Lesson (vol.30)


The Tithe !


" Even so hath the Lord ordained that they which preach the gospel should live of the gospel." (1Cor 9:14) These words were spoken by the highly educated doctor of the law, the apostle Paul, and is a favorite of organized religion. It allows justification to levy a "tithe", or tax if you prefer, on it's members or parishioners. It is usually in the form of a 10% contribution taken from their gross income and submitted as an "offering".

The practice of tithing is well founded. Just before the deliverance of the children of Israel from under the iron fist of Pharaoh's Egypt, Moses received the tablets of "the law". Subsequently, in this law, there was to be the establishment of the Levitical Priesthood and that they would be partakers of a percentage given by the remainder of the children of Israel that would serve as their living in order to free them up for the spiritual ministrations that required them to devote all of their time and energy. All of these practices, heirarchy and rituals became known as "The Mosaic Law". This is what the apostle Paul is refering to when he says that "the Lord ordained".

Now we sink the boat. Organized religion, be it denominational or organisational, have made the tithe the cornerstone of their existance. After all, you need money to survive, right ? The point that all these folks seem to miss is the fact that when Jesus was crucified and the veil of the temple ripped from top to bottom, "And, behold, the veil of the temple was rent in twain from the top to the bottom;..." (MT 27:51) that it signified an end to the heirarchial Levitical Priesthood along with the Mosaic Law, bringing in a whole new set of rules, as Paul himself brought out, but failed to fully implement. He wrote, "For the priesthood being changed, there is made of necessity a change also of the law. " (He 7:12) and again, "For the law made nothing perfect, but the bringing in of a better hope did; by the which we draw nigh unto God. " ( He 7:19) and, " Wherefore, my brethren, ye also are become dead to the law by the body of Christ... " (Ro 7:4). And one more time, " But now we are delivered from the law, that being dead wherein we were held; that we should serve in newness of spirit, and not in the oldness of the letter. " (Ro 7:6)

And in case the one chapter isn't enough, he said again, "For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus hath made me free from the law of sin and death. (Ro 8:2) The end of the Levitical Priesthood and connectively "The Mosaic Law", to those who have given their lives to Jesus, has truly brought in a "newness" of spirit. We are no longer bound by the Mosaic Law which includes the Ten Commandments, so cherished by those who like to point the accusing finger of self-righteousness at others. We are now bound by a higher standard of care, The Law of Love, described by Jesus when He was answering the proddings of a lawyer du jour, "Jesus said unto him, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind. This is the first and great commandment. And the second is like unto it, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself. On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets. " (Mt 22:37-40) On this hangs how much of "the law" ? A quarter ? One half ? A fraction ? Only the parts that we like ? No ! Jesus said that on these two ( not ten, twenty or fifteen, just two) hangs ALL the law.

So, although our beloved apostle Paul understood, at least in theory, that the old law was now dead with Christ and that a new, more powerful and loving law was in place, he was still dealing with some hangups from his formal training as a Pharisee, a doctor of the law. (see his pedigree in Philipians 3:5) And to show that he truly did understand it, he summed up the law this way, " For this, Thou shalt not commit adultery, Thou shalt not kill, Thou shalt not steal, Thou shalt not bear false witness, Thou shalt not covet; and if there be any other commandment, it is briefly comprehended in this saying, namely, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself . " (Ro 13:9) The concept of love being above the law is not new. King Solomon, endowed by the spirit of wisdom from the Lord wrote in the Proverbs, "Hatred stirreth up strifes: but love covereth all sins." (Pro 10:12) Reiterated by Paul in his own letters "And above all these things put on charity, which is the bond of perfectness." (Col 3:14).

Now, organized religion, without the moral ability to levy this tax on it's people would crumble, as people will not support something that brings them so very little in return. Organized religion has chosen to not understand the new concepts and precepts laid out in the New Testament and given by Jesus Himself, making us free from what man has turned into the oppresiveness of financing buildings, temples and structured organisations.

We, however, are in no such rut of the past ! We are free ! Jesus said, "And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free." (Jn 8:32) Perhaps now those words have taken on a new meaning. And as Martin Luther King Jr. once said, "Free at last, free at last, good God Almighty, we are free at last !" Of course he was saying it in a slightly different context but the principle is the same. It is a liberation from oppression. Thank you Jesus for delivering us from the old bondage and oppressive ( overwhelming or depressing to the spirit or senses - Webster's ) ways of the Mosaic Law.

No longer can any one or any organisation morally justify imposing a tax on God's children for performing what amounts to their duty to God, by feeding His children His Words that they so need and deserve. They may not be able to make a living that way, but then they're not supposed to anymore either. Now it's all in love, and if the overhead can't be met, then they need to get out into the world and get a job, participate financially to the Lord's work of winning souls, becoming one with those who need your love, touching them where they are, in their homes, at work, at play. When Paul said," ...I am made all things to all men, that I might by all means save some." (1Cor 9:22) it wasn't hypothetical !

Why should people be forced to go to some building to find Jesus, when you can bring Him right to them ? If what Jesus said, when He said, " God is a Spirit: and they that worship him must worship him in spirit and in truth." (Jn 4:24) was right and true, which it was and is, then He doesn't require a big, fancy, expensive, money-sucking building to do it with. All that is required is a hungry and receptive heart in the room, any room.

The simple truth is, that people want Jesus, and they want the truth, and they want love, and to be loved. What they don't want is the way organized religion has portrayed Him. So, if you really want to contribute something to the Lord, try contributing some of your time and effort to demonstrate His love to others who need it. You want to tithe ? Tithe your time and God will be a lot more pleased with that than your pennies, or find some independant missionaries who really do need help out on the field and send them some help directly and be partakers with them in the souls that are won to the Lord because you have made it possible for them to stay there and help others in countries and situations where it is impossible for them to "earn" a living financially.

" Now the end of the commandment is charity out of a pure heart, and of a good conscience, and of faith unfeigned:" (1Tim 1:5)

May God bless you with His Love, Peace and Truth.


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