Mal.3 was written to the leaders of the church and not the members. Preachers today with their prosperity gospel and promises have hurt the church. They leave out the right of the widows and the poor spoke of by Moses, while they bring in most of their money to the sum of millions a year and mostly get it from the weak…. There is a trend passing thru our land today that disturbs my spirit and makes me wonder what rock these people were under? They are on TV everyday preaching that one needs to sow a seed into the Kingdom of God as a seed offering for God to do something needful in someone’s life. They ask the people to send them their debts and they are going to have a special event where they will burn these bills as if they are burning the devils of poverty which caused the debts. I will tell you from experience that we bring a lot of these hardships on ourselves by not consulting God’s word in the situation before we make our decision to do something that will effect our finances. We find that God instructs us in his word to not be a surety for someone else’s debts. I have been guilty of this more times than I care to remember and it has always left me holding the bag. My daddy always told me that if you want to make a friend your enemy just loan them some money. Is this sinking in? Can anybody identify with me. I remember one incident concerning a Bishop that was founder of a certain ministry. He related that a close friend who could preach heaven down in a service approached him about undertaking the job of building a privacy fence for him. This minister was coming up for ordination in the ministry the Bishop had founded. The Bishop discussed the job with him but informed him that he did not care to have him perform the task because he was such a close friend. The minister insisted that he would do the work to the Bishop’s satisfaction and persisted in getting started as soon as possible. The friend was well skilled in the job task but the Bishop continued to put him off. After several days of pestering him about the job, the Bishop regretfully allowed the minister to do the work except there would be one requirement that he would not budge on. He informed the minister that he did not care when he would begin work on the fence except that he would not tolerate him leaving the job unfinished to begin or finish work started somewhere else. The minister agreed to this rule and was paid the full amount to do the fence up front which was almost two thousand dollars. About a week went by and the minister showed up with the material to build the fence. When he had the fence near completion, the Bishop noticed that he had not showed up for several days. The Bishop had some people contact him as to the reason he had not shown up to complete the privacy fence. The Bishop was told that he had received job offers and signed contracts to do other work. This angered the man of God and he enquired where the ministers next speaking engagement was and politely drove to hear him speak. The Bishop was to be one of the ministers that would be signing his ordination certificate. They had a little discussion after the service about why he pulled away from the job to start work on other projects. Needless to say, the minister was like David when confronted by the prophet Nathan concerning his sin with Bethsheba. The man apologized and began to weep as he realized the promise he had made. The Bishop politely forgave him and yes, they had a nice ordination ceremony for the minister in one of their Churches. The man had been paid up front and did not have to wait on his money which caused him to get greedy when the other job offers started coming in. I said all of that to make the point that we are all human and have real needs in our lives. We know better than using our credit cards as a means of maintaining our life style. The card companies are making a fortune by inticing us to make purchases that we do not need. The loan institutions know that we are living in a fast paced world where there are luxuries on every corner. We are inticed into buying an automobile on our good credit and giving us several years to pay for it. If we go more than four years on the loan then we are shocked to find that when it is payed off that we have invested into it far more than it is worth. We are the ones not using good judgement in our finances but we just got to blame it on the devil and send a list of our debts to these TV evangelists who are going to have a special event on live TV and let us watch them pray over these debts and burn them in a bonfire which is supposed to burn the devil of debt or poverty which has these poor people enslaved. I know some of these famous ministers and have heard them preach against what they are doing today. I have even watched one of these famous ministers expand as God would add to them and they did not have to fleece the people of God to do it. Sometime back, I took the liberty of allowing the father of one of these now famous ministers to accompany me on a short truck trip . He had devoted his whole life to ministry and his son who is now very famous continues to use him in special services to pray for the sick and needy. I am sure that these ministers believe that they are acting on God’s promises but my question is this. Are they portraying an atmosphere of false hope to these poor people who swallow their propaganda and send them their debts believing that God is going to get them out of the situation that they got their self into by not consulting God’s instruction manuel the Holy Bible? These ministers have convinced the people that they have rebuked and burned the spirits of poverty off their lives however, this is not going to stop the harassing phone calls from the creditors who want their money with interest. I have one question for these mighty men of God who are making themselves rich by robbing the poor? My question is who then has robbed even the whole nation of God’s intent of tithes and offerings? A Hint is in Malachi 3:5. and Isaiah 61:8 Malachi 3:5. And I will come near to you to judgment; and I will be a swift witness against the sorcerers, and against the adulterers, and against false swearers and against those that oppress the hireling in his wages, the widow, and the fatherless, and that turn aside the stranger from his right, and fear not me, saith the Lord of hosts. Isa 61:8 For I the LORD love judgment, I hate robbery for burnt offering; and I will direct their work in truth, and I will make an everlasting covenant with them. Read On Does not the Word of the Lord say that my sheep hear my voice? In the verses above we find that God hates robbery for burnt offerings. If we are compelled in a special service to give into a ministry and compelled to do it with God’s portion then my question would be who is speaking to us? Here we are in a special service and up to our neck in bills, we do not have money to put gas in our car and we pledge to give these ministers an offering that amounts to over a weeks work thus placing our selves and our family in bondage and we have the mindset that God is going to bless and deliver us, however in the back of our mind we are thinking, what have I done and what if God does not come thru on this pledge. Come on now, don’t get to saved on me because you know I am right. First let me say that God does emphasize in his word that whatever we give to his work shall return unto us but does it say that it is promised to us when we need it? This is where the ministers are failing in that they are making false promises to the people and creating an atmosphere that God is going to bring their children out of drugs or some other miracle and fail to realize that God has a plan. Yes, the fruit of the seed will come back to us if we give with a pure heart and motive to advance his Kingdom but it does not say it will come back to us personally. God may decide to have the blessing come back to our children or our children’s children. This is the prosperity doctrine being preached in our pulpits today and there is a record being kept on high. The word of God declares that almighty God hates robbery for burnt offerings then if you are compelled to give into a ministry and you are then compelled to do it with God’s portion, the tithe for it is Holy and it is the Lord’s! But measure yourself my dear child, the Word of God declares that we are to take this to our Local assembly to Celebrate God’s goodness to us so that the ministry and the meek of our community will have food to eat, clothes to wear, and places to live. And remember the tithe of the tithe belongs directly to the minister who is to oversee this ministry to the poor and to keep up our Father’s house. Therefore only a small portion of ones tithe should be given into other ministries. I mean if God really told you to give to this other ministry and you are behind on your bills then it would have to come out of the tithe because God says he hates “robbery for burnt offering”! It is like this: The tithe is the Lord’s! He does not want you to rob Him by paying your bills with it! [Although in the old covenant the Lord says if you were to borrow it then you were to pay it back with twenty percent interest (not to many ministers would tell you that!). God knows and He understands] Just do not Rob God from His goodness to you from helping the “meek” of our communities! God also does not want you to rob other people or businesses you have an agreement with to give God an offering. God is just! And with justice comes righteous judgment! God loves judgment! And with right judgment comes great wealth. The Word declares this statement in this passage and in others to such as “Who Is Robbing God” Do you not see in today’s body of Christ that we have been devastated as a whole? Sure there is great wealth in the body usually by those who have the use of judgment. Let’s face it there are many voices, and the only one that can bring judgment to these voices is you. The enemy of our soul comes as a thief as stated below. John 10:10 The thief cometh not, but for to steal, and to kill, and to destroy: I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly. What do you think he (Satan) wants to steal most if your soul is in the hands of Christ? That’s right your wealth or God’s goodness in your life, and he will use your numbness to sound judgment to devastate you; thus rendering you with less power in your life living in the cellars of depression and captivated in poverty! We need to pray and ask forgiveness in the areas we have been weak in and ask our heavenly Father to undergird us with his mercy and ask that he clearly mark our path with sound judgment when it comes to his Holy Word! We need to realize that our God does not work on a merit (favor) system as we are so used to in this earthly realm but know that we are already accepted in his eyes because we are his children. We need to know that THe wrath of God was satisfied when his son Jesus Christ willingly gave his life and shed his life’s blood on an old rugged cross over two thousand years ago to pay the sin debt of mankind that we may become the sons and daughters of the most high God. Yes friend, God bought us through the finished work of Christ but remember, We can not buy God! Remember this prayer! Father God we come to you in Jesus Name and ask you to give us the Grace of good judgment to keep on making good judgments for we realize that it is a Kingdom principle! Lord help us to be all we can be for the upbuilding of thy kingdom. Does not the Word say that we are Kings and Priests of our God? What good is a King without sound judgment? SPECIAL NOTE We find in our studies of scripture that there is a “right” for the laborer or hireling [not the unfaithful Minster] and their wages that extends to the needy [the fatherless, the widow, and the stranger] and to the ministry. We have made preachers millionaires in today’s church and missed the Lord’s intent concerning the culture around us. We are supposed to be the Lord’s body here on earth and willingly yield our bodies a living sacrifice which is our reasonable service. He wants to use our hands and our feet to reach out to the needy. We are to reach out to the hurting and the culture around us with the good news that we serve a risen savior. Conclusion by Lorraine Hulse The Tides represents the time period when you reap a harvest for what you have sowed in the Kingdom of God. The giving of your Tithes is an opportunity for you to be blessed and to be a blessing to others. There are so many ways to sow into other people lives, not only with monetary gifts, but through love, encouragement, and prayer. Also through sharing of God’s word and by giving of yourself and of your service without expecting the people you blessed to bless you back. You will received a manifold blessing from the Lord when your harvest comes in pressed down, shaken together and running over shall you be blessed in returned. That is the way and the function of the Tides of the Tithers. The Tides flow in for the Tithers.