Sunday, 21 October 2007

Giving vs Tithing

What does the bible say about giving? What about Tithing? What is Tithing?
These are a few questions that we will look at and see what the bible has to say about the subjects.

The word tithe means tenth or 10 percent of anything. It is used in the bible many times predominantly in the Old Testament, and mentioned a few times in the new testament also. Many Christians practice tithing as a form of giving to the local church. I believe that tithing is not applicable to today’s Christians.

Let’s look at the origination of the tithe. The first time we see the tithe used is by Abraham to Melcheziedeck. In Genesis 14:18 after Abraham had gone to war, on his return after having a victory he had taken the spoils of the war. Notice Mechezieck blesses Abraham before; Abraham gives him a tenth of the spoils. This is the first time we see the tithe and the only time we see the tithe before the law of Moses was established. Now the laws of Moses included tithing as apart of the law. The people where compelled to tithe according to the law. However, Abraham is seen tithing to Melcheziedeck before the law was introduced. Many people used this example to affirm that tithing was used before the law, during the law and therefore must continue after the law. This mind of think is wrong. There are many things practiced before the law, for example, burnt offerings, and animal sacrifices. These were practiced before the law, during the law, however, we do not continue to practice it after the law.

Melchezedeck was a form of Christ and it is very unique that Abraham gave a tithe to him, not fully understanding who Melchiezeck was. We will pick up Melchezedeck and Abraham a little later on …

Lets look at the tithe in the law of Moses. There are many references to the practice of the tithe and also many different tithes. In Lev 27:30-33 …
If we look in the Old Testament law we will see that the tithe was always used as something grown from the ground or animal. Some people believe that in our day and age we can substitute this as money. Let us look at why this is incorrect. In Deut 14:22 …
This is a tithe that God is telling the people to EAT! Eat my tithe? This is unheard of today. Today we would call this eating our seed. God tells the people to exchange there tithe into money, if the distance is far (this is to prevent the produce from spoiling, since they could be travelling for days sometimes) and them repurchase produce when they reach the destination which God has sent them to.

Then in Vs 28 we see another tithe, the third year tithe … here we see God sing the tithe to take care of the needy. Levites (who had no inheritance, and to be provided for by the people), Orphans, widows, strangers. Simply put those who cannot help themselves. In … vs … the bible says “religion …. Blameless….orphans…

Deut 26:12 … third year tithe.

The tithe had a purpose, and was a means of providing for those who could not provide for themselves.

Now one of the most common scriptures concerning the tithe in the old testament is in Malachi 3:10 …

This is where we see God now rebuking people for failing to bring in the tithe as he had established in his law. He accuses them of robbing him.

God says “so there may be FOOD in my house” (Nehemiah 10:38). This is literal food.

Now what I want to point out to you is the phrase “windows of heaven”. The phrase “windows of heaven” is found in the bible fives times. The first time we see this is in Gen 7, when God destroys the earth by a flood. In verse 11 it says, ….
This is used as a terminology for rain. Some translations say “floodgates” this gives the emphasis of “much rain”.

We also see it in 2 Kings 7 (Elijah has the windows of heaven closed)

The last time we see this term used is then in Malachi 3:10. Now if we bear in mind that the tithe was used as crops, we will understand that there must have been a drought. God was not saying, “if you tithe I will prevent these things form happening”, the things he mentions in Malachi where already happened. There windows of heaven where closed, they crops where being devoured by pests (possible locust) there vines where casting there fruit before their time. This was desolate times, because they had stopped tithing as the law had commanded them to. Now God is saying return to me and I will return to you. If the children of Israel would return to obeying Gods laws, then he would return to them and rebuke the devourers of there crops, prevent there vines from casting there fruit prematurely and bring an abundance of rain on there crops for a great harvest that there will not be room enough to receive there harvests of crops.

God also says that nations will call them blessed for they will be a delightful land. This would be based on the produce of there land at the time.

If we try to put the tithe in monetary terms, how can we have no room to receive money? In this day and age there is no such thing as not having room enough to receive money. Im sure that every tither will tell you they have plenty room left.

The tithe was never meant to be money, buy food. This is very clear when scripture references are used correctly. If the tithe was ment to be money, then why would god tell them to sell there produce (if the distance to travel was to far) for money, but when they reach there destination to repurchase food with money and eat.
1 Tim 1:5-7 …
The tithe is a teaching of the law and many are confidently affirming it. God does not need money get his gospel out, he need people with mouths. Jesus himself had no place to lay his head, he told his disciples to take nothing with them when they entered a town, but to trust God to provide. Many have been deceived that God needs millions to get the gospel out to this world.

In the old testament the people where governed by written laws and commands. Love is what motivates us in the new testament and we practice grace giving. Grace giving is motivated by love, while law giving is motivated by leagalism and fear. The bible says “perfect love cast out fear”. We give to help those in need.

Now you may still say “I believe in the tithe”. If you still do, then I challenge you in this.

Practice the tithe as it is in the bible.

Use it for what it was used in the old testament. Are you using your tithe to support Levite priests? Orphans? Widows? Strangers?

If you are going to tithe, then you must practice what the bible says is a tithe. However, if you practice any part of the law you are guilt of breaking it if you do not practice the entire law.

TITHING IN THE NEW TESTAMENT

What does the New Testament say about tithing? We see the tithe mentioned very few times in the New Testament, mainly by Jesus. However, he used the example of the tithe while rebuking Pharisees. In Matt 23:23 … Tithe mint, dill, cumin…
We see the tithe here as herbs. Not as money. Jesus is rebuking them for focusing on the smallest part of the law (straining a knat) yet they swallow a camel. Is this not the same thing happening today? Some churches will go as far as excluding members of there congregation from activities or refusing to help them when in need because there records shows an inconsistency of tithing or they have no record at all. At worst, some leaders will through congregation members out of the church for not tithing or for sharing with others the truth on the subject.

Luke 11:42 … pharasiee in temple… im not like this sinner…

The most important scripture referring to the tithe in the new testament in Hebrew 7. Here we pick up again on Araham and Melcheziedeck. Hebrews 7:1 … the law required the levitical priests (desendents of levi). Emphasis is firstly on “the law”. Secondly the tithe was to be paid to the levite priests, and could not be received by anyone. This is the only way that the tithe was seen as valid. Therefore, today we cannot tithe to a pastor.

(explain rest of scripture here)

Acts 4:32 this should be the mindset of the New Testament church. Helping with our brothers and sisters and those in need. Those who where rich help those who where poor and the people where equal. The Apostles received money from the rich and gave it back to those who lacked. They never held it for themselves.

Today Pastors own multimillion properties, while some members of there congregations have no where to live.

Now this scripture is scary. Gal 3:10 … (those who do parts of the law are cursed) Therefore, when we partake in some parts of the laws of Moses yet do not do the entire law are put ourselves under unnecessary curses as the scripture says. Also the bible says in Gal 5:4 … (fallen away from grace) we remove ourselves from the grace that Christ made available to us by trying to receive Gods blessing by works of the law and to obtain favour of God. If God desires to bless us he will, and it is simply that HIS WILL. This is how Jesus taught us to pray. God is more interested in you helping those in need then you sending 10% of your income to a church. God desires cheerful givers not legalism. Let God begin to use you as a blessing to those around you.

17 comments:

Anonymous said...

God bless you brother. Some brothers and myself have been trying to learn others on this very important topic. People would rather listen to man than to God and it is sad. I pray that God sends people this way with a heart ready to receive the Truth. Continue to labor as it is not in vain. Love you brother.

P.S. Falling from Grace? How scary is that!!!

Pastor Gary Held said...

Hi,

I saw your videos on youtube and am pleased with what I saw. Pastor Tom Baker, who has a radio show on KFUO in St. Louis, is fond of pointing out the biblical tithe as referred to in Deuteronomy is not ten percent, but rather 35 percent! I'll have to get with him for the full lowdown on that, but he's not just kidding around. The laws governing tithing in the old testament aren't so cut and dry.

I desire more of Him said...

Thank you Dazz for helping many of us Believers with this topic. Part of my personal testimony has to do with this...I was being pressured at a local church and was "tithing" as I thought it was to the local church all while going through some difficult financial issues. To make a long story short, when I needed my church to assist me in a big way...the church that I belonged to asked me if I was a tithing member. I stated that I was, then they grudgingly gave me some financies. I guess that they looked at my giving record and was moved with some compassion as I was faithful in tithing. But what was given to me was an embarassment, to say the least. Then the administrator of the church sent me a "list of community resources". How pitiful.

The large churches of today can rarely be called "churches". They should be called assemblies or gathering places, as they are not ministering Jesus Christ to anyone. The large churches are all about their own agenda and about making money.

If people would stop "tithing" and start freely giving, then some of these big named preachers will have to get a job, like the rest of us common place folk. Brother Dazz, keep up the great work in Christ.

Caroline said...

Brother Dazz, May you continue sharing this truth that exists in the word of God. I have learnt that our walk as followers of Christ would be more Authentic if we did not dillute his word.

Caroline said...

Brother Dazz. May God protect you as you continue to highlight the truth in the bible, Lord help us, our walk as followers of Christ would be more authentic if we abstained from dilluting scripture.
Confusion about this subject got cleared from my mind after reading your post. The scripture which came to mind was Hosea 4 verse 6. Indeed we are destroyed by lack of knowledge.
Bless you Brother for putting us in the KNOW!!!!

the word is simple said...

The question you should be asking is why don't people give offerings and tithe. It saddens me to see all the comments by people who say speak the truth.

What is the purpose of titing and who is hurt by tithing and giving offerings?

Ask yourself these questions:

Why don't I tithe and give offerings?

Why do I teach people not to tithe?

What is gained for Christ by teaching people that titing is not required?

Did God change his mind when he said Malachi 3:10?

I do understand that there are many who abuse God's word for their own purposes ,people who are unsaved and do not have the Sprit of Chirst in them , others who are just saved , but have not studied God's word consisantly but does that make God's word null and void?

We must eat the whole word and not only a portion. It may make us uncomfortable and we might not undersand how he does things, but we must trust God completely beyond our own understanding.
Mark 12:41-44
Luke 2:14-16
Mat 6:24
Acts 8:18-23
1 Cor 16:2
2 Timothy 3:2
1 Timothy 6:3-16
1 Peter 5 :1
2 Peter 1:19-2:3
Matthew 22:15-21

Teach people the Truth about Jesus
and thier need for slavation how to life a holy life in this world.

We need to continue to be overcomers in spite of whaterver may come, but only though truly knowing Christ.

dazzarai said...

To "the word is simple":

I have never told people NOt to give to the work of God. God also hates his people being decieved. Tithing is under the law, we give because we love God. Simple as that. Anyone telling you that you need to tithe to get Gods blessings is n error.

Give out of love NOT complusion.

God bless you, Daz

p.s. It amazes me how many people think th "truth" is irrelevant today. Did you forget that it is the truth which sets people free, or that Jesus is the way the "truth" and the life?

Truth is of utmost important.

the word is simple said...

Did you even read the post and the scriptures. Your comments lead me to believe you did not.

I'm not posting to debate just to keep the main thing the main thing Jesus.

All of us need to think for ourselves and be rooted on the firm foundation of Jesus. Yes I tithe and give offerings and the same fervor you have for instucting people not to I have for people to. Not because of compulsion, but out of obedience to God.
So for all of you that tithe and give offerings because you love Christ, don't stop until God tells you stop. Your blessings come from obedience to God in all areas of you life.

With Love for All ( even those who disagree with tithing)

the word is simple said...

to dazzarai

In response to you questions
Did you forget that it is the truth which sets people free, or that Jesus is the way the "truth" and the life?
No, I know Jesus is the truth and without Him there is no truth or anything else. The truth I was speaking of is the truth people come up with themselves on their own.

I have a trully unshakable faith in all that God has said in His word and in what He has done in my life and in the lives of others.
I am not a person who just easily agrees with everthing, because people throw out a couple of scriptures. That is how many people get deceived and fall into the hands of false and fallen preachers.

Yes Jesus sets people free and I am truly free whether I tithe from 1.00 or 1,000,000 because it's not about the money it's about my relationship with Him.

dazzarai said...

Hi, Im not sure what your problem is. As I said before I encourage people to give to the work of God, but you are not under compulsion to TITHE. This is my point. Tithing isunder the law and you cannot attempt to be justified by your acts.

God bless you.

Brother Frank said...

I thank God for your scriptural stand on this and other topics. I just found your site today so I have only looked at a few things. Rev 3:17 Because thou sayest, I am rich, and increased with goods, and have need of nothing; and knowest not that thou art wretched, and miserable, and poor, and blind, and naked:
Rev 3:18 I counsel thee to buy of me gold tried in the fire, that thou mayest be rich; and white raiment, that thou mayest be clothed, and that the shame of thy nakedness do not appear; and anoint thine eyes with eyesalve, that thou mayest see.
Prosperity in America has become more than just a distraction for believers. In many cases it has displaced real discipleship. It is encouraging that there are others who hold to this Biblical truth of Grace giving.

Brother Frank said...

I thank God for your scriptural stand on this and other topics. I just found your site today so I have only looked at a few things. Rev 3:17 Because thou sayest, I am rich, and increased with goods, and have need of nothing; and knowest not that thou art wretched, and miserable, and poor, and blind, and naked:
Rev 3:18 I counsel thee to buy of me gold tried in the fire, that thou mayest be rich; and white raiment, that thou mayest be clothed, and that the shame of thy nakedness do not appear; and anoint thine eyes with eyesalve, that thou mayest see.
Prosperity in America has become more than just a distraction for believers. In many cases it has displaced real discipleship. It is encouraging that there are others who hold to this Biblical truth of Grace giving.

Brother Frank said...

What about "financial managing" teachers such as Dave Ramsey? Being a steward of that which God has given us is fine and right, but it seems that the core of the message is still based on the fallacy that giveing begets wealth.

Anonymous said...

Hi Dazzarai,
Thanks for your notes on tithing it came at time when I was really doubting whether or not it was even scriptural for a Christian to give tithe. I guess the hardest part for me now is convincing myself that I would not be '...curse with a curse...' as it speaks of in Malachi 3. I spoke with one of my Christian friends (who is a pastor)who believe strongly in tithing and I ask him if a Christian would be curse if they don't tithe? Before he answered me he outlined a lot of the scriptures you oulined and then eventually said, yes. Well, I went away completely confused and fearful. My question to his argument was, if the tithe was practised before the Mosiac law and also during the law, how is it we don't still practices circumcision and burnt offering, since these practices also predates the Mosaic law? I asked him if we're to give the tithe according to the bible we should give it to a levitical priest (Num 18:24-28), he laughed. I asked him why not give all the different type of tithes instead of this one. He told me that he would have to sit down and discuss this further and I asked one of my other Christian friend (who also strongly believes in tithing) to pass my email onto him so that he can write it all down for me. One of my friends who was present that night asked me, since the tithe as you say is under the law and that we shouldn't do it should we dismiss the 10 commandments also since it is also under the law? I told her that I don't disaprove with giving 10 percent, 1% or even 100%, it is just when it becomes not an option that I have a problem. I told her that it was not mentioned in the N.T andshe asked me that just because it is not mentioned in the N.T does that we we do not do it or dismiss it?

The thing I am wondering about or even completed terrified about is that if tithing is a commandment in the bible as my friends outlined, then if I am not doing it then I am sinning and if I'm living in sin then when I die I will go to hell!!!

At the moment I am studying every single scripture in the bible that deals with tithing, so far I just can't see how it relates to N.T Christians as so many pastors proclaimed... why is this particular aspect, so difficult to accept?

Anonymous said...

Thank you so much for your words!!! I've thoroughly studied tithing over the years and heartily agree with your conclusions! I'd like to also put it this way, if I may:

Salvation? It was paid for on the Cross and given us through Grace!

Healing? It was paid for on the Cross and given us through Grace!

Deliverance? It was paid for on the Cross and given us through Grace!

Prosperity? It was paid for and ...no...wait!! THE CROSS OF CHRIST WASN'T ENOUGH!!!!! Have you added your own effort of a full 10% to the local church's building fund? No?? You've used that money to provide for your widowed mother and an unwed mother and her child instead? Then forget it!! God can't prosper you, but you're cursed with a curse!! (But I thought that Christ has redeemed us from the curse of the Law...?)

The Lord told me years ago when I was totally confused on this subject that He would rather have me give $15 in faith than $150 in fear. I give abundantly from what I have but absolutely refuse to tithe. To me it's like slapping Jesus in the face as He's hanging on the Cross. No way!! He's done it ALL!!

Anonymous said...

"Tithing" today is a demonstration of one of 3 things...

1) Ignorance of God's word and the New Covenant (Jesus PAID the price for us on the cross....HE earned our blessings Rom 8:32....and HE took away the curse for us Gal 3:13)
2) Lack of faith in the provision of God for us in Christ (In the New Covenant we receive everything though FAITH Eph 2:8-10....and not our works Gal 3:1-5even miracles and the anointing and healing and blessing)
3) Proof that we do not KNOW our God as our Father (ie we are either paying 'protection' money so He does not curse us?...(This is sick) ... or we do it in fear like paying an 'insurance premium'...to protect against disaster...This proves that we don't know Him at all)

Chris

Charles Dicken said...

It seems that since the technology has reached the Church, more tools have become available to the average lay person to aid in the study of God’s Word. About 4 years ago, I too took on this subject as a topic to study and with the internet and Bible software was able to glean much from the Word about this topic that I have never seen before. However, we cannot neglect the working of the Holy Spirit for without Him, no amount of technology would reveal much truth.
The tithe for the Christian has always been justified based upon Abraham’s tithe to Melchizedek before the Law of Moses. The argument has been that since it was before the Law, it therefore still has authority upon all God’s children. However, what everyone fails to see here is the purpose of this event to our Salvation, which in turn reveals the true purpose for its recording.
This event is referred to several times throughout the Word of God in giving validity to the position of Christ as our High Priest after the Order of Melchizedek, of which is a greater order than that of Aaron’s. This is important because there are no references found in the Word of God that references this event for the purpose of validating the Tithe for all of God’s children to follow. This event was important because, although Christ provided Himself a sacrifice, His sacrifice could not have been offered without the working of a High Priest qualified to make it and then to sprinkle His blood upon the Altar in the Holy of Holies before the throne of God.
The other mention of the tithe before the Law of Moses is found in Genesis 28 where Jacob vowed a vow to God that he would give God a tenth of all that He gave him. The question is: What did God give him? God, in a couple of verses prior had just given him all the land of Israel to be occupied by his seed forever. Because this land was just the land of promise to Jacob (because he could never possess it himself), Jacob had no way of keeping this vow, and subsequently, this is why we never find any reference to Jacob ever paying a tithe. Because Jacob’s children were still yet in his loins at the time he made this vow, the vow’s commitment would subsequently fall upon his children once they came in possession of the land. Leviticus chapter 27 is all about vows, and we know that God takes vows seriously, in this chapter God declares all that is dedicated to Him as being most holy. He also refers to the tithe of the land of Israel to be holy also. Why was the tithe of the Land of Israel holy? It was because Jacob, in Genesis 28 dedicated a tenth of the land to God.
Christians are not referred to as the Children of Israel, we are however, referred to as the Children of Abraham. Just as Levi was still yet in the loins of his father Abraham, Christians were also still yet in Abraham’s loins too because the tithing event took place in Genesis chapter 14 and Abraham’s salvation experience took place in chapter 15. Abraham only paid one tithe because only one tithe was all that was required to establish validity to Melchizedek’s Priesthood over anyone that would eventually come from Abraham’s loins.
No motive was ever recorded for Abraham’s tithe to Melchizedek because no motive was required, it just simply needed to be paid for the salvation of man to be possible. We can assume that Abraham tithe out of a gracious heart but that would be an assumption and one that does not make for “Sound” doctrine.
Keep up the study on this because this is a very beautiful subject adding more preciousness to the tithe and why it is not for Christians today. Give to God from your heart as the Holy Spirit moves you and please do not grieve Him.