x524.....Jesus requirement--NOT money--ministry!
In our churches today--we have a requirement of members of the church--and that is that they must give money to the leadership of the church. This is not Biblical at all--it is incredibly linked to the dark ages tradition of the church--but it is far from the high call of the church in the Bible and Jesus' ministry operation.
Jesus did have a requirement of His followers--it was ministry!!
26 Jesus answered them and said, Verily, verily,
I say unto you, Ye seek me, not because ye saw the miracles, but because
ye did eat of the loaves, and were filled.
27 Labour not for the meat which perisheth, but for that meat which endureth unto everlasting life, which the Son of man shall give unto you: for him hath God the Father sealed.
28 Then said they unto him, What shall we do, that we might work the works of God?
29 Jesus answered and said unto them, This is the work of God, that ye believe on him whom he hath sent.
30 They said therefore unto him, What sign shewest thou then, that we may see, and believe thee? what dost thou work?
31 Our fathers did eat manna in the desert; as it is written, He gave them bread from heaven to eat.
32 Then Jesus said unto them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, Moses gave you not that bread from heaven; but my Father giveth you the true bread from heaven.
33 For the bread of God is he which cometh down from heaven, and giveth life unto the world.
34 Then said they unto him, Lord, evermore give us this bread.
35 And Jesus said unto them, I am the bread of life: he that cometh to me shall never hunger; and he that believeth on me shall never thirst.
36 But I said unto you, That ye also have seen me, and believe not.
37 All that the Father giveth me shall come to me; and him that cometh to me I will in no wise cast out.
38 For I came down from heaven, not to do mine own will, but the will of him that sent me.
39 And this is the Father's will which hath sent me, that of all which he hath given me I should lose nothing, but should raise it up again at the last day.
40 And this is the will of him that sent me, that every one which seeth the Son, and believeth on him, may have everlasting life: and I will raise him up at the last day.
41 The Jews then murmured at him, because he said, I am the bread which came down from heaven.
42 And they said, Is not this Jesus, the son of Joseph, whose father and mother we know? how is it then that he saith, I came down from heaven?
43 Jesus therefore answered and said unto them, Murmur not among yourselves.
44 No man can come to me, except the Father which hath sent me draw him: and I will raise him up at the last day.
45 It is written in the prophets, And they shall be all taught of God. Every man therefore that hath heard, and hath learned of the Father, cometh unto me.
46 Not that any man hath seen the Father, save he which is of God, he hath seen the Father.
47 Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that believeth on me hath everlasting life.
48 I am that bread of life.
49 Your fathers did eat manna in the wilderness, and are dead.
50 This is the bread which cometh down from heaven, that a man may eat thereof, and not die.
51 I am the living bread which came down from heaven: if any man eat of this bread, he shall live for ever: and the bread that I will give is my flesh, which I will give for the life of the world.
52 The Jews therefore strove among themselves, saying, How can this man give us his flesh to eat?
53 Then Jesus said unto them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, Except ye eat the flesh of the Son of man, and drink his blood, ye have no life in you.
54 Whoso eateth my flesh, and drinketh my blood, hath eternal life; and I will raise him up at the last day.
55 For my flesh is meat indeed, and my blood is drink indeed.
56 He that eateth my flesh, and drinketh my blood, dwelleth in me, and I in him.
57 As the living Father hath sent me, and I live by the Father: so he that eateth me, even he shall live by me.
58 This is that bread which came down from heaven: not as your fathers did eat manna, and are dead: he that eateth of this bread shall live for ever.
59 These things said he in the synagogue, as he taught in Capernaum.
60 Many therefore of his disciples, when they had heard this, said, This is an hard saying; who can hear it?
61 When Jesus knew in himself that his disciples murmured at it, he said unto them, Doth this offend you?
62 What and if ye shall see the Son of man ascend up where he was before?
63 It is the spirit that quickeneth; the flesh profiteth nothing: the words that I speak unto you, they are spirit, and they are life.
64 But there are some of you that believe not. For Jesus knew from the beginning who they were that believed not, and who should betray him.
65 And he said, Therefore said I unto you, that no man can come unto me, except it were given unto him of my Father.
66 From that time many of his disciples went back, and walked no more with him.
(John 6:26-66, KJV).
What is Jesus saying here?
The situation is this: Jesus has just fed the 5,000, and there are many people who are following Him just to be fed--just to receive from His ministry. Jesus did not want this--He discouraged this throghout His ministry--because he had a higher call of God upon Him--in that the fullness of His ministry and purpose was not only to save, heal, deliver and feed--but to release people to their own ministry--to "set at liberty" (see luke 4:18-19).
The people who are following Him only to be fed ask Him how they may "work the works of God"--they are saying they want to minister as well--but they are really asking for themselves--they are really being selfish--as we will see in the answer Jesus gives them and their reaction.
His answer is that they must walk in a priesthood before God. Jesus refers to Himself as meat and bread--and then makes the statement that they must eat Him. This sound hard to understand but we must set it in the the context of the people whom He is speaking to. Jesus of this day and age payed a tithe--they made offering--of their herd and their crop--they made constant sin offerings. These offerings were given to the Levites--the priest--the ministers of the temple in Israel--to be offered for sin. The only people who could eat of the meat and the bread of the sacrifice were the priests--the "ministry" of Israel.
Jesus was saying to these people that they must be priests--they must serve God--they must be willing to do ministry--if they were going to follow Him--and thus "do the works of God" This was Jesus' requirement in His "church". He required everyone to serve God--He desired to release everyone He met into ministry and service to God--to in fact--do all the same things that He did--(feed the poor--preach the Gospel--pray for the sick and those oppressed by the devil). He wanted to release to them the gift of ministry. They did not want it--they did not want to "lay their lives down" and serve God. And they left Him.
Jesus did not have any requirement of giving money in His ministry--he had no need for it--since He was releasing everyone He met into their own ministry! He was not interested in building a worldly kingdom--or collecting money to build a building or try to conqueror the earth by owning worldly things. What if we had the same concept in our churches? What if ministry was a requirement for all? What if release were the goal--the quick goal of our churches? Maybe then we wouldn't need all the money we think we do, and we could spend much more time carrying the Gospel out to the world!!
Is there a change in the tithe and the priesthood?
Heb 7:5 And verily they that are of the sons of Levi, who receive the
office of the priesthood, have a commandment to take tithes of the
people according to the law, that is, of their brethren, though they come
out of the loins of Abraham:
Heb 7:11 If therefore perfection were by the Levitical priesthood, (for under it the people received the law,) what further need was there that another priest should rise after the order of Melchisedec, and not be called after the order of Aaron?
Heb 7:12 For the priesthood being changed, there is made of necessity a change also of the law.
Heb 7:14 For it is evident that our Lord sprang out of Juda; of which tribe Moses spake nothing concerning priesthood.
Heb 7:24 But this man, (Jesus) because he continueth ever, hath an unchangeable priesthood.
Do all Christians have a priesthood?
Re 1:6 And hath made us kings and priests unto God and his Father;
to him be glory and dominion for ever and ever. Amen.
Re 5:10 And hast made us unto our God kings and priests: and we shall reign on the earth.
1Peter 2:5 Ye also, as lively stones, are built up a spiritual house,
an holy priesthood, to offer up spiritual sacrifices, acceptable
to God by Jesus Christ.
1Peter 2:9 But ye are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, an holy nation, a peculiar people; that ye should shew forth the praises of him who hath called you out of darkness into his marvellous light:
Should giving money be a requirement--a necessity--as a "qualification" for ministry---or as a "law" of tithe?
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.
(2 Corinthians 9:7, KJV).