Religiosity is a terrible thing. What religiosity does is that it makes us blind to the obvious, and the reason is because we’re processing illumination through a refractive medium and so it ends up crooked. Religiosity defines Christianity as essentially a religious proposition but the evidence in the Bible suggests it’s more than that. The more you study the Bible the more you realise you’re dealing with serious political realities.
While on earth Jesus operated under the terms of the Old Testament. It’s why his parents presented him in the temple, it’s why he ate the Passover. (The Passover is commemoration of the deliverance of Israel from Egypt, when death passed them over.) At the time of Jesus the Jewish understanding of Messiah was based on Old Testament prophecies. The Messiah in Jewish religion is not a saviour of souls but someone who will bring about political and spiritual redemption of the Jewish people; by spiritual redemption they’re largely talking about the reestablishment of temple worship. The Messiah is in fact a great political leader descended from the line of David. He will be a charismatic leader, inspiring others to follow his example. He will be a great military leader who will win battles for Israel. He will also be a great judge.
Jesus did not appear to do any of these things the scriptures prophesied about and so the Jews couldn’t accept him as Messiah. He didn’t present himself as Fidel Castro for example. What they didn’t know was that the Messianic programme had been bifurcated into two halves – spiritual and political. Each of these roles have different timetables. Jesus is still coming to save Israel from annihilation by the Antichrist but the Jews didn’t know this, but the point I want to establish was the dualism of the role of the Messiah – a spiritual and political role. It portended the order of Melchizedek. It is because of that political dimension of the office of the Messiah that his assassination was politically motivated. The massive following he had and his populist messages marked him out as someone to be eliminated. The religious leaders couldn’t stand him and he reciprocated their affection. They saw him as a danger to the establishment. The people hung on his words, so much they were willing to starve to continue to listen to him. It’s why he fed them sandwiches on two occasions. (Matthew 14:15-21 and Matthew 15:29-39) The religious authorities were no doubt afraid of Jesus. He had the capacity to inspire the people against the system. They WERE afraid.
To underscore the political nature of his demise they hung a political charge over his head – “King of the Jews.” (Matthew 27:37) The Pharisees felt that was inappropriate; they wanted a modification that says he claimed to be king of the Jews but Pilate would have none of it. They hung Jesus for treason against Rome. That was farcical to say the least. It was judicial murder.
When Judas colluded with the establishment to get rid of Jesus it was a political move. Judas had joined the Jesus movement on certain suppositions. When those things panned out he simply decamped and did a deal with the establishment. Cashed in on three years of input.
And to underscore the political dimension of Christianity Jesus kept talking about his kingdom. A kingdom is a political expression, it is not a religious expression.
With that background let’s dive in to our topic for today.
There are two mystical orders specified in scriptures. The first is the Levitical order, the second is the order of Melchizedek. None of us can belong to the Levitical order for the simple reason it’s genealogical. Unless you’re a descendant of Levi, or your uncle is Uncle Aaron you can’t qualify for that order. It’s a mono-vocational order. All members of the order are priests. They can’t be anything else. If God were to conscript us into that order all of us will be serving in the temple in Jerusalem. None of us will have secular vocations.
The Order of Melchizedek on the other hand is a hybridity. It is formed by combining priesthood with political identity. It’s a priest-king equation, a spiritual/secular hyphenation. It’s why we can run businesses and still serve God. It’s why we can be professionals and still serve God. And so you have priest-businessmen, priest-lawyers, priest-doctors, priest-entertainers, priest-technologists, priest-neurologists etc. You are a dualised entity.
Now, this is what Satan tries to do. He seeks to remove the “dash” or hyphen between priest and king so they’re two separate things. His plan is that his children will control the political sphere while Christians will keep minding their religion, locked up in church. He has managed to convince some Christians for example that politics and Christianity don’t go together, that politics is dirty and so not for Christians. And so Christians don’t go for political office in order to maintain their faith. They don’t know it’s Satan’s disinformation they’re acting on. And so all they do is pray to remove someone from political office, say a bad president. There is a place for prayer, there’s a place for participation. Don’t forget whoever controls government controls the law and controls the resources of the nation. What Satan does is to take over government and use the resources of that nation to destroy the nation; or he appropriates the resources of that nation to push aberrant agenda. Or he wickedly locks it up in a few hands and punishes the mass of the people with hunger, ill-health and deprivation.
The resources Satan is using to destabilise the earth is the resources of nations. It’s not from heaven. He’s like Charles Taylor. Taylor destabilised Sierra Leone and Liberia using blood diamonds. In fact, blood diamonds financed brutal conflicts in Sierra Leone, Liberia, Angola, the Democratic Republic of Congo, the Central African Republic, Cote d’Ivoire.
Without an understanding of the priest-king equation Christians cannot reach or control the commanding heights of the economy. Whoever controls the levers of power controls resources and patronage. Why would Satan bless Christians? To fulfil the potential of the Order of Melchizedek you need to aspire to control critical economic assets. If only to keep them away from the evil one. He will destroy the nation using national resources.
Remember that I also said whoever controls the levers of power controls the law. When Satan takes over a nation he oppresses Christians, seeks to legislate Christianity and Christian values out of existence; and sometimes he apparently chases God from a nation. Think Hitler’s Germany, Lenin’s Soviet Union, Kim Jong’s North Korea, Mao’s China, Ceausescu’s Romania… The evidence is all around you.
The impression I got when I was preparing this particular message is that God has called me here to scale up your vision. You have to think wider, bigger, fatter, higher. Stop thinking small. The order of Melchizedek is a big concept thing. It is closely tied to Abraham. He was the first human to encounter the phenomenon and he submitted to it. Abraham is your prime example. He wasn’t a small notion guy, he was a big economics type of guy who made a lot of money from national treasuries. He left Egypt stupendously rich. He always dealt with governments, be it Pharaoh, Melchizedek or Abimelech. He made treaties with kings. He was so big he had a private army. God promised he’ll make him a nation and that’s exactly what he did. Dream big. The mystical order to which you belong is a big concept phenomenon.
Let’s look at the technical details of this order. We’ll take a historic approach. Once you understand the technicalities you can access the potential.
When Lot was captured by the Gang of Four, Abraham went and rescued him. The four allied forces were Shinar, Ellasar, Elam and Goyim, and the kings were Amraphel, Arioch, Kedorlaomer and Tidal. Through this conquest Abraham received unprecedented booty. We’re told he was met by Melchizedek, king of Salem on his way back from the conquest. Unusually for a king, Melchizedek doubled as a priest of the Most High God. He was a pastor in political office essentially. Abraham and Melchizedek had communion. Then Melchizedek blessed Abraham. That blessing was very telling: “Blessed (joyful, favoured) be Abraham by the Most High God, Possessor of heaven and earth. Worthy of praise is the Most High God, who delivered your enemies into your hand.” (Genesis 14:19-20 NET, AMP) Then we’re told Abraham paid tithe.
Why did Abraham pay tithe? Two reasons. You see, up till that moment Abraham hadn’t fought for anything. There was not one major asset that came into his hands through self-effort. He wasn’t a self-made man, he was God-made. Everything he had was by God’s grace. Even when he got himself into a mess in Egypt and Gerar, grace delivered him and salvaged the situation. And so when through seeming self-effort he defeated the Mesopotamian Treaty Organisation (MTO) he had to acknowledge before God it only looked like his effort but it was God who accomplished the conquest. His tithe was an acknowledgment of grace. Which is why Melchizedek said to him, “Blessed be Abraham BY the Most High God…” Tithing is an acknowledgment of grace. And it precedes the law, so the argument it’s done away with the law can’t hold. When we tithe, we’re saying like Abraham, God, all that I have accomplished is not by my effort, but by your grace. That big promotion you got wasn’t you, it was God. That big contract you clipped wasn’t you, it was God. That appointment you got in government wasn’t based on your certificates, it was God. If you’re a wise businessman you will tithe your business. The return ratio on that tithe is higher than the tithe on your salary. The quantum of your sowing determines the quantum of returns.
The second reason Abraham paid tithe was acknowledgement of God as the possessor of heaven and earth. It was worship. All Earth’s resources belong to him. Tithing is worship.
Therefore the technical pillars of the economic dimension of the order of Melchizedek are grace, tithe, humility and worship. There’s a place for effort. But our effort is nothing but the mechanization of grace. Except the Lord builds the house they that labour labour in vain. (Psalm 127:1)
Look at Isaiah 55:1-2 (MSG) God says, “Are you penniless?Come anyway—buy and eat!Come, buy your drinks, buy wine and milk.Buy without money—everything’s free!Why do you spend your money on junk food,your hard-earned cash on cotton candy?Listen to me, listen well: Eat only the best,fill yourself with only the finest.”
What is that passage talking about? Grace! You were saved by grace, you’re sustained by grace, you’re defined by grace. How can you ever boast? What do you have that you have not received? Psalm 62:10 infact admonishes you, “If your wealth increases, don’t make it the centre of your life!”
But the most powerful thing about Is. 55:1-2 (MSG) is the fact that it reveals to us a new currency. Grace is a currency. It has a foreign exchange system. When you can’t figure out how you ever managed to pay for something, you spent the currency of grace. Depend on grace.
But faith is two-dimensional. We preach the acquisition function of faith we never preach the reformation of grace through trial. Hebrews 11 contains both sides of the equation. And so, sometimes we cast out our nets and there’s no fish. We till the ground and there’s no harvest. We’re on a job for years and there’s no promotion. Every contract you go after seems to fizzle at the last minute. And so we get discouraged and burnt out, don’t believe in tithing again. Some even stop coming to church. There are many reasons these things can happen including trial of our faith.
But at least fulfil all righteousness by tithing. The problems may be due to lack of knowledge. It may be faulty conception of an idea. It may be that we have put our faith in man. And sometimes we open the door to the enemy through sin. What tithing does is, it blocks the devourer. Fulfil all righteousness.
But if you’re tired and worn out Jesus has a word for you: “Are you tired? Worn out? Burned out on religion? Come to me. Get away with me and you’ll recover your life. I’ll show you how to take a real rest. Walk with me and work with me – watch how I do it. Learn the unforced rhythms of grace.” (Matthew 11:28-30 MSG)
In other words grace is not just a dispensation of God, it is also God’s leverage, his technology of personal achievement. God uses grace to accomplish his personal goals. We need to learn the unforced rhythms of grace. It’s an art form.
If you’re burned out emotionally or economically Jesus says you need to do three things: Walk with him, work with him; then leave the rest to him. Put your mind at rest. The God who has been delivering before you were born hasn’t gone on sabbatical. He that keepeth Israel neither slumbers nor sleeps. It will pass!
In conclusion, let me remind you of the essential points: scale up your vision; stop thinking small. Pay your tithe. Rely on grace and submit yourself to God. If you do these things, I’m sure we’ll be talking about testimonies next year.
May the Lord bless his word.
Thank you and God bless!
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