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Page One... Part Two Of Tithing: Will Man Rob God?

1 Let us pause for a minute to consider the following that concerns people that steal from the Lord, should we keep things that belong to others: the rich man in the Lord's parable was not only a covetous man, he was a thief! Do we call a man a thief who merely retains what is his own? Or is he not a thief when he takes something which belongs to another? A good question is: will someone please "Explain what a thief really consists of and what does the Bible say about a thief?" Thieves are like other people who commit various crimes and have ...

2. Scripture: "Neither repented they of their murders, nor of their sorceries [witch craft, their practice of magic], nor of their fornication [sexual vice], nor of their thefts, {Revelation 9:21}."

3. [Sorceries, refer to magical arts, potions, and poisons from the Greek word "pharmakeia" which means in English "pharmacies."

In {Vs. 20-21} we find some major sins which permeate the Tribulation scene and for which men would rather die than switch:

(1): Occultism, (2): Murder, (3): Drug Abuse, (4): Fornication, "Sexual Orgies," and (5): Stealing. All this is now present on this entire earth! Many of the thefts mentioned in {V. 21} are for drugs: the word pharmakeia ..."pharmacy" literally means "enchantments ... to get high, a kick from drugs.:

4. Scripture: "And the light of the candle shall shine no more at all in you; and the voice of the bridegroom and of the bride shall be heard no more at all in you: for your merchants were the great men of the earth; for by your sorceries were all nations deceived [seduced and deluded], {Revelation 18:23}." {Remember: the Bride of Christ will be converted Israel after Christ's return, not the Body of Christ]!

5. This above verse is to be fulfilled several years after the Rapture and is speaking of the great Babylon, whichever city, nation or system that may be. Her ruin is to be final, complete, and irreversible. The symbolism in the verse is related to {Jeremiah 51:63-64}, which bears out the impossibility of recovery from the judgment. Along with the passing of the city, there will be an end of music, crafts, housekeeping (sound of a millstone), illumination, and the joys of marriage. The cause of it all is her deception of all the nations with her religious sorcery, and activity promoted by demonic entities backed by Satan. Included will be the entire system of un-godliness from the beginning of man's sojourn on earth.

6. Therefore, since this is speaking about the latter part of the Tribulation Period, what part should people play in today's society? If you or any of your loved ones are guilty of those sins that are mentioned in the above verses, this means that they will likely fail to be Raptured as children of God, but will remain in a lost condition, go through the Tribulation Period, and be a member of those who are mentioned in the above verse!

7. {V. 21} Scripture: "For from within [that is], out of the heart [mind] of man, proceed evil thoughts, adulteries, fornication's, murders,

8. {V. 22} "Thefts," covetousness, wickedness, deceit, lasciviousness, an evil eye, blasphemy, pride, foolishness:

9. {V. 22} above paraphrased: "Coveting [a greedy desire to have more wealth], dangerous and destructive wickedness, deceit; unrestrained [indecent] conduct; an evil eye [envy], slander [evil speaking, malicious mis-representation, abusiveness]; pride [that is] the sin of an uplifted mind against the Lord and man; foolishness [folly, lack of common sense, recklessness, thoughtlessness]:"

10. {V. 23} All these evil [purposes, desires, and other wicked] things come from within, and defile the man [they make the man unclean and render him unhallowed], {Mark 7:21-22}."

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11. [Concerning a person who was a thief under the old law the Bible states]:

12. {V. 1} Scripture: "If a man shall "steal" an ox, or a sheep, and kill it, or sell it; he shall restore five oxen for an ox, and four sheep for a sheep.

13. {V. 2} If a "Thief" be found breaking up, and be smitten that he die, there shall be no blood be shed for him.

14. {V. 3} If the sun be risen upon him [so that he can be seen], there shall be blood shed for [killing] him; for [if he is left alive then] he should make full restitution [for what he has stolen]; if he have nothing [of his own to raise the money to repay], then he shall be sold [into slavery for enough - if possible to pay for his] "theft."

15. [The interpretation of {Vs. 2-3}: "killing a thief who was digging through a wall after dark was justifiable homicide, "(capital punishment)," but to do so in daylight subjected the householder to revenge by the next of kin.]

16. {V. 4} If the "Theft" be certainly found in his hand alive, whether it be ox, or ass, or sheep [of any size], he shall restore double, {Exodus 22:1-4}."

17. Scripture: "As the thief is ashamed when he is found, so is the house of Israel ashamed; they, their kings, their princes, and their priests, and their prophets, {Jeremiah 2:26}."

18. {V. 30} Scripture: "Men do not despise a thief, if he steals to satisfy his soul [himself] when he is hungry;

19. {V. 31} But if he be found [out], he shall restore sevenfold [seven times as much as he stole]; [and if necessary] he shall give all the substance of his house [to repay for what he has taken - to meet his fine], {Proverbs 6:30-31}."

[Thieves are really classified in the same fold as the adulterers and fornicators, see {Psalm 50:18}. [All this was under the old Law].

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20. And now as the Word of God asks: "Will a man rob God?" The book of Genesis records an incident in a war involving the cities of the plains, five in all which included Sodom and Gomorrah. Abraham was a bystander in all this until he learned that certain invaders had kidnapped Lot, Abraham's nephew, along with the sacking of these particular cities. Abraham then armed his trained servants, pursued the invading kings, defeated them, and brought back all the goods and all the captives. Upon his return, Abraham was met by a mysterious personage named Melchizedek. Melchizedek blessed Abraham and proclaimed that it was the Most High God Who delivered his enemies into his hands. Abraham in turn gave Melchizedek "Tithes" of all he had captured, {Genesis 14:18-20}.

21. Who is this Melchizedek? Why would Abraham give Him a "Tithe" of all the silver, the gold, the grain, the apparel, the ivory, the precious spices and ointments, and all the rest of the booty of war he had at his disposal? The "Tithe" was given to Melchizedek in acknowledgment that this man was indeed the Most High God Who had delivered these enemy invaders into his hands. Abraham saw the "Tithe" as an acknowledgment of God as the source of his power. It was an outward manifestation of Abraham's faith in the Lord Who gave him the victory. His grandson Jacob obviously understood this in the same way. After his vision of the heavenly ladder {Genesis 28:10-22}, Jacob made a vow to God that under certain circumstances he would accept the Lord as his God and would pay "Tithes" from then on throughout his life. Therefore, the law of "Tithing" was clearly of ancient origin and its meaning was clear from the start.

Jesus And His Teachings Concerning The Practice Of Giving.

22. We must not forget that during the time Jesus was ministering to the Hebrew people, they were all living in the time of transition. Jesus, John the Baptist, and the Disciples were all teaching the Gospel of the Kingdom, and not the Gospel of the Mystery of the Grace of God that we are to teach in this present age of Grace! Since "Tithing" was a requisite under the ordinances of the Kingdom order, therefore, the things Jesus taught at that time applied to the Kingdom Dispensation as long as Jesus was still on this earth. Christ's parabolic teachings therefore, were applied to the Jewish nation and not to the Body of Christ that Saints of God are members of today! We have already seen in this Kingdom parable concerning the rich man, that the Lord plainly taught that those who enjoyed God's blessings are obliged to be rich toward the Lord.

23. The obligation at that time was under the standards portrayed in the various ordinances that were necessary to fulfill the dictates of the Hebrew commandments. Was "Tithing" considered as a standard during that Dispensation? of course it was, and when one reads the first 4 books of the N.T. we find many other practices of the O.T. ordinances being carried out under the teachings of the elders of the Hebrew people. All the many ordinances of the different baptisms were still being administered as of old, and this tells us that the Kingdom program was in full swing during that period. Remember It was Jesus in the form of the Angel of the Lord that wrote the ten commandments on stone at Sinai. Thus, when He was teaching the Kingdom Gospel here on earth, one must be aware that He hadn't been to the cross to fulfill the old Mosaic Law with His death at Calvary. Jesus obviously still recognized the order of "Tithing" even though He did not recognize it in the way the Pharisees said it should be administered. When in a confrontation with the Pharisees He said:

24. Scripture: "Woe unto you scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for you pay "Tithes" of mint and anise and cumin, and have omitted the weightier matters of the law, judgment, mercy, and faith: these ought you to have done, and not to leave the other [ordinances] undone, {Matthew 23:23}."

25. As you can see, the "Tithing" of various herbs was based on {Leviticus 27:30}, though "Tithing" of grain, fruit, wine, and oil was demanded ... see also {Numbers 18:12 and Deuteronomy 14:22-23}. The scribes had expanded the items required to be "Tithed" to include even the smallest of herbs, such as anise, dill, and cummin which was a seed resembling the caraway, and not to leave the other undone i.e; without neglecting the proper normal "Tithing."

26. Thank God we are not under the law of "Tithing" in this Christian age, but the truth is, in this present grace period, there are those who feel they can give attention to "judgment, mercy, and faith" while robing the Lord and each other. But Jesus told those Pharisees who were still under the law of "Tithing," that what they had given had not been enough! What about you, do you give enough today?

Concerning This Matter: What Was It That The Apostle Paul Taught?

27. While the Apostle Paul has no occasion whatsoever to address "Tithing" in his letters, he does assume the matter of giving. In writing to the Corinthians, a Gentile Assembly, he makes clear that the ministry should be supported by the membership, he states:

28. {V. 11} Scripture: "If we have sown [the seed, "the Word of God"] unto you [of] spiritual things, is it a great thing [too much] if we shall reap [from] your carnal things [i.e; material benefits, or of your material support].

29. {V. 12} If others be partakers of this power over you, are not we rather? Nevertheless we have not used this power; but suffer all things, lest we should hinder the Gospel of Christ: [Gospel of the Mystery of the grace of God],

30. {V. 13} Do you not know that they which minister about holy things live of the things, of the temple? and they which wait at the altar are partakers with the altar,

31. {V. 14} Even so has the Lord ordained that they which preach the Gospel should live of the Gospel,

See {Matthew 10:10; and Luke 10:7}.

32. {V. 15} But I have used none of these things: neither have I written these things that it should be so done unto me: for if it were better for me to die, then that any man should make my glorying void, {1- Corinthians 9:11-15}."

33. {Vs. 12-14} above paraphrased,

34. {12}: ["If others share in this rightful claim over you, isn't it true that we have a still better and greater claim? However, we have never exercised this right, but we endure everything rather than put a hindrance in the way of the spreading of the good news of the Gospel of Christ]."

35. {13}: "Is it possible that you are unaware that those men who are employed in the service of the Temple get their food from the Temple? And that those who tend the altar share with the altar in the offerings that are brought?" See {Deuteronomy 18:1}.

36. {14}: "On the same principle, the Lord directed that those who preach, publish and spread the good news of the Gospel of Christ should live and receive their maintenance by the Gospel]."

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37. The O.T. priests were supported by the people! See {Numbers 18:8-24}. When Paul asks the question in {1- Corinthians 9. 6} the words: "Or I only and Barnabas, have not we power to forbear working?" He is saying: "Is it only Barnabas and I who must work for a living while ministering to you?" He knew that he had the right to be supported by those to whom he ministered but there was no insisting that they should do so. How could he speak otherwise when it was him that made clear that all the ordinances had been nailed to Christ's cross? Thus, we know that he was not suggesting a "Tithe." In {9. 7} The Apostle mentions that other folks when working certainly had the right to be supported because of their own labor, why not himself?

38. The expression in {V. 12} "power over you" is significant. This is not merely an exhortation for a freewill offering but the assertion of a right. If the Corinthians then were under some authority as to how and when and how much they should give to the ministry, what is that authority? If there is a standard of giving, what is that standard? The only standard ... past tense ... was the "Tithe" under the old law system, but we are not under law but pure grace.

39. Under the old law in the past age, the Levitical Priesthood in the Temple lived not only on the proceeds of the "Tithes," but also from off the various types of offerings that were brought to be presented before the Lord. It was important also for Paul to assert the same authority, and right for the ministry that God gave to the priesthood. In other words, Paul and all other ministers since Paul, certainly do have the right to be paid a certain fee for their labor as long as it is a freewill payment by an Assembly. But, "Tithing" should not be taught or even condoned by any organization since it delves into legalism and is associated with the O.T. law system.

40. In the book of Hebrews, the author addressed the "Tithe" in a very specific manner. But the subject of this chapter is not "Tithing." It concerns the ascendancy of the Melchisedec priesthood over the Levitical priesthood. But the primary illustration of that ascendancy was the "Tithe." The writer first refers to Abraham's encounter with Melchisedec. In so doing, he describes Melchisedec carefully when he states in {Hebrews 7:1-12}: ...

41. {V. 1} Scripture: "For this Melchisedec, King of Salem, [long before the nation of Israel and the regular priesthood began], Priest of the Most High God, who met Abraham returning from the slaughter of the kings, and blessed him;

42. {The Lord Jesus Who still is a high Priest for the Body of Christ, could never have been a Levitical priest because He was born of the tribe of Judah {Hebrews 7:14} and not the tribe of Levi. Therefore, He had to be associated with another priestly order, that of Melchisedec. Both Christ and Melchisedec were men {V. 4; and 1- Timothy 2:5}; both were Kingly Priests {Genesis 14:18; and Zechariah 6:12-13}; both were appointed directly by God {Hebrews 7:21}; both were called "King of righteousness" and "King of peace" {Isaiah 11:1-16; and Hebrews 7:2 below}.

43. {V. 2} To whom also Abraham gave a tenth part of all [to Melchisedec which meant]; --- first being by interpretation King of righteousness, and [then] after that also King of Salem, which is, King of peace;

44. The word "Salem" in some cases, can also refer to the city of "Jerusalem" ... "the city of peace." But, there certainly will not be any lasting peace in Jerusalem until the Lord sets up His future Kingdom reign!] It is stated that Melchisedec was:

45. {V. 3} Without father, without mother, without descent, having neither beginning of days, nor end of life; but made like unto the Son of God; [and] abides a priest continually [without interruption and without successor, {Hebrews 7:1-3}."

46. Again we ask , "who was this Melchisedec?" certainly not an angel, because angels are created beings and therefore, had a "beginning of days." Does it seem to you that he was a mere mortal? because he had no "end of life?" According to the above verses he is - to put it simply, eternal. Could it be that he is the Lord Himself of {John 1:1}, and the one who gave the 10 commandments, could he be the God of Abraham? He was also Abraham's friend {James 2:23}. In the form of the Angel of the Lord Christ appeared to Abraham repeatedly, shared His thoughts and even a meal with him, see {Genesis 18:6-8}. From reading the Scriptures, it would appear that the Lord was in very regular contact with Abraham, and that Abraham contacted Melchisedec often. Could it be that Melchisedec was in fact Jesus Christ? You be the Judge!

47. Many folks such as this writer believe that Melchisedec was a "Theophany," that is, a manifestation and an appearance of Christ in the form of a man. The similarity elsewhere was in the story of Jacob when he met the Angel of the Lord at a later time, Who was in actuality the Lord Jesus Christ Who appeared in the form of an Angel and wrestled with Jacob. This episode is related in the contents of this message. But most Ministers believe that Melchisedec was only a type of the Christ and they try to bring proof of this fact. The truth is, it really doesn't matter who is right or wrong, the main thing is, it happened and some day we will find out who is right . The wording in {V. 3} suggests that this man is a "Theophany," and states that He will "abide a [High] Priest continually." "This writer believes that this means eternally?" you be the judge.

48. {V. 4} Now consider how great [a personage] this man was, unto whom even the patriarch Abraham gave the tenth [the top-most, the pick of the heap] of the spoils.

49. [Gave the tenth. By taking the role of the one who "Tithed" and the one who received the blessing {V. 1}, Abraham, to whom God gave the promises, doubly acknowledged his inferiority to Melchisedec. Since [in God's eyes] no human child of God can ever be inferior to another Believer, what does this tell you]?

50. {V. 5} And verily they that are of the sons [descendants] of Levi [the priestly tribe], who [are charged to] receive the office of the priesthood, have a commandment to take "Tithes" of the people according to the law, that is, of their brethren, though they come out of the loins of Abraham [his descendants].

51. {V. 6} But he [Melchisedec] whose descent is not counted from them [who has not their Levitical ancestry] received "Tithes" of Abraham [himself], and blessed him that had the promise [from the Triune God].

52. [The proof that the Melchisedec priesthood is far superior to the Aaronic, or Levitical priesthood is that Levi's great grand-father Abraham paid "Tithes" to Melchisedec, and that Levi, though unborn, was involved, {V. 9}.

53. {V. 7} And [yet it is] without all contradiction [that] the less [lesser person who] is blessed of the better [that is, who is blessed by the person who is much greater].

54. {V. 8} And [furthermore,] here [in the Levitical priesthood] men that die [that is, who are subject to death while there in the case of any high priest] receive "Tithes;" but there he received them, of whom it is witnessed that he lives [perpetually ... eternally].

[Here men that die ... but there. The "here" refers to the Levitical priests; "there" refers to Melchisedec and his priesthood].

55. {V. 9} And as I may so say, [that] Levi [the father of the priestly tribe, himself] also, who received "Tithes" paid "Tithes" in Abraham.

56. {V. 10} For he [Levi] was yet in the loins of his father [Abraham], when Melchisedec met him: [Abraham].

57. {Vs. 8-10} The text states that men that die receive "Tithes." In these verses the author marshals two ideas that will not allow any to think that the more recent Levitical order was a replacement of the earlier system. First the Levitical system is weakened by the continual deaths of its priests. The Melchisedecian order, however, has the witness of God {V, 3; Psalm 110:4} that it's Priest lives on.

Second, Levi, also ... paid "Tithes" in Abraham. The Levitical system was neither a better nor a later replacement, for in a corporate sense even Levi was present at the Genesis 14 event. The author is cautious in his assertion, as his introductory words indicate: "As I may so say" {V. 9}. The phrase might more clearly be expressed by "I might almost say" [Dods, p. 310] or "so to speak" [NASB]. The author suggests that there is a sense in which even Levi paid "Tithes" to Melchisedec but he certainly cannot be Melchisedec's superior.

58. {V. 11} If therefore perfection were by the Levitical priesthood, what further need was there that another priest should rise after the order of Melchisedec, and not be called after the order of Aaron?

59. {V. 11} above paraphrased: ["Now if a perfect fellowship between God and the worshipper, had been attainable by the Levitical priesthood, for under it the Israelites were given the Law, why was it further necessary that there should arise another and different kind of priest, one after the order of Melchisedec, rather than one appointed after the order and rank of Aaron?]

60. { V. 12} For the priesthood [when] being changed, there is made of necessity a change [an alteration] also of the law [concerning the priesthood as well], {Hebrews 7:1-12}."

61. [Another proof that Christ is superior to the law and its priesthood is that the law could not give the people perfection, i.e; complete communion with God. The sacrificial Levitical system never achieved its aim].

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"Continued On Part Three of "Tithing."

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