In this article titled, Scriptures on Tithing, we will be discussing much! One of those topics will be how the modern day church "grows money"
I remember my parents when we would ask for something extravagant saying, "do you think we have a money tree"?
Well, of course, we knew there was no such thing but,... in the modern churches, it really does exist! This tree never runs dry and the reason being, it puts folks under condemnation if they let it do so.
So, the modern day church, whether it be any or no denomination, if it teaches tithing is a money tree! It is like a live organism that grows or produces it's own food. As long as the fable of church membership is taught it will continue to produce and grow larger and larger and looking more and more like the world it lives in!
Before we start adding scripture, lets make a statement I am very passionate about. The early assembly or Ekklesia as it is termed in the New Testament is nothing like the modern day church. They have no resemblance to one another. The Ekklesia was a part of the body of Jesus and followers of him only! They did not change to meet the demands of the current world system they lived in nor did they change to keep folks happy.
This body of believers met with each other on a regular basis and the meetings took place in folks homes. They met house to house. I hear all the time, "but houses aren't large enough to hold all the members of a church now days"! This is true, but the house will still hold all the followers of Jesus!
Churches hold social meetings inviting the general public whereas the Ekklesia, or body of Jesus, met with each other. There really is a vast difference. You just can't mix light with darkness and find fellowship in the Holy Ghost.
The modern day church has become like the Chameleon and changes its colors according to the surroundings it is in or the culture it is in. This is why it has no power to convert souls. It has many members but very few changed souls.
Of course, we all know the answer to that one! Malachi 3:8 Will a man rob God? Yet ye have robbed me. But ye say, Wherein have we robbed thee? In tithes and offerings.
In this scripture, Malachi declares to the Priest, Will you rob God? They ask, how have we robbed God? Malachi answers, in tithes and offerings.
So, now this is taught as the authoritative word on tithing in the modern church. Never mind it was instructions to the nation of Israel who God was addressing in the first verse of the first chapter and the Priest whom he was addressing in the first first verse of second chapter also. This whole letter is directed to Israel and her Priest! This is not directed to the New Testament assembly under any circumstances. This was 400 years before Jesus came in the flesh.
The first place tithing is mentioned in the bible is in Genesis 14:20 And blessed be the most high God, which hath delivered thine enemies into thy hand. And he gave him tithes of all.
This is the meeting of Abram met Melchizedek king of Salem as he was returning from the slaughter of the Kings. It is very obvious that Abram recognized Melchizedek as a holy man and therefore presented him with a gift. This gift is literally called "a tenth" or "tenth part" in the Hebrew writing.
In Genesis 28:22, Jacob made a pledge to God that he would give him a tenth if God would keep him safe and bring him again to this place.
In neither instance, God did not require either Abram or Jacob to offer anything to him. Both of these offerings were done out of the goodness or thankfulness of their hearts! Nowhere does it mention money in these scripture. It was simply a gift of all he had, I am sure money was included but also the bounty he recovered including livestock and other valuables.
Both of these pledges were made before the Law was given to Moses. These were gifts of gratitude not obligations.
It is very obvious that the tenth has the word tithe built into it but how has that become the standard for a church to collect money from it's members?
Somehow when the word tithe is used it is always referring to money in the modern church! Rarely will you ever hear anyone mention anything else outside of money!
According to the Old Testament scripture, tithing or the tenth was composed of the seed, produce of the land and the livestock. They had money, the carpenters and other tradesmen worked for wages. They had money but there is no place where Moses imposed a tenth or tithe on it in particular!
If we go to the book of Leviticus in chapter 27, the tithe or tenth is discussed by Moses and how it is to be handled. If you read and study this, you will come to see that the tenth had nothing to do with money. The tenth included, livestock, grain, fruit, and the produce the ground brought forth.
A person could even purchase his tenth or tithe of the fruit or grain but not the livestock. If he purchased his tithe instead of bringing it to the temple, it cost him 120% of what his tithe was deemed to be worth. This is found in Leviticus 27: 31 and on through the end of the chapter.
This tithe was brought into the temple to feed the priest and the poor who had no property or lands to raise their own food on.
The priest were to minister in the temple and wait upon God and offer up prayers for themselves and the people. They took care of the shewbread, the candlesticks, the incense, the alter of sacrifice, all the necessary things in the temple work including the cleaning of the temple.
They had a job that God gave them to do and they had to be fed and taken care of. This is where the tenth came into the law! This was to take care of the temple priest, the Levites.
God specified in scripture that the Levites would not have any inheritance among the house of Israel so this tithe was to take care of them. This is found in Numbers 18: 20-24.
According to scripture, the tithe was not implemented until Moses. This was something God had Moses instruct the people to do as a service to the Levites. But, this was not only a service to them but in the third year it was a service to the poor and fatherless, widows, etc.
28 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: 29 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 was to take place every 3rd year. All the tithe was to be given to the Levites and the stranger, and the fatherless, and the widow, etc. (The needy who had no lands or crops)
This cycle happened every 3rd year and then on the 7th year the land rested and no tithe was given at all.
Somehow, the clergy has managed to bundle all this up into a monetary system of tithing from modern day folks. Supposedly, the money you make is in relation to the crops and fruit and bulls and goats referred to in the Law of Moses.
How this ever got into the modern church is a mystery to me other than that the church leaders recognized a need for money in order to keep up the building and was afraid folks might not give with a free heart. So, they put them under this hateful tithing system of the Old Testament.
If this is the case, then since modern day folks get a paycheck weekly, bi-weekly or monthly, they,... according to the modern day teachings should pay a tithe every time they are paid!
Now what about the seventh year? According to the tithing laws of Moses, the Israelites were to bring the tithe to the Temple for two years then on the 3rd year give it all to the poor and Levites, then on the 7th year not work or tithe at all.
Leviticus 25:3-5, "Six years thou shalt sow thy field, and six years thou shalt prune thy vineyard, and gather in the fruit thereof. 4But in the seventh year shall be a sabbath of rest unto the land, a sabbath for the LORD: thou shalt neither sow thy field, nor prune thy vineyard. 5 That which groweth of its own accord of thy harvest thou shalt not reap, neither gather the grapes of thy vine undressed: for it is a year of rest unto the land.
I have yet to hear a sermon on this! Do not pay tithes in the 7th year for the Lord does not require it of you. Also, do not work during the 7th year for God will take care of you from your previous 6 years of work. This is the tithing law! No plowing and reaping and no tithe. Either we follow it or we don't!
If the tithing laws pertain to the Ekklesia or called out body of Jesus, the New Testament believers, then why are we not resting from our work every 7th year? Why are we not taking our tithe every 3rd year and donating it to the poor instead of the modern church? Think on that for a bit.
Lets look into the book of 1 Samuel 8: Here The Israelites had desired a king to rule over them. God told them through Samuel that the new king would require a tenth of their grain, vintage, flocks and other things. Was this a tithe to the new king? Now we have a tithe to the Levites and the new king. If the term tithe is taken from the Hebrew meaning of a "tenth part" then I guess this would be considered a tithe also.
So, now the people would not only be bound under a tenth to the temple but to the king also! 20% of their crops and flocks and whatever they produced would have to be given up. This was an obligation under the Law of Moses and the Law of the new king.
Kings and Governments always want your money!
In our modern churches the tithe is used to hire Preachers, Bishops, Apostles, promote programs, build new buildings, etc. None of this is supported in the scriptures. The disciples met house to house and the work was all voluntarily done and the offerings were just that, offerings. The money was not an obligation but a gift.
God has never asked people for their money but for their hearts to be obedient. To become followers of His nature and followers of his Son, Jesus.
God loves a cheerful giver not an obligated tithe that folks give in fear of being cursed if they don't give it!
This brings us back around to Malachi 3: 8-10. This is the favorite scripture on tithing that ministers and church leaders use to bind folks under a tithe. This is referring to the first tithe of two years that is brought into the temple for the Levites. The nation of Isreal had quit tithing and the temple was left empty of tithes and priest.
The worship and sacrifices were not being made as they had been commanded because of this neglect on the peoples part of bringing tihes to the temple. Now, God had told them the heavens had been shut up because of this. No rain!
Now, if the tithe was restored to the temple, the heavens would be opened! This means rain for the crops and livestock, and an abundance of fruit and growth! Remember, the 7th year the people were instructed to rest and let the land rest also. They had to live the 7th year from the previous 6 years of produce. They needed an abundance of crops to survive the 7th year!
This had nothing to do with monetary gain as many ministers and church leaders teach!
Malachi is not a letter to the New Testament followers of Jesus but to the unbelieving house of Israel!
As you read through the New Testament you will find very few instances where a tithe is mentioned and then it is never as a command or ordinance.
The only exception to this might be argued when Jesus was speaking to the Pharisees and scribes, 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.
What were they paying tithes of? "for ye pay tithe of mint and anise and cummin". These were tithes of seeds not monetary tithes. the Pharisees had money so why did they not tithe of their money here? What were these seed tithes used for? Think about these things,.. ponder them in your hearts and allow the Holy Spirit to give you some revelation on this matter.
Lets look at this statement. First, Jesus was living under the law just like everyone else in that day. The law had not been completed or fulfilled by Jesus death burial and resurrection at this time. The people were still bound under the law of tithing. Jesus told the hypocrites they should pay tithes of the things they were paying but that they had omitted the "weightier matters of the law". What does this mean? Weightier matters of the law? It simply meant the more or most important matters of the law! What were they?
These were spiritual matters dealing with peoples hearts and not the letter of the law. Spiritual understanding and obedience have always been held as more importance than the letter of the law.
Jesus was not speaking to his followers here at all. This cannot be construed as a commandment to the body of Christ under the Grace plan!
The letter to the Hebrews is full of information pertaining to the law of Moses or the Carnal Ordinance! The letter begins by exalting the person and deity of Jesus and then making the statement that a greater than Moses has come and spoken, his name is Jesus who is the express image of the Father! Express Image meaning, "an exact copy"! I read one writer who explained it as the image of the sun in water! It is the exact thing it is the image of! Hebrews 1:3.
Then it speaks of how God finished his work and entered into his rest and how that the reader was to end his work and enter the rest of God! What work was he referring to? The work of the Carnal Ordinances delivered by Moses! The sacrificing, Temple attendance, tithing, all those laws were done away with in the sacrifice of Jesus.
Hebrews 9:10, ....and carnal ordinances, imposed on them until the time of reformation.
The only sacrifice God is interested in is the praise of our lips giving thanks to his name! Hebrews 13:15-16
Hebrews 10:1 For the law having a shadow of good things to come, and "not the very image of the things", can never with those sacrifices which they offered year by year continually make the comers thereunto perfect.
We really need to be careful how we handle the scripture and influence others into obeying a carnal ordinance that no longer exist!
Tithing does not bring you into fellowship with God nor does it keep you in his favor as many false teachings say it does! Study the scriptures and pray for understanding in this area. The Spirit of Truth will give you revelation on it if you allow him to!
Hebrews 13: 10 We have an altar, whereof they have no right to eat which serve the tabernacle. 11 For the bodies of those beasts, whose blood is brought into the sanctuary by the high priest for sin, are burned without the camp. 12 Wherefore Jesus also, that he might sanctify the people with his own blood, suffered without the gate. 13 Let us go forth therefore unto him without the camp, bearing his reproach.
Those who are still serving the law of ordinances are not partakers of the heavenly calling!
The entire letter to Hebrews is full of this and folks just can't see past their denominations and teachings of doctrines and fables!
In Luke 18: 9-14 Jesus tells a parable of a Pharisee and Tax Collector. Now, we all know in Jesus time, Tax Collectors had money. They were notorious for cheating folks out of their money and getting rich from it.
These two people went to the temple to pray!
The Pharisee prayed a prayer of pride. Oh, he payed tithes and fasted and was better than al his fellow countrymen!
The Tax Collector would not even so much as lift his head but cried out, God, be merciful to me a sinner.
Who was the tithe payer of the two. Just something more to think about.
In the letter to the Hebrews the writer addresses the tithe Abram gave to Melchizidek. This was simply a picture of the first tithe paid by the Levitical Priesthood through Abram. There is no indication of an obligation to a tithe here. There is no obligation to pay a tithe in this chapter.
The chapter is about the Priesthood of Jesus being compared to Melchizidek and that it is a greater Priesthood than the Levites.
Jesus has become our one and only High Priest. If you read the entire chapter of Hebrews 7 and several other chapters you will see the Levitical Priesthood was done away with!
The priesthood was changed from the Levitical lineage to the lineage of Judah! The scripture tells us, where there is a change of Priesthood, there is of necessity a change of the law! Folks really need to read this letter to the Hebrews and pray for understanding with an open mind so the Spirit of Truth can give revelation!
Going back to Abraham and Jacob, both gave a tenth out of gratitude and not obligation. This was a gift not a payment!
The prosperity folks use this and Malachi to minister, the more you give the more you get teaching.
In Deuteronomy 14:23 the scripture teaches us that tithing was to make the Israelites learn to fear the Lord!
The third year tithe was to feed the Levites and the stranger, and the fatherless, and the widow, etc.
The seventh year there was no tithe at all.
Tithing has been shown to be for:
1. To support the Priesthood.
2. To feed the less fortunate.
3. Learn the Israelites to fear the Lord.
The New Testament Christians were never taught to Tithe.
Jesus never taught His disciples to tithe, they in turn never taught any of the assemblies to tithe, the council in Jerusalem never instructed the Gentiles to tithe. There is no scripture in the New Testament that supports the tithe that God imposed on the Israelites!
The book of Hebrews exalts Jesus as the name above all names!
It teaches that the message of Jesus is greater than the Law and Moses.
It teaches that the Law of Moses was a carnal law and that the message of Jesus is a Spiritual Law.
This also, along with the letters to the Galatians and the Colossians teaches that the law was grievous and hateful toward the people!
These letters teach that we have been freed from the law of Moses! Remember, the law of Moses was a carnal law administered by angels and a carnal man was the mediator. Jesus the eternal God Man was the mediator of the second covenant!
I will close this exhortation on tithing with the words Jesus spoke to the Jews in John 8: 31 Then said Jesus to those Jews which believed on him, If ye continue in my word, then are ye my disciples indeed; 32 And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.
Look very closely to this scripture, Jesus was addressing the Jews who had believed on him! Jesus told them "the truth would set them free".
Free from what? The burden of the Carnal Law of the Old Testament! The carnal commandments imposed on them by the law including the tithe!
In his death burial and resurrection, Jesus removed the outer temple. He also removed the veil that separated the people from God the Father. The veil of the temple was rent in twain!
Jesus became our Great High Priest and there is no need for a carnal priesthood anymore.
With the removal of the outer temple, the services and ordinances, the priesthood, etc. there is now no need for any tithe.
Jesus never intended for his Ekklesia to go into debt for buildings, Pastors, Programs, or Payrolls!
Think about this for a second,... If a Pastor did not demand a salary, if they did not require a large building, an Insurance Policy, parsonages or programs, there would really be no need for a tithe in the modern church at all!
We don't need large buildings to have big gatherings of a mixed lot of peoples. We have houses and that is sufficient for the body of Christ to gather in and exhort one another to praise and worship him!
We need more Shepherds instead of professional Pastors! Pastoring is not a profession as the modern church has made it! It is an office administered by the Holy Ghost!
Jesus freed man from the hatefulness of the law and all it's ordinances including tithing and he set his Ekklesia in a home based environment and they were taught that God loves a cheerful giver, not a payment of obligation!
Be Blessed my Friends!
Jesus our High Priest ~ Entering into God’s rest ~ What does it mean?
Subversives ~ The Subverting of the Soul
Should Christians Dine with Unbelievers?
The Tabernacle of God in the Earth!
The Beatitudes Explained ~ Jesus Teaching
Psalms 2 Sermon for the Weary