Grace, The Law & Tithing VI



Grace, The Law & Tithing VI

New Covenant Tithing and Alms Giving II.mp3


We’ve spent a lot more time on this topic of Grace, The Law & Tithing than I had originally anticipated but I believe it has been good and useful. In review this week we went a little deeper concerning some topics previously covered. We also addressed some questions which arose from past material. Such as…

  • If the priestly family received a tithe of the tithe in addition to all the meat and bread portions which were allotted to them from the sacrifices – didn’t a lot go to waste? What did they do with all of that extra food?

Though the scriptures are not completely exhaustive enough to tell us what they did with the extra from tithes, we know that the extra from offerings had specific rules addressing this issue. Lev. 7:13-18 offers one such example:

“Besides the cakes, as his offering he shall offer leavened bread with the sacrifice of thanksgiving of his peace offering. And from it he shall offer one cake from each offering as a heave offering to the LORD. It shall belong to the priest who sprinkles the blood of the peace offering. ‘The flesh of the sacrifice of his peace offering for thanksgiving shall be eaten the same day it is offered. He shall not leave any of it until morning. But if the sacrifice of his offering is a vow or a voluntary offering, it shall be eaten the same day that he offers his sacrifice; but on the next day the remainder of it also may be eaten; the remainder of the flesh of the sacrifice on the third day must be burned with fire. And if any of the flesh of the sacrifice of his peace offering is eaten at all on the third day, it shall not be accepted, nor shall it be imputed to him; it shall be an abomination to him who offers it, and the person who eats of it shall bear guilt.” ~ Lev. 7:13-18

  • Did the Levites give to the poor so that the extra he had could be given to them?

    I did a few simple word searches to identify an answer to this question, but came up empty handed so I will give an educated guess. It is at least possible that the Levites and the priests “may” have given some of the left overs of the tithe to the poor – such as vegetables or maybe even certain grains. As those who are  in covenant with God they were obliged to aid the poor unless unable to do so by some moral law. That being said, I do not know IF they were ALLOWED to give to the poor which may be why it does not seem to be mentioned. You see, everything given to the Levites and the Priest were holy and therefore not able to be given to the common man. It is possible however, that after a number of days, these “holy” offerings may be been designated as too unclean for priestly use and so long as it was still safe to eat it “may” have been given to the poor, but this seems unlikely.

    The Levites and the Priests as well as many of their allotments represented (by way of types and shadows) some very specific and holy aspects of the New Covenant even representations of the person of Christ. Those offerings representing Christ could not be allowed to be consumed by the common man nor could they be allowed to spoil. This would represent Christ’s body seeing decay, which would have been a rather severe sin. Much like the rock in the wilderness from which the Israelites drank represented Christ, so when Moses stuck the rock the second time, it was accounted to him as a very severe sin. This second striking of a the rock (Who is Christ) was tantamount to crucifying Christ twice. So, though it is perhaps possible with some of the tithe (like grain or vegetables) it is still quite unlikely that anything once dedicated to the Levites and the Priest could be used otherwise.

  • Wasn’t the year that the children of Israel reclaimed all they lost and all lands returned to their originally allotted owners on the 49th year – the Sabbath of Sabbaths or Jubilee?

The answer is yes. Lev. 25:1-13

We also addressed the differences between “ministers and ministers” as per I Tim 5 – those who are elders and those elders who labor hard in the Word.

In closing, we drew a clear line between Paul’s statement in I Cor. 9 of the Corinthians being

  • “our work in the Lord”
  • and those whom he (and other ministers) would have to “give an account for men’s souls” and “labor in vain or joy”
  • That teachers would receive a “stricter judgement

and compared these obligatory burdens of the New Covenant minister to the Old Testament Priests who were to bear the sins of the congregation before the Lord and therefore “earning the wage of tithe”.

I hope this teaching will challenge you and encourage you to study the scriptures for yourself and ultimately to place your trust in the Lord Jesus Christ as Savior and Lord.

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Hi my name is Mark and though I am opposed to titles, I am currently the only Pastor (shepherd/elder) serving our assembly right now.

I have been Pastoring in one capacity or another for nearly 30 years now, though never quite like I am today.

Early in 2009 the Lord revealed to me that the way we had structured our assembly (church) was not scriptural in that it was out of sync with what Paul modeled for us in the New Testament. In truth, I (like many pastors I am sure) never even gave this fundamental issue of church structure the first thought. I had always assumed that church structure was largely the same everywhere and had been so from the beginning. While I knew Paul had some very stringent things to say about the local assembly of believers, the point of our gatherings together and who may or may not lead, I never even considered studying these issues but assumed we were all pretty much doing it in numbers right?! Boy, I couldn't have been more wrong!

So needless to say, my discovery that we had been doing it wrong for nearly two decades was a bit of a shock to me! Now, this "revelation" did not come about all at once but over the course of a few weeks. We were a traditional single pastor led congregation. It was a top-bottom model of ministry which is in part biblical, but not in the form of a monarchy.

The needed change did not come into focus until following 9 very intense months of study and discussions with those who were leaders in our church at the time.

We now understand and believe that the Bible teaches co-leadership with equal authority in each local assembly. Having multiple shepherds with God's heart and equal authority protects both Shepherds and sheep. Equal accountability keeps authority and doctrine in check. Multiple shepherds also provide teaching with various styles and giftings with leadership skills which are both different and complementary.

For a while we had two co-pastors (elders) (myself and one other man) who led the church with equal authority, but different giftings. We both taught in our own ways and styles, and our leadership skills were quite different, but complimentary. We were in complete submission to each other and worked side-by-side in the labor of shepherding the flock.

Our other Pastor has since moved on to other ministry which has left us with just myself. While we currently only have one Pastor/Elder, it is our desire that God, in His faithfulness and timing, may bring us more as we grow in maturity and even in numbers.

As to my home, I have been married since 1995 to my wonderful wife Terissa Woodson who is my closest friend and most trusted ally.

As far as my education goes, I grew up in a Christian home, but questioned everything I was ever taught.

I graduated from Bible college in 1990 and continued to question everything I was ever taught (I do not mention my college in order to avoid being labeled).

Perhaps my greatest preparation for ministry has been life and ministry itself. To quote an author I have come to enjoy namely Fredrick Buechner in his writing entitled, Now and Then, "If God speaks to us at all other than through such official channels as the Bible and the church, then I think that He speaks to us largely through what happens to us...if we keep our hearts open as well as our ears, if we listen with patience and hope, if we remember at all deeply and honestly, then I think we come to recognize beyond all doubt, that, however faintly we may hear Him, He is indeed speaking to us, and that, however little we may understand of it, His word to each of us is both recoverable and precious beyond telling." ~ Fredrick Buechner

Well that is about all there is of interest to tell you about me.

I hope our ministry here is a blessing to you and your family. I also hope that it is only a supplement to a local church where you are committed to other believers in a community of grace.

~God Bless!