Dear Debra,

Your Question(s): I donít have comment but would like to pose a question. We had a musical honoring our minister of music, the quest speaker an out of town speaker but also the brother of our minister of music at the end of his Sermon, stated God told him there were five people that were going to give $150 seed offering, this period lasted about 30 minutes of the evangelist Speaking, prophesying of blessing he had received the last year. My question afterwards, I being secretary when to back with treasury clerk to count offering. Once counted evangelist asked that we give minister of music x amount to make his offering (already collected and given) and even amount, Then he took x amount and left small balance for our church. He proceeded to say when I asked him if the seed offering wasnít for the church (kingdom Building) his response being that usually his pastor gives all of seed taken to speaker but he wanted to help our church so he would only take this amount. This left a bad taste in my mouth and have been searching scriptures, praying for an answer, I may not be right but my spirit was truly grieved. Any information or enlighten on this matter is greatly appreciated.

My Answer(s): Thank you for your question. You know Debra I am not a believer in giving an event or function honoring a person for doing work he or she claims is what God called them to do. I mean why have a function for someone doing what him or her claims God called them to do, and why collect additional money for these people? For if God called you to do a ministry then no special honoring should be required by those receiving a spiritual benefit from your ministry. Else if you look for honor in doing what is required of you what spiritual benefit is it to you? Or have not you already received your reward in this present age (Matthew 6:1-4)? Jesus the Christ asks the question, "How can you believe, who receive honor from one another, and do not seek the honor that comes from the only God" (John 5:44 NKJV). Jesus is saying here that no true person of God would accept such praise from men for doing what is right and good. But they should seek honor from God and not man. For Christ Jesus speaking of the Pharisees and teachers of the law says, "Everything they do is done for men to seeÖ they love the place of honor at banquets and the most important seats in the synagogues; they love to be greeted in the marketplaces and to have men call them ĎRabbií" (Matthew 23:5-7 NIV). There are many that wish to be called reverend or father wanting men to honor them with titles and for men to praise them for doing good when the Scripture clearly prohibits such things. Yet, these persons claim this Scripture do not apply to them, and continue to use these titles. For it is written, "do not call anyone on earth Ďfatherí for you have one Father, and He is in heaven" (Matthew 23:9 NIV). And again itís written, "He sent redemption unto his people: he hath commanded his covenant for ever: holy and reverend is his name (Psalm 111:9 KJV).

Nor do I agree with this so-called "tradition of men" of taking up a collection for a so-called "visiting minister or guest speaker". I mean did you and the rest of the people in the congregation invite this so-called guest speaker, the music minister brother to preach to your congregation? The answer to this question is almost always NO in all cases, yet these so-called guest speakers come with their hands out expecting congregations they visit to make an offering to them. If the music minister or your pastor wanted this person to speak then one or both of them should have given this person an offering out of there own salary or offerings previous received. Not that I agree with paying pastors and musical ministers salaries, but I know some congregations which actually pay these people salaries for performing what they claim God called them to do.

As you have visited my web site on tithes and offerings, you should know and understand that tithing is not commanded for Christians. And any person begging for ten percent of your income is peddling the word of God. Just as this so-called guest speaker, the brother of your music minister was peddling the word of God to your congregation for his own financial gain. The fact that he was the music minister brother makes it even more grievous and shameful to play on the hearts of those who put on this function to honor his own brother. This so-called guest speaker should not have begged and pleaded for money from your congregation, and he definitely should not have asked for a certain amount. As the Scripture says, this guest speaker was preaching from his belly, and not from a sincere heart. This so-called guest speaker was peddling the word of God for profit, and God did not send him to your congregation to beg for money.

For as the Spirit says:

If this profiteer, the guest speaker were preaching the word of God with sincerity, then he would not be claiming God told him your congregation would give him money. I mean think about what I am saying here, why would God tell him this anyway? But, then this gospel peddler without the fear of God in his heart else he would never even think to peddler Godís word. For the Spirit would warn him, yet if this gospel peddler had the Spirit of Christ then he must be quenching it or ignoring the Spiritís warning and committing sin anyway. And as most gospel peddlers have done he invoked the word of God, saying five people was going to give him a $150.00. And carrying on this shameful and disgusting shake down for 30 minutes before those whom innocently are seeking to follow Christ Jesus and our God and Father in heaven. And this false evangelist bragged about how he had extorted money from other Christians, referring to his extortion as his blessings. This is nothing but pure salesmanship and the peddling of the word of God for profit.

I pray that God will stop such persons as these who are masquerading as ministers of Christ, and causing distress among those seeking to live as followers of His Son, Christ Jesus, such as people as you, Debra. These ministers such as this gospel peddler coming as a guest speaker are running in the way Balaam for he sold the word of God for profit. Just as Balaam was seeking to gain a profit from the word of God, and being rebuked for his wrongdoings by a donkey. This guest speaker of your congregation love the wages of wickedness and have wandered off to the way of greed by extorting money from those who listen to his babbling called preaching, may God repay all who cause such harm to those seeking His Son, Christ Jesus. Amen. Praise God (Numbers chapters 22-24, 2 Peter 2:13-16 and Jude 1:11).

The fact that this so-called guest speaker said God told him that five people were going to give him a $150.00 is close to blaspheme. For if a person claims God told him or her something, which God has not, then that person is a false minister. And these words of giving him money are very suspect to say the least, when there are probably poor or needy in your congregation. If God were raising money for anyone surely it would be for these least in your congregation, and not this well-fed gospel peddler (Matthew 25:31-46). Giving to the poor then you would be giving to God by providing for the poor and needy, for God says the righteous is concern for the poor (Proverbs 19:17 and 29:7). For as the Pharisees attributed to Satan the miracles preformed by Jesus, this gospel peddler is claiming God will perform a miracle by moving these people to give to his lavish lifestyle rather than the poor of the world. And I am fully persuaded that God never meant for ministers to "live it up" on the word, nor did He tell this gospel peddler these words. See Matthew 12:22-32 and Deuteronomy 18:19-22.

Debra there is nothing wrong with you, and you are not wrong for these feelings in your spirit concerning this guest speaker. The only reason you doubt your feelings about this is that you have been indoctrinated into this teaching and belief of giving tithe and seed money to these gospel peddlers. For these gospel peddlers have convinced you that you are giving to God or some so-called "kingdom building", putting you on a guilt trip if you donít give to their human organizations. This is the doctrine of the evil one and his followers, for the teachings of tithing and giving money for every thought up ministry and event is not scriptural, never have been. If you are searching the Scriptures to prove this gospel peddler wrong about taking most of the so-called seed offering or money then stop because there is no such Scripture. Because the Scriptures no where speaks of giving money to any preacher with no need for money. The Holy Scriptures only speaks of Christians giving to the poor and those in need. Those ministers who preach going city to city must be worthy of receiving any offering from the people preached to, and have a need for this money.

These gospel peddlers such as this guest speaker will carry on about money and quoting Scriptures, which speak of giving to the poor and needy. Yet, these money hungry preachers claim these Scriptures support their right to your money. Saying God gave them this right, and nothing could be further from the truth. These gospel peddlers will speak of money using up whole sermons, begging for more of your income to pursue ventures of their human organizations. Even counting the money during the service, and coming back to ask for more to round off or bring the amount collected to some arbitrary amount they come up with.

These preachers are abusing their authority. If indeed they have Godís Spirit, then as the apostle being moved by the Holy Spirit says: "That when I preach the gospel, I may present the gospel of Christ without charge, that I may not abuse my authority in the gospel" (I Corinthians 9:18 NKJV). This verse tells us ministers should be willing to preach the gospel free of charge without pleads for money. Being content with what they have, working with their hands if need be. This verse give us further proof that all giving under the New Covenant are voluntary, and not commanded as tithes were for the wealthy men of Israel under the Old Covenant. Above all things one should never abuse their authority as a minister by demanding an offering from those preached to. This is wrong and sinful. May God stop them soon, I pray.

For it is written:

These verses refer to ministers preaching the word of God freely and not extorting money from those whom they preach to. These verses admonish preachers to have faith in God by not peddling His word, but depending on Him to provide for them. Or if needed then these preachers should get a job, for as the apostle being moved by the Holy Spirit says if anyone will not work, neither shall he eat (2 Thessalonians 3:6-12). And preachers are not to extort money from those seeking Christ. For worthy and honorable ministers who rightly divide the word of God are worthy of their physical food when given voluntarily (1 Timothy 5:17-18). But this guest speaker lost all honor and worthiness when he took advantage of the sheep of God by begging for and extorting money from your congregation.

We as Christians are exhorted by the Scriptures to not keep company with an extortioner nor even eat with such a person who peddlers the word of God for financial gain (1 Corinthians 6:10-11). This so-called evangelist peddling the word of God does not represent God nor was he worthy of any so-called "seed offering" or money of your congregation. And if his pastor gives such ministers visiting his congregation all of the so-called "seed offering" or money to guest speakers or ministers, then his congregation should find another pastor to replace their pastor.

I hope this help you in understanding what your spirit has already told you. And I exhort you to continue to remain humble and teachable, following the lead of the Holy Spirit, yet testing every thought, which comes into your mind as you have done here. I pray that God will continue to bless you in understanding His holy word. Amen. Praise God.

In Christ love,

Ron Davis, a minister of Christ