Monday, March 29, 2010

Reply to a Friend's Questions on Tithing

Thanks for the nice comments and for the questions.

1. Jesus could not have tithed at all. He was a carpenter. True HOLY biblical tithes were only from food-producers who lived inside Israel. Tithes were from the miraculous increase of food from God’s hands, not man’s hands such as carpenters.

2. Money was essential for sanctuary worship, vows and other essentials, but money was never a tithe-able item. Craftsmen inside Israel and everybody outside Israel were disqualified as tithe-payers.

3. Not all laws applied to everybody. Many applied only to the priests and many applied only to women, etc. All of them applied only to national Israel under the Old Covenant and NONE of them applied to the Church (as worded-Thou Shalt Not) under the New Covenant. Just as Jesus could not obey any of the laws for priests and women, neither could he obey the law of tithing which only applied to farmers and herdsmen.

4. Yes, He gave of himself totally. But that giving was a freewill, generous, joyful and SACRIFICAL gift. Like in 2 Cor 8:1-15 these freewill gifts are often far more than 10%.

5. Yes, he received money from people around him and spent it on their food and looked after his disciples. There is no instance where he “tithed” money because money was not tithe-able. I am sure that he gave freewill offerings from what He received after their basic needs were met. Jesus perfectly obeyed the law.

6. Fish were not tithe-able items either. First, they may have eaten unclean food. Second, they may have grown up in Gentile waters. Third, they are not listed as tithe-able items in the Law. And (4) they could not be stored in a storehouse as a tithe.

7. Acts 2:44-45 is good but 2:46 teaches that the early Jewish Christians continued to worship daily in the Temple. In fact 30 years later in Acts 21:20-21 they were still zealous of the law which meant that they were still giving whatever tithes they had, not to the Church, but to the Temple system. God never commanded the Church to tithe in the New Covenant after Calvary.

8. “Doing what we read” is incorrect. We must first learn to “rightly divide the Word” and discern what part of it is for Christians today. Tithing for Old Covenant Israel vanished at Calvary along with the rest of the Old Covenant per Heb 8:12. The OT Temple and priesthood now resides within every believer. NT priests are not commanded to KILL others attempting to enter the sanctuary and worship and they are not commanded NOT to inherit land or buildings as taught in Num 18:21-28. The tithe was the INHERTANCE of Levites and priests –not NT gospel workers.

9. Live modestly. Care for your family first per 1 Tim 5:8. Then give sacrificially to the gospel cause. That could mean 30% or only 3% according to your ability as God has prospered you.

Russell Earl Kelly

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