March 2013


Malachi 3:7-10 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? Will a man rob God? Yet ye have robbed me. But ye say, Wherein have we robbed thee? In tithes and offerings. Ye are cursed with a curse: for ye have robbed me, even this whole nation. 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 above passage is one that most church members have heard preached from the pulpit time and again. When reading Malachi 3, there are many important points concerning that must be considered.

1. Context reveals that the book of Malachi was written to the children of Israel. (Malachi 1:1)

2.  Context will show that the command of Malachi 3:10 was to the Priests, not the congregation. (Malachi 2:1)
3. Tithing is an ordinance. (Malachi 3:7)
4. God was being robbed because the tithes were removed from the storehouse. (Malachi 3:8-9; ref. Nehemiah 13:1-12))
5. God declared that food in His house was a necessity.

The word “meat” in verse 10 is important to the discussion. For it reveals that at the time Malachi was instructed to convey the message of rebuke to the Priests of Israel, God’s Holy tithe had not changed from what He originally told Moses He required as a tithe. 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.

Here, we discover that God set the boundaries and the limitations concerning His Holy tithe.

1. His Holy tithe consisted of the seed of the ground, the fruit of the trees, and flocks & herds only.  Only those who owned farmland and livestock were bound to the command to tithe. (v.30-33)
2. The seed and fruit tithes could be bought back for the value of the tithe plus an additional 20%. If a basket of corn was valued at ten shekels of silver, the farmer could buy it back after he tithed it for twelve shekels of silver.  (v.31)
3. The livestock tithe could not be bought back.  (v.33)
4. The tithe was a command for the children of Israel. There was no requirement for Gentile nations to tithe.  (v.34)

Now, remember point 2 I made in the Malachi passage? That tithing was an ordinance? The very fact that the Word of God says it is an ordinance frees us from the law of tithing. The Apostle Paul, writing under the inspiration of God, states:

Colossians 2:14 Blotting out the handwriting of ordinances that was against us, which was contrary to us, and took it out of the way, nailing it to his cross;

The ordinances have been taken out of the way and nailed to the cross. What gives a pastor or church leader the right to teach its members to tithe when the tithing ordinance has been nailed to the cross? What gives the pastor the right to teach his congregation that God’s Holy tithe is now money instead of the original crops and livestock that God required of the Israelites only?

Christians, don’t allow yourselves to be hoodwinked into obeying a man-made doctrine. Don’t continue the teaching of the man-made doctrine of tithing by telling your children they are to tithe their money to God. If you do, you are guilty of teaching for doctrines the commandments of men and God says your worship is in vain.

Matthew 15:9 But in vain they do worship me, teaching for doctrines the commandments of men.

When tithing is preached from the pulpit, it should be preached as God ordained it, not as man imagines it to be.

Advertisements

 

Matthew 15:1-9 Then came to Jesus scribes and Pharisees, which were of Jerusalem, saying, Why do thy disciples transgress the tradition of the elders? for they wash not their hands when they eat bread. But he answered and said unto them, Why do ye also transgress the commandment of God by your tradition? For God commanded, saying, Honour thy father and mother: and, He that curseth father or mother, let him die the death. But ye say, Whosoever shall say to his father or his mother, It is a gift, by whatsoever thou mightest be profited by me; And honour not his father or his mother, he shall be free. Thus have ye made the commandment of God of none effect by your tradition. Ye hypocrites, well did Esaias prophesy of you, saying, This people draweth nigh unto me with their mouth, and honoureth me with their lips; but their heart is far from me. But in vain they do worship me, teaching for doctrines the commandments of men.

 

In the first Century A.D., the religious leaders confronted Jesus, demanding that His disciples walk after their religious traditions.  Jesus exposed their religious traditions to be vain and their worship vain. 

 

Today, we have many Pharisaical churches around the world who, like the scribes and pharisees, teach for doctrines the commandments of men.  They do so in their doctrine of a monetary tithe that they require of their members and staff.  The monetary tithe is found nowhere in the pages of God’s Holy Word, yet many pastors and teachers will adamantly preach from the pulpit that God requires a monetary tithe from the body of Christ.  Like the religious leaders of Jesus’ day, the religious leaders today will call into question those who do not submit to their traditions.

 

Because of this, these modern day pharisaical churches are exposed by the Word of God to be hypocrites teaching for doctrines the commandments of men. 

 

No doubt, the church leaders who teach and preach the monetary tithe will be offended by this truth.  Jesus says, “Let them alone, they be blind leaders of the blind. And if the blind lead the blind both shall fall in the ditch.”

 

Pastors, buy the truth and sell it not.  Turn away from your man-made traditions that err from the words of knowledge.  Preach the Word, not tradition.  Stand up for what “Thus saith the Lord”, not tradition. 

Proverbs 19:27 Cease, my son, to hear the instruction that causeth to err from the words of knowledge.

These words were spoken by the wise king Solomon nearly 2200 years ago and if Solomon were alive today, no doubt we would hear him repeat this instruction to the New Testament Church.  

While much of what is preached and taught in today’s Church is from the Word of God, (words of knowledge) there are some doctrines espoused by the Church are found nowhere in the Word of God.  One such doctrine is the doctrine of the monetary tithe.

A careful study of the Word of God, (which all believers are instructed to do in Paul’s first epistle to the Evangelist Timothy) reveals that tithes were required of the farmers and herders who were natural descendants of the patriarch Jacob.  What they were required to tithe were crops and fruit grown in their gardens and orchards and flocks and herds.  They never tithed money.  

If the monetary tithe were something that God required of the Church, surely the instruction to tithe one’s money would have been in the New Testament…. especially in the epistle to Titus or one of the epistles written to Timothy.  These three books of the Bible contain specific instructions to the Church leadership on how to operate the Church in such a manner that is pleasing to God.  There is, however, no mention of a required tithe, either monetary or of crops, flocks and herds whatsoever.

So, if the Word of God doesn’t teach a monetary tithe, why does the Church teach one?  Because they have erred from the words of knowledge.  They have abandoned that which is known for a doctrine that was fabricated by man’s design.  

They teach for doctrines the commands of men when they teach a monetary tithe.  God is not in such teachings.  Oh, they may say that God requires this monetary tithe, but they have no biblical proof whatsoever to support their claim.  They pull Old Testament commands to the Israelites out of their context and apply them to the New Testament Church.  When they do, they err from the words of knowledge just as Solomon’s son had done so many centuries ago.

Pastors, cease from erring from the Word of knowledge.  Preach what is written in God’s Holy Word instead of the man-made doctrine of a monetary tithe.  Congregant, cease from erring from the Word of God.  Study the Word of God and walk according to the instruction given to the New Testament Church.  Leave the man-made doctrines and seek God’s will in His Holy Word.

Matthew 15:9 But in vain they do worship me, teaching for doctrines the commandments of men.
Is Jesus a liar? According to the Bible, He is not. So that means that the most godly Church on Earth today, if it is teaching doctrines that are found nowhere in Scripture, their worship is in vain.

Make sure you know who you are worshiping with or your worship may be in vain. Make sure your pastor’s sermons are in agreement with what the Word of God says or your worship is in vain.

So many Churches today teach man-made doctrines and handle the Word of God deceitfully in order to convince you that their man-made doctrines are truth. It is your responsibility, child of God, to search the Scriptures to see if what is being preached in the sanctuary where your Church body assembles is what the Scriptures actually convey. Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the Word of Truth.

If you choose to embrace doctrines that are not supported by the Word of God, you will indeed be ashamed when you stand before Him.