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The Moment of Truth - Lesson 38

Thieves in the Church?

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Let’s ask God for His guidance during this lesson:

Our Father,

You have so many blessings in store for those who want to follow You.

This is why we ask You to enlighten us by Your Spirit so that, by opening Your Word, we may understand Your will, and by Your power working within us, we may put in practice the things You teach us.

This is our prayer, in Jesus Christ.


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Psalm 50:10-12

Every beast of the forest is Mine, and the cattle on a thousand hills. I know all the fowls of the mountains: and the wild beasts of the field are Mine.

If I were hungry, I would not tell you: for the world is Mine, and the fullness thereof.


As the Creator of the Universe, God claims the right of ownership on everything that exists.

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Psalm 24:1,2

The earth is the Lord’s, and the fullness thereof; the world, and they that dwell therein. For He has founded it.


Job 41:11

[The Lord said,] «Whatever is under the whole heaven is Mine.»


Deuteronomy 10:14

Behold, the heaven and the heaven of heavens is the Lord’s your God, the earth also, with all that therein is.


The whole Universe belongs to God, the Creator of all things.

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God is our Creator and Redeemer. Therefore, we are His property too:

«Know you that the Lord, He is God: it is He that has made us, and not we ourselves; we are His people.» (Psalm 100:3)

«But now, thus said the Lord that created you, O Jacob, and He that formed you, O Israel, “Fear not, for I have redeemed you; I have called you by your name; you are Mine.”» (Isaiah 43:1)

«What? Know you not that your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost which is in you, which you have of God, and you are not your own? For you are bought with a price.» (1 Corinthians 6:19,20)

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Haggai 2:8

«The silver is Mine, and the gold is Mine,» said the Lord of hosts.


However, we do not so easily recognize that all the silver and gold also belong to God...

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Deuteronomy 8:17,18

You say in your heart,

«My power and the might of my hand have gotten me this wealth.»

But you shall remember the Lord your God: for it is He that gives you power to get wealth.


Contrary to what we might think, we owe God all the wealth that we gain throughout our life.

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1 Chronicles 29:11,12,14,16

Yours, O Lord, is the greatness, and the power, and the glory, and the victory, and the majesty: for all that is in the heaven and in the earth is Yours; Yours is the kingdom, O Lord, and You are exalted as head above all.

Both riches and honor come of You. (...)

But who am I, and what is my people, that we should be able to offer so willingly after this sort? For all things come of You, and of Your own have we given You. (...)

O Lord our God, all this store (...) comes of Your hand, and is all Your own.


God is the One who gives us the power to gain wealth, which belongs completely to Him.

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Matthew 25:14

For the kingdom of heaven is as a man traveling into a far country, who called his own servants, and delivered to them his goods.


Luke 12:42

Who then is that faithful and wise steward, whom his lord shall make ruler over his household?


Jesus has often compared us with stewards whom God has entrusted with His wealth.

We must manage it with wisdom and faithfulness.

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Luke 16:1,2

[Jesus] said also to His disciples,

«There was a certain rich man, which had a steward; and the same was accused to him that he had wasted his goods. And he called him, and said to him,

“How is it that I hear this of you? Give an account of your stewardship; for you may be no longer steward.”»


One day, God will ask us to give an account of our stewardship, that is, the way we have managed the money He has entrusted us with.

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1 Corinthians 4:2

It is required in stewards that a man be found faithful.


Psalm 116:12

What shall I render to the Lord for all His benefits toward me?


Matthew 22:21

Render therefore to Caesar the things which are Caesar’s; and to God the things that are God’s.


To guide us in managing the wealth He has entrusted us with, God has established a precise financial plan for us.

By taking part in this plan, we will express our gratitude for all His blessings.

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Proverbs 3:9

Honor the Lord with your substance, and with the first fruits of all your increase.


Malachi 3:10

Bring you all the tithes into the storehouse, that there may be meat in My house.


The first part of God’s financial plan consists in returning the tithe of all our income, that is, a tenth of all that we earn.

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Leviticus 27:30,32

All the tithe of the land, whether of the seed of the land, or of the fruit of the tree, is the Lord’s. It is holy to the Lord. (...)

And concerning the tithe of the herd, or of the flock, even of whatever passes under the rod, the tenth shall be holy to the Lord.


Let’s note this important point: we do not give the tithe of our income, we return this tithe, since it belongs to God.

The principle of tithing (that is, returning «the tenth») is so simple that even a young child can understand it:

  - if we earn 100, we return 10;
  - if we earn 1000, we return 100;
  - etc.

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Genesis 14:18-20

[Melchizedek] was the priest of the Most High God. And he blessed him, and said, «Blessed be Abram of the Most High God. (...)»

And [Abram] gave him tithes of all.


Genesis 28:20-22

Jacob vowed a vow, saying,

«If God will be with me, and will keep me in this way that I go, (...) then shall the Lord be my God. And this stone, which I have set for a pillar, shall be God’s house: and of all that You shall give me I will surely give the tenth to You.»


In Abraham’s and Jacob’s time, God’s people were already returning the tithe of all to the Lord.

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Matthew 23:23

Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites!

For you pay tithe of mint and anise and cummin, and have omitted the weightier matters of the law, judgment, mercy, and faith.

These ought you to have done, and not to leave the other undone.


Jesus also approved of the principle of tithing, describing it as a thing that we must not neglect.

Let’s carefully note His words: «not to leave the other undone», that is, without neglecting to return the tithe of all.

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Numbers 18:21,26

Behold, I have given the children of Levi all the tenth in Israel for an inheritance, for their service which they serve, even the service of the tabernacle of the congregation. (...)

Thus speak to the Levites, and say to them,

«When you take of the children of Israel the tithes which I have given you from them for your inheritance, then you shall offer up an heave offering of it for the Lord, even a tenth part of the tithe.»


Under the Old Covenant, the tithe was the salary of the Levites, who were assigned to the work of the sanctuary (the «tabernacle of the congregation»).

Let’s note that they themselves had to return a tithe of this tithe.

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1 Corinthians 9:13,14

Do you not know that they which minister about holy things live of the things of the temple? And they which wait at the altar are partakers with the altar?

Even so has the Lord ordained that they which preach the gospel should live of the gospel.


Under the New Covenant, the work of the earthly sanctuary has been abolished by the sacrifice of Jesus Christ on the cross. The work of the Levites is thus no longer necessary.

The tithes are now the salary of those whose life is totally devoted to the preaching of the gospel.

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Ezra 2:68

Some of the chief of the fathers, when they came to the house of the Lord which is at Jerusalem, offered freely for the house of God.


For the second part of His financial plan, God established a system of free-will offerings, whose amount is up to the donor.

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God’s financial plan also include the gift of free-will offerings:

«Speak to the children of Israel, that they bring Me an offering. Of every man that gives it willingly with his heart you shall take My offering.» (Exodus 25:2)

«Then the people rejoiced, for that they offered willingly, because with perfect heart they offered willingly to the Lord.» (1 Chronicles 29:9)

«But who am I, and what is my people, that we should be able to offer so willingly after this sort? For all things come of You, and of Your own have we given You. (...) In the uprightness of my heart I have willingly offered all these things: and now have I seen with joy Your people, which are present here, to offer willingly to You.» (1 Chronicles 29:14,17)

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Deuteronomy 16:17

Every man shall give as he is able, according to the blessing of the Lord your God which He has given you.


Acts 11:29

Then the disciples, every man according to his ability, determined to send relief to the brothers which dwelled in Judaea.


The amount of our offerings is up to us.

Each one gives according to his generosity and prosperity.

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Mark 12:41-44

Jesus sat over against the treasury, and beheld how the people cast money into the treasury: and many that were rich cast in much.

And there came a certain poor widow, and she threw in two mites, which make a farthing. And He called to Him His disciples, and said to them,

«Truly I say to you, that this poor widow has cast more in, than all they which have cast into the treasury: for all they did cast in of their abundance; but she of her want did cast in all that she had, even all her living.»


God appreciates the worth of our offering according to our wealth.

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Malachi 3:7-9

«Even from the days of your fathers you are gone away from My ordinances, and have not kept them. Return to Me, and I will return to you,» said the Lord of hosts.

«But you said, “Wherein shall we return?” Will a man rob God? Yet you have robbed Me.

But you say, “Wherein have we robbed You?” In tithes and offerings.

You are cursed with a curse, for you have robbed Me, even this whole nation.»


Unfortunately, many people, while claiming to follow God, refuse to faithfully take part in His financial plan of tithes and offerings.

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Matthew 6:24

No man can serve two masters: for either he will hate the one, and love the other; or else he will hold to the one, and despise the other.

You cannot serve God and mammon.


2 Timothy 3:1,2 (NKJV)

But know this, that in the last days perilous times will come.

For men will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money (...).


«Mammon» is an Aramean word which means «wealth».

In fact, the more we approach the end of time, the more people make their wealth their god.

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Mark 8:36,37

For what shall it profit a man, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul?

Or what shall a man give in exchange for his soul?


The love of money will cause the ruin of many people whom the Lord has been calling to salvation.

By returning the tithe and giving offerings, the financial plan of God aims precisely at preventing the development of love of money, so that we do not lose sight of the heavenly treasure which God holds in store for each one of us.

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Selfishness and love of money will deprive us of God’s presence:

«For the love of money is the root of all evil: which while some coveted after, they have erred from the faith, and pierced themselves through with many sorrows.» (1 Timothy 6:10)

«Take heed, and beware of covetousness: for a man’s life consists not in the abundance of the things which he possesses.» (Luke 12:15)

«“You looked for much, and, see it came to little; and when you brought it home, I did blow on it. Why?” said the Lord of hosts. “Because of My house that is waste, and you run every man to his own house.”» (Haggai 1:9)

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Let’s take heed that our wealth does not keep us away from God:

«When your herds and your flocks multiply, and your silver and your gold is multiplied, and all that you have is multiplied; then your heart be lifted up, and you forget the Lord your God.» (Deuteronomy 8:13,14)

«Give me neither poverty nor riches; feed me with food convenient for me: lest I be full, and deny You, and say, “Who is the Lord?”» (Proverbs 30:8,9)

«So are the ways of every one that is greedy of gain; which takes away the life of the owners thereof.» (Proverbs 1:19)

«No covetous man, who is an idolater, has any inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and of God.» (Ephesians 5:5)

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It is better to accumulate treasures in heaven than on earth:

«Lay not up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust does corrupt, and where thieves break through and steal: but lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust does corrupt, and where thieves do not break through nor steal. For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also.» (Matthew 6:19-21)

«But rather seek you the kingdom of God; and all these things shall be added to you.» (Luke 12:31)

«Charge them that are rich in this world, that they be not high minded, nor trust in uncertain riches, but in the living God, who gives us richly all things to enjoy; that they do good, that they be rich in good works, ready to distribute, willing to communicate; laying up in store for themselves a good foundation against the time to come, that they may lay hold on eternal life.» (1 Timothy 6:17-19)

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Matthew 25:20,21

«Lord, You delivered to me five talents: behold, I have gained beside them five talents more.»

His Lord said to him,

«Well done, you good and faithful servant: you have been faithful over a few things, I will make you ruler over many things. Enter you into the joy of your Lord.»


Matthew 25:30

And cast you the unprofitable servant into outer darkness. There shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth.


At the time of His return, Jesus «shall reward every man according to his works.» (Matthew 16:27).

Our reward will reflect the way we have managed God’s possessions during our life here below.

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Isaiah 48:18

O that you had listened to My commandments!

Then had your peace been as a river, and your righteousness as the waves of the sea.


Acts 20:35

Remember the words of the Lord Jesus, how He said,

«It is more blessed to give than to receive.»


Many rich blessings await those who faithfully and generously follow God’s financial plan.

But let’s not forget that God wants us to give cheerfully.

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God asks us to give cheerfully, not grudgingly or under constraint:

«Every man according as he purposes in his heart, so let him give; not grudgingly, or of necessity: for God loves a cheerful giver.» (2 Corinthians 9:7)

«He who gives, [let him give] with liberality.» (Romans 12:8 [NKJV])

«Whoever is of a willing heart, let him bring it, an offering of the Lord; gold, and silver, and brass. (...) And they came, every one whose heart stirred him up, and every one whom his spirit made willing, and they brought the Lord’s offering.» (Exodus 35:5,21)

«You shall surely give to [the poor], and your heart shall not be grieved when you give to him: because that for this thing the Lord your God shall bless you in all your works.» (Deuteronomy 15:10)

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Malachi 3:10

«Bring you all the tithes into the storehouse, that there may be meat in My house, and prove Me now herewith,» said the Lord of hosts, «if I will not open you the windows of heaven, and pour you out a blessing, that there shall not be room enough to receive it.»


The Word of God is clear: we will go farther with nine tenths of our income and God’s blessing, than with ten tenths without God’s blessing!

God invites us to put this promise to the test!

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Rich blessings await the faithful and generous steward:

«Honor the Lord with your substance, and with the first fruits of all your increase: so shall your barns be filled with plenty, and your presses shall burst out with new wine.» (Proverbs 3:9,10)

«There is that scatters, and yet increases; and there is that withholds more than is meet, but it tends to poverty.» (Proverbs 11:24)

«I have been young, and now am old; yet have I not seen the righteous forsaken, nor his seed begging bread.» (Psalm 37:25)

«Give, and it shall be given to you; good measure, pressed down, and shaken together, and running over, shall men give into your bosom.» (Luke 6:38)

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God will fully provide for the needs of the faithful steward:

«He which sows sparingly shall reap also sparingly; and he which sows bountifully shall reap also bountifully. Every man according as he purposes in his heart, so let him give; not grudgingly, or of necessity: for God loves a cheerful giver. And God is able to make all grace abound toward you; that you, always having all sufficiency in all things, may abound to every good work.» (2 Corinthians 9:6-8)

«Since the people began to bring the offerings into the house of the Lord, we have had enough to eat, and have left plenty: for the Lord has blessed His people; and that which is left is this great store.» (2 Chronicles 31:10)

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Let’s thank God for all His blessings toward us:

O Lord,

You have created us, You know our heart, and You know how we are easily tempted by the love of money.

But You have given us a plan which can protect us from this danger, while giving us the privilege of taking part financially in the progress of Your work.

Prompted by a willing heart, we desire to prove Your promise by faithfully returning to You the tithe of all our income, and by giving to You free-will offerings, according to our means.

Please make them bear good fruit for Your work, and please provide for all our needs. In Jesus Christ we pray.


The test of Lesson 38 is waiting for you!

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