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ARE CHRISTIANS COMMANDED TO TITHE?
Is Tithing A Command For The Church?
Tithe: A tenth part, especially as offered to God; Abraham presented a tithe of war booty to the Priest-King of Jerusalem, Melchizedek (Genesis 14:18-20). Jacob pledged to offer God a tithe of all his possessions upon his safe return (Genesis 28:22). The ‘Tithe' was subject to a variety of legislation. Numbers 18:20-32 provides for support of the Levites and the Priests through the tithing system. The Deuteronomic code stipulated that the tithe of agricultural produce be used for a family feast at the sanctuary celebrating God's provision (Deuteronomy 14:22-27). The Rabbis of the New Testament period, however, understood the laws as referring to three separate tithes: (1) A Levitical tithe, (2) A tithe spent celebrating in Jerusalem, and (3) A charity tithe.
Malachi 3:8 equates neglect of the tithe with robbing God. Jesus, however, warned that strict tithing must accompany concern for the more important demands of the law, namely, for Just and Merciful living ( Luke 11:42). See also: Hebrews 8:8
Are we commanded to tithe? The Apostle Paul made it very clear in his letter to the Corinthians when he said: "On the first day of every week, each one of you should set aside a sum of money in keeping with his income, saving it up, so that when I come no collections will have to be made." I Corinthians 16:2
And again Paul said, "And now, brothers, we want you to know about the grace God has given the Macedonian Churches. Out of the most severe trial, their overflowing joy and their extreme poverty welled up in high generosity. "For I testify that they gave as much as they were able, and even beyond their ability." I Corinthians 8:2, 3
We move with deliberate succession from the ‘Law' of God (Old Covenant), to the ‘Grace' of God (New Covenant).
Paul further demonstrates this ‘Grace' by saying, "I am not commanding you, but I want to test the sincerity of your love by comparing it with the earnestness of others."
Paul says, "I am not commanding you..." remember, Paul is talking to gentiles.
See II Corinthians 8:8.
I know you are shaking your head in disbelief right about now, right? Well consider this: Joshua was instructed by Moses to divide the Promised Land among the tribes of Israel. All the Israelites received an inheritance, but God had this to say to Aaron and the tribe of Levi (Levites): The Lord said to Aaron, "You will have no inheritance in their land, nor will you have any share among them; I am your share and your inheritance among the Israelites." "I give to the Levites all the tithes in Israel for their inheritance in return for the work they do while serving at the Tent of Meeting." Numbers 18:20, 21
The Lord told Aaron that ‘He' was his inheritance. The Levites inheritance was the ‘Tithes'. The Israelites inheritance was the ‘Land'. What is your inheritance?
Look what the Apostle Paul say about the subject: "Having believed, you were marked in him with a seal, the promised Holy Spirit, who is a deposit guaranteeing our inheritance until the redemption of those who are Gods' possession - to the praise of his glory." Ephesians 1:13b-14 NIV
Here, Paul is saying our inheritance does not consist of tithes or land, or anything else material. We, like the first priest of God, which was Aaron, is to inherit God himself. He is our portion. We, being a kingdom, and priests receive the same inheritance as Aaron. This is what the scripture say about that: And they sang a new song, "you are worthy to take the scroll and to open its' seal, because you were slain, and with your blood you purchased men for God from every tribe and language and people and nation. You have made them to be a kingdom and priests to serve our God, and they will reign on the earth." Revelation 5:9, 10
The things under the Old Covenant were not eternal, but things under the New Covenant are of an eternal order.
The ‘Tithing' system was set up to be an inheritance. It is not the Christians inheritance. Ephesians 5:5 says, "For of this you can be sure: No immoral, impure or greedy person -such a man is an idolater - has any inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and of God." And again in Colossians 1:12 it says, "...giving thanks to the Father, who has qualified you to share in the inheritance of the saints in the kingdom of light." In Hebrew 9:15a it says, "For this reason Christ is the mediator of a new covenant, that those who are called may receive the promised eternal inheritance ..."
I think it is only fitting that we sum it up with the words of the Apostle Peter: "Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ. In his great mercy he has given us new birth into a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, and into an inheritance that can never perish, spoil or fade - kept in heaven for you," I Peter 1:4.
Our inheritance is not even on this earth. It is kept in heaven for us. Praise the Lord!