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8:07 AM   [30 May 2014 | Friday]

Did Tithing Cease At Malachi?

 

DID TITHING cease at the end of the Old Testament period ? The answer to that question is yes.....BUT.  There is no doubt that tithing is not mentioned as a duty of Christians in the New Testament.  

There is a big BUT to that though.                                                                                                                             

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A mentor of mine used to say, 'you gave 10% in the Old Testament, in the New Testament you give everything '!!

God (Jesus) began to say some things to people in the New Testament, that were never said in the Old Testament. When a rich man asked Jesus what he needed to do to inherit eternal life, one of the statements Jesus replied with was, 'go sell what you have and give to the poor, and come and follow me'.(Math 19v21)

At another time He(Jesus)said,' So likewise, whoever of you who does not forsake all that he has cannot be my disciple'.(Luke 14v33)

What was the giving like in the early Church? Acts 2 tells us that, 'all who believed were together, and had all things in common, and sold their possessions and goods, and divided them among all, as anyone had need'.

Again in Acts 4 it records,'Nor was there anyone among them who lacked, for all who were possessors of lands or houses sold them, and brought the proceeds of the things that were sold and laid them at the Apostles feet, and they distributed to each as anyone had need'.

The Old Testament was about giving a portion to God. The New Testament is about being sold out to God!! The New Testament is about discipleship. A disciple is a disciplined one, or one who has placed himself or herself and all that she has, voluntarily, under the instruction of a Master. That is why Jesus said,' If anyone comes to me and does not hate his father and mother, wife and children, brothers and sisters, yes, and his own life also, he cannot be my disciple'.(Luke 14v26)

Notice that Jesus said, MY disciple. It is about personal relationship with the Lord. At the end of Johns Gospel after Jesus had finished telling Peter what he was to do (and how he would die) Peter noticed another disciple following and said, 'what about this man Lord'? Jesus said to him, 'if I will that he remain until I come, what is that to you, you follow me'. In other words don't bother about anyone else, you just concentrate on being my disciple and listening for my instructions. He was saying, it is about your relationship with me.

A disciple of Jesus is one of the give anything, go anywhere bunch. For the sake of the Gospel. After that it is up to the Lord. C S Lewis became a Christian at Oxford and served the Lord all of his life at Oxford and he went to be with the Lord at Oxford. C T Studd was an english cricketer in a similar situation to Lewis but he gave up everything and went to Africa trusting God. He lived and travelled in primitive conditions amongst the native peoples and went to be with the Lord there, having no possessions to leave behind. Studds motto was, 'If Jesus Christ is the Son of God and died for me, then nothing I can do for Him can be to much'.

Both of those men were disciples, each doing what God had instructed them personally to do.

I always laugh when I think of an experience Evangelist Jesse Du Plantis wrote about. He was sitting in Church and God spoke to him telling him to give a certain amount of money to the Church. He said, 'Lord that's all I've got'. The Lord replied,'thats all I want'.

A disciple knows that he has committed himself to the God who owns everything and to whom nothing is impossible. Another disciple, Paul, said, 'And my God will supply all of your need'.

 

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