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Like Fireworks on Independence Day

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by Kenneth Copeland

Have you ever begged God to bless you in some area of life? Have you ever been in a jam and pleaded with Him to bless your family…your finances…or your health?

I’ll be the first to admit it, I have. So has most every other believer at one time or another.

No doubt, God in His great mercy responds to such prayers the best He can. But they must leave Him shaking His head and marveling at our ignorance because, in light of His Word, that’s one of the most pointless petitions we could ever make.

I realize that statement would shock many good Christians, but it’s true. The New Testament repeatedly tells us that as born-again believers we are already blessed beyond our wildest dreams. It says the instant we made Jesus our Lord, the same blessing God originally spoke over Adam when He told him to be fruitful, multiply and have dominion over the earth…the same blessing that made Abraham “heir of the world”…the same blessing that rests upon Jesus Himself…came upon us (Genesis 1:28; Romans 4:13; Galatians 3:14).

For us to plead with God for blessings is much like a man swimming underwater, begging to get wet. There’s just one difference. That man gets wet from the outside in. We receive our blessing from the inside out. So, what we actually need is not more blessings on the outside but more revelation on the inside. We need to be transformed, as Romans 12:2 says, by the renewing of our minds.

Walking in the Footsteps of Abraham

Exactly how do we renew our minds to THE BLESSING of God?

We do it by following the example of Abraham, who is the spiritual father of all who believe. We do it by walking in his footsteps (Romans 4:11-12).

Amazingly enough, Abraham managed to fully renew his mind to God’s blessing. He transformed his thinking to the point where he totally believed God’s promise. He not only became convinced that he and his barren, old wife would have a baby, he was completely persuaded that God had quite literally given him the world.

Even Abraham, however, didn’t start out as a faith giant. When God first declared THE BLESSING over him, he struggled to believe it. But God kept working with him. Time and again, He spoke to Abraham, igniting revelation within him until he finally got it.

God will do the same thing for us. But first we have to follow in Abraham’s footsteps. Spiritually, we have to stand where he stood, for example, in Genesis 14. There, we find Abraham returning from an important battle. He had just defeated three kings who attacked the city of Sodom and kidnapped some of his kin. On the way home from the fight, something profoundly significant happened to Abraham—something that radically affected his perspective.

“Melchizedek king of Salem brought forth bread and wine: and he was the priest of the most high God. And he blessed him, and said, Blessed be Abram of the most high God, possessor of heaven and earth: And blessed be the most high God, which hath delivered thine enemies into thy hand. And he gave him tithes of all” (verses 18-20).

Possessor of What?

Abraham had never heard those words before! He’d never before heard himself referred to as the possessor of heaven and earth. His mind must have been reeling. Who, me? Is God actually referring to me?

Abraham would surely have been tempted to doubt that declaration except for one thing. Melchizedek backed it up with the covenant elements of bread and wine. That was serious business and Abraham knew it. Those elements signified the unbreakable oath of a blood covenant.

“But, Brother Copeland,” someone might argue, “that verse doesn’t say Abraham is the possessor of heaven and earth, it says God is.”

No, it doesn’t. It says Abraham of God, possessor of heaven and earth. That’s covenant talk for what’s Mine is yours. The New Testament verifies it. In Romans 4:13, it refers to Abraham as the heir of the world.

There’s no way around it, God had given the man the entire planet.

Granted, Abraham already knew that God had blessed him. God told him years earlier that He had made Abraham a great nation, that He’d bless those who blessed him and curse those who cursed him (Genesis 12:2-3). But Melchizedek’s words took that revelation to an entirely new level…and when he confirmed those words by serving Abraham a covenant meal, there was no doubt God meant what He said. By covenant with God, Abraham was the most powerful man alive.

Abraham could have just taken off like a rocket at that point, jumping…and celebrating…and shouting the victory. (That’s what most people today would do.) But he didn’t and here’s why. An exchange was taking place and the transaction wasn’t finished. So something else happened.

Abraham demonstrated his faith in THE BLESSING God had bestowed on him. He responded with a covenant action that’s been practiced among God’s people since time began.

Abraham gave Melchizedek a tithe of all.

When he did it, the words of THE BLESSING were thundering in his ears. The power in those words was exploding in his consciousness like fireworks on Independence Day. He wasn’t tithing because it was some kind of religious ritual. He was tithing because it was a sign that he was in covenant with Almighty God.

At that moment, Abraham was a changed man. He proved it almost immediately when the king of Sodom came to him and offered him all the spoils of the battle he’d just won.

Do you know what Abraham’s response was? He said, “I have lift up mine hand unto the Lord, the most high God, the possessor of heaven and earth, that I will not take from a thread even to a shoelatchet, and that I will not take any thing that is thine, lest thou shouldest say, I have made Abram rich…” (Genesis 14:22-23).

Abraham flat turned down a fortune! He told the king of Sodom he wouldn’t take a dime from him—not even a shoestring.

What gave him the guts to say that? The revelation of THE BLESSING that was roaring through his spirit! He’d just finished a covenant exchange with God Himself. He was thinking, I’m richer now than I’ve ever been. The whole earth somehow or other is mine. Why would I get involved in some financial monkey business with a wicked king? I’m Abraham of God, possessor of heaven and earth!

Abraham had just had his mind renewed to THE BLESSING.

Murdered Over the Tithe

How did that renewal take place? It didn’t happen while Abraham was out somewhere riding his camel. It didn’t hit him while he was herding his flocks. It happened while he was taking communion over the Word of God and tithing.

That’s no coincidence. Tithing is a vital part of the covenant exchange. It’s more than just taking 10 percent of your paycheck and putting it in the bucket at church. There’s so much power involved in tithing, the devil will do everything he can to stop it. That’s why the first murder ever committed on the face of the earth was committed over the tithe.

Cain killed his brother Abel because God honored Abel’s tithe and rejected Cain’s. Over the years there’s been great debate about why God did that. Some people have said it was because Cain brought God some of his crops, while Abel brought God a lamb. But Cain was a farmer. God doesn’t require you to bring a lamb when you don’t raise lambs.

The problem with Cain’s offering was that it didn’t represent his best. The original Hebrew language indicates it came from the last remnants of the harvest. Have you ever eaten beans or okra picked at the end of the season? It’s like trying to eat sticks. That’s the kind of stuff you feed the hogs.

Cain wasn’t giving God any more honor than he’d give a hog! He was bringing Him the leftovers, instead of the first fruits. There was no respect or faith in what Cain gave to God, so He refused to accept it.

That wasn’t the last time somebody treated God that way, either. The Israelite priests in Malachi’s day did the same thing. Instead of bringing God the best of their flocks, they tried to push blind, sick and lame animals off on Him. When they did, He responded to them the same way He responded to Cain (Malachi 1:6-14).

He told them He wouldn’t accept their dishonorable tithes. Then He told them how to correct the situation: “Bring ye all the tithes into the storehouse, that there may be [honorable] meat in mine house, and prove me now herewith, saith the Lord of hosts, if I will not open you the windows of heaven, and pour you out a blessing, that there shall not be room enough to receive it” (Malachi 3:10).

One of Christianity’s Greatest Joys

            When God talked about pouring out a blessing in that verse, He wasn’t just referring to blessings in general. He was talking about THE BLESSING—the one He spoke over mankind in the very beginning. The one that empowers His people to be fruitful and multiply and have dominion in the earth. The one that makes them, like Abraham, heirs of the world. He was talking about the uncontainable blessing of the Garden of Eden.

What does tithing have to do with that blessing? It opens the door for the revelation of it to explode in us!

            “But Brother Copeland, I’ve always heard that tithing was an Old Testament law and doesn’t apply to us today.”

            Certainly it was referred to in Old Testament law. The Bible says the Law had to be given because of transgressions. Before Jesus came, the hearts of God’s people got so hardened by sin they often couldn’t tell the difference between right and wrong. So God had to spell it out for them. He had to make tithing a part of the law.

But tenderhearted, covenant-minded men of God tithed long before the Law was instituted…and kept tithing long after it was done away with. Read the book of Hebrews and you’ll see that tithing is still one of the greatest joys of Christianity. It says that:

God, willing more abundantly to show unto the heirs of promise [What promise? The promise of THE BLESSING!]…confirmed it by an oath: That by two immutable things, in which it was impossible for God to lie, we might have a strong consolation, who have fled for refuge to lay hold upon the hope set before us: Which hope we have as an anchor of the soul, both sure and stedfast, and which entereth into that within the veil; whither the forerunner is for us entered, even Jesus, made an high priest for ever after the order of Melchisedec. For this Melchisedec, king of Salem, priest of the most high God, who met Abraham returning from the slaughter of the kings, and blessed him; to whom also Abraham gave a tenth part of all; first being by interpretation King of righteousness, and after that also King of Salem, which is, King of peace. And here men that die receive tithes; but there [Jesus] receiveth them, of whom it is witnessed that he liveth [forever] (6:17-7:2, 8).

Don’t Stand There…Say Something!

            As awesome as Abraham’s experience with Melchizedek was, it was just a type and shadow of what we have today. We have the fulfillment! Our souls are not just anchored in a covenant meal of bread and wine served by an Old Testament priest. Our faith is anchored in the blood of the Lord Jesus Christ Himself. Through His crucifixion and resurrection, He became our covenant sacrifice.

Acting as our High Priest, He walked into the heavenly holy of holies, into the presence of Almighty God and presented His own blood on our behalf. When He did, God accepted it! He called Jesus God, and gave Him the Name that is above all names.

            Today Jesus does for us what Melchizedek did for Abraham. He ministers His own body and blood to us as a sign of our divine covenant. Then He receives our tithes and lets us know that God has accepted us by exploding within us the revelation that we are blessed!         

“Well, I’ve been tithing for years,” someone might say, “and I’ve never gotten that revelation.”

That’s because you never learned how to do it the way the Bible teaches. You probably just wrote a check for 10 percent and left it at that. But that’s not all there is to it. We’re supposed to say something by faith over our tithe when we bring it.

Why? Because Jesus is the “High Priest of our confession” (Hebrews 3:1, New King James Version). As such, He not only receives our tithes, He is anointed to see to it that His Word in our mouths comes to pass in our lives.

Even under the Old Covenant, God instructed the Israelites to say specific things when they brought their tithes to Him (Deuteronomy 26:1-11). He taught them to declare how God had delivered and blessed them as a nation. As a result, tithing was a powerful event even back then.

How much more powerful it must be today when we, as New Covenant saints, partake of the Communion elements and bring our tithes to the Lord Jesus Christ, our High Priest, saying things like: “Lord, we bring this tithe to You in love, joy and honor. Thank You, for all You’ve done to deliver us, provide for us and minister to us. We receive by faith the blessing of Abraham that is ours through You. We declare we are joint heirs with You, Jesus, and we receive Your blessing.” That is tithing the tithe. Releasing faith, bringing the Lord God what belongs to Him and receiving from Him what belongs to you.

That kind of interaction with God will change you, my friend. I know it from experience. It will anchor you firmly in the knowledge of THE BLESSING. It will open the door for the revelation of it to explode within you like fireworks.

Instead of begging God for blessing, you’ll end up celebrating the fact He’s already given it to you. You’ll realize as never before that as a born-again child of the living God you are, like Jesus in Romans 9:5, always and forever blessed.