Tithing Is It For Today…Part I?
~by Larry Walters
When we look at the many arguments for and against tithing I must ask, “Why?” Why do we debate over such trivial matters? When will we realize that the earth is Yahweh’s and all that it contains?
So I am sure by now those who are “pro-tithe” have already “checked out” and those who are “anti-tithe” have hung around looking for an excuse for their apparent lack of giving. Either way, if you are still reading you might be surprised!
How many times have we been taught that Abraham paid “TITHES” to Melchizedek? And we have been taught that this is “tithing before Torah” and tithing remains in effect today, right? What does Hebrews 7 teach us?
If Abraham gave a real Tithe unto Melchizedek, then he would have to have returned to his home, gathered up all of his livestock and material possessions and then distributed the Tithes. However, we are told in Hebrews 7:4 that Abraham gave “THE TENTH OF THE SPOILS.” This is better defined as a First Fruit Offering.
He gave this “tithe” once, and we have no other record of Abraham tithing again even as he amassed a great wealth. He gave of the spoils instead of from his substance so he gave an offering of thanksgiving for the victory Abba had granted. Yet, we are told that even Levi paid his tithes IN ABRAHAM Heb 7:9-10.
Again, Abraham did not “tithe-away” Levi’s inheritance, or that even of his son Isaac. He tithed the spoils of war. Have you been granted a great victory and amassed a great financial windfall? Then I believe if you claim Abraham as your father you should follow his example and sow at least the tenth into good soil for Yahweh’s glory. Perhaps that will be in your local congregation, perhaps it will be with the priestly person Yahweh places in your path at the time of your victory…that is between you and the Father.
Tithing was a way for the tribe of Levi to survive IN THE LAND without any inheritance IN THE LAND. Notice again the Torah was written as a code of conduct for the nation of
Israel to operate from specifically
while IN THE LAND. Today, there is no longer a Levitical Priesthood.
It has since ceased to exist with the new priesthood found in Messiah Yahshua, from the tribe of Yehudah (Judah) after the order of Melchizedek, Prince of Salem. We do not have time to entertain was this priestly king a pre-incarnation of Messiah Yahshua? Simple we know that He is the High priest NOW AFTER THE ORDER OF MELCHIZEDEK. And since all Levites were to pay their tithes TO the Kohanim or High Priest, where do the “Levites” pay their tithes today?
Again, if you are a “dyed in the wool tither” I pray that this will cause you to question why you believe what you believe. And this will also cause many a pastor and leader to search out what they have been teaching all along. Isn't it time that we begin to teach the Word of Yahweh instead of the doctrines of man?
OK. Now lets move past Abraham for a moment and even past Isaac, for there is NO RECORD OF ISAAC GIVING A TITHE. So we move on to Jacob. In Genesis 28:20-22 we read the record of his vow, offering of 1/10th to be given unto whom? Yahweh…IF HE COMES “AGAIN TO HIS FATHER’S HOUSE IN PEACE, THEN SHALL YAHWEH BE MY ELOHIM (GOD)…” It is unto Yahweh that Jacob made this vow. Then we might add, how is he to pay it and how is Yahweh to receive it?
And it is not until Leviticus, Numbers, and Deuteronomy that we read about the controversial topic again. (For a complete list you can do your HOMEWORK, look it up and decide for yourself.) In Leviticus 27:30-32 the specifications of the tithe are given. In Numbers 18:20-32, it is then dedicated to the support of the Levites and High Priest.
Moshe (Moses) reiterates what to do with the tithe in Deuteronomy 12:5-11; 14:22-29. Here it can be exchanged for monies if the journey is too far from the place designated to receive them. And
Israel is then
instructed how to sanctify the tithe BEFORE THEY CAN ASK FOR A BLESSING And
this blessing is not a personal blessing; they are to ask for a national
blessing as a result of their obedience to keep the tithe. (DT 26:12-15)
Again as you read (You are reading the references, right?) what is the common theme for the giving of the tithe? In the wilderness every man did what was RIGHT IN HIS OWN EYES. But, when they came into the land, there is the establishment of THE PLACE where Yahweh designates to PAY your tithes and offerings. (DT 12:5-11)
Following the correct order of the books of the Tenakh Amos mentions the tithe in 4:4. Then Nehemiah 10:37-38, 12:44, and 13:5-12 we have the account of the tithes being brought into the storehouses (yes, there were actual storehouses then). There are officers appointed to watch over the storehouses. And then Nehemiah had to evict Tobiah out of a storehouse and restores order.
In Malachi we read the famous verses that are taught from the pulpits world-wide 3:8-10. This instruction is to
established back in the land. And at a time when they were negligent of the
tithe established in Torah. Their choice again to obey or disobey would result
in the blessing or the curse.
The Tenakh closes out with 2 Chronicles 31:5-12 and the testimony that the children of
are keeping Torah underneath King Hezekiah and the tithes and offerings are
being received in the designated places of worship.
In the Brit Chadashah, Matthew and Luke we have Messiah living as a Jew in
a kosher eating, Torah Keeper. Here He rebukes the Pharisees for not keeping
the weightier matters of Torah such as Justice, Mercy, and Faithfulness even as
they SHOULD and that they should tithe. They were IN THE LAND, and they were
SUBJECT TO TORAH AND ITS REGULATIONS IN THE LAND.
Now let us move past the Letter or the Law which kills and look at the Spirit of the Law which gives life. In the Brit Chadashah we see a new attitude concerning finances. Everything was done for the furtherance of the Gospel. People sold their houses and lands to provide for one another as the Gospel was to be preached unto all ethnic, people, groups. (Acts 2:42-47) But surely that is NOT FOR TODAY! (Or is it?)
We have the Macedonians who took giving to the next level of Halakah (daily walk)… They 1st gave themselves 100% completely to Yahweh and then to the men of Yahweh as the servants of Yahweh. Next they begged for the opportunity to give for the furtherance of the Gospel. Not only once did they give to meet the needs of the men of Yah. They gave over and again OUT OF THEIR NECESSITY. (2 Cor Chapters 8 &9)
Today we hear pretty little sermons about “My God shall supply all your need according to His riches in glory.” (Phil 4:19) And I am sure that they are all “well-meaning” but we have failed to communicate the truth of the text…It was the selfless giving of the Philippians who gave over and again OF THEIR VERY NEEDS in order to minister unto the men of Yah. One, Epaphroditus, who delivered their gifts almost met with death in the process!
The Thessalonians are called, “Examples to all that believe in
and Achaia” as they received the word in much affliction, with joy of the Holy
Ghost” These are also those whom Paul writes in 2 Cor 8 and 9. The Berean’s are
found here…And it is in their example that Paul admonishes the people of Corinth that they TOO
NEED TO EXCEL IN THIS GRACE CALLED JOYFUL GIVING. This is why he wrote about
let every man put in store (1 Cor 16:2) as Elohim (God) has prospered them. And
it was so that they finished what was started that we read about the
Macedonians in 2 Cor 8 and 9.
So what about today? Seriously? Are we so far removed from the Grace of the Almighty that we truly believe that He has prospered us so we can live the good life here and now? Did He bless us so that we could read about the 2 BILLION SOULS WHICH HAVE NEVER HEARD THE GOSPEL and DO LITTLE AS POSSIBLE TO BE APART OF THE SOLUTION?
Our dreams have become so polluted with the things of this world that we no longer dream of whole villages being gloriously saved by the preaching of the Gospel and the disciples who will reach the neighboring villages. Instead we “dream” and go on “dream-building” events looking at new cars, touring houses and seeking the “next big thing” that will help us to strike it rich.
There are even those today who if pressed would have to confess that the reason why they tithe is so they can inherit the increase. Sowing into the
is not a way to
“strike it rich here and now.” It is about bringing glory and honor unto Yahweh
and unto the Lamb! Yes, there will be the 30, 60 and 100 fold increase. I’m not
standing against the word of Yahweh. Kingdom
However, it is time that we again step into the plate and give ourselves and everything we have for the end time harvest is here. It is time again that we place into proper perspective what we are here “for” and what are we “doing” about it. It is time that we demonstrate the Great Commands and begin to fulfill our role in the Great Commission.
What we do for Messiah is the only thing that will last…where are you investing?
In Simple Obedience and Love,
Evangelists Larry and Ana Walters
Apostle to the Peoples of India