Understanding why Israel only tithed food is one of the most important aspects of understanding giving and also one of the more profound truths about tithing. The very definition of tithing serves as a roadblock to dissecting this practice, applying it, and understanding its deeper implications. 10% is its most obvious attribute, so all its other qualities are overlooked. The more meaningful principles of tithing aren’t practiced or preached because our attention is drawn to how much it was instead of asking the questions, who, what, and why? These are the more important questions to ask anyway.
Lev 27:30-32 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 to the Lord. If a man wants at all to redeem any of his tithes, he shall add one-fifth to it. And concerning the tithe of the herd or the flock, of whatever passes under the rod, the tenth one shall be holy to the Lord.
In the Old Testament, Israel was required to give a tenth of either the animals or the fruit of the land. They were not to give anything from their other possessions or from any other form of wealth. God would neither accept money nor goods. Learning the truth about why this is important will help you understand what giving means to God. My hope is that you will be rewarded with understanding once you complete the reading.
In today’s modern world, we live in a primarily industrial society, but up until relatively recently, this was not the case. The entire world lived in an agrarian lifestyle. Farming and herding were more common than they were uncommon. Even though money may have been custom to use in transactions, it certainly wasn’t even a necessity in many transactions since the needs of our society were simple.
Although we’ve evolved from an agrarian to an industrial world, it doesn’t mean that the amount of farming and herding has decreased over time. Overall, there are fewer farmers per-capita, but the same amount of food and farm-land needed to feed one person today is also the same amount of food one needed 1,000 years ago. So, it’s irrational to claim we can tithe money instead of food because we’re not an agrarian society.
Many believe that Israel was asked to give a tenth of the crops and animals because farming and herding were so common. In other words, God didn’t accept money back then because it was the least available commodity; even though today he is quite accepting of cash, credit cards & even bitcoins. To human rationale, it makes sense for God to ask us to give a portion of our most common tender.
As you are putting this all together in your mind, I want you to think of one instance in the Old Testament where God makes a request just for the sake of convenience. I’m sure you can’t think of a single instance because you know God had a reason and a purpose for everything he asked. His requests had some sort of spiritual relation to it.
As you continue reading, I want you to ask yourself some questions:
- Why did Israel give only food?
- Why is it acceptable for us to give money?
- Did we change tithing to fit into what God wanted or what we wanted?
- Does this make tithing more relevant or less relevant today?
Reason: God is the Creator
God only wanted Israel to give from resources that they could not produce themselves.
Let’s say I was a carpenter and I needed to sell 100 wooden chairs to feed my family. Since creating chairs is my job, then the responsibility and all the credit for taking care of my family goes to me. Now, what if my responsibility was cultivating something that I couldn’t produce on my own at all? What if I had to provide for my family in a way wherein i had to rely on God to produce for me? God wanted farmers to work in the field, although he was responsible for the rain, sun, & nutrients for the plant to develop and grow into food. As human beings, we can’t create something from nothing nor can we grow anything without an act of God.
Ultimately, God’s intention was to draw attention to him as the creator of life and growth. Money had no value to God, so he didn’t want that. He wanted a form of worship not a form of giving. Anyone can give to God, but when you turn your giving into worship, then that’s what God values. God wanted praise, honor, and expectations placed upon him as the creator because that’s his desire. He deeply wants us to rely on him. When mankind realizes what God is to us and what God does for us, that is when God is pleased.
If an Israelite did not grow any crops or raise any animals, then he did not give a tenth of his income. This means that Bankers, Lawyers, Blacksmiths & Carpenters did not give a single penny of their income towards tithing. This sounds a bit unfair, but as I have stated, it’s not about fairness, it’s about worship.
God is a creator and demands our respect in that category. God is the giver and the taker of life and he wanted Israel to understand this. Giving a tenth of goods from which an Israelite could produce on his own could not be a part of the tithing system in the Old Testament, so why is it part of our New Testament system? In truth, the Church wouldn’t know what to do with food, because we haven’t done much to feed the poor anyway; but give us money, and we know of a billion ways we can utilize it.
I don’t want to go on a greedy, church-bashing rant because I really am trying to relay a different point here.
Reason: God is the Provider
Another reason why Israel only tithed food is that God wanted us to relate him with our very basic, humanistic needs. This is why Jesus referred to himself as the living water & bread of life. He didn’t refer to himself as the gold or silver of life since we don’t need gold or silver to live. God didn’t call himself the ‘paycheck’ of life either. He wanted to express: God = life. He didn’t want to express (God = wealth) or (God = happiness)
Mankind can live in a world without money and credit cards; we’ve been doing it for thousands of years. But we can’t live in a world without food and clothing. God wanted Israel to give away part of the very basic necessities we need to sustain life. Isn’t that what God desires anyway- our life? Would God be asking for our life if he asked for our car, or for our job, or money? Does he want you to give him your worldly goods? I’m sure in a way the answer is yes, but if we trusted God in such a way that gave away something from our lives that symbolically represented our right to life, then what would that mean to God?
This is why fasting is so effective and worthy as a believer. Placing our life and health at a lower priority really does a lot to get God to react, so wouldn’t it makes sense to place an emphasis on the tithes of food?
Reason: It’s What Jacob Promised
A third and final reason why Israel tithed on food is more of a technicality. It’s simply because it’s what Jacob vowed. Some may disagree with me on this one, but I’m of the school of thought that Israel was required to give a tenth of the increase from the promised land because of the covenant that Jacob made with God. You can read more details about the Vow of Jacob in these two posts Misconceptions About Jacob’s Tithing Vow & Jacob’s Tithing Vow Part 2
In a synopsis, God tells Jacob – ‘The land you are laying on, I will give to you and your descendants. Then Jacob wakes up and says ‘of all that you give me, I will give a tenth back to you. Simply put, it was a covenant that was binding to all the recipients included in God’s promise just as circumcision was binding to all generations in the Abrahamic covenant. God said I will give you this land and Jacob says I will tithe from the land you give me. Jacob’s vow was not a deceptive bargain with God. Those who think that are misdirected by either the translation or other’s interpretation of that passage. You can read the links to Jacob’s Vow above for some clarity.
Why Does the Church Receive/Give Money?
Since we can understand the significance of tithing food, we should scrutinize why the Church is comfortable with receiving/giving money. As you’ve read the material above, you should now realize that the question of “How much Israel gave” had very little significance compared to the question of “What Israel gave”. When you look at the number ’10’, to us it’s just a number. It’s possible there’s no spiritual significance to this fraction except for the fact that we have 10 fingers and the world’s counting system is based on tens.
Because 10% is tithing’s most obvious attribute, the amount has been the focal point behind sermons in order to support church budgets. Maybe this is just the effect of an underlying problem. Maybe, deep down the Church actually desires financial stability more than we desire worship; and that’s why we cling to tangible attributes while overlooking the spiritual attributes of tithing. We’ve chosen our doctrinal Church practices based on relevance; after all what good is food compared to money nowadays? When I say ‘church’ i don’t mean pastors and leaders, I mean you and me – everyone. We’ve evolved into a selfish, greedy civilization.
We’ve focused our attention on benchmarks, goals, and numbers in the Church. This mentality has thrust tithing in the spotlight for stabilizing Church budgets. Many believers look at tithing in the OT and think God is a genius! WOW! He’s invented a flat tax that is a universal, non-discriminatory, fool-proof, consistent, predictable way to fund the Church (sigh of relief). Sadly, many miss the true nature of God because, In his eyes, the genius of tithing in the Old Testament had nothing to do with the percentage, it had to do with worship. Unfortunately, we’ve taken the worship part out and kept the mechanical part instead.
We’ve turned God into an accountant who sits at his clerk desk with a calculator and punches numbers all day to make sure that we’ve gotten that 10%. Sitting right next to him is a little lever that he’s ready to pull in order to release the windows of heaven as the barometer crosses from 9.9% to 10.0%! Yay! You’re the lucky winner! Whooosh! I can hear the blessings falling. Side note: ‘The windows of heaven opening’ is also an indication of the importance of agricultural tithe since that passage is referring to rain falling from the sky to water the crops; not money falling from the sky.
Do I think that we should go back to tithing God our food? No way. I’ve already stated above that tithing was a command for the Israelite nation, from the Israelite land, and under a separate covenant.
God Always Provides the Increase
1 Corinthians 3:6-7 states, ” I planted, Apollos watered, but God gave the increase. So then neither he who plants is anything, nor he who waters, but God who gives the increase.”
The truths mentioned above spill into other aspects of Christianity. Imagine if we could take credit for creating a new life in Christ? We could approach God and say, “look at what I made”. Instead, because God is responsible for the increase, we can approach him with a gift and say, “look at what you made”. Just as the Israelite farmers had done when he presented his food tithe.
So many get hung up on the ‘Test me in this‘ passage in Malachi 3 thinking that it’s the only place in the bible where we can supposedly abuse or disrespect God. God wanted the farmers and herdsmen to test him because forming life and growth was out of their control anyway. When you understand what tithing was and why their success was up to God you begin to understand why it’s a disservice to use Malachi 3 “test me in this” passage to encourage tithing in the Church. There’s a reason why God said ‘test me’, and it had nothing to do with tempting God, nor does it bring any more validity to the practice of tithing today.
As a farmer in Israel, we could hold God’s feet to the fire on his promise to provide for us. If we toiled all year and gave our tithe, and yet, God allowed very little to grow; we could confront God and truly blame him for the small harvest. No matter how much we plowed or plucked, God is ultimately responsible for creation. Although, if we were a carpenter, then forming, molding, and producing each and every chair is our responsibility. How can you “test God” when you are a carpenter and you are responsible for creating chairs?
Is Tithing Relevant for the Church?
Tithing has no place in the Church today, and even more so the way we tithe (with money). There are principles we can apply today, but giving 10% to a local church is not a requirement. There is nowhere in scripture that informs us how tithing should be changed into what it is today. This doesn’t mean that tithing is required even though we are doing it wrong. It means that we’ve changed the practice of tithing to make it sound like it fits into the New Testament Church. The New Covenant paints a new picture of how we are to worship God with our giving. Please give sacrificially, cheerfully, and consistently while allowing the Holy Spirit to guide your decisions.
Thank you for this article
Many today do not see the beauty that is the old covenant tithe.
The tithe, as revealed in the bible, is amazing. It demonstrates so much of God’s love for his people. He blessed the promised land and through those blessings he provided a means by which people truly relied on him, namely by giving him thanks and worshiping him for something that only he can provide for them. Something they cannot create themselves, as you point out. They had to rely on the ground being right, the rain coming, bugs not eating all of their crops and disease or thieves not taking their livestock. It reminds me of Job, when the Lord lifted his protection, robbers stole his livestock.
God poured out a blessing on his people living in the promised land, to the envy of other nations. They came to Israel, out of Egypt, to a land God promised to bless beyond all others. They were to come to feasts every year and remember how God saved his people and took them to this land. They worshipped him and drew nearer to him for it. I look at this and it makes my heart warm, the true essence of the tithe. Thousands upon thousands of Israelites, flocking to Jerusalem for a huge feast, and they are there to worship and remember, bringing their tithe with them, to eat, themselves. Sharing with others as well.
Bring your grain and livestock tithe to the feast and eat it in my presence, and if you are too far away then sell it at home and when you arrive buy whatever you’d like to eat and drink. Enjoy yourself and your family. Enjoy the company of those you haven’t seen since the last feast and enjoy me. Be thankful for what I have provided and draw near to me knowing that I am the one who has provided for you.
It is such a beautiful balance and such an act of worship.
It was also God’s means of providing for his people. It is true that you often ate your own tithe yourself, but in the third and sixth year in the 7 year tithe cycle the tithe was set aside for those that were in need, namely the Levites (no land inheritance), the stranger, the widow, and the orphans, living in your own town. To me that is so wonderful. God providing for his people. The tithe, the gleaning of the fields, the leaving the corners of the field available were provisions designed by God to care of that portion of his people and strangers. And there was no tithe in the seventh year, the land rested.
Jesus did not tithe and I can’t think of a single one of his disciples that would have, fish was not a tithable commodity. Did this make them wrong? Of course not. They ate from the corners of the field as many did, and thanked God for the provision. They participated in the feasts, just the same, and worshiped God along with those that brought their food tithe. They didn’t get pressure for not bringing a tithe, that’s absurd when you understand the principle under the old covenant.
Another thought. The tithe was not the best of your produce, that was reserved for other offerings and something entirely different. Many today say the first tenth is to God, but scripture defines it as the last tenth.The tithe was the tenth animal that came in through the gate. If you had 10 sheep, the last one in was dinner at the feast. If you had 20, the tenth and twentieth were your tithe. If you had 19, well, you only tithed a single sheep. It was not about how perfect it was, it was about thanking God for what he has provided for you and others and something that you could not have without him being intimately involved. God commanded them not to pick and choose the one to bring, but to grab the tenth ones in succession. I imagine, by popular thinking today, many would think that the israelites would abuse this command by taking the worst and ‘giving it to God’, but most of the tithe you ate yourself and I would imagine the abuse would be that people would want to pick the choicest one to eat, which goes against the modern understanding.
It is pure worship, through this commandment. You are blessed, your family is blessed, your neighbors, the levites in your town, the strangers. Blessings all around.
Arthur Tragg says
Test me on this, says God. OK, then ONE HUNDRED PER CENT of the time, the windows of heaven HAVE to open up and pour blessings upon the tither that THEY WON’T BELIEVE.
If it doesn’t happen 100% of the time, it doesn’t apply to the Christian. And it doesn’t.
Tochi Ejiofor says
Thank you for this article. It has become pertinent today that what the body of Christ on earth really needs today is to heed to the words of Christ in Matthew 11:29 ‘TAKE MY YOKE UPON YOU AND LEARN OF ME FOR I AM MEEK AND LOWLY IN HEART.’
Again, Paul made another important point when he wrote to Timothy, ‘STUDY TO SHOW YOURSELF APPROVED UNTO GOD, A WORKMAN THAT NEEDS NOT TO BE ASHAMED, RIGHTLY DIVIDING THE WORD OF TRUTH’ 2 Timothy 2:15.
Humility and Knowledge are partly responsible for the success or failure of the body of Christ here on earth. Sadly, the body of Christ has been overwhelmed by the lack of these two and its obvious.
Amen now I understand why when we were told we have to tithe 10 percent and 5 percent of our check weather we had it or not and I said if we do that we want have the money to pay our lights and they will get turned off and they said pay your tithes no matter what. Now I understand why it never felt right about tithing money in the church my husband was right about it being wrong.
Doreen Lydeamore says
Recently my church watched a well known tithe teacher on a DVD series to encourage church members to tithe. He asked the question, “why did God invent giving?” He answered, “to get rid of our selfish hearts.” Sounds good but it isn’t right. The bible says, “for God so loved the world He gave…..” Giving is at the heart of who God is, it is the essence of love. God did not even with-hold His only Son but gave Him up for us.
We are created in the image of a giving God, so giving is written into our DNA. We don’t encourage people to give by telling them they have selfish hearts we encourage people to give by telling them who they are. Affirming their identity in the image of a good and giving God and encouraging them to live out of love as per their design. Yes we can all be selfish but if we continue to look at selfishness instead of at Christ we will just be caught up in the works of trying to fix ourselves.
This speaker also called Jesus God’s tithe! Can you believe that? God gave 100% of his Son to save you and me 100% and that should tell us something about giving.
Felipe Lazo says
I’ve tithed since I’ve worked and I felt so good about that… And now… The firsts paragraphs were just too much to me, but I just can’t think of anything wrong with them.
I’ll try to read more tomorrow.
God bless you, thanks a lot.
Arthur Tragg says
Felipe, Give to the poor and evangelizing!!! Imagine how GREAT you will feel doing that!!
Lucaino McBain says
Felipe it is not how much you give but what is in your heart when you give, if you want to give a tithe than give it if thats whats in your heart. Remember the scripture says that God loves a cheerful giver 2 Corinthians 9:6 Pero esto digo: El que siembra escasamente, también segará escasamente; y el que siembra generosamente, generosamente también segará. 7 Cada uno dé como propuso en su corazón: “no con tristeza ni por obligación”, porque Dios ama al dador alegre that is how a christian is to give today
Felipe Lazo says
Thanks you and Arthur for your comments.
I’ve changed my point of view about the money I give to church. I just can’t avoid feeling that it must be used for God designated purposes, so I do that. Most of the time I still give that amount to the church, it’s a principle that we must support our leaders, but sometimes, when I know there’s someone close to me needing help, I don’t hesitate to help them with that money.
Jason Graham says
If something wasn’t already in action when Jesus came to Earth, He pointed towards it in the gospels or He had the apostles and scripture writers to show us the way. Nowhere in the NO are we shown to tithe. Jesus never showed us the example of tithing. He did commend the widow for giving because that’s what we are to do. God never commanded that man love Him. Why would He command our money? As someone pointed out earlier, if we still have room in our life for financial increase and we tithe, something is wrong. Either God is a liar or we’ve misunderstood His word. We all know that He is not a liar so the fault lies with man. We perish because we don’t study to show ourselves approved. If we would put the remotes down and leave social media alone for a while, things will get better.
Bernard Baah says
In the new testament, Jesus criticized the scribes and pharisees for tithing a tenth of everything while leaving the other weightier matters of the law undone. He concludes by saying that pharisees and scribes should have done those things without leaving the weightier matters undone. So we see that Jesus taught that it was good to tithe, but it was also important to pay attention to the weightier matters of the law such as mercy, justice, and faith.
MAT23.23 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.
One thing we need to look at and that is that the gospels aren’t new testament. Gal 4:1-7 & Hebrews 9: 16-18. Up until the time that Jesus died it was still OT. Nowhere in scripture does it ever say stop tithing food and start tithing money.
People in the OT used to give tithes and burn offerings, that was their way to praise God.
Jesus himself did not pay tithes,but instead, he paid the highest price for all of us.
Jesus gave 100% in love and not in tithes.
Jesus is the new covenant and he freed us from the law of the old testament. And just as we are not to sacrifice animals to praise God, we are not to pay tithes.
Jesus said “Give to Ceasar’s what is Ceasar’s and give to God what is God’s.
Jesus was not talking that God needs your money, he was simply saying that God wants your heart.
Jesus is all about love and He would never ask you to give him 10% of your salary like most religious institutions do nowadays, and if he had asked people for money back then, he wouldn’t be riding a donkey and living a humble life. Just take a look at today’s self proclaimed Apostles and men of God life style and you will realize that these people and their doctrines have nothing to do with what Jesus taught their disciples.
the law of Moses was still in force back then when Jesus Christ said those words to the Pharisees about tithing, and leaving out the most important things.but now under a new covenant will are no longer under any obligation to tithe because the old covenant has being abolished Colossians 2:13-16
Nicolas G says
Interesting! I always debate on that myself. 10% is a huge chunk, and now you say that tithe isn’t required and it probably isn’t, unless you feel the call. Let’s dwell on this verse Mark 12:41-44.
41 Now Jesus sat opposite the treasury and saw how the people put money into the treasury. And many who were rich put in much. 42 Then one poor widow came and threw in two mites,[a] which make a quadrans. 43 So He called His disciples to Himself and said to them, “Assuredly, I say to you that this poor widow has put in more than all those who have given to the treasury; 44 for they all put in out of their abundance, but she out of her poverty put in all that she had, her whole livelihood.
Nicolas G, she gave 2 mites. She didn’t tithe at all. Jesus commended her because she gave from her heart and not her abundance.
But Israel’s animals or food was there wealth, at that particuliar time in life, people did not have money to give as much, becaus eit was the food and the service of the animals that kept everything functioning. If we compare it to today’s time, what is the main source of income? It is money and because today everything is run by money, how could one possibly expect a church to function without the tithing? Also Deuteronomy 14:22-26 states that indeed jews were to tithe 10% of their possessions, however it was also stated that if they couldn’t then to tithe 10% of your money instead, so that goes back to us who follow’s God’s law. Who in america really have animals and food to offer? I typically don’t grow or matin a farm, so I would have to, accordingly to God’s law, to pay 10% of my earnings.
Josh, if you go to Genesis 17, Money was in the land. Also, there were actually 3 different tithes. Two given annually and one every 3rd year. So, if you want to really pay the type of titheso that literally Israel paid, you need to give 23 1/3%. Josh, I ask can you show where Jesus or any of the apostles tithed? God wants us to follow His example of giving from the heart. God never commanded man to love Him. Why would He put a mandate on man for his money? If He made us tithe, He would be going against His own teaching in 2Corinthians 9. As you said, most of us don’t own farms. Neither did all of Israel. John the Baptist taught giving 50% when he said if you have two coats and see a brother in need, share with him. Jesus taught giving 100% from the heart when He commended the widow for what she did. I’ve heard may preachers/christians say that there was no money and that’s why people gave food and animals. If God was that unknowing that He didn’t know that He wanted people’s money but didn’t give them any, what kind of God is He? When I say that tithing is not for the church, people’s response is how do you pay the bills? Giving!!! Giving is anywhere from 1-100%. Tithing is simply 10%.
OGULEWE Pauline says
Pls the writer is very much correct. We are no longer in old testament and if really we are, I think we should be obeying all the laws of moses and not just a part.besides all these pastors that are receiving tithes none of them are from the descendants of Levi and even if the are,where is the temple for them to minister,of course the temple has been destroyed since
The death of Jesus Christ. God is no longer in the temple built by men hands.
You are right.
If people want to pay tithes and do exactly how the Israelites used to do in the OT,they should all go back in time and live in the Old testament.
The only reason the churches insist on that tithing doctrine is to keep their pockets full of money.
I understand that these institutions need money to keep their doors open, but please stop using this tithe argument to manipulate people’s mind.
If you people want to please God’s heart using money, then you should give it to the poor, the sick,the widow and not to some smartass self proclain leader who claims to be a representative of Jesus.
There are lots of charlatans out there getting richer and richer just by twisting Jesus’teachings into their lucrative tithing doctrines.
Open your eyes!
There’s always been this controversy as to whether it’s still in order to pay tithe, according to Bible injunction in the Old Testament, or it’s inappropriate and sheer ignorance to continue. Some proponents or supporters of paying of tithe are always quick to refer you to God’s commands to the Israelites to pay tithe. Some Christians believe that the New Testament of the HolyBible is silent about tithe payment. But is it true?Let’s look at Genesis 14:1-20 where tithe was first mentioned in the entire Holy Bible. At the return of Abraham (yet to be renamed Abraham by God) from the conquest of Cherdorlaoma king of Elam and his allies who had taken Lot the nephew of Abraham captive at the overtake of Sodom the habitation of Lot, Melchizedek king of Salem, who also was the PRIEST of the Most High God, met Abram. Abram gave him tithes of all (verses 16 & 20).Now let’s consider some tithe verses in theBible:Deuteronomy 14:22 – Thou shalt truly tithe all the increase of thy seed, that the field bringeth year by year.Deuteronomy 14:28 – At the end of three years thou shalt bring forth all the tithe of all thine increase the same year, and thou shalt lay it up within thy gates. (Also see Deuteronomy 26:12).PEOPLE USED TO TITHE SEEDS, FRUITS OF THE LAND AND FLOCKS AS COMMANDED BY GODLeviticus 27:30 – And all the tithe of the land, whether of the seed of the land, or ofthe fruit of the tree, is the LORD’S: it is holyunto the LORD.ONE TENTH (I.E. ONE OVER TEN) OR TEN PER CENT OF YOUR INCREASE OR BLESSING IS YOUR TITHELeviticus 27:32 – And concerning the tithe of the herd, or of the flock, even of whatsoever passeth under the rod, the tenth shall be holy unto the LORD.WHO SHOULD PAY TITHE?The Israelites are to pay Tithe. Deuteronomy 14:22 – Thou shalt truly tithe all the increase of thy seed, that the field bringeth year by year.Numbers 18:24 – But the tithes of the children of Israel, which they offer as an heave offering unto the LORD, I have givento the Levites to inherit: therefore I have said unto them, Among the children of Isarel they shall have no inheritance.Malachi 3:8-10 – This is the most popular amongst all the tithe references in the HolyBible It says, “Will a man rob God? Yet ye have robbed me. But ye say, wherein have we robbed thee? In tithes and offerings.”Verse 9 – Ye are cursed with a curse: for yehave robbed me, even this whole nation.verse 10 – 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 roomenough to receive it.Nehemiah 10:37-38Remember, Abram paid tithe – Hebrews 7:6 – But he whose descendant is not counted from them received tithes of Abraham, and blessed him that had the promises. I hope you remember that Abraham was a prophet. God Himself called him a prophet. Genesis 20:7 says, “Now therefore restore the man his wife; for he is a prophet, and he shall pray for thee, and thou shalt live….”Hebrew 7:9 – And as I may say so, Levi also, who receiveth tithes, payed tithe in Abraham.BLESSING OF OBEDIENCE FOR PAYMENT OF TITHEMalachi 3:11-12WHO TAKES YOUR TITHE?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, thoughthey come out of the loins of Abraham.In the Old Testament, tithes were for the priests and Levites – Nehemiah 12:44 and 10:38.Singers and porters were also to enjoy the benefit – Nehemiah 13:5REASON FOR PAYING TITHE TO LEVITESThe Levites were FULL TIME ministers of God therefore they were to feed themselves from the tithes paid by the IsraelitesNumbers 18:24 – But the tithes of the children of Israel, which they offer as an heave offering unto the LORD, I have givento the Levites to inherit: therefore I have said unto them, Among the children of Israel they shall have no inheritance..SHOULD YOU STILL PAY TITHE WHEN YOUR PASTOR MISUSES IT?YES, vengeance is God’s.1 Samuel 2:12-17, 22, 24, 29 – Now the sons of Eli were sons of Belial; they knew not the LORD. Just like today, the sons of Eli who were supposedly ministers of God, indulged in sin. Verse 17 says, “Wherefore the sin of the young men was very great before the LORD: for men abhorred the offering of the LORD.”Matthew 23:3 buttresses the fact that you should continue to pay your tithe in spite of the blatant “misapplication” of such tithes. It says, “All therefore whatsoever they bid you observe, that observe and do;but do not ye after their works: for they say, and do not.”DOES THE NEW TESTAMENT SUPPORT PAYMENT OF TITHE?Let’s look at Luke 11:42 – But woe unto you the Pharisees! for ye tithe mint and rue and all manner of herbs, and pass overjudgement and the love of God: these ought ye to have done, and not to leave the other undone (This is also found in Matthew 23:23). That’s Jesus speaking! Thispoints to the fact that people paid tithe during Christ’s sojourn here on earth. He didn’t condemn paying tithe but the character of the giver of tithe.Luke 18:12 – I fast twice in the week, I givetithes of all that I possess. Does this therefore mean that it is wrong to fast? Jesus wasn’t condemning fasting but the attitude of the Pharisee who thought fasting meant righteousness. All Christ expected of Christians is humility.Luke 18:13 says, “And the publican, standing afar off, would not lift so much ashis eyes unto heaven, but smote upon his breast, saying, God be merciful to me a sinner.”Therefore, paying of tithe in this era is biblical, even in this dispensation. However, paying tithe is not a guarantee that you’re going to make heaven, especially if you’re found wanting in other aspects of life.Please look up the Bible references. You can as well share this post. Thank you.u
If you are a christian, you are “Israel”. The bible has too many places to mention where if you are not of Israel but believe, you will be grafted in and have no less of an inheritance as the first. Many christians make the mistake of speaking of the people of Israel as a group that is separate from themselves but the bible teaches that If you are a follower and believer, you are Israel.
ADODO FRIDAY BENSON says
If paying of tithe is no longer relevant, then paying of offering should also be chucked out. Majority seems to have totally misconstrued Malachi 3:10 which says,”…If I will not open the windows of heaven, and pour you out a blessing.” The question is what is blessing? Unfortunately, most of the time we limit the word blessing to financial gain which is untrue. The word blessing transcends monetary possession. Having a good health is a blessing. In fact, what can be more gainful than being healthy? Have you forgotten the maxim ‘health is wealth?’ Aren’t peace and security other forms of blessing? Isn’t having a sound sleep, a rest devoid of nightmares, a blessing? But often we think, since we have been obedient in paying our tithes, we have to have a monetary reward.Majority of us pay tax, whether we earn much or we earn meagre. If the incident in Matthew 17:24-27 where the tax collectors asked Peter, “Doth not your master pay tribute?” had not been recorded, there would have been so much argument today as to whether a Christian should pay tax or not. Many would have claimed that Jesus did not pay tax, so they would not pay either. As to the issue of poverty, I hope you recall what happened in Luke 21:1-4. The “poor widow” still gave offering in spite of her obvious penury. Jesus could have as well stopped her from giving that offering because she was “poor.” But He did not because He knew very well she was obeying God’s command in Deuteronomy 12:6, 11, though it was not in the least convenient for her. I hope you recall Malachi 3:8 – Will a man rob God? Yet ye have robbed me. But ye say, Wherein have we robbed thee? IN TITHE AND OFFERINGS. Those who de-emphasize the paying of tithe should also stop paying offering. Don’t you think so?
ARE YOU QUALIFIED TO JUDGE ERRANT PASTORS? I pointed out earlier in 1 Samuel 2:12-17, 22, 24, 29 that the children of Eli were like some of the pastors of today who erect schools from the sweats, tithes and offerings of church members, which tuition fees are way out of the reach of the church members! God is a righteous God and with Him is no respect of persons (2 Chronicles 19:7, Acts 10:34, Romans 2:11 and Ephesians 6:9). He will certainly judge such pastors. But the truth is it is not in our place to judge them. This sounds nonsensical, right? Anyway, that’s the view of the Holy Bible. Matthew 7:1 warns, “Judge not, thatye be not judged.” Look up 1 Corinthians 4:2-4. Verse 2 – Moreover it is required in stewards, that a man be found faithful. Verse 3 – But with me it is a very small thing that I should be judged of you, or of any man’s judgement: yea, I judge not mine own self. Verse 4 – For I know nothing by myself; yet am I not hereby justified: BUT HE THAT JUDGETH ME IS THE LORD). I do hope you remember that David had every reason and opportunity to slay King Saul, but he did not because he knew Saul was an anointed king. Well, let’s not go into the issue of fake and un-anointed pastors that have littered the whole place.
THE PHARISEES PAID TITHE IN CHRIST’S DISPENSATION
Please don’t forget that the Pharisees paid tithe in the time of Jesus. Jesus did not stop them from doing so (Luke 18:10-14). Jesus did not condemn paying of tithe and fasting. What he decried was the pride and holier than thou attitude of the Pharisee. Read Isaiah 58:5-6. In fact, verse 6 says, “Is not this the fast that I have chosen? to loose the bands of wickedness, to undo the heavy burdens, and to let the oppressed go free, and that ye break every yoke?” Therefore, what the books of Luke and Isaiah are saying is that giving of tithe and fasting cannot be used to measure righteousness, though they are expedient.
DID JESUS GIVE OFFERINGS?
That brings the question, is it still okay to fast in this dispensation? The answer is yes. Wait a minute; is there any record of Jesus paying offering in the Bible? I’m not sure I have come across that. If you have,please acquaint me with it. My point is, if there’s no known record of Jesus paying offering, why do Christians still pay offering? Is there also any account of the Great Master and anointed Saviour of the World having His bath or emptying His bowel? If there’s none, what is the implication of that? Remember, He was human in all ramifications. If He ate, which was variously recorded in the Bible, it therefore means that He also had a bowel movement. The fact that such wasn’t recorded does not mean He did not do it.For those who believe strongly that paying tithe is entangling oneself with the law of the Old Testament, it appears that’s a myopic thought. Such people, I guess, are completely oblivious of THE SERMON ON THE MOUNT recorded in Matthew 5. Verse 17 of it says, THINK NOT that I am come to destroy the law, or the prophets: I AM NOT COME TO DESTROY BUT TO FULFIL. What I’m saying in essence is that it is absolutely biblical to pay tithe in this dispensation. Please, do not be deceived by the trending contrary opinions of some pastors and people who believe otherwise and are teaching unsuspecting and gullible members of the public that tithe belonged to the Old Testament era. 2 Peter 3:16 says, “As also in his epistles, speaking in them of these things; in WHICH ARE SOME THINGS HARD TO BE UNDERSTOOD, which they that are unlearned and unstable wrest , as they do also the other scriptures, unto their own destruction.” Thus, it is highly detrimental or dangerous to follow this tide. Matthew 5:19 observes that, “ Whosoever therefore shall break one of these least commandments, AND SHALL TEACH MEN SO, he shall be called least in the kingdom of heaven: but whosoever shall do and teach them, the same shall be called great in the kingdom of heaven.Please, know that “no prophecy of the scripture is of any private interpretation”(2 Peter 1:20). That is, nothing in the Bible is of any hidden meaning. You should seek the face of God concerning this issue. Open your heart; I’m sure Jesus will teach tell you what to do.Acts 17:11 says, “They received the word with all readiness of mind, AND SEARCHED THE SCRIPTURES DAILY, WHETHER THOSE THINGS WERE SO. John 3:39 supports this. It enjoins you to SEARCH THE SCRIPTURES. In the final analysis, I maintain that paying tithe in this dispensation is ABSOLUTELY BIBLICAL.
shallom yeshua says
You are missing the point about the pharisees paying tithe during Jesus’s lifetime. please note that the old covenant was technically in operation during Jesus’s time. in fact he began Matthew 23 by telling the disciples to obey what the pharisees tell them because the seat on Moses’s seat. Jesus did and commanded things were perfectly in consonance with the old testament but actually not required in the new testament so to speak. for example many times when he healed a leper he asked them to go show themselves to priest and offer the sacrifice that is necessarily after your healed which involves animal sacrifice. But today no one offers animal sacrifice to any priest after, if we should follow your line of thought we should be offering animal sacrifices to priest anytime we receive any form of healing as Jesus commanded them then. please read bibleinsight.com and it will clear a lot of these your argument.
What happened with Abram was a one time thing that happened in the OT. It is nowhere recorded that it happened again. It probably did since he lived under the OT. Pretty much every scripture used for support of tithing is OT. Even the gospels are OT according Hebrews 9. Malachi 3 is written to the Pharisees and not even the entire tribe of Israel let alone NT christians. Tithing was only supposed to be gathered by the sons of Aaron,the Levitical priests. If someone can prove that their pastor is a son of Aaron, then he has a right to take up the tithe. The storehouse was located inside the temple. In the NT, we are the temple of God. So, if you want to bring your tithe into the storehouse, I’m always open. Jesus, John the Baptist and Paul teach us about giving from the heart. Giving/offering should not be done away with because that’s what God did(John3:16). 2Corinthians 9:7 also teaches us about giving as does the book of Acts. Even the 1st tabernacle built in the wilderness, was from a free will offering. If we will teach people to LOVE God, they won’t be hesitant to give when they can. There is no mandate on giving!!!!!!!! It’s if you want to. So many people have been hurt by the preachers making it mandatory for people to tithe in order to be blessed. That’s FALSE!!! If Malachi 3 was really about giving a tithe, it would be fear based tithing because you’re tithing so that you won’t be cursed. According to 1John 4:8, God is love and 1John 4:18 says that there is no fear in love so God making someone tithe out of fear is FALSE. The comment about the sermon on the Mount is correct in that Jesus didn’t come to destroy the law but fulfill is correct. But if you fulfill something, you enjoy it. If you have any type loan and you fulfill the terms of that loan, you no longer have to adhere to those terms. Same thing with the OT. If you’re keeping any part of the OT and not keeping it all, you’re guilty of breaking all.
But I want to ask a question. Since God has given us the talents and the skills to produce and create things. Would it be rather unfair if we come to God and saying, “Father these the results of the talents and the skills you have blessed me with. I return a tenth to you. Because I couldn’t have done these on my own”. These things may be monetary reward, Cars, everyother thing except food.
What do we have to say about it?
I say that it is totally unfair because of what 1Chronicles 29:14 says. God does not deserve 1/10. He deserves all.
God deserves all correct. But the question is this how can we give God all when we can’t give Him a tenth? It’s easy to say He deserves all for the purpose of argument but are we giving all?
Douglas, you’re missing the point. It has ZERO to do with money. It’s about the heart. That’s what He wants and deserves all of. Jeremiah tells us that we will find the LORD when we search for Him with our WHOLE heart. My wife’s name is on every money account that I have because she has my whole heart. Why should God want our money when the Earth and they that dwell therein are His? Tithing is mostly taught out of fear but sometimes it’s greed.
Anthony James Brown says
1st of all I would like to say that God was talking to the priest in malachi 3 he was not telling the farmers or having them depending on him and saying that he would open up the windows of heaven and pour out rain or blessings that they (farmers) would grow crops and they would not have Room enough to receive… he is talking to the priest because they were robbing God
Anthony James Brown, thank you so very much Sir!!! Malachi 3 was exactly for the priests only. The scripture says to BRING the tithe into the storehouse and not TAKE. The only people that were allowed inside the temple were the priests. The priests were taking more of the tithe than was allowed therefore they were robbing God. If we slowly and carefully read Malachi 3, we’ll see what Mr Brown is saying.
Anthony James Brown says
That’s right Jason we need to make it clear because 1 mistake 1 mis understanding could lead a whole crowd of people the wrong way…..in Jesus name
Grey P says
Wonderfull debate. It took me about five years of research and study to finally conclude that tithing had expired. What our brothers need to know is that tithing was not in the church until around 600 AD and if lam correct it was reintroduced by Catholic Church.
Let’s talk about WHO gets the tithe. In the Old Testament days, it was the temple or the synagogue, so today, that would be the local church, right? Not exactly. The temple was not only a place of worship, it was a complete government, involved in law enforcement, criminal justice, education, and taking care of the poor, the sick, and the elderly. So if you believe in giving 10%, that can include the money you give to the needy and to the various forms of government to which you pay taxes. If your local church is spending most of it’s revenue on salaries and maintenance of facilities, and very little on missions and helping the greater community, then 1% is probably a very generous contribution.
Rev. Kenneth M. Thames, Sr. says
I must disagree with you. Tithing is still very much relevant in today’s church.
Tithing is taught by Paul in 1 Corinthians 16:2. Paul says to the church to give as God has prospered him. That’s proportionate to your income. Paul taught that Abraham gave tithes of the spoils of the war before the law was in place. Jesus did not condemn the tithe. He condemned the people’s hearts in that they paid more attention to the tithes than they did to the loving of people. The Gospels let you know that tithes have evolved beyond live stock and fruits and vegetables.
According to your theory, the carpenter would not have to pay tithes because he did not farm or tend to cattle. The tinsmith or silversmith would not have to pay tithes.
2 Chronicles 31:5 says “And as soon as the commandment came abroad, the children of Israel brought in abundance the firstfruits of corn, wine, and oil, and honey, and of all the increase of the field; and the tithe of all things brought they in abundantly.”
Leviticus 27 only gives specific instruction to about the land and the beasts in order to instruct people to not try to keep all of the good things for themselves and give the bad things as tithes. He was only stating, BRING ONE TENTH REGARDLESS of what it looks like. God wants the good and the bad. Just bring one tenth!
God gave an estimation of the people: men, women, boys, girls.
Tithes are from before the law. The Law simply put into writing what Abraham did in practice. We are children of Abraham through faith, not children of Moses through the law.
We have to understand that the ceremonial law was destroyed with Christ’s Crucifixion. Parts of the civil law are no longer pertinent because it was mostly due to their geographical area.
The moral law is still very much in force.
Jesus said I have fulfilled the Law. Paul says Love is the fulfilling of the law.
Tithes, 10%, is still applicable today. Tithes is of everything. Tithes is given out of love, not out of requirement.
Kenneth, Paul did not teach tithing. You, yourself, just stated that Paul taught giving. Using OT scripture to justify NT living just doesn’t cut it unless you can add NT scripture to the OT scripture. Luke 11:42 and Matthew 23:23 are both OT. Jesus, himself taught giving. He spoke highly of the widow who gave 1 penny and not the people who tithed. Also, they were still living under the OT law. There were only 2 occurrences of people talking about tithing before the law. Abraham tithed of someone else’s things and not his own. Jacob made a conditional promise to tithe and it is nowhere recorded that he kept that promise. Also, there is nowhere in scripture where God changes the tithe from animals and fruits of the ground to money. Jesus taught giving and He is the final authority. Even when the 1st tabernacle was built in the wilderness, it was from a free will offering. Tithing done because we don’t want to be cursed is fear based (Malachi 3). 1John 4:8 says that God is love. 1John 4:18 says that there is no fear in love. So, tithing due to fear is not of God.
Rev. Kenneth M. Thames, Sr. says
Paul used Old Testament scriptures to teach the “New” Testament. Jesus used Old Testament scriptures to give instruction. The New Testament is the spiritual manifestation of the physical representation of the Old Testament. The Old Testament is not OLD as in “no longer applies.” The Old Testament means that it is before Christ died and was raised.
Saying that we Tithe for fear of the curse is like saying we live saved for fear of hell.
We Tithe because of the Love we have for God. We are blessed because we tithe. Show me where we were commanded to stop tithing.
As for tithing being only of fruit, vegetable, and cattle, I have already shown you the error of that thought. If you start at verse 1, you will see that EVERYTHING is given a value and the tithe is of everything. The Land, trees, and cattle is further explanation that these things are not to be picked over. The best is not to be kept for themselves and the worst given. Neither is the best to be given and the worst kept.
Simply 1/10 is to be given. One tenth of all. Those verses did not limit the tithe to the land, trees, and cattle.
You are limiting scripture to your own belief so that you don’t have to give. Again, I ask, if a person was not a farmer or a cowboy, they didn’t tithe? Where does it say that everyone owned these things?
When Abraham came back from the war with the spoils, those WERE his things. He got them in war. They became his INCREASE. And that’s what he gave of.
Tithing is a biblical principle that is still alive and well today.
The LAW is love. Everything we do according to the law is for love of God and love of our brothers and sisters. Tithing is love.