Tithing Did Not Equate To The Early Church
One of the big mistakes made by the modern day clergy is that as with pre-law Abraham the giving of tithes is justified for the modern day Church. In other words Abraham tithed outside of the law so a grace principle outside of the law as seen with pre-law Abraham is handed down to the Church. When approached with the query of where in the New Testament do we find instruction for such an accusation it will be met with the answer “it was practiced by the early church and we should stay in compliance with the precedent as it was set in Scripture.
The very first time a group gathered to worship Jesus and offer him gifts was in a house, the house of Mary and Joseph.
Peter's House Is Used For A Healing Meeting:
In the early days of his ministry, Jesus used the house of Peter to conduct preaching, healing and deliverance meetings.
The First Communion Service Is Held In A House:
Our Lord could have chosen to celebrate the first communion with his disciples in a synagogue, in the temple, or in some other place of religious significance, but he chose to celebrate it in a common ordinary house. Thus he set his seal on the common dwelling place as a holy and sanctified place, worthy of the most solemn worship services. Jesus Preached To Crowds Assembled In Houses:
The things we do in our church buildings today, Jesus did in houses, in the open air, and in the temple courtyard during his three years of public ministry.
Pentecost Came To A House Church:
Many of us have never considered the number of foundational events that took place in someone's house. The first worship service happened in a house. The first communion service was in a house. Jesus preached and healed the sick in a house. The gospel was first preached to the gentiles was in the house of Cornelius. The outpouring of the Holy Spirit on the day of Pentecost was in a house. And the first churches that the Apostle Paul started were all in houses.
Over the centuries we have lost the dynamic of simplicity and have added things that have slowed the progress of the church into all nations. In The Streets And In The Houses:
The early church not only met in small groups in homes but also in larger gatherings in public places. The most rapid growth of the church, both in the past and in the present day, has been when the church was not using formal meeting places, but remained flexible, mobile, and militant.
Saul, the Persecutor, Attacks The House Churches:
Where did Saul of Tarsus go to find "the people to the way" to drag them to prison and to death? He found them meeting in houses. He himself would later plant churches in houses on his missionary journeys.
A Praying House Church Delivers Peter From Prison:
They did not meet in the temple proper, but rather on the temple grounds, or in the vicinity of the temple where the people were gathered. This was an open-air meeting. THE HISTORY OF CHRISTIANITY by Lion states that,
"Christians had no special buildings but met in private houses. Justin Martyr (100-165 A.D.) was asked by Rusticus the Perfect: `Where do you assemble?' Justin said, where each one chooses and can, or do you fancy that we all meet in the very same place? Not so, because the God of the Christians is not circumscribed by place.'"
The House Church That Opened The Gospel To The Nations:
This is a good example of how to start a house church. Someone who is hungry for God and for the things of God calls together a number of his family and friends and then calls for the man of God to come and share the Word of God. So simple!
This meeting in the house of Cornelius was historic. It was the breakthrough that convinced the Jewish believers that the Good News was for all the nations of the world and not just for the Jews.
Lydia's House Was Europe's First Church:
The church of Philippi was formed in the house of Lydia. We are not told how the church grew, but when the group could no longer fit in Lydia's house, they probably formed another group somewhere in the city and continued to divide and multiply. Church history supports this conclusion.
Paul's Rented House:
These final words in the book of Acts reveal that Paul not only made use of the homes of others for the proclamation of the gospel, but that he also used his own rented house for spreading the good news of God's love.
The fastest growing movement in the world today, the Christian movement, began in houses. It had its greatest growth while it remained a fluid, simple, mobile, relationship-oriented people.
All the types and shadows of the Old Testament were totally fulfilled in Christ. We no longer need the tabernacle, nor the vestments, nor the temple, nor the furniture, or any such thing. "Christ is all and in all. We are complete in Him" We no longer need a "holy place", or an altar of incense' or a laver, or shewbread, or urim, or thummim. We don't need the shadows for we have the substance. HIS NAME IS JESUS.
Jesus made it clear that the time had come and that Jerusalem was no more a holy place than Samaria was for HE HAD COME and in his coming he forever brought an end to the idea of holy places, for he himself had fulfilled all the types and shadows of the Old Testament.
Let us rejoice and praise the Lord that we have been released from all bondage and legalism as to a place where we are supposed to worship God! We are free to worship him alone or together, anytime day or night, in any place we choose!
Let me ask “does the evidence support the proposition that the early community of believers were participating in anything that could be construed as the “Storehouse Church” concerned in collecting tithes as we know it today? The evidence does not support such a position. NEITHER does it support the contemporary need for tithes to continue on as mentioned below: (This is from the conclusion of Roland Allen's Book – Spontaneous Expansion of the Church).
“The spontaneous expansion of the Church reduced to its elements is a very simple thing. It asks for no elaborate organization, no large finances, no great numbers of paid missionaries. In its beginning it may be the work of one man, and that a man neither learned in the things of this world, nor rich in the wealth of this world. The organization of a little church on the apostolic model is also extremely simple, and the most illiterate converts can use it, and the poorest are sufficiently wealthy to maintain it. Only as it grows and spreads through large provinces and countries do any complex questions arise, and they arise only as a church composed of many little churches is able to produce leaders prepared to handle them by experience learned in the smaller things. There is no need at the beginning to talk of preparing leaders to face great national issues. By the time the issues have become great and complex the leaders of the little churches of today will have learned their lesson, as they cannot possibly be taught it beforehand.
No one, then, who feels within himself the call of Christ to embark on such a path as this need say, I am too ignorant, I am too inexperienced, I have too little influence, or I have not sufficient resources. The first apostles of Christ were in the eyes of the world 'unlearned and ignorant' men: it was not until the Church had endured a persecution and had grown largely in numbers that Christ called a learned man to be His apostle. The missionaries who spread the Gospel and established the Church throughout the lands round the Mediterranean are not known to us as men of great learning or ability. Most of them are not known by name at all. Only when the Church had been established and had spread widely did Christ call the great doctors whose names are familiar to us by their writings,or by their great powers of Organization and government.
What is necessary is faith. What is needed is the kind of faith which, uniting a man to Christ, sets him on fire. Such a man can believe that others finding Christ will be set on fire also. Such a man can see that there is no need of money to fill a continent with the knowledge of Christ. Such a man can see that all that is required to consolidate and establish that expansion is the simple application of the simple organization of the Church—a dedicated man and his house.
Hope this finds all of you well. Keep praying for me as I am still in great pain and according to doctors will be so for an extended period of time. This is written thanks to a computer program called voice recognition which types the spoken word.
Larry the elder.
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