Call-In Classic Christianity Radio – Bob George P492 (11-15-19)
Callers asked questions in regards to tithing, baptism, honoring your parents and not exasperating your children, and receiving instruction and training in the Lord. To those new in Christ, baptism can be a foreign concept, not understood. Sadly, so many have taught tithing for today, which should not be. Then there are those practical matters that are sometimes confusing to you as to how to live in this new way of life that you received.
To those who have been under almost any pastor in Christendom today, you have been told that you are to give the first ten percent to God, and that if you do not, then you are told that you robbing God. But is that what the word of God instructs us to do, who are not under law but under grace? No!
So many pastors today have pounded on tithing for today, which is clearly wrong, when one understands the teaching of Paul in 2 Corinthians on New Testament giving. So many call out of guilt or confusion. When someone finds themselves unable to tithe because of a financial difficulty they are now in, then there is this internal struggle on this matter they have to face. This bondage to law has them all tied up in knots. That is not of God.
We are no longer under the Old Covenant law, and tithing is under that law, required of the Jews to give food stuff to the Levitical priesthood, and that was to last only until the time of Christ. But Christ has now come. He died, was buried and rose again. He fulfilled the just requirements of the law for us. According to Hebrews, with a change in the priesthood, there is a change in the law. So then, Paul now provides instruction on New Testament giving to born again believers and Paul never once spoke about tithing.
As Christians, we are now under grace. We are to give ourselves to the Lord, excel in the grace of giving, eager to give, with hilarity, according to what you have, not according to what you do not have, so others might be relieved while you are hard pressed, so there is equality. You give enthusiastically, not grudgingly, not under compulsion, and what you have decided in your heart to give, not reluctantly but cheerfully as unto the Lord. Now that is New Testament giving! Tithing steals all that away. There is no joy in tithing. You would certainly be under compulsion to tithe as so many preach it today.
As far as baptism before men, being dunked in water, that never saved anybody. That is an expression of an inward change in the heart, that done by believing in what Christ alone has done for you. You understood you were a sinner, wretched, dead spiritually, and in need of life. So you understood his death took away your sins from the eyes of God and you received by faith the resurrected life of Christ. By your belief, the Spirit of God, of Christ Jesus, came to indwell you and made you into a new creation. Baptism is merely a visual picture of what Christ Jesus accomplished for you. You identified with Christ, that when he died and was buried, you died and were buried with him and when he rose, you rose unto new life in Him. It is a testimony before others what Christ Jesus did for you.
To the practical questions, we grow in understanding as we spend time in His word. For example, how do you respond to someone who has clearly wronged you, a matter that is not open to dispute? For example, what if someone clearly owes you money for work you performed, but refused to pay you? Should you take him to court? Yes, you have that right, for it is not a disputable matter, and you should, if after approaching him in love, he still refuses to do what is right. It is his responsibility to fulfill an obligation to you. You are not going to a judge with the motive to crucify him or to make him look bad. You are going to a judge to decide a case of you being wronged and in need of being given what is owed you. Such are examples of common questions that people ask today.
As another example. Let us look at this matter of training and instruction of children in the admonition of the Lord. Consider how Paul addressed the issue of slavery. He did not tell people to stop doing that. Rather he addressed the attitudes of the heart. Slaves, obey your master in the Lord. Serve them as you would the Lord, and not just when their eye is on you. Master, you also treat your slaves the same way. So what happens when men’s hearts change? They start acting in love, and then, naturally, the bad behavior stops. Slavery stops. For now each person is serving one another in love. They are members of the body of Christ and who ever harms his own body? So when you are training children, what are you really doing? You are shepherding their heart.
Marianne from Lubbock, TX
Marianne: My question is this. I have been unemployed for several months. Things are getting very desperate when God led me to take a position that it was in his time, certainly was not my time. Financially, we are really desperate right now when paycheck starts coming in. I am really concerned about tithing because I always tithed. Even through unemployment we even tithe on the income that was coming in. But as times went on and we are getting more and more behind, I am actually getting concerned about the tithe with new additional income? What are your views on that?
Bob: Marianne, that is really amazing to me. I imagine the reason you tithe is because you have heard on and on from the pulpit that we should not be robbing God and we should be tithing. Am I right on that?
Marianne: Yes. 10 percent is His.
Bob: Now, number 1, tithing is never mentioned in the New Covenant. It is not there. It is in the Old Testament but not in the New Testament. Not a word about it. What is mentioned in the New Testament is in chapter 8 of 2 Corinthians.
2 Corinthians 8:1-13
1 And now, brothers and sisters, we want you to know about the grace that God has given the Macedonian churches. 2 In the midst of a very severe trial, their overflowing joy and their extreme poverty welled up in rich generosity. 3 For I testify that they gave as much as they were able, and even beyond their ability. Entirely on their own, 4 they urgently pleaded with us for the privilege of sharing in this service to the Lord’s people. 5 And they exceeded our expectations: They gave themselves first of all to the Lord, and then by the will of God also to us. 6 So we urged Titus, just as he had earlier made a beginning, to bring also to completion this act of grace on your part. 7 But since you excel in everything – in faith, in speech, in knowledge, in complete earnestness and in the love we have kindled in you – see that you also excel in this grace of giving.
8 I am not commanding you, but I want to test the sincerity of your love by comparing it with the earnestness of others. 9 For you know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, that though he was rich, yet for your sake he became poor, so that you through his poverty might become rich.
10 And here is my judgment about what is best for you in this matter. Last year you were the first not only to give but also to have the desire to do so. 11 Now finish the work, so that your eager willingness to do it may be matched by your completion of it, according to your means. 12 For if the willingness is there, the gift is acceptable according to what one has, not according to what one does not have.
13 Our desire is not that others might be relieved while you are hard pressed, but that there might be equality. 14 At the present time your plenty will supply what they need, so that in turn their plenty will supply what you need. The goal is equality, 15 as it is written: “The one who gathered much did not have too much, and the one who gathered little did not have too little.” [Exodus 16:18];
Bob: I would almost venture to say in about chapters 8 and 9, there have been very few sermons ever given on how God tells us to give as believers, not as Old Testament tithers under the Levitical priesthood, which is what was going on, from which was to support the Levites, not Jesus. They never really preached sermons on how God says a born again believer is to give.
Bob: In the 8th chapter of 2 Corinthians, there are eight points that are mentioned there. First of all, the people gave themselves to the Lord, then to us, in keeping with God’s will (2 Corinthians 8:5). The first thing is to be sure we have given our hearts to the Lord. The second point is to see that you excel in the grace of giving, not in the law of tithing but in the grace of giving (2 Corinthians 8:7). Third, it says that as born again people, we should be eager to give (2 Corinthians 8:11). In other words, it is a kind of hilarious giving, if we can. Then we are told that the gift is acceptable to what one has, not according to what he does not have (2 Corinthians 8:12).
Bob: That applies to you right now. Your gift is acceptable in accordance to what you do have, not in accordance with what you do not have. That is not tithing. There is nothing that says you give whether you have got it or not. That is legalistic tithing, which has nothing to do with excelling in the grace of giving.
Bob: Next, our desire in giving is not that others might be relieved while you are hard pressed (2 Corinthians 8:13). I have told this to people before. If your finger is broken, what would the rest of the hand do? It would make up for the finger. Your finger is broken right now, so your other fingers will make up for that. One day your finger will be well and someone else’s finger will be hurt and you will make up for that. That is a picture of how the body of Christ should give in caring for one another, for we are the body of Christ.
1 Corinthians 12:12-14; 21-27
12 Just as a body, though one, has many parts, but all its many parts form one body, so it is with Christ. 13 For we were all baptized by one Spirit so as to form one body – whether Jews or Gentiles, slave or free – and we were all given the one Spirit to drink. 14 Even so the body is not made up of one part but of many.
21 The eye cannot say to the hand, “I don’t need you!” And the head cannot say to the feet, “I don’t need you!” 22 On the contrary, those parts of the body that seem to be weaker are indispensable, 23 and the parts that we think are less honorable we treat with special honor. And the parts that are unpresentable are treated with special modesty, 24 while our presentable parts need no special treatment. But God has put the body together, giving greater honor to the parts that lacked it, 25 so that there should be no division in the body, but that its parts should have equal concern for each other. 26 If one part suffers, every part suffers with it; if one part is honored, every part rejoices with it.
27 Now you are the body of Christ, and each one of you is a part of it.
Bob: So get away from this legalistic giving. God never called us to that. Look also in 2 Corinthians 9.
2 Corinthinas 9:6-15
6 Remember this: Whoever sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and whoever sows generously will also reap generously. 7 Each of you should give what you have decided in your heart to give, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver. 8 And God is able to bless you abundantly, so that in all things at all times, having all that you need, you will abound in every good work. 9 As it is written:
“They have freely scattered their gifts to the poor;
their righteousness endures forever.”[Psalm 112:9]
10 Now he who supplies seed to the sower and bread for food will also supply and increase your store of seed and will enlarge the harvest of your righteousness. 11 You will be enriched in every way so that you can be generous on every occasion, and through us your generosity will result in thanksgiving to God.
12 This service that you perform is not only supplying the needs of the Lord’s people but is also overflowing in many expressions of thanks to God. 13 Because of the service by which you have proved yourselves, others will praise God for the obedience that accompanies your confession of the gospel of Christ, and for your generosity in sharing with them and with everyone else. 14 And in their prayers for you their hearts will go out to you, because of the surpassing grace God has given you. 15 Thanks be to God for his indescribable gift!
Bob: The fifth point is to give enthusiastically (2 Corinthians 9:11). The sixth point is to give generously not grudgingly (2 Corinthians 9:7, 13). Never give grudgingly. How are you going to give grudgingly? You give grudgingly, when in your heart you say, “I do not have money, but I have to give it.” Do not do that. Give joyfully. If you only give a dollar, give it joyfully.
Bob: The seventh point is this. Each man should give what he has decided in his heart to give (2 Corinthians 9:7), not what the pastors decided for you to give and not what tithing has decided for you to give, but what you have decided in your heart to give, not reluctantly or under compulsion. Tithing is a compulsion. Under the law of tithing, you have to do it. That is nonsense.
Bob: Not reluctantly or under compulsion for God loves a cheerful giver (2 Corinthians 9:7). God is able to make all grace abound to you so that in all things at all times, having all you need, you will abound in every good work (2 Corinthians 9:8). That is how God wants us to give. The tithe is Old Testament. We are told we are under a New Covenant that says that where there is a change in the priesthood there must also be a change in the law.
11 If perfection could have been attained through the Levitical priesthood – and indeed the law given to the people established that priesthood – why was there still need for another priest to come, one in the order of Melchizedek, not in the order of Aaron? 12 For when the priesthood is changed, the law must be changed also.
Bob: We are no longer under the Levitical priesthood. Jesus is our priest. The law has been totally changed. Not for giving under a compulsion but giving freely and joyfully. So if you are in a financial situation right now, you pay your bills and do the best you can and when you get on your feet financially, then you can start giving again. Do not give under a tither but give under joyfull giving in accordance with what you do have and not in accordance with what you do not have (2 Corinthians 8:12).
Bob: Marianne, I have a church just like you go to church. I have a church. I would absolutely die rather than to teach our people that they should be tithing because it is not New Testament giving. For people to continue hammering people and putting people on guilt trips that you are robbing God is wrong. That is Old Testament Malachi and has nothing to do with what anybody is talking about. The Old Testament tithe was food stuff. That is why they kept it in barns. The New Testament giving is freewill, joyful, grace giving. It is giving out of your heart. That is what God is looking for. Man may be longing for the tithe, but God is looking for gifts out of your heart.
Marianne: That is very helpful. Thank you very much.
Bob: Read chapters 8 and 9 of 2 Corinthians, Marianne. Paul devoted almost two chapters to teach us about the attitudes of giving. It is amazing to me how the Christendom has perverted truth. Why would Paul have devoted this amount of time on how to give if we are still under tithing? He should have just said “keep on a tithing, folks. Here are your tithing envelopes. Keep on tithing.” and never said a word about how to give under grace. He said ”Excel in the grace of giving” not the law of giving. It is amazing that a Christian pastor, who has been told in scripture by God, that we are ministers of a New Covenant of grace, not of an Old Covenant that kills. The law kills but the new, the Spirit, gives life (2 Corinthians 3:6). Christendom insists on dragging the Old Testament principle into New Testament giving. It is wrong to do that. There is no biblical justification for it at all. There is nothing mentioned about tithing in the New Covenant that we live in.
Bob: Okay, Marianne?
Marianne: Yes, very, very helpful. I appreciate your explanation.
Bob: You are sure welcome, Marianne. What you have to give, give joyfully. Hold on the line. We have a product that might be helpful to you. We have a booklet called “Giving the New Covenant Way”. We would be glad to send that to you. God bless you, Marianne. You hang on the line. We will put you on hold.
Dale from Corpus Christie, TX
Dale: I have a question about Christians suing other Christians. I am a trucker. I have my own truck. I work supposedly for a Christian company. Everything is fine while working with them. It was always “God bless you” when I talked to them. I had a family health problem. My wife was really stressed, so I went to work for a company in Texas. People, while working for other company, owed me $4000 and now refuse to pay me. They legally owe money to me. The Spirit keeps telling me to let the Lord handle them and another part of me says sue the company and get the money. Do you have any advice for me?
In regards to disputable matters, we are not to quarrel.
Accept the one whose faith is weak, without quarreling over disputable matters.
Now, on the matter you are addressing, this is the scripture you are referring to.
1 Corinthians 6:1-6
1 If any of you has a dispute with another, do you dare to take it before the ungodly for judgment instead of before the Lord’s people? 2 Or do you not know that the Lord’s people will judge the world? And if you are to judge the world, are you not competent to judge trivial cases? 3 Do you not know that we will judge angels? How much more the things of this life! 4 Therefore, if you have disputes about such matters, do you ask for a ruling from those whose way of life is scorned in the church? 5 I say this to shame you. Is it possible that there is nobody among you wise enough to judge a dispute between believers? 6 But instead, one brother takes another to court – and this in front of unbelievers!
Bob: When it talks about in scripture is about going into lawsuits over disputable matters. This is not a disputable matter. This is a matter that I am sure you have documentation that they owe you this money and you worked for this company and a worker is worthy of his hire.
1 Timothy 5:18
18 For Scripture says, “Do not muzzle an ox while it is treading out the grain,” and “The worker deserves his wages.”
Bob: That money is due to you. What you have is somebody who has a crooked mind and I do not care what they call themselves. He is saying he will not pay the money he owes. I assume you have gone to him in love. This money is owed and are you going to pay it? They are saying to you, “No.” That is not a disputable matter. That is not an easy deal. You say to him, “The fact is you owe it and you refuse to pay it”.
Bob: The only way you can solve those problems is to go to the court of law. You are not going to the court of law to crucify somebody or to make somebody look bad. You are going to court with documentation that this is owed and the judge is to decide based on the evidence. So you are letting the judge to decide what to do. There is nothing wrong with that at all.
Bob: I have a company 4K development in California that my son had bought a house. There was a leak in the plumbing. They came in, it was soaked, everything, wall and everything. They will not pay $15,000. They will not pay what is due. They are saying, what do you do with that? You try every way, shape and form to try and appeal to them. All the documentation, all plumbers that were there, that it was a leak that took place at the construction site and the 4K refuses to pay money and answer phone calls. I do not think you have any option but go to small claims court. Go to court and to the judge and ask him to make a decision. It is not a disputable matter. It is a matter of someone not willing to live up to his responsibility. When you make a mistake, you take the responsibility to take care of it.
Dale: Thank you very much. That helps a lot.
Bob: Good to talk to you, Dale. God bless you, pal.
Pascal from Morgan City, LA
Pascal: I was traveling down the road setting my dial on stations, for A.M. stations, so your station happened to come up. I started listening. I usually do not listen to this type of programs that you are on at this time. I am usually listening to music. I was listening because it is something I am very interested in, and that was tithing. I am also happen to be a lawyer, or an attorney by trade. So I got to listen to the second topic on that lawsuit matter. I met my wife and getting ready to eat. I thought to myself, what a nice person to actually be telling the truth, giving biblical truth, using the bible to show it. I have heard throughout my life with people in the full gospel type of Christianity. I am a Catholic. I do practice Catholicism and it is usually about tithe I hear. I hear this story about tithing that everybody is supposed to give ten percent. What I have heard is that we fall under the New Testament and that the tithing was under the Old Testament. We follow the testament of love as brought by Christ. The Old Testament does not apply as far as tithing is concerned because that was under Old Covenant. Christ came in order to bring a greater commandment, a greater law and that was one of love. Thankful to get an opportunity and a chance to get to listen to somebody like you in Christ that is telling what I believed to be the truth and what I feel is the truth spoken from the heart. I feel really privileged to give you a reaffirming in belief of Christ teachings. I thought wonderful that somebody was willing and able to be on the radio and speak to truth to thousands of people that are listening. I feel real fortunate that I happened to tune in there and get to find out who you were and get the number for where I can call. And a conference coming up that I just now heard on the advertisement.
Pascal: I just felt a real desire to call you and say thank you for explaining something that causes a lot of strife with a lot of people. I always thought it was at odds with what Christ was teaching. There were those who drove Cadillacs and wore thousand dollar suits and proclaim tithing was the answer to having. I just do not feel like that was the true answer that Christ had in mind when it was preached or when Paul was giving his message to the Corinthians as revealed by Christ. I just want to tell you how much I appreciate it. Now that I do have the station marked, I can listen to you. Are you on the radio at the same time?
Bob: We are on Monday through Friday, same time.
Pascal: Thank you. Thank you so much for talking and look forward to hearing you again.
Rudy from McCallen, TX
Rudy: Hello, Bob. I really enjoyed your program. I listen to you all the time. I agree with everything you guys say.
Bob: Thank you, brother.
Rudy: I have a question. We were talking about the ten commandments. You honor your father and your mother and then have the promise of a long life. Someone told me that does not count anymore. They told me that one does not count anymore for we should not train children to wrath. So I am confused. What are they talking about? I do not know exact scripture. We are not to make our children angry. I am confused.
Ephesians 6:4 (KJV)
4 Fathers, provoke not your children to wrath: but bring them up in the nurture and admonition of the Lord.
Bob: It says in the New Testament that fathers are not to provoke children to anger. We ought to know the truth of that, that we would have a tendency to provoke our children at times unto anger. What he is saying here is do not do that. You have sometimes fathers who can absolutely provoke their children unto anger.
Rudy: But that is not disciplining one?
Bob: No, that is when provoking children for no reason. In Ephesians 6 it says to obey parents in the Lord for that is right.
1 Children, obey your parents in the Lord: for this is right.
2 Honor your father and mother; which is the first commandment with promise;
3 That it may be well with you, and you may live long on the earth.
Bob: That is why children should obey parents, for that is the right thing to do. So he is saying to fathers, that we should bring children up in the training and instruction in the Lord. So training involves teaching people how to do something and how to live the Christian life. The instruction in the Lord is, of course, instruction of the Lord to teach you, again, how to think. That is really the job of a Christian father, to train and instruct children in the truth of the Lord Jesus Christ. Those are great instructions.
Ephesians 6:5-9 (NIV)
5 Slaves, obey your earthly masters with respect and fear, and with sincerity of heart, just as you would obey Christ. 6 Obey them not only to win their favor when their eye is on you, but as slaves of Christ, doing the will of God from your heart. 7 Serve wholeheartedly, as if you were serving the Lord, not people, 8 because you know that the Lord will reward each one for whatever good they do, whether they are slave or free.
9 And masters, treat your slaves in the same way. Do not threaten them, since you know that he who is both their Master and yours is in heaven, and there is no favoritism with him.
Bob: This is also what he said to the slaves. He did not say to stop slavery. He said to the slaves to obey your earthly masters with respect and fear, and with sincerity of heart, just as you would obey Christ. Obey them not to win their favor when their eye is on you but like slaves of Christ, doing the will of God from the heart. A lot of people would sit around there. But then he says to the master to treat slaves in the same way. Do not threaten them or exasperate them. Do not threaten them since you know it is He who is both your master and yours. There is no favoritism with him.
So instead of directly addressing the actions of wrong behavior, telling someone to stop such behavior, he is addressing the issues of the heart that caused the wrong behavior. When the attitudes change, then slavery is no longer a problem, is it? Why? Because they are now serving one another in love and love is the fulfillment of the law.
Bob: As an example, a person who owned a slave back then Rudy. If you listen to the word of God, a person would say to himself, there is no favoritism with God, whether master or slave. You are both the same. What am I doing with a slave? But he never said to get rid of slaves. He just ministered to your heart and to your reasoning. To slaves, he said obey your masters. Why? It is like pouring cold water over somebody.
17 Do not repay anyone evil for evil. Be careful to do what is right in the eyes of everyone. 18 If it is possible, as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone. 19 Do not take revenge, my dear friends, but leave room for God’s wrath, for it is written: “It is mine to avenge; I will repay,”[Deuteronomy 32:35] says the Lord. 20 On the contrary:
“If your enemy is hungry, feed him;
if he is thirsty, give him something to drink.
In doing this, you will heap burning coals on his head.”[Proverbs 25:21-22]
21 Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.
Bob: It is one of those things that brings a person to the reality of their condition, their condition as slave owners. This should not be? Yet Jesus does not say this should not be? So many times we are taking off on our little hobby horses to stop this or stop that where Jesus did not do that. He just appealed to the heart. When he appealed to the heart, why then, things changed! The man who wrote “Amazing Grace” was a slave owner. Through the word of God, like passages like these, he came to realize it was not the way it should be. This is not the way I should live as a Christian. He fell on his face with total repentance and wrote “Amazing Grace”. It is the same thing with instruction for your families. We should not exasperate our children but bring them up in the training and instruction in the Lord.
Bob: I hope this helps you brother. Okay.
Mark from Houston, TX
Mark: I understand baptism is symbolic. If a new believer is going to get baptized, how many people need to be present?
Bob: To accomplish what, Mark?
Mark: The baptism. Do just two or three need to be present?
Bob: What are you being baptized for?
Mark: I am talking about that they accepted Jesus as Lord and Savior.
Bob: You are not being baptized to be saved.
Mark: No. No.
Bob: After you are saved, then makes no difference. Baptism is an open expression. You do not sit there and count people, asking how many are there. You can just be baptized with just the one person who baptizes you. The issue is not how many people are there. It is important to understand this is an outward expression of an inward reality that Christ has taken up residence in your life. It is merely a visual aid for people. That is why I would think a person would want to be baptized in the presence of many people because if people were lost then they could certainly become saved by seeing and hearing my testimony and I followed that up by baptism. But it is not a necessity. It does not accomplish anything otherwise.
Mark: Any way, it is valid?
Bob: It is valid of being baptized. Being baptized is not valid by how many people are there. It is really just a visual aid. It is not valid for anything except being a visual aid to those people who you are being baptized in front of. It does not accomplish anything in your life from God’s standpoint.
Mark: Okay. Thank you.
Bob: Okay, brother?
1 Peter 3:21-22
21 and this water symbolizes baptism that now saves you also – not the removal of dirt from the body but the pledge of a clear conscience toward God. It saves you by the resurrection of Jesus Christ, 22 who has gone into heaven and is at God’s right hand – with angels, authorities and powers in submission to him.