So how do you know that Jesus is THE way?...the only way...and the answer to all the key questions of man's heart?
For the answer to lifes big questions...
1) Who am I?
2) Where did I come from?
3) Why am I here?
4) Where am I going?
5) Is there a God and how can I get to know Him?
For years I have wrestled with the huge dicotomy which exists between the teaching of christian churches regarding money ...and what the scriptures actually teach on this very important and practical issue.
Peter warned the early church of this even in his day..
“The Truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth, so help me God”
(Including the parts you probably have never heard from the pulpit)
(a work in progress and open to comment)
Tithing is 'of the Law' (Continued)
6 "For I am the LORD, I do not change; Therefore you are not consumed, O sons of Jacob. 7 Yet from the days of your fathers You have gone away from My ordinances And have not kept them. Return to Me, and I will return to you, "Says the LORD of hosts."But you said, 'In what way shall we return?'
14) What about the examples of ‘giving it all away’ as in Acts?
Some today believe and preach that we as believers should all give all we have away, (though usually to church organizations rather than to the poor?) and they often reference the following scriptures.
"Lord why is there such deception in your church?...and why is sin rampant amongst the ministry?"
(This article is NOT addressed to those godly servant leaders who are the exceptions and have not compromised the TRUTH of God's word for financial gain ... I have been blessed to have known a few such men of God)
There are numerous reports where people are claiming to have had visions and prophetic words...or heavenly encounters with Jesus where He commands that believers today must 'tithe' ....or even that they will go to hell for not tithing.
"What do you say about that?" ....some people ask
First I would counter..."We should instead be asking 'What does the Word of God say about that type of vision...and those people?'"
Much is taught today about how we can sow seed (i.e. give money to ministries) in order to receive a financial blessing. As is common with most heresies we find that in the midst of much deception there is a small element of truth which has been significantly distorted.
God is NOT a cosmic slot machine into which we can put money and then expect a huge guaranteed payout as some deceivers claim (i.e. Oral Roberts, Benny Hinn, Mike Murdock and their cronies)
24 But Jesus did not commit Himself to them, because He knew all men , 25 and had no need that anyone should testify of man, for He knew what was in man. NKJV
Have you ever wondered why Jesus who knew Judas's heart still chose him?.....and then gave him the role to look after the money?
After having listened to a series of teachings from a variety of preachers who all strongly believe that people should 'join a local church' (ie theirs)........come and be fed (ie by their particular brand of doctrine) ....submit to the leadership (ie them)....and of course, pay your tithes to 'support the work of God' 'in this place' (ie where they determine how the money will be spent)....I found myself asking God if I needed what they were offering.
Many times in churches today the lesson of what Jesus was teaching is missed…..as literalism gives way to a legalistic interpretation which results in God’s people being put under a burden which they cannot keep….and then ending up being crippled with guilt and condemnation.
63 It is the Spirit who gives life; the flesh profits nothing. The words that I speak to you are spirit, and they are life. NKJV
"Spiritual abuse is that which uses God's name as a tool to control and manipulate others"
Our salvation is by faith in Jesus' completed work for us on the cross....and the relationship with God that gives us....it does not require additional input such as church membership, tithing, and service in the local church!
Our relationship is with GOD directly (Heb 8:11) and NOT through a 'pastor'
The issue of whether we as New Testament believers are under the Law as believers is something that most preachers agree on....BUT usually only when it comes to the Law of tithing and the 10 Commandments. The bible however teaches that the Law IS a composite whole....it is ALL 613 commandments ...or nothing!
but lets look at what Jesus taught
The ‘Confusing’ start
The test that the bible gives us as to whether someone is a Christian is NOT that they preach powerfully....it is NOT that they prophesy and have great knowledge....and it is NOT even that they have great faith that can do mighty miracles (1 Cor 13:1-3)
It is that they LOVE the brethren!
Is the 'Stewardship' teaching which is heard in many churches today scripturally valid?
The definition of a 'steward' in the bible is a senior servant whose responsibility it was to take care of and manage his masters household. This is the ONLY way the word is used in the scriptures (Gen 24:2, Gen 43:16, Is 22:15, Dan 11:1, Mat 20:8, Luke 12:42 and Luke 16:1)
In the New Testament 'servants' are MINISTERS such as the apostles...
The key is in the ‘first mention’ of Melchizedek ....he was BOTH a KING AND A PRIEST. He was actually a historical king who reigned over the city of Jerusalem.
There are many preachers who claim that Melchizedek was an appearance of Christ in the Old Testament. This however conveniently overlooks the fact that Melchizedek physically reigned as a KING of a real historical city at the time of Abram.