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Tithing

  Is It  Scriptural for New Covenant Believers? 

 

Under the Law or Led by the Spirit

 

Romans 12:1-2

1 I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service. 2 And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.

 

Introduction

 
If one looks at popular books, websites, forums and articles, it becomes apparent that many, regardless of denomination or beliefs, advocate the giving of the 'tithe' or ten percent, to the organization, leadership, pastors, and others who make a claim for the payment of it. The many pro-tithing views are found amongst liberal Christians, Baptists, Messianics, Evangelicals, Pentecostals, Charismatics, Hebrew Roots, Catholics and so on, regardless of how Biblically sound they may appear in other areas. This article will address the various arguments, and look at the purpose of the tithe and the priesthood. It is in-depth, dealing with beliefs as well as many Scriptures, and is split due to size considerations for those with slower or older computers.

Please note that most listed Scriptural references are presented as a pop-up, by moving the mouse over the [*1], or, clicking on the reference will take you to the corresponding Scripture on a Scriptural reference page. If the pop-up does not show, you may have to disable script blocking in Windows XP or other programs. Some older browsers will not recognize pop-ups.

Amidst the advocacy for tithing is a growing controversy over the concept of giving and tithes. Some Christians would go so far as to say that those who do not give the ten percent as commanded by God in the Old Testament, but rather, give as they feel led to give by the Spirit, are not of Christ. Some Christians say that those who do not give the tithe to the church, which to them is the required or commanded bare minimum, are doing so in a rebellious spirit and a determination to avoid accountability. Money then, for some, becomes the value of a persons righteousness, relationship with the Lord and even their salvation, although there is no Scripture to support that belief. We are saved by God's grace. Salvation is a free gift from Him.

Others state that those who give tithes according to the Law of the Tithe, are blessed, with the implication being that those who give according as they determine is right, to not be as blessed. Others state that 'non-tithers' would be complaining about not having, while 'tithers' would be fully provided for. Some ministers and other Christians state that if you donít tithe, God will not bless you at all. The 'prosperity gospel' preachers advocate the tithe, often in this manner.

Other individuals equate tithing to the giving to Melchisedec by Abraham. As wealthy in possessions as Abraham was, there is no Scriptural record that he ever tithed as a result of a Biblical law that required him to do so, because the Law of Moses was given long after he died. When Abraham did give one tenth, it was not from what he normally had, or of the increase of his flocks and herds, which was the tithe prescribed by the later Law. Rather, it was of the 'spoils of war' that he had gained by defeating the army which had taken Lot and others captive. [Genesis 14] Some use the example of Jacob giving to God. After God had promised to be with him and complete what He had said would be done, Jacob asked for and received a safe journey and other things from God. Jacob chose ten per cent as the amount to give to God for watching over him. [*1] [Ge 28:15,20-22] Neither Abraham nor Jacob were told to give it. It is what they freely gave from their hearts, not by commandment, for taxes or by Law, and that is the issue. When God was feeding the children of Israel in the desert with manna and quail, they were not tithing. Yet, God still abundantly blessed and cared for those that honored Him.

Many claim that we are to keep the Law of Moses, as much as possible, and to not, is to suggest throwing out the Old Testament. As much as possible, appears to mean whatever the advocate wants it to mean. Others would advocate that we must keep the Law of Moses, as much as possible, claiming many people misunderstand what the New Covenant is and some have even referred to it as the "renewed" covenant. Some state that not embracing the Law regarding the tithe, is tantamount to picking and choosing which parts of the Bible we are to abide by. This is stated in relation to the tithe issue, while some advocates of this thinking would also say many of the Laws of Moses do not apply to Christians, and the Law was fulfilled in Christ.

Many seem to overlook that the Law of Moses, which is being referred to, is found in the first five books of the Bible, and much more is written about within those books, than the giving of the laws and commandments. The Old Testament contains thirty-nine books, not just the five books of the Torah, and the New Testament contains twenty-seven books. We find all sixty-six books worthy of our study, but not all applies specifically to our serving Christ, but rather to gain understanding from them.

2 Timothy 3:16 All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness:
17 That the man of God may be perfect, thoroughly furnished unto all good works.

Romans 15:4 For whatsoever things were written aforetime were written for our learning, that we through patience and comfort of the scriptures might have hope. [*2][1Co 10:6-11]

In fact it is because of the writings of the prophets that we can know that Jesus Christ fulfilled the prophecies concerning the coming Messiah. And we can prove His Deity from the Old Testament and New Testament. We can learn from the examples of obedience and disobedience found throughout the Old and New Testaments. And we can learn of God. Even the example of Sodom and Gomorrah is for our understanding.

Jude 1:7 Even as Sodom and Gomorrha, and the cities about them in like manner, giving themselves over to fornication, and going after strange flesh, are set forth for an example, suffering the vengeance of eternal fire.

For many in the Christian, Messianic or Hebraic Roots movements, they are being told to tithe by many who can be shown to be merchant preachers or false leaders, but who claim they are in fact the replacement of the Levite priests. As such, they should receive the ten percent tithe which God had instituted in the Law of Moses for the well being of the priesthood. The same arguments used by these Hebraic Roots leaders are what are being used by many Christians, including pastors and leadership.

The Catholic church in fact, viewed the replacement of the Levite priests with sacred ministers. The New Advent article on Tithes, stated that:

"...In the Christian Church, as those who serve the altar should live by the altar (1 Cor., ix, 13), provision of some kind had necessarily to be made for the sacred ministers. In the beginning this was supplied by the spontaneous offerings of the faithful. In the course of time, however, as the Church expanded and various institutions arose, it became necessary to make laws which would insure the proper and permanent support of the clergy. The payment of tithes was adopted from the Old Law, and early writers speak of it as a divine ordinance and an obligation of conscience. The earliest positive legislation on the subject seems to be contained in the letter of the bishops assembled at Tours in 567 and the cannons of the Council of Macon in 585. In course of time, we find the payment of tithes made obligatory by ecclesiastical enactments in all the countries of christendom. The Church looked on this payment as "of divine law, since tithes were instituted not by man but by the Lord Himself ...In English statute law proper, however, the first mention of tithes is to be found in the Statute of Westminister of 1285. ...There are many exempted from the paying of tithes: spiritual corporations, the owners of uncultivated lands, those who have acquired lawful prescription, or heave obtained a legal renunciation, or received a privilege from the pope. At first, the tithe was payable to the bishop, but later the right passed by common law to parish priests...." http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/14741b.htm [bolding added]

Please note that according to Catholic sources based on historical documentation, the saints including any leadership were supported solely by freewill giving, not the tithe, from the time of the Apostles and for about 500 years, until the Catholic church reinstituted it. They in fact became the appointed priesthood and in many places that were controlled by the Catholic church it became a state or provincial law that tithing was required. In fact in Quebec Canada it remains a provincial law that the tithe is required.

The questions become, that since the tithe was instituted under the Mosaic Law which was given to the Hebrew people, is it to be kept, while the other Laws are not? Are the Hebraic Roots leaders the "new" Levite priesthood, or is that authority and job aligned to "Christian pastors", which some Christians claim also replaces the Levite priesthood?

If the Law of Moses is to be kept for tithing, then the rest of the Law must also be kept, according to the Word of God. That includes the food Laws, clean/unclean, circumcision, stoning rebellious children and stoning those caught in adultery, which includes far too many in leadership and outside of leadership.

Galatians 3:7 Know ye therefore that they which are of faith, the same are the children of Abraham. 8 And the scripture, foreseeing that God would justify the heathen through faith, preached before the gospel unto Abraham, saying, In thee shall all nations be blessed. 9 So then they which be of faith are blessed with faithful Abraham.
10 For as many as are of the works of the law are under the curse: for it is written, Cursed is every one that continueth not in all things which are written in the book of the law to do them.
11 But that no man is justified by the law in the sight of God, it is evident: for, The just shall live by faith.
12 And the law is not of faith: but, The man that doeth them shall live in them.
13 Christ hath redeemed us from the curse of the law, being made a curse for us: for it is written, Cursed is every one that hangeth on a tree:

Next Article

Tithing Part 1: The Purpose of the Tithe and The Priesthood

 

 Tithing Is It Scriptural for New Covenant Believers? Introduction

Tithing Part 1: The Purpose of the Tithe and The Priesthood

Tithing Part 2: The Prophesied New Covenant

Tithing Part 3: Changes to the Covenant Through Christ

Tithing Part 4: From The Law To The Covenant of Grace

Tithing Part 5: Keeping the Words of Christ And Giving for The Love of Christ

 

All Scriptures From the King James Bible

Copyright . All articles are the sole property of SeekGod.ca and Vicky Dillen. All Scripture King James Version unless otherwise stated.

 

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