Titheby Roy Burger on 01/31/16
Tithing is a common practice that is taught in church but is more tradition than scriptural as you will see. Tithing is only is found in the Old Testament so with that, let us go to Leviticus 15: 19 "And if a woman have an issue, and her issue in her flesh be blood, she shall be put apart seven days: and whosoever toucheth her shall be unclean until the even. 20 And every thing that she lieth upon in her separation shall be unclean: every thing also that she sitteth upon shall be unclean. 21 And whosoever toucheth her bed shall wash his clothes, and bathe himself in water, and be unclean until the even. 22 And whosoever toucheth any thing that she sat upon shall wash his clothes, and bathe himself in water, and be unclean until the even." If you are married do you separate yourselves form your wife when she is having her time of month. Do you touch her, her clothing, where she sat because you have become unclean and have a need to separate yourself? We do not do any of this stuff because it was for those under the Old Covenant(Testament). So how do we pick and choose what applies to us and what does not?
Exodus 20: verses 7-17 are the Ten Commandments. We all know of the Ten Commandments but how many of us keep Saturday holy. Saturday is the Sabbath because it is the seventh day of the week. How many of us stone people because they did not honor the Sabbath. We do not do this because we are under the New Covenant. Let us go to Roman 13: 8 "Owe no man any thing, but to love one another: for he that loveth another hath fulfilled the law. 9 For this, Thou shalt not commit adultery, Thou shalt not kill, Thou shalt not steal, Thou shalt not bear false witness, Thou shalt not covet; and if there be any other commandment, it is briefly comprehended in this saying, namely, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself." Here we have the Ten Commandments again but no mention of keeping the Sabbath holy. In fact it say if any other commandment be added it is Love thy neighbor as thyself. Let us go to Colossians 2: 16 "Let no man therefore judge you in meat, or in drink, or in respect of an holyday, or of the new moon, or of the sabbath days:" Paul tells us here that let no man judge you on what day to keep as Sabbath. We are under the New Covenant which is found in the New Testament. All of our doctrines, and Christians rules we abide by are found in the New Covenant. Tithing is not found in the New Covenant but only in the Old Covenant.
Let us go to John 14:6 Jesus tells us that he is the way, the truth and the life and no man can go to the father but by Jesus, that means, we can pray at home through him, we can ask for a healing, we thank Jesus for what he had done on the cross, but when it comes to giving money, Jesus Christ is no longer our mediator but the church is? Nowhere in the Bible does it teach us that the church is the mediator for the finances of God. So how do we give money to God. We give money to God by helping those that are less fortunate than we.
So how about giving to the church? 1 Timothy 5:17,18 teaches the following. "Let the elders that rule well be counted worthy of double honour, especially they who labour in the word and doctrine.” 1ti 5:18 "For the scripture saith, Thou shalt not muzzle the ox that treadeth out the corn. And, The labourer is worthy of his reward." When you honor someone, you do not necessarily give that person money but respect, What it is saying here is we should help the church meet the needs of the church, the church should also have some kind of outreach to help those less fortunate than us. Let’s go to 1 Corinthians 9:18 "What is my reward then? Verily that, when I preach the gospel, I may make the gospel of Christ without charge, that I abuse not my power in the gospel." They have to be careful not to use the offering for their own personal gain or become wealthy off it.
Let us explore what Tithing really was used for. We would like to start with the law of tithes. Let’s go to Numbers 18:23,24 "But the Levites shall do the service of the tabernacle of the congregation, and they shall bear their iniquity: it shall be a statute forever throughout your generations, that among the children of Israel they have no inheritance. But the tithes of the children of Israel, which they offer as an heave offering unto the LORD, I have given to the Levites to inherit: therefore I have said unto them, Among the children of Israel they shall have no inheritance." You see here that the Levites were the mediators for the tribe of Israel, they had no inheritance but the tithing from the Israelites. I am going to explain to you that the Levites, since the law of tithe was for them. The Levites were one of the 13 tribes of Israel that came down from the 12 sons of Jacob. Aaron and his sons were Levites. So the Levites were specific people and this is a specific time when the Lord spoke to the children of Israel. Even in these days the Levites are the descendents of Aaron, but they do not do the service of the tabernacle anymore, because there is no temple worship anymore in Israel
Let us go to Leviticus 26:30-32 "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. And if a man will at all redeem ought of his tithes, he shall add thereto the fifth part thereof. And concerning the tithe of the herd, or of the flock, even of whatsoever passeth under the rod, the tenth shall be holy unto the LORD." You see here that they had to tithe of the land and the fruit of the trees, If they wanted to tithe with money, they were penalized and had to pay the 20 percent in money and not the 10 percent because it was added a penalty. A penalty was added to those that were not following the law of tithe as God commanded; one had to tithe with food, wine, crops, what every they worked with their hands. Then it says that every animal that pass under the rod, the tenth was unto the Lord, if there were only 19, they still only gave one. So every ten animals that were going to be presented to the Lord by counting by ten with the rod held by the Levite the priest, the tenth sheep or bull was offered in sacrifice to the Lord. Let’s go to Deuteronomy 26:12 "When thou hast made an end of tithing all the tithes of thine increase the third year, which is the year of tithing, and hast given it unto the Levite, the stranger, the fatherless, and the widow, that they may eat within thy gates, and be filled; That they could eat within the perimeters of the tabernacle." You see here that the Jews were tithing only the third year, which was every three years, and not every Sabbath or every Sunday. Even If they tithe with the sacrifice of animals every year, the animals would die off for not giving the time to animals to mate and reproduce. That is why the Lord commanded to tithe every 3 years to give the chance to the animals to multiply. You see here that the tithing is for the Levites, the widows, the stranger, the fatherless (orphans). So the Levites had to build storage houses to hold all the provisions. Now Let us go to Malachi 3:5 "And I will come near to you to judgment; and I will be a swift witness against the sorcerers, and against the adulterers, and against false swearers, and against those that oppress the hireling in his wages, the widow, and the fatherless, and that turn aside the stranger from his right, and fear not me, saith the LORD of hosts." You can see here that the Lord is scolding the Israelites from their wicked ways, because they were not giving to the widows, the orphans and the poor. Now Let us go to Malachi 3:8-10 "Will a man rob God? Yet ye have robbed me. But ye say, Wherein have we robbed thee? In tithes and offerings. Ye are cursed with a curse: for ye have robbed me, even this whole nation. Bring ye all the tithes into the storehouse, that there may be meat in mine house, and prove me now herewith, saith the LORD of hosts, if I will not open you the windows of heaven, and pour you out a blessing, that there shall not be room enough to receive it." Remember that the tithing was not just for the Levites, but it was for the widow, the poor and the orphans. When the Israelites did not tithe, there was no food for the widow, the stranger, the orphan. So the Israelites were robbing God by not taking care of those less fortunate than them. When it says bring meat into my store house that is exactly what it means. In Matthew when Jesus was saying let us sit at meat, it meant, food, supper. The Levites had a store house to hold all the provisions from the tithing from the twelve tribes. When the Israelites did not tithe, there were no provisions in the storehouse for anyone. Storehouse does not mean church; they did not have buildings back then, but tents. Anyhow the real meaning of the storehouse is taken from Joseph at the time of the famine, and means storage to collect all the food. Let us go to Nehemiah 13:10 "And I perceived that the portions of the Levites had not been given them: for the Levites and the singers, that did the work, were fled everyone to his field." You can see here that the Israelites did not tithe and the Levites had to leave to the fields so they could find some food. Matthew 25:32-36 "And before him shall be gathered all nations: and he shall separate them one from another, as a shepherd divideth his sheep from the goats: And he shall set the sheep on his right hand, but the goats on the left. Then shall the King say unto them on his right hand, Come, ye blessed of my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world: For I was an hungered, and ye gave me meat: I was thirsty, and ye gave me drink: I was a stranger, and ye took me in: Naked, and ye clothed me: I was sick, and ye visited me: I was in prison, and ye came unto me." You can see here that Jesus is saying the same thing that we need to take care of those less fortunate than us.
Acts chapters 3-5 is a good example, they distribute the money according to everyones needs. There are people in need of help that belong to your church, where you go, and how do we help them, from the church offerings, as taught in Acts. We cannot forget those in need. II Corinthians 8-12-14 where Paul teaches to the churches: “ For if there be first a willing mind, it is accepted according to that a man hath, and not according to that he hath not. 2co 8:13 For I mean not that other men be eased, and ye burdened: 2co 8:14 But by an equality, that now at this time your abundance may be a supply for their want, that their abundance also may be a supply for your want: that there may be equality: 2co 8:15 As it is written, He that had gathered much had nothing over; and he that had gathered little had no lack. Let’s go to Deuteronomy 29:29 The secret things belong unto the LORD our God: but those things which are revealed belong unto us and to our children for ever, that we may do all the words of this law. What it is saying here is when you do not know, the Lord is not holding you responsible but once you have learned the mystery which in this case is Paul’s Gospel, Then we own it and the Lord will hold us responsible.
Now we want to compare scripture with scripture. Let us go to Hebrews 7-5,. “ And verily they that are of the sons of Levi, who receive the office of the priesthood, have a commandment to take tithes of the people according with the law, that is, of their brethren, though they come out of the loins of Abraham. The scripture says here Levites and not Gentiles, so the Gentiles have never had this commandment of receiving tithes, because was never given to them by the Lord. How is that in our days we passed this old law of tithes into our times and we pass it to the Gentiles which are us, is something that make us think how badly, in a ignorant way, the word of God is misunderstood and misused by the church of our ages. And I’m talking about church in general as assembly of the believers. You can do your search in the N.T. on your own, that it’s ok for the Levites to take tithes from the people because the word of the Lord makes a distinction between the Levites under the Old Covenant and us under the New Covenant. In our days churches do not have animals sacrifice and do not have an altar, except catholic churches, where you can see that the Catholics are still trying to imitate the Levites priests, in the way they dress up, wearing the robe that Aaron and the generation of the priests used to wear in order to do the service of the tent, where the altar and the tabernacle were guarded. There is no longer justification or excuses for the work of the altar, where the Levites were busy attending to it, which was the washing of the sins of the people of Israel and God at that time appointed the Levites as mediators for the sins of the house of Israel. We drop down to verse Hebrews 7: 8 And here men that die receive tithes; but there he receiveth them, of whom it is witnessed that he liveth. And that is Jesus. Now verse 8 is saying that all those that were priests, as all men, were subjected to die as any other men, so they were not higher than the rest of the people, but Christ, the new mediator, came to put an end to the Levite priesthood, because Christ lives forever and there is no need any more to continue the altar’s sacrifice. With the regular priests we would be in need of repetition of the same things over and over for the cleansing of our sins, a generation of priests pass away and another one arise and so forth and so on till these days, but Jesus died on the Cross, so the cleansing of sins were done away for good by our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. He came to offer us the plan of Salavation and eternal life.