In the Old Testament, God directed that the tithe be used to support the Levites, who were His ministers (Leviticus 27:30-32). In the new Testament, God says that just as the priests of old were paid from the tithe of the temple, so gospel ministers and workers today should be paid from the tithe as well “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? Even so hath the Lord ordained that they which preach the gospel should live of the gospel” (1 Corinthians 9:13).
Some may ask: is the tithing system part of Moses’ old law, which ended at the cross? The answer is no. Both Abraham and Jacob gave a tenth of their income to God long before Moses’ law was given. The laws that ended at the cross are only those laws that pointed to the sacrificial work of Christ such as the sacrifices and the ceremonial temple services. Tithing is God’s plan for support of the ministry, and it remains in effect today.
The last book of the Old Testament has one of the most amazing promises for those that tithe “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” (Malachi 3:10,11).
And Jesus endorsed tithing in the New Testament. “Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye pay tithe of mint and anise and cummin, and have omitted the weightier matters of the law, judgment, mercy, and faith: these ought ye to have done, and not to leave the other undone” (Matthew 23:23). Jesus saw that the Pharisees were counting out leaves and tiny seeds, therefore, He rebuked them for being so exact in tithing the herbs while failing in judgment, mercy, and faith. He did not condemn them for tithing, but for ignoring the other great principles of Christianity. That is why Jesus said, “These ought ye to have done, and not to leave the other undone.”
In the early church, the apostle Paul also endorsed the tithing system in Hebrews 7:8, “And here men that die receive tithes; but there he [Jesus] receiveth them, of whom it is witnessed that he liveth.”
In His service,
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