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[Giving & Provision]:
[Tithing]:
The First Tithe (New Covenant)
Written on October 16th, 2004 - 2:57AM
Last Updated: July 27th, 2005 - 5:44PM

According to the Apostle Paul, the ministers of the New Covenant are supported in the same way as the Levites of old. Tithing is retained, according to the Christ, as something not to be left "undone" (Matthew 23:23), (Luke 11:42).

Preachers of the Gospel are to live from the Gospel, (primarily) by means of the tithes which those ministered to bring in. The first tithe is referred to by Paul in I Corinthians. He reminds us of the first tithe in the Law, that it went to those who ministered upon the altar. Therefore, in the New Covenant, we maintain God's desire to bless His servants who minister to His people by giving them a specific "portion" He has ordained.

13Don't you know that those who serve around sacred things eat from the things of the temple, and those who wait on the altar have their portion with the altar? 14Even so the Lord ordained that those who proclaim the Good Message should live from the Good Message. (1 Corinthians 9:13-14)

This person is the one who is preaching the Gospel; primarily this will be the pastor. Their portion is obviously that specified in the Law, the tithe (tenth); "those who wait on the altar have their portion with the altar. Even so did the Lord ordain [for the Gospel preachers]..."

Because Paul makes reference to "the altar," and since there was primarily one place for sacrificing in the Old Covenant (where the Name of Yahweh was present, (Deuteronomy 12:11), we can infer that Paul has in mind a particular "altar" for the Christian as well—the one at which they normally go to receive from—their local assembly (and thus, their local pastor).

In the New Covenant we see that not only is every believer an altar and temple of Yahweh, where His Name dwells (James 2:7), but that the Assembly itself in all of its congregations is as well (Acts 15:14-17). Paul tells us that the Lord has ordained that those who preach the Gospel should live by the Gospel—thus, whoever that preacher preaches to, should be the same who he receives from in return. Paul, though speaking of offerings above the tithe, reinforces this idea, which existed both before and during the Old Covenant, that we are to give out of all that we possess, not just from a little corner of our wealth and possessions. This is the basis for all giving.

But let him who is taught in the word share all good things with him who teaches. (Galatians 6:6)

In fact, the Lord Himself provided for this even in the Old Covenant, through hidden prophecy. Even the Law taught by concealed revelation that the minister should be recompensed for his work:

7What soldier ever serves at his own expense? Who plants a vineyard, and doesn't eat of its fruit? Or who feeds a flock, and doesn't drink from the flock's milk? 8Do I speak these things according to the ways of men? Or doesn't the law also say the same thing? 9For it is written in the law of Moses, "You shall not muzzle an ox while it treads out the grain."{Deuteronomy 25:4} Is it for the oxen that God cares, 10or does he say it assuredly for our sake? Yes, it was written for our sake, because he who plows ought to plow in hope, and he who threshes in hope should partake of his hope. 11If we sowed to you spiritual things, is it a great thing if we reap your fleshly things? (1 Corinthians 9:7-11)

By giving to God, we are enabling the furthering of the work of the ministry, by supporting the pastor and/or apostle, that they may teach the Word of God, and devote themselves to the prayer of the Holy Spirit, as it should be. Those who rule especially well are deserving of a double-portion! How blessed of Yahweh to provide so for them!

But we will continue steadfastly in prayer and in the ministry of the word." (Acts 6:4)

17Let the elders who rule well be counted worthy of double honor, especially those who labor in the word and in teaching. 18For the Scripture says, "You shall not muzzle the ox when it treads out the grain."{Deuteronomy 25:4} And, "The laborer is worthy of his wages."{Luke 10:7} (1 Timothy 5:17-18)

14However you did well that you shared in my affliction. 15You yourselves also know, you Philippians, that in the beginning of the Good Message, when I departed from Macedonia, no assembly shared with me in the matter of giving and receiving but you only. 16For even in Thessalonica you sent once and again to my need. 17Not that I seek for the gift, but I seek for the fruit that increases to your account. (Philippians 4:14-17)

Here we see Paul provide his reasoning for his assemblies giving to them—not only does it divide the burden upon himself, but it increases fruit to the accounts of the believers who give! This will be looked at below.

It is not an unfair request of God to require those ministered to spiritually to recompense the minister with physical benefits. The ministers should be freely giving you spiritual food, as they have received daily from their Father. You, then, are to support their needs that they may continue to share freely. Christ first gave us this principle of ministry:

7As you go, preach, saying, 'The Kingdom of Heaven is at hand!' 8Heal the sick, cleanse the lepers{TR adds ", raise the dead"}, and cast out demons. Freely you received, so freely give. 9Don't take any gold, nor silver, nor brass in your money belts. 10Take no bag for your journey, neither two coats, nor shoes, nor staff: for the laborer is worthy of his food. (Matthew 10:7-10)

We go on to read about the possible reaction of those to whom are being preached the Gospel. Although Christ's example here speaks of evangelism, it can certainly be applied to anyone who is receiving any part of the Gospel. If they do not accept or welcome the preacher, nor listen to his words, then that minister is supposed to depart from that city and/or house/church, and consider it unworthy of his peace and blessing. Looking back to the Commission of Christ, His Command not only included preaching the Gospel, including healing the sick, raising the dead and casting out demons, but also being dependent upon those to whom he ministered.

When a person travels to another city, not bringing with them extra clothes and supplies, it is vital that those they stay with support them.

11Into whatever city or village you enter, find out who in it is worthy; and stay there until you go on. 12As you enter into the household, greet it. 13If the household is worthy, let your peace come on it, but if it isn't worthy, let your peace return to you. 14Whoever doesn't receive you, nor hear your words, as you go out of that house or that city, shake off the dust from your feet. (Matthew 10:11-14)

Thus, if the minister receives no support for his ministering, which is rightfully his by the command of Yahweh, this includes the act which Jesus spoke of: not welcoming the minister, nor hearing his words. They are ignoring the command of the Lord, treating the minister of Christ with contempt, and thereby are not worthy to receive his peace. Indeed, they are worthy of judgment from the Lord. A sobering reality, yet it is the Word of God.

Most certainly I tell you, it will be more tolerable for the land of Sodom and Gomorrah in the day of judgment than for that city. (Matthew 10:15)


Last Accessed: September 20th, 2020 - 10:33AM
Times Read: 2626
 
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The Good Message

As you read this site, you will hopefully come to know Yahweh more fully.

But all of this continuing knowledge is useless unless and until you come into union with Him. I use the word union because it is truly a marriage. It is that deep connection we all seek, for which we most often look in other people. However, the truth is that our hearts will only be fulfilled when we enter that union in fullness with the One Who made us.

This is the grace of God, that He has not stayed distant for us only to worship as Creator. But He has come unto us, even become one of us—in His Son, Christ Jesus—in order to share an intimate union with us. He desires such closeness that it truly will envelope our entire life, transforming us into something new and wonderful.

You may have already entered this union with Him and only seek to know Him better through reading here. But if you have not, as you do read, let this Gospel sink into your heart as you read it now.

God loves you, and has cast your sins into the sea. He has sent His only Son as the Savior of the world—that includes you.

That Son, Jesus Christ, was born as a man through a virgin who had given her life to Yahweh; He lived without sin, reflected the glory of His Father, God, in all His words and deeds, and was persecuted even unto death because of it.

His death upon a cross was the powerful explosion that separated you from your life of death. It remains for you, now, to enter into that death with Him. As you die to the one you are now, a person separated from God from your many sins, you will be born anew, with a nature predisposed to live rightly. This gift is free to you, with nothing you can do to earn it. It is the mercy of God to offer it to you, as He loves you so much! All you must do is receive it by trusting Him to have delivered you. Simply place your life in His hands and embrace the freedom that came through that death on the cross.

The Gospel is that Jesus did not remain dead, but rose again on the third day after His crucifixion! Death could not hold Him, as He was without sin. And so death will not be able to hold you, as you identify with Him fully through your trust in Him. Let go of yourself and confess Him as Lord of your life. The power of His death and resurrection will work in you all that your Creator has destined for you. You will truly enter a new life and experience that intimate union you have been seeking all of your life.

So ponder these words as you read here of this great God—Yahweh—and all that He has revealed to His creation. Let His Spirit testify to your heart that these words are true, that God is Love, and that He sent His Son so that you might receive the life that is unbound by time and space. As you feel that witness in your heart, simply believe and receive what He is offering to you, even now, and begin your new life as a child of God.

Please write to me and let me know when you take this step, as I will be your brother in Christ—we will be one in Him!

 
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