This is Part VIII 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).
Peter describes the New Testament 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 shall bring in damnable heresies, even denying the Lord that bought them, and bring upon themselves swift destruction. And many shall follow their pernicious ways; by reason of whom the way of the truth shall be evil spoken of. And through covetousness shall they with feigned words make merchandise of you” (II Peter 2:1-3).
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 Corinthians 10:11).
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 God. The reason that the people and the priests offered sick 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…” (Isaiah 1:4-5).
Here is 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 and be satisfied; that the Lord your God may bless you in all the work of your hand which you do” (Deut. 14:29).
In their tithe messages, pastors and other clergy do not teach the following:
- The tradesmen, who made the baskets for harvesting, did not tithe.
- The cobblers, who made the shoes for the servants of the field, did not tithe.
- The carpenters, who made the wagons used for harvesting the fields, did not tithe.
- The potters, who made the jugs for carrying water to the servants in the fields, did not tithe.
- The women, who made the garments for the field-workers, did not tithe.
- And certainly, the servants who worked in the fields for wages, did not tithe.
Here are the facts on the Biblical teaching of tithing:
ONLY LANDOWNERS TITHED
ONLY PRODUCTS OF THE LAND WERE TITHED
ONLY LEVITES COULD RECEIVE THE TITHES
TITHING WAS A LAW OF MOSES
CHRISTIANS ARE NOT UNDER THE LAW OF MOSES
GIVING IS VOLUNTARY
The New Testament teachings on giving are simple and involve the heart and not a 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).
“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: for God loves a cheerful giver” (II Cor. 9:6-7).
“But if any provide not for his own, and specially for those of his own household, he has denied the faith, and worse than an infidel.” (1 Timothy 5:8)
How should church bills and expenses be paid if the people don’t tithe?
Why don’t pastors ask their congregation to contribute toward paying the church expenses rather than intimidating them with the curse of Malachi? It may be because those who teach false doctrine to exact money illegally from their congregation apparently do not have enough faith to trust their people to contribute voluntarily out of love.
Most pastors see two options:
- Teach that people will be cursed if they don’t tithe ten percent of their annual income; or
- Trust God in faith to provide the money from voluntary gifts given from the heart.
Paul was inspired by the Holy Spirit to declare that “God loves a cheerful giver” (II Corinthians 9:7). Why doesn’t Paul mention the words tithe, tithes, or tithing in any of His epistles? Why doesn’t 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? Why are thousands of evangelists, theologians, teachers, preachers, and clergy people teaching their congregations that if they don’t tithe ten percent of their income, God will curse them with a curse?
PART IX TOMORROW
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