Tithe – The Biblical Financial System
Tithe means the tenth part (10%).
God established and honored a definite system of giving very early in the history of mankind.
(1) And Adam knew Eve his wife; and she conceived, and bare Cain, and said, I have gotten a man from the LORD.
(2) And she again bare his brother Abel. And Abel was a keeper of sheep, but Cain was a tiller of the ground.
(3) And in process of time it came to pass, that Cain brought of the fruit of the ground an offering unto the LORD.
(4) And Abel, he also brought of the firstlings of his flock and of the fat thereof. And the LORD had respect unto Abel and to his offering:
(5) But unto Cain and to his offering he had not respect. And Cain was very wroth, and his countenance fell.
(6) And the LORD said unto Cain, Why art thou wroth? and why is thy countenance fallen?
(7) If thou doest well, shalt thou not be accepted? and if thou doest not well, sin lieth at the door. And unto thee shall be his desire, and thou shalt rule over him.
The Lord had respect to only Abel and his offering. Abel considered his flock and took the first and best and gave unto the Lord. “Firstlings” means the firstborn, chiefest, or best. Abel gave systematically or proportionately unto the Lord.
Tithing originated before the Law of Moses.
(18) And Melchizedek king of Salem brought forth bread and wine: and he was the priest of the most high God.
(19) And he blessed him, and said, Blessed be Abram of the most high God, possessor of heaven and earth:
(20) And blessed be the most high God, which hath delivered thine enemies into thy hand. And he gave him tithes of all.
Jacob tithed before the Mosaic Law.
(20) And Jacob vowed a vow, saying, If God will be with me, and will keep me in this way that I go, and will give me bread to eat, and raiment to put on,
(21) So that I come again to my father’s house in peace; then shall the LORD be my God:
(22) 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.
Tithing continued during the Mosaic Law.
Deuteronomy 12:11: Then there shall be a place which the LORD your God shall choose to cause his name to dwell there; thither shall ye bring all that I command you; your burnt offerings, and your sacrifices, your tithes, and the heave offering of your hand, and all your choice vows which ye vow unto the LORD:
Tithing is mentioned in the prophecy of the New Testament age.
These scriptures pertain not only to the Old Testament but also to the New Testament times. This chapter begins by prophesying of Christ and the gospel day (verses 1-3).
(1) Behold, I will send my messenger, and he shall prepare the way before me: and the Lord, whom ye seek, shall suddenly come to his temple, even the messenger of the covenant, whom ye delight in: behold, he shall come, saith the LORD of hosts.
(2) But who may abide the day of his coming? and who shall stand when he appeareth? for he is like a refiner’s fire, and like fullers’ soap:
(3) And he shall sit as a refiner and purifier of silver: and he shall purify the sons of Levi, and purge them as gold and silver, that they may offer unto the LORD an offering in righteousness.
(8) Will a man rob God? Yet ye have robbed me. But ye say, Wherein have we robbed thee? In tithes and offerings.
(9) Ye are cursed with a curse: for ye have robbed me, even this whole nation.
(10) 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.
(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, saith the LORD of hosts.
Offerings are that which is given beyond the tithe (verse 8). Not giving as the Lord directs is robbery (verse 8). There are blessings and rewards for obeying God (verses 10-11).
1 Corinthians 9:1-14:
(1) Am I not an apostle? am I not free? have I not seen Jesus Christ our Lord? are not ye my work in the Lord?
(2) If I be not an apostle unto others, yet doubtless I am to you: for the seal of mine apostleship are ye in the Lord.
(3) Mine answer to them that do examine me is this,
(4) Have we not power to eat and to drink?
(5) Have we not power to lead about a sister, a wife, as well as other apostles, and as the brethren of the Lord, and Cephas?
(6) Or I only and Barnabas, have not we power to forbear working?
(7) Who goeth a warfare any time at his own charges? who planteth a vineyard, and eateth not of the fruit thereof? or who feedeth a flock, and eateth not of the milk of the flock?
(8) Say I these things as a man? or saith not the law the same also?
(9) For it is written in the law of Moses, Thou shalt not muzzle the mouth of the ox that treadeth out the corn. Doth God take care for oxen?
(10) Or saith he it altogether for our sakes? For our sakes, no doubt, this is written: that he that ploweth should plow in hope; and that he that thresheth 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 rather? Nevertheless we have not used this power; but suffer all things, lest we should hinder the gospel of Christ.
(13) Do ye 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 hath the Lord ordained that they which preach the gospel should live of the gospel.
Tithes are to be brought into the storehouse or the local congregation to provide for a proper place of worship and also to provide for the needs of the local pastor.
Jesus approved of tithing.
Matthew 23:23: 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.
As already proved, tithing did not originate under the Mosaic Law. Christ did not do away with this system of giving and it was not one of the Old Testament ordinances that was “nailed to the cross”.
Tithing was and is part of God’s financial system before, during, and now after the Mosaic Law in this gospel dispensation.
(1) For this Melchisedec, king of Salem, priest of the most high God, who met Abraham returning from the slaughter of the kings, and blessed him;
(2) To whom also Abraham gave a tenth part of all; first being by interpretation King of righteousness, and after that also King of Salem, which is, King of peace;
(3) Without father, without mother, without descent, having neither beginning of days, nor end of life; but made like unto the Son of God; abideth a priest continually.
(4) Now consider how great this man was, unto whom even the patriarch Abraham gave the tenth of the spoils.
(5) And verily they that are of the sons of Levi, who receive the office of the priesthood, have a commandment to take tithes of the people according to the law, that is, of their brethren, though they come out of the loins of Abraham:
(6) But he whose descent is not counted from them received tithes of Abraham, and blessed him that had the promises.
(7) And without all contradiction the less is blessed of the better.
(8) And here men that die receive tithes; but there he receiveth them, of whom it is witnessed that he liveth.
(9) And as I may so say, Levi also, who receiveth tithes, payed tithes in Abraham.
Abraham paid tithe to Melchisedec who was a type of Christ (verses 2-3). Today we tithe to the true Christ. “And here men that die receive tithes” (verse 8) is Paul speaking of the sons of Levi or the Levitical priesthood of the Jews religion. Verse 5 says “but there he (Christ) receiveth them, of whom it is witnessed that he liveth.”
Do you tithe unto Christ?
God deserves the FIRST of ALL our increase.
Proverbs 3:9: Honour the LORD with thy substance, and with the firstfruits of all thine increase:
We should give unto the Lord with the right attitude.
2 Corinthians 9:7: Every man according as he purposeth in his heart, so let him give; not grudgingly, or of necessity: for God loveth a cheerful giver.
Think of all the money people spend on tobacco, alcohol, gambling, and worldly pleasures yet grudge giving tithes and offerings unto the Lord. “Will a man rob God?”