or Tithing by law to Benefit Yourself?
Have you been promised a great return if you give money to God through a
church or a TV ministry? Maybe you heard some testimonies of people getting
rich and you were drawn to give whatever you can because someone said that if
you sow your seed into their anointed ground it bring a hundred fold return.
The stories and testimonies are endless and so are the devastated lives from
the unfulfilled promises to them.
God does bless truth and people who want to give with the correct motives.
Isn't this what it is all about motives--the givers motive and the receiver's
The degree that prosperity teachers manipulate God's people is more than most schemers in the world would dare to do, and they do it without shame. It's all done in the name of our God. The apostles made it clear “But we have renounced the hidden things of shame, not walking in craftiness nor handling the Word of God deceitfully, but by manifestation of the truth”(2 Corinthians 4:2-3).
No other Scripture has had greater mileage than Malachi 3:10 “Bring the whole tithe into the storehouse, so that there may be food in My house, and test Me now in this,” says the Lord of hosts, “if I will not open for you the windows of heaven, and pour out for you a blessing until it overflows.” Malachi 3 has been greatly misused for God's blessing to come to his people. A closer look of this verse in the context shows that it has nothing to do with wealth or material blessings. We first find this same term used by God back in Genesis 7:11 the windows of heaven were open and rain contributed to the flood, as the fountains of the deep were broken open. In Genesis 8:2 it says the windows of heaven were stopped and the rain from heaven was restrained. Isaiah 24:18 it also mentions the windows from on high; this phrase is consistently used for water. In Genesis it was a judgment. In Malachi 3 it was to be a blessing on their crops. The nation lived by their agriculture (Husbandry) and depended upon the rain. God's blessing had to do with his provision of water; no rain and they would starve. If they did not give God their tithes which was part of the blessing in the Mosaic covenant God would bring a curse on them, the ground would not yield food because he would not allow it to rain.
By the nation Israel tithing under the Law of Moses, they were to trust God
acknowledging that everything belongs to Him. It is impossible to tithe as
given to Moses, for it was mostly agricultural. Today we hear that we are to
obey the tithe law. The tithes were not gifts, they were taxes, tithes were
given in addition to other numerous offerings which ended up to be over 22%
(not just 10%). Under the law if you were only giving 10 percent on your
tithes you would still be robbing God. One tithe was used to support the
Levites (Numbers 18:21-32), who were not allowed to own property like the
other tribes of Israel. However, this tithe from the people brought to the
Levitical priests was not just money. The goods the Levites received would
provide their living for their work in the tabernacle. They also were to tithe
on part of the goods that they received, and were to dedicate to the Lord a
tenth to the office of the high priest (Numbers 18:21-28). It was the Levites
who were to “bring up the tenth of the tithes to the house of our God, to
the chambers of the storehouse” (Nehemiah 10:38). The Malachi passage that
so many use to prove we are to tithe is not rebuking the people, he is
rebuking the Levites for keeping the tithe that went to them. When modern day
prosperity teachers use this verse on the people to be faithful, but they are
really pointing at themselves-except they are biblically ignorant to recognize
what it's actually saying. 1 Timothy 1:5-7 “Now the purpose of the
commandment is love from a pure heart, from a good conscience, and from
sincere faith, from which some, having strayed, have turned aside to idle
talk, desiring to be teachers of the law, understanding neither what they say
nor the things which they affirm.” The New Testament teaches grace giving,
tithing was not a freewill cheerful giving, it was a commandment in Moses' law
to a nation under God, Israel. Nowhere in the New Testament does it require
any obligation or a legal portion of ones income.
The Pharisees said they have faith but they were more interested in the
money, in fact Jesus said: “Now the Pharisees, who were lovers of money,
also heard all these things, and they derided Him.” ( so did Judas John
12:5-6). Then Jesus scolded them saying “what is highly esteemed among men
is an abomination in the sight of God,” and He then summed it up by giving
another parable--the rich man and Lazarus. The poor man entered where the
faithful were, finding rest in Abraham's bosom but the rich man entered
torment. The rich man was punished, not because he was rich but because he
lived for self, he had no compassion for poor Lazarus whom he walked by and
ignored each day as he sat by his gate.
You'll notice that those promoters of tithing will always use the Old covenant law to justify their teaching this method of blessing. What the prosperity teachers do is bring people out from grace and under law. Under the New Testament covenant there is no specific amount required to give, you determine the amount you can freely give. “Let each one do just as he has purposed in his heart; not grudgingly or under compulsion; for God loves a cheerful giver.”
So on the question of tithing in the New Testament. Nowhere does Paul or
any other apostle mention a required amount. On the other hand, Israel was
under the law, being a theocratic nation they were obligated to tithe. Jesus
had kept the law before He was crucified, for this reason Jesus had Peter pay
the temple tax (Matthew 17:24). After Jesus was crucified the New Covenant
began and the Old was finished (Heb.8:7,13). New Testament Christians were NEVER
under the Old covenant law? One cannot conclude tithing is required under the
New Covenant the same as the Lord's Supper and Baptism. Not once does any
epistle contain any admonitions or a rebuke for failing to tithe. The
necessity of giving is mentioned but only with the right
attitude, to help and support others. You do not have to tithe to have God's
blessing, in fact, those who are well off are asked to give away their things
away when necessary. “Command those who are rich in this present age not to
be haughty, nor to trust in uncertain riches but in the living God, who gives
us richly all things to enjoy. Let them do good, that they be rich in good
works, ready to give, willing to share, storing up for themselves a good
foundation for the time to come, that they may lay hold on eternal life” (1
It is doubtful we can pinpoint where or when tithing as a legalistic requirement came into the Church, but we can certainly trace its current popularity to the modern prosperity teachers with their promotion of seed faith giving. Many teachers use Mark 10:30 as a promise that anything we give to the Lord will be multiplied one hundred times back to us. Jesus was not speaking about giving, but leaving these things and relatives to follow him. In fact, neither money nor giving is mentioned in association with the hundredfold found in Mark. There is no excuse for teaching this and leading the congregation into collective coveting by their giving. Read the passage carefully! Regardless of what they say it says, did you ever consider that it is because they only want to be on the receiving end? Solomon wrote, “The leech has two daughters--give and Give!” (Proverbs 30:15).
Some teach tithing is the only way the local church is to be supported and
tithing to the local church determines a person's spirituality, some have gone
as far as to suppose that tithing is a requirement of salvation, if one does
not give 10% they are not a true Christian. Some teach from Malachi 3 that you
are cursed! What manipulation. If you want to understand the book of Malachi,
read Malachi 4:4, “Remember the Law of Moses…” its not just tithing. If
you choose by obligation to submit yourself to even part of the Law of Moses,
you are obligated to keep it all. For as many as are of the works of the Law
are under a curse; for it is written, “Cursed is everyone who does not abide
by all things written in the book of the Law, to perform them” (Galatians
3:10). It is actually the opposite, if you tithe by obligation then you are
bound by all the law. Galatians 5:4 explains “Christ is become of no effect
unto you, whosoever of you are justified by the law; ye are fallen from grace.”
If you have set aside money for your family needs, but do not use it for
them and instead pay it to a church or a ministry as tithes, or as an offering
of seed to get out of debt your are not being a good steward. If you owe money
on your house don't fall for the scammers that say the $1,000 you have saved
for the mortgage will not pay for the house so send it in as a seed to get
more money. They are feeding on your carnal nature and making you covet--be
responsible to God. Scripture does not teach to give more than you can afford,
nor give so God can give you more. There was no mention of the poor becoming
rich in the gospel, Jesus did not promise a hundred-fold blessing. “For
there are many unruly, vain talkers and deceivers, especially they of the
circumcision: whose mouths must be stopped, who subvert whole houses, teaching
things which they ought not, for filthy lucere's sake” (Titus
1:10-11). Their motivation is money, what is your motivation? It has been said
“He that serves God for money will serve the Devil for better wages”(Roger
L'eStrange). What did Jesus tell us, you can't serve God and Mammon at the
Then there is the rich young ruler who gives us all an example. Mark 10:21 Then Jesus, looking at him, loved him, and said to him, “One thing you lack: Go your way, sell whatever you have and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven; and come, take up the cross, and follow Me.” The man could not do this. Jesus did not tell the man to tithe to him. After the rich man left Jesus looked around and said to His disciples, “How hard it is for those who have riches to enter the kingdom of God!” (Mark 10:23) Those who had less were often able to respond more easily because it did not get in the way, they had less to give up to follow Him.
Jesus did not teach to give to his ministry but to help the less fortunate
“Sell what you have and give alms; provide yourselves money bags which do
not grow old, a treasure in the heavens that does not fail” (Luke 12:33-34).
Zacchaeus understood this and said to the Lord, “Look, Lord, I give half of
my goods to the poor; and if I have taken anything from anyone by false
accusation, I restore fourfold.” And Jesus said to him, “Today salvation
has come to this house, because he also is a son of Abraham” (Luke 19:8-9).
Want to be blessed, don't give to get more, give from your heart to others
that are needy because it is the right thing to do.
There is NO example of the early Church (book of Acts) “tithing.” In
Acts 4:32-37, there were many wealthy Christians who sold portions of their
assets and put the money at the Apostles' feet. Was it for the apostles? No,
but for the Christian community, those in need. The apostles distributed it. The only time we
find a judgment having to do with money is in Acts 5:1-11. Ananias and
Sapphira were condemned for lying, because they held back part of the proceeds
from the sale of the land that they had promised along with everyone else.
This had absolutely nothing to do with “tithing,” as much as it had to do
with keeping their word, let your yes be yes, and no, no.
Our giving is to be voluntary, willing, and cheerful as an offering. As believers we are to be generous by sharing our material possessions with the needy and support Christian ministries (authentic ones). Every Christian should give to the place they are fed by and support the work that is taking place in their own community by the local church they attend. Giving to our church, missionaries, wherever we think the need is greater or where the Holy Spirit may put on our heart. Other offerings would be for ministries they would like to bless in their work. In principle, 10 percent may be a good goal; some may be able to give much more, some less. One should not be made guilty for whatever amount they give; the only requirement in the New Testament is to give cheerfully and willingly (Romans 12:6,8; 2 Corinthians 9:7). Tithing to get out of debt is not the answer for relieving anyone of any money problems; it's not a Biblical practice but a myth started by the prosperity teachers of seed faith. We need to teach responsibility in handling our money. It’s time to give to those who really need the support for God's work.
The New Testament when it speaks about giving goes against “tithing as a doctrine. 2 Cor. 9:7 says, “Every man according as he purposed in his heart, so let him give: not grudgingly, or of necessity: for God loves a cheerful giver.” Notice there is no amount mentioned, it what you have settled in your own heart. The Greek word for cheerful is hilaros, it is the English word “hilarious,” meaning give in a joyful, cheery, and exuberant manner. We should be happy and joyful to give to expand God's Kingdom. We are specifically told not to give grudgingly. The Greek word for grudgingly is lupe. It carries the meaning of sorrow, grief, being annoyed. If you are compelled to give, or give out of necessity and you have sorrow and annoyance in your heart don't give. If someone has convinced you or forced you to give by making you feel guilty or promised you a greater return, then you are no longer a cheerful giver.
The Apostle Paul also says in 1 Cor. 16:2, “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. Again, it is not “tithing,” only
giving as one has purposed in his heart and as one has prospered, you choose
the amount. God does not pressure us, or manipulate us by guilt or hold a
bonus out to us to motivate us to give. Have you ever noticed Jesus did not
take any offerings!
Again I'm not saying ministries do not need support, they do, but to twist the word of God to mean something it does not to get this support by promising hundred/ thousand fold blessings is seditious. Money itself is not the issue, but how you relate to money; God is looking at our heart, what's our motivation. We are not to look to the “here and now” for our reward, but toward heaven where our treasure is being stored up. If you give to get more, to increase that is giving for reaping on earth. Where are you looking, where is your heart today? Jesus said: “where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.” Our Motivation is what is important; we should not give up something for the purpose to get something better, and neither should we give something to get something.
We should all support those we can in ministry, we should support the
churches work, we should also look where God can use us to support those in