Friday, 5 November 2010

Douglas Wilson's Letter From America

A Brief Theology of Designated Gifts
Church Government - Elders of the Church
Written by Douglas Wilson
Wednesday, November 03, 2010

So let us begin by defining terms. Financial support of the Lord’s work can be divided into two categories--tithes and offerings. With the tithe, the amount is specified by the Lord (10% of the increase, by definition), and then three broad categories are authorized as proper recipients of this tithe. Those three categories are the priests and Levites (Mal. 3:10), the poor (Dt. 14:28-29), and the tithe festival (Dt. 14:22-27). In addition to the tithe, we have the category of offerings, which were a function of votive fulfillment or of simple generosity. Hence the common phrase, “tithes and offerings.”

Since in Israel the poor were remembered every third year, there are two understandings of the tithe. Some see three tithes, one of them paid every third year, which would be a total of just over 23%. Others, like myself, take this as three legitimate places where the one tithe (a total of 10%) would go.

Offerings can either be “above and beyond” gifts to regular recipients of the tithe, or they may be generous gifts to projects that would not normally be funded by the tithe at all. Since offerings are not required, it is lawful for them to go anywhere it is lawful for money to go.

So translated into modern terms, the tithe can go to the church and its ministries, to the poor, or to some kind of Thanksgiving festival. How much of the tithe should go to the poor is not to be determined by the ministers, and how much should go to the ministers is not determined by the party planners. All this is determined by the one who has the responsibility before God to give the tithe in the first place. Now, this would obviously be just as true (if not more so) if someone determined to give an offering to any one of these three. If a man has the authority to give a financial gift to pay for playground equipment in a city park, then how much more does he have the authority to give it all to the poor, or all to Bible translation work? So in the Bible, both tithes and offerings are what we would call designated gifts.

We can see this more clearly if we ask to whom does the tithe belong? The scriptural answer is that the tithe is the Lord’s. It belongs to Him. The tithe is “holy to the Lord” (Lev. 27:32), and it is the responsibility of the tither to see to it that the recipient of the tithe really is holy. In a time of apostasy and declension, when the priests and Levites are corrupt, it was not a problem for a tither to redirect his tithe to recipients who were worthy. This is what happened, for example, with Elisha and his followers. They were not “official,” but they were holy men and dedicated to the Lord. Schools of the prophets were parachurch ministries, and yet a man from Baal-shalisha brought his tithe to them (2 Kings. 4:42-44). God was with them, and the tithe can be given wherever the Lord is.

In considering this, we need to remember the fundamental distinction between sins and crimes. A sin is defined by Scripture, but unless Scripture also assigns a public penalty that can be assigned by human authority, it remains solely a sin, and not a crime. This means that scripturally speaking, failure to tithe is a sin, not a crime. There is no record in Scripture anywhere of a penalty levied against a non-tither by anyone other than God Himself. God is the enforcer of the tithe, and He does in fact enforce it (Mal. 3: 8-9). The tithe is God’s tax. He collects it, He keeps track of it, and He has no need of an IRS to do His work for Him.

The task of the authorized recipients of the tithe is in gracious expenditure, not in legal collection. The church should use the tithe to minister, not to collect additional tithes. The poor should use the money given them. The attendees at the Thanksgiving festival should eat and drink the tithe, and do nothing else with it. But there is always pressure on the church to drift away from being a tithe recipient and into being a tithe gatherer. There is a deep problem with this, as we shall see.

The giver of the tithe is trusting God. “How do I know that God will bless the remaining 90%?” So also must the recipient of the tithe learn to trust God. “How do we know if God will continue to finance the work we have to do, unless we lean on the givers a little bit?” The whole point of the tithe is to demonstrate our total and complete trust in God. There is no arrangement of ecclesiastical finances under which trusting God becomes unnecessary.

The principle is that the tither has a great deal of latitude when it comes to the amount a particular recipient might get. But we should not misunderstand what is meant by latitude. He can’t use the tithe to buy himself a new flat screen television, for example, but he does have the authority to decide whether to give it to the poor, or to the Levites, or to poor Levites, or to throw a party for the Levites. Further, he can determined to give 10% here and 90% there, or the other way around. The entire system of tithes and offerings in the Bible presupposes the discretion of the giver. “Every man according as he purposeth in his heart, so let him give; not grudgingly, or of necessity: for God loveth a cheerful giver (2 Co 9:7).

Everything else being equal, those who are taught and ministered to by a particular church should support that church (Gal. 6:6-10), but this does not mandate that all his tithe must go to that church. He could give half his tithe to his local church, and give the other half to his cousin on the mission field, and not be doing anything contrary to what the Bible requires. The common (and erroneous) notion that the storehouse of Mal. 3:10 is referring to the church, and nothing but the church, is what might be called a self-serving doctrine. The storehouse was simply a tithe-barn, built to handle the tithes that would in fact some in.

This does not mean that every local church has an obligation to process all the tithes and offerings of its members, regardless of where the tithe recipients might be (a third cousin of a member’s nephew, now serving with YWAM, say). But it does mean that if a local church is committed to a particular minister or ministry, then they should be open to what might be called a tithe-feedback loop. They should be open to designated gifts for their ministers or ministries. A closed door to designated gifts means that a church is deciding to not allow themselves access to important information that can come from Spirit-led giving. Once that information is closed off, the decisions (which still have to be made) will be made in accordance with some policy or other. And thus it is that churches become bureaucracies.

In conclusion, three applications.

Give, and it will be given to you again (Luke 6:38). This is a foundational Christian principle. The foundational Christian principle is not “make sure others give,” or “make sure others give the right amounts or in the right way.” Parishioners should in fact be taught how to give the right way, but they should be taught this largely by example (Heb. 13:7,17). With regard to generosity, there are two principles we must keep in mind. The first is that we are commanded to give freely because we have received freely. Further, as we give freely, more will be given. Give and it will be given to you. The second principle is that if we have any concerns about how the people (for whom we are responsible) are giving, we should look first at how we are giving. Are they tight-fisted? Well, are we? The second principle is that leadership is fundamentally by example. Suspicion with regard to their gifts will result in them giving to us suspiciously. There is no better way to set envy in motion than this. There is no better way to fight envy than by setting an example of open-handed generosity.

Second, churches and established ministries should be constantly on guard against their temptation to try to manage the Spirit. But the Spirit blows where He wishes (John 3:8), and this is not always kind to our budget cycles. The Spirit works through donations as much as through prayer. To assign the Spirit’s work to some kind of upper level, and to keep our financial principles down below according to “accepted accounting principles” is a form of gnosticism. Keeping an area where we can “manage it” is yet another form of not trusting God, which was addressed earlier.

And last, financial accountability is crucial. It is essential (2 Cor. 8:18-20). Openness to the Spirit’s leading in donations is not code for “no accountability.” Rather, it recognizes that accountability assumes the answer to a particular question, one that we should all ask more regularly than we do. That question is by what standard? Biblical accountability does include some elements that every bookkeeper learns while getting a business degree at Babylon State U. Honest weights and measures are something that even unbelievers want, and Scripture requires that as well (Prov. 20:10). So there is overlap. But biblical accountability also requires open-hearted, open-handed generosity (Matt. 10:8). This kind of generosity is not setting accountability aside; it is one of the central things we are being held accountable to do.

And in order to cultivate this kind of open-handedness, both in and out, we are to be focused on what we want to give, and be completely open to any Spirit-led saint who wants to help us give it.


Gary Arnold said...

You avoided giving the true definition of the tithe. It isn't a tenth of all increase. God defined His tithe in Leviticus 27:30-33 as a tenth of the increase OF THE SEED (crops) and every tenth animal in herds and flocks. Those are assets that came from God's hand, not income from man's labor.

You correctly state the scriptures say the tithe was to be taken to the Levites (plus poor, etc.) but then want to "translate into modern terms." That is nothing but manipulating. In Numbers 18 God commands the tithe be taken to the Levites, FOREVER. God never gave any pastor or any church permission to receive the tithe.

Christians should NEVER adapt God's Word to the times. Christians should adjust their lives to the Word.

You have taken God's Word and changed it to fit what you want it to say.

John Tertullian said...

Hi, Gary. Thanks for your thoughts. Since we in NZ have lots of increases of seed and flocks, please tell us where we can find a Levite so that we can deliver our tithes. And, oh, we are curious to see how you will be able to help us out here without "adapting" God's Word to the times.
Just thinking about that a bit--one presumes that since Scripture does not mention TV's and cars you would counsel us to have nothing to do with them either.

Gary Arnold said...

Actually, John, only Israelite farmers and herdsmen were commanded to tithe, and only on crops and animals raised ON THE HOLY LAND.

No one can pay the Biblical tithe today. It is impossible.

The New Testament teaches generous, sacrificial giving, from the heart, according to our means. For some, $1 might be a sacrifice, while for others, even giving 50% of their income might not induce a sacrifice. In the Old Testament, ONLY the farmers and herdsmen tithed, and it was equal percentage (a tenth). The New Testament teaches the principle of equal sacrifice instead of equal percentage. Equal sacrifice is much harder to achieve, if not impossible, than giving ten percent.

Proverbs 3:9 (KJV) “Honour the LORD with thy substance, and with the firstfruits of all thine increase:”

2 Timothy 2:6 (KJV) “The husbandman that laboureth must be first partaker of the fruits.”

When was the last time you heard a pastor say that you should spend the FIRST part of your income on yourself and your family?

1 Timothy 5:8 (KJV) “But if any provide not for his own, and specially for those of his own house, he hath denied the faith, and is worse than an infidel.”

The New Testament makes it clear that we are to use the FIRST of our income to take care of ourselves and our family. We are talking about needs, here, not just anything we want. Then we should give generously from what is left.

The tithe ended when the Levitical priesthood ended per Hebrews 7:5,12,18.

John Tertullian said...

Hi, Gary
Mmmm. To cite your argument: "Christians should NEVER adapt God's Word to the times. Christians should adjust their lives to the Word.

You have taken God's Word and changed it to fit what you want it to say. " It would seem that there might be a lot of this going on in what you say. Since the tithe did not just go to the Levites (as Wilson pointed out), and since we are a Kingdom of Priests, and since we do enter into the Tabernacle of God, and since Abraham paid tithes, it would seem that there is a good deal more to the tithe than the Older Covenant institution of the Levitical priesthood. Moreover, Hebrews 7:5 does not say that the tithe itself was expended with the abolition of the sacrificial system, because tithes were paid to Him who is a priest after the order of Melchizedek, as the next verse mentions.
Probably no progress will be able to be made in this discussion until we drop it down to a deeper issue--namely, the relationship of the New Covenant Scriptures to the Old. What would be a fair representation of your beliefs on this question?

Gary Arnold said...

My belief is that only that which is repeated in the New Testament is meant for Christians.

Abraham gave a tenth of war spoils, the ONLY tithe recorded for Abraham. War spoils that Abraham did not own. Not a tithe from his regular income or wealth. What Abraham did was not carried forward into the Mosaic law, and Abraham did not tithe what was required in the later law.

Hebrews 7:18 is telling us that Numbers 18 was disannulled. Numbers 18 established the Levitical priesthood, and part of the establishing included tithing.

There is no teaching of tithing after Calvary.

John Tertullian said...

Hi, Gary.
Yes, we thought it might be your position that Christians are obligated only to believe and obey that which is repeated in the New Testament.

Do you believe that Christians are bound under all of the New Testament, or only those portions addressing Gentiles? One reason we ask is that Messiah commanded the Pharisees to tithe even their herbs (Matthew 23:23, Luke 11:42), but you don't seem to regard yourself as being required to obey this. On the principle you currently hold, one expects you would say, since Christ commands the tithe even of the smallest gain (herbs), we Christians are obligated under it. But you do not, so we wonder what you really mean when you say the New Covenant has to "repeat" an Old Testament teaching before Christians are obligated to it.

In effect, one suspects you would be quite comfortable with dropping the Old Testament entirely as now functionally irrelevant, and probably significant portions of the New as well. After all, pretty much the entire public ministry of our Lord was restricted to the Holy Land and was addressed to His covenant people who were obligated to obey the Old Testament Scriptures, and it was delivered (to use your expression) "before Calvary" but under the principle of Old Testament irrelevance you currently espouse, this must make most of Christ's public ministry irrelevant, or not binding to non-Jewish people as well.

In the end you are going to have to make a further excision of Scripture, we suspect, since the apostles, including the apostle to the Gentiles, worshipped and sacrificed in the Temple and continued observing feasts like the Passover. This was "after Calvary" note.

Also, since there is lots of Old Covenant teaching not repeated in the New , one presumes that under your principle of being bound only to what the New Testament repeats, bestiality would be now OK--neither a sin nor a crime. Abortion would be fine, since the New Testament does not affirm that a foetus is a human being. "Theistic evolution" would definitely be a goer. Marrying your sister would be acceptable. We would no longer need to regard rape as sin, let alone a crime. These are all Old Testament prohibitions, not repeated in the New--so under your principle, we are no longer obligated or prohibited.

Moreover, while some forms of coveting would be prohibited, the New Testament does not specify that all coveting is evil, so it would be OK for Christians to covet, say, the car of one's neighbour (since the New Testament does not address this). God's people would not be obligated to sanctify one day in seven and rest and worship publicly on that day--and so forth.

In addition, since the New Testament revelation binds us to believe, obey and keep all of the Old, we think you should ditch your principle and go back to Scripture again. Matthew 5: 18,19 springs to mind.

Further, in II Timothy 3:16, we are told that all Scripture is God breathed and is profitable for teaching, reproof, correction, and training in righteousness. Presumably you would have to gloss this as follows: "all Scripture is God breathed, but only some is now profitable for teaching, reproof, correction, and training . . ." But that would be pretty brazen, especially since Paul would be referring to the Old Testament in this passage.

Finally, where in the New Testament does it actually and explicitly state your principle of being obligated to believe and obey only the (post-Calvary) New Covenant scriptures? Might this be something you have actually brought to the Holy Scriptures and overlaid as a principle above Scripture, or is it actually taught in Scripture itself?

Actually, we think that what you are currently espousing (we hope you will ditch it) is actually yet another form of Phariseeism: a human tradition that removes one from being under the authority of the Scripture itself. This cannot be honouring nor pleasing to our Lord.


Gary Arnold said...


First, in Matthew 23:23 Jesus is speaking to those still under the OT law. The New Testament doesn't begin until after Jesus died on the cross.

Out of 600+ OT laws, what is your method of deciding which are relevant to Christians today? Do you have a consistent method to determine which laws you bring forward?

I believe we can learn from all scripture, but Christians are not under the OT laws.

Galatians 3:13 “Christ hath redeemed us from the curse of the law, being made a curse for us…”

John Tertullian said...

OK, Gary

Just nailing this down now . . . your view is that Christians are neither necessarily obligated to believe nor obey anything in Matthew, Mark, Luke and John because it was all delivered to those still "under the law", and, therefore, is before Calvary, and therefore is not part of the New Testament?

Our principle for working through and being subject to Old Testament law is II Timothy 3:16. All the Law, being Scripture, is profitable for teaching, reproof, correction, and training in righteousness.

To be sure, our Lord delivered us from the curse of the law, but not our obligation to keep it. Otherwise, you would end up advocating that sin is OK under the New Covenant, since, to quote a famous catechism from the Reformation, in answer to the question, What is sin? : "sin is any want of conformity unto or transgression of the law of God,." It is the Law which defines and exposes sin, as Paul says. Romans 7:7--8:8. The law itself is holy, just and good. (Romans 7:12). Not to keep it as a Christian must therefore be unholy, unjust and evil, non? Consequently, as we walk under the control of God's Spirit, He leads us and enables us to live in obedience to the Law (Romans 8:3,4). It is the mind of flesh (evil, wickedness) that is hostile to God's Law and refuses to be subject to it. (Romans 8:7) Such a person, says the Scripture, is hostile not just to the Law but to God Himself.

Now we have no doubt that you love God and our Lord and you want to please Him, but we believe your approach to Holy Scripture displeases Him.

Paul himself had absolutely no hesitation in requiring, for example, that the church observe the "non muzzling" law (I Corinthians 9:9; I Timothy 5:18; Deut. 25:4) and required that Christians extend the application of this law way beyond how one treats one's farm animals. Not to obey and fulfil all the obligations of this Law, including the implied obligations, he clearly regards as sinful. We are commanded to follow Paul's example, including in his use and application and subjection to God's Law.

Note, he did not say, well no-one uses oxen anymore, so it is impossible to keep this law--as you have argued with respect to the tithe, when you said: "No one can pay the Biblical tithe today. It is impossible." Rather our obligations and duties under the non-muzzling law extend not just to oxen, but way, way beyond--and yes, we do believe that if we were working oxen on our farm we would be law-obligated to God to ensure they were well fed as they laboured.

So, we urge you to repent of this principle which appears to justify cutting off your obligations to the entirety of Scripture, and return in humble submission to all of God's Word, embracing all of it's teaching, its reproof, its correction, and its training in righteousness.


Gary Arnold said...

I see you avoided answering my question as to what method you use to determine which of the 600+ OT laws you choose to bring forward.

You seem to think it is okay to change God's Word to fit the occasion. You change God's definition of the tithe, and you change His instructions as to where to take the tithe. And you think that makes God happy?

Hebrews 8:13 (KJV)
In that he saith, A new covenant, he hath made the first old. Now that which decayeth
and waxeth old is ready to vanish away.

Colossians 2:13-17 (KJV)
13And you, being dead in your sins and the uncircumcision of your flesh, hath he
quickened together with him, having forgiven you all trespasses;
14Blotting out the handwriting of ordinances that was against us, which was contrary to
us, and took it out of the way, nailing it to his cross;
15And having spoiled principalities and powers, he made a show of them openly,
triumphing over them in it.
16Let no man therefore judge you in meat, or in drink, or in respect of an holyday, or of
the new moon, or of the sabbath days:
17Which are a shadow of things to come; but the body is of Christ.

Galatians 5:18 (KJV)
18But if ye be led of the Spirit, ye are not under the law.

Galatians 3:23-25 (KJV)
23But before faith came, we were kept under the law, shut up unto the faith which should
afterwards be revealed.
24Wherefore the law was our schoolmaster to bring us unto Christ, that we might be
justified by faith.
25But after that faith is come, we are no longer under a schoolmaster.

And I can go on and on.

You don't following any one of the three tithing laws contained in the OT. You pick out one of them, change the definition, change where to take the tithe, and try to justify it by saying you have to adapt the Word to the times. Do you really think that God didn't know the future, or do you believe God just left the future out of His Word?

I do not believe that God left it up to man to adapt His Word to fit the times. Gee, I could go through the Bible and change a lot of it to fit what society already does.

You have NO scripture to support tithing on income, and you have NO scripture to support taking the tithe to a pastor or church.

When you finally realize that you are not as smart as God, and that you just don't have the knowledge to re-write His Word, you will see the truth.

Gary Arnold said...

Tithing opponents throughout the years as compiled by Dr. David Croteau, Liberty University, You Mean I Don’t Have to Tithe?, p271-292.

Clement of Rome 100
Didache 100
Justin Martyr 165
Tertullian 230
Origen 255
Cyprian 258
Waldenses 1150+-
Thomas Aquinas 1275
John Wycliff 1384
John Huss 1415
German Peasants 1520
Anabaptists 1525
Erasmus 1536
Otto Brumfels 1534
Martin Luther 1546
Philip Melanchthon 1560
Separatists Amsterdam 1603
John Smythe 1609 Baptist
John Robinson 1610
English Parliament 1650+-
Puritans & Plgrims Mass 1650+-
John Cotton 1652 Puritan
Roger Williams 1636 Baptist
Little Parliament 1653
Oliver Cromwell 1658
John Milton 1658 Puritan
Particular Baptists 1660
John Owen 1680 Baptist
Francis Turretin 1687
John Bunyan 1688 Baptist
Quakers 1768
John Gill 1771 Baptist
John Wesley 1791
Adam Clarke 1832 Baptist
Charles Buck 1833
J C Philpot 1835 Baptist
Charles H Spurgeon 1832 Baptist
Parsons Cooke 1850
Samuel Harris 1850
Edward A Lawrence 1850
John Peter Lange 1876
Henry William Clark 1891 Engllish
S H Kellogg 1891
G Campbell Morgan 1898 Congregational
Albert Vail 1913 Baptist
Frank Fox 1913
David MaConaughy 1918 Episcopal
William Pettingill 1932
John Harvey Grime 1934 Baptist
John T Mueller 1934 Lutheran
H E Dana 1937 Bapt Historian
R C H LENSKI 1946 Lutheran
Lewis Sperry Chafer 1948 DTS Foundeer
W E Vine 1949
James F Rand 1953
Francis Pieper 1953 Lutheran
Ray Stedman 1951
L L McR 1955 Catholic
Paul Leonard Stagg 1958 Baptist
Hiley H Ward 1958 Baptist
Roy T Cowles 1958
Elizabeth P Tilton 1958
R C Rein 1958 Lutheran
Robert A Baker 1959 Bapt Historian
Wick Bromall 1960
John Byron Evans 1960
Norman Tenpas 1967
James Edward Anderson 1967
Alfred Martin 1968
Jerry Horner 1972 S Baptist
Pieter Verhoef 1974
Dennis Wretlind 1975
Jack J Peterson 1978 Pres
Donald Kraybill 1978
Jon Zens 1979 Baptist
Richard Cunningham 1979 S Bapt
Gary Frieson 1980
Paul Fink 1982
George Monroe Castillo 1982
Tony Badillo 1984
James M Boice 1986
Michael E Oliver 1986 Rest
W Clyde Tilley 1987
Scott Collier 1987
Ronald M Campbell 1987
R E O White 1988
William McDonald 1989
Charles Swindoll 1990 Dallas Seminary
Rhodes Thompson 1990
Jerome Smith 1992
CRAIG BLOMBERG 1993 Denver Seminary
J Duncan M Derrett 1993
Walter Kaiser Jr 1994 Gordon-Cromwell
Moises Silva 1994
Benny D Prince 1995
Brian K Morley 1996
Linda L Belleville 1996
Ron Rhodes 1997
Ernest L Martin 1997
Michael Webb 1998
R Johnston 1999
Mark Snoeberger 2000 Baptist
Stuart Murray 2000 Eng
George W Greene 2000
Old Line Primitive Baptists 2000
Jaime Cardinal Sin 2000 Cath Archbishop
Jonathan Kitchcart 2001
Frank Viola 2002
George Barna 2002
Michael Morrison 2002
Elliott Miller 2003
Matthew Narramore 2004
David Alan Black 2004 Baptist SEBTS
Andreas Kostenberger 2007 Baptist SEBTS
Danny Akin 2007 Baptist SEBTS
Mark Driscoll 2008
Roman Catholic Church
Jehovah’s Witnesses
New Worldwide Church of God

John Tertullian said...

Hi, Gary

Sorry, we did not mean to give the impression of avoiding your question about the interpretation of God's law. We intended then, and still do, to answer your question right up front.

Our simple reply to your challenge is II Timothy 3:16. This is our principle of interpretation used when working through all of the Older Testament's revelation. If that is not satisfactory to you, we acknowledge your position, whilst disagreeing with it.

Let us change tack. Here is how it seems to us. We believe your principle of interpretation is fundamentally wrong: viz, that whatever is not explicitly ratified from the Old Covenant in the New Testament is not binding upon God's people today. We primarily find this a nonsense because that is not how the New Testament authors regarded the Old Testament text. We secondarily regard it as wrong because it so quickly reduces to absurdities.

We also believe it to be wrong because it necessarily makes most of the Bible irrelevant and redundant. We believe this is a grave error. We have cited biblical evidences and arguments to support our contentions. For whatever reason you have chosen not engage with these. We are not sure why.

So, at this point, we should conclude that there appear to be world-views in conflict here, and it would probably be more constructive at this stage to let the ships pass through the night.

All the very best.


Gary Arnold said...

Even if the OT laws are still binding, you have changed them to fit your pocketbook.

You even acknowledge you have "adapted" the scripture to fit the times. Then I guess it is okay to adapt the scriptures to fit the times and say the scriptures support same sex marriage.

Neither you nor I have any right to change God's Word to fit what we want it to say.

In Numbers 18 God commanded that His tithe be taken to the Levites. The Levites were the servants to the priests. They were the singers, the musicians, the janitors, the carpenters, the workers at the Temple. The Levites were to take a tenth of the tithe to the priests. Is that how your church follows God’s law? Do you take The Lord’s Tithe to the singers, musicians, etc. and let them give a tenth to the pastor?

Numbers 18:27 proves that neither wages nor income could be tithed on for The Lord’s Tithe. Without this interpretation, Numbers 18:27 has no meaning and is only taking up space.

The definition of The Lord’s Tithe is NOT ten percent. It is a TENTH. Here is the difference. Since God said to tithe every TENTH animal, if there were only 9 new born animals that year, NOTHING was tithed. They were not instructed to tithe ten percent of the value of the animals.

The tithe was NEVER on man’s increase. God defined His tithe to be a tenth of His increase. That is why it is HOLY!

Matthew 5:18 tells you that if you change even one dot or one tittle and teach it to man, you will be the least in the Kingdom of Heaven.