STEWARDSHIP

The modern Pharisees spend more time promoting their false teachings on stewardship, tithing and
material prosperity than on any other area of doctrine.  They are well motivated by their greed and
worldly desires.  As Jude 1:19 says,  "...they are sensual, not having the Spirit."  Paul describes them
in 2 Corinthians 2:17,  "For we are not as so many peddling the word of God but from sincerity in the
sight of God we speak in Christ."  "Her leaders judge for bribes, her priests teach for a price and her
prophets tell fortunes for money."   Micah 3:11  Through their false doctrines, they try and tempt
those under their charge with the same evil desire that has taken hold of them. "But if you have bitter
jealousy and selfish ambition in your heart, do not boast and do not lie against the truth.  This
wisdom is not that which comes down from above, but is earthly, sensual and demonic.  For where
jealousy and selfish ambition exist, there is confusion and every evil work.  But the wisdom that is
from above is first pure, then peaceful, gentle, reasonable, full of mercy and good fruits; without
partiality and without hypocrisy."  James  3:14-16

One of the most frequent arguments used by the modern Pharisees concerning their tithing doctrine,
is derived from Malachi  3:3  "And He will set as a refiner and purifier of silver, and He will purify the
sons of Levi to refine them as gold and silver and they shall offer to the Lord offerings in
righteousness."  When the Lord says in Malachi 3, verse 10 to,  "Bring the whole tithe into the
storehouse, so that there may be food in my house," He is talking about the offerings of
righteousness.  The storehouse of the Lord is in heaven and that is where we are to bring our
spiritual tithe (offerings of righteousness).  Jesus tells us that His storehouse is spiritual in Matthew
6:19-21,  "Do not lay up treasures for yourselves on the earth, where moth and rust consume and
where thieves break  through and steal.  But lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven where neither
moth nor rust destroys and where thieves do not break through and steal.  For where your treasure
is, there your heart will be also."  Malachi 3:14 speaks of a condition of anger and bitterness towards
God by those who have not been delivered by their own apostate doctrines.  "You have said,  "It is
vain to serve God; and what profit is it that we have followed His instructions and that we have walked
mournfully before the Lord of Hosts?"  

The modern Pharisees use the seed planting, sowing and reaping as another one of their main
arguments for their materialistic philosophy.  The Bible does not refer to materialistic fruit after
planting and sowing.  "Now the fruit of righteousness is sown in peace by those who make peace."
James  3:18  Paul makes the same statement in 2 Corinthians 9:10,  "Now may He who supplies seed
to the sower and bread for food, supply and multiply your seed for sowing and increase the fruits of
your righteousness."  "Do not be deceived, God is not mocked; for whatever a man sows, that he will
also reap.  For he who sows to his own flesh will from the flesh reap corruption, but he who sows to
the Spirit shall from the Spirit reap eternal life."  Galatians 6:7-8

"Be careful that you do not let anyone rob you through his philosophy and vain deceit, after the
tradition of men and the elements of the world, and not after Christ."  Colossians 2:8  "But those who
are determined to be rich fall into a temptation and a snare and many foolish and harmful lusts, such
as drown men in ruin and destruction.  For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil.  Some have
been led astray from the faith in their greed and pierced themselves through with many sorrows.  But
you, man of God, flee these things and follow after righteousness, holiness, faith, love, patience and
gentleness.  Fight the good fight of faith and lay hold of the eternal life to which you were called and
proclaim the good confession in the sight of many witnesses. Keep the commandment without spot,
blameless, until the appearing of our Lord Jesus Christ."  1 Timothy  6:9-12,14

The true meaning of stewardship is found in 1 Corinthians 4:1,  "Let a man think of us as Christ's
servants and stewards of the mysteries of God."  A similar verse is found in 1 Peter 4:10,  "As each
one has received a  gift, employ it in serving one another, as good stewards of the grace of God in
its many forms."  Material manifestations of the grace of God should always be considered of a lower
order and priority than the spiritual manifestations of God's grace.  "But seek first God's Kingdom
and His righteousness; and all these things will be given to you as well."  Matthew 6:33

Remember the words of 1 John 2:15-17,  "Do not love the world, neither the things that are in the
world.  If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him.  For all that is in the world, the
lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes and the pride of life, is not from the Father but is from the world.  
The world is passing away, along with its lusts, but he who does God's will remains forever."
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