A Call to Return
by Ronald W Robey

Malachi 3:7 Even from the days of your fathers ye are gone away from mine ordinances, and have not kept them. Return unto me, and I will return unto you, saith the LORD of hosts. But ye said, Wherein shall we return?

8 Will a man rob God? Yet ye have robbed me. But ye say, Wherein have we robbed thee? In tithes and offerings.

9 Ye are cursed with a curse: for ye have robbed me, even this whole nation.

10 Bring ye all the tithes into the storehouse, that there may be meat in mine house, and prove me now herewith, saith the LORD of hosts, if I will not open you the windows of heaven, and pour you out a blessing, that there shall not be room enough to receive it.

When God said “Return unto Me” in Malachi 3:7, He was speaking of returning to His ordinances. The Priests of Israel had departed from the ordinances of God and God was telling them to return to the ordinances they had departed from.

What was God’s tithe ordinance?

It was a set of rules (commandments) concerning the tithes that God said were to be observed. Those rules were…

a) tithes are to be agricultural in content. (Le. 27:30-33)

b) tithes are not to be observed unless you are a citizen of the land of Canaan. (De. 12:1,10-11; Ps. 147:19-20)

c) tithes are to be taken to Jerusalem annually and eaten before the LORD. (De. 14:22-26)

d) a tithe is to be given to Levites every third year. (Num. 18:21-23; De. 14:27; De. 26:12)

e) the tithe that is given to Levites is not to be taken to the House of God. (Nu. 18:21-23; Ne. 10:37-38)

f) the congregation is not to tithe directly to the House of God. (Nu. 18:21-23; Ne. 18:37-38)

g) Levites are to take a tithe of the tithe to the House of God. (Ne. 10:37-38)

h) a tithe is to be given to widows, fatherless, and strangers every third year. (De. 14:28-29; 26:12)

Nowhere in God’s tithe ordinance is the congregation told to tithe money to the House of God. As a matter of fact, the congregation is expressly forbidden to tithe money to the House of God. (De. 12:8) Nowhere in God’s tithe ordinance is the congregation told to tithe to the House of God. They were forbidden to even approach the House of God with their tithes.

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The Modern Church…Where Truth is a Stranger
by Ronald W Robey
 
If Christians are supposed to pay tithes, it is awfully strange that not one of the Lord’s Apostles taught that “Christians are supposed to pay tithes” in any of the epistles written to the first century Church…not one.
 
The hard truth is, because Pastors in the pulpits have handled the word of Truth deceitfully, and many in the congregation have never actually picked up their Bibles and done a topical study under the guidance of the Holy Spirit, they have been bewitched into a sort of religious hallucination.
 
Because they read their Bibles through the deception preached to them by their Pastors, they see a monetary tithe requirement in the Bible that is not there. Because they read their Bibles through the spell cast on them from the pulpits, they are unable to see in their Bibles what is clearly written for them to see.
 
The Bible tells us that God’s tithe command was restricted to the citizens of the land of Canaan. God never commanded any other people in the Bible to tithe.
 
One has to ask, what spirit are these Pastors listening to, that has convinced them that they can preach contrary to what is written in God’s word. What spirit said, “Yea, hath God said…?” and convinced them that what God said in His word is not the truth? What spirit has blinded the eyes and minds of the congregation so that they can’t see they have been deceived? What spirit causes people to be apathetic to the lies they are being taught in their religious institutions?
 
Whatever spirit it is…it is most certainly not of God. God’s Church is supposed to be built on truth. Yet, because they have no knowledge of what God’s word says concerning tithes, people have allowed the spirit of error to rule their minds and hearts.
 
The Spirit of Truth has become a stranger to many in the modern church, and they don’t even realize it. The Apostle Paul prophesied this would happen when he said,
 
2 Timothy 4:2 Preach the word; be instant in season, out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort with all longsuffering and doctrine.
 
3 For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but after their own lusts shall they heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears;
 
4 And they shall turn away their ears from the truth, and shall be turned unto fables.
The Law and the Prophets vs The Monetary Ttihe
by Ronald W Robey

Ephesians 2:19 Now therefore ye are no more strangers and foreigners, but fellowcitizens with the saints, and of the household of God; 20 And are built upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ himself being the chief corner stone;

False doctrine such as the monetary tithe requirement does not belong in the church assembly. God’s Church is built on the Apostles and Prophets; Jesus Christ being the Chief Cornerstone. It is not built on lies.

Let us look to the word of God to see what the Apostles and Prophets said concerning tithes. Let us look to what Jesus Christ said concerning tithes. Let us walk according to their understanding of tithes…

In Luke 16:16 we read that “The Law was until John.” (John the Baptist) This means that, since the Prophets lived under the Law, the Prophets could not have taught a different tithe than that which the Law required as tithe.

Thus…we must go to the Books of the Law…The Torah…to see what tithe the Prophets had to have been speaking of when they spoke of tithes.

The very first place we see tithes mentioned in the Law determines what the Prophets preached tithes were to consist of. That first instance is found in Leviticus 27:30-33. There, we read:

Leviticus 27:30 And all the tithe of the land, whether of the seed of the land, or of the fruit of the tree, is the LORD’S: it is holy unto the LORD.
31 And if a man will at all redeem ought of his tithes, he shall add thereto the fifth part thereof.
32 And concerning the tithe of the herd, or of the flock, even of whatsoever passeth under the rod, the tenth shall be holy unto the LORD.
33 He shall not search whether it be good or bad, neither shall he change it: and if he change it at all, then both it and the change thereof shall be holy; it shall not be redeemed.

Now, please note closely what the passage says tithes are to consist of.
1. The seed of the land. (v. 30)
2. The fruit of the tree. (v. 30)
3. Every tenth animal from the flocks and herds. (v. 32)
Please notice that money is not required as tithe in that verse. Also notice that in verse 31 the one who has tithed is told he can “redeem” a portion of the tithe.

The word “redeem” means “to buy back” This means that the tithe of the seed of the land, and the tithe of the fruit of the tree had to have been given. One cannot buy something back if one has not first given that thing away first. The tithe was given. Then, a portion could be bought from the one the tithe had been given to.

It is also important to notice verse 34 in this passage, which reads:
Leviticus 27:34 These are the commandments, which the LORD commanded Moses for the children of Israel in mount Sinai.

Here, we learn that the command to tithe was given to the children of Israel. It was not given to the Egyptians. It was not given to Assyrians. It was not given to Babylonians. It was given to the bloodline descendants of the patriarch Jacob.

Nearly three hundred fifty years after the command to tithe was given to the children of Israel, the psalmist affirmed that the commands given to Israel were not given to any other nation

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

The command to tithe was for the bloodline descendants of Israel alone.

As we continue looking into what the Law said concerning tithes, we come to the Book of Numbers and chapter 18. There, we read:

Numbers 18:21 And, behold, I have given the children of Levi all the tenth in Israel for an inheritance, for their service which they serve, even the service of the tabernacle of the congregation.
22 Neither must the children of Israel henceforth come nigh the tabernacle of the congregation, lest they bear sin, and die.
23 But the Levites shall do the service of the tabernacle of the congregation, and they shall bear their iniquity: it shall be a statute for ever throughout your generations, that among the children of Israel they have no inheritance.

We find that God has determined that the tenth that was to be holy to the Lord, (Lev. 27:30) was to be given to the Levitic tribe of Israel. This is because the Levitic tribe was not given an inheritance among the children of Israel. Only the other eleven tribes were given ownership of land in the land promised to their father Jacob. The Levitic tribe was to live in forty-eight cities in Canaan, (see Numbers 35:1-8) but not among the other eleven tribes.

Thus far, we have learned that God commanded only the children of Israel to tithe, specifically eleven tribes of Israel. We have learned the tithe that God commanded was agricultural. We have learned that the tithe God commanded was to be given to the Levitic tribe of Israel. Now, we move on to the next instance of tithing mentioned in Scripture…Deuteronomy 12. At this point in time, the children of Israel have been wandering in the wilderness for nearly forty years and are preparing to enter the land of Canaan. God gives some final instructions in Deuteronomy, not just concerning tithes, but concerning all His commandments.

Deuteronomy 12:1 These are the statutes and judgments, which ye shall observe to do in the land, which the LORD God of thy fathers giveth thee to possess it, all the days that ye live upon the earth.

Now, notice that God told the Israelites that the statutes and judgments were to be observed in the land God was giving them to possess and that they were to observe those statutes all the days of their lives.

Deuteronomy 12:5 But unto the place which the LORD your God shall choose out of all your tribes to put his name there, even unto his habitation shall ye seek, and thither thou shalt come:
6 And thither ye shall bring your burnt offerings, and your sacrifices, and your tithes, and heave offerings of your hand, and your vows, and your freewill offerings, and the firstlings of your herds and of your flocks:

God said that in the land He was giving the children of Israel, there would be a specific place where they were to bring their tithes and all other offerings. We later discover that the place God was speaking of where His tithe was to be observed was the city of Jerusalem.

2 Chronicles 6:5 Since the day that I brought forth my people out of the land of Egypt I chose no city among all the tribes of Israel to build an house in, that my name might be there; neither chose I any man to be a ruler over my people Israel:

6 But I have chosen Jerusalem, that my name might be there; and have chosen David to be over my people Israel.

Back to Deuteronomy 12…

Deuteronomy 12:17 Thou mayest not eat within thy gates the tithe of thy corn, or of thy wine, or of thy oil, or the firstlings of thy herds or of thy flock, nor any of thy vows which thou vowest, nor thy freewill offerings, or heave offering of thine hand:

Once again, we find that the tithe God commanded was agricultural…not money. God not only established that the tithe was to be agricultural, but he clearly stated that the tithe was to be eaten…not in one’s own city…but in the city of Jerusalem in the land of Canaan.

The next instance of tithes mentined in the Law is found in Deuteronomy 14. There, we read:

Deuteronomy 14:22 Thou shalt truly tithe all the increase of thy seed, that the field bringeth forth year by year.
23 And thou shalt eat before the LORD thy God, in the place which he shall choose to place his name there, the tithe of thy corn, of thy wine, and of thine oil, and the firstlings of thy herds and of thy flocks; that thou mayest learn to fear the LORD thy God always.
24 And if the way be too long for thee, so that thou art not able to carry it; or if the place be too far from thee, which the LORD thy God shall choose to set his name there, when the LORD thy God hath blessed thee:
25 Then shalt thou turn it into money, and bind up the money in thine hand, and shalt go unto the place which the LORD thy God shall choose:
26 And thou shalt bestow that money for whatsoever thy soul lusteth after, for oxen, or for sheep, or for wine, or for strong drink, or for whatsoever thy soul desireth: and thou shalt eat there before the LORD thy God, and thou shalt rejoice, thou, and thine household,

Now, this tithe is a separate tithe from the one given to the Levitic tribe. This tithe is one that is to be taken to Jerusalem and eaten. (see previous post) God tells the children of Israel that they are to go to Jerusalem and eat a tithe before the LORD. Notice it does not say give a tithe and be given a sermon in exchange for giving the tithe. As a matter of fact, nowhere does the Bible say to give a tithe in exchange for a sermon. It says the tithe is to be eaten.

God does make allowances for the children of Israel if they live too great a distance from Jerusalem. The reason is, during the time it takes to travel a great distance, there is a chance of the food they are to eat before the LORD spoiling. To avoid the chance of spoilage, God told the children of Israel that they could sell their tithe.

Notice the money they attained from the sale of their tithe was not to be given to the Tabernacle as tithe. Rather, it was to be used to buy any kind of food or drink that the children of Israel wanted for themselves. Remember, the purpose of this tithe is for them to eat before the Lord that they might learn to fear Him.

Deuteronomy 14:27-29 goes on to say:

Deuteronomy 14:27 And the Levite that is within thy gates; thou shalt not forsake him; for he hath no part nor inheritance with thee.
28 At the end of three years thou shalt bring forth all the tithe of thine increase the same year, and shalt lay it up within thy gates:
29 And the Levite, (because he hath no part nor inheritance with thee,) and the stranger, and the fatherless, and the widow, which are within thy gates, shall come, and shall eat and be satisfied; that the LORD thy God may bless thee in all the work of thine hand which thou doest.

In the above three verses, God tells Israel that while He is allowing them to eat a tithe, they must not neglect giving the tithe to the Levite every third year. Further, God tells the children of Israel that they are to give a tithe to the widows, fatherless and strangers in the land of Canaan every third year. Therefore, we see two tithes given every third year…one to the Levites, and one to the widows, fatherless, and strangers.

The only other place in the Law where we see tithe commanded is found in Deuteronomy 26:12. There, we read:

Deuteronomy 26:12 When thou hast made an end of tithing all the tithes of thine increase the third year, which is the year of tithing, and hast given it unto the Levite, the stranger, the fatherless, and the widow, that they may eat within thy gates, and be filled;
Again, God affirms that a tithe was given to the Levites, and a tithe was given to the widows, fatherless and strangers the third year.

The third year is in reference to the third year in a seven-year cycle. Every seventh year, the land was to rest. There could be no planting or harvesting. If no planting or harvesting, there could be no crops tithe that year.

That is all that we are told in the Law concerning God’s commanded tithe. In future posts, we will see what the Prophets say concerning the tithe. And remember, since the Law was until John, (Luke 16:16) the only tithes the Prophets could be possibly be speaking of must be agricultural. If not…they would be encouraging people to transgress the Law.

Continuing in our examination of tithes during the Law and the Prophets, we next come to the Book of 2 Chronicles. In Chapter 31, we read:
2 Chronicles 31:1 Now when all this was finished, all Israel that were present went out to the cities of Judah, and brake the images in pieces, and cut down the groves, and threw down the high places and the altars out of all Judah and Benjamin, in Ephraim also and Manasseh, until they had utterly destroyed them all. Then all the children of Israel returned, every man to his possession, into their own cities.
2 And Hezekiah appointed the courses of the priests and the Levites after their courses, every man according to his service, the priests and Levites for burnt offerings and for peace offerings, to minister, and to give thanks, and to praise in the gates of the tents of the LORD.
3 He appointed also the king’s portion of his substance for the burnt offerings, to wit, for the morning and evening burnt offerings, and the burnt offerings for the sabbaths, and for the new moons, and for the set feasts, as it is written in the law of the LORD.
4 Moreover he commanded the people that dwelt in Jerusalem to give the portion of the priests and the Levites, that they might be encouraged in the law of the LORD.
5 And as soon as the commandment came abroad, the children of Israel brought in abundance the firstfruits of corn, wine, and oil, and honey, and of all the increase of the field; and the tithe of all things brought they in abundantly.
At this point in Biblical History the children of Israel had been in the land of Canaan for seven hundred years. They went through many battles to get to the point where they were. Temples had been built in Gilgal and other places, but as we discovered previously God had not actually placed His name in those places. His sacrifices, offerings, and tithes were to be observed in the place where He chose to put His name…Jerusalem. (see 2 Chr. 6:6) The Temple has been built and the idols that had been standing previously had been torn down. King Hezekiah is attempting to bring people who had strayed from the observance of God’s ordinances back to that system that God had set forth in the Law…ordering the citizens of Jerusalem to bring the offerings and tithes that were commanded in the Mosaic Law to the Temple of God.
Now, many interpret the phrase “tithe of all things” as meaning that ‘anything and everything was to be brought in as the tithe. Again, I must bring to your attention that God said His tithe was to come from the seed of the land; the fruit of the tree; and every tenth animal to pass under the shepherd’s rod. (Le. 27:30-33) Deuteronomy 12:1-11 tells us that once the children of Israel crossed the river Jordan and entered the land of Canaan to live there, and once they were safe from all their enemies…then they were to bring their tithes. Deuteronomy 12:8 says that they could not do what seemed right in their own eyes.
Therefore, we know the phrase “tithe of all things” could only be referring to the tithe of agricultural goods….not money, furniture, clothing, etc. In 2 Chronicles 31:6-10, we read:
2 Chronicles 31:6 And concerning the children of Israel and Judah, that dwelt in the cities of Judah, they also brought in the tithe of oxen and sheep, and the tithe of holy things which were consecrated unto the LORD their God, and laid them by heaps.
7 In the third month they began to lay the foundation of the heaps, and finished them in the seventh month.
8 And when Hezekiah and the princes came and saw the heaps, they blessed the LORD, and his people Israel.
9 Then Hezekiah questioned with the priests and the Levites concerning the heaps.
10 And Azariah the chief priest of the house of Zadok answered him, and said, Since the people began to bring the offerings into the house of the LORD, we have had enough to eat, and have left plenty: for the LORD hath blessed his people; and that which is left is this great store.
The children of Israel had brought the tithes that were required and laid the m in heaps in the streets outside the Temple. Why did they not bring them into the Temple, one may ask?
Because…the Law said they were not to approach the House of God with their tithes. (see Numbers 18:21-23) They were to take the tithe to the Levites, and the Levites were responsible for bringing tithes into the Temple. Hezekiah knew this, and that is why he ordered the Priests and the Levites to prepare chambers in the House of God to store the tithes.
But notice one more detail in this examination of tithe History…the heaps in the street were rotting. Azariah told Hezekiah that the people had brought the tithes as required and that the Levites had eaten all they were able to eat, and what was left was what Hezekiah saw rotting in the streets. The Priest Azariah spoke of food being brought as tithe and eaten. However, he made no mention of silver, gold, furniture, etc. being brought as the tithe.
The tithe of all things is clearly in reference to the agricultural tithe required by Law, and nothing more.
Next, we come to the Book of Nehemiah. Tithes are mentioned in three chapters in this Old Testament Book. We will first look at Chapter 10:
Nehemiah 10:37 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.
38 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.
As in our examination of 2 Chronicles 31, we see that in Nehemiah 10 the children of Israel are not to take their tithes into the Temple. They took the firstfruits into the Temple chambers, but the tithe they took to the Levite in their farming communities. In other words, they kept the tithe that belonged to the Levite in their own cities and the Levites traveled to the cities to collect this tithe.
The fact that the children of Israel were not to take their tithes to the Temple storehouse, but were to keep them in their farming communities, and that the Levites were to take a tithe of the tithes to the Temple storehouse reveals something that Pastors today do not want us to ever find out…that the ONLY people required to tithe directly to the Temple were the Temple Staff; i.e. the Porters, the Musicians, and attendants to the Priests. No one else was requred to tithe to the House of God but the Levites.
This means that of all the agricultural increase in the entire land of Canaan…only 10% of 10% went to the House of God as the tithe…not 10% of 100%. And again…it was only the Temple Staff who were required to tithe to the House of God.
Again, note the fact that since the children of Israel were to take the firstfruits into the Temple storehouse chambers, but the tithe they were to keep in their farming communities, the tithe, and the firstfruit are NOT the same.
Notice also, that at the time that the children of Israel gave the tithe to the Levite…a Priest of the Aaronic line was required to be present. The Temple Staff could not receive the tithe otherwise.
Next, we come to Nehemiah 12:44:
Nehemiah 12:44 And at that time were some appointed over the chambers for the treasures, for the offerings, for the firstfruits, and for the tithes, to gather into them out of the fields of the cities the portions of the law for the priests and Levites: for Judah rejoiced for the priests and for the Levites that waited.
This verse is a good reference to show that, contrary to what many Pastors teach their congregations…tithes and firstfruits are not the same. In this verse, certain Levites are put in charge of the different items that are appointed by Law for the House of God.
Next, we come to the last mention of tithes in the Book of Nehemiah. This is an account of betrayal by the Priest Eliashib in the Temple of God.
Nehemiah 13:1 On that day they read in the book of Moses in the audience of the people; and therein was found written, that the Ammonite and the Moabite should not come into the congregation of God for ever;
2 Because they met not the children of Israel with bread and with water, but hired Balaam against them, that he should curse them: howbeit our God turned the curse into a blessing.
3 Now it came to pass, when they had heard the law, that they separated from Israel all the mixed multitude.
4 And before this, Eliashib the priest, having the oversight of the chamber of the house of our God, was allied unto Tobiah:
5 And he had prepared for him a great chamber, where aforetime they laid the meat offerings, the frankincense, and the vessels, and the tithes of the corn, the new wine, and the oil, which was commanded to be given to the Levites, and the singers, and the porters; and the offerings of the priests.
In the first four verses of Nehemiah 13, we discover that a Priest of God had become an ally of an enemy of God. When a Priest of God becomes an ally with an enemy with God the outcome can never be good. When Eliashib became an ally of Tobiah the Ammonite, Eliashib began to see the things of God as having no importance.
He removed the holy things from the Temple chambers. He also removed the tithes from the Temple chambers. He then moved the enemy of God into the Temple that God had decreed that no Ammonite was ever to approach. Eliashib may as well have spit in the face of God, his actions were that deplorable.
6 But in all this time was not I at Jerusalem: for in the two and thirtieth year of Artaxerxes king of Babylon came I unto the king, and after certain days obtained I leave of the king:
7 And I came to Jerusalem, and understood of the evil that Eliashib did for Tobiah, in preparing him a chamber in the courts of the house of God.
8 And it grieved me sore: therefore I cast forth all the household stuff of Tobiah out of the chamber.
Nehemiah had been away from Jerusalem, attending to other matters. When he finally made it back to Jerusalem and saw what had taken place there, he was both disgusted and angry. None of the Priests had dealt with the sin of Eliashib. Nor had they removed Tobiah from the Temple chambers. Nehemiah would not be so neglectful in righting a wrong in the House of God. He threw the enemy of God and all of his property out of the Temple.
9 Then I commanded, and they cleansed the chambers: and thither brought I again the vessels of the house of God, with the meat offering and the frankincense.
Nehemiah ordered the Temple chambers that had been defiled by the enemy of God to be cleansed. Then, he recovered and returned the vessels that were used in the service of the LORD to the Temple along with a meat offering and frankincense.
10 And I perceived that the portions of the Levites had not been given them: for the Levites and the singers, that did the work, were fled every one to his field.
11 Then contended I with the rulers, and said, Why is the house of God forsaken? And I gathered them together, and set them in their place.
12 Then brought all Judah the tithe of the corn and the new wine and the oil unto the treasuries.
After the vessels had been brought back into the chambers, Nehemiah noticed that the portion that belonged to the Levites (the tithes that had been removed from the storehouse) still had not been returned to the storehouse. Nehemiah chastised the Priests of God because the tithes were not there. He set the Priests in their place, reminding them of responsiblities each one had in their daily ministration at the Temple.
At that time, the Levite Judah went and retrieved the agricultural tithes and brought them back into the Temple. At that time, Nehemiah appointed new overseers to watch over the Treasuries of the House of God.
Next, we will look at Amos 4:4, which reads:
Amos 4:4 Come to Bethel, and transgress; at Gilgal multiply transgression; and bring your sacrifices every morning, and your tithes after three years:
Now, by itself, this verse seems very strange. It seems that the Prophet Amos is telling the children of Israel to sin against God by transgressing the Mosaic Law. However, when we read the entire chapter, we see that is not the case at all.
We have already established in our exposition of Deuteronomy 12:1-11 and 2 Chronicles 6:5-6 that the place God said His tithe was to be taken was the city of Jerusalem. Yet, Amos here is saying to bring the tithes to Gilgal.
It is not that Amos is condoning transgression of the Law. Amos is actually using sarcasm in an attempt to open the eyes of the children of Israel to wrongs they are committing. He is actually trying to see that as long as they are taking their sacrifices and tithes to Gilgal…they are in transgression.
In verse 6 Amos makes this statement, “But ye have not returned.” He makes the same statement four more times in the chapter. Clearly, the discourse in the fourth chapter of Amos is to show that the children of Israel are in transgression and that they need to return to the observance of tithes, sacrifices, and other matters of the Law where God said they were to be observed.
The last instance of tithing in the Old Testament section of our Bibles is found in the last Book of the Old Testament…the Book of Malachi.
There, we read this oft-preached passage from the third chapter:
Malachi 3:8 Will a man rob God? Yet ye have robbed me. But ye say, Wherein have we robbed thee? In tithes and offerings.
9 Ye are cursed with a curse: for ye have robbed me, even this whole nation.
10 Bring ye all the tithes into the storehouse, that there may be meat in mine house, and prove me now herewith, saith the LORD of hosts, if I will not open you the windows of heaven, and pour you out a blessing, that there shall not be room enough to receive it.
In order to get a proper understanding of Malachi 3:8-10, it is important to read the previous two chapters as well.
Malachi 1:1 The burden of the word of the LORD to Israel by Malachi.
Malachi tells the reader whom it is that he is addressing… Israel.
As we continue to read this Book comprised of only four chapters, we find that Malachi is addressing specifically the Levitic Priests of Israel. He is not speaking to the congregation (the other eleven tribes) Notice:
Malachi 1:6 A son honoureth his father, and a servant his master: if then I be a father, where is mine honour? and if I be a master, where is my fear? saith the LORD of hosts unto you, O priests, that despise my name. And ye say, Wherein have we despised thy name?
Malachi 1:7 Ye offer polluted bread upon mine altar; and ye say, Wherein have we polluted thee? In that ye say, The table of the LORD is contemptible.
In Malachi 1:6-7 we see why Malachi said what he did in Malachi 3:8-9. The Priests had shown contempt for God. They had removed the acceptable animals from the Temple Storehouse and replaced them with animals that were unacceptable.
God was using Malachi to tell the corrupt Priests that God, who sees all, was angry with the Priests. Their sin had brought famin to the land.
Malachi 2:1 And now, O ye priests, this commandment is for you.
In Malachi 2:1, we learn that subsequent to the exposure of the Levitic Priest’s sinful actions, God has a command for them.
But, what is that command that Malachi says is specifically for the Levitic Priests? If we read the entire second chapter of Malachi, we will discover that not one command is given. It is not until we arrive in Malachi 3 that we see the command.
Malachi 3:7 Even from the days of your fathers ye are gone away from mine ordinances, and have not kept them. Return unto me, and I will return unto you, saith the LORD of hosts. But ye said, Wherein shall we return?
In Malachi 3:7, we see the command that Malachi was to deliver to the Levitic Priests… “Return unto Me” It is only upon returning to God that God will return unto Israel.
Return? Return what? The stolen animals from the Temple Storehouse!
Malachi 3:8 Will a man rob God? Yet ye have robbed me. But ye say, Wherein have we robbed thee? In tithes and offerings.
God is STILL speaking to the Levitic Priests. God said the Priests had robbed Him. The Priests ask how they have robbed God.
What tithes was Malachi speaking of? Since Luke 16:16 says that the Law was until John (speaking of John the Baptist) we must look to the Law to see what God said His holy tithe was.
Leviticus 27:30 And all the tithe of the land, whether of the seed of the land, or of the fruit of the tree, is the LORD’S: it is holy unto the LORD.
Leviticus 27:31 And if a man will at all redeem ought of his tithes, he shall add thereto the fifth part thereof.
Leviticus 27:32 And concerning the tithe of the herd, or of the flock, even of whatsoever passeth under the rod, the tenth shall be holy unto the LORD.
Leviticus 27:33 He shall not search whether it be good or bad, neither shall he change it: and if he change it at all, then both it and the change thereof shall be holy; it shall not be redeemed.
According to Leviticus, God’s holy tithe was the seed of the land, the fruit of the tree, and every tenth animal to pass under the rod. They were agricultural,… not money. And the text of Matthew 23:23 reveals that tithes were still agricultural more than five hundred years after Malachi had addressed the corrupt Priests.
Therefore, the only tithes Malachi could have been speaking of… were agricultural tithes.
Malachi 3:9 Ye are cursed with a curse: for ye have robbed me, even this whole nation.
God tells the Priests that their act of thievery had brought a curse upon the entire nation. What was that curse? Famine. God had shut the windows so that rain would not fall upon the land. Thus bringing a time when crops would not grow as they should. And God allowed locusts to invade the gardens to eat away at what little food could grow.
The Priests thievery had not only be an act against God, but it robbed the nation as well. Food that had been in the Temple Storehouse for provision of the Poor was no longer available. Food that grew throughout the land had dwindled. The entire nation had been robbed of God’s blessings… because of the dishonest Levitic Priests.
Malachi 3:10 Bring ye all the tithes into the storehouse, that there may be meat in mine house, and prove me now herewith, saith the LORD of hosts, if I will not open you the windows of heaven, and pour you out a blessing, that there shall not be room enough to receive it.
The only thing that would cause God to open the windows of Heaven so that rain would fall upon the land again would be the Priests returning the stolen tithes. and offerings. The return of the stolen tithes would appease God’s wrath and cause Him to lift the curse that had plagued the land.
Conclusion: Malachi 3:8-10 is not speaking of a monetary tithe requirement for the saved in Christ Jesus today. It was about agricultural tithes and offerings that were stolen by the Levitic Priests who worked in the Temple.
And thus, we have examined every verse in the Old Testament written in the Law and the Prophets that deals with God’s commanded tithe.
Not once in the Law and Prophets is there a command given to Israel for them to give a tenth of their monetary income to the Temple. The commanded tithe was strictly agricultural.
Ephesians 2:20 And are built upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ himself being the chief corner stone;
The Apostles and the Prophets are the foundation upon which the Church of God is built upon. As we have discovered through our walk through the writings of the Law and the Prophets, God’s commanded tithe was not money. A monetary tithe requirement cannot, therefore, be a part of the New Covenant Church Doctrines.
Next, we come to the New Testament Book of Matthew. In chapter 23, we read:
Matthew 23:23 Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye pay tithe of mint and anise and cummin and have omitted the weightier matters of the law, judgment, mercy, and faith: these ought ye to have done, and not to leave the other undone.
Matthew 23:23 is almost identical to Luke 11:42.
Luke 11:42 But woe unto you, Pharisees! for ye tithe mint and rue and all manner of herbs, and pass over judgment and the love of God: these ought ye to have done, and not to leave the other
undone.
Therefore, I will address both verses as if they are but one.
First, we must acknowledge the fact that Jesus had not yet gone to the cross at this point in time. Therefore, although the Books of Matthew and Luke are found in the New Testament section of our Bibles, what Jesus is saying in these verses is still under the jurisdiction of the Old Testament.
Hebrews 9:16 For where a testament is, there must also of necessity be the death of the testator.
17 For a testament is of force after men are dead: otherwise, it is of no strength at all while the testator liveth.
It took the death of our Lord Jesus Christ on the cross in order for the New Testament to be in force. In Matthew 23:23 & Luke 11:42 Jesus had not yet died. He was speaking under the Law to a people governed by the Law. He even states in Matthew 23:23 that tithing is a less weighty matter of the Law.
Since Jesus identified tithing as a matter of the Law, we must remind you that the Law said that the tithe was to be agricultural. That tithes were agricultural is clearly seen when Jesus describes elements found in the tithe that was given by the scribes and Pharisees. Jesus said they included, mint and anise and cummin; rue and all matter of herbs…all agricultural herbs from gardens. And Jesus said, “These ye ought to have done.”
In other words, Jesus was telling them that they were tithing exactly was required by the Law that they were under. Not once in either Matthew 23:23 or Luke 11:42 does Jesus mention money being tithed. Nor does He say that money should be tithed. Not once.
This begs the question…Since Jesus did not say money was to be tithed, how is it that Pastors are convincing church members that Jesus commanded tithes of money?
The only other mention of tithe Jesus mentions in the Gospel is found in Luke 18:12. Let’s look at the surrounding text to better understand what is being said…
Luke 18:9 And he spake this parable unto certain which trusted in themselves that they were righteous, and despised others:
10 Two men went up into the temple to pray; the one a Pharisee, and the other a publican.
11 The Pharisee stood and prayed thus with himself, God, I thank thee, that I am not as other men are, extortioners, unjust, adulterers, or even as this publican.
12 I fast twice in the week, I give tithes of all that I possess.
13 And the publican, standing afar off, would not lift up so much as his eyes unto heaven, but smote upon his breast, saying, God be merciful to me a sinner.
Luke 18:14 I tell you, this man went down to his house justified rather than the other: for every one that exalteth himself shall be abased; and he that humbleth himself shall be exalted.
Luke 18:12 is part of a parable…an illustration to expose the self-righteous attitude of the Pharisees, and to reveal to them that their pride in their works will not be rewarded by God. The parable did not actually happen. It was a story to expose the Pharisees.
And there we have it…the only three instances in the New Testament where Jesus speaks of tithe…exposing self-righteous attitude that is a sin, and the tithing of agricultural increase. Nowhere in any of the texts did Jesus endorse, nor command monetary tithing.
If the Chief Cornerstone of the Church didn’t speak of monetary tithing, monetary tithing clearly was never meant to be a building block in the doctrines of the Church. And the Apostles? Not once in any of their Epistles do that instruct New Covenant Believers in Christ Jesus to tithe to their local meeting place. If neither the Prophets, nor the Apostles taught a monetary tithe requirement, then we can safely conclude that monetary tithing was never meant to be a building block in the foundation of the New Covenant Church.
Tithe Like Abraham Did
by Ronald W Robey
 
 
Many Pastors, in an attempt to justify their doctrine of a monetary tithe requirement for the saved in Christ Jesus, will use Abraham’s tithe as a crutch to support their doctrine. But, can Abraham’s tithe to Melchizedek truly be used to support the monetary tithe requirement doctrine?
 
What was the background of first recorded tithe in the Bible?
 
1. It was of war spoils, not Abraham’s personal wealth or property. (Gen. 14:16-20) Emulate Abraham’s tithe? I can’t…I have no war spoils.
 
2. It was given only after Abraham killed someone. Emulate Abraham’s tithe? I can’t…I have no desire to kill anyone.
 
3. What Abraham tithed from was stolen property that he had recovered in battle. Emulate Abraham’s tithe? I can’t…I haven’t recovered any stolen property in battle.
 
4. Abraham tithed when he was childless. It is not recorded that he ever tithed after begetting his two sons. Emulate Abraham’s tithe? I can’t…I’m not childless.
 
5. Abraham tithed in an open valley. Emulate Abraham’s tithe? I can’t…there is no valley near me.
 
6. Abraham tithed more than fifty miles away from his own town. Emulate Abraham’s? I can’t…I can’t afford to travel.
 
7. There is only one recorded instance of Abraham tithing in his entire one hundred seventy-five years of existence on Earth. Emulate Abraham’s tithe? I tithed more than 28 years ago. I’m done.
 
Emulate Abraham’s tithe? Are you sure that is what you are arguing for?
Wrong Version
by Ronald W Robey
 
Luke 12:33 Sell that ye have, and give tithes; provide yourselves bags which wax not old, a treasure in the heavens that faileth not, where no thief approacheth, neither moth corrupteth.
 
Oh wait…that was the wrong version. That was from the MSU Bible. (Make Stuff Up)
 
Luke 12:33 Sell that ye have, and give alms; provide yourselves bags which wax not old, a treasure in the heavens that faileth not, where no thief approacheth, neither moth corrupteth.
 
Ahhhh…much better!
 
Notice that in Luke 12:33 Jesus did not say to tithe the money earned from the sale of possessions. He said to give alms Alms were charitable gifts for the poor.
 
Alms could be any amount that one chose to give as a charitable gift. Unlike tithes, which were specific and could not be argued. Tithes were the tenth part of agricultural crops, or the tenth animal to pass under the rod. Alms had no fixed numerical value or percentage attached to them. Alms could be as little as a mite, or as large as one wished to contribute to the cause of the poor. (no ceiling attached)
 
Again, notice that Jesus did not tell the disciples to “Sell that ye have, and tithe”. This is because the Law of the land of Canaan, the commands handed down to Moses in Mount Sinai, stated that tithes were to come from agricultural increase…not from money gained from sales…not from money earned from employment. Money could not be tithed at all.
 
Deuteronomy 12:8 Ye shall not do after all the things that we do here this day, every man whatsoever is right in his own eyes.
 
Even if the disciples wanted to tithe money to the House of God, the Law forbade them. Man could not do what seemed right in his own eyes.
 
Clearly, Luke 12:33 is one text of many that establish the fact that tithes of money were never required, nor allowed, by God.
An Act of Disobedience
by Ronald W Robey
 
In religious institutions all around the world today, there are Pastors who use Matthew 23:23 and Luke 11:42 to teach the members of their congregations that Jesus is saying we must tithe our money to the House of God.
 
Matthew 23:23 Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye pay tithe of MINT AND ANISE AND CUMMIN, (agricultural herbs) and have omitted the weightier matters of the law, judgment, mercy, and faith: these ought ye to have done, and not to leave the other undone.
 
Luke 11:42 But woe unto you, Pharisees! for ye tithe MINT AND RUE AND ALL MANNER OF HERBS, (agricultural) and pass over judgment and the love of God: these ought ye to have done, and not to leave the other undone.
 
In the above verses, Jesus was speaking to a people under the Law. Being under the Law, Jesus could not have been speaking of money when He said “these ye ought to have done”. The Law stated that the required tithe was to come from agricultural increase…not monetary income.
 
Leviticus 27:30 And all the tithe of the land, whether of the seed of the land, or of the fruit of the tree, is the LORD’S: it is holy unto the LORD.
 
31 And if a man will at all redeem ought of his tithes, he shall add thereto the fifth part thereof.
 
32 And concerning the tithe of the herd, or of the flock, even of whatsoever passeth under the rod, the tenth shall be holy unto the LORD.
 
33 He shall not search whether it be good or bad, neither shall he change it: and if he change it at all, then both it and the change thereof shall be holy; it shall not be redeemed.
 
Had the Pharisees been tithing their money, no doubt Jesus would have chastised them for doing so, reminding them that the Law required the seed of the land, the fruit of the tree, and every tenth animal to pass under the rod as tithe…not money. No doubt, He would have also reminded them that the Law did not authorize them to do what seemed right in their own eyes.
 
Had Jesus told the Pharisees to tithe their monetary income, He would have been telling them to transgress the Law. Need we be reminded that “transgression of the Law is sin”? (see 1 John 3;4)
 
Jesus’ instruction to tithe in the Gospels is not instruction to tithe money. To tithe money in response to Jesus instruction in the Gospels is not an act of agreement with Jesus. Quite the contrary, it is actually rebelling against what Jesus said is to be tithed…agriculture.
 
Tithing money in response to Matthew 23:23 and/or Luke 11:42 is an act of disobedience.

Who is Lying About the Tithe?
by Ronald W Ronald Ward Robey

Malachi 3:10 Bring ye all the tithes into the storehouse, that there may be meat in mine house, and prove me now herewith, saith the LORD of hosts, if I will not open you the windows of heaven, and pour you out a blessing, that there shall not be room enough to receive it.

When preaching on Malachi 3:10, Pastors will tell their congregations that God promises if the tithes are brought into the storehouse, (they interpret “storehouse” to mean the church) He will pour out a blessing so large there will not be room enough to contain it.

It is important that we notice that God said He would pour out a blessing…not multiple blessings. Many things may happen because the blessing is poured out, but the blessing is a single unit. It is not multiple blessings..say…an unexpected $45 given to you one week, another $23 given to you the next week, and another $61 given to you the following week after that. Those three events are not the “blessing” promised. Besides, one can easily put $129 in ones’ purse or wallet and contain it easily.

The blessing promised in Malachi for bringing the tithes into the storehouse cannot be contained. The devourer being prevented from destroying crops, the fruit not falling off the vine prematurely…these are results of the blessing…not the blessing itself.

What man (or woman) who has been “faithfully tithing” their money as told by the Pastor whose teachings he or she sits under, can honestly say he or she has received a blessing so large that he or she just did not have enough room to contain it?

Either the Pastor is right and Gods’ required tithe is money, (which makes God a liar for not fulfilling the promise of an abundant blessing that they had no room to contain) or the Pastor is lying, and Gods’ required tithe is not money. (which would explain why no one has received the abundant blessing that they had no room to contain)

Since it is abundantly clear that no man or woman living today who has been faithfully tithing for years, has ever received the blessing that he or she just didn’t have enough room to contain it, I have to ask…

…Is the Pastor lying about the required tithe being money? or is Gods’ promise in Malachi 3:10 a lie?

Choose wisely.