Why do we pay tithes and give offerings to God; or why do we pay tithes and give offerings to the church?
To answer this it would be easy just to go to the written word of God, The Holy Bible and say the Scriptures tell us to tithe. Indeed they command us to pay tithes and give offerings to the Lord our God.
Also there are practical reasons why we pay tithes and give offerings to God by giving to your local church. Somehow we have to raise the money needed to pay those who preach, those on staff, and to maintain our buildings and expand them as necessary.
Deuteronomy 14:22 You shall truly tithe all the increase of your seed, that the field brings forth year by year.
Malachi 3:10a Bring you all the tithes into the storehouse, that there may be meat in my house,
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 LORD'S: it is holy unto the LORD. 31 And if a man will at all buy back any of his tithes, he shall add to it a fifth part. 32 And concerning the tithe of the herd, or of the flock, even of whatsoever passes under the rod, the tenth shall be holy unto the LORD.
But the main reason we should give, is because we love God. When we give of our tithes and offerings to God with a generous, grateful and joyful heart this is an expression, an out working of our love towards God. Likewise when we give with a heart full of compassion, giving joyfully and generously to the poor and needy, we are an expression of God’s love towards others.
In this way we fulfill the two greatest commandments.
Matthew 22:36 Master, which is the great commandment in the law? 37 Jesus said unto him, you shall love the Lord thy God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind. 38 This is the first and great commandment. 39 And the second is like it, you shall love your neighbour as yourself. 40 On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets.
For many of those who are strongly opposed to tithing, it is battle between whom or what do they love. Do they love God or do they love money.
Matthew 6:19 Lay not up for yourselves treasures upon earth, where moth and rust doth corrupt, and where thieves break through and steal: 20 But lay up for yourselves treasures above, where neither moth nor rust doth corrupt, and where thieves do not break through nor steal: 21 For where your treasure is there will your heart be also. 22 The light of the body is the eye: if therefore your eye be unclouded, your whole body shall be full of light. 23 But if your eye be clouded by evil, your whole body shall be full of darkness. If therefore the light that is in you is darkness, how great is that darkness! 24 No man can serve two masters: for either he will hate the one, and love the other; or else he will hold to the one, and despise the other. You cannot serve God and mammon.
The suggestion of Jesus Christ words in Matthew 6:19 - 24, is that if you lay up treasures upon the earth and not above, your spiritual eyes are clouded by evil; and there is a very real danger you will be drawn away from serving God, to the serving the demon of mammon. (Mammon was worshiped by pagans as the god of wealth and money.)
1 Timothy 6:8 And having food and clothing let us be therefore be content. 9 But they that desire to become rich fall into temptation and snares, and into many foolish and hurtful lusts, which drown men in ruin and destruction. 10 For the love of money is the root of all evil: which while some desired after, they have strayed from the faith, and pierced themselves through with many sorrows.
This is not meant to be a complete list or a legal list, but a suggested guide.
Mosses took up an offering to build the Sanctuary of God (Exodus 25:1 – 90).
A portion of the tithe is to be set aside for the Levite (the pastors and church staff), the stranger (missions), the fatherless, and the widow (Deu 14:27 – 29; 26:12 – 13; & Num 18:21).
Deuteronomy 14:27 And the Levite that is within your gates; you shall not forsake him; for he has neither part nor inheritance with thee. 28 At the end of three years you shall bring forth all the tithe of thine increase the same year, and shall lay it up within your gates: 29 And the Levite, (because he has no part nor inheritance with you,) and the stranger, and the fatherless, and the widow, which are within your gates, shall come, and shall eat and be satisfied; that the LORD your God may bless you in all the work of your hand which you do.
Num 18:21 And, see, 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.
Neither is this Old Testament teaching only, but also New Testament teaching.
The early church did not neglect the feeding and care of the widows (Acts 6:1 – 3).
1 Corinthians 9:9 For it is written in the Law of Moses, You shall not muzzle the mouth of the ox that treads out the corn. Does God take care for oxen? 10 Or did he not say it entirely for our sakes? For our sakes, no doubt, this is written: that he that ploughs should plough in hope; and that he that threshes 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 much more? Nevertheless we have not used this power; but suffer all things, lest we should hinder the good news of Christ. 13 Do you 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 the Lord has commanded that they which preach the gospel should live of the good news.
1: Tithing is Old Covenant (Old Testament). As born again Spirit filled Christians we are no longer under the Old Covenant (Old Testament) but under the New. Therefore we no longer have to tithe.
2: Tithing is of the Law. As born again Spirit filled Christians we are no longer under the Law, for Jesus Christ through his blood has redeemed us from the Law, freeing us from our past bondage to the Law. Therefore we should not again bring ourselves under bondage to the Law again by tithing.
These two arguments I will prove are wrong.
One of the principals that governed the early Church when it came to deciding which books and letters of the Apostles and Prophets of the first generation were Holy Scriptures and inspired by the Holy Spirit and therefore should be included in the New Testament, is that they should agree whole heartily with the Old Testament. This means all New Testament doctrine and teaching have their foundations in the Old Testament. It is often said this that the New Testament is the Old Testament revealed. That is to say that which was not clearly visible in the Old Testament, is now through the Spirit of Christ, clearly revealed in the New Testament. Therefore the Old Testament is more understandable and more relevant to the born again Christian of today, than it was to any of the Old Testament saints.
Neither is tithing a product of the Law, for the principles that govern the giving of tithes and offering pre-existed both God’s covenant to Abraham and the Law of Moses. For back in the Garden of Eden, Adam’s first job description was to tend to and guard the Garden of Eden.
Genesis 2:15 And the LORD God took the man, and put him into the Garden of Eden to till it and to guard it.
One of the basic principles of successful gardening is; anything that God provides for you from the earth, whether it is wheat, corn, barley or potatoes; you should always sow minimum of tenth back into the earth as seed. If you sow back a tenth into the earth, all things going well you will reap as much next year as you did this year; thus you will be blessed. Sow less and you will be cursed by reaping less. Sow double and you will be blessed by reaping double.
This principle of sowing and reaping is carried right through from Adam to the Apostle Paul, and it still works today; in both the natural and the spiritual.
2 Corinthians 9:6 But this I say, He which sows sparingly shall reap also sparingly; and he which sows bountifully shall reap also bountifully. 7 Every man according as he purposed in his heart, so let him give; not grudgingly, or of necessity: for God loves a cheerful giver. 8 And God is able to make all grace abound toward you; that you, always having all sufficiency in all things, may abound to every good work: 9 (As it is written, He has dispersed abroad; he has given to the poor: his righteousness remains forever. 10 Now he that supplies seed to the sower both to give bread for your food, and multiply your seed for sowing, and increase the fruits of your righteousness;) 11 Being enriched in everything to all abundance, which causes through us thanksgiving to God. 12 For the administration of this service is not only supplying the lack of the saints, but its abundance causing by many, thanksgivings unto God.13 Through the proof of this ministration they glorify God for your acknowledged subjection unto the good news of Christ, and for your generous fellowship unto them, and unto all men; 14 And by their prayer for you, they earnestly desire to see you for the abounding grace of God upon you. 15 Thanks be unto God for his indescribable gift.
When the early church chose seven spirit filled disciples to oversee the care of and the giving of food to the widows; the word of the Lord increased; and the number of the disciples multiplied in Jerusalem (Acts 6:5).
When you cheerfully sow bountifully and generously, to God and to others; this is good seed which causes you to abound in every good work, which allows you to be even more generous towards God and others, causing many to praise and glorify God; and the number of disciples will multiply.
But despite all the benefits of being generous to the poor and needy, often God’s people will withhold more than they should from the widows and the orphans and they oppress the poor and needy; causing God to send his servants the prophets to them.
Isaiah 58:6 Is not this the fast that I have chosen? To lose the bands of wickedness, to undo the heavy burdens, and to let the oppressed go free, and that you break every yoke? 7 Is it not to give your bread to the hungry and that you bring the poor that are cast out, into your house? When you see the naked, that you cloth him; and that you hide not yourself from your own flesh? 8 Then shall your light break forth as the morning, your healing shall spring forth speedily, your righteousness shall go before you and the glory of the LORD shall be your rearguard. 9 Then you shall call, and the LORD shall answer; you shall cry, and he shall say, here I am. If you take away from the midst of you the yoke of oppression, the putting forth of the finger and speaking wickedly; 10 And if you pour out your soul to the hungry, and satisfy the afflicted soul; then your light shall rise in obscurity, and your darkness shall be as the noonday: 11 And the LORD shall guide you continually, and satisfy your soul in drought, and make fat your bones: and you shall be like a watered garden, and like a spring of water, whose waters fail not.
We serve a loving and generous God who longs to give to the poor and needy; and God’s chosen way of expressing and out working his love is through his people. Through his servants the apostles and prophets, (both in the Old and New Testaments) this has always been the cry of the ever loving heart of God.
Although we are no longer under law but under grace, God still forbids us from sinning.
Romans 8:1 Therefore there is now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit. 2 For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus has made me free from the law of sin and death.
Romans 8:33 Who shall lay anything to the charge of God's elect? It is God that justifies. 34 Who is he that condemns? It is Christ that died, but rather also is risen again, who is even at the right hand of God, who also makes intercession for us. (1 John 2:1).
We are ambassadors for Jesus Christ (2 Cor 5:20); we are ambassadors for the kingdom of God. We are not of this world, in this world we live as aliens, sojourners in the kingdoms of this world. We live in this world as ambassadors.
Any foreign ambassador living and working in Australia is an alien and a sojourner. As such he is not subject to the laws of Australia; he is above the law of Australia. He is free to break all Australian laws without fear of punishment, be they criminal laws or road rules. As long as he remains in Australia he can break the laws, the road rules and go through as many red traffic lights as he likes, and no Australian law or authority can touch him.
However if he lives by the laws of Australia, as long as he lives in Australia he will live a blessed life. On the other hand, if he disregards the laws of Australia, as long as he lives in Australia he will live a cursed life. He may get badly injured in a car accident, and his disregard for the law will dishonour to his home country. Then if he continually brings dishonour to home country, he will be called back home before his time, to give an account of his actions.
As Christians we are ambassadors for Christ, reconciling a lost world back to God. As such we are above the law, the law cannot touch us. However as long as we sojourn on the earth, if we honour the law we will be blessed, if we dishonour the law we will be cursed.Then if we continually dishonour the law, thus bringing dishonour upon God and Christ, we could be called back home before our time, to give account for our actions.
Job 41:11 (God says ) Who has preceded me, that I should repay him? Everything under all the sky is mine.
Haggai 2:8 The silver is mine, and the gold is mine, says the LORD of hosts.
Romans 11:34 For who has known the mind of the Lord? Or who has been his counsellor: 35 Or who has first given to him, that he should repay him? 36 For of him, and through him, and to him, are all things: to whom be glory forever. Amen.
Anything we receive from the people of this world, they expect us to repay. Usually with interest, and if you don’t repay you may end up in jail. In days of old you and your whole family could be sold as bond servants until the dept was paid.
Ever since God created the earth, the earth demands of man that he sows back a tenth of all the earth has provided. Then the earth will bless man with more. However if man does not repay the earth, the earth will no longer bless man.
In tithing to God we acknowledge all we have and all we receive belongs to God and is from God. Like the earth all God demands of us is that we repay him a tenth of everything we receive from him. Then God will bless us with more. But then if we do not repay God the tenth, he like the earth will hold back from blessing us.
Abram give a tenth as a tithe to Melchizedek, who was an Old Testament manifestation of Jesus Christ in the flesh (Genesis 14:17 – 20). Jacob tithed a tenth to God (Genesis 28:22).
In Luke 11:42 Jesus Christ in rebuking the Pharisees, says that they should both tithe and not neglect justice and the love of God.
We are indebted to God.
After his resurrection from the dead, Jesus was still preaching repentance for the deliverance sins (the forgiveness of sins).
Luke 24:46 And said unto them, Therefore it is written, that it was necessary for Christ to suffer, and to rise from the dead the third day: 47 And that repentance for the deliverance from sin should be preached in his name among all nations, beginning at Jerusalem.
Then on the day of Pentecost, beginning at Jerusalem, Peter preached; “Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the deliverance from sin; and you shall receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. For the promise is unto you and to your children, and to all who are afar off, as many as the Lord our God shall call.” (Acts 2:38 – 39)
In the Lord’s Prayer we are given two more requirements that precede the forgiveness of our debts to God. They are 1: We should ask God our Father to release us from our debts to him. 2: We should forgive others their debts to us.
Both the Hebrew and Greek words we translate into English as forgive, mean to release, to let loose, to set free, deliverance, to redeem to buy back by paying the debt.
Just as our debts bind us, so also our sins bind us. By the out pouring of his blood unto death upon the cross; Jesus Christ not only redeemed us and set us free from sin, he redeemed us and set us free from our debts.
Matthew 6:10 Your kingdom come. Your will be done in earth, as it is above. 11 Give us this day our daily bread. 12 And release us from our debts, as we release our debtors.
The Greek word translated as debtors in this passage, is in Matthew 18:24 translated as owed. I put it to you; that because we are indebted to God. We should therefore pray asking God our Father to forgive us; that is to release us from the debts we owe him. Just as we forgive and release those who are indebted to us.
In the Lord’s Prayer we are to pray for our daily bread. Then we are told to ask God to forgive our debts as we forgive our debtors.
How often are we to forgive our brother? Jesus says seventy time seven a day (Matthew 18:21 – 22). Then Jesus goes straight into the parable of the unforgiving servant (Verses 23 – 35) which draws out and explains this teaching of asking God to forgive our debts as we forgive our debtors.
In this parable the king is a type picture of God, and of how quick and merciful God is to all who repent and seek forgiveness. The king calls for his servants in to do a reckoning. And one was found that owed millions of dollars that he could not repay. So the king ordered that he, his wife, family and all he had be sold to pay the debt. The servant fell on his knees and pleaded with the king to be merciful and give him time to pay the debt. And the king being moved with compassion forgave and released him from all the debt.
But the unforgiving servant, finding a fellow servant that owed him a few hundred dollars, demanded he repay the debt now. Then even though the fellow servant pleaded with him, the unforgiving servant threw him in jail until the debt was paid. When the king heard, he was angry and handed the unforgiving servant over to the tormentors until the debt was paid.
Matthew 18:35 So likewise shall my Father above do also unto you, if you from your hearts forgive not everyone his brother their trespasses.
We owe God a debt; we owe him for our soul, we owe him for our all we own and have. For it all comes from God and belongs to God and all he asks in return is tenth of all our earthly goods.
In Malachi chapter 3:1 – 5 we are told of the Lord’s messenger who will come to prepare the people before the day of the Lord. Who can stand on the day of the Lord’s return, for on that day he will refine, purify and purge God’s people as silver and gold; but upon those who fear not the Lord he will bring judgement.
We are not our own we have been brought with price (1 Cor 6:20). On the cross Jesus Christ purchased us with his blood. Either we choose to return to the Lord and allow him to cleans and purify us in this life by the washing of the word of God; or we will be refine, purged and purified on the day that trials by fire. It is better for us that we heed the warning of God’s servants the prophets, and allow Christ to cleans and purify us in this life,
Malachi 3:6 For I am the LORD, I change not; therefore you sons of Jacob are not consumed.
All who have been baptized in Christ are heirs of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob (Gal 3:29). We share in the same inheritance. Therefore in Christ as sons of Jacob we will not be consumed on the day that trails by fire. (See 1 Cor 3:11 – 15)
Malachi 3:7 Even from the days of your fathers you have gone away from my orders, and have not kept them. Return unto me, and I will return unto you, says the LORD of hosts. But you said, wherein shall we return?
The Children of Israel many times turned from God. So God would first send his servants the prophets to warn them to repent and turn back to him. Then because it is not God’s will that any of his children perish but all would be saved he would allow trials and tribulations to come upon them, so they hopefully will turn back to God.
Likewise many times the Church of Jesus Christ turns from God. God will first send his servants the prophets to warn them to repent and turn back to him. Then because it is not God’s will that any of his children perish but all would be saved he would allow trials and tribulations to come upon us, so hopefully we will turn back to God.
Malachi 3:7b But you said, Wherein shall we return? 8 Will a man rob God? Yet you have robbed me. But you say, where and how have we robbed you? In tithes and offerings.
Where is your heart? Is it on earthly treasure or treasure from above? Do you love God or do you love money? If you love God more than money then you will not rob from God. (Matthew 6:19 – 24)
Matthew 6:24 No man can serve two masters: for either he will hate the one, and love the other; or else he will hold to the one, and despise the other. You cannot serve God and mammon (the god of wealth and money).
God does not need your money. It all belongs to him any way (Haggi 2:8). What can you give God, he owns everything.
God is not so much interested in your money, but he is interested in your heart. Who owns your heart, earthly wealth and money or God? God knows if he has your money, he has your heart.
Malachi 3:9 You are cursed with a curse: for you have robbed me, even this whole nation. 10 Bring you all the tithes into the storehouse, that there may be meat in my house, and prove me here and now with this, says the LORD of hosts, if I will not open to you the windows of the sky, and pour out to you a blessing, that there shall not be room enough to receive it.
For the farmer the choice is simple. Either sow back to the earth a tenth of all it provides to you and be blessed; or don’t sow back to the earth or sow less than one should and be cursed.
For us as Christians the choice is just as simple. Either sow back to God a tenth of all he provides to us and be blessed; or don’t sow back to God or sow less than we should and be cursed.
There God is not just talking about food for the widows, the poor and hungry; (and yes we should feed the widows, the poor and the hungry) God is also talking about the spiritual bread and meat of the word of God. Churches that tithe and give generous offerings, pay their pastors and teachers well. Therefore the saints of those churches are feed generously from the word of God. Churches that don’t tithe and don’t give generous offerings, pay their pastors and teachers poorly. Therefore the saints of many of these churches receive little more than watered down milk.
If a farmer wants to test a new crop, he doesn’t sow the seed and then a month later pull up the seed. No! Proving a new crop takes time; after sowing the seed the farmer spends time tending to and watering the seed while he waits for the harvest
If you are going to prove God by tithing, it is of no use trying it for a month or two. No! You prove God by faithfully tithing for a year with an expectant heart, while you pray regularly and thankfully for your harvest. Then after a year look back and see how much God has blessed you.
Not only will you see the increase in your harvest, you will also see how God has rebuked the devour for your sakes.
Malachi 3:11 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, says the LORD of hosts. 12 And all nations shall call you blessed: for you shall be a desirable land, says the LORD of hosts.
Even other people, family, friends and neighbours will see how much God has blessed you and this will bring glory to God.
TITHES AND OFFERINGS.
By Kenneth Allan Clark.
Copyright © 2014 by Kenneth Allan Clark.
Printed and published by
VICTORIOUS CHRISTIAN MINISTRIES INTERNATIONAL.
P.O. BOX 144
WYNNUM QLD 4178
All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced in a retrieval system or transmitted in any form by any means, without the prior permission of the author.
Scripture taken from the Clark's English Translation copyright Ó 2012, 2013 by Victorious Christian Ministries International. All rights reserved.
Written by Kenneth Allan Clark and printed and published by
VICTORIOUS CHRISTIAN MINISTRIES INTERNATIONAL. P.O. BOX 144 WYNNUM QLD 4178 AUSTRALIA.
e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org web: www.endtimes-tribulations.com
Copyright © 2000 & 2011, all rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system or transmitted in any form by any means without the prior permission of the author Kenneth Allan Clark.
Scripture taken from the “Clarks English Translation” © Copyright 2011 by Victorious Christian Ministries International. Used by permission. All rights reserved.
Hard copies of both this booklet and others can be found on our resource page