So many of My dear people forget My plain declaration that I do not desire sacrifice (Psalms 51:16; Jere.7:22:23; Heb.10:9). Through Jeremiah I said that at the time of Israel’s deliverance from the Land of Egypt, I had not commanded them concerning any giving of sacrifices. All I asked of them was obedience to My Voice. On that basis I would have counted them righteous through faith even as I did their Father Abraham, and it would have been well with them. But the Israelites repeatedly disobeyed me and behaved as a stiffnecked, idolatrous people. Instead of fulfilling My original intention of the WHOLE NATION serving as a holy kingdom of priests unto Me (Ex.19:6), this rebellious people, except for the Levitical priesthood, had to be kept at a distance from Me and bring sacrifices to human intermediaries.
Even today, in this Age of Grace, My people seek OTHER PEOPLE to “stand in the gap” to smooth things over between themselves and Me, or to seek some miraculous favor. This “anointed ministry” seldom comes without a price. Charlatans about in the land, promising Christians that if only they “sow a little more seed” My heart will melt toward you and your son or your daughter will get their healing, or your mortgage will be paid in full, or that cancer will finally disappear. This is emotional manipulation and spiritual wizardry, taking advantage of people when they are at their lowest ebb and most vulnerable. Words cannot express how much I detest the games being played today under the banner of Christianity!
Christ ALONE is sufficient to stand in the gap for you! In fact, Christ CLOSED that gap for you (Psalms 85:10). In Christ I reconciled the demands of perfect justice with mercy, and His atoning sacrifice ALONE is sufficient to induce me to grant you My mercy. While it may be necessary to forget all other concerns in order to pray an unbroken stretch of time to commune with Me, this business of “setting aside” 72 hours, or even 24 hours, to starve your body in order to move Me to pity, has no basis whatsoever under the New Covenant. Paul taught prayer and commanded people to pray continually. Paul did not teach religious fasting or even recommend it for moving the Hand of God. Paul repeatedly warned against taking your eyes off Christ and HIS finished work, and the spiritual perils associated with religious rituals of any kind. Sometimes you MUST pray all night to seek My face to resolve some urgent problem, or you’re simply too occupied in the things of the Spirit to eat for awhile. That is acceptable with Me. But performing religious “sacrifices” fosters pride and weakens your dependency on Christ and Him alone. Whenever you give money, deprive your body of food or sleep “to punish the flesh”, knit socks, join the choir, hand out tracts in the snow, or do any other “religious sacrifice” to earn points with Me, you lose points instead because My Son is no longer pre-eminent in your faith. Instead you’re depending on Jesus to pay just PART of your debt and saying, “Father, Christ did what I could not do, but I’m making up the difference with my OWN sacrifices.”
I have seen churches stage “21-day Daniel fasts” in order to infuse new life into their stagnant churches. But keeping the stomach empty doesn’t fill the heart with love and faith, and it doesn’t correct faults in Christians’ lives (I Cor.8:8; Col.2:23). All religious fasting or religious “watching” does is make Christians feel holier than other Christians. Many who stage these fasts see NO victory in their lives. Why? Because their hearts remain proud and cold toward one another and toward their needy neighbors. They don’t bother to show any love or concern toward people the other six days of the week. They are icy toward visitors, criticizing them for their ethnic background, dress, or mannerisms. Poor people especially feel unwanted and unneeded. People just get the message and quit visiting that church. These proud fasters feel like they’re God’s Special Task Force but get nothing done except to try to feel better about themselves. Thjey freeze people out instead of drawing them toward the Christ who saved them. They become so insular they no longer make much effort to share their faith with outsiders. Their church life is reduced to “holding a nice service” just once or twice a week. What could have been a bright and shining star turns into a dead black hole, despite all their “sacrifices to God”.
Preachers lie to you by saying I cannot give to you till you first “sacrifice” to their ministry. What hogwash! People are even being threatened with hellfire for “withholding their tithes”, though I NEVER ONCE commanded tithing to be done on monetary wages, not even under the old Law! I don’t punish people for disobeying unscriptural TRADITIONS OF MEN unless they honestly THINK it’s a sin to disobey them and refuse to obey out of an attitude of defiance toward Me (see I Cor.8:12). It’s the bad attitude toward the Lord that brings the chastisement, not the violated tradition of men. But once My people learn the real truth and are able to tell tradition from sound Biblical doctrine, they can rejoice in being set free by the truth (John 8:32). It is then they can keep a firm grip on their wallets and determine that GOD will tell them when to give and to whom, not some flash-in-the-pan deceiver on a stage.
I am coming very soon, to sift the chaff from the wheat. You should tremble at the thought of what I shall do to those who have afflicted My servants and handmaidens in order to squeeze money out of them (Matt.24:48-51; 2 Pet.2:3). Far from going to hell for not “tithing” and making sacrifices, your soul is imperiled when you fall from My grace through dependence on religious ritual. Such evil predator preachers lead you TOWARD hell, not away from it, as they seek to make you twice the son of hell as themselves through their false doctrines (Matt.23:15). Be not led astray through the many strange doctrines popping up today which lead you away from Christ and frustrate My grace (Eph.4:14; Col.2:4,8; Heb.13:9).
Beware of blind hypocrites leading the blind. Don’t be among the multitudes who will fall with these crafty Pharisees into the ditch (Matt.15:14; Luke 6:39).
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