When preaching on the topic of tithes, pastors often begin their sermon at Malachi 3:8. But why start at Malachi 3:8? They should instead start at Malachi 2:1. Then they will have proper context for the command in 3:10.

Malachi 2:1 says, “And now, O ye Priest’s, this commandment is for you.” What commandment? There is no commandment given in the entirety of that chapter.

In Chapter 3:6, we read, “For I am the LORD, I change not; therefore ye sons of Jacob are not consumed.”

So, we see thus far that God was speaking to a specific people, Priests who were descendants of the patriarch Jacob.

When we arrive at Malachi 3:7, we see the commandment referred to in the previous chapter,…

“Return unto Me…”

Remember, God is addressing the Priests. They ask, “Wherein shall we return?”

God’s reply through His Prophet Malachi reveals that the Priests had robbed God. He then instructs them, “Bring ye all the tithes into the storehouse that there may be meat in my House…”.

Nehemiah 10:37-38 reveals to us that it was not the congregation who were responsible for tithing to the House of God. Rather, it was the Levites.

Had the children of Israel not tithed to the Levites; had the Levites not tithed to the House of God; there would have been no tithes for the Priest’s to steal. But, there were tithes in the House of God. We see them removed in Nehemiah, not by the children of Israel, not by the Levites, but by the Priest Eliashib. The tithes were stolen by the Priesthood, as both Nehemiah and Malachi affirm.

The commanded tithes were agricultural, as revealed in Leviticus 27:30-33. They were not money.

By taking the tithes from the storehouse chambers, the Priests robbed God. But they not only robbed God, they robbed the nation as well. For their act of thievery brought a curse upon the nation, robbing them of rain from Heaven an also of food from their gardens and orchards.

So, now we have the whole truth. The command of Malachi 3:10 is not a command for a tithe of money. Nor was it a command for the congregation to bring tithes to the storehouse. It was a command for the Levitic Priest’s to bring the agricultural tithes that they had stolen to the House of God, to the chambers. “Return to Me.”

The Priest’s had stolen the tithes from the storehouse, and God wanted them back. (“O ye Priests, this commandment is for you”; “Return unto Me”; “Ye have robbed me, even this whole nation”; “Bring ye all the tithes…”)

Pastors have deceitfully handled the Word of God for too long. They have twisted the truth of Malachi 3:8-12, and used it as a tool to rob church members of their money.

We are to be faithful stewards of all that our God has given us. That includes being faithful with our money as well. Giving our money to thieves is not wise stewardship.

In 2 Corinthians 8:13, the Apostle Paul wrote that he did not want the Corinthians giving to be such that others were eased and the Corinthians themselves burdened. Many tithe teaching pastors place unnecessary burdens on Church members while they themselves are living “high on the hog”.

Time for Christians to wake up… stop feeding the Thieves.