Reply to MBaker, Christian Singles
Why the Tithe, mejbaker, Jul 14, 2008 and Aug 21, 2009
Kelly: This is all true and can be validated with scores of Bible texts in context as will follow.
MBaker: They say it has no part of the New Covenant and that it is legalistic and holds us in bondage.
Kelly: Christians are New Covenant after Calvary and God deals with them under wholly New Covenant conditions. God never commanded the Church to obey Old Covenant contextual commands.
According to Strong's … a tenth. I don't want to bore you with definitions; however it is important to understand the meaning of something before we talk about it.
Kelly: You only did half of your homework. In 16 of 16 texts which describe the contents of the tithe, it is always only food from inside Israel. Although money was very common even in Genesis, money was never included in tithes for over 1500 years from Leviticus to Luke. Jesus, Peter and Paul did not qualify as tithe-payers and neither did the poor nor those who lived outside Israel. Period.
Gen 14:18-20. Abraham paid a tithe to Melchizedek who was a type of the coming Christ. … It is important to note that throughout the Bible the first time something is mentioned it is commonly called the law of first mention.
Kelly: Genesis 14 is the first mention of a priest-king so David used his ORDER as a type of the Messiah in Psalm 110:4. He did not use his PERSON.
MBaker: The reason that this is important is because it establishes a precedent in the Word of God.
Kelly: Please tell me what part of what Abraham did is a precedent followed by yourself or the Church. (1) only pagan spoils of war, (2) nothing of is own personal possessions, (3) he kept nothing, (4) not a holy tithe from a holy land, (5) only once recorded and (6) gave the 90% to the King of Sodom. And Moses never referred to Abraham as the first type for tithing in the Law.
MBaker: There is no mention that anyone told him to do it. He was certainly under no compulsion or coercion to do this. There was no law to command Him to do this yet was there? Did he do this of his own volition?
Kelly: The Bibl does not say that he did it voluntarily. The historical fact is that tithing existed in all pagan nations of Abraham's time and he knew the custom from Babylon. He was required by Canaanite custom to give tithes of spoils of war to his priest-king.
Abraham worshiped God as an act of his free will. God thought it was significant enough to have it recorded in the Scripture for posterity.
Kelly: You are making a super big deal out of something that is not found in the Bible.
MBaker: Did God bless him because of his honoring Him first?
Kelly: God greatly blessed Abraham after he had disobeyed and lied about his wife to Pharaoh. There are no blessings to Abraham mentioned in Genesis because he tithed.
MBaker: Yes, He absolutely did! God always blesses those who honor Him first.
Kelly: Now you are implying that tithes are the firstfruits when they are never that in Scripture. Firstfruits are very small token offerings. See Deu 26:1-4 and Neh 10:35-38.
Whatever God requires of us, He requires it of a free and willing heart.
Kelly: This is always true in the New Covenant. It was not true concerning tithes in the Old Covenant. Tithing food from inside Israel was cold hard law and was required whether one desired to or was joyful.
MBaker: Mt 5:17-19
Jesus did not come to do away with the law but to fulfill the law.
Kelly: Jesus completely fulfilled the Old Covenant law in order to redeem the Hebrews who were under that Law. That Old Covenant law has "vanished" according to Hebrews 8:8-13. It has been "blotted out," "nailed to the cross" and "annulled" per Eph 2:13-17; Col 2:13-17 and Heb 7:5, 12, 18. Believers are "dead to law" per Romans 7:4. For believers, the law is parked like a school bus which carried us to school for 12 years. The righteous standard of God is now Jesus Christ per John 16:8-9.
MBaker: The commandments that were written legalistically weren't abolished, they're now written in our hearts.
Kelly: The law which is written in our hearts is NOT the OLD Covenant Law. It is the "law of love," the "law of the Spirit of life in Christ" which is the eternal moral character of God per Romans 8:1-2 and many others. The OT law commanded you to kill your disobedient children. Do you do that?
We can see in the book of Genesis that the tithe was initiated before the law.
Kelly: Just because something is before the law does not automatically make it an eternal moral principle. Along with tithing, the pagans of Abraham's day worshipped idols, offered child sacrifices and practiced temple prostitution -- not eternal moral principles.
MBaker: Has God changed? The Word says that He is the same yesterday today and forever.
Kelly: And what does that mean? Does it mean that we are still under the whole Old Covenant law? Or does it mean that he deals with OT Israel under the Old Covenant terms he made with them and he deals with the Church under the New Covenant terms he honors with us?
MBaker: Do you think His attitude towards honor has changed? In the book of Malachi we can see the importance of our attitude in our giving and the tithe.
Kelly: "Our" attitude is not seen in Malachi. It is the dishonest Old Covenant-breaking attitude of the dishonest priests from 1:6 and 2:1 who were cursed in 1:14 and 2:2 for stealing the tithe from 1:13 and 3:5. They had asked God to curse them for not tithing in Neh 10:29.
MBaker: In chapter 1:6-14 we can see the Lord God is upset with the children of Israel.
Kelly: No. Read verse 6. He is only angry with the priests.
MBaker: They missed the entire point.
Kelly: You miss the entire doctrine. You are a New Covenant Christian trying to preach an Old Covenant law which has been annulled. That is like trying to argue English law in an American court. No matter how good it is, it does not apply to us in our country.
MBaker: The third chapter of Malachi is the more familiar section of Scripture that I want to look at. Here God is showing us how to receive His blessing.
Kelly: Read Galatians 3:10-13. The curse of the law, including the curse of not-tithing, was nailed to the cross. The whole law was a test --not merely tithing. You cannot tithe and break the other 600+ commands and expect God to bless you. Obey ALL to be blessed (not just one); break ONE to be cursed. You cannot obey an American law and ask God to bless you for obedience to an English law which does not apply.
MBaker: Deu 26:1-4
Kelly: Deut 26:1-4 is a discussion of firstfruits, not tithes. They were small enough to fit into a small hand basket. They were very small token offerings. On the other hand, tithes could only be given after the full harvest is measured. Deuteronomy commanded Israel to EAT the second tithe in the street of Jerusalem. Do you do that?
MBaker: Deu. 26:16-18
Kelly: Deut 26's closing discusses the third year poor tithe which was kept in the homes and towns for the poor. Do you do that? If you do not do it, then why quote the text?
MBaker: Heb. 7:4-9 shows the superiority of the Melchizedek priesthood to the Levitical
MBaker: Many have said that tithing has been done away with, and that it is for the Old Covenant only.
Kelly: All tithe-teachers stop reading Hebrews 7 at verse 9 or 10. Your "first-mention" for "commandment, tithes and law" in Hebrews is verse 5. Next 7:12 says that is "necessary to change to law" of tithing from verse 5. Finally, verse 18 says that the "commandment going before" of tithing from verse 5 has been "annulled" because of its "weakness and unprofitableness."
NT giving for the Church after Calvary is: freewill, generous, sacrificial, joyful, not by commandment (or percentage) and motivated by love for God and others. It has the blessings of the Holy Spirit and tithing does not.
Russell Earl Kelly