Tithes and Offerings

The First Tithe

Tithes and offerings are Biblical, from the beginning to the end. Tithing started when  Abram (Abraham) tithed to Melchizedek in Genesis 14:

Then Melchizedek king of Salem brought out bread and wine; he was the priest of God Most High. And he blessed him and said:

“Blessed be Abram of God Most High,
Possessor of heaven and earth;

And blessed be God Most High,
Who has delivered your enemies into your hand.”

And he gave him a tithe of all (Genesis 14:18-20).

This happened before Moses received the Law from God and the nation of Israel was founded (Exodus 19 and 20).

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Included in the Law

Of course, we know that God included tithing in the Law as we see in Leviticus 27:30-32. Tithing is ten percent of the income a person makes. If you have no income, there are no tithes to be paid, but we are encouraged to give offerings unto the Lord as we can clearly see in the following section.

Malachi 3:8-11

Will a man rob God? Yet ye have robbed me. But ye say, Wherein have we robbed thee? In tithes and offerings. Ye are cursed with a curse: for ye have robbed me, even this whole nation. 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 fruits of your ground; neither shall your vine cast her fruit before the time in the field, saith the Lord of hosts (Malachi 3:8-11.)

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Verse 10 is the only verse in the Bible where God asks us to prove Him. This tells us that by tithing and giving, we will be blessed beyond belief.

Jesus Teaches Us To Tithe and Give

Many Christians debate whether or not the New Testament teaches tithing and giving. Jesus absolutely teaches that we should tithe and give. In Matthew 23:23 He clearly tells the Pharisees that it is correct to tithe, but not to forget judgment, mercy, and faith:

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 (Matthew 23:23).

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In Mark 12:41-44, Jesus clearly encourages us to give no matter how much we have or how much we don't have, but He clearly takes notice of giving out of what we don't have.

And Jesus sat over against the treasury, and beheld how the people cast money into the treasury: and many that were rich cast in much. And there came a certain poor widow, and she threw in two mites, which make a farthing. And he called unto him his disciples, and saith unto them, Verily I say unto you, That this poor widow hath cast more in, than all they which have cast into the treasury: For all they did cast in of their abundance; but she of her want did cast in all that she had, even all her living (Mark 12:41-44).

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The Apostle Paul

God Loves One Who Sows Bountifully and is a Cheerful Giver

But this I say: He who sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and he who sows bountifully will also reap bountifully. So let each one give as he purposes in his heart, not grudgingly or of necessity; for God loves a cheerful giver (2 Corinthians 9:6-7).

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Giving to Other Saints

Now concerning the collection for the saints, as I have given orders to the churches of Galatia, so you must do also: On the first day of the week let each one of you lay something aside, storing up as he may prosper, that there be no collections when I come.  And when I come, whomever you approve by your letters I will send to bear your gift to Jerusalem. But if it is fitting that I go also, they will go with me.  (1 Corinthians 16:1-4).

Rights of Ministers To Financial Support

Paul clearly teaches that ministers have the right to financial support from the church as seen in what he writes to the Corinthians. So if you are a pastor who won't use tithes and offerings to support you and your family, read carefully what he writes:

Am I not an apostle? Am I not free? Have I not seen Jesus Christ our Lord? Are you not my work in the Lord? If I am not an apostle to others, yet doubtless I am to you. For you are the seal of my apostleship in the Lord.  My defense to those who examine me is this: Do we have no right to eat and drink?  Do we have no right to take along a believing wife, as do also the other apostles, the brothers of the Lord, and Cephas? Or is it only Barnabas and I who have no right to refrain from working?  Who ever goes to war at his own expense? Who plants a vineyard and does not eat of its fruit? Or who tends a flock and does not drink of the milk of the flock? Do I say these things as a mere man? Or does not the law say the same also?  For it is written in the law of Moses, “You shall not muzzle an ox while it treads out the grain.” Is it oxen God is concerned about? Or does He say it altogether for our sakes? For our sakes, no doubt, this is written, that he who plows should plow in hope, and he who threshes in hope should be partaker of his hope. If we have sown spiritual things for you, is it a great thing if we reap your material things? If others are partakers of this right over you, are we not even more?  (1 Corinthians 9:1-1).

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If a Minister Refuses Financial Support

Even though the Apostle Paul had a right to take financial support from the church in Corinth, as we just read, he didn't.  Instead, he supported himself as a tent maker alongside Aquilla and Priscilla:

After these things Paul departed from Athens, and came to Corinth; And found a certain Jew named Aquila, born in Pontus, lately come from Italy, with his wife Priscilla; (because that Claudius had commanded all Jews to depart from Rome:) and came unto them. And because he was of the same craft, he abode with them, and wrought: for by their occupation they were tentmakers (Acts 18:1-3).

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But if a pastor does not use tithes and offerings to provide for his family, he must work, otherwise, he denies the faith and is worse than an unbeliever, an infidel (1Timothy 5:8)

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No true rest can be found when one is not right with God:

For the bed is too short to stretch out on,
And the covering so narrow that one cannot wrap himself in it (Isaiah 28:20).

So this word from God applies to all that is required by God and His word, including tithes and offerings as taught above.

If we opt out of what God says about tithes and offerings,  we must ask what else have we opted out of that the Bible teaches.

Isaiah 28:20

From Tithes and Offerings to Obeying the Gospel of Jesus Christ

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From Tithes and Offerings to Walking With Jesus