*The enemies of truth deleted some 600 words from this article.
are so many false claims and misrepresentations about Christian givings. Almost
all Americans who give to the church and get a tax-deduction thinking they
serve God and doing a good thing. David was very different than many American
church members; David was not going to offer to God what it didn’t cost him
anything. Christian giving is not under the law; it is voluntary, not
obligatory. If you give to the cause of Christ and expect something in return, that is not freewill giving. Giving to God is not an investment you hope to get many yields in return.
Charity that takes in $100 and gives out only $1 is not charity, but big robbery.
1. God’s giving.
A. God gave the covenant.
Gen 17:10-11,“This is My covenant, which you shall keep, between Me and you and your descendants after you: every male among you shall be circumcised. And you shall be circumcised in the flesh of your foreskin, and it shall be the sign of the covenant between Me and you.”
Note: Covenant in Hebrew is bĕriyth which means alliance, pledge, league, treaty; - it occurs about 284 times in the Old Testament. Circumcise in Hebrew is muwl which means to cut off, purge; - it occurs about 36 times in the Old Testament. Figuratively speaking, to circumcise is to put away all wickedness from your minds and consecrate yourselves to Jehovah. Foreskin in Hebrew is `orlah which means the prepuce of the male reproductive organ; - it occurs 16 times in the Old Testament. Sign in Hebrew is 'owth which means a distinguishing mark, proof, token, ensign; - it occurs 79 times in the Old Testament. Circumcision is the sign of covenant between God and Abraham and his descendants.
Act 3:25,“It is you who are the sons of the prophets and of the covenant which God made with your fathers, saying to Abraham: AND IN YOUR SEED ALL THE FAMILIES OF THE EARTH SHALL BE BLESSED.”
Act 7:8，“Then He gave him the covenant of circumcision; and so Abraham begot Isaac and circumcised him on the eighth day; and Isaac begot Jacob, and Jacob begot the twelve patriarchs.”
Note：Covenant in Greek is diathēkē which means a compact, a testament; - it occurs 33 times in the New Testament. Covenant is used to denote a close relationship which God entered into with someone for example Abraham. Basically there are two covenants, the old and the new. The old covenant was given by promise. The new covenant was made by the blood of Jesus. Circumcision in Greek is peritomē which means the act or rite of circumcision; - it occurs 36 times in the New Testament. The old covenant had circumcision as the sign. In the new covenant, there is circumcision not of the flesh, but of the heart.
Rom 2:29,“But he is a Jew who is one inwardly; and circumcision is that which is of the heart, by the Spirit, not by the letter; and his praise is not from men, but from God.”
Note: Gentile Christians do not have or observe outward circumcision, but the circumcision of the heart, by the Spirit.
Gal 5:6,“For in Christ Jesus neither circumcision nor uncircumcision means anything, but faith working through love.”
Note: Faith working through love means more than circumcision.
Gal 6:15,“For neither is circumcision anything, nor uncircumcision, but a new creation.”
Note: What matters is not circumcision or uncircumcision, but a new creation in Christ, that means born again, a new life.
Gal 3:18,“For if the inheritance is of the law, it is no longer of promise; but God gave it to Abraham by promise.”
Note: Before the law, God gave the covenant to Abraham by promise.
Rom 15:8,“For I say that Christ has become a servant to the circumcision on behalf of the truth of God to confirm the promises given to the fathers.”
Note: On behalf of the truth of God Christ confirmed the promises given to Abraham, Isaac, Jacob.
Phl 3:2,“Beware of the dogs, beware of the evil workers, beware of the false circumcision.”
Note: Dogs are evildoers, the wicked. False circumcision is the circumcision of the flesh, not of the heart by the Spirit. Those circumcised falsely believed they fulfilled the Mosaic law.
Phl 3:3,“For we are the true circumcision, who worship in the Spirit of God and glory in Christ Jesus and put no confidence in the flesh.”
Note: True circumcision worships in the Spirit of God and glory in Christ Jesus and put no confidence in the flesh. Put no confidence in the flesh means do not trust the works of the flesh.
Col 2:11,“And in Him you were also circumcised with a circumcision made without hands, in the removal of the body of the flesh by the circumcision of Christ.”
The circumcision of Christ makes believers partakers of the divine nature.
B. God gave the Promised Land.
Gen 13:15,“For all the land which you see I give to you and your descendants forever.”
Note: God gave the Promised Land (Palestine) to the Jews forever.
Gen 28:15,“Behold, I am with you and will keep you wherever you go, and will bring you back to this land; for I will not leave you until I have done what I have promised you.”
Note: Promise in Hebrew is dabar which means to speak, declare, converse, command, pledge; - it occurs about 1143 times in the Old Testament. God will always do what He promised. Gen 35:12,“The land which I gave Abraham and Isaac I give to you; and to your descendants after you I give this land.”
Gen 50:24,“Joseph said to his brothers: I am about to die, but God will surely take care of you and bring you up from this land to the land which He promised on oath to Abraham, to Isaac and to Jacob.”
Note: God promised by oath to give the land to Abraham, to Isaac and to Jacob.
Deu 1:25,“They also took some of the fruit of the land in their hands and brought it down to us; and they brought back word to us, saying: It is a good land which the LORD our God is giving us.”
Deu 4:1,“Now, O Israel, listen to the statutes and the judgments which I teach you to observe, that you may live, and go in and possess the land which the LORD God of your fathers is giving you.”
Note: A good land produces good fruit. The fruit of the Promised Land belongs to the Jews. It is only the Jews may possess the Promised Land (which is now known as Palestine). No other people may claim Palestine. Palestine belongs to the Jews because God gave them long long ago.
Deu 4:40,“You shall therefore keep His statutes and His commandments which I command you today, that it may go well with you and with your children after you, and that you may prolong your days in the land which the LORD your God is giving you for all time.”
Note: God gave the Promised Land to Israel for all time. Therefore Arabs and Palestinians and all pagans have no portion of the Promised Land. Jerusalem is the capital of King David, can never be the capital of Palestinian state. Palestinians should build their state in Arab land, not in land of Israel.
Deu 9:6,“Therefore understand that the LORD your God is not giving you this good land to possess because of your righteousness, for you are a stiff-necked people.”
Note: God gave the good land for the Jews to possess not because of their righteousness; it was a promise to Abraham.
Deu 12:10,“But when you cross over the Jordan and dwell in the land which the LORD your God is giving you to inherit, and He gives you rest from all your enemies round about, so that you dwell in safety.”
Deu 15:4,“Except when there may be no poor among you; for the LORD will greatly bless you in the land which the LORD your God is giving you to possess as an inheritance.”
Note: The Promised Land was given by God to the Jews as an inheritance.
Deu 6:3,“O Israel, you should listen and be careful to do it, that it may be well with you and that you may multiply greatly, just as the LORD, the God of your fathers, has promised you, in a land flowing with milk and honey.”
Note: The Promised Land was known as a land flowing with milk and honey.
Num 15:2,“Speak to the children of Israel, and say to them: When you have come into the land you are to inhabit, which I am giving to you.”
Jos 1:13,“Remember the word which Moses the servant of the LORD commanded you, saying: The LORD your God is giving you rest and is giving you this land.”
Neh 9:15,“You gave them bread from heaven for their hunger, and brought them water out of the rock for their thirst, and told them to go in to possess the land which You had sworn to give them.”
Note: The Scriptures cited above more than enough prove that God historically and geographically gave the Promised Land – a land flowing with milk and honey – to Abraham and his descendants. The Promised Land means the land God promised to give to the Jewish forefathers. All Gentiles (non-Jews) have no claim of the so-called Palestine and Jerusalem. All claims are illegal and futile. Those who want to seize the Jewish land are enemies of God. God will defend the Holy Land and Jerusalem, the Capital of the Great King. Jerusalem was the capital of David, no other nation or people can claim as its own capital.
Psa 111:6,“He has shown His people the power of His works, in giving them the heritage of the nations.”
Psa 135:12,“And gave their land as a heritage, a heritage to Israel His people.”
Psa 136:21,“And gave their land as a heritage, for His mercy endures forever.”
Note: There is no nation like Israel whom God had given them the heritage of the nations. Heritage in Hebrew is nachalah which means possession, property, inheritance, portion, share; - it occurs 222 times in the Old Testament. The Holy Land was the gift of Jehovah to the children of Abraham. The Promised Land or the so-called Palestine is the Jewish heritage, no other nation or people, especially the pagans, can claim to be their own. What God had given, no one can take away. God will defend the heritage He gave to the Jewish people. Don’t you become an enemy of God. Let pagans be warned not to seize the Promised Land or claim Jerusalem as capital.
Rom 9:4,“Who are Israelites, to whom pertain the adoption, the glory, the covenants, the giving of the law, the service of God, and the promises.”
Tts 1:2,“In the hope of eternal life, which God, who cannot lie, promised long ages ago.”
Rom 4:21,“And being fully assured that what God had promised, He was able also to perform.”
Note: As sure as the sun rises in the east, God is able to perform what He had promised.
Jam 1:12,“Blessed is a man who perseveres under trial; for once he has been approved, he will receive the crown of life which the Lord has promised to those who love Him.”
Note: The Lord has promised the crown of life to those who love Him.
Jam 2:5,“Listen, my beloved brethren: did not God choose the poor of this world to be rich in faith and heirs of the Kingdom which He promised to those who love Him?”
Promise in Greek is epaggellomai which means to announce that one is about to do or furnish
something, make promise, engage voluntarily; - it occurs 15 times in the New
Testament. God promised Abraham and his descendants the Promised Land. God
promised His children the Kingdom of heaven, the Paradise.
What God had promised, He was and is able to perform.
C. God gave the Law.
Exd 24:12,“Then the LORD said to Moses: Come up to Me on the mountain and be there; and I will give you tablets of stone, and the law and commandments which I have written, that you may teach them.”
Note: Law in Hebrew is towrah which means instruction, direction, the Deuteronomic or Mosaic Law; - it occurs 219 times in the Old Testament. Commandment in Hebrew is mitsvah which means a command, precept, ordinance; - it occurs 181 times in the Old Testament. Moses wrote the law and commandments which the Lord gave to the Jews.
Exd 31:18,“And when He had made an end of speaking with him on Mount Sinai, He gave Moses two tablets of the Testimony, tablets of stone, written with the finger of God.”
Note: It is interesting to know that the tablets of stone were written with the finger of God whether literally or figuratively.
Rom 9:4,“Who are Israelites, to whom pertain the adoption, the glory, the covenants, the giving of the law, the service of God, and the promises.”
Note: The adoption, the glory, the covenants, the giving of the law, the service of God and the promises belong to the Israelites.
Exd 34:32,“Afterward all the children of Israel came near, and he gave them as commandments all that the LORD had spoken with him on Mount Sinai.”
Deu 5:22,“These words the LORD spoke to all your assembly, in the mountain from the midst of the fire, the cloud, and the thick darkness, with a loud voice; and He added no more. And He wrote them on two tablets of stone and gave them to me.”
Deu 9:11,“And it came to pass, at the end of forty days and forty nights, that the LORD gave me the two tablets of stone, the tablets of the covenant.”
Deu 10:4,“And He wrote on the tablets according to the first writing, the Ten Commandments, which the LORD had spoken to you in the mountain from the midst of the fire in the day of the assembly; and the LORD gave them to me.”
Neh 9:13，“You came down also on Mount Sinai, and spoke with them from heaven, and gave them just ordinances and true laws, Good statutes and commandments.”
Note: It is interesting to know that God spoke to the Israelites from heaven. With telephone we can speak to anyone anywhere in the world. God does not need a telephone or cellphone. God can speak to mankind billion miles away.
Neh 9:15,“You gave them bread from heaven for their hunger, and brought them water out of the rock for their thirst, and told them to go in to possess the land which You had sworn to give them.”
Neh 9:20,“You also gave Your good Spirit to instruct them, and did not withhold Your manna from their mouth, and gave them water for their thirst.”
Eze 20:11,“And I gave them My statutes and showed them My judgments, which, if a man does, he shall live by them.”
Jhn 1:17,“For the Law was given through Moses; grace and truth came by Jesus Christ.”
Rom 3:19-20,“Now we know that whatever the law says, it says to those who are under the law, that every mouth may be stopped, and all the world may become guilty before God. Therefore by the deeds of the law no flesh will be justified in His sight, for by the law is the knowledge of sin.”
Rom 7:12-14,“So then, the Law is holy, and the commandment is holy and righteous and good. Therefore did that which is good become a cause of death for me? May it never be! Rather it was sin, in order that it might be shown to be sin by effecting my death through that which is good, so that through the commandment sin would become utterly sinful. For we know that the Law is spiritual, but I am of flesh, sold into bondage to sin.”
Rom 8:3-4,“For what the law could not do in that it was weak through the flesh, God did by sending His own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh, on account of sin: He condemned sin in the flesh, that the righteous requirement of the law might be fulfilled in us who do not walk according to the flesh but according to the Spirit.”
Note: The law although holy and perfect, it could not save sinners. Jesus Christ the Son of God came into the world to save sinners. How?
Rom 10:4,“For Christ is the end of the law for righteousness to everyone who believes.”
Note: Christ fulfills the law for righteousness to everyone who believes in Him as Lord and Savior.
Jam 2:10-11,“For whoever shall keep the whole law, and yet stumble in one point, he is guilty of all. For He who said: Do not commit adultery, also said: Do not murder. Now if you do not commit adultery, but you do murder, you have become a transgressor of the law.”
Gal 2:16,“Knowing that a man is not justified by the works of the law but by faith in Jesus Christ, even we have believed in Christ Jesus, that we might be justified by faith in Christ and not by the works of the law; for by the works of the law no flesh shall be justified.”
By the works of the law no one can be justified, by faith in Christ sinners can
be counted as righteous before God. It is the grace of God.
D. God gave His Son.
Jhn 3:16,“For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.”
Gal 1:4,“Who gave Himself for our sins so that He might rescue us from this present evil world, according to the will of our God and Father.”
Eph 5:2,“And walk in love, just as Christ also loved you and gave Himself up for us, an offering and a sacrifice to God as a fragrant aroma.”
Note: Jesus Christ died on the cross for sinners was a sacrifice to God to atone our sins, the Righteous for the unrighteous.
Jhn 6:31,“Our fathers ate the manna in the desert; as it is written: He gave them bread from heaven to eat.”
Note: Jesus Christ is the bread of life, whoever believes in Christ has eternal life.
Gal 2:20,“I have been crucified with Christ; it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself for me.”
Note: The love of God is unfathomable because Jesus Christ died for the unworthy sinners.
Eph 1:22,“And He put all things under His feet, and gave Him to be Head over all things to the church.”
Note: Jesus Christ is the Head over all things to the church, not the pope.
1Pe 1:21,“Who through Him believe in God, who raised Him from the dead and gave Him glory, so that your faith and hope are in God.”
Note: The Christian faith and hope are in God who raised Jesus Christ from the dead and gave Him glory.
1Jo 3:23，“And this is His commandment: that we should believe on the name of His Son Jesus Christ and love one another, as He gave us commandment.”
Note: Commandment in Greek is entolē which means an order, command, charge, precept, injunction, what God prescribes; - it occurs 71 times in the New Testament. It is the commandment of God that everyone should believe on the name of His Son Jesus Christ and love one another.
Rev 1:1,“The Revelation of Jesus Christ, which God gave Him to show His servants--things which must shortly take place. And He sent and signified it by His angel to His servant John.”
Note: God gave the revelation of Jesus Christ to show His servants things which must shortly take place. All prophecies are completed as they are written in the Bible.
Isa 7:14,“Therefore the Lord Himself will give you a sign: Behold, the virgin shall conceive and bear a Son, and shall call His name Immanuel.”
Note: Sign in Hebrew is 'owth which means a distinguishing mark, signal, miraculous sign; - it occurs 79 times in the Old Testament. The miraculous sign given was that the virgin shall conceive and bear a Son. The virgin birth of Jesus Christ by Mary was that God will be with men. Immanuel in Hebrew is `Immanuw'el which means God with us; - it occurs only twice in the Old Testament. Immanuel is a symbolic and prophetic name of Jesus Christ, and it designates Him as God who became Man.
Jer 24:7,“Then I will give them a heart to know Me, that I am the LORD; and they shall be My people, and I will be their God, for they shall return to Me with their whole heart.”
Note: You need a new heart to know God.
Jer 29:11,“For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, says the LORD, thoughts of peace and not of evil, to give you a future and a hope.”
Jhn 3:34,“For He whom God has sent speaks the words of God, for God does not give the Spirit by measure.”
Note: When Jesus Christ spoke, God spoke. Jesus Christ had the Spirit without measure. He was perfect God and perfect Man.
Act 5:31,“Him God has exalted to His right hand to be Prince and Savior, to give repentance to Israel and forgiveness of sins.”
Note: The resurrection of Jesus Christ confirms He is the Son of God. The ascension of Jesus Christ signifies His exaltation to the right hand of God as Prince and Savior. The redemption of Jesus Christ makes it possible to give repentance and forgiveness of sins to Israel and Gentiles alike.
Act 13:34,“And that He raised Him from the dead, no more to return to corruption, He has spoken thus: I will give you the sure mercies of David.”
Note: The resurrection of Jesus Christ by the power of God makes sure mercies of David.
Rom 8:32,“He who did not spare His own Son, but delivered Him up for us all, how shall He not with Him also freely give us all things?”
2Cr 4:6,“For it is the God who commanded light to shine out of darkness, who has shone in our hearts to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ.”
Note: You can only find the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ. Look to Jesus and receive the light.
Jhn 8:12, “Then Jesus spoke to them again, saying: I AM the light of the world. He who follows Me shall not walk in darkness, but have the light of life.”
2Cr 4:4,“Whose minds the god of this world has blinded, who do not believe, lest the light of the Gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the Image of God, should shine on them.”
Col 1:15,“He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn over all creation.”
Image in Greek is eikōn which means a figure, likeness; -
it occurs 23 times in the New Testament. Jesus Christ is the Image of God on
account of His divine nature and absolute moral excellence.
E. God gave His Spirit.
Act 11:17,“If therefore God gave them the same gift as He gave us when we believed on the Lord Jesus Christ, who was I that I could withstand God?”
Note: God gives the Holy Spirit to all who believe in the Lord Jesus Christ, to be born again, to partake in the divine nature, and to receive the eternal life.
Rom 8:9,“However, you are not in the flesh but in the Spirit, if indeed the Spirit of God dwells in you. But if anyone does not have the Spirit of Christ, he does not belong to Him.”
Note: If you are saved, you would have the Holy Spirit living in you. If you do not have the Sprit of Christ, you do not belong to Him. Baptism, giving to the church, observance of the Lord’s Supper, doing good deeds, etc. would not save you. How can you know you are saved?
Rom 8:16,“The Spirit Himself testifies with our spirit that we are children of God.”
Note: Testify in Greek is symmartyreō which mean to bear witness with, bear joint witness; - it occurs only 4 times in the New Testament. No one can tell you whether you are saved or not. Only the Spirit Himself can testify with your spirit. If you are saved, the Spirit of Christ will testify and tell you with your spirit that you are a child of God. If you have not the testimony of the Spirit, you can pray for.
Luk 11:13,“If you then, being evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to those who ask Him!”
Note: You can have the Holy Spirit for asking God. This is a promise of Jesus Christ.
Jhn 14:16,“And I will pray the Father, and He will give you another Helper, that He may abide with you forever—”
Note: The Holy Spirit is the Helper who abides in and with believers forever.
Act 4:33,“And with great power the apostles gave witness to the resurrection of the Lord Jesus. And great grace was upon them all.”
Note: God gave the Holy Spirit so that the apostles gave witness to the resurrection of the Lord Jesus with great power.
Rom 8:11,“But if the Spirit of Him who raised Jesus from the dead dwells in you, He who raised Christ from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies through His Spirit who dwells in you.”
Note: The Spirit of God who raised Jesus from the dead dwells in believers.
Eph 1:17,“That the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give to you the Spirit of wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of Him.”
You need the Spirit of wisdom and revelation to know God. That is why otherwise
intelligent scientists and scholars are ignorant about God.
F. God gave His Word.
Mat 4:4,“But He answered and said: It is written, Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every Word that proceeds from the mouth of God.”
Note: Word in Greek is rhēma which means that which is or has been uttered by the living voice, thing spoken, an utterance, saying; - it occurs 70 times in the New Testament. The Bible is the Word that proceeds from the mouth of God; inspired and infallible. Man needs bread to live, but man does not live by bread alone. There are people who live for pleasure; man does not live by bed alone. Man lives by the Word of God.
Mat 13:22,“Now he who received seed among the thorns is he who hears the word, and the cares of this world and the deceitfulness of riches choke the word, and he becomes unfruitful.”
Note: Choke in Greek is sympnigō which means to press round or throng one so as almost to suffocate; - it occurs only 5 times in the New Testament. The cares of this world and the deceitfulness of riches choke the Word so that the hearer becomes unfruitful. If you love the world, you will not be receptive to the Word of God. The cares of the world are many; the poor care about the necessities, the rich are desperate about other things. Riches are deceitful. Wall Street is influenced and seduced by riches to commit the largest fraud and looting in the history of mankind. Doctors and hospital owners and others are influenced and seduced by riches to commit fraudulent and predatory practices which result in the most costly and ineffective healthcare system in the world. Washington, Wall Street and Hollywood and the whole world are influenced and seduced by riches so that there are so much evils and injustice in this world. Although the East China Sea and the South China and their islands and territorial waters belong to China for thousands of years, yet the bloc led by America makes false claims on them.
Jhn 1:14,“And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we beheld His glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father, full of grace and truth.”
Note: The Bible is the written Word of God. Jesus Christ is the living Word of God, full of grace and truth.
Jhn 5:24,“Truly, truly, I say to you, he who hears My word, and believes Him who sent Me, has eternal life, and does not come into judgment, but has passed from death into life.”
Note: Oh, this is the truth of great importance. He who hears the Word of Jesus and believes God who sent Him, has eternal life, and does not come into judgment, but has passed from death into life. Do you want to have eternal life and pass from death into life? Believe in Jesus.
1Pe 1:23,“Having been born again, not of corruptible seed but incorruptible, through the Word of God which lives and abides forever.”
Note: The Word of God is incorruptible, and lives and abides forever.
Jhn 17:17,“Sanctify them by Your truth. Your Word is truth.”
Note: The truth of God sanctifies believers. The Word of God is truth.
Act 20:32,“So now, brethren, I commend you to God and to the Word of His grace, which is able to build you up and give you an inheritance among all those who are sanctified.”
Note: The Word of God is the Word of salvation because it is the power of God to those who believe in Christ. The Word of God is the truth, it sanctifies believers. The Word of God is the Word of His grace. The Word of God’s grace is able to build you up and give you an inheritance among all those who are sanctified. Build up in Greek is oikodomeō which means to found, establish, edify; metaphorically to promote growth in Christian wisdom, love, grace, virtue, piety, holiness, blessedness; - it occurs about 39 times in the New Testament.
Eph 1:13,“In Him you also trusted, after you heard the Word of truth, the Gospel of your salvation; in whom also, having believed, you were sealed with the Holy Spirit of promise.”
Note: The Word of God is the Worth of truth – the Gospel of our salvation. Born again believers are sealed with the Holy Spirit of promise.
Eph 6:17,“And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the Word of God.”
Note: The Word of God is the Sword of the Spirit. It can cut down all false doctrines and cut falsehood to pieces.
Col 3:16,“Let the Word of Christ dwell in you richly in all wisdom, teaching and admonishing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with grace in your hearts to the Lord.”
Note: The Word of Christ is the Word of God which dwells in believers richly in all wisdom. For Christ is the Wisdom of God.
Hbr 4:12,“For the Word of God is living and powerful, and sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing even to the division of soul and spirit, and of joints and marrow, and is able to judge the thoughts and intents of the heart.”
The Word of God is living and powerful. Living in Greek is zaō which
means not lifeless, not dead, having vital power in itself and
exerting the same upon the soul; - it occurs 143 times in the New Testament.
Powerful in Greek is energēs
which means active, effectual, working; - it occurs only 3 times in the
New Testament. The Word of God is living and powerful, and sharper than any
two-edged sword, touching soul and spirit of man. Joints and marrow is probably
an idiomatic expression of the human deepest part. Able to judge in Greek is kritikos which
means fit for judging, skilled in judging, tracing and passing judgment;
- it occurs only once in the New Testament. The Word of God is fit and able to
judge the thoughts of the mind. There is no other book like Bible which reveals
the thoughts and intents of your heart.
G. God gave His Kingdom.
Luk 12:32,“Do not fear, little flock, for it is your Father's good pleasure to give you the Kingdom.”
Little Flock is another name for the church, a collective name for all Christians.
Mat 7:21,“Not everyone who says to Me: Lord, Lord, shall enter the Kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father in heaven.”
Note: All the empires of the world combined cannot compare to the greatness and glory of the Kingdom of God.
Mat 13:38, “The field is the world, the good seeds are the sons of the Kingdom, but the tares are the sons of the wicked one.”
Note: There are only two kinds of people in the world: the good seeds are the sons of the Kingdom; the tares are the son of the wicked one. Believers of Christ are the sons of the Kingdom, unbelievers and nonbelievers of Christ are the sons of the wicked one. If you are an unbeliever, no matter who you are, Gandhi or Tolstoy, Washington or Napoleon, Hilary or Jezebel, you are a son of the wicked one.
Mat 13:43,“Then the righteous will shine forth as the sun in the Kingdom of their Father. He who has ears to hear, let him hear!”
Note: In this present world, the rich and powerful are the stars. In the Kingdom of God, the righteous will shine forth as the sun. My kingdom is not of this world. Christians are in the world but do not belong to the world and they are not of this world.
Luk 13:29,“And they will come from east and west and from north and south, and will recline at the table in the Kingdom of God.”
Note: The saints from east and west and from north and south will come to the table in the Kingdom of God. All Christians from all races and nations will become one in Christ.
Luk 14:15,“When one of those who were reclining at the table with Him heard this, he said to Him: Blessed is everyone who will eat bread in the Kingdom of God!”
Luk 18:17,“Truly I say to you, whoever does not receive the kingdom of God like a child will not enter it at all.”
Note: White supremacists and unbelieving scientists and Wall Street executives are the most arrogant people on earth. Whoever does not receive the Kingdom of God like a child will not enter it at all.
Luk 18:24-25, “And Jesus looked at him and said: How hard it is for those who are wealthy to enter the kingdom of God! For it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter the Kingdom of God.”
Note: It is hard for the wealthy to enter the Kingdom of God because of the deceitfulness of riches. Among the saints there are few wealthy people. Some seek the power of the world by claiming God wants them to run for political office. How many American presidents have used God and Christ for political reasons.
Luk 22:29-30,“And just as My Father has granted Me a Kingdom, I grant you that you may eat and drink at My table in My Kingdom, and you will sit on thrones judging the twelve tribes of Israel.”
Jhn 3:3,5,“Jesus answered and said to him: Truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born again he cannot see the Kingdom of God... Jesus answered: Truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born of water and the Spirit he cannot enter into the Kingdom of God.”
Note: The qualification to see and enter into the Kingdom of God is to be born again by the Word of God and the Holy Spirit.
Act 14:22,“Strengthening the souls of the disciples, encouraging them to continue in the faith, and saying: Through many tribulations we must enter the Kingdom of God.”
Note: Christians must continue in the faith because through many tribulations we must enter the Kingdom of God.
1Cr 6:9-10,“Or do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived; neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor homosexuals, nor thieves, nor the covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor swindlers, will inherit the kingdom of God.”
Note: The Word of God is clear, and truth is often offensive: The unrighteous will not inherit the Kingdom of God. The unrighteous include fornicators, idolaters, adulterers, effeminate, homosexuals, thieves, the greedy, drunkards, revilers, swindlers. The greatest thieves, the greedy and swindlers are Wall Street executives who created the economic and financial crisis beginning in 2008 who looted the world more than $50 trillion dollars, the fraudulent and predatory doctors and hospital owners who created the most costly and ineffective healthcare system in the world that makes them filthy rich, corrupt politicians, officials and lobbyists who created the largest debts and deficits in the world, and lawyers who created flawed and predatory legal system, etc. Very few people know or realize that drunkards cannot inherit the Kingdom of God, and there are drunkards in many nations who kill people and get away with it. Idolater is a worshipper of false gods. The leader of Taiwan claims to be a Christian and yet he publicly worships idols. Maybe he does not know this Scripture; no idolaters can go to heaven. Effeminate in Greek is malakos which means a boy kept for homosexual relations with a man, a catamite, a male who submits his body to unnatural lewdness and sex, a male prostitute; - it occurs only 4 times in the New Testament. Reviler in Greek is loidoros which means a railer, slanderer; - it occurs only twice in the New Testament. A reviler is perhaps a person who curses and uses obscene and abusive language to attack or insult others.
Luk 1:32,“He will be great, and will be called the Son of the Highest; and the Lord God will give Him the throne of His father David.”
The Son of the Highest, Jesus Christ, will have a throne forever in heaven in
the Kingdom of God.
H. God gives many good things.
Gen 1:15,“And let them be for lights in the firmament of the heavens to give light on the earth; and it was so.”
Gen 1:17,“God set them in the firmament of the heavens to give light on the earth.”
Note: God gave sun and moon and stars to give light on the earth. If God made the earth a little closer to the sun, the earth would be scorched and burned. If God made the earth a litter farther from the sun, the earth would be frozen. Is this not intelligent design in creation?
Gen 24:12，“Then he said：O LORD God of my master Abraham, please give me success this day, and show kindness to my master Abraham.”
Note: The old servant of Abraham had more wisdom to know that God could give him success for his mission, and God did. Not all successes were given by God. A monopolist succeeded by predatory and unfair practices to become the richest man on earth. American doctors and hospital owners, etc. succeeded in making the American health-care system the most costly and ineffective in the world and making themselves filthy rich. The oil, gas and tire companies succeeded in making private cars the major mode of transportation in America without mass transit of subways, light rails, etc. American lawmakers have succeeded in creating a flawed and predatory legal system that makes lawyers, prosecutors, legal professions, etc. very rich. Wall Street has succeeded in creating 2008 economic and financial crisis that looted the world more than $50 trillion dollars... John the Baptist succeeded in his mission at the cost of his head.
Gen 27:28,“Therefore may God give you of the dew of heaven, of the fatness of the earth, and plenty of grain and wine.”
Note: The Old Testament blessings that God gave may include the dew of heaven, the fatness of the earth, and plenty of grain and wine.
Lev 26:4,“Then I will give you rain in its season, the land shall yield its produce, and the trees of the field shall yield their fruit.”
Note: God gives rain it its season, the land shall yield its produce, and the trees of the field shall yield their fruit.
Lev 26:6,“I will give peace in the land, and you shall lie down, and none will make you afraid; I will rid the land of evil beasts, and the sword will not go through your land.”
Note: When the Israelites pleased God, God gave peace in the land so that people could lie down (rest) and none would make them afraid, and God rid the land of evil beasts, and the sword would not go through. How terrible it is for people of a nation to live in fear and many things make them afraid every day!
Num 6:26,“The LORD lift up His countenance upon you, and give you peace.”
Note: May the Lord lift up His countenance upon you, and give you peace.
Deu 11:14，“Then I will give you the rain for your land in its season, the early rain and the latter rain, that you may gather in your grain, your new wine, and your oil.”
Note: The Lord gives to Israelite the rain for their land in its season, the early rain and the latter rain, gather in their grain, new wine and new oil. Remember how important everything is in its season.
Deu 28:12,“The LORD will open to you His good treasure, the heavens, to give the rain to your land in its season, and to bless all the work of your hand. You shall lend to many nations, but you shall not borrow.”
Note: The financial crisis brought about by the debts of nations proves it is more blessed to lend than to borrow. It is a shame that a nation, no matter which it is, has to borrow to pay its bills.
1Ki 3:9,“Therefore give to Your servant an understanding heart to judge Your people, that I may discern between good and evil. For who is able to judge this great people of Yours?”
Note: Any high court that does not discern between good and evil does not have an understanding heart to judge its people. An understanding heart to judge between right and wrong, good and evil, wise and foolish is more precious than money and power and law degrees.
2Ch 25:9,“Then Amaziah said to the man of God: But what shall we do about the hundred talents which I have given to the troops of Israel? And the man of God answered: The LORD is able to give you much more than this.”
Note: Whatever you have given to the cause of Christ, the Lord is able to give you much more than that; besides you will have a reward in heaven.
Ezr 9:8,“And now for a little while grace has been shown from the LORD our God, to leave us a remnant to escape, and to give us a peg in His holy place, that our God may enlighten our eyes and give us a measure of revival in our bondage.”
Note: Grace in Hebrew is tĕchinnah which means favor, mercy, supplication, supplication for favor; - it occurs 25 times in the Old Testament. Whatever God gives is grace, not what a human being deserves.
Escape in Hebrew is pĕleytah which means deliverance, it occurs 28 times in the Old Testament. Historically God has given Israel deliverances or escapes from slaughters of war, natural and man-made disasters many times. Peg in Hebrew is yathed which means pin, stake, nail; - it occurs 24 times in the Old Testament. A nail or pin is used metaphorically of a prince, from whom the care of the whole state hangs. Jesus is the Prince of peace whom Israel and the whole world may hang on. Enlighten in Hebrew is 'owr which means to be or become light, shine, become bright, illuminate; - it occurs 43 times in the Old Testament. How sad is the nation whose leaders blinded by self-conceit and unholy ambition leading them into a crisis and impending collapse and still think they are number one.
Mat 7:11,“If you then, being evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father who is in heaven give good things to those who ask Him!”
Note: Children of God, ask the Father who is in heave to give good things to you. Do not miss the opportunity, good things just for the asking.
Act 13:20,“After that He gave them judges for about four hundred and fifty years, until Samuel the prophet.”
Note: God gave judges to rule Israel for about four hundred and fifty years. Many corrupt and evil judges of many nations are not given by God; for example, those who legalize same sex marriages, advocate selling, buying and owning of guns as constitutional right, rule in giving special treatment to a certain racial group as constitutional, and rule that child pornography is free speech, etc.
Act 14:17,“Nevertheless He did not leave Himself without witness, in that He did good, gave us rain from heaven and fruitful seasons, filling our hearts with food and gladness.”
Note: God gives us rain from heaven and fruitful seasons, filling our hearts with food and gladness. The joy in the Lord is not what unbelievers can experience or imagine.
1Cr 3:6,“I planted, Apollos watered, but God gave the increase.”
Note: Even in spiritual work, one plants, the other waters, but God gives the increase. Servants of Christ should not seek honor from man, to be the Man of the Century, or to have preached to more people than Apostle Paul, to build spiritual empire, etc. Christ must increase, I must decrease.
Rth 4:13,“So Boaz took Ruth and she became his wife; and when he went in to her, the LORD gave her conception, and she bore a son.”
Note: The Lord gave Ruth her conception. Not all conceptions are from the Lord, it is a natural process of man’s sperms union with woman’s eggs. There are millions of unwanted births in America by women who did not have husbands and men who had sex with women they were not willing to support and the children they conceived out of wedlock. There were conceptions that the Lord gave to special mothers such as Ruth, the mother of Samuel, the mother of John the Baptist, the mother of Isaac, etc., and the most special was the mother of Jesus conceived by the Holy Spirit. The most stupid claims are those useless men and women who declared they gave lives to their children. Parents who think they gave lives to their children do not know what life is and have no knowledge of human reproduction. Only God gives life.
1Ki 4:29,“And God gave Solomon wisdom and exceedingly great understanding, and largeness of heart like the sand on the seashore.”
Note: Wisdom in Hebrew is chokmah which means shrewdness, prudence, skill, wit; - it occurs 149 times in the Old Testament. God gave Solomon wisdom was a historical fact. See an example, 1 Kings Chapter 3.
1Cr 1:24,“But to those who are the called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God and the wisdom of God.” Christ is the power of God and the wisdom of God. The Gospel of Christ does not rest on the wisdom of men, but on the power of God.
Col 1:9,“For this reason also, since the day we heard of it, we have not ceased to pray for you and to ask that you may be filled with the knowledge of His will in all spiritual wisdom and understanding.” Spiritual wisdom is more valuable than the wisdom of Solomon. Even today,
Jam 1:5,“But if any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask of God, who gives to all generously and without reproach, and it will be given to him.” Let children of God ask God for wisdom, for wisdom is supreme.
2Ki 13:5,“Then the LORD gave Israel a deliverer, so that they escaped from under the hand of the Syrians; and the children of Israel dwelt in their tents as before.”
Neh 9:27,“Therefore You delivered them into the hand of their enemies, Who oppressed them; And in the time of their trouble, When they cried to You, You heard from heaven; And according to Your abundant mercies You gave them deliverers who saved them From the hand of their enemies.”
Note: Repeatedly in history the Lord gave Israel deliverers. Repeatedly the Lord saves believers from all sorts of troubles on earth.
Neh 9:7,“You are the LORD God, Who chose Abram, and brought him out of Ur of the Chaldeans, and gave him the name Abraham.”
Note: God gave the name Abraham to Abram. Abram in Hebrew is 'Abram which means exalted father or father of elevation; - it occurs 61 times in the Old Testament. Abraham in Hebrew is 'Abraham which means father of a multitude or chief of multitude; - it occurs 175 times in the Old Testament.
Job 1:21,“And he said: Naked I came from my mother's womb, and naked shall I return there. The LORD gave, and the LORD has taken away; blessed be the name of the LORD.”
Note: Job in his darkest and most difficult moment said something of permanent value: Naked I came from my mother’s womb, and naked I shall return there. No one can bring anything with him when he dies. Let crooked Wall Street executives, corrupt politicians, and fraudulent doctors and hospital owners be warned. Naked they came, and naked they shall soon go. Whatever we have in this world was given by the Lord. The Lord gave, and the Lord takes away. It is faith that enables children of God to say blessed be the name of the Lord when the Lord has taken away everything.
Ecc 12:7,“Then the dust will return to the earth as it was, and the spirit will return to God who gave it.”
Note: The value of a man is his spirit, not his flesh.
Jer 11:18,“Now the LORD made it known to me, and I know it; for You showed me their doings.”
Dan 1:17,“As for these four young men, God gave them knowledge and intelligence in every branch of literature and wisdom; Daniel even understood all kinds of visions and dreams.”
Note: The prophet Jeremiah said God made known to him, and so he knew. A good education must entail literature and wisdom. Knowledge in Hebrew is madda` which means mind, thought, science, understanding, body of facts; - it occurs only 6 times in the Old Testament. To have intelligence in Hebrew is sakal which means to be prudent, be circumspect, wisely understand, have insight, have comprehension, have understanding; - it occurs 63 times in the Old Testament. Literature in Hebrew is cepher which means document, writing, book, book-learning, the art of writing and reading; - it occurs 184 times in the Old Testament. Literature teaches you how to speak and write and express yourself effectively. Wisdom in Hebrew is chokmah which means shrewdness, prudence, wit, piety toward God; - it occurs 149 times in the Old Testament. Wisdom teaches you how to think and how to live. Science teaches you systematic thinking. Math teaches you how to count your blessings. Understanding of all kinds of visions and dreams cannot be learned at school, they must be given by God.
Eze 29:19,“Therefore thus says the Lord GOD: Surely I will give the land of Egypt to Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon; he shall take away her wealth, carry off her spoil, and remove her pillage; and that will be the wages for his army.”
Note: God in history past sometimes used a stronger dictator to punish wicked nations.
Eze 20:12,“Moreover I also gave them My Sabbaths, to be a sign between them and Me, that they might know that I am the LORD who sanctifies them.
Dan 5:18,“O king, the Most High God gave Nebuchadnezzar your father a kingdom and majesty, glory and honor.”
Exd 13:21,“And the LORD went before them by day in a pillar of cloud to lead the way, and by night in a pillar of fire to give them light, so as to go by day and night.”
Note: This Scripture most beautifully illustrates the divine leading in a Christian life. We need a pillar of cloud by day to shield us from the heat of passion, greed, lust and the love of the world. We need a pillar of fire to give us light at night to prevent us from going astray or stumble. The Word of God is our light to save us from dark and deadly doctrines of the world: imperialism, capitalism, secularism, hegemonism, atheism, materialism, etc. A Christian journey from the world to the celestial city needs the guidance and assistance of the Holy Spirit all the way.
1Ch 22:9,“Behold, a son shall be born to you, who shall be a man of rest; and I will give him rest from all his enemies all around. His name shall be Solomon, for I will give peace and quietness to Israel in his days.”
1Th 4:11-12, “And to make it your ambition to lead a quiet life and attend to your own business and work with your hands, just as we commanded you, so that you will behave properly toward outsiders and not be in any need.” Note：Christians aspire to lead a quiet life and attend to their own business and work. The goal of Christians is not to win friends and influence people or accumulate wealth on earth.
Psa 29:11,“The LORD will give strength to His people; the LORD will bless His people with peace.”
1Cr 10:13,“No temptation has overtaken you but such as is common to man; and God is faithful, who will not allow you to be tempted beyond what you are able, but with the temptation will provide the way of escape also, so that you will be able to endure it.”
2Cr 12:9,“And He has said to me: My grace is sufficient for you, for power is perfected in weakness. Most gladly, therefore, I will rather boast about my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may dwell in me.”
Note: No matter how heavy our burden may seem, God is faithful and will not allow believers to be tempted beyond what we are able. The grace of God is always sufficient in any circumstances.
Psa 37:4,“Delight yourself also in the LORD, and He shall give you the desires of your heart.”
Note: Be careful what your heart desires. In the things of the world, it is a tragedy not to get what your heart desires; it is also a tragedy to get what your heart desires.
Psa 60:11,“Give us help from trouble, for the help of man is useless.”
Note: In time of trouble, you will discover the help of man is useless. The help from God is like rain falling on dry land.
Psa 84:11,“For the LORD God is a sun and shield; The LORD will give grace and glory; no good thing will He withhold from those who walk uprightly.”
Note: If you are a child of God, count the good things the Lord has given you.
Pro 30:8-9,“Remove falsehood and lies far from me; Give me neither poverty nor riches--Feed me with the food allotted to me; lest I be full and deny You, and say: Who is the LORD? Or lest I be poor and steal, and profane the name of my God.”
Note: The best state in this world is neither rich nor poor. How miserable are those in Washington, Wall Street and Hollywood.
Ecc 2:26,“For God gives wisdom and knowledge and joy to a man who is good in His sight; but to the sinner He gives the work of gathering and collecting, that he may give to him who is good before God. This also is vanity and grasping for the wind.”
Wisdom, knowledge and joy are better than money, power and sex.
2. Christ’s giving.
A. Christ gave Himself.
Mat 20:28,“Just as the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give His life a ransom for many.”
Mar 10:45,“For even the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give His life a ransom for many.”
Note: Every man was born to live, Christ was born to die, to give His life a ransom for many.
Mar 14:22-23,“And as they were eating, Jesus took bread, blessed and broke it, and gave it to them and said: Take, eat; this is My body.
Then He took the cup, and when He had given thanks He gave it to them, and they all drank from it.”
Luk 22:17,“Then He took the cup, and gave thanks, and said: Take this and divide it among yourselves.”
Luk 22:19,“And He took bread, gave thanks and broke it, and gave it to them, saying: This is My body which is given for you; do this in remembrance of Me.”
Note: Christ made the ultimate gift of Himself. Christ came down from heaven and gave His life a ransom for many. Ransom in Greek is lytron which means the price for redeeming, liberate many from misery and the penalty of their sins; - it occurs only twice in the New Testament. The idea of ransom is closely related to redemption. Eph 1:7,“In Him we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of His grace.” Redemption in Greek is apolytrōsis which means a releasing effected by payment of ransom, deliverance procured by the payment of a ransom; - it occurs only 10 times in the New Testament. The result of the payment of ransom is redemption; that is deliverance effected through the death of Christ from the retributive wrath of the Holy God and the merited penalty of sin.
Col 1:14,“In Him we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins.” Salvation has two parts, the first the redemption from sins, this was accomplished once and for all (eternal redemption) when Christ died on the cross for sinners. This is effected here and now when sinners repent and believe in Jesus Christ. The second part is the redemption of the bodies of believers.
Rom 8:23,“And not only this, but also we ourselves, having the first fruits of the Spirit, even we ourselves groan within ourselves, waiting eagerly for our adoption as sons, the redemption of our body.” The second part of salvation of will be accomplished when Jesus Christ returns to reign with the saints.
Eph 5:25,“Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ also loved the church and gave Himself for her.”
Note: It is the duty of husbands to love their wives, just as Christ also loved the church and gave Himself for her.
1Ti 2:6,“Who gave Himself a ransom for all, to be testified in due time.”
Tts 2:14,“Who gave Himself for us, that He might redeem us from every lawless deed and purify for Himself His own special people, zealous for good works.”
Note: The Lord saved us to do good deeds. We do not do good deeds to be saved.
1Th 4:16-17,“For the Lord Himself will descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of an archangel, and with the trumpet of God. And the dead in Christ will rise first. Then we who are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the space. And thus we shall always be with the Lord.”
1Cr 15:51-53,“Behold, I tell you a mystery; we will not all sleep, but we will all be changed, in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet; for the trumpet will sound, and the dead will be raised imperishable, and we will be changed. For this perishable must put on the imperishable, and this mortal must put on immortality.”
Change in Greek is allassō
which means to exchange one thing for another, to transform;
- it occurs only 6 times in the New Testament. To change means to cause one
thing to cease and another to take its place. God will transform our bodies
from mortal to immortal, from diseased and dishonorable to glorious and
spiritual. Those who died in Christ will rise with glorious and spiritual
bodies to meet the Lord in the space. Those believers who are still alive will
be transformed to meet the Lord together in the space.
B. Christ gives power.
Luk 7:21,“And that very hour He cured many of infirmities, afflictions, and evil spirits; and to many blind He gave sight.”
Note: In the beginning to authenticate the power of the Messiah and His divinity, it was necessary for Christ to perform many miracles and wonders.
Mat 10:1,“And when He had called His twelve disciples to Him, He gave them power over unclean spirits, to cast them out, and to heal all kinds of sickness and all kinds of disease.”
Mar 6:7,“And He called the twelve to Himself, and began to send them out two by two, and gave them power over unclean spirits.”
Luk 9:1,“Then He called His twelve disciples together and gave them power and authority over all demons, and to cure diseases.”
Luk 10:19, “Behold, I give you the authority to trample on serpents and scorpions, and over all the power of the enemy, and nothing shall by any means hurt you.”
Note: A point has to be made: The Lord Jesus gave the Apostles power over unclean spirits to cast them out, to trample on serpents and scorpions, and to heal all kinds of sickness and all kinds of disease – the power was unprecedented and not repeated in the future. The power that the Apostles received was absolute power, no failure in casting out demon, no failure in trampling on serpents and scorpions, no failure in curing any disease. In others words, the power that the Apostles received from the Lord was and is no other person has ever received or will ever receive. The Apostles and early disciples received power and authority not for self-glory, but to witness for the Lord. If a man or woman now claims to be an apostle of Jesus Christ, he/she is an out-and-out liar and a fraud.
Jhn 1:12,“But as many as received Him, to them He gave the power to become children of God, to those who believe in His name:”
Note: The power to become children of God is better than to be the head of a state, or the richest man on earth.
Jhn 17:22,“And the glory which You gave Me I have given them, that they may be one just as We are one.”
Note: The glory that Christians we will share with Christ when He returns and throughout eternity is not what human mind can comprehend or imagine.
Jhn 17:24,“Father, I desire that they also whom You gave Me may be with Me where I am, that they may behold My glory which You have given Me; for You loved Me before the foundation of the world.”
Note: To be with Christ in Paradise and to behold His glory forever will be the greatest joy of Christians for eternity.
2Cr 10:8,“For even if I should boast somewhat more about our authority, which the Lord gave us for edification and not for your destruction, I shall not be ashamed.”
Note: The Lord gave authority to the Apostles for edification of the church, not for destruction. False teachers want to use false authority and false doctrine for the destruction of faith.
Eph 4:8,“Therefore He says: When He ascended on high, He led captivity captive, and gave gifts to men.”
Eph 4:11,“And He Himself gave some to be apostles, some prophets, some evangelists, and some pastors and teachers.”
Note: The Lord gave gifts to men, some to be apostles, some prophets, some evangelists, and some pastors and teachers. You know, no one can claim to be a prophet, evangelist, pastor and teacher. There are many appointed by men, not by the Lord. You shall know them by their fruit.
Mat 11:28,“Come to Me, all you who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.”
Note: You are burdened and heavy laden, come to Christ, and He will give you rest.
Mat 16:19,“And I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven, and whatever you bind on earth will be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth will be loosed in heaven.”
Note: Key in Greek is kleis which is used in the New Testament to denote power and authority of various kinds; it occurs only 6 times in the New Testament.
Luk 1:79,“To give light to those who sit in darkness and the shadow of death, to guide our feet into the way of peace.”
Eph 5:14,“Therefore He says: Awake, you who sleep, arise from the dead, and Christ will give you light.”
Note: The Lord gives light to those who sit in darkness and shadow of death but receptive to the truth, to the light of life.
Luk 21:15,“For I will give you a mouth and wisdom which all your adversaries will not be able to contradict or resist.”
Note: Through the Holy Spirit the Lord gave apostles a mouth and wisdom to testify the truth which enemies of the truth cannot contradict or resist. The Book of Acts gives many of such examples.
Jhn 6:27,“Do not labor for the food which perishes, but for the food which endures to everlasting life, which the Son of Man will give you, because God the Father has set His seal on Him.”
Note: The Word of God is the food which endures to everlasting life.
Jhn 17:2,“As You have given Him authority over all flesh, that He should give eternal life to as many as You have given Him.”
Jhn 10:28,“And I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish; neither shall anyone snatch them out of My hand.”
Note: The is the eternal security that the Lord gives to His believers, eternal life, they shall never perish, and no one can snatch them out of Christ’s hand.
Jhn 14:27,“Peace I leave with you, My peace I give to you; not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.”
2Th 3:16,“Now may the Lord of peace Himself give you peace always in every way. The Lord be with you all.”
Note: In a troubled world, the Lord gives His peace to His believers, so that they should not be afraid. The worst thing could happen to a Christian would be death. To die is to be with the Lord. So there is nothing to fear.
2Ti 2:7,“Consider what I say, and may the Lord give you understanding in all things.”
Note: You need divine understanding to have divine knowledge. Unbelieving scientists and scholars do not have the understanding required to know things divine and spiritual.
Rev 2:10,“Do not fear any of those things which you are about to suffer. Indeed, the devil is about to throw some of you into prison, that you may be tested, and you will have tribulation ten days. Be faithful until death, and I will give you the crown of life.”
Note: Christians should not fear of suffering. Everyone suffers in this world. If we suffer for Christ, we shall glory with Him.
Rev 2:17,“He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches. To him who overcomes I will give some of the hidden manna to eat. And I will give him a white stone, and on the stone a new name written which no one knows except him who receives it.”
Note: The Lord will give to him who overcomes some hidden manna to eat, and a white stone (no precious stones can compare) and on the stone a new name written for him. We have no full understanding now of the most glorious and precious things the Lord will give to victorious Christians.
Rev 2:26,“And he who overcomes, and keeps My works until the end, to him I will give power over the nations.”
Note: Power to rule over the nations – this is not fully understood how the saints will reign with the King of kings and Lord of lords. One thing is clear they will have power over nations.
Rev 2:28,“And I will give him the morning star.”
Note: It is not made known how to receive the morning star, to hold in the hand or to shine on the head. This is no little toy but big honor.
Rev 21:6,“And He said to me: It is done! I am the Alpha and the Omega, the Beginning and the End. I will give of the fountain of the water of life freely to him who thirsts.”
This is an anthropomorphic statement, the Lord has no beginning and no ending.
The Almighty God is eternally Self-Existent. He was, He is, and He will be
forever and ever. Christians will get the water of life and live for ever as
the Lord lives.
C. Christ gives life.
Jhn 4:14,"But whoever drinks of the water that I will give him shall never thirst; but the water that I will give him will become in him a well of water springing up to eternal life.”
Jhn 6:27,“Do not work for the food which perishes, but for the food which endures to eternal life, which the Son of Man will give to you, for on Him the Father, God, has set His seal.”
Jhn 10:28, "And I give eternal life to them, and they will never perish; and no one will snatch them out of My hand."
Those who come to Jesus Christ, accept and believe in Him to be their Lord and Savior; He gives them eternal life, and they will never perish in Hell but live forever and ever in Heaven.
Jhn 17:2,"Even as You gave Him authority over all flesh, that to fnall whom You have given Him, He may give eternal life."
Eternal life is a new life, spiritual life, life in Christ, fit to live in the Paradise of God for eternity.
Rev 21:6, "Then He said to me: It is done. I am the Alpha and the Omega, the beginning and the end. I will give to the one who thirsts from the spring of the water of life without cost."
The water of life is free. The salvation of God is free. Eternal life is free for all who repent of their sins and believe in Jesus Christ as their Lord and Savior.
3. The Spirit gives.
Jhn 6:63,“It is the Spirit who gives life; the flesh profits nothing; the words that I have spoken to you are spirit and are life.”
Note: This is a simple but profound Scripture: The words that Jesus has spoken are spirit and are life. I do not fully understand this, but I know the words of Christ are powerful and they are the Word of life, and the Holy Spirit gives life, spiritual life, new life.
Act 2:4,“And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance.”
Note: It is not always when people are filled with the Holy Spirit and they speak with other tongues. God gave the Holy Spirit to Jesus without measure, and Jesus never spoke in tongues. The plain teaching of Jesus already puzzled the Jews, speaking in tongues would only confuse. John the Baptist was filled with the Holy Spirit when he was in his mother’s womb, and John never spoke in tongues or performed any miracle. Stephen was full of the Holy Sprit and he performed mighty miracles, and Stephen never spoke in tongues. Stephen gave the powerful synoptic summary of Jewish history in his last sermon to exalt Jesus Christ that caused his death by stoning.
2Cr 3:6,“Who also made us adequate as servants of a new covenant, not of the letter but of the Spirit; for the letter kills, but the Spirit gives life.”
Note: The letter of Mosaic Law killed the Pharisees and the scribes by trying to obtain righteousness through keeping of the law. Through the glorious Gospel of Jesus Christ the Holy Spirit gives life to those who believe.
Act 15:8,“So God, who knows the heart, acknowledged them by giving them the Holy Spirit, just as He did to us.”
God knows the heart and so you cannot fool God. God gave the Holy Spirit to
Gentile believers just as He gave to Jewish believers.
4. Give thanks to the Lord.
1Ch 16:8,“Oh, give thanks to the LORD! Call upon His name; make known His deeds among the peoples!”
1Ch 16:34,“Oh, give thanks to the LORD, for He is good! For His mercy endures forever.”
Note: Give thanks in Hebrew is yadah which means to laud, praise, celebrate; - it occurs about 114 times in the Old Testament. Make known in Hebrew is yada` which means to know, learn to know, cause to know, reveal, declare; - it occurs about 947 times in the Old Testament. One of the reasons to give thanks to the Lord because He is good. The Lord is good to me. The Lord is good to all His children. Mercy in Hebrew is checed which means goodness, kindness, faithfulness, zeal, love, grace, pity; - it occurs 248 times in the Old Testament. Had it not for God’s mercy to send Jesus Christ who died on the cross for our sins, we would have all perished in hell.
1Ch 16:29,“Give to the LORD the glory due His name; bring an offering, and come before Him. Oh, worship the LORD in the beauty of holiness!”
Note: Glory in Hebrew is kabowd which means honor, splendor, dignity, reverence, majesty; - it occurs 200 times in the Old Testament. How sublime to worship the Lord in the beauty of holiness. Natural man only knows the beauty of body, spiritual man knows the beauty of holiness.
Ezr 3:11,“And they sang responsively, praising and giving thanks to the LORD: For He is good, for His mercy endures forever toward Israel. Then all the people shouted with a great shout, when they praised the LORD, because the foundation of the house of the LORD was laid.”
Dan 6:10,“Now when Daniel knew that the writing was signed, he went home. And in his upper room, with his windows open toward Jerusalem, he knelt down on his knees three times that day, and prayed and gave thanks before his God, as was his custom since early days.”
Note: Daniel in the midst of crisis still prayed and gave thanks before God. It is a good custom for every Christian to pray and give thanks to God every day.
Luk 2:38,“And coming in that instant she gave thanks to the Lord, and spoke of Him to all those who looked for redemption in Jerusalem.”
Note: Redemption came from Jerusalem, and salvation came from the Jews.
Luk 17:16,“And fell down on his face at His feet, giving Him thanks. And he was a Samaritan.”
Note: A person can be grateful and thankful no matter what his origin. A thankful Samaritan was better than an ungrateful Jew.
Eph 5:4,“Neither filthiness, nor foolish talking, nor coarse jesting, which are not fitting, but rather giving of thanks.”
Note: Dirty talking, foolish talking, coarse jesting are not fitting for Christians. A certain culture has a tendency to do all that and thinking it is fun.
Eph 5:20,“Giving thanks always for all things to God the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ.”
Note: It is proper for Christians to give thanks always for all things to God the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ. All things include our adversity, sorrow, failure and heartbreak, misfortune, etc. I don’t mean we should be thankful for our failure because of our neglect or we did not strive and try hard enough. We ought to be thankful for our failure in business, career, etc. even if we had done our best. I thanked God for failing to secure an appointment with a famous tycoon because that position might not be what God had in store for me. We should be thankful for closed doors because God did not want us to enter. A Christian couple was driving to the airport to catch a plane; unexpectedly they had a flat tire. By the time it was fixed, they missed the plane. Later they learned that plane crashed. I thanked God for a period of unemployment caused by economic hard times, during my unemployment I completed the book entitled God and Savior: A Textbook on Christology which was cataloged in the Library of Congress, LC Call No.: BT202 .H83 1994; Dewey No.: 232 20.
Col 1:12,“Giving thanks to the Father who has qualified us to be partakers of the inheritance of the saints in the light.”
Note: Qualify in Greek is hikanoō which means to make sufficient, render fit, equip one with adequate power to perform duties of one, make meet, make able; - it occurs only twice in the New Testament. This is one of the greatest blessings of believers to be made partakers of the inheritance of the saints in the light. In the Kingdom of light means that heavenly state, consummate and free from every imperfection, to which the true disciples of Jesus will be exalted.
Col 3:17,“And whatever you do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through Him.”
Note: This is how Christians should do: Whatever you do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through Him. You can do something in word or deed. Everybody knows deed is something you do. The Bible says word is also something you do. Thus a man is accountable for his word or deed.
Hbr 13:15,“Therefore by Him let us continually offer the sacrifice of praise to God, that is, the fruit of our lips, giving thanks to His name.”
Note: In many cultures, peoples are not accustomed to say thank you. In certain cultures, parents and children do not say thanks to each other. Spouses do not say thanks to each other. Friends do not say thanks to each other. Strangers do not say thanks to each other even if they receive some favor. It is an inferior culture that does not practice giving thanks. Praise to God is a sacrifice that God likes, an offering practiced by believers continually. We must give thanks to God whether it is prosperity or adversity, health or sickness, joy or sorrow. Be thankful for everything. The Lord gives, the Lord takes away, blessed be His name.
1Th 5:18,“In everything give thanks; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.”
It is the general will of God (it means it applies to every believer) to give
thanks to God in everything. We have many things to be thankful for, more than
we can count.
5. Giving to God.
What can a man give to God? Everything that a man has he received. If you are a nonbeliever, the first time you go to church and hear the pastor untimely says about offering. Remember, you do not need to give a penny. God does not want your offering. God wants your repentance and faith in Jesus Christ.
Psa 51:16-17,“For You do not desire sacrifice, or else I would give it; You do not delight in burnt offering. The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit, a broken and a contrite heart--These, O God, You will not despise.”
Note: Desire in Hebrew is chaphets which means to delight in, take pleasure in, be pleased with, have pleasure in; - it occurs 75 times in the Old Testament. Delight in Hebrew is ratsah which means to be pleased with, be favorable to, accept favorably, enjoy; - it occurs 57 times in the Old Testament. God does not desire sacrifice and does not delight in burnt offering. God wants the sacrifice of a broken spirit, a broken and a contrite heart. Have you observed some people repeatedly say, Hallelujah, Praise the Lord, Immanuel, God bless you, etc. in a heartless way? Once I met a blind man who would automatically and repeatedly and redundantly say: God bless you, whenever and whoever did him a favor; as if he was greater and so he was able to bless you. This ignorant blind man acted as if it was your duty to do him a favor and so he blessed you. Hbr 7:7, “And without doubt the lesser person is blessed by the greater.” God does not despise a broken spirit and a broken and a contrite heart. Contrite in Hebrew is dakah which means broken, crushed; - it occurs only 5 times in the Old Testament. A broken and a contrite heart is a sorrowful but sincere heart.
Jhn 4:24,“God is Spirit, and those who worship Him must worship in spirit and truth.”
Job 35:7,“If you are righteous, what do you give Him? Or what does He receive from your hand?”
Note: Whenever you are proud of giving God something, ask yourself: What do you give to God? What does He receive from your hand?
Psa 29:2,“Give to the LORD the glory due to His name; worship the LORD in the beauty of holiness.”
Note: The least humans can do is to give the glory due to His name, and worship the Lord in the beauty of holiness. Sinfulness has ugliness, only holiness has beauty. To worship God with holy conduct is better than the sacrifices and burnt offerings of the Old Testament. Money cannot atone for sins, only the precious blood of Jesus can atone for ourselves.
Lev 23:38,“Besides the Sabbaths of the LORD, besides your gifts, besides all your vows, and besides all your freewill offerings which you give to the LORD.”
Note: There is always besides for whatever we give to the Lord, gifts and freewill offerings. Christians can still give gifts and freewill offerings to the Lord although they are not called tithes.
Jos 7:19,“Now Joshua said to Achan: My son, I beg you, give glory to the LORD God of Israel, and make confession to Him, and tell me now what you have done; do not hide it from me.”
Act 12:23,“Then immediately an angel of the Lord struck him, because he did not give glory to God. And he was eaten by worms and died.”
Note: The only thing that a sinner can do is to make confession to God and give glory to the Lord God. It is a grave sin to steal the glory of God like king Herod did. An angel struck Herod, and he was eaten by worms and died.
Rom 4:20,“He did not waver at the promise of God through unbelief, but was strengthened in faith, giving glory to God.”
Note: Waver in Greek is diakrinō which means to be at variance with one's self, hesitate, doubt, apostatize; - it occurs 19 times in the New Testament. Unbelief makes one hesitate; faith strengthens. Abraham did not waver at the promise of God even when he was about 100 years old and his old wife Sarah was barren.
Luk 18:43,“And immediately he received his sight, and followed Him, glorifying God. And all the people, when they saw it, gave praise to God.”
Note: When you witness a mighty act of God, do not forget to give praise to God.
Rev 11:13,“In the same hour there was a great earthquake, and a tenth of the city fell. In the earthquake seven thousand people were killed, and the rest were afraid and gave glory to the God of heaven.”
Note: Be afraid in a natural disaster, and give glory to the God of heaven for sparing your life. Watch the power of earthquake and tsunami.
Rev 14:7,“Saying with a loud voice: Fear God and give glory to Him, for the hour of His judgment has come; and worship Him who made heaven and earth, the sea and springs of water.”
Note: The duty of man is to fear God and give glory to Him
Rev 19:7,“Let us be glad and rejoice and give Him glory, for the marriage of the Lamb has come, and His wife has made herself ready.”
Rev 4:9-11,“And when the living creatures give glory and honor and thanks to Him who sits on the throne, to Him who lives forever and ever, the twenty-four elders will fall down before Him who sits on the throne, and will worship Him who lives forever and ever, and will cast their crowns before the throne, saying: Worthy are You, our Lord and our God, to receive glory and honor and power; for You created all things, and because of Your will they existed, and were created.”
The ultimate reason to be glad and rejoice and give God glory is the marriage
of the Lamb. Christ shall reign with the saints. In the eternal Kingdom of God, the saints worship and give God
glory forever and ever. Christ shall receive glory and honor and power forever.
6. Man’s giving.
What can man give anything of value to others?
Gen 2:20, “So Adam gave names to all cattle, to the birds of the air, and to every beast of the field. But for Adam there was not found a helper comparable to him.”
Note: For a man to find a woman comparable to him is a great blessing. Happy marriage consists of giving and receiving between man and woman.
Gen 24:18,“So she said: Drink, my lord. Then she quickly let her pitcher down to her hand, and gave him a drink.”
Note: A drink to a thirsty person on a hot day is precious.
Gen 25:5,“And Abraham gave all that he had to Isaac.”
Gen 25:6,“But Abraham gave gifts to the sons of the concubines which Abraham had; and while he was still living he sent them eastward, away from Isaac his son, to the country of the east.”
Note: It is a smart way of giving your gifts to your children while you are still alive. It is a terrible thing for children to fight among themselves for estate of their deceased parents.
Deu 24:15,“Each day you shall give him his wages, and not let the sun go down on it, for he is poor and has set his heart on it; lest he cry out against you to the LORD, and it be sin to you.”
Note: A corporation that withholds wages from its employees when they should have paid out according to the law is wicked. A Christian employer must pay fair wages and on time.
1Sa 1:5,“But to Hannah he would give a double portion, for he loved Hannah, although the LORD had closed her womb.”
Note: Love gives; the more love, the greater the gift. If a man declares his love to you, but gives you grudgingly and sparingly, do not believe him. There is a correlation between loving and giving. The more loving, the more giving. The greater loving, the greater giving.
2Sa 15:4,“Moreover Absalom would say: Oh, that I were made judge in the land, and everyone who has any suit or cause would come to me; then I would give him justice.”
Note: Absalom was a politician in ancient times trying to campaign for a high office on giving justice to people. How shrewd! How promising! But his unholy ambition was the cause of his downfall. Now in America, there are people campaigning for the U.S. presidency under the pretext that God wants them to be presidents. How incredible! The office of the president is one, yet a few claim God is telling them to run. This was what I warned President George Bush not to use the name of God or Christ for political reasons. Money politics and power politics are dirty politics.
1Ki 1:12,“Come, please, let me now give you advice, that you may save your own life and the life of your son Solomon.”
Note: The advice prophet Nathan gave to Bathsheba saved her life and the life of her son Solomon. Good advice may be life-saving.
1Ki 10:13,“Now King Solomon gave the queen of Sheba all she desired, whatever she asked, besides what Solomon had given her according to the royal generosity. So she turned and went to her own country, she and her servants.”
2Ch 9:12,“Now King Solomon gave to the queen of Sheba all she desired, whatever she asked, much more than she had brought to the king. So she turned and went to her own country, she and her servants.”
Note: It is dangerous to give whatever a person desires and whatever a person wants. It may not be the case of the queen of Sheba.
2Ki 10:15,“Now when he departed from there, he met Jehonadab the son of Rechab, coming to meet him; and he greeted him and said to him: Is your heart right, as my heart is toward your heart? And Jehonadab answered: It is. Jehu said: If it is, give me your hand. So he gave him his hand, and he took him up to him into the chariot.”
Note: This was a most revealing dialog. Is your heart right? Do not think people who give gifts to you their hearts are right. The proper human relationship must be built upon truth and sincerity of heart.
2Ki 15:20,“And Menahem exacted the money from Israel, from all the very wealthy, from each man fifty shekels of silver, to give to the king of Assyria. So the king of Assyria turned back, and did not stay there in the land.”
Note: Exact in Hebrew is yatsa' which means to go out, come out, extort, go forth, bring out, lead out; - it occurs about 1069 times in the Old Testament. Menahem was an evil king of Israel because he did evil in the sight of the LORD. He struck Tiphsah and all who were in it, and ripped up all its women who were with child. Probably the evil Japanese militarists learned from Menahem or the evil one as they ripped up Chinese women who were with child. Menahem exacted the money from all the very wealthy to pay the king of Assyria not to attack his kingdom. Politicians and lawmakers who gave taxcuts to the rich are even more wicked.
2Ki 22:8,“Then Hilkiah the high priest said to Shaphan the scribe: I have found the Book of the Law in the house of the LORD. And Hilkiah gave the book to Shaphan, and he read it.”
2Ch 34:15, “Then Hilkiah answered and said to Shaphan the scribe: I have found the Book of the Law in the house of the LORD. And Hilkiah gave the book to Shaphan.”
Note: The Bible is the best gift to anyone. I personally believe it is wrong for any publisher to manufacture fancy and luxuriously bound Bible to sell at high price for profits.
2Ki 23:35,“So Jehoiakim gave the silver and gold to Pharaoh; but he taxed the land to give money according to the command of Pharaoh; he exacted the silver and gold from the people of the land, from every one according to his assessment, to give it to Pharaoh Necho.”
Note: The only assessment which is fair and just is progressive: The rich pay more, the poor pay less or none. Taxpayers’money is not used to give luxurious lifestyle to politicians and officials. A government by definition is corrupt when the national revenue is solely or mostly used to benefit the leaders and officials. That explains why dictators are so rich because they are national thieves and robbers.
1Ch 21:25,“So David gave Ornan six hundred shekels of gold by weight for the place.”
Note: It is better to pay for something than to receive for nothing.
2Ch 30:22,“And Hezekiah gave encouragement to all the Levites who taught the good knowledge of the LORD; and they ate throughout the feast seven days, offering peace offerings and making confession to the LORD God of their fathers.”
2Ch 35:8,“And his leaders gave willingly to the people, to the priests, and to the Levites. Hilkiah, Zechariah, and Jehiel, rulers of the house of God, gave to the priests for the Passover offerings two thousand six hundred from the flock, and three hundred cattle.”
Note: Historically the people were forced to give to the leaders, never the leaders give willingly to the people. There was a little manager who forced the members of his department to collect a certain amount of money for his birthday present.
Pro 18:16,“A gift opens the way for the giver and ushers him into the presence of the great.”
Note: Many leaders, politicians and officials are corrupted by gifts and presents of all kinds. There should be strict laws to ban all officials (elected or appointed) to receive gift or present of any value from anyone. Gifts and presents are not excluded by money or cash, they can be a paid vacation, diamonds or antiques, rare collection, real estate, lucrative employment (for example, the wife of a former president was appointed a member of the board of directors at a large corporation for doing nothing but receiving a monthly substantial salary), and in a million and one different ways.
Zec 8:16,“These are the things you shall do: Speak each man the truth to his neighbor; Give judgment in your gates for truth, justice, and peace;”
Note: Where is the court that gives judgment for truth, justice, and peace? Not any supreme court or international court. Truth, justice, and peace are better than money, power and sex.
Mat 24:38, “For as in the days before the flood, they were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, until the day that Noah entered the ark.”
Note: Marrying and giving in marriage are common human affairs; one disgraced politician spent $2 million for his daughter wedding. About 80 percent of Americans working all their lives do not earn $1 million gross.
Act 10:2,“A devout man and one who feared God with all his household, who gave alms generously to the people, and prayed to God always.”
Note: A devout man can influence all his household to fear the Lord is a truly successful person. A devout man must do good deeds by giving alms generously and praying to God always. Cornelius is a good model for any man or head of the household.
1Ti 5:4,“But if any widow has children or grandchildren, let them first learn to show piety at home and to repay their parents; for this is good and acceptable before God”
Note: It is good and acceptable before God for children to repay their parents and show piety at home. You cannot say I have given to the work of Christ, so I do not need to support my parents. You cannot say I have given to my parents, so I do not need to support the work of Christ.
1Ti 5:16,“If any believing man or woman has widows, let them relieve them, and do not let the church be burdened, that it may relieve those who are really widows.”
Note: Christians have primary duty to relieve their poor and needy relatives.
1Ti 5:8,“But if anyone does not provide for his own, and especially for those of his household, he has denied the faith and is worse than an unbeliever.” Many members of the church are worse than unbelievers.
This is an example of giving with world peace in mind, but it is not a Christian giving.
Unprecedented educational project has been announced on April 21, 2013 by Stephen A. Schwarzman, founder of the private equity firm Blackstone, the establishment of a $300 million endowed scholarship program in China for students from around the world at Beijing’s Tsinghua University, with the first class of students scheduled to start in 2016. This largest philanthropic gift with foreign money in China’s history is more powerful than American missiles but have constructive and productive benefits. Mr. Schwarzman is right, “China’s rapid economic growth and rising global influence would define the 21st century.” Therefore, cooperation is far better than conflict. It would be wise also for American leaders to abandon “containment of China” policy now. The goal of training “future world leaders and play a positive role in relations between China and the United States” is most noble and worthy. I applaud Mr. Schwarzman’s insight and foresight, “For future geopolitical stability and global prosperity, we need to build a culture of greater trust and understanding between China, America and the rest of the world.” There are already many bad things happening in 2013, this is the one good thing done by Mr. Schwarzman which has positive impact on the world.
For building a culture of greater trust and understanding between China, America and the rest of the world, the United States can unilaterally take the following steps:
(1). Cancel the US-Taiwan Relations Act, stop selling deadly and costly weapons to Taiwan for Chinese to kill each other, and declare never to defend Taiwan under any circumstances.
(2). Apologize to China for violating China’s sovereignty in unlawfully giving administrative control of China’s Diaoyu Islands in 1971 to the unconditionally surrendered war crime nation of Japan and order Japan to return China’s territories peacefully without further delay.
(3). Give up “pivot to Asia” policy and seek not to become the supreme power in Asia Pacific.
7. Christian giving.
2Cr 9:7,“Each man should give what he has decided in his heart to give, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver.”
Note: The Scripture provides the principle of Christian giving:
(A). Decide in your heart to give.
(B). Not reluctantly.
(C). Not under compulsion.
(D). Give cheerfully.
Phl 4:15,“Now you Philippians know also that in the beginning of the Gospel, when I departed from Macedonia, no church shared with me concerning giving and receiving but you only.”
Note: Giving and receiving completes the Christian life of compassion and devotion. Those who give must give cheerfully, those who receive must receive honorably. When a Christian gives, it does not make him/her superior. Remember, Abraham gave tithe to Melchizedek because he was the High Priest of God. When you receive it does not make you inferior. Melchizedek was great. Hbr 7:4,“Now observe how great this man was to whom Abraham, the patriarch, gave a tenth of the choicest spoils.” It was my joy to meet Wang Ming Tao just a year before he died and shared a little with him. By divine providence I met Wang Ming Tao on my birthday; it was the nicest birthday present from God. It is my great pleasure to share the knowledge of the Word with thousands and thousands of readers on the Internet around the world. Act 20:35,“In everything I showed you that by working hard in this manner you must help the weak and remember the words of the Lord Jesus, that He Himself said: It is more blessed to give than to receive.” The Lord says: It is more blessed to give than to receive. It is our privilege to be able to give to support the work of the ministry. I used to fancy if I were living at the time and place of John Bunyan, I was already working as a middle manager; I would be able to and gladly support his family while he was in jail. It is also our privilege to be able to share our resources with the poor saints in the Lord. If I had a $1 billion, I would open an orphanage in China to receive only female orphans that people do not want. One thousand richest Americans have more money than 1 billion poorest people in the world. Among the richest one thousand there must be a few Christians. Those richest Christian Americans can give to the cause of Christ in many ways: support evangelization of the world, provide free hospitals and clinics for the poor and disabled, free schools to train the uneducated and unemployed to obtain job skills needed in employment, orphanages for abandoned and unwanted children, farming to grow and process foods for the needy, factories to hire workers to create wealth, etc.
1Ti 2:1,“Therefore I exhort first of all that supplications, prayers, intercessions, and giving of thanks be made for all men.”
1Pe 3:7,“Husbands, likewise, dwell with them with understanding, giving honor to the wife, as to the weaker vessel, and as being heirs together of the grace of life, that your prayers may not be hindered.”
Note: Give honor to your wife, being heirs together of the grace of life.
Luk 17:18,“Were there not any found who returned to give glory to God except this foreigner?”
A thankful believer must give glory to God.
Gen 14:20, “And blessed be God Most High, Who has delivered your enemies into your hand. Then Abram gave him a tithe of all.”
Note: The word ‘tithe’first appears in Gen 14:20. Tithe in Hebrew is ma`aser which means a tenth, payment of a tenth part, tenth part; - it occurs 32 times in the Old Testament. When Abram (Later Abraham) rescued Lot, Abram's brother's son, and his family, and successfully brought back all the goods; then Melchizedek king of Salem brought out bread and wine; he was the priest of God Most High. Melchizedek blessed Abram and said to him: Blessed be Abram of God Most High, Possessor of heaven and earth; and blessed be God Most High, Who has delivered your enemies into your hand. Then Abram gave Melchizedek a tithe of all because he was the priest of God Most High. To give a tenth of all to the priest of God is to give to God in respect.
Gen 28:22，“And this stone which I have set as a pillar shall be God's house, and of all that You give me I will surely give a tithe to You.”
Note: Jacob at Bethel made a vow to God: All that God gives to Jacob he will surely give a tithe to God. Is there something wrong with the arithmetic? If you will give me a million dollars, I will give you a tenth of it. God does not need anything, giving a tithe simply acknowledges God’s ownership and the Lordship. Everything belongs to God. God owns everything; we give what we have received. For example, I teach my students: If your parents are very rich, you invite them to dinner, you must pay the bill. Although your parents give you the money, you pay the restaurant bill in respect to them.
Lev 27:30，“And all the tithe of the land, whether of the seed of the land or of the fruit of the tree, is the Lord’s. It is holy to the LORD.”
Note: Tithe did not involve money only; the tithe of the land included the seed of the land or of the fruit of the tree. Holiness in Hebrew is qodesh which means apartness, sacredness, separateness, set-apartness; - it occurs 468 times in the Old Testament. What is holy or what belongs to the Lord must be set apart.
Lev 27:32,“And concerning the tithe of the herd or the flock, of whatever passes under the rod, the tenth one shall be holy to the LORD.”
Note: There was also the tithe of the herd or the flock.
Num 18:26,“Speak thus to the Levites, and say to them: When you take from the children of Israel the tithes which I have given you from them as your inheritance, then you shall offer up a heave offering of it to the LORD, a tenth of the tithe.”
Note: Levites in Hebrew is Leviyiy, the tribe descended from Levi specially set aside by God for His service; - it occurs 286 times in the Old Testament. The Levites were not given land; God gave them the tithes of the children of Israel as inheritance. Inheritance in Hebrew is nachalah which means possession, property, heritage, portion, share; - it occurs 222 times in the Old Testament.
Deu 12:17,“You may not eat within your gates the tithe of your grain or your new wine or your oil, of the firstborn of your herd or your flock, of any of your offerings which you vow, of your freewill offerings, or of the heave offering of your hand.”
Note: In the Old Testament service for God, from tent to temple in terms of various offerings, the tithes of the seed of the land or of the fruit of the tree, of the first born of herd or the flock, and of grain or new wine or oil all had significant and functional meanings.
Deu 14:22-23,“You shall truly tithe all the increase of your grain that the field produces year by year. And you shall eat before the LORD your God, in the place where He chooses to make His name abide, the tithe of your grain and your new wine and your oil, of the firstborn of your herds and your flocks, that you may learn to fear the LORD your God always.”
Note: Learn in Hebrew is lamad which means to teach, exercise in, instruct, train, accustom oneself to; - it occurs 86 times in the Old Testament. All the tithes and offerings were meant to teach the children of Israel to fear the Lord their God always. Fear in Hebrew is yare' which means to revere, be afraid, stand in awe of, inspire reverence or godly fear or awe; - it occurs 314 times in the Old Testament. Why do we fear God? So that we may not offend God or sin against God.
Deu 14:24-26,“But if the journey is too long for you, so that you are not able to carry the tithe, or if the place where the LORD your God chooses to put His name is too far from you, when the LORD your God has blessed you, then you shall exchange it for money, take the money in your hand, and go to the place which the LORD your God chooses. And you shall spend that money for whatever your heart desires: for oxen or sheep, for wine or similar drink, for whatever your heart desires; you shall eat there before the LORD your God, and you shall rejoice, you and your household.”
Note: The God of Israel was most sensible and kind, He allowed the children of Israel to exchange tithes for money, because the journey was too long and they were not able to carry the tithe, or the place of worship was too far from them.
Deu 26:12-13,“When you have finished laying aside all the tithe of your increase in the third year--the year of tithing--and have given it to the Levite, the stranger, the fatherless, and the widow, so that they may eat within your gates and be filled, then you shall say before the LORD your God: I have removed the holy tithe from my house, and also have given them to the Levite, the stranger, the fatherless, and the widow, according to all Your commandments which You have commanded me; I have not transgressed Your commandments, nor have I forgotten them.”
Note: Under the dispensation of Mosaic Law, the children of Israel were to give tithes to the Levite, the stranger, the fatherless, and the widow according to all God’s commandments.
2Ch 31:5-6,“As soon as the commandment was circulated, the children of Israel brought in abundance the firstfruits of grain and wine, oil and honey, and of all the produce of the field; and they brought in abundantly the tithe of everything. And the children of Israel and Judah, who dwelt in the cities of Judah, brought the tithe of oxen and sheep; also the tithe of holy things which were consecrated to the LORD their God they laid in heaps.”
Note: Circulate in Hebrew is parats which means to spread, distribute, broadcast; - it occurs 49 times in the Old Testament. The Word of God must be spread like a rumor although it is not a rumor. The strangest thing about human nature, truth is not to be received, but a falsehood gladly. Even Britain in the face of the worst riots, considers controlling websites of the Internet that spread rumors and falsehoods. BBC used to falsely report the riots of Lhasa, Tibet as peaceful protests; now chickens come home to roost, would BBC call it a peaceful protest of London oppressed minority?
Mat 7:2,“For with what judgment you judge, you will be judged; and with the measure you use, it will be measured back to you.”
Neh 13:12,“Then all Judah brought the tithe of the grain and the new wine and the oil to the storehouse.”
Note: By the time of Nehemiah, there was the house of God and storehouses to receive tithes. Storehouse in Hebrew is 'owtsar which means treasure-house, treasury, magazine; - it occurs 79 times in the Old Testament. The church today is not the house of God or the storehouse to receive tithes.
Gen 47:24,“And it shall come to pass in the harvest that you shall give one-fifth to Pharaoh. Four-fifths shall be your own, as seed for the field and for your food, for those of your households and as food for your little ones.”
Note: The Egyptian law of taxation demanded people to give one-fifth of their harvest to Pharaoh. Under many democratic governments, people pay more than 20 percent of taxes from their income. Due to unfair taxation, many big corporations and wealthy do not pay taxes at all. The leaders who gave tax cuts to the rich are wicked.
Mat 23:23,“Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you pay tithe of mint and anise and cumin, and have neglected the weightier matters of the law: justice and mercy and faith. These you ought to have done, without leaving the others undone.”
Luk 11:42,“But woe to you Pharisees! For you tithe mint and rue and all manner of herbs, and pass by justice and the love of God. These you ought to have done, without leaving the others undone.”
Luk 18:12,“I fast twice a week; I give tithes of all that I possess.”
Note: The Jews ought to give tithes, but not to neglect the weightier matters of the law: justice and mercy and faith. A person can give tithe and still lacks justice and mercy and faith. Christians are under grace; no where in the Bible commands Christians to give tithes.
Hbr 7:1-7,“For this Melchizedek, king of Salem, priest of the Most High God, who met Abraham returning from the slaughter of the kings and blessed him, to whom also Abraham gave a tenth part of all, first being translated ‘king of righteousness,’ and then also king of Salem, meaning ‘king of peace,’ without father, without mother, without genealogy, having neither beginning of days nor end of life, but made like the Son of God, remains a priest continually. Now consider how great this man was, to whom even the patriarch Abraham gave a tenth of the spoils. And indeed those who are of the sons of Levi, who receive the priesthood, have a commandment to receive tithes from the people according to the law, that is, from their brethren, though they have come from the loins of Abraham; but he whose genealogy is not derived from them received tithes from Abraham and blessed him who had the promises. Now beyond all contradiction the lesser is blessed by the better.”
Note: Jesus Christ, being the Son of God, the Priest of the Most High God， is greater than Melchizedek. The King of kings and Lord of lords is greater than all.
Hbr 7:12,“For the priesthood being changed, of necessity there is also a change of the law.”
Hbr 10:1,8,“For the law, having a shadow of the good things to come, and not the very image of the things, can never with these same sacrifices, which they offer continually year by year, make those who approach perfect. Previously saying: Sacrifice and offering, burnt offerings, and offerings for sin You did not desire, nor had pleasure in them (which are offered according to the law).”
Mal 3:10,“Bring the whole tithe into the storehouse, that there may be food in my house. Test Me in this, says the LORD Almighty, and see if I will not throw open the floodgates of heaven and pour out so much blessing that you will not have room enough for it.”
Note: Many pastors and preachers want you to think tithing is required in the New Testament. Not so, tithing is required of the Jews under the law. This Scripture is often used by preachers and ministers who claim to be the sole depository of tithes and offerings. It must be stressed; this Scripture speaks to the Jews of the Old Testament. There is no Scripture in the New Testament that demands Christians to pay tithes.
does not mean Christians do not make offerings to God. Many Christians offer to Christ's service much more than tithing.
9. Giving to God
Offering to God must entail sacrifice.
1Ch 21:23-26,“But Ornan said to David: Take it to yourself, and let my lord the king do what is good in his eyes. Look, I also give you the oxen for burnt offerings, the threshing implements for wood, and the wheat for the grain offering; I give it all. Then King David said to Ornan: No, but I will surely buy it for the full price, for I will not take what is yours for the LORD, nor offer burnt offerings with that which costs me nothing. So David gave Ornan six hundred shekels of gold by weight for the place. And David built there an altar to the LORD, and offered burnt offerings and peace offerings, and called on the LORD; and He answered him from heaven by fire on the altar of burnt offering.”
Note: Act 13:22,“And when He had removed him, He raised up for them David as king, to whom also He gave testimony and said: I have found David the son of Jesse, a man after My own heart, who will do all My will.' No wonder David was a man after God’s own heart.”
David would not take what was others for the Lord, nor offer offerings that
would cost him nothing. So David was a man after God’s own heart.
A. Giving to the cause of Christ.
Mat 25:35-40,“For I was hungry, and you gave Me something to eat; I was thirsty, and you gave Me something to drink; I was a stranger, and you invited Me in; naked, and you clothed Me; I was sick, and you visited Me; I was in prison, and you came to Me. Then the righteous will answer Him: Lord, when did we see You hungry, and feed You, or thirsty, and give You something to drink? And when did we see You a stranger, and invite You in, or naked, and clothe You? When did we see You sick, or in prison, and come to You? The King will answer and say to them: Truly I say to you, to the extent that you did it to one of these brothers of Mine, even the least of them, you did it to Me.”
Note: Giving to Christ is a personal activity and received personally. What something have you given to Christ? You gave Me something to eat. You gave Me something to drink. You invited Me in and clothed Me. You visited Me. You came to Me. To the extent you did it to one of Christian brothers (including sisters), even the least of them, you did it to Christ. Christians give to the extent they are able to, not under the law of one-tenth.
To support false gospel preachers and fake charity, etc. are not giving to the cause of Christ. You are only defrauded by swindlers.
Of some 6,500 swindling spams (not advertising) I have received through e-mails and messages since the Christmas season of 2011, most of them are Africans and Muslims, most are women black and white, some Muslims call themselves doctors, some Muslims call themselves princes, a few call themselves princesses, one calls himself a prince with an English name, most are Nigerian con artists, some whites, many women who want to sell their bodies, few men want to sell sex, one Chinese, one crook from Taiwan offering phony partnership, one used the name of the United Nations Office to beg for money (the beggar has an English name), a Microsoft Award of Nine Hundred and Fifty Thousand Great British Pound (£950,000.00) from the Event Manager Dr. Christopher Baker,various investment scams and phony business proposals, phony winning of lottery without buying, one who calls himself a pastor in Sweden, and two who claimed to be pastors want to do business with me by selling my products (writings) although I preach the Gospel of Jesus Christ for free, most shamelessly call their intended victims dearest, all demand urgent attention. Their methods of deception vary: some appeal in the name of charity, some sheer begging, most use baits, a few even use the name of God in vain – they are all liars and swindlers. These shameless, lawless, artless, senseless, wicked and conscienceless people have only one in common; they con people for money, money, and money. Some women solicit sex for money. Deviousness and shamelessness characterize all scam artists and swindlers. These swindlers are so shameless, low, degenerate and depraved that they even ask their intended victims to trust them. They are everything what a human being should not be; the scums of the earth. They lie and lie and lie because they are the children of the father of lies, the children of darkness.
Mat 10:39,“He who finds his life will lose it, and he who loses his life for My sake will find it.”
Mat 16:25, “For whoever desires to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for My sake will find it.”
Mar 8:35,“For whoever desires to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for My sake and the gospel's will save it.”
Luk 9:24,“For whoever desires to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for My sake will save it.”
Note: Sake in Greek is heneka which means on account of, for the cause of, because of, for the purpose of; - it occurs 25 times in the New Testament. For the sake of Christ means to do or give for the cause of Christ. Money is not the most important giving. To lose your life for the sake of Christ is the highest giving. In the Christian paradox, to lose your life for Jesus’sake is to find it. Whoever desires to save his life will lose it. This is how Paul by inspiration explains it,
Phl 3:8,“Yet indeed I also count all things loss for the excellence of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord, for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and count them as rubbish, that I may gain Christ.” He who gains Christ gains everything.
Mar 10:29-30,“Jesus said: Truly I say to you, there is no one who has left house or brothers or sisters or mother or father or children or farms, for My sake and for the Gospel's sake, but that he will receive a hundred times as much now in this time, houses and brothers and sisters and mothers and children and farms, along with persecutions; and in the age to come, eternal life.”
Note: The rewards for leaving anything for Jesus’sake and for the Gospel’s sake are in this time and in the age to come, eternal life.
Luk 21:12,“But before all these things, they will lay their hands on you and will persecute you, delivering you to the synagogues and prisons, bringing you before kings and governors for My name's sake.”
Note: For the sake of Christ’s name is the same for Christ’s sake.
Act 9:16,“For I will show him how much he must suffer for My name's sake.”
Note: Those who suffer for Christ will share His glory.
Rev 2:3,“And you have perseverance and have endured for My name's sake, and have not grown weary.”
Note: To suffer and endure for Christ is the greatest giving to the cause of Christ.
Rom 12:1,“Therefore I urge you, brethren, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies a living and holy sacrifice, acceptable to God, which is your spiritual service of worship.”
Note: To present your bodies a living and holy sacrifice is your spiritual service of worship, far far more important than just giving money.
Hbr 13:16,“But do not forget to do good and to share, for with such sacrifices God is well pleased.”
It costs money to do good and to share, God is well pleased with such
B. Giving to support the ministry of the Word.
Act 6:4,“But we will give ourselves continually to prayer and to the ministry of the Word.”
Note: Ministry in Greek is diakonia which means ministering or service of those who by the command of God proclaim and promote the Christian faith among men; - it occurs 34 times in the New Testament. Apostles were the first disciples of Jesus Christ who gave themselves continually to prayer and to the ministry of the Word. The apostles devoted their lives to the preaching of the Gospel of Jesus Christ and managing the affairs of the church. To support the servants of God is to support the ministry.
Act 20:24，“But none of these things move me; nor do I count my life dear to myself, so that I may finish my race with joy, and the ministry which I received from the Lord Jesus, to testify to the Gospel of the grace of God.”
Note：From the Apostles down, all true servants of Christ received their ministry from the Lord Jesus. Occupational ministers and false preachers do not receive their ministry from the Lord. Those who preach the false gospel including prosperity gospel are not the servants of Christ, they are the enemies of the cross. If you give money to support false prophets, false preachers and false teachers and false brothers (including sisters), you are not giving to the cause of Christ, you are wasting your money to make them rich.
2Cr 5:18,“Now all things are of God, who has reconciled us to Himself through Jesus Christ, and has given us the ministry of reconciliation.”
Note: To preach the Gospel of Jesus Christ is to perform the ministry of reconciliation, to reconcile sinners with God.
Eph 4:12,“For the equipping of the saints for the work of ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ.”
Note: The work of ministry can only be done by equipped saints. The work of ministry is for the edifying of the body of Christ. The church is the body of Christ. False ministers work for the benefits of themselves.
Col 4:17,“And say to Archippus: Take heed to the ministry which you have received in the Lord, that you may fulfill it.”
Note: To help a servant of Christ to fulfill his ministry is to share the ministry with him. If you share in the ministry, you will share the reward.
Phl 4:18,“But I have received everything in full and have an abundance; I am amply supplied, having received from Epaphroditus what you have sent, a fragrant aroma, an acceptable sacrifice, well-pleasing to God.”
Note: To supply the needs of God’s servants is a fragrant aroma, an acceptable sacrifice, well-pleasing to God.
1Ti 1:12,“And I thank Christ Jesus our Lord who has enabled me, because He counted me faithful, putting me into the ministry.”
Note: Those who are put into the ministry must be faithful, not greedy for money, not self-seeking, not doing private interpretation of the Word.
2Ti 4:11,“Only Luke is with me. Get Mark and bring him with you, for he is useful to me for ministry.”
Note: Even if you are not called into the ministry, you can be useful to the servants of Christ for ministry. There are many ways you can be useful, ask the Holy Spirit to lead you.
Phl 1:12,“But I want you to know, brethren, that the things which happened to me have actually turned out for the furtherance of the Gospel.”
Note: Furtherance in Greek is prokopē which means progress, advancement, benefit, profit; - it occurs only 3 times in the New Testament. There are some self-annointed Bible gurus who devised special version of the Bible after their names and sold as a merchandise to profit themselves. I believe publishing the Bible for profit is wrong. I believe to get rich by writing about the Gospel or the Bible is wrong. Mat 10:8,“Heal the sick, cleanse the lepers, raise the dead, cast out demons. Freely you have received, freely give.” There is something seriously wrong with preachers, pastors or evangelists who get rich by preaching the gospel. There are many things which Christians can do for the furtherance of the Gospel. For example, some individuals or organization put the Bibles in hotels. Ask the Lord and the Holy Spirit may lead you to do something you are specifically fit to do for the furtherance of the Gospel. Once I told a black brother not to retire doing nothing, he could reach the youth for Christ in the black community which I would not be able to do.
Phl 2:22,“But you know of his proven worth, that he served with me in the furtherance of the Gospel like a child serving his father.”
Note: Believers serve with the servants of Christ for the furtherance of the Gospel. The worth of a believer can be proven by serving with the servants of Christ in the furtherance of the Gospel. I recalled a foreign mission working with us to proclaim the Gospel at small towns but the foreign missionary charged a lot for each member of us for transportation by his car. Whenever it profits someone or some organization in the work of ministry, it does not serve in the furtherance of the Gospel.
Jhn 17:4,“I have glorified You on the earth. I have finished the work which You have given Me to do.”
We cannot do the work that Jesus Christ did while He was on earth. We cannot
perform miracles and heal the sick. Only the Holy One of God, Jesus Christ was
qualified to die on the cross for sinners. But every Christian God has given
him/her something to do. Find out the work God wants you to do which is your
lifework. Success does not depend on how much money you make and what high position
you achieve. Success is defined by finishing the work which God has given you
C. Giving to the poor.
Mat 19:21,“Jesus said to him: If you want to be perfect, go, sell what you have and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven; and come, follow Me.”
Mar 10:21,“Then Jesus, looking at him, loved him, and said to him: One thing you lack: Go your way, sell whatever you have and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven; and come, take up the cross, and follow Me.”
Note: To establish a foundation with tax-free status is not giving to the poor or laying up treasure in heaven. Giving to the church to get a tax deduction is not Christian giving to the cause of Christ.
Luk 12:33,“Sell what you have and give alms; provide yourselves money bags which do not grow old, a treasure in the heavens that does not fail, where no thief approaches nor moth destroys.”
Note: Giving to God is laying up treasure in the heavens.
Luk 14:13,“But when you give a feast, invite the poor, the maimed, the lame, the blind.”
Note: America has a crippling legal system. If you give a feast and invite the poor, the maimed, the lame, the blind – you may encounter great difficulty and incur a big liability. Why? The people who are not poor will come. Who and how to determine who is poor and who is not? How do the maimed, the lame, and the blind come to your feast? Through what sort of transportation? And since these people are not able to take care of themselves, who are to provide assistance to them? If anything happens before, during or after the feast to the maimed, the lame, and the blind, you would not be able to bear the financial responsibility and legal liability. You will need a license to do such a charity event. You will have to hire security people and police to maintain law and order. For example, a riot may break out just to determine who are qualified to be poor or not. If there is food poisoning, your liability will increase. If those you have invited suddenly get ill or die during the feast, your problems loom large. The world is so bad, even doing a good deed is not easy. In particular in a nation where the legal system is used to blackmail and oppress and threaten the innocent but gives crooks and criminals many rights.
Act 20:35,“I have shown you in every way, by working hard like this, that you must support the weak. And remember the words of the Lord Jesus, that He said: It is more blessed to give than to receive.”
Note: Work hard in Greek is kopiaō which means to grow weary, tired, exhausted (with toil or burdens or grief), labor with wearisome effort, toil; - it occurs 23 times in the New Testament. Christian charity means by working hard to support the weak. Blessed in Greek is makarios which means happy, blissful; - it occurs 50 times in the New Testament. Those who receive and never give are like the Dead Sea. Those who give are like the Jordan River. Let the blessings of God flow through your life.
Gen 24:19,“And when she had finished giving him a drink, she said: I will draw water for your camels also, until they have finished drinking.”
Note: Rebecca was not only beautiful in body but beautiful in soul. How much efforts for a young woman to draw water for all the camels to drink because a camel can drink and store lots of water. To do good will cost you financially and personal efforts. A willing heart will have a willing hand. The servant of Abraham was too old to do the job of watering the camels himself.
Jdg 9:9,“But the olive tree said to them: Should I cease giving my oil, with which they honor God and men, and go to sway over trees?”
Note: If you are the olive tree, give as the olive tree. If you are the fig tree, give as the fig tree. If you are the vine, give as the vine. God does not expect the olive to give as the vine, or vice versa.
Pro 3:27,“Do not withhold good from those to whom it is due, when it is in your power to do it.”
Note: Do not withhold good which is supposed to give to the poor.
Rom 12:10,“Be kindly affectionate to one another with brotherly love, in honor giving preference to one another.”
Note: In honor giving preference means in honor preferring one another. For example, we give preference to women and children. On subway train or bus people should give deference to the elderly, young, sick, crippled and pregnant.
Rom 13:7,“Render to all what is due them: tax to whom tax is due; custom to whom custom; fear to whom fear; honor to whom honor.”
Note: Due in Greek is opheilē which means that which is owed, a debt; - it occurs only twice in the New Testament.
10. How to give.
Deu 16:10,“Then you shall keep the Feast of Weeks to the LORD your God with the tribute of a freewill offering from your hand, which you shall give as the LORD your God blesses you.”
Note: Even the Jews who were under the law were told to give as the Lord had blessed them. Christians do not keep any feast, but may give a freewill offering as a tribute to God, and give as the Lord has blessed you. The more the Lord has blessed you the more you should give.
Deu 16:17,“Every man shall give as he is able, according to the blessing of the LORD your God which He has given you.”
Note: To be able means to be within your power. God never forces a man to do what he is not able. There is a terrible custom in China when young people borrow large sum of money to pay for wedding. Every Christian shall give as he is able. You do not need to borrow money to give to the Lord.
Pro 25:14,“Whoever falsely boasts of giving is like clouds and wind without rain.”
Note: There are people who for fame would pledge to give big sum of money to the cause of the poor, but they make false promise – like clouds and wind without rain. When you want to give to the cause of Christ, do not broadcast to the world, do it in secret.
Mat 6:3,“But when you do a charitable deed, do not let your left hand know what your right hand is doing.”
Mat 10:8,“Heal the sick, cleanse the lepers, raise the dead, cast out demons. Freely you have received, freely give.”
Note: It does not mean that those who preach the Gospel cannot live by the Gospel. What is best to give freely. Work for the Lord without pay. Freely you have received, freely give. In that spirit, many articles about the Word of His grace are posted on the Internet freely.
2Cr 9:7,“So let each one give as he purposes in his heart, not grudgingly or of necessity; for God loves a cheerful giver.”
Note: To purpose in Greek is proaireō which means to bring forth for one's self, to choose for one's self before another, to prefer; - it occurs only once in the New Testament. When I was a little boy I heard a wonderful story about a man of God who kept an orphanage in England. He never asked for donation and never made known the needs of the orphanage to others. But the Holy Spirit would tell many Christians to bring money to his orphanage. In contrast, the pastor of the megachurch of prosperity gospel used high-pressured tactics to raise funds, and yet the cathedral filed for bankruptcy. Let the Holy Spirit set a purpose in your heart so that you give as the Spirit leads you. Under Mosaic law, Jews gave tithe by necessity. Under grace, the Bible does not command Christians to give tithe, but to give as one purposes in his heart, not grudgingly but willingly.
Eph 4:28,“Let him who stole steal no longer, but rather let him labor, working with his hands what is good, that he may have something to give him who has need.”
Note: Many crooks and criminals obtained wealth by crooked means, to compensate for their guilt they built foundation and engage in philanthropic activities. Many charity organizations are a cesspool of corruption to enrich the fundraisers in the name of charity. To give to the poor you must do it the old fashioned way, give your hard-earned money, not by theft or predatory means.
1Ti 6:18,“Let them do good, that they be rich in good works, ready to give, willing to share.”
Note: To be rich in Greek is plouteō which means to have abundance, become rich; - it occurs 12 times in the New Testament. There are people who are rich in wealth; there are people who are rich in good works. Jam 2:5, “Listen, my beloved brethren: Has God not chosen the poor of this world to be rich in faith and heirs of the Kingdom which He promised to those who love Him?” All poor believers are rich in faith because they are heirs of the Kingdom. The simple purpose of giving to the poor is not for fame or fortune, but be ready to give, willing to share. People willing to share are the true liberal. In the West liberals are those who want to give taxpayers’money generously to the unworthy, not their own money.
Jam 2:16,“And one of you says to them: Depart in peace, be warmed and filled; but you do not give them the things which are needed for the body, what does it profit?”
Note: Words do not make people warm and filled. Give what is needed.
1Cr 13:3,“And if I give all my possessions to feed the poor, and if I surrender my body to be burned, but do not have love, it profits me nothing.”
Note: Love should be the motivation of all giving. If you are a child of God, the Holy Spirit will lead you to give to the cause of Christ. Supporting a false preacher or a false ministry is not Christian giving; it is a waste of your money. A preacher who takes Christians offerings as his own possessions is not a servant of Christ, but a religious thief. Giving to the cause of Christ is not an investment to get rich as preachers of prosperity gospel fool many Christians. Preachers of prosperity gospel get rich because there are so many foolish followers.
During the Christmas season crooks and criminals are very active and busy in seizing the opportunity of good will to prey on the givers. Have you not already received e-mails of all sorts asking for donation? These are shameless crooks and criminals who get money illegally in the name of charity, some in the name of God and Jesus Christ. They would presumptuously use the name of God or Christ and for the purpose of the Gospel and the poor, in a variety of schemes. Do not give a penny to them. If things do not change, I recall Salvation Army is an honorable charity organization. When I give to what I think deserving beggars on the street, I always give with a message: Jesus loves you.
January 20, 2017
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