John Hagee - Thou Shall Not Steal
"Thou shall not steal" is God's bill of rights for all property owners. How many of you own property here? You have a debt to the Bible and a debt to God himself. Everything you own is a gift from God. Stop to think about it. "Every good and perfect gift comes from God our father above". Your home, your car, your diamonds, your business, your property belongs to God. He's the original owner of everything on the earth. The Bible says, "In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth". David says, "The earth is the Lord's and the fullness thereof". Everything that's in the earth, God owns it. When you steal another man's property, therefore, you have stolen from God. And God places your name in the book of life as a thief. Thieves do not go to heaven. I don't care how good your lawyer is. If you stole it, when you face God, you're going to hell for it.
Zechariah 5:3, "And this is the curse that covers all the men on the earth: that everyone that steals shall be cut off". That's a broad statement. "Everyone that steals shall be cut off". That means criminals. That means congressmen. That means corrupt clergymen. That's one of the problems of America right now. They are preaching what I call, preaching and teaching a hot-tub Christianity. And a hot-tub Christianity teaches you not to confront your sin, but just to adjust to your sin. You don't need to confess: you need a counselor. No, you need to confess and forsake your sin, and then get with a counselor. You don't get comfortable with your sin. You get it out of your life. Because when God cuts you off, you will never prosper. You will live in torment on the earth and torment in eternity. This commandment is God's bill of right to every property owner in this building and every property owner watching over the television.
Listen. Abraham, David, Solomon, they all owned vast estates. The children of Israel inherited the Promised Land. The boundaries for Israel are in this book. And regardless of what the enemies of Israel are saying, the land of Israel belongs to the Jewish people today, tomorrow, and forever! Read in this book. Every man's land was exactly marked. The ownership of property is the basis of wealth, and that begins in the Bible. God wants you to prosper and to be wealthy. He just wants you doing it honestly. In ancient Rome, a mob pushed through the streets, crying out for more food and better entertainment. The mob that owned nothing was cared for by the state. Just before the gladiators came out to fight for their life, ox carts filled with bread would circle the arena, and they would throw loaves of bread to everyone who came. It was socialism on parade in Rome.
Today in America, mobs are in the streets burning our cities to the ground. They're shooting at firemen who are fighting the fires they start. They're ambushing policemen. They demand the state rebuild what they have burned down. According to biblical ethics, they have destroyed private property, and they should be made to rebuild it brick by brick with their own hands, with their own sweet sweat or go to jail. In the Bible, restitution for destruction of private property is an absolute must. Exodus 22:1 through 4, "If you stole a sheep or an ox, you had to replace it with four sheep or four oxen", or what? Or they had a rock concert in your honor and they buried you stoned you to death. That would be with rocks, young people. The Bible is a fourfold replacement policy.
You say, "Well, that's the Old Testament". Not really. It was Jesus' policy, too. I'll get there in just a minute. Numbers 5:7, "Fraud required full restoration of 20% of the full value of what was taken". You gave the full value of what you stole, and then another 20%. The story of Jesus and Zacchaeus. Zacchaeus was a Roman tax collector. Jesus ran around with some low-class people. Zacchaeus is in the tree. He's in the tree because he's short of stature and he's trying to follow Jesus in the mob. And when Jesus saw him, Jesus said, "Come down. I'm coming to your house for lunch today".
Jesus had a little chat with him about how he was stealing from people. And Zacchaeus said at the end, "The half of my goods, give I to the poor. And what I have taken from others, I will restore", listen, "Fourfold". "Thou should not steal" repudiates communism and socialism. The right of citizens to own private property is God's plan. It's a good plan. It's a plan that America was built on. Whenever political people start talking about how to rob you of your own personal property, you better stand up and speak up with a loud voice or they'll take it! For government to control private property and private enterprise is a socialist pipe dream. Socialism leads to communism. And America is walking down that road as fast as they can. Wake up, America. Wake up! Wake up! We're going in the wrong direction!
Deuteronomy 27:17, "Cursed is the one who removes his neighbor's landmark". Every person had their property with a Marker. If you attempt to swindle or devalue the property of the owner in any matter, it's theft. And in God's kingdom, it brings the judgment of God. So how is it in America today? If someone steals your car, it's your fault because you left it parked on the street. You didn't lock it. Lock it or lose it. Isn't that the message? America today is upside down. Right is wrong and wrong is right. This is happening right now. Fake news is lying incorporated. Consider the essence of stealing. Everything God controls gives. "God so loved the world that he gave his only begotten son".
Jesus gave his life at the cross of Calvary so that we could have everlasting life. God created the sun. The sun gives light without which there would not be the possibility of the growth of crops that keeps humanity alive. The ground gives nurture to the crops, and we have that to eat. Everything God put together, it gives! There's a book, "The day America told the truth". And one of the topics is "Employee theft". Workers around America frankly admitted that they spent 20% of their time just goofing off. That amounts to a four-day week, meaning you stole one, because you're getting paid for five. Ooh. Then it said, "Almost one-half of American workers confessed to calling in sick when they were not sick".
That's lying and theft put together. Hmmm. Listen to this. Ephesians 4:28, "Let him that stole steal no more, but rather let him labor, working with his hands... That he may have what he needs". There we come back to this Bible principle: you deserve nothing until you work for it! Jesus worked with his hands. His father was a carpenter. Joseph, his father, worked with his hands. Jesus chose Peter, James, and John. They were fishermen, working with their hands, washing their nets when Jesus called them into the ministry. If you're in this room, and you're working with your hands, God bless you. And let me tell you, God loves you for what you're doing. So let's consider stealing from God.
Let me read Malachi 3:8 and 10. It says, "Will a man rob God? Yet you have robbed me. But you say, 'in what way have we robbed you'? In tithes and offerings. You are cursed with a curse". Say that with me. "You are cursed with a curse". "For you have robbed me, even this whole nation. Bring all the tithes into the storehouse, that there may be food in my house, and try me now in this," saith the Lord of hosts, "If I will not open for you the windows of heaven and pour out on you blessings that you cannot contain". How many of you would like to have blessings that you could not contain? Let me see your hand. God says, "I want to give it to you". And he will as long as you do what he commands you to do.
Why should I tithe? Because the tithe belongs to the Lord. He's the owner. He's the owner of all your money. You're just the steward. The owner has rights. The steward has responsibilities. God's not saying, "Let's make a deal". Again, he's saying, "This is the deal". It was mine before you got it and it's going to be mine after you leave it. "Preacher, do you expect me to give 10% to tithe of what I make to God"? No, I don't, but God does. I'm in sales. He's in management. So what does he manage? Your heartbeat, your income, your next breath. If you want to tick him off, be my guest.
And some of you are saying, "Well preacher, I've never tithed and I'm doing just fine". Not after today you're not. Until today, you've stolen from God in ignorance. Tomorrow, it's rebellion. Your new Mercedes is going to drop dead on loop 1604. You're going to lose the contract you're bidding on with your company. The IRS is going to investigate you back to the civil war. Your mother-in-law is going to move in with you. The bird singing outside your window is a buzzard.
Why should I tithe? Because God controls all the wealth in the world. The Bible says, "It is the Lord that gives you the power to get wealth". Say that with me. "It is the Lord that gives you the power to get wealth". Haggai 2:8, this is one of my distant relatives writing. "'all the gold and silver are mine,' saith the Lord". You ever hear of the golden rule? Those who have the gold make the rules. And God is making the rules. David said in 1 Chronicles 29:11, "Thine, o Lord, is the greatness", listen, "The power, the glory, the victory, the majesty: for all that is in heaven and all that's in the earth is yours. All that is in heaven and all that's in the earth is yours". He controls it all! And he gives it only to the givers.
Why should I tithe? Because you become a giver, and only givers qualify for the abundance of God. The Bible says it this way: "Give and it shall be given to you pressed down, shaken together, and running over shall God cause men to give to your bosom". Givers gain. Say that with me. Givers gain. That's God's policy. Tithing is your investment in the Kingdom of God. The Bible says, "Lay up treasures for yourselves in heaven, where thieves can't steal it, moths can't eat it, rust can't destroy it". And the IRS can't get to it.
Who are those treasures laid up for? You. Lay up treasures for yourself. The message is, invest in things that are permanent. And the Kingdom of God is the only permanent thing on the universe. Dew drops are as pretty as diamonds in the morning. But when the sun comes up, they disappear. If you knew that your house was going to burn down today at noon, would you put your possessions in it or would you frantically go and get your possessions out of it? You would do the latter.
The Bible says, "Heaven and earth shall pass away". Why? This book clearly says that God at a time of his choosing in the future after he judges men is going to burn this earth to a crisp. And he's going to create it to look like the Garden of Eden again. So everything that you think you've given your life for gone. The only thing permanent in the universe is the Kingdom of God. And when you invest in that kingdom, he brings it back to you 30, 60, a hundredfold harvest. The Bible says, "He that has left houses and lands, fathers and mothers, sisters and brothers, sons and daughters for my sake, shall receive a hundredfold in this life and eternal life in the world to come". Onefold is a hundred percent. A hundredfold is ten thousand percent. How many of you would like to have an investment that produced a hundred percent for you? That's just the beginning.
Why should I tithe? Because God says those who do not are thieves. I didn't say that. I'm too timid to say that. God said it right here in Malachi. It says, "Will a man rob God? You've robbed me. But you say, 'where have we robbed you'"? And God comes back, "In the tithe and offering".
Why should I tithe? Because God Almighty says, "You are cursed with a curse". There's no chance of prosperity for you, not here and not in eternity. You'll work harder, you'll make less, and you'll always be in need. Life is a bowl of cherries. But you, my good man, will always be in the pits. Oh, uh, uh.
Why should I tithe? Because prosperity begins with tithing. Tithing is not for God's benefit. It's his. He had it before you got it. He's just seeing what you're going to do with his money while you have it. Verse 10 says, "'prove me,' saith the Lord, 'if I will not open the windows of heaven, and pour out a blessing, that you have no room to receive'". How many of you hear me pray that prayer virtually every Sunday? When you have your hands extended, "Father, open the windows of heaven and pour out your blessings," because those who are here who are giving, God is going to replenish it, and then give it more.
In the early days of our television ministry, I was conducting celebrate America rallies in the major cities of America. And on this occasion, we were in Hershey, Pennsylvania. It's so called because of Milton Hershey. He is the inventor of milk chocolate Hershey Bar. May God bless his sacred memory. He was a righteous man, who gave himself to great wealth. His wife died at the age of 35. And he determined that he was going to give his fortune away. He determined to open homes for orphaned boys. I walked through those orphans' houses. They were magnificent homes. He bought 10,000 acres and determined to give that wealth away. He built lavish parks for his employees. He built hospitals. He built schools. He built trolly systems. He built stadiums.
During the great depression, when most Americans couldn't get a job. No one in Hershey, Pennsylvania lost their job. No one took a pay cut, because Mr. Hershey hired them to work. On those public projects, he would not allow bulldozers to be used. He said, "Hire men with shovels. They need to take money home to their family, and those bulldozers put them out of work". But here's one of the exciting stories in Milton Hershey's life. He bought a cuban plantation to have a sugar source for his candy. Toward the end of his life, he felt led of the Lord to sell that 70,000-acre sugar plantation. His financial advisor said, "You're losing your mind. Don't do it"! He did. He sold it for 70 million. And then, 70 million would be about a billion dollars now. Shortly after the sale was completed, Fidel Castro and the communists took over Cuba. Hershey had his money to invest in the widows and the orphans. He didn't lose a dime. But he gave it and gave it and gave it and gave it.
Why should I tithe? Because God says, "I will rebuke the devourer for your sake". I will not allow Satan to destroy your income or to touch your possessions. And brother, if there was ever a day you need the heaven's muscle to help you in this economy, it's right now. God brings prosperity to the righteous. God brings prosperity to the righteous. Are you in this building, you're tired of debt, you're tired of need, you're tired of want, and you're ready for God to bless you exceedingly, abundantly? Let me see your hand right where you are. Most of this congregation. I want you to stand with me right now. Stand with me. Those of you who are watching by television, I'm going to pray with you also. How many of you in this room say, "Pastor, I'm in debt. I'm tithing and I want a prayer to release God's prosperity on me today"? If that describes you, lift your hand right where you are. Pray this prayer with me:
Heavenly Father, in the authority of Jesus' name, based upon Word of God, I ask you to open the windows of heaven and bless me supernaturally with income that obviously comes from the Lord, as I pledge to bring my tithe and offering into the house of the Lord. Let your abundance flood my life, in Jesus' name. Amen. Give the Lord a shout of praise.
Now listen closely. I want you, as a congregation, to develop this miracle mentality that nothing is impossible to those that believe. Jesus said, "Whatsoever you ask in my name, I will do it". If that was the only verse in the Bible, it would make Christianity the greatest adventure in the world. What would you do if you knew you couldn't fail? I mean, you have a backer who owns it all.
When Jesus was in Jerusalem in John 2, many believed in his name because of the miracles that he did. You're in this room and you need a miracle in your body, in your marriage, in your emotions, fear, anger, resentment, there's something that you need for God to resolve in your business life so that you can prosper, the miracle of our nation and a spiritual revival. How many of you can verbalize exactly what you want God to do for you and it requires a miracle? Let me see your hands right where you are.
Now right now, with all of the spiritual horsepower in this room, we're going to pray this prayer. And I'm going to turn you loose. And when I turn you loose, I want you in the cleanest, clearest language you can, tell God exactly what you want. And we're going to believe that God's going to do it. Pray this prayer. Heavenly Father, I approach your throne in this miracle moment to believe God for the miracle in my life. Now fill in that blank exactly what you want God to do. Spell it out in your own words. Don't be afraid to ask big. Now, let's close it.
Father God, I thank you that my answer is coming. In faith believing, the miracle will happen, in Jesus' name. Amen and amen. Give the Lord a shout of praise in the house! Glory! Bless his name. Bless his name. Amen. Amen. Come on now. Bless his name! Bless his name! Bless his name!