You shall know the truth and the truth shall set you free
TITHING AND EXCESSIVE GIVING;
do these Old Testament works of the ceremonial law ‘ensure’ God’s blessing?
[With acknowledgement to the people who compiled all the images and photos in this study]
“The love of money is a root of all kinds of evil, for which some have strayed from the faith in their greediness..”
1 Tim. 6:-12
· Benny Hinn ‘sells’ ‘God’s’ blessing, “Use your credit cards to pay $1,000 in offerings! The blessing will last only 2 minutes and will create 500 churchgoing millionaires or even billionaires!” [Coca-Cola Dome, Randburg, S.A.]
· Hillsong Church Pastors Brian and Bobby Houston, “Money can buy you everything!”
· TD Jakes, “Top Salesman of Jesus,” “Jesus is a Product” to sell to the world...
· Just as pagans do in the occult, Kenneth Copeland calls up the demon named “Money” at the top of his voice: “Money……… Money…… Money……….. Money……………”
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Jesus commanded, “Heal the sick, cleanse the lepers, raise the dead, cast out demons. Freely you have received, freely give!” (Mt. 10:8.)
TRUE BELIEVERS MUST NOT SUPPORT OR AID THOSE WHO USE ‘THEIR MINISTRIES’ TO ENRICH THEMSELVES; PEDDLE THE GOSPEL OF CHRIST, AND/OR ABUSE THE GIFTS AND TEACHINGS, WHICH THE HOLY SPIRIT HAD ENTRUSTED TO THEM. Real believers do not have to scheme and ‘lean on the arm of flesh;’ God Himself will supply all the real needs of His sincere workers and advance His Kingdom here on earth.
The Lord Jesus Christ, the Word of God, and the wonderful privilege to work ‘for’ God are not for sale.
I am only interested in the truth and in telling the whole truth — which is not ‘judging’ or ‘loveless criticism,’ but obedience to the commandment of God to publically expose the works of unrepentant teachers and prophets, who do not teach the truth of contextual Scripture, because they endanger the eternal life of millions of believers, and wreak havoc in their lives here on earth, (1 Ths. 5:21; 1 Jn. 4:1-4; Eph. 5:11.)
SCRIPTURAL TRUTH CONCERNING THE SO-CALLED ‘PROSPERITY GOSPEL:’
1 Tim. 6:6-12, 'Godliness with contentment is great gain. For we brought nothing into this world and… can carry nothing out. Having food and clothing, [necessities,] with these we shall be content. But those who desire to be rich, fall into temptation and a snare, and into many foolish and harmful lusts, which drown men in destruction and perdition. For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil, for which some have strayed from the faith… But… flee these things and pursue righteousness, godliness, faith, love, patience, gentleness. Fight the good fight of faith, lay hold on eternal life...’
· From their own Pentecostal/Charismatic Spirit Filled Bible, (1991 version,) 2 Cor. 9:7 states, “Let each one give [willingly and freely] as he has made up his own mind and purposed in his own heart, not grudgingly or of necessity, reluctantly or sorrowfully or under compulsion…”
So, if they know the Scriptures so well, why are these wolves in sheep’s clothing robbing the believers in Christ?
To keep on enriching themselves, as the love of money is limitless and they do not care that mostly, they are robbing the poorest of the poor instead of providing for them from the billions they have extorted from Jesus’ blood-bought body of believers!
· Jesus’ believers give as they “purposed in their own hearts”
· “Do not muzzle an ox” and “The labourer is worthy of his wages?”
· God forbade us to accept and follow teachers who do not teach the Truth of His Word, but rather to expose them
· Tithes were Old-Covenant taxes to God’s Theocracy: the Old Temple Priesthood
· God was not addressing blessed, New Covenant believers in the Book of Malachi
· The context of the much abuse Malachi 3:8-10 is Malachi Chapters 1 & 2
· Jesus and His early disciples never commanded tithing; either to obtain blessing or as a requirement of Jesus’ New Covenant and its Moral Law of Love, (Jn. 13:34.)
· God did not give these Mammon-worshipping impostors a New Covenant tithing-mandate
· ‘Yes, but Abraham tithed to Melchizedek?’
· The misuse and mismanagement of tithes — not our problem?
· A ‘different gospel and another Jesus’
· The contextual truth of “all these things shall be added unto you..."
· The false Seed-Faith principle
· God’s ‘seed’ is not money it’s the Word! - Lu. 8:3-21.
· What is the real truth about sowing and reaping hundredfold?
· What is the real truth of “give, and it shall be given unto you?”
· The Real Truth about sowing and reaping hundredfold
· Truth about “give and it shall be given unto you, a good measure pressed down…”
The Following is, in part, an Extract of the free Book, Relationship Versus Religion
JESUS’ BELIEVERS GIVE AS THEY PURPOSE IN THEIR OWN HEARTS
The aim of this discussion is not to turn New Testament/Covenant believers into greedy graspers, but to free Jesus’ believers, who are staggering under the yoke of unscriptural, legalistic, ceremonial church laws, (Gal. 5:1.)
To give freely “as we purpose in our hearts” or as the Holy Spirit leads us, is part of every believer’s life in Christ, (2 Cor. 9:7.) However, nowhere in the context of the New Testament Covenant do Jesus and His disciples compel believers to ‘tithe’ or to ‘give until it hurts.’ Our willing offerings, inspired by the Holy Spirit, must provide for those in real need, and for the need (not the greed) of those who were really called by God to preach the Gospel of truth, and do not have any other means to earn an income at the same time.
God will never call anyone to preach or support a false gospel. Supporting these two causes is love in deed and truth. This kind of charity is agapë – the basic requirement of the Moral or Royal Law of Love. For as long as believers live on earth, Jesus’ only New Testament law, His “new commandment” or Moral Law of Love, will remain unchangeable, (Jam. 1:14-20; Jn.13:34; Mt. 28:20b.)
The Old Testament Malachi Chapter 3 is definitely not a tithing mandate to extort money from even poor believers to keep an unscriptural hierarchy of church clergy in the greatest of luxury, (Acts 2:44-45.) Jesus and all His disciples such as Paul taught New Testament believers in 2 Cor. 9:7 that the main principle of Godly love is to give willingly for the support of believers in need, (Eph. 4:28; Heb. 13:16; Phil. 2:4; Jam. 2:14-17.)
The Lord Jesus has commanded every believer to sacrifice spiritually unto God all that he or she is, and all that they have, (Mt. 16:24-26.) This means that everything – our spirit, soul, body, life, thoughts and priorities – our complete Moral-Law obedience, (which proves our faith or love for God,) as well as our finances, must be wholly sacrificed on God’s spiritual altar. New Covenant believers, personally born again from the Truth of God’s Word and the Power of His Holy Spirit, have only one law that governs them, “A New Commandment I give to you, that you love one another as I have loved you…” Mt. 22:36-40, “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, soul and strength, and the second is like it: You shall love your neighbour as yourself…” This is agapaö-love for God and agapë love for our ‘neighbours;’ the genuine act of New Covenant worship, (Rom. 12:1-2.)
“DO NOT MUZZLE AN OX” AND “THE LABORER IS WORTHY OF HIS WAGES?”
Question: What about “do not muzzle an ox while it treads out the grain?”
Answer: Muzzling an ox means to fasten the poor animal’s mouth with straps so that, while it is working itself nearly to death, it cannot take one mouthful of grain. Have you ever seen an ox grabbing so much of the grain that it can buy helicopters and castles for itself?
Question: What about “the labourer is worthy of his wages?’”
Answer: It is a lie that Jesus was so rich He had a ‘treasurer’ carrying boxes full of money. Jesus was interested in saving souls with His New Covenant Gospel of Grace; He was not into money. Jesus said, “No one can serve two masters… You cannot serve both God and Mammon…” (Mt. 6:24.) “Foxes have holes and birds have nests, but the Son of Man has nowhere to lay His head,” (Lu. 9:58.)
Paul wrote, “We did not eat anyone’s bread without paying for it, but with toil and struggle we worked night and day, that we might not be a burden or impose on any of you.” And in 2 Ths. 3:7-12, “Not because we [true ministers, the spiritual elderly], do not have a right to such support, but we wished to make ourselves an example for you to follow. For we gave you this charge: If anyone, [ministers included], will not work, neither let him eat…”
This is the example by which Paul lived: (1 Cor. 9:16-18,) “I merely preach the Gospel, that gives me no reason to boast, for I feel compelled of necessity to do it. Woe is I if I do not preach the Gospel. For if I do this work of my own free will, [if I religiously assigned myself to the task,] then I have my reward, [I receive my pay for doing the job]. But if it is not of my own will, [as God called and ordained me], I am entrusted with a sacred trusteeship and commission. What then is the actual reward? Just this, that in my preaching the good news, I may offer it absolutely free of expense to anybody, [because God supplies all my needs and makes it possible for me to execute His calling], not taking advantage of my rights as a preacher, [a servant elder].” Paul actually said: “If I were a member of the religious clergy, I would have counted it my legal right to be paid for my services. The mere fact that I am able to offer the Gospel absolutely free of charge IS my pay! For if I now choose to be rewarded by men, I actually forfeit my reward in heaven, (Mt. 6:1-8.) We cannot expect to be paid twice for the same job, can we?” Accordingly, Paul The Servant chose to work with his own hands, rather than to be paid for the spiritual services that he rendered. And he instructed all sincere believers to follow his example, (2 Ths. 3:6-10.)
GOD FORBADE US TO ACCEPT AND FOLLOW TEACHERS WHO DO NOT TEACH THE TRUTH OF HIS WORD, BUT RATHER TO EXPOSE THEM
God commanded in 2 Jn. 9-10, “Whoever transgresses and does not abide in the [contextual truth of God’s Word, but preaches false doctrine instead,] does not have God. He who abides in the [truth of] Christ has both the Father and the Son. If anyone comes to you and does not bring this [truth,] do not receive him into your house nor greet him; for he who greets him, [not just being courteous but blessing him, supporting him, fellowshipping with him,] shares in his evil deeds.”
“Have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness but instead, expose them…” (Eph. 5:11-16.)
TITHES WERE OLD-COVENANT TAXES TO GOD’S TEOCRACY; THE OLD TEMPLE PRIESTHOOD
In the beginning, God Himself was God and King of Old Israel. Israel was supposed to have remained a Theocracy, or a chosen, God-ruled people, but they wanted a physical king and a grand, physical temple like the pagan nations have, (1 Sam. 8:4-22; Acts 7:44-50.) The physical temple became God’s parliament over Old Israel, and the Levitical priesthood functioned as His human government. Obedience to the outward, ceremonial, ritual, Old Testament Law, which pertained to the old temple dispensation, was compulsory because it governed both the social and the religious lives of the Old Hebrews. The Ceremonial Law commanded the Old Hebrews to pay tithes, (plural), while the principle of giving alms was agapë, (Godly love,) and part of the Moral Law of love, which still governs New Testament believers today, (Jn. 13:34.)
Tithing was Old Israel’s taxes. The tithes (plural) of Old Israel amounted to about 30% of each Hebrew’s income: 10% for the upkeep of the temple and Levitical priests; 10% to support the national feasts and about 10% for charity, (Old Israel’s ‘welfare fund.’) To cheat with the tithes was to rob God, [their God and Government] of His taxes. To steal is a transgression of the Moral Law. Committing tax evasion against God, their Direct Government, was a serious offence. The Law prescribed that any transgression of its statutes would bring Old Israel under the entire cursed state, or cursed position of Deut. 28.
However, under the New Testament dispensation, Jesus became the Only “Mediator of a better (New Testament) Covenant… In that He says, ‘A New Covenant,’ He has made the first obsolete. Now what has become obsolete and old [has] vanished away,” (Heb. 8:6-13.) Because New Testament believers live under an entirely different Covenant, God “does not dwell in a temple made with hands,” and the born again body of Christ, (true believers from all the nations,) is the spiritual temple of the Holy Spirit, (1 Cor. 3:16-17.) All those old outward, ceremonial temple laws fell away together with the old covenant, the physical nation of Israel, and the physical old temple with its physical priesthood.
To keep any of those old temple’s ceremonial laws only bring New Covenant believers back under the entire state of cursedness that ruled them before they accepted Jesus as their personal Lord and Savior, (Deut. 28.) That is why Paul explained that Jesus “became a curse [in our place] so that we could [freely] inherit [the blessed state of Old believing Abraham,” (Gal. 3:10-14.) He said in Gal. 3:21, “I do not set aside the grace of God; for if righteousness [salvation, redemption, blessing, etc.] comes through the [ceremonial] law, then Christ died in vain.”
GOD WAS NOT ADDRESSING BLESSED, NEW TESTAMENT BELIEVERS IN THE BOOK OF MALACHI
By confusing and fusing the Old and New Testaments, which are two different Covenants and dispensations, modern preachers have indoctrinated Jesus’ blood-bought, New Testament disciples to believe that they must pay the tithes or taxes of Old Israel to ‘earn’ blessing from God. Otherwise, according to them, God ‘curses them with a curse.’
It is an unchangeable fact, as Paul explained in Gal. 3:10-14, that New Testament believers already live in a state or position of blessedness through their personal faith in, and acceptance of the Lord Jesus Christ, (Gal. 3:10-14.)
Sincere believers are Scripturally born again from a position or state of damnation and cursedness, into this position of salvation, redemption and blessedness in Christ, (1 Pt. 2:9-12.) Thus, they ‘inherit’ the entire state or position of blessedness, which the old patriarch of faith in God, Abraham, enjoyed in God.
As the entire old, ceremonial law pertained to a completely different dispensation, (the Old Testament, physical temple-era which Jesus came to fulfil, annul and destroy,) the old prophet Malachi was not speaking to New Testament, blessed believers in Christ, (Mt. 5:17; Heb. 8:6-13; Gal. 3:10-14.)
The Old and the New Covenants or Testaments will forever remain two completely different dispensations and Covenants.
THE CONTEXT OF THE MUCH ABUSED MALACHI 3:8-10 IS MALACHI CHAPTERS 1 & 2
God was admonishing His backslidden priestly parliament when He said in Mal. 2:7-16 “I will send the curse upon you and curse your blessings… For a priest’s lips should guard and keep pure the knowledge of My Law, and the people should seek instruction at his mouth… But you have turned aside out of the way; you have caused many to stumble by your [false, twisted] instruction in the Law; you have corrupted My covenant with the people… [These leaders, just as those of today, have perverted God’s truth and made it into manmade doctrines to profit themselves and to justify their many immoral sins.] You do this with double guilt, covering My altar with tears, shed by your wives, whom you divorced that you might take heathen wives, and with your crying out because I do not regard your offering any more… Yet she is your companion and your wife by covenant... Yet you ask: Why does He reject [our offerings]?”
The false doctrines, idolatry, greed, adultery and sexual perversion of this backslidden, Old Testament, priestly government is the context of Mal. 3:8-10, where God earnestly warned, “Will a man rob God? Wherein? In tithes and offerings. [My taxes and supplement charity for the poor.] You [idolatrous priesthood] are cursed with a curse…”
The corrupt Old Testament priesthood were the ones who were misusing and squandering God’s tithes or taxes. They were the ones defrauding their God and King - even robbing Him of His alms, which they collected from the citizens of Old Israel, but neglected to distribute among the poor. Yet the weightier of their sin was their blatant disregard of God’s Royal Law of agapaö (love for God,) and agape, (love for people.) They have leapt into perversion of the Holy Scriptures; idolatry, disobedience, adultery, divorce and robbery, but they were still asking: ‘Lord, why do You reject our offerings?’ – Mal. 2. Their deliberate transgression of the Moral and Ceremonial Law brought them under the entire curse of Deut. 28, which is why God cursed these religious leaders “with a curse.”
JESUS AND HIS EARLY DISCIPLES NEVER COMMANDED TITHING, EITHER TO OBTAIN BLESSING OR AS A REQUIREMENT OF JESUS’ NEW TESTAMENT COVENANT AND ITS MORAL LAW
Jesus never Commanded New Testament believers to adhere to the Ceremonial Law of tithing, as New Testament ‘tithing’ cannot rescue fallen humankind from their desperate position under the curse of the Law, (Gal. chapters 2 & 3; Deut. 28.) Just as Jesus never commanded that animals must be sacrificed to atone for sin, He never commanded any other ceremonial law of the Old Testament temple, because believers of the New Covenant live under an entirely different dispensation from that of the Old Testament Israelites, (Gal. 2:21.)
If the clergy chooses to keep one law, (tithing,) to ‘earn’ blessing from God, they must keep the entire Ceremonial or Ritual Law, and thereby declare that they do not need the Lord Jesus and His complete atonement. Then, they effectively reject the grace of God in Christ and for them, Jesus had suffered and died in vain, (Gal. 3:10-14; Gal. 2:21.)
The only New Testament Law that Jesus and His disciples commanded was the Moral Law of Love, which naturally relates to willing offerings, but never mentions tithing – accept in the view of those who abuse Scripture uncontextually to reinforce their manmade dogmas of greed, (Mt. 22:37-40; 2 Cor. 9:7; Rom. 8:14.)
Believers already pay personal taxes, sales taxes, petrol, toll, and property taxes, etc. Governmental taxes are compulsory, (as were the tithes of Old Israel,) because they pertain to our physical life on earth, and governments are responsible before God to use these taxes to govern the country’s secular structures and welfare services, just like Old Israel during the time of the Old Testament dispensation, (1 Pet. 2:13-14; Mt. 22:21.) God will certainly not expect us to pay the taxes of Old Israel as well!