Where do we stand with tithing in the New Testament
Truth about tithing,
To Tithe or not to Tithe!
I was just like the millions of other people in the modern day church who never even stopped to consider whether we were been taught His Truth instead of the doctrines and beliefs of men. There are things we consider sound doctrine, which upon a closer look at the word, have been exposed as lies. Although many leaders know this, they do not want the truth exposed. They fail to trust the very word they preach and fail the very love they teach, through lack of faith.
Before making a decision, let us establish where we stand with tithing in the New Testament.
Tithing originates in the Old Testament under the Law of Moses. If we look at the Law, we see that there were laws to do, and if you do them, you received blessings. If a law was broken, curses followed disobedience to those laws. (Deut 28)
If we look closer at the teaching on tithing, we discover that a tithe of food - was to be given to the Levites by the 12 tribes of Israel. Each tribe had a turn, per month, to pay their tithe. There were 12 tribes and there are 12 months, so the Levites got a tithe from a different tribe each month. The Levites did not own land or livestock but worked in the Temple (Deut 18:1-2).
Deut 18:1-2: So here we see that a tithe or offering had to be given unto the tribe of Levi under Law. These were to come from Israel’s inheritance. (12 tribes – their inherited land - livestock and produce) (Deut 18:2).
The most well known verse in the Old Testament concerning tithing is: Malachi 3:8-12.
Will a man rob God? Yet ye have robbed me. But ye say, wherein have we robbed thee? In tithes and in offerings. Ye [are] cursed with a curse: for ye have robbed me, [even] this whole nation.
Bring ye all the tithes into the storehouse, that there may be meat in mine house, and prove me now herewith, said 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, said the LORD of hosts. And all nations shall call you blessed: for ye shall be a delightsome land, said the LORD of hosts. (KJV)
Malachi 3 is used in almost every New Testament Church to promote the paying of Tithing. The tithe will be used for upholding the church and to pay the preacher’s salary. They also place a curse upon those that do not pay their full tithe with verse 9, “you are cursed with a curse”. I have also heard the preacher say that no thief will enter the Kingdom of God, because they are robbing God. They also say that in verse 10 to “prove (test) God” if He will open the windows of heaven for you if you pay your tithes.
So, are all the above statements true?
Is your pastor or preacher from the tribe of Levi?
Romans 8:1 say that there is now no condemnation to them that are in Christ Jesus.
Gal 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 continues not in all things which are written in the book of the law to do them.
So how can they then condemn us with a curse? A curse is only for the LAW if you do not keep it, it will apply. Romans 10:4-5 Christ is the end of the LAW unto righteousness to every one that believes. In Hebrews 11:6 the Bible says; "but without faith it is impossible to please Him, for He who comes to God must believe that He is, and that He is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him."
So if I believe in Him (Jesus) I am in right standing with God the Father and the curse no longer applies. Jesus became a cure for me on the cross so that I could become the righteousness of God through Him. All of us have sinned (Romans 3:23) and the wages of sin is death (Romans 6:23). God made our release from the death penalty possible, our deliverance from the curse of the law possible, by giving Jesus Christ, His only begotten Son, to die in our stead. He took our place. We are, therefore, reconciled to God by the death of His Son (Romans 5:10).
We, today, are living in the Church of grace, and most will agree that that is the truth. We are not under law, but are saved by Grace, in the New Covenant (New Testament). So you will agree that we are now set free from the Law and that we are now living in the dispensation of grace.
You will agree that the Old Testament is a shadow of the fleshly man and the New Testament is a shadow of the Spiritual man. In the Old Testament you were saved by the Law of Moses by bringing a lamb to be killed in our place and in the New Testament we are been saved by His Grace by accepting the Lamb of God, Jesus Christ’s blood, His death and resurrection.
The Cross is the great divider between Old and New Testament.
Gal 3:23-27: But before faith came, we were kept under the law, shut up unto the faith which should afterwards be revealed. Wherefore the law was our schoolmaster [to bring us] unto Christ, that we might be justified by faith. But after that faith is come, we are no longer under a schoolmaster. For you are all the children of God by faith, in Christ Jesus. For as many of you as have been baptized into Christ have put on Christ.
The New Testament did not begin at Matthew 1:1 but with the death of Jesus Christ - Heb 9:16 – 17.
So we can say that the New Testament begins in the book of Acts. His deaths initiated the New Testament and not His birth. Mathew, Mark, Luke and John were not written for the New Covenant but mostly for the Jewish people under LAW. You have to read carefully to see with whom Jesus was speaking - Jews or Gentile. As you know we are the gentiles.
We read in Galatians 4: 4 – 5 that Jesus was born under the law, as a prophet living under law, to redeem them that were under the law so that Jewish people and gentiles could deserve the adoption of sons of God. Jesus provoked jealousy in the hearts of the Jewish people under the law, through the grace He shows now to the gentiles, so that they could come free from the law and to come under grace.
God used Paul to show us the New Covenant of Grace and that is why he was in jail, composing most of the New Testament books. Paul understood grace perfectly and that is why he prayed 3 times that God will take away the thorn in his flesh. God said unto him “my grace is sufficient” Go read the book of Romans and Hebrews carefully and you will discover grace.
Now a new question arises after the truth has been revealed. Must I then still give in the New Testament Church?
God said that the Law was written on stone but in the New Testament God has written His law on the tablet of our hearts. He said that we have to pluck out the stone heart and to replace it with a heart of flesh. Your heart now under the rule of the Holy Spirit will guide you where and how to give.
God loves a cheerful giver and it will be given back to you, pressed down, shaken together and running over. You will be freed from the burden or condemnation of the Law of giving and you will give more and more freely than ever before, when you were forced to give under law.
Freedom is illustrated with the story of Zacchaeus, as Jesus forgave him his sin; he said that he would give half his wealth to the poor and give back four times to everyone he has robbed. What changed his heart’s attitude and his mind? The Holy Spirit indwelling his newly saved soul, so he automatically wanted to give, like the Fathers’ heart gives.
- False altars, Strange fires, Wrong offering.
Because of religion and a lack of knowledge, many strange altars have been built in the house of God. It is time to repair God's true altar.
Must we still give all our offerings to the church?
Jesus said: “But the Helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in My name, He will teach you all things, and bring to your remembrance all things that I said to you” (John 14:26). And again: “However, when He, the Spirit of truth, has come, He will guide you into all truth; for He will not speak on His own authority, but whatever He hears He will speak; and He will tell you things to come” (John 16:13).
God said to me: “Look at the preachers and leaders. Look at the cars they are driving, their clothes and houses where they are living. Where is the need? Look at the rest of the congregation? Give where the Holy Spirit shows you to. The need begins with the body of Christ. Give where the need is.
The principle of sow and reap still applies. Sow sparingly and you will reap sparingly, sow a lot and you will reap a lot.
God wants to give to you, undeserved abundance, overflowing and He wants you to give as well as He does. It is through the Holy Spirit that Jesus Christ dwells in us and empowers us to live the same kind of life that He lived when He walked the earth as a human being (Galatians 2:20; Philippians 2:5).
Since Christ dwells in us through the Holy Spirit, our bodies are accounted as the temple of God (1 Corinthians 3:16) and we are told to glorify God in all aspects of our life (1 Corinthians 6:20). We have to exercise hearing God’s Spirit. We must seek and desire to follow God’s lead, we have to follow. In short, we must walk with God. God’s Spirit will lead and show us to where and when to give, but it will not possess or control us.
Tithing in the New Testament Church.
I am going to live by grace and stop tithing by LAW and start giving by Grace
© 2013 Louis Fourie