February 2015


The Temple and the Storehouse Chambers
by Ronald W Robey
Just how much storage space was available for tithes at the Temple in Jerusalem? Given the dimensions of the Storehouse Chambers, it would be an impossibility for ten percent of all agricultural produce in Israel to be stored at the Temple.

An estimated 2.5 million Israelites left Egypt, led by Moses in 1447 BC. Children were born to them and most of those who left Egypt died in the wilderness because of stubbornness and unbelief. Over 440 years of living in Canaan, it is safe to say that the population increased dramatically.

Farmers and herders became the food providers for those of other occupations throughout Canaan. Ten percent of the farmed produce was to be given to the Levite each year. A Temple was needed to store some of that produce so it would not go to waste.

And so, we come to our text on the dimensions of the Temple Solomon built for the LORD…

1 Kings 6:1 And it came to pass in the *four hundred and eightieth year after the children of Israel were come out of the land of Egypt, in the fourth year of Solomon’s reign over Israel, in the month Zif, which is the second month, that he began to build the house of the LORD. *967 BC

1 Kings 6:2 And the house which king Solomon built for the LORD, the length thereof was *threescore cubits, and the breadth thereof **twenty cubits, and the height thereof ***thirty cubits. *90 feet ** 30 feet *** 45 feet

1 Kings 6:3 And the porch before the temple of the house, *twenty cubits was the length thereof, according to the breadth of the house; and **ten cubits was the breadth thereof before the house. * 30 feet ** 15 feet

1 Kings 6:4 And for the house he made windows of narrow lights.

1 Kings 6:5 And against the wall of the house he built chambers *round about, against the walls of the house round about, both of the temple and of the oracle: and he made chambers round about: * the walls encircled the sides and backside of the Temple

1 Kings 6:6 The nethermost chamber was *five cubits broad, and the middle was **six cubits broad, and the third was ***seven cubits broad: for without in the wall of the house he made narrowed rests round about, that the beams should not be fastened in the walls of the house. * 7.5 feet ** 9 feet *** 10.5 feet

1 Kings 6:7 And the house, when it was in building, was built of stone *made ready before it was brought thither: so that there was neither hammer nor axe nor any tool of iron heard in the house, while it was in building. *all building stones were hammered and chiseled elsewhere and subsequently imported to the Temple construction site.

1 Kings 6:8 The door for the middle chamber was in the right side of the house: and they went up with winding stairs into the middle chamber, and out of the middle into the third.

1 Kings 6:9 So he built the house, and finished it; and covered the house with beams and boards of cedar.

1 Kings 6:10 And then he built chambers against all the house, five cubits high: and they rested on the house with timber of cedar.

The chambers (rooms) in the House of God were arranged in an interesting fashion. They were stacked three high, with the bottom chamber being the smallest and the top chamber being the largest.

According to verse 6 above, the breadth of the bottom chamber was five cubits. (7.5 feet)  The breadth of the middle chamber was six cubits. (9 feet) The breadth of the uppermost chamber was seven cubits. (10.5 feet) The Levites had to enter a door on the right side of the House of God and climb a winding staircase to gain entrance to both the middle and upper chambers.

Hardly enough room for the 10% of Israel’s total produce along with the holy things of the Temple and 10% of Israel’s total monetary gain that many pastors claim was commanded to be tithed to the Temple.

The fact is, money was never tithed to the House of God under the Mosaic Law. It was always agricultural produce and livestock as per the commandment found in Leviticus 27:30-33 and subsequent passages Numbers 18:21-28 & Nehemiah 10:37-38. (livestock was kept in stalls, not the chambers)

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.

One percent of Israel’s total produce (providing the farmer did not want to buy back his crops tithe; see Lev. 27:30-31) was brought into the Temple Storehouse Chambers by the Leviitic staff of the Temple. This fed the ministerial staff; i.e., the singers, musicians & other Temple workers… all members of the Levitic Tribe.

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Today’s Tithing Brings Condemnation, Not Favor
by Ronald W Robey
 
Pastors all around the world today tell their congregations that, “God requires tithes of His children!” and “You are robbing God if you do not bring the tithes into the storehouse, the Church, the House of God.”
 
They will instill fear into their congregations with decrees of a divine curse from God upon the non-tither’s finances, his job, his home, his family & his health, and upon every aspect of his life.
 
The pastor bases his claim that the tithe belongs to the Church and that one is cursed if they do not tithe on one biblical passage, Malachi 3:8-10, which says:
 
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.
 
The Pastor fails to tell the congregation that this passage was a rebuke to the Priests of Israel who had removed the tithes from the storehouse in Jerusalem and were offering animals on the altar of sacrifice that were unfit for sacrifice. These were the ones robbing God. For their abhorred acts, God had withheld rain from the land of Canaan and the locusts had free range of the gardens in that great land.
 
The passage had absolutely nothing whatsoever to do with the New Testament Church! The New Testament Church would not exist for another 463 years. Nor is it a command for the New Testament Church today.
 
Leviticus 27:30-33 tells us that God’s holy tithe was agricultural. Deuteronomy 12:10-11 tells us that God’s holy tithes were to be observed, not on worldwide, but rather it was to be observed in the land which God gave to the children of Israel to inherit… the land of Canaan.
 
There is absolutely no Scripture that states that God amended His holy tithe to be observed by those living outside Canaan… none. So, when pastors say “God requires you to tithe your money,” you should challenge your pastors.
 
Ask them important questions, such as:
 
Can you give me Scripture where God amended His holy tithes to tithes of money?
 
Can you give me Scripture where God said the New Testament Church members are to tithe to the Church they attend.
 
Believe me, every passage they try to use to justify the doctrine that God requires tithes of money can easily be refuted with the Word of God. Be as the Berean’s of the first century AD. Study the Scripture to see if these things are true.
 
The title of my article is “Today’s Tithing Brings Condemnation, Not Favor”. I have shown you how that God’s holy tithe was never commanded of us, now let me reveal why, when you tithe that money to your religious institution, you are bringing condemnation upon yourself rather than favor.
 
How many times have you seen a poor person in your neighborhood? Or at the local store where you do your grocery shopping? They are all over, all one has to do is open one’s eyes and one will see them. Ask God to direct your path. Ask Him to put you in the path of someone in need. He will do it.
 
How do I know this? Because,
 
Proverbs 19:17 He that hath pity upon the poor lendeth unto the LORD; and that which he hath given will he pay him again.
 
God loves it when we assist those in need. In, contrast, He detesteth those who neglect the destitute. Read what our Lord said concerning this:
 
Matthew 25:41 Then shall he say also unto them on the left hand, Depart from me, ye cursed, into everlasting fire, prepared for the devil and his angels:
Matthew 25:42 For I was an hungred, and ye gave me no meat: I was thirsty, and ye gave me no drink:
Matthew 25:43 I was a stranger, and ye took me not in: naked, and ye clothed me not: sick, and in prison, and ye visited me not.
Matthew 25:44 Then shall they also answer him, saying, Lord, when saw we thee an hungred, or athirst, or a stranger, or naked, or sick, or in prison, and did not minister unto thee?
Matthew 25:45 Then shall he answer them, saying, Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye did it not to one of the least of these, ye did it not to me.
 
Each time you close your eyes to the needs of those in your community, and instead take your money to the pastor who told you that it belongs in the Church, you are bringing condemnation upon yourself. Notice in the above passage, Jesus told the ones on His left why He was rejecting them?
 
“I was hungry, you did not feed me.”
“I was thirsty, you gave me no water.”
“I was a foreigner, you didn’t provide shelter for me.”
“I was naked, and you provided no clothes.”
“I was sick, and you didn’t take care of me in my illness.”
 
Friends, God takes special note of how we treat the poor, the sick, those in need.
 
God is so concerned about how we view those around us, that He will utterly reject us if we neglect to help them in their need.
 
The wise king Solomon gives this advice:
 
Proverbs 22:16 He that oppresseth the poor to increase his riches, and he that giveth to the rich, shall surely come to want.
Proverbs 22:22 Rob not the poor, because he is poor: neither oppress the afflicted in the gate:
Proverbs 22:23 For the LORD will plead their cause, and spoil the soul of those that spoiled them.
 
Each time you see that beggar on the street corner, that mother struggling to feed her children, that child wearing rags, and have the means to help them in their trouble but do not stop to do so, you are keeping them in oppression. You are robbing them each time you have the means to help them, but instead take that money to help pay for a fancy Church, or the pastor’s luxurious living.
 
God said, “These shall go away into everlasting punishment, but the righteous into life eternal.” Will you be numbered among the righteous? Or have you brought upon yourself condemnation?
 
Proverbs 29:7 The righteous considereth the cause of the poor: but the wicked regardeth not to know it.