Why do you tithe?

It’s funny how believers today have become divided on extremely trivial issues. We do not seem to learn from history and keep repeating the same mistakes of the past.

Doctrinal differences led to the reformation which unfortunately has not solved any of these issues as those who belong to these reformed churches are still as divided as ever. Some believe this and others believe that with both parties not being able to see eye to eye.

I have always been forthright on my views on the tithe and believe strongly that nowhere in the bible is the New Testament church given the command to tithe. But my views are completely irrelevant as it is God’s views that are all important.

Salvation is a personal thing and at the end of the day, we all are going to stand as individuals before God’s throne and be judged. It wouldn’t matter then if you were led astray by some preacher or deceived by your church leader because the Lord expects you to have a personal relationship with Him and be able to discern and know His voice.

If as a believer you are constantly being deceived and never realising until it is quite late, I believe you should check your relationship with God. Jesus said that His sheep hear His voice and the voice of a stranger, they will not hear. Not being able to discern God’s voice and being easily taken in by “cunningly devised fables” are definitely signs of extreme immaturity. And the heir who is still a child is no different from a servant and the problem with being a servant is you cannot partake of the inheritance of the sons, as a servant cannot abide continuously in the house of his master.

You are responsible for your own salvation and the bible enjoins us to work it out with fear and trembling. If your decision to tithe or not as the case may be is as a result of external influence,   you are yet to grow into maturity and would definitely be swayed by every wind of doctrine.

Check yourself; is your decision to tithe based on the message of fear from your pastor? Or is it based on the promise of unimaginable wealth? If given the chance to stop tithing, would you consider it a huge relief? Do you feel burdened by the practise but keep trying to justify it to yourself?

On the other hand are you overjoyed at being told you do not have to tithe anymore? Are you basing your decision to stop tithing on a rather convincing argument? If so, you will definitely find yourself tithing again when someone else presents a seemingly stronger argument in support of the doctrine. And that hardly shows maturity.

The onus is not on any preacher or any one for that matter to convince you to tithe or not rather it is on you to search scriptures to know God’s mind on the matter.

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4 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. darryl
    Dec 02, 2013 @ 16:56:19

    Hi Please google darryl samuels firstfruits tithes and offerings
    i will be your father
    Christ in set man out!

    Reply

  2. darryl
    Dec 02, 2013 @ 16:57:30

    I Will Be Your Father
    Darryl Samuels – Insights Compiled from Various Conversations and Sources
    ( in Adobe/pdf format )

    Scriptures Referenced in This Article:
    (Follow the Scripture links if you want to study the Scriptures for yourself.)
    Gen. 3:4 π Gen. 6:3 π Dt. 12:32 π Psa. 119:160 π Prov. 30:6 π Isa. 45:19 π Isa. 63:16 π Jer. 3:19 π Jer. 23:16 π Mt. 7:13-15 π Mt. 10:28 π Mt. 11:27 π Mt. 13:38 π Mt. 23:1-10 π Mt. 23:4 π Mt. 23:6-7 π Mt. 23:9 π Mt. 23:11-14 π Mt. 23:13 π Mk. 4:3-20 π Lk. 3:38 π Jn. 3:5 π Jn. 3:16 π Jn. 3:35 π Jn. 8:41-46 π Jn. 10:1 π Jn. 10:7 π Jn. 10:10; 2nd π Jn. 14:18 π Acts 13:10 π Rom. 8:8 π Rom. 8:15 π Rom. 12:1 π Rom. 16:18 π 1 Cor. 4:1 π 1 Cor. 4:2 π 1 Cor. 4:15-16 π 1 Cor. 11:1 π 1 Cor. 15:46 π 2 Cor. 6:17-18; 2nd π 2 Cor. 6:18 π 2 Cor. 11:13 π 2 Cor. 12:14-15 π Eph. 1:3 π Eph. 3:14-19 π Eph. 4:6 π Phlp. 2:22 π Col. 2:8 π 1 Tim. 2:5 π 1 Tim. 3:4 π 1 Tim. 3:8 π 1 Tim. 3:12 π 2 Tim. 2:14-16 π 2 Tim. 3:5 π 2 Tim. 3:16 π Tit. 1:13 π Jas. 5:16 π 1 Pet. 2:5 π 1 Pet. 3:15 π 1 Pet. 5:8 π 1 Jn. 2:13-14 π 1 Jn. 2:27 π 1 Jn. 3:10 π Rev. 2:2 π Rev. 2:14-17
    ________________________________________
    It is amazing how one will find certain scriptures to back ANY false doctrine, but the Psalmist clearly states, “The ENTIRETY of Your Word is truth.” ( Psa. 119:160 ) Religious leaders almost always see themselves as God’s ‘anointed’ leaders and ‘final’ prophets and this false perception of leadership eventually grows into the delusion that they themselves are gods! As such, they demand unconditional obedience and total submission to their ‘final authority,’ and place themselves above questioning and accountability. Hence many Christians today look upon these religious leaders, who are ‘mere’ mortals no matter what image they put forth, as if they alone are the supreme source of spiritual instruction, nourishment, and protection. One thing is certain, Satan does indeed “come to steal [God’s truth, His Word - Mk. 4:3-20 ], kill [the soul and body – Mt. 10:28 ], and destroy [everything Godly and good]” while our Lord Jesus Christ came so that we “may have life, and have it more abundantly” ( Jn. 10:10 ), it remains a fact that none of us are above deception and error, as none of us fallible humans has all the answers only the Man Jesus Christ. ( Renette Vermeulen ) He is certainly the ANSWER for this world today! God made us part of Jesus’ body, where we can minister to ONE ANOTHER, and keep ONE ANOTHER accountable, safe, and healthy in the faith. ( 1 Pet. 3:15 , Tit. 1:13 , Jas. 5:16 ) To this effect Paul wrote to Timothy, “Remind them of these things, charging them before the Lord… Be… a worker who does not need to be ashamed, rightly dividing the Word of TRUTH,” [because] “ALL Scripture, [the entire context of the Word] is given by inspiration, [not dictation] of God, and is profitable for… reproof, correction, for instruction in righteousness.” ( 2 Tim. 2:14-16 ; 3:16; top )
    As sincere believers in Christ we must ensure that we do not become partakers of turning these mere mortals into “gurus.” This was also the case in Jesus’ day, when rabbinical leaders, especially those of the Pharisees and Sadducees, were highly exalted by their disciples. It is this elevation of an individual man of which Jesus is speaking when he warns the crowds and His disciples against accrediting to someone an undue role. “Call no man Father.” ( Mt. 23:9 ) We give these ‘gurus’ titles of honour (cult status) and create our very own “golden calves” and forsake our Only True Spiritual Father God Almighty, Christ Jesus and the Holy Spirit that is resident within us. We are the Temple made of Living Stones. ( 1 Pet. 2:5 ) “Therefore, I urge you, brothers and sisters, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God this is your true and proper worship.” ( Rom. 12:1 ) “Indeed, those who are under the control of human nature cannot please God.” ( Rom. 8:8; top )
    Then Jesus said to the crowds and to His disciples:
    “The teachers of the law and the Pharisees sit in Moses’ seat. So you must obey them and do everything they tell you. But do not do what they do, for they do not practice what they preach. They tie up heavy loads and put them on men’s shoulders, but they themselves are not willing to lift a finger to move them. Everything they do is done for men to see: They make their phylacteries wide and the tassels on their garments long; they love the place of honour at banquets and the most important seats in the synagogues; they love to be greeted in the marketplaces and to have men call them ‘Rabbi.’ But you are not to be called ‘Rabbi,’ for you have only one Master and you are all brothers. [Jesus refers to all sincere believers of Christ as brothers!] And do not call anyone on earth ‘father,’ for you have one Father, and He is in heaven. Nor are you to be called ‘teacher,’ for you have one Teacher, the Christ. Call no one on earth your father; you have but one Father in heaven. Do not be called ‘Master’; you have but one master, the Messiah.” ( Mt. 23:1-10; top )
    Jesus criticized these Jewish leaders who love “the place of honour.” ( Mt. 23:6-7 ) His rebuke here is a response to the Pharisees’ proud hearts and their gluttonous appetite for status and honour. Here Jesus was using hyperbole to show the scribes and Pharisees [an honest, objective comparison must include the “patriarchs,” “set men” and “super apostles” today] how sinful and proud they were for not looking humbly to God as the source of all authority and fatherhood and teaching and instead setting themselves up as the final authorities, the high ranking officials [first in rank], “father” figures and representatives and teachers here on earth, in truth, merely predatory clergy. “Kingdom Now” cults build their own empires of this world and use what they call “the Kingdom of God” as the “gate” for the spiritual exploitation of God’s children. Jesus was not condemning or even referring to calling one’s biological dad as “father” but he was specifically condemning the usage in the specific ways that these “set men,” “apostolic source,” “patriarchs,” “spiritual fathers” and “super apostles” religiously use it. “The greatest among you must be your servant. Whoever exalts himself will be humbled; but whoever humbles himself will be exalted. And whoever shall exalt himself shall be abased; and he that shall humble himself shall be exalted. …you shut off the kingdom of heaven from men; for you do not enter in yourselves, nor do you allow those who are entering to go in. …you devour widow’s houses, and for a pretense make long prayer: therefore you shall receive the greater damnation.” ( Mt. 23:11-14; top )
    Nothing has changed since the creation of Adam. Satan was there in the garden just like he is roaming this earth to see whom he can devour. ( 1 Pet. 5:8 ) He still continues to deceive and beguile just like in the garden. “The serpent said to the woman, ‘You surely will not die! For God knows that in the day you eat from it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil [to be as gods].’” ( Gen. 3:4; top ) This false teaching that “you are gods” is nothing new in the body of Christ today. If God is not your only Spiritual Father then your only “other father” in the spirit is Satan.
    “You are doing your father’s actions.” They told Him, “We’re not illegitimate children. We have one Father God himself.” Jesus said to them, “If God were your Father, you would love Me, for I have come here from God. I have not come on My own; God sent Me. Why is My language not clear to you? Because you are unable to hear what I say. You belong to your father, the devil, and you want to carry out your father’s desires. He was a murderer from the beginning, not holding to the truth, for there is no truth in him. When he lies, he speaks his native language, for he is a liar and the father of lies. Yet because I tell the truth, you do not believe Me! Can any of you prove Me guilty of sin? If I am telling the truth, why don’t you believe Me?” ( Jn. 8:41-46; top )

    From the above Scripture we can clearly see Jesus’ answer to the Pharisees that there is another “father,” the devil and that he also has sons on the earth. (Also see Mt. 13:38 , 1 Jn. 3:10 , Acts 13:10; top ) You can have your “spiritual father” the devil or you can have your SPIRITUAL FATHER God Almighty. The question is which category do you fall in?
    God is by nature a Father (He was the Father of Adam) and He keeps revealing Himself to us. He wants a family but our sin made it impossible for us to be reconciled to Him. He has found a way for our sin to be dealt with so we could be united to Him again through CHRIST JESUS His Son, our only REDEEMER! “Come out from the ways of the world [doctrines of men] and become the sons and daughters that God intended.” ( 2 Cor. 6:17-18 ) We can have the relationship with God that we were made for! Yes, I believe in the Father and Son principle wholeheartedly. God is my Spiritual Father and I am His spiritual son. Paul tells us that we have “received the Spirit of adoption by whom we cry out Abba, Father.” ( Rom. 8:15 ) What does he mean by “Abba, Father”? Abba is an Aramaic word which means “daddy” or “papa.” What Paul is saying is when you accept Jesus as your Saviour you are adopted into God’s family. You become His child and He becomes your Heavenly ‘Spiritual’ Father. The relationship is so deep and so personal that you can call him “daddy.” You may rightfully call Him “my Father, my Father” and in turn He will call you “My son, My son.” Fatherhood is personal; God does not want to be distant. He does not want a medium (set man/representative) between Him and you. Christ is our Representative, our only Mediator, PERIOD! ( 1 Tim. 2:5; top ) In fact, all sincere believers are representatives of Christ and we should be imitators of Him and not imitators of one’s “set man,” a position nowhere to be found in New Testament original apostolic teaching.
    “For though you might have ten thousand instructors in Christ, yet you do not have many fathers; for in Christ Jesus I have begotten you through the gospel. Therefore I urge you, imitate me.” ( 1 Cor. 4:15-16 ) Paul was not an intermediary between Believers and Jesus Christ. He was not even telling them to follow him per se, but rather that they should submit to Jesus Christ just as he had submitted to Jesus Christ. It is for this reason that Paul used the phrase, “imitate me.” Many supporters of the “spiritual fathers” teaching stop there but Paul completes that phrase, “imitate me as I imitate Christ.” ( 1 Cor. 11:1 ) The teaching on “spiritual fathers” is not found anywhere in the New Testament and opposes the teachings of Jesus Christ on that very subject. You don’t need a “spiritual father” to be anointed and to be blessed. Now, if God does send you an older man who has a genuine fatherly role in your life, bless God! But if any man comes along and insists on being called your “father,” especially if he has little or no interaction with you but to take your money, you and he are severely deceived! Our Heavenly Father has blessed us with all spiritual blessings in Christ Jesus and anointed us by The Holy Spirit with an anointing that abides in us. ( Eph. 1:3 , 1 Jn. 2:27 ) The Father gives to Christ all manner of blessing. The blessings first come to Christ, and from Him they come to us. “The Father loved the Son and has given all things into His hand.” ( Jn. 3:35 ) We must go to Christ for everything. Christ says, “All things are delivered unto Me by My Father.” ( Mt. 11:27 ) Christ alone is the DOOR. “No true child of God can submit to these ‘hirelings,’ which Jesus Himself described in John 10.” They do not even enter by the Door, (the True Jesus,) but climb into the stable via their false doctrines and false ‘authority,’ (another gospel,) and THEY are the ones Jesus warned about, the thief, that do not come except to steal (the blood-bought souls of Jesus,) kill, and destroy,” not following the TRUE Christ, Who came to “bring life and life in abundance.” ( Renette Vermuelen – see Jn. 10:1 , 7 , 10; top )
    Our Heavenly Spiritual Father wants to have a direct relationship with us. That which is personal! He is not afar off but resides in you. Even a good earthly father is limited by human weaknesses (failures) and inadequacies. God is not just “The Father of creation” or “Father of all.” He is interested in a personal and intimate relationship with you and you alone. Read Isa. 63:16 ; Jer. 3:19 ; 2 Cor. 6:18 . He wants to be a Father to you. He longs for you to have a relationship with Him. The Bible clearly does not say: He gave some spiritual fathers, set men, apostolic sources, and patriarch, etc. This is what the “New [Roman Catholic] Reformation” teaches and practices. But the Bible still says, “See that you do all I command you; do not add to it or take away from it.” ( Dt. 12:32 ) “Do not add to His Words, or He will rebuke you and prove you a liar!” ( Prov. 30:6; top ) Fatherhood is not a single act but an on-going, lifelong process. We live with our children and teach them about life. We help them, lead them and direct them when they are unsure of what life throws at them. We offer advice and encouragement. We don’t leave them to their own devices. We walk together with them. So it is with God! He wants to be a Father to us daily, in an active and on-going way. We are not left to muddle on in our own strength. He calls us into the shelter of His wings to protect us, care for us, nurture us and lead us in His ways. He is certainly our ‘spiritual’ covering. – not some mortal man, that wants to “father” you and “cover” you and thousands of others around the world, men who claim they are “Patriarchs” and will become “spiritual fathers” to you, men who claim to have climbed to the rank of “super apostle” or “patriarch.” Be very wary of such men – they live to separate (Swindle!) you from your money and your Father God!
    The whole idea of this deception is that once one has reached a certain, unspecified level of “spiritual maturity,” he, the “super apostle” is to be regarded as a “patriarch” and no longer needs a “spiritual father” over him. He becomes “the spiritual father” to all his deluded followers, his “children.” This is what I call a non-resident “father” and what psychologists and sociologists call “absentee father”! To be father to thousands or even hundreds or even more than a few adult believers in Christ is humanly impossible because only GOD is Omnipresent and the Father of ALL! ( Eph. 4:6 ) “See to it that no one takes you captive through hollow and deceptive philosophy, which depends on human tradition and the basic principles of this world rather than on Christ.” ( Col. 2:8 ) Yes, God works through us, the Body of Christ, but these false teachers insist on complete loyalty and honour to themselves and that they are the only “true representatives” of Christ. These so exercise control over the ministry and the people that they thereby completely substitute it with a form of worship. (The fulfilment of end times prophecies – 2 Tim. 3:5 – and the deeds of the Nicolaitans! – Rev. 2:14-17 ) By manipulation these Nicolaitans subdue and conquer the “laity” by substituting the Only True Spiritual Father and the Leadership of the Spirit of God in the Church for their own doctrine, organised programmes of man, and a system that craftily creates a hierarchy and a counterfeit Levitical priesthood. Jesus hates this stuff! Why? Because arrogant men wrongfully claiming to have expert or superior knowledge of the way to eternal life stand in front of the door to the kingdom of God – they do not themselves go in and they don’t let anyone else go in either. ( Mt. 23:13 ) They lay claims to the “first fruits,” “tithes” and “offerings” that belong to God in the first place but notice well that they will not submit themselves to all the requirements of the Levitical law such as circumcision! What they tout as a “more excellent way of giving” is only one big “Pyramid Scheme” craftily created to swindle God’s flock. “For they that are such serve not our Lord Jesus Christ, but their own belly; and by good words and fair speeches deceive the hearts of the simple.” ( Rom. 16:18; top )
    A true Spirit-filled father (New Testament elder) will not seek his own gain in anything, but always the welfare and the good of his Spirit-filled children. ( 1 Tim. 3:8 ) I have seen first-hand of how a “spiritual father” refuses to take “firstfruits” from his biological children but are too quick and eager to accept them from their “spiritual children.” They build these magnificent houses with huge swimming pools yet they cannot, [will not] use it to baptise their spiritual children in it. Yet they claim to be “fathers of the house” and preach that all they have has been given to them. It’s not their material possessions, but God’s – or so they assure us. But if this were true, then the magnificent house with the huge swimming pool must be used first and foremost for the advancement of Gods kingdom in the earth. This reminds me of the Pharisees that placed heavy burdens on men’s shoulders yet they themselves would not even lift a finger to move it! ( Mt. 23:4 ) Paul says, “I will not be a burden to you. I do not seek what is yours but you. Children are not responsible to save up for their parents, but parents for their children. I will most gladly spend and be expended for your souls.” (see 2 Cor. 12:14-15; top ) Those are the words of a true father. He also considered it worth sacrificing everything to serve those whom he had brought to Christ. Fathers expect nothing in return for all that they do for their children. Paul did not expect respect or even submission from others. He only sought their spiritual growth. How I wish that today’s “spiritual” leaders would imitate Paul accurately and truly become aligned by GOD’s infallible WORD and have the HEART of our ONLY SPIRTUAL FATHER, GOD ALMIGHTY!
    This is what the Lord Almighty says: “Do not listen to what the prophets are prophesying to you; they fill you with false hopes. They speak visions from their own minds, not from the mouth of the LORD.” ( Jer. 23:16 ) They no longer resembled the original Early Church like in the book of Acts. The Corinthians did not become “children of Paul,” they remained “children of God.” The Corinthians did not start calling him “Father Paul,” “Dad” or “Daddy” and they did not give him a special place of honour or authority – rather, the Corinthians (at least the repentant majority) simply recognized his genuine role and calling in Christ and in their lives as compared to the claims of “the false apostles, deceitful workers, [who were] transforming themselves into apostles of Christ.” ( 2 Cor. 11:13 ) Just prior to his claim of “fatherhood,” Paul had instructed the Corinthians that “a man should consider us apostles as servants of Christ and stewards [mere managers, not owners] of the mysteries of God.” ( 1 Cor. 4:1; top )
    The TRUE Gospel is NOT a “new revelation” at all! In context, it is the REVEALED WILL of God for ALL humanity. God states, “I have not spoken in secret, in a dark place of the earth. I did not say to the seed of Jacob, Seek Me in vain; I the Lord speak righteousness, I declare things that are right… They have no knowledge, who carry the wood of their carved image [their church idolatry,] and pray to a god that cannot save…” ( Isa. 45:19 ) If God is really in those false systems, He is not the God of His Word. God is in the hearts of the SINCERE ones still held captive by those systems, a man-made system of men who still cling to their “words of truth,” hirelings who use abuse to lure Jesus’ blood-bought souls into their false systems and towards their false god. These are the very “set men” and the “golden calves” that they themselves have created. The time is now that the SINCERE believers of Christ must HEAR what the Spirit is saying to His believers! He will not contend and tarry with them much longer. ( Renette Vermuelen – also see Gen. 6:3; top )
    Paul continues, “Moreover, it is required in stewards that one is found faithful.” ( 1 Cor. 4:2 ) An unfaithful servant and steward, even one claiming an “apostle” or “father” or “super-apostle” or “patriarch,” is no longer a genuine messenger of Christ but a promoter of himself or perhaps even a well-disguised worker of Satan. Jesus still commends those who, like the assembly of Ephesus, “have tested those who say they are apostles and are not, and have found them liars.” ( Rev. 2:2 ) Paul clearly insisted that his faithfulness to God was the integral, even primary “credential” by which the Corinthians would know that Paul, who had brought them to Christ in the first place and not the false “apostles” was the pattern to follow in order to remain steadfast in Christ. About the only principle that can be truly drawn from Paul’s example of fatherhood is that only those who have personally participated in a particular individual or group’s spiritual birth event and who remains true (faithful and obedient) to Christ alone have any right to speak of being anything like or speaking the things of The One True Father.) The traveling (predatory clergy) hucksters who use corrupted teachings and flattery to draw followers after themselves do not qualify to ever be genuine spiritual fathers. And no one can simply choose a man (or woman in some places where this “spiritual fathering” error is practiced!) to be one’s “spiritual father” and accomplish anything other than to remove oneself from the will of Christ and God. Spiritual children are born again from above. ( Jn. 3:5 ) Only those mature believers who qualify as genuine New Testament elders who truly know God the eternal Father ( 1 Jn. 2:13-14 ) and whose fatherliness is both exemplary and evident ( 1 Tim. 3:4 , 12 , Phlp. 2:22 , etc.; top) are those who are in any position to participate in any fatherly role in any other believer’s life – particularly that of any assembly of believers. “Father,” like “pastor,” is not a title or position over other believers – though after 20 centuries of deception and malpractice they are just that in most “church” circles – rather they are descriptions of one’s lifestyle and leadership traits. ( Neil Girrard )
    Without Our Heavenly Father we are orphans. A fatherless child has no name, no identity, no rights and no inheritance. He has to carve out an existence and identity for himself. An orphan has to succeed on his own, make his own way in life, fend for himself and gain approval through his own actions. In all of us there may be many orphan ways. God is a Father and He does not want us to be orphans. He wants to Father us! An orphan heart is an empty heart and our Father wants to fill that emptiness with His love and bring us back home. Satan was removed from the Father’s presence and became the ultimate orphan. Since then he has tried to infect us all with that orphan spirit. Thank You, Jesus, for You have not left us with that of an orphan spirit but have given us the Holy Spirit to lead, guide and teach us into all TRUTH. It is those false teachers that want you to be led astray by teaching a “different gospel” who are the real “antichrist.” You are only an orphan or a bastard if you don’t know where you come from! A son is not like an orphan: a son has rights, an inheritance and a place in the family. A son knows that he is loved for who he is. This is a free gift, not one that is earned because of what one does for the “set man” but given to us because of who we are. Sons are rooted and established in love and we have a name that comes from The Father. ( Eph. 3:14-19; top )
    Jesus promised, “I will not leave you as orphans.” ( Jn. 14:18 ) Jesus says that we are no longer orphans – though these super-impostors will tell us that we are orphaned if we do not take on one of them as our “spiritual father.” We must decide just who is the liar here! When one looks at the natural vs. the spiritual, we see that Adam was God’s Son here on earth. ( Lk. 3:38 ) First the Natural then the Spiritual. ( 1 Cor. 15:46; top ) We have our biological fathers in the natural and then in the Spiritual we have God our Heavenly Spiritual Father. When one talks about an orphan we understand that an orphan does not have parents. When Adam sinned, Adam did not become an orphan because God did not die. Neither did God abandon Adam or leave him alone to fend for himself. God promised a restoration through His Son Jesus Christ (the Last Adam). Adam was not an orphan – he was the prodigal son like in the parable of Luke 15. It was Adam’s disobedience that resulted in him becoming the prodigal son. It was the sin in Adam that cut himself off from the fatherhood of God. It was sin that caused the separation from him and God. He was still God’s son – therefore God had promised to restore him.
    Through our reconciliation with the Father, the emptiness of our hearts can be dealt with. We can again enjoy the intimacy and closeness of relationship that Adam and Eve first enjoyed. We can become a son like Jesus and an heir to the promises of scripture. Our lonely walk can be brought to an end and we can enjoy the freedom of being a son or daughter of our Heavenly Father, who is our only Spiritual Father! This is what John 3:16 is all about! God wants to reveal Himself to us as “Father” and He wants to be a Father to us, day by day, in an on-going, vital, life-giving and life-changing relationship.
    God has unlimited riches and resources. We can therefore afford to be generous. We are strengthened in our inner being by the Spirit living in us (opposite of despair). We have power from the Holy Spirit. Rooted and established in love, a strong connection to the magnitude of God’s love. We can be so filled with this love that Jesus and the Father are seen in us. This is what it means for God to be a Father TO US. ( A Father to YOU )
    God is building a spiritual house and Christ is the foundation of that spiritual house. Today, God is executing a mighty move away from religion and into relationship throughout the whole world! While Satan is working, God is working so much more. Only problem is, ultimately, only a FEW really follow the Truth (Jesus the Narrow Way,) just as He Himself had said, “Enter through the narrow gate. For wide is the gate and broad is the road that leads to destruction, and many enter through it. But small is the gate and narrow the road that leads to life, and only a few find it. Watch out for false prophets. They come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ferocious wolves.” ( Mt. 7:13-15; top ) It is only to those who obediently come out from among the “Christian” idolaters and who live separate and holy unto the Lord, who touch no unclean thing that God still says,
    “I WILL BE A FATHER TO YOU
    AND YOU WILL BE MY SONS AND DAUGHTERS”
    ( 2 Cor. 6:17-18 )
    Take care; stay blessed and rested in Christ
    ________________________________________
    Related Reading
    • First Fruits, Tithes and Offerings – Darryl Samuels – ( in Adobe/pdf format )
    • The Untrustworthy Bible – Neil Girrard
    • The Sons of the Devil – Neil Girrard
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    Reply

  3. darryl
    Dec 02, 2013 @ 16:59:24

    Christ In – Set Man Out!

    Scriptures Referenced in This Article:
    (Follow the Scripture links if you want to study the Scriptures for yourself.)
    Dt. 13:3-5 π Prov. 14:12 π Prov. 14:14-15 π Prov. 14:15 π Mt. 4:17 π Mt. 7:9 π Mt. 7:13-29 π Mt. 7:15; 2nd π Mt. 7:21-23 π Mt. 9:17 π Mt. 11:24 π Mt. 11:27 π Mt. 13:37 π Mt. 16:6 π Mt. 16:24 π Mt. 20:28 π Mt. 23:8-10 π Mt. 23:9 π Mt. 23:28; 2nd π Mt. 24:11 π Mk. 3:2 π Mk. 4:24 π Mk. 8:15 π Mk. 12:38-40 π Mk. 13:5 π Lk. 12:1-12 π Lk. 17:21-23 π Jn. 1:14 π Jn. 3:35 π Jn. 4:21-24 π Jn. 7:17 π Jn. 7:18 π Jn. 8:31 π Jn. 8:47 π Jn. 10:2 π Jn. 10:9 π Jn. 10:11-14 π Jn. 10:12; 2nd π Jn. 10:14 π Jn. 10:27 π Jn. 10:28 π Jn. 13:14 π Jn. 13:15 π Jn. 16:13 π Acts 1:8 π Acts 13:2-4 π Acts 20:27 π Acts 26:18 π Rom. 1:25 π 1 Cor. 2:9-13 π 1 Cor. 2:10 π 1 Cor. 2:12-13 π 1 Cor. 3:5-7 π 1 Cor. 4:1-2; 2nd π 1 Cor. 4:8-16 π 1 Cor. 6:9-10 π 1 Cor. 6:18 π 1 Cor. 9:12-19 π 1 Cor. 12:23-25 π 1 Cor. 12:28 π 1 Cor. 13:9-13 π 1 Cor. 14:29 π 2 Cor. 4:2-4 π 2 Cor. 4:18 π 2 Cor. 6:16-18 π 2 Cor. 8:23 π 2 Cor. 11:13 π 2 Cor. 11:15 π 2 Cor. 12:12-15 π Gal. 1:9 π Gal. 5:19-21 π Gal. 5:22-24 π Eph. 1:3 π Eph. 4:11-12 π Eph. 4:11-13 π Eph. 5:5-6 π Phlp. 1:20 π Col. 1:5 π Col. 1:25-26 π Col. 2:8 π 1 Ths. 5:13 π 2 Ths. 2:3-4 π 2 Ths. 2:9 π 2 Ths. 2:9-12 π 2 Ths. 2:10-11 π 2 Ths. 2:13 π 1 Tim. 3:1-13 π 1 Tim. 3:2 π 1 Tim. 3:12 π 1 Tim. 5:17 π 1 Tim. 6:9-10 π 1 Tim. 6:20 π 2 Tim. 2:15 π 2 Tim. 3:5 π Tit. 3:3 π Heb. 1:1-2 π Heb. 3:1 π Heb. 4:15 π Heb. 5:13-14 π Heb. 7:12 π Heb. 13:20 π Jas. 1:22 π 1 Pet. 2:21-25 π 1 Pet. 4:11 π 1 Pet. 5:1-4 π 1 Pet. 5:4 π 2 Pet. 3:18 π 1 Jn. 2:27 π 1 Jn. 4:1 π 1 Jn. 4:4 π 1 Jn. 5:19 π 2 Jn. 9-11 π Jude 3-4 π Rev. 2:2 π Rev. 2:14 π Rev. 2:14-17 π Rev. 2:17 π Rev. 2:20
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    The Way of Christ
    This article may challenge some of our sincerest beliefs. It’s about setting people free from a religious mindset so we can experience the reality of the New Covenant life in Christ. May we humbly ask you to lay aside preconceived ideas and traditional thinking, and prayerfully consider the message of this article? Its purpose is to help sincere believers toward the highest and best that God has provided in Christ. We pray that it will be the beginning of a spiritual transformation in our lives. We truly appreciate those who have given their lives in service to the Lord and His people and the Bible tells us to “esteem them very highly in love for their work’s sake.” ( 1 Ths. 5:13 ) The Word of God also tells us that we are to examine their teachings in the light of scripture. Paul the apostle said, “We know in part” and “we see through a glass, darkly.” ( 1 Cor. 13:9-13; top ) however, we must search out a better knowledge of the truth through the Infallible Word of God and we can extend the love of God to one another in the process. Each person must walk with God in the best way they know that is pleasing unto God.
    The Truth in the New Testament is primarily God’s revelation of Himself in Jesus Christ. Jesus is full of grace and truth. ( Jn. 1:14 ) Grace and truth comes through Jesus Christ. He is the way and the truth and the life. The gospel is the word of truth. ( Col. 1:5 and 2 Ths. 2:13 ) Romans 1:25 speaks of those who exchange the truth of God for the lies of Satan. At the end times, for those who refuse to love the truth and so be saved ( 2 Ths. 2:10-11 ), God will send a powerful delusion so that they will believe the lie. Jesus the Truth sets us free. Satan the lie brings us into slavery of deception. Jesus the Truth is redemptive. Satan the lie is destructive. We are called to love the truth Christ Jesus and His word and thereby know the truth that sets us free. ( Jn. 8:31 ) Jesus said, “…if you hold to My teachings…” (This is exactly what the original apostles held to – Christ’s teachings!) Jesus never encouraged His disciples to place confidence in past faith or past experiences. It is only “if you hold to My teachings” that we have confidence in salvation, guaranteed through Jesus Himself and His revelation of truth in scripture. Further revelation of truth by the “super apostles” and “set men” of today’s current “apostolic” move are not needed to complete or make adequate the gospel of Christ. Saving truth is revealed only from God by His Spirit ( 1 Cor. 2:10 ) and most certainly does not originate from any person or humanistic wisdom (the doctrines of men – 1 Cor. 2:12-13 ) The question is: whose teachings do we hold on to? “He who belongs to God hears what God says.” ( Jn. 8:47; top )
    Believers who are followers of false doctrines are robbed of their personal relationship with God the Father through His Son Jesus Christ in the power of His Holy Spirit. Most often, followers of such false teachings do not realize that the thief has robbed them of their salvation. As the Lord Jesus Christ stated, “God is Spirit, and those who worship Him must worship in SPIRIT and TRUTH.” (see Jn. 4:21-24 ) To teach us His Truth, the Father sent the Holy Spirit to guide us into ALL Truth. ( Jn. 16:13 ) If we reject the truth, we reject the Spirit of Truth. How will we know what is Truth? If we truly desire God’s truth and ask the Father for truth, He will NEVER give us deception. Our heavenly Father will never “give us a stone when we ask for bread or a poisonous snake when we ask for fish.” ( Mt. 7:9 ) Jesus also promised that DOERS of God’s Will shall know the truth! ( Jn. 7:17 ) The Spirit-Filled Bible renders this verse, “The teachings and claims of Jesus will be accepted by those who are intent on doing God’s will!” From the context of God’s Word it is clear that no one can be deceived unless we are disobedient to God’s contextual Word. Unless we choose to believe the lie. Unless we believe false teaching, refuse to “grow in knowledge and in grace” ( 2 Pet. 3:18 ) and, most importantly, when we submit to false spiritual authority. ( Mt. 7:13-29; top )
    Paul explained, “The coming of the lawless one is according to the working of Satan, with all power, signs, and lying wonders, and with all unrighteous deception among those who PERISH, because they did not receive the LOVE of the truth, that they might be saved…” Followers of these false teachings willfully decide to follow that leader and his system, “and for this reason God sent them STRONG DELUSION, that they should believe the lie.” ( 2 Ths. 2:9-12 ) Make no mistake – these followers are sincere in their beliefs. They are under STRONG delusion. The deceptive maze that Satan has devised for us never ceases to amaze. “But as it is written: ‘Eye has not seen, nor ear heard, nor have entered into the heart of man the things which God has prepared for those who love Him.’ But God has revealed them to us through His Spirit. For the Spirit searches all things, yes, the deep things of God. For what man knows the things of a man except the spirit of the man which is in him? Even so no one knows the things of God except the Spirit of God. Now we have received, not the spirit of the world, but the Spirit who is from God, that we might know the things that have been freely given to us by God. These things we also speak, not in words which man’s wisdom teaches but which the Holy Spirit teaches, comparing spiritual things with spiritual.” ( 1 Cor. 2:9-13; top )
    The priesthood of Christ has no rank or preference. God did not subject them to human commanders; all His believers are subjected to the Scriptural authority of God alone. Every born again child of God is a spiritual worker in his or her own territory as God allots. Firstly in the home, then among family and friends, then at work and in the secular world. ( Acts 1:8 ) From this spiritual priesthood of Christ, God Himself chooses elders (who still remain ordinary spiritual priests as Jesus Alone is the High Priest and all are priests) to serve in His people, His ekklesia (Greek word poorly translated “church” – 1 Tim. 3:1-13 ; 1 Cor. 4:1-2 ) According to Paul, these elders are apostles, prophets, evangelists, pastors and teachers. ( Eph. 4:11-13 ) Five functions, five kinds of servants, all on equal footing. The democratically elected or denominationally ordained, hierarchical clergy of the religious stream are “leaders”; the Theocratically elected elders of Christ are servants with equal non-status. As God’s kingdom is a Theocracy, He Alone chooses only proven, truly Spirit-filled servants and handmaidens who live spiritually clean lives. ( 1 Tim. 3:2 , 12 ; Acts 13:2-4 ) Above all, they should be “doers of the Word” ( Jas. 1:22 ) and disciples who “rightly divide the word of truth.” ( 2 Tim. 2:15; top ) Faithful stewards who understand the truth of the Word contextually and constantly apply its commandments and principles to their lives. ( Renette Vermeulen )
    Completely different from that of the worldly “church” hierarchy, which is a democratically-elected or denominationally-dominated, top-heavy structure, Biblical elders function from beneath the people where all the elders (spiritually) “wash the feet,” or humbly serve their fellow believers in conjunction with one another. ( Jn. 13:14 ; 1 Cor. 4:1-2 ) This is so because the kingdom of God is a spiritual THEOCRACY where Jesus reigns as High Priest and King. Paul explained this principle, saying, “We, [the servant-elders], are looked upon as fools on account of Christ, but you, [the glitzy religious clergy], are supposedly so amazingly wise and prudent in Christ! We, [the servant-elders], are weak, but you, [the religious hierarchy], are so strong! You are highly esteemed, but we are in disrepute and contempt! [While you are being kept in luxury through your abuse of the Law], to this hour… we still toil unto weariness for our living, working hard with our own hands…” ( 1 Cor. 4:8-16; top )
    The Set Man
    The “set man” principle – is it still applicable to New Covenant believers today? Let us look at scripture in its entirety and what is revealed to us sincere believers through the Holy Spirit who will lead, guide and teach us into all Truth, Christ Jesus.
    This idea is based on the fact that when God does something in the earth He moves through men He has “set” in place. These “set men” are the ones who have been called by God and put into position to accomplish His purpose. This is a truth that is most evident in the Old Covenant but is completely non-existent in the New. Was there a change? Yes. “For the priesthood being changed [from Aaron and Levi to Melchizedek], of necessity there is also a change of the law.” ( Heb. 7:12 ) Why would there be a change? The Old was incapable of accomplishing what only the New could do. God does not mix new wine in old wineskins. And we all know very well what happens when you mix new wine in old wineskins! ( Mt. 9:17 ) “God, who at various times and in various ways spoke in time past to the fathers by the prophets, has in these last days spoken to us by His Son, whom He has appointed heir of all things, through whom also He made the worlds.” ( Heb. 1:1-2 ) God now speaks to us by Jesus who has received of the Father the promise of the Spirit and has poured forth the Holy Spirit into every sincere believer in the earth. Jesus now speaks to us and directs us by the Spirit. That is how He functions as the Head of the man. There is a direct connection or relationship through the Spirit. Yes, He still speaks and directs through men; but, it is not just one person but many that the Lord might use to speak to us by the Spirit. The primary Scripture that is used to justify the “set man” concept is from Paul’s letter to the Corinthians. “And God has appointed these in the ekklesia: first apostles, second prophets, third teachers…” ( 1 Cor. 12:28 NKJV; top)
    In the Old Covenant the anointing rested on the Prophets. An example of this was Elijah and Elisha. Elijah had the anointing, and Elisha did not. If Elisha wants the anointing, he must receive it through and from Elijah, just like a person receives literal life from a father. Therefore, if separated from the father, the individual could not receive what the father had, just like without a father, you could not receive life. This is simply not applicable to New Testament believers in Christ today. The New Covenant operates differently. Jesus is the Apostle and High Priest. ( Heb. 3:1; top ) Under the old covenant Moses was the apostle, i.e. the one sent by God with His authority and Aaron the high priest of God’s people. In the New Covenant, the anointing has been released on the day of Pentecost and this opens heaven to us. Christ the anointed! There are no other mediating agents of the anointing. Everyone in Christ has received, and is anointed. The “set man” of the Old Covenant is no longer applicable to today’s New Testament sincere believers in Christ. We are all “in Christ.” Christ brings the church into Him. We cannot live outside of Christ. We are bone of His bone and flesh of His flesh. The Will of God is in us. Christ “THE WILL” is in us. His will is made manifest in us! We function in Christ in us the hope of Glory. We have received directly from The Father, through His Son. Christ In, set man out! The anointing rests on the Body. The necessity of relating to an Elijah-Elisha of the Old has become the necessity of relating to the ekklesia, a Body being part of Christ, in the New Covenant.
    “I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd gives His life for the sheep. But he who is a hireling and not the shepherd, one who does not own the sheep, sees the wolf coming and leaves the sheep and flees; and the wolf catches the sheep and scatters them. The hireling flees because he is a hireling and does not care about the sheep. I am the good shepherd; and I know My sheep, and am known by My own.” ( Jn. 10:11-14 ) This scripture hits the mark like an arrow to the bull’s eye! The mark of Christ as the good shepherd is His willingness to die for His sheep. This emphasizes the uniqueness of Christ the shepherd – i.e., His death on the cross that saves His sheep. In these verses, Christ is called the good shepherd, (also “the great shepherd” in Heb. 13:20 and “the Chief Shepherd” in 1 Pet. 5:4 ) “I am the good shepherd” Who laid down His life for all of mankind. Ministers who serve merely to earn a living or to gain honor to themselves are the “hired hand.” “…the hired hand is not the shepherd who owns the sheep…” (verse 12 ) True shepherds, like the Chief Shepherd Christ Jesus, care for the sheep whilst false shepherds think first of themselves and the titles they hold. “…so when he sees the wolf coming he abandons the sheep.” (verse 12 ) “I know My sheep.” (verse 14; top ) God’s knowledge of and love for His Children involves personal affection, faithfulness and constant providential care. The Father, who is omnipresent, omniscient and omnipotent, has engraved us His sons into the palms of His hands! We are never out of God’s mind and He alone is our one and only Spiritual Father, for He watches over us daily, constantly, for our good! He is most definitely not an absentee father. We need not have to make an appointment with Him. Through the cross we have direct access to Him 24/7/365. Instantaneous! He is Father of all and in all! If this doesn’t make you want to shout “Hallelujah!” you need to check your pulse!
    We are the living stones – if we are part of the body of Christ. We are all members of one body where CHRIST is the Head. If Christ is the Head, we submit to Christ and His teachings. The five-fold servants are part of the body of Christ, five more mature servants, who are still servants on equal footing with the rest of the saints, functioning in the body of Christ to enable the rest of the body of Christ to do the work of the ministry. ( Eph. 4:11-12 ) The role model for all is Christ alone. The Christian life and walk should be characterized by the virtues taught in the Word of God such as were in the life of our Lord Jesus Christ during His tenure on this earth. He embodied and exemplified the love of God, and by His own example, facing the same difficulties of life which we face (yet to a far more intense degree – Heb. 4:15 ), He gave us a pattern to model ourselves by, footsteps by which if we should only follow them, we would be led by the straight road to a virtuous life, well-pleasing to God. ( 1 Pet. 2:21-25 , Mt. 16:24 and Jn. 13:15 ) “If anyone speaks, he should do it as one speaking the very words of God. If anyone serves, he should do it with the strength God provides, so that in all things God may be praised through Jesus Christ.” ( 1 Pet. 4:11; top ) The Bible is speaking of sincere believers in Christ. It does not specify certain individuals only. It clearly says “if anyone” – this includes you and me! That is, as long as we live for God and in submission to Him, Christ Jesus.
    True and False Leaders
    Peter wrote, “To the Elders among you, I appeal as a fellow elder, a witness of Christ’s sufferings and one who also will share in the glory to be revealed. Be shepherds of God’s flock that is under your care, serving as overseers – not because you must, but because you are willing as God wants you to be, not greedy for money [love of mammon, imposters that fleece God’s flock for all they can swindle], but eager to serve, not lording it over those entrusted to you [Nicolaitians] but being examples to the flock. And when the Chief Shepherd appears, you will receive the crown of glory that will never fade away.” ( 1 Pet. 5:1-4 ) And Paul wrote, “See to it that no one takes you captive through hollow and deceptive philosophy, which depends on human tradition and the basic principles of this world rather than on Christ.” ( Col. 2:8 ) Yes, God works through us, the Body of Christ, but the false teachers insist on complete loyalty and honor to themselves and insist that they are the “true representatives” of Christ. In this way they are able to exercise control over the ministry and the people and thereby completely transform into a form of worship which in turn fosters an impotent form of godliness. ( 2 Tim. 3:5 ) These are the deeds of the Nicolaitians! ( Rev. 2:14-17; top ) By manipulation, these Nicolaitans subdue and conquer the “laity” by substituting the Only True Spiritual Father and the Leadership of the Spirit of God among the people for their own “doctrine,” organized programs of man and a system that craftily created a hierarchy and a counterfeit Levitical priesthood.
    “Greater is He that is within you than he that is in the world…” ( 1 Jn. 4:4 ) “…test the spirits…” ( 1 Jn. 4:1 ) The reason for testing every spirit is that many false prophets and false teachers will deceive the people. False teachers are those who have come, not through the door Christ Jesus ( Jn. 10:2 , 9 ), but rather have climbed the ladder of religious success by virtue of their own eloquence and charisma. This is especially true as tolerance for error and unbiblical doctrines increases towards the end of the age. ( Mt. 24:11 ) All teachings must be tested against the revelation of God’s truth in Scriptures. Read Gal. 1:9 . (top) Sincere believers are dependent on the words, message and faith of the first apostles as recorded in the book of Acts and the inspired New Testament writings. Later generations – that includes “us” – have the task and responsibility of being obedient to God’s revelation and bearing witness to His Truth. The gospel given to the original New Testament apostles – not today’s current “super apostles,” “patriarchs” and “set men” – but the gospel given through the Holy Spirit is the enduring source of life, truth and direction for the people of Christ. So if we reject the original New Testament apostles’ revelations and follow the teachings of false apostles and false prophets, we reject Christ Himself.
    We must, as believers, be made aware that there may be “ministers” of God’s Word who are of the same spirit and life as the corrupt teachers of the law in Jesus’ day. ( 2 Cor. 11:13 ) These ministers will on the outside “appear” to people as righteous. ( Mt. 23:28 ) They come in sheep’s clothing. ( Mt. 7:15 ) They may read their messages directly from the Bible and proclaim high righteous standards. They may appear sincerely concerned for God’s work and kingdom and show great interest in salvation of the lost while professing love for all people. They may appear to be great ministers of God, commendable “spiritual leaders” and even seem powerfully “anointed” by the Holy Spirit. They may perform miracles and have great success and multitudes may follow them. ( 2 Ths. 2:9 ; Mt. 7:21-23 ) Nevertheless they have the wrong spiritual foundations, following the doctrines of men and Satan instead of being Disciples of Christ alone, and are of the same kindred spirit with the false prophets of the Old Testament. ( Dt. 13:3-5 ) The same applied to the Pharisees in the New Testament. Away from the crowds, they were given over to greed and self-indulgence, full of dead men’s bones and everything unclean, full of hypocrisy and wickedness. ( Mt. 23:28; top ) Their lives behind closed doors involved such things as lust, immorality, adultery, greed and self-centered indulgence.
    These imposters gain a place of influence in two ways:
    1. They began their ministries in sincerity, purity, truth and genuine faith in Christ but then, because of their pride and their own immoral desires, their personal commitment to and love for Christ gradually dies. Consequently, they are severed from God’s kingdom. ( 1 Cor. 6:9-10 ; Gal. 5:19-21 ; Eph. 5:5-6 ) They become instruments of Satan while disguising themselves as ministers of “righteousness.” ( 2 Cor. 11:15 ) And,
    2. Other false teachers have never been genuine believers in Christ. Satan has planted them among the people (remember the parable of the wheat and tares.) ( Mt. 13:37 ) In the explanation of parable, Christ declares that He Himself is the sower. He spreads His redeemed seed, true believers, in the field of the world. Through His grace, these Christians bear the fruit of the Spirit. ( Gal. 5:22-24 ) Their presence on earth is the reason the “kingdom of heaven” is next to the field, which Jesus said was the world. When Jesus said, “The kingdom of heaven is at hand” ( Mt. 4:17 ; Mk. 3:2 ), He meant the spiritual realm which exists on earth side by side with the realm of the evil one. ( 1 Jn. 5:19; top ) When the kingdom of heaven comes to its fruition, heaven will be a reality and there will no longer be “weeds” among the “wheat.” But for now, both good and bad seeds mature in the world.
    Satan uses both of these leaders’ ability and charisma, particularly training or skills acquired apart from Christ, and he aids in their success. His strategy is to place them in influential positions so that they can undermine the genuine work of Christ. If they are discovered or exposed, Satan knows that great damage will come to the gospel and that the name of Christ will be put to open shame because of these false teachers. (See how Satan uses them as pawns and then discards them!) Therefore Jesus warns us as His disciples 14 times in the Gospels to watch out for leaders who would mislead sincere believers in Christ. ( Mt. 7:15 ; 16:6 ; 11:24 ; Mk. 4:24 ; 8:15 ; 12:38-40 ; 13:5 ; Lk. 12:1-12 ; 17:21-23; top ) But we are not to follow such people in an effort to destroy them. For one thing, we don’t know if immature and innocent believers might be injured by our efforts. For another, if we simply live the genuine life of Christ, the scribes, Pharisees and Sadducees will come looking for us quite soon enough – and then they will seek to kill us.
    Paul the apostle is a great example to follow here. He preached the Gospel free of charge, depending on God as his source so that his reward was from above. ( 1 Cor. 9:12-19 ) Paul made himself a slave to everyone else. Paul uses himself as an example of the principle of self-denial for the sake of others. He renounces his rights out of consideration for others in order not to hinder the Gospel. Humanistic wisdom is a poor basis for determining what is true or false, right or wrong, worthy or unworthy. God’s written word and revelation is the only infallible source for determining the right part of life. The human way has in it the seed of death; God’s way leads to eternal life. ( Prov. 14:12 ) The faithless are those who have turned their hearts away from God to go their own selfish way (apostasy). It must be understood that in spite of all that faithful believers do in evaluating a person’s life and message, there will be false teachers within the assemblies who, with Satan’s help, remain undetected until God determines to expose those persons for what they are. ( Prov. 14:14-15 ) Those who remain prudent to God will reap the rewards of righteousness both in this life and in the next. We as sincere believers must also defend and guard the truth against distortion or alteration. “Beloved, when I gave all diligence to write unto you of the common salvation, it was needful for me to write unto you, and exhort you that ye should earnestly contend for the faith which was once delivered unto the saints.” ( Jude 3-4 ) “For everyone who partakes only of milk is unskilled in the word of righteousness, for he is a babe. But solid food belongs to those who are of full age, that is, those who by reason of use have their senses exercised to discern both good and evil.” ( Heb. 5:13-14 ) The original apostolic revelation found in the New Testament can never be replaced or nullified by later revelation, testimony or prophecy. ( Acts 20:27 ; 1 Tim. 6:20; top )
    Jesus is the only way and the TRUE light. He removes darkness and deception by illuminating the right way to God our only Spiritual Father ( Mt. 23:9 ) who gives salvation to us. If we are still walking in darkness, then we are certainly not walking and following Christ who is the illuminator who redeems us from sin, the world and Satan. “…that I might fully declare God’s Word, that sacred mystery which up till now has been hidden in every age and every generation, but which is now as clear as daylight to those who love God.” ( Col. 1:25-26 ) “We speak the plain truth and so commend ourselves to every man’s conscience in the sight of God. If our gospel is ‘veiled,’ the veil must be in the minds of those who are spiritually dying. The god of this world has blinded the minds of those who do not believe, and prevents the light of the glorious gospel of Christ, the image of God, from shining on them… For we are looking all the time not at the visible things but at the invisible. The visible things are transitory: it is the invisible things that are permanent.” ( 2 Cor. 4:2-4 , 18; top )
    True Christian leaders will seek to:
    • Honor Christ – not preach honor to themselves. ( 2 Cor. 8:23 ; Phlp. 1:20 )
    • Lead the people of Christ into sanctification and true holiness. ( Acts 26:18 ; 1 Cor. 6:18 ; 2 Cor. 6:16-18 )
    • Save the lost and proclaim and defend the Gospel of Christ.
    • Be committed totally on all of God’s Word; they believe and teach Christ’s and the original Apostle’s teachings and the original writings of both New Testament and Old Testament as fully inspired by God. ( 2 Jn. 9-11 )
    • Have integrity with the Lord’s money. They refuse to take large amounts of monies for themselves; handle all finances with integrity and responsibility; and seek to promote Gods work in ways consistent with New Testament standards for leaders. ( Tit. 3:3 ; 1 Tim. 6:9-10; top )
    Honor the Set Man?
    When one looks at the abominable list of legalisms by which the people are supposed to honor the “set man” that comes from principles laid down in an article I read (Eternal Principle of Honour, 2010) and when compared to the doctrines of Christ, we recognize that these dogmas of men come from a very different spiritual source. The Word of God tells us, “He who speaks on his own does so to gain honor for himself, but he who works for the honor of the one who sent him is a man of truth; there is nothing false about him.” ( Jn. 7:18 ) “Just as the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give His life as a ransom for many.” ( Mt. 20:28 ) The naive believes everything, but the sensible man considers his steps. ( Prov. 14:15 ) There is nothing wrong with giving honor to whom honor is due as long as it is in a community of mutuality, where the least honorable are given the greater honor! We are to honor everyone, not just the “pastor” of the “church” or the “apostolic source” or “set man” and his family only. The apostolic move today places a lot of emphasis on giving double honor to leaders: e.g. pastors, apostles, spiritual fathers, set men, etc., twisting and distorting such as 1 Tim. 5:17 to do so.) However, we have never heard a single practical message preached on honoring the least honorable ( 1 Cor. 12:23-25; top ), nor seen principles and practices of honor implemented to emphasize those verses with the same sense of conviction with which honor to the set man is preached.
    In teachings of how to honor the “set man” there are only two positions – master and slave, teacher and pupil, over and under. In the body of Christ, there are two positions – the body and the Head. The latter is already filled and will never be available to mere men. Those who insist on being in the Head will simply have to find themselves a body other than the Body of Christ! And this is precisely what they do. Jesus further said, “But you are not to be called rabbi (teacher), for One is your Teacher, and you are all brothers. And do not call anyone on earth ‘father,’ for you have one Father, and He is in heaven. And do not be called leaders (teachers); for One is your Leader, that is, Christ.” ( Mt. 23:8-10; top ) We are to be neither master nor teacher for we are all brothers with only one Father who is in heaven. How simple it is when we hear the truth from the only Master’s lips! But these “set man” teachings still makes these two classifications – clergy and laity, teacher and pupil, master and slave, superior and inferior, all different names for the same distinction. One who is not a slave must be a master and teacher just as one who is not a master must be a slave and pupil. There simply is no place in the slave mentality for the idea of brother standing next to brother as equals in a commonly-held truth ready to battle a common foe. This is what these “set man teachings” have programmed into us by forcing us to sit at the feet of the supposedly superior, eloquent, ear-scratching Nicolaitian masters in the pulpit.
    When honor flows only in one direction, it is unbiblical and is a poor attempt at honor, it misses the mark. There is simply not a single example in the New Testament of any of the original apostles or even our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ using such examples like the list “set out” by S.Y. Govender and Ralph Ellaya of how this honor is shown and is “supposed” to be practiced by the people that are under their influence. The apostolic prohibition against identifying with any individual apostle giving him a title of “set man” or “spiritual father” is crystal clear. We are the spiritual seed of Christ, not man, yet we embrace the same practice in our own apostolic circles and call it “new” revelation but it is the same as the Roman Catholic practice of entitling their clergy as “Father So-And-So.” Any loyalty other than loyalty to Christ is misdirected loyalty. Now, loyalty to Christ is meant to work out in a communion of love and service that benefits all members of the community, not just for the benefit of the “set man,” “spiritual father” and his own biological family only.
    The Slave Mentality
    The slave mentality is all about who will be on top or at least look like it – even for the slave this is all it is about – and the fact that the enemy is moving in for an all-out kill is completely ignored. The over/under part of “lording over” is just as repugnant and despised by the Lord as the lording (authoritarian) part. The warrior mentality looks for brothers and sisters who can “fly by the seat of the spirit” (walk by faith and the leading of the Spirit of God and not by sight), whose highest priority is the will of God (whatever that may be and however much it might cost), who love the truth more than they love their own lives and reputations and whose connections with this world are light and almost non-existent. Spiritually speaking, anyone who walks by sight (planning every detail), who scoffs at the notion of seeking God’s will on everything, whose love for his own opinions is stronger than his love for the truth (especially opinions about himself but also his “convictions” and “beliefs” about general spiritual truths), whose worldly possessions are anchored to him like a ball and chain, this one does not have a warrior’s heart but rather has a slave’s mindset. Can we see which side of this equation we belong to? We desperately need to ask the Lord to search our hearts and show us the truth of this matter.
    Let’s look at the example of Christ washing the disciple’s feet! This act of washing the feet that Jesus did was on the last night of Jesus’ life on earth. The reason Jesus did this was to demonstrate to His disciples how much He loved them. Secondly, it was the foreshadow of His self-sacrifice on the cross and also to convey the truth in calling His disciples to serve one another in humility. Christ wanted them to see that the desire to be first, to be superior and honored above fellow believers, is contrary to the spirit of our Lord Jesus Christ. Unlike Jesus’ teachings, today’s self-appointed “apostles” – wolves in sheep’s clothing – teach a different gospel. These hirelings (set men) now teach how they should be honored. We beg you to read these teachings in its entire context and you will see what ravenous wolves they really are. We all, each one of us, are the sheep that must listen to the Good Shepherd’s voice. Those who are true sheep of Christ obey His voice and follow Him. Those who follow the Good Shepherd receive eternal life. ( Jn. 10:27 ) Those sheep who stray from the Good Shepherd and refuse to listen to Him are not His sheep. There is indeed safety and security for even the weakest sheep who follows and listens to the Good Shepherd. No one can snatch even a single sheep from His hand ( Jn. 10:28 ) – the real danger to a sheep is to those who negligently and persistently wander off after other things. Our Heavenly Father has blessed us with all spiritual blessings in Christ Jesus and anointed us by The Holy Spirit with an anointing that abides in us. ( Eph. 1:3 , 1 Jn. 2:27 ) The Father gives to Christ all manner of blessing. The blessings first come to Christ, and from Him they come to us. “The Father loved the Son and has given all things into His hand.” ( Jn. 3:35 ) We must go to Christ for everything. Christ says, “All things are delivered unto Me by My Father.” ( Mt. 11:27; top ) Christ alone is the DOOR.
    No true child of God can submit to these “hirelings,” which Jesus Himself described in John 10. They do not even enter by the Door, (the True Jesus,) but climb into the stable via their false doctrines and false “authority,” (another gospel,) and THEY are the ones Jesus warned about, the thief, that do not come except to steal (the blood-bought souls of Jesus,) kill, and destroy, not following the TRUE Christ, Who came to “bring life and life in abundance.” ( Renette Vermeulen )
    God is the ultimate builder, the One who guarantees a harvest. Neither the one who plants nor the one who waters is significant. ( 1 Cor. 3:5-7; top ) We need better insight into the Apostolic Reformation Movement. Stephen Crosby in his book Authority, Accountability, and the Apostolic Movement answers many questions and provides an appropriate and balanced contrast to prevailing “apostolic” philosophies. This kind of biblical approach is what the Church needs. It provides the understanding and ability to close the gap that has existed between “us” and “them,” the leadership and the laity, those who submit and those to whom others submit, the apostle and the Christian “everyman.”
    An apostolic master builder is someone supernaturally graced to see the foundation of Jesus Christ built into every believer and every local church. All tasks must serve the goal of the revelation of Christ within people, not become the goal. Apostolic building is a spiritual quality that results in the increase of Christ and His kingdom in the earth, not necessarily the increase of a network or a mere mortal that sees himself “set” in place. Paul’s apostolic mandate was to make Christ known in a foundational way. The call of an apostle is to be gladly spent and used up by others ( 2 Cor. 12:12-15; top ), not build up a great network or a cleverly disguised Pyramid scheme to swindle God’s flock for the “first fruits, tithes and offerings.” The building systems of the emergent apostolic movement are theologically unsound, methodologically flawed, and ethically tainted. Rather than celebrating their emergence in a spirit of restoration and reformation, we should be mourning that so many are being defrauded by another gospel, another kingdom, and another king. (Extract from Authority, Accountability, and the Apostolic Movement by Stephen Crosby )
    The book of The Revelation is addressed to the seven churches that reflect and represent the churches of this age. The primary purpose of this book is to reveal the triumph of God’s kingdom on earth (the New Jerusalem not created by human hands but the King of kings and Lord of lords) and the end time events surrounding Christ’s coming. One of the major concerns of Christ in His final message to the seven churches was that they not fall away (apostasy) by tolerating false teachers, prophets or apostles who were distorting His Word or weakening its power and authority. Those who claim to be apostles but in reality are not ( Rev. 2:2 ), we can discover their true nature by testing the life, doctrines and claims of leaders. But we as sincere believers must remain loyal to Christ and His unadulterated Word. If we are not so committed, we can be affected by false, wicked and unfaithful people. The Gospel, i.e. the original message of Christ and the original apostle’s teachings of the New Testament, is the ultimate authority by which to measure truth and falsehood. Jesus warns believers of the teaching of Balaam who was a false prophet. ( Rev. 2:14; top ) It therefore refers to corrupt teachers and preachers who were leading believers into fatal compromise with immorality, worldliness, false ideologies all for the sake of personal advancement or monetary gain (love of mammon). Blessed is the one who reads – and heeds – the words of this prophecy!
    We must heed the warnings of the Holy Spirit or we will reap the consequences of our negligence. ( Rev. 2:17 ) “You tolerate that women Jezebel, who calls herself a prophetess” ( Rev. 2:20 ), the spirit of manipulation and control. Just like in the church of Thyratia, believers today tolerate and submit to a spiritual Jezebel, who exhibits great charisma, along with manipulative and seductive control and influence. We must reject ministers who put their own words above Biblical revelation. Some in the church will tolerate such false teachings because of fear of confrontation. God says that He will judge such leaders and punish all those who do not repent. One submits to leadership that is true to Christ alone. Read 1 Corinthians 14:29 in context. Churches are subordinate not only to Christ as Lord and Head, but also to the Holy Spirit. They must listen, hear and respond to the voice of the Spirit and to His Words. It is the Holy Spirit that Represents Christ’s presence and Lordship over His Church. The Spirit and His Word is the ultimate authority of Christ. Don’t let anyone deceive you in any way. The man of lawlessness will demonstrate through Satan’s power great signs wonders and miracles in order to propagate error ( 2 Ths. 2:3-4; top ), performing counterfeit miracles and supernatural miracles that deceive people into accepting a lie. When the time comes, Christ will return and destroy the antichrist, his armies and all who disobey the Gospel of Christ. Thereupon Christ will bind Satan and establish His Kingdom on earth, the New Earth, not this one that the lawless control and have defiled and destroyed.
    Brothers and sisters, we beg you to allow the Lord to search your hearts and lead you into all truth.

    Reply

  4. darryl
    Dec 02, 2013 @ 17:02:21

    First Fruits, Tithes and Offerings

    Darryl Samuels

    ( in Adobe/pdf format )

    Scriptures Referenced in This Article:
    (Follow the Scripture links if you want to study the Scriptures for yourself.)
    Gen. 14:22-23 π Gen. 17:10 π Ex. 32:24 π Lev. 10:1-3 π Lev. 23:9-14 π Lev. 23:14 π Lev. 23:15-16 π Lev. 27:30 π Num. 18:21 π Num. 18:26; 2nd π Dt. 10:9 π Dt. 14:24 π Dt. 18:1 π Dt. 26:1-10 π Dt. 26:12-15 π 1 Ki. 12:28 π 2 Chr. 13:8 π 2 Chr. 31:5 π Jer. 6:13 π Jer. 17:5 π Mal. 2:2-8 π Mal. 2:13-14 π Mal. 2:14 π Mal. 3:8 π Mal. 3:8-9 π Mt. 6:25-34 π Mt. 11:28-30 π Mt. 15:6 π Mt. 19:21 π Mt. 22:21 π Mt. 22:37-40 π Mt. 28:20b π Mk. 13:31 π Lk. 12:15 π Jn. 1:12 π Jn. 3:16 π Jn. 6:32-35 π Jn. 8:42-44 π Jn. 14:6 π Jn. 15:1-8 π Jn. 15:6 π Acts 7:48-49 π Acts 17:11 π Acts 20:7 π Acts 20:28-30 π Rom. 8:14 π Rom. 8:15 π Rom. 8:16-17 π Rom. 8:29 π Rom. 16:5 π 1 Cor. 3:16 π 1 Cor. 4:15-16 π 1 Cor. 5:11 π 1 Cor. 6:10 π 1 Cor. 6:19 π 1 Cor. 6:19-20 π 1 Cor. 9:14 π 1 Cor. 9:25 π 1 Cor. 11:1 π 1 Cor. 15:20 π 1 Cor. 16:1-2 π 1 Cor. 16:2; 2nd π 1 Cor. 16:15 π 2 Cor. 8:10 π 2 Cor. 8:16 π 2 Cor. 9:6 π 2 Cor. 9:6-7 π 2 Cor. 9:6-8 π 2 Cor. 9:7; 2nd; 3rd; 4th π 2 Cor. 10:4-6 π 2 Cor. 11:7 π 2 Cor. 11:8 π 2 Cor. 11:9 π Gal. 2:16 π Gal. 2:21; 2nd; 3rd π Gal. 3:10-14; 2nd; 3rd; 4th π Gal. 4:6 π Gal. 4:7; 2nd π Gal. 5:12 π Gal. 5:22-23 π Eph. 1:5 π Eph. 2:8-9 π Eph. 4:28 π Eph. 4:30 π Eph. 5:25 π Phlp. 4:17 π 1 Ths. 5:19-22 π 2 Ths. 3:8 π 2 Ths. 3:9 π 2 Ths. 3:10 π 1 Tim. 4:1 π 1 Tim. 5:18; 2nd π Heb. 3:8-13 π Heb. 4:14-15 π Heb. 4:16 π Heb. 7:4 π Heb. 7:5 π Heb. 7:11-12 π Heb. 7:12 π Heb. 8:6-13 π Heb. 8:10-11 π Heb. 9:14-17 π Heb. 10:16 π Heb. 12:6-11 π Heb. 12:9 π Heb. 12:24 π Jas. 1:14-20 π Jas. 1:18 π 1 Pet. 2:4-10 π 1 Pet. 2:9-10; 2nd π 1 Pet. 2:13-14 π 1 Pet. 5:2 π 1 Pet. 5:3 π 2 Pet. 1:1-10 π 2 Pet. 2:3 π 1 Jn. 2:15-17 π 1 Jn. 2:27 π 1 Jn. 3:17-18 π Rev. 2:17 π Rev. 5:9-10

    Editor’s Note: This article is written by a brother being confronted with erroneous and false teachings about tithes and offerings, especially the “first fruits,” and this writing is the result of his decision to research the Bible for himself. May there be many, many more such “noble Bereans”! ( Acts 17:11 ) It is our prayer that many people would benefit from this brother’s noble search for the truth and more people will be able to be released from bondage as they read. – NG

    After studying the scriptures for myself. I see that according to the old covenant the people were bound by law. According to the New Testament it is not about law but the Spirit of God. Law says you must pay a tenth. The Spirit says give and it shall be given. If you give bountifully you reap bountifully and if you give sparingly you will reap sparingly. ( 2 Cor. 9:6 ) The scriptures have taught me that I should be a liberal giver, period. The book of Galatians sets us free! We came out of religion and into the freedom of Christ who has given Himself freely. It’s about giving! Freely! Giving offers freedom and right of choice without a law attached. Tithing is a law of bondage, and many have been set free of this bondage to walk in freedom. That’s why Christ is that freedom – the “First Fruits.” God blesses His children regardless of giving or tithing. It’s His promise. ( Gal. 3:10-14 ; 2:21; top ) At the same time, many Christians refuse to submit to the biblical exhortations about making offerings to the Lord. Giving to GOD is intended to be a joy and a blessing.

    Giving is the answer to support of spreading the Gospel. 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 ) God loves a cheerful giver. However, our offerings, which provide for those in real need, are borne of love. This kind of giving is AGAPE – a requirement of the Moral or Law of Love towards our fellow man. For as long as believers live on earth, God’s Moral Law of Love, of GOD first and then toward our fellow man, will remain unchangeable. ( Jas. 1:14-20 ; Mt. 28:20b ) The old (outward, ceremonial, ritual, or Old Testament Law or Old Covenant), which pertained to the old temple dispensation, as we know was for the Israelites. During the New Testament dispensation, Jesus became the “Mediator of a better covenant for if that first covenant was faultless, then no place would have been found for a second covenant. In that He says, ‘A New Covenant,’ He has made the first obsolete. Now what has become obsolete and old is ready to vanish away.” ( Heb. 8:6-13 – also see Glen & Renette Vermeulen; top )

    First Fruits

    “First fruits” was a Jewish feast held in the early spring at the beginning of the grain harvest. It was observed on Nisan 16, which was the third day after Passover and the second day of the Feast of Unleavened Bread. First fruits was a time of thanksgiving for God’s provision. Leviticus 23:9-14 institutes the first fruits offering. The people were to bring a sheaf of grain to the priest, who would wave it before the Lord. A burnt offering, a meal offering, and a drink offering were also required at that time. Deuteronomy 26:1-10 gives even more detail on the procedure of the feast of first fruits. No grain was to be harvested at all until the first fruits offering was brought to the Lord. ( Lev. 23:14 ) The offering was made in remembrance of Israel’s sojourn in Egypt, the Lord’s deliverance from slavery, and their possession of “a land that flowed with milk and honey.” The day of the first fruits offering was also used to calculate the proper time of the Feast of Weeks. ( Lev. 23:15-16; top )

    In the New Testament, the first fruits offering are mentioned seven times, always symbolically. Paul calls Epaenetus and the household of Stephanas “the first fruits of Achaia.” ( Rom. 16:5 ; 1 Cor. 16:15 ) His meaning is that, just as the first fruits offering was the first portion of a larger harvest, these individuals were the first of many converts in that region. James calls believers “a kind of first fruits of His creatures.” ( Jas. 1:18 ) Just like the sheaf of grain was set apart for the Lord, so are believers set apart for God’s glory. The first fruits offering found its fulfilment in Jesus. “But Christ has indeed been raised from the dead, the first fruits of those who have fallen asleep.” ( 1 Cor. 15:20; top )

    Jesus’ resurrection has paved the way for our resurrection. Significantly, if Jesus was killed at Passover, then His resurrection on the third day would have fallen on Nisan 16 – the Feast of First Fruits. The first fruits offering is never directly applied to Christian giving in the New Testament. Paul did teach the Corinthian believers to set aside a collection “on the first day of the week” ( 1 Cor. 16:2 ) but that does not make it a “first fruits offering.” And, just as the offering of first fruits was an occasion of thanksgiving, so the Christian is to give with gladness without compulsion, but in the fullness of Joy and Love. In summary, first fruits symbolizes God’s harvest of souls, it illustrates giving to God from a grateful heart, and it sets a pattern of giving back to Him the first (and the best) of what He has given us and this certainly does not belong to an “apostolic source” or “set man” or “spiritual father,” it should be used for the advancement of the Kingdom of God to win souls (the greatest commission here on earth) and not for him to do as he pleases or as he sees fit. Not being under the Old Testament Law, the Christian is under no further obligation than to give cheerfully and liberally. ( 2 Cor. 9:6-7; top )

    Many Christians struggle with the issue of tithing and giving. In many churches tithing, offerings and now the new term “more excellent giving” of one’s “first fruits” to the “set man” is over-emphasized. God’s sons are spiritually abused because of the “set man” theology. My understanding of biblical leadership is where the Lord is exalted and not the leader “set man.” Leaders of these churches occupy positions of unique privilege (when they should simply be open and transparent) and often the praise and thanksgiving meant for GOD falls on the “set man,” “apostle,” “pastor,” etc. No one argues the point of respecting and blessing their pastor. But a line soon gets crossed and the pastor, the “set man” has now become the entire means for blessing and cursing. The “set man” takes all the glory for himself and shuts Christ out of the picture. We create our very own “golden calves.” (see Ex. 32:24 , 1 Ki. 12:28 , 2 Chr. 13:8 ) Yes, the man of God should be credited for his ministry but all GLORY must be placed on Christ where it belongs. Biblical leadership is not imposed; it is recognised and submitted to. Leadership is to be demonstrated by loving sacrifice even as Christ Loved and gave Himself for the church. ( Eph. 5:25 ) This teaching of the “set man” is rooted in Numbers 27 but they fail to teach that Aarons sons were killed immediately on the altar before the people because they took the glory from God and tried to emphasize what their flesh is capable of. ( Lev. 10:1-3; top )

    Tithing is an Old Covenant concept. The tithe was also a requirement of the law in which all Israelites were to give one tenth of everything they earned and grew (farmed) to the Tabernacle or Temple. ( Lev. 27:30 ; Num. 18:26 ; Dt. 14:24 ; 2 Chr. 31:5 ) In fact, the Old Covenant required multiple tithes which would have pushed the total to around 23.3 percent, not the 10 percent which is generally considered the tithe amount today. Old Covenant tithe was a law to provide for the needs of the priests and Levites in the sacrificial system. The New Covenant, New Testament Church, nowhere commands, or even recommends, that Christians submit to a legalistic tithe system. Paul only states once that believers should set aside a portion of their income in order to support the people of Christ. ( 1 Cor. 16:1-2 ) Nowhere in scripture did Paul ever claim the tithes, offerings or even first fruits for himself but distributed everything he received to all that where in need. “Be shepherds of God’s flock that is under your care, serving as overseers-not because you must, but because you are willing, as God wants you to be; not greedy for money, but eager to serve.” ( 1 Pet. 5:2; top )

    For someone to get a salary (wages) for his work in the gospel is biblical but not mandatory. For Scripture says, “Do not muzzle an ox while it is treading out the grain,” and “The worker deserves his wages.” ( 1 Tim. 5:18 ) In the same way, the Lord ordered that those who preach the Good News should be supported by those who benefit from it. ( 1 Cor. 9:14 ) But nowhere in the New Testament is the ‘apostolic source” or “set man” (phrases which cannot even be found in the New Testament at all) still entitled to the tithes, offering and first fruits to keep for himself? Please explain this “principle” and the math as well: 25% of one’s first salary, etc. is to go to the “set man.” (Where is this ever recorded in scripture?) “From the least to the greatest, all are greedy for gain; prophets and priests alike, all practice deceit.” ( Jer. 6:13 ) In my understanding this is Love of mammon and one big Pyramid scheme, whereby the “spiritual father” (especially those who climb to the rank of “super apostle” or “patriarch”) receives all the tithes and first fruits and in turn he returns to his ‘spiritual father’. Once one has reached a certain, unspecified level of “spiritual maturity,” he (the “super apostle”) is to be regarded as a “patriarch” and no longer needs a “father” over him. This is only humanistic or traditional theological ideas behind what this teaching represents. “In their greed these teachers will exploit you with stories they have made up. Their condemnation has long been hanging over them, and their destruction has not been sleeping.” ( 2 Pet. 2:3 ) In fact, one can only rightly conclude that they simply make all this up as they go along – or else we must conclude that these are truly partaking of the teachings of demons as Paul prophesied that many would do in the end times. (Neil Girrard – see 1 Tim. 4:1; top )

    Abraham’s Tithe to Melchizedek Before the Law

    Many abusers of the Old Testament Law twist the meaning of Hebrews 7 in an attempt to sustain legalistic tithing as a New Testament commandment. When we look at this passage in context, however, we find in it a much deeper meaning than ‘tithing,’ which greedy, legalistic or even simply un-renewed, fleshly minds easily ignore. Jesus, or Melchizedek, represents the New Order of spiritual priests, and the emphasis of Hebrews 7 is on JESUS CHRIST and His ministry, not on legalistic tithing.

    “Now observe how great a Personage this Melchizedek was, to Whom Abram the patriarch, [of the Old Testament], gave a tenth of the topmost or the pick of the heap of the spoils.” ( Heb. 7:4 ) Abram responds to Melchizedek’s [Jesus’] office, generosity and blessing by giving Him a tenth of all the spoils that he gathered in the recent war. “And to the king of Sodom, who shared their banquet, Abram said: ‘I will not take a thread or a shoelace or anything that is yours, lest you should say, I have made Abram rich. Take all except only what my men have eaten and the share of my allies who went to war with me.’” ( Gen. 14:22-23; top )

    God never gave Abraham the charge to tithe – neither did He commend him for doing it. God only commanded Abraham to practice circumcision. That was the condition of God’s covenant with him. “This is My covenant, which you shall keep, between Me and you and your seed after you; every man child among you shall be circumcised.” ( Gen. 17:10 ) That’s it! Why won’t these who demand “the tithe” equally insist on the rest of the law too? (see Gal. 5:12; top )

    “This chapter in the Old Testament represents the establishment of the Abrahamic Covenant,” (the New Covenant, ultimately fulfilled in Christ, which includes all New Testament, Jewish and Gentile believers.) “Abraham represented Old Israel, (and the Dual, Old Testament Law; the Moral and Ceremonial Law,) when he paid tithes to Melchizedek.” This was not a tenth of Abram’s earnings, which he had to gain from the earth. This was a spoil of war, which represented his gratitude for God’s victory over his enemies – and it foreshadowed the victory of Christ over Satan. This passage distinguishes Abram, not only as our patriarch of faith, but also as a mighty man of war, who fought against his enemies in the same way that New Testament believers fight and stand against the entities of darkness – solely dependent upon God and His provision, living a grateful life of obedience in Him. ( 2 Cor. 10:4-6 ; also see 2 Cor. 9:7 – “purposed in his heart” – “not grudgingly” – “not under compulsion.” This is probably the foundational verse for all New Testament giving.; top)

    During the time that Abraham was at war there was famine in the land and Melchizedek, king of Salem, gave Abraham food and drink (Bread and Wine). In the New Testament, Jesus said, “Very truly I tell you, it is not Moses who has given you the bread from heaven, but it is My Father who gives you the true bread from heaven. For the bread of God is the bread that comes down from heaven and gives life to the world.” “Sir,” they said, “always give us this bread.” Then Jesus declared, “I am the bread of life. Whoever comes to Me will never go hungry, and whoever believes in Me will never be thirsty.” ( Jn. 6:32-35 ) New Testament/New Covenant believers are led by the Holy Spirit and are fed the word through Christ Jesus and not through a medium (the “set man”). Christ wants to have a direct relationship with His brothers and sisters and with our Heavenly Spiritual Father as we are the Sons of GOD Most High. This is what the LORD says: “Cursed is the one who trusts in man, who depends on flesh for his strength and whose heart turns away from the LORD.” ( Jer. 17:5; top )

    The tithing law of the old covenant was God’s provision for meeting the material needs of the priests from the tribe of Levi who were not to receive any land in the inheritance of Israel. ( Num. 18:21 ; Dt. 10:9 , 18:1 ) They needed support in order to minister in the temple and meet the needs of the poor. ( Num. 18:26 ; Dt. 26:12-15 ) Therefore, when the Israelites failed to give the temple tithe, God warned, “Will a man rob God? Yet you are robbing Me! But you say, ‘How have we robbed You?’ In tithes and offerings.” ( Mal. 3:8 ) Nowhere does this passage talk about “first fruits.” This warning was written for the false prophets and teachers of the law who were robbing GOD and was not written for the New Testament Church of Believers and it was especially not written for those false teachers and prophets, “set men,” who use the words of either Testament to fleece the flock for all they can swindle! “But now I am writing you that you must not associate with anyone who calls himself a brother but is sexually immoral or greedy, an idolater or a slanderer, a drunkard or a swindler. With such a man do not even eat.” ( 1 Cor. 5:11; top )

    “Now the law requires the descendants of Levi who become priests to collect a tenth from the people, that is, their brothers, even though their brothers are descended from Abraham.” ( Heb. 7:5 ) The Levitical priesthood continued to serve in the temple throughout the earthly lifetime of Jesus. But after the death, resurrection, and ascension of the Lord Jesus, the structure of leadership changed: “For when there is a change of the priesthood, there must also be a change of the law.” ( Heb. 7:12 ) Christ is now our High Priest. Christians are now God’s temple and His royal priesthood. ( Heb. 4:14-15 ; 1 Cor. 6:19-20 ; 1 Pet. 2:9-10; top ) Why is it that Jesus never preached to His followers that He is the source (High Priest) that nourishes them, they should give Him the tithes, first fruits and offerings?

    Our High Priest Christ Jesus ministers the new covenant to us (God’s law written on our hearts – Heb. 8:10-11 ) by giving us the Holy Spirit. ( Heb. 12:24 ; 10:16 ) This law operates powerfully, causing us to love others with Spirit-produced love. ( Gal. 5:22-23 ) That is why John writes, “If anyone has material possessions and sees his brother in need but has no pity on him, how can the love of God be in him?” ( 1 Jn. 3:17-18; top ) Because God’s love compels a true Christian to give, none of the New Testament epistles command or recommend that Christians pay a tithe. Rather than being a requirement, giving spontaneously results from a Christian’s love for God and for his brothers.

    Christians may, if they choose, give a tenth of their income to whomever the Lord so leads, meeting spiritual and material needs in their destitute world. Some will be instructed and choose to give less than a tenth; some will be instructed and choose to give much more than a tenth. Paul recommended giving at the regular assembly of the ekklesia (which they had chosen as Sunday because that was the day the Lord rose from the dead – Acts 20:7 ), saying: “On the first day of every week, each one of you should set aside a sum of money in keeping with his income” ( 1 Cor. 16:2 ) but even this was to meet a special need among the Jewish Christians in Judea and is shaky ground for any routine or all-inclusive practice. Christians should never hoard but are to give as much as God directs – even if, as with “the rich young ruler” whom Jesus commanded to sell all. ( Mt. 19:21 ) It is all God’s money. His rewards outweigh the cost. “Remember this: Whoever sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and whoever sows generously will also reap generously. Each man should give what he has decided in his heart to give, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver. And God is able to make all grace abound to you, so that in all things at all times, having all that you need, you will abound in every good work.” ( 2 Cor. 9:6-8; top )

    The Context of Malachi 2 and 3

    God was rebuking His backslidden religious priests when He said in Malachi. 2,

    “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. [The leaders perverted God’s truth and made it into manmade doctrines to profit themselves.] 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 you ask: Why does He reject it?” ( Mal. 2:2-8 , 13-14; top )

    These priests were swindlers operating from the “spirit of mammon.” “Nor thieves nor the greedy nor drunkards nor slanderers nor swindlers will inherit the kingdom of God.” ( 1 Cor. 6:10; top )

    The false doctrines, idolatry, greed, adultery and sexual perversion of this backslidden, Old Testament, RELIGIOUS GOVERNMENT is the context where God earnestly warned, “Will a man rob God? Wherein? In tithes and offerings. [God’s taxes and supplement charity for the poor.] You are cursed with a curse…” ( Mal. 3:8-9; top )

    The corrupted Old Testament, religious priest/leaders were the ones who were misusing and squandering God’s monies. They were the ones defrauding GOD – 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 twisting of the Holy Scriptures; idolatry, disobedience, adultery, divorce and robbery, but they were still asking: “Lord, why do You reject our offerings?” ( Mal. 2:14 ) Their deliberate transgression of the Moral and Ceremonial Law brought them under the entire curse of Deuteronomy 28, which is why God cursed these religious leaders “with a curse.” By confusing and fusing the Old and New Testaments (mixing NEW WINE in OLD WINSKINS), which are two different dispensations, wolves in sheep’s clothing have indoctrinated Jesus’ blood-bought, New Testament disciples to believe that they should pay the tithes or taxes of Old Israel, FIRST FRUITS included, to the “setman” to “earn” “super natural” blessings from God! Thus, according to this blatant lie, God “curses them with a curse.” ( Gal. 2:21 ) Jesus still says to His followers, “Watch out! Be on your guard against all kinds of greed [the spirit of mammon]; a man’s life does not consist in the abundance of his possessions.” ( Lk. 12:15; top )

    Paul explained in Galatians 3:10-14 , that New Testament believers already live in a state or position of blessedness through their faith in, and acceptance of the Lord Jesus Christ. Jesus Himself “became a curse” so that His sincere believers could “inherit all the blessings of Abraham.” Sincere believers are born again from a state of damnation and cursedness, into this position of salvation and blessedness in Christ. Thus they “inherit” the entire state or position of blessedness which the old patriarch of faith in God, Abraham, had enjoyed in Him. As the entire old, ceremonial law pertained to a completely different dispensation, (the Old Testament temple-era which Jesus came to fulfil, annul and destroy by ushering in the New Testament era of the spiritual temple, the people of Christ), the old prophet Malachi was not speaking to New Testament, blessed believers in Christ. The Old and the New Covenants or Testaments will forever remain two completely different dispensations. The first is a shadow, a foretaste, a glimmer of incomplete pictures – the latter is the reality, the outpouring, the way of attaining to every greater heights of glory in Christ Jesus our Saviour and Redeemer.

    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. (see Galatians chapters 2 & 3) In the same way, Jesus never commanded that animals must be sacrificed to atone for sin as believers of the New Covenant live under an entirely different dispensation from that of the Old Testament Israelites. Abraham practiced animal sacrifices, polygamy, and circumcision amongst other things. Would they all be valid in today’s church because they were all done before the law? If today’s clergy (pastors, set man, apostolic source, spiritual father, etc.) choose to keep one law, (Tithing, Offerings and First Fruits) to “earn” blessings from God, they must keep the entire Ceremonial or Ritual Law, and thereby proclaim that they do not need the Lord Jesus and His complete atonement. They then actually reject the grace of God in Christ! ( Gal. 3:10-14 ; Gal. 2:21 ) The only New Testament Law which Jesus and His disciples ever commanded was the Moral Law of Love for God and fellow man (which naturally relates to offerings) but the New Testament never mentions tithing and first fruits, except in the view of those who abuse Scripture non-contextually to reinforce their manmade or demonic doctrines of greed – the spirit of mammon. ( Mt. 22:37-40 ; 2 Cor. 9:7 ; Rom. 8:14; top )

    Believers already pay personal taxes, sales taxes, petrol-, toll-, 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. ( 1 Pet. 2:13-14 ; Mt. 22:21 ) The abuse, misuse, and twisting of God’s Word is an abominable sin! Jesus rendered obsolete the entire physical, Old Testament temple with its Levitical priesthood at Calvary, and sincere believers, indwelt by the Holy Spirit, became the spiritual New Testament temple of God! ( 1 Cor. 3:16 ; 6:19 ) Thus “there was a need for a [spiritual,] New [Testament] priesthood, for there should rise another High Priest, [Jesus,] according to the Order of Melchizedek, and not according to the order of Aaron, [the Old Testament priesthood.] For the priesthood being changed, of necessity there is also a change of the [temple] law…” ( Heb. 7:11-12 ) For Jesus Christ “has redeemed us [every sincere believer in Christ] to God by His blood out of every tribe, tongue, people and nation, and have made us [spiritual] kings and priests to our God.” ( Rev. 5:9-10; top )

    Yet the New Testament church clergy, “set man,” “apostolic source”/“spiritual father” claims rights to the financial support of the Levitical system, thus transforming themselves back into the obsolete priestly government of Old Israel which ministered in the physical Old Testament temple. This counterfeit “priesthood” actually insists that they have the “legal right” to 10% of every believer’s income including first fruits, as well as very generous offerings, in order to keep up their luxurious lifestyles, elaborate church buildings and huge houses with massive pools which they don’t (cannot!) even use for the advancement of God’s Kingdom. While they teach their members “to give until it hurts,” the entire Old Testament concept of the physical temple, physical altar and hierarchical, Levitical priesthood, were totally done away with in Jesus Christ at Calvary. ( Gal. 3:10-14 ; 1 Pet. 2:9-10 ) God does NOT dwell in “temples made with human hands, as the prophet says: Heaven is My throne, and earth is My footstool, what house will you build for Me? Says the Lord.” ( Acts 7:48-49; top )

    The Error of “Spiritual Fathering”

    And so Paul, one of the “elders” of the New Testament clearly 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.” ( 2 Ths. 3:8 ) He continued, “Not because we [“elders”] do not have a right to such support, but we wished to make ourselves an example for you to follow…” ( 2 Ths. 3:9 ) Paul also wrote, “For if I do this thing willingly [if I be a cordial co-operator with God], I have a reward, an incorruptible crown.” ( 1 Cor. 9:25; top ) If I freely preach the Gospel without being burthensome to any, I have a special reward; but if I do not, I have simply an office to fulfil, into which God has put me, and may fulfil it conscientiously, and claim my privileges at the same time; but then I lose that special reward which I have in view by preaching the Gospel without charge to any.

    Paul continued, “For we gave you this charge: If anyone, [this would include ‘ministers, priests, or pastors too], will not work, neither let him eat…” ( 2 Ths. 3:10 ) The practice of our giving, coming from the heart, would cause us to be moved by compassion, “give to him who has need.” ( Eph. 4:28 ) Paul had ample opportunity to bring up any “principle” or “Law of tithing” when he had needs both personally and for the people at Jerusalem. ( 2 Cor. 11:9 ) Why didn’t Paul teach them to tithe or give first fruits offerings? Paul talks about “wages” ( 2 Cor. 11:8 ; 1 Tim. 5:18 ) and he also talks about gifts ( Phlp. 4:17; top ) but he never talks anywhere about receiving tithes and first fruits.

    The principle (law) of giving in the New Testament comes from the heart not from the commands of the law ( 2 Cor. 8:10 ) – “giving comes by desire,” “purposed in his heart” – “not grudgingly” – “not under compulsion.” ( 2 Cor. 9:7 ) The church leaders must trust in the people hearing from God themselves. God puts His care in the obedient believer’s heart. ( 2 Cor. 8:16 ) Man’s way has always been not to trust the people but to lay down the Law. Some can’t join a local church without promising to follow their version of the outward dictates of the Old Testament law instead of following after the law God has written in their hearts. This is very close to charging for the word. Paul left the example of “preaching without charge.” ( 2 Cor. 11:7; top )

    If one pays his 10 %, he has something to boast about. Yet in the body of Christ, it is by grace and faith not by works of the law. ( Gal. 2:16 , etc.) “Not of works, lest any man should boast.” ( Eph. 2:8-9; top ) Your giving is between you and your GOD and you alone will bear the responsibility for how well you distribute whatever (much or little) He has given to you. Since He gave you everything you now have, we should not have a problem giving freely to GOD Most High. Any man, woman or child who benefits from our giving to God is simply another reason to rejoice in what God is doing in our midst. God alone accurately determines the true value of our giving, a value which may be immensely different from an earthly, clergy’s appraisal.

    Today’s clergy (“apostolic source,” “set man,” “pastor,” etc.) teach, “when you give your first fruits and tithes to your ‘spiritual father’ the first fruit becomes a tangible sign and symbol of your permanent covenant with him’ as a ‘spiritual son’, and that his grace and anointing becomes mixed into your life, thereby flavoring and enhancing your life with that of God has richly endowed him.” This statement above is unbiblical! Nowhere does it say in the New Testament that you receive an anointing from your “Spiritual Father.” Rather, the New Testament says, “How much more will the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered Himself without blemish to God, cleanse your conscience from dead works to serve the living God? And for this reason He is the mediator of a new covenant, in order that since a death has taken place for the redemption of the transgressions that were committed under the first covenant, those who have been called may receive the promise of the eternal inheritance. For where a covenant is, there must of necessity be the death of the one who made it. For a covenant is valid only when men are dead, for it is never in force while the one who made it lives.” ( Heb. 9:14-17; top ) Has your ‘spiritual father’ paid the price of death for you for you to make a covenant with him? Who is your Spiritual Father? The answer is quite simple if you ask me. My Heavenly Father certainly is. What Jesus said to the Jews is also true of believers today – “If God is your Father, you would love Me, for I come from God and now am here. I have not come on My own, but He sent Me. Why is My language not clear to you? Because you are unable to hear what I say. You belong to your father, the devil, and you want to carry out your father’s desire.” ( Jn. 8:42-44; top ) If those who have a “spiritual father” do not love their brothers, especially those without or who reject “spiritual fathering,” it is a clear sign of just who their father really is.

    The most misquoted verse by the followers of the “spiritual fathers” teachings is this: “For though you might have ten thousand instructors in Christ, yet you do not have many fathers; for in Christ Jesus I have begotten you through the gospel. Therefore I urge you, imitate me.” ( 1 Cor. 4:15-16 ) Many supporters of the “spiritual fathers” teaching stop there but Paul later completes that phrase, saying, “Imitate me as I imitate Christ.” ( 1 Cor. 11:1 ) Paul was not trying to act as an intermediary between New Testament Believers and Jesus Christ, he was not telling them to ‘imitate’ him per se, but rather that they should submit to Jesus Christ just as Paul himself had submitted to Jesus Christ. You only become an orphan or bastard when you allow your ‘pastor’, ‘apostle’ ‘set man’, etc. to take over the role of our Heavenly Father GOD Almighty through his Son Christ Jesus. Anyone who chooses to allow a man to be his “spiritual father” forsakes their only true Father, God, and will reap the horrific consequences. (Neil Girrard) The leaders are commanded to serve without being “lords over those entrusted” to them. ( 1 Pet. 5:3 ) The younger are exhorted to submit to the elders but all are commanded to “be submissive to one another and be clothed with humility.” ( 1 Pet. 2:4-10; top ) “a holy priesthood”, “a royal priesthood”, “to offer up spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ.” Our spiritual sacrifices are acceptable to God through Jesus Christ and not through any other man! We are all “holy” and “royal” priests. There are no first or second class priests. There is only one class! (Steve Hill)

    It’s ALL About Christ!

    The truth that God is our Heavenly Father and we are his children is one of the greatest revelations in the New Testament. Being a child of God, we are adopted in Christ as His very own. ( Eph. 1:5 ) This is a great honour and the privilege of our salvation. ( Jn. 1:12 , Gal. 4:7 ) This is the basis for our faith and trust in God ( Mt. 6:25-34 ) and our hope of glory for the future. As God’s children we are heirs of God and co-heirs with Christ. ( Rom. 8:16-17 ; Gal. 4:7 ) God wants us to be increasingly made aware through the Holy Spirit, the “Spirit of Sonship” ( Rom. 8:15 ), that we are His children. The Spirit produces the cry “Abba, Father” in our hearts ( Gal. 4:6 ) and gives us the desire to be “led by the Spirit.” This is the foundation for our discipline by the Father ( Heb. 12:6-11 ) and this is the reason we live to please God. God’s ultimate goal in making us His children is to save us forever – “For God so Loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son…” ( Jn. 3:16 ) – and to conform us to the likeness of His Son. ( Rom. 8:29; top )

    This is the pattern that the New Covenant, New Testament believers must follow and which true leaders must guide younger believers into. “Keep watch over yourselves and all the flock of which the Holy Spirit has made you overseers. Be shepherds of the church of God, which he bought with his own blood. I know that after I leave, savage wolves will come in among you and will not spare the flock.” ( Acts 20:28-30; top ) Those men teaching that a man is supposed to be your “spiritual father” is only influenced by ambition to build their own kingdoms of love of money (spirit of mammon), power and status, imposters in the church who distort the original gospel of the Father and Son through what the Holy Spirit recorded in the Gospels, Acts, the letters to the seven churches (Rev. 2-3), who established the apostolic pattern for the church.

    Tragically some of today’s church has departed from the Bible and modified God’s heavenly pattern according to human earthly ideas and ‘set man’ principles. If the church of Jesus Christ is to experience again the full plan, power and presence of God, we the bride (church) of Christ must turn from our own ways and embrace the teachings of the original apostles’ New Testament/New Covenant apostolic pattern as God’s timeless standard for His church and certainly not that of the modern day “set man,” “spiritual father” principles.

    “Moreover, we have all had human fathers who disciplined us and we respected them for it. How much more should we submit to the Father of our spirits and live!” ( Heb. 12:9 ) That is our Heavenly Spiritual Father, God! Yes, we do have Church leaders and their duty is to guide you in your PERSONAL RELATIONSHIP with Jesus Christ so that you receive directly from the Lord and relate with Him personally, not to serve as intermediaries between you and Jesus Christ. John wrote, “As for you, the anointing you received from Him (Christ Jesus) remains in you, and you do not constantly need anyone to constantly teach you. But as His (Christ’s) anointing teaches you about all things and as that anointing is real, not counterfeit – just as it has taught you, remain in Him.” ( 1 Jn. 2:27; top )

    The truth is that the spirit of mammon has taken over and various sorts of doctrines are being spread as the Gospel truth. An example of this is whereby the believer is compelled to give to the one who “distributes” the “bread and the wine” – that is, he must give the “apostolic source” or “set man” his Tithes and First Fruits. This ‘apostolic source’ or ‘set man’ can do anything with the Lord’s money as he sees fit! Even if it means they can use it for a pleasure trip to Mauritius, one cannot question it. Jesus came to carry our burdens and lighten our yokes, not to add to it.

    The “storehouse” is not the “house” – it is the “store” that nourishes the “house”! You are that house that Christ lives in. He is the “store,” the one who nourishes you through the word of GOD and covers you with the armour of GOD, our Spiritual Father in Heaven who is our “spiritual covering.”

    I have come to learn and believe that no man can out give God. Any offering made in righteousness and holiness, will always receive a reward. Let us remember that man’s doctrines are different from Scriptural commands, and in all my decisions I allow my understanding of the Bible, through the Holy Spirit resident inside of me to dictate my Christian life, even if this is against popular church opinion and beliefs.

    Today if one challenges the viewpoints of their “church,” the “pastor,” “set man,” “apostolic source” or “spiritual father,” they are asked or even forced to leave the “church.” This allows for no honest dialogue or study. If one strays from these man-made dogma that have been determined to be correct, he is cast out as an ‘orphan’ and shown the door and the dominant system remains intact and unchallenged. This is true of individual churches, institutes, Bible Colleges, and Apostolic Houses where intelligent but “man-made” doctrines and Bible interpretations have already been set by these “set men,” and members are simply given a package of these “doctrines” and there is no way to present individual viewpoints and bring correction when error is present. Instead, church members cleave to their “package” as unquestionable truth! This is not Biblical Christianity. This is not Christianity at all.

    This is not the teaching of Jesus Christ. Does anyone really imagine that God sees these types of “set men” as His representative on earth? The evils so clearly and forcefully exhibited in unbiblical dictatorship and spiritual abuse are the direct result of issues such as this. It is nothing but a man-made, man-centered, church structure. Christ should be the center of it ALL. In Jesus’ day, He too had to contend with the religious authorities who claimed to have “the way of God.” Time and again He challenged the Pharisees and scribes with regard to their “extra-biblical teachings,” charging them with making “null and void the word of God because of your tradition.” ( Mt. 15:6; top ) The religious leaders of Jesus’ day protected their teachings, their interpretations, their agendas with a passionate zeal, and defended them with a vicious anger that plotted against and successfully murdered the Messiah!

    The New Testament still says, “Do not love the world nor the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him. For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh and the lust of the eyes and the boastful pride of life, is not from the Father, but is from the world. The world is passing away, and also its lusts; but the one who does the will of God lives forever.” ( 1 Jn. 2:15-17 ) “Heaven and earth will pass away, but My words will by no means pass away.” ( Mk. 13:31; top )

    The systems of man’s doctrines and carnal thinking of the LAW are cold, fixed and non-relational (that is, institutional, bureaucratic). Salvation in Christ is a personal relationship and requires our openness by receiving God’s Grace in His Son that makes possible our relationship with Christ and is sufficient for sustaining us by the fullness of His Grace. I like the analogy that Jesus used about the vine and the branches. ( Jn. 15:1-8 ) We the Children (Branch) who remain in relational union with Christ (Vine) are secure and have life. Should a believer harden his heart and choose to break this relational grace-union with Christ and turn away, that person may in the end perish eternally as an unbeliever. ( Jn. 15:6 ) Through hardness of the heart ( Heb. 3:8-13 ) and rejecting God’s way, we ignore the constant voice and admonition of the Holy Spirit. ( Eph. 4:30 , 1 Ths. 5:19-22 ) We must heed the warnings of the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit continues to speak the Words Christ speaks. ( Rev. 2:17; top )

    I like what Peter says: “To those who through the righteousness of our God and Saviour Jesus Christ, have received a faith as precious as ours: Grace and peace be yours in abundance through the knowledge of God and of Jesus our Lord.” ( 2 Pet. 1:1-10 ) The love of our Heavenly Father and Salvation through Jesus Christ, His intercession for us in heaven, the indwelling of and baptism in the Holy Spirit, the communion of saints, (The Family of God), and God’s inspired Word are sufficient to meet all that believers need for life and godliness. ( Mt. 11:28-30 , Heb. 4:16 ) No additional human wisdom, technique or theory is needed to complete the sufficiency of God’s Word that reveals our perfect salvation in Christ. The words of Jesus Christ, the New Testament Original Apostolic faith and God’s Grace were adequate in the early days of the church to meet the needs of the lost and they are most certainly still adequate for today’s church. Absolutely nothing and no-one can offer more height, depth, strength and help when Jesus Christ alone is the Way and the Truth of Life. ( Jn. 14:6; top )

    If you don’t stand for something, you’ll fall for anything… May the Grace of Christ abound in you.

    Related Reading

    •Tithing – A Very Dangerous Gospel of Greed; Glen and Renette Vermeulen
    •8. The Question of Finance; The Normal Christian Church Life – Watchman Nee
    •Give, Give, Give; The End Time Men – W.W. Fischer
    •Principle of the Tithe; – Art Nelson
    •Tithing; The End Time Men – W.W. Fischer
    •The Money Question; – Art Nelson
    •Covering; The End Time Men – W.W. Fischer
    •Conferring with Flesh and Blood; The End Time Men – W.W. Fischer
    •By Their Own Authority; – Art Nelson
    •My Son, My Son; Twisted Scriptures – Neil Girrard
    •Who’s Your Daddy?; – Art Nelson
    •The Apostolic Mistake; – Art Nelson

    We’d love to hear comments and/or questions from you! Email author Darryl Samuels Email webhost Neil Girrard

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