Keith Hunt - Tithing? #7 - Page Seven   Restitution of All Things

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Tithing? #7

Is the law of tithing for us today?


                       1 Cor. 9:13,14

                             by

                         Keith Hunt



   Some say that these verses in 1 Corinthians chapter nine have
nothing to do with tithing nor would any of Paul's readers have
thought he possibly was referring to tithing. I disagree with
such a view. I believe and I submit to you that many of Paul's
readers would have taken these verses by Paul as believing he was
indeed referring to the tithing law, and giving support in so
doing that those preaching the gospel under the New Covenant age
of the Church of God, could indeed live off the tithes and
offerings of those receiving that preaching and instruction of
the NT Gospel.

   We have seen in part six of this study that Paul is here in
chapter nine, proving to the Corinthians that Barnabas and he had
the right and the authority to NOT work at a secular job, but to
be full time in the work of the Gospel ministry as was many
others. In the preceding verses leading up to verses 13 and 14 he
had shown from different examples that it was quite right and
proper for workers in the Gospel ministry to be paid for their
work, hence to live off the material goods of those receiving the
Gospel.
   When he gives the example of the OT Temple and those working
in its function, and serving at the altar, in verse 13, his
readers could easily look back in the books of Moses and read all
the words of the Lord regarding all the laws concerning that work
of the Temple and altar. His readers would plainly see that those
doing the full time work in the Temple lived off what the people
brought to the Temple. They would read the people brought their
TITHES AND OFFERINGS to the Temple.
   They would plainly see that in this example Paul was referring
to people living off the tithes and offerings of those coming to
the Temple to worship God. 
   Paul gives no qualifying statement. He does not go on to say
anything like: "But that law does not apply to the NT Gospel
workers, as no tithing is to be done to the NT Church of God."
Paul does NOT qualify in any way, what he has just told them. He
has led them to see the laws of the Temple under Moses, laws of
tithing and offering, and those living off that law.  He has
drawn their minds to the law of tithing and offering, and just
leaves them with it, never comes close to qualifying it in any
way. He then immediately goes on to tell them what the Lord has
ordained in verse 14.  He tells them that it is the will of the
Lord that those who preach the Gospel should live off the Gospel.

   Paul, in taking them back to the verses in the OT concerning
the Temple and altar, which revolved around the people bringing
their tithes and offerings there, had a wonderful opportunity to
state to the NT church something like: "But I want you to
remember that I'm not saying NT Christians should tithe, because
the law of tithing is done away" or "This does not mean we in the
Church of God should tithe because that is only for those under
the Old Covenant and still supporting the Temple in Jerusalem,
but we can give whatever and whenever to the work of the Lord
Jesus Christ."

   I submit to you that MANY reading what Paul said, without any
qualifying words whatsoever, would have taken those words of Paul
as that he was meaning and teaching that tithes and offerings
should still be done by the people of God in the New Covenant
age, and ministers of the Gospel could be full time, being
supported by those tithes and offerings so being given to the
Church of God, as well as to the Temple priesthood.

   As Paul gave no qualifying remarks, I submit that many,
especially the new Gentile converts, would have thought this way:
   If they had not been too conversant with the Scriptures of the
Lord (what today we call the Old Testament), many of these
Gentiles would have gone searching for those passages in
connection with what Paul was relating them to. They would have
found the passages on what and how those Temple and altar workers
partook of. They would have found the laws regarding tithes and
offerings that the people were to bring to the Temple as worship
towards God.
   Is it not logic that many of those Gentiles would have said to
themselves: "Paul has led us to the laws of tithes and offerings,
and those who could live off such as came into the Temple, and
then he tells us its the will of God for today that those
preaching and teaching the Gospel, should also live off those
receiving the Gospel.  We then should be doing the same as the
example he gave us. We should give tithes and offerings to the
Gospel ministry of Christ, so some can work full time in that
Gospel service, and live off the tithes and offerings being
given."

   I submit that MANY, especially the Gentiles, would have so
reasoned in their minds when reading those two verses as given by
Paul, without him adding any qualifying remarks. I submit it
would have been plain logic that many would have so thought and
understood and reasoned.
   I submit that many would have believed Paul was saying it was
correct and right to give tithes and offerings to the work and
the Gospel of Christ, so some could be employed full time in the
work of that Gospel, just as it was correct and right that tithes
and offerings were given to the OT Temple and priesthood, so some
could be full time in the service of the Temple function.
   I submit that many individual people would have so understood
Paul as teaching this in those two verses, and would then have
set their mind so. Would have set their mind to tithe and give
offerings to the Church of God. And in many cases this would have
been a personal practice without anyone knowing.
   Whatever money and physical goods were coming into any local
church, would very unlikely have be turned down or refused.  It
would be very unlikely that anyone asked if it was a tithe, part
of a tithe, or an offering.  I'm sure if Paul was given money or
goods from someone he received it with thankfulness, and never
asked if it was a tithe, part of a tithe, or a free will
offering.

   Surely Paul knew that by stating what he did in verses 13 and
14, without qualifying it in any way, he would have some
believing  the laws of tithing and offerings were still in
effect. And surely he must have also realized that his example
would have led many to now tithe and give offerings to the Church
of God if they so desired and not to the Temple, in order that
"they which preach the gospel should live off the gospel."

   We never find any minister of the Gospel ever asking anyone if
what they were giving to the Church was a tithe, or part of, so
they could tell them not to tithe because it was "done away with"
or because tithes still had to go to the Temple and the Temple
only.
   Paul may not have directly in these verses been telling people
to tithe to the Church of God, but with no qualifying words to
the contrary, I'll bet many were indeed led to continue tithing,
and to the Church of God, just as many in Judaism continued to
tithe to the Temple.

            .....................................

Written November 1999

All articles and studies by Keith Hunt may be copied, published,
e-mailed, and distributed as led by the Spirit. Mr. Hunt trusts
nothing will be changed (except for spelling and punctuation
errors) without his consent.  


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