“But Peter said unto him, Thy money perish with thee, because thou hast thought that the gift of God may be purchased with money.” Acts 8:20 Financial blessings for giving. Few topics are preached more by televangelists. Giving is the path to financial success, or so it is taught by many. Sow a seed. Make a sacrifice. Give an uncommon seed for an uncommon harvest. You name it. The ploys to get people to give are numerous. The question you should be asking is this: Is it biblical? Show me one verse that proves it!
Giving As Taught Today
Give, and it shall be given unto you; good measure, pressed down, and shaken together, and running over, shall men give into your bosom. For with the same measure that ye mete withal it shall be measured to you again. Luke 6:38
This verse is used to coerce you into giving and to keep giving. The word give in this verse has nothing to do with finances. But Luke 6:38 is a verse about mercy! Look at verse 37…
Judge not, and ye shall not be judged: condemn not, and ye shall not be condemned: forgive, and ye shall be forgiven: Luke 6:37
Doesn’t this make more sense? Here Malachi is being used to push the need to give.
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 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. Malachi 3:8-10
These verses were for Israel, not the New Testament Church! Tithing was instituted for the care of the Levitical Priesthood. They did not have an inheritance in the Promised Land because they had one job; to attend to the spiritual needs of the people through the administration of the Tabernacle. So God mandated that the people care for them from their harvests. The tithe!
And hath made us kings and priests unto God and his Father; to him be glory and dominion for ever and ever. Amen. Revelation 1:6
Ye also, as lively stones, are built up a spiritual house, an holy priesthood, to offer up spiritual sacrifices, acceptable to God by Jesus Christ. 1 Peter 2:5
So who makes up the priesthood today? The Body of Christ! Who receives tithes today? No one! Tithing was a part the law of Moses. Many argue that it existed before Moses. It did, but not of necessity! Nor did God command it before Moses. What was done prepared the way for what was to come. So now we are all priests unto God through Christ. My post on Shepherds, Pastors, and Wolves show that we are all equal. No one has more standing with God than another that they should receive special finances. I can go on with more verses, but let’s keep this short and to the point.
Giving As Taught in Scripture
Take heed that ye do not your alms before men, to be seen of them: otherwise ye have no reward of your Father which is in heaven. Matthew 6:1
Alms are given to the poor, not the Temple. A sure way to hinder the blessings of God is to do what we are taught today!
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. Matthew 19:21
But this I say, He which soweth sparingly shall reap also sparingly; and he which soweth bountifully shall reap also bountifully. Every man according as he purposeth in his heart, so let him give; not grudgingly, or of necessity: for God loveth a cheerful giver. 2 Corinthians 9:6-7
Paul was commending the Church at Corinth about providing for other Christians! Where else does Paul speak about giving, except in Philippians 4:14-16 concerning his own need being met? Jesus taught more about giving than any of the Apostles. And He focused on the poor. Paul focused on the Church, since the Apostles were in the field establishing it under persecution. So giving is first seeing about the needs of the Body of Christ. Then we can look on the needs of those outside. Think about it. Do you go to take care of someone else’s children while neglecting your own? How can we help the world while neglecting each other? Yet this is what we are taught to do!! The world cares for it’s own and we care for them, while we fail to care for one another and then call ourselves righteous. Hmm…
So Why Are We Asked to Give So Much?
One word… greed! And through covetousness shall they with feigned words make merchandise of you: whose judgment now of a long time lingereth not, and their damnation slumbereth not. 2 Peter 2:3 Yes, I know. Greed is not everyone’s motivation. Nevertheless, if God is trusted to provide, why does the pulpit constantly ask for and often use gimmicks to get us to give? Couldn’t God have provide a way to get whatever is needed (building, vans, busses, airplanes, staff salaries, etc.?) But note the Early Church did not concern themselves about such things.
Provide neither gold, nor silver, nor brass in your purses, Nor scrip for your journey, neither two coats, neither shoes, nor yet staves: for the workman is worthy of his meat. Matthew 10:9-10
The Apostles were sent out with very little. They were not to take any money (gold, silver, brass). Script was simply a pouch or bag to carry things in. They we not to carry a change of clothing or walking aids. Why? So they could look poor? No. Again, we are to provide for one another!
The Bottom Line
There is so much to teach on this subject. The flock of God is being fleeced emotionally, spiritually, and financially because of erroneous teachings on giving. You cannot give your way to financial success! If it were possible, wouldn’t you (if you are a Christian) be wealthy today? And here is a question to ponder. The best for last! Is financial success the reason why you became a Christian in the first place? If so, you got in the wrong line or you were lied to from jump street!! When it comes down to money, common sense and reason often vanishes like vapor at schemes and pie-in-the-sky promises. God is in the business of making Sons, not Rockefellers! Let’s pretend money is like a waterfall and take TLC‘s advice (link provided just in case you don’t know what I mean by the waterfall analogy). If it’s money you want, get a job or start a business. If you want God and His treasure (Eternal Life), now you’re on the right path. And don’t worry. Until then, God will see that your every need is met!
Therefore take no thought, saying, What shall we eat? or, What shall we drink? or, Wherewithal shall we be clothed? (For after all these things do the Gentiles seek:) for your heavenly Father knoweth that ye have need of all these things. But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you. Take therefore no thought for the morrow: for the morrow shall take thought for the things of itself. Sufficient unto the day is the evil thereof. Matthew 6:31-34
P.S. Did you notice Acts 8:20 at the beginning of this post? Did you know provision is a gift of God? Gifts are given, not sown for. Or else, it’s no longer a gift…