Happy Heralds, Inc
STEWARDSHIP SEMINAR NOTES #3
by Dr. Fred Wittman
In this Seminar we began with I. The Concept of Stewardship. The meaning of stewardship was explained from both the secular and the Scriptural point of view. Then what a steward is was examined. Then a study of The Comprehension as well as the Comprehensiveness of Stewardship was begun. So far in the study the topics that were covered under that heading were: A. The Totality of Your Life, which included the proper use of your body, soul, and spirit and your works; B. The Teaching (Truth) Received; then How to Manage Your Life which includes C. Your Time; D. Your Talents; and E. Your Tasks. Now we shall conclude the study of The Comprehension of Stewardship which involves Your Talk and Your Treasures.
II. THE COMPREHENSION OF STEWARDSHIP (Cont.)
F. Your Talk.
Every human being is responsible for every word that is spoken. The Lord Jesus Christ taught that each human individually will stand before The God and render an account of every idle word that was spoken in life. The apostle Paul exhorted his readers to put away falsehood and lying, foolish talking, and to be utterly incorrupt in teaching the truth.
( Mt. 12:35-37; Eph. 4:25,29-31; 5:4 Co1. 4:6; Jas. 3:l-15.)
“The beneficially good human out of the beneficially good treasure of the heart continually casts out the beneficially good~ things and the wicked human out of the wicked treasure continually casts out wicked things. But I am saying to you, ‘Every idle spoken word[declaration] which ever the humans will speak, they shall render an account concerning it in 0Day of 0Judging. For by means of your$ /words you$ shall be justified[declared righteous, free from blame, guilt and penalty], and by means of your$ /words you$ shall be pronounced guilty’’’ (Mt. 12:35-37APT).
“Wherefore of yourselves lay& down away from |you &| at once, each one the falsehood and continually speak truth [in company]with the neighbor of his! because we are members of one another. . . . Every corrupt saying[word] is to stop proceeding out of the mouth of yours&! But[on the contrary] if (and it be true) anything |be| beneficially good toward edification[building up] with reference to the need |is to proceed out of the mouth of yours&|, so that it give grace to the hearers. And stop grieving The Holy /Spirit of The God by means of Whom you & became sealed unto 0Day of 0Redemption! All bitterness and passionate wrath and anger and shouting and blasphemy together with all iniquity[evilness] is to be carried off away from you &!” (Eph. 4:25,29-31 APT).
“But according as it is proper for saints, sexual immorality and every uncleanness or covetousness[greedy desire to have more] is in fact to stop being named in the sphere of you&! and shameful indecency and foolish [moronic speech] talk or inappropriate witticism, which~ things are not being seemly!” (Eph. 5:3,4APT).
“The speech of yours& |is to be| in grace, standing seasoned with salt all the time, in order for you& to perceive how it is absolutely necessary to answer each one!” (Col. 4:6APT).
“With regard to all things, of yourself continually effect yourself as a pattern of: intrinsically good works, utterly incorrupt in the teaching, grave dignity, incorruptibility, uncensurable healthy speech, in order that the one out of the hostile |group| show deference, since having not one bad [including worthless] thing to say about you!” (Tit. 2:7,8).
“O my brothers, stop becoming many teachers! since being aware that we shall receive greater judgment for ourselves. 2For we all individually cause tripping with reference to many things. If (and it is true) anyone is not causing tripping by means of word, this+ one |is| a completely mature man[husband] one to guide-with-a-bridle also the whole body. 3Lo! we put[cast] bridles into the mouths of the horses in order for them to be persuaded by us. And we change direction[the lead] of the whole body of theirs. 4Lo! also the boats, though being so tremendous and being propelled by hard winds, direction is being changed by a smallest[least] rudder, where ever the frantic attempt of the helmsman desirously will. 5So also the tongue is a small member and it arrogantly[Ps. 12:3,4] causes a great stir. Lo! what size forest a meager fire kindles! 6Also the tongue^ |is | a fire [Prov. 16:27]! The world of unrighteousness! Thus the^ tongue, the^ one staining the whole body, appoints itself among our /members and even sets aflame the rotation [wheel] of origin and is being set aflame by /Géh-ehn-nah[place of fiery torment for sin]. 7For every kind of nature both of beasts and of birds and of reptiles and of saltwater& creatures is being tamed and has been tamed in its nature by /humankind. 8But among 0humans, not one is able to tame the tongue, an unruly evil, saturated[loaded to capacity] with death-bringing[Ps. 140:3] poison. 9By means of it we extol[eulogize, say well of] The God and Father. And by means of it we curse the humans, who have come into being according to God’s resemblance[Gen. 1:26,. LXX]. 10An extolment and a curse are exiting out of the same mouth. O my brothers, it is not befitting for these~ things so to come to pass. 11The well-spring does not at all emit the sweet and the bitter out of the same fissure, does it? 12O my brothers, a 0fig tree is not able to produce olives or a vine, ripe figs, is it? In this way not one well-spring |is able | to produce both salty and sweet water. 13Who |is| wise and intellectually knowledgeable among you&? He is to show, out of his intrinsically good conduct of life, the works of his in meekness of wisdom. 14But if (and it is true) you& are having bitter, boiling jealousy and strife in the heart of yours &, stop jubilating for yourselves and lying against the truth! 15This /wisdom is not coming down from above, but on the contrary |it is| Earthly, soulish, demonic” (Jas. 3:1-15APT).
You are responsible to manage well your speech and every word spoken. Therefore guard your tongue!
1. Why guard your tongue? Eight reasons are listed below:
a. Because we will give account of all we say at judgment day ( Mt. 12:36,37).
“But I am saying to you, ‘Every idle spoken word[declaration] which ever the humans will speak, they shall render an account concerning it in 0Day of 0Judging. For by means of your$ /words you$ shall be justified[declared righteous, free from blame, guilt and penalty], and by means of your$ /words you$ shall be pronounced guilty”(Mt. 12:36-37APT).
b. Because we are defiled by some things we say (Jas. 3:6; Mt. 15:11); especially when we lie.
“Also the tongue |is| a fire[Prov. 16:27]! The world of unrighteousness! Thus the^ tongue, the^ one staining the whole body, appoints itself among our /members and even sets aflame the rotation[wheel] of origin and is being set aflame by /Géh-ehn-nah[place of fiery torment for sin]” (Jas. 3:6APT).
“Not what~ thing entering into the mouth, defiles the human; but[on the contrary] the~ thing making exit out of the mouth, this~ thing defiles the human. 12At that time His /disciples approached[the face of] and said to Him, Are You$ aware that, when the Pharisees heard the saying, they were offended[scandalized, caused to stumble]? 13Then He answered and said, Every plant, which My /Heavenly /Father has not planted, shall be uprooted. 14Abandon them! They are blind guides of blind ones. Now if (and it may take place) a blind one guide a blind one, both will fall into a 0ditch. 15Then /Peter answered and said to Him, Expound this /parable to us |at once |! 16But /Jesus said, Are you & yourselves still also unintelligent+ ones? 17Do you& not yet comprehend that everything which makes entrance into the mouth customarily finds room in the stomach[cavity] and it is being cast out into a 0toilet[seat away]? 18But the~ things making exit out of the mouth exit out of the heart. And those~ things defile the human. 19For out of the heart exit: wicked contrivances, murders, adulteries, sexual immoralities, thefts, false testimonies, blasphemies. 20These~ are the~ things persistently defiling the human. But the act of eating with unwashed hands is not defiling the human” (Mt. 15:11-20APT).
When one lies habitually, he or she reveals one’s own defilement and indicates that regeneration has not yet taken place. The God classifies every liar as lacking eternal life and bound for the Eternal Lake of Fire along with murders, sexually immoral ones, sorcerers, and idolaters. (Rev. 21:8).
“But to /the cowardly ones and to faithless ones and to sinners and to abominating ones and to murderers and to sexually immoral ones and to sorcerers[dealers in black magic and drugs] and to idolaters and to all the lying ones, the part of theirs |shall be| in the lake, |namely| the^ one continuously burning with fire and brimstone, which is /the second /death” (Rev. 21:8APT).
c. Because the tongue reveals the nature of its source i.e. the heart (Mt. 15:18-20; Jas. 3:7-12; Eph. 5:3-7). Thus the sinful heart invokes The God’s judgment in wrath unless the salvation provided by The Lord Jesus Christ is appropriated by means of repentance and faith!
“But the~ things making exit out of the mouth exit out of the heart. And those~ things defile the human. For out of the heart exit: wicked contrivances, murders, adulteries, sexual immoralities, thefts, false testimonies, blasphemies. These~ are the~ things persistently defiling the human. But the act of eating with unwashed hands is not defiling the human” (Mt. 15:18-20APT).
“For every kind of nature both of beasts and of birds and of reptiles and of saltwater& creatures is being tamed and has been tamed in its nature by /humankind. But among 0humans, not one is able to tame the tongue, an unruly evil, saturated[loaded to capacity] with death-bringing poison. By means of it we extol[eulogize, say well of] The God and Father and by means of it we curse the humans, who have come into being according to God’s resemblance. An extolment and a curse are exiting out of the same mouth. O my brothers, it is not befitting for these~ things so to come to pass. 11The well-spring does not at all emit the sweet and the bitter out of the same fissure, does it? 12O my brothers, a 0fig tree is not able to produce olives or a vine, ripe figs, is it? In this way not one well-spring |is able| to produce both salty and sweet water” (Jas. 3:7-12APT).
“But according as it is proper for saints, sexual immorality and every uncleanness or covetousness[greedy desire to have more] is in fact to stop being named in the sphere of you&! and shameful indecency and foolish[moronic speech] talk or inappropriate witticism, which~ things are not being seemly! For this you& are constantly knowing [from experience], that every sexually immoral one or unclean one or covetous[greedy desire to have more] one, who is continually an idolater, is continually not having inheritance in the Kingdom of The Christ and of God. Not one is to continue enticing you& with vain words! For because of these~ things the anger of The God is coming upon the sons of /disobedience[resisted persuasion]. Therefore stop becoming & associates together with them” (Eph. 5:3-7APT).
d. Because we defile others with what we say when we tempt the listener to take up an offense and destroy friendship (Prov. 25:9; Ps. 15:1-3; Jas. 4:11,12; Mt. l8:15-18; Prov. 16:28).
“Debate thy cause with thy neighbour himself; and discover not a secret to another” (Prov. 25:9).
“LORD, who shall abide in thy tabernacle? who shall dwell in thy holy hill? He that walketh uprightly, and worketh righteousness, and speaketh the truth in his heart. He that backbiteth not with his tongue, nor doeth evil to his neighbour, nor taketh up a reproach against his neighbour. (Ps. 15:1-3)
“O brothers, stop backbiting[speak slanderously about] one another! The one backbiting[speak slanderously about] brother and judging the brother of his is backbiting[speak slanderously about] 0law and he is judging 0law. But if (and it is true) you$ judge 0law, you$ are not a doer of 0law, but[on the contrary] a judge. One+ is The Lawgiver, The+ One able to save and to utterly destroy. Who are you$ who are judging the other[of a different kind]?” (Jas. 4:11,12APT).
“Now if (and it may happen) your$ /brother sin against you$, slip away! and refute him between you$ and him alone! If (and it may happen) he hear you$, you$ gained your$ /brother. But if (and it may happen) he not hear you$, take alongside [in company] with you$ yet one or two, in order that[Deut. 19:15] at the mouth of two or three witnesses every declaration[spoken word] be established. But if (and it may happen) he neglect them, tell[say to] the church, then if (and it may happen) he also neglect the church, he is to be to you$ even as the heathenish+ one and the publican! Amen, I am saying to you&, As many~ things as ever you&[corporately] bind upon the Earth, they shall be standing bound in /Heaven. And as many ~ things as ever you& loose upon the Earth they shall be standing loosed in /Heaven” (Mt. 18:15-18APT)
“A froward man soweth strife: and a whisperer separateth chief friends” (Prov. 16:28).
e. Because we grieve the Holy Spirit if we don’t guard what we say with the tongue (Eph. 4:29-31).
“Every corrupt saying[word] is to stop proceeding out of the mouth of yours&! But[on the contrary] if (and it be true) anything |be | beneficially good toward edification[building up] with reference to the need |is to proceed out of the mouth of yours&|, so that it give grace to the hearers. And stop grieving The Holy /Spirit of The God by means of Whom you & became sealed unto 0Day of 0Redemption! All bitterness and passionate wrath and anger and shouting and blasphemy together with all iniquity[evilness] is to be carried off away from you&!” (Eph. 4:29-31 APT)
f. Because we divide the body of Christ if we don’t guard what we say with the tongue (1 Cor. 1:10-13; 3:3-4; Jas. 3:13-18).
Twice in His Epistle to Corinthians, the apostle Paul rebuked the Corinthians for the contentions that caused divisions in that church because of what the people were saying.
“Now I entreat you&, O brothers, through the name of The Lord of ours, Jesus Christ, that: You& all keep saying the same~ thing and schisms are to stop being among you &, but |that | you & be restored ones in the same comprehension and in the same resolve[fixity of purpose]. For it was made clear to me concerning you& , O my brothers, by the ones of Khlóh-ay, that contentions are continually among you&. Now I am saying this, ‘‘Each one of you& keep saying: on the one hand, I myself am continually of Paul; and on another hand, Myself of Ahpohl-lōs! and on still another hand, Myself of Kay-fáhs! and on yet another hand, Myself of Christ! Does The Christ stand divided? Paul was not crucified in behalf of you&, was he? Or, Were you& baptized in the name of Paul?” (1 Cor. 1:10-13APT).
“For you& are yet fleshly [carnal, controlled by the flesh] ones. For whereas jealousy[boiling, envious zeal] and contention and dissensions |are | among you &, you& are fleshly[carnal, controlled by the flesh] ones and you & are continually walking according to humans, are you& not? For whenever someone says: on the one hand, I myself am of Paul; on the other hand another |says|, Myself of Ah-pohllōs; you& are fleshly[carnal, controlled by the flesh] ones, are you& not?
In the chapter in his Epistle regarding the tongue, James wrote that one’s speech reflects whether one’s wisdom is Earthly or from above. Earthly wisdom produces “salty water” of “bitter, boiling jealousy, and strife in the heart” which causes division among those claiming to be The God’s people.
“8But among 0humans, not one is able to tame the tongue, an unruly evil, saturated[loaded to capacity] with death-bringing[Ps. 140:3] poison. 9By means of it we extol[eulogize, say well of] The God and Father and by means of it we curse the humans, who have come into being according to God’s resemblance[Gen. 1:26,. LXX]. 10An extolment and a curse are exiting out of the same mouth. O my brothers, it is not befitting for these~ things so to come to pass. 11The well-spring does not at all emit the sweet and the bitter out of the same fissure, does it? 12O my brothers, a 0fig tree is not able to produce olives or a vine, ripe figs, is it? In this way not one well-spring |is able| to produce both salty and sweet water. Who |is| wise+ and intellectually knowledgeable among you&? He is to show, out of his intrinsically good conduct of life, the works of his in meekness of wisdom. But if (and it is true) you& are having bitter, boiling jealousy and strife in the heart of yours&, stop jubilating for yourselves and lying against the truth! This /wisdom is not coming down from above, but on the contrary |is| Earthly, soulish, demonic. For where jealousy and strife |are|, there tumult and every bad[includes worthless] matter |are|! But the wisdom from above on the one hand is firstly pure, thereupon peaceful, reasonable, easily persuaded, saturated[loaded to capacity] with mercy and beneficially good fruits, impartial, and unhypocritical. Then on the other hand 0fruit of the righteousness is being sown in peace by the ones making peace” (Jas. 3:13-18APT).
Therefore it behooves us to guard our tongues and manage our speech well!
h. Lastly we are to guard the tongue because if we don’t, we hinder the effect of the Gospel in three ways:
(1) By destroying the testimony of love (Eph. 4:15,16; Jn. l3:35).
“But while continually being truthful ones in love[sovereign preference for another over self and others], let us increase with reference to the all~ things unto Him, The Christ, Who is The Head! Out of Whom all the Body being continually fitly compacted together and being continually knit together by means of the abundant supply of every joint according to the effectual working in 0measure of each one’s part is continually making the increase of the Body unto 0building[edifcation] up of itself in love [sovereign preference for another over self and others]” (Eph. 4:15,16APT).
The Lord Jesus Christ told His disciples that they would be identified as His disciples by love [sovereign preference for another over self and others]. This love would be reflected in speech as well as in behavior toward each other.
“By means of this, all+ |people| shall know[from experience] for themselves that you& are My disciples if (and it may be) you & continually have love[sovereign preference over self and others] among one another” (Jn. 13:35APT).
(2) We also hinder the effect of the Gospel by failing to create a thirst for Christ (Col. 4:6 cf. 1 Pet. 3:15). This will hinder some from asking you for a reason for the hope that is in you.
“The speech of yours& |is to be| in grace, standing seasoned with salt all the time, in order for you& to perceive how it is absolutely necessary to answer each one!” (Col. 4:6APT).
“But sanctify[set apart as holy] The Lord God in your hearts! In fact invariably, along with meekness[patient submissive suffering of offences] and fear, |be| ready ones with[to the face of] an answer in defense to everyone who petitions you& an account in regard to the hope in you” (1 Pet. 3:15APT).
(3) Then we hinder the effect of the Gospel by failing to give off the fragrance of Christ (2 Cor. 2:14-16) which encourages the perishing ones to desire life and the saved encouraged to be crucified with Christ.
“Now gratitude |be| to The God, Who all the time continually leads us in triumphal procession in The Christ and also continually displays the odor of the knowledge of Him by means of us in every place! Because we are continually a sweet fragrance of Christ for The God, among the ones being saved and among the ones perishing. On the one hand to whom&[the saved], an odor of death[can only be so, if the dead have died to self and sin, Lk. 9:23 cf. Gal. 2:20; Rom. 6:6] unto death, but on the other hand to whom&[the perishing], an odor of absolute life unto absolute life” (2 Cor 2:14-16APT).
2. Help other believers you love by refusing to listen to fault finding and gossip.
Rather ask the offender, “Have you spoken to him (or her) about this? Please go to him (or her) first, and don't tell me until they refuse to listen to your charge.” This is the order of procedure The Lord Jesus Christ gave to His disciples (Mt. l8:15,16; Phi1. 4:8).
“Now if (and it may happen) your$ /brother sin against you $, slip away! and refute him between you$ and him alone! If (and it may happen) he hear you $, you$ gained your$ /brother. But if (and it may happen) he not hear you $, take alongside [in company] with you$ yet one or two, in order that[De. 19:15] at the mouth of two or three witnesses every declaration[spoken word] be established. But if (and it may happen) he neglect them, tell[say to] the church, then if (and it may happen) he also neglect the church, he is to be to you$ even as the heathenish+ one and the publican! Amen, I am saying to you&, As many~ things as ever you &[corporately] bind upon the Earth, they shall be standing bound in /Heaven. And as many~ things as ever you&[corporately loose upon the Earth they shall be standing loosed in /Heaven” (Mt. l8:15,16APT).
Remember the positive exhortation that the apostle Paul wrote to the Philippians!
“Furthermore, O brothers, as many~ things as are true~, as many~ things as |are| gravely dignified~, as many~ things as |are| righteous~, as many~ things as |are| pure~, as many~ things as |are | lovely~[attracting fondness to the face of], as many~ things as |are| commending~, if (and it is true) any virtue, and if (and it is true) any expression[acclamation] of hearty approval, continually reckon with reference to these~ things!” (Phil. 4:8APT).
3. Concentrate on the positive use of your tongue (Ps. 119:13,27,42,43,171,172; 71:24).The anonymous Psalm 119, by many attributed to David, contains 176 verses, six of which refer to the positive use of the tongue in various ways (Ps. 119:13,27,42,43, 171,172).
“With my lips have I declared all the judgments of thy mouth. . . . Make me to understand the way of thy precepts: so shall I talk of thy wondrous works. . . . So shall I have wherewith to answer him that reproacheth me: for I trust in thy word. . . . And take not the word of truth utterly out of my mouth; for I have hoped in thy judgments. . . . My lips shall utter praise, when thou hast taught me thy statutes. . . . My tongue shall speak of thy word: for all thy commandments are righteousness” (Ps. 119:13,27,42,43, 171,172).
Another anonymous Psalm, attributed to David, speaks of the positive use of the tongue (Ps. 71:15, 22-24).
“My mouth shall shew forth thy righteousness and thy salvation all the day; for I know not the numbers thereof. . . . I will also praise thee with the psaltery, even thy truth, O my God: unto thee will I sing with the harp, O thou Holy One of Israel. My lips shall greatly rejoice when I sing unto thee; and my soul, which thou hast redeemed. My tongue also shall talk of thy righteousness all the day long: for they are confounded, for they are brought unto shame, that seek my hurt” (Ps. 71:15,22-24).
How to Manage your affairs!
G. Your Treasures
Jesus taught that it is more blessed to give than to receive (Acts 20:35). Many of God’s people realize how important it is to give to God so that His Word and the Gospel may be spread abroad and His church may prosper and effectively minister to His people and reach out to the lost throughout the world. Because there are so many demands and cries for your money and mine, it is essential that we know what God’s Word says about giving, the method to give, and the manner to give. There are so many charities, foundations, missionary agencies, and churches in need of funds. Some are doing excellent work, some good work, some mediocre work, some are careful stewards, and some do not make good use of their funds. How do you choose or select to which ones you should give your financial support? What does God’s Word say about this matter? After all, since God is going to judge you and me for how we use our money, certainly He should have given some instructions as to how to make these decisions, shouldn’t He? Yes indeed and He did! The God gave very clear instructions in His Word. Let’s find out where to begin.
1. Where to Begin (Mt. 22:15-21).
The Lord Jesus Christ taught that the place to begin is with the responsibility we have toward the government and toward The God.
When disciples of the Pharisees and Herodians (members and supporters of the political party in power in Palestine) came to Jesus in order to trap Him, they asked, “Is it lawful to give poll tax to Caesar, or not?” Jesus asked for a denarius, the legal coin of the poll tax and asked whose image and inscription was on it. When they said, “Caesar’s,” Jesus said to them, “Therefore render the things belonging to Caesar to Caesar and the things belonging to The God to The God”(Mt. 22:16-21APT).
“Stop treasuring up for yourselves treasures upon /Earth, where moth and corrosion[eating] deform[make disappear] and where thieves dig through and steal! But treasure up for yourselves treasures in Heaven, where neither moth nor corrosion[eating] deform[make disappear] and where thieves do not dig through nor steal! For where your& /treasure is, there the heart of yours& will be also” (Mt. 6:19-21APT).
There is no problem today in the matter of paying income tax. The government has seen to it that the employer takes the tax out at the time the salary is paid. There may be a problem of working out the return in order to pay less. But the individual employee never sees the amount of tax which the government estimates is the amount to be paid. The taxing is done on the total amount of income. Isn’t it interesting that people have no difficulty in giving the proportion ‘Caesar’ or the government requires on the total earnings? But, when it comes to giving God His portion, many want to calculate the proportion on the net after the government (‘Caesar’) has taken its portion, rather than on the total amount received. Thus God is short-changed and considered less important than man or government. But The Lord Jesus said that we are to render ‘‘unto The God the things that are The God’s.’’
Since proper stewardship begins with fulfilling our responsibility both to the government and to The God, it is necessary to understand three vital truths: recognize three vital facts; reckon what The God claims is His, to be The God’s; and render to The God that which is His.
a. Recognize Three Vital Facts:
If we are to render to The God what things are His, we must begin to recognize three things: what is The God’s, what is yours, and what The God claims.
(1) Recognize What Is The God’s - The Possessor of Heaven and Earth.
We will never be able to render unto God all that is The God’s until we recognize what is The God’s. Therefore we ask, ‘‘What does The God say about our lives and our possessions?’’ First of all, everything we have has been given to us by The God. The apostle Paul asked the Corinthians, “ What do you have that you did not receive?” (1 Cor. 4:7). Therefore since The God has given to us all that we have, He has all the rights to all that we have because all belongs to Him. It does not matter whether or not one agrees with this fact. The God has clearly indicated this fact in His Word. Whether or not a mere human, a being The God has created agrees is incidental. Agreement or disagreement (contradiction) by a creature does not alter the truth or fact. Disagreement to truth is a lie and therefore is of the devil, a liar from the beginning and the father of falsehood (Jn. 8:44). If anyone fails to recognize this fact or determines to reject or neglect this truth, they will regret it for all eternity. Because we all individually shall give an account of himself or herself to The God (Acts 10:42; Rom. 14:9-12; 1 Pet. 4:5,6).
Now note the testimony concerning this truth by men from different ages of time, before The Old Testament law, under The Old Testament law, in the Kingdom age, and under the New Covenant in the age of grace.
(A) Job, the man noted for his patience, recognized this fact (truth). And although He lost everything he owned even his children, he said,
“Naked came I out of my mother's womb, and naked shall I return thither: The LORD gave, and The LORD hath taken away; blessed be the name of The LORD” (Job 1:21).
Later, after he was smitten with boils from head to toe and his wife told him to curse God and die, he said to her, “Thou speakest as one of the foolish women speaketh. What? shall we receive good at the hand of God, and shall we not receive evil?” (Job 2:10).
(B) King David, at the end of his life, amassed a great treasure of materials in preparation for Solomon to build the Temple (1 Chronicles 29:1-19). He recognized, ‘‘Both riches and honor come of’’The God (v. 12). Then he humbly acknowledged God’s goodness to him to enable him to give so abundantly. ‘‘But who am I, and what is my people, that we should be able to offer so willingly after this sort? for all things come of Thee, and of Thine own have we given Thee’’ ( 1 Chr. 29:14).
(C) The apostle Paul wrote to his disciple young Timothy, “For we brought nothing into this world, and it is certain we can carry nothing out’’ (1 Tim. 6:7). Paul also taught the Corinthians,
‘‘For who maketh thee to differ from another? and what hast thou that thou didst not receive? Now if thou didst receive it, why dost thou glory as if thou hadst not received it?’’ (1 Cor. 4:7).
No doubt some will say, ‘‘I worked for it. I labored hard for everything I have.’’ Yes, but where did you get the strength to work for it? ‘‘From the food I eat.’’ Who gets the credit for your good health so you can work? And who made the food to grow? Who sent the rain? the sunshine? the minerals in the soil? When it is finally analyzed, we must say, The God, The Creator and Maker made it possible! And because The God gave it to you, you owe it all to Him. Therefore everything that you have is a trust from God. All your income or increase comes indirectly from God. He gives it to you as a trust. There is something else you must recognize.(2) Recognize What Is Yours (1 Cor. 6:19,20; Lk. 16:1-13).
The Scriptures emphasize what is not yours. When what is not yours is once determined, then it will be easy to determine what is yours. Paul asked the Corinthians,
“Or, you& are aware, are you& not? ‘The body of yours& is a 0Holy Place [of theTemple] of 0Holy Spirit Who |is| in you&, Whom you & continually have from 0God’; and, ‘You& continually are not belonging to yourselves, for you& are redeemed[bought in a marketplace] with a highly respected precious price.’ Accordingly glorify[exalt with majestic radiant splendor] The God in the body of yours & and in the spirit of yours &, which &[whichever] are The God’s!” (1 Cor. 6:19,20APT).
The price Jesus had to pay for your redemption was to shed His own precious blood in death on the cross. He saved you from eternal destruction. He purchased you back to God from slavery to sin and serving Satan. You no longer belong to yourself, nor to the devil. You now belong to God. Therefore everything that you receive is His and is not yours to do with as you want or as you please. You have been entrusted with all that you have to use for Him and for His glory. And though He will not now demand an account of your stewardship, He will demand a full account in some future day (here read Lk. 16:1-13 APT). Everything you have is The God’s! Nothing is your own! The God has entrusted to you all that you have or possess to manage as a good steward for Him. At some future date you will be called to give an account of that stewardship.
In addition to recognizing what is or belongs to The God (everything) and what is yours (nothing, everything you have has been entrusted to by The God), it is now necessary to recognize what The God Claims to be His.(3) Recognize What The God Claims to Be His:
Once you recognize that all is The God’s and nothing is yours, then you must recognize what God claims to be His. This includes the tithe, the firstfruits, and offerings. Although many people today do not understand this, nor do they acknowledge it, yet the fact remains true. Some day they will recognize it and acknowledge it to their eternal regret and vexation.
(A) The Tithe Is the Lord’s (Lev. 27:30; Mal. 3:8-11);
Moses wrote the words of The LORD God, ‘‘All the tithe . . . is The LORD’s: It is holy unto The LORD’’ (Lev. 27:30). The tithe is ten percent of all the increase or income you receive. God claims that ten percent of all you have or will receive belongs to Him, to be used to care for His servants (in the Old Testament they were the Levites and the priests), in the New Testament His servants are the missionaries (evangelists) and the shepherds (pastors) and teachers. God claims the tithe (ten per cent of our income) is His. This is not only true for Israel and for the Church, but for every human for all ages. Each one individually is to see that The The God receives this portion that He claims is His is used for His ordained purpose. When we see that The God receives the tithe for the purpose He has indicated, we have not really given anything to Him. We have only returned to Him the portion that He claims for His workers. In order to give love-offerings to Him, we must give over and above the tithe which He claims. Love-offerings to The God are given out of our weekly, bi-weekly, monthly, and annual increases and out of our treasures. Little is mentioned and known of this concept of stewardship of our treasures, which are considered in two categories: material and spiritual, which are considered below.
(B) Your substance and the firstfruits are to be used to honor The LORD (Prov. 3:9);
During the age of Israel’s kingdom, wise King Solomon exhorted his son to ‘‘Honor the LORD with thy substance and with the first fruits of all thine increase’’ (Prov. 3:9). The first fruits are the very best crops that ripen before the whole crop. They are a sizeable portion of the harvest. These were given to the Lord immediately. Additionally we are to honor The Lord with our wealth. The word translated ‘substance’ literally means “enough.” Out of what is enough for keeping alive, we are to use it to honor The LORD. Two of the meanings of the word translated ‘honor’is “to promote” and “to promote to honor.” Are we being good stewards of all that which The God has blessed being ‘enough’ and using what is more than enough to promote His name, His glory, and His Gospel and by investing in The Lord’s work promote His honor?
(C) Failure to render tithes (plural) and offerings to The LORD is robbing The God? Remember God’s Solemnizing Question. At the end of the Old Testament the Lord of Hosts, The LORD God of Heaven asked, ‘‘Will a man rob God? Yet ye have robbed Me. But ye say, wherein have we robbed thee? In tithes and offerings’’ (Malachi 3:8-11). The God cursed Israel because they robbed Him. He has done so much more for you and me than He ever did for Israel. This is where we must begin to give - at least ten percent of ourincrease or $1.00 out of every $10.00 received. But The God gave further orders in verse 10,
“Bring ye all the tithes into the storehouse, that there may be meat in mine house, and prove me now herewith . . . if I will not open you the windows of heaven, and pour you out a blessing, that there shall not be room enough to receive it.”
The reason that the true work of The Lord suffers today is because The God’s people will not obey The Lord to their own detriment both temporally and eternally. They do not recognize what The God claims and the purpose for which He claims it. The God further states that failure for God’s Old Testament people to bring the tithe to the storehouse results in the devourer destroying the fruits of the ground or the source of income. The storehouse for these Jews at that time in The Old Testament was the Temple in Jerusalem.
But God will be like the devourer to all His people of the New Testament (Covenant) also if we will not give Him His rightful portion - the tithe He claims is His to care for and provide for His bondslaves. I have known some of God’s people who have not given ten percent of their gross income to God and have lost that which they did not give God in one of several ways: medical bills, traffic fines, stolen money or valuables, lost costly and precious items, car accidents etc.
(D) Even the tithe of minute things is to be rendered to The God. Remember Jesus’ Testimony (Mt. 23:23). The fact that this portion, ten percent, belongs to God is further taught by The Lord Jesus Christ Himself in His censure of the Pharisees, the religious leaders and teachers of His time.
“Woe to you&, O hypocrites, scribes and Pharisees! because you& tithe the mint and the dill and the cummin[aromatic condiment] and you& abandoned the heavier |matters| of the law: the judgment and the mercy and the faith[committed trust]. It is absolutely necessary to do these~ things and not to abandon those~ things” (Mt. 23:23APT).
By this statement, Jesus indicated that the tithe even of the minutest things are to be tithed, even that which is reaped which requires no labor to sow and cultivate but grows of itself. Therefore all income or increase in any form comes under the command of God, which has not been rescinded, nor negated because it was demanded by the law given to Israel by Moses. Under the heading, The Principle of Tithing, later in this study this will be fully explained. The God’s principles never change, only the details to comply with His principles observed under Old Testament law change under New Testament grace. The principles do not change.
The next vital truth to put into practice in your life, after you recognize these three facts just discussed, is to reckon what The God claims is His, to Be His.
b. Reckon What The God Claims is His, To Be The God’s.
In order to render ‘‘unto The God the things which are The God’s,’’ it is necessary to reckon or count in your mind what is The God’s. Count ten percent of your income and of all your increase to be The God’s. Acknowledge that The God claims that ten percent of all He entrusts to you is to be used for Him and for the care of the missionaries first (see the topics: H. The Principle of Tithing and I. The Study of Tithes and Offerings following this consideration of G. Your Treasures). Whenever you receive money in any way for any reason consider in your mind how much belongs to The God and determine that you are going to see that The God gets that amount. Lay it aside as soon as you get it. Have a box, jar, or envelope where you put The Lord’s money to be kept until you go to His house on the Lord’s Day or send it off.
I remember when my wife and I opened an historic closed and boarded-up church building in the late fifties. There were two old men, bachelor brothers that lived about a half mile from the church. One was traumatized by the closing of the church building and relocation of the congregation quite some distance away, many years before we reopened it. He missed the services there so much that he found a way to get in and meditate. When we opened the church he often attended. Later we learned of an acre of ground next to his old homestead, that he owned. He called it “God’s Acre.” However, though in his mind it was dedicated to God, The God never received it. Even when we outgrew the old church building and needed ground to build a larger sanctuary, God’s Acre was not available. Immediately after the death of the two brothers, a relative sold the property for a huge sum of money to become a wealthy residential community. It is so easy to lull ourselves into thinking what is The God’s and setting it aside for Him, but never really rendering it to Him. This brings us to the third vital truth that must be recognized and performed.
c. Render unto The God What Is The God’s.
Not only is it necessary to reckon in our minds what belongs to The God when we get it , but we must see that we render what is His to Him soon after we reckon it to be His. Make it your solemn responsibility to be a faithful steward in seeing that the particular portion which is The God’s is used for The God’s intended purpose in evangelizing and discipling people and preparing them to disciple others, then to congregate them to learn and to worship to build up His Church in His way. This requires prayerful and careful discernment. Some teach store house tithing and some teach storehouse giving. Both positions claim the local church is the storehouse. This author ignorantly taught this interpretation for years until an intensive study of stewardship, tithing, and giving to The God proved otherwise. Indeed the Temple was the place The God chose for His habitation and for all Israel to gather to worship Him. Therefore the Temple in the Old Testament was called the Storehouse (Mal. 3:10). In The New Testament The Church which is the Body of Christ is the Temple in Which the Holy Spirit resides (Col. 1:18,24; Eph. 2:22). As The Temple is called The House Of God, so also the Church is also called The House Of God (1 Tim. 3:15; 2 Tim. 2:20; Heb. 3:6; 10:21; 1 Pet. 2:5; 4:17).
“And This One is the head of the Body, |namely| the Church, Who is 0Beginning, Firstborn out of dead ones, that He Himself become 0Preeminent One. . . . I, who now rejoice in the sufferings of mine in behalf of you&. In fact I fully fill up the lacking things of the afflictions of The Christ in my /flesh in behalf of His /Body which is the Church” (Col. 1:18,24APT).
“. . . and ones being built up upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ Himself being the corner-foundation stone, in Whom all the building continually being fitly compacted together continually increases unto an holy place[in the Temple] in 0Lord, in Whom you yourselves also are continually being built together for a place of residence for The God by means of 0Spirit” (Eph. 2:20-22APT).
As one reads through the Book of Acts, the first Church History Book, the first two internal problems the Church faced involved money. First was the incident with covetous couple, Ahnahnéeahs and Sahpfeíray (chapter 5). Then a about a month later in late summer of A.D. 33 as the church grew, a murmuring arose about the distribution of money among the widows. The priority of the apostles was to persevere in prayer and in the serving of The Word. Therefore seven spiritually qualified men were selected by the congregation of the Church to serve as deacons. Then the apostles dedicated them in prayer to this ministry (Acts 6:1-6). Ever since in the true Church the deacons have had this responsibility of distributing the finances. If even the apostles distanced themselves from the Church’s finances in order to serve The Lord more effectively in their ministry, why should a pastor desire to become involved and intrude in the apostolically appointed work of the deacons in a local assembly of the true church? If he does, that church is not worthy of any of The LORD’S money. We are living in a day in which even in our churches “it’s all about money.” Therefore we should be doubly careful where The LORD’S money goes.
(1) How to select where to give the tithe and invest in The LORD’s work in order to see that The God receives your tithes and offerings for His ordained purpose. The study of The Comparison of The Kingdom of God and the Kingdom of Heaven [to observe it now click here] will be helpful in determining those churches, pastors, missionaries, and ministries, who are in The Kingdom of God and truly serving The God and His Christ and therefore are worthy of financial and prayerful fellowship. There is a distinction between mere profession (Kingdom of Heaven) and confession as a result of regeneration; between a mixture of wheat and tares on the one hand and a pure, cleansed, sanctified, and obedient body of regenerated saints on the other hand.
Special and prayerful consideration should be given to the particular ministry through which you have been brought to Christ and discipled. Also Paul instructed the Galatians, “The one, being orally instructed with reference to The Word, is to fellowship[partake by sharing] by means of all beneficially good things with the one+ orally instructing!” (Gal. 6:6APT).
(2) What to consider to determine where to deposit The LORD’s money to be sure that you are investing in what is truly and solely The Lord’s ministry so that The God receives it and not the enemy. One would be remiss if some guidelines and warnings were not included when teaching proper stewardship.
(A) Consider The Jesus, The Gospel, and The Spirit that is proclaimed;
Remember what the apostle Paul wrote to Corinthians concerning Satan and his servants’ gospel. (2 Cor. 11:4,13-15).
“For if (and it is true) actually the one coming proclaims as an herald another Jesus of the same kind, whom we did not proclaim as an herald, or you& are receiving another spirit of a different kind, which you& did not receive, or another gospel of a different kind, which you& did not hospitably receive, well were you& holding back from |him|. . . . For the such like ones |are|: false apostles, deceitful workers, transfigurers[alterers of outer appearance] of themselves into apostles of Christ! And not a marvelous~ thing! For /Satan himself is repeatedly transfiguring[alter outer appearance] himself into an angel of light. Therefore no great thing! if (and it is true) the domestic[deacon, attendant to needs] servants of his also are being transfigured[alter outer appearance] as domestic[deacon, attendant needs] servants of righteousness, whose /end shall be according to their /works!” (2 Cor. 11:4,13-15APT).
This calls for an accurate evaluation, governed by discernment and followed by a difficult decision. We do not want to judge any one because The Lord Jesus warned His disciples against judging others. However He did instruct His disciples to discern. He expects us not to judge but rather to discern, especially to discern false prophets. Discerning is not judging. How do we know that The Lord Jesus wants His disciples to discern? In Adar I, the first February of an intercalary month in the second year of His ministry in the Sermon on the Mount, The Lord Jesus taught His disciples to be on guard and mightily keep away from false prophets. Then He instructed them how to discern false prophets (those who utter under influence).
“Now continually hold fast[on guard] away from the false prophets whoever come to[the face of] you& in sheep’s clothing, but inside they are greedy, plunderous wolves! 16You& will recognize[know fully from experience] them by means of their /fruits. By no means do they collect together: a cluster of ripe grapes [away]from thorns, or ripe figs [away]from thistles, do they? 17So every beneficially good, living tree customarily produces intrinsically good fruits, but the corrupt, living tree customarily produces wicked fruits. 18A beneficially good, living tree is not able to produce wicked fruits, neither |is| a corrupt, living tree |able| to produce intrinsically good fruits. 19Every living tree not producing intrinsically good fruits is being cut out and it is being cast into 0fire. 20So then indeed, by means of their /fruits you& will recognize[know fully from experience] them. 21Not everyone who says to Me, O Lord, O Lord, will enter into the Kingdom of the& Heavens; but[on the contrary] the one beginning to do the determined will of My /Father Who |is| in The& Heavens. 22Many shall say to Me in that /day, O Lord, O Lord, we prophesied in Your$ /name and we cast out demons in Your $ /name and we did many miraculous powers in Your$ /name, did we not? 23And at that time I shall confess to them, ‘‘I never knew[from experience] you&. You&, the ones working /lawlessness[non-observance of law], be disassociating away from Me!’’ (Mt. 7:15-23APT.).
These false prophets preach some of the truth, even in the name of (another of the same kind of) Jesus, but they did not preach the whole truth. Therefore the result of their sowing, according to the parable of the wheat and tares, produced tares among the wheat (Mt. 13:24-30). The parable explains how they were sown among the wheat. Jesus said, “An enemy hath done this.” But when were the tares sown among the wheat. Jesus said, “during the process of the humans sleeping.” This is an excellent reason for every member especially the elders of a local church of the true Body of Christ, the true Church, to be on guard against false brethern unobtrusively sneaking in and teaching false doctrine. The apostle Paul explained to the Corinthians (see above) that the false gospel, proclaimed by false apostles and deceitful workers, contained a Jesus of the same kind but was motivated by and contained a spirit of a different kind. Yes ! It is difficult to understand how such nice, clean-living people who make sense in their preaching (prophesying, which can mean telling the future or uttering under influence) could really be enemies of the Lord Jesus Christ. But it is true. In addition to his Epistle to Corithians, Paul wrote to two other churches about false brethern and false teachers, who sneak in unobtrusively, Galatians and Philippians,
“But because of the smuggled-in false brothers, whoever sneaked in to spy out the freedom of ours which we have in Christ Jesus in order that they completely enslave us. To whom we did not capitulate in /subjection even for an hour in order that the truth of the Gospel remain constant with[to the face of] you&” (Gal. 2:4,5APT).
“For many, whom I told you& many times but now I tell you & even weeping loudly, are walking as the enemies of the cross of The Christ! The end of whom, utter destruction! The god of whom, the belly! And their glory in the shame of theirs! The ones continually minding Earthly things!” Phil. 3:18,19APT).
By his own teaching and life, he set the example that there is to be no capitulation to these false brethren. In addition to Paul’s exhortations in this matter, Peter also wrote,
“But false prophets also emerged among the people[same race and language], as even among you& there shall be false teachers, who shall smuggle in utterly destructive heresies and continually deny 0Absolute Master Who redeemed[bought in a marketplace] them incurring impending destruction upon themselves. And many shall follow out the utter destructions of them, through whom the way of The Truth shall be blasphemed. And in covetousness[greedy desire to have more] with fabricated words they shall trade for profit with reference to you&, to whom the judgment out of a long time ago is not lingering and their /utter destruction is not dozing.” (2 Pet. 2:1-3APT).
Then in c. A.D. 90-96 the beloved apostle John wrote to his children in The Lord,
“O beloved ones, stop committing trust to every kind of spirit! But on the contrary, scrutinize[approve after examination] the spirits whether they are of[source] The God! Because many false prophets have exited into the world. . . . Little children[relationship emphasis] you yourselves are continually of[source] The God. And you& have overcome them because The+ One in you& is greater than the+ one in the world. They themselves are of[source] the world. Because of this they are continually speaking in accordance with the world and the world continually hears them. We ourselves are of[source] The God. The one continually knowing [from experience] The God continually hears us. He, who is not of[source] The God is continually not hearing us. By means of this we know[from experience] The Spirit of The Truth and the spirit of the error” (1 Jn. 4:1,4-6APT).
There are so many today proclaiming a false gospel (Gal. 1:6-9). Keep in mind how Jesus contrasted the many with the few (Mt. 7:13,14,22,23) by considering what Jesus told His disciples on His last day of teaching on Wednesday, 12 Nisan A.D. 33, three days before His crucifixtion (Mt. 24:5,11).
“Enter& through the narrow gate! because the gate |is| wide and the way |is| spacious which is leading away unto the utter destruction[perishing] and many are the ones entering through it. Because the gate |is| narrow and the way which is leading away unto the absolute life stands restricted with pressure and few are the ones finding it. . . . 22Many shall say to Me in that /day, O Lord, O Lord, we prophesied in Your$ /name and we cast out demons in Your$ /name and we did many miraculous powers in Your$ /name, did we not? 23And at that time I shall confess to them, ‘‘I never knew[from experience] you&. You&, the ones working /lawlessness[non-observance of law], be disassociating away from Me!’’ (Mt. 7:13,14, 22, 23APT).
“Many shall come on the basis of My name, saying, I am myself continually being The Christ. And they shall mislead many. . . . Many false prophets shall be raised up and shall mislead many” (Mt. 24:5,11APT)
Then in his Epistle to Timothy, his son in the faith, Paul indicated that there would be some who would apostatize from the Faith, holding fast to misleader spirits and demons’ teachings in hypocrisy by lie-speakers, servants of unrighteousness in sheep’s clothing.
“Now the Spirit is continually saying declarably, ‘In later appointed times some& shall apostatize[defect] from the faith and continually hold fast to misleader spirits and teachings of demons in hypocrisy by lie-speakers, ones standing cauterized with a hot iron with reference to one’s own[private] conscience” (1 Tim. 4:1,2APT).
All these passages reinforce the fact that careful consideration must be given to whether or not a particular church, ministry, or missionary should be considered worthy of receiving The God’s tithes and offerings and worthy of investing therein lest the enemy get the benefit and the work of The LORD suffer as a result of misdirected funds and the investors suffer eternal embarassment. Each one of us must beware of where we invest because some day each one will give account of his or her own stewardship to The God. We cannot pass the responsibility on to the church or the mission or the ministry to which we gave contributions. Therefore since each one of us must some day give account of his or her own stewardship to The God, it behooves us to make sure that the message being proclaimed is the whole Gospel that Paul proclaimed and is not motivated and empowered by another spirit that calls attention to the spirit (Jn.14:161,17,26 cf. 16:13,14). [To check compare with Gospel Presentation Highlights under Evangelism-Discipleship on our website. Click here to view now.]
(B) Consider Their Doctrine
Compare all that Paul has declared is the Gospel by Him in all his Epistles, including Hebrews . This includes sound teaching; the resurrection of Jesus Christ to become our Great High Priest, to apply His precious blood on the Mercyseat in Heaven to justify and sanctify those who persistently commit faith and establish the New Testament or New Covenant or New Will of The God, and to be The Judge of humans and their secrets. (1 Tim. 1:11; 2. Tim. 2:8 cf. Heb. 9:11-10:16; Rom. 2:16).
(C) Consider Their Faith
The apostle Paul wrote, “We walk by means of faith, not by sight” (2 Cor. 5:7). He did not say we should walk by means of faith. He said that he and Sōsthenays do walk by faith and not by sight. He did not use the ‘inclusive’ we to include the readers, but rather he used the ‘exclusive’ we, meaning the writers, Sōsthenays and himself. He did not know the source nor the method The God would supply His every need, but he was sure and fully knew The God would do just that. In three different Epistles he quoted Habakkuk 2:4, “Now the righteous one shall absolutely live for himself by means of [LXX: My i.e. God’s]faith[committed trust]” (Rom. 1:17APT; Gal. 3:11APT; Heb. 10:38APT). This meant the righteous one is trusting The God completely for every necessity of life. Paul also wrote,
“You& are aware, are you& not? that the+ ones themselves working the sacred~ things repeatedly eat |the sacred~ things| out of the Temple.[Lev. 6:16,26; 7:6,31,32; Num. 5:9,10; 18:8-20; De. 18:1.] The ones+ constantly remaining ready to serve at the altar are continually dividing together with the altar. So also The Lord decreed to the+ ones continually proclaiming the gospel everywhere, Continually absolutely live by means of[source] the Gospel!” (1 Cor 9:13,14APT).
Faith is completely trusting The Lord Jesus Christ, not only for Salvation and all its blessings (includung grace, reconciliation, redemption, forgiveness, regeneration, justification, sanctification, predestination, election, and glorification), but also for all temporal needs. Jesus told His disciples,
“Your& /Heavenly /Father is aware that you & are needing all these things individually. But persistently seek& first the Kingdom of The God and His /righteousness! And all these~ things shall be added to you&.” (Mt. 6:32,33APT).
Seeking to be righteous by living with The God’s imputed righteousness upon regeneration makes one completely righteous in Christ Jesus positionally. David, the sweet Psalmist of Israel, wrote, “I have been young, and now am old; yet have I not seen the righteous forsaken, nor his seed begging bread” (Psalm 37:25). To “beg bread” is to ask for alms, to look to humans for supply. It is evidence that one is either forsaken or not asking The God in faith looking to Him alone to meet one’s need. Therefore such an one is not righteous in practice. This is true if one who claims to be a bondslave of The Lord Jesus Christ does not have these things added to their part in the Kingdom of The God and His righteousness. The bondslaves of The Lord Jesus Christ look to their master for sustenance and every need. They do not look to humans to supply their needs even if there are some who promise to assist in this.
Neither is it righteous to offer an appealing gift in exchange for a contribution. Therefore such ministries using the name of Christ are deceiving people, are not righteous, and are “walking as enemies of the cross of Christ” (Phil. 3:18). Therefore they are not worthy of the tithes and offerings intended for The God.
It is the evangelists (missionaries), shepherds (pastors), and teachers that are the bondslave-workers in the New Testament Temple (the Church) who are to receive the tithes and love-offerings. The local church that provides truly qualified deacons who are not unduly influenced or vetoed by an overbearing pastor and who prayerfully and faithfully distribute nine-tenths of the tithe to qualified missionaries who are living by faith and looking to The God for provision and do not ask for money and distribute one tenth of the tithe plus offerings to the pastors and teachers is worthy of receiving the tithe of every member. Otherwise prayerfully consider those individual evangelists (missionaries) who are evangelizing and discipling and are planting Scriptural New Testament local churches and as well consider Scriptural faith missions and ministries whose primary thrust is evangelism, discipleship, and church planting.
See to it that The God’s bondslaves serving in the work of the Lord by faith are properly cared for by use of your tithe as outlined in the notes entitled The Principle of Tithing which follows this topic. Click here to read it now.
2. Two Kinds of Treasures
Treasures come in two categories: material treasures and spiritual treasures. Material treasures are temporal but can be converted into eternal treasures by investing in The LORD’s work performed Scripturally and in Faith. Spiritual treasures are experienced in this life and eternity.
a. Material Treasures (Mt. 6:19-21).
The Lord Jesus Christ contrasted two kinds of material treasures: temporal treasures upon Earth and eternal treasures in Heaven. Too few people are storing up treasures in Heaven and too many are storing up treasures on Earth. Jesus taught in essence that treasures forever can only be stored up by the laying down the treasures on Earth. He told His followers to stop treasuring up for your selves here, but rather treasure up for yourselves in Heaven.
“Stop treasuring up for yourselves treasures upon /Earth, where moth and corrosion[eating] deform[make disappear] and where thieves dig through and steal! But treasure up for yourselves treasures in Heaven, where neither moth nor corrosion[eating] deform[make disappear] and where thieves do not dig through nor steal! For where your& /treasure is, there the heart of yours & will be also “(Mt. 6:19-21APT).
The treasures on Earth will not and cannot last, but will dissipate or be dissipated by thieves, moths, or corrosion. The treasures in Heaven will last forever. Please note the way The God views our giving to Him.
(1) How The God Views Giving Our Material Treasures (2 Cor. 9:1-14 cf. Rom. 15:25,26):
Prior to writing the two Epistles to Corinthians, the apostle Paul made five visits to Jerusalem and by personal observation had first hand knowledge of the poverty of the saints there. On his third visit he and Bahrnáhbahs took a relief offering to the saints (Acts 11:27-30). In both Epistles to Corinthians (1 Cor, 16:1-3; 2 Cor. 8:1-9:15), he wrote of another offering for the Jerusalem saints. Then when he wrote The Epistle to Romans, he informed them of his latest journey of mercy to Jerusalem (Rom. 15:25-27). It is of this offering for the needy saints and not of tithes that he wrote in his First Epistle to Corinthians. It is of this intended offering he encouraged the Corinthians to be ready when he came to pick it up on his way to Jerusalem. In this passage, chapter 9, he mentioned four ways in which The God views giving offerings (not tithes) to God.
(A) As ministering (domestic service) to the saints (2 Cor. 9:1);
The God would have us direct offerings to Him to relieve the financial difficulty of needy saints. When the rich young ruler asked The Lord Jesus what he needed to do to inherit eternal life, The Lord Jesus told Him to do two things: Go sell all that you have and distribute it to the poor! Come here and continually follow Me!
“Now when /Jesus heard these~ things, He said to him, Yet one~ thing is deficient[left |to do|] to you&. Sell all~ things as many as you& have! And distribute to 0poor ones! And you & shall have treasure in Heaven. And, come here! Continually follow Me! (Lk. 18:22APT).
The apostle Paul called giving for the poor saints a domestic service for the saints.
“For on the one hand concerning the domestic[deacon, attend to needs] service, |namely| the^ one for the saints, it is superfluous [more abundant] for me to write to you&” (2 Cor. 9:1APT).
(B) As our seed (2 Cor. 9:6-10);
The giving of offerings to The God is received by Him and transformed into seed which is being sown for His glory. By giving freely and abundantly over and above the tithe, especially to the servants of Christ (missionaries), who are poor because they have made themselves poor for Christ and the Gospel’s sake, we increase the fruits of our righteousness, which are accumulating in heaven until the Lord comes again to take us to Heaven
“Each one according as he for himself chose beforehand in his heart, not out of grief or out of necessity, for The God loves a cheerfully generous [hilarious] giver. Now The God is powerful to cause every grace to be in abundance unto you& in order that you &, having all contentment independent of circumstances in all things all the time, be in abundance unto every beneficially good work. According as it stands written, [Ps. 112:9] He scattered [Prov. 11:24]; he gave to the needy ones; the righteousness of his continually abides for /ever. Now may The One, abundantly supplying seed to the one sowing, both fully supply bread for eating and multiply your& sown seed and increase the products of the righteousness of yours&” (2 Cor. 9:6-10APT).
Paul moved quickly from the topic ‘sowing and reaping’ to ‘giving.’ What he said in essence is, ‘When we give, we are sowing’ (vs. 8-10). Giving is sowing in the spiritual sense. When we invest in the work of The Lord, souls are won, and God will multiply the seeds sown--the money you give to purchase spiritual Gospel seed in order that it might bear fruit. Not only is your seed sown, but He will increase the fruit of your righteousness. It’s not the fruit of His righteousness (which is imputed to us and is emphasized in the Epistle to the Romans), but the fruits of your personal righteousness. This is the only place in the Bible where your (personal) righteousness is found. There is reference to this righteousness in the Book of Revelation. It is called ‘the righteousness of saints’ (19:8). This is a benefit to the giver as well as a reason for giving.
(C) As our righteousnesses made into wedding garments (2 Cor. 9:9,10 cf. Rev. 19:8);
Scripture teaches that “There is not a righteous one, not even one” (Rom. 3:10bATP). Personal righteousness is not inherent in any human. The only way a human can be righteous in The God’s eyes is to have the righteousness of The God imparted by totally and persistently committing trust in The Lord Jesus Christ. However, Scripture via Paul attributes personal righteousness to those regenerated saints who minister to the physical needs of known saints. Paul personally knew and was fully acquainted with the Jerusalem saints. Therefore he apprised the churches of Corinth, of Mahkehdohnéeah, and of Ahkh-ah-éeah of the condition of the needy saints in Jerusalem and encouraged them to take up weekly offerings until he came by on His way to Jerusalem. These offerings were transformed into personal righteousness, [The God’s righteousness has previously been imputed to them (Rom. 4:6,11,22)], as well as transformed into seed (vs. 6,10).
“According as it stands written,[Ps. 112:9] He scattered[Prov. 11:24]; he gave to the needy ones; the righteousness of his continually abides for /ever. Now may The One, abundantly supplying seed to the one sowing, both fully supply bread for eating and multiply your& sown seed and increase the products of the righteousness of yours&” (2 Cor. 9:6-10APT).
But John tells us that the righteousness of the saints make up the wedding garment of the bride.
“Let us continually rejoice and [let us]continually be exceedingly glad! And let us give the glory[exaltation with majestic radiant splendor] to Him! because the marriage of The Lamb is come and His /wife prepared herself. And it was given to her that she cast around herself clean and shining |cloth| made of fine linen[special species of flax]. For that made of fine linen[special species of flax] is the righteousnesses[2 Cor. 9:10] of the saints” (Rev. 19:7,8).
By giving offerings above the tithe for poverty stricken saints, each regenerated child of The God is sending on ahead material made of fine flax to be used in preparing one’s wedding garment to be worn at the marriage supper of The Lamb. This future benefit is in addition to fruit of souls won by those to whom we have sent offerings, which fruit abounds to our account (Phil. 4:17).
(D) As generosity of fellowship (2 Cor. 9:13).
“and |they|, through the experiential proof [after examination] of this /domestic[as a deacon; attend to needs] service, are glorifying[exalt with majestic radiant splendor] The God over: the subjection of your& /confession in regard to the gospel of The Christ; and generosity of the fellowship unto them and unto all+” (2 Cor. 9:13APT).
(2) The bank (Lk. 19:23) = storehouse (1 Cor. 16:2).
The local church to which you belong that operates its finances according to Scripture may be considered as the bank. That is the local church which operates with Scripturally qualified deacons (Acts 6:1-3; Lk. 12:42-48; 1 Tim. 3:8-13), all together in unanimity determining how, what portion and to whom the tithe received is communicated without partiality and without personal preference. But the decision is to be made spiritually by the deacons together, prayerfully sensitive to the exercise of the Holy Spirit and the burdens of The God’s people, in a sanctified and purified congregation. If it is a Kingdom of God local church, it is not to be left up to the Pastor alone, nor even is the pastor to make decisions or suggestions for their approval, though he may make suggestions for their consideration as any other member may make. The pastor’s office is to guide and lead the flock in spiritual matters, but not to control the outflow financially. Such Scripturally operating and obedient local church is the local bank for deposits. Or giving may be through financially responsible and accredited missions or ministries that do not ask for funds from humans, but only from The Lord (Ps. 37:25; 3 John 5-7).
(3) The Interest
This is the fruit from the gifts deposited in the Bank of Heaven (Phil. 4:10-18).
Paul thanked the Philippians for their repeated fellowship in the gospel which enabled him to continue proclaiming the gospel. He indicated that this kind of fellowship involves receiving as well as giving. He received their gift and gave out the gospel. They gave their offering to The God, sent it to Paul, and received fruit that abounded to their account in Heaven. Both the giver and the receiver participated in fellowship and both gave and received in reciprocation.
“But I rejoiced in 0Lord greatly because once at last you flourished again, with reference to the process of minding in behalf of me, for whom you& also were continually minding, but you& were continually being without opportunity. . . . Now O Philippians, you& also yourselves are aware that in the gospel’s 0beginning, when I departed away from Mahkehdohnéeah, not one church fellowshipped with me in an account of giving and of receiving except yourselves only. Because even in Thehssahlohnéekay even once, in fact twice, you& sent unto my /need. Not that I am anxiously seeking the gift, but on the contrary, I am anxiously seeking the fruit which keeps abounding unto your& /account. Now I fully receive all~ things and I am in abundance. I stand fully filled since |I| hospitably received from alongside of Ehpah-fróhdeetohs the things from alongside you&, an odor of sweet-fragrance, an accepted sacrifice, well-pleasing to The God” (Phil. 4:10-20 APT.
Jesus said the seed that we sow on good ground (referring to whole-hearted humans) will produce (Mk. 4:8,20) thirty-fold, sixty-fold, and a hundred-fold (fold means times 100%). That converts into the following percentages of increase:
30 fold = 30 x 100% = 3,000% or
60 fold = 60 x 100% = 6,000% or
100 fold = 100 x 100% = 10,000%
Where on Earth can you get that kind of interest on your investment? This is a special benefit The God has provided for the givers of offerings to missionaries.
b. Spiritual Treasures (1 Cor. 4:l,2; 1 Pet. 4:10; Lk.19:12-27).
The apostle Paul made an imperative statement in the third person, which can only be obeyed if he lives up to the standard called for in the command. He wrote to the Corinthians,
“So a human[generic] is to reckon us as attendants [under-rowers, also appointed treasury officials] of Christ and stewards[house administrators, usually a bondslave promoted to manager of affairs] of God’s mysteries! Now furthermore it is constantly being sought in the stewards[house administrators, usually a bondslave promoted to manager of affairs], that an individual be found faithful” (1 Cor. 4:l,2APT).
Paul is saying that it is imperative that a human reckon us as appointed, faithful, treasury officials and promoted faithful bondslaves over The God’s treasury of riches and His multifarious grace and full knowledge of truth. The “us” is the inclusive us, meaning every regenerated child of The God. We all individually are going to be held accountable to our Master for being fully aware of all The God’s Truth available to us in Scripture by giving persevering attention to (studying) The Word of The Truth and proving ourselves as unashamed workers correctly understanding and expounding It (2 Tim. 2:15APT).
In His First Epistle, Peter confirmed Paul’s understanding and exhortation in this matter of being stewards of “the manifold grace of God.”
“According as each+ one received a grace-gift, domestically serve the same in regard to yourselves, as intrinsically good stewards[managers. of affairs] of the various kinds of God’s grace! (1 Pet. 4:10APT).
Luke recorded a parable that The Lord Jesus told just outside Jericho before exiting on the Monday, 3 Nisan A.D. 33, eleven days before His crucifixion.
Therefore He said, A certain noble[well-born] human journeyed unto a remote[far off] region to receive a kingdom for himself and to return. Now he summoned ten bondslaves of his[himself] and gave to them ten minas[1m = 50. shekels or 9 mos. pay]. And he said to[the face of] them, Continually carry on trading business until I come! But his /citizens were continually hating him. And they sent[with commission] an embassy after him saying, We are determinedly not willing for this+ one to reign over us. And it came to pass in the act of him coming back again and receiving the kingdom, /in fact he said that these /bondslaves, to whom he gave the silver money, |are| to be called to him in order that he know[from experience] who gained what~ through trading business. Then the first+ one emerged alongside saying, O Lord, your$ /mina[50 shekels or 9 mos. pay] gained in addition, ten minas[7½ yrs. pay]. And he said to him, Well, O beneficially good bondslave, because you& became a faithful+ one in a very least thing~, be having authority over[above] ten cities. And the second came saying, O Lord, your$ /mina[50 shekels or 9 mos. pay] made five minas[3¾ yrs. pay]. 19Then he said also to him, You yourself also become over[above] five cities! 20And another [different kind] came, saying, O Lord, lo! your$ /mina[50 shekels or 9 mos. pay], which I was continually having standing laid away in a sweat cloth. For I was constantly fearing you$ because you& are an austere human. You& carry off what you& did not lay down and you& reap what you& did not sow. Then he says to him, Out of your$ /mouth I will judge you$, O wicked bondslave. You& were aware that I myself am an austere human, carrying off what I did not lay down and reaping what I did not sow. In fact, because of what did you& not give my /silver money over to the |banker's| table? And when coming I[lit.: myself] would collect[practice] it with interest. And he said to the+ ones who stood alongside, Carry off the mina[50 shekels or 9 mos. pay] away from him! And give |it| to the+ one having the ten minas[7½ yrs. pay]. And they said to him, O Lord, he has ten minas[7½ yrs. pay]. For I am saying to you&, ‘‘To every one who is having, it shall be given. But away from the one not having, even what he is having shall be carried off away from him. Nevertheless those Mine /enemies who were determinedly not willing for Me to reign over them, lead here! And utterly slaughter& |them | in front of [the face of] Me.’’ (Lk. 19:12-28APT).
Finally Paul confirmed this truth in his Epistle to Ephesians.
“But to each one of us the grace is given according to the measure of the gratuitous gift of The Christ. Wherefore He says, When ascending unto |Heaven’s| height, He led captivity captive and He gave gifts to the humans. . . . And He Himself gave on the one hand with reference to the+ ones, apostles; and on the other hand with reference to the+ ones, prophets; and on another hand with reference to the+ ones, evangelists; and on still another hand with reference to the+ ones, shepherds and teachers for[to the face of] the purpose of: the equipping of the saints for 0work of the domestic[deaconry, attending to needs] service; for the building[edifcation] up of the body of The Christ til we, the+ all[v. 6], attain: unto the oneness of the faith[commited trust] and of the knowledge of The Son of The God, unto a completely mature man, unto 0measure of stature of the fulness of The Christ” (Eph. 4:7,8,11-16APT).
A steward is a promoted bondslave to be administrator of his Master’s house affairs. According to Paul in his Epistle to Romans every one is a bondslave to sin and to Satan or has been redeemed and regenerated and is a bondslave of righteousness and The Lord Jesus Christ. Whose bondslave are you? And what kind of steward are you of your material treasures and your spiritual treasures? Some day you and I will be summoned before our Master, The Lord Jesus Christ to give account of our stewardship! How will it fare with us? Shall we hear Him say, “well done thou good and faithful bondslave!”? Or will He say otherwise? What He says to you, depends on You! What He says to me, depends on Me! Let us not delay in correcting our stewardship, no matter who on Earth gets hurt or upset, lest we be the ones who shall ever regret our hurts in eternity!
H. The Principle of Tithing
To reenforce understanding of The Comprehension of Stewardship, answer the following questions:
STEWARDSHIP QUESTIONS: Lesson 3: THE COMPREHENSION OF STEWARDSHIP
1. Give 7 reasons why you should guard your tongue. (Be sure to substantiate each question with Scripture.)
2. Layout a breakdown of the way you actually use time in hours over an average one week period.
3. Layout a breakdown of the minimum time in hours you can honor the Lord by tithing your time over an average one week period.
4. How can you help other believers to guard their tongues and be properly responsible as managers of their talk?
5. Give eight Scriptural reasons for guarding your tongue. Cite Scriptures to substantiate you answer for each.
6. How can you help others in the use of their tongue?
| | understood $singular &plural +masc. ^fem. ~neut. /the [ ]basic meaning
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