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Tithing Confessions January 4, 2012

Posted by Henry in Tithing.
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2 comments

One of the bizarre things I have come across about tithing in recent times is dubbed “tithing confessions”. I grew up in churches that mentioned or advocated tithing but I had never heard of the practice of tithing confessions till recently. It would appear that after many years of tithing people are questioning why they are not receiving the promised “windows of heaven blessings” that their pastors promised them. They are no better off after years of tithing and still face the same struggles daily. So it appears that in order to “ease” the discontent and uneasiness someone came up with a “clever idea” that the reason they are not receiving the blessing is because they lack faith and therefore they need to regularly make a “tithing confession”. These confessions are designed to encourage the faithful to hang in there and continue to tithe faithfully believing that if they confess regularly that the blessings will eventually pour forth. A close examination of some of these “confessions” (can be found by googling) will reveal that they are little more than vain babblings by people who are destitute of the truth.

 

The question that one should ask therefore is that if God promises you something why should you need to confess daily or regularly in order to receive it? This to me demonstrates a lack of faith because by faith we take God at His word. We do not test or prove God but rest upon His promises. If we look at Abraham for example, God promised him a son. Do we see in scripture where Abraham confessed daily to receive his son? No! Abraham expressed doubt because of his age and his wife’s age so thought he would help God to fulfil the prophesy by heeding his wife’s encouragement to beget a son by her maid Hagar. Yet following this Abraham was granted the son God had promised him. The thing to note is that when God promises something He will fulfil it according to His sovereign will so all we need to do His wait on Him.

 

We need to examine however whether God promised the church the “windows of heaven blessings” for tithing. It is clear from scripture that Mal 3:10 was a covenant withIsraelandIsraelonly. Paul says that before faith was the Law, hence since faith had not yet come, God instructedIsraelto prove Him by bringing the whole tithe into the storehouse and see if He wouldn’t open the windows of Heaven and pour out the blessing. Those who tithe according to these promises therefore are trying to hijack a covenant and attempting to beholden God to it – a covenant which incidentally has been set aside by God and replaced with a new one. Under the new covenant we have faith therefore we do not seek to prove God. Many are therefore tithing and confessing in vain because they seek after promises that God did not give them. This is why they will never receive the “windows of heaven blessings” as a direct response to their observance of a covenant that God did not make with them.

 

The use of “tithing confessions” is a deceptive doctrine which serves to keep in bondage those who are vainly hoping for things that were never promised to them. God is not man that He should lie. God is not delivering on these promises because He did not promise them to the new covenant church. If He had you would not have been tithing in vain all these years and still left empty-handed. God does not fail on His promises. Wake up church!!

 

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After the way of Gehazi December 8, 2011

Posted by Henry in Word of Faith Movement.
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5 comments

There are many people in Christendom today who clamour after ministers, teachers and prophets that claim the ability to work miracles. Such people shower money and gifts on these “miracle workers” in exchange for their miracles and breakthroughs, unaware that this practice is wrong. However there is a very important lesson in the story of God’s healing of Naaman through the hands of the prophet Elisha, which is lost on the church today. Notice I did not say that Elisha healed Naaman but rather that God healed Naaman through Elisha. This point should be very clear because only God can grant the miracles of healing but He may do so using His ministers as His instruments.

The story is told in 2 Kings 5, how that Naaman, the captain of the king ofSyria’s army though he was a great man of valour, he was a leper. Naaman got word from his wife’s maid that there was a man of God in Israel who could cleanse him of his leprosy. To cut a long story short, when Namaan went to Elisha’s house and the prophet sent a messenger out to him to tell him to go and wash 7 times in the Jordan River and he would be cleansed. After some protestation Naaman was convinced to do as the prophet had said and he complied and was made whole again. Naaman was so thankful for his healing that he wanted to bless the man of God, so he went back to Elisha’s house to bestow a blessing upon him. But note Elisha’s response in verse 16 of the passage:

15And he returned to the man of God, he and all his company, and came, and stood before him: and he said, Behold, now I know that there is no God in all the earth, but in Israel: now therefore, I pray thee, take a blessing of thy servant. 16But he said, As the LORD liveth, before whom I stand, I will receive none. And he urged him to take it; but he refused. (2 Kings 5)

Elisha flat out refused to take anything from Naaman. Gehazi, the servant of Elisha, however thought that he would pursue Naaman to collect money and gifts, falsely claiming that Elisha had sent him to receive the things which he claimed were meant for two other young men ofIsrael. Elisha however being the man of God, perceived what Gehazi had done and challenged him with the following words in verse 26:

Is it a time to receive money, and to receive garments, and oliveyards, and vineyards, and sheep, and oxen, and menservants, and maidservants? (2 Kings 5:26)

 

Gehazi thought he would use the Grace of God as a means to collecting “filthy lucre” but Elisha demonstrated aptly that this occasion was not appropriate for receiving monetary or other gifts. Today our so-called men and women of God are playing the role of Gehazi by collecting money, tithes, offerings and gifts in exchange for miracles and breakthroughs. There are individuals such as Mike Murdoch, Paula White, Creflo Dollar, Joyce Meyer, Prohetess Juanita Bynum, Kenneth Copeland, Matthew Ashimolowo and others who all promise miracles and breakthroughs if you sow seeds (monetary gifts) into their ministries. They will claim that you are not buying a miracle but rather that you are exercising your faith – they attempt to spiritualise their claims by saying that you have to make sacrifices to get God to move on your behalf – they claim that the size of your seed will determine the size of your harvest and by giving your seed they will add their faith to yours. They try to veil their claims in scriptures by misapplying them in order to convince the church that God cannot do anything for them if they don’t test their faith by sowing a sacrificial seed. The truth though is that God does not need you to do anything in order for Him to work a miracle in your life or give you a breakthrough.

Naaman did not know God as he was an idol worshipper, yet he came to the prophet Elisha for his healing. He received his healing without sowing any seed and even after receiving his healing the prophet refused to take gifts from him. This shows that God is sovereign and He will have mercy upon whom He will have mercy and there is nothing man can do to appease God. God healed Naaman not so that Elisha would be blessed materially but because it was His sovereign will to do it to the praise of His glory. Elisha made sure not to corrupt the Grace of God by accepting money and gifts because God is not in the business of selling miracles. There are some ministers today however who have become as greedy as Gehazi by collecting gifts in exchange for God’s grace. If one receives a miracle, healing or breakthrough through the preaching or personal ministration of a minister, it is not a time for collecting money.

Of Blessings, Breakthroughs and Divine Favour! October 14, 2010

Posted by Henry in Matters of the Faith.
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4 comments

Are you frustrated that the Lord has not answered your prayers for the breakthroughs and divine favour which you seek?

 

Have you faithfully tithe but find that the “windows of heaven blessings” continue to elude you?

 

Have you diligently sown your seeds into “good soil” and confessed daily but you are still not receiving a harvest?

 

Do you “give to God” faithfully but feel like the Lord has abandoned you as you are not receiving anything in return?

If any of these questions apply to you then I have good news for you. The reason why you are feeling frustrated and disappointed is because you have been fed a false gospel. God is not man that He should lie so do not be disappointed in God. God did not make the above promises to you – the man in the pulpit did. The man in the pulpit who presents himself as God’s mouthpiece is the lier and I will demonstrate as I examine those questions one by one.

Firstly, the Lord did not promise you “breakthroughs” or divine favour, man did. The Lord gave you divine favour when He sent Jesus Christ to die on the cross for you and I so that we may obtain mercy – this is Grace, which is divine favour. Man however changed the meaning of divine favour to mean that you can receive “supernatural abundance” in earthly things and sup with kings, which the Lord did not promise you. To obtain true divine favour therefore all you need to do is seek the Kingdom of God and His righteousness and all else shall be added unto you. This does not mean that you will receive all the material desires of your heart but the Lord promises to meet your needs. You should also remember that before you ask, the Lord already knows what you need. In much the same way a parent takes care of a young child without the child needing to ask the parent for anything so too the Father will take care of His children. What “breakthroughs” do you seek therefore?

Paying your tithes and expecting the “windows of heaven blessings” is foolhardy to say the least and no amount of “confessing” will bring those benefits to you. Under the New Covenant a Christian is NOT required to tithe and the Lord will not honour your tithe according to Mal 3:10 because that scripture was not spoken to the church but to Israel under the Old Covenant. Under the Covenant Israel were required to give a tithe not because this would ensure God’s blessings but they were required to give it because the Lord had blessed them. In this sense the tithe was like a tax that the Lord required to sustain the Levites, who had no inheritance in the Promise Land. As such you do not pay taxes to ensure future income but rather you pay it because you already have an income and because it is required by Law. If you are therefore paying the tithe because you think that this will compel the Lord to do something extra for you then you are already giving it with the wrong motives. The Lord is not a debtor to any man – so if you pay the tithe thinking that the Lord owes you something then you have been deceived. In the first place the tithing practice today is a violation of God’s Law – it is therefore the man that collected the tithe from you that owes you, not God.

Some preachers within the Word of Faith movement will tell you that the Kingdom of God operates on the “principle” of sowing and reaping. I contend however that this is not the case. Indeed the analogy of sowing and reaping is often used to describe the Kingdom of God or certain aspects of it but the Kingdom of God is not reactive. It doesn’t depend on us doing something but it is rather all about the sovereign Will of the Father. The Kingdom of God is about salvation which comes by Grace. Grace is God’s sovereign will to lay down the life of His Son, Jesus Christ, to save us from our sins (John 3:16). It was because God first loved us and not that we did something to appease God in order to earn His love, why He gave us this FREE gift. The Lord does not need you to “sow” therefore in order for you to receive a “harvest” from Him. Did Christ not say, “Does the rain not fall upon the just and the unjust?” What did the unjust do to deserve rain from God? Absolutely nothing! Yet even his harvest is being multiplied because of the rain. The following verses which Jesus spake should also be considered:

26Behold the fowls of the air: for they sow not, neither do they reap, nor gather into barns; yet your heavenly Father feedeth them. Are ye not much better than they?

32(For after all these things do the Gentiles seek:) for your heavenly Father knoweth that ye have need of all these things. 33But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you.

 Since the Lord did not ask you to sow therefore He does not need to honour your sowing with a harvest. You have therefore sown in vain  because you were deceived – you have given your money to a man who lied to you instead of exercising due diligence and being a good steward of what the Lord had already given you.

Lastly, this idea of “giving to God” is perhaps one of the biggest misnomers in the church. How does giving some money to the offering plate or bucket constitute giving to God? Indeed when you give money to church you are contributing to financing the activities of the church but the Lord is not getting a single penny of that money. Man it is that collects the money and man it is that disburses these monies according to how they see fit. The Lord does not need your money, moreover, this idea that money is needed to finance the gospel is simply not true. The Lord Himself was the first pastor and minister of the Gospel yet He did not collect tithes and offerings and other monies to finance the Gospel He came to establish. He did not build a church and set up an administrative structure to which money would flow into. Yet today we are being told that the Gospel cannot go forth without money. This is somewhat ironic when we consider that Jesus called the Twelve and sent them out and specifically told them not to take money or food with them. On their return the Lord asked them if they lacked anything when they went out to deliver the gospel to the Lost Sheep and their response was no. Indeed money is needed to sustain people but we have subscribed to the Roman church model in creating the cash machines we call church today, and financing these cash machines are seen as tantamount to financing the Gospel. The reason why you might not be receiving the blessing therefore is that you mistakenly think that by giving to church you are giving to God and as such the Lord owes you something. You would be more blessed however if you gave to the poor and needy as shown in the following scriptures (noting that it is more blessed to give than to receive, Acts 20:35):

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

 

 

27He that giveth unto the poor shall not lack: but he that hideth his eyes shall have many a curse. (Prov 28)

Money Matters – Financial Tips February 17, 2010

Posted by Henry in Money & Finance.
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2 comments

Following on from my two-part article titled “Money Matters – Even to Christians”, which can be found under the category of “Money & Finance”, I have decided to create this space where fellow Christians can share or exchange money making ideas or money saving tips. This is perhaps unprecedented on this type of Christian blog but Jesus did not just impart the word to the 5’000 but he also took cognisance of the fact that they also needed physical food and fed them using the 5 barley loaves and two fishes. I am therefore looking for legitimate ideas which may be of benefit to those who are struggling financially.  It could be ideas of how to make one’s salary stretch a bit further; an idea to generate a new income stream to supplement one’s salary; or a working from home idea that could help a stay at home mother or a mother on maternity leave after giving birth, etc. Please do share whatever ideas you have. I will start however by offering a few money savings idea of my own:

  1.  Plan your spending by budgeting your money. Keep your receipts and on a weekly or monthly basis calculate how much you are spending against how much you earn. If you find you are paying out more than you actually receive then you will have to borrow to make up the difference.
  2.  Compare the prices of goods and services that you pay for and always look for cheaper alternatives. Shop around for a bargain. Most times there is always cheaper on the market. As the saying goes here in Britain, “take care of the pennies and the pounds will take care of themselves”. So it doesn’t matter how small and insignificant the savings appear to be take advantage of it as the pennies do add up over time.  
  3. If you get discount vouchers in newspapers or magazine, take advantage of them and don’t be ashamed to use them. Take advantage of any discounts and also store loyalty cards as you can get back a bit of money here.
  4.  Avoid eating out too often as it is cheaper to prepare meals at home from supermarket bought products. For example, the price you pay for a glass of wine at a restaurant would get you a whole bottle in the supermarket (not that I am encouraging drinking mind you). Remember you might be able to get restaurant discounts online also (at least here in the UK you can). Prepare pack lunches for work. You can save a fortune this way instead of buying lunches. 
  5. Travelling to and from work can be quite costly. Look for alternative routes which can sometimes be cheaper and if you are able and the way is not too far, walk. You could also break up your journey and go some of the way by walking. This also promotes a healthier lifestyle especially if you sit at a desk for most of the day.  
  6. If you own a car use it only for essential journeys as you can be paying out a fortune on petrol. Also depending on where you are going check if it is cheaper by public transport. A car can be high maintenance therefore when you purchase a car, use the review sites online to see the fuel consumption, insurance grouping, servicing etc. Bigger engine cars usually cost more to service, consume more petrol and attract a higher insurance cost. If you are struggling financially you might need to downgrade by selling the existing car and buying a much cheaper one to run. If you cannot afford a brand new car outright, buy a used one and avoid the car financing/leasing schemes as they will cost you in the long term. 
  7. Avoid name-brand clothing if you cannot afford them. Remember the Nike shoes you pay £60 (or the equivalent) only cost the equivalent of 0.50p to make in Pakistan or India. It is a scam!! These things only give one a false perception of esteem but all we are doing is making the corporation owners and shareholders richer and making ourselves poorer. We should not be buying our identity off the shelves. Give your children what you have, your love! Don’t try to please them with the latest gadget which you cannot afford. 
  8. Don’t fall in the debt trap. Avoid using the credit cards or pay-day loans where possible. If you need to buy something and you can’t afford it right now, make small sacrifices and save up for it. You won’t die without it if you don’t have it now. Half the time people can’t wait to purchase a particular thing and after a few days the novelty wears off and they no longer want it. Remember to also exercise prudence and save for a rainy day.

This is not an exhaustive list but I am appealing to readers to feel free to share what they have. But please, no get rich quick schemes. Thank you.

Abraham's "Blessings" Are Mine September 21, 2009

Posted by Henry in False Doctrines.
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9 comments

It is very interesting to see the various subtle ways in which deception comes into the church, even in the most seemingly innocent of things that are taken for granted. Take this “worship” chorus for example which goes like this:

Abraham’s blessings are mine

Abraham’s blessings are mine

I am bless in the morning,

I am blessed in the evening

Abraham’s blessings are mine.

This is a chorus that is somewhat popular in some Pentecostal church circles and is conveniently sung at offering time. In fact the catchphrase, “offering time, blessing time” is normally echoed about this time as well just before the collection plate is passed around. This chorus is normally used therefore to reinforce the belief that one will receive blessings after they have given their offering. But what does it really mean to say that Abraham’s “blessings” are ours? We know from scriptures that Abraham had become rich and increased in much goods (Gen 13:2) as a result of God blessing him but can we as New Testament believers claim these things for ourselves and what is the scriptural basis for this?

Indeed scripture tells us that the Lord promised to make Abraham the father of many nations and that the future generations would also be blessed. In fact scripture, Gen 12:3, stated that all nations of the earth will be blessed through Abraham. But I think we ought to be cautious in interpreting these things. Under the Old Covenant Abraham and his forebears, namely Israel was blessed materially especially when they entered into the Promised Land. There was much emphasis then on material blessings but this is clearly not the case under the New Covenant. Under the New the emphasis is more on spiritual blessings. For example Jesus said in Matt 6:

19

Lay not up for yourselves treasures upon earth, where moth and rust doth corrupt, and where thieves break through and steal:

20

But lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust doth corrupt, and where thieves do not break through nor steal:

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For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also.

Jesus also said later on in the passage in verse 33 that we should, “… seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you.”

Jesus made it very clear here that our focus should be primarily on the things of God (the Kingdom of God) and less on the things of this world. Is it the correct approach to conclude then that when God promises to bless all nations through Abraham that the blessing being referred to here is material in nature? If we should apply proper exegesis of scripture however we will find out that scripturally the chorus aforementioned is flawed, to say the least. The chorus emphasizes “blessings of Abraham” but in looking at Galatians 3 we soon find out that what this blessing (and not blessings) of Abraham is:

13

Christ hath redeemed us from the curse of the law, being made a curse for us: for it is written, Cursed is every one that hangeth on a tree:

14

That the blessing of Abraham might come on the Gentiles through Jesus Christ; that we might receive the promise of the Spirit through faith.

The blessing of Abraham is thus the promise of the Spirit by faith in Jesus Christ, which was to come to the Gentiles. On reading further in the passage it tells us that this fulfills the prophecy God gave to Abraham back in Gen 12:3, that in him all nations of the earth shall be blessed. The passage of Gal 3 goes on to say this:

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And if ye be Christ’s, then are ye Abraham’s seed, and heirs according to the promise

We can hopefully conclude then that as Christians we can indeed claim Abraham’s blessing but not his “blessings” since scripture gave us no such assurances. We are heirs to Abraham according to the promise, and as heirs we can receive the promise of the Spirit through faith. It should be evident then that the chorus is just another form of deception designed to deceive the hearts of the simple. Knowing this then can we still confidently sing this chorus believing we are inheritors of Abraham’s material blessings?

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