Sunday, August 26, 2007

The Modern Day Judaizers
Law vs. Grace
By Tyris Horton Sr.
Edited by Lionel Woods

I will briefly examine the Heresy that Apostle Paul dealt with in the letter to the Galatians and how this same type of false teaching is notorious in the church today. Examples of this same insidious teaching are tithing, speaking in tongues as evidence of true conversion, coercion, intimidation, indoctrination, guilt and bondage, and many other types of legalism that pervert the liberty we have in Christ. The Law had a purpose and a meaning and needs to be reconciled with the teachings of the New Covenant so we can see scripture through the lens of Biblical Truth. In this we will focus on Tithing and Circumcision and how they correlate to our present day.
To begin let us look at examine some facts concerning this issue. There are 613 Levitical laws, which other of them do you follow along with your modern day 10% tithe? Did you know that the Israelites gave 4 to 5 different tithes totaling more than 23.3%? Did you know that the Lord told the Israelites to eat their tithe in Deuteronomy 14? Does not the Bible say concerning Tithes that they are only to be paid to Aaron or the lineage of the priests? Is your pastor a direct descendant of Aaron? Who was the book of Malachi speaking to? This could be why Paul did not mention paying tithes in the New Testament. I am not going to attempt to answer all of these questions but I encourage you to seek the truth of the matter!!! Read on what indulgences were about during the time of Martin Luther. You will find a startling resemblance to the modern day tithe and how people think we can purchase the blessing of God.

2 Corinthians 8:12 For if the willingness is there, the gift is acceptable according to what one has, not according to what he does not have. 13 Our desire is not that others might be relieved while you are hard pressed, but that there might be equality. 14 At the present time your plenty will supply what they need, so that in turn their plenty will supply what you need. Then there will be equality, 15 as it is written: "He who gathered much did not have too much, and he who gathered little did not have too little."

2 Corinthians 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.

Hebrews 8:13 In that He says, "A new covenant," He has made the first obsolete. Now what is becoming obsolete and growing old is ready to vanish away.

Tithing becomes an issue when charlatans use eisegetical manipulation to put money in their pockets. What is Eisegesis? Eisgesis is an interpretation, especially of Scripture, that expresses the interpreter's own ideas, bias, or the like, rather than the meaning of the text. In this there is a larger problem to be tackled; and that is a clear understanding of law and grace. If you are a faithful tither, there are many resources to clear up your ignorance and I suggest “Whose Money is it Anyway” by John Macarthur Jr. We are of a new and better covenant in Christ and are not required to adhere to any Mosaic or Pre-Mosaic ordinances. Please examine the scriptures and put the truth of scripture before the traditions of men. With that said I encourage giving and not tithing. This should be done according to the model laid in the New Testament. Ask your pastors why they endorse this teaching? Ask for exegetical expository teaching on the Tithe and the different types of tithes and listen how they try to manipulate the texts. Let us examine the use of the Law and its purpose from scripture.

Purpose of the Law
Galatians 2:16 knowing that a man is not justified by the works of the law but by faith in Jesus Christ, even we have believed in Christ Jesus, that we might be justified by faith in Christ and not by the works of the law; for by the works of the law no flesh shall be justified.
Galatians 3:19 What, then, was the purpose of the law? It was added because of transgressions until the Seed to whom the promise referred had come.
Galatians 3:24 So the law was put in charge to lead us to Christ that we might be justified by faith. 25 Now that faith has come, we are no longer under the supervision of the law. 26 You are all sons of God through faith in Christ Jesus, 27 for all of you who were baptized into Christ have clothed yourselves with Christ.
The law was a tool needed to point us to Christ. If the law was all that we needed to go before God then we have no use for the Cross and His death, burial, and resurrection was done in vain. So we think in some way we can assist the “I AM” in His unilateral, sacrificial, affectionate, rectifying, deed for the elect? May that thought be far from us. We owe God our all(Romans 12:2) So do not think your work, monetary gift, or deeds of the Mosaic Law can in any way help the salvific work of Christ alone.

Argument 1
Abram and Jacob Tithed before the law, therefore we must also tithe since we are their decedents. Genesis 14 & 28.
This argument at best is elementary. If we were to tithe as Abraham did we would have to win a war, take the spoils of it and present it to someone. Abram gave nothing from his own possessions to Melchelzidek and wanted nothing of the spoils of war because he did not want to give any glory to man for his riches. Jacob, it is agreed among scholars that his ambitions were from a selfish motive. These two illustrations are not models for us to follow verbatim. If this were the case why do we not do sacrifices? Surely in the day of Abram and Jacob sacrifices were very common and also were before the law but the book of Hebrews destroys our hope in any reputable sacrifice aside from the Lamb-Jesus the Christ.

Hebrews 10:1 For the law, having a shadow of the good things to come, and not the very image of the things, can never with these same sacrifices, which they offer continually year by year, make those who approach perfect. 2 For then would they not have ceased to be offered? For the worshipers, once purified, would have had no more consciousness of sins. 3 But in those sacrifices there is a reminder of sins every year. 4 For it is not possible that the blood of bulls and goats could take away sins. 5 Therefore, when He came into the world, He said: "Sacrifice and offering You did not desire, But a body You have prepared for Me. 6 In burnt offerings and sacrifices for sin You had no pleasure.

Argument 2
Malachi 3:8 ."Will a man rob God? Yet you rob me. "But you ask, 'How do we rob you?' "In tithes and offerings.
This is the most quoted verse I see pastors use to manipulate the flock to give out of fear. This is what we mentioned earlier called eisegetical manipulation. They quote the text and say this applies to us today and it clearly does not. The text is speaking to the priest and people of Israel. Look at this previous example in the time of Samuel for a great example of why the Lord was angry.
1 Samuel 2:12 Eli's sons were wicked men; they had no regard for the Lord. 13 Now it was the practice of the priests with the people that whenever anyone offered a sacrifice and while the meat was being boiled, the servant of the priest would come with a three-pronged fork in his hand. 14 He would plunge it into the pan or kettle or caldron or pot, and the priest would take for himself whatever the fork brought up. This is how they treated all the Israelites who came to Shiloh. 15 But even before the fat was burned, the servant of the priest would come and say to the man who was sacrificing, "Give the priest some meat to roast; he won't accept boiled meat from you, but only raw." 16 If the man said to him, "Let the fat be burned up first, and then take whatever you want," the servant would then answer, "No, hand it over now; if you don't, I'll take it by force." 17 This sin of the young men was very great in the Lord's sight, for they were treating the Lord's offering with contempt.

What and where are these storehouses that pastors always talk about? Is the church the new storehouse? Certainly not. Regardless of your theology whether it be dispensationalist, Covenant, or New Covenant we all can agree on the fact that giving to the storehouse was under the civil law of Israel. To go further we see Joseph in the book of Genesis being in charge of the finances in Egypt. He also did something similar and taking a fifth (Genesis 41& 47) of the peoples wealth to store for the famine. How shocking this is when we look at the Tithe of the Israelites and see that they gave around 23%-30% to their government the Levites and how we today give about the same for our taxes in our American culture.
There are many other common arguments I am not able to address in this setting but I hope this small simple truth may have wet your appetite to examine what you thought you knew concerning this issue. I encourage you to examine everything concerning the scriptures in this and even other issues with the same scrutiny. I at a time attended a church where they taught that if we did not give a tithe that we would be cursed. I saw God as some legalistic money hungry Father who would consume me if I had to feed my family over my tithe. A lot of Christians, as soon as something goes wrong they say, "Did you pay your tithes?" If we look in Galatians 3 we also see that we are cursed if we follow the law and even stumble in one point of the law we are cursed. So how do you reconcile the two? The answer is you read in context and understand how God wants us to be with all our possessions. We are to give from our heart not according to manipulation or fear. Read 1 Corinthians 8 & 9. This should clear up any confusion concerning money and read Galatians for a clear understanding of the law and grace. God Bless.