Posts Tagged ‘tithing’

Points are shared, today, on tithing as a spiritual practice among Christian believers.  Rightly understood, to tithe is to maintain ones consciousness of GOD.  Many think of tithes as necessary to maintaining the priesthood and formal activities of the church.  However, as our divine High Priest, Jesus Christ receives the tithe as an actual appearance of ones Spirit before the divine presence.  When tithing is regarded as only another earthly financial routine like donating, giving, and investing, paying tithes becomes a secular process from the world that is focused upon material needs, political process for distributing resources, and social aspects of interaction.  Regrettably, such tithing is often experienced as merely more indebtedness and “bill-paying”.  Yet, there are things that believers must do, and that may not be left to those who disbelieve.  While ones offerings, sacrifices and tithes legitimately are to be applied to addressing the practical needs for a congregation, the tithes nevertheless must be understood as a peculiar sacred mechanism for acknowledgement and contact with the Resurrected Christ (see Hebrews 7:  8, KJV).  The fighter at “Yahoo! Answers” who uses the ID 2.718281828459045235360287471352662497757247093699 (Level 7 with 117,278 points, a member since February 26, 2006) posted the following:

It’s my understanding if you cheat on your tithing you go to hell. Can someone back me up on that?

Me I’ve been condemned to hell four times on here already. By church people. So I have nothing to lose. I can cheat on my tithing all I want, or simply refuse to pay it. Like what are they going to do.

My question is this, what about you holy fervent people that are hoping to get into heaven? Don’t tell me none of you cheat on your tithing. Earnest replies appreciated.

THE GOLDEN ARROW:  For this Melchisedec, king of Salem, priest of the most high God, who met Abraham returning from the slaughter of the kings, and blessed him;  To whom also Abraham gave a tenth part of all; first being by interpretation King of righteousness, and after that also King of Salem, which is, King of peace;  Without father, without mother, without descent, having neither beginning of days, nor end of life; but made like unto the Son of God; abideth a priest continually.  Now consider how great this man was, unto whom even the patriarch Abraham gave the tenth of the spoils.  And verily they that are of the sons of Levi, who receive the office of the priesthood, have a commandment to take tithes of the people according to the law, that is, of their brethren, though they come out of the loins of Abraham:  But he whose descent is not counted from them received tithes of Abraham, and blessed him that had the promises.  And without all contradiction the less is blessed of the better.  And here men that die receive tithes; but there he receiveth them, of whom it is witnessed that he liveth.  (Hebrews 7:  1-8, KJV)

THE DOUBLE DAGGER:  A Price for Religious Liberty? (06/30/2015); Some Points on Tithing (03/19/2015); Ananias, Liar, Thief or Blasphemer?  (01/12/2015); On Being Good Stewards (12/17/2013); Traditional Marriage? (12/18/2013); Sacrificial Relationships? (10/23/2013); Relationship by Unselfish Giving? (10/24/2013)

“2.718281828459045235360287471352662497757247093699 ”, in their understanding of what it means to live by faith, many Christians today deny any obligation to the laws of tithing.  They fail to grasp that tithing pertains to continuing their spiritual relationship with divinity expressed as accountability, commitment, duty, and promise so that tithing is not merely a matter of ceremony, economics, finances, legal requirements, opinions, personal preferences, ritual, and tradition.  Tithing pertains to trust.  Consider the following points:

(1.)  Every believer is challenged to continue the life of Christ by operating as part of a collective (we say, assembly, body, congregation, church) that embraces believers past, present and future.  In addition to voluntary donations and gifts from the members (we say, offerings) to pay for necessary materials and services, there also must be “sacrifice” (i.e., enduring loss; letting go of what one wants to retain; relinquishing; surrender; yielding) that makes visible the continuing awe, gratitude, humility, respect, reverence, and suffering on behalf of, and within the body.

(2.)  Most correctly understood and practiced as a spiritual act (like confession, forgiveness, petition and praise during prayer), tithing is accomplished properly only through consistency, dependability, discipline, maturity, regularity, and stability.

(3.)  Believers are permitted to “borrow” and use for personal needs the monies that should be given the church as tithe.  It is understood, emergencies and unanticipated problems may occur.  Even so, as surely as refinancing does not eliminate ones mortgage and indebtedness, because a new process of repayment comes into view, borrowing tithes requires penalty and repayment.  Ten percent (10%) becomes fifteen percent (15%).  Just as foreclosure and revocation of ones ownership of their home is not cancelled immediately by missed mortgage payments, and one must make focused efforts to meet the financial demand, one is not damned immediately by mishandling tithes, or by displaying attitudes and behavior within the church that is immature, unrepentant, unreliable and untrustworthy.

There is much more that could be said, and that must be correctly understood and spiritually taken into account.  (For example, (4.)  For Christian believers, tithing appears as an expression from and movement by the Holy Spirit to edify and nourish the body, to feed his lambs.  Like breathing and speaking truth, tithing is something believers do to stay alive (i.e., to make a ceaseless, uninterrupted expression of faith; to continue with “peace of mind”).  Tithing is not done from motives of ambition and reward.  Mature believers all acknowledge that, without their own full participation, the church will not exist; and an important aspect of the work by Jesus Christ will not be able bear its intended fruit.)  I trust this fragment will be useful.  Be it unto you according to your faith.

THE BLACK PHOENIX
Washington, DC

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Offerings, sacrifices, and tithes are topics, today.  Within the divine economy for believers, at no time do crops, livestock, or money become sacred objects that are to be worshiped. Yet, their meaning and merit are transformed when they appear as aspects within divine operations, eternal purposes, and sacred use. We say offerings are commanded and mandatory; sacrifices are whatever one promises and volunteers to give.  Correctly understood, paying tithes for Christian believers is a commitment to make visible on earth the priesthood of Jesus Christ as Risen Lord in heaven.  Tithing is a priestly duty and sacred practice as opposed to private charitable giving, philanthropy, or benevolence and donations that express impulses and sentiment.  Paying tithes is as much a contractual obligation and lawful duty as having to compensate ones bank or lending institution.  For many followers of Christ there is confusion on ones accountability regarding tithes due to the false teaching that the covenant and Ten Commandments once given to Israel are annulled along with circumcision and the many other obligations from Jewish culture and tradition.  The Adversary has taught, Ye shall not surely die—for refusing to continue gestures of obedience, covenant, and respect by tithing.  Consider this:  An employer and a worker are in a relationship that is maintained and structured on the basis of more than familiarity, friendliness, and personal integrity.  There are legal obligations for payment and reward defined and regulated through civil law.  Similarly, where believers in Jesus Christ sign a contract for church membership (that may include pledging (promising to give) tithes as a fiscal device to maintain the physical plant, the clergy, and the programs of the church), they enter a formal relationship that also must respond to civil and ecclesiastical law.  While the church does not pursue or punish believers by confiscating a members property or using debt collection, late fees, liens, and proceedings against the membership to expose fraud, finances for the congregation must be made regular and stable in the same way the billing cycles to the institution (mortgage, repairs, utilities) are scheduled and routine.  Therefore, in some situations, failure to pay ones tithe may even be regarded as misrepresentation and criminal neglect.  A writer at “Yahoo! Answers” using the ID “Zachary” (Level 1 with 104 points, a member since February 13, 2015) posted the following:

 

What do i tithe on?

recently ive made about 500 dollars but it was all a mix of birthday money and money i made off of ebay. the money off of ebay has technically already been tithed on (the items were older gifts i outgrew and i know my parents tithed on the money they bought them with originally) and birthday money is kind of a bonus..

 

THE GOLDEN ARROW:  Will a man rob God? Yet ye have robbed me. But ye say, Wherein have we robbed thee? In tithes and offerings.  Ye are cursed with a curse:  for ye have robbed me, even this whole nation.  Bring ye all the tithes into the storehouse, that there may be meat in mine house, and prove me now herewith, saith the LORD of hosts, if I will not open you the windows of heaven, and pour you out a blessing, that there shall not be room enough to receive it.  And I will rebuke the devourer for your sakes, and he shall not destroy the fruits of your ground; neither shall your vine cast her fruit before the time in the field, saith the LORD of hosts.  And all nations shall call you blessed:  for ye shall be a delightsome land, saith the LORD of hosts.  Your words have been stout against me, saith the LORD. Yet ye say, What have we spoken so much against thee?  Ye have said, It is vain to serve God:  and what profit is it that we have kept his ordinance, and that we have walked mournfully before the LORD of hosts?  And now we call the proud happy; yea, they that work wickedness are set up; yea, they that tempt God are even delivered.  Then they that feared the LORD spake often one to another:  and the LORD hearkened, and heard it, and a book of remembrance was written before him for them that feared the LORD, and that thought upon his name.  And they shall be mine, saith the LORD of hosts, in that day when I make up my jewels; and I will spare them, as a man spareth his own son that serveth him.  Then shall ye return, and discern between the righteous and the wicked, between him that serveth God and him that serveth him not.  (Malachi 3:  8-18, KJV)

 

THE DOUBLE DAGGER:  Ananias, Liar, Thief or Blasphemer? (01/12/2015); Consecrated in Christ? (06/21/2014); On Being Good Stewards (12/17/2013); Traditional Marriage? (12/18/2013); Sacrificial Relationship? (10/23/2013); Relationship by Unselfish Giving? (10/24/2013)

 

“Zachary”, here are a few points shared among Christian believers who are careful to make serving GOD their focus so they avoid the sin of making it “all about money” (idolatry):

(1.)  For those who accompanied Moses, the “tithe” is a tenth from (we say, 10% of) whatever one may plant and produce using their portion within the Promised Land.  While the land itself is not anointed, consecrated, and sanctified (specifically set apart for service to GOD), and the crop itself is not holy, the tithe is to be understood as though already resting upon an altar of sacrifice that serves as the point of contact for earth and heaven.

(2.)  The primary income and inheritance for those serving as priests was a portion from the offerings and sacrifices brought to them by those among the twelve tribes.   In this sense, Jehovah was the inheritance and their portion for the clergy.  While prayer, study and worship could be carried out everywhere using the system of local synagogues, offerings and sacrifices were to be made only at the place that GOD would name as the divine residence (e.g., Shiloh, Jerusalem).  Those who received tithes also were expected to give a tithe that would be used to maintain the tabernacle (later, temple)  services.

(3.)  For many today, the tithe is a portion of ones income (meaning whatever they receive from GOD—found money, gifts, return from investments, etc.).  Filthy lucre is held to be wealth from illegal and immoral activity, and may include money from cheating on ones taxes, drugs, gambling, loan sharking, lotteries, pornography, prostitution, robbery, sale of stolen goods, and usury.  Others understand it differently:  the tithe is a 10% “tax” upon whatever they earn as wages (before federal and local taxes, or other deductions).  Still others, insist that the principle of tithing only is correct where ones labor and resources are handled and respected in terms of seed and harvest.

There is far more to be plainly said, correctly understood, and properly apprehended.  (For example, (4.)  The person who tithes must understand, they are a manager and steward within the household of GOD.  The tithe is not their own, and must be rendered for continuing the ministry of Jesus Christ in the earth.  The enrollment of a believer as a new member of an assembly or congregation, in effect, establishes a legal contract requiring their regular financial support, and is not merely a personal oath and promise to perform the peculiar duties for spreading the Gospel.  Therefore, indebtedness and mismanagement of ones own finances is damaging to the church.  As in Malachi 3:  8 (KJV), a man may rob GOD; and there will be judgment against him.)  Even so, I trust this fragment will be useful.  Be it unto you according to your faith and spiritual maturity.

THE BLACK PHOENIX
Washington, DC

The Apostle Peter, the couple Ananias and Sapphira, and the Holy Spirit are in view, today.  In the same way Adam and Eve began having an endowment of the Holy Spirit (we say, the breath of life) and later lost their gifts, Ananias and Sapphira also were gifted from Christ, and failed to maintain their blessing.  The writer at “Yahoo! Answers” using the ID “Ian” (Level 1 with 43 points, a member since June 12, 2014) posted the following:

 

Help with Acts 5:1-11 Ananias’ Embezzlement?

I understand that Ananias was accused of lying to the Holy Spirit, but what is the context or where does it say that Ananias had to give all the money from the land sale to the Church? I don’t get that. I understand that you are supposed to tithe 10% of all your earnings so the Church has some money to function (like most non-profit organizations have to pay a membership fee). Is that what he did? The Bible doesn’t really clarify and this is something I have found a lot in the Bible. It is very cloudy, at least in the English translations I have read. I mean, I am a poor college student and I seriously just can’t afford to tithe, and feed myself and have books for class but I haven’t been struck dead yet lol. Some help interpreting this would be great. I just don’t understand what the heck is going on. I’ve heard this story in church a million times as justification to tithe but never understood WHY Ananias had to give ALL the money when he only supposed to give 10%. Also it’s a story connected to Peter and in ever story connected with Peter I feel like some shady deal is going down… Maybe it’s just me but sometimes I wonder why Jesus chose that guy. Since he is God incarnate shouldn’t he have known Peter May not have been the BEST choice. John the Beloved or James seemed to me a much better choice. But who am I to argue with God, I guess.

 

THE GOLDEN ARROW:  And it came to pass, that, while Apollos was at Corinth, Paul having passed through the upper coasts came to Ephesus:  and finding certain disciples,  He said unto them, Have ye received the Holy Ghost since ye believed? And they said unto him, We have not so much as heard whether there be any Holy Ghost.  And he said unto them, Unto what then were ye baptized? And they said, Unto John’s baptism.  Then said Paul, John verily baptized with the baptism of repentance, saying unto the people, that they should believe on him which should come after him, that is, on Christ Jesus.  When they heard this, they were baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus.  And when Paul had laid his hands upon them, the Holy Ghost came on them; and they spake with tongues, and prophesied.  (Acts 19:  1-6, KJV)

 

THE DOUBLE DAGGER:  Help Thou Mine Unbelief (12/31/2014); Sacrificial Relationships? (10/23/2013); Relationship by Unselfish Giving? (10/24/2013); Separated and Sealed? (03/29/2013); Acknowledging Divinity? (03/30/2013); Caesarea Philippi (10/22/2012); Love in Christ (10/23/2012); The Spirit by Measure (09/22/2012); A Man in Heaven? (09/23/2012)

 

“Ian”, here are some points for consideration that are important for all mature Christian believers:

(1.)  Our reading of the holy writings requires discernment (comparing spiritual things to spiritual things), for the Scriptures document the operations of divinity among created beings and living creatures (we say, thousands of lives over the course of thousands of years); and are more than a mere account of human behaviors, conduct, and interaction.  Spiritually, the offense of Ananias and his wife Sapphira is no different than that of Adam and his spouse Eve.  Money and ownership of property are not at issue, rather, acknowledgement (we say, worship), commitment, respect, reverence, and trust.

(2.)  The sacred process of rebirth through water baptism signifies death of ones inborn spirit, burial of their former nature, and new birth from a fresh deposit of the same divine content that is the makeup of Deity.  Included are inseparable aspects of divinity such as faith, holiness, joy, longsuffering, love, wisdom, and wrath against sin.  Fire baptism (we say, receiving divine gifts, the Comforter, the Holy Ghost, the Holy Spirit, the Spirit of Prophecy, the Spirit of Truth) signifies the empowerment and ordination authorizing a believer to serve as an agent and spokesperson (we say, prophet) of GOD through Jesus Christ.

(3.)  Beginning ones new life in Christ requires no payment of worldly goods and material belongings.  However, born again, one must “grow up again” experiencing change through life challenges and “growing pains” upon the earth.  One expects to receive the Gospel and water baptism before receiving fire baptism; yet, as with Cornelius and his household, believers receive the Pentecost experience on divine terms, and by divine prerogative (we say, grace).  Peter and the other apostles appointed by Christ to be witnesses of his resurrection were also to authenticate appearances of the Holy Spirit falling upon believers.  Thus, there was no quarrel between Peter and Ananias, and the impartial judgment that came upon the false couple was directed at the violation of faith, not a law for tithing.

There is far more to be said, correctly understood, and spiritually apprehended.  (For example, (4.)  That believers agree and understand that they themselves must provide resources to support the life and work of the body of believers (we say, our assembly, our church, our congregation) is a “common sense” conclusion that derives from our social awareness.  The issues of how much and when to give derive from individual and personal concerns.  The realization that ones life is completely intertwined with that of other believers—that GOD is active and present within us and others; that we are interdependent and must continue together for survival; that “freewill” and independence are “sacrificed” for something higher, holier—must come from GOD through operations of the Holy Spirit.)  Even so, I trust this fragment will be useful.  Be it unto you according to your faith.

THE BLACK PHOENIX
Washington, DC