Burdening My Sheep
Lev.27:30; Ezra 7:24; Prov. 22:16; I Cor. 6:17; 7:23; 12:25; I Pet.2:5,9
What is this bleating of distress I hear daily, proceeding forth from the troubled hearts of the overworked, overburdened sheep of My pasture?
Many cry out unto me in tears, “O Lord, please forgive me. I stole the tithe this month. My children had to eat. We needed a roof over our heads. I just didn’t have the faith to give the whole amount. But I swear I’ll make it up to You!
Just who is stealing from whom, though? Did I ever once elevate the educated, pulpit orator above the rest of My body to be a tribute-taker? Where did this devilish drivel come from? Are you not ALL appointed to be priests and kings in Christ Jesus? Search the Scriptures. NOT ONCE will you discover any commandment to levy a ten per cent church tax on the wages of the poor, not even under the Old Covenant! The true Biblical tithe consisted only of such commodities as fruit, vegetables, grain, honey, olive oil and the increase in livestock, and ONLY from the Land of Israel. And tithes were NEVER taken from the High Priest and his family.
Are you not made one spirit with your High Priest Christ the Lord, Who dwells in your hearts by faith? Who would dare place himself or herself in the shoes of being the High Priest of the church, due tribute and paying none himself? And who would dare say ye are not My sons and My daughters, of My own priestly line, who are not subject to the tithe? This babylonish religious system in the earth has no right to put My children under a yoke of bondage and fear in order to keep them as slaves and extort money out of them with unwarranted threats of my judgment! Instead, it is those who profiteer off fear who have every reason to shake in fear of My vengeance on the Day of Judgment!
MEN place you under fear of stealing from some religious system of their own devising which I never did ordain. But they are stealing from YOU!! They themselves decide to place the congregation under a heavy burden of debt to build a new palace “in God’s honor”. While multitudes are perishing, religious overlords construct expensive monuments to their own glory, not to be outdone by the gorgeous edifice built by a competing “house of worship”.
Young families barely initiated in the study of the Word of God find themselves harnessed to just any new burden the pastor or other “spiritual authority” feels like placing on them. They are made to feel like cheapskates if their contribution to the pastor’s pet projects doesn’t match the size of what their neighbor gives. Instead of giving in secret out of a heart of love, some sigh, reach in their billfold and glumly toss in a twenty with a heart of regret. What they really regret, though, is giving to those already rich in this world’s goods, a practice which brings only disappointment and heartache.
“Announcements” in the church bring dreaded tidings of still more burdens to be laid upon My people by men. There’s a car wash to raise money for the new baptistery. There’s a spaghetti supper to raise funds to supplement the overstretched community outreach budget. New landscaping means extra appeals from the longsuffering sheep of My pasture.
Next time “something comes up”, whether in the church or out of it, ask yourself this: “What is the best way I can respond? Should I pray about it or make some sacrifice toward meeting the need? Is it even a true need, or merely a quest for more money? And most importantly, is it the Lord putting this burden on me, or people?
I have said: My yoke is easy and My burden is light. But the key question is: Just what is My burden? My burden is to see the lost saved and both saints and sinners set free from the bondage of satan. My goal is to destroy the works of the devil in the lives of those who turn to Me for help. My kingdom is not a matter of inventing rules about meat and drink or carnal things, but the furtherance of righteousness, peace and joy in the Holy Ghost. Let Christ be Himself in and through you, to the glory of God the Father.
Dividing My people into “clergy” and “laity” is a device of satan to split asunder My Body with divisions, a Body I have built together to be one with Myself. “Haves” and “have-nots” are fostered in such an unscriptural hierarchy of men, with each faction selfishly looking out for its own interests. Don’t lay legalisms of men on My sheep, but bear one another’s burdens with love, reaching out to meet legitimate needs as I lead you.
But don’t ever shoulder any burden I didn’t put on you, because you are in this earth to be sensitive to My voice and do My will. Be not ye the servants of men, for ye are bought with a fearful price. Coming under a yoke of bondage to religious demands of men does not result in My blessing, only a curse of servitude. I would have you to be free of distractions and worry. Place all your cares upon Me and I will give guidance and wisdom in every sort of situation as you need it from day to day.