The false teaching is that everybody in the Old Testament was required to give to God at the ten per cent level.
The poor were not required to tithe at all! Neither did the tithe came from the results of man’s crafts, hands and skills. Only farmers and herdsmen gathered what God produced as tithe increases. Jesus was a carpenter; Paul was a tent-maker and Peter was a fisherman. None of these occupations qualified as tithe-payers because they did not farm or herd animals for a living. It is, therefore, incorrect to teach that everybody paid a required minimum of a tithe and, therefore, that New Covenant Christians should be required to at least begin at the same minimum as Old Covenant Israelites. This common false assumption is very often repeated and completely ignores the very plain definition of tithe as food gathered from farm increase or herd increase.
The Widows Mite And Tithing
The widow’s mite is an example of free-will giving and is not an example of tithing. According to Edersheim(a Jewish Christian and a writer) none of the Temple’s chests were for tithes. The poor received money from those chests before leaving the temple. It is also wrong to teach that the poor in Israel were required to pay tithes. In fact, they actually received tithes! Much of the second festival tithe and all of a special third-year tithe went to the poor! Many laws exempted the poor from abuse and expensive sacrifices which they could not afford (Lev 14:21; 25:6, 25-28, 35, 36; 27:8; Deu 12:1-19; 14:23, 28, 29; 15:7, 8, 11; 24:12, 14, 15, 19, 20; 26:11-13; Mal 3:5; Matt 12:1, 2; Mark 2:23, 24; Luke 2:22-24; 6:1, 2; 2 Cor 8:12-14; 1 Tim 5:8; Jas. 1:27)
The New Covenant Does Not Teach Tithing
The false teaching is that Jesus taught tithing in Matthew 23:23 which (they say) is clearly in the New Testament.
The New Covenant did not begin at the birth of Jesus, but at his death (Gal 3:19, 24, 25; 4:4, 5). Tithing is not taught to the church after the cross! When Jesus discussed tithing in Matthew 23:23, “you” referred to “you scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites” who had made the Law a burden. Jesus endorsed and supported Old Covenant law until the cross. (Note “matters of the law” in 23:23). In Matthew 23:2 and 3 (the context of 23:23) Jesus told his Jewish followers to obey the scribes and Pharisees “because they sit in Moses’ seat.” Yet He did not (and could not) command Gentiles whom He healed to present themselves to the priests and obey the Law of Moses (compare Matt 5:23-24 and 8:4).
There is not a single New Testament Bible text which teaches tithing after the cross! Acts 2:42-47 and 4:32-35 are not examples of tithing to support church leaders. According to Act 2:46 the Jewish Christians continued to worship in the Temple. And according to 2:44 and 4:33, 34 church leaders shared what they received equally with all church members. (This is not done today).Finally Acts 21:20-25 proves that Jewish Christians were still zealously observing all of the Mosaic Law 30 years later –and that must include tithing—otherwise they would not have been allowed inside the Temple to worship. Therefore, any tithes collected by the early Jewish Christians were given to the Temple system and not to support the church.
Priesthood Of Believers: Old Covenant Priest Were Replaced By All- Believers- Priest
The false teaching is that New Covenant elders and pastors are continuing where the Old Covenant priests left off and are due the tithe.Compare Exodus 19:5-6 with First Peter 2: 9-10. Before the incident of the golden calves, God had intended for every Israelite to become a priest and tithing would have never been enacted. Priests did not tithe but received one tenth of the first tithe (Num 18:26-28; Neh 10:37, 38).The function and purpose of Old Covenant priests were replaced, not by elders and pastors, but by the priesthood of every believer. Like other ordinances of the Law, tithing was only a temporary shadow until Christ (Eph 2:14-16; Col 2:13-17; Heb 7:18; 10:1). In the New Covenant every believer is a priest to God (1 Pet 2:9-10; Rev 1:6; 5:10). And, as a priest, every believer offers sacrifices to God (Heb 4:16; 10:19-22; 13:15, 16). Therefore, every ordinance which had previously applied to the old priesthood was blotted out at the cross. Since Jesus was not from the tribe of Levi, even He was disqualified. Thus the original temporary purpose of tithing no longer exists (Heb 7:12-19; Gal 3:19, 24-25; 2 Cor 3:10-18).
The Congregation :The New Covenant Church Is Neither A Building Nor A Storehouse
The false teaching is that Christian buildings called “churches,” “tabernacles” or “temples” replaced the OT Temple as God’s dwelling places.God’s Word never describes New Covenant churches as literal “tabernacles,” “temples” or “buildings” in which God dwells! God’s church, God’s dwelling place, is within the believers. Believers do not “go to church”—believers “assemble to worship.” Also, since OT priests did not pay tithes, then tithing cannot logically continue. Therefore it is wrong to call a building “God’s storehouse” for tithes. (1 Cor 3:16-17; 6:19-20; Eph 1:22-23; 2:21; 4:12-16; Rev 3:12). For “storehouse” compare 1 Corinthians 16:2 with 2 Corinthians 12:14 and Acts 20:17, 32-35. For several centuries after Calvary Christians did not even have their own buildings (to call storehouses) because Christianity was an outlaw religion.
Paul Preferred Self-Support
The false teaching is that Paul taught and practiced tithing.
As a Jewish rabbi, Paul was among those who insisted on working to support himself (Acts 18:3; 1 Thes 2:9-10; 2 Thes 3:8-14). While Paul does not condemn those who are able to receive full-time support, neither does he teach that full-time support is the mandatory will of God for advancing the gospel (1 Cor 9:12). In fact, twice, in Acts 20:29-35 and also in 2 Corinthians 12:14, Paul actually encouraged church elders to work to support needy believers inside the church.
For Paul, living of the gospel meant living by gospel principles of faith, love and grace (1 Cor 9:14). While Paul realized that he had a right to some support, he concluded that his liberty, or freedom to preach unhindered was more important in order to fulfill his calling from God (1 Cor 9:12, 15; 2 Cor 11:7-13; 12:13-14; 1 Thes 2:5-6). While working as a tent-maker, Paul accepted limited support but boasted that his pay, or salary, was that he could preach the gospel for free, without being a burden to others (1 Cor 9:16-19). Most young preachers today do not want to follow this example given by Paul.
Jewish People Who Goes To The Synagogue Currently Do Not Pay Tithes
One Jewish Rabbi in New York City was asked about Tithing and the Jewish point of view. He made it clear that since the Bible demands that the tithe be paid to Levites, he said it would be wrong to pay it to anyone else. And further, because there is presently no official Levitical order of Priests ministering at a Temple in Jerusalem, this makes it illegal at this period to pay any biblical tithe. He went on to say, however, that the moment a Temple is rebuilt, with its altar in operation and with the priesthood officiating at that altar (and the Levites there to assist them), then every Jew who lives in the tithing zones mentioned in the Bible will be required to tithe according to the biblical commands.
“If we are to obey the law, we cannot pay tithe unless we pay it to the ones ordained by God to accept that tithe” ,he said .
The rabbi explained that though he was the chief rabbi of his synagogue, he was not a Levite. He said he is descended from the tribe of Judah and was thereby not eligible to receive tithe. The same disqualification applied even to Christ Jesus while he was on earth since he was also reckoned as having come from the tribe of Judah. This same restriction was applicable to the activities of the apostle Peter (because he was as well from Judah) and it applied to the apostle Paul (because he was from the tribe of Benjamin). Neither Christ nor those apostles were Levites so they were all disqualified from receiving any part of the biblical tithe. It is just that simple.
This Is How The Old Testament Tithing Is Done
• The food went to the Levites, Priests, and needy people – none of whom had land of their own by which they could feed themselves.
• “Tithes” were not required of everyone – only those who raised livestock or grew crops. For example, carpenters weren’t required to tithe, nor were the Priests and needy people
In God’s Word, tithe does not stand alone. It is the tithe of FOOD. The HOLY biblical tithe was very narrowly defined and limited by God Himself. True biblical tithes were always: (1) only food, (2) only from the farms and herds, (3) of only Israelites, (4) who only lived inside God’s Holy Land, the national boundary of Israel, (5) only under Old Covenant terms and (6) the increase could only be gathered from what God produced.
Therefore, (1) non-food items could not be tithed; (2) clean wild game animals and fish could not be tithed; (3) non-Israelites could not tithe; (4) food from outside God’s holy land of Israel could not be tithed; (5) legitimate tithing did not occur when there was no Levitical priesthood; and (6) tithes did not come from what man’s hands created, produced or caught by hunting and fishing.
Research has it that, most church members give far less than 10%, most give under 2 per cent. Not surprising is the fact that the poor give a far greater portion of their income than the rich. In the US, research shows that families earning less than $10,000 give 5.5 per cent of their income to charity (not necessarily to church). Families earning between $50,000 and $60,000 give only 1.7% of their earnings.Today the very lowest income class pays the largest percentage to charity. Yet most remain in poverty. Meanwhile many atheists,Pagans etc are becoming wealthy by simply following principles of money management which also makes many tithers successful. Neither the lottery, nor the tithe is a magic get-rich-quick answer to replace education, determination and hard work. If Malachi 3:10 really worked for New Covenant Christians, millions of poor tithing Christians would have escaped poverty and would have become the wealthiest group of people in the world instead of remaining the poorest group. There is no evidence that the vast majority of poor tithe-payers are ever blessed financially merely because they tithe. The Old Covenant blessings are not New Covenant blessings.
What I’m trying to put across to you all is that tithing is Not a Christian Doctrine.Christians are commanded to give freely, sacrificially, generously, regularly, joyfully and with the motivation of love for God and man.