History of the Tithe

History of the Tithe

History of the Tithe : The two examples of PRE-LAW tithing in Genesis were one time events. They were voluntary and involved more than money.  Abraham’s example was a one-time tithe of the spoils of war. Hebrews 7;2 and Genesis 14;20.

Example 1—-pre-law tithe

Heb 7:1-2

7:1 This Melchizedek was king of Salem and priest of God Most High. He met Abraham returning from the defeat of the kings and blessed him, 2 and Abraham gave him a tenth of everything.

Gen 14:18-20

18 Then Melchizedek, king of Salem, brought out bread and wine. He was priest of God Most High, 19 and he blessed Abram, saying,

“Blessed be Abram by God Most High,

Creator of heaven and earth.

20 And blessed be God Most High,

who delivered your enemies into your hand.”

Then Abram gave him a tenth of everything.

Abraham had taken a vow not to keep ANYTHING of the spoils of that conflict. Gen.14;22-24

Gen 14:22-24

22 But Abram said to the king of Sodom, “I have raised my hand to the LORD, God Most High, Creator of heaven and earth, and have taken an oath 23 that I will accept nothing belonging to you, not even a thread or the thong of a sandal, so that you will never be able to say, ‘I made Abram rich.’ 24 I will accept nothing but what my men have eaten and the share that belongs to the men who went with me–to Aner, Eshcol and Mamre. Let them have their share.”

  • Abraham tithed to Melchizedek—–King of Salem
  • Abraham gave the remaining booty to other local kings
  • Abraham kept nothing for himself. His reward was in his victory
  • There is nothing in scripture that says Abraham tithed his personal income or wealth at any time.
  • Abraham had no “GOD GIVEN” commandment to give tithes.

 

EXAMPLE 2—— of PRE-LAW tithing

Gen 28:20-22

20 Then Jacob made a vow, saying, “If God will be with me and will watch over me on this journey I am taking and will give me food to eat and clothes to wear 21 so that I return safely to my father’s house, then the LORD will be my God 22 and this stone that I have set up as a pillar will be God’s house, and of all that you give me I will give you a tenth.” NIV

Jacob has attempted to strike a deal with the almighty for the sake of PERSONAL GAIN.

  • It was a deal perpetuated by fleshly man and was not at all initiated by Yahweh.
  • Since scripture only records two incidents of voluntary pre-law tithing, it is clear that tithing was not a routine pre-law practice.
  • There is actually no record that Jacob ever fulfilled his vow
  • Tithing Was Never Money Or Income Based.  Tithing Was Land Based

Under the law; If two farmers had crops of 10 carrots each, they would both be obligated to tithe one carrot each.  Under the agrarian (land based) tithing system it didn’t matter If one sold the remaining 9 carrots for $5 and the other sold his remaining 9 carrots for $10.

  • The tithe of the harvest was unrelated to the income of the harvest.  Plain and simple -
  • THE TITHE WAS NOT 10% OF INCOME, it was 10% of the harvest.
  • The tithe was agrarian which means BASED ON THE LAND.

 

The Jews under the law were NOT obligated to give 10% of their incomes!  This simple fact alone is enough to destroy the non scriptural doctrine that God DEMANDS you pay 10% of your income or be cursed.

 Not based on income

Deut 14:22-23

22 Be sure to set aside a tenth of all that your fields produce each year. 23 Eat the tithe of your grain, new wine and oil, and the firstborn of your herds and flocks in the presence of the LORD your God at the place he will choose as a dwelling for his Name, so that you may learn to revere the LORD your God always

Deut 18:1-5

18:1 The priests, who are Levites–indeed the whole tribe of Levi–are to have no allotment or inheritance with Israel. They shall live on the offerings made to the LORD by fire, for that is their inheritance. 2 They shall have no inheritance among their brothers; the LORD is their inheritance, as he promised them. 3 This is the share due the priests from the people who sacrifice a bull or a sheep: the shoulder, the jowls and the inner parts. 4 You are to give them the first-fruits of your grain, new wine and oil, and the first wool from the shearing of your sheep, 5 for the LORD your God has chosen them and their descendants out of all your tribes to stand and minister in the LORD’s name always.

Deut 26:12

12 When you have finished setting aside a tenth of all your produce in the third year, the year of the tithe, you shall give it to the Levite, the alien, the fatherless and the widow, so that they may eat in your towns and be satisfied.

  • To be truly biblical, tithing was NOT based on income or money AT ALL!
  • During the period of the Mosaic Law, God commanded people bring a tenth of what they produced from the land regardless of the income they received from it.
  • Tithing wasn’t income based BEFORE OR AFTER the law and the tithe was NOT money!

In fact, it was against the law to sell the tithe.  One was to bring the PRODUCT itself, NOT what the product was worth.

Lev 27:28

28 “‘But nothing that a man owns and devotes to the LORD–whether man or animal or family land–may be sold or redeemed; everything so devoted is most holy to the LORD.

  • There are many references to tithing the “increase” using the Hebrew tbuw’ah] which literally means fruit or produce and in the tithing verses EATING the tithe is often referred to.

Deut 14:22-29

22 Be sure to set aside a tenth of all that your fields produce each year. 23 Eat the tithe of your grain, new wine and oil, and the firstborn of your herds and flocks in the presence of the LORD your God at the place he will choose as a dwelling for his Name, so that you may learn to revere the LORD your God always. 24 But if that place is too distant and you have been blessed by the LORD your God and cannot carry your tithe (because the place where the LORD will choose to put his Name is so far away), 25 then exchange your tithe for silver, and take the silver with you and go to the place the LORD your God will choose. 26 Use the silver to buy whatever you like: cattle, sheep, wine or other fermented drink, or anything you wish. Then you and your household shall eat there in the presence of the LORD your God and rejoice. 27 And do not neglect the Levites living in your towns, for they have no allotment or inheritance of their own. 28 At the end of every three years, bring all the tithes of that year’s produce and store it in your towns, 29 so that the Levites (who have no allotment or inheritance of their own) and the aliens, the fatherless and the widows who live in your towns may come and eat and be satisfied, and so that the LORD your God may bless you in all the work of your hands.

It is often claimed by tithe proponents that the reason the tithe was agrarian products is because monetary systems had not yet been developed. Let’s see if that is true—-

Gen 23:14-15

14 Ephron answered Abraham, 15 “Listen to me, my lord; the land is worth four hundred shekels of silver, but what is that between me and you? Bury your dead.”

Gen 42:25-26

25 Joseph gave orders to fill their bags with grain, to put each man’s silver back in his sack, and to give them provisions for their journey. After this was done for them, 26 they loaded their grain on their donkeys and left.

Jer 32:8-9

“I knew that this was the word of the LORD; 9 so I bought the field at Anathoth from my cousin Hanamel and weighed out for him seventeen shekels of silver.

Mal 3:5

5 “So I will come near to you for judgment. I will be quick to testify against sorcerers, adulterers and perjurers, against those who defraud laborers of their wages, who oppress the widows and the fatherless, and deprive aliens of justice, but do not fear me,” says the LORD Almighty.

Selling the tithe

Lev 27:31-32

31 If a man redeems any of his tithe, he must add a fifth of the value to it.

Once the tithe had been set aside, it was not legal to sell it for money. If sold, there was a 20% penalty levied to the tither. In other words, the tither was still obligated to pay his tithe plus 20% more as a penalty for having sold that produce which had been dedicated.

The PURPOSE of the tithe

Josh 13:14

14 But to the tribe of Levi he gave no inheritance, since the offerings made by fire to the LORD, the God of Israel, are their inheritance, as he promised them.

Deut 10:6-9

6(The Israelites traveled from the wells of the Jaakanites to Moserah. There Aaron died and was buried, and Eleazar his son succeeded him as priest. 7 From there they traveled to Gudgodah and on to Jotbathah, a land with streams of water. 8 At that time the LORD set apart the tribe of Levi to carry the ark of the covenant of the LORD, to stand before the LORD to minister and to pronounce blessings in his name, as they still do today. 9 That is why the Levites have no share or inheritance among their brothers; the LORD is their inheritance, as the LORD your God told them.)

Deut 18:1-5

18:1 The priests, who are Levites–indeed the whole tribe of Levi–are to have no allotment or inheritance with Israel. They shall live on the offerings made to the LORD by fire, for that is their inheritance. 2 They shall have no inheritance among their brothers; the LORD is their inheritance, as he promised them. 3 This is the share due the priests from the people who sacrifice a bull or a sheep: the shoulder, the jowls and the inner parts. 4 You are to give them the first-fruits of your grain, new wine and oil, and the first wool from the shearing of your sheep, 5 for the LORD your God has chosen them and their descendants out of all your tribes to stand and minister in the LORD’s name always.

Num 18:21

21 “I give to the Levites all the tithes in Israel as their inheritance in return for the work they do while serving at the Tent of Meeting.

Num 18:23-24

24 Instead, I give to the Levites as their inheritance the tithes that the Israelites present as an offering to the LORD. That is why I said concerning them: ‘They will have no inheritance among the Israelites.’”

  • God gave Israel’s tithes to the Levites as an inheritance in lieu of land.
  • The Levites then gave tithe to the Priests.

Neh 10:37-39

38 A priest descended from Aaron is to accompany the Levites when they receive the tithes, and the Levites are to bring a tenth of the tithes up to the house of our God, to the storerooms of the treasury.

  • —–but they [Levites] apparently didn’t have to tithe the income from the sale of inherited property.

Deut 18:6-8

6 If a Levite moves from one of your towns anywhere in Israel where he is living, and comes in all earnestness to the place the LORD will choose, 7 he may minister in the name of the LORD his God like all his fellow Levites who serve there in the presence of the LORD. 8 He is to share equally in their benefits, even though he has received money from the sale of family possessions.

The Storehouse

Malachi 3:10

“Bring all the tithes into the STOREHOUSE that there may be FOOD in My House.”

Neh 13:10-11

10 I also learned that the portions assigned to the Levites had not been given to them, and that all the Levites and singers responsible for the service had gone back to their own fields. 11 So I rebuked the officials and asked them, “Why is the house of God neglected?” Then I called them together and stationed them at their posts.

1 Sam 8:15-18

15 He will take a tenth of your grain and of your vintage and give it to his officials and attendants. 16 Your menservants and maidservants and the best of your cattle and donkeys he will take for his own use. 17 He will take a tenth of your flocks, and you yourselves will become his slaves. 18 When that day comes, you will cry out for relief from the king you have chosen, and the LORD will not answer you in that day.”

2 Chron 31:11

11 Hezekiah gave orders to prepare storerooms in the temple of the LORD, and this was done.

Deut 12:6-7

6 there bring your burnt offerings and sacrifices, your tithes and special gifts, what you have vowed to give and your freewill offerings, and the firstborn of your herds and flocks. 7 There, in the presence of the LORD your God, you and your families shall eat and shall rejoice in everything you have put your hand to, because the LORD your God has blessed you.

Deut 12:17-19

17 You must not eat in your own towns the tithe of your grain and new wine and oil, or the firstborn of your herds and flocks, or whatever you have vowed to give, or your freewill offerings or special gifts. 18 Instead, you are to eat them in the presence of the LORD your God at the place the LORD your God will choose–you, your sons and daughters, your menservants and maidservants, and the Levites from your towns–and you are to rejoice before the LORD your God in everything you put your hand to. 19 Be careful not to neglect the Levites as long as you live in your land.

Deut 14:22-23

22 Be sure to set aside a tenth of all that your fields produce each year. 23 Eat the tithe of your grain, new wine and oil, and the firstborn of your herds and flocks in the presence of the LORD your God at the place he will choose as a dwelling for his Name, so that you may learn to revere the LORD your God always.

  • The Levites and priests were dependent on tithes for FOOD.
  • God’s house was a STOREHOUSE and DISTRIBUTION POINT for the sacrifices, for the Levites, the priests and the poor.


Tithe Was Always Done To Honor God

Biblical tithing was NOT done to get something back or to be the equivalent of a Christian lottery.  None of the English words: “sacrifice,” “offering,” or “gift” quite corresponds to the Biblical words Korban, corban or qorban [see the word "gift" in Mark 7:11].  These words are derived from a verb that in one mood means to be near, and in another mood means to bring near.  In the one case it would refer to the offerings themselves, in the other to the givers, as brought near, the offerings bringing them near to God.  Today the “giving to get” mentality is shamelessly touted while giving to honor or get closer to God is only mentioned as a formality.

Mark 7:11

11 But you say that if a man says to his father or mother: ‘Whatever help you might otherwise have received from me is Corban’ (that is, a gift devoted to God),

Referring to the Widow’s mite], the same Christ that noted sacrificial over abundance giving said elsewhere, “Be financially responsible.” Christ denounced giving to God while ignoring responsibilities. Romans 13:7-8 says to owe no man anything but love.

Mark 12:41-44

41 Jesus sat down opposite the place where the offerings were put and watched the crowd putting their money into the temple treasury. Many rich people threw in large amounts. 42 But a poor widow came and put in two very small copper coins, worth only a fraction of a penny.  43 Calling his disciples to him, Jesus said, “I tell you the truth, this poor widow has put more into the treasury than all the others. 44 They all gave out of their wealth; but she, out of her poverty, put in everything-all she had to live on.”

Mark 7:10-13

10 For Moses said, ‘Honor your father and your mother,’ and, ‘Anyone who curses his father or mother must be put to death.’  11 But you say that if a man says to his father or mother: ‘Whatever help you might otherwise have received from me is Corban’ (that is, a gift devoted to God), 12 then you no longer let him do anything for his father or mother. 13 Thus you nullify the word of God by your tradition that you have handed down. And you do many things like that.”

Matt 22:21

21 “Caesar’s,” they replied. Then he said to them, “Give to Caesar what is Caesar’s, and to God what is God’s.”

Matt 17:25-27

25 “Yes, he does,” he replied. When Peter came into the house, Jesus was the first to speak. “What do you think, Simon?” he asked. “From whom do the kings of the earth collect duty and taxes-from their own sons or from others?”

26 “From others,” Peter answered.

“Then the sons are exempt,” Jesus said to him. 27 “But so that we may not offend them, go to the lake and throw out your line. Take the first fish you catch; open its mouth and you will find a four-drachma coin. Take it and give it to them for my tax and yours.”

Rom 13:6-8

7 Give everyone what you owe him: If you owe taxes, pay taxes; if revenue, then revenue; if respect, then respect; if honor, then honor.

8 Let no debt remain outstanding, except the continuing debt to love one another, for he who loves his fellowman has fulfilled the law

  • In the New Testament Church people sold what they had and gave the proceeds to the Church so no one had need of anything.

Acts 4:34-35

34 There were no needy persons among them. For from time to time those who owned lands or houses sold them, brought the money from the sales 35 and put it at the apostles’ feet, and it was distributed to anyone as he had need.

  • It is important to note that under the law communal responsibilities were mandatory but this New Testament giving was VOLUNTARY and tithing was never mentioned.

Acts 5:4

4 Didn’t it belong to you before it was sold? And after it was sold, wasn’t the money at your disposal? What made you think of doing such a thing? You have not lied to men but to God.”

  • Peter told Ananias that after his land was sold the money was at HIS disposal and under his control. Peter never said, “You were only obliged to bring the tithe.”
  • Paul also encouraged this resource distribution system in 2 Corinthians 8:13-15 and Romans 12:13.

2 Cor 8:13-15

13 Our desire is not that others might be relieved while you are hard pressed, but that there might be equality. 14 At the present time your plenty will supply what they need, so that in turn their plenty will supply what you need. Then there will be equality, 15 as it is written: “He who gathered much did not have too much, and he who gathered little did not have too little.”

Rom 12:13

13 Share with God’s people who are in need. Practice hospitality.

The Old and New Testament purpose for wealth was not to be rich or impress people but to do the work of God and share with those in need

Matt 19:21

21 Jesus answered, “If you want to be perfect, go, sell your possessions and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven. Then come, follow me.”

Eph 4:27-28

28 He who has been stealing must steal no longer, but must work, doing something useful with his own hands, that he may have something to share with those in need.The focus of giving has become “getting” instead of distributing resources to assist the needs of others.

  • Christ taught to sell your possessions and to give donations to the poor

Luke 12:33-34

33 Sell your possessions and give to the poor. Provide purses for yourselves that will not wear out, a treasure in heaven that will not be exhausted, where no thief comes near and no moth destroys. 34 For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.

  • God was impressed that Solomon did NOT make wealth a priority in his life.

2 Chron 1:7-12

7 That night God appeared to Solomon and said to him, “Ask for whatever you want me to give you.” 8 Solomon answered God, “You have shown great kindness to David my father and have made me king in his place. 9 Now, LORD God, let your promise to my father David be confirmed, for you have made me king over a people who are as numerous as the dust of the earth. 10 Give me wisdom and knowledge, that I may lead this people, for who is able to govern this great people of yours?” 11 God said to Solomon, “Since this is your heart’s desire and you have not asked for wealth, riches or honor, nor for the death of your enemies, and since you have not asked for a long life but for wisdom and knowledge to govern my people over whom I have made you king, 12 therefore wisdom and knowledge will be given you. And I will also give you wealth, riches and honor, such as no king who was before you ever had and none after you will have.”

  • God gave the tithes to the Levites as an inheritance in return for their service and to compensate them for having no personal inheritance of land.
  • The Levites gave tithes to the Priests from the tithes they received.
  • Christianity has no agrarian system, no Levites and every Christian is now a priest, the temple and co-workers with Christ.

1 Peter 2:5-6

5 you also, like living stones, are being built into a spiritual house to be a holy priesthood, offering spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ.

1 Peter 2:9

9 But you are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people belonging to God, that you may declare the praises of him who called you out of darkness into his wonderful light.

Rev 1:5-7

To him who loves us and has freed us from our sins by his blood, 6 and has made us to be a kingdom and priests to serve his God and Father-to him be glory and power forever and ever! Amen.

Rev 5:10

10 You have made them to be a kingdom and priests to serve our God,

and they will reign on the earth.”

Rev 20:5-6

6 Blessed and holy are those who have part in the first resurrection. The second death has no power over them, but they will be priests of God and of Christ and will reign with him for a thousand years. Every Jew was required by the Levitical law to pay three tithes of his property:

  • one tithe for the Levites;
  • one for the use of the temple and the great feasts; and
  • one for the poor of the land [Numbers 18, Deuteronomy 14]
  • The only two examples of tithing BEFORE THE LAW in Genesis were voluntary, non-routine and profit [ownership] based.
  • Tithing AFTER THE LAW was mandatory, routine and agrarian (land) based.
  • Neither was income or money based as is usually taught today.

Tithe was not money

Matthew 23:23

Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites, for ye pay tithes of mint and anise and cummin, and ye have left aside the weightier matters of the law, judgment and mercy and faith: these ye ought to have done and not have left those aside.

Luke 11:42

But woe unto you, Pharisees, for ye pay tithes of mint and rue and every herb, and pass by the judgment and the love of God: these ye ought to have done, and not have left those aside.

Young’s Translation:

Matthew 23:23

Woe to you, Scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! because ye give tithe of the mint, and the dill, and the cumin, and did neglect the weightier things of the Law; the judgment, and the kindness, and the faith; these it behoved [you] to do, and those not to neglect.

Luke 11:42

But woe to you, the Pharisees, because ye tithe the mint, and the rue, and every herb, and ye pass by the judgment, and the love of God; these things it behoveth to do, and those not to be neglecting.

In Acts 15 when the issue of how much of the Mosaic Law Christian Gentiles were to keep, the answer was clear.  They were to abstain from:

Acts 15:19-21

19 “It is my judgment, therefore, that we should not make it difficult for the Gentiles who are turning to God. 20 Instead we should write to them, telling them to abstain from food polluted by idols, from sexual immorality, from the meat of strangled animals and from blood.

  • ceremonial pollution with idols
  • sexual immorality
  • strangled meats (blood still in it)

Supporting Ministry

While mandates for tithing are NOT in the New Testament, the principle that the church and ministers can be supported by those they serve is an indisputable New Testament doctrine.

1 Cor 9:6-9

6 Or is it only I and Barnabas who must work for a living?

7 Who serves as a soldier at his own expense? Who plants a vineyard and does not eat of its grapes? Who tends a flock and does not drink of the milk? 8 Do I say this merely from a human point of view? Doesn’t the Law say the same thing? 9 For it is written in the Law of Moses: “Do not muzzle an ox while it is treading out the grain.” Is it about oxen that God is concerned?

1 Cor 9:12-14

13 Don’t you know that those who work in the temple get their food from the temple, and those who serve at the altar share in what is offered on the altar? 14 In the same way, the Lord has commanded that those who preach the gospel should receive their living from the gospel.

Luke 10:7

7 Stay in that house, eating and drinking whatever they give you, for the worker deserves his wages. Do not move around from house to house.

  • It is noteworthy that Paul, at times, chose NOT to live off of donations when he felt the Lord was better served.

1 Cor 9:13-19

13 Don’t you know that those who work in the temple get their food from the temple, and those who serve at the altar share in what is offered on the altar? 14 In the same way, the Lord has commanded that those who preach the gospel should receive their living from the gospel. 15 But I have not used any of these rights. And I am not writing this in the hope that you will do such things for me. I would rather die than have anyone deprive me of this boast. 16 Yet when I preach the gospel, I cannot boast, for I am compelled to preach. Woe to me if I do not preach the gospel! 17 If I preach voluntarily, I have a reward; if not voluntarily, I am simply discharging the trust committed to me. 18 What then is my reward? Just this: that in preaching the gospel I may offer it free of charge, and so not make use of my rights in preaching it. 19 Though I am free and belong to no man, I make myself a slave to everyone, to win as many as possible

 

Some Thoughts On Melchizedek And Tithing

 

Much is made about the mysterious King of Salem [Jerusalem] in Genesis 14 by mandated tithing teachers. The reality is in Abraham’s time tithing was predominately a pagan practice and a voluntary social custom of acknowledging a cherished ruler.  Some researchers say the pagan custom was mandatory but, either way, there was no command from God to tithe.  To use the argument that tithes are mandated today because Abraham gave Melchizedek tithes is ludicrous for many reasons:

  • First, Abraham VOLUNTARILY tithed the spoils of war, not his personal income or wealth.
  • Second, there was NO God given mandate at that time, to tithe at all.

Heb 7:1-3

2 and Abraham gave him a tenth of everything. First, his name means “king of righteousness”; then also, “king of Salem” means “king of peace.”

Gen 14:20-15:1

20 And blessed be God Most High, who delivered your enemies into your hand.”Then Abram gave him a tenth of everything. 21 The king of Sodom said to Abram, “Give me the people and keep the goods for yourself.” 22 But Abram said to the king of Sodom, “I have raised my hand to the LORD, God Most High, Creator of heaven and earth, and have taken an oath 23 that I will accept nothing belonging to you, not even a thread or the thong of a sandal, so that you will never be able to say, ‘I made Abram rich.’ 24 I will accept nothing but what my men have eaten and the share that belongs to the men who went with me–to Aner, Eshcol and Mamre. Let them have their share.”

  • Third, Abraham had already received his blessing – the victory given by God. [Genesis 14:19-20]  There is NOTHING in Scripture that says Abraham’s blessing was contingent on his tithe.

Gen 14:19-20

“Blessed be Abram by God Most High, Creator of heaven and earth. 20 And blessed be God Most High, who delivered your enemies into your hand.”

  • Fourth, the tithing of Abraham was a single event.

The Gospel of Grace

Eph 2:15-16

15 Having abolished in his flesh the enmity, even the law of commandments contained in ordinances; for to make in himself of twain one new man, so making peace;

16 And that he might reconcile both unto God in one body by the cross, having slain the enmity thereby:

2 Cor 9:6-11

6 But this I say, He which soweth sparingly shall reap also sparingly; and he which soweth bountifully shall reap also bountifully.

7 Every man according as he purposeth in his heart, so let him give; not grudgingly, or of necessity: for God loveth a cheerful giver.

8 And God is able to make all grace abound toward you; that ye, always having all sufficiency in all things, may abound to every good work:

9(As it is written, He hath dispersed abroad; he hath given to the poor: his righteousness remaineth forever.

10 Now he that ministereth seed to the sower both minister bread for your food, and multiply your seed sown, and increase the fruits of your righteousness;)

11 Being enriched in everything to all bountifulness, which causeth through us thanksgiving to God.

 

Hebrews 7:1-7

7:1 For this Melchizedek, king of Salem, priest of the most high God, who met Abraham returning from the slaughter of the kings, and blessed him;

2 To whom also Abraham gave a tenth part of all; first being by interpretation King of righteousness, and after that also King of Salem, which is, King of peace;

3 Without father, without mother, without descent, having neither beginning of days, nor end of life; but made like unto the Son of God; abideth a priest continually.

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

5 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:

6 But he whose descent is not counted from them received tithes of Abraham, and blessed him that had the promises.

7 And without all contradiction the less [Abraham] is blessed of the better [Melchizedek].

  • Abraham receives the greater blessing in the BREAD and WINE.

8 And here men that die [mortal men] receive tithes; but there he receiveth them, of whom it is witnessed that he liveth.

9 And as I may so say, Levi also, who receiveth tithes, payed tithes in Abraham.

10 For he was yet in the loins of his father, when Melchizedek met him.

11 If therefore perfection were by the Levitical priesthood, (for under it the people received the law,) what further need was there that another priest should rise after the order of Melchizedek, and not be called after the order of Aaron?

12 For the priesthood being changed, there is made of necessity a change also of the law.

13 For he of whom these things are spoken pertaineth to another tribe, of which no man gave attendance at the altar.

14 For it is evident that our Lord sprang out of Judah; of which tribe Moses spake nothing concerning priesthood.

15 And it is yet far more evident: for that after the similitude of Melchizedek there ariseth another priest,

16 Who is made, not after the law of a carnal commandment, but after the power of an endless life.

17 For he testifieth, Thou art a priest for ever after the order of Melchizedek.

18 For there is verily a disannulling of the commandment going before for the weakness and unprofitableness thereof.

19 For the law made nothing perfect, but the bringing in of a better hope did; by the which we draw nigh unto God.

  • The LAW is weak and unprofitable.

20 And inasmuch as not without an oath he was made priest:

21(For those priests were made without an oath; but this with an oath by him that said unto him, The Lord sware and will not repent, Thou art a priest for ever after the order of Melchizedek)

22 By so much was Jesus made a surety of a better testament.

  • The offering of Christ was the guarantee of a better testament.

23 And they truly were many priests, because they were not suffered to continue by reason of death:

24 But this man, because he continueth ever, hath an unchangeable priesthood.

25 Wherefore he is able also to save them to the uttermost that come unto God by him, seeing he ever liveth to make intercession for them.

  • We come to God through the intercession of Christ and not through the obedience of the Law.

26 For such an high priest became us, who is holy, harmless, undefiled, separate from sinners, and made higher than the heavens;

27 Who needeth not daily, as those high priests, to offer up sacrifice, first for his own sins, and then for the people’s: for this he did once, when he offered up himself.

  • The tithe [food] was offered daily by the priests. Since Christ himself was our offering—-there is no further need for a daily sacrifice. Daniel 9:27

28 For the law maketh men high priests which have infirmity; but the word of the oath, which was since the law, maketh the Son, who is consecrated for evermore.

Gal 3:1-14

3:1 You foolish Galatians! Who has bewitched you? Before your very eyes Jesus Christ was clearly portrayed as crucified. 2 I would like to learn just one thing from you: Did you receive the Spirit by observing the law, or by believing what you heard?

  • We are saved by GRACE through FAITH—-Eph. 2:8-9

3 Are you so foolish? After beginning with the Spirit, are you now trying to attain your goal by human effort? 4 Have you suffered so much for nothing-if it really was for nothing? 5 Does God give you his Spirit and work miracles among you because you observe the law, or because you believe what you heard? 6 Consider Abraham: “He believed God, and it was credited to him as righteousness.”

  • Abraham was considered RIGHTEOUS because of his faith and not because he tithed to Melchizedek. He was already righteous BEFORE he tithed to Melchizedek.

7 Understand, then, that those who believe are children of Abraham. 8 The Scripture foresaw that God would justify the Gentiles by faith, and announced the gospel in advance to Abraham: “All nations will be blessed through you.”

  • Just as Abraham was justified by faith, so we also are justified by faith.

9 So those who have faith are blessed along with Abraham, the man of faith. 10 All who rely on observing the law are under a curse, for it is written: “Cursed is everyone who does not continue to do everything written in the Book of the Law.”

  • Trying to please God through obedience of the Law uncovers us from the protection of GRACE. [Heb.6:4-6]

11 Clearly no one is justified before God by the law, because, “The righteous will live by faith.”  12 The law is not based on faith; on the contrary, “The man who does these things will live by them.”  13 Christ redeemed us from the curse of the law by becoming a curse for us, for it is written: “Cursed is everyone who is hung on a tree.”  14 He redeemed us in order that the blessing given to Abraham might come to the Gentiles through Christ Jesus, so that by faith we might receive the promise of the Spirit.

 

Heb 6:4-6

For it is impossible for those who were once enlightened, and have tasted of the heavenly gift, and were made partakers of the Holy Ghost,

5 And have tasted the good word of God, and the powers of the world to come,

6 If they shall fall away, to renew them again unto repentance; seeing they crucify to themselves the Son of God afresh, and put him to an open shame.

Malachi—-an “open book” quiz

Malachi 1

1:1 The burden of the word of the LORD to Israel by Malachi.

  • Who is this “word of the Lord” addressed to?

2 I have loved you, saith the LORD. Yet ye say, Wherein hast thou loved us? Was not Esau Jacob’s brother? saith the LORD: yet I loved Jacob,

  • Who was Jacob and who were his descendants?

3 And I hated Esau, and laid his mountains and his heritage waste for the dragons of the wilderness.

4 Whereas Edom saith, We are impoverished, but we will return and build the desolate places; thus saith the LORD of hosts, They shall build, but I will throw down; and they shall call them, The border of wickedness, and, The people against whom the LORD hath indignation forever.

5 And your eyes shall see, and ye shall say, The LORD will be magnified from the border of Israel

  • Does “Israel” have “physical borders”?

6 A son honoureth his father, and a servant his master: if then I be a father, where is mine honour? and if I be a master, where is my fear? saith the LORD of hosts unto you, O priests, that despise my name. And ye say, Wherein have we despised thy name?

  • What is a “priest” in this verse?

7 Ye offer polluted bread upon mine altar; and ye say, Wherein have we polluted thee? In that ye say, The table of the LORD is contemptible.

  • What is the “Table of the Lord” in this verse? Is this “offering” money or something else?

8 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 thy governor; will he be pleased with thee, or accept thy person? saith the LORD of hosts.

  • What is it that is “blind” and “lame”?

9 And now, I pray you, beseech God that he will be gracious unto us: this hath been by your means: will he regard your persons? saith the LORD of hosts.

10 Who is there even among you that would shut the doors for nought? neither do ye kindle fire on mine altar for nought. I have no pleasure in you, saith the LORD of hosts, neither will I accept an offering at your hand.

11 For from the rising of the sun even unto the going down of the same my name shall be great among the Gentiles; and in every place incense shall be offered unto my name, and a pure offering: for my name shall be great among the heathen, saith the LORD of hosts.

  • Is there a delineation between Jew and Gentile in this verse?

12 But ye have profaned it, in that ye say, The table of the LORD is polluted; and the fruit thereof, even his meat, is contemptible.

  • What is meant by “fruit” and “meat”?

13 Ye said also, Behold, what a weariness is it! and ye have snuffed at it, saith the LORD of hosts; at which was torn, and the lame, and the sick; thus ye brought an offering: should I accept this of your hand? saith the LORD.

  • How is it that an “offering” can be torn and lame and sick?

14 But cursed be the deceiver, which hath in his flock a male, and voweth, and sacrificeth unto the LORD a corrupt thing: for I am a great King, saith the LORD of hosts, and my name is dreadful among the heathen.

  • How is it that a “male animal” can be corrupt?

Malachi 2

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

  • Who is this “commandment for?

2 If ye will not hear, and if ye will not lay it to heart, to give glory unto my name, saith the LORD of hosts, I will even send a curse upon you, and I will curse your blessings: yea, I have cursed them already, because ye do not lay it to heart.

3 Behold, I will corrupt your seed, and spread dung upon your faces, even the dung of your solemn feasts; and one shall take you away with it.

4 And ye shall know that I have sent this commandment unto you, that my covenant might be with Levi, saith the LORD of hosts.

  • Is this commandment directed toward a specific group of people? Who is Levi?

5 My covenant was with him of life and peace; and I gave them to him for the fear wherewith he feared me, and was afraid before my name.

  • Who was Levi?

6 The law of truth was in his mouth, and iniquity was not found in his lips: he walked with me in peace and equity, and did turn many away from iniquity.

7 For the priest’s lips should keep knowledge, and they should seek the law at his mouth: for he is the messenger of the LORD of hosts.

  • What “Law” is this speaking of?

8 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.

  • What is the “covenant of Levi”?

9 Therefore have I also made you contemptible and base before all the people, according as ye have not kept my ways, but have been partial in the law.

  • How were these people “partial in the Law”

10 Have we not all one father? hath not one God created us? why do we deal treacherously every man against his brother, by profaning the covenant of our fathers?

  • What “covenant” was spoken of in this verse?

11 Judah hath dealt treacherously, and an abomination is committed in Israel and in Jerusalem; for Judah hath profaned the holiness of the LORD which he loved, and hath married the daughter of a strange god.

  • Who is Judah?

12 The LORD will cut off the man that doeth this, the master and the scholar, out of the tabernacles of Jacob, and him that offereth an offering unto the LORD of hosts.

  • What is the “tabernacles of Jacob”?

13 And this have ye done again, covering the altar of the LORD with tears, with weeping, and with crying out, insomuch that he regardeth not the offering any more, or receiveth it with good will at your hand.

  • Where was this “alter”?

14 Yet ye say, Wherefore? Because the LORD hath been witness between thee and the wife of thy youth, against whom thou hast dealt treacherously: yet is she thy companion, and the wife of thy covenant.

15 And did not he make one? Yet had he the residue of the spirit. And wherefore one? That he might seek a godly seed. Therefore take heed to your spirit, and let none deal treacherously against the wife of his youth.

  • What is this “Godly Seed”?

16 For the LORD, the God of Israel, saith that he hateth putting away: for one covereth violence with his garment, saith the LORD of hosts: therefore take heed to your spirit, that ye deal not treacherously.

17 Ye have wearied the LORD with your words. Yet ye say, Wherein have we wearied him? When ye say, Every one that doeth evil is good in the sight of the LORD, and he delighteth in them; or, Where is the God of judgment?

Malachi 3

3:1 Behold, I will send my messenger, and he shall prepare the way before me: and the Lord, whom ye seek, shall suddenly come to this temple, even the messenger of the covenant, whom ye delight in: behold, he shall come, saith the LORD of hosts.

2 But who may abide the day of his coming? and who shall stand when he appeareth? for he is like a refiner’s fire, and like fullers’ soap:

  • Who was the “messenger of the Covenant” and how will he demonstrate the Lord’s displeasure?

3 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.

  • Who are the “sons of Levi”?

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

  • Does this verse identify a specific group of people and a physical location?

5 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, saith the LORD of hosts.

6 For I am the LORD, I change not; therefore ye sons of Jacob are not consumed

  • Who are the “sons of Jacob”?

7 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?

  • What “ordinances”?

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

  • Was the Lord speaking of “money”?

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

  • What nation?

10 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 of heaven, and pour you out a blessing, that there shall not be room enough to receive it.

  • Is the Lord speaking literally of “meat”?

11 And I will rebuke the devourer for your sakes, and he shall not destroy the fruits of your ground; neither shall your vine cast her fruit before the time in the field, saith the LORD of hosts.

  • Is the Lord speaking literally of “produce”?

12 And all nations shall call you blessed: for ye shall be a delightsome land, saith the LORD of hosts.

  • Does this verse delineate HIS land from the rest of the world?

13 Your words have been stout against me, saith the LORD. Yet ye say, What have we spoken so much against thee?

14 Ye have said, It is vain to serve God: and what profit is it that we have kept his ordinance, and that we have walked mournfully before the LORD of hosts?

15 And now we call the proud happy; yea, they that work wickedness are set up; yea, they that tempt God are even delivered.

16 Then they that feared the LORD spake often one to another: and the LORD hearkened, and heard it, and a book of remembrance was written before him for them that feared the LORD, and that thought upon his name.

17 And they shall be mine, saith the LORD of hosts, in that day when I make up my jewels; and I will spare them, as a man spareth his own son that serveth him.

  • Is the Lord speaking of a specific ethnic entity?

18 Then shall ye return, and discern between the righteous and the wicked, between him that serveth God and him that serveth him not.

Malachi 4

4:1 For, behold, the day cometh, that shall burn as an oven; and all the proud, yea, and all that do wickedly, shall be stubble: and the day that cometh shall burn them up, saith the LORD of hosts, that it shall leave them neither root nor branch.

2 But unto you that fear my name shall the Sun of righteousness arise with healing in his wings; and ye shall go forth, and grow up as calves of the stall.

3 And ye shall tread down the wicked; for they shall be ashes under the soles of your feet in the day that I shall do this, saith the LORD of hosts.

  • Who is it that will “tread down the wicked”?

4 Remember ye the law of Moses my servant, which I commanded unto him in Horeb for all Israel, with the statutes and judgments.

  • Is this command relevant to the Church?

5 Behold, I will send you Elijah the prophet before the coming of the great and dreadful day of the LORD:

6 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.

The “tithe” is nothing more, or less, than a heretical money pit!

 

2 thoughts on “History of the Tithe

  1. Catherine Shelton

    Pastors sure do like for folks to tithe, and put most of it in their own pockets so they can have the good life. I know it takes money to provide heat, lights, and many other things to have a church open but the outlandish salaries of today,s pastors is a sin in my opinion.

    Reply

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