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Standing Firm In Christ

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  1. Standing Firm In Christ
    Is Tithing a Sin?
    by Ronald W Robey
    Is tithing money a sin? Yes, it is,... if you are tithing money because, "the Bible commands us to tithe.".
    God's Word decides what is to be tithed, not us.  If the preacher's tithe sermon contradicts what is written in God's Holy Word, God is right, the preacher is wrong.  If man's belief concerning God's commanded tithe is contrary to what is written in the Bible about God's commanded tithe, God is right, man is wrong.  The decision as to what is to be tithed, to whom the tithe is to be given, and where it is to be observed has already been written in God's Word.  He said His holy tithe is agriculrural, not monetary. (Lev. 27:30-33)  He said it is for the physical descendants of Levi, not for Gentiles on Gentile soil. (Lev. 27:34; Num. 18:24-26; Neh. 10:37-38)
    God's Word says that sin is the transgression of the Law. (1 John 3:4)  To say that God requires monetary tithes is false, since God's Word says His holy tithe is to be agricultural. To say that God's holy tithe is to be taken to Gentile pastors on Gentile soil is also false, since God said His holy tithes are to go to Levites in farming communities in Canaan.
    When those who believe that God's Word commands them to tithe tithe money (instead of agricultural crops and livestock) and they tithe on Gentile soil, (instead of farming communities in Canaan) they transgress the very Law they claim to be keeping.
    Yes, to tithe money in response to Leviticus 27:30, Malachi 3:10, Matthew 23:23, Luke 11:42 or Hebrews 7:5-9; or in response to any other Biblical command to tithe is,... in fact,... sin.
     
  2. Standing Firm In Christ
    It's in the Bible! by Ronald W Robey   Whenever I mention the fact that I don't tithe, someone is sure to reply, "It's in the Bible!"   And truthfully, tithing is indeed commanded in the Bible. I do not dispute that fact at all.   However, we cannot focus on the fact that the command to tithe is in the Bible and ignore the commanded ELEMENTS of the tithe; the commanded GIVERS of the tithe; the commanded LOCATION of the tithe; the commanded RECIPIENTS of the tithe; the commanded YEAR of the tithe.   A diligent study of the Bible will reveal to the reader many precious and wonderful truths that are ignored in so many mainstream religious institutions around the world today.   There is no instruction in the entire Bible where God said that one's monetary income is to be tithed to either Tabernacle, Temple, Synagogue or Church. Even in the last place in the Bible where tithing is mentioned, (Hebrews 7:5-9) the author says that the tithes still belongs to the sons of Levi, and that the tithes are still "according to the Law.   Since the author of Hebrews reveals that tithes are still "according to the Law, it is needful to go to the Books of the Law in order to learn what they say concerning God's holy tithe. The Law states that God's holy tithe is   a) agricultural (Lev. 27:30-33   b) only required of the children of Israel (Lev. 27:34; Psa. 147:19-20)   c) only to be observed by those living in the land of Canaan (Deut. 12:1,10-11)   d) to be given to Levites, widows, orphans and foreigners; (Deut. 26:12) and even to be eaten by the one bringing the tithe. (Deuteronomy 14:22-26)   e) to be given every third year (Deuteronomy 26:12)   God NEVER amended the tithe command to say that a tenth of one's money is now required as tithe. He NEVER amended the tithe command to say tithes are to be given around the world. He NEVER amended the tithe to say that it is to be observed every week of the year and every year of your Christian life   For that matter, God NEVER said that Christian's are required to tithe at all..   Pastor's have handled the word of God deceitfully in order to teach a tithe command that is totally foreign to the word of God, i.e.; a tithe of man's monetary income,... a tithe of unrighteous mammon.   Matthew 15:9 But in vain they do worship me, teaching for doctrines the commandments of men.   Attempting to obey the command to tithe, without obeying the other instructions connected to that command merits a curse, not favor.   Galatians 3:10 For as many as are of the works of the law are under the curse: for it is written, Cursed is every one that continueth not in all things which are written in the book of the law to do them.
  3. Standing Firm In Christ
    The Wonders of God’s Grace
    by Ronald W Robey
     
    Luke 5:37 And no man putteth new wine into old bottles; else the new wine will burst the bottles, and be spilled, and the bottles shall perish.
    Luke 5:38 But new wine must be put into new bottles; and both are preserved.
    Luke 5:39 No man also having drunk old wine straightway desireth new: for he saith, The old is better.
     
    In the above passage, Jesus was demonstrating the fact that Law and Grace CANNOT mix. The Old wine representing Law, the New representing Grace. The Old man, upon trusting Christ Jesus, becomes a New man. Grace (New Wine) is bestowed to the New man (New wineskins)
     
    2 Corinthians 5:17 Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new.
     
    Many refuse the New Wine, saying, "The Old is better". Yet Christ came to make all things New and in His death on the cross, has done away with the Old.
     
    Colossians 2:14 Blotting out the handwriting of ordinances that was against us, which was contrary to us, and took it out of the way, nailing it to his cross;
     
    Ephesians 2:14 For he is our peace, who hath made both one, and hath broken down the middle wall of partition between us;
    Ephesians 2:15 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;
     
     
     
    Genesis 3:16 (KJV) Unto the woman he said, I will greatly multiply thy sorrow and thy conception; in sorrow thou shalt bring forth children; and thy desire shall be to thy husband, and he shall rule over thee.
    Genesis 3:17 (KJV) And unto Adam he said, Because thou hast hearkened unto the voice of thy wife, and hast eaten of the tree, of which I commanded thee, saying, Thou shalt not eat of it: cursed is the ground for thy sake; in sorrow shalt thou eat of it all the days of thy life;
    Genesis 3:18 (KJV) Thorns also and thistles shall it bring forth to thee; and thou shalt eat the herb of the field;
    Genesis 3:19 (KJV) In the sweat of thy face shalt thou eat bread, till thou return unto the ground; for out of it wast thou taken: for dust thou art, and unto dust shalt thou return.
     
    In Genesis 3:16, we see the God of all creation, who is clearly angry because of man disobeying Him, pronouncing judgment upon the first married couple who ever walked upon this Earth, and He put a curse upon the Earth as well. One man’s disobedience affected not just that one man, but the entire world and all of mankind who would be born upon the face of the Earth 
     
     
    Romans 5:12 (KJV) Wherefore, as by one man sin entered into the world, and death by sin; and so death passed upon all men, for that all have sinned:
     
    God had promised earlier in the creation story, death as the sentence to be carried out should the man and woman partake of the tree of knowledge of good and evil. And just as God promised, the man and woman died that day as a result of disobedience. The immediate death was not physical, but rather it was spiritual. 
     
    In 1 Timothy 2:14, we read: And Adam was not deceived, but the woman being deceived was in the transgression.
     
    Eve, being deceived, was in the transgression. At that moment that she partook of that fruit that God had forbidden, God could have struck her dead. He could have removed her life force from the face of the Earth and created another help meet for man. But, because of His infinite mercy, His unfailing love, and the Wonder of God's Grace, He did not.
     
    God allowed the woman to live. He allowed her to give the fruit to her husband. Her husband ate of the fruit, and died spiritually with her. His love for his wife was so strong that he partook of the forbidden fruit, in spite of the fact that he knew he was being disobedient to God.
     
    No doubt, there must have been a change in Eve’s countenance after partaking of that forbidden fruit… a change that caused her husband Adam to know that his wife was, though standing before him with life-giving blood flowing through her veins, now spiritually dead.
     
    Jesus, toward the close of His speaking to the multitudes in what would later be known as “The Sermon on the Mount”, warned of false prophets, stating, “Ye shall know them by their fruits”. Adam must have witnessed something in Eve’s actions or expressions that instant that made him to know that his wife, the woman that God had told him to procreate with, had indeed spiritually died after eating of that forbidden fruit. For the Bible tells us that the man was not deceived, but the woman was deceived. Adam partook of that fruit with full understanding and full knowledge that he too, would die spiritually.
     
    And so He ate, and subsequently hid from God. As God walked in the Garden in the cool of the day, the man and his wife hid in the flora, ashamed because their eyes had been opened to knowledge of good and evil. They realized their nakedness and were afraid of being seen by God.
     
    God called out to Adam, and Adam answered. In His calling out to Adam, God was revealing the Wonder of His Grace. God, being omniscient, already knew Adam had partaken of the tree that God had forbidden him to eat from. But God, in His infinite mercy and great love with which He loved Adam revealed His Grace by calling the man and his wife out of the bushes and unto Himself. What a perfect picture of the Wonder of God’s Grace so early in the first book of our sacred book, God’s Word.
     
    God, in His infinite mercy, manifested the Wonders of His grace. Instead of destroying man for his act of disobedience, God extended that grace toward man and allowed him to live in a world that was once perfect, but now was cursed with thorns and thistles. Man, through his one act of disobedience had lost the authority to tend the Garden in Eden where the Tree of Life was planted. Man lost the ability to eat of that Tree of Life and live forever. Man lost his privilege to care for and dress the Garden that God had placed him in. But the Wonder of God’s Grace allowed him to continue to live outside the Garden in the now cursed world.
     
    The woman, as our text above shows, did not go unpunished. God said that because of her rebellion she would have great sorrow in childbirth. We are not told whether the man and his wife had any children while he was filling the position of Caretaker of the Garden. However Genesis 1:28 reveals that God did tell them to “go forth and multiply”. God had given them His blessing to have children, thereby showing the Wonder of His Grace even before the fall. 
     
     
     
    The curse God gave to woman was that where there may not have been great pain in giving birth, she now would be tasked to endure much pain… “I will greatly multiply thy sorrow and thy conception” Sorrow where joy may have once been. Sorrow, not just because of the stress on her body during childbirth, but also because of knowing the life every child born to her would ultimately have to face because of her being deceived and giving in to the lust of the eyes. 
     
    Oh, how it must have torn at her heart to know what she had lost and what her children could have had if she had only been wise to the serpent's words when he beguiled her. And how she must have remembered God’s Words each time she brought forth children and experienced that “great pain” that God said she would experience through childbirth.!
     
    But Oh, the wonders of God’s grace that the woman was given the chance to live a long life, if only outside of the Garden that she once walked with her husband and the Lord God in the cool of the day.
     
    We read in the third chapter of Genesis how that after God sentenced mankind through judgment, God clothed man with coats of skin. We are not told what skin was used to cover the man and his wife. We do know that it was a type and shadow of a future sacrifice and covering that would be offered for all mankind through the death, burial and resurrection of God’s only begotten Son Jesus Christ.
     
    By one man’s disobedience sin entered into the world. And that man’s disobedience brought sin and death upon all men. We are told that because of that one’ man’s disobedience, the world quickly became full of wickedness. The Bible tells us that “man’s heart was only evil continuously.” God set His heart against man and against the Earth that He had created. He decided that the world was useless to Him and that He would destroy it completely. 
     
    No doubt, just as He spoke and the worlds were framed, He could have just as easily spoken and made them vanish in an instant of time. But because one man caught God’s attention, the Wonder of God’s Grace was shown to that man and his family.
     
    The Wonder of God’s Grace allowed righteous Noah and his family to enter the ark and stay safe while the rest of the world, mankind, flora and fauna as well, perished in the great worldwide flood.
     
    We are reminded of the Israelites, slaves to Pharaoh in Egypt, who witnessed the Wonder of God’s Grace as God poured out plague upon plague upon Egypt. The plagues affected the Egyptians, but the Israelites were not affected. Prior to the last Biblical plague upon Egypt, the death of the firstborn of every Egyptian household and of every firstborn animal in the Egyptian flocks and herds, lambs were slain by Israelite households and the blood from those lambs put upon the doorway of the Israelite home, a type and shadow of the blood sacrifice that Jesus Christ the Righteous gave on Golgotha, the place of the skull, for all mankind. 
     
    It was that final plague that caused Pharaoh to release the Israelites and allow them to journey away from Egypt to go worship the LORD their God. 
     
    As they were journeying toward the Red Sea, the Wonder of God’s Grace is seen once again as God guided them by a pillar of cloud by day and a pillar of fire by night until they reached the Red Sea.
     
    We all know the story… Pharaoh had a change of heart once again and gathered an army to chase after the Israelites. The Wonder of God’s Grace made a way where there was no way. He parted the waters and they walked across on dry land! The Egyptians pursued them. God caused the waters to fall upon the Egyptian army and they were drowned. The Wonder of God’s Grace had protected the Israelites and destroyed their enemies.
     
    We read of the wilderness wanderings, how that men began to murmur and complain, God provided manna from Heaven, birds brought them food as well. And twice they were given water from a rock. And yet, they did not see the Wonder of God’s Grace even though He had clearly bestowed it.
     
    It is no surprise that Jesus later said, “No man also having drunk old wine straightway desireth new: for he saith, The old is better.”
     
    The Israelites murmured and complained, they voiced how they wished Moses had left them alone under the hands and rule of the Egyptians. The Wonder of God’s Grace had provided for them constantly, and yet, they were not focused on God. Had they focused on Him, they would not have complained as they did and would have recognized the Wonder of God's Grace.
     
    Moses went up on the Mount to speak with God and God gave him commandments for the Israelites to observe and follow. There were 613 commandments in all that God told Moses the children of Israel were to observe. 
     
    It must be noted that God gave these commandments to Israel alone. He did not give them to Gentile nations. 
     
    God’s Word tells us in Exodus 12:49, “One law shall be to him that is homeborn, and unto the stranger that sojourneth among you. 
     
    God was very careful to construct His words as He spoke them to Moses. Notice He said “and unto the stranger that sojourneth among you,” and not “and to you who live among the strangers” This reveals to us that the Mosaic Law was restricted to those living in the Promised Land. 
     
    We find further confirmation of this decree in the writings of King David,. In Psalm 147, we read:
     
    Psalms 147:19 He sheweth His Word unto Jacob, His statutes and His judgments unto Israel.
    Psalms 147:20 He hath not dealt so with any nation: and as for His judgments, they have not known them. Praise ye the LORD.
     
     
     
    God’s Law given to Israel, which was in effect from 1450 BC to 70 AD, all 613 statutes, torts and ordinances contained in that Law, was never given to Gentiles. 
     
    We have examined only a handful of the accounts of the Wonder of God’s Grace being shown in the Old Testament. There are many, many more. It was the wonder of God’s Grace that was bestowed upon the widow of Zarephath who shared her last meal with the Prophet and we are told that God multiplied what she had. We see the Wonder of God’s Grace in the story of the Hebrew children Shadrach, Meschach, and Abednego as they declared to the king “we will not bow to your image, nor worship it”. The Wonder of God’s Grace was seen in a den of lions when the man of God, Daniel, was cast in for praying to Almighty God, disobeying the kings command.
     
    Oh, that we will have that same boldness in the face of tribulation and persecution, that we might witness the Wonder of God’s Grace as the men of God in the Book of Daniel did!
     
    Let us move forward to the year 4 BC. The year that an angel appeared to a young virgin named Mary. We are told how that God sent His Son into the world, made of a woman, to save His people from their sin.
     
    Oh, the Wonder of God’s Grace extended in the giving of His only begotten Son to a sin-sick world! God’s chosen people Israel were still under the Law handed down to Moses from Heaven above. They were bound to the sacrifices, the offerings, ...all ordinances, statutes and torts written in that Law.
     
    They could not deviate from the guidelines that God had established. In Deuteronomy 12:8, we read: 
     
    Deuteronomy 12:8 Ye shall not do after all the things that we do here this day, every man whatsoever is right in his own eyes.
     
    Man could not just do whatever he chose to do. God did not give those 613 Laws to man so man could simply ignore them and do his own thing. He had to follow the Law precisely in the way that God had prescribed. Where God did allow substitutions, God revealed what those substitutions were to be. Things were to be done God's way, not man's.
     
    But after nearly 1,440 years of the the Wonder of God's Grace being displayed in the dispensation of the Law, in an even greater demonstration of the Wonder of God’s Grace, God sent His Son, whose life, death, burial and resurrection would be the catalyst for a New Covenant with Israel. And not with Israel only, but with every nation upon the face of God’s Earth. 
     
    Throughout His life on this Earth, Jesus Christ was manifesting the Wonder of God’s Grace everywhere He went. At twelve years old, the child Jesus amazed Rabbi’s in the Temple, answering questions concerning the Holy Scriptures. At twenty-nine He performed the first miracle man had ever seen Him do at a wedding feast in Cana. The wonder of God’s Grace is seen in His raising Lazarus from the dead, His healing blinded eyes, His casting out devils, in multiplying a few loaves and fishes for hungry crowds of thousands who had come to hear Him speak, and in the countless other miracles He performed while walking this Earth as the Son of man.
     
    The Wonder of God’s Grace is seen in His restoring a servant’s ear after Peter had cut it off with a sword in the Garden of Gethsemane. 
     
    And then, we come to Golgotha, that horrible hill on which the Saviour was hung. As He was dying, He revealed once again the Wonder of God’s Grace when He said, “It is Finished!”
     
    It is true, as He said in Matthew’s Gospel, that He did not come to destroy the Law, but to fulfill it. And fulfill it He did. He did what no other man was able to do, He kept every aspect of the Law that applied to Him as an Israelite, born of the lineage of David.
     
    But, we are told in Ephesians 2:14-15 that Christ, in His death, burial and resurrection, abolished the ordinances written in the Law. 
     
    Ephesians 2:14 For he is our peace, who hath made both one, and hath broken down the middle wall of partition between us;
    Ephesians 2:15 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;
     
    Abolished!  Cancelled out. Completely! Man, who has trusted and is now married to Jesus Christ, no longer has to be governed by the Mosaic Law.
     
    Romans 7:1 Know ye not, brethren, (for I speak to them that know the law,) how that the law hath dominion over a man as long as he liveth?
    Romans 7:2 For the woman which hath an husband is bound by the law to her husband so long as he liveth; but if the husband be dead, she is loosed from the law of her husband.
    Romans 7:3 So then if, while her husband liveth, she be married to another man, she shall be called an adulteress: but if her husband be dead, she is free from that law; so that she is no adulteress, though she be married to another man.
    Romans 7:4 Wherefore, my brethren, ye also are become dead to the law by the body of Christ; that ye should be married to another, even to him who is raised from the dead, that we should bring forth fruit unto God.
     
    In Romans 7:1-4, the Apostle Paul likened a person who submits to the Law, while married to the One who has risen from the dead, to an adulterer married to a spouse, but living in the home of another.
     
    My Brethren, The Wonder of God’s Grace has called us out of the bondage of the Mosaic Law. We have been freed from not only the law of sin and death, but we are told that we have been brought into a New Covenant. The old is ready to vanish away, as the author of the Book of Hebrews said nearly 2,000 years ago.
     
    Hebrews 8:12 For I will be merciful to their unrighteousness, and their sins and their iniquities will I remember no more.
    Hebrews 8:13 In that he saith, A new covenant, he hath made the first old. Now that which decayeth and waxeth old is ready to vanish away.
     
    Colossians 2:20 Wherefore if ye be dead with Christ from the rudiments of the world, why, as though living in the world, are ye subject to ordinances,
     
    Where Grace abounds, there is liberty. There is now therefore no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus; who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit. 
     
    The Word of God has indeed freed us from the Law, never to be entangled again with its yoke of bondage. We needn’t wear that yoke, Christ wore it for us. We needn’t submit to the ordinances, Christ took them out of the way, nailing them to His cross. As the Apostle Paul wrote in the third chapter of Galatians, it is foolish for one who has begun in the Spirit to subject himself to the Law. How are we to expect Grace and Mercy from the Father, when we turn our backs on the price his Son paid for our freedom and choose to walk in ordinances that God’s Word said belonged to national Israel alone?
     
    So many today are being told that they are lost and in need of a Saviour. This is true. So many are told that eternal life is a gift from God to man, and that the only things man has to do to receive this wonderful gift is to believe on Jesus Christ. This also is true.
     
    The problem arises when we get the new Convert into the Church, the Convert quickly finds that, according to the pastor, there is a price to pay. The new Convert is told to keep certain of the ordinances that were given to national Israel. That God requires these ordinances to be observed by the Church members today. My Brethren, nothing could be farther from the Truth.
     
    My Brethren, cast out the bondwoman and her son. Break away those chains that cause you to be unfaithful to the Lord. It is only when you walk away from the Law, that you will truly know the fullness of the Wonder of God’s Grace.
     
    What is the Wonder of God’s Grace? It is all that I have mentioned previously, and more. It is the recognition of where God found us, what God offered us, what He has given those of us who have accepted that offer, and what He has prepared for us… despite the fact that we are a fallen race, despite the fact that we fail from time to time, despite all of our shortcomings. 
     
    The Wonder of God's Grace assure us that we are accepted in the Beloved.
     
    As we come to the close of the short message, My prayer is that it has spoken to our hearts and challenged us to be more diligent in our studies of God’s Holy Word.
    ……………………………………………………………………………
     
    For those who may be unsure of your eternal state after this short existence on Earth, do not hesitate to make that decision today. Our Lord’s return is more nigh us that it has ever been. If you should die without Christ, you will miss the Wonder of God’s Grace, If you should die without the Lord, your only hope is to face Him in His wrath. .
     
    God bless all who work for His eternal Kingdom!
  4. Standing Firm In Christ
    God never commanded anyone in His Word to tithe money to Tabernacle, Temple, Synagogue or Church. Yet, so many In churches around the world today are lied to every time the offering plate is passed. “God requires you to tithe your money” is spoken from the pulpit. “If you don’t tithe, you are a God-robber! You are cursed!” Is often shouted to put the laity in a state of guilt and condemnation. Relax Saints of God… Fear not. God never authorized that pastor to speak those deceitful and unkind words to your ears.
    Let’s examine the Scriptures and see what they say concerning
    God’s commanded tithe, shall we? But first, let us visit two sons of Aaron at the Tabernacle…
    Leviticus 10:1-2 And Nadab and Abihu, the sons of Aaron, took either of them his censer, and put fire therein, and put incense thereon, and offered strange fire before the LORD, which he commanded them not. And there went out fire from the LORD, and devoured them, and they died before the LORD.
    In the above text, two of Aaron’s sons were struck dead because they offered “strange fire” to God upon the altar of the Lord. What exactly was this “strange fire” that they offered that so displeased the Lord? We are not told. But we are given a special insight as to how precise God wants our offerings to Him be. Nadab and Abihu had offered something that God had not commanded.
    Now, one would think, “Hey, at least they were offering something to God. What wrong can be in that?” But God said they offered something that was not commanded.
    A lesson should be learned by all from the reading of the account of Nadab and Abihu. That lesson is, “Do It By The Book”.
    God has given us His Word as an instruction manual. This “manual” tells us what God expects of us as His dear children. If we are disobedient, God’s chastening hand will be upon us. It surely was upon Nadab and Abihu when they offered strange fire upon the altar. The manner in which we are to live is laid out for us in the New Testament section of the Holy Bible.
    Now, please don’t go off on a tangent, saying I don’t like the Old Testament. I do. I cherish both the Old and the New. I read them both and learn from them both.
    But the fact is, the New contains the pattern by which God wants us to live today. Hebrews 8, written in AD 66, reveals to us that the Old Covenant was ready to pass away and that God was bringing us into a New Covenant. We cannot live in the Old Covenant promises, curses, edicts, laws, statutes, and ordinances. God doesn’t expect us to.
    In AD 51, the Apostles met in Jerusalem with the religious leaders of the day. Their order of meeting was to discuss Gentiles who had been recently converted to faith in Christ. The religious leaders of Jerusalem were insisting that the Gentiles had to keep the Law of Moses or they could not be saved.
    The Apostle Peter spoke before them all, rebuking them for placing a yoke upon the Gentile Brethren that neither the Jews of that day, nor their ancestors could keep themselves. Peter told them they were tempting God in their demands. The Apostle James said the religious leaders were overthrowing the souls of the Gentiles.
    At the close of the meeting, James wrote a letter to the Gentile Believers and sent it to them by the hands of Paul and Barnabas, telling the Gentiles that the Apostles had given no such command that they keep the Law. He also sent Judas and Silas with the same words, but not written… they were to speak to the Gentiles, telling them that they were not commanded to keep the Mosaic Law. The Mosaic Law was part of an Old Covenant that was soon to pass away.
    In many Churches around the world today, there is a doctrine being taught that could be called “strange fire”. That doctrine is the monetary tithe requirement doctrine.
    Pastors will stand in their pulpits and preach from the Old Covenant the command to tithe that was given to Israel. But, they preach it by their own opinions.  They replace the tithe God commanded, an agricultural tithe, with a tithe consisting of money. It no longer is the tithe that God required of Israel,... it has become “strange fire.”
    No longer the agricultural tithe that was commanded by God for the children of Israel in Mount Sinai, (Leviticus 27:30-34) it is now a monetary tithe. 
    No longer a tithe that was to be given to Levites, to widows, to orphans, to strangers in Israel, (Numbers18:21,24,26,28; Deuteronomy 14:22-29; Nehemiah 10:37-38) it is now given to pastors of Churches around the world.
    The “tithes” were good when God had control of them, but modern-day Nadab’s, modern-day Abihu’s have turned them into a “strange fire” which God never commanded. He is the same yesterday, today, and forever.  His Word is forever settled in Heaven, but rejected in the hearts of these preachers.  
    Many pastors today are tempting God and putting a yoke upon their congregations that God never authorized them to do.
    Search the Scriptures. When you do, you will find that God’s holy tithe was never commanded for the New Testament Church, never carried to the New Testament Church, never collected in the New Testament Church, and never controlled by the New Testament Church.
    Pastors would do well to set aside this sin of preaching a strange fire and offering it to God in the Sunday prayers. Seek out what the New Covenant says concerning the saved and their giving. They are not to be coerced into giving, they are not to be made to fear a curse from God. Rather, they should be taught to give simply because “they love Jesus.”
    Teach them as the Apostle Paul taught the saints and brethren at the Church in Corinth… as they purpose in their hearts to give, give cheerfully and willingly God will be honored more by a loving offering than by “strange fire”
    Do it by the Book
    People, If you insist that God requires you to tithe, that you are being obedient to God and His Holy Word, at least have the decency and respect for God and His Holy Word to do it in accordance to what He has written in His Holy Word.
    When you tithe, don’t take it to a Church in a Gentile land. God never commanded such. Instead, do it by the book, as God commanded, and take it to the Promised Land. ( Deut. 12:1,10-11)
    When you tithe, don’t give it to a Gentile preacher. God never commanded that. Instead, do it by the book, as God commanded, and take it to the Levite, the widow, the orphan and the foreigner (which would include yourself) in the Promised Land. ( Deut 14:22-29 )
    When you tithe, don’t tithe money. God never commanded such a tithe. Instead, do it by the book, as God commanded, and tithe agricultural products that are grown in the Promised Land. (Leviticus 27:30-33)
    If you insist on tithing, don’t tithe that which comes from Gentile hands on Gentile soil. God never commanded it. Instead, do it by the book, as God commanded, and move to the Promised land Israel so you can cultivate the land and have the tithe that God required in the Mosaic Law.
    But remember…
    .Galatians 5:4 Christ is become of no effect unto you, whosoever of you are justified by the law; ye are fallen from grace.
    If you are not going to “Do It By The Book”, don’t try to convince me that you are being obedient to God in tithing. It is just the opposite… you are being rebellious to what He decreed concerning how His holy tithe was to be observed and kept.
    The Apostle James wrote in his epistle that if you keep the whole Law, yet offend in one point, you are guilty of all.  Maybe it’s best you stop offending in that point of the Law and just submit to God’s will concerning your giving today.
    2 Corinthians 9:6-7 But this [I say], He which soweth sparingly shall reap also sparingly; and he which soweth bountifully shall reap also bountifully. Every man according as he purposeth in his heart, [so let him give]; not grudgingly, or of necessity: for God loveth a cheerful giver.
    God does not require tithe of your money. Instead, He wants you to give simply out of your love for Him.
    Not as others dictate, but as you choose in your heart. Give with a willing heart; not because you have to, but because you want to… and He will be pleased.
  5. Standing Firm In Christ
    Revelation 22:15 For without are dogs, and sorcerers, and whoremongers, and murderers, and idolaters, and whosoever loveth and maketh a lie.

    The above should be a sOBering thought for all who read it. It should be a challenge for all to "think before you speak," and to "look before you leap."

    One group teaches that there is not a verse in the entire Bible where God commands Gentile Converts to faith in Christ to tithe their money.

    Another group teaches that God's Word commands Gentile Converts to give a tithe of money to the Church.

    One of the two groups is making and loving a lie. Both can't be right

    This sOBering thought should cause all peoples on both sides of the fence to be as the Bereans of the first century AD, who searched the Scriptures "to see if it was so." Our teachings and beliefs should be in perfect harmony with God's Holy Word. If not, our teachings and beliefs should change. God's Word is truth and abides for ever.

    Matthew 7:21 (KJV) 21 Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven.

    Matthew 7:22 (KJV) 22 Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? and in thy name have cast out devils? and in thy name done many wonderful works?

    Matthew 7:23 (KJV) 23 And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity.
  6. Standing Firm In Christ
    God doesn't expect us to operate under the guidelines of the Mosaic/Levitic Law.

    We have been brought into a new Covenant with God. The old is no more.
    Hebrews 8:13 In that he saith, A new covenant, he hath made the first old. Now that which decayeth and waxeth old is ready to vanish away.
    So many pastors and teachers today attempt to keep their congregations under the guidelines of the Mosaic/Levitic Law, when that is not God's plan for the Church at all.
    God has given us His direction concerning our giving... and it is not a giving that is forced on us. Notice:
    2 Corinthians 9:6-7 But this I say, He which soweth sparingly shall reap also sparingly; and he which soweth bountifully shall reap also bountifully. Every man according as he purposeth in his heart, so let him give; not grudgingly, or of necessity: for God loveth a cheerful giver.
    2 Corinthians 8:12-13 For if there be first a willing mind, it is accepted according to that a man hath, and not according to that he hath not. For I mean not that other men be eased, and ye burdened:
    God wants us to choose for ourselves, the amount that we want to give. The word "purposeth" in the above verse is translated from the Greek word, "proaireomai," and it simply means... to choose for oneself. Now ask yourself, if you are giving 10% of your money because your pastor has told you that that that is what God wants, have you chosen for yourself? or have you let someone else choose for you? When you give 10% for any other reason than because it is what you chose to give, you are giving under the wrong motives. If you give because you don't want to be cursed, you give for the wrong reason. If you give because Pastor Rex Torshunest told you God expects it, you give for the wrong reason.
    The second set of verses reveals that God does not want your giving to ease others and place you under a burden at home. You make sure you take care of family needs first... then give what you feel you are able to give. That is the giving that God expects of you. Not a giving because of being bullied. Not a giving that leaves you struggling. Take care of family first.
    1 Timothy 5:8 But if any provide not for his own, and specially for those of his own house, he hath denied the faith, and is worse than an infidel.
    And who knows? God may want your giving to go to that poor widow on your street who is struggling. He may want your giving to go to an orphan at your local school. Or to a foreigner who is barely making it. Open your eyes to those around you. They just may need that money before your Church does.

    Matthew 25:34-40 Then shall the King say unto them on his right hand, Come, ye blessed of my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world: For I was an hungred, and ye gave me meat: I was thirsty, and ye gave me drink: I was a stranger, and ye took me in: Naked, and ye clothed me: I was sick, and ye visited me: I was in prison, and ye came unto me. Then shall the righteous answer him, saying, Lord, when saw we thee an hungred, and fed thee? or thirsty, and gave thee drink? When saw we thee a stranger, and took thee in? or naked, and clothed thee? Or when saw we thee sick, or in prison, and came unto thee? And the King shall answer and say unto them, Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me.
    Now, don't get me wrong. I do know the Church needs finances to operate, and if you want to give to meet those finances that is wonderful! But be careful not to neglect those who are in need in your own community if you are able to do so. Many times we give $5, $10, $20, even $50 to missionaries to other lands and turn our eyes and hearts away from those in need in our own neighborhoods.
    Maybe its time we should all begin to remember the old cliche, "Charity begins at home."
  7. Standing Firm In Christ
    A person once posed the question, "If we did a bloodline test, and it proved my pastor is a descendant of Levi, is he eligible to receive tithes?"

    Bloodline test, DNA, genealogy,... any other evidence that would prove your pastor in "yourcity, planet Earth", is a Levite still would not excuse him from preaching the lie that God requires tithes of money.

    There is not one single command in the Word of God for money to be tithed. If your pastor IS a Levite, the only tithe he would have been qualified to receive are tithes of agricultural nature... ACCORDING TO THE LAW. I said, "would have been", because Hebrews 7:18 tells us that the command for Levites to take tithes has been cancelled. Notice:

    Hebrews 7:18 For there is verily a disannulling of the commandment going before for the weakness and unprofitableness thereof.

    What commandment was the author speaking of? The commandment to take tithes of their brethren according to the Law.

    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:


    In AD 66, God said the commandment to take tithes was weak and unprofitable. It was beneficial for a time, but the economy was different in AD 66. Tithes were no longer needed.

    By the way, the Law did not just say Levites were to recieve the agricultual tithe, it said where they were to receive it... in the land of promise. (see Deuteronomy 12:1-18 ) USA is not the Levite's "land of promise" That land is in an entirely different location altogether. Levites were not authorized to receive tithes in America, Germany, Italy, Norway, North Pole, South Pole, or any point in between except the land promised to their fathers.
  8. Standing Firm In Christ
    Did JacOB really promise to give God a tenth of all his belongings?

    JacOB made a vow, saying, "Of all thou shalt give me, I will surely give a tenth."

    Interesting vow, which was not fulfilled by JacOB himself, but by his offspring. God promised to give JacOB the land JacOB was on.
    Genesis 28:13-15 And, behold, the LORD stood above it, and said, I am the LORD God of Abraham thy father, and the God of Isaac: the land whereon thou liest, to thee will I give it, and to thy seed; And thy seed shall be as the dust of the earth, and thou shalt spread abroad to the west, and to the east, and to the north, and to the south: and in thee and in thy seed shall all the families of the earth be blessed. And, behold, I am with thee, and will keep thee in all places whither thou goest, and will bring thee again into this land; for I will not leave thee, until I have done that which I have spoken to thee of.

    Some 300 years later, God held the children of Israel to their father JacOB's vow, commanding them to give a tithe of the land to Him. He explained to them what He meant by "tithe of the land" in Leviticus 27, when He said

    Leviticus 27:30-33 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.

    The tithe of the land was agricultural... a tenth of what the land grew went back to God. "of all thou shalt give me, I will surely give a tenth of all." JacOB was not speaking of tithing money at all when he made his vow to the LORD God, he was promising the tithe of the land that God promised to him and his seed.
  9. Standing Firm In Christ
    Proverbs 22:22-23 ROB not the poor, because he is poor: neither oppress the afflicted in the gate: For the LORD will plead their cause, and spoil the soul of those that spoiled them.

    Malachi 3:5 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.

    In the above verses, God declares that He will judge those pastors who oppress the poor and rOB them. How does that apply to our pastors today, on may ask? Many pastors today are guilty of oppressing and rOBbing the poor when they tell the poor of their congregations that God requires them to tithe their money to the Church.

    To be perfectly frank, they are actually rOBbing not just the poor, but every member of their congregation who believes their doctrine of the monetary tithe requirement. But it seems from the above verses that God takes special notice of the poor and will execute judgment upon those who treat them wrongly.

    In the Mosaic Law, the poor were not required to tithe. According to Deuteronomy 14:28-29, the poor benefited from the tithe.

    Deuteronomy 14:28-29 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: 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.

    Acts 20:33-35 I have coveted no man's silver, or gold, or apparel. Yea, ye yourselves know, that these hands have ministered unto my necessities, and to them that were with me. I have shewed you all things, how that so labouring ye ought to support the weak, and to remember the words of the Lord Jesus, how he said, It is more blessed to give than to receive.

    The Apostle Paul admonished and instructed the Elders of the Church at Ephesus that they were to work so that they could support the weak. Sadly, many pastors today expect the weak to support them. Are you such a pastor as those priests who oppressed the weak in Malachi’s day? Do you place unnecessary burdens on the weak and poor? If so, God will come nigh to you in judgment as He did the priests Malachi rebuked. He is the same yesterday, today and forever… He changes not.
  10. Standing Firm In Christ
    “Render unto Caesar that which is Caesar’s, and unto God that which is God’s.” Matthew 12:21

    The above statement made by Jesus to the scribes and Pharisees is often taken out of its context and used by pastors and laymen alike, in an attempt to prove that God requires tithe of money from the Church member today.
    But, when read in context with the entire discourse, and rightly dividing the Word of Truth, it is easy to see that Jesus was not endorsing a monetary tithe at all. Nor was He saying to give money to God at all.
    Matthew 22:15-22 Then went the Pharisees, and took counsel how they might entangle him in his talk. And they sent out unto him their disciples with the Herodians, saying, Master, we know that thou art true, and teachest the way of God in truth, neither carest thou for any man: for thou regardest not the person of men. Tell us therefore, What thinkest thou? Is it lawful to give tribute unto Caesar, or not? But Jesus perceived their wickedness, and said, Why tempt ye me, ye hypocrites? Shew me the tribute money. And they brought unto him a penny. And he saith unto them, Whose is this image and superscription? They say unto him, Caesar’s. Then saith he unto them, Render therefore unto Caesar the things which are Caesar’s; and unto God the things that are God’s. When they had heard these words, they marvelled, and left him, and went their way.
    The Pharisees asked Jesus a question concerning tribute paid to Caesar. Jesus’ profound reply is overlooked by many today.
    The image and superscription on the tribute money was that of the ruling government… Caesar’s. In our modern language, we would say it thusly, “Pay the government the taxes they require. The money is theirs.”
    Jesus also said that the Pharisees were to give to God that which was God’s. Was He speaking of money? Not at all.
    In the very first chapter of the Bible, we are told that man was created in God’s image. So, the question arises, “Whose image and superscription is on man?”
    That’s right… God’s image. God’s superscription. Romans 12:1-2 tell us that we are to present our bodies as living sacrifices unto God, holy and acceptable unto Him.
    “Render unto God that which is God’s.”
    In Matthew 22:15-22, Jesus was not telling the Pharisees to tithe money. He was telling themselves to yield their own selves to the LORD. And Paul echoed that admonition in his epistle to the Romans thirty years later.

    God’s image is on us. May we all be fully yielded to His service.
  11. 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.
  12. Standing Firm In Christ
    Suppose you are a young adult male who works for a company that has a CEO and a superintendent over you.
    One day, the CEO tells you that you are no longer to come to work on Tuesdays; that only females are allowed to work that day.
    Later that day, the superintendent calls you into his office and tells you you are expected to work for four hours every Tuesday.

    Who do you OBey? Would you not go to the CEO to get the confusion straightened out?

    Well, look at God as the CEO and the pastor as the Superintendent. God's Word says that His tithe is to go to Jerusalem. He gives no other location that it must go. He also says it is to be agricultural in nature. He gives no other options.

    The pastor says, "Tithe to the Church where you are fed," and "Tithe money."

    Uh-oh... conflict of interest. LOL

    So what do we do? We go to God for the answer. We ought to OBey God rather than men. So if we are going to tithe. it's best to do it in the manner that God prescribed, is it not? Otherwise, it is not OBedience to God, it is OBedience to man who is teaching something contradictory to what God says.

    Thankfully, God does not hold us to the Law of the tithe. In Romans 7 we are told that if the saved go to the house of the Law, it is an act of adultery. Let us strive to be faithful to Christ and not be guilty of going to the house of the Law while married to the One who was raised from the dead. RWR
  13. 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
    2. poisoning
    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.
  14. 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.
  15. Standing Firm In Christ
    There is a doctrine being circulated today amongst Christians that Melchizedek of Genesis chapter 14 was actually a Christophany.  That is, a pre-incarnate appearance of Jesus Christ.

    Many base this doctrine on a passage in Hebrews that states

    Hebrews 7:2-3 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; 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.

    They say because Melchizedek was said to have had no beginning of days, nor end of life and without descent, he must be Jesus Christ.

    However, a proper study of Scripture reveals that Jesus and Melchizedek were not the same person. 

    1.  Melchizedek was said in the passage above to have been “without mother, without father.”  Yet the Bible tells us Jesus had both a mother and a Father.  God was His Father, Mary was His mother.  This alone should refute the notion that Melchizedek was Jesus.  Sadly, with many it does not.

    The statement that Melchizedek had no mother, nor father is simply stating that there is no record of his birth parents.  The Bible clearly gives man the record of Jesus’ birth, His parents names, His life, His death, and His subsequent ascension to His throne.

    2.  The Bible says of Melchizedek that he was “without descent.”  The Greek for “without descent” is the word “agenealogētos” and is defined as “one whose descent there is no record of, without genealogy”.  The inspired author of the book of Hebrews wrote that there is no record of Melchizedek’s descent.  But we have the genealogy of Jesus Christ in Matthew chapter 1 and Luke chapter 3.  Clearly, the two are not the same person.

    3.  The Bible says of Melchizedek that he had “neither beginning of days, nor end of life.”  Now, if this statement were the only thing that the Bible told us concerning Melchizedek, the argument that he was Jesus might hold to be true.  But because of the facts mentioned in point #1 above, we must come to no other conclusion than that Jesus and Melchizedek could not have been the same person.  Therefore, the statement that Melchizedek had neither beginning of days, nor end of life more than likely refers to what was previously said before… that there is no genealogical record of his being born or of his death.  This is not to say he never was born.  It simply means we have no record of his birth.  Since Hebrews 7:4 identifies Melchizedek as a man, it is OBvious that Melchizedek had to have been born of a woman.  This means he had a beginning.  This forfeits any possibility of him being Jesus Christ in Genesis 14.

    4.  The Bible says of Melchizedek that he was “made like unto the Son of God.”  “Like unto” does not mean “is.”  If “like unto” means “is” we have a serious prOBlem.  Jesus said the kingdom of Heaven is like unto grain of mustard seed.  To say “like unto” means “is,” would mean that the kingdom of Heaven is not “like” a mustard seed, but that it is a grain of mustard seed. 

    Just as Jesus was comparing the Kingdom of Heaven to a mustard seed, the author of Hebrews was comparing Melchizedek to Jesus Christ.

    And his comparison of the two shows that the two clearly are not the same person.
     
  16. Standing Firm In Christ
    1 Peter 4:1-4 Forasmuch then as Christ hath suffered for us in the flesh, arm yourselves likewise with the same mind: for he that hath suffered in the flesh hath ceased from sin; That he no longer should live the rest of his time in the flesh to the lusts of men, but to the will of God. For the time past of our life may suffice us to have wrought the will of the Gentiles, when we walked in lasciviousness, lusts, excess of wine, revellings, banquetings, and abominable idolatries: Wherein they think it strange that ye run not with them to the same excess of riot, speaking evil of you:

    "The Bible tells us not to get drunk, but never says we cannot drink in moderation."

    This is an argument that is used often among professing Christians who want to

    a ) justify their own fleshly desire to consume alcohol
    b ) justify a family member or friend who consumes alcohol
    c ) avoid offending people they don't even know who drink alcohol

    In light of the Apostle Peter's words written above, the three main reasons that people argue for "moderation" are totally bogus.

    As we examine the verses above, we can come to no other conclusion than that "Christians are to abstain from drinking alcoholic beverage."

    1 Peter 4:1 Forasmuch then as Christ hath suffered for us in the flesh, arm yourselves likewise with the same mind: for he that hath suffered in the flesh hath ceased from sin;

    In verse 1, we are simply told that because Christ suffered for us in the flesh, we should also suffer in the flesh. This is not speaking of persecutions from outside sources. It is speaking of the Christian giving up fleshly lusts. The next verse affirms that is what the Apostle was trying to convey to the reader.

    1 Peter 4:2 That he no longer should live the rest of his time in the flesh to the lusts of men, but to the will of God.

    We are not to seek to fulfill our own desires, but like Christ, we should have the attitude, "Not my will, but Thine."

    John the Baptist preached the same message when he said, "He must increase, but I must decrease."

    We are to yield our bodies and our will to His will for us instead of seeking our own.

    1 Peter 4:3 For the time past of our life may suffice us to have wrought the will of the Gentiles, when we walked in lasciviousness, lusts, excess of wine, revellings, banquetings, and abominable idolatries:

    In verse 3, the Apostle Peter makes it clear that the the consumption of alcoholic beverage was not a Christian practice. It was named among the Gentiles. Peter said that in his past, (that is, before he was converted) he, and others participated in getting drunk, had pleasure in sinful immorality, drank at social gatherings, fought, and yes, even was guilty of idolatry.

    The word translated "lasciviousness" is defined as unbridled lust. If some of those Jews of whom Peter was speaking desired something that was sinful, they did not hold back. They went for it. We are not told exactly what those "unbridled lusts were, only that they had such rebellious spirits that they gave in to those lusts.

    "Excess of wine" refers to drinking alcohol in great quantities. In other words, prior to their conversion some were drunkards. They walked in excess of wine... it was like a lifestyle for them.

    "Revellings" refers to riot. Some of these people loved to fight, possibly because of their drunken spells

    Proverbs 23:34-35 Yea, thou shalt be as he that lieth down in the midst of the sea, or as he that lieth upon the top of a mast. They have stricken me, shalt thou say, and I was not sick; they have beaten me, and I felt it not: when shall I awake? I will seek it yet again.

    And yet, even though drunken stupors caused them to riot, they continued to walk in revellings... until their conversion.
    "Banquetings" refers to social drinking; i.e., having a glass of wine or a bottle of beer with some friends. Some of these men chose social drinking as a way of life.

    Proverbs 23:20 Be not among winebibbers; among riotous eaters of flesh:
    The wise king Solomon warned his son not to be among winebibbers. And for good reason, "Evil communication corrupt good manners." So many today see no prOBlem with having a Bud with a friend. Yet, in reality, they are sending a message to their friend that it is OK to drink alcohol when the Bible clearly tells the Christian to abstain.


    Albert Barnes says of the phrase "excess of wine":
    The word here used (oinophlugia) occurs nowhere else in the New Testament. It properly means overflowing of wine, (oinos, wine, and phluo, to overflow;) then wine-drinking; drunkenness. That this was a common vice need not be proved. Multitudes of those who became Christians had been drunkards, for intemperance abounded in all the heathen world. It should not be inferred here from the English translation, ^excess of wine,' that wine is improper only when used to excess, or that the moderate use of wine is proper. Whatever may be true on that point, nothing can be determined in regard to it from the use of this word. The apostle had his eye on one thing-on such a use of wine as led to intoxication; such as they had indulged in before their conversion. About the impropriety of that, there could be no doubt. Whether any use of wine, by Christians or other persons, was lawful, was another question. It should be added, moreover, that the phrase ^excess of wine' does not precisely convey the meaning of the origi­nal. The word excess would naturally imply something more than was needful; or something beyond the proper limit or measure; but no such idea is in the original word.


    ROBinson's Lexicon of the New Testament defines the phrase "excess of wine" as:
    wine-drinking, drunkenness, vinolency.

    Again, we look to Albert Barnes' commentary for his comments on the word "banquetings.":

    The word here used (potos) occurs nowhere else in the New Testament. It means properly drinking; an act of drinking; then a drinking bout; drinking together. The thing forbidden by it is an assembling together for the purpose of drinking. There is nothing in this word refer­ring to eating, or to banqueting, as the term is now commonly employed. The idea in the passage is, that it is improper for Christians to meet together for the pur­pose of drinking-as wine, toasts, &c. The prohibition would apply to all those assemblages where this is understood to be the main OBject. It would forbid, there­fore, an attendance on all those celebrations in which drinking toasts is understood to be an essential part of the festivities, and all those where hilarity and joy fullness are sought to be produced by the intoxicating bowl. Such are not proper places for Christians.




    1 Peter 4:3 clearly speaks for itself. By the very definition of the word "banquetings", it is impossible for Christians to justify the use of alcoholic beverages, a practice which the Word of God associates with those who know not Christ.

    But after coming to faith in Christ, there ought to be a noticeable change. We are in the world, but not of the world. We are now to Walk in the Spirit; let this mind be in you which was also in Christ Jesus, etc.. And those Peter was addressing in the first few verses of his first epistle, chapter four clearly show that "those who are Christ's have crucified the flesh and the affections thereof." Peter included himself when he declared "For the time past of our life may suffice us to have wrought the will of the Gentiles,"... but that was in the past.
    In conclusion, we see that the man who does not know God seeks to satisfy his own sinful appetites. But the Christian who has the mind of Christ seeks to walk contrary to the lusts of the flesh. The Christian does not live to gratify fleshly desires, but to accomplish the will of his Father in heaven.

    Since the Apostle Peter reveals in verse 3 that we just examined that alcoholic beverages are condemned, no one can deny that this is one of the lusts of the flesh referred to here. Therefore when Peter earlier stated in 1 Peter 2:11, "abstain from fleshy lusts, which war against the soul," alcoholic beverages was one of the things that Peter told his readers to abstain from.
  17. Standing Firm In Christ
    Three elderly gentlemen are sitting on a park bench.

    #1: It's windy today.
    #2: No, today is Thursday.
    #3: So am I. Let's go get a drink from that fountain.
    #1: I don't want to sing on the mountain.
    #2: What did you say was sinful sounding?

    The three men in the illustration enjoyed each others company that windy day. Yet because they were not listening carefully to one another's words, their words were lost with each other.

    So it is with many people today.

    Hebrews 2:1 Therefore we ought to give the more earnest heed to the things which we have heard, lest at any time we should let them slip.

    What is it we have heard? That the tithe was for the children of Israel.

    Leviticus 27:34 These are the commandments, which the LORD commanded Moses for the children of Israel in mount Sinai.

    The command to tithe was not given to Gentiles. So many have allowed themselves to be deceived that God expects them to tithe due to a hearing prOBlem.

    Mark 8:18 Having eyes, see ye not? and having ears, hear ye not? and do ye not remember?

    Because of hearing prOBlems, the saints have let the things they have heard slip.

    The Word of God reveals the tithe was agricultural.

    Leviticus 27:30-33 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.

    Mark 8:18 Having eyes, see ye not? and having ears, hear ye not? and do ye not remember?

    Because of hearing prOBlems, the saints have let the things they have heard slip.

    Revelation 2:29 He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches.

    Acts 15:28 For it seemed good to the Holy Ghost, and to us, to lay upon you no greater burden than these necessary things;

    Mark 8:18 Having eyes, see ye not? and having ears, hear ye not? and do ye not remember?

    Because of hearing prOBlems, the saints have let the things they have heard slip.

    God said the tithes were agricultural, but because of hearing prOBlems people attempt to tithe money.
    God said the tithes were for the children of Israel, but because of hearing prOBlems, Gentile Converts were easily deceived into believing that God expects them to tithe.
    God said the tithes were to be eaten by Levites, widows, orphans, foreigners in Israel, the tither and his family. But because of hearing prOBlems, Gentile Converts believe that they are to give tithe in the form of money to a Church at the detriment of caring for self and others.
    So many in the Church today have a great hearing prOBlem. And because of their hearing prOBlem, they do not understand what God says when He speaks to them in His Word concerning what He said tithes were.

    Amos 8:11 Behold, the days come, saith the Lord GOD, that I will send a famine in the land, not a famine of bread, nor a thirst for water, but of hearing the words of the LORD:

    So many today, because the will not hear the Word of the Lord, because they will not study the Word of the Lord, because they will not search the Scriptures to see if what their pastors have told them is so, will one day find that they will not be able to hear the Word of the Lord at all. God will allow the Word to be taken away from them. And all they will have left is memories.

    Are you memorizing the Word of God? David said, "Thy Word have I hid in mine heart, that I might not sin against Thee." Commit yourself to the studying of the Word. Commit yourself to searching the Scriptures. If you don't learn it, when it is taken away, what will you have left?

    So many today try to quote verses, such as, "He that spareth the rod hateth his son: but he that loveth him chasteneth him betimes." Yet, the majority, though believing they know what that verse says, so often misquote it. "He that spareth the rod spoils the child" is often the quote that is given.

    How much more of the Bible do they misquote? A misquote is not the Word of God, my friends. It is the result of one who does not hear God's Word. Just as the words that the three elderly gentlemen were speaking were fruitless due to their hearing prOBlems, God's Word is fruitless to the one who will not hear.
  18. Standing Firm In Christ
    When teaching tithes , many teachers like to point out that tithing was mentioned before the Law.

    But when teaching the tithe, many fail to teach the Scripture's account of the tithe. Instead, they teach an account that was invented by man in the late 8th Century A.D..

    There was a tithe prior to the Mosaic/Levitic Law, but Hebrews records that there was a changing of the Law.

    What was that change? Well, Melchizedek received tithes in Abram's day. But when the Law was handed down to Moses to be given to the children of Israel, the Laws that governed people prior to the Mosaic/Levitic Law changed.

    Melchizedek was able to receive tithes of the spoils of war. Notice in the Word of God that there is no mention whatsoever of Abram ever tithing his own property, his own assets. No, Hebrews clearly reveals that Abram tithed the spoils of war.

    But later, the Law changed. Melchizedek was no longer authorized to receive tithes. God gave that authority over to the Levites. If Melchizedek was benefitting at all from tithes before, it no longer mattered. He could not receive the as long as the Levites were in office.

    But the authority wasn't the only thing that changed. The contents of the tithe also changed. Prior to the Mosaic/Levitic Law, the only thing mentioned being tithed were the spoils of war. When the Mosaic/Levitic Law was instituted, spoils of war could no longer be tithed. God told Moses in Numbers 31 that the amount to be given of the spoils of war was to be far, far less than ten percent.

    But God still wanted a tithe. That tithe is described in Leviticus 27:30-33. It is a tithe of agricultural produce. This was the ordinance the Israelites were to OBserve under the Dispensation of the Mosaic/Levitic Law.... a tithe of agricultural produce. The Israelites had money, yet God did not want a tithe of money.

    Later, after the resurrection of the Lord Jesus Christ from the dead, the Law was governing the tithe was disannulled. (Hebrews 7:18) God's Church has been brought into a new covenant, a new and living way. The old Covenant is no more.

    Hebrews 8:12-13 For I will be merciful to their unrighteousness, and their sins and their iniquities will I remember no more. In that he saith, A new covenant, he hath made the first old. Now that which decayeth and waxeth old is ready to vanish away.

    There is no command to tithe written in the New Covenant. To teach people under the rules of the Old Covenant that God proclaimed were ready to vanish away is to point away from the New Covenant and to bind people with burdens that they were not to be yoked to.

    Acts 15:10 Now therefore why tempt ye God, to put a yoke upon the neck of the disciples, which neither our fathers nor we were able to bear?

    2 Corinthians 3:7 But if the ministration of death, written and engraven in stones, was glorious, so that the children of Israel could not stedfastly behold the face of Moses for the glory of his countenance; which glory was to be done away:

    The Old Covenant was a ministration of death in that, it could not save. It only could reveal to man that he was dead in trespasses and sin and that he needed a Saviour.

    We are not taught to tithe in the Word of God. Why run to the house of the Law when God has freed us from the Law of sin and death?
  19. 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.
  20. Standing Firm In Christ
    It has been argued, by those who would deceitfully teach that we are to tithe our money, that the reason God expected agricultural tithes of the children of Israel is because money was scarce and the Israelites used their crops and livestock as money.

    That nonsensical claim is easily shot down with the Word of God.

    Deuteronomy 14:22-27 Thou shalt truly tithe all the increase of thy seed, that the field bringeth forth year by year. 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. And if the way be too long for thee, so that thou art not able to carry it; or if the place be too far from thee, which the LORD thy God shall choose to set his name there, when the LORD thy God hath blessed thee: Then shalt thou turn it into money, and bind up the money in thine hand, and shalt go unto the place which the LORD thy God shall choose: 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, And the Levite that is within thy gates; thou shalt not forsake him; for he hath no part nor inheritance with thee.

    Deuteronomy is very clear. The tithe could be sold for money. Sell money for money? Preposterous!

    Leviticus 27:30-31 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.

    Again, if money could be tithed, the above verse would make no sense whatsoever.

    Israelite: "I'd like to pay my tithe."
    Levite: "Fine. You came to the right place."
    Israelite: "I gained 600 shekels of silver this year, so here is my tithe of 60 shekels of silver."
    Levite: "Wonderful! And may the Almighty bless you for your OBedience and dedication."
    Israelite: "Wait! The Law provides that I can redeem my tithe. I'd like to do that. I can really use the 60 shekels for clothing for my family."
    Levite: "I understand. You may buy back the tithe as provided by the Law. That will be 72 shekels of silver."
    Israelite: "Here you go."

    Of course, such a conversation would never have taken place, because money was never a tithe in the Mosaic/Levitic Law.

    If one does a proper study of the Word of God, one will discover that practically every Israelite household had money. Notice:

    Numbers 18:15-16 Every thing that openeth the matrix in all flesh, which they bring unto the LORD, whether it be of men or beasts, shall be thine: nevertheless the firstborn of man shalt thou surely redeem, and the firstling of unclean beasts shalt thou redeem. And those that are to be redeemed from a month old shalt thou redeem, according to thine estimation, for the money of five shekels, after the shekel of the sanctuary, which is twenty gerahs.

    The firstborn child had to be redeemed for five shekels of money. Totally destroys the "Israel was mostly poor" theory that the pro-tither's want us to believe.

    Also, we read:

    Exodus 30:15 The rich shall not give more, and the poor shall not give less than half a shekel, when they give an offering unto the LORD, to make an atonement for your souls.

    The above verse further proves that money was in abundance... even the poor had to pay a half shekel as an offering to the priest. Rich and poor alike had money as the Bible proves.

    Yet, money was never tithed under the Mosaic/Levitic Law.

    Nor can any verse be found in the New Testament that instructs the saved of God to tithe their money. The monetary tithe requirement doctrine is a man-made doctrine and not endorsed by the Word of God

    The Word does instruct us in our giving though. The Word of God tells us:

    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.

    Give as you purpose in your heart to give. Give what you choose to give. Do so willingly and cheerfully. Don't give because you HAVE to give. Don't give because you are REQUIRED to give. Give because you want to give. Give because you see a need and you want to help meet that need.

    1 John 3:17 But whoso hath this world's good, and seeth his brother have need, and shutteth up his bowels of compassion from him, how dwelleth the love of God in him?
  21. Standing Firm In Christ
    God does not want you to neglect your family's needs, or a neighbor's needs to put more money in the coffers of an already wealthy Church.

    Proverbs 22:16 He that oppresseth the poor to increase his [riches, and] he that giveth to the rich, [shall] surely [come] to want.

    But I will say further. God does not want the saved to place themselves under the Mosaic/Levitic Law! That's right. He does not want the saved to be bound by the Mosaic/Levitic Law.

    in Acts 15, the Law is described as a yoke... a burden, that not even the Apostles were able to keep perfectly. And the Holy Ghost thought it good that no greater burden be required of the Gentile Converts than four necessary things. Tithing was not one of those "necessary things."

    Still not convinced that the Christian is not to keep the Law? Paul's letter to Timothy should convince you. There, we read:

    1 Timothy 1:8-10 But we know that the law is good, if a man use it lawfully; Knowing this, that the law is not made for a righteous man, but for the lawless and disOBedient, for the ungodly and for sinners, for unholy and profane, for murderers of fathers and murderers of mothers, for manslayers, For whoremongers, for them that defile themselves with mankind, for menstealers, for liars, for perjured persons, and if there be any other thing that is contrary to sound doctrine;

    Paul tells Timothy that the Law is good, but he tells Timothy that it is not for the saved. Rather, it is for the unsaved. If you are saved, you are not required to follow the Mosaic/Levitic Law.

    Still not convinced? In his letter to the Galatians, Paul wrote:

    Galatians 3:10 For as many as are of the works of the law are under the curse: for it is written, Cursed is every one that continueth not in all things which are written in the book of the law to do them.

    If you attempt to keep one of the laws written in the Mosaic/Levitic Law, you had better keep all the laws written in the Mosaic/Levitic Law. If you don't, according to the above verse... you are cursed.

    Still not convinced? Read on...

    Romans 7:1-4 Know ye not, brethren, (for I speak to them that know the law,) how that the law hath dominion over a man as long as he liveth? For the woman which hath an husband is bound by the law to her husband so long as he liveth; but if the husband be dead, she is loosed from the law of her husband. So then if, while her husband liveth, she be married to another man, she shall be called an adulteress: but if her husband be dead, she is free from that law; so that she is no adulteress, though she be married to another man. Wherefore, my brethren, ye also are become dead to the law by the body of Christ; that ye should be married to another, even to him who is raised from the dead, that we should bring forth fruit unto God.

    Uh-oh! In the above passage, we find that we (the saved) are married to Christ. When we go to the house of the Law, we are committing spiritual adultery. Do you really want to be seen as a spiritual adulterer in God's eyes?

    You may think, "OK, so we are not to place ourselves under the Mosaic/Levitic Law. I guess that means we are free now to steal, kill, covet, etc.."

    My question would be, "Why would you want to do those things? They that are Christ's have crucified the flesh with the affections and lusts." (see Galatians 5:24)

    Those who are Christ's will not have the desire to steal, kill, covet, etc.. They will want to do the things that are pleasing to God.

    Does this mean then, that we will never sin if we are Christ's? No, Paul clearly reveals that we can sin. Paul said in his letter to the Romans:

    Romans 7:19 For the good that I would I do not: but the evil which I would not, that I do.

    This fleshly tabernacle will sin from time to time. And if one is saved, one will feel the conviction of the Holy Spirit if, and when, that one does sin.

    Friend, don't submit yourself to an Old Covenant Law that God's Word reveals is a ministration of death. (see2 Corinthians 3:7) Rather, submit yourself to God. Commit yourself to loving Christ and fellow man and you will find that if you follow those two rules you will not want to steal, kill, covet, etc..
  22. Standing Firm In Christ
    The Proper Teaching of Malachi 3:7-11

    The proper teaching from Malachi 3:7-11 should be that tithing was an ordinance given to national Israel, not to the Church.

    The proper teaching from Malachi 3:7-11 should be that Malachi was referring to a tithe of crops and livestock... not money.

    The proper teaching from Malachi 3:7-11 should be that the curse associated with not tithing was locusts and withholding of rain... not loss of jOB, loss of money, ill health, automotive repairs, etc..

    The proper teaching from Malachi 3:7-11 should be that the blessings associated with tithing was rain from heaven and withholding the locust from eating the crops... bringing about a bountiful harvest... not more money, better jOB, good health, close-knit family, etc..

    The proper teaching from Malachi 3:7-11 is that it was written to Israel, not to the Church. The Church was not rOBbing God... the Priests of Israel were.

    Monetary tithe requirement teachers clearly distort the proper teaching of Malachi 3, turning the rebuke and exhortation into something that God never said. The monetary tithe requirement doctrine is in improper doctrine and has no place in the post-cross Church.

    Isaiah 8:20 To the law and to the testimony: if they speak not according to this word, it is because there is no light in them.

    Pastors need to allow the light to shine upon Scripture as they study it. Take off the blinders of religion and tradition, and let the mind of Christ interpret the Scripture. If they do, God will reveal to them that which He has revealed to many concerning the tithes of the Mosaic/Levitic Law.
  23. Standing Firm In Christ
    “Indeed!” Exclaimed the King, casting a keen glance at his son. “Are you becoming interested in politics then; or is there some grievous breach of court etiquette which has attracted your attention?”

    “I know little of politics and less of the court, Sire,” replied Lilimond; “it is the distress of the people that worries me.”
    “The people? Of a surety, Prince, you are better posted than am I, since of the people and their affairs I know nothing at all. I have appointed officers to look after their interests, and therefore I have no cause to come into contact with them myself. But what is amiss?”
    “They are starving,” said the Prince, looking at his father very seriously; “the country is filled with beggars, who appeal for charity, since they are unable otherwise to procure food.”
    “Starving!” repeated the King; “surely you are misinformed. My Lord Chamberlain told me but this morning the people were loyal and contented, and my Lord of the Treasury reports that all taxes and tithes have been paid, and my coffers are running over.”
    “Your Lord Chamberlain is wrong, Sire,” returned the Prince; “my tutor, Borland, and I have talked with many of these beggars the past few days, and we find the tithes and taxes which have enriched you have taken the bread from their wives and children.”

    “So!” exclaimed the King. “We must examine into this matter.” He touched a bell beside him, and when a retainer appeared, directed his Chamberlain and his Treasurer to wait upon him at once.

    The above illustration between a king and his son is taken from a book written by Lyman Frank Baum, storyteller extraordinaire. The book is titled, “The Works of Lyman Frank Baum.

    In the book, the kings Chamberlain and the kings Treasurer were exacting tithes and taxes from the people of the kingdom. The poor got poorer and poorer, while the king because of those he put in charge got richer and richer.

    Upon seeing the plight of the people of the kingdom, the Prince tried to reason with his father the king. But it turned out the king was blinded by his riches and greed and therefore, would not hear the Prince when the Prince later told him to give from his coffers, riches to help those in need. In the end, the Prince relinquished his scepter and his royal position because he wanted nothing to do with oppressing the people of the kingdom.

    Although Lyman Frank Baum told the story as a fairy tale, there is much truth woven into the fabric of that tale. Truths that are noticeable in our world today. Many Church leaders oppress the poor by demanding monetary tithes of them, enriching themselves while the poor do without.

    The Chamberlain and the Treasurer are comparable to those who teach the monetary tithe today. They are teaching others that the monetary tithe is required by God of His people, and that they are to be OBedient to the command, "Bring ye all the tithes into the storehouse." They are too blinded by their traditions or their greed to look into the matter and see the great damage it does to the health and welfare of those who are barely getting by. They rOB widows houses as the Pharisees did in Jesus' time here on Earth.

    As to the king in the story, he is representative of that old serpent the devil, who "cometh not, but for to steal, and to steal, and to destroy."

    Oh, that there would be more people today like the Prince in the story above. People who would see the injustice in taking tithes of the people of God. Tithes of a nature that God never intended His people to be oppressed with, nor authorized His Priestly servants to exact from them. Oh that spiritual leaders would remember the words of the Lord Jesus when he said, “It is more blessed to give than to receive.”
  24. Standing Firm In Christ
    Many today hear their pastors preach from the pulpits that the Word of God requires them to tithe their money to the Church. As proof-text, pastors will have them turn to the book of Malachi and read the scathing indictment that was leveled at the priests in Malachi's day, the accusation that they were "rOBbing God" by not bringing tithes and offerings into the Temple storehouse.

    Pastors will generally take their flock into the twenty-seventh chapter of Leviticus to show them that "The tithe is the LORD's," and therefore they need to give the Lord what is rightfully His. They fail to tell the congregation that the tithe is no longer the Lord's.

    What? No longer the Lord's? How can you say that?

    Because I did what we are all commanded to do... I studied the Word. I studied history as well. When Aaron was told that "the tithe is the LORD's," it was the year 1450 B.C.. Twenty years later, in the year 1430 B.C., God again spoke and said that He had given His tithe to the Levites because they had no land inheritance. (see Numbers 18)

    The tithe was no longer God's. He gave them to the Levites.

    Can the New Testament Christian tithe today? According to the Word of God, he cannot. At the Jerusalem Council 35 A.D., the Apostles met with the religious leaders in Jerusalem to discuss the Gentile Converts to the faith of Christ. The religious leaders contended that the Gentiles should be required to be circumcised (ouch) AND to keep the Law of Moses.

    Many suppose that the request was only to be circumcised, saying that in doing so they would be keeping that Law of Moses. But context reveals that the religious leaders were wanting to put the yoke of the whole Mosaic Law on the necks of the Gentile Converts. Peter said in addressing their request, that none of them were able to bear that yoke that was being put forth. Wait!!! Weren't the Apostles and religious leaders circumcised the eighth day of their lives as the Law required? If so, how can it be said that they "could not bear" it? It is highly doubtful any of them remembered that event that happened when they were eight days old, so it is doubtful Paul was speaking of the circumcision as "too hard to bear."

    No, my frriends, it is evident the Council was demanding the Gentile Converts keep the whole law... all 613 commands written in that Law... not just circumcision. And Peter's response was straight and to the point. In requesting that the Gentiles who had trusted God keep the Mosaic Law, the religious leaders were "tempting God."

    James stood up at last in the meeting and told the council that no greater burden should be required of the Converts than they OBserve four necessary things. Tithing was not one of those necessary things.

    By the way, James' conclusion was also the decision of the Holy Ghost.

    Go to Galatians 3, and you will see that Paul said the Galatians were foolish to allow themselves to have been bewitched into placing themselves under the Law having begun in the Spirit. Paul said "Cast out the bondwoman and her son." For one who submits oneself to any part of the Law, that person is "cursed if he does not continue in all things written in the Law to do them."

    To the Romans, Paul stressed that once one is married to Christ, that one should not be committing spiritual adultery by going to the house of the Law for union. (Romans 7:1-4) We are dead to the Law.

    Let's look at 1 Timothy 1, 1-10, shall we?

    1 Timothy 1:1-10 Paul, an apostle of Jesus Christ by the commandment of God our Saviour, and Lord Jesus Christ, which is our hope; Unto Timothy, my own son in the faith: Grace, mercy, and peace, from God our Father and Jesus Christ our Lord. As I besought thee to abide still at Ephesus, when I went into Macedonia, that thou mightest charge some that they teach no other doctrine, Neither give heed to fables and endless genealogies, which minister questions, rather than godly edifying which is in faith: so do. Now the end of the commandment is charity out of a pure heart, and of a good conscience, and of faith unfeigned: From which some having swerved have turned aside unto vain jangling; Desiring to be teachers of the law; understanding neither what they say, nor whereof they affirm. But we know that the law is good, if a man use it lawfully; Knowing this, that the law is not made for a righteous man, but for the lawless and disOBedient, for the ungodly and for sinners, for unholy and profane, for murderers of fathers and murderers of mothers, for manslayers, For whoremongers, for them that defile themselves with mankind, for menstealers, for liars, for perjured persons, and if there be any other thing that is contrary to sound doctrine;

    A lot of meat in that passage. First, Paul tells young Timothy to preach "no other doctrine." No other doctrine... nothing contrary to what Paul had delivered unto him. Would Paul teach the Galatians and the Romans not to submit to the Law, but tell Timothy the opposite? Of course not! Paul said, 'don't give into fables." In other words, don't believe things that are told that are contrary to sound doctrine. If some religious doctrine being taught cannot be found in the Word of God, it is a fable.

    Paul said those who desire to teach Law have no understanding, a harsh indictment for those who teach that God requires tithing of Church members.

    But the harshest indictment is Paul's accusation that those who teach contrary to sound doctrine are not righteous, but rather are listed among the unrighteous.

    Since the Apostles stated that the commandments written in the Mosaic Law were not to be required of the Gentile Converts, teaching the flock that God requires tithes is "contrary to sound doctrine." The pastor that teaches such should be marked as a false teacher.

    Matthew 15:9 But in vain they do worship me, teaching for doctrines the commandments of men.
  25. Standing Firm In Christ
    Something to think about…

    Pastors who use Malachi 3:8-10 want to make you feel like a “God rOBber” because you fail to tithe your money to the Church you attend.

    When they preach on Abram, do they tell you he was a “God rOBber” too? If not, perhaps they should.

    After all, Abram tithed the spoils of war to Melchizedek (Genesis 14:20) but did not tithe his own money (Genesis 13:2) If not tithing one’s money means one is a “God-rOBber”, then surely Abram was also a “God-rOBber” by that definition. Likewise, the Israelites were "God rOBber's" since they also were guilty of not tithing their money.

    Why is it wrong for us today to not tithe our money, but perfectly acceptable for Abram to not tithe his? or for the Israelites to not tithe theirs?
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