Tithing = the taxes of a freewill government. All US Citizens are compelled, at the point of a gun, to tithe to their elohim (rulers). So it is superfluous to give freewill offerings to a state corporation called a church headed by a government-licensed agent called a minister when it’s the point-of-a-gun side of government that really takes care of the needy—through welfare, social security, education, etc.
Now, if there were REAL separation of church and state (the Bible talks about it in terms of the right and left hands of government), you would be giving freewill offerings to a “Levite”* who would be responsible for taking care of the needy of your society. And you would get the level of support you deserved, i.e, give a lot and the “Levite” has more tools to work with to provide for and rehabilitate the needy.
In this system, the top level of government is always the family so, ideally, needs are taken care of by the elder—first the husband/father, second the grandfather of the wider family, and ultimately a Melchizedek figure who tends to the needs of generations of families. If, for whatever reason, this structure is unable to meet the need (example: wars or catastrophic storms) then the Levites are called upon. They are networked with other Levites around the world who can help meet the need.
You can see this system working in the early church when Paul and Barnabas are carrying huge amounts of funds and supplies from one church (group of families following The Way) with good fortunes to another church facing dire circumstances. This is the system that Jacob’s kids FAILED to put into play so they weren’t prepared for the famine and agreed to make Egypt their father (provider) for a compelled 20% of their lives. On the other hand, Jethro’s family (from another line of Abraham) survived and thrived through the famine and eventually taught this system to Moses who reminded the children of Israel how it worked.
The modern/Pharisaical/meaningless interpretation of the original Hebrew symbols is part of the problem in understanding how tithing really works.
Remember, Pharisees where that group that Jesus despised for “making the word of God to none effect.” But it’s the Pharisaical interpretation that has come to us because that interpretation has always been favored by the centralized governments responsible for the Bible versions translated for the masses. The Essenes, on the other hand, were an equally influential sect that included “Jews” who did not need a centralized temple to provide for the welfare of their society. Of course, they were at odds with the Pharasees who would loose all their power if the temple was not required for welfare. Recall how John the Baptist was next in line to become High Priest but gave it up? Then Jesus was baptized (changed citizenship status) into the same “society” whose system of welfare depended on freewill offerings. (If a man has two coats, give one away to another who needs it).
The Essenes had a totally different spin on the meanings of those ancient Hebrew symbols…
- Altars of Clay or Adama = Elders and their families
- (Living) Stones = Friends or Ministers of the people
- Altar of Stones = Ministers gathered together to receive sacrifice of Elders, heads of families
- Burnt Offerings = Gifts entirely given on a living altar with no strings attached. In other words, a freewill offering for the welfare and support of a voluntary government of, for, and by the people
- Stoning = Bringing a disagreement to the ministers for resolution. Similar to the “jury of peers” which NO LONGER exist in the US “justice” system where crimes are committed against the State, not your neighbor.
- Offering a DOVE = giving a piece of one’s estate
- Offering a KIDNEY = surrendering reigns of control
- Offering a LIVER = giving honor
To understand how the meanings have become so perverted over the millenia, read The Adventures of Artifice in Languageland.
The Hebrew word “Levite” has come to have a mythical connotation due to centralized government religion that has removed all the practical meaning. We can more easily see the practical significance when we consider non-Hebrew terms for equivalent “public servants” in areas where the early church settled after fleeing the persecution of Rome which insisted that its citizens contribute to a centralized welfare system (religion).
- In England
– The “titheingman” served ten families
– The “hundredsman” served ten tithingmen
– The “eolderman” (alderman) served ten hundrendsmen
- Irish society revolved around the túath
- Germanic tribes had “tehuntha”
- Latins had
– The “decānus” (deacon), dean or doge which meant “servant of ten”
– A “decurion” served ten deans
Recognize some of those terms that have been rendered meaningless to us today?
The New Testament is loaded with instructions to the decentralized government servants known as diakonos, diakoneo, and diakonia. But those words have been translated into “minister” and have lost their meaning to the ears of worshipers of false elohim (gods/rulers).
This was all very practical GOVERNMENT stuff. The problem is that we want to find excuses for our current allegiance to a government that is “anti-christ.” We have placed false gods (elohim) before Him and taken His name in vain. So we must make a schizophrenic break and twist the meanings of the Bible (and history) into mindless rituals by a barbaric people.
Israel (“where God prevails”, “the free people”) made the same schizophrenic break when they rejected the decentralized rule of God in favor of the centralized rule of a king that would take care of their responsibilities for them. So the “Law of Moses” was steadily twisted to accommodate the people’s ever-growing perversion of it.
In the “Kingdom of God”, God’s temple is always located in the hearts of men. Yet, after the people of Israel chose a king, all of a sudden they determined that God required a centralized government building (a temple) where everyone had a “common purse.” In other words, the family elders no longer needed to be responsible for their families because all tithes were now sent to the temple and needs were provided for through the temple. This was one of the original lessons in the desert with the “golden calf.” God wanted the nation’s gold in the pockets of the elders, not in a central bank like the surrounding nations. The surrounding city-states demanded that their citizens put all their gold into centrally-located statues that all the city folks could keep an eye on, as well as defend and fight for. A citizen was given “notes” (clam shells, scarabs, dung beetles, whatever) equivalent to the gold he contributed to the statue and he could use those notes for commerce within the city. Cain was the first to setup this type of system. Nimrod was another early example. They were “mighty hunters.” A deeper look at the language reveals a more appropriate modern translation is “tillers of men.”
The perversion of language eventually excused and glorified Solomon’s “streets of gold.” This was the first time the subjects (now “citizens” whose allegiance was to their king) were taxed in order to build roads.
The perversion grew to include the glorification of Solomon’s “700 wives”…code for treaties with foreign nations which the “Law of Moses” specifically forbade.
And the perversion kept growing with each period of captivity and return until they ended up with an elite group of people called Pharisees.
The mission of Jesus was to remind the children of Jacob—and the whole earth—of the original meaning of the Law of Moses.
The story of Maccabees is popular among Messianic-type believers as an alternative to Christmas. They celebrate the return of the Jews to the temple. But this totally misses the point of the story which seems to be that the Jews grew lazy and weak under a centralized government (that’s what a temple building is always about) which lead to them being conquered. Those that fled to the “wilderness” (no centralized government) once again became strong due to their character and love for one another. They were then able to defend themselves against attackers. But then they’d go back to “the city”, get lazy, and re-institute a central government (temple worship) which, again, made them as pagan as all the other nations.
This story repeats itself over and over.
* The 10% tithe is a misunderstanding. What was really happening is roughly 10 families would choose a “Levite” to serve them and stay networked with Levites serving other families. Each family would give what they felt lead to give. So each family gave a 10th part of the whole. But it was all up to each head-of-household what was given. One year might be terrible for the wheat-growing family who would give very little. But the sheep-raising family might have a bountiful year and give a lot. The ten families had very close, trusting, supportive relationships with one another and gratefully tithed to their chosen Levite because each family understood they may need help in the future. For with what judgment ye judge, ye shall be judged: and with what measure ye mete, it shall be measured to you again. Matthew 7:2
From a legal standpoint, it is important that the offerings be “burnt”…laid upon the altar (gathering of living stones/Levites). In other words, there can be no strings attached to gifts. The bread must be cast upon the water with no expectation of return but faith that it will.
Practical value for today? We are in Egypt, bound by contract into a centralize system of forced welfare (impure religion). We will probably never be free of it and it will continue to get worse. However, we CAN start building this parallel system of welfare so it won’t be necessary for our children to contract with Egypt for their provision. We must “gather our own straw at night”, i.e, contribute to and build parallel support systems. As the “famines” come and the support structures of Egypt get worse, the freewill support systems will grow stronger and the children of “Israel” (the free ones) will remain untouched.
I could go on and on about the technical details. But hopefully this is enough to see that all these “religious” rituals have been made meaningless by the generations (and millennia) of brainwashing we’ve received from the churches of centralized government. And all this has happened due to our own covetousness… We are forced contribute. But we were never forced to accept the benefits of the State (welfare, social security, public education, etc.) which is coveting our neighbors goods.
For more information on the real-world application of the system of tens, hundreds and thousands, read about…
- The Tithingman and Eolderman of England
- “Deacon” is Derived from the Latin “Deaconus” Meaning “Leader of Ten”
- The System of Tens Used by Free Nations (Israelites) in the Bible
- The Practical Purpose of the Levites
Some groups I’m aware of that working to implement this concept:
His Holy Church seems to have the deepest grasp on the historic roots of decentralized government and its legal ramifications. There is already a loose network of families all over the world who are moving in the direction of taking responsibility for their own families and caring for others through charity.
Here is a great podcast describing the many practicalities built into the system of tens described in the bible…
Kingdom 101 – Basics of the Kingdom (January 1, 2017)
In his book “Flourish!: An Alternative to Government and Other Hierarchies” Bob Podolsky describes what he calls “an ethical support framework for members of government.” Podolsk’s website, Titanians, facilitates networking with others about an “Open Source Ethical Society.”