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MONEY AND THE BELIEVER

TithingNAILED-FINISHEDTithingNAILED-FINISHEDThere is not one example of anyone tithing MONEY to anyone in the entirety of the Bible! The only reference to "money" with regards to tithing has absolutely nothing to do with paying tithes ON money. It is found in Deut. 14:24-26, which we shall now read in its entirety:

"And if the way be too long for thee (to the place where God placed His name to be worshipped, especially during the fall feast harvest of tabernacles) so that you are not able to carry it (the tithe of their farm produce) or if the place be too far from you, which the Lord your God shall choose to set His name there, when the Lord your God has blessed you: Then shall you turn it(the tithe of their farm produce) into money, and bind up the money in your hand, and shall go unto the place which the Lord your God shall choose: And you shall bestow that money  (to the preachers?  to the church? NO…) …for whatsoever thy soul lusts after ‘for whatsoever your heart desires’, for oxen, or for sheep, or for wine, or for strong drink, or for whatsoever your soul desires: and you shall eat there before the Lord your God, and you shall rejoice, you, and your household."

Farm products could be sold and turned into money when long travel was necessary. But at the destination where God placed His name, the money was spent on food for the Levite, stranger, fatherless, poor, etc. It was not presented to the Levites as a monetary gift.

Here is an easy to understand Scripture explaining what the purpose of the tithe was:

"And the Levite, (because he has no part nor inheritance with you), and the stranger, and the fatherless, and the widow, which are within your gates, shall come, and shall EAT  (food from the land)and be satisfied; that the Lord your God may bless you in all the work of your hand which you do" (Deut. 14:29).

The Church would prefer you not know the following:

§ The tradesmen, who made the baskets for harvesting, did not tithe.

§    The cobblers, who made the shoes for the servants of the field, did not tithe.

§    The carpenters, who made the wagons used for harvesting the fields, did not tithe.

§    The potters, who made the jugs for carrying water to the servants in the fields, did not tithe.

§    The women, who made the garments for the field-workers, did not tithe.

§    And certainly, the servants who worked in the fields for wages did not tithe.

HERE ARE THE SIMPLE FACTS REGARDING THE BIBLE TEACHING OF TITHING:

■   ONLY LANDOWNERS TITHED

■   ONLY PRODUCTS OF THE LAND WERE TITHED

■   ONLY LEVITES COULD RECEIVE THE TITHES

■   TITHING WAS A LAW OF MOSES

■   CHRISTIANS ARE NOT UNDER THE LAW OF MOSES!

Does anyone have a Scripture that contradicts this?

By the way, Jesus Christ was a carpenter by trade, and as such, JESUS DID NOT TITHE!

JESUS CAME TO FULFILL THE LAW, NOT TO RELIVE THE LAW

Christians believe that Jesus came to FULFILL the Law of Moses by RELIVING the Law of Moses in His own personal life. He assuredly did not. This is an entire study of itself; Jesus did not concern Himself with Tithes and Taxes, and restrictions of the Law of Moses.

THE TEMPLE TAX

Not only did Jesus not tithe, because He was a carpenter and carpenters were not obligated to tithe, but neither did He pay the Temple tax, which was commanded by the Law of Moses for all men in Israel to pay annually. Of the 613 laws of Moses, this is Law # 404:

"This they shall give, every one that passes among them that are numbered, half a shekel after the shekel of the sanctuary: (a shekel is twenty gerahs): an half shekel shall be the offering of the Lord.

Every one that passes among them that are numbered, from twenty years old and above, shall give an offering unto the Lord.

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.

And you shall take the atonement money of the children of Israel and shall appoint it for the service of the tabernacle [in Jesus’ time, to the Temple] of the congregation; that it may be a memorial unto the children of Israel before the Lord, to make an atonement for your souls" (Exodus 30:13-16).

Jesus Christ did not pay this yearly tax to the Temple, for the same reason that Jesus did not keep the Sabbath day commandment. Jesus Christ is Lord of the Sabbath. (Matt. 12:8)  And likewise, Jesus is not only Lord of the Temple,  Jesus is the Temple.

(John 2:19)  And, furthermore, Jesus was the Lord to Whom Israel gave the half shekel as an offering. Jesus does not need an atonement for His soul;  Jesus Christ is the Atonement  (Rom. 5:9-11).

Notice this remarkable story of the only time the temple tax came up in the ministry of Jesus. Most Christians will never hear an explanation of these verses as long as they live! These verses are highly incriminating to those who teach the tithing of money to the Church:

"And when they were come to Capernaum, they that received tribute money came to Peter, and said, Does not your master pay tribute (Greek: ‘pay the double drachma’ which was the exact amount of the annual Temple tax).

He says, Yes. (Peter was embarrassed and apparently not honest with his answer)  And when he was come into the house, Jesus prevented him, saying, “What do you think, Simon? Of whom do the kings of the earth take custom or tribute? [taxes] Of their own children (sons) or of strangers?”

Peter said unto Him, of strangers. Jesus said unto him, THEN ARE THE CHILDREN FREE. Notwithstanding, LEST WE SHOULD OFFEND THEM, go thou to the sea, and cast an hook, and take up the fish that first comes up; and when you have opened its mouth, thou shall find a piece of money that take and give unto them for Me and thee." (Matt. 17:24-27)

What an amazing story! What a telling teaching truth from Scriptures we have here! No wonder most Christians have never heard this Scripture explained in Church.

The reason Peter said "yes" to the tribute collector is because it was embarrassing to Him to say, "NO, my master does NOT pay temple tax." It was such a small amount of money (less than a dollar). But now Peter has to go into the house give Jesus an appraisal of what just happened. Jesus being merciful to Peter does not reprimand him for not being honest with the tribute collector, but rather, cuts him off [forestalls him] before he can speak and saves Peter the embarrassment.

The point is this: Jesus did not pay temple tax because Jesus is the King of the kingdom. And if the children are free, certainly the King Himself is free.

Neither did Jesus stone or condone others to stone, the woman caught in the very act of adultery even thought the Law of Moses demanded it:

"And the man that commits adultery with another man’s wife, even he that commits adultery with his neighbor’s wife, the adulterer AND THE ADULTERESS SHALL SURELY BE PUT TO DEATH" (Lev. 20:10).

Now then, did Jesus come to "fulfill" this Law of Moses by living, teaching and carrying out that law? He surely did not. He rather said, "He that is without sin among you, let him first cast a stone at her." (John 8:7). If we are to believe that "fulfilling the law" of Moses can only be accomplished by living, teaching and enforcing the law of Moses, then something is wrong with that theory because Jesus obviously did NOT carry out many commands of the law of Moses in His own life!

The theologians have debased the New Covenant as being nothing more than the Old Covenant, with a few added twists.  Jesus "fulfilled the law" not by adding a few spiritual twists to it, but by keeping a MUCH HIGHER SPIRITUAL LAW that actually contradicted much of the letter of Moses’ Law.

One doesn’t need a physical law of the letter chiseled in stone, to "keep the sabbath" when he has entered into "God’s SPIRITUAL REST"in his heart.

One doesn’t need a physical law of the letter to "swear by His name" when in his heart his desire is to "swear NOT at all."

One doesn’t need a physical law chiseled in stone telling him "thou shalt not commit adultery" when in his heart he no longer "even looks on a woman to lust after her."

One doesn’t need a physical law telling him to "HATE his enemies" when now in his very heart, he "LOVES his enemies."

LOVE is lot different than just putting a spiritual twist on HATE. Not swearing at all is more than putting a spiritual twist on the commandment TO SWEAR.

And neither did Jesus take the commandment to "bring ye all the tithes into the storehouse" and spiritually twist it into "bring ye all the money into the pastor’s bank account."

And so what is it that Jesus is teaching us? Simple, neither the king nor his children pay Temple tax! "…then are the children FREE." Neither our King, nor we, pay Temple taxes or tithes to our own kingdom.

The only reason, that Jesus paid this Temple tax was, "…lest we should offend them." Not because it was a LAW OF MOSES and Jesus had to keep the Law of Moses, but only because, "…lest we should offend them."

Furthermore, where did Jesus get the money (the very small amount of money) to pay this temple tax so as to not offend them? From His own pocket? From the treasury held by Judas? From Peter’s house? No. He had God provide for it in a fish from the sea. Jesus did not even deign to pay this tax from His own money. And say, did you notice that Jesus paid for Himself and Peter only? He did not even pay for the other eleven.

Do you suppose we are sinning if we follow His steps by not tithing? Should we follow His steps, or commandments of the clergymen?

GIVING IS VOLUNTARY

The New Testament teachings on giving are unpretentiously simplistic involving the heart and not some law:

"…freely ye have received, freely give"(Matt. 10:8b).

"Give to him that asks you, and from him that would borrow of you turn not thou away"(Matt. 5:42).

"The churches in Macedonia and Achaia, you see, have thought it a good thing to make a contribution towards the poor Christians in Jerusalem. They have decided to do this, and indeed they owe it to them. For if the gentiles have had a share in the Jews’ spiritual good things it is only fair that they should look after the Jews as far as the good things of this world are concerned" (Rom. 15:26-27, J. B. Phillips Translation).

"I have showed you all things, how that so laboring 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"(Acts 20:35).

"HOW ARE WE TO PAY THE CHURCH BILLS IF THE PEOPLE DON’T TITHE?"

A pastor may ask: “How are we to pay the Church Bills if the people don’t tithe?” My answer is: “I don’t know too but I have been a pastor for 37 years yet I survived without asking people money by force. I work in the farm while doing the ministry.”

GIVING VERSUS TITHING

Tithing was commanded by the LAW.

Giving is voluntary from the HEART.

THE APOSTLE PAUL VERSUS CHRISTIAN TITHING

The Apostle Paul never tithed, never taught Gentiles to tithe, never collected tithes, and never accepted tithes. Can anyone imagine what Paul would have said had someone come up to him and offered him $100 saying: "Here Paul, here is my payment according to the tithing law with regards to my thousand-dollar paycheck." I don’t know what his exact words would be, but I have studied the writings of Paul, and I can tell you what he would have said in principle:

"Sir, MONEY is not a tithable commodity. Furthermore, tithes can be paid to the Levitic priests only, and I am not a Levite, I am from the Tribe of Benjamin. Furthermore, as a believer in Jesus Christ, you are also freed from the law of Moses. Jesus Christ has taught us that, ‘FREELY you have received, FREELY give." One cannot give ‘freely’ that which is demanded by law. I am sorry, but I cannot accept money that is given out of obligation to a law. Jesus has freed us from carnal ordinances, and whom Jesus has freed, ‘is FREE indeed.’"

Now then, give that same $100 to any number of priests of Christendom, and one might receive this retort: "Well, if this $100 is your tithe, where is your offering? Don’t you know that the tithe is commanded and demanded by law? You have only given me what is commanded by law of you to give. You have not really giving me anything until you give me money in excess of your tithes"

Paul was inspired by God's Holy Spirit to declare that "God loves a cheerful giver(II Cor.9:7). Why was not Paul inspired by God’s Holy Spirit to declare that, "God loves a cheerful tithe-payer?”

The Law of Moses regarding tithing produce from the land was still in effect during Christ’s ministry, and therefore, all of the nation of Israel who had land were to tithe from their land and give it to the Priests and Levites, strangers, fatherless, widows, poor, and even consume some of it themselves at God’s annual festivals. However, this system with its laws and temple were all part of the original church of God in the wilderness. Jesus, however, did not tithe. Likewise, His apostles, did not tithe. Furthermore, neither Jesus, nor His Apostles, nor Paul, ever taught new Christian converts to the newly established Church of Christ, to tithe to this new church!

Here then is the bottom line: Neither, Jesus nor His apostles tithed themselves or taught tithing to others. And within a generation God pronounced to the entire world by the total destruction of both the nation of Judah, and their city of Jerusalem with its temple, that the church established in the wilderness, was now superseded by the Church of Christ. The nation of Israel was gone, the temple was gone, the priests were gone, the Levites were gone, and concerning the very Law of Moses containing the law of tithing, we read this:

"In that he says, A NEW covenant, He has made the first OLD. Now that which DECAYS and waxes OLD is ready to VANISH AWAY" (Heb. 8:13).

But the Church today doesn’t want the New Covenant to replace the Old. They want to put the New Wine (of the New Covenant), in the Old Bottles (of the Old Covenant). And they want to put the New Cloth (of the New Covenant), on the Old Cloth (of the Old Covenant). And what did Jesus tell us would be the result of such an unharmonious and unequal yoking?

"And no man puts new wine into old bottles; else the new wine will burst the bottles, and be spilled and the bottles shall perish."

However, in two thousand years, the church is still trying put the Old and the New together as One, and the results are always disastrous.

Just why is it that they like the Old covenant better than the New? Here’s the answer from the lips of our Master Himself: "No man also having drunk old wine [lived by the Old Covenant] straightway desires new [the spiritual New Covenant]: for he says, The old is better(Luke 5:39).

But not only is the Church blinded by the new wine, they are also intoxicated from the old wine to the point that they have no idea what it’s purpose was in the first place. Jesus said,  "You blind guides, which STRAIN OUT A GNAT  [are attentive to TINY insignificant things like paying tithes on mint and pepper pods], and SWALLOW A CAMEL [totally neglect the weightier matters of the law which are of HUGE consequence, like judgment, faith, mercy, and the love of God](Matt. 23:24).

How many millions of sermons are geared toward "straining out gnats" on Sunday morning, so that the Pastors can "swallow camels" all week long?

HOW THE APOSTLE PAUL FINANCED HIS INTERNATIONAL MINISTRY

Worldliness in the Church today is not looked upon as shameful, but rather as being chic. Power, wealth, and notoriety are not things to be repented of, but are rather to be lusted after and pursued with great vigor. Young aspiring ministers are not thought to be vain or ambitious when seeking worldliness, but are rather thought of as being enthusiastic for the work of the Lord. Let’s see how Paul did things.

"For yourselves know how you ought to follow us: for we behaved not ourselves disorderly among you: Neither did we eat any man’s bread for naught; but wrought with labor and travail NIGHT AND DAY, that we might not be chargeable to any man. Not because we have not power, but to MAKE OURSELVES AN EXAMPLE UNTO YOU TO FOLLOW US." (II Thes. 3:7-9).

But how many truly follow Paul’s example? You be the judge.

"For ye remember, brethren, our labour and travail: for LABOURING NIGHT AND DAY, because we would not be chargeable unto any of you, we preached unto you the Gospel of God" (I Thes. 2:9).

"And because he was of the same craft [trade], he abode with them, and wrought [worked]for by their occupation they were tent makers(Acts 18:3).

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

Tithing-vs-GivingTithing-vs-GivingCheerfully giving from the heart is a virtue. However, fraudulently fleecing the flock by exacting ten percent of parishioner's paychecks under fear of breaking an Old Testament law of tithing is a sin!

Well I certainly don’t begrudge any minister an honest living. However, I do believe that when many of these modern televangelists (and others) feel the need to have everything they own gold gilded, just maybe their greed and vanity starts to destroy their effectiveness as dispensers of God’s Truths.

There is no need for people to feel guilty over any religious doctrine. It is time we rid ourselves of guilty consciences. Hopefully, by the time you have finished reading this paper your guilt over tithing or non-tithing will be gone forever!

It is my sincere desire that all who have been chafing under the unscriptural burden of Christian tithing will feel free at last to follow their heart in giving to whomever they desire as God prospers them. John 8:32 tells us that Truth is Freedom:

"And ye shall know the Truth, and the Truth shall make you FREE."

Continue to read "Tithing doctrine part three"

Bobby Cabonce

Website: thereisnoothername.com

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