Is The Law Of Tithing For New Testament Gentile Believers?

Tithe means one-tenth of a thing, or a tenth part of something. The doctrine of believers paying a tenth of their income to the church, as a mandatory biblical requirement, is zealously taught and demanded by almost all churches. In fact, some people teach that not to pay tithe is such a heinous sin against God that it could even affect one’s salvation. This topic is so important that it merits a detailed biblical exposition, in order to understand the place of tithing in the New Testament Church of Jesus Christ.

The first record of tithing in the Bible is found in the 14th Chapter of Genesis, where Abraham (then Abram) paid tithe to King Melchizedek, the High Priest of God.

Genesis 14:18 Melchizedek king of Salem brought out bread and wine: and he was priest of God Most High.

Genesis 14:19 He blessed him, and said, “Blessed be Abram of God Most High, possessor of heaven and earth:

Genesis 14:20 and blessed be God Most High, who has delivered your enemies into your hand.” Abram gave him a tenth of all.

We are not told whether Abram had a specific commandment to give a tenth or 10% of the spoils he had seized from the enemies he fought and overcame. We do not know and cannot tell whether tithing was a regular habit with Abram or whether it was just coincidental that he gave a tenth of the spoils as offering to God’s Priest.  It is instructive to note that nowhere else is it recorded that Abraham gave tithes again.

The next record of tithing in the Bible is in Genesis Chapter 28, where Jacob, Abraham’s grandson, vowed to give God 10% of his wealth, if God would protect and bless him on the journey he was about to embark upon.

Genesis 28:20 Jacob vowed a vow, saying, “If God will be with me, and will keep me in this way that I go, and will give me bread to eat, and clothing to put on,

Genesis 28:21 so that I come again to my father’s house in peace, and Yahweh will be my God,

Genesis 28:22 then this stone, which I have set up for a pillar, will be God’s house. Of all that you will give me I will surely give the tenth to you.”

It is worth noting that Jacob promised to give God his tithe, not as in obedience to a mandatory commandment from God, but as a vow, as a promise contingent on God’s protection and blessings. In other words, Jacob was saying he would give 10% of his wealth if God blessed and protected him on his journey. However, if God failed to protect or bless him, he wasn’t obligated to give God his tithe. Tithing for Jacob was a contractual agreement with God, not an obligatory commandment from God. You don’t give God conditions before you obey a commandment of the Lord. Whether God blesses you or not, whether he protects you or not, you are required to keep his commandment, as a child of God. You don’t negotiate on a divine commandment.

We do not see tithing again until it appears in Leviticus, Numbers and Deuteronomy, as part of the laws given to Moses by God, for the support of the Levitical priesthood, the widows, the poor, the needy and the strangers in the land of Israel.

Leviticus 27:30 “All the tithe of the land, whether of the seed of the land or of the fruit of the trees, is Yahweh’s. It is holy to Yahweh.

Leviticus 27:32 All the tithe of the herds or the flocks, whatever passes under the rod, the tenth shall be holy to Yahweh.

Numbers 18:24 For the tithe of the children of Israel, which they offer as a wave offering to Yahweh, I have given to the Levites for an inheritance. Therefore I have said to them, ‘Among the children of Israel they shall have no inheritance.”

Numbers 18:26 “Moreover you shall speak to the Levites, and tell them, ‘When you take of the children of Israel the tithe which I have given you from them for your inheritance, then you shall offer up a wave offering of it for Yahweh, a tithe of the tithe.

Numbers 18:27 your wave offering shall be reckoned to you, as though it were the grain of the threshing floor, and as the fullness of the wine press.

Numbers 18:28 Thus you also shall offer a wave offering to Yahweh of all your tithes, which you receive of the children of Israel; and of it you shall give Yahweh’s wave offering to Aaron the priest.

Numbers 18:29 Out of all your gifts, you shall offer every wave offering of Yahweh, of all its best, even the holy part of it out of it.’

Tithing was thus made a commandment to the Israelites, to whom God gave his laws on Mount Sinai. As a commandment for the Jews, its observance was obligatory, with severe penalties from God for disobedience.

Malachi 3:8 Will a man rob God? Yet you rob me! But you say, ‘How have we robbed you?’ In tithes and offerings.

Malachi 3:9 you are cursed with the curse; for you rob me, even this whole nation.

Malachi 3:10 Bring the whole tithe into the storehouse, that there may be food in my house, and test me now in this,” says Yahweh of Armies, “if I will not open you the windows of heaven, and pour you out a blessing, that there shall not be room enough for.

Malachi 3:11 I will rebuke the devourer for your sakes, and he shall not destroy the fruits of your ground; neither shall your vine cast its fruit before its time in the field,” says Yahweh of Armies.

Malachi 3:12 “All nations shall call you blessed, for you will be a delightful land,” says Yahweh of Armies.

Because the tithes of the children of Israel, the Jews, belonged to God, failure to bring their tithes to God amounted to robbing God. Keeping God’s property away from God is akin to stealing from God.

Such act of robbery against God was to be punished with a curse on such offenders in the land of Israel. Devourers would be released upon them (sicknesses, plagues, famine, war, pestilence, etc), and they would thus experience severe hardship, suffering, barrenness and unfruitfulness. However, if they were faithful in paying their tithes, the Jews would be tremendously blessed, all things being equal.

Now, let’s look at how tithes were to be paid and used in Israel, in accordance with the Mosaic Law which regulated the payment and utilization of tithes. The Jews were mandated to pay two sets of tithes, the first at the end of each year (the yearly tithe), and the second at the end of every three years (the third yearly tithe). The yearly tithe was for the owner of the tithe and his family to eat and enjoy in the presence of God, sharing the feast with the Levites, the poor, the fatherless, the widows and the strangers.

Deuteronomy 14:22 you shall surely tithe all the increase of your seed, that which comes out of the field year by year.

Deuteronomy 14:23 You shall eat before Yahweh your God, in the place which he chooses, to cause his name to dwell there, the tithe of your grain, of your new wine, and of your oil, and the firstborn of your herd and of your flock; that you may learn to fear Yahweh your God always.

Deuteronomy 14:24 If the way is too long for you, so that you are not able to carry it, because the place is too far from you, which Yahweh your God shall choose, to set his name there, when Yahweh your God shall bless you;

Deuteronomy 14:25 then you shall turn it into money, and bind up the money in your hand, and shall go to the place which Yahweh your God shall choose.

Deuteronomy 14:26 You shall trade the money for whatever your soul desires, for cattle, or for sheep, or for wine, or for strong drink, or for whatever your soul asks of you; and you shall eat there before Yahweh your God, and you shall rejoice, you and your household.

Deuteronomy 14:27 you shall not forsake the Levite who is within your gates, for he has no portion nor inheritance with you.

The three yearly tithes were to be collected at the end of every three years, and were to be kept in storehouses within every city in Israel, for the sustenance of the Levites, the poor, the widows, the fatherless and the strangers.

Deuteronomy 14:28 at the end of every three years you shall bring all the tithe of your increase in the same year, and shall store it within your gates.

Deuteronomy 14:29 The Levite, because he has no portion nor inheritance with you, and the foreigner living among you, and the fatherless, and the widow, who are within your gates, shall come, and shall eat and be satisfied; that Yahweh your God may bless you in all the work of your hand which you do.

The three yearly tithe was the main tithe for the upkeep and maintenance of the Levites, the widows, the poor, the fatherless and the strangers in the land of Israel. Its purpose was to ensure that there was food always for the Levites (who had no inheritance in Israel and worked full time in the service of God), the poor, the widows, the fatherless and the strangers.

Amos 4:4 Come to Bethel, and transgress; at Gilgal multiply transgression; and bring your sacrifices every morning, and your tithes after three years:

Malachi 3:10 Bring the whole tithe into the storehouse, that there may be food in my house, and test me now in this,” says Yahweh of Armies, “if I will not open you the windows of heaven, and pour you out a blessing, that there shall not be room enough for.

As shown from the scriptures above, tithes were not meant for the Levites alone. Tithes were meant to be brought into store houses in every city in Israel, and were to be distributed to Levites, widows, the fatherless, the poor and the strangers. Even when it was lawful to pay tithe under the law, it was not to be paid privately to a Levite, and it was not to be used by the Levites alone. The tithes of the people was to provide food for the entire house of God, and not just for Levites alone!

In the New Testament, tithe was mentioned only in the Gospels, and in relation to the Jews, who were still under obligation to keep the Law of Moses, of which tithing was a part.

St. Matthew 23:23 “Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you tithe mint, dill, and cumin, and have left undone the weightier matters of the law: justice, mercy, and faith. But you ought to have done these, and not to have left the other undone.

St. Luke 11:42 But woe to you Pharisees! For you tithe mint and rue and every herb, but you bypass justice and the love of God. You ought to have done these, and not to have left the other undone.

Jesus strongly rebuked the hypocritical Pharisees, who would meticulously require the people to pay tithe of everything, including the smallest seeds, but ignored more important or weightier matters of the law, such as justice, mercy, faith, and love of God. As far as Jesus was concerned, these matters were far more important than tithing. Unlike our Pastors of today who make tithing the weightiest matter of the word of God and of the faith, Jesus placed tithing for the Jews on the lowest rung of the spiritual ladder, below justice, mercy, faith and love of God. Tithing is not the panacea our modern day Pastors are making it out to be. Tithing was a minor part of the entire Law of Moses, and was never the basis of righteousness or the means to secure God’s favour. In fact, a Pharisee, like a lot of Church members today who seek to be justified by payment of tithe, was condemned by Jesus and went away without God’s favour, though he was a faithful tither.

St. Luke 18:10 “Two men went up into the temple to pray; one was a Pharisee, and the other was a tax collector.

St. Luke 18:11 The Pharisee stood and prayed to himself like this: ‘God, I thank you, that I am not like the rest of men, extortionists, unrighteous, adulterers, or even like this tax collector.

St. Luke 18:12 I fast twice a week. I give tithes of all that I get.’

St. Luke 18:13 But the tax collector, standing far away, wouldn’t even lift up his eyes to heaven, but beat his breast, saying, ‘God, be merciful to me, a sinner!’

St. Luke 18:14 I tell you, this man went down to his house justified rather than the other; for everyone who exalts himself will be humbled, but he who humbles himself will be exalted”.

Indeed, tithe paying does not justify anyone, and cannot be used as a basis to secure God’s favour, if you don’t observe the weightier matters of God’s word.

For those who quote these passages in the Gospels as evidence that tithing is a New Testament doctrine for the Gentile Believers, let me remind us that Jesus ministered to the Jews only, throughout his ministry. Infact, he came primarily and originally for the Jews and was their minister.

Romans 15:8 now I say that Jesus Christ was a minister of the circumcision for the truth of God, to confirm the promises made unto the fathers:

St. John 1:11 He came unto his own, and his own received him not.

St. Matthew 15:24 But he answered and said, I am not sent but unto the lost sheep of the house of Israel.

Jesus was sent to the house of Israel, as their Messiah, King, Prophet, Judge and Lord. He expounded and elaborated on the Laws God gave to Moses for the Jews. He was born as a Jew, lived as a Jew and upheld the Jewish traditions until his death. He lived and fulfilled the law!

Galatians 4:4 But when the fullness of the time was come, God sent forth his Son, made of a woman, made under the law,

Galatians 4:5 to redeem them that were under the law, that we might receive the adoption of sons.

The purpose of Jesus coming as a man and as a Jew was to fulfill the law (which no man before him could fulfill), meet its righteous requirements and deliver from the law those who were under the law (the Jews, unto whom God gave his law). If he had failed to fulfill the law he would have been deemed unfit to redeem his people from living under the law.

St. Matthew 5:17 “Don’t think that I came to destroy the law or the prophets. I didn’t come to destroy, but to fulfill.

St. Matthew 5:18 For most certainly, I tell you, until heaven and earth pass away, not even one smallest letter or one tiny pen stroke shall in any way pass away from the law, until all things are accomplished.

When he had fulfilled the law and died as the perfect sacrifice for the sins of the people, he abolished the law and redeemed the people from under the law, having fulfilled the law. In his life he fulfilled the law, and by his death he abolished the law!

Ephesians 2:14 for he is our peace, who made both one, and broke down the middle wall of partition,

Ephesians 2:15 having abolished in the flesh the hostility, the law of commandments contained in ordinances, that he might create in himself one new man of the two, making peace;

Colossians 2:13 you were dead through your trespasses and the uncircumcision of your flesh. He made you alive together with him, having forgiven us all our trespasses,

Colossians 2:14 wiping out the handwriting in ordinances which was against us; and he has taken it out of the way, nailing it to the cross;

Romans 7:1 or don’t you know, brothers (for I speak to men who know the law), that the law has dominion over a man for as long as he lives?

Romans 7:2 for the woman that has a husband is bound by law to the husband while he lives, but if the husband dies, she is discharged from the law of the husband.

Romans 7:3 so then if, while the husband lives, she is joined to another man, she would be called an adulteress. But if the husband dies, she is free from the law, so that she is no adulteress, though she is joined to another man.

Romans 7:4 Therefore, my brothers, you also were made dead to the law through the body of Christ, that you would be joined to another, to him who was raised from the dead, that we might produce fruit to God.

Romans 7:5 for when we were in the flesh, the sinful passions which were through the law, worked in our members to bring out fruit to death.

Romans 7:6 But now we have been discharged from the law, having died to that in which we were held; so that we serve in newness of the spirit, and not in oldness of the letter.

Did you notice verse 6? But now we have been discharged from the law (of Moses), discharged from all aspects of the Law of Moses (including the laws of tithing). We have died to the law, by the death of Christ! We are no longer under the law. Hallelujah!!! No commandment or ordinance of the Mosaic Law, including the laws of tithing is mandatory for the New Testament believer in Christ.

Whoever tries to keep any aspect of the laws of Moses, including the law of tithing is under a curse. Whoever does that has fallen from Grace!

Galatians 3:10 for as many as are of the works of the law are under a curse. For it is written, “Cursed is everyone who doesn’t continue in all things that are written in the book of the law, to do them.”

Galatians 3:11 Now that no man is justified by the law before God is evident, for, “The righteous will live by faith.”

Galatians 3:12 the law is not of faith, but, “The man who does them will live by them.”

Galatians 3:13 Christ redeemed us from the curse of the law, having become a curse for us. For it is written, “Cursed is everyone who hangs on a tree,”

Galatians 3:14 that the blessing of Abraham might come on the Gentiles through Christ Jesus; that we might receive the promise of the Spirit through faith.

Galatians 5:4 you are alienated from Christ, you who desire to be justified by the law. You have fallen away from grace.

The entirety of the laws of Moses (over 600 laws), including the laws of tithing, firstfruits, offering of sacrificial animals, laws of vows, etc,  are all obsolete, expired, null and void and therefore of no effect on the New Testament believer. Hallelujah!!! Tithing is no longer a law or a commandment requiring obedience for fear of a curse. You are free from the law of tithing and so, no one, not even God can curse you if you don’t pay tithe. Malachi 3:8-12 is no longer valid and cannot be used to threaten a New Testament believer, like any other part of the Mosaic Law, because we are not under the law. The law has no jurisdiction over us.

In conclusion, tithing as a law, like all other parts of the abolished Mosaic Law, is no longer applicable to the New Testament believer in Christ. Giving to support the cause of God and to support God’s servants is voluntary and according to what each person determines in his mind to give to God. Giving is to be done voluntarily, cheerfully, and abundantly, according to what a man has and chooses to give.

2 Corinthians 8:7 But as you abound in everything, in faith, utterance, knowledge, all earnestness, and in your love to us, see that you also abound in this grace.

2 Corinthians 8:8 I speak not by way of commandment, but as proving through the earnestness of others the sincerity also of your love.

2 Corinthians 8:12 for if the readiness is there, it is acceptable according to what you have, not according to what you don’t have.

2 Corinthians 8:13 for this is not that others may be eased and you distressed,

2 Corinthians 9:6 Remember this: he who sows sparingly will also reap sparingly. He who sows bountifully will also reap bountifully.

2 Corinthians 9:7 Let each man give according as he has determined in his heart; not grudgingly, or under compulsion; for God loves a cheerful giver.

2 Corinthians 9:8 And God is able to make all grace abound to you, that you, always having all sufficiency in everything, may abound to every good work.

Shalom!!!

The Relationship Of The Gentiles To The Law Of Moses

The Acts 15:1 But some men came down from Judea and were teaching the brothers, Unless you are circumcised according to the custom of Moses, you cannot be saved.

The Acts 15:2 And after Paul and Barnabas had no small dissension and debate with them, Paul and Barnabas and some of the others were appointed to go up to Jerusalem to the apostles and the elders about this question.

Paul and Barnabas, separated by the Holy Spirit to take the Gospel to the Gentiles, had been preaching about salvation through faith in Christ. And God had been blessing their efforts with massive conversion of the Gentiles.

Suddenly, some men came from Jerusalem, the headquarters of the Jewish Church, and started insisting that the Gentiles could not be saved by having faith in Christ alone. That to be fully and completely saved, Gentile believers must believe in Christ and also keep the Mosaic Law. What they meant was that, salvation for the Gentiles must be by grace plus observance of the Mosaic Law.

I want us to understand the fundamental issue here. Paul and Barnabas preached salvation by faith in Christ alone. By their preaching, you don’t need to observe the Mosaic Law to be saved. By grace you are saved, through faith in Christ alone.

Some men from Jerusalem who were also believers in Christ (Jewish believers) came from Jerusalem and countered the teachings of Paul and Barnabas on this issue. They told the Gentiles that faith in Christ alone was not sufficient for salvation. They taught that, to be fully saved, the Gentiles had to get circumcised (an entry point into the Mosaic covenant) and keep the law of Moses, in addition to having faith in Christ. In effect, those Judaisers preached that Gentiles had to become converts to Judaism first, before they could become born again.

As a result, a great dispute ensued. Paul and Barnabas argued fiercely with these Judaisers from Jerusalem. The contention on this issue was so hot that the Church in Antioch resolved the matter needed to be settled by the council of apostles and elders in Jerusalem. It was a big enough issue to call for the first church council. It’s still a big enough issue in our day because the confusion still lingers.

So, Paul and Barnabas and other appointed members of the church in Antioch went up to Jerusalem to meet the apostles and elders there to resolve this issue. Let’s hear what the first church council had to say about this matter.

The Acts 15:4 When they came to Jerusalem, they were welcomed by the church and the apostles and the elders, and they declared all that God had done with them.

The Acts 15:5 But some believers who belonged to the party of the Pharisees rose up and said, It is necessary to circumcise them and to order them to keep the law of Moses.

The Acts 15:6 The apostles and the elders were gathered together to consider this matter.

The Acts 15:7 And after there had been much debate, Peter stood up and said to them, Brothers, you know that in the early days God made a choice among you, that by my mouth the Gentiles should hear the word of the gospel and believe.

The Acts 15:8 And God, who knows the heart, bore witness to them, by giving them the Holy Spirit just as he did to us,

The Acts 15:9 and he made no distinction between us and them, having cleansed their hearts by faith.

The Acts 15:10 Now, therefore, why are you putting God to the test by placing a yoke on the neck of the disciples that neither our fathers nor we have been able to bear?

The Acts 15:11 But we believe that we will be saved through the grace of the Lord Jesus, just as they will.

Above was Peter’s response to the debate. The Apostle Peter saw the compelling of the Gentiles to keep the Law of Moses as an unnecessary yoke which even they themselves being Jews couldn’t observe faithfully. Let us also carefully consider James’ response, one of the pillars of the Jewish Church, and the head of the Apostolic council in Jerusalem at the time. Isn’t it interesting that James (the half-brother of Jesus) was the head of the Church in Jerusalem at this time, and not Peter, whom the Roman Catholics consider the first Pope? Let’s look at James’ response carefully and digest it before we move on. Very important!

The Acts 15:12 And all the assembly fell silent, and they listened to Barnabas and Paul as they related what signs and wonders God had done through them among the Gentiles.

The Acts 15:13 After they finished speaking, James replied, Brothers, listen to me.

The Acts 15:14 Simeon has related how God first visited the Gentiles, to take from them a people for his name.

The Acts 15:15 And with this the words of the prophets agree, just as it is written,

The Acts 15:16 After this I will return, and I will rebuild the tent of David that has fallen; I will rebuild its ruins, and I will restore it,

The Acts 15:17 that the remnant of mankind may seek the Lord, and all the Gentiles who are called by my name, says the Lord, who makes these things

The Acts 15:18 known from of old.

The Acts 15:19 Therefore my judgment is that we should not trouble those of the Gentiles who turn to God,

The Acts 15:20 but should write to them to abstain from the things polluted by idols, and from sexual immorality, and from what has been strangled, and from blood.

The Acts 15:21 For from ancient generations Moses has had in every city those who proclaim him, for he is read every Sabbath in the synagogues.

James too, like Peter, did not see any reason why the Gentiles should keep the law of Moses, other than the universal law God gave to mankind through Noah, to avoid eating blood, strangled animals and food offered to idols, and to abstain from sexual immorality. Out of the entire Mosaic Law, these were the things singled out for the Gentiles to observe!

The Acts 15:22 Then it seemed good to the apostles and the elders, with the whole church, to choose men from among them and send them to Antioch with Paul and Barnabas. They sent Judas called Barsabbas, and Silas, leading men among the brothers,

The Acts 15:23 with the following letter: The brothers, both the apostles and the elders, to the brothers who are of the Gentiles in Antioch and Syria and Cilicia, greetings.

The Acts 15:24 Since we have heard that some persons have gone out from us and troubled you with words, unsettling your minds, although we gave them no instructions,

The Acts 15:25 it has seemed good to us, having come to one accord, to choose men and send them to you with our beloved Barnabas and Paul,

The Acts 15:26 men who have risked their lives for the sake of our Lord Jesus Christ.

The Acts 15:27 We have therefore sent Judas and Silas, who themselves will tell you the same things by word of mouth.

The Acts 15:28 For it has seemed good to the Holy Spirit and to us to lay on you no greater burden than these requirements:

The Acts 15:29 that you abstain from what has been sacrificed to idols, and from blood, and from what has been strangled, and from sexual immorality. If you keep yourselves from these, you will do well. Farewell.

That was the conclusion of the Apostolic Council at Jerusalem on the issue of whether or not Gentile believers should obey and keep Law of Moses, in addition to having faith in Christ Jesus, before they could be saved. Please, digest it carefully and let it sink in. This is potentially revolutionary!!!

The Acts 15:30 So when they were sent off, they went down to Antioch, and having gathered the congregation together, they delivered the letter.

The Acts 15:31 And when they had read it, they rejoiced because of its encouragement.

See the effect of this liberating truth on the Gentile believers!!!

Brothers and sisters, the solution to that seemingly irrelevant question was the defining point of the Gospel. It was what saved the Gospel of grace and preserved the purity of the Gospel. It was the greatest battle Paul fought throughout his ministry, the battle to  keep grace from being corrupted and made of non-effect by the Law. It was the crux of the Epistle to the Galatians, who had been seduced by the grace plus Law theology and had fallen from grace thereby.

To begin with, the Old Testament was a covenant between God and the Israelites. The Gentiles were not a part of that covenant, although God had in mind to bring them into His blessings later. But, the Gentiles were not a part of that Covenant on Mount Sinai that God made with Israel. A few Gentiles like Ruth had to renounce their gods and nationalities and become proselyted to the Jewish religion to enjoy the benefits of the Covenant. But, basically,  it was a contractual agreement between God and Israel. If you’re not a party to a contract, you will neither benefit from, nor suffer from the contract. True or false?

Let me draw a conclusion to what we’ve been saying: the Gentile believers do not need to keep the Law of Moses to be saved. We are not under the Law of Moses. Observance of the Law of Moses cannot save us. We are not under the Old Testament. The Old Testament is expired and has been replaced by the New. The Old Testament and the Mosaic Law that regulate it is an expired document that can only bring death, not life!!!

 The Law is a prisoner! And we have allowed it to hold Grace captive and made it ineffectual.

Galatians 3:10 For all who rely on works of the law are under a curse; for it is written, Cursed be everyone who does not abide by all things written in the Book of the Law, and do them.

Galatians 3:11 Now it is evident that no one is justified before God by the law, for The righteous shall live by faith.

Galatians 3:12 But the law is not of faith, rather The one who does them shall live by them.

Galatians 3:1 O foolish Galatians! Who has bewitched you? It was before your eyes that Jesus Christ was publicly portrayed as crucified.

Galatians 3:2 Let me ask you only this: Did you receive the Spirit by works of the law or by hearing with faith?

Galatians 3:3 Are you so foolish? Having begun by the Spirit, are you now being perfected by the flesh?

Galatians 3:4 Did you suffer so many things in vain—if indeed it was in vain?

Galatians 3:5 Does he who supplies the Spirit to you and works miracles among you do so by works of the law, or by hearing with faith—

Ladies and gentlemen, let’s remind ourselves what the Law is, as used by Paul and other New Testament writers. By the Law, we mean the entire Mosaic Law! Yes, the entirety of the Mosaic Law! The moral law, the statutes, the judgments, the religious, the social, the economic laws governing the lives of God’s people in the Old Testament, the Israelites. This refers to the over 600 statutes and ordinances in the Mosaic Law, including the laws regulating the Tabernacle worship, the priesthood, tithes, etc.

Galatians 3:19 Why then the law? It was added because of transgressions, until the offspring should come to whom the promise had been made, and it was put in place through angels by an intermediary.

God’s gift of salvation does not depend on observance of the Mosaic Law. It’s predicated on the grace of God in his promise to Abraham. A promise made to Abraham not because he observed any works of the Law, but simply because he believed God.

Galatians 3:15 To give a human example, brothers: even with a man-made covenant, no one annuls it or adds to it once it has been ratified.

Galatians 3:16 Now the promises were made to Abraham and to his offspring. It does not say, And to offsprings, referring to many, but referring to one, And to your offspring, who is Christ.

Galatians 3:17 This is what I mean: the law, which came 430 years afterward, does not annul a covenant previously ratified by God, so as to make the promise void.

Galatians 3:18 For if the inheritance comes by the law, it no longer comes by promise; but God gave it to Abraham by a promise.

Friends, the Law is a cage, a prison house! It is a curse! If you live under the Mosaic Law and expect to be blessed thereby, you’re living a lie. The only way you can live under the Law is by unfailingly keeping every single law/ordinance contained in the Law. If you break one, you’re dead!!! The Law is a trap house that leads to death. It doesn’t have life or blessing in it and it wasn’t designed to, in the first place.

Galatians 4:21 Tell me, you who desire to be under the law, do you not listen to the law?

Galatians 4:22 For it is written that Abraham had two sons, one by a slave woman and one by a free woman.

Galatians 4:23 But the son of the slave was born according to the flesh, while the son of the free woman was born through promise.

Galatians 4:24 Now this may be interpreted allegorically: these women are two covenants. One is from Mount Sinai, bearing children for slavery; she is Hagar.

Galatians 4:25 Now Hagar is Mount Sinai in Arabia; she corresponds to the present Jerusalem, for she is in slavery with her children.

Galatians 4:26 But the Jerusalem above is free, and she is our mother.

Galatians 4:27 For it is written, Rejoice, O barren one who does not bear; break forth and cry aloud, you who are not in labor! For the children of the desolate one will be more than those of the one who has a husband.

Galatians 4:28 Now you, brothers, like Isaac, are children of promise.

Galatians 4:29 But just as at that time he who was born according to the flesh persecuted him who was born according to the Spirit, so also it is now.

Galatians 4:30 But what does the Scripture say? Cast out the slave woman and her son, for the son of the slave woman shall not inherit with the son of the free woman.

Galatians 4:31 So, brothers, we are not children of the slave but of the free woman.

Somebody will go to Deuteronomy 22: 5 and say,‘ you see, a woman wearing a garment that belongs to a man is an abomination’, but Deuteronomy 22:9-12 also says, ‘Do not plant any crop in the same field as your grapevines; if you do , you’re forbidden to use either the grapes or the produce of the other crop. Do not hitch an ox or a donkey together in plowing. Do not wear cloth made by weaving wool and linen together’.

Why don’t they that desire to keep the Law, keep the whole Law? Why do they wear garments of mixed fibers, and sow different crops in their farms?

Grasp this! The Law was given to show man what sin is. And the Law was to be useful in that regard until the coming of Christ. After Christ has come, the Law, having fulfilled its purpose, becomes useless! Isn’t it distressing how ministers cage God’s people with the Law and make them live under a curse? Haven’t you heard people say ‘if you don’t pay your tithe, you’re under a curse’?, using Malachi 3:9, a scripture related to the support of the Levitical Priesthood under the Mosaic Law. Are these ministers of tithe and Malachi in the old or new covenant?

Those desiring to remain as part of the Old Covenant of Mount Sinai are children of Hagar. The Children of Promise, like Isaac, belong to the New Jerusalem. Hagar and her children are in bondage. All those under the Law are in bondage!!! And guess what? They will always be the ones to persecute the children of Promise. But, you know what? They will always be cast away, like Ishmael.

Galatians 3:21 Is the law then contrary to the promises of God? Certainly not! For if a law had been given that could give life, then righteousness would indeed be by the law.

Galatians 3:22 But the Scripture imprisoned everything under sin, so that the promise by faith in Jesus Christ might be given to those who believe.

Galatians 3:23 Now before faith came, we were held captive under the law, imprisoned until the coming faith would be revealed.

Galatians 3:24 So then, the law was our guardian until Christ came, in order that we might be justified by faith.

Galatians 3:25 But now that faith has come, we are no longer under a guardian.

Galatians 5:7 You were running well. Who hindered you from obeying the truth?

Galatians 5:8 This persuasion is not from him who calls you.

Galatians 5:9 A little leaven leavens the whole lump.

It’s important we realize who Paul was addressing here- born again Christians in Galatia who once believed in salvation by faith in Christ alone, but had now been seduced to believe in salvation by Grace in Christ plus obedience to the Old Testament Mosaic Law. Think about it, friends. A born again Christian can start in the Spirit (justification and sanctification by faith through grace) and end up in the flesh (observance of the Law).

Galatians 5:1 For freedom Christ has set us free; stand firm therefore, and do not submit again to a yoke of slavery.

Galatians 5:2 Look: I, Paul, say to you that if you accept circumcision, Christ will be of no advantage to you.

Galatians 5:3 I testify again to every man who accepts circumcision that he is obligated to keep the whole law.

Galatians 5:4 You are severed from Christ, you who would be justified by the law; you have fallen away from grace.

 If you insist on keeping the Law that has been abolished, you have fallen from grace. Christ is of no use to you! Did you get that? If you want to keep one part of the Law of Moses, then you must keep the entire Mosaic Law. And if you do that (if you can!), you’re a lost slave!

Whoever persuades a believer to go back to any portion of the Mosaic Law is not under the influence of the Holy Spirit. The person is working at cross purposes with God, whoever he is! I don’t care if he’s a Pope or an Archbishop or a General Overseer. He’s missed the mark of the Gospel!

Galatians 6:12 It is those who want to make a good showing in the flesh who would force you to be circumcised, and only in order that they may not be persecuted for the cross of Christ.

Galatians 6:13 For even those who are circumcised do not themselves keep the law, but they desire to have you circumcised that they may boast in your flesh.

Galatians 6:14 But far be it from me to boast except in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, by which the world has been crucified to me, and I to the world.

If you’re preaching grace alone minus the Law of Moses, you’ll get heavily persecuted. Religious people like to make a ritualistic, even if hypocritical, show of keeping some carnal ordinances, especially those make them self-righteous. They want to work for their salvation, and pay their way to heaven through tithe, etc. And the preachers who love the wages of unrighteousness, like Balaam, love to dwell on the Mosaic Law, because of tithes, first fruits and seeds!!!

Galatians 5:11 But if I, brothers, still preach circumcision, why am I still being persecuted? In that case the offense of the cross has been removed.

Galatians 5:12 I wish those who unsettle you would emasculate themselves!

The Mosaic Law and the Old Covenant it represents have been nullified and abolished, and have been replaced by the New Covenant ratified on Calvary by the blood Jesus. We are no longer under the Law, neither are we anymore under the Old Covenant!

Hebrews 8:7 For if that first covenant had been faultless, there would have been no occasion to look for a second.

Hebrews 8:8 For he finds fault with them when he says: Behold, the days are coming, declares the Lord, when I will establish a new covenant with the house of Israel and with the house of Judah,

Hebrews 8:9 not like the covenant that I made with their fathers on the day when I took them by the hand to bring them out of the land of Egypt. For they did not continue in my covenant, and so I showed no concern for them, declares the Lord.

Hebrews 8:10 For this is the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel after those days, declares the Lord: I will put my laws into their minds, and write them on their hearts, and I will be their God, and they shall be my people.

Hebrews 8:11 And they shall not teach, each one his neighbor and each one his brother, saying, Know the Lord, for they shall all know me, from the least of them to the greatest.

Hebrews 8:12 For I will be merciful toward their iniquities, and I will remember their sins no more.

Hebrews 8:13 In speaking of a new covenant, he makes the first one obsolete. And what is becoming obsolete and growing old is ready to vanish away.

Romans 7:1 Or do you not know, brothers—for I am speaking to those who know the law—that the law is binding on a person only as long as he lives?

Romans 7:2 Thus a married woman is bound by law to her husband while he lives, but if her husband dies she is released from the law of marriage.

Romans 7:3 Accordingly, she will be called an adulteress if she lives with another man while her husband is alive. But if her husband dies, she is free from that law, and if she marries another man she is not an adulteress.

Romans 7:4 Likewise, my brothers, you also have died to the law through the body of Christ, so that you may belong to another, to him who has been raised from the dead, in order that we may bear fruit for God.

Romans 7:5 For while we were living in the flesh, our sinful passions, aroused by the law, were at work in our members to bear fruit for death.

Romans 7:6 But now we are released from the law, having died to that which held us captive, so that we serve not under the old written code but in the new life of the Spirit.

All believers in Christ died with him on the cross and thus became dead to the Law of Moses. The Law does not have jurisdiction over a dead man, does it? If you’re in Christ, you’re dead to the world and the Law of Moses.

The things that are expired and that we are no longer required to keep, are the 600 plus statutes, judgments, ordinances and precepts in the Mosaic Law that govern the religious, social and economic lives of Israelites, from Exodus to Malachi.

When we say the Old Testament is expired and abolished, we’re actually talking about the Covenant God had with Israel on Mount Sinai, given through Moses, and regulated by the Mosaic Law.

The Gospels, the book of Acts and the Epistles of the Apostles of Christ constitute the rule of faith for the New Testament believer.

What this means is that, you don’t have to go to the Mosaic Law to find out what God requires of you to do in matters of conduct, belief and practice.  Also expired and no longer to be observed are the laws regarding the Levitical priesthood, the sacrifices of that priesthood and the laws that sustained that priesthood etc.

Now, that doesn’t mean the Old Testament portion of your Bible is useless and should be ripped off. The Old Testament portion of the Bible does not contain only the Mosaic Law.

In the Old Testament, we have accounts of the creation, the progressive revelation of God, God’s dealings with man, prophecies (some of which have been fulfilled, and some of which are yet to be fulfilled)

Even in the Mosaic Law and other portions of the Old Testament, we have types and shadows of Christ in the various events and processes that transpired in the lives of godly men and women.

Most importantly, we have examples of godly men and women, how they stood for righteousness and how they were blessed of God. That’s the purpose of the old testament– to act as examples for us to learn from, so that we don’t make the same mistakes some people made and lost favour with God.

1 Corinthians 10:1 Moreover, brethren, I do not want you to be unaware that all our fathers were under the cloud, all passed through the sea,

 1 Corinthians 10:2 all were baptized into Moses in the cloud and in the sea,

1 Corinthians 10:3 all ate the same spiritual food,

1 Corinthians 10:4 and all drank the same spiritual drink. For they drank of that spiritual Rock that followed them, and that Rock was Christ.

1 Corinthians 10:5 But with most of them God was not well pleased, for their bodies were scattered in the wilderness.

1 Corinthians 10:6 now these things became our examples, to the intent that we should not lust after evil things as they also lusted.

1 Corinthians 10:7 and do not become idolaters as were some of them. As it is written, “The people sat down to eat and drink, and rose up to play.”

1 Corinthians 10:8 nor let us commit sexual immorality, as some of them did, and in one day twenty-three thousand fell;

1 Corinthians 10:9 nor let us tempt Christ, as some of them also tempted, and were destroyed by serpents;

1 Corinthians 10:10 nor complain, as some of them also complained, and were destroyed by the destroyer.

1 Corinthians 10:11 Now all these things happened to them as examples, and they were written for our admonition, upon whom the ends of the ages have come.

1 Corinthians 10:12 Therefore let him who thinks he stands take heed lest he fall.

The revelation of God in the Old Testament was in shadow and progressive, culminating in the full revelation of God in Christ.

 The Old Testament is not only truly historical, it also reveals the plan of God and declares the future of mankind. But remember– Christ is the substance and the fulfillment of the types and shadows depicted in the Old Testament.

So, read and study the Old Testament, along with the new. Both make up the Bible! Hebrews 11 also chronicles some of the heroic deeds of some of the men and women of faith in the Old Testament. Their biographies are inspiring.  If they accomplished what they did under the blood of bulls and goats which could only cover sin but not take it away, how much more should we accomplish under the blood of Christ which alone can take away sin.

But please, don’t forget the most important message of this teaching- the laws of Moses as contained in Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers and Deuteronomy are expired and abolished, and have no relevance in the conduct and practice of the New Testament church. What governs the New Testament churches is the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus, as contained in the Gospels, the book of Acts and the Epistles of the Apostles of Christ.

Read and study the Old Testament! Without a firm understanding of the Old Testament, you will not understand nor appreciate the new. But,  don’t let any man bring you back to bondage by demanding obedience to any part of the expired and abolished Mosaic Laws, especially the laws of tithing, first fruits, etc,.

As we study about the heroes and heroines of faith in the Old Testament and learn from their examples, let us remember one thing- we have a better covenant than theirs, which is founded upon better promises.

 Hebrews 11:39 and all these, having obtained a good testimony through faith, did not receive the promise,

Hebrews 11:40 God having provided something better for us, that they should not be made perfect apart from us.

Therefore let us not look back and yearn to be like them, rather let us look up and aspire to be better, because we have a better covenant founded upon better promises. Servants of God, fear not! The New Testament has better provisions for your welfare. Stop going back to the expired Mosaic Law to look for tithe and first fruits by fraudulent means. You’re not a Levitical priest!!!

Once you go back to keeping any part of the Mosaic Law, you place yourself under a curse and remove yourself from grace.

Shalom!!!

How To Identify False Prophets

Everywhere you turn to, you see prophets. In fact, the prophetic ministry is the most flourishing of all ministries in the church right now. Prophetic churches are filled with people seeking to divine their future. What does the Bible say about prophets? Does the prophetic gift still operate in the New Testament? How do we identify true prophets? How do we know a false prophet?

Yes, the prophetic gift/ministry is still operational in the New Testament church!

Ephesians 4:11 And He gave some as apostles, and some as prophets, and some as evangelists, and some as pastors and teachers,

Ephesians 4:12 for the equipping of the saints for the work of service, to the building up of the body of Christ;

Ephesians 4:13 until we all attain to the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to a mature man, to the measure of the stature which belongs to the fullness of Christ.

1 Corinthians 12:8 for to one is given the word of wisdom through the Spirit, and to another the word of knowledge according to the same Spirit;

1 Corinthians 12:9 to another faith by the same Spirit, and to another gifts of healing by the one Spirit,

1 Corinthians 12:10 and to another the effecting of miracles, and to another prophecy, and to another the distinguishing of spirits, to another various kinds of tongues, and to another the interpretation of tongues.

1 Corinthians 12:11 But one and the same Spirit works all these things, distributing to each one individually just as He wills.

Prophecy is one of the gifts of the Holy Spirit, and prophets are members of the five fold ministry (Apostles, Prophets, Evangelists, Pastors and Teachers). However, like we all know, for every genuine gift of God, there’s a counterfeit. Just like we have false apostles, false evangelists, false pastors and false teachers, we also have false prophets!

The purpose of this brief teaching is to help believers scripturally identify false prophets. This is very important because they’re all over the place deceiving millions of people, extorting money from many and leading many astray.

Who is a prophet?

A prophet is someone who, through the gift of the Holy Spirit, can fore-tell or forth-tell events, which the human mind could not have fathomed out on its own.

To foretell means to predict an event before it happens.

To forth-tell is to expose events that have happened in the past or are happening in the present.

Prophesying is not predicting based on permutations or review of facts. Prophesying is God revealing hidden secrets of the past or present, as well as accurately unveiling the future. True prophecy is 100% accurate, all the time, because God cannot fail and cannot lie.

2 Peter 1:20 but know this first of all, that no prophecy of Scripture is a matter of one’s own interpretation,

2 Peter 1:21 for no prophecy was ever made by an act of human will, but men moved by the Holy Spirit spoke from God.

Get it right!

True prophecy does not emanate from the human will. True prophecy comes from the Holy Spirit and since the Holy Spirit cannot lie, every true prophecy must come to pass. That’s why when prophets of God prophesy in the Bible, they start their messages with, “thus saith the Lord…”. It means, “this is what God is saying”. It is not the man talking at that moment, but the Holy Spirit speaking through him.

Now, let’s get to the methods of identifying false prophets and false prophecies.

Deuteronomy 18:18 I will raise up a prophet from among their countrymen like you, and I will put My words in his mouth, and he shall speak to them all that I command him.

Deuteronomy 18:19 It shall come about that whoever will not listen to My words which he shall speak in My name, I Myself will require it of him.

Deuteronomy 18:20 But the prophet who speaks a word presumptuously in My name which I have not commanded him to speak, or which he speaks in the name of other gods, that prophet shall die.’

Deuteronomy 18:21 you may say in your heart, ‘How will we know the word which the Lord has not spoken?’

Deuteronomy 18:22 When a prophet speaks in the name of the Lord, if the thing does not come about or come true, that is the thing which the Lord has not spoken; the prophet has spoken it presumptuously. You need not to be afraid of him.

We learn some important things from the passages above:

1. A true prophet speaks the word of God, because God puts his word in the mouth of the true prophet.

2. A prophet can presume to speak in the name of God, when God has not spoken.

3. A prophet can speak in the name of other gods.

In summary, a prophet can be influenced by any one of these spirits:

1. The Holy Spirit.

2. His own human spirit.

3. Evil spirits.

If a prophet speaks from the Holy Spirit, the thing must come to pass. If a prophet speaks from his own human spirit or from evil spirits, the thing may or may not come to pass.

Deuteronomy 18:22 When a prophet speaks in the name of the Lord, if the thing does not come about or come true, that is the thing which the Lord has not spoken. The prophet has spoken it presumptuously; you shall not be afraid of him.

If any prophet claims to be speaking in the name of the Lord, by saying, “thus saith the Lord”, and the thing he prophesied about did not come to pass, know that God did not speak to that prophet, for God cannot fail! Whatever God says must come to pass!

So, if a prophet claimed to prophesy in the name of the Lord and the prophecy failed to come to pass as he said it, know that God did not speak to him. His mind or an evil spirit may have inspired him, it was certainly not God that inspired him!

Numbers 23:19 “God is not a man, that He should lie, nor a son of man, that He should repent; Has He said, and will He not do it? Or has He spoken, and will He not make it good?

1 Samuel 15:29 Also the Glory of Israel will not lie or change His mind; for He is not a man that He should change His mind.”

Titus 1:2 In hope of eternal life, which God, that cannot lie, promised before the world began.

Hebrews 6:18 So that by two unchangeable things in which it is impossible for God to lie , we who have taken refuge would have strong encouragement to take hold of the hope set before us.

So, friends, it’s impossible for God to lie! If a supposedly God-given prophecy failed to happen as prophesied, be sure that that prophecy did not come from God and if a supposedly prophet of God gave a prophecy and it failed to come to pass, Bible says you should not fear that man. Don’t be afraid of him!

Deuteronomy 18:22 When a prophet speaks in the name of the Lord, if the thing does not come about or come true, that is the thing which the Lord has not spoken. The prophet has spoken it presumptuously; you shall not be afraid of him.

And why should you not be afraid of such a man? Because he’s a false prophet! There’s also another situation which is more dangerous. A prophet can prophesy and the thing will come to pass exactly as he said, and yet he’s a false prophet!

Deuteronomy 13:1“If a prophet or a dreamer of dreams arises among you and gives you a sign or a wonder,

Deuteronomy 13:2 and the sign or the wonder comes true, concerning which he spoke to you, saying, ‘Let us go after other gods (whom you have not known) and let us serve them,’

Deuteronomy 13:3 you shall not listen to the words of that prophet or that dreamer of dreams; for the Lord your God is testing you to find out if you love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul.

Now, imagine a prophet gave you a prophecy and the prophecy came to pass. Isn’t that wonderful? Wouldn’t you immediately conclude that he’s a true prophet of God? Not so fast! You must test him further. Give him the WORD test!

Does he lead you to God or does he lead you to other gods?

Does he ask for money to go and do curse-breaking?

Does he ask you to go and offer sacrifices to break a curse?

Does he ask to take you to a river for cleansing?

Does he ask you to do anything that’s contrary to the letter and spirit of the Gospel of our Lord?

If a does any of these things that are capable of leading you away from God, though his prophecy came to pass, he’s a false prophet! You can’t be in Christ and be under a curse. The moment you come to Christ, you’re translated from the kingdom of darkness into the kingdom of light. You move from the curse of sin and death to blessings of God in Christ Jesus. You’re a new creature, old things (personal curses, familial curses, ancestral curses, generational curses, etc) are passed away, and all things become new!

2 Corinthians 5:17 Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new.

Galatians 3:13 Christ has redeemed us from the curse of the law, having become a curse for us (for it is written, “Cursed is everyone who hangs on a tree”),

Galatians 3:14 That the blessing of Abraham might come upon the Gentiles in Christ Jesus, that we might receive the promise of the Spirit through faith.

Colossians 1:13 He hath delivered us from the power of darkness, and hath translated us into the kingdom of his dear Son:

Child of God, don’t let any false prophet tell you you’re suffering from any form of curses, when you’re in Christ. Whoever tells you that is a child of hell who doesn’t know the gospel. Whoever tells you that you need to do curse-breaking is a cursed prophet. Your complete and total curse-breaking took place on Calvary about 2000 years ago, and became operational and effective in your life the moment you became born again!

A true prophet of God (like any other true servant of God) does not trade with his gift. He does not sell the gift for money. He does not make merchandise of the gift of God!

The Acts 8:18 And when Simon saw that through the laying on of the apostles’ hands the Holy Spirit was given, he offered them money,

The Acts 8:19 saying, “Give me this power also, that anyone on whom I lay hands may receive the Holy Spirit”.

The Acts 8:20 But Peter said to him, “Your money perish with you, because you thought that the gift of God could be purchased with money.

The Acts 8:21 You have neither part nor portion in this matter, for your heart is not right in the sight of God.

The Acts 8:22 Repent therefore of this your wickedness, and pray God if perhaps the thought of your heart may be forgiven you.

The Acts 8:23 For I see that you are poisoned by bitterness and bound by iniquity.”

You cannot buy the gift of God with money and a true servant of God will not sell the gift of God for money, like we see all these false prophets doing all over the place.

Matthew 10:8 Heal the sick, cleanse the lepers, raise the dead, cast out demons. Freely you have received, freely give.

Jude 1:11 Woe to them! For they have gone in the way of Cain, have run greedily in the error of Balaam for profit, and perished in the rebellion of Korah.

A prophet who prophesies for reward or monetary gain has the anointing of Balaam, and will perish like Balaam. Any prophet that prays with you using incense, candles, special oil, etc, while demanding for money, is the first born of Satan!

Matthew 7:15 Beware of false prophets, who come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ravenous wolves.

False prophets are not concerned with your soul salvation. They’re not concerned about holiness. They’re not concerned about the truth of the Gospel. They’re not concerned about the coming of the Lord. They’re not concerned about living a godly, contented, humble Christian life. They are destitute of the fruits of the spirit.

In conclusion, test any prophet carefully, with the word of God, before you believe them. Test their prophecies, observe their lifestyles and conduct, both on the pulpit and outside the pulpit. Watch their utterances. Observe their regard and respect for the written word of God. The true prophetic word can never contradict the written Word.

Beware of false prophets who are everywhere!

Shalom!

How To Identify False Ministers Of The Gospel

People are tired of hearing this perverted gospel we preach that’s lacking in love and holiness, and that’s full of prosperity and high-class living for pastors and General Overseers, while church members are suffering. It’s a gospel of deception! Churches have become personal and family businesses and dens of thieves, rather than places of prayer and worship. People have forgotten the real message of the cross that goes with love and happiness.

John 15:13 “Greater love has no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends”.

That’s the original Apostolic Gospel, where the leaders of the church were not living like kings and lords, while majority of the people were going hungry. The problem with Christianity is the leaders first, who are leading the people astray. The second problem is the ignorant and foolish people who are blindly following their greedy leaders!

For false christs and false prophets will arise, and they will show great signs and wonders so as to deceive and lead astray, if possible, even the elect (God’s chosen ones). Our Lord warned us of false christs (anointed ones) and false prophets who will arise in the last days, with the sole intent to deceive and lead God’s people astray.

If you don’t know how to identify these messengers of Satan transforming themselves as apostles of Christ, you will be led astray, deceived and suffer shipwreck in your faith! The good thing is that, we’ve been forewarned in the Scriptures, by our Lord and his apostles, to beware of these wolves masquerading in sheep clothing. So, if we fail to take the warning of scripture, we have only ourselves to blame. No one can claim ignorance, because we’ve been forewarned.

What has confused simple-minded believers is how somebody can be anointed, heal the sick, prophesy, do mighty signs and wonders in Jesus name, and still be false and satanic.

Matthew 7:22 Many will say to me on that day, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name, and in your name cast out demons, and in your name perform many miracles?’

Matthew 7:23 And then I will declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from me, you who practice lawlessness.’

Think of it!

Someone can call Jesus, ‘ Lord’, prophesy in Jesus name, cast out devils in Jesus name, perform many miracles in Jesus name, and will still be told by Jesus at the end that he was a worker of iniquity. That’s pretty serious, isn’t it!

Friends, let me just run ahead of myself and say it now. Prophecy, signs and wonders, miracles, etc are not the evidence to use in judging whether a man of God is genuine or not. None of the gifts of the Holy Spirit can be used as evidence to judge the genuineness of a believer or a man of God.

Not speaking in tongues! Not interpretation of tongues! Not prophecy! Not gifts of healing! Not gift of miracle!

Don’t forget this. Any of the gifts of the Holy Spirit can be counterfeited! Satan can perform miracles and signs and wonders.

Revelation 16:13 and I saw three unclean spirits like frogs come out of the mouth of the dragon, and out of the mouth of the beast, and out of the mouth of the false prophet.

Revelation 16:14 for they are the spirits of devils, working miracles, which go forth unto the kings of the earth and of the whole world, to gather them to the battle of that great day of God Almighty.

Did you see it there in verse 14? The spirits of devils working miracles!

Revelation 13:11 then I saw another beast coming up out of the earth; and he had two horns like a lamb and he spoke as a dragon.

Revelation 13:12 He exercises all the authority of the first beast in his presence. And he makes the earth and those who dwell in it to worship the first beast, whose fatal wound was healed.

Revelation 13:13 He performs great signs, so that he even makes fire come down out of heaven to the earth in the presence of men.

Revelation 13:14 and he deceives those who dwell on the earth because of the signs which it was given him to perform in the presence of the beast, telling those who dwell on the earth to make an image to the beast who had the wound of the sword and has come to life.

Revelation 13:15 And he had power to give life unto the image of the beast, that the image of the beast should both speak, and cause that as many as would not worship the image of the beast should be killed.

Remember how the magicians in Egypt were able to counterfeit the signs and wonders the Holy Spirit performed through Moses? So, all the gifts of the Holy Spirit can be counterfeited by Satan. Don’t ever forget that! Also, remember that the gifts and calling of God are without repentance.

Romans 11:29 for the gifts and the calling of God are irrevocable.

What this means is that, someone who started genuinely may have a genuine anointing and calling, and be genuinely gifted by God, may then fall away from grace, depart from God and still be operating those gifts of the Holy Spirit!

Hear me, folks! God does not take away his gifts from anybody, once he’s released them! Even if we misuse the gifts, he doesn’t recall them. He will judge how we use the gifts at the end, not here. So, stop asking, “If he’s false, why is God blessing him?” or “why is God doing signs and wonders with him?” Or “why is God manifesting in his ministry?”

Remember that Lucifer who once was the bright covering cherub in heaven fell from grace to become Satan (God’s adversary), yet he still retains the powers and gifts he had from God. God didn’t take the gifts and powers from him. So, don’t you ever judge a person or a man of God by his gifts and anointing, unless you want to be deceived.

So then, how are we to judge a person or a man God? How do we know if a minister is genuine or not? How do we test the spirits controlling ministers?

We need to know how to test them because the Bible says, “test or try all spirits!”

1 John 4:1Beloved, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits to see whether they are from God, because many false prophets have gone out into the world.

Matthew 7:16 You will know them by their fruits. Grapes are not gathered from thorn bushes nor figs from thistles, are they?

Matthew 7:17 So every good tree bears good fruit, but the bad tree bears bad fruit.

Matthew 7:18 A good tree cannot produce bad fruit, nor can a bad tree produce good fruit.

Matthew 7:19 Every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire.

Matthew 7:20 So then, you will know them by their fruits.

Did you get it? You identify the genuineness of a minister of God by their fruits, not by their gifts and anointing. Gifts and anointing can be counterfeited. Gifts and anointing can remain intact even when a man has fallen away from grace. However, fruits cannot be counterfeited!

You can’t successfully fake the fruits of the Spirit!

Galatians 5:22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness,

Galatians 5:23 gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law.

So, watch out for the fruits emanating from the life and ministry of the man. If his character does not reflect the character of Christ, he’s not of Christ. He may perform all the signs and wonders in this world. He may even accurately prophesy about the colour of pant you wore yesterday, or the amount of money you have in your account; if he doesn’t portray the character of Christ, he’s not of Christ!

2 Peter 2:1But false prophets also arose among the people, just as there will also be false teachers among you, who will secretly introduce destructive heresies, even denying the Master who bought them, bringing swift destruction upon themselves.

2 Peter 2:2 Many will follow their sensuality, and because of them the way of the truth will be maligned;

2 Peter 2:3 and in their greed they will exploit you with false words; their judgment from long ago is not idle, and their destruction is not asleep.

One other sign of false ministers is that, they secretly introduce destructive heresies into the church. Think about this! False ministers have no regard for the word of God. They can manipulate it anyhow just to achieve their selfish ambition.

 Acts 20:28 Be on guard for yourselves and for all the flock, among which the Holy Spirit has made you overseers, to shepherd the church of God which He purchased with His own blood.

Acts 20:29 I know that after my departure savage wolves will come in among you, not sparing the flock;

Acts 20:30 and from among your own selves men will arise, speaking perverse things, to draw away the disciples after them.

 False ministers will pervert the true Gospel of Christ with impunity, just to draw men after themselves! All they care about is the crowd, the money, the fame and the popularity of a mega ministry! They don’t care about the truth of the Gospel or the salvation of souls!

John 8:47 He who is of God hears the words of God; for this reason you do not hear them, because you are not of God.”

Why are they not hearing God’s Word? Because they are NOT of God!

1 John 3:10 By this the children of God and the children of the devil are obvious: anyone who does not practice righteousness is not of God, nor the one who does not love his brother.

Do you see the scandal, immorality, hatred and competition among these ministers? It simply means they are NOT of God!

2 Peter 2:1But false prophets also arose among the people, just as there will also be false teachers among you, who will secretly introduce destructive heresies, even denying the Master who bought them, bringing swift destruction upon themselves.

Titus 1:16 They profess to know God, but by their deeds they deny Him, being detestable and disobedient and worthless for any good deed.

These false ministers deny our Lord by their despicable deeds, though they profess to know him. They’re disobedient and rebellious to the Lord and his word!

John 14:15 If you love me, you will keep my commandments.

They claim to love him, but disregard his word and break his commandments with impunity!

2 Peter 2:2 Many will follow their sensuality, and because of them the way of the truth will be maligned;

The name of Christ is being blasphemed among the unbelievers because of the scandalous lives and lifestyles of these false ministers!

2 Peter 2:3 and in their greed they will exploit you with false words; their judgment from long ago is not idle, and their destruction is not asleep.

Greed and covetousness are the pillars of their ministry. It’s all about prosperity and more prosperity, for themselves and their families!

Philippians 3:18 For many walk, of whom I have told you often, and now tell you even weeping, that they are the enemies of the cross of Christ:

Philippians 3:19 whose end is destruction, whose god is their belly, and whose glory is in their shame, who set their mind on earthly things.

These false ministers are in ministry for the sake of their belly. They glory in what they should be ashamed of – the size of their cathedrals, their private jets, the cost of their pulpits, etc. Their focus is on earthly things, because there is no hope of heaven for them. No wonder they want to get their reward here and now! These are enemies of the cross of Christ. They’re ashamed of the cross and the suffering it entails.

2 Peter 2:14 having eyes full of adultery and that cannot cease from sin, enticing unstable souls. They have a heart trained in covetous practices, and are accursed children.

2 Peter 2:15 They have forsaken the right way and gone astray, following the way of Balaam the son of Beor, who loved the wages of unrighteousness;

2 Peter 2:18 For when they speak great swelling words of emptiness, they allure through the lusts of the flesh, through lewdness, the ones who have actually escaped from those who live in error.

2 Peter 2:19 While they promise them liberty, they themselves are slaves of corruption; for by whom a person is overcome, by him also he is brought into bondage.

These guys have nothing to offer but vain jangling. They speak great swelling but empty words. No life in what they preach or teach. At best, they’re just great orators and motivational speakers. They can’t impart the true Spirit because they’re destitute of the Spirit. They promise people liberty but they themselves are slaves of corruption. False ministers love to be served and hero-worshipped as lords. They love to lord it over God’s people. They treat the congregation as though they own the church, as if it’s their personal or family business!

1 Peter 5:1Therefore, I exhort the elders among you, as your fellow elder and witness of the sufferings of Christ, and a partaker also of the glory that is to be revealed,

1 Peter 5:2 shepherd the flock of God among you, exercising oversight not under compulsion, but voluntarily, according to the will of God; and not for sordid gain, but with eagerness;

1 Peter 5:3 nor yet as lording it over those allotted to your charge, but proving to be examples to the flock.

1 Peter 5:4 And when the Chief Shepherd appears, you will receive the unfading crown of glory.

 They love to lord it over God’s people and exercise autocratic control over the church, for the sake of controlling church money. Leaders are not to lord it over God’s people, but are to be worthy examples to the flock. They’re to show the people how to lead godly, humble, contented lives, focused on heavenly things!

The Acts 20:33 I have coveted no one’s silver or gold or clothes.

The Acts 20:34 You yourselves know that these hands ministered to my own needs and to the men who were with me.

The Acts 20:35 In everything I showed you that by working hard in this manner you must help the weak and remember the words of the Lord Jesus, that He Himself said, ‘It is more blessed to give than to receive.

1 Timothy 4:12 Let no one look down on your youthfulness, but rather in speech, conduct, love, faith and purity, show yourself an example of those who believe.

That’s Paul’s admonition to young minister Timothy. And that’s God’s expectation for all true ministers of the Gospel. Even our Lord Jesus, during his earthly ministry, did not live and  act as Lord, but behaved like a servant.

Matthew 20:25 But Jesus called them to Himself and said, “You know that the rulers of the Gentiles lord it over them, and their great men exercise authority over them.

Matthew 20: 26 It is not this way among you, but whoever wishes to become great among you shall be your servant,

Matthew 20:27 and whoever wishes to be first among you shall be your slave;

Matthew 20:28 just as the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give His life a ransom for many.

John 13:12 So when He had washed their feet, and taken His garments and reclined at the table again, He said to them, “Do you know what I have done to you?

John 13:13 You call Me Teacher and Lord; and you are right, for so I am.

John 13:14 If I then, the Lord and the Teacher, washed your feet, you also ought to wash one another’s feet.

John 13:15 For I gave you an example that you also should do as I did to you.

These false ministers do not lead by example as humble, godly and others-centered servants of Christ.  Rather, they rule as lords over God’s heritage. They drive fleets of exotic cars, they fly in private jets, they live in lavish mansions in the most exotic parts of the world. Their children go to schools in the best universities abroad. They and their families attend hospitals overseas, while they sell olive oil, holy water, stickers and aprons to their members for healing. While they sell you stickers for protection, they’re protected and escorted by tens of armed police men and soldiers!What deception!

Meanwhile thousands of their followers cannot eat three square meal a day. Thousands of their members cannot send their children to even public schools. Thousands of their members die from treatable illnesses because they cannot afford hospital fees. How can these brood of vipers escape the damnation of hell?

Ezekiel 34:1Then the word of the Lord came to me saying,

Ezekiel 34:2 Son of man, prophesy against the shepherds of Israel. Prophesy and say to those shepherds, ‘Thus says the Lord God, Woe, shepherds of Israel who have been feeding themselves! Should not the shepherds feed the flock?

Ezekiel 34:3 You eat the fat and clothe yourselves with the wool, you slaughter the fat sheep without feeding the flock.

Ezekiel 34:4 Those who are sickly you have not strengthened, the diseased you have not healed, the broken you have not bound up, the scattered you have not brought back, nor have you sought for the lost; but with force and with severity you have dominated them.

Ezekiel 34:5 And they were scattered, because there is no shepherd: and they became meat to all the beasts of the field, when they were scattered.

That’s what the ferocious, greedy wolves clothed in the garment of shepherds have done to God’s flock. They’ve devoured and fleeced the flock and have made themselves fat at the expense of God’s suffering, poor people, who continue to water them with tithes, first fruits, dangerous seeds and all manner of evil contraptions.

A good shepherd will so love and care for the sheep in his flock that he will defend them against any form of danger, to the extent of putting his life at risk for the sheep.

St. John 10:11 I am the good shepherd: the good shepherd giveth his life for the sheep.

St. John 10:12 But he that is an hireling, and not the shepherd, whose own the sheep are not, seeth the wolf coming, and leaveth the sheep, and fleeth: and the wolf catcheth them, and scattereth the sheep.

St. John 10:13 The hireling fleeth, because he is an hireling, and careth not for the sheep.

These false ministers are nothing but hirelings, who have no iota of care or love for the sheep of God! Theirs is to fleece and exploit the sheep to their maximum advantage and benefit.

1 Samuel 17:34 But David said to Saul, your servant was tending his father’s sheep. When a lion or a bear came and took a lamb from the flock,

1 Samuel 17:35 I went out after him and attacked him, and rescued it from his mouth ; and when he rose up against me, I seized him by his beard and struck him and killed him.

David was an example of a true shepherd, who was ready to lay down his life for his flock, by taking on a lion and a bear, in defense of his flock. That’s the heart of a true shepherd! He will leave 99 sheep in a safe shelter and go after one missing sheep, until he finds it. How many of these hirelings feeding fat on God’s flock are ready to go after one missing lamb until they find him or her? If you’re not a big tither, forget it. They won’t even know where you live or whether you come to church or not. These are hirelings, interested only in money!

The Acts 4:33 And with great power the apostles were giving testimony to the resurrection of the Lord Jesus, and abundant grace was upon them all.

The Acts 4:34 For there was not a needy person among them, for all who were owners of land or houses would sell them and bring the proceeds of the sales.

The Acts 4:35 and lay them at the apostles’ feet, and they would be distributed to each as any had need.

In the early apostolic church, no one lacked anything, because the Apostles ensured church resources and money were not just used by the leaders and the General Overseers, to live like lords and kings, while the flocks suffered lack and deprivation. Rather, money brought to the apostles were distributed to meet real needs in the entire church. The apostles displayed the example of Christ by acting as servant-leaders, by serving others first, before taking care of their own needs. That’s the heart of a true shepherd. That’s the heart of a true spiritual father or mother. You can’t call yourself a true daddy or mummy and watch your kids suffer hunger or want, while you have the resources. A true daddy or mummy will starve themselves, if need be, just to make sure their kids eat. So, if you’re calling someone your daddy or mummy, and you’re there dying in hunger while your daddy or mummy in the Lord is living like a Lord, you’re a big fool.

If you’re gathering your tithes and first fruits and dangerous seeds and giving them to a man who’s flying a private jet and competing with the Bill Gates of this world in wealth, while you can’t even buy a bicycle or pay your house rent,  you deserve to be admitted into a psychiatric hospital!

Brethren, if your man of God or General Overseer is performing signs and wonders on an hourly basis, but is not displaying the fruits of the spirit and the character of Christ and living a humble, exemplary life and placing the needs of the flock before his own, you’re dealing with a false minister of the Gospel.

Shalom!

There Is Only One True Gospel!

Galatians 1:6 I marvel that you are so soon removed from him that called you into the grace of Christ to another gospel:

Galatians 1:7 Which is not another; but there be some that trouble you, and would pervert the gospel of Christ.

Galatians 1:8 But though we, or an angel from heaven, preach any other gospel to you than that which we have preached to you, let him be accursed.

Galatians 1:9 As we said before, so say I now again, if any man preach any other gospel to you than that you have received, let him be accursed.  

The word “gospel” is a Greek word that means “good news”. It is the good news that God has made salvation from sin and death freely available to all mankind, through the sacrificial and substitutionary death of His Son Jesus Christ (1 Timothy 1:15, Romans 1:16). It is the good news that all sinners (indeed all people, for all have sinned,  Romans 3:23) can be saved from the guilt and penalty of  sin, and made right with God, by repenting of their sins and believing in Christ’s complete redemptive work at Calvary (Acts 2:37-38; Acts 16: 30-31). That is the good news! That sinners can become saints, and enemies of God can become sons and daughters of God! It’s not just good news, it’s the best news you’ll ever hear!

The Gospel of Jesus Christ to the Gentiles (the non-Jewish people) was committed to the Apostle Paul, who before his conversion to Christianity, was a great persecutor of the Church of Christ (Galatians 1:13-16; 1 Corinthians 15:9). However, the grace of God saved him and made him the Apostle to the Gentiles (1 Timothy 2:7; 2 Timothy 1:11). The Lord Jesus appeared to Paul, after his conversion, and personally taught him the substance of the Gospel he was to preach to the Gentiles (Galatians 1: 11-13). The entire mystery of the Gospel to the Gentiles was revealed to Paul by Jesus Christ himself (Ephesians 3:1-10). Paul was commissioned and sent forth by Christ, and was empowered by the Holy Spirit, to be a preacher, a teacher, an apostle, and a light to the Gentiles (1 Timothy 2:7; 2 Timothy 1:11; Galatians 2:7-10, Acts 13:47; Acts 22:21). The Apostle Paul received from the Lord, the guiding principles and ordinances of the Church, and laid the foundation and pattern for the Gentile Churches of all ages to follow (1 Corinthians 11:23; Ephesians 3:1-10; 1Corinthians 3:9-15). 

In the Acts of the Apostles and the various letters of Paul (and to a lesser degree those of the other apostles who were mainly apostles to the Jews), we find the blue print and pattern of the Church for the Gentiles. Every Gentile Church is to be built upon the doctrinal foundation of Paul’s message, and is to operate within this Apostolic blue print, if it is to meet God’s standard and approval (1 Corinthians 3:9-15).

The doctrinal foundation laid by the original Apostles of The Lord (Paul in particular, in respect to the Gentiles) is the unchangeable yardstick by which God will judge every Church in every Church age. It is the gold standard for Christianity. If we build a church according to this standard, our works will be approved and rewarded. If we build contrary to this standard, our works will be rejected and we will have no reward for our labours! We would have laboured and suffered in vain! What a sad loss that would be, to realise one spent an entire lifetime and ministry building with wood, hay and stubbles, which would be consumed with fire and destroyed! (1Corinthians 3:9-15). We are warned in scripture not to depart from the original Apostolic Faith, but to contend earnestly for it (Jude 1:3; 2 Timothy 2:2; 1 Corinthians 11:1). This warning should be taken seriously.

Satan has always wanted to pervert and corrupt the Gospel of Christ, so as to make it ineffective and deadly to mankind, like he perverted God’s Word to Eve, deceived her, and brought death to the entire human race (Genesis 3:1-8; 2 Corinthians 11:2-5). Satan has his army of false apostles, false prophets and false teachers, satanic messengers masquerading all over the place as preachers of the Gospel, who go about perverting and corrupting the right ways of The Lord (Acts 13:6-11; 2Corinthians 11:13-15; 2 Peter 2:1-22; Jude 1:4-19). These false ministers started in the time of the original Apostles of The Lord, who withstood and resisted them mightily, and never gave them room to peddle their deadly potions. Such deceitful workers of iniquity are motivated by Satan and the love of money. They do not care about the well-being of the Church or the interest of her Lord and Saviour. They are wolves in sheep’s clothing, interested only in devouring the flock of God and making disciples for themselves, and not for Christ. They are in ministry only for fame and fortune (Acts 20:29-30). True servants of God should never relent in rebuking and openly resisting such agents of darkness, as standing for the true Gospel means preaching truth as well as rebuking error!

To contend for the original Apostolic faith means to resist, counter and rebuke all deviations from the original apostolic gospel, as well as exposing all exponents of such perverted gospels. It is declaring total warfare against error! (2Timothy 4:2-3). The battle to preserve the truth and purity of the Gospel is the battle for the soul of Christianity. It is the greatest battle ever fought, and is at the fiercest stage now, in this final onslaught of the devil for the souls of men, as his end draws near. But, the true Church is assured of victory, as the gates of hell cannot prevail against her (Matthew 16:18). We shall prevail because The Lord of hosts is not just on our side, he is leading the battle, as Captain of The Lord’s hosts! Hallelujah!!!

Sometimes, a true servant of God may err from the Truth, either because of ignorance or due to undue external pressure and the desire to please men. Apollos was an example of the former (Acts 18:24-28). Such usually receive and accept the Truth readily when exposed to it. Peter is an example of those who compromise the Truth in order to please men. The fear of offending the Jewish believers who hold tenaciously to the laws of Moses made him stop eating with Gentiles, thereby trying to rebuild the middle wall of partition between the two groups that the Cross of Christ had broken down (Ephesians 2:14-16). Paul, the Apostle to the Gentiles, stood up firmly to Peter, who was his senior in the faith and ministry, and rebuked Peter sharply and openly! (Galatians 2:11-17). This was necessary to preserve the Truth of the Gospel, as Peter was attempting to lead the Gentile Church to Judaism and observance of the Mosaic Law, from which the Gentiles had been excluded (Acts 15). We need men like Paul more than ever now, as perverted versions of the Gospel of Christ dominate the landscape in Christendom!

One does not need to look far into the Word of God to see how far the modern Church has fallen from the original Apostolic faith. Comparing our present day Church with the standard in the book of Acts will glaringly expose the wide gulf between the pattern Church and ourselves, in doctrinal purity, faith, power, prayerfulness, holiness, and zeal for God! Despite the glaring lack of spiritual power and holiness, some actually think that the present day Church is doing well and prospering! To harbour such thoughts in the midst of abject spiritual poverty, blindness, nakedness and wretchedness can only mean some people are grossly deluded about the state of the church! (Revelation 3:14-21).

One of the reasons the modern day Church is so far removed from the original Apostolic Church is that, we have left the original Apostolic faith, and we are preaching another gospel, which is accursed, and cannot therefore receive the blessings of God! (Galatians 1:8-10). The Gospel we are preaching may be motivational, emotionally stirring and bringing a lot financial prosperity to its peddlers, but it is devoid of the power of God to truly save from sin and worldliness and perform the greater works Christ promised to the Church (John 14:12; Mark 16:15-20).

We need to go back to the original blue print for the Church. We need to return to original Apostolic foundation. We need a restoration of the one true Gospel of Jesus Christ. It is only the pure, unadulterated Gospel that carries the inherent power of God to save, deliver, and transform lives (Romans 1:16). True revival will only come to the Church when we repent and return to the original Gospel. We have mixed law and grace and produced a hybrid Gospel that has robbed the law of its terror and grace of its power. This hybrid Gospel is sterile, impotent and deadly! The Holy Spirit will only anoint the true Gospel that glorifies Christ. This is why we must return to the original Apostolic faith!

That is the purpose of this blog- to correct the erroneous beliefs, practices and doctrines in the Church, and guide her back to the original Apostolic faith. A return to scriptural Truth is the starting point for the revival the Church needs so badly. Once we rediscover the truth of the original Apostolic gospel, we can truly return to God with all our hearts, forsake our wicked ways, and petition God for healing and revival. God will hear from heaven, and answer us, like of old!

2 Chronicles 7:13 If I shut up heaven that there be no rain, or if I command the locusts to devour the land, or if I send pestilence among my people;

2 Chronicles 7:14 If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land.

God bless you, as you follow us on this blog and join in praying for the revival and restoration of the Church of Jesus back to her position of power and glory!

Shalom!