Tithing Is For Today
"There are three conversions necessary: the conversion of the heart, the mind, and the purse."-Martin Luther
I never would have been able to tithe the first million dollars I ever made if I had not tithed my first salary, which was $1.50 per week.”
— John D. Rockefeller
One of the most famous arguments against the tithe begin with .. Abraham ONLY tithed of the spoils he received after war and the Bible never mentions Abraham tithing again.
Not true .. Hebrews 7 clearly says that Levi who was the head of the Levitical Priesthood, paid tithes (and a plural form is used) through Abraham. Not A tithe but tithes as in more than one. This means that long before the law was established to the Israelites, Abraham was paying tithes and Levi was already considered to be a tither because he is descended from Abraham who is the father of the Israelites. And note in Malachi 3 that God reminds the Israelites of a time BEFORE the law when He speaks about tithing. Mal. 3:5&7. God is recognizing these people as descendants (of Jacob, who is the grandson of Abraham) that have forgotten and lost the inclination to tithe and give offerings.
Hebrews 7 seems to strongly support that there is a spiritual tithe (tithing done in the spirit) and a natural tithe (tithing done in the law). The difference between tithing spiritually and tithing lawfully is the attitude (not the obedient act of itself). Abraham rendered tithes (voluntarily) while the Israelites were commanded to render tithes (meaning they were in disobedience because they were NOT paying tithes). (It is God's obligation to us that He give us natural instruction since we are a natural people.) And Malachi (as well as other verses where God commands a tithe) is our natural instruction.
Everything on this earth as well as the earth itself belongs to God. (Ps. 89:11) We are merely handlers of what belongs to Him. Many 'against the tithe teaching' claim that when we tithe we are showing that we give God ten percent while we keep the other ninety percent for ourselves. However, this is an untrue and an unfair assessment about the tither. The truth is that we pay God ten percent because we understand that all DOES belong to Him and we are acting in obedience. Paying a tithe is our way of acknowledging that we understand that all belongs to Him. The Word is emphatic about faith being accompanied by works. Though our works are nothing in and of themselves, God requires our belief to be taken to another level which is faith. And faith requires us to not just say or think but to DO. Tithing is our 'DO' that says we know all is God's. Faith is belief in action and tithing is an example of our faith in His Word.
Also, the 'against the tithe teachers' argue profusely that Abraham is a one-time tither and that he never tithed of his own possessions (but of the spoils he got from war). If this were true .. Could God call Abraham 'the FATHER of many nations'? Gen. 17:5 And Paul also called Abraham the father of believers. Rom. 4:11 Notice that in most passages where the Word uses the term 'father' it reflects a behavior used by an individual that will be passed down throughout generations. God is called our 'Father' and we are to follow His example. God does not follow our example. Jesus said He can only do what the Father does and does nothing on His own. John 5:19 And Jesus admonishes the Pharisees of His time that they were acting like their father, the devil. John 8:44 In John 8:39 Jesus tells the Pharisees that they cannot call Abraham their father unless they do as Abraham did. These examples all show that the father must do first what the children will do in retrospect. The children (those descended from Abraham) were tithers therefore Abraham HAD to be a tither first since he is considered (by God) to be their father. The children are to do as the parent, not the parent does as the children. God would not use the term 'father' so loosely. Therefore, if Abraham paid tithes to Melchisedec, then we who are considered to be his descendant through Christ, must also pay tithes to the higher priest .. Jesus Christ. (Though our tithes go to men who die, it is acknowledged in heaven as going to the One who lives.) Hebrews 7:8 And here is something to think about. How could Cain have sinned against God in his giving, if there was no rule (or law) in the first place, since sin is the transgression of the law? 1 John 3:4
Note that the tithe is a separate issue from the offering. Tithing is not giving. Tithing is paying or rendering what God says is due and is always ten percent of what we accrue in a day or a week or a month even. The offering is given only OF the nine-tenths of what we have left after paying the ten percent or tithe. It is impossible to give an offering without tithing is first done, since an offering can only be made from the nine-tenths that we still have in our possession. Tithing does not cover the offering and God demands both tithing and an offering. Mal. 3:8 The offering is separate and as equally important as the tithe.
Some 'against the tithe' teachers say that God does not need our money, He is not broke. Well, duh. But, He does want me to learn to be obedient and He does want me to learn to give. God lays down the tithing command for my sake (and the sake of His gospel), not His. Tithes and offerings are for our benefit, and gives God an open door into which He can bless us financially. When we are blessed financially then we can become a blessing to others. Tithing also testifies to our faithfulness in stewardship. (Being led to give cannot do this since we do not always hear when God speaks to us .. And faithfulness is not faulty.) Also, if you cannot believe that the tenth belongs to Him, you cannot believe that it all belongs to Him and there is no confidence in His supremacy.
Tithes and offerings bring the spiritual law of sowing and reaping into the natural. Gal. 6:7 The tithe is considered to be holy to the Lord (this means it is the pick of the crop or the firstfruits). Even the farmers of today use this technique when planting crops. The best of the crops' seeds that are harvested are set aside and are selected for the next planting. It is a genetically engineered way to guarantee a productive and healthy crop. The offerings are equally important and are released from the ninety percent that we use to pay for a living. Offerings can be prayed over and we can be led in how much to give when we do get our direction from the Holy Spirit. But, an offering is to be given even when we do not get direction and the amount can be up to us. The tithe amount is not up to us since 'tithe' means ten percent and is always ten percent. There is no such thing as a twelve percent tithe. Or a fifteen percent tithe. Twelve percent would be the tithe plus an offering of two percent and fifteen would be the tithe plus a five percent offering.
And for those that argue we do not follow the Mosaic laws, we are under the law of grace .. We also do not throw out the baby with the bath water. There are laws that Jesus Christ fulfilled and we no longer are to practice. But, there are also laws in the OT that we DO follow and keep in our hearts and minds forever. Let the Holy Spirit shed light on this and ask God for discernment in this area. To make a claim 'it is the OT therefore it does not count' is spurious and dangerous for the believer's walk of victory on this earth. To make the claim that the OT does not count might simply be a way of covering up or making an excuse for the sin of one who is making such a claim.
And finally, tithing is just plain common sense on so many levels. Both spiritual sense and natural common sense. How can men and women of God keep the church up and running without money? How do the bills get paid if the leaders of a church are not sure where they will get their next dollar or how much that dollar amount might be? Running a church is much like running a household. We run a household because we understand over a period of time, what our bills are and what our income will be. The church needs to know that there is faithfulness in both giving and in paying tithes, so the church can pay the bills and distribute money to other ministries and missions. ( Wow, think of how productive a church could be with faithful tithers and givers of offerings!)
When God tells us to test Him, He is not speaking to the unbeliever. Mal. 3:10 He is speaking to the believer. In other words, He is not speaking to those that are trying to prove Him wrong. He is speaking to those that want to prove Him right. So, if you have tried tithing and it did not work for you or it became too much of a burden or a bondage, then ask God to help you to prove Him right. Ask Him to help you believe and begin again to tithe with the intention of proving God's Word to be true.
And most important of all .. Tithing is not about the money (though we do use money to tithe) and that is why so many get confused or turned off or mislead or deceived about tithing. When our attention is focused on the monetary unit, there will be few of us who find tithing to have any form of comfort or delight, at the first. But, when we bear in mind that in tithing we are being obedient and faithful (faithfulness requires diligence and continuity), we can get past the fears and the hesitancy concerning the tithe and experience the freedom that only comes with obedience, and the security of knowing we have allowed God access into our financial lives.