By: Clement Ntukogu – 


DOES GOD APPROVE INSTRUMENTAL MUSIC IN CHURCH? If yes, which instrument?

Clement Ntukogu explains his view on the use of instrument of music in the church to be wrong. He says; “the argument that instruments of music may be used because the Bible does not prohibit their use, is wrong.” see argument below.

Does the gospel of Jesus teach us to praise God with instruments of music? The purpose of this study is to examine whether “mechanical instruments” of music are acceptable to God in our worship of Him today. Our goal is simply to determine God’s will and to encourage everyone to follow it with conviction.

We have no personal ill will toward others. But God’s word must prevail. We must stand for truth and help others correct their lives where necessary. Singing or playing: which does God want? In 2 John 1:9; the Scripture says, “Whoever transgresses and does not abide in the doctrine of Christ does not have God. He who abides in the doctrine of Christ has both the Father and the Son”.

Can we use musical instruments in the church? Some churches deny the use of musical instruments in their churches because they do not see them clearly used in the New Testament. Therefore, many ask if it is okay to use musical instruments in worship. The answer is best given by Scripture.

Where believers wish to please God, the question of whether to use instruments of music in worship receives serious consideration. Although mechanical instruments of music, organs, pianos, and the like, have long been a part of traditional religious worship, Christians wish to know if their use is in accord with the will of God, or if their use is only in accord with the traditions of men.

The Bible, indeed, never condemns the use of instruments of music in worship, but neither does it command their use. Many things we know to be wrong are not condemned by name in the Bible. Thus, we can never assume that we have God’s approval to do an act when no scripture teaches against that act.

In the New Testament, which is our guide today, the apostle, Paul, says that faith comes by hearing the word of God (Romans 10:17) and that whatsoever is not of faith is sin (Romans 14:23). This is another way of saying that if you cannot find command or example for an act of worship in the will of Christ (as recorded in the New Testament), you should not do that act – Matthew 28:20.

Thus, if an act of worship is done without scriptural approval, it is done without faith, for faith comes by hearing the Word of God. Because that which is not of faith is sin, it is unnecessary that the Word of God prohibit the act; it is only necessary that it be un-commanded.

Hence, the argument that instruments of music may be used because the Bible does not prohibit their use, is wrong.

God has always required that man obey His directions; faith is defined as man’s obedience to God’s will, and man’s actions contrary to God’s will are called sin. Although the way in which God deals with man changed at the time of Christ’s death, but yet God remain unchanged.

Thus, God (who expected obedience in Old Testament times) expects obedience in New Testament times. This includes our era, today. In speaking of historical occasions in the Old Testament, Paul, in Romans 15:4 said, “For whatever things were written before were written for our learning, that we through the patience and comfort of the Scriptures might have hope”.

One of these historical occasions is when God dealt with the first of mankind, Cain and Abel, the children of Adam and Eve. The jealousy which ended in Abel’s murder began when Cain made sacrifices to God that was not of faith. Abel, however, in following the directions of God, acted with obedient faith, thereby pleasing God.

Hebrews 11:4 says of this, “By faith Abel offered to God a more excellent sacrifice than Cain, through which he obtained witness that he was righteous, God testifying of his gifts; and through it he being dead still speaks” Telling of Cain’s and Abel’s sacrifices, I John 3:12 relates, “Not as Cain who was of the wicked one and murdered his brother. And why did he murder him? Because his works were evil and his brother’s righteous”.

Man’s wisdom would say that there was little difference between the sacrifice of Cain and that of Abel. Cain, a farmer, gave from his fruits and grains, things he had raised. Abel, a herdsman, gave of his flock. Both made sacrifice; however, only Abel obeyed the word of God while Cain pleased himself.

This is no, small, trifling matter as these scriptures have shown. The lesson is clear; like Abel, we must act from faith, and acting from faith means acting from the directions of God, not from directions of man’s invention. Revelations 22:18 tells us that we must not go beyond that which is written.

In the Old Testament, God commanded Jewish worshippers that musical instruments were to be used, and when and where – God was specific (2 Chronicles 29:25-28).

Likewise, God has commanded, in the New Testament, the kind of music He wishes in modern Christian worship, and that is singing. Colossians 3:16 reads, “Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly in all wisdom, teaching and admonishing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with grace in your hearts to the Lord” Similarly, Ephesians 5:19 instructs, “speaking to one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody in your heart to the Lord”.

This is what the Scripture says about Jesus Christ and His apostles, “And when they had sung a hymn, they went out to the Mount of Olives”. In these passages, God establishes three kinds of music proper for New Testament worship:-

  1. Psalms are God’s words (usually from the Psalms but not always) put to music.

  2. Hymns are formal expressions of praise or declarations of God’s truth.

  3. Spiritual songs are songs that deal with the spiritual life and are the most personal of the songs.

Other specific instruction, or examples, are recorded in Acts 16:25, Romans 15:9, Heb. 2:12, I Cor. 14:15, and James 5:13. Nowhere has God condemned the use of mechanical instruments of music in Christian worship, but nowhere has He commanded their use.

When God specifies His wishes, things not commanded are automatically excluded. Instead of listing instruments (the New Testament passages on the church never mention any musical instruments), God gives His churches a statement of purpose for music in this dispensation.

Because of the examples of Cain and Abel, and of others, and because God has made specific request for singing, God’s people dare not act beyond faith by adding mechanical instruments of music to the worship services. God has always expected men to obey His revealed will.

Punishment has often been the lot of men, who in seeking to worship God, do so in ways pleasing only to themselves. We, as Christians, must seek, therefore, to please God even in things, such as the use of instruments in worship, which the traditions of our society name as being unimportant.

Thus, the Word of God which directs us today, the New Testament, does not command that instruments of music be used. God requires us to “worship the Father in spirit and truth” (John 4:23-24). The Bible does not require musical instruments in church for worship services, but musical instruments are certainly not prohibited.

First, our songs should teach us since we are to be “teaching one another” with them. In order to do this, they should be doctrinally sound and should teach the basics of biblical doctrine. We use songs to teach the alphabet to our children and God used the song of Moses to teach Israel of their relationship with God (Deuteronomy 31:19-21).

We should use music to teach as well. As such, they should be speakable; that is, of sufficient quality that they can be spoken (Ephesians 5:19). They should be good poetry with good content so that the words without the music still have a great message.

Second, our songs should “admonish” us. This means they should warn of sin or danger and urge to proper action in our Christian lives. I see very little of this in our music today. As a rule, modern church music neither teaches nor admonishes, a direct affront to the command of God in Colossians 3:16.

Third, our songs should praise and exalt God. We sing them to the Lord and they are an integral part of our worship of Him. With them, we make melody to the Lord and sing to Him.
Fourth, our songs should speak to our hearts. We sing them with grace. That is, they help us.

We make melody with them. They stick with us because they are a pleasure to sing. We sing them as we go about our business of the day. Modern music has emphasized (and perverted) praise and popularity while ignoring the teaching and admonishing ministries of proper church music.


By: Clement Ntukogu – 

Should we be baptized in the name of Jesus only,  see (Acts 2:38)? Or in the name of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit (Matthew 28:19)? Some Pentecostal Churches maintain that baptism must be by immersion using the formula, “in the name of Jesus Christ” as is found in Acts 2:38 and not the formula, “in the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit” as is found in Matthew 28:19.

Well, Acts 2:38 records the Apostle Peter’s words on the day of Pentecost, Peter replied, “Repent, and let every one of you be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins; and you shall receive the gift of the Holy Spirit”. However, Jesus Christ Himself had specifically commanded saying, “…baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit” (Matthew 28:19).

The question is, when we baptize people, shall we say, “I baptize you in the name of Jesus for the remission of sins”, or should we say, “baptize you in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit”? The phrase “in the name of Jesus” has been twisted by some churches to narrow the formula of baptism to certain words. It is true Peter said, “Repent and be baptized, every one of you, in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins” (Acts 2:38).

Those churches claims that Peter gave the formula. But no person had the power to authorize the formula except the Son of God. The phrase “in the name of Jesus” meant “by the authority of Jesus” you should be baptized. In other words, Peter was declaring that Jesus commanded baptism; this is what is meant by the phrase “in Jesus name”.

Notice in Acts, there is no occasion where one person says to another, “I baptize you in Jesus’ name” (Acts 2:28; 8:16; 10:48; 19:5), Every time Acts mentions a baptism in Jesus’ name, the phrase characterizes the baptism, it does not record what the baptizer said. It means the baptism was in Jesus’ name, under the authority that Jesus gave them. It was the way they distinguished what sort of baptism they were doing.

They were not performing John’s baptism for repentance (Acts 18:24-26; 19:1-7), they were doing the baptism that Jesus commanded. Jesus’ commandment for doing baptisms is in Matthew 28:19. Therefore the phrase “baptism in Jesus’ name” means nothing more and nothing less “Christian baptism”, but the words in Matthew 28:19 are what the baptizer says during the baptism in Jesus’ name.

Let’s take a look at that Acts 2:38 again, the phrase, “in the name of Jesus Christ”, is not a reference to a baptismal formula but a reference to authority. It is similar to hearing someone say, “Stop in the name of the Law!” We understand that the “name of the Law” means by the authority of the Law. It is the same with baptism “in Jesus’ name.” To baptize in Jesus’ name is to baptize in the authority of Jesus. Consider the following:

• “And when they had placed them in the center, they began to inquire, “By what power, or in what name, have you done this?” Then Peter, filled with the Holy Spirit, said to them, “Rulers and elders of the people, if we are on trial today for a benefit done to a sick man, as to how this man has been made well, let it be known to all of you, and to all the people of Israel, that by the name of Jesus Christ the Nazarene, whom you crucified, whom God raised from the dead – by this name this man stands here before you in good health,” (Acts 4:7-10).

• Acts 4:17-18, “But in order that it may not spread any further among the people, let us warn them to speak no more to any man in this name. And when they had summoned them, they commanded them not to speak or teach at all in the name of Jesus.”

• Acts 5:28, “We gave you strict orders not to continue teaching in this name, and behold, you have filled Jerusalem with your teaching, and intend to bring this man’s blood upon us.”

• Acts 5:40, “And they took his advice; and after calling the apostles in, they flogged them and ordered them to speak no more in the name of Jesus, and then released them.”

• Acts 8:12, “But when they believed Philip preaching the good news about the kingdom of God and the name of Jesus Christ, they were being baptized, men and women alike.”

• Acts 9:27-28, “But Barnabas took hold of him and brought him to the apostles and described to them how he had seen the Lord on the road, and that He had talked to him, and how at Damascus he had spoken out boldly in the name of Jesus. And he was with them moving about freely in Jerusalem, speaking out boldly in the name of the Lord.”

• Acts 16:18, “And this did she many days. But Paul, being grieved, turned and said to the spirit, I command thee in the name of Jesus Christ to come out of her. And he came out the same hour.”

We can see that the phrase is used in the Bible as an expression of authority. This is particularly clarified in Acts 16:18 above. Let’s look at it again. “And this did she many days. But Paul, being grieved, turned and said to the spirit, I command thee in the name of Jesus Christ to come out of her.

And he came out the same hour.” We also see that when people were being baptized, they did it calling on Jesus’ name (Acts 22:16), that is, they were calling upon Jesus who has all authority in heaven and earth (Matt. 28:18). The church is supposed to “call upon the name of the Lord Jesus” (1 Cor. 1:2) because it is by His authority (John 1:12) that we Christians have the hope and right of forgiveness of sins and adoption as His children (Rom. 8:15).

Therefore, all the Churches that are demanding that baptism be done with the formula “In Jesus name”, instead of being done as Jesus had commanded in Matthew 28:19, “Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit”, are simply in error.

In Acts 2:38 Peter was making the distinction between the baptism of Jesus versus the baptism of John. He was not giving the mode of baptism. The proper way to baptize in Jesus’ name is to say, “I baptize you in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit” as the Bible clearly states, “There is one body and one Spirit, just as you were called in one hope of your calling; one Lord, one faith, one baptism” – Ephesians 4:4,5.

 


By: Clement Ntukogu – 

In recent days you will notice that most church heads have subscribed to the idea of “advertising” their “churches” by erecting colourful billboards of all sizes in strategic locations around most towns and cities. Most often these billboards carry the photograph of the Church head and his wife in a familiar posture.

Some of these posters and billboards most often contained not only the picture of the pastor and his wife, but also his little children’s picture.

In the time past, the Roman Catholics church billboards were normally with the logo and maybe the “assumed image of Christ”. It’s “assumed” image because it’s not the true image of Jesus Christ.

Yet, the Pentecostals criticize the Roman Catholics for using such images like that of Christ and Mary, but now, what do we see among the Pentecostals today? Is it not worse than what which they accused Catholics of?

Whose images are in those billboards? Is it not the beautiful and over-edited pictures of general overseers and their wives with their teeth brightened enough to get customers? Is it not the jewelries that their wives worn that are shown there? Is it not a pastor and his heavily make up wife posing on it?

The churches no longer advertise Christ as the Catholics do in the past, they now advertise daddy and mummy. They no longer preach to sinners through crusades, they now preach to convert people from one church to the other. They no longer publicize the gospel of that old rugged cross; they now publicize the activities of daddy and mummy. What a shame! Even the company owners don’t advertise themselves the way this new generation pastors are doing today.

Have you seen the pictures of company Managing Directors and their wives on their bill boards? Their advertisements were to promote their company and their product and not the owner of the company and his wife.

It is entertainment Artistes that advertise themselves on billboards along side promoting their album/movie because the entertainment business is all about the Artiste and his fame.

The Politicians too, advertise themselves on billboards seeking for popularity. Pastors who are doing this are simply seeking for fame and this should not be so. We are not called to seek for fame but to lift Jesus higher for the world to see. Jesus didn’t seek for fame, he simply was doing his work and fame came to him. Same goes with the apostles.

We never saw them seeking for fame rather they just concentrated on their calling and fame came to them. However, as Christians, we advertise or promote Jesus and His word and this does not necessary mean putting the so called picture of Jesus as most churches are doing.

Have you ever wonder why God did not permit the Israelite from making images of anything on earth, in the sea and in heaven above? In Exodus 20:4, God says, “You shall not make for yourself a carved image, or any likeness of anything that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth”.

Have you ever wonder why Apostle Paul told the people of Athens That, “God, who made the world and everything in it, since He is Lord of heaven and earth, does not dwell in temples made with hands. Nor is He worshiped with men’s hands, as though He needed anything, since He gives to all life, breath, and all things” (Acts 17:24,25).

Or have you ever wonder why had God appear to many in all forms but not image? Why did Jesus say God is spirit and we are to worship him in truth and in spirit?

It is high time we tell ourselves the truth and leave sentiments out of it. Somebody will tell you that they are just advertising! What are they advertising? God or His word? While on earth, Jesus Christ never made use of His portrait for any reason at all or do you think there were no artist in his days?

If it were important for us to use His pictures on our billboards, then Matthew, Peter, John and other apostles who spent more than three years with Him, would certainly be able to give us an accurate accounts of such.

Yet, these New Testament writers offer no details about His physical attributes. Does this not suggest that, inspired by the Holy Spirit, they did so in order to carefully avoid encouraging us to make any image of Him?

Honestly you make a lot of sense a times when you are not defending some of the false doctrines in the churches, the Church is NOT a business centre, these billboards carry the photograph of the Church head and his wife in a familiar posture, are NOT advertising God or His word, but those pastors are enjoying fame and self exhibition.

Who is actually glorified on it? Those days Billboards are used to pass message, but now you will see a mighty billboard where the pastor and his wife will pose on more than half space of the billboard leaving just a little space for the church information. Some will even use their billboards to block junctions, that will now make it very difficult for you to see the oncoming vehicle when you are driving.

To Whom Exactly Is Your Church Advertising? The large space given to the pastor and wife on the billboard meant the church is occupied majorly by the family of the pastor. Must these billboards carry “photoshoped” pictures or is this supposed to be an attraction to the advertised Church? Is a Pastor’s face a necessity on these boards?


By: Clement Ntukogu – 

It is often claimed that “God instituted the Sabbath in Eden” because of the connection between the Sabbath and creation in Exodus 20:11. Although God’s rest on the seventh day (Genesis 2:3) did foreshadow a future Sabbath law, there is no biblical record of the Sabbath before the children of Israel left the land of Egypt.

Nowhere in Scripture is there any hint that Sabbath-keeping was practiced from Adam to Moses. The Word of God makes it quite clear that Sabbath observance was a special sign between God and Israel: “The Israelites are to observe the Sabbath, celebrating it for the generations to come as a lasting covenant. It will be a sign between me and the Israelites forever, for in six days the Lord made the heavens and the earth, and on the seventh day he abstained from work and rested” (Exodus 31:16–17).

However, due to the misunderstanding and misinterpretation of some Christian groups, the meaning of the Sabbath day rest has been confused and twisted.

In Deuteronomy 5, Moses restates the Ten Commandments to the next generation of Israelites. Here, after commanding Sabbath observance in verses 12–14, Moses gives the reason the Sabbath was given to the nation Israel: “Remember that you were slaves in Egypt and that the Lord your God brought you out of there with a mighty hand and an outstretched arm.

Therefore the Lord your God has commanded you to observe the Sabbath day” (Deuteronomy 5:15). God’s intent for giving the Sabbath to Israel was not that they would remember creation, but that they would remember their Egyptian slavery and the Lord’s deliverance.

Note the requirements for Sabbath-keeping: A person placed under that Sabbath law could not leave his home on the Sabbath (Exodus 16:29), he could not build a fire (Exodus 35:3), and he could not cause anyone else to work (Deuteronomy 5:14). A person breaking the Sabbath law was to be put to death (Exodus 31:15; Numbers 15:32–35).

An examination of New Testament passages shows us four important points:

(1) When the Jews were trying to impose Mosaic Laws which included the Sabbath observation on the gentiles, the early apostles and elders said the Laws cannot be imposed on them (Acts 15: 1,5-29).

(2) The only time the Sabbath is mentioned from Acts through Revelation it is for evangelistic purposes to the Jews and the setting is usually in a synagogue (Acts chapters 13–18). Paul wrote, “to the Jews I became as a Jew, that I might win Jews” (1 Corinthians 9:20). Paul did not go to the synagogue to fellowship with and edify the saints, but to convict and save the lost.

(3) Once Paul states “from now on I will go to the Gentiles” (Acts 18:6), the Sabbath is never again mentioned.

(4) instead of suggesting adherence to the Sabbath day, the remainder of the New Testament implies the opposite (including the one exception to point 3 above, found in Colossians 2:16).

Looking more closely at point 4 above will reveal that there is no obligation for the New Testament believer to keep the Sabbath, and will also show that the idea of a Sunday “Christian Sabbath” is also unscriptural.

As discussed above, there is one time the Sabbath is mentioned after Paul began to focus on the Gentiles, “Therefore do not let anyone judge you by what you eat or drink, or with regard to a religious festival, a New Moon celebration or a Sabbath day. These are a shadow of the things that were to come; the reality, however, is found in Christ”. (Colossians 2:16–17).

The Jewish Sabbath was abolished at the cross where Christ “canceled the written code, with its regulations” (Colossians 2:14).
This idea is repeated more than once in the New Testament: “One man considers one day more sacred than another; another man considers every day alike. Each one should be fully convinced in his own mind. He who regards one day as special, does so to the Lord” (Romans 14:5-6).

“But now that you know God — or rather are known by God — how is it that you are turning back to those weak and miserable principles? Do you wish to be enslaved by them all over again? You are observing special days and months and seasons and years” (Galatians 4:9–10).

But some claim that a mandate by Constantine in A.D. 321 “changed” the Sabbath from Saturday to Sunday. On what day did the early church meet for worship? Scripture never mentions any Sabbath (Saturday) gatherings by believers for fellowship or worship.

However, there are clear passages that mention the first day of the week. For instance, Acts 20:7 states that “on the first day of the week we came together to break bread”. In 1 Corinthians 16:2 Paul urges the Corinthian believers “on the first day of every week, each one of you should set aside a sum of money in keeping with his income”.

Since Paul designates this offering as “service” in 2 Corinthians 9:12, this collection must have been linked with the Sunday worship service of the Christian assembly. Historically Sunday, not Saturday, was the normal meeting day for Christians in the church, and its practice dates back to the first century.

The Sabbath was given to Israel, not the church. The Sabbath is still Saturday, not Sunday, and has never been changed. But the Sabbath is part of the Old Testament Law, and Christians are free from the bondage of the Law (Galatians 4:1-26; Romans 6:14).

Sabbath keeping is not required of the Christian – be it Saturday or Sunday. We are not obligated to follow the Mosaic Sabbath (resting), but are now free to follow the risen Christ (serving).

The Apostle Paul said that each individual Christian should decide whether to observe a Sabbath rest, “One man considers one day more sacred than another; another man considers every day alike. Each one should be fully convinced in his own mind” (Romans 14:5). We are to worship God every day (Luke 1:74,75), not just on Saturday or Sunday.


By: Clement Ntukogu –

The above quoted scripture is probably one of the most quoted scriptural passage in most of the churches today, but unfortunately, it is being quoted out of context and used as a weapon of mass intimidation, manipulation, extortion, oppression, cajolery and outright lies and deceit by so many church leaders to collect ten percent of the gross income of their church members who have been hoodwinked into believing that they are doing God’s will.

Many Christian publications say that those who do not tithe are robbing God and will suffer curses for not doing so. I am going to use one of them as an example of what Scriptures and reasoning are usually used to support the idea that the church is full of God robbers, that is, people who do not tithe 10 per cent of their income.

A booklet entitled “Tithes, Offering, and Alms” states: “Today many churches do not teach tithing because they do not want to drive people away. In reality they are robbing God’s people of their blessing. When tithing is not taught, they are allowing their people to ignorantly rob God. By this they allow the devourer to have free access to their people.

Then the church and the people wonder why they are not being blessed. When God’s people return again unto God, He will return unto them as He has promised. “By this minister’s own reasoning then, the Churches of the world are full of “God-robbers.”

The vast majority of Christians do not even come close to giving ten per cent of their income. Most churches are overflowing with “God-robbers.” While this booklet “Tithes, Offerings, and Alms” deals with more than just the tithe, we will only focus on the tithe since that is the subject of this article. I am not mentioning the author of this work hoping in days ahead he will see the foolishness of what he wrote.

In one small paragraph, this minister condemned to the devourer entire congregations who do not tithe. As long as people do not tithe, he says, they have turned their backs to God and He cannot bless them. They are God robbers! The booklet I just quoted is very typical of publications like this. They all refer to the same handful of Scriptures to justify their position. I will use this one as an example of which Scriptures are used to support their view and then show how these Scriptures have not only been grossly taken out of context, but even these Scriptures out of context do not support the teaching of tithing being 10% of income.

When studying a book of the Bible, one of the primary things to look for is who the book is addressed to. That is, who is written to? Who is the audience? Who did the author have in mind when he wrote? With Malachi, this question is easily answered, for Malachi refers to them directly several times. In several places, Malachi reveals that he is addressing the children of Israel (Malachi 1:1; 4:4).

In this case, the rebuke of Malachi is not at all directed toward the Christian churches today, but towards the children of Israel who were failing to tithe at the time. The purpose of this study, therefore, is to examine who was this message of Malachi 3: 7-10 directed at?

Is the interpretation that Christian churches make correct? Let us examine some of the verses, one by one, so that we can establish the relationship to the modern concept of tithing preach in our churches today.

In Malachi 3:7; the Scripture says, “Yet from the days of your fathers You have gone away from My ordinances and have not kept them. Return to Me, and I will return to you,” Says the LORD of hosts. “But you said, ‘In what way shall we return?” This verse, as well as the following verses, establishes that it is God, who was speaking. There can be no doubt of that.

The nature of the warning indicates that He was speaking to the children of Israel. Does this passage apply to Christians today? There is no suggestion that the same can be applicable to the Christian churches today. To whom did God give the laws? It was the children of Israel (Malachi 4:4). And who was not keeping those laws?

Again, it was the children of Israel. God made a promise to His chosen people. Since he wanted them to receive the benefits from that promise, He offered to return to them if they would return to Him.

In Malachi 3:8; the Scripture says, “Will a man rob God? Yet you have robbed Me! But you say, ‘In what way have we robbed You?’ In tithes and offerings”. God told the Israelites how they had gone astray. Whether any one of the words defraud, insult, hide up from, or rob is used, it still means that the people have been withholding something from God.

They had gone so far that they did not recognize that they had been neglecting tithes and offerings. References to tithes and offerings can be found in Leviticus, Numbers, and Deuteronomy.

In Malachi 3:9; the Scripture says, “You are cursed with a curse, For you have robbed Me, Even this whole nation”. Deuteronomy 28: 16-68 describes the curses that would fall on those who turn away from God.

Since this turning away had gone on for numerous generations, some of those mentioned probably were included. Again, when you look at the phase; “even this whole nation”, mentioned in verse 9, is an indication that the passage was referring to the nation of Israel alone and not to Gentiles Christians (Acts 15:1,5-29.

Then, Malachi 3:10; says, “Bring all the tithes into the storehouse, That there may be food in My house, And try Me now in this,” Says the LORD of hosts, “If I will not open for you the windows of heaven And pour out for you such blessing That there will not be room enough to receive it”. God invited the children of Israel to begin their tithes into the storehouse, That there may be food in His house.

The priests, a sect of Levites, who had no inheritance of land (Numbers 18:26-29), were to oversee the storehouse in the house of God, and to make sure that temple workers, as well as widows, orphans and aliens were fed from the whole tithe brought in by the people. And those tithes were usually an agricultural products – grain, fruit, Corn, wine, oil, cattle, and sheep (Leviticus 27:30-33; Deuteronomy 14:22,23).

But today, the modern-day Christian concept of tithes is only “MONEY”, but unfortunately, God never allowed money as a substitute for those agricultural products (Leviticus 27:30-33). The only reference to money in the Mosaic law states that a person was to exchange his products for money under certain circumstances, then go to a place which the Lord appointed, spend the money on food, and eat it at that place (Deuteronomy 14:24-26).

This hardly fits the interpretation of the tithes of the present-day Christian church. Again, where is the storehouse of this modern -day Christians? Is it not in the pastor’s pockets and bank accounts? Is it according to God’s instruction?

Once again I would like to state that this article is just meant to establish the biblical truth about Malachi passage that so many churches are using to intimidate, manipulate, extort and oppress their members and remove the yoke from people who labour to pay tithes ( not required of them by God) while their pastors are living luxuriously.

Today many pastors see the church as their personal business and even fraudulent people are opening up churches so that they can have access to people’s tithes and use it for their personal aggrandizement. I encourage all of us as Christians to remain vigilant and continue to serve God in truth and in faith to the glory of his holy name. Amen.

Another point of note is: how come out of the 613 biblical laws of Moses which were handed out to the people of Israel, it is only an adulterated version of the law of tithe that is still being practiced today, apart from the Ten Commandments? How come we are no longer required to offer burnt sacrifices? How come we no longer stone people to death for sinning?

The truth is that only tithing was dug out of the laws of Moses because it presents material benefits to the collectors of tithes. Given that most Christians do not study their Bibles and depend on their pastors to guide them through, it was easy for pastors to pick a passage in the Bible (Malachi 3 : 8-10), quote it out of context and use it to manipulate the flock into parting with 10 per cent of their income.

Furthermore, it is worthy of note that neither Jesus Christ nor any of the apostles ever preached about or collected tithe. In fact, in the Bible, Jesus Christ only spoke about tithes in Luke 11:42 which states that: “But woe unto you Pharisees! For ye tithe mint and rue all manner of herbs, and pass over judgment and the love of God: these ought ye to have done, and not to leave the other undone”.

Here we can see that Jesus Christ is rebuking the Pharisees for laying emphasis on tithes instead of the more important things of the spirit, like our pastors are doing today. In Acts 15, we find outlined what the apostles all agreed was necessary for the newly converted Gentiles to practice, and by inspiration of the Holy Spirit of God, tithing is conspicuously missing. Yet, what is one of the very first legislated duties taught to Gentile converts by the Church today? It is that they must tithe their salaries to the Church. Where did this unscriptural law of Christian tithing come from?

I find it horrible that when a brother or sister is in financial need all that many pastors will do is ask them if they are paying their tithes, and then, if the person is not paying their tithes, tell them that they are under a curse from God! This type of teaching is a travesty – it is a stain on Christianity. When a brother or sister is in need then the local church should be the first to step in and help them. Of course, wisdom and discretion are necessary, since we need to be sure that we are giving to a legitimate need, and that the money will not be misused. However, we should definitely give!

While some churches use Malachi 3:10 to justify the New Testament practice of tithing, others will admit that tithing is clearly an Old Testament ritual. Nevertheless, even such churches will attempt to rationalize the practice of tithing by making statements like, “Well if it was good enough for the Old Testament saints to pay 10%, how much more should we, the New Testament church be willing to give that same amount? After all, don’t we have more knowledge and revelation about Jesus Christ than the Old Testament believers?” The question poses an important response, but this response must be based upon the Scriptures, not the opinions or traditions of man.

Hence, Malachi Chapter 3:8-10, is not rebuking the New Testament Christians at all, but Malachi was rebuking the Israelites who were under the Law at the time, and were under obligation to pay tithes (Malachi 1:1). As Apostle Paul explained; “Now we know that what things soever the law saith, it saith to them who are under the law” (Romans 3:19).

“….The law was our schoolmaster to bring us unto Christ, that we might be justified by faith, but after that faith is come, we are no longer under a schoolmaster” (Galatians 3:24-25). Christians are NOT under the Mosaic laws which included the law of tithing (Malachi 4:4). Tithing was part of the law to ISRAEL, NOT to the Christians. Therefore, there is no curse for “not paying tithes” in the New Testament, as is often implied on the sermons from Malachi 3:8-9.

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