"Whoever believes in me, as the Scripture has said, ‘Out of his heart will flow rivers of living water'." (John 7:38)

"Now we have received not the spirit of the world, but the Spirit who is from God, that we might understand the things freely given us by God. And we impart this in words not taught by human wisdom but taught by the Spirit, interpreting spiritual truths to those who are spiritual." (1Cor. 2:12-13)


Wednesday, September 17, 2014

From Tithes To Talents

The errant teaching of tithing found in churches today, especially Malachi 3, is one of the biggest guilt trips laid on church members in order to support a lavish building complex and infrastructure. In Malachi 3:8 we read, "Will a mere mortal rob God? Yet you rob me. But you ask, ‘How are we robbing you?’ In tithes and offerings."

Since our hope is for the life of Christ in us, then Malachi 3 has nothing to do with us regarding financial support of an institutional church community. Everything in the natural realm is a shadow of the spiritual realm (if we will but look for it). Verse 10 says, "Bring the whole tithe into the storehouse, that there may be food in my house. Test me in this…". I believe this is right in step with the parable of the talents.

Today, on this side of the cross and free from the bondage of the law, the whole tithe is not 10 percent of what we produce by the Old Covenant sweat of our brow, but the whole portion that God has given His children in the way of Spiritual gifts, i.e., revelations of Christ through prophecy, encouragement, charity, etc., "…that there be bread in the house." No one has the full expression of Christ, but each member contributing their own portion (tithe) brings about the fullness of Christ in the assembly, according to the faith the Father alone has given us...

"…for the equipping of the saints for the work of service, to the building up of the body of Christ; until we all attain to the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to a mature man, to the measure of the stature which belongs to the fullness of Christ." (Ephesians 4:12,13)

This is love perfected! When we become legalistic with Scripture, it is a sign that we still only know our God from a distance. We also become bitter toward the things of the Spirit and lose touch with our first Love for Him.

In the parable of the talents, the servant who received the one talent was afraid to invest it. (Matthew 25) This also parallels the heart of unbelief in Malachi 3:14-15: "You have said, ‘It is futile to serve God. What do we gain by carrying out his requirements and going about like mourners before the Lord Almighty? But now we call the arrogant blessed. Certainly evildoers prosper, and even when they put God to the test, they get away with it.’" Fear had overtaken both and their hearts became hard toward God. They were afraid to surrender their own lives and serve a Kingdom they had not yet seen. For them, there simply wasn't enough hard evidence to serve God. But true devotion can only come by faith.

In contrast, we find belief to look like this: "Unless you become like one of these little ones…". (Matthew 18) When we surrender to the indwelling Spirit of Jesus, we will rely on the Fathers provision, depend on Him for guidance, desire to share what has been freely given us, are quick to forgive, unafraid to associate with others, and gaining friends, some 30, some 60, some 100. This is the nature of perfect love; lacking fear and immune to punishment. (1 John 4:18) It is the fearless expression of a beautiful wild flower in a desolate pasture! http://outlawforchrist.com/the-garden-of-love/

Both the tithe and the talent are speaking of how we give back to God in the form of worship; how we eagerly spend on others what He alone has given us in the first place; our faith. And by this faith, according to the measure given us, we will also give of our money and resources, not in compulsion, but with a cheerful heart, and in keeping with our income. As we reap what we sow, our reward is not only what is to come, but the abundant life here and now! "Test me in this...". God is more than willing to pour out His Spirit! Not to those who bury their talents, but to those who are willing to invest their talents on others; "...that there be bread in the house.".


Speaking of bread, I highly recommend Cheryl McGrath's "Bread for the Bride" website. http://breadforthebride.com

Also, below is a great article from Jay Ferris about how the apostle Paul desired to purify the church leaders from becoming dependent upon the congregation for their sustenance. Very enlightening.


  1. Wow, love this insight about tithes and talents Paul. It makes so much sense. I'll be chewing over this post for quite a while :-)

  2. I still am. It was quite an amazing 'download'!