|Malachi 3 |
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;
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
This Melchizedek was king of Salem and priest of God Most High. He met Abraham returning from the defeat of the kings and blessed him, and Abraham gave him a tenth of everything. First, the name Melchizedek means "king of righteousness"; then also, "king of Salem" means "king of peace." Without father or mother, without genealogy, without beginning of days or end of life, resembling the Son of God, he remains a priest forever.
Just think how great he was: Even the patriarch Abraham gave him a tenth of the plunder! Now the law requires the descendants of Levi who become priests to collect a tenth from the people—that is, from their kindred—even though their kindred are descended from Abraham. This man, [Melchizedeck] however, did not trace his descent from Levi, yet he collected a tenth from Abraham and blessed him who had the promises. And without doubt the lesser [Abraham] is blessed by the greater [Melchizedek]. In the one case, [Levites] the tenth is collected by those who die; but in the other case, by him who is declared to be living [Melchizedek was forever alive, without natural mother of father, a similarity to Christ to come]. One might even say that Levi, who collects the tenth, paid the tenth through Abraham, because when Melchizedek met Abraham, Levi was still in the body of his ancestor.
Jesus Like Melchizedek
If perfection could have been attained through the Levitical priesthood—and indeed the law given to the people established that priesthood—why was there still need for another priest to come, one in the order of Melchizedek, [Christ] not in the order of Aaron? For when the priesthood is changed, the law must be changed also. He of whom these things are said belonged to a different tribe, [Christ did not come from Levi, rather Judah] and no one from that tribe has ever served at the altar. For it is clear that our Lord descended from Judah, and in regard to that tribe Moses said nothing about priests. And what we have said is even more clear if another priest like Melchizedek appears, one who has become a priest not on the basis of a regulation as to his ancestry but on the basis of the power of an indestructible life. For it is declared: "You are a priest forever, in the order of Melchizedek."
The former regulation [including tithes ordered to be collected by the Levites,who as priests were abolished] is set aside because it was weak and useless (for it made nothing perfect), and a better hope is introduced, by which we draw near to God. And it was not without an oath! Others became priests without any oath, but he became a priest with an oath when God said to him: "The Lord has sworn and will not change his mind: 'You are a priest forever.' " Because of this oath, Jesus has become the guarantor of a better covenant. [which replaces the old covenant and is everlasting]
Now there have been many of those priests, since death prevented them from continuing in office; but because Jesus lives forever, he has a permanent priesthood. Therefore he is able to save completely those who come to God through him, because he always lives to intercede for them.
Such a high priest truly meets our need—one who is holy, blameless, pure, set apart from sinners, exalted above the heavens. Unlike the other high priests, he does not need to offer sacrifices day after day, first for his own sins, and then for the sins of the people. He sacrificed for their sins once for all when he offered himself. For the law appoints as high priests men in all their weakness; [the former high priests, the Levites, with their tithes] but the oath, which came after the law, appointed the Son, [the new high priest who abolishes the Levite priesthood] who has been made perfect forever.
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 Jesus Wants to Teach You Himself.
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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