New Testament ‘Traditional’ Scriptures on tithing -2
Matt. 23:23 “Woe to you, teachers of the law and Pharisees, you hypocrites! (Jesus-rebuking the religious leaders of that day) You give a tenth of your spices—mint… But you have neglected the more important matters of the law—justice, mercy and faithfulness. You should have practiced the latter, without neglecting the former.
In this verse, Jesus has not yet gone to the cross and the veil to enter into the holy of holies was not accessible to the Gentile church at this time. In other words-the church was not currently in operation when Jesus corrected the Pharisees.
It was not until Christ rose from the dead and was at the Fathers right hand that the church was officially established. (see below)
1 Pet. 2:24 He himself bore our sins in his body on the tree, so that we might die to sins and live for righteousness;
Heb. 4:16 Let us then approach the throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need.
The Leviticus priesthood and the sanctuary were still functioning when Jesus rebuked the Pharisees (before the cross and church), thus the funds were still needed when the Lord gave this stern correction. He was simply rebuking them for their hard heart while the sanctuary and Levitical priesthood were still operational. This is clearly not a ‘tithing’ verse for the church in the New Testament.
Luke 18:10-14 “Two men went up to the temple to pray, one a Pharisee and the other a tax collector. The Pharisee stood up and prayed about himself: ‘God, I thank you that I am not like other men—robbers, evildoers, adulterers—or even like this tax collector. I fast twice a week and give a tenth of all I get.’ “But the tax collector stood at a distance. He would not even look up to heaven, but beat his breast and said, ‘God, have mercy on me, a sinner.’ “I tell you that this man, rather than the other, went home justified before God.
These verses give an account of two men -one was a Pharisee, the other a tax collector. They were both before the Lord at the temple (again, before the church was established-see prior scripture). According to Jesus, the Pharisee who tithed was not justified before God. There is no reference that the church is to tithe from these passages.
I Cor. 16:1-2 On the first day of every week, each one of you should set aside a sum of money in keeping with his income, saving it up, so that when I come no collections will have to be made.
As mentioned above, this is a verse to save money according to the ‘portion’ in which we can give. There is not a percentage given-it is between the person and the Lord. It is also money to be given to a ‘mission’ church, and not the home church.
When we look at this teaching and other scriptures in the New Testament, they do give us a balanced perspective on how we should give. We should indeed budget and give in a disciplined manner. All the promises given in the Word about giving with the right attitude still apply, we are blessed when we give. We are even reminded to bless those in direct service to the Lord-as we should 1 Cor. 9: 9-14.
Conclusion- There is no teaching in the New Testament that teaches we should tithe. In fact, if you teach tithing for today’s church you would have to also teach the Biblical purpose for tithing-to support the Levitical priesthood, the sanctuary and the continuous animal sacrifice. This is in direct conflict with the scriptures mentioned above (Heb. 7:25-8:1).
The Levitical priesthood under the law has now been abolished and replaced by Jesus Christ-a priest forever , according the eternal priesthood exemplified by Melchizedek . (Heb. 7-10)
The Serious Dangers of Replacing the Grace of God with the Works of the Law
The above verses clearly teach us that the Lord loves His children do give…not out of compulsion or ‘law’ but joy!
2 Cor. 9:7 Each man should give what he has decided in his heart to give, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver.
Could giving in the New Testament really be that simple! Look what scripture says.
-what he has decided in his heart to give We simply listen to God in our heart and give.
Ten percent may-or may not be what God desires. It could be more or less-and it is between God and the giver. As we learned from New Testament ‘porportional’ giving 1 Cor. 16:1-2, the Lord desires us to give in a disciplined manner and if needed, budget our giving.
A serious problem occurs however when we point the church back to the ‘law’ to try and gain favor from the Lord. Examples would includes animal sacrifice, circumcision, good works through human effort (thus excluding the cross and His grace), restrictions on food -and as we have now seen in scripture-tithing. I would like every teacher and preacher to read these next verses carefully. I personally do not know of any place in the Word of God where such a serious curse given to man. This double curse is given to someone who points a church back to the Old Testament Law and not to the gospel of grace. (see Gal. 1-5)
Gal.1:6-9 I am astonished that you are so quickly deserting the one who called you by the grace of Christ and are turning to a different gospel
8 But even if we or an angel from heaven should preach a gospel other than the one we preached to you, let him be eternally condemned! 9 As we have already said, so now I say again: If anybody is preaching to you a gospel other than what you accepted, let him be eternally condemned!
Paul guarded the gospel of grace with a passion because our eternal lives were at risk! He knew Satan’s primary tactic for the church is to ‘bypass’ Gods grace have them turn to the ‘traditions’ of man and the ‘works’ of the law (attempting to fulfill the law without humbly going to God and believing in Jesus and His sacrifice on the cross) (John. 3:16).
Mark 7: 9 & 13 And he said unto them, Full well ye reject the commandment of God, that ye may keep your own tradition.  Making the word of God of none effect through your tradition, which ye have delivered: and many such like things do ye.
Notice, the traditions of men cause men to ‘reject’ the commandment of God and make the ‘Word of God-non effectual’.
The Apostle Paul knew this error better than most, because he says he was far more guilty than most.
Gal. 1:13-14 For you have heard of my previous way of life in Judaism, …. I was advancing in Judaism beyond many Jews of my own age and was extremely zealous for the traditions of my fathers.
Phil 3: 4-9 If any other man (Paul speaking) thinketh that he hath whereof he might trust in the flesh, I more:  Circumcised the eighth day…. of the tribe of Benjamin, an Hebrew of the Hebrews; as touching the law, a Pharisee…  as for zeal, persecuting the church; as for legalistic righteousness, faultless.
Paul knew if the church pointed to the law in any way to find favor with God, it would hide the true message of salvation by faith in Christ. This explains why he publicly rebuked Peter for ‘going back to the law’ when he attempted to established one form of it (circumcision) in the church.
Gal. 2:11-14 When Peter came to Antioch, I opposed him to his face, because he was clearly in the wrong.  Before certain men came from James, he used to eat with the Gentiles. But when they arrived, he began to draw back and separate himself from the Gentiles because he was afraid of those who belonged to the circumcision group…  When I saw that they were not acting in line with the truth of the gospel, I said to Peter in front of them all, know that a man is not justified by observing the law, but by faith in Jesus Christ. So we, too, have put our faith in Christ Jesus that we may be justified by faith in Christ and not by observing the law, because by observing the law no one will be justified.
This truth cannot be made any clearer. It was going back to the law that was the danger-which included circumcision. If Paul corrected Peter about one form of the law-circumcision, would the Lord not also correct us for trying to be ‘justified’ by the other forms of the law, like animal sacrifice , restrictions on food, tithing-anything that ‘misdirects’ the church from the gospel of grace?
Heb. 9:12: ‘and not through the blood of goats and calves, but through His own Blood, He (Jesus) entered the Holy Place once for all, having obtained Eternal Redemption.
Heb. 10:10 By this will we have been sanctified through the Offering of the Body of Christ once and for all.
1 Tim. 4:3-4 They (hypocritical liars vs. 2)…order them to abstain from certain foods, which God created to be received with thanksgiving by those who believe and who know the truth.  For everything God created is good, and nothing is to be rejected if it is received with thanksgiving, (The Lord changed the restrictions on food Deut. 14, Acts 10:12-15)
As theses scriptures indicate, the obvious answer is yes! The Lord corrects His people when they distort the gospel of grace.
The true purpose of the law was to show us how we sinned and violated Gods perfect righteousness. The Lords intention was to have us turn to Christ (the perfect and sinless sacrifice) through faith. Going back to the law after Christ fulfilled the law was the exact opposite of why the law was given. (Matt. 5:17-20).
Gal. 3:23-24 Before this faith came, we were held prisoners by the law, locked up until faith should be revealed.  So the law was put in charge to lead us to Christ that we might be justified by faith.
Romans 5:20-21 The law was added so that the trespass (sin) might increase…  so that, just as sin reigned in death (being found guilty by the law), so also grace might reign through righteousness to bring eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord. Romans 4:15, Romans 3:19-20
It is important to mention that many preachers who teach tithing (and those that tithe) have good intentions and are not automatically subject to the curse mentioned above Gal. 1. What must be brought to our attention however is that pointing the church back to the law is a serious issue and Paul stopped Peter ‘in his tracks’ from doing this. Now that we know what scriptures teaches though-how can we go back to the law when the Bible clearly explains the eternal dangers in doing so.
Gal. 2:16 know that a man is not justified by observing the law, but by faith in Jesus Christ. So we, too, have put our faith in Christ Jesus that we may be justified by faith in Christ and not by observing the law, because by observing the law no one will be justified.
Eph. 2:8-9 For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: Not of works, lest any man should boast.
Gal. 2:19 For through the law I died to the law so that I might live for God.
Personal Note: When I attended Moody Bible, the church history teacher put a word on the blackboard and left it there all semester. When asked how the various churches got ‘off track’ throughout the centuries, he would almost always point to the word on the board ‘Tradition’
Traditions, works of men and going ‘back to the law’ has sabotaged more churches than any other form of heresy. Paul absolutely knew this. It started with the Pharisees, infiltrated the orthodox churches, reset in the reformation church and it occurs daily in today’s church.
I knew someone who grew up in an ‘orthodox church’. When this person heard of the gospel of grace (salvation by faith in Christ) she was simply amazed. Her thoughts-eternal life can’t be that simple! Satan disguised the salvation message with ‘added’ works like-confession, sacraments, penance…sounds familiar-circumcision, restrictions on food, tithing.
Pastors whom I respect have said their number one struggle in the church is to keep our walk humbly ‘connected In Him’ and avoid the traps of self made accomplishments (John. 15:5). Paul considered these works done outside of the Holy Spirit rubbish-(Phil. 3:4-8). As the above scriptures indicate, they come from traditions of men or going back to ‘any’ form of the law, with one exception. The law of love given only by the Holy Spirit
CORRECTING THE ERRORS IN NEW TESTAMENT GIVING
1) Giving out of compulsion-or by the law
Christians who are ‘forced’ to give ten percent sometimes feel they are more ‘disciplined’ to give-because it is out of compulsion and mandate. While this goes against the New Testament scripture (2 Cor 9:7), they do have a point. Dragging a slave to work every morning is effective, but, that’s not what Jesus has called us to do. His answer is simply, My child, I have made you free, and you are free indeed (John. 8:36).
His advice would be as instructed in the Word. Give out of obedience to My Spirit, out of joy (2 Cor. 9:7) and learn to be disciplined when giving (1 Cor. 16:2)–but you will never be My slave, you will always abide with Me as My son or daughter (Gal. 4:21-28). Only when we truly recognize we are sons of the living God and have become free, can we joyfully and humbly serve with the dedication ‘like’ a slave. (Ga. 5:1 1 Cor. 9:19)
Note: A suggestion to those who feel ‘stuck’ in the Old Testament law on giving. Be disciplined when giving, but give out of desire to help as heirs to Gods kingdom. The more you practice giving out of His leading and joy-the more your mandate of giving through tithing fades. God will simply put a joy in your heart to give when He wants to give. Your understanding will increase ‘in Him’ and He will also show you when ‘not’ to give-sometimes in order for the person to realize they need a true relationship in the Lord and turn to Him.
Also, as with all New Testament teachings, do not treat our freedom and grace in Christ as an excuse to sin-or to avoid giving when the time is right to do so. (Gal. 5:13)
James 2:16 If one of you says to him, “Go, I wish you well; keep warm and well fed,” but does nothing about his physical needs, what good is it?
2) Ministers, as the above scriptures clearly show, do not be guilty of pointing the church back to the law-or any form of it (Gal. 1:6-9). Yes, the flock should support the ministry (1 Tim. 5:18), but we should have the same faith you are asking of your followers (Phil. 4:19). We simply trust God to provide for us.
Note: Personal Example
Recently there were 3 areas of giving that needed to be met within our church. Without going into a lot of detail, if I followed the teaching of ‘tithe and offerings’ I would have done this.
1) Given 10% to the church, the tithe. I would not have prayed about this area.
2) Under the ‘offerings’ I would have prayed about these two areas and not considered any variation with the tithe. The Lord however had a completely different plan of action. It would have been harder to break through in prayer because ‘my ears’ would of already had a preconceived idea on how He wanted me to give.
WHAT DID HAPPEN
The Lord simply said, give in all 3 areas equally (He was wanting to do more than the traditional tithe and offering). Do not give according to your current income, give according to your income you will receive in a month because I have blessed you with added work. Tithing supports a predetermined amount to give. The Lord is alive and sovereign, He is not ‘boxed in’ to giving a predetermined amount; especially when that amount was designed to support a ‘earthly’ Levitical priesthood that has now been replaced by Jesus Christ. (Heb. 7-10)
Lets strive to be united in Spirit so we can be united in His truth Jn 14:26
SUMMARY OF NEW TESTAMENT GIVING
This part is really not complicated at all. As mentioned above, we receive the Holy Spirit through faith in Jesus Christ. If we walk by the Spirit we naturally do the will of the Father. The obligation to the law is completed through our walk in Him.
Gal. 5:22-25 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law. Those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the sinful nature with its passions and desires. Since we live by the Spirit, let us keep in step with the Spirit.
Through this process, New Testament giving becomes incredibly easy to understand. We ‘simply’ give by the Spirits leading and give ‘joyfully’ when we see a need. As with all of our walk, at times it requires discipline, faith and even budgeting.
We can summarize the new testament giving by saying
Luke 6:38 Give, and it will be given to you. A good measure, pressed down, shaken together and running over, will be poured into your lap. For with the measure you use, it will be measured to you.”
Take away all the formulas, restrictions (laws) and just give because we love God because He first loved us 1 Jn. 4:19. He has made us eternal sons that will share in His loving glory forever.
Note: If you find yourself in a hurry and want to give a short explanation of New Testament giving, you may want to try this:
Give (seed) out of joy-not mandate. Your Father has made you ‘sons and daughters of the Most High’. He has given us (the church body) the keys to the Kingdom of heaven. We therefore give to advance the kingdom of God Romans. 8:15-17, Matt. 16:19, Matt. 6:33, Matt. 24:14-30, Matt. 11:12.
God bless you as you pursue His truth
Footnote: After the release of this article, I noticed somewhat of a ‘stir’ about this teaching…because it is such an important issue-our income to promote the Kingdom of God. Lack of funds can jeopardize the ability to operate and complete His work. God is the provider, but Satan can attempt to take away His provisions. Guarding the correct Biblical truth is a serious issue and teaching the wrong doctrine is actually working against the Kingdom of God. For clarity, I had to go back to the Lord and seek added confirmation….Lord-is there anything I have done wrong…please show me!! I could be hurting the advancement of Your kingdom and jeopardizing the eternal lives on ones that need to be reached-Your provisions (income) helps accomplish this. Show me my error in any way!
He gave me these verses to confirm His teaching on New Testament giving.
10 The thief cometh not, but for to steal, and to kill, and to destroy: I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly.
45 For even the Son of man came not to be ministered unto, but to minister, and to give his life a ransom for many.
Matthew 10:7-8 And as ye go, preach, saying, the Kingdom of heaven is a hand. Heal the sick, cleanse the lepers, raise the dead, cast out the devils: freely ye have received, freely give.
I won’t try attempt to explain ‘why’ these verses, I will let the Holy Spirit take the lead. The only thing I ask is search His heart and our heart….as we all have to do in order to find His truth. May the Lord bless you abundantly.