to All Pinkney Commentary Titles
Every Believer Becomes a Disciple
many that have received the gift, minister it to one another,
as good stewards of the manifold Grace of God
Last 2012 PDF Edition of Complete "Disciple's Handbook"
(you will find additional content and updated corrections
from the chapter by chapter links below.)
PARTAKING IN THE AUTHENTIC CHRISTIAN LIFE
A Disciples Handbook Complete Version in PDF Form
of God's Power - PDF FILE:
How all believers may receive
'The Promise of the Father'
Through the Holy Spirit
If you want to experience religious anger, dissonance, or heated debate,
this is the topic to broach. Giving is the bread and butter of ministry.
It is support for a man and his message. It provides the financing of
the Gospel to world. It provides support for both the local church and
missionary outreaches. Men and women go forth after devoting a large
part of their lives training for "ministry" and look forward
to the expectation that they will "live by the Gospel". The
Lord hath ordained that those preach the Gospel should live of the Gospel."
The obligation of giving and the expectation that church members should contribute tithes and offerings is a fact of church-life. However, if the truth be known, what the Bible says about giving, should reveal other criteria regarding support for the work of God. I believe each of us has to examine "giving for the gospel's sake' in light of Scripture and draw our best personal conclusions in the light of the Word.
It requires dedication and committment to a local church body to share in meeting its financial demands. It is easy to see how giving can become burdensome or the leadership turn to preach on the requirements or obligations of giving. Almost every church I have seen teaches an obligation of paying at least a tithe and for amounts over your tithe, to give "offerings." Tithing obligations are promoted widely as commanded Scripturally using Malachi 3: 8-12. Jesus addressed the matter of required giving when confronting the pharisees. He made a distinction between giving out of the leading of the heart as opposed to the demands of the law. According to what Jesus taught his disciples in this church-age we are not under compunction or legal obligations to give but to give freely according the purposes of the heart.
believing Christian should be willing to support the Kingdom of God
as we judge it to be best presented. We need to see the life
of God as a Divine promise and a transforming human potentiality. We
need to see ministers bringing others into this higher life. Once that
criterion is met, we can go on to other matters concerning Giving. It
is not my desire to subvert a system that you are committed to for your
own best reasons, but rather to encourage each person to strive to
know God as fully as possible and to experience the potential written
of in the Gospel, even if it means setting aside certain long- held
traditions. Every person should support the Kingdom of God as we see
it best expressed. We need to see the life of God as a potentiality
and the people who minister bringing others into it. Once that criterion
is met, we can go on to other matters concerning Giving.
are no laws (rules) for giving in the Kingdom of God. God has set us
free from rules and obligations including rules about giving. Giving
is good! Giving expresses the goodness and open heart of God. Giving
supports the man of God but giving also supports other people
who are not necessarily "ministers" of churches but who God
wishes to bless through us. Jesus said to *"give to the poor and
you will have treasures in heaven." (Matthew 19:21 ) Various kinds
of worldly commitments touch upon the Kingdom of God that need support
which may include buildings, outreach expenses, travel, or any of a
wide variety of needs which can only be met by others sharing the cost.
God wants his will to be done through selfless sharing and contributions
of money resources. Ideally, the believer will discern his part in meeting
the needs of others. We need to be able to hear God leading us in the
ministry of giving so that it is truly a work of God for the
Gospel sake and not just a worthy cause or charity. Giving as "unto
the Lord" will always have a reward in the age to come. The Almighty
knows if we have a worldly reward or a heavenly one. Having a reward
in this world comes from drawing attention to ourselves in ostentatious
displays of generosity that draw attention to our goodness. *"Giving
to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven," suggests that
giving to the poor is following God's intentions in the gospel by giving
to the less fortunate and needy.
above scriptures are a few of many references to money and giving found
in the Bible. With so many ministries eager to receive our contributions
it is a challenge to be able to discern who God would have us support
among the ministries or servants of God. But I believe we would miss
God if we only gave to ministry professionals and not to individuals
and especially the poor. God's love is about giving. Ministry is about
caring and sharing. Koinonia is also about mutual support. This whole
world thrives in the light of a generous heart. "God so loved
the world that he gave -" "God so loved the world that
he gave -"
There are unscrupulous ministers who have one primary motive and that is to grow rich and live sumptuously by manipulating the audience / congregation, making claims that giving to their ministry is what God is commanding (prophetically) in order to give financial "breakthroughs." The use of SEED Faith has been used by many in the Prosperity-focused ministries. They are using worldly strategies, not heavenly ones. Such men receive their rewards in this world and not the world to come.
describes the "storehouse" where we are supposed to bring
our tithe to God. Pastors love to teach that the storehouse is the local
church, where all of the sheep are fed. Remember that under the law
the Levites only lived through the use of tithing. They were those apointed
to minister as God's ordained priesthood were sustained by the rest
of the tribes of Israel. With the
ascension of Jesus Christ into the heavenly temple of God it is my belief
that the nature of the storehouse has changed as radically as the
in the church age, the local church model has some problems associated
Expectations of a vibrant, Spiritual congregation:
God honored, exalted and given first place? Is He the focus of praise?
Is there an honor afforded to the God of power and Might? Does He inspire
Holy Fear? Jesus our Great High Priest who keeps accounts of everything
given in his name, whether money in a church collection plate, food
to a hungry child, a visit to an invalid, a drink to a thirsty man,
or a visit to a person sick and alone in a hospital. (Matthew 25)
know confidently, that he will also meet any of our needs in a time
of lack because we did not withhold giving to others. We do not give
out of obligation. We are not debtors to the law. We are free to give
because God is a giver. Giving is sowing seeds. The seeds are recorded
in a heavenly journal. If we sow bounteously we are told to expect to
reap bounteously. We expect something will result from our planting.
The sower of seeds also look forward to a crop which will come at a
future harvest time. Sowing and reaping is surely a part of giving
to the Kingdom of God. The commodity may be money but it can be any
other commodity of kindness or care. God will meet our needs at a future
time because we have planted. God stores up treasure for another day
in a heavenly place, because we have given.
The past several years has seen a great emphasis on the Prosperity message. Poverty and lack are clearly seen as a curse throughout scripture. God does want us without provision. The redemption from the curse of the law also freed us want and lack. We believe that "God shall supply all of our needs according to his riches in Glory by Christ Jesus." In gauging any matter of doctrine we have to hold it up not only to common sense and scripture but to discerning what the spiritual life needs to be. Though we should not lack nor want, God wants more of us and not less of us. Therefore anything which takes our focus away from God and places it upon unfruitful things, those things which only decay, is really a stumbling block for a believer. Those who preach riches and wealth are leading people away from intimacy unless they are able to handle wealth and prosperity more graciously than I. Many are able to assume possessions of wealth and money and property without being seduced away from God's presence. But sometimes the aware of the futility and the emptiness of wealth comes too late when are already victimized by excesses, this was the case of the writer of Ecclesiastes, Solomon who realized late in life that with wealth comes other griefs and spareness of the soul. Gain is not Godliness, the apostle writes in 1Timothy 6:5, withdraw yourselves from such doctrines. but Godliness with contentment is great gain, (1Timothy 6:6) God wishes to supply our needs, to bless us in our going out and our coming in to make us fruitful in body and in all of the pursuits of our life. (Deuteronomy 28:3-6)
The doctrine of prosperity associates with blessing (Deuteronomy 28) but the negative side of riches is its link to selfish motives both in the giver and the receiver. Many who preach the prosperity message are in a position to directly benefit by the unrestrained giving that is encouraged in sermons and in seminars. Some of those who preach the doctrine exceed the Word of God by suggesting that gifts given to their own ministries have the greatest return connected to them. Of course faith is infused into the process to insure a greater degree of return, thirty, sixty or one hundred fold according to scripture as is described and taught as a consequence of giving. (There is greater insight in the 30, 60 and hundred fold metaphor than mere cash and assets. The prospering of the soul is accounted above all, in Spiritual richness.) Giving, according to Jesus, should not be in the manner of the Pharisees who "sound a trumpet" to give notice that they are doing an alms deed. Jesus teaches to give in secret and for the left hand not to see what the right hand does. All of these teachings address anonymous giving rather than a public display in which people are applauding the giver for his excellent generosity. The Lord says of such people, they receive their reward by the act of receiving public acclaim and applause. It is far better to give when only the Father who sees in secret knows. He will be the one who insures a return in the best possible time. Any man or woman can give or contribute in any 'kind' or commodity. One can give a gift of service another a gift of a song. Another a gift of kindness. The same principle applies when the motive is right, God who is the author and overseer of every good and perfect gift knows when our giving is free from self exaltation. He will insure the return.
description of Thanksgiving, Praise and Worship,
Understanding Home Fellowships