Thursday, January 30, 2014

SHOULD CHRISTIANS CONTINUE TO TITHE BECAUSE TITHING STARTED BEFORE THE LAW?



Why is it that most preachers persuade their congregation to tithe based on the fact that tithing started before the Law (Gen14:18), but these same ministers don’t explain fully to their followers the differences between Abraham’s tithe to Melchesedec and the system of tithing under the Mosaic Law, or to tell their congregation about the dispensational truth. HALF TRUTH is more dangerous than a noticeable heresy; preachers are under obligation to proclaim the total counsel of God! Paul the apostle urged Timothy to study in order to shew himself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, RIGHTLY DIVIDING THE WORD OF TRUTH (2Tim 2:15). If someone doesn't have an accurate revelation of the ages, dispensation, administration or arrangements in the history of God’s dealings with man, that person won't be able to divide the word of God correctly. Most present day ministers have no idea of the ages, and that’s why they are ignorantly fighting against God, by trying to bring the Christians back to the shadow.

It is recorded that God, who at SUNDRY TIMES and in divers manners spake in time past unto the fathers by the prophets, Hath in these last days spoken unto us by his Son (Heb 1;1-3). The “sundry time” speaks about different AGES or DISPENSATION, which stands for different stages or periods of time in which man is tested in respect of obedience to some specific revelation of the eternal will of God. There are about seven different dispensations (ages) which exist within the mortal age, each period has different ruling factors and specific revelations of God through a special messenger, for instance, Abraham was the messenger during the time of promise (Gen 20:7), Moses was the messenger during the Era of Law but the Grace and Truth came through Jesus Christ (John1:17). What God revealed to Abraham during the time of promise, is different from the pattern of worship He explained to Moses during the time of Law; for instance, from the time of Adam to the period in which Abraham lived, there was no organized system of worship, both the organized system of priesthood, the written laws and building physical temples of worship etc, came into force during the era of Law. This shows that we are growing from one level of revelation (faith) to another level in order to achieve complete perfection and immortality in God. We are currently in a new dispensation, the era of Adam to Moses is completely over (Heb1:1-3, Rom10:4).

In this period of grace and Truth, Christ introduced a new and accurate way in God’s service different from what God revealed or allowed in the previous ages, there is spiritual re-creation or a complete reformation through Christ (2cor 5:17, Heb 9:10). The tabernacle of God is now in our hearts, we are God's temple (1Cor 3:16-17), and every Child of God is a priest (Rev 5:10), while Jesus Christ remains our High priest, and the Bishop of our soul (Hebrews6:20, 1Peter2:25) Jesus Christ also lets us know that it’s not a matter of keeping one day holy for God, but we’re to keep OURSELVES HOLY each day for Him.(Mark 2:27) We are to obey the eternal law which is written inside of our hearts, not just in a book (Heb 8:7-12)! Our service isn't a matter of gathering together on a particular day to watch preachers, but cleansing ourselves from sin daily and to make disciples of all nations (Mat 28:18-20, 2 Cor 5:18-20). As we can see, everything now is spiritual that is why the scripture teaches that we must worship God in spirit and in truth. We are to obey the eternal law which is written inside of our hearts, not in a book (Heb 8:7-12). Paul says, But now we are delivered from the law, that being dead wherein we were held; that we should serve in NEWNESS OF SPIRIT, and not in the OLDNESS OF THE LETTER (Rom 7:6). For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, they are the sons of God (Rom 8:14) 

God’s desire is for all men including the Jews to leave the previous move (Mosaic Era) completely and enter into Grace and Truth, which is where the salvation is. Putting one leg in the law and the second leg in grace will only create a gentile religion, which is what Christianity religion is today; Christianity religion is standing in between the Law and Grace which is why Peter encourages the Christians to be rooted and grounded in the fresh and accurate revelation of God that Christ established to set us free from the bondage of sin and death (2 Peter 1:12). We should be rooted fully in the New Testament teachings and principles of Christ in order to experience positive changes in our spiritual life, or to reach God’s fullness. It is recorded in Matthew 23:23 the issue of giving tithes to the Pharisees simply because the Jews were under obligation to obey all the Mosaic laws. All the Laws were given to the Jews not the Gentiles (Rom 3:19). Since Jesus wasn’t yet glorified, the New Testament wasn’t completely in force, because a testament or will can only be in force when the testator has died, a testament is of force after men are dead otherwise it is of no strength at all while the testator liveth (Heb 9:17).During the era of Law, the Gentiles were governed mainly by their conscience (Rom 2:13-15), while the Law was given to the Jewish people as their schoolmaster to bring them unto Christ, that all might be justified by faith(Gala3:24-25).

Abraham as a prophet partially perceived and lived by some principles of Grace, but we can’t follow the footsteps of Abraham; Jesus Christ is our role model, the accurate standard of God. If we are to follow everything that Abraham did during the period of promise that means we must annul the Grace and Truth. We’re not supposed to mention the tithe of Abraham without saying anything about other religious practices of Abraham such as animal sacrifices; if tithing came before the Law, the revelation of animal sacrifices and atonement of sin also came before the law. (Gen 4) Abraham had many other children from his concubines (Gen 25:5) which is forbidden in the New Testament (Mat 19:1-6). Doing the work of Abraham simply means to believe in Christ the promised seed (Gen 3:15, Gen15:6, John 6:28-29).

It’s also important not to preach that Abraham had a revelation of tithing and stop there, people should know how, where and whom he gave the tithe to. Neither Abraham nor Jacob was commanded to give 10% into the STOREHOUSE OF GOD, because the revelation of the tabernacle or physical temple worship wasn’t yet revealed, and there were still no written laws in their dispensation. In the time of Promise, people obeyed God through CONCIENCE and restraint by the Holy Spirit. God spoke to the people mainly through visions and dreams like in no other time, also at times He would manifest Himself physically to them (Gen.12, 15, 17, 18, 20, 22, 28, 32). 

Melchesedec wasn’t a priest in the CHURCH OR SYNAGOGUE; his priesthood order prefigured the Priesthood system of Christ (Heb. 5; 10). Melchesedec was going about doing good; ministering to people individually just as is recorded in the scriptures about Christ, how God anointed Jesus with the Holy Ghost and with power who went about doing good and healing all that were oppressed of the devil; for God was with him (Act 10:38). When Melchesedec met Abraham on the way and blessed him spiritually, Abraham was touched in his heart to give him one 10th of all (Gen 14:18-20). Abraham didn’t give the tithe to Melchesedec under compulsion; it was given cheerfully because there was no written law and he didn’t give Melchesedec a tithe of all his personal possessions, it was from the spoils of war (Gen14:18-20). It's not recorded that Abraham tithed on a regular basis from his own person possessions. In the case of Jacob, He vowed to give God back the 10th part of all that God would give Him, “IF” (under condition) God would save him and bring him back safely to his father’s house (Gen 28:20-22). It's not recorded who Jacob gave his own tithe to because in their period there was no organized system of worship; every man was a priest in his own house. 

If we are to follow the example of Abraham in tithing we shouldn’t give under obligation but as led by the Spirit (Rom 8:14). Giving of a tithe shouldn’t be described or discussed in any other wise conveyed as the storehouse of God; you can give your tithe to anyone that’s truly doing the work of God like Melchesedec. You don’t have to tithe on a regular basis from your personal income, because it's not recorded that Abraham tithed on a regular basis from his own personal possessions. We shouldn’t be using our money to tithe because Abraham didn’t give his tithe to Melchesedec with money (Gen 14:18-20). The people weren’t giving men their tithe with the sole purpose of receiving financial prosperity!

Finally, If Christians are compel by the pastors to pay tithes according to the law, then this is what the law says, behold, I have given to the Levites all the tithes in Israel as their inheritance in return for the work they do while serving at the tent of meeting (Num18:21). We must understand clearly that the Levitical priesthood has changed, that’s why the writer of Hebrews said, Therefore, if perfection were through the Levitical priesthood (for under it the people received the law), what further need was there that another priest should rise according to the order of Melchizedek, and not be called according to the order of Aaron? FOR THE PRIESTHOOD BEING CHANGED, OF NECESSITY THERE IS ALSO A CHANGE OF THE LAW (Heb 7:11-12). Perfection isn't obtainable through the Levitical system of priesthood which is why God called for a new order (Heb 8:7-13). Since there is a change in priesthood, the law of tithing also has to change; TITHING IS NOT MANDATORY (its not a Law,) Christians are to give according to their personal revelation, or as the spirit leads (2Cor 9:7, Romans 8:14). Everything we own belongs to God, for Christ says,( ALL [THINGS THAT ARE] MINE ARE YOURS, AND ALL [THINGS THAT ARE] YOURS BELONG TO ME(John17:10).What Christ says in John17:10 is the standard of giving for every true disciple(Whatever you own belongs to God). Offerings collected in the church should benefit every member of the Church, especially the poor, not just the pastor, (Acts 4:32-35) because every Christian have a ministry; we need each other’s support!

If the Christian preachers insist that people pay their tithe according to the Law, they must also compel the people to obey the entire laws of the Old Testament; for James said, for whoever keeps the whole law and yet stumbles at just one point is guilty of breaking all of it (James2:10). Paul states, for all who rely on the works of the law are under a curse, as it is written: “Cursed is everyone who does not continue to do everything written in the Book of the Law” (Gala3:10).This means that you can't choose to obey only one law that favors you monetarily and then leave the rest undone. Peace be unto you all!


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