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Tithe: A Scriptural Directive. Living In Abundance. (Jn. 10:10b). April 2016

For some reason, I had taken it for granted that every Christian, particularly the borne again Christian, understands the meaning and significance of Tithe and the payment thereof. I have preached it in our Church and since the benefit of obedience with respect to payment of Tithes rather is heavy on the side of the giver than the receiver, I had believed that the Christian doesn’t necessarily need to be forced or coerced to pay his or her Tithe. I had thought that payment of Tithes should be second nature to every Christian.

However, recently I have learnt that some who should know even better now argue that payment of Tithe may not be scriptural because, according to them, the requirement to pay Tithes is an Old-Testament doctrine or practice and is not found in the New Testament. This position is not only untrue, but it smacks of perhaps a poor comprehension of the scriptures and is in fact misleading. Tithe payment is Scriptural. Period!

First what is Tithe? The Bible tells us in the book of Lev. 27:32 that Tithe is one tenth of someone’s income (All) which should be given back to God because it is holy unto the Lord who enabled us to make wealth in the first place (Deut. 8:18). Tithe should be paid on all that someone receives; anything that constitutes income (money, herds, flocks etc: All). Tithe belongs to God!

Before we go to the book of Malachi which most people seem to be aware of and which the opponents of the concept of Tithes tend to say is the only place that Tithe was significantly mentioned, it is important that we note that long before the book of Malachi, which is the last book of the Old Testament, Tithe was mentioned in the following scenarios and books of the scriptures; Lev. 27:30, which says that all the Tithe of the Land belongs to Lord; Abraham paid Tithes of all to the King of Salem called Melchizedec ( Gen. 14:20); Jacob understood Tithe and promised to pay a tenth of all to God (Gen. 28:22). Tithes were paid to Levites who represented the priests of God (Heb. 7:5).

In Malachi 3:8-14 the scripture tells us about the benefits of paying Tithes and the dangers of not paying them. When a person doesn’t pay Tithe the scripture refers to such a person as someone that robs God. However, when we are faithful with our Tithes the Bible says that God will open the windows of heaven and pour out to us, abundant blessings; God will rebuke devourers for our sakes; God will not allow our vine to cast her fruit before the time in the field and all nations shall call us blessed when. The benefits of compliance are awesome.

Now, some of the opponents of Tithe payment will be quick to say that, well, tithing was an Old Testament practice and that it was not mentioned in the New Testament or that it was not approved by Jesus Christ. I believe that they are plain wrong in that argument and I will explain. In the outset let it be known that Tithe and Tithing was mentioned in the New Testament. The same critics also argue that if Tithe was allowed in the New Testament, how come that it was not recorded that the apostles of Jesus Christ, who were ministers, received tithes? The reason why the Apostles, including Peter, didn’t receive Tithes is simple; the disciples and followers of Jesus Christ, in their time, didn’t just give their one tenth, rather they gave their 100% (all). They gave their all. They sold all that they had and gave the proceeds to God through the brethren. “And the multitude of them that believed were of one heart and of one soul; neither said any of them that ought of the things which he possessed was his own; but they had all things in common. Neither was there any among them that lacked; for as many as were possessors of lands or houses sold them and brought the prices of the things that were sold” (Acts. 4:32,34). This was an up-scaled modification of Tithe; from 10% to 100%. It is in this context that Ananias with his wife Sapphira sold a possession kept back part of the proceeds and got into trouble.

This is absolutely important because in Mal. 3:10 the scripture reveals to us that the major reason why God commands us to pay Tithe is such that “…there may be meat in my house…” Ideally, Tithes are supposed to be used to provide food in the House of God for the People of God. If the followers of Jesus Christ, as in the New Testament, were already contributing 100% of their incomes to the House of God as we see in Acts 4: 32-34 it becomes obvious that there was no need for any 10% contribution of their income since they were already contributing their all.

The Scriptures tell us that Jesus Christ said in his word “Think not that I am come to destroy the law, or the prophets: I am not come to destroy but to fulfil” (Matt. 5:17). What this means is that Jesus didn’t come to throw away the 10 commandments, for instance, but rather he came to fulfil them and part of that fulfilment could require clarifications, modifications and amendments towards effective realization of the goals that were originally set by the Trinity. When he was asked about the greatest Commandment, for example, he explained that it was the Love of God.

Take for instance an old existing Constitution of a country. A constitutional amendment doesn’t render the old constitution useless rather what it does is to amend or clarify some sections of the old Constitution and give new impetus to the amended sections. In other words, any old section of a Constitution that is not affected by an amendment remains valid even as originally written except if the entire old Constitution was suspended or abolished. Friend Jesus did not come to abolish the Old Testament.

In all the sections of the New Testament scriptures where Tithe was mentioned Jesus Christ did not condemn the payment of Tithes as allowed in the book of Malachi. Rather what he was saying was that payment of Tithe alone cannot save any soul. An individual has to be borne again first, accept Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior, live a righteous life before other things, including Tithe could be of any benefit and significance.

In Matt. 23:23 Jesus said “Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For ye pay tithe of mint and anise and cumin, and have omitted the weightier matters of the law, judgment, mercy and faith: these ought ye to have done, and not to leave the other undone”. There are some key words and sections of that particular quotation that I will bring out here to stress my point that Jesus was not condemning Tithe paying here rather he was emphasizing that Tithes should be paid with the correct attitude; without hypocrisy, in judgement (righteousness), mercy (forgiveness) and faith (in God and his Son). Jesus was saying that it is condemnable for a hypocrite to pay Tithe. In other words Tithe should be paid in truth and honesty. There is a word used by Jesus Christ in that Scripture that is key to understanding whether our Lord Jesus Christ was condemning Tithe payment or he was rather putting emphasis on how it should be paid. That word is “weightier”. The use of that word means that at least two items that bear weight were being compared to each other. One item was weightier or heavier than the other. That directly implied that none of the two entities was weightless or without significance (We can only compare something with something and not with nothing). The two items had weights but one was weightier than the other.

For something to be weightier, means that the two entities being compared must have respective weights but one is heavier than the other. Simply put Tithe paying has weight, Faith in God has weight but faith has more weight than Tithe; so is mercy and judgment. That was why Jesus concluded and said “these (judgement, mercy and faith) ought ye to have done, and not to leave the other (Tithe) undone”. Which just means that we should not leave payment of Tithe undone, rather we should do it in addition or in combination with Judgment, mercy and faith. Simply put, for Tithe paying to have meaning we must be borne again. Period! That is what we also teach even today; for any one to receive the benefits of Tithe paying that fellow must be a firm believer in Jesus Christ as his or her personal Lord and Savior (Faith, judgment and mercy).

In Heb. 7:1-3 Apostle Paul clearly writes (in the New Testament) that Abraham paid Tithes of all to Melchisedec; King of righteousness; King of Salem; King of Peace. In Heb. 7:3 we are given a better description of who King Melchisedec was; He was without father, without mother, without descent, having neither beginning nor end of life; but made like unto the Son of God. Does that description sound familiar? That was the King that Abraham paid Tithes of all to.

We often sing and claim that Abraham’s blessings are ours. We claim to be the seed of Abraham. Accordingly, it will not be out of place to also tithe in all to the God of heaven and earth and Jesus Christ of Nazareth, just as Abraham did.

If you have not given your life to Christ please do so now for tomorrow might be too late. 

God bless you.

Pastor Fidelis Nwachukwu

RCCG Throne of Grace Parish

317 Woodpoint Ave.,

Hagerstown MD 21740, USA

Email: rccgthroneofgraceparish@ymail.com

Website: http://www.rccgthroneofgraceusa.org

Posted on Friday, April 29, 2016 at 06:11pm