Yahweh’s House of God Oakland California

Tithing appears early in biblical history with Abraham paying tithes to Melchizedek, King of Salem, priest of the most high God. (Gen. 14:20). It surfaces once again in Jacob as he vows to give God a tenth of all. (Gen. 28:20). The payment of tithes was mandated by God under Moses. (Lev. 27:30) It is obvious that the scripture teaches the concept of tithing. However, many question the relevance of tithing by the New Testament Christian. Those who argue against the paying of tithes under the new covenant, often cite the fact that we are no longer under the law (Rom. 6:12), as a reason for not tithing.

The New Testament clearly states that we are no longer under the law. (Rom. 3:19, 6:14, Gal. 3:10, 23-25, 4:21, 5:8) The New Testament also states very clearly that Christ did not come to destroy the law. (Mat. 5:17-19) At first glance these seem to be opposing views. Actually both are the case and were intended to be so. Letís take a closer look at each statement.

Under the Law

What does it mean to be under the law? Paul on one occasion compares it to marriage. (Rom. 7:1-6) He states that the woman is bound by the law. The covenant that husband and wife enter into is binding on each of them. So it is with God and his people. There was an agreement made with God by his people that they would do all that the Lord had spoken. (Exd. 19:1-9) God then called them to the foot of Mount Sinai and began to speak to them out of the mountain. (Exd 20:1-17) For fear of death they asked Moses to mediate between them and God. (Exd. 20:18 & 19) This is the birth of the covenant between God and his people. God then wrote the Ten Commandments in stone with his own finger. (Exd. 31:18; Dt. 9:10) Moses later wrote the book of the law. (Dt. 31:24-26) The people agreed to Godís terms and conditions and are therefore, under obligation to keep all the words of the law. (Dt. 30:9 ≠ 20) They are under the terms of a divine contract with God. In other words they are under the law.

Jesus on the Law

Jesus in his infinite wisdom knew there would be questions about his position on the law, so he addresses the issue in his sermon on the mountain. Let us hear his position. ìThink not that I am come to destroy the law, or the prophets: I am come not to destroy but to fulfil.î (Mt. 5:17) So Jesus plainly states he did not come to destroy. Why then are there so many who are willing to teach that the law has been done away with? Did Jesus change his mind after he went to the cross? Jesus again speaks, this time he confronts the issue of when if ever would the law pass away. ìFor verily I say unto you, Till heaven and earth pass, one jot or one tittle shall in no wise pass from the law, till all be fulfilled.î (Mt. 5:18) That sounds to me as though, Jesus is saying, the law will be with us till the end of time. Jesus isnít finished he takes time to send out a warning to those who will teach that it is okay to break the law. ìWhosoever therefore shall break one of these least commandments, and shall teach men so, he shall be called the least in the kingdom of heaven: but whosoever shall do and teach them, the same shall be called great in the kingdom of heaven.î (Mt. 5:19) It is very clear that in the mind of Jesus the law should and would be taught in the kingdom of heaven. It is just as clear that Paul teaches that we are no longer under the law. It is not the words and teaching of Jesus that has left us with this conundrum but those of Paul. Jesus words are straight forward and simple not so with Paul. Paulís words are not easily understood and if you are unlearned and unstable you will wrestle with them to your own destruction. (2 Pet. 3:16)

Understanding Paul and the Law

Letís first understand that Paul believed in the Law and the Prophets (Acts 24:14)

  • Paul also taught from the law (Acts 28:23)
  • He believed and taught that it is the doers of the law that are justified before God (Rom. 2:13)
  • Although the gentiles did not have the law Paul believed they could keep it by nature (Rom. 2:14, 27)
  • Paul understood that it is the righteousness of the law that we are to keep (Rom. 2:26, 8:4, 9:31)
  • He believed that the knowledge of sin came by the law, and that the righteousness of God is easily seen in those without law because the law stands as a witness to their righteousness (Rom. 3:20 & 21)
  • This is also true of those that are in Christ for the law stands as a witness to their righteousness as well (Rom. 3:22)
  • Paul believed and taught we are justified by faith, but this justification does not void (destroy) the law but establishes it (Rom. 3:28, 31)
  • Paul also believed where there is no law there is no transgression (Rom. 4:15, 5:13)
  • He believed that the law remains in tack as the identifier of sin (Rom. 7:7)
  • Paul taught and believed that the law is holy, just and good (Rom. 7:12)
  • Paul believed that the law is spiritual (Rom. 7:14, 16)
  • With the mind he taught and believed we serve the law of God (Rom. 7:25)
  • He also taught that the carnal mind is the enemy of God and not subject to the law (Rom. 8:7)
  • Although Israel followed after the law of righteousness they did not attain to it because that didnít do it by faith (Rom. 9:31, 32)
  • Paul believed that the gentiles are under the law but under it to Christ ( 1 Cor. 9:21)
  • He also believed and taught that everyone who depend on the works of the law are under the curse of the law (Gal. 3:10)
  • Paul believed and taught that Christ redeemed us from the curse of the law (Gal. 3:13)
  • In summation Paul believed and taught that the law was not destroyed. He further acknowledges that it is holy, just and good. Although we are not under the law he teaches we must keep the righteousness of the law. Paul then warns against seeking salvation through the righteousness of the law only. He goes on to teach without Christ and his redemptive work we are still unjustified in the sight of God. Though we keep every word of the law we are still sinners. Why, he concluded all have sinned and come short of the glory of God. The goats, bullocks and heifers could not wash away sin, nor could and thing else, there is nothing in the law that could cleanse us from sin. So then it is Christ that frees us from sin not the law. We were kept under the law and until Christ. We are now cleansed of our sins through faith in our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. Then if it was Christ who washed away our sins and not the law, we are therefore no longer obligated to the law but to Christ. Thus lifting us from the curse of the law, that is by oath to the letter of the law. We can then conclude that Paul taught that the law identifies sin, but can not take away sin. The law is spiritual and can only be kept by those who walk in the Spirit. That faith in Jesus Christ our Lord is our only hope. Only the blood of Jesus can wash away sin, and it is Christ alone who can give us of his Spirit. This is the only way we can be justified in the sight of God.

    Finally, though we are no longer under the law, it has not been done away with nor destroyed. Under the New Covenant the law stands as an identifier of sin and as a witness to righteousness. Salvation and access to the Father is by the blood of Jesus and the indwelling Spirit.

    With this understanding we can safely and truly say that tithing and offerings is one of Godís righteous precepts. It is Godís way of providing for the church and the priesthood. With the change of the priesthood tithing and offering did not cease but was simply redirected to the new priesthood. (1 Cor. 9:14; 1Tim. 5:17 & 18) There is nothing wrong with Godís tithing system. We disrespect God when we think we can devise a better system then he. (Job 33:12; Isa. 40:13 & 14) Or when we say tithing is unfair. (Dt. 32:4; 2 Sam. 22:31; Job 4:17; Psa.18:30, 19:8) It is imperative that we recognize the sovereignty of God and acknowledge his infinite wisdom and compassion. Are we more compassionate than God? (Psa. 86:15, 111:4, 145:8) Furthermore Christ did not remove the blessing (Mal. 3:10) from the law but rather the curse. For all the aforementioned reasons we pay tithes and offering and teach others to do so.