by Juan R. Rains
HAS THE LAW OF TITHING BEEN RESCINDED?
The doctrine of tithing in the church is in very much controversy
today.  Many have arbitrarily decided to discontinue to tithe.  In
some arenas, the law as a whole has been cast aside.  To replace the
law, these people believe in a philosophy of love, with no strings
attached.  Those who would cast aside the law of tithing use the
same arguments.  They believe in giving from the “heart.”  But in
both cases, the foundation has been eliminated in their minds and
they are like a ship dislodged from their moorings.  They are going
nowhere because they only have a philosophy which can change
daily, or at every whim that suits their fancy.

If the Bible said dogmatically that tithing was not a command, or
that the law of tithing had been rescinded, I would gladly agree that
tithing was no longer in force; but, we all know that this is not true.  
When we see tithing first introduced, we are not sure whether
Abraham was paying, or giving tithes.  The question that should
catch our attention is “Why was it a tenth?”  Why not a fifth?  Later
Jacob settles on a tenth.  Again, why was it a tenth?  Why not a
twentieth?

God says that He has given the <tenth> to the children of Levi.  It is
obvious that the tenth belongs to God for He would not be taking it
away from one person and giving it to another, otherwise.  God is
very specific about what He is giving the Levites.  He does not say
that He is giving them a <part> of the tenth.  Rather, He says that
He is giving them a <tenth>.  Anyone who says that there was only
one tithe in Israel has to reckon with this Scripture.  

Nu 18:21 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.


This is repeated:

Nu 18:24 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.

And again:

Nu 18:26 Thus speak unto the Levites, and say unto them, When ye take of the
children of Israel the tithes which I have given you from them for your
inheritance, then ye shall offer up an heave offering of it for the LORD, even
a tenth part of the tithe.

Therefore, God gave the Levites something that belongs to Him
from the children of Israel.  And that something was a tenth.
WILL A MAN ROB GOD?
In the book of Malachi, the third chapter begins with a setting in the
last days.  Of course, this is speaking of the period in which we are
living today.  In verse five The Christ returns to mete out swift
judgment to a host of evildoers.  Follow these verses through to the
end of the book and see for yourself that the setting is in the last
days now in front of us.

Mal 3:5 And I will come near to you to judgment; and I will be a swift witness
against the sorcerers, and against the adulterers, and against false swearers,
and against those that oppress the hireling in his wages, the widow, and the
fatherless, and that turn aside the stranger from his right, and fear not me,
saith the LORD of hosts.
6 For I am the LORD, I change not; therefore ye sons of Jacob are not
consumed.
7  Even from the days of your fathers ye are gone away from mine ordinances,
and have not kept them. Return unto me, and I will return unto you, saith the
LORD of hosts.  But ye said, Wherein shall we return?
8 Will a man rob God?  Yet ye have robbed me.  But ye say, Wherein have we
robbed thee?  In tithes and offerings.
9 Ye are cursed with a curse: for ye have robbed me, even this whole nation.
10 Bring ye all the tithes into the storehouse, that there may be meat in mine
house, and prove me now herewith, saith the LORD of hosts, if I will not open
you the windows of heaven, and pour you out a blessing, that there shall not
be room enough to receive it.
11 And I will rebuke the devourer for your sakes, and he shall not destroy the
fruits of your ground; neither shall your vine cast her fruit before the time in
the field, saith the LORD of hosts.
12 And all nations shall call you blessed: for ye shall be a delightsome land,
saith the LORD of hosts.

These Scriptures are definitely set in the end time - our time today.  
In this passage, the Bible shows tithing to be an ordinance, in other
words, a law.  God said, Will a man rob God?  He did not say, Will a
man rob the Levites, but, "Will a man rob God?"  He also said, "You
have robbed Me."  In other words some, in this prophecy for the end
time, had come to consider that the practice of tithing was no longer
necessary.  Therefore, convenience had dictated its abolition.  
However, it was to their downfall.  And remember, the setting of
these scriptures is the time in which we are now living
TITHING IN THE NEW TESTAMENT
The Bible records very little about tithing, in the New Testament.  
However, there are many subjects that the New Testament deals
with slightly or not at all.  The New Testament says very little about
The Holy Days, and very little about the Sabbath as a command.  Of
course, the New Testament says much in the way of example about
the Sabbath.  What should strike one as strange is that although
there was considerable controversy over circumcision, there was no
disagreement about tithing.  Perhaps a person's skin is more dear
than his money, but not to that degree!  I am sure that if the Church
required the Jews to pay tithes while the Gentiles got off scot-free,
they would have been in an uproar.  Circumcision would have been
small fry compared to tithes.  However, not a word!  

Nevertheless, after having said all this, I know organizations have
abused the tithes and offerings of God's people.  It is enough to make
one sick.  So how are tithes to be handled today?  We know that
Abraham gave tithes to Melchizedek.  To whom did Jacob give his
tithes?  The Israelites brought their tithes to the temple while it
existed.  Today the temple is the Church of God.  Each of us is the
temple!  The priests used the tithes in God's service from the focal
point of the temple.  In John 4 a woman of Samaria came to Jacob's
well to draw water.  Yahshua was nearby.  They began to talk.  The
Messiah told her that we are to worship God wherever we are.  We
are not tied to a temple in Jerusalem.  We are not tied to some
organization.  Rather, we are tied to God!

John 4:20 Our fathers worshipped in this mountain; and ye say, that in
Jerusalem is the place where men ought to worship.
21 Jesus saith unto her, Woman, believe me, the hour cometh, when ye shall
neither in this mountain, nor yet at Jerusalem, worship the Father.
22 Ye worship ye know not what: we know what we worship: for salvation is
of the Jews.
23 But the hour cometh, and now is, when the true worshippers shall worship
the Father in spirit and in truth: for the Father seeketh such to worship him.
24 God is a Spirit: and they that worship him must worship him in spirit and
in truth.

In other words, each of us is the temple; we worship the Father in
spirit; for God does not live in a temple made by hands.  There is no
physical temple to bring the tithes to.  Therefore, what are we to do
with the tithes?  

1 Corinthians 3:16  Know ye not that ye are the temple of God, and that the
Spirit of God dwelleth in you?
INASMUCH AS YOU DID IT TO ONE OF THE LEAST OF THESE
The Christ gave us part of the answer:

Matthew 25.31-40, "When the Son of Man comes in His glory, and all the
holy angels with Him, then He will sit on the throne of His glory.  All the
nations will be gathered before Him, and He will separate them one from
another, as a shepherd divides his sheep from the goats.  And He will set the
sheep on His right hand, but the goats on the left.  Then the King will say to
those on His right hand, 'Come, you blessed of My Father, inherit the
kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world: for I was hungry
and you gave Me food; I was thirsty and you gave me drink; I was a stranger
and you took Me in; I was naked and you clothed Me; I was sick and you
visited Me; I was in prison and you came to Me.  Then the righteous will
answer Him, saying, 'Lord, when did we see You hungry and feed You, or
thirsty and give You drink?  When did we see You a stranger and take You in,
or naked and clothe You?  Or when did we see You sick, or in prison, and
come to You?'  "And the King will answer and say to them, 'Assuredly, I say
to you, inasmuch as you did it to one of the least of these My brethren, you
did it to Me.'"

From the above agenda, I think that The Messiah has given us more
to do than we will ever finish with all the tithes and offerings - even
to the end of time.  There are many ways we can worship God.  
Worship of God is away from the self.  One way God wants us to
worship him is with our income.  That is, income going away from
the self.  The Sabbath command does not make it any harder to
keep the Sabbath, than if it was not a command.  Neither tithing nor
giving should be harder, if it is a command.  However, God says that
He loves a cheerful giver.  He does not specify how much we are to
give as far as offerings are concerned.  He also says that one reaps
what one sows.  When we sow, we give away the tangible for the
intangible.  Then when the harvest comes, we receive much more
than what we sowed.  

2 Corinthians 9:7 Every man according as he purposeth in his heart, so let
him give; not grudgingly, or of necessity: for God loveth a cheerful giver.
THOSE WHO TEACH SHOULD BE SUPPORTED
Paul was a tent maker.  He earned his living while he labored for
God.  I think this is the more noble way.  At this time, when so much
abuse of tithes has taken place in the Church, a minister of God
probably can retain his respect only in this way.  It is, of course,
going above and beyond the call of duty.  Paul makes plain in the
following verse that those who preach the gospel should live of the
gospel.  

I Corinthians 9.14, "Even so has the Lord ordained that they who preach the
gospel should live of the gospel."  

However, Paul also goes on to show that one can abuse that power.

18, "What is my reward then?  Verily that, when I preach the gospel, I may
make the gospel of Christ without charge, that I abuse not my power in the
gospel."

We have all seen great abuse of that power.  We have seen
"ministers" living like kings, while the brothers were often living in
abject poverty.  And there was not a partial of concern for them at
all!
AN EXAMPLE OF ORGANIZATIONAL ABUSE OF EXCESS
TITHES EXTRACTED FROM THE PEOPLE
Continue ...
Tithing for Today
I recall going home with a member.  We passed up beautiful
homes.  I did not expect to find that my brother lived there.  We
passed up modest homes.  I thought that my brother should live
there.  Then we passed rundown homes.  Perhaps, maybe, my
brother would live there.  However, it was not to be.  Finally we
came to a dirt road.  At the end of the road there was a log cabin.  
Is this where my brother lives?  Yes.  "Does this house belong to
you?"  I asked.  "No," he said, "We get to stay here for the labor
I do for the landowner."  This man had a good job, but had to do
work on the side to have a home to live in.  There were other
times similar to this one.  The story was not always the same.  
Often it was less than I felt was right for someone who was
working, making a good living, but giving it all to a few families at
the top of an organization that were living like royalty.  

There was a time in the past when this story would even suit my
case.  I am still trying to recover from this over-giving in my own
circumstance.  I remember once the minister of a congregation of
about 400 people asked how many members owned their own
home.  An older couple raised their hands.  About two years later
the Church formed a work party to put a roof on that couple's
house.  So we see the extent to which the "ministers" abused the
people.  God will reward these men for their greed.  However, we
must come to a right balance.  It is obvious that tithing is a
command, which has not been rescinded.  God also will reward
those who remember Him in tithes and offerings.

The following scriptures prove to me that tithing is required for
the believer.  Remember that there is no scripture that rescinds
the law of tithing.

Hebrews 7 shows that the law of tithing was changed because the
priesthood was changed.  However, it does not show tithing as
discarded.  If God had been going to rescind tithing, this would
have been a good place to do so.  Hebrews 7.5 says that tithing
was extracted from the people according to the law.  The nature
of tithing is a command.  Offerings are voluntary.  A different
aspect of character is build by obeying each of these laws.  

Hebrews 2.1  Therefore we ought to give the more earnest heed to the
things which we have heard, lest at any time we should let them slip.

1Co 10:11 Now all these things happened unto them for ensamples: and
they are written for our admonition, upon whom the ends of the world are
come.

Mal 3:8 Will a man rob God?  Yet ye have robbed me.  But ye say, Wherein
have we robbed thee?  In tithes and offerings.

Mt 23:23 Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites!  for ye pay
tithe of mint and anise and cummin, and have omitted the weightier
matters of the law, judgment, mercy, and faith: <these ought ye to have
done, and not to leave the other undone>.

Hebrews 7.1  For this Melchisedec, king of Salem, priest of the most high
God, who met Abraham returning from the slaughter of the kings, and
blessed him;
2 To whom also Abraham gave <a tenth> part of all; first being by
interpretation King of righteousness, and after that also King of Salem,
which is, King of peace;

4 Now consider how great this man was, unto whom even the patriarch
Abraham gave the <tenth> of the spoils.
5 And verily they that are of the sons of Levi, who 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:
6 But he whose descent is not counted from them received <tithes> of
Abraham, and blessed him that had the promises.
7 And without all contradiction the less is blessed of the better.
8 And here men that die receive <tithes>; but there he receiveth them, of
whom it is witnessed that he liveth.
9 And as I may so say, Levi also, who receiveth <tithes>, payed <tithes>
in
Abraham.
10 For he was yet in the loins of his father, when Melchisedec met him.
11 If therefore perfection were by the Levitical priesthood, (for under it the
people received the law,) what further need was there that another priest
should rise after the order of Melchisedec, and not be called after the order
of Aaron?
12 For the priesthood being changed, there is made of necessity a change
also of the law.

What law is Paul talking about, in the foregoing verses?  We are
reading about the law of tithing.  The scriptures don't say that
tithes are rescinded, but that there is a change made necessary,
because of the change in the priesthood.  Elsewhere in the Bible it
makes plain that the body of believers is the priesthood of God.  
We have access to the holy of holies, and only the priests had that
access.  Therefore, the tithes and offerings are to be administered
by the priesthood of today rather than the Levitical priesthood.