New testament giving – Part 3
From today, we will begin to focus on the three dispensations of Divine dealings with mankind and discuss the prescribed form of giving in each dispensation.
Let us begin with the Lawless period between Abraham and Moses. During this period there were no laws, whether written or unwritten. This is the authority that some teachers quote for the giving of tithe in the New Testament. They claim that:
(a) since this period between Abraham and Moses is a period without the Law, as they believe is this church period and tithes were given during this lawless period, tithes should still be valid today;
(b) since it was in this period that our father Abraham gave tithes to Melchizedek, we, who are the children of Abraham by faith should also give tithes.
These two claims are absolutely wrong. Please note the following:
The church dispensation is not the same as the lawless period of the time of Abraham to Moses. The church of Christ is not a lawless church as in the days of Abraham to Moses. The church is not under the laws of Moses, but it is under a new law called:
• law of the Spirit of life (Romans 8:2)
• law of love (Gal 5:14)
• law of liberty (James 1:25; 2:12)
• law written on tables of heart (Heb. 8:10)
• law of faith (Gal 3:26)
• Abraham gave a tithe of thanks to Melchizedek (Gen 14:20) and Jacob (Israel) promised to pay a tithe of vow to God (Gen 28:22). In both cases, it was a revelation in the hearts of these people of a law of giving, which God was to give to the physical seed of Abraham, the nation that was to come out of Jacob. This revelation was confirmed and fulfilled in the law of tithes given to Israel in Lev 27:30-31.
Please note that God did the same with circumcision. God gave a revelation of circumcision to Abraham in Gen 17:1-14 even before Mosaic law and later became confirmed as part of the Mosaic law (Lev 12:3).
Here, we conclude that the revelation of tithe and circumcision was for the nation of Israel and not for the church. Therefore, if the law of circumcision does not hold valid for the church today, then the law of tithe cannot also hold valid for the church today.
Physical circumcision is not a requirement for salvation today. What is valid for the church today is spiritual circumcision (Romans 2:28-29)
In the same way, what holds valid for the church today is not the legalistic giving of tithes, but spiritual giving.
Next week, God willing, we will look at the second dispensation of God’s dealings with mankind and the prescribed legalistic mode of giving. May the good Lord give us understanding in Jesus Name.
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Bro. Kunle Adigun, Friends of the Bridegroom International Ministries (FOBIM)