we have scripture reason and/or examples of a "church" treasury or did we
receive it from Catholic and Protestant traditions?
I would like to show in this study why I believe that all "churches" are descendants of Catholicism and how the Catholics re-instituted "going to worship" and "giving into a church treasury," both of which under the New Covenant were done away with. Under the Law the Jews "went to worship" in Jerusalem and they were required to give 10% for the support of the Levitical Priesthood who were responsible for the animal sacrifices. All of this was fulfilled and done away with .
So why, you may ask, for 1,600 plus years have "Churches" been "requiring their members to go to worship" and putting 10% or so of their income into a "church treasury?" Christ did not create this, the Apostles did not establish doing so and it can't be found in the New Testament. It was the Catholic Church that started it and no one since (in 1,600 plus years) has done any more than to follow their tradition. It was also the Catholics who started the clergy system that the reformation movement carried forward for the Protestant (non Catholic) movement, a clergy system with preachers and pastors and controlling elders. These are all descendants of Catholicism the first apostasy that has covered the earth with its apostasy.
ask that while you continue this study that you search for any reference to
a "church treasury." Try to find any Christians from the cross until AD70
who put money into a "church treasury" and while you are looking for that,
I ask you to find where any Christian was ever required to "go to worship."
I ask only that you continue this study to its end and if you find any of
this to be in error, please contact me by e-mail and let me know what you
I have listened to preachers preach sermons in many congregations and on radio and T.V. and read printed tracts distributed by "churches" about God's so-called "command" to give to the "church treasury." However, when I search the Scriptures I find a deadening silence on any such command. In fact I find no such creature as "church treasury." Yet preachers go to great stretches of the imagination to justify getting their members to give liberally: "to lay by in store on the first day of the week." Some even take collection several times a week and they all teach that giving is an important part of their "worship." We shall speak also about "going to worship". I believe that many of these preachers honestly believe they are doing the right thing. Yet, what they are teaching the congregations to do is no where to be found in the scriptures. Going to worship and giving into a church treasury began after AD70 by Catholicism and was carried forward into Protestantism with no Biblical foundation and this has continued for some 1600 years.
Below I will write a summary of a tract my wife picked up in a Church of Christ in Tennessee with more than 2,000 members. After this I would like for us to take a closer look at the scriptures that the tract listed for giving to the "church treasury" plus other verses that will help explain what God has instructed us to do with our money and what to do about "going to worship.
tract is titled, "Why Should We Give." It is not necessary to give the author's
name because the reason he gives for supporting giving to the "church treasury"
is typical. He begins by saying that, "giving is a badly misunderstood and
neglected matter of using our wealth in the church." He goes on to say that
"God COMMANDS us to lay by in store on the first day of the week as we have
prospered and purposed in our hearts and that God has a nobler motive for
our giving than merely raising money to finance His church." He references
1 Cor. 16:1,2; 11 Cor. 9:7. Then he goes on to say that, "when the real purpose
of giving is understood, Christians will give cheerfully and liberally." He,
like most, will throw in Old Testament references about tithing because he
cannot find New Testament references to justify his argument for giving at
least 10% of our income to the "church treasury."
Following listed are his "reasons" for giving to the "church
1. Because we become like the God we worship.
|a. When we obey his "COMMAND" to give liberally, cheerfully, as we prosper, we are imitating Him. When we refuse to give, we rob ourselves of this God- like trait.[This is a prime example of interpreting scripture through man's traditions. I am still looking for the "COMMAND" reference for giving to the "church treasury." He mentioned robbing ourselves. Many say we rob God by not giving. This is repeated often by T.V. preachers to shame the people watching them into giving to their denominations. The real shame is the person making such a statement. ]|
2. In Raising Money, God Is Raising Men.
|a. When God "DEMANDS" of us to give of our means into "His treasury," He is asking us to do what He knows will build "true Character." [I'm also looking for the references for this "DEMAND" for us to give into the "church treasury. "Can you find it?]|
3. Giving is sacrificing.
|a. The Christian gives with a cheerful heart for God's glory, for the salvation of lost souls and to make sad hearts happy…Give until it hurts, says one. When our heart is in our gift, we sacrifice cheerfully and liberally. [A noble cause for "lost souls" and God's glory, but where is the reference for doing so by putting money into a "church treasury?" [Sad hearts happy????]|
4. Activity Is Essential to life
|a. "When an individual or a "church" cease to give, they
soon die spiritually. A religion that is not worth sacrificing for is
not worth anything to us.
b. Every "church" should be able to do more than support the preacher, pay the water bill, do a little charity work, and hold a meeting once a year. Activity is essential to life, and giving liberally into the "Lord's treasury" is essential to activity." [Notice that all activity is involving the "church" and nothing about our individual activity.]
5. Giving Is Fellowship
|a. The Lord knows that where your treasure is there will your heart be also. (Luke 12:34) He "COMMANDS" us to give and become a partner with Him in saving fallen man. [He is still speaking of a "COMMAND" without a reference and he is asking that our treasure should be in the "church treasury "instead of in heaven.]|
6 We're God's Stewards
|a. 1 Pet. 4:10 - Peter said "according as each hath received
a "gift" ministering it among yourselves, as good stewards of the manifold
grace of God. [What has this to do in reference to "giving money into
the "church treasury?" The gift mentioned here is the Gift of the Holy
Spirit, not money! See verses 10 and 11. The grace of God by gifts is
what they were to be good stewards of, demonstrating the abilities given
by God that God in all things may be glorified.]
b. When we have finished our work on earth and hand over to God the wealth he placed in our hands having faithfully used it to His glory, He will say: "Well done, good and faithful servants." [I have to assume that he is saying we should make out our will to the "church treasury."]
7. We Should Give Because the Returns Are Great and Rich
|a. After using Luke 6:38 he says "No investment….brings greater returns than investing in the Lord's work….It is "laying up treasures in Heaven." [All the references I find for laying up treasure in heaven are references to individuals giving alms to the poor, never to the "church treasury." This person's reasons for "giving" should not be able to convince anyone above twelve years of age that we should give money to the "church treasury" without true scriptural evidence. He is playing games with scriptures. Trickery to justify his tradition]|
Let us now look at the scripture reference given by the writer of the above tract, which he seems to believe supports his reasons for giving into the "church treasury."
He lists Matthew 25:21; Luke 12:24; Acts 17:24,25; 1 Cor. 16:1,2; 11 Cor. 9:17; 1 Pet. 4:10; Psa. 24:1.
1. Matthew 25:21 - "His Lord said unto him,
well done, (thou) good and faithful servant: thou hast been faithful over
a few things, I will make thee ruler over many things; enter thou into the
joy of thy Lord." [This is a parable about what Christ left his disciples
when he went into heaven for 40 years. What he left them while he was away
was the "gift of the Holy Spirit," not money. The parable used money but that
which Christ left them was the gifts.]
2. Luke 12:34 - "For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also." [He made this point to encourage members to put money into the "church treasury." Now look at verse 33, "Sell that ye have, and give alms: provide yourselves bags, which wax not old, a treasure in heaven, that faileth not." Alms are not given to the "church treasury" but to the "poor and needy" by individuals, not churches. Notice how this writer wants to take away all our personal activities as Christians and make it into a group activity using the "church treasury."]
3. Acts 17:24,25 - "God that made the world and all things therein, seeing that He is Lord of heaven and earth, dwelleth not in temples made with hands; (25) Neither is worshipped with (served by) men's hands, as though he needed anything, seeing he giveth to all life, and breath, and all things." [Maybe the writer of the tract didn't understand what is explained here.]
I believe we today have totally misunderstood the meaning of the assembly of saints. I don't use the word "church" personally because it denotes an institution, started by the Catholics, that is foreign to God's "ekklesia." Serious research into the New Testament will find your assembly of Christians with no "church treasury", no pulpit preachers or pastors, no controlling leadership and after AD70 no elders who before AD70 were appointed by the Holy Spirit, not man. If you ever find a single reference in the New Testament in a single congregation about a pulpit preacher or church treasury, be my friend and show me. The assembly of Christians was told to admonish each other in "psalms and hymns and spiritual songs." (Eph. 5:19, Col. 3:16) They were told to partake of the Lord's supper in remembrance of Christ's body and his shed blood on the cross until he returned in AD70 ( I Cor.11:26 ). They encouraged each other and took care of each other. The assemblies today bear no resemblance of the assemblies God had intended. However, it does bear a great resemblance to the Catholic Churches from whence the Protestant churches evolved from.]
4. 1 Cor. 16:1,2,3 - "Now concerning the collection for the saints, as I have given order to the churches of Galatia, even so do ye. (2) Upon the first day of the week let every one of you ( Corinthians ) lay by him in store, as God hath prospered him, that there be no collection made when I [Paul] come. (3) And when I come whomsoever ye shall approve by your letter, them will I send to bring your bounty unto Jerusalem."
5. 11 Cor. 9:7 - "Every man according as he purposed in his heart, so (let him give); not grudgingly, or of necessity: for God loveth a cheerful giver." [These are in reference to the poor saints at Jerusalem and not a "church treasury."]
There is not one reference here of giving to a "church treasury." Even a great stretch of the imagination couldn't get you a "church treasury" out of these verses. Paul had asked these people to put aside money on the first day of the week for the needy saints at Jerusalem so that when "he," not Christ, comes there would not be a rush collection. Over weeks of time they could put aside some money for the poor Jerusalem saints that did not go into the "church treasury."
Preachers try to convince their members that God wants them to give into the "church treasury" every first day of the week until Christ comes. Then they teach that Christ hasn't come in 2,000 years but will come any minute, so the falsely gotten contribution is endless. Preachers and church leaders are using this money to build more "churches" to get more money to further all 34,000 denominations while holding on to their traditions. [If we lived true to the word of God and removed " the church treasury," then the 34,000 denominations would dry up and cease to be.]
Romans 15:24 - To further explain, Paul said, "Whensoever I take my journey in Spain, I will come to you." In verses 25 and 26 he said, "But now I go unto Jerusalem to minister unto the saints. For it hath pleased them of Macedonia and Achaia to make a certain contribution for the poor saints which are at Jerusalem." Then in vs. 28 he says, "When therefore I have performed this, and have sealed to them this fruit, I will come by you into Spain." Look also at Acts 11:29,30, which states, "Then the disciples [at Antioch and Galatia,] every man according to his ability, determined to send relief unto the brethern which dwelt in Judea. (30) which also they did, and sent it to the elders by the hand of Barnabas and Saul." [It wasn't sent to the preacher there because there was no preacher and it was not put in the "church treasury" because there was none. These scriptures bare no relationship whatsoever to giving to a "church treasury" which came to us by tradition from the Catholic Church, that dates back to about 325 AD with Nicene creed.]
11 Cor. 8:14 - "But by an equality, that now at this time your abundance (may be a supply) for their wants, that their abundance also may be a supply for your want: that there may be equality." Verse 13 says, "….for your liberal distribution unto them, and unto all men."
1 Pet. 4:10 - First look at verse 7 that says, "But the end of all things is at hand; be ye therefore sober and watch unto prayer." [The end of the age (not world) and all things prophesied was at hand that also included all the parables, that includes the parable of the tares that Christ taught his disciples.] Also look at verse 17 that says, "For the time is come that judgment must begin at the house of God." [These words were for their ears to adhere to and they are history for us.] Now in verse 10 in light of the end of all things he says, "As every man hath received the Gift even so minister the same one to another, as good stewards of the manifold grace of God." [Now I ask you again, what does this verse have to do with putting money into the "church treasury?" The gift that they were stewards of, given by the grace of God, was not money but the gift of the Holy Spirit such as laying on of hands, tongues, revelation, healing, etc., etc. that they were to receive and was prophesied by Joel. (Acts 2:16) If you will look at Acts 2:38 as it states, " Then Peter said unto them, "Repent and be baptized every one of you…and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Spirit" and Acts 8:20 states, "But Peter said unto him (Simon), Thy money perish with thee, because thou hast thought that the gift of God may be purchased with money." [It should be obvious here that the gift was not money] Now let us look at Romans 12:6,7,8 - "Having then gifts differing according to the grace that is given to us, whether prophecy (let us prophesy) according to the proportion of faith; (7) Or ministry, ….or he that teacheth, on teaching; (8) Or he that exhorteth, etc. 1 Cor. 4:1,2 - "Let a man account of us, as of the ministers of Christ, and stewards of the mysteries of God. (2) Moreover it is required in stewards, that a man be found faithful." [They were not stewards of God's money but of the "mysteries of God."]
Lay up treasures in heaven
Now we need to look at how they were told they could "lay up treasures in heaven." To do this we will need to look up the word "alms". [A kind act] Matthew 6:19,20,21,24 - "Lay not up for yourselves treasures upon earth, where moth and rust doth corrupt (consume) and where thieves break through and steal: (20) but lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven…. (21) For where your treasure is, there will you heart be also. (24) ….Ye cannot serve God and mammon." (Wealth and riches) [For those who have wealth and riches on this earth, it is easy to see where their heart is. However, for those who share this wealth with the poor have "laid up treasure in heaven." The only place where God has asked us to give into a treasury is the treasury in heaven and that cannot be done through a "church treasury.
also Luke 12:16:21,33,34 - Here Christ spoke a parable of the rich
man who decided to pull down his old barn and build bigger ones to have more
for himself and this is evidence that he is not rich toward God. His soul
was taken from his body that night and responding to this (33) Christ tells
his disciples to "sell that ye have, and give alms;" provide yourselves bags
which wax not old, a treasure in the heavens that faileth not, where
no thief approacheth, neither moth corrupteth. (34) For where your treasure
is, there will your heart be also." [It is important that we see the contrast
between those who look to enlarge their surroundings and belongings verses
those who look to how they can help others; to these later ones there will
be treasure in heaven. Do you want your money to be in the "church
treasury" where man can misuse it or do you want it in heaven where no man
can reach it by giving it and sharing it with the needy.]
1 Tim. 6:17,18,19 - "Charge them that are rich…. (18) That they do good, that they be rich in good works, ready to distribute, willing to communicate; (19) Laying up in store for themselves a good foundation against the time to come, that they may lay hold on eternal life." [Can we not see the difference here between "alms" and the "church treasury" and the importance of alms giving ! There are no connections between the" church treasury" and eternal life or heaven but in "giving alms" there is a connection to eternal life and heaven.]
Matt. 19:21,22,23; Mk. 10:21; Lk. 18:22 - [Jesus was speaking to a man who was rich who also was seeking eternal life.] "One thing thou lacketh, go thy way, If thou wilt be perfect, go and sell whatsoever that thou hast, and give and distribute to the poor, and thou shalt have treasures in heaven: and come follow me." But as stated in verse (22) "But when the young man heard that saying, he went away sorrowful: for he had great possessions." Jesus was speaking to his disciples in verse (23) "That a rich man shall hardly enter the kingdom of heaven." [Here you may have noticed that Christ never said to the rich man or his disciples to give your money to the "temple treasury" and let them put it to good use and "have treasures in heaven." It is my understanding that all that we have or will ever receive is from God for us to use and we must share with the poor or we will be in serious trouble with God's eternity. I've noticed that as most people receive more and more, the more they horde it to themselves and the more they plan of how they will use it for themselves rather than making plans to help others. There is guilt for all of us and I guess we all have this tendency to hoard to ourselves and accumulate more for ourselves. This is the modern day American way.]
The modern day "churches" have become rich by demanding more and more, giving until it hurts, convincing its members that we must do this to "lay up treasures in heaven. "This is the big lie." This idea was never in God's plan and is totally foreign to His writings. There seems to be an agreement in the "churches" that one must give until it hurts and that this is mandatory for any hope of eternal life with God. This idea is totally foreign to the Word of God! The more I search the scriptures the more I see the workings of man and how he has manipulated his brethern with scriptual words to do the things that are contrary to God's way. People who wish to please the Father are erroneously going to man to follow man rather than going to the Father.
It is a popular practice to follow man because everyone is doing it and if one should pull away from supporting one of the 34,000 plus denominations, they might be considered to be a cult or just plain "whacko." Being called a "whacko" is a small price to pay for eternity with Jesus and his Father and the promise of His rest.
For all the reasons for giving our financial support to the local "church treasury," I find to be without Biblical support. Those reasons presented in this tract are used to make a person feel all good and mushy inside and make "sad hearts happy" about supporting the local "church" and all its "good deeds." This kind of teaching takes away from what the Father is encouraging us to do as individuals whose relationship with the Father must be personal, individual and not collectively. Herd mentality will get you no where with the Father. The message of the churches is "come follow us, give us your money and we will take care of all those individual things that God has asked you to do." Like the Greyhound Bus, just buy your ticket and leave the driving to us and we will get you there safely. This is the BIG LIE with a price.
Remember Noah, the "whacko" who built an Ark 450 ft. long. He did not follow man but listened to the Father. He ignored all those comments made about him because he knew God. He kept his eyes on God and disregarded man. Do you not believe that he was called a "whacko" along with whatever else they could come up with in those days.
I hope you don't misunderstand what I am saying because there is a place for an assembly of saints coming together to help and encourage and admonish one another in "psalms and hymns and spiritual songs." The Psalms will always be a light unto us. Today they are not using the Psalms to admonish one another, but have chosen new songs that are written by man and not the Father's words. And just as man has chosen new preachers to replace God's chosen preachers, today's "churches" have created it's own songs and Psalms and have little resemblance of the assemblies of the first Christians.
I find no reason why we cannot give some money collectively in support of a meeting place if it proves necessary, but let it stop there and not build large, expensive "temples" to God as the Catholic and many others have done. The money will be better used by the needy. Once we remove all of man's traditions such as, paid preachers, elders, pastors , parsonages with expenses, publications, etc., etc. which were never a part of the early Christian's responsibilities, it will not be difficult to obey the Father and use our monies as He had intended : given to the needy saints and laying up treasures in heaven.
The preachers of man beg money and like the Pharisees of old had said, "look at all the good works and good deeds we have done for hundreds of years." To get more money they use the scare tactics that the world will be destroyed any minute even though there is not one sentence in the Bible that says the world will be destroyed. They get by with it because people are not searching the Scriptures, but rather searching the words of man and feeling comfortable being with many people who are taking the same bus with a sign out front that says "Heaven Bound" buy your ticket (put your money in the church treasury) and come be with us on this journey to salvation."
The sin and evil in having a "church treasury" is in interpreting scripture from "traditions" to justify begging money from fellow saints, tricking them with scriptural quotes into feeling obligated to obey a lie created by man to justify and support his tradition. Knowing that we got this ill-gotten tradition from the Catholics ought to impact us considerably.
As difficult as it might be to give up another tradition passed down from Catholicism and Protestantism, we must face the fact that we have been victims again to tradition. Can we survive the truth or will we just bury our heads in the assembly and give in to tradition?
Giving to a "church treasury" has become a part of "worship" on the level or more important than baptism and more important than attendance. It has become the most important requirement for salvation. Because giving to the "church treasury" has been going on for some 1,600 years does not in any way override scriptural authority of God's approval.
An interesting point I'd like to make here is that "Christians" spends for all causes about $270,100,000,000 per year. If you will combine the $270,100,000,000 with monies donated to charity each year and with the social/welfare money spent each year from taxes, the poor and needy would not be poor and needy. Poverty in the world would not be an issue. So the way I look at this is that giving to the "church" treasure instead of alms giving has taken money from the poor and given it to the "churches" to squander and divide into 34,000 separate battles zones.
Anything that comes to us from man's traditions such as giving into the "church treasury, "going to worship" with church preachers, pastors, elders and parsonages, etc. only leads us further and further away from the eternity that we all have hoped for. Like Cain, mankind has decided to "worship God" their way and like Cain we will forever be displeasing to the God we say we worship. We must reject all the traditions passed down to us if we have any hope at all to please our Father and Creator.
To summarize this study I would say be aware of people who say, "God commands and demands "you to do anything, without a real scriptural reference. Christ instructed his disciples to give to the poor and needy that is referred to as "alms," that they may have treasures in heaven. Today's "churches" have decided they can do a better job by taking your alms into the church treasury and letting them do with it what they, the leaders, decide will be the better dispersal of your money. They really don't feel that the individual knows how to do the job justly. Like our Federal Government, they would like for you to give all that you have so they can disperse it in ways they decide is best because they are smarter than we are. If we remove church leaders and we remove all the evil, burdensome traditions placed on us which separate us from each other and from the Father then and only then could true restoration take place.
God has told us that "where your treasure is there will your heart be also" (Lk. 12:34); therefore the "churches" want your heart to be in the "churches," not Heaven. It is true that the whole of man's heart today is totally immersed in the "churches" and their controlling activity and that is exactly where man wants it to be. Yet, what is missing is any evidence of a "church treasury" or anyone in the New Testament ever mentioning such a creature. Because there was a treasury mentioned in the Old Testament under the Law in addition to tithing, man has taken it for granted that it was to continue. Animal sacrifices did not continue, neither did temple worship continue, etc. so taking God for granted that the temple treasury and temple (church) worship continued without evidence is a dangerous practice. I am reminded of what Jesus said in Rev. 22:18---"every man that heareth the words of the prophecy of this book, If any man shall add unto these things, God shall add unto him the plagues that are written in this book and verse 19 "if any man shall take away from the words of this book of this prophecy, God shall take away his part out of the book of life, and his holy city"…[we can know from this what God thinks of people who change His words.]
All the good deeds that have been accomplished with the "church treasury" does not justify a "church treasury" anymore than the local mob is justified by doing good deeds with the money they extort and steal. "Churches" today extort money from their members by saying that God "demands" and "commands" of us money for the "church treasury" without scriptural reason and using scare tactics that the world will end any minute. This is what we inherited from Catholicism.
Teaching that giving into the "church treasury" is necessary for salvation is just totally false and is without any scriptural support. Just imagine Christians living in harmony with the New Testament "ekklesia" without counterfeit preachers, pastors, elders, church treasury and all of man's traditions that have been passed down to us from the Catholics. They have shackled us with misery and with controlling people who are intruding into our lives to burden us and demand of us so many things that God never demanded or required of us. It is the work of the Pharisees all over again, binding us with oral traditions to be followed.
I really believe that giving into denominational "church treasuries" has become the most important aspect and theme of all of the churches today. From the cradle to the grave it is give, give, give. It is even more important than attendance.
Also many use phrases like "make Christ your personal savior" and from that point on there is nothing personal about it. You only become a church (group) Christian. Yet, when a person dies, they will face God's judgment all alone. Then at their funeral the preacher says this person has gone to be with the Father and Jesus and at the next Sunday morning sermon he preaches that Christ is coming soon and "all" in the grave will be resurrected. Aren't there terrible contradictions here? The denominations teach that salvation can only be gained if you stay with them and support them by giving into their church treasury and that will lay up your treasures in heaven.
Our salvation is between God and ourselves, and not between God and the assembly. Our assembling with other saints serve an entirely different roll than salvation by "going to worship." Today in the minds of those who want to be Christians they are convinced they must go to worship as once was required under the Law collectively. However, we can no longer "go to worship" as difficult as it may seem to understand. God made this clear in John 4:20-24, "the hour cometh when ye shall neither in this mountain nor yet in Jerusalem worship the Father…But the hour cometh and now is when the true worshiper shall worship the Father in spirit and in truth." See also Acts 17:24,25, "God that made the world and all things therein, seeing that He is Lord of heaven and earth, dwelleth not in temples made with hands; (25) neither is worshipped with (served by) men's hands, as though he needed anything, seening He giveth to all life, and breath, and all things."
God removed "going to worship" collectively. It was Catholicism that led the world astray by reinstating going to worship and giving into the treasury. The "Christian world" never again in 1,600 years corrected this error. Just like a Catholic monk in Germany wrote Paul's thirteen letters out of order chronologically some five hundred years ago, they were never put back into correct order. All "churches" are descendants and grandchildren of Catholicism, the first apostate breakaway that has become the pattern for the world.
Let us now read about the earliest Christians at Jerusalem because they understood how they were to help one another to lay up treasures in heaven. Acts 2:44, "And all that believed were together and had all things common and sold their possessions and goods and parted them to all men, as every man had need. " Now read Acts 4:32-37, "and the multitude of them that believed were of one heart and of one soul: neither said any (of them) that ought of the things which he possessed was his own; but they had all things common…(34) Neither was there any among them that lacked: for as many as were possessors of lands or houses sold them, and brought the prices of the things that were sold, (35) and laid (them) down at the Apostles' feet: and distribution was made unto every man according as he had need." Verses 36,37 explain how Joses Barnabas, a Levite from Cyprus, sold his land and laid the money also at the Apostles feet. Then the story continues with the incident with Ananias and Sapphira, as I am sure you remember. We can see here an event that appears to be short-lived where many Christians sold their land and possessions and laid the money at the Apostles feet. They knew that "going to worship and giving into a church treasury" was done away and they knew also what God now requires of them in using their money for those in need, the giving of alms. Notice who took and distributed the money, the Apostles, not a "church treasury." Later a problem came up about the Grecian Jewish widows not being cared for as well as the Hebrew widows and the Apostles chose seven men, full of the Holy Spirit to take care of this need because they needed to accomplish the work of teaching and prayer. Can we conclude at all any evidence of a "church treasury?" I cannot. The money given to the Apostles did not go to pay a preacher or for a parsonage, etc., etc. It was given to the needy and not into a "church treasury" so that we would have an example. If God wanted us to give 10% into the treasury, don't you think He would have instructed us to do so?
Another somewhat related point I'd like to make about denominations' survival is that all the "churches" seem to think it necessary to keep it's members very busy with studies and activities to keep them in line. By doing this they keep their members from independent studies and from wondering off. God opens the eyes of those who He will. He doesn't and history bares this out, open the eyes of "churches." So if an individual cannot, on his own, study daily that God will come to him to reveal to him those things hidden from the world, he will never see truth. It is like the old saying, "keep a wife barefoot and pregnant and she will stay out of trouble." The denominations beg money to keep their members poor and keep them pregnant with studies to keep them from independent studies that may give them reason to leave.
God never intended for those who are His to have group salvation, nor to give the churches control over every aspect of their lives. God had intended that we worship Him first and assemble second with other Christians. (Col. 3:1), "If ye then be risen with Christ, seek those things which are above, where Christ siteth on the right hand of God. [He is speaking to each individual of the body of Christ] Set your affection (mind) on things above, not on earth." [Because we no longer "go to worship" on earth as they once did to be in God's presence in earth's temples] Under the Law their affection (mind) was set upon earthly matters because God came down to the Holy of Holies to be their God but now the Holy of Holies is in the Spiritual Jerusalem that Revelation says has come down out of Heaven. That is why we are asked to set our mind on things above. However, Catholicism and Protestantism have brought it back down to earth and the "churches" have re-instated earthly worship. This is a great evil against God and against His Son who give his life and suffered to take worship off the earth and return it to the Father, in heavenly places. To turn our minds away from man, God fulfilled the Law and gave us a New Covenant that brought us back to a "one on one" relationship with the Father. All these individual disciples collectively make up the "Body of Christ," the "Ekklesia" who assemble with other disciples, not to "go to worship" and bring their bags of money to lay aside treasures in heaven. They gather like a family unit to support enjoy and admonish each other in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs. They gather to remember what Christ has done for them and the Father who gave His Son. They gather to give God the glory and not to applaud a smooth speaking preacher who entertains them and makes them feel good with choirs and solo singers and a musical band. If you have enough money in your "church treasury," you'll be able to afford a really good speaker who can sometimes even challenge your mind a little. Only the rich "churches" can afford the so called" good preachers."
(Col. 3:3,10,14-16), "For ye are dead (died), and your life is hid with Christ in God." (10) "and have put on the new man, which is renewed unto knowledge after the image of Him that created him." [No longer under the Law when Jews were separate from others] (14) "and above all these things (put on) charity, which is the bond of perfection." [bind all these thing together] (15) "and let the peace of God (Christ) rule in your hearts, to which also ye are called in one body: and be yet thankful. (16) "Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly in all wisdom; teaching and admonishing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with grace in your hearts to the Lord." [Did you read about a pulpit preacher or pastor in any of these verses that speak of an assembly of saints?]
Now look at (Col.4: 5,6), "Walk in wisdom toward them that are without, redeeming the time [Christ was coming soon] Let your speech (be) always with grace, seasoned with salt, that ye may know how ye ought to answer every man." [This speaks to individuals, not to group assemblies, not for preachers, pastors or elders.]
Look at similar words written to the Ephesians. (Eph. 5:19,21,22,25,32), "Speaking to yourselves (one to another) in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs singing and making melody in your heart to the Lord… (21) Submitting yourselves one to another [not to popes, priests, elders, pastors or other leaders] in the fear of God. (22) Wives, submit yourselves unto your own husband as unto the Lord, etc., etc. (25) Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ also loved the church (Ekklesia) and gave himself for it… (32) This is a great mystery; but I speak concerning Christ and the Ekklesia." Then in chapter 6 Paul goes on to speak of the children, then fathers, masters and brethren. Is there any resemblance in the first Christian assemblies to today's assembly of saints that has controlling leadership such as elders, pastors, preachers etc.,etc. I cannot in my research find such except in those days when they had the apostles who admonished and taught them. We no longer are in that transition period as they were and now after AD70 all things are fulfilled and the Law has been fulfilled and we are no longer bound to "go to worship" because God does not appear on earth as he did before. We now are in the presence of God at all times, not just when we "go to worship." The death-wall that separated us has been removed.
Under the Law, God demanded going to group worship, but after the Law it was not so. They were one on one with God. If we, who understand the fulfillment of AD70, truly believe that man has been returned to God; that now (since AD70) we are in the new heavens and new earth (Matt. 5:18 & 2Pet.3:13) where the new city (spiritual) Jerusalem has come down out of heaven (Rev.21:1-6) where the tabernacle of God is with man and God Himself shall be with them and be their God, then why would we ever go "to worship" as we worship God in spirit and truth. We must understand that the Law is fulfilled and we now have forgiveness of sin without sacrifices. We will no longer then "go to worship" and give money into the temple (church) treasury, as we no longer sacrifice animals for our sins.
Our money should be given as the first Christians gave and used in such a way that we "store up treasures in heaven." God has given us absolutely no reason to give our monies into any earthly treasury. If we want to give at least 10%, then we should put it into heaven's treasury to await our going there where man cannot reach it to waste it and abuse it.
Look at 1 Cor. 3:11-23 that is speaking of man's work…and then in verse 21, "Therefore let no man glory in men. For all things are your's;" [God has given all things to us personally and individually so why should we go to man to listen to man and glorify man as the "blind Christian world" does today.] I Cor. 4:6, "Not to think of men above that which is written, that no one of you be puffed up for one against another." [such as, clergy against the silent majority who sit in pews.]
"Money and service" to the "church" is what denominational Christianity boils down to today. This is also what was done under the law that was done away with. Is this not Catholicism watered down and in total contradiction to God's plan? The "church" and its leaders have taken God's glory unto themselves and everyone else are servants to them with herd mentality.
If we don't get anything else from this study, we need to understand that we all have been party and participant to the doctrine of Catholicism. We have all been going to earth worship and tithing our hard-earned money into the treasury of an apostate religion for hundreds and hundreds of years. We have listened to denominational counterfeit preachers, pastors, elders and priests convince us to follow the shadow of Catholicism, the first apostate religion after AD70 for some 1,600 years. We have been robbed of truth, time and money, yet, it is our own fault, because we listened to and followed man rather than our Savior and those God gave him, and our Father. May God have mercy on our tormented and forsaken souls! "For it is written, I will destroy the wisdom of the wise and will bring to nought the discernment of the discerning."
Is now the time, 2,000 years after Christ came in his glory to fulfill and restore all things? To reject Catholicism's apostasy and give back to HIM who created us and gave us life and to HIS only begotten, who suffered on the cross? If Christ did not fulfill all things in AD70, to resurrect those in the grave, then he failed and died in vain. (see John 17:4) Now if God destroyed HIS creation then HE failed and will have gone back on HIS promise. This is the message of the Catholic and Protestant apostasy which has dominated the earth after AD70. A message of fear, doom and gloom. It is now time to be joyous that the big lie is now exposed and we no longer have to listen to man and follow his wickedness.
If you believe that what I am saying in this article is not correct, I welcome your questions, comments, and discussions with scriptural references.