The Painful Truth About The Worldwide Church of God

Summary, by Ed , of the book:

God's Command or
Man's Demand?

by Tony Badillo

For the full book, write to:
Bertha Cruz
P. O. Box 570714
Dallas, Texas  75357


The verses in Malachai 3 are talking about rewards promised to the Israelites for tithing. Is it applicable for the 20th century? The promised reward is that the windows of heaven will be opened and pour down an overflowing blessing. What is this blessing? Rain. The rain will cause the land to be productive and bring forth fruits that can be presented to god.

Mr. Badillo goes on to prove and show that there is a comparison between the earthly blessings for making offerings and tithing and the spiritual blessings of God giving of his spirit (rain) and the Christian growing good fruits of the spirit. These are our offerings to God. He doesn't want our money. He wants our character to produce fruit in the form of a changed heart. The value of a piece of land is determined by what it produces and how much.

The agricultural fruits brought into the storehouse correspond to the fruits of the heart a Christian must develop through the holy spirit and present to God. They do not properly correspond to the fruits of his physical labor demonstrated by his weekly paycheck. Churches for reasons of self-preservation will object.

Pages 17-19 HOW A Christian Robs God while tithing perfectly

We are bought with a price. When a person does not accept God's grace or does not produce good fruits, then he is robbing God. God loses something because he has made an investment in you. We are his jewels and like gold and silver. He has purchased us and expects to have a return on his investment. The return is in spiritual fruits, character that is developed in the Christian.

Pages 20-22 Spiritual fruit, spiritual temple

Christians are to grow into the temple. This actually disproves mandatory tithing.

The spiritual temple grows in two ways:

1. By the addition of new members

2. By each member growing in grace and truth

Anyone who has the HS is a member of the holy temple. The temple is a spiritual organism or organization. Only those having the HS belong to god's "true church" no matter which denomination they may belong to. Man or his organizations cannot put you in God's true church, only God can. It is possible to belong to no church at all and still be part of god's spiritual temple

The disciples knew Christ was building an organization so they tried to get good positions within the organization. The collective temple refers to an organizational structure. God and Christ are at the center. New Jerusalem refers to the community of the saved. This society can be entered right now through prayer. Our positions will not be determined within the society until our work is done here on earth and our fruits have been produced.

Pages 23-24 Guilt by association: Mal 3:8-11

Malachai is a glittering gold mine for preachers who use chapter 3. Instant guilt complex. Who wants to knowingly be guilty of robbing God?

The reason it induces guilt is because it was supposed the Israelites. The feeling of guilt are real, the facts to support them are not. Guilt is learned. Who was your teacher and what did he teach you?

Guilt by association will not work if there are immediate facts to refute it. Mal 1:6-8 does not induce guilt because we know we are not to offer animals because of the new covenant. It doesn't apply. Such a fact tends to utterly demolish or reduce the feelings of guilt for not presenting the proper "offerings". These are the same offerings that are mentioned in Mal 3:8. Change the verse and no guilt feelings. Why then do they use the one verse and not the other? Because it would not have the same effect. Since Malachi does not authorize NC ministers to collect tithes, who ought to feel guilty for collection of unauthorized tithes?


To support Levitical priesthood? To support the ministry today?

The children of Israel were promised an inheritance: land. The levites did not get land. They inherited the Tithe instead of, in place of, land. It was compensatory and owed to them because of the promises to Abraham.

The pro-tithe church will argue that the tithe was in return for service at the tent of meeting. They will say that if it was an inheritance, then there could be no conditions placed on it. But inheritances can have conditions. The land the other 12 tribes received was an inheritance. It was not owed to them. They got it as a gift while they were in Abraham's loins. They couldn't have earned it. While they had the promise of inheriting the land, they did not have an unconditional promise to keep it or continue staying in it. There were conditions: "You shall keep my statutes........lest the land vomit you out...." So the lay Israelites had to do something to keep the land and likewise the levites had to do something to keep receiving their tithe inheritance. It was not a wage earned.

The purpose for which it was used was one of the wages. The inheritance explains why something was given. The wages explains how it was to be used.

Which came first, the promise of inheritance for all Israelites or the establishment of wages for the levites? The promise. The tithe was given to the Levites as compensation for land they were not given. If the tithe is a wage then the Levites earned their own inheritance and received nothing as a result of being Abraham's seed.

Besides the tithe the Levites were also to receive 48 cities and 3,000 feet of land for each city for grazing their animals.

The new covenant changes the ministerial inheritance. He receives the same inheritance as the lay member. This is the admittance into God's kingdom. Each will be rewarded differently. The two are different things. Those who say that ministers should receive the tithe too are saying that the ministry should receive two inheritances. Any Levitical law that would give a Christian minister the tithes and offerings would also have to give them the 48 cities and land.

They also cannot say that they collect tithes based on Mechizedek's example because he did not use compulsion of law to collect it. The only example is of Abraham tithing on war booty.

If tithes can legally be separated from the 48 cities and the land then it is the burden of proof for the pro-tithe ministers.


Abraham was justified or made righteous on the basis of his faith. This is how one is made at peace with God. Abraham gave God (through Melchizedek) a peace offering of ten percent. All peace offerings are voluntary. They had a meal together, this is what friends do. An additional reason for the offering may have been that Melchizedek was a king but then it still was voluntary. It cannot be proven that Abraham tithed according to any law.


Which example are you following?


How can the laws of tithing be applied backwards when other laws such as the law of incest can't? There were no specific laws against inter-family marriage until Moses.


Why would Jacob have to vow to give God a tenth of something if God's tithing law already required it? Also, why would he make it conditional? "If......" The blessing he was about to receive did not depend on his giving ten percent, contrary to the pro-tither's saying that God will bless you if you tithe.

In fact, Jacob was in terror that his brother would kill him. He decided on ten percent because this was the size offering that family history associated with his grandfather Abraham, and he was trying to get the inheritance promised to Abraham. It was a matter of self-serving expedience not law. It was also the custom for people to try to make deals with God when confronted with a problem they couldn't solve themselves. There is not a single word about Jacob ever being blessed because he tithed. The only basis for a belief that there are blessings for tithing is in Malachi and not in Genisis dealing with the patriarchs. Then they are teaching lay members to submit themselves to the Old Covenant when it suits the ministers financially. Also if Jacob was tithing faithfully, why didn't he receive the rain blessing? The drought was not a punishment for not tithing because there was no such law and consequently, no rain blessing for keeping the law that didn't exist.


The bible never calls the tithe a rent fee, but an inheritance, over and over again.

God does own the earth and everything in it but that is all it says. It also says that He has given it to the sons of men. As owner of the vineyard, God does expect to get the fruit thereof. The new nation that is supposed to produce the fruits are Christians today. They are not the fruits of a paycheck either.


God says that we should support the gospel but does he say we should do it through tithing? Tithing is only mentioned once after the crucifixion in Heb 7:5-9. Any New testament final word on the teaching is here. It provides the best and the worst arguments for mandatory tithing. It is mentioned 5 times therefore it gives more opportunities for misinterpretations. Although you cannot make a strong argument for mandatory tithes based on these verses because they are easily refuted. HWA argued that verse 12 refers only to a change in the law and not an abolishment and that the law referred to is the law of tithing and so the Christian ministry now has the authority to collect the tithes. The law mentioned in vs. 12 is the law of physical descent not tithing so it doesn't correspond to vs. 5 at all. And the law was changed, it was changed through abolishment or removal.

What is the law of physical descent and what does that have to do with tithing? Physical descent had to do with the Levites and no one other than a Levite being a priest. Christ was not a Levite. Jesus is now our high priest. We are to be kings and priests. Under the law of descent, this could never happen. The law had to be changed, abolished. Inheritances are transmitted by the law of descent even today. Next of kin. The tithe is an inheritance of the Levites from father to son. The HS makes us sons of God and that is how the father to son new inheritance is passed on.

Where do churches find that they are able to let blacks, Orientals and non-levites into the ministry? In Heb 7:12-18. They know that it abolishes the law of descent. How can they say it is abolished for just a part they don't want to keep and not for the part that they want so bad: the tithes? It was abolished completely, descent and inheritance.


"You tithe on mint, etc.... and have omitted the weightier matters of the law." He was speaking to Pharisees who were under the Old Covenant but he was already devaluing the tithing law by saying that there were more important things to be doing.


How then should the gospel be financed? Give according to your means in faith. It is an act of mercy or compassion, not an act of law. Give according to your feelings. Some people don't have anything to give so they can give hope, encouragement, prayer.

Christ sent 70 men out with nothing and told them to take what was freely given. Christians are commanded to engage in acts of mercy, to be merciful. Nowhere does it say there is a rule for specific amounts or percentages. People who have much should give much. A donation given out of compulsion is not an act of mercy. Give of what you have and do it according to a willing mind. The ministry today is to be supported according to the same principle as the 70 in Luke 10. If Paul's statement to Timothy: "the laborer is worthy of his reward" means the same as the statement in Luke 10:7 that "the laborer is worthy of his hire",, then we can assume if tithes are being talked about in Timothy, then they must have been talked about in Luke. The only problem is that the 70 went to unconverted people who surely would not tithe to them. This was even before the NC. The burden of proof is on the pro-tithers.


There are 8 sources of support for Christ's own ministry:

1. His own disciples

2. Rich people

3. Pharisees

4. Women

5. Other disciples

6. Miracles

7. Fruit of the land.

8. The general public

Luke 8:3 says that the women provided for Christ "out of their means". Why didn't Luke say that they did it out of their tithes?


Those who say that the tithing law was written on your heart are in effect saying that the Old Covenant was not done away. That man's relationship to it has merely changed. That God has given us a new heart so we can insert the Old Covenant into it. They claim that what was abolished was man's relationship to the covenant and all the laws therein. This allows them to become the sole judges as to which old covenant laws were inserted into the Christian heart and which were not. Then they can pick and choose which laws suit their self-created ministries and which do not.

The new covenant abolishes the material inheritance of tithes and all land inheritances and replaces them both with one single eternal inheritance. Why then should God write in your heart a law demanding that you pay a nonexistent tithe inheritance to a Christian ministry not authorized to collect it?


Which law is being referred to here? This law would indeed pass away either if heaven and earth would pass away or all would be fulfilled or accomplished. The law being referred to is the law of Moses and this law which embraced tithing did pass away after it was fulfilled.

Christ fulfilled the law of Moses and the prophets and then he abolished it. "Love the lord your God with all your heart and love neighbor as self. On these two commandments depend the law and the prophets." His love for God was proved by never disobeying Him. His love for mankind was demonstrated by dying for the world, to save the world. That is fulfilling the law. The prophets were fulfilled because they predicted his saving work, his death, burial and resurrection. All prophesies about His saving work were fulfilled.


Moses represents the law and Elijah represents the prophets. The transfiguration took place at the end of Christ's ministry, when he was about to install the new covenant. Moses' face was transfigured when he received the old covenant. His face was radiant so that they were afraid to come near him. A better transfiguration was necessary for the messenger of the second covenant.

What does it mean to magnify the law? Pro tithers would like to believe that you must tithe plus have a good attitude about it. When properly understood, it is clear that magnifying the law is a reference to the greater splendor of the new covenant. This has to do with a factor of quality, value, character, excellence or nobility; it is speaking qualitatively not quantitatively or as an additive factor. The more proper translation should have been "magnificent". Then there would not be the misunderstanding that the law is now more strict, more binding than ever but it is more splendid than ever.

In Isa. 42:21-22 Christ is called the covenant. He is the covenant man. It is he who was magnified or made magnificent through a transfiguration. Just as Moses face was made to glow at the inception of the Old Covenant.

If the New Covenant merely adds to the old then only Levites with the holy spirit could be ministers.


Christ says to give to the poor and you will have treasure in heaven. Interesting that he didn't say "give your money to ME so that I can preach the gospel." What would your minister say? When you have a feast, invite the poor, the maimed and the lame and the blind. You will be repaid at the resurrection of the just. This is speaking of you as an individual rather than a church body.

You can also give on a regular basis to your church and have no treasure if you do it to be seen by men. The poor widow who gave only two coins gave more than all the rich. Maybe, just maybe, physical money is not what God is after. Yet this is what many preachers are after, know any?

Is it pray and pay or just pay? Mat. 6:6 "pray in secret and your father will reward you". No paying here.


Why are some people blessed, seemingly, for tithing while others are not? Both expect a physical blessing and judge the blessing or lack of it accordingly. The answer is Faith, not tithing. Not faith in the law of tithing but faith in God. Since the law of tithing is abolished, the blessing has to come from some other law of God. Does this mean that these other people lack faith? NO. Faith may be expressed differently by different people. In Hebrews 11 there were many tests of faith and tithing is not mentioned once. Although some people may not have faith in tithing, they may express their faith towards God in a different way which is quite acceptable and apart from tithing. Each person in Heb. 11 was tested by God in a different way. Why should men impose a catch-all test of faith that is unauthorized, obsolete, unnecessary and in many cases, may cause hardship?

Is physical blessing a proof of God's love for you? Did Paul, Peter, John, or James live in prosperity? Sometimes they didn't even have their personal physical needs met. Paul asked for healing but was not given it. The Macedonian churches were in Deep Poverty yet they were happy and took up an offering to help the Jerusalem church that was even worse off. Why weren't these churches blessed? Weren't they tithing? If so, then why didn't Paul correct them if this was the way to be blessed? Why didn't he rebuke them for robbing God of his tithes and then they would be blessed? In Rev. 2:9 Smyrna was described as in Poverty yet rich. If they were rich spiritually then they were obeying Christ. If that means tithing then they should have had the windows of heaven opened to them.

There is a general will of God and a specific will of God. God generally speaking may wish to heal everybody. But he may deliberately or specifically hold up or never heal certain individuals for certain reasons. The old covenant church was promised physical blessings, the new is not. Is it good to want to get rich by tithing so that you can be blessed? It leads to greed and lust for more money. The love of money is the root of all evil. Many preachers seem to be preaching a gospel of greed and get; "tithe to me and God will bless you". And people believe them.

Faith has many expressions. Give according to the method that you can have faith in. This may not be tithing. It may consist of a service. Faith alone is not enough; what you want must fall within His specific and general will for us. God is seeking to train and discipline his children so they may be partakers of his holiness.


Christ did not promise Christians an abundance of material blessings now as a result of tithing. John 10:10 is speaking solely of inheriting eternal life. Christ said that he came so that we would have life and have it overflowing in us. This is self-sustaining, inherit, life within oneself.


(1 Cor 9:13-14) "Do you not know that those who minister the holy things eat of the things of the temple, and those who serve at the altar partake of the offerings of the altar? {14} Even so the Lord has commanded that those who preach the gospel should live from the gospel."

If "even so" refers to the Levitical system then the ministry is entitled to no more than sacrificial meats.

What Paul was saying is that the ministry should be supported even as the Levites who live off the temple were supported. The exact method is never mentioned. Does it mean "live off the Tithes?"

What does it mean to "partake" at the alter? Living from the gospel is the same as partaking of the alter. The Levites were supported in two ways. First they had the tithes. Secondly, they ate the animals that were sacrificed. And then the animals that were sacrificed did not all remain with the Priest. The priest took only parts of the animal and gave the rest back to the offerer. This verse is not talking about tithing.

Paul is saying that the Christian ministry ought to be supported "even as" or in the "same way" as the Levitical priesthood was supported. It is in the same "principal" of support not in the same manner. Otherwise you would have to sacrifice an animal.

Even if you think Paul is talking about money then your offering would be taken to the alter. The Priest would then take only part of it and return the rest to you if the analogy were to stand up. If you read verse 4, Paul is talking about food and drink.

Paul gives 7 examples to show that ministers should receive compensation. One of the examples is of the priest eating of the offerings at the alter. Each example is to prove the same thing. Therefore if eating at the alter proves we have to tithe, then all the rest will prove the same thing. Does a soldier receive tithes? Does a vineyard owner receive tithes? Does a flock owner receive tithes? Does an ox receive tithes? Does a plowman receive tithes? Does a thresher receive tithes. Does a priest live off the offerings or off the tithes? Both. The examples have one thing in common: they are all examples of the laborer living off his work. Even an ox.

The conclusion is that the laborer is worthy of his reward, that is all.


Referring to the book of Malachi: poverty was not the cause of their robbery of God, it was greed. They were being treacherous to God.

Because of the poverty of the people, Nehemiah allowed the reduction of the required amount for the temple service even though Moses strictly forbade it. Nehemiah was applying the law of mercy, the law of love.

David and him men robbed God by eating the shewbread. Christ even said that they did that which was not lawful when he used David's example to defend his disciples who were accused of law breaking by plucking corn on the Sabbath. He used one example of law breaking to defend another. He said that the disciples were guiltless. As far as Christ was concerned, his disciples had committed no sin at all. And he also pronounced David as not guilty on the basis of need. The ministers then and now would rather have sacrifice than mercy.

The lesson is clear: even if tithing were in force today, MERCY would prevail over tithing. If Christ was reprimanding the Pharisees for their too strict application of a law when it was a law, how much more would he tell preachers and churches now when it is not a law?


They are intricately related.

Being hard-hearted is likened to being uncircumcised in heart.

The bible portrays the land or ground in a comparison to the heart. God compares the heart of Israel as unfruitful. A literally 10 percent tithe was required to be paid from a physical land inheritance, a land that was without question, very fruitful. It was a high yield land. It was, in essence, circumcised by physical rainfall from an earthly heaven.

Spiritual Israel, Christians, have no literal land inheritance and hence no literal 10 percent tithe is required. Christians have a spiritual land receiving spiritual rain( the Holy Spirit). It is the spiritual rain that gives the spiritual land the spiritual circumcision. The fruits which grow in this spiritual land are character virtues. And it is these fruits that are brought to God.

Therefore it is the spiritual fruit from this spiritual circumcision that God really wants and not a literal ten percent tithe from a physical land. This is the relationship between circumcision and tithing.

Can it be a sin to tithe? We should not go back to physical circumcision and we should not go back to tithing as in the Levitical example. If you go back to circumcision, then you have to keep all the law. If Paul did not support the Mosaic circumcision, then why would he support the Mosaic tithing?



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