This is Part VII of the article on Tithes, entitled, “Is Tithing a Biblical Requirement Today.” Because of the extensive Biblical research involved, it will be posted in 15 Parts. Although this subject may be controversial, the Bible tells us to, “Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.” (2 Timothy 2:15). “And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.” (John 8:32).
Does God ask Israel to bring all the Tithes and offerings into the storehouse, or treasury, or granary, so that there will be “tithes and offerings in Mine house?” No. God says so, “that there may be meat in Mine house?” We know that they did not bring the tithes and offerings into the holy place of the tabernacle. Only bread was kept in the holy place. The “bread” in the holy place was a type of something future just as everything that happened to Israel and all of their tithes, offerings and ceremonies were a type of something future (I Corinthians. 10:11). One must indeed be spiritually blind who cannot see that the “bread” in the holy place foreshadows “The True Bread of Life—Jesus Christ.”
Ask a pastor of any church, “How do I obey the prophecy of Malachi to stop “robbing God of His tithes and offerings?” He or she will tell you to write a tithe check in the name of the church, for 10% of your income (plus an offering), and that check will then be deposited into the church bank account. Then ask these same pastors or clergy what kind of blessings you will receive for obeying this practice by providing your tithes. They will probably tell you stories where people received huge amounts of material goods and even huge amounts of more money. This is their interpretation of God “opening the windows of heaven and pouring out a blessing” simply because you paid your tithes.
Is this really how God wants us of the 21st Century to apply Malachi’s prophecy to our lives recognizing that this prophecy has absolutely nothing to do with tithes of money to the Church? Does God even suggest somewhere in this prophecy that there isn’t enough “money in His house?” Is Jesus Christ coming back to judge these “priests” because the “people” failed to bring tithes to the storehouse so that there would be money in God’s house? Is it a lack of money that concerns God in this prophecy? No, it is both the people and the priests who have corrupted themselves according to this prophecy. Remember, God holds the priests to a much higher standard and therefore they receive the greater condemnation. There appears to be two groups of judgments in the Malachi prophecy:
“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” (Malachi. 3:1-3).
“And I will come near to you to judgment; 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” (Malachi 3:5).
Members of the clergy make most people think that the only thing of value in the Book of Malachi are the three verses on “robbing God” and “receiving a blessing.” There are four chapters in Malachi. Here are a few additional things 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…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).
“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)
To summarize Malachi, the Priests despised God’s name, and their sacrifices are blind, sick and lame. And so God says He will not even accept their offering. The people provides tithes but the quality of their tithes was of an unacceptable quality. But was it this poor quality of sacrifices that really angered God? Not really. The sick and lame sacrifices were a symptom of a much larger problem. It appears that God used their polluted sacrifices only as a physical, visual illustration to show them their sins and polluted hearts. For much of the remainder of this book, God unfolds their many sins and weaknesses.
PART VIII TOMORROW
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