Truth About Tithing

Truth About Tithing
From Lex Meyer of Unlearn The Lies

It is popular in Christian churches to teach that we must tithe 10% of our paycheck to the church, but is this really what the Bible teaches? I find it quite ironic (and hypocritical) that the churches who teach that the Law is abolished are the same ones who teach that you must pay them a tithe from your income. This teaching is quite popular because it ensures a steady income for the pastors, but is it Biblical?

What does the Bible actually tell us about tithing? The Torah instructions concerning the tithe are always about produce, grain, and livestock.

“And all the tithe of the LAND, whether of the SEED of the land or of the FRUIT of the TREE, is the Lord’s. It is holy to the Lord… And concerning the tithe of the HERD or the FLOCK, of whatever passes under the rod, the tenth one shall be holy to the Lord.”
– Leviticus 27:30-32

Notice it is the tenth animal that you tithe on. This means if you only have 9 cows, you do not give a tithe of your cows, and if you have 19 sheep, you are required to give only one of them as a tithe.

Some people will argue that the tithe was only produce and animals at that time because they did not have money, but that is completely untrue. We see in Genesis that money was commonly used. Abraham had gold and silver, and he purchased a plot of land to bury Sarah when she died.

“and he spoke to Ephron in the hearing of the people of the land, saying, “If you will give it, please hear me. I will give you money for the field; take it from me and I will bury my dead there.”
– Genesis 23:13

Also, when Joseph was working for Pharaoh, he sold food for money, and when his brothers came to buy food, he had the money placed back into their bags.

“Then Joseph gave a command to fill their sacks with grain, to restore every man’s money to his sack, and to give them provisions for the journey. Thus he did for them.”
– Genesis 42:25

We also know that when the census was taken, it was required that each person give one half-shekel as an offering to the Lord, and it was not based on how much wealth a person had, but it was a flat tax that everyone paid.

“When you take the census of the children of Israel for their number, then every man shall give a ransom for himself to the Lord, when you number them, that there may be no plague among them when you number them. This is what everyone among those who are numbered shall give: half a shekel according to the shekel of the sanctuary (a shekel is twenty gerahs). The half-shekel shall be an offering to the Lord. Everyone included among those who are numbered, from twenty years old and above, shall give an offering to the Lord. The rich shall not give more and the poor shall not give less than half a shekel, when you give an offering to the Lord, to make atonement for yourselves.”
– Exodus 30:12-15

So, we see in this particular instance, God specifically asked for money, but this was not a tithe. This was a specific case in which money was requested by God for taking a census. However, money was not to be taken for tithe. In fact, there is an exception that is made that specifically mentions money and how it is to be used concerning the tithe.

“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.”
– Deuteronomy 14:24-26

So, we see that the only time money can be used in connection with tithes is when the journey is too far to carry your produce and cattle, then you can sell your tithes for money, and take the money on your journey so that you can buy food and beverages for your tithe. Notice also that this tithe is to be eaten by you, because it is for you to celebrate the Feasts of the Lord, such as Passover, Pentecost, and Tabernacles.

Even in the New Testament, when it mentions tithe, it is always in the context of produce (not money).

“Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you pay tithe of MINT and ANISE and CUMMIN, and have neglected the weightier matters of the law: justice and mercy and faith. These you ought to have done, without leaving the others undone.”
– Matthew 23:23

“But woe to you Pharisees! For you tithe MINT and RUE and all manner of HERBS, and pass by justice and the love of God. These you ought to have done, without leaving the others undone.”
– Luke 11:42

So, if your preacher asks you for your tithe, I guess you can give him a salad because the only tithe mentioned in the New Testament was items from a garden.

So, what is the purpose of the Tithe? Why did God tell Israel to tithe, and who was the tithe for? The Bible explains that the tithe was given to the Levites to eat because they did not receive a land inheritance. All of the other tribes were given land, so they could grow crops and raise livestock, but the Levites were appointed to serve in the Temple and did not have any land to grow their own food. So, God set up the tithes as a way to provide food for the Levites.

“Speak thus to the Levites, and say to them: ‘When you take from the children of Israel the tithes which I have given you from them as your inheritance, then you shall offer up a heave offering of it to the Lord, a tenth of the tithe… You may eat it in any place, you and your households, for it is your reward for your work in the tabernacle of meeting.”
– Numbers 18:26-31

The tithe was for the Levites. It was not given to the rabbis or teachers unless of course, they were Levites. In fact, Yeshua never received tithes from anyone, because He was not a Levite. Even today, Jewish rabbis do not collect tithes, because they understand that the tithes are for the Levites serving in the Temple, not the rabbis.

So, why do so many preachers impose and require tithes from their congregations? There are two main reasons that I have found.

In most cases, the preacher has inherited lies too, and he does not realize that he is taking illegal tithes. He does it because that is the way it has been done for centuries. These preachers need to have their eyes opened to the truth.

However, in some cases, the preacher is greedy and deceptive, deliberately twisting the Scriptures to their advantage, and manipulating people into giving them 10% of their income. These men are wolves in sheep’s clothing.

They prey on the poor, telling them “if you give from your poverty, God will bless you with wealth.” They also like to prey on the emotions of the people by twisting the words of Malachi concerning tithes. However, when we look at the context of what Malachi was saying, we see that he was talking about tithes of produce and grain in the storehouse.

“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.”
– Malachi 3:8-10

Malachi is not talking about blessing us with money as the prosperity preachers claim. He is talking about God blessing us with an abundance of produce and livestock. I talk about this more in my video titled the “Biblical truth about blessings and curses”.

The Biblical tithe is part of the Temple service and is meant for the Levites and the poor. The tithe was never given to rabbis or teachers. However, there is a need for financial support for ministry, and the Bible does speak about this type of giving.

“Or is it only Barnabas and I who have no right to refrain from working? Who ever goes to war at his own expense? Who plants a vineyard and does not eat of its fruit? Or who tends a flock and does not drink of the milk of the flock? Do I say these things as a mere man? Or does not the law say the same also? For it is written in the law of Moses, “You shall not muzzle an ox while it treads out the grain.” Is it oxen God is concerned about? Or does He say it altogether for our sakes? For our sakes, no doubt, this is written, that he who plows should plow in hope, and he who threshes in hope should be partaker of his hope. If we have sown spiritual things for you, is it a great thing if we reap your material things? If others are partakers of this right over you, are we not even more? Nevertheless we have not used this right, but endure all things lest we hinder the gospel of Christ. Do you not know that those who minister the holy things eat of the things of the temple, and those who serve at the altar partake of the offerings of the altar? Even so the Lord has commanded that those who preach the gospel should live from the gospel.”
– 1 Corinthians 9:6-14

If there is a ministry that you like, that is helping you to grow in your faith, then you should support that ministry because without adequate support that ministry will not be able to sustain itself. However, this type of support is not a “tithe”. If someone is dedicating their life to teaching and spreading the truth of the Bible, is it too much to ask for those who have benefited from their ministry to give a donation to help support the work of that ministry?

We should be people who are willing to give and help others in need, especially if they are doing God’s work. But, you are not obligated to give 10% of your income. Any gift you give to support a ministry is a love gift, and you are free to give any amount you desire. This type of giving is not compulsory but is done out of a desire to help support the ministry.

I hope this teaching has helped to clear up the subject of tithing and has given you a new perspective on giving to support a ministry.

Source: http://www.unlearnthelies.com/the-truth-about-tithing/

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The Great American Sermon

Go into any conservative American Church today and most likely the following is going to be how their sermon goes:

Read a few lines of Scripture for context (even though you need A LOT more for real context)

Tell some short cool, dramatic or humorous story that somehow relates to the Scripture passage to get you interested and listening to the sermon to come!

Give a little background on the passage that was picked up from a few standard commentaries.

Regurgitate the the few lines of Scripture again in the “pastor’s” own words and point out specific things like something related to grammar or history.

Say a few ways to apply that passage to people’s lives (whether it was obvious in the passage or not).

Someone went to Bible College and a Seminary to do the above.

The following is facetious but true …

Anyone can do the above and not have to go to school …

Buy a: Bible (whatever version the majority of the church uses because the majority is always right), 1 conservative commentary (most of them say pretty much the same thing from a Greek Mindset), The Message or Living Bible, and Life Application Bible or just the notes if they sell them separately.

When you read your few verses or passage of Scripture make sure to use the popular Bible translation. Then give the background of the Scriptures you read from your commentary. Now it is time to dumb everything down as if the people in the pews are less intelligent or whatever and re-read the few Scriptures/passage out of the Message or Living Bible. Maybe throw in the meaning of a particular Greek or Hebrew word if it is relevant (your commentary will let you know). Now its time to give everyone their application, just read whatever your Life Application Bible’s notes said about the passage.

Wow great Conservative Christian American Sermon accomplished and you didn’t even have to go to college/seminary!

 

Blessings and Curses – Some Background from Ancient Near Eastern Covenants

By Tim Hegg of TorahResource
When we read the Scriptures, it is immediately clear that we are reading ancient literature. We are taken into a world of past millennia where language and culture differed dramatically from our own.
And if we are honest with ourselves, we must admit that often the greatest difficulty in understanding the biblical text is this chasm of time: we are very far removed from the world in which the sacred text took shape. I don’t mean to suggest that the words of the Bible are somehow without relevance to us—far from it! Because what distinguishes the Bible from other ancient literature is the fact that it is invested with the very breath of God. The Spirit brings the words and their meaning alive to the one who
entrusts himself by faith to the Divine Author of the Scriptures.
But still, the Bible is written in ancient themes and concepts. That is why we must work hard to understand the historical setting into which the Scriptures were born. This is all the more true for a book like Devarim (Deuteronomy). For it has been recognized as cast in the legal form of a covenant—a covenant patterned after the Ancient Near Eastern treaties between a Great King (called a Suzerain) and his Vassal. Understanding the literary form in which Deuteronomy is written will help us understand its
overall message. Conversely, to neglect the form in which it is written will inevitably detract from grasping its divinely intended meaning. So come with me, just for a moment, back into the world of the Ancient Near East, as we discover the Suzerain-Vassal treaty and see how it was used by God Himself to reveal His covenant with Israel.
In the civilizations of the Ancient Near East, it was common for nations to expand their territories through conquest. A Great King was one who had command of a well equipped and trained army, able to conquer smaller, weaker nations, and annex their lands to his. When the Great King would conquer a neighboring nation, he would most often enthrone a lesser King, called a Vassal, over the conquered region. The Vassal was obligated to rule in the absence of the Great King, and to do so in such a way as
to give glory and honor to the Great King.  The Vassal was to be, in every way, a representative of the Great King. It was in light of this governing relationship that the Great King would enact a covenant with the Vassal that would insure his faithfulness. This is because it was always possible that the Vassal might consider his own strength sufficient to eventually rebel against the Great King, and attempt to establish his own, sovereign rule. The covenant, or treaty, between the Great King and his Vassal, was
therefore written in language that would remind the Vassal of his obligation to the Great King, and even instill fear in him if ever he should entertain the idea of rebellion.
These Suzerain-Vassal treaties usually followed a set literary form (though the order of the varioussections was sometimes varied). They began with the identification of the Great King (called the “Preamble”) followed by a recap of his previous relationship to the Vassal (the Historical Prologue).
Next would come stipulations, which  often included the duties required of the Vassal, including allegiance to the Suzerain, payment of taxes or tribute, the requirement to join as an ally in times of war,and the return of criminals who might seek safe haven in his jurisdiction. Following the stipulations was an oath ceremony in which the Vassal would take a solemn oath to uphold the covenant, and witnesses
to the oath were named. Then were listed blessings and curses: blessings if the Vassal discharged his duties faithfully, and curses if he did not. It was here that a true incentive existed for the Vassal to remain faithful, for the blessings afforded by the Great King would maintain the Vassal’s rule and power, but the curses envisioned his sure demise in the worst possible scenarios. Finally, the treaty would conclude with the  requirement for the Vassal to deposit a copy of the treaty in the public
1 archives.
A good number of written examples of the Suzerain-Vassal treaty have been discovered by archaeologists, witnessing to the fact that the literary form of the treaties was more or less standard in the Ancient Near East, and that such arrangements between a Great King and his Vassals were common.
Many of these have been found in the remains of the Hittite nation.
It is therefore significant that each of these elements of the Suzerain-Vassal treaty are found in the text and structure of Devarim.  Note this general outline of the book:
Preamble: 1:1–5 (identifying the Great King) Historical Prologue: 1:6–4:43 (relationship between the Great King and his Vassal) Stipulations: 4:44–26:19 (specific requirements for the Vassal) Ratification/Oath: 27:1–26 (ceremony to enact the covenant)
Blessings and Curses (with some additional stipulations): 28:1–30:20 (consequences for obedience or rebellion)
Deposition of the Covenant: 31:1–29 (the legally binding nature of the covenant)
The fact that Devarim is given to Moses in the form of a Suzerain-Vassal treaty speaks volumes as to its meaning and interpretation. God is the Great King, and Israel is His Vassal. Thus, Israel is to govern and rule upon the earth as His representative, constantly upholding His glory and ultimate rule. Itis in this context that Israel is to be a “light to the nations.” When the nations see Israel, they are to recognize that God is the Great King, and marvel at His greatness. Moreover, as Israel discharges her
allotted authority, she will receive the blessings promised by the Suzerain.
However, if we look more closely at the manner in which the curses are listed, we discover that they are never considered final or irrevocable on a national scale. If Israel is disobedient to the covenant,and if she rebels against the Great King, she will feel the sting of the curses. However, if she repents of her sin and returns in faithfulness to the Lord, she will be restored in the covenant and the blessings will be reinstated (Deuteronomy 30:1–5). Thus, in the final analysis, repentance and obedience (or lack
thereof) are the bedrock issues that determine the administration of the covenant curses or blessings.
The fact that Israel’s relationship to her God is cast in a covenant or treaty relationship explains the sending of the prophets to Israel. In the Ancient Near East, it was common for a Great King to send officials to the lands of his Vassals to assess their compliance with the covenant. In the same way, God sends His prophets to Israel to remind her of the covenant obligations, and to rebuke her for her rebellion. Note, for example, the words of Hosea:
Listen to the word of the LORD, O sons of Israel, for the LORD has a case against the
inhabitants of the land, because there is no faithfulness or kindness or knowledge of God in the land. (Hosea 4:1)
Hosea, speaking the word of the Lord, and acting as the Great King’s ambassador, brings the legal  case against Israel: she has been unfaithful to the covenant. The three terms used,  “faithfulness” (
אֶמֶת
,
‘emet
), “kindness” (
חֶסֶד
,
chesed
) and “knowledge” (
דַעַת
,
da‘at
) are all covenant terms, signifying loyalty and faithfulness of a Vassal to the Great King. When the prophet proclaims that there is no “knowledge of God in the land,” he is not suggesting that Israel is unaware of God’s existence, or of her relationship  with Him as a covenant partner. Rather, in covenant contexts (such as this), “knowledge” should be understood as a term of relationship (Hosea 2:20). To say that there is no knowledge of God in the Land means that there is no intimate, covenant relationship displayed by the nation of Israel. She has rather
2

http://www.torahresource.com/pdf-articles/blessings-and-curses.pdf

Another Strong Delusion … Watch Out!

There are a lot of videos by Black “Hebrew-Israelites” online. They are full of lies, deceit, racism, bigotry and so on.

Job 30:30, “My skin is black upon me, and my bones are burned with heat.

The ISR 98 literal translation reads, “My skin became black upon me, and my bones burned with heat

Job was noting an odd condition caused by his infirmities, as there is no reason to proclaim that his skin was black if he was a black man.

Albert Barnes’ Notes on the Bible on Job 30:30

My skin is black upon me; – It had become black by the force of the disease.

My bones are burnt with heat – The bones, in the Scriptures, are often represented as the seat of pain. The disease of Job seems to have pervaded the whole body. If it was the elephantiasis (see the notes at Job 2:7-8), these effects would be naturally produced.

John Gill’s Exposition of the Entire Bible on Job 30:30

My skin is black upon me,… Either through deep melancholy, as may be observed in persons of such a disposition, through grief and trouble; or rather through the force of his disease, the burning ulcers and black scabs with which he was covered, as the Jews were through famine, in their captivity, Lam. 4:8;

and my bones are burnt with heat; with the heat of a burning fever; which not only made his inwards boil, but reached to his bones, and dried up the marrow of them.

Matthew Poole’s Commentary on the Holy Bible on Job 30:30

My skin is black upon me; either by his dark-coloured scabs, wherewith his body was in a manner wholly overspread; or by grief, as before.

My bones are burned with heat; the effect of his fever and sorrow, which dried up all his moisture, and caused great inflammations and burning heats within him.

Revelation 1:14, “His head and his hairs were white like wool, as white as snow; and his eyes were as a flame of fire.” KJV

The ISR 98 reads, “And His head and hair were white as white wool, as snow, and His eyes as a flame of fire.”

Black people who claim to be Hebrew Israelites cite the reference to wool as pointing to their hair type.

But the text is declaring that both His head and His hair are white.   The words wool and snow are describing the color, not the texture.

Messiah is the spotless lamb of Elohim and the color white symbolizes His purity.  It is not pointing out His race.

Isaiah 1:18 makes this clear, “Come now, and let us reason together, saith the LORD: though your sins be as scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they be red like crimson, they shall be as wool.

Albert Barnes’ Notes on the Bible on Revelation 1:14

His head and his hairs were white like wool, as white as snow. Exceedingly or perfectly white–the first suggestion to the mind of the apostle being that of wool, and then the thought occurring of its extreme whiteness resembling snow–the purest white of which the mind conceives. The comparison with wool and snow to denote anything peculiarly white is not uncommon.

Revelation 1:15, “And his feet like unto fine brass, as if they burned in a furnace; and his voice as the sound of many waters.

The ISR 98 reads, “and His feet like burnished brass, as if refined in a furnace, and His voice as the sound of many waters

Black people who claim to be Hebrew Israelites cite that His feet are black.

Webster’s 1828 Dictionary says that fine/burnished brass is polished and glossy.  Burning/heating the brass in the furnace removes the impurities.  It’s not saying that they are burnt looking, as in black.

Albert Barnes’ Notes on the Bible on Revelation 1:15

As if they burned in a furnace. That is, his feet were so bright that they seemed to be like a beautiful metal glowing intensely in the midst of a furnace. Any one who has looked upon the dazzling and almost insupportable brilliancy of metal in a furnace, can form an idea of the image here presented.

Revelation 3:9, “Behold, I will make them of the synagogue of Satan, which say they are Jews, and are not, but do lie; behold, I will make them to come and worship before thy feet, and to know that I have loved thee.

“For the weapons of our warfare are not of the flesh but have divine power to destroy strongholds” (2 Corinthians 10:4).

Listen “race” is man made and is used as a tool by HaSatan to divide people. Over thousands of years micro-evolution (NO, not Darwinian evolution) has cause us to have have more or less melanin in us so we have have different skin tones and different physical features, even genetic diseases etc. We are all one race … the Human Race, started in Adam (physically) and born again (spiritually) in Messiah Yeshua!

Literal, easy to read, and unbiased: the way Scripture was meant to be read.

The Literal English Version has quite a story behind it. It began as a conversation between two men at a Bible study. This conversation asked a simple question: can I get an English Bible with Hebraic Names, that’s easy to read, literal, and doesn’t contain all the sectarian and doctrinal bias? With that in mind, we set out to create the LEV.

After much hard work and prayer, the LEV, which was originally branded as the Shem Qadosh Version (SQV), is ready to be printed. It began as a search for a “base” translation. A text that we could use to guide us along, yet revise and amend to keep it in line with the four goals (see below). This led us to selecting the World English Bible (WEB). Given its history of being a major revision of the American Standard Version (ASV), this means that the LEV has the scholarship and work of the ASV, plus that of the WEB, plus that which we ourselves invested, to end up with a version that we hope can be used by many people, for generations to come.

There is, presently, a pre-order campaign going for the next 30 days. If we raise $5,000, we will be able to order copies of the LEV (the 2nd Ed. of the SQV) in a black, imitation leather hardcover. You can find out more here: https://www.indiegogo.com/projects/literal-english-version-bible/x/13284356#/

Please take the time to review the page, and share it with others. Thank you.


Torahis4Today is not directly involved with this Bible translation project but we do own a copy of this Bible and thought we would bring it to your attention. Thanks.