Home About Us Apostolic Free Library Questions & Answers Guestbook Order Online Search The Network

Isn't tithe only for Levites and Israel?

Submitted: 3/4/2008
Post a comment or
ask a follow-up question
Question: I agree with you that since we are now saved by grace we are to walk in good works ordained by God for us to walk. Shall we continue to sin that grace may abound? God forbid! The commandment that was given to us is to love our neighbour. Loving your negihbor is contradictory if you murder, steal..lie. Giving as well is proof of our love to our neighbor. However, if you set a minimum to give, that is not love. That is robbing someone's free will. The basic principle of tithes is for Levites and all that come out from the loins of Abraham. We are Gentiles and did not come from the loins of Abraham; however, we are his seed through faith in Christ according to the promise, not according to the law. Can you please elaborate: what is the purpose of offering based from the Bible and its origin and to whom it is commanded to do?

Answer: First of all, we disagree with your statement that setting a minimum is not love and is robbing a person's free will. God gave us free will so we could choose to submit ourselves to Him; not so we could choose how we will serve Him. He does not take away our freedom to choose, but He does require us to submit it to Him. Hebrews 5:9 describes Jesus as 'the author of eternal salvation to all who obey Him.' To simply do what God tells us to do because we love Him is not acting based on mere observance of law; it is the heigth of love. In John 14:15 Jesus said, 'If you love Me, keep My commandments.' Love and obedience are intertwined and cannot be separated.

The question then becomes: Are we commanded to give the tithe of all our increase to our local assembly? And further, are we also commanded to give offerings? Our position on this matter is that tithes and offerings are principles that were well estblished in the Old Testament. Today, all believers are the 'seed of Abraham' by the new birth and members of the 'royal priesthood' (Galatians 3:29; 1 Peter 2:9). The principles that pertained to Israel in the Old Testament pertain to the Church in the New. The Bible is one unified book. The fundamental principles of faith that were established in the Old Testament did not suddenly vanish just because God came in the flesh. In fact, the standards became higher and were spread to a wider group of participants.

Deuteronomy 26:13-15 says, 'I have removed the holy tithe from my house, and also have given them to the Levite, the stranger, the fatherless, and the widow, according to all Your commandments which You have commanded me; I have not transgressed Your commandments, nor have I forgotten them.14 I have not eaten any of it when in mourning, nor have I removed any of it for an unclean use, nor given any of it for the dead. I have obeyed the voice of the LORD my God, and have done according to all that You have commanded me.15 Look down from Your holy habitation, from heaven, and bless Your people Israel and the land which You have given us, just as You swore to our fathers,'a land flowing with milk and honey.''

This passage was addressed to the whole house of Israel. We apply the principles to God's people today, in that we should remove the first tenth of our increase from our house; it is to be set apart unto the Lord. It is to be used for ministry (the care of people), not merely the support of a 'minister.' It is a commandment of the Lord which is to be lovingly obeyed. We are not to spend the tithe on ourselves or for 'the dead'--the lifeless things of the world. And once we have done this, we will be able to pray with great faith for God to provide for us abundantly.

As we have stated before, the tithe is a set percentage, the same for everyone. Offerings are as a man purposes in his heart. This idea that we are free to exercise our own free will concerning how we support of the work of God is a fraud perpetrated on God's people by the adversary to rob them of blessings and to keep the work of God from going forward.