By Nana Yaw Aidoo

I cannot be true to the series of discussions on the abrogation of the Old Covenant, if I do not touch on the subject of Tithing. This note, far from being a detailed study of the subject, would attempt to prove that "Tithing" was a part of the Old Covenant that was nailed to the cross of Christ. When this subject is verified devoid of any prejudice, it becomes most apparent that a tithe of money was never ever commanded in the entirety of the scriptures (Lev.27:30-32; Deut.12:17).

Tithe payers say it is the reason why they are rich but I read of Abraham who was rich (Gen.13:2), even before he ever paid a tithe (Gen.14:20). Tithe payers say tithes are the same as freewill offerings but I read of tithes being separated from freewill offerings (Deut.12:6). Tithe payers say we rob God if we don't pay tithes but I read of those who were robbing God in Malachi 3, also being accused of offering sick and lame and blemished animals to the Lord (Mal.1:8-14), which means they offered animal sacrifices too. Tithe payers say we don't want to use money for the Lord's work if we don't pay tithes but once again when I read of tithes in the bible, it always had to do with food that was eaten (Mal.3:10). Tithe payers say food was tithed in Old Testament times because there was no money available back then but I read of Midianite traders who bought Joseph from his brothers for 20 pieces of money (Gen.37:28), centuries before tithing became a positive law.

In addition to the above, it seems by all indications that tithing as a positive law, has been taken out of the way, as part of the old covenant, which was abolished at the cross of Christ (Col.2:14; Heb.9:15-17; 10:9). The 7th chapter of Hebrews makes this so clear that, it leaves no doubt in the mind of the reader.

The chapter begins by taking us right back to Genesis 14, when Abraham paid a tithe to Melchizedek (v1 - v4), and continues by positively asserting that those who had "a commandment to receive tithes from the people according to the law" were none but "the sons of Levi" (v5). The Romans, led by Titus the son of Vespasian, so obliterated the city of Jerusalem in A.D.70 that even those living in the Holy land today, have absolutely no way of knowing which tribe they belong to. How much more Ghanaians, who are in no wise related to the Jewish nation and the tribe of Levi?

The writer then noted that the priesthood had changed from the Levitical to the Melchizedek priesthood (v11). Notice if you would that in this verse, the words "(for under it the people received the law)" is put in brackets. Which law did the Hebrew writer have in mind? From the foregoing, we see clearly that the law which was being discussed was the law which authorized the tithing of one's produce. Also, the new priesthood in view, was one in which our Lord Jesus Christ could serve as a High priest (Heb.4:15).

The writer then takes the train of thought to its logical conclusion. The only way Jesus Christ who was from Judah (v14) could be High Priest and not commit sin (v13), was if the law which authorized only those from the tribe of Levi to serve as High Priests has been changed (v12). And if the priesthood has been changed, then the law which authorized the Levitical priesthood and the payment of tithes to these priests must of necessity have changed too. "For the priesthood being changed, of necessity there is also a change of the law. For He of whom these things are spoken belongs to another tribe, from which no man has officiated at the altar. For it is evident that our Lord arose from Judah, of which tribe Moses spoke nothing concerning priesthood. And it is yet far more evident if, in the likeness of Melchizedek, there arises another priest who has come, not according to the law of a fleshly commandment, but according to the power of an endless life" (Heb.7:12-16).

Who can misunderstand this? No wonder the writer posited; "In that He says, "A new covenant," He has made the first obsolete. Now what is becoming obsolete and growing old is ready to vanish away" (Heb.8:13). The New Law of which the Hebrews writer speaks of, authorizes free will offering and free will offering alone. Under this New Law, everyone is to give as he has been prospered (1 Cor.16:2) i.e proportional giving and not out of necessity (2 Cor.9:7), something that cannot be said of tithing, which necessitates that the tither pays a tenth, whether he likes it or not.

Tithing was a part of the old law of which Paul wrote; "I do not set aside the grace of God; for if righteousness comes through the law, then Christ died in vain." (Gal.2:21).


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