Proverbs 6:6-8 CSB. Go to the ant, you slacker!; observe it’s ways, and be wise. without leader, administrator or ruler. It prepares it’s food in summer. It gathers it’s food in the harvest.
This is the starting point for all human beings within the kingdom of God, work which translates to harvest. In this scripture we are being referred to an ant that is so strategic when it comes to it’s provision. It knows the time to gather and it knows the time to prepare it’s food that will translate to harvest for gathering. This because it has mastered the cycles of being. It doesn’t need a leader to guide it nor does it need an administrator to administer it’s provision. It uses the wisdom of an ant. Isn’t that amazing! Here we are being referred to the wisdom of an ant, as the ones who were given dominion in every way above even that ant. Purely because somehow, laziness has overtaken humanity so much that they have to be referred to the wisdom of an ant. This laziness is so subtle because it comes in different forms, and it’s main contributor being attitude.
Exodus 34:21 You are to labor [work] six days but you must rest on the seventh day; you must even rest during plowing and harvesting times.
The Israelites while in the wilderness, were told to collect manna for a day for 5 days, but on the 6th day they had to collect double for both 6th and 7th day, even preparation thereof. God blessed and hallowed the 7th day, He declared it a day of rest from normal labor. If we continue reading we see that in the 7th day He declared a fast to Israel. During this fast, He required them to do works of charity; to loose the chains of injustice and untie the cords of the yoke, to set the oppressed free and break every yoke. mhhhh! Then for six days they could go about their business. When this day is dedicated to do the good works of the Lord, He promised His glory to follow them; to hear their cry; to guide their paths; that this one day’s work would qualify as work of righteousness and that work would go before them, they would ride in the heights of the land and eat of the inheritance of Jacob (Is 58). Just one day’s work! So, if we say Jesus is the Sabbath [the Lord of the Sabbath] and the very same Jesus lives in us, what does that say about us? First and foremost, that teaches us that the Sabbath takes care of our needs, only in response to how we treat the Sabbath. Then it tells us that, our work in itself cannot yield anything, but the respect and observance of the Sabbath ensures that whatever work we do, will lead to a harvest. We don’t even need to put aside a day now to do the good works listed in Isaiah 58 and showcased by Jesus. The Lord of the Sabbath Himself did this good work everyday of the week. Therefore, so can we.
The ant does it’s preparation in summer, a season known to be wet and therefore, makes it easy for the ground to absorb the seed. As the water falls on the ground more regularly, the germination process becomes more fruitful. In this case planting is done once and only tilling thereafter applies until harvest time, which is a season after summer. Then harvesting time, it gathers and eat from such until it can plant again and harvest. We have adopted a method of working like elephants and reaping like ants purely because we have our priorities upside down. Neither do we at least have a day set aside to do good works, nor do we contribute to a mission dedicated to do these good works. Instead, seven days of the week we go about our business to take care of our own desires. Yet, Sabbath is the spiritual summer given to all humans to prepare their food. We do not prepare our provision by working hard or hustle hard. Our law in the kingdom is different to that of the world. Our preparation time is the Holy Sabbath, our spiritual summer. It is doing good works for these works are counted as righteous works, and therefore go before us to provoke the Good Lord. It is not your hard work that God counts, but the works of Sabbath. When we master this, we will see how whatever we do will yield to a harvest. It won’t matter your qualification or type of work that you do because this yields a blessing to the work of your hands, whatever that is.
One of the best companies I worked for had two divisions. It was set up to help struggling households depressed by poverty, that’s the first division. A second division was formed to collect funds through investment partnerships. This, so that the program doesn’t rely solely on grants. Few years later, the investments were all that was sustaining the program as well as the two divisions. This organisation was formed as an NPO, but the profits it was making were nothing compared to a company designed for profit making. It had nothing to do with believing in God but just the hunger for charity, to bring change and embetter the lives of others. This is an example of what respecting and observing Sabbath does. It is what Sabbath is about, God helping others through you.
So you may ask, ‘what happens to someone who would love to do something, but what they wish to do requires money but they have no money to even start?’
2 Corinthians 9:10, Now the one who provides seed for the sower and bread for food will also provide and multiply your seed and increase the harvest of your righteousness.
Of course we don’t always have money to contribute or to help us do what we wish. However, in all things, Jesus is our example. He was neither rich nor did He come from a well off family. Because of such, He had no monetary seed to plant. Instead, He was the seed that God planted. If you do not have a monetary seed, become a seed, let God plant you. There are churches that run or do missionary work. There are orphanages, elderly homes, homeless shelters and many more other places you can offer your time for Sabbath. The scripture above says, God will multiply your seed and increase your harvest. Which means that as you offer yourself as a seed, He will give you more or different types of seeds in order to increase your harvest.
John 12:24, Truly I tell you, unless a grain of wheat (seed) falls to the ground and dies, it remains by itself. But if it dies, it produces much fruit.
Sometimes, The Lord gives us a seed in a form of employment or an idea to do something that doesn’t require start up capital. This enabling us to earn some form of an income. This then, becomes our seed to help us gain multiple seeds in order to increase our harvest. However, hunger and troubles have a way of sneaking their way in to pollute the mind and steal the seed. I don’t know how many things, or what thing you’ve heard about a tithe. I do however, want to share with you what The Lord told me it is. It is a seed. A seed that needs to be planted every season in order to produce. When you are a farmer, first you get the seeds of what you want to farm, then farm. At the end of the farming season you harvest. If what you farm requires you to buy more seed in order to farm again, out of what you make you have to set aside money for the seed so that you can continue your farming business. We call this cost of sales. If you eat the seed money, you have literally eaten the business away because you have eaten the core cost that sustains it. When you run your income statement, cost of sales would have been subtracted directly from revenue generated, this excluding other income to give you your gross profit. This is the actual produce of the business. From this produce, the company can now do what it needs to in order to meet it’s other obligations. The principle is the same even with an individual. Your actual earnings are your gross earnings. When you eat the tithe you have literally eaten the seed.
Let’s look at what this does in the famous Malachi 3:10-12
Bring the full tenth into the storehouse so that there may be food in my house.Test me in this way,” says the Lord of Armies. “See if I will not open the floodgates of heaven and pour out a blessing for you without measure. I will rebuke the devourer for you, so that it will not ruin the produce of your land and your vine in your field will not fail to produce fruit,” says the Lord of Armies.
This heavenly seed
- enables the provision of food for the house of the Lord, even an individual is the house of the Lord. ‘Know we ye not that your body is the temple of the Lord?’ It is like stocking up your tuck shop, which agrees with it being the cost of sales.
- releases an outpour of blessings, which literally translates to the multiplication of the seed
- It provokes God to rebuke the devourer from ruining our produce. The devourer is all about killing, stealing and destroying. This speaks to those problems that always rise closer to you earning your income. The devourer’s aim is to either strip you of the seed, or make sure that you never have enough so you end up eating the seed which kills the produce. So you end up working but never increasing financially, even to a point of losing the income altogether.
- It also kills the ‘insects’ that eat the crops, yielding them to a misproduction. A misproduction is an incorrect or bad production. One puts in the work that is way more than what they actually reap. Else, they do the work but don’t receive payment or receive what is not equivalent to the work.
I know that most of us see this as irrelevant because of the first coming of Christ. However, in the first chapters of Malachi 3, the word tells us of the coming of John, then Christ before it tells us that we must bring in the tithe. I also have not yet come across a verse that tells us that tithing is no longer necessary, so I stand to be corrected if there is one.
The rule of tithing was also set in a way that they be given to the priests who would present them to the Lord. This because they were sanctified and qualified to stand before God, and offerings through them were acceptable. However, Christ removed that pathway, so we could all qualify to present our tithes and offerings directly to God. Mal 3: 3-4 tells us that Christ would purify and purge the priesthood so that the offerings would be made in righteousness, and they would please the Lord. Which means that offerings made in righteousness, carry a certain degree of yield in comparison to the other. More than that, this tells us that the tithe as a seed is the core element of wealth production, next to works of Sabbath. It is our form of production and cost of sales. If we can get that, we are half way through to good harvesting.
One of the biggest instruments used to neutralize the gospel of Christ was the formalization of the church. In the book of Acts, we read that in the time of the Apostles, the synagogue which became because of the increase in numbers never lacked anything. People who wanted to be part of the movement willingly sold their belongings and gave the money to the Apostles, who subsequently distributed the money in good proportions. This including food for the widows, orphans and any other poor. The Deacons were appointed to ensure that this function runs smoothly and without neglect. The poor are very close to God’s heart and scripture tells us that giving to them is like lending to God and He will repay that which is lent. We are also told in Ephesians 4:28 by Paul that we should steal no more, but work so we can have something to give the one in need. Meaning that we cannot in any way forget the poor.
The Lord had structured all this for us in a simple way of tithing. People’s tithes would take care of all this, including the portion of the priests who have no inheritance. However, the formalization of the church took away the portion of the priests, the poor, the orphans and the widows. A huge chunk of this now goes to the running costs of the church. This including the prosperity Pastors whose priority is to enrich themselves. Is this not then the best part of the Lord, giving us the Holy Spirit individually instead of only meeting with God in the temple? For us to be the priesthood in our own individual capacity. Which means that I can now decide to split my tithe in the original way that the Lord structured it. However, before such, I must present it to the Lord.
There were different types of offerings that Israel was required to make in their time. The two that stand out with relevance in this day is the thanksgiving and the first fruit offerings. Philippians 4:6, says we must make our requests known to God accompanied by thanksgiving. He also says in Psalm 100:4 enter His gates with thanksgiving. This is because coming before God is like coming before a King. No one comes before the king empty handed. You bring gifts and these gifts provoke the king to showcase his own glory by giving the same person gifts. Because of this, it is an advisable thing to bring a thanksgiving offering, even a freewill offering whenever one comes before the Lord. Israel was required to bring their offerings three times a year, in the periods God called them to His presence. They were instructed not to appear before God empty handed (Deut 16:10-17)
This is the language spoken now in the world by those who have a desire to grow and create wealth. At some point, stock trading was the biggest and ‘easiest’ type of investment which was made accessible to people of ‘all levels’. A lot of us fell for it because of the systems that were being sold to make it seem easy. Now, the biggest thing is investing in Bitcoin. The most unpredictable currency to invest in, a very high risk type of investment. Believe me, if you want to be involved in investments that make real money, have real money. The big players in these investment platforms first made their money mostly in shady ways. Then moved to influence the markets to make more money corruptly. This promotes a mindset of get rich quick, hence so many Ponzi and pyramid schemes. There is no such thing as get rich quick, wealth is built over time and lots of patience. The most stable kind of investments is private equity, joint ventures, debentures and other debt instruments as well as tangible assets. Instead of property, I’ll say land. With land, it is up to you how you can convert it to income. At the least, foreign currency investment, but with a well recognized banking institution. I could say trading CFDs also, but that is no different to gambling, although others do it on your behalf.
However, the world is changing very fast. The last thing anyone wants is to be stuck in these passive kind of investments possibly with a huge loss. This changing world will be favoring people with real money. However, that doesn’t mean one should give up or stop saving. There are still those emergency expenses that rise up every now and then. They need to be provided for. It is said that your goal for this kind of investment is 20% of your annual income at the very least. You want a stable and risk free investment for such e.g. fixed term deposit and yes, the interest is low compared to high risk but it guarantees safety on your money.
The bible tells us not to worry about tomorrow, what we will eat or drink for the Father knows what we need even before we ask. Which means God will always provide for our needs. Our attitude with money should never be about getting glory or to hold a status higher than others. It should never be about making us gods above God. Yes, we may, differently want certain lifestyles. Kings had lifestyles different to others and that was ok. But none of that should ever be a drive for you to gain wealth. Kings were entrusted with wealth because many would benefit from it and subsequently, their lifestyle would be taken care of. Therefore, when you want a King’s wealth, first have a King’s mindset and act it before that wealth comes. That way you can be trusted with that wealth when you continue to demonstrate to God that you can through every little He gives you. This is what today we call business. Many businesses and investments are built on the foundation of earning income passively to sustain wealth and lifestyles, that is why they lack sustainability. However, businesses should be built like kingdoms, on the foundation of servicing people. That way they will be surrendered to a partnership with the Lord. We have read of what God did for the kingdoms where He was the leading partner.
So now, let Pharaoh look for a discerning and wise man and set him over the land of Egypt Let Pharaoh do this: Let him appoint overseers over the land and take a fifth of the harvest of the land of Egypt during the seven years of abundance. Let them gather all the excess food during these good years that are coming. Under Pharaoh’s authority, store the grain in the cities, so they may preserve it a food. The food will be a reserve for the land during the seven years of famine that will take place in the land of Egypt. Then the country will not be wiped out by the famine.” Genesis 41:33-36
There is nowhere in the bible where the Lord tells us to hustle hard or work hard to earn wealth. Instead He tells us not to labor (toil) for wealth. He is the one who gives us the ability (wisdom) to make wealth.
This then is our summary of how we can do things differently in future in order to attract wealth, increase and retain it.
- Do the works of Sabbath
- Plant the heavenly seed
- Give to the poor (financially disadvantaged)
- Offer thanksgiving offering and first fruit, even freewill offering
- Invest in fixed and risk free investments purely for emergencies. If you can afford it, invest in land and other commodities.
- If you need the wealth of a King, get into business and make God the leading partner, build your kingdom purely to service people, to make their lives better and the Lord will make your life better.
Believing in God, which Christ preached is not a complex thing as it might be projected. It is just believing that God exists and rewards those who diligently seek Him. We seek Him purely by obeying His law, and that is counted as righteousness as it was with Abraham. It is not enough to just say ‘I believe in Jesus Christ’, to qualify that belief it has to be accompanied by the acts of righteousness – fellowship with Christ. These acts are the ones that yield results.