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
It is shocking to me that many people who claim to know their Bibles don’t do word studies to make sure they understand what a word means in scripture as it relates to context. I am amazed that even when you explain that the word “devourer” in the book of Malachi has nothing to do with the devil but everything to do with insects, believers still choose to reject truth because they are conditioned to believe if they don’t pay monetary tithes, which Malachi does not require, somehow God will let the devil get them because he is the devourer in Malachi. I had no choice but to refute that nonsense in Chapter 10 of my book. Once the word devourer is broken down to its Hebrew roots, there should be no question what the intent of the context of Malachi 3:10 addresses. The relief I felt what I discovered that devourer had no relationship with the devil, the church had no more power to scare me into paying an unauthorized biblical monetary tithe created by leaders of the early Holy Roman Empire, which morphed into the early catholic church. Devourer based on scriptural context always means something associated with insects or animals, but never the devil. For example, the word fire is associated with devourer in scripture.
Is the Devourer the Devil?
The next aspect often used to scare the money out your pocket is Malachi 3:11:
And I will rebuke the devourer for your sakes, and he shall not destroy the fruits of your ground; neither shall your vine cast her fruit before the time in the field, saith the LORD of hosts (NKJV).
The Sunday morning Malachi mantra heralded from pulpits of small and large churches to scare people if they don’t pay tithes is powerful because the verse attaches a curse from God. Man says financial disaster, sickness and peril befall people who rob God of his 10 percent. To pacify God’s so-called thirst for money and to receive protection, you pay Him 10 percent to keep the devourer (the devil) at bay so he can’t touch your possessions or your life. This guilt tax complex is so powerful, you never even think twice about not coughing up the money. The theological question one must ask is: Who is the devourer? Is he the devil or is he something or someone else? If you don’t know, keep reading and the truth will set you free from fear forever. So let’s see what the Bible says based on the Hebrew language and not what man says from personal interpretation. In Malachi 3:11, the key word is devourer. From Strong’s #398, devourer in the Hebrew is “akal.” It means to eat, feed, or consume. It refers to something that eats food, either man or animal. The Hebrew word has six meanings: “1) to eat (human subject), 2) to eat, devour (used of animals and birds), 3) to devour, consume (used of fire), 4) to devour, to kill (used of sword), 5) to devour, consume, destroy (inanimate subjects: that is, pestilence, drought), 6) to devour (used of oppression).”62
If you examine the context of Malachi 3:11 and the six meanings and nuances of the Hebrew word “akal,” then who and what is the devourer? Using word study and replacing the word devourer in the text with each of the Hebrew meanings will show you how to interpret the text.
1.And I will rebuke the [humans] for your sakes, and he shall not destroy the fruits of your ground…
2.And I will rebuke the [birds, animals, insects] for your sakes, and he shall not destroy the fruits of your ground…
3.And I will rebuke [fire] for your sakes, and he shall not destroy the fruits of your ground;…
4.And I will rebuke the [pestilence, drought] for your sakes, and he shall not destroy the fruits of your ground…
5.And I will rebuke the [sword] for your sakes, and he shall not destroy the fruits of your ground…
6.And I will rebuke the [oppressor] for your sakes, and he shall not destroy the fruits of your ground…
Because the Hebrew word “akal” has different nuances and meanings, we must examine its use in the text to make sure who and what the context of Malachi 3:11 refers to when it uses the word devourer. In Exodus 24:16-17, devourer is used to describe God as a devouring fire. What we see in the text is God in a theophany (a manifestation or appearance of a deity), as a cloud in verse 16 and fire in verse 17. To the Israelites, the glory of the LORD looked like a consuming fire (Devourer Heb. akal KJV) on top of the mountain. In this context, the devourer (akal) is not the devil but is God as a manifestation.
In Deuteronomy 4:24, “akal” is used to describe God as a consuming fire. “For the LORD your God is a consuming fire (Hebrew Akal), a jealous God.” The context of this verse has no connection to the devil but ascribes human feelings and affections to God associated with jealousy using figurative language, which is often called anthropopatheia in theology.
In Genesis 37:33, Joseph is sold into slavery by his brothers and they took his coat of many colors and killed an animal and dipped Joseph’s coat in the blood to fake his death to Jacob. Jacob said in verse 33 “…It is my son’s robe! Some ferocious animal has devoured (Devourer Heb. akal) him. Joseph has surely been torn to pieces” (NIV). The word devourer in this context is the nuance that speaks of an animal consuming human flesh like a devouring beast. No way one can insinuate that the devil is referenced in this verse either. To equate the devil with the word devourer would mean that Joseph’s brothers would have had to say the devil ate the body of Joseph. That is preposterous!
It is amazing what word study can do for people who seek truth to what a word means in the Bible. Word study is a valuable study practice to ward off false doctrine.