As gentile believers what should we be doing?
Jesus made only two references to tithing in the Gospels ……indicating that it was not a significant matter among the average Jews who were not land owners. The Law applied until Jesus death.
The first scripture which exposes the religious pride of those who tithed is seldom mentioned today. It is hard to see how 'tithing testimonies' given in many churches are not very similar to this. Please note that the man who tithed WAS NOT SAVED!
10 "Two men went up to the temple to pray, one a Pharisee and the other a tax collector. 11 The Pharisee stood and prayed thus with himself,'God, I thank You that I am not like other men — extortioners, unjust, adulterers, or even as this tax collector. 12 I fast twice a week; I give tithes of all that I possess.' 13 And the tax collector, standing afar off, would not so much as raise his eyes to heaven, but beat his breast, saying, 'God, be merciful to me a sinner!' 14 I tell you, this man went down to his house justified rather than the other; for everyone who exalts himself will be humbled, and he who humbles himself will be exalted." NKJV
The second scripture shows what tithing was according to the Law
Mat 23:23 ‘Woe to you Scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites for you pay tithe of mint, anise and cumin but you neglect the weightier matters of the LAW, justice and mercy and faith. These you ought to have done without leaving the others undone
Note The 'Scribes and Pharisees' were the YOU Jesus was addressing (ie those who were under the Law ... and not believers today
Note According to Jesus' ... paying tithes IS one of the 'matters of the Law' (rather than a 'pre-existing spiritual principle')
Note 'Mint, anise and cumin' were produce of the field and were required to be tithed under the LAW (money was NOT)
Note 'These YOU ought to have done' ie under the LAW this was required of Israelites only (Lev 27:34, Heb 7:5)
Note Jesus instructed those who were healed of leprosy in Mat 8:...‘to show yourself to the priest and offer the gift
that Moses commanded’ because they were under the LAW (believers today do not do this either)
Rom 6:14 YOU (ie Gentile believers) ARE NOT UNDER THE LAW BUT UNDER GRACE
1) WE NEED TO KNOW WHAT GODS WORD SAYS
There is NO pre-Mosaic principle of tithing in the Bible……there are only two individual cases recorded out of all the people who lived in that period and none of them are in anyway near what is taught as tithing today (refer ‘TITHING’)
Malachi was a prophet who prophesied under the LAW…(Mal 2:4, Mal 3:6 and Mal 4:4)…Why then is this scripture about the LAW used so frequently to coerce gentile christians into tithing when we are told tithing was supposedly a pre-Mosaic principle?
(Is 5:13 My people have gone into captivity for lack of knowledge)
Gal 3:2 Did you receive the Spirit by observing the Law or by believing what you heard?
Gal 3:10 All who rely on observing the Law ..(ie including tithing)... are under a curse
Gal 3:11 Clearly no-one is justified before God by the Law.. (ie including tithing)... because ‘the righteous will live by faith’
Heb 7:5 Now the LAW requires descendants of Levi who become priests to collect a tenth from the people, their brothers
Note that according to the apostolic scriptures in the book of Hebrews, it is the LAW WHICH REQUIRES the collection of TITHES ....and not a pre-Mosaic spiritual principle. The tithe is to be collected by LEVITES...and is ONLY to come from their brothers.
We are all priests today see 1 Pet 2:5 and 9 ‘You are a royal priesthood’.... this would mean we ALL should receive tithes if we were under the Law!
Rom 6:14 YOU ARE NOT UNDER THE LAW BUT UNDER GRACE
Gal 5:18 But if you are led by the Spirit you are not under the LAW
2) WE NEED TO HEAR AND OBEY WHAT GODS SPIRIT SAYS
Rom 8:14 because those who are led by the Spirit are the Sons of God
Give as you are led :-
if you love the Lord with all your heart and soul and mind and strength you will desire to support works which help others to enter his kingdom and to know His love
if you KNOW the love of God for you, you will give generously if you see a brother in need (James 2:14-17)
This is best summed up by Paul in his second letter to the Corinthians
2 Cor 9: 6 Whoever sows sparingly will reap sparingly and whoever sows generously will reap generously (God is no mans debtor)
2 Cor 9: 7 Each man should give as he has decided in his heart to give, (ie Rom 8:14)
not reluctantly (this would indicate a heart problem ie 1 Jn 3:17)
nor under compulsion (ie under the Law ie tithing)
for God loves a cheerful giver
The reason for giving springs from the knowledge of how much God first loved us and that sets us free to give as we are able to do.
John 3:16 ‘for God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life’
(The “Zaccheus Principle” (Luke 19:5 -9)…. When Jesus comes into a house, love of the world goes out and generosity becomes the way of life….without us even needing to be preached at. Zaccheus became a believer when he realised that Jesus, who he was wanting to SEE, was himself seeking Zaccheus...and that he was LORD!)
3) SUPPORT FOR MINISTERS OF THE GOSPEL
While the apostle Paul continued to work as a tentmaker he did teach that ITINERANT ministers of the gospel had the right to be supported. This support is pimarily to be in the form of hospitality and provision for NEEDS as per Jesus definition in Matt 10:8
1 Cor 9:3-12 Do not muzzle the ox
Who serves as a soldier at his own expense?
If we have sown spiritual seed among you is it too much that we should receive a material harvest from you?
1 Cor 9:14 Even so the Lord has ordained that those who preach the gospel should live from the gospel (ie apostles)
Luke 10:7 The workman is worthy of his wages (the context refers to the ITINERANT preacher receiving HOSPITALITY)
Gal 6:6 He who receives instruction must share all good things with his instructor (Hospitality...ie invte him around for dinner)