Simon Peter never went to what you understand today as a “Bible School.” He himself admitted he was just an ignorant fisherman who had walked with Jesus. The disciples were widely known as ignorant and unlearned men (Acts 4:13). The important thing was they had BEEN WITH JESUS and sat at His feet to absorb His Word.
Directly trained by the Master under the clear blue skies instead of in a classroom, these men were empowered by God’s Spirit to turn the world upside down with the Mighty Works of God (Acts 17:6). They gave witness of the reality of the Risen Christ through many marvelous signs and wonders (Acts 4:29-30; I Cor.2:4). Those who prayed for signs and wonders had previously been baptized in God’s Spirit. But once again the place was shaken, and they were granted a new filling of God’s Holy Spirit to bolster their power to advance against the enemy. Pray for a refill of God’s power from on high whenever you feel at a low ebb and overwhelmed by satan.
After His Resurrection, the Lord Jesus commissioned Peter to feed His sheep (John 21:15-17). Thrice He confirmed Peter’s ordination to the ministry of an under shepherd having oversight over the Lord’s flock. Peter had never been to “Bible School” or any religious institution to get his training for the mission field. No “church board” guaranteed him a big salary or told him to wear a three-piece suit and practice his homiletics in front of a mirror. By today’s standards, Peter didn’t look much like a polished professional entitled to the financial support of other Christians. He must have gone barefoot or poorly clothed or even hungry part of the time.
If Peter had taught some of today’s flawed doctrines, he never would have lacked for any material comfort this world could provide. Peter could have afforded a mansion overlooking the Sea of Galilee. He could have had dozens of servants waiting on him hand and foot. He could have worn fancy ecclesiastical vestments and a crown of authority on his head to show other believers who was boss. But that was not God’s way. Instead of lording it over God’s inheritance, Peter was a faithful under shepherd who wisely taught ministers of the Word NOT to be overbearing tyrants barking orders behind a pulpit (I Pet.5:3).
Peter would be outraged to see the abuses happening in today’s carnal church system. How that insidious ten per cent tithing system is rigidly enforced to fleece and bleed the poorer members of Christ’s body dry. And the stupidest thing of all is: Hardly anyone stops to wonder: Just what gives this man (or woman) the right to call themselves a minister of Christ? Does God sanction the authority of Bible Schools to “ordain” anyone to be lord over other believers? And even if all Bible school graduates ARE true ministers of God, does the Word of God give any alleged representative of God the right to threaten a blood-washed saint with hell for failure to turn over ten per cent of his or her gross earnings?
Many prestigious Bible colleges churn out graduates who studied hard to get their degree, to entitle them to call themselves “Reverend” and get respect that way. But that term is to be reserved ONLY for the Lord God Who is mighty in power and holy and just in all His ways (Psalms 111:9). It is idolatry to refer to yourself as reverend because you are NOT the holy God, just a restored sinner saved by grace and faith in Christ.
Still other men and women get other bogus titles such as “doctor” which they do little or nothing to earn. Sometimes it is an honorary status, but one which is still milked like a cow to gain benefits thereby. If a sneaky preacher dresses up in a sharp suit and is called Dr. so and so, and claims to be a graduate of some prestigious earthly Bible school, the people automatically loosen their grip on their cash and hang onto every word he/she says without consulting the Lord first. If you do find yourself sitting in a crowd “sitting under an anointed ministry” it is a very good idea to jot down any teaching comment that makes you feel uneasy and bring them into your private prayer closet. Alone with God and your Bible, He is able to either confirm or deny the validity of whatever the guy behind the pulpit spoke that morning. Sometimes a farmer in bib overalls has far more integrity and depth of understanding in God’s Word than these polished professionals who are so eager to rake in an easy living. An expensive suit does not make an honest man.
Tithing is NEVER taught to Christ’s New Testament Church. It wasn’t even enforced on Old Testament Jews who didn’t engage in agricultural activities as a livelihood. Tithes were NEVER taken from paychecks in either testament. Tithes were NEVER paid by any Old Covenant priest. You, as a New Covenant believer, have been made part of God’s New Covenant Priesthood (I Pet.2:5,9). Why will you let some well-dressed deceiver defraud you of your own priesthood in Christ by turning you into a tribute-paying peon instead of a son or daughter of the Living God?
These deceivers swear that you’ll be blessed for tithing to THEM. The opposite is true. You’ll fall back under the Law and its manifold curses (Gal.3:10). Read DeuteronoGod’s 28 to see what kind of sufferings can happen to those who are under the Old Law, yet perform it imperfectly or break any of it. Yes, imperfect keeping of the Law is just as dangerous as breaking it! God doesn’nt endorse sloppy law-keeping that deviates from the rules set forth in His Word. Nor did He ever give anybody, even a seminary professor, the authority to rewrite or reinterpret His Word to suit themselves.
Although preachers eagerly seize on the ten per cent aspect of tithing and ignore everything else but the misapplied curse of Malachi, the Tithing Law (like the Sabbath Law) is comprised of many ordinances. The tithe was to be taken ONLY from agricultural produce of the Land of Israel (Lev.27:30-34). The tithe was given BY MOSES FROM MT. SINAI TO THE CHILDREN OF ISRAEL. Not to the children of the Eskimos, the Chinese, the American Indians, the Mongolian hordes, etc. Tithes were to be consumed in a meal of rejoicing before the Lord (Deut.14:22-29). As part of that meal, you could buy alcoholic drinks. If your pastor doesn’t permit these practices, he’s breaking the true Biblical Tithing Law!
Preachers claim that your secular job is your “harvest field”, even if you toil at McDonald’s for a living. Well, it should work both ways then. In ancient Israel, the fields were neither sowed nor reaped on the seventh year of the tithing cycle. If the pastor doesn’t excuse you from going to your burger flipping job every seventh year and excuse you from tithing on its fruits (which he swears is your puny paycheck, not the burgers that actually grow in that harvest field) he’s breaking the tithing law (Lev.25:4). Furthermore, it wasn’t the field hands who were responsible for turning in the tithe of the crop, but the OWNER of that field and the crop it produced! If you’re a wage slave, the pastor looks ridiculous by calling your workplace your harvest field, because you don’t even own it! If your pastor were being more consistent in his comparison, he’d go to the owners of the company where you worked to demand his cut of the FRUITS of that alleged harvest field, whether it be burgers, or plastic chairs, or lawn furniture, cars, etc. Money isn’t manufactured at those places, just earned. As a tithe God wanted the OUTPUT of a LITERAL field made of DIRT, not the wages of hired workers taken from a pretend harvest field belonging to someone else! Unless you work at the Federal Mint you don’t manufacture money. Next time a tithe-taking preacher demands ten per cent of the fruits of your labor, stick a hamburger or other manufactured item in the offering bag and see how he reacts!
Every third year of the seven-year tithing cycle, all the tithe was to be given to the poor, which included the Levites who owned no land in Israel (Deut.26:12). If your pastor doesn’t give ALL the tithe to the poor every third year of the tithing cycle, He’s breaking the Biblical tithing Law.
If your pastor isn’t a direct descendant of Aaron the High Priest, he’s an imposter and a fraud whenever he collects tithes, and he’s doing it unlawfully (Heb.7:5). If he’s not of the Tribe of Levi, he has no right to collect tithes of any kind.
What are you doing, listening to these lying oppressors, God’s people? Don’t you believe God’s own words when I said, Ye are not to lord it over each other because ye are all brethren (Matt.23:8)? Is Jesus less of an authority over His people’s beliefs, just because He looked more like a hippie than a business executive when He walked the earth?
When your precious child takes second or third place to some fancy preacher in your giving, that little one KNOWS you are withholding the good that is due to him or her (Prov.3:27). Children soon wise up to the fact that you’re making a religious offering out of what ought to be going to their support (Mark 7:11-13; I Tim.5:8). It leaves a lasting negative impression on that child’s concept of his/her place in God’s Body, as being a second rate citizen of God’s Kingdom who has to make do with the leftover scraps because they’re not very important. While your child does without decent school apparel or dental care, the pastor and his wife might be vacationing in Hawaii.
One of the greatest lies being taught from the pulpit is that giving to God means giving to seminary-trained professional ministers, and it doesn’t count when you lavish a little money on your own family to meet THEIR needs. God wants EQUALITY of well being in the Body of Christ(2 Cor.8:14). Consider your own physical body. You don’t walk barefoot in the snow while the rest of you is covered up with a warm coat. When part of your body suffers, ALL of you suffers. Yet in Christ’s own body the Church on earth, one tiny part lives lavishly while the other part suffers lack, and in many cases preachers LIE when they say they “feel your pain”. They live in their own tidy little garden of delights reserved only for themselves and their privileged entourage. You and other pew warming believers are shut out of it as you toil to hang onto whatever you have.
Those who teach and enforce tithing today are contradicting the Spirit of God who said New Testament Gentile believers are NOT required to keep the Old Law (Acts 15:24,28). That’s a dangerous position to be in, to KNOW you’re deliberately deceiving God’s people by yanking isolated verses out of context and misapplying them to ram tithing down the throats of harassed Christians who are struggling to make ends meet.
God’s people should put more credence in the words of John the Baptist, who wore the worst sort of clothing, than in the polished lies of rich, well-dressed preachers trying to bamboozle money out of you.
Luke 3:9 And now also the axe is laid unto the root of the trees: every tree therefore which bringeth not forth good fruit is hewn down, and cast into the fire.
10 And the people asked him, saying, What shall we do then?
11 He answereth and saith unto them, He that hath two coats, let let him impart to him that hath none; and he that hath meat, let him do likewise.
Charity toward the less fortunate and LOVE IN ACTION are evidences of the Christ life within (James 1:27). Share your blessings with the less fortunate instead of listening to preachers who say that greed is godliness (I Tim.6:18; Pet.6:5). Whether you give a few minutes of your time, or just a smile and word of encouragement if that’s all you’ve got, you get rewarded in heaven for whatever acts springs from a motivation to share the love of God in Christ Jesus.