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Be Not Deceived: Tithes and Offerings

Christian preachers preach often from Malachi 3:10: “’Bring the whole tithe into the storehouse, that there may be food in my house. Test me in this,’ says the LORD Almighty, ‘and see if I will not throw open the floodgates of heaven and pour out so much blessing that there will not be room enough to store it.’” We like the sound of that, and have bought into this whole deception that blessings are for sale, so we fail to dig deeper to find out that God was actually speaking of food, not money. When He said “…that there may be food in my house…”, He was really speaking about food in His house. It could not be referring to money because with the use of banks and investments, it is not possible to not have enough room to receive more money. There is always room for more money, regardless of how rich we become.

These same preachers who would also preach that we no longer live under the law, but under grace, have chosen to adopt this portion of the Old Testament law for monetary gain. They do not think it is important to keep the Sabbath holy, but they demand 10 percent of each church member’s gross pay, and promise in turn that the tithers will receive abundance from God. Some churches even require that members submit their tax returns so that the church can verify that members are paying their full tithes. In addition to this, they require additional offerings for a variety of different funds: the pastor’s love offering, the building fund, and on and on.

They have misinterpreted Malachi 3:8–12 to mean that God wants each Christian to give 10 percent of his or her gross pay to the church on His behalf. The promise that God will “open the windows of heaven and pour out so much blessing that they will not have room to receive” has caused poor Christians to gave sacrificially as they hope for this windfall. This book is the result of a comprehensive study that reveals that God never asked for money for the tithes. God told us exactly what He wanted us to bring for the tithes, and it was not money. The book reveals why God would never have asked for money, and it could be very liberating to learn that you do not have to pay this 10 percent “church tax.”
Check out the new book:        You will find amazing, new revelation on this topic.   If you have questions or comments, you may want to return here to share them in this community created for this purpose.   Tell us whether you have read the book.

October 26, 2012 Posted by | Religions | , , | Leave a comment

Sirach 3:1-16 …

Sirach 3:1-16

3:1 Hear me your father, O children, and do thereafter, that ye may be safe. 2 For the Lord hath given the father honour over the children, and hath confirmed the authority of the mother over the sons. 3 Whoso honoureth his father maketh an atonement for his sins: 4 And he that honoureth his mother is as one that layeth up treasure.

5 Whoso honoureth his father shall have joy of his own children; and when he maketh his prayer, he shall be heard. 6 He that honoureth his father shall have a long life; and he that is obedient unto the Lord shall be a comfort to his mother. 7 He that feareth the Lord will honour his father, and will do service unto his parents, as to his masters.

8 Honour thy father and mother both in word and deed, that a blessing may come upon thee from them. 9 For the blessing of the father establisheth the houses of children; but the curse of the mother rooteth out foundations. 10 Glory not in the dishonour of thy father; for thy father’s dishonour is no glory unto thee. 11 For the glory of a man is from the honour of his father; and a mother in dishonour is a reproach to the children.

12 My son, help thy father in his age, and grieve him not as long as he liveth. 13 And if his understanding fail, have patience with him; and despise him not when thou art in thy full strength. 14 For the relieving of thy father shall not be forgotten: and instead of sins it shall be added to build thee up. 15 In the day of thine affliction it shall be remembered; thy sins also shall melt away, as the ice in the fair warm weather.

16 He that forsaketh his father is as a blasphemer; and he that angereth his mother is cursed: of God.

I am enjoying the wisdom of this book of Sirach.   Here is an appropriate piece of wisdom for the parent-child relationship.   Just on time for Mother’s Day.   Enjoy, and have a Happy Mother’s Day, all you Moms.

Lystra Williams

 

May 9, 2013 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Sirach 2 2:1 M…

Sirach 2

2:1 My son, if thou come to serve the Lord, prepare thy soul for temptation. 2 Set thy heart aright, and constantly endure, and make not haste in time of trouble. 3 Cleave unto him, and depart not away, that thou mayest be increased at thy last end. 4 Whatsoever is brought upon thee take cheerfully, and be patient when thou art changed to a low estate. 5 For gold is tried in the fire, and acceptable men in the furnace of adversity. 6 Believe in him, and he will help thee; order thy way aright, and trust in him. 7 Ye that fear the Lord, wait for his mercy; and go not aside, lest ye fall. 8 Ye that fear the Lord, believe him; and your reward shall not fail. 9 Ye that fear the Lord, hope for good, and for everlasting joy and mercy.

10 Look at the generations of old, and see; did ever any trust in the Lord, and was confounded? or did any abide in his fear, and was forsaken? or whom did he ever despise, that called upon him? 11 For the Lord is full of compassion and mercy, longsuffering, and very pitiful, and forgiveth sins, and saveth in time of affliction. 12 Woe be to fearful hearts, and faint hands, and the sinner that goeth two ways!

13 Woe unto him that is fainthearted! for he believeth not; therefore shall he not be defended. 14 Woe unto you that have lost patience! and what will ye do when the Lord shall visit you?

15 They that fear the Lord will not disobey his Word; and they that love him will keep his ways. 16 They that fear the Lord will seek that which is well, pleasing unto him; and they that love him shall be filled with the law. 17 They that fear the Lord will prepare their hearts, and humble their souls in his sight, 18 Saying, We will fall into the hands of the Lord, and not into the hands of men: for as his majesty is, so is his mercy.

I find this text very helpful.  Hope it helps you too.   It is from Sirach 2.  This is one of the book of the Septuagint that was left out of the King James Version.   You can read it for yourself at http://ecmarsh.com/lxx/Sirach/index.htm

May 8, 2013 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , | Leave a comment

Dangerous Traditions

The Bible is not just a book of good stories, it is intended that we should learn from these stories. First, it is a good way to learn what it takes to please God, and secondly, it is a way to learn what not to do to make God mad. God is a jealous God, but He is also a fair and patient God.
In Deuteronomy 28, God outlined the blessings that His people would encounter if they kept the terms of the Covenant, and the curses that will come on them if they did not keep the terms of the covenant. Basically, the terms could be summed up as “Do not serve any other gods besides the true and Living God. You see, the Jews had picked up a lot of the Egyptian traditions when they lived there, and had passed down these traditions through the generations, and they found it hard to give up these traditions. Most of these traditions involved superstition or giving God’s credit to an image or make-believe character. The Greeks and the Babylonians had a lot of these traditions too, and those who lived by these traditions were referred to as pagans.
In 1 and 2 Chronicles, we learn about all of the kings of Israel and Judah. Each king is judged by whether he pleased God or not. Kings, like Hezekiah and Josiah, who tore down the High Places where the Jews practiced these traditions, greatly pleased God. Each of them brought the people closer to God, and encouraged the people to turn away from these traditions. In turn, God give them many victories over their enemies, He fought their battles for them, give them great wealth, and the respect of the neighboring nations. Those kings who did not turn the people’s hearts to God, or who ignored the traditions, were regarded as evil kings, and they were judged for it. They experienced the curses of the Covenant.
We ought to learn from these books and stories that it is very important to God that we turn away from these traditions. Some of these same traditions, have been disguised by Satan today, and we continue to unknowingly worship these same idols, when we think that we are honoring the only true and living God. God is not pleased, and we will also experience the curses of the Covenant. In Deuteronomy 12, God warned, “…be careful not to be ensnared by inquiring about their gods, saying, “How do these nations serve their gods? We will do the same.” You must not worship the LORD your God in their way, because in worshiping their gods, they do all kinds of detestable things the LORD hates…See that you do all I command you; do not add to it or take away from it.” (Deuteronomy 12:30-32)

Christmas, Easter, Halloween, and Valentine’s Day all had their origin in pagan traditions long before Jesus was born of a virgin. The Romans have intentionally merged these traditions with the Christian religion to “Christianize” the pagan traditions. For many years, the Puritans resisted these traditions, but eventually, we were enticed until they have merged Christmas trees, Santa Claus, Easter Eggs, Cupid, and Halloween into traditions that the churches celebrate.
Jesus warned us, “…you nullify the word of God for the sake of your tradition. You hypocrites! Isaiah was right when he prophesied about you: ‘These people honor me with their lips, but their hearts are far from me. They worship me in vain; their teachings are merely human rules.’ (Matthew 15:6-9)
Jesus also warned us of false prophets and preachers that lead us astray. Preachers now think it is OK to bring the Christmas Tree into the church, when this is also a pagan tradition to honor the rebirth of the Sun God at the Winter Solstice. God regards this as an abomination that causes desolation. We now have the ability to read God’s word for ourselves, so we do not have to depend on the preacher. We ought to read God’s word for ourselves, and question these traditions. I saw a Roman Catholic service recently, where the people were bringing gifts to lay before a graven image of a baby in a manager. If we study the Ten Commandments, we will learn that God does not like this. Are we just honoring God with our lips? Are we worshipping God in vain? Or are we seeking God with all of our hearts? The prophet Jeremiah warned in Lamentations 2:14, “Your prophets have said so many foolish things, false to the core. They did not save you from exile by pointing out your sins. Instead, they painted false pictures, filling you with false hope. (Lamentations 2:14 (NLT))
Let us not get happy on these ‘false hope’ messages, and worship God in vain, because Jesus has warned in Matthew 7, “Enter ye in at the strait gate: for wide is the gate, and broad is the way, that leadeth to destruction, and many there be which go in thereat: Because strait is the gate, and narrow is the way, which leadeth unto life, and few there be that find it. Beware of false prophets, which come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ravening wolves. Ye shall know them by their fruits…Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven;but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven. Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? and in thy name have cast out devils? and in thy name done many wonderful works? And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity.” (Matthew 7:13-23)

December 27, 2011 Posted by | Uncategorized | 1 Comment

Why are there Christmas trees in the church?

There is a relatively new service in churches now, and it is called “Hanging of the Greens”.   It is a new tradition and possibly a new way to honor God, I suppose.    One Pastor blogged about how everything went wrong in one of these services.  He found it to be amusing and thought that God was probably amused at our failures, and loving us more for it.   Many other church leaders found the idea of the church service interesting and wrote for more information in setting up this same service.   I wonder how much Biblical research and prayer went into the decisions to implement these services.   Is God really amused at this new way we have chosen to worhip?   What does the Christmas tree have to do with the birth of Jesus?   Are we really celebrating the birthday of Jesus?   How do we know the date of His birth?   Why was December 25 chosen?

Fellow Christians…we are being deceived!    Christmas has nothing to do with Jesus.   It is one of Satan’s deceptions, and God is not pleased.    If we are serious about loving and pleasing God, we need to repent, and turn away from these Satanic celebrations.    If you value your salvation, you owe it to yourself to hear me out.   Jesus told us how he wants to be remembered.   He demonstrated it for us in the breaking of the bread and drinking of the cup.   He said, “This do in remembrance of me…For as often as ye eat this bread, and drink this cup, ye do shew the Lord’s death till he come” (1 Corinthians 11:23-26).   God has always given exact details of any feast days or fast days that He wants us to celebrate.   In fact, in the Covenant, God warned, “See that you do all I command you; do not add to it or take away from it.” (Deuteronomy 12:32).   Christmas and Easter celebrations are not celebrations that God ordered, therefore, we are adding to what God commanded.   That in itself is disobedience, and God prefers obedience rather than sacrifice. (1 Samuel 15:22).   When Aaron’s two sons, who were priests, decided to add incense to the fire and God had not ordered it, God sent His own fire and destroyed them immediately. (Leviticus 10:1,2)   God called it “strange”  fire.   Let us not offer “strange fire” to God.  He does not appreciate it. Christmas and Easter originated from the pagan religions.   The Romans tried to merge the pagan and Christian practices to make the Christian religion more attractive.   The date of the birth of Jesus was not mentioned anywhere in the Bible, and that may have been on purpose.   When the Romans decided to celebrate the virgin birth of Jesus, they made it to coincide with other pagan celebrations for the birth of other gods.   They were not willing to give up these celebrations to serve God.   Also, instead of celebrating the Jewish Passover which was ordered by God, they chose to remember Jesus’ death at Easter, which was a pagan celebration for the fertility goddess Eastur.   Dedicated Christians have been fighting these celebrations throughout history, but like the people of Israel and Judah, we keep going back to these traditions again and again.   Christians today will not admit to idol worship, because they feel that they are much more civilized than pagans, however, we are being deceived by Satan as he brings it to us dressed in new clothes. If we took the time to think about it, what does a Christmas tree have to do with the birth of Jesus?   Nothing.    It is actually a type of altar where we place our gifts to the gods.   We might be deceived that the gifts are for family and friends, but it is a way that Satan robs us of God’s blessing by deceiving us to buy useless trinkets.     The Santa story is obviously a Satan story.   How do we justify lying to our children and telling them that anyone other than God knows when they are good or bad, and will give them the desires of their hearts.   God will not condone lying, and how dare we steal His glory!   We tell ourselves that it is just harmless fun, but that is the same way that the Jews were deceived too.   You do not think that they were so dumb to really believe that the wooden idols really had the power to do anything for them, do you?   They were just as smart as we are, and they went to the Temple too, while they were doing these things.  Idol worship was just a harmless tradition or superstition.    Satan is using this same deception on savvy Christians today as he did in Old Testament days.    If we are serious about honoring God, we need to turn away from our idol worship, and worship God wholeheartedly.  God is a holy God and a jealous God, and will not share your loyalty with other gods.   “If ye forsake the LORD, and serve strange gods, then he will turn and do you hurt, and consume you, after that he hath done you good.” (Joshua 24:20). What is even worst, is that we are bringing this idol worship into the churches.  The “hanging of the greens” service is like a slap in God’s face.  God will call it an “abomination that causes desolation” (Daniel 9:27).   It is similar to when King Hezekiah’s son set up altars to his other gods in the courtyard of the Temple.   This was the straw that broke the camel’s back, so to speak.   It resulted in destruction of Jerusalem, and the exile of the people.  Yesterday, gospels singers gathered at the Riverdale Amphitheatre to sing carols at a Christmas concert while the city welcomed SANTA and lit the Christmas tree.   If the Holy Spirit did not nudge their consciences, then their hearts may indeed be hardened.

(To be continued…)

December 6, 2011 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

More Mountain Movers…

In Matthew 17:19-20, when the disciples were unable to do the miracles Jesus did, they asked him why, and he told them that it is because they doubted. He explained that if we just believe something and do not doubt, it will be done, even to moving mountains. They even came upon someone that was doing the miracles, and was not a part of them, so it is obvious that he believed and did not doubt. Later, in Matthew 21, when Jesus cursed the fig tree and the disciples were surprised that it actually died, Jesus repeated the same thing. It seems simple enough. So why don’t we have more mountain movers? Men dedicate their lives to finding a multitude of ways to do things, so why haven’t we dedicated even a small portion of time to mastering the skill of faith. We could get a lot more done. We could reduce our healthcare costs, and so much more…

June 22, 2009 Posted by | Religions | , , , | Leave a comment

The Gaza Strip

What do you think of Israel’s decision to share the Gaza Strip with the Palestinians?

June 8, 2009 Posted by | Religions | , | Leave a comment

The Temple

Solomon’s Temple seems to be a great symbol of Judaism. There is much talk of rebuilding the Temple. If it is rebuilt, what would be its purpose? Would animal sacrifice be re-introduced for the sin offering and other offerings that were required of God? If Jesus was not the Messiah, then why are we not still offering sacrifices for our sins?

June 8, 2009 Posted by | Religions | , , , , , | Leave a comment

The Messiah

While Christians believe that Jesus is the Messiah, Jews are still waiting for the Messiah. I am not sure what the Muslims believe about a Messiah. What are the expectations for this Messiah? What does God’s word say about the Messiah? Let us search God’s word systematically to find all that is said about the Messiah. If you find a passage in the Old Testament or Torah that speaks about the Messiah, please share it with us.

June 8, 2009 Posted by | Religions | , , , | Leave a comment

Sabbath: A Perpetual Covenant

Exodus 31:16 Wherefore the children of Israel shall keep the sabbath, to observe the sabbath throughout their generations, for a perpetual covenant. Perpetual means without end, so there should be no excuse whatsoever for not keeping the sabbath holy. We also do not have the authority to change the day or the way that God established concerning the Sabbath. A Roman Emperor abolished the Sabbath and many of the Jewish religious practices. They also changed the day that Christians keep the Sabbath from Saturday to Sunday. That was then, but what is keeping us from returning to God’s way now? How important is it to you to do it God’s way?

June 8, 2009 Posted by | Religions | , , , , , | Leave a comment

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