Final Thoughts and the Word
Jonathan Kithcart

B. Childress
June 1, 2011

As I was working on this book yesterday, I had a humorous thought and question that I must share with you.  Do you
suppose that the Christian farmer should bring tithes of his crops before the altar in the front of the church along with
his animals to be numbered to the tenth one?  Not a sweet-smelling savor I am sure.  I can see the pastor asking "What
meaneth this?"

You know, so many really believe they are being blessed because of their tithing when in reality they are not tithing at
all, because whatever one gives, he or she considers that to be their tithe.  The real reason for our blessings is that our
heavenly Father and our Lord Jesus love and are so gracious to us.  Obedience in giving for the work of the Lord by
faith is a plus on our behalf.  That's what God rewards, according to our faith, which in fact is how we demonstrate our
belief in His Word.  So why should any Christian be cursed for not tithing according to Malachi 3:9.  Let's take a deep
breath, oh saints of the kingdom of heaven, and ponder on this thought: Who is doing the cursing and the accusing of
robbing God?  Is it Jesus or His God?  Jesus or His Father (John 20:17)?  Jesus our Lord and redeemer or His Head (I
Corinthians 11:3)?  Please be sure that you ask this question to those who threaten you with the curse of Malachi 3:9.

Some dare to justify the tithing system by saying that it is a moral law of God, which sounds true but is scripturally
incorrect.  Sowing and reaping is scriptural.  That's why harvesting is mentioned from Genesis to Revelation.  In the new
covenant it's all spiritual, in the old covenant agricultural.  Everyone is to give what they can from their heart.  God is
really giving us a choice as to how we are to sow, and how much we can reap.  It is our decision: sowing sparingly or
bountifully, and reaping the same, (II Corinthians 9:6).

It's obvious that God need not threaten His children into giving by placing a yoke upon our necks from the past.  If we
are truly walking by faith, love and obedience in our hearts for the One who gave Himself for us, that is surely enough to
compel us to give to the work of the Lord.

Another Scripture that is taken out of context to justify this fallacy of the tithe in the church of Jesus Christ is Proverbs
3:9.  Let's examine this verse: "Honor the Lord with your substance and with the firstfruits of all your increase."  As
Christians we should indeed honor our Lord and the work of the Lord, which is a way of showing our love and
obedience to Him and His plan of salvation and redemption of mankind back to God, as we serve and walk in His Son's
commandments; then the Father will honor us (John 12:26).

"With thy substance" (the Hebrew word
hown) basically means riches, wealth, substance and enough.  Jesus told the
rich man to sell whatsoever he had and give to the poor (Mark 10:21) for this would honor and please Him (Proverbs
19:17; 22:9; 28:7, just to mention a few).  But instead the man went away grieved for he had great possessions.

"With the firstfruits" means, in Hebrew, the first, beginning, best of income, i.e., produce.  This verse indeed is a tithing
reference.  However, firstfruits of the new covenant have absolutely nothing to do with offerings and tithing, but are of
the Spirit and of a new creation, i.e., being born again from above.  Even our Lord is referred to as being the firstfruits (I
Corinthians 15:23), for He has the first new resurrected body, which all other believers will receive at His return to the
earth for the harvest of the just (Matthew 13:30,39).

"Of all your increase" means produce of the field.  It is the same Hebrew word and meaning in Deuteronomy 14:22.  Also
see Exodus 23:19.

Now that true light has been shed on this matter, along with the teachings of other men of God who have preceded me
on this subject, it should be easy to understand why the apostle Paul didn't teach the so-called tithing system to the
Gentiles - to whom he was sent by our Lord Himself.

A last nugget of truth to ponder on: The tithe is mentioned only in reference to the Pharisees (in the gospels), and
remember that they held it in high regard to be in right standing with God and considered that poverty was a sign of the
curse of God.  Also worthy to mention is the fact that Paul was from one of the two schools of Pharisees known in Israel
as Hillel (the other was Shammai), and was rabidly anti-Christian.  Gamaliel, in contrast, appeared to be somewhat
tolerant of this Christ movement (Acts 5:34-39).  The fact that Saul sought out the high priest for the authority to
persecute Christians (9:1) rather than his own tutor, who headed the Sanhedrin, may suggest there was disagreement
between Saul and Gamaliel on how to handle the followers of Christ.

Yet Jesus sent this Pharisee, the son of a Pharisee (Acts 23:6; 26:5) - who after his conversion said that as concerning
the righteousness that was in the law he was blameless (Philippians 3:5) - to be a witness and suffer for His church in
the power of the Holy Spirit.  I believe it would be safe to say that Paul was also a believer in the Mosaic law concerning
the tithe, yet he never mentioned a tithe.  Interesting, huh?

The Master knew before the foundation of the world that the adherents of the law even after some were converted to
Christianity would still try to embrace that which brought forth sin and death, that a Pharisee of Saul's standing was the
man for this calling.

Now, in closing, if anyone seeks to continue to follow a command that has not been given from the Head of the church,
let them take heed, and not forget what the master said: "Wisdom is justified of all her children" (Luke 7:35), and
remember the words of this wise master (I Corinthians 3:10) who was taught exclusively by the Lord Jesus Christ and
God the Father Who raised Him from the dead: "Those things which ye have both learned, received, and heard, and
seen in me, do: and the God of peace shall be with you" (Philippians 4:9).


DID THE APOSTLE PAUL TEACH TITHING TO THE CHURCH?, by Jonathan Kithcart, Copyright 2001, WinePress