A Conversation Between Two Pastors On The Subject Of Tithes

Pastor A: Hi Pastor Z, long time how are you doing and the work?

Pastor Z: Work is splendid going fine. How are things with you? Heard a message of yours the other day, someone gave me a cd. Heard you don't believe in tithes that it's all past with the Levitical priesthood.

Pastor A: No I don't believe in "paying tithes" all I see in the New Testament are free-will offerings, giving to the poor. Never did Paul say anything about the tithe so I don't believe it's part of the revelation of our redemption.

Pastor Z: Interesting sir, Do you know that all the forms of giving Paul taught, he quoted Scriptures from the Levitical Priesthood to back his assertions?

Pastor A: That cannot be true

Pastor Z: I also learnt from your teachings you believe in people giving on the basis of "If we sowed spiritual things to you it's your duty to give back carnal things"

Pastor A: Oh yes, I believe that and in my Church, we practice that. They give to the Ministers and also they give to the poor. The rest is kind of free-will offerings. I mean we don't pay tithes but we give to our Pastor who has been such a blessing.

Pastor Z: Also learnt you believe and preach that those that labour in word and doctrine are worthy of double honor.

Pastor A: Oh we firmly believe in that.

Pastor Z: Interesting, I hope you know that instruction of honouring those who labour in the Word stems out of the same Levitical Priesthood that you roundly condemn. It is a commandment in the law of Moses you are practising there.

Pastor A: Oh noooo. Never.

Pastor Z: Read it with me in 1 Timothy 5:17-19
"Let the elders that rule well be counted worthy of double honour, especially they who labour in the word and doctrine.
For the scripture saith, thou shalt not muzzle the ox that treadeth out the corn. And, The labourer is worthy of his reward."

Pastor A: Paul said "the Scripture saith" not the Law. "The Scripture" can't you read.

Pastor Z: Well this was the second time Paul used that term in his letters. The first time he made it clear it's origin in 1 Cor 9:9
"For it is written in the law of Moses, thou shalt not muzzle the mouth of the ox that treadeth out the corn. Doth God take care for oxen?"

You see that the principle thou shalt not muzzle the ox that Paul left with Timothy as an instruction for managing the affairs of the New Testament Church was taken directly from the Levitical Priesthood.

Pastor A: Hmmm.

Pastor Z: So let's look into the Scriptures together to search for the proper justification to give to the poor. We know this is an explicit instruction in the New Testament concerning giving to the poor. At least we both agree on this type of giving.

Pastor A: Yeah I agree.

Pastor Z: Do you know the first time God ever gave any man or group the instruction to give to the poor it was also in the Levitical Priesthood?

Pastor A: No no I don't get this.

Pastor Z: So let's look at it we will see it stems also from the Levitical Priesthood. There is no record of anyone being instructed to give to the poor until the Law was introduced. Did you ever hear of Abraham gathering the poor in his area to distribute from his abundance of gold and silver or Joseph helping those in famine? The man did business with them. This is where giving to the poor was introduced as a principle.

Pastor Z: Leviticus 19:10 "And thou shalt not glean thy vineyard, neither shalt thou gather every grape of thy vineyard; thou shalt leave them for the poor and stranger: I am the Lord your God."

Pastor Z: In fact, Paul said these words to the Church at Corinth after they gave sacrificially to the poor, the blessings he spoke were a direct quotation of blessings pronounced in the Psalms which stemmed out of the Law of Moses.

2 Corinthians 9:9 (As it is written, He hath dispersed abroad; he hath given to the poor: his righteousness remaineth for ever.

That was a direct quotation from the Psalms which stemmed out of the book of Deuteronomy.

Psalm 112:9 "He hath dispersed, he hath given to the poor; his righteousness endureth for ever; his horn shall be exalted with honour."

Deuteronomy 24:12-13
"And if the man be poor, thou shalt not sleep with his pledge: In any case thou shalt deliver him the pledge again when the sun goeth down, that he may sleep in his own raiment, and bless thee: and it shall be righteousness unto thee before the Lord thy God"

Pastor Z: I'll even go further. There is a link between giving to the poor and the principle of giving carnal things when spiritual things are sown into your life with the Levitical Priesthood. In Romans Paul said

Romans 15:26-28
"For it hath pleased them of Macedonia and Achaia to make a certain contribution for the poor saints which are at Jerusalem.
It hath pleased them verily; and their debtors they are. For if the Gentiles have been made partakers of their spiritual things, their duty is also to minister unto them in carnal things."

Pastor Z: Now we see them giving to the poor saints in Jerusalem on the principle of giving carnal things to them from whom they reaped spiritual. Where did Paul get this his "new found" theory from? Was he scamming the Gentile churches? I mean I am sure he must have been questioned on its justification.

Pastor Z: They must have asked why do you say we are indebted to them? I mean Paul said they were debtors. That means it was their duty. A duty is an obligation something one is mandated to do. He said you are paying back a debt by doing this. Where did this doctrine stem out of? Hear what Paul said to substantiate it.

1Cor 9: 9-12
"For it is written in the law of Moses, thou shalt not muzzle the mouth of the ox that treadeth out the corn. Doth God take care for oxen? Or saith he it altogether for our sakes? For our sakes, no doubt, this is written: that he that ploweth should plow in hope; and that he that thresheth in hope should be partaker of his hope. If we have sown unto you spiritual things, is it a great thing if we shall reap your carnal things?

Pastor Z: Even giving to widows and orphans that the New Testament commands it was taken from the Levitical Priesthood. Did you ever hear of Abraham Isaac or Jacob gathering widows? We even heard they (Abraham and Jacob) gave the tithe even though as you say it was once but to widows and orphans we never heard them do it.

Deuteronomy 24:18-20
"But thou shalt remember that thou wast a bondman in Egypt, and the Lord thy God redeemed thee thence: therefore I command thee to do this thing. When thou cuttest down thine harvest in thy field, and hast forgot a sheaf in the field, thou shalt not go again to fetch it: it shall be for the stranger, for the fatherless, and for the widow: that the Lord thy God may bless thee in all the work of thine hands."

Pastor A: Are you saying that if we delete the entire instructions in the Levitical Priesthood our entire giving system in the New Testament will have no Scriptural basis and collapse?

Pastor A: Hmmm but the Law has been done away with. What are you getting at here?

Pastor Z: Oh yes it has. But understand what happened. Nothing in the Law was a figment of Moses's imagination. Everything is a type and shadow of the true. In other words for everything done under the Law, there is true representation in the heavenlies.

Remember God told Moses "see you build everything according to the pattern shown you on the mount". Everything Moses built and then instructed men to do, he saw its true representation in the heavenlies. To have a shadow you must have the real image that casts the shadow. You cannot have the shadow of a dog without there being a real dog. So the Law was a shadow of something that truly existed, Jesus set aside the shadow that we may enter the real.

Hebrews 8:5 "Who serve unto the example and shadow of heavenly things, as Moses was admonished of God when he was about to make the tabernacle: for, See, saith he, that thou make all things according to the pattern shewed to thee in the mount."

Pastor Z: You know my friend since you like Greek words let me tell you the Greek word for shadow and you will get it. It is "Skia" and it means "Of the image or outline cast by an object" So there has to be the real object for there to be a shadow. The shadow is the outline of something real.

Pastor Z: Everything offered in the temple then has its exact image in what was and is offered up in the heavenly tabernacle

Pastor A: I will need to go and re-read my Bible I didn't know Paul substantiated all these practices citing the Law.

Pastor Z: I mean if we don't know where in the scriptures that practice is stated how then do we substantiate what Paul did who after receiving an offering from the Philippian Church prophesied on them that "My God shall supply all your need according to His riches in glory". I mean why should Paul only say "My God shall supply" after offerings are given. Abi you didn't know it was the offerings that made him make that pronouncement?

Philippians 4:18-19
"But I have all, and abound: I am full, having received of Epaphroditus the things which were sent from you, an odour of a sweet smell, a sacrifice acceptable, well pleasing to God. But my God shall supply all your need according to his riches in glory by Christ Jesus."

Pastor A: Yeah I agree. Paul too sef. The term "My God" we are all priests na in the New Covenant. He is our God too. This now sounds like the blessings the priests used to pronounce on the children of Israel back then after the people gave their offering.

Ezekiel 44:30 "And the first of all the firstfruits of all things, and every oblation of all, of every sort of your oblations, shall be the priest's: ye shall also give unto the priest the first of your dough, that he may cause the blessing to rest in thine house."

Pastor Z: Now Paul restrained himself from exercising certain rights that were legitimate because the Gentiles were not accustomed to certain things being new to the idea of the things of God and the priesthood. He didn't want them to misconstrue his motives as being materialistic and let that be a hindrance to the gospel but he never said they were wrong.

Pastor Z: So do you receive honorariums after ministering?

Pastor A: Yes. Jesus instructed on that.

Pastor Z: Hmmm. Let me not go further. I thought you once told me Jesus ministered under the Law and His words not valid for us today. Here is where the Lord brought out that principle from and Paul agreed with him. Oga read where the justification for your honorarium is coming from o.

1 Cor 9: 9-14 "For it is written in the law of Moses, thou shalt not muzzle the mouth of the ox that treadeth out the corn. Doth God take care for oxen?.......... Do ye not know that they which minister about holy things live of the things of the temple? and they which wait at the altar are partakers with the altar? Even so hath the Lord ordained that they which preach the gospel should live of the gospel".

My dear friend, I would have shown you what Paul said concerning the tithe and what Peter and James and the other apostles in Jerusalem did concerning it. It's all in there. See you bro will be back for that matter

Pastor A: Okay bro looking forward to it.

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Pastor Poju Oyemade

Poju Oyemade is the Senior Pastor of Covenant Christian Centre, Lagos. The church office is located at 400 Herbert Macaulay Way – Yaba, Lagos. This fa...

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