Let’s take a look at the tithing laws and compare them to monetary ‘tithing.’
According to monetary ‘tithing’, the tithe is defined as ten percent of one’s income. Some religious leaders even go so far as to teach that the ‘tithe’ is the very FIRST 10% of your gross income (before taxes are taken out and before you pay your bills). But Scripture shows that God defined the tithe very differently.
In Leviticus 27:30-34, God defined the tithe as “one-tenth of the produce of the land, whether grain from the fields or fruit from the trees“ and “every tenth animal from your herds and flocks.”
This passage (and many more) show that God defined the tithe as one-tenth of the PRODUCE from the holy land of Israel. The word “produce” means agricultural products or farming products — specifically, grain, fruit, and animals from flocks and herds.
Nowhere in Scripture does God define the tithe as money/income, or instruct anyone to tithe anything from outside of the holy land of Israel. The tithe had to be produce from the holy land of Israel.
So here we see the first contradiction between monetary ‘tithing’ and the tithing laws. Monetary ‘tithing’ says to tithe one’s income/money, but God told the children of Israel to tithe grain, fruit, and animals from their flocks and herds in the land of Israel (Numbers 18:27-28; Deuteronomy 12:17; 14:22-23; 26:12; 2 Chronicles 31:5-6; Nehemiah 10:37; 13:5; Malachi 3:10-11; Matt 23:23; and Luke 11:42).
Monetary ‘tithing’ says to tithe from what man created (money), but God told the children of Israel to tithe from what He created (crops, flocks, and herds). Do you see the difference? It is important to take note of this contradiction.
10% of one’s gross or net income/money is NOT the same thing as one-tenth of produce from the holy land of Israel. God knows exactly what He wants, and if He wanted us to tithe our income, then He would have said so. Yet He said no such thing. He commanded a tithe from produce in the holy land.
Nowhere in Scripture do we see God changing the tithe from produce in the holy land to income/money. Yet somewhere down the line in church history, after the apostles died, someone redefined the tithe as money. Who received authority from God to change or modify the Old Covenant tithe? No one. Deuteronomy 4:2 warned the children of Israel not to change or modify God’s word. Yet people have done so anyway to create fundraising methods.
Some people claim that “the children of Israel tithed food, because they didn’t have money back then. They mainly bartered in their economy.” <—–This is NOT true.
The Bible clearly shows that people used money frequently since the book of Genesis. For example, Abraham bought land with money. Joseph’s brothers sold him into slavery for money. Joseph filled his brothers’ bags with money. The book of Exodus shows that the children of Israel had money in the wilderness. In Exodus 22:25, God forbid the children of Israel from charging interest when lending money. Money was used to buy goods and services, and pay wages. The Old Covenant contains many instructions regarding money.
The children of Israel had money and used it often. Yet God did not want them to tithe money. He wanted them to tithe only food (crops, flocks and herds) from the holy land of Israel. The tithe came from what HE CREATED and not from what man created (money).
In the next article, I’m going to briefly explain how tithing was carried out in Israel. I believe that this will help you understand how tithing worked in Israel, and it will help put Malachi 3:8-12 in its proper perspective.
Some Christians were taught that during the Old Covenant, the children of Israel tithed by bringing 10% of their produce or earnings to the priests at the Old Covenant temple — and that today, we ‘tithe’ by bringing 10% of our income to our local church. Please know that none of this can be supported by the tithing laws. Tithing during the Old Covenant was VERY different from what people call “tithing” today.
In the next article, we will go over these startling facts:
-Not everyone tithed! Only certain people were expected to tithe, while others were exempt.
-Many non-tithers RECEIVED tithes from tithers.
-There were THREE separate tithes.
-Tithers received a break from tithing during Sabbath Years (Years of Rest).
-The priests only received *one-tenth* of ONE tithe. That’s a tenth of a tenth!
-Tithers ATE/DRANK one of their tithes as a potluck!
-During His earthly ministry, Jesus never tithed! He qualified to receive tithes, yet He never told anyone to tithe to Him. He received freewill offerings.
-No one is able to keep the tithing laws today. It’s impossible!
The truth is astounding and liberating! Join me on the next article as we journey through the word~
Click here for the next article in this series.