This concept of failing to “Acknowledge God’s Sovereignty” is another browbeating tool in the pro-tithe black bag of tricks. When used in an accusatory manner as preachers do, it is one their most effective intimidating hot buttons; right up there with “robbing God”. The instilling of false guilt creates a rich exploitable resource of financial gain to those who claim they can alleviate that guilt, if the victim of this tactic would only give the preacher a specified amount of money.
The pro-tithe theory is that in the Old Covenant God owned everything in the world, including the world. Since He was owner and King, He imposed a tax (the tithe) on His people because He had the right to do it and He did it. As the story goes, people acknowledged His sovereignty and honored Him by paying the tithe.
The gist of their propaganda/logic goes like this: The pro-tithers ask leading questions such as “even though there is a New Covenant now, the concept that God still owns everything has not changed, has it? Doesn’t God still own everything, and doesn’t He still reign supreme?” (Of course who can disagree with that?) “Therefore” the preacher concludes “the tithe has not changed either”.
The mental link is this: you are supposedly rebelling against God’s sovereignty, and you are an ungrateful slug of a person if you are not paying a tenth of your income to the preacher as your tribute to God’s goodness and to acknowledge His ownership of the world, and His sovereignty.
Their story goes that God cannot be God unless He has imposed a strict tax upon us, and that tax is 10%. Period. Freewill gifts and offerings alone do not cut it, because in that case you are making yourself a ruler over God by determining how much you want to give, and God does not need your good will or charity, according to them; He wants your blind, unfailing obedience and tribute of no less than 10% in the form of a cash tithe.
Let me point out that none of this is a scriptural argument, not by a long shot. It is the preachers’ opinions, their invention, their hard-sell, and it all amounts to pure Hansel and Gretel fiction. They cannot prove it scripturally so they hammer it home with a heavy dose of strong-armed salesmanship, sophistry, peer pressure and imposed guilt. They give a false choice of choosing God as your King and tithing to the preacher, or by failing to do so you are supposedly making the choice of rejecting God and having a crooked government as your king and choosing to pay taxes to that entity instead.
We know of course that their whole premise false; freewill giving is well accepted by God, and all we have to do to prove it is to read Exodus 25:1-9“Speak unto the children of Israel, that they bring me an offering: of every man that giveth it willingly with his heart ye shall take my offering. And this is the offering which ye shall take of them; gold, and silver, and brass…”
Exodus 35:4-29 “And Moses spake unto all the congregation of the children of Israel, saying, This is the thing which the LORD commanded, saying, take ye from among you an offering unto the LORD: whosoever is of a willing heart, let him bring it, an offering of the LORD; gold, and silver, and brass…”
These scriptures are talking about freewill offerings, not tithe, that is why money is allowed. Contributions to temple building or upkeep are the only known scriptural circumstance that allows cash gifts.
These were instructions for building God’s sanctuary, but they may, if further evidence supports it, apply to any kind of similar ministry expenses today, even though they contain the much detested (by pro-tithers) concept of freewill giving, which is not the same as tithing.
To address the red herring false discussion that tithe-takers make out of the sovereignty issue, I will point out the obvious that God still does own everything. That is a no-brainer. As owner and King He certainly has the right to tax, but He also has the right to not tax as these two above-mentioned scriptures indicate. That is for God to decide, not some preacher.
Even though God had a tax, the pro-tithe preachers do not like the clearly stated terms of God’s tax; they do not like the fact that God abolished His tax, and they do not like the concept of freewill giving so they rebel by way of subversion. They make up their own law as a profitable substitute, they call it
the tithe, and then go on to tell you and me that we are the sinners for not paying the false tax that they invented. This is text-book false prophet, false preacher, greedy dog behavior on their part. 1Samuel 2:30 God said “…for them that honor me I will honor, and they that despise me shall be as nothing.”God did have a tax, he called it the tithe. He clearly stated that it went to the Levites only. He clearly stated that it was agricultural increase only. Like the temporary nature of the Levitical priesthood, God clearly ended the tithe that was used to feed that priesthood, when He ended the priesthood itself.
It is time that we of the congregation begin to realize that these false preachers are nothing that we want to be a part of. As with any other fraud, the first thing you should do is to demand your tithe money back from the defrauder.
Honoring the sovereignty of God by tithing to a preacher is like honoring the sovereignty of the Queen of England by tithing to your Pakistani high school English teacher. It makes absolutely no sense whatsoever.
Some people want to do good, and their heart is in the right place. They want to “acknowledge God’s sovereignty”, and the tithe takers exploit this good will by providing the illusion of a means for the people to do so by saying that honoring God is done through giving money to the preacher. That is what the “myth of the tithe” is all about: taking the good will of the Christian saints, converting it to money, and harvesting it into a bank account for the preacher. This is done under the guise of “honoring God’s sovereignty”, among other pro-tithe slogans.
How to Acknowledge God’s Sovereignty
So, preachers have set themselves up as the gatekeepers; the authorities who will determine for you how to “acknowledge the sovereignty of God”. In their alleged pious wisdom they have determined that this is best accomplished by giving the preachers one tenth of your income.
Let us compare that to what scripture says. The plain fact of the matter is that “acknowledging the sovereignty of God” is not done by mailing a check to the preacher, or crossing his palm with green, or by willing your estate to him, as some preachers might claim.
Even in Old Covenant times, this acknowledgement was not particularly accomplished by paying a tithe, any more so than following the other various Laws of that time.
How do you acknowledge this divine sovereignty? As usual it is God’s Law that has the answer, not the preachers.
The deliberate acknowledgement of God’s kingship was accomplished by – first and foremost – deliberately acknowledging God’s kingship. That is right; you do it by doing it. It is not some secret thing that happens when you complete a non-taxable commercial transaction (known today as tithing) with your preacher.
I mean, how do you pledge allegiance to the flag (for those of you who still do it)? How do you say the Lord’s Prayer? You do it by doing it.
As I have shown in the last chapter, this act of acknowledgement is plainly instructed in Deut 26:5-10 for first fruit offerings. So let us now continue where that scripture and that chapter left off, regarding a similar but distinctly separate confession that goes with tithing.
Deut 26:13-15: 26:13 “Then thou shalt say before the LORD thy God,
‘I have brought away the hallowed things [things set aside for tithe] out of mine house, and also have given them unto the Levite, and unto the stranger, to the fatherless, and to the widow, according to all thy commandments which thou hast commanded me: I have not transgressed thy commandments, neither have I forgotten them.
I have not eaten thereof [of items set aside for tithe, again it is food related] in my mourning, neither have I taken away ought thereof for any unclean use, nor given ought thereof for the dead: but I have hearkened to the voice of the LORD my God, and have done according to all that thou hast commanded me.
Look down from thy holy habitation, from heaven, and bless thy people Israel, and the land
“land” is Strongs #127, which is more accurately translated as “soil”, and it gives a much stronger connotation of the agricultural nature of the tithe. The idea of a land area or territory would have been Strongs #776] which thou hast given us, as thou swearst unto our fathers, a land that floweth with milk and honey.’
This day the LORD thy God hath commanded thee to do these statutes and judgments: thou shalt therefore keep and do them with all thine heart, and with all thy soul.
Did I read that last verse right? Yet again, it says “Commanded thee to do these statutes”, and it is talking about reciting these acknowledgments that we just read about. That is, everything in that scripture except the first and last lines of it is required to be recited; just as a similar affirmation was required for presenting first fruits. These acknowledgements were an essential part of both the first fruit presentation and tithing processes, and both of which acknowledged the sovereignty of God.
This is confirmed by the Josephus writings cited earlier. Book 4 chapter 8 paragraph 22:
“Besides those two tithes, which I have already said you are to pay every year, the one for the Levites, the other for the festivals, you are to bring every third year a third tithe to be distributed to those that want; to women also that are widows, and to children that are orphans. But as to the ripe fruits, let them carry that which is ripe first of all into the temple;
and when they have blessed God for that land which bare them, and which he had given them for a possession, [this is the blessing quoted in the scripture above] when they have also offered those sacrifices which the law has commanded them to bring, let them give the first-fruits to the priests. But when any one hath done this, and hath brought the tithe of all that he hath, together with those first-fruits that are for the Levites, and for the festivals, and when he is about to go home, let him stand before the holy house, and return thanks to God, that he hath delivered them from the injurious treatment they had in Egypt, and hath given them a good land, and a large, and lets them enjoy the fruits thereof; and when he hath openly testified that he hath fully paid the tithes [and other
dues] according to the laws of Moses, let him entreat God that he will be ever merciful and gracious to him, and continue so to be to all the Hebrews, both by preserving the good things which he hath already given them, and by adding what it is still in his power to bestow upon them” (emphasis mine).
Josephus mentions both first-fruits and tithe during the same event, because they represent different crops or production. You could be tithing your berries, for example, at a time that you are also first-fruiting your wheat crop.
This ritual made tithing a spiritual event, calling to remembrance the power, love, and providence of God. This was similar to the way we give thanks before a meal, and very much like modern communion calls to mind the sacrifice of Jesus. It reminded the tither that he was not just dumping his tithed and first-fruit produce down some rat hole for no good reason, but that he was benefitting from this contract just as much or more than the Levites were.
It may be arguable as to whether this was to be done with every single tithe, or just on certain feast days, but either way it is plain to see that these confessions and acknowledgements must be done at some time, and on some kind of regular basis while tithing. The point is that today’s preachers do not ever require it, not now, not once a year, not even every three years. They do not even mention it.
For preachers to accept tithe of any kind without this confession incorporated into the practice at some point makes them just as much of a spirit-warped oaf as someone at communion chomping down a plate full of wafers and guzzling a quart of wine, and making no mention at all of Jesus or the purpose of communion. It amounts to taking what should be a spiritual event and denigrating it to an occasion of materialistic gratification for profit of the preacher.
Just as the Emphasized Bible describes in Jude 1:11-12 “Woe to them! For they have run riotously in the way of Cain, and have abandoned themselves for the sake of gain [it offers them, following] the error of Balaam, and have perished in rebellion [like that] of Korah!
These are hidden reefs [elements of danger] in your love feasts, where they boldly feast sumptuously [carousing together in your midst], without scruples providing for themselves [alone]. They are clouds without water, swept along by the winds; trees, without fruit at the late autumn gathering time–twice (doubly) dead, [lifeless and] plucked up by the roots;”
In other words, these are posers pretending to be Christians for the purpose of whatever materialistic benefit they can gain by playing the game. This certainly includes false preachers and other church officers, elders, etc.
That reference to Korah is about a man who wanted to “serve God”, but only under the circumstances that were agreeable to him. Like many modern preachers, Korah tried to change to his liking God’s clearly worded instructions, and he and his followers were obliterated.
Additionally, when was the last time your preacher held a tithe collection specifically designated for the poor at all (as mentioned above)? I suppose that some do, but I have never personally seen or heard of one. There are collections for the poor and missions to help Third World countries, but are they done as a tug-your-heartstrings freewill offering campaign, or specifically the result of a poor tithe collection? If a tithe was done, were these affirmations required as well?
Let’s look at another inconvenient instruction, and read Numbers 15:17-21
“And the LORD spake unto Moses, saying, Speak unto the children of Israel, and say unto them, When ye come into the land whither I bring you,
Then it shall be, that, when ye eat of the bread of the land, ye shall offer up an heave offering unto the LORD. Ye shall offer up a cake of the first of your dough for an heave offering: as ye do the heave offering of the threshing floor, so shall ye heave it.
Of the first of your dough ye shall give unto the LORD an heave offering in your generations.”
This is what scripture refers to when it says “the first fruits of your dough” (Nehemiah 10:37, Ezekiel 44:30), and highlights yet another example of the hypocrisy of the first-fruit-as-money proponents. If they are so concerned about you supposedly following the Law by tithing cash to them, then why are they not threatening you with God’s curse for not bringing little bread loaves or handfuls of dough to them? These first-fruit/tithe-takers seem to love getting lots of “dough”, but I guess bread dough is not what they have in mind.
Where is Your Contract, Tither?
God obviously differentiates between the tithing and first fruits, since He has dictated two separate confessions for the two separate events. However, somehow God forgot to put a confession in there for “first fruit tithes”.
Verbal acknowledgements accompanied offerings and tithes. Freewill offerings are not tithe, as certain preachers often indicate. These offerings were usually but not always small symbolic quantities, and the ritual was meant to keep people in remembrance of their dependence on God’s good grace; His sovereignty. This affirmation was a renewal of the contract with God.
So if you’ve been tithing without verbalizing this affirmation, where is the renewal of your contract with God? Where is your benefit? It is nowhere. You just gave some poser your money and got nothing for it but a religious stage show.
Numbers 31:50-52 talks about a heave offering (not a tithe) of, not 10%; not a token amount; but of all the gold taken as booty in that event. This was done to acknowledge God’s miraculous protection in battle. So an offering can be any amount, up to 100%, but first fruits offerings are token, symbolic amounts, or in the case of livestock it is the first male born.
So to review: it is apparent that you honor and acknowledge the sovereignty of God by the things that you do willingly, consciously, and/or verbally which are in accordance with His Law; not by doing something like tithing, which is actually a business transaction that someone convinced you into thinking you are obligated to do.
In 1Corinthians Paul said “the Law is good, if it is used lawfully”, and so it is. But I guess that these preachers already know the Law, and how unlawfully they are using it since they claim to be “Law teachers”, and we can hold them to the “greater condemnation” of James 3:1 for imposing an unlawful law.
Romans 7:14 “For we know that the law is spiritual: but I am carnal, sold under sin.”
This confession of faith that is made while presenting tithes and first-fruits is an example of the spirituality of the Law that Paul is talking about.
This information provided here may be new to you, but it is all imputed knowledge to the preachers. That means that if they hold themselves up to be some kind of authority on the scriptures and expect compensation for their services, then they
already know or should have known the plainly worded scriptures that I am presenting here for you today.
If I can find it with occasional scripture reading, then they have also seen it many times as self-proclaimed full-time Bible scholars.
“We Just Want the Money”
Let me ask you – if these preachers are so very, very, very, very concerned about “acknowledging the sovereignty of God” as they so emphatically say they are, then why do they not insist that every tither/first-fruiter must recite these confessions as would be required by the Law in Deut 26, along with the transference of their tithe? The main purpose of this Law is to acknowledge the sovereignty and providence of God. This is, again, just as communion regularly recalls the sacrifice and salvation of Christ.
Why are these preachers only concerned about getting the money itself when they should know that back in the era of tithing, the instructions of Deuteronomy 26 was required not optional?
In my opinion based on personal long-term observation, the reason preachers do not require these scripturally mandated confessions, and the reason they do not want your bread loaves or lambs is because they do not care about obeying the Law or about acknowledging God’s sovereignty, one tenth as much as they would like you to believe they do.
I mean, they preach for umpteen years, with the implication that they are a Bible scholar and teacher, some even claiming to be prophets; yet never touch on a scripture as important and beneficial as Deut 26:13-19 seems to be. How do they justify their selective Law preaching and enforcement which just happens to coincide with their achieving the most profit for the least effort?
These preachers get their first fruit tithe term by perverting Deuteronomy 26, so you know they have read this Law; in fact I have heard them read right through and around these instructions without an accurate comment as to their significance. The instructions for these confessions are right there plain as day, so they cannot claim that they did not see it. I see it, and I am just an amateur. Somehow those who present themselves as anointed-of-God full time Bible experts seem to have missed it completely. They obviously just plain want the money, and do not want to deal with all that time consuming rubbish in God’s Word that is not so lucrative. It is as simple as that.
Keep this scripture in mind the next time the preacher does the hypocrite’s song-and-dance about how you are somehow guilty of denying God’s sovereignty as Creator and King every time you choose not to pay a tenth of your income to him.