Reply to Truth Works, Part One.
Malachi 3:10 is addressed only to the dishonest priests of Israel (1:6; 2:1; 3:1) because they were the only ones commanded to bring tithes to the Temple per Neh 10:37-38. Most tithes were kept in the Levitical cities where the great majority of Levites and priests needed them for food. Common sense teaches that also.
The big question is “Can Christians tithe?” and the answer is an emphatic resounding “No” because true HOLY biblical tithes were always only FOOD from inside Israel. Money was essential for sanctuary worship but money was not tithed. Tithes could not come from what one’s hands increased or from outside Israel.
“Gross or net” is ridiculous because farmers (and businesses) spend huge sums on equipment, labor and advertising before they make a profit.
Yes –sacrificial love. For many that means MORE than ten per cent. However many are giving sacrificially even though less than ten per cent. “All belonged to Jesus” in the OT also but tithes could only come from inside Israel. The illustration is weak.
Why quote 2 Cor 8:9 and not 8:12-15. Equality giving means that some give more than ten per cent and others give less. It equals out.
?? “And the first way He addresses this touchy subject is by calling for the Tithe.”
God never called for the Church to tithe and Jesus never commanded gospel workers to obey the tithing statute in Numbers 18 which commanded priests to KILL anybody attempting to enter the sanctuary to worship and He never commanded gospel workers NOT to inherit property.
Consider this: “The tithe is holy unto the Lord”(Leviticus 27:30)” only applied to FOOD from inside Israel which God had miraculously increased. According to Lev 27:34 it was part of the Old Covenant Law which called many things “holy” and “most holy” which are ignored by the Church today.
Abram’s tithe was in obedience to very well-known laws of the land. Check it out. Canaanites and most countries around them all expected tithes from spoils of war to the king-priests. Check it out.
If Christians followed Abram’s example (before he was circumcised) they would (1) only tithe pagan spoils of war, (2) lie to Pharaoh to get wealth, (3) only tithe once, (4) not tithe what he previously owned and (5) give the 90% to the modern equivalent of the King of Sodom. Perhaps that is why the Law does not use Abram as an example to follow.
Tithes are not (and never were) the same as firstfruits. Check it out. Firstfruits were very small token offerings per Deut 26:1-4 and Neh 10:35-37.
The “deal of the ages” you call tithing was only one of over 600 commands Hebrews were to obey in order to be blessed. Obey all to be blessed; break one to be cursed (Gal 3:10). Not much of a deal. You would be signing up for a curse.
Russell Earl Kelly, PHD