January 2020


Monetary Tithes (Not a Building Block of the Church)
by Ronald W Robey
(written April 18, 2018)

Although Jesus taught much in the Gospels, He said very little concerning tithing. Let us look into the instances where Jesus spoke on this subject, shall we?

In Matthew 23, we read:

Matthew 23:23 Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye pay tithe of mint and anise and cummin and have omitted the weightier matters of the law, judgment, mercy, and faith: these ought ye to have done, and not to leave the other undone.

Matthew 23:23 is almost identical to Luke 11:42.

Luke 11:42 But woe unto you, Pharisees! for ye tithe mint and rue and all manner of herbs, and pass over judgment and the love of God: these ought ye to have done, and not to leave the other undone.

Therefore, I will address both verses as if they are but one.

First, we must acknowledge the fact that Jesus had not yet gone to the cross at this point in time. Therefore, although the Books of Matthew and Luke are found in the New Testament section of our Bibles, what Jesus is saying in these verses is still under the jurisdiction of the Old Testament.

Hebrews 9:16 For where a testament is, there must also of necessity be the death of the testator.

17 For a testament is of force after men are dead: otherwise, it is of no strength at all while the testator liveth.

It took the death of our Lord Jesus Christ on the cross in order for the New Testament to be in force. In Matthew 23:23 & Luke 11:42 Jesus had not yet died. He was speaking under the Law to a people governed by the Law. He even affirms in Matthew 23:23 that tithing is a less weighty matter of the Law.

Since Jesus identified tithing as a matter of the Law, we must remind you that the Law said that the tithe was to be agricultural. That tithes were agricultural is clearly seen when Jesus describes elements found in the tithe that was given by the scribes and Pharisees. Jesus said they included, mint and anise and cummin; rue and all matter of herbs…all agricultural herbs from gardens. And Jesus said, “These ye ought to have done.”

In other words, Jesus was telling them that they were tithing exactly what was required by the Law that they were under. Not once in either Matthew 23:23 or Luke 11:42 does Jesus mention money being tithed. Nor does He say that money should be tithed. Not once.

This begs the question…Since Jesus did not say money was to be tithed, how is it that Pastors are convincing church members that Jesus commanded tithes of money?

The only other tithe Jesus mentions in the Gospel is found in Luke 18:12. Let’s look at the surrounding text to better understand what is being said…

Luke 18:9 And he spake this parable unto certain which trusted in themselves that they were righteous, and despised others:

10 Two men went up into the temple to pray; the one a Pharisee, and the other a publican.

11 The Pharisee stood and prayed thus with himself, God, I thank thee, that I am not as other men are, extortioners, unjust, adulterers, or even as this publican.

12 I fast twice in the week, I give tithes of all that I possess.

13 And the publican, standing afar off, would not lift up so much as his eyes unto heaven, but smote upon his breast, saying, God be merciful to me a sinner.

Luke 18:14 I tell you, this man went down to his house justified rather than the other: for every one that exalteth himself shall be abased; and he that humbleth himself shall be exalted.

Luke 18:12 is part of a parable…an illustration to expose the self-righteous attitude of the Pharisees, and to reveal to them that their pride in their works will not be rewarded by God. The parable did not actually happen. It was a story to expose the pride of the Pharisees.

And there we have it…the only three instances in the New Testament where Jesus speaks of tithe…exposing self-righteous attitudes that is a sin, and the tithing of agricultural increase. Nowhere in any of the texts did Jesus endorse, or command monetary tithing.

If the Chief Cornerstone of the Church didn’t speak of monetary tithing, monetary tithing clearly was never meant to be a building block in the doctrines of the Church.

Do Not Fall Prey to Extortion
by Ronald W Robey
(written June 10, 2019)

When you tithe money in response to a preacher saying that Malachi 3 is instruction for you to tithe your money, you are not putting God first…you are putting man first.

God said His tithe is to be agricultural…not money. Man says tithes are to be money.

I stopped tithing my monetary income in 1988, when I realized that I, and thousands of other preachers, had been preaching God’s tithe erroneously..

I, like many others, preached that Malachi 3:8-10 was an indictment against the saved in Christ who do not tithe. I preached that the congregation was to “Bring ye all the tithes into the storehouse.” The storehouse being the church.

But I was wrong to do so. And here is why I was wrong…

If you back up to Malachi 3:7 and read it, you will discover that God is calling for a return to His ordinances. Do you know what God’s tithe ordinance says?

1. They are to be agricultural. Le. 27:30,32 (a portion of the crop tithes could be bought back once given, Le. 27:31; animal tithes could not be bought back, Le. 27:33)
2. They are to be given to bloodline descendants of Levi. Nu. 18:21-26
3. They are not to be given until you are a citizen of the land of Canaan. De. 6:1-3; 12:10-11
4. The congregation is not to take tithes to the House of God. Nu. 18:21-26 (carefully notice verse 22, which is parked in the context of the tithe command)
5. A tithe is to be carried to Jerusalem, eaten with your family, and shared with bloodline descendants of Levi. De. 14:22-27
6. A tithe is to be kept in your city every third year and given to bloodline descendants of Levi, to widows, to orphans, and to foreigners. De. 14:28-29; 26:12-17

Back to Malachi…

Since Malachi 3:7 called for a return to the ordinances and the ordinances said the congregation was not to approach the House of God with tithes, Malachi 3:10 cannot be telling the congregation to tithe to the House of God. He would not tell the congregation to return to the ordinances and then tell them to transgress the ordinances by bringing tithes to the House of God.

Since Malachi 3:7 called for a return to the ordinances and the ordinances said that agriculture was God’s commanded tithe, Malachi 3:10 cannot be saying to tithe money. He would not tell anyone to return to the ordinances and then tell them to transgress the ordinances by bringing money as tithe.

So, who was Malachi speaking to? Context holds that answer. Read the entire previous two chapters leading up to chapter three, and the verses in the third chapter leading up to verse 10. They reveal that the Levitic line of Priests, aka Aaronic Priests, were robbing God by offering unclean animals on the altar and keeping the clean animals for themselves, (1:6-14) and God was commanding them to return to the ordinances. (2:1;3:7)

When pastors teach that Malachi is calling for the congregation to tithe money, they are teaching the exact opposite of what Malachi is actually teaching.

Not once in the entire Bible is man told to give a tenth (tithe) of his money to the House of God. May all be diligent in studying the word of God so that they do not fall prey to pastors who handle the word of God deceitfully. May they be wise in the word and not fall prey to extortioners in the pulpit.

“Extortion: The obtaining of property from another, with his consent, induced by wrongful use of actual or threatened force, violence, or fear, or under color of official right. – Black’s Law Dictionary, 8th Edition; Thomas West Publishers, ©2004”

John Shot the Message (But He Did Not Shoot the Messenger)
by Ronald W Robey
(written January 06, 2020)

Crafty Preacher: “We can tithe our monetary income because we are under Grace.”

Rebuttal: “And yet, when I read John’s first epistle, I discover that he says not to sin, and that sin is the transgression of the Law.

1 John 2:1 My little children, these things write I unto you, that ye sin not. And if any man sin, we have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous:

1 John 3:4 Whosoever committeth sin transgresseth also the law: for sin is the transgression of the law.

The Law says that God’s tithe is to be agricultural…not monetary.

Leviticus 27:30 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.

Leviticus 27:32 And concerning the tithe of the herd, or of the flock, even of whatsoever passeth under the rod, the tenth shall be holy unto the LORD.

Therefore, when you tithe your monetary income instead of agricultural crops, flocks, and herds you are transgressing the Law…which the apostle John instructs the reader of his epistle not to do.

The Law said that God’s tithe is to be taken to Jerusalem.

Deuteronomy 12:10 But when ye go over Jordan, and dwell in the land which the LORD your God giveth you to inherit, and when he giveth you rest from all your enemies round about, so that ye dwell in safety;
Deuteronomy 12:11 Then there shall be a place which the LORD your God shall choose to cause his name to dwell there; thither shall ye bring all that I command you; your burnt offerings, and your sacrifices, your tithes, and the heave offering of your hand, and all your choice vows which ye vow unto the LORD:

2 Chronicles 6:5 Since the day that I brought forth my people out of the land of Egypt I chose no city among all the tribes of Israel to build an house in, that my name might be there; neither chose I any man to be a ruler over my people Israel:
2 Chronicles 6:6 But I have chosen Jerusalem, that my name might be there; and have chosen David to be over my people Israel.

Therefore, if you are taking your tithes to any other location than Jerusalem, you are transgressing the Law…which the apostle John instructs the reader of his epistle not to do.

Oops…The apostle John just shot down the crafty preacher’s message that “We can tithe our monetary income because we are under Grace.”

John Shot the Message (but he did not shoot the messenger)
by Ronald W Robey
(written January 06, 2020)

Crafty Preacher: “We can tithe our monetary income because we are under Grace.”

Rebuttal: “And yet, when I read John’s first epistle, I discover that he says not to sin, and that sin is the transgression of the Law.

1 John 2:1 My little children, these things write I unto you, that ye sin not. And if any man sin, we have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous:

1 John 3:4 Whosoever committeth sin transgresseth also the law: for sin is the transgression of the law.

The Law says that God’s tithe is to be agricultural…not monetary.

Leviticus 27:30 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.

Leviticus 27:32 And concerning the tithe of the herd, or of the flock, even of whatsoever passeth under the rod, the tenth shall be holy unto the LORD.

Therefore, when you tithe monetary your income instead of agricultural crops, flocks, and herds, you are transgressing the Law…which the apostle John instructs the reader of his epistle not to do.

The Law said that God’s tithe is to be taken to Jerusalem.

Deuteronomy 12:10 But when ye go over Jordan, and dwell in the land which the LORD your God giveth you to inherit, and when he giveth you rest from all your enemies round about, so that ye dwell in safety;
Deuteronomy 12:11 Then there shall be a place which the LORD your God shall choose to cause his name to dwell there; thither shall ye bring all that I command you; your burnt offerings, and your sacrifices, your tithes, and the heave offering of your hand, and all your choice vows which ye vow unto the LORD:

2 Chronicles 6:5 Since the day that I brought forth my people out of the land of Egypt I chose no city among all the tribes of Israel to build an house in, that my name might be there; neither chose I any man to be a ruler over my people Israel:
2 Chronicles 6:6 But I have chosen Jerusalem, that my name might be there; and have chosen David to be over my people Israel.

Therefore, if you are taking your tithes to any other location thanb Jerusalem, you are transgressing the Law…which the apostle John instructs the reader of his epistle not to do.

Oops…The apostle John just shot down the crafty preacher’s claim that “We can tithe our monetary income because we are under Grace.”

Many today, frown upon those who say they will attend church services but will not tithe. They shouldn’t. There is absolutely nothing at all wrong with the statement, “I’ll attend services, but I will not tithe.” Especially since God’s word says that the only people that God commanded to tithe were children of Israel, (Leviticus 27:30-34) and that that commanded tithe was not to be observed until they were safely living in the land of Canaan and after God chose a place to place His name. (Deuteronomy 12:10-11)

In the Bible, God exonerates members of the congregation from the responsibility of tithing to the House of God. In Numbers 18:21-22&Nehemiah 10:29,37-38 we learn that the Law God gave to Moses concerning tithing decreed that the congregation was not to go near the House of God with tithes.

Instead, the Law dictated that the congregation was to take their tithe to Jerusalem, (Deuteronomy 12;10-11; 2 Chronicles 6:5-6) and give it to bloodline descendants of the Biblical patriarch Levi, whom God had decreed that all the tenth in Israel was to be given to, (Numbers 18:21) The bloodline descendants of the Biblical patriarch Levi, in turn, were to take a tithe of the tithes that they received from the congregation to the House of God. (Nehemiah 10:29,37-38)

That’s right…the ONLY people that God authorized to tithe to the House of God…the ONLY people that God commanded to tithe to the House of God…were the bloodline descendants of the biblical patriarch Levi. And that was to be a tithe of the tithes they received from the other eleven tribes of Israel.

In the last Book of the Old Testament, the minor prophet Malachi was not speaking to the congregation when he said, “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.” (Malachi 3:10)

We know this, because in Malachi 3:7 the Prophet is calling for a return to God’s ordinances. Again, God’s ordinances say that the congregation is not to approach the House of God with tithes. Therefore, Malachi cannot be speaking to the congregation in Malachi 3:10. He would not call for a return to the ordinances in verse 7 and then turn around and call for a transgression of the ordinances in verse 10….

…Malachi was speaking to the Priestly line of Levites. Context even shows that Malachi was speaking to the Priestly line of Levites, when we read, “And now, O ye priests, this commandment is for you.” (Malachi 2:1)

It is time for the church to wake out of their slumber. Instead of looking down on those who say they will attend church but will not tithe, the church should welcome them with open arms and tell them, “Great! Come worship with us! God desires your worship…not your tithe.”

Firstfruit Offerings
by Ronald W Robey
(written January 06, 2020)

It’s that time of year again…the time that many ravening wolves will prey upon unsuspecting sheep. I’m talking about men who, in the eyes and minds of the assembly seem to be legit men of God, but are actually false prophets in disguise.

Each January, these men will stand behind their pulpits and tell their congregations that “God requires you to give Him a Firstfruit Offering.” They go on to tell you that, “The Firstfruit offering is the first sum of money you receive each year.”

They, of course, are speaking of your employment wages.

For those who are paid on a daily basis, the “Firstfruit Offering” my not affect their finances much. For those who are paid on a weekly basis, they may feel the effects of handing over that first week’s salary a little more than those that are paid on a daily basis. Those who get paid every other week may find surviving until the next paycheck hard when they hand over two week’s salary to the church. Still, there are many who receive a check only once a month. They are affected the worse as they find that, after giving their first of the year salary to the church, they have no money for their own needs; i.e electricity bill, water bill, food, medication, car payment, house rent, et.al.

Many find themselves needing to borrow money to survive, putting themselves in debt because they gave the money that could have met their needs to a man who lied to them about God requiring them to give that money. The fact is, God never commanded them, or anyone in the Bible to give Him money under the guise of a “Firstfruit Offering”. Let us look at a few verses that speak of Firstfruit Offerings so that we can get the mind of God on the subject, shall we?

In the first place we find the word “Firstfruits,” we read:

Exodus 23:16 And the feast of harvest, the firstfruits of thy labours, which thou hast sown in the field: and the feast of ingathering, which is in the end of the year, when thou hast gathered in thy labours out of the field.

In the above verse, we find that the firstfruits is also known as “The Feast of Harvest,” and is to be from the results of a man’s labours. But, labours from what?

Is this speaking of the labours of a man who works a nine to five job in an Office? Is it speaking of Educators in a school system? Is it speaking of labours from a government road crew? What does God mean by “the firstfruits of thy labours”? The answer to this question is revealed in the second place in the Bible where Firstfruits are mentioned.

Exodus 23:19 The first of the firstfruits of thy land thou shalt bring into the house of the LORD thy God. Thou shalt not seethe a kid in his mother’s milk.

The “firstfruits of thy labours” is to come from work that man does on “thy land.” It is to come from that which is grown on the land owned by an indivitdual. It is from work done on the landowner’s own property. Not from work done in an Office building. Not an Educator’s pay. Not a Trucker’s pay. Not from a paycheck, but from a harvest of fruits and vegetables.

Who is required to give the Firstfruit Offering? Are Christians around the world required to observe this practice? If you believe the Bible to be truth, (and we should) the only people that were told to give the firstfruits of their land were the children of Israel. Moses was delivering a message from God to the children of Israel.

Leviticus 23:10 Speak unto the children of Israel, and say unto them, When ye be come into the land which I give unto you, and shall reap the harvest thereof, then ye shall bring a sheaf of the firstfruits of your harvest unto the priest:

Leviticus 23:10 tells the reader that

a) Firstfruit Offerings are to be observed strictly in the land (Canaan) that God gave to the twelve tribes of Israel
b) When the Israelites reap a harvest in the land of Canaan, they were to bring a sheaf from that harvest to the Priest. According to Hebrew Lexicons, a sheaf is the same as an omer. But what is an omer? It is a unit of dry measurement. The harvest of grain was measured in sheafs, omers, and ephahs. Leviticus 5:11 speaks of “the tenth part of an ephah of fine flour.”

So, there you have it. Firstfruits is not speaking of your first paycheck of the year. It is speaking of the first part of an agricultural harvest. It is not required of Christians around the world. It was required to be observed solely in the land of Canaan.

Conclusion:

Don’t fall prey to a ravening wolf who handles the word of God decetifully in order to extort money from your possession. God gave you the power to make wealth for the purpose of you providing first for your needs, i.e utility bills, house payments, car payments, food, medication, et al.

If you have money to spare after meeting your basic needs, (not wants, but needs) and wish to give some to God, God leaves the amount up to you. He does not set a percentage that is to be given, but you are to decide in your own hearts what you will give.

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.

If you wish to give to God, consider giving to the poor instead of to the man who lies to you in order to get your money.

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.