Author: Fred Pruitt
There are religious bodies of people in the world today who at one time trusted the Lord and honored Him with faith; but now we see them grown cold and faithless, and are fervent to get dollars from others to further their carnal, worldly, religious desires and fleshly ambitions. They have lost sight of the true riches and are filled with their own ways in carrying on that which should be God’s work. The work in many unbiblical ways-beg, urge and force money out of those under their influence to carry on what they call “God’s work.” I am persuaded that God does not accept any gift unless it is given freely from the heart as unto God. If one is urged, begged, trapped, or decoyed into giving, there will be no eternal reward in such giving for them. Those that lose faith in God often wrest the Scriptures from their proper meaning and force the law of tithing upon their followers. There is not a single Scripture in the New Testament, if properly interpreted, that teaches tithing as binding upon the righteous in Christ Jesus. Jesus says in Matt. 5:17, “Think not that I am come to destroy the law or the prophets: I am not come to destroy, but to fulfill.” When He died on the cross, the law was fulfilled and the prophets. Under the law they gave tithes, but under grace the law is fulfilled insomuch that we now give all into His hands. he moves on us by His Spirit to take and give of His as he directs, and in that way the soul is kept alive in Christ, for it is God that is working in us both to will and do of His good pleasure. Binding the law of tithing on a soul will kill the free-will giving and the continual looking to God for the Spirit to work in you, directing you in your giving as to when, where, and how much.
Where folks do not know that the tithing is abolished when in Christ and they sincerely and freely give a tenth, I believe that God will bless those souls and honor the giving. But when forced upon them as a New Testament doctrine by faithless, covetous, would-be religious priests, they will receive no eternal profit. The New Testament way is: “Freely ye have received, freely give.” Matt. 10:8; II Cor. 9:7-8.
Many of these blind leaders use the 23rd verse of the 23rd chapter of Matthew to prove that tithing is a New Testament doctrine. They make out that the Lord was teaching us to tithe when he was telling those scribes and Pharisees that they ought to have done the weightier matter and not leave tithing undone. The scribes and Pharisees should have tithed because they were still under the law and would be until Christ dies on the cross and fulfilled the law and the prophets. The law was in force until Christ poured out his blood on the cross and thereby fulfilled the law and made us free from all law bondage, becoming our law in our souls individually, for all now is in His hands. Under the law one would have to kill a man to be looked upon as a murderer; but under grace, if one has hate in his heart, he is counted a murderer. So Christ fulfills the law, for no one will murder unless he first has hate in his heart. Under the law, one had to commit the act of adultery to be stoned to death as an adulterer; but under grace, one is an adulterer if he looks on a woman to lust after her. In This Christ fulfills the law, for no man will commit adultery except he first has lust in his heart for the woman. Under the law they were commanded to keep the seventh day holy, but under grace we keep every day holy. The soul rest that we have continually in our souls spiritually is fulfilling the literal sabbath rest under the law. In this the Lord fulfills the literal sabbath. In Christ we are made perfectly free from the law-tithing included.
It would be foolishness to ask a man to tithe who has all his possessions truly in the hands of God and is letting the Spirit of god lead him in giving. To obey such a demand would rob the man of his freedom in Christ and interfere with God’s plan of guiding the man in his giving as to when, how much, and where to give. To put a man under the law of tithing would have a tendency to deaden the free working of the Spirit in the soul and make him a prey to other law doctrines, and in time he would become a dead soul with a profession only. This would be a sad state indeed.
One who realizes that tithing is a law doctrine and does not belong to us under grace, who has left all to follow the Lord, is a happy person indeed. He then can give as the Spirit of Christ within him so directs; and his soul is completely satisfied, as he is a worker with God in his giving and his soul will prosper. Some put up the argument that many business men prosper in their business because they tithe. Their prospering in business is no proof at all, for many infidels and atheists prosper in business. If you will trace it down, you will find that most of the tithes of those business men who tithe and prosper in business are given to these sin-you-must religions which are anti-Christ in doctrine; and God would not be working with such at all. One who does not tithe and does not give as the Lord directs will not prosper in his soul; for giving is the very life of Christ in the soul. God and Christ both set this example before us. God gave His Son; Christ gave Himself, pouring out His very life’s blood for us. The love of Christ for us should constrain us to give freely and cheerfully wherever the opportunity presents itself and His Spirit approves.
Someone may ask: How are you going to keep your work going and expenses paid in printing and sending forth the gospel is you do not teach tithing and urge or in other ways decoy people into giving? I answer that this is not my work. If it were my work, I would have to do as others do. The work is in God’s hands and He knows all the needs, and we ask Him for what is needed and He moves upon His free saints who have all in His hands, and they give freely and willingly as He directs them, and thus the work is supplied with means sufficient to do all that He wants us to do, whether it be much or little. I have found, by many years of experience in fully trusting the Lord, that the need of a thousand dollars is no more to Him than one dollar. The amount is nothing to Him, for with Him it is just a matter of the need. He controls the finances of the whole world, the cattle on a thousand hills belong to Him. Oh, brethren, let us have real living faith in God. I would not want anyone to give to this work that the Lord has put upon us unless he gave freely as unto the Lord, for I am persuaded that he would receive no eternal reward unless he gives it freely from the heart as unto Him who has given it to him as a steward over His goods.
Steward I-and not possessor
Of the wealth entrusted me.
What, were God Himself the holder,
Would His disposition be?
This I ask myself each morning,
Every noon and night,
As I view His gentle goodness
With an ever new delight.
Steward only-never owner-
Of the time that He has lent.
How, were He my life’s custodian,
Would my years on earth be spent?
Thus I ask myself each hour,
As I plod my pilgrim way,
Steeped in gratefulest amazement
At His mercy day by day.
Steward only-not possessor-
Of that part of Him that’s I.
Clearer grows this truth and dearer,
As the years go slipping by.
May I softly go, and humbly,
Head and heart in reverence bent,
That I may not fear to show Him
How my stewardship was spent.