Forbidden Fruit of the Chruch Age
by Stephen Davis
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Paul understood the prophetic value in the Genesis story of Eve’s temptation in the garden. This is why he warns the church with this admonition; “But I fear, lest by any means, as the serpent beguiled Eve through his subtilty, so your minds should be corrupted from the simplicity that is in Christ.”
There are many reasons why the collecting of tithes fit’s the bill as being the primary match to being the ’forbidden fruit of the church age’. It is not apples, Sabbath keeping, circumcision, or other legalisms and heresies to face the church over the two thousand plus years. The following is a list of reasons to view the so called ‘tithe’ doctrine as being Satan’s primary means of corrupting Christian minds.
The Old Testament tithe was taken from the ‘fruit’ of the land, i.e., the corn, the oil, and the wine. Paul spoke of the gifts that he received as being ‘fruit’. Between the fruit that Paul received and the fruit of the land that the law required, stands the forbidden fruit, the teaching that brings more money to it’s teachers.
The forbidden fruit came from a tree that was put in ‘the midst’ of the garden. It is easy to make the Levite’s right to receive, into the New Testament minister’s way of getting income. Also, it just seems natural to make Jesus a receiver of tithes as Melchisedek and not just an offerer of blood. A twist here and a twist there and you can make the case for collecting tithes. It is as though God put it there just for that purpose.
Both had clear warnings associated with their consumption. “But of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, thou shalt not eat of it:” Gen. 2:17 “What thing soever I command you, observe to do it: thou shalt not add thereto, nor diminish from it.” Deut. 12:32 (this was spoken along with the primary tithing law).
Both were seen as ‘good’ and ‘pleasant to the eyes’. “And when the woman saw that the tree was good (towb) for food, and that it was pleasant to the eyes (ayin)…” Gen. 3:6 “If ye think (ayin) good (towb), give me my price (salary); and if not, forbear. So they weighed for my price thirty pieces of silver.” Zechariah 11:12
Both are good for prosperity and success. “… and a tree to be desired to make one wise (sakal)…” Gen. 3:6 “ Only be thou strong and very courageous, that thou mayest observe to do according to all the law, which Moses my servant commanded thee: turn not from it to the right hand or to the left, that thou mayest prosper (sakal) whithersoever thou goest. This book of the law shall not depart out of thy mouth; but thou shalt meditate therein day and night, that thou mayest observe to do according to all that is written therein: for then thou shalt make thy way prosperous, and then thou shalt have good success (sakal).” Joshua 1:7-8 Church leaders naturally see the collecting of tithes as a way to success. It is the foundation to what some call the “prosperity gospel”.
Eve is a type of the church. The temptation to collect tithes is universal to the church in the whole world, now. There are few, if any, that have not faced the question, ‘Do I teach tithing to my congregation?’
Both ‘offer’ their special find to their mate. “…and gave also unto her husband…” Gen.3:6 “Bring the Lord his tithes and offerings”. This is said, though, the scripture clearly teaches that the “workman is worthy of his hire” and “you shall not muzzle the ox that treads the corn”. Who is the workman, Jesus or the one ministering? Who is the ox, Jesus or the one ministering? In both cases, Jesus is not the one being referred to. The reason we are to put money into the plate is for the sake of the workman and for other expenses. It does not go straight to heaven as an offering’. It is our love, faith, and care that are given as acceptable sacrifices.
“…and a tree to be desired (chamad)…” Gen. 3:6 “thou shalt not covet…(chamed)” Exodus 20:17 Covetousness is the sin that guided Eve’s hand.
It was Eve’s sin that brought upon herself great sorrow. “Unto the woman he said, I will greatly multiply thy sorrow….” Gen. 3:16 This sorrow has come upon her as a result of her partaking of the forbidden fruit. It is with tithe money purchases (Deut. 14:26) that we find this from Isaiah. “And in that day did the Lord God of hosts call to weeping, and to mourning, and to baldness, and to girding with sackcloth. And behold joy and gladness, slaying oxen, and killing sheep, eating flesh, and drinking wine:…” Isaiah 22:12-13
Tithing is not legalism. It is illegal to make one’s income into a tithe of the land. Tithing is an aberration created from a cut and paste of the law. It is against the law and against the directives in the New Testament. All things have a purpose, though. Even the forbidden fruit of the church age. In the end the church’s desire will be toward ‘her husband’ which is Christ. It will, in the end, be his body and his blood which is the food of eternal life. The talk will be of His gift. It will no longer be of silly notions of whether you give on the net or the gross. That only serves to tickle the ears of the greedy teachers that promote the doctrine. The rememberence shall be of His eternal offering.
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