February 2013

The last place tithes are mentioned in the Bible, Hebrews 7, they are still agricultural and still the property of the sons of Levi.. There is not one Scripture preachers can point to that says God ever changed them to money.

In Acts 15, the Jerusalem religious leaders called for a meeting which we today call the “Jerusalem Council” At least three of the Lord’s Apostles were present at this meeting, possibly more or even all of them.

In this meeting, the religious leaders demanded that the new Gentile converts to the Church be circumcised AND that they keep the Law of Moses.

The Apostle Peter was the first to address this issue. He gave the council a wise and sound sermon, reminding them that they were trying to put a yoke upon the Gentiles that neither them, nor their fathers before them, were able to bear. He told them by demanding the Gentiles keep the Law of Moses, they were tempting God.

James affirmed this admonishment that Peter delivered and said further that “it seemeth good to the Holy Ghost and to us that no greater burden be laid upon the Gentiles than these necessary things…” The four ‘necessary things’ James named did not include a monetary tithe.’

Pro-tithing pastors must believe their wisdom is greater than the Apostles and their instruction more important than that of the Holy Ghost. The Holy Ghost did not name tithing as a ‘necessary thing,’ what makes some people think they know better than the Holy Ghost?

The wisdom of this world is foolishness with God.

“Silence speaks volumes.” The proof that I have that tithes is not necessary is the determination by the Holy Ghost and the very fact that for the remainder of the first century A.D., there is not one mention in any of the epistles that amends the list of necessary things to instruct the Church leadership to receive monetary tithes from their congregation… not one! Silence speaks volumes.

Surely, if tithes were to be received of the congregations the epistles would have said so. One would think at least the pastoral Epistles of 1&2 Timothy and Titus which set down many of the guidelines of how a Church is to operate would make provision for a tithe. They do not.

The decision of the Holy Ghost in Acts 15, and the subsequent silence speak volumes.

First, I do recognize that Abram tithed to Melchizedek before the Law was given by Moses to the Israelites. I have no problem admitting that, as it is in black and white in the 14th Chapter of Genesis for all to read.

I contend that that tithe, of the spoils of war as verified both in Genesis 14 and Hebrews 7, is not a tithe that we, as Christians, are to pattern our giving today.

Abram’s tithe was of the spoils of war, meaning he had to go to battle to attain those spoils that he tithed from. He promised God that he would not take any of those spoils unto himself, meaning he did not claim them as his own property. He did this because he did not want the king of Sodom, Bera, to have reason to say he had made Abram rich (Genesis 14:22-24) He did not even eat of those spoils as the men that were with him did… he did not want them at all. This is why, after giving the tithe of the spoils to Melchizedek, he also gave away the rest of the spoils. No room for Bera to say he had made Abram rich whatsoever.

Had Abram saw the tithe of spoils as his own, he would have been that much richer than he was when he started out on his rescue mission for his nephew Lot. Apparently, even Bera did not consider Abram tithing a tenth of the spoils as having made Abram rich enough to tithe the spoils he tithed.

We also glean from the text that the property Abram tithed was not his own property, his own assets.

Now, it can be argued that Abram was giving God His tithe. I am convinced that if it was “God’s tithe,” then God later amended His tithe when He gave the Law to Moses for the Israelites. For, in Leviticus 27 we read:

Leviticus 27:30-34 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. And if a man will at all redeem ought of his tithes, he shall add thereto the fifth part thereof. 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. 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. These are the commandments, which the LORD commanded Moses for the children of Israel in mount Sinai.

Notice God stated specifically that His tithe was of the seed of the land, the fruit of the tree, and the tenth of the herd and flock that passed under the rod. If God’s tithe was what Abram tithed to Melchizedek, it certainly was amended to a specific people, (the Israelites) a specific possession (crops, flocks and herds) and a specific purpose.

The specific purpose can be found in the book of Numbers, Chapter 18. There, we read:

Numbers 18:20-24 And the LORD spake unto Aaron, Thou shalt have no inheritance in their land, neither shalt thou have any part among them: I am thy part and thine inheritance among the children of Israel. 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. Neither must the children of Israel henceforth come nigh the tabernacle of the congregation, lest they bear sin, and die. 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. But the tithes of the children of Israel, which they offer as an heave offering unto the LORD, I have given to the Levites to inherit: therefore I have said unto them, Among the children of Israel they shall have no inheritance.

The specific purpose for the tithe was to provide for the Levites who had no inheritance in the land of Israel. The Levites received the tithe from the remaining tribes of Israel. That tithe was crops, flocks and herds; meaning that the only ones God said were to tithe were those who had produce and livestock.

Under the law, God required far less than a tithe from the spoils of war. (see Numbers 31)

The Word of God continues with the same tithes throughout the Bible, even in the time of Jesus. The Pharisees tithed mint, cummin, dill, anise… things grown and required in the tithe as per Leviticus 27:30-34. There was never a tithe of money taken to Levite or Temple in the Bible.

In Deuteronomy 14, we read that the festival tithe could be sold for money if it was too great a burden to carry, (animals were capable of walking, so this is speaking specifically of the crops tithe) but when the tither arrived at the place God wanted him to tithe, he was to buy back the tithe and there eat the tithe.

It’s all there in black and white, folks. I’m not making this up. The tithe was to be eaten… it was food, not money.

I submit that , in order for the Church to teach a monetary tithe, the Church must present Scripture that states that God amended His Holy tithe to

1) no longer be food, but money
2) no longer be from Israelite farmers and herders only, but from everyone who is a child of God
3) no longer be a yearly tithe of 20% every 1st, 2nd, 4th, and 5th year of a seven year cycle and 30% every 3rd and 6th year of a seven year cycle with no tithe being given the seventh year as the land was to rest the seventh year, to a weekly monetary tithe of 10% year in and year out without a rest.
4) no longer be to the Levites because they had no inheritance, but to Church leadership who have inheritances.

It is my contention that the monetary tithe that Church leadership teaches today is either due to
1) lack of proper study of the Word of God and therefore, ignorance of what God’s Holy tithe was
2) knowing what God’s Holy tithe was but teaching a monetary tithe to get money from the congregation for the purpose of maintaining the Church operation and upkeep
3) personal greed
4) a combination of the three previous reasons stated.

At any rate, the monetary tithe doctrine is unsanctioned by God, it is unscriptural, it is unsubstantiated and and its teachers are unscrupulous.