by Ronald W. Robey

In Luke 19, we read of the story of the tax collector Zacchaeus, who was a very short man. When news had met his ears that Jesus was coming to his town, Zacchaeus went out to see Him. But the crowd was too great, and because of his diminutive stature, he could not see. So, we are told he climbed up in a sycamine tree. (sycamore) where he could get a good view of the Savior as he passed by that way.

Jesus saw Zacchaeus up in that tree and called him down, telling him that He wanted to eat at the house of Zacchaues. What a thrill that must have been, and how privileged Zacchaeus must have felt that day!

When Zacchaeus received the Truth into his home, he was convicted of the unjust way he levied taxes on the citizenry of his region. He promised Jesus that if he had cheated anyone, he would repay them fourfold. For every shekel he stole, he would pay four shekels back.

After his encounter with Christ, Zacchaeus truly was convicted of his wrongdoing concerning robbing people through taxation.

Today, we see many Churches around the world being run by men just like the dishonest tax collector of the first century A.D.. They rob members of their congregation by demanding a monetary tithe of them, many times threatening them with a curse from God if they don’t tithe their money to the Church… something that God never required or authorized. Just as Zacchaeus needed a visit from the Savior in the early first century, pastors and spiritual leaders today need a visit from the Savior.

They need to climb down from those branches that lift them above the congregation and invite the Lord into their house, confessing to Him that they unjustly took monetary tithes of their congregations, promising the Lord to repay all those they have robbed through their man-made doctrine of the monetary tithe.

God could only wink at Zacchaeus’ ignorance for so long before He had to pay a visit to Zacchaeus and set him on the straight and narrow path. Pastors and spiritual leaders are no different today. God is no respecter of persons. They also need to repent and begin preaching the truth concerning stewardship and what the Lord requires of His Church.

When a pastor tells his congregation that God requires of them a monetary tithe or they will be cursed, he is not presenting the God of the Bible. The God of the Bible never required a monetary tithe from anyone… not even from the Jews. And the Apostles make it clear that the Church is not under the Law. The pastor that teaches that God requires a monetary tithe is guilty of presenting a god of their own device and putting the Church he is responsible for feeding, in bondage.

Acts 17:29 Forasmuch then as we are the offspring of God, we ought not to think that the Godhead is like unto gold, or silver, or stone, graven by art and man’s device.
Acts 17:30 And the times of this ignorance God winked at; but now commandeth all men every where to repent:

We cannot expect our Church to grow in truth when we allow our pastors to teach us lies from the pulpit and enslave us in chains of deceit.. It is time for our spiritual leaders to stop being dishonest with the flock and start teaching the truth as it is written in God’s Holy Word.