TWO TRAGEDIES OF TITHING
Tithing based on the Law of Moses, Abram’s pre-Law giving of a tenth of war spoils to Melchizedek or the unscriptural replacement doctrine portends great dangers for the new covenant believer. The gospel of the grace of God is the power unto all three aspects of salvation. We are saved from beginning to end by grace and grace alone, not by works and not by merit. In today’s church Levitical tithing has surreptitiously been turned into a substitute for saving grace.
Many believers are confused about the right thing to do to inherit eternal life. The power of the gospel of grace of God is eroded when Levitical tithing is turned into a new law: “Unless you pay ten percent of your increase you are not a member of our church.” This new law has turned the grace of God into irrelevance. Once this new law is embraced by any congregation two unsavory results flow therefrom:
#1. Those who tithe faithfully while admitting a measure of God’s grace upon their lives consider their action meritorious of being the reason to belong to the Body of Christ. It does not happen overnight but overtime the grace of God begins to denude until gradually it begins to appear irrelevant. Both grace and works are important for the occupation of heaven. Grace and grace along takes to heaven whereas works done in faith determine the position to occupy in heaven. The danger lies in placing works before grace without realizing that works cannot open the three gates of heaven and that only those who enter heaven can “reap” the benefits of their works.
#2. Another danger is that those who do not tithe and are bombarded Sunday after Sunday with the curses and tragedies of not tithing are conscience-stricken, burdened to the point of fear, despairing for the grace of God to be real in their lives. Self-condemnation begins imperceptively to erode the self-confident joy and liberty in Christ Jesus they experienced on becoming Christian. Backsliding can result from this leading the weak and vulnerable to return to the world.
The church must avoid anything that threatens to turn the unmerited grace of God into a new law that the original Apostles knew nothing about. Jude wrote exhorting us to “contend earnestly for the faith which was once for all delivered to the saints” (Jude 3). There are two laws that govern human conduct, the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus and the law of sin and death. For the seed of Abraham under the new covenant anything that is not of the grace of Jesus falls under the Law of Moses.
Grace saves. Law kills. “But God, who is rich in mercy, because of His great love with which He loved us, even when we were dead in trespasses, made us alive together with Christ (by grace you have been saved), and raised us up together, and made us sit together in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus, that in the ages to come He might show the exceeding riches of His grace in His kindness toward us in Christ Jesus. For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God, not of works, lest anyone should boast” (Eph 2:4-9).
Using Levitical tithing to strike a deal with God is a ministry of death. When grace is converted into law, then death takes over. To say if you tithe regularly God will give you needed breakthrough is a sacrilegious conversion of the grace of God into law. The idea of what God will do is contrary to the spirit of the new covenant.
God has given us His Son to propitiate for our sins by sealing the covenant with the blood He shed on the cross of Calvary. God has also given us the Holy Spirit on the day of Pentecost to teach us all things and “convict the world of sin, and of righteousness, and of judgment: of sin, because they do not believe in Me; of righteousness, because I go to My Father and you see Me no more; of judgment, because the ruler of this world is judged” (Jn 16:8-9).
The ministry of the Holy Spirit is predicated on the implantation of a Hypostatic Chip from the heart of God into the spirit of every believer in the substitutionary work of Christ. The Chip is a word of God (logos and Rhema), contains the individual’s destiny and all the blessings of this life as foreknown by God before the creation of the world. Destiny fulfillment on the part of the believer is determined by exploring the contents of the Chip and following the instructions downloaded by the Holy Spirit from the chip to our spirit and soul for our profiting. This is mind renewal with the word of God that brings transformation of the inward personality into the image and nature of Christ.
Payment for tithe and giving a gift are mutually exclusive. You do not give tax; you pay tax because it is required by law. Levitical tithing is law. When you give to meet a known need it must be by faith otherwise it is not giving. It is a levy. “Whatever is not of faith is sin.”
Under the New Covenant, giving ought to be motivated by the love of God an attribute received through appropriate impartation of the doctrine of Christ which is the power of the gospel that transforms a person into being his or her best for the Lord. Giving must be need-based. It must be voluntary. It must be done cheerfully.