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Take heed that you do not do your charitable deeds before men, to be seen by them. Otherwise you have no reward from your Father in.
Table of contents
- On Almsgiving
- Sermon on Alms, Issues : Archbishop St John Chrysostomos :
- Bestselling Series
- Top Authors
Christ's priesthood is eternal, without beginning or end. Since the earliest times, the fathers of faith have recognized His Priesthood through honoring Him with the tithe. When we bring our tithes into the storehouse, we should present them in our heart to Him. Obviously we cannot transport the tithe to heaven to present it before Christ.
Neither should we, for He does not need it there. He has another purpose for the tithe His house on earth. Jacob vowed in Genesis that he would establish God's house on The Stone and then honor God with the tithe. God designated the tithe for His house. Malachi says, "Bring all the tithes into the storehouse, that there may be food in My house. Jesus introduced His body as the true Temple of God: "Destroy this temple, and in three days I will raise it up.
But He was speaking of the temple of His body" John Jesus is the Stone upon which the house of God is built. The Church is the true fulfillment of the House of God and the Temple of God, and therefore, the place for tithes.
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Can I choose where I want to put My tithes? Before the Temple was destroyed in 70 A. However, the concept of the house of God had been revealed in many progressive versions in the Old Testament, beginning with the Tabernacle of Moses. From Tabernacles to Temples, God was bringing forth a revelation of His house. God knew of the changes that would occur and instructed the people in Moses' day: "But you shall seek the place where the Lord your God chooses.
There you shall take. Before ascending to heaven, Jesus placed His name in the Church. Isn't it the local Church? The local Church is the storehouse and guardian of the tithe. This was understood by those early believers: "Nor was there anyone among them who lacked; for all who were possessors of lands or houses sold them, and brought the proceeds of the things that were sold, and laid them at the apostle's feet, and they distributed to each as anyone had need Acts Acts 5 tells us that the apostles walked with authority in matters of what the people presented at their feet in the account of Ananias and Sapphira.
We are to be "planted" in a local Church under divinely ordained leadership, and there we are to give our tithe.
Although there is no mention of the word "tithe" in the New Testament other than the Gospels and Hebrews, it would seem evident that they did. We have no mention of Jesus and his disciples tithing, but we know that He was born under the law Galatians as well as they. As such, they would have been tithers without question. The silence of the Scripture in regard to actual account does not negate this reality.
The same is true of the early believers. No mention was necessary as it was unquestionable to live otherwise.
After Pentecost the disciples still went to pray at the Temple Acts ; , they taught at the Temple Acts ,21,25,42 , and kept the rituals of the Temple Acts They would have also kept the tithe, for the new Jewish converts were "zealous for the law" Acts Until the Temple was destroyed in 70 A. They had not made a final separation from Judaism because Jesus was the Messiah of Judaism.
These early believers were in a transitional period between covenants.
Only the book of Revelation was written after the Temple was destroyed. Therefore tithing would not have been connected to the new "Temple" of the Church until the old had been destroyed: "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" Hebrews After the destruction of Jerusalem, the place where God had chosen to place His Name in the earth was no longer the Jewish Temple, but the Church.
The Church is now the true Temple of God in the earth. Isn't tithing just a gimmick used by the Church and preachers to get money? Shouldn't ministers preach the Gospel for free? The preaching of the Gospel is to be given without charge: "Freely you have received, freely give" Matthew The Gospel should never be preached on the basis of what people can or will give.
However, this does not mean that preachers and pastors are not to make a living from the gifts and giving of the people. Consider the following Scriptures:. Who plants a vineyard and does not eat of its fruit? Or who, tends a flock and does not drink of the milk of the flock? Do I say these things as a mere man?
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Or does not the law say the same also? For it is written in the Law of Moses, 'You shall not muzzle an ox while it treads out the grain. For our sakes, no doubt, this is written, that he who plows should plow in hope, and he who threshes in hope should be partaker of his hope. For the Scripture says, 'You shall not muzzle the ox while it treads out the grain,' and 'The laborer is worthy of his wages. Those who do not acknowledge this are being either dishonest or malicious. If it were not for people who could devote themselves to the work of the Gospel and the household of faith, the Church, much would be hindered, neglected, or even destroyed.
Should I tithe on the net or on the gross? What they earned was their increase. This is what they paid tithes from. Whatever else was required in taxes, bills, etc When you tithe on the gross you have legal grounds to call on God to bless that which was given to the government, and use that ground as a "pry-bar" in prayer against the devil's power in the nation. For businessmen, the increase would be profit the business has experienced. Therefore the tithe would be one-tenth of all profits. In the Law, the people were to bring the tithe to the priest at the temple.
Abraham brought the tithe to Melchizedek before the house of God existed. Jacob vowed to establish a place for God's house and to support it with one-tenth of all his substance Genesis ; No doubt the disciples continued to tithe to the Temple in New Testament times even as the participated in other Temple activities Acts ; They continued to be zealous for the Law as Jewish believers Acts Once the Temple was destroyed in 70 A. I believe the Spirit of this is clear in Deuteronomy , "But you shall seek the place where the Lord your God chooses, out of all your tribes, to put His name for His dwelling place; and there you shall go.
Take heed to yourself that you do not offer your burnt offerings in every place that you see; but in the place which the Lord chooses. You may not eat within your gates the tithe. But you must eat them before the Lord in the place which the Lord your God chooses.
Sermon on Alms, Issues : Archbishop St John Chrysostomos :
Notice here that the instruction is to seek out the place where the Lord has chosen to put His name, and to take the tithe there. I believe the place that God has chosen to put his Name, the place that all the heathen and pagans recognize, as well as the most religious is the local church. It is the very representative of God in every community. The church is God's Temple and His house.
Therefore the local church that God has led you to become "planted" is the place where your tithes are to go. Those tithes become the "meat" by which the local churches are supported Malachi Is giving tithes the same as giving to help the poor? Malachi states that God desires both tithes and offerings. The tithe is that part which belongs to God for the purpose of His house. An offering is that which God desires for you to give beyond the tithe. He does not want us to be limited in our willingness to yield our finances and possessions to Him.
It honors Him as we show faith in Him as our Provider as we tithe and give. We give alms in secret so as not to embarrass those being helped or to draw attention to our charity to others. God desires that we be responsive to Him in tithes, offerings, and alms. I John If there is among you a poor man, one of your brethren, in any of your towns within your land which the Lord your God gives you, you shall not harden your heart or shut your hand against your poor brother, but you shall open your hand to him, and lend him sufficient for his need, whatever it may be.
You shall give to him freely, and your heart shall not be grudging when you give to him; because for this the Lord your God will bless you in all your work and in all that you undertake. For the poor will never cease out of the land; therefore I command you, you shall open wide your hand to your brother, to the needy and to the poor, in the land. Deuteronomy The poor is disliked even by his neighbor, but the rich has many friends.
He who despises his neighbor is a sinner, but happy is he who is kind to the poor. He who mocks the poor, insults his Maker, he who is glad at calamity will not go unpunished. Proverbs , According to St. John Chrysostom, no one can be saved without giving alms and without caring for the poor. Basil the Great says that a man who has two coats or two pair of shoes, when his neighbor has none, is a thief.
All earthly things are the possessions of God. Men are but stewards of what belongs to the Lord and should share the gifts of His creation with one another as much as they can. To store up earthly possessions, according to Christ, is the epitome of foolishness, and a rich man shall hardly be saved. Luke How hard it is for those who have riches to enter the Kingdom of God! For it is easier for a camel to pass through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter the Kingdom of God.
Woe unto you that are rich, for you have received your consolation. Woe unto you that are full now, for you shall hunger.