A Question I Was Asked:



Is Anything in Revelation 21:24-26 About Tithing?








Revelation 21:24,26. The International Bible School I go to gives these verses to show that tithing is an eternal principle. Could this be used to justify tithing? What type of glory and honour is being referred to in these verses?



UK Apologetics Reply:

Okay, I have taken in this whole section. Let's look at it:

24. The nations will walk by its light, and the kings of the earth will bring their splendor into it. 25. On no day will its gates ever be shut, for there will be no night there. 26. The glory and honor of the nations will be brought into it. 27. Nothing impure will ever enter it, nor will anyone who does what is shameful or deceitful, but only those whose names are written in the Lamb’s book of life. (Revelation 21:24-27).

To be certain what this is talking about we need to go to verses 1-2. This is talking about the New Jerusalem and the New Heavens and New Earth!

1. Then I saw "a new heaven and a new earth," for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away, and there was no longer any sea. 2. I saw the Holy City, the new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride beautifully dressed for her husband. (Revelation 21:1-2).

I cannot understand how anybody could suggest that there is any connection to tithing here. This is describing the world to come, it is showing how beautiful and incomparable it will be, incomparable to anything we have now. Sin and sinfulness will be completely absent; it will exist in absolute spiritual perfection.

In his commentary on Revelation, major Bible commentator Albert Barnes said of Revelation 21:23-25:

And the kings of the earth do bring their glory and honour into it - That is, all that they consider as constituting their glory, treasures, crowns, sceptres, robes. The idea is, that all these will be devoted to God in the future days of the church in its glory, and will be, as it were, brought and laid down at the feet of the Saviour in heaven. The language is derived, doubtless, from the description in Isaiah 60:3-14.

So let us briefly look at some of that:

3. Nations will come to your light, and kings to the brightness of your dawn. 4. "Lift up your eyes and look about you: All assemble and come to you; your sons come from afar, and your daughters are carried on the hip. 5. Then you will look and be radiant, your heart will throb and swell with joy; the wealth on the seas will be brought to you, to you the riches of the nations will come. (Isaiah 60:3-5).

When looking at these verses in his own Commentary, John Gill states, "...the sense is ... that whatever is great and glorious in the nations of the world, will be counted as nothing in comparison of the glory and magnificence of this state, and not to be mentioned with it." The Jamieson Fausset Brown Commentary states, "...the kings of the earth - who once had regard only to their glory, having been converted, now in the new Jerusalem do bring their glory into it, to lay it down at the feet of their God and Lord."


More About The New Jerusalem...

As I have written many times before, apart from the called, chosen and saved of the Church and the saints of all the ages, many many others will also be saved, simply being the recipients of God's unbounded mercy; so these are apparently the people who give glory to the New Jerusalem in this section (notice they are outside of it). The "splendour" of the kings of the earth (verse 24), may indeed have a financial or riches connotation to it (it certainly does in Isaiah 60:5), but whether this is literal or symbolic it is hard to say but most would surely favour the explanation that the language here is symbolic of giving honour, respect and glory to the called, chosen and saved of the Church who now reside in the New Jerusalem, since the age of gathering financial wealth would now appear to be past (pre-millenialists would disagree with this, of course). The New Jerusalem, then, is God's goodness made fully manifest. It supercedes the old Jerusalem which had become a den of vipers.

Who are the residents of the New Jerusalem? The Father and the Lamb are there (Revelation 21:22). Angels are at the gates (verse 12). But the city will be inhabited by God's redeemed children, those whose names were entered into the Lamb's Book of Life from eternity. So this is not only beautiful pictorial, poetic language but also actually true and correct. Note that Isaiah lays this out in one of the poetic sections of that book; this all describes the incredible beauty and joy and contentment of that future time. Of course, Isaiah can only describe this great joy of living close to our God in physical terms when, of course, it will go well beyond that.


Conclusion

In my opinion, there is absolutely nothing here which has the slightest reference to the practice of "tithing" in our present time; however, just bear in mind that I have never taught that tithing is wrong, simply that it should never be an imposed teaching; neither should any be discriminated against for preferring to simply giving occasional offerings to their place of Christian attendance and worship.

I am bound to say that if one attends any place which incorrectly, and even maybe dishonestly, suggests that anything in Revelation 21 is about commanding 'tithing' at our present time, I think one should seriously consider whether a place of such poor teaching should continue to be attended. I'm sorry if that offends, but that is my opinion and I will stand by it.

Robin A. Brace. November 19th, 2017.

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