Report From The Tower
We have been ordered by the Lord to attack the harlot, mammon based church, with its’ phalanx of religious spirits. This is the command that has come from the master. We are marching in a tighter phalanx, with greater strength and power. Should we be shocked to find ourselves in a battle situation?
But this battle belongs to Him! Our Lord has promised us that as we have now crossed over from one “time” into another “time”, and we have smashed our clay vessels, we will now display our torches, as the Lord revealed in a type through Gideon. Now, with torches of glory fully blazing, we will BLOW OUR TRUMPETS IN UNISON.
What will manifest in the enemy camp? MADNESS! CONFUSION! A ROUT!
How do we do that? Do we attack people? NO! People are only a change of mind and a change of behavior away from the receipt of forgiveness. We attack the harlot church in the area of her false doctrines and dogmas. We attack her false and shallow teachings. We attack her teachings where they uphold IDOLATRY. We use the word of God like a two edged sword, to lay the walls of harlotry low.
The foundation principle of the present day harlot church is IDOLATRY. That is true, whether it be Catholic or Non-Catholic.
It is quite easy to see an illustration of this situation in the ten commandments. Perhaps you are aware that the Catholic Church has one set of ten commandments, and the Protestant/Evangelical/Charismatic churches have a different set of ten.
The Catholic set of ten includes two commandments on the subject of covetousness: numbers nine and ten, and one commandment on idolatry with other Gods: number one. It is then interesting to note the idolatry, practiced by the Catholic church fails the test of the commandment regarding the worship and bowing down to images, that they have omitted. There is no forced tithing currently practiced in Roman Catholicism, but it is legally on the books, as a law not enforced, and is set forth by the Council of Trent.
The Protestant/Evangelical/Charismatic set of ten includes two commandments against idolatry with other Gods and with Images: numbers one and two, and one commandment on covetousness: number ten. It is also interesting to note that the area of covetousness is the stumbling block for this group, while they stay away from bowing to statues and images.
Whatever it’s type, and however they stumble, bowing to statues, or covetousness……both are IDOLATRY.
IDOLATRY OF THE NON-CATHOLIC CHURCH
This IDOLATRY, in the modern, non-Catholic harlot church, is centered in MAMMON worship. Covetousness is idolatry, according to Ephesians 5:5. Covetousness is inextricably intertwined with the manipulation and control that surrounds the teachings that go forth, in the harlot church, on the subjects of giving and tithing. This is why we must tackle these issues HEAD ON. This is easily and quickly seen and noticed by the Catholic, and by the unbeliever. They can easily discern that you, the sheeple, are being fleeced for money. Yet, you cannot see it when you are under the tentacles of its power. The Catholic priests use this as a primary indictment against anything non-Catholic, and they are correct: it is IDOLATRY. They recognize it, and they see it, yet many of you CANNOT SEE IT. They are blind to their own idolatry, but they see YOURS quite clearly.
I have never, I SAY AGAIN, I HAVE NEVER heard a correct, full and well explained teaching on tithing in a church, and I have never read a full and well balanced one on the internet or in a book. Never you say? NEVER! The subject is complex, and difficult to divide. Yet, most pastors quote a snippet of scripture here, and a tidbit there, to defend what they have decided to do. They do not explain what lies beneath the surface of these scriptures. This does violence to the scripture as a whole.
I am going to present some things here that you probably have never heard before. That is fine. Go to the word! Be a Berean. I will back it up with scripture references.
Now, with respect to tithing, let us focus in on what the word of God has to say.
There is no such thing as New Testament/New Covenant teaching on tithing. There are four Greek words that have been translated as "tenth", "tithe" or "tithes", and these words do not even appear once in Pauls 13 epistles, or in the Acts of the Apostles.
The bible discusses 8 (EIGHT) different tithes, or tenths. There are 17 (SEVENTEEN) scripture passages regarding the tithe, or tenths.
THE EIGHT TITHES
1) The ONE TIME tithe of the spoil of battle, from Abraham to Melchizedek-Genesis 14:20, Hebrews 7
2) The voluntary covenant of Jacob, with God, to give the tenth-Genesis 28:22. Jacob did not pass this to his decendents as a law. This was worship, from love.
3) The festival tithe, to be EATEN, and the residual to be HEAVED as an offering to the Lord (given to the priest)-Deuteronomy 12:6, 11, 17, Deuteronomy 14:22, 28
4) The tithe for the Levite, stranger, widow (Every third year)-Deuteronomy 26:12
5) The tenth of the tenth, required to be paid by the Levite-Numbers 18:21-28
6) The Kings military/palace tithe-1 Samuel 8:15,17
7) The tithe of the life, willingly offered, to live where God desires-Nehemiah 11:1-2
8) God’s tithe-his remnant-a tenth shall return-Isaiah 6:11-13
NINE OTHER SCRIPTURES THAT ILLUSTRATE TITHING PRINCIPLES
1) The tithe is Holy unto the Lord, and it applied to husbandmen and herdsmen-Leviticus 27:30-32
2) Further amplification on the festival tithe, and the tithe for the Levite/stranger-Deuteronomy 14:22,28
3) Restoral of the tithe under Hezekiah-2 Chronicles 31:5,6,12
4) Modifications of the tithe under Nehemiah-Nehemiah 10:38-13:5
5) Further discussion about the tithe for the Levite/stranger-Amos 4:4
6) Tithing, robbing God and the storehouse-Malachi 3:8-10
7) Pharisees tithe of their spice gardens-Matthew 23:23
8) Pharisees tithe of all he possessed-Luke 18:12
9) Pharisees tithe of their spice gardens-Luke 11:42
TITHE NUMBER 3-The Festival Tithe
So far, in a previous article, I have discussed one: the annual tithe of the increase of the land, to be eaten before the Lord, which I have labeled as Tithe number 3 above: The Festival Tithe. This law was given through Moses to the people near to the year 1440 B.C. (Deut 12:17-19) What was tithed? "the tithe of thy corn (grain), or of thy wine, or of thy oil, or the firstlings of thy herds or of thy flock" (Deut 12:17).
Please notice that shopkeepers, carpenters, fishermen, tax collectors, hairdressers, servants and soldiers were not mentioned. Certainly, the stranger, the trader, the tent maker, the naked, the poor, the widow and the orphan are similarly exempted. The poor farmer who only produced enough for his family to eat would have nothing left over, after eating his tithe, for the Levite. This was proper and expected.
Jesus the carpenter, and the fishermen disciples of the Lord never tithed. Matthew the tax collector never tithed. These tithes were on agricultural production.
TITHE NUMBER 5-The Tenth Of The Tenth, Required To Be Paid By The Levite
Numbers 18:24 directs an Israelite in the option to give part of his tithe as a "heave offering". Perhaps this might be easily seen to apply to a wealthy landowner or herdsmen, who would not be able to consume his whole tithe during the feast time, and would possess an excess. The whole tithe belonged to the LORD, and the tither had to get rid of it. The method for doing so was the heave offering. And so, the Levite owned any part of the tithe that was given as a "heave offering" before the Lord. Among Israel, the Levites shall have no inheritance.
Please note that they were to take heed not to forsake the Levite. At this point in Israel, the LEVITE had absolutely nothing guaranteed, EXCEPT GOD, as his possession. He had no land given to him by God through Moses. He had no annual tithe. Everything had to come by freewill offering from the people, or by God blessing in such an abundance that the people had an excess available in their tithing, after what they had eaten, for a heave offering..
TITHE NUMBER 4-The Tithe For The Levite/Stranger
There was another tithe, according to the Mosaic law, in the "YEAR OF TITHING", which came every three years. This tithe is discussed in Deuteronomy 26:12, and was to be shared between the Levite, the stranger, the fatherless, and the widow. Once again, this was strictly a tithe on AGRICULTURAL production.
One must discover what tithes were given by God to the Jews as law before any quoting of the Old Testament may be done at all with respect to these things. This is almost never taught in church.
CHANGES TO TITHING UNDER NEHEMIAH
One must study his or her way through the subtle changes in the whole religious system in the time of Nehemiah. These changes were made in order to induce the Levites to return to and live in Jerusalem. Nehemiah tried to make changes as he thought right, and seems to tread very carefully....even hopefully, that God will remember him in a good light. (Nehemiah 13:14, 13:31). Some of these changed practices had nothing to do with the original laws. They were simply new practices. We really see here the first establishment of a tithing practice where the tithe is collected by Levites and Priests, as a form of support for them: a salaried and paid clergy.
By the time we reach unto the New Testament, there were three main religious parties: Pharisee, Sadducees, and Essenes. Each had a different tithing practice. This resembles our condition today: fragmented and in disagreement.
Then, you reach unto the New Testament practice of that particular Pharisee whom Jesus used to illustrate his parable in Luke 18:22, who, like Jacob in Genesis 28:22, had decided that "of all that thou shalt give me, I will surely give the tenth unto thee." Now, we know that Pharisees were legal sticklers, so, somehow, this had probably come to be LAW for this Pharisee, even though it began in scripture as a voluntary vow. This Pharisee used his self perceived legal obedience to justify himself before God. Jesus said such self exaltation would achieve the opposite end: the one who attempted such would be abased. Surely, Jesus had no problem with anyone who wished to voluntarily tithe unto God in the way that Jacob had.
This tithe of Jacob, the second mentioned in scripture, has nothing at all to due with the annual tithes, or once in every three year tithes of the Mosaic law. It predates the Mosaic law by about 500 years. Jacob probably gave that tithe by burning his increase upon an altar, unto the Lord.
The first tithe to appear in the bible was the Abrahamic tithe to Melchizedek. It was a ONE TIME tithe of THE SPOIL OF BATTLE. This is the one that is referred to in the book of Hebrews.
THAT PASSAGE IN MALACHI
By the time we reach unto the Book of Malachi, written 1000 years after Moses, and a hundred and fifty years after Nehemiah, and that favorite scripture, used by pastors everywhere to validate their present day church tithing laws, the reader must certainly be dizzy. Just what is that storehouse that Malachi was referring to, and what tithe was he directing that they pay? Abraham's, Jacobs's, Moses's, Hezekiah’s, Nehemiah's? Or how about "THE KINGS TITHE" of 1st Samuel 8:15. If the truth is REALLY TOLD, this is the tithe we see today in our Churches. The prophet Samuel warned us about human Kings who would want to Lord over us, and extract TITHES to pay for their palaces. And this is how the people want it. They want their kings, and they pay for them.
Malachi wrote later than all of the others.
There is a clue in Malachi 4:4.....He was urging them to "Remember ye, the law of Moses my servant".
So, Malachi yearned for a return to the celebration of the festivals, and bringing of the tithes to be eaten before the Lord, and also to be given as heave offerings, voluntarily, to the Levite. In this way, Malachi said, "there will be meat in my house". In order for it to reach Jerusalem, they would have to bring it into the storehouse, and not consume it where they lived.
You have been taught that the storehouse is the local church, yet, there was no local church when this was written, and none would be seen for another 400 years.
Furthermore, Malachi accused the Israelites of robbing God of TITHES (plural) and OFFERINGS. The Jews were not even going to Jerusalem to eat their tithes before the Lord at this time. Malachi was bemoaning the totality of their backslidden spiritual condition. As I have demonstrated, there were many tithes, and the Jews were robbing God on all fronts.
The law of Moses required that the tithe of the annual produce of the land must be STORED UP, and either CARRIED TO JERUSALEM (or other required place), or CONVERTED TO MONEY, and brought to JERUSALEM (or other named place), and EATEN before the Lord. Any part of it not eaten must be HEAVED. It is Holy unto the Lord.
As has been stated by others, churches must pay their bills. Giving is a wonderful privilege. We can meet pressing needs. We can give as led by the Lord, as He speaks to our hearts by the Holy Spirit of God, who dwells in all of those who belong to Him. Listen to His voice! Obey Him!
May the LORD GOD grant you freedom from the prison house of forced tithing and manipulated giving, in the name of JESUS! Come out of all of this witchcraft, my people, says the Lord. Come into the light, and walk in it. Draw near to me now. I will draw near to you. Hide yourselves. The day of my indignation is upon you.
Many churches will not regard a person as a member unless that person tithes to the church. That is legally enforced tithing, and it is an abomination before the Lord. That practice brings member, pastor and church under the double curse of Paul as it is found in Galatians 1. That is ANOTHER GOSPEL. Repent and come out of this legal wickedness.
Stephen L. Bening
My Africa Wish List Is As Follows:
Project #1-$15,000-The Kittui water well. Received thus far: $7,000
Project #2-$5,000-Two, 250 person event tents-cost $2,500 each. I have already visited the tent manufacturer in Nairobi. We need this tent for holding bigger crusades in Kenya.
Project #3-$7,500-We need to purchase a sound system for use in the Kenya crusades. I am planning on being in Africa, four times per year. We rented the sound system for the three events we just held. We anticipate holding bigger events, and we will need a more powerful system. With the sound system, we need a generator to power it.
Project #4-$5,000-A truck for David Machimbo Walukhu, my missions coordinator, in Kenya. Right now, David has no vehicle, and travels by bus.
Project #5-$2,500-Repair for a large, panel Isuzu truck, that is currently sitting idle at Sowetto Academy, Nairobi. We will use this truck for hauling of tent and equipment.
Project #6-$5,000-Completion of the stone wall that will totally encircle Sowetto Academy. This is really needed to keep people from using walkways right through the middle of the school and orphanage. Right now, the wall is about 25% complete.
Project #7-$20,000-My estimate for the cost that it would take for Chris Ocumu to accomplish a second floor addition to the school building in Sowetto Academy.
So, there it is: $60,000 for the equipment. Add in $10,000 for my airfare and costs for four trips per year, and $10,000 for flyers and posters for the 2005 outreach events and you have $80,000. Jesus says, "you have not because you ask not". I say, Lord Jesus, I Am Asking!
HUNDREDS OF CONFIRMING PROPHETIC VOICES
(For example: Position your mouse cursor over California on the map, and click to see a page of California Earthquake Prophecies)
"Man shall not live by bread alone, but by EVERY WORD that proceedeth out of the mouth of God" Matt 4:4
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