Tithing on Trial
What is called ‘tithing’ today is a mandated religious church practice that requires the monetary as a means to fill their coffers. The Senior Pastor will often say that tithing is a form of worship and God has commanded us to be faithful in this ordinance in the church system. If we do not, we supposedly will not receive God’s blessing in our lives. The tithe speech has been done in so many different ways as to coerce the masses to give more and more. Unfortunately, many have bought into pressure and manipulation tactics concerning tithing. As a result, many are in bondage to a man-driven religious system. Many do not realize that most of the money that is 'tithed' goes towards paying the large overhead costs of the church building including paying for the salaries and benefits of their hired hands.Many fail to understand that the Old Testament tithe is defunct in practice through the finished work of Christ.
The Three Part Taxation System
The history of the tithe comes from ancient Israel where God instituted a three part taxation system. First, a portion from the products of the land were used to support the Levite priests because they had no inheritance in Canaan.
For the tithe of the people of Israel, which they present as a contribution to the LORD, I have given to the Levites for an inheritance. Therefore I have said of them that they shall have no inheritance among the people of Israel.” – Numbers 18:24
Second, a tithe from the produce of the land would go towards a festival tithe to sponsor religious festivals that were held in Jerusalem.
“You shall tithe all the yield of your seed that comes from the field year by year. And before the LORD your God, in the place that he will choose - Deuteronomy 14:22-23
Thirdly, a tithe from the produce from the land would go towards widows, orphans, strangers and local Levites every third year.
“At the end of every three years you shall bring out all the tithe of your produce in the same year and lay it up within your towns. And the Levite, because he has no portion or inheritance with you, and the sojourner, the fatherless, and the widow - Deuteronomy 14:28-29
We see that God commanded three tithes.
On that day men were appointed over the storerooms, the contributions, the firstfruits, and the tithes, to gather into them the portions required by the Law for the priests and for the Levites according to the fields of the towns - Nehemiah 12:44
There is a similarity of the tithe of the Old Testament with the taxation system we have today. Their purposes are quite similar. Money goes towards government personnel instead of the Levite priests. Also, there is funding for holidays and social programs instead of Jewish festivals and giving to the poor and unprivileged such as the widows and orphans.
When Christ died and rose again, the ceremonial law that the Jews were obligated to uphold concerning tithe was put to an end. This is why there is no evidence of tithing after Christ ascended to his Father in heaven in the New Testament.
The tithing ritual that belonged to Israel under the old covenant was fulfilled through Christ. This is why there was a different kind of stewardship among the ekklesia in the form of giving. It was not about tithing out of a ceremonial duty, but about freely giving to others in need with a cheerful heart with the guidance of the Holy Spirit.
Unfortunately, there are many false leaders within the counterfeit church system who are deceiving many. They love to twist Scripture out of context to bilk people of their hard earned money to mandate tithing. They are purposefully abusing Scripture passages out of context for their own gain.
A Cheerful Giver
Their abundance of joy and their extreme poverty have overflowed in a wealth of generosity on their part. For they gave according to their means - 2 Corinthians 8:2-3
So I thought it necessary to urge the brothers to go on ahead to you and arrange in advance for the gift you have promised, so that it may be ready as a willing gift, not as an exaction. – 2 Corinthians 9:5
Each one must give as he has decided in his heart, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver. – 2 Corinthians 9:7
From these few verses in the New Testament, it is clear that there is a distinction between tithes that were given to a Levite priesthood and giving through generosity, gifts and what is decided in the heart. What is called the 'tithe' today in the church system, the bulk that is given is really meant to finance the salaries of their clergy instead of helping the poor, widows and orphans and those in need. The tithing message today is about partaking in a corrupt man-made tradition to coerce the masses into emptying their wallets to support an entity that has turned the Gospel into a business.
The mainstream church system has corrupted what giving is all about by suppressing what it means to be cheerful and generous. When a church hireling demands the tithe, it is about supporting an agenda where religious men and women are making a living off of people’s backs.
The fact is that the tithe is not a legal requirement or obligatory as the church system mandates it to be. Religious men are deciding what you are to do with your money rather than being led by the Holy Spirit.
Why is it that so many religious ministries make others feel that they are committing a sin for not tithing?
Many don’t understand that tithing has been fulfilled in Christ. Believing in the corrupt interpretation of Scripture to be applied today has oppressed many. Many are struggling with their finances, yet they feel obligated to give money beyond their means because they are being told that they are ‘robbing God’ and will not receive blessing if they don’t tithe.
In the Old Testament, the tithe was a blessing to the poor. Today, the practice is a curse on those who are struggling to make ends meet. They are being thrown deeper into poverty in hopes of obtaining ‘blessing’ from God. ‘Tithing’ makes the wealthier person feel good about themselves as they openly give in front of others, yet the poor have a guilty conscience for not giving enough of what they don't have. Both groups are deceived.
I coveted no one’s silver or gold or apparel. You yourselves know that these hands ministered to my necessities and to those who were with me. In all things I have shown you that by working hard in this way we must help the weak and remember the words of the Lord Jesus, how he himself said, ‘It is more blessed to give than to receive.’” – Acts 20:33-35
It should be no mystery that livelihoods of church clergy are elevated above the rest of the brethren. Paid professionals are on the higher rungs of their pew warming minions.
According to Scripture, all believers are 'living stones' who are all called to be functioning priests in the body of Christ. This means that a salaried minister is unnecessary. Church hirelings interfere and suffocate God’s plans for His people through the way of Christ and the apostles.
It is time to wake up from the man-made delusion that what is called ‘tithing’ and the need for salaried positions are mandated through Christ. It time to no longer partake of the oppressive church system that greedily desires and panders for monetary.
Debunking the Lie
Every religious man-made construct called ‘church’ must have the obligatory tithe to survive; otherwise, the whole system would go bankrupt. As their only means for survival, they must twist these following Scripture verses for their own gain.
WILL MAN ROB GOD? Yet you are robbing me. But you say, ‘How have we robbed you?’ In your tithes and contributions. – Malachi 3:8
BRING THE FULL TITHE into the storehouse, that there may be food in my house. And thereby put me to the test, says the LORD of hosts, if I will not open the windows of heaven for you and pour down for you a blessing until there is no more need. – Malachi 3:10
These verses are used as the main solicitation to bilk people of their hard earned money to support their 501(c)3 business called, ‘church.’ They are told that this is their moral duty and to deny them the monetary would breach their relationship with God.
They say, ‘After all, God loves a cheerful giver, it is our moral duty.'
What they really mean is that you are required to finance their man-driven ministries.The sad truth is that anyone who has been indoctrinated into ‘tithing’ has been spoon fed their beliefs rather than searching the truth for themselves with the help of the Holy Spirit. It should be common knowledge that the ceremonial law that included the tithe has been fulfilled through Christ. However, church clergy have duped the masses to conform to their temple system.
The common template of 'worship' time in the man-driven church system consists of passing around the ‘tithing’ plate with the admonishment to give to God what is His. What they call the ‘tithe’ is not a legitimate form of giving before God because it does not even resemble the tithe in the Old Testament.
The sad fact is what they call 'our moral duty' is promoting greed.The church system must demand that Malachi 3:8 and 3:10 are applicable because it is their only means of survival. The lie and deception today is that ‘tithing’ is deemed as God’s financial plan for His people and this is why the Prosperity Gospel is popular among many.
The Institution of the Tithe
We must look to the origins of the tithe, how it originated, the legal reasons for why it started and why the tithe has been eliminated to understand why tithing has been fulfilled. The body of Christ and how it functions under the new covenant is incompatible with the tithing system under the old covenant. What many fail to realize is how what is called ‘tithing’ today has an effect on people, the Gospel and the finished work of Christ. The traditions of man have superseded the truth of Scripture. Sadly, many follow their religious authorities who have usurped the headship of Christ and made themselves the 'law of God.'
After the Israelites escaped Egypt, God through Moses ordained his brother Aaron, a Levite and his male descendants to become priests before God. These priests would have obligations that consisted of attending to the duties of the tabernacle and the altar. They would offer sacrifices upon the altar as mediators between the people of Israel and God. To assist the priests, God segregated a class of religious workers who would receive compensation for their duties as they received and processed the first fruits of the harvests, the first-born sons, animals and the receiving of the sacrificial offerings to be put upon the altar. These priests would receive no inheritance from the land or from the nation of Israel because God said that He would be their portion.
Yahweh said to Aaron, "You shall have no inheritance in their land, neither shall you have any portion among them. I AM YOUR PORTION AND YOUR INHERITANCE among the children of Israel. – Numbers 18:20
Since God delivered Israel from the spirit of death on their firstborn when they were enslaved in Egypt, He required that the firstborn sons of each family be dedicated to serve as priests to the people of Israel.
Yahweh spoke to Moses, saying, ”BEHOLD, I HAVE TAKEN THE LEVITES FROM AMONG THE CHILDREN OF ISRAEL instead of all the firstborn who open the womb among the children of Israel; and the Levites shall be mine: for all the firstborn are mine. On the day that I struck down all the firstborn in the land of Egypt I made holy to me all the firstborn in Israel, both man and animal. They shall be mine. I am Yahweh." – Numbers 3:11-13
Levite, High Priest and Priest
Instead of taking each first born from the tribes evenly, God set the tribe of Levi apart as priests. In this exchange, a census was required to give an accounting of all the firstborn of Israel and all of the men of the tribe of Levi. When all was added up, the difference was accounted for. The Levites were set apart from the other eleven tribes of Israel and from the normal means of making a living and obtaining sustenance.
The nation of Israel consisted of twelve tribes with a three tier hierarchical system that reflected their access to God. On top, were the Levitical priests who were a subset of the nation of Israel. Next, were the descendants of Aaron (the first High Priest) who were set apart as priests or religious workers. Last, were the people of Israel.
The Holy Place and the Holy of Holies was were the presence of God was relative to the people’s proximity and their service to Him. Within the sanctuary surrounded by a veil resided the Ark of the Covenant were God's presence dwelt. Any unauthorized access meant certain death. For this reason, the people relied on the priests to access God on their behalf. The priesthood alone could only have access to enter the sanctuary at appointed times to petition to God on their behalf.
Henceforth the children of Israel shall not come near the Tent of Meeting, LEST THEY BEAR SIN, AND DIE. – Numbers 18:22
Three-Fold Hierarchical Structure
The testament of Scripture reveals that the priest received all the things devoted to God. From the contributions from the other eleven tribes, the Levites received their provisions from the produce of the land.
To the children of Levi, behold, I have given ALL THE TITHE in Israel for an inheritance, in return for their service which they serve, even the service of the Tent of Meeting. – Numbers 18:21
The institution of tithing mirrors a three-fold hierarchical structure.
- Only the Levites were permitted to enter into the tabernacle.
- Only the priests were permitted to enter the sanctuary.
- All those who were not a Levite contributed a tithe of all they had recognizing their service.
We should see that those who had less access to God contributed more to those who had more. This structure of the tithe was utterly dependent on hierarchy because the tithe necessitated a Levitical priesthood. Without this priesthood the tithe would be non-existent.
The Principles of the Tithe
Principle 1 – Numbers 18:21-22
The institution of the tithe was dependent upon a priesthood of people performing unique services that the rest of God’s people could not perform because of the penalty of death. The tithe and the Levitical priesthood as a segregated class were mutually inclusive. You could not have one without the other.
Principle 2 – Numbers 18:23-24
The institution of the tithe was a means to support the priests and the Levites because they had no inheritance of the land.
The institution of the tithe must presume a physical sanctuary that includes a holy of holies where only designated people could enter. Without it’s existence, the priests, Levites and the tithe would not exist. Everything else was dependent upon these things. Tithing rests on a segregated class of people, otherwise the obligation fails.
Tithing does not apply to the body of Christ. It should be evident that the ceremonial laws do not apply to those among the ekklesia today. The system of the physical tabernacle with the priesthood of the old covenant has changed where we can become temples of the Holy Spirit where Christ is our High Priest.
Unfortunately, this fact is completely ignored within the man-driven church system. Many are not prepared to accept this because they cannot make the distinctions between the old covenant and the new.
Some of the laws are by covenant and others exceed the bounds of covenant as they are eternal and apply to everyone. This means that although God’s eternal laws were included as part of a covenant it doesn’t make His moral laws more binding without a covenant. God's natural laws are bound to everyone as He has been consistent with Himself from the beginning of His creation. The ceremonial laws of Moses applied specifically to the Jewish people.
For what great nation is there, that has a god so near to them, as Yahweh our God is whenever we call on him? What great nation is there, that has STATUTES AND ORDINANCES so righteous as all this law, which I set before you this day? – Deuteronomy 4:7
He shows his word to Jacob; HIS STATUTES AND HIS ORDINANCES TO ISRAEL. He has not done this for just any nation. They don't know his ordinances. Praise Yah! – Psalm 47:19-20
An ordinance is not binding on those to whom it has not been given. Tithing that fell under the ceremonial law has been fulfilled through Christ. To say that it applies today as in the Old Testament would mean that the means of redemption through a Levitical priesthood still applies. This would nullify the finished work of Christ. This is antichrist.
The Levitical Priesthood has been Fulfilled through Christ
Christ eliminated the need to support religious mediators to work on our behalf to access God. He is now our High Priest and all direct access to God is solely through His Son who is the only mediator between God and men. The Aaronic priesthood was temporary, but today the priesthood of all believers in Christ is permanent.
Having been made perfect, he became to all of those who obey him the author of eternal salvation, named by God a HIGH PRIEST after the order of Melchizedek. – Hebrews 5:9-10
Among the Israelite people, the presence of God was confined behind a veil in a physical sanctuary. Access to Him was through a structured hierarchy of intermediaries. Today, all those among the ekklesia have equal access to God through Christ. There is no worker class segregation of people in the body of Christ. Those who attempt to bring their tithe portion to a priesthood class upon the altar of the new covenant in Christ are nullifying the work of Christ.
The ekklesia shares equally in the inheritance of eternal life, but with the Israel, it was dependent upon their genealogy. The Levites and priests were a minority class; whereas, all those in Christ are a priesthood with the promise of being part of a Kingdom of royal priests.
You also, as living stones, are built up as a SPIRITUAL HOUSE, to be a HOLY PRIESTHOOD, to offer up SPIRITUAL SACRIFICES, acceptable to God through Jesus Christ. – 1 Peter 2:5
To serve the false tabernacle and altar in what is called ‘church’ with their hierarchical priesthood and clergy today is antichrist. All those who partake in the replicating a form of something from the old covenant system that Christ fulfilled will not have their portion on the altar of the new covenant in Christ.
To partake of a temple or tabernacle system with the support of a tithe for a priest-class of religious workers who are intermediaries between the people and God is the epitome of the mainstream church system today.
The apostasy of a reintroduction of a temple or tabernacle system with the support of a tithe for a priest-class of religious workers who are intermediaries between the people and God is what is called church today. The vain 'worship' of these people are null.
To the contrary in the absence of a priest like class of people without a physical temple or tabernacle allows all those who are equally a holy priesthood in Christ to have equal access to God and His blessings.
The Tithe of Abraham
Some will insist that the old covenant tithe is still valid today because it preceded the Mosaic covenant because Abraham tithed to God’s high priest. That is one of the reasons they believe the obligation still stands today. Many fail to see that his tithe was merely a one-time event. There was no legislative significance in this reference to adhere tithing. To construe Abraham’s tithe to be commanded of all his spiritual descendants is farfetched.
The legislation of God can be found in several references in Scripture, but there was no general rule of conduct mandated by God. In the case of Abraham, it was an individual act suited to the circumstances of that time. Singular acts done by men in Scripture cannot be cherry-picked and deemed as rule of law in the status of legislative capacity based on an inference.
All the instances of tithes that were given to God were via a priesthood. Abraham paid his tithe to a Melchizedek priest of God. There is no example in Scripture of giving a tithe directly to God Himself because it had to be someone physically tangible.
Today, there is no earthly priesthood that applies; therefore, there can be no earthly institution of tithing.
The application of the Old Testament tithe does not apply to the ekklesia of Christ.
The Model of the Ekklesia
Christ is the one who governs the contributions of his ekklesia that consist of love and charity to the 'least of these.' In the parable of the sheep and the goats (Matthew 25:31-46), Christ stated that the inheritance and divine blessing of the Kingdom comes from giving to those who are in need. This is essentially the same as giving to Christ who is our High Priest. This qualifies as sacrifices that are pleasing and acceptable to God.
The universal priesthood of all believers means that anyone can receive charity as no one member is more necessary than the other. Giving to those who lack is a Kingdom principle so that we all may share equally. The legislation of prescribed amounts through a salaried clergy class does not create equality among believers, but division. All may give and all may receive.
That there should be NO DIVISION in the body, but that the members should have the SAME CARE for one another. When one member suffers, all the members suffer with it. Or when one member is honored, all the members rejoice with it. – 1 Corinthians 5:25-26
The concept of the ekklesia that Christ is building is the fulfillment of the old covenant. The true followers of Christ have absolutely no need to establish special organizations, denominations or individuals to be their mediators. Christ is our portion where we all can receive and have equal access to Kingdom resources. There are not different classes of givers and receivers because we are all entitled to partake of the present and the future inheritance of the Kingdom.
Christ came that we might all share equally in eternal life and all have equal opportunity in taking earthly dominion with him when he returns.
There is no one among the ekklesia of Christ that is precluded from making their own living. The Gospel is not an ambitious salaried vocation as many seem to believe, but each should work with their owns hands as there is no evidence of collecting a tithe or contributions for a salaried priest class. No one is precluded from making their own living as the example of Paul the apostle in the New Testament who did not make a living off the backs of the people.
And that you make it your ambition to lead a quiet life, and to do your own business, and to WORK WITH YOUR OWN HANDS, even as we instructed you – 1 Thessalonians 4:11
The contributions that are attested among the early ekklesia were were not given to a salaried minister. There is no indication that money was given based on somebody’s own special ministry, vocation, service, calling, charitable organization or position as a preferred recipient.
Nowhere in Scripture would you find anyone asking for tithe money to help spread the genuine Gospel. If God sends you on a mission or an assignment, it is His responsibility to provide for you while on the assignment as you walk in faith and obedience. After all, it is His assignment and He is using you for His purposes.
However, if it is your own assignment, you will need to come up with tricks, gimmicks and marketing strategies by drilling for oil first before you can do anything such as soliciting for ‘tithe’ money must take precedence in the endeavour. After all, you are using God for your own purposes.
This is how you can tell whether someone is on an assignment from God or a religious one of their own making.
Tithing Undermines the Gospel
If you walk into any church today they practice ‘tithing’. However it does not resemble anything like the tithing that took place under the old covenant. When you tell them that tithing has been fulfilled they will then say they mean, 'giving.' They really are speaking out of both sides of their mouth because what ‘tithing’ is really about for them is a solicitation for money.
The fact is that the physical building called ‘church’ undermines the Gospel because the physical sanctuary through what Christ has done was fulfilled along along with the priesthood of religious workers with their mandated collection system.
When you commonly hear those who preach ‘tithing,’ remember what is needed to support it. It requires going back to the Mosaic law.
The testament of Christ reveals that he fulfilled the Levitical priesthood and brought in a different purpose and structure to all who would believe and follow him. The ceremonial laws have been replaced with spiritual sacrifices and offerings of charity, love, good works, praise and sharing. The new class of religious workers of the Kingdom today are those among the ekklesia of Christ. There are no human mediators on earth between God and men where only Christ who is our High Priest.
When religious people groups preach and practice what Christ fulfilled, it undermines his finished work.Having a physical sanctuary with a human priesthood class that segregates clergy from laity in a centralized religion within a denominational template is an attempt to resurrect something Christ fulfilled long ago.
Or did I commit a sin in humbling myself so that you might be exalted, because I preached God’s gospel to you FREE OF CHARGE? I robbed other churches by accepting support from them in order to serve you. And when I was with you and was in need, I did not burden anyone, for the brothers who came from Macedonia supplied my need. So I refrained and will refrain from burdening you in any way.
As the truth of Christ is in me, this boasting of mine will not be silenced in the regions of Achaia. And why? Because I do not love you? God knows I do! And what I am doing I will continue to do, IN ORDER TO UNDERMINE THE CLAIM OF THOSE WHO WOULD LIKE TO CLAIM THAT IN THEIR BOASTED MISSION THEY WORK ON THE SAME TERMS AS WE DO. For such men are false apostles, deceitful workmen, disguising themselves as apostles of Christ. – 2 Corinthians 11:7-13
The Fulfillment of the Tithe
In the Old Testament, the tithe was an important part of Gods covenant with Israel to compensate the priesthood for their care for the tabernacle and sanctuary as mediators of the people. However, in the New Testament after Christ's death and resurrection, the veil was rent. This meant the removal of the sanctuary and the priesthood and the practice of the tithe.
Observing the tithe denies what Christ finished and the changes he made in bringing the new covenant. To attempt to maintain the existence of the ceremonial laws with the temple, priesthood and separate hierarchical classes of people creates segregation and division. Today, this has resulted in the futile attempt to support the work of the Gospel while undermining it at the same time. This is obviously impossible, yet this is what they are doing in the mainstream church system.
“EVERY KINGDOM DIVIDED against itself is laid waste, and no city or house divided against itself will stand. – Matthew 12:25
What you may find interesting is that the tithe never applied to money or things made of minerals such as gold and silver, but plants and animals. The concept of the tithe was based on the increase that came from God, not from income that came from man. It was only the things that God gave that could be included in the tithe. It was not anything that was manufactured by man.
Then I will give you your rains in their season, and the land shall yield its INCREASE, and the trees of the field shall yield their fruit. – Leviticus 26:4
He will love you, bless you, and multiply you. He will also bless the fruit of your WOMB and the FRUIT of your ground, your GRAIN and your WINE and your OIL, the increase of your HERDS and the young of your FLOCK, in the LAND that he swore to your fathers to give you. – Leviticus 7:13
The only instance of using coins concerning the tithe can be found in Deuteronomy 14 where the Jewish farmers could buy back the tithes of their crops and cattle with money in the place of God's established food tithe.
If a man redeems anything of his tithe, he shall add a fifth part to it. - Leviticus 27:31
For example, if a farmer wanted to keep his tithe of grain worth $1,000, he could pay the cash amount of $1,200. To get a fifth of the value of the tithe, it would be broken into five parts. One-fifth of $1000 would be $200 or 20%.
God defines a tithe as fruits of the land and not money; however, He instituted a 20% penalty for tithing money. God and Moses did not want cash, but those that insisted on keeping the tithe in this way, it would cost them of a fifth part added on to the monetary value of the tithe. In this sense, we do see 'coinage' pertaining to the tithe, but it was used a penalty.
Do you wonder why there is a penalty?
Why would Moses allow for this cash penalty if God didn’t want the tithe to be cash?
It is because the Israelites’ hearts were hardened. The same thing happened in the case of divorce where Moses allowed the divorce that God never wanted.
He said to them, "Moses, because of the hardness of your hearts, allowed you to divorce your wives, but from the beginning it has not been so. - Matthew 19:8
Unfortunately, many hearts today are also hardened because many have imposed their own eisegesis on Scripture by mandating the fulfilled tithe. In this way, they are nullifying the work of Christ.
Have you put tithing on trial?
Do you take part of 'tithing' in the church system?
Are You Going to Listen to These Lies?
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