In light of my most recent tithing settlement, my undeserving Tithing Reprimand has provided an opportunity to emphasize the need to know the words of Christ. In our current situation, those without a foundation in the words of Christ are left to be swayed by every wind of doctrine. However, a foundation in the words of Christ is the antidote to false, blind, and foolish persuasion.
The Accuser: The Hebrew name Shatan (or Satan) is not a name, but a word, meaning the accuser. Diabalos (or Devil) means the same in Latin (accuser). This past Sunday, the bishop accused me of lying when I declared being fully-tithed, but did not produce the financial statement to prove it. I recognized that it was his judgement to reject my declaration, but his judgement had little to do with my power to declare. His judgement was based on his assumption of the laws of man (handbooks and manuals).
My knowledge concerning the laws of heaven, studied in the scriptures, reminded me that how we judge, so shall we be judged. I will be judged by the laws of heaven, while the bishop chose to be judged by the laws of man. Without having known the laws of heaven, I would have been left feeling oppressed, and helpless, against the foolish laws of men. There is power in the knowledge from the serious study of the words of Christ.
The Accusation: The bishop accused me, using the scriptures. I find comfort in the scriptures, so I proceeded to hear him out. He had me read the entire chapter in section 119. His focus was on the necessity to pay the tithe to him, the bishop. Doing so would produce a financial statement, in order to qualify as being fully-tithed. And since I had not a financial statement, I didn’t qualify. This was the bishop’s logic, anyway. These are the verses he focused on.
“1. Verily, thus saith the Lord, I require all their surplus property to be put into the hands of the bishop of my church in Zion,
2. For the building of mine house, and for the laying of the foundation of Zion and for the priesthood, and for the debts of the Presidency of my Church.
3. And this shall be the beginning of the tithing of my people.
4. And after that, those who have thus been tithed shall pay one-tenth of all their interest annually; and this shall be a standing law unto them forever, for my holy priesthood, saith the Lord.
5. Verily I say unto you, it shall come to pass that all those who gather unto the land of Zion shall be tithed of their surplus properties, and shall observe this law, or they shall not be found worthy to abide among you.”
After reading it, the bishop asked, “Who does it say to pay?” I responded, “The Bishop of the church in Zion.” And he rested his case against me not being fully-tithed, because I did not pay one-tenth of my income, to him, producing a financial statement.
Ignorance of the Accuser: What the bishop failed to do, is to know the context of this scripture. He read it to accuse me, and make me do things his way. Therefore, once he had the words he thought supported his argument, he didn’t read any further. He didn’t care to know the mind and will of the Lord for this revelation, he only cared how it would support his argument, against me.
This scripture was given as instruction to live the united order (consecration). EXCESS property was voluntarily remitted to the bishop “in Zion” (which we are not), and the bishop distributed it for the building of the temple in Zion (which, since we are not in Zion, there cannot be a temple built in Zion, without there first being Zion).
After the united order was established, then Zion exists, and a temple is built there, then tithing was only one-tenth of all their interest. But those who haven’t “ponderized”this scripture much, would assume that interest, is the new income (bishop’s assumption), …and that would be wrong. Interest at the time of Joseph was surplus, not gross revenues, but what was left after the expenses of living (the left over profits). And those in Zion would dictate for themselves what that meant. No one need regulate a Zion community, because they regulate themselves.
Using his natural human disposition, and his position of a little authority (as he supposed), my bishop exercised unrighteous dominion, over my wife and I, and revoked our temple recommends. He spoke the Lord’s name in vain, calling himself a representative of Christ and claiming that Christ’s program demands the financial statement, to properly declare a full-tithe. And he falsely accused my wife and I of lying to God in our declaration. However, I know better than to see him as the enemy. There is only one enemy, and he is the accuser, Shatan, Satan, Diabalos, the Devil, and no one else! Thus, because of my serious study, to know the words of Christ, to have them written upon my heart, the bishop’s stones and arrows fly by, un-affecting my message, to come to Christ through the words of Christ.
Conclusion: Our ignorance to the words of Christ only gives The Accuser power to use your ignorance to do his bidding (like my bishop). Thus, all ancient prophets performed the same tasks, they declared Christ, through the words of Christ. The words of Christ is the sword, it is the iron rod, it is the weapon of choice for a Jedi Knight, connected to the force of the universe, Christ.
That is my entire message for this blog, and nothing else. I have been accused “of some of you” for knocking down others, pointing out the negative in people, and overall being a downer and a stick in the mud. I find myself repeating to you, “All I did was talk about the words of Christ.” When we begin to see the words of Christ, is when we begin to come unto God. And God has instructed us that when we come to Him, He will show unto us our weakness. That is the natural result of coming to God, you see your weakness. I have reserved final judgement, believing that people can change. I address what people do, in the light of the truth. But, I do not associate what people do, with who people are. Often times, that distinction is very hard to discern. But, those who have wrongly accused me, have inappropriately fired at the messenger. And all I have to say is, “Ha ha, you missed!”
Lets get playful about this, and not be so quick to judge, just because we don’t like what we see in the mirror. I feel like I know my bishop’s heart, and he’s not a bad guy at all. He’s stuck in a position of straining on a gnat (a tiny bug), while trying to swallow a camel. He’s putting the weightier matters aside, for a tiny issue of a financial statement (Matt 23:23-24). It is only because he is ignorant of the words of Christ. Let’s repent, all of us (me included), and destroy our current foundation of sandstone of unbelief and ignorance, and replace our foundation with the words of Christ (The Rock), so that rather than being foolish, we can be wise-men, like the Egyptian Magi at the birth of Christ. I pray that we not judge matters by the laws of men, but by the laws of heaven.