“Will a man rob God? Yet you have robbed Me! But you say, “in what way have we robbed you?” In tithes and offerings. You are cursed with a curse, for you have robbed Me, even this whole nation. Bring all the tithes into the storehouse that there may be food in My house, and try 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 such blessing that there will not be room enough to receive it.”
(Malachi chapter 3 verses 8-10)
Tithe has been a subject of controversy for many years. Some have claimed it is an old testament law, while others say tithing also applies to new testament believers.
Tithing: Old or New Testament law?
“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. Ans if a man will at all redeem ought of his tithes, he shall add thereto the fifth part thereof. And concerning the tithe of the herd, or of the flock, even of whatsoever passeth under the rod, the tenth shall be holy unto the Lord.” (Leviticus chapter 27 verses 30-32)
Without doubt, the tithe is a part of the Mosaic laws stated in the old testament. In the above scripture, God commanded Moses to command the people of Israel to pay their tithes, this has caused many to say that tithing is a Mosaic law so it doesn’t apply to new testament believers. But we must understand that many years before Moses, Abraham paid tithes to Melchizedek.
“And Melchizedek king of Salem brought forth bread and wine: and he was the priest of the most high God and he blessed him, and said, ‘blessed be Abram of the most high God, possessor of heaven and earth: and blessed be the most high God, which hath delivered thine enemies into thy hand. And he gave him tithes of all.” (Genesis chapter 14 verses 18-20)
Many years before the Mosaic laws, Abraham paid tithes. So, tithing did not begin in the era of the Mosaic laws. Abraham, the father of faith, paid tithes to Melchizedek. Jesus is a priest in the order of Melchizedek (Hebrews chapter 7 verse 11). The Melchizedek priesthood is the eternal priesthood. It was before the Levitical priesthood and continues after it. Tithe is not just a law; it is a principle given to man from the realm of eternity. It is part of the culture of God’s kingdom here on the earth. I believe one of the reasons why God instituted the tithe is to enable us to serve in his kingdom with our finance as faithful stewards. The tithe was never meant to be another “law” but to make us understand that the resources given to us are not just for our personal needs but more importantly, for the expansion of God’s kingdom upon the earth.
When tithe becomes another law
People often ask, “should I pay 10% from every income I receive? how can I calculate my tithe as a trader? should I pay the tithe from my gross or net income?” Some persons even feel they are suffering financially because they didn’t pay their tithes some time in the past. Some wonder why they have not had the “blessings that no room can contain” since they’ve been paying their tithes.
The mindset we must have as new testament believers is that we must give freely out of a heart of love knowing that all we possess were given to us by the Lord. God is not in the business of punishing those that do not pay their tithes. He wants us to give liberally with understanding, not because it’s a law but because we have an understanding of our place as agents of his kingdom. It may not be the regular 10% at your local church. It may be that another church badly needs 12% of your income to complete their rent or a missionary in India badly needs your 10%, or a minister badly needs your 5% to pay for his mortgage, or a homeless man needs your 2% to eat for the next few days. The blessing comes when we do not give out of compulsion but in love, as led by God’s spirit for the expansion of his kingdom.
Rume Kpadamrophe is an evangelist, writer, teacher and researcher based in Lagos, Nigeria. Rume speaks French and English and loves to travel. His desire is to see revival ignited and sustained in the nations of the world. Rume’s email address is firstname.lastname@example.org
Rume’s previous articles may be viewed at https://www.pressserviceinternational.org/rume-padsmrophe.html