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If a leader or teacher is misleading a congregation to tithe, this should inform you that they are either:
1. A false teacher. Or
2. an unqualified teacher.
Pat Mesiti and Phil Pringle can fall under either category.
At the bottom of this article is an old transcript of Phil Pringle allowing Pat Mesiti to con people to give money to Pringle’s organisation. Pringle allowed Mesiti to manipulate people to give money to Pringle. Pringle did not correct Mesiti’s content or conduct. He allowed Mesiti to mangle many scriptures and have him use greed and fear to convince people to give up their cash to Pringle. In the process, Pat Mesiti publicly misled the members of Christian City Church.
Mislead 1: The Statement God Never Made
“… God said to Adam and Eve, he said ‘you can have any tree you want, except that one there, that’s mine.’”
God said that? We encourage you to read Genesis 2 and 3. This is blasphemy. Phil Pringle and Pat Mesiti had no problem lying about God. God said nothing about the tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil being His in Genesis. They made this up to convince people to give them their cash.
Mislead 2: Mesiti Witnesses Against His Own False Theology
Later, Mesiti says (emphasis ours):
“Little while ago I was speaking at a church, this was quite awhile ago actually ….(laughter)….we won’t go there…..anyway….”
He is alluding to Hillsong. The fact that he was speaking at Hillsong tells us this was before his fall, (hence why he does not talk about it). Mesiti then slips this (emphasis ours):
“And I get there and the worship’s going on …and then they receive the offering…and the Holy Spirit says to me…”I want you to take that 2 and a half thousand dollar cheque and put it in the offering”….and I said ‘Lord, this is all I’ve got’.
All Mesiti has got? In slipping this, he has undone all that he is trying to do: convince C3 Church members that they need to give money to God so “your barns will be full.” How can he teach that God wants people to give him cash so he can bless them financially back? He isn’t practicing what he is preaching. Why did he have no money? He continues…
“Within a month’s time …I was at a meeting..and a man came up to me and said….’this is not for the ministry….this is not for any of the ministries you’re involved with …this cheque is for you…and he gave me a cheque for $25,000 US….”
Is this simply band aid cash before he was publicly exposed visiting prostitutes? His heavily edited and faulty account only proves he is a false witness to his own false theology. In fact, when you read the entire script below, he exposes his own false theology.
Mislead 3: Teaching The Bible Says Something When It Doesn’t
Pat Mesiti later said:
“We’re the pearl of great price. God never argued….Jesus never debated the issue. He just did it. And we in turn are asked to value something. One of those things we’re asked to value…is the House of God.”
We need to understand that the Bible talks about the House of God being Christ and His Church (the church being the people). Not so with Pringle and Mesiti. They often define the ‘House of God’ being the building.
Not only does Mesiti force people not to question his teaching by forcing obedience on them, Mesiti and Pringle provide the illusion that God or the bible says “we’re asked to value… the House of God.”
You will not find this teaching in the bible that we are to value a physical building known as a ‘House of God’. This is another lie to get Christians to give money to Phil Pringle’s organisation.
Mesiti flattered Pringle before the C3 congregation. Notice how Mesiti links the favour of God to Phil Pringle’s apparent material success. Is this how a Christian measures God’s grace?
“You know, Pastor Phil being number one on the podcast does not surprise me, because how many know the favour of God is on this man of God? Can you give me a good ‘amen’?”
Mesiti acknowledges how much Pringle’s teaching impacted him and his life, mangling Psalm 133 in the process. So much so, he seems to link Pringle as a Messianic figure.
“… After being under his teaching – under his ministry, means the favour of God is on us, because whatever falls on his beard, the oil (PP: “ooh!”) coming down from the beard of our Lord, did you like that? (PP “more oil, more beard”).”
The favour of God is on Pat Mesiti because he was under the teaching of Phil Pringle (and Pringle’s oily Messianic beard)? Pringle did not correct this bible garble.
Mesiti also mangled the scripture Proverbs 3:9. Mesiti said,
“I’m going to ask you to honour the Lord, value the Lord with your offering, and bring the Lord his firstfruits… your barns will be full.”
This is biblical incompetence on Mesiti’s part. Proverbs is written to Jews who were under the ordinances of God. If they obeyed the commandments of God, God would indeed materially bless them as a nation. If they didn’t, He would curse them. However, Mesiti’s use of this passage is inciting people to give money so they can get. This is the greed factor that prosperity preachers often use to motivate people to give money to them. Pringle did not correct this bible garble.
The church is grafted into the promises of Israel revealed in Christ – but the Church is not Israel. The Law was designed to point out to Israel the fact that none can fulfill it’s requirements. Only one man perfectly honoured the Lord and His Laws and that was Jesus. What Jesus accomplished was far greater than material success. Jesus did not promise believers material blessings but something greater: eternal life.
Because Christ freely gave Himself, so we can freely receive His salvation, we are called to freely give NOT OUT OF COMPULSION. Scripture clearly calls us to give cheerfully through what He has done on our behalf. (2 Corinthians 9:7.)
Instead of allowing the gospel being the motivating factor, Mesiti binds and curses the congregation by placing them under the death and condemnation of the Law, offering no freedom in Christ. By reading a portion of Malachi 3 telling Christians to tithe, the association is connected to the fact that if one does not tithe, the believer is cursed. This is not Christianity and is a false theology that destroys people. Pringle did not correct this bible mis-application.
THE DECEITFULNESS OF PAT MESITI AND PHIL PRINGLE
In closing, Pringle endorses the teaching and mentions this in his prayer to his ‘god’,
“People who have got debts they can’t manage…are gonna find ways out of it. But Lord the foundation of your prosperity in our life…is the tithe. So father as we bring this sacred finance to you …we thank you Lord that it unleashes power and principles into our world that are unstoppable.”
Sacred finance? This is Pringle’s god and not Christ. What Pringle calls “sacred finance”, Jesus opposes saying, “The deceitfulness of riches choke the Word” (Matt 13:22). According to Pringle, these “sacred finances… unleashes power and principles into our world that are unstoppable”. Really? And the bible says that where?
According to Pringle the monetary tithe is “the foundation of your prosperity in our life”. To pray such a thing to a God is disgraceful. At least Pringle is honest that Jesus is not his foundation.
In the end, did Pat Mesiti message on money choke the Word? Yes it did. Did Pringle endorse Mesiti’s unbiblical teachings that choked God’s Word? Yes he did. With this in mind, it is best to know not to trust Pat Mesiti or Phil Pringle when there is a bible in front of them. They are not qualified to preach.
Below is the full transcript of the giving sermon.
Everybody say ‘firstfruits’ (firstfruits)
Wednesday 30 August, 2006 – 17:30 by Hill$ong Squad in Default
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(Phil Pringle) “We are going to receive our tithe and offering right now, as everybody could get ready to give.
Pat Mesiti is going to come and encourage us with our giving this morning. Thank you very much Pat. God bless you.
(Pat Mesiti) Morning church. (Good morning) Are you excited? (yeah)
You know, Pastor Phil being number one on the podcast does not surprise me, because how many know the favour of God is on this man of God? Can you give me a good ‘amen’?
And you know, after being under his teaching – under his ministry, means the favour of God is on us, because whatever falls on his beard, the oil (PP: “ooh!”) coming down from the beard of our Lord, did you like that? (PP “more oil, more beard”).
I was thinking of growing my moustache, but I’d look too much like my mum. (PP:laughter) and my mum wouldn’t really approve.
Turn to the Word now, now that I’ve got your attention.
Church, if you need an offering envelope, please raise your hand.
If you’re giving by credit card – before you fill anything out, can you just let me share for 2 or 3 minutes from the Word of God, because we can just go through the same old motions, you know, of oh, this is my tithe; I’ll just write it out…
And you know, if you want something (inaudible) God before, you’ve got to do something you haven’t done before.
And….that’s how I’ve worked.
And I want to read a passage of scripture from Proverbs Chapter 3:9….it says this…
Honour the Lord….can you all say that with me ‘honour the Lord’ (honour the Lord) with your possessions (with your possessions) ..and the firstfruits (and the firstfruits) of all your increase (of all your increase) …..don’t repeat everything or we’ll be here all day.
But honour the Lord, that literally can be translated there to mean this… value the Lord with your possessions. (PP:’wow’).
Now that’s not talking about the tithe; we get to that in the next portion.
But value the Lord, do you value, do I value the Lord?
You see, I’ve discovered in life that one of the principles of life is this. You can tell how much you value something by the price you’re willing to pay. (PP: ‘that’s the truth’)
So to the guy who says to the girl, ‘honey, I’ll climb the highest mountain, swim the deepest ocean, cross raging rivers, but if it’s raining on Sunday can you get your own way to the restaurant.’
Doesn’t really value.
And then I’ve discovered this about value, that in the absense of value, you’ll always argue price.
When you value something you don’t argue over price, you see, the Lord never argued the price of what it would cost to redeem our soul.
And we are here as recipients of God’s value towards us.
We’re the pearl of great price. God never argued….Jesus never debated the issue. He just did it.
And we in turn are asked to value something.
One of those things we’re asked to value…is the House of God.
Can I get an ‘amen’?
And God says in His Word; He says ‘bring the whole tithe’.
Notice it doesn’t say ‘give the tithe’. It says ‘bring it’.
Because, this may be a shock, but titheing isn’t giving; you can’t give back to God, what’s already His.
You can only take it from him.
And you see, there are some things that God has reserved for Himself, which brings us to the second portion, that says…’and with the firstfruits, ‘everybody say ‘firstfruits’ (firstfruits) …that’s the first portion…it goes way back, way back, way back into Genesis.
This is not law, this is Genesis. This is pre-law, where we get the covenant of marriage from.
And God says ‘honour me…bring to me…the firstfruits…the first portion…the tithe.’
I’ve often wondered, when I’ve read the book of Genesis; when God said to Adam and Eve, he said ‘you can have any tree you want, except that one there, that’s mine.’
I wonder if there was ten trees in the garden.
Folks this morning…I’m going to ask you to honour the Lord, value the Lord with your offering, and bring the Lord his firstfruits, and watch this, here’s what he says……everybody say ’so’ (so) …so your barns will be full.
A little while ago……..how many of you liked that bit in the scriptures?
You see God never asks you to give something where he doesn’t fall back. God is El Sheddai, the God of plenty, not El Cheapo the Lord, the tightwad…
Little while ago I was speaking at a church, this was quite awhile ago actually ….(laughter)….we won’t go there…..anyway….
But I remember I was speaking at a church and I received a cheque from a corporate function I spoke at …and the Lord said to me…”I want you to put that in the offering tonight”.
And I went….’but I’ve already tithed and I’ve already given to the building fund ..and I need this’.
And God says ..”well, I need it too”.
And I’m arguing with God and then I got to church late, hoping that the offering would be over with….(laughter).
Don’t laugh at me…some of you do that…
And I get there and the worship’s going on …and then they receive the offering…and the Holy Spirit says to me…”I want you to take that 2 and a half thousand dollar cheque and put it in the offering”….and I said ‘Lord, this is all I’ve got’.
And God said….”well, that’s all you’re gonna have”
He said…”now you have an option……you can keep what’s in your hand..and I’ll keep what’s in mine….or you can let go of what’s in your hand..and I’ll let go of what’s in mine.”
Within a month’s time …I was at a meeting..and a man came up to me and said….’this is not for the ministry….this is not for any of the ministries you’re involved with …this cheque is for you…and he gave me a cheque for $25,000 US….
So I got 100 fold ….and the exchange rate…..(PP:’amen) (applause)
Come on church…let’s receive our tithes. I’m gonna hand over to Pastor Phil ..to pray over the offering.
Let’s be generous this morning. Let’s bring our tithe..and let’s bring our first fruits to the Lord. Pastor Phil?
(Phil Pringle) Wonderful, thank you sir, God bless you. Amen. Folks let me pray for you…while you bring your tithes and your offering to the Lord.
Father, we thank you right now as we stand here. People who are trying to buy their homes in Sydney, feeling that the prices are high ….are going to find very real opportunities…for them to break through into a whole new era of living.
People who have got debts they can’t manage…are gonna find ways out of it.
People who are having arguments in their houses over money issues….
Father…you’ll bring solutions.
People will find their way to manage their finances better.
But Lord the foundation of your prosperity in our life…is the tithe.
The opening of windows over our lives…the opening of opportunities and blessing comes from what we’re doing right now.
So father as we bring this sacred finance to you … we thank you Lord that it unleashes power and principles into our world that are unstoppable.
So thank you for the blessing Father on every gift given right now in Jesus’ name..and everybody said ‘amen’.
God bless as you give folks.
Go ahead ushers, thank you.
If you’re on the internet ..watching today …you can go to the upper right hand corner of your web page and you’ll find a giving area.
And those of you who use the EFTPOS machine…you’re welcome to do so at the end of the service.
If you needed an envelope for your giving…because you didn’t have a newsletter….there’s a tear-off section on that you can get…but if you need an envelope…please make sure you get a hold of one….to fill out the details of your credit card if you’re using a credit card for giving.
Length of offering talk – 7:50 min.
Source: By Hill$ong Squad, Everybody say ‘firstfruits’ (firstfruits), http://hillsong.bigblog.com.au/post.do?id=65489, 30/08/2006. (Accessed 14/11/2011.) *Cached link: http://web.archive.org/web/20070502235421/http://hillsong.bigblog.com.au/post.do?id=65489.