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AN  UNKNOWN  THIEF,  part  3  quotes

1)    #5 - Stealing From and Deceiving God

     There are at least 3 main areas on how can we steal from or deceive God: A - By not giving tithes;  B - By not giving offerings: C - By not serving God.

#5A - By not giving tithes.

     A tithe is 10% of anything of value.
     ďAnd concerning the tithe...the tenth shall be holy unto the LORD.Ē Leviticus 27:32.

     This verse reveals that a tithe is the tenth part or 10% of the whole, and anything coming to us that increases our worth is to be tithed and considered holy or sacred unto God.
     ďThou shalt truly tithe all the increaseĒ. Deuteronomy 14:22.

     ďAnd all the tithe of the land, whether of the seed of the land, or of the fruit of the tree, is the LORDíS: it is holy unto the LORD.Ē Leviticus 27:30.

     This holy tithe money is the Lord's.  It is to be used according to His directions, and not how we think it should be used.

2)     Stealing:

     ďReturn unto me, and I will return unto you, saith the LORD of hosts.  But ye said, Wherein shall we return?  Will a man rob God?  Yet ye have robbed me.  But ye say, Wherein have we robbed thee?  In tithes...Ye are cursed with a curse: for ye have robbed meĒ. Malachi 3:7-9.

     This inspired passage reveals that if you are not giving to God a full 10% of all your increase, then you are guilty of robbing God, and as a result you will not receive His blessings, but His cursings.  If you are wondering why negative things are affecting your prosperity; or why things are always breaking down and in need of repair; or why you never seem to be able to get ahead financially; or why God doesnít hear or answer your earnest prayers; etc., then the reason may be because you are under Godís curse instead of His blessings for stealing His tithe money.

3)    Some may be giving a full 10% of all their increase to God, but yet are using this tithe money in areas where it should not be used, or are sending the tithe where it should not go, and thus they would be guilty of robbing God through this misapplication and misuse of the tithe!

4)    Where is Godís sacred tithe money supposed to go to and be used for?

     ďAnd Melchizedek king of Salem brought forth bread and wine: and he was the priest of the most high God.  And he blessed him, and said, Blessed be Abram of the most high God, possessor of heaven and earth: And blessed be the most high God, which hath delivered thine enemies into thy hand.  And he [Abraham] gave him tithes of all.Ē Genesis 14:18-20.

     These verses reveal that Melchizedek was the priest of God, and that he ministered to Abraham in a religious service involving bread and wine or grape juice.  Notice that Abraham did not keep the tithe to use for his own projects and work for God, but instead gave tithes of all his increase directly to Melchizedek, and then Melchizedek used this money for his own support and for his continued ministry work for God.

     ďAnd Jacob vowed a vow, saying, If God will be with me, and will keep me in this way that I go, and will give me bread to eat, and raiment to put on, So that I come again to my fatherís house in peace; then shall the LORD be my God...and of all that thou shalt give me I will surely give the tenth unto thee.Ē Genesis 28:20-22.

     This inspired passage shows that Jacob followed the example of Abraham and gave to God the tenth of all his increase.

     ďBut the tithes of the children of Israel...I have given to the Levites to inherit...And the LORD spake unto Moses, saying, Thus speak unto the Levites, and say unto them, When ye take of the children of Israel the tithes which I have given you from them for your inheritanceĒ. Leviticus 18:24-26.

     This Scriptural passage reveals that the Israelites gave to the Lord a tithe of all their increase, and then obeyed Godís specific directions to give His sacred tithe money directly to the Levites.

5)    Who were the Levites?
     ďThe priests the Levites, and all the tribe of Levi...the LORD thy God hath chosen him out of all thy tribes, to stand to minister in the name of the LORD, him and his sons for ever.Ē Deuteronomy 18:1, 5.

     ďAnd, behold, I have given the children of Levi all the tenth in Israel for an inheritance, for their service which they serve, even the service of the tabernacle of the congregation.Ē Deuteronomy 18:21.

     How were the priests and Levites to serve and minister to the children of Israel?
     ďAnd the LORD spake unto Aaron (the priest), saying, Do not drink wine nor strong drink, thou, nor thy sons with thee, when ye go into the tabernacle of the congregation, lest ye die: it shall be a statute for ever throughout your generations: And that ye may put difference between holy and unholy, and between unclean and clean; And that ye may teach the children of Israel all the statutes which the LORD hath spoken unto themĒ. Leviticus 10:8-11.

     ďAnd they (the priests) shall teach my people the difference between the holy and profane, and cause them to discern between the unclean and the clean.  And in controversy they shall stand in judgment; and they shall judge it according to my judgments: and they shall keep my laws and my statutes in all mine assemblies; and they shall hallow my sabbaths.Ē Ezekiel 44:23-24.

     These inspired passages reveal that the Levites were the priests or ministers and workers of God.  Their full-time ministry work was directly connected with Godís sanctuary or church, and their duty was to serve and obey the Lord themselves, and to then serve and minister to the people by teaching them Godís law, His will and His truth.

6)    ďMine answer to them that examine me is this...Who goeth a warfare any time at his own charges? who planteth a vineyard, and eateth not of the fruit thereof? or who feedeth a flock, and eateth not of the milk of the flock?  Say I these things as a man? or saith not the law the same also?...If we have sown unto you spiritual things, is it a great thing if we shall reap your carnal things?...Do ye not know that they which minister about holy things live of the things of the temple?...Even so hath the Lord ordained that they which preach the gospel should live of the gospel.Ē 1 Corinthians 9:3, 7-8, 11, 13, 14.

     ďThe laborer is worthy of his rewardĒ. 1 Timothy 5:18.

     These Scriptural verses reveal that tithe was also to be given during the New Covenant period, and this shows that God still requires His followers today to give tithes to His living ministers that they may be supported and maintained in the work and service of God and His people.  

7)    Since a ministerís work can involve much more than just shepherding a local church body, then ministers who are missionaries, or who are medical missionaries, or who are teachers can also be given tithe.  This reveals that if you are not sending Godís tithe money to the ministers of God, but are using or sending this holy money elsewhere, then you would actually be guilty of robbing God, robbing the true ministers and workers for God, as well as robbing others who are dying for the want of present truth!

8)    What are some areas that are not to be supported with Godís tithe.  

     -- Are canvassers and colporteurs to be given tithe?  No, unless they are also ministers.

    -- Are personal debts to be paid for with tithe?  No.

     -- Are churches or meeting houses and their expenses to be paid with tithe?  No.

     -- Is school tuition or student aid to be paid with tithe?  No.

     -- Are worthy charities to be given tithe?  No.

     -- Are the feeble and aged (who were not faithful ministers) to be cared for with tithe?  No.

     -- Are the poor to be given tithe?  No.

     -- Are the fatherless, orphans, or widows (who were not ministerís wives) to be given tithe?  No.

9)    Some will reason that they do not need to give Godís tithe to His living ministers, because they themselves can use this sacred money to purchase Bibles, Spirit of Prophecy books, tracts, or other present truth materials and then hand or mail these out.  Or that they can pool their tithe money and buy xerox machines, computers, CD or DVD duplicators, digital equipment, travel vans or motor homes, medical missionary supplies, sanitarium buildings and expenses, etc., as long is all these items are only used in the Lordís work.  But using tithe in all these areas is against Godís specific directions, is rebelling against Godís will, and is misapplying and stealing His sacred tithe money!

     The Bible teaches that an individual cannot use their own tithe money for their own support or purposes.
     ďAnd the LORD spake unto Moses, saying, Thus speak unto the Levites, and say unto them, When ye take of the children of Israel the tithes which I have given you from them for your inheritance, then ye shall offer up an heave offering of it for the LORD, [even] a tenth [part] of the tithe....Thus ye also shall offer an heave offering unto the LORD of all your tithes, which ye receive of the children of Israel; and ye shall give thereof the LORD'S heave offering to Aaron the priest.Ē Numbers 18:25-26, 28.

     These inspired verses reveal the principle of truth that the Levites who received tithe, were in turn to pay tithe on this money, and then they were to give this tithe to the high priest for his support.  They could not selfishly use their own tithe money to support themselves or to fund their own ministerial projects, even if it was in the Lordís work, but they were to give their tithes to another faithful minister for his support.  The exact same principle of truth applies to us as well.  We cannot selfishly use our own tithe money for our own support or plans, even if these plans further the Lordís work, because we are instructed by God to give away these tithes to faithful ministers.