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Bonita M Quesinberry

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Blessings In Tithing
by Bonita M Quesinberry   

Last edited: Saturday, January 17, 2004
Posted: Saturday, January 17, 2004

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Truth Gathering, Volume II, chapter: Blessings In Tithing ©copyright 2003 Bonita M Quesinberry, R.C. — 7-1/2 pgs in response to Truth Seekers and Speakers query: "Is tithing one's time and/or spending time with the Lord equal to a financial tithe, if a person does not have enough money for tithing?" as posed by TSaS member Manya, California

 

Manya's question regarding tithes is all too familiar and has been for hundreds of years. Today, it is most common for people to resent paying 10% tithes to various quasi-Christian denominations, to which they might belong, then to be asked for contributions of additional financial gifts to: building fund, missionary fund, school fund, entertainment fund, choir fund, recreation fund— the list goes on and on.

 

However, in that list of funds rarely is found a sufficient account to care for their own members or followers: if it's even on the list. Sadly, not one of those endowments fulfills Christ's church requirements: not one feeds the hungry, clothes the naked or houses the homeless. Denominations and evangelists are all about show: showing off the wealth as an example of truth— despite teaching lies— living in and teaching of the world thus bringing in flocks of goats as an example of fruit— despite fruit being of righteousness, not of numbers. Alas, God isn't among them.

 

This is especially daunting to those with low incomes forced to survive in an economy where even basic living expenses are more than they can afford. Why? Because when he or she does need help, these same denominations and/or evangelists are not coming through for their own members and followers; yet, they build mega-million dollar buildings, expensively furnished, and their leaders live well. Evangelists live in mansions behind guarded gates, drive expensive cars and wear designer clothes. Don't look to them for help: they stuck their hand out first and expect us to fill it with greenbacks.

 

Most even go so far as to teach that, in order to gain wealth, we MUST pay them: takes money to make money. Frequently, we hear leaders promise, "Pledge $1,000 today! The Lord gave me a revelation! He promises to make you millionaires within 90 days, if you send in your $1,000 now." Then, they read letters from people they claim sent in the money and are now millionaires— as proof of the revelation's validity. The only god known to man and Yeshua who promises gold in the here and now is Lucifer; and temporarily, it is his to give as he pleases: except, he's no god at all, merely a fallen angel. Worse, his coin bears a mint nobody should want in their hand: muchless impressed upon their forehead.

 

Even worse, these so-called Christian leaders consistently push a person's lack of financial success as being the failure of the very poor upon whom they prey. And, to add insult to injury, if he or she rendered a $1,000 in desperation— and a belief that a man of God wouldn't lie about such things— but didn't become a millionaire: why, then it's because he or she didn't believe God! It's never about those lying con-men of a con-god. A catch twenty-two if ever there was one.

 

The saddest thing of all is that those same leaders will shout a codicil to their plea for these hundreds to $1,000 dollar requests: "Everybody says we're just here to take your money. That we've always got our hand out. Well, let me tell you, WE—aren't—taking—your—money. We are trying to GIVE you money…from God!" Are there truly that many gullible, desperate people in the world today? Are there really that many people who don't know the Bible well enough to recognize these false prophets? Obviously. After all, these evangelists and denominations wax richer and richer while most of their followers barely scrape by.

 

Is it any wonder people are looking for ways to justify not paying tithes? God and His requirements have been so maligned. In reality, everything we have and every penny we bring in and/or receive by whatsoever manner belongs to God; however, He asks for only 10% of our take-home income in return. Although, I seriously doubt He really wants it to line the pockets of those swindlers just mentioned. And, it's a whole lot better deal than our own government gives us at tax time: 25 to 50% taxation.

 

Still, the question is: does our time given to others and time spent with God count toward tithe, if we don't have the financial resources to pay tithes? The short answer is N—O. There is no doubt we should use our time to assist others with whatever help he or she might need; and, we should spend some time with the Lord every day as well as devote His Sabbath to Him. Doing these things is required of Christ's sheep; but, it does not negate our financial responsibility to Yeshua's church: to fulfill our responsibility to Him. As Christ said, "To do these things for the least among you, is to do it unto me." It is a matter of trust.

 

If Adonai provides a job at which a person earns a wage, then ten per cent of his or her net pay— that is, take home pay— plus any other monies made, or received by whatsoever means, belong to Elohim. No ifs, ands, or buts about it. Thus, if a person takes home $250 per week after taxes and receives another $50 as a gift or for doing odd jobs here and there, then $30 belongs to El Elyon.

 

If we believe the $270 left over isn't enough, then we don't believe God will take care of our basic needs: which is the same as saying God is a liar. The key word is: BELIEVE. If our expenses exceed basic needs, then we screwed up financially: not Ishi. Nevertheless, it still belongs to El and promptly should be paid. Besides, it gives Him an opportunity to prove His Word. We must remind ourselves of the widow's penny: it was all she had and meant more to God than the tithes others paid so easily, with a lot of cash left over. They should have been helping her, but they weren't.

 

Most people are surprised to learn that I pay tithe plus more in cash gifts, yet I live on a small social security disability income of less than $840 per month. There are two excuses in their minds as to why I shouldn't be paying tithes and gifts: 1) My income is below poverty level; and, 2) it is social security into which I paid over the years from out of my earned wages. In response to the latter and my financial background perspective: Yes, I paid into Social Security, which reaps the benefits I receive today; however, at the time those benefits were deducted from my salary, I did not pay tithes on that amount: because, it was not in my take-home pay. I receive it back today, therefore tithe is due.

 

With regard to argument #1, there is no where in the Bible that we are told that tithes are due ONLY if we earn over a certain amount of money: in this case, over poverty level. What the Lord blesses me with is what I owe tithe on.

 

As God promised, I never go without and never run out of money. I might have only a few coins at the end of any month, but I'm not out of money! I made it a point to have no debts, other than normal living expenses of rent, utilities, food, gas, car insurance. I drive a 1977 Pontiac. Old Maggie doesn't look real great but she runs like a dream and gets me from point A to B and back again: short distance or long distance, doesn't matter to her. This is to live within one's means and to be satisfied with only the basics. And, any time Maggie has needed repairs of some sort or tires or simple service, Ishi has seen to it I had the money to maintain this ancient car of a little over 100,000 actual miles on it.

 

But, to whom do I pay this tithe and gift? This presents a dilemma for most of us. To whom do we pay tithe? It's a certainty we do not want to give it to denominations or evangelists who don't fulfill Christ's requirements of His true church. So, where does it go? In a bank to earn interest until Christ returns? Like God really needs the interest. He owns everything in the universe!

 

Not long ago TSaS provided a scriptural response describing Christ's church, wherein it states that every member should be equal in all things. Therefore he who has much will have nothing left over and he who has little will lack for nothing. Everyone pools his or her resources, then distributes the money as each member has need: "Bring all that you have into My storehouse." This isn't happening anywhere! Alas, we haven't even such a denomination in which to pay our tithes.

 

Not so! WE—THE PEOPLE—ARE THE CHURCH. In my case, I took literally Christ's command: feed the hungry, clothe the naked, and house the homeless. I've made it a practice to provide God's money to individuals with genuine needs: a person or persons who are doing everything they can but still can't make it through no fault of their own. That tithe— or anything I have, for that matter— isn't mine to begin with, so it comes out of my account first thing: I never miss it, because I don't count on it. In my mind, I have only $740 a month coming in. But, that $100 will put food on someone's table or a warm coat on their back or shoes on their child or pay a portion of rent or, perhaps, a utility. WE are to care for one another: our brothers and sisters in Christ. This won't happen if we look to denominations and evangelists.

 

Now that I've expressed my righteous anger at today's so-called Christendom, let's take a look at Webster's New World Dictionary, Collegiate Edition, on the word TITHE, followed by God's Word on this issue:

 

TITHE: n. 1. one tenth of the annual produce of one's land, etc., or its equivalent in money, paid as a tax to support the church (people) or the clergy. 2. one tenth part or any small part. TITHING: n. 1. a levying or paying of tithes

 

As most US citizens are aware, if we fail to pay our income taxes timely, our government will add exorbitant penalty fees PLUS late charges. And, if that doesn't motivate us to pay Uncle Sam, then imprisonment is next. As we enter into God's Holy Word, it will be discovered that He, too, adds a penalty fee if a person fails to pay their tithe timely: albeit, He does not add late charges or threaten imprisonment; yet, He does render a curse upon the debtor. This is another example of how mankind's government resembles God's government: the remarkable difference being that God is not greedy and requires considerably less of us than do earth's ruling bodies.

 

Yeshua never wanted earthly kings and worldly governments; but, the people insisted on having both. He allowed it so we would learn that His ways are far more just and easier to follow than mankind's, more rewarding in the here and now and in our future: but, not before telling us just what kind of kings these men would be, as noted in Samuel below. Text in ALL CAPS denotes the core message for this lesson on tithing.

 

(Genesis 28:22) And this stone, which I have set for a pillar, shall be God's house: and of ALL THAT THOU SHALT GIVE ME I will surely GIVE THE TENTH UNTO THEE.

 

(Exodus 20:8-11) Remember the Sabbath day, to keep it holy. Six days shalt thou labour and do all thy work: but the seventh day is the Sabbath of the Lord thy God: in it thou shalt not do any work, thou, nor thy son, nor thy daughter, thy manservant, nor thy maidservant, nor thy cattle, nor thy stranger that is within thy gates: for in six days THE LORD MADE HEAVEN AND EARTH, THE SEA, AND ALL THAT IN THEM IS, and rested the seventh day: wherefore the Lord blessed the Sabbath day, and hallowed it [made it holy].

 

(Leviticus 27:30-32) And ALL TITHE of the land, whether of the seed of the land, or of the Fruit of the tree, IS THE LORD'S: IT IS HOLY UNTO THE LORD. And IF A MAN will at all redeem [PAYS] aught [ZERO] of his TITHES, HE SHALL ADD THERETO THE FIFTH PART THEREOF [add 5% to that which he owes the Lord].

 

(Numbers 18:26) Thus speak unto the Levites [PRIESTS, PASTORS, PREACHERS, EVANGELISTS], and say unto them, WHEN YE TAKE of THE CHILDREN of Israel the TITHES WHICH I HAVE GIVEN YOU FROM THEM for your inheritance, then YE SHALL OFFER up an heave offering of it for the Lord, even A TENTH part OF THE TITHE. {How many religious leaders pay tithes on the tithes paid to them?}

 

(Deuteronomy 14:22) Thou shalt truly tithe all the increase [net] of thy seed [income], that the field bringeth forth year by year [so you will continue to earn year by year].

 

(I Samuel 8:10-18) And Samuel told all the words of the Lord unto the people that asked of him a king. And he said, This will be the manner of the king that shall reign over you: He will take your sons, and appoint them for himself, for his chariots, and to be his horsemen; and some shall run before his chariots. And he will appoint him captains over thousands, and captains over fifties; and will set them to ear [plow] his ground, and to reap his harvest, and to make his instruments of war, and instruments of his chariots.

 

And he will take your daughters to be confectionaries, and to be cooks, and to be bakers. And he will take your fields, and your vineyards, and your oliveyards, even the best of them, and give to his officers, and to his servants. And he will take your menservants, and your maidservants, and your goodliest young men, and your asses, and put them to his work. He will take the tenth of your sheep: and ye shall be his servants.

 

And ye shall cry out in that day because of your king which ye shall have chosen you; and the Lord will not hear you in that day. Nevertheless the people refused to obey the voice of Samuel; and they said, Nay; but we will have a king over us; that we also may be like all the [heathen] nations; and that our king may judge us, and go out before us, and fight our battles.

 

{Isn't this interesting? The Lord warned us that worldly rulers would have only their own best interests at heart. And, is it not true that government leaders around the world never do without, live exceedingly well? Indeed, they do far better than the people over whom they reign. What God told us here is that worldly governments will take the best we have, leaving only crumbs for us to get by on. "Power corrupts." And, look at these kings' judgments. Ack! With enough money, the guilty go free and, for lack of funds, the innocent are imprisoned. And, finally, our young die at the whims of war initiated by world powers. Is not this nation, even the world, crying out for financial relief? This cry will not be heard; but, our cry for salvation and redemption will be heard.}

 

(Malachi 3:8-9) Will a man rob God? Yet YE HAVE ROBBED ME. But ye say, Wherein have we robbed thee? IN TITHES AND OFFERINGS. YE ARE CURSED with a curse: for ye have robbed me, even this whole nation. BRING YE all THE TITHES into the storehouse, that there may be meat in mine house, AND prove me [TEST MY WORD] now herewith, saith the Lord of hosts, 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.

 

{And, now we see that paying our tithes not only validates our trust and faith in God but also is our test of His promise to bless us in paying those tithes. However, to pay tithes simply to test Yeshua is wicked. The tithes must be given: 1) because we love Adonai; 2) because He said to do it; 3) because we believe everything He says; and, 4) because everything is His in the first place; therefore, 5) we owe it to Him; 6) because we trust His Word; and finally, 7) to test His Word. This is the only circumstance in the Bible where we are invited to test God's Word: thus, this is not to tempt Him, as other requests might be considered.}

 

(Matthew 19:21,23-24; Mark 10:21) Jesus said unto him, If thou wilt be perfect, go and sell that thou hast, and GIVE TO THE POOR, AND thou shalt HAVE TREASURE IN HEAVEN: and come and follow me. Then said Jesus unto his disciples, Verily I say unto you, that a rich man shall hardly enter into the kingdom of heaven. And again I say unto you, it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle, than for a rich man to enter into the kingdom of God.

 

(Matthew 23:23; Luke 11:42) Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For ye pay tithe of mint and anise and cumin [tithes paid to them by the people], and have omitted the weightier matters of the law, judgment, mercy, and faith: these ought ye to have done, and NOT TO LEAVE the other [PAYING TITHE] UNDONE.

 

(Luke 6:30-31,35-36) GIVE TO EVERY MAN THAT ASKETH OF THEE; and of him that taketh away thy goods [because you cannot pay] ask them not again [for help]. And as ye would that men should do to you, do ye also to them likewise. Love ye your enemies, and do good, and LEND, HOPING FOR NOTHING again [IN RETURN]; AND YOUR REWARD SHALL BE GREAT, and ye shall be the children of the Highest: for he is kind unto the unthankful and to the evil. Be ye therefore merciful, as your Father also is merciful.

 

(Luke 20:25) And he said unto them, RENDER therefore unto Caesar the things which be Caesar's, and UNTO GOD THE THINGS WHICH BE GOD'S.

 

(Acts 2:41-42,44-47; 4:34) excerpted phrases denoting Christ's true church) They that gladly received God's word were baptized. And they continued stedfastly in the doctrine and fellowship, and shared meals and prayers. And ALL THAT BELIEVED WERE TOGETHER, and HAD ALL THINGS EQUAL; and sold their possessions and goods, and divided them among all men, as every man had need. And they, continuing daily with one accord in the temple, and eating together from house to house, did eat with gladness and singleness of heart, praising God. And the Lord added to the church daily such as should be saved. NEITHER WAS THERE ANY AMONG THEM THAT LACKED: for possessors of excess lands or houses sold them, and distribution was made to every man according as he had need.

 

(Acts 20:35) I have shewed YOU all things, how that so labouring [WORKING] ye OUGHT TO SUPPORT THE WEAK, and to remember the words of the Lord Jesus, how he said, IT IS MORE BLESSED TO GIVE than to receive.

 

(Romans 12:20-21) Therefore IF THINE ENEMY HUNGER, FEED HIM; IF HE THIRST, GIVE HIM DRINK: for in so doing thou shalt heap coals of fire on his head. Be not overcome of evil, but overcome evil with good.

 

(Romans 13:8) OWE NO MAN ANY THING, but to love one another: for he that loveth another hath fulfilled the law.

 

(II Corinthians 8:13-15) For I mean not that other men be eased, and ye burdened: but by an EQUALITY, THAT NOW AT THIS TIME YOUR ABUNDANCE MAY BE A SUPPLY FOR THEIR WANT, THAT THEIR ABUNDANCE ALSO MAY BE A SUPPLY FOR YOUR WANT: THAT THERE MAY BE EQUALITY: as it is written, He that had gathered much had nothing over; and he that had gathered little had no lack.

 

(Hebrews 7:1-3) For this Melchisedec, king of Salem, priest of the most high God, who met Abraham returning from the slaughter of the kings, and blessed him; to whom also Abraham gave a tenth part of all [he had taken from defeated kings]; [Melchisedec] first being by interpretation King of righteousness, and after that also King of Salem, which is, King of peace; without father, without mother, without descent [genealogical history], having neither beginning of days, nor end of life; but made like unto the Son of God; abideth a priest continually.

 

{Hebrews enlightens us to pay tithes to Christ's clergy as Abraham had paid tithes of all his increase to Melchisedec: first, the King of righteousness, then King of Salem— like the Son of God. Today, Christ's clergy ARE NOT leaders of Christian appearing denominations or non-denominational evangelists, as noted in Matthew and Luke: rather, Christ's leaders are only those who "speak only God's testimony and teach only His laws, because there is light in them." These have been "taught by no man," to-wit: in man's seminaries. Denominational Christianity does not do these things, for they teach man's smooth yet forbidden doctrine and traditions: rather, they take and never give freely. They simply hold out their hand for more and more.}

 

(Galatians 6:2) BEAR YE ONE ANOTHER'S BURDENS, AND SO FULFIL THE LAW OF CHRIST.

 

Summary— TITHE TIMES SEVEN: God's perfect number, praise the Lord!

 

1. TITHE is HOLY to the Lord Leviticus 27:30-32)
2. LAYMEN PAY 10% tithe of all God gives them (Deuteronomy 14:22) so to earn year to year
3. CLERGYMEN PAY 10% tithe of all God gives them (Numbers 18:26) so to earn year to year
4. FAILURE TO PAY all or if paying only partial, ADD 5% PENALTY fee (Leviticus 27:30-32)
5. FAILURE TO PAY TITHE IS A SIN reaping a curse: it is to rob God (Malachi 3:8-9)
6. PAY TITHE BECAUSE EVERYTHING IS GOD'S in the first place (Exodus 20:8-11)
7. PAY TO TEST GOD'S PROMISE and receiving blessings (Malachi 3:8-9)

 

Neither our time nor any gift given to us of the Spirit eliminates our obligation to pay tithes on all monies we receive: whether in wages and/or gifts, all is considered an increase of which 10% belongs to El Shaddai. Additionally, our time and gifts also are required us. It's not a matter of one or the other.

 

If we use an excuse of not being able to afford to pay tithe, then we demonstrate a lack of belief, a lack of trust, and in so doing commit a sin vowed to bring a curse down upon us. God promises He will see that our basic needs are met; so, paying tithe also gives Him opportunity to demonstrate the strength of His Word.

 

El also promises blessings to those who do pay their tithes and which is another opportunity for Him to prove His Word. Contrary to popular teachings that the more you give financially the more you will reap financially, El's blessings are not necessarily in the form of more money. As Jesus said, the poor always will be among us: which explains why, despite paying tithes, a person may not increase financially. Everything is as it should be.

 

The other important aspect of paying tithes is that we are NOT to pay them to those outside Christ's true church; in other words, we do not render tithes to unbelievers and/or to those who do not teach God's Truth in accordance with Isaiah 8:16,20, paraphrased— "Bind up the testimony, seal the law among my disciples: who speak only my testimony and teach my law; for there is light in them." We must remember: God's Word was not written to the world-at-large: it is written to His people and only His people.

 

In conclusion and as an act of faith, pay tithes and reap blessings— or not, and reap the curse of twice dead. To whom should tithes be paid? If God's Truth is understood and obeyed, it will be recognized in others: those to whom tithes cheerfully should be given as well as to the poor among the believers; for they always will be with us as a test of our faith and theirs.

 

Truth Seekers and Speakers
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Reviewed by Robert Montesino
An incredibly profound spirit filled write Bonnie! Another for my library! Thank you!
Reviewed by Carmen Ruggero
Excellent exposition! I belong to a full ghospel church. Good church, good people. And they do push tithing as an expression of faith. But they also do bring in evangelists to preach, and they ask for our contributions for this, or that, or the other. But I've often been really upset by how they "wear" their wealth as a show of faith. "The Lord gave me a plain" I wonder who they tithe their 10% to. Thanks for this.

Carmen

Carmen
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