There are many aspects to tithes spoken to in the Bible that have become ‘non-compliance statutes and ordinances’ due to the Cross. When Christ commanded that we raise the dead He meant people and not tithes for most of the Old Testament doctrine of Tithes died at the Cross with Jesus, and while He was resurrected they were not. What Christ abolished at the Cross is to remain defunct for that which Jesus fulfilled at the Cross has been completed once and for all. Who do you think you are puny man as you keep trying to undo the work of God? To collect tithes in the New Covenant assembly is not only wrong but in essence counts the blood of Jesus for less than what the Word states it to be. Christ is coming for a bride without spot or wrinkle and while it is the Father that is preparing this bride for Jesus we also have our part to play in His plans. It is time for us to wash out another spot and iron out another wrinkle as we lay what is dead to rest where Christ has decreed it to be. May the Lord bless you through this writing to state along with me, “rest in peace tithes for your purpose is completed.”
To eliminate non-Biblical confusion surrounding tithes you must first be aware of the fact that the New Testament period written of prior to the death of Jesus was not under the New Covenant. During the time He walked this earth Jesus taught many things that would come into position with the New Covenant but he and his disciples still functioned under the Old Covenant until the shedding of his blood. It was only with His blood at the Cross we were removed from the bondage of the law and placed under the blessing of grace. Many of the Old Testament practices during the earthly ministry of Jesus were no longer taught or followed after His death; for example, the Old Testament practice of circumcision that even Our Lord underwent was not a requirement for the New Testament believer in Christ. It became a defunct statute. It was the shed blood at the Cross that fulfilled the law, established the New Covenant and set the captives free; free from the law that we can in no manner fulfill any better than did our Israelite forefathers. Left to our own measures we would still remain under the bondage of the law. It is our faith in the action of Christ at the Cross that has given the freedom of the New Covenant. “Before faith came, we were kept under the law, shut up unto the faith which should afterwards be revealed. Wherefore the law was a schoolmaster to bring us unto Christ, that we might be justified by faith. But after that faith is come, we are no longer under a schoolmaster. For you are all the children of God by faith in Christ Jesus.” (Galatians 3:23-26) “For Christ is the end of the law for righteousness to everyone that believeth.” (Romans10:4) Through the fulfillment of his sacrifice Christ brought us out from the bondage of the ordinances of the law and into the freedom of the Spirit and we are commanded to remain and stand fast in our dearly bought freedom: “Stand fast therefore in the liberty wherewith Christ has made us free, and be not entangled again with the yoke of bondage.” (Galatians 5:1) In this fulfillment of the law Christ in no manner altered or destroyed commandments that remained intact such as those we have come to commonly call the Ten Commandments. What He fulfilled and made obsolete under the New Covenant were many of the ordinances and sacrificial practices given the ministerial priesthood of the Levites. “Having abolished in His flesh the enmity, even the law of commandments contained in ordinances” he put an end to the long list of rules and sacrificial regulations among which was the Old Covenant practice of giving a ten per cent tithe. (Eph 2:15) The giving of tithes was ordained by God through Abraham, continued in practice under the law given through Moses, was further endorsed by Jesus during His earthly ministry and died a certain death with him at Calvary! With the Cross our Christ abolished the Levitical priesthood, the old ministerial orderings and assumed His role as our singular High Priest and mediator with the Father. Under our New Covenant, salvation and holiness are all focused through the life of Christ within us. The need for Old Covenant ministerial priests, earthly sanctuaries, temples and storehouses for tithes no longer exists. It was these things that were abolished with the fulfillment that Christ spoke to.
It is time to let go of the Old Covenant insecurity of tithing. In fact, to continue the practice is an affront to God and the price He paid at the Cross by His Son. This is a matter of enormous concern for tithing prevents us from knowing the greatest thing there is to be experienced upon the face of this earth: an intimate relationship with the living God through obedient service to our brother, friend and king: Jesus. The New Covenant relationship established with God through giving requires fellowship with Him sufficient to hear His voice as to what, when, where and how to give. You cannot simply follow some dead formula of ten percent giving and know the intimacy of hearing God. You must have a relationship with the Father and an intimate walk of obedience to the commandments of the Son to know who you truly are in Christ! It is the intimacy of this relationship with Christ that makes for the merry heart of the cheerful giver. To continue to tithe instead of practicing New Covenant giving is to allow Satan to rob you, not of your free gift of salvation but of the rewards given to the overcomers spoken of in the Book of Revelation. These rewards are given to those who rightly divide His word and complete the works that He ordained we do upon this earth. It is time to end all tithes for Christ abolished them at the Cross. It is time to give as the word of God has spoken to and this giving is not to be darkened by the shadow of the grave wherein tithes were laid to rest. I pray our Lord will bless you through the reading of these words.
Point One: The Definition and Purpose of Tithes
The Hebrew word for tithe is ma’ser and literally means a tenth part and is held to include a tenth part of both the livestock and produce of the land that was to be returned to the Lord for His blessings. “And all the tithe of the land, whether of the seed of the land, or of the fruit of the tree, is the Lord’s: it is Holy unto the Lord. And concerning the tithe of the herd, or of the flock, even of whatsoever passes under the rod, the tenth shall be Holy unto the Lord.” (Le 27:30,32) It is assumed the principle of the tithe, or ten per cent rebate to God, was inaugurated with the giving of one tenth of the spoils of war by Abraham to the priest Melchizedek. This established the basis for the tithe but more so it established the basis of giving to God’s work and His servants that carried through in free will offerings of many kinds after the tithe was abolished through the New Covenant.
The tithe of the Old Covenant law had the primary purpose of being support for the Levites and their form of priesthood because they did not inherit any part of the promise land for their personal support as did the other tribes of Israel. God clearly stated the purpose for tithes as their form of support: “Everything devoted in Israel shall be thine. And behold, I have given the children of Levi all the tenth in Israel for an inheritance, for their service which they serve, even the service of the tabernacle of the congregation.” (Nu 18:14,21) While there were other purposes for the tithe such as support of the poor, widows and orphans, the tithes remained the basic inheritance of the Levites for their livelihood and the good works of God that they were to see to. In turn, through everything that the Lord blessed them with they were to return a tithe unto Him as well.
In their relationship to God the Levites were held to be spiritually above the other tribes of Israel. There were many distinctions between them and the other children of Abraham in what they were permitted to do in service and approach to God. With the death of Christ at the Cross this unique position occupied by the Levites came to an end as we all came to be upon equal footing through Christ Jesus our heavenly intercessor. Tithes that were given to the Levites for their exclusive priestly functions also died at the Cross for their exclusive function as priests no longer existed. If the tithe did not demise then we all have a right to be supported by the tithe for the scripture says we are all a kingdom of priests. “”But you are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, an holy nation, a peculiar people.” (1Pe 2: 9) The simplicity of the Gospel is that the ten percent tithe did not carry forward with the New Covenant and to practice such places you in a position of scriptural error.
Point Two: Do Not Be Merchandised
“For I know that after my departing shall grievous wolves enter in among you, not sparing the flock. Also, of your own selves shall men arise, speaking perverse things, to draw away the disciples after them.” (Acts 20: 29-30) “And through covetousness shall they with feigned words make merchandise of you.” (2 Peter 2:3)
The Bible warns of men who deliberately distort the word of God for financial gain because of their evil ambitions, love of money and greed for power. Beware, “for there are many unruly and vain talkers, and deceivers, especially those of the circumcision: whose mouths must be stopped, who subvert whole houses, teaching things which they ought not, for filthy lucre’s sake.” (Titus1:10-11) Scripture tells us that such people are “men of corrupt minds, and destitute of the truth, supposing that gain is godliness: from such withdraw thyself.” (1Ti 6:5) We are not to allow these men to make merchandise of us, to rob us of the spiritual and monetary blessings the Lord has bestowed upon us for our pleasure and Kingdom Harvest work.
The Malachi Malady
Many people are literally manipulating and forcing others in the New Covenant church to give up their goods and cash through misapplying doctrines of tithing. This wrongful application of scripture is done by most out of pure ignorance to the truth of God’s word but there are also many who deliberately do such. In either case the result is the same, the wrongful misappropriation of God’s blessings and further grinding in of spots and wrinkles into the gown of the bride of Christ. It is from Malachi 3: 8-10 that the merchandisers of men attain their favorite scripture to harvest your cash. With fervor they state: “Will a man rob God? Yet ye have robbed me. But you say, wherein have we robbed thee? In tithes and offerings. Ye are cursed with a curse: For ye have robbed me, even this whole nation. Bring ye all the tithes into the storehouse, that there may be meat in my house, and prove me now herewith, says 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.” These are pretty heavy bombs to be exploding around a flock of nervous sheep wondering what voice to follow. The devil uses this scripture to place a spirit of condemnation upon people for they are led to believe that they are God robbers if they do not give tithes and offerings in the manner spoken to. As well there looms over the sheep the shadow of a curse of God for not making an offering every time they are requested to. This is totally wrong for we are not Old Covenant Israelites under the Law of Moses. In such manner spirits of condemnation and fear are sown which will often manifest themselves as confusion in individual’s lives. The Spirit of God that indwells us tells us that we are neither God robbers or cursed. When we retreat to the basics of the Word we know He says: “Ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.” (John 8:32) The truth is that condemnation comes from Satan for “there is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit.” (Ro 8:1) We know that fear is from the devil for “God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind.”(2Ti 1:7) And as to confusion our “God is not the author of confusion, but of peace, as in all the churches of the saints.”(1 Co 14:33) Also, we know that God does not curse His children, He only curses those that hate Him: “For I the Lord thy God am a jealous God, visiting the iniquities of the fathers upon the children unto the third and fourth generation of them that hate me.” (Ex 20:5) Further, as His word states: “Know ye not that you are the temple of God, and that the Spirit of God dwells in you?”(1Co 3:16) How could the Holy Spirit that indwells us hate Himself? No, curses are only for the children of the devil! Do not let anyone manipulate you with the threats of being cursed for not practicing the Old Covenant form of tithes and offerings. Remember “Christ has redeemed us from the curse of the Law, being made a curse for us.” (Gal 3:13) Do not walk in a mix of truth and error. Tithes are a wrongful way to walk the path of freedom to be followed in New Covenant giving. If a New Covenant assembly preaches the practice of traditional tithes they are in essence attempting to practice Old Covenant non-compliance law and not walking in the faith of Christ that the law was designed to bring us to. “Wherefore the law was our schoolmaster to bring us into Christ, that we might be justified by faith. But after faith is come we are no longer under a schoolmaster.” (Ga 3:24-25) At the Cross the school of tithes was let out for eternity and not just for a summer holiday.
Another aspect of the Malachi Malady is that people are told to give right now and blessing is assured. This hinders the hearing from God as to when to give and in fact supports the desires of those who milk the cash cows of prosperity doctrines. Such doctrines are totally unbiblical as tithing under the Old Covenant and giving under the New Covenant have absolutely nothing in common. Both practices in their appropriate time frame assure the blessing of God but the fact remains that tithes were abolished with the institution of the New Covenant through the shed blood of Christ. The giving of the New Covenant is a much better way of bestowing God’s blessings as it is based totally on love and the relationship of hearing from God as opposed to the forced transaction of the ritualistic tithe. To even use the word tithe in collection of money in the modern church is a deception as tithes have never been given acceptance or adoption anywhere after the establishment of the New Covenant. Using tithes to collect money from assembly members contravenes the word of God and adds Old Covenant burdens to New Covenant believers. If one joins with persons that claim tithes in the modern church are voluntary they totally set aside the word of God that says tithes are mandatory under the Old Covenant! And we know they were so mandatory that you could even be cursed by God for not giving them! To say that tithes are in any manner voluntary places you in the position of being either a knowing or unknowing false witness! No one should remain in such position for “a false witness will perish, and whoever listens to him will be destroyed forever.” (Pr 21:28) Now, we know that we will not be destroyed because we are God’s children but we could end up with a good beating as the word clearly states: “That servant, which knew his Lord’s will, and prepared not himself, neither did according to His will shall be beaten with many stripes.” (Lu 12:47) God does not say He will toss His children out of the Kingdom for tithing as salvation is a free gift, but He will certainly chastise us and the practice of tithes if continued can cost us the rewards of the overcomers spoken to in the Book of Revelation. As for myself, I am leaving tithes in the grave where Christ buried them when He went to the Cross for me. I have no intention of being willingly merchandised by any man nor do I condone making such use of others.
Tithes Are Not New Covenant Wages
“Let him that is taught in the word communicate unto him that teaches in all good things.” (Gal 6:6) “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? Even so hath the Lord ordained that they which preach the gospel should live of the gospel.” (1Co 9:13-14)
The principle of provision by God for doing God’s work is spoken to in the above scripture but what has been said has nothing to do with tithes being a source of provision or wages for the New Covenant pastor or preacher. If the modern preacher could demand a tithe from those he spoke to then every itinerant soap-box orator of God could ask a tithe of everyone that passed within their hearing distance on the streets or in the parks and way-fares of the world. If teaching God’s word was entitlement to tithes then we would all have the right to the tithe for we are all commanded to speak and teach the word. “Go ye therefore and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost: teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you always, even unto the end of the world.” (Matthew 28:19-20) The Bible does not tell the New Covenant believer that they have a right to the tithe. Reality is that Jesus remains the greatest teacher of all and he did not take a tithe. He in fact paid a tithe to the Levites as He was himself not a Levite but of the tribe of Judah. This is the same tribe we have been grafted into as his joint-heirs. We are not Levites in any form or manner. As well, if teaching was the qualifier to the tithe we would have to levy the same upon our own children for we are commanded to be their teachers. “And these words, which I command thee this day, shall be in thy heart: and thou shall teach them diligently unto thy children, and shall talk of them when thou sits in thy house, and when thou walks by the way, and when thou lies down, and when thou rises up.” (De 6:6-7)
If teaching the Word was associated in any way with receiving the tithe then all pastors and teachers would have to collect the 10% from every student they had in church Bible studies or at colleges, schools or seminaries! Teaching God’s word has absolutely no relationship to the giving and receiving of tithes or the right to them in the modern church. To associate or condone the taking of tithes with teaching is wrong from scripture as tithes were solely a mandatory donation made unto the Levites. The New Covenant giving for support of teachers and others doing the work of God in all His ministries is totally a free will offering of love that is based upon the leading and direction of the Holy Spirit. It is time to stop the pretense and deception that somehow a tithe has become the wage or form of support for the modern minister. Do you not have the faith in God to trust that He will speak clearly as what exactly to give and what exactly you are to receive? Do not condone the tithe. “Have thou faith? Have it to thyself before God. Happy is he that condemns not himself in that which he allows.” (Romans 14:22) Do not walk in error down a path of self-righteous ritual Satan has drug forth from the grave that Christ buried it in. Know the true joy of the Lord through intimacy with Him in hearing His voice and obediently giving exactly what is spoken to. New Covenant giving is all about hearing from God and the intimate relationship with Christ Jesus that such listening brings.
Point Three: We Are Under Grace
“For sin shall not have dominion over you: for you are not under the law, but under grace.” (Romans 6:14) “For by grace ye are saved through faith: and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: not of works, lest any man should boast.” (Ephesians 2: 8-9)
“Now are ye the body of Christ, and members in particular.” (1Co12: 27) “He is the head of the body, the church: who is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead; that in all things He might have the pre-eminence.” (Col 1:18) The church is the body of Christ, composed of faithful believers living under the grace of God and not Old Covenant law that no man could fulfill except the Lord Jesus Christ himself. To collect a tithe from the church or the body of Christ is in essence to demand a tithe from Jesus himself for it is Christ that indwells each of us: “I am crucified with Christ, nevertheless I live, yet not I, but Christ lives in me; and the life I now live in the flesh, I live by the faith of the son of God who loved me and gave Himself for me.” (Gal 2:20) As well, no matter where an assembly of believers may meet is considered to be the church. The Greek word for church is ekklesia and refers to a meeting of people called out and summoned together. It does not refer to the location of the meeting point. Scripture states: “For where two or three are gathered together in my name, there am I in the midst of them.” (Matthew 18:20) Also in the Book of Revelation Jesus states that he walks in the midst of his churches. So when you and I are joined together in such things as prayer or study in his name we are his church in assembly. We are his church being led by the Holy Spirit, our teacher, comforter and our guide. Think on this: if we were still under the law of tithes to whom would we tithe? Do we give to each other? Or perhaps it is best if we just tithe to ourselves. No! Tithes did not carry forward under the grace that Christ bought for us at the Cross. We are not under Old Covenant law but under grace through the faith of Christ Jesus in this matter. “Wherefore the law was our schoolmaster to bring us unto Christ, that we might be justified by faith. But after that faith is come, we are no longer under a schoolmaster.” (Gal 3:24-26) If we continue to collect tithes we are in effect placing ourselves back under Old Covenant law and in essence are counting the sacrifice of Christ at the Cross for naught. Once enlightened by the word as to the demise of tithes if we continue to practice it we are in fact fallen from grace. This fall will rob you of rewards because “Christ is become of no effect unto you, whosoever of you are justified by the law, ye are fallen from grace.” (Gal 5:4) No matter how good or righteous our actions may seem to be, just as tithing is made to appear righteous in the modern church, these actions truly indicate a fall from grace as evidenced in our turning back to the law!
The simplicity of the gospel of Christ is that we are His temple: “God that made the world and all things therein, seeing that He is Lord of heaven and earth, dwells not in temples made with hands.” (Acts 17:24) “Know you not that you are the temple of God, and that the Spirit of God dwells within you.” (1Co 3:16)
Under the old covenant the tithe was brought to the temple. (De12:5-7) The Old Covenant concept of the Temple as the house of God upon this earth ended with the final action of sacrifice by Jesus upon the Cross. It was there that God’s temple changed location to within each one of us. We are the temple, we are the church, we are the body of Christ, we are the sons of God; thus, to continue to tithe we have nowhere to bring them but to ourselves even if they still existed. What an absolute lunacy to carry forward thinking that you should still tithe. We are the house of God through being the house of Christ for “Christ is a son over his own house; whose house we are.” (Heb 3:6) There is no more a temple building, nor storerooms to place the tithes within that our God commands we no longer give under the grace He as freely bestowed. To equate new covenant church buildings as being the House of God is wrong according to the Word and it raises a physical structure to a status far above that which is given under the New Covenant. We in effect make of buildings a form of idol and thus place ourselves unwittingly in the position of idolaters. To raise the word tithes to a position higher than that accorded under the New Covenant also places it in the position of an idol. To continue to tithe in the modern assembly appears to be nothing more than a practice of idolatry!
Through his death and resurrection our Jesus destroyed the spiritual purpose of the Old Covenant temple set in Jerusalem and he opened the way for all believers to have direct access to God through him. He changed the focus of worship from the direction of the physical temple, the old man made location, to himself through the Spirit indwelling us. We are now his temple and what is called the body of Christ and the church. To say that the church building in any manner is His temple is a serious distortion of scripture, a blasphemy and idolatry!
“Bring you all the tithes into the storehouse, that there may be meat in my house”. (Malachi 3:10)
The tithes being spoken to were exact in amount and were to be given only to the Levites. The storehouse being spoken of had a well know location in that it was the rooms built along the sides of the Temple for such purposes. “And the priest, the son of Aaron shall be with the Levites, when the Levites take the tithe: and the Levites shall bring up the tithe of the tithes unto the house of our God, to the chambers, to the treasure house.” (Ne10:38) So where is the storehouse for our tithes today? That storehouse under the Old Covenant is clearly at the House of God and we now fill that role in that we are His temple. So where are the storerooms to be built alongside of us? We cannot avoid facing the fact that there are neither rooms for storage purpose within us or alongside us and neither is the modern church building the House of God as was the temple. Stop walking in the shadow of deception and begin to speak the truth of the word of God that tithes no longer exist for us today. Let us be obedient to the New Covenant faith of the Lord Jesus Christ that indwells us.
Point Four: Authority of the New Covenant
No Authority for Collection of Tithes
1. If a pastor or teacher tells you to return to God what belongs to him through tithing to a church, religious organization or religious leaders he is clearly leading you astray. Tithes are to be given to Levites only and the New Covenant ministers are not Levites. (Numbers 8:8-14) Religious leaders have no authority of any kind to demand return of anything to God in the form of tithes. They do however have the right to ask for a free-will offering.
2. Under the New Covenant with Christ as our single mediator the priestly functions and duties of the Levites were abolished and so were the taking of tithes for the support of the Levitical priesthood placed to rest. There is no authority under the New Covenant given for modern ministers to collect a tithe for their support, upkeep of church buildings, other property or good works projects. There does remain however the right to ask for free-will offerings.
3. There is no new authority under the New Covenant given to the Four Fold Ministry offices of apostle, prophet, evangelist and pastor-teacher to collect a tithe to allow for their support and the tithes were never designated for these offices under the Old Covenant. All four however have the right to request a free-will offering.
4. The office of the ministerial priest under the Old Covenant entailed the authority to collect tithes. The New Covenant pastor is not a functionary Levite or ministerial Levite priest and thus possesses no such inherent authority. The new covenant pastor has only the right of expectation of provision as guaranteed by the word of God for those who do His work and teach His word. This support comes through the New Covenant giving that is led of the Holy Spirit and this is totally a free will offering which one in calling of service to God has a right to ask for.
We Were Leveled At The Cross
“But ye are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, an Holy nation, a peculiar people; that ye should show forth the praises of Him who hath called you out of darkness into His miraculous light.” (1 Peter 2:9)
It is important to understand the leveling of relationship to God that took place with Christ’s death upon the Cross. With his action he placed us all upon an equal footing as a kingdom of priests under the New Covenant ratified through his blood. While there are different office functions within this priesthood there is no conferral of special status or superiority of one member over another within the body of Christ. We are all joint heirs with Jesus to the priesthood after the order of Melchizedek. With all of us being priests through Christ Jesus and with the same God indwelling us there is no one among us that possesses a special authority that they can demand a tithe from all others. Is the Jesus in me greater than the Jesus within you? God forbid such thoughts should enter any of our minds! We are all to be Disciples of Christ and there is no special tribe among us that has been selected by God as the Levites were to collect tithes. We are spiritually the children of Abraham, but we have been grafted into the tribe of Judah with Jesus and not that of Levi. During his earthly ministry Jesus gave tithes to the Levites, paid his temple taxes and acted in accordance with the Mosaic laws that he fulfilled at the Cross. The Levites did not tithe to him and he never collected a tithe from his followers because his ministry was not at an earthly altar or in an earthly sanctuary as was the Levites. Jesus was supported by others as he ministered and his disciples were told to expect the same treatment through their ministry for him. (Luke 8:1-3; 10:7) We are not better than Jesus and no less than any other of his disciples. We do not receive the support of a tithe when in fact they are illegal and no longer exist for those in Christ. We are simply to live in full expectation of our provision through the support of others as they are led by the Holy Spirit to offer the same. The scriptures show us free to request support, not to demand support, and in particular not through tithes. You will be taken care of by the Holy Spirit moving upon others to do so as you go about the ministry of the Word and the gifts of the Spirit if you are truly called to ministry. It is this simple: if Jesus did not have the authority to collect a tithe where do you assume this dogmatic right?
Point Five: New Covenant Giving
Because tithes were a mandatory Old Covenant law they are in no way a voluntary action that can be equated to a free will offering. The tithe was a law that had to be systematically practiced in ritualistic fashion and if not followed correctly could bring a curse of God down upon you. Giving under the New Covenant is always free will under the leading and guidance of the Holy Spirit. One has to be obedient as to hearing and knowing the voice of the God they claim to follow to determine how, when, where and what they are to give. It is a process of freedom in Christ that is an action resulting from obedience to the voice of God that indwells one. It is part of the process of always following the voice of the Lord. “My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me.” (John 10:27) Of primary importance to God is how we give and not what we have given. Our God requires that our giving be not forced but willing, based upon his Word and from a heart of love. The following scripture puts forth many points about New Covenant giving: “But this I say, he which sows sparingly shall reap also sparingly; and he which sows bountifully shall also reap bountifully. Every man according as he purposes in his heart, so let him give; not grudgingly, or of necessity: for God loves a cheerful giver. And God is able to make all grace abound toward you; that you always having all sufficiency in all things, may abound to every good work.” (2Corinthians 9:6-8)
Tithes speak only to the ‘necessity of giving under exact regulation’ not to the free will giving of ‘every man according as he purposes in his heart’ through an intimacy with God that your offerings should entail. The matter remains a clear choice between ‘regulation’ and ‘relationship’ based upon the Word.
Get These Points
1. Sow bountifully and you will reap bountifully. “Give and it shall be given unto you; good measure, pressed down, and shaken together, and running over, shall men give into your bosom, for with the same measure that you mete withal it shall be measured to you again.” (Luke 6:38)
2. The giving of an offering is to be self-determined, free-willed and not forced. This has always been the law of offerings for the Old Covenant states this: “Speak unto the children of Israel, that they bring me an offering, of every man that gives it willingly with his heart ye shall take me an offering.” (Ex 25: 2) In the New Testament Paul talks about the generous giving of Macedonians and encourages others to do likewise: “Therefore as you abound in everything, in faith, and utterance, and knowledge, and in all diligence, and in your love to us, se that ye abound in this grace also. (giving) I speak not by commandment, but by occasion of the forwardness of others, and to prove the sincerity of your love.” (2Co 8:7-8) “Everyman according as he purposes in his heart, so let him give.” (2Co 9:7)
3. Giving should glorify God and prove your love. “Being enriched in everything unto all bountifulness, which causes through thanksgiving to God, for the administration of this service not only supplies the want of the saints, but is abundant also by many thanksgivings unto God; whiles by the experiment of this ministration they glorify God for your professed subjection unto the gospel of Christ, and for your liberal distribution unto them, and unto all men.” (2Corinthians 9: 11-13)
4. Sacrificial, liberal giving does not depend upon the amount that one gives but is dependent upon the proportion one gives in relationship to what they have. This is seen in the giving of the Macedonians in 2 Corinthians 8:1-7 and the poor widow’s mite in the book of Mark. “Verily I say unto you, that this poor widow has cast more in, then all they which have cast into the treasury: for all they did cast in of their abundance; but she of her want did cast in all that she had, even all her living.”(Mark 12:33-34)
5. Giving should be generous in contributing to the needs of others but not to their greed. “If it is encouraging, let him encourage; if it is contributing to the needs of others, let him give generously.” (Romans 12:8) Such giving can be in the form of money, goods and serving through sharing of one’s time or talents. If recipients are only looking for money then perhaps it is best they examine their motives or reason for their position.
6. We should base our giving upon the basis of the spiritual gifts given us and make the greatest use of them we can to edify and bless the body of Christ. “Having then gifts differing according to the grace that is given to us; whether prophecy, let us prophecy according to the proportion of the faith; or ministry, let us wait on our ministering; or he that teaches, on teaching; or he that exhorts, on exhortation: he that gives, let him do it with simplicity (liberally); he that rules, with diligence; he that shows mercy, with cheerfulness.” (Romans 12:6-8)
7. Giving must be freely determined and based upon one’s ability to give. “Then the disciples, every one according to his ability, determined to send relief unto the brethren which dwelt in Judea.” (Acts 11:29) “Now, concerning the collection for the saints, as I have given order to the churches of Galatia, even so do ye. Upon the first day of the week let every one of you lay by him in store, as God has prospered him, that there be no gatherings when I come.” (1Co16:1-2) “If there be first a willing mind, it is accepted according to that a man has, and not according to that he has not.” (2Co 8:12)
8. We must give to the service and support of the saints in their doing of God’s work. “For to their power I bear record yea, and beyond their power they were willing of themselves; praying us with much entreaty that we would receive the gift, and take upon us the fellowship of ministering to the saints.” (2Co 8: 3-4) “Let him that is taught in the word communicate unto him that teaches in all good things.” (Gal 6:6) “As we have therefore opportunity, let us do good unto all men, especially unto them who are of the household of faith.” (Gal 6:10)
9. Giving should be done in support of the poor, weak, needy, widows and orphans. “I have showed you all things, how that so laboring you ought to support the weak, and to remember the words of the Lord Jesus, how he said, It is more blessed to give than to receive.” (Acts 20:35) “If a brother or sister be naked, and destitute of daily food, and one of you say unto them, depart in peace, be ye warmed and filled; notwithstanding ye give them not those things which are needful to the body; what does it profit?” (James 2:15-16)
10. Those who minister for the Lord have a right to expect support of their ministry but they do not necessarily have to accept or use all support that is offered. They must hear from the Spirit as to whom from, where and when they should accept provision. The apostle Paul discusses this issue in 1 Corinthians 9:1-14.
11. God promises a reward for those that give and minister out of love for the saints and the needy. “For God is not unrighteous to forget your work and labor of love, which you have showed toward his name, in that you have ministered to the saints and do minister.” (Hebrews 6:10)
12. Tithes and collection of monies in the New Covenant church under the guise of tithes is not to be condoned. Repent and drop the unrighteous practice of tithing. Live by the law of the Spirit which is the law of faith in God to provide for all your needs through free will offerings. (Ro 3:6-7) Live under the law of freedom and demand that we do not remain under any Old Covenant bondage such as tithes. (John 8:36)
13. Give first to God that which He desires the most: give of your time to Him and His written word. Search the scriptures daily, pray, fast and wait upon His voice of direction to lead you to the rest of the points that are stated in the Bible about New Covenant giving. “You search the scriptures, for in them you think you have eternal life; and these are they which testify of me.” (John 5:39) “These were more fair minded, than those in Thessalonica, in that they received the word with all readiness, and searched the scriptures daily to find out whether these things were so.” (Acts 17:11) Do you get the point?
Point Six: Relationship Creates a Merry Heart
“Every man according as he purposes in his heart, so let him give; not grudgingly, or of necessity: for God loves a cheerful giver.” (2Cor 9:7)
To be cheerful means to be of good spirits, joyous, happy and merry. When one is a cheerful giver there is a spirit of willingness within them and a desire to please the one who gave everything to redeem their life. There burns within the person a yearning for intimacy with their Creator and a seeking of fellowship with the God they were created by. This God created us to walk in the garden in the cool of the evening with Him and to engage in conversation. It is God’s desire to speak with us that forms the basis of New Covenant giving being a matter of free will and not compulsion. The Lord desires our obedience in all matters to be from a heart of love for him and He wants us to seek Him in everything we do. He wants us to discuss all things with Him and to exercise ourselves in all matters in the manner He instructs us to. It is through such actions on our part that He will unleash all blessings for our lives that he has created for us to know and bestow upon others as we carry out His will. Our strength grows in our relationship with Christ as we seek His voice as to where we are to give, how we are to give and how much we are to give in His name. Money, time, talents or anything else he gives us are only the vehicle used to teach us how to communicate with Him. Giving is a means of building a relationship with God that He desires we have with Him. We are God’s children, He is our father and this is the manner in which He has chosen to raise us to come into the full glory and knowledge that we are the sons and daughters of the living and eternal God. It is this relationship of listening and obedient giving that creates the merry heart of the follower of Jesus because the giver comes to know with ever increasing intimacy their creator and His approval upon their lives.
The Bible tells us “all the days of the afflicted are evil; but he that is of a merry heart has a continual feast.” (Proverbs 15:15) We are also told “a merry heart doeth good like a medicine; but a broken spirit dries the bones.” (Pr 18:22) The merry heart created through obedient giving ensures one of a continual fellowship with the Lord and brings them the freshness and rejuvenation of the Spirit that is the true freedom found in Christ. It restores our strength and renews our youth when we wait upon the Lord for His bidding and happily carry out His will. Simply put, prayer is talking with God but a talking that is preceded by an awareness of our need to listen more than to speak. Why? Because we truly have nothing to teach God and He is certain to be correct in everything He tells us to do. The wonder of the relationship that exists with God is that He loves us so much that even when we do not know what to pray He directs the Holy Spirit to pray for and through us in groanings and utterings we cannot even understand. Wow! The Spirit addresses this prayer through Jesus and God thus gets His will done for our lives even when we do not know that He is doing it, even in spite of our resistance. “Likewise the Spirit also helps our infirmities; for we know not what we should pray for as we ought: but the Spirit itself makes intercession for us with groanings which cannot be uttered. And He that searches the hearts knows what the mind of the Spirit is, because He makes intercession for the saints according to the will of God.” (Romans 8:26-27) What a mighty, loving and just God we serve.
As we learn to listen to God we come more and more to trust in Him, taking extreme delight in our relationship with Him and committing everything we do unto Him. We increasingly desire obedience to His will as the best path to follow in our walk with Him. “Trust in the Lord, and do good; so shall thou dwell in the land, and verily thou shall be fed. Delight thyself also in the Lord and He shall give thee the desires of thy heart. Commit thy ways unto the Lord; trust in Him; and He shall bring it to pass.” (Psalms 37:3-5) This admonition from God begins and ends with the need for trust and so does New Covenant giving in all its forms for you must trust the voice you hear and not the dead formula of tithing. If you want the fullness of relationship with God and the merry heart it brings then obey His word as the New Covenant speaks to it. In reality the type of giving that the Lord desires has not changed since the Old Covenant days as only the aspects of tithing have been excluded by the Cross. God’s type of giving is spoken to in Isaiah: “Is not this the fast that I have chosen? to loose the bands of wickedness, to undo the heavy burdens, and to let the oppressed go free, and that ye break every yoke? Is it not to deal thy bread to the hungry, and that thou bring the poor that are cast out to thy house? when thou sees the naked, that thou cover him and that thou hide not thyself from thy own flesh? Then shall thy light break forth as the morning, and thine health shall spring forth speedily and thy righteousness shall go before thee: thy glory of the Lord shall be thy reward. Then shall thou call and the Lord shall answer; thou shall cry and he shall say, here I am. If thou take away from the midst of thee the yoke, the putting forth of the finger, and speaking vanity; and if thou draw out thy soul to the hungry, and satisfy the afflicted soul; then shall thy light rise in obscurity, and thy darkness be as the noon day: and the Lord shall guide thee continually, and satisfy thy soul in drought , and make fat thy bones; and thou shall be like a watered garden, and like a spring of water, whose waters fail not.” (Isa 58: 6-11) What blessed words and nowhere in them is there one mention of tithes. But it does speak loudly of what carried forward in New Covenant giving. As well, in the New Testament we see that the Jerusalem Council only placed the following requirements upon us gentiles: “to abstain from pollution of idols, and from fornications, and from things strangled and from blood.” (Acts 15:20) That was all that was required for us to be fully grafted into the tribe of Judah and full-fledged members of the body of Christ as were the apostolic Jews. The apostles did not carry forward tithing for they knew that part of the law had demised at the cross of Jesus. Their giving created within them a merry heart in ongoing relationship with the same Jesus they followed upon His earthly walk. What walk do you wish to take now?
Point Seven: The Importance of Our Words
“But I say unto you that every idle word that men shall speak, they shall give account thereof in the day of judgment. For by thy word thou shall be justified, and by thy word thou shall be condemned.” (Matthew 12:36-37)
Inappropriate or deliberate misuse of God’s word shall have serious consequences in our eternal lives. Under the New Covenant giving is never to be based upon the tithe once you have been given the truth of the teaching and to teach to give the tithe once informed of the error is walking in direct opposition to God. Tithes were a requirement that literally forced the Israelites to give under the threat of a curse if they did not. The New Covenant demands a giving out of love and under the leading of the Holy Spirit. It is God’s desire that we generously give from a basis of love and never under threat or coercion. It is wrong and unbiblical for us to collect monies under the doctrine of tithes. Using the word tithes in any manner with New Covenant giving or collection of funds should not be tolerated as it is a sinful action separating you from God. It is unlawful action in that tithes were only for the Levites and it is deceitful in that it holds people back from the truth of the word of God. And what is this truth? Jesus is this truth. Wake up! To intentionally use the word tithes in receiving money is wrong and you will account to God for misuse of the word in doing so. In promoting tithing you are in essence putting forth false doctrine, placing a stumbling block in front of the brethren, rejecting Biblical truth and pursuing your own methods of trying to build the church and body of Christ. God will chastise the person that deliberately goes against His word, corrupts His children and in effect destroys the temple He dwells within. “If any man defile the temple of God, him shall God destroy; for the temple of God is Holy, which temple ye are.” (1Co 3:17)
It is time for the church to truly hear the voice of God and to obey the written word. We cannot remain caught into aberrant doctrine and have the heart that God desires we share with Him. Continue on in tithing doctrines and you shall remain a person these words apply to: “Forsomuch as these people draw nigh to me with their mouth, and with their lips do honor me, but have removed their hearts far from me, and their fear toward me is taught by the precepts of men: therefore, behold, I will proceed to do a marvelous work among this people, even a marvelous work and wonder: for the wisdom of their wise men shall perish, and the understanding of their prudent men shall be hid.” (Isaiah 29:13-14) It is time to fully trust that removing tithes does not remove offerings. But it does demand the knowledge that everything belongs to God and He may demand that you give it all or in manners you do not understand. Thus you need to know His voice for all is a much greater amount to give and receive than is the tithe. Removal of tithes disposes of an action that is illegal in the New Covenant assembly, an action that if continued constitutes a form of idolatry and blasphemy of the word of God when you have been given the ears to hear. It is a generous God that leads us in free will giving and blessing. How generous is this God? He gave his only begotten Son. Recall the offering of the children of Israel for the furnishing and construction of the tent in Exodus 35: 20-29. The people were so moved upon by the Spirit of God that they had to be told to stop giving as the excess was beyond all need. There is no need to fear my pastor and ministry brothers, drop the tithes for you cannot out-give God when you walk in complete obedience. We are the final generation before our Lord’s return and we are chosen to remove all spots and wrinkles from the brides’ gown before He transforms the flesh. We must obey the word and not hinder the Father in giving the Son his bride. It is your free choice as to what you do regarding your New Covenant giving even though the following option stated is taken from the Old Covenant writing: “And if it seems evil unto you to serve the Lord, choose you this day whom you will serve; but as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord.” (Joshua 24:15) Joshua tithed because he knew that was his service of obedience and for Joshua our God stopped the sun. What might God do for you if you chose to trust Him beyond all understanding of the mind and simply follow the word and stop tithing? Perhaps you will join us in fulfilling the works greater than spoken to by our Lord Jesus Christ in John 14:12. My advice to you is to drop the practice and promotion of tithes today. Why? “You too be ready; for the son of man is coming at an hour you do not expect”. (Luke 12:40) Amen.