Hope of Israel Ministries (Ecclesia of YEHOVAH):

Old Testament Tithing -- Is It In Force Today?

Tithing is a Biblical law. But so is the sacrificing of animals. Does this mean that Christians today should ritualistically sacrifice animals because these laws were once ordained in the Bible? The question of tithing has been very confusing to most of YEHOVAH's people. This is because preachers, priests, ministers and evangelists have misused (in fact, ABUSED) the laws of tithing in garnering funds for their church activities. This article will make plain the subject of tithing.

by John D. Keyser

"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 YEHOVAH God of tithes and offerings, but wait until you find out who it is that YEHOVAH 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 YEHOVAH ten percent of their paychecks. And should such a gullible listener decide to repent and give YEHOVAH 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 (oops, ah, rather YEHOVAH 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 YEHOVAH 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 in the early church were NEVER asked to tithe anything to the church.

Tithing in the Church first appears centuries after the beginnings of the 1st-Century church and the completion of the Bible.

We will now go through all the Scriptural references in the Bible on tithe, tithes, and tithing:

Melchizedek 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 YEHOVAH 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 received 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 given at Sinai, and therefore even if the Law given to Moses is done away with, tithing is still binding on Christians because Abraham predated the Law given at Sinai. Is this true?

And so-called Christian churches teach that this Scripture is the first proof from the Word of YEHOVAH 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 this 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 men who claim to be ministers of Yeshua the Messiah? If anyone can see a similarity here, I will show him the similarity between a dinosaur and a fire fly!

Explains Ernest L. Martin --

"...spoil was not to be tithed as shown in the law of Moses. When the Israelites obtained spoil from the Midianites, Moses insisted that the priests receive 1/500th of the goods from those who had gone to war -- not 1/10th as a tithe would require (Numbers 31:9, 27-29). The Levites got more booty. They received 1/50th of the congregations half of the spoil (verse 30)....the law concerning "spoils" in war HAD NOTHING TO DO WITH THE LATER ORDAINED TITHE" (The Tithing Dilemma, page 21).

Continues Martin:

"If Moses was recording in Genesis a universal law of tithing when he wrote Abraham giving a tenth of his spoils to Melchizedek, why does he depart from that very law some 400 years later with a completely different set of figures? In truth, Abraham was NOT following any law of tithing on spoil or on anything else. Abraham's tenth was only in the nature of a voluntary (free will) offering of thanksgiving to God for the deliverance of his people from captivity" (ibid., page 21).

Next we will observe a Scripture that you will probably never hear a sermon on. No tithe-preaching minister would use the example of how Jacob tithed. Remember, Jacob is the grandson of Abraham, the father of the faithful, whom YEHOVAH God also blessed tremendously. Not only did YEHOVAH approve of Jacob’s tithing proposal, but, He made it the foundational principle upon which all future tithing would be based. Here it is.

Jacob's Vow to YEHOVAH

[3] Gen. 28:20-22, "And Jacob vowed a vow, saying, IF God will be with me, and [IF YEHOVAH God] will keep me in this way that I go, and [IF YEHOVAH 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."

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 YEHOVAH God. But, oh how radically different it is from the teachings of most "Christian" Churches!

First Jacob truly recognizes YEHOVAH God as God. He then begins to proposition YEHOVAH. He states that "IF" YEHOVAH God will do this and "IF’ YEHOVAH God will do the other things, "THEN" Jacob says, "shall the LORD be my God." Jacob concludes his proposition to YEHOVAH God, should YEHOVAH meet all of his requirements, by saying that of all the things that YEHOVAH will first give to Jacob, Jacob will give YEHOVAH back a tenth. Now don’t laugh. YEHOVAH God honored Jacob’s proposition, and furthermore, YEHOVAH 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 YEHOVAH 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.

YEHOVAH God is not partial and YEHOVAH is not a hypocrite. This example of Jacob proves that YEHOVAH doesn’t expect a tithe until He blesses the tithe payer first. Everyone should put down this article, call his minister, and tell him you want to hear a sermon Sunday (or Saturday) morning on how Jacob paid tithes to YEHOVAH God. Don't hold your breath!

Now let’s ask a reasonable question: Just how did Jacob actually give a tithe to YEHOVAH God? Did he personally hand it to YEHOVAH? No, no one has ever even seen YEHOVAH God apart from His Shekinah Glory. 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 Levitical priests? No, there were no Levites as yet. Well -- how then did Jacob tithe to YEHOVAH God? Was it even possible? Yes, there were actually TWO different ways that Jacob could tithe to YEHOVAH God:

"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).

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 YEHOVAH God acknowledged a tithe from Jacob: By partaking of a portion himself and his family in communion and thanksgiving to YEHOVAH, and by sharing his fortune with those who were unfortunate, poor, strangers, etc.

What About Joseph In Egypt?

As a further proof that tithing as a universal principle WAS NOT IN FORCE before the time of Moses, let's consider the example of Jacob's son Joseph in Egypt. While in Egypt Joseph was inspired by YEHOVAH God to interpret the pharaoh's dreams about seven abundant and seven lean years for the country's harvests. As a direct result of Joseph's wisdom and the fact that YEHOVAH's spirit was in him (Genesis 41:38-39), the pharaoh made him ruler over all the land of Egypt. For 7 years they gathered in the harvests and stored the grain. States Ernest L. Martin in his book The Tithing Dilemma --

"When the lean years came, the Egyptians used all their money to purchase some of the grain reserves (Genesis 47:14-15). They then sold Joseph all their cattle to buy the needed grain (verse 16). Finally, they even bartered their own bodies and all their land for food (verses 18-20)." -- Page 22.

This means that because of Joseph's wise oversight of the country's grain reserves, the pharaoh came to own everything in the country. Now notice what Joseph required of them --

"Then Joseph said to the people, 'Whereas I have this day acquired you and your land for Pharaoh, here is seed for you to sow the land. And when harvest comes, you shall give one-fifth to Pharaoh, and four-fifths shall be yours as seed for the fields and as food for you and those in your households, and as nourishment for your children" (The Tanakh).

This command resembled nothing that Moses gave some 200 years later. Moses clearly stated that a tenth of the increase had to be set aside for the Levites. However, Joseph commanded NO SUCH THING. Instead he declared that 2/10ths (a fifth part) was to go to the pharaoh while all the remainder went to the people of Egypt. Please note that Joseph DID NOT give the Egyptian priesthood any part of the increase that some so-called universal law of tithing might be satisfied! In fact, the priests of the time had their own lands that had not been sold to the pharaoh. These lands provided enough food for their own survival and NO TITHES were ever exacted from them during Joseph's tenure (verses 22, 26).

The bottom line is that Joseph knew ABSOLUTELY NOTHING of any so-called universal tithing law -- why? BECAUSE NONE EXISTED! This wasn't out of ignorance. Since Joseph highly respected his father he would have known about Abraham's "tithing" example and the CONDITIONAL tithe of Jacob, yet he avoided using any tithe in Egypt. Joseph was not being disobedient because he was "a man in whom the spirit of God is" (Genesis 41:38). Joseph said nothing about giving a tenth of the increase to any priesthood because THERE WAS NO UNIVERSAL TITHING LAW PRIOR TO MOSES!

The Tithe of the Land

[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 YEHOVAH 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 YEHOVAH God.

Here is exposed another lie of modern ministers. It was not the first tenth, but rather the tenth tenth that belonged to YEHOVAH God -- contrary to every minister I have ever heard, who insists that the first tenth always belongs to YEHOVAH. Unscriptural. Untrue. Read your bible -- it’s the TENTH ONE of a herd that belongs to YEHOVAH God.

Another interesting point is this: If a herdsman had but nine cattle, he didn’t tithe his cattle at all! Also notice that YEHOVAH 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?

The Role of the Levites

[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 YEHOVAH 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 YEHOVAH God. This is the whole point of Hebrews seven. Yeshua the Messiah 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 the Messiah, who according to the flesh is of the line of Judah, can and will be YEHOVAH’s High Priest in the Kingdom of YEHOVAH God.

A warning to all charlatans and would-be tithe extractors and collectors: There is NO temple of YEHOVAH God being officiated in Jerusalem today. There is NO Levitical 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 by YEHOVAH God at this time to collect tithes for the temple services and sacrifices.

Yet today we have tithe collecting preachers like James Kennedy and John Hagee, and most of the Churches of God with whom I am very familiar, collecting tithe monies by the millions and millions of dollars annually. Yet by years 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 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:

The Messiah 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).

Under the New Covenant, YEHOVAH 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).

The true believers under the New Covenant are now YEHOVAH’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).

All theologians know that when the Temple ceased, the priesthood officiating at the temple CEASED!

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 YEHOVAH God dwells? No longer do we have priests with spiritual infirmities interceding for us, but rather we have the Messiah as our perfect intercessor and High Priest seated at the right hand of YEHOVAH God in the heavens (Heb. 7:28-8:1).

At this time in history, Israel owes no tithe to anyone. And, Gentiles were never instructed to tithe in the first place. Read all 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.

Rejoicing Before the LORD

[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 reverend act of worship and communion with YEHOVAH God. Not unlike prayer. Others may share and profit from our prayers, but we offer them to YEHOVAH, not to men.

The following verses deal with a practice initiated by YEHOVAH 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 later on in this article.

[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 is further explained in Leviticus 27:31 --

"If a man wants at all to redeem any of his tithes, he shall ADD ONE-FIFTH to it."

Explains Ernest Martin:

"In other words, if a man for various reasons did not wish to pay his tithe in kind (and he wished to give money as a substitute), he was PENALIZED A FIFTH PART. Such a law was obviously not intended to encourage payment of the tithe in money. Monetary redemption, on the other hand, WAS NOT ALLOWED for the tithe of animals. Moses declared: 'It shall not be redeemed' (verse 33). This means that the tithing law of the Bible prohibited cattle ranchers from paying money at all" (The Tithing Dilemma, page 27).

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 ministers and pastors in the world, YEHOVAH God never intended for people to tithe on what they didn’t have, but only on the increase of what YEHOVAH gave them.

Time and again YEHOVAH God told Israel that they were to tithe on their increase from their abundance, not on their decrease or their lack.

The apostle Paul never taught tithing, but he did teach the brethren 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).

Corrupt Ministers Peddling the Word of YEHOVAH God

Let met give you one more prosperity example while I’m at it. Some years ago Dr. Hagee sent out a mailing 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 YEHOVAH God! I would hate to be in their shoes come judgment time!

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 was 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 YEHOVAH God, but Paul says, "...the MAJORITY..." are peddling the word of YEHOVAH God -- and this includes most of the Churches of God! Contrast this insincere merchandising of the word of YEHOVAH 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 the Messiah 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 ..."

Tithing Under Hezekiah

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 YEHOVAH 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 later on in this article.

Right Out of the Book of Malachi?

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 YEHOVAH’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 later in this article.

Conclusion

Turn now 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), sacrificing animals is physical (of the letter and of the flesh), tithing is physical (of the letter and of the flesh), etc., etc., etc.

"...God, Who also makes us competent dispensers of a NEW covenant, not of the letter, but of the spirit, for the letter is killing, yet the spirit is vivifying [giving life]" (II Cor. 3:6).

The physical is but a tiny microcosm of the spiritual macrocosm. Cutting a few centimeters of skin from a boy’s penis does not make him a spiritual man! But all of these rituals and ceremonies of the Old Covenant pointed to a future SPIRITUAL reality. True circumcision is not of the flesh, but of the heart, mind, soul, and spirit -- it virtually has nothing to do with a few centimeters of physical skin.

"For not that which is apparent is the Jew, nor yet that which is apparent in flesh is circumcision; but that which is hidden IS the Jew, and circumcision is of the heart, in spirit, not in letter, whose applause is not of men, but of God" (Rom. 2:29).

The Messiah is not interested in the letter, in the physical, in the flesh.

"Now those who are in the flesh are not able to please God" (Rom. 8:8).

It’s all about the SPIRIT -- not water, foreskins, and money!

YEHOVAH God doesn’t need or want ten percent of anything we have. YEHOVAH wants one hundred percent. The Messiah died for ALL OF US, and He wants ALL OF US, not just a percentage! YEHOVAH God doesn’t want OUR money; He wants US!

We are already bought and paid for in full by Yeshua the Messiah -- we shouldn't try to add our two cents worth! We are now to live on a standard far above what we ever knew before the Messiah called us to become new creatures in the spirit. This can only be done through the power of YEHOVAH’s spirit. Our flesh is profiting NOTHING.

"Yet you are not in flesh, but IN SPIRIT, if so be that God’s spirit is making its home in you" (Rom. 8:9).

One living in the spirit is not all concerned about physical things of the letter and of the flesh. The apostle Paul wasn’t called to "circumcise," or "collect tithes." The kingdom of YEHOVAH God is not food and drink. Paul’s whole ministry was proof of that.

If people feel they need to give something to YEHOVAH God, something physical, something they can see and feel good about, then try this:

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

"And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove that is that good and acceptable and perfect, will of God" (Rom. 12:1-2).

The Apostle Paul said:

"Every man according as he purposes in his heart, so let him give, not grudgingly, or of NECESSITY: for GOD LOVETH A CHEERFUL GIVER." (II Cor. 9:7).

I would not give another penny to televangelists who peddle the word of YEHOVAH God like some cheap merchandise for money. And the amount of money they extort from the public is colossal. What in the world do they do with all that money?

Never have SO MANY… accomplished SO LITTLE … with SO MUCH!

The real missionaries of the Gospel of the Messiah have not flown first class to cushy hotels in exotic lands to teach the natives while dressed in their $3000 suits! The real missionaries were often down in the trenches with few if any luxuries. And there are still to be found such dedicated dispensers of YEHOVAH’s Word. These are the ones that are in need of financial support, for sure. These are those who truly are "worthy of their hire."

HELP THE NEEDY, NOT THE GREEDY!

Remember the words of the Messiah, how he said, IT IS MORE BLESSED TO GIVE THAN TO RECEIVE

The Scriptures Know Nothing of "Christian Tithing"

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

Yeshua the Messiah’s followers did not pay tithe to him from farm products or herds; neither did his followers pay him ten percent of their salaries from other sources of income. "Christian tithing" is an oxymoron -- it is a contradiction of words. No, it is more: it is, in fact, a Christian hoax! "Christian tithing" is about as Scriptural as "Christian burnt offerings," "Christian stonings," or "Christian synagogues." The leaders of Christendom have bamboozled millions (billions) of unsuspecting church members into believing that "Christian tithing" is a Scriptural command from YEHOVAH God Himself, and can easily be found and supported in the pages of Divine Scripture. Oh really?

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

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

No Tithing In the Church of the Apostles

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

The Mystery of Malachi Revealed

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

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

Here are the "cursing" verses:

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

Here is the "blessing" verse:

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

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

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

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

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

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

And:

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

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

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

WHAT were they robbing God of? "tithes AND offerings." Tithes of what? PRODUCTS FROM THE LAND -- grains and cattle.

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

WHY did YEHOVAH God want these tithes of the land brought to the "storehouse" (the granary)? "That there may be meat [bread] in Mine house [YEHOVAH’s house -- the Temple -- not the granary]."

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

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

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

If YEHOVAH God wanted more money in His house, why did the Messiah do what he did in the House of YEHOVAH God?

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

The Christian Interpretation of Bringing In the Tithe

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

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

Is this really how YEHOVAH wants us of the 21st Century to apply Malachi’s prophecy to our lives?

THIS PROPHECY HAS ABSOLUTELY NOTHING TO DO WITH TITHING MONEY TO THE CHURCH!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Malachi and the Bread of Life

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

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

YEHOVAH God says: "I have LOVED you…"

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

The Type and Shadow Is Far Inferior to the Reality

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

From this pulling to pieces, plucking off, and morsels, comes the phrase "breaking bread." There undoubtedly was more grains in the storehouse (to bake bread), than any other food commodity. Now then, listen and learn what I have to show you next, and you will know and understand more about the Old Testament Prophets than do most theologians. What did the Messiah have to say to the Judahites about the "bread from heaven" which they said their fathers ate in the desert?

"Then Jesus said to them, 'Indeed, I assure you, Moses did not give you THE BREAD FROM HEAVEN; but My Father gives you the TRUE BREAD from heaven. For the bread of God is THAT which descends from heaven and is giving life to the world'" (John 6:32-33 -- The Emphatic Diaglott)!

What? How can the Messiah say that?

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

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

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

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

People read these verses and think that the Messiah literally came down from Heaven -- that he pre-existed in Heaven before his birth -- is this true?

The physical bread during the Exodus is said to have "come down from Heaven," which means IT ORIGINATED WITH YEHOVAH GOD. It does NOT mean that manna was previously literally in Heaven until it was sent to earth.

The bread called manna was an Old Covenant TYPE of the New Covenant reality -- the True Bread of Life, Yeshua the Messiah. BOTH are said to have come from Heaven. Where did the manna come from? Where did the Messiah come from? They BOTH came from Heaven! But what does this mean?

The Messiah "came down from Heaven" in that he has always obeyed YEHOVAH God, spoken for YEHOVAH God, revealed the Father and acted as His MESSENGER in preaching the Good News of the Kingdom of YEHOVAH God. The Messiah was "sent" by YEHOVAH God when he "came down from Heaven." Does "sent by YEHOVAH God" mean that one is physically sent from Heaven? No -- not in the case of John the Baptist (John 1:6) and Elijah the Prophet (Luke 4:26). If someone or  something (e.g. manna) is sent by YEHOVAH God, it does NOT mean he or it had a PREVIOUS existence in Heaven!

YEHOVAH God the Father -- the Creator God -- COMMISSIONED the human Messiah to preach the Kingdom of YEHOVAH God, and to later sacrifice his life as the Lamb of YEHOVAH God. All of this is involved in the "sending" of the Messiah "from Heaven" to those who would receive him. The Messiah was a most special HUMAN BEING who was sent "from Heaven" -- that is, "from God" -- to accomplish the all-important work of becoming our savior.

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

Now then, does YEHOVAH God want unpolluted animals? No. Does YEHOVAH want unpolluted produce from the land? No. Does YEHOVAH want unpolluted money? No. Well what kind of sacrifice does He want then? YEHOVAH God wants US! All of US! We, ourselves, are the sacrifices that YEHOVAH God wants!

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

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

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

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

First the Physical and Then the Spiritual

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

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

"…the TRUE bread [commissioned] from heaven. For the bread of God IS THAT which descends FROM HEAVEN and is giving life to the world" (John 6:32b-33).

Hold this thought ……

And now back to Malachi again:

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

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

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

Fine Flour and Pure Frankincense Vs. Polluted Bread

And how is it that YEHOVAH God views these evil sacrifices:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

The End-Time Church As Peter Saw It

Peter describes the church in the latter days:

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

Other renderings:

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

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

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

All Physical Types Foreshadow Spiritual Realities

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

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

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

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

Much of what the ministers and pastors disseminate from the pulpit as "wholesome spiritual food," YEHOVAH calls "polluted bread." And just WHY do they offer polluted bread? Because:

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

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

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

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

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

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

And in Psalm 34:18 David reverses the order:

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

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

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

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

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

Bringing YEHOVAH God Your Spiritual Tithes Will Reap a Spiritual Blessing

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

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

Now there is, dear brethren, a blessing beyond our ability to make "room to receive it." Yeshua the Messiah is the True Bread in YEHOVAH’s house. The Messiah is the personification of LOVE, LIGHT AND LIFE. The Messiah reflects YEHOVAH God Who is the Ultimate, the Apex, the Primer, the Zenith, the HIGHEST OF EVERYTHING! YEHOVAH God is the Tree of Life, The Hope of Glory, The Saviour of the World -- all that we and the entirety of the universe will ever need for all eternity is found in Him! But YEHOVAH demands purity. All the polluted bread has got to go:

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

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

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

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

The Lesson of Malachi for the Followers of the Messiah

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

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

The physical tithes that were brought to the storehouse from which portions were sacrificed to YEHOVAH, brought temporary, physical blessings on Earth. For all those who will bring all their spiritual tithes and offerings to YEHOVAH’s house, YEHOVAH promises one permanent, SPIRITUAL Blessing that He will send from heaven through the agency of the Messiah. YEHOVAH God is the source of that one and only True Bread of never-ending life.

We Obey a Spiritual Law and Our Sacrifices Are Spiritual

As Christians we are not under the sacrificial laws and ordinances in this New Testament dispensation. Accordingly, the end-time fulfillment of Malachi does not pertain to the sacrificial laws and ordinances, which are the oldness of the letter rather the newness of the spirit. Just as there is no more sacrificing of animals at the Temple, likewise there is no tithing of animals at the Temple -- NOR IS THERE TITHING OF ANY KIND. Christians are not under the Temple dispensation, nor a twisted, modified version of it.

"For the law of the SPIRIT of LIFE in Christ Jesus has made me FREE FROM THE LAW OF SIN AND DEATH" (Rom. 8:2).

The law of the letter "engraven in stone tablets" assuredly was a "dispensation of death and condemnation" for those living in Old Covenant times without the help of the holy spirit (II Cor. 3:4-11). Here are but a few more sacrifices of the spirit which are always acceptable in YEHOVAH’s presence:

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

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

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

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

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

Love Not the World Neither the Things In the World

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

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

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

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

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

Money and the Believer

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

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

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

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

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

The Church would prefer you NOT know the following:

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

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

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

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

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

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

Here are the SIMPLE FACTS regarding the Biblical teaching of tithing:

1). ONLY LANDOWNERS TITHED

2). ONLY PRODUCTS OF THE LAND WERE TITHED

3). ONLY LEVITES COULD RECEIVE THE TITHES

4). RECEIVING TITHES WAS A FUNCTION OF THE TEMPLE

5). SINCE THE TEMPLE NO LONGER EXISTS TITHING IS NOT REQUIRED

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

By the way, since Yeshua the Messiah was probably a carpenter or general contractor by trade, HE THEREFORE DID NOT TITHE!

Notice what Ernest L. Martin says regarding who tithed and who didn't --

"It is often surprising to people to find that a large segment of people in Israel did not tithe! The owner of a farm had to tithe, but his hired hands were exempt. Was a hired hand required to tithe on his salary? Not at all! There was no law that required a tenth of one's salary to be tithed (which was earned for services rendered). Only the crops and animals of those who  owned them were subject to the tithe....Fishermen did not tithe, though this industry is mentioned in the law (Leviticus 11:9-12). Like wise, the mining industry is referred to (Deuteronomy 8:9), but the tithe of minerals extracted from the earth was never called for. The lumber business is mentioned (I Kings 5:7-12) and construction work on buildings (I Kings 5:13-18) but tithes were not extracted from people who worked in those trades. The same held true for those earning an income from weaving, handicrafts, or from any form of manufacturing or merchandising. They all were immune from tithing including all those in the military and government workers" (The Tithing Dilemma, page 28).

Martin goes on to say:

"To make it plain and simple, only the owners of farms and flocks were required to tithe. Indeed, the Israelite who had fewer than ten cattle did not have to tithe on nine of them because the requirement stated that only the tenth animal that passed under the rod was to be tithed (Leviticus 27:32)" (ibid., pages 28-29).

Needless to say, there is hardly a "Christian" minister today (who demands tithing) who would feel at all inclined to abide by these laws of the Bible regarding tithing. They want to impose their onerous burden on ALL who make a living!

The Temple and the Tithe

The Holy Temple was the very heart and soul of the nation of Israel. Before the First Temple was built, King David longed for it. In anticipation he dedicated his royal treasury to the Temple construction by his son, Solomon. David composed Psalms and liturgical works to be sung in the Temple service.

After the Second Temple was destroyed in 70 A.D. by the Roman legions under Vespasian and then Titus, Jews yearned to rebuild it. Even now, about 2,000 years later, Jews express in prayers their hopes for the rebuilding of their Temple. The Temple is not only a proud memory of the past -- but represents the future of the Jewish nation and of the world! Writes Rabbi Leibel Reznick --

"The future Temple, according to the prophetic visions, will herald an era when no nation will raise up a sword against another, when war will not be taught, and when instruments of battle will be beaten into plowshares. The Jewish Temple is the hope of mankind. The future Temple will be God's palace on earth. God shall reign as King and His subjects will be at peace with one another" (The Holy Temple Revisited, page xi).

Three times each year every Israelite was expected to make a pilgrimage to the Temple in Jerusalem. During the festivals of Passover, Shavuot (Pentecost) and Sukkot (Tabernacles), Israelites gathered in Jerusalem and the heads of the households offered holiday sacrifices. In addition to the three pilgrimages, farmers brought their tithes and firstfruits to the Temple as a gift to the Temple priests. The blessings of the field were directly attributed to the beneficence of YEHOVAH God and to the priestly Temple service.

As the central sanctuary from the time of King Solomon through the time of the Messiah, the Jerusalem Temple played an important economic role in the community. During the time of the Second Temple tithes poured into the Temple treasury from all parts of the Roman Empire where an Israelite population was to be found. The tithe represented a MAJOR SOURCE OF INCOME for the Jerusalem Temple; and tithes of animals and agricultural produce -- especially grain, wine, and oil supplied the shrine and altar with the required sacrifices and the Temple personnel with food and clothing. The people deposited their tithes in Jerusalem, though some texts describe the role of the LEVITES as collectors of the tithes. This we find in Nehemiah 10:38 -- notice!

"We will bring to the storerooms of the House of our God [the Temple] the first part of our dough, and our gifts [of grain], and of the fruit of every tree, wine and oil for the priests, and the TITHES of our land for the LEVITES -- THE LEVITES WHO COLLECT THE TITHE IN ALL OUR TOWNS subject to royal service. An Aaronic priest must be with the LEVITES WHEN THEY COLLECT THE TITHE, and the Levites must bring up a tithe of the tithe to the House of our God [the Temple], to the storerooms of the treasury" (Tanakh: The Holy Scriptures).

With the destruction 0f the Temple in 70 A.D. the Levites were no longer able to officiate in collecting the tithes and depositing them into the Temple treasury. Everything embodied in the Temple came to an abrupt and complete halt -- including the tithing system -- and Jewish worship began to be centered around the local synagogues.

When asked whether Jews tithe today, a Los Angeles rabbi replied saying -- "If any member of my synagogue paid tithe in the scriptural manner, he would be DISOBEYING THE LAW OF GOD -- he would be SINNING against God." When asked why this was so, he went on to say that since the Bible demands that the tithe be paid to Levites, it would be wrong to pay it to anyone else. And further, he said, because there is no official Levitical order of priests ministering at a Temple in Jerusalem, this makes it ILLEGAL at this time to pay any biblical tithe. He went on to say, however, that the moment a Temple is rebuilt -- with its altar in operation and with the priesthood officiating at that altar (and the Levites there to assist them) -- then every Jew who lives in the tithing zones mentioned in the Bible will be required to tithe according to the Biblical commands.

When asked the same question, another rabbi stated that "if we are to obey the law, we cannot pay tithe unless we pay it to the ones ordained by God to accept that tithe." This particular rabbi explained that although he was the chief rabbi of his synagogue, HE WAS NOT A LEVITE! He said that he was descended from the tribe of Judah and was thereby NOT ELIGIBLE to receive tithes. Notes Ernest Martin:

"This same DISQUALIFICATION applied even to Christ Jesus while he was on earth since he was also reckoned as having come from the tribe of Judah. This same restriction was applicable to the activities of the apostle Peter (because he was as well from Judah) and it applied to the apostle Paul (because he was from the tribe of Benjamin). Neither Christ nor those apostles were Levites so they were ALL DISQUALIFIED from receiving any part of the biblical tithe. It is just that simple. And listen, if Christ, Peter and Paul DID NOT USE the biblical tithe for any of their work in the teaching of the Gospel, CHRISTIAN MINISTERS TODAY SHOULD NOT USE THE BIBLICAL TITHE EITHER" (The Tithing Dilemma, pages 14-15).

These rabbis were correctly interpreting the teaching of the Bible on this subject. While many Christian ministers today teach that Christians may be in danger of missing salvation itself if they do not tithe to the Church, Jewish rabbis KNOW BETTER than to teach such a thing. Proclaims Martin --

"They realize that it is biblically improper (actually, it is a BLATANT DISOBEDIENCE  to the laws of the Bible) for anyone to pay or to receive the biblical tithe today. And any minister or ecclesiastical leader who uses the biblical tithe (or any who pays to a minister the biblical tithe) is a SINNER in the eyes of God" (ibid., p. 15).

With the Temple gone and the Levitical priesthood disbanded, the tithing system has been discontinued until the Messiah builds a new Temple in Jerusalem just before the Millennium to house the Shekinah Glory of YEHOVAH God. Until then, YEHOVAH's Church functions on the good will offerings and donations of those truly committed to help proclaim the Good News of the Kingdom of YEHOVAH God to the entire world.

Giving Is Voluntary

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

In the Churches of God elderly and disabled people are told by their pastor that they are expected to tithe on their meager income regardless as to whether there is sufficient left over to care for the family. This is disgraceful beyond comprehension.

Numerous times I have heard TV ministers intimidating their viewers into contributing money that they do not have. Even if they owe more money to creditors in monthly payments than their salaries could possibly pay, they are still asked to make huge donations to these crooks and charlatans. Some contend that the more money one needs to meet his already staggering obligations, the more money he needs to send in. Viewers are even told to pledge huge amounts (TWO THOUSAND DOLLARS was the asking pledge when last I saw this reprehensible carnival sideshow chicanery) of money that they do not have, and then to send in ten percent of the pledge and pay the rest off in installments. HAVE THEY NO SHAME AND FEAR OF YEHOVAH GOD?

"How Are We to Pay the Church Bills If the People Don't Tithe?"

This is a commonly asked question. The answer: Pay your church bills the same way you pay your living expenses -- with a check. Here’s the thing: You don’t need to lie and deceive and pervert the word of YEHOVAH God in order to pay church expenses.

Everybody should understand that YEHOVAH's Church -- in order to provide services to YEHOVAH's people -- ought to have adequate funds with which to operate. Although it is SCRIPTURALLY WRONG to use the Biblical tithing laws to support YEHOVAH's Church, there should be a means to carry out YEHOVAH's Work. It is not a matter of whether one gives ten percent, twenty percent or any percent to the Work of proclaiming the Good News of the Kingdom of YEHOVAH God. To the Messiah it was all a matter of ATTITUDE. The voluntary giving of FREE WILL CONTRIBUTIONS was, to the Messiah, the PROPER WAY to support YEHOVAH's Work. It is one  that the Messiah approves of. According to Ernest Martin,

"the Bible provides a logical and very workable voluntary system for financing any Christian work. It is similar to that which supported the Old Covenant "Israel" before the introduction of tithing in the second year of the Exodus. Its principle is found in Matthew 10, Mark 6, Luke 9 and 10 and I Corinthians 9. The whole matter -- from beginning to end -- is that of FREE WILL OFFERINGS -- not TITHES" (The Tithing Dilemma, page 72).

The apostle Paul even said that Christian laborers in the Gospel should receive "double honors" -- see I Timothy 5:17. The Revised Standard Version of the Bible renders the word "honors" as "gifts." But why "double gifts"? There are always EXTRA THINGS that YEHOVAH's teachers and ministers need in order to serve YEHOVAH's people correctly and in a professional way. For example, they should have adequate funds to buy paper and postage in order to print and mail out Bible study lessons and whatever articles, etc. YEHOVAH's Church should have available, and for being hospitable to the brethren and many other material needs.

"Paul certainly did NOT mean that workers in the Gospel should live on a 'double income' (or to have 'double financial blessings' to put them into a higher social or financial category than the other brethren). The 'double gifts' were to help them serve the people better, NOT to make the teachers of the Gospel better off in an economic way. Those 'honors,' however, were reckoned by Paul as GIFTS, not TITHE!" (ibid., page 73).

So why doesn’t your pastor just ask the people to contribute toward paying the church expenses? I can tell you why. A few do, but most don’t. And why is that? It is because those who teach false doctrines to exact money illegally from their congregation don’t have FAITH to trust their people to contribute voluntarily out of love. They only know how to teach the Old Testament laws concerning the Temple and it's functions which are no longer in effect.

Most pastors see two options:

1). Teach that people will be cursed if they don’t tithe ten percent of their annual salaries,

2). Trust YEHOVAH God in faith to provide the money from voluntary gifts given from the heart.

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

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

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

Giving Versus Tithing

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

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

Tithing was COMMANDED by the laws pertaining to the Tabernacle/Temple.

Giving is VOLUNTARY from the HEART.

The Apostle Paul Versus Christian Tithing

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

"Sir, MONEY is not a tithable commodity. Furthermore, tithes must be paid to the Levitical priests only, and I am not a Levite, I am from the Tribe of Benjamin. Furthermore, as a believer in Yeshua the Messiah, you are also freed from the tithing laws since the Temple no longer stands. The Messiah has taught us that, ‘FREELY you have received, FREELY give." One cannot give ‘freely’ that which is demanded by law. I am sorry, but I cannot accept money that is given out of obligation to a now defunct law."

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

Well, what more can I say about that?

What About the Messiah’s Only Two Examples of Tithers?

Paul was inspired by YEHOVAH's holy spirit to declare that "God loves a cheerful giver" (II Cor.9:7). Why was not Paul inspired by YEHOVAH’s holy spirit to declare that, "God loves a cheerful tithe-payer?" In fact, why does NOT Paul mention the words tithe, tithes, or tithing in any of his epistles -- not once? Why does NOT Peter, James, John, or Jude mention tithing in any of their epistles? Why didn’t the early Christian Fathers mention tithing as a doctrine of the New Testament Church? Therefore, why are innumerable thousands of evangelists, theologians, teachers, preachers, and clergymen teaching the world that if they don’t tithe ten percent of their salaries, that YEHOVAH God will curse them with a curse? Why?

The only two times in the New Testament that the Messiah mentions tithing is in condemnation of the Pharisees. We should realize that at the time of the Messiah’s ministry there was a Temple and there was a Levitical Priesthood, hence tithing was still in effect. Hear now the only words ever recorded of the Messiah mentioning tithes:

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

The problem wasn't with tithing at this time (the Temple was still functioning) but with lack of "judgment" and "love of God."

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

The same thing -- a matter of attitude.

What does being an utter hypocrite and passing over "Judgment and the Love of God" have to do with "tithing?" Nothing -- that’s the whole point. Under the Old Covenant these gross sins have virtually nothing to do with tithing because the holy spirit had not yet been made available!

While tithing (with the Temple still standing) was not insignificant to the Messiah, the gross sins of failing to properly judge the widows and orphans and fatherless and poor, and to not show any Love of YEHOVAH God toward them was far worse. The subject of tithing was used by the Messiah to show the utter hypocrisy of these Pharisees. They were very meticulous about tithing and yet… and YET they would do the tithe thing and neglect judgment, love and mercy.

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

The law of tithing produce from the land was still in effect during the Messiah’s ministry, and therefore, all of the nation of Israel who had land were to tithe from their land and give it to the Priests and Levites, strangers, fatherless, widows, poor, and even consume some of it themselves at YEHOVAH’s annual festivals. However, this system with its laws and Temple were all part of the original Church of YEHOVAH God in the wilderness. Neither Yeshua, nor his apostles, nor Paul, ever taught new Christian converts to the newly established Church of YEHOVAH God, to tithe to this new church!

Here then is the bottom line: Neither, the Messiah nor his apostles taught tithing to others. And within a generation of the Messiah's pronouncement of the total destruction of both the nation of Judah, and their city of Jerusalem with its Temple, the church established in the wilderness was superseded by the New Testament Church of YEHOVAH God. The nation of Israel was gone, the Temple was gone, the priests were gone, the Levites were gone, and concerning the very law of tithing and the Temple ordinances, statutes and laws, we read this:

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

How the Apostle Paul Financed His International Ministry

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

The apostle Paul NEVER used the Biblical tithe to support his preaching of the Good News of the Kingdom of YEHOVAH God. He was a tentmaker by trade and even carried out his trade while preaching the Gospel -- supporting himself to some extent in this manner. Paul tells us in a number of places how YEHOVAH's Work was financed and how he wished to be supported. Notice Acts 20:

"Take heed to yourselves, therefore, and to all the flock among whom the holy spirit made you overseers, to feed the Church of God, which he acquired by the blood of his own....I have coveted NO MAN'S SILVER, OR GOLD, or apparel; you yourselves know that these hands have served my necessities, and those who were with me. I have shown you in all things, that by thus laboring you ought to assist the weak, and to remember the words of the Lord Jesus, that he said, 'It is more blessed to give than to receive'" (verses 28, 33-35, The Emphatic Diaglott).

He not only occasionally worked with his hands to support himself, but had a little left over to help others in need. It is interesting to note that of all the times Paul spoke about supporting the ministry he NEVER ONCE referred to an Old Testament scripture about tithing to show authority for it! Why? Because Paul knew better! The Old Testament "tithing scriptures" DID NOT (and DO NOT) apply to financing the New Testament Church and Paul knew it.

If tithing was still a commanded method of funding the Church, why didn't Paul merely quote Leviticus 27 or Malachi 3 which supported tithing? Paul, who was once a "Pharisee, the son of a Pharisee" (Acts 23:6) knew better! He simply couldn't quote those scriptures because they DIDN'T APPLY TO ANY CHRISTIAN ACTIVITIES in the New Testament Church!

Notice what Hasting's Dictionary of the Apostolic Church says --

"It is admitted universally that the payment of tithes or the tenths of possessions, for sacred purposes, did NOT find a place within the Christian Church during the age covered by the apostles and their immediate successors" (entry, "Tithing").

According to the Insight On the Scriptures,

"At NO TIME were first-century Christians commanded to pay tithes. The PRIMARY PURPOSE of the tithing arrangement under the Law had been to support Israel's temple and priesthood; consequently the obligation to pay tithes would CEASE when that Mosaic Law covenant came to an end as fulfilled, through Christ's death on the torture stake. (Eph. 2:15; Col. 2:13, 14) It is true that Levitical priests continued serving at the temple in Jerusalem until it was destroyed in 70 C.E., but Christians from and after 33 C.E. [actually, 31 C.E. -- Editor] became part of a new spiritual priesthood that WAS NOT supported by tithes. -- Ro 6:14; Heb 7:12; 1Pe 2:9" (Watchtower Bible & Tract Society of New York, Inc., Brooklyn, NY, page 1110).

Adds Ernest L. Martin --

"There is not the slightest evidence in the New Testament, or in early Church History, to show that the Christian Church used the tithing system of the Old Covenant to finance its operations. After all, they were sensible enough to know that it would have been ILLEGAL for them to have done so. The early Christian authorities knew that they WERE NOT LEVITES" (The Tithing Dilemma, pages 58-59).

Going back to the Insight On the Scriptures we read:

"As Christians they were encouraged to give support to the Christian ministry both by their own ministerial activity and by material contributions. Instead of giving fixed, specified amounts to defray congregational expenses, they were to contribute 'according to what a person has,' giving 'as he has resolved in his heart, not grudgingly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver.' (2 Co 8:12; 9:7)." -- Pages 1110-1111.

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

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

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

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

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

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

What we need today are churches that will return to the REAL teachings of the Bible and purge themselves of all the FALSE DOCTRINES and IDOLATROUS PRACTICES that pervade and adulterate the teachings of most of the mainline churches -- including a number of the Churches of God. Ministers of these churches need the gumption to step out from the crowd and INSTRUCT their members in the truth once delivered to the saints instead of the perverted Biblical interpretations so prevalent today.

If these ministers would begin their repentance and change by showing that their use of the Biblical tithe is completely at variance with the instructions of YEHOVAH God and the Messiah, it would be a good start to a further expunging of the false doctrines and idolatrous practices now in the churches.

 

Hope of Israel Ministries -- Proclaiming the Good News of the Kingdom of YEHOVAH God!

Hope of Israel Ministries
P.O. Box 853
Azusa, CA 91702, U.S.A.
www.hope-of-israel.org

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