Tithing Principle Consider the Audience Age - Child or Adult? Experience – Where are they now? Need – What do they want to know? Mindset - Concrete or Abstract thinker? Situation - Person in prosperity vs poverty? Encounter - Personal study vs Congregation? What medium will you use? Text – Self Discovery Questions & Answer / Study Guide Discussion Group / Debate Personal Tutor Charismatic Speaker / Teacher Which teaching approach? Literal proof text method Experiential – how tithe works for me Historic survey – how has it been applied / interpreted over time Stewardship perspective – whole life responsibility Authority sources – the voice of prophets Grand Theme What is a biblical theme? A refrain, evident in one story after another, to the extent that the truth becomes beyond a coincidence. Example - Biblical themes The Story of Redemption The Great Controversy The Loving Father Exodus The Remnant What is the value of a theme? Themes are the silver threads that appear in multiple stories over a long period of time. They create meaning They enable us to search for different levels of understanding They enable us to interpret the text beyond the simple literalism What is the dominant theme embraced in Adventism? The Great Controversy between Good & Evil A moral theology of right and wrong A theology consistent with Law A theology that requires Justice A theology that defines Grace as a gift to deal with the inadequacy of mankind to deal with the Sin problem What are the disadvantages? Over use / emphasis Read into texts interpretations that are not supported by the evidence Blindness to other themes Exclusiveness of conclusions The stewardship theme: The God of Abundance who overcomes scarcity The God who provides goodness Narratives: Creation – It was Good to Very Good Eden – The creation of abundance / perfection Flood – A time of Scarcity 7 Years Plenty vs Famine Provision of Manna Land flowing with Milk and Honey Earth made new Miracles Water to wine Feeding the 5000 Cast your net on the other-side Bible References to Tithing Gen 14:20 Neh 12:44 Lev 27:30-32 Neh 13: 5,12 Num 18: 24,26,28 Amos 4:4 Deut 12: 6, 11, 17 Deut 14: 22, 23, 28 Deut 26:12 Mal 3:8-10 Matt 23:23 2 Chron 31:5,6,12 Luke 16:12 Neh 10:37,38 Heb 7:5-9 What we Learn - Genesis 14:20 Melchizadek – High Priest blessed the family of Abraham. Abraham – Responded to the blessing Abraham – Tithed in the context of worship Abraham – Tithed “All” Contrast the requirements of the King of Sodom..... Keep the Tithe – and take the Person.... Abraham declared that he would take nothing that belonged to God What we Learn - Leviticus 27:30-32 The Chapter is about Redemption of the Sacred All of the Tithes: Seed/Fruit/Flocks The Tithe is Holy Price of withholding is 20% interest It is the first fruit – whether Good or Bad Any exchange makes the swap holy. In effect – there is no manipulation Tithe is Tithe it belongs to God. What we learn - Numbers 18:24-28 Duties of the Priests.... Support of the Priests.... Offerings with emphasis on the ‘first’ crop/animal/child Support of Priests, Work of the Tabernacle Eternal Covenant / Inheritance between the Tribes & Levites The Levites were also to Tithe to Aaron Tithe not to be profaned What we learn - Deuteronomy 12:6-17 The Temple is the place where Tithes are brought. (It is not merely ‘sent’) it is associated with the experience of Sacrifice and Repentance. Every man should not do ‘what is right in his own eyes’. 14:22-28 Bring the Tithe of Produce or its Monetary Equivalent. “That you may learn to fear the Lord – always” “You and Your household may rejoice before the Lord” 26:12 Recount the story in worship of how God has blessed his people. What we learn - 2 Chron 31:5-12 Tithing was part of the Reformation Followed the abandonment of Idolatry Restructuring of the Priesthood – segregation of duties Appointment of Treasurers “Since the people of brought Tithes and Offerings” We have an abundance.....blessing “Every work that began in the service of the house of God, in the law and the commandment, to seek his God, he did it with all his heart. So he prospered.” What we learn - Nehemiah 10 Reformation – a return to Ordinance and Statute Descendant of Aaron – Storehouse concept We will not neglect the house of our God. 12 Attitude of rejoicing toward the Levites and Temple Servants. 13 System of Authority and Structure with regard to the Storehouse. Appointment of Treasurers Associated with the aversion of trade on Sabbath. What we learn – Amos 4:4 Amos was a lay prophet challenged to speak to the King / Priest / Israel He required of them accountability He challenged them to repent in the face of danger He challenged their abuse of power. Tithe & Offering......”For this you love” What we learn – Malachi 3:8-10 Return of Tithe is contextualised in the Coming Messenger / Christ. Part of the preparation for the ‘coming’ Part of the preparation for impending judgment. Contrast with evil people.. Adulterers, sorcerers.. Placed in the context of the battle between Good and Evil Restoration of Tithe results in a blessing on the people and the nation. What we learn – Matthew 23:23 Perspective: Tithe in small things – which should be done But not without a focus on Justice, Mercy and Faith What we learn – Luke 16:12 16 Faithfulness: If you can be honest and accountable with the master’s gifts, you will be honest and accountable with your own. 18 Humility - Bring the Tithe with repentance and humility. What we learn – Hebrews 7:5-9 Melchizadek: • King of Righteousness • King of Peace Christ is the perpetual Priest King for eternity If honour/worship & tithe were due to Melchizadek, and Levites, how much more valuable is honour and worship to the New Priesthood? 7 Considerations: Ownership Example Eternal Destiny Emphasis Proportionality Totality Investment God owns everything Jesus gave everything Our gifts are minor 1/6th of Christ’s teaching Give as we prosper NT model exceeds 10% In the salvation of others The BIG principle: Put God first Tithe is the first tenth of income. (not any 10%, certainly not the last) Attitude to Giving & Tithe Generously Faithfully Systematically Expectantly Thoughtfully Eternally Extravagantly Worshipfully Reverently Secretly / Humbly Proportionately Cheerfully Joyfully Sacrificially Willingly Excellently Regularly Tithing makes sense: when the heart is first consecrated. in the context of stewardship toward God’s ecology and economy .