Bible Q&A Summary:
- What Is Your Opinion Of Apocryphal Books Like Enoch?
- Is There Biblical Justification For Tithing?
Welcome to our bi-weekly post Bible Question and Answer where we provide Bible verses, answers and advice to the questions and concerns you have. During the course of the last two weeks readers have submitted their questions and today we are going to answer one of them. So please join us and feel free to chime in on the discussion in the comments section.
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Bible Question and Answer
Name: Rebecca L.
I have asked questions before and you have been so kind and tolerant of me but you see I have this desire to know more about our Heavenly Father and maybe what some would call me more unique cuz you have been the only one who seems to care about my questions. I am fascinated by the book of Ezekiel, and am reading some of the Apocryphal books like Enoch, do you or have you studied any of these books and what is your opinion of them. I think they tell us more about how Jehovah and His Son Jesus works why are they not in the Bible? Thanks a bunch for your time and effort for helping this woman who may just be suffering from cabin fever here in snowy Montana, to hopefully see things more clearly??
Name: Brandon T. Ward
Answer: Rebecca, you enjoy snowy Montana and know we sincerely appreciate your questions.
Let me provide a little background on the Apocrypha.
The Apocrypha consists of 14 books that were written between 300 B.C. and 100 A.D.. We should note, these books were included in the 1611 King James Version Bible. Today, these books are still found in the Catholic Bible.
I believe some of the Apocryphal books are certainly worth reading, while others do not seem to align with scripture. This is one of the main reasons why these books were removed from the Bible.
Further, neither the Disciples nor Jesus Christ ever quoted from or referenced these books. We must have that second witness, it helps us verify if a book is valid or not and how well it flows with the rest of scripture.
It sounds like you are digging into God’s Word and trying to make sense of it all. Good job Rebecca, I know He is proud of you.
We do have a Bible Q&A where we quote from the book of Esdras. Dorothy had a great question and we tried to help her out. I will leave the link below.
Name: James R.
Question: Why do so many ministerial programs put so much pressure on people for money? I know the Apostle Paul collected tithes in the young Church as well as Abraham paid tithes to Melchizedek. It just seems to me most ministers/ministries emphasize asking for money as much or more than they do any other one thing. Is there Biblical justification for constant pressuring of the flock to give? I do understand that bills have to be paid, but I think many are biting off more than they can chew.
Name: Brandon T. Ward
Answer: James, thank you so much for the question.
Churches certainly need money to operate, you are right about that. However, there is a right and wrong way to go about it.
I can tell you that I loathe the offering plate. I absolutely despise it, yes, please quote me on that. The whole concept is designed to guilt you into giving, those are tactics of con artists, not ambassadors of Christ. I know some churches mean well, but it really is bad practice.
In my estimation before you donate to a religious organization you have to ask yourself, are you being spiritually fed? Do they teach truth from the Bible or do they teach tradition from the church?
Next, if a large portion of time is spent in church talking about money;
- Why give?
- How to give?
- When to give?
Then what do you think is really on their mind?
In Matthew 6:19-21 Christ tells us “where your treasure is, there will your heart be also“. That really sums it up. If you or your teacher is focused on God, it will show. If they are focused on your pocketbook, that will show as well.
What Does The Bible Say?
It is certainly true, God told the Israelites to give Him a “tithe,” which simply means a “tenth” of what they had. This “tithe” could have been a “tenth” of their seeds, fruit or even herds (Leviticus 27:30-34). That was real money in those days, the things required to sustain ourselves, imagine that.
We should note, outside of this there really was no form of taxation on the people at that time. Today, we have large taxes that must be paid to the government. The point I want to draw is you cannot give 10% of something you do not have. The government will take their cut and then you have to properly manage what you have left over.
Turning to the time of Christ, you may recall in Luke 21:1-4 “rich men casting their gifts into the treasury“. We are talking about the temple treasury here. Yet, ‘a certain poor widow cast in two mites‘ into the same temple treasury. Her offering to God was not even worth half a cent!
What did our Lord and Savior think about that?
Listen to what Christ tells the Disciples,
“Of a truth I say unto you, that this poor widow hath cast in more than they all: For all these have of their abundance cast in unto the offerings of God: but she of her penury hath cast in all the living that she had.”
Jesus Christ was very pleased by her actions. She displayed selflessness, by giving everything she had to God.
The woman clearly understood we should “take no thought, saying, What shall we eat? or, What shall we drink? or, Wherewithal shall we be clothed? (For after all these things do the Gentiles seek:) for your heavenly Father knoweth that ye have need of all these things. But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you,“(Matthew 6:31-33).
What should we take away from these verses?
When we give to our Heavenly Father, He will always bless us for that. Now, this does not mean we give our last dollar to the church and let our family go hungry. We need to be wise with our money; save for rainy days and retirement. Further, this does not necessarily mean a monetary donation. Remember the days of old that we discussed. The Israelites provided what they had which was seed, fruit and animals.
If you do not have a church home to donate to, then think outside of the box.
- What do you have to offer God?
- How can you help Him share His Word with the world?
Again, it does not need to be monetary, it needs to be from the heart, just like that “poor widow” we read about.
Try sharing a positive message from the Bible with a neighbor or friend in need. I do not think we truly realize how valuable that can be to someone at the right moment.
I also want you to know that you made a donation today, right here on this site when you asked a question. This will be read by hundreds of people within the next few days and thousands during the next few months. Think and consider how many people are being helped because people like you James, took the time to ask the question.
We would like to thank our Father for giving us this platform in order to spread His most precious Word. We would also like to thank our readers for submitting their questions and giving us the opportunity to share them with the audience. If you would like to ask a question submit it for the next edition of this post and continue the discussion by leaving a comment below. Previous editions of Bible Question and Answer can be found in our archive.