3:10 ...Bring ye all the tithes into the storehouse, that there
might be meat in My house, and try Me now in this says the Lord
of hosts, If I will not open for you the windows of heaven and pour
you out a blessing that there will not be room enough to receive
Title: Show me the money
I have been saved for quite some time now, and lately I have become
concern with what I see going on in our churches. I am not talking
about what is going on in a few churches, but something that has
reached epidemic proportions, especially from our pulpits.
I barely recognize the
church anymore, we look like a conglomerate of every system of the
world. Our evangelism strategies are from the advertising system,
our financial plan is from the business marketing system, our singles
ministry format is from the dating practices of the world, and our
leadership structure is from catholicism.
We elevate our literature,
(revelatory books), to the level of the Bible, just like any other
cult in America, except our books are not free. You
say, not so? Then what are we doing when we get in pulpits and promote
our literature. When we will criticize people for always saying,
the Lord said, and not for always saying what WE said.
(Now I have no problem with writers, I am one myself, its
the level of placement of these writings, that is troubling
my spirit), Help us, Jesus!
True discernment is knowing
the spirit behind a thing, whether it is the Lord, the
devil, or flesh. Peter had a direct revelation from
God, (Matt. 16:16-19), but a few verses later he errored greatly
by making a statement that wasnt even in his flesh, but directly
from Satan because it was a directly against the will and plan of
God. We can know where the Lord is going, and even where He wants
us to go, at times, then grossly error in how He wants us to get
there, just like Peter.
It seems that because
we refuse to get in the Lords face, we dont have His
plan, so we pattern ourselves after the world, and after each other.
So, while we are majoring in the minors, fighting over petty issues,
running promotions to make us grow bigger, (bigger is
not necessarily better. I heard a lady say once, some things are
not growing, just swelling with infection), trying to out do each
other, people are going to hell in a handbasket, no, on a freight
There are several areas
that truly concern me, and one area in particular, the money system.
The fleecing of the flock, the merchandising of
the gospel, the franchising of the gifts, the
prostituting of my Jesus. The church has become like some
giant insatiable monster, that is never satisfied with what we give,
The Lord showed me a
vision one day, I saw a shepherd shearing a sheep for wool, but
he was cutting so deeply with the shaver that he drew blood,and
the wool couldnt grow back, replenish itself. The Lord said
the leaders were like that, taking too much from the people, so
much so, that they were depleted to the point where they could replenish.
(So, they move on to bigger and better sheep). The Lord
also told me the tithe had become the foundation of
the church, and this was never meant to be so, Christ is the only
foundation of the church. Everything is about giving
to the church, and getting a return, and this process
has become our god. This is why there is no longer a "spirit
of gratitude" toward God in our churches today. We feel like
the Lord "owes" us, and one cannot be grateful for what
one feels they "deserve". After all, we have "sown",
and we just "oughta'" reap, but there once was an old
spiritual song that said..."what can I render unto God for
all His mercy"... but we don't sing those kind of songs anymore,
(although I like the news songs, we just seem to have done away
with the old ones that stirred up gratitude in our heart toward
We are condemned into
paying our tithes, then if you pay your tithes (10%), of what you
receive-net, thats not enough, you need to pay from your gross.
If you tithe from your gross, then you are immature because spiritual
maturity is double, triple, etc. your tithe. If you do that, then
you should really have faith, and tithe from what you are believing
God for your income to be in the future. And finally, if you do
all that, then you are told that tithing does not get you financial
blessing anyway, that is just what you owe to God, you get revelation,
anointings through tithing, but if you want financial blessings,
that comes through your offerings.
So, now you give offerings,
then you are told how much to give, (dont tip
God), then we go from love offerings to prophetic offerings,(the
Lord said to give...), to offerings for specific dates, years, times,
seasons, (give $2000. for the year 2000), then there is the "first
fuits" offering, the heave offerings, wave offerings, parking
lot drives, anniversaries, building funds, and I could go on and
on , (because they always do), but STOP! Lets get back to
the word of God...
Lets go to the
first issue, do we get prosperity through tithing? Well, lets
look at the opening scripture, Malachi 3:10. As I was reading this
verse, the Lord told me to look up four words in their original
language: storehouse, meat, windows, and blessing. In their original
language, here is what they mean:
*Storehouse-depository, cellar, storage place, to store up.
*Meat-fresh leaf, supply with food/feed/provisions.
*Windows-as in lurking, to lie in wait, ambush: (which means a surprise
attack from a concealed position).
*Blessing-prosperity, benefit, abundance, altogether.
So this is how this scripture
Bring ye all the tithes, (a tenth), into the (depository/storage
place) that there might be (provisions/supply) in My house, and
prove, (investigate or examine), Me NOW, that I might open the (ambush/surprise
in a concealed position/something lying in wait) of heaven and pour
you out a (benefit/abundance/prosperity) that you might not have
room enough to receive it. AWESOME! So the Lord is promising to
ambush you with a blessing, and it could be prosperity
because a benefit is whatever you may need, at the time.
But lets look at
another issue of the tithes because we have been taught that we
pay out tithes so ministry can go forth, but if the Old Testament
tells us to pay them, then we need to go to the Old Testament to
see who they belong to. Now the Bible says in the tithes is the
Lords, (Deut. 14: 22-26, Lev.26: 30, Malachi 3: 8-10, just
to name a few). So, if they are His, then He has the right to designate
where they go, and what they are for. Why did the Lord institute
the paying of the tithe?
Well, in order to understand
this we will have to search in the Old Testament, and look at the
structuring of Gods people, (stay with me in here because
this will be important later).
You see, our God is governmental.
In His wisdom, He knows things cannot run smoothly without order,
so in the Old Testament He establishes order starting with the Israelites.
(And we know the Old Testament is examples, types, and shadows for
the New Testament, so lets go on...). This is hard for us
in America to understand because we are raised under a democracy,
and anything we dont like we have a legal right to change,
or at least try to. But the system of our God is monarchy, He cant
be voted out, nor can His ways, rules, or governments. (Satan tried
that democracy thing in heaven and you see what happen to him, think
Anyway, the Lord delivered
His people under the leadership of Moses, then took Moses up in
a mountain to map out the plan, establish the order. One of the
things the Lord established was the leadership over His people,
and this leadership was to be two types of priesthoods, with both
coming out of the tribe of Levi. Moses, along with Aaron and his
4 sons, (Ex 28: 1,41), which made up the Aaronic Priesthood, and
the remaining tribe of Levi, (Numbers 18:2-6), was to make up the
Levitical Priesthood, and was given to the Aaronic as a gift for
the work of the tabernacle, (Numbers 18: 2-3, 6).
Then the Lord repositioned
the tribes to re-establish the 12, (Gods number of government),
by dividing the tribe of Joseph into two, Manasseh and Ephraim,
to make up for the lost of Levi, and divided the promised land between
them. But He told the Aaronic priesthood and the Levitical Priesthood
that they would have no portion in the land, Numbers 18: 20,24,
(and this is where the tithes and offerings come in). I have summarized
this for time and space, but you can look up the additional scriptures
for yourself regarding the tribes; Genesis 49, Numbers 18: 6, Numbers
26:28, and Deut. 33.
But, lets look
at Numbers 18...the Lord gave the offerings to the Aaronic Priesthood,
(Numbers 18:8-9), and He gave the Levitical Priesthood all the tithes,
(Numbers 18:21), for salary, and for distribution by
them as the Lord saw fit. Then the distribution went as follows,
in Numbers 18:27, a tenth of the tithe was to be a heave offering,
and was to be given to Aaron. Then in Deut. 14: 28-29, and Deut.
26: 12-13, the Lord list who else gets the tithes; the stranger,
the fatherless, and the widow, they were not to be forgotten because
that was a transgression.
So Aaron and His sons
were established leadership in the tabernacle, (Ex. 28: 1,41), with
no portion in the land because the Lord was their portion, and they
were provided for through offerings...by reason of the anointing,
(Numbers 18: 8-14). And the Levites were to receive a portion of
the tithes, and distribute the rest, Amen. But who are these Levites?
They were the the ones who took physical care of the tabernacle
and all the furnishings, II Chron. 5:5,(maintenance/housekeeping,
etc). The singers, worship leaders, and musicians, (II Chron. 5:
12). The gate keepers, (II Chron. 8: 14), and those that distributed
treasures, (II Chron. 8: 15). So, lets translate this to the New
Generally, we know the
Aaronic Priesthood is the Five-fold ministry, (Ephesians 4;7-11),
but we are never taught who they Levitical Priesthood translate
to. They are the people who keep the church clean and polished,
take care of the furniture, bathrooms, etc., the musicans, the office
staff, and for the most part these people are given wages, but these
are not the only ones who are a part of the Levitical Priesthood.
It is also, the worship leaders, the choirs, the ushers, greeters,
hostesses, and the Deacons, (Acts 6:1-3). Anyone putting their time
and talents, (consistently), in the work of the House of the Lord
should be getting a wage from the tithes.
Then there is the stranger,
(those outside of your local assembly), the fatherless, (irregardless
of how they got that way), and the widows, (single parents in need).
I know of situations, not hearsay, but directly involved in the
process, (because I worked in office of several of the largest churches
here in America), where if a person came in needing their rent,
or utility paid, if they could not show where they would be able
to meet this particular bill next month, the church would refuse
to help them. What kind of attitude is this!? "I'll just let
you get evicted this month, why wait". Maybe if you paid the
bill, they would have time for the Lord to provide for the following
month. How insensitive, and we represent the love and mercy of God,
I don't think so, we have become selfish, and self-indulgent. But
back to who is to be provided for...
Matthew 10:10 reads...a
workman is worthy of his hire, and I Tim. 5:18 reads...do not muzzle
the ox... and we have taken those scriptures to only mean the Reverend/Dr.,
the Pastor, and the Bishop, (and leadership looks at everyone else
as volunteers, untapped resources to be used as labor
for free, and I have heard this first hand in some churches), but
that is not so, and James 5: 1-6 speaks regarding this, especially
verse 4...the wages of the laborers in YOUR house, which you have
kept back by fraud, cry out and the cries of the reaper have reached
the ears of the Lord of Sabaoth, (armies, one who fights).
Now some will say thats
Old Testament, but where is Malachi coming from? Where are most
of the scriptures coming from that are used to compel us to give,
especially excessively to our leaders? If you tell us to pay tithes,
and offerings, according to Old Testament scriptures, then you do
what should be done with the tithes we pay, according to Old Testament
scriptures, (James 2:10).
Then some will say, how
is the ministry to be supported, the spreading of the Gospel?
Through offerings, by faith, the same faith you teach us to exercise,
then you exercise it, also. Jesus said so in Matt. 10:8-15, Mark
6:7-11, Luke 9:3-6/10:2-12 and 22: 35, 26. Your evangelizing is
to be supported by your faith, and offerings, (and thats New
Testament). Paul traveled, but he also worked where he ministered,
(Acts 18:3, Acts 20:33-35, and I Cor. 11:9/12: 14).
Hold on, now, because
this ride is about to really get rough...
We deal with the lust
of the flesh, and sometimes with the lust of the eyes, (although
we dont apply that scripture to our desire for a larger membership),
but we never deal with the pride of life, (I John 2:16). Now let
me clarify right here, there would be nothing wrong with large numbers,
if people were being prepared and sent out into the ministries the
Lord ordained for them to do, (Luke 9:1-2). The Lord never in tended
for us to stockpile saints, or for our churches to be
storage barns for the children of God. We discourage
people from leaving our churches, then boast of the numbers we have,
but David got in trouble for numbering Gods people, (I Chron.
12:1-17), because it was not to put them in order, (purpose), or
to battle, (destiny).
The sad thing is that
our buildings are getting bigger and bigger, and less and less people
are prepared for true ministry, or know what they are called to
do, and doing it. Our evangelism is at a all time low, while we
have membership drives. Then we just shift members, and our church
doors are revolving doors because those that do get saved, dont
stay, (and you cant keep blaming it on rebellion). Maybe if
people were trained and encouraged to step into there calling from
God, we wouldn't need bigger churches, but have more smaller, anointed
Do you really think Jesus
actually wants us to continue building bigger buildings while His
people, who He purchased with His blood, go lacking. And you justify
yourselves by saying, we give them the Word, and teach them
principles. Well, lets look at James 2: 14-16...if a brother
or sister is naked and destitute of daily food, and one says to
them depart in peace, be warmed and filled, (I will speak a word
over you, pray, etc), but do not give them the things needful for
the body, what does it profit?...also, Luke 6: 34-35, Luke 9: 12-13...(Jesus
said...YOU give them something to eat, Luke 14: 12-14, and I John
3: 16-18...whoever has this worlds goods, and sees his brother
in need, and shuts up his heart from him, how does the love of God
dwell in him?
But there was one scripture
that messed me up totally, Deut. 15: 7-11. Preachers always say,
the poor you have with you always, (Mark 14: 7), as
though helping them is some futile effort that we have to tolerate
until Jesus comes, but that is not what Jesus meant when He said
it. The poor was to be an continual obligation for His
people to care about, and Deut. 15: 7-11 clarifies this, because
it is the poor that is to partake of the tithes. The
scripture reads...you shall not harden your heart against that poor
brother, but you shall open your hand wide to him and willingly
lend to him, (and not expect to get it back-Luke 6: 34), sufficent
to his need, whatever he needs. Beware lest there be a wicked thought
in your heart....and you give him nothing...you shall surely give
to him because for this thing the Lord your God will bless you...for
the poor will never cease from the land, therefore I COMMAND you...you
shall open your hand wide to your brother, to your poor, and your
needy. When I read this, I wept, my first thought was, we
are in trouble.
We are so concern about
our buildings, and boast of the size of our churches. We are at
the point where we judge success by how large the membership is,
and how grand our churches are, but so did the religious leaders
of Jesus day. Well, guess how Jesus felt about their grand
buildings, how he felt looking at their manmade structures, read
Mark 13: 1-2, and Luke 21: 5-6. But we will quote scripture regarding
David and Soloman building God a house, and how the people gave
their best into it. And membership will rush to give hundreds, thousands,
and in some ministries even millions, to build, (or acquire another
building), but dont let a brother or sister need a ride, a
meal, or a bill paid, because then they are trying to
use you for your money.
Do you not know that
WE are the building of God, the Lord no longer requires a building,
because we are it, (Acts 17: 22-25, 29, 30). The building is not
the church, WE ARE THE CHURCH! This was the one of the first things
I learned when I got saved, the church is a BODY of baptized believers.
We are the church, who meet in a sanctuary, to prepare to bring
Gods kingdom, (Hallelujah)!
He dwells in us, (John
14: 23/17:23, Acts 7:47_50, I Cor. 3:9)...you are Gods building,
( II Cor. 6:16/13:5, Eph. 2: 19-22, Heb. 9:11/10:5, and I Peter
2:5...you are also living stones. And we disregard taking care of
the people of God, building the spiritual building of God, to give
all our time, talents, and treasures to manmade buildings, and we
call this the work of the Lord. Something is wrong with
this picture. We give our old dented can goods, and our raggedy
clothing to people, but according to scripture we should give our
best to the house of the Lord.
Then we are told to sacrifice,
and Elijah is used as the example, but the Lord said he has never
required for anyone to sacrifice to give to someone who had more
than they did, (read I Kings 17: 8-16). Elijah had less than the
It has been said to leave
your money to the church, instead of your drunk relatives,
but the Bible says...a good man leaves an inheritance to his childrens
children...Prov. 13: 22. II Cor. 12: 14 reads...for the children
ought not to lay up for the parents, but the parents for the children.
Those who tell you this, is there family future provided for?
Saints, you better search
the scriptures for yourself, (John 5:39). In Acts 17:11, the Bereans
searched the scriptures daily to find out whether these things were
so. At one time, the Lord said to me, if the only way you
know Me is through man , you are in trouble."
Leaders, the Lord Jesus
left a mandate for His leadership in Mark 10:42-45, and a challenge
to the wealthy in Christ in Mark 10:21. Ask yourself, in that situation,
what would you do? There is an abomination of desolation, a detestable
practice, or action that makes ruined, devastated, wretched,
or destitute, in Gods house. In John 2;13-16...Jesus went
up...and He found in the temple those who sold...moneychangers...doing
business...and He said...take these things away...Do not make My
Fatherss house, a house of merchandise. Read Ezekiel chapter
We are told that in order
to improve our quality of life, we are only to associate with those
who are going somewhere, which is a worldly concept, and has no
place in our churches. Because of this kind of idealogy, the church
society has become a caste system of haves and
have nots, when in Acts 2: 44-47...the people had ALL things in
common...and the Lord added to the church daily those who were being
saved. Maybe this is the real problem with our evangelism. Pray
Let me add these definitions
of various "offerings" as I close, (some of these offerings
were a part of one another, and some do not pertain to us, at all.
Read Acts 15:19-21, 28-29 and Acts 21:25):
TITHE: a tenth part
of what you RECEIVE, (Gen. 25:22/Lev.27:30).
FIRST FIRSTS: a part of the "Feast of Harvest", (one of
the Jewish Ordinances along with Passover, etc.), deals with produce.
All New Testament references to "first fruits" refer to
Jesus Christ, and us, (Exodus 23:16, I Cor. 15:20-23, James 1:18).
PEACE OFFERING: offered to God, but shared with the Priest and the
worshippers, (combined with, or a part of, the THANKSGIVING offering,
THANKSGIVING OFFERING: combined with, or a part of, the PEACE offering,
FREEWILL/LOVE OFFERING: of your own freewill, something of excellence,
SIN or BURNT OFFERING: to be burnt, and the BLOOD sprinkled...a
portion of THIS was to be lifted up as a HEAVE offering, then waved
as a WAVE offering, (Exodus 29:1-7, Lev. 7:7). In the New Testament,
JESUS CHRIST was/is our SIN offering.
HEAVE OFFERING: a part of the SIN offering, (Exodus 29:26).
WAVE OFFERING: a part of the HEAVE offering, (Exodus 29:27). These
last three are not three (3) separate offerings, but combined.
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