The Tithing Paper
“The Tithing Paper” was originally written in 1981 and was expanded in The Interpreter’s Pulpit in 1994 due to the increasing mail received by Dr Les Aron Gosling from desparate Christians seeking clarification on the practice of tithing by their particular church and denomination.
Did you realise it is a prime sin to tithe today?
This lecture explains why Christians MUST NOT tithe!
Christian endeavours, some highly altruistic and noble and others highly questionable and equally suspect, are usually financed by the “tithe.” That is, Christians are expected to “pay” or to “give” their particular church, denomination or sect — which claims to represent God — a full 10% of their income.
The vast majority of Christian opinion considers that this “tithe” (which is an antiquated English word meaning “tenth”) is worked out according to a person’s gross income before tax is extracted by the Government. Some churches, however, are a little more relaxed in that they teach more fairly that the “tithe” should be taken out of the pay-packet after tax, so that the tithe is worked out according to the net income figure. After all, they reason, we never actuallyreceive our gross figure for the Government has taken it before it is even put into our pay packet. And of course, in this they are quite correct.
Still other organisations insist that there are three Biblical tithes demanded by God and that not only ought these three tithes to be paid when and where the church demands but that above and beyond these stringent legal requirements regular freewill offerings and gifts to poor funds must also be forwarded to “God’s true church” on a weekly basis, and that without fail. “Will a man ROB God?” they cry from the pulpit and in their hard-hitting literature, quoting the prophet Malachi. “Yet YOU have ROBBED ME! But you say, Wherein have we robbed you? [God answers] In TITHES and OFFERINGS!” (Mal 3.8 emphasis their own).
Good old Lutheran guilt trips laid on the hearts of the congregation never seem to fail to fill the coffers. Some church billboards even have the audacity to spell out this verse in lurid uppercase lettering shouting out their financial demand for all the pagan public to see. In my opinion they should be more honest and speak to the Christian and pagan public more from the heart and with less hypocrisy and simply state (in large uppercase if they wish): “WE WANT YOUR MONEY!” Really, it would be more honest of them. “CHRISTCARD ACCEPTED HERE” could be another slogan that might be effectively utilised to bring in the bacon (so to speak).
But very few ever take the time to really study the WORD OF GOD when it comes to finding out what it is that God requires of man today. Particularly is this the case when it comes to God’s true method of financing His Work. Very few seem to realise that for many years mere hirelingswithin the Body of Mashiach have been “fleecing the flock” by demanding and accepting the tithe. Certainly, on the one hand churches (generally speaking) eagerly recognise that the vast majority of Old Covenant laws, rules, regulations and statutes of Moses have been abrogated as far as Christian observation today is concerned. And yet, while insisting that this is the case, they nevertheless continue to require payment of the tithe according to the Mosaic stipulations concerning its administration.
All the other requirements are not for Christian adherence today, they claim, except for the payment of the tithe! I had one minister admit to me that if I were to teach against the payment of the tithe, and his church read it, that large church would collapse. I replied that what I was teaching was the unmitigated truth of God. “But that’s not the point,” he replied. Hirelings!
Did you know that it is actually illegal to tithe? Did you realise that tithing constitutes a sin against God at this time? Are you cognisant of the fact that Our Lord Yeshua himself would never have touched the tithe during his ministry? It’s a fact. Astonishingly, what good tithe-paying people do not seem to realise is that they are flagrantly disobeying the biblical laws on tithing and that they have very likely never appropriately followed God’s teaching on the subject! What is contained in the Holy Scripture relating to the tithe may surprise you!
Rav Shaul informs us that whatsoever is not of faith is sin (Rom 14.23) therefore we should be…
FAITHFULLY CONSIDERING THE TEXTS
Really, this paper had to be written! Many years ago I was for a brief period a member of a visiting team calling on ministers, pastors and priests of all theological persuasions of the Christian Faith. During that time I became exposed to all the tricks in the book regarding chicanery and high-pressure tactics utilised to cause sincere (and sometimes gullible) people to part with their money — especially the tithe. I represented the major international radio missionary organisation on earth which was beaming the “Gospel of Christ” into Iron and Bamboo Curtain countries — areas normally closed to open evangelistic efforts and Christian pursuits. I was deputised into ministry to take pulpits and to preach and teach in any and all congregations of the Faith that would open their doors (and wallets) to me.
When I finally left that organisation I did a systematic study of the entire tithing question. I listed each Bible verse which in any way remotely referred to the subject. Jews know it is illegal to tithe but Churchianity had told me that there was a change in the priesthood and that this tithing legislation was still to be applied in circles of the Christian faithful. As I listed all the verses in the Bible pertaining to the tithe what follows in this paper is the inevitable result! This outcome of all my research into the question was confirmed by commentaries, encyclopaedias, other Christian expositions and various historical sources. I came to see that tithing as promulgated by the vast majority of Christian religious institutions was contrary to the teaching of both the Hebrew Scriptures (the so-called “Old Testament”) and the documents contained in the Messianic Scriptures (the so-called “New Testament”). But don’t take my word for it. Take God’s WORD, for it and it alone is faithful.
Genesis 14.18 “Then Melchizedek king of Salem brought out bread and wine. He was priest of God Most High, and he blessed Abram, saying, Blessed be Abram by God Most High [El Elyon], Creator of heaven and earth. And blessed be God Most High [El Elyon], who delivered your enemies into your hand. Then Abram gave him a tenth of everything.”
Genesis 28.20-22 “Then Jacob made a vow saying, If God will be with me and will watch over me on this journey I am taking and will give me food to eat and clothes to wear so that I return safely to my father’s house, then the LORD will be my God and this stone that I have set up as a pillar will be God’s house, and of all that you give me I will give you a tenth.”
Leviticus 27.30-33 “A tithe of everything from the land, whether grain from the soil or fruit from the trees, belongs to the LORD; it is holy to the LORD. If a man redeems any of his tithe, he must add a fifth of the value to it. The entire tithe of the herd and flock – every tenth animal that passes under the shepherds rod – will be holy to the LORD. He must not pick out the good from the bad or make any substitution. If he does make a substitution, both the animal and its substitute become holy and cannot be redeemed.”
Numbers 18.20,21,24 “The LORD said to Aaron, You will have no inheritance in their land, nor will you have any share among them. I am your share and your inheritance among the Israelites. I give to the Levites all the tithes in Israel as their inheritance in return for the work they do while serving at the Tent of Meeting….I give to the Levites as their inheritance the tithes that the Israelites present as an offering to the LORD.”
Numbers 18.25-28 “The LORD said to Moses, Speak to the Levites and say to them: When you receive from the Israelites the tithe I give you as your inheritance, you must present a tenth of that tithe as the LORD’s offering. Your offering will be reckoned to you as grain from the threshing floor or juice from the winepress. In this way you also will present an offering to the LORD from all the tithes you receive from the Israelites. From these tithes you must give the LORD’s portion to Aaron the priest. You must present as the LORD’s portion the best and holiest part of everything given to you.”
Deuteronomy 12.5-6,11 “You are to seek the place the LORD your God will choose from among all your tribes to put his Name there for his dwelling. To that place you must go; there bring your burnt offerings and sacrifices, your tithes and special gifts, what you have vowed to give and your freewill offerings, and the firstborn of your herds and flocks….Then to the place the LORD your God will choose as a dwelling for his Name – there you are to bring everything I command you: your burnt offerings and sacrifices, your tithes and special gifts, and all the choice possessions you have vowed to the LORD.”
Deut 14.22-29 “Be sure to set aside a tenth of all that your fields produce each year. Eat the tithe of your grain, new wine and oil, and the firstborn of your herds and flocks in the presence of the LORD your God at the place he will choose as a dwelling for his Name, so that you may learn to revere the LORD your God always. But if that place is too distant and you have been blessed by the LORD your God and cannot carry your tithe (because the place where the LORD will choose to put his Name is so far away) then exchange your tithe for silver, and take the silver with you and go to the place the LORD your God will choose. Use the silver to buy whatever you like: cattle, sheep, wine or other fermented drink, or anything you wish. Then you and your household shall eat there in the presence of the LORD your God and rejoice. And do not neglect the Levites living in your towns, for they have no allotment or inheritance of their own. At the end of every three years, bring all the tithes of that year’s produce and store it in your towns so that the Levites (who have no allotment or inheritance of their own) and the aliens, and the fatherless and the widows who live in your towns may come and eat and be satisfied, and so that the LORD your God may bless you in all the work of your hands.”
Malachi 3.6-12 “I the LORD do not change. So you, O descendants of Jacob, are not destroyed. Ever since the time of your forefathers you have turned away from my decrees and have not kept them. Return to me, and I will return to you, says the LORD Almighty. But you ask, How are we to return? Will a man rob God? Yet you rob me. But you ask, How do we rob you? In tithes and offerings. You are under a curse – the whole nation of you – because you are robbing me. Bring the whole tithe into the storehouse that there may be food in my house. Test me in this, says the LORD Almighty, and see if I will not throw open the floodgates of heaven and pour out so much blessing that you will not have room enough for it. I will prevent pests from devouring your crops, and the vines in your fields will not cast their fruit, says the LORD Almighty. Then all the nations will call you blessed. For yours will be a delightful land, says the LORD Almighty.”
Matthew 23.23 “Woe to you teachers of the law and Pharisees, you hypocrites! You give a tenth of your spices – mint, dill and cummin. But you have neglected the more important matters of the law – justice, mercy and faithfulness. You should have practiced the latter, without neglecting the former.”
[See also 2 Chron 31.4-12; Neh 10.35-38; Heb 7.]
FAITHFULLY EXAMINING THE SCRIPTURES
As we study the above Scriptures a number of vital factors become apparent. To do justice to the Word of the living God each section will be given a precise and appropriate attention.
Genesis 14.18 It is claimed that a tithing system predates the Mosaic economy and that as Abraham paid a tithe of his income to the priest Melchizedek Christians (who are certainly not under any Mosaic dispensation) ought to do the same. But wait just a moment! It is true that Abraham gave a tithe to this priest. But he in no way “paid” that tenth. Nowhere in the Biblical record is there any reference that Abraham was required by any law to tithe! And not only so, but Abraham gave this mysterious Canaanite priest — whom Jewish tradition states was none other than the patriarch Shem who survived the Noachian Deluge and set up a school of esoteric knowledge among the descendants of Ham — a tenth of the spoils obtained from warfare (Heb 7.4). It was from the enormous bounty gained by war that Abraham gave a tenth part to Melchizedek — and the “father of the faithful” refused to keep what was left over of the plunder. Read the entire 14th chapter of Genesis. To claim, as some attempt to do, that Abraham laboured in his occupation to produce the goods acquired in battle is fallacious in the extreme. Indeed, Israel never once tithed on spoils taken in battle.
If people really are serious about the Holy Scripture they should peruse Numbers 31.9,27-29 to find out just what portion of the spoils the Eternal God was given by victorious Israelite warriors. You may get an awful surprise!
What some believers fail to grasp is that their argument that we today should tithe because Abraham set us an example as the “father of the faithful” is, taken to its logical conclusion, a warrant for us to join in the world’s warfare and to tithe on whatever spoils of war we accumulate in the process. Recall that Abraham only tithed from the plunder received in his massacre of the kings. Such a conclusion hardly suffices an intelligent grasp of the Genesis teaching. For, nowhere does the Word of God state that we are to be followers of Abraham, or Isaiah, or the prophet Malachi. Rather, our example in all things is Yeshua the Messiah and him alone.
Genesis 28.20-22 One cannot dismiss the fact that Jacob (whose name was later changed to Israel) vowed to give a tithe (a tenth) of all his goods to God. While this is true, a careful reading will show that nowhere in the account was Jacob required to give or to pay that tenth. Claims that there was a tithing law in force before Moses is clearly a nonsense without substantiation. This vow made by Jacob was personal in nature and was uttered by him as a carnal “trade-off” — a “bargain” or a “deal” if you wish — in order for God to bless him and be with him on his journey. To read any more than this into the plain Scripture is to flagrantly deal with the sacred Word.
Leviticus 27.30-33 Here we have Mosaic legislation on exactly how and on what the Israelites were to pay tithe. Moses has recorded God’s instructions in a precise manner. These laws cannot be confused. They are straightforward and simple. Two things stand out in this section of legislation.
(1) God commanded Israel to tithe on agricultural or farming produce and (2) every tenth animal of their flocks and herds.
God never commanded them to tithe on fish they caught. He never commanded them to tithe on all the copper they mined. Nor on the milk they received from their sheep, goats and cows. Nor were they required to tithe on the sale of wool, or the money they made in their professions of selling pottery, designing and making furniture or clothing, creating carvings, writing literature, or on construction work. Even Yeshua as a carpenter in his father’s business was not required to tithe on the profits he made or accumulated.
According to this section of God’s law, if a shepherd had 18 sheep in his flock only the tenth animal would be considered holy to the LORD. The tithe in this case would be 1/18th or 5.6%, not 10%. The Scripture is clear. And anyone can see how its become wrested and garbled right out of shape. Certainly, if one would continue to argue in the face of God’s revealed will, they only need to turn to the Jewish Encyclopaedia and the Encyclopaedia of the Jewish Religion to see for themselves that the Israelites only had to pay a tithe on agricultural products and livestock. Not only is this the case, but the agricultural produce and the livestock that was tithed was peculiar as that generated from the Holy Land itself — the land of Israel (See Jacob Neusner’s treatment of the Mishnah in his The Transformation of Judaism, 1992).
Certainly, according to the Sinai Covenant law every seventh year was a sabbatical and no tithing was permissible therein (The Jewish Encyclopaedia, “Tithe,” Vol. XII, 151). Greedy religious organisations would do well — if they wish to continue to teach tithing — to at least be consistent and to refuse monetary tithes every seventh year.
Numbers 18.20,21,24-28 No other Israelite tribe apart from the Levites could accept Israelite tithes. This was a stipulation that was very plain indeed. The Levites in turn had to give a tenth of the tithes which they received from the people directly to the priests who attended the altar. There was to be no deviation from this command. Yet today we have Gentile ministers who have arrogated to themselves this right to receive tithes from the people. They are in absolute rebellion against God and His sacred Word. They have no excuse whatever. Interestingly, the priests themselves did not tithe. In their defense, Gentile ministers who do not tithe are at the very least, in this matter, ignorantly doing the correct thing!
Deut 12.5-6,11; 14.22-29 It was to the Temple or the Tent of Meeting (the Tabernacle) that Israelites forwarded their tithes. That is why Moses instructed that tithes must be sent to the place God had put his Name (Shiloh and later Jerusalem). Every third year in a cycle of seven they retained their tithes in their own cities for the use of the poor, strangers, widows, Levites etc. There is no doubt that Deut 14 is referring to the Second Tithe as contrasted with the tithe of the produce that was to be given for the maintenance of the Levites (Dr J.H. Hertz, The Pentateuch and Haftorahs, 1961, 810). This Second Tithe, or its monetary equivalent, had to be consumed in Jerusalem (ibid, 811) but in the third and sixth years of the seven year cycle what would have been the Second Tithe was to be retained at home for the poor and the destitute to consume. The third year is called “the year of tithing” (Deut 26.12).
One major factor needs to be kept in mind. The tithes paid to the Sanctuary by Israelites came originally only from the Promised Land. The produce of Gentile lands (whether in agricultural or livestock form) was considered impure until some later rabbis officially permitted the tithes from outlying Jewish communities to be accepted because the communities in those Gentile lands were quite large. Due to these sparse references of tithes being accepted from Gentile areas some modern ministers have claimed that these were forwarded to Jerusalem by Gentiles and so, the argument is extended, Christian ministers can lay claim to the tithe. But the obvious point is that Gentiles were never allowed to tithe! Tithing was required from Israelites only. (See George Moore, Judaism, Vol.II., 70,71; Alfred Edersheim, The Life & Times of Jesus the Messiah, Vol I., 9 et al).
Malachi 3.6-12 Now we come to the pivotal section most often used by religious parasites to proclaim the essential need for Christians to tithe. We have in our possession certain letters sent out to members of a particular church coercing them to tithe. One letter, heavily relying on the message of Malachi, reads: “Some have even begun to STEAL directly from God! …They have forgotten that they are not ‘giving’ God his tithe, since it is not theirs to ‘give’!…It is INIQUITY which means SIN, to steal God’s tithe!” (Emphasis their own). Again, another quaint hint of extortion: “I cannot IMAGINE any person claiming to be ‘converted’…claiming to be a Christian, yet having an attitude of resentfulness and rebellion toward giving God his prior claim of 10% over our own incomes” (again, emphasis their own).
A few short years ago, my wife (the Rebbetzin) and I, were approached by a sincere Christian lady who was facing a monumental trial over the subject of tithing. She and her husband had been living at near-poverty level in a terribly rundown old rental house, replete with cockroaches, rats and damp weatherboard conditions. Out of pity, her wealthy father purchased a lovely modern unit for them. When she publicly expressed her gratitude to the Lord in a praise segment of her local Pentecostal church the following Sunday morning, and told the congregation of how God had blessed her family (mentioning the financial worth of her new home) she was approached within days by her minister and one of his “spiritual” thugs. He explained that this event was considered by God to be “a blessed increase in her life” and she was required to tithe on the value of the new property! Her tithe was to amount to several thousands of dollars. Neither she, nor her husband, even had a bank balance! She heard about our ministry and turned to us for help in her dire straits. We shared the biblical revelation with her and she left our home a very thankful believer. Unfortunately, this example is not a unique one. It is tragically widespread.
Let’s grasp what the Malachi texts actually tell us. Once we do, we will see that modern ministers have no leg left to stand on in regards the mischievous and manipulative teachings on tithing.
Firstly, Malachi is not writing to Christians today. He is writing to the Jewish nation which had returned from Babylonian captivity and Exile during the days of Ezra and Nehemiah. His commands were concerning native Israelites of his own day. Secondly, the tithe under discussion is agricultural in nature. This can be easily established by looking at verse 10. “Bring the whole tithe into the STOREHOUSE that there may be FOOD in my house.” This tithe of Malachi was stored in a temple storehouse (2 Chron 31.4-12; Neh 10. 38).
One cannot escape the conclusion that in Malachi’s day the Israelites (not the Gentiles) were still commanded to bring their tithes to the Levites (as Moses had legislated) who then placed these tithes in the storehouse of the Temple. We cannot escape this conclusion because it is clearly written in this very section which modern ministers wish to ignore while emphasising certain verses to their own financial advantage (Neh 10.35,37,38). By the utilisation of this power of control over their congregations, ministers have left Christians utterly destitute at retirement having tithed incessantly to their church, believing they were doing God a service.
I have counselled with many Christian families who have been reduced to impoverished conditions due to a multiple tithing system (first, second, and third tithe payments) and who, as a result of this nightmare, were unable to properly clothe their children or to put adequate food on the table. We know people who have actually had to skip meals during the week to pay their tithe because they belong to a church that preaches a counterfeit “prosperity gospel.” Because they could no longer afford to tithe they were ostracised from their church as spiritual lepers, obviously cursed by God for sin in their lives. The only sin in their lives was the tithing system promoted by people who supposedly know their Bibles. “Fletch Lives” may have been a fantasy movie but we have reason to think he is alive “Down Under” (in Australia) and in other parts of the world where the disease of modern Churchianity has spread.
BUT DIDN’T THE MESSIAH TEACH FAITHFUL TITHING?
Matthew 23.23 If Yeshua the Messiah taught that Gentiles should practice tithing, and that the Church ought to levy a tithing system onto its members, and that a tithe is to be required on the sale/purchase of a house, and that he (the Messiah) required a tithe on monetary income — which in itself would be a violation of the law of God requiring tithes only on agriculture and livestock — then WHY would the New Catholic Encyclopaedia confess that tithing was first forced on Christians by the Council of Macon’s decision in 585 C.E. That’s almost a full total if 600 years AFTER THE DEATH, RESURRECTION AND ASCENSION of Our Lord! Listen please, to the voice of history.
“The early Church had no tithing system. The tithes of the Old Testament were regarded as abrogated by the law of Christ
…But as the Church expanded and its material needs grew more numerous and complex, it became necessary to adopt a definite rule to which people could be held either by a sense of moral obligation or by a precept of positive law. The tithing of the Old Law [of Moses] provided an obvious model, and it began to be taught…The Council of Macon in 585 ordered payment of tithes and threatened excommunication to those who refused to comply” (NCE., Vol.XIV, 174, 175. See also
Encyclopaedia Britannica and theEncyclopaedia Americana for verification of these facts).
The truth is, nowhere in the pages of the NT does Mashiach teach that a Christian should tithe. Yet Yeshua came to maintain the law (Mt 5.11-19). This would of necessity include the tithing law of the Levites since the Temple was still standing 40 years after the Nazarene established his Messianic Community. One would not have to be an accountant to figure that if Our Lord’s disciples were tithing to both the Levitical priesthood serving in the Temple and to the Messiah himself, it would have cost them a fortune! Yet Yeshua doesn’t command tithing, nor did the apostles commend it (or even suggest it). In fact the NT ministry was supported solely by freewill offerings (Mt 6.25-34; Lk 10.4-8; Ac 4.32-35; 20.33- 35; 2 Cor 8.2-15; 9.6-12; 11.8,9; 1 Jn 3.17,18) and not by some tithing system.
In the days of the early Messianic Assemblies, with the example of the monks at Qumran and the Dead Sea Essene
sectarians before them, Christians pooled their goods and shared their possessions equally (Ac 4.32-37). The apostles were legally unable to receive tithes from the people to financially support the Work of the primitive Messianic Community because the Temple was still standing and none of the apostles were of the tribe of Levi serving in the Sanctuary. That Matthew Levi was a Levite is conjecture for many Jewish people possess such a surname. Most of Mashiach’s talmidim
(students/disciples) were Jewish, not Levites. Yeshua himself was Jewish (Heb 7.12-14) and could not therefore have accepted tithes. Only the Levites were authorised by God and the Mosaic legislation to take tithes from the people. Even Paul, who was certainly not a Levite, could not have demanded or received tithes from his congregations. Yet, he shows that a teacher or minister has a right to earn a living from the preaching and teaching of the Gospel (1 Cor 9). In fact, he even states that such a teacher ought to receive “double honour” or a “double gift” (1 Tim 5.17). Really, his assemblies were made up predominantly of Gentiles and they were not even permitted to tithe (or to keep certain other laws of Moses unless they were first circumcised).
The Messiah did tell the scribes and the Pharisees to tithe (Mt 23.23). Certainly they were correct in their fulfilling of the legal requirements of the Mosaic economy for they were tithing on agricultural products (same verse), not items of monetary increase. And, of course, they were still under the Mosaic law for the Temple still stood, and all the rituals performed by the Levites and the priests were to continue until the Temple was destroyed in 70 C.E. What verse 23 really tells us, if it tells us anything, is that the scribes and the Pharisees had gardens of herbs on which they were required to tithe. Remember, only shepherds, cattlemen andfarmers were to tithe according to the Law. Because they grew herbs they were considered “farmers” (Lev 27.30-33).
REACHING A FAITH-FILLED CONCLUSION
We now come to the teaching of the Letter to the Hebrews, the seventh chapter. It is suggested by some that Christians today are part and parcel of the “Melchizedek” Priesthood, not the “Levitical” of the Mosaic dispensation. And therefore, they reason, they have a right to collect the tithes of the people, even of Gentiles. If this is the case then why not reintroduce into the church the Jewish annual holy days, ritual kashrut, purification rites, vows, tokens of virginity, land sabbaths, eye for eye compensation, landmark and restitution laws, firstfruits, firstborn redemption, firstlings, worship customs, the year of Jubilee, phylacteries, fringes, mixed fabrics, washings, ablutions, circumcision, refuge cities, leprosy tests, temple furniture, divorce laws, year of release, slavery laws, warfare rules, robe and ephod, extensive and minute Sabbath Day restrictions? Why not revive all the other Mosaic laws, regulations, statutes and judgments especially those not specifically rescinded in the pages of the NT?
According to Hebrews 7.24 Yeshua is the only member of the Melchizedek priesthood. ThereWAS a change in the law (Heb 7.12) but the reference — as admitted by all scholarly authorities — is to the priesthood being changed, not tithing being transferred to a NT ministry!
The example of Abraham giving tithes to an ancient Canaanite priest was cited to illustrate the awesome superiority of the Melchizedek priesthood over that of the Levitical priesthood. Indeed, the Letter to the Hebrews makes no suggestion that the NT ministry IS the Melchizedek priesthood. There is only ONE priest who occupies that position and that is Yeshua the Messiah (Heb 7.24).
Pray tell, HOW is it possible to reintroduce, without a shred of NT proof, an Old Covenant financial system into the Church?
WHY is a monetary tithe apparent to ministers of various churches when it is not expressed in the Old Covenant?
WHY is tithing not in the context, or even mentioned in, the NT epistles?
WHY do some ministers use a “transfer device” of reading tithes into freewill offerings, contributions and gifts?
AREN’T all NT references to tithes and to tithing solely concerning Pharisees, scribes, the antiquated Levitical system?
WEREN’T these references due solely to the Sanctuary, Temple, Altar, Sacrifices?
WHY do devout Jewish rabbis refuse to take, demand or accept tithes?
WOULDN’T they, not being Levites, be breaking God’s law to do so?
AREN’T Gentile ministers, in demanding tithes, extorting money for God under false pretences?
WHY don’t Christian deacons gather together all the tithes of the people and then pay the ministry a separate tithe if the Levitical analogy is to be consistently followed?
WHY are Peter, James, Paul, John and Jude strangely silent about tithing?
WHY don’t they command, infer, mention, exhort or plead the tithe from Christians?
WHY didn’t Yeshua establish tithing for the Messianic Community he was building?
WHY does Paul speak exclusively of gifts, offerings, and contributions?
WOULD not Paul have had to explain the tithing system to Biblically ignorant Gentiles?
WHY were there so many poor saints in Jerusalem?
WHY did Asians help Jews in the city where all the conscripted tithes were received?
CAN ministers prove a universal tithing law existing before Moses?
WAS there ever a universal monetary tithing law existing in ancient Israel?
WASN’T tithing purely on farm animals and agricultural products?
ISN’T the historical setting of Malachi 3 Jerusalem and the Temple?
WHY didn’t Yeshua take tithes from the people?
SHOULDN’T Yeshua have led the way in example by accepting tithes, or in admonition or command?
SHOULDN’T the ministry stop taking tithes to faithfully follow Our Lord’s example?
WHY wasn’t tithing commanded by the apostles to finance his Work?
ISN’T Yeshua alone mentioned as belonging to the priesthood of Melchizedek?
ISN’T “giving” the principle within Mashiach’s new Covenant?
WHY have so many people been terrorised, intimidated, disfellowshipped or “marked” by the leadership of “Prosperity Gospel” churches for not conforming to tithing laws?
SHOULDN’T “giving” be personal and voluntary, based upon conversion, and by how deeply moved by the holy Spirit the person is when he or she gives?
HOW can Christians ever build proper character, judgment, compassion under a compliant regulatory system of tightly prescribed Mosaic rules and regulations?
WHY are there only seven verses in the entire NT occupied with tithing?
WHERE in the Bible does it say that ministers today can twist the Word, reword it, delete part of it, garble it, wrest it and then require a Christian to obey some new improved understanding of God’s Law?
WHAT happens when a successful business executive is paying more in tax than he is actually earning in profit?
HOW do you tithe on nothing?
WHY has today’s ministry imposed a new interpretation on the records of the Bible?
WHY does the ministry demand an greater portion of a person’s income than the Levitical system ever even thought was possible?
CERTAINLY the tithing system of Leviticus never required a tithe to be paid on monetary income and it never allowed for a tithe every seventh year.
IF we are the priesthood of all believers, shouldn’t a monetary tithe be paid to ourselves?
Today’s tithing system is totally unwarranted, unbiblical, and immoral. Today’s ministry needs a massive dose of honesty and repentance. They have not only thumbed their noses at God but they have literally robbed their fellow man.
God’s way of financing his Work today is for the Christian community to give freely in any way they can to promote proper, balanced teaching of the Holy Scripture. Today’s churches have essentially turned their backs on God and his Word. They have primarily raised money prior to teaching the Word. God’s way of faith is for a teacher to step out in faith and preach and teach the Gospel and the finances follow (Mt 6.33).
We hear from churches that failing to tithe nets death. We hear that failing to tithe is stealing directly from the LORD. We hear that failing to tithe means being sentenced into the Lake of fire. We even hear that ministers in prosperity Gospel churches equate tithing with a resultant financial abundance. Is that financial abundance coming from God or is it coming from the Dark Lord? If the Gospel is a false Gospel then that abundance cannot be coming from God.
We know of one well known television evangelist who stated publicly: “[You ministers need to] preach those Scriptures [tithing texts] fearlessly and remind people that [paying the tithe] is an absolute obligation that can keep them out of the kingdom more quickly than practically anything else if they neglect it – that you can lose salvation through neglect [of the tithe] just about more quickly than any other way.”
So much for Grace. So much for the Selfless sacrifice of Yeshua the Nazarene for humankind’s transgressions. And, so much for the prosperity Gospel. This being the case, should you continue to support your church with tithes when it is illegal, when it goes right against God’s will, and when it has been shown to be a SIN to do so? There are many fine churches around today, with noble aims and evangelistic Christian endeavours where a person can fellowship and enjoy meaningful social relationships. These churches have fine facilities giving much needed help to the homeless, the unemployed, and to forgotten widows.
And what about the BRI and IMCF? We are in need of financial help to continue this unique publishing Work of God. We refuse to steal tithes from our fellow believers. We are teaching the truth in its unadulterated form. But, there are some churches notoriously devoid of a true grasp of Biblical knowledge. They have largely jettisoned the original Jewish thoughtforms from their understanding of the Word of God. But God did not write the Bible through the thoughtforms of the Assyrians, Nubians, Eskimos, Australian Aboriginals or the Taiwanese. The holy Spirit of God chose to breathe its presence onto parchment using Jewish thoughtforms.
If the church of your choice demands the payment of the tithe and you want to be a wimp and pay it, that’s your problem — its not ours. If meaningful social relationships are more important to you than the God of the Biblical revelation than by all means stay with your denomination even if it is disobeying the Lord Yeshua the Messiah.
Its interesting how rapidly meaningful social relationships abruptly dissipate when you step out in faith to literally obey God’s Word. The vital information contained in this study paper has been “held back” and “suppressed” (Rom 1.18) by men and women of the cloth who seem to lack the faith to really believe that God rewards those who honestly seek him (Heb 11.6). Isn’t it high time we all returned to the simple, basic Biblical revelation with its freedom and liberty? Its time we honoured Our Lord Yeshua, and rejected the commandments of men.
The Catholic Encyclopaedia
The New Catholic Encyclopaedia
The Encyclopaedia of the Jewish Religion
The Jewish Encyclopaedia
Smith’s Bible Dictionary
Unger’s Bible Dictionary
Hasting’s Encyclopaedia of Religion & Ethics
Edersheim’s Life & Times of Jesus the Messiah
Tenney’s Zondervan Pictorial Bible Dictionary
Rousas & Rushdoony’s The Institutes of Biblical Law
Jacques Ellul’s Money and Power
Jacob Neusner’s The Transformation of Judaism