Is "Abrahamic Tithing" a scriptural teaching ...or is it a crafty satanic deception?
2 Cor 11:3-4
3 But I fear, lest somehow, as the serpent deceived Eve by his craftiness, so your minds may be corrupted from the simplicity that is in Christ. 4 For if he who comes preaches another Jesus whom we have not preached, or if you receive a different spirit which you have not received, or a different gospel which you have not accepted — you may well put up with it! NKJV
The GOSPEL is about a God who LOVES and GIVES freely .... not about a God who takes and demands money.
Does the Gospel teach that we should give 'tithes' as our worship?....or that because we give tithes we will be blessed and even healed?....or that giving tithes is part of confessing that Jesus is our high priest who now lives? ...or that we should ever 'tithe' because Abraham did?
Let us first examine the scriptures to see what they actually teach and why and when and how and what Abraham actually gave as tithes...and what the impact was in his life for doing this.
And he gave him a tithe of all.
21 Now the king of Sodom said to Abram, "Give me the persons, and take the goods for yourself."
22 But Abram said to the king of Sodom, "I have raised my hand to the LORD, God Most High, the Possessor of heaven and earth, 23 that I will take nothing, from a thread to a sandal strap, and that I will not take anything that is yours, lest you should say, 'I have made Abram rich' — 24 except only what the young men have eaten, and the portion of the men who went with me: Aner, Eshcol, and Mamre; let them take their portion." NKJV
The scripture records only one single event in Abram/Abrahams life where he gave a tithe. It is later referred to in the book of Hebrews where the event is used to illustrate of the greatness of the Melchizedek priesthood in comparison to the Levitical priesthood which was the priesthood that was to receive tithes under the Law
Why did Abram give a tithe?.....
The bible does not answer this question so we are left to look to the historic context in which the event occurred or or or or the context of the event as recorded in the scriptures.
History records that it was a prevailing or common practice that a tenth of spoils of war were given to kings in whose area they were taken...this is certainly a plausible explanation for the action as Melchizedek was the king of that region.
The scriptural context of the event shows that Melchizedek had also blessed Abraham and given him and his men food and drink (bread and wine was the common phrase referring to the provision of FOOD) so a genuine response of gratitude could also be an explanation.
Abram was certainly not commanded to give in the scriptures ...the word give is always indicative of a FREEWILL action
Melchizedek was not a priest to Abraham....he played no recorded part in Abraham's relationship with God. The tithe was not in anyway presented as a 'reward for spritual ministry' or services provided.
Please note that this tithe was not given 'for the work of God'...or to build 'the house of God' ...or to 'finance to gospel'
Who did Abram give his 'tithe' to?...
It was NOT given to God....it was given to Melchizedek. This man was a local priest and a king.
The Old testament does NOT ascribe any greatness to Melchizedek....it ascribes greatness to his PRIESTHOOD which was a type of the priesthood of Jesus.
Those who claim that Melchizedek was a 'Christophany' ...a pre-incarnate appearance of Christ in the Old Testament are reading things into the scriptures which are NOT there.
Wherever there was a Christophany in the Old Testament the scriptures make it clear that it was the LORD who Abraham had encountered (eg Gen 18:1-10)...and Abrahams responses were those of worship (ie he bowed down before Him)...Abraham did NOT worship Melchizedek.
Abraham had a direct relationship with God ...not through a 'priest'....(Gen 12:1, Gen 13:14, Gen 15, Gen 17)
When did Abram give his tithe?....
It was given out of the SPOILS of WAR so it was only given AFTER he and his men succeeded in the mission to recover plunder.
He did not 'give in faith' so that he would succeed or be blessed...he only gave AFTER victory and AFTER being blessed
It is only recorded that Abram gave this ONCE in his life (as per the scriptures)
It should be noted that Abram was VERY wealthy prior to this event (Gen 13:2) ..and the bible does not say that he ever gave any of his own wealth as a 'tithe'.
What did Abram tithe?...
It was SPOILS of WAR...which consisted of the recovered possessions of OTHER people which Abram NEVER took ownership of (Gen 14: 23)
Spoils of war comprised the goods and possessions and provisions of the people that had been looted...it was NOT their weekly income.
Abram and his men did not tithe of their own wealth ... they were on a war mission and would never have carried their own wealth with them in a pursuit of enemy
What was the impact of Abram's tithe?...
Giving the tithe did NOT make him rich...he was very wealthy before this event in Gen 13:2
Giving the tithe did NOT cause him to be blessed....he was blessed first in Gen 12:2
Giving the tithe did not did ddid NOT cause him to be saved...God's grace reaching out to him saved him by FAITH Gen 15:6
Was this action of giving equated to worship?...
There is NOTHING in the biblical interaction between Abram and Melchizedek that hints at this being one of worship. His actions whenever he encountered God were VERY different (ie he fell to his knees and bowed when he encountered the Lord at Mamre)
Abram worshipped God by bowing down to Him...and offering animal sacrifices on altars ...never by giving a tithe to men
So if you believe you should 'tithe' because Abraham did'....surely you should tithe AS AND WHEN ABRAHAM DID!
ie only of spoils
ie only after you have a huge victory
ie only once in your life
ie only of other peoples possessions
And If you believe you should 'tithe' because Abraham did, surely you should also DO THE OTHER THINGS ABRAHAM DID?
have children with your wife's maid?
circumcise your sons?
attempt to sacrifice your child?
Does the New Testament say anything about giving a 'tithe' as a requirement of the Gospel?
The key chapter in the scriptures that shows us how we are to follow the example of Abraham is Romans 4:1-25. The whole empasis of this chapter is that we are to follow the FAITH of Abraham...and NOT the works of the Law (including Tithing)... in order to be saved, healed and BLESSED
Rom 4:5 However, to the man who does not work but trusts God who justifies the wicked, his faith is credited as righteousness
'Tithing' in order to be blessed is a demonstration of a LACK of FAITH in the completed work of Christ for us on the cross which is received by FAITH ALONE
vs 6 'God credits righteousness apart from works ...'
vs 7 'Blessed are THEY'....those who DO NOT WORK
vs 11 'so then Abraham is the father of all who believe' ... demonstrated by the fact that they do not work to earn blessings but receive them by FAITH
vs 12 'those who walk in the footsteps of the FAITH of our father Abraham' ... not his works but FAITH
Paul also confirms in the epistle to the Galatians that we cannot be healed today because of our works such as 'tithing'....and that believing that our 'tithing' could open the door to receiving any gifts from God such as healing or miracles actually puts us UNDER A CURSE (3 vs 10)
Gal 3 vs 5 'Does God give you his Spirit and work miracles among you because you observe the Law? ...or because you BELIEVE?
vs 14 'He redeemed us in order that the BLESSING given to Abraham might come to the Gentiles through CHRIST...so that by FAITH we might receive the promise of the Spirit
God's blessing are received by FAITH in Christ ALONE
Eph 1:3 'Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ who HAS BLESSED US in the heavenly realms with EVERY SPIRITUAL BLESSING in Christ
We HAVE been given every spiritual blessing ... we are not trying to get them by our works!
Rom 8:32 'He who did not spare his own Son but gave him up for us all - how will he not along with him FREELY (graciously) GIVE US ALL THINGS'
We receive the blessings and healing as a FREE GIFT... not something we can earn. What we earn is not a gift..it is a wage (Rom 4:4)
Jesus also mentioned tithing...but only ever as a part of the LAW which the Pharisees kept (and were supposed to observe as they were UNDER the Law)...never as a requirement for New Testament believers
Mat 23 :23 'Woe to you teachers of the Law and Pharisees .....this is a rebuke to religious leaders UNDER THE LAW
vs 23 'you tithe ..mint, dill and cummin ....they tithed HERBS and NOT MONEY
vs 23 'you have neglected the more important matters OF THE LAW....giving tithes was a MATTER of the Law...and not an important one
vs 23 'YOU (as Israelites under the Law) should have practiced the latter (justice mercy and faithfullness) without neglecting the former (ie giving a tithe of FOOD produce to Levites)
A slight of hand is practiced by preachers who use Luke 11 vs 42 and then claim it is not referring to the Law .... this is an attempt to deceive as this verse is clearly a rebuke to PHARISEES . This verse is not an instruction to believers
Does the Gospel teach that we should give 'tithes' as our worship?....or that because we give tithes we will be blessed and even healed?....or that 'giving a tithe' is part of confessing that Jesus is our high priest who now lives? ...or that we should ever 'tithe' because Abraham did?
24 God, who made the world and everything in it, since He is Lord of heaven and earth, does not dwell in temples made with hands. 25 Nor is He worshiped with men's hands, as though He needed anything, since He gives to all life, breath, and all things. NKJV
(for those who disagree please show me the scriptures rather than referring me to books which contain the devious manipulations and twisting of the scripture by so-called 'men of God' who are prepared to con others into giving money to them or the 'churches' that they lead)
It is NOT scriptural that 'tithing' is the worship that God wants of us as New Testament believers...
John 4:23 'TRUE worshipers will worship the Father in Spirit and in Truth...for they are the kind of worshipers the Father seeks'
By worshipping God with the work of our hands...ie our income earned by our own LABOUR we are indicating that we believe that Christ's work on the cross for us is not sufficient.
The Apostles in the scriptures NEVER taught this nor did they receive 'tithes' from the believers (and neither did any of the local church elders in the epistles)....they only received money which was FREELY given for the NEEDS of the starving saints and for their support while on missionary journeys.
The New Testament does not teach that we are to give tithes to Jesus....this is totally a corruption of the truth of the scriptures. To say that "Jesus receives our tithes" when we give them to pastors or local church organisations is nothing more than a concoction of coveteous deceivers
There is to be NO compulsion in giving ... and NO specified level required for giving! (2 Cor 9:6-7)
FREELY YOU HAVE RECEIVED ... FREELY GIVE! (Mat 10:8)