In the religious world, there is a lot of controversies on the payment of tithes. Many religious leaders are of the opinion that if members fail to remit their tithes that they would not be blessed. The members, in fear and in submission to their leaders make efforts to pay their tithes offering. Both the pastors and members rely only on Malachi 3:10 (KJV) ‘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’. They make no further studies on why tithes were paid, to who they were paid, how they paid and if they should continue in these last days.
In this post, the Bible as our guide will give us an enlightenment on the payment of tithes touching salient points commonly ignored, conclusively, we’ll see if we should continue in tithing.
According to the Bible, Tithes is one tenth of all possessions, one tenth of everything, one tenth of all -Gen. 14:20, 28:22; II Chron. 31:5; Heb. 7:2.
HISTORY OF TITHING: Let’s see the history of tithing as seen in the Bible
A. The first record of tithe in the Bible is seen when it was given from Abraham to Melchizedek as confirmed in Gen.14:18-20. It was common in that era to share the spoils of war with rulers – I Sam. 8:10-18. Jacob also vowed to give a tenth of all his possessions to God –Gen. 25:20-22. This happened in the patriarchal dispensation and the people were not under any form of compulsory obligation to pay tithe to God. There would not have been any need for Jacob to use tithe as his vow to God if it was used as an already compulsory duty. Jacob on his return built an alter at HUZ which he renamed BETHEL and God renamed him ISRAEL. There is no record that Jacob fulfilled the tithe vow in his lifetime. This points to the fact that tithing was a secular practice and was not given at this time as a religious law.
B. Tithe became a religious law in the Mosaic dispensation. At this time, eleven tribes of Israel, were given all inheritance of the lands to labour on and fend for themselves while the other one tribe, the tribe of Levites was set aside by God to be priest unto him. The Levites were to remain in the temple and offer sacrifices to God on behalf of the other eleven. It is at this time that the Israelites were required to give tenths of their produce of the land and fruit trees, and of increase of herds and flocks – Lev. 27:30-32, Num.18:21-24, Deut. 14:28, 29; 26:12-15. This tithe was never paid with money. It was paid with land produce as already mentioned. If it difficult to convey the tithes to the venue where it was to be paid, those produce would be sold and the money used to buy substitute items at the venue.
HOW OFTEN WAS TITHE PAID?
* Tithe was paid at the end of every three years – Deut. 14:28; 26:12
* Another was paid yearly in festive celebration –Deut. 14:22-27; 12:5-7, 17-21
THOSE ENTITLED TO THE TITHES
The tithe paid by the eleven tribes were not only used by the Levites. It was used by the Levites to pay tithe of tithes to Aaron -Exo. 28:29, Lev. 8; Num. 3:8-16, 18:28-29. The tithes paid was also shared among the strangers, the fatherless and the widows Deut. 14:29, 26:12.
TAKE NOTES OF THE FOLLOWING POINTS
* Tithes were received by those who were priests and high priests and given by those who were descendants of Abraham but not of the priesthood. Gentiles whom we were, never paid tithes to God
* God does not only bless people on tithes giving. Mal. 3:10 was not for Christians but for those in the Mosaic dispensation. God pronounced blessings on Abraham before he gave tithes Gen. 12:1-3; 13:15-16. The christians receive the blessings of Abraham through faith Gal. 3:14; Phil..4:19
* It is true that Jesus did not come to abolish the old testament law but to fulfill it. But the old testament law was abolished as Jesus was nailed to the cross to bring us grace Matt.5:7; Eph.2:15-16; Col. 2:14; Rom. 10:4 the old law which contain tithe came to an end, the law of Moses was weaken before the fulfilment by Jesus Matt.5:18
* Tithes as mentioned in these two new testament scriptures Matt.23:23 and Luke 18:12 is for those in the dispensation of Moses
* When prophet Malachi was speaking concerning tithes, Christianity was not yet in existence hence he wasn’t talking to christians but to people under the law of Moses – Mal.1:1; Neh. 9:13-14. Christians are not under the old testament law – II Cor. 3:7-14; Heb. 8:6-13
* Christians are not to pay tithes because the priesthood has been changed from the Levites to Christ and all Christians are priests, serving God through Jesust Christ, the high priest Heb. 7:11-12; I Pet. 2:5; Heb.4:14
* Those who claim to be giving tithes are under the curse of law. “Galatians 3:10 (KJV) For as many as are of the works of the law are under the curse: for it is written, Cursed is every one that continueth not in all things which are written in the book of the law to do them.” Many people in different religious groups pick out certain things from the book of law which is beneficial to them. It will only be right if we do all as were in the law of Moses, outside this, curse follows “Galatians 5:4 (KJV) Christ is become of no effect unto you, whosoever of you are justified by the law; ye are fallen from grace.“
* Those who claim to be giving tithes are not actually giving tithes. This is so because they lack the knowledge on why tithes because a law, how it was paid, to whom it was given, the era at which it worked and the era the are at the moment. Hence they are not doing unto God but doing the work of men Rom. 16:17-18
* Christians are commanded by God in the law of Christ to give liberally as they have been prospered by God particularly on the first day of the week for the work of the church I Cor. 16:1-2; 8:12; 9:6-7. They are also to help in times of need Titus 3:4. We are to show kindness to whoever teaches us the word of God “Galatians 6:6 (KJV) Let him that is taught in the word communicate unto him that teacheth in all good things.” And do good unto all men “Galatians 6:10 (KJV) As we have therefore opportunity, let us do good unto all men, especially unto them who are of the household of faith.“
*We are to serve God wholeheartedly with the things he has blessed us with – Matt. 5:20; II Cor. 8:3-5
Feel free to share your opinion by giving me a feedback through your comments and endeavor to worship with The Church of Christ near you where you can be taught the undiluted word of God. Remain abundantly blessed!