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Tithes and Offering

- How did our Lord Jesus Christ and His apostles follow the Law on Tithes and Offering?

- What happened when God opened the windows of heaven in the past?

- Related to robbing God of tithes, what will happen if God open the windows of heaven?

 

Sep 24, 1997

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Jesus the Carpenter

Posted by: Administrator on September 08, 1997 12:59:11 PM (6352 Reads)

- Where was Jesus Christ from 12 years old up to the time of His ministry?

- How did He acquire supernatural knowledge and wisdom? Who taught Him?

- What message does Jesus as a CARPENTER give to us today?

 

JESUS THE CARPENTER

 

There is a nagging question in the minds of many people reading the Holy Bible. This refers to the life of Jesus Christ when He was 12 years old, up to the time He began His ministry. He was 30 years old then.

 

Luke 2:42 "And when he was twelve years old, they went up to Jerusalem after the custom of the feast."

 

Luke 3:23 "And Jesus himself began to be about thirty years of age, being (as was supposed) the son of Joseph..."

 

Some questions being asked are:

 

1. Where was Jesus during the 18-year period?

 

2. How did He spend His time during that long period?

 

3. How did He acquire supernatural knowledge?

 

Hypothesis was brought out stating that Jesus Christ went to India during that period and studied under certain Hindu Gurus. However, God tells us that we ask Him for anything:

 

Matthew 7:7 Ask, and it shall be given you..."

 

More specially on wisdom about Him and His words, God is very definite. How many people believe this?

 

James 1:5 "If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God, that giveth to all men liberally, and upbraideth not; and it shall be given him. 6 But let him ask in faith, nothing wavering. For he that wavereth is like a wave of the sea driven with the wind and tossed. 7 For let not that man think that he shall receive any thing of the Lord. 8 A double minded man is unstable in all his ways."

 

John the apostle confirmed what James wrote about this truth:

 

1 John 2:27 "But the anointing which ye have received of him abideth in you, and ye need not that any man teach you: but as the same anointing teacheth you of all things, and is truth, and is no lie..."

 

Simply stated therefore, we just ask God and expect Him to answer everything. There is one condition though, and this is what our Lord said, that we must be "converted into a little child" in belief:

 

Matthew 18:3 "And said, Verily I say unto you, Except ye be converted, and become as little children, ye shall not enter into the kingdom of heaven."

 

And this is proven in:

 

Matthew 11:25 "At that time Jesus answered and said, I thank thee, O Father, Lord of heaven and earth, because thou hast hid these things from the wise and prudent, and hast revealed them unto babes."

 

Truly so, Christ’s disciples believed and followed what was said. They were spiritual "little children" in His eyes; thus, our Lord addressed them:

 

John 13:33 "Little children, yet a little while I am with you..."

 

 

JESUS AT 12 YEARS OF AGE

 

Luke 2:43 "And when they had fulfilled the days, as they returned, the child Jesus tarried behind in Jerusalem; and Joseph and his mother knew not of it. 44 But they, supposing him to have been in the company, went a day's journey; and they sought him among their kinsfolk and acquaintance. 45 And when they found him not, they turned back again to Jerusalem, seeking him. 46 And it came to pass, that after three days they found him in the temple, sitting in the midst of the doctors, both hearing them, and asking them questions. 47 And all that heard him were astonished at his understanding and answers."

 

Where did Jesus get His supernatural knowledge at that tender age? Here is what God says as written by Paul:

 

2 Timothy 3:15 And that from a child thou hast known the holy scriptures..."

 

The doctors of the law were amazed at the wisdom shown by Jesus. This is the proof given for the truth in Matthew 11:25 (wisdom endowed to babes), James 1:5-8 (wisdom acquired by trusting God), and 1 John 2:27 (anointing of Holy Spirit for wisdom). If Jesus demonstrated it literally as a 12-year old child; this was seen in the Disciples, spiritually, who were all physical adults endowed with wisdom, as our Lord was. They were spiritual "little children" in the eyes of our Lord.

 

 

JESUS AS MODEL

 

Jesus said, "I am the way." How many people see the "way?" Jesus is the example. That is the "way" He showed. It is for this reason that He is called the eldest Son of God, that His brethren will follow the "way."

 

Romans 8:29 "For whom he did foreknow, he also did predestinate to be conformed to the image of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brethren."

 

Knowledge and wisdom was shown by Jesus Christ.

 

Mark 6:1 "And he went out from thence, and came into his own country; and his disciples follow him. 2 And when the sabbath day was come, he began to teach in the synagogue: and many hearing him were astonished, saying, From whence hath this man these things? and what wisdom is this which is given unto him...3 Is not this the carpenter, the son of Mary, the brother of James, and Joses, and of Juda, and Simon? and are not his sisters here with us?..."

 

(The question, as to what and where Jesus was in the 18 year period, is answered in the foregoing fact. Jesus Christ was a carpenter in Nazareth!)

 

What the people saw in Jesus was also seen in the apostles. Where did they get their spiritual wisdom? That was the amazement of the people who knew them to be unlearned. In contrast, did we see the same knowledge and wisdom in the teachers of the law at that time?

 

Do we see the same knowledge and wisdom in the "apostles" of Christ today? Why are there many questions about God and His words that remain unanswered? What is the alibi? "This is a mystery! No need to know it," they say; if only to discourage people from asking further questions. Where do these "apostles" of Christ try to get wisdom? Is not great efforts and time are spent searching for knowledge? Is there real trust in God? Perhaps, this the true test for trust in God:

 

James 1:5 "If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God, that giveth to all men liberally, and upbraideth not; and it shall be given him. 6 But let him ask in faith, nothing wavering. For he that wavereth is like a wave of the sea driven with the wind and tossed. 7 For let not that man think that he shall receive any thing of the Lord. 8 A double minded man is unstable in all his ways."

 

Thus,

 

Jeremiah 17:5 "Thus saith the LORD; Cursed be the man that trusteth in man ... 6 For he shall be like the heath in the desert, and shall not see when good cometh; but shall inhabit the parched places in the wilderness..."

 

The Jews, in general, did not see the truth in what is written. To them the doctors of the law, the Scribes and the Pharisees, were the wise. That is why they followed them. The curse in Jeremiah 17:5 could only be seen by the Disciples spiritually.

 

Today, because people do not truly trust God, so-called apostles of Christ in the different denominations preach different identities of Jesus Christ, different gospels of salvation, and different spiritual perfection.

 

 

JESUS’ TRUST IN THE FATHER

 

As model showing the way, Jesus showed total trust in the Father:

 

John 5:19 "...Verily, verily, I say unto you, The Son can do nothing of himself..."

 

John 5:30 "I can of mine own self do nothing..."

 

Is it a wonder therefore that the child Jesus was endowed with such knowledge and wisdom? Is it any wonder that Peter, John, James, who were simple fishermen of Bethsaida, but followed the Way, be endowed with knowledge and wisdom for fully trusting God? Is it a wonder in our time that obscure, unheard of, and simple people who likewise totally trust God be endowed with knowledge and wisdom?

 

While many people, even little children, know by heart this most common verse, do they truly get the indept message of it?

 

John 14:6 "Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me."

 

What is meant by Jesus is the "way?" Is He not the model and example? That explains "no man cometh to the Father, but by me."

 

1 Peter 2:21 "For even hereunto were ye called: because Christ also suffered for us, leaving us an example, that ye should follow his steps:"

 

What is meant by Jesus is the "truth?" Do we believe as truth in what He showed as example? By example, Jesus showed that on His own He could do nothing, knew nothing, for everything comes from the Father.

 

John 5:19 "Then answered Jesus and said unto them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, The Son can do nothing of himself..."

 

John 5:30 "I can of mine own self do nothing..."

 

What is meant by Jesus is the "life?" Is not the kind of life He led the spiritual "light" that illuminates spiritual darkness?

 

John 8:12 "Then spake Jesus again unto them, saying, I am the light of the world: he that followeth me shall not walk in darkness, but shall have the light of life."

 

In His SPIRITUAL life, Jesus totally depended on the Father. In His PHYSICAL life, He lived as a CARPENTER of Nazareth, building and repairing houses, using His intellect and physical skill.

 

 

GOD SPEAKS IN PARABLES

 

Just as God is a Spirit, and He is represented by His words, His words are "spirit." Jesus said:

 

John 6:63 "It is the spirit that quickeneth; the flesh profiteth nothing: the words that I speak unto you, they are spirit, and they are life."

 

The laws of God are revealed to Paul:

 

Romans 7:14 "For we know that the law is spiritual..."

 

David wrote what language our Lord would speak:

 

Psalms 78:2 "I will open my mouth in a parable: I will utter dark sayings of old:"

 

Ezekiel on the language of God:

 

Ezekiel 20:49 "Then said I, Ah Lord GOD! they say of me, Doth he not speak parables?"

 

The story of Jesus Christ as a carpenter forms part of the word of God. Words of God are expressed in parables. Because the words of God do not pass away, they are therefore considered as prophecies that are expected to happen:

 

Matthew 5:18 "For verily I say unto you, Till heaven and earth pass, one jot or one tittle shall in no wise pass from the law, till all be fulfilled."

 

Luke 21:33 Heaven and earth shall pass away: but my words shall not pass away.

 

Prophecies are not for private interpretation. Only God can and should explain His words which are expressed in "prophecies" or parables:

 

2 Peter 1:20 "Knowing this first, that no prophecy of the scripture is of any private interpretation."

 

No wonder, our Lord had to explain everything to His disciples:

 

Mark 4:34 "But without a parable spake he not unto them: and when they were alone, he expounded all things to his disciples."

 

But to the unbelieving, the words of God are hidden:

 

Mark 4:11 "And he said unto them, Unto you it is given to know the mystery of the kingdom of God: but unto them that are without, all these things are done in parables: 12 That seeing they may see, and not perceive; and hearing they may hear, and not understand..."

 

 

"IS NOT THIS THE CARPENTER?"

 

The physical life our Lord Jesus Christ was seen as a simple CARPENTER.

 

Mark 6:3 "Is not this the carpenter, the son of Mary, the brother of James, and Joses, and of Juda, and Simon? and are not his sisters here with us?..."

 

In man’s language, that is only a simple story. To God, however, it is a parable. A carpenter builds and repairs houses. He knows the appropriate materials and the instruments to use. He is adept in his job. His joy is in the completion and perfection of his works. That, in man’s language, is the image of a carpenter.

 

In God’s spiritual language, the house is the following:

 

Matthew 7:24 "Therefore whosoever heareth these sayings of mine, and doeth them, I will liken him unto a wise man, which built his house upon a rock: 25 And the rain descended, and the floods came, and the winds blew, and beat upon that house; and it fell not: for it was founded upon a rock. 26 And every one that heareth these sayings of mine, and doeth them not, shall be likened unto a foolish man, which built his house upon the sand: 27 And the rain descended, and the floods came, and the winds blew, and beat upon that house; and it fell: and great was the fall of it."

 

Again, in man’s language, Christ was referring to a physical house. But the clue for the spiritual house is the following:

 

1 Corinthians 3:16 "Know ye not that ye are the temple of God, and that the Spirit of God dwelleth in you?"

 

The spiritual house therefore that Jesus the Carpenter buiilds are the REAL BELIEVERS! The spiritual houses that He built during His time were His disciples. Does not the carpenter know the right materials? Our Lord know the people who will believe in Him, and so they are the right spiritual materials for the spiritual house.

 

John 15:16 "Ye have not chosen me, but I have chosen you..."

 

The carpenter uses tools in building a house; so does Jesus Christ use spiritual tools in shaping a real believer to become a perfect spiritual house. This is the spiritual tool of God in making a spiritual house:

 

2 Timothy 3:16 All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness. 17 That the man of God may be perfect, thoroughly furnished unto all good works.

 

References are made to the chosen people God. They are the "sweet offering" to God. After all, what are gold or silver as offering but the souls of men that God is really after.

 

God hates human ways in making a spiritual house. The spiritual house is the real believer. He is the "place" of offering, a spiritual altar. If the instrument of God in making a spiritual house are His words, His doctrines, the truth; any other instruments are condemned. Thus, human precepts, dogmas, or doctrines which are but the fruits of human reasoning or philosophy, are condemned.

 

Colossians 2:8 "Beware lest any man spoil you through philosophy and vain deceit, after the tradition of men, after the rudiments of the world, and not after Christ."

 

Human ways in spiritual matters are condemned.

 

Isaiah 55:8 "For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, saith the LORD. 9 For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts."

 

The equivalent of the use of philosophy and human wisdom in the parable of building a house, an altar, or place of worship are the following:

 

Exodus 20:25 "And if thou wilt make me an altar of stone, thou shalt not build it of hewn stone: for if thou lift up thy tool upon it, thou hast polluted it."

 

Deuteronomy 27:5 "And there shalt thou build an altar unto the LORD thy God, an altar of stones: thou shalt not lift up any iron tool upon them."

This parable was revealed to Paul in:

 

Colossians 2:8 "Beware lest any man spoil you through philosophy and vain deceit, after the tradition of men, after the rudiments of the world, and not after Christ."

 

Look how the following relates to what God hates in building a house, or an altar:

 

1 Corinthians 1:19 "...I will destroy the wisdom of the wise, and will bring to nothing the understanding of the prudent. 20 Where is the wise? where is the scribe? where is the disputer of this world? hath not God made foolish the wisdom of this world? 21 For after that in the wisdom of God the world by wisdom knew not God, it pleased God by the foolishness of preaching to save them that believe."

 

Truly so, using human wisdom in the word of God for the building of the spiritual temple resulted in many mysteries about God and His teachings that so-called Bible authorities cannot explain.

 

This is the temple built, according to the ways of God, which was the perfect house of the Lord.

 

1 Kings 6:7 "And the house, when it was in building, was built of stone made ready before it was brought thither: so that there was neither hammer nor ax nor any tool of iron heard in the house, while it was in building."

 

With man’s intellect, the temple built by Solomon which was called the House of the Lord was, indeed, a literal-physical house. However, God is speaking spiritual things:

 

1 Corinthians 2:14 "But the natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness unto him: neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned."

 

Thus, spiritually, God does not live in temples made with hands:

 

Acts 7:47 But Solomon built him an house. 48 Howbeit the most High dwelleth not in temples made with hands; as saith the prophet, 49 Heaven is my throne, and earth is my footstool: what house will ye build me? saith the Lord: or what is the place of my rest?

 

To whom does the temple of the Lord refer?

 

1 Corinthians 3:16 "Know ye not that ye are the temple of God, and that the Spirit of God dwelleth in you?"

 

2 Corinthians 6:14-15 "...And what concord hath Christ with Belial? or what part hath he that believeth with an infidel? 16 And what agreement hath the temple of God with idols? for ye are the temple of the living God; as God hath said, I will dwell in them, and walk in them; and I will be their God, and they shall be my people. 17 Wherefore come out from among them, and be ye separate, saith the Lord, and touch not the unclean thing; and I will receive you,"

 

Look how God speaks in parables. When He said, "Destroy this temple and in three days, I will raise it up again," His listeners, including the disciples, did not understand what He was talking about. Literally, it was foolishness; no wonder they laughed at Him. However, to His disciples, this was revealed as referring to His body rising after three days of His death. To His chosen people everything is made clear through His words.

 

 

JESUS OF NAZARETH

 

Where was our Lord in the 18 year period, from 12 years to 30 years old? He was in Nazareth working as a carpenter. That is the actual event and the story.

 

Spiritually, that period actually corresponds to His ministry where He demonstrated building spiritual houses or temples who were His chosen disciples. These were the 120 remaining disciples worthy to receive the Holy Spirit at Pentecost:

 

Acts 1:15 "And in those days Peter stood up in the midst of the disciples, and said, (the number of names together were about an hundred and twenty,)"

 

Acts 2:1 "And when the day of Pentecost was fully come, they were all with one accord in one place. 2 And suddenly there came a sound from heaven as of a rushing mighty wind, and it filled all the house where they were sitting. 3 And there appeared unto them cloven tongues like as of fire, and it sat upon each of them. 4 And they were all filled with the Holy Ghost, and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance."

 

 

"I AM THE WAY," "THE ELDEST SON OF GOD"

 

How easy for people to quote our Lord say, "I am the way." And how many people understand the spiritual meaning of "Jesus is the eldest Son of God?"

 

Romans 8:29 "For whom he did foreknow, he also did predestinate to be conformed to the image of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brethren."

 

Literally-physically our Lord, as a carpenter, built and repaired houses in Nazareth. Spiritually, it was revealed that that was what He did during His whole ministry -- building and repairing spiritual TEMPLES. The houses or TEMPLES were His disciples.

 

That is the Way shown by our Lord. Truly so, the apostles also were seen building and repairing spiritual temples in the book of Acts of the Apostles and in the Epistles. The disciples followed the footsteps of our Lord as spiritual carpenters. Our Lord is the eldest Son of God. He showed that He was the first to grow and attain spiritual maturity. His disciples, His brethren, grew like Him. That, in essence, is the message for our Lord to be called the "Way" and the "eldest Son of God." How many have the "Light" to see the "Way?"

 

The example shown by our Lord is written on the Rock. He is the chief corner stone while the apostles are the foundation.

 

Ephesians 2:20 "And are built upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ himself being the chief corner stone;"

 

Real believers, the true Christians, continue building the spiritual house of God. The believers are the individual "temples" or houses and they, in turn, make up the household of God. It is not the sect, not the denomination, not the organization. It is the spiritual fellowship of real believers:

 

Matthew 18:20 "For where two or three are gathered together in my name, there am I in the midst of them."

 

While people may know the literal name of Jesus Christ, what is His spiritual name?

 

Revelation 19:13 "And he was clothed with a vesture dipped in blood: and his name is called The Word of God."

 

Real Christians are brought and bound together by the power of the word of God, which is the truth. Jesus is the Truth.

 

Ephesians 2:19 "Now therefore ye are no more strangers and foreigners, but fellowcitizens with the saints, and of the household of God;"

 

But this earthly and temporary tabernacle will be changed into a more permanent one:

 

2 Corinthians 5:1 "For we know that if our earthly house of this tabernacle were dissolved, we have a building of God, an house not made with hands, eternal in the heavens."

 

The Way demonstrated by the Carpenter of Nazareth is seen as the "light" that guide the real Christians to continue the work.

 

That is how the word of truth is spread to this day and until the end of the world. Our Lord never is remiss in His promise:

 

Matthew 28:20 "Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world. Amen."

 

It is revealed that our Lord is the Holy Spirit Who guides the real Christians till the end of the world:

 

2 Corinthians 3:17 "Now the Lord is that Spirit: and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty."

 

In essence, the work of Jesus as a carpenter is actually the spread of the word of God throughout the world. Spiritual carpentry therefore is spiritual EVANGELISM, as distinguished from RELIGIOUS evangelism or "proselytism"! Christ’s disciples were spiritual carpenters. This truth has not passed away in our time. Real Christians are spiritual carpenters, so are future believers who will continue the work till the end of the world.

1 Peter 4:17 "For the time is come that judgment must begin at the house of God: and if it first begin at us, what shall the end be of them that obey not the gospel of God?"

 

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