The Masquerade of the Tithe
One night while channel surfing, we happened to run across a very slick, smiling, preacher speaking in a MAGNIFICENT, HUGE "church". The very smoooooth, smiling preacher was polished in delivery and style, the huge crowd mesmerized by his path to the good life.
He even made a few references to the Bible after opening with a cute joke.
It happened that another former Church Inc. member was visiting with us during the broadcast.
Our friend related how their own pastor would get up and exhort the folks to tithe, while they would have the folks repeat a mantra about God rebuking the devourer and all the financial benefits and blessings that come to them as a result of tithing to God.
"Give to God! -but make your check out to "The Church"....
(i.e. the family that manages the "church" checking account and sorts out the tithe from the general offering.)
Most organized churches operate as a "DBA" (doing business as), and many are government licensed 501c3 Incorporated. This means they have a President-CEO, Board, Secretary, just like every other business organization. Usually the pastor is CEO.
Sometimes the secretary is the pastor's wife, sometimes a bookkeeper is hired or found within the assembly. In the charismatic-Pentecostal church world, often one family has sole control over all the finances. Can you see how easy it would be for satan to use "church" income to corrupt and/or destroy a ministry?
On Sunday, a sermon from Malachi 3:10 is dusted off and the folks are reminded about "robbing God" out of the Old Testament Law of Moses." I mean, NOBODY want to be a God-robber and the thought of short-changing the Lord by not putting the full 10% of our income send a cold chill up the spine.
We heard and saw this time after time after time, always trusting our leaders and never questioning their authority to put a church full of people under the law of the tithe from a covenant God never made with His church.
-and not only that, but the Old Testament tithe was never money!,
-it was always from plants, trees, and animals grown only in the land of Israel.
Or they may go all the way back to find Abram tithing from that which was not his, the spoils of war.
Which upon closer examination is found to be a one-time tithe from what was not his (spoils of war), and he gave away the other 90% too.
Or they may try and resuurect Jacobs tithe-promise for which there is no information what he tithed or who he tithed to.
Worse yet, they may quote from Leviticus and verses from the Law, -a covenant God never made with us.
They may even use a text where Jesus mentioned the tithe to a pharisee still under the Old Covenant law, in Matthew 23:23. -Jesus even saying tithing was "of the matters of the law", not understanding we are to "rightly divide" the New Covenant from the old because there must have been the death of the Testator, Jesus Christ.
Hebrews 9:16 For where a testament is, there must of necessity be the death of him that made it.
:17 For a testament is of force where there hath been death:
for it doth never avail while he that made it liveth..
Simply put, The New Covenant and the church did not begin until after Jesus' death. So of course Jesus affirmed keeping the law until "the time of reformation".
Hebrews 9:10 being only (with meats and drinks and divers washings) carnal ordinances,
imposed until a time of reformation.
Here's the masquerade:
Many of God's people are taught tithing through manipulation of scripture.
Many teach it for personal benefit and gain (prosper).
This is done by sleight-of-hand by saying people are REALLY tithing to please God, and that God would bless them for doing so. The clergy person themself may tithe 10% or more seeking to be blessed by a special covenant from their misunderstanding of scripture. (there is no other NT covenant).
That is a blatant and deceiving error . But we have to give credit, (no pun intended) week after week many get up there with a warm smile and a sincere, beneficent look, as they manipulate both scripture and the trusting people for their own benefit. If the clergy person tithes to be blessed, where does their "blesing" come from? It is from the people that pay them. But wait, there is not a single verse of scripture where any pastor, elder, or minister has a command to take tithes of their brethren in the New Testament.
(as the Levites did, under the law. see Hebrews 7:5.
And they indeed of the sons of Levi that receive the priest`s office have commandment to take tithes of the people according to the law, that is, of their brethren.
Of course God had defined the tithes there too, and it was not from income. (Leviticus 27:30)
These are the modern counterparts to the money changers who ran their businesses in the temple and changed folk's money into an act of worship for personal benefit. After all, weren't they serving God's people? -They had discovered the secret that there is good money to be made in the "church". Eventually Jesus ran them out of the temple and rebuked the Pharisees as "lovers of money"..
There is not one verse in the New Covenant instructing or reminding any Christian or church to tithe. There is not a single one of the apostles, elders, or overseers who are given a word or example in the New Testament ministry to take tithes of the people.
When we rip the Old Testament mask off the tithe, there is nothing there.... except possibly a corrupted ministry and many of God's people whose needs were not met because the offering plate was fed instead.
Shepherds are prophesied in Scripture to lose their spiritual strength, discernment, understanding and restraint because of plundering and lying to God’s people.
Zech.11:15 And the LORD said unto me, Take unto thee yet again the instruments (in this case the law of tithing) of a foolish shepherd.
16 For, lo, I will raise up a shepherd in the land, who will not visit those that are cut off, neither will seek those that are scattered, nor heal that which is broken, nor feed that which is sound; but he will eat the flesh of the fat [sheep], and will tear their hoofs in pieces. (he will destroy their spiritual walk)