SHOULD THE CHURCH TEACH TITHING?
20. Ephesians 2:14-16; Colossians 2:13-17: Law Ordinances Ended
Should the Church Teach Tithing?
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RUSSELL EARL KELLY, PHD
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INTRODUCTION
1. Origin and Definition of Tithing
2. Genesis 14:20 Abraham, Melchizedek, Arab Custom and Tithing
3. Genesis 28:22 Jacob's Bargain With God
4. Numbers 18: The Obscure Statute/Ordinance of Tithing
5. Leviticus 27:30-34 Tithing and Holy and Most Holy Statutes
6. Tithes Replaced Land Inheritance
7. How Many Tithes? 10%, 20%, or 23 1/3rd%?
8. Deuteronomy 12 and 14: Strange Facts about Tithing
9. The Poor and Jesus Did Not Tithe
10. Kings, Tithes and Taxes: Levites with Political Jobs
11. 2nd Chronicles 31 Explains Malachi
12. Nehemiah 10-13: Historical Context of Malachi
13a. Commentary on Malachi 1 and 2: Cursing the Priests for Stealing
13b. Malachi 3 and 4
14. Matthew 23:23; Luke 11:42 Supporting the Old Covenant and Its Interpreters
15. Luke 18:12 A Pharisee's Boast about Tithing
16. Acts 15 and 21: Compromise Divided the Jerusalem Church
17. Hebrews 8; 2nd Corinthians 3; A Better New Covenant; MARTIN LUTHER
18. The Mosaic Law and the "Law" of Christ; MATT 5:17-19
19. Hebrews 7: Extremely Important
20. Ephesians 2:14-16; Colossians 2:13-17: Law Ordinances Ended
21. 1 Peter 2:9-10: Your Priesthood Abolishes Tithing
22. 1 Corinthians 9: Using Christian Liberty to Refuse Christian Rights [2007]
23. 1 Corinthians 16: Principles for Giving to the Needy
24. 1 Timothy 5:17: Worthy of Double Honor
25. Miscellaneous Objections
26. Chafer and Walvoord on New Covenant Giving
27. 2 Corinthians 8 and 9: Principles of Grace Giving
28. Acts 20:16-35: Paul's Sermon is Not Preached
29. Secular History of Tithing
30. Tithing Principles for Tithe-Teaching Churches
31. Spreading the Gospel
BIBLIOGRAPHY AND PAGE #
58% of Evangelical Leaders Reject Tithing, April 2011
140 QUESTIONS FOR TITHE ADVOCATES
1873: TITHING FIRST SUGGESTED IN USA
20% OF SBC PASTORS AND 31% OF OTHER PASTORS AGREE
ACCOMPLISHMENTS OF THIS BOOK
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ALCORN, RANDY
Amazon.com Reviews
ANTI-TITHING VIDEOS
ASSEMBLY OF GOD TITHING STATEMENT
BACKLASH AGAINST TITHING, WALL STREET JOURNAL
BAKER, ROBERT A: SBC HISTORIAN
BAKER'S EVANGELICAL DICTIONARY OF THE BIBLE
BAPTIST STATEMENTS OF FAITH AGREED UNTIL 1963
BLACK, DAVID ALAN, TH. D.; SBC THEOLOGIAN
BLOGGING CONDEMNED BY GEORGIA BAPTIST LEADERS
BOOKIDEAS: PROFESSIONAL BOOK REVIEW
BROWN, TOM: WOF MINISTRIES
BURKETT, LARRY AND DAYTON, HOWARD; CROWN
CALVIN, JOHN: TITHING
CAMERON, BARRY: TITHING ABCs
CARSON, D A; REBUTTAL ON TITHING
CARTOON
CBS TRANSCRIPT AND COMMENTS
CHARISMA MAGAZINE 3-11-08
CHEUNG, VINCENT: MALACHI
CHRISTIAN TODAY, TITHING, 2016
CHRISTIAN TORAH DOCTRINE
CHURCH OF SCOTLAND RECOMMENDED READING
COME LET US GROW TOGETHER: TITHING
CONNER, KEVIN J; MELCHIZEDEK
COPELAND, KENNETH: TITHING REBUTTAL
CORBAN AND FIRSTFRUIT-TITHING
CROTEAU, DAVID, PHD
CROWN MINISTRIES 2012
DANA, H E: SOUTHERN BAPTIST HISTORIAN
DEJONG, PAUL: TITHING
DOLLAR, CREFLO: TITHING REBUTAL
Et essay: Tiende er ikke en kristen lære
Dizimar não é uma doutrina cristã
Un ensayo: el diezmar no es una doctrina cristiana
EVANS, TONY
EZEKIEL'S TEMPLE: NO TITHING
FLOYD, RONNIE
GEORGE, WILLIE; REBUTTAL
GOD'S PLAN OF SALVATION
GRACE-GIVING CHURCHES
GRAHAM, BILLY: TITHING
GRAHAM, FRANKLIN: SALARY-TITHING
GREIMANN, DEAN ON TITHING
HAGEE, JOHN
HANNESSY, SHAWN, TITHING
HAYFORD, JACK; TITHING
HEMPHILL, KENNETH, TITHING; SBC SPOKESMAN
KEN HEMPHILL AND BOBBY EKLUND
HINN, BENNY: TITHING
HOUSTON, BRIAN: HILLSONG, TITHING
HOW TO BECOME A PROSPERITY PREACHER
If We Don't Preach Tithing, How Do We Pay the Church Bills?
JAKES, TD; 49 LIES TOLD ABOUT TITHING
JEREMIAH, DAVID: TITHING
JEWISH TITHING CONCEPTS
JOYNER, RICK: TITHING REBUTTAL
KENDALL, R T: TITHING
KENNEDY, JAMES, PHD: TITHING
KOSTENBERGER, ANDREAS: 12-4-2007
"LAW" IN THE BIBLE
LAWLESS, CHUCK ON TITHING
LINKS: SITES AND BOOKS
LIST OF TITHING OPPONENTS THROUGHOUT HISTORY
LIST OF UNSCRIPTURAL BAPTIST TITHING ERRORS
LONDON DEBATE: POINT BY POINT COMMENTS
LONDON DEBATE, MAR 30, 2011 TRANSCRIPT
LONDON TV DEBATE DETAILS PLUS
LUTHER, MARTIN REJECTED TITHING: 1525
MALACHI 3:10 HAS BEEN MISINTERPRETED
MALACHI 3:10: THE TEST-GOD TITHE MYTH
MARINELLI, CHAD, WORD OF FAITH
MARTIN, ERNEST L; THE TITHING DILEMMA
MATTHEW 5:17-19
MAXWELL, JOHN C
MELCHIZEDEK: WAS HE A PAGAN GENTILE?
MEYER, ALLAN: TITHING
MONEY WITH GENTILE IMAGES WAS BANNED
MORRIS, ROBERT: Jesus is the Tithe
MORMON-LDS TITHING
NORTH, GARY COVENANTAL TITHE
NORTH, GARY PERSPECTIVES ON TITHING
NORTH, GARY WIKIPEDIA
OWEN, JOHN --DID NOT TEACH TITHING
PAGAN CHRISTIANITY: BOOK REVIEW
PINK, A W: TITHING
PIPER, JOHN: TITHING
POEMS BY H. K. PYWELL
POSITION PAPER FORCES EMPLOYEES TO TEACH TITHING
PREACHERS, EVANGELISTS AND THEOLOGIANS SPEAK OUT
PRINCE, JOSEPH
PROSPERITY GOSPEL: AVANZINI PLUS
PROSPERITY GOSPEL: Jones and Woodbridge
PROSPERITY GOSPEL REFUTATION
RAMSEY, DAVE: TITHING
RHODE ISLAND BAPTISTS: 1638-1770S
RICH PREACHERS WHO TEACH TITHING
ROBERTSON, NORMAN: TITHING
ROBINSON, VON ON TITHING
ROGERS, ADRIAN: Tithing Rebuttal
ROGERS, ROD: PASTOR DRIVEN STEWARDSHIP
ROSS, CHARLES: TITHING
SBC CHURCH WANTS YOUR BANK ROUTING NUMBER FOR TITHE
SBC FINANCIAL ABUSE
SBC SCHOLARS: THEOLOGIANS AND HISTORIANS WHO AGREE
SCHREINER, THOMAS R, PHD, SBTS, TITHING
SHAFFER, GLENN ON TITHING, RUSS KELLY
SIX MOST QUOTED LIES ABOUT TITHING
SOUTHERN BAPTIST ENCYCLOPEDIA: TITHING
SOUTHERN BAPTIST TITHING BROCHURES
SPROUL, R C: TITHING REBUTTAL
SPURGEON, CHARLES H
ST PETERSBURG TIMES
STOREHOUSE TITHING ERROR
SUBMISSION THEOLOGY
SUNDAY SCHOOL LESSON ON TITHING; JANUARY 28, 2007
SWAZILAND, POVERTY, AND PROSPERITY PREACHERS
SWINDOLL, CHARLES (CHUCK): TITHING
TBN: THE CROUCHES: TITHING
TEXT INDEX FOR 2007 EDITION
THEOLOGICAL DOUBLE-TALK
TIMELINE: BAPTIST, SBC and REK BOOK
TITHE MAPS IN 18TH CENTURY EUROPE
TITHES: NEW ADVENT CATHOLIC ENCYCLOPEDIA
TITHING ABUSE STORIES
TITHE AND OFFERING SCRIPTURES.COM/LEON
WALL STREET JOURNAL: RUSSELL KELLY LETTER
WARREN, RICK ON TITHING
WARREN, RICK: TITHING 2015
WE ARE NOT ALONE: VERY STRONG SUPPORT
Web Sites Which Discuss This Book and Tithing
WESLEY, JOHN
Where in the Bible Were Tithes Abolished?
WIDOW'S MITE
WOODWARD, GEOFF: TITHING
WYCLIFFE DICTIONARY OF THEOLOGY; F F BRUCE
WYTSMA, KEN: TITHING REBUTTAL
YOUNG, ED: TITHING REBUTTAL

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From the book.

Should the Church Teach Tithing?
A Theologian's Conclusions about a Taboo Doctrine
Russell Earl Kelly, PHD
tithing-russkelly.com
russkellyphd@yahoo.com

Video Essay

London video tithing debate

Tithing Was a Statute and Ordinance of the Mosaic Law

Num. 18:23 But the Levites shall do the service of the tabernacle of the congregation, and they shall bear their iniquity; it shall be a statute [ordinance] forever throughout your generations, that among the children of Israel they have no inheritance.

Num. 18:24 But the tithes of the children of Israel, which they offer as a heave offering to the LORD, I have given to the Levites to inherit; therefore I have said to them, Among the children of Israel they shall have no inheritance.

Mal. 3:7 Even from the days of your fathers you have gone away from my ordinances [statutes] and have not kept them. . . .

As previously discussed in the chapters on Numbers 18, Deuteronomy 12 and Malachi 3, tithing was a statute, or ordinance, of the Mosaic Law. The exact wording of the tithe statute itself, Numbers 18, uses the word, "statute," in verses 8, 11, 19, and 23. Numbers 18:20-21 contains the most accurate wording of the purpose of tithing found in the entire Bible. Tithes were food products from the land of Israel which were to compensate the Levites for their service to God as a replacement for their lost land inheritance rights in Israel. Those who often quote Malachi 3:8-10 usually omit God’s rebuke of Israel for violating the "ordinances," or "statutes," in 3:7.

Ephesians 2:12-16 Abolished Law Ordinances

Eph. 2:12 That at that time you were without Christ, being aliens from the commonwealth of Israel, and strangers from the covenants of promise, having no hope, and without God in the world.

Eph. 2:13 But now, in Christ Jesus, you who sometimes were far off are made near by the blood of Christ.

Eph. 2:14 For he is our peace, who has made both one, and has broken down the middle wall of partition between us--

Eph. 2:15 Having abolished in his flesh the enmity, even the law of commandments contained in ordinances, to make in himself of two one new man, so making peace.

Eph. 2:16 And that he might reconcile both to God in one body by the cross, having slain the enmity thereby.

Concerning the abolishment of Mosaic Law ordinances, including tithing, Ephesians, chapter two clearly teaches:

One: Gentiles had been far off from God (vv. 11-12).

Two: The blood of Christ brought them near (v. 13). As believer-priests, they could "come near" and approach God directly.

Three: Christ made Jew and Gentile one (v. 14).

Four: However, he did not make us one by forcing Gentiles to observe ordinances of the law (v. 14).

Five: Instead, he made us one by breaking down the wall which divided the two groups of believers (v. 14).

Six: The wall which divided us was "the law of commandments contained in ordinances" (v. 15).

Seven: Again, Christ destroyed the separating enmity (v. 16).

The Jewish temple had a series of walls which subdivided its people, created inequalities, and created cultural differences. The first wall distinguished between the high priest and other priests; the second wall separated priests from Levites; a third wall separated Levites from other Hebrews; a fourth wall separated Hebrew men from Hebrew women, and a fifth wall separated all Hebrews from Gentiles. A prominent warning sign promised death to any Gentile who dared to pass beyond their wall into the confines of the temple to worship Yahweh.

The "ordinances" of the law defined at least the two most important of these walls; Solomon’s temple arrangement established other walls; and the law itself even served as a partition (Mark 12:1; Neh. 9:13; Ezek. 20:11-12). Various ordinances restricted worship for women, sick persons, persons with missing body parts, persons of mixed genealogies, persons with ceremonial defilement, plus many more who were excluded from full worship and acceptance.

The tithing ordinance was one of the many ordinances which made sharp distinctions between Jew and Gentile, and, of necessity, must be abolished if the church were to be united into one spiritual organism. Tithes were food only to be received from Jewish landowners and herdsmen inside the sacred land of Israel. Ordinances defined the daily lives of every Jewish person and ordinances defined everything the priest was and did.

Tithing, and its associated offerings, were included in the provisional ordinance of the Levitical priesthood. Financially speaking, tithing "created" the priesthood by enabling it to exist! In turn the priesthood received, enacted, controlled and enforced other ordinances such as circumcision, holy days, food laws, and every other distinctly Hebrew custom.

Gentiles did not qualify under the ordinances as tithe-payers! Under the Old Covenant, Gentiles could never be fully considered as God’s people; they could not inherit God’s land and, thus, had no holy land from which to pay tithes. Even Gentiles who had been circumcised as proselytes were always considered "at the gate," rather than full Jews. A proselyte tithe could not enter the temple. A Jewish priest should never accept a supposed "tithe" from a person who was not a Jew or from land which was considered defiled and pagan. Therefore, tithing must be included among those ordinances which were walls between Jews and Gentiles.

Colossians 2:13-17 Abolished Law Ordinances

Col. 2:13 And you, being dead in your sins and the uncircumcision of your flesh, he has quickened together with him, having forgiven you all trespasses--

Col. 2:14 Blotting out the handwriting of ordinances [statutes] that was against us, which was contrary to us, and took it out of the way, nailing it to his cross.

Col. 2:15 And having spoiled principalities and powers, he made a show of them openly, triumphing over them in it.

Col. 2:16 Let no man therefore judge you in food, or in drink, or in respect of a holy day, or of the New Moon, or of the Sabbath days--

Col. 2:17 Which are a shadow of things to come, but the body is of Christ.

Colossians discusses a Gnostic-like heresy that had combined some pagan practices with restrictions already existing under the Old Covenant Mosaic Law. False Jewish-Christian teachers (and possibly others) were attempting to force those practices on Gentile Christians. This perverted the gospel.

In its discussion on tithing, the Wycliffe Bible Dictionary of Theology says, "The silence of the N.T. writers, particularly Paul, regarding the present validity of the tithe can be explained only on the ground that the dispensation of grace has no more place for a law of tithing than it has for a law on circumcision."

Concerning the abolishment of Mosaic Law ordinances, Colossians, chapter two teaches:

One: The Christian who has been re-created in Jesus Christ has been forgiven of all trespasses (v. 13).

Two: God’s forgiveness included the "blotting out the handwriting of ordinances which was against us." The NAS reads "having canceled out the certificate of debt consisting of decrees against us." The NIV reads, "having canceled the written code, with its regulations, that was against us, that stood opposed to us." The RSV reads, "having canceled the bond which stood against us with its legal demands" (v. 14).

Three: Jesus spiritually "nailed" the sinner’s curse and guilt from these "ordinances," "decrees," "regulations," or "legal demands" to the cross (v. 14).

Four: By doing so, he triumphed over our adversaries (v. 15).

Five: As a result of Christ’s actions, we are not to judge one another, specifically regarding the ordinances of unclean food and holy days (v. 16).

Six: These ordinances were only mere imperfect and temporary shadows of future things (v. 17) (Heb. 10:1).

Seven: The reality and substance to which the ordinances pointed is Jesus Christ (v. 17).

While it is certain that unknown Gnostic-like heresies contributed to the problems of the church in Colossae, it is equally clear that some Jewish mixture of Mosaic Law principles with grace principles was also involved. Jewish and Gentile Christians were most likely accusing one another of violating each other’s traditional food laws and holy days. We must remember that each culture had its own set of ordinances, and not just the Jews.

This problem plagued the early church because it had not decided what to do with all of the ordinances of the Mosaic Law since Calvary. This problem is faced in Acts 10, 15, 21, Romans 14, First Corinthians 8, Galatians 2-4, Ephesians 2, Colossians 2, and all of Hebrews. Again, it is important to note the double standard and confusion over law ordinances which existed in the Jerusalem at least thirty years after Calvary. See my added chapter on Acts 15 and 21.

Paul was right! The compromising Jewish-Christian church leaders, including James and Peter, at Jerusalem were wrong by not also excluding Jewish Christians! This church squabble over ordinances, by forcing Paul to go to the temple, indirectly caused Paul’s imprisonment in Caesarea and later imprisonment in Rome.

For the following reasons, tithes must be included in the list of abolished ordinances in Colossians.

One: Both reformed theology and dispensational theology interpret law ordinances as abolished at Calvary; a third theological approach also discards it as cultic, instead of an eternal principle.

Two: The second "festival tithe" was essential for the food and drink offerings at the "festivals" of verse 16. There would be no food and drink offerings without tithing.

Three: Just as circumcision was included in Colossians 2:8-11, ALL ordinances are included in the "shadows" of verse 17 and Hebrews 10:1.

Four: Dispensational theology teaches that the Mosaic Law, the Old Covenant, the commandments, ordinances, and judgments are all part of ONE indivisible revelation which belonged to Old Covenant Israel. Only those laws which are restated in the principles and wording of the New Covenant have been passed on to the Christian church.

Five: Since none of the ordinances, including tithing, could be kept perfectly, this resulted in the "handwriting of ordinances which was against us." This was an open admission in one’s own handwriting of guilt. Nobody (but Christ) could spiritually, or physically, obey every sacrificial law, every food ordinance, every festival ordinance, or every minute ordinance of giving. All of these ordinances were only "a shadow of things to come" (2:17; Heb. 8:5; 10:1).

Six: The Greek word, dogma, translated in Ephesians and Colossians as "regulations" (NIV) and "decrees" (NAS) is translated "ordinances" in the King James Version. The King James translators could have given the word its more common meaning of "doctrine," but recognized its context and relationship to the Old Covenant "ordinances."

Seven: Tithing was not mentioned as an "exception" to the rule decreed by the Jerusalem church leaders in the book of Acts.

Summary

Ephesians 2:15 says that Christ "abolished" ordinances. Colossians 2:14 says that he "canceled" or "blotted out" ordinances. Since tithing was the foundational ordinance that made possible the practical everyday operation of the sanctuary service and its festivals, it must be included in that part of Israel’s religious life that Christ ended. This is a logical principle of interpretation. Whether or not one understands the abolished ordinances as including all of the Mosaic Law, or just part of it--even abolishing the one ceremonial or cultic part of it makes New Covenant tithing hard to explain.

Finally, wherever tithing is found in God’s Word, it is usually surrounded by other religious "ordinances" that almost all Christians readily understand as being "nailed to the cross" and not applicable in the New Covenant.

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