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What you are about to read from Brian Houston is not theological, historical or logical. This is what it means when Peter said, “In their greed these teachers will exploit you with stories they have made up”, (2 Peter 2:3). Below is an excerpt from Houston’s book, ‘You Need More Money’.


Tithing was a principle that was established in the book of Genesis. We’ll probably need to go into a bit of Bible history here, but literally a tithe means “one tenth”.

The principle of first fruits

Going back to the book of Genesis, you discover the principle of first fruits. It was established in the Garden when one of the first principles given to mankind was that God kept something for Himself. Initially it was a tree in the middle of the Garden. Everything else was free for Adam and Eve to enjoy.

While Adam and Eve disregarded God’s portion and subsequently reaped the consequences, their sons Cain and Abel, made offerings to the Lord from their work.

“And in the process of time it came to pass that Cain brought an offering of the fruit of the ground to the Lord. Abel also brought of the firstborn of his flock and of their fat. And the Lord respected Abel and his offering, but He did not respect Cain and his offering.” (Genesis 4:3-4)

One brother gave the first of his increase, while the other waited to the end of  his harvest and gave of his left-overs. God honoured the offering that put Him first place, not the after thought. The eternal principle of first-fruits was established here.” – Brian Houston, You Need More Money, Smithfield, NSW: Alken Press, 1999, pg. 68-69.


It only took Satan to reinterpret what the tree meant to Eve so she could eat of it. It only took Brian Houston to reinterpret what the tree meant so people could eat his false Christianity.

God said, “You are free to eat from any tree in the garden; but you must not eat from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, for when you eat of it you will surely die” (Gen 2:16-17). It is at the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil that Satan made Eve doubt God’s Word, “Did God really say?” (Gen 3:1), and eat the fruit.

It is clear that Brian Houston is lying to the reader. No where does it say in the bible that the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil is the tithe or “God’s portion”. He simply made it up. The Apostle Paul correctly writes about the Genesis account and writes against people like Brian Houston (emphasis ours):

“I am jealous for you with a godly jealousy. I promised you to one husband, to Christ, so that I might present you as a pure virgin to him. But I am afraid that just as Eve was deceived by the serpent’s cunning, your minds may somehow be led astray from your sincere and pure devotion to Christ. For if someone comes to you and preaches a Jesus other than the Jesus we preached, or if you receive a different spirit from the one you received, or a different gospel from the one you accepted, you put up with it easily enough. But I do not think I am in the least inferior to those “super-apostles.” 2 Corinthians 11:2-5

Brian Houston than dared to quote Genesis 4:3-5, in an attempt to teach something that contradicts scripture. In fact, Brian Houston once again lied about what the text says. The text Genesis 4:3-5 does not teach us that, “The eternal principle of first-fruits was established here”. Instead Hebrews teaches us something that opposes Brian Houstons false teaching. (Emphasis ours.)

By faith Abel offered God a better sacrifice than Cain did. By faith he was commended as a righteous man, when God spoke well of his offerings. And by faith he still speaks, even though he is dead.” Hebrews 11:4

It wasn’t by the “eternal principle of first fruits” that Abel offered a better sacrifice to God. That would make Abel a pantheist. Abel didn’t bow to the eternal principles of nature to see God respect his offering. This wouldn’t be faith. This would be sin. Houston is teaching believers a pagan belief.

God did not honour “the offering that put Him first place.” If it did, that would be righteousness by works (a false gospel). Instead the scriptures say against Houston, “By faith [Abel] was commended as a righteous man, when God spoke well of his offerings.” This is righteousness by faith and not by works, (Ephesians 2:8-9)

To further demonstrate the logical bankruptcy of Houston, one has to consider what he meant here:

“The eternal principle of first-fruits was established here.”

What does this mean? If an eternal principle was “established here” in an historical moment (recorded in Genesis 4:3-4), then this principle is DEFINITELY not eternal. It is temporal. We must remember that Brian Houston is linking the “eternal principle of first-fruits” with the tithe “in the book of Genesis”. Therefore Houston simply defeated his own argument that the tithe/firstfruit principle is eternal or played a significant role in the early Genesis narrative. Not only that, the tithe no longer meant his definition of “one tenth”. There weren’t only ten trees in the Garden of Eden. The bible does not inform us how many animals Abel has. Houston simply redefined his meaning along the way to support his argument for the tithe.

Following this logic through, one has to ask these questions: Who taught Abel this “eternal principle”? HOW could Abel learn this “eternal principle” if his latter actions established this “eternal principle”? Maybe Abel should have asked Brian Houston how to access these eternal principles so God could respond in favour to Abel. Maybe both Cain, Abel could have bought Brian Houston’s book ‘You Need More Money’ to access these supernatural principles… You get the point.

To justify his unbiblical stance in regards to his false doctrine, Brian Houston created fables. Since when is a pastor ever qualified to treat God’s Word like this?

In his statement of beliefs, Hillsong says the bible is, “accurate, authoritative and applicable to our everyday lives”.

After examining Houston’s handling of the bible, everyone should be asking the question to Brian Houston or the congregation of Hillsong: “How?”