Tithing


The Silver is Mine
by Ronald W Robey

Occasionally, I see Pastors using Haggai 2:8 as “proof-text” that God requires us to tithe our money.  Here is what the verse says…

Haggai 2:8 The silver is mine, and the gold is mine, saith the LORD of hosts.

As you can see, there is no mention of tithes in that verse.  As a matter of fact, the verse says “the silver” is mine…not ten percent of the silver…all of it.  Same with the gold…it all belonged to God.

So, a tithe of unprocessed silver and gold is not God’s…one hundred percent of it is.  And God never told anyone to tithe silver and gold to the House of God.

Do you really want to give God His silver and gold? Then, go mine for it and give God the unpcessed silver that does not have man’s image on it.

Once man takes the silver and gold and imprints an earthly government seal on it, it no longer belongs to God in belongs to the earthly government. This is easily proven by the text of Matthew 22:17-21.

Matthew 22:17-21 Tell us therefore, What thinkest thou? Is it lawful to give tribute unto Caesar, or not? But Jesus perceived their wickedness, and said, Why tempt ye me, ye hypocrites? Shew me the tribute money. And they brought unto him a penny. And he saith unto them, Whose is this image and superscription? They say unto him, Caesar’s. Then saith he unto them, Render therefore unto Caesar the things which are Caesar’s; and unto God the things that are God’s.

The coin, which has a civil and/or state government seal imprinted on it belongs to the civil and/or state government that put the seal on it.  It was made in the civil and/or state governments’ image and is to be yielded to the civil and/or state government.  It is their property.  They have the say-so over their property.

We were made in God’s image and should yield ourselves to God. Paul echoed these same thoughts in Romans 12:1, when he wrote:

Romans 12:1 I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service.

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Three Errors
by Ronald W Robey

When Hebrews 7:8 is used to teach a monetary tithe in the New Covenant churches today, the doctrine contains…at the very least…three errors.

First, he assumes that God assigned Pastors of local New Covenant churches to be authorized Tithe Collection Representatives, when the verse doesn’t even mention Pastors of local New Covenant churches.

Second, it assumes that God has assigned the local New Covenant Church to be an authorized Tithe Collection Agency, when not one verse in the entire Bible supports such a notion.

Third, it assumes that God has decreed that one is to give a tenth of one’s monetary income when the verse doesn’t even mention monetary income.

When Hebrews 7:8 is read in its proper context, it is clear that the verse is not speaking about Pastors. Nor is it speaking of the New Covenant Church. Nor is it speaking of a monetary tithe. One has to read those elements into the text of Hebrews 7:8 in order to arrive at the conclusion that it is speaking of Pastors of New Covenant churches receiving monetary tithes.

That is what we Pastors call “eisegeting”.

When you read something into the text that is not there in the context, you are guilty of making the word of God of none effect to the hearer. Instead, you are imposing your vain imaginations on the hearers.

The context of Hebrews 7:8 reveals that the tithes spoken of are “tithes according to the Law”. The Law said that tithes were to be

a) agricultural, not monetary increase. (Le 27:30-33)
b) observed in the land of Canaan, not worldwide. (De 12:1,10-11)
c) for the children of Israel to observe, not for other nations. (Le 27:34)
d) to be given to the bloodline descendants of Levi, to widows, to orphans, and to foreigners in the land of Canaan. (De 14:27-29; 26:12)
e) to be given every third year, not every year of a person’s life. (De 14:27-29; 26:12)

Not one verse in the entire Bible says that money is to be tithed to a local New Covenant church. Pastors who teach that God requires monetary tithing are guilty of handling the word of God deceitfully.

2 Corinthians 4:1-2 Therefore seeing we have this ministry, as we have received mercy, we faint not; 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.

 
Never Required by God
Ronald W Robey
 
All too often, I am told to “Honor God with your tithe.”
 
I honor God when I minister to the poor in whatever capacity I am able to minister in.
 
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 never required anyone honor Him by giving ten percent of their money to the House of God. If God required people to take ten percent of their money to the House of God, then Jesus told the following people to dishonor God in the Gospels.
1. The rich man seeking eternal life. (Lu 18:23)
2. The Apostles who found the fish with the coin in its mouth. (Matt 17:23-27)
3. The Apostles who followed Jesus to Gethsemane. (Lu 22:36)
 
Not one of the aforementioned people were told to take a tenth of the money they gained from sales or money gained through labor to the House of God.
In the Old Testament, the only money God ever said to give to the House of God was atonement money (Ex 30:16) and/or voluntary offerings. The atonement offering wasn’t ten percent of a persons money…it was a half-shekel of silver required of both rich and poor. (Ex 30:15) The voluntary offerings were whatever a person chose to give.
Jesus’ blood paid for our atonement. We don’t have to pay anything to the House of God for our atonement. Nor are we required to tithe our money to the House of God. We are instructed to give to those in need. (1 Co. 16:1-3; 2 Co. 9:6-7)
Giving ten percent of one’s money to Tabernacle, Temple, Synagogue, or Church week after week was never commanded by God. It is an invention of man.
Canaan’s Three Tithes
by Ronald W Robey

God’s commanded tithes are all mentioned in Deuteronomy 14:22-29. There are three tithes total.

 
1. The first tithe was the Family Tithe. It was observed annually. The family was to travel to Jerusalem (see 2 Chronicles 6:5-6) with this tithe. If the distance was too far or if the tithe was too heavy, there was a chance of spoilage before reaching Jerusalem.
 
For this reason, God made allowances for the family to sell their tithes and to carry the money gained from the sale to Jerusalem instead. Once they arrive in Jerusalem they were to use the money to purchase food and drink (which represented their original tithe) and they were to eat the food and drink in the presence of God. Eating the tithe taught them to fear God.
 
Families who lived closer to Jerusalem carried their tithes to Jerusalem and ate their tithes in the presence of God.
 
Deuteronomy 14:22-26 Thou shalt truly tithe all the increase of thy seed, that the field bringeth forth year by year. And thou shalt eat before the LORD thy God, in the place which he shall choose to place his name there, the tithe of thy corn, of thy wine, and of thine oil, and the firstlings of thy herds and of thy flocks; that thou mayest learn to fear the LORD thy God always. And if the way be too long for thee, so that thou art not able to carry it; or if the place be too far from thee, which the LORD thy God shall choose to set his name there, when the LORD thy God hath blessed thee: Then shalt thou turn it into money, and bind up the money in thine hand, and shalt go unto the place which the LORD thy God shall choose: And thou shalt bestow that money for whatsoever thy soul lusteth after, for oxen, or for sheep, or for wine, or for strong drink, or for whatsoever thy soul desireth: and thou shalt eat there before the LORD thy God, and thou shalt rejoice, thou, and thine household,
 
2. The second tithe was the Levitic Tithe. The Levites were to receive their tithes the third year. (not annually, see Deuteronomy 14:27-29; 26:12) The Levitic Tithe originally belonged to God. (see Leviticus 27:30-33) However, God gave His tithe to the Levites as an inheritance since they received no land inheritance in the land of Canaan. (see Numbers 18:20-26)
 
Once the Levites received their tithe, they handed a tithe of the tithe to an Aaronic Priest, who lifted the tithe above his head for God to see. This tithe of the tithe represented the entirety of Israel’s total agricultural crop increase. (see Numbers 18:27-28)
 
A portion of the agricultural crops tithe that was given to the Levites could be redeemed (bought back) if one so chose to do. (see Leviticus 27:30-31) However, one would have to pay the Levite twenty percent above the value of the tithe in order to redeem it. The tithe from the flocks and herds could not be redeemed. (see Leviticus 27:32-33)
 
The Levitic Tithes were kept in the cities where the tithes were grown or bred, and the Levites were to travel to the cities to receive their tithes. As with the Family Tithe, the Levitic Tithe was to be eaten. Unlike the Family Tithe, the tithing family did not partake of the Levitic Tithe.
 
Deuteronomy 14:27-29 And the Levite that is within thy gates; thou shalt not forsake him; for he hath no part nor inheritance with thee. At the end of three years thou shalt bring forth all the tithe of thine increase the same year, and shalt lay it up within thy gates: And the Levite, (because he hath no part nor inheritance with thee,) and the stranger, and the fatherless, and the widow, which are within thy gates, shall come, and shall eat and be satisfied; that the LORD thy God may bless thee in all the work of thine hand which thou doest.
 
3. The third tithe was known as the Charity Tithe. The Charity Tithe, like the Levitic Tithe, was observed the third year. (not annually, see Deuteronomy 14:27-29; 26:12) The Charity Tithe was given to those who were considered to be the poor of Israel. This would include widows, orphans, and foreigners. Widows and Orphans were considered to be poor due to the husband and father, who was their provider, dying. The foreigners were considered poor due to their not owning land in Canaan. God had given Canaan to the children of Israel.
 
The Charity Tithe was kept in the cities where it was grown and the poor of Israel would travel to the cities to get a share of the tithes.
 
As with the Family Tithe, the Charity Tithe was to be eaten by the widows, orphans, and foreigners of Israel. Unlike the Family Tithe, the family giving the tithe did not partake of the Charity Tithe.
 
Deuteronomy 14:27-29 And the Levite that is within thy gates; thou shalt not forsake him; for he hath no part nor inheritance with thee. At the end of three years thou shalt bring forth all the tithe of thine increase the same year, and shalt lay it up within thy gates: And the Levite, (because he hath no part nor inheritance with thee,) and the stranger, and the fatherless, and the widow, which are within thy gates, shall come, and shall eat and be satisfied; that the LORD thy God may bless thee in all the work of thine hand which thou doest.
 
God commanded no other tithe in the Bible, and the command to tithe was not given to any other nation.
 
Psalm 147:19-20 He sheweth his word unto Jacob, his statutes and his judgments unto Israel. He hath not dealt so with any nation: and as for his judgments, they have not known them. Praise ye the LORD.
The Top Six Reasons I Don’t Tithe
by Ronald W Robey
 
6. According to the Bible, God’s commanded tithes were to be agricultural. I am not a farmer, nor a herder. Therefore…I do not tithe. (Le. 27:30-33)
 
5. According to the Bible, an Aaronic Priest MUST be present at the time the tithe is given. I do not know any Aaronic Priests. Therefore…I do not tithe. (Ne. 10:37-38)
 
4. According to the Bible, the one with the tithe is to take it to Jerusalem every year and eat it with his family. Again, I have no agricultural crops, flocks or herds. Therefore…I do not tithe. (De. 14:22-26)
 
3. According to the Bible, every three years God’s tithe is to be given to Levites living in the land of Canaan. I do not know any Levites living in the land of Canaan. Therefore…I do not tithe. (De. 14:27-29; 26:12)
 
2. According to the Bible, every three years tithes are to be given to widows, orphans, and foreigners in the land of Canaan. I do not know any widows, orphans, and foreigners in the land of Canaan. Therefore…I do not tithe. (De. 14:27-29; 26:12)
 
1. According to the Bible, God’s commanded tithe is only to be observed in the land of Canaan. I do not live in the land of Canaan. Therefore…I do not tithe. (De. 12:1,10-11)

Tithes Existed Before the Law
by Ronald W Robey

There are many that teach and/or believe that tithing is to be observed today. They will argue that Abraham’s tithe to Melchizedek was BEFORE the Law and tithing continued during the Law. They conclude with the premise that, “Because Abraham tithed, you should tithe.”

If we go with the “Tithing existed before the Law” argument…

a) Tithing existed before the Law? It was a man that tithed. Therefore, if the fact that, “tithing existed before the Law” applies, then no woman should be expected to tithe.

b) Tithing existed before the Law? The tithe was not from man’s wages. Nor was it from government benefits of the one who tithed. Therefore, if the fact that, “tithing existed before the Law” applies, tithes should not come from man’s wages or government benefits.

c) Tithing existed before the Law? Abram tithed spoils of war… spoils that did not belong to him. He had promised God that he would not take any of the spoils as his own property. Therefore, if the fact that, “tithing existed before the Law” applies, those who tithe should tithe only war spoils, and should promise God that they will give the rest of what they tithe from away.

d) Tithing existed before the Law? Abram was 79 years old when he tithed to Melchizedek. Therefore, if the fact that, “tithing existed before the Law” applies,, we should not tithe until we have reached the age of 79 as Abram was when he tithed.

e) Tithing existed before the Law? Abram tithed in the Valley of Shaveh. Therefore, “if tithing existed before the Law” applies, tithes need to taken to the Valley of Shaveh and given there.

f) Tithing existed before the Law? The tithe Abram gave to Melchizedek was from stolen items Abram recovered from kings he killed in battle. Therefore, “if tithing existed before the Law” applies, the tithe should only come from stolen items recovered after killing people… specifically, kings.

g) Tithing existed before the Law? Abram tithed in an open valley, not in a wooden or brick building commonly referred to as a church. Therefore, “if tithing existed before the Law” applies, tithes should be given in an open valley… not in a building.

h) Tithing existed before the Law? Abram was childless when he tithed to Melchizedek, and there is no mention of him tithing after Ishmael was born. Therefore, “if tithing existed before the Law” applies, those who tithe should not have any children prior to tithing nor tithe after they sire children.

i) Tithing existed before the Law? The first person who is recorded giving a tithe was married to his sister. Therefore, “if tithing existed before the Law” applies, only those who are married to their sisters should tithe.

j) Tithing existed before the Law? The first tithe was given only after receiving bread and wine from the one being tithed to. Therefore, “if tithing existed before the Law” applies, one should receive bread and wine before giving the tithe.

The “Tithing existed before the Law” argument shouldn’t be used to justify the monetary tithe requirement doctrine…It fails miserably.

A Promise of Rain
by Ronald W Robey
 
Read Malachi 3:10. As a matter of fact, read the entire Book of Malachi. It is only four chapters, which can be read in minutes. The first few chapters set the background for the third chapter.
 
In Chapter 1, we find Malachi rebuking the Priests of the Temple in Jerusalem for removing the acceptable offerings from the Temple and replacing them with less acceptable offerings.
 
In chapter 2, we see Malachi telling the corrupt Priests that he has a command for them. And yet, we do not see a command in chapter 2 at all.
 
Thus, the previous chapters are the lead-in for the instruction found in Malachi 3:10.
 
Now, read Genesis 7:11-12 & Genesis 8:2. There is a repeating phrase in all of these verses… “the windows of Heaven.”
 
Genesis 7:11-12 In the six hundredth year of Noah’s life, in the second month, the seventeenth day of the month, the same day were all the fountains of the great deep broken up, and the windows of heaven were opened. 12 And the rain was upon the earth forty days and forty nights.
 
Genesis 7:11-12 reveals that when the windows of Heaven opened, it began to rain upon the Earth.
 
Genesis 8:2 The fountains also of the deep and the windows of heaven were stopped, and the rain from heaven was restrained;
 
Genesis 8:2 reveals that when the windows of Heaven were closed, the rain stopped falling upon the Earth.
 
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 promise given in Malachi 3:10 was that if the Priests would return the stolen tithes, God would open the windows of Heaven, not for job security, not for protection from ill health, restoration of broken homes, not for the restoration of broken marriages, etc… One has to work to keep a job…not pay God to keep it. One has to eat right and exercise for the best health…not pay God for it. One has to show love and compassion to keep or restore one’s marriage…not pay God for it. The promise given by God was for rain to fall upon the land of Canaan.
 
The rain would bring an over-abundance of crops in the gardens and orchards. So large would be the agricultural harvest, that there would not be enough room to hold it all.
 
God said that if the stolen tithes were returned, He would “rebuke the devourer”. The devourer in Malachi 3:10 is not some enemy causing you to get fired from your job. It is not some demon causing sickness. It is not a demon breaking families and marriages apart. The devourer in Malachi 3:10 is an insect that has the potential to destroy the agricultural crops.
 
God said that if the stolen tithes were returned, He would not let the fruit fall prematurely from the vine. This again is speaking of that which grows in gardens, squash, pumpkins, grapes, etc…anything that grows from the ground on a vine. It has nothing to do with protecting women from having miscarriages.
 
The promise of Malachi was that if the Priests would return the tithes that they had stolen, God would send rain from Heaven…rain would cause the fruits and vegetables in Canaan to grow to the point that other nations would recognize that God’s hand was upon the children of Israel and that God had blessed Canaan greatly for their sake.

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