|Malachi 3 |
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1 "Behold, I will send my messenger, and he will prepare the way before me. And the LORD, whom you seek, will suddenly come to his temple; even the messenger of the covenant, whom you desire, behold, he will come," says the LORD of hosts.
2 But who can endure the day of his coming? And who can stand when he appears? For he is like a refiner's fire and like fullers' soap; [From the Word of the Lord within: "The second coming is a personal experience. The second coming is in the hearts of purified believers."]
3 And he will sit as a refiner and purifier of silver, and he will purify the sons of Levi [priests], and refine them like gold and silver, so that they may offer to the LORD an offering in righteousness.
4 Then the offering of Judah and Jerusalem will be pleasant to the LORD, as in the days of old and as in former years.
5 "Then I will come near to you for judgment; I will be a swift witness against the sorcerers, and against the adulterers, against false swearers, and against those who oppress the widow and the fatherless and the wage earner, and those who turn aside the stranger from his right, and who do not fear me, says the LORD of hosts.
6 For I am the LORD, I do not change; therefore you sons of Jacob are not consumed.
7 Even from the days of your forefathers you have turned away from my ordinances and have not kept them. Return to me and I will return to you, says the LORD of hosts. But you say, 'How shall we return?'
8 Will a man rob God? Yet you have robbed me. But you say, 'How have we robbed you?' In tithes and offerings.
9 You are cursed with the curse, for you have robbed me, even this whole nation.
10 Bring all the tithes into the storehouse, so that there may be food in my house.1 Test me now in this, says the LORD of hosts, and see if I will not open the windows of heaven and pour out such a blessing on you that there will not be enough room to receive it.
11 And I will rebuke the devourer for your sakes and he will not destroy the fruits of your ground, neither shall your vine drop her fruit before the time in the field, says the LORD of hosts.
12 And all nations will call you blessed, for you will be a delightful land, says the Lord of hosts.
13 Your words have been harsh against me, says the LORD. Yet you say, 'What have we spoken against you?'
14 You have said, 'It is useless to serve God, and what profit is it that we have kept his ordinance and that we have walked mournfully before the LORD of hosts?
15 And now we call the proud blessed; yes, those who work wickedness are exalted; yes, those who test and tempt God go free.'"
16 Then those who feared the LORD spoke often with one another; and the LORD listened and heard it, and a book of remembrance was written before him of those who feared the LORD and who meditate upon his name.2 [From the Word of the Lord within: "Blessed are they who hear the word of God and obey. Getting quiet is preparation. Think on the name of Jesus while seeking after the Lord."]
17 "And they shall be mine, says the LORD of hosts, in that day when I make up my jewels. And I will spare them, as a man spares his own son who serves him.
18 Then you shall again discern the difference between the righteous and the wicked, between those who serve God and those who do not serve him.
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1 Tithing was an ordinance to be collected by the Levitical priesthood. When Jesus offered up himself to death, he became the everlasting priesthood, annuling the Levitical priesthood and its ordinances. Tithing is dead, as clearly stated in Hebrews 7. Those who quote these tithing verses are false prophets, coveting your money. Here are the many fallacies of tithes:
Hebrews 7: Begin Verse 1
7:1 This Melchizedek, king of Salem, priest of the most high God, met Abraham returning from the slaughter of the kings and blessed him,
7:2 To whom Abraham gave a tenth of all the spoils. His name when translated means "King of righteousness;"and also "King of Salem," which means "King of peace."
7:3 Without father, without mother, without descent, having neither beginning of days nor end of life, but made like the Son of God, he remains as a priest continually.
7:4 Now consider how great this man was, to whom even the patriarch Abraham gave a tenth of the spoils.
7:5 And truly those who are of the sons of Levi, who receive the office of the priesthood, have a commandment to take tithes from the people according to the law, that is, from their brothers, even though their brothers have descended from Abraham.
7:6 But this person, whose descent is not counted from Levi, received tithes from Abraham, and blessed him who had the promises.
7:7 Yet without contradiction the lesser is blessed by the greater.
7:8 Here tithes are received by men who die; but there he receives them, of whom it is witnessed that he lives forever.
7:9 And I may also say that Levi, who receives tithes, paid tithes through Abraham.
7:10 For he was still in the loins of his father when Melchizedek met him.
7:11 Therefore, if perfection could have been attained through the Levitical priesthood, (for under it the people received the law), what further need was there that another priest should rise after the order of Melchizedek, rather than be called after the order of Aaron?
7:12 For when the priesthood is changed, there is a necessity to change the law also.
7:13 For he [Jesus] of whom these things are spoken applies to another tribe [Judah], of which there is no record of a man performing priestly functions at the temple's altar.
7:14 For it is evident that our Lord sprang out of the tribe of Judah [not Levi]; of which tribe Moses spoke nothing concerning the priesthood.
7:15 And it is even more evident, when another priest arises who has a similarity to Melchizedek,
7:16 Who is made, not based on the legality of a commandment relating to the family of Levi, but based on the power of an endless life.
7:17 For He testifies, "You are a priest forever after the order of Melchizedek."
7:18 For there is truly a cancellation of the previous commandment1 [the commandment for the Levite priests to take tithes from the people according to the law, (Verse 5 above)] because of the weakness and ineffectiveness of it.
7:19 For the law made nothing perfect, but the bringing in of a better hope did; by which we draw near to God.
7:20 And since he was made a priest with an oath [from God himself],
7:21 (For those [Levite] priests were made without an oath; but this was with an oath by him who said to him, "The Lord swore and will not change it, 'You are a priest forever after the order of Melchizedek.'").
7:22 By so much greater [a promise] Jesus became the guarantee of a better covenant.
7:23 And truly there were many priests [of the Levites], because they died and so could not continue.
7:24 But this man, because he continues forever, has an unchangeable priesthood.
7:25 Therefore he is able to save to the uttermost those who come to God by him, because he lives forever to make intercession for them.
7:26 For it was appropriate for us to have such a high priest [Jesus], who is holy, innocent, undefiled, separate from sinners2, and made higher than the heavens.
[From the Word of the Lord within: "See myself — thus no sin has a place in me." If Jesus joined in union with one still sinning and defiled, everyone in His body, including Jesus Himself, would be defiled. Sin has to go before you can partake of the divine nature.]
7:27 Unlike those other high priests, he does not need to offer up sacrifices daily, first for his own sins and then for the people's, because he did this once and for all when he offered up himself.
7:28 For the law makes men high priests who have infirmities; but the word of the oath, which came after the law, appoints the Son, who is perfect forevermore.
Hebrews 7: End
Tithing died with Christ's resurrection. Christ is the new priest, replacing the Levitical priesthood — for which tithes were commanded. To tithe is to deny Christ's priesthood.
Any minister who asks for money, even other than tithing, is a false prophet and violating the commands of Jesus and Peter as echoed by Paul. But as Christians, we are called to be generous without a limitation of ten per cent to those in need, particularly the poor. This does not include a poor pastor who is asking for tithes; for to pretend he has such authority, either shows him to be an unqualified, ignorant, blind teacher — or worse, dishonest. In either case, you should disassociate yourself immediately from anyone trying to hold up tithing; and recognize that you will be condemned for supporting any such false ministry. Give to the poor not to religion; (ten percent is good, but give as much as you can to the poor), for more on this see George Fox's writing on tithing.
2 book of remembrance was written before him of those who feared the LORD and who meditate upon his name. Meditate on the name of Jesus. The name of Jesus is one of the three sources of God's power to purify you by his grace:
All three are necessary to reach salvation. You must believe that purity and holiness are possible to attain through the grace of God and the inward cross of self-denial. You must stay in the cross through self-denial, and through sitting in humble silence, waiting on the Lord, listening for his commands, and then obeying all moral commands that you hear.
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