Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Tithes Before the Law

Excerpt from the book, Tithes and Offerings

Jesus told certain men that if they were indeed the children of Abraham, as they claimed to be, then they would do what Abraham did (Jn. 8:38-40). Jesus’ point was that the spiritual descendants of Abraham are the people who know God’s will and do it, as Abraham did. One of the things Abraham did was to render God’s tithes to Melchizedek. Do Abraham’s children not do the same?

From the examples of both Abraham and Jacob, we learn that tithing was not simply a commandment found in Moses’ law (Gen. 28:20-22). Abraham and Jacob lived hundreds of years before the law was given, and they both rendered tithes to God. Both of these men were righteous, and righteous people have always sensed what was good in the sight of God and then done it, law or no law. There were no laws, commandments, and statutes written down for Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob to keep, and yet they did the will of God because of their relationship with God. They knew His voice, and obeyed His voice as if what they heard was a law. God once told Jacob (Gen. 26:4-5), “I will make your seed to multiply as the stars of heaven, and I will give to your seed all these countries. And in your seed shall all the nations of the earth be blessed because Abraham obeyed my voice, and kept my charge, my commandments, my statutes, and my laws.”

Paul said it this way: “The law is not made for a righteous man” (1Tim. 1:9). Paul was teaching here that godly people such as Abraham and Jacob did not need the law of Moses to tell them what was right, whether in the matter of tithes and offerings or anything else. Such people, Paul would say, were “a law unto themselves” because they had a heart for righteousness. Therefore, although they lived hundreds of years before the law was revealed to Moses, they still did what was right in the sight of God.

1 comment:

  1. Comment From Viewer and Pastor John's Answer:

    Hello sir,

    I read through your post and I beg to differ. There is no record that Jacob ever tithed! All he said was that he was going to give back to God a tenth of all God will bless him with and we are not told that he paid it or not.

    PJ: So the patriarch Jacob made a vow to God and then failed to perform it? Your antipathy toward tithing is taking you too far from reason. Jacob was a righteous man.

    That Abraham gave a tithe to Melchizedek is not enough scriptural proof for today's church to do likewise. There is simply no portion of scripture that cites Abraham's tithing as a reason to institute tithing in today's church. Even if we decide to follow Abraham's example, we should at least do it the way he did it: It was not from his personal possessions, it was not done to secure any form of financial gain since he was already wealthy and it was not even done to solicit any form of response from God because God never commanded him to do it neither did he commend him for doing it.

    PJ: Abraham could rightfully do what he wanted to do with what he won in war. He voluntarily returned to the king of Sodom the goods he brought back, but don't overlook the fact that it was in Abraham's power to keep or not to keep what he had won in battle. Even the king of Sodom understood that.

    We can agree that Abraham was not seeking personal financial gain when he tithed, but you do not know what Abraham's thoughts were concerning any anticipated response from God. And it is clear that, since (according to God Himself) Abraham kept God's commandments, Abraham was doing the will of God when he rendered tithes and offerings to Melchizedek.

    I have no response to your comment about what today's church should do concerning tithes (or anything else) because I have no part in church religion. It is irrelevant to the faith of Christ.
    The long and short of it all is - tithing is not for today's church. there is simply no scriptural evidence to support this theory. We it comes to giving, the new testament enjoins us to give freely and cheerfully without adhering to a so-called 10%.
    PJ: As I said, whether or not those who participate in church religion tithe is meaningless to me.

    Perhaps if you would read the book I have written on tithes and offerings (availble very soon), or if you would listen to the audio on the subject (on line at www.PastorJohnsHouse.com), you would see that it is still the will of God for His children to render their tithes and offerings to Him. At least, you would have a clearer picture of what I teach on the subject.

    Thank you for writing. I hope you will step back and take another look at the subject of tithes and offerings, especially with the aid of my book. I think it would give you a more balanced perspective

    Pastor John