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Jesus preached giving but did he receive tithe & offering?

by Church Times

 By Deji Dania

Sometimes in February, the Lord came to me around 5 pm and asked me three very disturbing questions that had never for once crossed my mind, or ever read about in my 31  years of ministry.
I shuddered, and I quickly scanned the Bible through my mind if per adventure, there is anywhere in the New Testament where it is either mentioned, done, or practiced but I couldn’t find one. Yet, it is deeply entrenched and heavily thriving in today’s church culture.
I answered the Lord back, No! And He left.
About an hour later, He returned to ask me the same question.
And by then, I knew He wanted to engage me in a deep conversation as usual. But you know sometimes, especially in our clime, many things often engage our minds and attention, and when God needs our attention at that same time too, we tend to want to dodge from being ‘tied down’ by Him. God have mercy on my soul. That was the situation I found myself in that evening.
But about 10:15 pm when I retired to bed, fully ready and gradually connecting to initiate sleep, in that dark room, He returned the third time to ask me the same questions. He said, I asked you some questions this evening, and you didn’t answer me; you were not prepared for me… are you now set?
Wow! I knew I have been cornered with nowhere to escape and I surrendered and replied ‘No’ to all His questions.
He asked:
– Did Jesus receive offering or tithe from anyone throughout His earthly ministry?
– Did the apostles receive them or any of the two in their own time?
– Then why is my church – called after my name not only do it but also force people to?
I was speechless. As I said, this issue had never occurred to me or crossed my mind since I have been preaching this gospel, except about two years ago when the tithe debate was ignited by the On the Air Personality, Daddy Freeze. I preached it too, well, until now.

Questions the Lord asked me

He asked me to sit up and be ready for a lengthy conversation. I switched on my phone and started tapping the keyboard as He gradually opened my eyes to the error we have gleefully taught in the church for years; an error I was born into and grew to know as ‘owo igba’ and ‘idamewa’ in the different denominational crucibles I passed through as a Christian.
And by the time He was eventually through with me, He had completed three teachings on three different subjects in the kingdom, which rolled into the morning, around 4:00 am.
Did Jesus, (the Lord, God) in whose name tithe and offering are often today addressed and received, mention or receive either of them – specifically as ‘offering’ or ‘tithe’ as they were called in the Old Testament, from either his disciples or his followers to support His ministry when alive?
The only time Jesus mentioned tithe was while reprimanding the Pharisees in Matt 23v23. And he did imply that justice is a weightier matter than tithe and offering.
Did the Apostles in their own time receive either of the two, or both after He left, other than just an admonition to ‘give’?
Going through the teachings of that night more critically, especially this particular controversial one, I came to totally submit to the Lord’s homily and exegesis of the nature of the two words that have now been replaced with a more global and eternal word – Giving.
More so, the understanding of the words in the Old Testament has also been reviewed with the coming and presence of Christ (the Lord) among men.

Five different offerings in OT

Please do let me say here that I am not out to ignite a debate or argument on this, but to report and inform readers and open-minded believers what the Lord said, which I later confirmed from different sources that many ministries have gotten the correction by the same Lord.
There’s no need whatsoever to pursue a cause or course that the Owner, author, and finisher of our faith says He has jettisoned with a New Testament.
There were many rituals in the OT which were diverse measures put in place to appease God and cleanse man from the impurity of sin until Christ came.  And when He did, He became the ultimate sacrifice for the ultimate and final ritual that will ever be performed for the redemption of the soul of man from sin. Besides Him is no other sacrifice or requirement for perfection. He is the end and fulfillment of the law.
There are about five different offerings in the OT and different purposes for them – Burnt Offering, Grain Offering, Sin Offering, Peace Offering, and Guilt Offering.
1. Burnt Offering: Lev. 1:3-17. Here animals were mainly used and could be bulls, sheep, goats, doves, or pigeons. This was an atonement offering and was to be burnt overnight.
2. Grain Offering: Lev. 2:1. This was usually baked bread, grilled, fried, or roasted. It must be seasoned, but unsweetened or unleavened. Only a portion of this was to be burnt, unlike the Burnt Offering. The remainder went to the priests for their meals.
3. Peace Offering: Lev. 3. This category includes Thanksgiving Offering (Lev. 7:12), Freewill Offering (Lev. 7:16), and Wave Offering (Lev. 7:30). The offering could be male or female cattle (Lev. 3:1), sheep (Lev. 3:7) or a goat (Lev. 3:12).
4. Sin Offering: Lev. 4:1ff. It is also called Purification. It was an offering of atonement for unintentional sin. Some of the sins contained here were not necessarily moral sins but matters of impurities (Lev. 5:1-5) meant to be offered before reentering the presence of God.
5. Guilt Offering: It is also called Trespass or Reparation Offering. It is for reparation of one’s sin. This particular one has a monetary value attached to it (Lev. 5:5-16).

From Offering to giving

All the above were specific, and were deliberately called ‘Offerings’. Overseen by the High Priest, they were meant to be done and confined to and within the people of Israel (believers), nothing outside the community.
Now under grace through Christ, the ‘offering’ rituals have been replaced with ‘giving’. The ultimate offering had been here and had given up Himself for the ultimate and final ritual for the redemption of the human soul and once, while teaching His followers, He boldly dropped the word offering for giving – Luke 6:38.
Having studied the two testaments, I have seen and concluded that under grace, the need for the church (believers) to abound more in return (Luke 6:38), and also more importantly by default, emulate the divine nature of giving (sacrifice for more) – John 12:24 are more genuine reasons why giving is essential in the church and outside the church.
In the OT, this activity was confined and limited to the church, but now, in the NT, it is taken beyond the church – global. You can freely give to anyone – believer or not, anywhere you find him (as led), because the message of Christ’s gone beyond the Jews, to the entire human race including the heathens.
Christ’s message of love is to all. His salvation is for the entire human soul. Moreover and most importantly, in the OT, it was mandatory in nature (whether you like it or not), but now, it must be voluntary and freely done; which is a primal condition for its divine acceptance. Otherwise, it will not be spiritually accepted.

Difference between offering and giving

That is why the Lord asks us to give cheerfully and willingly. It is to be done without compulsion. It should not be made mandatory as an ‘offering’ or ‘tithe’ as in the Old Testament period.
Money or ‘labour’ – a sweat-induced exercise through which resources for exchange and transaction are procured, are driven by blood and so, must be willingly done for it to be wholly accepted.
When Jesus, the revealed symbol of all the OT worships was alive, he made his disciples know he was the fulfillment of the law, which inadvertently means he is God. We also understand that the image of the father and the fullness and totality of all offerings, now resided in their midst to take them through the reformation of the law. And that gave us the assurance that what he taught, spoke, and reviewed is sacrosanct.
As God, there’s no other permitted doctrine of service or worship in the kingdom apart from what he taught or mentioned to his followers. And whilst he didn’t ask or receive offerings or tithes, his ministry and followers never lacked anything they needed, even payment of taxes. He gradually redirected them to himself the ultimate redemption symbol and sacrifice. Attention to ‘offering’ or ‘tithe’ was dropped for ‘giving’.

Giving is bigger than offering

Giving in essence is bigger in scope than offering and tithe that were confined to the temple. Because the token of a transaction is a product of sweat/blood that must be FREEWILLingly released and CHEERFULLY too. God will never force, cajole, or pressurise anyone to give.
The central supply of all things met ALL His followers’ needs either in their presence or absence, even when He sent the seventy out to evangelize.
And when He was leaving, He enjoined them to pick up a business to also personally support themselves (Luke 22:35-36) as a direct contribution of their labour to the nature of the kingdom and for their personal increase. And this still doesn’t mean He won’t provide support for the ministry whenever needed.
Giving must be done cheerfully without which it is unacceptable. God will not force anyone to give. The Owner of thousands of cattle upon a thousand hills (Psm 50:10-12), who owns the earth and its fullness (Psm 24:1) and controls all treasures in secret places (Isaiah 45:3) including wealth and riches the heartens command, does not need our offering or tithe to exist.
The admonition to give is rather in our own interest. He is able to take care of His own and mega-materially support the assignment of His commission when and where necessary (Gen. 15:1b).
The sincerity of need cum commitment (giving) to the assignment in the hands of His set men, will always spur God to increase the allocation made available for the assignment.

Personal conviction matters

Consenting to give should be a matter of personal conviction and volition. And that does not mean God cannot meet the needs of His children or fuel the assignment in His servants’ hands.

Rather, we are the ones to be blessed more (Luke 6:38, Phil 4:15-19) – having increase accruing to you in return as Paul said, fulfilling the law of seed for multiple fruits-bearing trees.
And whether we give or not, God is ever committed to blessing humanity because it is His sole responsibility. Your giving will neither add to God nor take from Him, but the covenant requirement demands you take on the nature of your principal by default. His giving nature must be emulated if we are truly and genuinely passionate about His Kingdom and mission among men.
Other than for personal reasons of mischievously and stealthily responding to the promptings of the flesh through fear of ministerial failure if there’s a paucity of finance or just the usual sensual competition we see among today’s ministers and men of God, ignoring the New Testament’s salient, but clear will of Christ regarding this, sparks of not yet understanding the deep things of God.
Jesus with both His body language and actions has established the new creed as far as these practices are concerned.
He, as the mediator of the new covenant, has terminated human reconciliatory efforts by the law (compulsion) by grace. Now by choice, man can freely choose the path he wants to go, so God too could be justified in the end when He judges (Psm 51:4).

Also read: Tithe to blessings gospel is awkward- Adegboye: https://churchtimesnigeria.net/tithe-blessing-gospel-adegboye/

Redemption sets man free

Redemption has set man free from all encumbrances of OT laws and its rituals for man to freely explore the love of God without guilt (*know, however, that grace does not validate habitual or serial sin either).
In one of my deepest encounters with God – an appearance of over 15 times at different periods, which culminated into what I termed ‘the Toilet Revelations’, God told me that the Third Day church (the Resurrection church) is established on three fundamental blocs of power, one of which is Giving.
He showed me three church and fellowship instances with a Regional Overseer of a church, a General Overseer, and a gathering of homeless and guide-less new converts.
He lamented, unfortunately, that the church especially in Nigeria, has left His glorious service for self-glorification.
Of importance however is that giving by default as a creation of God is in everybody – the entire humanity whether human, beast, or plant. Whether you know it or not, you give daily consciously or unconsciously.
It is a personal partnership with God in OUR own interest NOT God’s. And for your extra efforts (if you choose to), He too, not forgetting your labour of love, will take your blessings a step beyond, the extra commitment you add to the relationship.
On this note, I close, that this teaching is not in any way to tarnish the image of the church or spark another doctrinal row. But it is an attempt to redirect our attention to study the Bible more, especially the New Testament. We shouldn’t always allow the Act (material expectations) to lead us.
Most importantly too, the write-up shouldn’t be seen as an opportunity for irresponsibility and indolence in our (believers) financial commitment to the things of God or kingdom demands, as some funny believer would now feel the write-up has given them a leeway or liberty to do.
As a matter of fact, it is to open our eyes to a more and higher demand placed on the church, to reach out to the world through giving. The stake is now higher in the era of grace.
I think every church should have a bank account or box stationed somewhere in the auditorium where people drop their gifts, as people too are encouraged to freely exercise their obedience to the gracious instruction to give. Not only for it to return to them in multiple harvests, but in appreciation for the love of God and our redemption.

Giving is not all about money.

Give your strength – your precious best which could either be tangible (material) or intangible things like your time, knowledge, skill/talent, counsel et al. Because today’s church is more visual-driven, we lose touch with God as our attention shifts.
The fear of not having regular funds to fuel the ministry or our personal ego and ambition has overridden the vision and purpose of redemption. When we fail to remember Uzzah who tried to ‘assist’ God by rescuing the ark of the covenant from falling, we lose recognizing the fact that God cannot be helped.
The Potentate King of glory can wholly help Himself.
*Note: I chose to be silent on ‘tithe’, because, for the past two years, the Lord has been going around to awaken the church on it. This has been serially trashed and the understanding is in the public place.

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