Tithing: Russell Kelly Replies to Apostle Oladele Johnson, January 5, 2018
Johnson: I see the issue of Tithe, as a war against the body of Christ, an attack against the finance of the Church.
Kelly: There is no contextual Bible text connecting tithing with the support of gospel workers.
Johnson: Summarily, I just see it as a reckless and very unfair hard judgment on the church.
Kelly: Why do you not defend it in an open public forum?
Johnson: When we look into the Bible, Tithe has been there from the beginning.
Kelly: All pagans of the biblical world tithed to pagan gods. The "holy" tithe (as Moses, Nehemiah, Malachi and Jesus used the word) did not appear until the Law in Leviticus 27:30-34.
Johnson: Abraham was before Moses, and when you are talking about Old Testament, you are referring to Mosaic Law, there was Abraham giving to Melchizedek.
Kelly: The Bible does not say that Abram's tithe of pagan spoils of war was commanded or freewill. Hebrews 7 uses the "order" of Melchizedek, not his "person" to prove the superior priesthood of Jesus.
Johnson: … but if you are a child of God and you want to walk in the blessing of God, you must do it, so that you would not be a selective believer, but a whole believer, who believes in the books from Genesis to Revelation.
Kelly: The Law was only commanded to Old Covenant Israel. Israel was forbidden to share its covenant with Gentiles (and the Church) (Ex 23:32; Deut 7:2).
Johnson: there is no place in the Bible that says stop Tithing.
Kelly: (1) Hebrews 7:5, 12, 18 do. (2) The New Covenant replaced the Old and tithing was not repeated to the Church after Calvary in terms of the New Covenant (Heb 8:8-13). (3) As a non-food producer Jesus did not qualify to tithe. (4) There are no N.T. Levites and Aaronic priests to receive tithes. (5) Christians are dead to the Law (Rom 7:4).
Johnson: … when Jesus talked about it in the Book of Luke, he said you have done all these things …
Kelly: Jesus said inn Matthew 23:23 "things" --- "of the Law." If Jesus had not taught tithing before Calvary to Jews, He would have sinned (Gal 4:4-5).
Johnson: Those who are saying Tithing is of Old Testament are only trying to attack the prosperity of the church.
Kelly: They are trying to complete the Reformation and remove the Hebrew Law. You nullify Galatians 3:10 with Malachi 3:10.
Johnson: He only moves in the hands of people, who pay more than10%.
Kelly: No texts; merely opinion. Johnson does not even use the biblical definition of a "holy" tithe as "food from inside the holy land of Israel."
Johnson: It’s not Tithe that they use to buy Jets.
Kelly: I cannot picture in my mind My Savior with wealth and private jets for any reason. He gleaned in the fields because he qualified as a poor person.
Johnson: Abraham … by Volition ... decided to sow/give his Tithe.
Kelly: The Bible does not state that Abram tithed spoils of war of his own freewill. He just as easily could have done so to obey the law of the land (Heb 7:4).
Johnson: So, if you are a child of God and you are born again, you will give your Tithe …
Kelly: Texts please. The tithe supported an Old Covenant priesthood which ended at Calvary Numb 18:20-28). All believers are now priests (1 Pet 2:9-10).
Johnson: … if you discover that blessing is not coming …
Kelly: God does not bless New Covenant Christians on the basis of Old Covenant promises to Israel (Gal 3:10-13).
Johnson: … He said you have robbed me …
Kelly: The "you" is Old Covenant Israel (Malachi 1:1) and its thieving priests (1:6; 2:1). It is not the Church. Gospel giving principles are: sacrificial, freewill, generous and not by commandment (2 Cor 9:7).
Johnson: So, my take is that if anybody wants to run the church down, it’s a lie from the pit of hell.
Kelly: Why not use sound biblical principles of interpretation given by the Holy Spirit after Calvary (John 14:26; 16:8-9, 13-14)?
Johnson: The prosperity in the Church, we have not seen anything, it’s still coming. Is it one Jet you saw, you will still see plenty Jets.
Kelly: What ever happened to the Gospel of salvation from the pit of hell through faith in Jesus Christ?
Johnson: Baba Adeboye has to preach in four places in different continents of the world. How do you expect him to be effective in his job, if he doesn’t have a Jet?
Kelly: Does he have to be there personally? Has he failed to train others locally to do that?
Russell Earl Kelly, PHD