October 2013


“Indeed!” Exclaimed the King, casting a keen glance at his son.  “Are you becoming interested in politics then; or is there some grievous breach of court etiquette which has attracted your attention?”

“I know little of politics and less of the court, Sire,” replied Lilimond; “it is the distress of the people that worries me.”
“The people?  Of a surety, Prince, you are better posted than am I, since of the people and their affairs I know nothing at all.  I have appointed officers to look after their interests, and therefore I have no cause to come into contact with them myself.  But what is amiss?”
“They are starving,” said the Prince, looking at his father very seriously; “the country is filled with beggars, who appeal for charity, since they are unable otherwise to procure food.”
“Starving!” repeated the King; “surely you are misinformed.  My Lord Chamberlain told me but this morning the people were loyal and contented, and my Lord of the Treasury reports that all taxes and tithes have been paid, and my coffers are running over.”
“Your Lord Chamberlain is wrong, Sire,” returned the Prince; “my tutor, Borland, and I have talked with many of these beggars the past few days, and we find the tithes and taxes which have enriched you have taken the bread from their wives and children.”

“So!” exclaimed the King.  “We must examine into this matter.”  He touched a bell beside him, and when a retainer appeared, directed his Chamberlain and his Treasurer to wait upon him at once.

The above illustration between a king and his son is taken from a book written by Lyman Frank Baum, storyteller extraordinaire.  The book is titled, “The Works of Lyman Frank Baum.

In the book, the kings Chamberlain and the kings Treasurer were exacting tithes and taxes from the people of the kingdom.  The poor got poorer and poorer, while the king because of those he put in charge got richer and richer.

Upon seeing the plight of the people of the kingdom, the Prince tried to reason with his father the king.  But it turned out the king was blinded by his riches and greed and therefore, would not hear the Prince when the Prince later told him to give from his coffers, riches to help those in need. In the end, the Prince relinquished his scepter and his royal position because he wanted nothing to do with oppressing the people of the kingdom.

Although Lyman Frank Baum told the story as a fairy tale, there is much truth woven into the fabric of that tale.  Truths that are noticeable in our world today.  Many Church leaders oppress the poor by demanding monetary tithes of them, enriching themselves while the poor do without.

The Chamberlain and the Treasurer are comparable to those who teach the monetary tithe today.  They are teaching others that the monetary tithe is required by God of His people, and that they are to be obedient to the command, “Bring ye all the tithes into the storehouse.”  They are too blinded by their traditions or their greed to look into the matter and see the great damage it does to the health and welfare of those who are barely getting by.  They rob widows houses as the Pharisees did in Jesus’ time here on Earth.

As to the king in the story, he is representative of that old serpent the devil, who “cometh not, but for to steal, and to kill, and to destroy.”

Oh, that there would be more people today like the Prince in the story above.  People who would see the injustice in taking tithes of the people of God.   Tithes of a nature that God never intended His people to be oppressed with, nor authorized His Priestly servants to exact from them.  Oh that spiritual leaders would remember the words of the Lord Jesus when he said, “It is more blessed to give than to receive.”

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Many today hear their pastors preach from the pulpits that the Word of God requires them to tithe their money to the Church. As proof-text, pastors will have them turn to the book of Malachi and read the scathing indictment that was leveled at the priests in Malachi’s day, the accusation that they were “robbing God” by not bringing tithes and offerings into the Temple storehouse.

Pastors will generally take their flock into the twenty-seventh chapter of Leviticus to show them that “The tithe is the LORD’s,” and therefore they need to give the Lord what is rightfully His. They fail to tell the congregation that the tithe is no longer the Lord’s.

What? No longer the Lord’s? How can you say that?

Because I did what we are all commanded to do… I studied the Word. I studied history as well. When Aaron was told that “the tithe is the LORD’s,” it was the year 1450 B.C.. , but God went on to say that He had given His tithe to the Levites because they had no land inheritance. (see Numbers 18)

The tithe was no longer God’s. He gave it to the Levites.

Can the New Testament Christian tithe today? According to the Word of God, he cannot. At the Jerusalem Council 35 A.D., the Apostles met with the religious leaders in Jerusalem to discuss the Gentile Converts to the faith of Christ. The religious leaders contended that the Gentiles should be required to be circumcised (ouch) AND to keep the Law of Moses.

Many suppose that the request was only to be circumcised, saying that in doing so they would be keeping that Law of Moses. But context reveals that the religious leaders were wanting to put the yoke of the whole Mosaic Law on the necks of the Gentile Converts. Peter said in addressing their request, that none of them were able to bear that yoke that was being put forth. Wait!!! Weren’t the Apostles and religious leaders circumcised the eighth day of their lives as the Law required? If so, how can it be said that they “could not bear” it? It is highly doubtful any of them remembered that event that happened when they were eight days old, so it is doubtful Paul was speaking of the circumcision as “too hard to bear.”

No, my frriends, it is evident the Council was demanding the Gentile Converts keep the whole law… all 613 commands written in that Law… not just circumcision. And Peter’s response was straight and to the point. In requesting that the Gentiles who had trusted God keep the Mosaic Law, the religious leaders were “tempting God.”

James stood up at last in the meeting and told the council that no greater burden should be required of the Converts than they observe four necessary things. Tithing was not one of those necessary things.

By the way, James’ conclusion was also the decision of the Holy Ghost.

Go to Galatians 3, and you will see that Paul said the Galatians were foolish to allow themselves to have been bewitched into placing themselves under the Law having begun in the Spirit. Paul said “Cast out the bondwoman and her son.” For one who submits oneself to any part of the Law, that person is “cursed if he does not continue in all things written in the Law to do them.”

To the Romans, Paul stressed that once one is married to Christ, that one should not be committing spiritual adultery by going to the house of the Law for union. (Romans 7:1-4) We are dead to the Law.

Let’s look at 1 Timothy 1, 1-10, shall we?

1 Timothy 1:1-10 Paul, an apostle of Jesus Christ by the commandment of God our Saviour, and Lord Jesus Christ, which is our hope; Unto Timothy, my own son in the faith: Grace, mercy, and peace, from God our Father and Jesus Christ our Lord. As I besought thee to abide still at Ephesus, when I went into Macedonia, that thou mightest charge some that they teach no other doctrine, Neither give heed to fables and endless genealogies, which minister questions, rather than godly edifying which is in faith: so do. Now the end of the commandment is charity out of a pure heart, and of a good conscience, and of faith unfeigned: From which some having swerved have turned aside unto vain jangling; Desiring to be teachers of the law; understanding neither what they say, nor whereof they affirm. But we know that the law is good, if a man use it lawfully; Knowing this, that the law is not made for a righteous man, but for the lawless and disobedient, for the ungodly and for sinners, for unholy and profane, for murderers of fathers and murderers of mothers, for manslayers, For whoremongers, for them that defile themselves with mankind, for menstealers, for liars, for perjured persons, and if there be any other thing that is contrary to sound doctrine;

A lot of meat in that passage. First, Paul tells young Timothy to preach “no other doctrine.” No other doctrine… nothing contrary to what Paul had delivered unto him. Would Paul teach the Galatians and the Romans not to submit to the Law, but tell Timothy the opposite? Of course not! Paul said, ‘don’t give into fables.” In other words, don’t believe things that are told that are contrary to sound doctrine. If some religious doctrine being taught cannot be found in the Word of God, it is a fable.

Paul said those who desire to teach Law have no understanding, a harsh indictment for those who teach that God requires tithing of Church members.

But the harshest indictment is Paul’s accusation that those who teach contrary to sound doctrine are not righteous, but rather are listed among the unrighteous.

Since the Apostles stated that the commandments written in the Mosaic Law were not to be required of the Gentile Converts, teaching the flock that God requires tithes is “contrary to sound doctrine.” The pastor that teaches such should be marked as a false teacher.

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

 

And these schulen goo in to euerlastynge turment; but the iust men schulen go in to euerlastynge lijf. – (Matthew 25:46; Wycliffe)

And these shall go into everlastinge payne: And the righteous into lyfe eternall. – (Matthew 25:46; Tyndale)

And these shal go in to euerlastinge payne, but the righteous in to euerlastinge life. – (Matthew 25:46; Coverdale)

And these shall go into euerlastyng payne: the ryghteous into lyfe eternall.  – (Matthew 25:46; Bishops)

And these shall goe into euerlasting paine, and the righteous into life eternall. – (Matthew 25:46; Geneva)

And these shall goe away into euerlasting punishment: but the righteous into life eternall.– (Matthew 25:46; KJB)

It is quite obvious that the translations prior to the KJB all knew that what Jesus was promising for the wicked was eternal/everlasting torment/pain… not annihilation.

The problem so many today have is they try to interpret words in the KJV using modern terms.  No one thinks of punishment in the terms of “torment” or “pain” today.  Much less torment or pain that will last for all eternity.

Yet, that is exactly what the Word of God teaches.  The Greek word, “kolasis,” from which we get the word “punishment , is a word that means “torment” or “pain.”

Their cry against a just God casting a wicked person who chose not to serve God into a lake of fire to be tormented for ever and ever is contrary to what their natural minds want to comprehend, or even accept.

Yet, God’s Word abideth for ever.  The everlasting torments of the wicked dead in that place called hell/lake of fire is surely a promise all would do well to believe.

Some would argue that the word “everlasting” does not mean unending.  Yet, the same Greek word that is used to describe the span of time that the wicked will be tormented is the same Greek word that is used to describe the span of time that those who trust Christ will be given eternal life.  This means that if everlasting does not mean unending, then Christians  today have no real hope of an unending life with Christ either.

What a sad and hopeless religion many are deceived into believing.  No eternal hope whatsoever for them.  They must exchange the truth of the Gospel found in this verse

For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life. – (John 3:16; KJV)

for the uncertain promise written below.

For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should one day perish, and have temporary life. – (John 3:16; TUV)

God says His tithe is crops and livestock.
Many preachers say, “Yea, hath God said…?  Tithe your money”

 

God says His tithe was restricted to national Israel.
Many preachers say, “Yea, hath God said…?  Tithe in whatever country you live”

God says His tithe was taken once a year to the Levites.
Many preachers say, “Yea, hath God said…?  Tithe weekly”

God says His tithe was to be eaten by the tither and his family once a year.
Many preachers say, “Yea, hath God said…?  Your tithe is not for you to keep”

God says His tithe was to be given to the widows, the orphans, the foreigners taking refuge in Israel once every three years.
Many preachers say, “Yea, hath God said…?  Your tithe is to pay the preacher and to keep the Church doors open”

Shortly after creation week, there was another that questioned God’s design.  Things didn’t fare well with Him

Yes, God did say He does not change.  Consider your ways.