I have tried to draw a distinction between Kingdom of God economics and world economics.
The difference between the two are literally like night and day, darkness and light.
The world system operates on the buying and selling system . Goods and services are exchanged for money. The more money one is able to acquire, the more comfortable one will be able to live in this world.
It is easy then to see how in the world system, the acquisition of money can become one’s raison d’etre. In this way, the world economic system is designed to enslave all who are engaged in it – Luke 16:13. Jesus was crystal clear in this text that your allegiance can only be to Him or mammon not both. You will either love one and hate the other or be devoted to one and despise the other.
He is not saying that we should hate or despise money which is an inanimate object. It is a tool used by the wicked demonic rulers of the system.
Rather, He is saying you cannot really love or be devoted Him without hating and despising the system which requires its devotees to become slaves to money.
Even the innocuous concept of working hard to achieve the success. is at odds with Kingdom economics. Hard work has its benefits. The scriptures teaches that if we don’t work we shouldn’t eat, 2 Thessalonians 3:10. In fact the first thing God did after creating man was give Him a work assignment. Adam was the first gardener. He was commanded by God to tended and keep the garden of Eden
The problem arises when men and women give themselves as slaves to this wicked system in order to have the accouterments of worldly success. The acquisition of wealth and all of its trapping is vanity without having the peace of God. Many have gone thousands of dollars in debt to have a nice home, car, etc, or to get an education in preparation for working within this system in order to acquire things.
All of this is against Kingdom economics. Debt enslaves the borrower - Proverbs 22:7. We are commanded to owe no man anything – Romans 13:8. I would rather live in a hovel with the peace of God than live on a palatial estate without God’s peace. I would much rather have divine revelation than have a Harvard education. An education prepares one for success in this system. Divine revelation prepares one for success in the Kingdom of God.
The Kingdom of God liberates all of its citizens by the blood of Jesus and by obedience to the Gospel of Jesus Christ – Galatians 5:1. Therefore, we should never get entangled with Babylon’s/world’s political system, religious system, and for the purpose of this treatise, Babylon’s economic system.
One area where I think most Christians fall prey is the concept of the tithe. The “Christian” Industrial Complex led by CEO – pastors is built and sustained by the tithes of the sheeple. This kind of pyramid scheme has absolutely nothing to do with faith or Kingdom finances.
What faith does it require for a preacher to figure out that if he has, let’s say, ten tithing families in his church with each family earning $100.00 a week, that he will receive $10.00 weekly from each family. It doesn’t take faith to count. All he has to to do is trot out Malachi 3:10, bludgeon them periodically with this scripture to make sure that they legally and dutifully continue to tithe in order to avoid being cursed.
The real curse, my brothers and sisters, comes when the law is mixed with the grace of God. It doesn’t work. When we attempt to keep part of the law, a couple of things happen:
- We become debtors to keep the whole law and therefore are fallen from grace.
- We become severed from Christ.
We cannot keep part of the law without becoming debtors to keep the whole law – Galatians 5:3-4. No one is justified by keeping the law,
It may surprise you to learn that the tithe being such an integral part the “Christian” Industrial Complex is not taught in the New Testament nor is it a part of Kingdom economics.
Proponents of the tithe will argue that 1) The tithe preceded the law and is therefore efficacious during the church age and 2) Tithing is the foundation to receiving God’s provisions for His people.
First, tithing indeed preceded the law. It was a one time voluntary act by both Abraham and Jacob - Genesis 14:20 and Genesis 28:20-22 respectively.
Let me point out a few things about these two patriarch’s act of tithing.
Abraham was not required by God to tithe. It was done once on a voluntary basis. It was not done in order to receive blessings from God. Notice that God FIRST blessed Abraham with a tremendous victory over his enemies along with the accompanying spoil, and then Abraham tithed, an amount he himself set.
Similarly, Jacob made a vow that if God FIRST blessed him he also would tithe, an amount he himself voluntarily set.
How does this square with the constant drum beat of the prosperity prophets cajoling the sheep to first tithe in order to receive the blessings of God? For leaders who would fleece the sheep but not feed them, hear what God says in Ezekiel 34:1-10
In closing, let me point out that everything in the Old Testament is a type and shadow of what we have in the New Testament. That would include the tithe – 1 Corinthians 10:11.
The tithe is only a type of a New Testament reality. In the Old Testament, God’s people owned the 90 percent and were stewards of the tenth, the tithe. The New Testament reality is that we own absolutely nothing. We are not even our own; we are bought with a price – 1 Corinthians 6:19-20. Instead of being stewards of the 10th as they were under the law, we are steward of it all. Everything I have belongs to God. It is now incumbent upon me to stay in vital contact with Heaven so that I might know where the King would have me give and share Heaven’s resources over which He has made me steward and how much He would have me share. He may require me to give a 10th but he also may require me to give everything I have. This is why a life of faith and trust is so important because when I have the assurance of faith that God is my source and not a job or the world system, I relinquish all control over my life and place myself in God’s care .
It’s very easy to dutifully give a tenth every pay period. That kind of legalism requires no faith and more importantly no contact with Heaven. Seeking Heaven, however, to acquire the mind of God as it related to giving requires not only faith but love and a giving heart.
Secondly, the foundation of New Testament provision is not Malachi 3:10 but Matthew 6:33. After a foundation of seeking first the Kingdom of God is laid, we can then build upon the foundation righteous works of giving according to Luke 6:39 and sowing financially according to 2 Corinthians 9:6.
When we put these Kingdom principles into practice, we are assured that God will provide for His own not matter what is going on in Babylon. The markets can rise or fall but the righteous will be like a tree planted by the rivers of water that will always be green.
One of my favorite provision scriptures is 2 Corinthians 9:8. I particularly like the Amplified rendering of the text: And God is able to make all grace (every favor and earthly blessing) come to you in abundance, so that you may always and under all circumstances and whatever the need be self sufficient [possessing enough to require no aid or support and furnished in abundance for every good work and charitable donation.]
Children of God and fellow Kingdom citizens, if you do the things I have outlined above, you will be wonderfully provided for (Philippians 4:19) during the difficult days ahead.