The Old Covenant law for supporting the priesthood, including the Tribe of Levi, was emphatically given to Moses from God, and was to be in effect only for the duration that the earthly priesthood should last. At THAT time, God commanded Moses: "The Levitical priests and all the tribe of Levi shall have no part nor inheritance with Israel; they shall eat the offerings made by fire [Old Covenant of works (lps)] to the Lord, and His rightful dues. They shall have no inheritance among their brethren; the Lord is their inheritance, as He promised them [New Covenant Fire is The Word of God which is Christ and all He Possesses (lps)]." Deuteronomy 18:1-2 (Amp.).
Like all the Mosaic Laws, this spiritually alludes to Christ's Prophetic Fulfillment of His Inheritance given to the Redeemed under the New Covenant of Grace. Christ kept and taught ALL the Mosaic Laws, including the payment of tax/tithes to support the priests. "Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, pretenders (hypocrites)! For you give a tenth of your mint and dill and cummin, and have neglected and omitted the weightier (more important) matters of the Law - right and justice and mercy and fidelity. These you ought [particularly] to have done, without neglecting the others." Matthew 23:23 (Amp.).
Jesus was also in agreement of paying taxes to the government. Luke 20:22-25. He came to keep the Old Covenant Law in place of humankind who were completely unable to do so. Thus His Perfect Life, Death, Resurrection, Ascension, and Return in AD 66-70 completed the Plan of Redemption for the THEN Remnant as the Bride of Christ, and Reconciling them back to God by covering them with His Righteousness (Romans 8:2). He is the end of the law, which is death, which He took for the THEN Remnant and for us NOW (Luke 24:44). Christ THEN and NOW, has harbingered His saved souls (Isaiah 43:25) age after age, generation after generation, one after another in each their own time (1 Corinthians 15:23) - world without end (Ephesians 3:21). None of the Disciples, including the Apostle Paul preached tax/tithe paying; as it had faded away along with the other laws of the Old Covenant. In fact, he himself was a self-supporting missionary and worked as a tentmaker. Notice this Scripture: "Paul went to visit Aquila and Priscilla. They were tentmakers, just as he was. He stayed with them and worked with them." Acts 18:2b-3 (EB). Check out Psalms 49 of the spirit of mammonism!
Writing to the Believers in Thessalonica Paul said: "Brothers, I know that you remember how hard we worked. We worked night and day so that we would not burden any of you while we preached God's Good News to you." 1 Thessalonians 2:9 (EB). And writing to the Believers in Corinth, "On the first day of every week, each one of you should put aside as much money as you can from what you are blessed with. You should save it up, so that you will not have to collect money when I come." 1 Corinthians 16:2 (EB). However, Paul did not use that money for himself (Romans 15:24-26). He also stated, "Each one should give, then, what he has decided in his heart to give. He should not be sad when he gives. And he should not give because he feels forced to give. God loves the person who gives happily." 2 Corinthians 9:7 (EB). Within the New Covenant, all Authentic Believer-Christians are priests, thus replacing the Old Covenant priesthood which faded away in AD 70. Peter makes this very plain when writing to First Century Believers: "You also are like living stones. Let yourselves be used to build a spiritual temple - to be holy priests who offer spiritual sacrifices to God. He will accept those sacrifices through Jesus Christ." 1 Peter 2:5 (EB).
Q. What sacrifices do we offer to God?
A. "So through Jesus let us always offer our sacrifice to God. This sacrifice is our praise, coming from lips that speak his name." Hebrews 13:15.
Q. Since all Believers are priests, do they pay ten percent of their income to one another?
A. Absolutely not! Loving Jesus Christ whole-heartedly, we serve one another or each the other without money and without cost, as freely as Christ gave each one of us Himself!!
All New Covenant Priests are under the High Priest (Christ), of which they are recipients of His Riches, to be used under God's directions within and throughout their own family needs first: "A believer should take care of his own relatives, especially his own family. If he does not do that, he has turned against the faith. He is worse than a person who does not believe in God." 1 Timothy 5:8 (EB). Only after the needs of the Believer-Priests' families are met, should they be available and willing to serve others' needs (not wants) about who and how the Priests see and understand those needs about them - all the while keeping uppermost in their minds not to be presumptuous (blind faith/trusters) in the Priestly piety by giving away what the Lord God would hold them responsible for and to (Matthew 7:6). Our God is merciful, and does not expect anyone to be or do what they do not have, or has not been enriched with. On the other hand, when belonging to New Israel: "Everyone who has been given much will be responsible for much." Luke 12:48b (EB).
In harmony with what we have learned, it is our privilege as Believer-Priests, to bring honor and glory to our High Priest by being faithful stewards of whatever He allows us to have - be it little or much. "So, if we have food and clothes, we will be satisfied with that. Those who want to become rich bring temptation to themselves. They are caught in a trap. They begin to want many foolish things that will hurt them, things that ruin and destroy people. The love of money [the spirit of idolizing mammon] causes all kinds of evil." 1 Timothy 6:8-9 (EB) (lps). Some of society's best good-doers have collapsed under this false illusive strain! Check out the widow's two mites in Mark 12:41-44; Luke 21:1-4.
Thoughts To Ponder
The word tithe came from an agricultural term of the Old Covenant! According to the New Covenant, do you think it is pleasing to God when religious organizations insist their adherents pay tithe and liberal offerings; by farming their very livelihood by extracting and pillaging them with fear tactics and/or false guilt? Q. Has this ever happened to you, or anyone you know??
Quotation Credits. (1) Scripture quotations taken from The Amplified Bible. Copyright © 1954, 1958, 1962, 1964, 1965, 1987 by The Lockman Foundation. All rights reserved. Used by permission. (www.Lockman.org). Indicated by (Amp.). (2) Scriptures quoted from The Everyday Bible, New Century Version, copyright © 1987, 1988 by Word Publishing, Dallas, Texas 75039. Used by permission. Indicated by (EB). (3) All other Scripture quotations are taken from the King James Version, and indicated as (lps) when the authors have inserted explanations within the text.
Copyright 2013, 2016 Covenant Of Sovereign Grace Ministry. This article may be printed in its entirety for personal study and free distribution. Please include the following statement: "Permission granted by Covenant Of Sovereign Grace Ministry for Free Distribution Only - Never To Be Sold". "Buy [possess] the truth and sell it not; also wisdom, and instruction, and understanding" (Proverbs 23:23). Jesus said: "The kingdom of heaven [He Himself] is at hand ... freely ye have received, freely give" (Matthew 10:7, 8).