On Receiving Tithes and Offerings

John David Clark, Sr. - January, 2000

To The Supporters of The Pioneer Tract Society, Inc.:

Jesus was accustomed to teaching his disciples in this manner, "Ye have heard that it has been said . . . but I say unto you. . . ." He still uses that technique to explain to us the hidden, holy ways of our heavenly Father. All along the way, I hear him in my spirit speaking that way to me, leading me away into good and clean pathways. This past year he has continued to guide us as we strive to learn how to serve him outside the religion of Christianity. I am grateful for those of you whose hearts God has touched and who are helping me in this holy work. I think that ours is the most important work being done on the face of the earth at this time in history.

One surprising path into which Jesus has led me recently concerns money. As of January 1 of this year, I am not to receive tithes or offerings from anyone who harbors serious doubts concerning either me personally or this work that Jesus has given me to do. As with all the truths of Jesus, this is congruent with reason and common sense. It would seem that a person would not even want to bring his tithes and offerings to a man he mistrusts, envies, or even sometimes hates, but such can be seen in virtually every Christian place of worship. How few there are anywhere in Christianity who are supporting with their money what they can love with their whole heart. I feel that the Lord is insisting that I make certain that my work not be that way. A few years back Brother Jimmy Tolle remarked that it was a wonderful thing to be able to support this work and to distribute our tracts with absolutely no reservations about anything in them. My feeling is, "Why would anyone want to support or to have any part in any man's work if he did not feel honored to do so, as Brother Jimmy did?

This is the way Jesus is leading me, that we might better serve him and the Church. Jesus accepts a person's financial support for his servants only if that person believes in the value and beauty of what his servants are doing. Men may have many motives for donating to a religious cause, but only one of them is acceptable: loving God and His work. Only when a person gives with a pure heart is the gift accepted by God. He wants no other offering but that which springs from a clean spirit. God is not a beggar, and neither are those who serve him in the Spirit of truth. Jesus taught me about five years ago that his Father is not like a prostitute, taking anybody's money who offers it.

This is the way Jesus has shown me that the kingdom of God operates, and it is the way I am to operate: In order for God, or for His servants, to accept any man's offering, spiritual fellowship must precede financial partnership, just as obedience had to precede an offering in the Old Testament in order for it to be accepted by God. I can no longer receive money from anyone with whom I lack a growing fellowship, whether they be contributors from afar or people near me who, concerning my work, are struggling to decide "whether it be of God, or whether I speak of myself." God wants people to get off the fence. And He doesn't care which side of the fence they climb down. Jesus said that he preferred that we be either hot or cold instead of lukewarm. Otherwise, we will be vomited out of his mouth! I feel the same way about people who want to associate with me.

Never give God's tithes and offerings to a man whose doctrine you do not trust. Why would you? Never give God's tithes and offerings to a man whose commandments you would not obey! What would be the point? That is the typical way of Christianity, to bring tithes and offerings to God and then to be unable, or unwilling, to trust the guidance of the man who received the money "in Jesus' name". God has always hated such offerings because they are not given with a pure heart, and the time has come for His ministers also to refuse them. Until you have found your true spiritual home, your permanent Church family, give God's tithes to no man. Store them in a bank or somewhere else until you know where you belong.

Oh, can you not feel in these things the love and tenderness of God for people? I can feel the Lord leading us in a direction that Christians have never been--and never can go unless they abandon Christianity's covetous ways and follow the Spirit of Christ.

On April 15, 1992, the Lord spoke to me and gave me a commandment to receive tithes and offerings from His people. If after receiving that ordination, I covetously accept money from those whose hearts are stubborn or unclean, then I cheapen the value of the offerings brought by faithful saints. Moreover, by receiving money from men who are not joined with me in heart, I cheapen my own calling from God. God has a good, healing standard for us to live by, even when dealing with money. This standard concerning tithes and offerings is being instituted by the will of God here at The Pioneer Tract Society. It is not an attempt to impress anyone's flesh, nor is it intended as a means of manipulating anyone to do anything. It is not of that kind of spirit. This standard sets everyone free to do what he really wants to do.

Refuse, child of God, to be rushed by any man. Take your time. Consider all things carefully and "hold fast to that which is good." Solomon said, "The prudent looketh well to his going", and that is exactly what Jesus wants you to do. Most of you who receive this letter contributed to The Pioneer Tract Society last year, and I am thankful for the help that God has sent my way through your hands. You have probably heard me say that I believe the members of the Pioneer Tract Society are the "cream of the crop" of the kingdom on earth. But a few of you need to back off and pray through some feelings, until you are settled in your heart about what you are doing. This is my work; I am jealous over it. It is far too precious to me, much too holy, to have anyone giving me money with only half a heart.

What this amounts to is this: The Pioneer Tract Society has a Money Back Guarantee. If in the course of your association with The Pioneer Tract Society you become disillusioned with me personally or find yourself at odds with the Church as a whole, the money that you will have given during that time will be cheerfully refunded. Along with the refund, I should add, will be an insistence that you go from us and find the place your heart really desires.

Examples

On several occasions this past year, I returned money to people who ordered our tracts, books, or tapes because it was obvious they knew nothing about what we are teaching. They had not read our materials, and they didn't have a clue as to what they were ordering. Their letters made it clear that they thought we were a Christian organization. Because they were making an honest mistake, I could not in good faith take their money. I could not even want to take it. Along with their money, I sent them free materials to examine, but as I expected, none of them responded with another order.

Over the past few years, the Lord has been leading me this way, slowly and gently because he loves us and knows that we take small steps. On a number of occasions in the recent past, and as part of this growing process, I have been led by the Spirit to refuse to accept money offered to me for the good of the person who brought it. The spiritual condition of the giver has to be taken into account when a man of God receives tithes and offerings. In the matter of money, children of God can be taught valuable lessons about their Father by a discerning servant of Jesus who does not covet their goods but who has their best interest in mind. Allow me to present six examples of this, three with men and three with women.

Three Men

1) A few years ago, I learned that a brother very dear to me had given God's tithes to his unfaithful wife to buy Christmas presents for their slothful, destructive, and rebellious sons. It sickened me to think of it. I felt God's anger so strongly that I could imagine God would have killed me if I had received the next month's tithes from that foolish brother. I was afraid to even consider it. I suggested to him that he store up his tithes and see what God would later do for him, but since the time that I refused his money, he has wandered farther and farther away from the right way. And now, God has apparently turned him over completely to the delusive power of his wife's unclean spirit. What a sad, sad life!

2) On another occasion, I ceased from receiving the tithes and offerings of a former missionary from Virginia after I met him personally and saw firsthand how completely out of order his family was. He was giving his children no guidance at all; the parents were the children's slaves.

3) Another brother vexed my spirit over a period of months with promises that he would start rendering his tithes to God as soon as he "got some things straightened out". The Lord would not allow me to correct this brother; I was only to wait for the day when he brought his tithes to me. Then I was to tell him that it is repugnant to God for us to think we can choose when we will obey the commandments. I was led to treat that brother's tithes with contempt, as he also had shown contempt for my Father's commandment.

Friends, it is a privilege to be able to bring God His tithes and offerings, and it is an honor if God accepts them from our hands. This brother wept when he saw, perhaps for the first time in his life, that God is not a beggar. "What am I going to do with my tithes?" he cried. I didn't know what to tell him. What would you do with your tithes and offerings if God would not accept them?

Because of Christianity's incessant begging for money and schemes to raise it, most people have it backwards. They seem to think the minister ought to tell them "Thank you" whenever they bring him a little money. Just the opposite is true in the kingdom of God. We should be grateful to have an acceptable place where we may bring our tithes and offerings. When we see the truth concerning this matter, we will offer our dues to God with fear and trembling--and with a prayer that our offering might be acceptable to Him. My brother, seek God and find a man of God who is not after your money, but your soul. Otherwise, you'll have nothing but another Christian minister to guide you, teaching for hire whatever doctrine he thinks you want to hear. This next statement will sound awfully harsh, but I hope you can discern that I say it in love not hatred: lawyers and Christian ministers many times operate under the same spirit. Whoever gets to them first with the money has them on their side. Only if money is not his desire can any man speak the truth in love. The man whose ministry depends upon money has money for a god.

Three Women

1) The Lord has also led me to refuse money offered to me by a middle-aged woman, actually a relative of mine who lives in another city, because from her front porch she exposed her nakedness to a group of young visitors (including one of my daughters) as they drove away from her house. Astonishingly, when I brought up the issue with her, she defended her filthy conduct as being merely an act of friendship, "to make them laugh", she said, "before they began their long journey home." What an emptiness of heart! What a darkened soul! How could I cheapen the saints' offerings by combining hers with theirs?

2) I recently returned a full year's tithes and offerings to a sister who, after being here for several years, just wasn't happy with either me or the Church. Through her especially, the Lord taught me not to receive tithes and offerings from someone who does not trust me or who is unwilling to submit to the authority invested in me by Christ. Unless I have someone's love and respect, unless I experience genuine fellowship with a person, unless God has bound us together in the Spirit, I can no longer be satisfied to receive that person's tithes and offerings. Why would I? And why would such a person give them to me? It is neither in his best interest or mine, nor yet the Church's.

3) I could not receive the money sent to me by a woman who considers herself an anointed teacher, and who acted as head over her husband. In the letter I sent to her husband (the Lord would not let me deal with her directly, and so, give credence to her self-exalted spirit), I told him that I wanted no more money from her until he became acquainted with and approved whole-heartedly of what I am teaching. This happened a year ago or more. I haven't heard from them since.

Money given from someone with whom you have no fellowship in Christ is a trap. One of Satan's most successful devises has been to inspire his children to heap money upon servants of Jesus, to overload them and to turn them from their purpose with the "cares of this world and the deceitfulness of riches." We watched Satan do that to Jim Bakker of the PTL Club some years ago now. Christians everywhere were inspired by a strange spirit to dump multiplied millions upon that good and simple child of God until he was lost in it. Their giving was not of God and it ruined his life and family. Brother Jim loved Jesus, but money turned his head another way. The only money any man of God really needs is the tithes and offerings brought to him by those whose hearts are one with him. The rest is a lie, and to receive such money is to believe a lie.

I hope this message is clear. I am rich with the blessing of the Lord. I never asked for, expected, or deserved the place in the kingdom of God that Jesus has given me. Knowing that, I cannot wish for more. According to the word of God that came to me some years back, I do not expect nor desire any big thing, but I am only to make my work perfect. Determined to obey that commandment makes it easier to turn money down. This brighter direction which Jesus has given me concerning tithes and offerings is a part of that perfecting process, and with all my heart and soul I praise him for teaching me to walk in this beautiful pathway of peacefulness in his holiness.

Your servant in Christ:

John David Clark, Sr.


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