The Fifth Part And Tithing

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Hi P____,
Yes, you have hit the nail on the head.

So often we are told by those who have come to see the abuse of God’s Word in the orthodox churches that tithing is not a New Testament doctrine, and indeed it is not a New Testament doctrine. But as with all of the Old Testament ordinances, tithing foreshadows a much greater truth, and that greater Truth is that “You are not your own, you are bought with a price,” and now God, through Christ’s offering of Himself, has a claim to your whole life.
In the book of Genesis, this truth is foreshadowed by the doubling of the tithe, after Joseph had first taken in all the money in Egypt and all the money in Canaan, then he took all the cattle and all the bodies and all the land of all the people of Egypt.

Gen 47:13  And [ there was] no bread in all the land; for the famine [ was] very sore, so that the land of Egypt and [ all] the land of Canaan fainted by reason of the famine.
Gen 47:14  And Joseph gathered up all the money that was found in the land of Egypt, and in the land of Canaan, for the corn which they bought: and Joseph brought the money into Pharaoh’s house.
Gen 47:15  And when money failed in the land of Egypt, and in the land of Canaan, all the Egyptians came unto Joseph, and said, Give us bread: for why should we die in thy presence? for the money faileth.
Gen 47:16  And Joseph said, Give your cattle; and I will give you for your cattle, if money fail.
Gen 47:17  And they brought their cattle unto Joseph: and Joseph gave them bread [ in exchange] for horses, and for the flocks, and for the cattle of the herds, and for the asses: and he fed them with bread for all their cattle for that year.
Gen 47:18  When that year was ended, they came unto him the second year, and said unto him, We will not hide it from my lord, how that our money is spent; my lord also hath our herds of cattle; there is not ought left in the sight of my lord, but our bodies, and our lands:
Gen 47:19  Wherefore shall we die before thine eyes, both we and our land? buy us and our land for bread, and we and our land will be servants unto Pharaoh: and give [ us] seed, that we may live, and not die, that the land be not desolate.
Gen 47:20  And Joseph bought all the land of Egypt for Pharaoh; for the Egyptians sold every man his field, because the famine prevailed over them: so the land became Pharaoh’s.
Gen 47:21  And as for the people, he removed them to cities from [ one] end of the borders of Egypt even to the [ other] end thereof.
Gen 47:22  Only the land of the priests bought he not; for the priests had a portion [ assigned them] of Pharaoh, and did eat their portion which Pharaoh gave them: wherefore they sold not their lands.
Gen 47:23  Then Joseph said unto the people, Behold, I have bought you this day and your land for Pharaoh: lo, [ here is] seed for you, and ye shall sow the land.
Gen 47:24  And it shall come to pass in the increase, that ye shall give the fifth [ part] unto Pharaoh, and four parts shall be your own, for seed of the field, and for your food, and for them of your households, and for food for your little ones.
Gen 47:25  And they said, Thou hast saved our lives: let us find grace in the sight of my lord, and we will be Pharaoh’s servants.
Gen 47:26  And Joseph made it a law over the land of Egypt unto this day, that Pharaoh should have the fifth part; except the land of the priests only, [ which] became not Pharaoh’s.

This “fifth part” serves to demonstrate the work of grace in our lives, and the work of grace teaches us that just as “Joseph said to the people, Behold, I have bought you this day and your land for Pharaoh,” so too, has Christ bought “us and all of our land,” meaning all we are or have. “We are not our own, but we are bought with a price.” So what does this mean for us today? Here is what it means:

1Co 6:19  What? know ye not that your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost [ which is] in you which ye have of God and ye are not your own?
1Co 6:20  For ye are bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body, and in your spirit, which are God’s.
1Co 10:31  Whether therefore ye eat, or drink, or whatsoever ye do, do all to the glory of God.
Col 3:17  And whatsoever ye do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God and the Father by him.
Col 3:23  And whatsoever ye do, do it heartily, as to the Lord, and not unto men;
Col 3:24  Knowing that of the Lord ye shall receive the reward of the inheritance: for ye serve the Lord Christ.

That is it right there. We are not free from tithing so we can do what we want with our own money and our own time and our own possessions. We are free from tithing so we can now “glorify God in your body, and in your spirit which are God’s.”
Ten is the number denoting perfection of the flesh, and that is the righteousness which is of the law. But five is the work of grace and faith in our lives. The fact that “the fifth part” was to go to Pharaoh because Joseph had saved all of Egypt from the famine, tells us that the tithe, which was at one time a symbol of God’s claim on His people just as the law of Moses once served that purpose, is no longer sufficient to fulfill God’s claim on our lives. God now has a double claim on us and all we own, because we and our lands are “bought with a price, and therefore [ we should] glorify God in our bodies and in our spirits, which are God’s.
“Wholeheartedness” is a prerequisite of the “overcomer.”

Psa 119:2  Blessed are they that keep his testimonies, and that seek him with the whole heart.
Jer 24:7  And I will give them an heart to know me, that I [ am] the LORD: and they shall be my people, and I will be their God: for they shall return unto me with their whole heart.

God will not settle for a “lukewarm” or halfhearted son or daughter. Blessed are they that… seek Him with a whole heart” is just another way of saying ‘Cursed are they that are neither hot nor cold but are lukewarm.’

Rev 3:15  I know thy works, that thou art neither cold nor hot: I would thou wert cold or hot.
Rev 3:16  So then because thou art lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will spue thee out of my mouth.

I hope that helps you to see just how right you were when you said:

All I can say to that is, Amen!
Your brother in Christ,

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