Call-In Classic Christianity Radio – Bob George P472 (9-12-19)
Rene from Lubbock, TX
Rene: I called for an explanation on a verse in Malachi 3:8-9. What is your take on it?
8 “Will a mere mortal rob God? Yet you rob me.
“But you ask, ‘How are we robbing you?’
“In tithes and offerings. 9 You are under a curse – your whole nation – because you are robbing me.
Bob: What is it you do not understand about the verse? First of all, it is not speaking to you anyway. Again, take the time to read the entire passage of scripture, looking carefully to discern context. What is the setting? Are we in the Old Covenant or the New Covenant? Who is the audience? Who is the writer addressing?
5 “So I will come to put you on trial. I will be quick to testify against sorcerers, adulterers and perjurers, against those who defraud laborers of their wages, who oppress the widows and the fatherless, and deprive the foreigners among you of justice, but do not fear me,” says the Lord Almighty.
The context is God speaking through a prophet Malachi, addressing those who are doing evil things and who do not fear God. Malachi is a prophet under an Old Covenant. There is no office of prophet today.
Now, let us starting reading at the 6th verse.
6 “I the Lord do not change. So you, the descendants of Jacob, are not destroyed. 7 Ever since the time of your ancestors you have turned away from my decrees and have not kept them. Return to me, and I will return to you,” says the Lord Almighty.
Who is God, speaking through Malachi, addressing? He is addressing the descendants of Jacob. You are not a descendant of Jacob so this is not written to you. The Jews were under an Old Covenant system, where there was a promise of curses and blessings based on their obedience. God is appealing to his people to return to him so he may bless them. God longs to be gracious to us. Return to me and I will return to you.
18 Yet the Lord longs to be gracious to you; therefore he will rise up to show you compassion. For the Lord is a God of justice. Blessed are all who wait for him!
Yet people today want to drag things into the New Covenant. They want to drag the tithe over into the New Covenant. What you hear from many church leaders is this dangling of the tithe, to put your ten percent into the offering basket, and if you do not then you are robbing God.
Let us continue reading Malachi 3. Look at Malachi 3:7-12.
7 “But you ask, ‘How are we to return?’ 8 “Will a mere mortal rob God? Yet you rob me. “But you ask, ‘How are we robbing you?’ “In tithes and offerings. 9 You are under a curse – your whole nation – because you are robbing me. 10 Bring the whole tithe into the storehouse, that there may be food in my house. Test me in this,” says the Lord Almighty, “and see if I will not throw open the floodgates of heaven and pour out so much blessing that there will not be room enough to store it. 11 I will prevent pests from devouring your crops, and the vines in your fields will not drop their fruit before it is ripe,” says the Lord Almighty. 12 “Then all the nations will call you blessed, for yours will be a delightful land,” says the Lord Almighty.
“Shall a man rob God?” Who is under a curse? The whole nation of you. He is talking about the descendants of Jacob. Bring the whole tithe into the storehouse. A storehouse is for storing food, such as grain. The tithe was not for giving money and a check into an offering plate. It was giving food to the Levites, to support the Levitical priesthood, a temporary system in place for the Jews in order to carry out animal sacrifices as a temporary (atonement) covering for sin. The Levites were prohibited from going out and making a living. So their needs had to be furnished by the food and clothing brought by the other eleven tribes of Israel. What is this about preventing pests from destroying crops? That is not for us today. What about verse 12, “Then all the nations will call you blessed, for yours will be a delightful land.” That is certainly not for us today.
Rene: The way I heard it explained was about a “scroll of remembrance”, a scroll of remembrance concerning those who feared the Lord.
Bob: If there is anything such as a scroll of remembrance, it would be to those who feared the Lord and honored His name, but he is not talking to us.
Rene, in this day and age, people are so desperate to say anything to convince people to tithe they will nit pick any scripture to justify tithing. I was even in a church once where the church handed out a free book, “Blessed Life” by Richard Morris, to all members, and even guests, to persuade people of the benefits of tithing. There are all kinds of people who stand up every year when the topic of tithing comes up to convince you how blessed they were when they started tithing and obeying God. So they claim. I even heard a pastor challenge: “if you tithe for one month and God fails to return a blessing then we will refund you your money back.” Such is the teaching and persuasion you hear today, but it is not based on truth from the word of God! I even heard a leader visit a single mother who has not tithed in 10 years and was told she must back-tithe!“
12 For when the priesthood is changed, the law must be changed also.
So unless a person is still a Levite and not Jesus, then and only then could tithe even be considered for any hope of making sense. Why pick up tithe and yet ignore eating shrimp and pork chops? So then people ignore what they do not want and pull those things over that is for their benefit.
Since we are no longer under law, and us Gentiles never were, but are now under grace, what instruction is there on giving and in what manner or attitude should we give?
First of all we live by a higher law, the law of love, with God Himself living in us and through us. We love because he first loved us.
Romans 12 provides the background for understanding the new way of Christ living in you and through you. Let us look at just one passage in 2 Corinthians that summarizes this new attitude of giving by a child of God.
2 Corinthians 9:7
7 Each of you should give what you have decided in your heart to give, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver.
The attitude of the heart of the giver today is the emphasis under a New Covenant of grace. Tithing has nothing to do with you and me. This is what God said to the descendants of Jacob. That does not have anything to do with me. If there is a scroll of remembrance it would be to those who honored him and feared his name.
Todd from El Paso, TX
Todd: I want to let you know that today I am lost about Jesus. In 1994, I was schizophrenic and suicidal. I do not know the Lord Jesus right now. The devil is after me.
Bob: Salvation is recognizing what God has said about you. Now, you can go to a psychologist, but he does not know anything about you any more than you do. Now you can go to a shrink who knows nothing about you more than a lamp post. He is as messed up as you are. When God says something about you, and He created you, and if anyone knows something about you, then it would Him. So you are willing to listen to what God has to say about you, rather than a shrink, who says you are a schizophrenic or bipolar, none of which is in the bible.
What God has to say about you is that you are born dead spiritually. What death is, is the absence of life. The life of God departed from Adam when he sinned. And you and I are born in Adam, dead to God. God is saying, “I do not want you to stay that way. That was your condition. I was raised from the dead to give you life. The kind of life I want to give you is eternal life. If you are willing to turn to me by faith, accepting the fact I took away your sins at the cross, when I died on that cross to do that, and was raised from the dead, in order to give you resurrected life. If that is your desire, I am willing to come and live inside you, and to be your guide and lead you into all truth”.
Bob: Todd, is that what you want to do?
Bob with Todd repeating: Lord Jesus I need you. I thank you for taking away my sins at the cross. I now receive you into my heart as Lord and Savior and my very best friend.
Bob: Todd, now when you just prayed a minute ago, it was the result of exercising faith in what God came to do for you, to take away your sins to never see them again. Do you realize all your sins your entire life was placed on the back of God, never to see them again? That is what Jesus suffered and died on the cross to provide for you. He did that because the consequences, or wages of sin, is death (Romans 6:23), and if He had not taken away the sins of the entire world, He could have never offered you eternal life. That is really what you needed, was life. Because He took away the cause of spiritual death, he has now given you eternal life. Jesus has literally taken residence in your life. He lives in you. Now He is going to guide you into all truth. Todd, I cannot encourage you enough to realize that man will tell you anything as long as it sells. I cannot depend on man. I have to depend on God to find truth out about myself, about God, and about people. Do you have a bible?
23 For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.
19 For just as through the disobedience of the one man the many were made sinners, so also through the obedience of the one man the many will be made righteous.
10 For if, while we were God’s enemies, we were reconciled to him through the death of his Son, how much more, having been reconciled, shall we be saved through his life!
1 John 2:2 (KJV)
2 And he is the propitiation for our sins: and not for ours only, but also for the sins of the whole world.
13 But when he, the Spirit of truth, comes, he will guide you into all the truth. He will not speak on his own; he will speak only what he hears, and he will tell you what is yet to come.
Bob: I will send you a new believer’s package, and if you work through that, with your bible, it will solidify what you have done. I rejoice with you, Todd. All the angels in heaven rejoice over one sinner who turns to Christ. There is a lot of rejoicing up there.
7 I tell you that in the same way there will be more rejoicing in heaven over one sinner who repents than over ninety-nine righteous persons who do not need to repent.
Todd: I think about it every day because the devil is trying to get to me. I am in tears every day that the devil is still after me.
Bob: The thing is the devil was going to still stay after you because he was afraid of losing you. But now he has lost you. What you need now is to study the word of God. Study the word of God and ask God to reveal the meaning of the word of God to you, and when that error comes back in your head, you can give it right back to him because you know what truth is now. The only source of truth we have is the word of God.
2 Corinthians 10:4
4 The weapons we fight with are not the weapons of the world. On the contrary, they have divine power to demolish strongholds.
2 Corinthians 10:5
5 We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ.
10 Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. 11 Put on the full armor of God, so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes. 12 For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms. 13 Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand. 14 Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist, with the breastplate of righteousness in place, 15 and with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace. 16 In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. 17 Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.
Bob: If you have any questions, do not hesitate to call. You are never a bother to us. Do not hesitate to call. Hang on so we van get your address and get these materials to you. God bless you.
Todd: God bless you.
Tim from Detroit, MI
Tim: At the moment of death, do angels carry believers to heaven, as in Luke 16:22. Or, does Christ greet believers at the moment death, as Psalms 23 seems to indicate?
22 “The time came when the beggar died and the angels carried him to Abraham’s side. The rich man also died and was buried.
6 Surely your goodness and love will follow me
all the days of my life,
and I will dwell in the house of the Lord
Bob: What we do know is that to absent from the body is to be present with the Lord.
2 Corinthians 5:8 (KJV)
8 We are confident, I say, and willing rather to be absent from the body, and to be present with the Lord.
Bob: I think that takes place immediately, when we close our eyes for the last time, we are in the presence of the Lord. Whether that means that God comes for us and then takes us to heaven, I do not know. But I am glad somebody is going with me. I am not taking that trip by myself. We do know we will immediately be in the presence of the Lord. How we get there is not that clear. But what I do know is I will be in the presence of the Lord and that is all that matters.
Mel from Naptown, IN
Mel: I was looking over Acts 8:12-20. I heard a person use that passage to prove that just believing in Christ does not give us the Holy Spirit. That it is a subsequent event. I know you cannot be saved without the Holy Spirit. I do not know how to interpret that scripture. How come the Holy Spirit fell in the latter part of that verse versus when they first believed. Did they accept law, or grace or not?
Bob: Your problem is taking doctrine out of the book of Acts. That is a huge mistake people make. The book of Acts is the historical account of what happened. What happend there was when the apostles in Jerusalem heard that Samaria had accepted the word of God, they sent Peter and John for them. Why did they do that? It was the apostle’s job to confirm whether or not salvation was real or not. Only the apostles were able to do this.
14 When the apostles in Jerusalem heard that Samaria had accepted the word of God, they sent Peter and John to Samaria. 15 When they arrived, they prayed for the new believers there that they might receive the Holy Spirit, 16 because the Holy Spirit had not yet come on any of them; they had simply been baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus. 17 Then Peter and John placed their hands on them, and they received the Holy Spirit.
Bob: Notice that the Holy Spirit had not yet come for they had simply been baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus. Then Peter and John placed their hands on them, and then they received the Holy Spirit.
Bob: What do you mean they only believed? It was like you and I, who only knew about Jesus hearing about him in church. Like me, I did not accept Christ as Savior until the age of 36.
Bob: They got a hold of John the Baptist teaching, a baptism of repentance. When asked, “Did you receive the Holy Spirit when you believed?” they replied, ’I do not know what you are talking about I did not even know there was a Holy Spirit.” They had not heard of the Holy Spirit yet. This is recorded elsewhere in Acts.
and asked them, “Did you receive the Holy Spirit when you believed?” They answered, “No, we have not even heard that there is a Holy Spirit.”
Bob: The Holy Spirit did not come on them yet for they had merely been baptized for the forgiveness of sins and not for the resurrected life of Christ.
Dane from Indianapolis, IN
Dane: What is it in the bible; in Galatians, somewhere in the Old Testament, and again in Hebrews; it says “the just shall live by faith”. Who are the just?
11 But that no man is justified by the law in the sight of God, it is evident: for, The just shall live by faith.
4 Behold, his soul which is lifted up is not upright in him: but the just shall live by his faith.
17 For therein is the righteousness of God revealed from faith to faith: as it is written, The just shall live by faith.
38 Now the just shall live by faith: but if any man draw back, my soul shall have no pleasure in him.
Bob: People who have been justified by faith. When you have come to Christ not only for his death for you but his resurrected life in you, and you are born again, indwelt by the Holy Spirit of God, at that moment, he justified you, sanctified you, and gave you his imputed righteousness. He justified you. He sanctified you. He gave you his imputed righteousness.
20 Therefore no one will be declared righteous in God’s sight by the works of the law; rather, through the law we become conscious of our sin.
20 He [Abraham] staggered not at the promise of God through unbelief; but was strong in faith, giving glory to God;
21 And being fully persuaded that, what he had promised, he was able also to perform.
22 And therefore it was imputed to him for righteousness.
23 Now it was not written for his sake alone, that it was imputed to him;
24 But for us also, to whom it shall be imputed, if we believe on him that raised up Jesus our Lord from the dead;
25 Who was delivered for our offenses, and was raised again for our justification.
17 For in the gospel the righteousness of God is revealed – a righteousness that is by faith from first to last, just as it is written: “The righteous will live by faith.”
Bob: Righteousness had to be given to us. Once we are born again, we are called the righteous ones, and not because we have righteousness in and of ourselves. That righteousness of God was given to us. He imputed to us what we could have never earned on our own. We received righteousness that we could have never earned. God left us out of the equation when it comes to salvation. There is nothing you can do to earn it or deserve it. God said, “I am going to do it all. All I am asking of you is to believe it or deny it.” Those who believe it are born again. Those who deny it are not born again. It is a very simple message but it is complex.
Dane: All I have to do is trust and believe in Jesus? He does all the work of salvation and I believe in this work of salvation, dying on the cross, and then I can have a relationship with Him.
Bob: Even more important is to take it another step. He did it for you. It is not a historical event that you put your faith in. It is the fact God did that for Dane. He died for your sins. He was raised from the dead so you who are born dead spiritually can receive eternal spiritual life. “He did it for me”. When we internalize that, that is when we are born again. Just to acknowledge that as a historical event will not do it for anybody. That is just acknowledging an event that took place. “Wait, hold on a minute! He did that for me”. I live by faith of what He has done. You live that way too, brother.
6 As you have received Christ Jesus as Lord, so walk in him
Bob: How do you receive Him? By faith in Him and not you.
Bob: How do you live in Him? By faith in Him and not you.
Dane: That is a big freedom. That answers my question.
Buddy from Denver, CO
Buddy: I got a friend who questions the word of God quite frequently. Her deal is the thought of the cruelty that Jesus died on a cross for our sins. Her thinking is, “Why would God send His Son to die on a cross. That is cruelty”. I tried to explain to her several different ways.
Bob: They do not like the fact animals had to be slain for sins. What they do not understand is in God’s economy, the consequence of sin is death (Romans 6:23). They have to deal with God on that. If they are so sensitive to the shedding of blood that they deny Jesus, they will be in a lot worse shape than seeing bloodshed when living in hell the rest of their lives. What they have to do is come to grips with the fact, “Are you more brilliant than the author of the bible and of God Himself, who looked on man who is born without hope?”
Bob: The only way anyone is ever going to be restored to eternal life is if the cause of death, which is sin, is taken away. The cause of death is sin. It is not a paddling or a woodshed experience. It is death. The only way to have life eternal is for God Himself to come and take away the cause of death. That is what he did at the cross. The blood of bulls and goats covered sin for that year and then covered sins the following year. In order for God to give us eternal life, never to be destroyed, he had to take away the cause of sin, and that required death.
Bob: That death can either go to her or go to Jesus. If she wants it to go to her, then that is the condition she is in. It is already the case that the wrath of God does not come upon people. It remains upon them. She is already under the death penalty. That is the only way, Buddy, I know to explain that to a person. People try to play this, “Oh, this is so cruel.” Quite frankly, they do not care about those things. It is just talk.
22 In fact, the law requires that nearly everything be cleansed with blood, and without the shedding of blood there is no forgiveness
1 The law is only a shadow of the good things that are coming – not the realities themselves. For this reason it can never, by the same sacrifices repeated endlessly year after year, make perfect those who draw near to worship. 2 Otherwise, would they not have stopped being offered? For the worshipers would have been cleansed once for all, and would no longer have felt guilty for their sins. 3 But those sacrifices are an annual reminder of sins. 4 It is impossible for the blood of bulls and goats to take away sins.
5 Therefore, when Christ came into the world, he said:
“Sacrifice and offering you did not desire,
but a body you prepared for me;
with burnt offerings and sin offerings
you were not pleased.
Then I said, ‘Here I am – it is written about me in the scroll –
I have come to do your will, my God.’”
8 First he said, “Sacrifices and offerings, burnt offerings and sin offerings you did not desire, nor were you pleased with them” – though they were offered in accordance with the law. 9 Then he said, “Here I am, I have come to do your will.” He sets aside the first to establish the second. 10 And by that will, we have been made holy through the sacrifice of the body of Jesus Christ once for all.
Buddy: I am a blind individual. She questions, “Why did God make me like this?” To me, I inspire a lot of people.
Bob: Why would they think God created blindness? He did not create blindness. He came to bring sight to people, not blindness. Instead of blaming Satan for infirmities we have and possess, people blame God. God can use infirmities to bless people as he is doing with you. The issue is, God did not create blindness. She is attributing to God Satan̻s work. There is a denial there is an evil force as well as a good force in the world. I imagine a person like that would have a hard time believing there is a devil. There is.
1 As he went along, he saw a man blind from birth. 2 His disciples asked him, “Rabbi, who sinned, this man or his parents, that he was born blind?”
3 “Neither this man nor his parents sinned,” said Jesus, “but this happened so that the works of God might be displayed in him. 4 As long as it is day, we must do the works of him who sent me. Night is coming, when no one can work. 5 While I am in the world, I am the light of the world.”
35 Jesus heard that they had thrown him out, and when he found him, he said, “Do you believe in the Son of Man?”
36 “Who is he, sir?” the man asked. “Tell me so that I may believe in him.”
37 Jesus said, “You have now seen him; in fact, he is the one speaking with you.”
38 Then the man said, “Lord, I believe,” and he worshiped him.
39 Jesus said, “For judgment I have come into this world, so that the blind will see and those who see will become blind.”
40 Some Pharisees who were with him heard him say this and asked, “What? Are we blind too?”
41 Jesus said, “If you were blind, you would not be guilty of sin; but now that you claim you can see, your guilt remains.