Tithing is Unscriptural Under the New Covenant
Since first posting this tithing paper on bible-truths.com, we have had hundreds of
thousands of visitors seeking information on this topic. Many have written me personally
thanking me for freeing them from this illegal and abusive practice of the Church. I have
also received emails from some who are sure that tithing is a bonafide legal obligation
for members of the New Testament Christian Church.
Objections to my paper range from simply quoting the prophet Malachi sent to the
priests and nation of Israel: "Wherein have we robbed Thee? In tithes and offerings.
Ye are cursed with a curse…." While others who can find absolutely no Scriptural
authority for Christians to tithe, invent clever little doctrines like this:
"Tithing was a form of worship to God, and since we still worship God, we must still
tithe."
I will answer this one in one sentence: Since burnt offerings were a form of worshiping
God, and since we still worship God, must we still offer burnt offerings to God? ...
Ridiculous.
Part II of this paper covers the Malachi prophecy more thoroughly as it concerns the
subject of tithing.
PART I
"Will a man ROB God?" How many untold tens of thousands of men will give account
one day for teaching this verse in Malachi 3:8 totally out of context for their own sordid
gain. I couldn’t count the times I have heard self-appointed ministers of the gospel
berate their congregations and listeners for "robbing God" in tithes and offerings. This
verse in Malachi certainly means what it says. Someone was defrauding God of tithes
and offerings, but wait until you find out who it is that God blames for this act.
On any given Sunday morning there will be numerous men-of-the-cloth who will be
bellowing out over the air waves that people are being "cursed with a curse" because
they have failed to pay God ten percent of their paychecks. And should such a gullible
listener decide to repent and give God ten percent of his salary, just how would he do
that? Just keep reading. These men of the cloth who often have unquenchable worldly
desires of the flesh, will be sure to give you an address where you can send them (or,
ah, rather God) your tithe. And do they have a right to quote these Scriptures in this
manner? No they do not, and furthermore they themselves know better.
SOME SHOCKING TRUTHS ABOUT THE CHRISTIAN TITHING DOCTRINE
1. Abraham never tithed on his own personal property or livestock.
2. Jacob wouldn’t tithe until God blessed him first.
3. Only Levite priests could collect tithes, and there are no Levite priests today.
4. Only food products from the land were tithable.
5. Money was never a tithable commodity.
6. Christian converts were never asked to tithe anything to the Church.
7. Tithing in the Church first appears centuries after completion of the Bible.
ALL SCRIPTURAL REFERENCES TO TITHING
We will now go through all the Scriptural references in the Bible on tithe, tithes, and
tithing:
[1] Gen. 14:20, "And blessed be the most high God, which hath delivered thine
enemies into thy hand. And he [Abram] gave him [Melchizedek king of Salem, the
priest of the most high God, Ver. 18] TITHES of all [all the goods of war, Ver. 16]."
We read again of this same event in the book of Hebrews:
[2] Heb. 7:1-10, "For this Melchizedek, king of Salem, priest of God Most High, who
meets with Abraham returning from the combat with the kings and blesses him,
to whom Abraham parts a TITHE also, from all... Now, behold how eminent this
one is to whom the patriarch Abraham gives a TITHE also of the best of the booty.
And, indeed, those of the sons of Levi who obtain the priestly office have a
direction to take TITHES from the people according to the law... And here, indeed,
dying men are obtaining TITHES... And so, to say, through Abraham, Levi also,
who is obtaining the TITHES, has been TITHED, for he was still in the loins of his
father when Melchizedek meets with him."
There are a number of things we can learn concerning tithing from this section of
Scriptures. In this, the first mention of tithing in the Bible, Abram gives to Melchizedek (a
priest of God who was also the king of the city of Salem) a tithe of the best of the booty
taken in war. Notice that this was not wheat, corn, wine, oil, or cattle from Abram’s
personal possessions, but rather booty taken from conquered nations.
There is nothing stated here that would cause us to conclude that Abram (later changed
to Abraham) ever tithed on a regular basis on his own person possessions. Although
Abraham gave Melchizedek a tithe of the booty of war, he told the king of Sodom that
he would take none of it for himself.
In this same account recorded in the seventh chapter of Hebrews, we learn that the
priests of Levi, from the family of Aaron (although far inferior to the priestly order of
Melchizedek) also receive tithes from the people according to the law. This tells us little
more about the actual tithes other than they received tithes.
Christian scholars claim that Abraham’s tithing of the spoils of war predated the Law of
Moses, and therefore even if the Law of Moses is done away with, tithing is still binding
on Christians because Abraham predated the Law of Moses. Is this true?
And Christendom teaches that this Scripture is the first proof from the Word of God that
Christians are to tithe ten percent of their salaries to the church. But what have we really
learned from these Scriptures?:
Abraham went to war on behalf of Sodom (SODOM, mind you), to rescue his nephew,
Lot. He then gave 10% of these spoils of war to Melchizedek, and allowed Sodom to
keep 90%, while he himself kept NOTHING!
Now then, is there a Scholar alive anywhere on earth that can explain to us how this
one single unparalleled and never-again-to-be-duplicated event is Scriptural proof that
Christians should give 10% of their annual salaries (not the spoils of war, but their
money, their salaries), not once, but year after year after year, not to Melchizedek, but to
Clergymen who claim to be ministers of Jesus Christ? If anyone can see a similarity
here, I will show him the similarity between an elephant and a fruit fly.
Next we will observe a Scripture that you will probably never hear a sermon on. No
tithe-preaching clergyman would use the example of how Jacob tithed. Remember,
Jacob is the grandson of Abraham, the father of the faithful, whom God also blessed
tremendously. Not only did God approve of Jacob’s tithing proposal, but, He made it the
foundational principle upon which all future tithing would be based. Here it is.
[3] Gen. 28:20-22, "And Jacob vowed a vow, saying, IF God will be with me, and [if
God] will keep me in this way that I go, and [if God] will give me bread to eat, and
raiment to put on, So that I come again to my father’s house in peace; THEN shall
the Lord be my God: And this stone, which I have set for a pillar, shall be God’s
house: and of all that thou shall GIVE ME I will surely give the TENTH unto thee."
Wow! This one Scripture pretty much contradicts 99% of all sermons I have ever heard
on the subject of tithing! This is the very first Scripture in the Bible that gives an account
of someone giving a tenth or tithe of his personal possessions back to God. But, oh how
different it is from the teachings of most Christian Churches.
First Jacob truly recognizes God as God. He then begins to proposition God. He states
that "IF" God will do this and "IF’ God will do the other things, "THEN" Jacob says, "shall
the Lord be my God." Jacob concludes his proposition to God, should God meet all of
his requirements, by saying that of all the things that God will first give to Jacob, Jacob
will give God back a tenth. Now don’t laugh. God honored Jacob’s proposition, and
furthermore, God continued to honor this same principle of tithing all through Israel’s
history. As Paul said, "Now what have you which you did not obtain?" (I Cor. 4:7) All
that we possess comes from God.
And so, once more, we learn that Israel was not to tithe on what they did not first
possess, unlike those today who teach that it is required to tithe on that which one does
not already possess.
God is not partial and God is not a hypocrite. This example of Jacob proves that God
doesn’t expect a tithe until He blessed the tithe payer first. Everyone should put down
this paper, call his minister, and tell him you want to hear a sermon Sunday morning on
how Jacob paid tithes to God. Now hold your breath.
Let’s ask ourselves a reasonable question: Just how did Jacob actually give a tithe to
God? Did he personally hand it to God? No, no one has ever even seen God. Did Jacob
tithe to an angel? No, angels do not need and can’t use tithes. Did Jacob send his tithe
to Heaven by Celestial Express? No. Did he take it to the local church? No, there was
no local church. Did he take it to the Temple? No, there was no temple. Did he give it
directly to one of the Levitic priests? No, there were no Levites as yet. Well how then did
Jacob tithe to God? Was it even possible? Yes, there were actually two different ways
that Jacob could tithe to God:
1. "And thither ye shall bring your burnt offerings, and your sacrifices, and
your TITHES, and heave offerings of your hand, and your vows, and your
freewill offerings, and the firstlings of your herds and of your flocks: And
there ye shall eat before the Lord your God, and ye shall rejoice in all that
ye put your hand unto, YE and YOUR HOUSEHOLDS, wherein the Lord thy
God hath blessed thee" (Deut. 12:6-7).
2. "And even though there were no Levites in Jacob’s day, nonetheless, there
were "...the STRANGER, and the FATHERLESS, and the WIDOW, which are
within thy gates, shall come, and SHALL EAT AND BE SATISFIED; that the
Lord thy God may bless thee in all the work of thin hand which thou doest"
(Deut. 14:29).
That’s how God acknowledged a tithe from Jacob: By partaking of a portion himself and
his family in communion and thanksgiving to God, and by sharing his fortune with those
who were unfortunate, poor, strangers, etc.
[4] Leviticus 27:30-33, "And all the TITHE of the LAND, whether of the SEED of the
land, or of the FRUIT, of the tree, is the Lord’s: it is holy unto the Lord. And if a
man will at all redeem ought of his tithes, he shall add thereto the fifth part
thereof. And concerning the TITHE of the HERD, or of the FLOCK, even of
whatsoever passes under the rod, the tenth shall be holy unto the Lord. He shall
not search whether it be good or bad, neither shall he change it..."
We learn a great deal about tithing in this section of Scripture:
1. The tithe comes from the "land," not the air or the sea. Fishermen were not
required to tithe fish.
2. It was the "seed" or agricultural products from the fields that was holy to God and
tithable.
3. Products from "trees" were to be tithed. This not only included the fruit, but oils,
etc.
4. Of "herds or flocks" it was the "tenth" that passed under the rod that was holy and
dedicated to God.
Here is exposed another lie of modern clergymen. It was not the first tenth, but rather
the tenth tenth that belonged to God, contrary to every minister I have ever heard, who
insists that the first tenth always belongs to God. Unscriptural. Untrue. Read your bible--
it’s the tenth one of a herd that belongs to God.
Another interesting point is this. If a herdsman had but nine cattle, he didn’t tithe his
cattle at all! Also notice that God did not even require the best of the cattle, just the tenth
one to pass under the rod even if it was the runtiest of them all. Remember, we are
talking about tithing and not sacrificing (animals for sacrifice always had to be without
blemish.)
Did you notice that this summary at the very end of the book of Leviticus does not
mention the tithing of money? Interesting. But just maybe we will find the tithing of
money in some other Scripture?
[5] Numbers 18:24-28, "But the TITHES of the children of Israel, which they offer as
an heave offering unto the Lord, I have given to the Levites to inherit: therefore I
have said unto them, Among the children of Israel they shall have no inheritance.
And the Lord spoke unto Moses, saying, Thus speak unto the Levites, and say
unto them, When ye take of the children of Israel the TITHES which I have given
you from them for your inheritance, then ye shall offer up an heave offering of it
for the Lord, even a TENTH part of the TITHE. And this your heave offering shall
be reckoned unto you, as though it were the corn of the threshing floor, and as
the fullness of the winepress. Thus ye also shall offer an heave offering unto the
Lord of all your TITHES, which ye receive of the children of Israel; and ye shall
give thereof the Lord’s heave offering to Aaron the priest."
According to the above Scriptures, could just anyone claim to be a representative of
God and therefore have Israel pay tithes to him? Let’s read it again, "But the TITHES
of the children of Israel ... I have given to the Levites to inherit." Now in order to be
a priest one not only had to be of the tribe of Levi, but he also had to be of the family of
Aaron. In fact, if one could not trace his genealogy back to the family of Aaron, he could
not be a priest of God. This is the whole point of Hebrews seven. Jesus Christ is a priest
for the eons of the rank of Melchizedek because Melchizedek predated the law which
stated that only sons of Aaron could be priests. Therefore Melchizedek’s genealogy is
not given in the Scriptures, and Christ, who according to the flesh is of the line of Judah,
can and will be God’s High Priest in the Kingdom of God.
A warning to all charlatans and would-be tithe extractors and collectors: There is NO
temple of God being officiated in Jerusalem today. There is NO Levitic priesthood to
officiate at such a temple. There is NO NEED for such a temple or priesthood at this
time. Only Levites could collect tithes at the temple. Therefore, EVERYONE collecting
tithes today is a charlatan and a fake. If one cannot historically trace back his genealogy
generation by generation with no lapses to the family of Aaron, he IS NOT and
CANNOT be a priest authorized of God at this time to collect tithes for the temple
services and sacrifices. (Of course Jesus IS our Sacrifice, and therefore that whole
system funded by the tithes of the law is no longer applicable.)
Yet today we have tithe collecting preachers like James Kennedy and John Hagee, with
whom I am a little familiar, collecting tithe monies by the millions and millions of dollars
annually. Yet by year's end I heard them begging for more multiple millions of dollars to
get them out of all the financial debt they had accumulated during the year. And then,
(so help me, if I’m lying, I’m dying), John Hagee has the unmitigated gall to offer his
followers (excuse me, sell to his followers--three video tapes, $60 US/$87 CAN) entitled
The POWER to get WEALTH, by which Mr. Hagee assures us that we can learn to
"STAY OUT OF DEBT"! Can you believe it? Would the word "hypocrite" be too strong or
out of place here?
The whole system changed under the New Covenant. Notice what happened:
1. Jesus said the temple would be utterly destroyed
"And, coming out, Jesus sent from the sanctuary. And His disciples
approached to exhibit to Him the buildings of the sanctuary. Yet He,
answering, said to them, 'Are you not observing all these? Verily, I am
saying to you, Under no circumstances may a stone here be left on a stone,
which shall not be DEMOLISHED.’" (Matt. 24:1-2).
2. Under the New Covenant, God does not dwell in temples made with hands,
"The God Who makes the world and all that is in it, He, the Lord inherent of
heaven and earth, is NOT dwelling in temples made by hands..." (Acts
17:24).
3. The true believers under the New Covenant are now God’s temple,
"For YOU ARE THE TEMPLE OF THE LIVING GOD, according as God said,
that I will be making My home and will be walking in them, and I will be their
God, and they shall be My people" (II Cor. 6:16).
See also, (I Cor. 3:15 and I Cor. 1:19).
4. All theologians know that when the temple ceased, the priesthood officiating at
the temple CEASED!
5. Each individual believer under the New Covenant forms a NEW priesthood,
"Yet you are a chosen race, a ‘ROYAL PRIESTHOOD’..." (I Peter 2:9).
How then, under the New Covenant, does a believer give a tenth, when he is supposed
to give his all (Rom. 12:1), to a priesthood that does not exist, but now he himself is part
of a priesthood (I Peter 2:9), at a temple that does not exist (Mat. 24:1-2), but rather he
himself is the temple wherein God dwells? No longer do we have priests with spiritual
infirmities interceding for us, but rather we have Christ Jesus as our perfect intercessor
and High Priest seated at the right hand of the Majesty in the heavens (Heb. 7:28-8:1).
At this time in history, Israel owes no tithe to anyone. And, of course, we Gentiles (who
are a new creation and the true Israel of God--Gal. 6:16) were never instructed to tithe
in the first place. Read all thirteen books of the apostle Paul to the gentiles and find one
verse where he instructed Gentiles to pay one cent of tithe money to anyone.
[6] Deut. 12:6, 7, 11, 12, 17, 18, "And thither ye shall bring your burnt offerings,
and your sacrifices, and your TITHES, and heave offerings of your hand, and your
vows, and your freewill offerings, and the firstlings of your herds and of your
flock.
And there, ye shall eat before the Lord your God, and ye shall rejoice in all that ye
put your hand unto, ye and your households, wherein the Lord thy God hath
blessed thee.
Then there shall be a place which the Lord your God shall choose to cause his
name to dwell there; thither shall ye bring all that I command you; your burnt
offerings, and your sacrifices, your TITHES, and the heave offering of your hand,
and all your choice vows which ye vow unto the Lord.
And ye shall rejoice before the Lord your God, YE, and your SONS and your
DAUGHTERS, and your MENSERVANTS, and your MAIDSERVANTS, and the
LEVITE that is within your gates; forasmuch as he hath no part nor inheritance
with you.
You may not eat within thy gates the TITHE of thy corn, or of thy wine, or of thy
oil, or the firstlings of thy herds or of the flocks, nor any of thy vows which thou
vow, nor thy freewill offerings, or heave offering of your hand: But YOU MUST
EAT THEM before the Lord thy God in the place which the Lord thy God shall
choose..."
Let us learn. Who was to partake of all these tithes and good things of the herd and of
the land and of the trees? Everyone (yes, the Levite was also included) was to rejoice
before the Lord. Did anyone see "money" in the list of things they were to bring before
the Lord to rejoice? Was it just the ministers (the Levites) who were the recipients of
these tithes and offerings, or was not everyone to partake of these things? Rejoicing
and eating one’s own tithe before the Lord, was a very personal and reverent act of
worship and communion with God. Not unlike prayer. Others may share and profit from
our prayers, but we offer them to God, not to men.
The following verses deal with a practice initiated by God Himself to accommodate
those traveling long distances to the Festival Sites where they were to eat and rejoice
before the Lord to learn to fear Him. They could sell their tithes of the land for MONEY,
and carry that amount of money rather than the bulky and heavy tithes themselves, to
the Festival Site. There they were to purchase whatever their hearts desired and to
share it with the Levites and the less fortunate. These verses will be further explained in
Part II of this paper
[7] Deut. 14:22-29, "Thou shall truly TITHE all the INCREASE of thy SEED, that the
field brings forth year by year."
"And you shall eat before the lord your God, in the place which He shall choose
to place His name there, the TITHE of thy CORN, of thy WINE, and of your OIL,
and the FIRSTLINGS OF THY HERDS and of thy FLOCKS: that thou may learn to
fear the Lord thy God always.
And if the way be too long for thee, so that thou art not able to carry it; or if the
place be too far from thee, which the Lord thy God shall choose to set His name
there, when the Lord thy God hath blessed thee:
Then shall thou turn it into MONEY, and bind up the MONEY in your hand, and
shall go unto the place which the Lord thy God shall choose:
And thou shall BESTOW THAT MONEY FOR WHATSOEVER YOUR SOUL
LUSTETH AFTER, 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
thy God, and THOU shall rejoice, THOU, AND THINE HOUSEHOLD.
And the Levite that is within thy gates, thou shall not forsake him; for he has no
part, nor inheritance with thee.
At the end of three years thou shall bring forth all the TITHE of thine INCREASE
the same year, and shall lay it up within thy gates:
And the Levite, (because he hath no part nor inheritance with thee,) and the
STRANGER, and the FATHERLESS, and the WIDOW, which are within thy gates,
shall come, and SHALL EAT AND BE SATISFIED; that the Lord thy God may bless
thee in all the work of your hand which thou doest."
This third year of tithing is mentioned again:
[8] Deut. 26:12, "When thou hast made an end of TITHING all the TITHES of your
INCREASE the third year, which is the year of TITHING, and has given it unto the
Levite, the stranger, the fatherless, and the widow, that they may eat within thy
gates, and be filled."
Again we notice that Israel never tithed from their poverty, but on their INCREASE.
Contrary to all the deceiving "Shambachs" in the world, God never intended for people
to tithe on what they didn’t have, but only on the increase of what God gave them.
For those who don’t know, Mr. Shambach is a character on TBN who told everyone on
international television, via 25 communication satellites and reaching about 50,000
major cities around the world, that God personally told him to tell everyone that in order
for them to get out of debt and be blessed of God, everyone needed to send Paul
Crouch $2000 each, even if they didn’t have the money! He said God would bless them
even if they had to pay the $2000 in smaller monthly increments. Unbelievable!
TBN's teachings on tithing are totally unscriptural even if Christians were to tithe. Time
and again God told Israel that they were to tithe on their increase from their abundance,
not on their decrease or their lack.
Paul never taught the Gentiles to tithe, but he did teach them to give freely from what
they had, not from what they didn’t have:
"I want to suggest that you finish what you started to do a year ago, for you were
not only the first to propose this idea, but the first to begin doing something
about it. Having started the ball rolling so enthusiastically, you should carry this
project through to completion just as gladly, GIVING WHATEVER YOU CAN OUT
OF WHATEVER YOU HAVE. Let your enthusiastic idea at the start be equaled by
your realistic action now. If you are really EAGER TO GIVE, then it isn't important
HOW MUCH YOU HAVE TO GIVE. God wants you to give WHAT YOU HAVE, NOT
WHAT YOU HAVEN'T" (II Cor. 8:10-12, The Living Bible).
Oh, let met give you one more prosperity example while I’m at it. Some time ago I
critiqued two sermons by Dr. Kennedy and Dr. Hagee. As I sent for one of Hagee’s
cassette tapes so as to quote him correctly, I got put on his mailing list. In August of
1999 I got a magazine in which he announced a proposed celebration. It appears that
he needed seven or eight million dollars in new video equipment and facilities of which
he still owed 3.5 million on this debt. Anyway, to commemorate this huge debt and a
proposal to get someone else to pay it off for him, he announced "Millennium Miracle
2000 by 2000"! "What in the world is that?" you ask. Well, since you asked, I’ll tell you.
To commemorate this huge debt and Mr. Hagee’s plan to get other people to pay it off
for him, he came up with a plan to mint a one ounce sterling silver coin which would
then have printed on one side: "Millennium Miracle 2000 by 2000," and on the other
side: Your Name!
The plan was for 2000 people to send John Hagee $2000 dollars each for the next few
months so that by the year 2000 Mr. Hagee would be DEBT FREE! Why it’s a
"Millennium Miracle"! (Wait a minute, isn’t 2000 people times $2000 each $4,000,000,
not $3.5 million dollars? Oh well, a $500,000 error in John’s favor should come in handy
for something.)
Each contributor of $2000 would then get a coin commemorating his contribution: "What
a precious heirloom that can be passed from one generation to the next honoring your
commitment to the Lord" (Emphasis mine.) WHAT A PRECIOUS CROCK...! Do you
think the word "hypocrite" would be appropriate one more time?
How stupid do they think the American people are? These are full-grown men. Some of
them highly educated people. And yet they shamelessly hawk and huckster their
ridiculous religious doctrines, trinkets, and wares over the air waves, like PEDDLERS, in
the name of God!
Now don’t think I take credit for coming up with that word "peddler." The apostle Paul
told the Corinthians (and now it’s in our Bibles for the whole world to see) that:
"For we are not as the MAJORITY, who are PEDDLING THE WORD GOD..." (II Cor.
2:17, Concordant Version).
The word translated here "peddling" in the Concordant New Testament comes from the
word "kapeleuo" which the spirit of God inspired to be used in the original Greek text of
this verse of Scripture.
Here is the meaning of the Greek word "kapeleuo" translated "peddler." "To sell at retail,
with the insinuation of improper profit, either by overcharging or adulterating" (Greek-
English Keyword Concordance, page 220).
And notice please that it is not just a few who "peddle" the Word of God, but Paul says,
"...the MAJORITY..." are peddling the word of God! Contrast this insincere
merchandising of the word of God with Paul’s motive:
"For we ARE NOT as the majority, who are peddling the word of God, but as OF
SINCERITY, but as OF GOD, in the sight of God IN CHRIST, are we speaking."
Just a few chapters later Paul informs us that one day we all will stand before the
judgment seat of Christ and give an account of our lives, (II Cor. 5:10).
This next section in Chronicles tells us the same things we have already learned
concerning what products were to be tithed.
[9] II Chronicles 31:5, 6, 12, "And as soon as the commandment came abroad, the
children of Israel brought in ABUNDANCE the firstfruits of CORN, WINE, and OIL,
and HONEY, and of all the INCREASE of the field; and the TITHE of all things
brought they in abundantly.
And concerning the children of Israel and Judah, that dwelt in the cities of Judah,
they also brought in the TITHE of OXEN and SHEEP, and the TITHE of holy things
which were consecrated unto the Lord their God, and laid them by heaps.
And brought in the offerings and the TITHES ..."
This next section of Scriptures deals with a special tithe and offering given to NEW
priests and Levites set up by Hezekiah after cleaning house in the cities of Judah by
destroying the idols and altars to pagan gods.
[10] Nehemiah 10:37-38, "And that we should bring the firstfruits of our dough, and
our offerings, and the fruit of all manner of trees, of wine and of oil, unto the
priests, to the chambers of the house of our God and the TITHES of our ground
unto the Levites, that the same Levites might have the TITHES in all the cities of
our tillage.
And the priest the son of Aaron shall be the Levites, when the Levites take
TITHES: and the Levites shall bring up the TITHE of the TITHES unto the house of
our God, to the chambers into the treasure house."
Again, no mention of money, only agricultural products of the fields, and only the Levites
and priests could have access to these tithes and offerings in the house of God.
[11] Nehemiah 12:44, "And at that time were some appointed over the chambers
for the treasures, for the offerings, for the fruitfruits, and for the TITHES, to gather
into them out of the fields of the cities the portions of the law for the priests and
Levites: for Judah rejoiced for the priests and for the Levites that waited."
Nothing new in this verse that, we have not already discussed.
[12] Nehemiah 13:5, 12 "And he had prepared for him a great chamber, where
aforetime they laid the meat offerings, the frankincense, and the vessels, and the
TITHES of the corn, the new wine, and the oil, which was commanded to be given
to the Levites, and the singers, and the porters; and the offerings of the priests."
"Then brought all Judah the TITHE of the corn and the new wine and the oil unto
the treasuries."
Same story: ONLY agricultural products, and ONLY to the Levites and priests.
[13] Amos 4:4, "Come to Bethel, and transgress; at Gilgal multiply transgression;
and bring your sacrifices every morning, and your TITHES after three years."
[14] Malachi 3:8-10, "Will a man rob God? Yet ye have robbed me. But ye say,
Wherein have we robbed thee? In tithes and offerings…"
This Malachi Prophecy is covered in much greater detail in Part II of this paper, and so I
will give just one more Scripture to help us understand how the priests of Malachi’s
prophecy may have been living so as to bring upon them the condemnation of God’s
judgments:
"And the priest’s custom with the people was, that, when any man offered
sacrifice, the PRIEST’S servant came, while the flesh was in seething, with a flesh
hook of three teeth in the hand;
And he struck it into the pan, or kettle, or caldron, or pot; all that the flesh hook
brought up the priest took for himself. So they did in Shiloh unto all the Israelites
that came thither.
Also before they burnt the fat, the priest’s servant came, and said to the man that
sacrificed, Give flesh to roast for the PRIEST; for he will not have sodden flesh of
thee, but raw.
And if any man said unto him, Let them not fail to burn the fat presently, and then
take as much as thy soul desires; then he would answer him, Nay, but thou shall
give it me now: and if not, I will take it by force.
Wherefore the sin of the young men was very great before the Lord: for MEN
ABHORRED the offering of the Lord." (I Sam. 2:13:17).
Don’t these verses sound as if they came right out of the book of Malachi?
[15] Matt. 23:23 and Luke 11:42 are discussed in greater detail in Part II of this paper.
CONCLUSION
Now I’m going to preach at you for just a few minutes, and then I’ll let you go. Turn to
Gal. 6:14-16:
"Now may it not be mine to be boasting, except in the cross of our Lord Jesus
Christ, through which the world has been crucified to me, and I to the world. For
in Christ Jesus neither circumcision nor uncircumcision is anything, but a NEW
CREATION. And whoever shall observe the elements by this rule, peace be on
them, and mercy, also on the Israel of God."
What is "...this rule...?" We are no longer doing things according to the flesh.
Circumcision was the single most important ritual for a man in Israel to do. Yet
circumcision is physical (of the letter and of the flesh,) even water baptism is physical