God's Sword of Truth - The Word
Most of you have heard the word "tithes". Tithes was the giving of more than 10% of the gross of all of your possessions. It was an Old Testament command, a system of giving, set up between God and the Jews in the Old Testament, under the law. The Jews were the only ones ever commanded to pay tithes (Jewish History - Lev. 27:30-32, Numbers 18:21-24, Deuteronomy 14:22-26 & Mal. 3:9-10). Tithing, in the time of the Old Testament, was the Jews income tax, paid to take care of and support the Jewish Priests of the priestly tribe of Levi.
When Jesus Christ came, He put an end to the Old Testament Law and an end to tithing (see Gal. 3:24-29). Therefore, there is no longer a need to practice the Old Testament law, for we are now under the grace of the New Testament, the New Covenant with God (See Matthew 5:17, 26-28, Romans 3:28-30, 6:14-17, 7:4-7, 8:24, 10:4, 11:6, 1 Cor. 3:5-11, 2 Cor. 3:6, 3:14-17, All of Galatians, Col. 2:14-23, 1 Timothy 1:6-11, Hebrews Chapters 7, 8 & 9 and Ephes. 2:15. The fact is, our salvation lies in the grace of God through the New Testament and not through the ceremonial Old Testament law. We now give from the heart as the Holy Spirit so wills us to give (see Matthew 6:1, 6:4, 2 Cor. 9:7, 1 Cor. 16:1-2 and 2 Cor. 8:2-4). Salvation and eternal life is a FREE gift of God without money or price. We don't tithe or give to be saved. We give because of our love for God. There is no law or commandment to tithe today. The tithing system died with the Mosaic laws when Jesus died at Calvary.
Many preachers teach tithing is for the Christian, saying that Abraham paid tithes to Melchizedek (see Jewish History Genesis 14:20 and Hebrews Chapter 6), before the law of Moses was given, and therefore, we also ought to pay them. But those arguments fail to realize several things:1. Abraham's tithing was a freewill act, without any commandment or request from God.We do not have to go back to Abraham's tithe to learn how to give. What then did Jesus Christ say about tithing. We have three places recorded where the Lord Jesus Christ ever mentioned tithing, Matthew 23:23, Luke 11:42 and Luke 18:9-12. In every instance, the Lord was speaking to unbelieving Pharisees....those who were under the law of tithing. There is not one Scripture where Christ ever enjoined tithes on Christians. Nowhere did Christ ever teach His disciples to observe tithing. Tithing was for the disciples of Moses, not for the disciples of Christ (see John 1:17). Giving out of love for the Lord and for His glory should be our reasons for giving and not because of the 10% Old Testament tithing system.
2. His tithe was not brought to any "storehouse" or sanctuary as required by Old Testament law.
3. He was 80 years of age before he tithed and it is not recorded that he ever tithed again.
4. Abraham's tithes consisted of spoils of war and not 10% of his possessions.
5. Abraham was not given any promise of "blessing" for his tithing to Melchizedek.
Now, what I am about to say may sound a little controversial. Please keep an open heart. Matthew 19:21 tells believers to sell all and give it to the poor and follow Jesus Christ. It does not say to sell all and give it to the Church, or to the pastor, or to the priest. The Church of the Bible had all things in common and gave to those in need. None of the Apostles or early disciples were paid for preaching the Word of God (see 2 Thess. 3:7-15, Acts 20:33-34, 18:1-3, 1 Thess. 2:9 and 1 Peter 5:1-2). Today's "preachers" and "priests" teach that you should tithe or give your money to them. You say, "but if we don't support our 'pastors' or 'priests' then who will visit the sick, visit those in prison, take in the needy, etc.?" The answer is that YOU should (see Matthew 25:31-46)! As the bible states, we should be doing it out of love for God and love for our neighbor (see 1 John 4:19-21). Christians have set up pastor's, priests, etc to do the duties that they should do themselves. We pay someone else to do our ministering for us. We should be visiting the sick, those in prison, helping the needy and most importantly spreading the Word of God. We should be doing these things out of the pure love of God. You don't pay someone else to do it for you. Each of us should take up our cross in love.
But you say that during the Old Testament times there were priests. Well, the Bible says that the Levitical priests of the Old Testament were the only ones ever given authority from God to take tithes from the people. Their duty under the law was to offer up dead animal sacrifices daily for the sins of the people (see Jewish History - Numbers 18:21-22). Under grace of the New Testament, Jesus Christ is our high Priest, and all believers are priests of a royal priesthood. 1 Peter 2:5 says that we are a royal priesthood, offering up our bodies as living sacrifices to God. The Levites offered up dead animal sacrifices, but today we are called to offer ourselves as living sacrifices to the Lord Jesus Christ who is our great High Priest, redeeming us by His own precious blood (see Hebrews Chapters 7, 8 & 9). We then become totally dedicated to the will of God.
The thing I always hear is..."I just don't have the time to do all these things", or "there should be someone who is doing these things full time". Well, what if God said that He doesn't have any time for you? We should all be "full-time" Christians (see 2 Timothy4:2).
We seem to have our priorities mixed-up in this world (see James 4:4 and 1 John 2:25-17). Giving should be done from the heart and it is not just giving money, but it is giving of ourselves. This world belongs to God and everything we have belongs to God. We should live our lives in such a way that each day is dedicated to the Glory of God and the Lord and give 100% of ourselves every day. I don't know how the idea that one-tenth of our money belongs to a pastor, priest or church, nor how it crept into the Christian doctrine. I believe that there should be elders, bishops, deacons, etc, to oversee the Christian fellowship. But the Word of God is free and should be freely given (Matthew 10:8). I ask that you pray about your giving, always let the Holy Spirit direct and guide you. Only you will give account to the Lord for your life and how you used what He has given you. Do not be influenced by any person, but only by God's Word.
Remember what is stated in Matthew 6:3-4, "But when thou doest alms, let not thy left hand know what thy right hand doeth; that thy alms may be in secret; and thy Father which seeth in secret himself shall reward thee openly." and do not your alms before anyone as it is stated in Matthew 6:1, "Take heed that ye do not your alms before men, to be seen of them; otherwise ye have no reward of your Father which is in heaven." and again in Matthew 6:2, "Therefore when thou doest thine alms, do not sound a trumpet before thee, as the hypocrites do in the synagogues and in the streets, that they may have glory of men. Verily, I say unto you, they have their reward." How, when and where you should be giving is a matter between you and the Lord.
All scripture based on the King James Authorized Version or 1611 Bible, New Testament only, otherwise known as THE WORD. All Old Testament scriptural references used in this article is Jewish History, not canonical, and is used as additional references.