From Tithing to Taxation
From Tithing to Taxation
Mark 12:13-17 HRB “And they sent some of the Pharisees and of the Herodians to Him, that they might catch Him in a word. 14And they came and asked him. Teacher, we realize that you are true, and do not show favoritism to men, for you do not look on the faces of the sons of men, rather in truth you teach the way of Elohim. Is it lawful to give the head tax to Caesar or not? Should we give or not? 15But knowing their trickery, He said to them, Why do you tempt Me? Bring Me a denarius that I may see. 16And they brought one. And He said to them, Whose image and inscription is this? And they said to Him, Caesar’s. 17And answering, Yahshua said to them, Give back the things of Caesar to Caesar, and the things of Yahovah to Yahovah. And they marveled at Him.”
This story is also related in Matthew 22:15-22 HRB “Then going, the Pharisees took counsel so as they might trap Him in words. 16And they sent to Him their disciples with the Herodians, saying, Teacher, we know that You are true, and teach the way of Yahovah in truth, and it does not concern You about anyone, for You do not look to the face of men. 17Then tell us, what do You think? Is it lawful to give the head tax to Caesar, or not? 18But knowing their wickedness, Yahshua said, Why do you tempt Me, hypocrites? 19Show Me the tribute coin. And they brought a denarius to Him. 20And He said to them, Whose image and inscription is this? 21They said to Him, Caesar’s. Then He said to them, then give to Caesar the things of Caesar, and to Yahovah the things of Yahovah. 22And hearing, they marveled. And leaving Him, they went away.”
Have you ever wondered why Yeshua knew the Pharisees and Herodians were wicked hypocrites? Or why Yeshua answered with the words He did? Both the Pharisees and the Herodians knew Israel’s history. About a thousand years before the above conversation took place, Israel rejected Yahovah from being King of Israel. The Old Covenant tithing laws died the day Israel chose to have a human king instead of King Yahovah. And you thought the Old Covenant Levitical priesthood sacrificial laws passed away at the execution stake of Yeshua! Let’s look at 1 Samuel 8, HRB “And it happened when Samuel was old, he made his sons judges over Israel. 2And the name of his first-born was Joel, and the name of his second, Abiah, judges in Beer-Sheba. 3And his sons did not walk in his ways, and turned aside after dishonest gain, and took a bribe, and perverted judgment. 4And all the elders of Israel gathered and came in to Samuel, to Ramah. 5And they said to him, Behold, you have become old, and your sons have not walked in your ways. Now appoint a king to us, to judge us, like all the nations. 6And the thing was evil in Samuel’s eyes when they said, Give to us a king to judge us. And Samuel prayed to Yahovah. 7And Yahovah said to Samuel, Listen to the voice of the people, to all that they say to you. For they have not rejected you, but they have rejected Me from reigning over them. 8According to all the works that they have done from the day I brought them up out of Egypt, even to this day, when they forsook Me and served other mighty ones, so they are also doing to you. 9And now listen to their voice. Only, protesting you shall protest to them, and shall declare to them the privilege of the king who shall reign over them. 10And Samuel spoke all the words of Yahovah to the people who were asking a king from him. 11And he said, This is the privilege of the king who shall reign over you. He shall take your sons and shall appoint them for himself among his chariots, and among his horsemen. And they shall run before his chariots. 12And he will appoint for himself heads of thousands, and heads of fifties; and to plow his plowing, and to reap his reaping; and to make weapons for war for him, and weapons for his charioteer. 13And he will take your daughters for perfumers, and for cooks, and for bakers. 14And he will take your fields, and your vineyards, and your olive-yards, the best, and give them to his servants. 15And he will tithe your seed and your vineyards, and will give them to his eunuchs and to his servants. 16And he will take your male slaves and your slave-girls, and the best of your young men, and your donkeys, and will use them for his own work. 17He will tithe your flock, and you will be servants to him. 18And you will cry out in that day because of your king whom you have chosen for yourselves. And Yahovah will not answer you in that day. 19And the people refused to listen to the voice of Samuel, and said, No, but a king shall be over us. 20And we shall be, even we, like all the nations. And our king shall judge us and shall go out before us and fight our battles. 21And Samuel heard all the words of the people, and spoke them in the ears of Yahovah. 22And Yahovah said to Samuel, Listen to their voice, and you shall cause a king to reign over them. And Samuel said to the men of Israel, Each of you go to his city.”
This is one of the saddest days in Israel’s and all human history. This event happened about 1,000 years before Yeshua’s ministry on earth. Yahovah only required 10% of flocks, herds, and crops (ONLY agricultural increase), to support the Levitical sacrificial system. Israel gave up a great Theocracy for a fallen human civil government arrangement. And you know how much humans want from other humans, everything you think you own. Yahovah stepped down from His kingship over Israel, though He remained their Divine One. Yahovah allowed Israel to switch governance from Heaven to the earthly human kings. That day, about 3,000 years ago, Yahovah abrogated, abolished, and nullified the Torah tithing laws. That is a fact of history, not a theory.
Human kings of Israel now had full authority from Yahovah to impose taxes/tithes on the Israeli citizenry. They asked for and Yahovah let them have it. The result? A divided kingdom in the days of Rehoboam, son of Solomon. You can read about this ancient tax rebellion in 1 Kings 12 and 2 Chronicles 10.
So, do you now understand why Yeshua answered the Pharisees and Herodians the way He did? They knew they were no longer under the Torah tithing laws of Yahovah. Instead, they were under a human king, in this instance, under a puppet king called Herod, who was officially under his conqueror, the Roman Caesar. Yeshua just used this opportunity to remind them that they had rejected Yahovah’s lenient simple tithe laws in favor of the oppressive, burdensome, and complex tax laws of Rome’s Caesar! Israelites were now required by Yahovah and Caesar to give what belonged to Caesar to Caesar! If you owe taxes/tithe to Caesar, pay up! Romans 13:4-8 HRB “for the ruler is a servant of Yahovah to you for the good. But if you practice evil, be afraid; for he does not bear the sword in vain; for he is a servant of Yahovah, an avenger for wrath to the one practicing bad things. 5Because of this, it is necessary to be subject, not only on account of wrath, but also on account of conscience. 6For on this account you also pay tribute, for they are servants of Yahovah, always giving attention to this very thing. 7Then give to all their dues: to the one due tax, the tax; to the one due tribute, the tribute; to the one due fear, the fear; to the one due honor, the honor. 8Owe no one, anything, except the continuing debt to love one another. For he who loves his fellow man has fulfilled the Torah.” Of course, it is your personal responsibility to determine what or how much tax is due to your civil government. It is your personal responsibility to read, study, and understand the tax code for your civil government. Never pay more tax than is due, unless you be considered a fool. And please do not argue about taxes with your brethren, until you have read and understand your civil government’s tax code. I have read the Internal Revenue Code of the United States of America, have you? Not a boast, just a fact of history.
Yeshua’s teaching in Mark 12 and Matthew 22 is completely in line with what Yahovah did in 1 Samuel 8. For that matter, so is Paul’s teaching on giving. Once you understand what happened in 1 Samuel 8, you can better understand how and why the priesthood was so corrupt in Yeshua’s day. I believe that corruption continues to this day. A side note to all pastors, ministers, church and denominational leadership, if you insist on imposing extinct tithe laws upon your congregants, consider that during the Shemitah/Sabbatical and Jubilee years, NO TITHES WERE COLLECTED, because those were rest and release years for land, man, and beast. That means that for 8 out of every 50 years, your non-profit entity CANNOT COLLECT ANY TITHES!!! ZERO INCOME. Meditate on that for a few minutes. 2014-2015 is the Jewish Shemitah year of release. A word to the wise should be sufficient.
Gene Benjamin II October 26, 2014 AD
For a more thorough teaching on this matter, read Steven M. Collins Biblical Teachings RegardingTithing article at: http://stevenmcollins.com/homepage.php
Scroll down the right side of his web page to find the study. Thanks Steven for your enlightening study on tithing.