Leviticus 27:30 “And all the tithe of the land, whether of the seed of the land, or of the fruit of the tree, is the Lord’s: it is holy unto the Lord.”
Today, we look at tithing! I don’t think this is a popular subject, so before you quickly stop reading, bear with me! Though, honestly, I think this subject would be more preferred than the subject of actually changing your life, to live for Christ in all areas, than simply to give money. Some would much rather find it so much easier to give some money that would guarantee they and their families would behave and follow the Word, than to work hard and keep at it, to learn how to follow the Lord. As I think about it, honestly it would be easier!
There are many teachings on tithing. I’ve heard teachings that Tithing is no longer in effect and that giving money should no longer be done. I’ve heard teachings that tithing was only giving food. I’ve heard tithing is indeed still in effect. I’ve even heard terrible teachings that threatened people, telling them that if they did not give their church or ministry a tithe, then a curse would be on them!
Tithing, is honestly a part of the Word of God, that fascinates me. I would love to write out pages and pages of information about tithing, and the different things and ways and times that tithing was done in the Old Testament. It actually is interesting because certain teachings done today, that say the Biblical offering we should give is “such and such” amount, honestly would be the equivalent of 50 cents, or a few dollars, for certain things (and how some say to tithe insurance claims, or tax returns . . . when in fact those Biblically shouldn’t be tithed in most cases). Yet, it would be better to simply explain a bit of what Tithing is all about, and how we give today. Many churches get a bad reputation by those lost, and even some Christians, because of how many pastors seem to “only ask for money.” Some actually do ONLY ask for money, and they may even get into lying about things, and as said above, THREATENING people by saying God told him this or that. Yet other times it may only appear they do because those who only hear the teachings of giving money, have trouble giving money and so it bothers them, and sticks in their minds, and they feel like they keep hearing it over and over again. It is the same thing as if I had a problem Studying the Bible outside of church; even though there may be no more than 2-3 sermons a month that mention studying the Word, it would appear to me as though it is ALL the Preacher ever talks about!
Yet, let’s learn about Tithing. It is important to know about, because money is something major in this world. Without money, there’s hardly anything that can be done. Therefore, it’s important to know what our Lord tells us of money . . . yet not just money, but all our material goods . . . yet not just that either, but our LIVES at that!
The first time a tithe was mentioned in the Word, is when Melchizedek met with Abram (Before he was called Abraham) in Genesis 14, and as shown in Hebrews 7, Abraham gave Melchizedek a tithe. A Tithe, is a Tenth of something. That is all “tithe” means, is “tenth,” so that is why there was mentioned tithes of everything, or tithes of the fruit of the land, or of the animals, or anything else. The whole reason Tithing was commanded in the law, is so that the people remember where their prosperity came from: God. It was also so that the priests of God, Levi and the descendants of Aaron, had goods for themselves. The tribe of Levi, and the priests of God, did not have land of their own, or a house of their own, or a job to where they could buy cattle and farm from the land to eat the food thereof. Therefore, tithes were a way of providing for those called by God, and giving back to God what God deserves, which was told to the People to be a Tenth of their possessions. This is why in the verse that is so often loved, Malachi 3:10, it is said to bring Tithes into the storehouse . . . so that there may be meat in God’s house. This was the only source of food and other goods, that the priests of God had.
Today, we who are in Christ, are not under the law anymore, so tithing does not command us. Yet we have to remember WHY we are no longer under the law. It is not that we can now disobey the law and do whatever we please. We are not under the law, because in Christ the Law is fulfilled, we in Christ have also fulfilled the law. The law, is for those who do unrighteousness, so we who are righteous in Christ, are not under the law. It is the very same thing as though a Mathematician does not need to be taught Math or be in Math classes, because he or she already knows and lives and TEACHES that math even! We are not under the law, because we basically LIVE the law, and therefore to be told and corrected and guided by the law, is pointless if we already do all these things. Now remember that, while we know that Tithing, which is commanded of the law, is not really required by us who are in Christ. It is because we already give.
Yet what is more, is that we have realized that while the Israelites were told a Tithe of their belongings were the Lord’s, we know now and understand, that EVERYTHING belongs to the Lord! Giving tithes is not taught in the New Testament. That is because of something very important that we must not forget: as we sow, we will reap. The Lord shows many times in many places how if you are faithful with something He has given you, you will be given more of that thing. This goes for more than just money, just as has been covered in past studies, you use and give faith, you will be given more faith.
As I said before, there could be so many things said about tithing, or giving money to the work of the Lord, that many pages could be taken up. There are things to be said, that we should give, yet things that need to be said, of how our Lives are so much more important to give, than money. I would be so blessed, and thankful, to receive such from you even, and be full-time in the ministry, but I would much rather see you give an offering of your life to God, than money. Though money is so needful, faithfulness in your life is so much better than anything else! This is why Paul says in 2 Corinthians 8:5, when speaking of the Macedonian church who gave to Paul and the others, “And this they did, not as we hoped, but fist gave their own selves to the Lord, and unto us by the will of God.” They first gave their own selves to the Lord, and after that, being obedient to the will of God, they gave to the work of the ministry of God! And again speaking to the Philippian church, Philippians 4:16-18 “For even in Thessalonica ye sent once and again unto my necessity. Not because I desire a gift: but I desire fruit that may abound to your account. But I have all, and abound: I am full, having received of Epaphroditus the things which were sent from you, an odour of a sweet smell, a sacrifice acceptable, wellpleasing to God.” What good is a monetary gift given, without faithfulness? That gift then becomes only a means of lifting one up to make one look good. This is what Jesus condemned of the Pharisees in 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.” We need to give our lives as an offering to God, obeying His Word and walking in His Spirit, AND then we give an offering to the work of the ministry (remembering that an offering to the work of the ministry is more than just money, but can be food, help, money, in addition to always praying for those ministers and workers in the body)! This isn’t, though, saying we need to get ourselves right before we give, because part of getting ourselves right, is giving to others.
As I mentioned, there is so much that can be said of giving to the ministry, yet those two things above—to first give our lives as an offering to God, and then an offering in obedience to God to the work of the ministry (church or other ministry)—are most important.
All in all, we should give offerings to the churches we are blessed to attend, and/or other ministries which do the work of the Lord, for the reason of helping the ministers of God. Those full-time in the ministry, pastors or other ministers, have no secular job to support them. That isn’t because they are lazy either, but rather it is so that they have time to study, pray, and be able to be the proper ministers to the body, that God has called them to be. I remember it said to me by a brother of ours full-time in the ministry, who told me something he said to another, “Sure, I could go ahead and get a secular job like I used to have, and work like everyone else. I can go ahead and only be reached at night after I get home from work, and then talk to you grudgingly because I am tired from working, and then I can prepare my sermons in an hour or two the night before I give them, and I can have very little time to pray for the words to give you each Sunday . . . I can do all that if everyone wanted me to.” That’s a good way to remember it. Those full-time in the ministry, pastors, evangelists, teachers, missionaries . . . they are full-time in the ministry, so that they can devote their time, to actually being a minister to us and others, and doing what God would have them do. It is similar to how the Apostles needed to appoint other people to do certain jobs in the body of Christ, so they could devote the necessary time needed for what God called them to do, in Acts 6:1-7.
But again, while we should give to the work of the ministry, most important, is giving our lives to the Lord as an offering, and living for the Lord . . . when we do that we will be so greatly blessed. Do not feel forced to give offerings to the ministry and ministers, but give only because you love the Lord, and you care and love the ministers enough to know they need support. This is why we are told what we are told in 2 Corinthians 8:8, “I speak not by commandment, but by occasion of the forwardness of others, and to prove the sincerity of your love.” 2 Corinthians 9:7 “Every man according as he purposeth in his heart, so let him give; not grudgingly or of necessity: for God loveth a cheerful giver.” And let us remember also, that God is the one who gives us the money, goods, even the time we have. In knowing that, and the fact that God loves a cheerful giver, we must remember that God will provide not only the food for the sower, but also the seed that is sown! God will provide an income, AND an increase which can be used as a seed or offering to the work of the ministry!
As for us, those who are in Christ and not under the law anymore, Tithes is simply a . . . good portion for us to consider in our giving. Are we forced to give Ten Percent, no more no less? No, we should give as we are able, and as we purpose in our hearts, “for God loveth a cheerful giver.” And as you give, remember that the Lord sees that, and you will reap that which you have sown. As God sees your faithfulness in what money you give (or your time, help, prayers, etc.), He will bless you for it, and will increase what you give (2 Corinthians 9:10). Praise God, we are not forced to give . . . because if we were, we would reap nothing. Rather we give out of love and faithfulness to God, and because of that, we reap bountifully! Praise God!
In all this, I must remind you always, that giving your life as a living sacrifice, is most important, and is what is most deserved by God, as said in Romans 12:1!
I love you greatly, and do keep you, your family, and all those around you in my prayers. I pray that God Blesses you greatly, and that He guides all of us in all that we do, in giving and in living, and most certainly may He guide us in His Truth, as we read and study His Word each day! Have a wonderfully blessed day today!
Love in Christ, Always,
Your friend forever,
Psalm 68:10-11 “Thy congregation hath dwelt therein: thou, O God, hast prepared of thy goodness for the poor. The Lord gave the word: great was the company of those that published it.”