KLEPTOMANIAC is a journey into the annuals of biblical history concerning what the Bible teaches about tithing and giving. This book will take you on the proverbial archeological quest to uncover the true meaning of biblical words that deal with money. When confusion exists about what certain words mean in the Bible, such as tithe, tithing, tenth or ten percent, this book will examine the Hebrew and Greek language to bring to life what these words actually mean in context. This book will upend the common beliefs held by believers concerning giving and tithing based on the history of the original people of the Bible and how they related to money. From the very beginning to the end of the book, everything is supported by Scripture and research. You will know from the onset why the author, Dr. Frank Chase Jr., wrote the book and learn about his personal story of what happened as a result of embracing New Covenant giving principles from the New Testament. No book asks questions like this book. And some of those questions are: does the Bible talk about tithing? Did God change the tithe at some point in biblical history? Are first fruits money? Is the tithe food or money? Is the church the storehouse? Did Jesus, Paul and the Disciples tithe? Did the early church honor a money tithe system? Are Christians really cursed for not tithing ten percent of their income?
Frank Chase, Jr. was born in 1959. He is the son of Frank Chase and Romaine Berry. He grew up in Baltimore Md. and graduated from Walbrook High School in 1978. After high school, Frank spent four years in the United States Army and during that time became a follower of the Messiah. After completing his tour of duty, he attended Washington State University (WSU) and graduated in 1989 with a Bachelor’s degree in Communications and a minor in Sociology. Because Frank believes in education, he pursued religious degrees and graduated from North Carolina College of Theology with a Bachelor of Biblical Studies, a Master of Arts in Theology, and a Doctor of Theology. You can follow is blog at http://tithenomore.com and the ebook is available on now on Book Baby and the paperback June 1st at https://store.bookbaby.com/book/kleptomaniac. For signed copies go to the Author's website at https://www.fcpublishing.com
To answer the question, the answer is yes. But the only people who actually robbed God in Malachi were farmers and herders who did not pay tithes and offerings from every tenth animal, crops, herds and flocks to the Levites. Even the Priests whom God directly implicates are considered the ones who robbed God of the tithes and offerings. In today’s language, it would be the pastor who robs God because he says the tithe is ten percent of a person’s income when that is not commanded in the Bible. This excerpt gives detail about who God really speaks to in the book Malachi. I dug deeper into the Malachi text because it has been taken out of context for many years by pastors who use the text erroneously to teach monetary tithing. Malachi is not about money, but about food in the storehouse. The scripture is clear when it says, “that their may be food in my house.” That verse is about literal food not literal money. When dealing with false scriptural interpretations, you have go head on against arguments for tithing money and show how the Malachi text is misinterpreted by presenting evidence to the contrary. In the excerpt, you will see exactly what God says and who He spoke to.
As you follow the context in Malachi from Chapters 1-3, you must decide if God is still talking to the Levitical priests or whether He is speaking to a different audience. We can postulate that if the priests in Nehemiah removed the tithes from the storerooms, causing Levites to return home, they may have stopped giving a tithe of the tithe to the priests themselves. Moreover, as the congregation of Israel saw this mess, they may have stopped giving tithes to the Levites because they were no longer at the temple to perform their duties, which screwed up the entire tithing system. It was so messed up that Nehemiah said, “So I contended with the rulers [Priest of the temple] and said, why is the house of God forsaken? And I gathered them together and set them in their place” (Nehemiah 13:11 NKJV). It appears Nehemiah rebuked the priests for stealing the Levites’ tithes causing them to abandon the house of God. It will be shocking for many to read this chapter and realize it was the priests who stole the tithes and offerings in the text. Ignoring the irrefutable evidence and context is not a license to take the Bible out of context and apply a different interpretation. Doing so is a pretext for error. It is preposterous to say that Malachi teaches that Christians who do not pay 10 percent of their paycheck to the institutional church will be cursed. To further confirm that it was the priests stealing the tithes and offerings, let’s track God’s thoughts throughout Malachi.
God speaks to Malachi to address Israel (Malachi 1:1)
God calls out a specific group, the priests in Malachi 1:6 “A son honors his father, and a servant his master. If then I am the Father, Where is My honor? And if I am a Master, Where is My reverence? Says the LORD of hosts to you priests who despise My name…”
The Priests respond with a question by saying, …“In what way have we despised Your name?” Malachi 1:6.
God responds to the priests question in Malachi 1:7-14. Read all the verses to see what Yahweh says.
God curses the priests in Malachi 1:14 “But cursed be the deceiver who has in his flock a male, And takes a vow, But sacrifices to the Lord what is blemished…”
Malachi 2:1 God calls out the priests again with commands, “And now, O priests, this commandment is for you.”
God tells the priest the commandment in Malachi 2:2
God curses the priests in Malachi 2:2 and responds to them throughout verses 3-17 and say they wearied Him.
The priests respond with another question to God through Malachi 2:17 and say, “…In what way have we wearied Him? or where is the God of Judgment?
In Malachi 3:1-4, Malachi gives them God’s response on what he will do about the two questions in Malachi 2:17.
Malachi 3:5 God speaks through Malachi and answers the priests’ questions.
Malachi 3:5-6 addresses the covenant God had with the Nation of Israel not with tithing. Jacob is mentioned because it was the decedent’s of his son, Levi, who where the Levites and priests with the responsibility for the temple; their duties were based on Jacob’s vow that he would tithe.
God tells the priests they had gone away from the ordinances in Malachi 3:7 and this is proven by undertaking a comparison with Malachi 2:7-9.
Malachi asks the priests to return to him in 3:7.
The priests ask another question in Malachi 3:7, “In what way shall we return?”
God responds to the priests with a rhetorical question in Malachi 3:8 “Will a man rob God?” and goes on to tell the priests what they did do and what they needed to do and what He would do if they obeyed. In Malachi 3:8 God answers his own question and tells the priest, “Yet you have robbed me!” Then He identifies what they stole, the tithes and offerings.
The priests’ ask another question in Malachi 3:8 based on God asking, “Will a man rob God?” The priests ask, “In what way have we robbed You?”
God answers the priests and tells them how they robbed him in Malachi 3:8, “In tithes and offerings.”
God pronounces a curse on them in Malachi 3:9.
If you are still not convinced that tithes and offerings were related to the priests’ sins, let’s go over the Scriptures again in more detail.
1. Malachi 1:6-8 prove the priests offered unacceptable sacrifices.
2. Malachi 1:13 says the Priests offered stolen sacrifices “And you bring the stolen, the lame, and the sick; thus you bring an offering! Should I accept this from your hand?” Says the LORD.
3. Malachi 2:8 convicts the priests for violating the law and causing other Hebrews to do the same.
4. Malachi 3:8-10 accuse the priests of not bringing all tithes and offerings into the storehouse.
In Malachi 1-3, it was the priests who despised His name; it was the priests God called out; it was the priests who ditched their duties to be the messengers of the Lord; it was the priests who corrupted Levi’s covenant; and it was the priests who had the nerve to question God about their actions. The corruption of the priesthood in Malachi was so bad and widespread that it fully engulfed the Levitical priesthood and practically destroyed it along with the tithing system.
The modern tithing dogma hangs on the statement: “Will a man rob God?” Malachi 3:8-10 has been held to the heads of God’s people like a 357 magnum for centuries. However, if people read and study for themselves, they will know Malachi is still talking to the priests and not the church even though the text mentions the sons of Levi and Jacob. In effect, God indicted all the people of Israel. The priests handled the law but lead the congregation of Israel astray. We know this because the priests in Nehemiah emptied the storehouse of the tithe, which robbed the Levites of their food portions so they could not work during their temple duty. The whole nation of you referenced in Malachi is the whole nation of priests, not the entire congregation of Israel. Malachi 1-3 addresses the wrongs of the priests who were on the wrong side of the law and who robbed God. The context of Malachi makes the priests the tithe kleptomaniacs and not the congregation of Israel.