Many religious leaders look upon the tithing doctrine of the Bible with great esteem. They see it as their set apart sanction for a secure and inexhaustible supply of money for their ministerial needs. Some are so certain the doctrine should be required today that they often accuse those who do not pay the tithe, as stealing from YHWH!
Some even teach that the non-payment of tithes will bring upon the heads of the defaulters multiple curses, directly from the Almighty. Financial ruin and terrible diseases could be the result! Such pronouncements have frightened people into paying a tithe, a full tenth of their income, to a minister or to a organization. But that is not the end of the matter, for certain religious groups. Members are expected to pay a further, second tithe, and every third year, even a third tithe, plus generous offerings for various projects.
It may appear absurd that any person would let himself be subjected to such financial burdens, but it has happened in the past, and in some circles, it is happening today. These so-called financial obligations for believers are supposed to be found within the pages of the biblical revelation. The truth is, however, there is no teaching anywhere in the Bible about a second or third tithe! It is presently impossible even for a person to pay the one tithe in the manner prescribed by the biblical legislation.
The tithing doctrine of the Bible has been grossly misunderstood, and so abused! Strangely, very few people seem interested in finding out what the teaching is all about! If anyone did, he would discover that the payment of the biblical tithe to any minister or organization today represents a clear transgression of biblical law. In the writings of the prophets such an act is known as sin, as it is in the so called New Testament, 1 John 3:4. Furthermore, if any minister is so bold as to use the tithe, it is he who is actually stealing.
These are strong words, and they may be shocking to some who have not studied the scripture on the matter, but they can be shown to be true. When the tithing laws recorded in the Bible are really comprehended, it will be seen that their use by some ministers today in their quest for money, brings the modern interpretation of the subject, under its proper title: THE TITHING FALLACY! This writing explains!
The Tithing Fallacy
Tithing is a biblical law. Tithing, however, has been looked on differently by some people, especially by certain ministers who need a ready money supply to operate their organizations. It is often argued that the Almighty still demands tithing and that a person who does not give a tenth of his income for the maintenance of the ministry is stealing from the Almighty. This is a strong indictment .One might ask those ministers if they have biblical authority to sustain their beliefs. The truth is, the tithing laws of the Bible are not valid today. Even if the tithing laws were applicable, ministers would not have the slightest authority from the Almighty to use a penny of such tithes for their ministerial functions! This is a fact, and will be abundantly proven in this writing from scripture. Let us face the issue squarely without beating around the bush. The Bible makes it clear that tithes were to be paid to one group of people. Those people were the Levites who ministered in the temple Numbers 18:21.
And, behold, I have given the children of Levi all the tenth in Jacob for an inheritance, for their service of the tabernacle of the congregation. It was made abundantly evident that tithes were to be paid to the tribe of Levi, one of the sons of Jacob. We will see a little later that a portion was to be used by the tithe payer himself at certain periods of time, and to be shared, at other times, with Levites, strangers, the fatherless, and the widows. The central fact is this: Only members of the tribe of Levi were ordained in the writings of the prophets to receive the tenth of agriculture and animal production.
The Levites in turn were to give one tenth of those tithes to the priests (Numbers 18:25-28.) The priests did not tithe at all. It will later be shown that there never was a universal law of tithing for all people, because many of the people of Jacob were exempt from tithing in times of the prophets. Even the Levites and Priests, moreover, are presently disqualified from receiving any biblical tithes. This is because there is no official body of men functioning as Priests today, because there is no Temple.
The Jews Do Not Tithe Today
Jewish theologians are well aware that only Levites have the right to receive tithes of the people. After all, they have the writings of the prophets as their Scripture and that is what it commands. Since the writings of the prophets demands that tithes be paid to Levites, it would be sin to pay them to someone else! To pay tithes at this time, without Levites and Priests in their regular ordained offices, would be sin also!
The History Of Tithing
The first striking fact concerning tithing is that scripture has remarkably little to say about tithing prior to the book of Leviticus. The first eleven chapters of the book of Genesis cover a time span of some 2000 years. The subject of tithing never emerged as an issue in this time span. Also there were no tithing laws at this time!
Consider the action of Abraham in the light of the law of tithing later revealed in the book of Leviticus. There is not the slightest agreement; Moses required that the tithe be paid only on the increase of the land and animals. (Lev.27:30-31) The spoils Abraham supposed to have paid tithe on, were spoils he did not take a thread or a shoe latchet of! (Gen.14:23)
So what would he have paid tithes on? There was not even any biblical teaching which showed that Abraham was required to give a tenth of the spoil to Melchizedek. Moses commanded that the priests only receive 1/500th of the spoil from those who had gone to war as Abraham did. (Num.31:9, and 27-29) not 1/10,as shown in (Gen. 14:20!) What could be the matter here? Was the law changed? We know the law of the Almighty can not be changed! (Eccl.3:14)
So what is the explanation for this discrepancy? If Moses was recording in Genesis a universal law of tithing when he wrote about Abraham giving a tenth to Melchizedek, why does he depart from that very law some 400 years later with a complete different set of figures? Actually, Abraham was not following any law of tithing on spoil or on anything else!
Abraham’s tenth was only in the nature of a voluntary offering of thanksgiving to the Almighty for the deliverance of his people! The use of Melchizedek to gain tithes, has no merit! It is called theft! Many ministers of today use Abraham’s
offering of one tenth to make it seem that they have a right to take one ten of the people incomes today. This is theft!
If more evidence of the voluntary nature of offering or tithing is needed before the time of Moses, the account of Jacob’s offering provides it.
Gen.28:20-22, Jacob vowed a vow, saying, if YHWH will be with me, and will keep me in this way that I go, and will give me bread to eat, and raiment to put on, so that I come back to my father’s house in peace, then shall YHWH be my Mighty-one,…..and of all that you shall give me I will surely give the tenth to you.
Notice that this is only a conditional offering, not a tithe. Abraham and Jacob knew nothing of tithing, because there were no tithing laws at that time!
The Almighty’s Law of Tithing
YHWH had Moses set up a tithing system that was necessary for the upkeep of the tabernacle and the other services. This occurred at the beginning of the second year of the exodus. Moses told the sons of Jacob that they should thereafter give a tenth part of their seed crops and fruit crops, plus every tenth animal to the treasury in the newly erected tabernacle.(Lev.27:30-33)
Who Did Not Tithe?
Since farmers and ranchers were responsible for paying tithe, we now come to an equally important question: Who was not required to pay tithe on their increase?
The owner of a farm had to pay tithe on his increase, but the hired hand was not required to pay tithe. The crops and animals did not belong to him, and only the increase from one’s land, or animals, were tithed on. Mining, weaving, handcrafts, or any form of manufacturing was immune from tithing! Even the rancher who had fewer than ten animals did not have to tithe. (Lev.27:32) The rancher had to have an increase of ten young animals to pay the tenth! The rancher kept nine. The tithe was one in ever ten. Many ministers of today tell their members that the tithe is the Almighty’s, and that he must get his money first. The Bible says it is the tenth, (the last) not the first to be tithed!
Tithing Only For The Land Of Jacob
Another factor that has been overlooked concerning the biblical tithing system, is the fact that it only applied to those sons of Jacob who lived in Palestine!
And all the tithe of the land, whether of the seed of the land, or of the fruit of the tree,
Notice a major point about the tithing law.
(Leviticus 27:30) “And all the tithe of the land….”
In this verse, the Hebrew word ( ’erets ) is translated ( land ). This Hebrew meaning of this word in Strongs #776 is, the earth ( at large, or particularly a land) Notice (Lev.19:23, 20:2, 25:10, &18, 26:32 ) and many other scriptures. The word (land) here is referring to the land of milk and honey, in Palestine. At any rate, the letter of the law demanded that the tithes come only from the land of Palestine! To be guided strictly by biblical law, it would be improper to pay tithes on products from the United States, Britain, or any Gentile lands. In no way can tithing be lawfully applied today; also money is not to be tithed on!
* The name Jacob is used instead of Israel throughout this writing because what the angel said in (Gen.32:28) did not come true!
All the prophets spoke of Jacob after the angel said, Thy name shall be called no more Jacob. I reject this verse as untruth. Notice the word Israel has three hidden gods names in it, Isis- rah- el Notice in Strongs under the name Jacob, this name is used by the prophets over a hundred times. This is a needed study by truth seekers! The tribes of Jacob were not the princes of El, they are the son of YHWH.
Exo 4:22 And thou shalt say to Pharaoh, Thus saith YHWH: Israel (the sons of Jacob) is my son, my firstborn. How can people believe in another first born son?
Take it or leave it, it has been put before you, if you pay tithes today, you are an adversary to YHWH!