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Finance (2 of 2)

Shane Willard

1/40 of a week’s wage - where did that normally go? To the priest; the Roman government reached out and confiscated it!

To which they asked: what about our pastors and our priests - what are we supposed to do when them?

Constantine said: the government will take care of them - don't worry about it; which was the start of socialism. It never worked, why? Because the power was supposed to be in God’s people doing those things; and God's principles never change. That's why America will never get out of debt, because it has abandoned God's ways. Not Satan's fault, our fault.

The Didache was a book that was written in the late first century. It's known by its longer name "The Teaching of the Twelve Apostles to the First Century Church". The Didache did not make it into the Bible, and I'm not saying it should, I'm just simply saying that Peter, James and John wrote it, so we probably ought to listen.

In the Didache, Chapter 13, this is what it says: “If you have a Pastor willing to live among you and teach the word, he is worthy of your Terumah. If you do NOT have a Pastor willing to live among you and teach the word, then give your Terumah to the poor. Whatever you do, don't eat it. The only person allowed to eat the Terumah portion, is the priest.”

So, let me make a couple of observations. Number one, I have nothing to gain by telling you this, there's no selfish motive in my heart at all.

I'm not your Pastor, but I will tell you this: do you have a pastor willing to live among you and teach you the word? He's worthy of your Terumah, absolutely. (applause).

I will also tell you this. I will challenge you to weigh this out. I will challenge you to ask, is this really what God is saying? And if the spirit of god did not bear witness to you, then I will ask you not to do it.

But as you're listening to this, and you know something, that what you're hearing is right, this is what I want you to do. For the next 6 months, I want you to dedicate yourself to getting your life organised like this. If you care for anything, start with the Terumah (it was the first offering anyway), and it’s the smallest, the easiest to do.

When I was a pastor, the first Terumah I ever received was before I even understood it. Someone else understood it. This guy walked up, and in his hand was waving three dollars.

The poor guy wanted both of his eyes to work. They would work, but only one at a time, and so he would look at you like this, and the other eye would float around, it was weird.

And so, I used to mess with him; because one time, in front of this whole group of people, he told the whole group of people he could beat me up in a fight; which was ridiculous, but I didn't want to fight him, so he just kept going and going, so I said: hey, look, do me a favour, watch my hand. And so his eyes started doing this, and he was like: stop!

So he comes down the hallway, waving three dollars, and he was broke as - you can't believe how broke he was. Now I thought: I don't need his three dollars.

So he hands me this three dollars, and every impulse in me wanted to give it back; so I went to give it back, and as soon as I did, the Lord stopped me; and he said: you do not give that back! It's not for you, it’s for him.

Well he got home that night, and not one person, but two people, had given him an auto-mobile!

My mum gave her first Terumah; I explained this to her, because her company said she's capped - because of her education, they wouldn't promote her any more. And I said: Mum, try this; she gave her first Terumah; and three days later, they didn't promote her once, they promoted her twice; and they decided to put her through college at their expense.

My first Terumah, when I first saw this, I asked the Lord: please forgive me for not honouring Terumah, I did not know. I just did not, I wasn't being rebellious, I just didn't know.

I said: Lord, I want to start today, how far back do you want me to go? Lord, give me my first Terumah amount; and then going forward, I will honour Terumah.