Who Do You Think You Are?
Rina: The Bible says, “Bring all the tithes into the storehouse, that there may be food in My house and try Me now in this, says the Lord of hosts, ‘If I will not open for you the windows of heaven and pour out for you such blessing that there will not be room enough to receive it.’” (Malachi 3:10).
Russ: The LITERAL context of the above verses is only addressed to national Israel under the Old Covenant as only one of over 600 commands --breaking ANY brought a curse per Galatians 3:10. In the texts the tithe is still only food from inside Israel and, sicne the definition never changed, then noen of us can really tithe today (and neither did Jesus, Peter or Paul).
Rina: God is not just talking about financial blessings but also spiritual ones.
Russ: Sounds nice, but it is not biblical.
Rina: In essence, when we tithe, God will open heaven into our lives.
Russ: The context is the curses and blessings repeated by Malachi's audience in Nehemiah 10:29 wich repeats Deuteronomy 28:11, 12 and 23 which are totally ignored.
Rina: Hence, whatever is free to operate in heaven is free to operate in our lives because of our obedience to tithing.
Russ: God never commanded the Gentiles or the Church to tithe in the New Covenant after Calvary. The entire Old Covenant, including tithing, VANISHED in Hebrews 8:13.
Rina: When we step out in faith and give away money we put confidence in God’s promise.
Russ: We do not put confidence in any part of the law. Believers are dead to the law per Romans 7:4.
Rina: When the promise is fulfilled in our lives, it breeds a greater desire to believe what God has promised.
Russ: Only post-Calvary promises are in operation today. God does not operate today using Old Covenant promises.
Rina: Faith leads to faith, or an increase in faith. Anytime we limit our ability for a greater belief in His ability, we will grow in our identity and receive spiritual blessing.
Russ: True, but Law-keeping does not lead to faith. Much better Grace principles of giving are found in 2nd Cor 8 and 9.
Rina: In the Bible, Jacob provides a great example of an individual who had great confidence in his own ability. He has a tremendous encounter with God that radically changes his life. The first change that he makes in his lifestyle is in the area of his finances. (Genesis 28:22)
Jacob was secure enough in God’s revelation of His character to put himself in a position of financial dependence on God.
Russ: No. He told God what to do. He set the conditions and parameters. This is not an example for Christians to follow. "God, if you bless me FIRST, then I will give to you."
Rina: The Apostle Paul understood this principle and he taught it to the Philippians. Paul writes, “Not that I seek the gift, but I seek the fruit that abounds to your account.” (Philippians 4:17) Paul is saying, “Look, I don’t want your money, I want you to receive the spiritual and physical benefits of a radically generous lifestyle.” This principle was honored by God in the life of Cornelius.
Russ: Tithing is totally OUT of the picture with Paul. Nothing from defiled pagan dust could be offered as a holy tithe. Paul gave sacrificial freewill offerings. WE cannot tithe a biblical tithe.
Rina: Cornelius is in prayer and God fulfills His promise and “opens heaven” over Cornelius. An angel appears to him and says, “Cornelius, your prayer has been heard and your alms are remembered in the sight of God.” (Acts 10:31) It was because of his radical generosity in making financial offerings (alms) that God chose him to be the first of the Gentiles to receive salvation and subsequent, baptism in the Spirit.
Russ: Again, tithing is NOT in the picture at all. Gentiles were not allowed to tithe. They were alllowed to give pagan money which would be cleansed by buring and exchanged in the Temple.
Rina: It’s one thing for us to seek God for an increase in anointing and it is quite another thing when God seeks after us because of our radical generosity.
Russ: This is a New Covenant giving principles which replaces tithing.
Rina: The Shunamite woman of the Old Testament, demonstrates this principle in her dealings with Elisha. She radically and generously used her resources to provide for the prophet and his servant. Because of her giving, the prophet seeks to impart something into her life. (2 Kings 4:14) Again, it is one thing to seek an impartation from a man of God but quite another when the man of God seeks you out because of your generosity.
Russ: There is not hint that the Shulamite woman tithes. Your examples do not support your premise.
Rina: Generosity, tithes, and offerings can ensure that we grow in our identity. It puts us in a position of faith to receive impartation from both God and His ministers. This transference will cause us to grow up in God. Subsequently, leaving behind our old identity.
Russ: Read the tithing statute/ordinance of Numbers 18 and tell me which of the tithing commands is followed by any Church today. NONE of them are. Does your pastor own or inherit property? If so, he/she is a tithe-breaker. 2 Cor 8:12-15 is good enough for all of us.