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Tithing

  Is It  Scriptural for New Covenant Believers? 

 

Under the Law or Led by the Spirit

 

Part 4

From The Law To The Covenant of Grace

 
**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.
 
We find that many precepts from the Law of Moses were brought forward to the New Testament and restated in a slightly different way. For example, the issues of divorce being allowed by Moses due to the hardness of the hearts, yet amongst those who belong to Christ, it is not to be found. Jesus said what God has joined together as one flesh, no one is to cause to separate. That included those within the marriage. He addressed adultery and changed the concept to include that even looking on a woman with lust was committing adultery. While adultery under the law resulted in being stoned, adultery and fornication were forbidden to be found amongst the saints. Christians are to exude love, tenderness, forgiving one another, preferring others over ourselves. Husbands are to love their wives as they do themselves, and wives submit to their husbands, and they are to live together as joint heirs in Christ. To hate someone was akin to murdering according to Christ.

Instead of stoning rebellious children, they are told to obey and honor their father and mother, while parents are called to raise their children in the nurture and admonition of the Lord. Rebellion is given an opportunity for repentance and forgiveness as demonstrated in the story of the prodigal son. Fathers are told to not provoke their children to wrath, and all are given opportunity to know Christ. In fact, it is with the faith of a child we are to come to Christ, and our children must be viewed as potential brothers and sisters in the Lord.

A further example of the Laws being brought forward, revealed this.

Circumcision: Leviticus 12:3 And on the eighth day the flesh of his foreskin shall be circumcised.

Paul taught that believers need not be circumcised to be acceptable, but the Jews could according to the custom:

1 Corinthians 7 :18 Is any man called being circumcised? let him not become uncircumcised. Is any called in uncircumcision? let him not be circumcised. 19 Circumcision is nothing, and uncircumcision is nothing, but the keeping of the commandments of God. 20 Let every man abide in the same calling wherein he was called.

Galatians 5:1 Stand fast therefore in the liberty wherewith Christ hath made us free, and be not entangled again with the yoke of bondage. 2 Behold, I Paul say unto you, that if ye be circumcised, Christ shall profit you nothing. 3 For I testify again to every man that is circumcised, that he is a debtor to do the whole law. 4 Christ is become of no effect unto you, whosoever of you are justified by the law; ye are fallen from grace.

Galatians 2:1 Then fourteen years after I went up again to Jerusalem with Barnabas, and took Titus with me also. 2 And I went up by revelation, and communicated unto them that gospel which I preach among the Gentiles, but privately to them which were of reputation, lest by any means I should run, or had run, in vain. 3 But neither Titus, who was with me, being a Greek, was compelled to be circumcised: 4 And that because of false brethren unawares brought in, who came in privily to spy out our liberty which we have in Christ Jesus, that they might bring us into bondage: 5 To whom we gave place by subjection, no, not for an hour; that the truth of the gospel might continue with you.

Paul circumcised Timothy, "because of the Jews which were in those quarters: for they knew all that his father was a Greek." And his mother was a Jewess. [*66] [Acts 16:1-3

In all the Laws and precepts discussed in the New Testament, not once is the mention of the required tithe brought forward, but rather, the concept of giving fully from the heart, caring for the brethren and giving to the poor. From the Old Testament it was called freewill offerings. In the total of passages found in the New Testament with the word tithe, there is no command or request or requirement to tithe, after Christ was crucified because the priesthood changed and the commanded tithe for the Levites care was not applicable to them.

Tithes (dekatoo) is found twice --- [*67] Hebrews 7:6 and 7:9

Tithe (apodekatoo) is found in [*68] Matthew 23:23, Luke 11:42, Luke 18:12, Hebrews 7:5

From the Hebrew Scriptures or TaNaKh [Old Testament] 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.

Proverbs 3:9 Honour the LORD with thy substance, and with the firstfruits of all thine increase: 10 So shall thy barns be filled with plenty, and thy presses shall burst out with new wine.

From Strong's Hebrew> Firstfruits> 07225. tyvar re'shiyth, ray-sheeth' from the same as 7218; the first, in place, time, order or rank (specifically, a firstfruit):--beginning, chief(-est), first(-fruits, part, time), principal thing.

Compared to what Paul and James 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:

James 1:18 Of his own will begat he us with the word of truth, that we should be a kind of firstfruits of his creatures.

Strong's Greek>  Firstfruits> 536. aparch aparche, ap-ar-khay' >from a compound of 575 and 756; a beginning of sacrifice, i.e. the (Jewish) first-fruit (figuratively):--first-fruits.

The only time Jesus referenced tithing was to rebuke the religious leaders. In Matthew 23:23, Jesus rebuked the Pharisees and said, “Woe unto you scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye tithe mint and anise and cummin, and have left undone the weightier matters of the law, Justice and mercy, and faith: but these you ought to have done and not to have left the other undone” Tithing was still practiced because the people were under the Law, until Jesus was crucified and rose from the dead, having been the perfect sacrifice, once for all.  Jesus stated that the Pharisees paid the tithe, yet they had omitted and forgotten the most important aspects of the Law. That is, having mercy, justice, faith, and living for God, which meant loving Him and others. 'Loving your neighbor as yourself.' God could not and cannot be bought. He goes by the intent of the heart, regardless how religious a person believes themselves to be.  Jesus summed up the heart of the Mosaic Law in the following verses.

Matthew 22:36 Master, which is the great commandment in the law? 37 Jesus said unto him, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind. 38 This is the first and great commandment. 39 And the second is like unto it, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself. 40 On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets. [also [*69] [Mark 12:28-33]

Concerning the law Paul wrote:

Romans 13:8 Owe no man any thing, but to love one another: for he that loveth another hath fulfilled the law. 9 For this, Thou shalt not commit adultery, Thou shalt not kill, Thou shalt not steal, Thou shalt not bear false witness, Thou shalt not covet; and if there be any other commandment, it is briefly comprehended in this saying, namely, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself. 10 Love worketh no ill to his neighbour: therefore love is the fulfilling of the law.

 Jesus clearly said that the tithe was of the law. Paul also said tithing was of the commandments of the law, in Hebrews 7:5 " And verily they that are of the sons of Levi, who receive the office of the priesthood, have a commandment to take tithes of the people according to the law, that is, of their brethren, though they come out of the loins of Abraham:"

In Acts 15 the Apostle Peter dealt with the issue of the requirement to keep the Law as Jewish believers and those who were demanding the Gentiles needed to keep the Law of Moses. He referred to trying to keep the Law as Jews, as a 'yoke' on their necks, "Now therefore why tempt ye God, to put a yoke upon the neck of the disciples, which neither our fathers nor we were able to bear?"

Acts 15:4 And when they were come to Jerusalem, they were received of the church, and of the apostles and elders, and they declared all things that God had done with them. 5 But there rose up certain of the sect of the Pharisees which believed, saying, That it was needful to circumcise them, and to command them to keep the law of Moses.
6 And the apostles and elders came together for to consider of this matter.
7 And when there had been much disputing, Peter rose up, and said unto them, Men and brethren, ye know how that a good while ago God made choice among us, that the Gentiles by my mouth should hear the word of the gospel, and believe.
8 And God, which knoweth the hearts, bare them witness, giving them the Holy Ghost, even as he did unto us;
9 And put no difference between us and them, purifying their hearts by faith.
10 Now therefore why tempt ye God, to put a yoke upon the neck of the disciples, which neither our fathers nor we were able to bear?
11 But we believe that through the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ we shall be saved, even as they.

The Apostles, after seeking the leading of the Holy Spirit, stated that the Law of Moses was not to be kept by believers, as we are saved by grace, not of works. And the Law was rooted in works. It did not mean that a lesser standard of holiness was needed, but it would come through obedience to Christ, and not the Law of Moses, which was restated in many ways, because of God's mercy and grace. The Apostle Paul wrote, by inspiration of the Holy Spirit:

Romans 2:23 Thou that makest thy boast of the law, through breaking the law dishonourest thou God? 24 For the name of God is blasphemed among the Gentiles through you, as it is written. 25 For circumcision verily profiteth, if thou keep the law: but if thou be a breaker of the law, thy circumcision is made uncircumcision.

In other words, as the Apostle James reiterated in the New Testament regarding the Law, in James 2:10 "For whosoever shall keep the whole law, and yet offend in one point, he is guilty of all." Today, while many claim to adhere to the "613"commandments, the reality is that even an orthodox Jew living in Israel can attempt to only keep a percentage of them. Yet it was commanded by God that all laws were to be kept, if one was to live to the Laws of Moses. God provided the promised New Covenant because it was not dependent on man's ability or inability, but rather was dependent fully on God Himself and His Promises which can never be broken.

As stated previously, the Apostle Paul noted that God's promise to Abraham and his seed was not made conditional with the keeping of the law, but rather the fulfillment of the promises was dependent on the coming Mediator and New Covenant, and rooted in faith, as demonstrated by Abraham.

3:18 For if the inheritance be of the law, it is no more of promise: but God gave it to Abraham by promise. 19 Wherefore then serveth the law? It was added because of transgressions, till the seed should come to whom the promise was made; and it was ordained by angels in the hand of a mediator. ....23 But before faith came, we were kept under the law, shut up unto the faith which should afterwards be revealed. 24 Wherefore the law was our schoolmaster to bring us unto Christ, that we might be justified by faith.  25 But after that faith is come, we are no longer under a schoolmaster. 26 For ye are all the children of God by faith in Christ Jesus.

4:21 Tell me, ye that desire to be under the law, do ye not hear the law?
22 For it is written, that Abraham had two sons, the one by a bondmaid, the other by a freewoman. 23 But he who was of the bondwoman was born after the flesh; but he of the freewoman was by promise. 24 Which things are an allegory: for these are the two covenants; the one from the mount Sinai, which gendereth to bondage, which is Agar.
25 For this Agar is mount Sinai in Arabia, and answereth to Jerusalem which now is, and is in bondage with her children. 26 But Jerusalem which is above is free, which is the mother of us all...31 So then, brethren, we are not children of the bondwoman, but of the free. 5:1 Stand fast therefore in the liberty wherewith Christ hath made us free, and be not entangled again with the yoke of bondage. 2 Behold, I Paul say unto you, that if ye be circumcised, Christ shall profit you nothing. 3 For I testify again to every man that is circumcised, that he is a debtor to do the whole law. 4 Christ is become of no effect unto you, whosoever of you are justified by the law; ye are fallen from grace.

The noting of the yoke and burden of the Law by the apostles, is in sharp contrast to what Jesus our Lord said about what He offered.

Matthew 11:28 Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. 29 Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls. 30 For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.

From a Christian perspective, those who choose to submit to even part of the Law of Moses, such as the tithe, are obligated to keep it all, according to the very Word of God which those same people requiring the tithe are claiming to adhere to. The keeping of the law is not of faith, and we are to walk by faith.

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:

Note again, Galatians 3:10 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." [corresp. [*70] Deut. 27:26; Jeremiah 11:3

3:11 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."

And Galatians 2:16 Knowing that a man is not justified by the works of the law, but by the faith of Jesus Christ, even we have believed in Jesus Christ, that we might be justified by the faith of Christ, and not by the works of the law: for by the works of the law shall no flesh be justified. [*71] [Hab 2:4; Ro 1:17; Heb 10:38]

Attempting to keep and be justified by the Law of Moses overturns what Christ did. The Apostle Paul continues in Galatians 5:4 and states that attempting to live by and thereby be justified by the Law of Moses resulted in this: “Christ is become of no effect unto you, whosoever of you are justified by the law; ye are fallen from grace.”

And that justification includes those who feel that the tithing Law applies to them and others, and that a person's spiritual condition is based on giving that tithe.

 

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

 

Previous Sections

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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