This is Where You Belong...!

Tithing Part 1

The word "Tithe" is derived from the Hebrew words "Maaser" or "Maasrah", and is translated tenth or tenth part/portion, while the Greek word is "apodekatoo." Both the Hebrew and Greek words mean the same thing. They mean the giving or receiving of the tenth.

"Can a person cheat God? Yet, you are cheating me! "But you ask, 'How are we cheating you?' "When [you don't bring] a tenth of your income and other contributions. (Mal 3:10, GWT)

"Can a person by-pass God? Yet, you are by-passing me! "But you ask, 'How are we by-passing you?' "When [you don't bring] a tenth of your income and other contributions. (Mal 3:10, Emphasis are mine)

  • Read this carefully and prayerfully. This message is not for everyone.  

God's Not Mad At You Because You've Not Tithed, He is Madly in Love With You
There are people saying that tithe belongs to the Old Testament Mosaic law system, only practiced by the Jews under the law. They say it is not for us under the New Testament. They claim that nowhere in the New Testament are Christians commanded to tithe. They claim this, saying that Jesus fulfilled the law of Moses and therefore cancelled tithing. Based on this they say tithing is irrelevant today. Someone even said that tithing was a form of Old Testament taxation system practiced only by the Jews under the law and that it is no more relevant today because it has been replaced by our state tax system. Are these claims true? Has the tithing system been abolished as these people claim? A proper study of the New Testament quickly reveals that nowhere in the epistles are we told that tithing has been abolished, nor are we told never to tithe. We are never told to stop tithing. These discoveries in the New Testament will quickly reveal the error in the assertions of those who claim that tithing has been abolished for Christians. None of these people who speak against tithing can produce one scripture in the New Testament that tells Christians to never tithe. Many Christians do not tithe because they have been taught that they are not under the law, but under grace and that tithing belongs to the law.
Yes, we are under Grace, there is no arguing about this, but tithing is based on Grace not law. Many Christians do not tithe because they have a misconception about tithing; they think that tithing brings us under the law. Think about this, how something that is never based on law can bring you under law. Take for instance prayer. Prayer is not based on the law of Moses, but notice that under the Old Testament people prayed, does this then mean that we are not to pray today because men under the old testament prayed? The concept of prayer started before the Law of Moses was given, but notice that even under the law people still prayed, does this mean we are to stop praying today because men under the law practiced prayer also? Of course not. Will it be proper for anyone today to claim that prayer is based on the law system, or under the law system, simply because men under the law prayed? Will it be proper for anyone to tell Christians to stop praying simply because prayer was practiced by men under the Law system. Do you see it now. That tithing was practiced under the Law system does not mean that it originated from the Law. And that men under the Law practiced tithing does not imply that tithing originated from or belonged to the Mosaic law system, neither does it mean that we should stop tithing simply because the Israelites under the law practiced tithing. That we are not under the law does not mean we are not to tithe. The truth is that tithing never originated from the law. It was introduced and existed before the law of Moses was introduced, but regulated under the law so that men under the law might be blessed by it. God fixed the tithing system into the the Old Covenant (The Mosaic Law System)

Paul never told Christians not to bring their tithe. But he made it crystal clear that tithing is not just a matter of choice, but a part of our worship under the new covenant. Just like the breaking of bread is a part of our worship. The Bible tells us that Melchizedek brought bread and wine blessed it and gave it to Abraham. And abraham responded by giving him the tithe of all the spoils of war (Gen 14:18-20). 

One thing however is clear, we do not tithe according to the Law of Moses. This is because we as Christians are not under the Levitical system of priesthood. The aim of this post is to put tithing in its proper perspective. To show first that tithing is not of the law system (even though it was practiced under the law). It was only added to the law system to sustain the levitical priesthood, and to also be a blessing to the children of Israel. Secondly, I want to show from the epistles that tithing is still relevant today under the New Covenant. It was never abolished, but God will not force you to tithe, it is purely a faith thing, it has to be done willingly and voluntarily just like Abraham did, because that is how God wants us to give today. Tithing has immeasurable benefits. 
Some people are very legalistic when it comes to tithing. They say that you are rubbing God if you don't bring your tithe, that you are a thief if you don't tithe. They even go ahead to say that you are under a curse if you don't tithe. These are not New Testament teachings. These people are only trying to use the Law as a means of forcing people to tithe. They are presenting the right thing in the wrong way. They capitalize on Malachi 3:8-11, as their rule stick for tithing. A vast majority of prominent preachers all over the world are mostly guilty of this. They are they are under grace, but they are still operating with law based mentality.    

     The Proof That Tithing Started Before The Law
The Bible clearly reveals that the practice of tithing started long before the law of Moses was given. As a matter of fact Abraham himself tithed above 430 years before the law of Moses was given to the children of Israel. (Gen 14: 18-20). And you remember that the Bible tells us that we in Christ are the children of Abraham by faith. (Gal 3: 7). This is a very important statement as we shall shortly see. We also learn from the scriptures that Isaac and Jacob equally tithed hundreds of years before the law of Moses came on. (Gen 18: 19-20; 28: 22)
Christians who don't tithe do so simply because they have been told that the tithe system is under the law or belongs to the law. This is the Major reason they refuse to tithe. But you can see that they are misinformed with this wrong view. This is a misconception on tithing. They are acting under wrong information. Tithing originated before the law as an act of faith, and faith transcends both the Old and New Covenants.

                                         How Abraham Tithed
This is something you must understand: 
By Faith: When Abraham tithed (Gen 14: 18-20), the Aaronic or levitical priesthood was not yet established. He never tithed according to the law, this was because there was no law given. He couldn't have tithed according to the law because the old covenant as a whole hadn't been introduced yet as the time then. To prove that Abraham did not operate under the old covenant, here is what Moses said in Deuteronomy 5: 2-22. Notice especially vs 3

"The LORD did not make this covenant with our fathers, but with us, we who are here today, all of us living now". (NET)

The fathers referred to here included, Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, they never lived or operated under the old covenant. God never made the old covenant with them, but with the children of Israel (see EX 19:1-25; 20:1-19). Abraham could only have tithed by faith because he never lived or operated under the law viz-a-viz the Old covenant. In addition to this the bible tells us clearly that he was a man of faith (Heb 11:8, see also Rom 41-3). Abraham was never a man of the law, yet he believed in tithing. He did not just believe in tithing, he actually tithed. Notice from these passages above that tithing is older than the old covenant, and never originated from it. Tithing is higher than the law, it is higher and older than the old covenant. Faith is higher than the law, it is higher than the old covenant. Tithing is in the realm of faith. It is purely based on Grace and operated on the principle of faith. You cannot be a man of faith and not believe in tithing, this is so because Abraham who is the father of faith believed in tithing. And the bible tells us that we are the seed of Abraham according to faith. The bible never said we are the seed of Moses. The word "seed" means offspring. Notice what God said about Abraham, 

"For I have made him mine so that he may give orders to his children and those of his line after him, to keep the ways of the Lord, to do what is good and right..."(BBE)

The word "children" here is translated from a Hebrew word which also means "offsprings". When the bible talks about Abraham and his offsprings, you must realize that Abraham has two kinds of offsprings, the NATURAL OFFSPRINGS (referring to the Israelites) and the SPIRITUAL OFFSPRINGS (referring to Christians, i.e., Born Again folks). Paul confirms this when he said, 

"Be certain, then, those who are of faith, the same are sons of Abraham." (Gal 3:7, BBE)

Another translation say, 

"So, the people who believe God, they are Abraham's children. This is what you need to understand." (Easy English Translation)

We are of Abraham's line. We are Abraham's seed. Abraham saw Christ, (represented by Melchizedek). He tithed to Christ by tithing to Melchizedek. Tithe belongs to Christ. I will talk more about this later.

WILLINGLY and VOLUNTARILY: Looking at Genesis 14: 18-20, one will quickly see that Abraham was never forced to tithe. Melchizedek never threatened him for his tithe. Melchizedek didn't say, "hey Abraham, if you don't give me your tithe, things will be TIGHT for you in life". He never forced or coerced Abraham to bring his tithe. This is the way most preachers present their teaching on tithing. It is unscriptural to do so. Abraham tithed because he had a revelation of the significance of the tithe. 

Understand also that Abraham did not tithe because he wanted to stop the devourer. No mention was ever made of the devourer. Although there was a devourer (Satan and his minions), yet Abraham was never devourer minded, unlike the way many Christians are devourer minded today. Notice also that Abraham did not tithe because he wanted to help sustain the priesthood of Melchizedek. The Melchizedek priesthood did not need Abraham's tithe in order to be sustained. It is a self sustaining priesthood,hallelujah. Whether one person brings his or her tithe or not, God will always have a way of sustaining His priesthood. God has so many faithful people everywhere. He can sustain his work by himself. Recall also that Abraham did not tithe because he wanted to be rich. He was already rich. Becoming rich was not his motive for tithing. Some teach today that a Christian won't be rich if they don't tithe. This is not true.  You can be rich without tithing. Afterall there are many rich people in the world today who never tithe. There are many ways by which people get rich today in the world. Nevertheless, if you want to be rich God's own way and enjoy your wealth God's own way, and bring honour to God His own way. then tithing cannot be ruled out. We are to tithe for the same reason that Abraham tithed.
More also, Melchizedek was never the one who told Abraham to bring his tithe. How then did Abraham know that he was to tithe to Melchizedek? He got the knowledge by revelation from God. Tithing is purely based on revelation. We tithe by revelation. People who tithe and don't get blessed by it don't because they are not inspired by the revelation the revelation behind it. They do it legalistically. The do it with law based mentality. And you know, today, God is no longer flowing with law.  

                                              Why Abraham Tithed
Looking at Genesis 14:17-24, you'd notice that there were two Kings who met Abraham when he returned from the slaughter of Che-dor-la-o'-mer. The first was the King of Sodom, while the other was King Melchizedek. Now the first question is this, why didn't Abraham give his tithe to the King of Sodom? Why was it Melchizedek he gave it to. This is very suggestive. Why, why, why?. (hmm!) The reason is that Abraham saw something very different about the two kings and their kingdoms. Abraham gave his tithe to Melchizedek because of what he saw about him. He got the revelation of who Melchizedek was . The person of Melchizedek and His priesthood is very significant. He saw himself as having a union with Melchizedek. 
What does Melchizedek stand for and who does he represent. Melchizedek represented Christ Jesus. As a matter of fact, Melchizedek was the Old Testament manifestation of Christ to Abraham. How? First you must understand this, the word Melchizedek is not actually a name. It's a title. It is an Old Testament title for Christ. Paul gave us the meaning of this title. He said by interpretation the title means the following (Heb 7: 2).

  • Endless Priesthood: He is called a priest forever. Paul tells us that Jesus the Christ is a priest forever after the order of Melchizedek.(Heb 5:5,6). In other words, Jesus priesthood is the Melchizedek priesthood, a forever priesthood. What Paul is saying here is that Christ was that Melchizedek to whom Abraham tithed.
  • High Priest: We are also informed that Jesus is the High priest, as Melchizedek was also known. (Heb 5: 10)
  • King of Peace. Melchizedek also means King of peace. This is the one of the Biblical titles for Christ.
  • King of Righteousness: This is also one of the titles that belong to Christ.
  • Endless Life: Jesus is called the true |God and eternal life (1 John 5:20).
All of these refer to no other person than Jesus Christ Himself.
You see, in Abraham's mind, when he gave his tithe to Melchizedek, he knew he was giving it to Christ. He tithed because he saw Melchizedek as Christ. It was actually Christ who received Abraham's tithe as Melchizedek. Abraham tithed to grace, not to the law. Jesus Christ is Grace (John 1:17). Abraham tithed for the following reasons:
  • To honour Melchizedek as Christ, the one with endless life.
  • To acknowledge the endless priesthood of Melchizedek (that is Christ's endless priesthood).
  • To acknowledge and honour Melchizedek (Christ) as the source and owner of his wealth or resources. 

Abraham Tithed Only Once, Yes! But Why?
Some people try to use this as a basis for argument as to why they are not to tithe. They say that after all Abraham tithed just once, so why do we have to keep tithing again and again. I want to correct this misconception here. It is true that Abraham tithed just once. Why was that so? Some have never bothered to find out why. Don't you think that if Abraham had the opportunity to tithe to Melchizedek again and again, he wouldn't hesitate to do so? You see Abraham tithed to Melchizedek just once because he met him only once. He met Melchizedek just one time. After that, they never met again. But today our Melchizedek (Jesus Christ) is forever with us. This is a better privilege than Abraham had. The Bible tells us that we have Christ with us always, and that the Church is the visible body of Christ present today on earth. Christ is forever in His Church. So He keeps receiving our tithes, having the witness that He lives forevermore (Heb 7:8). So when you bring your tithe to your pastor, he's only receiving it as a representative of Christ on earth. 
Jesus is one with his Church. So today, we have the privilege of bringing our tithes again and again to the Church because Jesus is forever with us. He said he will be with us at all times. (Heb 13:5b, BBE)

Continued in part two...

Prize Chukwuka

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