After writing my first piece on tithing, I did a rather detailed search on the Internet for teachings on tithing and came across a lot of interesting articles and testimonies. The testimonies particularly cause me a bit of unrest and I still ask the question if believers today fully understand salvation.
There are a lot of claims within the Pentecostal circles of tremendous blessings derived from tithing. People testify of being blessed out of their socks when they began to tithe. There are further claims of favour, health etc. all these have been attributed to tithing. Now this begs me to ask this question; are we saying that an atheist would also experience these wonderful things if he tithed even though he does not believe in God? If I get a yes response that will suggest that Jesus came to die for nothing since we were well able to take care of our needs by ourselves. Now if I get a no response (which I seriously doubt I will get) that paints a completely different picture.
In order to make sense of all of this, I suggest we start at the beginning. Why did Jesus come in the first place? It couldn’t have been that bad that an innocent man had to be sacrificed for the whole world or was it?
We know that Adam and Eve sinned and disobeyed God’s command and because of that God issued this proclamation in Genesis chapter three
17 And to the man he said,
“Since you listened to your wife and ate from the tree
whose fruit I commanded you not to eat,
the ground is cursed because of you.
All your life you will struggle to scratch a living from it.
18 It will grow thorns and thistles for you,
though you will eat of its grains.
19 By the sweat of your brow
will you have food to eat
until you return to the ground
from which you were made.
For you were made from dust,
and to dust you will return.”
And Paul expounds on this further in I Corinthians where he tells us that death came through one man, Adam. We see that man was introduced into a life of struggle because of Adam’s disobedience. The sweet relationship Adam once shared with God had been severed and God introduced an interim measure, animal sacrifice. This remained constant throughout the Old Testament.
However, things seem to take a different turn in Genesis12; God calls Abraham. There is no record that this was due to an act of righteousness on Abraham’s part. This was actually something different from what had been. The bible says God calls Abraham and establishes a covenant with Abraham, promising to make him into a great nation and also promising to bless him tremendously. Was this promise of God due to any acts of righteousness Abraham performed? We should not forget that after God called him, he went to sojourn in Egypt and lied that his wife was his sister. Did God withhold His promise from Abraham because of that? No He didn’t. Instead the Egyptians were punished for something they were ignorant of.
This in itself laid the foundation for what God was about to do; mankind justified by faith and not by works lest anyone should boast. Genesis 15:6 says Abraham believed God and that made him (Abraham) righteous before God. Justification by faith. In order to pave the way for this to affect the entire mankind, the law was introduced, a schoolmaster until Jesus was revealed. Did mankind in anyway deserve this gift of God? No we didn’t. Did we need to have a special requirement before we could enjoy this great gift? Negative as well. Then why have we become like the Galatian church and now believe that we need to do something before God blesses us? We are now trying to earn what we already have.
We have now successfully reintroduced Christianity by works instead of faith, taking us back hundreds of years to the time before the Reformation. This was a time the Catholic Church held sway and more or less dominated the ancient world. They introduced a lot of false doctrines and prevented the people form gaining access to the bible. This made it easy for their deceits to prosper. What was really worthy of note was their ingenuous means of raising funds, The Sale of Indulgence. This was the practice of paying to get ones sins forgiven. Now doesn’t this sound a little familiar? What does the payments of tithes promise? Health, wealth, prosperity etc.
If we did not do anything to make Jesus die for us why then do we think that we have to do something before He blesses us? We have been told that in order to prosper financially we have to sow seeds into the lives and ministries of so called men of God. Pay tithes and give offerings. Is that what the bible says?
Our boast is no longer on the cross. We have successfully obscured its message and replaced it with the message of works. We now boast about all that we have accomplished through our faithful practise of tithing. I am so sure Martin Luther would be turning in his grave by now. Him and many others put their lives on the line to liberate us from this works mentality but no we’ve chosen to go back to it.
God does not bless you because you tithe, sow seeds or give sacrificially. If that were the case, God then contradicts himself and there was no point in His introduction of grace.
The covenant in the blood of Jesus secures your health, secures your prosperity and your wealth. It is all part of the salvation package you receive on the day you give your life to Jesus.
In conclusion, I will turn our attention to the Revelation 5:12
Saying with a loud voice, Worthy is the Lamb that was slain to receive power, and riches, and wisdom, and strength, and honour, and glory, and blessing.
Jesus has them all and gives them to you when you receive him, period!