1.† What is a tithe and what is tithing?
Meaning of the word tithe:
The same Hebrew word is translated both tenth and tithe; thus tithe means a tenth.
2 Chronicles 31:5† 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.
The tithe is distinguished from other offerings given to the Lord:
Deuteronomy 12:6† And thither ye shall bring your burnt offerings, and your sacrifices, and your tithes, and heave offerings of your hand, and your vows, and your freewill offerings, and the firstlings of your herds and of your flocks:
2.† Who are to tithe?
Was tithing an Old Testament law?
Leviticus 27:30† And all the tithe of the land, whether of the seed of the land, or of the fruit of the tree, is the LORDíS: it is holy unto the LORD.
Leviticus 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.
Thus, under the law, all of the nation Israel were to tithe.
Was tithing practiced before the law?
Genesis 14:18-20† And Melchizedek king of Salem brought forth bread and wine: and he was the priest of the most high God. 19† And he blessed him, and said, Blessed be Abram of the most high God, possessor of heaven and earth: 20† And blessed be the most high God, which hath delivered thine enemies into thy hand. And he gave him tithes of all.
Genesis 28:22† And this stone, which I have set [for] a pillar, shall be Godís house: and of all that thou shalt give me I will surely give the tenth unto thee.
Thus, Godís people before the law of Moses tithed.
Was tithing practiced in the New Testament?
Matthew 23:23† Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye pay tithe of mint and anise and cummin, and have omitted the weightier matters of the law, judgment, mercy, and faith: these ought ye to have done, and not to leave the other undone.
Hebrews 7:6-8† But he whose descent is not counted from them received tithes of Abraham, and blessed him that had the promises. 7 †And without all contradiction the less is blessed of the better. 8 †And here men that die receive tithes; but there he receiveth them, of whom it is witnessed that he liveth.
We will see more about tithing taught the New Testament in a few minutes.† But suffice it to say that tithing was never abolished in the New Testament, but only affirmed and supported by the New Testament. In the New Testament, based on the analogy in Hebrews Chapter 7, our tithes are a witness that our redeemer and our High Priest liveth. He is not in tomb, but is risen from the grave, and He is ascended on high where He ever liveth to make intercession for us.† Therefore, tithing is an appropriate New Testament witness, and therefore was a New Testament practice.
Thus, Godís people of all ages practiced tithing.† I also believe that because God giveth to all men all things that they possess in this life to enjoy, that all men are also responsible to God to return unto Him the tenth of all that He has blessed them with. So then, all of mankind is responsible to give their tithes to God, and those who do not will give an account to God for robbing Him.
3.† Where are We to Tithe?
In the House of God:
Deuteronomy 12:11† Then there shall be a place which the LORD your God shall choose to cause his name to dwell there; thither shall ye bring all that I command you; your burnt offerings, and your sacrifices, your tithes, and the heave offering of your hand, and all your choice vows which ye vow unto the LORD:
Nehemiah 10:37-38† And [that] we should bring the firstfruits of our dough, and our offerings, and the fruit of all manner of trees, of wine and of oil, unto the priests, to the chambers of the house of our God; and the tithes of our ground unto the Levites, that the same Levites might have the tithes in all the cities of our tillage. 38 †And the priest the son of Aaron shall be with the Levites, when the Levites take tithes: and the Levites shall bring up the tithe of the tithes unto the house of our God, to the chambers, into the treasure house.
1 Timothy 3:15† But if I tarry long, that thou mayest know how thou oughtest to behave thyself in the house of God, which is the church of the living God, the pillar and ground of the truth.
4.† What was the purpose of the Tithe?
Primarily for the support of Godís ministers:
Numbers 18:21† And, behold, I have given the children of Levi all the tenth in Israel for an inheritance, for their service which they serve, [even] the service of the tabernacle of the congregation.
Numbers 18:26† Thus speak unto the Levites, and say unto them, When ye take of the children of Israel the tithes which I have given you from them for your inheritance, then ye shall offer up an heave offering of it for the LORD, [even] a tenth [part] of the tithe.
Numbers 18:24† But the tithes of the children of Israel, which they offer as an heave offering unto the LORD, I have given to the Levites to inherit: therefore I have said unto them, Among the children of Israel they shall have no inheritance.
Nehemiah 13:10-12† And I perceived that the portions of the Levites had not been given them: for the Levites and the singers, that did the work, were fled every one to his field. 11 †Then contended I with the rulers, and said, Why is the house of God forsaken? And I gathered them together, and set them in their place. 12† Then brought all Judah the tithe of the corn and the new wine and the oil unto the treasuries.
Deuteronomy 12:19† Take heed to thyself that thou forsake not the Levite as long as thou livest upon the earth.
Matthew 10:9-10† Provide neither gold, nor silver, nor brass in your purses, 10† Nor scrip for [your] journey, neither two coats, neither shoes, nor yet staves: for the workman is worthy of his meat.
1 Corinthians 9:9-14† For it is written in the law of Moses, Thou shalt not muzzle the mouth of the ox that treadeth out the corn. Doth God take care for oxen? 10† Or saith he [it] altogether for our sakes? For our sakes, no doubt, [this] is written: that he that ploweth should plow in hope; and that he that thresheth in hope should be partaker of his hope. 11† If we have sown unto you spiritual things, [is it] a great thing if we shall reap your carnal things? 12† If others be partakers of [this] power over you, [are] not we rather? Nevertheless we have not used this power; but suffer all things, lest we should hinder the gospel of Christ. 13† Do ye not know that they which minister about holy things live [of the things] of the temple? and they which wait at the altar are partakers with the altar? 14† Even so hath the Lord ordained that they which preach the gospel should live of the gospel.
Galatians 6:6† Let him that is taught in the word communicate unto him that teacheth in all good things.
5.† What are the blessings and curses associated with tithing?
1† My son, forget not my law; but let thine heart keep my commandments: 2† For length of days, and long life, and peace, shall they add to thee. 3† Let not mercy and truth forsake thee: bind them about thy neck; write them upon the table of thine heart: 4† So shalt thou find favour and good understanding in the sight of God and man. 5† Trust in the LORD with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding. 6† In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths. 7† Be not wise in thine own eyes: fear the LORD, and depart from evil. 8 †It shall be health to thy navel, and marrow to thy bones. 9 †Honour the LORD with thy substance, and with the firstfruits of all thine increase: 10† So shall thy barns be filled with plenty, and thy presses shall burst out with new wine.
Malachi 3:6-12† For I am the LORD, I change not; therefore ye sons of Jacob are not consumed. 7† Even from the days of your fathers ye are gone away from mine ordinances, and have not kept them. Return unto me, and I will return unto you, saith the LORD of hosts. But ye said, Wherein shall we return? 8† Will a man rob God? Yet ye have robbed me. But ye say, Wherein have we robbed thee? In tithes and offerings. 9† Ye are cursed with a curse: for ye have robbed me, even this whole nation. 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 room enough to receive it. 11 †And I will rebuke the devourer for your sakes, and he shall not destroy the fruits of your ground; neither shall your vine cast her fruit before the time in the field, saith the LORD of hosts. 12 †And all nations shall call you blessed: for ye shall be a delightsome land, saith the LORD of hosts.
6.† Is tithing is a fair plan?
1 Corinthians 9:11† If we have sown unto you spiritual things, [is it] a great thing if we shall reap your carnal things?
1 Corinthians 16:2† Upon the first [day] of the week let every one of you lay by him in store, as [God] hath prospered him, that there be no gatherings when I come.
A tenth is fair to everyone.† The rich and poor, and everyone in-between give an equal proportion of the increase that God has first given to them.
7.† How should we tithe?
2 Corinthians 9:6-7† But this I say, He which soweth sparingly shall reap also sparingly; and he which soweth bountifully shall reap also bountifully. 7† Every man according as he purposeth in his heart, so let him give; not grudgingly, or of necessity: for God loveth a cheerful giver.
Some concluding thoughts:
When is it OK with God for us not to tithe?† I will leave this question for you to answer.
Am I trying to squeeze money out of Godís people for personal gain?† Well, Iíll let you answer that question too.
Who benefits from tithing? The preacher, the missionary endeavors of the church, lost souls that are saved through our ministries, the church as a whole because we can do the work of the Lord, the glory of God and the testimony of Jesus Christ, and you personally!
All things considered, Godís people cannot afford not to tithe. The cursings are too costly and the blessings are too great not to tithe.