By Standing Firm In Christ
And there was war in Heaven: God opposed the Holy Spirit.
Wait a minute!! What Bible are you reading from? Where is that found in the Bible?
Now that I've got your attention, ...
The answer my friends, is it is found, not in the Bible, but rather it is found in the pulpits of many Churches around the world today.
Oh, the preacher may not use those exact words. But he might as well use them. Those words are no different than than the words he speaks when he tells his congregation that God requires them to tithe their money to the Church.
I have searched every instance of tithing where it is commanded in the Bible and, amazingly, I find the only people God ever commanded to tithe were those who lived in Israel.
At the Jerusalem Council in A.D. 54, (Acts 15) the Holy Ghost and the Apostles made a decision concerning what was required of the Gentile Believers.
Acts 15:28-29 For it seemed good to the Holy Ghost, and to us, to lay upon you no greater burden than these necessary things; That ye abstain from meats offered to idols, and from blood, and from things strangled, and from fornication: from which if ye keep yourselves, ye shall do well. Fare ye well.
"No greater burden than these necessary things." Tithing is not mentioned as one of those "necessary things."
When a pastor teaches his congregation that God requires a tithe of their money, that pastor is guilty of pitting God in opposition to the decision of the Holy Ghost in Acts 15.
Mark 3:25 And if a house be divided against itself, that house cannot stand.
Yet, the Bible teaches us that God and His Holy Spirit are in agreement with one another.
1 John 5:7 For there are three that bear record in heaven, the Father, the Word, and the Holy Ghost: and these three are one.
Not once in the epistles is there given any instruction for Gentiles to tithe their money to the New Testament Church.
It the command is not in the Bible, we can come to no other conclusion than that it is a man-made command and not a God-ordained directive.
Matthew 15:9 But in vain they do worship me, teaching for doctrines the commandments of men.
Jesus Christ said of the Pharisees that their worship was in vain because of their teaching commandments of man as if they were of God. When we teach that God requires something today, we'd best have Scripture to support our teaching. Otherwise, we are as guilty as the Pharisees in Matthew 15.
Friends, be as the Bereans in Acts 17:11. Search the Scriptures to see if what I have written is in agreement with the Word of God. If you do a diligent study, you will find it is absolutely 100% in agreement. You will find that the one you are being OBedient to by tithing your money is not God at all. Rather, it is OBedience to a lie and is contrary to the decision of the Holy Ghost and the Apostles.
Acts 17:11 These were more nOBle than those in Thessalonica, in that they received the Word with all readiness of mind, and searched the scriptures daily, whether those things were so.
By Standing Firm In Christ
Many today, in their zeal to defend the doctrine of a monetary tithe requirement, will cite 1 Corinthians 16:2, saying that the word “prospered” is speaking of “proportion,” or “percentage.” It is not.
1 Corinthians 16:2 Upon the first day of the week let every one of you lay by him in store, as God hath prospered him, that there be no gatherings when I come.
The word “prospered” is translated from the Greek word “euodoo”, which means, “to help on the road, i.e. (passively) succeed in reaching; figuratively, to succeed in business affairs:–(have a) prosper(-ous journey).”
euodoo was never translated as proportion in the Bible. The word used by the Greeks for “proportion” was the word “analogia”. Found only in one verse of the New Testament.
Romans 12:6 Having then gifts differing according to the grace that is given to us, whether prophecy, let us prophesy according to the proportion of faith;
Back to 1 Corinthians 16:2. That verse was not speaking of proportion or percentage. It was speaking of prosperity. As God had made them prosperous in life, Paul encouraged the saints at Corinth to help the poor saints in Jerusalem. But percentage was never mentioned. God leaves the amount given up to the giver…
2 Corinthians 9:7 Every man according as he purposeth in his heart, so let him give; not grudgingly, or of necessity: for God loveth a cheerful giver.
“Purposeth”– “proaireomai”– “to choose for oneself.”
Not only was Paul not speaking of percentage or proportion, Paul also was not speaking of tithes. Rather, he was speaking of a collection (Grk. logia) for the saints at Jerusalem.
1 Corinthians 16:1-4 Now concerning the collection (logia) for the saints, as I have given order to the churches of Galatia, even so do ye. Upon the first day of the week let every one of you lay by him in store, as God hath prospered him, that there be no gatherings (logia) when I come. And when I come, whomsoever ye shall approve by your letters, them will I send to bring your liberality unto Jerusalem. And if it be meet that I go also, they shall go with me.
The Greek word for “collection” was the word “logia.” Again, nothing to do with tithes. Had Paul been speaking of tithes, he would have used the word “apodekatoo.” Paul did not use the Greek for “tithes” in any of his epistles. The collection in 1 Corinthians 16 was to be freely given (not of coercion) to ease burdened saints in Jerusalem.
By Standing Firm In Christ
Malachi 3:8-12 Will a man rOB God? Yet ye have rOBbed me. But ye say, Wherein have we rOBbed thee? In tithes and offerings. Ye are cursed with a curse: for ye have rOBbed me, even this whole nation. 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. 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. And all nations shall call you blessed: for ye shall be a delightsome land, saith the LORD of hosts.
Many a pastor stands behind his pulpit and reads the above verses to their congregations. Some with an honest heart, some with a dishonest heart.
It is those with the dishonest hearts that this message is for today.
In his epistle to the churches at Galatia, the Apostle Paul warned the saints of the penalty for following after the works of the flesh:
Galatians 5:19-21 Now the works of the flesh are manifest, which are these; Adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lasciviousness, Idolatry, witchcraft, hatred, variance, emulations, wrath, strife, seditions, heresies, Envyings, murders, drunkenness, revellings, and such like: of the which I tell you before, as I have also told you in time past, that they which do such things shall not inherit the kingdom of God.
The word “witchcraft” in verse 20 of the passage above is translated from the Greek word “pharmakeia.” It is where we get our word “pharmacy” from.
The interliner defines “pharmakeia” in four ways:
1. the use or the administering of drugs
3. sorcery, magical arts, often found in connection with idolatry and fostered by it
4. metaph. the deceptions and seductions of idolatry
I do not believe that Paul is condemning all uses of “drugs” per se. Rather, he is speaking of one who addicts oneself to the use of drugs simply for the purpose of escape from reality…. mind control. But mind control and drugs are not what my message tonight is about. Nor is it about a physical poisoning, nor of witchcraft in the sense of amulets and charms to ward off certain things.
Tonight’s message is about deception and seduction, the fourth definition in the list I have provided above.
In the first two paragraphs of this message, I said that some pastors read Malachi 3:8-12 with a dishonest heart. It is those pastors that are guilty of a form of witchcraft; specifically, deception and seduction
They are deceptive, in that Malachi 3 is not speaking about tithes of money. God ‘s instruction to Malachi was speaking of a tithe of food; i.e., crops and livestock. This can be easily seen when one examines the passage and then allows Scripture to interpret Scripture.
“Bring ye all the tithes”
All the what?
“All the tithes”
What tithes? What is God speaking of when He says “All the tithes”? If I were to just read Malachi 3:10, and that verse alone, I would have absolutely no clue as to what tithes God is speaking of. Well, maybe a hint is seen in the word “Meat” in verse 10, but just looking at the beginning of the verse and not reading the whole verse would certainly leave one scratching one’s head.
What tithes am I supposed to bring? Thankfully, God did not leave us hanging. Rather, He gave us the answer when He continued “that there may be meat in mine house.”
Now, as I said, many pastors have an honest heart. Many will tell their congregations that the word “MEAT” in verse 10 is referring to food. Conversely, many pastors are deceptive and teach their congregations that Malachi 3:8-12 is speaking of money being the titheable item that God demands.
Further, those same teachers and preachers that teach that Malachi 3:8-10 is speaking of a monetary tithe also teach that if the church member will tithe his or her money, God promises to open the windows and pour out a blessing upon them.
There, the minister is using both deception and seduction in order to cause his flock to put 10% of their hard-earned money into a white envelope and subsequently into the coffers of the church they attend. He first deceives them into believing that a command given to ancient Israel is also meant for the Church. Secondly, he deceives them into believing the command is for monetary tithes when the Law specifically stated that the tithes were to be agricultural in nature. And lastly, he seduces them into believing they are going to be blessed by God if they “OBey” his command to tithe.
Another deception put forth by the pastor is manifest when the pastor says that “to the storehouse” means “to the Church.” Friends, the storehouse that God was speaking of in the Malachi passage was not the Church… it was a storehouse within the Temple at Jersualem. God never moved that storehouse to any location. Nor did He give Gentile Churches authority to set up their own “storehouses” all over the world. There is not one instance in the post-crucifixion epistles that instruct Bishops, Elders or Pastors to set up storehouses and require monetary tithes of their flocks.
Do not be deceived. Open your Bibles and study out the passages on tithing. When you do, you will find that the pastor that told you to “bring the tithes of money as commanded by God” was deceiving you and seducing you with promises that God never gave to you.
In reality, God isn’t demanding the tithe of the church member. The deceptive and seductive leader is.
By Standing Firm In Christ
It is a Biblical fact that we have Scripture that commands tithing to Levites, but not one single Scripture that states one is to tithe to a pastor, elder, or bishop of a New Testament Church.
Hebrews 7:8 And here men that die receive tithes; but there he receiveth them, of whom it is witnessed that he liveth.
Here, men that die receive tithes. Who are the men that die that receive tithes? The sons of Levi…
Hebrews 7:5 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:
But there He receiveth them. Receives what? Tithes. What tithes? The tithes that the sons of Levi receive.
And what tithes do the sons of Levi receive? The tithes according to the Law.
Leviticus 27:30-34 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. These are the commandments, which the LORD commanded Moses for the children of Israel in mount Sinai.
1. They receive the tithes of the seed of the land. This is speaking of garden produce. Food for the sustenance of the workers of the Temple and for their sustenance at home as well.
2. They receive tithes of the fruit of the tree. This is speaking of that which grows on trees, such as pomegranates, dates and figs. Again, for the sustenance of the workers of the Temple and for their sustenance at home.
3. They receive tithes of the livestock in Israel. Animals born in the flocks and herds, were to be tithed from. Every tenth animal to pass under the counting rod.
4. They were to receive tithes of the children of Israel. There was no command for peoples of Gentile nations to travel to Israel to tithe. Nor was there a command for peoples of Gentile nations to tithe once God gave the tithe to the Levites.
Numbers 18:24 But the tithes of the children of Israel, which they offer as an heave offering unto the LORD, I have given to the Levites to inherit: therefore I have said unto them, Among the children of Israel they shall have no inheritance.
Numbers 18:26 Thus speak unto the Levites, and say unto them, When ye take of the children of Israel the tithes which I have given you from them for your inheritance, then ye shall offer up an heave offering of it for the LORD, even a tenth part of the tithe.
Numbers 18:28 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 LORD’S heave offering to Aaron the priest.
The tithes “according to the Law” were agricultural.” There is no other type of tithe commanded in the Word of God.
The tithes “He receiveth” were the tithes “according to the Law.” That Law was abandoned in 70 A.D., when General Titus and his army marched on Jerusalem and destroyed the Temple. The sons of Levi, who worked the Temple, could no longer fulfill their OBligations at the Temple. Tithing stopped when Jerusalem was overtaken by General Titus.
God is not the one commanding or demanding the monetary tithe that men preach today. That requirement is found nowhere in the pages of God's Holy Word. Rather, it was invented by sinful man many centuries after the Apostles had all died.
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