WHY ARE FALSE DOCTRINES MORE WIDESPREAD THAN TRUE DOCTRINES?
Any Christian doctrine that is not in consonance with the NT is false. It is certain that false teachers cannot partake of the kingdom of God. There are about thirteen reasons we shall discuss here, why false teachings are more common than true teachings.
(1) The illusion that miraculous manifestation is an attestation that God endorses a practice or a preacher. The Bible clearly states that false Christs and false prophets will abound in the last days and show signs and wonders if only to deceive. (Mt. 24:24) It is not every place where signs and wonders occur that the truth is being spoken. On the other hand, it is possible to speak the truth without showing any miracle. (Jn. 10:41) In 1Cor. 10:1-12, Paul shows us that it is possible to enjoy the miraculous and still be locked out of a glorious destiny. Moses also, whom God used to convey miracles to the people did not fulfill his destiny because of his disobedience at the water of Meriba in Kadesh. (Num. 20:7-13; Dt. 3:26) It is possible to enjoy miracles or be a vehicle to convey miracles to others and yet fail to get to the kingdom of God. God will not admit anybody into the kingdom on account of miracles performed, but on account of doing His will. (Mt. 7:21-23) Let us not think that because the preacher of tithe manifests miracles, he must be on the right path. It is not necessarily so.
(2) Mind-set occasioned by human tradition and denominational bias. Human tradition or sectarian bias may condition people’s minds to reject sound and biblical teachings. Jesus Christ indicted the Jews for rejecting God’s word because of their traditions; so, all that Jesus said were not taken because of their mind-set. They could not even understand. (Mk. 7:6-9) Paul says, “Go to this people and say, ‘Hearing you will hear, and shall not understand; and seeing you will see and not perceive’; for the hearts of this people have grown dull. Their ears are hard of hearing and their eyes they have closed…” (Acts 28:26-27) Anybody with a mind-set normally holds on to deception because he will not investigate to find out the truth from God’s word. (Jer. 8:5) It is not easy for such to side with the word of God.
(3) Deliberate rejection of truth. If one deliberately rejects truth, it is possible for God to send “strong delusion” to him so that “he will believe a lie.” (2Thes. 2:9-11) In the book of Ezekiel 14:1-9, we see that if anybody approaches God for direction with an idol in his heart, God normally allows such to be led astray. Verse 9 is shocking, “If a prophet is deceived into giving of false answer, it is because I, the LORD, have deceived him…” (GNB) God can lead a prophet to give a wrong answer to one who comes with an idol in his heart, and the latter will believe that God is the one leading him. Many people who think they are being led to pay tithe are probably being deceived. There is nothing the Holy Spirit will tell anybody now that will contradict the teachings of the New Testament. If it does contradict the Bible, it comes from God’s enemy. Somebody once affirmed that God told him to marry a second wife!
(4) Unbelief can make Satan the enemy blind the minds of people. (2Cor. 4:4) It is unbelief that makes a preacher think that he will not have his needs met if tithes are not collected. It is unbelief that will make somebody refuse to follow the truth for fear of the unknown. One who has faith in God follows His word without any fear. Faith and fear are mutually exclusive.
(5) Bewitchment is also a veritable instrument in the hands of false teachers to make somebody hold on to false teachings. Gal. 3:1 says, “Oh foolish Galatians, who have bewitched you that you should not obey the truth.” Bewitchment is the art of fascinating others by false representations or the art of exerting a malign or sinister influence by false representation. Bewitchment can put one out of his wits, that is, astound or be made beside self. A person who bewitches usually has an irresistible influence over others such that (a) they would not obey the truth; (Gal. 3:1) (b) the true way of God would be perverted, (Acts 13:10) (c) they would be confused and therefore in need of other minds to guide them. (Acts 8:9-11) Bewitchment can occur through the use of sorcery or manipulation. Preachers of tithe might use witchcraft on their audience. It could be through buffering the people with curses or blaming any negative occurrence on failure to pay tithe. Others are captivated to side with falsehood on account of special garments like cassock, surplice, hood, mitre or collar worn by preachers. Usually those who bewitch others do not prove their points from well balanced scriptural passages; they may repeat only one verse of the Bible with undue emphasis. False visions, oratory powers, good organizational structure, high sounding titles and others like them can make people hold on to false teachings.
(6) Wanting to please people: Somebody can reject the truth if he is the type that plays to the gallery. It is not common to see people who desire to please human beings to side with the truth; because, in most cases, God’s truth is not popular with men. (Lk. 16:15) Paul said that if he wanted to please men, be would not be able to serve Christ. Of the twelve spies Moses sent to the land of Canaan, only two sided with God; the other ten, (majority) got the approval of the people. Somebody can reject the truth that tithing is not a NT ordinance because he wants to be in the good books of his pastor, overseer or bishop. “Even then, many of the Jewish authorities believed in Jesus, but…did not talk about it openly…they loved the approval of men…” (Jn. 12:42, 43)
(7) The Veil of Moses is another hindrance to people accepting the truth. It is a pity that the veil, which Moses used to cover his face, has negative spiritual implications on so many people such that they cannot see the truth. Moses actually wanted to help the people come nearer him; so, he veiled himself because the glory on his face scared the people away. (Ex. 34:29-35) This is how the Holy Spirit interprets the episode: “…We are not like Moses, who had to put a veil over his face so that the people of Israel would not see the brightness fade and disappear. Their minds, indeed, were closed; and to this very day their minds are covered with the same veil as they read the books of the Old covenant…Even today, whenever they read the Law of Moses, the veil still covers their minds.” (2Cor. 3:12-15) This covering of the mind is what happened to some people in the Acts of the Apostle who believed the Lord Jesus, and still were zealous for the Law of Moses. (Acts 20:20-24; 15:1) This veil of Moses still works till today, preventing people from seeing that first-fruits, tithing and other OT practices are not ordinances to follow in the NT.
8. Lust after unrighteous gain: One who is covetous or who lusts after unrighteous gain will normally reject the truth. If one profits from wrong teachings, it is very difficult for them to leave them to embrace the truth. It is difficult for many preachers to agree with the fact that there is no tithing and first-fruits in the NT, because they really gain sure and easy money from people’s tithes and first-fruits. The Bible says concerning such that: “They have left the straight path and have lost their way; they have followed the path taken by Balaam son of Beor, who loved the money he would get for doing wrong…” (2 Pet. 2:15-18)
9. Pride can also prevent somebody from siding with the truth, especially if he is of a higher social standing than one who shows the truth. One who has gone to the seminary and who has a chain of degrees, if filled with pride, will most likely, not agree to the truth shown by an ordinary, unlearned layman. Even if he sees that it is the truth, he may, out of pride, reject it. Many people reject the truth simply because the person showing it is not a well recognized person or a popular preacher.
10. Familiarity sometimes makes somebody look down on a teacher of truth. John 1:11 says, “He came to his own country, but his own people did not receive him”. John 7:5 says, “Not even his brothers believed in him.” People sometimes reject the truth unconsciously because they seem to think that the preacher of truth looks ordinary, without any myth surrounding him. They will gladly accept a lie being peddled by somebody who surrounds himself with myths. A person may be close to you, but endeavour to check the veracity of his claims from scriptures and don’t reject him because he is close.
11. The Thessalonians’ kind of faith: The Thessalonians were not like the Bereans. The latter would cross-check Paul’s teachings from the then available scriptures to see “if what Paul said was really true.” (Acts 17:10-11) Many people are like the Thessalonians who will not bother to establish the truth of whatever they hear from scriptures. In most cases, people like that accept teachings based on the status of the person who teaches. Many take in what the “old prophet” says more readily than what the “small prophet” says; but God, many times reveals to small prophet what is not revealed to “old prophet.” (1Kgs. 13:1-32) By the time God started speaking to little Samuel, he had abandoned old Eli. Tithe preachers may be “old prophets” who had lost touch with God for one reason or the other.
12. Reading the Bible with a guided tour: Most false teachings arise from quoting Bible passages out of context. Many denominations that err from the apostolic foundations pick references here and there to buttress their doctrines. People who endeavour to read the Bible book by book and chapter by chapter will discover the truth better than those who use guided tour.
13. Using coercion to keep people under falsehood: Many people enjoy being ruled by iron hands; hence protagonists of tithing feel that putting people under the law of tithe will help them to be blessed. It is believed that human nature cannot do right under liberty, hence the need to coerce people. This assertion could be true, but God does not want people who desire to serve him to be coerced. Paul the apostle observed that people found it easier to obey those who exerted a lot of burden on them than those who were liberal and caring. (2Cor. 11:4-21) Let us see verse 20 from the Good News Bible. “You tolerate anyone who orders you about or takes advantage of you or traps you or looks down on you or slaps you in the face.” The people at Corinth probably set aside Paul’s teachings and embraced those from more aggressive preachers. But Paul insisted that he would not change his method because of that; he would not rule them by force and he would not bother them for any monetary help. Paul never collected tithes from what we see in 2Cor. 11:7-9. Many people stay quietly under false teachings because their teachers are terrible enough to keep them under.
Now we can see that there are many reasons why so many people have not seen that tithing is not an ordinance for Christians. Tithe payers are practicing Judaism in a distorted form because they are not following the details prescribed under the Law of Moses. “Do you understand what you are reading?”
If anybody is confused with this teaching, it is simply because he is not ready to abide with the New Testament.
WHAT DOES THE SCRIPTURE SAY ABOUT THE LAW OF MOSES?
(1) The Law came as a kind of punishment to the children of Israel because they were not responsive to God’s earlier dealing with them, rather they were hard-hearted. Ezek. 20:24, 26; Mk. 10:5
(2) The law came to make sin manifest so that people can see that they are in need of repentance. Rom. 3:19; 5:20; 7:7-8; Gal. 3:19
(3) It came to strengthen sin so that it could do its destructive work effectively. Rom. 7:9-13; 1Cor. 15:56
(4) It came to put Israel in custody until the coming of the saviour. Gal. 3:23-25
(5) To distinguish Israel from all other nations. In Eph. 2:11-15, Paul shows that the law is the dividing wall between Jews and Gentiles. The law covenant was made with the Jews only and never extended to Gentiles. 1Chr. 17:21-22; Rom. 9:4; Num. 36:13; Acts 7:53; Eph. 2:11-15
(6) It came to check sinners and restrain them from bad behaviour. The law was meant for sinners and not for the righteous. (1Tim. 1:9-11) NT believers are considered righteous. (2Cor. 5:21)
(7) The law is a ministration of death and of condemnation because it has no ability to impact life or to justify. 2Cor. 3:7-9; Gal. 3:21: Rom. 3:19, 20
(8) The law is faulty, unprofitable and weak, and therefore needs to be changed. (Heb. 8:7-13; 7:18, 19)
(9) God did not plan that the law would continue indefinitely; its coming is an aberration. Gal 3:23-25; Heb. 7:12; 2Cor. 3:11
(10) The law installs unqualified men as priests. They are unfit because they are sinful, ignorant, imperfect and mortal. Heb. 7:11, 12, 26-28; 10:11, 12
(11) The law is actually the handiwork of angels who are lower in rank to Jesus who is the mediator of the New Testament. Acts 7:37,38,51-53; Heb. 2:2,3; Col. 2:16-18; Heb. 1:4-6; Gal. 3:19
(12) The law has no ability to perfect anything as God wants, so it became imperative that God should set it aside to find a place for another better document, which is the NT.
(13) Anybody under the law has a permanent accuser before God. Satan and the law perform practically the same function before God, that is, accusing people. Jn. 5:45; Rev.12:10; Rom. 7:9
(14) Anybody under the law is irredeemably under a curse since it is not possible for him to fulfill the whole law. Gal. 3:10; Deut. 27:26; James 2:10
(15) The death of Jesus is not relevant to anybody who is under the law. Gal 5:2-4; 2:21
(16) Anybody who is under the law has fallen away from grace, having been cut off from Christ. (Gal. 5:4; Col. 2:18) What does it really mean to fall away from grace?
(17) Anyone under the law is considered carnal; therefore he has no right whatsoever to the promises and inheritances of the NT. Gal. 4:23-29
(18) Anyone under the law is spiritually blind because of the veil of Moses. 2Cor. 3:12-16
(19) The law separates the non-Jews from the grace and favour of God. (Eph. 2:11-22) If the law still subsists, the wall separating Jews and Gentiles still exists, therefore making the non-Jews to be cut off from God.
(20) The law is opposed to faith and anybody who is still under the law is still a sinner who cannot please God. Gal. 3:12; Rom. 14:23; Heb. 11:6
(21) The law is obsolete, (Heb. 8:7-13) it has been changed, (Heb. 7:11-12) it has been cast out, (Gal. 4:30) it has been annulled; (Rom. 3:23-28) and it has been cancelled. (Col. 2:14)
(22) All practices that started before the Law of Moses like: Sabbath observance, discrimination between clean and unclean animals; circumcision and tithing, which were incorporated into the law, have perished with the law. (Col. 2:14; Heb. 10:8-9)
(23) All the teachings of Paul about the demise of the law were directly revealed to him by Christ Jesus, and the other apostles agreed to them. (Gal. 1:11, 12: 1Cor. 14:37-38; Gal. 2:1-10; 2Pet. 3:15
(24) Those who teach doctrines from the Law of Moses are ignorant of the implications; (1Tim. 1:6-10) and Paul the apostle is by far in a better position to speak the mind of Christ, being more knowledgeable. (2Cor. 11:1-6) It is not proper to set aside the teachings of Paul and accept teachings that originate from mere men and evil spirits.
(25) The Law of Moses only came to fulfill a purpose of keeping Israel on course till the coming of the saviour; it was not part of God’s eternal plan. God handed the Israelites over to the angles that gave them the law because they were hard-hearted. (Mk. 10:5; Ezek. 20:24, 26; Gal. 3:23-25; Acts 7:30-36, 38, 53; Gal. 3:19; Heb.2:2) The coming of the law was an aberration and nobody builds a NT teaching on aberrations.
(26) As useful as the law could be, if it keeps anybody away from the better covenant, it becomes useless automatically. (Heb. 8:1-6; 9:1-11) “You have become estranged from Christ, you who attempt to be justified by law; you have fallen from grace.” (Gal. 5:3)
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