facts about tithing under the law of Moses, [Part 3 of series]

This is a continuation as post 3 in a series on tithing or non-tithing rather, for Christians. In this post I want to bring out some little known and even strange facts concerning tithing under the Law of Moses. These facts will be very beneficial for those who are serious about the truth of this subject.

This is by no means an exhaustive list of facts. There are many more but these are the ones that spoke to me.

Once again, from the three loosely divided scriptural parts mentioned in two previous posts, today we will look at the one that’s left  “2. During the Law of Moses”.

  1. Before the Law of Moses = the book of Genesis and up to Exodus 20.
  2. During the Law of Moses = started in Exodus 20 [Ten Commandments] and ended on the cross.
  3. The Church Age = started in Acts and ongoing today.

The tithe was NEVER commanded to be collected in the form of money! All tithes were given and used in the form of food only. Food that could be eaten, not money that could be spent. This is a very difficult truth for modern tithe advocates to accept!

Tithes were commanded from the increase of the land and herds only. The priests and the Levites were not allowed to own or inherit land so the tithe replaced their property inheritance rights. The tithe included the priests and Levites’ allowance of food from the land and it was limited to “all the tithe of the land” and “the tithe of the herd”.

The priests were descendants of Aaron and the ones anointed to perform the sacrificial rituals in the temple. The Levites’ job description was performing servant duties for the priests.

The tithe supported a vast legal and religious system in which the priests and Levites were appointed by God to enforce the Law of Moses. They were in charge of a kind of national social welfare system also supported by the tithe. A system that fed the poor.

The priests and Levites were always counted among the poor of the land and were to be given the tithe so they could eat. Other people groups that were also to be provided for by the tithe were the stranger, the fatherless and the widow.

Many who benefit from the tithe that is collected today in the form of money, also own property and land. So even if the teaching of the tithe today were legitimate, the pattern in which it’s practised would be way off!

Now here is an interesting fact. There were actually several tithes required of the nation of Israel and they added up to more then 10%! Since the tithe is not a commandment for New Testament believers there is no reason to be dogmatic about the exact amount but most serious studiers believe it was at least 23% and possibly 30%.

One of those little known “extra” tithes was the feast tithe commanded in Deut. 14 and it presents a huge problem for tithe teachers today! I personally have never heard any that would touch it with a ten foot pole!

In the Deut. 14 account the tithers were commanded to eat and drink their own tithe before the Lord at a feast! Since carrying their tithe to this feast was referred to as a possible physical burden, it actually proves they didn’t take money.

Concerning Malachi 3, I believe it is a rebuke to the priests and Levites, not a rebuke to the tithers themselves. Instead of putting the tithes in the storehouse where they could be distributed as food {meat} to the poor in the land, the priests had hoarded it for themselves.

I also believe it is a grave sin for preachers today to take the curse of Malachi 3 out of context and use it to threaten church people who do not tithe!

It is interesting that for almost 300 hundred years of the beginning of church history, up until 325 AD and the Council of Nicea, the vast majority of church leaders lived very sacrificial and even ascetic lives in order to serve others.

In contrast, many leaders and heads of ministries today live excessive lifestyles that are way more extravagant  then the people whose “tithes and offerings” support those lifestyles. I believe this is an affront to God and a sin that needs to be repented of.

Let me be clear! By no means would I endorse a vow of poverty or anything of that nature! I believe the God of love we serve desires to amply provide for those who serve Him. However, Paul said he had learned how to be content with little or with much.

Those leaders who’s livelihood or salary depends solely on the “tithes and offerings of partners” or parishioners would do well to study Scriptures and seek the Lord instead of adapting to status quo.

It would be a great milestone for the established church to be found blameless in this area. So that it would not continue to be the open laughing stock of the enemies of God because of the obvious disobedience and love of money that prevails.

Admittedly the face and practice of Christianity would change drastically if all believers would know and walk in this freedom of truth concerning the tithe. Especially Christianity in the west.

There would be more true Christian relationships of love for each other, by which all men would know we are followers of Christ! That love would be demonstrated in a very real and practical way for all to see.

There would be less big, expensive, formal cathedrals and kingdoms of men and more small places bursting at the seams with joy, freedom and the commitment of true godly love and fellowship.

Not all will embrace this truth but every tree not planted by God will be uprooted. The transformation is already started and I rejoice in it!


About Geneva

The road in my rear view mirror is marked by hard places. My Guide has been faithful. He came into my life and I was branded. Marked. Labeled. Ridiculed. Judged. Stoned. But the road ahead always looks grand and full of light! The furnaces from the past have only caused the fire of His Spirit to burn hotter. The edicts of man have tried many times to make me bend in worship to him, yet I have met the true Flame who delivers me in every furnace!
This entry was posted in encouragement for the Body, false gospels, institutionalizing the church, kingdom principles, liberty and sacrifice and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

One Response to facts about tithing under the law of Moses, [Part 3 of series]

  1. Pingback: you’ve quit tithing, now what? | eatinglocusts

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