Tithing, Robbing God by Restoring the Law of Moses

TITHING? Was there ever such a craft as PRIESTCRAFT? No, it is the craftiest of all crafts. It is so crafty that it OBTAINS by its craft the MEANS to make craftsmen, and then it makes the deluded support them!" Alexander Campbell, American Restoration Movement. Click Here to see a series of three articles expanding these notes.

Tithing 1....Tithing 2 ....Tithing 3 ....Lay By HIM in Store ...Music as a Burden

God in Christ DID NOT promise to build a church where worship was doing rituals. He promised to build an ekklesia or synagogue which is a school of the Bible. He promised to be with the two or three who came to Him to, in His words, "Learn of me." He commanded the Apostles to preach and MAKE DISCIPLES by baptism and ongoing teaching of "that which had been taught" by Christ the Spirit in the Old Testament and as the Living Word revealing His His written word which He said "is Spirit and Life."

Therefore, the "church" does not have a paid STAFF nor can it Scripturally impose any anxiety on the STUDENTS not necessary for them to learn the Bible and worship God the Spirit in the new PLACE of our human spirit.

It is useless to speak of tithing when the church Christ built has not ROLE which demands collecting money. The early assemblies undertstood "proportional giving" to mean that those who had PROSPERED during the weak would give to those who were DESTITUTE. They collected funds for the project and what was left over was held in trust by the presiding elder. He had NO AUTHORITY to conjure up a witchcraft project out of his head.

Gospel means that you are free from the burden laders. Just say NO because the Bible and Christianity DOES NOT impose a tax on your income. If the church "leaders" will give you a business all set up and going then they would, as under the law, be able to charge you a 10% rent. But, those who demand that you tithe so the rich can go free, they MUST provide you with the means of production or THEY ARE THIEVES AND ROBBERS.

See the Law of Giving to see that Joe lays by Joe to have funds available to give alms in te way Jesus commanded: don't let Jim know what Joe gives to the destitute.

Paul gave the lie to those who claim that they have a LAW on their side to force you to give or get out: to be a HAPPY CAMPER or "out of the loop" of the body activity.

God blesses those who give to Him. However, He doesn't need a house, priests, Levitical musicians, sacrifices, food, lights, flowers or programs. When God hands out His hands we will see the true evangelist or those truly in need on the other end. Nevertheless, domineering legalists demand that thou shalt give to their programs or you are robbing God and therefore you will not "be a happy camper in this church."

Gogol defended hisThe Government Inspector in After the Play,

Some of us who are ready to have a good laugh at a man's crooked nose,

Have not the courage to laugh at a man's crooked soul. Gogol

Dostoyevsky in The Grand Inquisitor spoke of similar scams in the Russian church:

"I tell Thee that man is tormented by NO GREATER ANXIETY than to find some one quickly to whom he can hand over that GIFT OF FREEDOM with which the ill-fated creature is born. But only one who can appease their conscience can take over their freedom."

The Jews, like all ancient people, paid TAXES and the priests or religious function was performed by the state for the people. While no one missed a chance to levy some form of tax on people, they probably paid up to 25% of the farm produce while we may pay up to 50% for the state who DOES NOT pay for the religious institutions. Therefore, it is robbery to impose another 10% on the backs of already burdened people because NOTHING CHRISTIAN IS FOR SALE. Alfred Edersheim notes:

And it is remarkable, that the Law seems to regard Israel as intended to be only an agricultural people--

no contribution being provided for from trade or merchandise.

The "law" of tithing is always taken out of context to take the gift of freedom Jesus Christ died to give. To call it a law is to make a judgmental threat. The promise is that "God will give you more money than you gave Him." The implied threat is that if you don't "cough up" God will get you. I was filled with great anticipation and withheld my tithe to see if that 800ft (or so) Jesus would take Oral Roberts!

Tithing never had anything to do with money or wages. The tithe was the food product of the farmer who made sure no one went hungry. This was his "rent" for the lands he used and the Levites could not use. Only 1% went to the religious mediators.

The Mormon church, Benny Hinn, John Hagee, Rod Parsley, Jimmy Swaggart, Jerry Falwell, Pat Robertson, Kenneth Copeland, Oral Roberts, James Kennedy, Kenneth Hagin, Trinity Broadcasting Network, Word of Faith, Richard Roberts, and most are able build giant organizations by burdening the ignorant by demanding legalistic tithing of wage income. However, the story of Joseph shows that it was rent and not a tax:

> And Joseph bought all the land of Egypt for Pharaoh; for the Egyptians sold every man his field, because the famine prevailed over them: so the land became Pharaohs. Gen 47:20

And as for the people, he removed them to cities from one end of the borders of Egypt even to the other end thereof. Gen 47:21

Only the land of the priests bought he not; for the priests had a portion assigned them of Pharaoh, and did eat their portion which Pharaoh gave them: wherefore they sold not their lands. Gen 47:22

Then Joseph said unto the people, Behold, I have bought you this day and your land for Pharaoh: lo, here is seed for you, and ye shall sow the land. Gen 47:23

And it shall come to pass in the increase, that ye shall give the fifth part (20%) unto Pharaoh, and four parts shall be your own, for seed of the field, and for your food, and for them of your households, and for food for your little ones. Gen 47:24

This was not a tithe but a rent paid to the Pharaoh who now owned all of the land and would manage it so that the people would not starve. No one brought cash because you cannot eat cash.

When Israel's Elders "fired" God and demanded a king "like the nations" God knew that they wanted to "worship like the nations." Because they had been conditionally sentenced at Mount Sinai, God warned them that the kings would destroy them but they would not relent: "Set a king over us."

Ecclesiasticus 48 notes:

1. Then the prophet Elijah arose like a fire, and his word burned like a torch.

2. He brought a famine upon them, and by his zeal he made them few in number.

3. By the word of the Lord he shut up the heavens, and also three times brought down fire.

4. How glorious you were, O Elijah, in your wondrous deeds! And who has the right to boast which you have?

5. You who raised a corpse from death and from Hades, by the word of the Most High;

6. who brought kings down to destruction, and famous men from their beds;

7. who heard rebuke at Sinai and judgments of vengeance at Horeb;

8. who anointed kings to inflict retribution,

and prophets to succeed you.

But is that Biblical? Yes, it is:

O Israel, thou hast destroyed thyself; but in me is thine help. Hosea 13:9

I will be thy king: where is any other that may save thee in all thy cities? and thy judges of whom thou saidst, Give me a king and princes? Hosea 13:10

I gave thee a king in mine anger, and took him away in my wrath. Hosea 13:11

This was common in many nations which Israel was permitted to imitate:

> 48 It appears from Cicero that, when the Romans annexed Sicily, they found the greater part of the land subject by ancient custom to a tithe of the corn and other produce, and that such tithe continued to be enacted by the Roman government,

which derived thence its main revenue from the island:

further, that the custom had grown up of allowing a pecuniary composition for the tithe, and that this custom, intended originally for the accommodation of the tithe payers, had been abused to their detriment by over valuation in years when corn was cheap. One of the charges against Verres was that this had been done under him as Proetor. When wheat was selling in Sicily for two or at the most three sesterces per modius, the peasants had been made to compound for their tithes at the rate of three denarii, i.e. twelve secterces. (Cic. in Verr. Divin. 10; Act II. Lib. iii. 6, 18). The Roman Church having succeeded the Roman Government in the lordship of the "Patrimony of St. Peter" it appears that the Church officials had not been guiltless of similar unfair exactions. Hence the direction here in this Epistle that the valuations of the tithe insuccessive years should follow the market price. Resource

The fact:

Malachi is the proof text used to extort money from Christians who are now free. He demanded of the Levites and priests:

Bring all the tithes into the storehouse, that there may be food in my house, and test me now herewith, saith the Lord of hosts, if I will not open for you the windows of heaven (rain), and pour you out a blessing that there shall not be room enough to receive it." - Malachi 3:10

The Scam:

"This now sets up the agreement between you and the Supreme Being to begin tithing. You tithe 10-30% of all increase you receive. This would include your net income as well as any gifts or windfalls of value that come to you. First fruits and tithes are given to the person or place who introduces you to this spiritual principle and helps you to awaken to the Supreme Being within you."

The discipler lies to you about tithing. In exchange for their lies:

If you are a millionaire including business, house, car, college fund, jewelry, aunt Tilley's will giving you a couch:

You give a $100,000.00 finder's fee to the preacher or church.

Each year thereafter you give him 10% of your income.

Scam What Am explained fully:

"While you may have tithed and more all of your life, once you come under the control of the criminal mind lurking in many religions everything begins all over as they ask:

"What is tithing? A spiritual law and principle proclaimed by the Supreme Being to which there are two parts. First Fruits is the beginning steps on the golden road to tithing. Take a look around you and observe all the things you own on a material level. You might take inventory of a house, money in the bank, stocks, furniture, vehicles, jewelry - the list can go on and on. Write down the value of all these items as accurately as you can. You may be amazed at how many "possessions" are on your list.

"After you have totaled the amount of everything you own, take ten to thirty percent of the accumulated value and bring it to the person/place who has revealed the law of tithing to you. After all, you don't give your rent check to the Supermarket! You give to the one who has opened your spiritual eyes and ears to this principle. You have been inspireod!

"The second part to tithing is your spiritual and prosperity maintenance program. After First Fruits you bring ten to thirty percent of what you receive monetarily to the same individual or organization educating you about God's Prosperity Plan. For example, if you gross two thousand dollars per month, ten percent (two hundred dollars) would be tithed.

However, The Truth Will Set You Free

The Tithe was always food produced on lands (·erec Israel) which belonged to the tribes and only in Israel. The increase was brought forth by God's natural laws from land you got instead of the Levites and therefore the "renters" of the land paid rent in food for the hungry:

And Azariah the chief priest of the house of Zadok answered him, and said, Since the people began to bring the offerings into the house of the Lord, we have had enough to eat, and have left plenty: for the Lord hath blessed his people; and that which is left is this great store. 2Chr 31:10


A brief outline of tithing makes this clear:

When Abram returned from the rescue effort, Melchizedek the king of Salem and the priest of the most high God brought bread and wine for the returning warrionrs and blessed Abram.

Melchizedek, as a type of Christ actually gave to Abram first. Abram could legally take a tithe of the returned booty from the king of Sodom. However, Abram did not and would not profit from this rescue and he therefore gave the tithe to Melchizedek. Therefore, it was the king of Sodom who supplied the tithe.

After Israel rejected God with musical idolatry at Mount Sinai, the Law was written to control a lawless people. Before that only Abraham is shown tithing other people's property to Melchizedek who was both king and priest of Salem. When given to the Levites, the tithe was to take care of both civil (Caesar's share) and religious (God's share) duties. The Tabernacle and its lands was the only central seat of government for Israel.

Every enrolled male member of Israel over twenty paid a poll tax and this was used for the upkeep of the Tabernacle. This could be from one-half to one-third shekel. While there was no legal authority for the Temple or animal sacrifices until Israel rejected God and demanded a king, this tax was coninued for the temple.

The land of Canaan was divided and given to the tribes except Levi.

The Levites were to care for, guard and transport the Tabernacle. They were to provide food for the poor. And they were to provide food for the priests of Aaron. The other tribes were to receive the lands as the means of production of food. This means that each member of the tribe wishing to farm got the share which might have gone to their Levite brother.

By analogy, ten of us have successful farms. One of us becomes ill and can no longer farm. He can still keep the books and take care of business for us. He will take care of all of the legal problems and even build a community center. In exchange, the nine healthy farmers inherit the land of the sick farmer. For this we are all obligated to give ten percent of our farm produce to the sick farmer who takes care of all civil duties. The sick farmer then gives 10% of his total produce to feed the solicitor who is his son. This means that I, as one of the nine, actually contribute 1% of my income to the solicitator-intercessor. The other 9% goes to the sick farmer whose (1) land I am using without buying and (2) who keeps me out of trouble with the IRS.

The land was the wealth and means of production of the tribe.

Those who "rented the land from the Lord" returned a tenth in most of the surrounding nations. God was different in that the tithe was only the food given to the hungry by the land users, where the land really belonged to all of the tribe.

"Ma'aser" is the Hebrew word for the tithe. A tenth part of agricultural produce or livestock which was "holy to the Lord" (Lev. 27:30-32). The Bible specifies various percentages of the crop that the farmer must allocate in accordance with given criteria as a religious offering to particular individuals. The custom of tithing is of ancient origin, as Abraham gave a voluntary tithe to Melchizedek (Gen. 14:18-20; cf.28:22).

As part of the commandments "dependent on the Land [of Israel]," these tithing regulations are only applicable to produce grown there (Kid. 1.9). Such laws applied to the first six years of the seven-year cycle during which crops were grown;

no tithes were given in the seventh SABBATICAL year (shemittah) during which the fields had to remain fallow. Pastor Craig M Lyons of Bet Emet

"Keil and Delitzsch in their commentaries both on Genesis and Deuteronomy refer to the fact that in the ancient world it was well established that a land owner could collect a 10% fee, i.e., a tithe,

from those who used the land for making their livelihood.

Also, it was generally accepted that if one king, for instance, assisted another king in battle and made possible the winning of the battle, then he was entitled to the spoil--that is, he became owner of the spoil.

It is therefore not hard to make the connection that God, in His revelation of Himself to both Abraham and then the children of Israel, would utilize this principle to remind them that He was really the owner of the land of Canaan (in the case of the Israelites given the land through the power and strength of God) and owned the spoil as a result of Abraham's victory by the power of God (Abraham only had 318 men with him when he pursued 5 kings from the north and defeated all of them). (Paul Winslow, Tithing)

The Levite Tithe

Those who used the national means of production paid a TAX and often used day laborers to till and herd. They could plant an olive tree and live from its produce as long as they lived. They might not have any part in the yearly increase. For instance, Jesus' story of the owner demanding account of his renters. This tithe involved nothing but food products from the land.

"And all the tithe of the land, whether of the seed of the land, or of the fruit of the tree, is the Lords: it is holy unto the Lord. Le 27:30

And concerning the tithe of the herd, or of the flock, even of whatsoever passeth under the rod, the tenth shall be holy unto the Lord. Lev 27:32

"The priest was not the Lord. He got 1% for the religious life of the nation. The Levites were custodians of the storehouse and it was open to his tribe and to the poor.

"The Practice Of Tithing: At least 2/3's of the children of Israel (in my estimation) NEVER TITHED. Ridiculous you say? Well not really, once you understand WHO was required to pay and on WHAT. "And all the tithe of the land, whether of the SEED of the land or the FRUIT of the tree (Lev. 27:30 Amplified Bible)....And all the tithe of the HERD or of the FLOCK (Lev. 27:32 Amplified Bible).

What did the children of Israel pay tithes on? - SEED, FRUIT, HERD, & FLOCK, no more, no less. How is it that those who teach "tithing" on ALL increase (Deut. 14:22), regardless of source, fail to understand that God never prescribed such a thing?

Consider also that Abraham, the first recorded "tithe" giver, did not give tithes of ALL his possessions,

only of the spoils of war did he give a tithe (Heb. 7:4).

Another interesting fact ignored by proponents of tithing is that the tithe was only paid "at the end of every three years" (Deut. 14:28), and certainly not on the "first day of the week" (I Cor. 16:2) as some would claim." John Anderson

Paul used the parable that "we plant and water but only God gives the increase." Therefore, people gave back to God on what His land produced while they might be taking a nap. The Tabernacle was not a "church" and the people could not come near it. As a witness to Israel's sin, the little tent where God met moses was replaced with another tabernacle.

And, behold, I have given the children of Levi all the tenth in Israel for an inheritance, for their service which they serve, even the service of the tabernacle of the congregation. Nu 18:21

But the Levites shall do the service of the tabernacle of the congregation,

and they shall bear their iniquity: it shall be a statute for ever throughout your generations, that among the children of Israel they have no inheritance. Nu 18:23

This law was NEVER IN EFFECT for Israelites outside of Canaan or for non-Jews. If the Law of the Temple has ceased then the tithe has ceased.

The inheritance means the land which came from God and was used by those who produced food. The Levites received a tithe because they did not receive this inheritance. Therefore, only those who used up the productive means of the entire tribe were obligated to support those who did not receive the inheritance but served the entire community.

One tenth of one Tithe was the tithe of the Levites:

The Levites were to give a tenth part of the tithe as their offering for the Lord. to represent their increase from the lands (Nu 18:26)

And this your heave offering shall be reckoned unto you, as though it were the corn of the threshingfloor, and as the fulness of the winepress. Nu18:27

A second tenth of one tithe (1%) was given to the Priests:

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 Lords heave offering to Aaron the priest. Nu 18:28

The tithe was not a religious tax.

To tithe did not mean that the farmer put his money into your pocket so that you could spend it for whatever you wished while resenting his comments. Because the tenth of the total increase came from God, He wanted you to acknowledge the fact by eating before Him:

Thou mayest 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 thy flock, nor any of thy vows which thou vowest, nor thy freewill offerings, or heave offering of thine hand: Deut 12:17

But thou must eat them before the Lord thy God in the place which the Lord thy God shall choose, thou, and thy son, and thy daughter, and thy manservant, and thy maidservant, and the Levite that is within thy gates: and thou shalt rejoice before the Lord thy God in all that thou puttest thine hands unto. Deut12:18

The Festival Tithe

To impose the Law of Moses and demand up to 30% is based upon misunderstanding the tithes. For instance, the festival tithe

"In the first, second, fourth, and fifth years of the seven-year shemittah cycle,

the farmer had to set aside one-tenth of his remaining crop as the "second tithe," ma'aser sheni.

This produce had either to be brought to Jerusalem and eaten there,

or, if that was too difficult, it could be sold and the money used to buy food which had to be eaten in Jerusalem (Deut. 14:22-26).

Thus the "SECOND TITHE" is often called the "FESTIVAL TITHE." The law of the second tithe enabled Israelites who "went up" to Jerusalem for the three PILGRIMAGE FESTIVALS (Passover, Pentecost, Tabernacles) to maintain themselves during their stay in the city. Detailed regulations concerning this tithe are to be found in tractate MA'ASER SHENI of the Mishnah, Tosefta, and Jerusalem Talmud. This "SECOND TITHE-FESTIVAL TITHE", the tithe of animals (Lev. 27:32) was, according to the rabbis, also consumed in Jerusalem and shared again with the LEVITES. "The Biblical Tithe" Pastor Craig M Lyons of Bet Emet

Deuteronomy or The Second Law allows the second tithe to feed the person making the offering and the poor as they traveled to worship the Lord and was not another 10% given to the clergy who stands in for "the Lord."

Thou shalt truly tithe all the increase of thy seed, that the field bringeth forth year by year. Deut 14:22

And thou shalt eat before the Lord thy God, in the place which he shall choose to place his name there, the tithe of thy corn, of thy wine, and of thine oil, and the firstlings of thy herds and of thy flocks; that thou mayest learn to fear the Lord thy God always. Deut 14:23

They could turn the tithe into money only to travel:

Money was not a suitable offering for the house of the Lord which always meant for the poor. Nor could the tither eat money:

And thou shalt bestow that money for whatsoever thy soul lusteth after, for oxen, or for sheep, or for wine, or for strong drink, or for whatsoever thy soul desireth: and thou shalt eat there before the Lord thy God, and thou shalt rejoice, thou, and thine household, Deut 14:26

This is a strange passage because strong drink (fermented) is universally condemned in the Bible. The point may be that the second tithe does not belong to the clergy craft and no one can put any restrictions on how it is spent:

Barnes believed that strong drink was simply wine which had fermented. Therefore, at this place removed from the farm storage places the wine might be fermented:

And the drink offering thereof shall be the fourth part of a hin for the one lamb: in the holy place shalt thou cause the strong wine to be poured unto the Lord for a drink offering. Nu.28:7

Ye have not eaten bread, neither have ye drunk wine or strong drink: that ye might know that I am the Lord your God. De.29:6

WINE is a mocker, strong drink is raging: and whosoever is deceived thereby is not wise. Pr.20:1

Give strong drink unto him that is ready to perish, and wine unto those that be of heavy hearts. Pr.31:6

If the offering place was too far to transport food and animals, the person could redeem the food and turn them into money by paying an extra fee. When he got to the place of offering he could not give the money but had to buy animals (the priests always had some sick ones to sell you) because the offering could come only from the land. This particular tithe was to be consumed by the tither in the presence of the Lord.

Therefore, this tithe was not given to the Levites but was consumed by the person making the offering. That is, 10% of the farmers increase was to be consumed before the Lord as a show of gratitude. Therefore, this cannot count as a second tithe.

The Wage Earner Had no Increase

The hireling who worked for his wage had no increase from the tribal lands: he gave 16 hours of work for 16 hours of pay and was not required to tithe. That is, unlike the farmer, he didn't work 8 hours and receive wages for 16 hours by using up national resources and labor of those who did not or could not afford to farm or herd.

Tebuwah (h8393) teb-oo-aw'; from 935; income, i. e. produce (lit. or fig.): - fruit, gain, increase, revenue.

In all of the uses of the specific word "tithe" 38 indicate that it was produce. None show that money could be used as the tithe. The festival tithe specifically says that money can be used to transport. To retain his own animals he had to redeem them by paying 120% of the value for them.

And if a man will at all redeem ought of his tithes, he shall add thereto the fifth part thereof. Lev 27:31

The man who had no lambs was not required to redeem it or pay a cash tithe. This had the effect of preventing the priests from ever establishing a tithe based upon wages. For instance, wives, children, warriors, bakers, barbers, carpenters, semstresses, fishermen including the disciples of Jesus, tentmakers, and etc., paid no tithe. merchants owed only import/export duties.

The tithe of the land renters did not go for preachers and buildings and grounds. For instance, the Tabernacle was not funded with a TAX or TITHE but with free-will offerings. The actual "religious" wing of the Levites, the Aaronic priesthood received only 1% of the national increase of food only.

The Poor Tithe

"In the third and sixth years of the shemittah cycle, the "POOR MAN'S TITHE" (ma'aser ani) replaced the normal second tithe of Deut. 14:28-29, 26:12.

Since the FESTIVAL TITHE was not collected during the 3rd and 6th year, this 10% was moved to help the poor.

This would mean one would have to allot from funds collected over 4 years sufficient amounts to celebrate the Festivals for "ALL" of the seven years.

This "POOR TITHE" which was collected for 2 years out of 6 had to be distributed to the LEVITES (considered "poor" since he had no inheritance in the land), to the WIDOWS, ORPHANS, SICK, LAME, BLIND, GENTILE SOJOURNERS, ETC Pastor Craig M Lyons of Bet Emet

Until the Temple with its unauthorized "collection plates" the land owner "laid by in store by himself" which was often in a city storage place not at the "church house." The Levites or other poor could eat during emergencies. The tither disposed of his own tithe. The temple was in Jerusalem but the people lived up and down the land.

Every third year the tribe was to be stored "within thy gates."

And the Levite that is within thy gates; thou shalt not forsake him: for he hath no part nor inheritance with thee. Deut 14:27

At the end of three years thou shalt bring forth all the tithe of thine increase the same year, and shalt lay it up within thy gates: Deut14:28

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 thine hand which thou doest. Deut 14:29

The tithe was like our income tax and it went to the Levites to be military leaders, civil leaders and they, in turn, gave a tithe of the tithe (1%) to the religious function.

This was never used for air conditioned dog houses, makeup, clothing, jewelry or expensive cars. It was not used for a retirement plan, travel, or the kid's college plan. Those who misuse it are the true robbers. The tithes did not accumulate. For instance, the Jews did not pay three tithes of 30%. Rather, the tithes were of different kinds depending upon the needs of the poor.

Tithing In the Kingdom

If I am Baalam's ass and God tells me to do something then I am doing God's will. And if I do His will He honors me for it. This may describe David. And if I make an animal sacrifice because God told me to then He honors me and loves me for being obedient in that respect even if I am not a nice guy. This may describe David. However, when Christ has paid the price we can finally understand that many of the Old Testament types were negative or reverse images of the Spiritual truth. This, we are confident, describes David's music and the tithe to support the Levitical musicians.

When Israel "fired" God and demanded a civil king so that they could worship like the nations, He warned that the king would take a tithe and more as punishment. He would take your land and call it his land. He would take your cattle and them them his. He would even take your children and use them for servants, concubines and musicians. Solomon said that these musicians were "for my own pleasure."

In First Samuel God warned:

And he will appoint him captains over thousands, and captains over fifties; and will set them to ear his ground, and to reap his harvest, and to make his instruments of war, and instruments of his chariots. (programs, programs, programs) 1 Sam 8:12

Instruments of Chariots were often musical instruments. As the king moved in his chariot he was accompanied with runners to "blow" the common people out of the way and to lead the king (as God's agent) in triumph:

And he will take your daughters to be confectionaries, and to be cooks, and to be bakers. 1 Sam 8:13

And he will take your fields, and your vineyards, and your oliveyards, even the best of them, and give them to his servants. 1 Sam 8:14

And he will take the tenth of your seed, and of your vineyards, and give to his officers, and to his servants. 1 Sam 8:15

After the wars, the "military-industrial complex" was overcrowded with military musicians who panicked the enemy into turning coward or motivated Israelites into suicidal warfare. These levitical men were "given a crust of bread" by making them co-priests for civil rituals which are now seen as religious:

David, together with the commanders of the army, set apart some of the sons of Asaph, Heman and Jeduthun for the ministry of prophesying,

accompanied by harps, lyres and cymbals. Here is the list of the men who performed this service: 1Chr.25:1

Second Temple - a Tithe of the Tithe for "church"

Now consider how great this man was, unto whom even the patriarch Abraham gave the tenth of the spoils. He7:4

And verily they that are of the sons of Levi, who receive the office of the priesthood, have a commandment to take tithes of the people according to the law, that is, of their brethren, though they come out of the loins of Abraham: He 7:5

Of course, the priesthood took only 1%. Of this scholars note that:

"Wescot's explanation is that the priests, who received from the Levites a tithe of the tithe, thus symbolically received the whole tithe In the time of the second temple the priests did actually receive the tithes.

In the Talmud it is said that this alteration from the Mosaic Law was caused by the sin of the Levites, who were not eager to return to Jerusalem, but had to be persuaded to do so by Ezra (Ez 8:15).

In other words, the Levite priests whom God blamed for Judah's captivity had to be bribed to return and "minister" because someone in Babylon offered them a better contract. However, the Talmud agrees that the tithe involved only "everything that is eaten, that is watched over, and that grows out of the earth."

After the Captivity, the Levites who were more involved in government than religion then gave a tithe of the tithe for the religious institution:

Also we made ordinances for us, to charge ourselves yearly with the third part of a shekel for the service of the house of our God; Ne 10:32

This was a mutually-arrived at tax to finance the temple. Because the Temple was not God's original plan, the temple tax was not a law.

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. Ne.10:37

And the priest the son of Aaron shall be with 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. Ne 10:38

For the children of Israel and the children of Levi shall bring the offering of the corn, of the new wine, and the oil, unto the chambers, where are the vessels of the sanctuary,

and the priests that minister, and the porters, and the singers:

and we will not forsake the house of our God. Ne 10:39

I am not sure that the clergy craft would be willing to abide by this law of tithing:

For it was the king's command concerning them that a certain portion should be for the singers, a quota day by day. Neh 11:23

Then brought all Judah the tithe of the corn and the new wine and the oil unto the treasuries. Neh 13:12

And I made treasurers over the treasuries, Shelemiah the priest, and Zadok the scribe, and of the Levites, Pedaiah: and next to them was Hanan the son of Zaccur, the son of Mattaniah: for they were counted faithful, and their office was to distribute unto their brethren. Neh 13:13

So nine percent went to the Levites for their work in civil functions as well as in the temple "in which God did not live and His glory never returned." Only 1% went to the religious institution.

Malachi And SEED Money Giving

In chapter two of Malachi the priests had refused to give the glory to God and to teach knowledge as the messenger of the Law. Furthermore, they had refused to feed the poor when the farmers slacked off:

AND now, O ye priests, this commandment is for you. Mal 2:1

For the priests lips should keep knowledge, and they should seek the law at his mouth: for he is the messenger of the Lord of hosts. Mal 2:7

But ye are departed out of the way; ye have caused many to stumble at the law; ye have corrupted the covenant of Levi, saith the Lord of hosts. Mal 2:8

The land-owners who paid tithes were supposed to defend the poor but because of the failure of the priests and Levites they rejected God because He didn't give them the same good crops as the pagan gods. The mercinary bargain they made in order to return to Jerusalem was not being honored.

Therefore, the subject passage has to do with the clergy who were not taking care of the poor with the produce they had. The wage earner did not need to be purified but the clergy who took the tithe was in danger of being the robber. Therefore, God said:

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 3:3

Then shall the offering of Judah and Jerusalem be pleasant unto the Lord, as in the days of old, and as in former years. Mal 3:4

And I will come near to you to judgment; and I will be a swift witness against the sorcerers (whisper a magic spell), 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, saith the Lord of hosts. Mal 3:5

The wage was not a increase but:

Sakar (h7939) saw-kawr'; from 7936; payment of contract; concr. salary, fare, maintenance; by impl. compensation, benefit: - hire, price, reward [-ed], wages, worth.

It should also be noted that the wage-earner was classed with widows, fatherless and strangers. That is, none had any of the national means of production by which to make their own living.

Remember that tithing began as a volunteer act with both Abraham and Jacob. Even much later, the task was to supply the Levite and other poor rather than a legalistic accounting of the produce given away. The tithe was flexible: sometimes to the Levite who gave 1% to the religious servants and the festival tithe which the giver ate himself and the poor tithe which was stored up in the city or area of the tither to meet local needs.

The produce belonged to the farmer until he gave it as an offering. For instance:

But Peter said, Ananias, why hath Satan filled thine heart to lie to the Holy Ghost, and to keep back part of the price of the land? Ac 5:3

Whiles it remained, was it not thine own? and after it was sold, was it not in thine own power? why hast thou conceived this thing in thine heart? thou hast not lied unto men, but unto God. Ac 5:4

The property belonged to Ananias until he gave it to the apostles. He could not be a robber for not giving. However, once the money was in the hands of the elders it was they who became the robbers if they misappropriated it. In this case, the money was given only for food and shelter. The elders would have been robbers if they did not pass it on to the needy.

In the same way, the problem in Malachi was with the priests who, after the Return from captivity got the whole tithe but did not give it to the poor.

Malachi continues:

Even from the days of your fathers ye are gone away from mine ordinances, and have not kept them. Return unto me, and I will return unto you, saith the Lord of hosts. But ye said, Wherein shall we return? Mal 3:7

Will a man rob God? Yet ye have robbed me. But ye say, Wherein have we robbed thee? In tithes and offerings. Mal 3:8

Ye are cursed with a curse: for ye have robbed me, even this whole nation. Mal 3:9

You cannot eat money and therefore the command was not to bring in money. The command was not to feed the able bodied but the poor.

The primary culprits were the Levites who refused to tithe and the priests who refused to teach.

Bring ye all the tithes into the storehouse, that there may be meat in mine house, and prove me now herewith, saith the Lord of hosts, if I will not open you the windows (rain) of heaven, and pour you out a blessing, that there shall not be room (storage bins for tithed food) enough to receive it. Mal 3:10

God did not say: "Give the faith healer one thousand dollars and I will give you five thousand dollars." Why wouldn't God just send you the four thousand dollars and the preacher his thousand? The need was for the farmer to take care of the poor. God would supply the natural elements.

Remember that only 1% of that which came from the people went into the storage rooms of the temple or city:

And the priest the son of Aaron shall be with 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. Ne 10:38

Therefore, Malachi 3:10 is not setting up a "test your god by giving to the pastor scheme." Rather, it is demanding that the Levites turn over the 1% to the priests.

Remember that it was only food products which were given to the Levites for their physical labor. They gave 10% of that as their own offering and another 10% to the religious function.

The pattern authorized by the revelation of the Lord

In seeking a pattern for charitable help and in order to do it "in the name of the Lord," we look for authority from the example of Jesus in the form of explicit commands or patterns which He modelled. This pattern shows that He gave as he saw the need, He gave personally and individually rather than funnelling aid through an agency, and He supported those who could not help themselves.

To feed the poor Jesus didn't demand that his disciples make up the whole need from the money which they had earned. Rather, feeding the poor was still "from the increase" which only God can produce.

The only thing Jesus said about tithing was:

Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites for ye pay tithe of mint and anise and cummin, and have omitted the weightier matters of the law, judgment, mercy, and faith: these ought ye to have done, and not to leave the other undone. Mt 23:23

The religious leaders paid a tithe of their food product. This was their duty because they were still under the law. However, if you want to keep the law in a spiritual sense:

Jesus said unto him, If thou wilt be perfect, go and sell that thou hast, and give to the poor, and thou shalt have treasure in heaven: and come and follow me. Mt 19:21

Christ has paid the "tax" and children do not owe

The tithe was composed of two parts: that which belonged to the "Caesar" function of government and military, and that which belongs to God which is always given to His poor children and not to the rich.

That which belongs to Caesar is separate from the church. Jesus asked the disciples whose picture was on a coin:

They say unto him, Caesars. Then saith he unto them, Render therefore unto Caesar the things which are Caesars; and unto God the things that are Gods. Mt.22:21

Under the New Covenant there is no Caesar in church government and no Levite or clergy in God's order. All members of Christ's body are priests of God and no human fills this role for us. The preacher is not a Levite and he is not the priest of the church.

The Temple Tax has been Paid by Grace

As recorded in Matt. 17:24-27 when the disciples and Jesus came to Capernaum, they were approached by the tax collecter and asked "Doth not your master pay tribute?" This was the temple tax which everyone was bound to pay but the Jews often skipped it in some way. This was an annual tax of half-shekal by all Jewish males over twenty years (Ex. 30:11-16). This tax was to "give a ransom for himself" or to "make atonement for yourselves." Its use was for the service of the Tabernacle. Peter responded "yes" He does pay his taxes.

When Peter came into the house, Jesus asked the question:

"What thinkest thou, Simon? of whom do the kings of the earth take custom or tribute? of their own children, or of strangers?" (Matt. 17:25).

Peter observed correctly that it was from strangers and then Jesus said:

"Then are the children free" (v. 26).

The Messiah came to give rather than to extract money from His disciples. Once a child of God he is free, ransomed, atoned for and need never be sent a bill for a yearly atonement. In the words of Paul,

So through God you are no longer a slave but a son, and if a son then an heir (Gal. 4:7).

Nor did Jesus extract the tax from a wage. Rather, the coin was a gift of nature.

"To be sure, earthly kings do not make their own sons, the princes of the royal house, pay taxes for the entire royal family is supported in regal estate by taxing the people. Kings collect taxes only 'from outsiders,' ...other than their own immediate families" (Lenski, on Matthew, p. 674).

"Thus, like the sons of earthly kings, these spiritual sons of the 'great King' are, therefore, 'free,' and no one can with divine right levy any Temple tax upon them." (Ibid. p. 675).

By providing the unearned tax Himself from the mouth of the fish Jesus shows that they owe no tribute to the soon to be destroyed Temple and its fat "thieves." By the year A. D. 70 the Temple had been destroyed, the Jews scattered, and the temple tax disappeared.

As Jesus said "the sons are free" Paul demands that the church has no taxing authority for two reasons: tithing would be part of the abrogated law and even more importantly, the church gains much more when people give out of a free will. Paul absolutely denied that believers are under legal obligation to pay "temple tax" but put the focus upon the heart.

If they owed a tithe under the Law don't we owe more under grace?

No, no, a thousand times, no. If they sacrificed their best lamb for their sins shouldn't a Christian offer ten lambs? No. The price has been paid and there can be no legalistic burden placed upon those who are free. Those who promote tithing often take more than the 1% and are the true legalists and the true robbers.

The "prince" has paid the temple tax and made us priests and sons of the king. To "owe" our wage to enable His "kingdom" to operate is to denounce grace and return to a 10%+Law. We still owe the Levite or Caesar part and generally we pay almost 50% with all taxes considered. To add 10% to "God" as a law makes grace much more of a burden than the law. Especially, when the "Lord" doesn't often get much of it.

Paul and Tithing

Paul did not command giving at any level. Motivated by love, believers still owe the debt of love in terms of food only to those who are poor.

Paul reminded the Corinthians to do what they had volunteered to do up to a year ago. Except for whatever need arose there were no collections taken in Corinth for about a year. Paul said that he might winter with them and didn't want any collections for that period so they would not feel pressured.

I speak not by commandment, but by occasion of the forwardness of others, and to prove the sincerity of your love. 2Cor 8:8

Giving cannot be free will and also by a command. A sincerity gift cannot also be according to a law.

The "command" in 1 Corinthians 16 is the command to "lay by yourself" a certain amount of money each week as the farmers under the law laid by in their own community a certain supply of food so that it was ready when needed. When Paul came to Corinth the total was collected just once, put into a bag, four or five men "put their hands on the bag" and made sure that it got to the elders and then the poor in Judea.

Augustine speaking of those who tithed even twigs of spices notes that one TITHES or lays by in store. Out of that "cup" or storage place he is then able to give ALMS.

3. When He had spoken thus, doubtless they thought that they did give alms. And how did they give them?

They tithed all they had, they took away a tenth of all their produce, and gave it. It is no easy matter to find a Christian who doth as much.

See what the Jews did. Not wheat only, but wine, and oil; nor this only, but even the most trifling things, cummin, rue, mint, and anise, 5 in obdience to God's precept,

they tithed all;
put aside, that is, a tenth part,
and gave alms of it.

Lenski, Commentary

"Each member is to deposit WITH HIMSELF each Sunday the amount of his gift for that week and preserve it as a store or treasure. The participle completes the idea of the main verb: 'let him lay by by treasuring up'

"...Each member is to keep the growing amount 'BY HIM,' IN HIS OWN HOME and is NOT to deposit it with the church at once. The probable reason for this advice is the fact that at this early date the churches supervised by Paul were not yet organized to the extent of having official treasurers..."

Albert Barnes

"Let him lay up AT HOME, treasuring up as he has been prospered. The Greek phrase, 'by himself,' means, probably, the same as at home. Let him set it apart; let him designate a certain portion; let him do this by himself, when he is at home, when he can calmly look at the evidence of his prosperity."

Foy E. Wallace a conservative preacher

"Money is not sacramental and giving is not a sacrament to be 'instituted' alongside the Lord's Supper as 'a part of the worship.' It was not so instituted in the New Testament and had no such place in any New Testament church. It simply belongs to the duty of liberality, performed daily as a temporary practice of the first church at Jerusalem, in Acts 2 and Acts 4:37--and it was later ordered by Paul in Galatian and Corinthian churches for convenience and dispatch, as a ready means to an end...(it does not) mean that giving is an institution of worship beside the Lord's Supper for which thanks should be offered." (Wallace, The Gospel for Today, p. 554).

Contributions were taken up only for the poor.

Evangelists were expected to "plow" like an ox in land which had not yet been plowed and to thresh only fields which had not been threshed. The ox could eat a part of that which he earned. He did not camp out in one field and eat up the increase.

Because of the "many" professional lecturers trained in the Greek theater, Paul insisted that to demand a wage would make him a "robber" Just like them. Taking a wage from the church he was trying to minister to would completely invalidate his work.

Paul earned his own bread and said of the "many": "If they will not work neither shall they eat." These were the speakers looking for a nest. (1The 2)

"The enemies of Socrates and Plato had in fact taunted them because they took no money for teaching, and had hinted that they did so because their teaching was worth nothing.

It is true that every Jewish Rabbi was supposed to teach for nothing and to have a trade whereby he earned his daily bread;

but these same Rabbis took very good care to inculcate the teaching that there was no more meritorious deed than to support a Rabbi.

If a man wished a comfortable place in heaven he could not better assure himself of it than the supplying all a Rabbi's needs." (Barclay, p. 79).

"The Jewish rabbis at their worst could be shamelessly rapacious.

Theoretically they held that a Rabbi must take no money for teaching and must win his bread by the work of his hands,

but they also taught that it was work of exceptional merit to support a rabbi and that he who did so made sure of a place in the heavenly academy.

They behaved arrogantly. They lorded it over the Corinthians. In point of fact the rabbis demanded a respect greater than that given to parents, and actually claimed that, if a man's father and teacher were both captured by brigands, he must ransom his teacher first, and only then his father." (William Barclay, p. 251).

Paul accepted free-will gifts from his friends in places where he had preached and already gone.

"Paul says that he 'robbed' other churches, he took from them what he should really not have taken, namely 'sustenance.' 'Wages' is too liable to be misunderstood as meaning regular pay, which Paul never took from any church. This was a fixed principle with him."

"The noun has no article and means some sustenance.' It denotes a gift that was sent to him after he had left those churches, which he could, therefore, not refuse.

Yet even then he felt that he was robbing those churches, letting them press something upon him which he would not let the Corinthians press upon him." (Lenski, Commentary on 2 Cor. p. 1250).

"These men had funds and came to Paul's assistance. This is sometimes taken to mean that they brought Paul a collection from Philippi or from Macedonia, but the words contain no hint of a collection." (Lenski, 2 Cor. p. 1251).

"These so-called apostles are not in Paul's view genuine apostles at all, but only spurious counterfeits of whom his church should beware. Paul is therefore extremely scornful of those 'false' (2 Cor. 11:13) or, as he ironically describes them, 'superior' apostles (12:11), who go beyond the boundaries of their commission and give themselves a position in local churches to which they have no right. Such men, he says, 'commend themselves' (10:12, 18), 'compare themselves with one another' (v. 12) and 'boast beyond the limits in other men's labours' (v. 15). In order that the churches 'may make much of them' (Gal. 4:17) they 'put on airs', 'take advantage' of others, 'prey' upon them and, in effect, 'make slaves' of those they are to serve." (Banks, Robert, Paul's Idea of Community, Eerdmans, p. 174).

While this may not establish a "law" it prevents others from making their own law for their own benefit and glory.

After the Dispersion of the Jews

"While these various laws were no longer observed by Jews living in Diaspora (outside the land of Israel) after the destruction of the Second Temple, Rabbinic Law still requires the tithing of produce grown in Erets Israel.

Accordingly, some observant Israelis separate a small amount from produce that they have bought from other Jews, recite a prescribed benediction and then destroy the terumuh (heave offering). According to a formula devised by R. Avraham Yeshayahu Karelitz, however, the different tithes are merged.

Slightly more than one percent of the produce is set aside and its sanctity is then transferred to a specially reserved coin.

Since tithes are no longer allocated to priests and Levites but may be fed to animals, those taken at source ( e.g., by major food distributors and cooperatives) are sent to different zoos in Israel. Processed Israeli foodstuffs exported abroad are usually tithed by the rabbinate, that endorsed these products as religiously fit (kosher). Raw fruit and vegetables, however, are not necessarily tithed before export." "The Biblical Tithe" Pastor Craig M Lyons of Bet Emet Ministries

Christians who demand the tithe "out legalize" the Jews who know that the Law is not inforced outside the sacrificial system in Jerusalem. They outfox the fox and out thieve the thieves and out rob the robbers of Malachi. They, contrary to John Hagee's sentiments, are the ones whos "pictures God posts as the ten most wanted"criminals."

Later Meaning of Giving - Always for the Poor

As late as Justin Martyr (150 A.D), voluntary collections (not commanded) were taken for the immediate need of the poor and what was left over was kept for the aid of the traveler or other poor who had need.

"Those who are prosperous and willing, give each one what he thinks fit and what is collected is deposited with the president, who relieves orphans and widows and whoever through sickness or any other cause is in want, and prisoners and strangers sojourning among us. In short, he takes care of all who are in need." (Justin: First Apology, I.67.6)

"The custom in these primitive times seems to have been for everyone, on the Lord's Day, at the CLOSE OF PUBLIC WORSHIP, to bring to the notice of the assembly, the case of the poor, the aged, the widow, or the orphan of whose necessities he had any knowledge; and FORTHWITH provision was made for such from the public fund created by their weekly contributions." (Ancient Christianity Exemplified, p. 73)

Tertullian says,

"Everyone makes a small contribution on a certain day or when he chooses; provided only he is willing and able, for no one is compelled, all is voluntary." He further says that this general fund is used to feed the poor.

Notice who gives: "the prosperous, the willing, the able"; and the recipients: "the orphan, widow, sick, prisoners, strangers in want, the aged"; and when it was given: "upon the first day of the week or when he chooses."

To demand, as I have heard, a widow who got $250.00 a month to tithe is not only unscriptural but it is evil.

Tithing was only for the well-to-do land users because that was fair. A person who makes $100,000.00 a year can tithe. A person who makes $3,000.00 cannot tithe. Therefore, "as thou has been prospered" is giving proportional to prosperity and not, as my father often did, not give that which he did not have.

The Preacher is Excluded from A Mandatory Wage

These early churches had a rule: if the evangelist (called himself an apostle or prophet) came to teach he was supported. However, if he stayed more than two weeks he was a false prophet. If he wanted to "locate" and preach, they found him a job.

"Located evangelist" is like a "located travelling salesman." There is no such thing. When the Restoration began, churches were planted by evangelists who moved on when elders were selected. The evangelist was expected to be supported when he was evangelizing like the ox ate when it threshed.

This was the general understanding and a fundamental of the Restoration Movement as articulated by Alexander Campbell:

"Give money to make poor pious youths learned clergy, or vain pretenders to erudition; and they pray that they may preach to you; yes, and pay them too. Was there ever such a craft as priestcraft? No, it is the craftiest of all crafts. It is so crafty that it obtains by its craft the means to make craftsmen, and then it makes the deluded support them!" (Campbell, Alexander, Christian Baptist, Dec. 1, 1823, Vol. 1, p. 91).

"Money is of vital consequence in the kingdom of the clergy. Without it a clergyman could not be made, nor a congregation supplied with a 'faithful pastor.' O Mammon, thou wonder-working god!" (Ibid., p. 124).

"'Will you,' said an honest inquirer, 'allow the clergy no salary at all? Will you not allow the poorer class of the clergy a decent little competence?'

I replied I have no allowances to make. Let them have what the Lord has allowed them. 'How much is that?' said he, Just nothing at all, said I.

A church constituted upon New Testament principles, having its own bishop or bishops, or, as sometimes called, elders, will not, and ought not to suffer them to be in want of any thing necessary, provided they labor in word and doctrine, and provided also, they are ensamples to the flock in industry, disinterestedness, humility, hospitality, and charity to the poor. Such bishops will now be esteemed very highly in love for their words sake; but especially those who, by their own hands, minister not only to their own wants, but also to the wants of their brethren." (Ibid, p. 140).

"That any man is to be paid at all for preaching, i.e. making sermons and pronouncing them; or that any man is to be hired for a stipulated sum to preach and pray, and expound scripture, by the day, month, or year, I believe to be a relic of popery." (Ibid., Vol. 3, p. 185).

Moses knew, in building the Tabernacle, that if you ask for free will offerings you will always get more than when demanded as a legal percentage.

Whatever a local congregation collectively decides to do may be good and scriptural. However, to demand that one tithe and reject the input of the "tithers" is spiritual domination. The following summary says it all:

"To impose any commandment of the Law is to be "obligated to obey the WHOLE Law, Galatians 5:3. There are 613 rules and regulations that one is required to keep if they obey any point of Law. "No one will be declared righteous in his sight by observing the Law," Romans 3:20. The very faith that unites us with his Son, "is the gift of God - not by works, so that no one can boast," Ephesians 2:8-9. When we obey Christ's command to "love one another," we actually fulfill all of the righteous requirements of the Law, for "love is the fulfilling of the Law," Romans 13:8 John Anderson on the Web

"Some churches teach: The House of God, the temple, is now the church and the clergy or Pastors and their staff are acting as the modern day counterparts of priests delivering the Word of God to the people. We should support them with tithes as the Levites and Priests were supported by tithes.

"The Bible says: The Priests and Levites were set apart from the tribes of Israel by God's command. It should always be remembered that after the Pentecost the Holy Spirit of God came to the world to reside within the believers. The Temple of the Lord or the House of God is now actually the physical body of the believer. The one and only Priest that resides in our Holy of Holies (Heart) is the Spirit of God and He is also the High Priest, Jesus Christ. He was sacrificed on our altar for the gift of Salvation.

"For anyone to compare himself to an ancient priest in the Temple is now the same as identifying himself as God!

"Many four walled churches are sadly forgetting who they are in Christ and are subjecting their members to legalistic bondage of the Law. This is especially true when churches allow tradition and mysticism to creep into the Gospel.

"Let me ask you a question.  If a church collects money in the name of a tithe and doesn't follow all the guidelines of tithing as set forth by the Lord, (i.e., giving all the tithe to the poor on the 3rd and 6th year of the Shemittah Cycle, observing the 7th year sabbatical and therefore not require a tithe, and allows the one who tithes to partake in the eating of the tithe in the presence of the Lord at the place of the Lord's choosing) then who is, according to the Law of Moses, really robbing GodThe church!  Refer back to Malachi 3: 6-12 about not tithing correctly.

"Let me say now, that churches who collect monies in the name of tithes and use scripture to enforce it, are opening up a can of worms that may condemn them before the Lord. When observing the Law, ALL the law must be observed, not just parts that are of benefit to some people.

"But thank God, churches are also no longer creatures of the law. Therefore churches should reject "tithing" and accept money only from spirit led givers.

The word "tithe" should not be incorporated in any church doctrine because it carries with it some very heavy baggage, the Law.

"Churches Must 1) Worship the Lord 2) Seek financial support through giving, not tithing. 3) Reject all legalism. 4) Give more aid to the needy - focus outward instead of inward. 5) Listen to the congregation, the Lord may be trying to tell you something. 6) Remember who we as Christians are in Christ. 7) Promote joyful giving through exciting ministries and showing appreciation to the givers. Ronald Shouldis

Sure, we may decide to collectively do many things as "members one of another." This does not give ministers power to rise to the top of the heap. It does not allow anyone to "make a law" out of a collective decision.

Ken Sublett

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