My "scholarly credentials" are:
The above abbreviations refer to:
2 Cor 9:6,7 But this I
say, He which soweth sparingly shall reap also sparingly; and he which
soweth bountifully shall reap also bountifully.
Malachi 3:7-12 Even from the days of your fathers ye are gone away from mine ordinances, and have not kept them. Return unto me, and I will return unto you, saith the LORD of hosts. But ye said, Wherein shall we return? 8 Will a man rob God? Yet ye have robbed me. But ye say, Wherein have we robbed thee? In tithes and offerings. 9 Ye are cursed with a curse: for ye have robbed me, even this whole nation. 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. 11 And I will rebuke the devourer for your sakes, and he shall not destroy the fruits of your ground; neither shall your vine cast her fruit before the time in the field, saith the LORD of hosts. 12 And all nations shall call you blessed: for ye shall be a delightsome land, saith the LORD of hosts.
First, I want you
to look at those 2 passages of scripture again. Do you not see
contradictions between the 2 texts? If you don't, maybe I can point a few
out to you.
I've heard preachers hollar and scream that people are driving stolen cars, eating stolen food, watching a stolen TV, etc. and then quote Mal. 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." They covalently ignore 2 Cor. 9:7 Every man according as he purposeth in his heart, so let him give; not grudgingly, or of necessity: for God loveth a cheerful giver.
Most preachers lord it over their
flock by extorting money from them to build up their ministry. By doing
this, they build big buildings so they can go to their little
denominational meetings and brag about how their church is really "doing
something for the Lord". Really, what they are doing is something for
themselves. They push the people to start building programs and then when
they get in debt and can't see a way out, it's the people in their
church's FAITH; that's why the church can't pay their bills. Then all of a
sudden, "The Lord has called him to another church."
a. Dictionary Definition: 1. A tenth part of one's annual income contributed voluntarily or due as a tax, especially for the support of the clergy or church. The institution or obligation of paying tithes.
b. Bible Definition: Genesis 14:18-20 And Melchizedek king of Salem brought forth bread and wine: and he was the priest of the most high God. 19 And he blessed him, and said, Blessed be Abram of the most high God, possessor of heaven and earth: 20 And blessed be the most high God, which hath delivered thine enemies into thy hand. And he gave him tithes of all.;
Hebrews 7:4 Now consider how great this man was, unto whom even the patriarch Abraham gave the tenth of the spoils.
Most of the time the bible will define it's own words.
in O.T. & N.T. Tithing
1. Abraham didn't have to
give Melchisedec a 10th of the spoils, but he gave it freely!
2. It wasn't money, it was a 10th of what he got from the Kings of Gen. 14:1.
3. Abraham gave it to a type of Christ, not a church.
Comparisions of O.T. and N.T. giving.
place of tithing was the storehouse;
tithing is animals and vegetables; Lev.
tithing supported the Levites and Priests;
Num. 18:24; Neh. 10:37,38
(note) All Christians are Priests:
1 Pet. 2:5,9; Rev. 1:6; 5:10; 20:6
tithes were brought once every 3 years;
Deut. 26:12; 14:28
is a tithe and and an offering;
Conclusion: There is a difference in O.T. tithing and N.T. tithing!
III. N. T. Tithing
1. How Should You Give?
Anything you've ever done as a Christian will be burned up at the Judgment Seat of Christ, unless it was done just because you love the Lord Jesus Christ and you didn't get a reward or praise for it. See 1 Cor. 3:8-15
b. It's a "Spiritual
You don't have to give of your means, but you should give because of what the Lord did for you.
c. You put aside what you
are to give.
They didn't have "direct deposit" or "checking accounts" back then. What they did was put aside whatever they were to give in a certain place so when Paul came by they could bring it to the meeting place and give it to him to take to Jerusalem for the poor saints, verse 3. Which brings me to the next point.
2. To Whom Should You
Rom. 15:25-27 But now I go unto Jerusalem to minister unto the saints. 26 For it hath pleased them of Macedonia and Achaia to make a certain contribution for the poor saints which are at Jerusalem. 27 It hath pleased them verily; and their debtors they are. For if the Gentiles have been made partakers of their spiritual things, their duty is also to minister unto them in carnal things.
Eph 4:28 Let him that stole steal no more: but rather let him labour, working with his hands the thing which is good, that he may have to give to him that needeth.
2 Corinthians 9:1 For as touching the ministering to the saints, it is superfluous for me to write to you: 2 For I know the forwardness of your mind, for which I boast of you to them of Macedonia, that Achaia was ready a year ago; and your zeal hath provoked very many. 3 Yet have I sent the brethren, lest our boasting of you should be in vain in this behalf; that, as I said, ye may be ready: 4 Lest haply if they of Macedonia come with me, and find you unprepared, we (that we say not, ye) should be ashamed in this same confident boasting. 5 Therefore I thought it necessary to exhort the brethren, that they would go before unto you, and make up beforehand your bounty, whereof ye had notice before, that the same might be ready, as a matter of bounty, and not as of covetousness. 6 But this I say, He which soweth sparingly shall reap also sparingly; and he which soweth bountifully shall reap also bountifully. 7 Every man according as he purposeth in his heart, so let him give; not grudgingly, or of necessity: for God loveth a cheerful giver. 8 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: 9 (As it is written, He hath dispersed abroad; he hath given to the poor: his righteousness remaineth for ever. 10 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;)
b. Give to Missionaries
This looks like Stephanas, Fortunatus and Achaicus on their own brought money or goods to Ephesus to help Paul out.
2 Cor. 11:8 I robbed other churches, taking wages of them, to do you service.
Here in this verse Paul isn't saying that he stole from other churches, he's saying other churches supported him in his ministry so he could help the Corinthians.
2 Cor. 11:9 And when I was present with you, and wanted, I was chargeable to no man: for that which was lacking to me the brethren which came from Macedonia supplied: and in all things I have kept myself from being burdensome unto you, and so will I keep myself.
Here some brethren from a church in Macedonia or some saints that knew him just came to Corinth to give him some money.
c. Support the Preacher
1 Tim. 5:17, 18 Let the elders
that rule well be counted worthy of double honour, especially they who
labour in the word and doctrine.
Getting up messages that are scriptural is work. Most of the time it takes me several days to get together one message. First I have to ask the Lord what He wants me to preach, then if it's a new message, I have to search for the verses and the illustrations and put it in some sort of an outline.
3. How Much Should You
Abraham gave 10% one time of the spoils he got from rescuing Lot and he didn't give it to any local church, he gave it to a type of Christ or a theophany.
Jacob made a vow: 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.
Well, I don't see where he ever
gave the tenth. But he sure got into a lot of trouble and maybe God got
the tenth through Laban.
The conclusion of the above is;
Don't make a vow unless you intend to pay it.
Luke 21:1-4 And he looked up, and saw the rich men casting their gifts into the treasury. 2 And he saw also a certain poor widow casting in thither two mites. 3 And he said, Of a truth I say unto you, that this poor widow hath cast in more than they all: 4 For all these have of their abundance cast in unto the offerings of God: but she of her penury hath cast in all the living that she had.
The poor widow gave all she had although it was just 2 mites. Evidently she gave it with the right motive or the Lord wouldn't have bragged on her.
Conclusion: He which soweth sparingly shall reap also sparingly; and he which soweth bountifully shall reap also bountifully.
1. You will reap what you sow.
Give little, reap little. Give big, reap big.
I certainly would not want to use this as an excuse to be cheap with the Lord (as many do). However, a tithe really doesn't work in our kind of society. For one, we are all priests in the New Testament. The priests received the tithes. Should we then receive tithes, or give them? Second, our wages are not actually gains. You trade 40 hours of your time, talents, effort, for 40 hours worth of money. It is an even transaction. It's not the same thing as tithing on one's increase. It's like buying a car. If you buy a car for $2,000 - should you tithe on that gain? If you spend $100 on groceries - should you tithe on that gain? God wanted 10% in every other dispensation. It would seem reasonable for us to at least give that much.
As far as "Faith Promise" is concerned, I believe this:
2 Cor 8:12 For if there be first a
willing mind, it is accepted according to that a man hath, and not
according to that he hath not.
It is the members giving by "faith" so the church can operate by sight. If the church can operate by sight, why are the members expected to give money they don't yet have?
Making and breaking vows is a very serious thing in scripture.
Eccl 5:4 When thou vowest a vow unto God, defer not to pay it; for he hath no pleasure in fools: pay that which thou hast vowed.
It's foolish to *promise* something you don't have, and God never promised to give you. What happens if halfway through the year you lose your job (which could be God's plan)? Do you have to let your family suffer in order to pay a promise God never told you to make?
I'm certainly not
against giving all you are able, but the problem with the Faith Promise
method is that it's just another way the pastor can extort more money from
the people to make himself look good.
John 10:9 I am the door: by me if any man enter in, he shall be saved, and shall go in and out, and find pasture.