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Tithing, a standing law forever.
From the begining when the Lord established his church he gave to the people the law of sacrifice, that being a law which gave mankind the chance to show their obediance towards him. I wish to speak of one of those sacrifices, which is the offering of a portion of one's anual increase to him. In doing so I feel it is important to emphasize that no matter what your financial situation, this law is given to all of the faithful members of his church. It is by this sacrifice that an individual may draw closer to God than can be sustained within the human heart.
So how extreem of a surcumstance is this law held to? The Lord gives to us the account of a widow who lived in the time of Elijah when the Lord comanded a drought to be swept across the land.
"And the word of the Lord came unto him saying, Arise and get thee to Zerephath- behold I have commanded a widow woman there to sustain thee, And he called to her and said, fetch me, I pray thee, a little water in a vessel that I may drink, And as she was going to fetch it he said, bring me, I pray thee a morstle of bread in thine hand.
And she said, as the Lord thy God livith, I have not a cake,but a hand full of meal in a barrel, and a little oil in a cruse; and behold i am gathering two sticks that I may go in and dress it for me and my son that we may eat it and die. And Elijah said unto her; fear not, go and do as thou hast said, but make me thereof a little cake first, an after make for thee and thy son." -1 Kings.
At first glance it looks as though Elijah is being somewhat stingy with the food, not only is he asking for the first piece of bread, but possibly the only piece.
The womans choice, to give up a portion of her bread during this heavy famine and hasten death; perhaps she could give up her food, but what about the food for her starving son?
It's not over yet, Elijah was there to give not to recieve; continuing from the narative,
"For thus saith the Lord God of Israel, the barrel of meal shall not waste, neither shall the cruse of oil fail, until the day that the lord sendeth rain upon th earth. And she went and did according to the saying of Elijah, and he and she and her house did eat many days."
Thus we see that the blessings of God are not manifest until after the trial of our faith. No Church which bears the name of Christ should hesitate to offer this blessing on it's members; even in the most extreme of circumstances God requires his people to pay one tenth of their annual increase, not some other fraction, not a good will offering; One tenth of all of your anual pay.
With this unmovable foundation laid out for the faithful, these undeniable words are set for us to place as an anchor in our hearts.
"Bring ye all the tithes into the storehouse, that there may be meat in mine house,and prove me now herewith saith the Lord of hosts, if I will not open you the windows of Heaven, and pour you out a blessing, that there will not be enough room to recieve it."
These are some of the most powerful word communicated to man from God through a prophet. it is one of the few times in the bible where God challenges the body to do it, and see what happens. "Prove me now," he says, and you will break every yoke that binds you to this world.