Sid: My guest on the telephone is Craig Hill. He’s the founder of Family Foundations International they teach seminars on the family based in Littleton, Colorado. I got ahold recently of his 7 audio cassette series called “God’s Principles of Finances.” There is a need for a course correction in the understanding of money, the understanding of giving, the understanding of the spirits behind this in this whole arena and that’s what this series of cassettes does. Now Craig Hill I want to tell you a real life situation and ask you how you would handle it.
Sid: I’ve got a friend that was a very successful businessman and he was a giver; he tithed religiously if you will to his local church. Due to reasons, and I don’t want to judge but let’s say maybe he didn’t use the best business principles.
Craig: Hmm hm.
Sid: He went bankrupt. His young children saw this and when they got into a position where they were earning good money they decided there’s nothing to this tithing, “It didn’t work for mom or dad, I’m not going to tithe.” What would you say now to the children who are now adults?
Craig: You know what I believe Sid is that tithing is one of those basic principles of life. It’s a principle like gravity, it’s a principle like… there would be many of them like honor your father and mother. Now people can look and see certain things that don’t work in other people’s lives for all kinds of reasons and decide that they don’t have to obey that. The problem is there are consequences to that and that damage is done. So a lot of times people are looking at a circumstance don’t understand all the why’s of how something occurred, what happened there, but I really believe tithing is a principle like gravity. Somebody could just say “Well I don’t believe that. I don’t need to do that.” All we can say to them in the example of gravity is “Well fine go ahead we’ll just watch your life and see how that works out for you. I mean if you want to step off of tall buildings and cliffs and you do that repetitively over a period of time and works okay for you we’ll maybe we’ll change our thinking on that.” (Chuckling) But of course we know that’s going to be the case because gravity just a universal principle, and tithing is a principle like that as well. I think what… the mistake a lot of people make is they think that the purpose of tithing is to fund the church or because God needs money. I really don’t believe that, I believe the purpose of the tithe is for the tither, for the giver far more than it is for the church or obviously it’s not for God, God doesn’t need people’s money, God doesn’t need your money or your tithe He owns the cattle on a thousand hills. So the issue is not God needing money, I don’t believe it’s even the church needing money. I believe that the issue is that the tithe is something that begins to help establish sparrow faith in a person’s heart. And we were talking yesterday about sparrow faith being that faith in the depth of my heart that my father in heaven loves and He’s going to provide for me. The tithe is the practical action step that I can begin to take that manifests that, or demonstrates that. What I’ve found in terms of the tithe it’s hard for everyone. It doesn’t matter if it’s 10% of a $1000, $10,000, or a million dollars it’s still hard for anybody to manage that particular portion. So I imagine what these children need to understand is God’s word is true whether you see particular circumstances in someone’s life or not. I’ve found out a lot of times again when people have a wrong spirit, or a wrong attitude in their heart and they try to do the principles of God they are not accomplishing the thing that that principle was designed to accomplish. Then they become angry at God, angry at the people that taught them that. I’ve run into numerous people as I’m sure you have too that have said “I’ve tried that tithing and it didn’t work.” Well I don’t know what it was that they were intent on accomplishing through it (chuckling) what it was they were trying to do what they thought was supposed to work, but the key to it is the tithe is something that generates faith in a person’s heart toward God as a source, as a provider. As they begin to do that on a regular basis I think it begins to qualify them to for God to flow large amounts of funds through their hands into the kingdom of God.
Sid: What do you see for this coming year? Do you see… I mean I personally see some real serious economic times for the United States…
Sid: …but if people follow principles, do you really believe God’s going to supernaturally provide?
Craig: I really do and I’ve seen it… I mean we’ve certainly seen it through scripture. All through scripture many times when there are very difficult economic situations in a location. Here are specific people that are hearing from the Spirit of God, walking in God’s principles, and they’re seeing provision coming to them when all around people are perishing. I believe we’re going to see that same thing in the future in economic crisis that are bound to come to the world and bound to come to our nation. People get full of fear “Oh we’ve got to do this, oh we’ve got to do that!” Again often times they are not recognizing… know God has supernatural provision for those who walk in His principles. One of the things that I’ve seen regarding the tithe Sid, and this is in that tape series and I don’t know we’ll have time to really get through it all today. But I just wanted to touch on Leviticus 27 verse 30 where it says “All the tithe of the land whether the seed of the land or the fruit of the tree is the Lord’s it is holy to the Lord.” I just saw something in that just recently the first thing was I had always thought that the tithe was mine. What I mean by that is, I had always perceived the tithe was me taking 10% of my income and giving it to God, but I got a revelation just recently when I read that that it says “The tithe is the Lord’s.” Well if it’s the Lord’s then it’s not mine it’s the Lord’s. The second thing that I saw is it says “It’s holy to the Lord.” I think we do a funny thing with that word holy because what it really means is not a particular set of behavior standards but it means dedicated. For example if you had 5 telephone going into your office and one of them was dedicated to the Fax machine you could say regarding that phone line that line is holy unto the Fax machine; just simply means it’s dedicated, set aside. If you take that then into the financial realm where it says here about the tithe “It’s holy unto the Lord,” and holiness always has to have an object except pertaining to God himself. The only One in the universe that’s holy unto Himself, but if it means dedicated then everything else is dedicated TO something, in this case “The tithe is holy unto the Lord.” If you take that into the financial realm it would be for example if you went to purchase a house. You put a $5000 deposit down on that house that deposit probably would go into an escrow account and let’s say closing was going to be in 2 months. Well as that money was sitting in the escrow account, suppose the escrow agent, the attorney that was looking after that was a little short in his own personal finances that month. So he dipped into 1 or 2 thousand dollars of that with full intent of putting that back into the account before the house closing came. What do they do with people like that?
Sid: They put them in prison.
Craig: They put them in prison. Why? I mean he wasn’t stealing it he planned to put it back…
Sid: That was not his money.
Craig: That’s the issue. The issue was it wasn’t his money, and secondly what kind of money was it?
Craig: It’s holy, it’s dedicated. What’s it dedicated to? It’s dedicated unto the house closing. It’s holy unto the person who put up the deposit. It doesn’t belong to the attorney or the escrow agent. Again another picture example of that would be if you were a stockbroker and you manage an account on several other people’s behalf’. What would happen if you took their money and co-mingled it with your own personal account and did business with it on that basis?
Sid: You’d have a prison ministry (laughing).
Craig: Again you get to go to prison according to the laws of the land. Why? Because the government is smart enough to recognize that if you comingle that which is holy with that which is profane, or that which is common would be the opposite of holy that you’re not going to be able to recognize the difference. So the government passes laws that says “If you’re going to manage money on behalf of others you must keep it separate and you must keep it dedicated unto that person and unto the purpose for which you’re managing it.” So what I saw in this scripture that’s exactly the picture that God is giving us here regarding the tithe and I believe there’s a purpose. There’s an end purpose to it. He’s saying, and I’ve said this to many people “How would you like to be a manager of funds on God’s behalf,” remember now your needs are met because your Father in heaven loves you, “How would you like to simply manage a 10 or 20 thousand dollar a month of cash flow that’s not for meeting your needs but you’re simply the administrator or a manager of funds on God’s behalf that it’ll be put into the kingdom of God that it’ll pass through you into ministry.” Everybody says “Oh yes I’d love to do that I’d like to be that kind of a manager.” Then we start talking about this aspect of the tithe. Well what is it? It’s just a very first entry level baby step that God offers every single to manage something that is not there’s. To manage an account which is the Lord’s, which is what the scripture says it’s not yours, the Lord’s and it’s dedicated to a specific purpose it’s holy unto the Lord.
Sid: You know I like what you say in your teaching about actually setting up 2 checking accounts.
Craig: Yes! That is the best way to keep that holy. You know I didn’t have this revelation when I first got married but that is exactly what my wife and I did. The moment we got married we setup a joint checking and the second account we setup was a tithe account. Anytime we received any money we simply took 10% of it put it into that tithe account. What that did for us is that kept that money holy, or dedicated when it came time to give we didn’t have to pull it out of our regular checking account. When we looked at the balance in our checking account we never saw the Lord’s tithe in there it was segregated and separated. I really recommend that to anybody particularly anybody that’s struggled in that area. Again what we’re talking about Sid is we’re talking about a principle that releases the supernatural so that when somebody does this that… what they’re actually doing is they saying to heaven and hell and earth “My trust is in the Lord Jesus Christ my trust is not in money” because that spirit of mammon will immediately say “If you do this if you allocate 10% and manage it as the Lord’s account you’re going to perish. You can’t pay your bills now how could you pay them if you did that?” Of course that thinking does not include God it doesn’t include the supernatural. God is a God of the supernatural. And there will be testimony after testimony after testimony of people who have discovered that.