Why an Agricultural Tithe?
by Ronald W Robey
 
Question: Why did God require a tithe of the agricultural increase from the gardens, stalls and folds of the children of Israel.
 
Answer: God’s commanded agricultural tithe is hinged upon a vow made by the Patriarch Jacob 350 years prior to the children of Israel moving into the Promised Land.
 
In Leviticus 27:30-33, we are told that God’s tithe is
a) holy
b) to come from agricultural crops
c) to come from agricultural livestock
 
The word “holy” is not in the passage by mistake. It is there to denote that the agricultural tithe is “set apart” for God.
 
The tithe is “set apart” for God because of Jacob’s vow to God upon Jacob’s waking from a dream/vision in which he saw God at the top of a stairway and God spoke to him.
 
Genesis 28:11-15 And he lighted upon a certain place, and tarried there all night, because the sun was set; and he took of the stones of that place, and put them for his pillows, and lay down in that place to sleep. And he dreamed, and behold a ladder set up on the earth, and the top of it reached to heaven: and behold the angels of God ascending and descending on it. And, behold, the LORD stood above it, and said, I am the LORD God of Abraham thy father, and the God of Isaac: the land whereon thou liest, to thee will I give it, and to thy seed; And thy seed shall be as the dust of the earth, and thou shalt spread abroad to the west, and to the east, and to the north, and to the south: and in thee and in thy seed shall all the families of the earth be blessed. And, behold, I am with thee, and will keep thee in all places whither thou goest, and will bring thee again into this land; for I will not leave thee, until I have done that which I have spoken to thee of.
 
In the dream/vision, God promised to Jacob and his descendants:
a) the land on which Jacob slept.
b) children of great number
c) the families of the Earth would be blessed because of Jacob and his descendants
d) to be with Jacob wherever Jacob went
e) to keep Jacob safe wherever Jacob went
f) to bring Jacob back into the land that God had just promised to Jacob
g) to be with Jacob until all he promised Jacob came to pass.
 
Upon waking from his dream/vision, Jacob made a vow to God.
 
Genesis 28:20-22 And Jacob vowed a vow, saying, If God will be with me, and will keep me in this way that I go, and will give me bread to eat, and raiment to put on, So that I come again to my father’s house in peace; then shall the LORD be my God: And this stone, which I have set for a pillae God’s house: and of all that thou shalt give me I will surely give the tenth unto thee.
 
Jacob vowed that, if God would
a) be with him
b) keep him in his travels
c) give him bread to eat
d) give him clothes to wear
e) see that Jacob returns to Isaac’s house in safety
 
Jacob would
a) make God his God
b) return a tenth of what God gave him.
 
God’s commanded tithe in Leviticus 27:30-33 was “set apart” because of the vow that Jacob made. Jacob vowed to give God a tenth of that which God would give him, e.g.; the land…. so God saw a tenth of the land that He had given to Jacob and his descendants as being set apart from Him.
 
The agricultural crops produced
a) grain
b) wine
c) oils.
 
The flocks and herds produced
a) clothing
b) food.
 
All this had been promised to God by the Patriarch Jacob. God was simply requiring that portion that Jacob had vowed would be given to God.
 
Jacob’s vow is why the tithe of agricultural crops was required of the children of Israel when they moved into the land of Canaan.

Administering the Anti-Venom
by Ronald W Robey

In the Garden of Eden, which was a perfect creation, the serpent deceived the first woman, which averted her heart from God’s word and started a domino effect that brought an end result of a curse upon the world and the first man and woman being cast out of the Garden.

History repeats itself. In our churches today, ravenous wolves are mimicking the serpent’s wiles; deceiving many into turning their hearts away from God’s word.

Romans 3:13 Their throat is an open sepulchre; with their tongues they have used deceit; the poison of asps is under their lips:

False doctrine is like a serpent’s venom. It is poisonous to one’s very soul. False doctrine can cause one to follow the wrong Jesus. Many have been deceived by teachers of false doctrine, and because they have been deceived, they follow a false Saviour.

For this reason, we carry the word of God,… the anti-venom.

Venom: Abram tithed before the Law, so tithing is an eternal moral principle.
Anti-venom: Abram did tithe before the Law. However, Abram also bound his son Isaac with cords and laid him on a stone altar as a sacrifice to God before the Law. Abram also married his half-sister before the Law. Abram practiced polygamy before the Law. Abram gave his wife Sarah to another man before the Law so that that man could have had his way with her. Abram also practiced circumcision before the Law. Are you going to practice these things also?

The fact is, the account of Abram tithing prior to the Law reveals that that tithe was a one-time event. It was also of war spoils, not of Abram’s own wealth or monetary income.

Venom: Jacob promised to tithe everything.
Anti-venom: Jacob did vow to give a tenth of all that God would give him. However, that promise was given as a result of a dream/vision Jacob had one night in Luz. God had promised to give Jacob and his descendants the land all around him… nothing else. Jacob was promising to give back a tenth of the land that God was giving him,… nothing else.

And what was it that God said the children of Israel were required to tithe once they entered that land promised to their father Jacob? Agricultural increase,… that which the land produced. God was holding them to their father’s vow because the promise was both to Jacob and his descendants. The tenth of the land was holy unto the Lord. It was set apart for God by Jacob’s vow.

It is clear to see that even by the time Jacob had his dream, tithing could not have been an eternal moral principle. Had it been an eternal moral principle, Jacob would not have bargained with God as he did. “If you will,… then I will,…” There is no mention of any of the Patriarch’s tithing their monetary income.

Venom: God said in Malachi to bring the tithe into the storehouse. The storehouse is the House of God.
Anti-venom: God did say to bring the tithes into the storehouse. However, since Malachi was written during a time when the Law was still in effect, the tithes that Malachi was speaking of could not have been monetary.

In Leviticus 27:30-33, God said His holy tithe was to come from the seed of the land, the fruit of the tree, and every tenth animal to pass under the rod. It was agricultural increase, not monetary income.

The storehouse was not the House of God. Rather, it was a three-tiered structure attached to the outside left, right, and rear walls of the Temple in Jerusalem. (1 Kings 6:6) God was not speaking to the New Testament Believer’s in Christ Jesus. They would not be around for more than 500 years after Malachi was written.

Malachi was speaking to the Priest’s of Israel, who had stolen the agricultural tithes from the storehouse. God wanted them returned. The Priests of Israel were the descendants of Moses’ brother, Aaron.

Venom: Jesus said tithing is to be done in the Gospels.
Anti-venom: Yes, Jesus did say that tithing was to be done. But, who was He speaking to? The text tells us who,… scribes and Pharisees, i.e.; the religious leaders of the day.

Again, He was not speaking to the New Testament Body of Believers. He was speaking to a people who were seeking to kill Him; a people that hated Him and His teachings.

The tithe that Jesus said was to be done was the tithe that the Law demanded, a tithe of agricultural increase. This is even hinted at in the text when Jesus said they had observed the Law of tithing, but had neglected the weightier matters of the Law. Jesus could not have been speaking of a monetary tithe, as the Law was still in effect. Had He said to tithe money, He would have been contradicting His Father, who said the tithe was to come from agricultural increase.

Venom: The poor widow in Mark 12:41-44 tithed money.
Anti-venom: The widow could not have been tithing money for two reasons.

a) Money was not titheable under the Law. (Lev. 27:30-33)
b) The widow was poor; the poor were to receive tithes, they were not landowners that had gardens or livestock to tithe from.

Venom: Jesus said, “Render unto God the things that are God’s” while holding a penny. Therefore, Jesus requires us to tithe money
Anti-venom: The Law was still in effect when Jesus held up that penny in Matthew 22:17-21. Jesus could not have told anyone to tithe money without contradicting His Father in Heaven.

A House divided cannot stand.

When Jesus held that penny, He asked, “Whose image and superscription?” Caesar’s image and superscription was on the coin. The coin belonged to Caesar. We were made in God’s image. We belong to God. The coin is to be yielded to the civil government that owns it. We are to yield ourselves to God.

Paul echoes this in Romans 12:1, when he writes: “I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service.”

Venom: Hebrews 7 states that men that die receive tithes and Jesus receives them through those men.
Anti-venom: Hebrews 7:8 does say that men that die receive tithes. But who are those men that the author is speaking of? Context will reveal that it is not the Church that receives tithes.

Verse 5 states that

a) the sons of Levi have the command to take tithes. Therefore, the ones that receive tithes are the ones who have the command to take them, i.e.; the sons of Levi.
b) the tithes are to be taken from the brethren of the sons of Levi. These are the children of Israel, (see Numbers 18:24-26) not the New Testament Church member.
c) the tithes are to be “according to the Law.” The Law states that the tithes are from the seed of the land, the fruit of the tree, and every tenth animal to pass under the rod, i.e.; agricultural

Hebrews 7:8 does not, in any way, shape, or form, teach a monetary tithe

Conclusion: Tithing is not an eternal moral principle. If it were, there would be a command in the Bible somewhere that states such. There is not. The command was given solely to the children of Israel. God’s commanded tithe was to come from agricultural increase, not monetary income.

In the Bible, tithes were never commanded for, carried to, collected in, or controlled by the New Testament Body of Believer’s in Christ Jesus commonly known as “the Church.”

Psalm 147:19-20 He sheweth his word unto Jacob, his statutes and his judgments unto Israel. He hath not dealt so with any nation: and as for his judgments, they have not known them. Praise ye the LORD.

Venom: But if tithes are not preached, how will the church pay its light and water bills?
Antivenom: One need not teach false doctrine to garner funds for the maintenance of the building in which the church meets one to three times a week.

Teach the people to love God and to love their neighbor as their self. Teach them to be sensitive to needs around them.

When a need from money comes in, tell the congregation how much is needed, and ask them to pray about what God would have them to give to contribute to meet the need. You should pray to this end as well.

Then, practice faith that God will stir hearts and move people to give so that needs are met. God’s word tells us that God will meet our need according to His riches in Glory by Christ Jesus. Thank Him for that promise. Then, sit back and watch Him work.

Different Times, Different People.
by Ronald W Robey
 
Proverbs 3:9-10 Honour the LORD with thy substance, and with the firstfruits of all thine increase: So shall thy barns be filled with plenty, and thy presses shall burst out with new wine.
 
When teaching on the topic of tithing, many pastors in many denominations will use the above instruction spoken by the wise king Solomon as a “proof-text” that Christians today are required to tithe to their local church.
 
But, is this verse really “proof” that Christians are required to tithe today?
 
Absolutely not!
 
The obvious reason that it cannot be speaking to Christians is the fact that Leviticus 27:30-34 tells us that the tithe command was given to the children of Israel. Further, Psalm 147:19-20 reveals that the commands given to Israel were not given to any other nations.
 
Those two passages from the Books of Leviticus and Psalms alone should convince any scholar of the word of God that king Solomon was not speaking to Christians in Proverbs 3:9-10.
 
But we also have proof in the New Testament that emphatically proves that Proverbs 3:9-10 is not speaking to Christians today. Notice:
 
2 Timothy 2:6 The husbandman that laboureth must be first partaker of the fruits.
 
Now, if 2 Timothy 2:6 is for the church, then how can Proverbs 3:9-10 be for the Christian? They totally contradict each other! One says to Honour the Lord with the firstfruits, while the other says the husbandman is to first partake of the fruits.
 
If both apply to the Christian, then there is a major problem. They leave the Christian in confusion.
 
The fact is, the passage in Proverbs 3 applies to someone under the Mosaic Law. The passage in 2 Timothy 2 applies to the Christian,… who is not under the Mosaic Law. (Rom. 6:14; Gal. 3:24-25)
 
The Law of tithing is not a Christian Doctrine. Nor is the Law of firstfruit offerings.
Robbery in Progress!
by Ronald W Robey
 
Often, when discussing the topic of tithing, many defenders of the monetary tithe requirement doctrine will point out the account of the widow in Mark 12; saying that “the widow tithed money to the House of God, and Jesus was pleased with it.”
 
The fact is, the widow was not tithing that day. Let’s examine the account, shall we?
 
Just the day before, Jesus said that the scribes had made the Temple a den of thieves.
 
He leaves and comes back, teaching more wrongs the scribes and Pharisees are guilty of. He says the scribes are robbing widows houses.
 
Then, he sits against a wall facing the treasury box.
 
It is no coincidence that a widow came in right after Jesus had said widows were being robbed.
 
What did she do?
 
She cast the last bit of money she had to live on into the treasury box… a box governed by people who rob widows. A box in a building that had become a den of thieves.
 
Jesus knew that widow would be there that day. He finished His message of reproof just in time for the widow to arrive.
 
The widow’s arrival was a demonstration to the crowd just how widows were being forced out of their homes… they were being forced to give all they had to the thieves that Jesus was reproving.
 
And what was it Jesus did when He left the Temple?
 
He told His Apostles that the corrupt Temple would be destroyed.
 
Jesus’ statement that the widow gave more was not praise for what she gave. Rather, it was a statement of pity for a widow who had just been robbed; a woman who had just given everything to thieves.
 
She came into the Temple poor, and left the Temple destitute
 
The context of the story reveals that the crowd was not witnessing a widow giving with a cheerful heart,… they were watching a robbery in progress!
 
As to the argument that the widow was tithing, one only need look to the books of the Law to see that she could not have been tithing. In Leviticus 27:30-33, God told Moses what His holy tithe was to consist of. The required tithe was to consist of agricultural crops, and flocks and herds from livestock. It was not to come from one’s monetary income.

Pastors who use the text of Mark 12:41-44 to encourage the members of their congregations are guilty of manipulating the text to say something it does not.  They are guilty of robbing their flock.

Deceitful Pastors, Deceived Congregations
by Ronald W Robey

Those who are saved would do well to read these two verses and then reflect upon what they say.

Nehemiah 10:37-38 And that we should bring the firstfruits of our dough, and our offerings, and the fruit of all manner of trees, of wine and of oil, unto the priests, to the chambers of the house of our God; and the tithes of our ground unto the Levites, that the same Levites might have the tithes in all the cities of our tillage. And the priest the son of Aaron shall be with the Levites, when the Levites take tithes: and the Levites shall bring up the tithe of the tithes unto the house of our God, to the chambers, into the treasure house.

Notice these truths disclosed in the two verses.

1. The congregation did not tithe to the House of God.
2. The congregation took their tithe to the Levites in the farming communities in Canaan.
3. The Levites took a tithe of the tithe to the House of God.

The above truths reveal something that preachers do not want their congregations to know.

a) The congregation was not required to tithe to the House of God.
b) The Levites, who were the Ministerial Staff of the House of God, were the only ones required by God to tithe to the House of God.

Did you catch that? The only tithe that went to the House of God was the “tithe of the tithe”. It was not 10% of Israel’s total agricultural produce that was tithed to the House of God. Rather, it was only 1% that went to the House of God. 10% of 10%,… and that was required of the Ministerial Staff, not the congregation who had no jobs at the House of God.

Churches today are not following the Biblical pattern of the tithe at all. For over 1500 years, only 1% of Israel’s agricultural produce was the only tithe God required to go to the House of God, and that 1% was to be taken to the House of God by the Ministerial Staff, not by the congregation.

Yet, the deceitful Pastors will teach us that it is not agricultural produce that is God’s tithe; that it is not the Ministerial Staff responsible for tithing to the House of God. They instead teach that the congregation is responsible for tithing to the House of God; that it is money God requires and not agricultural crops and livestock.

They do not teach God’s word in the matter of tithing,… they teach lies.

Eight Valid Reasons Not to Tithe
by Ronald W Robey

1. You are not a physical descendant of Jacob. (Lev. 27:30-34)

2. You do not live in the Promised Land. (Deut. 12:1,10-11)
3. You are not a farmer. (Lev. 27:30-31)
4. You are not a herder. (Lev. 27:32-33)
5. You do not know any Levites . (Num. 18:24-26; Neh 10:37-38)
6. You are not under the Law. (Rom. 6:14)
7. God never commanded you to tithe. (Psa. 147:19-20)
8. You do not want to be unfaithful to Jesus Christ. (Rom. 7:3-4)
God’s Word Matters
by Ronald W Robey
 
Ever hear anyone say that “One can tithe whatever one wants to tithe”? or, “It doesn’t matter what one tithes”?
 
The truth is, that statement is not true.
 
If it were true that people could tithe whatever they wanted to tithe, God’s word would never have said that the tithe was to be from agricultural increase. (Lev. 27:30-33; Hebrews 7:5-9) Nor would God have said that once the children of Israel crossed the Jordan and entered the Promised Land Canaan, they could not do what seemed right in their own eyes. (Deut. 12:8)
 
The fact is, God said His tithe is agricultural. Therefore, one’s own opinion that God’s tithe can be time or talent, or “whatever one wants to tithe” is a lie.
 
God’s word matters. Man’s opinion does not. Man’s opinion is not more authoritative than God’s word.