Tithing is a word that is used in our churches today that refers to returning money to God. The word, “tithe” means ten percent.

“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. 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.”  (Lev. 27:30,32)

“And this stone, which I have set for a pillar, shall be God’s house: and of all that thou shalt give me I will surely give the tenth unto thee.”  (Gen. 28:22)

“Thou shalt truly tithe all the increase of thy seed, that the field bringeth forth year after year.”  (Deut. 14:22)

Three purposes of Tithing:

  1. It is a test of obedience to see if we will obey. God wants to know where our hearts are.
  2. God may not need your money, but the church does.
  3. Tithing is not a method of getting money from you; it is a method of getting money to you.

We are stewards of His possessions while on earth. We can keep ninety percent and we are to return to Him ten percent of our gross income via our church. This is not optional. Why does God ask us for money? There is a practical answer to that. God wants to use us to pay the bills, and to build up the Kingdom of God. That’s the purpose of money (see Deut. 8:18).

Many people are not consistent in their tithing. They tithe for a while, then, because they don’t see an immediate harvest, they start to withhold their tithes and become ensnared by the enemy. The devil doesn’t want you to tithe and if you decide to tithe only when you have enough left over, the devil will make sure you never have any money left over. When you withhold your tithe, you are robbing God.

I have seen people come to crusades/church and get excited about the Word. They immediately begin to plant good seeds. When they don’t see their harvest right away, they get discouraged and lazy. Before you know it, they are sowing among thorns again. Their zeal and diligence are gone and they can’t seem to understand why they are not reaping a harvest. You can’t let your field grow up in thorns and expect a harvest.

  1. Tithing is a commandment from God. You have no choice.
  2. The ninety percent left will supernaturally go further.
  3. If you don’t tithe, you will not be supernaturally blest, as you will be in possession of stolen property.
  4. Tithing is an act of worship (we are not “giving” our tithes; we are returning God’s property to Him.)
  5. Tithing does not bless a person per se, but it opens the door to blessing which comes from making offerings.

What have you been taught about tithing in your church?

The problem with our North American culture is that we have our priorities wrong. Our materialistic society appears to be under the control of the companies that spend million of dollars on marketing their products. Our culture is shaped by what is deemed to be fashionable by society. Our “wants” have become “needs” and people go to great lengths to see that these “needs” are met.

God has not called us to see how much money we can make for ourselves. The maxim, “he who dies with the most toys wins” could not be further from the truth. Instead, God has called us to be blest in every way so that we might be a blessing to others. We cannot give to others and build up the Kingdom if we ourselves are not blest. This is where the twist comes in; too much emphasis on getting more things instead of getting more blessings to pass on (ie. sew) to others. I believe that not only are we to plant our excess into the Kingdom, but we should actually be maintaining a viewpoint that says, “how much more can I give and where?” In short, we are to be conduit pipes for the blessings of the Lord. We receive and we give. It should be our goal to seek ways to increase our receiving so that we can then look for ways to increase our giving. Many people are content with the amount of money they have and their level of income and do not wish to pursue more. Personally, I find that to be selfish. Every Christian should pursue blessings. That does not mean that we are to be money hungry, work-a-holics, or put all of our energy into our careers for the purpose of building wealth. Some of us are called into business for financial kingdom building; others have different callings. However, everyone is called to be a blessing in order to be a blessing!

Jesus said in Matthew 6:21, “where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.” He was teaching that we can gauge our lives and priorities in life by what we spend our time with and where we spend our money. How a person spends their money is a big indicator of where their heart is. Possessions can possess us if we are not careful. Not just in the money that they cost but also in the time we dedicate to them. Hobbies are a wonderful thing, but sometimes hobbies can be all consuming. Anything that keeps us from God is sin.

Alternatively, if we are thinking in terms of how we can use our material and financial possessions to glorify God, pursuing God’s work and investing in the preaching of the gospel and disciplining of others (the great commission) then we are glorifying God.

Creative giving means putting God first and looking for ways to bless others and build the Kingdom.

Go to www.lifeposter.ca for more thoughts on this subject.

The subject of church tithing is not complicated and does not deserve the controversy that it seems to retain, even by churches. Tithing is not a plot or scam by the church or a pastor to get people’s money. (granted, it can be projected that way; be wary of the slicky financial pitches by some preachers.) It is God’s way to get money to you!

I also have read several websites and blogs by people that are adamant that tithing is old testament teaching and not part of the new covenant.

What The Holy Bible Has Taught Me About Tithing To The Church

1. Jesus said to pay tithes. (Matthew 23:23 NL)

2. Tithing under the Levitical system (ie. the book of Malachi) is written for Levites (ie. priests) and does not apply to us. We are not under a curse if we don’t tithe; Jesus redeemed us from the curse! However, when Jesus said to tithe He was referring under the Melchizedek system of which He is High Priest. In other words, tithe under His covenant, not under the old one.

3. I have observed that the people that say that tithing is Old Testament are the same ones that never seem to have any financial success! When I observe the size and success of many many ministries, every one of them is preaching tithing and tithe themselves! (Copeland, Hinn, Hagin, Myer etc.) That is too much of a coincidence.

4. I haven’t missed a tithe in over 30 years. It works! Trust me.

5. Tithing does not seem to add a great deal of blessing. It is not supposed to, (see point number 6). The purpose of tithing is a test of obedience. God says that He owns everything and gives us control over 90% of what He sends and blesses us with. The remaining 10% He wants returned to Him. He is testing our hearts and our obedience; He is not being mean and He does need the money.

6. Tithing puts you into a position to receive. It opens the door into His Kingdom. Tithing is the starting point to receive further blessing which comes from offerings which is the planting of financial seeds into His Kingdom. That is what brings a financial (and otherwise) harvest; not tithing. Tithing has to be done BEFORE the offerings even start. How can you get a big harvest from returning to God what is His in the first place? No, you return to Him and then you make offerings and then the harvest comes.

Remember the purpose of money is to build the Kingdom of God.

I heard a story about a Jewish accountant who had both Jewish and Christian clients. A Christian man asked him who was more financially successful as a rule; the Jews or the Christians. He laughed and said the Jews of course! Why asked the man. The accountant replied, “because most all of the financial principles that God has for His people are in the Old testament which the Jews study and the Christians largely ignore!”

Tithe according to the Order of Melchizedek and then plant offerings into His Kingdom and call in your harvest so that you can be blest to be a blessing.

“And you shall remember the Lord your God, for it is He who gives you power to get wealth, that He may establish His covenant which He swore to your fathers, as it is this day.” (Deut. 8:18 NGJ)

What issues have you heard about tithing?

I have a full library of dummy books at home. Why? I can understand them!

Think of my Biblical Economics 101 course, as a course for “dummies” (no offense to anyone!).

Giving into God’s Kingdom is important for every Christian. We give to God simply because we are commanded to do so but also because God wants to bless us and His economy (unlike the world’s) is based upon giving. We give to Him and He gives to us. He does not need our money, He just wants to see where our heart is and again, His giving is activated by our giving. That’s the way His economy works.

“Give, and it will be given to you. A good measure, pressed down, shaken together and running over, will be poured into your lap. For with the measure you use, it will be measured to you.” Luke 6:38 NIV

There are three types of giving into God’s Kingdom:

1. First fruits. A first fruit is the amount of your increase. For example: say you have a monthly income from your employment of $4,000. gross per month. This month, your boss calls you into his office and announces that you are getting a raise to $5,000. per month starting the next month. Your increase is therefore $1,000. For the first month that you receive that extra $1,000., ALL of it goes to the Kingdom of God and is called a First Fruit, and is the first way you are giving into God’s Kingdom. After that month, you then need to tithe on the $1,000. as you would on the $4,000. that you were receiving before the raise. (there are 31 references in the bible to first fruits)

2. Alms. A alm is money that you give to the poor. (Mathew 6:1) You must give this money quietly and if possible, anonymously to protect the receivers dignity. God says in Proverbs 19:17 that giving to the poor is like a loan to Him and that He will pay you back. Do not expect a harvest from this type of giving. It is just God reimbursing you, but no doubt He will look very favourably upon you as you continue giving into God’s Kingdom.

3. Seed giving. This is where you become like the farmer and plant your seed with expectation of a harvest. This type of giving into God’s Kingdom is where God can really move in your financial life. God says His Kingdom is like seed time and harvest. Do what the farmer does. Plant good seed (not corrupt money from illegal gain) and plant it into good soil. (ministries that are well grounded in the Word, have reasonable administration costs, are not corrupt, have abundant fruit from their charitable efforts etc.). Then the farmer waters, fertilizes and weeds his crop. (Give praise to God, pray over your seed, bless it, call it forth into a harvest, use faith i.e. call things that be not as though they were, (Romans 4:17), do not speak any kind of negatively over your seed, etc.) Finally, the farmer goes out and gets his harvest. (Be prepared to receive. Just as you would prepare for the birth of a child by getting his/her room ready, buying clothes etc., keep standing in faith and believe for your harvest. Do what you would do as if the harvest had already been received) (References: Gen. 8:22, Gal. 6:7, 2 Cor. 9:6, 2 Cor 9:10)

There is a very important condition to these three ways of giving. You must tithe (tithe means 10 or 10%) your gross income to God BEFORE you give any further money to Him. Tithing is not giving; tithing is returning to God what is His. In other words, your giving starts AFTER you have tithed. The tithe is to go to the local church that you attend and giving should go where God directs you.