Is Tithing Taught In The Bible? Will The Practice Of Tithing Honor God, And Bring Blessing To Individuals, Families, Churches, and America?
Hey American Individuals and Nation:
In answer to the question: Is tithing taught in the Bible? Let me begin by saying, “It all seems to depend on who is doing the teaching.” For the doctrine of tithing is built upon the Law, and the movement in the Christian faith in modern generations in America has been away from obedience to Yehovah’s laws, (Yehovah, pronounced Ye-Ho-Vah, is the ancient name of God Almighty, whom the translators of almost all modern English translations translated into the title LORD nearly 7,000 times, thereby denying the name of God) therefore, this doctrine, like numerous others is not in many cases being taught as it ought to be.
I have now maintained an open Christian testimony for 45 years since I committed myself to Yeshua at the age of 14. I guess you could say that through most of those years I was very much what might be called a “Church Boy”, being continually found in the company, and efforts of the local Church. Yet, in complete honesty, I have to admit that at no time in all those years do I remember ever hearing what I believe was a well-rounded sermon in reference to tithing. I will admit that I heard many pleas for money, and exhortations to give, for it seems that the offering plate deplores being empty. Yet, I do not recall ever hearing what I believe was a solid, well rounded Bible based explanation as to why a Christian should tithe. I am saddened to have to admit to this.
Therefore, I am also saddened to admit that it was not until more recent years that I came to an understanding as to what I believe to be a more true, and fuller perspective on tithing, which was not possible until the Holy Spirit dealt with me concerning the reality that Yehovah’s laws have never been made void. This truth is found expressly stated in Romans 3:31, which in modern English could be said this way, “Does the faith of the Christian make the Law void? Certainly not, rather it establishes it.” We as Christians must understand that “the faith which was once delivered unto the saints” (Jude :3b KJV) was/is a Hebrew faith, and remains today a faith that sprang from the Law, the Prophets, and the Psalms. In fact, the earliest New Testament ministers did not possess the New Testament Scriptures, but preached and taught exclusively from the Old Testament. If we will be wise, we must follow their example and draw from the Old Testament as well as the New Testament writings. Even as our Lord Yeshua teaches us, as is stated, “Therefore every scribe which is instructed unto the kingdom of heaven is like unto a man that is an householder, which bringeth forth out of his treasure things new and old.” (Matthew 13:52 KJV) When I began to understand that Yehovah’s laws are not void, I was only then able to perceive the truer-fuller view of the doctrine of tithing, as was the case of numerous other doctrinal issues. As a truer and fuller view of the doctrine of tithing came to me, I have to admit my faith was extremely boosted to obey and cooperate with the Lord in regards to tithing. For remember, faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the Word of God. (Romans 10:13) It is impossible to create faith in any person until the word of God is bought to him or her. That one must hear His word, experience the Holy Spirit’s conviction, and this will allow for his/her understanding to be enlarged. There is a hint preacher: If your Church people aren’t believing God as they ought, it is assuredly true that they are not receiving the Word of God as they need to. Therefore, you as a minister of the Word need to sharpen and intensify your skills and efforts to do your part to feed them the pure word of God.
Let’s Do A Walk Through The Bible Looking For Enlightenment Concerning The Doctrine Of Tithing, And I Do Not Mean For This Brief Article To Be Taken As An Exhaustive Statement Concerning Tithing
Genesis 14:20—Speaks of an example of Abraham paying tithe of all that he had. This man of God followed Yehovah in the practice of tithing even before the Law was giving in written form to the people of faith by Moses the Servant of Yehovah. Genesis 26:5 says that it was the practice of Abraham’s life to obey God’s laws. (Tithing being one of them) Again, He did this even before they were written done, for Moses, and the “giving of the Law” did not come on the scene until a few hundred years later. The Jews followed Abraham because he was their natural father, and to those that believed, Abraham was also the father of their faith. I, as a Christian follow Abraham’s example because he was spoken of by the apostles as a man of faith, and the father of the believing. So I, as a Christian consider myself a child of Abraham, in that I am a child of faith. (Ro. 2:28-29, Ro. 4:11-12) So therefore, I believe it wise and good to follow the precedent of practice established by the example of Abraham, who remains to this day an example of solid and intelligent faith. I believe this point in itself contains solid Biblical reasoning supporting the practice of tithing.
Genesis 28:22—Jacob, the grandson of Abraham, who himself became one of the three original pillars of the faith of Yehovah, after experiencing an encounter with Yehovah made a vow that he would make it the practice of his life to surrender to Yehovah one tenth of all that he possessed. Similar to the example of Abraham, I believe it wise to allow the practice of Jacob’s faith to be taken as a precedent in respect to Christian thought and behavior.
The New Testament apostles communicated that by Yehovah’s hand there was a changing of the Priesthood, which put into effect changes in the Law. (Heb. 7-12) They taught that Yeshua has become our new and abiding High Priest, and that He performs His High Priestly duties from heaven. (Heb. 7:12, Heb. 8:1-2, Heb. 9:28, Heb. 9:11) Further, they communicated that we as Believers now possess the duty and calling of priests of God, (1 Pet. 2:9) and that among us as Believers Yehovah calls forth certain to positions of service to the people of God, like unto the Levites of old who were ministers of the then tabernacle, or temple of Yehovah. These are called to live off the offerings of the people of God. (1 Co. 9: 13-14, 1 Tim. 5:17-18, Gal. 6:6, Mat. 10:10, Phil. 4:10-19) And that beyond the service of the maintenance and spread of the Gospel we as Christians are responsible to aide the poor and needy among us. (2 Co. 9:1-15, Acts 11:29-30, 1 Co. 16:1, Gal. 2:10, Ro. 15:26, 2 Co 8:1-3)
Leviticus 27:30-33—Speaks as a point of law that all tithe (The term tithe means tenth) belongs to Yehovah. Now of course we understand that God owns the whole world, but He has determined not to rule the world in a dictatorial manner, but rather to entrust all affairs of life to the management of mankind. All men, whether believing or unbelieving are stewards of every aspect of life. God being the Lord and Owner, we being the ones who manage. We as men have ownership in respect to one another, but not in respect to God, for He owns us, therefore, he owns what we possess. In this arrangement He has commanded that men exercise faith to return to Him one-tenth of all their increase; according to how Yehovah as given to a man, that man must return to God one tenth.
Numbers Chapter 18: 1-32—Firstly speaks of the reality that the then priests, both the Levitical Priesthood, and the Aaronic Priesthood were held responsible to keep themselves and their duties free from the violation of Yehovah’s laws, (Numbers 18:1-2) and that they were to fulfill their ministries unto Yehovah’s praise, and the blessing of the people of God. (Numbers 18:4-7) This same reality exists today in the New Testament Church as is reflected in these verses: “Not many of you should presume to be teachers, my brothers, because you know that we who teach will be judged more strictly.” (James 3:1 NIV) For we are not as many, which corrupt the word of God: but as of sincerity, but as of God, in the sight of God, speak we in Christ. (2 Co. 2:17 KJV) But we have renounced the hidden things of dishonesty, not walking in craftiness, nor handling the word of God deceitfully: but by manifestation of the truth commending ourselves to every man’s conscience in the sight of God.” (2 Co. 4:2 KJV) These verses suggest to us that it is entirely proper for the minister of God to make a living off the Gospel, but in doing so he must take heed that He never abuses His position among the people of God, for the Almighty will hold him responsible.
The Levitical Priesthood was by Yehovah’s direction to collect the tithe from the people, the which they were to live off, a portion of it being used as sacrifices unto Yehovah, and a tithe of their substance was to be submitted to those of the Priesthood of Aaron. As they were to receive the best of everything from the hand of the people, they were then to pass unto those of the Aaronic Priesthood the very best of everything. (Numbers 18:8-32) These practices serve as an example, a picture if you will, of the New Testament priesthood of the Believer, particularly those called to full time ministry. (Heb. 8: 4-4-5) Other examples of the support of ministers under the Mosaic law are: Lev. 2:3, 10:13, 27:21, Nu. 3:48, 5:9, Dt. 18:3, 2 Ki. 2:16, 2 Chron. 31:5-6, Ne. 10:38, 13:12, and I suppose one of the most famous set of Scriptures, “Bring ye all the tithes into the storehouse, that there may be meat in mine house, and prove me now herewith, saith the Lord of hosts, if I will not open you the windows of heaven, and pour you out a blessing, that there shall not be room enough to receive it. And I will rebuke the devourer for your sakes, and he shall not destroy the fruit of your ground; neither shall your vine cast her fruit before the time in the field, saith the LORD (Yehovah) of hosts. And all nations shall call you blessed: for ye shall be a delightsome land, saith the LORD (Yehovah) of hosts**.”** (Mal. 3:10-12 KJV) Malachi’s prophetic wisdom not only offers instruction, but much promise pertaining to the blessing of Yehovah for those who will by faith obey His law to surrender a portion of their livelihood as a tithe to God.
Did Yeshua Support The Practice Of Tithing?
Yes, He did, and an honest look at Scripture expresses that Yeshua taught that beyond the tithe we as Believers are to live a life void of covetousness and hypocrisy, where all our possessions are to honor Him, and fulfill His purposes in the world.
- Woe unto you scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For ye pay tithe of mint and anise and cumin, 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. (Mat. 23:23 KJV) It is clearly expressed in this verse that Yeshua’s attitude is that tithing is not the most weighty matter of the Law, but that none the less, it should not be neglected.
- Take heed that ye do not your alms before men, to be seen of them: otherwise ye have no reward of your Father which is in heaven**.** (Mat. 6:1 KJV) Here we see a warning expressed that in our giving we must avoid hypocrisy, and that rather we should seek our Heavenly Father’s approval and reward.
- …If thou wilt be perfect, go and sell that thou hast, and give to the poor, and thou shalt have treasure in heaven: and come and follow me. This statement in the first person was spoken by Yeshua to a rich young ruler that obviously lived a high moral life, but Yeshua expressed to him that in order for him to be complete in reference to faith toward God he must from his heart be free of all covetousness. That he must be willing to consecrate all his possessions to God, and then according to God’s will surrender them completely as is shown in the giving of them to the poor. These verses express a similar thought: 11:41, Lk. 12:33, Lk. 18:22, Lk. 19:8-9
- Ye cannot serve God and mammon. (money) (Lk. 16:13b KJV) Brothers and sisters, Yeshua’s teaching went far beyond the mechanical obedience to the Law to submit ten percent of one’s income to the Lord. His communication was that the Holy Spirit must have full control of our hearts, so that all of who we are, and all that we possess are at His disposal. (Lk. 16:1-15)
Interestingly, the word tithe is not to be found in the writings of the New Testament Epistles. However, as we have already established the writers of these books were Jews who had grown up under the Law, and saw the Gospel as an obvious fulfillment of the commands of the Law and the Old Testament Prophets, therefore their faith was based in the Law. Therefore, they obviously believed in, and taught that we as the people of God ought to tithe on that which the Lord has put into our hands to be stewards of.
Although I believe the wisdom of the Scripture teaches that the greater portion of the tithe ought to go to the work of the ministry, it is also very obvious that Yehovah expects His own to be generous and supportive to the poor, be they widows and orphans, or people who for one reason or another are challenged, and therefore in need. The following is a list of verses which I put forth to establish the claim that it is godly and wise to support the poor, to be generous and give, and to keep the right attitude toward our money and possessions.
Helping The Poor
Whoever is generous to the poor lends to the Lord, and he will repay him for his deed. (Prov. 19:17 ESV)
Give to the one who begs from you, and do not refuse the one who would borrow from you. (Matthew 5:42 ESV)
In all things I have shown you that by working hard in this way we must help the weak and remember the words of the Lord Jesus, how he himself said, ‘It is more blessed to give than to receive.’ (Acts 20:35 ESV)
He said also to the man who had invited him, “When you give a dinner or a banquet, do not invite your friends or your brothers or your relatives or rich neighbors, lest they also invite you in return and you be repaid. But when you give a feast, invite the poor, the crippled, the lame, the blind, and you will be blessed, because they cannot repay you. For you will be repaid at the resurrection of the just**.”** (Lk. 14:12-14 ESV)
Sell your possessions, and give to the needy. Provide yourselves with moneybags that do not grow old, with a treasure in the heavens that does not fail, where no thief approaches and no moth destroys. For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also**.** (Luke 12:33-34 ESV)
Whoever has a bountiful eye will be blessed, for he shares his bread with the poor**.** (Prov. 22:9 ESV)
If you pour yourself out for the hungry and satisfy the desire of the afflicted, then shall your light rise in the darkness and your gloom be as the noonday. (Is. 58:10 ESV)
“If among you, one of your brothers should become poor, in any of your towns within your land that the Lord your God is giving you, you shall not harden your heart or shut your hand against your poor brother, but you shall open your hand to him and lend him sufficient for his need, whatever it may be. Take care lest there be an unworthy thought in your heart and you say, ‘The seventh year, the year of release is near,’ and your eye look grudgingly on your poor brother, and you give him nothing, and he cry to the Lord against you, and you be guilty of sin. You shall give to him freely, and your heart shall not be grudging when you give to him, because for this the Lord your God will bless you in all your work and in all that you undertake. For there will never cease to be poor in the land. Therefore, I command you, ‘You shall open wide your hand to your brother, to the needy and to the poor, in your land.**’** (Duet. 15:7-11 ESV)
And he answered them, “Whoever has two tunics is to share with him who has none, and whoever has food is to do likewise.” (Lk. 3:11 ESV)
Then the King will say to those on his right, ‘Come, you who are blessed by my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world. For I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me drink, I was a stranger and you welcomed me, I was naked and you clothed me, I was sick and you visited me, I was in prison and you came to me.’ Then the righteous will answer him, saying, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you drink? And when did we see you a stranger and welcome you, or naked and clothe you? … (Mat. 25:34-46 ESV)
Only, they asked us to remember the poor, the very thing I was eager to do. (Gal. 2:10 ESV)
For there will never cease to be poor in the land. Therefore, I command you, ‘You shall open wide your hand to your brother, to the needy and to the poor, in your land.’ (Duet. 15:11 ESV)
Whoever despises his neighbor is a sinner, but blessed is he who is generous to the poor**.** (Prov. 14:21 ESV)
Whoever oppresses a poor man insults his Maker, but he who is generous to the needy honors him. (Prov. 14:31 ESV)
Religion that is pure and undefiled before God, the Father, is this: to visit orphans and widows in their affliction, and to keep oneself unstained from the world. (Ja. 1:27 ESV)
“When you reap the harvest of your land, you shall not reap your field right up to its edge, neither shall you gather the gleanings after your harvest. And you shall not strip your vineyard bare, neither shall you gather the fallen grapes of your vineyard. You shall leave them for the poor and for the sojourner: I am the Lord your God. (Lev. 19:9-10 ESV)
Jesus looked up and saw the rich putting their gifts into the offering box, and he saw a poor widow put in two small copper coins. And he said, “Truly, I tell you, this poor widow has put in more than all of them. For they all contributed out of their abundance, but she out of her poverty put in all she had to live on.” (Lk. 21:1-4 ESV)
“If your brother becomes poor and cannot maintain himself with you, you shall support him as though he were a stranger and a sojourner, and he shall live with you. (Lev. 25:35 ESV)
But if anyone does not provide for his relatives, and especially for members of his household, he has denied the faith and is worse than an unbeliever. (1Tim. 5:8 ESV)
Whoever gives to the poor will not want, but he who hides his eyes will get many a curse. (Prov. 28:27 ESV)
Jesus replied, “A man was going down from Jerusalem to Jericho, and he fell among robbers, who stripped him and beat him and departed, leaving him half dead. Now by chance a priest was going down that road, and when he saw him he passed by on the other side. So likewise a Levite, when he came to the place and saw him, passed by on the other side. But a Samaritan, as he journeyed, came to where he was, and when he saw him, he had compassion. He went to him and bound up his wounds, pouring on oil and wine. Then he set him on his own animal and brought him to an inn and took care of him. Lk. 10:30-37 ESV)
“At the end of every three years you shall bring out all the tithe of your produce in the same year and lay it up within your towns. And the Levite, because he has no portion or inheritance with you, and the sojourner, the fatherless, and the widow, who are within your towns, shall come and eat and be filled, that the Lord your God may bless you in all the work of your hands that you do. (Deuteronomy 14:28-29 ESV)
But the seventh year you shall let it rest and lie fallow, that the poor of your people may eat; and what they leave the beasts of the field may eat. You shall do likewise with your vineyard, and with your olive orchard. (Exodus 23:11 ESV)
Sell your possessions, and give to the needy. Provide yourselves with moneybags that do not grow old, with a treasure in the heavens that does not fail, where no thief approaches and no moth destroys. (Luke 12:33 ESV)
“No one can serve two masters, for either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and money. (Matthew 6:24 ESV)
Behold, this was the guilt of your sister Sodom: she and her daughters had pride, excess of food, and prosperous ease, but did not aid the poor and needy. (Ezekiel 16:49 ESV)
He has filled the hungry with good things, and the rich he has sent away empty. (Luke 1:53 ESV)
“Is not this the fast that I choose: to loose the bonds of wickedness, to undo the straps of the yoke, to let the oppressed go free, and to break every yoke? Is it not to share your bread with the hungry and bring the homeless poor into your house; when you see the naked, to cover him, and not to hide yourself from your own flesh? (Isaiah 58:6-7 ESV)
“There was a rich man who was clothed in purple and fine linen and who feasted sumptuously every day. And at his gate was laid a poor man named Lazarus, covered with sores, who desired to be fed with what fell from the rich man’s table. Moreover, even the dogs came and licked his sores. The poor man died and was carried by the angels to Abraham’s side. The rich man also died and was buried, and in Hades, being in torment, he lifted up his eyes and saw Abraham far off and Lazarus at his side. (Luke 16:19-31 ESV)
For you have been a stronghold to the poor, a stronghold to the needy in his distress, a shelter from the storm and a shade from the heat; for the breath of the ruthless is like a storm against a wall**,** (Isaiah 25:4 ESV)
“You shall do no injustice in court. You shall not be partial to the poor or defer to the great, but in righteousness shall you judge your neighbor. (Leviticus 19:15 ESV)
To the choirmaster. A Psalm of David. Blessed is the one who considers the poor! In the day of trouble the Lord delivers him; the Lord protects him and keeps him alive; he is called blessed in the land; you do not give him up to the will of his enemies. (Psalm 41:1-2 ESV)
Now the full number of those who believed were of one heart and soul, and no one said that any of the things that belonged to him was his own, but they had everything in common. And with great power the apostles were giving their testimony to the resurrection of the Lord Jesus, and great grace was upon them all. There was not a needy person among them, for as many as were owners of lands or houses sold them and brought the proceeds of what was sold and laid it at the apostles’ feet, and it was distributed to each as any had need. (Acts 4:32-35 ESV)
The people of the land have practiced extortion and committed robbery. They have oppressed the poor and needy, and have extorted from the sojourner without justice. (Ezekiel 22:29 ESV)
They have grown fat and sleek. They know no bounds in deeds of evil; they judge not with justice the cause of the fatherless, to make it prosper, and they do not defend the rights of the needy. (Jeremiah 5:28 ESV)
An American Watchman,
Gregory A DeHart