Stewardship


Lending to the Lord
by Ronald W Robey

Many today are sitting at their tables and desks and filling out their check for tomorrow’s tithe to their local assembly. Many may be doing so from their easy chair.

Many of these same people have heard a knock on their door this past week, or will hear one within the next several hours as the day progresses. Upon answering the door, they find it is a neighbor in need; maybe of a couple eggs, or a cup of sugar, a stick of butter, or some other food item… which you may gladly give if you have it.

But pause and think for a moment? Is the item asked for the only need my neighbor may have? Two eggs will not go very far, especially if there is more than one person in the household of that neighbor. A cup of flour will be spent fairly easy as well.

Matthew 25:41 Then shall he say also unto them on the left hand, Depart from me, ye cursed, into everlasting fire, prepared for the devil and his angels:
Matthew 25:42 For I was an hungred, and ye gave me no meat: I was thirsty, and ye gave me no drink:
Matthew 25:43 I was a stranger, and ye took me not in: naked, and ye clothed me not: sick, and in prison, and ye visited me not.
Matthew 25:44 Then shall they also answer him, saying, Lord, when saw we thee an hungred, or athirst, or a stranger, or naked, or sick, or in prison, and did not minister unto thee?
Matthew 25:45 Then shall he answer them, saying, Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye did it not to one of the least of these, ye did it not to me.
Matthew 25:46 And these shall go away into everlasting punishment: but the righteous into life eternal.

1 John 3:17 But whoso hath this world’s good, and seeth his brother have need, and shutteth up his bowels of compassion from him, how dwelleth the love of God in him?

If there is a need for butter, for milk, for eggs, then chances are there is a much greater need for groceries. Consider taking your neighbor to the store, or going to the store by yourself, and purchasing groceries with your neighbor… using that check you were going to give to the local assembly tomorrow.

Matthew 25:34 Then shall the King say unto them on his right hand, Come, ye blessed of my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world:
Matthew 25:35 For I was an hungred, and ye gave me meat: I was thirsty, and ye gave me drink: I was a stranger, and ye took me in:
Matthew 25:36 Naked, and ye clothed me: I was sick, and ye visited me: I was in prison, and ye came unto me.
Matthew 25:37 Then shall the righteous answer him, saying, Lord, when saw we thee an hungred, and fed thee? or thirsty, and gave thee drink?
Matthew 25:38 When saw we thee a stranger, and took thee in? or naked, and clothed thee?
Matthew 25:39 Or when saw we thee sick, or in prison, and came unto thee?
Matthew 25:40 And the King shall answer and say unto them, Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me.

The Church today has lost its focus. They have become self-centered and self-serving, neglecting the poor and needy of the community that they are supposed to be a light of truth and compassion in.

“Give God’s tithe to a person that doesn’t even attend my Church? How preposterous!” Suppose God had the same attitude toward us when we were lost and without God? “Give my Son for a people that don’t even know me? How preposterous!”

Brethren, let us stop this foolishness of thinking we please God in our actions when we can’t even bring ourselves to show compassion and concern for those around us.

Proverbs 19:17 He that hath pity upon the poor lendeth unto the LORD; and that which he hath given will he pay him again.

Proverbs 29:7 The righteous considereth the cause of the poor: but the wicked regardeth not to know it.

Yes, give your check that you wrote out as tithe to that person in need. For in doing so, you are giving it unto God.

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Always Ask for Verification
by Ronald W Robey

Many times, I have been told that we are required by God to tithe our monetary income, and that we are to give that tithe to the Pastors of the local church we are members of.

The basic argument is, “God requires you to tithe to the local church you are a member of.  If the pastor of the church uses the money for his own selfish greed, he will have to answer to God for that.   You obey God, and let God deal with the Pastor.”

 
In light of the fact that we should be wise stewards with all that God has entrusted us with, I am not so sure that God won’t hold us responsible for foolishly giving ten percent of our money to a ravenous wolf in a suit and tie.
 
If my next-door neighbor came to my house and said he was authorized by the electric company to receive the payment for my electric bill, I would not just hand him my monthly check.  I would first call the electric company and verify that my next-door neighbor was, in fact, authorized to receive the payment for the electricity I used that month.
 
If I found out that my next-door neighbor is authorized to receive the payment for my electricity, then I would make sure I got a receipt from him just in case he used the money frivolously, or in case he misplaced it instead of turning it in to the electric company. With such a receipt, the electric company would hold my next-door neighbor responsible for the money and not me.

However, if I found out that my next-door neighbor was not authorized to receive the payment for the electricity I used, I would not give him any money whatsoever.  I would have nothing to do with my next-door neighbor from that point forward.

 
Just as I would call the electric company for verification that my next-door neighbor is authorized to receive the payment for the electricity I use, so also, I go to God’s word for verification when a Pastor tells me that God requires me to pay tithes of my monetary income, and that he, as God’s representative, is authorized by God to receive monetary tithes that are owed..
 
Finding no such verification in God’s word for the monetary tithe requirement, nor for the Pastors claim that he is authorized to receive God’s tithe,, I keep my money in my pocket and leave the church property, shaking the dust from my feet as a testimony against them.
Forced Tithes and Offerings Often Bring Sorrows
by Ronald W Robey
 
2 Corinthians 9:7 Every man according as he purposeth in his heart, so let him give; not grudgingly, or of necessity: for God loveth a cheerful giver.
 
When one looks into the definition of the words used in 2 Corinthians 9:7, one can better understand the author’s intent when he wrote the verse.
 
“as he purposeth”
 
The word “purposeth” is translated from the Greek, “proaireomai”. ( pronounced pro-ahee-reh’-om-ahee) It means, “to choose for oneself before another thing (prefer), i.e. (by implication) to propose (intend):—purpose.”
 
When needs arise, man is supposed to “choose” for himself the amount that he wishes to give.
 
“not grudgingly”.
 
The word “grudgingly” is translated from the Greek, “lupe”. (pronounced “loo-pay” It means, “sadness:—grief, grievous, + grudgingly, heaviness, sorrow.”
 
Forced offerings, (offerings dictated or coerced by others instead of by individual choice) often bring grief, heaviness and sorrow upon the one that is forced to give. This is due to the fact that “forced” offerings often leave the giver struggling to meet debts outside of the church environment, such as; house rent, (many have been evicted after being made to feel guilty if they do not put ten percent of their monetary income into an offering plate as tithe
 
Many are threatened with curses (as if God will actually curse one who has been bought by the shed blood of Jesus Christ) if they do not tithe their monetary income to the local religious institution they attend.
 
Other household needs are often neglected due to “forced” offerings. Ofttimes, electricity is cut off due to there not being enough to meet the bill; families often have to go hungry longer than they should; cars repossessed, checks bounce,… after people were forced to place money that could have otherwise met their needs,… into an offering plate at their local religious institution.
 
Many pastors that teach that God requires monetary tithes could care less that many needs of members of their flocks are neglected. Many members, after tithing, are indeed brought to a time of sorrow in their homes.
 
Brethren, this should not be. If the intent of Paul’s words in 2 Corinthians 9:7 is not enough to convince you that pastors teaching a monetary tithe requirement is totally wrong, then maybe the words in the previous chapter will:
 
2 Corinthians 8:12 For if there be first a willing mind, it is accepted according to that a man hath, and not according to that he hath not.
2 Corinthians 8:13 For I mean not that other men be eased, and ye burdened:
 
One’s giving should be based on what one can afford to give,… not what he cannot afford to give. His giving should not be such that others are eased, and the giver himself left struggling to meet his own bills.
 
There is no mandatory tithe requirement for the saved in Christ Jesus. Instead, they are to give as they are able to give and of their own free will and volition.
 
The requirement to tithe was never given to the New Covenant Body of Believer’s in Christ Jesus. Nor was it to be imposed upon them.
 
The command to tithe was given to the children of Israel to be observed in the land of Canaan and nowhere else.
 
Deuteronomy 12:1 These are the statutes and judgments, which ye shall observe to do in the land, which the LORD God of thy fathers giveth thee to possess it, all the days that ye live upon the earth.
 
Deuteronomy 12:10 But when ye go over Jordan, and dwell in the land which the LORD your God giveth you to inherit, and when he giveth you rest from all your enemies round about, so that ye dwell in safety;
Deuteronomy 12:11 Then there shall be a place which the LORD your God shall choose to cause his name to dwell there; thither shall ye bring all that I command you; your burnt offerings, and your sacrifices, your tithes, and the heave offering of your hand, and all your choice vows which ye vow unto the LORD:
Many have claimed that John Davison Rockefeller tithed his very first earnings and continued tithing faithfully throughout his entire life. And yet, Mr. Rockefeller’s Ledger published by himself in 1897 tells an entirely different story altogether.
 
Rockefeller’s first year of earnings, ( from August 27, 1855 to January 1, 1856) he earned a total of fifty dollars.  Of that fifty dollars, he paid his washerwoman and paid his rent to the lady he boarded with, purchased some “cheap clothes” for six dollars nine cents, and began putting a penny in the Sunday School Plate every Sunday.

A penny a week for seventeen weeks equals seventeen cents, given out of the fifty dollars.  A far cry short of five dollars, which is ten percent of fifty dollars.

 
The next year, (1856) according to his Ledger, Rockefeller received a raise in his salary and earned three hundred dollars. With the raise, he made a raise in the Sunday School Plate. He gave a dime a week instead of a penny.
 
Ten cents a week for fifty-two weeks.  That adds up to five dollars twenty cents.  Again, a far cry short of being twn cents out of every dollar.
 
Rockefeller spoke about his first few years earnings at the Young Men’s Bible Study Class at Fifth Avenue Baptist Church in 1897. Not once in his message to those young men did he say that he ever tithed his money to the Church. Nor did he tell the young men that they could be tithing their money to the Church either.
 
You can read Mr Rockefeller’s message published by himself in 1897 at https://ia800906.us.archive.org/32/items/mrrockefellersle00rock/mrrockefellersle00rock.pdf
I do not agree with the Faith Promise Campaign. Faith Promise has one vowing to give “x” amount of money per month for a year.
 
The problem? It’s not Biblical.
 
In 2 Corinthians 8, we read,…
 
2 Corinthians 8:12 For if there be first a willing mind, it is accepted according to that a man hath, and not according to that he hath not.
1. Paul said giving should be of a “willing mind.” Many feel pressured to sign the Faith Promise cards. This is not a “willing mind,” but rather, “a forced mind.”
 
2. Giving should be according to what a person has, not according to what he does not have. Not one of us know what will happen from one day to the next. According to James, our life itself is “but a vapour”. We don’t know if some medical need will take a good portion of our future monetary income. or a lay-off from work, or even inflation will cause us to need more for food on our tables and household bills. Faith Promise has us vowing to give money that we don’t have yet, nor really know if we will have.
 
Faith Promise works in total contradiction to 2 Corinthians 8:12.

I have made up my mind.

I will stay at home and fellowship with like-minded Believer’s online as much as posible.

Why have I made up my mind?  Because there is no Church in my neighborhood to go to that will not ultimately accuse me of being a “God-robber” because of my unwavering stance against tithing as it is being taught in our Churches today.

In May of 2012, I began posting the truth about what God’s Word says concerning His holy tithes on my Facebook page and elsewhere on the world wide web.  God had given me the green light to begin telling people that in the Bible, His holy tithes were never commanded for the New Testament Church, never carried to the New Testament Church, never collected in the New Testament Church, and never controlled by the New Testament Church.

Yet pastors of every Church I ever was a member of from my youth always used Malachi 3:8-10 to prove that God demands tithes of the Church Body.  They also used that passage as a platform to berate and accuse those who were not tithing their money to that local fellowship.  They also would use that pasage to instill fear of a curse on anyone who was not obeying the command to tithe found in Malachi 3:8-10.

They were handling the Word of God deceitfully.  Either out of ignorance, or out of greed, or a combination of both.  But they were preaching a false doctrine.

And in September of 2012, the Church I was a member of voted me out of their congregation because, and I quote, “of your consistent teaching against the Scriptural tithe”. (At this point in my article, I must let the reader know that I never taught a single tithe sermon within the walls of that Church building, nor on the property the building was erected on)  Funny thing is, I was teaching the “Scriptural tithe”.  It was the leadership of that congregation who were not teaching the “Scriptural tithe”.  They were teaching a doctrine that had been invented by man, a doctrine totally foreign to the Word of God.

My journey down the path of truth did not begin in 2012.  No, it began many years before that.   It began in 1988, in the Church where I was ordained to preach the Gospel.

I had been saved for nine years, and had been a member of the pastor’s household, living in the den on the bottom floor.  I was faithful in my studies, and faithful in Church attendance.  And yes, I was even faithful in obeying the tithe doctrine that the pastor (and previous pastors of my youth before I was saved ) had taught me

The year I was ordained, I began a home Bible study, just a few Believers and myself.  But within a short period of time, the group grew and I could see God was taking it somewhere.  I was encouraged to branch off of the fellowship I was ordained at and begin a new Church.  (my group by this time had grown to the point that even if I wanted to take them to the Church I was a member of, there would have been no room for them at that small country Church.  Thus, the need to begin a Church where these members could be nourished with the Word of God, equipping them with the Word to minister to others in their everyday life.

And so, MorningStar Fellowship was started.

In the first few weeks of our Church’s existence, I was impresed by the Holy Spirit to do a series of lessons on “Stewardship and the Christian”, teaching proper responsibility in the handling of finances through wise spending and charity.  I believed that one of the areas that was important was obedience to God in tithing our money as I was taught from my youth in the Assemblies of God denomination I grew up in.

Proper teaching on any subject requires proper study.  And so, I spent many hours pouring over the Word of God, searching the Scriptures for every mention of money in the pages of that precious Book of Truth.  I researched tithes in the Bible as well, as that would be a lesson of the utmost importance for our new Body.

Little did I know at that time that the teaching of tithes was of more importance than what I had imagined.  I entered the research with the mindset that God required tithes of the New Testament Church, and with the intentions of preaching that same thought.

But the more I researched, the more I studied, the more I realized that I could not preach to the congregation that I had under my supervision, the command to tithe their hard-earned money to the Church.

I saw in the Bible that God gave the command to tithe to the children of Israel.  (Leviticus 27:30-34; Deuteronomy 6:1-3; 12:1-11; 14:22-29)  But for the life of me, I could not find one single verse in the New Testament that was a command for the New Testament Church to tithe.  Further, the verses that commanded tithing in the Bible all pointed to an agricultural tithe, not a monetary one.  I came to the realization that God never commanded those who live on Gentile soil to tithe their money to the New Testament Church.

And so, that is what I taught the congregation that was entrusted to my care.  Instead of teaching a mandatory tithe, I taught the congregation to give because they saw a need and because they loved the Lord and wanted to see His work done in the Earth.  These principles can clearly be seen in Acts 2:42ff & Acts 4:32ff.  The New Testament Believer is encouraged by the Apostle Paul to give, not under compulsion, but rather as he chooses in his own heart to give.  Paul tells the reader that their attitude in giving will affect the blessing they receive as a result of that giving.  (2 Corinthians 9:6-7)  He also tells us that our giving should not be such that we cause others to be eased while we leave ourselves in want.  (2 Corinthians 8:12-13)

Down through the years, God has given me more insight into the truth concerning His holy tithes, and I share those truths with all, hoping to free them from the chains of financial bondage that many pastors keep them under.

As I stated previously, the Church that voted me out was teaching a doctrine totally fabricated by man, never found in the pages of God’s Holy Word… and telling their flock that “God requires it, or you are robbing Him!

In Matthew 15:9, Jesus said that the Pharisees were worshiping in vain because they were teaching for doctrine the commandments of men.  Many pastors today are guilty of the same thing.

When they teach that God requires monetary tithes, they teach for doctrine the commandments of men.