Friday, September 9, 2022
What if I told you that your organized church has deceived you about tithing, taking ten percent of your annual income which by God’s Word largely belongs to you and your family? What if I told you the biblical tithe was largely meant to benefit you and your family and not enriching the organized church so it can act like a big business and fund what the heart of leadership desires? And what if I said two-thirds of your tithe was to be spent by you and your family on “whatever your heart desires” and the other third was used for physical food for the pastor, the stranger, the fatherless and the widow, all according to God? Would you be interested? I prayerfully hope so.
The organized church with its traditions has deceived its members and put a burden on them not found in the Scriptures. And worse, membership in the organized church often has a prerequisite of tithing to that assembly. I remember that in ignorance I was once participant in that deceptive tradition, but have since confessed and asked God’s forgiveness for having misled many people.
First, to the many pastors and believers who will quote to me “Will a man rob God? Yet you have robbed Me! But you say, ‘In what way have we robbed You?’ In tithes and offerings. You are cursed with a curse, for you have robbed Me, even this whole nation. ‘Bring all the tithes into the storehouse, that there may be food in My house, and try Me now in this,’ says the Lord of hosts, ‘If I will not open for you the windows of heaven and pour out for you such blessing that there will not be room enough to receive it’” (Mal. 3:8–10). [Emphasis mine] What does God mean by “Bring all the tithes”? He refers to His command of tithing. And what does God mean by “that there may be food in My house”? He means just that—as you will see, physical food for the “priest, the stranger, the fatherless, and the widow”; the word “food”, here, is rendered “meat” in the KJV, and Strong’s #H2964 specifically means physical food for one’s nourishment; but again, for whom?—“the priest, the stranger, the fatherless, and the widow”.
And remember, God said, “I am the LORD, I do not change” (Mal. 3:6). Nor did He ever change His law of the tithe. There is NOTHING in the New Covenant that contradicts or changes God’s original law of tithe. Therefore, God’s original law is yet in full force and effect for believers. In the love of Christ, allow God’s Word to minister to you, and reclaim what rightfully belongs to you and your family to the glory, honor, praise and majesty of God who saves us by His grace!
Here now is God’s unchanging heart and constant truth of the tithe, receive it by faith.
“You shall truly tithe all the increase of your grain that the field produces year by year. And you shall eat before the Lord your God, in the place where He chooses to make His name abide, the tithe of your grain and your new wine and your oil, of the firstborn of your herds and your flocks, that you may learn to fear the Lord your God always. But if the journey is too long for you, so that you are not able to carry the tithe, or if the place where the Lord your God chooses to put His name is too far from you, when the Lord your God has blessed you, then you shall exchange it for money, take the money in your hand, and go to the place which the Lord your God chooses. And you shall spend that money for whatever your heart desires; for oxen or sheep, for wine or similar drink, for whatever your heart desires; you shall eat there before the Lord your God, and you shall rejoice, you and your household. You shall not forsake the Levite who is within your gates, for he has no part nor inheritance with you. At the end of every third year you shall bring out the tithe of your produce of that year and store it up within your gates. And the Levite, because he has no portion nor inheritance with you, and the stranger and the fatherless and the widow who are within your gates, may come and eat and be satisfied, that the Lord your God may bless you in all the works of your hand which you do” (Deut. 14:22–29). [My emphasis] I pray you discern with a glad heart God’s infinite wisdom in creating the tithe.
When God spoke Mal. 3:8–10, that “You are cursed with a curse, for you have robbed Me” it was a rebuke to the house of Israel for not honoring the tithe per His commands, and as a result the priest, the stranger, the fatherless, and the widow did not have sufficient food to eat. In this, the families of Israel were consuming the one-third of the tithe intended for the needy while the needy suffered insufficient food. And if you know our God, that is detestable to Him, who said “For the poor will never cease from the land; therefore I command you, saying, ‘You shall open your hand wide to your brother, to your poor and your needy, in your land’” (Deut. 15:11). And Jesus Himself said, “you have the poor with you always” (Matt. 26:11; Mark 14:7; John 12:8).
However, the other two-thirds of the tithe is not about giving church leadership corporate-style purchasing power to buy lands, hiring capital campaign strategists, and leading people to falsely believe their tithe is for buildings and buying the world’s tantalizing apparels of Hollywood-style Gobo lights, spiritually distracting backdrop screens, hundred-thousand-dollar sound boards, and fake smoke machines and so much other worthless, worldly, paraphernalia! No, just the opposite, by God’s command the other two-thirds of the tithe is specifically intended for the working men and families who, in faithfulness worked hard, and God rewards them with the fruits of their own labor every two years, “And you shall spend that money for whatever your heart desires”.
It’s enough that we all have to pay state and federal government taxes, but then for the organized church to make members beholden to it for another ten percent of their income is preposterous! Such a command never came from God, but from men who create traditions of men so they can make a name for themselves, so they can spend other people’s money on the desires of their own hearts. Those reaping wealth from state and federal taxes thrive on spending others’ money. And look around, churches are everywhere, built by extracting a false tithe. There’s not one example of a New Covenant apostle planting a church by holding a capital campaign and raising money for the building of a facility. No—biblical church planters planted churches in people’s existing homes, a model that’s long been forsaken by the organized church in America. It speaks to the deceptive powers of traditions of men who disagree with God while many pastors desire to be viewed as big business CEOs while filling their coffers with for-profit cash which often occurs.
Universal to all not guarded by truth, that “the love of money is the root of all evil” (1 Tim. 6:10 KJV), many capitalize on money for which they have not worked, saying “trust us”. Easy money is certain to suffer abuse as evidenced by government’s taxes being spent on all kinds of ungodly agendas. So too, much of the organized church spends tithe money on self-aggrandizing agendas as trained spin masters in church convince people that they know how best to spend tithe money, which isn’t theirs to spend, for God commands two-thirds of people’s tithe be spent by them, for them “for whatever your heart desires”, not what leadership desires, and further, “that you may learn to fear the Lord your God always”. The traditional structure of the tithe wholly negates those commands because it takes from the many and puts it in the hands of the few and largely robs people from reaping God’s blessings of the tithe intended for them and their families.
Post-Calvary, God did not change His mind on the tithe any more than He changed His mind on the Ten Commandments. If you tithe, stop tithing to tradition and tithe according to the Word of God. For two years you and your family use the tithe of your increase to celebrate God’s faithful love in enabling you to have an increase. Then every third year take your tithe and let it provide physical food for the priest/pastor, the stranger, the fatherless, and the widow, in your purview. It’s time to reclaim what belongs to you and your family. If you love God’s commands, and I believe you do, the tithe is God’s gift of love to His hard working men and women of faith.
Marlin J. Yoder