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Frequently Asked Questions About Hebrew Roots

Hebrew Roots FAQ's and Myths

 

Under the Law

 

Myth. Paul taught to tithe to the Levites which today would be to 'Torah' teachers.

Myth: Tithing is part of New Testament doctrine.

According to the Scriptures and the commandments of God, a Gentile could not be a Levite Priest

Numbers 4:23 From thirty years old and upward until fifty years old shalt thou number them; all that enter in to perform the service, to do the work in the tabernacle of the congregation... 8:25 And from the age of fifty years they shall cease waiting upon the service thereof, and shall serve no more: 8:26 But shall minister with their brethren in the tabernacle of the congregation, to keep the charge, and shall do no service. Thus shalt thou do unto the Levites touching their charge.

Until the Temple, there was no anointed priesthood mentioned, which was ordained to be of Aaron, his sons and the Levites, and the right of offering sacrifices to God was reserved solely to them. In fact there are examples of dire consequences upon those who were not priests of the Levite lineage, such as King Uzziah [*3][2 Ch 26:19], and Saul [*4][1 Sa 13:7-14], who made sacrifices and offerings, thereby going against God's command concerning the priesthood and sacrifices. The exception were the occasional sacrifices given by God's chosen prophets, such as Samuel and Elijah.

Since there was a change of priesthood with Christ, and a change of the Law, according to the Scriptures all who belong to Jesus Christ are priests and kings, and the 'royal priesthood.'

Hebrews 7:11-17 If therefore perfection were by the Levitical priesthood, (for under it the people received the law,) what further need was there that another priest should rise after the order of Melchisedec, and not be called after the order of Aaron? 12. For the priesthood being changed, there is made of necessity a change also of the law. 13. For he of whom these things are spoken pertaineth to another tribe, of which no man gave attendance at the altar. 14. For it is evident that our Lord sprang out of Juda; of which tribe Moses spake nothing concerning priesthood. 15. And it is yet far more evident: for that after the similitude of Melchisedec there ariseth another priest, 16. Who is made, not after the law of a carnal commandment, but after the power of an endless life. 17. For he testifieth, Thou art a priest for ever after the order of Melchisedec.

Hebrews 7:20-24 And inasmuch as not without an oath he was made priest: 21. (For those priests were made without an oath; but this with an oath by him that said unto him, The Lord sware and will not repent, Thou art a priest for ever after the order of Melchisedec:) 22. By so much was Jesus made a surety of a better testament. 23. And they truly were many priests, because they were not suffered to continue by reason of death: 24. But this man, because he continueth ever, hath an unchangeable priesthood.

Hebrews 7:25-28 Wherefore he is able also to save them to the uttermost that come unto God by him, seeing he ever liveth to make intercession for them. 26. For such an high priest became us, who is holy, harmless, undefiled, separate from sinners, and made higher than the heavens; 27. Who needeth not daily, as those high priests, to offer up sacrifice, first for his own sins, and then for the people's: for this he did once, when he offered up himself. 28. For the law maketh men high priests which have infirmity; but the word of the oath, which was since the law, maketh the Son, who is consecrated for evermore.

1 Peter 2:3-5 If so be ye have tasted that the Lord is gracious. 4. To whom coming, as unto a living stone, disallowed indeed of men, but chosen of God, and precious, 5. Ye also, as lively stones, are built up a spiritual house, an holy priesthood, to offer up spiritual sacrifices, acceptable to God by Jesus Christ.

1Pe 2:9 But ye are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, an holy nation, a peculiar people; that ye should shew forth the praises of him who hath called you out of darkness into his marvellous light:

Revelation 5:9-10 And they sung a new song, saying, Thou art worthy to take the book, and to open the seals thereof: for thou wast slain, and hast redeemed us to God by thy blood out of every kindred, and tongue, and people, and nation; 10. And hast made us unto our God kings and priests: and we shall reign on the earth.

Tithing In The OT

Before the Levite priesthood, the firstborn of each family gave sacrifices in their own cities and in their own houses. For example, Noah, Abraham, Job, Isaac and Jacob each offered their own sacrifices, and there was no fixed place to give the sacrifices, which changed with the giving of the Law. The covenant made by God at Mount Sinai, had Moses as mediator, and various men were chosen from among Israel to perform the office of priests.[*5] [Ex 24:5] No other priesthood was mentioned other than the somewhat mysterious Melchisedec who is presented as a type of Christ, and many believe, was Christ.

Hebrews 6:20 Whither the forerunner is for us entered, even Jesus, made an high priest for ever after the order of Melchisedec. 7:1 For this Melchisedec, king of Salem, priest of the most high God, who met Abraham returning from the slaughter of the kings, and blessed him; 2 To whom also Abraham gave a tenth part of all; first being by interpretation King of righteousness, and after that also King of Salem, which is, King of peace; 3 Without father, without mother, without descent, having neither beginning of days, nor end of life; but made like unto the Son of God; abideth a priest continually.

Therefore, there was no God chosen priesthood commanded to be supported with tithes. The tithe, according to the Law of Moses was what was produced by the land such as fruit, corn, grain, and the first born of animals. The tithe, while noted as belonging to God, had one distinct purpose, and that was originally to care for Aaron and the Levite priests who were given no inheritance from God.  They owned nothing. [Numbers 18].

Nehemiah 10:37 And that we should bring the firstfruits of our dough, and our offerings, and the fruit of all manner of trees, of wine and of oil, unto the priests, to the chambers of the house of our God; and the tithes of our ground unto the Levites, that the same Levites might have the tithes in all the cities of our tillage.

The Levites were the only ones to enter the Tabernacle, for fear of death, and very specific procedures, ceremonies, rituals and sacrifices had to be followed in all they did, or they faced dire consequences. Their role was to care for the Temple where the presence of God abode at that time, and they were required to offer both gifts of thanksgiving and sacrifices for sins. [*6] [Le 17:11] The high priest was the head of all religious affairs, was the judge and dispensed judgment for the Jewish nation, and he was the head of all the other priests. [*7] [De 17:8-12] The priests also were to teach the children of Israel the statutes of the Lord, and decide controversies and so on. [*8] [Le 10:11;  De 33:10]

After receiving the tithes from the Israelites, the priests in turn were required to also give ten percent of what was given to them.[*9] [Nu18:21-28] Every third year the tithe was to be reserved as a festival tithe and everything brought for the Levites was shared so strangers, orphans, widows and the poor could come and eat and be content [*10][De 14:27-29; 15:1-7; 26:12-15, etc] In fact, the one festival and related tithes was provided for the people to go and spend the tithe on purchasing anything they lusted after or desired, by commandment of God.[*11] [De 12:15, 20, 21; 14:26]

Yet in the New Testament were are told to NOT lust or covet anything at all.

1 John 2:15 Love not the world, neither the things that are in the world. If any man love the world, the love of the Father is not in him. 16 For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life, is not of the Father, but is of the world. 17 And the world passeth away, and the lust thereof: but he that doeth the will of God abideth for ever.

Galatians 5:16 This I say then, Walk in the Spirit, and ye shall not fulfil the lust of the flesh. 17 For the flesh lusteth against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh: and these are contrary the one to the other: so that ye cannot do the things that ye would. 18 But if ye be led of the Spirit, ye are not under the law.
19 Now the works of the flesh are manifest, which are these; Adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lasciviousness, 20 Idolatry, witchcraft, hatred, variance, emulations, wrath, strife, seditions, heresies, 21 Envyings, murders, drunkenness, revellings, and such like: of the which I tell you before, as I have also told you in time past, that they which do such things shall not inherit the kingdom of God.

The erroneous idea that every Israelite gave ten per cent of his dollar income and therefore each Christian should do likewise, is based on faulty scholarship. Tithing was only turned into money if a person had to travel too far with their commodities, and there were in fact, several tithes. There was redemption money, to be paid at the fixed rate of five shekels a head, for the first-born of man or beast, and a levy for spoils of war.[*12] [Nu 18:14-19;  Le 27:5;  Nu 31:25-47] In Leviticus 27:30-33, it is noted a penalty existed if one did not wish to pay his tithe in agricultural produce, and decided to give money as a substitute. That person was penalized and had to add a fifth part of the estimated value to the amount he paid.  Those that are claiming the "required 10% tithe" as from the Law, and therefore of their money, are in total disregard to this Law concerning the tithe. In fact if a person had less than ten cattle born to him in a given year, they were exempt from the tithe that year.[*13] [Le 27:32] God cared for the poor and all His people.

The anointed Levite priesthood, chosen by God, was a gift from God to the Hebrew people for a very specific purpose. No other tribe, or person could fulfill this calling. Their activities included bearing the iniquity of Israel and themselves, and giving the sin offerings that were required to be acceptable before the Lord, and make atonement for their souls. [Lev. 16;17] The book of Numbers speaks of Aaron and his sons called to that very specific duty and then the tribe of Levi being set apart from the rest of Israel. [*16] [Ex. 29:7; 30:23; Le 8:12; Nu 8:6-22, etc] In Exodus we read:

Exodus 28:38 And it shall be upon Aaron's forehead, that Aaron may bear the iniquity of the holy things, which the children of Israel shall hallow in all their holy gifts; and it shall be always upon his forehead, that they may be accepted before the LORD. See Numbers 17, 18

Note in the various passages about this, that specific tithes from the children of Israel were a gift from God to the Levites. From Numbers 18 "...I also have given thee the charge of mine heave offerings of all the hallowed things of the children of Israel; unto thee have I given them by reason of the anointing, and to thy sons, by an ordinance for ever." God gave those gifts and promise to no one else. v20 And the LORD spake unto Aaron, Thou shalt have no inheritance in their land, neither shalt thou have any part among them: I am thy part and thine inheritance among the children of Israel.

and 21 And, behold, I have given the children of Levi all the tenth in Israel for an inheritance, for their service which they serve, even the service of the tabernacle of the congregation.

v 22-24 note that the children of Israel were forbidden to enter the tabernacle, as to do so meant instant death.

21 And, behold, I have given the children of Levi all the tenth in Israel for an inheritance, for their service which they serve, even the service of the tabernacle of the congregation. 22 Neither must the children of Israel henceforth come nigh the tabernacle of the congregation, lest they bear sin, and die. 23 But the Levites shall do the service of the tabernacle of the congregation, and they shall bear their iniquity: it shall be a statute for ever throughout your generations, that among the children of Israel they have no inheritance.

Only the Levites were allowed to enter, and only the High priest could enter the inner sanctuary. The high priest alone was permitted to enter the holy of holies, once a year, on the Day of Atonement. See the corresponding role Christ took in Hebrews 9:7-13 [*17]

To suggest that anyone, any other Jew, or Gentile, could replace the service of the Levite priests, is going against all that God said their role was, and the promises He very specifically gave to them. Christians are not of the Levite lineage, and were not given their purpose, which, in part, was to bear the iniquity of the people.

Heb 5:3 And by reason hereof he ought, as for the people, so also for himself, to offer for sins. 4 And no man taketh this honour unto himself, but he that is called of God, as was Aaron. 5 So also Christ glorified not himself to be made an high priest; but he that said unto him, Thou art my Son, to day have I begotten thee.
6 As he saith also in another place, Thou art a priest for ever after the order of Melchisedec.

Anyone except God's chosen Messenger of the covenant, prophesied as coming to the temple in Malachi 3. Note in that passage that lack of the tithes and offerings in the Temple, (which was where the "storehouse" was) according to God's commandments, was robbing God. It was the Levites who were to, “bring up the tithe of the tithes unto the house of our God, to the chambers, into the treasure house."

Nehemiah 10:38 And the priest the son of Aaron shall be with the Levites, when the Levites take tithes: and the Levites shall bring up the tithe of the tithes unto the house of our God, to the chambers, into the treasure house. 39 For the children of Israel and the children of Levi shall bring the offering of the corn, of the new wine, and the oil, unto the chambers, where are the vessels of the sanctuary, and the priests that minister, and the porters, and the singers: and we will not forsake the house of our God.

Malachi 3, which so many use to attempt to prove Christians are to tithe, is found to be misquoted by many. All of Israel was cursed, [*18] [3:9], and God rebuked the Levites [*19] [1:6, 10-13, 2:1,7,8] who, while mistreating God's people, were not putting the tithe that they were commanded to also give, into the storehouse of the Temple. Rather, they were keeping the tithe for themselves.

Malachi 3:1 Behold, I will send my messenger, and he shall prepare the way before me: and the Lord, whom ye seek, shall suddenly come to his temple, even the messenger of the covenant, whom ye delight in: behold, he shall come, saith the LORD of hosts.
2 But who may abide the day of his coming? and who shall stand when he appeareth? for he is like a refiner's fire, and like fullers' soap:
3 And he shall sit as a refiner and purifier of silver: and he shall purify the sons of Levi, and purge them as gold and silver, that they may offer unto the LORD an offering in righteousness.
4 Then shall the offering of Judah and Jerusalem be pleasant unto the LORD, as in the days of old, and as in former years.
5 And I will come near to you to judgment; and I will be a swift witness against the sorcerers, and against the adulterers, and against false swearers, and against those that oppress the hireling in his wages, the widow, and the fatherless, and that turn aside the stranger from his right, and fear not me, saith the LORD of hosts.
6 For I am the LORD, I change not; therefore ye sons of Jacob are not consumed.
7 Even from the days of your fathers ye are gone away from mine ordinances, and have not kept them. Return unto me, and I will return unto you, saith the LORD of hosts. But ye said, Wherein shall we return?
8 Will a man rob God? Yet ye have robbed me. But ye say, Wherein have we robbed thee? In tithes and offerings.

The messenger that prepared the way before Christ was John the Baptist. Matthew 3:3 "For this is he that was spoken of by the prophet Esaias, saying, The voice of one crying in the wilderness, Prepare ye the way of the Lord, make his paths straight." [*20] [Matthew 11:10; Luke 7:27, 3:4; John 1:23; Isaiah 40:3] In the above Malachi verses it becomes a prophecy that, when it took place, No longer could the Levites purify anyone by their sin offerings and their God given office. Instead they would need to be purified by 'the refiner's fire,' as everyone else needs to be. Because God ordained and provided a New Covenant and a New, Sinless and Perfect Sacrifice. Just as God had provided a ram in place of Abraham's only son, He had now provided Himself as God's Son.

Isaiah 53:10 Yet it pleased the LORD to bruise him; he hath put him to grief: when thou shalt make his soul an offering for sin, he shall see his seed, he shall prolong his days, and the pleasure of the LORD shall prosper in his hand. 11 He shall see of the travail of his soul, and shall be satisfied: by his knowledge shall my righteous servant justify many; for he shall bear their iniquities. 

2 Corinthians 5:21 For he hath made him to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him.

1 Peter 2:21 For even hereunto were ye called: because Christ also suffered for us, leaving us an example, that ye should follow his steps: 22 Who did no sin, neither was guile found in his mouth: 23 Who, when he was reviled, reviled not again; when he suffered, he threatened not; but committed himself to him that judgeth righteously: 24 Who his own self bare our sins in his own body on the tree, that we, being dead to sins, should live unto righteousness: by whose stripes ye were healed.[*21] [Isa 53:4-6]

The prophesied Messenger of the covenant is the promised Messiah, Savior, Redeemer, King , Priest and Deliverer, the Anointed, The Good Shepherd.

He is the same person as, the "Shiloh", [*22] [Ge 49:10]

"the priest after the order of Melchizedek"[*23] [Ps 110:4],

"the corner stone" [*24] [Ps 118:22];

'the Anointed One"[*25] [Isa 61:1]

"Messiah the Prince"[*26] [Da 9:24-26]

"the seed of the woman"[*27] [Ge 3:15],

"the seed of Abraham" [*28] [Ge 22:18],

the "Prophet like unto Moses" [*29] [De18:15] ,

"the rod out of the stem of Jesse", "the Branch "[*30] [Isa 4:2 ,11:1-4,10, 49:6, Jer 23:5, 33:15; Zec 3:8; 6:12],

"Immanuel," God with us [*31][Isa 7:14, 8:8; Mt 1:23],

Mighty One [*32] [Isa 60:16] 

"man of sorrows"[*33] [Isa 53:3]

and "the messenger of the covenant" [*34] [Mal 3:1] 

Jesus Christ is all of these, and He IS the New Covenant. This is He whom Moses in the law, and the prophets wrote about and waited for. He is Mighty God:

Isaiah 9:6 For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given: and the government shall be upon his shoulder: and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counsellor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace.[*35] [Isa 7:14; 40:3]

Isa 49:6 And he said,It is a light thing that thou shouldest be my servant to raise up the tribes of Jacob, and to restore the preserved of Israel: I will also give thee for a light to the Gentiles, that thou mayest be my salvation unto the end of the earth.

Tithing in the New Testament

Paul taught about giving according to the heart, and not according to the law, and that it was for the saints rather than for the priests, something that today's church needs to gain understanding in. From the Hebrew Scriptures or TaNaKh [OT] on tithing: 

Numbers 18:26 Thus speak unto the Levites, and say unto them, When ye take of the children of Israel the tithes which I have given you from them for your inheritance, then ye shall offer up an heave offering of it for the LORD, even a tenth part of the tithe.

Nehemiah 10:37 And that we should bring the firstfruits of our dough, and our offerings, and the fruit of all manner of trees, of wine and of oil, unto the priests, to the chambers of the house of our God; and the tithes of our ground unto the Levites, that the same Levites might have the tithes in all the cities of our tillage.

Compared to what Paul taught.

1 Corinthians 16:1 Now concerning the collection for the saints, as I have given order to the churches of Galatia, even so do ye. 2 Upon the first day of the week let every one of you lay by him in store, as God hath prospered him, that there be no gatherings when I come.

2 Corinthians 9:6 But this I say, He which soweth sparingly shall reap also sparingly; and he which soweth bountifully shall reap also bountifully. 7 Every man according as he purposeth in his heart, so let him give; not grudgingly, or of necessity: for God loveth a cheerful giver. 8 And God is able to make all grace abound toward you; that ye, always having all sufficiency in all things, may abound to every good work:

If we do anything that is not because of Christ, in obedience to the Word of God, and at the leading of the Holy Spirit----you can have a mansion and it will be as worthless as a filthy outhouse. Are we not to give and do by faith and because of our faith and love of our Savior? And the brethren?

Matthew 5:42 Give to him that asketh thee, and from him that would borrow of thee turn not thou away.

James 2:18 Yea, a man may say, Thou hast faith, and I have works: shew me thy faith without thy works, and I will shew thee my faith by my works.

2 Corinthians 9:1 For as touching the ministering to the saints, it is superfluous for me to write to you:

Galatians 2:10 Only they would that we should remember the poor; the same which I also was forward to do.

1 Timothy 6:17 Charge them that are rich in this world, that they be not highminded, nor trust in uncertain riches, but in the living God, who giveth us richly all things to enjoy; 18 That they do good, that they be rich in good works, ready to distribute, willing to communicate; 19 Laying up in store for themselves a good foundation against the time to come, that they may lay hold on eternal life.

According to the Apostle Paul, giving was to be As God had prospered a person. It becomes a misconception for those that believe if one does not tithe according to the Law of Moses that they then would not give fully and willingly to the work of the Lord and the care of the brethren with all that God has supplied

Galatians 6:7 Be not deceived; God is not mocked: for whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap. 8 For he that soweth to his flesh shall of the flesh reap corruption; but he that soweth to the Spirit shall of the Spirit reap life everlasting. 9 And let us not be weary in well doing: for in due season we shall reap, if we faint not. 10 As we have therefore opportunity, let us do good unto all men, especially unto them who are of the household of faith.

Notice these commands brought forward from the Law, and then given by our Lord Jesus Christ in a slightly different manner, and also by the Apostles. Note the difference from the Law in Deuteronomy 15:7-8,10,[*76]  which speaks of giving to your brethren in need. [*77] [De 23:6]

Luke 6:30 Give to every man that asketh of thee; and of him that taketh away thy goods ask them not again. 31 And as ye would that men should do to you, do ye also to them likewise. 32 For if ye love them which love you, what thank have ye? for sinners also love those that love them.33 And if ye do good to them which do good to you, what thank have ye? for sinners also do even the same. 34 And if ye lend to them of whom ye hope to receive, what thank have ye? for sinners also lend to sinners, to receive as much again. 35. But love ye your enemies, and do good, and lend, hoping for nothing again; and your reward shall be great, and ye shall be the children of the Highest: for he is kind unto the unthankful and to the evil.

Matthew 5:42 Give to him that asketh thee, and from him that would borrow of thee turn not thou away. 43 Ye have heard that it hath been said, Thou shalt love thy neighbour, and hate thine enemy. 44 But I say unto you, Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you;. 45 That ye may be the children of your Father which is in heaven: for he maketh his sun to rise on the evil and on the good, and sendeth rain on the just and on the unjust. 46 For if ye love them which love you, what reward have ye? do not even the publicans the same? 47 And if ye salute your brethren only, what do ye more than others? do not even the publicans so?

1John 3:16 Hereby perceive we the love of God, because he laid down his life for us: and we ought to lay down our lives for the brethren.17 But whoso hath this world's good, and seeth his brother have need, and shutteth up his bowels of compassion from him, how dwelleth the love of God in him? 18 My little children, let us not love in word, neither in tongue; but in deed and in truth.

The people of Israel were commended for giving from a willing heart. It was not a new concept. A willing heart cannot be commanded. It's done because of love.

Ex 25:2 Speak unto the children of Israel, that they bring me an offering: of every man that giveth it willingly with his heart ye shall take my offering. [*78] [Ex 35:4-9,21; 1Ch 29:3,5,9,14; Ezr 2:68; 3:5; 7:16; Ne 11:2; 2Co 8:11-13; 9:7]

1Chronicles 29:3 Moreover, because I have set my affection to the house of my God, I have of mine own proper good, of gold and silver, which I have given to the house of my God, over and above all that I have prepared for the holy house, ...5 The gold for things of gold, and the silver for things of silver, and for all manner of work to be made by the hands of artificers. And who then is willing to consecrate his service this day unto the LORD?... 9 Then the people rejoiced, for that they offered willingly, because with perfect heart they offered willingly to the LORD: and David the king also rejoiced with great joy....14 But who am I, and what is my people, that we should be able to offer so willingly after this sort? for all things come of thee, and of thine own have we given thee."

Some have wrongly mocked the concept of giving as one is led by the Spirit, or walking by the Spirit, which is to be our spiritual condition. They appear to have forgotten some basic precepts of what it means to belong to Jesus Christ, claiming that being led by the Spirit, or walking in the Spirit is 'liberal' theology and means not following the Word of God. Yet the Word of God is very clear about the need to be 'led of the Spirit'.

Luke 4:1 And Jesus being full of the Holy Ghost returned from Jordan, and was led by the Spirit into the wilderness,

Romans 8:13 For if ye live after the flesh, ye shall die: but if ye through the Spirit do mortify the deeds of the body, ye shall live. 14 For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, they are the sons of God. 15 For ye have not received the spirit of bondage again to fear; but ye have received the Spirit of adoption, whereby we cry, Abba, Father. 16 The Spirit itself beareth witness with our spirit, that we are the children of God: 17 And if children, then heirs; heirs of God, and joint-heirs with Christ; if so be that we suffer with him, that we may be also glorified together.

Galatians 5:16 This I say then, Walk in the Spirit, and ye shall not fulfil the lust of the flesh. 17 For the flesh lusteth against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh: and these are contrary the one to the other: so that ye cannot do the things that ye would.
18 But if ye be led of the Spirit, ye are not under the law...25 If we live in the Spirit, let us also walk in the Spirit.
[*78b] [1 Cor 2:2-5; 6:11; 12:3,7-9; 2Cor 4:1,18; 1 John 3:22; 5:1-3
]

Ephesians 3:5  Which in other ages was not made known unto the sons of men, as it is now revealed unto his holy apostles and prophets by the Spirit;.... 6:17  And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God: 

Phil 1:19  For I know that this shall turn to my salvation through your prayer, and the supply of the Spirit of Jesus Christ,

As stated previously, some ministers and other Christians state that if you don’t tithe, God will not bless you at all. The 'prosperity gospel' preachers advocate the tithe, often in this manner promising hundred fold returns if you will just sow a "seed". Many across the range of beliefs, advocate the concept of 'faith promises' and giving what you don't have, claiming "you can't out give God." For them, giving almost becomes a competition to see if a person can 'out give' God, and results in trying to control God or tempt God. 

One friend related an incident to me about a woman who ended up homeless, because she had given her food and rent money for the month after being challenged by a preacher in a local church to step out in "faith" in order to receive God's abundant return. This writer has also known individuals that give well beyond their means on a regular basis and end up needing support or welfare themselves, because they cannot then meet their own obligations. Forgotten is the clear command to take care of one's own.

1 Timothy 5:8 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.

Does giving what one does not already have, support a Scriptural concept of giving?

2 Corinthians 8:11 Now therefore perform the doing of it; that as there was a readiness to will, so there may be a performance also out of that which ye have.
12 For if there be first a willing mind, it is accepted
according to that a man hath, and not according to that he hath not.
13 For I mean not that other men be eased, and ye burdened:

James 4:13 Go to now, ye that say, To day or to morrow we will go into such a city, and continue there a year, and buy and sell, and get gain: 14 Whereas ye know not what shall be on the morrow. For what is your life? It is even a vapour, that appeareth for a little time, and then vanisheth away. 15 For that ye ought to say, If the Lord will, we shall live, and do this, or that. 16 But now ye rejoice in your boastings: all such rejoicing is evil. 17 Therefore to him that knoweth to do good, and doeth it not, to him it is sin.

Many are so caught up in their own self focus and perceived worth, they ignore our Lord’s commands in order to keep the law and demand that individuals “bring the whole tithe into the storehouse,” meaning their church or organization, for their leadership and what is determined by them.

Some believe that if they are in a place of perceived authority, such as an elder or pastor, that the giving of 'double honor' means that they deserve double dollars, and in fact should be more financially well off and have more possessions than any of their followers or supporters. In other words, they require the tithe as their "rightful" due, believing they are just as the Levite priests were 'paid' and honored. It should be noted that the concept of double honor has a prerequisite of, 'that rule well ' be counted worthy of double honour,' meaning, there are many that do not 'rule well' and having a title or position, does not equal required or deserved esteem or honor. Many, instead of equipping the saints to stand firm in the Lord, fully dependent on Him and the Sword of the Spirit which is the Word of God, prefer that dependence is maintained upon themselves, so growth is not evident or so stunted, that individuals are unable to stand on their own in Christ or unable to study to show themselves approved. Yet, while care is to be taken of all the saints in need, including those who labor in the Word, we are given other directives concerning how we view ourselves and others.

Again looking to the Scriptures we see several things that override the concept of demanding anything from anyone, whether it be honor or dollars.

Luke 14:11 For whosoever exalteth himself shall be abased; and he that humbleth himself shall be exalted.[*79]  [Job 22:29; Ps 18:27; Pr 29:23; Mt 23:12; Lu 18:14; Jas 4:6;]

1 Cor 10:24 Let no man seek his own, but every man another's wealth.
25 Whatsoever is sold in the shambles, that eat, asking no question for conscience sake:  26 For the earth is the Lord's, and the fulness thereof.  ...33 Even as I please all men in all things, not seeking mine own profit, but the profit of many, that they may be saved.

John 5:44  Jesus said: "How can ye believe, which receive honour one of another, and seek not the honour that cometh from God only?

Romans 12:3 For I say, through the grace given unto me, to every man that is among you, not to think of himself more highly than he ought to think; but to think soberly, according as God hath dealt to every man the measure of faith. 4 For as we have many members in one body, and all members have not the same office: 5 So we, being many, are one body in Christ, and every one members one of another...10 Be kindly affectioned one to another with brotherly love; in honour preferring one another;

Philippians 2:3 Let nothing be done through strife or vainglory; but in lowliness of mind let each esteem other better than themselves. 4 Look not every man on his own things, but every man also on the things of others.

Ephesians 5:21 Submitting yourselves one to another in the fear of God.

1Peter 5:5 Likewise, ye younger, submit yourselves unto the elder. Yea, all of you be subject one to another, and be clothed with humility: for God resisteth the proud, and giveth grace to the humble. 6 Humble yourselves therefore under the mighty hand of God, that he may exalt you in due time:

We are "fellow laborers" and "joint heirs" with Him, regardless of our role. Every part of the Body is equally important, by God's decree. [1 Corinthians 12]

1 Cor 12:18 But now hath God set the members every one of them in the body, as it hath pleased him. 19 And if they were all one member, where were the body?
20 But now are they many members, yet but one body. 21 And the eye cannot say unto the hand, I have no need of thee: nor again the head to the feet, I have no need of you. 22 Nay, much more those members of the body, which seem to be more feeble, are necessary: 23 And those members of the body, which we think to be less honourable, upon these we bestow more abundant honour; and our uncomely parts have more abundant comeliness. 24 For our comely parts have no need: but God hath tempered the body together, having given more abundant honour to that part which lacked: 25 That there should be no schism in the body; but that the members should have the same care one for another.

There's more than enough merchant preachers and leadership in the world, demanding money and tithes in order for the giver to 'get a blessing.' Many believe that the subsequent blessing should arrive as dollars in their pockets, and often never see how God does bless them. People are not to be focused on their own well being, but the well being of others, knowing that God supplies all of our needs. That includes pastors, elders and any that claim leadership. Nor are any to demand people support them either physically or spiritually, because of "who they are" or because of their claimed title or position.

1 Cor 3:7 So then neither is he that planteth any thing, neither he that watereth; but God that giveth the increase. 8 Now he that planteth and he that watereth are one: and every man shall receive his own reward according to his own labour. 9 For we are labourers together with God: ye are God's husbandry, ye are God's building.

Those who live for Christ are going to not only care for the brethren, but give as God lays it on their heart, so there is 'equality in giving'.

2 Corinthians 8:11 Now therefore perform the doing of it; that as there was a readiness to will, so there may be a performance also out of that which ye have.
12 For if there be first a willing mind,
it is accepted according to that a man hath, and not according to that he hath not. 13 For I mean not that other men be eased, and ye burdened: 14 But by an equality, that now at this time your abundance may be a supply for their want, that their abundance also may be a supply for your want: that there may be equality: 15 As it is written, He that had gathered much had nothing over; and he that had gathered little had no lack.

Notice that when a need was identified amongst the saints in the Scriptures, then each gave according to their ability, as God had provided for them.

1Corinthians 16:1 Now concerning the collection for the saints, as I have given order to the churches of Galatia, even so do ye.2 Upon the first day of the week let every one of you lay by him in store, as God hath prospered him, that there be no gatherings when I come.

Acts 11:28 And there stood up one of them named Agabus, and signified by the Spirit that there should be great dearth throughout all the world: which came to pass in the days of Claudius Caesar. 29 Then the disciples, every man according to his ability, determined to send relief unto the brethren which dwelt in Judaea: 

Romans 15:26 For it hath pleased them of Macedonia and Achaia to make a certain contribution for the poor saints which are at Jerusalem.

Philippians 4:15 Now ye Philippians know also, that in the beginning of the gospel, when I departed from Macedonia, no church communicated with me as concerning giving and receiving, but ye only. 16 For even in Thessalonica ye sent once and again unto my necessity. 17 Not because I desire a gift: but I desire fruit that may abound to your account. 18 But I have all, and abound: I am full, having received of Epaphroditus the things which were sent from you, an odour of a sweet smell, a sacrifice acceptable, wellpleasing to God. 19 But my God shall supply all your need according to his riches in glory by Christ Jesus. 20 Now unto God and our Father be glory for ever and ever. Amen

We're told to give 'bountifully' to the care of the saints and the poor as a person purposes in their heart, with what we have been given by God, not with what we do not have.

2 Corinthians 9:6 But this I say, He which soweth sparingly shall reap also sparingly; and he which soweth bountifully shall reap also bountifully.
7 Every man according as he purposeth in his heart, so let him give; not grudgingly, or of necessity: for God loveth a cheerful giver.
8 And God is able to make all grace abound toward you; that ye, always having all sufficiency in all things, may abound to every good work:

In other words, give, knowing that God will provide for all our needs, so that all that He wants accomplished and cared for is done. His will be done on earth.... It's noteworthy that the word "purposeth" means the following. From Strong's Greek :

4255. proaireomai proaireomai, pro-ahee-reh'-om-ahee
from 4253 and 138; to choose for oneself before another thing (prefer), i.e. (by implication) to propose (intend):--purpose.

If a person determines, after seeking God's will, that they can give ten percent, fifty percent or more, of their monthly income every month for the care of the saints, and they give it willingly, then they are in obedience to giving according to the Scriptures. However, it needs to be understood that this giving does not override giving freely or make the giving of all that we have to God irrelevant  It is merely one aspect of our giving. It is not a beginning or an end to what we are to give. Many in fact, miss caring for the brethren in need, for example needs due to job loss or illness, because of partiality or self focus, or to having 'already given their tithe', instead of being available to the leading of the Holy Spirit.

Many seem unable to understand that we are to seek God's will in all we do, including our giving and caring for others. If we do not know how much to give, it becomes a matter of prayerfully seeking God's will in the matter. God said that if any of us 'lack wisdom', He will provide and we are called to pray concerning all matters in our lives. Giving may not always entail money, but our time, or a commodity. As He leads.

James 1:5 If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God, that giveth to all men liberally, and upbraideth not; and it shall be given him.

The Scriptures say that God loves a cheerful giver,  because He is a cheerful giver and we are created in His likeness as His children.

2 Corinthians 9:7 Every man according as he purposeth in his heart, so let him give; not grudgingly, or of necessity: for God loveth a cheerful giver.
8 And God is able to make all grace abound toward you; that ye, always having all sufficiency in all things, may abound to every good work:
9 (As it is written, He hath dispersed abroad; he hath given to the poor: his righteousness remaineth for ever.
10 Now he that ministereth seed to the sower both minister bread for your food, and multiply your seed sown, and increase the fruits of your righteousness;)

Luke 12:32 Fear not, little flock; for it is your Father's good pleasure to give you the kingdom.

If a person has little in the way of money, yet spends many hours giving their time and their resources to feed the poor and visit shut-ins, and share Jesus Christ with the lost, is their 'offering' of their time worth less than someone who by rote or feels it is required to give ten percent of their dollar income and goes to church to fellowship but never actually reaches out to the lost, the poor, the homeless? Who goes to church lunches, and breakfasts and banquets for 'fellowship', but omits giving to the poor saints, and feeding the poor? Jesus' example of the widows mites was a clear answer on that. As was Jesus' statement about having a meal where one was inclined to invite guests.

Luke 14:12 Then said he also to him that bade him, When thou makest a dinner or a supper, call not thy friends, nor thy brethren, neither thy kinsmen, nor thy rich neighbours; lest they also bid thee again, and a recompence be made thee.13 But when thou makest a feast, call the poor, the maimed, the lame, the blind: 14 And thou shalt be blessed; for they cannot recompense thee: for thou shalt be recompensed at the resurrection of the just. 

We are admonished to keep the Words of Jesus. How many apply this principle of giving, as stated by our Lord, and rather than having their annual Christmas banquet, or monthly church 'potluck', do invite the poor, the maimed, the lame and the blind and serve them with the goodness God has provided to each that serve Him? There is need for fellowship and nothing wrong with that amongst the brethren but many times, that is where the 'sharing' stops. Jesus also said:

Luke 6:30 Give to every man that asketh of thee; and of him that taketh away thy goods ask them not again.

Jesus taught that we must forsake ownership of all that we have or we cannot be His disciples. 

Luke 14:33 So likewise, whosoever he be of you that forsaketh not all that he hath, he cannot be my disciple.

All means ALL of what we have, including ourselves, not just some of it. All earthly possessions including our money, all of our will, all of our 'rights', and our families. Paul wrote of us being servants. Servants are not owning or in control of anything. They do the Master's bidding, and are given responsibility as He sees fit, with all glory going to Him, as He provides all that we need to serve Him. We were bought with a price, meaning in reality, we belong to Him.

1Corinthians 6:20 For ye are bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body, and in your spirit, which are God's.... 7:22 For he that is called in the Lord, being a servant, is the Lord's freeman: likewise also he that is called, being free, is Christ's servant. 23 Ye are bought with a price; be not ye the servants of men.

Jesus clearly said to the rich man in Matthew 19:21, [*80]  to sell everything and give to the poor and follow Him. Are all who tithe or don't tithe, including the pastors, selling all and giving to the poor? Do we have to, or is having possessions given by God, about understanding where they come from and who really owns ALL of them, and that every single person is to give all that we have, including ourselves, to Him? [Please See Carrying My Cross]

2Corinthians 9:7 Every man according as he purposeth in his heart, so let him give; not grudgingly, or of necessity: for God loveth a cheerful giver.

We're to give willingly, and our giving is not to be tallied or kept track of according to our Lord.

Matthew 6:3 But when thou doest alms, let not thy left hand know what thy right hand doeth: 4 That thine alms may be in secret: and thy Father which seeth in secret himself shall reward thee openly.

That unfortunately will eliminate many who tithe, or who will not give unless they can obtain a tax receipt so they can use their 'tithe' or 'giving' as a deduction. For many give according to that secular 'allowance'. Once the allowance is tallied, the giving is done. Many tithe on their net income after deductions are taken, versus their gross income, which is before any money is paid to others. Yet many would then say "I pay my tithe to God first, off the top, because the first ten percent is His," when in reality He is paid after the taxes, pensions, insurance, union dues or other taken 'off the top'. Many people give in a sanitized manner, writing a check or stuffing an envelope with money, so that they never have to actually interact with the poor, the fatherless, the needy and the lost.

It's noteworthy that the widow was commended by Jesus for giving from her want, and even under the Law, Zacchaeus gave his tithe but then stated to our Lord, that he gave half of his goods to the poor:

Luke 19:8 And Zacchaeus stood, and said unto the Lord; Behold, Lord, the half of my goods I give to the poor; and if I have taken any thing from any man by false accusation, I restore him fourfold. 9 And Jesus said unto him, This day is salvation come to this house, forsomuch as he also is a son of Abraham.
10 For the Son of man is come to seek and to save that which was lost.

Do these people, who wrongly base an individuals spiritual condition on giving the Tithe of the Law, really think God does not know what the needs of all are, and if one does not give in one area because they are called to give in another, that God will be unable to lay it on a willing heart to give more if that is what is needed in the 'church' or somewhere else? Because He has provided for all our needs and for all the things He wants done by us. He will leave nothing undone, including the means to accomplish it all. We are His Body, which is His Church. He is over it all.

Ephesians 1:22 And hath put all things under his feet, and gave him to be the head over all things to the church, 23 Which is his body, the fulness of him that filleth all in all.

Ephesians 5:25 Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ also loved the church, and gave himself for it; 26 That he might sanctify and cleanse it with the washing of water by the word, 27 That he might present it to himself a glorious church, not having spot, or wrinkle, or any such thing; but that it should be holy and without blemish. 28 So ought men to love their wives as their own bodies. He that loveth his wife loveth himself. 29 For no man ever yet hated his own flesh; but nourisheth and cherisheth it, even as the Lord the church: 30 For we are members of his body, of his flesh, and of his bones. 31 For this cause shall a man leave his father and mother, and shall be joined unto his wife, and they two shall be one flesh. 32 This is a great mystery: but I speak concerning Christ and the church.

Every part of what we have belongs to Him. We are merely stewards of what is His. The Old Testament people did not have the indwelling of the Holy Spirit. We do. And our giving is to reflect not only that, but the love that comes from Christ, and obedience to His Word, which includes instruction on giving and care of the saints and the poor and needy.

The God we serve is more than able to provide all that is needed. Because it is all His to start with.

Matthew 6:30 Wherefore, if God so clothe the grass of the field, which to day is, and to morrow is cast into the oven, shall he not much more clothe you, O ye of little faith? 31 Therefore take no thought, saying, What shall we eat? or, What shall we drink? or, Wherewithal shall we be clothed? 32 (For after all these things do the Gentiles seek:) for your heavenly Father knoweth that ye have need of all these things. 33 But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you.

Luke 12:22 And he said unto his disciples, Therefore I say unto you, Take no thought for your life, what ye shall eat; neither for the body, what ye shall put on. 23 The life is more than meat, and the body is more than raiment. 24 Consider the ravens: for they neither sow nor reap; which neither have storehouse nor barn; and God feedeth them: how much more are ye better than the fowls? 25 And which of you with taking thought can add to his stature one cubit? 26 If ye then be not able to do that thing which is least, why take ye thought for the rest? 27 Consider the lilies how they grow: they toil not, they spin not; and yet I say unto you, that Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these. 28 If then God so clothe the grass, which is to day in the field, and to morrow is cast into the oven; how much more will he clothe you, O ye of little faith? 29 And seek not ye what ye shall eat, or what ye shall drink, neither be ye of doubtful mind. 30 For all these things do the nations of the world seek after: and your Father knoweth that ye have need of these things.
31 But rather seek ye the kingdom of God; and all these things shall be added unto you. 32 Fear not, little flock; for it is your Father's good pleasure to give you the kingdom. 33 Sell that ye have, and give alms; provide yourselves bags which wax not old, a treasure in the heavens that faileth not, where no thief approacheth, neither moth corrupteth. 34 For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also.

Phil 4:19 But my God shall supply all your need according to his riches in glory by Christ Jesus. 20 Now unto God and our Father be glory for ever and ever. Amen

 

For more on Tithing and Giving please see the series :

Is Tithing Scriptural for New Covenant Believers? Under the Law or Led by the Spirit : Introduction ; http://www.seekgod.ca/tithing.htm

Tithing Part 1: The Purpose of the Tithe and The Priesthood ; http://www.seekgod.ca/tithing1.htm

Tithing Part 2: The Prophesied New Covenant ; http://www.seekgod.ca/tithing2.htm

Tithing Part 3: Changes to the Covenant Through Christ ; http://www.seekgod.ca/tithing3.htm

Tithing Part 4: From The Law To The Covenant of Grace http://www.seekgod.ca/tithing4.htm

Tithing Part 5: Keeping the Words of Christ And Giving for The Love of Christ  http://www.seekgod.ca/tithing5.htm

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02/25/2011

Note: "Strong's" for Hebrew and Greek Word definitions from Strong's Exhaustive Concordance by James Strong

"Thayers" >  Thayer's Greek-English Lexicon of the New Testament

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All Scripture King James Version unless otherwise stated

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