September 2013

Genesis 14:20 And blessed be the most high God, which hath delivered thine enemies into thy hand. And he gave him tithes of all.

The above tithe was a gift… Abram “gave” tithes, he did not “pay” tithes. There was no requirement to tithe, otherwise Abram would have been paying them. The fact that Abram gave the tithe shows it was not something God required, but that it was voluntarily bestowed to Melchizedek.

Also, that tithe Abram gave was not of Abram’s own property… it was of property that belonged to Bera, king of Sodom. Abram didn’t even claim it as his own. He told Bera he had promised God he would not take any of the spoils unto himself.
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.
The above three verses reveal the entire contents of God’s Holy tithe required under the Mosaic Law. He said “all the tithe of the land,” and then proceeded to define what He meant by “all.” “whether of the seed of the land” (i.e.; vegetables, spices and herbs) “or of the fruit of the tree (i.e.; apples, pomegranates, etc., oils) “and concerning the tithe of the herd, or of the flock (animals)”. There was no other tithe under the Mosaic/Levitical Law than the agricultural tithe.
The tithe defined in Leviticus 27:30-34 is one of three separate tithes that the Israelites were required by the Mosaic Law to observe. This is the first tithe, otherwise known as the “Levitical tithe. This tithe, was taken once a year to the Levites in their Levitical cities (see Numbers 35:1-7)

Numbers 18:24 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.
Numbers 18:26 Thus speak unto the Levites, and say unto them, When ye take of the children of Israel the tithes which I have given you from them for your inheritance, then ye shall offer up an heave offering of it for the LORD, even a tenth part of the tithe.
Numbers 18:28 Thus ye also shall offer an heave offering unto the LORD of all your tithes, which ye receive of the children of Israel; and ye shall give thereof the LORD’S heave offering to Aaron the priest.

The above three verses are in reference to the Levitical tithe mentioned above and reveal the tithe was given to the Levite because he had no inheritance in the land. The Levite, in turn was to take a tithe of that tithe to the Aaronic Priesthood, who were also of the tribe of Levi. The Levitical tithe was to be observed every year for the first six years in a seven year cycle.

Deuteronomy 12:6 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:
Deuteronomy 12:11 Then there shall be a place which the LORD your God shall choose to cause his name to dwell there; thither shall ye bring all that I command you; your burnt offerings, and your sacrifices, your tithes, and the heave offering of your hand, and all your choice vows which ye vow unto the LORD:
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:

The above three verses reveal the tithe was eaten. It was tithes of land produce… that which God had caused to grow from the ground, in trees, and given life to in livestock. We can also see that tithes were different from vows, freewill offerings, and firstfruits.

Deuteronomy 14:22 Thou shalt truly tithe all the increase of thy seed, that the field bringeth forth year by year.
Deuteronomy 14:23 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.
Deuteronomy 14:28 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:

Again, three more verses to show the tithe was grown in the field and eaten. The second and third tithes are mentioned in the above three verses. the first mentioned is known as “the Festival tithe,” or “Second Tithe”. That tithe was to be taken to the place that God chose and there eaten with the tither’s family and Levites there. Like the Levitical tithe, the Festival tithe was also to be observed yearly. for the first six years in a seven year cycle.

The third tithe is known as the “Poor Tithe”. It was to be given to the less fortunate in the boundaries of Israel; i.e., the widows, the orphans, the Levites living on one’s land, and the foreigners taking refuge in Israel. This tithe was to be observed once every three years in a seven year cycle.

The seventh year in a seven year cycle, the land was to rest. There could be no planting, nor harvesting of crops. Thus, no land tithe that year.
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;

That they may eat… and be filled. Again, tithes were eaten.
2 Chronicles 31:5 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.
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.
2 Chronicles 31:12 And brought in the offerings and the tithes and the dedicated things faithfully: over which Cononiah the Levite was ruler, and Shimei his brother was the next.

Again, tithes were crops and livestock.
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.
Nehemiah 10:38 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.

Tithes were not firstfruits. Firstfruits were taken one place by the Israelites and the tithes were taken to another place by the Israelites. The Levites were responsible for bringing a tithe of the tithe to the House of the Lord. And notice what the tithes consisted of… that which grew in the ground.

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.

Again, tithes and firstfruits are clearly seen as being two separate things.

Nehemiah 13:5 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.
Nehemiah 13:12 Then brought all Judah the tithe of the corn and the new wine and the oil unto the treasuries.

Eliashib the High Priest at that time had taken the tithes out of the storehouse and moved God’s enemy Tobiah the Ammonite into the Temple storehouse chambers. Note what the tithes were… corn (corn referred to any type of grain, not necessarily corn alone), new wine, and oil… that which is all food products; i.e., eaten.

Amos 4:4 Come to Bethel, and transgress; at Gilgal multiply transgression; and bring your sacrifices every morning, and your tithes after three years:

Bring your tithes… what tithes? Why, the tithes the Law required; i.e., agricultural produce and livestock.

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.
Malachi 3:9 Ye are cursed with a curse: for ye have robbed me, even this whole nation.
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.

All the tithes; i.e., tithes of corn, flour, new wine, oils, spices, herbs… everything that was titheable. Why? That there may be meat in mine house. MEAT… food.

Throughout the Old Testament Law, the tithes were consistently that which was eaten. There is no denying that fact. No mention of money being tithed whatsoever.

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.
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.

Here, our Lord commends the scribes and Pharisees for their obedience in tithing ans tells them they should be tithing. But notice what they were tithing… garden spices and herbs. Not money. Money was not a titheable thing under the Mosaic Law.

Luke 18:12 I fast twice in the week, I give tithes of all that I possess.

This verse is part of a parable. Jesus was telling of a prideful Pharisee who boasted of going over and above what the Law required. The Pharisee had his reward. Notice the Pharisee was not speaking to God, but rather, within himself; i.e., to his own self. He was so lifted up in pride he had convinced himself that he had to do more than what the LORD required under the Law in order to be justified. And yet, instead of being justified, he was condemned.

Hebrews 7:4 Now consider how great this man was, unto whom even the patriarch Abraham gave the tenth of the spoils.

Here, we see what it was that Abram tithed. As stated above, these spoils were not Abram’s own silver and gold, but the spoils of war… the property of Bera the king of Sodom, which he had promised God he would not take any of unto himself (Gen 14:22-24)
Hebrews 7:5 And verily they that are of the sons of Levi, who receive the office of the priesthood, have a commandment to take tithes of the people according to the law, that is, of their brethren, though they come out of the loins of Abraham:
This is speaking of the agricultural tithe. The author says “have a commandment to take tithes” because the Temple was still standing. Levites were still receiving the agricultural tithe according to the Law. The command was for the Levites to receive tithes of their brethren… the children of Israel
Hebrews 7:6 But he whose descent is not counted from them received tithes of Abraham, and blessed him that had the promises.
Received tithes of the spoils of war, not Abram’s silver and gold.
Hebrews 7:8 And here men that die receive tithes; but there he receiveth them, of whom it is witnessed that he liveth.
Again, the tithe that men that die receive is referring to the agricultural tithe. The Levites were still receiving that tithe. They would receive it for another four years and then Titus would invade Jerusalem and destroy the Temple, putting a stop to the collection of tithes.

Hebrews 7:9 And as I may so say, Levi also, who receiveth tithes, payed tithes in Abraham.

Not one of the verses on tithing throughout the Word of God support the doctrine that one is to tithe one’s money. No instruction is given in the Word of God to tithe one’s money. It is a man-made doctrine that began in the Roman Catholic religious system in the year 777 A.D., and not adopted by any Protestant Church until 1873 A.D..

The Baptists were the last Church denomination to adopt the monetary tithe doctrine. This was around the middle of the twentieth century A.D..


Something to think about…

Pastors who use Malachi 3:8-10 want to make you feel like a “God robber” because you fail to tithe your money to the Church you attend.

When they preach on Abram, do they tell you he was a “God robber” too? If not, they should.

After all, Abram tithed the spoils of war to Melchizedek (Genesis 14:20) but did not tithe his own money (Genesis 13:2)  If not tithing one’s money means one is a “God-robber”, then surely Abram was also a “God-robber” by that definition.

Why is it wrong for us today to not tithe our money, but perfectly acceptable for Abram to not tithe his? or for the Israelites to not tithe theirs?

1 Corinthians 9:13-14 Do ye not know that they which minister about holy things live of the things of the temple? and they which wait at the altar are partakers with the altar? Even so hath the Lord ordained that they which preach the gospel should live of the gospel.

Many pastors like to use this verse as a means to justify extracting financial support from their congregations.  The pastors who do this are wrong.  This passage is not speaking of stationary pastors of Churches. Rather, it is speaking of traveling ministers being provided for.

The key in this passage is the phrase “They which preach the Gospel.”  In the Word of God, who is seen “preaching the Gospel,” or told to “preach the Gospel”?  Those that are sent.  (Ro 10:15)  Those that travel about.  (Mt 4:23; 9:35; Mr 1:14; Lu 9:6; 2Co 10:14) Those who are called out and separated from among the body of Believers.  (Acts 13:2)  Those who come into cities.  (Mark 1:14)

Stationary pastors are not told to “preach the Gospel.” They are told to “feed the flock of God.  (1 Peter 5:2)  They are told to “feed the Church of God.  (Acts 20:28)   They are to “preach the Word.”  (2 Timothy 4:2)

It is not their responsibility to “preach the Gospel” to the Church of God. The Church has already heard the Gospel and accepted the Gospel. That is why they are the “Church,” … because they believed the Gospel and are the Body of Christ. They don’t need the Gospel… they already have it.  What the Church needs is nourishment so that it can grow. It needs the sincere milk of the Word.  (1 Peter 2:2)    It needs to move past the baby stages, and march forward as brave and faithful soldiers of the Lord Jesus Christ!

If you stayed on Pablum all your life, no doubt you would remain weak, unable to fend for yourself; always dependent on others to fight your battles. The Church is not established to keep its members on spiritual Pablum. The Church is to equip the saints so that they can be faithful witnesses to those outside the walls of the sanctuary.  So that they can carry a light into a world filled with darkness.  God doesn’t want a Church to be spiritually weak, He wants them to be strengthened by His Word.  He wants His Church to be able to resist the devil when temptations come.  He is looking for those who will be ambassadors for Him in this present age we live in.

Has your Church introduced to its members the “90 Day Tithe Challenge”?  If so, don’t fall for it.  It is just another attempt to coerce you into departing with your money.

I have seen the form. Have a copy of it. It is a joke. The pastors who use this form can use any kind of excuse for not giving the money back after the 90 days is over. The challenge simply says, “we commit to you if you tithe for 90 days and God doesn’t hold true to His promises of blessing, we will refund 100% of your tithe. No questions asked.”

What was the blessing promised in Malachi? It was not money, so if the tither is not blessed with money, no surprise. The blessing promised is rain. The windows of heaven will open and I will pour out a blessing. Remember the first time the windows of heaven is mentioned in the Bible? Rain fell and flooded the Earth. God’s promise to faithful tithers was rain so that crops would grow in abundance. They promises were not for better business at the office, health for the family, wealth for the pocketbook. It was simply rain.

So if rain falls one time in those 90 days, the pastor can say that God kept His promise. You’ve lost your money.

That’s right… you’ve lost it. You fell for a con artist’s sales pitch that guaranteed he would walk away a winner and you would be left with the proverbial mud on your face.

Don’t fall for the “90 Day Tithe Challenge.” It is not of God. The command to tithe and the blessings associated with that tithe were for Israel… not your New Covenant Church in another geographical location. The tithe was never given to your Church. God never gave your pastor the authority to receive tithes… much less tithes of money. The monetary tithe doctrine being taught in Churches today is found nowhere in Scripture. It is an invention of man and not of God.

Psalms 106:39 Thus were they defiled with their own works, and went a whoring with their own inventions.

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

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I have made up my mind.

I will stay at home and fellowship with like-minded Believer’s online as much as posible.

Why have I made up my mind?  Because there is no Church in my neighborhood to go to that will not ultimately accuse me of being a “God-robber” because of my unwavering stance against tithing being as it is being taught in our Churches today.

In May of 2012, I began posting the truth about what God’s Word says concerning His holy tithes on my Facebook page and elsewhere on the world wide web.  God had given me the green light to begin telling people that in the Bible, His holy tithes were never commanded for the New Testament Church, never carried to the New Testament Church, never collected in the New Testament Church, and never controlled by the New Testament Church.

Yet pastors of every Church I ever was a member of from my youth always used Malachi 3:8-10 to prove that God demands tithes of the Church Body.  They also used that passage as a platform to berate and accuse those who were not tithing their money to that local fellowship.  They also would use that pasage to instill fear of a curse on anyone who was not obeying the command to tithe found in Malachi 3:8-10.

They were handling the Word of God deceitfully.  Either out of ignorance, or out of greed, or a combination of both.  But they were preaching a false doctrine.

And in September of 2012, the Church I was a member of voted me out of their congregation because, and I quote, “of your consistent teaching of the Scriptural tithe”. (At this point in my article, I must let the reader know that I never taught a single tithe sermon within the walls of that Church, nor on that Church’s property)  Funny thing is, I was teaching the “Scriptural tithe”.  It was the leadership of that congregation who were not teaching the “Scriptural tithe”.  Thy were teaching a doctrine that had been invented by man, totally foreign to the Word of God.

My journey down the path of truth did not begin in 2012.  No, it began many years before that.   It began in 1988, in the Church where I was ordained to preach the Gospel.

I had been saved for nine years, and had been a member of the pastor’s household, living in the den on the bottom floor.  I was faithful in my studies, and faithful in Church attendance.  And yes, I was even faithful in obeying the tithe doctrine that the pastor (and previous pastors of my youth before I was saved ) had taught me

The year I was ordained, I began a home Bible study, just a few Believers and myself.  But within a short period of time, the group grew and I could see God was taking it somewhere.  I was encouraged to branch off of the fellowship I was ordained at and begin a new Church.  (my group by this time had grown to the point that even if I wanted to take them to the Church I was a member of, there would have been no room for them at that small country Church.  Thus, the need to begin a Church where these members could be nourished with the Word of God, equipping them with the Word to minister to others in their everyday life.

And so, MorningStar Fellowship was started.

In the first few weeks of our Church’s existence, I was impresed by the Holy Spirit to do a series of lessons on “Stewardship and the Christian”, teaching proper responsibility in the handling of finances through wise spending and charity.  I believed that one of the areas that was important was obedience to God in tithing our money as I was taught from my youth in the Assemblies of God denomination I grew up in.

Proper teaching on any subject requires proper study.  And so, I spent many hours pouring over the Word of God, searching the Scriptures for every mention of money in the pages of that precious Book of Truth.  I researched tithes in the Bible as well, as that would be a lesson of the utmost importance for our new Body.

Little did I know at that time that the teaching of tithes was of more importance that what I had imagined.  I entered the research with the mindset that God required tithes of the New Testament Church, and with the intentions of preaching that same thought.

But the more I researched, the more I studied, the more I realized that I could not preach to the congregation that I had under my supervision, the command to tithe their hard-earned money.

I saw in the Bible that God gave the command to tithe to the children of Israel.  (Leviticus 27:30-34; Deuteronomy 12:1-11; Deuteronomy 14:22-29)  But for the life of me, I could not find one single verse in the New Testament that was a command for the New Testament Church to tithe.  Further, the verses that commanded tithing in the Bible all pointed to an agricultural tithe, not a monetary one.  I came to the realization that God never commanded those who live on Gentile soil to tithe our money to the New Testament Church.

And so, that is what I taught the congregation that was entrusted to my care.  Instead of teaching a mandatory tithe, I taught the congregation to give because they saw a need and because they loved the Lord and wanted to see His work done in the Earth.  These principles can clearly be seen in Acts 2:42ff & Acts 4:32ff.  The New Testament Believer is encouraged by the Apostle Paul to give, not under compulsion, but rather as he chooses in his own heart to give.  Paul tells the reader that their attitude in giving will affect the blessing they receive as a result of that giving.  (2 Corinthians 9:7)  He also tells us that our giving should not be such that we cause others to be eased while we leave ourselves in want.  (2 Corinthians 8:12-13)

Down through the years, God has given me more insight into the truth concerning His holy tithes, and I share those truths with all, hoping to free them from the chains of financial bondage that many pastors keep them under.

As I stated previously, the Church that voted me out was teaching a doctrine totally fabricated by man, never found in the pages of God’s Holy Word… and telling their flock that “God requires it, or you are robbing Him!”

In Matthew 15:9, Jesus said that the Pharisees were worshiping in vain because they were teaching for doctrine the commandments of men.  I fear today, many pastors are guilty of the same thing… teaching for doctrine the commandments of men.