One Sunday morning, a husband and wife decided to sleep in. It had been a busy and tiring weekend. They got to bed just before midnight and could barely open their eyes the next morning. His wife opened her eyes first, gently putting her hand on his shoulder and whispered, “Honey, it’s time to wake up.” Her husband rolled over on his side, opposite to her touching hand and mumbled, “I am sleeping-in, leave me be.” But his wife was persistent and with a firm push to his back, said “please wake up, it’s late!” With his wife’s prodding him, he sat up in bed and exclaimed, “Do I have to?” Her answer, “Honey you have to get up. You’re the Pastor”. Have you ever had this conversation with yourself or with others before? “Do I have to go to work today?” or “Do I have to mow the lawn today?” or “Do we have to go shopping today?” That last question would come from MY lips; NOT Diannes’. My detective work is into the question of today’s heading, “Do I have to Tithe?”
The last time we met, I had uncovered some truths in regard to tithing. The differences of the Tithe of the Abrahamic Covenant in Genesis 14:18-24; 15:1 and Numbers 18:21, 24, 28; Deut. 14:22-23; “The Law of Tithing”. I sat in a Sunday School class years ago when the subject of “tithing” had come up. Since this was an adult discussion class, a question arose from the group, “Where does it say in the New Testament, we have to tithe? Isn’t the Law no longer in effect concerning the Tithe?” Lets look at the answer to that question and turn to Hebrews 6, starting with verse 20.
“…Jesus has entered in for us [in advance], a Forerunner having become a High Priest forever after the order (with the rank) of Melchizedek.”
The order of Mechizedek explained in Hebrews, tells us that we can tithe as Abram tithed. The High Priest is now Jesus. Continuing on in Hebrews 7:1-7, the Word says no one told Abraham that he had to tithe. This was a different concept than the Levitical Law which came four-hundred years later. In verse 5 of Hebrews 7, we read that Levi’s descendants were charged in their priestly office to take the tihes of the people. That was the Law to “take the tithes from the people—which means, from their brethren—though these have descended from Abraham.” Then in verses 6-7:
“But this person who has not their Levitical ancestry received tithes from Abraham [himself] and blessed him who possessed the promise [of God]. Yet it is beyond all contradiction that it is the lesser person who is blessed by the greater one.”
What I uncovered from these verses was that anything GOOD that happens to me, comes from God. GOOD, like ‘a new job’ or ‘a great wife’ or becoming “The Word Detective” on a blog, anything GOOD! I have the “ROOT” in “The Blessing” and now I give “The Glory” or “the FRUIT” back to God. Now to the question, “Do I have to Tithe?” Lets look at what Hebrews 7:11-16 says,
Verse 11 “Now if perfection (a perfect fellowship between God and the worshipper) had been attainable by the Levitical priesthood—for under it the people were given the Law—why was it further necessary that there should arise another and different kind of Priest, one after the order of Melchizedek, rather than one appointed after the order and rank of Aaron?”
Now since JESUS didn’t come from the priestly line of Levi. He came from another tribe—Judah. Moses had never mentioned anything about priests in connection with that tribe [verses 12-14]. The results are then pretty obvious in verse 15-16.
“And this becomes more plainly evident when another Priest arises Who bears the likeness of Melchizedek.”
“Who has been constituted a Priest, not on the basis of a bobily legal requirement [an externally imposed command concerning His physical ancestry], but on the basis of the POWER of an endless and indestructible Life.”
JESUS takes on a position; not by legality, but on the basis of power. With His power, Jesus is the greater and I am the lesser. The blessing exchange can now take place.
Verses 17 says, “For it is witnessed of Him, You are a Priest forever after the order (with the rank)nof Melchizedek.”
The previous Law had been revoked because of ” the weakness and ineffectiveness and uselessness” of any physical regulation like tithing. 2 Corinthians 3: 6 says it is not “…the letter (of a legally written code or Law) but of the Spirit; for the code [of the Law] kills, but the [Holy] Spirit makes alive.”
In Genesis 14 we began with “the Tithe Exchange”. We learned by the investigation that it wasn’t about the money. It was the obedience exchange, hanging from the curtain rod of Love for God and His LOVE in return through Melchizedek. God showed His LOVE through “The Blessing” or the empowerment. The Exchange continues through our High Priest Jesus, in the order or rank of Melchizedek.
Now whenever there is a Law, there is also a consequence. If the speed limit posted is 55 mph and you don’t obey, you can and will suffer from the disobedience. Turn to Malachi 3:10, a familiar verse that every church preaches on; the subject of tithing. I want to try to show you how not to BLOCK your flow to The Blessing; to see results of The Glory.
“Bring all the tithes (the whole tenth of your income) into the storehouse, that there may be food in My house, and prove Me now by it, says the Lord of hosts, if I will not open the windows of heaven for you and pour you out a blessing, that there shall not be room enough to receive it.”
The word “pour” in the Hebrew language means “empty”. It is ALL that I have; you have made a “withdrawal” from “The Blessing” with your TITHE. And you obedience hangs on the curtain rod of LOVE. Wow, that is powerful! Now back up to Malachi 3:8-9:
“Will a man rob or defraud God? Yet you rob and defraud Me, BUT you say, In what way do we rob or defraud You? [You have withheld your] tithes and offerings.”
The sign along the life-road you travel says, “Tithe Exchange” ahead. Obey what is in front of you or not. “Do I have to Tithe?” Look at verse 9 for the disobedience in what you already know to do.
“You are cursed with the curse, for you are robbing Me…” I am not telling you that if you do not tithe you have a “curse”. God’s Word says so!
You have chosen a “sin- blocker” penalty. You have been living in disobedience, unfaithfulness, an un-pure heart and no tithe exchange. Four opposing ways to receiving the blessing flow. You are not seeing any results or “fruit” from what has been deposited in The Blessing.
God has set before you two choices in life in Deuteronomy 30:19, “I call heaven and earth to witness this day against you that I have set before you life and death, the blessings and the curses; therefore choose life, that you and your decendants may live.” Verse 20 then says, “And may LOVE the Lord your God, obey His voice, and cling to Him…”
“Do I have to Tithe?” ‘It is not the letter of the Law but by His Spirit’ that you must choose. The Blessing or The Curse” Life or Death? To Tithe or Not to Tithe?