It has ironically become a daunting task trying to keep up with doctrines in today’s church. There seems to be a lot of picking and choosing going on with scriptural verses. With most of today’s church really hot on the tithe. It is treated with such reverence that some even hold it above the sacrifice of Jesus himself and would do anything to make sure nothing affects this cash cow.
How come tithing becomes relevant to today’s church because Abraham did it before the Law and circumcision is not treated as such even though that too was practised by Abraham before the law? This is largely due to the fact that when a lot of believers look at the Old Testament, rather than look at it through Jesus they resort to a physical interpretation of scriptures. Interpreting any verse of scripture outside Jesus would most definitely be riddled with errors.
There is a reason the entire Old Testament was documented; it contained full details of the coming Messiah. Every single verse contains a full description of the Christ, making it easy to identify Him when He came in the flesh. Hence scriptures tell us that Jesus is the fulfilment of the law. Let us look at one particular case study. In the book of 2 Samuel 7, God decides to bless David’s descendants because of his intention to build God a house.
“‘Furthermore, the Lord declares that he will make a house for you—a dynasty of kings! 12 For when you die and are buried with your ancestors, I will raise up one of your descendants, your own offspring, and I will make his kingdom strong. 13 He is the one who will build a house—a temple—for my name. And I will secure his royal throne forever. 14 I will be his father, and he will be my son. If he sins, I will correct and discipline him with the rod, like any father would do. 15 But my favor will not be taken from him as I took it from Saul, whom I removed from your sight. 16 Your house and your kingdom will continue before me[b] for all time, and your throne will be secure forever.’”
Looking at the above scripture, one is almost tempted to say that it is Solomon that was being referred to but there are some points mentioned which never came to pass in the life of Solomon. For one Solomon’s throne did not remain forever. Although he built a house for God, that house is not standing today. Every single aspect of the above passage of scripture was fulfilled in the life of Jesus. He was the descendant of David that God was referring to. His throne’s lasted forever. He has built God a house that still stands, we believers are that house; scripture says we are lively stones building a spiritual house, a holy habitation unto God. This is just one of those many instances in the Old Testament that speak about Jesus. If we take Jesus out of the equation, no single verse of scripture both Old and New would make sense.
Every single offering mentioned in the Old Testament pointed to Jesus and how we now define offerings as any amount you give above your tithe is way beyond me. And this brings me to firstfruits and tithes. The firstfruits were usually bits of crops taken just before the harvest to be offered by the Israelites unto God. They were usually representatives of the rest of the harvest. Offering the firstfruits symbolised the resurrection of Christ.
But now is Christ risen from the dead, and become the firstfruits of them that slept. (1 Corinthians 15:20)
Verily, verily, I say unto you, Except a corn of wheat fall into the ground and die, it abideth alone: but if it die, it bringeth forth much fruit. (John 12:24)
Man has symbolically been referred to in scripture as plants. The symbolism of the Old Testament firstfruit was Christ. That aspect has been fulfilled. This makes it completely out of place and out of sync with the Bible to teach giving money as firstfruits. And this brings me to the tithes. Since Jesus has been referred to as the firstfruits, who then makes up the harvest? The rest of mankind! From scripture, we are told that the tithe was always A TENTH of agricultural produce and livestock. In order to determine the tenth, the farmers had to group their products in tens and separate every tenth as the tithe. It was the tenth that was holy. This tenth refers to every believer, we have been separated unto God and made holy by Him.
If the New Testament describes Jesus as the firstfruit then this implies that we believers are the tithe. Because we have been selected from amongst the world, saved by grace not by works and made holy unto God. This makes teaching the tithe as 10% of one’s income unscriptural.
From scripture, we see that the Old Testament firstfruit finds its fulfilment in Jesus Christ while the tithes on the other hand find their fulfilment in every believer because we have been made holy unto Him.