Acts of the Apostles - The Law of Consecration
Christians debate the feasibility of living the law of Tithing that was continued in the Law of Moses following the revelation Moses received as a schoolmaster for the House of Israel to one day enjoy the higher blessing of the Gospel which later came through Jesus Christ.
Tithing, giving of a tenth of one's increase to the prophet of the Lord, the presiding high priest was not something that started with Moses or ended with Jesus. It is a topic of disputation among the Christians in modern times because there is NO Biblical edict in the New Testament for followers of Christ to pay tithes.
What there is in the teachings of Jesus is to do the law of Moses plus a higher law. Followers of God are not to sacrifice animals anymore, but offer the sacrifice of a broken heart and a contrite spirit before Him because Jesus Christ was the final sacrifice for sin.
Followers are not supposed to commit adultery, but also avoid thinking about it.
Followers are supposed to love their fellows and their enemies! Jesus fulfilled the law, the schoolmaster and brought with Him the higher law of God calling for the inner and outer vessel to be holy and clean.
Christ did not do away with tithing. He fulfilled the law of tithing, requiring not only a tenth of increase but the giving of EVERYTHING to the church and having the Apostles redistribute it back to each member of the Church of Christ as need demanded.
Point of Contention - Prophets are Important
Most Christian churches believe in prophets as long as they are dead. Having a mouthpiece for the Lord who is alive and continuing to speak the mind of God to the current generation of people poses a problem for many churches in modern society because many of them are for profit. Preachers are millionaires and the ministry is about building a bigger church rather than helping the poor and needy with both the Word of God and out of their indigent circumstances.
Should ministers be paid? Yes. They should maintain the minimum standard of living to not have to worry about starving while they labor for the Lord. Should they get rich from ministering to the poor? Never. Even if they did gain money through a ministering opportunity, if they lived the higher law of Consecration as taught by the apostles in the early Church it would all go back to the Church and be distributed out to all who need it so that no one would be without.
Without an apostle directing the law of tithing or the law of consecration, it is all folly. So, to all those who argue against tithes in the modern Christian churches, they have a point if there is no apostle who speaks for the Lord to direct how that money is spent through a Bishop or Pastor.
To make up for the absence of apostles, churches have Deacons boards to control the purse strings making the matter more of a political situation. If Peter was alive today as the official representative of Jesus Christ on the Earth, would Christians listen?
True Followers of Christ Live the Higher Law
Persecution raged in Hebrew society against the Church of Christ. Peter and his fellows left with verbal warnings from the leaders of the Jews who had told them not to preach of this Jesus of Nazareth. Doing so was causing a great stir among the Hebrews and the Romans did not like stirs. The Romans would march in with soldiers to quelch stirs if it appeared to the Roman government that the Jewish leaders could not control the population!
This new Hebrew sect did not respect the old ways, but it was popular. The leaders, Peter, James, and John caused too much attention. Warning them was never going to help because of the power of their faith. As soon as they left questioning with the leaders of the Jews, these Hebrew followers of Christ published it to the brethren of their sect of Judaism and praised God to the point that the very foundation of the building rumbled with glory!
Not only did they worship with one heart the Messiah, but they consecrated all that they had so that they became united in an order of love that epitomized what Jesus taught about loving one another as each person loved him or herself.
The followers of Christ were of one heart. None of them considered the things that they owned theirs alone but shared all things in common.
None among the followers of Christ were poor or lacked necessities because those who came with possessions to the faith of lands or houses sold them, and brought the revenue of the purchases to the apostles, who distributed to every house according to their needs. 1
Believers in Principles But Not the Practices
Amidst this covenant of love that existed among this new sect of Hebrews, some stood in faith without the works to accompany it, Ananias, and his wife Sapphira. Worldly cares had choked their lives for so long, that when they sold their possessions to consecrate to the Lord, they kept proceeds hidden.
Why would they give all their hard-earned wealth to the poor when it was their ingenuity that created such wealth? Yes, they believed in Jesus Christ and His teachings, but they could not give it all. Besides, who would know that they kept a portion of the proceeds?
Ananias presented the consecrated offering before Peter, reverently and solemnly.
Regarding the offering with much care, Peter's face became sullen for a few moments. Something was wrong with the offering on the table. Each of them had covenanted to share everything in common as a testimony before God of their faith and devotion to Jesus Christ's teachings, but something was wrong! He felt it as he touched his hand on the gold and jewels before him as a monetary equivalent of all Ananias owned.
"Ananias," Peter said softly, pausing a little as he gazed into his eyes. "Why hath Satan filled thine heart to lie to the Holy Ghost, and to keep back part of the price of the land?"
Cold shock struck Ananias swiftly.
How could this man know, raced through his mind as no words left his mouth in awe.
Surely he had taken every precaution to hide the fact of his deceit. Did his wife tell them? Peter is not a man of learning as am I. How could he have known, he probably told himself.
"Whiles it remained, was it not thine own?" Peter did not expect an answer as a sorrowful and pleadingly mournful feeling accompanied his words.
"After it was sold, was it not in thine own power? Why hast thou conceived this thing in thine heart?" Tears wet Peter's eyes bulging to fall. Ananias was a covenant breaker. Lying, thinking that he would save face by having his faith and keeping some of his wealth too, no one forced him to enter to the higher law of consecration with God. It was his choice.
"Thou hast not lied unto men," Peter's voice quivered. "but unto God."
The tears in Peter's eyes slowly inched down his face as did Ananias to the floor dead for breaking his oath to God. In the same manner, did his wife sink to the floor when questioned about this deception she and her husband attempted to perpetrate before the Chief Apostle.
Great fear came upon all the church, and upon as many as heard these things. God loved the world enough to sacrifice His only begotten Son in the flesh to save it. Why then would He then not sacrifice those who covenanted with Him to teach the consequence of not following His words while pretending to make and keep covenants? God will not be mocked. 2
Most Christians are silent on this teaching by the original apostles in Acts showing that tithing is not enough, but the lower part of a higher law of consecration. Could modern-day Christians live as the early-day Christians? Jesus invited His disciples to sell or give all and follow Him. Through this communalism, there would be no poor if all lived it honestly. True communism is administered by the Church through Christ's leaders, not the government. Political Communism is a bastardized version of the correct Law of Consecration practiced by the early Church of Jesus Christ.
If people complain about paying tithing to the Church, imagine what they would do having to give 100% of their increase to the church and getting back what the Church thought they needed!
New Testament - Acts 4:32-35 1
New Testament - Acts 5:1-11 2
© 2019 Rodric Anthony