Discussions on ministerial financial support can be a delicate subject for some but nonetheless it is a necessary one.In the Old Testament, the collecting of tithing, offerings, etc. was the method employed by which Moses, Aaron and the Levites were directly and indirectly financially supported to do the work of the priesthood.However, most modern ministers and saints alike have been misled and beguiled by false teachers regarding the applicability of Mosaic Law regulations to New Covenant enjoiners.Said teachings have led the “church” into liturgical models and practices that have become non-Biblical traditions (perhaps even heresies), traditions that have trickled down to modern times and still remain.These practices have permeated through out all of Christendom (Catholic and Protestant) and certainly circumvent YHWH’s true eternal giving principle. Therefore,YHWH will undoubtedly judge many dishonest teachers and leaders for their false teachings and their gross misuse of funds.This essay will endeavor to delineate and compare and contrast the prevailing popular views that surround the teachings and collection of tithes and offerings as compared to the actual N.T. scriptural teachings.
When the following teachings, one of the eternal divine princples, are clearly understood and properly taught, giving should not decline, but should actually increase and will facilitate "great faith". O.T. tithing teachings actually limit and reduce potential giving and facilitates "little faith", particularly among the clergy. Read more about proper ministry support by clicking here. TITHING MYTHS Firstly, tithing is not a New Covenant (NC) teaching nor a NC regulation.Tithing was a Mosaic Covenant (Law) regulation applicable only to Mosaic Covenant enjoiners and only valid during the Mosaic Covenant (Briggs, 2007).Other tithing scenarios found pre-Mosaic Law were individualistic, as shall be shown.What seems to be forgotten or overlooked by tithe teachers/collectors is that the Mosaic Covenant, including its regulations, are now obsolete (Hebrews 7:12, 18, 29; 8:7-13), which includes the Mosaic tithing and offering regulations.Although the Mosaic tithing and offering regulations are not eternal in and of themselves, the divine eternal principle/law of giving is.And, even though a different form of tithing existed prior to and during the Mosaic Covenant, neither concept and model was followed nor promoted by Mashiyach and his disciples post-Mosaic Law and certainly should not be followed by the modern day church either as a NC regulation.As already indicated above, the abolition of the Mosaic tithing regulation, however, does not dissolve nor negate the eternal principle of giving (Briggs, 2011). In other words a believer is not exempt from the eternal giving principle or from a percentage size that may well exceed the 10% (tithe) model. In fact, scripture reveals that giving can go well beyond 10%, as large as 100%, depending on the circumstances and the divine request made. Relative to tithing, some teachers, of course, quickly cite that Abraham was a tithe giver before the Mosaic Covenant.This is usually proffered as a means to justify tithe collection practices post Mosaic Covenant. They cite it as a “first mentioned” concept.But what they fail to tell themselves and their followers is that when Abraham gave tithes to Melchisedec, he only gave him a tithe of the spoils of war (Genesis 14:20; Hebrews 7:4) and only one time and NOT a tithe of his personal wealth. This is the reason why some scholars believe it was a tax excised upon Abraham by the King of Salem. Furthermore, the full balance of the spoils of war that was left over after he gave tithes to Melchisedec he gave to his fellow warriors. If this model (Abraham’s) were followed by the modern day church rather than the Mosaic Covenant model (which is now obsolete), there would be little to no tithes collected. What church members do you know that regularly gain spoils of war, tithe on it, and give the balance back to fellow warriors? Clearly this is not a suitable option for the modern tithe teachers/collectors.
If tithe teachers are going to justify tithe collection in the New Covenant by the "first-mentioned" paradigm, then they must also teach the requirement of circumcision since that too was practiced by, even commanded to be done by YHWH, prior to the Mosaic covenant (law) and was incorporated into the Mosaic covenant (law) whereas pre-law tithing was supposedly voluntary. Secondly, the keeping of a literal Sabbath day was practiced and commanded to be observed by YHWH prior to the Mosaic Law, which was later incorporated into the Mosaic Law and certainly has numerous indications in the NT regarding it. Thirdly, having multi-wives was also practised prior to Mosaic law and was later incorporated into Mosaic law. And the allowability of multi-wives was never rescinded in Holy Writ. (Read more on this in DOC Vol 6.) These are just three examples that clearly demonstrate that by using a "first-mentioned" paradigm regarding tithing (and others as indicated) would immediately plunge many tithe teachers/collectors into greater obligation, or greater condemnation or greater heresy or all three. Therefore, when the Abraham model is exposed for what it is, the next Biblical example cited is Jacob.But this model is less favorable for modern tithing promoters/collectors than the Abraham model.Scriptural context clearly shows that Jacob was not a tithe giver.However, when Jacob promised to give tithes (futuristically) to YHWH, it was contingent upon YHWH keeping/fulfilling HIS end of a bargain that was laid out by Jacob, i.e., Jacob would give a tithe to YHWH if YHWH would give Jacob safe passage to his father’s house (Genesis 28:20-22).Note, that if Jacob was already “giving tithes”, like his Grandfather Abraham had done (one time), it would not be much of a bargaining chip.So obviously, tithing for Jacob was not practiced nor is there any clear scriptural record that his bargain-promised tithe was actually given, when, how or to whom.Again if this model were followed by the modern day leaders, teachers or churches, there would be little to no tithes collected—again this is clearly not a suitable option for the modern tithe teachers/collectors. Finally, relative to any tithing record, pre or post Mosaic Covenant, there are no other examples to be found in Holy Writ.There is no record of Isaac giving tithes or any other Semitic descendant until the time of the Mosaic Covenant.Furthermore, there is no tithing record post Mosaic Covenant either.Yahushua did discuss the tithing issue with religious leaders of his day who were still under the Mosaic Covenant, but there is no record of him (or his disciples) actually tithing during or after the Day of Pentecost.And of course, Yahushua would speak “pro-tithing” to those under the Mosaic Law, since it was a Mosaic Law regulation that was still in effect during his discussion.Yahushua did not come to destroy the LAW, but to fulfill it, one might even argue, to endorse it. That, then, brings us back to the obsolete model, tithing as a Mosaic Covenant regulation, a sort of "temple tax", the one model that seems to be predominately promoted, albeit inaccurately.A favorite quote from Malachi (who was still under the Mosaic Covenant) is often quoted and used relative to tithe teaching (Malachi 3:8-10) but careful examination of the Mosaic Covenant tithing regulation clearly reveals that tithing mentioned via Malachi’s pronouncement is not truly being followed by the modern day church, leader/teacher nor is the meaning of the Malachi passage understood. Usually, selective readings and partial considerations are used (misused) to justify the collection of tithes, perhaps a method employed to impose “guilt” to elevate the number of tithe givers.However, if one is going to live by the LAW, then one must obey the law (Galatians 3:10-11; 5:4) or be judged by the LAW. And, if tithing teachers/collectors are going to use/teach a Mosaic tithing model, they should honestly consider exactly what the LAW really teaches about tithing, that is if they are still going to promote/teach it? Under the Mosaic Covenant YHWH had five distinct purposes planned for all tithes and offerings, without exception.They were as follows.
1.To play a significant role in ceremonial (and liturgical) functions relative to sin, guilt and praise/thanksgiving. 2.To support the High Priest (and his family) so he could conduct his priestly duties and to link (by virtue of breaking bread/fellowship) the Israelites to the priesthood. 3.To support the Levites (and families) so they could conduct their priestly duties and to link (by virtue of breaking bread/fellowship) the Israelites to the priesthood. 4.To assist (provide food for) the alien, widows, orphans, the stranger and the disenfranchised among Israel. 5.To facilitate continual recognition of the fact that YHWH was/is the provider. Any deviation from the above was a breach of YHWH’s WILL (the Mosaic Covenant) that was in place for enjoiners at that time (while the Mosaic Covenant was still in effect) and breaching it would be sin.Woe to the individual(s) responsible for false teachings and misappropriation of such funds. So if you teach and collect tithes, make sure you give it to the Levitical Priesthood and the Aaronic High Priesthood, for tithing belongs to them, if that is the model you teach. Such an individual(s) is a “thief” (Malachi 3:8-10) if it is not taken into the "storehouses" (graineries) to be distributed according to Mosaic Law regulations.Make a special note that building temples and growing wealth for the priesthood, per se, was not part of the above list. “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 isholy unto the LORD. 31 And if a man will at all redeemought of his tithes, he shall add thereto the fifthpart thereof. 32 And concerning the tithe of the herd, or of the flock, even of whatsoever passeth under the rod, the tenth shall be holy unto the LORD. 33 He shall not search whether it be good or bad, neither shall he change it: and if he change it at all, then both it and the change thereof shall be holy; it shall not be redeemed. 34 These are the commandments, which the LORD commanded Moses for the children of Israel in mount Sinai.” Leviticus 27:30-34 What is also often overlooked regarding tithing is that tithing applied to animals and earth grown produce (seeds, fruit, vegetables, etc.), which could be bought back for the normal value plus 20%, so long as the individual did not swap out good produce or good livestock for lesser quality produce or livestock, when selecting the tenth of each.This collection belonged to the LORD and was holy. If the tither lived too far away, "buy back" was often practiced and then the buy-back "money" was converted back into livestock, etc., upon arrival in Israel/Jerusalem. “And the LORD spake unto Aaron, Thou shalt have no inheritance in their land, neither shalt thou have any part among them: I am thy part and thine inheritance among the children of Israel. 21 And, behold, I have given the children of Levi all the tenth in Israel for an inheritance, for their service which they serve, even the service of the tabernacle of the congregation. 22 Neither must the children of Israel henceforth come nigh the tabernacle of the congregation, lest they bear sin, and die. 23 But the Levites shall do the service of the tabernacle of the congregation, and they shall bear their iniquity: it shall be a statute for ever throughout your generations, that among the children of Israel they have no inheritance. 24But the tithes of the children of Israel, which they offer as an heave offering unto the LORD, I have given to the Levites to inherit: therefore I have said unto them, Among the children of Israel they shall have no inheritance … 32 And ye shall bear no sin by reason of it, when ye have heaved from it the best of it: neither shall ye pollute the holy things of the children of Israel, lest ye die.” Numbers 18:20-32
Another aspect often overlooked here is that these offerings, first fruits and tithes were collections that were partially used for supporting a ministry that no longer exists, a ministry that was done away with, a ministry that is obsolete, a ministry that followed liturgical practices of a covenant that is also obsolete, especially as far as the Gentiles are concerned. What modern cleric/minister do you know that still kills live animals and then offers them upon an altar to burn it as a sacrifice to cover sins or conducts other meal offerings/sacrifices? That is correct, they do not exist.
No more is needed to be said, but for teaching purposes, consider the following.There were three types of tithes and uses for each.
The first type was a celebratory event that was to be eaten by the priesthood together with the giver as a fellowship event, a celebration, a reminder of YHVH’s provisions, and linking the giver to the ordained ministry of YHWH.
The second tithe was similar to the first, it was for the Levites to make sure they had food and again was eaten together with the giver, again as a fellowship event, a celebration, and a reminder of YHVH’s provisions.From this, a tenth of the tenth was extracted and sent to Jerusalem, to the temple, for the consumption of the High Priest (and his family) and those at work at the temple during their course.
The third tithe was the “third-year” tithes which was to be eaten/distributed exclusively to the Levites, widows, orphans, and the stranger in each local community and was not to be touched/eaten by the giver.This was truly a separate and distinct “alms-giving tithe”, a true charity.This tithe, its collection and appropriation is certainly not followed by most (if not all) modern day teachers/leaders (tithe collectors) and churches.Thus, if this is the case for any tithe teacher/collector, a serious breach of Mosaic Covenant regulation has/is occurring.
All the above tithe-types were inclusive when Malachi said bring the “whole tithe” (Malachi 3:10).This can also be validated by what numerous prophets have said regarding this “third-year” tithe breach, an oversight that brought judgment upon the house of Israel.Thus, these acts of ommission and neglect alone causes the modern teachers/leaders/churches that collect tithes to bring condemnation upon themselves and those that follow them.If Israel was not exempt (the Olive Tree) from judgment, how does the “Wild Olive Branch” grafted in expect to be exempt from judgment?Remember, if you live by the LAW (Mosaic Covenant regulations), you will be judged by the LAW. As indicated above, the tithing regulation, as described/prescribed under the Mosaic Covenant, has been abolished.Apostle Paul said this about the Mosaic Covenant. “In that he saith, A new covenant, he hath made the first old. Now that which decayeth and waxeth old is ready to vanish away. Hebrews 8:13 “Having therefore, brethren, boldness to enter into the holiest by the blood of Jesus, 20 By a new and living way, which he hath consecrated for us, through the veil, that is to say, his flesh; 21 And having an high priest over the house of God;” Hebrews 10:19 Yahushua said this about the Old as compared to the new. “No man also seweth a piece of new cloth on an old garment: else the new piece that filled it up taketh away from the old, and the rent is made worse. 22And no man putteth new wine into old bottles: else the new wine doth burst the bottles, and the wine is spilled, and the bottles will be marred: but new wine must be put into new bottles.” Mark 2:21-22 The Mashiyach Covenant (the new) is a new/different paradigm/ministry with a new financial support system, (1 Corinthians 9:7) since the work of Mashiyach abolished the need for a Levitical priesthood and all their former work under that covenant.The New Covenant ministries focus more on judgment, mercy, faith and the LOVE of YHWH that is to be directed toward and doted upon the Body of Mashiyach. “Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye pay tithe of mint and anise and cummin, and have omitted the weightier matters of the law, judgment, mercy, and faith: these ought ye to have done, and not to leave the other undone.” Matthew 23:23 “But woe unto you, Pharisees! for ye tithe mint and rue and all manner of herbs, and pass over judgment and the love of God: these ought ye to have done, and not to leave the other undone.” Luke 11:42 “Pure religion and undefiled before God and the Father is this, To visit the fatherless and widows in their affliction, and to keep himself unspotted from the world.” James 1:27 “Then shall the righteous answer him, saying, Lord, when saw we thee an hungred, and fed thee? or thirsty, and gave thee drink? 38 saw we thee a stranger, and took thee in? or naked, and clothed thee? 39 saw we thee sick, or in prison, and came unto thee? 40 And the King shall answer and say unto them, Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me.” Matthew 25:37-40 In other words, no longer does literal tithing, wave offerings, sin offerings or guilt offerings (etc.) apply to New Covenant enjoiners since the work of Mashiyach abolished the need for such things.However, what is left to discuss is “what method of giving and/or collecting (eternal giving principle)” should be employed to support Mashiyach's ministers of the gospel under the New Covenant?”But, before discussing it, there are still other issues that should be addressed first.
O.T. TEMPLE BUILDING RESOURCES There is no record in the Bible of any tithes being used to build (or rebuild/restore) temples or temple maintenance in any form, fashion or percentage.To do so would rob YHWH, since said funds would be misappropriated, i.e., intended end-users/recipients would be neglected.Below is a brief look at each temple building project through out Jerusalem’s long history.
The balance of the above essay can be found at the link provided below in the DOC Volume 6 Chapter 7.