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Page One, Part Three On Tithing:

Are Ordinances An Order For The Body Of Christ To Obey During This Present Age Of Grace?

1. {V. 13} Scripture: "And you [when you were yet in a lost condition] being dead in your sins and the uncircumcision of your flesh [and still possessed of your old carnal nature], has He [the Lord] quickened [made alive with salvation in Christ Jesus, but now:] together with Him, having [freely] forgiven you all trespasses [all your transgressions against Him];

2. {V. 14} Blotting out the handwriting of ordinances that were against us, which was contrary to us, and took it out of the way, nailing it to His cross;

3. [Hand writing of ordinances = a certificate or acknowledgment of debt in the handwriting of the debtor.

4. The Mosaic law [which Paul's phrase symbolizes] put us in debt to the Lord with sin; this debt He has canceled by nailing it to the cross of Christ. Christ has made full restitution "[payment]" for our sins].

5. {V. 15} And having spoiled [literally stripped- as was done to enemies, God disarmed the sinful] principalities and powers [and ordinances ranged against us and], He made a show [a bold display and public example] of them openly [in], triumphing over them in [Him and] in it [the cross].

6. {V. 16} Let no man therefore judge you in [matters of food:] meat, or in drink, or in respect of a holy [feast] day [or as a mater of fact, of any holiday], or of the new moon, or of the sabbath days. See {Hosea 2:11-12}.

7. [False teachers were evidently insisting on abstinence from certain foods and observance of certain days. These, Paul states, are in the shadows which have been dispersed by the coming of Christ. Saturday was not the only Sabbath, but the holy or feast days were also considered as Sabbaths!] {V. 17}.

8. {V. 17} Which [things such as the sabbath] are a shadow of things to come; but the Body [substance or the reality] is of Christ, {Colossians 2:13-17}."

9. [We no longer need rituals that were associated with Israel's religion; they were merely shadows of things to come. The sabbath to come in the future will consist of the Millennial Day Sabbath with Messiah on His throne, this portrays the 7th day of rest for mankind].

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10. {V. 16} Scripture: "Knowing that a man is not justified by the works of the [old Mosaic] law, but by the faith of Jesus Christ, even we have believed in Jesus Christ, that we might be justified by the faith of Christ, and not by the works of the law: for by the works of the Law shall no flesh be justified.

11. {V. 16} above paraphrased: "Yet we know that a man is justified or reckoned righteous and in right standing with God, not by works of the law but only through faith and [absolute] reliance on, and adherence to, and trust in Jesus Christ the Messiah, the Anointed One. [Therefore,] even we [ourselves] have believed on Christ Jesus, in order to be justified by faith in Him, and not by works of the Law ... for we cannot be justified by any observance of [the Law rituals given by Moses]; because by keeping legal rituals of works no human being can ever be justified ... declared righteous and put in right standing with God." See {Psalm 143:2 and Romans 4;25}.

12. [Justified, i.e; to be declared righteous in God's sight. The old sin nature is now left behind: crucified, and the born again Believer has taken on the new Christ like nature of the Lord.] We are well aware that many folks will not accept this as being true, but whether one believes this or not isn't going to change anything! Read on, also read no - 27 below.

13. {V. 19} For I through the law am dead to the law, that I might live unto God.

14. {V. 19} above paraphrased: "For I through the law ... under the operation [of the curse] of the Law ... have [in Christ's death for me] myself died to the Law and all the Law's demands upon me, so that I may [henceforth] live to and for God.

15. [Dead to the law, because Christ paid the penalty for sin that the law demanded. Paul could cease giving further thought to legal obedience as a means of winning God's acceptance].

16. {V. 20} I am crucified [thus, identified] with Christ [in His death baptism]: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ lives in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, Who loved me, and gave Himself for me, {Galatians 2:16, 19-20}." See {Romans 6:11; Galatians 3:1, 5, 11, 24; and 6:12}.

17. There are several things that can be taught in the sharing of the Believer with Jesus in His crucifixion. The Lord transformed the most fearful expression of man's hatred into the most beautiful expression of His Divine love. The cross was the most dehumanizing death possible to humiliate and prolong suffering, physical and mental pain, sometimes for days, before death. We are only under God's moral law and man's governmental law today, but we as Believers are saved from the curse of the O.T. Law but not from chastisement for sin.

18. [I am crucified with Christ]. Crucified with Christ in {V. 20} above, means death to or separation from the reigning power of the [old man which refers to the old sin nature we had possessed before we achieved salvation.] But, now that we are Saints of God, we no longer posses the old nature. Thus, we are free from the old man and have freedom to experience the power of the resurrection life of Christ by faith, {see Romans 6:6}, Paul goes on to say: {V. 20} "Nevertheless I live; yet not I." To put it in a better way: "and it is no longer I but Christ." Christ had taken up His abode in Paul the same as He has done in Christians of today, yet without submerging the Believers own personality.

19. This forever cancels out legal works as a procuring cause for "Tithing" or for salvation. Scripture: "You are not under law but under grace," this, as effectually, forbids the thought that today's Saints are found in subjecting themselves to legalistic principles. "The Law is the strength of sin," we are told in {1- Corinthians 15:56}. It is not as multitudes have supposed, the strength of holiness or power for righteousness. It is the indwelling Holy Spirit, Who occupies us and placed us in Christ when He was crucified, raised, and glorified. This was Christ's, and our death baptism. [Read the message on our web page concerning the twelve Baptisms of the Bible].

20. The above concerns our power of spirituality. At times Paul specifically deals with Jewish legality, and shows how Christians have been forever delivered from the Law and the legal principle in its entirety; but are now linked with the risen Christ. For the Believer to return to the works of the Law for his perfecting in holiness is, as Paul shows in the Epistle to the Galatians, would be to [backslide: which means to fall out of fellowship with God]. Naturally this would not mean that a child of God would loose his salvation, for no true Christian will ever fall from grace! To turn back to the old law is the virtual setting aside of the Gospel of grace. Remembering that - as children of God we began in a Spiritual awakening but we can never be made perfect as long as we live in the flesh. Naturally, in our new Christ like nature, we are in perfection, but the flesh portrays imperfection, we must always completely rely on the Lord for self control.

21. During the Acts period, there were those who were always dogging the footsteps of Paul, the great Apostle to the Gentiles, who sought to pervert his converts by teaching them: "[Except you be circumcised and keep the law of Moses, you cannot be saved]." While the council at Jerusalem gave forth no uncertain sound in opposition. To this it is evident that its decisions were by no means everywhere accepted. ... It was hard for converts from Judaism to realize their complete deliverance both from the law of Moses as a rule of life, and from the ceremonies and rituals of that law as a means of growth in grace. Here the question at issue is handled in a remarkable manner through the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, having declared that we have our completeness in Christ, our exalted Head. Paul states ...

22. {V. 11} Scripture: "In whom also you are circumcised with the circumcision made without hands, in putting off the body of the sins of the flesh by the circumcision of Christ,

23. {V. 12} Buried with Him in [His death] baptism, wherein also you are risen with Him through the faith of the operation of God, Who has raised Him from the dead.

24. {Vs. 11-12} above paraphrased:

25. {11}: "[In Christ also you were circumcised with a circumcision not performed with human hands, but in a spiritual circumcision performed by the Lord Himself when He striped off the body of the flesh, "the whole corrupt, carnal nature with its passions and lust].

26. {12}: Therefore, you were circumcised [with a spiritual circumcision] when you were buried with Christ in your [Spiritual] death baptism, in which you were also raised with Him "to a new life" through your faith in the working of the Triune God as displayed when He raised Christ up from the dead, {Colossians 2:11-12}."

27. It is not merely a question of sins here, but the flesh itself that is in view. The flesh and the carnal nature belonged together to signify sin. Circumcision was the cutting off of the flesh physically, and it was given to Israel as an ordinance by God to picture the judgment of the carnal nature and its complete setting aside. This is what God has accomplished in fulfilling the Law on the cross of Christ. In His cutting off by death when He stood vicariously in our place, we see the end of the old sin nature for the Saints today from the Divine standpoint. It "the Mosaic Law," is cut off, and put to one side, and has been annulled for the Believer in this present age. "Neither the old sin nature or the flesh," we read, "profits anything, nothing." "It is not subject to the Law of God, Neither indeed can be." Therefore, God is making no attempt to improve it; consequently, there is no place for merit so far as man is concerned. He has none. All merit is in Christ!

Folks will ask ... "if Believers no longer have the old sin nature why do we still sin?" Answer: All Believers sin in the flesh! There is much that concerns the flesh in the Bible, to give just a few texts: {Romans 7:18-22; 8:1-5; Galatians 2:20; 3:3-5; 4:12-14; 5:16-19; Ephesians 6:5-9; Philippians 1:21-23; Colossians 2:23; 3:22-25; 1- John 2:16-17. etc.;}. There is also a contrast between the flesh, and the Saints Christ like nature: {1- John 1:8, 10}; every body sins in the flesh! BUT, no Saint can sin in the new nature, {1- John 3:5-10}. In the study of the flesh, one must be careful because at times the flesh can be associated with the old sin nature such as in {Romans 2:28; 7:5; 9:8; 1- Corinthians 1:26; 2- Corinthians 5:16; 7:1; Galatians 2:16; 4:23,29; Ephesians 2:11-12; 6:5; and etc.;}. All this can be quite perplexing can it not? Again we say ... you be the judge! Read again no- 12 above.

28. The great "Revelation of the Mystery" which concerns this present day grace period, was taught by Paul in his earliest epistle - {1- Thessalonians}. The Rapture, which is part of that great mystery, is taught here, {1- Thessalonians 4:16-18}. In his postscript to the Roman letter Paul tells how he has been making the mystery throughout his ministry, "[made known to all nations for the obedience of faith]." To the Ephesian elders he said [as recorded in {Acts 20:27}: "[For I have not shunned to declare unto you all the [whole] counsel of God]." The new Body of Christ Dispensation, had been made known to him and was being proclaimed among the Gentiles and Israel alike by Paul. The Baptism of the Holy Spirit, whereby Believers were brought into the Body of Christ, took place when the one Body Period first began. {See Ephesians 4:5; and 1- Corinthians 12:13}.

29. Each Believer is added to the Body when he receives the Holy Spirit. When one becomes a Christian he makes a profession of faith by identifying himself with Christ, with the realization on his part that without Christ he is lost, and when accepting Christ is to be joined to the rest of the Lord's Body of Believers. This puts this new convert on an equal footing with all other Believers, none of which is to lord it over him, as Christ alone is Head of the Body.

30. When the lost person makes a confession, he has admitted that the man after the flesh deserved to die; he has died in Christ's death. This therefore, is the end of the lost man before God, he has been reborn. Necessarily then, it is the end of all self-effort, of every attempt to improve the flesh by subjecting it to ordinances, that is, regulations, whether Divinely given as in the Old Testament, or humanly devised as in so many unscriptural systems today. God is not attempting to improve the old man, He has judged him as too evil for any improvement, and has therefore, set him to one side in death. Therefore, the sinner must be born again as a new Saint of God!

31. Some translations read: "[Wherein also you are risen with Him, {Colossians 2:12}," but the preponderance of evidence is, I believe, in favor of the reading, "[In whom also you are risen with Him through the faith of the operation of God Who has raised Him from the dead]." It is through faith in the risen Christ that we become the recipients of death with Him in our death baptism, and are now one with Him in resurrection. What place does legality have here? None whatsoever! To put the "one new man: the "Body of Christ," {Ephesians 2:15; and 4:24}," under rules and regulations, this is contrary to the entire principle of the new man. This is further emphasized in the following verse:

32. Scripture: "And you, being dead in your sins and the uncircumcision of your flesh, has He quickened [made alive] together with Him, [Christ] having forgiven you all trespasses [on His cross], {Colossians 2:13}." See {Galatians 2:7}.

33. Perhaps it would be better to put it this way: "We who were once dead in our trespasses and as Gentiles in the uncircumcision of our flesh have now been made to live, by being reborn, and joined together into the family of God with Christ, God having eternally forgiven us all our trespasses against Him." Moreover:

34. Scripture: "Blotting out the handwriting of [O.T.] ordinances that was against us, which was contrary to us, and took it out of the way, nailing it to His cross, {Colossians 2: 14}." See {Hebrews 9:10; 7:16; Ephesians 2:15; and Romans 7:25}.

35. ["The handwriting"] is a term which could only be properly used of the ten commandments. Or, Divinely-given rules because of the sinfulness of man's nature, making our disobedience to the law, when once it came to our knowledge. This is a foregone conclusion, and which therefore, made it to us a ministration of death and condemnation. It has now been taken out of the way and no longer hangs over us as an unfulfilled obligation.

36. Christ nailed it to His cross, hanging or impalement, to write out a copy of the law they had broken. Or, to indicate the nature of their offense on a placard, and nail it above the victim's head, that all might know how Rome executed vengeance upon those who violated her criminal code. Pilate wrote out the inscription to the place over the head of Christ Jesus, and that in three languages. He wrote it in "Hebrew, Greek, and Latin," that all might know why the patient Sufferer from Galilee was being publicly executed.

37. Actually what God saw nailed to the cross was the "Handwriting of the old legalistic commandments given at Sinai." It was because this law had been broken in every point that Jesus poured out His blood, thus giving His life to redeem us from the curse of the law. We are one with Him in the new creation. The law and all its ritual were given to man in the flesh. Christians are not in the flesh but in the Spirit, and the law as such has nothing to say to the man in the new sphere beyond the reach of spiritual death. Christ says:

38. Scripture: "Let no man therefore judge you in meat, or in drink, or in respect of an holyday, or of the new moon, or of the sabbath days, {Colossians 2:16}." [Sabbath means "rest"]. See also {Galatians 4:9-10; and Hosea 2:11-12}.

39. All these once had their place and he who would be an obedient child of the old covenant was called upon to observe the regulations regarding them scrupulously. All these, however, were but a shadow of things to come ... things which have now come ... "For the Body of Christ." In the Old Testament Dispensation the light of God was shinning upon Christ, and all the forms and ceremonies, including even the weekly sabbaths, were but shadows cast by Him. If you have been deceived into believing that you are under any of the old ordinances, then for goodness sake "read on."

40. Scripture: "Stand fast therefore in the liberty wherewith Christ has made us free, and be not entangled again in the yoke of bondage, {Galatians 5:1}."

41. [Stand fast: to be more accurate, "stand for freedom," Jesus has freed every child of God, therefore, never again allow yourself to be entangled with ordinances of works associated with the Old Testament law]!

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42. Scripture: "O foolish Galatians, who has bewitched you, that you should not obey the truth, before whose eyes Jesus Christ has been evidently set forth, crucified among you? {Galatians 3:1}."

43. {3. 1} above paraphrased: "You poor, silly, thoughtless, unreflecting, and senseless Galatians! Who has fascinated, bewitched, and cast a spell over you, to whom ... right before your very eyes ... Jesus Christ the Messiah, was openly and graphically set forth and portrayed as crucified?" See {Galatians 2:20}.

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[Paul also told them]:

44. {V. 6} Scripture: "I marvel that you are so soon removed from Him that called you into the grace of Christ unto another Gospel:"

45. {V. 6} above paraphrased: "I am surprised and astonished that you are so quickly turning renegade and deserting the Lord Who invited and called you by the grace [unmerited favor] of Christ, the Messiah, and that you are transferring your allegiance to a different, even an opposition gospel."

46. {V. 7} "Which is not another [Gospel]; but there are some that are troubling you, and would pervert the gospel of Christ."

47. {V. 7} above paraphrased: "Not that there is or could be any other genuine gospel such as the Gospel of the Mystery that was given to Paul for the Body of Christ period. But there are obviously some who are troubling and disturbing and bewildering you with a different kind of teaching which they offer as a gospel. [Such as placing you back under the old kingdom gospel that was fulfilled on the cross]. And, want to pervert and distort Christ's Gospel of the Mystery for this present "One Body Dispensation," [into something which it absolutely is not].

48. {V. 8} "But though we, or an angel from heaven, preach any other gospel to you than that which we have preached to you, let him be accursed [anathema]."

49. {V. 9} "As we said before, so say I now again, if any man preach any other gospel to you than that you have received [even though he may be an angel from Heaven], let him be accursed [anathema], {Galatians 1:6-9}."

50. {V. 9} above paraphrased: "As we said before, I now repeat again, if any person or persons is preaching to you a different kind of gospel that is contrary to the Gospel of the Mystery which you have received from us, let him or them be accursed (anathema), devoted to destruction, doomed to eternal punishment! [You Ministers and teachers had better take notice]!"

51. Paul does not say that he or a messenger from heaven was likely to preach any other gospel. He merely uses a future hypothetical possibility to illustrate the case. This passage directly speaks against such claims as that of the Mormons, whose Book of Mormon claims angelic authority as delivered by the angel Moroni and "translated" by their founder Joseph Smith. Let him be accursed: an "anathema" on anyone who would proclaim a gospel different from that which we have for the Body of Christ, see {1- Corinthians 15:3-4}. The Lord is against having His Word twisted by unlearned and unstable men that would lead to the destruction of souls {2- Peter 3:17}. Christ stated what he meant and meant what He stated. God the Father can do nothing less than put a dreadful curse on all who reject, pervert, and falsify the Gospel of His Son.

52. It was God the Holy Spirit Who moved Paul to write these serious words. We must never forget that the awful day of doom and destruction is coming when the Divine "anathema" pronounced here will be executed. May God's people everywhere stand with Paul in opposition to false teaching. May God help us to believe and obey the "Gospel of the Mystery."

53. Notice in the language above in Galatians that it is too emphatic to take in a light manner. Paul had warned the Galatians of the dangers associated with false teachers as he did the Ephesian elders in {Acts 20:29-32}. The words: "As we said" in {V. 9} above, the word "said" [Greek "prolego"] means that it was a certain and a clear pronouncement.

54. The Galatians still remembered Paul's warning, and therefore their defection was inexcusable. The plural number [we] shows that the previous warning was given by others in addition to Paul. The words: "if any man" {V. 9}, " the particle [Greek "ei" ] speaks of a fulfilled condition. Paul is not speaking of a future probability {V. 8} but of an actual, current fact, and he hurls the anathema directly at the legalists. Note the omission in {V. 9} of "we or an angel."

55. {V. 6} Scripture: "Seeing it is a [fair decision since it is a] righteous thing with God to recompense [repay with distress and affliction and] tribulation to them that [distress and] trouble you;

56. {V. 7} "And to you who are troubled rest with us, when the Lord Jesus shall be revealed [at His Second Coming] from Heaven with His mighty angels,

57. [I.e; Rest with Paul, Silvanus, and Timothy who knew what it was to be under persecution and pressure for their faith, see {1- Thessalonians 2:14-19}. Rest is promised at the return of Christ, Who will then judge those who afflicted His Hebrew people {V. 6}

58. {V. 8} In flaming fire taking vengeance on them that know not God, and that obey not the Gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ:

59. {V. 9} Who shall be punished with everlasting destruction from the presence of the Lord, and from the glory of His power,

60. Where destruction is mentioned in the above verse does not mean annihilation, but ruin by reason of separation from the presence of the Lord. In {1- Thessalonians 5:3} the destruction is said to be sudden; but here, eternal.

61. {V.10} When He shall come to be glorified in His Saints [and in His Bride Israel], and to be admired in all them that believe [because our testimony among you was believed] in that day, {2- Thessalonians 1:6-10}."

62. {Vs. 7-10} above paraphrased:

63. {7}: "And to recompense you who are so distressed and afflicted by granting you relief and rest along with us ... your fellow sufferers ... when the Lord Jesus is revealed from heaven with His mighty angels in a flame of fire]."

64. {8}: To deal out retribution ... chastisement and vengeance ... upon those who do not know or perceive or become acquainted with the Lord Jesus Christ Who is God, and upon those who ignore and refuse to obey the Gospel of the Mystery commended to us by our Lord Jesus Christ].

65. {9}: Such people will pay the penalty and suffer the punishment of everlasting ruin "destruction and perdition" - and eternal exclusion and banishment from the presence of the Lord and from the glory of His power.

66. {10}: "When Christ comes to be glorified in His Saints. That is, in that Millennial day, He will be made more glorious as the Messiah with His consecrated Hebrew Bride, and He will be marveled at and admired in His glory reflected in all who have believed ... who have trusted and relied on Him to bring salvation to them ... because of our witnessing among you that confidently accepted, believed, and confirmed His Word of truth in your lives], {2- Thessalonians 1:6-10}."

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67. {V. 21} Scripture: "Tell me you that desire to be under the law, do you not hear the law? {Galatians 4:21-31}." [Do you not understand what the law really says, If you return back to the law, do you know what you are about to embrace: "legalism"].

68. {V. 22} "For it is written that Abraham had two sons, the one by a bondmaid, the other by a free woman. {See Genesis 16:15; and 21:2, 2.}

69. {V. 23} But he who was of the bondwoman [slave woman] was born after [according to] the flesh; but he [Isaac] of the free woman was by promise.

70 {V. 24} Which things are an allegory [symbolically - a word picture]: for these are the two covenants; the one from the Mount Sinai, which genders to bondage, which is Hagar. [Remember: Hagar was a bond slave to Sarai before the Mosaic Law was established].

71. [The Lord Jehovah made a covenant with Sarai {Genesis 16:10 -11}. The Angel of the Lord was a Theophanie. Also see Christ as a Christophanie: {Revelation 10:1; and Isaiah 63:9 }. An allegory as above, literally; means it is allegorized. The allegory Paul offers here ... of Ishmael and Isaac {Genesis 16:15; 21:3, 9} ... expresses truth in addition to the simple facts of the case, in this instance that the Judaizers [related to Hagar, Sinai, and the Mosaic Law] did not have the authority or blessing of Jehovah. Paul was not allegorizing "spiritualizing" to take license with Scripture where an interpreter seeks a deeper meaning. Paul was not doing this].

72. {V. 25} For this Hagar is [stands for] mount Sinai in Arabia, and answers to [she corresponds to and belongs in the same category with the present city of] Jerusalem which now is, and [she] is in bondage with her children [trying to keep the law of bondage].

73. {V. 26} But [the city of new] Jerusalem which is above is free, which is the mother of us all.

74. {V. 27} For it is written, rejoice, you barren [woman] that bears not; break forth and cry [with a joyful shout], you that travailest not [because you are not feeling birth pangs]; for the desolate [woman] has many more children than she which has an husband.

75. [We have here a quotation from the Septuagint of {Isaiah 54:1} which applied to unfruitful Sarah, who answers to the heavenly Jerusalem. Abraham's spiritual seed shall be more numerous than the natural seed. Isaiah closes the {53rd Ch.} with these words, "He bare the sins of many, and made intercession for the transgressors." The next word is "sing." Paul translates it "Rejoice." The grace of God gives men something to sing about. Israel will some say realize the full meaning of {Isaiah 53} and experience glorious deliverance and restoration through God's grace].

76. {V. 28} Now we, brethren, as Isaac was, are the children of promise.

77. {V. 28} above paraphrased: ["But we, brethren, are children not by physical descent, as was Ishmael, but like Isaac born in virtue of promise."]

78. {V. 29} But as then he that was born after the flesh persecuted him that was born after the Spirit, even so it is now. {See John 3:3, 5, 7, 9, 18, 29}. [By Arabs and later by Islam and the world at large].

79. {V. 29} above paraphrased: ["Yet just as at that time, the children of ordinary birth, born according to the flesh, despised and persecuted him who was born remarkably, according to the promise and the working of the Holy Spirit, so it is now also."]

See {Genesis 21:9}. [Saved Saints of God are becoming despised, persecuted and martyred by the thousands right now]!

80. {V. 30} Nevertheless what states the Scriptures? Cast out the bondwoman and her son: for the son of the bondwoman shall not be heir with the son of the free woman. [False religion must be cast out].

81. {V. 30} above paraphrased: ["But what does the Scripture say? Cast out and send away the slave woman and her son, for never shall the son of the slave woman be heir and share the inheritance with the son of the free woman]. See {Genesis 21:10}.

82. {V. 31} So then, brethren, we [who are born again into the Body of Christ] are not children of the bondwoman [the natural], but of the free [the super-natural], {Galatians 4:21-31}."

83. [The covenant of Abraham was free, the Mosaic covenant was of bondage, and Islam from Hagar has chosen bondage. Those who are not Hebrew by belief are considered as Gentiles as were the Samaritans, see {Matthew 10:5-6}, and notice how Christ separates the Gentile Samaritans from the Jews. See also {John 4; 9}.

84. That which concerns the ordinance of "Tithing" was just as much a part of the O.T. law as was the rest of the Ten commandments, and naturally was instituted at Mount Sinai. Because of this fact, only the Israelites were under this ordinance because it was only on Hebrew ground.

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85. {V. 30} Scripture: "And all the "Tithe" of the Land, whether of the seed of the land, or of the fruit of the tree, is the Lord's: It is holy unto the Lord.

86. {V. 31} And if a man will at all redeem any of his "Tithes," he shall add thereto the fifth part thereof.

87. {V. 32} And concerning the "Tithe" of the herd, or of the flock, even of what ever passes under the rod, the tenth shall be holy unto the Lord,

88. {V. 32} above paraphrased: "And all the "Tithe" of the herd or of the flock , whatever passes under the herdsman's staff by means of which each tenth animal as it passes through a small door is selected and marked, the tenth shall be holy to the Lord." See {2- Corinthians 9:7-9}.

89. {V. 33} He shall not search [or examine] whether [the animal] it is good or bad, neither shall he change it: and if he [does] change it at all, then both it and the change thereof [of the animal that is substituted for it] shall be holy; it shall not be redeemed,

90. {V. 34} These are the commandments, which the Lord commanded Moses for the children of Israel in mount Sinai, {Leviticus 27:30-34}." See also {Romans 10:4; Hebrews 4:2; and 12:18-29}.

91. Concerning these verses: "One-tenth of the increase of the land, trees, herds, and flocks had to be given to the Lord as His "Tithe." Part of the "Tithe" could be substituted for with money [plus the usual 20% additional], except in the case of animals. In {V. 32} notice the part that passes under the rod, this refers to the custom of making the animals pass by in single file and marking each tenth one with a rod dipped in a colored substance.

92. From this we see that the command to give "Tithes" was included in the covenant given to the Hebrews at Sinai and not to Gentiles. Abraham paid "Tithes" before the Mosaic law was given at Mount Sinai {Genesis 14:20}. Therefore, to place the obligation in an O.T. ordinance of "Tithing" for New Testament Believers who are strictly under grace, and teaching us to practice it, is to place us under a yoke of bondage. Later when some were trying to force Gentile Believers to obey the old law that Christ had already paid for on His cross, the Apostle Peter said:

93. Scripture: "Now therefore why tempt [test] you God, to put a yoke upon the neck of the [Lord's] disciples [followers], which neither our [Hebrew fore-] fathers, nor we [ourselves] were able to bear [endure]? {Acts 15:10}." [Why try to test the Lord God?]

94. [The Law was a yoke of legalistic works upon the neck of the Hebrews, which in its complexities had become a burden, literally impossible to keep by the natural man. The Apostle meant that now both Hebrews and Gentiles could be saved through God's grace without the law of bondage hovering over them].

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95. When considering the word "Tithe," it is found only three times in the first four books of the New Testament. {Matthew 23:23; Luke 11:42; and 18:9-12}. And each of these books were still under the Kingdom order and Kingdom Gospel, not under the Gospel of the Mystery for today. Repeating this next verse ... the Lord stated:

96. Scripture: "Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees [pretenders], hypocrites! for you pay [only a tenth] "Tithe" of [your] mint and anise [dill] and cummin, and have [neglected and] omitted the weightier [more important] matters of the law, [right and justice through] judgment, mercy [and fidelity], faith: these ought you to have [past tents- particularly] done, and not to leave the other undone, {Matthew 23:23}." ["And, after the Body of Christ began" ...

97. The Apostle Paul stated ... Scripture: "For sin shall not [any longer] have dominion over you: for you are not [now] under the [Old] law, [of commandments as slaves,] but under grace [as subjects of God's favor and mercy], {Romans 6:14}."

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98. The word "Tithe" is referred to in the Old Testament in various places such as {Leviticus 27:30, 32. Numbers 18:26. Deuteronomy 12:17; 14:22, 23, 28. 2- Chronicles 31:5, 6, 6. Nehemiah 10:38-39; and 13:12}.

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99. The word "Tithes" is mentioned in {Genesis 14:20; Leviticus 27:31; Numbers 18:24, 26, 28; Deuteronomy 12:6, 11; 26:12; 2- Chronicles 31:12; Nehemiah 10:37, 37, 38, 38. 12:44; 13:5; Amos 4:4; Malachi 3:8, 10. And, in the New Testament: {Luke 18:12; and Hebrews 7:5, 6, 8, 9}.

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100. The word "Tithing" is mentioned in {Deuteronomy 26:12, 12}. It is a gross mis-application of the Word of God to take what was spoken to folks under the Mosaic law and make the application to people who are not under the law, but under grace. The student will notice that all the above Scriptures including the texts in the N.T. refer to the O.T. ordinance of "Tithing." Notice also that when reading the N.T. never do we find any commandment from Christ for His followers to "Tithe." Neither do we find any commandment given from the lips of the Apostle Paul for those of us in the Body of Christ to "Tithe," Actually it's just the opposite, for Paul makes very clear that all ordinances were nailed to Christ's cross and actually ended there.

101. As for the Law being fulfilled, read {Luke 16:16; and Matthew 11:12-13}. As has been brought out before, the Mosaic Law ended at the beginning of John the Baptist's ministry, but a transition period went forward to the cross where the Law was completely fulfilled by the Messiah - Christ. See also {Romans 5:13-14>; and Galatians 3:17-19}.

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102. {V. 5} Scripture: "And as soon as the commandment came abroad, the children of Israel brought in abundance the first-fruits of [the grain,] "Corn," [vintage fruit] "wine," and "oil," and "Honey," and of all the increase [of the produce] of "the field;" and "the Tithe" of all things brought they in abundantly.

103. {V.6} And concerning the children of Israel and Judah, that dwelt in the cities of Judah, they also brought in the "Tithe" of the "oxen" [cattle] and "Sheep," and the "Tithe" of "holy [dedicated] things" which were consecrated unto the Lord their God, and laid them by [in] heaps.

104. {V. 7} In the third month [at the end of the wheat harvest] they began to lay the foundation [or beginning] of the "heaps," and finished them in the seventh month.

105. {V. 8} And when Hezekiah and the princes came and saw the "heaps," they blessed the Lord, and His people Israel.

106. {V. 9} Then Hezekiah questioned with the priests and the Levites concerning the "Heaps."

107. {V. 10} And Azariah the chief [high] priest of the house of Zadok answered him, and said, Since the people began to bring the offerings into the house of the Lord we have had enough to eat, and have left plenty: for the Lord has blessed His people; and that which is left is this great store.

108. {V. 11} Then Hezekiah commanded to prepare chambers [for storage] in the house of the Lord; and they prepared them,

109. {V. 12} And brought in the offerings and the "Tithes" and the dedicated things faithfully: over which Cononiah the Levite was ruler, and Shimei his brother was the next, { 2- Chronicles 31:5-12}."

110. The people brought their "Tithes" in such abundance that Hezekiah ordered Storehouses, granaries or cellars, prepared so that the food would not have to be left outside in "heaps" and lists were prepared with the names of those who were entitled to receive the supplies. The immediate and generous response of the people in their giving was staggering; and by the surprise of the priests, it is evident that supporting the priests had long gone unpracticed.

111. The third month was the month of the Feast of Weeks, or Pentecost, when grain harvest was completed, {Exodus 23:16; and Leviticus 23:9-14}; {this was the Feast of First-fruits, which anticipates Christ's resurrection as the first-fruits - from the dead], and the seventh month was the month of the Feast of Tabernacles or in-gathering, {Exodus 23:16; and Leviticus 23:34}. The Feast of Tabernacles is a memorial of Israel's redemption from Egypt and is prophetic of her re-gathering and restoration at the Second Coming of Christ! Read the rest of {Ch. 23}.

112. Concerning {2- Chronicles 31:11-19}: These storage chambers that had been built in the Temple by Solomon, {1-Kings 6:5} evidently needed repair. Conon and his brother-assistant, Shimei, were over ten porter-treasures, see

{1- Chronicles 26:19-20, 26] who were responsible for collecting the offerings and "Tithes," while Kore assumed responsibility for distributing the most holy things, i.e; the portions of offerings to be eaten by the priests. Subordinate to Kore were assistants who distributed to the 13 cities of the priests, see {Joshua 21:9-19}. A freewill offering was not necessarily included in a "Tithe," but could consist of what ever the giver felt in his heart to give of his own good will, and certainly this did not always consist of money!

113. Considering those three years old and upward in {V. 16} evidently indicates the age of priests and Levites who began receiving public support from the offerings. Children under three years old were probably not considered weaned, and naturally had to be cared for by their parents, the smallest of the children likely could not eat solid food. Also, no doubt, provision was also made for their wives, daughters, and servants. Read {V. 18}: "[For in their set office they sanctified themselves in holiness.]" It was assigned to the priests to provide for the wives and children out of the revenues of the sanctuary. Priests when withdrawing from those secular pursuits by which they might have maintained their households, devoted themselves entirely to the functions of their ministry.

114. Scripture: "Now we know that what things soever the law says, it says to them who are under the law: that [the murmurs and excuses of] every mouth may be stopped, and all the world may become guilty [and accountable] before God, {Romans 3:19}."

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115. The Lord Jesus only spoke of "Tithing" in a manner that concerned the law. Where can it be found that Jesus ever used the word "Tithe" when He was talking to His own disciples? It just isn't found! The teaching that concerned "Tithing" was only in the commission applied to and for the Israelites! Israel's Great commission stated:

116. Scripture: "Go you therefore, and teach [making disciples, followers, Proselytes: of] all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit; ... Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I "have" commanded you, [past tense]... Matthew 28:19-20}." Read also {Matthew Ch. 13} and see what Christ had taught them.

117. This was [past tense] a commandment given to Israel to carry out as an ordinance, but they failed drastically to obey the command. If folks would study to show themselves approved of God, as the Scriptures point out, they would understand that the above text and commission was for Israel exclusively, and had nothing whatsoever to do with the Body of Christ of today. [We strongly suggest that the reader read our message which concerns the 12 Baptism of the New Testament, and also that of the commission for the Body of Christ]. The truth is, it is presently up to Christians in the Body to shy away from the old law system, and perform the witnessing program that Paul laid out for us. We should do this as good stewards, and ambassadors for Christ as the grace Gospel teaches. {See 2- Corinthians 5:14-21} which speaks of the commission that is applied to us in this present age of grace . Paul Stated:

118. {V. 3} Scripture: [But,] "If any man teach otherwise, and consents not to wholesome [messages and], words even the words of our Lord Jesus Christ [the Messiah], and to the doctrine which is according to godliness [and piety toward the Lord],

119. {V. 4} He is proud, knowing nothing, but doting about questions and strifes of words, whereof comes envy, strife, railings, evil surmising,

120. {V. 4} above paraphrased: "He is puffed up with pride and stupefied with conceit, although he is woefully ignorant. He has a morbid fondness for controversy and disputes and strife about words, which result in producing envy and jealousy, quarrels and dissension, abuse and insults and slander, and base suspicions."

121. {V. 5} Perverse disputing of man of corrupt minds, and destitute of the truth, supposing that gain is godliness: from such withdraw yourself, {1- Timothy 6:3-5}."

122. {V. 5} above paraphrased: "And protracted wrangling and wearing discussion and perpetual friction among men who are corrupted in mind and bereft of the truth who imagine that godliness or righteousness is a source of profit ... money-making business, a means of livelihood. From such withdraw from them."

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"Continued On Part Four of "Tithing."

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