By Pastor Josphat Kalebe Mwanza
(South Africa-Life in the son fellowship)
“Will a man ROB God?” How many untold tens of thousands of men will give account one day for teaching this verse in Malachi 3:8 totally out of context for their own sordid gain. I couldn’t count the times I have heard self-appointed ministers of the gospel berate their congregations and listeners for “robbing God” in tithes and offerings. This verse in Malachi certainly means what it says. Someone was defrauding God of tithes and offerings, but wait until you find out who it is that God blames for this act.
On any given Sunday morning there will be numerous men-of-the-cloth who will be bellowing out over the air waves that people are being “cursed with a curse” because they have failed to pay God ten percent of their paychecks. And should such a gullible listener decide to repent and give God ten percent of his salary, just how would he do that? Just keep reading. These men of the cloth who often have unquenchable worldly desires of the flesh, will be sure to give you an address where you can send them (or, ah, rather God) your tithe. And do they have a right to quote these Scriptures in this manner? No they do not, and furthermore they themselves know better.
SOME SHOCKING TRUTHS ABOUT THE CHRISTIAN TITHING DOCTRINE
Abraham never tithed on his own personal property or livestock.
Jacob wouldn’t tithe until God blessed him first.
Only Levite priests could collect tithes, and there are no Levite priests today.
Only food products from the land were tithable.
Money was never a tithable commodity.
Christian converts were never asked to tithe anything to the Church.
Tithing in the Church first appears centuries after completion of the Bible.
ALL SCRIPTURAL REFERENCES TO TITHING
We will now go through all the Scriptural references in the Bible on tithe, tithes, and tithing:
 Gen. 14:20, “And blessed be the most high God, which hath delivered thine enemies into thy hand. And he [Abram] gave him [Melchizedek king of Salem, the priest of the most high God, Ver. 18] TITHES of all [all the goods of war, Ver. 16].”
We read again of this same event in the book of Hebrews:
 Heb. 7:1-10, “For this Melchizedek, king of Salem, priest of God Most High, who meets with Abraham returning from the combat with the kings and blesses him, to whom Abraham parts a TITHE also, from all… Now, behold how eminent this one is to whom the patriarch Abraham gives a TITHE also of the best of the booty. And, indeed, those of the sons of Levi who obtain the priestly office have a direction to take TITHES from the people according to the law… And here, indeed, dying men are obtaining TITHES… And so, to say, through Abraham, Levi also, who is obtaining the TITHES, has been TITHED, for he was still in the loins of his father when Melchizedek meets with him.”
There are a number of things we can learn concerning tithing from this section of Scriptures. In this, the first mention of tithing in the Bible, Abram gives to Melchizedek (a priest of God who was also the king of the city of Salem) a tithe of the best of the booty taken in war. Notice that this was not wheat, corn, wine, oil, or cattle from Abram’s personal possessions, but rather booty taken from conquered nations.
There is nothing stated here that would cause us to conclude that Abram (later changed to Abraham) ever tithed on a regular basis on his own person possessions. Although Abraham gave Melchizedek a tithe of the booty of war, he told the king of Sodom that he would take none of it for himself.
In this same account recorded in the seventh chapter of Hebrews, we learn that the priests of Levi, from the family of Aaron (although far inferior to the priestly order of Melchizedek) also receive tithes from the people according to the law. This tells us little more about the actual tithes other than they received tithes.
Christian scholars claim that Abraham’s tithing of the spoils of war predated the Law of Moses, and therefore even if the Law of Moses is done away with, tithing is still binding on Christians because Abraham predated the Law of Moses. Is this true?
And Christendom teaches that this Scripture is the first proof from the Word of God that Christians are to tithe ten percent of their salaries to the church. But what have we really learned from these Scriptures?:
Abraham went to war on behalf of Sodom (SODOM, mind you), to rescue his nephew, Lot. He then gave 10% of these spoils of war to Melchizedek, and allowed Sodom to keep 90%, while he himself kept NOTHING!
Now then, is there a Scholar alive anywhere on earth that can explain to us how this one single unparalleled and never-again-to-be-duplicated event, is Scriptural proof that Christians should give 10% of their annual salaries (not the spoils of war, but their money, their salaries), not once, but year after year after year, not to Melchizedek, but to Clergymen who claim to be ministers of Jesus Christ? If anyone can see a similarity here, I will show him the similarity between an elephant and a fruit fly.
Next we will observe a Scripture that you will probably never hear a sermon on. No tithe-preaching clergyman would use the example of how Jacob tithed. Remember, Jacob is the grandson of Abraham, the father of the faithful, whom God also blessed tremendously. Not only did God approve of Jacob’s tithing proposal, but, He made it the foundational principle upon which all future tithing would be based. Here it is.
 Gen. 28:20-22, “And Jacob vowed a vow, saying, IF God will be with me, and [if God] will keep me in this way that I go, and [if God] will give me bread to eat, and raiment to put on, So that I come again to my father’s house in peace; THEN shall the Lord be my God: And this stone, which I have set for a pillar, shall be God’s house: and of all that thou shall GIVE ME I will surely give the TENTH unto thee.”
Wow! This one Scripture pretty much contradicts 99% of all sermons I have ever heard on the subject of tithing! This is the very first Scripture in the Bible that gives an account of someone giving a tenth or tithe of his personal possessions back to God. But, oh how different it is from the teachings of most Christian Churches.
First Jacob truly recognizes God as God. He then begins to proposition God. He states that “IF” God will do this and “IF’ God will do the other things, “THEN” Jacob says, “shall the Lord be my God.” Jacob concludes his proposition to God, should God meet all of his requirements, by saying that of all the things that God will first give to Jacob, Jacob will give God back a tenth. Now don’t laugh. God honored Jacob’s proposition, and furthermore, God continued to honor this same principle of tithing all through Israel’s history. As Paul said, “Now what have you which you did not obtain?” (I Cor. 4:7) All that we possess comes from God.
And so, once more, we learn that Israel was not to tithe on what they did not first possess, unlike those today who teach that it is required to tithe on that which one does not already possess.
God is not partial and God is not a hypocrite. This example of Jacob proves that God doesn’t expect a tithe until He blessed the tithe payer first. Everyone should put down this paper, call his minister, and tell him you want to hear a sermon Sunday morning on how Jacob paid tithes to God. Now hold your breath.
Let’s ask ourselves a reasonable question: Just how did Jacob actually give a tithe to God? Did he personally hand it to God? No, no one has ever even seen God. Did Jacob tithe to an angel? No, angels do not need and can’t use tithes. Did Jacob send his tithe to Heaven by Celestial Express? No. Did he take it to the local church? No, there was no local church. Did he take it to the Temple? No, there was no temple. Did he give it directly to one of the Levitic priests? No, there were no Levites as yet. Well how then did Jacob tithe to God? Was it even possible? Yes, there were actually two different ways that Jacob could tithe to God:
“And thither ye shall bring your burnt offerings, and your sacrifices, and your TITHES, and heave offerings of your hand, and your vows, and your freewill offerings, and the firstlings of your herds and of your flocks: And there ye shall eat before the Lord your God, and ye shall rejoice in all that ye put your hand unto, YE and YOUR HOUSEHOLDS, wherein the Lord thy God hath blessed thee” (Deut. 12:6-7).
“And even though there were no Levites in Jacob’s day, nonetheless, there were “…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 thin hand which thou doest” (Deut. 14:29).
That’s how God acknowledged a tithe from Jacob: By partaking of a portion himself and his family in communion and thanksgiving to God, and by sharing his fortune with those who were unfortunate, poor, strangers, etc.
 Leviticus 27:30-33, “And all the TITHE of the LAND, whether of the SEED of the land, or of the FRUIT, of the tree, is the Lord’s: it is holy unto the Lord. And if a man will at all redeem ought of his tithes, he shall add thereto the fifth part thereof. And concerning the TITHE of the HERD, or of the FLOCK, even of whatsoever passes under the rod, the tenth shall be holy unto the Lord. He shall not search whether it be good or bad, neither shall he change it…”
We learn a great deal about tithing in this section of Scripture:
The tithe comes from the “land,” not the air or the sea. Fishermen were not required to tithe fish.
It was the “seed” or agricultural products from the fields that was holy to God and tithable.
Products from “trees” were to be tithed. This not only included the fruit, but oils, etc.
Of “herds or flocks” it was the “tenth” that passed under the rod that was holy and dedicated to God.
Here is exposed another lie of modern clergymen. It was not the first tenth, but rather the tenth tenth that belonged to God, contrary to every minister I have ever heard, who insists that the first tenth always belongs to God. Unscriptural. Untrue. Read your bible–it’s the tenth one of a herd that belongs to God.
Another interesting point is this. If a herdsman had but nine cattle, he didn’t tithe his cattle at all! Also notice that God did not even require the best of the cattle, just the tenth one to pass under the rod even if it was the runtiest of them all. Remember, we are talking about tithing and not sacrificing (animals for sacrifice always had to be without blemish).
Did you notice that this summary at the very end of the book of Leviticus does not mention the tithing of money? Interesting. But just maybe we will find the tithing of money in some other Scripture?
 Numbers 18:24-28, “But the TITHES of the children of Israel, which they offer as an heave offering unto the Lord, I have given to the Levites to inherit: therefore I have said unto them, Among the children of Israel they shall have no inheritance.
And the Lord spoke unto Moses, saying, Thus speak unto the Levites, and say unto them, When ye take of the children of Israel the TITHES which I have given you from them for your inheritance, then ye shall offer up an heave offering of it for the Lord, even a TENTH part of the TITHE. And this your heave offering shall be reckoned unto you, as though it were the corn of the threshing floor, and as the fullness of the winepress. Thus ye also shall offer an heave offering unto the Lord of all your TITHES, which ye receive of the children of Israel; and ye shall give thereof the Lord’s heave offering to Aaron the priest.”
According to the above Scriptures, could just anyone claim to be a representative of God and therefore have Israel pay tithes to him? Let’s read it again, “But the TITHES of the children of Israel … I have given to the Levites to inherit.“ Now in order to be a priest one not only had to be of the tribe of Levi, but he also had to be of the family of Aaron. In fact, if one could not trace his genealogy back to the family of Aaron, he could not be a priest of God. This is the whole point of Hebrews seven. Jesus Christ is a priest for the eons of the rank of Melchizedek because Melchizedek predated the law which stated that only sons of Aaron could be priests. Therefore Melchizedek’s genealogy is not given in the Scriptures, and Christ, who according to the flesh is of the line of Judah, can and will be God’s High Priest in the Kingdom of God.
A warning to all charlatans and would-be tithe extractors and collectors: There is NO temple of God being officiated in Jerusalem today. There is NO Levitic priesthood to officiate at such a temple. There is NO NEED for such a temple or priesthood at this time. Only Levites could collect tithes at the temple. Therefore, EVERYONE collecting tithes today is a charlatan and a fake. If one cannot historically trace back his genealogy generation by generation with no lapses to the family of Aaron, he IS NOT and CANNOT be a priest authorized of God at this time to collect tithes for the temple services and sacrifices. (Of course Jesus IS our Sacrifice, and therefore that whole system funded by the tithes of the law is no longer applicable).
Yet today we have tithe collecting preachers like James Kennedy and John Hagee, with whom I am a little familiar, collecting tithe monies by the millions and millions of dollars annually. Yet by years end I heard them begging for more multiple millions of dollars to get them out of all the financial debt they had accumulated during the year. And then, (so help me, if I’m lying, I’m dying), John Hagee has the unmitigated gall to offer his followers (excuse me, sell to his followers–three video tapes, $60 US/$87 CAN) entitled The POWER to get WEALTH, by which Mr. Hagee assures us that we can learn to “STAY OUT OF DEBT”! Can you believe it? Would the word “hypocrite” be too strong or out of place here?
The whole system changed under the New Covenant. Notice what happened:
Jesus said the temple would be utterly destroyed
“And, coming out, Jesus sent from the sanctuary. And His disciples approached to exhibit to Him the buildings of the sanctuary. Yet He, answering, said to them, ‘Are you not observing all these? Verily, I am saying to you, Under no circumstances may a stone here be left on a stone, which shall not be DEMOLISHED.’” (Matt. 24:1-2).
Under the New Covenant, God does not dwell in temples made with hands,
“The God Who makes the world and all that is in it, He, the Lord inherent of heaven and earth, is NOT dwelling in temples made by hands…” (Acts 17:24).
The true believers under the New Covenant are now God’s temple,
“For YOU ARE THE TEMPLE OF THE LIVING GOD, according as God said, that I will be making My home and will be walking in them, and I will be their God, and they shall be My people” (II Cor. 6:16).
See also, (I Cor. 3:15 and I Cor. 1:19).
All theologians know that when the temple ceased, the priesthood officiating at the temple CEASED!
Each individual believer under the New Covenant forms a NEW priesthood,
“Yet you are a chosen race, a ‘ROYAL PRIESTHOOD’…” (I Peter 2:9).
How then, under the New Covenant, does a believer give a tenth, when he is supposed to give his all (Rom. 12:1), to a priesthood that does not exist, but now he himself is part of a priesthood (I Peter 2:9), at a temple that does not exist (Mat. 24:1-2), but rather he himself is the temple wherein God dwells. No longer do we have priests with spiritual infirmities interceding for us, but rather we have Christ Jesus as our perfect intercessor and High Priest seated at the right hand of the Majesty in the heavens (Heb. 7:28-8:1).
At this time in history, Israel owes no tithe to anyone. And, of course, we Gentiles (who are a new creation and the true Israel of God–Gal. 6:16) were never instructed to tithe in the first place. Read all thirteen books of the apostle Paul to the gentiles and find one verse where he instructed Gentiles to pay one cent of tithe money to anyone.
 Deut. 12:6, 7, 11, 12, 17, 18, “And thither ye shall bring your burnt offerings, and your sacrifices, and your TITHES, and heave offerings of your hand, and your vows, and your freewill offerings, and the firstlings of your herds and of your flock.
And there, ye shall eat before the Lord your God, and ye shall rejoice in all that ye put your hand unto, ye and your households, wherein the Lord thy God hath blessed thee.
Then there shall be a place which the Lord your God shall choose to cause his name to dwell there; thither shall ye bring all that I command you; your burnt offerings, and your sacrifices, your TITHES, and the heave offering of your hand, and all your choice vows which ye vow unto the Lord.
And ye shall rejoice before the Lord your God, YE, and your SONS and your DAUGHTERS, and your MENSERVANTS, and your MAIDSERVANTS, and the LEVITE that is within your gates; forasmuch as he hath no part nor inheritance with you.
You may not eat within thy gates the TITHE of thy corn, or of thy wine, or of thy oil, or the firstlings of thy herds or of the flocks, nor any of thy vows which thou vow, nor thy freewill offerings, or heave offering of your hand: But YOU MUST EAT THEM before the Lord thy God in the place which the Lord thy God shall choose…”
Let us learn. Who was to partake of all these tithes and good things of the herd and of the land and of the trees? Everyone (yes, the Levite was also included) was to rejoice before the Lord. Did anyone see “money” in the list of things they were to bring before the Lord to rejoice? Was it just the ministers (the Levites) who were the recipients of these tithes and offerings, or was not everyone to partake of these things? Rejoicing and eating one’s own tithe before the Lord, was a very personal and reverend act of worship and communion with God. Not unlike prayer. Others may share and profit from our prayers, but we offer them to God, not to men.
The following verses deal with a practice initiated by God Himself to accommodate those traveling long distances to the Festival Sites where they were to eat and rejoice before the Lord to learn to fear Him. They could sell their tithes of the land for MONEY, and carry that amount of money rather than the bulky and heavy tithes themselves, to the Festival Site. There they were to purchase whatever their hearts desired and to share it with the Levites and the less fortunate. These verses will be further explained in Part II of this paper
 Deut. 14:22-29, “Thou shall truly TITHE all the INCREASE of thy SEED, that the field brings forth year by year.”
“And you shall eat before the lord your God, in the place which He shall choose to place His name there, the TITHE of thy CORN, of thy WINE, and of your OIL, and the FIRSTLINGS OF THY HERDS and of thy FLOCKS: that thou may learn to fear the Lord thy God always.
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:
Then shall thou turn it into MONEY, and bind up the MONEY in your hand, and shall go unto the place which the Lord thy God shall choose:
And thou shall BESTOW THAT MONEY FOR WHATSOEVER YOUR SOUL LUSTETH AFTER, for oxen, or for sheep, or for wine, or for strong drink, or for WHATSOEVER YOUR SOUL DESIRES: and YOU shall eat there before the Lord thy God, and THOU shall rejoice, THOU, AND THINE HOUSEHOLD.
And the Levite that is within thy gates, thou shall not forsake him; for he has no part, nor inheritance with thee.
At the end of three years thou shall bring forth all the TITHE of thine INCREASE the same year, and shall lay it up within thy gates:
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 your hand which thou doest.”
This third year of tithing is mentioned again:
 Deut. 26:12, “When thou hast made an end of TITHING all the TITHES of your INCREASE the third year, which is the year of TITHING, and has given it unto the Levite, the stranger, the fatherless, and the widow, that they may eat within thy gates, and be filled.”
Again we notice that Israel never tithed from their poverty, but on their INCREASE. Contrary to all the deceiving “Kachepas” in the world, God never intended for people to tithe on what they didn’t have, but only on the increase of what God gave them.
Time and again God told Israel that they were to tithe on their increase from their abundance, not on their decrease or their lack.
Paul never taught the Gentiles to tithe, but he did teach them to give freely from what they had, not from what they didn’t have:
“I want to suggest that you finish what you started to do a year ago, for you were not only the first to propose this idea, but the first to begin doing something about it. Having started the ball rolling so enthusiastically, you should carry this project through to completion just as gladly, GIVING WHATEVER YOU CAN OUT OF WHATEVER YOU HAVE. Let your enthusiastic idea at the start be equaled by your realistic action now. If you are really EAGER TO GIVE, then it isn’t important HOW MUCH YOU HAVE TO GIVE. God wants you to give WHAT YOU HAVE, NOT WHAT YOU HAVEN’T” (II Cor. 8:10-12, The Living Bible).
And yet many preachers shamelessly hawk and huckster their ridiculous religious doctrines, trinkets, and wares over the air waves and Pulpits, like PEDDLERS, in the name of God!
Now don’t think I take credit for coming up with that word “peddler.” The apostle Paul told the Corinthians (and now it’s in our Bibles for the whole world to see) that:
“For we are not as the MAJORITY, who are PEDDLING THE WORD GOD…” (II Cor. 2:17, Concordant Version).
The word translated here “peddling” in the Concordant New Testament comes from the word “kapeleuo” which the spirit of God inspired to be used in the original Greek text of this verse of Scripture.
Here is the meaning of the Greek word “kapeleuo” translated “peddler.” “To sell at retail, with the insinuation of improper profit, either by overcharging or adulterating” (Greek-English Keyword Concordance, page 220).
And notice please that it is not just a few who “peddle” the Word of God, but Paul says, “…the MAJORITY…” are peddling the word of God! Contrast this insincere merchandising of the word of God with Paul’s motive:
“For we ARE NOT as the majority, who are peddling the word of God, but as OF SINCERITY, but as OF GOD, in the sight of God IN CHRIST, are we speaking.”
Just a few chapters later Paul informs us that one day we all will stand before the judgment seat of Christ and give an account of our lives, (II Cor. 5:10).
This next section in Chronicles tells us the same things we have already learned concerning what products were to be tithed.
 II Chronicles 31:5, 6, 12, “And as soon as the commandment came abroad, the children of Israel brought in ABUNDANCE the firstfruits of CORN, WINE, and OIL, and HONEY, and of all the INCREASE of the field; and the TITHE of all things brought they in abundantly.
And concerning the children of Israel and Judah, that dwelt in the cities of Judah, they also brought in the TITHE of OXEN and SHEEP, and the TITHE of holy things which were consecrated unto the Lord their God, and laid them by heaps.
And brought in the offerings and the TITHES …”
This next section of Scriptures deals with a special tithe and offering given to NEW priests and Levites set up by Hezekiah after cleaning house in the cities of Judah by destroying the idols and altars to pagan gods.
 Nehemiah 10:37-38, “And that we should bring the firstfruits of our dough, and our offerings, and the fruit of all manner of trees, of wine and of oil, unto the priests, to the chambers of the house of our God and the TITHES of our ground unto the Levites, that the same Levites might have the TITHES in all the cities of our tillage.
And the priest the son of Aaron shall be 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.”
Again, no mention of money, only agricultural products of the fields, and only the Levites and priests could have access to these tithes and offerings in the house of God.
 Nehemiah 12:44, “And at that time were some appointed over the chambers for the treasures, for the offerings, for the fruitfruits, and for the TITHES, to gather into them out of the fields of the cities the portions of the law for the priests and Levites: for Judah rejoiced for the priests and for the Levites that waited.”
Nothing new in this verse that, we have not already discussed.
 Nehemiah 13:5, 12 “And he had prepared for him a great chamber, where aforetime they laid the meat offerings, the frankincense, and the vessels, and the TITHES of the corn, the new wine, and the oil, which was commanded to be given to the Levites, and the singers, and the porters; and the offerings of the priests.”
“Then brought all Judah the TITHE of the corn and the new wine and the oil unto the treasuries.”
Same story: ONLY agricultural products, and ONLY to the Levites and priests.
 Amos 4:4, “Come to Bethel, and transgress; at Gilgal multiply transgression; and bring your sacrifices every morning, and your TITHES after three years.”
 Malachi 3:8-10, “Will a man rob God? Yet ye have robbed me. But ye say, Wherein have we robbed thee? In tithes and offerings…”
This Malachi Prophecy is covered in much greater detail in Part II of this paper, and so I will give just one more Scripture to help us understand how the priests of Malachi’s prophecy may have been living so as to bring upon them the condemnation of God’s judgments:
“And the priest’s custom with the people was, that, when any man offered sacrifice, the PRIEST’S servant came, while the flesh was in seething, with a flesh hook of three teeth in the hand;
And he struck it into the pan, or kettle, or caldron, or pot; all that the flesh hook brought up the priest took for himself. So they did in Shiloh unto all the Israelites that came thither.
Also before they burnt the fat, the priest’s servant came, and said to the man that sacrificed, Give flesh to roast for the PRIEST; for he will not have sodden flesh of thee, but raw.
And if any man said unto him, Let them not fail to burn the fat presently, and then take as much as thy soul desires; then he would answer him, Nay, but thou shall give it me now: and if not, I will take it by force.
Wherefore the sin of the young men was very great before the Lord: for MEN ABHORRED the offering of the Lord.” (I Sam. 2:13:17).
Don’t these verses sound as if they came right out of the book of Malachi?
 Matt. 23:23 and Luke 11:42 are discussed in greater detail in Part II of this paper.
Now I’m going to preach at you for just a few minutes, and then I’ll let you go. Turn to Gal. 6:14-16:
“Now may it not be mine to be boasting, except in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, through which the world has been crucified to me, and I to the world. For in Christ Jesus neither circumcision nor uncircumcision is anything, but a NEW CREATION. And whoever shall observe the elements by this rule, peace be on them, and mercy, also on the Israel of God.”
What is “…this rule…?” We are no longer doing things according to the flesh. Circumcision was the single most important ritual for a man in Israel to do. Yet circumcision is physical (of the letter and of the flesh), even water baptism is physical (of the letter and of the flesh), sacrificing animals is physical (of the letter and of the flesh), tithing is physical (of the letter and of the flesh), etc., etc., etc.
“…God, Who also makes us competent dispensers of a NEW covenant, not of the letter, but of the spirit, for the letter is killing, yet the spirit is vivifying [giving life]” (II Cor. 3:6).
The physical is but a tiny microcosm of the spiritual macrocosm. Cutting a few centimeters of skin from a boy’s penis does not make him a spiritual man! But all of these rituals and ceremonies of the Old Covenant pointed to a future SPIRITUAL reality. True circumcision is not of the flesh, but of the heart, mind, soul, and spirit—it virtually has nothing to do with a few centimeters of physical skin.
“For not that which is apparent is the Jew, nor yet that which is apparent in flesh is circumcision; but that which is hidden IS the Jew, and circumcision is of the heart, in spirit, not in letter, whose applause is not of men, but of God” (Rom. 2:29).
Jesus Christ is not interested in the letter, in the physical, in the flesh.
“Now those who are in the flesh are not able to please God” (Rom. 8:8).
Even baptism is of the heart. The thief on the cross was not baptized in water, yet Jesus said he would be with Him when He comes in His kingdom. “…whoever are baptized into Christ Jesus, are baptized into His DEATH” “His death,” not water.
“We, then, were entombed together with Him through baptism into death, that, even as Christ was roused from among the dead through the glory of the Father, thus we also should be walking in newness of life” (Rom. 6:3-4).
It’s all about the SPIRIT–not water, foreskins, and money!
God doesn’t need or want ten percent of anything we have. God wants one hundred percent. Christ died for ALL OF YOU, and He wants ALL OF YOU, not just a percentage! God doesn’t want your money; He wants YOU!
You are already bought and paid for in full by Christ Jesus — don’t try to add your two cents. We are now to live on a standard far above what we ever knew before Christ called us to become new creatures in the spirit. This can only be done through the power of God’s spirit. Our flesh is profiting NOTHING.
“Yet you are not in flesh, but IN SPIRIT, if so be that God’s spirit is making its home in you” (Rom. 8:9).
One living in the spirit is not all concerned about physical things of the letter and of the flesh. The apostle Paul wasn’t called to “baptize,” “circumcise,” or “collect tithes.” The kingdom of God is not food and drink. Paul’s whole ministry was proof of that–see my paper, “Paul’s Splinter in the Flesh.”
If people feel they need to give something to God, something physical, something they can see and feel good about, then try this:
“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
And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove that is that good and acceptable and perfect, will of God” (Rom. 12:1-2).
The Apostle Paul said:
“Every man according as he purposes in his heart, so let him give, not grudgingly, or of NECESSITY: for GOD LOVETH A CHEERFUL GIVER.” (II Cor.. 9:7).
I would not give another penny to televangelists or radioevangelists who peddle the word of God like some cheap merchandise for money. And the amount of money they extort from the public is colossal. What in the world do they do with all that money?
Never have SO MANY… accomplished SO LITTLE … with SO MUCH!
The real missionaries of the Gospel of Jesus Christ have not flown first class to cushy hotels in exotic lands to teach the natives while dressed in their $3000 suits! The real missionaries were often down in the trenches with few if any luxuries. And there are still to be found such dedicated dispensers of God’s Word. These are the ones that are in need of financial support, for sure. These are those who truly are “worthy of their hire.”
HELP THE NEEDY, NOT THE GREEDY
Give to the fatherless, the orphans, the strangers, the widows, the poor, and the needy, the homeless, and the beggar on the street, as God gives to you, the wherewithal. Give to reputable charities if you have extra. Give to your family members and relatives in need—don’t humiliate them by making them ask you first. Give to a neighbor in financial distress. Even when tipping someone, let it be a reflection of the One that you are representing in your Christian walk. Our God is a generous God—may you become generous also. Develop a “love for giving.” Paul tells us in Acts 20:35b to:
Remember the words of the Lord Jesus, how He said, IT IS MORE BLESSED TO GIVE THAN TO RECEIVE