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  • 00:31

    Tithing According to the Law of Moses

    in Christianity

    Summary of the Tithe as Legislated in the Law of Moses


     
    1. One-tenth (a tithe) of the produce of the land, fruit, grain and livestock, belonged to God, and was to be given to and used by His priests, the Levites. This tithe was dedicated to the Lord.




    2. The Levites were in turn to give one-tenth (a tithe) of the tithe they received to the High Priest.


    3. In what is probably a second yearly tithe, a second-tenth was to be taken up and used specifically for festivals and feasts. This was consumed by the tithers and the Levites before God.


    4. A tri-annual tithe, or a third tenth (of the produce only) was to be put into storage facilities to take care of the Levites and those in need in the local vicinity.


    5. Using the above summaries, 20% a year would be given off the top, with an additional 10% every third year, to support the religious, governmental and social structure of the day.


    6. When the tithes were to be given exclusively to the Levites, the Israelites were still wandering around in the desert. After they entered the Promised Land, they became much more home-bodies, multiplied, and needed other ways to not only take care of the Levites.


    7. There were no specific penalties or consequences for not tithing; the penalty of withdrawal of the Lord's blessing and His casting away Israel from being His people was if they did not keep THE WHOLE LAW!  No single aspect was singled out as more important to God than others.


    8. We can conclude that God, through Moses, DID indeed command the Israelites to tithe! And He gave specific parameters, as to who, where, when, how and the consequences of both obedience and disobedience to this commandment.


    9. "To tithe" is to fulfill the covenantal requirements as specified by God through the scriptures, laid out specifically in the Mosaic law in Leviticus, Numbers and Deuteronomy.

  • 00:33

    Tithing: Additions to the Law of Moses

    in Christianity

    There are several references outside of the written Law (Torah: Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers & Deuteronomy) which include additions or clarifications to that which was already established. These all do, however, refer back specifically to the written Law.


    A King Over Israel (1 Samuel 8:6-22) By rejecting God as their sovereign leader, the Israelites would be required to pay additional costs; monetary, their sons and daughters, animals, servants and land would all be required by their king. They would serve the king, instead of God. And they would cry out to God to deliver them from their leader, and God would not hear them.


    Hezekiah and the Restoration (2 Chronicles 30:23-31:21) The people were encouraged to keep the feast going; the King made a large donation (of goods he had received as taxes from the people, as previously warned by God), and the priests and Levites made an even larger donation. The people rejoiced, partied, then broke down the idols (they had been worshiping), then went home. The priestly duties, which had ceased, were restored.


    The Law of Moses is summarized in verses 20-21. Because Hezekiah did what was right, God prospered him. This was the best they could hope for; a surface relationship with a God who provided for their physical needs, peace, etc. as long as they did what He told them to do. The Israelites had to fulfill their part BEFORE God would fulfill His part, But God never intended that the Law define His relationship with His people; its purpose was to reveal that there was nothing we could do to BRING OURSELVES into relationship with Him. It was something ONLY HE, AND HE ALONE, COULD DO. With the Resurrection, Jesus concluded both parts of the covenant: He did our part and the Father's, once and for all, permanently.

  • 00:31

    Tithing: PRE-CODIFICATION OF THE LAW

    in Christianity

    "Tithe" as a Noun simply means "tenth." In many places in scripture the word is simply a number. It is also used as a verb, or an activity God requires as partial fulfillment of His covenant with Israel.


    Elements of a Covenant


    Both parties agree to it, so there is an underlying assumption that each participant gets something out of it. The parties involved are Israel and God; the conditions of compliance are that if Israel will keep all the commandments and the precepts, God will be their God, and Israel will be His people. The consequences are long, happy, healthy lives; basically material blessings. Failure to keep ALL of the law would result in God bringing judgment upon His people. There were many requirements of the law, only one of which was the tithe.


    "Tithe" as a Verb


    If the Israelites did their part, to fulfill the commandments (there were hundreds) and the precepts, then God was obligated by His Word to fulfill His part, and take care of and bless them. The Levites were not the first to tithe; many idolaters dedicated a tenth of their increase to their gods. Giving a portion of the spoils of war and of the increase of the field was common throughout the ancient world, from Greece to China to Mayan civilizations.


    PRE-CODIFICATION OF THE LAW


    Abram (Genesis 14:17-20)


    Jacob (Genesis 28:10-22)


    Summary of the Tithe before the Law was Written Down


    THE CODIFIED LAW (The Written Law of Moses)


    Tithing Instituted as Part of the Covenant (Leviticus 27:30-34)


    The Tithe Goes to the Levites (Numbers 18:19-28)


    The Tithe of the Feasts (Deuteronomy 12:5-19)


    The Tithe for the Priesthood & the Poor (Deuteronomy 14:22-29)


    The Tri-Annual Tithe and Declaration of Fulfillment of the Law (Deuteronomy 26:12-15)

  • 00:32

    Tithing: Additions to the Law of Moses (Nehemiah & Amos)

    in Christianity

    Nehemiah and Restoration of the Law (Nehemiah 10:28-39)


    As Nehemiah and the restored Israelites re-establish their nation, one of the first things they do is re-iterate the tenets of the regulations acknowledging the Lord as their God. This includes the restoration of the tithe (they were not tithing or keeping any of the commandments of the Lord in captivity, previous to entering the land). Again, tithes to the priests was specifically mentioned, as well as the tithes being stored in the temple. Nehemiah even added ordinances concerning payment for specific needs of the temple. (These things may have been more expensive than they were in Moses' day.)


    Nehemiah and Enforcement of the Law (Nehemiah 12:44-13:14)


    Nehemiah relates some political intrigue regarding the leadership, both political and religious, which contributed to the apostasy of the nation. He gathers together the (genealogically) appointed leaders and puts them back to the work they are supposed to be doing, as well as gathering the Levites, calling them to return from working in the fields instead of ministering to the Lord. He also records how he clears out the storeroom for the tithe, restores it to the Levites, asks the Lord to remember him for his good deeds, and condemns Israel for having failed to keep God's commandments (immediately following this section Nehemiah gets on their case for working on the Sabbath, so he is definitely not picking out one area of the law to emphasize.)


    Amos and Tithing to Idols (Amos 3:12-4:7)


    The prophet Amos, speaking for God, lists tithing and sacrifice to idols (at Bethel and Gilgal) as one of their crimes against Him. Clearly, it was not just tithing that was important.

  • 00:31

    Tithing vs Giving: THE CODIFIED LAW

    in Christianity

    THE CODIFIED LAW (The Written Law of Moses)


    Tithing Instituted as Part of the Covenant


    The Tithe Goes to the Levites


    Israel was directed to tithe directly to the Levites, which was set aside as a tithe of the people to be holy unto the Lord. It was to be their payment, since they would be completely devoted to the administration and implementation of the tabernacle of the Lord and its ordinances, feasts, etc. They were to spend all of their time ministering to the Lord and to His people. The Levites were to tithe to the Lord, in the form of a heave offering, which was in turn offered to Aaron and his family, or whomever was the High Priest. THE TITHE DESCRIBED HERE WAS SET ASIDE FOR THE LEVITES AND HIGH PRIEST.


    The Tithe of the Feasts


    The Israelites were instructed as to where to go to give their tithes (wherever the tabernacle/presence of God was), and the manner in which they should be eaten (as a family/nation, with rejoicing, especially including the Levites). THIS TITHE WAS ASSOCIATED WITH THE FEASTS AND FESTIVALS.


    The Tithe for the Priesthood & the Poor


    For those who lived a long distance from the center of the nation, they could convert their tithe (grain and animals) to their value in currency (gold and silver), take the money "to the place which the LORD chooses," and purchase there whatever is necessary to be able to celebrate the feast.


    A third tithe is specified; every three years, the tithe of the year's produce (not animals) was to be put into a community storehouse. THIS TITHE WAS SET ASIDE TO REPLENISH THE SUPPLY FOR THE PRIESTHOOD AND THE NEEDY OF THE LAND.

  • 00:32

    Tithing: Malachi and Summary of Additions to the Law of Moses

    in Christianity

    Malachi and the Lord's List of Charges Against Israel continued


    Ch. 2:16 God hates divorce, which had become acceptable, even amongst the priests. They murmured against God, accusing Him of not hearing because He didn't come when called.


    Ch. 3 God outlines His solution to the problem; promising His messenger (John the Baptist), His coming (as Messiah), and the maker and keeper of the covenant (the fulfiller of the Law, Christ). The Messiah will begin the judgment with those who abused His people. God Himself will purify and purge His priests. He will then accept their offering (the coming of the Messiah ushers in a new kind of priesthood).  Even though they turned against Him, God promises that if they return, He will likewise. In their arrogance, they continue to defend themselves. God accuses them of robbing Him of tithes and offerings. God curses the priests and the whole nation with a curse for having robbed Him. Yet still gives them one last chance: if they will just do one simple thing, if they will bring the tithes into the storehouse, on His terms, He will pour out such abundant blessing that they would not be able to contain it. Israel accuses God of unfairness and rewarding the proud. Some in Israel respond to the above admonitions, and were remembered by God. He promises to spare them as they serve Him.


    Ch. 4 God's judgment against the proud and the wicked. But a promise of healing and comfortable care to those who fear His Name. Righteousness will be restored and victory given to those that bear His Name. God reminds the people to study the Law of Moses. Promise of a zealous Prophet to warn the guilty and revive the righteous. His ministry will be on a heart level, which is God's complaint against Israel.


    Summary of Additions to the Law of Moses

  • 00:32

    Tithing: Conclusions & Reflections

    in Christianity

    Are You Free to Give?


     
    Here's a little test: If you are currently tithing, or making regular donations to a ministry, group or person, ask the Lord each time if that is the amount He wants you to give. Tell Him that unless you hear to the contrary, you will assume His answer is "Yes!" Then give Him an opportunity to speak. Remember, the goal here is not to give the "right" amount. The goal is to enjoy our relationship with the Lord, and to have the confidence that He makes Himself known.




    Gives Life! Not Meeting Standards!


    When the Lord started talking to me about this, how I was maintaining control over my finances by putting the "principle of tithing" above His personal instruction, He asked me to ask Him what He wanted to do every time I went into my wallet, not just about ministry-related matters, but purchases as well. I was amazed at how much He had to say!


    When considering a choice or action or even belief or doctrine, here are some of the questions I ask myself:


    Does it draw me closer to the Lord, or in some way drive me away from Him?


    Does it encourage me to be real and honest with the Lord and with others?


    Does it encourage me to rely on my own strength or ability or on the Lord's alone?


    Does it encourage me to rely on my faith or understanding or on the Lord's faithfulness and trustworthiness?


    Does it encourage me to be vulnerable to the Lord's dealings in my life, or does it impart the fear of consequences or of making a mistake?


    Does it encourage me to come closer to others, and be vulnerable with others?


    If this hurts my reputation, do I gain a closer relationship with Him?


    If it is not specifically addressed in the scriptures (after personal study, reflection and meditation), does it seem to contradict or line up with their intent?

  • Tithing: Consequences & Conclusions

    in Christianity

    Believers Not Learning How to Hear the Lord


    There is a stronghold of poverty in the church because of the mix of grace and law, that you are free to give as long as you have already fulfilled the law of tithing.


    Social Infrastructure Based on Money


    On a practical note, in Old Testament times, the tithes and offerings paid for government services, self-defense, disaster relief, roads, parties (festivals), and every need of society. Today, we pay taxes for these necessities.


    Not Giving God's Way is Contrary to Our New Nature


    There are at least four reasons the decision to tithe or not is a big issue. First, a lot of time, effort and manipulation is being used to get God's people to donate money, regardless of the need. Secondly, financially supporting something God isn't blessing can actually delay God's discipline in another's life, work or ministry. Third, not asking God what to do is ignoring His sovereignty in our lives. Fourth, deciding on our own is disobedience to the truth, and encouraging to the flesh.


    CONCLUSIONS


    Bereans (Acts 17:10-11)


    The Bereans were commended because they looked it up (in the Torah) for themselves, overcame the fear of man and their own traditions, and when they recognized the truth, they were willing to let go of their old ideas and act on what they were convinced of.


    Free to Give Only if Free Not to Give!


    We can't be free to give from the heart if it's a commandment and we must do it. It was for freedom we were set free.


    Are You Free to Give?


    Here's a little test: If you are currently tithing, or making regular donations to a ministry, group or person, ask the Lord each time if that is the amount He wants you to give. Then give Him an opportunity to speak.

  • 00:31

    What is the Real Truth About Tithing?

    in Spirituality

    What is the truth about tithing?  It has taken me a little time to decide on this episodes topic.  When I went to service this morning the subject of tithing came up and it stayed with me.  When this happens it normally means that I have been given the topic to explore. I have learned that I follow the idea when presented in a certain way because when I ignore or stay away from it, it show up again and again until I say yes. Some people will like what I have been given to share and others will be challenged to research further.  Which one are you?


    In this episode I will be discussing tithing from a different point of view.  Join me.  Call in and share your thoughts as I lead this discussion.


    ====================
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  • 00:31

    Tithing: The Government & Taxes

    in Christianity

    Government Taxes Replace Theocratic Tithes (Romans 13:1-7) Paul is speaking specifically about governmental authorities, directing that taxes be paid to the state. In this case, Rome had replaced the theocracy in the governing of Israel. Though the Law of Moses was respected as tradition by the Romans, and the Israelites were allowed to follow the commandments, Israel was no longer a theocracy, and was not free to worship God the way God had commanded them to.


    Summary of Tithing Under Grace Throughout the New Testament, Paul's vocabulary and teaching suggest that giving is voluntary and that there is no set percentage. In fact, nowhere in the New Testament are believers told to tithe by anyone! Or even how much to give, when or to whom. They are only encouraged to provide for those who are in need, their ministers, and for the stranger.


    WHERE ARE WE NOW?


    Under Law? Under the Law, relationship with God is defined by how well you fulfill His commandments. Anyone can attempt do this; you don't have to know God to tithe. Tithing doesn't bring anyone into a closer relationship with God or with others, and it doesn't contribute to a relationship that already exists.


    Grace Full Relationship! We still find it so hard to comprehend that the God of the universe loves us so much that there is nothing He requires of us but to accept His love. He provides for us because He loves us.


    CONSEQUENCES (Why Is This So Important?)


    Matter of Control How much, when and to whom we give of our resources, our time and our money, is often one of the ways we gain or maintain control.


    Believers Not Learning How to Hear the Lord


    Social Infrastructure Based on Money


     
    Not Giving God's Way is Contrary to Our New Nature



  • 00:31

    Tithing: CONSEQUENCES or Why Is This So Important?

    in Christianity

    CONSEQUENCES (Why Is This So Important?)


    Matter of Control


    How much, when and to whom we give of our resources, our time and our money, is often one of the ways we gain or maintain control. We try to control God, thinking that if we give we can get God to take care of us. We control others, thinking that if we give to a church, ministry or person, we should have some say in how the money is spent, or have a say in how they live their lives.


    Tithing also involves another area of control in the body; that of leadership over laity.


    Another way finances are used to control is the whole issue of tax-exempt status.


    Believers Not Learning How to Hear the Lord


    Believers are not being taught how to give, or to hear from the Lord for themselves! There is a stronghold of poverty in the church because of the mix of grace and law, that you are free to give as long as you have already fulfilled the law of tithing. But we study to show ourselves approved, not to get ourselves approved.


    Do we give to get, or do we give because we have already received?


    Social Infrastructure Based on Money


    In Old Testament times, the tithes and offerings paid for government services, self-defense, disaster relief, roads, parties (festivals), and every need of society. Today, we pay taxes for these necessities.


    Not Giving God's Way is Contrary to Our New Nature


    At least ask the Lord what He wants done. If you don't seem to get an answer, do what you think is best and go on to something else. He doesn't want this to become a distraction, either.

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