Faith To Tithe: Rebuke the Devourer
There is one commandment that all peopled can live perfectly all the days of their lives, to Tithe! Highly debated by some professors of religion, The Law of Tithing is the source of serious reflection and great uneasiness. This principle is as old as Melchizedek.being that he received tithes for the Lord according to Scripture [Genesis 14:17–20], and as relevant as prayer for the spiritual success of the modern follower of Christ [2 Nephi 32:89].
Why is this law so debated? Some claim that it was done away when Christ fulfilled the Law He gave to Moses while the Israelites sojourned in the wilderness for 40 years. These believers have a valid position if the Law of Tithing was under the Law, but it existed before Moses.
Tithing is a current law of God to all His Saints. Connected to certain blessings, this law is a means to secure protections from Heavenly Father guaranteed to the faithful observer. The same God Who gave the law in ancient times observed by Abraham invites His children to obey faithfully today with a promise of an overabundance of blessings.
"Bring ye all the tithes into the storehouse, that there may be meat in mine house, and prove me now herewith, saith the Lord of hosts, if I will not open you the windows of heaven, and pour you out a blessing, that there shall not be room enough to receive it. And I will rebuke the devourer for your sakes, and he shall not destroy the fruits of your ground; neither shall your vine cast her fruit before the time in the field, saith the Lord of hosts. And all nations shall call you blessed: for ye shall be a delightsome land, saith the Lord of hosts." Malachi 3:10-12
Scriptures Reveal the Early Saints did more than Tithe
The early saints during the Apostolic era of Peter, James, and John lived a higher law referred to as The Law of Consecration where they gave ALL they owned to the Church by covenant having portioned back to them what they needed from Church leaders. Under this new covenant, there existed no poor as long as the Saints kept their oath to live that law. Luke recorded that
the multitude of them that believed were of one heart and soul: and not one [of them] said that aught of the things which he possessed was his own; but THEY HAD ALL THINGS COMMON. [Acts 4:32 (American Standard Version)]
As the Saints prospered annually, I am confident they gave 10% of their increase.
This information is not explicitly mentioned in the Holy Bible but is implied. Also, after Jesus Christ's resurrection, He visited the ancient Americas where He established His Church among the peoples there.
The prophet-historian Mormon recorded of the ancient people called the Nephites and Lamanites,
the people were all converted unto the Lord, upon all the face of the land, both Nephites and Lamanites, and there were no contentions and disputations among them, and every man did deal justly one with another. And THEY HAD ALL THINGS COMMON AMONG THEM; therefore there were not rich and poor, bond and free, but they were all made free, and partakers of the heavenly gift. [4 Nephi1:2-3]
One incident in the ministry of Christ suggests that His disciples received an invitation to live that Higher Law of Consecration when the young man appeared before Jesus desiring to know what he lacked spiritually to make him complete.
Jesus answered, "If you want to be perfect, go, sell your possessions and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven. Then come, follow me." [Matthew 19:21 New International Version]
Why mention these verses? Jesus required more of the Saints after organizing His Church. Not a tenth, but all! Nowhere did He suggest the lesser Law of Tithing ended. Interestingly, those who argue against modern tithing are quiet on the Higher Law of Consecration of all belongings.
Modern Prophets Reveal God's Will for Tithing
Because there existed no clear commandment for the Saints to live the Law of Tithing, Jesus Christ sent a revelation to Joseph Smith for the members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in Doctrine and Covenants 119. Having failed at keeping their oath to live the Law of Consecration, Jesus gave a lesser law of Tithing as a preparatory law for the Saints to live until Zion is redeemed on July 8, 1838, that remains in effect for every Church member today. Nevertheless, the blessings associated with living the Law of Tithing belongs to any faithful person who is willing to give a tenth of his or her increase be whatever religion.
Verily, thus saith the Lord, I require all their surplus property to be put into the hands of the bishop of my church in Zion, for the building of mine house, and for the laying of the foundation of Zion and for the priesthood, and for the debts of the Presidency of my Church. And this shall be the beginning of the tithing of my people. And after that, those who have thus been tithed shall pay one-tenth of all their interest annually; and this shall be a standing law unto them forever, for my holy priesthood, saith the Lord. Verily I say unto you, it shall come to pass that all those who gather unto the land of Zion shall be tithed of their surplus properties, and shall observe this law, or they shall not be found worthy to abide among you. And I say unto you, if my people observe not this law, to keep it holy, and by this law sanctify the land of Zion unto me, that my statutes and my judgments may be kept thereon, that it may be most holy, behold, verily I say unto you, it shall not be a land of Zion unto you. And this shall be an ensample unto all the stakes of Zion. Even so. Amen. [Doctrine and Covenants 119:1-7].
Because the modern Saints failed at implementing the Law of Consecration that the ancient Saints lived for a time, the less law of tithing is in force until God requires it at the hands of His faithful disciples.
"One of the blessings that comes from paying a full tithing," teaches Henry Eyring, a prophet in the Modern Church of Christ, "is developing faith to live an even higher law. To live in the celestial kingdom, we must live the law of consecration. There we must be able to feel that all we are and all we have belong to God." 1
For the faith Saints exercise to pay tithing come commiserate blessings, in particularly, rebuking of the devourer.
I Will Rebuke the Devourer for Your Sake
When God sent Jesus Christ to fulfill the Law of Sacrifices and Ordinances given to Moses in the wilderness, He did not send Christ to overthrow the Gospel. Christ was the final atoning sacrifice so that the animal ritual slaughter made in the similitude of His infinite sacrifice would no longer be necessary to point the House of Isreal to a coming Messiah. Christ fulfilled the lesser law raising all Saints to a higher law and way of living.
Who is the Devourer? The Devourer is not necessarily a who but an event. The Devourer brings with it tragedy and pain; however, living the Gospel of Jesus Christ takes that pain and fear away, even if unfortunate things happen. Living the Law of Tithing helps to call on God during thought tough times to receive, rescue, comfort, and peace.
Anecdotally, I have health problems that started the last few months on my missionary service in South Africa from December of 1998 to December of 2000. At the beginning of my mission, I was a healthy man at about 200 pounds or so and six feet tall. When I returned to the States, I weighed almost 300 pounds! I packed on the weight like crazy and showed no signs of stopping until symptoms for diabetes started the last three months of missionary service. Not knowing much about diabetes or its symptoms, I blamed my missionary companion for it, who actually saved my life because he forced us to eat healthily those last few months. Burkley Probst saved my life by literally forcing my tubby self to eat right.
When I returned home, my mother noticed the symptoms and had me tested for the disease. Since that discovery, my life has been an uphill battle with complications and more diseases and disorders.
How is this a good thing you might wonder?
The Devourer or plague bringer had no power to take my life in my weakness. I could have gone on eating unhealthy foods destroying my life, but God sent an angel, in the form of my brother and companion in Christ, Burkley Probst to rescue me from myself and for my sake because I paid tithing. I am alive because I started eating right when I did.
Many times before and since then I have seen where God rebuked the Devourer in my life and the lives of my family members. Now, this does not mean I am free of sorrow or death. We must pass through those things to show ourselves approved of the kingdom as we do so in faith. Paying tithing did not stop death from claiming my 21-month old Zipporah in 2010, but the blessings of heaven rained down upon me from paying tithing providing needed revelation from God to comfort me.
God said to prove Him, challenge his word. I have, and still, see that He is faithful--and ever will be. Paying Tithing is an act of faith and a personal act between God and the individual. Jesus did not remove the challenge given in Malachi when he suffered for our sins, died, and was resurrected. It Still Stands.
Malachi 3:10 Multiple Versions
"Prove me now herewith, saith the Lord of hosts, if I will not open you the windows of heaven..." King James Bible
"Test me in this," says the LORD Almighty, "and see if I will not throw open the floodgates of heaven...' Berean Study Bible
"And thereby put me to the test, says the LORD of hosts, if I will not open the windows of heaven for you " English Standard Version
"When ye have tried Me, now, with this, Said Jehovah of Hosts, Do not I open to you the windows of heaven?" Young's Literal Translation
What do you Think?
Do you feel God still wants Tithing paid?
© 2012 Rodric Anthony