“Today as we discuss the matter of faded dreams, our text is found in Ecclesiastes 1:14-15.
14I have seen all the works that are done under the sun; and, behold, all is vanity and vexation of spirit.15That which is crooked cannot be made straight: and that which is wanting cannot be numbered.
Several years ago, we were driving past Crystal Lake Gospel Park on the outskirts of Portland, where I had been the camp meeting speaker for a number of years. Now Raymond T. Richie, the famed deliverance minister was there. I had ministered for him in his church in Houston, so I said to my wife, “Let’s stop and see what that old boy was up to.” We did, and received the disappointment of our lives.
My friend, are you only a ten percent Christian? Now this starts of course, with tithing. But it goes far deeper than that. Years ago, a dear old lady in the church that I pastored came to me all upset. She said our preachers today are preaching the doctrine of tithing. But, she said, it is definitely not a New Testament doctrine. She said tithing was for the Jews.
I pointed out to her that in Hebrews 7:8 the Scripture says, “Here men that die receive tithes..” And this was long after the resurrection. We’re supposed to be the children of faithful Abraham. Well Abraham the father of the faithful paid tithes to Melchizedek. And Jacob imitated this piety of his grandfather when he vowed to the Lord the tithe of all the substance that he would acquire in Mesopotamia.
We turn to Deuteronomy 12, “And thither ye shall bring your burnt offerings and your sacrifices and your tithes and the heave offerings of your hands and your vows and your free will offerings and the firstlings of your herds and of your flocks.” Now that meant 40% of all that they earned.
We turn to Malachi 3, “Will a man rob God? Yet you 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 all of the tithes into the storehouse that there might 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.”
Tithes, then, are not for our poor relatives. My wife has a friend who gives her so-called tithes to her poor relatives. No, no, no, no, no! Leviticus 27:30: “All the tithes of the land is holy H-O-L-Y unto the Lord.”
Numbers 18:24 tells us the tithe was given unto the Levites to inherit.
My friends, this message is dedicated to those in deep trouble. For our phone rings constantly with the plea of those who are in dire circumstances. We listen to the harrowing plight of deserted wives, runaway daughters, sons on drugs…
Today, as we consider the New Age Gospel, our texts are found in 2 Timothy 3:1 & 13,
This know also that in the last days perilous times shall come. But evil men and seducers shall wax worse and worse, deceiving and being deceived.
Back in the 1940s through the 1960s, the predictions of psychic Jean Dixon laid the country by the ears. She foretold the assassination of Ghandi. She foretold Nero’s death and succession by Shastri eight years before it happened. She foretold the assassination of Kennedy, eleven years before it happened, and it was recorded in Parade Magazine… She predicted China would go red… Franklin D. Roosevelt consulted her… She said, Ahh… but he will! I’ve seen him…
Well, she got it through a crystal ball that was given to her by a gypsy when she was younger. She got it through tarot cats. She had a magic cat. And then, she studied astrology which had been taught to her by a Roman Catholic priest.
On the night of July 14, As she lay sleeping, she suddenly felt as though she were an eiderdown. Then she felt a serpent crawling up around her body until the snake’s head got opposite hers…
Years ago, a celebrated deliverance evangelist stated that God had shown him that there was nothing God would not do for him if he touched not the gold nor the glory. But in the years that ensued, he went all out for both, and spiritual speaking became but a shadow of his former self. A renowned deliverance missionary followed suit…
Yet the dire predictions of George Orwell did NOT come to pass. Or DID they? Forty attempts at socialism have brought abysmal failure in forty countries.
As we consider the subject, Fenced in by Jesus, I’m reminded that a number of years ago, the president of the Southern Baptist Convention aroused a firestorm of protest when he said that no Orthodox Jew could ever enter heaven. Immediately he was stigmatized as a bigot, a racist, anti-Semitic and what not. But, of course, he was right.
For in Acts 4:12 Simon Peter says concerning Jesus, “Neither is there salvation in any other. For there is none other name under heaven given among men…”