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Tithing is Unscriptural Under the New Covenant

Books that will challenge your current Biblical perspective.
The Fire That Consumes
The Parousia
The Biblical Church
Clinging to a Counterfeit Cross

Part II

Click here for PART I

Scriptural Proof that Christian Tithing is a Hoax and The Malachi Prophecy

I marvel that more people are not totally embarrassed by the way the world of Christendom exacts money from the poor and peddles the Word of God like so much merchandise for sordid gain. It is an international disgrace. I will not mince words, so get ready for some startling revelations.

WHAT WE WILL LEARN

What is the real message of Malachi's prophecy for believers today?

Did Paul finance his international ministry through the tithing system?

Is there even one example of Christians paying tithes in the Bible?

Why did Jesus not pay tithes or the Temple tax commanded by the Law of Moses?

Will you or anyone be "cursed with a curse" for not tithing?

THE SCRIPTURES KNOW NOTHING OF "CHRISTIAN TITHING"

Jesus Christ's followers did not pay tithe to Him from farm products or herds; neither did His followers pay Him ten percent of their salaries from other sources of income. "Christian tithing" is an oxymoron—it is a contradiction of words. Nay, it is more: it is, in fact, a Christian hoax! "Christian tithing" is about as Scriptural as "Christian burnt offerings," "Christian stonings," or "Christian synagogues." The so-called leaders of Christendom have bamboozled millions (billions) of unsuspecting "laity" into believing that "Christian tithing" is a Scriptural command from God Himself, and can easily be found and supported in the pages of Divine Scripture.

Of the 613 laws contained in the first five books of the Bible written by Moses, why is it that aside from the ten commandments, "tithing" is virtually the only other law that the modern Church tries to retain? They retain it in name only, however, since there is nothing similar between Moses' law of tithing" and "Christian tithing" except the aspect of ten percent. Christian tithing is an extra-biblical concept and doctrine—aside from the ten percent it has nothing in common with the tithing law of Moses, and was never practiced by the New Testament Church.

Not only is Christian tithing taught to be needful, it is taught as if it were a divine, binding LAW. But there is no such thing as a "Christian tithing law" in the New Testament Scriptures. It is a heresy, used by the Church, independent cults, and charlatans of every description, as a club to beat and threaten parishioners into surrendering ten percent of their salaries in obedience to this phantom law. All are forewarned that failure to pay this 10% Church tax will cause them to be "cursed with a CURSE!" There is indeed "a curse," but it is not God Who pronounces it.

NO TITHING IN THE CHURCH OF THE APOSTLES

We have Scriptural proof that no such law or custom as Christian tithing was taught or practiced in the Church by the early apostles. Their epistles are totally devoid of any such tithing custom or law. Gentile converts were never taught to tithe to anyone. Although the temple and priesthood in Jerusalem remained until 70 AD, not even Jewish converts were taught to give their tithes to the Apostles rather than to the temple priests.

In the Acts 15 Jerusalem Conference we find outlined what the apostles all agreed was necessary for the newly converted Gentiles to practice, and by inspiration of the Holy Spirit of God, tithing is conspicuously missing. Some believing Pharisees wanted the apostles to teach the Gentiles to keep the Law of Moses (which certainly contained the law of tithing, Acts 15:5), but the apostles headed by Peter, James, and Paul would not hear of it (Acts 15:28-29)! Yet, what is one of the very first legislated duties taught to Gentile converts by the Church today? It is that they must tithe their annual salaries to the Church. Where did this unscriptural law of Christian tithing come from?

Notice this telling bit of history from the Encyclopedia Britannica,

"Tithes in Christendom—The earliest authentic example of anything like a law of the State enforcing payment appears to occur in the capitularies [ecclesiasticals] of Charlemagne at the end of the 8th or beginning of the 9th century. Tithes were by that enactment to be applied to the maintenance of the bishop, clergy, the poor, and the fabric of the church. In the course of time the principle of payment of tithes was extended FAR BEYOND its original intention. Thus they became transferable to laymen and saleable like ordinary property, in spite of the injunctions of the third Lateran Council; and they became payable OUT OF SOURCES OF INCOME [not just farming and herding, but other trades and occupations and salaries paid in the form of money] NOT ORIGINALLY TITHABLE." (1963, volume 22, page 253, 'TITHES').

The Catholic Church knows its own history. Here is how tithing got back into the Church after being absent for nearly five centuries:

"As the Church expanded and various institutions arose, it became necessary to make laws which would insure the proper and permanent support of the clergy. The payment of tithes was adopted from the Old Law... The earliest positive legislation on the subject seems to be contained in the letter of the bishops assembled at Tours in 567 and the [canons] of the Council of Macon in 585."—The Catholic Encyclopedia.

They "extended" their base of tithe collecting to eventually include all forms of income. All Christian scholars know that although money was in wide use in ancient Israel, it was never a titheable commodity. But modern Christian pastors of God's sheep don't want tithes of goats or oil or corn—they want money—cold hard cash. God has a word to the "shepherds of the sheep," and it is the very same message that He had for the Levites in the book of Malachi. And it is this:

"My people have been lost sheep [Why? How did they get that way?] their SHEPHERDS have caused them to go astray" (Jer. 50:6).

Was Israel consciously aware of the fact that; they were being led astray by their spiritual leaders? Not most, and neither is the world of Christendom today aware that they are being lead astray by their spiritual leaders.

THE MYSTERY OF MALACHI REVEALED

It is the book of Malachi that today's clergy uses as their main authority for promulgating the doctrine of "Christian tithing." Christian tithing means that everyone must give 10% of their gross income (which is in the form of MONEY, 99%+ of the time), or they will be "cursed with a curse." It will be well worth your time to read the real meaning of Malachi's prophecy.

Mostly one will hear only three verses of Malachi quoted by those attempting to wrest a doctrine of Christian tithing from this prophecy.

Here are the "cursing" verses:

"Will a man rob God? Yet ye have robbed Me. But ye say, Wherein have we robbed Thee? In tithes and offerings. Ye are cursed with a curse: for ye have robbed Me, even this whole nation" (Malachi 3:8-9).

Here is the "blessing" verse:

"Bring ye all the tithes into the storehouse, that there may be meat [bread] in Mine house, and prove Me now herewith, says the Lord of hosts, if I will not open you the windows of heaven, and pour you out a blessing, that thee shall not be room enough to receive it" (Malachi 3:10).

Their interpretation of these proof texts are as follows: Rob God of His ten percent of your salary and be CURSED, or pay God ten percent of your salary and be BLESSED.

Before we go any further, just who is cursing whom in this Malachi prophecy? Does God, indeed, say, "You are CURSED with a curse" (Mal. 3:9)? This definitely sounds as if it is GOD Who is doing the cursing, doesn't it? But say, did you notice that the word "are" in your Bible is in italics? That means that the word was supplied by the translators and was not in the original manuscripts. Remove it, and the verse says: "You cursed…" rather than "You are cursed…"

Is it God, or Israel, who is doing the cursing in this verse?

The Sopherim (Jewish Scribes) understood this verse to say that it was Israel "cursing God" rather than "God cursing Israel." I have a few translations that make this correction:

"With the curse YOU are cursing [me], and me YOU are robbing—the nation in its entirety."

And:

"With a curse you curse Me, and Me you are defrauding—the nation, all of it" (Mal. 3:9, Concordant Version of The Old Testament).

We must always keep in mind that when the Bible says "tithes" it means products from the land—as grains and cattle. But when the Priests of Christendom say "tithes," it always means money. Because the clergy prefers to be paid in money, it therefore, became necessary to change the Biblical use of the word "tithes" to now include money. And if "money" can now be shown to be a tithable commodity, guess what? —Every believer, of every occupation in the whole world (not just the farmers as in the Law of Moses), now is required to pay ten percent of his income to the Church. They increased their base of productivity a hundred fold.

What then is the 21st Century application of this Malachi Prophecy? Are we now to tithe money? Let's read Malachi 3:10 very carefully:

  • WHAT were they robbing God of? "tithes AND offerings." Tithes of what? Products from the land—grains and cattle.

  • WHERE were they to bring the tithes? To the "storehouse" [Hebrew: 'garner'-- a granary for grain].

  • WHY did God want these tithes of the land brought to the "storehouse" (the granary)? "That there may be meat [bread] in Mine house [God's house, Not the granary]."

If there is no spiritual application of these statements and we rather take them literally, there appears to be a contradiction here. Why should the people bring the tithes to the "storehouse" (a granary for storing grain) when what God wanted was "bread in His house," (the tabernacle/Temple, and not the "storehouse")? The only food in God's house—the tabernacle, was a dozen loaves of bread. And that bread was for the Priests only, not for the tribe of Levi. Since there were only twelve loaves of bread in the Tabernacle/Temple of God, are we to believe that the whole nation of Israel did not bring enough grain to the storehouse to make even twelve loaves of bread?

God does not contradict Himself, there needs to be something other than a need for enough grain from the whole nation of Israel to make twelve loaves of bread! Just what does God mean, "that there may be meat [bread] in Mine house?" Is God really reprimanding Christians of the 21st Century through Malachi's prophecy to bring our checkbooks to church, "that there may be money in Mine house?" Yet this is the teaching of the Church regarding Malachi's message. What is the Truth?

Does God ask Israel to bring all the tithes and offerings into the storehouse, or treasury, or granary, so that there will be "tithes and offerings in Mine house?" No. God says so, "that there may be meat in Mine house?" We know that they did not bring the tithes and offerings into the holy place of the tabernacle. Only bread was kept in the holy place. The "bread" in the holy place was a type of something future, just as everything that happened to Israel and all of their offerings and ceremonies were a type of something future (I Cor. 10:11). He must indeed be spiritual blind who cannot see that the "bread" in the holy place foreshadows "The True Bread of Life—Jesus Christ."

If God wanted more money in His house, why did Jesus do what He did in the House of God?

"And Jesus went into the temple of God, and cast out all them that sold and bought in the temple, and overthrew the tables of the MONEY changers… and said unto them, It is written, My house shall be called the house of prayer; but ye have made it a den of thieves" (Matt. 21:12-13).

THE CHRISTIAN INTERPRETATION OF BRINGING IN THE TITHE

The Christian interpretation of Malachi 3:10 is this: "Bring ye all the tithe MONEY and extra offerings of money to the church bank, that there may be money in the Church." Granted, they might not enunciate it that crudely, but that is what they teach. Ask virtually any pastor of any church, "How do I, starting today, actually obey this prophecy of Malachi to stop "robbing God of His tithes and offerings?" and he will tell you to write out a check in the name of his church, for 10% of your salary (plus an offering), and that check will then be deposited into the church bank account.

Then ask these same pastors what kind of blessings you will receive for obeying this procedure, and they will probably tell you stories where people received huge amounts of material goods and even huge amounts of more money. This is their interpretation of God "opening the windows of heaven and pouring out a blessing." And there are ministers by the tens of thousands at this very moment preparing more stories and more yarns on how blessed one will become in every imaginable physical, earthly, and material things for giving them (they would say, giving God) your money.

Is this really how God wants us of the 21st Century to apply Malachi's prophecy to our lives? I speak as a fool.

This prophecy has absolutely nothing to do with tithing money to the Church.

Does God suggest somewhere in this prophecy that there isn't enough "money in His house?" Is Jesus Christ coming back to this earth to judge these "priests" because the "people" failed to bring enough money to the storehouse so that there would be money in God's house? Is it a lack of money that concerns God in this prophecy? No, it is both the people and the priests who have corrupted themselves according to this prophecy. But like always, God holds the priests to a much higher standard and therefore they receive the greater condemnation. There are two groups of judgments in this prophecy:

[1] "Behold I will send My Messenger… But who may abide the day of His coming? And who shall stand when He appears? For He is like a refiner's fire, and like fullers' soap: and He shall sit as a refiner and purifier of silver: and He shall PURIFY the sons of Levi, and purge them as gold and silver, that they may offer unto the Lord an offering in righteousness" (Mal. 3:1-3).

[2] "And I will come near to you to judgment [not just the priests, but many of the people as well]; and I will be a swift witness against the sorcerers, and against the adulterers, and against false swearers, and against those that oppress the hireling in his wages, the widow, and the fatherless, and that turn aside the stranger from his right, and fear not Me, says the Lord of hosts" (Mal. 3:5).

It is amazing how the clergy make most people think that the only thing of value in the book of Malachi are these three verses on "robbing God" and "receiving a blessing." There are four whole chapters in this book, and maybe it should behoove us to see what the rest of this book has to say. Here are just a few more things contained in Malachi:

"You offer polluted bread upon My altar… if ye offer the blind for sacrifice, is it not evil? And if ye offer the lame and sick, is it not evil…" (1:7-8).

"And now, O ye priests, this commandment is for you… I will curse your blessings… Behold, I will corrupt your seed, and spread dung upon your face…" (2:1-3).

"But you have departed out of the way… ye have corrupted the covenant of Levi… therefore I have also made you contemptible and base before all the people…" (2:8-9).

"Behold, I will send my Messenger… But who may abide the day of His coming… He is like a refiner's fire [like the lake of fire] …And He shall sit as a refiner and purifier of silver: and He shall purify the sons of Levi… that they may offer unto the Lord an offering in righteousness" (3:13—See Isa. 6:29).

"Then they that feared the Lord spoke often one to another: and the Lord hearkened, and heard it, and a book of remembrance was written before Him for them… And they shall be mine, says the Lord of hosts, in that day when I made up my jewels; and I will spare them… Then shall ye return, and discern between the righteous and the wicked, between him that serves God and him that serves Him not ['Do you not know that the saints shall judge the world?' I Cor. 6:2)]" (3:16-18).

"And He shall turn the heart of the fathers to the children, and the heart of the children to their fathers, lest I come and smite the earth with a curse" (4:6)

MALACHI AND THE BREAD OF LIFE

Malachi contains a prophecy and information "for OUR admonition upon whom the ends of the world are come" (I Cor. 10:11). There is no tabernacle/temple administered by the priests of Levi today, nor for two thousand years. Malachi is not speaking to Christians about tithing money to the church. The literal physical circumstances extent in the Church in Malachi's day is but a type, a shadow, of a spiritual reality for our day and for all those called since the Resurrection of Jesus Christ. It was from the tithes that the Priests of Levi selected the "sacrifices." There lies the problem for ancient Israel and the problem for the Church today.

Let me explain the problem with Israel and her priests in a nutshell:

God says: "I have LOVED you…"

Israel asks: "wherein have you loved us?" (Mal. 1:2).

God said: "If then I be a Father, where is mine honour? My fear? O priests, that despise My name."

The priests ask: "Wherein have we despised Thy name? (1:6).

God says: "Ye offer polluted bread upon Mine alter…"

The priests ask: "Wherein have we polluted Thee?" (1:7).

God says: "And if ye offer the blind for sacrifice, is it not evil? ,..the sick and the lame… is it not evil?" (1:8).

God says: "I have no pleasure in you… NEITHER WILL I ACCEPT AN OFFERING AT YOUR HAND" (1:10).

Let's stop here a minute and consider what we have read. The Priests despise God's name, and their sacrifices are, blind, sick and lame. And so God says He will not even accept their offering. So really, the people were tithing. But the quality of their tithes (from which they selected the sacrifices) was of an unacceptable quality. But was it this poor quality of sacrifices that really angered God? Not really. The sick and lame sacrifices were but a symptom of a much larger problem. God used their polluted sacrifices only as a physical, visual illustration to show them their sins and polluted hearts. For much of the remainder of this book, God unfolds to them their many sins and weaknesses.

God says: "Ye are gone away from Mine ordinance, and have not kept them. Return unto Me, and I will return unto you…" (3:7).

The priests ask: "Wherein shall we return?" (3:7).

God says: "In tithes and offering" (3:8).

God uses "tithes and offerings" to illustrate their attitude of mind and heart behind their giving. Tithes and offerings were all that God asked of the people to give Him. Everything else they could keep for themselves. But how much did they love God. How much did they appreciate God and all His goodness to them? What was their attitude of heart and mind toward God? Their "tithes and offerings" say it all: "You offer POLLUTED BREAD UPON MINE ALTAR" (1:7).

All that was included in their "tithes and offerings"—firstfruits, tithes of the land, tithes of the herds, and altar offerings of every sort, were to God: "polluted bread upon Mine altar." They gave offerings (they WERE TITHING), but they were totally unacceptable. "…NEITHER will I accept an offering at your hand" (1:10).

THE TYPE AND SHADOW IS FAR INFERIOR TO THE REALITY

Malachi was a "prophet." Moses was also a prophet, "And there arose not a prophet since in Israel like unto Moses" (Deut. 34:10). And Jesus Christ did not come to destroy the "prophets," but rather to "fulfill [the prophets]" (Matt. 5:17).

Under the Prophet Moses, God fed the nation of Israel bread in the wilderness.

"Our fathers did eat manna in the desert; as it is written, He gave them bread from heaven to eat" (John 6:31).

Under the Prophet Malachi God said they should bring the tithes into the storehouse so that there would be

"…meat in My house, and prove me now herewith, says the Lord of hosts, if I will not open you the windows of HEAVEN, and pour you out A [keep in mind that this blessing is singular—a blessing] blessing that there shall not be room enough to receive IT [again, singular]" (Mal. 3:10).

This may well be one of the most misunderstood and wrongly preached verses in the Bible.

The word "meat" in this verse comes from a Hebrew word taraph, and means "to pluck off or pull to pieces; to supply with food (as in morsels)" (Strong's Hebrew Dictionary, p. 105, #2963).

From this pulling to pieces, plucking off, and morsels, comes the phrase "breaking bread." There undoubtedly was, more grains in the storehouse (to bake bread), than any other food commodity. Now then, what did Jesus have to say to the Jews about the "bread from heaven" which they said their fathers ate in the desert?

"Then Jesus said unto them, Verily, verily, [truly, truly], I say unto you, Moses gave you NOT THAT BREAD FROM HEAVEN; but My Father gives you the TRUE BREAD from heaven. For the bread of God is HE which comes down from heaven and gives life unto the world" (John 6:32-33)!

What? How can Jesus say that?

The Jews said that their fathers ate "bread from heaven."

Moses said that, "He gave them bread from heaven to eat."

But Jesus said, "Moses gave you NOT that bread from heaven; but My Father gives you the TRUE bread from heaven.

Is Jesus contradicting the very Word of God? No, a thousand times No: He is fulfilling the words of the prophets just as He said in Matt. 5:17.

The bread in the desert was only the type of bread from heaven, which in reality, and in fulfillment, pointed to Jesus Christ, the "TRUE bread from heaven." The same is true for Malachi. The "polluted bread" of Malachi is but the type of the unpolluted, pure, "TRUE bread from heaven,' which is Jesus Christ. But to receive this "blessing from heaven," we must bring all our tithes, all that we have to offer God, into the storehouse so that there will be "meat [unpolluted bread] in Mine house."

Now then, does God want unpolluted animals? No. Does God want unpolluted produce from the land? No. Does God want unpolluted money? No. Well what kind of sacrifice does He want then? God wants you! All of you! You, yourself, are the sacrifice that God wants.

"I beseech [invitation, invocation, imploration, exhortation] you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice holy [not polluted], acceptable [not like in Malachi where God says, 'neither will I accept an offering at your hand'], unto God, which is your reasonable service" (Rom. 12:1).

As it is our 'bodies' that house our mind, heart, and spirit, we will also cover those attributes which are necessary in order for our "living sacrifice" to be acceptable unto the Lord.

Seriously, dear readers, of what value are physical material offerings to God, if the ones making the offerings are themselves, "polluted bread?" Does God really desire physical things? God has already created BILLIONS OF GALAXIES full of "physical things." Billions of galaxies do not fulfill God's desire for the love, obedience, and admiration of children. God wants children. God wants children—Sons and Daughters in His Own image. But God will not accept children whose character is likened to "polluted bread."

We will cover the quality traits of spiritual character that God desires of all His sacrifices.

FIRST THE PHYSICAL AND THEN THE SPIRITUAL

"Howbeit that was not first which is spiritual, but that which is natural; and afterward that which is SPIRITUAL" (I Cor. 15:46).

Now then, was that bread that the fathers ate in the desert the "TRUE bread from heaven?" No, it clearly was not, Jesus said it was not! And so, can we not see, can we not believe, can we not understand, that Jesus Christ IS

"…the TRUE bread from heaven. For the bread of God IS HE which comes down FROM HEAVEN and gives life unto the world" (John 6:32b-33).

Hold this thought ……

And now back to Malachi again:

"Bring ye all the tithes into the storehouse that there may be meat [bread] in Mine house, and prove me now herewith, says 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).

This is vital to understand: God does not berate the people or the priests for the lack of quantity in their tithes and offerings and sacrifices, but rather a lack of quality. Here is absolute Scriptural proof of what I say. They brought offerings, but why would God not accept their offerings? Because they offered "blind, lame and sick sacrifices." And why did they do that? Because they themselves were spiritually blind, lame and sick. There was quantity to their offerings, but not quality.

"And if ye offer the blind for sacrifice, is it not evil? And if ye offer the lame and sick, is it not evil? Offer it now unto your governor; will he be pleased with you, or accept your person? Says the Lord of hosts" (Mal. 1:8).

FINE FLOUR AND PURE FRANKINCENSE VS. POLLUTED BREAD

And how is it that God views these evil sacrifices:

"Ye [all of you] offer polluted bread upon mine altar…" (Ver. 7).

And so it is in today's Church. The problem is not a lack of money, but offering polluted bread upon the altar of God. God wants "Pure and Fine Bread":

"And you shall take fine flour, and bake twelve cakes… And you shall put pure frankincense upon each row, that it may be on the bread… And it shall be Aaron's and his sons'; [the priests] and they shall eat it in the holy place…" (Lev. 24:5-9).

Remember: first is the natural, the physical, and then comes the spiritual.

And so the children of Israel ate the "bread from heaven" in the wilderness. There was sufficient quantity, but it lacked quality. It did not possess the quality of True LIFE—they all DIED in the desert except for Caleb and Joshua in that generation. The spiritual fulfillment of this type of physical bread in the desert is that Jesus Christ is "The True Bread of LIFE." Likewise, the quantity of bread being offering by the priests on the altar of God was not the problem, but rather the quality of those offerings.

The spiritual bread (the spiritual food for the people) being offering in the Church today is not lacking in quantity, but rather quality. There is "bread," yes, but it is "polluted bread." The opposite of "polluted" is "pure." God's religion is PURE:

"PURE religion and UNDEFILED before God and the Father is this, To visit the fatherless and widows IN THEIR AFFLICTION, and to keep himself UNSPOTTED FROM THE WORLD" (James 1:27).

This verse does not say: "Take ten percent of the Social Security checks and welfare checks of the "fatherless and widows IN THEIR AFFLICTION," and then take that money and spend it for all the "spotted materialism of this world." Yet that is exactly what all to many of today's priests and ministers are doing. And furthermore, they shamelessly boast about their material possessions! They "love the world and the things that are in the world." And, therefore, is it little wonder that, "the love of the Father is not in them" (1 John 2:15)? Neither do they have a "love of the Truth" (2 Thes. 2:10).

God used a physical, outward, visible, type, of sick, lame, and blind sacrifices, which He then calls polluted bread to show Israel and their priests what He was really angry with, namely, their "polluted" hearts, minds, and spirits! Malachi's prophecy is about the sin WITHIN, not sacrifices WITHOUT!

THE ENDTIME CHURCH AS PETER SAW IT

Peter describes the church in the latter days:

"But there were false prophets also among the people, even as there shall be false teachers among you, who privily [secretly] shall bring in damnable [destructive, fatal, disastrous, ruinous] heresies, even denying the Lord that bought them, and bring upon themselves swift destruction. And MANY shall follow their pernicious [lascivious, licentious, wanton] ways; by reason of whom the way of the truth shall be evil spoken of. And through covetousness [greed, lust] shall they with feigned words MAKE MERCHANDISE OF YOU" (II Pet. 2:1-3).

Other renderings:

"Motivated by greed, they will exploit you with their counterfeit arguments" (Berkely Version).

"…in their lust they will exploit you with cunning arguments" (Moffatt Translation).

"In their greed for MONEY they will trade on your credulity with sheer fabrications"`(The New English Bible).

ALL PHYSICAL TYPES FORESHADOW SPIRITUAL REALITIES

Everything that happened in the Old Testament was a TYPE of future, spiritual things.

"Now ALL these things happened unto THEM for examples: and they were written for OUR admonition, upon whom the ends of the world are come" (I Cor. 10:11).

And Malachi is no different. The people of Israel tithed sick, lame, and diseased animals to Levi. The Priests took those evil beasts and offered them as sacrifices to God. The reason that the people and the priests offered sick (polluted) sacrifices is because they themselves were sick and polluted with sins. Isaiah describes them well:

"Ah sinful nation, a people laden with iniquity, a seed of evildoers, children that are corrupters: they have forsaken the Lord, they have provoked the Holy One of Israel unto anger, they are gone away backward. Why should ye be stricken any more? Ye will revolt more and more, THE WHOLE HEAD IS SICK and the whole heart is faint. From the sole of the foot even unto the head THERE IS NO SOUNDNESS IN IT…" (Isa. 1:4-5).

Much of what the clergy disseminates from the pulpit as "wholesome spiritual food," God calls "polluted bread." And just WHY do they offered polluted bread? Because:

"O generation of vipers, how can ye, being evil, speak good things? For out of the ABUNDANCE OF THE HEART, the MOUTH SPEAKS" (Matt. 12:34).

There it is! There is the message of Malachi! That is why Israel brought sick and blind sacrifices and that is why the priests did not correct them, but went ahead and offered them to God. Both the people and the priests were polluted in their hearts, and it is of the abundance of the heart that determines men's actions.

Today's "polluted bread" is served up in such doctrines as exact ten per cent of the parishioner's salaries in the form of a church tax called, tithing. And the threat of eternal torture in fire if one does not follow the dictates of a specific denomination or religious teaching that is deemed necessary to avoid this eternal hellhole of terrorism.

The type and shadow of Jesus Christ, the True Bread of life, was the physical bread that Israel ate in the desert. The desert doesn't produce enough food to sustain an army of people—it had to be supernaturally supplied by God. The desert and wilderness of our carnal nature does not produce enough spiritual food to sustain us either. Only the True Bread of LIFE from Heaven in the person of Jesus Christ can supply our spiritual needs. We must eat this spiritual bread in order to have spiritual life.

The sacrifices spoken of in Malachi were not suitable for God's house. They offered "POLLUTED BREAD" and we saw some of the many sins that that constituted this polluted bread. Here are the only sacrifices that are fit for God's storehouse:

"The sacrifices of God are A BROKEN SPIRIT: a broken a CONTRITE HEART…" (Psalm 51:17).

And in Psalm 34:18 David reverses the order:

"The lord is nigh unto them that are of a BROKEN HEART; and saves such as be of a CONTRITE SPIRIT."

It is all about attitude: REPENT, HUMBLE YOURSELF, and OBEY! Then follows the Blessing:

People always want to do physical things to prove their spirituality. But God doesn't want your physical things. God wants a broken heart and a contrite spirit and a willingness to OBEY:

"Behold, to OBEY is better than sacrifice, and to hearken than the fat of rams" (I Sam. 15:22).

The sacrifices of a broken heart, a contrite spirit, and a willingness to always obey are always acceptable to God.

BRINGING GOD YOUR SPIRITUAL TITHES WILL REAP A SPIRITUAL BLESSING

"Bring ye all the tithes into the storehouse, that there may be meat [bread—pure and fine bread—not polluted bread of a carnal mind filled with evil deeds and doctrines], and prove Me now herewith, says the Lord of hosts, if I will not open you the windows of HEAVEN ['For the bread of God is He which come down from heaven… For I came down from heaven...I am the bread which came down from heavenJohn 6:33, 38, 41] and pour you out a blessing [Jesus Christ, The Bread of Life is this blessing], that there shall not be room ['Now unto Him that is able to do EXCEEDING ABUNDANTLY {Gk: SUPEREXCESSIVELY—superabundantly, superexceedingly, superaboundingly} ABOVE ALL THAT WE ASK OR THINK' Eph. 3:20] to receive it" (Mal. 3:10).

God is saying to us: "Give Me your pure bread offerings of a "broken heart, contrite spirit, and attitude of obedience," and I will give you, "The TRUE BREAD OF LIFE from HEAVEN."

Now there, dear reader, is a blessing beyond our ability to make "room to receive it." Jesus Christ is the True Bread in God's house. Jesus Christ is the personification of LOVE, LIGHT AND LIFE. Jesus is the ultimate, the apex, the primer, the zenith, the HIGHEST OF EVERYTHING! Jesus Christ is the Tree of Life, The Hope of Glory, The Saviour of the World—all that we and the entirety of the universe will ever need for all eternity is found in Him! But God demands purity. All the polluted bread has got to go:

"Behold, what manner of love the Father has bestowed upon us, that we should be called the SONS OF GOD: therefore the world knows us not, because it knew Him not.

Beloved, now are we the SONS of God, and it does not yet appear what we shall be: but we know that, when He shall appear, we shall be like Him, for we shall see Him as He is.

And every man that has this hope in him PURIFIES HIMSELF, even as He [Jesus] IS PURE" (I John 3:1-3).

And the priests of Christendom would have us believe that God's message through Malachi is a quest for MORE MONEY! Unbelievable!

THE LESSON OF MALACHI FOR THE FOLLOWERS OF CHRIST

Obedience to the Law of Moses, the Sacrifices and the many Ordinances was to bring physical prosperity, safety from enemies, healthy children, and a long life in the land, followed by DEATH. Malachi brings us from obedience to physical laws in the land, all the way down to the return of Messiah in fiery judgment upon mankind. God never really did want animal sacrifices, but the sacrifices of a "broken and contrite heart and spirit."

God tells us through Malachi that we should bring all our tithes (spiritual tithes and offerings) to Him and He will bless us with a blessing that cannot be contained.

The physical tithes that were brought to the storehouse from which portions were sacrificed to God, brought temporary, physical blessings on Earth. For all those who will bring all their spiritual tithes and offering to God's house, God promises One permanent, SPIRITUAL Blessing from heaven. Jesus Christ is that One and only True Bread of never-ending life.

WE OBEY A SPIRITUAL LAW AND OUR SACRIFICES ARE SPIRITUAL

As Christians are not under the Law of Moses in this New Testament dispensation, accordingly, the end-time fulfillment of Malachi does not pertain to the Law of Moses, which is the oldness of the letter rather the newness of the spirit. Just as there is no more sacrificing of animals at the Temple, likewise there is no tithing of animals at the Temple—nor is there tithing of any kind. Christians are not under the Law of Moses, nor a twisted, modified version of it.

"For the law of the SPIRIT of LIFE in Christ Jesus [this is not the Law of Moses] has made me FREE FROM THE LAW OF SIN AND DEATH" (Rom. 8:2).

The law of the letter "engraven in stone tablets" assuredly was a "dispensation of death and condemnation" (II Cor. 3:4-11). Here are but a few more sacrifices of the spirit which are always acceptable in God's presence:

"…therefore will I offer in His tabernacle sacrifices of JOY…" (Ps. 26:6).

"Offer the sacrifices of RIGHTEOUSNESS, and put your trust in the Lord" (Ps. 4:5).

"And let them sacrifice the sacrifices of THANKSGIVING, and declare His works with REJOICING" (Ps. 107:22).

Yes, these are the sacrifices, these are the offerings, these are the tithes of a broken heart and a contrite spirit.

O what a clever piece of legislation the Church enacted when they changed a law regarding the tithing of farm products for the Levites only to a law that exacts ten per cent of EVERYTHING FROM EVERYBODY.

LOVE NOT THE WORLD NEITHER THE THINGS IN THE WORLD

Instead of following the Apostle Paul's example of humility and service, all too many priests of Christendom have become the very personification of materialistic exhibitionism.

Once content with a good quality $200 watch, now they need a $2000 Rolex. Once happy with $300 suits, now they need $3000 suits. Once content with a brand new $30,000 car every year, now they need an $80,000 top-of-the-line luxury car. Once happy with a beautiful and roomy $150,000 home, now they need a $1,500,000 mansion on the hill. Once happy that the $500,000 mortgage on their church building got paid, now they need a $5,000,000 cathedral with gold-gilded everything. Once happy to fly first class everywhere they traveled, now they need their own private $10,000,000 executive jet. Just look at how many men of the cloth are building their own kingdoms on earth? And it seems like the next generation coming behind them have even greater appetites.

Granted, there are tens of thousands who do not believe it possible to aspire to such dizzying heights of materialism and are content to have sizably smaller kingdoms, but it is still the same foul spirit of lust, power, and worldly materialism at work in many of their lives. Teaching God's people that it is God's law that they must tithe ten percent of their salaries to the Church or God will curse them is not only unscriptural, it is a SIN!

Have you ever heard one of these prosperity ministers give a powerful sermon on 1 John 2:15:

"Love not the world, neither the things that are in the world. If any man love the world, the love of the Father is not in him. For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life, is not of the Father, but is of the world."

MONEY AND THE BELIEVER

There is not one example of anyone tithing MONEY to anyone in the entirety of the Bible! The only reference to "money" with regards to tithing has absolutely nothing to do with paying tithes ON money. It is found in Deut. 14:24-26, which we shall now read in it's entirety:

"And if the way be too long for thee [to the place where God placed His name to be worshipped, especially during the fall feast harvest of tabernacles] so that you are not able to carry it [the tithe of their farm produce] or if the place be too far from you, which the Lord your God shall choose to set His name there, when the Lord your God has blessed you: Then shall you turn it [the tithe of their farm produce] into money, and bind up the money in your hand, and shall go unto the place which the Lord your God shall choose: And you shall bestow that money [to the preachers? to the church? NO…] …for whatsoever thy soul lusts after [Heb: 'for whatsoever your heart desires'], for oxen, or for sheep, or for wine, or for strong drink, or for whatsoever your soul desires: and you shall eat there before the Lord your God, and you shall rejoice, you, and your household."

Farm products could be sold and turned into money when long travel was necessary. But at the destination where God placed His name, the money was spent on food for the Levite, stranger, fatherless, poor, etc. It was not presented to the Levites as a monetary gift.

Here is an easy to understand Scripture explaining what the purpose of the tithe was:

"And the Levite, (because he has no part nor inheritance with you), and the stranger, and the fatherless, and the widow, which are within your gates, shall come, and shall EAT [food from the land] and be satisfied; that the Lord your God may bless you in all the work of your hand which you do" (Deut. 14:29).

The Church would prefer you not know the following:

  • The tradesmen who made the baskets for harvesting, did not tithe.

  • The cobblers, who made the shoes for the servants of the field, did not tithe.

  • The carpenters, who made the wagons used for harvesting the fields, did not tithe.

  • The potters, who made the jugs for carrying water to the servants in the fields, did not tithe.

  • The women, who made the garments for the field-workers, did not tithe.

  • And certainly, the servants who worked in the fields for wages, did not tithe.

Here are the simple facts regarding the Biblical teaching of tithing:

ONLY LANDOWNERS TITHED

ONLY PRODUCTS OF THE LAND WERE TITHED

ONLY LEVITES COULD RECEIVE THE TITHES

TITHING WAS A LAW OF MOSES

CHRISTIANS ARE NOT UNDER THE LAW OF MOSES!

Does anyone have a Scripture that contradicts what I have just said?

 

GIVING IS VOLUNTARY

The New Testament teachings on giving are unpretentiously simplistic involving the heart and not some law:

"…freely ye have received, freely give" (Matt. 10:8b).

"Give to him that asks you, and from him that would borrow of you turn not thou away" (Matt. 5:42).

"The churches in Macedonia and Achaia, you see, have thought it a good thing to make a contribution towards the poor Christians in Jerusalem. They have decided to do this, and indeed they owe it to them. For if the gentiles have had a share in the Jews' spiritual good things it is only fair that they should look after the Jews as far as the good things of this world are concerned" (Rom. 15:26-27, J. B. Phillips Translation).

"Give and it shall be given unto you; good measure, pressed down, and shaken together, and running over…" (Luke 6:38).

"I have showed you all things, how that so laboring ye ought to support the weak, and to remember the words of the Lord Jesus, how He said, It is more blessed to give than to receive" (Acts 20:35).

"But this I say, He which sows sparingly shall reap also sparingly; and he which sows bountifully shall reap also bountifully. Every man according as he purposes in his heart, so let him give; not grudgingly, or of necessity [Gk: 'compulsion' as in a commanded law]: for God loves a cheerful giver" (2 Cor. 9:6-7).

Follow these admonitions on giving and you will be blessed of God.

There is one more very important Scripture that should go in this group and that is 1 Tim. 5:8,

"But if any provide not for his own, and specially for those of his own household, he has denied the faith, and worse than an infidel."

Now I have emails and letters from elderly and disabled people who were told by their pastor that they are expected to tithe on their meager income regardless as to whether there is sufficient left over to care for the family. This is disgraceful beyond comprehension. And this is one of the main reasons that I write the material that I do for our bible-truths web site.

Numerous times I have heard ministers intimidating TBN viewers to contribute money that they did not have. Even if they owed more money to creditors in monthly payments than their salaries could possibly pay, they were still asked to make huge donations to TBN. Some contend that the more money one needs to meet his already staggering obligations, the more money he needs to send in. They are even told to pledge huge amounts (TWO THOUSAND DOLLARS was the asking pledge when last I saw this reprehensible carnival sideshow chicanery) of money that they did not have, and then to send in ten percent of the pledge and pay the rest off in installments. Have they no shame?

"HOW ARE WE TO PAY THE CHURCH BILLS IF THE PEOPLE DON'T TITHE?"

I get asked that question regularly. I tell them all the same thing: "Pay your church bills the same way I pay my living expenses—with a check." Here's the thing: You don't need to lie and deceive and pervert the word of God in order to pay church expenses.

Why doesn't your pastor just ask the people to contribute toward paying the church expenses? I can tell you why. A few do, but most don't. And why is that? It is because those who teach false doctrines to exact money illegally from their congregation don't have faith to trust their people to contribute voluntarily out of love. They only know how to teach the Old Testament laws, which are carnal, and therefore don't know how to teach the New Testaments laws, which are SPIRITUAL.

Most pastors see two options:

  • Teach that people will be cursed if they don't tithe ten percent of their annual salaries,
  • Trust God in faith to provide the money from voluntary gifts given from the heart.

If, in reality, trusting would bring in more money than pronouncing curses, no one would ever hear a sermon on tithing again, anywhere on earth. And if anyone suggested to any of these same pastors that tithing is an Old Testament law that Christians must keep or be cursed, those same pastors would ridicule you to scorn for ever suggesting such an obvious unscriptural doctrine that is not binding on New Testament Christians.

They will do whatever brings in the most money. And it is a proven fact, unscriptural threats of curses for no tithing, and blessings for tithing brings in more money than trusting the people, in faith, to supply the needs of the Church.

It is our hope and intention here at bible-truths to free as many as possible from the unscriptural hypnotic tactics of these TV auctioneers who peddle the Word of God like so much merchandise for sordid gain. But what about those small congregations that don't even want huge cathedrals and the pastor doesn't want to be rich or drive a $80,000 Mercedes. All they want is to preach the gospel and care for a local congregation and all that that involves. Surely it is not wrong for them to teach their congregation to tithe their salaries to the church, is it? Of course that is wrong. That's like saying, I don't want to rob a bank: I just want to take a few small things from the super market without paying for them! IT'S THE SAME CRIME, with the only difference being the amount stolen.

GIVING VERSUS TITHING

Do any of these Scripture references quoted above regarding voluntary giving, have anything to do with "tithing?" Absolutely not. Notice what the definition of Christian tithing is:

"tithe (tith) n. 1a. A tenth part of one's annual income contributed voluntarily or due as a tax, esp. for the support of the clergy or church." (The American Heritage College Dictionary, p. 1444).

Tithing was commanded by the LAW.

Giving is voluntary from the HEART.

THE APOSTLE PAUL VERSUS CHRISTIAN TITHING

The Apostle Paul never tithed, never taught Gentiles to tithe, never collected tithes, and never accepted tithes. Can anyone imagine what Paul would have said had someone come up to him and offered him $100 saying: "Here Paul, here is my payment according to the tithing law with regards to my thousand-dollar paycheck." I don't know what his exact words would be, but I have studied the writings of Paul, and I can tell you what he would have said in principle:

"Sir, MONEY is not a tithable commodity. Furthermore, tithes can be paid to the Levitic priests only, and I am not a Levite, I am from the Tribe of Benjamin. Furthermore, as a believer in Jesus Christ, you are also freed from the law of Moses. Jesus Christ has taught us that, 'FREELY you have received, FREELY give." One cannot give 'freely' that which is demanded by law. I am sorry, but I cannot accept money that is given out of obligation to a law. Jesus has freed us from carnal ordinances, and whom Jesus has freed, 'is FREE indeed.'"

Now then, give that same $100 to any number of priests of Christendom, and one might receive this retort: "Well, if this $100 is your tithe, where is your offering? Don't you know that the tithe is commanded and demanded by law? You have only given me what is commanded by law of you to give. You have not really giving me anything until you give me money in excess of your tithes"

Well, what more can I say about that?

CHRIST'S ONLY TWO EXAMPLES OF TITHERS

Paul was inspired by God's Holy Spirit to declare that "God loves a cheerful giver" (2I Cor.9:7). Why was not Paul inspired by God's Holy Spirit to declare that, "God loves a cheerful tither?" In fact, why does not Paul mention the words tithe, tithes, or tithing in any of His thirteen epistles—not once? (Paul did not write the book of Hebrews, 2 Thes. 3:17). Why does not Peter, James, John, or Jude mention tithing in any of their epistles? Why didn't the early Christian Fathers mention tithing as a doctrine of the New Testament Church? Therefore, why are innumerable thousands of evangelists, theologians, teachers, preachers, and clergymen teaching the world that if they don't tithe ten percent of their salaries, that God will curse them with a curse?

The only two times in the New Testament that Jesus mentions tithing is in condemnation of the Pharisees. At the time of Jesus' ministry there was a temple and there was a Levitic Priesthood, hence tithing was still in effect for the Jews. Hear now the only words ever recorded of Jesus mentioning tithes:

  • "But WOE [deep distress, misery, grief, misfortune, calamity, sorrow, dismay] unto you Pharisees! For ye tithe mint and rue and all manner of herbs [some had farms; some had gardens], and pass over JUDGMENT and the LOVE OF GOD: these ought ye to have done, and not to leave the other undone" (Luke 11:42).

  • And just what kind of a blessing did Jesus pronounce on these Pharisees for their "tithe of the mint and herbs"? No blessing, just a startling "WOE"!

  • "And the Pharisee stood and prayed thus with himself, God… I fast twice in the week, I give tithes of all that I possess" (Luke 18:12).

And just what kind of a blessing did Jesus pronounced on this Pharisee for his "tithe"?

No blessing, no justification, just a promise that people like him will be "abased" (Ver. 14).

What does being an utter hypocrite and passing over "Judgment and the Love of God" have to do with "tithing?" That's the whole point. These gross sins have virtually nothing to do with tithing!

Tithing to Jesus was so absolutely insignificant to the gross sins of failing to properly Judge the widows and orphans and fatherless and poor, and to not show any Love of God toward them. Tithing was the smallest most inconsequential thing Christ could think of to show the utter hypocrisy of this Pharisees. They were very meticulous about tithing (a law of virtually no spiritual consequence what so ever), and yet… and YET they would do the tithe thing and neglect judgment, love and mercy.

Now please don't all write me at once telling me that I have missed the whole point of these two sets of Scripture by not realizing that it was their very gross sins that will bring "woes' and "abasements" on them, and not that they are being condemned for what they did do correctly, namely "tithe." That is quite true. However, it appears that most have missed the very reason why Jesus gives two examples of two Phariees, who were gross sinners deserving the worst possible chastisements, and then says that they were both tithe-payers.

Christ's attention to the fact that they were both meticulous tithe-payers, proved the hypocrisy of these two Pharisees. They would pay strict attention to minor details of a law, and yet totally abandon the very reason and purpose for the whole existence of the law—LOVE, MERCY, JUDGMENT.

The Law of Moses regarding tithing produce from the land was still in effect during Christ's ministry, and therefore, all of the nation of Israel who had land were to tithe from their land and give it to the Priests and Levites, strangers, fatherless, widows, poor, and even consume some of it themselves at God's annual festivals. However, this system with its laws and temple were all part of the original church of God in the wilderness. Jesus, however, did not tithe. Likewise, His apostles, did not tithe. Furthermore, neither Jesus, nor His Apostles, nor Paul, ever taught new Christian converts to the newly established Church of Christ, to tithe to this new church!

Here then is the bottom line: Neither, Jesus nor His apostles tithed themselves or taught tithing to others. And within a generation God pronounced to the entire world by the total destruction of both the nation of Judah, and their city of Jerusalem with its temple, that the church established in the wilderness, was now superseded by the Church of Christ. The nation of Israel was gone, the temple was gone, the priests were gone, the Levites were gone, and concerning the very Law of Moses containing the law of tithing, we read this:

"In that he says, A NEW covenant, He has made the first OLD. Now that which DECAYS and waxes OLD is ready to VANISH AWAY" (Heb. 8:13).

But the Church today doesn't want the New Covenant to replace the Old. They want to put the New Wine (of the New Covenant), in the Old Bottles (of the Old Covenant). And they want to put the New Cloth (of the New Covenant), on the Old Cloth (of the Old Covenant). And what did Jesus tell us would be the result of such an unharmonious and unequal yoking?

"And no man puts new wine into old bottles; else the new wine will burst the bottles, and be spilled and the bottles shall perish."

However, in two thousand years, the church is still trying put the Old and the New together as One, and the results are always disastrous.

Just why is it that they like the Old covenant better than the New? Here's the answer from the lips of our Master Himself: "No man also having drunk old wine [lived by the Old Covenant] straightway desires new [the spiritual New Covenant]: for he says, The old is better" (Luke 5:39).

But not only is the Church blinded by the new wine, they are also intoxicated from the old wine to the point that they have no idea what it's purpose was in the first place. Jesus said, "You blind guides, which STRAIN OUT A GNAT [are attentive to TINY insignificant things like paying tithes on mint and pepper pods], and SWALLOW A CAMEL [totally neglect the weightier matters of the law which are of HUGE consequence, like judgment, faith, mercy, and the love of God]" (Matt. 23:24).

How many millions of sermons are geared toward "straining out gnats" on Sunday morning, so that the Pastors can "swallow camels" all week long?

HOW THE APOSTLE PAUL FINANCED HIS INTERNATIONAL MINISTRY

Worldliness in the Church today is not looked upon as shameful, but rather as being chic. Power, wealth, and notoriety are not things to be repented of, but are rather to be lusted after and pursued with great vigor. Young aspiring ministers are not thought to be vain or ambitious when seeking worldliness, but are rather thought of as being enthusiastic for the work of the Lord. Let's see how Paul did things.

"For yourselves know how you ought to follow us: for we behaved not ourselves disorderly among you: Neither did we eat any man's bread for naught; but wrought with labor and travail NIGHT AND DAY, that we might not be chargeable to any man. Not because we have not power, but to MAKE OURSELVES AN EXAMPLE UNTO YOU TO FOLLOW US" (II Thes. 3:7-9).

But how many truly follow Paul's example? You be the judge.

"For ye remember, brethren, our labour and travail: for LABOURING NIGHT AND DAY, because we would not be chargeable unto any of you, we preached unto you the Gospel of God" (I Thes. 2:9).

Imagine that: Paul could not only walk and chew gum at the same time, but he could work "night and day" and "preach the Gospel of God" at the same time! Just maybe there is a lesson in there somewhere. Paul travels to Corinth:

"And because he was of the same craft [trade], he abode with them, and wrought [worked]: for by their occupation they were tentmakers" (Acts 18:3).

"I have coveted no man's silver, or gold, or apparel. Yea, ye [all of you] yourselves know, that these hands have ministered unto my necessities, and to them that were with me. I have showed you all things how that so labouring ye ought to support the weak, and remember the words of the Lord Jesus, how He said, It is more blessed to give than to receive" (Acts 20:33-31).

Don't kid yourself, there's a whole army of men of the cloth out there coveting your gold and your silver. Many television ministries are little more than highly sophisticated Hollywood-produced, tithe-collecting infomercials. They make me ill watching them.

One final example of how Paul ministered and financed his ministry:

"For I think that God has set forth us the apostles last, as it were appointed to death: for we are made a spectacle unto the world, and to angels, and to men.

We are fools for Christ's sake, but ye are wise in Christ; we are weak, but ye are strong; ye are honorable, but we are despised.

Even unto this present hour we both hunger, and thirst, and are naked, and are buffeted, and have no certain dwellingplace;

And labor, working with our own hands; being reviled, we bless; being persecuted, we suffer it:

Being defamed, we intreat: we are made as the filth of the world, and are the offscouring of all things unto this day.

I write not these things to shame you, but as my beloved sons I warn you.

For though ye have ten thousand instructors in Christ, yet have ye not many fathers: for in Christ Jesus I have begotten you through the gospel.

Therefore I beseech you, BE YE FOLLOWERS OF ME" (I Cor. 4:9-16)!

Cheerfully giving from the heart is a virtue. However, fraudulently fleecing the flock by exacting ten percent of parishioner's paychecks under fear of breaking an Old Testament law of tithing is a sin!

It is far past time that we offer a little comfort to the millions of people in our nation and around the world who are chafing under the constant burden of supporting ministers and televangelists who live lifestyles so materialistic and worldly that even Hugh Heffner would be envious. I'm not trying to be humorous about these characters; I'm dead serious.

Well I certainly don't begrudge any minister an honest living. However, I do believe that when many of these modern televangelists (and others) feel the need to have everything they own gold gilded, just maybe their greed and vanity starts to destroy their effectiveness as dispensers of God's Truths.

There is no need for people to feel guilty over any religious doctrine. It is time we rid ourselves of guilty consciences. Hopefully, by the time you have finished reading this paper your guilt over tithing or non-tithing will be gone forever!

It is our sincere desire that all who have been chafing under the unscriptural burden of Christian tithing will feel free at last to follow their heart in giving to whomever they desire as God prospers them. John 8:32 tells us that Truth is Freedom:

"And ye shall know the Truth, and the Truth shall make you FREE."



Quotes on Tithing Throughout Church History

Didascalia Apostolorum (ca. 225)

"No more be bound with sacrifices and oblations, and with sin offerings, purifications, and vows . . . nor yet with tithes and firstfruits. . . . for it was laid upon them [i.e., the Israelites] to give all these things as of necessity, but you are not bound by these things. . . . Now thus shall your righteousness abound more than their tithes and firstfruits and part offerings, when you shall do as it is written: Sell all thou hast, and give to the poor."

R. Hugh Connolly, Didascalia Apostolorum: The Syriac Version Translated and Accompanied by the Verona Latin Fragments (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1929), 2:34–35.

Waldenses (ca. 12th century)

The Waldenses, followers of Peter Waldo (ca. twelfth century), believed that tithes should not be given to priests "because there was no use of them in the primitive Church."

Allix, "Some Remarks upon the Ecclesiastical History of the Ancient Churches of the Piedmont," 1690, reprint, Bible Truth Library: Bible and Church History Collection, The Bible Truth Forum, CD-ROM. Available from http://www.bibletruthforum.com, 218, 232.

Thomas Aquinas (1225–1275)

"Paying tithes, it appears, is no longer of precept, because the precept to pay tithes was given in the Old Law. . . . Paying tithes cannot be considered a moral precept, however, because natural reason does not dictate that one ought to give a tenth, rather than a ninth or an eleventh. Therefore, it is a ceremonial or a judicial precept."

Thomas Aquinas, Summa Theologiæ, vol. 39 (New York: McGraw-Hill, 1964), 139.

Roger Williams (1603–1683)

Roger Williams has been credited with founding the first or second Baptist church in America. In 1652, Williams concluded that ministers of the gospel are to serve freely and be supported freely, "and that not in stinted Wages, Tithes, Stipends, Sallaries, &c. but with larger or lesser supplies, as the Hand of the Lord was more or lesse extended in his weekly blessings on them."

Roger Williams, The Complete Writings of Roger Williams, 7 vols. (New York: Russell & Russell, 1963), 7:165.

John Milton (1659)

Milton wrote forcibly against tithes, which he considered ceremonial and abolished.

John Milton, Considerations touching the likeliest means to remove hirelings out of the church. Wherein is also discourc'd of tithes, church-fees, church-revenues; and whether any maintenance of ministers can be settl'd by law.(London: L. Chapman, 1659), A9–A10, 15–18, 32–35, 37.

John Bunyan (Baptist; 1628–1688)

John Bunyan (1628–1688), author of Pilgrim's Progress, commented on Luke 18:10–13, "This paying of tithes was ceremonial, such as came in and went out with the typical priesthood."

John Bunyan, Bunyan's Searching Works: The Strait Gate, The Heavenly Footman,The Barren Fig-Tree, The Pharisee and Publican, and Divine Emblems(Philadelphia: American Baptist Publication Society, 1851), 24.

The Little Parliament (1653)

The Little Parliament (1653), under Cromwell and the Independent Churches, was moving toward voluntarism, that is, "that the maintenance of Churches by means of tithes ought to be done away."

Henry William Clarke, History of English Nonconformity, 2 vols.(London: Chapman and Hall, 1911-1913), 1:374.

Martin Luther (1483–1546)

"I would even be glad if [today] lords ruled according to the example of Moses. If I were emperor, I would take from Moses a model for [my] statutes; not that Moses should be binding on me, but that I should be free to follow him in ruling as he ruled. For example, tithing is a very fine rule, because with the giving of the tenth all other taxes would be eliminated. For the ordinary man it would also be easier to give a tenth than to pay rents and fees. Suppose I had ten cows; I would then give one. If I had only five, I would give nothing."

Martin Luther, "How Christians Should Regard Moses," In Luther's Works, vol. 35, edited and translated by E. Theodore Bachman (Philadelphia: Muhlenberg Press, 1960), 165-66.

Separatists in Amsterdam (1602–1603)

"That the due maintenance of the Officers aforesaid, should be of the free and voluntarie contribution of the Church, that according to Christs ordinance, they which preach the Gospell may live of the Gospell: and not by Popish Lordships and Livings, of Iewish Tithes and Offerings."

Henry Martyn Dexter, The Congregationalism of the Last Three Hundred Years, as Seen in Its Literature (New York: Harper, 1880), 307.

"VII. That the due maintenance of the Officers aforeſsaid ſhould be of the free and voluntary contribution of the Church, that according to Chriſts ordinance they which preach the Goſpell, may live of the Goſpell, and not by Popiſh Lordſhips and livings or Iewiſh Tithes and offerings."

Henry Ainsworth and Francis Johnson, An Apologie or Defence of Such True Christians as are commonly (but vniuſtly) called Brovvwinsts (n.p.: n.p., 1604), 58.

John Smyth (1609)

John Smyth (1609), a Separatist whom many credit with being the first Baptist, said that Christ abolished tithes.

John Smyth, Parallels, Censures, Observations [Amsterdam]: n.p., 1609, text-Fiche.

John Robinson (1610)

Robinson was the pastor of the "Pilgrim Fathers" before they left on the Mayflower. Robinson remained in Holland with the majority of the congregation. He wrote that he supported the views of Ainsworth and Smyth. In his argument, he claimed that the author of Hebrews taught that "the law is abolished by the gospel, in the sense we speak of: and the old testament by the new, in respect of ordinances," and tithing was one of those ordinances that had been abolished. He argued that the maintenance of ministers should be through voluntary contributions.

John Robinson, The Works of John Robinson: Pastor of the Pilgrim Fathers, 3 vols., edited by Robert Ashton (London: John Snow, 1851), 2:185-86; 466-67.

Adam Clarke (ca. 1762–1832)

"I say again, let there be a national religion, and a national clergy supported by the state; but let them be supported by a tax, not by tithes, or rather let them be paid out of the general taxation; or, if the tithe system must be continued, let the poor-rates be abolished, and the clergy, out of the tithes, support the poor in their respective parishes, as was the original custom."

Adam Clarke, Clarke's Commentary: A New Edition, with the Author's Final Corrections,6 vols. (New York: Methodist Book Concern, 1846), 1:179-80.

Charles Buck (English; 1833)

His article on tithing stated that nothing in the New Testament commanded tithing since "the divine right by which they were raised necessarily ceased."

Charles Buck, "Tithes," in A Theological Dictionary, new ed., edited by E. Henderson (London: James Duncan, 1833), 905-06.

J. Newton Brown (Baptist; 1836)

John Newton Brown (1803–1868), who wrote the draft of the New Hampshire Confession of Faith (1833), edited an encyclopedia. The article on tithes in this encyclopedia (published in 1836) explicitly said they ceased. The New Hampshire Confession of Faith was a precursor to the Baptist Faith and Message.

J. Newton Brown, ed., "Tithes," in Encyclopedia of Religious Knowledge, 2 vols. (Brattleboro: Fessenden, 1836), 2:1124.

G. Campbell Morgan (English Congregationalist; 1898)

"I hear a great deal about the tithing of incomes. I have no sympathy with the movement at all. A tenth in the case of one man is meanness, and in the case of another man is dishonesty. I know men today who are Christian men in city churches and village chapels, who have no business to give a tenth of their income to the work of God. They cannot afford it. I know other men who are giving one-tenth, and the nine-tenths they keep is doing harm to their souls.

G. Campbell Morgan, The Westminster Pulpit, 10 vols., 1906–1916, reprint (Grand Rapids: Baker, 1995), 4:40.

Charles Haddon Spurgeon (1834–1892)

Charles Spurgeon is one of the most confusing preachers when trying to decipher his beliefs on tithing. Some quotes seem to lead to the conclusion that he believed it was required for Christians. The following quotes are those that cast doubt on that conclusion.

"It is also noteworthy that, with regard to Christian liberality, there are no rules laid down in the Word of God. I remember hearing somebody say, 'I should like to know exactly what I ought to give.' Yes, dear Friend, no doubt you would; but you are not under a system similar to that by which the Jews were obliged to pay tithes to the priests. If there were any such rule laid down in the gospel, it would destroy the beauty of spontaneous giving, and take away all the bloom from the fruit of your liberality!"

Charles H. Spurgeon, Metropolitan Tabernacle Pulpit, 68 vols. (Pasadena, TX: Pilgrim, 1974), 47:97.

"I have read some amazing statements upon the divine right of tithes. It seems to be established in the minds of some that if God gave the tithes to Levi he must, therefore, have given them to Episcopalian ministers: an inference which I fail to see! I should just as soon draw the inference that he had given them to Baptist ministers; certainly it would be no more illogical. The idea of our being priests, or Levites, in order to get compulsory tithes, would be too abhorrent to be entertained for a moment!"

Charles H. Spurgeon, Metropolitan Tabernacle Pulpit, 68 vols. (Pasadena, TX: Pilgrim, 1974), 28:694.

"Much has been said about giving a tenth of one's income to the Lord. Methinks that is a Christian duty which none should for a moment question. If it were a duty under the Jewish law, much more is it so, now under the Christian dispensation. But it is a great mistake to suppose that the Jew only gave a tenth. He gave very, very, very much more than that. The tenth was the payment which he must make, but after that came all the free-will offerings, all the various gifts at divers seasons of the year, so that, perhaps, he gave a third, much more near that, certainly, than a tenth!"

Charles H. Spurgeon, Metropolitan Tabernacle Pulpit, 68 vols. (Pasadena, TX: Pilgrim, 1974), 14:567–68.

Again, if one were to stop reading right there, then his view seems obvious. But he continued:

"I do not, however, like to lay down any rules for God's people, for the Lord's New Testament is not a great book of rules; it is not a book of the letter, for that killeth, but it is the book of the Spirit, which teacheth us rather the soul of liberality than the body of it, and instead of writing laws upon stones or paper, it writes laws upon the heart. Give, dear friends, as you have purposed in your heart, and give proportionately, as the Lord hath prospered you, and do not make your estimate of what you ought to give by what will appear respectable from you, or by what is expected from you by other people, but as in the sight of the Lord, as He loveth a cheerful giver; and as a cheerful giver is a proportionate giver, take care that you, like a good steward, keep just accounts towards the great King."

Charles H. Spurgeon, Metropolitan Tabernacle Pulpit, 68 vols. (Pasadena, TX: Pilgrim, 1974), 14:568.

Albert L. Vail (Baptist; 1913)

"My judgment is that the strong probability at this point favors the New Testament plan, to be considered later, as better even for immediate financial results than the tithing plan."

Albert L. Vail, Stewardship Among Baptists (Philadelphia: American Baptist Publication Society, 1913), 73-74.

John Harvey Grime (Baptist; 1934)

Grime provided ten reasons Christians are not required to tithe.

"1. It violates the divine plan laid down in the New Testament Scriptures.

2. It violates every principle of church polity upon which all our churches stand.

3. If the Scriptures require our churches to tithe, we have not a single scriptural church in our association.

4. It changes our giving from the realm of voluntary worship to that of slavish obedience to law.

5. It makes our churches tax gatherers.

6. No Baptist Church has ever adopted it. Should a church adopt it, they would cease to be Baptist.

7. So far as history goes, it was never mentioned as a Christian or church obligation until after the 'great apostasy' in 250 A. D., and the union of Church and State in 325 A. D., and then only by the apostate church, and not by Baptists. The agitation among Baptists, of this question, is of recent date.

8. No Baptist Confession of Faith has ever mentioned it.

9. It screens the rich, and oppresses the poor.

10. Not one syllable in all the Bible that connects the tithe system with the churches of Jesus Christ. When Baptists leave the Bible, they get into trouble."

John Harvey Grime, The Bible and History on the Tithe System ( n.p.: n.p., 1934), 4.

John Theodore Mueller (Lutheran; 1934)

"With respect to the tithe which God enjoined upon the Jews in the Old Testament, Lev. 27,30, we must remember, on the one hand, that also this provision belonged to the Ceremonial Law, which has been abolished by Christ, Col. 2, 16.17, so that it is no longer binding upon Christians in the New Testament; on the other hand, however, the abolition of the law of tithing must not be abused by Christians in the interest of neglecting liberal giving, since also in the New Testament God exhorts His saints to give continually and liberally, 2 Cor. 9,6.7."

John Theodore Mueller, Christian Dogmatics: A Handbook of Doctrinal Theology for Pastors, Teachers, and Laymen (St. Louis: Concordia, 1934), 414.

R. C. H. Lenski (Lutheran; 1946)

Lenski said "[t]ithing is Jewish" and "Paul shunned tithing."

R. C. H. Lenski, The Interpretation of St. Paul's First and Second Epistle to the Corinthians (Columbus: Wartburg, 1946), 1172.

Francis Pieper (Lutheran; 1953)

"We Lutheran professors deplore and reprove as sin the undeniable fact that New Testament Christians make use of their deliverance from the Old Testament tithe to excuse their indolence in contributing for the purposes of the Church, particularly for missions. Also Luther reproved this sin. [the sin of not supporting ministers and missions] But we also know that the Christian Church never commands where Scripture does not command. The obligation to pay the tithe has been abolished in the New Testament. While the New Testament Scripture inculcates that obligation of generous and untiring giving, it leaves the exact amount and the details of the contributions to Christian insight and freedom."

Francis Pieper, Christian Dogmatics, vol. 3, trans. Walter W. F. Albrecht (St. Louis: Concordia, 1953), 50.

Paul Leonard Stagg (Baptist; 1958)

Tithes "are not thus binding upon Christians."

Leonard Stagg, "An Interpretation of Christian Stewardship," in What is the Church? A Symposium of Baptist Thought, ed. Duke K. McCall (Nashville: Broadman, 1958), 151.

Hiley H. Ward (Baptist; 1958)

Ward wrote a whole book dedicated to why tithing is not necessary for Christians: Hiley H. Ward, Creative Giving (New York: Macmillan, 1958).

Roy T. Cowles (1958)

Cowles said that he has "taken the position against the tithing doctrine for many years."

Roy T. Cowles, Scriptural Teaching on Stewardship: Tithing or Stewardship? (Grand Rapids: Baker, 1958), 3.

R. C. Rein (Lutheran, Missouri Synod; 1959)

"The fact that many church members today contribute far less than ten per cent does not constitute a valid reason for advocating the tithe as the ideal guide for giving. For, apart from the fact that the tithe is not a worthy standard for giving in the New Testament, those who advocate it should, in fairness, call attention to the many offerings that the Israelites brought in addition to the tithe."

R. C. Rein, First Fruits: God's Guide for Giving (St. Louis: Concordia, 1959), 64.

Wick Broomall (1960)

Broomall says that the silence of tithe in NT is "best explained only on the ground that the dispensation of grace has no more place for a law on tithing than it has for a law on circumcision."

Wick Broomall, "Tithes," in Baker's Dictionary of Theology, ed. Everett F. Harrision (Grand Rapids: Baker, 1960), 525.

Alfred Martin (1968)

Martin was a graduate of Dallas Theological Seminary. At one point in his career he was a Vice President at Moody.

"The Christian, since he is not under the law, is not under the obligation to tithe."

Alfred Martin, Not My Own: Total Commitment in Stewardship (Chicago: Moody, 1968), 36.

Jerry Horner (Southern Baptist; 1972)

"Exegetically and thus dogmatically the New Testament does not recognize tithing as a regulation in the new covenant." 183

Jerry Horner, "The Christian and the Tithe," in Resource Unlimited, ed. William L. Hendricks (Nashville: Stewardship Commission of the Southern Baptist Convention, 1972), 183.

Richard B. Cunningham (Southern Baptist; 1979)

Richard Cunningham was a SBC seminary professor of Christian philosophy.

"The problem is that the New Testament nowhere contains a specific commandment that the Christian should tithe. The tithe is mentioned only three times in the New Testament."

He also said that "in each case the allusion to the tithe is merely incidental to another point being made."

"If that were the clear standard of giving in the New Testament church, it would have been useful to appeal to the tithe in the major giving passages in the New Testament. But in those passages … there is not the slightest hint of the tithe."

Richard B. Cunningham, Creative Stewardship, Creative Leadership Series, ed. Lyle E. Schaller (Nashville: Abingdon, 1979), 101.

Garry Friesen (1980)

"Christians are not under obligation to practice tithing."

Garry Friesen, with J. Robin Maxson, Decision Making & the Will of God: A Biblical Alternative to the Traditional View, Critical Concern (Portland: Multnomah, 1980), 357.

James Montgomery Boice (1986)

"Sometimes in question-and-answer periods I am asked whether Christians today are obliged to tithe. I suspect the questioner wants to know how little he must give to Christian causes and how much he can keep for himself. I reply with what I believe to be a proper statement of the case, namely, that the tithe was an Old Testament regulation designed for the support of a particular class of people. It was not carried over into the New Testament. Nowhere in the New Testament are believers instructed to give a specific tenth or any other proportion of their income to Christian projects."

James Montgomery Boice, The Minor Prophets: Two Volumes Complete in One Edition (Grand Rapids: Kregel, 1986), 2:255.

Paul Fink (1982)

"It is interesting to note that tithes are never mentioned in the New Testament. … Nowhere in the New Testament is it suggested that the believer is to give 10 percent of his income … The storehouse, contrary to much popular preaching on the subject, is not the local church."

Paul Fink, "Malachi," in Liberty Bible Commentary: Old Testament, ed. Jerry Falwell (Lynchburg, VA: The Old-Time Gospel Hour, 1982), 1859.

J. Vernon McGee (1991)

"We are to give, but on a different basis. The church is not under the tithe system as a legal system. That does not mean that some people couldn't give a tenth to the Lord—that may be the way the Lord would lead them to give."

J. Vernon McGee, Malachi, Thru the Bible (Nashville: Nelson, 1991), 81.

John MacArthur Jr. (2001)

Two kinds of giving are taught consistently throughout Scripture: giving to the government (always compulsory), and giving to God (always voluntary).

The issue has been greatly confused, however, by some who misunderstand the nature of the Old Testament tithes. Tithes were not primarily gifts to God, but taxes for funding the national budget in Israel.

Because Israel was a theocracy, the Levitical priests acted as the civil government. So the Levite's tithe (Leviticus 27:30-33) was a precursor to today's income tax, as was a second annual tithe required by God to fund a national festival (Deuteronomy 14:22-29). Smaller taxes were also imposed on the people by the law (Leviticus 19:9-10; Exodus 23:10-11). So the total giving required of the Israelites was not 10 percent, but well over 20 percent. All that money was used to operate the nation.

All giving apart from that required to run the government was purely voluntary (cf. Exodus 25:2; 1 Chronicles 29:9). Each person gave whatever was in his heart to give; no percentage or amount was specified.

New Testament believers are never commanded to tithe. Matthew 22:15-22 and Romans 13:1-7 tell us about the only required giving in the church age, which is the paying of taxes to the government. Interestingly enough, we in America presently pay between 20 and 30 percent of our income to the government--a figure very similar to the requirement under the theocracy of Israel.

The guideline for our giving to God and His work is found in 2 Corinthians 9:6-7: "Now this I say, he who sows sparingly shall also reap sparingly; and he who sows bountifully shall also reap bountifully. Let each one do just as he has purposed in his heart; not grudgingly or under compulsion; for God loves a cheerful giver."

John MacArthur, God's Plan for Giving (tape series).

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