|WHY THE BIG SECRET IF GOD HAS DONE AWAY WITH HIS
Now, why would God send the prophet Malachi to exhort the physical
nation of Israel to return to Him, just 400 years before The Messiah
came to supposedly do away with this law of tithing? If The Christ did
away with tithing, why be so secretive about it? Why did none of the
Jews in the early church even bat an eye at this when such a great stir
was made over circumcision? Why did God use a setting of the last
days in this prophecy, the time in which we live, to turn physical Israel
back to Him? God had already given Israel a bill of divorcement. This
information in Malachi is for us today. Spiritual Israel is of much more
importance than physical Israel ever was.
1Co 10:11 Now all these things happened unto them for ensamples: and they are
written for our admonition, upon whom the ends of the world are come.
God is watching! Those who turn their backs on Him at this point are
standing on shaky ground. Curses are in store for the man who will
take away, or add to the book of life. But God is writing a book of
remembrance for those who fear Him and keep His ordinances, of which
tithing is one.
|HAVE WE LOST THE BLESSING OF TITHING?
Anyone today, who thinks that tithing is only on the produce of the land,
is blind and naked. Why should we be denied the blessing for paying
tithes just because we are not farmers? It is the principle of the thing
that must not be overlooked. Or on the other hand, are we required to
become farmers in order to be blessed? In fact, are we required to
become farmers in order to be a believer? If tithing were on the
produce of the land only, then that would seem to be the case.
The daughters of Zelophehad came before Moses because their
father's land was going to be lost, as he had no sons. The law had said
that only the sons got the inheritance. They appealed to God through
Moses. God looked at their request and amended the law because it
was only correct that Zelophehad's land should stay in his family. The
principle was applied, not the letter of the law.
So the fact is that God gives us the power to get wealth and has the
right to demand 10% of that wealth and has demanded it. In fact, has
made of it a law that has not been repealed. If the law has not been
repealed, then it is still in force. What then should be our
understanding of tithing?
De 8:18 But thou shalt remember the LORD thy God: for it is he that giveth thee
power to get wealth, that he may establish his covenant which he sware unto thy
fathers, as it is this day.
Notice in the Proverbs below that he who labours shall increase his
wealth. Now increase is what the law of tithing was exacted upon.
Therefore, what we labour for is tithable.
Pr 13:11 Wealth gotten by vanity shall be diminished: but he that gathereth by
labour shall increase.
Giving is the spirit of the law, whereas tithing is the letter of the law.
One cannot ignore the letter of the law and pat himself on the back for
keeping the spirit of the law. The letter of the law says, Thou shalt not
kill. Now is it possible to kill someone and not hate him? That would be
the equivalent of giving offerings and not tithing.
God expects us to operate in two modes. The first mode is to obey a
command, the second mode is to go above and beyond the command.
The first mode helps us to submit to the authority of God. To submit is
good for us. It helps us get rid of the vanity of self by recognizing
someone greater than ourselves who has the right to tell us what to do.
The second mode gives us the opportunity of creating an environment
in which we go above and beyond the call of duty. In other words, we
do what we do because we have come to see that it is the best way.
The spirit of the law is good for us, because it allows us to become an
integrated part of the law. But do not be mistaken, duty comes first,
and cannot be abandoned for anything superior. The letter of the law is
the foundation of anything that supersedes it. After we have done what
is required of us, we are still unprofitable servants!
Luke 17:10 So likewise ye, when ye shall have done all those things which are
commanded you, say, We are unprofitable servants: we have done that which was
our duty to do.
|WERE THERE THREE TITHES IN ANCIENT ISRAEL?
Some have questioned whether there were three tithes in Israel. They
tell us that there was only one tithe in Ancient Israel.
The Bible, even in the KJV translation, shows, with just a casual
reading, that there are at least two tithes. With a more perceptive
reading, it is obvious that there were three tithes. One tithe was to be
paid year by year. Another tithe was to be paid in the third year. The
Levites were 1/12 of the tribes of Israel, or 1/13 when we consider that
Joseph made up 2 tribes. If there were only one tithe, the Levites
would have 1/12 of the produce of the land every 3rd year. This would
mean, if we did not include the 7th year as a free year, that the tribe of
Levi would receive only 1/36 of the produce of the land each year. In
other words, each tribe would receive 90% of 1/12, but the Levites
would receive only a third of what their brothers received. This is
roughly figured, but it gets the point across. Those doing the service of
God would be the poorest of the poor. In the third year, they would be
destitute. They would have to hire themselves out to the other
Israelites in order to exist. In that case, they would be prone to
compromise the word of God in order to have something to eat.
|THE RECORD OF THE SEPTUAGINT
The New Unger's Bible Dictionary under the entry, Tithes, makes the
following statement: "Josephus distinctly says that one-tenth was to
feasts in the metropolis, and that a tenth besides these was every third
feasts in the metropolis, and that a tenth besides these was every third
year to be given to the poor..."
Taking the above references together, we can safely say that the idea
of three tithes is not a modern invention. As far back as 285-247 BC
when the Septuagint translation was made, the understanding of three
tithes was well known among the Jews.
The Septuagint was written before the Pharisees came on the scene.
Therefore, the idea of 3 tithes was known before the Pharisees. If the
Masoretic text is perfect, as many seem to think it is, why do we have
the Septuagint? Would you say that the devil had the scriptures of the
Septuagint preserved? That doesn't seem logical to me. Satan is in
the business of destroying the word of God, not preserving it. I
believe that there are definite reasons why God saw to it that we have
a cross-reference (the Septuagint) to the Masoretic text of the Old
Many of us are unwilling to accept anything but the KJV of the
scriptures for information. All these unresolvable questions keep
coming up. They will never be resolved if we don't know how those
required to live by them in ancient times perceived them.
Josephus says in Antiquities of the Jews, Book IV, Chapter VIII, and
Section 22. "Besides those two tithes, which I have already said you
are to pay every year, the one for the Levites, the other for the
festivals, you are to bring every third year a third tithe to be
distributed to those that want (or lack);"
It might be interesting to look at the following footnote in Josephus
concerning the three tithes. "Josephus's plain and express
interpretation of this law of Moses,...is fully confirmed by the practice
of good old Tobit, against the opinions of the rabbins..."
According to this footnote, the rabbins, of which the Pharisees were a
part, did not agree with the three tithes. This is only one source on
this matter. Perhaps others can show us that the Pharisees did believe
in three tithes.
|THE PHARISEES TITHED ON ALL
|ABUSE OF ORGANIZATIONS CONCERNING TITHES
The problem, as I see it, is that we have been hood-winked by some
organizations that called themselves the church, who understood
correctly that there were three tithes in ancient Israel, but who have
organizations required that the first tithe be sent to a headquarters
of which the New Testament does not indicate under the new
covenant. They required a tithe of the second tithe to be sent to
headquarters for festival administration, which was a corruption of
the tithe of the first tithe paid by the Levites to the priests. They
required a third tithe sent to headquarters which was a duplication of
the social security deductions of our pay, taken by the administrators
of the nation to give to the less fortunate as was the third tithe in the
nation of Israel.
|WHAT SHOULD WE DO TODAY CONCERNING THE
|WAS TITHES TO BE PAID ON MONEY?
However, the Pharisees did believe in tithing on <all> that they
Luke 18.11 The Pharisee stood and prayed thus with himself, God, I thank thee,
that I am not as other men are, extortioners, unjust, adulterers, or even as this
12 I fast twice in the week, I give tithes of all that I possess.
If the Israelites were to pay tithes only every three years, how do we
explain this verse?
De 14:22 Thou shalt truly tithe all the increase of thy seed, that the field
bringeth forth year by year.
It is plain from the above verse that there is a tithe that is to be paid
year by year. It is also plain from scriptures that the first tithe was
paid, not to the priests, but to the Levites who in turn gave a tithe of
the tithe to the priests. Notice in the scriptures below that the
Levites were <required> to give a tenth of the tithe to the priests.
Now I ask you, how could the Levites pay a tenth of the tithe if they
didn't receive all of it to begin with? It would not have been a tenth
of the tithe, if they had only received a fifth. Therefore, there had to
be one whole tithe that went to the Levites.
Numbers 18:25 And the LORD spake unto Moses, saying,
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
27 And this your heave offering shall be reckoned unto you, as though it were
the corn of the threshingfloor, and as the fulness of the winepress.
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.
What can we derive from the above? It is obvious that there were
three tithes required of the nation of Israel. The first tithe was for
the administration of the priesthood and the temple and livelihood of
the Levites, one whole tribe of Israel. The second tithe was for
attendance to the pilgrimage festivals. The third tithe was for the
The first and second tithes were kept and administered each year.
The third tithe was kept and administered in the 3rd and 6th out of
each 7-year period.
I wonder if we have ever thought deeply about why God required
tithes on the produce of the land when nothing was mentioned
about tithing on money?
Those of us who have lived in this artificial society don't perceive
the source of our money. Where does money come from? The
term money in the Old Testament could have also been translated
silver. In fact, the same word #3701 was translated silver 287
times and money only 112 times. How did the people of Moses
day acquire silver or "money"?
Well it all started from the land. One produced a crop of wheat or
barley; or a herd of cattle or a flock of sheep. If one wanted to
acquire silver or gold (money), one had to exchange some of the
produce of the land for it. If a man had no land and worked for a
landowner, he would have been paid in produce of the land. Jacob
received cattle for his services to Laban. Servants received only
their food, clothes, and shelter. Only the wealthy landowners
would have silver and gold (money).
There is no scripture that directly says that a tithe was required
on wages. However, take a look at the following Scriptures.
There is a very strong indication that tithes were required of
Haggai 1.2 Thus speaketh the LORD of hosts, saying, This people say, The
time is not come, the time that the LORD'S house should be built.
3 Then came the word of the LORD by Haggai the prophet, saying,
4 Is it time for you, O ye, to dwell in your cieled houses, and this house lie
5 Now therefore thus saith the LORD of hosts; Consider your ways.
6 Ye have sown much, and bring in little; ye eat, but ye have not enough;
ye drink, but ye are not filled with drink; ye clothe you, but there is none
>>>>>and he that earneth wages earneth wages to put it into a
bag with holes.<<<<<<
7 Thus saith the LORD of hosts; Consider your ways.
8 Go up to the mountain, and bring wood, and build the house; and I will
take pleasure in it, and I will be glorified, saith the LORD.
9 Ye looked for much, and, lo, it came to little; and when ye brought it
home, I did blow upon it. Why? saith the LORD of hosts. Because of mine
house that is waste, and ye run every man unto his own house.
10 Therefore the heaven over you is stayed from dew, and the earth is
stayed from her fruit.
11 And I called for a drought upon the land, and upon the mountains, and
upon the corn, and upon the new wine, and upon the oil, and upon that
which the ground bringeth forth, and upon men, and upon cattle, and upon
all the labour of the hands."
The Septuagint as a historical account shows, before the time of the
Pharisees or the Sadducees, that it was understood among the Jews
that there were three tithes.
There were three different words used for <tithes> in the Greek of
the Septuagint. The general Greek word for tithes was dekaton (a
tenth). This is the word used in Numbers 18.24 and many other places.
Another Greek word used for tithes was epidekaton (an additional
tithe). This is the word used in Deuteronomy 12.17.
In Deuteronomy 26.12, three Greek words are used rather than one.
The words are, <to deuteron epidekaton> which mean, <the second
The above information would be discernible only in the Greek of the
Septuagint, not necessarily in the English translation of the Septuagint.
In the English translation of the Septuagint that I have, the word
<second> does appear in Deut. 26.12 as follows:
"And when thou shalt have completed all the tithings of thy fruits in
the third year, thou shalt give the <second> tenth to the Levite, and
stranger, and fatherless, and widow; and they shall eat it in thy cities,
and be merry.
It seems clear enough that the first tithe was transferred from the
Levitical priesthood to the priesthood of today, of which we are all
a part. We as the priests of God must properly use this tithe to
further the understanding of the Word of God among the church
and to further the hope of salvation to those in the world. The first
tithe is not sent to some central headquarters.
The second tithe is to be kept so that we may attend the festivals
of God year by year. In the past, these festivals have been little
more than wonderful vacations for us to attend. We should look
upon the festivals not only as a time of refreshing, but a time to
concentrate our areas of agreement for the purpose of coming into
a relationship of oneness before God.
The third tithe is a national tithe for those less fortunate. We are
presently paying that tithe under the guise of social security.
There is no further requirement in this area, except to personally
take care of those in need (whom you know), with offerings of
service. One should concentrate on those in his local area.