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The Truth about Tithing, By R.S. Neaville

As we mature as Christians we come to find out that many of our practices are based more on tradition than biblical requirements. The thinking and concerns of men have long since ferreted their way into the practices and doctrines of Christian experience. The concept of tithing is one of these. In the following article this truth will be exposed in three basic points of biblical inquiry.

1. Tithing is of the Mosaic law.

2. The early Church did not practice tithing.

3. Tithing is bondage for the Christian

First it must be clarified at the beginning what it is we are not saying so that we will have no misunderstandings. Not every church that still practices tithing is aware of these truths. They aren’t trying to deceive or manipulate. They sincerely believe that what was passed on to them is true and right. The purpose of this article is to help Christians understand the true biblical understanding of giving and bring correction from the scriptures to this subject.

Tithing is of the Mosaic law.

The Old Testament is where the concept of tithing originated. It is based on the concept of the first fruits of a man’s increase. The word in Hebrew is ma’aser; literally meaning “a tenth”. In Hebrew culture a man always acknowledged God as his provider by the giving back of this tenth. It was to be the first and best of his increase. Later you will see what is spiritually demonstrated in this physical practice. The first recorded instance of a tithe in scripture is where Abraham offered a tithe to God through the High priest of God Melchizedek when he won the battle on the plains of Shinar and took spoil. This is a constant through out scripture. There can be no tithe without a priest of God to accept it.

Genesis14: 18. And Melchizedek king of Salem brought forth bread and wine: and he was the priest of the most high God.

19. And he blessed him, and said, Blessed be Abram of the most high God, possessor of heaven and earth

20. And blessed be the most high God, which hath delivered thine enemies into thy hand. And he gave him tithes of all.

In the later Levitical priesthood we see this truth again.

Numbers 18:20. And the Lord spake unto Aaron, Thou shalt have no inheritance in their land, neither shalt thou have any part among them: I am thy part and thine inheritance among the children of Israel.

21. And, behold, I have given the children of Levi all the tenth in Israel for an inheritance, for their service which they serve, even the service of the tabernacle of the congregation.

22. Neither must the children of Israel henceforth come nigh the tabernacle of the congregation, lest they bear sin, and die.

23. But the Levites shall do the service of the tabernacle of the congregation, and they shall bear their iniquity: it shall be a statute for ever throughout your generations, that among the children of Israel they have no inheritance.

24. But the tithes of the children of Israel, which they offer as an heave offering unto the Lord, I have given to the Levites to inherit: therefore I have said unto them, Among the children of Israel they shall have no inheritance.

The Mosaic Law is referred to in the New Testament in many different ways. It is called the law, the law of sin and death, the Law of Moses, etc. This is the law given to Moses by god to lead the Israelites. It consists of the 10 commandments and 613 ordinances that regulated the everyday lives of the Israelites. It is a law that we as new testament Christians are not under. We are under grace.

In the discussion of this Biblical fact it becomes necessary to demonstrate this truth with a number of Biblical examples from the New Testament. There are two distinct facts that readily present themselves in this examination of scripture. The first is that in general gentiles were not under the law to begin with. It is only when we learn of its righteous requirement that we come under it.

Romans 2: 6. Who will render to every man according to his deeds:

7. To them who by patient continuance in well doing seek...

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