Reply to Pastor Chad Reyes on Tithing
Chad: I believe that those who love God and God's people should tithe without a doubt.
Russ: That does not make it biblical. God never commanded New Covenant church to tithe.
Chad: In the Old Testament times their livelihood was their crops and cattle and other animals and so forth, so it was fit for them to give 10% of their livelihood in that time.
Russ: Mostly incorrect. Read Numbers 35; Joshua 20 and 21 and 1 Chronicles 23 to 26. They lived on loaned land in 48 cities and worked as farmers and herdsmen (of tithed animals). They also worked scores of non-land trades essential for their Temple maintenance and building.
Chad: This was so that the storehouse would be plentiful and well supplied for the people of God.
Russ: Read Nehemiah 10:37b-38. The people were normally commanded to bring their tithes to the Levitical cities where they were met by the Levites and priests where they lived. The Temple storehouse was actually only two store-rooms per Neh 13:5. Malachi 3:10 only makes sense if it refers to dishonest priests from Mal 1:13-14; 2:1-2 and 2:17 to 3:7.
Chad: It is also a sign that you are not consumed or "owned" by the natural things that have no eternal significance.
Russ: True biblical tithes were always only food from inside Israel. Although money was common even in Genesis and essential for sanctuary worship, money was never included in 16 texts which describe the contents of the tithe. Jesus, Peter and Paul did not qualify as tithe-payers and neither did the poor nor those who lived outside Israel.
Chad: Now our livelihood today is $$$$ money.
Russ: It is not food from inside Israel. It is increase from man's hands from defiled pagan lands. It is not a biblical tithe. It is freewill offerings.
Chad: Therefore, we should bring our tithe into the "storehouse" or "church building" that you are committed too.
Russ: Do you obey the entire tithing statute from Numbers 18? (1) the first whole Levitical tithe goes to the servants of the leaders which are ushers, deacon, choir, musicians and politicians per 18:21-24. (2) Only preachers are allowed inside the sanctuary. (3) The preachers only get one per cent per 18:225-28. (4) Tithe recipients are not allowed to own or inherit property. And (5) preachers are to kill anybody who dares to worship God directly. Tithe blessings are blessings from obeying the whole law --all 600 commands.
Chad: It my sincere advice for Christians of any particular ministry that they are giving to, to make sure that that ministry is committed to God and His infallible Word. This so that you can be confident that the "church building" or "storehouse" is acting in obedience to the word of God in how they handle the money that is brought in and that they are being good stewards of what they have received from the people of God in obedience to giving.
Russ: God cannot and does not bless the New Covenant Church because of obedience to abolished Old Covenant stipulations which were only made with national Israel (Heb 7:5, 12, 18).
NT giving principles after Calvary are freewill, generous, sacrificial, joyful, not by commandment or percentage and motivated by love for God and lost souls. See especially 2 Cor 8:12-14.Russell Earl Kelly, PHD