What exactly is legalism?
There is a lot of controversy on this. Prayerfully consider these various answers.
Preamble: Gen 14:18-20, Exo. 35:4-36; II Cor. 8:1-5.
Bring ye all the tithes into the storehouse that there may be meat in mine house, and prove me now herewith saith the Lord of hosts. Malachi 3:10.
Introduction: “I am as poor as church rat” is a common saying among the people. If every Christian lives up to his financial obligation to his God and God being the possessor of the whole universe, (Psalm 24:1-2; Haggi 2:8 the above comparative derogation ought not have been in existence.
The Israelites, despite their stubbornness, knew the importance of contributing for the work of God. We also see Abraham paying tithes to Melchizedek the Priest of God. The children of the Kingdom cannot do anything less today to guarantee our blessings!
Jesus Himself did not condemn the practice of paying tithes Matt. 23:23.
The early church paid more than one tenth and that could be the reason why tithes is not very much emphasized in the New Testament. (Acts 2:44-47; 4:34-37; 11:27-30; I Cor. 16:1-3.
Do not hide under the excuse that what you earn or have is not enough, thereby fail to pay your tithes and freewill offerings. Human beings and their wants are the same, from generation to generation and country to country. So if it were possible for the Israelites in the wilderness, early church, the Philippians and Corinthian Churches, it can be possible for us today. Remember there is much gain in giving to God – Prov. 3:9-10, Acts 20:35.
When there was a need in Acts chapter 5, the apostles called on the people in the church to give. The unfaithful givers among those who gave towards God’s work was Ananias and Sapphira. Because of their unfaithfulness, they died. Funding God’s work has its origin in both the old and new testaments!
Perhaps you are not born again. The Lord needs your heart first and foremost. Your heart should be circumcised with the precious blood of Jesus. I mean that you need to renounce (forsake your sins) and ask God to give you power over it (not to go back to it again). Your giving is not a guarantee to heaven if you continue in your sins. You cannot use your giving to bribe God in any way. Your tithes and free will offering to the church or servants of God can only be acceptable in His sight if you are born of the Spirit.
“Give, and it will be given to you. A good measure, pressed down, shaken together and running over, will be poured into your la. For with the measure you use, it will be measured to you”. Luke 6:38.
You can be a channel through which God will bless others in the church.
You can be a vessel that God will use to bless His work in the funding of His church. Solomon’s temple was constructed as a result of giving of the people of God. Moses temple in the wilderness was constructed as a result of contribution by God’s people. The scripture says that there was surplus of materials after constructing temples for God’s glory. Servants of God on full time basis must also be supported with our free will offerings. This has biblical basis with blessings attached to it. I have tried it and it has become part of me to give my substance to bless God’s work and his church. Our church releases money to those in need and this spirit is releasing to us great blessings every day. The hands that releases blessings to people are always on top; those who take are always down.
Where will you want your hands to be. Up I suppose!
The Lord bless you real good.
Rev Debo Adeyemo
I believe tithing is extremely important, God has a lot to say about money in the bible that we are to be good stewards since He is the one that gives all of our resources and is only allowing us to be stewards.
Tithing is the first step toward living under an open heaven, for God promises to open heaven over the tither. Because of this promise, we know the opposite is also true. Failing to tithe will close the windows of heaven. Some bible instructors teach that New Testament saints don’t have to tithes. They assume that because the atonement lifted the curse of the law, God no longer requires tithing. The mistake these teachers make is in assuming that the curse spoken of in Malachi 3:9 is the curse of of the law. This verse is not speaking of the curse of the law but of the self-imposed penalty for violating a God-ordained principle.
Ye are cursed with a curse: for ye have robbed me, even this whole nation.
A controversy has arisen as to whether or not God curses Christians. Remember the story of Ananias & Sapphira, the New Testament couple lost their lives over a mistake they made in their giving. They lied to the Holy Ghost about their offering, they dropped dead.
Now here is the question. Did a curse from God kill them? If a curse from God didn’t kill them, why did they die? They violated a spiritual principle when they lied to the Holy Ghost. Sinful action on their part brought about their deaths. Acts 5: 1-10. No set time must pass after a person commits sin before he experiences the penalty. It may take fifty days or fifty years, death can come immediately. It was their own willful violation that brought the penalty of death upon them.
God has always required tithing from His people. God expected even Adam and Eve to tithe. Adam and Eve had jobs and their job was to maintain the garden.
And the Lord God took the man and put him into the garden of Eden to dress it and keep it. Genesis 2: 15
God generously rewarded their efforts by allowing them to eat freely in the garden. Its true you have expended your time and labor to earn it. However, you must cheerfully return 10 percent of it to Him, for the Bible say that 10% of all your increase belongs to God. It is still the responsibility of every born again Christian to tithe. It doesn’t cost God anything but its the loss of the saints themselves. It doesn’t matter how righteous your life may be or how much scripture you have committed to memory.
New Testament tithing is not a doom and gloom, bad news message. Its good news as in Malachi 3;10, 11 says.
Bring ye all the tithes into the storehouse, that there may be meat in mine house, and prove me now herewith, saith the Lord of hosts, if I will not open you the windows of heave, and pour you out a blessing, that there shall not be room enough to receive it.
And I will rebuke the devourer for your sakes, and he shall not destroy the fruits of your ground, neither shall your vine cast her fruit before the time in the field, saith the Lord of hosts,
Is the money you earn yours to fund your lifestyle or does it belong to God to fund His end time harvest? You may ask questions like What about my need? If you operate as a faithful steward the Lord will take proper care of you. Jesus firmly established this truth when He spoke of the reward his faithful servants will receive. The Lord isn’t looking for people who will fund the gospel out of their possessions. Instead, He wants to develop faithful stewards who will become mangers of His assets. The better these stewards manage His affairs, the better the quality of life He will provide for them.
Don’t believe the lie “All Preachers Want is your Money” II Chronicles 20:20 If you don’t trust Gods prophets, you will not prosper. Lack of trust comes from the enemy for he knows if he can break your trust relationship with the man of God, he can block you from God’s prosperity. Get behind him, encourage and submit to him. The obedient Christian is to trust and respect his God appointed leaders, for God gave them to the Church as a gift. Be sure you are following a good pastor that’s not a man-pleaser who teaches the word of God and not the traditions of men.
1 Timothy 6:9 But they that will be rich fall into temptation and a snare, and into many foolish and hurtful lusts, which drown men in destruction and perdition.
1 Timothy 6:10 For the love of money is the root of all evil: which while some coveted after, they have erred from the faith and pierced themselves through with many sorrows.
Acts 20:35 I have showed you all things, how that so laboring ye ought to support the weak, and to remember the words of the Lord Jesus, how he said, It is more blessed to give than to receive.
There are many things that will stop the blessings of God in your life.
Matthew 6:33 But seek ye first the kingdom of God and his righteousness and all these things shall be added unto you.
We are to lay up spiritual treasures in heaven,
Matthew 6: 19 Lay not up for yourselves treasures upon earth, where moth and rust doth corrupt, and where thieves break through and steal:
20) But lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust doth corrupt, and where thieves do not break through nor steal.
21) For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also.
Preachers that are truly teaching God’s word will encourage christians to pay their tithes because they realize this is the way God’s people can truly be blessed. We dont have to wait till the year of Jubilee if we would take heed to the word of God to cancel out our debt. Preacher’s also realize that God’s church can come under a curse when members dont tithes.
God will still test our faith in the areas of money even when we tithe, it doesnt mean that we wont have money problems etc, and it definitely wont stop you from going thru different trials or tribulations in your life.
If you cant afford to give 10% at first, start out with 5% then build your way toward giving more, Also you can give of your talents to the Lord and he blesses your effort, time, and committment to Him.
Mark 12: 41-And Jesus sat over against the treasury, and beheld how the peopole cast money into the treasury and many that were rich cast in much.
42) And there came a certain poor widow and she threw in two mites, which make a farthing.
43) And he called unto him his disciiples, and siath unto them Verily I sayunto you, That this poor widow hath cast more in, than all they which have cast into the treasury:
44) For all they did cast in of their abundance, but she of her want did cast in all that she had even all her living.
She had given sacrificially
Luke 6:38 Give and it shall be given
2 Cor 9:7 Let him give not grudgingly
Man on earth can take everything from you but its your spiritual rewards which will make a difference in the end. Any preacher that preaches prosperity, health message isnt preaching the whole gospel truth and are deceiving people which is another different topic. Christians will suffer persecution, trials, sickness even right in the center of Gods will. It is true that sin can also cause these things to happen when disobedient.
Well I know this was inspired by the Holy Spirit in this message and felt led to write this. Actually the bible says alot more in the area of money, etc. and would love to cover it all.
God bless Deb4Souls
The answer to this question is intended to cover four questions we have on tithing and giving. They are:
1. Do we always tithe first then pay debts & bills? Or do we pay bills and debts and do good and tithe with what we can?
2. How much should one give to the church?
3. Where should I give my tithe? How should I do it?
4. What is the truth about the tithe? Does it all go to one church or are we to break it up into sections to address the needs of the widows, orphans, sojourner, and priest? Anybody know the answer please let me know. Deut 26:13.
First of all you should know that my answer to this question is probably a bit different from what you may be expecting. However, I no longer shrink from controversy and when I discover error, even if practiced by my own church, I try and expose it. I expect some will want to dismiss my answer out of hand. If you feel this way, I challenge you to consider carefully the bible texts used. I challenge you also to read my study on Isa 4:1 in our archives explaining that ALL churches will apostatize. Remember, ‘They are rich and increased with goods and have need of nothing, but spiritually are lukewarm and will be spewed from the Savior’s mouth’, in a manner of speaking. Deceiving people into paying 10% of their taxable income, whether they can afford
it or not, when they have no biblical right to do so, is how they have become rich.
In support of this line of thinking, I quote from Revelation:
Revelation 14:4-AV These are they which were not defiled with women; for they are virgins. These are they which follow the Lamb whithersoever he goeth. These were redeemed from among men, [being] the firstfruits unto God and to the Lamb.
In the study on Isa 4:1 we saw how all churches will apostatize. Isaiah refers to the churches as ‘women’ and I explained that this meant ‘Christian churches’. Now we have a statement identifying those who heed the call to ‘come out’ of fallen Babylon (confused religion) , as not being defiled by these ‘women’. This statement has nothing to do with sexuality of course, many will be women. It is another indicator that there will not be an organized church (denomination) left unfallen.
God does not need our money. The idea that we can give to God is presumption on our part. He already owns everything in earth and beyond it.
Psalms 50:7-AV Hear, O my people, and I will speak; O Israel, and I will testify against thee: I [am] God, [even] thy God.
Psalms 50:8-AV I will not reprove thee for thy sacrifices or thy burnt offerings, [to have been] continually before me.
Psalms 50:9-AV I will take no bullock out of thy house, [nor] he goats out of thy folds.
Psalms 50:10-AV For every beast of the forest [is] mine, [and] the cattle upon a thousand hills.
Psalms 50:11-AV I know all the fowls of the mountains: and the wild beasts of the field [are] mine.
Psalms 50:12-AV If I were hungry, I would not tell thee: for the world [is] mine, and the fulness thereof.
Haggai 2:8-AV The silver [is] mine, and the gold [is] mine, saith the LORD of hosts.
Romans 11:34-AV For who hath known the mind of the Lord? or who hath been his counsellor?
Romans 11:35-AV Or who hath first given to him, and it shall be recompensed unto him again?
Let us examine some of the texts those who advocate tithing use to support their case. The first concerns the time Abraham paid a tithe to the King of Samem. If you read the entire chapter to get it in perspective you will notice that Abraham gave the King of Salem a tenth of what he, Abraham, had plundered from his enemies. It was not the sweat of Abraham’s brow and a tenth of Abraham’s hard earned increase. It was loot.
Genesis 14:18-AV And Melchizedek king of Salem brought forth bread and wine: and he [was] the priest of the most high God.
Genesis 14:19-AV And he blessed him, and said, Blessed [be] Abram of the most high God, possessor of heaven and earth:
Genesis 14:20-AV And blessed be the most high God, which hath delivered thine enemies into thy hand. And he gave him tithes of all.
“Abram gave away ten per cent of other people’s stuff, in a representative act of thanksgiving to God on behalf of some people who had been miraculously rescued from a life of slavery. This was a once-only event. It has nothing to do with the now common teaching that you should give ten per cent of your gross weekly income to a group of professional religious leaders.”
(A study by Henery, G. Sheppard, Tithing What Does the Bible REALLY Teach) The next passage concerns Jacob making a vow to give a tithe to God.
Genesis 28:20-AV And Jacob vowed a vow, saying, If God will be with me, and will keep me in this way that I go, and will give me bread to eat, and raiment to put on,
Genesis 28:21-AV So that I come again to my father’s house in peace; then shall the LORD be my God:
Genesis 28:22-AV And this stone, which I have set [for] a pillar, shall be God’s house: and of all that thou shalt give me I will surely give the tenth unto thee.
“It was a conditional promise. Notice the five conditions: IF God will be with me; IF God will watch over me; IF God will give me food to eat; IF God will give me clothes to wear; and IF I return safely to my father’s house (which didn’t happen until some twenty years later……), THEN, and only then, can God have 10% of whatever He gives me.” (Sheppard)
This was a conditional vow that does not set a precedent for giving to churches today. There were four tithes in ancient Israel. The first was for the support of the Levites who had no inheritance, and were required to provide the public service to the people of Israel. This was a form of taxation to provide for the public service. Today the public service is provided for in taxes we pay to government.
Numbers 18:20-AV And the LORD spake unto Aaron, Thou shalt have no inheritance in their land, neither shalt thou have any part among them: I [am] thy part and thine inheritance among the children of Israel.
Numbers 18:21-AV And, behold, I have given the children of Levi all the tenth in Israel for an inheritance, for their service which they serve, [even] the service of the tabernacle of the congregation.
“All the tribes of Israel, except the Levites, had a designated geographical area as their “inheritance”. But the Levites —— in return for their work within the nation —— received income tax of 10% from the rest of the population. The Levites functioned as: •• the Health Inspectors, •• the Police, •• the Justice Department, and •• the Education Department. To put it simply, the Levites were the Public Service in Israel, and they were supported by a system of income tax called “tithes”. (Sheppard)
The second tithe was the one paid to the priesthood by the Levites. The Levites received a 10% income tax and were required to pass on a tenth of that for the upkeep of the priests. Note. It was the Levites and not the people that were directly responsible for the upkeep of the priesthood. The idea today that general church population should pay 10% for the upkeep of the ministry, has no parallel in the Old Testament. The ministry is NOT the modern equivalent of the priesthood. The priesthood was part of the sacrificial system which was abolished at the cross.
Numbers 18:25-AV And the LORD spake unto Moses, saying,
Numbers 18:26-AV Thus speak unto the Levites, and say unto them, When ye take of the children of Israel the tithes which I have given you from them for your inheritance, then ye shall offer up an heave offering of it for the LORD, [even] a tenth [part] of the tithe.
Numbers 18:27-AV And [this] your heave offering shall be reckoned unto you, as though [it were] the corn of the threshingfloor, and as the fulness of the winepress.
Numbers 18:28-AV Thus ye also shall offer an heave offering unto the LORD of all your tithes, which ye receive of the children of Israel; and ye shall give thereof the LORD’S heave offering to Aaron the priest.
Numbers 18:29-AV Out of all your gifts ye shall offer every heave offering of the LORD, of all the best thereof, [even] the hallowed part thereof out of it.
Numbers 18:30-AV Therefore thou shalt say unto them, When ye have heaved the best thereof from it, then it shall be counted unto the Levites as the increase of the threshingfloor, and as the increase of the winepress.
Numbers 18:31-AV And ye shall eat it in every place, ye and your households: for it [is] your reward for your service in the tabernacle of the congregation.
The third tithe was to provide for and sustain the people on their annual pilgrimages to Jerusalem.
“The people of Israel were required to assemble three times a year at Jerusalem (as the place chosen by the Lord) for the major feasts. This was meant to be a time of rejoicing and the Lord ensured that everybody had sufficient resources available to enable them to fully enter into the rejoicing by commanding that they set aside 10% of their annual income for that purpose. Notice the next verse (27), “And do not neglect the Levites……” This was a reference to the first tithe. In other words, the third tithe —— for the annual feasts —— was not to be confused with the separate and distinct general tithe for the Levites.” (Sheppard)
The fourth tithe. At the end of every three years there was another tithe to pay which was for the widows and the poor.
Deuteronomy 14:28-AV At the end of three years thou shalt bring forth all the tithe of thine increase the same year, and shalt lay [it] up within thy gates:
Deuteronomy 14:29-AV And the Levite, (because he hath no part nor inheritance with thee,) and the stranger, and the fatherless, and the widow, which [are] within thy gates, shall come, and shall eat and be satisfied; that the LORD thy God may bless thee in all the work of thine hand which thou doest.
“This tithe went to the poor, the widows and the orphans. In Australia that is called “Social Security”. It was payable once every three years, which equals one-third of a tenth annually. These tithes were not ‘‘gifts’’, they were taxes. The total tithes paid by the Israelites were 23.3% of their total income, about the same as what the average Australian pays today in income tax.” (Sheppard)
Malachi 3:10-AV Bring ye all the tithes into the storehouse, that there may be meat in mine house, and prove me now herewith, saith the LORD of hosts, if I will not open you the windows of heaven, and pour you out a blessing, that [there shall] not [be room] enough [to receive it].
Sheppard writes: “Here we have the tithing teachers favourite verse in the whole Bible. On this verse they hang most of their doctrine. But if we take a close look at the verse, we will find something very interesting. Remember that there were four tithes in Israel under the Old Covenant. Which one is referred to here?
And the priest, the son of Aaron, shall be with the Levites when the Levites receive tithes, and the Levites shall bring up the tenth of the tithes to the house of our God, to the chambers of the storehouse (Nehemiah 10:38). [ Note: The word ‘‘storehouse’’ is translated as ‘‘treasure house’’ in the KJV. The Hebrew is the same in both Nehemiah and Malachi, outsair, meaning a treasure or a store house. ] Which of the four tithes is in view in Malachi? The tithe payable by the Levites, not the tithes payable by the people. Malachi is not rebuking the people, he is rebuking the Levites. When our modern day tithing teachers point this verse at the people, they are really pointing at themselves —— except that most of them are too ignorant to recognise the fact.”
Let us summarize so far. 23.3% of income was paid in taxes (tithes) for; 1. By the people for the upkeep of the Levites, 2. By the Levites for the upkeep of the priesthood, 3. By the people for the upkeep of themselves during annual festivals in Jerusalem, and 4. Once every three years for the upkeep of the poor. This system of taxes provided for the public service including priests, holidays and social security. If we were to translate this system into our own, our taxes should provide for the public service and social security. The priesthood no longer exists since it was done away with at the cross. It is right for Christians to support welfare work where the system falls down, or in countries where there is no proper social security.
Mark 15:38-AV And the veil of the temple was rent in twain from the top to the bottom.
The priesthood was part of the sacrificial system. When a man sinned, he confessed his sin to the priest who would offer the man’s sacrifice and make intercession for him. We now have Jesus for our high priest, sitting on the right hand of God. We make confession directly to Him and He makes intercession with the father for us. The rending of the veil in the temple was a sign that the real Passover Lamb had been slain and that the sacrificial system was now ended. That curtain was woven cloth 3 inches thick and I think, 18 feet high. Two bulldozers would have a hard time ripping it in two.
There is a precedent in the early church of people selling all that they had and giving it to the cause. There are laws of sowing and reaping, but the only instructions concerning giving are as follows.
2Corinthians 9:6-AV But this [I say], He which soweth sparingly shall reap also sparingly; and he which soweth bountifully shall reap also bountifully.
2Corinthians 9:7-AV Every man according as he purposeth in his heart, [so let him give]; not grudgingly, or of necessity: for God loveth a cheerful giver.
From these verses we learn that there should be no compulsion or necessity to give. We should give what we have purposed in our heart to give, and are able to do so cheerfully. We will be rewarded in proportion to the value of the gift. (In terms of our ability to give that is) It is ok to decide on an amount to give to the work of the church, but religious leaders do not have a right to ‘demand’ any fixed amount. There are other issues here which go beyond the scope of this already long answer like, ‘Should ministers be self supporting?’, ‘Should they be paid by the organization or by the congregation?’, ‘Should there even be church ‘organizations’?’
Should we let our families suffer in order to give to the church? Many currently do this. I quote again from the study by Sheppard.
“Tithes are ‘‘Corban’’
He was also saying to them, “”You nicely set aside the commandment of God in order to keep your tradition. For Moses said, ‘‘Honor your father and your mother’’; and, ‘‘He who speaks evil of father or mother, let him be put to death’’; but you say, ‘‘If a man says to his father, anything of mine you might have been helped by is Corban (that is to say, given to God),’’ you no longer permit him to do anything for his father or his mother; thus invalidating the word of God by your tradition which you have handed down; and you do many such things as that”” (Mark 7:9-13).
If you have money your family needs, but you withhold it from them in order to pay it to the church as ‘‘tithes’’, you are doing exactly what the Pharisees did. You are saying your money is “Corban” and Jesus taught that by doing so you were invalidating the Word of God.”
Motivation is everything. We should give in response to need, secretly and humbly, according to what we have, cheerfully, as every man’s heart moves him. Giving is to be an act of love, just as God gave His Son to us to fulfill our ‘need’ not our ‘greed’.
A question that concerns many these days is that of debt. The standard response by religious leaders to someone who says, “But I can’t afford to give”, is, “You can’t afford not to.”, meaning that you should give whether you can afford it or not, in order to have God reward you. It is not God that wants you to give in these circumstances, it is the greedy churches. In fact, if you give what you cannot afford it is unacceptable to God. I quote again from Sheppard.
“We are to give according to what we have.
For if the readiness [to give] is present, it is acceptable according to what a man has, not according to what he does not have (2 Corinthians 8:12).
If you have $10 and owe $10 to someone, but rather than pay your debt you give the money to a religious organisation, God does not accept your offering. It is “unacceptable” to Him. Don’t ever give what you do not truly have. The Bible says clearly that such ‘‘giving’’ is unacceptable to God.”
That said, it is also told us that we should not get into debt.
Romans 13:8-AV Owe no man any thing, but to love one another: for he that loveth another hath fulfilled the law.
In order to provide a home for my family it has been necessary for me to go into debt and I expect most readers will be in a similar position. Whether we could have done it different or not I do not know. I think in today’s society, staying out of debt is well nigh impossible for most. My understanding of the above is not that we should not give just because we have debts. If there is money available after the planned payments have been made, by all means, give. However, if one is behind on payments or has insufficient left after making them, I understand from the above that God does not expect, nor will He accept, that which we do not have or that which we have to go into debt to provide, such as ticking the tithe up on the bankcard.
In the early church some Jewish Christians were trying to force Gentile Christians to observe the law as they did. Acts 15 tells how Paul and some supporters met with the Apostles and the first ‘Council’ was convened. It was decided what the Gentile Christians would be required to do. There were four instructions given for them. They were to abstain from things contaminated with idols or idol worship, fornication, things strangled, and blood. There was no mention of a ‘tithe’.
There is a type of giving that God finds deplorable. It is giving without love being the motivating factor.
1Corinthians 13:3-AV And though I bestow all my goods to feed [the poor], and though I give my body to be burned, and have not charity, it profiteth me nothing.
Now for one more aspect of ‘tithing’ that few seem to understand. The common message delivered along with support for tithing is that of prosperity. If you tithe, God will prosper you. I have noticed among my own religion that in order to pay tithe and still live comfortably, most families have both partners working. The adverse effect of this was brought home to me about 17 years ago when all our children were little. While I was at work my wife was saddled with five small children. Our eldest was still 6 when the youngest was born. This was not poor planning on our part, each was a miracle, but that is another story.
Because Lorraine was extremely stretched and stressed out during this period of our lives, we asked our pastor if someone could be found in the church who could give Lorraine some practical assistance, perhaps take the older children to a park or something, during the day. It was announced at church and only one could be found. This was an old lady, retired, and not in good health. She visited once but could not come back. She was not up to it. There was one lady from another church (same religion) with her own family concerns and commitments, who offered friendship and some assistance, but she was rather pressed herself. The pastor apologized to us that no one could be found. All the wives were busy increasing their own prosperity. Even his wife had a job. We eventually got assistance through a community organization.
Most of these families were prosperous. They had modern homes and cars and their children attended the expensive church school. No fault is found with this prosperity, the church supports such industrious activity. God is prospering the regular tithe payers and they in turn are prospering the church. All is as it should be. Or is it?
I would suggest to you that if you are following Jesus the way He would want, that you will not be prosperous. You will give of yourself constantly for other people. You will live in poverty. You will know hardship and personal suffering. You will have an aura of personal peace and security not consistent with such circumstances and you will impart this to others. You will in all probability meet with a sticky end. You know I’m right, don’t you?
Matthew 10:24-AV The disciple is not above [his] master, nor the servant above his lord.
If any are getting a better deal than Jesus got, or the disciples for that matter, it is possible that you are being prospered by the devil and that you, and your church, if you remain with it when the crunch comes, will quite happily go on as you are now, and be deceived into being caught completely by surprise when Jesus returns.
This false doctrine of prosperity is most likely the deciding factor in bringing about the fall of the world’s organized religions, and most of their members. When faced with the prospect of the kind of existence described in the paragraph two above, they will stick to the system that maintains their financial security and lifestyle.
It is possible that many should be giving much more than a tenth while those in debt, and with pressing bills may not be able to give anything. Be guided by your conscience and if necessary, further study.
I apologize for the length of this study, but it was necessary to cover the topic thoroughly. I pray that God will open His understanding to readers of this study
well — I guess the New Testament says that we are to give 10% of our income for the church. However, I dare to stand up and say that there is far more than that to this question.
In my opinion, our tithes are in vain if they are given just because we are supposed to give them. 🙂 Spiritually speaking we don’t have any lack. When we read the New Testament, it stands very clear that God is the giver and the gift. He has told us via Jesus that we shall not have lack of anything when we trust the law of God. I don’t think that Bible’s promises are idle ones. If it reads that we are entitled to abundant lives when we are with God; then it is going to be so.
Thus tithing should be a joyous and mutual experience in the congregation. The tithe should be given with the attitude that God has already multipled the amount of money given for the GOOD purpose, and the amount of money that I give away will return back to me 10-fold, 100-fold or even 1000-fold. I don’t say that we are to live for money, but in the world of caesar we need money for things that are important for our lives and sharing the good word.
For example, a church should be able to have a good financial account so that they could fulfill their important mission anytime when there is a project that needs funding. There is something, definetely, wrong in the church if they are constantly begging more tithes to be given because God has promised that we shall not want when we are with him.
Furthermore, we can tithe in many ways. It is not just a financial tithing. It can be a tithe to volunteer for church…and that is very precious tithe as well. It can be a tithe to contribute 10% of every hour by exalting Jesus&God or it can be anything as simple.
Remember, it was written in the Bible that according to your faith, be it unto you. If you think that you cannot afford any kind of tithe, what kind of message are you sending to our loving God? The only thing that we can give to God is our love and trust via Jesus.. God has everything, Jesus has everything but the love that we can give them. Thus it does not have to be a financial tithe just because it is what everyone else is doing. Tithing can be something as simple as a small and sincere prayer once in an hour.
The important part is the dominant attitude behind the tithing process because as we believe, so it is done unto us.
I bid you a beautiful Easter.
1 Corinthians 16:2 Upon the first day of the week let every one of you lay by him in store, as God hath prospered him, that there be no gatherings when I come.
Luke 11:42 Woe to you Pharisees, because you give God a tenth of your mint, rue and all other kinds of garden herbs, but you neglect justice and the love of God. You should have practiced the latter without leaving the former undone. We are not only supposed to give a tenth of our income to the Lord, but we are also supposed to uphold justice and truth and honesty. We to be upstanding with the Love of the Lord in our hearts!! Tithing a tenth of our income alone is enough!!! The Lord wants ALL of us! May this be a blessing to all who read it!
BLESSINGS TO YOU! DeeDee
“Christ seeing their craftiness answered them, render that what is Caesar’s to Caesar and render to God what belongs to God.”
The Bibles position on tithing is that it is for our benefit. I believe God wants to teach us that you just cannot out give the Lord. He wants us to see that when we give with a cheerful heart, He is willing and ready to return generous blessings upon us. He is teaching us throughout the Bible that the greatest gift of all is love. And isn’t love really an act of giving? When we love, who can stop us from giving? The Bible teaches it is better to give than to receive. God knows we are the ones who will grow and be blessed if we give.
We grow because we are learning a principle that God honors as we obey Him in the area of tithing. We are blessed as He rewards us in whatever way He sees fit to benefit our lives. God is teaching us that giving can be a cheerful experience and He loves a cheerful giver. When we realize tithing is an act of worship and an act of obedience and faith which produces joy, we begin to look forward to giving to our Saviour. He gave the ultimate offering, His life on the cross, and look how many lives were multiplied from that one powerful sacrifice.
So it is with our lives, we give and God multiplies the benefits and uses our giving to bless others. There is no better feeling than to not have a tight grip on money but to see money as a useful tool in furthering the work of the Lord. It is freeing to give and that is exactly what I believe God is teaching us about tithing in the New Testament. God says in His Word that the truth will set us free.
Therefore, I believe obeying the truth in regard to tithing, results in freedom, blessings and growth in character and love. As we become less and less materially minded we are actually being set free to live a more victorious and joyful life and God surprises us with very unique methods of repaying us for obeying Him with our money. He has instructed us to test Him in this area of tithing. I believe He is eager to reward us and help us to experience His presence and reality as we watch what He does in return for our obedience . Our giving becomes as a perpetual spring within us, watering our lives with Gods blessings. We cannot serve both God and money. We worship and serve the one true God, as we tithe. Praise God from whom all blessings flow.
I found these scriptures on tithing from the New Testament.
Matthew 23:23 – Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye pay tithe of mint and anise and cummin, and have omitted the weightier matters of the law, judgment, mercy, and faith: these ought ye to have done, and not to leave the other undone.
Luke 11:42 – But woe unto you, Pharisees! for ye tithe mint and rue and all manner of herbs, and pass over judgment and the love of God: these ought ye to have done, and not to leave the other undone.
Luke 18:12 – I fast twice in the week, I give tithes of all that I possess.
Hebrews 7:5 – And verily they that are of the sons of Levi, who receive the office of the priesthood, have a commandment to take tithes of the people according to the law, that is, of their brethren, though they come out of the loins of Abraham:
Hebrews 7:6 – But he whose descent is not counted from them received tithes of Abraham, and blessed him that had the promises.
Hebrews 7:8 – And here men that die receive tithes; but there he receiveth them, of whom it is witnessed that he liveth.
Hebrews 7:9 – And as I may so say, Levi also, who receiveth tithes, payed tithes in Abraham.
Bailey Gertrude E NSSC
The idea of tithing 10% of one’s income is just not in the New Testament. I understand it would for sure have been mentioned by Paul or somebody else if it would have been a principle the church should live after. But it’s not. We are supposed to have everything in common. THAT is Bible based. Tithing is not. No matter what some may say about Abraham etc. Tithing has become another new religious rule we’re supposed to submit to. “The tradition of the elders”.
Tithing is an Old Testament command that was for the Jews and was in reality their “taxation” system. The tithe consisted of the Temple tax, the Land Sabbath Tax, and the Special Profit-Sharing Tax (leaving the corners unharvested, for the poor). The required giving for the Jew was approximately 25 percent per year. In addition to all of this there was voluntary giving in the Old Testament which included first-fruit giving and freewill offerings.
The emphasis here was not on a percentage but on the attitude of the giver and the quality of the gift. The point is that “tithing” is an Old Testament practice that was equivalent to our modern-day tax structure. Tithes were not gifts at all, but were required giving. In the New Testament things really have not changed, for the Christian is still required to pay his taxes to support the government. This taxation is the New Testament equivalent of Tithing. But the Tithe is no longer a part of the “religious system” of a Theocracy, rather our “tithe” today is simply the taxation system of a Democracy. The only references in the New Testament to tithing is to Jews and their requirement to support their religious system of government.
The New Testament does teach that a Christian should give to God but only in the sense that it is freewill giving from the heart. While no specific percentage is given, we are to give: 1. In response to need – Acts 4:35, Acts 11:27-29 2. In a systematic and purposeful manner – 2 Cor. 9:7, 2 Cor. 16:2 3. In a sacrificial way that “costs” us – Mark 12:41-44, Luke 19:8 4. In a secret and humble way – Matthew 6:1-4 5. In a cheerful manner – 2 Cor. 9:7
Now some will get all excited if we say that the requirement to tithe is not for the church. They will say that the church will go “broke” in a week if the people are told that they don’t have to tithe. I would remind them that if the church is supported because Christians are wrongly taught to tithe then we need to stop that practice. Many churches today would have to “cease operations” if their tithe were taken away. But the churches that God wants to exist would continue to be supported by freewill offerings of the people. God said, “Seek my Kingdom and my Righteousness and all these things will be given to you.” If a church will preach and teach God’s truth and not man’s tradition then she will “never” lack for the money she needs. One writer put it this way, “God’s work done God’s way will never lack God’s provision.”
I believe some churches today exist because they have convinced many to tithe, when in reality the church itself is not teaching the truths of the Bible. For many pastors it is easier to teach people to tithe than to teach them to be holy people of God who would then give from their hearts because of their deep love of their Savior.
Tony Capoccia www.biblebb.com firstname.lastname@example.org
Lets see what Malachi 3:10 tells us on tithes: Bringing all the tithes into the storehouse that there may be food in my house and try me now in this says the Lord of hosts, if I will not open for you the windows of heaven and pour out for you such blessing that there will not be room for enough to receive it.
To tithe is giving 10% of your income to God for his work. The message of the prophet Malachi to the Jews in Jerusalem is a reminder of Gods love and faithfulness and a rebuke to them for their willful disobedience and contempt for his holy name. Just a few is faithful and its cause they loved and honored God and in turn he showered his blessings on them. here is an example we all have read. The parable of the rich man. Jesus told him to sell whatever he had and give to the poor and by doing this you will have treasure in heaven so he told the rich man to come and follow him. The rich man could not do this.
Paying tithes I have always been taught that God gives it back to you. The Lord has blessed us so many times since my husband been ill and unable to work. I tell people I know now what it means to tithe. My grandmother and granddaddy told me the way they paid for their home and land was by tithing. When we give our tithes to God we provide for his work and prove his faithfulness . We are bringing him the sacrifices of our praise and possessions. Tithing is another example of Gods fairness and equality toward all believers. We are treated equal when we fail to pay our tithes. First of all we sin by robbing God of what is rightful and we dishonor God when we offer him only the leftovers. Give God the first portion of your income to show that he has first place in your life and that you know he is the source of all you have. When you are obedient to him you can conquer greed and properly manage Gods resources, this way you have opened your heart to receive his special blessings.
Read what Malachi 3:7-9 tells us. It tells us how we have robbed God and its in tithes and offerings. I also was taught that if we give 20% we get double blessed. I believe in paying tithes , first of all its not my money, its God money.Paying tithes is part of being a christian, you have that desire and you know its what the bible tells us. God bless.
What is the Bible position on tithing, giving to God’s work, church funding in the New Testament?
The New Testament church does need funding, but does the bible require or encourage those under the New Covenant arrangement to tithe, to contribute 10 percent of their increase?
Unfortunately this question can not be quickly answered.
New Testament Reviewed
Jesus Christ during His ministry supported the Old Testament principle of tithing, refer Matt 23:23, Luke 11:42 and Luke 18:12. However, Jesus also supported strict adherence to the law of Moses – Matt 8:3-4, where a cleansed leper was told to go and offer the gift required under the law for the cleansing of a leper.
Jesus Christ was born under the law, refer Gal 4:4-5. During His ministry His words were in harmony with the Law of Moses.
To gain discernment of the New Covenant position we really need to look at the New Testament teaching presented after the pouring out of the Holy Spirit!
For this reason it is also wrong to emphasize the teaching of the Old Testament prophets. The tithing teaching presented in Mal 3:8-12 has to be seen as Old Covenant teaching. Teaching which may or may not have application under the New Covenant.
When one does look at the writings of the apostles in the New Testament the topic of tithing is not directly discussed. Though, we do see the apostle Paul stating that at times he supported himself Acts 20:33-35; at other times certain churches contributed support, although some did not, refer 2Cor 11:8-9 and 2Cor 12:13,15. (When discussing this topic one needs to take care to separate out the numerous verses which discuss the food collection Paul was organizing to assist the famine struck Jerusalem church. Acts 11:27-30 and Romans 15:25-26.)
In the New Testament Paul did confirm that those who are assisted in perceiving the things of God should contribute material support toward those who have provided such assistance. 1Cor 9:11-12,14 and Gal 6:6.
In Hebrews chapter 7 tithing is mentioned, but the text is essentially discussing the New Testament change to the priesthood role of the tribe of Levi. The chapter mentions changes to the law, verses 12 and 18, but does not specifically clarify the New Testament position on tithing.
Is tithing required or not?
This question, failing any direct teaching, has to be answered on the basis of a discernment of the basic nature of the New Covenant.
Few have realized the Old Testament laws were merely a shadow of the greater spiritual requirements of the New Testament. This shadowing is mentioned in Heb 8:4, 10:1 and Col 2:16-17. Paul reflects this perspective when he states “we should serve in the newness of the spirit and not the oldness of the letter” (Rom 7:6).
A clearly documented example of this shadowing is portrayed in the effect the New Covenant had on the existing circumcision law.
Physical circumcision of the flesh became spiritual circumcision of ones heart. Rom 2:29
Treated in the same manner, the effect on tithing would be;
Tithing on ones physical increase would become tithing on ones spiritual increase.
‘Spiritual increase’ is not literal money or food or possessions.
Reflecting on Malachi, “Bring all the tithes into the storehouse that there be food in my house …”, in New Covenant terms would be talking about bringing spiritual food into the church. Spiritual food being the milk and meat of the word of God.
[ NB: At first this may seem unusual, but the word of God itself stresses its complexity and the need for wise discernment. Heb 5:13, Isa 28:9,13. ]
Financing the Work
If tithing is not the Old Covenant law which provides for the financing of the New Covenant ministry, which law does?
Deut 25:4 You shall not muzzle an ox while it treads out the grain.
The spiritual shadow of this law is fully discussed in the New Testament.
1Tim 5:18 For the Scripture says, “You shall not muzzle an ox while it treads out the grain”, and “The laborer is worthy of his wages.”
1Cor 9:9 For it is written in the law of Moses, “You shall not muzzle an ox while it treads out the grain”. Is it oxen God is concerned about? :10 Or does He say it altogether for our sakes? For our sakes, no doubt, this is written, that he who plows should plow in hope, and he who threshes in hope should be partaker of his hope. :11 If we have sown spiritual things for you, is it a great thing if we reap your material things?
:14 Even so the Lord has commanded that those who preach the gospel should live from the gospel.
This law does not set a percentage, but the explanation of it does emphasize fairness in respect to those in the ministry who do the work of spiritually treading the grain.
When ‘giving’ one should consider the principles stated by Paul, stated by him in respect to the collection of the food gift.
2Cor 8:12 For if there is first a willing mind, it is accepted according to what one has, and not according to what he does not have. :13 For I do not mean that others should be eased and you burdened; :14 but by an equality, that now at this time your abundance may supply their lack, that their abundance also may supply your lack – that there may be equality.
The New Testament writings, written after the pouring out of the Holy Spirit, do not confirm or deny the continuance of the Old Testament tithing law.
Determining the nature of the New Covenant and its relationship to the laws of the Old Covenant is the only means of answering the tithing question.
Using the ‘shadow’ or ‘spirit not letter’ principle helps one understand the tithing law (like the circumcision law) is still required but takes on a completely different spiritual form. A form which no longer provides the necessary material support for the work.
The Old Testament law which does provide for church funding is, “You shall not muzzle an ox while it treads out the grain”. This law, at the spiritual level, requires giving but does not set a specific percentage.
The Bible, Tithing and the New Testament Church
Old Testament vs. New Testament
2 Timothy 3:16-17  Every scripture inspired of God [is] also profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, for instruction which is in righteousness.  That the man of God may be complete, furnished completely unto every good work.
“All Scripture” being the collection of writings that we have come to know as the Old Testament. Without grasping the spirit of the Law we cannot understand the “New Testament” concept of anything and for that reason I am going to use it extensively when discussing the topic of this writing.
Tithing According to God
Matthew 23:23  Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye tithe mint and anise and cummin, and have left undone the weightier matters of the law, justice, and mercy, and faith: but these ye ought to have done, and not to have left the other undone.
The above quote is from the ASV and is different in a small detail from many other versions and I would say, more accurate. The words “for ye tithe” is commonly translated as “for you pay tithes” and there is a significant difference between the two statements. To pay a tithe is only a smaller part of the whole act of tithing. It will become clear later on.
When Jesus said “for ye tithe” He meant “for ye perform an act of tithing”. By His approval of the Pharisees’ action, “but these ye ought to have done”, it is clear that He was not referring to some tradition that the Pharisees were practicing. He was referring to a law – the law of tithing.
Malachi 3:8-10  Will a man rob God? yet ye rob me. But ye say, Wherein have we robbed thee? In tithes and offerings.  Ye are cursed with the curse; for ye rob me, even this whole nation.  Bring ye the whole tithe into the store-house, that there may be food in my house, and prove me now herewith, saith Jehovah of hosts, if I will not open you the windows of heaven, and pour you out a blessing, that there shall not be room enough [to receive it].
The above passage cannot be quoted in isolation without losing its true meaning. It has to be quoted together with the verse that precedes it.
Malachi 3:7  From the days of your fathers ye have turned aside from mine ordinances, and have not kept them. Return unto me, and I will return unto you, saith Jehovah of hosts. But ye say, Wherein shall we return?
“Ye have turned aside from mine ordinances, and have not kept them” is the cause of God’s message through prophet Malachi. Again, it cannot be a tradition that God was referring to but rather a law, otherwise it would not be lawful, so to speak, for God to pronounce curses without someone breaking a written law.
Deuteronomy 14:22-23  Thou shalt surely tithe all the increase of thy seed, that which cometh forth from the field year by year.  And thou shalt eat before Jehovah thy God, in the place which he shall choose, to cause his name to dwell there, the tithe of thy grain, of thy new wine, and of thine oil, and the firstlings of thy herd and of thy flock; that thou mayest learn to fear Jehovah thy God always.
If you continue reading the above passage until verse 26 and also read Deuteronomy 12:5-7, 12:10-12 and 12:17-19 it will be clear that God commanded Israelites to take one tenth of their produce of their land and the firstling of their flock and herd and use them for family feasts at the place of worship. There was not even a suggestion that any portion of their tithes should be left at the place of worship or to be given to anybody.
In other words, if an Israelite was to perform an act of tithing, according to God’s commandments he was supposed to take one tenth portion of his income and spend it on family feasts at the place of worship. What was the reason and who was to benefit from this act of tithing? The answer is found at the end of verse 23 above: “that thou mayest learn to fear Jehovah thy God always.”
The act of tithing does not stop with the family feasts. There is more to it.
Deuteronomy 14:27-29  And the Levite that is within thy gates, thou shalt not forsake him; for he hath no portion nor inheritance with thee.  At the end of every three years thou shalt bring forth all the tithe of thine increase in the same year, and shalt lay it up within thy gates:  and the Levite, because he hath no portion nor inheritance with thee, and the sojourner, and the fatherless, and the widow, that are within thy gates, shall come, and shall eat and be satisfied; that Jehovah thy God may bless thee in all the work of thy hand which thou doest.
If you read also Deuteronomy 26:12-15 it will be clear that God commanded Israelites to give away their tithes of every third year to be stored within their respective tribal lands (“within thy gates”) so that the Levites, the poor of the land and the strangers who happen to be there can live.
Does the act of tithing stop here? Yes, as far as the Israelites (non Levite tribes) are concerned but the whole process is not complete as yet. There is another group of Levites and the priests who have not received the inheritance and who do not live and minister “within thy gates” but rather in and around the place of worship.
Numbers 18:25-28  And Jehovah spake unto Moses, saying,  Moreover thou shalt speak unto the Levites, and say unto them, When ye take of the children of Israel the tithe which I have given you from them for your inheritance, then ye shall offer up a heave-offering of it for Jehovah, a tithe of the tithe.  And your heave-offering shall be reckoned unto you, as though it were the grain of the threshing-floor, and as the fulness of the winepress.  Thus ye also shall offer a heave-offering unto Jehovah of all your tithes, which ye receive of the children of Israel; and thereof ye shall give Jehovah’s heave-offering to Aaron the priest.
Reading from verse 21 to the end of chapter 18 will give more insight on how and why the Levites (who live in the tribal land) were to give tithes of their tithes to those who serve in the place of worship. The commandment is not clear since it says that the Levites should give the best tenth portion of their tithes to Aaron the High Priest. This can be clarified by reading the following verses where Nehemiah refers to the commandments on tithing by which the Levites’ tithes that were given to the High Pries were supposed to be used for the support of all those serving in the place of worship.
Nehemiah 13:4-5  Now before this, Eliashib the priest, who was appointed over the chambers of the house of our God, being allied unto Tobiah,  had prepared for him a great chamber, where aforetime they laid the meal-offerings, the frankincense, and the vessels, and the tithes of the grain, the new wine, and the oil, which were given by commandment to the Levites, and the singers, and the porters; and the heave-offerings for the priests.
Nehemiah 13:10-11  And I perceived that the portions of the Levites had not been given them; so that the Levites and the singers, that did the work, were fled every one to his field.  Then contended I with the rulers, and said, Why is the house of God forsaken? And I gathered them together, and set them in their place
Prophet Malachi lived and ministered about or soon after the time the above event took place. Now we can understand what was God speaking about in His message recorded in Malachi chapter 3. There was no food in His storehouse (for all those to whom it was meant) because the High Priest(s) have misappropriated it. The message of Malachi three is not to the Israelites however they are affected by what the High Priest(s) have done (“Ye are cursed with the curse for ye rob me, even this whole nation.”).
That is the end of the act of tithing as defined by the Law of Moses.
The “New Testament Tithing”
If we understand the whole process that represents the act of tithing, as described in the preceding section, we will understand that there is no way that we can apply it to the New Testament church in its entirety. If we cannot apply it in its entirety then we cannot apply it at all. Why? God commanded that the tithes are holy (Leviticus 27:30) which means that they cannot be used in any other manner but as commanded by Him (Refer Deuteronomy 26:12-14). We cannot redefine the tithe and apply it to the church. Tithing is not merely setting aside one tenth of whatever (e.g. our income) and doing with it whatever else (e.g. giving it to the church). If we do that we profane that what God has declared to be holy. It does not mean that we cannot set aside one tenth of our income and give it to the church. Of course we can. But we cannot call it an act of tithing – in Scriptural sense – and all the blessings and curses or whatever else associated with the holy tithes cannot be applied to what we do.
Even though we cannot apply the law of tithing to the New Testament church we can learn quite a lot from it as long as we are not selective about it, that is, if we consider the whole act of tithing.
Firstly, God wants His people to come before Him from time to time and spend some of their material blessings on a feast with their families and friends. For the Israelites in meant to come to the place of worship, to us today it means to come wherever two or three (or more) meet in Jesus name.
Secondly, God wanted His people to provide material support for those whom He has set aside to minister to them and to whom He hadn’t given any inheritance but rather made them dependent on those to whom they were to minister. How do we apply this principle to the church? Are there men and women whom God has set aside to minister to His people today? According to what apostle Paul wrote there should be some.
Ephesians 4:11-12  And he gave some [to be] apostles; and some, prophets; and some, evangelists; and some, pastors and teachers;  for the perfecting of the saints, unto the work of ministering, unto the building up of the body of Christ.
By and large, “inheritance” of those whom God has called to minister to His people today is their ability to earn their living by engaging in a job or a business. If these people cannot find time to pursue their income generating activity because of the demand of their ministry, they have been dispossessed of their inheritance and so made dependent on those to whom they minister. They are entitled to that support. Should these ministers insist on the material support and are those to whom they minister obliged to support them?
Acts 20:33-35  I coveted no man’s silver, or gold, or apparel.  Ye yourselves know that these hands ministered unto my necessities, and to them that were with me.  In all things I gave you an example, that so laboring ye ought to help the weak, and to remember the words of the Lord Jesus, that he himself said, It is more blessed to give than to receive.
2Corinthians 11:7-9  Or did I commit a sin in abasing myself that ye might be exalted, because I preached to you the gospel of God for nought?  I robbed other churches, taking wages [of them] that I might minister unto you;  and when I was present with you and was in want, I was not a burden on any man; for the brethren, when they came from Macedonia, supplied the measure of my want; and in everything I kept myself from being burdensome unto you, and [so] will I keep [myself]
In the first quote above apostle Paul, when talking to the elders from Ephesus, mentions to them that on occasions he had worked for his living while at the same time ministering to the saints. In the second quote Paul writes to the Corinthian church reminding them of the early times while he was ministering to them how he was not asking them for support, even though he was in need, but rather relied on the more mature believers from Macedonia.
Those are examples set for the New Testament church to be followed. New believers should not be made to stumble by being burdened with some new ‘law’ of tithes and offerings. Those who are called to be the ministers of the gospel (Ephesians 4:11-12) will help raise mature churches who will recognise them as God’s appointed ministers and provide for them accordingly.
There remains a question that many would like to ask: are all those who are preaching the gospel today appointed by God? We all know the answer: most of them are not. So, what do we do with them? Are we, if we are mature believers, supposed to provide support for them too? I suppose it is up to each local church and up to each individual believer to decide. If you receive a ministry from a man or a woman and you feel being spiritually fed you will think that the minister is the one whom God has appointed, whether it is true or not. If you don’t feel spiritually fed by such you will most probably leave that church anyway.
If we decide to support a minister how much should we give? In absence from any other agreement or undertaking by each believer or a church, if we are to follow what God has established for the support of Levites, we should give approximately one tenth of our every third pay cheque. That means, on average, about three and one-third of a percent of our income.
Is that enough? Hasn’t Abraham, our spiritual father, established the act of tithing by faith, according to which we should give one tenth of our every pay cheque? No. Abraham has never performed an act of tithing. The act of tithing has been established by God, through the commandments to Moses, many centuries after Abraham walked this earth. Abraham has given to Melchizedec one tenth of his war spoils not of his own possessions. We must understand that Abraham gave one tenth of those spoils. One tenth of anything is not a tithe. It is simply one tenth portion no matter what you do with it. Even if Abraham gave one tenth of his own produce of that year he wouldn’t have performed an act of tithing. He would have merely given one tenth portion of his produce.
That’s exactly what we can do today: we can give one tenth of our pay cheque to anyone we wish yet we will not perform an act of tithing. There are no blessings or curses of Malachi if we do that or if we don’t. There is no legal ground for them whatsoever.
The third lesson that we can learn from the law of tithing is that the Levites were to allow the poor of the land and the strangers to partake of the tithes that they received from the Israelites. In other words, those who receive support for their ministry to the believers in the church should set aside a portion of what they receive and give it to those in need in their community.
The Church Expenses and the Church Building
Once we understand what tithing is we will know that it has nothing to do with the church expenses and the church building funds. These are completely separate entities and have to be dealt with separately. I would urge the readers to refer to my study on tithing that has covered these two topics in more detail. It can be found on http://www.ar.com.au/~potkonyak/tithing.htm
Bless you all. George Potkonayk email@example.com
TITHING: FACT, FICTION OR FRAUD
The thing that comes to the minds of most professing Christians when they hear the word “tithing” is money. In many of today’s Christian churches, money is talked about as much, if not more, than the message of Christ. The key issues are: Was the law of tithing practiced by the early church? Is the law of tithing binding on true Christians today?
This brief study is intended only to be an overview of the truth of the Bible and hopefully will lead the reader to an in-depth study of this topic, including all the proof scriptures, on the website www.bibleresearch.org under the heading entitled “The Law of God”.
The common belief today that tithing is a “requirement” for right standing or even salvation has a major flaw. There is no historical or biblical proof to support this belief. From Genesis to Revelation there are no instructions that command the elect children of God or anyone else to tithe on their monetary income.
The following questions must be answered about the subject of tithing before a conclusion can be reached as to whether tithing is binding on the elect of God today: What is a tithe? Who had to pay a tithe? To whom was the tithe paid? How often was the tithe paid? From what was the tithe to be taken? How was the tithe calculated?
See website www.biblereseach.org for detailed explanations of each of these questions together with the proof scriptures. We will continue the big picture overview here.
One of the first clues concerning when the law of tithing was to take effect and the conditions that had to exist for it to apply to national Israel is found in Leviticus 25:1-2: “And the Lord spoke to Moses…saying, Speak to the children of Israel, and say to them, When you come into the land which I give you, then shall the land keep a sabbath to the lord”
Only when the Israelites entered into the land that God would give them were they to keep the land rest and the Jubilee. This is an extremely important point because it clearly shows that some of the law of God concerning national Israel required that the Israelites live in the land of their inheritance.
The Old Covenant tithing law, that some try to apply to the elect of God today, did not require that a person tithe on their total income, but only on the increase of the land of their inheritance from God. Tithable items fell into two general categories: the increase of grain, vegetable produce, and fruit from trees, and the increase of domestic animals. When one reads the law of tithing, one will notice that nothing is mentioned about the tithe of money, fish, mining or commerce. To claim that these things are tithable items is to read something into the law that is not stated there.
This widely misunderstood law was given to a specific nation, under a specific set of circumstances, and for a specific purpose. Thus it becomes clear that the tithing law given to ancient Israel is not applicable to the elect of God today. Today, national Israel does not exist under the rule of God, and there is not Levitical priesthood officiating at a place where God has placed his name. Until these circumstances change, absolutely no one can obey the law of tithing as originally given to ancient Israel. However, there are some important spiritual lessons to be learned from the law of tithing.
Under the New Covenant that is made with individuals who are called to become the children of God during the gospel age of salvation, Jesus Christ is the High Priest, Advocate, and Mediator between the Father and his elect children. Just because a Christian does not have to abide by the Levitical tithing law does not mean that he is absolved of all responsibility to support the church and its work. One who uses the liberty of not being required to give a specific percentage of their increase as an excuse not to support the church or its work is violating many important spiritual principles concerning their responsibilities toward God, his people, and the church.
The prophet Malachi makes a very important point that applies to the elect of God today and their responsibility to give offerings to God. Malachi 3:8-9 records that the nation of Israel had robbed God of tithes and “offerings”. However, these offerings were not part of the law of tithing. They were freewill offerings that the people had to give to show their appreciation and gratitude to God for the blessings he had bestowed upon them.
Although historical and biblical evidence proves beyond doubt that the elect of God are not obligated to observe the law of tithing, the holy scriptures also prove that the elect of God are robbing God and themselves if they do not freely and generously give offerings to support the body of Christ (the church) and its work.
It is not our intent here to make anyone feel guilty or to gain support for this or any other particular collective work. The intent is to help the Christian to understand and be able to place the concept of tithing and the giving of offerings in the proper perspective within one’s own life. Some may not be able to find a group of true Christians to fellowship with or a group with which they agree in regard to the method of performing the Christian commission. Therefore, they may wish to remain autonomous in their Christian endeavor. Remember, God is interested in one’s attitude.
Whether or not a person is part of a collective work, it is the individual Christian’s responsibility to sort out how to apply the principle of giving and sharing as indicated in both the Old and New Testaments. Giving, sharing and an outgoing concern for others are not optional attitudes for a Christian, they are the foundation upon which godly character is built.
The concept of offering pertained to the spirit of the law rather than the letter of the law. Fulfilling the spirit of the law requires that a person do some introspection and attitude analysis before making a decision. The concept and requirement to give offerings for the support of the ministry and to give help to the needy is very much a part of the New Testament teachings for Christian behavior and cannot be overlooked if one is to stay in right standing with the Father and Christ. How much should a person give and share with others can only be answered by each individual after considerable introspection into one’s attitude and particular circumstances. Only each individual Christian can answer these questions. It is obvious from the teachings of Christ and the apostles that one is not required to give all of their substance to the support of others. Nevertheless, one should not neglect their responsibility to the church, its work, or others as the need arises.
In closing, you are urged to do an in-depth study of this topic, including supporting proof scriptures, by visiting www.bibleresearch.org and clicking on the book entitled “The Law of God”. Within that book, you find the section entitled “Tithing: Fact, Fiction or Fraud”.
The Congregation of God
P. O. Box 612440 San Jose, CA 95161
Charles e. Barrett
The storehouse in Israel was the temple and cities of the Levites, but in the church it would be considered the place where one receives his spiritual help, where his gospel needs are supplied and where he meets his responsibility in the work of God, in evangelizing the world and supporting the ministry. The purpose of tithes and offerings was to support the priesthood and today it is to meet the needs of the work of God in general. (Malachi 3:10; 1Cor. 9:7-14)
Robbing God of tithes and offerings brings a curse; and this applies not only to Israel but to other nations for God is no respecter of persons. Paying tithes was practiced before the law by Abraham when he paid tithes to Melchizedek king of Salem (Gen. 14:20; 28:22) and commanded under grace in the New Testament (Mt. 23:23; Rom. 2:22; 1Cor. 9:7-14; 16:2; Gal.6:6; Heb. 7:1-10)
It is said by men who don’t want to obey God that tithing was only for the Old Testament period but that would make God a liar for He says that He changes not and He is no respecter of persons. God gave one method to finance the work in the OT and in the NT (tithes and offerings).
Bro. Collins Pastor
As I see it tithing is under the Law dispensation. Jesus Christ said that we should give as we were prospered to give. I find nothing in the new testament that specifically sets an amount that we are to give in support of the church or to support the work of God. We are to give as he leads us to give. That may be 5 %, 10%, 25% or 100%. What ever amount that God puts on our hearts to give is the correct amount. In the church that I am a member of we never pass an offering plate but some way the needs of the church are always met. True we do not pay our ministers but we do give him love offerings. If the Church has a need one of the male members will stand and tell what that need is and the money always seems to come in to meet that need. Thank You.
Kenneth Williams Sr.