November 2013


Back in the 1970’s, I worked as an assistant animal trainer with a circus that traveled up and down the East Coast. It always amazed me to watch the elephants swaying back and forth under the sideshow tent. What was to prevent them from running out of the tent and trampling the crowds out on the midway? It was nothing more than a chain attached on one end to one of the elephant’s back legs and on the other end to a stake in the ground.

The adult elephants wore the same size chain as the young baby elephants and could have pulled the stakes out of the ground with ease. And yet, in my four years of working with the circus, not one of the adult elephants ever tried to escape the chain that could have easily been snapped should they give the slightest pull. Why did they not try to escape, you may ask?

Because they were conditioned to believe they could not escape… brainwashed, if you will into believing that the chain that bound their feet was stronger than they were.

There is a principle that says, “If you tell a lie often enough, people will begin to believe it to be true”. The elephant and his chain is a perfect example of that principle. The chain is put on an elephant when it is still very young. As a youth, the elephant is not as docile as the adult. It will often pull on the chain in an attempt to free itself, yet it is not quite strong enough to pull the stake out of the ground or to break the chain. Over a period of time, and after many failed attempts to free itself, the elephant resigns itself to bondage because he gives in to the thought that no matter what, he cannot free himself from that chain.

And so, though he may grow from an infant of one hundred-sixty-nine pounds to an adult of six tons, he believes that he can never be free from that chain. So it is with many who have been taught the monetary tithe requirement doctrine for years and years. They have been told the lie long enough that, like the elephant and his chain, they have been conditioned to believe that tithing of their money is a mandatory requirement handed down to the Church by God Himself. Many have heard the lie so often, that whenever it crosses their minds, (often during seasons of financial distress) they believe the Holy Spirit is telling them that they must tithe their money to the Church.

And yet, if the Christian would only pick up his or her Bible and study all instances of tithing in it, that Christian would find that God never authorized the Church to receive a monetary tithe from her members. The monetary tithe is a doctrine that was invented long after the last book of the Holy Bible was penned. The monetary tithe doctrine is an invention of man, not ordained or authorized by God at all.

The only Scriptural commands concerning tithing are found in the dispensation of the Mosaic Law. Those commands all show that the tithes that God required were agricultural in nature; i.e., crops, flocks and herds. (see Leviticus 27:30-33; Deuteronomy 12:17; Deuteronomy 14:22-29; Deuteronomy 26:12; 2 Chronicles 31:5-6, 12; Malachi 3:7-11, Matthew 23:23 & Luke 11:42)

The only time in Scripture that God demanded tithes was during the dispensation of the Mosaic Law, and then it was only required of the children of Israel. No other nation was ever commanded by God to tithe in His Word. (see Leviticus 27:34; Numbers 18:24,26,28; Nehemiah 10:37-38; Hebrews 7:5-8 )

Pastors today have no Scriptural justification for preaching their flock must tithe their money to the Church. God never authorized such a doctrine in His Word. Pastors need to stick with what the Word of God says instead of teaching what it does not say. Many pastors teach the monetary tithe doctrine out of pure ignorance of what the Word of God actually says concerning tithing. They were, like their congregations, taught that God requires a tithe from the moment they were saved. They were conditioned to believe, and later preach, a lie.

Still other pastors know the truth about tithing, but because of a deceitful heart, they preach the lie out of greed and for self-gratification.

Saints, I encourage you to be as the Berean’s in Paul’s day. Don’t just accept the words being preached in the pulpit. Don’t just accept the lie that you have heard ever since you was a babe in Christ. Search the Scriptures daily to see if what your pastor is teaching or preaching, what you have been taught, is so. Compare the sermon with what the Word of God says. God’s Word is the only sound doctrine that is nourishment for your soul.

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Many today, in their zeal to defend the doctrine of a monetary tithe requirement, will cite 1 Corinthians 16:2, saying that the word “prospered” is speaking of “proportion,” or “percentage.”  It is not.

1 Corinthians 16:2 Upon the first day of the week let every one of you lay by him in store, as God hath prospered him, that there be no gatherings when I come.

The word “prospered” is translated from the Greek word “euodoo”, which means, “to help on the road, i.e. (passively) succeed in reaching; figuratively, to succeed in business affairs:–(have a) prosper(-ous journey).”

euodoo was never translated as proportion in the Bible. The word used by the Greeks for “proportion” was the word “analogia”. Found only in one verse of the New Testament.

Romans 12:6 Having then gifts differing according to the grace that is given to us, whether prophecy, let us prophesy according to the proportion of faith;

Back to 1 Corinthians 16:2. That verse was not speaking of proportion or percentage. It was speaking of prosperity. As God had made them prosperous in life, Paul encouraged the saints at Corinth to help the poor saints in Jerusalem.  But percentage was never mentioned.  God leaves the amount given up to the giver…

2 Corinthians 9:7 Every man according as he purposeth in his heart, so let him give; not grudgingly, or of necessity: for God loveth a cheerful giver.

“Purposeth”– “proaireomai”– “to choose for oneself.”

Not only was Paul not speaking of percentage or proportion, Paul also was not speaking of tithes.  Rather, he was speaking of a collection (Grk. logia) for the saints at Jerusalem.

1 Corinthians 16:1-4 Now concerning the collection (logia) for the saints, as I have given order to the churches of Galatia, even so do ye. Upon the first day of the week let every one of you lay by him in store, as God hath prospered him, that there be no gatherings (logia) when I come. And when I come, whomsoever ye shall approve by your letters, them will I send to bring your liberality unto Jerusalem. And if it be meet that I go also, they shall go with me.

The Greek word for “collection” was the word “logia.” Again, nothing to do with tithes. Had Paul been speaking of tithes, he would have used the word “apodekatoo.” Paul did not use the Greek for “tithes” in any of his epistles. The collection in 1 Corinthians 16 was to be freely given (not of coercion) to ease burdened saints in Jerusalem.

It has been argued, by those who would deceitfully teach that we are to tithe our money, that the reason God expected agricultural tithes of the children of Israel is because money was scarce and the Israelites used their crops and livestock as money.

That nonsensical claim is easily shot down with the Word of God.

Deuteronomy 14:22-27 Thou shalt truly tithe all the increase of thy seed, that the field bringeth forth year by year. 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. And if the way be too long for thee, so that thou art not able to carry it; or if the place be too far from thee, which the LORD thy God shall choose to set his name there, when the LORD thy God hath blessed thee: Then shalt thou turn it into money, and bind up the money in thine hand, and shalt go unto the place which the LORD thy God shall choose: And thou shalt bestow that money for whatsoever thy soul lusteth after, for oxen, or for sheep, or for wine, or for strong drink, or for whatsoever thy soul desireth: and thou shalt eat there before the LORD thy God, and thou shalt rejoice, thou, and thine household, And the Levite that is within thy gates; thou shalt not forsake him; for he hath no part nor inheritance with thee.

Deuteronomy is very clear. The tithe could be sold for money. Sell money for money? Preposterous!

Leviticus 27:30-31 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.

Again, if money could be tithed, the above verse would make no sense whatsoever.

Israelite: “I’d like to pay my tithe.”
Levite: “Fine. You came to the right place.”
Israelite: “I gained 600 shekels of silver this year, so here is my tithe of 60 shekels of silver.”
Levite: “Wonderful! And may the Almighty bless you for your obedience and dedication.”
Israelite: “Wait! The Law provides that I can redeem my tithe. I’d like to do that. I can really use the 60 shekels for clothing for my family.”
Levite: “I understand. You may buy back the tithe as provided by the Law. That will be 72 shekels of silver.”
Israelite: “Here you go.”

Of course, such a conversation would never have taken place, because money was never a tithe in the Mosaic/Levitic Law.

If one does a proper study of the Word of God, one will discover that practically every Israelite household had money. Notice:

Numbers 18:15-16 Every thing that openeth the matrix in all flesh, which they bring unto the LORD, whether it be of men or beasts, shall be thine: nevertheless the firstborn of man shalt thou surely redeem, and the firstling of unclean beasts shalt thou redeem. And those that are to be redeemed from a month old shalt thou redeem, according to thine estimation, for the money of five shekels, after the shekel of the sanctuary, which is twenty gerahs.

The firstborn child had to be redeemed for five shekels of money. Totally destroys the “Israel was mostly poor” theory that the pro-tither’s want us to believe.

Also, we read:

Exodus 30:15 The rich shall not give more, and the poor shall not give less than half a shekel, when they give an offering unto the LORD, to make an atonement for your souls.

The above verse further proves that money was in abundance… even the poor had to pay a half shekel as an offering to the priest. Rich and poor alike had money as the Bible proves.

Yet, money was never tithed under the Mosaic/Levitic Law.

Charity Begins At Home
by Ronald W Robey
 
God doesn’t expect the saved to give under the guidelines of the Mosaic/Levitic Law. He has brought us into a new Covenant. The old is no more.
 
Hebrews 8:13 In that he saith, A new covenant, he hath made the first old. Now that which decayeth and waxeth old is ready to vanish away.
 
So many pastors and teachers today attempt to keep their congregations under the guidelines of the Mosaic/Levitic Law when it comes to giving, when that is not God’s plan for the Church at all.
 
God has given us His direction concerning our giving… and it is not a giving that is forced on us. Notice:
 
2 Corinthians 9:6-7 But this I say, He which soweth sparingly shall reap also sparingly; and he which soweth bountifully shall reap also bountifully. Every man according as he purposeth in his heart, so let him give; not grudgingly, or of necessity: for God loveth a cheerful giver.
 
2 Corinthians 8:12-13 For if there be first a willing mind, it is accepted according to that a man hath, and not according to that he hath not. For I mean not that other men be eased, and ye burdened:
 
God wants us to choose for ourselves, the amount that we want to give. The word “purposeth” in the above verse is translated from the Greek word, “proaireomai,” and it simply means… “to choose for oneself”. Now ask yourself, if you are giving 10% of your money because your pastor has told you that ten percent is what God wants, have you chosen for yourself? or have you let someone else choose for you? When you give 10% for any other reason than because it is what you chose to give, you are giving under the wrong motives. If you give because you don’t want to be cursed, you give for the wrong reason. If you give because Pastor Rex Torshun told you God expects it, you give for the wrong reason.
 
You are to give according to how you choose in your own heart to give; keeping in mind that if you sow generously, you will reap much and if you are miserly in your giving, you will reap very little.
 
The other verse I posted reveals that God does not want your giving to ease others and place you under a burden at home. You make sure you take care of family needs first… then give what you feel you are able to give. That is the giving that God expects of you. Not a giving because of being bullied or guilted. Not a giving that leaves you struggling. Take care of family first.
 
1 Timothy 5:8 But if any provide not for his own, and specially for those of his own house, he hath denied the faith, and is worse than an infidel.
 
And who knows? God may want your giving to go to that poor widow on your street who is struggling. He may want your giving to go to an orphan at your local school. Or to a foreigner who is barely making it. Open your eyes to those around you. They just may need that money before your Church does.
 
Matthew 25:34-40 Then shall the King say unto them on his right hand, Come, ye blessed of my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world: For I was an hungred, and ye gave me meat: I was thirsty, and ye gave me drink: I was a stranger, and ye took me in: Naked, and ye clothed me: I was sick, and ye visited me: I was in prison, and ye came unto me. Then shall the righteous answer him, saying, Lord, when saw we thee an hungred, and fed thee? or thirsty, and gave thee drink? When saw we thee a stranger, and took thee in? or naked, and clothed thee? Or when saw we thee sick, or in prison, and came unto thee? And the King shall answer and say unto them, Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me.
 
Now, don’t get me wrong. I do know the church needs funds to operate, and if you want to give to meet the church needs that is wonderful! But be careful not to neglect those who are in need in your own community if you are able to do so. Many times we give $5, $10, $20, even $50 to missionaries to other lands and turn our eyes and hearts away from those in need in our own neighborhoods.
 
Maybe its time we should all begin to remember the old cliche, “Charity begins at home.”