…And a question of tithing.
Acts is unique in the books of the New Testament. The church was formed as the Holy Spirit was given and the New Covenant confirmed. The disciples and apostles received power and authority through Jesus Christ. The New Covenant became of force and the original disciples of Christ began to minister, teach, baptize, heal, assemble, and spread the gospel. Acts is the record and details of the "real deal", God gave for us to see and do likewise.
Tithing is commonly taught in modern Christianity. Let's see what we can or cannot find in the Book of Acts in places where there may have been an opportunity to demonstrate or teach the disciples to give 10% of their income.
Acts 2:44-45 and they sold their possessions and goods, and parted them to all, according as any man had need. -Why were there no tithes upon the sale of possessions and goods here?
Acts 4: 34 For neither was there among them any that lacked: for as many as were possessors of lands or houses sold them, and brought the prices of the things that were sold,
-there is nothing on tithing from the sale prices here either, is there?
Acts 5:1 But a certain man named Ananias, with Sapphira his wife, sold a possession,
2 ) and kept back part of the price, his wife also privy to it, and brought ==> a certain part <==
and laid it at the apostles` feet.
...Nothing is said about them withholding tithes. But maybe he only gave "a certain part", such as a 10% tithe?
We do not know, but if he was under a 10% “standard”as today, they may tithed 10% which could be the “certain PART” they gave. But many pastors teach tithing 10% on the increase of things sold in today's church world.
Now in these days, when the number of the disciples was multiplying, there arose a murmuring of the Grecian Jews against the Hebrews, because their widows were neglected in the daily ministration.
... In the daily "ministration", nothing about tithes there either but under the law food tithes were given for widows from the priests.
Now when Simon saw that through the laying on of the apostles` hands the Holy Spirit was given, he offered them money
... no tithe was mentioned.. -but today many might not pass up the offer of Simon!
Acts 8:20 But Peter said unto him, Thy silver perish with thee, because thou hast thought to obtain the gift of God with money.
… no blessing from tithing silver money is mentioned.
Simon was rebuked for thinking he could buy the blessing with money. Nor did Peter correct him saying "just your tithes are fine".
Acts 9:36 Now there was at Joppa a certain disciple named Tabitha, which by interpretation is called Dorcas: this woman was full of good works and alms-deeds which she did.
... Dorcas was known for faithful "alms" giving, not tithes.
"Alms" are compassionate giving.
a devout man, and one that feared God with all his house, who gave much alms to the people, and prayed to God always.
.. Devout Cornelius did not tithe. He "gave much alms" to “the people”, not religious leaders.
And the disciples, every man according to his ability, determined to send ===> relief to the brethren that dwelt in Judea:
.. they sent them“relief”, not "sent tithes"..
Acts 14:23 And when they had appointed for them elders in every church, and had prayed with fasting, they commended them to the Lord, on whom they had believed.
… elders were appointed over churches. There were no tithes ordered to support them with.
It is needful to circumcise them, ===> and to charge them to keep the law of Moses. <===
.. The church, elders, apostles and Holy Ghost release Christians from the law.
They did not "decree" tithing.
People had been teaching the law of Moses to Christians. (15:4)
Tithing was "of the matters of the law" -Jesus said in Mat. 23:23
Acts 15:28 For it seemed good to the Holy Spirit, and to us,
to lay upon you ===> no greater burden <===than these necessary things:
29 that ye abstain from things sacrificed to idols, and from blood, and from things strangled,
and from fornication; from which if ye keep yourselves, it shall be well with you.
… The Holy Spirit and the apostles did not include tithing as a "necessary thing".
… Apostolic decrees were delivered confirming the churches, but no tithing decreed and none of the apostolic epistles to the churches decree tithing
… Lydia, a sellor of purple was judged faithful. She was not told to tithe or commended for paying them.
Paul and Aquila do not pay tithes on earnings from their trade. Paul and Aquila were tent makers who never paid money tithes under the OT law.
10 And this continued for the space of two years
…Paul ministered in Ephesus three years. But he made no mention of tithing from income in chapter 19, nor did he receive tithes.
… Paul and Luke were in Troas 7 days but on the first day of the week no tithes were gathered nor an offering mentioned.
… where he does not tell them to tithe or receive them from others.
…the “whole counsel of God” he declared does not mention tithes from income. He also wrote the Ephesian epistle and never ordained tithing in that church letter.
in which the Holy Spirit hath made you bishops, to feed the church of the Lord
… “elders” are called “bishops” and instructed to “feed the flock of God”, not feed themselves from them.
… Paul remembers his ministry for three years. he never thanked them for tithes or mentioned any of his own. Three years and nothing about tithing? -Nor did he write of tithing in the Ephesian epistle.
… Paul did not covet their money, a salary, or benefits. He did not request offerings and he did not instruct tithes.
… Paul used “these hands", his own hands, to minister to his own needs and others through working.
…Paul told the bishops to work as Paul did, and help weak. He did not tell them to live from tithes. -He did not give them an example to tithe. He did not tell them to tell the church to tithe.
… The letter from the church at Jerusalem included Paul, James, Peter, Luke, and other elders. But there was no reminder to pay tithes to churches. They did not mention tithing from income.
… Paul gave testimony as a former strict law observer. He does not mention tithing, even though he was a tent maker, earned wages, and was zealous for the law.
Brethren, I have lived before God in all good conscience until this day.
… Paul lived in good conscience, yet never mentioning tithing. People today are put under a guilty conscience from the perverted use of Malachi 3.
18 among which they found me purified in the temple
… Paul brought alms and offerings. Not tithes from income. And it says he was “purified”. He was purified without tithing!
Acts 24:17 Now after some years I came to bring alms to my nation, and offerings:
-Paul brought “alms” not "tithes".
“offerings” were not money according to the Law. http://preparinghisway.blogspot.com/2011/02/tithes-and-offerings-in-malachi.html
doing works worthy of repentance.
…”works worthy of repentance” never mentioned tithing from earned income or the lawful Jewish tithe.
… Paul and Luke were honored. But no tithes reported. Their "needs" were met as Jesus promised in Matthew 10.
31 preaching the kingdom of God, and teaching the things concerning the Lord Jesus Christ with all boldness, none forbidding him.
… Paul did not remind anyone to bring tithes. Never in Acts and not once in all his writings. He mentioned his *needs* in Phillipians 4:16 for even in Thessalonica ye sent once and again to my need, and he was in prison when he wrote that. Many preachers will remind the people to send tithes to their ministry today, but none of the apostles ever did.