Saturday, January 24, 2015



by Russell Earl Kelly, PHD

January 25, 2015


Gospel ministers who receive the whole tithe and also own property are stealing from God in two ways when they compare themselves to Old Covenant priests.


The tithe teachers very often say “If you are not paying your tithes, you are stealing from God. You are wearing stolen clothes, driving stolen cars and are living in stolen houses.”


However, the Bible says 12 times (count them) that those who received the first whole tithe were not allowed to own property. The original tithe was in exchange for land ownership in Israel. (Numb 18:20-26; Deut 12:12; 14:27, 29; 18:1, 2; Josh 13:14, 33; 14:3; 18:7; Eze 44:28). Whatever happened to this tithing principle?


Numb 18:20 And the LORD spoke unto Aaron, Thou shalt have no inheritance in their land, neither shalt thou have any part among them [don’t accumulate wealth]: I am thy part [wealth] and thine inheritance among the children of Israel.


Only the Levites, the servants to the priests (skinners, guards, singers, musicians, janitors, bakers, builders, etc.) received the first Levitical tithe.


Numb 18:21 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.


The priests, the ministers at the altar, only received 1%, a tenth of the tithe. This means that gospel ministers who receive more than 1% of the tithe they preach are stealing from God.


Numb 18:26 Thus speak unto the Levites, and say unto them, When ye take of the children of Israel the tithes which I have given you from them for your inheritance, then ye shall offer up an heave offering of it for the LORD, even a tenth part of the tithe.


This did not mean that Old Covenant Levites and priests must have been full time and could not work other jobs. It only meant that they could not own property inside Israel. In fact it was necessary for them to learn and work other trades in order to build and maintain the sanctuary or temple (Numbers 3; 1 Chronicles 23-26). Most church historians admit that even high priests in Jesus’ time also had and worked other vocations.


Therefore, gospel workers who receive “tithes” are stealing from God first, when they receive tithes and also own property and, second, when they receive more than 1%. Even if tithes were New Covenant they would first go to the ordinary workers who assist the preachers and maintain the buildings.


Your comments and discussion are welcome.

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