April 2013


by Ronald W. Robey

In Luke 19, we read of the story of the tax collector Zacchaeus, who was a very short man. When news had met his ears that Jesus was coming to his town, Zacchaeus went out to see Him. But the crowd was too great, and because of his diminutive stature, he could not see. So, we are told he climbed up in a sycamine tree. (sycamore) where he could get a good view of the Savior as he passed by that way.

Jesus saw Zacchaeus up in that tree and called him down, telling him that He wanted to eat at the house of Zacchaues. What a thrill that must have been, and how privileged Zacchaeus must have felt that day!

When Zacchaeus received the Truth into his home, he was convicted of the unjust way he levied taxes on the citizenry of his region. He promised Jesus that if he had cheated anyone, he would repay them fourfold. For every shekel he stole, he would pay four shekels back.

After his encounter with Christ, Zacchaeus truly was convicted of his wrongdoing concerning robbing people through taxation.

Today, we see many Churches around the world being run by men just like the dishonest tax collector of the first century A.D.. They rob members of their congregation by demanding a monetary tithe of them, many times threatening them with a curse from God if they don’t tithe their money to the Church… something that God never required or authorized. Just as Zacchaeus needed a visit from the Savior in the early first century, pastors and spiritual leaders today need a visit from the Savior.

They need to climb down from those branches that lift them above the congregation and invite the Lord into their house, confessing to Him that they unjustly took monetary tithes of their congregations, promising the Lord to repay all those they have robbed through their man-made doctrine of the monetary tithe.

God could only wink at Zacchaeus’ ignorance for so long before He had to pay a visit to Zacchaeus and set him on the straight and narrow path. Pastors and spiritual leaders are no different today. God is no respecter of persons. They also need to repent and begin preaching the truth concerning stewardship and what the Lord requires of His Church.

When a pastor tells his congregation that God requires of them a monetary tithe or they will be cursed, he is not presenting the God of the Bible. The God of the Bible never required a monetary tithe from anyone… not even from the Jews. And the Apostles make it clear that the Church is not under the Law. The pastor that teaches that God requires a monetary tithe is guilty of presenting a god of their own device and putting the Church he is responsible for feeding, in bondage.

Acts 17:29 Forasmuch then as we are the offspring of God, we ought not to think that the Godhead is like unto gold, or silver, or stone, graven by art and man’s device.
Acts 17:30 And the times of this ignorance God winked at; but now commandeth all men every where to repent:

We cannot expect our Church to grow in truth when we allow our pastors to teach us lies from the pulpit and enslave us in chains of deceit.. It is time for our spiritual leaders to stop being dishonest with the flock and start teaching the truth as it is written in God’s Holy Word.

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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 above verse is one that should open the eyes of all Christians. In that verse, God makes a promise that if the tithe is brought into the storehouse, He will open the windows of Heaven and pour out an abundant blessing.

This verse, and its promise, must be addressed. God made a promise that He would pour out a blessing upon the tither. He did not say He might pour out a blessing, He said He will pour out a blessing.

Is not God faithful to His promises? Over and over in Scripture we find that He cannot lie and that He is faithful in keeping His promises. This raise a serious question that the preacher who tells his congregation that they are to tithe their money needs to address. If God is faithful, and we know He is, why are so many struggling after tithing their hard-earned money?

Now, some preachers might claim, “If you were not mishandling the 90% you have left, you would have enough money to last til the end of the month!” True, but that does not answer the question. God said He would pour out a blessing on the one who tithed. So, even if the 90% were spent wisely, there is still the promise of the blessing for tithing… if indeed God required the Church to tithe.

The fact that many do not receive those “blessings” after giving 10% of their paychecks to the Church proves that Malachi 3:10 was not written to the Church at all. If it were, God would be true to the promise therein and bless in abundance over and above what the tither already has.

Of course, there is also the inconsistency in the claim by some that we are under a curse because we don’t tithe while they themselves are blessed beyond measure because they do tithe. The truth is, if they are “blessed beyond measure” it is not because they tithe. That is easily proved with the two preceding verses in Malachi that says the whole nation is cursed because the tithe was not brought into the storehouse.

If the whole nation was cursed because some were not tithing, then it stands to reason that if Malachi 3:8-10 applied to the Church, then all would be cursed today because some were not tithing. We can only conclude that those that are “blessed beyond measure” are thus blessed, not because they tithe, but because God wanted to bless them.

One might argue, “Oh, but you just said that if we tithed, God would bless in abundance and now you say He doesn’t bless in abundance for tithing? Well, He would bless in abundance for tithing if Malachi 3:10 applied to the Church. But it does not.

Malachi 3:7 states that tithing was an ordinance. It was an ordinance that was given to the children of Israel according to Leviticus 27:34. It was given to no other nation, tribe, or tongue. Tithing was an ordinance, but not for us.

According to Colossians 2:14, the handwriting of ordinances that was against the children of Israel were taken out of the way and nailed to the cross. When the Apostle Paul used the word “us” in Colossians 2:14, he was speaking of the children of Israel, who were bound by the ordinances of the Mosaic Law prior to the cross.

Colossians 2:14 Blotting out the handwriting of ordinances (found within the Mosaic Law) that was against us, (the children of Israel) which was contrary to us, (the children of Israel) and took it out of the way, nailing it to his cross;

If only God’s people could grasp the truths about the tithe, they would not be submitting themselves to a doctrine that is not of God, but of man.

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.

There are so many pastors across our land today that stood in their pulpits today and read to their congregation the above passage out of the book of Malachi. They then proceeded to deliver a sermon based upon that passage, informing their flock that God expects them to tithe their money to the Church. They tell their congregation that if they do not tithe, they are “robbing God” and that God will curse them by attacking their home, their finances, their family, their health, their jobs, etc..

But will God really attack any of these areas of a Christian’s life for not tithing their money? Of course not!

What the pastor will fail to tell the congregation is that we, as Christians cannot be cursed for not tithing our money because of several reasons.

1. The book of Malachi and the rebukes found therein was not written to the Church… it was written to Israel. Israel was bound to the Mosaic Law and therefore the command to “bring ye all the tithes into the storehouse” was in accordance with the Law given them long before.

2. The storehouse was in Jerusalem, Israel. There is no indication in God’s Holy Word that it was moved to another city, on another continent. The tithes were to be brought to the storehouse in Jerusalem.

3. The tithes were not money. Malachi’s rebuke said “that there be MEAT in mine house”. Money was never called MEAT in the Word of God. Tithes were consistently grain and cattle throughout the dispensation of the Law and never once said to be money.

4. Tithes were for the children of Israel only according to Leviticus 27:34. This was consistent throughout the Bible after the Law was given to the Isrealites. There is not one instance of a non-Jew tithing anywhere after God laid down the Law.

5. There is no indication that the Apostles ever taught a tithe of money in the New Testament epistles… not even in the Pastor Epistles.

6. At the Jerusalem Council, as recorded in Acts 15, the religious leaders wanted the Gentile Churches to be told to keep the Law of Moses. This was shot down, not just by the Apostles, but also by the Holy Ghost of God.

7. The pastor fails to tell the congregation also that Jesus Christ Himself took the tithing ordinance out of the way. Colossians 2:14 states that the handwriting of ordinances were taken out of the way and nailed to the cross. Yes, tithing is an ordinances as Malachi 3:7 clearly reveals. And the Apostle Paul, who received his doctrine from God, stated that ordinances were taken away and nailed to the cross.

In Matthew 15:9, Jesus told the scribes and Pharisees that their worship was in vain because they taught for doctrine the commandments of men. Many pastors around the world today are guilty of that very same thing when they teach the monetary tithe… teaching for doctrine the commandments of men.

Do you want God to be pleased with your worship? Or do you want Him to see it as “vain”? God will not attack your home, your health, your finances, your job, or anything else if you are not tithing your money. He never commanded a tithe of money. Walk according to doctrines found in the Word of God, not according to man-made doctrines. When you follow man-made doctrines, you are not following God.