How we understand the Bible determines how we live our lives. So if we get the Bible wrong, we will mess up our own lives and perhaps even lose our salvation without being aware of it. When it comes to money and debt, this is what messes up most Christians and their lives.
After my wife and I had repented of worshiping money, we had to figure out how to understand the Bible and what it said about money and debt. Back then we were your average pentecostal mainstream Christians. We did read our Bibles once in a while, but it felt more natural to have it read to us and interpret to us by our favorite TV evangelists or our pastor.
The Bible says in the book of Deuteronomy, and Leviticus tithing can only be done in the temple in Jerusalem. We are to tithe in the temple to the Levitical priests. It even says if we live too far from the temple to bring our tithes to it, we are to convert our tithes into money and buy whatever our inner heart desires so we can eat, drink and be joyful in the sight of Yehovah. You do not usually hear this being preached on Christian TV or from the pulpits today. When it comes to tithing and money you are told to give to the church, and if you dont give, you are robbing God and yourself of the blessings that belong to a faithful tither.
As mainstream Christians, who seldom read our Bibles, we were an easy target for this kind of preaching. We so desperately wanted to fix our financial mess and get out of debt, and we so desperately needed Gods blessings. So when we heard the erroneous, false teaching that said we must tithe to be blessed we bought into it.
I can still remember paying tithes of our income and having to decide if I should pay tithes of our income before our wages had been garnished or after. I paid our tithes from our wages before they had been trimmed because that was what we were told to do by our leaders in mainstream Christianity.
All the time we paid tithe, we were always broke at the end of the month. Several times we found ourselves standing in line to pay for our groceries and having to put stuff back because our debit card was declined due to insufficient funds. To this day, I can remember the frustrating of paying our tithes and not seeing the blessings we were promised.
I can remember one day asking Yehovah in prayer what we did wrong and why He would not bless us for paying our tithes. He then proceeded to show me in the Bible how the Bible says we are only to tithe to the Levitical priest in the temple in Jerusalem. The temple is gone so we cant tithe. When I understood, we had been lied to by mainstream Christianity we stopped tithing. From the moment we stopped tithing, we never broke at the end of the month. We still had debt, we did not have a lot, but we never broke, and we never again had to put our groceries back due to insufficient funds.
The Bible does say in Lev 6:16,26, 1 Cor 9:16 and Gal 6:6 you should financially support the ministry or person preaching the Gospel to you. But it also says in 1. Tim 5:8 it is a sin to give away the money you need to support yourself and your family.
After we had stopped tithing, we often came across ministers and preachers telling us it was possible to “give your way out of debt” or to “give a love offering” and we would be blessed in return.
At this time in our lives, we still did not read our Bibles regularly, and we even kind of trusted the evangelists and preachers on TV, and our pastor.
Remembering what had happened when we tithed we were always very skeptical to ministries and individuals telling us to give to be blessed by God. At the same time, we were desperate for a solution and Gods intervention in our lives. So we did give some money to ministries we felt led to give into, in hope we would be blessed in return. We never gave the money we needed for ourselves, but because we had stopped tithing, we did have some left to give at the end of the month. We felt led to give to the ministries that had comforted us with their preaching and teaching. Ministries that had encouraged us prayed for us or prophecied to us. So without us being fully aware of it at the time, we fulfilled Lev 6:16,26, 1 Cor 9:16 and Gal 6:6 by giving something in return to those that had fed us spiritually.
Did we get blessed by it? If you had asked me, back then, the answer would have been no. We were still in debt, nothing big miraculous thing happened, and I would have been very tempted to have questioned God and why nothing had happened. But even so, we did not stop giving something when we had something to give. There were months we could not give anything, we needed all the money for ourselves, and then there were months we could only give a little. But we always gave something in return because it felt the correct thing to do, even though nothing seemed to have happened.
If you had asked me now, in 2019, if we did get blessed by it, I would have said yes.
The Bible says in the book of Deuteronomy, it is not Yehovah’s will for us to be in debt. In the Gospel of Matthew, the book of 1.Cor and the Torah it says it is His will for us to have enough for all our needs to be met and extra to provide for His Kingdom here on earth. So there is no doubt about it; debt is not the will of Yehovah. Financial chaos is not His will, but sometimes, He has to allow it in our lives so a more important goal can be achieved.
In the book of Romans, the Gospel of John and the Torah, we read how every human being have at one point in their lives sinned against Yehovah. We chose, by our own free will, to break HIs law the Torah. Because we did it of our own free will, we have to bear the consequences for it and take the punishment which is an eternity in hell.
In the Gospel of John and the book of Isaiah, Yehovah says it is not His will for us to end up in hell. So He has given us His Son, Yeshua, to die as a sacrifice for our sins. We did not earn this gift, so it is a gift of unmerited grace. But even though the gift is given to every human being alive, not all will be saved. Each individual has to choose to act on the gift by accepting it in faith and repenting from their life of lawlessness.
It is not Yehovah’s will for us to have debt, and it is not His will for us to end up in hell. When you measure these two up against each other, having debt or ending up in hell, it is obvious the hell part is more important because that is eternal. So because of His love for us, the only responsible thing for Him to do is first to make sure we will avoid hell when we die. He can’t force us to avoid hell, but He can give us every opportunity to avoid it. But if providing something for us that in itself is a good thing, something we need, but it has the potential to send us to hell, He first has to make sure we are ready for it before we can receive it.
The Bible says we are righteous if we obey the Torah; being righteous is what keeps us out of hell. The Torah has a lot to say about money and debt and how to be a good steward of our finances.
If He gives money and provides a way out of debt to someone who does not obey the Torah, but believes Jesus is their Lord and Savior, He would provide for them a way to end up in hell. Why? Because someone who does not obey the Torah and suddenly has a lot of money will never know how to use it righteously.
Did my wife and I get blessed by giving something to the ministries that encouraged us, helped us, prayed for us and prophecied to us? Yes, we did, but not the way we expected it to be.
In the years that followed, Yehovah showed us more and more the discrepancies between what mainstream Christianity teaches and what the Bible says. He showed us how the Bible says the Torah is still in effect, and we are still expected to live by it, as a sign and evidence of our saving faith in the cross.
The more we have started obeying the Torah and making the Torah our object of faith, the easier it gets to deal with our debt. As of October 2019, we are still in debt, but we are far better off then we were three years ago when all of this first started.
We have stopped worrying about money, and we do not so easily stress out if something unexpected happens. The more we focus on obeying the Torah, the more peace we have amid the storm we are in right now. But most important of all, for the first time since all of this started, we have hope that we will one day soon see the end of this and be able to say “Yehovah has freed us from the slavery of debt.” We even find ourselves, amid this storm, actually being able to hear Yeshua guiding us and giving us financial advice.
Would all of this have happened if we did not give something in return to the ministries that helped us? The Bible says no, but because we gave Yehovah blessed us in return with giving us the Torah. The Bible says the only way out of debt, or any other chaos you might be in is through Torah obedience. When we obey the Torah, the Bible says we are righteous, united with Yeshua, and healed by our unity with Him.
How we understand the Bible determines how we live our lives and how we deal with the unexpected circumstances, we sometimes run into. The Bible says if we do not understand how important it is to obey the Torah, we will not be blessed by Yehovah. It even goes as far as to say, Torah obedience is a requirement for all the things we need from Him in our lives and the only evidence of real salvation.
Next week, we are going to look at step nr.3 in how to get out of debt. How do you deal with a crisis that suddenly and unexpected happens when you do not have a lot of money, to begin with.