Spiritual Tithing !
Many have not realized the Old Covenant, with all its promises and
requirements, was merely a shadow of the greater spiritual New Testament
Heb 8:4 ... there are priests who offer the
gifts according to the law; who serve
the copy and shadow of the heavenly
Heb 10:1 For the law, having a shadow of the
good things to come ...
Col 2:16 Therefore let no one judge you in food or in drink,
or regarding a festival or a new moon or sabbaths,
:17 which are a shadow of things to come ....
[ In these verses the context is placed in the future 'to come',
because prophetically the true 'spirit of God' will not be made
known until the 'end time'. ]
Paul in Romans discusses the same topic in a different manner,
Rom 7:6 ... we should serve in the newness of the spirit
and not in the oldness of the letter.
[ It is these 'spirit' principles which comprise the New Testament! ]
So what is the 'SPIRITUAL TITHE' of the New Testament?
Some denominations have concluded, the
'spirit of giving' is the New Testament
equivalent. However, we will see this
To determine what the 'spiritual tithe' is, we will look at the
example of circumcision and then take another look at Malachi 3:8-12.
In the early church days we notice a great dispute arose in regard to
exactly how the principle of circumcision was to apply. Acts 15:1-29.
Circumcision, like tithing, existed prior to
the creation of the Old Covenant at Mt Sinai.
Circumcision was even formalized into an
everlasting covenant. Gen 17:9-14.
Later it was codified again in the Sinai
covenant, refer Lev 12:2-3.
What was the effect of the New Testament arrangements upon these two
The New Testament radically modified their form!
Rom 2:29 but he is a Jew who is one inwardly, and
circumcision is that of the heart, in the spirit,
and not in the letter, whose praise is not from
men but from God.
NB: Physical circumcision of the physical flesh,
became spiritual circumcision of the spiritual
flesh (ie ones heart)!
The Old Covenant Law underwent a very dramatic transformation!
The prior Old Testament contractual requirements were not destroyed or
added to, but elevated from the physical level to the spiritual level!
So following this principle we have,
Physical tithing of ones physical increase
Spiritual tithing of ones spiritual increase.
To help us perceive the transformation of tithing, let us look at the
central message of Malachi 3:8-12,
"Bring all the tithes into the storehouse
that there be food in my house ..."
With tithing under the Old Covenant the nation of Israel mostly tithed
food. This food took the form of wine, oil and crops etc.
To consider the spiritual equivalent we must ask:
What is spiritual food?
People due to different religious backgrounds have different concepts
of what comprises spiritual food. Nevertheless few will disagree that
the Word is a source of food for Christians. The Word provides food in
the form of 'milk' and 'meat'.
Taking this viewpoint it becomes obvious that what is to be tithed is
not money, but the milk and meat teachings of God.
COMMENT: God originally intended for the church membership to
bring to the attention of the local ministry some of
the biblical inspirations they received as result of
their own study or research. The local ministry were
then to select the best of these perspectives and in
turn 'tithe' them to the central leadership of their
church for consideration.
Those perspectives considered to be of benefit would
then be disseminated through the local ministry back
to those members in need.
In such an arrangement the church membership equate to the children
of Israel who were to till the land. The local ministry correlate to
the 'farming community' priest and the upper church echelon to the
Why is spiritual tithing so important?