First Baptist, New Castle, Ind
Pastor Jerry Ingalls, 12-26-2010
Ingalls: We are going to start the covenant renewal by making a covenant with God to be generous with the material blessings He has provided for us in our lives.
Kelly: Are you attempting to place the New Covenant Church under the Old Covenant? According to Exodus 19:5-6 the Gentiles and Church never were under that Covenant.
Ingalls: Acts 2:42-47
Kelly: (2:43) The apostles’ doctrine did not include tithing to them. It was illegal before Calvary and not practiced by or commanded to the Church afterwards. (2:44-45) God did not command the early church to live communally and the event was not repeated. (2:46) Since the Jewish Christians continued to worship in the Temple and were “zealous of the Law” (21:20-21), they likely continued to support the Temple system with any tithes and offerings.
Ingalls: “We each must be willing to allow the Holy Spirit to probe into the inner chambers of our hearts to illumine the true state of our loyalties.
Kelly: Then study this doctrine with intensity with your church and leave no stone unturned.
Ingalls: THE MOTIVATION OF OUR GIVING IS GRATITUDE FOR GOD'S CHRISTMAS GIFT!
Kelly: That was only true of free-will giving. Tithes of food from inside God’s holy land did not involve gratitude. They were stone cold hard LAW like taxes are to us.
Ingalls: We do not give in order to be right with God! The Bible teaches in 2 Corinthians 8:9 …
Kelly: You freely switch from quoting tithing texts to quoting freewill giving texts. This is poor hermeneutics. There is a difference.
Ingalls: We give all that we have out of sheer gratitude for the indescribable Gift of peace with God through the Son of God, Jesus Christ!
Kelly: True only of freewill giving principles.
Ingalls: THE MOTIVATION OF OUR GIVING IS A DEEPER RELATIONSHIP WITH GOD!
Kelly: Never true for tithing.
Ingalls: Regarding giving of our treasures, God gave a very clear command in the Old Testament.
Kelly: Not to “us.” The Old Covenant with over 600 commands was only given to Old Covenant national Israel.
Ingalls: Leviticus 27:30
Kelly: (1) Verse 34 limits this only to Israel. (2) "A tithe [a tenth] of everything from the land” is correct. (3) “it is holy to the LORD" is only true if it comes from inside God’s HOLY land. Tithes could not come from what man increased, from Gentiles or from outside Israel. Period.
Ingalls: In the Old Covenant, giving was managed by a detailed and thoroughly examined commandment …
Kelly: Yes, Numbers 18. (1) Only food from inside Israel, (2) only to Levite servants to the priests, (3) priests only received one tenth of one per cent, (4) tithe recipients could not own or inherit land in Israel and (5) only to support the OT Levites and priests.
Ingalls: … to give 10% of all that God had provided.
Kelly: Wrong. Only food miraculously increased by God inside His holy land. Money was required for head taxes and vows but never for tithes.
Ingalls: Luke 11:42
Kelly: You ignore the first rule of hermeneutics. See also Mt 23:23. (1) Context is “matters of the law” before Calvary. (2) Addressed to “you, scribes, Pharisees, hypocrites” who “sit in Moses’ seat” (Mt 23:2-3) as interpreters of the Law. (3) Before Calvary, therefore still in Old Covenant context. (4) Not to the Church or Gentiles. (5) Jesus did not accept tithes. And (6) no church obeys Jesus by collecting tithes of garden herbs.
Ingalls: I do not believe that Jesus removes the practice of tithing as some would debate, but He fulfills it
Kelly: (1) The covenant supported by tithing was removed. (2) The Temple they worked in was removed. (3) The Levite servants to the priests were removed. (4) The priests who received 1% were removed. (5) Preachers now own land which is contrary to tithing laws.
Ingalls: I want to take this statement [about the Sabbath] and apply it to the purposes of tithing because the same principle that Jesus Christ applies to the fulfillment of one aspect of the Law applies to the entire Law:
Kelly: According to Galatians 3:10-13, those under one part of the Law are under the entire law.
Ingalls: Tithing was instituted to set us free
Kelly: No. Tithing was instituted to support Levite workers and priest ministers who could not own land in Israel per Numbers 18:21-28.
Ingalls: Jesus rebukes the Jewish religious leaders of the first century because they had twisted their observance of the Law
Kelly: How very true. He was not speaking to the New Covenant church. He was discussing “mattes of the law” in Mt 23:23.
Ingalls: Jesus removed the stumbling blocks by fulfilling the Law through grace!
Kelly: According to Eph 2:13-17 and Col 2:13-17 the “stumbling blocks” included all laws which separated Jews from Gentiles, including tithing and Sabbath observance. He returned both to the Abrahamic covenant of grace.
Ingalls: Here it is: Tithing flows out of the heart of God for man
Kelly: No. Not “for man” – only for the Hebrew man who was a food producer living inside God’s HOLY land of Israel. God never expected holy tithes to come off defiled pagan Gentile land.
Ingalls: Luke 21:1-4 poor widow
Kelly: The poor widow was giving a sacrificial freewill offering. She was not paying a tithe.
Ingalls: Jesus is not canceling the call to tithe; rather He is intensifying it to the extreme.
Kelly: No texts to validate this.
Ingalls: THE MOTIVATION OF OUR GIVING IS TO DEVOTE OURSELVES TO GOD'S KINGDOM!
Kelly: No. It is in response to Christ’s freewill sacrificial gift to us. And it is in response to sermons encouraging us to become soul winners.
Ingalls: 1 Chronicles 22:5
Kelly: Read 1 Chronicles 23 to 26. The Levites and priests who received tithes were also political workers for the king. They must have also worked many other jobs because they were skilled in many crafts.
Ingalls: The stones of the house of the LORD are the people saved by the gospel of Jesus Christ!
Kelly: Since both the NT Temple and priesthood consist of individual believers, then tithing makes no sense. We do not tithe to ourselves.
Ingalls: David was told he could not build the house of the LORD, but he devoted himself to investing his time, treasures, and talents to building it;
Kelly: Old Covenant tithes could not be used for Temple or building construction or maintenance. David gave freewill offering.
Ingalls: 2 Chronicles 31:4-5
Kelly: Why did you quote this? If proves (1) that Solomon’s Temple had no storage rooms for tithes and (2) that Hezekiah erred when he commanded the people to bring the tithes to Jerusalem. Read verses 15-19. The majority of the tithes were shipped back into the Levitical cities where they belonged and were needed for food. Nehemiah 10:37b-38 is greatly ignored today.
Ingalls: 2 Corinthians 8:2-4
Kelly: Again you switch back and forth between OT tithing texts and NT freewill giving texts as if you do not know the difference.
Ingalls: Study Malachi 3:8-12. What is significant about this passage? How does this apply to the individual disciple in regards to the testimony of the Church to the nations? Are you living in fulfillment of this promise? If not, what is preventing you from beginning today?
Kelly: (1) The significance of Malachi is its position under the Law as in Mal 4:4; Lev 27:34 and Num 18:21-28. The priests of 1:6-13; 2:1-10 and 2:13-to-end were guilty of stealing the tithe and had been cursed.
(2) It has no relevance to New Covenant Christians. OT tithes were never used for evangelism of Gentiles and there is no precedent.
(3) Christians are not supposed to attempt to obey Old Covenant Law and ignore better New Covenant laws.
(4) Nobody tithes today. Paul warned of placing yourself under the Law in Galatians 3:1-5.
Ingalls: Study 2 Corinthians 9:6-14.
Kelly: These are sound post-Calvary freewill giving principles blessed by the Holy Spirit after Calvary for the Church.
Ingalls: How are you doing with financial stewardship?
Kelly: If YOU have a small staff and many “tithers,” YOU have the most to gain from teaching “tithing.”
Ingalls: In what areas of your life do you feel you are being either obedient or disobedient to God's call for financial stewardship and generosity?
Kelly: Do you teach that the first whole Levitical tithe should go to servants of the OT priests per Num 18:21-24 and Neh 10:37b-38? Do you own land contrary to Numbers 18? Are you among the poorest of the land as required of tithe recipients?
Ingalls: Find the Scriptural references to support your beliefs and self-assessments and then discuss with a mentor or accountability partner to help you take the next steps.
Kelly: Yes. In context and you “rightly divide” the Word according to its covenant.
Russell Earl Kelly, PHD