TITHING

The Bible is written for the end-time Christians:

1 Corinthians 10:11 Now all these things happened unto them for ensamples: and they are written for our admonition, upon whom the ends of the world are come. 12 Wherefore let him that thinketh he standeth take heed lest he fall.

We are warned in verse 12 to take heed lest we fall.  A famine of the word exists in the end-time:

Amos 8:11 Behold, the days come, saith the Lord GOD, that I will send a famine in the land, not a famine of bread, nor a thirst for water, but of hearing the words of the LORD: 12 And they shall wander from sea to sea, and from the north even to the east, they shall run to and fro to seek the word of the LORD, and shall not find it.

We are commanded to live by every word that proceeds from God:

Matthew 4:4 But he answered and said, It is written, Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God.

We are instructed to have the mind of Christ:

Philippians 2:5 Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus:

We are told to work out our own salvation with fear and trembling:

Philippians 2:12 Wherefore, my beloved, as ye have always obeyed, not as in my presence only, but now much more in my absence, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling.

What are the thoughts of God’s heart?  Aren’t they recorded in the words of the Bible?

Jeremiah 23:20 The anger of the LORD shall not return, until he have executed, and till he have performed the thoughts of his heart: in the latter days ye shall consider it perfectly.

“Consider” is Strong’s #995: “to separate mentally (or distinguish) i.e. (gen.) understand…”

“Perfectly” is Strong’s #998: “understanding knowledge, meaning, perfectly, understanding wisdom.”

So, in the latter days, we are going to understand the thoughts of God’s heart.  Just what is the mind of Christ, in the latter days, concerning tithing?  We need to work out our own salvation with fear and trembling.

Among the former members of the Worldwide Church of God, there is a movement toward no tithing or splitting one tithe three ways to account for God’s first, second and third tithes.

Any student of the Bible knows that a tithe is “a tenth.”  Since the Bible is written for the end-time Christians (1 Corinthians 10:11) we should seriously consider this indictment in Malachi:

Malachi 3:3 And he shall sit as a refiner and purifier of silver: and he shall purify the sons of Levi, and purge them as gold and silver, that they may offer unto the LORD an offering in righteousness. 4 Then shall the offering of Judah and Jerusalem be pleasant unto the LORD, as in the days of old, and as in former years.

5 And I will come near to you to judgment; and I will be a swift witness against the sorcerers, and against the adulterers, and against false swearers, and against those that oppress the hireling in his wages, the widow, and the fatherless, and that turn aside the stranger from his right, and fear not me, saith the LORD of hosts. 6 For I am the LORD, I change not; therefore ye sons of Jacob are not consumed.

7 Even from the days of your fathers ye are gone away from mine ordinances, and have not kept them. Return unto me, and I will return unto you, saith the LORD of hosts. But ye said, Wherein shall we return? 8 Will a man rob God? Yet ye have robbed me. But ye say, Wherein have we robbed thee? In tithes and offerings. 9 Ye are cursed with a curse: for ye have robbed me, even this whole nation.

10 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. 11 And I will rebuke the devourer 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. 12 And all nations shall call you blessed: for ye shall be a delightsome land, saith the LORD of hosts.

Notice verse 7.  Who has to move first (repent)?  We have to return unto God, then He will return unto us.

In verse 9 that the whole nation is indicted for stealing God’s tithes and offerings. But also notice the indictment to God’s Church (family) in verse 10.  “Storehouse” and “house” are Strong’s #1004: “a house in the greatest variety of applications, especially family…”

Just whom is God accusing?  Is it not His family (church members)?  Is He indicting us because we are watering down the truth surrounding tithing?  Remember 1 Corinthians 10:11: the Bible is written for us and there is no way to escape the fact that this is the end time.  The notion of one tithe split three ways is absurd!

In Malachi 3:10, God tosses out a challenge to the end-time Christians.  Will He bless you if you bring His tithes into the storehouse (meaning “especially family“) and into His house (meaning “especially family” also)?

In verse 11, God promises to “rebuke the devourer.”  This is how He would bless us: by rebuking the things that devour our blessings such as income, healing us when we are sick to save us a doctor’s bill, etc.  Is this what Haggai 2:16 and 17 refer to in the physical sense?  These two verses also have a spiritual application.  We go to church expecting to be fed and come home hungry.

Haggai 2:16 Since those days were, when one came to an heap of twenty measures, there were but ten: when one came to the pressfat for to draw out fifty vessels out of the press, there were but twenty. 17 I smote you with blasting and with mildew and with hail in all the labours of your hands; yet ye turned not to me, saith the LORD.

Will God not also rebuke the spiritual devourer, who consumes our spiritual understanding, so that we can be free from the famine of the word?

Amos 8:11 Behold, the days come, saith the Lord GOD, that I will send a famine in the land, not a famine of bread, nor a thirst for water, but of hearing the words of the LORD: 12 And they shall wander from sea to sea, and from the north even to the east, they shall run to and fro to seek the word of the LORD, and shall not find it.

Now, what about tithing?  Are you willing to believe God’s word?  We are judged by it, whether we want to believe it or not:

Revelation 20:12 And I saw the dead, small and great, stand before God; and the books were opened: and another book was opened, which is the book of life: and the dead were judged out of those things which were written in the books, according to their works.

Read the following instructions concerning tithing:

Numbers 18:21 And, behold, I have given the children of Levi all the tenth in Israel for an inheritance, for their service which they serve, even the service of the tabernacle of the congregation…..23 But the Levites shall do the service of the tabernacle of the congregation, and they shall bear their iniquity: it shall be a statute for ever throughout your generations, that among the children of Israel they have no inheritance. …

26 Thus speak unto the Levites, 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….

31 And ye shall eat it in every place, ye and your households: for it is your reward for your service in the tabernacle of the congregation.

The Levites received a tithe in return for their services because they had no inheritance among the Children of Israel (Numbers 18:23).  Notice in verse 26 that the Levites were to pay a tithe also.  In verse 31, God restates that the Levite is to be paid for his work in the tabernacle.  This subject is mentioned again in Nehemiah:

Nehemiah 10:37 And that we should bring the firstfruits of our dough, and our offerings, and the fruit of all manner of trees, of wine and of oil, unto the priests, to the chambers of the house of our God; and the tithes of our ground unto the Levites, that the same Levites might have the tithes in all the cities of our tillage.

38 And the priest the son of Aaron shall be with the Levites, when the Levites take tithes: and the Levites shall bring up the tithe of the tithes unto the house of our God, to the chambers, into the treasure house. 39 For the children of Israel and the children of Levi shall bring the offering of the corn, of the new wine, and the oil, unto the chambers, where are the vessels of the sanctuary, and the priests that minister, and the porters, and the singers: and we will not forsake the house of our God.

The Levite and the priest received the tithe.  Remember, they had no inheritance other than the tithe.  Can we argue the point that the Levite and the priest received a tithe?

2 Chronicles 31:4 Moreover he commanded the people that dwelt in Jerusalem to give the portion of the priests and the Levites, that they might be encouraged in the law of the LORD. 5 And as soon as the commandment came abroad, the children of Israel brought in abundance the firstfruits of corn, wine, and oil, and honey, and of all the increase of the field; and the tithe of all things brought they in abundantly.

We will later see what Christ said in the New Testament about tithes and how they are to be used.

If we want to water down tithing to one tithe split three ways, how do we explain away the command in Deuteronomy 14:22-26?  This is not a suggestion—it is a COMMAND:

Deuteronomy 14:22 Thou shalt truly tithe all the increase of thy seed, that the field bringeth forth year by year. 23 And thou shalt eat before the LORD thy God, in the place which he shall choose to place his name there, the tithe of thy corn, of thy wine, and of thine oil, and the firstlings of thy herds and of thy flocks; that thou mayest learn to fear the LORD thy God always.

24 And if the way be too long for thee, so that thou art not able to carry it; or if the place be too far from thee, which the LORD thy God shall choose to set his name there, when the LORD thy God hath blessed thee: 25 Then shalt thou turn it into money, and bind up the money in thine hand, and shalt go unto the place which the LORD thy God shall choose:

26 And thou shalt bestow that money for whatsoever thy soul lusteth after, for oxen, or for sheep, or for wine, or for strong drink, or for whatsoever thy soul desireth: and thou shalt eat there before the LORD thy God, and thou shalt rejoice, thou, and thine household,

Notice verse 22: we are commanded to tithe on all the increase, year by year.

Notice verse 23: do the Levite and Priest get this tithe?  No.  YOU are to eat this tithe.  Only a member of the tribe of Levi can eat of the first tithe. (I am not aware of any verse indicating that anyone other than a Levite can eat of the first tithe).  One of the purposes of this tithe that you are to eat is to teach you “to fear the Lord thy God always.”  Taking a second tithe from our income forces us to have more faith in God.

In verses 24 and 25, we are instructed (commanded) to turn this tithe into money if it is in the form of produce or livestock.  In the end-time, most of our tithes are already in the form of money.

In verse 26, God commands us to spend this money for whatever we want.  We are also commanded to rejoice, the man and his household.  So, the entire family is to enjoy this tithe.

How could we spend the Levite’s tithe for whatever our soul desires?  It is blatant rejection of God’s word to deny that we have looked at two entirely separate tithes up to this point in this Bible study.

We have commonly called this tithe that we are to eat the “second tithe.”  We have used it to attend the Feast of Tabernacles.  Does God, anywhere, instruct us to give a tenth of this tithe to some church headquarters to finance the Feast?  The instructions say to eat the tithe, you and your household.

Deuteronomy gives us more information on the tithe for the priest and Levite (first tithe) and the tithe that we are to eat (second tithe):

Deuteronomy 12:17 Thou mayest not eat within thy gates the tithe of thy corn, or of thy wine, or of thy oil, or the firstlings of thy herds or of thy flock, nor any of thy vows which thou vowest, nor thy freewill offerings, or heave offering of thine hand: 18 But thou must eat them before the LORD thy God in the place which the LORD thy God shall choose, thou, and thy son, and thy daughter, and thy manservant, and thy maidservant, and the Levite that is within thy gates: and thou shalt rejoice before the LORD thy God in all that thou puttest thine hands unto.

19 Take heed to thyself that thou forsake not the Levite as long as thou livest upon the earth. 20 When the LORD thy God shall enlarge thy border, as he hath promised thee, and thou shalt say, I will eat flesh, because thy soul longeth to eat flesh; thou mayest eat flesh, whatsoever thy soul lusteth after.

21 If the place which the LORD thy God hath chosen to put his name there be too far from thee, then thou shalt kill of thy herd and of thy flock, which the LORD hath given thee, as I have commanded thee, and thou shalt eat in thy gates whatsoever thy soul lusteth after.

What about the tithe of the tithe concept?  I am only aware of two verses that speak of a tithe of a tithe:

Numbers 18:26 Thus speak unto the Levites, 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.

Nehemiah 10:38 And the priest the son of Aaron shall be with the Levites, when the Levites take tithes: and the Levites shall bring up the tithe of the tithes unto the house of our God, to the chambers, into the treasure house.

These are instructions to the Levites to tithe on their income, which is from the tithes of the Israelites.  Where is the authority here to take an additional tithe of the lay member’s second tithe in order to finance the Feast of Tabernacles?

We former members of the Worldwide Church of God (WCG), the work built on sand, have been greatly deceived!  Church headquarters took a tithe of our second tithe to finance the Feast of Tabernacles.  This practice was in total defiance of God’s word.  Look again at the command in Deuteronomy 14:23 and 26.  We and our families are commanded to eat this (second) tithe, to spend this tithe (money) for whatever our souls lusteth after—whatever we desire.  Where does the Bible say that we are to eat only 90% of this tithe?

Here again, we find the “no shepherds” of the hierarchy system (Ezekiel 34) lording it over God’s sheep and ruling them with force and cruelty.

Ezekiel 34:4 The diseased have ye not strengthened, neither have ye healed that which was sick, neither have ye bound up that which was broken, neither have ye brought again that which was driven away, neither have ye sought that which was lost; but with force and with cruelty have ye ruled them. 5 And they were scattered, because there is no shepherd: and they became meat to all the beasts of the field, when they were scattered…

8 As I live, saith the Lord GOD, surely because my flock became a prey, and my flock became meat to every beast of the field, because there was no shepherd, neither did my shepherds search for my flock, but the shepherds fed themselves, and fed not my flock;

Is it not cruel to take a tithe from a family’s second tithe, in direct defiance of God’s word, and cut short their enjoyment of His Feast?  The sensitive Christians were intimidated into this rip-off by the ministers of Satan for fear of being kicked out of what we are now recognizing as the Sardis Church.  In fact, it was mostly the synagogue of Satan in the later years.  That is why the whole church only produced a few to salvation:

Revelation 3:4 Thou hast a few names even in Sardis which have not defiled their garments; and they shall walk with me in white: for they are worthy

“Few” is Strong’s #3641: “puny (in extent, degree, number, duration or value)…”

Revelation 3:9 Behold, I will make them of the synagogue of Satan, which say they are Jews, and are not, but do lie; behold, I will make them to come and worship before thy feet, and to know that I have loved thee.

This is a clear warning to the true Philadelphians.  There are people playing church in their midst, and Christ calls these impostors “the synagogue of Satan.”

So how does this leave the financing of the Feast of Tabernacles in the New Testament era, when we do not have an active priesthood?  I will deal with this question after we examine the third tithe.

What does the Bible say about the tithe that we have referred to as the “third tithe?”  Who is supposed to receive it?  Who administers it?

Many people will argue that there is no third tithe.  What does the Bible say?

Deuteronomy 26:12 When thou hast made an end of tithing all the tithes of thine increase the third year, which is the year of tithing, and hast given it unto the Levite, the stranger, the fatherless, and the widow, that they may eat within thy gates, and be filled;

Why is this labeled as the tithe of the third year?  The first tithe goes to the priest and Levite and is taken from the increase every year.  The second tithe, that we and our families are to eat, is from the increase every year also.  So how do we deal with this statement in Deuteronomy 26:12 if there aren’t three tithes?  “When thou hast made an end of tithing all the tithes of thine increase the third year, which is the year of tithing…”.

Notice who gets this tithe: “the Levite, the stranger, the fatherless, and the widow.”  Now, do you or I or our families get to eat of any of this tithe?  If so, why aren’t we mentioned?  Does the Levite get all of this tithe?  NO.  The Levite is legally entitled to a share if he needs it, but there were probably situations in which the orphans and widows had a greater need.

Now, who administers this third tithe? Notice that we are given additional instruction in Deuteronomy:

Deuteronomy 14:28 At the end of three years thou shalt bring forth all the tithe of thine increase the same year, and shalt lay it up within thy gates: 29 And the Levite, (because he hath no part nor inheritance with thee,) and the stranger, and the fatherless, and the widow, which are within thy gates, shall come, and shall eat and be satisfied; that the LORD thy God may bless thee in all the work of thine hand which thou doest.

The first and second tithes are to be taken from our increase yearly and are to be given to the priest and Levite or used by us and our families, respectively.  Our instructions for this third tithe are to “lay it up within thy gates.”  In today’s society, we put it in our savings account.

In verse 29, notice who is to eat this tithe: the Levite, the stranger, the fatherless and the widow.  I ask again, where is the permission for us and our families to eat of this tithe?  Can the Levite take it all?  No way!  If you want to get technical about it, 25% is all that he could legally require.

Are our consciences still sensitive enough to God’s word that we will believe Him, or seared to the point that we will reject a plain Bible Statement?

Notice again that we are to lay this tithe up within our gates (our community).  If we lay it up in our savings account, who is supposed to administer it?  We are!  Are we supposed to administer it all away in the third tithe year?  Maybe so, if there was a severe need, but God doesn’t command us to use all the third tithe during that one year.  You need to plan how to help someone in need between your third tithe years.

Continuing in verse 29, the Levite, the stranger, the fatherless and the widow who are within our gates (community) are to receive this tithe.  Where is the instruction to send it in to a corporate organization to have it administered for you?  This tithe is used in your area, your hometown or local Church community.

Herbert W. Armstrong (HWA) and the WCG intimidated us and lied to us about third tithe.  We were taught to send it in to headquarters, Pasadena, CA.  This is another example of the “no shepherds” of the synagogue of Satan ruling the sheep with force and cruelty (Ezekiel 34:4)!

How many deserving, needy, legally eligible (in God’s sight) people in the local communities were cut short, or received no help at all, because all the local money (third tithe) was sent off to headquarters?  A small amount might, or might not, trickle back from headquarters.

I know a woman who, from 1965 until 1970 or 1971, went to the Feast in Jekyll Island, Georgia on $40-$60 and only received help from the church two of those years.  In 1965, she had a new baby and the church paid the motel bill. One other year, the church paid her campground fee.

How cruel these ministers were, from HWA on down through the ranks!

Ezekiel 34:4 The diseased have ye not strengthened, neither have ye healed that which was sick, neither have ye bound up that which was broken, neither have ye brought again that which was driven away, neither have ye sought that which was lost; but with force and with cruelty have ye ruled them.

If the local congregation had been in control of the third tithe, this woman could have had a comfortable Feast of Tabernacles.  Isn’t the third tithe for the widow and the fatherless?  Her husband was not in the church, so wasn’t she a spiritual widow?  And weren’t her two kids fatherless in God’s sight?  Her husband would not contribute one penny, and would even take any second tithe she had saved if he knew that she had it.  I repeat, what cruelty the HWA hierarchist regime perpetrated!

Who would know better than the local Church members how to best use this money to help the needy?  God’s way is best, and no other method will work.  Anyone who refuses to do what God clearly spells out in His word will miss salvation.

Since I wrote this article in December 1998, there have been some serious questions about this concept of a “spiritual widow” and using third tithe to send her to the Feast. What does Deuteronomy 14:28-29 say? This tithe is to be eaten within the gates of the local community:

Deuteronomy 14:28 At the end of three years thou shalt bring forth all the tithe of thine increase the same year, and shalt lay it up within thy gates: 29 And the Levite, (because he hath no part nor inheritance with thee,) and the stranger, and the fatherless, and the widow, which are within thy gates, shall come, and shall eat and be satisfied; that the LORD thy God may bless thee in all the work of thine hand which thou doest.

Notice also that Deuteronomy 26:12 says that this tithe should be eaten within our gates (or local community):

Deuteronomy 26:12 When thou hast made an end of tithing all the tithes of thine increase the third year, which is the year of tithing, and hast given it unto the Levite, the stranger, the fatherless, and the widow, that they may eat within thy gates, and be filled;

Aren’t we having to stretch God’s word to let the widows use this third tithe at the Feast of Tabernacles? She should be sent to the Feast with the first tithe. Isn’t the purpose of the first tithe to produce converts to salvation and carry those converts to eternal life? So why wouldn’t it be legitimate for a true Christian widow to further her Christian education at the Feast? The Feast of Tabernacles is the highlight of most everyone’s year and it would certainly be a highlight for most widows.

The third tithe is also mentioned in Amos:

Amos 4:4 Come to Bethel, and transgress; at Gilgal multiply transgression; and bring your sacrifices every morning, and your tithes after three years:

You may be thinking, “I can’t afford to tithe.”  The fact is, we cannot afford NOT to tithe!  Can we take the view that this is some kind of punishment from God?  If we do, we will miss salvation.  It is a door that God tries to get us to walk through so that He can bless us financially and spiritually.

Are the promises in Malachi 3 empty?

Malachi 3:10 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. 11 And I will rebuke the devourer 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. 12 And all nations shall call you blessed: for ye shall be a delightsome land, saith the LORD of hosts.

God commands us in Malachi 3:10 to use this to “prove him.”  This is not just a suggestion.

Is this not a guaranteed promise from God?  If these promises of blessings in Malachi 3:10-12 are empty and useless, so is every promise about salvation and eternal life.  If we cannot believe one, then we cannot believe the other. The decision is ours, since we are commanded in Philippians 2:12 to work out our own salvation with fear and trembling.

Now let’s look at end-time applications of these laws regarding tithing.  Christ gives us direct instructions in red letters in the King James (Authorized) Version, straight from His mind and mouth.  Two parables deal directly with tithe money.

Just to review, we (and our families) are to eat the second tithe.  The third tithe is to be kept within our gates (communities) and distributed to those named by God (the needy).  But since we don’t have an active priesthood or Levites, what should we do with the first tithe?  Will we live by every word that proceeds out of the mouth of God (Matthew 4:4)?  Now let’s get into the two parables.

Luke 19:13 And he called his ten servants, and delivered them ten pounds, and said unto them, Occupy till I come.

  • “Pounds” is Strong’s #3414. Strong’s defines this Greek word “mina” as follows: “this equals a certain weight…”
  • Zodhiates’ Complete Word Study Dictionary says of this word “mina,” Strong’s #3414: “In the New Testament, mina is a silver coin, estimated by weight, containing one hundred drachmai and being itself the sixtieth part of a talent.”
  • Vine’s Complete Expository Dictionary says of Strong’s #3414: “It’s both a weight and a sum of money…”
  • Unger’s Bible Dictionary says of “pound” in Luke 19:13: “Probably a Greek weight used as money of account…”
  • The Amplified Bible New American Standard says it was about twenty dollars.
  • The NIV and the New King James say it’s about three months wages.

This “pound” of Luke 19:13 certainly refers to money. Now, remember who the Bible is written for—the end-time Christians:

1 Corinthians 10:11 Now all these things happened unto them for ensamples: and they are written for our admonition, upon whom the ends of the world are come.

This means us, the ten virgins:

Matthew 25:6 And at midnight there was a cry made, Behold, the bridegroom cometh; go ye out to meet him. 7 Then all those virgins arose, and trimmed their lamps.

Notice this verse is red-letter, meaning it came straight from Christ’s mouth.

Let’s continue with the parable of the pounds in Luke 19:

Luke 19:13 And he called his ten servants, and delivered them ten pounds, and said unto them, Occupy till I come.

Notice, these servants were called:

John 6:44 No man can come to me, except the Father which hath sent me draw him: and I will raise him up at the last day.

Notice that God put these servants in charge of His money. The word “occupy” in Luke 19:13 is Strong’s #4231, meaning “to busy oneself with, i.e. to trade; -occupy.”  Some translations say “put this money to work,” or “do business with,” or “buy and sell with.”  Then, is the instruction to let someone else do this for us?

When I was called in 1966, Christ did not hand me a bag of His money.  If He did, I certainly was not aware of it.  I now realize that I had HIS MONEY in my possession: the tithes and offerings that I so dutifully sent in to the headquarters of the Worldwide Church of God.  There have been many accusations that church officials used God’s money to live in grandeur, travel the world in corporate jets, do a counterfeit end-time work, etc. “Pay and pray”—that is what we were intimidated into doing. Whether or not the accusations are true about misuse of funds makes no difference.  I do know that we did a counterfeit work and also I am very aware of the worldwide travel involved in doing this counterfeit work.

In Acts 17:30, God says that He has “winked at,” or overlooked, our ignorance. However, the Bible is written for the end-time Christians, and we are now commanded to repent:

Acts 17:30 And the times of this ignorance God winked at; but now commandeth all men every where to repent:

1 Corinthians 10:11 Now all these things happened unto them for ensamples: and they are written for our admonition, upon whom the ends of the world are come. 12 Wherefore let him that thinketh he standeth take heed lest he fall. 

The warning in verse 12 means exactly what it says.

The end-time Elijah will no doubt hit hard on this commandment to repent, as he tries to make ready a people prepared for the Lord:

Luke 1:17 And he shall go before him in the spirit and power of Elias, to turn the hearts of the fathers to the children, and the disobedient to the wisdom of the just; to make ready a people prepared for the Lord.

Continuing with the parable of the pounds:

Luke 19:15 And it came to pass, that when he was returned, having received the kingdom, then he commanded these servants to be called unto him, to whom he had given the money, that he might know how much every man had gained by trading.

God calls these servants to account to see what they had done with the money He gave them (HIS TITHES AND OFFERINGS).

Luke 19:16 Then came the first, saying, Lord, thy pound hath gained ten pounds. 17 And he said unto him, Well, thou good servant: because thou hast been faithful in a very little, have thou authority over ten cities. 18 And the second came, saying, Lord, thy pound hath gained five pounds. 19 And he said likewise to him, Be thou also over five cities.

These verses show the wise use of God’s money. Read “The End Time Work” for a detailed look at the wise use of the money that God has consigned to us for the purpose of doing the end-time work. Now, back to verse 20 of Luke 19. Here is an example of unwise use of God’s money:

Luke 19:20 And another came, saying, Lord, behold, here is thy pound, which I have kept laid up in a napkin:

He said, “Here is your money that I have kept under the mattress,” or “I hid it in the cookie jar.” This man did absolutely nothing with God’s money. He was a fraidy-cat, a wimp. He had no faith. He would not step out and use God’s money in a wise manner. Or, maybe he sent it to one of the many churches of Satan’s corporate offices—maybe a splinter group of the Worldwide Church of God—so that they could do another counterfeit “end-time work.”  Will we ever learn that the WCG, HWA’s church, was built on sand?  Where is this church in 1998, 12 years after his death?  Are the splinter churches of the WCG any different?

Now read verse 21 of Luke 19. This wimpy, wicked servant was pleading his case.

Luke 19:21 For I feared thee, because thou art an austere man: thou takest up that thou layedst not down, and reapest that thou didst not sow.

Now notice Revelation 21:8:

Revelation 21:8 But the fearful, and unbelieving, and the abominable, and murderers, and whoremongers, and sorcerers, and idolaters, and all liars, shall have their part in the lake which burneth with fire and brimstone: which is the second death.

These who are fearful and unbelieving will not be in the kingdom…these wimps.

Luke 19:22 gives Christ’s response to this man pleading his case:

Luke 19:22 And he saith unto him, Out of thine own mouth will I judge thee, thou wicked servant. Thou knewest that I was an austere man, taking up that I laid not down, and reaping that I did not sow:

Christ’s response was: “You wicked servant, why did you put my money under the mattress? Why did you give my money to the synagogue of Satan? You wanted to be a member of the Philadelphian church. I warned you that there was a synagogue of Satan in your midst, but you would not believe my word.”

Revelation 3:9 Behold, I will make them of the synagogue of Satan, which say they are Jews, and are not, but do lie; behold, I will make them to come and worship before thy feet, and to know that I have loved thee.

“I told you in Ezekiel 34:1-10, that there were no shepherds at the end-time. Notice what I said in verses 5 and 8. But, here again, you would not believe my word.”

Ezekiel 34:5 And they were scattered, because there is no shepherd: and they became meat to all the beasts of the field, when they were scattered…..8 As I live, saith the Lord GOD, surely because my flock became a prey, and my flock became meat to every beast of the field, because there was no shepherd, neither did my shepherds search for my flock, but the shepherds fed themselves, and fed not my flock;

“Where in my word,” Christ says to this man, “did I tell you to send my money to a corporate organization?  My instructions to you were in Luke 19:23.”

Luke 19:23 Wherefore then gavest not thou my money into the bank, that at my coming I might have required mine own with usury?

Notice the phrase “at my coming.”  Does this not give this an end-time application?  The money would have been in the bank.  This could hardly have been talking about 1502 AD or any time prior to Christ’s Second Coming.

“If you were not going to use my money wisely like the two preceding servants, you should have put my money in the bank like I told you to.  It was in your control.  I did not tell you to give it away!”

The word “bank” is Strong’s #5132, meaning “(fig. a broker office for loans at interest).”

Zodhiates’ Complete Word Study Dictionary says of this word “bank,” Strong’s #5132, “see Strong’s #2773, a changer of money, and Strong’s #2855, a coin dealer. Hence, generally, a broker’s office or bank where money is deposited and loaned out (Luke 19:23)…”

Vine’s Dictionary basically says the same thing of Luke 19:23.

We have no authority from Jesus Christ to do anything with His money except to use it wisely (Luke 19:16-19) or put His money in the bank to draw interest.

Luke 19:16 Then came the first, saying, Lord, thy pound hath gained ten pounds. 17 And he said unto him, Well, thou good servant: because thou hast been faithful in a very little, have thou authority over ten cities. 18 And the second came, saying, Lord, thy pound hath gained five pounds. 19 And he said likewise to him, Be thou also over five cities.

Luke 19:23 Wherefore then gavest not thou my money into the bank, that at my coming I might have required mine own with usury?

These instructions from Christ give us no authority to give His money to a corporate organization, so that they can use this money (His tithes and offerings) for you. You and I are accountable for it. Remember the instructions on the word “occupy” in Luke 19:13—”to busy yourselves with.”

Daniel 12:3 and Revelation 3:7-8 tell us how this money can be used wisely to carry out the instructions. Elijah will be a one-man operation and will need help. Is there any way that he can go one-on-one with 144,000 Israelites plus the multitude that no man can number?

Daniel 12:3 And they that be wise shall shine as the brightness of the firmament; and they that turn many to righteousness as the stars for ever and ever.

How can we turn many to righteousness?

Revelation 3:7 And to the angel of the church in Philadelphia write; These things saith he that is holy, he that is true, he that hath the key of David, he that openeth, and no man shutteth; and shutteth, and no man openeth; 8 I know thy works: behold, I have set before thee an open door, and no man can shut it: for thou hast a little strength, and hast kept my word, and hast not denied my name.

We can turn many to righteousness by helping further Elijah’s message, since he is the only one prophesied to make ready a people prepared for the Lord.

Luke 1:17 And he shall go before him in the spirit and power of Elias, to turn the hearts of the fathers to the children, and the disobedient to the wisdom of the just; to make ready a people prepared for the Lord.

Will we go through this open door of Revelation 3:7 and use our “little strength” wisely?

Now, let’s examine the parable of the talents in Matthew 25:

Matthew 25:15 And unto one he gave five talents, to another two, and to another one; to every man according to his several ability; and straightway took his journey.

  • The word “talents” is Strong’s #5007, meaning “a balance (as supporting weights), i.e. (by impl.) a certain weight (and thence a coin, or rather a sum of money) or talent.”
  • Zodhiates’ Complete Word Study Dictionary gives the history of Strong’s #5007, “talent,” and it’s approximate worth today—one thousand dollars. “Whatever it’s exact value in the New Testament, a talent indicates a large sum of money.”
  • Zondervan’s Expository Dictionary of Bible Words says a talent “represents about 6000 days wages.” Here again, we have the same scenario played out, except that larger sums of money are involved—GOD’S money (HIS TITHES AND OFFERINGS).  Is this parable directed to those who have a larger amount of tithes and offerings?

Did the man with the five talents accomplish more of Daniel 12:3—turning many to righteousness?

Daniel 12:3 And they that be wise shall shine as the brightness of the firmament; and they that turn many to righteousness as the stars for ever and ever.

Revelation 3:7 And to the angel of the church in Philadelphia write; These things saith he that is holy, he that is true, he that hath the key of David, he that openeth, and no man shutteth; and shutteth, and no man openeth; 8 I know thy works: behold, I have set before thee an open door, and no man can shut it: for thou hast a little strength, and hast kept my word, and hast not denied my name.

Did he (the person in Daniel 12:3) recognize this open door and, with God’s help, really stretch his “little strength” to the max?

At Christ’s coming, He calls the servants to account. That is, He calls US to account, the end-time virgins.  All ten virgins start (Matthew 25:7), but only five cross the finish line (Matthew 25:10-12).

Matthew 25:7 Then all those virgins arose, and trimmed their lamps.

Matthew 25:10 And while they went to buy, the bridegroom came; and they that were ready went in with him to the marriage: and the door was shut. 11 Afterward came also the other virgins, saying, Lord, Lord, open to us. 12 But he answered and said, Verily I say unto you, I know you not.

To use God’s tithe and offering money wisely means helping in the end-time work. As in the parable of the pounds, the man with the pound and the man with one talent did nothing. Christ reprimands these spiritual wimps.

Matthew 25:25 And I was afraid, and went and hid thy talent in the earth: lo, there thou hast that is thine. 26 His lord answered and said unto him, Thou wicked and slothful servant, thou knewest that I reap where I sowed not, and gather where I have not strawed:

In verse 27, Christ tells him what he should have done with the money if he wasn’t going to use it wisely, as the preceding two servants had. At least he could have done that much right:

Matthew 25:27 Thou oughtest therefore to have put my money to the exchangers, and then at my coming I should have received mine own with usury.

“Exchangers” in verse 27 is Strong’s #5133, meaning “a money broker or banker, exchanger.”

Zodhiates gives the same definition.

The parable of the pounds and the parable of the talents play out the same scenario. Servants are called and given charge of God’s money. Two use the money wisely. One doesn’t use it at all and is called to account by Christ at His return. Remember, the Bible is written for the end-time Christians (1 Corinthians 10:11) who are awakened by the cry at midnight (Matthew 25:6).

In these two parables, notice one big difference that can and probably does have a major significance.  In the parable of the pounds (Luke 19:16, 18) notice the terminology carefully.  “Thy pound has gained ten pounds….thy pound has gained five pounds.”  Now look carefully at the terminology in Matthew 25:20, 22: “I have gained five talents more….I have gained two other talents.”  Notice it does not say “I and some corporate organization.”  It simply says, “I have gained…”  He or she has to be helping Elijah in some way by furthering his message.  No one else can make ready a people prepared for the Lord:

Luke 1:17 And he shall go before him in the spirit and power of Elias, to turn the hearts of the fathers to the children, and the disobedient to the wisdom of the just; to make ready a people prepared for the Lord.

Now remember the talent is a larger sum of money, maybe $1000.00 in today’s society.  Is the servant with the pounds representing the little old lady who has a very meager income from Social Security or retirement?  Is he representing the old gentleman that barely scrimps by on his meager end-time income?  Could the servants with the talents (larger sums of God’s money) represent the younger and in good health who are able to really fly in there and help Elijah do this end-time work with God blessing their incomes so it could even be larger as they, with great zeal, help Elijah.

1 Corinthians 10:11 Now all these things happened unto them for ensamples: and they are written for our admonition, upon whom the ends of the world are come.

Matthew 25:6 And at midnight there was a cry made, Behold, the bridegroom cometh; go ye out to meet him.

Christ never grants us permission to use His money in any way other than that laid out in the Bible. We are warned, being the Philadelphian church members of the end time, about a synagogue of Satan in our midst (Revelation 3:9). We are also warned that there are NO end-time shepherds (Ezekiel 34:5 and 8).

Revelation 3:9 Behold, I will make them of the synagogue of Satan, which say they are Jews, and are not, but do lie; behold, I will make them to come and worship before thy feet, and to know that I have loved thee.

The “no shepherds” in Ezekiel 34:5 and 8 are the leaders of this synagogue of Satan:

Ezekiel 34:5 And they were scattered, because there is no shepherd: and they became meat to all the beasts of the field, when they were scattered…..8 As I live, saith the Lord GOD, surely because my flock became a prey, and my flock became meat to every beast of the field, because there was no shepherd, neither did my shepherds search for my flock, but the shepherds fed themselves, and fed not my flock;

We, as end-time virgins being awakened by the cry at midnight, will do well to hear the voice of the Shepherd:

John 10:3 To him the porter openeth; and the sheep hear his voice: and he calleth his own sheep by name, and leadeth them out. 4 And when he putteth forth his own sheep, he goeth before them, and the sheep follow him: for they know his voice. 5 And a stranger will they not follow, but will flee from him: for they know not the voice of strangers……16 And other sheep I have, which are not of this fold: them also I must bring, and they shall hear my voice; and there shall be one fold, and one shepherd…..27 My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me:

Remember the way we are judged:

Revelation 20:12 And I saw the dead, small and great, stand before God; and the books were opened: and another book was opened, which is the book of life: and the dead were judged out of those things which were written in the books, according to their works.

Regardless of what we think, or what we want the Bible to say, we are judged by what is written in the books, according to our works.

Since we don’t have a Levitical Priesthood, the tithing system of the Old Testament must have a different application.

So how do we finance the Feast of Tabernacles?  Remember, in Deuteronomy, we and our families are commanded to eat the second tithe—100% of it, not 90%.  The producer of the third tithe paid every third year in a cycle of seven is to be the distributor of it.

Leviticus 25:1 And the LORD spake unto Moses in mount Sinai, saying, 2 Speak unto the children of Israel, and say unto them, When ye come into the land which I give you, then shall the land keep a sabbath unto the LORD. 3 Six years thou shalt sow thy field, and six years thou shalt prune thy vineyard, and gather in the fruit thereof; 4 But in the seventh year shall be a sabbath of rest unto the land, a sabbath for the LORD: thou shalt neither sow thy field, nor prune thy vineyard. 5 That which groweth of its own accord of thy harvest thou shalt not reap, neither gather the grapes of thy vine undressed: for it is a year of rest unto the land.

It is not my purpose in this paper to get into the land Sabbath, but to show that there are three tithes.  Suffice it to say, if the land rests on the seventh year and we bring a special tithe at the end of the third year, then the third tithe is paid two years out of the seven in a continuous cycle.

This only leaves one source of financing the Feast—first tithe should be used.  What is God’s purpose for the first tithe?  Is it not to develop sons and daughters into spirit beings?  The Feast of Tabernacles is the highlight of our year, so why wouldn’t first tithe be used to finance it?

We and our families eat the second.  The fatherless, the widows, the stranger and the Levite get the third tithe, so God’s perfect system looks out for those who are needy.  First tithe is the only way left to finance the Feast, which is good.  The first tithe produces sons and daughters to salvaton.  As you must realize by now, you are personally responsible for how your first tithe is used, if you are willing to believe God’s word.

Let’s look at some applications of first tithe in the end time.  Remember what the end-time work consists of (see “End-Time Work”).  The end -time work is described in Revelation 7:

Revelation 7:1 And after these things I saw four angels standing on the four corners of the earth, holding the four winds of the earth, that the wind should not blow on the earth, nor on the sea, nor on any tree. 2 And I saw another angel ascending from the east, having the seal of the living God: and he cried with a loud voice to the four angels, to whom it was given to hurt the earth and the sea,

3 Saying, Hurt not the earth, neither the sea, nor the trees, till we have sealed the servants of our God in their foreheads. 4 And I heard the number of them which were sealed: and there were sealed an hundred and forty and four thousand of all the tribes of the children of Israel…

9 After this I beheld, and, lo, a great multitude, which no man could number, of all nations, and kindreds, and people, and tongues, stood before the throne, and before the Lamb, clothed with white robes, and palms in their hands……

14…And he said to me, These are they which came out of great tribulation, and have washed their robes, and made them white in the blood of the Lamb.

You and I are responsible for this end-time work when we are awakened by a series of Bible truths that end the famine of the word for us as individuals (Amos 8:11).  This is our cry at midnight.  If we are spiritually asleep, only spiritual truth can wake us up:

Matthew 25:5 While the bridegroom tarried, they all slumbered and slept. 6 And at midnight there was a cry made, Behold, the bridegroom cometh; go ye out to meet him.

Amo 8:11  Behold, the days come, saith the Lord GOD, that I will send a famine in the land, not a famine of bread, nor a thirst for water, but of hearing the words of the LORD:

The true Philadelphians will have the open door promised in Revelation 3:7-8.  God will hold us accountable as to how we go through those doors.  Of what use would an open door be in the end-time society without money to go through it?

There is no doubt that some end-time scenarios wouldn’t require money, but few indeed in the western world.  Remember that there are 144,000 Israelites to be sealed and Israel is scattered all over the earth.

Daniel 12:3 mentions they who turn many to righteousness.  Verses 1 and 2 mark this as end-time:

Daniel 12:1 And at that time shall Michael stand up, the great prince which standeth for the children of thy people: and there shall be a time of trouble, such as never was since there was a nation even to that same time: and at that time thy people shall be delivered, every one that shall be found written in the book.

2 And many of them that sleep in the dust of the earth shall awake, some to everlasting life, and some to shame and everlasting contempt. 3 And they that be wise shall shine as the brightness of the firmament; and they that turn many to righteousness as the stars for ever and ever.

This is also referring to the open door before the true Philadelphians:

Revelation 3:8 I know thy works: behold, I have set before thee an open door, and no man can shut it: for thou hast a little strength, and hast kept my word, and hast not denied my name.

With the sheep scattered all over the world, it will take money to finance this “turning many to righteousness.”  This is why God has entrusted his tithe money to each of us.  This gives us an active part in doing the end-time work.

What about a practical end-time application?  Remember who the Bible is written for:

1 Corinthians 10:11 Now all these things happened unto them for ensamples: and they are written for our admonition, upon whom the ends of the world are come.

These are the people who hear the cry at midnight:

Matthew 25:5 While the bridegroom tarried, they all slumbered and slept. 6 And at midnight there was a cry made, Behold, the bridegroom cometh; go ye out to meet him.

They are asleep because of the famine of the word:

Amos 8:11 Behold, the days come, saith the Lord GOD, that I will send a famine in the land, not a famine of bread, nor a thirst for water, but of hearing the words of the LORD: 12 And they shall wander from sea to sea, and from the north even to the east, they shall run to and fro to seek the word of the LORD, and shall not find it.

Let’s examine Matthew 25:31-46:

Matthew 25:31 When the Son of man shall come in his glory, and all the holy angels with him, then shall he sit upon the throne of his glory: 32 And before him shall be gathered all nations: and he shall separate them one from another, as a shepherd divideth his sheep from the goats:

Notice the time setting in verse 31.  This is the time when Christ returns in all His glory at the first resurrection, which we all hope to attain.  In verse 32, the “nations” is the same Greek word used in Revelation 7:9.

Revelation 7:9 After this I beheld, and, lo, a great multitude, which no man could number, of all nations, and kindreds, and people, and tongues, stood before the throne, and before the Lamb, clothed with white robes, and palms in their hands;

“Nations” is Strong’s #1484: “a race, a tribe, spec. a foreigner (non Jewish)…”  Notice what these nations (people representing all the races) have done:

Revelation 7:14…And he said to me, These are they which came out of great tribulation, and have washed their robes, and made them white in the blood of the Lamb.

These people have made it into God’s kingdom.  In a broad sense, this word “nations” can mean the whole world, but in Matthew 25:32 (above), Christ is separating the sheep from the goats.  This is describing the judgment of all those who have been called of God.

John 6:44 No man can come to me, except the Father which hath sent me draw him: and I will raise him up at the last day.

These people have received an opportunity for salvation—the goats lose and the sheep win:

Matthew 25:33 And he shall set the sheep on his right hand, but the goats on the left. 34 Then shall the King say unto them on his right hand, Come, ye blessed of my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world:

Notice in verse 34 that salvation has been available to humans since “the foundation of the world.”  In verses 35-36, Christ tells us (the end-time Christians) what the saved have done in the way of works.  Remember, God’s biggest harvest comes from the end-time Christians (see my articles on the End-Time Work and The Marriage Supper).

Review Revelation 7:1-4, 9 and 14 discussed above.  Notice that the tribulation is held up so that the 144,000 Israelites may be sealed.  The multitude that no man can number comes out of the great tribulation.  The other 144,000 of Revelation 14 are already sealed and in their graves, including Peter, John, Paul, Isaac, etc.  They are sealed before the tribulation begins.

Now back to Matthew 25.  In verses 37-39, the righteous are surprised at Christ’s statement.  They ask the question in verse 37, “When did we do these good works?”

Matthew 25:35 For I was an hungred, and ye gave me meat: I was thirsty, and ye gave me drink: I was a stranger, and ye took me in: 36 Naked, and ye clothed me: I was sick, and ye visited me: I was in prison, and ye came unto me. 37 Then shall the righteous answer him, saying, Lord, when saw we thee an hungred, and fed thee? or thirsty, and gave thee drink? 38 When saw we thee a stranger, and took thee in? or naked, and clothed thee? 39 Or when saw we thee sick, or in prison, and came unto thee?

Doesn’t this tell us that good works should be second nature to real Christians?  The Christians in Matthew 25 have done these good works without knowing it.  Or, maybe a better way to put it—this was their lifestyle.  Like taking a bath, eating, or brushing their teeth, it came naturally.  How pleasing this must be to Christ!

Verse 40 answers the question asked in verse 39:

Matthew 25:40 And the King shall answer and say unto them, Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me.

Verses 41-46 contain the condemnation and sentence that none of us wants to hear:

Matthew 25:41 Then shall he say also unto them on the left hand, Depart from me, ye cursed, into everlasting fire, prepared for the devil and his angels: 42 For I was an hungred, and ye gave me no meat: I was thirsty, and ye gave me no drink: 43 I was a stranger, and ye took me not in: naked, and ye clothed me not: sick, and in prison, and ye visited me not.

44 Then shall they also answer him, saying, Lord, when saw we thee an hungred, or athirst, or a stranger, or naked, or sick, or in prison, and did not minister unto thee? 45 Then shall he answer them, saying, Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye did it not to one of the least of these, ye did it not to me. 46 And these shall go away into everlasting punishment: but the righteous into life eternal.

But our topic is tithing, and how tithes should be used in the end time.  We have already discussed the fact that we and our families are to eat the second tithe—100% of it.  We are not to give 10% of our second tithe to a corporate group for financing the Feast of Tabernacles.

We have also seen that the third tithe is to be given to four categories of the needy in your community: the widow, the fatherless, the stranger and the Levite.  If someone wanted to “strain at a gnat,” I suppose you could assume that each gets 25%, but I believe that God would expect us to provide for those who have the largest percentage of need.

What about the first tithe and this parable in Matthew 25?  Is there an application?  Let me remind you again that this is a spiritual setting.

Matthew 25:31 When the Son of man shall come in his glory, and all the holy angels with him, then shall he sit upon the throne of his glory: 32 And before him shall be gathered all nations: and he shall separate them one from another, as a shepherd divideth his sheep from the goats:

Remember that the true Philadelphians walk through the doors opened to them.  In Daniel 12:3, “they” turn many to righteousness:

Revelation 3:7 And to the angel of the church in Philadelphia write; These things saith he that is holy, he that is true, he that hath the key of David, he that openeth, and no man shutteth; and shutteth, and no man openeth; 8 I know thy works: behold, I have set before thee an open door, and no man can shut it: for thou hast a little strength, and hast kept my word, and hast not denied my name.

Daniel 12:3 And they that be wise shall shine as the brightness of the firmament; and they that turn many to righteousness as the stars for ever and ever.

We need to keep in mind that we can only do this as helpers of Elijah, but Luke 1:17 tells us that he is the ONLY ONE who can make ready a people prepared for the Lord:

Luke 1:17 And he shall go before him in the spirit and power of Elias, to turn the hearts of the fathers to the children, and the disobedient to the wisdom of the just; to make ready a people prepared for the Lord.

Now notice carefully in Matthew 25:35 and 36 that Christ was hungry and we gave Him meat.

Matthew 25:35 For I was an hungred, and ye gave me meat: I was thirsty, and ye gave me drink: I was a stranger, and ye took me in: 36 Naked, and ye clothed me: I was sick, and ye visited me: I was in prison, and ye came unto me.

In the end-time famine of the word, Christ was hungry in each of us who has the Holy Spirit.

Amos 8:11 Behold, the days come, saith the Lord GOD, that I will send a famine in the land, not a famine of bread, nor a thirst for water, but of hearing the words of the LORD: 12 And they shall wander from sea to sea, and from the north even to the east, they shall run to and fro to seek the word of the LORD, and shall not find it.

This end-time famine is mentioned in Haggai 2:16 and 17.

Haggai 2:16 Since those days were, when one came to an heap of twenty measures, there were but ten: when one came to the pressfat for to draw out fifty vessels out of the press, there were but twenty. 17 I smote you with blasting and with mildew and with hail in all the labours of your hands; yet ye turned not to me, saith the LORD.

Some food was available through certain teachers, but not nearly enough, so the result is starving sheep.  Remember that this is a spiritual application.  (See my articles on Haggai 1, Haggai 2, Zechariah 3 and Zechariah 4.)

We wake up and become helpers with Elijah as the cry at midnight comes to us individually through him.

Is it going to take money to feed Christ and give Him spiritual drink in others as we wake up and help Elijah spread the word (the cry at midnight)?  Remember, he is the only one who can make ready a people prepared for the Lord (Luke 1:17).  We will have to help him spread his message to all the virgins:

Matthew 25:5 While the bridegroom tarried, they all slumbered and slept. 6 And at midnight there was a cry made, Behold, the bridegroom cometh; go ye out to meet him.

Remember also the numbers of the harvest in Revelation 7:1-4, 9 and 14: 144,000 plus the multitude that no man can number.  This is how we can use our first tithe wisely—our pound can gain ten and our talent can gain five. Review the explanation of the parables of the pounds and talents in this article.  You and I are personally responsible for how we spend God’s tithes.  He will not accept the cop-out explanation that we gave it to a corporate organization to spend for us.

Christ said that He was a stranger and we took him in.  Couldn’t this be renting a hall with first tithe in order to fellowship with like minds?  If a total stranger walked through the door of our fellowship hall and had God’s Holy Spirit we would certainly take him or her in.  Couldn’t we take Him in by buying a tape recorder to record Elijah’s tapes and forward them to others?  Or possibly by using our first tithe to finance a telephone hook-up with Elijah after we recognize him, or make copies of his writings and forward them to others?  And we will recognize him by his fruits—this man will be waking people up with Bible truths.  The taking in of Christ as a stranger—does this mean that sheep from folds other than the WCG (Sardis Church) will start showing up at our halls that we finance with first tithe? It can be used to help totally new people just being called by God.

Is it up to us, as end-time Christians who have God’s Holy Spirit, to find this man and help him do the end-time work under Christ?

Romans 9:27 Esaias also crieth concerning Israel, Though the number of the children of Israel be as the sand of the sea, a remnant shall be saved: 28 For he will finish the work, and cut it short in righteousness: because a short work will the Lord make upon the earth. 29 And as Esaias said before, Except the Lord of Sabaoth had left us a seed, we had been as Sodoma, and been made like unto Gomorrha.

Continuing in Matthew 25:36:

Matthew 25:36 Naked, and ye clothed me: I was sick, and ye visited me: I was in prison, and ye came unto me.

Aren’t we all spiritually naked while we are in the famine of the word (Amos 8:11-12), as well as asleep (Matthew 25:5)?  How could we be spiritually awake and clothed while living under these spiritual conditions?  Won’t Christ expect us to use His tithes to put spiritual clothes on others?

Famine leads to pestilence, sickness, and death.  Remember the spiritual application.  Review Matthew 25:35-36 that we discussed earlier.  Aren’t we talking about a spiritual sickness here?  Aren’t we all spiritually sick?  Again, I ask how we could be otherwise while experiencing a famine of the word (Amos 8:11-12), while we have no shepherds (Ezekiel 34:5 and 8) and while everyone is asleep (Matthew 25:5)?

Most of us are on our deathbeds, spiritually.  We are to live by every word of God:

Matthew 4:4 But he answered and said, It is written, Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God.

How can anyone be well nourished spiritually while in a famine, asleep with no shepherds?  Can anyone who honestly believes Scripture claim not to be in Satan’s prison while these conditions exist?  We will be in this prison until we recognize the cry at midnight and wake up to the truth of it.  Repentance is the only way out of Satan’s prison.  The early escapees will be helping others escape Satan’s clutches.

Obviously, money will be needed to fulfill the spiritual application of the parable in Matthew 25.  God has provided a financial method for dealing with these end-time situations.  He has also clearly told us in the parable of the pounds and talents that we had better use His money wisely.

Notice what happens to the goats in Matthew 25:41-46.  They refuse to do anything with God’s money:

Matthew 25:41 Then shall he say also unto them on the left hand, Depart from me, ye cursed, into everlasting fire, prepared for the devil and his angels: 42 For I was an hungred, and ye gave me no meat: I was thirsty, and ye gave me no drink: 43 I was a stranger, and ye took me not in: naked, and ye clothed me not: sick, and in prison, and ye visited me not. 44 Then shall they also answer him, saying, Lord, when saw we thee an hungred, or athirst, or a stranger, or naked, or sick, or in prison, and did not minister unto thee? 45 Then shall he answer them, saying, Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye did it not to one of the least of these, ye did it not to me. 46 And these shall go away into everlasting punishment: but the righteous into life eternal.

These are the foolish virgins of Matthew 25:24-27 and the other foolish virgins of Luke 19:20-22.

Matthew 25:24 Then he which had received the one talent came and said, Lord, I knew thee that thou art an hard man, reaping where thou hast not sown, and gathering where thou hast not strawed: 25 And I was afraid, and went and hid thy talent in the earth: lo, there thou hast that is thine. 26 His lord answered and said unto him, Thou wicked and slothful servant, thou knewest that I reap where I sowed not, and gather where I have not strawed: 27 Thou oughtest therefore to have put my money to the exchangers, and then at my coming I should have received mine own with usury.

Luke 19:20 And another came, saying, Lord, behold, here is thy pound, which I have kept laid up in a napkin: 21 For I feared thee, because thou art an austere man: thou takest up that thou layedst not down, and reapest that thou didst not sow. 22 And he saith unto him, Out of thine own mouth will I judge thee, thou wicked servant. Thou knewest that I was an austere man, taking up that I laid not down, and reaping that I did not sow:

So, what will it be for you and me?  Does this all sound radical to you?  Can you take your Bible and disprove anything I’ve said?  Will you allow Satan to deceive you, through your human reasoning, as you reason these basic Bible truths away?  Will you reason yourself right into the lake of fire?

We are judged by what is written in the books:

Revelation 20:12 And I saw the dead, small and great, stand before God; and the books were opened: and another book was opened, which is the book of life: and the dead were judged out of those things which were written in the books, according to their works.

Our instructions regarding the proper use of tithe money are very plainly written in the books in the parables of the pounds and talents.  We are personally responsible for our use of tithes.  When we tie in Daniel 12:3 and Revelation 3:7-8, the fact that we have to give a personal account of how we use God’s money is inescapable.

Daniel 12:3 And they that be wise shall shine as the brightness of the firmament; and they that turn many to righteousness as the stars for ever and ever.

Revelation 3:7 And to the angel of the church in Philadelphia write; These things saith he that is holy, he that is true, he that hath the key of David, he that openeth, and no man shutteth; and shutteth, and no man openeth; 8 I know thy works: behold, I have set before thee an open door, and no man can shut it: for thou hast a little strength, and hast kept my word, and hast not denied my name.

Can anyone show me, in writing, from the Bible, where God gives us permission to hand over His tithe money to someone else so that they can spend it for us?  The least we can do, if we are not going to spend this money wisely, is put it in the bank, following the instructions in Matthew 25:27 and Luke 19:23.  What will you decide about your eternity?

Mat 25:27  Thou oughtest therefore to have put my money to the exchangers, and then at my coming I should have received mine own with usury.

Luk 19:23  Wherefore then gavest not thou my money into the bank, that at my coming I might have required mine own with usury?

Published December, 1998

© Edgar Y. Bennett
PO Box 509
Black Hawk, CO 80422 USA
edgar@solidrockspeople.org
www.solidrockspeople.org