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Is tithing required for salvation? November 28, 2014

Posted by Henry in False Doctrines.
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The question that the title of this post raises, is derived from a blog post over at Christiscoming777.com (TITHING: Is it Required? and Are there Eternal Consequences for not tithing) and my intent in this blog is to examine whether the claims put forward by the blogger are biblical. Whilst I know nothing about the blogger personally, scripture calls us to do the following:

I urge you, brothers and sisters, to watch out for those who cause divisions and put obstacles in your way that are contrary to the teaching you have learned. Keep away from them. Rom 16:17

Dear friends, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits to see whether they are from God, because many false prophets have gone out into the world. 1 John 4:1

I therefore do not intend to assassinate his character or to pass personal judgment on him so I will therefore limit my judgment only to whether the claims he has put forward are biblical. My purpose in doing this is to warn others in the hope they may learn the truth and avoid such destructive teachings and if perchance the said blogger would turn and repent from this doctrine.

The first time I encountered this blog article was when a poster here replied to one of my posts on tithing, providing the link to the article and asking me to consider what was being claimed in light of my own writings. After reading the article I attempted to write to the blogger to point out his error but my plea fell on deaf ears. He refuses to post any replies that are contrary to his views and he will not respond or engage with anyone who attempts to point out his error. This is a classic trait of a false prophet.

So lets examine the claims put forward in the post. The caption on the picture accompanying the post defines tithing thus:

“Tithing: giving God the first tenth of your income”

Is this the biblical definition of tithing? What do the scriptures say? I submit that this is not the biblical definition as this does not appear anywhere in scripture. This definition is a reinterpretation of the tithe law which can be found in Lev 27:30-34. Under this Law Israel were commanded to give a tenth part of all that the land brought forth and set it aside for the Levites who did not get an inheritance in the land of Israel. The reason for this was that the priests and the servants of the temple were drawn exclusively from the Levite tribe and therefore were forbidden to tend land. The tithe of the produce of the Land was therefore their portion to feed them. Those who did not tend land did not tithe money to the Levites. Let’s pause for a moment and consider the following question: If God had intended for the tithe to be money why did He not simply ask Israel to give money rather than impose a penalty on those who would buy back the tithe from the Levites (with money) at an extra cost of 20% of the monetary value on top?

The idea that the tithe was the first tenth would violate the commandment to give the “firstfruits” of the harvest to the priests. This definition of the tithe is therefore not biblical and should be rejected.

Moving on to the meat of the blog post, the blogger claims that after struggling with the anti-tithing arguments, God fully convinced him of its requirement and its eternal consequences. This conviction he says is based on, “A) His Word, and secondly B.) 8 amazing testimonies of encounters with Jesus in Heaven & Hell where tithing is raised as an important eternal issue.”

Lets first look at how the blogger was convicted of God’s word on the tithe. He highlights Malachi 3:8-10 as his first point of biblical reference. He affirms here that the scriptures reference the Law but in order to get over the hurdle of why Mal 3:8-10 is applicable to the New Covenant church, he has to perform some “scriptural gymnastics”. According to him,

“Tithing is not a sacrificial, ceremonial or temple law that in the NT are clearly explained as no longer required, rather it is a moral law or command (as its defined as stealing in the above scripture) and is a commandment not a suggestion.”

On the face of it this might sound somewhat reasonable to the undiscerning but the problem is he offers no scriptural reference to back up this claim. I will however show using scriptural references as to why this claim is false and the key text is in the passage of Malachi 3 itself and in verse 7 specifically. If you look at scriptures in isolation you can make them say what they did not intend to say. In verse seven we see the rebuke God leveled against Israel that they had gone away from His ordinances and did not keep them. The ordinance in view here though was tithing which they had neglected which is why God said they were robbing Him. If we return to Numbers 18 we learn here again that the tithe to the priests was an ordinance (Number 18:8). This verse refers to the Lords heave offering which was to be an ordinance. Verse 28 tells us that the tithe to the priest was the heave offering so we know assuredly that the tithe was an ordinance. If we look at Eph 2:15 and Col 2:14 though we learn that all the commandments contained in ordinances were abolished or cancelled out – Jesus nailed them to the cross. The tithe being an ordinance was therefore cancelled with all other ordinances contrary to the argument posed by the blogger.

The blogger goes on to use Matt 5:17-20 and 1 John 3,4 to support his idea of a distinction between the ceremonial, sacrificial or temple law versus the moral law the former which is supposedly abolished and the latter being in tact. But again these verses cannot be used to support his claims because this division of the law is not found in scripture but “leaven” he himself has inserted into the text which he then tries to buttress using scripture. As I already pointed out the tithe was an ordinance and the commandments contained in ordinances were abolished after Jesus fulfilled them. We therefore now have a righteousness which is of faith without the deeds of the law (Rom 3:20, 28).

In a further attempt to emphasize his point the blogger attempted to show that the tithe was a “pre-law principle” referencing Abraham’s tithe to Melchizedek. It is spurious however to attempt to use Abraham’s example as a model for church giving as there are several problems with this account from Genesis 14. We do not know if Abraham was commanded to give a tithe as scripture is silent here. Whilst we know that Abraham was rich (Gen 12) scripture does not say that he gave tithes of his own wealth; He tithe to Melchizedek of the spoils of war, spoils which he did not want. This was a one time event and scripture does not say that this was ever repeated. It is therefore bogus to try to establish a principle from this account in instructing the church to tithe. It is even worse when this seemingly voluntary act is being used to prop up the argument to observe the tithe law in the church.

Another scripture the blogger attempted to use to support the argument for observing the tithe law is Matt 23:23. Here the blogger attempts to change the context of what Jesus said to put the focus of His address from the Pharisees to the church. In this verse Jesus rebuked the Pharisees and in this rebuke He affirms that, yes they should tithe, but should not have neglected the weightier matters of the LAW. The Pharisees who were Jews were still under the law and therefore were required to tithe. Jesus did not command them to tithe but affirmed that they were doing the right thing in tithing but not performing the weightier matters of the law. Incidentally the Levites and Priests who officiated over the temple and who received the tithes were also still around as Jesus had not yet gone to the cross. There is no record in scripture however where Jesus commanded His disciples and therefore the church to tithe and Matt 23:23 should not be translated into a command to the church to tithe. The blogger’s attempts therefore to place the tithing commandment within the Great Commission is therefore erroneous. If indeed Jesus had commanded the disciples to teach the church to tithe why is there no record in the New Testament of this? The simple answer is that tithing along with all other commandments contained in ordinances were abolished at Calvary (Eph 2:15) and this is why it is absent from the Apostles writings as something to be practiced in the church. Furthermore, only the Levites had a commandment to take a tithe of their brethren (Heb 7:5). It needs to be pointed out though that the commandment which established the priesthood of the Levites was also abolished such that their priesthood would be replaced by the priesthood of Jesus Christ. As a result of this change in the priesthood the law also had to be changed (Heb 7:12, 8:10, 10:16).

It is important to point out that Jesus did not simply abolish some of the old law and leave some in tact but the whole law which constituted the first covenant has been set aside and been replaced with the new covenant. Whilst the old covenant was based on the priesthood of the Levites, the new covenant is based on the priesthood of Jesus Christ. Under the new covenant love is the fulfillment of the law (Rom 13:10).

In his final support for the tithe law to continue in the New Church the blogger relies on extra-biblical sources in the form of 8 so-called testimonies of encounters with Jesus in heaven and hell which he has collated. I won’t give much attention to these testimonies except to say that if these testimonies were true then what I have presented from scripture must be false because these testimonies contradict what the scriptures teach. Since we know that God cannot contradict His words and that the Bible is true then it is easy to conclude that these so-called testimonies are false in the light of scriptures. These are nothing but lies designed to tug at the heart strings of people who are struggling with whether or not they should tithe. Scripture warns that we should take heed that no man deceives us and so we need to apply ourselves to a careful study of the Word instead of being carried to and fro with every wind of doctrine.

In summation scripture tells us that tithing is an ordinance (Mal 3:7, Num 18:8, 28) and that the commandments contained in ordinances have been abolished (Eph 2:15, Col 2:14). Anything that contradicts this position is false and should be rejected outright and therefore the conclusion is that tithing is not required to go to heaven.

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Comments»

1. Henry - November 29, 2014

Anonymous,
Please keep your comments to the topic. This comment does not relate to this post and makes the blog chaotic for someone reading it. I have to admit that I was guilty of allowing you to take the previous post off topic due to the fact I did not want to appear heavy handed but I will not continue to do that. The post you are trying to responded to is now closed as I feel enough has been said on the topic.

2. Gerry R - August 15, 2016

The Spirit had me tithe but not to any church building. Rather following the Scripture of “take” , “set” and “eat” your tithe in the presence of the LORD SO THAT YOU WILL LEARN TO REVERE THE LORD IN ALL THINGS. Saul-Paul is a false apostle and I believe that God allowed him into the bible for the same reason Satan was allowed into the garden – to test you. The law was not abolished as Saul-Paul tells you. It was FULFILLED IN JESUS. It’s still a good thing and still beneficial for you to follow the law. Doing so will help to keep sin from really getting established in you. You are still guilty if you break the law but the new covenant provides that Jesus paid your penalty. That’s why it is written that “judgment begins at the house of God.” It occurred on the cross. With Jesus, THE PRICE IS RIGHT. He shed his blood for MANY. Every sin or violation of the law you commit or omit has a price to it. It’s just that your dad, God, pays for it. You never see the bill. NOT tithing will not get you in trouble with your salvation but tithing has benefits and, therefore, it’s a good idea to practice tithing in the biblical way of “take”, “set” and “eat” your tithe. This really is a blessing God has given to you especially New Covenant believers because He is, in fact, making sure that you enjoy the first fruits of your labor. God is giving to you. Just say “Thank you”.

3. Anonymous - August 21, 2016

Hello Gerry R,

Are you really sure “Saul-Paul” was a “false prophet”? If you’ve been reading literature from mainstream Christianity which likes to interpret law keeping verses out of context and even sometimes ignore critically important Greek word definitions, I can understand your incorrect assumption that Paul said the law was “abolished.” There are many verses, though, confirming that Paul was actually a strict law keeper. For example, he commanded us to not even touch (obviously much less eat) what is “unclean,” which of course would include the forbidden foods since the Greek for unclean refers to the Levitically unclean. Your reference to Matthew 5:17: “Do not think that I came to destroy the Law or the Prophets. I did not come to destroy but to fulfill” can be better understood by this more literal translation:
Matthew 5:17: “Do not think that I came to destroy the Law or the Prophets. I did not come to destroy but to more fully fill up the Law.” The Greek for fulfill means to improve, fill up more fully, perfect, add to, supplement, and fill to the top. It does not mean to substitute for or abolish or perform for others. For example, Jesus supplemented or perfected the law against murder by now making even hate a serious sin. That’s what He meant when He said he came to “fulfill” the law. He filled the law even more fully. So Jesus did not come to tithe once and for all for Christians. Tithing is still a quite mandatory requirement for salvation for Christians (aware of that law), although Jesus can intercede for Christians when they sin, forgiving them as they repent more fervently or more sincerely. Deliberately refusing to tithe can jeopardize one’s chances of being in the first resurrection ahead of the Christian Millennium. During that Millennium Jesus will be walking, talking, and teaching daily. That is when everyone will finally learn, in that era anyway, that strict, literal tithing is still required. Visit http://TithingHelps.Us to better understand why tithing is not an optional “love offering,” but rather part of the remaining laws that are still valid. Basically only the sacrifice, circumcision, and Levitical priesthood laws were clearly identified by name and specifically singled out by the Apostles as abolished.

4. Gerry R. - August 28, 2016

Response to Anonymous re Saul-Paul being a false apostle: My first indication was my spirit. I am very spiritually sensitive. I came to my conclusion before I ever knew hat anyone else was feeling like he same way. I found where Saul-Paul misqoted old testament scripture. I discovered this all on my own from knowing the Scripture and then reading Saul-Paul and noticing the difference. Then I asked God about him. I told God that I needed something from the Word not just a “feeling”. God spike and said “Armor”. I responded. “Yes, Paul gave us the armor of God.”. I was “feeling” like God was validating Paul. THEN He spoke again “What did David do with Saul’s armor?” Bingo! David did not wear Saul’s armor. He trusted God based on the faith he had because he knew God. My understanding of it is that Saul-Paul’s armor is like Saul’s armor is like Joseph Smith’s funny magical underwear is like Adam and Eve’s fig leaves — a denial of the blood covenant and God doing it. It’s another man’s “do it yourself” method. Also, I’m still looking for Saul-Paul’s two witnesses. All we have is a Johnny come lately man who “claims” to have seen Jesus and received new revelation from him. Plus Jesus warned of people like Saul-Paul. I’m not buying. I’ll stick with Jesus and the old testament.

5. Gerry R. - August 28, 2016

More response to Anonymous. First I’m sorry for all the typos in my last post. I didn’t type it that way but it automatically changed my words upon posting. I disagree with your definition of the meaning of “fulfilling the law”. There was a blood covenant beginning in the garden of Eden when God replaced Adam and Eve’s fig leaves with the skins of slain animals the He (God) provided. God provided the ram for Abraham’s sacrifice as well. When Jesus mentioned that anger was like murder and lusting after a woman was the same as fornication, he wasn’t adding more law or filling out more law. He was showing that sin was a condition of the heart even without outward action. Daniel’s prophecy concerning the messiah was that in the middle of the 69 th week, he would put an END to sacrifice and offering. This occurred exactly in the middle of the 69 th week when Jesus was crucified. His crucifixion caused “sacrifice and offering to cease” just as Daniel prophesied. If you are going to “tithe” it must be as the spirit leads you. The natural points to the spiritual. The new covenant is spiritual. If you are under the new covenant then don’t make that void by reverting to the old covenant. Remember there was 430 years that Abraham and the Hebrews knew and followed God and were under a blood covenant BEFORE the law was ever given to Moses.

6. Henry - September 26, 2016

Gerry R,

In all thy getting, get understanding. It seems you are completing ignorant of scripture hence your conclusion about Paul which I do not support nor endorse. You need to understand scriptures and do a proper exegesis of lining scripture upon scripture before you make baseless conclusions. Paul has not spoken anything contrary to Jesus Christ. Paul has taught us to be imitators of Jesus Christ.

It seems where many like you go wrong is in your interpretation of law and Grace. When we say that the law is abolished we are referring to the commandments contained in ordinances (Col 2:14 and Eph 2:15). Both Jesus and Paul makes it clear that the law has changed. See for example,

25And, behold, a certain lawyer stood up, and tempted him, saying, Master, what shall I do to inherit eternal life? 26He said unto him, What is written in the law? how readest thou? 27And he answering said, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy strength, and with all thy mind; and thy neighbour as thyself. 28And he said unto him, Thou hast answered right: this do, and thou shalt live.

John 13:34 aligns with this. Math 7:12 also aligns with this.

Hence Paul teaches in Rom 13:8,10 that love is the fulfilment of the law (see also Gal 5:14). Jam 2:8-12 is another take on what Paul said in Rom 13.


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