- Religion and Philosophy
One of the biggest problems in life is to try and get anybody to part with their money.This is equally true in the church. The truth is that once you realise the power that is generated in the small act of giving, there will no longer be any problem on your part to give freely.
"My people die from lack of knowledge".
Knowledge is the one thing that can set a person apart from others.
"Tithes and Offerings".
For all of us that have ever attended church (especially Charismatic), we will be quite used to the above phrase. It is now time for tithes and offerings, and we now know that it is that time of the service when the Pastor or priest is going to try take as much of our money away from us. Wrong. It is actually the time when he wants to actually set your life back in order and to prepare you for the blessings that God wants to pour out on you. Now first I want to state that generally tithes and offerings are combined together and taken up at the same time. This gives the misconception that they are the same, but the only thing that they really have in common is that they both relate to money. Offerings are referred to in many places and are specifically what you give to others (not necessary the church) on a freewill basis. God deals with offerings when He says " do not let your right hand know what your left hand is doing". In this it is simple, if you give to let others know how great a person you are then it is you giving and not God. God also says that he will return your offerings to you "a good measure, pressed down, shaken together". There is so much to learn on offerings ,but I want to concentrate on the tithe as this is where God's blessings really lay.
Malachi 3 vs 10 says "Bring all the tithes into the storehouse, that there may be food in My house, And prove me now in this, Says the Lord of Hosts, If I will not open for you the windows of heaven and pour out for you such blessing That there will not be room enough to recieve it". Wow . One unique thing about this verse is the word Prove. Everywhere else the bible says that you should not test the Lord your God, but here He states that you should actually test him. I have thoroughly researched the word blessing in order that I could know exactly what it was that He was going to pour out upon me. The best description of this word that I have found is "to be envied". Well, do I need to say any more. I sure would like to be envied by everyone and not just for wealth, but for ease of life, prosperous family etc.
Malachi 3 vs 11 is also unique as He says "and I will rebuke the devourer for your sakes, so that he will not destroy the fruit of your ground..". Jesus came and established his power on earth. Then He left and gave all the power to us to use. In all issues it is up to us to use the name of Jesus to fight the devourer- except here as a tither, God himself binds the devil on your behalf. I have so often found that when people do not tithe or stop to tithe for some reason, everything starts to break and need repair or replacement. All the money you kept back from God and lots more gets suddenly taken from you in these unexpected breakdowns. Suddenly you can no longer get through the month anymore.
Tithing is Old Testament and no longer applies!
The New Testament is built upon the old testament. However the old testament still applies except where Jesus nullified something through the cross. An example of this is when Jesus hung on the cross he became the curse and therefore if you believe in Jesus and accept and acknowledge the work he did for you then no curse can fall upon you. Now if you do not believe this then look very carefully at Deuteronomy chapter 28. Remember that this was written thousands of years ago and therefore needs to be translated into modern day terms. ie "increase of your cattle,and the increase of your herds". In those days cattle was your money and therefore this would refer to your overall wealth. Now a quick test would be to run through the blessings and through the curses and to actually see where you are sitting . If you find that more of the curses apply to you, then something is a problem.
What is the Tithe?
The tithe is simple. It is one tenth of your salary that God commands you to give towards his work. One of the most frequently asked questions I receive on this topic is "do i tithe on net or gross salary". Well it depends whether you wish to receive "net" or "gross" back from God.
Where should I Tithe to?
The bible is very specific in Malachi 3 vs10. It says bring all the tithes into the storehouse. The storehouse is where you obtain your spiritual food ie where you go to church. If you do not go to church but still wish to tithe, then pray to God and allow Him to direct you as to where you should send your tithe.
What if the church misuse's my Tithe?
The important thing to remember here is that you are accountable to God to Tithe. Once you Tithe then God can bless you. The pastor or institution that you send your tithe to becomes accountable to God for what they do with your money. Worry only that you are in line with God's commandments.
At the end of the day it is up to you to choose - do you want to be blessed or not.