TITHING MADE SIMPLE
1) Read Deuteronomy 14:22-29 and 26:12-15. Mark them in your Bible. These are the two PRIMARY Scriptures in the entire WORD of GOD that
explain what tithing really is:
A HOLIDAY (HOLY-DAY) FOR THE FAMILY.
I have been praying over and studying this for over fifteen years. Therefore, I am going to move fast. Search out these Scriptures for yourselves: it will mean much more if God shows them to you than if I do. God CREATED marriage first; family second; all the various aspects of Church third. This is HIS ORDER. Those who in insist that they (as religious leaders) come first are part of the Nicolaitan Empire that JesusHATES (Rev. 2) God REQUIRED that Israel meet three times a year in the "place of His choosing": originally 48 Levitical cities in the Promised Land, which was never strictly obeyed (how "coincidental" that there are 48 continental United States!) This was reduced to six Cities Of Refuge (the post-911 and Katrina meanings should have prophetic significance to some);
Three east of Jordan which were abandoned over time; three within modern
Israel which still have meaning today (Kadesh, Shechem, and Hebron). Eventually, though, JERUSALEM became the center of the entire focus: and
historically has been GOD'S DESIGNATED CITY for over three thousand years!
(No wonder the Muslims are hell-bent on destroying it!)
THE TITHE IS A COMMUNITY LOVE-FEAST OF REJOICING IN CELEBRATION OF GOD'S GOODNESS. It is a time of gathering together in fellowship and communion. That is the MAIN REASON the ten percent is to be set aside! How this has been distorted! You see an example of this ugly dictatorship in Nehemiah 13:4-14. InHebrew, Tobiah means "Good": good programs, good music, good preaching,with every synthetic manmade gadget money can buy. When this is substituted for the Holy Spirit, however, this becomes an idol, which is "bad"! DO NOT SOW INTO OTHER MEN"S FIELDS THAT DO THIS: YOU WILL NOT REAP A REWARD!
He that oppresseth the poor to increase his riches, and he that giveth to the rich, shall surely come to want. Prov. 22:16.
In Ezekiel 45:21 & 25, the yearly times of meeting are prophetically
reduced to two; the New Testament agreement is in the day of Pentecost, where the Helper is given to believers, fulfilling THIS PORTION OF THE LAW. It is obvious to most Bible scholars that the Lord's Supper (Table) is an extension of the Firstfruit and Passover Feast (Roman Catholic Easter; but not exclusively: "as often as..." could mean every meal!); also obvious to most (sadly not all) is that Jesus has not yet returned to begin the Millennium: thus, the observance of the Feast of Tabernacles, signifying the Golden Age and One New Man prophesied by the Apostle Paul in Ephesians, is still the heart of the Three-In-One: Father, Son, and Spirit.
What about "we are not under the Law"? Remember what Jesus said:
Matthew 21:44 (Luke 20:18) And whosoever shall fall on this stone shall
be broken: but on whomsoever it shall fall, it will grind him to powder.
Not under the Law does not necessarily mean above it! The only time we should be OVER the mercy seat is in complete brokenness! We are not outlaws: outside-the-law: it is the Father's covenant which is written on our hearts: we are in-laws! We do the works that Jesus did, as disciples,not to gain salvation, but because we LOVE God and our fellowman. For those who teach that God's law has been replaced, but we must follow THEIR law, I have this to say, in agreement: Acts 5:29 Then Peter and the other apostles answered and said, We ought to obey God rather than men.
So, if God gives you the revelation that what He says is true (having been
thoroughly brainwashed by religion, it took my wife a few years to accept these Scriptures as actually valid): we come to the THIRD YEAR TITHING part:
Having now set aside ten percent of your income regularly for a biannual
trip "to the place of God's choosing" (through prayer and revelation, but not a secular vacation); the third year's tithe is set aside for the Levite, stranger, orphan, and widow (this is the Deuteronomy order.) Practically, this could mean that only the adult males attend the feasts every third year; or you could break this down to a yearly percentage. Now, the Levite does not mean the chief priest only, or only the priests who performed the sacrifice: if you examine the Scriptures, you will find that this includes (Sunday School) teachers, worship leaders, musicians,ushers (gatekeepers), secretaries (scribes), even sometimes construction workers!
If you insist on looking at the New Testament only (essentially disregarding tithing except by the local leader's command) the best Scriptural reference you can find is the DOUBLE PORTION: and twice nothing (which is what most of these "volunteer" workers get) is nothing! On a yearly basis, three to four percent of your income is what most families can afford (not including the income tax to the "king"), which comes out exactly correct: so, GIVE CHEERFULLY, WITHOUT CONDEMNATION!
Read Numbers 18 carefully: the first five verses and 24-30 being the
most important to this study. Note: "no inheritance" does not mean individual
houses (the Levites were given cities and fields for sacrificial animals);
but, by today's measure, it would probably mean no big real estate deals:
no million dollar mansions for the exclusive use of the senior pastor; no multi-million dollar corporations which become the golden-calf bottom-lion-line of ministry! (Television is a great witnessing tool, but extremely expensive; when it becomes the impersonal end that justifies the personal offering-appeal means, there is severe danger of putting money over the needs of the fellowship assembly.) Did you think that I forgot Malachi 3:8-10, probably the most-quoted verses in the Old Testament? If you read the entire four short chapters
of Malachi instead of just these verses, you find that the prophet is mainly
talking to LEADERS, not the congregation!
Note verse 3:5, for example;why isn't this preached from the pulpit? Ezekiel 34 and Zechariah 11 say the same thing, and they are mostly ignored in the post-Pauline Church, also (since leaders' words became better than THE WORD). This is not fun-and-games, folks! We are under a curse when we
deliberately follow those who teach falsehood, ESPECIALLY when we know the
Truth which will set us free! This "curse", the last word of the Old
Testament, is the same Hebrew word that caused Achan to be stoned in the
Valley of Trouble for stealing gold, silver, and a Babylonian garment that was DEVOTED TO GOD! (Joshua 7)
The modern-day "priests" who want to receive tithes for themselves are "bearing the iniquity of the sanctuary"; that is, they are taking the place
of the High Priest and Head of the Body who died for our sins: Jesus of
Nazareth! THE HOLY PORTION (tithe-of-the-tithe: 10% of all the Church
receives) BELONGS TO GOD ALONE! What would He have us do with it? Isaiah 58 gives us an answer, for those who will listen. Do you really want to follow someone who demands 10% of all your income who refuses to give any back to God? (Giving to other "ministries" subservient to his to keep the "yes-men" mentality rolling doesn't count.)
The average benevolence fund in the U.S. Protestant denominations is 2 to 3 percent; if you have a desperate need, you MIGHT get a few hundred dollars, once, often begrudgingly, to take care of it. This is NOT taking care of the needs of faithful Kingdom workers, newcomers to the community, and the poor who cannot care for themselves (orphans and widows). So, how are full-time ministers SUPPOSED to live? Look at the last three verses of the Song of Solomon:
Song 8:12 My vineyard, which is mine, is before me: thou, O Solomon,must have a thousand, and those that keep the fruit thereof two hundred. 13
Thou that dwellest in the gardens, the companions hearken to thy voice: cause
me to hear it. 14 Make haste, my beloved, and be thou like to a roe or to a
young hart upon the mountains of spices. (all KJV)
Do you REALLY love Jesus? Would a sixth be enough to meet the need of your family and staff, and the rest distributed to the work of the Kingdom (including all building and maintenance costs); basically, the TRUE MEANING OF THE STOREHOUSE? What is YOUR percentage of wood, hay, and stubble, compared to your investment work of eternity? Are you trusting another to answer to God for you, at the Last Judgment? These are important questions.
In Jesus' love and name, Ron David Metcalf