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Thursday, March 29, 2012

Alms, Not Tithes?









Alms, Not Tithes.




How far we have missed a teaching that is close to God's heart.

Although tithing was never commanded or taught by any apostle to any church or saint, let us look at  what scripture says about ALMS.

1. Matthew 6:2 When therefore you do alms, sound not a trumpet before thee, as the hypocrites do in the synagogues and in the streets, that they may have glory of men. Verily I say unto you, They have received their reward. verse 1)
Take heed that ye do not your righteousness before men, to be seen of them: else ye have no reward with your Father who is in heaven.

It should get our attention that Jesus called "alms" as "your righteousness"<==
2. === 6:3  But *when you do alms*, let not thy left hand know what thy right hand does:
3. === 6:4 that *your alms* may be in secret: and thy Father who sees in secret shall recompense you.
4. ===  Luke 11:41 But give for alms those things which are within; and behold, all things are clean unto you.
5. ===  Luke 12:33 Sell that which you have, and *give alms*; make for yourselves purses which wax not old, a treasure in the heavens that fail not, where no thief comes near, neither moth destroys.

6. === Acts 3:2 And a certain man that was lame from his mother's womb was carried, whom they laid daily at the door of the temple which is called Beautiful, to ask alms of them that entered into the temple;
7. === Acts 3:3 who seeing Peter and John about to go into the temple, asked to receive an alms.
8. === Acts 3:10 and they took knowledge of him, that it was he that sat for alms at the Beautiful Gate of the temple; and they were filled with wonder and amazement at that which had happened unto him.

9. === Acts 9:36 Now there was at Joppa a certain disciple named Tabitha, which by interpretation is called Dorcas: this woman was full of good works and almsdeeds which she did. 

10. === Acts 10:2 a devout man, and one that feared God with all his house, who gave much alms to the people, and prayed to God always.
11. === Acts 10:4  And he, fastening his eyes upon him, and being affrighted, said, What is it, Lord? And he said unto him, Thy prayers and your alms are gone up for a memorial before God.
12. === Acts 10:31 and saith, Cornelius, thy prayer is heard, and thine alms are had in remembrance in the sight of God.

"WHEN YOU GIVE ALMS...." and   "your righteousness..."

Jesus did not say "when you tithe..." and none of the apostles He sent did either.
ALMS defined: ccompassionate that is, (as exercised towards the poor) beneficence, or (concretely) a benefaction: - alms (-deeds).

How many teachings did we have on "alms" in 24 years in the church system, and listening to thousands of sermons, messages, and teachings?
In my experience, I vaguely recall them being mentioned once.... and that was around 25 years ago...

2Corinthians 9:5 (NKJV)
 1 For as touching the ministering *to* the saints
 5 Therefore I thought it necessary to exhort the brethren to go to you ahead of time, and prepare your generous gift beforehand, which you had previously promised, that it may be ready as a matter of generosity and not as a grudging obligation.6
But this I say, He that sows sparingly ("TO THE SAINTS") shall reap also sparingly; and he that sows bountifully shall reap also bountifully.
 9 as it is written, He hath scattered abroad, he hath given to the poor (TO THE SAINTS);
    his righteousness abides forever.  note: "his righteousness"...

Matthew 6:1 Take heed that ye do not ===>your righteousness <===before men, to be seen of them: else ye have no reward with your Father who is in heaven. 2) When therefore thou doest alms

Do you see Jesus called alms (ministering to others needs), and Paul, "your righteousness"?
This is illustrated in 1st John 3:17               But whoever has the world's goods, and sees his brother in need, and shuts up his compassion from him, how doth the love of God abide in him?

In contrast,  we  have no instruction for the church to “tithe” in our Covenant.
I have taught that in times past, but I cannot prove it from scripture.
The 10% benchmark is not according to New Testament for  ministering in giving. 

In fact, if we really believe Jesus, what he said in Luke 14:33 is a  key to discipleship. I believe he meant it..  "except you renounce ALL that you have, you cannot be My disciple".
"ALL"  may include our time, possessions, and even our doctrine as we give ourselves to Him and ask for His Will to be done in us. We simply give ourselves to Him and then expect Him to use us in our day.

IF we are to be His disciple.. When I realized He meant that, I saw how I had read over it without stopping to consider the weight of His Words... Luke 14:33.

"as you have done it to the least of these, My brethren, you have done it unto me".
Giving to needs is an act of love that blesses the giver and the ones who benefit, and is a wonderful ministry to the Lord...


2 comments:

  1. A VERY good post!
    Thanks for sharing it...

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  2. This is an outstanding piece. Thank you for laboring to list the scriptures as you have. It is God's Word that sets us free!

    In the moment before I read opened this post, my wife entered my office and noted that a recent onslaught of jobs followed our giving some money to a poor woman who had little to eat. Before that, we began tithing at a church... and our jobs dried up. I stopped tithing, in fact. Then, after giving "alms"... I am actually tired from working late several days!

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