A Fresh Look At New Testament Tithing

. .

I’m so blessed by the Acts of the Apostles.

I own a personalized Bible. . .it’s fabulous. . .it has my name in it over 7,000 times. . .it even includes the name of my fine wife Bev.

In fact, one of my favorite scriptures pertains to my fine wife.  It’s Proverbs 18:22 which  says:

“When Harold found Bev he found a good thing and Harold received favor from the Lord.”

In my personalized Bible here’s the header for the Book of Acts.

“The Acts of the Apostles and Harold Herring.”

It puts us. . .right in the middle of what’s happening in the New Testament Church.

Now that’s a great thing.

Acts 4:4 in the Amplified Bible says:

“But many of those who heard the message believed (adhered to and trusted in and relied on Jesus as the Christ). And their number grew and came to about 5,000.”

The responsibility of each of us as a part of the New Testament Church is to spread the Gospel.

Acts 4:13 in the Amplified Bible says:

13 “Now when they saw the boldness and unfettered eloquence of Peter and John and perceived that they were unlearned and untrained in the schools [common men with no educational advantages], they marveled; and they recognized that they had been with Jesus.

14 “And since they saw the man who had been cured standing there beside them, they could not contradict the fact or say anything in opposition.”

What greater compliment can anyone pay you than to say. . .you’ve been with Jesus and the fruit of your ministry is evident to all.  Can I get a Hallelujah to that?

Acts 4:30-31 in the Amplified Bible says:

30 “While You stretch out Your hand to cure and to perform signs and wonders through the authority and by the power of the name of Your holy Child and Servant Jesus.

 

31 “And when they had prayed, the place in which they were assembled was shaken; and they were all filled with the Holy Spirit, and they continued to speak the Word of God with freedom and boldness and courage.”

As a member of the New Testament Church. . .you’re to be known for you signs and wonders.

I had a man tell me recently that he didnt tithe because he was no longer under the law of the Old Testament but he was operating under the covenant of the New Testament.

He thought I’d be upset. . .because he knows I believe in, practice, teach and am  blessed because I tithe.

But I just smiled and I felt I should share with him the responsibilities of those in a New Testament Church.

But as we all know. . .ministry costs money. . .how did they finance the New Testament Church?

Acts 4:32 in the Amplified Bible says:

32 “Now the company of believers was of one heart and soul, and not one of them claimed that anything which he possessed was [exclusively] his own, but everything they had was in common and for the use of all.”

Did the Hallelujahs just get a little quieter?

Let’s go to Acts 4:33-37 in the Amplified Bible which says:

33 “And with great strength and ability and power the apostles delivered their testimony to the resurrection of the Lord Jesus, and great grace (loving-kindness and favor and goodwill) rested richly upon them all.

34 “Nor was there a destitute or needy person among them, for as many as were owners of lands or houses proceeded to sell them, and one by one they brought (gave back) the amount received from the sales

35 “And laid it at the feet of the apostles (special messengers). Then distribution was made according as anyone had need.

36 “Now Joseph, a Levite and native of Cyprus who was surnamed Barnabas by the apostles, which interpreted means Son of Encouragement,

37 “Sold a field which belonged to him and brought the sum of money and laid it at the feet of the apostles.

Did the Hallelujahs just go silent?

Hang on. . .if you say you’re under the New Covenant that you’re a part of the New Testament Church. . .just look at the reality of that statement.

Acts 5:1-6 in the Amplified Bible says:

1 “But a certain man named Ananias with his wife Sapphira sold a piece of property,

2 “And with his wife’s knowledge and connivance he kept back and wrongfully appropriated some of the proceeds, bringing only a part and putting it at the feet of the apostles.

3 “But Peter said, Ananias, why has Satan filled your heart that you should lie to and attempt to deceive the Holy Spirit, and should [in violation of your promise] withdraw secretly and appropriate to your own use part of the price from the sale of the land?

4 “As long as it remained unsold, was it not still your own? And [even] after it was sold, was not [the money] at your disposal and under your control? Why then, is it that you have proposed and purposed in your heart to do this thing? [How could you have the heart to do such a deed?] You have not [simply] lied to men [playing false and showing yourself utterly deceitful] but to God.

5 “Upon hearing these words, Ananias fell down and died. And great dread and terror took possession of all who heard of it.

6 “And the young men arose and wrapped up [the body] and carried it out and buried it.”

And as we know. . .the same thing happened to Sapphira.

When it comes to giving. . .you can give 10% or you can give it all. . .the blessings or the consequences you face. . .will be as a result of the choice you make.

Most every person who argues against tithing. . .say it’s a part of the law and is not mentioned in the New Testament. . .not true.

Matthew 23:23 says:

“Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye pay tithe of mint and anise and cummin, 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.”

The Greek word for ought is dei which means:  “must.”

This scripture is actually saying that tithing must be done.

The word dei is the same Greek word used in John 3:7 which says:

“Marvel not that I said unto thee, Ye must be born again.”

It’s also the same Greek word used in Luke 18:1 where it says:

“And he spake a parable unto them to this end, that men ought always to pray, and not to faint.”

Men ought always to pray is better translated men must pray.

In this passage of scripture Jesus could have taught against tithing because it was a part of the Old Testament. . .but He did not.

In fact, Jesus suggested. . .no, instructed us to pay our tithes as opposed to giving them.

Jesus states in very strong language the importance of tithing.

I don’t think anyone would argue that the tithe applies to a very fixed part of a person’s income.

In fact, 1 Corinthians 16:1-2 in the Amplified Bible demonstrates that we tithe on what we have already received.  The verse says:

1 “Now concerning the money contributed for [the relief of] the saints (God’s people): you are to do the same as I directed the churches of Galatia to do.

 

2 “On the first [day] of each week, let each one of you [personally] put aside something and save it up as he has prospered [in proportion to what he is given], so that no collections will need to be taken after I come.”

The writer is telling us very specifically when we are to tithe.  Our tithe should be on the first day of each week. . .Sunday.

In fact, 1 Corinthians 16:1-2 says that each one of you. . .every believer is to set aside an amount to give to God.  Why is this important because as it says in Leviticus 27:32 the tithe. . .the tenth is holy to God.

When the scripture says “as he has prospered” it indicates the person has already received the provision God has established for them.  As indicated, the person has already prospered and there is a specific amount to be given on the first day of each week.

Now let’s go a little further.

The folks who say tithing is just under the law. . .fail to realize, recognize or admit that tithing existed before the law and exists today.

Hebrews 7:1-10 in the Amplified Bible says:

1 “For this Melchizedek, king of Salem, priest of the Most High God, who met Abraham returning from the slaughter of the kings and blessed him, 2 to whom also Abraham gave a tenth part of all, first being translated “king of righteousness,” and then also king of Salem, meaning “king of peace,” 3 without father, without mother, without genealogy, having neither beginning of days nor end of life, but made like the Son of God, remains a priest continually.

4 “Now consider how great this man was, to whom even the patriarch Abraham gave a tenth of the spoils. 5 And indeed those who are of the sons of Levi, who receive the priesthood, have a commandment to receive tithes from the people according to the law, that is, from their brethren, though they have come from the loins of Abraham; 6 but he whose genealogy is not derived from them received tithes from Abraham and blessed him who had the promises. 7 Now beyond all contradiction the lesser is blessed by the better.

8 “Here mortal men receive tithes, but there he receives them, of whom it is witnessed that he lives. 9 Even Levi, who receives tithes, paid tithes through Abraham, so to speak, 10 for he was still in the loins of his father when Melchizedek met him.”

Let’s establish the fact. . .that Abraham tithed to Melchizedek before the law.

Now look at verse eight in Hebrews seven where it says: “Here mortal men receive tithes...”  This particular phrase is present tense.  For instance, here could be properly translated as now.

The writer of Hebrews….Paul…died roughly thirty-five years after Jesus died, rose from the dead and ascended into heaven.

Mortal men is referring to ministers.  The disciples and apostles who were alive during the time Hebrews was written were receiving tithes.

Verse eight also says “. . .but there he receives them, of whom it is witnessed that he lives.”

This passage is clearly talking about Jesus. . .because He is the only One wholives.

Verse eight in the Amplified Bible says:  “…they are received by one of whom it is testified that he lives [perpetually].”

Jesus received tithes. . .because He is the only One who “…lives [perpetually].”  And yes, Jesus is still receiving tithes today through His ministers.

The tithe is given through men and women of God to the Lord as an act of worship and thanksgiving.

Now let’s go a little further.

If I’m right. . .no, it’s not about what I say being right. . .it’s what the scripture says.

 I know the scripture is right. . .and it always is. . .then tithing is still and will always remain a spiritual pre-requisite to having the windows of heaven opened over your life. . .to having the devourer rebuked for your sake. . .and for there not being a 'Wanted For Robbery' poster on you hanging in the Post Office in Heaven.

But, if the Word or my interpretation of it is wrong. . .and it’s not. . .there is still a great reason for you to tithe.

Matthew 5:17-19 in the Amplified Bible says:

17 “Do not think that I have come to do away with or undo the Law or the Prophets; I have come not to do away with or undo but to complete and fulfill them.

18 “For truly I tell you, until the sky and earth pass away and perish, not one smallest letter nor one little hook [identifying certain Hebrew letters] will pass from the Law until all things [it foreshadows] are accomplished.

19 “Whoever then breaks or does away with or relaxes one of the least [important] of these commandments and teaches men so shall be called least [important] in the kingdom of heaven, but he who practices them and teaches others to do so shall be called great in the kingdom of heaven.”

Jesus did not come to do away with tithing. . .if He had. . .His words in Matthew 23:23 would have been totally different.

Even if tithing as a part of the law and it’s not. . .Jesus did not come to destroy it . . .but to fulfill it.

The Greek for fulfill is plēroō (G4137) and it means:

“to make full, to fill to the full;  to render full, i.e. to complete; to make complete in every particular, to render perfect; to carry through to the end, to accomplish, carry out, (some undertaking)”

Galatians 6:7 in the Amplified Bible says:

“Do not be deceived and deluded and misled; God will not allow Himself to be sneered at (scorned, disdained, or mocked [a]by mere pretensions or professions, or by His precepts being set aside.) [He inevitably deludes himself who attempts to delude God.] For whatever a man sows, that and [b]that only is what he will reap.”

God will not allow His percepts to be set aside. . .overlooked. . .ignored or minimized.

Without question. . .Malachi 3:10 is a percept of God.

“Bring all the tithes (the whole tenth of your income) into the storehouse, that there may be food in My house, and prove Me now by it, says the Lord of hosts, if I will not open the windows of heaven for you and pour you out a blessing, that there shall not be room enough to receive it.”

God’s percept is simple. . .if you don’t tithe and give offerings. . .the windows of heaven are closed over your life.

Be assured this is one percept that God will not allow to be set aside.

One last point, if the Word and I’m right. . .and we are. . .you’ve got nothing to lose and everything to gain by tithing.

If you tithe. . .you’re giving to God. . .and it’s something I’ve always done with a cheerful heart.

2 Corinthians 8:9 in the Amplified Bible says:

“Let each one [give] as he has made up his own mind and purposed in his heart, not reluctantly or sorrowfully or under compulsion, for God loves (He takes pleasure in, prizes above other things, and is unwilling to abandon or to do without) a cheerful (joyous, “prompt to do it”) giver [whose heart is in his giving].”

This is my attitude toward tithing and giving. . .every time I give I feel like singing “O Happy Day.

BLOG COMMENTS POWERED BY DISQUS