Bye, Ed. We're Going to Miss You.
Ed Dufresne died in a plane crash on October 18th, 2013.
You wouldn't go to an Ed Dufresne service to hear a nicely researched theological sermon. He wasn't one of the new breed with one of those professional ministerial backgrounds. In fact, I think all he had was an eighth-grade education. You'd go to an Ed Dufresne meeting to hear from the Spirit. A strong and peculiar anointing rested upon him.
One particular meeting stands out in in my mind. My wife and I had started attending a local Word church, and the pastor preached New Testament tithing, and preached it hard. Every Sunday presented some new variation about how we needed to live up to the Word's brutish requirement of tithing or face the consequence of being cursed in everything we tried to do.
It had gone on week after week, and I was not only getting increasingly frustrated about it, but also skeptical about its scriptural underpinnings. There are only a few verses in the New Testament that mention tithing (exactly three), and none of them indicate God carried the practice over from Israel.
We found out Ed was preaching in a small church in Austin so we threw our books and iPads in the car and headed south. We pulled into the church's parking lot just when the pastor handed Ed the floor. Ed's subject was money, from Philippians 4:19.
But my God will supply all your need according to his riches in glory by Christ Jesus. (KJV)
He began preaching that you had to create a need in order for God to supply it. I read that in the scriptural, but the funny thing was that Ed switched gears right in the middle of his message and began preaching about tithing. He said that the Lord had appeared and spoken to him about tithing and explained it wasn't for the church today. The Lord gave him three reasons why.
First, he said, the Word says in Malachi that God would open up the windows of heaven. The Lord used that terminology—opening the windows of heaven—because the Israelites hadn't yet experienced salvation. In contrast, New Testament Christians have already been blessed with all spiritual blessings. Consequently, the Lord doesn't open heavenly windows but works through us to bless others.
Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who hath blessed us with all spiritual blessings in heavenly places in Christ (Ephesians 1:3)
Now unto him that is able to do exceeding abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that worketh in us (Ephesians 3:20)
Second, Malachi says God would rebuke the devourer. New Testament Christians are in Christ therefore have the authority to rebuke the devourer themselves. God need not do it for them.
Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. (James 4:4)
Finally, Malachi speaks about being cursed. (Who hasn't been reminded of that a million times?) This oracle was to Israel as part and parcel of Deuteronomy 28–30. New Testament Christians can't be cursed because they have been already been translated into the kingdom of light.
who hath delivered us from the power of darkness, and hath translated us into the kingdom of his dear Son (Colossians 1:13, 14)
Once he finished this third point, he reverted back to his sermon on Philippians 4:19 like nothing had happened. I turned to my wife and said, "That's why we needed to come and see Ed. He just confirmed through the Spirit exactly what I had been seeing in the Word." With that, we got in our car and headed back to Dallas right after the meeting.
Ed, we're going to miss you. But it won't be long before we see you again.