The True Christian Tithe

 

 

"And here men that die receive tithes; but there he receiveth them, of whom it is witnessed that he liveth." Hebrews 7:8

This one verse in Hebrews tells us what the true Christian "tithe' is.

Now let me say that some people have used this verse, taken out of Biblical context, to try and say that they had the right to collect tithe. Just as long as you only read the first half of the verse!

If we read the context (and I suggest that you do) the Bible is talking about the differences between the old covenant Levitical priesthood, and the new covenant priesthood. It's made quite clear (and no one will argue) that Jesus is the HIgh Priest of the new covenant. The old covenant had a high priest. He was a member of the tribe of Levi, handed down from one generation to another.

If we can understand these concepts then we ought to understand what this verse is saying...

"And here men that die receive tithes;..."

Here (in the earth), the Levitical high priest receives tithes. This is an absolutely true statement, or at least was at the time of the writing of the book of Hebrews. At that time, the Jewish temple and it's sacrificial practices were in operation. These practices (of which "tithe" was the amount of the sin offering) were the "stuff" that Israel needed to do in order to make atonement for their sin (Leviticus 17:11). The book of Hebrews was directed toward a group of Christians who were still following these sacrificial practices.

It is made quite clear that the Levitical priesthood is now done away with in the new covenant...

" For the priesthood being changed, there is made of necessity a change also of the law. " (Hebrews 7:12)

As I said earlier it is quite clear and unarguable that Jesus is the High Priest of the new covenant. But what tithe does He receive?.....

"And here men that die receive tithes; but there he receiveth them, of whom it is witnessed that he liveth." Hebrews 7:8

I think this is one of the greatest statements in scripture (and so incredibly overlooked and ignored!).....

"...but there (in Heaven) he (Jesus) receiveth them, of whom it is witnessed that he liveth (those who receive the witness that Jesus is alive)."

Jesus' tithe is the souls of those who believe in Him!

What a glorious revelation! What an incredible goal that God has set for us--to witness Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior. This is meant to be the central function of the church and the constant ongoing activity of all Christians.

Letting people know that He lives.

If you do this you pay tithe.

One of the biggest stumbling blocks to "tithe preachers" is a questions that they always seem to work around, and it is this:

"What gives a pastor (or anyone in the Christian church) the right to receive tithe?"

The closest Biblical type that a "pastor" fits into is the Levitical priest. The Levites did their ministry on an altar, in the house of God. They were the "anointed, appointed, delegated, ordained authority who had this right (according to the old covenant). They had authority over the congregation (of Israel). When church leaders use these words and examples they are referring to the Levitical priesthood.....but....they usually fall short of actually calling themselves Levites.

Why?

 

 

Well because it then becomes obvious that they are not actually following many of the other commandments with regard to the priesthood. After all, are they truly a descendant of Levi? And more so, let's consider what we have just studied (something often waxed over) that the priesthood is changed--the old covenant laws about the priesthood are changed--there is no more Levitical priesthood within the new covenant church (the new priesthood is meant to be in all believers--1Peter 2:5, 2:9).

In the old covenant only the Levitical high priest could enter into Gods' presence behind the veil of the temple. Again it is quite clear that all believers can enter into Gods' presence in the new covenant (since we have the better offering of the blood of Jesus).

In the old covenant, the Levites were "better" than the rest of Israel.

How can I say this?

"And without all contradiction the less is blessed of the better." (Hebrews 7:7)

It's a Biblical principal (and one not often spoken about) that anyone who receives tithe is better than the person giving it.

The Levites were better than the rest of Israel. They were better than the "congregation" of Israel.

Most pastors don't want to stand up in front of everyone and say that they are better--but--it's a Biblical principal that whoever receives a tithe is better than the person giving it, and the person giving it is "lesser". If you said stuff like that you would be very unpopular--right? In the old covenant the Levites could say this to Israel since Israel knew that they needed to give that tithe in order to have their sin forgiven, and the way to Gods' presence was locked up behind a veil. Somehow the high priest made it in there once a year without getting killed (usually), so he must be better than us!

But the pastor?

Is he really better than the rest of us?

 

Well it all makes sense when we understand that Jesus is the High Priest--with a better priesthood (for all of us!).

And if only we could grasp the tithe we are meant to pay Him!

Pay tithe---go get someone saved!