowship if we want to obtain this promise of being the bride and body of Christ.

 

We should also know, however, that at this time, God is in the process of gathering and empowering those He will empower [like He empowered Moses] to deliver all of His true people from the deceptive and spiritual hold of Egypt/Babylon. God is no respecter of persons. If you draw near to Him with a sincere heart, He will draw near to you and give you more of Himself. Meaning, you can be part of this people.

 

But just as Moses needed to come out of Egypt first before God trained Him in the wilderness for 40 years, likewise you will need to come out [if you haven’t already done so] and be a part of a sincere fellowship that is pressing on to the standard for the promised land-the standard mentioned earlier which is summarized in Ephesians 4:1-13. It is in such fellowships that He will train you to operate with your brethren as a well integrated body [a perfect collective man] that measures to the stature of the fullness of Christ, and not just as an individual. And it is in [and from] such fellowships He will empower His “Moses” people.

 

Revelation 12 shows the prophetic picture of how God will use His empowered people to bring out their brethren from Babylon [Egypt] and prepare them as a bride for Christ “in the wilderness” [simple sincere fellowships] till she becomes the promised picture in Revelation 21.

 

May the Lord cause our hearts to yield to His call to come out of Babylon and be part of the true Church He is building “in the wilderness”-the church that will obtain and express the promised land on earth and in heaven.

 

Amen.

 

Isaiah 21:5-“Prepare the table, watch in the watchtower, eat drink: arise, ye princes, and anoint the shield.” [KJV]

 

The great harlot in Revelation 17

Who is the great whore in Revelation 17? And why should we care?

Many of us, Christians are part of her, and God has said in Revelation 18:4 “… Come out of her, my people, that ye be not partakers of her sins, and that ye receive not of her plagues. For her sins have reached unto heaven, and God hath remembered her iniquities.” [KJV]

After coming out, where do we go? Our Lord Jesus said in Matthew 24:15-16 that when we see abomination in the temple [which is His Church] then we should flee to the mountains [specifically, to the mount of Olives – symbolically speaking]. That will be discussed in another message titled: “It is time to flee to the mount of Olives”. But kindly listen to this one, so that if you are unknowingly part of the great whore, or her harlot daughters, you will be well persuaded to come out.

It is important to know the truth and come out [and flee to the mount of Olives]. Why? Because in our Lord’s return journey, it is prophesied in Zechariah 14:4 that “… His feet shall stand in that day upon the mount of Olives …”. The feet of our Lord represent His preparation of the gospel of peace, just as we are told in Ephesians 6:15 about the whole armor of God.

Those at the mount of Olives are the ones that will be empowered by the influence of His feet to carry out a great ministry [an end-time revival ministry like that of Elijah and Moses] to build His Church worldwide and prepare her to be holy, without spot or wrinkle, ready for marriage to our Lord. So please listen to this message and be blessed.

God bless you.

The last half of Messiah’s week [1]

There are seventy weeks ordained for the holy city of God to become all that God wants it to be. The holy city in question is no longer the physical Jerusalem, but the New Jerusalem as we are told in Revelation 21:2. This New Jerusalem is the Lamb’s wife, which is the Church, as we are told in Revelation 21:9-10. The seventy weeks in Daniel are thus ordained for the Church to become all that God wants her to be, which is to be Most Holy and anointed with God’s glory.

Of these seventy weeks [seventy groups of seven years], the seventieth week, the final week, the final group of seven years, is when Messiah comes on earth to confirm the covenant and accomplish the following six things: [1] To finish the transgression, [2] To make an end of sins, [3] To make reconciliations for iniquity, [4] To bring in everlasting righteousness, [5] To seal up the vision and prophecy, [6] To anoint the most Holy.

True to it, at the end of the 69 groups of seven years [at the end of the appointed 483 years] Messiah came into the world, and was declared as “This is My beloved Son in whom I am well pleased.” [Matthew 3:17]. He began confirming the covenant, but as prophesied, He was cut off in the middle of the seven years [that is, after carrying out a three and half year ministry]. And during that first three and half years [through His preaching, His death and resurrection] He was able to accomplish the first three things in the covenant: [1] To finish the transgression, [2] To make an end of sins, [3] To make reconciliations for iniquity.

Now, He is about to return to complete the remaining three things in the remaining three and half years [the last half of His week]. But unlike the first time when He used a single body, this time God is preparing Him a body that is a church [many people operating in oneness]. And just as the first body He used was born of a virgin, so also this church that God is preparing for Him is made up of virgin-hearted believers gathered out from the backslidden church system. As that body was not born in the institutionalized hospitals, but in the humble manger, so also this church body that God is preparing for Him will not be produced in the institutionalized denominational church systems. It is not a church registered as an organization under any name or person. Rather, it is simple holy assemblies of God’s people all over the world, just as our Lord said in Matthew 18:20 “For where two or three are gathered together in My name, there am I in the midst of them”

God wants you to be part of this church body He is building for our Lord Jesus to come and: [4] To bring in everlasting righteousness, [5] To seal up the vision and prophecy, [6] To anoint the most Holy.

Please listen and be blessed. It is this body that is shown as the man child in Revelation 12, who is to carry out a ministry for 1260 days [which  is three and half year]: the final three and half years of the seventy weeks. God bless you as you listen.

Come out of the institutionalized church system [1 of 2]

The prophecy our Lord Jesus gave concerning the Jewish temple in Matthew 24 and Luke 21 has two fulfillments: one to the physical Jerusalem and the other to the New Jerusalem [the Lamb’s wife in Revelation 21:9-10, the Church]. The fulfillment to the New Jerusalem [the holy city as it is called in Revelation 21:2] is restated in Revelation 11:1-2 for prophetic emphasis. We therefore need to yield to the same counsel our Lord Jesus gave in Matthew 24:15-16:

“15 When ye therefore shall see the abomination of desolation, spoken of by Daniel the prophet, stand in the holy place, (whoso readeth, let him understand:) 16 Then let them which be in Judaea flee into the mountains:”

We need to know what this means for us. And that’s what this message is about.

AN URGENT CALL TO BELIEVERS IN THE CHURCH SYSTEM.