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PART FOURTEEN  - The COMMENTARY CONCERNING THE "BOOK OF MALACHI" AND THE FUTURE OF GOD'S HEBREW PEOPLE

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THE SIXTH CHARGE THAT JEHOVAH GOD HELD AGAINST ISRAEL - WAS THERE NEGLECT IN BRINGING THEIR TITHES INTO THE STOREHOUSE?

( 1 ). Commentary . . . The storehouse is usually looked on today as if it is a local Church in your own community. . . Other peoples imagination, was that it was always the Jerusalem Temple in view during that ancient time, and that all the tithes had to be brought to the Temple itself.

( 2 ). The fact is: There were "three tithes during the Mosaic Law period." There was an annual tithe for the maintenance of the Levities, read { Leviticus 27:30; - & - Numbers 18:21 }. A second tithe brought to Jerusalem for the LORD'S feast { Deuteronomy 14:22 }.

( 3 ). Every other year, however, the second tithe was kept at home and used for the poor { Deuteronomy 14:28 }. One's use of money is often a barometer of his spirituality, read { 1- John 3:17 }. [ Read also our large message on internet concerning "TITHING." ]

( 4 ). From the time of King Hezekiah on . . ., read { 2- Chronicles 31:11- 12 }, special storehouses held grain brought in payment for of some of the tithes. There may have been special storehouses strictly for garden produce, and likely corrals for the first increase of animals that were given as tithes and used for sacrifices.

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( 5 ). { V. 10 } Scripture: "And Azariah the chief priest of the house of Zadok answered him, and said, Since the people began to bring the offerings into the house of the LORD we have had enough to eat, and have left plenty: for the LORD has blessed His people; and that which is left is this great store.

( 6 ). { V. 11 }: Then Hezekiah commanded to prepare chambers in the house of the LORD; and they prepared them,

( 7 ). { V. 12 }: And brought in the offerings and the tithes and the dedicated things faithfully: over which Cononiah the Levite was ruler, and Shimei his brother was the next, { 2- Chronicles 31:10-12 }."

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( 8 ). The above { Vs. 10-12 } paraphrased below in commentary form ...

( 9 ). { 10 }: "And Azariah the high priest of the house of Zadok answered him [ and said ]: Since the people began to bring the offerings into the LORD'S house we have eaten and have plenty [ of the food ] left . . . for the LORD has blessed 'His [ Hebrew' ] people; and what is left is this great store [ of left over goods ].

( 10 ). { 11 }: Then Hezekiah commanded [ them' ] to 'prepare chambers [ for to store the tithe of food' ] in the house of the LORD; and they prepared them [ as they had been commanded to do ],

( 11 ). { 12 }: 'And [ they then' ] 'brought in [ all' ] the offerings and the tithes 'of the [ Hebrews' ] and [ 'of all ] the dedicated things faithfully [ as they were commanded to do ]:' over which 'Cononiah the Levite was [ the ] ruler [ and was in charge of all of this ]', and Shimei [ who was Cononiah's ] brother [ came ] next, { 2- Chronicles 31:10-12 }."

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( 12 ). Commentary . . . The immediate and generous response of the people in their giving was staggering; and by the surprise of the priests, it is evident that supporting the priests had long gone unpracticed. The third month was the month of the Feast of Weeks, or Pentecost, when grain harvest was completed { Exodus 23:16; - & - Leviticus 23:10-11 }; and the seventh month was the month of the Feast of Tabernacles or ingathering { Exodus 13:16 - & - Leviticus 23:34 }.

( 13 ). The storage chambers that had been built in the Temple by Solomon { 1- Kings 6:5 }, evidently needed to be repaired. Cononiah and his brother-assistant, Shimei, were responsible for collecting the offerings and tithes, while Kore assumed responsibility for distributing the most holy things, i.e., the portions of offerings to be eaten by the priests.

( 14 ). Subordinate to Kore were assistants who distributed to the thirteen cities of the priests, read { Joshua 21:9-19 }.

( 15 ). The paying of tithes ante-dated Israel and the Old Mosaic Law. One thing we should mention here concerning Israel. And we have mentioned this fact in a previous message . . .

( 16 ). Abraham was the first Hebrew, but he never became an Israelite! Abraham's son Isaac was also a Hebrew and he never became an Israelite! Abraham's grandson Jacob, Isaac's son also a Hebrew, who's name had been changed from Jacob to Israel, became the first Israelite, although by name only as he never lived long enough to be an actual citizen of the nation that was yet to be established in the future.

( 17 ). Jacob's sons who were the fathers of the twelve tribes that would later become the nation of Israel, and of course this included Joseph whom had become chief administrator under the Pharaoh of Egypt, like-wise had never became Israelites with a nation of their own, even though they were the fathers of that future nation. All of these forefathers had long before died.

( 18 ). After the Exodus of the Hebrews from Egypt into the Sinai peninsula on to Mount Sinai where the ten commandments were received, they were formed into a nation of people with no land for themselves although they were being led toward their promised land.

( 19 ). Therefore, after the death of Moses, Joshua led the Hebrews into the land of the Canaanites, and had to overcome the various Gentile heathen tribes of the different races whom held that land before they could actually call the land of Canaan Israel.

( 20 ). This is really quite a storey is it not? Naturally all of this could be enlarged upon as a historical fact. And then . . .

( 21 ). We read in { Genesis 14:20 } that Abraham himself long before Israel became a nation, actually paid tithes, or gave tithes, to the High Priest of GOD, Melchizedek.

( 22 ). Therefore, as we have brought out - the first man to pay tithes in the Bible was a Hebrew, and the commandment of tithing was given specifically to the Hebrew race, and thus it was incorporated into the Mosaic Law.

( 23 ). And even though tithing is set forth in the Bible as a Hebrew commandment or practice, Fausset a Commentator himself, declares that the non-Jewish nations in the Middle East tithed to some extent to their own particular gods or religions - having picked up the tradition or law from Israel.

( 24 ). As to many, many other false doctrines, the Roman Catholic pharisaism is primarily to blame for teaching and bringing Old Testament ordinances and commandments to their congregations, and placing their people back under the old law that had been fulfilled on the Cross by the LORD JESUS. Thus Protestant denominations, and their pharisaism, have been so brainwashed with so much of this false doctrine of the Romans that they have accepted much of it as fact. And we assure you, we could make many countless comparisons:

( 25 ). For instance, the Catholic denomination teaches that they have the right to bow down to various idols and ask St. Mary, St. Jude, St. Christopher, or any other dead Saint to pray for them. Is this really Christianity?

( 26 ). They teach that Mary is the mother of GOD. Do you really believe this? GOD has always existed has He not? But she was the mother of CHRIST'S humanity.

( 27 ). Many of the Roman Church Priests have their people appear to them in the confessional and confess their sins to the priest. This my friend is false doctrine!

( 28 ). The priest may tell them to go home an say 50 hail Marys, or he may tell them since they have admitted their sins, that their sins 'as of now' are 'remitted, i.e., forgiven.' Do you really believe a mere man can forgive you of all your sins? Or, is it GOD alone Who can forgive one's sins?

( 29 ). Romanism taught that the BODY OF CHRIST is in the "feminine Gender [ referring naturally to their own denomination" ] and since this has been taught for so many - centuries, it has been accepted by the rest of the denominations as fact instead of researching the Scriptures for the truth. The same thing goes for tithing and other ordinances that were fulfilled on CHRIST'S Cross. Read { Colossians 2:13-17, 20; - Ephesians 2: 15; - & - "Hebrews 2: 14-15 - where bondage was concerned," etc. }.

( 30 ). And ..., who was it that first taught that the [ "Church ] BODY OF CHRIST" of today [ again referring to the Roman Church system ] has taken the place and will receive the future blessing of Israel and for Israel?

( 31 ). And that the Catholic Church, will inherit the land of Israel instead of the 12 tribes of Israel themselves? False doctrine as it has always been, is still very prominent and even accepted as fact in most every denomination today! [ AND, I know that I am stepping on the toes of thousands of Minsters in this message, but if the shoes fit we should wear them - don't you think? ]

( 32 ). Apostasy is ever present, and an 'every day fact [ i.e., it is also a curse for those who accept it. ] As to tithing there are many Scriptures concerning tithing, but in order to save time let us refer to just one . . .

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( 33 ). { V. 30 } Scripture: "And all tithe of the land, whether of the seed of the land, or of the fruit of the tree, is the LORD'S: it is holy unto the LORD.

( 34 ). { V. 31 }: And if a man will at all redeem aught of his tithe, he shall add thereto the fifth part thereof.

( 35 ). { V. 32 }: And concerning the tithe of the herd, or of the flock, even of whatsoever passes under the rod, the tenth shall be holy unto the LORD.

( 36 ). { V. 33 }: He shall not search whether it be good or bad, neither shall he change it: and if he change it at all, then both it and the change thereof shall be holy; it shall 'NOT' be redeemed.

( 37 ). { V. 34 }: These are the commandments, which the LORD commanded Moses for the children of Israel in mount Sinai, { Leviticus 27:30-34 }."

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( 38 ). The above { Vs. 32-34 } paraphrased below in commentary form:

( 39 ). { 32 }: And all the tithe of the herd, or of the flock, whatsoever passes under the herdsman's staff, [ by means of which each tenth animal as it passes through a small door is then selected and marked ], [and then, every tenth animal: ] shall be holy unto the LORD.

( 40 ). { 33 }: The man shall not examine whether the animal is good or bad, nor shall he exchange it; if he does exchange it, then both it and the animal substituted for it shall be holy; it shall 'NOT' be redeemed.

( 41 ). { 34 }: These are the commandments, which the LORD commanded Moses on mount Sinai for the Israelites."

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( 42 ). Commentary . . . One-tenth of the increase of the land, trees, herds, and flocks had to be given to the LORD as His tithe. Part of the tithe could be substituted for with money [ plus the usual 20% additional ], except in the case of animals.

( 43 ). When animals passed under the counting rod, this refers to the custom of making the animals pass by in single file and marking each tenth sheep, goat, ass, oxen or cow, with a rod dipped in a colored dye. This naturally as we have said, consisted of the ten percent of the increase of the persons heard that were given as a tithe.

( 44 ). There is little evidence of transgression against the Law of tithing by Israel in the Old Testament other than what we have mentioned.

( 45 ). The historian Josephus in his writings back in the first century A.D. indicated that there may have been a period of laxity in Israel concerning giving of a tenth of the cattle for sacrifices and feast days; however, King Hezekiah saw to it that this apathy on the part of the Israelites concerning tithes were later remedied.

( 46 ). There soon began to be so many animals on hand in the pens used for sacrifices and feasts that no one in all Judah or Israel remembered anything like it since the days of Solomon.

( 47 ). Now you might expect that after that - after the Babylonian captivity, the Jews may have gotten out of the habit or custom of paying their tithes.

( 48 ). Of course, while in Babylon they had no Temple or storehouses and the paying of tithes was dispensed with.

( 49 ). So we might expect that Nehemiah, Ezra and the other Jewish leaders would have experienced difficulty in getting the Jews to resume the paying of tithes into the storehouses after the Temple had been rebuilt.

( 50 ). However, this did not seem to be the case. In the tenth chapter of Nehemiah the law of tithing is restored after the Babylonian captivity, and as soon as the Temple was rebuilt: there is no indication of any problem in getting the Israelites to again bring their tithes to the house of GOD. We read . . .

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( 51 ). { V. 3 } Scripture: "Now it came to pass, when they had heard the law, that they separated from Israel all the mixed multitude.

( 52 ). { V. 4 }: And before this, Eliash'ib the priest, having the oversight of the chamber of the house our GOD, was allied unto Tobiah:

( 53 ). { V. 5 }: And he had prepared for him a great chamber, where aforetime they laid the meat offerings, the frankincense, and the vessels, and the tithes of the corn, the new wine, and the oil, which was commanded to be given to the Levities, and the singers, and the porters; and the offerings of the priests, { Nehemiah 13:3-5 }."

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( 54 ). The above { Vs. 3-5 } paraphrased below in commentary form ...

( 55 ). { 3 }: When the Jews heard the law, they separated from Israel all the mixed multitude of foreign descent.

( 56 ). { 4 }: Now before this, Elishib the priest, who was appointed over the chambers of the house of our GOD, and 'was related [ by marriage' ] 'to Tobiah [ our adversary' ],

( 57 ). { 5 }: prepared for Tobiah a large chamber, where previously they had put the cereal offering, the frankincense, the vessels, andthe tithes of grain, new wine, and oil, which were given by commandment to the Levities, the singers, and gatekeepers, and the contributors for the offerings of the priests, { Nehemiah 13:3-5 }."

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( 58 ). Commentary . . . Who was Tobiah? He was an 'Ammonite { Nehemiah 2:19' } to whom Eliashib had turned over a great chamber in the court of the Temple during Nehemiah's absence from Jerusalem.

( 59 ). The king of Babylon at that time 'Artaxerxes', who was probably in Babylon at that time, since it was an administrative center of the Persian Empire. After the return of Nehemiah he discovered, to his horror, what Eliashib had done, he threw Tobiah's belongings out and ceremonially cleansed the room. We read . . .

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( 60 ). Scripture: "Then brought all Judah the tithe of the corn and the new wine and the oil unto the treasuries, { Nehemiah 13:12 }."

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( 61 ). The above { V. 12 } paraphrased in commentary form . . . "Then all Judah brought the tithe of the grain, the new wine, and the oil to the storerooms."

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( 62 ). Commentary . . . Although Nehemiah had his problems in other aspects of the Law, he seemed to have little difficulty concerning the collection of tithes. And of all the sins and failures by Israel mentioned by JESUS CHRIST, tithing was not among them. We then read . . .

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( 63 ). Scripture: "Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for you pay tithe of mint and anise and cummin, and have omitted the weightier matters of the law ..., { Matthew 23:23 }."

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( 64 ). The above { V. 23 } paraphrased in commentary form . . . "Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, 'hypocrites [ i.e, pretenders' ] for 'you [ give' ] the 'tithe [ a very small portion' ] of [ 'your ] mint' and 'anise [ dill' ] and cummin, and have 'omitted [ and neglected' ] the 'weightier [ more important' ] 'matters of the [ Mosaic ] law' . . .,

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( 65 ). Commentary . . . We have mentioned many times in other messages that the old Mosaic Law ended with the calling of John the Baptist { Luke 16:16 }. Even though in transition, the Law of ordinances still overlapped into the short Kingdom Administration of

MESSIAH'S - until the Mosaic law was paid for on the Cross at 'Calvary [ i.e., Golgotha, Calvary refers to the place of the skull.' ] Read { Matthew 27:33 }.

( 66 ). The average minister down through the centuries have, and are still teaching that the BODY OF CHRIST began at the LORD'S Cross on the day of Pentecost. This doctrine began by some of the apostate teaching of Rome and accepted by other denominations down through this Dispensation of Grace. And yet, they also take much of what was still under the Old Law portrayed in Matthew, Mark and Luke, and are thus adding those things to the BODY OF CHRIST in this age of Grace. Things like this is called modern pharisaism.

( 67 ). Although, the above verse in Matthew proves that the Law was still in affect while MESSIAH the CHRIST was yet teaching! [ Please, read our message concerning - "The Transition Periods." ]. And now . . .

( 68 ). Therefore, we see that the religious leaders of CHRIST'S day tithed even the smallest herbs in their gardens. Mint is a small deep green herb; anise is much like the dill seed the ladies put in their pickle jars; and cummin is a small plant of the parsley family.

( 69 ). If an Israelite went out into the garden to gather some dill, mint or parsley for the family table, they were careful and diligent to see that every tenth sprig went to the Temple storehouse.

( 70 ). Therefore, we would be somewhat perplexed at GOD'S indictment against Israel for the fact we have already brought out . . . that the prophecy of Malachi looks forward to the rebuilding of the Tribulation Temple after the Rapture of the BODY OF CHRIST occurs.

( 71 ). It appears that when the Temple is rebuilt, the Jews as a nation will not resume the practice of tithing under the Law since MESSIAH already paid the price when He fulfilled the old Law on the Roman Cross. [ And this of course, also steps on the toes of those who apply this old Law of tithing and other Old Testament ordinances to their Denominations today. ] Read again { Colossians 2:13-14, - 20; - & - Ephesians 2:15; etc. }

( 72 ). The warning of GOD'S curse against His CHILDREN who fail to pay their tithes into the storehouse is falsely applied quite often by Christian ministers today in the Assembly pulpits against the membership. As you can see, I like to tell it like it is!

( 73 ). Most ministers of all congregations falsely interpret the storehouse to be the local Church. However, no where in the New Testament is a New Testament Congregational building described as a storehouse!

( 74 ). Tithing is mentioned only three times in Matthew, Mark, Luke or John, and in each case it refers to tithing by Israelites under the Old Law.

( 75 ). Tithing is not mentioned at all by Luke in the book of Acts, or by Paul in any of Paul's 13 Epistles to the Gentiles. [ And of course to the BODY OF CHRIST also ].

( 76 ). We find tithing referred to in the 7th chapter of the Hebrews four times, and in all four references it refers back to the paying of tithes by Abraham or the receiving of tithes by the Levites.

( 77 ). There are Assemblies and Denominations who falsely preach that there are two ordinances for Christians today as being water baptism and the observance of the LORD'S Supper.

( 78 ). Yet they bear down heavily on the old ordinance and commandment for Christians to tithe. There is no ordinance, commandment or instructions for Christians in any of the books of the New Testament that apply to the BODY OF CHRIST to tithe or keep any of the other Old Testament ordinances! To teach tithing or the other ordinances is to place Christians back under the Old Law of bondage!

( 79 ). Some will say, well I have tithed and it is as Malachi says - GOD has literally opened up the windows of Heaven and poured out His blessings upon us.

( 80 ). And I will say, I believe you. If you give a tenth of your income to your local Assembly, or divide your money of any amount between the radio ministry or the poor and hungry, or a missionary on the foreign field, GOD will richly reward you.

( 81 ). The LORD will also reward you even more if you give 12, 15, 20 or 50 percent of your increase. But the point I wish to make is this . . .

( 82 ). Although tithing is not commanded for any one under this Dispensation of Grace, GOD will bless you if you will give any amount you see fit.

( 83 ). Since this Grace Dispensation is programmed under the dictates of CHRIST according the knowledge and teachings of the Apostle Paul, we must understand that Paul established no percentage for Christian giving and he never called for support contributed by the Christians a tithe but rather a gift or an offering.

( 84 ). What Paul taught concerning giving . . . he encouraged GOD'S Children to pray about the amount they should give and in accordance with the measure that GOD has blessed them, and we read the Apostles conclusion as follows . . .

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( 85 ). { V. 6 } Scripture: "But this I say, He which sows sparingly shall reap also sparingly; and he which sows bountifully shall reap also bountifully.

( 86 ). { V. 7 }: Every man according as he purposes in his heart, so let him give; not grudgingly, or of necessity: for GOD loves a cheerful giver, { 2- Corinthians 9:6-7 }."

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( 87 ). The above { Vs. 6-7 } paraphrased below in commentary form . . .

( 88 ). { 6 }: "[ Remember ] this; he who sows 'sparingly [ and grudgingly' ] 'will also reap sparingly [ and grudgingly' ], and he who sows 'bountifully [ i.e., generously' so that blessings may be established to others ], will also reap [ generously ] and with blessings [ to themselves ].

( 89 ). { 7 }: 'Let each one [ give ] as he has made up his own mind and purposed in his heart, not reluctantly or sorrowfully or under compulsion,' for GOD loves [ that is, He takes pleasure, and He prizes above other things, and is unwilling to abandon or to do without ] a cheerful [ joyous, prompt-to-do-it ] giver . . . whose heart is in his giving, { 2- Corinthians 9:6-7 }. Read { Proverbs 22:9 }. [ i.e., giving also applies to those who give "of themselves" to assist others who need help! ]

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( 90 ). Commentary . . . It should also be self-evident that giving to the LORD'S work entails a responsibility to see that your offerings are used for the preaching of the Gospel, the teaching of the Word, and contending for the faith.

( 91 ). It you give the LORD'S money to an apostate minister or Assembly, then you are more guilty than the Israelites who robbed GOD by withholding a tithe.

( 92 ). You will not only be robbing GOD, but also giving aid and comfort to the enemy, the Devil. The same thing can be said about giving to ungodly organizations.

( 93 ). Now we should keep in mind that all these instructions and exhortations by GOD in the Old Testament are for the refounded nation of Israel at the time the Temple will be rebuilt. GOD states that if Israel will do the things that He asked of them, and return back to Him, they will be eternally blessed.

CONTINUED ON

PART FIFTEEN OF THIS COMMENTARY CONCERNING THE "BOOK OF MALACHI" AND THE FUTUREOF GOD'S HEBREW PEOPLE

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