Society and Culture

Error on the pulpit: tithing how relevant?

Someone has suggested that tithe is a covenant. I searched through the whole Bible and I could not find such a statement, neither could the one who made the suggestion. Even circumcision, which was ordained by covenant (Gen. 17:6-14), became irrelevant with the death of Christ (Gal.5:6).

It is the lack of understanding of the background to Malachi 3:8-10 that makes anyone to use it to argue in favour of tithing under the New Dispensation.

References of the offering, which Malachi reminded the people of are found in Numb.18:8-24; Ex.28,29; Num. 3& 4, which were animal sacrifices for sins. Those animal sacrifices and tithing were all relevant in the days of Prophet Malachi. The people have reneged on them at a stage and all Malachi did was to remind them of the standing order. But the Saviour had replaced these, with His flesh and blood afterwards.

It will amount to fraud by any Church or Pastor today to interpret those animal sacrifices referred to in Malachi 3: 8-10 as money put into the offertory plates.

With Christ making Himself a onetime perfect offering, the institution of Levitical Priesthood was dismantled, likewise all the daily, monthly, yearly sacrifices, including all the yearly festivals and gatherings Thus, offerings (animal sacrifices) and tithes that supported it became irrelevant.

The Master as recorded in Matt. 23:23, same, which was also recorded by Luke in 11:42 did not as of then out rightly condemn tithing because its purpose was yet to be achieved. And even then, the way He talked about it can best be described as ‘passive’, attaching no significance to it, as opposed to the rigidity and the great importance attached to it under the Law System. And it was not only tithing that was observed when Christ was here, but also all the other rules for worship. He Himself observed all the ceremonial worships that took place (Lk. 2:40-52; John 7: 1-10; Lk. 22:7-20 etc) to make true His words that “Every law in the Book will continue, until its purpose is achieved” (till all be fulfilled) (KJV) (Matt.5:18). The purpose was achieved only after He had replaced all the animal sacrifices with His body i.e after His death.

On the cross, “Jesus knowing that all things were now accomplished, said: “It is finished” (John 19:28-30) and the “thick veil hanging in the temple split apart” (Luke 23:45), bringing an end to all the ceremonial and legalistic rules of worship, which had been in place for 1400years “and henceforth Christ became “the end of the law”” (Rom.10:4).

Jesus knowing what changes the end result of His death was going to bring, had said earlier to the Samaritan woman by the well side “Woman,….the hour cometh, when ye shall neither in this mountain nor yet at Jerusalem worship the Father,….God is a Spirit: and they that worship Him, must worship Him in spirit and in truth” (John 4:21-24). And this is the reason why nowhere in the New Testament is found a verse that demands for tithe after Jesus had resurrected.

We observe that the totality of the significance of the death and resurrection of Christ did not immediately dawn in whole even to Peter of all people with the record in Acts 10. Jesus Himself had to educate him gradually over a period of time.

We read in Acts 10 that Peter was hungry but then fell into a trance, where he saw some animals, which were labeled as ‘unclean’ and forbidden for table in the Old Testament. Despite he heard the voice twice “Rise, Peter; kill and eat” He still argued “Not so, Lord; for I have never eaten anything that is common or unclean”.

It is 2000 years that Jesus had put an end to all those rules that were earlier put in place as ‘shadows’ of the real intentions of God. So, it is part of ‘unbelief’ and ‘stubbornness’ or is it still lack of understanding? for any preacher to still adamantly preach tithe today.

“Let no man therefore judge you in meat, or in drink, or in respect of holy day, or of the new moon, or of the sabbath days“; (or what proportion of your income you should worship God with, tying you down to the blessings of a tenth giver). “For these were only temporary rules that ended when Christ came. They were only shadows of the real thing – of Christ Himself”. (Col. 2:16-17).

Curled from Pastor Sam Aweda’s teaching.

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