The principle of prosperity is an established order that God has set in place for His people. This order has nothing to do with the law, because the principle of tithe and giving was established before the Mosaic Law was received.
Giving of the tithe brings protection, giving of offerings brings increase. The “good measure, pressed down, shaken together and running over” experience described in Luke 6:38 is a product of the ability to give. Access to this realm is not by prayer and fasting, but by cheerful giving alone.
Giving and tithing do not affect our eternal welfare, yet these actions affect our welfare on earth. In response to giving, God promised to open the windows of heaven and pour out blessing (Malachi 3:10 -11). Under an open heaven there is a release of God’s goodness, rain in its season, blessed work and the ability to lend to many nations.
The Body of Christ walks under a curse if this principle is not observed.
“Will a man rob God? Yet ye have robbed me. But ye say, Wherein have we robbed thee? In tithes and offerings. Ye are cursed with a curse: for ye have robbed me, even this whole nation. Bring ye all the tithes into the storehouse, that there may be meat in mine house, and prove me now herewith, saith the LORD of hosts, if I will not open you the windows of heaven, and pour you out a blessing, that there shall not be room enough to receive it. And I will rebuke the devourer for your sakes, and he shall not destroy the fruits of your ground; neither shall your vine cast her fruit before the time in the field, saith the LORD of hosts. And all nations shall call you blessed: for ye shall be a delightsome land, saith the LORD of hosts.” (Malachi 3:8-12).
The curse must be broken through our giving in order for God to release the blessings, the wealth and the resources needed for the harvest of the nations. Tithing was not part of the Mosaic Law as given by God through Moses, but it was commemorated under the law and commended in the New Covenant. There is no scriptural basis in the New Covenant that states the abolishment of the principle of tithing.
Care in sowing is necessary. There is no receipt without giving and no harvest unless seed is sown. So too, God’s eternal zoe is released upon those who invest into His eternal purpose, His Kingdom.
Another prosperity principle is to honour the apostles and other five-fold ministries. God has released ministry gifts during this season of reformation and His blessings are activated when these ministries are honoured. We must receive and minister to the apostolic and five-fold ministries to release the gift of grace in them. As much as we can, we should teach our people to bless the apostle who comes to the ministry, as well as other ministry gifts. It is wrong to receive an apostolic ministry without making any effort to minister to them. The grace of an apostle is fully released when we learn to appreciate the apostles, by receiving and ministering to them, this applies to all ministry gifts that gives and releases an impartation in our lives and ministries.
Many leaders speak about sowing and reaping, giving and receiving, but they themselves do not practice what they preach. We must live by example and express a lifestyle of giving and sowing.
“He who receives you receives Me, and he who receives Me receives Him who sent Me. “He who receives a prophet in the name of a prophet shall receive a prophet’s reward; and he who receives a righteous man in the name of a righteous man shall receive a righteous man’s reward.” (Matthew 10:40-41 NASB).
When the five-fold ministry comes, an offering should be given to minister to them, if they do not come, an offering can be sent. These actions demonstrate our commitment and loyalty to the ministry gifts.
The challenge for the Church is to embrace God as their source and supply and to develop a generous, giving character.
The beggarly mentality will never be broken off the African church and the churches in the under-developed nations, and they will not be able to come into maturity, unless giving and blessing are both taught in a balanced biblical order, and accomplished. This has nothing to do with the excesses of the faith movement and prosperity syndrome of “speak it and claim it”, but it is the development of a generous character where their dependency lies not in the Western churches and ministers, but their source becomes God, and this is expressed by their lifestyle of giving.
It is very important to establish the principle of giving in the Church so that the five-fold ministry will be well received and blessed. It is important that we always bless the ministers every time – no matter how small the offering is. We give of our natural things and get spiritual things. The five-fold ministry will be well received and blessed by the Church when the principle of giving is established and continued.
“Anyone who is learning the teaching of God should share all the good things he has with his teacher.” (Galatians 6:6 – New Century Version).
An apostle and the other five-fold ministry gifts should not become a burden to the local assembly, especially when sent to other local assemblies and into other cities and nations. They should not be an encumbrance to the saints. Let each minister, acknowledge and look on God as his only source of supply.
“Here for this third time I am ready to come to you, and I will not be a burden to you; for I do not seek what is yours, but you; for children are not responsible to save up for their parents, but parents for their children. And I will most gladly spend and be expended for your souls. If I love you the more, am I to be loved the less? But be that as it may, I did not burden you myself; nevertheless, crafty fellow that I am, I took you in by deceit. Certainly I have not taken advantage of you through any of those whom I have sent to you, have I? I urged Titus to go, and sent the brother with him. Titus did not take any advantage of you, did he? Did we not conduct ourselves in the same spirit and walk in the same steps? All this time you have been thinking that we are defending ourselves to you. Actually, it is in the sight of God that we have been speaking in Christ; and all for your upbuilding, beloved.” (2 Corinthians 12:14-19 NASB ).
Stewardship of that which is released by God will ensure appropriate use of resources. Stewardship involves the administration of God’s resources with integrity and disciplined financial management. Stewards are accountable to God for the management of financial resources. We must express a life of simplicity and be ready to give an account of our stewardship at all times.
Stewardship – the Greek word “oikonomia”, which means an administrator or one with an economy dispensation, a special consideration or privilege. Apostles should be accountable and trusted with finances as good stewards.
“…..for as many as were possessors of lands or houses sold them, and brought the prices of the things that were sold, And laid them down at the apostles’ feet: and distribution was made unto every man according as he had need…..” (Acts 4:34b-35).
The early apostles were men of integrity and were accountable for the finances received for the work of the ministry. They were so trusted that the money was placed at the apostles’ feet for distribution to meet the needs of the early Church.
The current concept of getting money down at the apostles’ feet to enrich him is unbiblical. The early Church placed money on the apostles’ feet for the purpose of distribution to meet the needs of the people, and this resulted in the early Church choosing out men of honest report, full of the Holy Ghost and of wisdom, who they appointed over this business, while they gave themselves to the ministry of the Word and prayers. The money was not given for the personal enrichment of the apostles, but for the service of the Kingdom.
In this season of transition, God will release great wealth, and the apostles along with the other five-fold ministry gifts should be ready to distribute this wealth for the ministry of the Kingdom of God.
Copyright © 2017 by Israel Onoriobe
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