The Good News of the Judgment

Tithing of 10% in the Judgment Hour
William Diehl

Tithe paying was never imposed upon the Christian church by the apostles. Paul and the other apostles never appealed for the believers to pay them a tithe to support the ministry. Only under the Levitical system did God require the Israelites to bring to the Levites the tithes to support the priesthood and the temple system.

The Levites were in charge of enforcing the civil and criminal laws within the community of Israel and the tithe was to pay for the support of the priests who had no inheritance as a tribe of Israel when the promised land was taken from the Canaanites.

If we read Acts and the epistles of Paul and the other apostles, there is no mention of paying the ministry from a "tithe" imposed upon the believing community. The apostle Paul was supported by the Philippian believers from their freewill offerings to support his missionary journeys.

It was the Judaising Gnostics who wanted to put the gentiles Christians under the obligations of the Levitical temple laws. The Old Testament references to "robbing God" in Malachi, when the Jews were not paying tithe, were so severe because the Jews had forsaken the worship of God and the temple had fallen into disuse. The Jews were worshipping Baal and building temples to his name throughout Israel while the tithe which was to support the Temple and the priests of God was withheld from the treasury of God.

In the Christian era all believers are "priests" of God who offer up spiritual sacrifices through our great High Priest, Jesus Christ. The "priesthood of all believers" declares that all believers are all equal and that the ministers and activities of the church of Christ are to be supported from the liberality of the cheerful giver, not from an imposed system of law which declares that those who do not pay at least ten percent are "robbing God". The mandatory tithing system which some are trying to impose upon Christians is a return to the temple system which has been swept away in Christ.

Some one may ask, "by what mechanism other than tithing would those who able to live from? The answer is simple: from the free-will offerings of those who are members of the congregation as the majority of Protestant denominations pay their pastors. To use Malachi 3 to endorse compulsory tithing from the congregants is a total misuse of the old testament Levitical injunctions to support the priests in the theocracy of Israel. "Did God change?" they ask. The answer is an emphatic "Yes!!" the whole gospel economy changed when the sanctuary service and the Levitical system was swept away. Will they also enforce all the rules and regulations of the Torah upon the Christian community? Should we also circumcise all the male children 8 days after birth? Should the men not cut the corners of their beards? Call the pastor if mold is found in the house? Not touch a dead body and so become unclean? Do you want me to go on about all the other prohibitions? Should we declare a Jubilee every 50 years? Should we observe the Passover, Pentecost, Yom Kippur, and the feast of Tabernacles?

To try to teach that a Christian who does not tithe is "robbing God" is to put up a hedge and a needless stumbling block before the Christian church which none of the apostle advocated. I personally have given many more times a "tithe" to the work of the gospel. I sold my first home and used all of the funds to gospel causes. But this in no way puts me above those Christians who have never given a single dime to support the work of the gospel. . Of course God "changed" when He took the gospel to all the world and not just the Jewish community!! This was the whole issue at the council of Jerusalem, i. e. what should the Gentiles be mandated to do as Christians.

However, in the final analysis if a Christian believer wishes to voluntarily covenant with our Lord to give a tithe of his wealth to the work of the Lord, this pledge is a matter between the believer and the Lord and the Lord will certainly bless those who do so. The Lord loves a cheerful giver no matter what the amount may be. Those who sow generously will reap a great reward in blessings from the hand of the Lord.

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