Thursday, April 2, 2015

Giving the Apostle's Way Part 2

Giving the Apostle’s Way – Part 2

When Satan and Self Siphon and Sabotage Our Giving
This is a follow up for those who read Bobby Kmiec’s post entitled, ‘Giving the Apostle’s Way.’ I would encourage you to first read that Biblical exhortation before reading this one. To get underway, please allow me to introduce myself; my name is John Vuckovich. Bobby Kmiec asked me to write a guest piece after some feedback from his earlier post, ‘Giving the Apostle’s Way.’

Before I get underway let me share a little of who I am. My entire Christian experience until recently has been spent in the Mainstream, Institutional, modern day ‘Church.’ On July 15, 2012, I left a nice and sincere ‘Church’ of thirteen years to attend and be a church that meets in rotating houses. Whether we consider ourselves to be believers who are the church in a home or we are those “who goes to ‘Church’ in an Institutional setting, the truths in this message apply to us all. I trust we will open our hearts to the Scriptures that will be referenced and incline our hearts to the leading of God’s Spirit as He works with His Word. Feel free to pray now, inviting the Holy Spirit to open and prepare our hearts to learn giving God’s way.

The premise of this message is simple: Satan has the majority of believers in ignorance on the subject of giving. We will explore some of the ways Satan siphons our money and prevents us from changing the world for Christ: Here is an outline of what to expect:

1. Ignorance is not bliss but damaging because it does not lead to obedience
2. Learn his devices to avoid his traps and schemes
3. Satan’s devices lead a child of God away from obedience thus in the modern day ‘Church’ (not home church) is operating in man’s power according to man’s reasoning and logic
4. This has robbed the authentic church of power and influence in society (only because the sheep are in two different folds authentic vs. Institutional church)
5. Discover if you are a pawn of one of his devices and repent
6. Purpose to search the Scriptures and do what God says rather than man’s tradition
7. Enjoy the blessing of joy, power, influence, and changed lives when you give the New Testament church way walking in the Apostles footsteps.

Lest Satan should get an advantage of us: for we are not ignorant of his devices.” ~ 2 Corinthians 2:11
1. Ignorance Is Not Bliss but Damaging Because it Does Not Lead to Obedience1
In addressing the Corinthian church, the Holy Spirit through Paul announced a great concern for believers. Here is a strong warning not to be ignorant of Satan’s devices. Have you ever heard or read the saying, “Ignorance is bliss?” This catchy cliche is certainly far from the truth. Tell that to someone undergoing stomach discomfort that over a period of time develops many symptoms and finally results into tremendous pain. They make an appointment to see the doctor only to find out that the symptoms they report match the diagnosis and test of stomach cancer. Was that bliss those months for the person that was in ignorance?

Hosea said it this way, “My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge” ~ Hosea 4:6. Today, believers in the ‘Church’ are ignorant of the joy, power, blessing, and influence of New Testament giving. Sadly, those who should be giving are being deprived of joy, blessing, and influence while those who are in need of blessing are cursed with neglect and unfulfilled needs. Let us heed the words of Solomon in Proverbs concerning the subject of giving within the church, “that the soul be without knowledge, it is not good.”

2. Learn his Devices to Avoid his Traps and Schemes
This post is not meant to be exhaustive so if you are missed from the points to follow ask God to expose any possible ignorance. It is not a matter [if] Satan has tricks or devices, because the Bible says he does. The question is, what are they in regards to the believer and giving?

Device Number One: Give it if you don’t have it…by faith (Faith Promise Missions for one example):

Proverbs 3:27, “Withhold not good from them to whom it is due, WHEN it is in the power of thine hand to do it.”
James 2:15-17, “If a brother or sister be naked, and destitute of daily food, 16 And one of you say unto them, Depart in peace, be ye warmed and filled; notwithstanding ye give them not those things which are needful to the body; what doth it profit? 17 Even so faith, if it hath not works, is dead, being alone.”

Galatians 6:10, “As we have therefore OPPORTUNITY, let us do good unto all men, especially unto them who are of the household of faith.”

If we don’t have it, we can’t give it. How many times do believers feel guilt or pressure to respond to a need when they don’t have it? Helpful hint: guilt is rooted in self and Satan, and always leads to manipulation. Conviction is wrought by the Holy Spirit, which always results in release and freedom. This was me year’s ago. I would take of my grocery budget and give it to a family or person in need and then go charge my groceries on a credit card. You say, “Hey brother, I bet God really blessed you!” God blesses obedience, not human compulsion. As a result of this well-meaning compulsion, I approached bankruptcy. Before filing and by His grace, I landed a very good job, which got me out of debt. Thankfully, the Lord’s mercies are new every morning. By the way, I know of believers who have written checks for Faith Promise Missions when they didn’t have the money in their checking account for it. In a court of law, that is not considered an act of faith. Intended or not, it is an act of fraud.

Device Number Two: Wrong Motives:
Hebrews 4:12, “For the word of God is quick, and powerful, and sharper than any twoedged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart.”
This next truth can be found in the word, intents. Today we use the word MOTIVE. Just what is our motive in giving? Say hypothetically a loved one in our church or family is really suffering some tragedy. This is heart wrenching and painful for us to watch. We often bypass consulting God or asking for His leading and seek not to meet a need but alleviate our inward anguish. Give because God has led you through His Spirit or Biblical principle, but never to alleviate emotional disturbance and to bring a peace of mind. An important truth to consider about helping the backslider from the story of the prodigal son: the Father never financed far country living!
Device Number Three: Bypassing the Law of Sowing and Reaping:
Galatians 6:7-8, “…for whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap. 8 For he that soweth to his flesh shall of the flesh reap corruption; but he that soweth to the Spirit shall of the Spirit reap life everlasting.

Sometimes a person will come across our path with a great need in their life. Our sense of justice and compassion kicks in and we are more than willing to meet their need. We should consider that some people are where they are in life because they have sowed certain decisions and when you meet up with them they are in the harvest of their life. To assist them is to bypass God’s law of sowing and reaping. Let’s illustrate this by airplanes and flying with this disclaimer: I am no science major or expert in planes. There is a law called gravity that should render any airplane to stay grounded. However, how do airplanes bypass the law of gravity and take flight thousands of times a day? Among many factors, airplanes use another law called centrifugal force. This law allows the airplane to overcome the law of gravity and take flight.

Some people in need are in that position because God is allowing them to reap what they sowed. We don’t want to bypass the law of sowing and reaping by the law of giving only for God to ground them again and face the consequences of their thinking and actions.

Device Number Four: Giving with Strings Attached:
Acts 8:17-20, “Then laid they their hands on them, and they received the Holy Ghost. 18 And when Simon saw that through laying on of the apostles’ hands the Holy Ghost was given, he offered them money, 19 Saying, Give me also this power, that on whomsoever I lay hands, he may receive the Holy Ghost. 20 But Peter said unto him, Thy money perish with thee, because thou hast thought that the gift of God may be purchased with money.”

Prior to Simon’s conversion (Acts 8:9-13) we learn he had get influence and power in Samaria. It says in verse eleven, “long time he had bewitched them with sorceries.” When the saving power of Christ washed Simon from his sins he had a new owner – the Lord Jesus Christ. No longer was he able to exercise this power or have this influence over people as beforetime. Simon later witnesses Peter and John through (the laying on of hands) give the Holy Spirit. He offered money to possess this same ability. Here we see someone giving with strings attached and giving because he wanted to be important. Sometimes people give because it elevates them in the ‘Church’ or boosts their perception in the eyes of other people. Make sure when we give our desire is for the other person to get ahead and not us.
Device Number Five: Robbing Peter to Pay Paul:

In a roundabout way, I eluded to this in point number one. If you don’t have it to give, don’t give it. Sometimes people bypass this by robbing Peter to pay Paul. If we have to fix the books and manipulate our checkbooks and bills to give, that’s not of God! We are to give of what we have, not of what we have not:

2 Corinthians 8:12, “For if there be first a willing mind, it is accepted according to that a man hath, and not according to that he hath not.”
Remember; Bible giving is based on what we have (opportunity). We give out of sacrifice and what we have; not through manipulation from the pulpit. When the ‘Church’ leader says that we should give whether we have it or not, and the result will be that God will bless us, that is manipulation.

Device Number Six: Giving is Only (or Largely) That which is Money:
Acts 10:38, “How God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Ghost and with power: who went about doing good, and healing all that were oppressed of the devil; for God was with him.”
Love comes in many forms and fashions. Money is not the cure all. Some people would be better off with us equipping them rather than enabling them. If we have time, resources, ability, or knowledge, these can all be just as needed and sometimes more appropriate than cash or a check. Oftentimes needs come across our path and we think we need to throw money at it. How about throwing ourselves at it? Could we list how many times Jesus used money to meet a need in someone’s life? Money was used as a common form of exchange in His day Jesus being filled with the Holy Spirit was led to meet divers kinds of needs, but money was seldom used. What changed people and their circumstances was not money but a personal touch from God as He ministered to them. No wonder John said, “That which was from the beginning, which we have heard, which we have seen with our eyes, which we have looked upon, and our hands have handled, of the Word of life;” ~ 1John 1:1. John described Jesus as personal and “hands on.” Are we that way with people?

Throwing money at a need is sometimes our way to take the least path of resistance so we don’t have to get involved or sacrifice our time or ourselves. Under these circumstances, we are using money as a means to salve our pricked consciences. Sometimes, God has created the need to bring together two people: a giver and the needy, because the situation calls for a personal touch (ministry). Paul said it this way in 2 Corinthians 8:5, “And this they did, not as we hoped, but first gave their own selves to the Lord,” 

As I mentioned earlier, giving money can be a means of taking the least path of resistance. Maybe we need to give of our time and ourselves to mow a widow’s lawn and not pay someone else to do it. Jesus met needs by building relationships with people – money doesn’t build relationships!

Device Number Seven: Giving is Done in the ‘Church’ Through the Means of an Offering Plate:

This last scheme is Satan equating tithes and offering [to] the “Church” as New Testament giving. Chew on this fact: We have no record in the New Testament of any church (and there were many) who collected tithes and offerings. The only collections taken were for believers in need or missionaries.

What is giving to the church? First let’s make sure we understand the use of the word “church.” Satan has today’s believers convinced that ‘Church’ is something ‘we go to.’ rather than what ‘we are.’ Consider these uses of the word ‘Church:’

* “Kids let’s get dressed were going to ‘Church.”
* “Did you write the tithe check to the ‘Church?”
* “I got married in a ‘Church.”
* “Where do you go to ‘Church?”

As Brother Kmiec renders the word ‘Church,’ I will as well. When we see the word rendered as seen with a capital ‘C,’ we are referring to an Institutional, Mainstream style of ‘Church,’ which we are all familiar with. When we render the word church in all lower case, we are referring to Christ’s authentic Home based church. The first is a business entity, and the other is a living, physical, local assembly, which has no need to operate as a business. We are ‘Organic’ in nature. We run on Power, rather than proceeds.

These common expressions and usages of the word ‘church’ demonstrate that we quantify and define ‘Church’ as a place and not people. Because our focus is on a place, rather than people, it has robbed the saints to give Biblically.

Each Sunday across the realm of Christendom, believers in evangelical and fundamental ‘Churches’ are giving money to the ‘Church.’ Yet, if the people are the church, and the people have needs, why don’t the two ever meet up? The answer is obvious. When we give money to a ‘Church’ entity, we are paying a mortgage, insurance, electric bill, and so on. We are maintaining the overhead of a business.

As we further our understanding of the word ‘church’ consider this interesting thought: Over the last 15 to 20 years, homeschooling is surging in America. Parents are reclaiming their Biblical responsibility to teach, guide, mentor, and disciple their children. Public education is a rather new phenomenon in our modern day American culture. For most of America’s history, homeschooling was the norm. In time, education was hijacked and institutionalized. What is the fruit of that path? No one need look any farther than the newspaper articles and test scores in America to find the answer.

Today the ungodliness of the youth abounds in music, TV, and our widely embraced Pop-culture. Here is an interesting correlation. The church in Acts first met in homes. Saved families fellow-shipped together and were the church that met in houses. What is happening today? Sincere Bible believing Christians are returning and reclaiming the pattern Christ has left us because we left it! In place of His authentic church, man has subverted God’s pattern and erected an imitation we refer to as the Institutional ‘Church.’ The ‘Church’ man has used to replace Christ model (which has always been and will always be) is financial wealthy in possessions and lands, but poor in spirit and power! The believers in Acts were selling their possessions to meet needs…today the ‘Church’ is collecting possessions and creating needs! So before we are inclined to perceive this post as radical or far out consider this thought provoking paragraph and see what God leads us to do with it.

According to the parable of the talents (money), doesn’t God expect a return on His investments? Let’s ask ourselves the following questions: 

Is the Institutional ‘Church’ not loaded with more money, possessions, programs, equipment, and property than ever? 

Does it not own more colleges, TV stations, radio stations, camps, and printing presses? 

So where is it’s power? 

Where is it in the cultural war? 

How is the state of its givers? 

Are they at the apex and zenith of their might or faint-hearted and spiritually anemic? 

Where is the influence of the Institutional ‘Church’ today in society? 

The forces of sodomy, abortion, and many other ungodly practices continue gaining ground while the ‘Church’ is pushed to the background. When one asks these questions, it is sobering from the Almighty’s perspective that the return on their giving does not fare well. As for the program of tithes and offerings, how well is this man-made system working, and how much is it producing for the Lord’s glory and kingdom? 

The proof is in the pudding. The ingredients of the Institutional ‘Church’ reveal a pudding that the lost doesn’t want and the saved cannot be sustained on.
Switching directions, look around the average congregation and consider the many believers without jobs, struggling to pay bills (I don’t mean cable and internet) and to make ends meet? Why do we encourage those laid off to collect unemployment from the government and be sustained through food stamps? Several instances in the book of Acts show the church taking collections (not tithes and offerings) to meet the needs of fellow believers ~ Acts 2:41-45; 4:31-37; 11:28-30

Is this New Testament pattern used in ‘Church’ today? When one erroneously pays their tithes and offerings, even if we personally see a need, one is forced to neglect it or give pocket change. What is left after paying for the roof over our heads and then the Institutions? (By the way, is this good stewardship?) What a shame that a ‘Church’ using the name of God would take would take so much to maintain the overhead of its business rather than make people their business! Shame on us!

So what is one to do? Bypass all the red tape (the ‘Church’ offering plate) and give directly to the need…our brother or sister in Christ. You say, “I can’t write that off of my taxes if I do it that way!” First, what is our motive for giving? Second, I was always taught from the pulpit that we KNOW we are doing right because it always costs us. What is the higher standard, the higher calling, and the higher path? Giving to a 501 3c non-taxable charity for tax write-offs or giving directly to our brother or sister in Christ with no tax write off?

3. Satan’s Devices Lead a Child of God Away From Obedience. Thus, the Modern Day ‘Church’ Relies on Reasoning and Logic
Proverbs 3:5-6, “Trust in the LORD with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding. 6 In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths.

These verses make for great cards, and exhortations to high school graduates. However, beyond the realm of these it is seldom applied to the Institutional ‘Church’ today. The Mainstream ‘Church’ is equipped with pastors and leaders who have been programmed through Bible colleges how to finance their ‘Church.’ Funny, that the Gentile believers Paul reached with the Gospel, which were ignorant of Jewish commandments and customs, were never instructed through the greatest church-planter ever how to finance a ‘church’ by Jewish tithes and Jewish offerings! That’s because the church in the first century was built around relationships; not money and programs ~ Acts 2:41-47; Ephesians 4:16.

It is sad that in today’s Bible colleges, pastors and leaders are groomed and trained to produce results (programs, additions, gymnasiums) and not obedience to God’s precepts. Mostly, they teach obedience to their ‘leaders,’ and are directed toward God’s precepts only as far as it would benefit the Institutional ‘Church.'

In the garden, Satan’s device was to exalt the mind, will, and desire of man ABOVE the clear revealed plan of God. Satan always encouraged independence apart from God. Eve was his first victim. What was he telling her? She would achieve great things apart from God! Have we come so far to be right there in the garden with her? We need to evaluate our means and methods and make sure they are from the Bible not a Bible college.

For those skeptical of giving outside of the offering plate, please consider this: how many people avoid ‘Church’ because all they talk about and all they want is our money! I wouldn’t say the ‘Church’ is making in gains in the minds of the world. This leads us to our next point…

4. This has Prevented the ‘Church’ From Having Power and Influence in Society
Imagine sharing a need in the church and a collection is taken for the needy person to get a new refrigerator, car battery, fix a furnace, etc. Now build on that scenario with this believer going into work and sharing how he went to his church and had his need met! I wonder if lost people would confuse this kind of love as being Christ disciple? I wonder if these good works would shine and glorify our Father in Heaven? I wonder if this kind of talk would open otherwise hardened hearts to the saving Gospel thus, building God’s church! Society should not equate the names of Bill Gates or Warren Buffet with touching and changing lives. Giving should be synonymous with Christianity, not unsaved business people.

Satan knows the church is the people, not buildings or programs. He understands the vast power saved saints can unleash when our light shines before men when they see our good works (see Matthew 5:16) and God is glorified. The Devil knows that a world that sees a compassionate heart within the body for one another will identify us as Christ disciples, making our claims of Christianity genuine and real ~ John 13:34-35. If the ‘church’ were to get a hold of the subject in this post and do it - it would shake his kingdom and destroy the darkness blinding minds to the Gospel ~ 2 Corinthians 4:3. Can you imagine if all the ‘Church’ buildings were liquidated and the proceeds given to the actual living church as what is described in 1 Peter 2:5? “Ye also, as lively stones, are built up a spiritual house, an holy priesthood, to offer up spiritual sacrifices, acceptable to God by Jesus Christ.” Think of the needs that would be met; the lives that would be changed?

5. Discover if We are Pawns of One of Satan’s Devices and Repent of it
Psalms 26:2, “Examine me, O LORD, and prove me; try my reins and my heart.”
Proverbs 28:13, “He that covereth his sins shall not prosper: but whoso confesseth and forsaketh them shall have mercy.”
1 John 1:9, “If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.”
Ask the Lord to give us a tender heart (Psalm 34:18) that will be sensitive to His voice. If He speaks conviction, ask Him to reveal where in our hearts and minds it they are and repent of it. Be willing to forsake our ways and thinking for His ways, which are far above ours (Isaiah 55:9).

6. Purpose to Search the Scriptures and do What God says Rather than What Man’s Tradition Says
Mark 7:13, “Making the word of God of none effect through your tradition, which ye have delivered: and many such like things do ye.”
As powerful and precise as God’s Word is to save souls and open eyes (Hebrews 4:12) it is rendered of “none effect,” not by Satan, but by man-made traditions! Make sure the lineage of our theology is founded in the Bible rightly divided (2 Timothy 2:15) and not what our pastor says or where our denomination stands.

7. Enjoy the Blessings of Joy, Power, Influence, and Changed Lives When We Give the Apostles’ Way While Walking in Their Footsteps
All through Acts we witness great joy (Acts 8:8), great power (Acts 4:33), and great influence (Acts 17:6) because they were walking in the Apostles’ footsteps (Acts 2:42). It all began because they first had the right doctrine. When one possesses and practices the right doctrine as recorded of the early church we can expect the same results (great joy, great power, and great influence).

So how about it? Are we getting Acts results? Has Satan substituted New Testament giving for devices and traditions that leave us wondering, “What happened? Why isn’t my ‘church’ like the early church?” We have been presented with a Scriptural exhortation and I encourage all of us to search out if these things are so (Acts 17:11).

We will give an account to God by ourselves (Romans 14:12) and held accountable for the Scriptural truths read by us. Our pastors or denomination cannot answer for us. James 4:17 says, “Therefore to him that knoweth to do good, and doeth it not, to him it is sin.”  

There might have been some things we were ignorant of at the beginning of this reading. However, now that we know to do good, if we fail to do it, we are now committing sin. Please walk by faith and abandon the imitation of God’s church today. Come join a holy band of soldiers, simple God fearing folk, who want to be His church His way. We welcome you to find out more. Your testimonies, questions, and feedback are encouraged. Feel free to reach me at Thank you for reading.


  1. Found this site not long ago. Love it. Thank you for your thoughts. Hope you keep posting. God bless.


    1. Thank you Stephen. I'll pass on your comment to the author. Please check out other articles under Post Titles if you're so inclined. Blessings.

  2. My comment was more meant for you and this site in general. :)

    Thanks for your imput. I hope it continues.


    1. Thank you again, Stephen.

      The Blog will continue and hope it to be a source of information for those who may be trapped within the Institute and may not know it's a trap.

      Thanks again for the supportive comments.