|Luke 12:42||"Who then is that faithful and wise steward, whom his Lord shall make ruler
over his household to give them their portion of meat in due season?
Blessed is that servant, whom his Lord when he cometh shall find so doing. Of a truth I say unto you, that he will make him ruler over all that he hath."
|Matthew 28:18-20||"And Jesus came and spake unto them, saying, All power is given unto me in heaven and in earth. Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost: Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world. Amen. "|
For our part we must confess that praise-worthy though a few of those money-raising methods are, and most of us have taken part in them - not one of them bears the stamp of divine authority. Yes it is an unequivocal fact, that nowhere in the Holy Scriptures will you find Yahweh instructing His people to raise money for the Gospel Work by any of the above mentioned methods. They may be perfectly suitable for other causes; they may be the main channels of revenue for scores of charities in Britain and abroad; they may be fine as far as worthwhile secular projects go; but in the final analysis we must admit - they are not the divinely authorised method for financing the Everlasting Gospel!
Could it be that herein lies the cause of the Church's financial problems; that somehow - perhaps even inadvertently - the church has allowed itself to become commercialised and wandered away from the truth? And could it be that by ignoring the Almighty's appointed way and resorting to human alternatives to raise funds, many groups have paved the way to economic ruin and in some cases are almost bankrupt?
We think that this may well be the case; that in this very important matter of 'church finance', many sincere groups have not understood the divine plan and have failed to tell individual believers of their responsibilities in the work of the Most High. For, make no mistake about it, Yahweh has a plan for financing His work, a plan which includes every member of His Church - no matter how insignificant or poor they may reckon themselves to be.
Without much ado, let us open to you the financial secrets of a vibrant Gospel work. Let us show you Yahweh's plan for taking the Truth to the whole world; and, more importantly, where you as a steward in the Royal Household fit into the picture. Here is the divine method encapsulated in a single command.
Yes, believe it or not, the paying of 'tithes' is the Almighty's appointed way for meeting the financial needs of His Church; for providing spiritual and physical food for the starving masses of humanity. The tithe is to be used:
To return to the Almighty His share of the harvest - the tithe!
For His part Yahweh provides us with life, health, inherent ability, opportunities, the earth with its abundant supply of raw materials and, last but not least, the immeasurable blessings afforded by His very presence.
For our part we provide the willingness, perseverance and the physical or mental effort required to produce meaningful results. At harvest time, nine tenths of the harvest is our share and one tenth - the tithe - goes to the Almighty. That is the divinely appointed share-out.
Pause awhile and consider this generous arrangement? Have you ever come across a better employer? Do you personally know of any business, any enterprise, any company, any organisation where that kind of a deal is given to the workers? We are absolutely certain that you have not, because there just isn't another. Oh how generous is the Almighty, how benevolent His dealings, how far-reaching His plans.
Yes, the Most High has commanded every believer to set aside the divine portion - His Tithe - for the proclamation of His Truth and the sustenance of fellow believers. And that is where all true believers come into the picture, for we are all stewards in the Royal Household of Faith.
The Most High could, of course, easily bypass the above method of tithing and provide spiritual and physical food for humanity some other way. But He has chosen not to do so. If He had, we believers would never really appreciate the valuable lessons of stewardship, responsibility and a job well done. If Yahweh had excluded His servants from all responsibility and bore the cost of every enterprise alone, we would be no better than cattle in a stall - totally oblivious of the meaning of duty and eternally unaware of how we could have in a small way - sacrificed for the benefit of others. Instead, the Most High has lifted us high above the level of brute beasts and allowed us the privilege, through sacrifice, of becoming responsible co-workers with Him in the Vineyard of Salvation. And when we shoulder our responsibilities and return to Yahweh His tithe we become 'active shareholders' in the divine company, 'co-labourers' with Him in the greatest project this universe has ever witnessed.
|Malachi 3:10-12||"Bring ye all the tithes into the storehouse, that there may be food
in mine house, and prove me saith the Lord of Hosts, if I will not
open the windows of heaven and pour you out a blessing, that there
shall not be room enough to receive it.
And I shall rebuke the devoured for your sakes, and he shall not destroy the fruits of your ground; neither shall your vine cast her fruit before the time in the field, saith the Lord of Hosts. And all nations shall call you blessed: for ye shall be a delightsome land, saith the Lord of Hosts."
"Prove me" (put me to the test, give me a try) says the Creator to you! Oh what astonishing humility is here displayed, that the Almighty God of Israel must needs speak to His people in this way in order that we will bring His share (the tithe) to Him. Listen to His solitary reason for requesting it:
"That there may be food in mine house"
Yes that is why the Almighty is asking for His share of the harvest, "that there may be food in His house:" food for his servants, His flock to eat and be satisfied. Pause awhile dear reader and try to appreciate the astonishing worth of that single reason. Is it not proof of Yahweh's amazing love for His creatures, for the poor, the hungry and the lost? It is the same love that prompted His Son to say to the Apostle Peter: "feed my lambs" and "feed my sheep." (John 21:15-17)
You may be sure that if every believer brought in the tithe, which is an unmistakable sign of where the heart is (Luke 12:34) there would be absolutely no shortages of any kind in the world today. The Most High would, as promised, "open the windows of heaven and pour out a blessing on His people and the world, the like of which the sons and daughters of men would hardly contain. Yes, it is virtually impossible to imagine the effect on this world if the whole Christian Church carried out that single command.
|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."
There are, of course, other spiritual issues far more important than paying tithes; issues like justice, mercy and faith.
The Saviour referred to these 'weightier matters of the Law' when he said in Matthew 23:23:
" Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye pay tithe of mint and anise and cummin, 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 undone."
Notice how the Messiah instructed us to practice the weightier matters of the law, but not to neglect the matter of tithing.
|1 Peter 2:9||"But you are a chosen race, a Royal Priesthood, a dedicated nation, and a people claimed by God for His own, to proclaim the triumphs of him who has called you out of darkness into his marvellous light."|
Yeshua the Messiah (Jesus Christ) is the High Priest of the Melchizedek
Priesthood. (Psalm 110:1-4, Hebrews 6:20, 7:14-21) Therefore, to be in line
with the Almighty's instructions the tithe should go to Yeshua, the High Priest
of that Royal Order. The Melchizedek Priesthood like its Aaronic counterpart
|Hebrews 7:5||"Commanded in the Law to take tithes from the people."|
How, then, do we give Jesus Christ the tithe? Obviously we cannot send it to heaven where he is. So what do we do with it; which group should we send it to? Where are the other priests of the Melchizedek Priesthood? Our advice to you is as follows:
|Matthew 10:42, 19:29||"Whosoever gives to one of these little ones even a cup of cold water because he is my disciple, surely I declare to you, he shall not lose his reward."|
|Luke 12:42||"Who then is that faithful and wise steward, whom his Lord shall make ruler over His household to give their portion of meat in due season? Blessed is that servant whom his Lord when he cometh shall find so doing. Of a truth I say unto you, that he will make him ruler over all that he hath."|
And there you have it, perhaps one of the greatest challenges you have ever come across, to be a faithful and wise Steward in the Household of the King of Kings. It is a highly responsible post we will admit, and one that will call for sacrifice; but the rewards are great - greater by far than anything you can imagine.
Are you willing to take up your duties?