Do we still have to give tithes?
Like always, to get a correct answer on this question we have to turn to the Bible and see what it tells us.
One of the scriptures that is often used to prove that you have to give a 10th of your money, is found in Malachi 3:6-12, but is this a correct use of these verses?
Let us read what it says:
⁶For I, the Lord, do not change; therefore YOU, O SONS OF JACOB (are you sons of Jacob?) are not consumed. ⁷From the days of YOUR FATHERS (are they your forefathers?) you have turned aside from My statutes and have not kept them. Return to Me, and I will return to you, says the Lord of hosts. But you say, ‘How shall we return?’ You Have Robbed God ⁸Will a man rob God? Yet you are robbing Me! But you say, ‘How have we robbed You?’ In tithes (10% of the harvest, and of the offspring of the animals, as food for the levites) and offerings (gifts). ⁹You are cursed with a curse, for you are robbing Me, the whole nation of you! ¹⁰Bring the whole tithe (10% of the harvest, and of the offspring of the animals, as food for the levites) 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. ¹¹Then I will rebuke the devourer (the one that eats, or consumes your harvest) for you, so that it will not destroy the fruits of the ground; nor will your vine in the field cast its grapes, says the Lord of hosts. ¹²All the nations will call you blessed, for you shall be a delightful land,” says the Lord of hosts.
This part does NOT say that we are obliged to give 10% of our income to the church in which we are a member. And as you may have noticed, this was in the time of the Old Testament, in an era that was UNDER THE LAW OF MOSES.
Then the offering of JUDAH (do you belong to the tribe of Judah?) and JERUSALEM (do you live in Jerusalem?) will be pleasing to the Lord as in the days of old and as in former years.
Remember THE LAW OF MOSES My servant, even the statutes and ordinances which I commanded him in Horeb FOR ALL ISRAEL.
This is clearly pointing to the Law of Moses.
This concerns the decrees and laws that God gave to Moses to be followed by all Israelites (are you an israelite?), and this includes the law of tithing.
Note that this was ONLY applicable to Israelites, no Africans, Americans, Asians, Europeans, etc. was mentioned, ONLY Israelites.
So, the law of tithing was EXCLUSIVELY FOR THE ISRAELITES, as support for the levites who did service in the temple, and did not get a part of the land.
And those indeed of the SONS OF LEVI who receive THE PRIEST’S OFFICE have commandment in the Law to collect a tenth from the people, that is, FROM THEIR BRETHREN, although these are DESCENDED FROM ABRAHAM.
So it were the levites, descendants from Levi, those belonging to the tribe of Levi, who were to receive the tenth of the people who descended from Abraham. (Is your pastor a descendant from Levi, and are you a descendant from Abraham?)
¹¹Now if perfection was through the Levitical priesthood [for on the basis of it the people received the Law], what further need was there for another priest to arise according to the ORDER OF MELCHIZEDEK, and not be designated according to the order of Aaron? ¹²For WHEN THE PRIESTHOOD IS CHANGED, of necessity there takes place a CHANGE OF LAW ALSO. ¹³For the one concerning whom these things are spoken belongs to ANOTHER TRIBE, from which no one has officiated at the altar.
When the Christ became our Priest, there was a change of priesthood, so there was also a chance in the law (vs. 12). And included in that law was also the law of tithing, which was changed by Christ, into giving based on your heart’s desire.
¹²Those who desire to make a good showing in the flesh try to compel you to be circumcised, simply so that they will not be persecuted for the cross of Christ. ¹³For those who are circumcised do not even keep the Law themselves, but they desire to have you circumcised so that they may boast in your flesh.
The Law of Moses was now changed into the Law of the Christ, so also circumcision was no longer needed.
2 Corinthians 9:6-10
⁶Now this I say, he who sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and he who sows bountifully will also reap bountifully. ⁷Each one must do just as he has purposed in his heart, not grudgingly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver. ⁸And God is able to make all grace abound to you, so that always having all sufficiency in everything, you may have an abundance for every good deed; ⁹as it is written, “He scattered abroad, he gave to the poor, His righteousness endures forever.” ¹⁰Now He who supplies seed to the sower and bread for food will supply and multiply your seed for sowing and increase the harvest of your righteousness;
Whenever you give a monetary, or any other kind of gift to God, it must be given based on your heart’s desire, for God loves a ‘cheerful giver’. It does not say ‘cheerful tither’.
Preaching the law of tithing is no longer applicable in our Christian Dispensation. There is nothing wrong in asking for monetary help from members of the church, as long as you use 2 Corinthians 9.7-10, and NOT Malachi 3.6-12.
The law of tithing is not in effect anymore.
¹Therefore, holy brethren, partakers of a heavenly calling, consider Jesus, the Apostle and High Priest of our confession; ²He was faithful to Him who appointed Him, as Moses also was in all His house. ³For He has been counted worthy of more glory than Moses, by just so much as the builder of the house has more honor than the house.
These verses in Hebrews 3 prove the authenticity of the priesthood of Christ.
³⁸Therefore let it be known to you, brethren, that through Him forgiveness of sins is proclaimed to you, ³⁹and through Him everyone who believes is freed from all things, from which you could not be freed through the Law of Moses.
These verses in Acts 13 tell us that we can only be justified, and freed from all things, by Jesus, of which we could not be justified, and freed, under the Law of Moses.
The Law and the Prophets were proclaimed until John; since that time the gospel of the kingdom of God has been preached, and everyone is forcing his way into it.
The Law of Moses and the prophets were only proclaimed until the time of John the Baptist. This signifies the end of the Law of Moses, unless Christ had retained parts of it, like the law about idolatry. The laws about idolatry in the Old Testament are still applicable in the New Testament era.
And I testify again to every man who receives circumcision, that he is under obligation to keep the whole Law. ⁴You have been severed (separated) from Christ, you who are seeking to be justified by law; you have fallen from grace.
These verses are clear. If you still want to receive the circumcision, which every israelite had to receive under the law of Moses, you are also under the obligation to keep the whole Law (vs. 3). And if you are trying to be justified by the law of Moses, you have by separating yourself from the Christ, fallen away from the grace of Christ,
Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you tithe mint and dill and cummin, and have neglected the weightier provisions of the law: justice and mercy and faithfulness; but these are the things you should have done without neglecting the others.
Jesus was saying here, that if you are obeying the law [of Moses] about tithing, you must also observe the more important laws of justice, mercy, and faithfullness.
It seems that the Christ was emphasizing tithing. But take note of these words “you have neglected the weightier provisions (the heavier items, the more severe parts, the more important matters) of the law”.
In this verse Christ was not enforcing tithing.
¹⁸And Jesus came up and spoke to them, saying, “All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth.
¹⁹Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit, ²⁰teaching them to observe all that I commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age.”
Does verse 20 say “Teach them to observe the law of Moses”? No, it says “teach them to observe all that I (Jesus) commanded you”.
Jesus also said in Matthew 5:17
Do not think that I came to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I did not come to abolish but to fulfill.
Jesus fulfilled the law and gave a deeper meaning to it.
¹Then Jesus spoke to the crowds and to His disciples, ²saying: “The scribes and the Pharisees have seated themselves in the chair of Moses; ³therefore all that they tell you, do and observe, but do not do according to their deeds; for they say things and do not do them.”
Meaning that you must obey them, and do everything they tell you, but do not do what they do, for they do not practice what they preach.
With these words the Christ did not mean that people should obey or follow the wrong teachings of the Pharisees. And since the Christ had already changed the law of tithing, into giving based on your heart’s desire, their preaching about tithing was now wrong.
The law of tithing was changed into giving to your heart’s desire.
For those who hold (against what the Bible teaches) that the tenth (or tithe) is money, which is to be given to the pastor I added some remarks
²⁶ “Moreover, you shall speak to the Levites (is your pastor from the tribe of Levi, and serving in the temple?) and say to them, ‘When you take from the sons of Israel the tithe which I have given you from them for your inheritance [as the levites had not received a part of the land, from which they could eat], then you shall present an offering from it to the Lord, a tithe of the tithe. ²⁷Your offering shall be reckoned to you as the grain from the threshing floor or the full produce from the wine vat. (No mentioning of money) ²⁸So you shall also present an offering to the Lord from your tithes, which you receive from the sons of Israel; and from it you shall give the Lord’s [burned?] offering to Aaron the priest. ²⁹Out of all your gifts you shall present every offering due to the Lord, from all the best of them, the sacred part from them.’ (If the tithe was money, what is the best of them, or the sacred part from it?) ³⁰You shall say to them, ‘When you have offered from it the best of it, then the rest shall be reckoned to the Levites as the product of the threshing floor, and as the product of the wine vat. (Again no mentioning of money) ³¹You may eat it anywhere, you and your households, for it is your compensation in return for your service in the tent of meeting. (Eat money?) ³²You will bear no sin by reason of it when you have offered the best of it. But you shall not profane the sacred gifts of the sons of Israel, or you will die.'”
I haven’t seen any pastor doing this. If you are going to obey the law of tithing, then you also have to obey these verses.
¹²When you have finished paying all the tithe of your increase in the third year, the year of tithing, then you shall give it to the Levite, to the stranger, to the orphan and to the widow, that they may eat in your towns and be satisfied. ¹³You shall say before the Lord your God, ‘I have removed the sacred portion from my house, and also have given it to the Levite and the alien, the orphan and the widow, according to all Your commandments which You have commanded me; I have not transgressed or forgotten any of Your commandments. ¹⁴I have not eaten of it while mourning, nor have I removed any of it while I was unclean, nor offered any of it to the dead. I have listened to the voice of the Lord my God; I have done according to all that You have commanded me.
If pastors would like to translate this to present day with money (not biblical), they should after collecting the tithes, and after paying for the expenses of the church, whatever is left, give to the poor, beggars, etc. It is not to be kept by the church, and it is also absolutely not to be used to live in extreme luxury, to possess the most expensive cars, airplanes, or multi million dollar homes.
If those pastors still want to live under the law of tithing, they also have to obey these verses, and not use it as an excuse to get richer themselves, while their assembly gets poorer week by week.
Let me repeat once more: There is nothing wrong in asking church members for monetary donations, or contributions to support the church expenses.
But to preach tithing (Malachi 3.6-12) for funds for those expenses is wrong, it is against the Law of Christ. When preaching about donations it should be based on giving according to your heart’s desire
2 Corinthians 9:7-10
⁷Each one must do just as he has purposed in his heart, not grudgingly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver. ⁸And God is able to make all grace abound to you, so that always having all sufficiency in everything, you may have an abundance for every good deed; ⁹as it is written, “He scattered abroad, he gave to the poor, His righteousness endures forever.” ¹⁰Now He who supplies seed to the sower and bread for food will supply and multiply your seed for sowing and increase the harvest of your righteousness.
There are still more verses that prove that under the new covenant, tithing should not be enforced anymore, but I think these verses are enough for now.
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