Reply to XP with Patricia King
Patricia King: As a ministry, we are very committed to the Word and the principles in the Word.
Russell Kelly: The most important principle is to “rightly divide the Word of truth.” The Old Covenant was only commanded to national Israel and Gentiles were excluded unless they became circumcised Hebrews. That part of the Old Covenant which is eternal and moral has been re-stated in the New Covenant after Calvary in terms of grace and faith.
King: This includes what the Bible has to say about the "tithe," the10% (first fruits) of our income that goes to the Lord.
Kelly: The tithing principle was never commanded to the Church after Calvary. True biblical HOLY tithes were always only FOOD from inside God’s HOLY land of Israel which God had miraculously increased. The tithe was never money and it could not come from non-food producers inside Israel or from any source outside Israel.
Firstfruits were never the same as tithes (tenth-fruits). Firstfruits were only very small token offerings per Num 18:1-20; Neh 10:35-38. First Timothy 5:8 instructs Christians to give their first income for medicine, food and essential shelter.
King: The tithe is a holy act of worship.
Kelly: The tithe was only one of hundreds of holy and most holy items in Leviticus as part of the Old Covenant Law. It was a tax expected from food producers whether or not one was joyful or wanted to worship.
King: It represents that we bring to the Lord the first and best of all that we are and have.
Kelly: This simply is not biblical. According to Lev 27:30-34 the tithe was the tenth and not necessarily the best. After Levitical servants to the priests received the first tithe, they gave a tenth of the tenth to the priests of the best –that was one per cent. See Num 18:21-28; Neh 10:35-38.
King: The scriptures teach us that when we bring all the tithes into the storehouse (the storehouse is the place where you are spiritually fed and the place that feeds others) ….
Kelly: (1) The “we” was either Judah or the priests –it was NOT the church. (2) All the tithes would not fit into the Temple (1 Kg 6:6; Neh 10:37a; 13:5). (3) Only Levites and priests normally brought tithes to the Temple (Neh 10:37-38; Mal 3:10). (4) Even in Malachi the tithe was still only food (3:10-11). (5) The Church did not have its own buildings legally for over 300 years and was never called a storehouse.
King: … the heavens open and the Lord pours out blessings that we cannot contain. He also promises to rebuke the devourer on our behalf and to make sure that we come to full fruitfulness.
Kelly: Because the tithe was still only food from inside Israel.
King: He further promises that the nations will call you blessed, for you shall be a delightful land (see Malachi 3:8-12).
Kelly: The context is Gentile nations calling Israel or Judah blessed. There is no church context here.
King: WOW! The Lord is so good. We believe Him at His Word and hold fast to the value of tithing.
Kelly: New Covenant Christians should not quote Old Covenant conditional promises to Israel as if they were directed towards the Church. The New Covenant has its own giving principles.
What if I can't afford it?
Some have said, "I can't afford to tithe.” I would simply answer this by saying that you can’t afford not to! If you feel you can’t afford to tithe it is probably because you aren’t tithing.
Kelly: You do not tithe yourself because you are not a Hebrew Old Covenant food producer living inside Israel. You might give sacrificially, generously and joyfully, but you are still not tithing.
King: If you look after honoring the Lord before anything or anyone else, He will honor you.
Kelly: Sounds like you want to bribe God to get his favor.
King: …. The tithe belongs to the Lord, not to the local church …
Kelly: Read the whole text from Leviticus 27:30 “And all the tithe of the land, whether of the seed of the land, or of the fruit of the tree, is the LORD's: it is holy unto the LORD.”
“All the tithe of the land of Israel is holy to the Lord” – and only that was the tithe!!!
King: No church has a claim on the tithe.
Kelly: How true.
King: It is His, and it belongs to Him! Where we bring it, however, depends on where you are being fed.
Kelly: Even in the OT God owned everything but only accepted tithes from inside Israel.
King: …. As Jesus said, "If you are faithful in little things, you will be faithful in large ones." (Luke 16:10,NLT). So, begin where you are and watch God's faithfulness to you.
Kelly: This is not teaching tithing.
Here are some thoughts that might help you process.
Let's say, you only make $100 per month. The tithe of that amount is $10. If you tithe to the Lord the first and the best ($10), the heavens will open.
KellY: There are tens of thousands of ghetto dwellers who have been faithfully “tithing” for generations without relief. If this were a working NT principle, most would have escaped poverty.
The only way to claim blessings from tithing is to obey all 600+ commands of the law in the Old Covenant per Neh 10:29 and Mal 4:4. See Gal 3:10-13. Obey ALL to be blessed; break ONE to be cursed. The whole law was a test –not merely tithing.
King: …. So, we encourage all believers to tithe. All our team are tithers and that is why our ministry is so blessed.
Kelly: You and your team do not obey any of the tithing ordinance from Numbers 18:21-28. (1) tithes are only food from inside Israel, (2) Levitical tithes go to servants of the priests such as ushers, deacons, choir, musicians, treasurers and politicians, (3) Levite servants give a tenth of a tenth to the priests, (4) priests KILL anybody else who attempt to worship God directly and (5) Levitical tithe recipients cannot own or inherit property.
What about Offerings?
Offerings are different from the tithe. Offerings are in addition to your tithe.
Kelly: The OT was not “tithes plus offerings from everybody.” It was “tithes from food producers inside Israel” and “freewill offerings from everybody.”
King: … will always have all sufficiency in everything and that you will have an abundance for every good work (see 2 Corinthians 9:8).
Kelly: This is a discussion of freewill giving. If freewill giving produces this, then there is no need for tithing.
King: Remember the story of the widow and her son. They only had a little flour and oil.
Kelly: Again, tithes are not found in this story.
No poor among us.
XPmedia and XPwebchurch are committed to this principle. That is why our people are so blessed. We are trusting that EVERYONE who comes under our covering will abide in the blessing of the Lord and that there will be none poor or sick among us!
Kelly: Beginning with yourself.