David P Jarzabek: Doctor Russell Earl Kelly Rebutted, Part 1, Saturday, July 9, 2016, Vimeo.
Russell Earl Kelly: Ever since my book was published and my web site set up in 2000, I have invited those who disagree with me to enter into a public open forum where all could read, see or hear both sides. Instead, David P. Jarzabek has chosen to refute my arguments using Vimeo video. His methodology gives him the edge of taking my statements out of context and also avoids my counter-arguments. That is not ethical. I respectfully ask him to choose the open forum and let all know both sides of the dialog; otherwise I politely ask him to cease attacking my work if he is unwilling to confront me. That is only fair. Also, if he will furnish an exact wording record of his video, I will publish it in its entirely in context on my web site.
David: David states very often that the “principle” of tithing is about “giving God what is God’s” and “render to God the things that are God’s.”
Russ: David quotes no real validating texts. Evidently he is referring to Mt 22:17-21; Mk 12:14-17 and Lk 20:22-25.
Matt 22:20 And he saith unto them, Whose is this image and superscription? 21 They say unto him, Caesar's. Then saith he unto them, Render therefore unto Caesar the things which are Caesar's; and unto God the things that are God's.
Jarzabek doesn’t realize that his argument can be used to disprove tithing. Since Caesar’s image was on Roman coins it could not be used for tithes and could not enter the temple. Using the same logic, American presidents’ images are on our money. His logic can be used to argue that our money cannot be used to pay tithes. Regardless, the context is not about tithing and Jarzabek should not manipulate it into THE tithing “principle.”
HOLY tithes of only food from inside God’s HOLY land of Israel were indeed “things that belong to God” which He wanted returned as tithes– nothing else is listed. HOLY tithes (as the word is used by Moses, Nehemiah, Malachi and Jesus) could ONLY come from God’s HOLY land -- from Old Covenant Israel; they could not come from what man produced or increased; they could only come from what God miraculously increased. David never addresses this proper definition of the HOLY tithe.
Russ: An “eternal moral principle” is one that is known in the heart and conscience of every person and applies to every person (John 1:9; Romans 1:18-20; 2:14-16; Heb 8:10). If it is not universally known it cannot be a universal moral principle for all to obey! Nine of the Ten Commandments are known universally through nature and conscience. While “rest” and “giving” are eternal moral principles, the specific day to rest and exactly how much to give can only be known through special revelation which God only revealed to Old Covenant national Israel.
David: Knowing most listeners will not read my book, David manipulated the facts. Referring to pages 7-8, he calls my description of the biblical tithe “his” definition. In fact I list 16 texts which give the biblical description of the HOLY tithe and he lists none to nullify my list. In fact David’s is “his” own manipulation and mine is God’s description.
Next Jarzabek says tithing is “putting God first.” Here are the facts: (1) “Tithe” means “tenth” – not first! (2) Tithes could never be the first of crops because they could not be measured until the entire harvest was completed. (3) Firstfruits and tithes are never the same in Scripture. (4) Firstfruits were also HOLY food from inside HOLY Israel. (5) Firstfruits were only small token offerings given before the tithe was calculated. See my book and web site for texts. (6) Tithes were not even the “best” according to Leviticus 27:30-34 and Numbers 18:25-28. (7) The lie of equating the tithe with firstfruits is taught by dishonest pastors who want the first of one’s paycheck or welfare check even before essentials are purchased. (8) First Timothy 5:8 gives the post-Calvary use of the first of income.
David: Quotes page 8 “Also, strange as it may seem, Scriptural tithing was only intended for a society sustained almost wholly by agricultural crops and animal herds.” Using my quote, David then says “Even if (Kelly is) totally right, we are not an agricultural society!”
Russ: He completely misses the point. We are not speaking of “any” agricultural society; we are only speaking of food increased from God’s unique HOLY land of Israel by His unique (old) covenant people of Israel. Almost all societies in 1400 B. C. were agricultural societies; that does not mean that tithes could come from other places. Even though money was very common even in Genesis, money was never a tithed item. My point is that (even in Israel) non-food producing Israelites such as Jesus did not qualify as tithe-payers. Read the very next paragraph in my book. Jarzabek ignores pages 11-12 which list 6 leading Bible reference books which agree with my limited description of the holy tithe.
David: Referring to pages 30-31 Jarzabek says that Jacob’s vow was not a “rash vow” as I called it.
Russ: Read Genesis 28:20-22 for yourself. Jacob is still “Jacob the supplanter”; he is not yet “Israel” the “overcomer with God.” He has not yet had that life-changing encounter with God and is still scheming. Jacob tells God what to do!!! “If” God will bless him and safely bring him back into the land, “then” shall the LORD be my God!!!” Sound very rash to me! Does David withhold his giving to God until “after” God blesses him? Are tithes only from pagan sources? Is this how we are to teach our children to give?
David: Referring to Numbers 18 on pages 32-38, David says the book of “Acts proves consistent giving.”
Russ: There is no evidence he read the whole chapter. The word “tithe” does not occur in Acts. From Acts 21:20-21 it is almost certain that Jewish Christians inside Judea never stopped paying tithes to support the Levitical system. And, since tithes could not come from non-HOLY pagan lands or hands, Paul never mentioned the word outside of Hebrews 7. Acts proves freewill, sacrificial, generous giving but it does not prove tithing to support gospel workers under a new covenant.
David: Referring to chapter 5, pages 39-45, David says “render to God the things that are God’s.” There is no evidence he even read the chapter which lists scores of HOLY things and concludes that the church has discarded all of them except tithing. For some unknown reason he tries to change Genesis 1:1’s “in the beginning” to “in the firstfruits.” Such gibberish says nothing about tithing.
David: Referring to chapter 6, pages 46-48, he points out that even though Levites and priests had no inheritance in the land, they had one in heaven.
Russ: I don’t dispute that but it says nothing about post-Calvary tithing. If you want to study 2nd Corinthians, chapter 8, read my chapter 27 on pages 227-234.
David: Referring to chapter 7 on 3 tithes, David agrees but dismisses the 2nd and 3rd tithe as not post-Calvary. Referring to chapter 8, page 56, where I pointed out HOLY tithes could only come from God’s HOLY land, David said “the New Covenant is not based on a holy land”; “we are all priests” and things are “different” now.
Russ: That is exactly my point! God never changed the original limited description in over 1500 years from Moses (Lev 27) to Malachi to Jesus (Mt 23:23). Things are “different.” O.T. priests did not tithe and all believers are N.T. priests. The O.T. temple has been replaced by the temple of the Holy Spirit. Tithing has been “annulled” (Heb 7:5, 12, 18).
David: Referring to chapter 9, pages 61-66, where I pointed out that Jesus and the poor did not tithe, David said that welfare recipients should tithe.
Russ: As usual, no validating texts are given. Welfare checks come from the taxation of others and are supposed to meet the bare necessities of the poor. Paul addresses that in First Timothy 5:8.
David: Referring to chapter 10, Kings, Tithes and Taxes, David said he had no opinion.
Russ: I doubt he read the chapter; he appears to be skimming through it. The chapter points out the many occupations and trades worked by Levites and priests under King David who even used them for political servants and secular rulers and judges.
David: Referring to chapter 11 and 2nd Chronicles 31, David quotes 31:20 as proof that all tithes were to be brought to the temple storerooms.
Russ: 31:20 does not say that! Read it! It says that Hezekiah’s final decision to re-distribute the tithes back to the Levitical cities was the will of God. (1) It was not God’s will to have tithes (still only food) rot in the streets of Jerusalem (31:1-8). (2) Hezekiah “questioned with the priests and Levites concerning the heaps” of rotting food (31:9). (3) They kept building new storerooms in the Temple (this was Solomon’s Temple) because David and Solomon had not needed them (with extremely much more in their day) (31:10-11). (4) It became necessary to appoint Levites to RE-DISTRIBUTE the tithes and offerings (31:12-14). (5) The super-abundance of tithes in Jerusalem was RE-DISTRIBUTED to the “cities of the priests” (31:15-16). (6) Tithes were re-distributed to priests and Levites (31:17-18). (7) Tithes were re-distributed to “the sons of Aaron the priests, who were in the fields of the suburbs of their cities, in every city, the men that were expressed by name, to give portions to all the males among the priests and to all that were reckoned by genealogies among the Levites.” That is what preceded 31:20 and that re-distribution is what 31:20 says Hezekiah did which was “good and right and true.” It makes absolutely no sense whatsoever to teach that ALL of the tithe was to be stored inside the temple because: (1) David and Solomon’s temple had no storage space for that much tithe in their prosperous time and (2) it would force priests and Levites to travel long distances every time they wanted food to eat – for example, Jericho and Hebron were priestly cities many miles from Jerusalem. God would be cruel to treat priests and Levites that harshly. Jarzabek dares not comment on that.
David: Referring to chapter 12 on Nehemiah, pages 79-88, David says that the KJV translation of 10:37b is wrong. Yet every translation I have read says that the people did not bring the tithes to the temple. The people brought the tithes to the Levites in every rural farming community of Judea. The Levites had lost their 35 (of 48) Levitical cities in 722 B. C. when Assyria took N. Israel into captivity. See Joshua 20-21 and Numbers 35. Common sense should reveal that 13:11-12 is only an emergency re-stocking of the storehouse which had been emptied by Eliashib, the high priest from 13:5-10. It does not nullify 10:37-38.
David: Referring to chapter 13 and Malachi, pages 89-114, Jarzabek says that 1:1 proves me wrong when I say that God narrowed his audience to the priests beginning in 1:6. He makes no effort to counter my explanation.
Russ: It is overwhelmingly evident from 1:6 and 2:1 that God has switched His address from the tribe of Judah (representing the whole nation of Israel) to only the priests. Even Scofield agres at 1:6 and 2:1. Yet Jarzabek makes no mention or defense of Mal 1:6 “A son honoureth his father, and a servant his master: if then I be a father, where is mine honour? and if I be a master, where is my fear? saith the LORD of hosts unto you, O priests, that despise my name. And ye say, Wherein have we despised thy name?” and Mal 2:1
“And now, O ye priests, this commandment is for you” and Mal 2:4 “And ye shall know that I have sent this commandment unto you, that my covenant might be with Levi, saith the LORD of hosts” and Mal 2:8 “But ye are departed out of the way; ye have caused many to stumble at the law; ye have corrupted the covenant of Levi, saith the LORD of hosts” and Mal 2:14 “And this have ye done again, covering the altar of the LORD with tears, with weeping, and with crying out, insomuch that he regardeth not the offering any more, or receiveth it with good will at your hand” and Mal 3:3 “And he shall sit as a refiner and purifier of silver: and he shall purify the sons of Levi, and purge them as gold and silver, that they may offer unto the LORD an offering in righteousness.”
Yes, there is a departure in 2:11-12, but only for those two verses and only in third person language.
David: David criticizes me for using the word, “ordinances,” to refer to the ceremonial worship statutes of the Old Covenant.
Russ: While there may be a few isolated exceptions to the rule, “ordinances” and “statutes” almost always refer to the ceremonial worship part of the Old Covenant Law. Research this for yourself! The Law consisted of the Ten Commandments, the civil judicial “judgments” supervised by judges and the ceremonial worship “ordinances/statutes” [both Strong’s 2706] which included tithing under the Law. The tithes and offerings which supported Levites and priests are called “ordinances/statutes” in Numbers 18:8, 11, 19; Mall 3:7, 14; 4:4.
David: Jarzabek makes no mention of my evidence that the pronoun “you” never changes from God’s address to the priests in 1:6. He argues that 3:7 proves God is speaking to the whole nation. “Even from the days of your fathers ye are gone away from mine ordinances, and have not kept them. Return unto me, and I will return unto you, saith the LORD of hosts. But ye said, Wherein shall we return?”
Russ: Unless Jarzabek can prove that God has switched from His specific address to the priests in 1:6 and 2:1, then 3:7 and beyond, then 3:7 must still be addressed specifically to the priests as in 2:6-8.
David: David asks “How can priests rob God of tithes when they did not receive tithes?”
Russ: It is correct that priests did not tithe; tithing ended at the priests who represented God. Requiring priests to tithe would be requiring God to tithe! See Numbers 18:25-28; Neh 10:38; Mal 1:6-14. The answer to Jarzabek’s question is suggested in Nehemiah 13:5-10. (1) Both Levites and priests brought tithes they had received to the Temple for food while they ministered in 24 courses a week at a time. (2) All of those tithes were stored in small storerooms in the Temple (1 Kings 6:6). (3) While Nehemiah was away, High Priest Eliashib removed all of the tithes and allowed Nehemiah’s enemy, Tobiah, to live in the storerooms formerly used for tithes (Neh 13:5-). (4) The Levites had nothing to eat because their portion of the tithes had been stolen by the priests (Neh 13:5-10). (5) Since the priests did not leave, it is evident that they knew where the stolen tithes had been hidden (Neh 13:5-10). (6) The location of the stolen tithes was never revealed (Neh 13:11-12).
David: Jarzabek quotes Malachi 3:9 to prove that God was speaking to the nation. Mal 3:9 “Ye are cursed with a curse: for ye have robbed me, even this whole nation.”
Russ: I pointed out that the NAS, RSV and NIV all read “this whole nation of you” which again referred to “you” priests. This is consistent with the use of the pronouns “you” and “ye” since 1:6.
David: Jarzabek argues that Malachi 3:10 says to bring “ALL the tithe into the storehouse.”
Russ: Read my book. It is free and totally online. (1) If Nehemiah 13:5-10 is the context of Malachi 3:8-10, then “you” of 3:10 refers to the priests who removed the tithes from the Temple storerooms in Nehemiah 13:5. (2) Again, the temple storerooms were grossly inadequate (too small) to hold all the tithe of all the nation. Although David and Solomon’s temple served a far larger nation, it did not contain storage silos for tithes either. The only common sense reply is that the first whole Levitical tithe was always brought to the Levitical cities as we see also in Nehemiah 10:37b. (3) Missing in this is the word “meat” or “food.” A thousand years after the HOLY tithe was limited to food from inside HOLY Israel, the description is still only food. It is not an increase of income. Tradesmen and skilled workers such as carpenters still do not qualify as tithe-payers.
In his discussion of chapter 11 Jarzabek mentioned The Bible Knowledge Commentary. This is edited by Walvoord and Zuck of Dallas Theological Seminary. Dallas Theological Seminary does NOT teach tithing! I quote its founder, Lewis Sperry Chafer and Walvoord, extensively in context in chapter 26, pages 224-226, in my book.
This article can be found on russkellyphd.blogspot.com and will be posted on my web site, www.tithing-russkelly.com. If David P. Jarzabek wishes to engage in an open dialog, he is welcome to use my blog spot, or perhaps we can use one of his choosing.
In Christ’s love
Russell Earl Kelly, PHD