-By Brook Ardoin (July 20, 2018)
I can already feel a little of the tension welling up within just in typing out the title of this article. Why? Well, we live in a time where the mere mention of money in relation to God is like some sort of crime punishable by death! Yet, God has urged me to remain true to speak not just some of what He commands of me, but ALL of it… whether it be difficult or almost unbearable, the only One I ultimately have to answer to is Him.
I am more than aware of how some feel about this topic and your beliefs. However, I am also keen to the very many others who have a very different view on giving and money; views that share in what I fully believe and have lived by. For those of you who have been with us long enough to know our fruits, my hope is that you remain respectful to what I am sharing.
I continue to remain respectful of those who do not share in these principles or beliefs, so I ask that you do the same in return and take to God any concerns. I have determined I will not debate this topic, and if false accusers rise up, I will simply pray and give it to God. My priority is in obedience, and that should be something all can respect.
The last thing I want to say is that I am not preaching some “prosperity” Gospel. I am speaking of THE Gospel, and using His Word behind what I teach. Many of God’s people who do sow into the Kingdom, or give of Alms, truly do not understand it; therefore, they are not seeing their return promised by the Lord.
This article will detail each area of giving, explain the motivation behind each type, the purpose of each type, the rate of return from the Lord, and explain what NEVER to do when giving that majority of Christians are unknowingly doing causing them never to attain the full blessings of their giving. It is to bring a full understanding of these wonderful principles within His Word, which I guarantee will change your life forever if you hold faithfully to them.
The Four Types of Giving
There are four types of giving within the Bible… The Tithe, the Seed/Offering, the Firstfruits, and the Alms. It is important to note that three are given to God, and one is given to mankind. The only one given to man is the Alms. I am going to spend a little more time and detail on the tithe and seed/offering, as these two are given so frequently, or should be, and I want you to really grasp what God has in store when you are faithful in these areas.
The motivation of giving the tithe is Obedience.
“’Will a man rob God? Wherein have we robbed Thee’? He says, ‘In tithes and offerings. You are cursed with a curse, for you have robbed Me, even this whole nation”.
“Bring ye ALL the tithes into the storehouse, that there may be meat in Mine house, and prove Me NOW herewith’, says 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’”.
“’And I will rebuke the devourer for your sakes, and he shall NOT destroy the fruits of your ground; neither shall your vine cast her fruit before the time in the field’, says the Lord of hosts”.
“’And all nations shall call you blessed; for you shall be a delightsome land’..” ~ Malachi 3:8-12.
“And all nations shall call you blessed”; in other words, empowered to prosper. Oh boy, there is that word – Prosper! The word that is looked upon today with such disdain that we are even afraid to speak it aloud. This is simply what BLESSED means. There are countless ways by which the Lord blesses us, so why is it acceptable that you prosper in every other area besides your finances?
Satan has so twisted the role of money in the Christian life that any mention of Him wanting to prosper us in this area is looked upon as sinful, or preaching another Gospel. Who would you say would cause this to happen in the church Body? Who would work endlessly to steal the blessings that God has for you? By the end of this message, you will have complete revelation why Satan would set out to convince the Body that we no longer have to give, or that any Believer living content and not at the poverty level is not following His Word.
Right now, it is imperative that I say that there is a RIGHT way to live in the blessings that God desires us to live in financially, just as there is a WRONG way. Sure if we misuse, abuse, or fall in LOVE with money, this is undoubtedly sin. This is not the kind of prospering that is acceptable to God.
I am not here to talk about the wrong path to and of prosperity, but the good and acceptable way in living a life pleasing to God and bearing fruit in every good work. Try to remove from your mind that every aspect having to do with living a blessed [prosperous] life financially is BAD! The enemy would not have you living in the blessings and promises of God financially because he knows what this will do if you fully grab hold of this Biblical truth.
God does have a plan to bless you financially – we live in a world we MUST have and deal with money. Would God just throw out instructing us on something so crucial to life on earth? Absolutely not! The best way to understand His plan and purpose for sowing and reaping is to discuss it and not be afraid of doing so.
Back to the tithe …
The divine connector to the blessing is the tithe. What blessing? The four-part blessing of Genesis 1:28,
“And God blessed them, and God said, ‘Be fruitful and multiply, and replenish the earth, and subdue it: and have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over every living thing that moves upon the earth’”.
- Fruitful – Always producing
- Multiply – Always increasing
- Replenish – To fill and refill
- Subdue – Control your environment or your environment will control you
These four blessings are the blessings that connect you with the tithe. Notice that the blessing was here prior to the tithe. What does this mean? This means that God gave you a harvest. He provided you with the end result before the beginning. This is the nature of God. He always sees the end result. He sees the full picture of everything, whereas we limit our thoughts to see the here and now and forget about the big picture.
God then pioneered tithing in both the Old and New Testament. Tithing is not simply and Old Testament idea. It is a BIBLE concept that will divinely and directly unite you to the blessing. Remember, there are either curses or blessings, and God instructs us that there is a curse upon us when we abstain from giving unto God what is His in tithes and offerings, and robbing Him.
In giving faithfully of the tithe, this ensures you walk in the fullness of the blessing rather than having a curse upon your life. It amazes me that because the topic is money, suddenly many throw it out calling it “old” testament and no longer relevant. Shall we throw out the blessings and curses in Deuteronomy too? What about the Ten Commandments? Are we only following what we like and what we do not like we decide it is of no relevance any longer? This is the attitude of many because it deals with money, which tends to offend people at its mention.
Even if tithing were only an Old Testament concept, where did God instruct that because Jesus came it is no longer valid? Jesus did say to pay Caesar what is Caesars. He also wasn’t poverty stricken. At a word He produced a coin from the mouth of a fish! He did not live extravagantly, of course, but He did never lacked in what He needed or living comfortably. He never mentions His inability to cloth Himself, eat, or that His family lacked in this area. The tithe is as alive today as when God put it into practice, and He does not command you to utilize it in order to take from us. Rather, it is for your benefit; it honors Him with your utmost obedience.
Most of you are aware that the tithe is 10% of your income. Ten percent is nothing for God to ask of you. If a recession or a depression should hit, it is in the giving of tithes that this will bypass you. This is God’s promise to you found in Malachi 3:8-12. When the windows of heaven remain actively opened to you, God will make certain that recession or depression does not affect you. In fact, many faithful tithers did not suffer in the 2008 financial crisis. Some even received their regular blessings in return, and more.
One of the most important things to understand about the tithe is that it will rebuke the devourer for our sakes. What is the devourer? The one that is always trying or succeed in making your vehicle break down, your home appliances go on the fritz, cause your AC unit to freeze up, etc.
This has to do with all your earthly possessions you need or use in life and the enemy devouring them. This is anything that the enemy, the Devourer, can do to cause you to have to spend money that you do not want to spend, or certainly do not need to spend. You have to spend what could have gone to the Lord or was the extra blessing in your account and start fixing or replacing things. It is of no coincidence that these things end up happening when you least expect it, and typically it begins a domino effect and everything starts breaking or having issues.
God will always rebuke the Devourer for our sake if you faithfully tithe in obedience to Him. When you have the revelation of the return that God promises here in giving your tithes, you can begin to thank Him daily that He rebukes the Devourer for your sake and causes your possessions to remain in perfect running condition. Remember your obedience and thank Him daily for His promises in Malachi 3. The Devourer must then bypass you if you believe His Word by faith.
God does not want you to have to spend your blessings on things the Devourer wants to break or destroy. Moreover, the giving of the tithes is the ONLY area of giving in which God fulfills His promises in Malachi 3:10-11 – that heaven’s windows will remain open to you and He will pour you out a blessing that there will not be room enough for you to receive it. Furthermore, He rebukes the devourer for your sakes, will not allow the him to destroy the fruits of your ground, or your vine to cast its fruit before the time in the field.
Those intent of claiming we no longer have to tithe, or that this is not a concept for today, should then never believe for the promises of Malachi 3. Those promises are in direct relation to giving tithes. It does not get clearer for whom these promises and blessings belong to. We cannot just have the promises or blessings without doing what He says in the rest of the passage. Here we can apply the scripture, “Faith without works is dead”, (James 2:14-26). This is a solid example of putting your faith to work through your actions. The action is giving the tithe, then by faith, you believe for the full return/reward of the promises in Malachi 3.
The motivation of giving the seed/offering is Faith and Reward.
It is good to read this entire chapter, but I will focus on Mark 4:8 saying,
“And other [seed] fell on good ground, and did yield fruit that sprang up and increased; and brought forth, some thirty, some sixty, and some an hundred”.
The seed giving is the ONLY way to receive the thirty, sixty, or one-hundred fold return from the Lord. He specifies there is a return, but if giving is obsolete then why does He even promise a return? This in nonsensical. This is never received on the tithe, the firstfruits, or the Alms. The offering is creating and guaranteeing your future by faith and reward. Many of us do not have a retirement fund or a something that helps secures finances for us after retirement age. This will help secure a future so you have finances to live in your old age. It also helps with the future needs of your children.
The seed starts at 11% upward. Here you just ask the Holy Spirit to lead you in what you should give of your offering if you are not certain, but make sure this giving starts at 11%.
The seed does three vital things for us:
- It is the surest way to stop poverty in your life.
- It is the fastest way to total debt cancellation. Why? If you believe for the 100 fold return, you multiply your offering times 100. For example, if you give a $100 seed, and get back $10,000, think of the debt you can cancel out of your life.
- The seed must be sown into fertile soil for it to accomplish the impossible for you.
You may be thinking the 100 fold return is just an extreme amount and God would never want you to have that kind of money. In these times, many are thousands of dollars in debt that was created before salvation. Just our mortgages are outrageous on the most modest of homes.
Now, be assured that if God knows what He is doing. If your needs are great, then He will easily provide that 100 fold return. If, however, God knows in advance that the enemy will creep in causing pride, greed, or the love of money, God is not just going to supply you with that kind of return. He knows the heart and the future. He may keep your return to the minimum of thirty fold in order to protect you.
For others who do receive it in full and may later allow the enemy to come in causing a change to your heart concerning sowing and reaping, then at some point it will all come crumbling down before you because of sin. He will not just continue giving these blessings if you have sin regarding money. God does give you free will and you must make certain you always follow through with His purpose and plans with what He returns unto you. This is why you must always remain humble and fully abide in living righteously when handling large blessings as the 100 fold return.
If you have had problems handling large sums of money in the past, then you will know that the full return may not be best for you. Stay away from believing for it. Stick to the minimum blessing. God will know the problem ahead anyway. If He knows that you already know within your heart you will likely sin or your heart grow cold, He will not trust you with a large return. As I said in the beginning, there is a right way in live when expecting Him to fulfill His promises in each area of your giving and you have to abide by His ways.
I do not have any issues with some ministers who own jets as some Christians do. Granted, that is only if this is God’s will for them and they are actually using it for travel to other countries in order to preach the Gospel and save souls. Not all ministries who own a plane are bad. You do not know what God has instructed them to purchase with their blessings do you? They surely cannot swim across oceans in order to preach.
They may have an ongoing travel schedule within the USA to preach His Word as well. A plane only aids them in getting to their destination much quicker than driving and they can fit more speaking events into their schedules this way. Again, do not twist my beliefs here – this is only for those with good fruit and not abusing their reward; those who are using this means of travel to fulfill God’s will and the Great Commission. Misuse will eventually have its consequences.
For those who absolutely have a heart for giving, this is beyond a doubt the return God will provide if you believe and are faithful in your offerings. The 100 fold return is for those whom desire to be big givers. Yes, it is for the 3 things I listed earlier, but I mean beyond those. Meaning, if your debt free, have plenty for your family to live comfortably, have set aside enough for retirement and for your children’s needs such as college, etc., then you will continue to receive that 100 fold return when you are giving big to fertile soil and aiding to help the growth of His Kingdom here on earth. It will also help countless in alms giving. If you make certain you are doing things right, then God will not have a problem returning to you big blessings for His bigger purposes.
If you have been a giver for some time but have never seen a return even close to this, this is why God has urged me to do this. You are doing something to keep this blessing from reaching you. I am certain if you read this in full, you will realize what you have mistakenly done or not done to stop the fullness of His return in each area in your life. Remember, if you do not have faith to believe for the impossible, or do not believe that God MUST fulfill His every Word and promise, then you will never see this kind of return.
The reason I tell you that you must sow your seed into fertile soil is so it can take root and grow. Do not give to a ministry or anyone that you know does not have fertile ground. Many are just afraid to give because they are afraid their money will be misused or abused. Listen, if you believe who or where you are giving is fertile ground but are secretly in sin, that is not your responsibility and God will eventually bring it to light. He always does.
I have been put into this situation many times in my past because my former church went through many Pastor’s over time. They all seemed amazing, and I was close to all of them, one was even my neighbor. They all started out good men of God, but in the end, something happened in their hearts to cause sin to enter. No one was aware this was happening, so I continued to give faithfully. Guess what? God continued to bless me and return what was promised to me in those times. Once exposed, I stopped giving there and soon God replaced the Pastor. We give as unto the Lord, and not unto man in this area and two other areas. God will remain faithful.
The seed giving guarantees Luke 6:38 to be fulfilled in your life.
“Give and it shall be given unto you; good measure, pressed down, shaken together, and running over shall men give into your bosom. For with the same measure that ye mete, withal it shall be measured to you again”.
The motivation of giving the firstfruits is Generosity.
“Honor the Lord with thy substance, and with the firstfruits of ALL thine increase: so shall thy barns be filled with plenty, and thy presses shall burst out with new wine” ~ Proverbs 3:9`10.
An example of giving the firstfruits is if you get a raise in your paycheck, whatever the total amount of that increase is in that first check is the firstfruits and should be given to the Lord. You may think you need that extra money and have waited a long time for it. However, you have been living without it for a very long time. You can live without it for one more paycheck.
The amazing thing is that God only requires you to give of your firstfruits ONCE! Meaning, with that “extra” you start bringing in, you give to God the total amount of the extra only one time. After that, He wants you to be blessed and enjoy the spoils of your raise forevermore. [Until you receive another raise in the future, that is]. So, God does not require very much from us here, yet His reward or rate of return is great.
This shows God that you are generous enough to bless Him. It is very important to understand that the giving of firstfruits shows God that you do not love money, but you love Him. This means that God can trust you and moves Him to bless you with more. Firstfruits shows your gratitude to God for the extra blessing He bestowed upon you.
The return from God is that He will keep your pantry filled with groceries, your car filled with gas, and put clothing on your back and your children’s as well. Just as He kept the clothing good and from wearing out with the Israelites in the desert, so will the firstfruits do for you.
Firstfruits is an expression of your love for His Word. God is not looking to take your raise you worked so very hard for; He wants to raise you even more!
There are thirty-one references to the firtstfruits in the Bible in both the Old and New Testaments. We find this in Romans 11:16,
“For if the firstfruit be holy, the lump is also holy; and if the root be holy, so are the BRANCHES”.
Who are the branches? You are the branches. It [the blessing or harvest] is coming over to you because of your generosity. To better understand this passage as it relates to our giving, the Jews are a good example. For the Jews, the firstfruit represents the firstling of fruit or grain that was separated from the mass and presented to God as an offering. They were required to present such a portion of their harvest to God as an expression of their gratitude. (Numbers 15:19-21). It was not even lawful for them to partake of the harvest until this be done. The firstfruits were regarded as the best portions of the harvest; therefore, their duty was to devote to God that which would be the best expression of their thanksgiving.
You can now have a better understand of how giving of your “extra”, or the best portion of your harvest, expresses your gratitude and shows Him how thankful you are of that new increase.
The motivation of giving the Alms is Compassion and Sympathy.
This is the only giving of the four that is not given unto God, but to mankind. It is what people give the most, yet many are making some big errors in giving in this area.
One of the biggest mistakes God’s people are making is that they are not giving their alms in secrecy as commanded by God, causing them to lose their return or reward from Him. The reason why Alms are to be given in secret is to protect the dignity of those you are giving to in their crisis.
“Take heed that ye do not your alms before men, to be seen of them: otherwise ye have NO REWARD of your Father which is in heaven. Therefore, when thou doest thine alms, do not sound a trumpet before thee, as the hypocrites do in the synagogues and in the streets, that they may have glory of men. Verily I say unto you, They have NO REWARD” ~ Matthew 6:1-4
May I make mention, that if giving were not a Biblical principle of God and we were not required to partake in it, that God would not tell us matter-of-factly that we would LOSE OUR REWARD twice in the above passage. We would have nothing to lose if giving were not a clear mandate of our God. Again, God freely speaks of wanting to prosper [bless] us, so we should not have so much trouble speaking of being prosperous when we are good stewards and use our increase accordingly to farther the Kingdom of God and for His purposes.
God tells you that if you talk about what you give in alms, you will lose your reward. Do not share the amount you give in alms with anyone – keep this between you, God, and the receiver of it.
What is the rate of return, or the reward from God when we give of alms? The return is reimbursement or dollar for dollar. In other words, you get back exactly what you give. This is proven in Proverbs 19:17,
“He that have pity upon the poor, liveth unto the Lord, and that which he hath given, He will repay him”.
Right here God tells you that what you give in alms, and that which you give you will GET BACK. This is only more proof to me that the Holy Spirit is not at the forefront of convincing the Body that giving is no longer required, or that it is sin to believe God to secure in your finances through sowing and reaping.
Most ministries or people tell everybody of their alms giving. It is not a “bad” thing to give out of compassion or sympathy when this is why we give of alms. Granted, the giver should always understand or be instructed by the Minister or Ministry to keep their giving to themselves and give in secret. For lack of a better way to say this, keep your mouth shut and He will repay what you give!
IMPORTANT: The Greatest Mistake In Giving
If you take your tithe, seed/offering, or firstfruit, and you make it your alms because you are moved by compassion and sympathy, you then change the rate of exchange and purpose. This is the MOST common mistake of Christians. Do not ever change your tithe into alms, your seed into alms, or your firstfruit into alms. IF you do, your return goes back to dollar for dollar.
Each area of is to be given SEPARATELY. If you give your tithe as alms, God’s return is not in keeping the windows of heaven open or rebuking the devourer for your sake. This promise is fulfilled when we are faithful to the tithe alone.
If you give your offering as alms, then you do not look for the thirty, sixty, or one-hundred fold return. God’s guarantee that your car will not break, or that your AC will not freeze up, is fulfilled only in the seed giving and Luke 6:38 also does not apply to alms giving.
If you give your firstfruits as alms, God’s guarantee there will be food in your pantry, gas in your car, or clothes on you or your children’s backs, is no longer the area of increase. Yes, God reimbursing you for you alms can help to provide for these things, but you will never see the full abundance of that promise by changing your firstfruit into alms.
If you go somewhere and someone, (a Pastor or Speaker) says that they have a great need and moves you by compassion or sympathy, BE CAUTIOUS TO NOT SUDDENLY GIVE OF YOUR TITHE, YOUR OFFERING, OR FIRSTFRUIT. MAKE CERTAIN IT IS ALMS – OUTSIDE OF ALL THE OTHER THREE!!! In other words, your tithe, seed, or firstfruit is never given out of compassion or sympathy. Alms giving only returns what is promised in giving the alms.
The biggest misunderstanding when it comes to giving is mixing up the four types of giving, therefore changing your rate of return from God and His purpose in that return. This is not a “prosperity” Gospel. This is the Gospel of Jesus Christ because God desires His people to be blessed and able to put meat into His house and help to further His Kingdom here on earth.
Satan is intelligent enough to move you with compassion and sympathy because he is the great Devourer, and he is always seeking to devour your harvest, even though you are a good seed sower.
“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 9:8
I pray that you have learned the right ways of giving today. I have not spoken these things as my opinion. I have lived these principles and can assure you that my life was blessed beyond measure and I was able to sow into fertile soiled ministries helping to change lives and save souls. There is such a joy when we live in the fullest measure of God’s promises.
I am not attempting to change anyone’s mind who is convinced that giving is not a concept for today. My reason in writing this is to be obedient to what God has called me to do for those who do continue to live as givers. With the material I have shared, my hope is that you will learn it, apply it, and no longer make the crucial mistake of mixing up any of the four types of giving. This knowledge will change your life, just as it has my own and many others. I can assure you, it is not Satan that has followed through in the blessings and return in each of these areas as I faithfully have given to God.
I have a feeling that anyone who teaches we do not have to give in these four areas are not walking through a constant storm in poverty. Their accounts are not down to 25 cents at months end, or do not have money for food to feed their children. They can teach not to give with ease because they have a regular paycheck coming in and a steady job for that paycheck that only God is allowing them to keep.
It is easy to tell others that giving is not of God when one is living comfortably and not desperate to put food on the table. They do not realize how much more God would do for them or return to them if they did put these principles into practice faithfully. How much would they be able to give the poor and needy and sow into God’s people in ministries working to change lives and win souls? For anyone who would open their hearts to believe and their minds and sincerely and faithfully begin to follow these four areas, I know without doubt they would start seeing every promise fulfilled He has according to His Word. “Testing” God though will never work. The heart must be pure.
I think it is insanity that the greatest necessity in life next to water (that being money), God would not have an outlined plan for His people to follow. Especially knowing His laborers are always in need of financial blessings in order to continue their work. Ministries like ours with no building or congregation to regularly give have only God’s people to rely upon to stay afloat. It is no different than any other full time job, but we have no paycheck to turn to and we are invested and love the work we do for Him.
All God-fearing online ministries have only faithful givers to keep us running. God calls us so He is aware of the need and I cannot imagine not believing in the four types of giving and the blessings that come with them. I have yet to find money in my trees, so this only shows that God expects me to follow these principles that I may receive a harvest.
One of the biggest reasons that God wants to bless His people financially and provide you with a harvest is because those working to fulfill His Kingdom on earth need money. Let’s face it, this is just a fact in life. We live in a world we can do nothing without money. It is past time His people get mature on the subject. When God’s people receive His blessings financially, they in turn give back into promoting His Kingdom here on earth. It is all about the giving, not the receiving. HOW else will ministries be able to remain alive and thriving if not for His people giving to them?
This is a huge reason why God would so exceedingly bless you with a return of 100 fold in the first place – not to hoard thousands of dollars in greed, or to live the most extravagant lifestyle on earth and falling in love with the almighty dollar. It is to bless you that you are not in poverty, and able to secure your future and the needs of your family and children; it is also to stop the Devourer, open heavens windows over your life, and everything else I detailed today.
Most of all it is to sow back into His Kingdom on earth. What better way for you to honor God in your giving when you faithfully receive the rewards He promises then turn around and have the ability to give into fertile ground and to those in need?
Never forget if you want to see the impossible in your life and live in the fullness He has for you as a giver, you must have faith and believe that His Word cannot return unto Him void, but will accomplish all He says it will. Believe for your blessing in every area of your giving and He will come through for you. May you live in the fullness of His promises in order than He receive all the glory. You have to be faithful in little if you expect Him to trust you to remain faithful with MUCH! Go forward to walk in the harvest the Lord has for you.
“My covenant I will not break, nor alter the things that go out of My lips” ~ Psalm 89:34