Guilty Pastors
by Ronald W Robey
(written November 26, 2019)

Malachi 3:8-10 is often used to preach fear, guilt and condemnation to members of the New Covenant church that fail to give ten percent of their employment wages/government benefits/household monetary income to the church they attend or are members of. But is that really what Malachi is saying in the passage? Let’s look at the Scriptures, shall we?

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.

When you isolate the above three verses from their context, the passage can be used to preach fear, guilt, and condemnation to those who do not tithe. Now, let’s look at the context. Back up to Malachi 3:7

Malachi 3:7 Even from the days of your fathers ye are gone away from mine ordinances, and have not kept them. Return unto me, and I will return unto you, saith the LORD of hosts. But ye said, Wherein shall we return?

Notice that God was calling for a return to His ordinances. God’s tithe ordinance stated that

a) tithes were to be agricultural (Leviticus 27:30,32)
b) the congregation was not to begin observing the tithe until they crossed the river Jordan and entered the land of Canaan to live there (Deuteronomy 12:10-11)
c) the congregation was forbidden to tithe to the House of God (Numbers 18:21-22; Nehemiah 10:29,37-38)

This means that

a) Malachi 3:10 cannot be speaking of monetary tithes
b) Malachi cannot be speaking of a church building outside of the land of Canaan
c) Malachi cannot be speaking to the congregation

Malachi would not be calling for a return to the Law and then telling people to transgress the Law by

a) tithing money
b) tithing in a land outside of Canaan
c) telling the congregation to tithe to the House of God

Conclusion:

When a pastor uses Malachi 3:10 to preach guilt, fear, and condemnaiton to members of his flock that are not tithing their employment wages/government benefits/household monetary income, that pastor is guilty of handling the word of God deceitfully.

Further, context shows Malachi was speaking to Israel

Malachi 1:1 The burden of the word of the LORD to Israel by Malachi.

specifically, to the Priests of Israel

Malachi 1:6 A son honoureth his father, and a servant his master: if then I be a father, where is mine honour? and if I be a master, where is my fear? saith the LORD of hosts unto you, O priests, that despise my name. And ye say, Wherein have we despised thy name?
Malachi 1:7 Ye offer polluted bread upon mine altar; and ye say, Wherein have we polluted thee? In that ye say, The table of the LORD is contemptible.

The Priests of Israel had removed that which was clean from the House of God and replaced it with that wich was unclean. And God sent His servant Malachi to rebuke the Priests and to order the Priests return that which they had stolen

Malachi 2:1 And now, O ye priests, this commandment is for you.

The command, “Bring ye all the tithes into the storehouse” was given to the Priests of Israel…not to the congregation.

2 Corinthians 4:1 Therefore seeing we have this ministry, as we have received mercy, we faint not;
2 Corinthians 4:2 But have renounced the hidden things of dishonesty, not walking in craftiness, nor handling the word of God deceitfully; but by manifestation of the truth commending ourselves to every man’s conscience in the sight of God.