Today, we will continue on our true or false test.
Tithing is only for people under the law. It’s a law principle. False.
This will be longer than usual because I have felt the need for this a long time.
Tithing is a principal that we see from Genesis to Revelation. God put the tithe in the hearts of Adam and Eve. If not, how would their sons, Cain and Abel have known to tithe unto God? Genesis 4 tells us that Abel brought of the first of his sheep. It says God had respect for his offering. How could he have known to bring the first, off the top, and to come with blood? Someone had to teach them about the tithe and offerings. Otherwise, God could not have held Cain responsible for not bringing the right kind, the right way. Who taught them? Their parents. When God brought those first animal skins, dripping with blood, He began to teach them of offerings that would point to the perfect sacrifice, the Son of God.
Hundreds of years before the Law, in Gen. 14, Abraham tithed to Melchizedek, a type of Christ. God had given him the victory over the kings of the north. He was able to bring back his nephew, Lot, who had been kidnapped. Abraham was so grateful unto his God, who had given him the victory, that the first thing he did was to tithe to the Lord. Ge. 14:18-20 says, Then Melchizedek king of Salem brought out bread and wine; he was the priest of God Most High. 19 And he blessed him and said: “Blessed be Abram of God Most High, Possessor of heaven and earth; 20 And blessed be God Most High, Who has delivered your enemies into your hand. And he gave him a tithe of all”.
He was recognizing that it was God who gave him everything and immediately gave a tithe of the spoils of the recovered goods.
Tithing continued through all of the patriarchs, again hundreds of years before the law of Moses was ever established. Jacob saw a ladder let down out of heaven, with angels ascending and descending. The Lord spoke to him. He realized that this meant a great chasm, which had been made between earth and heaven by sin, was going to be removed. The way to God was going tobe accessible to man. God had given him a revelation. He said, “Surely the Lord is in this place and this is the gate of heaven.” He made a monument. He poured oil upon the top of it, named it Bethel, or House of God. He made a vow to serve the Lord; and recognized God’s claims upon what he possessed or ever would. Then, in Gen. 28:22, he said, “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.”
Jacob didn’t wait until his Peniel experience, where his very nature and name was changed. He tithed before all of that. He didn’t have a prophecy, prosperity teacher, or a pastor to preach this. He didn’t have the wonderful new testament promises yet. He wasn’t even born again, or filled with The Holy Ghost. He was still a deceiver, but had a greater fear of God than most in church today. If he had that much of a respect for God written upon his heart, what is our excuse?
All of the patriarchs tithed without and before the law. In both the old and new testaments, we see the principle of ownership of the earth and all it contains. Psalm 24:1 “The earth is the Lord's, and the fullness thereof; the world, and they that dwell therein.” Paul is again quoting David in 1 Corinthians 10:26. The Lord’s ownership entitles Him to EVERYTHING: God has always wanted man torecognize His ownership. We're just stewards, not owners. However, Adam was much like people today, arguing about the tithe. God told him that they could have access to every tree in the garden, except one. God wanted to see if man could leave something alone when God said “Don’t touch.” But man always wants to be an owner and show his independence. That’s why people have a problem with it today. Most want to do their way, how much, when they feel like it, to wherever they want, and when they get around to it. They don’t want anyone telling them how to do it, including God. We see how God feels about that with Cain and Abel. Cain not only came the bloodless way, but in the course of time, when he got around to it.
Finally we see the law of Moses which included the tithe, still. Tithing, when incorporated into the law, was not a new thing, but simply a reconstruction of the patriarchal system of tithing. All ages and dispensations have some things in common. There has always been some things carried from the old into the dispensation ofthe new. No moral law given by God has ever been changed, nor ever will be. The only possible change is the intensity, according to God’s revelation of Himself. The Law of recognizing God’s claims are a moral law, based upon His creatorship. He may, emphasize His claims, increase His demands, but never can, withdraw such claims. God’s revelation of Himself has been progressive; with the largest revelation He has ever made to the world, being in the person of His Son. Let me give you a couple of examples. In the Old Testament, under that law, a man could not commit adultery. Do we now say in the new covenant, under grace, that you can sleep with anyone’s wife or husband that you desire to? No, Jesus, in the middle of instituting the new covenant, said that now it is a sin to even look at a woman with lust in your heart. The old command just became more strict because now there was a greater revelation of holiness and the power to overcome sin. In the old testament, they were told not to commit murder. That was not lessoned in the new. Now we are told that if we even hate our brother or sister, we have committed murder in our hearts. The reason why? These are universal laws written upon the hearts of man.
The surprise is not that God demands, but that He demands so little. None should look upon the tithe as sufficient. It's where we begin. The offerings are where latitude is given. Since God, in His gift to the world gave the greatest possible gift, Jesus Christ, no true Christian should think of refusing God the minimum tithe, without a blush of shame. Despite this, He still demands only the minimum in recognition of His claims.
In Proverbs 3:9-10, we see that it is all about honoring, loving, and worshipping God. “Honour the Lord with thy substance, and with the first fruits of all thine increase: 10 So shall thy barns be filled with plenty, and thy presses shall burst out with new wine.” The tithe isn't just the 10th. It's the first and the best. When He says honor the Lord with your substance, He also says “those that honor me I will honor.”
In our western minds, we don't make the connection between honor and financial and material giving. We think honor means only preferential titles and treatment, but many times in Scripture it is connected with substance and material giving.
You can pay tithes and God still not be pleased. Many do what sounds too much like paying a bill. They sit down with a calculator and figure to the penny and pay what they owe. Others go to the other ditch. “Sister, I believe in being led by Holy Ghost.” Great, but if you're consistently giving less than 10% , you are not being led by the Holy Ghost. Even the word tithe means, tenth. That is pretty easy to figure out. It is interesting that we can't get buy with Uncle Sam with only 10%. Usually, it is more like 30%. Do we support Uncle Sam more than God? People want to fuss and argue, but God has never changed. Uncle Sam has gone up. People who argue about it, never got hold of giving with a right heart. Instead of trying to see how little you can get by with, why should we do less to support God's work than the federal government? We need to always round off on the fat side. This should be done right off the top, before we pay bills or buy groceries. He wants to know that we recognize that, without Him, we have nothing. We give Him the first of our love, finances, worship, energy, trust, and faith.
This is not legalism. It is a matter of putting God first, with the right heart. In faith we say, "Lord I'm acknowledging you, by giving back to you that which I would not have without you, You're my source. Every good and perfect gift comes down from the Father above. Lord, I give it back to you because I want to support your work and your people, and I want the ministry to have everything it needs. I know there's more where that comes from. I honor you with cheerfulness.”
We must do these things by the Spirit, or He won't be pleased, no matter how big the check is. We have to get more interested in supporting the work of God, than in getting that new car, house, or jewelry. It will take exercising discipline in our life. You can't give in faith unless you give your best. Our hearts know the difference. Faith is of the heart. God's more interested in our heart than our money.
One preacher said that he noticed when he baptized people, that when they went down, their pocketbooks came up out of the water. They weren't dedicated to The Lord.
Jesus was God’s tithe before He saw us respond to Him. He gave His best and His only son, right off the top, He was His precious lamb of God from before the foundation of the world. John the Baptist said “Behold the lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world.”
There's no record in Old testament times, when the tithes were withheld. The practice of the tithe and acceptable Godly service, arose and declined together. When Israel had wicked kings and qiit tithing, the people backslid. It is difficult to tell which came first.Every time they came back to God and began to tithe again, they had revival. In Neh. 10:37, 13:10-13, we find that as soon as the tithe was reinstated, they had more than enough, and the people became passionate for God again. God can’t recognize the worship and service of those who don't recognize His claims upon them.
Malachi questions, “Will a man rob God? But ye have robbed me. Ye are cursed with a curse: even this whole nation.” If it was robbery in his day, what about now? I cannot imagine going into heaven, wearing a ski mask and carrying a pistol of a knife and robbing God of what is His. Robbery is the word our Bible uses. It does not say, you won’t be as blessed as you could be but it is completely up to you. It actually calls it robbery, like walking into a bank or a 7-11 and committing robbery. What about Christians who fail to scripturally recognize God’s claims, today? It still brings a curse. Today we are the body of Christ, fitly joined together. What I do effects you and vice-versa. It effects the whole church.
Some of you are saying, O.K. I can see that it was important in the Old Testament but not the new. Really? Seriously? First of all, The Old Testament is the New enfolded: The New Testament is the Old unfolded. The Old is the New concealed: The New is the Old revealed. There is an inseparableness of the scriptures.
However, let’s see what is said in the new testament. How many think Jesus is a pretty good New TestamentAuthority? Matt 23:23 is spoken by Jesus, “These ought ye to have done,” He was speaking of the tithe. These words give us a stamp of approval from supreme authority. He commends them for faithfulness to law of tithe, telling them that a new dispensation was being inaugurated, and plainly says, “These ye ought to have done.” Don’t you think this would have been a great opportunity for Him to explain that the tithe will no longer be received in the new testament? Yet, He did not. Jesus increased the demands of the law by grace. (as we saw with the previous examples) He did not do away with them.
Paul taught it: He said that Christians are to give as God prospers them. 1 Cor. 16:2 “Upon the first day of the week let every one of you lay by him in store, as God hath prospered him, that there be no gatherings when I come. “Paul said that weekly deposits should be made, into Lord’s treasury on the first of the week. “Laying by” is to be in proportion, “as God hath prospered.” There was only one system they were used to. How would you know what "as The Lord prospers you" would be? Ten percent makes that easy. No haphazard giving was allowed. How are they to “lay by?” “As God hath prospered.”
The New Testament does not repeal the tithe and still suggests systematic giving, without suggesting any other system. It is reasonable to conclude that the law of the tithe shall determine the amount to be laid aside, weekly, and in proportion “as God hath prospered.”
Hebrews 7 mentions that The Melchisedec priesthood is eternal. How about that? When you tithe to a church, you are only giving through that church. You are actually laying your tithe into the hands of Jesus. It doesn’t get any holier or more sacred than that? I believe Hebrews is in the New Testament.
The Bible tells us that if we are born again, we are the children of Abraham. If so, we must walk in his steps in faith. Romans 4:12 "And the father of circumcision to them who are not of the circumcision only, but who also walk in the steps of that faith of our father Abraham, which he had being yet uncircumcised.
Tithing is a standard of giving mentioned in both Testaments. I refuse to do less than the patriarchs or people who were only His servants. I’m His own child, born again, redeemed by the blood of the precious lamb. I’ve been baptized in the Holy Ghost and fire. He has given me more victories that Abraham had. I’ve been healed, when I was supposed to die. I will do much more than they did. The tithe is just where I can get started at. I will return unto God that which already belongs unto HIm. Actually tithing isn’t even giving. It’s just not stealing from Him. The offerings are where we begin to
give to Him and worship Him.
I remember teaching one time on the tithe. I had a grouchy man approach me after the service and tell me that I had read out of Malachi and had put them back under the law. With tongue in cheek, I apologized and assured him that I would teach from the new testament that evening, if he would come back. I would show him what new testament giving was. He cheered up and came back that night. That evening, I taught from John 12 about Mary and the alabaster box. She wasn’t actually in either covenant. She was caught in between but she had met “the Master.” Her entire life was forever changed. She said that she couldn’t stop with the tithe but poured a year’s wages down Him and wiped Him with her hair. That is new testament giving. So, why would I ever argue about ten percent? Why would you?
God can bless in a 1000 ways which we don't know. Nine dollars with Lord’s blessing on it, will go farther and buy more clothing and food, then $10.00 without it. God is a covenant keeping God-will faithfully perform His promises on behalf of those who honor Him and recognize His claims upon them. Too many forget that they are accountable to God for stewardship, and are very indifferent in regard to it. Some give haphazardly or just as they feel. This is not scriptural and can’t be expected to bring favor and blessing of God. Why should we treat God worse than we would a land-lord? Can you imagine bringing your land-lord a dollar one time, and maybe ten another time. He never knows when you will pay it or how much. With how much less courtesy and fairness should we treat the One who has furnished us our capital, and who asks of us a tenth of the increase? The ministry of stewardship is a tried ministry. There will be testings to face. Faithfulness in stewardship will be honored by God.
Did you know that there area few more than 500 verses on prayer, almost that many on faith, but over 2,000 on finances. Is the tithe and offering a side subject? No. Thirty percent of Jesus parables and 16 of 38 parables are on the subject of giving and finances. Money is a test from God. It reveals priorities, loyalties and affections. Jesus said "if we can’t be trusted with it, who will give us the true riches?"
Tithing brings a blessing. It’s about being blessed, or having supernatural power working for you. It gives you access to blessing. God’s created us to be like Him.
Man is activated with power and ability to increase. GOD WANTS TO BLESS OUR SOCKS OFF!!
Today, we will continue on our true or false test.