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Apostolic Finances, 3/10/19

Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,

I write to you today on the matter of finances in the church. Now, when I say "church" I mean the living body of Christ and not the religious organizational structure that prevails and which most call the 'church.' I speak from the perspective of seeking for God's people, especially leaders, to operate according to a true, biblical, apostolic church order and function, according to the scriptures and not the religious traditions we all inherited.  There is so much disorder and error in this area that we need to correct.

We have this well-oiled machine of pastors being considered in great authority and collecting tithes and offerings and living off of those funds. But is that biblical? If we look at the scriptures honestly we can see that it is not. We need to understand that those who are called to true Spirit-led leadership must not count on those whom they serve for their source of financial support.  To operate in obedience to the Word of God leaders need to develop their own source of income. The Word of God makes it clear that true spiritual leaders do not support themselves with funds from the masses of the people to whom they minister. Jesus was followed by great masses but he did not count on offerings from them to provide for his daily needs. The scripture makes clear that he was provided for by a select few who had the means to support him:

Luke 8:2-3 New King James Version (NKJV)
2 and certain women who had been healed of evil spirits and infirmities—Mary called Magdalene, out of whom had come seven demons, 3 and Joanna the wife of Chuza, Herod’s steward, and Susanna, and many others who provided for Him from their substance.

So we can clearly see that this is very different from the common current practice of a pastor living off of tithes from a congregation that he is running. Actually, there is not scriptural support for the idea that a pastor is authorized by God to oversee a corporate body. Only true apostles and prophets have the authority to oversee corporate bodies. Pastors only have authority from God to oversee home cells. But that is a whole other discussion and of itself.

There is a job description for being true apostle in the scriptures and it includes  that true apostles work with their own hands.

1 Corinthians 4:9-13 New King James Version
9 For I think that God has displayed us, the apostles, last, as men condemned to death; for we have been made a spectacle to the world, both to angels and to men. 10 We are fools for Christ’s sake, but you are wise in Christ! We are weak, but you are strong! You are distinguished, but we are dishonored! 11 To the present hour we both hunger and thirst, and we are poorly clothed, and beaten, and homeless. 12 And we labor, working with our own hands. Being reviled, we bless; being persecuted, we endure; 13 being defamed, we entreat. We have been made as the filth of the world, the offscouring of all things until now.

Notice that verse 12 says:

12 And we labor, working with our own hands....

The apostle Paul also walked in financial integrity and worked with his own hands to provide for his own financial needs:

2 Thessalonians 3:7-9 New King James Version (NKJV)

For you yourselves know how you ought to follow us, for we were not disorderly among you; nor did we eat anyone’s bread free of charge, but worked with labor and toil night and day, that we might not be a burden to any of you, not because we do not have authority, but to make ourselves an example of how you should follow us.

It is true that true apostles and prophets  do receive monetary funds as tithes and offerings, but it is not to support themselves:

Acts 4:34-37 New King James Version (NKJV)

34 Nor was there anyone among them who lacked; for all who were possessors of lands or houses sold them, and brought the proceeds of the things that were sold, 35 and laid them at the apostles’ feet; and they distributed to each as anyone had need.

36 And Joses, who was also named Barnabas by the apostles (which is translated Son of Encouragement), a Levite of the country of Cyprus, 37 having land, sold it, and brought the money and laid it at the apostles’ feet.

We see clearly from this passage that the apostles do not use these tithes and offerings to support themselves, they use it to support others who are in need. The common religious practice of a pastors living off the tithes is not biblical. Nowhere in the scriptures does it say that those in the office of pastor are to receive tithes and offerings. It has been done as a religious practice but it is not biblical. It comes from the Babylonian religious practice of the antichrist-spirited Catholic Church. God's true Holy-Spirit led leaders do not have his blessing to do it that way. If you have been operating this way then you need to repent of it. God wants you to be financially blessed but you have to do this his way, according to the Word of God. If you have been doing it the traditional religious way then you must repent of it and trust and seek God to help you develop an income another way and you must use the funds you receive as tithes and offerings to support the ministry and your own personal needs. The Word of God makes it clear that Paul always did it this way. Paul always supported himself financially, working as a tent maker:

Acts 18:1-3 New King James Version (NKJV)

18 After these things Paul departed from Athens and went to Corinth. And he found a certain Jew named Aquila, born in Pontus, who had recently come from Italy with his wife Priscilla (because Claudius had commanded all the Jews to depart from Rome); and he came to them. So, because he was of the same trade, he stayed with them and worked; for by occupation they were tentmakers.

If Paul, the great apostle, who oversaw the several churches he had in established in the known world in his time, still found time to work at a trade and support himself, then so can we. I do not say this critically but I know that most pastors have been doing it the traditional way of using tithes and offerings to support yourselves. By the grace of God I have been spared from ever falling into this unbiblical practice.  I beseech you, my beloved brothers and sisters, to please pray about all this ask the Lord to lead you into the plan and provision that he has for you to do it the biblical way and develop your own income. There is much blessing in store for us as we learn to do it the biblical way. I am learning too. God will lead us and confirm his word. You can do this, brothers and sisters. God will be with you and will help you do it the biblical way.

Let me share with you with God has been teaching me and proving in my own life. It is all right there in the scripture, as we should expect. God has highlighted two verses to me that are the foundation of how he has been teaching me to operate financially:

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

Luke 6:38
Give, and it will be given to you: good measure, pressed down, shaken together, and running over will be put into your bosom. For with the same measure that you use, it will be measured back to you.”

This is how Jesus lived. Have you ever wondered what happened to all that gold that was given to Jesus when he was a baby and the wise men gave him gifts? I hope you do not think that Joseph and Mary spent it on lavish lifestyle. No, that was Jesus ' gold. It was kept for him and when he was grown he used to to give to the poor in his ministry. That is what happened to that gold. We need to learn to have the same giving attitude.

He has been teaching me to support myself not my by receiving tithes and offerings from other but by earning, sowing out of what I have earned and receiving a harvest on what I sow financially into his Kingdom. It is being given to me because I am giving others. Another verse that goes with these is:

2 Corinthians 9:6
But this I say: He who sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and he who sows bountifully will also reap bountifully.

If all we sow is a tithe, which again is not for a pastor's personal needs, we will not see any increase. But if we make offerings over and above the tithe, then we are in a position to receive an abundant harvest. Melchizedek is the Treasurer of Heaven. Giving and receiving this way, sowing and reaping out of what we earned ourselves, is the way to see Melchizedek's treasure trove unlocked in our lives. The tithe should go to an apostle or prophet(NOT a pastor) from whom we receive good spiritual food. The offering can go there too or to a work of God that is approved by heaven.

Brothers and sisters, this is for you so you can be financially blessed, the biblical way. Most are not operating this way and as a result they are not receiving supernatural provision and are struggling financially. We do no need to continue to operate in the old Babylonian 'church' business model that we inherited and miss out on God's supernatural provision. Our Father has made a better way. Let us receive it gratefully. Be blessed!

Steve Pursell, 3/10/19