Monday, May 26, 2008

Tithing: Open The Windows of Heaven

I believe that paying tithing to God is similar to the "Word of Wisdom", a principle with a promise. I think that the ultimate blessing we receive from paying tithing is simply being able to gain a testimony of the first law of heaven, which is the law of obedience and sacrifice.

There are many wonderful stories of financial success attributed to the fact that the individuals involved are full tithe payers. These stories can be very faith promoting but there are many instances of people who pay a full and honest tithe and do not receive monetary gain in return.

That is not the promise, the promise is: (Malachi 3:10) "and prove me now herewith, saith the LORD of hosts, if I will not open you the windows of heaven, and pour you out a blessing, that there shall not be room enough to receive it."


When the "windows of heaven" open I feel that the blessing is simply a more increased power to receive light, just as an open window lets in the sunlight. Obedience to the commandment of tithing or any commandment for that matter, allows one to "prove" the Lord to see if His word is sure.

Understanding law helps: D&C 130:20 "There is a law, irrevocably decreed in heaven before the foundations of this world, upon which all blessings are predicated— 21 And when we obtain any blessing from God, it is by obedience to that law upon which it is predicated."

Paying tithing allows one to call upon the blessing attached to obedience to that law, of added light and knowledge. The temple is, among other ways, one of those places we are permitted to go to receive that added light and knowledge; it is allowed because of the obedience to the laws that predicated it, one being tithing.

In the Christian society there is often a debate over who we are to pay our tithes and offerings to.

I remember an old joke that went something like:Lord, I will throw my money up into the air and whatever you need you keep, and whatever you don't need, let it fall to the ground and I will keep.


Similar to this bit of humor, when we decide the conditions of the law instead of the Lord and choose who we want to pay our tithes and offerings to, we are essentially doing the same thing as the person in the joke.

One of the earliest recorded instances of tithes being offered is in the scriptures, in the book of Genesis. It is when Abraham paid tithes, after his return from his conquest in battle, while delivering Lot from his enemies.

In Genesis 14:20 it explains what Abraham does next with his increase, “And blessed be the most high God, which hath delivered thine enemies into thy hand. And he gave him tithes of all.” It is more interesting to note to whom he paid the tithes. In Genesis 14:18 we read, “And Melchizedek king of Salem brought forth bread and wine: and he was the priest of the most high God.”


He paid tithes to Melchizedek because he was the rightful priesthood holder being the priest of the "most high God", or in other words, one having authority to act in God's name. I think the matter of debate is not one of "if the Lord requires tithing" but more the matter of who is the rightful representative of the Lord, holding the office of High Priest for one to pay their tithing to. For me, that holder is the Bishop of my ward, the High Priest of the Aaronic Priesthood, and Melchizedek Priesthood holder of the most high God.

Finally, God does not need our money for himself, but we need to learn to become obedient and learn to sacrifice for ourselves so that by "law" he can bless us with the further light and knowledge that is required to come to truly KNOW Him. He, as a loving Father is leaving that decision in our hands, and we must learn to open our hands and give, and make it as an offering in righteousness to know HIM.

10 comments:

schester said...

And all this time I thought it was just like a big savings account. :)

tithing said...

Abraham did not have the Spirit of God living and breathing inside of him that is why he and Israel would have been governed by the law of tithing. Abraham was very very rich, and only gave 10%. So what type of excuse does this give the rich to give little, and what type of burden does this pose on the poor who can barely afford that?

The only thing that we are commanded to follow of Abraham is his faith, not his works.

Also Abraham's circumcision and sacrifices are prior to tithing, but we are not commanded to follow those laws based on the pre-law time period that Abraham practiced them.

Abraham also gave the other 90% to the king of Sodom, so should we follow this example as well?

The truth of the matter is that Abraham's tithing came after the old covenant had been announced in Genesis 3. After this, you begin to see ritualistic laws such as sacrificing, clean and unclean animals, circumcision, and firstfruit offerings. The mosaic law wasn't the introduction of the many laws that God required under the old covenant.

Abraham, Jacob/Israel, did not possess the Spirit of God as we do today. The new covenant church is no longer under the old tutors of stewardship. Instead, our giving is governed by the leading of the Spirit.

Whether you are Israel, under the tithing law, or the Church under the Spirit of God; you still need to make a decision of obedience. Living under the age of grace does not mean that any decision we make is universally acceptable and comes without consequence. The Spirit of God plants seeds in our minds and hearts that enlightens our own path of giving. It's up to us to respond.

-Jared

Merrianne & Spencer Call said...

Our family has seen MIRACLES because of our faithful tithe paying...there were times when we didn't think we had the money to pay...yet we paid anyway and money seemed to appear out of nowhere to take care of the bills. We have no doubt in the power of tithing.

plus...it's like the ONE and only thing we can be perfect in!!!

In The Doghouse said...

schester,
It is a big savings account! You are so right...
Thanks for stopping by.

In The Doghouse said...

Hi Tithing,
Thanks for leaving your opinions here, even though they are considerably different than mine.

We have a rather large conflict on the doctrine of grace, as from your post I can gather that you believe that because of the Atonement of Jesus Christ all prior "law and obedience to it" is unnecessary.

I am grateful for the Grace of the Atonement, and apply it everyday. For, as I strive to be obedient to His laws, I always fall somewhat short of perfection...thank goodness for grace and mercy.

I think that Abraham absolutely had the Spirit in all that he did. His circumcision was simply an outward token of a covenant made...this would be precisely in line with the doctrine of tithing. He covenanted to obey, thus he is obedient.

When we enter into covenants with the Lord, we too are required to be obedient.

I am not sure as to your reference to Genesis 3, other than that being the institution of the law of sacrifice...is not tithing part of that law?

I believe that we are still accountable to law even after the Atonement. God is law, full of grace and mercy.

Thanks again for your post.

In The Doghouse said...

Merrianne and Spencer,
Such good points, miracles still occur today...and we can pay our tithing perfectly.

Thank you for adding your testimony of this principle.

Len & Karen said...

I loved your take on opening the windows of heaven. I am doing a sharing time on tithing and this is what I needed to get the creative juices flowing, if you have any other ideas on teaching tithing before Sunday the 15th I would love to hear from you. My email is highmesa@tksinc.us, thanks again for your insight

In The Doghouse said...

Len & Karen,
Thanks for your comment. Sharing time is such an important time in Primary. I think that by calling on the blessings that are yours by paying tithing...you don't need any guidance from me...you have the spirit to show you what to teach, and also to help the kids hear what they need to learn. It is a win win situation! Isn't law wonderful?

Anonymous said...

The other blessing that goes along with paying tithing is not just having the windows of heaven opened, but having the devourer rebuked that it does not destroy the fruits of our ground. This is just as wonderful, because it means that you can retain what you've gained instead of putting it into a sack of holes.

Wes said...

Here are some of my concerns with your article and responses.

1) Abraham did not pay a Lawful Tithe. It says that he gave a tenth of the plunder, paid his friends who helped, covered his expenses, and gave the rest back.

It also says that he kept nothing for himself and Tithed nothing from what he already owned, even though the Bible says he was already "very wealthy" (Genesis 13:2). And there is also no record of Abraham ever Tithing again.

2) Claiming that we need to Tithe in agreement with the Law disregards what Jesus did for us.
Galatians 5:4
"You who are trying to be justified by law have been severed from Christ; you have fallen away from grace."

3) It is one thing to support the Church with voluntary giving. 2 Corinthians 9:7 tells us to do so, but without compulsion, and saying that we MUST Tithe is compulsion.

If you choose to give the Biblical Tithe, go ahead and do so. But the Tithe was NOT money, it was food. And the Tithe was NOT used to fund the Church.

If you have read all this, I honestly thank you. I understand that you sincerely believe as you do, please understand that I am also sincere.

I am also not attacking you. I am merely comparing what you believe with what I believe.