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1 Corinthians 9 and 2 Corinthians 8 and 9 Explained
by Ron Davis, minister of Christ
1 Corinthians 9 and 2 Corinthians chapters 8 and 9 are Scriptures these gospel peddlers uses to demand tithes and offerings of your money.1 Corinthians 9, this one seems to be in their corner, but let us examine these verses more closely. Notice the Holy Spirit through the apostle Paul is speaking to those Corinthians who were thinking that since he did not accept support for himself. Nor did Barnabas, this is not saying that Paul and Barnabas were demanding "tithes and offerings" from them or anyone else for that matter, in fact it were their custom to support themselves where they had come to plant churches. And in some cases never seek support from anyone in those churches they planted. They were not like so many of the ministers today who will not even preach to you if you donít put a jingle in their basket - going from city to city preaching at a cost to those who hear the word of God. These Christians were questioning Paulís apostleship because they did want to be giving to an imposter, a deceitful teacher (since they supported themselves and the other apostles and the Lord brothers did not when they visited them to preach). They were even questioning why Paul did not depend on them for support like Peter and the others. So, Paul was giving a "defense to those who" (v. 3) were examining him and Barnabas who supported themselves rather than burdening them for support (again this is not supporting a "tithes and offerings" doctrine of men and Satan). Now, let us read verses 1 through 18 of 1 Corinthians 9 to prove what I am saying with the backing of other Scriptures:
Okay, this one comes close to saying the apostles and the Lordís brothers were "demanding" support from those who received the word of God given by them to the Corinthians. However, I have said it before, and I say again letís examine these verses more closely in the proper context. First, we have the apostle Paul in verse 1, asking the Corinthians "Am I not an apostle?" In verse 3, Paul says, "My defense to those who examine me is this:" and he begin to speak concerning the Corinthians supporting the apostles and the Lordís brothers and their wives (not that they demanded this support but they did not work when they came to preach to them. But did as our Lord Jesus had previous instructed them to do in Luke 10 and Matthew 10 "for a worker is worthy of his food" - which we will discuss in more detail later).
Next, Paul asks a series of questions about the Holy Scriptures saying he and Barnabas have just as much of a right over the Corinthians Christians to receive support from the gospel they preach as others do. And that the Lord Himself "commanded that those who preach the gospel should live from the gospel"(v.14). Then Paul in verse 15 through 18 states why he has not burdened them for support nor has Barnabas. For one thing, he says he is more of an apostle to them because they are the "seal of his apostleship in the Lord" (v. 3). And in verse 15, he states "I have used none of these things, nor have I written these things that it should be done so to me". Paul says this is his boast, and he would rather die than let these who claim he not an apostle because he do not demand support like the others who claim this right over them (verses 12 and 16). Next, Paul states his defense in not accepting support from them by saying; if he preach the gospel willingly without demanding support from those whom he preach to then he "have a reward"(v.17); but he preach the "word against his will" he only have been entrusted with a stewardship. So, Paul asks the question what is his reward for having a stewardship (since he would only be during his duty). In his final defense Paul tells us why ministers should preach the gospel without charge; and that is so that minister would "not abuse" their "authority in the gospel" (verse 17). There you have it, the very Scripture that appears to support these gospel peddlers authority for demanding tithes and offerings from the believer; actually, condemns this very act of demanding support because it becomes an abuse of that authority which the Scripture gives them. For the minister have a right to receive support for his ministry if he is faithful in the word; but he have no right to demand that you give to him nor do they have a right to demand you to give ten percent of your income.
This offering was not a tithe nor was it given on a regular basis, and it was voluntary from those who decided in their own heart to give to the saints in Jerusalem and it was not for some minister salary or church bank account. These gospel peddlers will use the phrase "as I have given orders to the churches in Galatia, so you must do also" (v. 1) to extort tithes and offerings from you. By preaching this mean Paul instructed other churches to do what these Corinthians were doing; however, after examining these verses more closely you will see this was not so. Plus, think about what youíre saying that Paul ordered the Galatians to give to the saints in Jerusalem. I mean do that sound like the Christian thing to do? Or would this offering be made unwillingly and with a non-cheerful heart because thatís what it would be force giving. And those without something to give would be shamed by those who gave. Now, if I need to explain to you the evil of extortion of tithes and offerings again and again I will. For I do not want you to feel burdened beyond measure. Also, notice the phrase "concerning the collection for the saints" (v. 1). They were gathering together a collection for those saints in need in Jerusalem because of the famine. It do not say "concerning the collection for the ministers"; yet, your pastor probably have used these verses to imply this collection were for the church bank account or some other worldly project he and his close circle decided they needed.
Next, the phrase "let each of you lay something aside" (v. 2) they love to quote this one also always implying that Paul meant for you to lay aside money for their collection plates. (Paul said the "first day of the week" because thatís when most people at this start to work for the week - not because this is when they gathered to worship as some peddlers of Godís word have constantly told you this lie - I mean read it for yourself). Again, it does not say, "let each of you lay 10% of your income aside or whatever you can give every Sunday morning" for some gospel peddling minister. Yet, they have untold millions believing this lie, why because they do study to Scriptures as they should. These ministers will say "whatever you can give to God" as if they were God - well, hereís a news flash they are not God nor do they represent God on this planet. Nor do you have to have any collection ready for them, when your minister come as Paul say in verse 2 "there be no collections when I come". Paul did not want to wait around for them to prepare what they had already promised nor did he want to compel them to give what they promised which would make it a gift of necessity and grudgingly given. Furthermore, this collection is referred to as a gift in verse 3, I ask you when you take 10% of your income because some self-appointed minister tells you to give it to him; do you feel like you are giving him a gift? Or following this minister command fearing God will curse you if you do not (please be honest with God)?
In 2 Corinthians 8 and 9, the apostle Paul is still discussing this same gift that the people of the Corinthian church had purposed in their heart to give to the saints in Jerusalem more than a year prior. Notice the language used in both chapters. Also, Paul further shows this was willingness on the part of the churches of Macedonia and Achaia to include the Corinthian churches, all which urged Paul and the others with him to take the offerings to the saints in Judea. Please pay close attention to these phrases "they were freely willing" (v. 3), "imploring us with much urgency" (v. 4), "I speak not by commandment" (v. 8), "I give this advice" (v. 10), "doing what you began and were desiring to do a year ago" (v. 10), "it is accepted according to what one has, and not according to what he does not have" (v. 12), and then the Holy Spirit says through Paul, "I do not mean that others should be eased and you burdened" (v. 13). Think about what this is saying here - ponder what the Spirit is saying:
I again call upon you to ponder on verses 3 and 4, "ÖI bear witness that according to their ability, yes, and beyond their ability, they were freely willing, 4 imploring us with much urgency that we would receive the gift and the fellowship of the ministering to the saints". Paul says that the churches at Macedonia were "freely willing" and were imploring them to accept their gift for the poor saints in Jerusalem. These Christians were under no commandment to give 10% of their income to some man-made church to give to whom they please; but these Christians gave to whom they please, and urge Paul and Titus and the others to take it to the saints in need. Then again in verse 8, Paul says he "speak not by commandment" meaning the Corinthian church nor were the churches in Achaia and Macedonia commanded to give anything but, this they did willingly not because they had to give a tenth of their income to anyone especially some minister in Jerusalem where the gifts were going. When we move to verse 10, we see Paul saying he is giving the Corinthians "this adviceÖ It is to your advantage not only to be doing what you began and were desiring to do a year ago" (v. 10). They had begun collecting and storing up this offering for the poor saints in Jerusalem for a year; not every Sunday morning as these gospel peddlers would have you believe.
Next, we have the apostle Paul saying in verse 12 "it is accepted according to what one has, and not according to what he does not have". Do it say "I know we can do better than this amount or this collection" or "come saints did a little deeper". I know most you know how these Ministers reach in their pockets (who are only giving to themselves) and their deacons and deaconess will reach in their pocket, and say letís make this an even 500 or whatever other amount their evil minds may come up with. If you have a dollar the Lord accepts it, or if you have 200 dollars the Lords accepts what you have; and you do not have to come up with 10% of your income to give if you do not have it. Now, here is the bombshell these Ministers probably never mention to you. For, if they do they will twist it to their benefit; in verse 13 the Holy Spirit says through Paul, "I do not mean that others should be eased and you burdened". There it is God do not wish that you be burdened in your giving while your Ministers and others are eased. God says give but do not burden yourselves by giving beyond your means unless you do not have others depending on you as the "widow and the two mites parable speaks of". Again, in verse 20, I wish these gospel peddlers of today would take careful note of Paulís dealing with the administering of the gift to those in Jerusalem; Paul says Titus was chosen by the churches to travel with them "avoiding this: that anyone should blame us in this lavish gift which is administered by us". Paul did not want any one to think he took anything of the gift for himself; more than we can say for the "gospel peddling" ministers of today (see also 1Corinthians 16:3-4 where this mention about who the churches chose to carry the gift to Jerusalem).
Now, this brings us to 2 Corinthians 9 where the apostle Paul is again speaking concerning the same gift he spoke of in 1 Corinthians 16 and in the previous chapter to this one 2 Corinthians 8. The subject is the same because this gathering of the gifts for the churches in Jerusalem went on for over a year before it was actually collected. (As Paul states in Romans 15:25-28Ö "25 But now I am going to Jerusalem to minister to the saints. 26 For it pleased those from Macedonia and Achaia to make a certain contribution for the poor among the saints who are in Jerusalem. 27 It pleased them indeed, and they are their debtors. For, if the Gentiles have been partakers of their spiritual things, their duty is also to minister to them in material things. 28 Therefore, when I have performed this and have sealed to them this fruit, I shall go by way of you to Spain)"Ö In Romans 15:27, it says "their duty is also to minister to them in material things"; let me explain here that this was a one time gift of material things for the "poor among the saints" (v. 26) not the "ministers" of the saints unless they were poor - this verse do not give Ministers a right to demand that you give to them 10% of your income on a regular basis.
Here in 2 Corinthians 9 we have some phrases that we should examine before moving on. In verses 1 and 2, Paul says, "concerning the ministering to the saints" (v.1) that he did not need to write to them about being willingly to give to the poor saints; and that he had boast to the saints at Macedonia that the in saints at Achaia were "ready a year ago" (v.2). Now notice in verse 5 where Paul says, "I thought it necessary to exhort the brethren to go to you ahead of time, and prepare your generous gift beforehand, which you had previously promised, that it may be ready as a matter of generosity and not as a grudging obligation"Ö There you have it these gospel peddling, tithes and offerings demanders have made you believe that this verse was a command from Paul; but as you can see Paul states the Corinthians "had previously promised" to give this generous gift. Paul wanted them to "be ready as a matter of generosity". Because if they arrived and their gift were not prepared and ready for delivery to the poor saints in Jerusalem; then they would have to "grudging" come up with something on a short notice making their gift an "obligation" rather than "generosity".
In verse 6, these gospel peddlers will again try and make you believe this verse implies giving to some man-made church organization rather than giving to "the poor saints in Jerusalem" which I showed you in Romans 15:25-28. Also it is said 1 Corinthians 16:3 that this gift is for the Jerusalem poor saints in need. We can clearly see that 2 Corinthians chapters 8 and 9 are speaking about these same "poor saints in Jerusalem". So, we as Christians who "sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and he who sows bountifully will also reap bountifully"; when give to the poor not some self appointed minister. Notice also verse 7 where it says, "let each one give as he purposes in his heart, not grudgingly or of necessity; for God loves a cheerful giver"; we are exhort to give as we purpose not as some self-appointed gospel peddler claims that must give him 10% of your income. Then it says, "God loves a cheerful giver"; and we are not to give "grudgingly or of necessity"; question if you had to give some church building 10% of your income when you did not have rent or gas bill would you be giving it as "a cheerful giver" or as someone giving it out of necessity and fearing the curse of God if you do not give it? Think about would God want you to give to His poor who represent Him on this planet under fear of a curse? Finally, we have verse 9 where it is said, "He has dispersed abroad, He has given to the poor; His righteousness endures forever (v. 9)"; again it says in verse 13 "they glorify God for the obedience of your confession to the gospel of Christ, and for your liberal sharing with them and all men". These verses speak of those who give to the poor is like God giving to them saying "He has given to the poor"; and then it tells us what I have always proclaim and continue to exhort you that your giving to the poor and needy in the churches and this world will cause them to "glorify GodÖfor your liberal sharing with them (the churches) and all men (the world)". How can someone argue against this? When it is clearly shown to all that giving to the poor is giving to God, and you are performing Godís work by doing these good works. Unless, some how the deceiver has deceived you into believing that giving to your Minister is giving to God.
Evangelist Ron Davis, a Minister of Christ, of the Kush Edifying Ministries proclaims the whole counsel of God. This ministry believes in the command of Jesus to His disciples in Matthew 10:7-8 "As you go, preach this message: 'The kingdom of heaven is near.' Heal the sick, raise the dead, cleanse those who have leprosy, drive out demons. Freely you have received, freely give" (NIV). Jesus commands us as ministers to preach "freely" the word without demanding those preached to give to you.
You may contact Ron Davis and this ministry with your comments at the below email:
OR if you want to debate my conclusion of this matter; if you want to argue your own "private interpretation", then please send it to the below email address with your Scripture backing up what you say. Thanks, and may God bless you in understanding His Holy and righteous word.
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