Tithing is one of the main issues which divide saint and sinner.
The question is who is really the saint and who becomes the sinner?

People and money (power) is why the Pharisees killed Jesus. They were jealous because their giving units (people) were following someone else, and they felt envious. Anger is a terrible emotion, and if left unresolved it becomes the sin of murder.

Obviously, the root of all this is pride, as Scripture warns us...

“For the love of money (self) is the root of all evil;
which while some coveted after, they have erred from the faith,
and pierced themselves through with many sorrows.”

1 Timothy 6:10

The Pharisees attacked, maligned and finally framed Jesus in a mock trial full of gossip and false representation, all because they hated Jesus for being popular with the people. What Jesus was saying was dangerous to their business. What Jesus was saying threatened their control over the people and their resources. What Jesus was saying was setting the people free to establish the kingdom of God instead of the Pharisee’s kingdom. If there is trouble in churches today, it is over people and money (tithes). The kingdom of God versus the kingdom of the pastor or priest. Rank (position/control) and money divide the brethren, as pride is manifest in different forms of sin/rebellion or lawlessness.

Many pastors today would say that we are not under the Old Testament laws; yet, these same pastors teach tithing religiously. Many pastors would go on to say that unless you pay your tithes to their local assembly you couldn’t be a member of their church. Consequently, you cannot hold any type of elder or deacon position in their church unless you agree. Yes, you must go through a member’s class before you become a member, but one of the main issues in the class is your money. You must pay your tithes, and it must be to their church if you wish to be a member. If you refuse to pay your tithes strictly to their church, then you are denied church membership. Some denominations insist that if you are licensed or ordained under their “covering”, you must pay your tithes to them.

The question remains... “is tithing for today, and if so,
to whom do I pay them?”

Earnest L. Martin in “The Tithing Fallacy” wrote, “Let us face the issue squarely without beating around the bush. The Bible makes it clear that tithes were to be paid to one group of people. Those people were the Levites who ministered in the temple (Numbers 18:20-24). It was made abundantly evident that tithes were to be paid to the Tribe of Levi, one of the twelve tribes of ancient Israel. [...a portion was to be used by them at certain periods of time and to be shared, at other times, with Levites, strangers, the fatherless, and widows...] The central fact is this: Only members of the Tribe of Levi were ordained in the Bible to receive the tenth of agricultural and animal production. The Levites in turn were to give one tenth of those tithes to the priests (Numbers 18:25-32). The Priests did not tithe at all. [ ...there never was a universal law of tithing for all people because many Israelites were exempt from tithing in the Old Testament period.] Even the Levites and Priests, moreover, are presently disqualified from receiving any biblical tithes. This is because there is no official body of men functioning as Priests or Levites in a temple at Jerusalem.

This teaching was a revelation to me...but the rabbi gave the proper biblical answers. To pay tithes at this time, without Levites and Priests in their regular ordained offices, would be sin. The rabbi told me: If we are to obey the law, we cannot pay unless we pay them to the ones ordained by God to accept them. He explained that though he was the chief rabbi of the synagogue, he was descended from the Tribe of Judah and was thereby not biblically eligible to receive tithes. To support the activities of the synagogue, he said its members used what they called the patron system. That is the family would buy seats in the synagogue for a set price each year. The rabbi mentioned that many of his congregation actually paid more than a tenth of their income to support this system, but they could not call such monies the biblical tithe because they were being paid to the synagogue and not to an ordained Levitical priesthood...This principle also applies to Christians today who wish to heed God’s law on tithing.” Pg. 1-3

Abraham gave tithes of the spoil taken from the northern kings to Melchizedek who was “priest of the most high God.” (Genesis 14:18-20) Up to this time in history there is no biblical instructions/laws showing that Abraham was required to pay tithes (tenth) on the spoil to Melchizedek.

Later examples concerning tithing show inconsistencies regarding the percentage one was supposed to give and for what. “When the Israelites obtained spoil from the Midianites, Moses commanded that the priests receive 1/500th of the goods from those who had gone to war; not 1/10th as a tithe would require [Numbers 31:9,27-29]. The Levites got more booty. They received 1/50th of the congregation’s half of the spoil (verse 30). If Moses was recording in Genesis a universal law of tithing when he wrote about Abraham giving a tenth of his spoils to Melchizedek, why does he depart from that very law some 400 years later with a completely different set of figures? Abraham was not following any law of tithing on spoil or on anything else. Abraham’s tenth was only in the nature of a voluntary offering of thanksgiving to God for the deliverance of his people.” Martin, Pg. 4-5.

Jacob’s tithing in Genesis 28:20-22 continues to show the voluntary principle of tithing before the time of Moses. Jacob’s paying his tenth to the Lord was conditional. Jacob said that he would only pay his tithes “if God will be with me.” The “if” in the vow makes this totally conditional and not a perennial law. Jacob’s son, Joseph, did not require the people to give a tenth to the Levites or the priests, as this was before Moses’ instructions 200 years later. But, he did require that two-tenths be given to Pharaoh and the rest they could use for their own (Genesis 47:23-24). Verse 22 tells us, “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.”

So, the Priests did not need anything further, and nothing was given them from the people. They were in a better position than the rest of the people, since they owned their land and kept 100 percent of the proceeds; whereas, the people had to give their land to Pharaoh and could only keep 80 percent of their proceeds.

Apparently, Joseph knew nothing about any tithing laws because none existed,
even though Abraham and Jacob gave voluntary offerings.

During the Exodus from Egypt (Exodus 12:36) there is no indication of tithes given to anyone from when “they spoiled the Egyptians” since there was no authorized priesthood to take the tithes. At Mount Sinai, immediately after leaving Egypt, the Old Covenant was inaugurated between God and Israel. There are four chapters, Exodus 20 to 23, recording this monumental event which contained basically a primitive constitution intended to govern Israel. It is noteworthy that nowhere in this Covenant is there any mention of any tithing requirements/laws.

It is apparent that Moses was not using tithes as a source of
revenue to finance the 
existence of Israel.

Instead, Moses used freewill love offerings. Exodus 35:22,29; 36:3,7, “And they came, both men and women, as many as were willing hearted, and brought bracelets, and earrings, and rings, and tablets, all jewels of gold: and every man that offered an offering of gold unto the Lord. The children of Israel brought a willing offering unto the Lord, every man and woman, whose heart made them willing to bring for all manner of work, which the Lord had commanded to be made by the hand of Moses. And they received of Moses all the offering, which the children of Israel had brought for the work of the service of the sanctuary, to make it withal. And they brought yet unto him free offerings every morning. For the stuff they had was sufficient for all the work to make it, and too much.”

In Leviticus 27:30-33, during the second year of the Exodus, Moses initiated tithes with restrictions; “And all the tithe of the land, whether of the seed of the land, or of the fruit of the tree, is the Lord’s: it is holy unto the Lord. And if a man will at all redeem ought of his tithes, he shall add thereto the fifth part thereof. And concerning the tithe of the herd, or of the flock, even of whatsoever passeth under the rod, the tenth shall be holy unto the Lord. He shall not search whether it be good or bad, neither shall he change it: and if he change it at all, then both it and the change thereof shall be holy; it shall not be redeemed.”

Tithes were required on agricultural crops and herds only. If the farmer wanted to give money instead of crops, he had to give twenty percent. Ranchers could not pay their tithes in money (verse 33).

Many modern Pharisees constantly preach emotionally
on tithing, yet reject the other Mosaic Laws.

Plus, they pick and choose, even in the law of tithing, how they want to govern its collection and usage; thus, nullifying the very spirit and purpose for paying tithes! We see that the owner of the farm had to tithe, but not his hired help, since they did not own the crops or the animals. Plus, only the increase from the owner’s land or animals was tithable. “There is no reference to a tithe of fish in the Bible or in later Jewish sources. Likewise, the mining industry is referred to in Deut. 8:9, but the tithe of minerals extracted from the earth was never called for. The same would hold true for those earning an income from weaving, handicrafts, or any form of manufacturing. Indeed, all were immune from tithing except the owners of farms and flocks. And, even the rancher who had fewer than ten cattle in the Old Testament did not have to tithe on them because the requirement stated that only the tenth animal which passed under the rod was to be tithed (Lev. 37:32).” Martin, Pg. 9.

Originally Moses had instructed in Exodus 13:2 and 22:29 that all firstborn children of the Israelites, regardless of what tribe they came from, were to be consecrated to help the Priests in the service of the tabernacle. But, after the census revealed that the firstborn males numbered 22,273 and the tribe of Levi numbered exactly 22,000 males, (Numbers 3:39), Moses decided to use the entire Tribe of Levi instead of using the firstborn from every tribe (Numbers 3:44-51).

As I mentioned in the beginning of this article,
control and money (tithes) divide many churches today,
as the brethren are alienated and many times attacked
by the Pharisee behind the pulpit.

I, personally, would not have problems with Pharisees if leadership and money were not issues. I work with many humble pastors across the United States who are not jealous or greedy concerning God’s Bride or God’s money. They just want to promote Jesus’ kingdom. But, there are other pastors who are promoting their own little kingdoms and want to control God’s people and money. They twist the Scriptures to do both, as the Pharisees did to Jesus, the apostles, and the prophets. I have said it many times that if the pastor who attacks me were stationed in a country where it is a crime to witness and lead others to Jesus, then there would be no more conflict. That pastor would be happy for me to share in the sufferings and dangers of ministering to the flock. And, since he is earning his own living aside from living off the tithes of the people or has outside support as a missionary, there would be no jealousy. Also, he could not build a white elephant (church) in that country anyway, since it is illegal to pastor or lead people to Jesus. Then his motives would be holy and pure, to be builders of the true Bride of Christ, instead of being private kingdom builders or denominational kingdom builders.

“...the rebellion of Korah came principally because of an argument over rank and money. About twenty years had passed since Moses commanded the Levites to take the position of firstborn. Korah was one of the leaders of the top family of Levites. He, along with prominent members of the Tribe of Reuben, went to Moses and complained that Aaron and his sons were taking too much authority to themselves. The problem was a dynastic quarrel over priestly rulership in Israel. The fact is, Reuben was the actual firstborn tribe (Genesis 49:3). But, the Levites also had been given firstborn status. Yet, it was Aaron’s family that had the most prominent position in the nation under Moses. These anomalies over the firstborn rank caused arguments to take place. The problem involved who was to rule and who should have the money assigned to that rulership. The outcome of the confrontation is well known. The earth opened up and swallowed Korah and the other rebellious Levites and Reubenites (Number16:31-35). From that time forward there was no doubt that the Tribe of Reuben was no longer recognized as a firstborn tribe. And, though the Levites maintained their position as helpers of the Priests in the temple, only the family of Aaron from that time forward was reckoned as being of priesthood rank.”    Martin, Pg. 11

In the next two articles I will be discussing why Moses made some changes, as well as some different heresies surrounding tithing. This three part series is extremely important as God is still telling different Pharoahs to “let my people go.” Jesus was conspired against and betrayed out of jealousy and resentment because He was telling the people to serve the Lord and not the Pharisees. The Pharisees in turn hated Jesus as Jesus summarized the hypocrisy in the areas surrounding the Pharisees’ teaching on tithes. (Matthew 23: 23). I have no problems with people giving ten percent to their local churches. In fact, I believe we should give much more for the extension of the kingdom of God and the love for the Bride of Jesus Christ. Let us all look at and study this three part series on “Is Tithing For Today” most seriously. The reality is that people today are bound as slaves were in Egypt because they serve at times taskmasters who really only care for their own empires. Thus, the people suffer under mental brainwashing and put up with it for a lack of knowledge. The people feel like they are serving God by paying their tithes (bricks), yet the only ones they are serving at times is another pharaoh who has coerced them through guilt instead of the whip into building dreams and goals which at times are not God’s but the vanity of the pastor. And all God’s people and leaders (pastors) said “AMEN AND AMEN”!



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