Tithing in the Bible and Tithing Scriptures
What is a tithe?
Basically it is 10% of your income.
Who should receive the tithe?
Your Pastor or local church. In the bible the Levites were the priests and they lived off of the tithe given by the people. Likewise your pastor and the staff at your church is employed by the church and needs your tithes in order to live and pay the bills for the church and to reach more people for Christ
Numbers 18:21 (NLT) “As for the tribe of Levi, your relatives, I will compensate them for their service in the Tabernacle. Instead of an allotment of land, I will give them the tithes from the entire land of Israel.”
Many times Christians say, “Tithing is from the Old Testament, we don’t need to tithe anymore”. Well, whether you want to call it tithing, giving, a donation or an offering we still need to support the church through our finances. How else will the gospel be preached throughout the earth?
Here’s a funny story (well maybe not so funny), there was one TV preacher (we won’t use his name) that is a major voice of the “you don’t need to tithe” movement. He would constantly hammer this point home and I am sure many of his viewers loved to hear this because it feeds their love of money and not giving.
Slowly he began losing his airtime in various cities. Why? He didn’t have the money to keep paying for all the cities where his program was airing. Isn’t that funny? His same teaching came back to bite him. If only he taught his viewers that they needed to at least make some kind of donation to keep him on the air, maybe he still would have his program.
If you are being fed by any teacher, preacher or minister of the gospel you should support their ministry! It is really that simple. Your tithe (10% of your earnings) belongs to your local church. and you can make donations to other ministries where you are being spiritually fed.
Now some people ask is that before taxes or after taxes (gross or net)? To you we would say, what does your conscience say? Only God can judge you and only God knows the truth about what you really earn.
So your pastor drives a Mercedes or has a private jet, he doesn’t need your money, right? Well, What are you doing in that church? Are you growing spiritually? If you have a deeper relationship with Jesus Christ year after year from being at that church then you are growing and you should tithe. IF however, you are not growing but your pastor is getting richer perhaps you need to sit with the Lord and find out where He would like you to serve and what church you should be a part of.
When you tithe to the church you are actually doing it in obedience to God. Once your church receives that money it is now their responsibility to use it the way God would instruct them. It is not your responsibility to watch how the pastor is using the money. As long as your church isn’t the Dead Sea where money flows in but none of it is being used to serve the community and help others, then you need to trust that your pastor is doing what God has instructed him to do with that money.
How do you know when God is telling you to stop tithing to a church?
Bottom line, your money starts drying up! You will need to get into deep prayer to be sure of it but usually when God is talking to you about where to tithe and spend His money your source starts to dry up. This usually happens through a progression…If you’ve been faithfully tithing, there is no sin in your life, you start to feel in your spirit that you shouldn’t be tithing to your church anymore and THEN your finances start to dry up. You may need to have a talk with God about that. God will not want you to support something that He is not supporting so His only way to get your attention and the attention of your pastor is to dry up the finances! Remember, you need to pray about this to be sure before you stop tithing to that church. And, God is always going to lead you to another church or ministry where you should tithe.
Also, if your pastor is more interested in getting your money and constantly talks about money that is a sure sign something is wrong. The Levites never begged anyone or made the Israelites feel guilty about giving. Tithing is about your relationship with God and obeying His word it’s not about you and your pastor.
The distortion of Sowing and Reaping!
Too many times the references that are made about sowing and reaping have to do with money. The truth is that sowing and reaping has to do with EVERYTHING! Not just money. It has to do with kindness, love, your time, prayer, everything! Whatever you put out there is what comes back to you. If you are forgiving then when it’s your time to receive forgiveness from others that’s what you get. This is the basis of sowing and reaping, it’s not just about money!
Below are some Tithing Scriptures
Old Testament Scriptures on Giving and Tithing
Proverbs 19:17 (NLT) “If you help the poor, you are lending to the Lord—and He will repay you!”
Proverbs 3:9 (NLT) “Honor the Lord with your wealth and with the best part of everything you produce.”
New Testament Scriptures on Giving and Tithing
2 Corinthians 9:7 (NLT) “You must each decide in your heart how much to give. And don’t give reluctantly or in response to pressure. “For God loves a person who gives cheerfully.”
2 Corinthians 9:6 (NLT) “Remember this—a farmer who plants only a few seeds will get a small crop. But the one who plants generously will get a generous crop.”
Luke 6:38 (NLT) “Give, and you will receive. Your gift will return to you in full—pressed down, shaken together to make room for more, running over, and poured into your lap. The amount you give will determine the amount you get back.”
Here’s how Jesus instructed the disciples on doing ministry
Luke 10:4-7 (NLT) “Don’t take any money with you, nor a traveler’s bag, nor an extra pair of sandals. And don’t stop to greet anyone on the road.“Whenever you enter someone’s home, first say, ‘May God’s peace be on this house.’If those who live there are peaceful, the blessing will stand; if they are not, the blessing will return to you. Don’t move around from home to home. Stay in one place, eating and drinking what they provide. Don’t hesitate to accept hospitality, because those who work deserve their pay.”
So we see that the disciples lived off what other people gave them.
Here’s what Jesus said to the Pharisees in the New Testament when they were putting more emphasis on tithing. Please note that He did not tell them to STOP tithing.
Luke 11:42 (NLT) “What sorrow awaits you Pharisees! For you are careful to tithe even the tiniest income from your herb gardens, but you ignore justice and the love of God. You should tithe, yes, but do not neglect the more important things.”
This clearly shows that tithing still existed in the New Testament and Jesus encourages it!
I think God is more concerned about our motives when we give. Are you giving to receive or are you giving because He has given to you? Remember that you are being blessed to be a blessing.
Matthew 6:33 (NLT) “Seek the Kingdom of God above all else, and live righteously, and He will give you everything you need.”
Possibly the most popular scripture on tithing is in Malachi Chapter 3. We left the heading so that you can see everything in it’s context
A Call to Repentance
6 “I am the Lord, and I do not change. That is why you descendants of Jacob are not already destroyed. 7 Ever since the days of your ancestors, you have scorned my decrees and failed to obey them. Now return to me, and I will return to you,” says the Lord of Heaven’s Armies.
“But you ask, ‘How can we return when we have never gone away?’
8 “Should people cheat God? Yet you have cheated me!
“But you ask, ‘What do you mean? When did we ever cheat you?’
“You have cheated me of the tithes and offerings due to me. 9 You are under a curse, for your whole nation has been cheating me. 10 Bring all the tithes into the storehouse so there will be enough food in my Temple. If you do,” says the Lord of Heaven’s Armies, “I will open the windows of heaven for you. I will pour out a blessing so great you won’t have enough room to take it in! Try it! Put me to the test! 11 Your crops will be abundant, for I will guard them from insects and disease. Your grapes will not fall from the vine before they are ripe,” says the Lord of Heaven’s Armies. 12 “Then all nations will call you blessed, for your land will be such a delight,” says the Lord of Heaven’s Armies.
Here’s what you need to note from this scripture:
1. The title – A call to repentance. This means that if you don’t tithe you need to repent. It is a sin. Old testament or not, it is still a sin.
2. When you fail to tithe you are actually robbing God. You are robbing the work of the Kingdom and hindering the growth of the church.
3. When you fail to tithe you are automatically pronouncing a curse on your life.
4. God says that you should repent, start bringing Him the tithes and He will bless you more than you can imagine. He even went as far as saying “Put me to the test on this!” That is a pretty bold statement and says that He is ready and willing to bless you when you tithe.
5. Verse 11 is very important because it says how the curse will appear in your life when you don’t tithe. Everything that you touch won’t work. It’s like 1 step forward and 2 steps backwards. If everything you try to do in life fails, right before you are ready to reap a big harvest you have a crop failure, you may have a curse on your life from lack of tithing! God says that He will protect what you are doing when you tithe.
6. Everyone will be able to see God’s blessing on your life when you tithe.
Remember this: It is better to have God’s blessing on 90% than to have an unblessed 100%
Here’s a Prayer for tithing:
Father God we thank you for your word! Thank you that you have opened our understanding to your truth and how you see tithing. We repent for not bringing in the full tithe to your house and we repent for hindering the growth of your Kingdom. We come before you and ask that you would give us a giving and diligent heart to tithe. We know that your word says we are to put you to the test and we will! But more importantly, it is better to give than to receive and so even if that money does not come back to us we willingly and freely give. You have commanded it and we will obey it. Your word says that you give seed to the sower so you will provide whatever it is we need to sow, in money, words or deeds and we thank you for it, in Jesus name, Amen!