Healing Our Response to God
God wants to heal the curse in the earth. This can only happen when the children of God manifest in the earth. When we live for ourselves or for the testimony of some other thing that who we are meant to be in Christ, the earth remains in a condition of futility (Rom. 8:20, 21).
Malachi 3:9 You are cursed with a curse, for you have robbed Me, even this whole nation.
God wants a living and active relationship with us as His children. The Holy Spirit has come so that we will respond as the gate of heaven in the earth.
Malachi 3:10 “Bring all the tithes into the storehouse, that there may be food in My house…”
When we respond to the bread and wine that comes to us from God in heaven, we become empowered to see the will of God done in the earth. Jesus said that His food was to do the will of God in the earth (Jn. 4:32-34). He did this by releasing the life of Christ within Him to the world around Him. A river of life-giving water flowed from His heart because He was a Son of God with a constant connection to His Father by the Holy Spirit (Jn. 7:37-39).
To understand the blessing of food in God’s house through a response relationship with God we must understand the testimony of tithe. The first mention of tithe in the Scripture was in the life of Abram just after he had returned from freeing his nephew Lot after being taking captive in a battle in the Valley of Siddim where the kings Chedorlaomar, Tidal, Amraphel, and Arioch had come against the kings of Sodom, Gomorrah, Admah. Zeboiim, and Zoar. Abram and his 318 trained men pursued those kings and freed Lot along with the goods that had been taken. Now what was the value of the goods that Abram had recovered? Among the goods were the possessions of Sodom, Gormorrah, and Admah. History reveals to us that the goods of those cities were of no value at all. God would soon destroy them all in the destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah in the coming days of Abram. Abram didn’t know that, but God knew the true value of those goods. These were the goods of which Abram gave a tenth to Melchizedek. What was the point? Did Abram give a tenth of what he had so that God would bless the remaining ninety percent in his possession? If we read the story we find that Abram didn’t keep anything of the goods that he had recovered. Abram’s act of giving a tenth to Melchizedek had nothing to do with anything that Abram possessed. It had to do with all the Melchizedek possessed.
Genesis 14:18-23 Then Melchizedek king of Salem brought out bread and wine; he was the priest of God Most High. And he blessed him and said: “Blessed be Abram of God Most High, Possessor of heaven and earth; and blessed be God Most High, Who has delivered your enemies into your hand.” And he gave him a tithe of all.
Now the king of Sodom said to Abram, Give me the persons, and take the goods for yourself.” But Abram said to the king of Sodom, “I have raised my hand to the Lord, God Most High, the Possessor of heaven and earth, that I will take nothing, from a thread to a sandal strap, and that I will not take anything that is yours, lest you should say, “I have made Abram rich”…
The first gifts given were not those from Abram. They were gifts given by Melchizedek to Abram. Those gifts were those of bread and wine. Bread is a symbol of the Word of God and wine is a symbol of the life of the Spirit. This Melchizedek was giving Abram gifts from heaven. Somehow Abram got a revelation. He knew that what Melchizedek had given him was just a gratuity of all that He possessed in heaven. Abram’s gift of tithe was a response to the gifts of Melchizedek. He was giving a gratuity even as he understood that Melchizedek’s gifts were a gratuity from heaven. His gifts were a testimony to the life that comes from the Holy Spirit as the guarantee of the full inheritance of God (Eph. 1:13,14). Abram’s act of tithe was a response to the gratuity of bread and wine. He didn’t have his goods in mind when he tithed to the King. He had the gifts of the King in mind. Abram didn’t keep a stitch of the goods that he possessed. He knew that he needed all that God had in heaven for him to bring the testimony of heaven into his life upon the earth. If he was to be God’s house in the earth then the food of God’s house was necessary for him to become all that he was destined to be. His destiny in God was dependent upon his response to the flesh manifestation of Christ before his eyes. This demonstration of tithe from Abram’s heart had nothing to do with any command that God had ever given. It was a revelation given to Abram by the Spirit of God when He encountered a manifestation of Christ upon the earth. This demonstration of faith was done hundreds of years before the Law would ever testify of this thing called tithe. It had nothing to do with a command to tithe, but it had everything to do with a revelation concerning tithe. When the gratuity of the Holy Spirit is given in our lives a response should be a gratuity of all that we have. It has nothing to do with a dollar amount. It is a prophetic activation of the principle of a tithe – a tenth. Since the number 10 is a prophetic number signifying completion, judgment, and love, perhaps this tenth is a testimony to God’s complete promise in our lives to bring about the fruit that comes from His judgment of love. A tenth of Abram’s treasure was given to the one who held all the treasure of his heavenly destiny.
Now Jacob went out from Beersheba and went toward Haran. So he came to a certain place and stayed there all night, because the sun had set. And he took one of the stones of that place and put it at his head, and he lay down in that place to sleep. Then he dreamed, and behold, a ladder was set up on the earth, and its top reached to heaven; and there the angels of God were ascending and descending on it. And behold, the Lord stood above it and said: “I am the Lord God of Abraham your father and the God of Isaac; the land on which you lie I will give to you and your descendants. Also your descendants shall be as the dust of the earth; you shall spread abroad to the west and the east, to the north and the south; and in you and in your seed all the families of the earth shall be blessed. Behold, I am with you and will keep you wherever you go, and will bring you back to this land; for I will not leave you until I have done what I have spoken to you.”
Then Jacob awoke from his sleep and said, “Surely the Lord is in this place, and I did not know it.” And he was afraid and said, “How awesome is this place! This is none other than the house of God, and this is the gate of heaven!”
Then Jacob rose early in the morning, and took the stone that he had put at his head, set it up as a pillar, and poured oil on top of it. And he called the name of that place Bethel; but the name of that city had been Luz previously. Then Jacob made a vow, saying, “If God will be with me, and keep me in this way that I am going, and give me bread to eat and clothing to put on, so that I come back to my father’s house in peace, then the Lord shall be my God. And this stone which I have set as a pillar shall be God’s house, and of all that You give me I will surely give a tenth to You.”
Here we have an account of the grandson of Abraham in another encounter with God and a testimony of tithing. When Jacob awoke from his dream he didn’t say, “How awesome is God!” He said, “How awesome is this place!” He understood that he was in the place of the house of God. He was sleeping in the very place of destiny. The rock that he saw as a pillow needed to stand upright and be called for what God saw it to be. A place that meant, “isolated” or “separated place” (Luz) needed to be called by the name that God saw it to be – “the house of God” (Bethel). Jacob was not isolated or separated from God. He was the place of God’s habitation. He understood that God was with him. He took the sleeping place and confirmed that it was truly a standing place, a place of inheritance. He took the rock that was a pillow and stood it upright as a pillar. He anointed the standing pillar with oil as a testimony to the place of the manifestation of Christ in the earth. There was an open heaven over his life and angels were ascending and descending. They were ascending from the house of God upon the earth to bring back all of the heavenly supply needed for that house to be known as the gate of heaven in the earth. Jacob didn’t give the gratuity of tithe so that there would be an open heaven. He gave the tithe because he knew he was the gate of heaven. He didn’t give the tithe so that God would bless his earthly possessions. He gave the tithe as a testimony to all that would come from heaven. He was responding to God, not invoking God to respond to him. He knew that God would keep him in his way and that way was the path of destiny set before him by God. God would rebuke the devourer on his behalf not because of what he did, but because of who he was. He responded with tithe because of who he was, not because of what God would do. He knew that God was the giver of bread and that there would be food in God’s house, not the house of isolation or separation from God. His tithe was a testimony to his oneness with God. He had a covenant of peace with God and he knew that God would provide heavenly bread to change his character and to prove His will done in his life. He knew that God would clothe him and give him the outward evidence that would cause the nations to call him blessed. Jacob didn’t tithe to get these things. He tithed because he knew that the gratuities of God would prove to lead to the full provision of the inheritance of God in his life. His act of tithe was a prophetic sign to his response to God. The test before him was not one to prove whether God could perform or not. It was a test that proved that God is who He says He is. Tithe was a response level testimony to the giving culture of God in His house.
Tithe is a response level relationship whereby we respond to the bread and wine of Melchizedek with a prophetic tenth, declaring that the full inheritance of heaven is to be made known in God’s house through the gate of heaven in the earth. It is like the submersion in the Holy Spirit, a holy testimony spills out from our hearts and submerges us in a testimony that declares we are a holy nation before God in the earth! We are dependent upon God as our righteousness and we are an earthly testimony of His peace, the evidence our oneness with Him in heaven while upon this earth.
Food For Thought,
Ted J. Hanson