Tithing – Are you really robbing God if you don’t?
By Chris De Wet
Titus 1:11: Whose mouths must be stopped, who subvert whole houses, teaching things which they ought not, for filthy lucre’s sake.
There is a lot of confusion with regard to some Biblical doctrines today. One of the topics is the issue, regarding tithing. Where did it originate and what does it mean today?
As soon as there is confusion on regarding a doctrine, the best course of action to take is to study the Scriptures, in their original language and culture then to put all Scripture into its proper context. One does not have to be a Greek or Hebrew scholar to use some of the resources available.
Bibles are available that have number coded references, with a concordance to illustrate and illuminate the original meanings of the words. An example of this would be the descriptive meaning for the word “faith,” in the Scriptures. This word is mostly understood as to believe in something, but the Greek word “Pisteo or Pistis” and the Hebrew word “Emunah” describes the word “faith” in our English translations as, to have faith only while the Greek and Hebrew understanding would be to have faith but also to be. If one looks at the context of being saved through faith in the westernized way of the English literature, then the Devil must also be saved, because he also believes in God. He knows that God exists. The only problem he has is that he is not faithful. So, just to believe in God is not enough, we have to be faithful as well. A basic truth like faith, now has a broader and more descriptive and relevant meaning.
A recommendation is to use the Greek – Hebrew Study Bible as given out by AMG Publishers of which Spiros Zodhiates (Th. D) is the executive editor. There are different versions available. Unfortunately all NIV versions are very suspect as 17 verses and 64750 words have been omitted from these NIV translations. Paraphrases and other similar literature should be avoided, when an in depth study needs to be made into Scripture. Anything diverting further away from the original texts, are sure to have divert more from the original texts.
Then there is the Greek to English Interlinear, the Greek to English Lexicon by George Berry as well as the Young’s exhaustive Concordance, which may be used. These are helps for the layperson, not learned in the Greek or Hebrew languages. Another reliable source to consider is the Afrikaans old translation (1933), if you are able to read Afrikaans and if you are still able to obtain such Bibles.
It is also important to know that theologians do study or should study the original languages, that is to say Greek and Hebrew. The only problem is that it is studied but not applied to the Scriptures. If it so happens that it is applied to Scriptures by them, and they realize the truth and do not apply it, it is them robbing God, by not coming forward with the truth. There is a difference in knowing the original languages and applying this to Scripture.
For the purpose of this study, I will mention that I have used information regarding this topic from various theologians. I have used teachings from Jacob Prasch as well as Zac Poonen and Nick Maartens.
Getting back to the topic on Tithing
Apart from other sources, I also used the Hebrew – Greek Study Bible in the King James Version for the purpose of this study. All quotations are from the King James.
We will be looking at the following:
- What is God’s and what belongs to us?
- What is the origin of Biblical tithing and what types are there in the Old Testament?
- Misinterpretation on tithing.
- Why the delusion?
- What to do.
- Scriptures used out of context.
- Condemnation and grace.
- Malachi tithing and offerings
- New Testament giving.
- Handy Scriptures concerning money.
1. What is God’s and what belongs to us?
Psalms:24:1: The earth is the LORD’s, and the fullness thereof; the world, and they that dwell therein.
If everything is the Lord’s, then you can’t give to Him what already belongs to Him, can you?
Psalms:50:7: Hear, O my people, and I will speak; O Israel, and I will testify against thee: I am God, even thy God.
Psalms:50:8: I will not reprove thee for thy sacrifices or thy burnt offerings, to have been continually before me.
Psalms:50:9: I will take no bullock out of thy house, nor he goats out of thy folds.
Psalms:50:10: For every beast of the forest is mine, and the cattle upon a thousand hills.
Psalms:50:11: I know all the fowls of the mountains: and the wild beasts of the field are mine.
Psalms:50:12: If I were hungry, I would not tell thee: for the world is mine, and the fullness thereof.
No, we cannot give to the Lord, but we should give to His flock. To those who are in need.
Haggai:2:8: The silver is mine, and the gold is mine, saith the LORD of hosts.
Rom:11:35: Or who hath first given to him, and it shall be recompensed unto him again?
Who has ever given to the Lord, so that He is obliged to return any favor?
So much of what we hear today, is give to receive again. This is totally unscriptural, yet it is preached to expect a hundred fold in return. We will be looking at this type of Scriptural principle later on in this document.
There are born again people who are financially blessed, but these people will always have a tendency to give more than a tithe or ten percent, if their heart is right with the Lord.
Psalm 73 explains the blessing of the wicked and the poor. It is more difficult for a rich man to enter the Kingdom of God, than for a camel to pass trough the eye of a needle. (Matt.19:24)
Deut.:8:3: And he humbled thee, and suffered thee to hunger, and fed thee with manna, which thou knewest not, neither did thy fathers know; that he might make thee know that man doth not live by bread only, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of the LORD doth man live.
Deut.:8:16: Who fed thee in the wilderness with manna, which thy fathers knew not, that he might humble thee, and that he might prove thee, to do thee good at thy latter end;
Deut.:8:17: And thou say in thine heart, My power and the might of mine hand hath gotten me this wealth.
This is what happens with most people who are financially well off. Be careful to say it is through your own power, that you received wealth.
The Lord will humble people by allowing them to suffer financial hardship, before blessing them. He will let you know and will test you in poverty, before He blesses you, because He wants you to realize two things;
- He gave you the blessing.
- You must learn how to work with God’s money, by seeing to your needs, not your wants and to give to the church. (The church being people and not an organization. As someone once put it – The Church is not an organization but and organism)
There is nothing wrong with money; the problem lies with us and what we do with it. In Luke 16 we are told to make friends unto the unrighteous mammon, but also that we should not worship both mammon and God. Money like emotion, is a very good servant, but a very bad master.
Deut.:8:18: But thou shalt remember the LORD thy God: for it is he that giveth thee power to get wealth, that he may establish his covenant which he sware unto thy fathers, as it is this day.
Remember that if the Lord will blesses us wealth, it will be to establish His covenant and for us to make disciples of all nations. The money not used for this purpose, should be enough to meet your needs and not your wants. One should be content in receiving enough for your needs, not your lusts or wants.
1Tim:6:6: But godliness with contentment is great gain.
James:4:3: Ye ask, and receive not, because ye ask amiss, that ye may consume it upon your lusts.
2. What is the origin of tithing and what types are there in the Old Testament?
There were four types of valid tithing in the Old Testament or Torah.
- Firstly, the tithe to the Levites
Num.:18:20: And the LORD spake unto Aaron, Thou shalt have no inheritance in their land, neither shalt thou have any part among them: I am thy part and thine inheritance among the children of Israel.
All the tribes of Israel who were descendants of Abraham were allotted land. The descendants of Aaron, the tribe of Levi was not to receive land because they were to fulfill certain duties. This was a service unto God, which included a service to others. It was a type of governmental function. They were put in charge of health services (Lev. 13 + 14 & Mark 1:44). They were also in charge of applying the laws (policing & judicial) and to see to the education of the people. Every Jew had to be able to read, because they had to know the Torah off by heart.
They were thus responsible for a combination of social and religious services to the community.
The tithe towards the Levites could be seen as a type of governmental tax. The tithe the community gave to the Levites, were to be used for the upkeep of the social and religious structure of the community. They were the public servants of their time.
Deut: 14:27: And the Levite that is within thy gates; thou shalt not forsake him; for he hath neither part nor inheritance with thee. This is a reminder not to forget the first tithe to the Levites.
So the first type of tithe, is the people tithing to the Levites
- Secondly, the tithe to the Priests
Neh.:10:38: And the priest the son of Aaron shall be with the Levites, when the Levites take tithes: and the Levites shall bring up the tithe of the tithes unto the house of our God, to the chambers, into the treasure house.
This was a tithe paid by the Levites to the priests who were in charge of all the temple duties. It was the Levites who brought the tithe of the tithe they received from the people, to the treasure house. Look carefully at this Scripture, it is A TITHE OF THE THITHES FROM the Levites.
All priests were Levites, but not all Levites were priests. The Kohen (pronounced ko-hane) or priests were specific descendants of Aaron and were also known as Zadokites. They were specifically appointed to concern themselves with Temple duties.
So the people paid a tithe to the Levites and the Levites then, had too take from all the tithes, a tithe and pay the Zadokites or the Kohen who performed temple service. This is the second type of tithing, in the Old Testament.
- The Third type of tithing was towards the annual Holy Days.
Deut.:14:22: Thou shalt truly tithe all the increase of thy seed that the field bringeth forth year by year.
Deut.:14:23: And thou shalt eat before the LORD thy God, in the place which he shall choose to place his name there, the tithe of thy corn, of thy wine, and of thine oil, and the firstlings of thy herds and of thy flocks; that thou mayest learn to fear the LORD thy God always.
Deut.:14:24: And if the way be too long for thee, so that thou art not able to carry it; or if the place be too far from thee, which the LORD thy God shall choose to set his name there, when the LORD thy God hath blessed thee:
Deut.:14:25: Then shalt thou turn it into money, and bind up the money in thine hand, and shalt go unto the place which the LORD thy God shall choose:
Deut.:14:26: And thou shalt bestow that money for whatsoever thy soul lusteth after, for oxen, or for sheep, or for wine, or for strong drink, or for whatsoever thy soul desireth: and thou shalt eat there before the LORD thy God, and thou shalt rejoice, thou, and thine household,
(This should not be used as an excuse to use strong drink. One has to take the New Testament into consideration. Eph:5:18 And be not drunk with wine, wherein is excess; but be filled with the Spirit;)
The people were required to gather 3 times a year for Holy Festival Days.
a) Hag Pesach (Passover).
b) Hag Shavuot (Pentecost).
c) Hag Sukkoth (Tabernacle).
These Holy Days or Shabbats were for man not for God. It was for man to rest in the presence of God. God desires man, but does not need man. Man needs God, hence the Shabbat. This is also applied in the New Testament where Jesus said: Mark 2:27 And he said unto them, The sabbath was made for man, and not man for the sabbath:
We are to enter into His rest. (This is why so many people burn out today – overworked and no time off – especially time with God).
We need time off with our family, which should include Bible study. The Holy Days can’t be without God.
When God has become work and not rest, you should realize that you are involved in works and not the Sabbath rest.
So, the fourth type of tithe, was for the annual pilgrimage to Jerusalem.
- The fourth tithe, is to the less fortunate.
Deut.:14:28: At the end of three years thou shalt bring forth all the tithe of thine increase the same year, and shalt lay it up within thy gates:
Deut.:14:29: And the Levite, (because he hath no part nor inheritance with thee,) and the stranger, and the fatherless, and the widow, which are within thy gates, shall come, and shall eat and be satisfied; that the LORD thy God may bless thee in all the work of thine hand which thou doest.
This tithe was for the elderly, the less fortunate and the orphans. A special saving had to be made for them.
The sum up the tithe
All three tithes added up to about 23.3 % of what God blessed you with. How much are we paying today in taxes an tithes?
The people were responsible for tithing towards:
1) The Levites.
2) The 3 annual Holy Days.
3) The less fortunate.
The Levites in turn had to tithe from the tithe they received towards:
4) The Zadokites or Temple priests.
If this principle had to be applied today, we should e giving 10% to the government, then the government should give 10% of the 10% they received from us to the church.
If you should work according to this pattern, then we are overtaxed. Shouldn’t the government look after the church?
Rom.:13:6: For this cause pay ye tribute also: for they are God’s ministers, attending continually upon this very thing.
Ro:13:7: Render therefore to all their dues: tribute to whom tribute is due; custom to whom custom; fear to whom fear; honour to whom honour.
Paying towards God’s ministers to whom it is due, is a New Testament statement, but make sure where you tithe, that it is for God’s ministers, for God’s sake. Many ministers are misusing finances for their own gain.
Does your government represent God’s ministers?
Render unto Caesar that which is Caesar’s, and unto God that which is God’s. What on this earth belongs to Caesar and what belongs to God?
Matt.:22:21: They say unto him, Caesar’s. Then saith he unto them, Render therefore unto Caesar the things which are Caesar’s; and unto God the things that are God’s.
The question we need to ask ourselves is: What belongs to Caesar and what belongs to God?
- Misinterpretations of tithing.
We must understand the difference between tithing and heavy shepherding. Heavy shepherding is also known as the action of the Nicoliatans, as mentioned in Rev. 2:6 & 15. Jesus says here, that He hates the ways of the Nicolaitans. ‘Nico’- means suppression while –‘laitans’ represent laity, which basically means people. To Lord it over, or to suppress people to gain something.
This is happening in our “churches” today. Tithing is forced on the people. People are told that they are robbing God if they do not tithe to the organization. This makes them feel guilty and they feel guilt if they do not have enough to give.
What I am writing here is not a notion against tithing, but rather to expose a legalistic bondage, imposed on the normal church attendant. Everyone should give according to his means and should make sure where his or her money will be used.
We will be looking at Scriptures used out of context and will explain why they are out of context. In most cases one verse is quoted and not the rest of the chapter, or other Scriptures. This is done by clergy to fleece God’s flock, His people. What is actually happening is that the organization is obtaining money from the flock instead of supporting the flock.
The acid test comes when some of the flock is in need. In all my experiences regarding the hurts of the church (body of believers) where believers were suffering hardships the so called organized church did not help at all and if help came it was so little that what it gave was actually useless.
Why is it possible for people to be robbed in the “church”?
Judgment always starts in the house of the Lord.
Hos.:4:6: My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge: because thou hast rejected knowledge, I will also reject thee, that thou shalt be no priest to me: seeing thou hast forgotten the law of thy God, I will also forget thy children.
Matt.:22:29: Jesus answered and said unto them, Ye do err, not knowing the scriptures, nor the power of God.
2Tim.2: 15: Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.
There is a difference in tithing to God, that which is already His and giving the first fruit of the crops. In affluent societies a tenth is too little to expand His Kingdom.
Pet.:5:1: The elders which are among you I exhort, who am also an elder, and a witness of the sufferings of Christ, and also a partaker of the glory that shall be revealed:
Here Peter speaks of suffering and not prosperity. Lots of “churches” today preach a prosperity gospel. The false gospel Paul mentions in 2 Cor. 11:4 and everyone tolerates it.
Looking at the New Testament the word prosper only occurs in 3 John where John writes to Gauis and wishes him well. It does not say that Gauis prospered!
If you are not financially well off, they would say that it is because of a lack of faith. Again putting one under condemnation or to make one feel guilty, while Jesus had tremendous, compassion on the poor.
Peter also mentions the word “witness” here and it is interesting to notice that, the Greek word for witness is, “Martus” or martyr.
Some religious cults will force one to give proof of your salary, then to sign a debit order, in order for them to be sure of receiving this tithe. Surely this is suggestive, forced tithing or Nicolaitism.
It is as if one is doing God a favor by tithing a tenth, yet you still hold back 90% while everything you have is God’s, given to you by His grace.
In 1 Peter 5:1 Peter is talking to the leaders of the church. He is participating in their PROSPERITY ????? NO, but in their SUFFERINGS!!!!!.
Look at what Ezekiel and Daniel said, would happen.
Ezekiel:13:10: Because, even because they have seduced my people, saying, Peace; and there was no peace; and one built up a wall, and, lo, others daubed it with untempered morter:
Dan:9:27: And he shall confirm the covenant with many for one week: and in the midst of the week he shall cause the sacrifice and the oblation to cease, and for the overspreading of abominations he shall make it desolate, even until the consummation, and that determined shall be poured upon the desolate.
Jer. 6:14 & 8:11 give the same message. All of these prophets warn us of a false peace. Yes, but that is in the Old Testament you say! OK! There is a time of prosperity ahead, or is there? Let’s look at the New Testament;
1Thess:5:2: For yourselves know perfectly that the day of the Lord so cometh as a thief in the night.
1Thess:5:3: For when they shall say, Peace and safety; then sudden destruction cometh upon them, as travail upon a woman with child; and they shall not escape.
Rev:6:4: And there went out another horse that was red: and power was given to him that sat thereon to take peace from the earth, and that they should kill one another: and there was given unto him a great sword.
Rev:13:4: And they worshipped the dragon which gave power unto the beast: and they worshipped the beast, saying, Who is like unto the beast? who is able to make war with him?
Rev:13:8: And all that dwell upon the earth shall worship him, whose names are not written in the book of life of the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world.
Rev:13:9: If any man have an ear, let him hear.
One can jump this way and that way, but the only peace ahead is a false one, that of the anti Christ; it is a trap and when it comes, many will be caught in it.
What does the Bible say? The harvest will be great? Yes, when speaking about Israel, but in the last days the church or Gentiles suffer an “apostasia” or falling away. (2 Thess. 1:3, 1Tim. 4 & 2Tim.3.) When talking about large crowds, we are warned that just the opposite will happen.
Deut.7:7: The LORD did not set his love upon you, nor choose you, because ye were more in number than any people; for ye were the fewest of all people:
Matt:7:14: Because strait is the gate, and narrow is the way, which leadeth unto life, and few there be that find it.
Matt:22:14: For many are called, but few are chosen.
How many times have I heard people say; “Oh! But you are so negative.” No, I would reply; ”I am rather positive, in a negative world.” My hope or as hope is better explained being “future fact” in the Greek, lies in the return of my Savior, the King of kings and the LORD of lords.
People who try and avoid these issues are negative, they don’t want to know about reality. We should be soaring on eagle’s wings, not being the proverbial Ostrich by sticking our heads in a hole in the ground, thinking the problem has gone away or will disappear by itself. My hope is Jesus and there is nothing more positive, than that. Not all the money in the world, can buy this peace I have.
Tribulation we will suffer, but the Lord’s peace we will have, to strengthen and encourage us, towards an eternal hope.
In verse 2 of 1 Pet.5 Peter exhorts the elders to feed the flock, taking oversight not by constraint, but willingly and not for filthy lucre or better described as self-gain in Greek.
Notice the Scripture says that the flock should be taken care of and not for the sake of money!
In verse 3 the elders are exhorted not to be lords or masters over the flock but rather examples.
Today the examples we see from so many “leaders” in the “church,” is that they drive around in luxury vehicles, lording it over the flock, while many of the flock can barely survive financially. The flock is constantly told that they will receive back a hundred fold, if they tithe into the storehouse. Some of the people are so eager to give because of this promise, that they arrange second bonds on their homes, to give to the “church.” They were told that God would bless them, a hundred fold. But when that blessing does not come, what then?
Thoughts like: is there really a God, why did God reject me come to mind. Many times this leads to broken homes as well as divorce, but most importantly a rejection of Christ, their only hope.
How can God ordain this, unless it is not of Him but of the doctrines of men, which His Word warns us to avoid at all costs?
There are records of what eventually happens to these people. Many have lost everything. The trauma of this loss is worse than that of a rape victim. The utter despondence when they feel rejected by God or even worse, to fall away from the faith.
Acts 20:35: I have shewed you all things, how that so labouring ye ought to support the weak, and to remember the words of the Lord Jesus, how he said, It is more blessed to give than to receive.
The Bible says; it is more blessed to give to the WEAK, the needy in the body, than to receive. The “clergy” say it is more blessed for the weak, to give to a powerful “church”.
We often hear that those who are poor do not receive because they have a lack of faith, yet the pastor does very little or nothing to help them, it is the pastor’s faith that lacks.
Read what James says in the Scriptures. James says that without works our faith is dead. So it is actually believers or the pastors who do not tend to the poor and needy that lack faith, because they do not have the works to go with the faith.
James 2:20 But wilt thou know, O vain man, that faith without works is dead?
A Scripture which surely opened my eyes and is NEVER quoted in the religious establishment of today is;
Mic:3:11: The heads thereof judge for reward, and the priests thereof teach for hire, and the prophets thereof divine for money: yet will they lean upon the LORD, and say, Is not the LORD among us? none evil can come upon us.
After fleecing the sheep they have to audacity to say, “Is not the Lord among us?” Doesn’t this sound familiar to you? Indeed wicked rulers and priests! This is what the Bible calls these people.
Now many people will say that if someone gets up and mentions this, it is fault finding. Rather see it as a warning, because these warnings are written in Scripture. They are not sucked out of someone’s thumb. If a person opposes this, then he opposes Scripture and has an ostrich mentality.
Should a person keep quiet when a robbery takes place, or should you warn those who are being robbed, or are about to be robbed?
Titus:1:11: Whose mouths must be stopped, who subvert whole houses, teaching things which they ought not, for filthy lucre’s sake.
The real problem is not the action of tithing, but rather lording it over people or heavy shepherding, for self-gain.
Ezek.:34:1: And the word of the LORD came unto me, saying,
Eze:34:2: Son of man, prophesy against the shepherds of Israel, prophesy, and say unto them, Thus saith the Lord GOD unto the shepherds; Woe be to the shepherds of Israel that do feed themselves! should not the shepherds feed the flocks?
Ezek.:34:3: Ye eat the fat, and ye clothe you with the wool, ye kill them that are fed: but ye feed not the flock.
Ezek.:34:4: The diseased have ye not strengthened, neither have ye healed that which was sick, neither have ye bound up that which was broken, neither have ye brought again that which was driven away, neither have ye sought that which was lost; but with force and with cruelty have ye ruled them.
The shepherds do not feed the flock Spiritually or physically. Spiritually because of the distorted doctrine, due to covetousness and physically not, because many of the people who tithe here have to rely on other sources for food.
Here I may mention that food was channeled through me in person, to such families. Families who tithed to these people, yet they did not have enough in their own homes to survive on.
The pastors sleep in luxury, only wear designer clothes and have abundance in financial resources which they received from these now suffering poverty. Yet those who made these pastors rich will receive nothing in return when they lack.
Now, the same “leaders” who did not feed their own flock suffering in poverty will “gladly” and seemingly feed the poor, but not without publicity.
All this to be seen and recognized by man. It is a marketing agenda, to get more money, because when people see this they even give more not realizing that the majority of the funds are applied to enrich the pastors.
Giving by these organizations is always published in the media. What ever happened to not letting your right hand know what the left is doing? Nowhere in the Bible does it say to make public the helping and the giving to the poor, yet these big churches with all the money, do exactly that. The Bible states:
Matt. 6:1- 4 Take heed that ye do not your alms before men, to be seen of them: otherwise ye have no reward of your Father which is in heaven. Therefore when thou doest thine alms, do not sound a trumpet before thee, as the hypocrites do in the synagogues and in the streets, that they may have glory of men. Verily I say unto you, They have their reward. But when thou doest alms, let not thy left hand know what thy right hand doeth. That thine alms may be in secret: and thy Father which seeth in secret himself shall reward thee openly.
Yet, when these “church leaders and followers” are confronted with the true tithing issue as explained here, or with other doctrinal issues, they can never find fault with the truth, but would justify their good works and mention that they are giving so much and so much to the poor and the orphans, while they themselves do not live as the sheep, but much better than the sheep, or the poor and the orphans. The aim is to show good works as a means to obtain more money and to move into a higher standard of living and houses worth millions with luxury vehicles in their driveways.
These people will go so far as to publish their good works in the local news papers, even to the point of printing special bulletins in these news papers. The laity or ordinary people not knowing better, are strengthened and mislead by these publications, resulting in an increasing paradigm to believe the lie even more.
It is an advertising gimmick, to gain more business, yet the Bible clearly states that this is wrong and basically being of the same stature as that of the Pharisees who the Lord Jesus called a brood of vipers.
Remember Judas Iscariot’s reaction, when Mary anointed the feet of Jesus? “Let’s rather give to the poor”. Wasn’t this also a hidden agenda? He betrayed Christ for money. Self-gain was and still is the agenda of the Judas of then and of today, a type of figure of the anti-Christ. Nothing under the son has changed.
Look again at verse three. Who wears the wool? The poor widow who tithes the last bit of her pension money, or the “leaders” driving their BMW’s? Wolves in sheep’s’ clothing. Who should we feel sorry for, the widow, or the prospering “clergy”?
Matt:7:15: Beware of false prophets, which come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ravening wolves.
Acts:20:29: For I know this, that after my departing shall grievous wolves enter in among you, not sparing the flock.
Zec:11:4: Thus saith the LORD my God; Feed the flock of the slaughter;
Zec:11:5: Whose possessors slay them, and hold themselves not guilty: and they that sell them say, Blessed be the LORD; for I am rich: and their own shepherds pity them not.
This is what the Bible says as a warning, especially in the last days.
A true leader will always be a servant but now it is the flock serving the shepherd.
Look at Jesus. It was He who washed the feet of the disciples. Will any of these leaders wash the feet of any of the flock? By their fruits you will know them. Will they be willing to die for you, like The Good Shepherd?
I serve a different God, not the god who they demand must serve them. Surely we are God’s servants and He is not our servant, but our Lord and Master.
The top echelon of these leaders can’t even save their own marriages! According to the Bible divorce without one of the parties being an adulterer is, adultery.
How many of these clergy have divorced? Look at the statistics. How will they spare the flock in the sight of danger, if they can’t even spare their own marriages?
Speak to people who have come out of these “churches” I know many of them. Hear what they have to say. It is no joke.
In my possession I have an e-mail of an ex-charismatic senior pastor of Rhema ,who calls the “prospering church” he belonged to “The seat of Satan”
The Bible says to mark them and avoid them:
Rom:16:17: Now I beseech you, brethren, mark them which cause divisions and offences contrary to the doctrine which ye have learned; and avoid them.
Let us look at some quotations by certain individuals, then compare it with the Scriptures, to determine if their doctrine corresponds with Scriptural doctrine.
The message in Heb. 2:10, Heb. 11:36, Heb. 12: 7-17, Joh.16:33, 1Tim.1:16, 2Kor. 12:7, 2Tim.3:10 – 11, 2Tim.1:12 & 2:9, 2Tim.4:6, 1Pet.2:21, 1Pet.4:14, Hand. 16:23 & 14:22 7 & 15:26, Luk. 22:35, 2Kor.1:5 – 7 etc. etc. does not correspond with what is quoted next.
John Avanzini says:
Jesus had an expensive ministry – (Praise the Lord (TBN) 9/15/88
Jesus had a nice house, a big house – Believers voice of victory,(TBN) 1/20/91
Jesus wore designer clothes – Believers voice of victory,(TBN) 1/20/91
Paul had the kind of money that could stop up justice- Believers voice of victory,(TBN) 1/20/91
If you had a treasurer, that means you have a lot of money– (Praise the Lord (TBN) 9/15/88
Jesus was handling big money. – (Praise the Lord (TBN) 9/15/88
Robert Tilton says:
Being poor is a sin – (Success in Life, recorded 12/2/90)
The only time people were poor in the Bible was when they were under a curse. – (Success in Life, recorded 12/2/90)
Do not say “Lord if it be thy will” – (Success in Life, recorded 12/2/90)
The Word of God says; Matt. 6: 10 …Thy will be done…? 1Joh.5:14 And this is the confidence that I have in Him, that, if we ask any thing according to His WILL, he heareth us:
Fred Price Said:
You can have what you say (Praise the Lord (TBN) 9/12/90
Jesus and His disciples were rich, only rich people could take off for 3.5 years. (Ever increasing faith, recorded 11/23/9)
This is what Jesus said:
Matt. 8: 20 And Jesus said unto him, The foxes have holes, and the birds of the air have nests; but the Son of man hath not where to lay his head.
If you could find one Scripture to prove these remarks, the Bible will show you a Scripture out of context.
There are too many of these quotations to mention here and it is still going on.
The unfortunate part is that these people are allowed and approved of in the by those who do not know better. This is what Rhema is about, but not true Scriptural rhema. What prosperity is there on the cross? Jesus told us to take up our cross and follow Him.
There are also the less conspicuous religious teachings, where Malachi 3: 10 is taught, yet still out of it’s original context, referring to the laity or the people, who are responsible for this tithe, while the Bible clearly says it is the tithe of the Levites.
But the Bible warns us to beware of the wolves in sheep’s clothing. They look like the sheep, they talk like the sheep and they act like the sheep.
Yes, full time shepherds are entitled to double honorarium. A true shepherd will not use the money for own pleasures, but rather towards discipleship and channeled to the body. They would use most of the honorarium towards the flock and cover their needs with part of what is left over.
A true master is never above his servant and a true shepherd, never more than the flock. Jesus died for the flock.
The Lord has made each one of us, a steward of the blessing He has given us. How many times haven’t I heard people who instinctively know they are being robbed, say; “I give, but the pastor who unjustly applies the tithing he receives from me, will be accountable”
This is partly true, but the Lord did not entrust him with your money, but you. Each one of us will stand before a Righteous Judge one day – ALONE. The pastor of your congregation will not be there to back you up, he will have his own explaining to do, while you will have to explain why you gave to the rich instead of giving to the poor.
These pastors will say that if you tithe you must expect end even claim from God.
Rom.:11:35: Or who hath first given to him, and it shall be recompensed unto him again?
Unfortunately there is a lot of naming and claiming, even demands made by people towards God in our time. Scriptures are quoted out of their original meaning, to suit the self, rather than the truth.
To say give to the Lord to receive again, does not correspond with the above-mentioned Scripture.
One of the many Scriptures quoted is:
James 4:3 where it is says, “You ask not, that is why you receive not.”
The problem is that only part of the Scripture is quoted. This is what it really says:
James: 4:3: Ye ask, and receive not, because ye ask amiss, that ye may consume it upon your lusts.
In the very next verse we read:
James: 4:4: Ye adulterers and adulteresses, know ye not that the friendship of the world is enmity with God, whosoever therefore will be a friend of the world is the enemy of God.
The Lord’s Kingdom is not of this world. He calls the love of materialism, harlotry. One cannot love money and the Lord. In Luke 16 we read that, you may make friends with Mammon to use it, but you may only love God.
1Tim:6:10: For the love of money is the root of all evil: which while some coveted after, they have erred from the faith, and pierced themselves through with many sorrows.
The return you are promised a hundred fold? Our promise lies in the everlasting life, after death. The promise we receive has an eschatological significance. We are taught by the Scriptures not to be materialistic, to take up our cross and to be willing to accept persecution, for His name’s sake, then only the promise.
In how many congregations do we hear that God’s blessing in people is measured by their wealth?
This is precisely how the world will judge a person, by their wealth. Even the “church” is more careful in their approach when facing a wealthy person, than one not so well off. What does the Bible say about this?
1Tim:6:5: Perverse disputings of men of corrupt minds, and destitute of the truth, supposing that gain is godliness: from such withdraw thyself.
The Bible says that we should withdraw from men saying that gain is because of godliness or our faith.
Luk.:12:15: And he said unto them, Take heed, and beware of covetousness: for a man’s life consisteth not in the abundance of the things which he possesseth.
People have become blind to the truth and facts stay facts. Many people are being robbed openly today in the “churches” yes, with open eyes the are deceived. But God won’t deceive us, they say. What does God say?
2Thess.:2:10: And with all deceivableness of unrighteousness in them that perish; because they received not the love of the truth, that they might be saved.
2Thess.:2:11: And for this cause God shall send them strong delusion, that they should believe a lie:
If you do not study the truth, the Scriptures, practice it and keep the faith, you will be deceived. This is what the Bible says! Facts are facts and deceptions are deceptions.
People bent on tithing will also quote:
Gen:14:18: And Melchizedek king of Salem brought forth bread and wine: and he was the priest of the highest God.
Gen:14:19: And he blessed him, and said, Blessed be Abram of the most high God, possessor of heaven and earth:
Gen: 14:20: And blessed be the most high God, which hath delivered thine enemies into thy hand. And he gave him tithes of all.
This is to “prove” that tithing was established before the time of Moses, the Torah or law and that tithes have to be given to the priest. To find out what the Melchizedek tithe meant one has to not only read this passage, but also read on to verses 22 & 23.
From verse 18 – 20 it is clear that this was not Abraham’s belongings which was tithed, but rather the booty or loot he had gathered from conquering the enemy.
Gen:14:22: And Abram said to the king of Sodom, I have lift up mine hand unto the LORD, the most high God, the possessor of heaven and earth,
Gen:14:23: 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:
Although he gave away 10% of the booty, he stated that he did not even want any of it, because it was not his.
It is also interesting to note that this was a ONCE OFF event, which never took place again.
Ninety percent and more of Scripture quoted for the purposes of pleading for tithes are taken out of context today. God says let few be teachers, because those teachers teaching the flock will be held accountable for what they teach.
James:3:1: My brethren, be not many masters, knowing that we shall receive the greater condemnation.
The problem is that a proper exegetical description of texts are never sought. Most people will believe anything, coming from the pulpit. Just like in the days of the Sadducees and Pharisees. But Paul commended the Bereans for checking his own teachings, against the Scriptures.
Gen:28:20: And Jacob vowed a vow, saying, If God will be with me, and will keep me in this way that I go, and will give me bread to eat, and raiment to put on,
Gen:28:21: So that I come again to my father’s house in peace; then shall the LORD be my God:
Gen:28:22: And this stone, which I have set for a pillar, shall be God’s house: and of all that thou shalt give me I will surely give the tenth unto thee.
This is another “old favorite” Scripture used. If one reads this piece carefully, it says that Jacob promised the tithe IF – “ God will do five things…”
- Be with him
- Keep him in this way
- Give him bread to eat
- Give him raiment to wear and
- Allow him to get to his father’s house.
It is clear that Jacob tried to negotiate with God. Never in the Bible is it mentioned that Jacob kept his promise. We are told in Scripture never to make promises to God, because we will not be able to keep them.
Eccl: 5:5: Better is it that thou shouldest not vow, than that thou shouldest vow and not pay.
Gen. 28: 20 – 22 has an eschatological significance in that:
- Jacob represents unrepentant Israel
- Israel is Jacob’s name, after he had wrestled with God.
In the book of Daniel we read about the time of Jacob’s trouble, which refers to the last days where Israel will face tremendous persecution and tribulation, before recognizing Him, Who was pierced for their transgressions.
Israel as a nation today, is known as Jacob in the flesh. Jacob needed to wrestle with God first, before he became Israel. The trouble in Israel evident today is the start of this wrestling taking place.
The five things mentioned in the verses above, also carries a message of salvation to Jacob (unrepentant Israel). The number five in the Bible will always point to salvation of some sort. Let us take a closer look.
- Be with him – points to the fact that God will never leave or forsake unrepentant Israel. The problem is that it is Israel, who does not want to stay with God.
- Keep him in this way – God has foreordained Israel to go a certain route prophetically and will keep them in this destination.
- Give him bread to eat – He has given them the Bread of Life their Messiah, Whom they rejected but, they will eventually accept that Bread, the Manna from Heaven.
- Give him raiment to wear and – This speaks of the garments of salvation, Israel must wear.
- Allow him to get to his father’s house – This happens right in the end where, repentant Israel will be accepted in the Father’s house.
Once you have wrestled with God and suffered some tribulation, Jesus receives you and you belong to Him with a new name given to you. Everything of your life is tithed to Him now. This is a promise that only God can keep and fulfill.
To take Gen. 28:20 – 22 and use it either to negotiate with God, or to make promises you will not be able to keep, is twisting away from the intended meaning.
Mal.:3:10: Bring ye all the tithes into the storehouse, that there may be 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.
This all time favorite Scripture is the big one, vandalized out of context, by more than 90 % of all churches.
The problem once again is, that ONLY this Scripture is quoted. Whenever one Scripture is quoted, please remember what Jesus said when He was tempted by Satan; “It is also written”
3. Very important regarding the book of Malachi!!!
If Malachi 3 especially verse 10 is seen as applicable to the New Testament church and this verse made applicable to the congregants, why is the rest of Scriptures concerning Malachi rejected as being under the law.
Look at Malachi, it consists of 4 chapters.
Chapter 1 refers to offerings made to the Lord which the Lord despised. These were sacrificial offerings where animals were to be offered without spot or blemish. Yet in Malachi 1: 7-4 and 14 people were offering sacrifices to the Lord such as polluted bread, blind, lame, sick and corrupted animals.
These animals were part of the tithes that were supposed to have been brought to the altar as an offering to the Lord, but they robbed and dishonored God, by bringing the rejected animals as a tithe.
The fact now is that those animal tithes were from the Old Covenant where Israel was still under the law.
The fact is that if we were to tithe according to Malachi 3:10, we ought to offer animals as sacrifice on the altar to the Lord, something forbidden in the New Testament because the Lord Jesus was the final sacrifice.
Heb 10:1 For the law having a shadow of good things to come, and not the very image of the things, can never with those sacrifices which they offered year by year continually make the comers thereunto perfect.
Heb 10:2 For then would they not have ceased to be offered? because that the worshippers once purged should have had no more conscience of sins.
Heb 10:3 But in those sacrifices there is a remembrance again made of sins every year.
Heb 10:4 For it is not possible that the blood of bulls and of goats should take away sins.
Yes, your tithes will not take away sins, neither have you robbed God for not tithing, because the tithe of Malachi does not exist in the New Covenant. It was only applicable under the law in the Old Covenant.
Looking at the tithes again, we recall having four types;
The people were responsible for tithing towards:
1) The Levites.
2) The 3 annual Holy Days.
3) The less fortunate.
The Levites had to tithe towards:
4) The Zadokites or Temple priests.
Which of these tithes are applicable to this verse (Mal. 3: 10)? Let’s look at the big picture, what the rest of the Bible says.
Neh:10:38: And the priest the son of Aaron shall be with the Levites, when the Levites take tithes: and the Levites shall bring up the tithe of the tithes unto the house of our God, to the chambers, into the treasure house.
Who shall bring up the tithe to the treasure house of God? THE LEVITES! Who was not paying the tithe to the treasure house of God? The Levites, NOT the people. Remember Ezekiel 34 – The leaders were feeding themselves fat, fleecing the sheep.
The people had paid the tenth of their blessing to the Levites, but the Levites were the ones who neglected to pay the tithe to the treasure house. The burden of the Levites, is being laid on the people once again.
The most expected answer you will get today is, that we are all kings and priests. Fair enough, but then the tithe should work both ways. Everyone should then suffer the same prosperity or poverty. Remember, a master is not above his servant and the servant not above his master. The clergy have become like the mafia, the untouchables, they even have bodyguards to protect them. Jesus did not act in this manner.
It is so unfortunate that the laity or the people are put under condemnation by the clergy, who say that it is the people “robbing God,” while they themselves are prospering materially. Once again – what does the Bible teach about the leaders?
1Tim:3:2: A bishop then must be blameless, the husband of one wife, vigilant, sober, of good behavior, given to hospitality, apt to teach;
1iTm:3:3: Not given to wine, no striker, not greedy of filthy lucre; but patient, not a brawler, not covetous;
MUST be of one wife? Are they?
MUST not given to filthy lucre? Are they?
Yet the people trust them. Hosea 4: 6 “My people perish, because of a lack of knowledge.”
By their fruits you will know them. If someone teaches anything contrary to the Scriptures, even an angel, it is Lucifer and his ministers masquerading as an angel of light.
Gal:1:8: But though we, or an angel from heaven, preach any other gospel unto you than that which we have preached unto you, let him be accursed.
2Cor:11:14: And no marvel; for Satan himself is transformed into an angel of light.
2Cor:11:15: Therefore it is no great thing if his ministers also be transformed as the ministers of righteousness; whose end shall be according to their works.
The roles are turned around. Instead of the shepherd looking after the well being of the flock, the flock is caring for the shepherd. The whole scenario is anti clockwise or anti Scriptural, therefore anti Christ.
The issues, which are mentioned in the Bible, in the days of the prophets in the Old Testament, happened to the Jews or Israel, it happened in Paul’s time during the early church period and is happening again today. Three times the same type of error – tithing.
Prophecy in the Bible tends to happen in repetitions of three’s in many cases. It is like the feasts of God to Israel, Passover pointing to the crucifixion of our Passover Lamb, Pentecost pointing to the outpouring of the Holy Spirit and Tabernacles pointing to us being united with God. Prophecy repeats itself until it reaches an ultimate fulfillment.
The money issue with the clergy is also an indication of a recurring prophecy, ultimately referring to the last days. The falseness of the prophets we are told, will take place in the latter days, as explained in Matthew 24, in the Olivet Discourse.
Then there are the following Scriptures also pointing to the state of the church in the final days, before the return of our Blessed Savior:
2Thess:2:3: Let no man deceive you by any means: for that day shall not come, except there come a falling away first, and that man of sin be revealed, the son of perdition;
There will be PROSPERITY in the last days? No there will be a FALLING AWAY in the last days. Let no man tell you otherwise!! The Bible says so.
1Tim:4:1: Now the Spirit speaketh expressly, that in the latter times some shall depart from the faith, giving heed to seducing spirits, and doctrines of devils;
1Tim:4:2: Speaking lies in hypocrisy; having their conscience seared with a hot iron;
1Tim:4:3: Forbidding to marry, and commanding to abstain from meats, which God hath created to be received with thanksgiving of them which believe and know the truth.
A time of seducing spirits, a time of lies, a time of hypocrisy, etc. The reply you will get here is “I serve a good God, He won’t allow this to happen to me, or to my church. Well then one had better tear out 2Thess. 2:11 where the Bible says this will happen. The way out is to study the Scriptures, to be faithful in the truth and read what will happen, because when God sends the lie you will be able to use the Word to show you the deception. The Bible will always discern for you.
2Tim:2:15: Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.
Heb:5:12: For when for the time ye ought to be teachers, ye have need that one teach you again which be the first principles of the oracles of God; and are become such as have need of milk, and not of strong meat.
Heb:5:13: For every one that useth milk is unskillful in the word of righteousness: for he is a babe.
Heb:5:14: But strong meat belongeth to them that are of full age, even those who by reason of use have their senses exercised to discern both good and evil.
Here are some more Scriptures concerning the last days.
2Tim:3:1: This know also, that in the last days perilous times shall come.
2Tim:3:2: For men shall be lovers of their own selves, covetous, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy,
2Tim:3:3: Without natural affection, trucebreakers, false accusers, incontinent, fierce, despisers of those that are good,
2Tim:3:4: Traitors, heady, highminded, lovers of pleasures more than lovers of God;
2Tim:3:5: Having a form of godliness, but denying the power thereof: from such turn away.
2Tim:3:6: For of this sort are they which creep into houses, and lead captive silly women laden with sins, led away with divers lusts,
Covetous, boasters, lovers of themselves and pleasures, false accusers (of which the tithing, is one issue?) having a form of godliness. It looks like godliness, but isn’t.
Looking at Malachi 3 again in verse 3, we read that it is talking about the Levites. Another confirmation that chapter three is about the Levites and not the other tribes of Israel.
Mal:3:3: And he shall sit as a refiner and purifer of silver: and he shall purify the sons of Levi, and purge them as gold and silver, that they may offer unto the LORD an offering in righteousness.
Mal:3:5: And I will come near to you to judgment; and I will be a swift witness against the sorcerers, and against the adulterers, and against false swearers, and against those that oppress the hireling in his wages, the widow, and the fatherless, and that turn aside the stranger from his right, and fear not me, saith the LORD of hosts.
God is warning the Levites that His judgment will come against those who rob the wage earners. The Levites are the problem, not the people.
The purpose of the Torah or the Old Testament is basically to point to the Messiah. The 10 Commandments or the Law of Moses have a specific purpose in doing just this. When one reads these commandments, it becomes clear that we can’t keep them; especially the last one and if you transgress on one you transgress all. These laws bring the death penalty, but Paul writes to us in Romans 8: 2, that through Jesus Christ the penalty for these transgressions are removed.
There are also other commandments of the Torah, which were removed by Jesus. An example of this is the sacrifice of animals, because He came and sacrificed Himself, shedding His blood once and for all. He became the ultimate sacrifice.
Heb:9:12: Neither by the blood of goats and calves, but by his own blood he entered in once into the holy place, having obtained eternal redemption for us.
Heb:9:13: For if the blood of bulls and of goats, and the ashes of a heifer sprinkling the unclean, sanctifieth to the purifying of the flesh:
Heb:10:4: For it is not possible that the blood of bulls and of goats should take away sins.
According to the book of Galatians we are told that, if you go under the law, you should keep the whole law. It is because of the impossibility to keep the law that it’s bondage is taken away by Jesus. His grace is sufficient and we are no longer under condemnation of the punishment of the Old Testament. Under the Old Covenant three thousand perished (Ex.32: 28), but under the New Covenant three thousand were saved (Act.2: 41). The main reason God gave the laws in the Torah was for the people to realize they needed a Saviour, thus preparing them for the coming of the Lord.
During the early church era, four things were to be done:
Act:15:20: But that we write unto them, that they abstain from pollutions of idols, and from fornication, and from things strangled, and from blood.
- To abstain from idols
- To abstain from fornication
- To abstain from things killed cruelly
- To abstain from blood
Further on in the chapter, one reads about not having to keep the law of circumcision anymore. Nowhere does it say, that the law of the Torah is to be forced on the saved Gentiles or Christians and nowhere did forced tithing feature.
But what does Jesus say?
Luk:11:42: But woe unto you, Pharisees! for ye tithe mint and rue and all manner of herbs, and pass over judgment and the love of God: these ought ye to have done, and not to leave the other undone.
Jesus is not burdening the Pharisees with tithing here, what He is saying, is that their outward life is not portraying their inward life. They were doing these things to receive recognition from man. Jesus did not speak to His disciples here, but to the hypocritical Pharisees.
1. New Testament Giving.
Luk:18:10: Two men went up into the temple to pray; the one a Pharisee, and the other a publican.
Luk:18:11: The Pharisee stood and prayed thus with himself, God, I thank thee, that I am not as other men are, extortioners, unjust, adulterers, or even as this publican.
Luk:18:12: I fast twice in the week, I give tithes of all that I possess.
Luk:18:13: And the publican, standing afar off, would not lift up so much as his eyes unto heaven, but smote upon his breast, saying, God be merciful to me a sinner.
Luk:18:14: I tell you, this man went down to his house justified rather than the other: for every one that exalteth himself shall be abased; and he that humbleth himself shall be exalted.
Who did Jesus have compassion on? The one who tithed or the one who acknowledged his weaknesses in all humility?
Tithes will not get you saved, nor will it ensure your entry into heaven. It is not the tithe but the attitude of the person. So if you tithe, either to be recognized by man, to be saved, or to receive something in return, please think again.
Mark:7:9: And he said unto them, Full well ye reject the commandment of God, that ye may keep your own tradition.
Mark:7:10: For Moses said, Honour thy father and thy mother; and, Whoso curseth father or mother, let him die the death:
Mark:7:11: But ye say, If a man shall say to his father or mother, It is Corban, that is to say, a gift, by whatsoever thou mightest be profited by me; he shall be free.
Mark:7:12: And ye suffer him no more to do ought for his father or his mother;
Mark:7:13: Making the word of God of none effect through your tradition, which ye have delivered: and many such like things do ye.
The word used for honor here in the Hebrew is “Kabad” and this verse points to the commandment in Ex. 20:12. Basically the word “Kabad” means to burden oneself with something and in this case your parents. It means that you have to take care of your parents when they grow old, just as they took care of you when you were a child. Another word used here is ”Honorarium” meaning the same as “Kabad”. This illustrates the meaning of the word “Corban” as used in Mark 7:11.
The core meaning of the Scriptures mentioned here; is to take care of your immediate family first.
The Pharisees side-stepped this Law, to sustain themselves (Mark 7:9), yet they said that one should care for one’s father and mother, so as not to be condemned (Mark7:10), but on the other hand the Pharisees said that if one did care for his parents it was “corban” and prohibited this action (Mark 7:11 – 12). This is exactly what religion does, it opposes itself always, and then it seems as if Scriptures contradicts itself.
Corban was used as an excuse not to for instance take care of your parents or other family members who were in need. When one tithed to the temple you would say “corban” and that would exempt you from the obligation of looking after your parents as is evident in Mark 7:9-13. This practice was obviously condemned by the Lord Jesus.
2Tim:2:25: In meekness instructing those that oppose themselves; if God peradventure will give them repentance to the acknowledging of the truth;
When you tithe to people in the “church” or organization who enrich themselves like the Pharisees did, where the pastor is not equal or where he is above the flock, at the expense of your obligation to your family, it is not the wish of Jesus.
If the Holy Spirit explicitly prompts you to give, make sure it is the Holy Spirit and not someone psyching you up emotionally. There is a major difference between the voice of the Holy Spirit, which comes across gently, and being hyped up by emotional manipulation, which is nothing short of hypnotical witchcraft.
In Mark 7:9-13 Jesus is once again pointing out to the Pharisees that they are holding on to the religious tradition of their ancestors. We aught to remember, that the old law has passed and has made place for the new. Anyone quoting the Old Testament for gaining money, not taking the New Testament into consideration, should be seriously questioned.
Always compare what you hear or read, to the Scriptures. If someone makes you feel guilty for them to benefit a tithe from you, it is exactly what the Pharisees did. In Romans 8 Paul mentions the burden of the Old Testament laws as:
Rom:8:1: There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit.
Rom:8:2: For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus hath made me free from the law of sin and death.
The Scriptures should judge for you and if anything crosses your path contrary to the Scriptures, it cannot be of the Spirit of God but something masquerading as godliness.
Don’t give as the widow gave, that which she could actually not afford, if those who are asking it, are not able and are not living as the widow.
Rom:12:1: I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service.
2Cor:8:1: Moreover, brethren, we do you to wit of the grace of God bestowed on the churches of Macedonia;
2Cor:8:2: How that in a great trial of affliction the abundance of their joy and their deep poverty abounded unto the riches of their liberality.
2Cor:8:3: For to their power, I bear record, yea, and beyond their power they were willing of themselves;
2Cor:8:4: Praying us with much intreaty that we would receive the gift, and take upon us the fellowship of the ministering to the saints.
2Cor:8:5: And this they did, not as we hoped, but first gave their own selves to the Lord, and unto us by the will of God.
Here we read that, the very first thing they gave for the service, was themselves, their bodies. In 2 Cor. 8:3 they also gave financially, more than they were able, although they suffered. In verse 5 we read that they did not give so much as Paul had hoped for, but they gave of their own accord.
The giving of money in the church must not be discouraged, but the forced giving where Scriptures are taken out of context and an expected return is preached, should be. The giving above ones means, is not the norm in Scriptures. It did happen occasionally, but not continually. Giving above one’s means should be Spirit lead and not initiated by means of bewitchment.
Gal:3:1: O foolish Galatians, who hath bewitched you, that ye should not obey the truth, before whose eyes Jesus Christ hath been evidently set forth, crucified among you?
Paul specifically points to being put under the law here, as being bewitched by someone. The word in the Greek for bewitched is “Baskaino” and means to be fascinated. Many things in “church” today are obtained through fascinations, which is nothing less than witchcraft. It is hypnotic suggestion, resulting in manipulation of the mind. People are fascinated by signs, wonders, gold dust, gold teeth and the promise to become a hundred times richer than the tithing they pledge to the “church”.
The New Testament talks about giving to the ministry, but according to your abilities. If you do have the ability to give, but rather spend it on material lusts and not towards the ministry, you should reconsider your actions in accordance with Scriptures.
Rom:12:4: For as we have many members in one body, and all members have not the same office:
Rom:12:5: So we, being many, are one body in Christ, and every one members one of another.
Rom:12:6: Having then gifts differing according to the grace that is given to us, whether prophecy, let us prophesy according to the proportion of faith;
Rom:12:7: Or ministry, let us wait on our ministering: or he that teacheth, on teaching;
Rom:12:8: Or he that exhorteth, on exhortation: he that giveth, let him do it with simplicity; he that ruleth, with diligence; he that sheweth mercy, with cheerfulness.
The gifts mentioned here are all different and in verse 8 we see those who have the gifting received from the Lord financially, are to give in simplicity, where the Greek word used for simplicity is, “Haplotes” meaning without self seeking or expecting a return but with sincerity, plentifully and faithfully.
If the Lord has given you a financial gifting and has blessed you financially, you should give plentifully, faithfully and without expecting a return. This blessing must be managed by you and should be directed to those in urgent need, not to those who fleece the flock. Remember that you have received the ability to give, as well as the responsibility to manage those finances. You are the steward of your money and nobody else. Give to those who are saved and towards the action of salvation through sound evangelism.
The Greek word used for gift in Rom. 8:6 is, “Charisma” derived from “Charis” which means grace. “Charisma” or gift, is as result of grace. It is because of God’s grace (Charis) that you have the gifting (Charisma), to apply the gifting given to you for the ministry. This gift is never to you, it is never to the person, but rather through the person to the church. God works through us, anything else is of the flesh and is demonic.
The gifting of financial benefit to the body must be towards the needs of the body, not to the wants. Anything more than need is greed.
A freewill offering is never wantonness or to want something or to expect something in return. To give of your first fruits is important. To give only 10% if you are able to give more, is not using God’s gift as intended. Always give as the Lord blesses you.
A person should not stop giving at all, because of all the wrong tithing preached today, but should rather take responsibility by discerning where one should channel your tithe to. When tithing and for that matter doing anything else, one should do it in accordance with Scriptural discernment.
2. Some Handy Scriptures concerning money.
- If this contradicts what you are being taught, remember it is man’s word against God’s Word.
- It is more blessed to give to the weak, than to receive – Acts 20 :35
- One should not be greedy for Money – Titus 1 : 7, Luke 12:15
- People’s mouths must be stopped who teach for gain – Tit.1:11 (Today if you do this you are being judgmental – why? Because the church has lost its power.)
- Gain is Godliness – 1Tim.6 :5-6
- Make friends with Mammon – Luke 16: 9,11
- Don’t worship Mammon & God – Luke 16: 13
- Don’t divine for money in return for Scriptural teaching – Micah 3: 11,
- Matt. 10: 8, 1Cor. 9: 18,
- One should be content, not saying, gain is godliness. 1Tim. 6: 5 & 10
- Do not buy God’s gifts e.g. the Holy Spirit – Acts 8 : 9 &18 – 19, Is.55:1, 2Kngs. 5:16, Rev.22:17&19
- Give to God according to your blessing – Deut. 16:9-10 &17
- Covetousness isn’t Scriptural. – 1Tim.6: 10, 2 Pet. 2: 14; Ps. 10: 3, Luke 12: 14-15
- Do not demand from God, we ask if it is His WILL. – James 4: 15-16;
- Matt. 6: 9-10; 1John 5: 14, James 4:3; Gal. 1:4
- Give in all eagerness – to the NEEDY – Acts 2 : 42-47 + 4 : 32-37
- Wicked rulers and priests plead, teach and prophesy for money – Mic.3:11…
- The love of money is never satisfied – Eccl. 5:10
- Money given to God, which is His? – Prov.3: 19, Deut.16: 9-10 & 17
- Fleecing of the flock – Ezekiel 34, Zech. 11:4-5
There are many, many more Scriptures to confirm that, the love, the teaching and the misuse of people in the church for money, is wicked and perverse.
- Tithing, like so many other things are misunderstood, because of a lack of knowledge of the Scriptures. Matt. 22:29
- Everything on Earth belongs to God, therefore you can’t give back to God, what already belongs to Him. Ps.24:1
- We need to use money for our needs and not our wants, the rest should go towards the needs of the ministry. 1Tim.6:6
- There were four types of tithing in the Old Testament:
a) The tithe to the Levites. Deut.14: 27.
b) The tithe toward the annual Holy Days. Deut. 14: 22 – 26.
c) The tithe to the less fortunate. Deut.14: 28 – 29.
d) The tithe of the Levites to the Zadokites. Neh.10: 38.
5. Misinterpretation of Scripture for tithes:
a) Tithing by force is heavy shepherding and is condemned. 1Pet.5:2-3
b) Is due to a lack of discernment of Scriptures. Matt.22:29 & Hos.4:6
c) While preaching a prosperity gospel in these times, shouting peace, peace when there is no peace. Ezek. 13:10, Jer.6:14, Jer.8:11, Ezek.44, Judges 7, 1Thess.2:3, Rev6:4, Rev.13:4 Rev. 13:8, saying the Lord is with them, Mic.3:11 is the gospel of 2Cor.11:4 & Gal.1:7-8.
d) Lucifer and his ministers masquerading as righteousness, twist Scripture out of context, to preach another gospel. 2Cor.11: 14-15.
e) These are signs of an apostate church in the last days. 2Thess.2:3, 1Tim.4, 2Tim.3.
f) Man will be disillusioned.
- Because the shepherds do not feed the flock correct doctrine. 1Tim.4:1
- Because man does not know the Scriptures. Hos.4:6 & Matt22:29.
- The solution is to study. 2Tim.2:15
h) Malachi 3 has to be taken into context with the other chapters in Malachi. The tithes in Malachi were sacrifices to be made on the altar and the priests were robbing God by bringing unhealthy animals with faults to be sacrificed on the altar. These animal sacrifices are no longer wanted by God in the New Testament anyway and this will include Malachi 3. (Hebrews 10:1-4)
6. New Testament giving
a) Tithes are works and will not save you. Luk.18:10 – 14
b) The “clergy” will put pressure onto you, contradictory to the Scriptures and to the detriment of your family obligations, to gain finances from you. Mark 7:9 – 12
c) One should discern between Old Testament and New Testament commandments. Rom.8. There is no more condemnation from the Old Law or the Old Testament.
d) New Testament “tithing” is a free will giving, but not at the expense of your obligation to care for your own family. The first giving is your body, then finances, sometimes more than you are able occasionally, but never continually. 2Cor.8:1 – 5
e) One must give according to one’s blessings, as received through God’s grace. Rom.12: 4 – 8. Some have more, others less, others nothing. Those who have, should give. Supporting the church is supporting one another.
I realize the reaction I might get from this, but as Paul said:
Gal. 4:16: Am I therefore become your enemy, because I tell you the truth?
Acts 20:31: Therefore watch, and remember, that by the space of three years I ceased not to warn every one night and day with tears.
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