I ended my last post by stating that “tithing” was only one of several categories of offerings given to the sanctuary.
Let’s talk about this tithing issue a little bit.
The first thing you need to know is that there is ZERO command anywhere in the New Testament to tithe anything.
Sure, the issue of tithing is alluded to a couple times, but even then it is more in the context of expounding on a Torah principle or when speaking about the faith of the Patriarchs.
Now some believers have taken this lack of a direct NT command to tithe to mean that there is no requirement to support their houses of worship with cash offerings.
Whether “tithing” is something that should be done today or not is NOT something I want to get into here.
However, I will say this.
In the New Testament, tithing and giving to support the institution was ASSUMED.
The main point I want to make here is that it is utterly STUPID to conclude that just because Yeshua didn’t directly command something doesn’t mean we have to do it.
Keep in mind that there are only a handful of pages dedicated to direct quotes from Yeshua.
He was on this planet for about 33 years and and ministered in the power of the Spirit for three of those years.
Do you really think every word that Yeshua spoke is contained in the New Testament?
Here’s the thing.
Since the Torah had already established the principle of tithing and many other principles, it wasn’t necessary for Yeshua to repeat verbatim every utterance established long ago by the Father.
Look, here’s what you’ve got to know about the New Testament.
The role of the New Testament was NOT to repeat everything established in the Law and the Prophets.
That’s why I find it so interesting that the gentile church teaches the requirement to tithe when this is a principle that was established in that part of the Bible they say has been done away with.
When tithing is discussed in the gentile churches, normally the following verse is brought up:
“But woe to you Pharisees! You pay your tithes of mint and rue and every garden herb, but you ignore justice and the love of God. You have an obligation to do these things — but without disregarding the others!”-Luke 11:42
Now the Gentile church takes a really tricky approach when it interprets this verse.
The idea they’ll promote is that tithing is still in effect but justice and the love of God should be the measure of the tithe.
They’ll say tithing should be done out of love and NOT “legalistically”.
In other words, the gentile church will say we should tithe NOT because it is a Torah command but because it should be done as a reflection of our love for God or some kind of nebulous I don’t-know-what-the-heck-you’re-talking-about-made-up -subjective principle that has no basis in Scripture whatsoever.
Now let’s take a look at the New Testament verse that is usually AVOIDED in the church when tithing is discussed.
“Woe to you, teachers of the law and Pharisees, you hypocrites! You give a tenth of your spices—mint, dill and cumin. But you have neglected the more important matters of the law—justice, mercy and faithfulness. You should have practiced the latter, without neglecting the former.”-Matthew 23:23
Okay, now the gentile church has a problem.
In this verse, Yeshua is making it clear that tithing is a God-ordained part of the Law.
In other words, when making His point that justice, mercy, and faithfulness are “the more important matters of the law“, this statement is premised on the assumption that tithing IS part of the law.
He is not putting forth the idea that “justice, mercy, and faithfulness” supersede the law.
Just because something is more important than another thing doesn’t mean that that inferior thing has been done away with.
I can understand why this isn’t a popular verse in the gentile church.
There is no way around it.
If the church is going to teach and promote tithing, then it is hypocritical to not accept the other provisions of the Mosaic Law.
This pick and choose whatever command you like is illogical and has only led to confusion and aberrant theology.
So the conclusion of the matter is this and I’ve said this before.
The New Testament authors assume that their readers already possess a fundamental understanding of Torah.
This should be obvious.
I mean think about it.
The Torah was the very basis for the existence, behavior, and religious system of the race Yeshua was born into: the Jewish People.
The Torah was already 1300 years old when Yeshua was born.
Yeshua didn’t have to explain what tithing was all about because it wasn’t necessary!
And he didn’t have to command that tithing be done because in its many forms tithing was already a common practice.
Yeshua’s statement in Matthew 23:23 is a witness to that fact.
Trust me, every Jew already understood what tithing was all about and what was required of them long before Yeshua came on the scene.
CONNECTING THIS TEACHING TO THE NEW TESTAMENT
“Do not think that I have come to
abolish the Law or the Prophets;
I have not come to abolish them
but to fulfill them.
For truly I tell you,
until heaven and earth disappear,
not the smallest letter,
not the least stroke of a pen,
will by any means disappear
from the Law until everything is accomplished.
Therefore anyone who sets aside one
of the least of these commands
and teaches others
accordingly will be called least
in the kingdom of heaven,
but whoever practices and teaches
these commands will be called
great in the kingdom of heaven.”