“Do you not know that those men who are employed in the services of the temple get their food from the temple? And that those who tend the altar share with the altar [in the offerings brought]? [Deut. 18:1.] [On the same principle] the Lord directed that those who publish the good news (the Gospel) should live (get their maintenance) by the Gospel.” 1 Corinthians 9:13-14 AMP
The Lord directed in the gospel are referring to these verses. This was Jesus Himself talking.
…..for the workman deserves his support (his living, his food).” Matthew 10:10 AMP
…for the laborer is worthy of his wages….Luke 10:7 AMP
These were the verses that most quoted to prove that really in the new testament, the Lord has directed that His laborer’s or His ministers are worthy of wage. This wage refers to tithe of the congregation because, like Levites who take care of spiritual things thus, in return receive the tithe of the people, the pastor’s/preachers are spiritually Levites too, so in essence tithes of the congregation is the support or the maintenance the pastors ought to receive or collect. They would also quote the verse in Hebrews 7:8 “Here mortal men receive tithes, but there he receives them, of whom it is witnessed that he lives.” This is to prove that in new testament mortal men (pastors/preachers) receive tithes, at the same time while it’s being received by mortal men, there in heaven, it is being received by God who lives eternally.
This is what they don’t tell you:
Just prior to and after 1 Corinthians 9:13-14 which reads:
“If others share in this rightful claim upon you, do not we [have a still better and greater claim]? However, WE have never exercised this right, but we endure everything rather than put a hindrance in the way [of the spread] of the good news (the Gospel) of Christ.” 1 Corinthians 9:12 AMP.
“But I have not made use of any of these privileges, nor am I writing this [to suggest] that any such provision be made for me [now]. For it would be better for me to die than to have anyone make void and deprive me of my [ground for] glorifying [in this matter].” 1 Corinthians 9:15 AMP
Take note, THEY have never exercised the right even though they are entitled. Besides, if you read carefully 1 Corinthians 9:14; Yes, Indeed, the Lord directed that those who preach the Gospel should live by the Gospel. In this verse, God did not direct or commanded that Christians should give to support the preacher. It ordained that they can live or support themselves by the Gospel but, it does not command the giver to give for the support of the preacher. One may give voluntarily and, as directed by God, they may eat from what they receive but, nowhere in those verses God commanded to give 10% of one’s income so that the preacher may have something to eat. See the difference?
Example: A man can give voluntarily for the support of the preacher and the preacher may accept that as directed by God but, it does not command the man to be obliged to give.
Some claim they follow the apostolic doctrine, this is one of the apostolic doctrines. 2 Thessalonians 3:8-9 AMP says:
“Nor did WE eat anyone’s bread without paying for it, but with toil and struggle WE worked night and day, that WE might not be a burden or impose on any of you [for our support]. [It was] not because WE do not have a right [to such support], but [WE wished] to make ourselves an example for you to follow.”
Do we see them as a good example thus, do we follow them? Every scripture is inspired word of God, this is written for a reason. However we say that this was apostles personal conviction, the fact that it is written, it is meant therefore to be followed.
In hindsight, we can parallel what is happening now from II Kings 5 whole chapter where Naaman was healed from Leprosy when Elisha- the man of God told him to wash 7 times in the Jordan river so as to be healed. And, when Naaman was healed, he offered gifts as a gesture of gratitude without anyone prompting or commanding him to do so but, however, Naaman urged to receive the gift, Elisha refuses to accept even though he is entitled to it. When Naaman departed from Elisha, in a short distance, Gehazi, servant of Elisha followed Naaman and told that Elisha had a change of heart and asked for a talent of silver and 2 change of garments. When Elisha found out what his servant Gehazi had done, the leprosy was passed down to Gehazi.
Elisha same as Apostles were entitled to receive gifts. In principle, God commanded that those who preach the Gospel like the apostles may get their support from it as directed by God but, it does not command so that the giver of the offering may be obliged to give. Was Naaman after he was healed commanded by God to give gifts to Elisha? In Acts 4:35, where they told or commanded by God so that they may sell their property and laid them at the apostle’s feet to distribute among them who have needs or, was it voluntarily without anyone prompting or commanding them to do so? On top of this, both Elisha and the Apostles refuses to accept the gifts even though they are entitled to it yet, those who claim to follow the Apostles teaching but receive money either through tithes and offering in return for their suppose priestly service are exactly like being Gehazi. I do hope they realize that Gehazi paid what he had done with an awful price. The apostles already showed us how to live like true Christians but we say, it was their personal conviction.
“And as you go, preach, saying, ‘The kingdom of heaven is at hand.’ Heal the sick, cleanse the lepers, raise the dead, cast out demons. Freely you have received, freely give. Provide neither gold nor silver nor copper in your money belts, nor bag for your journey, nor two tunics, nor sandals, nor staffs; for a worker is worthy of his food.” Matthew 10:7-10 NKJV
And stay on in the same house, eating and drinking what they provide, for the laborer is worthy of his wages. Do not keep moving from house to house. [Deut. 24:15.]” Luke 10:7 AMP
A verse in a chapter without considering at least the preceding and succeeding verses can sometimes distort the intention or the context of the verse. How much more quoting a phrase from a verse in a chapter? Matthew 10:10 ignoring the preceding verses and Luke 10:7 is sometimes quoted to prove that really Jesus instructed that preachers of the Gospel are worthy of wage, and this wage refers to tithe given by the congregation the same as when the sons of Levi receive tithe because they take care of the spiritual matter. If this was the instruction by Jesus Christ, can you imagine the apostles going every house and whoever accepts them, the household gives one-tenth of their income as the Apostles wage for preaching/healing and go to the next house and so on? Imagine in every house where they were accepted, they got 10% of the owner’s property. Moreover, it contradicts Matthew 10:7-10 to which they were instructed to give freely as it was freely given, they were not even allowed to bring money with them. Or, the laborer’s wage refers to FOOD only? Was this not the same principle from the old testament? Offerings -burnt offering, heave offering, peace offering, dough offering for God including tithes to which was received by the Levitical priest were all food and they can eat from this offered food, exactly the same principle as according to 1 Corinthians 9:13-14. Click here to read more.
Hebrews 7:8 in the AMP version was translated in this way:
“Furthermore, here [in the Levitical priesthood] tithes are received by men who are subject to death; while there [in the case of Melchizedek], they are received by one of whom it is testified that he lives [perpetually].”
See the difference? It does not refer to pastors or preachers, it refers to Levitical priesthood and there, refers to Melchizedek in Abraham’s time. Click here for a related topic.
Written by: Sherwin Cablao
Post note: Some would argue that Jesus was not consistent with His instruction by quoting the verses below.
“And He said to them, “When I sent you without money bag, knapsack, and sandals, did you lack anything?” So they said, “Nothing.” Then He said to them, “But now, he who has a money bag, let him take it, and likewise a knapsack; and he who has no sword, let him sell his garment and buy one. For I say to you that this which is written must still be accomplished in Me: ‘And He was numbered with the transgressors.’ For the things concerning Me have an end.” So they said, “Lord, look, here are two swords.” And He said to them, “It is enough.””Luke 22:35-38 NKJV
The context of this instruction is not the same as Matthew 10:10. Matthew 10:10 was an instruction when they go house to house preaching/healing. Notice that, this suppose inconsistency of instruction was written in the gospel of Luke only where the next event was His capture followed by His last miracle. Matthew 10:10 and Luke 10:4, on the other hand, was written way far from His capture. In Luke 22:35-38, they were instructed to even sell garments to buy a sword, in fact, they carried two swords. If this instruction was for the same purpose as instructed in Matthew 10:10, why would they go house to house carrying a sword? In parallel to today’s time, you mean to say carrying a weapon while going house to house to preach the word of God can be justified with this verse? To some extent some say that the sword is not really literal rather it’s symbolical of some sort, so the sword is symbolical, how about the money bag, what did it symbolizes? Or, the sword only symbolizes something but the money bag was meant to be literal? Therefore, consider the succeeding verses on Luke 22:35-38, the next event that follows was His prayer in the Garden and His arrest in Gethsemane where Judas betrayed Him and Peter cut off the ear of the high priest servant with a sword to which was instructed for them to bring. And, to which Jesus reprimand Peter and healed the servant’s ear. This was Jesus last miracle. Now, don’t you think Jesus had foreseen it already what will happen in Gethsemane? Hence, in order to perform His last miracle and show that in spite of Him being in a process of arrest, He is indeed capable of compassion to His transgressor, He changes His instruction. If Jesus did not change the instruction from Matthew 10:10 to Luke 22:35-38, do you think His last miracle will happen?