by Ronald W Robey

 

In 1 Samuel 15:22, we read:

 

And Samuel said, Hath the LORD as great delight in burnt offerings and sacrifices, as in obeying the voice of the LORD? Behold, to obey is better than sacrifice, and to hearken than the fat of rams.

 

Somehow, pastors in our pulpits across this great nation and around the world have begun teaching their congregations just the opposite… that sacrifice is better than obedience.

 

How can I say this? and from where do I draw this conclusion? From the pastors themselves, when they teach people to “Obey God, and tithe your money!” Let’s look at what the Scriptures say concerning tithes, shall we?

 

If one does a search for every instance where tithe is commanded in the Word of God, one will discover that each and every command was directed, not to the New Testament Church, but to Israel. Here are a few references with brief explanations:

 

Lev 27:30-34 (God’s holy tithe is described as agricultural, not money & is for the children of Israel)

 

Num 18:21-28 God said He gave His tithe to the Levite for their inheritance.

 

Deut. 14:22-27 is a second tithe for the children of Israel. This tithe was to be eaten by the tither, his household, and the Levites. Note that this tithe could be sold for money if the way was too far or if the tithe was too heavy to carry to Jerusalem. (where God’s Tabernacle was and later where the Temple was) This tithe was observed every first, second, fourth,& fifth year in a seven year cycle.

 

Deut 14:28-29 is a third tithe often called the Poor tithe. It is kept in the tither’s city and used to feed the widows, orphans, Levites, and foreigner’s visiting the city. This tithe was observed every third and sixth year in a seven year cycle.

 

Lev. 25:3-8 Every seventh year, the land was to rest. There could be no sowing, nor reaping. This means that there was no crop tithe required, as it was impossible to tithe from crops that could not be harvested.

 

Deut. 12:1-11 is important. There, we read that the Israelites were not to begin tithing until they crossed over Jordan and entered the land that God had promised their father Jacob. (see Gen 28:13-15) This shows that God did not want tithes from Gentile soil. Verse 8 also tells us that man could not do what seemed right in his own eyes. This means that the tithe could not have been anything other than what God said it was to be…agricultural products. God’s commanded tithe was never money.

 

Malachi 3:6-12 Many pastors only begin reading at verse 8 which shows a command to bring the tithes to the storehosue. But verse 6 is important, as it shows who God was speaking to. It must be pointed out that the storehouse was not in any location other than the House of God, The Temple in Jerusalem.

 

Malachi was a contemporary of Nehemiah. In Nehemiah, we read that Eliashib the descendant of Aaron had emptied the storehouse of the tithes, firstfruits and holy things and moved the enemy of God ,Tobiah the Ammonite, into those chambers.

 

When rebuked for their evil, they were commanded to bring everything back to the storehouse chambers. Read the text carefully, because the Priests brought everything back but the tithes that they had stolen. Judah brought more tithes in, but the tithe that was stolen was not brought back.

 

And hence, Malachi’s rebuke to “bring ye all the tithes to the storehouse”. It was not the children of Israel who had robbed God, but the Priests. They were the robbers of the storehouse tithe.

 

Nehemiah 10:37-38 is important when studying tithes. God shows us there a few truths that many pastors do not want their congregations to hear. First, that tithes and firstfruits are not the same. The children of Israel were to take the firstfruits to the House of God and into the chambers. But the tithe, they were to take to the cities of their tillage, to the Levites, who, in turn, were required to bring a tithe of the tithe to the House of God, to the chambers.

 

That opens our eyes to another truth. That it was not 10% of Israel’s total produce that went to the House of God. Rather, it was only 1%. It was the tithe of the tithe that was taken to the House of God. It was the ministers of the House of God that were required to tithe to the House of God, not the congregation.

 

Let’s read on…

 

We have already established the fact that God said it was the Israelites that were required to #tithe. (Leviticus 27:34) But notice Psalm 147:19-20… the Laws that He gave to Israel were given to no other nation. Gentiles were not required to tithe.

 

Matthew 23:23 and Luke 11:42 are often used to say Jesus tells us to tithe. But again, who was He addressing? scribes and Pharisees, Israelites who were required to tithe. Jesus was simply telling them to keep the Law that was given to them. And what did He say they were #tithing and to continue tithing? Agricultural products, just as the law required. Had He been telling them to tithe money, He would have been going against the very command of His Father who said man could not do what seemed right in His own eyes. (Deut 12:8 )

 

Flash forward to AD 51. At the Jerusalem Council, the religious leaders, Jews, heard that Salvation was being offered to Gentiles. James reveals in Acts 15:23-29 that those who tried to put Gentiles under the Mosaic Law were attempting to subvert or overthrow the souls of the Gentiles. Not good. The Apostles and the Holy Ghost made a decision that the Gentiles were not to be required to keep the Law, but were only to observe four necessary things. Tithing was not one of those “necessary things”. Eight years later, James reminds Paul of the decision at the Jerusalem Council. Acts 21:24-25. The Gentiles were not to be required to keep the Law of Moses.

 

The last place that tithing is commanded is found in Hebrews 7:5-8. There, we read that it is not the Church commanded to take #tithes. Rather, it is the sons of Levi. And the tithes they are commanded to take are to be from their brethren, (the tribes of Isreal) and “according to the Law”. As pointed out previously, the Law said that tithes were agricultural, not money.

 

So, you see, when one studies the Word of God, it is clear that the Church was never commanded to tithe. The tithe command was given to ancient Israel and no other nation.

 

I encourage you to open your Bible, read the passages I have referred to and commented on. You will see what I have said is in perfect agreement with what Scripture says concerning tithing.

 

Since God’s Word says the Laws He gave to Israel were given to no other nation, aren’t pastor’s tempting God when they teach people that God requires tithes, a command found only in the House of the Law? (see Acts 15:10 ) In light of these facts, it is clear that the pastor is not teaching one to be obedient to God, but rather to sacrifice their money on the altar of his false doctrine of the monetary tithe.

 

To teach people to submit to Malachi 3:10 by #tithing is tantamount to instructing them to spend the night in the bed of a harlot.

 

Romans 7:1 (KJV) Know ye not, brethren, (for I speak to them that know the law,) how that the law hath dominion over a man as long as he liveth?

Romans 7:2 (KJV) For the woman which hath an husband is bound by the law to her husband so long as he liveth; but if the husband be dead, she is loosed from the law of her husband.

Romans 7:3 (KJV) So then if, while her husband liveth, she be married to another man, she shall be called an adulteress: but if her husband be dead, she is free from that law; so that she is no adulteress, though she be married to another man.

Romans 7:4 (KJV) Wherefore, my brethren, ye also are become dead to the law by the body of Christ; that ye should be married to another, even to him who is raised from the dead, that we should bring forth fruit unto God. #tithes

 

(pay close attention to verses 2&4)

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