Tithes Revisited (three)
(Continued from part two…)
“But now is Christ risen from the dead, and become the firstfruits of them that slept” [1Corinthians 15:20]. We do not only have Him as our firstfruit, the Lord Jesus performed a miracle with us as we read from James 1:18, “Of his own will begat he us with the word of truth, that we should be a kind of firstfruits of his creatures.” The physical encapsulation of the spiritual connotation of the firstfruit is presented in tithing: consummated in sacerdotalism.
Jesus owns all!
Everybody is of the knowledge that it is good to give and if Matthew 6:33 enjoins, “But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you;” and, it is clear that giving is a righteous deed, then tithing should be availed. Take a good look at Pauline didacticism to the Christians of Corinth. 1Corinthians 9:5-14. Verse 5, “Have we not power to lead about a sister, a wife, as well as other apostles, and as the brethren of the Lord, and Cephas?” Pauline erudition begins with the right to be involved in conjugal relationship as other apostles. His ebullience is leading somewhere. 6) “Or I only and Barnabas, have not we power to forbear working?” Barnabas and he can decide not to work again, and depend on the church for sustenance.
“Bring…tithes…into my storehouse…” THIS IS “THE HOUSEHOLD OF GOD CHURCH”
Verse 7 of 1Corinthians chapter 9 reads, “Who goeth a warfare any time at his own charges? who planteth a vineyard, and eateth not of the fruit thereof? or who feedeth a flock, and eateth not of the milk of the flock?” Effective rhetorical questioning needing not any answer for the obviousness. 8) “Say I these things as a man? or saith not the law the same also?” The apostle’s teaching, in all honesty, is far from being arbitrary. Moses is his scriptural reference. 9) “For it is written in the law of Moses, Thou shalt not muzzle the mouth of the ox that treadeth out the corn. Doth God take care for oxen? 10) Or saith he it altogether for our sakes? For our sakes, no doubt, this is written: that he that ploweth should plow in hope; and that he that thresheth in hope should be partaker of his hope.”
As God cares even for the domestic animals, so much more should He be expected to cater for the vineyard toiling ministers with the tithes and offerings of the congregating saints. 11) “If we have sown unto you spiritual things, is it a great thing if we shall reap your carnal things?” Any big deal taking your tithes for our upkeep? None, Paul and I believe. What the apostles render is eternally greater than the ephemera carnality of their material offering substances.
Verse 12, “If others be partakers of this power over you, are not we rather? Nevertheless we have not used this power; but suffer all things, lest we should hinder the gospel of Christ.” Moving towards the didactic crescendo, Paul reminds them of the legal claim he possesses, more than the Old Testament priesthood, over the tenth part of their substantial worth. 13) “Do ye not know that they which minister about holy things live of the things of the temple? and they which wait at the altar are partakers with the altar? 14) Even so hath the Lord ordained that they which preach the gospel should live of the gospel.” The tithes that have been brought to the temple form a good part of the things found on the altar of the Temple. God’s storehouse has not crumbled. Or has it?
The Church of the New Testament is authorised to receive the tithes in order to “open the windows of heaven, and pour out a blessing, that there shall not be room enough to receive it” by the One who made the promise. Amen. “In the morning sow thy seed, and in the evening withhold not thine hand: for thou knowest not whether shall prosper, either this or that, or whether they both shall be alike good“ [Ecclesiastes 11:3-6]. Every avenue of giving is an opportunity to sow seeds and should be explored (not in foolishness) by a wise child of God.
(…to be continued…)
Click to read part two
Read part four by clicking here