As we continue pursuing the untruths propagated from denominational pulpits today, we will be encouraged to take a closer look at church finances and the practices in which the flock is coerced into giving of the wealth and finances. I have always felt we live in a day and age where the Gospel of Jesus Christ is for sale and everyone who is talented enough makes a living at selling out the Kingdom of God. But it just didn’t start on my watch or in my lifetime. This selling out of the Kingdom of God started back in the Apostles time. So, this practice of fleecing isn’t really anything new just polished to perfection by all denominations, here and around the world.
“Then Peter said unto them, Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost. For the promise is unto you, and to your children, and to all that are afar off, even as many as the Lord our God shall call. And with many other words did he testify and exhort, saying, save yourselves from this untoward generation. Then they that gladly received his word were baptized: and the same day there were added unto them about three thousand souls. And they continued stedfastly in the apostles' doctrine and fellowship, and in breaking of bread, and in prayers. And fear came upon every soul: and many wonders and signs were done by the apostles. And all that believed were together, and had all things common; and sold their possessions and goods, and parted them to all men, as every man had need. And they, continuing daily with one accord in the temple, and breaking bread from house to house, did eat their meat with gladness and singleness of heart, praising God, and having favour with all the people. And the Lord added to the church daily such as should be saved.” Book of Act 2:38-47
“And when they had prayed, the place was shaken where they were assembled together; and they were all filled with the Holy Ghost, and they spake the word of God with boldness. And the multitude of them that believed were of one heart and of one soul: neither said any of them that ought of the things which he possessed was his own; but they had all things common. And with great power gave the apostles witness of the resurrection of the Lord Jesus: and great grace was upon them all. Neither was there any among them that lacked: for as many as were possessors of lands or houses sold them, and brought the prices of the things that were sold, And laid them down at the apostles' feet: and distribution was made unto every man according as he had need. And Joses, who by the apostles was surnamed Barnabas, (which is, being interpreted, The son of consolation,) a Levite, and of the country of Cyprus, Having land, sold it, and brought the money, and laid it at the apostles' feet.” Book of Acts 4:31-37
Falsehood Number Three
In the above Scripture reading we have eyewitness accounts of what happens when the Holy Spirit of God is poured out on people who were in other ways before, sinners, selfish, full of debauchery and wickedness. At this particular time, Religion hasn’t had an opportunity to unveil itself until disgruntle religious sects become jealous of the Christian’s winning over new converts. Religious sects then and now demand death to anyone who proselytizes. Try to convert a Muslim and see what happens. But the Gospel of the LORD JESUS took hold in their hearts and that is where everything changed for those who partook of God’s Holy Ghost. Yes, I know for a fact, when you receive Christ as LORD and SAVIOUR your heart becomes so enlarged with love for others it is most overwhelming, to say the least. I was just like these new converts as they were enjoying their new found freedom in Christ Jesus.
“Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new.” II Corinthians 5:17
This Scripture gives us a full explanation of how a person can be transformed into someone alien to the world and its ways. From the outset, we who are born-again have a completely different way of thinking, a different vocabulary, and a different walk in this world. It is like we have a different culture that is unknown to the world. For a truly born-again child of Almighty God, we can never fit in and will have a terrible time conforming to the ways of the world. According to Scripture, the fighting of this world isn’t our fight for we are just sojourners, passing thru. We soon find out that the closer we get to the LORD JESUS the further we get from the world and its gravitational field of influence. The world perceives us a weird and unmanageable people. But unfortunately for the Kingdom of God, old Satan discovered a way to gain the upper hand on Christian assemblies. Danger was looming on the horizon. Satan isn’t going to just sit back and do nothing. This warrants an all out attack from hell. Satan planted subversives in our midst going along with and taking advantage of our big bleeding hearts for the poor and destitute, our deeds of forgiveness, and our love for our enemies. This became very lucrative for those who have ulterior motives of the Kingdom of God.
“And God wrought special miracles by the hands of Paul: So that from his body were brought unto the sick handkerchiefs or aprons, and the diseases departed from them, and the evil spirits went out of them. Then certain of the vagabond Jews, exorcists, took upon them to call over them which had evil spirits the name of the Lord Jesus, saying, we adjure you by Jesus whom Paul preacheth. And there were seven sons of one Sceva, a Jew, and chief of the priests, which did so. And the evil spirit answered and said, Jesus I know, and Paul I know; but who are ye? And the man in whom the evil spirit was leaped on them, and overcame them, and prevailed against them, so that they fled out of that house naked and wounded. And this was known to all the Jews and Greeks also dwelling at Ephesus; and fear fell on them all, and the name of the Lord Jesus was magnified.” Book of Acts 19:11-17
Pretenders might flourish for a while, but sooner than later, they begin to expose their intensions by their evil deeds being carried forth through the flock of God.
“But there were false prophets also among the people, even as there shall be false teachers among you, who privily shall bring in damnable heresies, even denying the Lord that bought them, and bring upon themselves swift destruction. And many shall follow their pernicious ways; by reason of whom the way of truth shall be evil spoken of. And through covetousness shall they with feigned words make merchandise of you: whose judgment now of a long time lingereth not, and their damnation slumbereth not.” II Peter 2:1-3
I have witnessed pastor’s stand in the pulpit Sunday after Sunday preaching and teaching law and grace mixed. I discovered for myself that if anyone wanted to know the truth, all they had to do was follow them in the Scripture and the truth will be revealed to them. These men that take charge of the flock of God preach that tithing is mandatory for all Christian’s if you want and desire the full blessing of Almighty God in your lives. Anyone who reads their Bible for themselves will know this is not the case. The Apostle Paul gives
the Body of Christ the guide lines for giving and it is recorded for all of us to study and have the Holy Spirit to show us the truth.
“But this I say, He which soweth sparingly shall reap also sparingly; and he which soweth bountifully shall reap also bountifully. Every man according as he purposeth in his heart, so let him give; not grudgingly, or of necessity: for God loveth a cheerful giver. And God is able to make all grace abound toward you; that ye, always having all sufficiency in all things, may abound to every good work: (As it is written, He hath dispersed abroad; he hath given to the poor: his righteousness remaineth for ever. Now he that ministereth seed to the sower both minister bread for your food, and multiply your seed sown, and increase the fruits of your righteousness;) Being enriched in every thing to all bountifulness, which causeth through us thanksgiving to God. For the administration of this service not only supplieth the want of the saints, but is abundant also by many thanksgivings unto God; Whiles by the experiment of this ministration they glorify God for your professed subjection unto the gospel of Christ, and for your liberal distribution unto them, and unto all men;…” II Corinthians 9:6-13
Paul is saying that graceful giving with no strings attached is better before God than having ulterior motives. Being an expert of the Mosaic Law, Paul would never succumb to mixing the two. Paul was also enjoying his freedom in Christ. To teach Old Testament tithing would be mixing law and grace. Paul certainly steered clear of that spiritual trap. It is simply like this. If we give of our personal resources, which means our time, money, or our personal property out of necessity or grudgingly, we give in vain because it is bound by law and not of grace. On the other hand, if we give of all we have because we love others and are motivated by their plight in life, the Holy Spirit moves us to action and performs the doing of it. It doesn’t have to be wrung out of us as the preachers believe. Believe me; God has a way to motivate me when the time comes. Christian’s should know in their heart that all they are and all they have in possessions are the LORD’s and we are just stewards of what God has blessed us with in ways of our talents, which is being able to some things better than others.
I have asked the question, will the Kingdom of God suffer because I fail to give properly? The answer is NO. If in fact I do fail to give when God tells me to, I stand to lose. The Kingdom never loses to anything according to God’s perfect will. Here is one explanation. There are some children of God that are very talented in making clothes. Some are very talented in building structures. Some are very talented in making beautiful music to sing before the congregation and before the LORD. And there are some more gifted in banking, financing, and money exchange, than most are able to do. By the power of the Holy Ghost within the body of Christ, the Body of Christ has its needs met by these gifted people. If there is a need within the Church would not Almighty God already have known about it? The fact is the need, whatever it may be, will be met by able children of God and not by children who don’t have a clue to how to begin to meet the need. God isn’t going to ask something of you without first supplying the talent, materiel, and a Holy Ghost conviction to lead you to obedience. In short, a truly born-again person doesn’t need a pastor to lead them to perform the right thing. I am so weary with these pastors who try their best to be my Holy Spirit. That is the Holy Spirits job to move me and motivate me to perform whatever is within my realm of ability. My LORD will not ask me to perform something I cannot do because He knows my ability and resources within my sphere of living. Would you ask someone to pilot an airplane if they were not qualified? Would you ask someone to teach Sunday school if they were not qualified? Or would you ask someone to give when they were in need themselves? You see, we do not have the ability to see the heart much less, what that heart is in need of. The truth is all the pastor was called to do was to be obedient in preaching the WORD of GOD in season and out of season, when it’s popular and when it isn’t popular. That pastor cannot see my heart, much less, my need, but my LORD can and does. In short, my LORD sees the need, supplies the need, and gives me the ability to share what I have with others. But first, the need of the individual has to be met by the LORD. I would venture that there are more needy people within the church walls that really have needs that are not being met by the church. I have seen this with my own eyes.
“Little children, it is the last time: and as ye have heard that antichrist shall come, even now are there many antichrists; whereby we know that it is the last time. They went out from us, but they were not of us; for if they had been of us, they would no doubt have continued with us: but they went out, that they might be made manifest that they were not all of us. But ye have an unction from the Holy One, and ye know all things. I have not written unto you because ye know not the truth, but because ye know it, and that no lie is of the truth.” I John 2:18-21
Yes, a born-again child of God will know the truth and has no need that any men teach him if the individual would stay in the Bible and discover truth for themselves.
“These things have I written unto you concerning them that seduce you. But the anointing which ye have received of him abideth in you, and ye need not that any man teach you: but as the same anointing teacheth you of all things, and is truth, and is no lie, and even as it hath taught you, ye shall abide in him. And now, little children, abide in him; that, when he shall appear, we may have confidence, and not be ashamed before him at his coming. If ye know that he is righteous, ye know that every one that doeth righteousness is born of him.” I John 2:26-29
That’s right Christian, you need no one to teach you when you can read it and study it for yourself. The LORD has blessed you and me with a sound mind and the Holy Spirit to guide us. The LORD intends for us to think for ourselves and read for ourselves what it is that God would require of us. In our day of false preachers and teachers it would pay great dividends to read your Bible for yourself and get your understanding straight from the Holy Spirit which lives within you. God’s Holy Spirit will not lie to you but a man will, who is motivated by the desire of his flesh.
“Even the Spirit of truth; whom the world cannot receive, because it seeth him not, neither knoweth him: but ye know him; for He dwelleth with you, and shall be in you.” John 14:17