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Tithes and Offerings during the Old Covenant under the Levitical and Aaronic priesthood:

By Evangelist Ron Davis, a minister of Christ

First, I thought it would be good to help you understand the reason why God chose the Hebrews out of all the peoples on earth to enter into this “Covenant” with, now called the “Old Covenant”. We see in Genesis chapters 12 and 13 where God called Abraham and made a promise to him (Genesis 12:1-3 and 13:14-17); God also made a covenant (agreement) with Abraham in Genesis 15:18-20, saying "To your descendants I have given this land, from the river of Egypt to the great river, the River Euphrates—19 the Kenites, the Kenezzites, the Kadmonites, 20 the Hittites, the Perizzites, the Rephaim, 21 the Amorites, the Canaanites, the Girgashites, and the Jebusites." This same covenant between God and Abraham was further expound upon in Genesis 17 where God says to Abraham then name Abram at age 99: 

  • Genesis 17
    The Sign of the Covenant
  • 1 When Abram was ninety-nine years old, the LORD appeared to Abram and said to him, "I am Almighty God; walk before Me and be blameless. 2 And I will make My covenant between Me and you, and will multiply you exceedingly." 3 Then Abram fell on his face, and God talked with him, saying: 4 "As for Me, behold, My covenant is with you, and you shall be a father of many nations. 5 No longer shall your name be called Abram, but your name shall be Abraham; for I have made you a father of many nations. 6 I will make you exceedingly fruitful; and I will make nations of you, and kings shall come from you. 7 And I will establish My covenant between Me and you and your descendants after you in their generations, for an everlasting covenant, to be God to you and your descendants after you. 8 Also I give to you and your descendants after you the land in which you are a stranger, all the land of Canaan, as an everlasting possession; and I will be their God." 9 And God said to Abraham: "As for you, you shall keep My covenant, you and your descendants after you throughout their generations. 10 This is My covenant which you shall keep, between Me and you and your descendants after you: Every male child among you shall be circumcised; 11 and you shall be circumcised in the flesh of your foreskins, and it shall be a sign of the covenant between Me and you. 12 He who is eight days old among you shall be circumcised, every male child in your generations, he who is born in your house or bought with money from any foreigner who is not your descendant. 13 He who is born in your house and he who is bought with your money must be circumcised, and My covenant shall be in your flesh for an everlasting covenant. 14 And the uncircumcised male child, who is not circumcised in the flesh of his foreskin, that person shall be cut off from his people; he has broken My covenant." 15 Then God said to Abraham, "As for Sarai your wife, you shall not call her name Sarai, but Sarah shall be her name. 16 And I will bless her and also give you a son by her; then I will bless her, and she shall be a mother of nations; kings of peoples shall be from her." 17 Then Abraham fell on his face and laughed, and said in his heart, "Shall a child be born to a man who is one hundred years old? And shall Sarah, who is ninety years old, bear a child?" 18 And Abraham said to God, "Oh, that Ishmael might live before You!" 19 Then God said: "No, Sarah your wife shall bear you a son, and you shall call his name Isaac; I will establish My covenant with him for an everlasting covenant, and with his descendants after him. 20 And as for Ishmael, I have heard you. Behold, I have blessed him, and will make him fruitful, and will multiply him exceedingly. He shall beget twelve princes, and I will make him a great nation. 21 But My covenant I will establish with Isaac, whom Sarah shall bear to you at this set time next year." 

Here in Genesis 17:5 God changes Abram name [which meant “exalted father”] to Abraham meaning “father of many nations” [more on this later]; and his wife name Sarai meaning “princess” was changed to Sarah meaning “mother of nations” (Gen. 17:15). God also tells Abraham what he and his descendants must do to maintain this covenant (agreement) between God and Abraham. Notice, in verse 10 where it says, “every male child… shall be circumcised”, and verse 11 where again it says, “circumcised in the flesh” [today under the “New Covenant” we are circumcised in the heart see Romans 2:28-29 and Colossians 2:11-12]. God then informs Abraham that He would establish His covenant with a son, called Isaac (God named Isaac before he was born - verse 19) whom God promised Abraham, Sarah would bear to him the next year [notice here in verse 17 that Abraham had a moment of unbelief in what God promised which is why God named the son of the promise, Isaac meaning “he laughs”. Abraham did what we, as Christians today at times have done, yet God is still able to fulfilled His promises and help our unbelief at the same time, as He did for Abraham (Romans 4:19-21)]. God says His covenant with Abraham will be established with Isaac (verse 21). This covenant that God made with Abraham was both physical and spiritual. In verse 8, God says, I give to you and your descendants after you the land in which you are a stranger, all the land of Canaan, as an everlasting possession”. And in verse 10-11, God speaks of every male child of Abraham’s descendants or any male foreigner who joins his household must be circumcised in the flesh of their foreskins, as a sign of the covenant between God and Abraham and his physical descendants. This covenant with Abraham the friend of God is why Jacob (Israel) was chosen by God to be His very own nation of peoples on this planet. As the prophet Isaiah says:

  • Isaiah 41
    8 "But you, Israel, are My servant, Jacob whom I have chosen, The descendants of Abraham My friend. 9 You whom I have taken from the ends of the earth, And called from its farthest regions, And said to you, "You are My servant, I have chosen you and have not cast you away: 
     

After making this covenant with Abraham, God confirmed this covenant with an oath in Genesis 22, where God tested Abraham. After Abraham obeyed God by intending to offer up his only son, Isaac, the son of the Promise as a burnt offering. God seeing that Abraham was about to slay his only son, the Angel of God called out to Abraham from heaven saying "11… Abraham, Abraham!"… 12… "Do not lay your hand on the lad, or do anything to him; for now I know that you fear God, since you have not withheld your son, your only son, from Me"… 15… Then the Angel of the LORD called to Abraham a second time out of heaven, 16 and said: "By Myself I have sworn, says the LORD, because you have done this thing, and have not withheld your son, your only son—17 blessing I will bless you, and multiplying I will multiply your descendants as the stars of the heaven and as the sand which is on the seashore; and your descendants shall possess the gate of their enemies. 18 In your seed all the nations of the earth shall be blessed, because you have obeyed My voice" (Genesis 22:11-18 NKJV). Here in these verses God gives us more details of the covenant with Abraham. When God first called Abraham in Genesis 12, He promised Abraham in him “all the families of the earth shall be blessed" (Genesis 12:3). And again here in Genesis 22, God promise Abraham that, “all the nations of the earth shall be blessed” (verse 18) in his “Seed” [this “Seed” was Christ Jesus our Lord and Savior – the spiritual part of the covenant, and how we today can receive these promises and blessings of Abraham given to him by God (see Galatians 3:15-17 more on this later)]. We see in the book of Hebrews that Abraham believed God would provide a sacrifice in Isaac stead and God did:  

  • Hebrews 11
    The Faith of the Patriarchs
    17
    By faith Abraham, when he was tested, offered up Isaac, and he who had received the promises offered up his only begotten son, 18 of whom it was said, "In Isaac your seed shall be called," 19 concluding that God was able to raise him up, even from the dead, from which he also received him in a figurative sense.
      

In Genesis 22:16, God says, "By Myself I have sworn, says the LORD”; this oath in which God swore to Abraham was carried out through Abraham’s grandson Jacob known spiritually as Israel because he prevailed against both man and God (Genesis 32:28). Israel’s (Jacob’s) twelve sons and his son Joseph two sons became the nation of Israel. In Genesis 25, Jacob was chose by God before he was born. God tells Rebekah that the two twin children in her womb were struggling in her body because they were two nations, two peoples, and “one people shall be stronger than the other, and the older shall serve the younger” (Genesis 25:22-23). Jacob in the womb was struggling with Esau even grabbing his heel as Esau came out first, giving Jacob his name, which means “heel holder or supplanter” (Genesis 25:25). We also see in Genesis 25 that “Isaac loved Esau” and “Rebekah loved Jacob” (verse 28). First, Jacob prevails against Esau in verses 29-34, where he persuaded Esau to sell his birthright for some red stew, giving Esau the nickname “Edom” which means “red” [the name Esau means “hairy”, he was a reddish hairy man, see Genesis 25:25, 27:11]. So Esau is said to have “despised his birthright” (Genesis 25:34), he rejected his right as firstborn believing his belly was more important than the rights of the firstborn. This is the first time Jacob prevailed over Esau.  

In Genesis 26, God tells Isaac why He will bless him and his descendants; saying to Isaac I will perform the oath which I swore to Abraham your father’ (Genesis 26:3). Informing Isaac that, “in your seed all the nations of the earth shall be blessed” (verse 4); and telling Isaac that He, the God of Isaac’s father Abraham will bless him (Isaac) and multiply his descendants for His servant Abraham's sake, remember this fact because even today under the “New Covenant” we are blessed through this promise to Abraham and his “Seed” (Genesis 26:24 and Galatians 3:15:17, 29). Isaac received the blessing and promise because Abraham obeyed the voice of God, as do we today. 

Now moving to Genesis 27, Jacob again prevails over Esau. Here, Jacob’s mother Rebekah persuaded him to deceive his father Isaac by pretending to be Esau his brother (Genesis 27:5-29). After Jacob steals Esau blessing, Esau shows up thinking he would be blessed by his father with the blessing he had despised earlier in Genesis 25:34. Isaac gave Esau the bad news in saying, "your brother came with deceit and has taken away your blessing" (Genesis 27:35). Jacob and his mother deceived his father Isaac because he had not known Esau despised his birthright [for Esau had previous sold his birthright to Jacob for a red stew, see Genesis 25:29-34]. Esau appears to have thought the blessing was separate from the birthright. For in Genesis 27:36, “Esau said, "Is he not rightly named Jacob? For he has supplanted me these two times. He took away my birthright, and now look, he has taken away my blessing!"”

Yet, this blessing belonged to the firstborn; and Esau had sold it to Jacob. After Jacob stole Esau’s blessing, Esau set his heart on killing Jacob when their father Isaac died, Genesis 25:41 says, “So Esau hated Jacob because of the blessing with which his father blessed him, and Esau said in his heart, "The days of mourning for my father are at hand; then I will kill my brother Jacob."” Jacob the supplanter prevailed over Esau because God chose Jacob over Esau, for it is said “Jacob I have loved, but Esau I have hated”; remember also God had already chosen Jacob over Esau in the womb of their mother Rebekah (Genesis 25:22-23 and Malachi 1:2-3). Esau rejected his birthright and the blessing that came with it, this is the reason why God chose Jacob over him (remember God knows the beginning to the end, meaning He already knew Esau would reject this blessing even before he was born – see Hebrews 12:16-17 below). 

  • Malachi 1
    Israel Beloved of God
    2 "I have loved you,"
    says the LORD. "Yet you say, "In what way have You loved us?' Was not Esau Jacob's brother?" Says the LORD. "Yet Jacob I have loved; 3 But Esau I have hated, And laid waste his mountains and his heritage For the jackals of the wilderness
    ." 
  •  
  • Romans 9
    10 And not only this, but when Rebecca also had conceived by one man, even by our father Isaac 11 (for the children not yet being born, nor having done any good or evil, that the purpose of God according to election might stand, not of works but of Him who calls), 12 it was said to her, "The older shall serve the younger." 13 As it is written, "Jacob I have loved, but Esau I have hated."
     
  •  
  • Hebrews 12
    15 looking carefully lest anyone fall short of the grace of God; lest any root of bitterness springing up cause trouble, and by this many become defiled; 16 lest there be any fornicator or profane person like Esau, who for one morsel of food sold his birthright. 17 For you know that afterward, when he wanted to inherit the blessing, he was rejected, for he found no place for repentance, though he sought it diligently with tears.

As we move to Genesis 35, we see God appearing to Jacob after He had returned him safely to the land of his father after he had fled from his brother Jacob [I spoke concerning this in the “Tithing before the Law” study where Jacob vowed to give a tithe of all that God gave him “if” God brought him back to his father land safely]. God gives the promise of Abraham to Jacob by saying, "I am God Almighty. Be fruitful and multiply; a nation and a company of nations shall proceed from you, and kings shall come from your body. The land which I gave Abraham and Isaac I give to you; and to your descendants after you I give this land" (Genesis 35:11-12). 

Jacob having received the promises of Abraham his grandfather in Genesis 48 passes these promises (the covenant God had sworn to give to Abraham’s descendants) to his grandsons by Joseph. Please note Jacob (called Israel) was the nation chosen by God as His very own, and Joseph’s sons received the promise given to Jacob by God in Genesis 35:11-12. Jacob in blessing the two sons of Joseph in Genesis 48 says, "God Almighty appeared to me at Luz in the land of Canaan and blessed me, 4 and said to me, "Behold, I will make you fruitful and multiply you, and I will make of you a multitude of people, and give this land to your descendants after you as an everlasting possession.' 5 And now your two sons, Ephraim and Manasseh, who were born to you in the land of Egypt before I came to you in Egypt, are mine; as Reuben and Simeon, they shall be mine. 6 Your offspring whom you beget after them shall be yours; they will be called by the name of their brothers in their inheritance” (verse 3-6).

Then Jacob asked Joseph “please bring” your (his) sons to him so he can “bless them” (Genesis 48:9).  After Joseph brought his sons to Jacob, Jacob (Israel) “stretched out his right hand and laid it on Ephraim's head, who was the younger, and his left hand on Manasseh's head, guiding his hands knowingly, for Manasseh was the firstborn” (verse 14) saying “God, before whom my fathers Abraham and Isaac walked, The God who has fed me all my life long to this day, The Angel who has redeemed me from all evil, Bless the lads; Let my name be named upon them, And the name of my fathers Abraham and Isaac; And let them grow into a multitude in the midst of the earth" (verse 15-16). Joseph seeing Israel’s right hand on the head of Ephraim tried to switch his hands saying to Israel that Manasseh was the firstborn; but Israel refused to remove his right hand from the head of Ephraim saying, "I know, my son, I know. He also shall become a people, and he also shall be great; but truly his younger brother shall be greater than he, and his descendants shall become a multitude of nations." So he blessed them that day, saying, "By you Israel will bless, saying, "May God make you as Ephraim and as Manasseh!"' And thus he set Ephraim before Manasseh” (verses 18-20).  

  • Psalm 105
    9 The covenant which He made with Abraham, And His oath to Isaac, 10 And confirmed it to Jacob for a statute, To Israel as an everlasting covenant, 11 Saying, "To you I will give the land of Canaan As the allotment of your inheritance,"
     
  •  
  • Psalm 135
  •  4 For the LORD has chosen Jacob for Himself, Israel for His special treasure. 
  •  
  • Psalm 147
    19 He declares His word to Jacob, His statutes and His judgments to Israel. 20 He has not dealt thus with any nation; And as for His judgments, they have not known them. Praise the LORD!
      

So, we see God choosing Israel (Jacob) as His very own people and nation, confirming His covenant with them, which He had made with Abraham (Psalm 105:9). The Hebrews (Israelites) whom God brought out of “the house of bondage” called Egypt (Deut. 7:6-11 below). They are said to be a special people chosen as God’s own in Deuteronomy 7 below, please take note below of verse 11 where it says, “you shall keep the commandment, the statutes, and the judgments which I command you today, to observe them”. Here God made the “Old Covenant” with this nation on earth “only” and this nation “only”, as it is said in verse 6 “above all the peoples on the face of the earth”, God chose Israel to keep His “Old Covenant”. These laws and commandments were required of this nation called Israel only, and those who joined themselves with this nation by becoming circumcised in the foreskin; no other nation on earth was chosen to keep this “Old Covenant”. Now, we know today that Israel failed their end of this covenant (agreement); and therefore, they were removed from the “Promise Land” because of their disobedience to the rules, regulations and commandment of the “Old Covenant”. 

  • Deuteronomy 7
    A Chosen People
    6 "For you are a holy people to the LORD your God;
    the LORD your God has chosen you to be a people for Himself, a special treasure above all the peoples on the face of the earth. 7 The LORD did not set His love on you nor choose you because you were more in number than any other people, for you were the least of all peoples; 8 but because the LORD loves you, and because He would keep the oath which He swore to your fathers, the LORD has brought you out with a mighty hand, and redeemed you from the house of bondage, from the hand of Pharaoh king of Egypt. 9 "Therefore know that the LORD your God, He is God, the faithful God who keeps covenant and mercy for a thousand generations with those who love Him and keep His commandments; 10 and He repays those who hate Him to their face, to destroy them. He will not be slack with him who hates Him; He will repay him to his face. 11 Therefore you shall keep the commandment, the statutes, and the judgments which I command you today, to observe them. 

Now, we know why God chose the nation of Hebrews called by the name Israel to make the “Old Covenant” with, and that these Israelites (the nation of Israel) were required to keep these laws to remain under this “Old Covenant”. We will now move to this covenant called the Old Covenant and the requirement to tithe and give offerings under it. God made this covenant with the people called Hebrews and Israelites (which included the mixed multitude of Exodus 12:38 and later those who joined Israel or Judah by becoming circumcised [see Exodus 12:48 and Numbers 15:15-16]), which made up those whom He brought out of Egypt by the hand of Moses. God chose these people because of the promises He had made and swore to Abraham His friend (Genesis 22:16, 26:3). Please take note here before we began discussing the command by God to tithed and give offerings at set times under the Old Covenant that God spoke to these Israelites and this nation of people only (not to the whole earth or other nations of people). The commandment, statutes and judgments required under the “Old Covenant” applied to Israel only [later the nation of Israel became two nations one called Israel and one called Judah which the scepter (law) remained because of God’s servant David – see Genesis 49:10; Numbers 24:17; 1 Kings 11:1-13, 34-35; 1 Kings 12:1-24; 1 Kings 14:1-18 and 2 Kings 8:18-19].  

Now, when I say these statutes, judgments and commandment under the “old Covenant” were for the Israelites only and not the other nations on earth; please do not let someone deceive you with smooth talk, saying what about the other commands given to Israel, do this mean we are not held accountable for them also (see 2 Peter 3:15-16)? To those deceivers I ask these questions, are we circumcised in the flesh or the heart today (Colossians 2:11 and Romans 2:28:29)? Are you willing to stone someone for committing adultery today (John 8:3-11)? Just as there were and are two Covenants, there are also two nations spiritual and physical, as well as both spiritual laws and physical laws, each having their place under the two Covenants God made with His people, which I discuss elsewhere on this site. These tithes and offerings laws applied to the nation God made them with under the Old Covenant, and not with the rest of the nations and peoples at that time. Nor were these tithes and offerings laws made with us, but with those who were the physical descendants of Abraham and those foreigners who joined Israel by becoming circumcised in the flesh. But when Christ came, He was nailed to the tree for all our sins, and at that time this “Old Covenant” with its rules and regulations were nailed to the tree (cross) also, meaning the end of this covenant with the nation of Israel and Judah (Colossians 2:13-17) [more on this later].

Now, let us move to Exodus 25 where God commands Moses to ask the children of Israel just before making the tabernacle to bring a freewill offering of the things needed to build a sanctuary that He, God “may dwell among them” (verse 8). This is the very first time in Scripture where God is recorded as asking for an offering from the people He had chosen as His very own nation of people, the people were still in the desert on the mountain of God, Mount Horeb (also called Sinai). Bringing us to this question, why did God require from everyone who was willing to give Him an offering (verse 2)? Well, there was a requirement for the offering; that is to build a sanctuary for God (a tabernacle and Tent of Meeting), for Him to dwell among them.  

  • Exodus 25
    Offerings for the Sanctuary 
  • 1 Then the LORD spoke to Moses, saying: 2 "Speak to the children of Israel, that they bring Me an offering. From everyone who gives it willingly with his heart you shall take My offering. 3 And this is the offering which you shall take from them: gold, silver, and bronze; 4 blue, purple, and scarlet thread, fine linen, and goats' hair; 5 ram skins dyed red, badger skins, and acacia wood; 6 oil for the light, and spices for the anointing oil and for the sweet incense; 7 onyx stones, and stones to be set in the ephod and in the breastplate. 8 And let them make Me a sanctuary, that I may dwell among them. 9 According to all that I show you, that is, the pattern of the tabernacle and the pattern of all its furnishings, just so you shall make it.  

Without this need to build a sanctuary for God to dwell in, there was no need to give a freewill offering. [Today, God dwell within our hearts, our bodies are God’s temple]. Next, we see the people only gave what was needed to accomplish this task of building this sanctuary for God, as the Holy Scripture says in: 

  • Exodus 36:2-7, “… Moses called Bezalel and Aholiab, and every gifted artisan in whose heart the LORD had put wisdom, everyone whose heart was stirred, to come and do the work. 3 And they received from Moses all the offering which the children of Israel had brought for the work of the service of making the sanctuary. So they continued bringing to him freewill offerings every morning. 4 Then all the craftsmen who were doing all the work of the sanctuary came, each from the work he was doing, 5 and they spoke to Moses, saying, "The people bring much more than enough for the service of the work which the LORD commanded us to do." 6 So Moses gave a commandment, and they caused it to be proclaimed throughout the camp, saying, "Let neither man nor woman do any more work for the offering of the sanctuary." And the people were restrained from bringing, 7 for the material they had was sufficient for all the work to be done--indeed too much.  

How many churches do you know will tell you do not give any more tithes and offerings for this year because we have enough for the minister and all our bills already? Please, note in verse 5 where it is said, "The people bring much more than enough for the service of the work which the LORD commanded us to do." Again, we see in verse 6, "Let neither man nor woman do any more work for the offering of the sanctuary." And the people were restrained from bringing, 7 for the material they had was sufficient for all the work to be done--indeed too much”. We see from these verses, which teaches us as Christians to give enough to completed the work, but do not over give to these gospel peddlers. The churches of this world should not be maintaining enormous bank accounts with your freewill offerings, yet how churches have large bank accounts today? 

Now, I say this because there are Scripture, which says to support the one who teaches the word, but there is no Scripture saying you must continue to give to churches when their expenses have been met (Matthew 10:5-10). And please remember under the New Covenant your body is God’s temple, whereby God dwells today in the believer heart (mind) [see John 14:16-18,23 and 1 Corinthians 3:16-17], and God never needed a place built by man to dwell in as the Holy Spirit says in Isaiah 66:1-2, “Heaven is My throne, and earth is My footstool. Where is the house that you will build Me? For all those things My hand has made, and all those things exist, says the LORD”; but the building of this physical tabernacle and Tent of Meeting, later becoming a temple was built for our learning and our understanding of those things which of but a shadow of the things in the heavenly realm (Col. 2:16-17 and Heb. 8:4-6). In Exodus 25, we have the first instance in the Scriptures where God asks for an “offering” from the people, nation of Israel, whom He called His own. Note, this offering was asked only of those who gave freely and “willingly with his heart” (Exodus 25:2). 

Back to Exodus 25, here are some very critical questions for those who hold the belief, and teaching others to believe this distortion of the Scriptures also that the people of God were tithing prior to this event. Now, if the people were already tithing regularly as these self-appointed ministers today claim that Abraham did; thereby, proving “as they say” tithing was in effect prior to the giving of the law of Moses (but the word of God do not say this nor was tithing required or commanded by God before the law of Moses), see “Tithing before the Law”. First, why did God have to ask for a freewill offering, if they were already required to tithe and give offerings? Next, if they were tithing why didn’t God just say along with their tithe, command the people who are willing to bring Me an freewill offering to build My sanctuary? [Think about what I am saying here]. Again, I say while these gospels peddlers claim this doctrine of men [claiming you must give them a tithe], they do not explain nor can they explain why no other references in the Holy Scriptures prior to the giving of the Law of Moses, mention anyone regularly tithing to anyone (if there was anyone to receive it for there were no priesthood before Moses); nor can they show any of the former men of God (or women for that matter) who were tithing prior to the Law of Moses. If they try to point to Jacob, then I say he did not tithe either; and the vow that he made to God in Genesis 28:20-22, he made it with an "if" God blessed him first and brought him back to his father house in peace. I don’t think any of these gospel peddlers will try to use Jacob’s example because they will have to explain why Jacob asked for a blessing before tithing; and explain to whom did Jacob give this tithe to when God fulfilled His promise to Jacob by bringing Jacob back to his father house safely. [See Genesis 33:10-11 where Jacob gave his brother Esau gifts which he had counted out, was this Jacob’s way of keeping his vow to give God a tenth of what He gave him? If so, this bring up more questions than these gospel peddlers wish to answer because Esau was never a priest. [See Eccl. 5:1-7 concerning making vows and not keeping them with God]. 

I say again, you must ask these questions, and think about what I am saying here? If Abraham tithed on his produce and livestock on a regular basis, then to whom did he give it to? If Jacob tithed then to whom did he give it to (there was no priesthood before the law of Moses)? Did he give the tithe to his uncle Laban while staying with him? Why is it not recorded in the Holy Scriptures that Isaac tithed or for that matter no other person of God is record as tithing prior to the Law of Moses? Would it not be important for God to show these men and women tithing before the Law, so we would not have confusion about who tithed before the Old Covenant (1 Cor. 14:33 and James 3:16)? If God commanded the people of Israel, who had land and livestock to tithe to maintain the tabernacle and later the temple of God then what would Abraham and all the other men of God tithe to maintain; if what these gospel peddlers today claim about tithing was true? I mean yes, prior to the Law of Moses, Abraham gave to the Priest of the Most High, Melchizedek; but this was a one time thing (nowhere does it say he gave regularly nor do it imply this), and it was not even Abraham’s goods and livestock he gave from but what he had captured in battle. And to whom did Isaac, Jacob, Job and all the other men (women) of God prior to Moses give a tithed to, who represented God to receive the tithe? Would it not be important for God to point to whom to give the tithe to before the Law of Moses (Hebrews 7:5)? You see how many strange questions we must answer when we entertain this twisted view of the Holy Scriptures. Now, I say again under the New Covenant tithing is only a tradition of men, a doctrine of Satan and his followers, used by those who wish to gain financial from the word of God. These gospel peddlers cannot point to any Scripture where God commanded anyone to tithe prior to the Law of Moses. God never said to the people of God to give tithes to anyone until He set-up the priesthood under the law of Moses; and then God only commanded the land and livestock owners to tithe (those who had the means to tithe) not the poor and needy nor the widows. 

The New Testament or new covenant reminds us that the old covenant and its ordinances and regulations were only shadows of the things to come under the “New Covenant” and the age to come (the things in heaven): 

  • Colossians 2
    16 So let no one judge you in food or in drink, or regarding a festival or a new moon or sabbaths, 17 which are a shadow of things to come, but the substance is of Christ. 
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  • Hebrews 8
    4 For if He were on earth, He would not be a priest, since there are priests who offer the gifts according to the law; 5 who serve the copy and shadow of the heavenly things, as Moses was divinely instructed when he was about to make the tabernacle. For He said, "See that you make all things according to the pattern shown you on the mountain." 6 But now He has obtained a more excellent ministry, inasmuch as He is also Mediator of a better covenant, which was established on better promises.
     

Throughout this study I want you to ask yourself questions and ponder these things which I speak of, and hold to those things which are good and true for the Holy Spirit shall teach you all things as you humble yourselves to God my Father and His Christ Jesus. Remember also that what we learn and see under the old covenant concerning rules and regulations are only a shadow of the heavenly things of God and His Christ. Those who were under the Old Covenant were serving the copy and not the true and “better covenant, which was established on better promises” (Hebrews 8:6). God under the Old Covenant only accepted as His own those who were actual descendants of Abraham and those who joined his household by becoming physically circumcised in the flesh; but the New Covenant is open to all who accept the calling of God. For many are called, however only a few are chosen (those who accept the call and remain faithful) in this present evil age (Matthew 20:16 and Matthew 22:13-14).  Remember, what Mary, Jesus’ mother did when she heard things she did not fully understand at the time, in Luke 2:18-19 its said “… all those who heard it marveled at those things which were told them by the shepherds. 19 But Mary kept all these things and pondered them in her heart”. 

In Exodus 25, God called for an offering to build a sanctuary that He may dwell among the Israelites, His own nation, which He called out of the earth because of the promises and oath He made to His servant and friend Abraham. Next, God in Exodus 40 (listed below) called Aaron and his sons to minister to Him as priests. Then “the tabernacle was raised up” after two years of the Israelites building it in the wilderness (verse 17). Here we have another need coming out of the building of the tabernacle. For once the tabernacle was completed it need upkeep and someone to keep it up, this required the need for tithes and offerings to maintain this tabernacle of God and support for those called to serve in it. Therefore, God commanded Moses to anoint Aaron and his sons as priests for an “everlasting priesthood” in their generations (verse 15). 

  • Exodus 40
    12
    "Then you shall bring Aaron and his sons to the door of the tabernacle of meeting and wash them with water. 13 You shall put the holy garments on Aaron, and anoint him and consecrate him, that he may minister to Me as priest. 14 And you shall bring his sons and clothe them with tunics. 15 You shall anoint them, as you anointed their father, that they may minister to Me as priests; for their anointing shall surely be an everlasting priesthood throughout their generations." 16 Thus Moses did; according to all that the LORD had commanded him, so he did. 17 And it came to pass in the first month of the second year, on the first day of the month, that the tabernacle was raised up.  

Moses anointed the sons of Aaron for "an everlasting priesthood throughout their generations". "The tabernacle was raised up”,"… in the first month of the second year, on the first day of the month"; prior to this God had always asked for a freewill (all who were able and willing) offering from the people. However, the physical tabernacle (and later a temple) required maintenance, upkeep and there were requirements to sacrifice at the altar. So, now God required that the people who had the means to support the tabernacle and support those who were required to take care of the needs of the tabernacle (the Levites), and those who were required to make sacrifices for the people (the sons of Aaron, the priests). What God was doing when He required the people of Israel (those with the means) to pay tithes to maintain the upkeep of the tabernacle was the same as paying taxes to a government (remember the Israelites had just become a nation, and did not have a human king yet - God was their King). This tithe, a tenth was a tax on those with the means to pay it. 

Note, today we do not have a physical tabernacle or temple to maintain, but we have a spiritual temple, which are our body. God and His Christ have made their home in our minds (hearts) that we may be living sacrifices to Him (John 14:23 and Romans 12:1-2); therefore, when you submit your life to doing God's will, doing good and "remembering the poor" (Galatians 2:1-10), you have fulfilled your part in supporting the temple of God under the “New Covenant” [more on this later]. But, for now we will continue to examine tithing during the Old Covenant (the Contract) between God and His people, the physical nation of Israel (the house of Judah and the house of Israel). 

As we see in 1 Samuel 8 below, kings of the ancient world had and would demand tithes of the people for the upkeep of their government. This tenth must have been a common amount given to kings during this period because Abraham and Jacob both used this amount when determining how much to give as a freewill offering. 

[Note also, we can study the story of Joseph and see how much he demanded from the people during the famine of Egypt. For example, in Genesis 41:34, Joseph advised the Pharaoh to collect one-fifth of the produce from the people in the seven years of plenty (remember afterwards Joseph sold this produce back to the people during the famine)]. 

Later on under the Old Covenant when the people of Israel decided, that they did not want God to rule over them as their King anymore. God told Samuel to tell them what a king would do to them, that is the king would demand the best of their people, grain, livestock and all that he needed for his household and his servants. God also said this human king would require the people to pay his household a tenth (10%) of their grain and livestock.  

So, if you ask me these gospel peddlers today who demand that you give them tithes of all your earnings. They are just like those kings that Israel cried out for God to give them to rule over them, and collect first fruits and a tenth of their produce and livestock. For both the peddlers of God’s word and the kings of this world have demanded, that the people give them a tenth of their earnings, and the people today feel compelled to give their earnings to these gospel peddlers. As it is written in: 

  • 1 Samuel 8: “10 So Samuel told all the words of the LORD to the people who asked him for a king. 11 And he said, "This will be the behavior of the king who will reign over you… 14 … he will take the best of your fields, your vineyards, and your olive groves, and give them to his servants. 15 He will take a tenth of your grain and your vintage, and give it to his officers and servants. 16 And he will take your male servants, your female servants, your finest young men, and your donkeys, and put them to his work. 17 He will take a tenth of your sheep. And you will be his servants”. 

Moving back to the requirement to maintain the tabernacle and Tent of Meeting, below in Numbers 18 God gives the Priests charge of His offerings and gifts to offering sacrifices for the people. The priesthood was given a tenth of the tithe (verses 26-28), and the Levites were given charge to collect the tithes from the people. 

  • Numbers 18
  • Offerings for Support of the Priests
    8
    And the LORD spoke to Aaron: "Here, I Myself have also given you charge of My heave offerings, all the holy gifts of the children of Israel; I have given them as a portion to you and your sons, as an ordinance forever. 9 This shall be yours of the most holy things reserved from the fire: every offering of theirs, every grain offering and every sin offering and every trespass offering which they render to Me, shall be most holy for you and your sons. 10 In a most holy place you shall eat it; every male shall eat it. It shall be holy to you.
    The Tithe of the Levites
    25
    Then the LORD spoke to Moses, saying, 26 "Speak thus to the Levites, and say to them: "When you take from the children of Israel the tithes which I have given you from them as your inheritance, then you shall offer up a heave offering of it to the LORD, a tenth of the tithe. 27And your heave offering shall be reckoned to you as though it were the grain of the threshing floor and as the fullness of the winepress. 28 Thus you shall also offer a heave offering to the LORD from all your tithes which you receive from the children of Israel, and you shall give the LORD's heave offering from it to Aaron the priest. 29 Of all your gifts you shall offer up every heave offering due to the LORD, from all the best of them, the consecrated part of them.' 30 Therefore you shall say to them: "When you have lifted up the best of it, then the rest shall be accounted to the Levites as the produce of the threshing floor and as the produce of the winepress. 31 You may eat it in any place, you and your households, for it is your reward for your work in the tabernacle of meeting. 32 And you shall bear no sin because of it, when you have lifted up the best of it. But you shall not profane the holy gifts of the children of Israel, lest you die."'
     

Note here in verses 9 and 10, the priests are given every offering of Israel: “every grain offering and every sin offering and every trespass offering” to eat in a most holy place. [Please note only the males “every male shall eat it” (verse 10), no women - here God makes a distinction between men and women - just as Adam was responsible for Eve, more on this later]. God chose the priesthood of Aaron's sons to eat His offerings from the people - they represented God on this earth to receive these offerings (Hebrews 7:5). No one else on earth could receive this offering or eat it else they would die. Then God required the Levites to give the priests of Aaron a tithe of their tithe that they received from the people - the best of tithe was to be eaten anywhere by the priests and their whole household only (Numbers 18:26-31).  

Now, moving to Deuteronomy chapters 12 and 14 we find that God gives further instructions concerning offerings and tithing of the people. Please notice here, in Deuteronomy 12:6-12 God required heave offerings, burnt offerings and firstborn offerings, as well as tithes from the people.  

  • Deuteronomy 12
    A Prescribed Place of Worship
    Only One Place of Worship
    1
    "These are the statutes and judgments which you shall be careful to observe in the land which the LORD God of your fathers is giving you to possess, all the days that you live on the earth. 2 You shall utterly destroy all the places where the nations which you shall dispossess served their gods, on the high mountains and on the hills and under every green tree. 3 And you shall destroy their altars, break their sacred pillars, and burn their wooden images with fire; you shall cut down the carved images of their gods and destroy their names from that place. 4 You shall not worship the LORD your God with such things. 5 "But you shall seek the place where the LORD your God chooses, out of all your tribes, to put His name for His dwelling place; and there you shall go. 6 There you shall take your burnt offerings, your sacrifices, your tithes, the heave offerings of your hand, your vowed offerings, your freewill offerings, and the firstborn of your herds and flocks. 7 And there you shall eat before the LORD your God, and you shall rejoice in all to which you have put your hand, you and your households, in which the LORD your God has blessed you. 8 "You shall not at all do as we are doing here today--every man doing whatever is right in his own eyes-- 9 for as yet you have not come to the rest and the inheritance which the LORD your God is giving you. 10 But when you cross over the Jordan and dwell in the land which the LORD your God is giving you to inherit, and He gives you rest from all your enemies round about, so that you dwell in safety, 11 then there will be the place where the LORD your God chooses to make His name abide. There you shall bring all that I command you: your burnt offerings, your sacrifices, your tithes, the heave offerings of your hand, and all your choice offerings which you vow to the LORD. 12 And you shall rejoice before the LORD your God, you and your sons and your daughters, your male and female servants, and the Levite who is within your gates, since he has no portion nor inheritance with you.
      

In Deuteronomy 14 below, the people were required to tithe on “all the increase of” (verse 22) of their grain. Also, please note here in verse 28 the tithe “at the end of every third year” were to be eaten by the “stranger and the fatherless and the widow” that they may be satisfied. This commandment to share the whole tithe in the third year with the poor and needy is left out when these gospel peddlers who claim to represent God to receive your monies. I wonder why? Because these thieves, those who are peddling the word of God for your money (2 Cor. 2:17), these “gospel peddlers” wish to consume your tithes themselves, and give the poor handouts at certain times of the year.  

  • Deuteronomy 14
    Tithing Principles
    22 "You shall truly tithe all the increase of your grain that the field produces year by year.
    23 And you shall eat before the LORD your God, in the place where He chooses to make His name abide, the tithe of your grain and your new wine and your oil, of the firstborn of your herds and your flocks, that you may learn to fear the LORD your God always. 24 But if the journey is too long for you, so that you are not able to carry the tithe, or if the place where the LORD your God chooses to put His name is too far from you, when the LORD your God has blessed you, 25 then you shall exchange it for money, take the money in your hand, and go to the place which the LORD your God chooses. 26 And you shall spend that money for whatever your heart desires: for oxen or sheep, for wine or similar drink, for whatever your heart desires; you shall eat there before the LORD your God, and you shall rejoice, you and your household. 27 You shall not forsake the Levite who is within your gates, for he has no part nor inheritance with you. 28 "At the end of every third year you shall bring out the tithe of your produce of that year and store it up within your gates. 29 And the Levite, because he has no portion nor inheritance with you, and the stranger and the fatherless and the widow who are within your gates, may come and eat and be satisfied, that the LORD your God may bless you in all the work of your hand which you do.
  •  
  • Deuteronomy 15
  • The Law Concerning Firstborn Animals
    19
    "All the firstborn males that come from your herd and your flock you shall sanctify to the LORD your God; you shall do no work with the firstborn of your herd, nor shear the firstborn of your flock. 20 You and your household shall eat it before the LORD your God year by year in the place which the LORD chooses. 21 But if there is a defect in it, if it is lame or blind or has any serious defect, you shall not sacrifice it to the LORD your God. 22 You may eat it within your gates; the unclean and the clean person alike may eat it, as if it were a gazelle or a deer. 23 Only you shall not eat its blood; you shall pour it on the ground like water. 

Please, take note here that God even made a distinction between male and female firstborns of the herd and flock (Deut. 15:19) - only the firstborn male was to be sanctified to God; and eaten by the person offering it and his household in a place God chooses. Only if this male firstborn was defected could it be eaten anywhere by both the clean and unclean person. 

Notice, here in Deuteronomy 26 where God instructs the people to give “some of the first of all the produce of the ground” (verse 2) to the priest, and declare before God that they have obeyed the commandments especially the one to share the third year tithe with the “the stranger, the fatherless, and the widow” (verse 13). Even the requirement to give the “firstfruits of the land” (verses 10-11), the Levite were to use it to care for and support the Levites and the stranger (those in need). Here we see God is very concern about those in the need among us. His tithes and offerings under the Old Covenant were to be used not only to support the Levite and the priests and the upkeep of the tabernacle, but also to be used to support and care for those in need. The nation of Israel blessings from God was given to them only if they hadn’t forgotten those in need in their land (verse 15). [See my section on Malachi 3 Explained]. 

  • Deuteronomy 26
    The Offerings of Firstfruits and Tithes
    1
    "And it shall be, when you come into the land which the LORD your God is giving you as an inheritance, and you possess it and dwell in it, 2 that you shall take some of the first of all the produce of the ground, which you shall bring from your land that the LORD your God is giving you, and put it in a basket and go to the place where the LORD your God chooses to make His name abide. 3 And you shall go to the one who is priest in those days, and say to him, "I declare today to the LORD your God that I have come to the country which the LORD swore to our fathers to give us.' 4 "Then the priest shall take the basket out of your hand and set it down before the altar of the LORD your God. 5 And you shall answer and say before the LORD your God: "My father was a Syrian, about to perish, and he went down to Egypt and dwelt there, few in number; and there he became a nation, great, mighty, and populous. 6 But the Egyptians mistreated us, afflicted us, and laid hard bondage on us. 7 Then we cried out to the LORD God of our fathers, and the LORD heard our voice and looked on our affliction and our labor and our oppression. 8 So the LORD brought us out of Egypt with a mighty hand and with an outstretched arm, with great terror and with signs and wonders. 9 He has brought us to this place and has given us this land, "a land flowing with milk and honey"; 10 and now, behold, I have brought the firstfruits of the land which you, O LORD, have given me.' "Then you shall set it before the LORD your God, and worship before the LORD your God. 11 So you shall rejoice in every good thing which the LORD your God has given to you and your house, you and the Levite and the stranger who is among you. 12 "When you have finished laying aside all the tithe of your increase in the third year--the year of tithing--and have given it to the Levite, the stranger, the fatherless, and the widow, so that they may eat within your gates and be filled, 13 then you shall say before the LORD your God: "I have removed the holy tithe from my house, and also have given them to the Levite, the stranger, the fatherless, and the widow, according to all Your commandments which You have commanded me; I have not transgressed Your commandments, nor have I forgotten them. 14 I have not eaten any of it when in mourning, nor have I removed any of it for an unclean use, nor given any of it for the dead. I have obeyed the voice of the LORD my God, and have done according to all that You have commanded me. 15 Look down from Your holy habitation, from heaven, and bless Your people Israel and the land which You have given us, just as You swore to our fathers, "a land flowing with milk and honey."'
     

Note here in Leviticus 27, where God allows a person to redeem his tithe of the land (fruit and grain) for money by adding one-fifth to it according to the money of the sanctuary - this exchange was only allowed on the produce tithes not the flock and herd tithes: 

  • Leviticus 27
    30 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 is holy to the LORD. 31 If a man wants at all to redeem any of his tithes, he shall add one-fifth to it. 32 And concerning the tithe of the herd or the flock, of whatever passes under the rod, the tenth one shall be holy to the LORD. 33 He shall not inquire whether it is good or bad, nor shall he exchange it; and if he exchanges it at all, then both it and the one exchanged for it shall be holy; it shall not be redeemed."' 34 These are the commandments which the LORD commanded Moses for the children of Israel on Mount Sinai.
     

Notice in Leviticus 27 above, God says the tithe of the land (ground seed or fruit of the tree) are His and must be tithed on which could be redeemed by adding another one-fifth to the tithe (this was a penalty for not giving fruit and grain and opting instead to give money, the person had to add another one-fifth to the value (as determine by the Levites) of their tithe of the land if they wanted it instead of giving it to the Levites). God also said the tithe of the herd and flock were His, and could not be redeemed nor exchanged (if they tried to exchange them then both of them were considered holy) - the tenth creature of the herd and flock was God’s (meaning if you did not have at least ten in your herd or flock, you did not have to give a tithe of your livestock - this is where God set the cutoff as to who tithed and who gave freewill offerings only - not like these gospel peddlers today who require and demand the poorest of the poor and widows to tithe on their government benefits SSI or SS). Again, if you did not own land or fruit trees you did not have to tithe anything (you could however make a freewill offering and you had to make the required grain, brunt or atonement offerings for sin, vows, or trespasses), only those with land and fruit trees tithed (Lev. 27:30-32). Note, here also that God required the tithes of the third year that the Levites received to be shared with “the stranger, the fatherless and the widow” (Deut. 26:12-13) of the land. [Notice God made the Levites to share with the poor from the tithes they received not from the offerings they received from the people who gave tithes]. Not as some of these so-called bible scholars and greedy Balaams' and gospel peddlers claim were a separate tithe for them (Deut. 14:28-29). The Levites were guilty of not giving this portion of the tithe to "the stranger, fatherless and the widow" in Malachi 3. Also, there was a tax or ransom for those counted in the census of males 20 years old and over of both rich and poor had to give half-shekel, for an offering to God for the service of the tabernacle of meeting. The offering of the first fruits of the land, womb and livestock (whether clean or unclean) belong to God; these could not be redeemed - however, the firstborn of unclean animals and the firstborn of man had to be redeemed prior to becoming one month and the value thereof given to the Levites, this offering could be eaten by those who offered them and their household (Deut. 26:10). 

Only men were required to pay a ransom whenever a census was taken of the children of Israel not the women, again God makes a distinction between men and women:

  • Exodus 30
  • The Ransom Money
    11
    Then the LORD spoke to Moses, saying: 12 "When you take the census of the children of Israel for their number, then every man shall give a ransom for himself to the LORD, when you number them, that there may be no plague among them when you number them. 13 This is what everyone among those who are numbered shall give: half a shekel according to the shekel of the sanctuary (a shekel is twenty gerahs). The half-shekel shall be an offering to the LORD. 14 Everyone included among those who are numbered, from twenty years old and above, shall give an offering to the LORD. 15 The rich shall not give more and the poor shall not give less than half a shekel, when you give an offering to the LORD, to make atonement for yourselves. 16 And you shall take the atonement money of the children of Israel, and shall appoint it for the service of the tabernacle of meeting, that it may be a memorial for the children of Israel before the LORD, to make atonement for yourselves."  

In Numbers 3:11-13, God tells Israel that every first born of male of man and beast belongs to Him; therefore instead of the firstborn He will take the tribe of Levi instead for His. They were to be given to Aaron and his sons to attend to their needs and the tabernacle. The number of the males one month old and above of the children of Israel that exceeded the number of Levites were to redeem themselves with five shekels and give to the priesthood of Aaron (Num. 3:44-48). This was done to get the tabernacle and Levites started, and insured the Levites received substance because they did not receive an inheritance in the Promised Land. 

Also, we have in 2 Kings 12:1-5 where the King of Judah, Jehoash had the money the people were compel to give to the priests… All the money of the dedicated gifts that are brought into the house of the LORD--each man's census money, each man's assessment money--and all the money that a man purposes in his heart to bring into the house of the LORD… for the repair of the temple. This money came from those commanded by the Law of Moses to give see 2 Chronicles chapter 24. 

Below Numbers 18:1-32 tells us that God chose the Levi to attend to the needs of the priests and the tabernacle.  

  • Numbers 18
    Duties of Priests and Levites; How They Were Supported
    1
    Then the LORD said to Aaron: "You and your sons and your father's house with you shall bear the iniquity related to the sanctuary, and you and your sons with you shall bear the iniquity associated with your priesthood. 2 Also bring with you your brethren of the tribe of Levi, the tribe of your father, that they may be joined with you and serve you while you and your sons are with you before the tabernacle of witness. 3 They shall attend to your needs and all the needs of the tabernacle; but they shall not come near the articles of the sanctuary and the altar, lest they die--they and you also. 4 They shall be joined with you and attend to the needs of the tabernacle of meeting, for all the work of the tabernacle; but an outsider shall not come near you. 5 And you shall attend to the duties of the sanctuary and the duties of the altar, that there may be no more wrath on the children of Israel. 6 Behold, I Myself have taken your brethren the Levites from among the children of Israel; they are a gift to you, given by the LORD, to do the work of the tabernacle of meeting. 7 Therefore you and your sons with you shall attend to your priesthood for everything at the altar and behind the veil; and you shall serve. I give your priesthood to you as a gift for service, but the outsider who comes near shall be put to death."
    Offerings for Support of the Priests
    8 And the LORD spoke to Aaron: "Here, I Myself have also given you charge of My heave offerings, all the holy gifts of the children of Israel; I have given them as a portion to you and your sons, as an ordinance forever. 9 This shall be yours of the most holy things reserved from the fire: every offering of theirs, every grain offering and every sin offering and every trespass offering which they render to Me, shall be most holy for you and your sons. 10 In a most holy place you shall eat it; every male shall eat it. It shall be holy to you. 11 "This also is yours: the heave offering of their gift, with all the wave offerings of the children of Israel; I have given them to you, and your sons and daughters with you, as an ordinance forever. Everyone who is clean in your house may eat it. 12 "All the best of the oil, all the best of the new wine and the grain, their firstfruits which they offer to the LORD, I have given them to you. 13 Whatever first ripe fruit is in their land, which they bring to the LORD, shall be yours. Everyone who is clean in your house may eat it. 14 "Every devoted thing in Israel shall be yours. 15 "Everything that first opens the womb of all flesh, which they bring to the LORD, whether man or beast, shall be yours; nevertheless the firstborn of man you shall surely redeem, and the firstborn of unclean animals you shall redeem. 16 And those redeemed of the devoted things you
    shall redeem when one month old, according to your valuation, for five shekels of silver, according to the shekel of the sanctuary, which is twenty gerahs. 17 But the firstborn of a cow, the firstborn of a sheep, or the firstborn of a goat you shall not redeem; they are holy. You shall sprinkle their blood on the altar, and burn their fat as an offering made by fire for a sweet aroma to the LORD. 18 And their flesh shall be yours, just as the wave breast and the right thigh are yours. 19 "All the heave offerings of the holy things, which the children of Israel offer to the LORD, I have given to you and your sons and daughters with you as an ordinance forever; it is a covenant of salt forever before the LORD with you and your descendants with you." 20 Then the LORD said to Aaron: "You shall have no inheritance in their land, nor shall you have any portion among them; I am your portion and your inheritance among the children of Israel.
    Tithes for Support of the Levites
    21
    "Behold, I have given the children of Levi all the tithes in Israel as an inheritance in return for the work which they perform, the work of the tabernacle of meeting. 22  Hereafter the children of Israel shall not come near the tabernacle of meeting, lest they bear sin and die. 23 But the Levites shall perform the work of the tabernacle of meeting, and they shall bear their iniquity; it shall be a statute forever, throughout your generations, that among the children of Israel they shall have no inheritance. 24 For the tithes of the children of Israel, which they offer up as a heave offering to the LORD, I have given to the Levites as an inheritance; therefore I have said to them, "Among the children of Israel they shall have no inheritance."'
    The Tithe of the Levites
    25
    Then the LORD spoke to Moses, saying, 26 "Speak thus to the Levites, and say to them: "When you take from the children of Israel the tithes which I have given you from them as your inheritance, then you shall offer up a heave offering of it to the LORD, a tenth of the tithe. 27 And your heave offering shall be reckoned to you as though it were the grain of the threshing floor and as the fullness of the winepress. 28 Thus you shall also offer a heave offering to the LORD from all your tithes which you receive from the children of Israel, and you shall give the LORD's heave offering from it to Aaron the priest. 29 Of all your gifts you shall offer up every heave offering due to the LORD, from all the best of them, the consecrated part of them.' 30 Therefore you shall say to them: "When you have lifted up the best of it, then the rest shall be accounted to the Levites as the produce of the threshing floor and as the produce of the winepress. 31 You may eat it in any place, you and your households, for it is your reward for your work in the tabernacle of meeting. 32 And you shall bear no sin because of it, when you have lifted up the best of it. But you shall not profane the holy gifts of the children of Israel, lest you die."'
     

The priests of Aaron’s (the best of all the offerings belong to the priests only to eat) and their households were to have all offerings made by the children of Israel (every offering of theirs, every grain offering and every sin offering and every trespass offering, every devoted thing and heave offerings) the freewill offerings and sin offerings. The Levites were given the tithes of the children of Israel (those who have an increase of produce and livestock gave an tenth of it to the Levites). Here the Levites are told to give up a tenth of the tithes (the best of them all) from the children of Israel for a heave offering to God; and they are told to give it to Aaron the priest -see Numbers 18:12. If ministers today who claim they have authority in the Holy Scripture to extort tithes and offerings from you who are spiritual Israel, then to whom do they give their tenth of the tithe to under the New Covenant? I ask this question because if these greedy Balaam ministers who uses Old Testament verses out of context to burden you with tithes on your income (which is a tax), should also do this part of the law (not that this would make what they are doing right, but I say this so you will see that these gospel peddlers only uses parts of the Old Covenant which support their claim to your money) - but they will not give this tenth of the tithe away because they only want your money and they will not give any of it to others. Remember, also the tithe of every third year were shared with the poor and needy of the land of Israel (Deut. 26:11-13). Also, the Law of Moses says if you keep the law then you must keep the whole law otherwise you are found guilty of breaking the law. I really find this strange, yet it’s not strange seeing that these ministers who want your money serve money and not God (Matthew 6); and seek to accumulate your money for themselves and their own pet projects. These ministers are always quick to say, “well, I need to see what the context is for that Scripture or verse”, when you ask them about verses in the Bible which condemn their actions and interpretations of the Holy Bible (Matt. 6:24, Rom. 16:18, 1 Tim. 3:3,8 Titus 1:7, Phil. 3:18-19 and Matt. 10:8-10). 

As the Scripture says, the purpose why the Law was added after the promise was made was “because of transgressions” of the descendants of Abraham:  

  • Galatians 3:19-20
  • Purpose of the Law
  • 19 What purpose then does the law serve? It was added because of transgressions, till the Seed should come to whom the promise was made; and it was appointed through angels by the hand of a mediator. 20 Now a mediator does not mediate for one only, but God is one.  

Now, the children of Israel did not continue in their faithfulness to God as we see here in 2 Chronicles 31: 

  • 2 Chronicles 31
    The Reforms of Hezekiah
    Hezekiah's Provision for Priests and Levites
    1
    Now when all this was finished, all Israel who were present went out to the cities of Judah and broke the sacred pillars in pieces, cut down the wooden images, and threw down the high places and the altars--from all Judah, Benjamin, Ephraim, and Manasseh--until they had utterly destroyed them all. Then all the children of Israel returned to their own cities, every man to his possession. 2 And Hezekiah appointed the divisions of the priests and the Levites according to their divisions, each man according to his service, the priests and Levites for burnt offerings and peace offerings, to serve, to give thanks, and to praise in the gates of the camp of the LORD. 3 The king also appointed a portion of his possessions for the burnt offerings: for the morning and evening burnt offerings, the burnt offerings for the Sabbaths and the New Moons and the set feasts, as it is written in the Law of the LORD. 4 Moreover he commanded the people who dwelt in Jerusalem to contribute support for the priests and the Levites, that they might devote themselves to the Law of the LORD. 5 As soon as the commandment was circulated, the children of Israel brought in abundance the firstfruits of grain and wine, oil and honey, and of all the produce of the field; and they brought in abundantly the tithe of everything. 6 And the children of Israel and Judah, who dwelt in the cities of Judah, brought the tithe of oxen and sheep; also the tithe of holy things which were consecrated to the LORD their God they laid in heaps.
      

Therefore, what we have in tithes and offerings from the old covenant are: 

Those who owned land and livestock had to give a tithe of their land produce and give every tenth animal of their herd and flock (clean animals) to the Levites; the Levites were to give a tithe of the tithes from the land (seed or fruit) and from the livestock (herd or flock) to the priests of Aaron; and the Levites had to share the tithes received from the people of Israel with “the stranger, the fatherless, and the widow” of the land every three years. The so-called bible scholars and those who wish to burden you with tithes and offerings will tell you there were three separate tithes the children of Israel paid to the Levites. But I say ask yourselves, do you think God would burden His people with three tithes 20% each year for Him and themselves then another 10% every three years for the poor and needy?  Nor do the Holy Scriptures speak of this, read the above verses on tithes and offerings again, nowhere do God say "give a second tithe each year for yourself and a third tithe every three years to the stranger, fatherless and widow". No, but the Levites were told to share with the fatherless, widows and strangers within Israel because that would bring God honor and glory; everyone else were to have a generous heart towards the needy and strangers because they were judged by this whether they had a good or evil heart, for how one treats those who are in need shows, if they have the love of God in them (remember God lives among the poor and helpless - see Matthew 25 and 1 John 3). Yet, I know there are some who claim this third tithe system existed and that they even claim the Jews claim such teachings.  

I even I belonged to one of these churches in prior times (not that I ever paid three tithes) but there were some who did so, sad to say (I am sure God honored their faithfulness in this albeit in total error of the Scripture). When this human organization finally realize they had it wrong many sincere Christians had lost many homes and families because of this heavy financial burden place upon them. And many of them left this organization bitter and discouraged for being led into believing these errors. Some refuses to believe anything from anyone else who maybe self-appointed ministers or those whom God has granted mercy and truth concerning the things of God (Luke 24:45). This caused them to hardened their hearts because they placed their hope in man instead of God, rather than reading the Bible for themselves - most of them only listened to these men teachings rather than proving what they said (Acts 17:10-12).  Yet, we must remember all knowledge and revelations come from God; therefore, we should always seek the favor of God in all things. Just as now when God has shown some of us mercy by revealing His truths concerning tithes and offerings - praise God for His blessing in understanding His Holy word. 

Also, the people of Israel (whether poor or rich) were required to give the firstborn of all male flesh (humans firstborn had to be redeemed with money) and beast (unclean must redeem with money), the firstborn of the grain and fruit were to be given to the Levites; then the Levites had to give the priests of Aaron the best of these offerings (see also Deut. 15:19-23, where only the firstborn males of the herd and flock were to be sacrificed to God, and they were to eat it before God in a place of His choosing). The people of Israel (rich or poor) had to give offerings for sin or trespasses, and could voluntary give grain or livestock offerings and vow offerings; all males over 20 years old in Israel (both rich or poor) had to give a ransom for himself whenever a census was taken.  

Notice here that God speaks concerning the festivals He gave Israel to keep and each “male” was to appear before Him with an offering (they were only required to “give as he is able” - it do not say bring a second tithe to eat as some of these so-called bible scholars claim. This were a commanded time to bring an offering - again God makes a distinction between male and female, only the males are required to appear before Him with an offering at the place of His choosing - God did not say 10% but as each is able give to bring an offering at His appointed feasts:

  • Deuteronomy 16
    16 "Three times a year all your males shall appear before the LORD your God in the place which He chooses: at the Feast of Unleavened Bread, at the Feast of Weeks, and at the Feast of Tabernacles; and they shall not appear before the LORD empty-handed. 17 Every man shall give as he is able, according to the blessing of the LORD your God which He has given you.
     

Are we going to have only “males” making an offering on days set aside to worship God (man’s so-called Holy days - those blasphemy days called Xmas, Easter and the like that the Catholic church and her daughters have promoted within the Christian community)? Here, again these gospel peddlers and those who created these holy days for themselves and refuse to keep those days given by God because they claim this was under the Old Covenant and done away with - yet they readily ask you to tithe to them because they claim it was in effect before the Old Covenant law of Moses. However, I have shown you already that this is not true nor did God ever command such things, but these ministers have demanded that you pay them tithes and offerings for preaching the word of God. 

Notice in Amos where God admonished the leaders of His people about misusing the tithes and offerings brought to them by the people of God: 

  • Amos 4
  • God's Punishments Have Not Reformed Israel
    1
    Hear this word, you cows of Bashan, who are on the mountain of Samaria, Who oppress the poor, Who crush the needy, Who say to your husbands, "Bring wine, let us drink!" 2 The Lord GOD has sworn by His holiness: "Behold, the days shall come upon you When He will take you away with fishhooks, And your posterity with fishhooks. 3 You will go out through broken walls, Each one straight ahead of her, And you will be cast into Harmon," Says the LORD. 4 "Come to Bethel and transgress, At Gilgal multiply transgression; Bring your sacrifices every morning, Your tithes every three days. 5 Offer a sacrifice of thanksgiving with leaven, Proclaim and announce the freewill offerings; For this you love, You children of Israel!" Says the Lord GOD.  

God call these leaders and people of Israel “cows of Bashan” the word "Bashan" means "fruitful" we see in verse 5 this phrase refers to the "children of Israel". [A note on the old KJV this phrase says "kine of Bashan" - now if you are like me you probably are asking yourself what is a "kine" pronounce as “kin”, the archaic plural of cow so it means "cow or heifer"]. This is one of the major problems I have with the old KJV, and that is no one talks like that anymore. We even have Christians today who actually believe Christ spoke like this; word to the wise this form of English was not around in the Christ’s time. Furthermore, if one would take the time and study they would find that English developed from the German tribes who came into England pushing out and displacing all others who spoke mostly a Celtic language in the 5th century. In Biblical times the people of the Gentiles spoke Greek and Latin, these were the “so-called” educated languages of the time like English is today, then we had the Hebrew speaking Jews, and common people (not of the religious leaders) such as Christ and His disciples they spoke mostly Aramaic (more on this later). 

Evangelist Ron Davis, a Minister of Christ, of the Kush Edifying Ministries proclaims the whole counsel of God. This ministry believes in the command of Jesus to His disciples in Matthew 10:7-8 “As you go, preach this message: 'The kingdom of heaven is near.' Heal the sick, raise the dead, cleanse those who have leprosy, drive out demons. Freely you have received, freely give” (NIV). Jesus commands us to “freely” preach the word without demanding those preached to give to you. 

You may contact Ron Davis and this ministry with your comments at the below email: 

mailto:yourcomments@411TithesOfferings.411-cashflow.com 

OR if you want to debate my conclusion of this matter; if you want to argue your own “private interpretation”, then please send it to the below email address with your Scripture backing up what you say. Thanks, and may God bless you in understanding His Holy and righteous word. 

mailto:yourargument@411TithesOfferings.411-cashflow.com

 

  

 

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