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TITHING

By Jemima Rayan

As God's children, we have a source of financial abundance that knows no bounds. Some of the most prosperous men of all times were the men of God like Abraham, Jacob, Job and Solomon. Prospering God’s way by using God’s principle is something that every Christian show understands. God is a respecter of no man.

Many think that with their present resources, they can't even make ends meet. How can they ever give away 10% of our gross income and still survive? What they fail to see is the blessing that follow tithing. By paying the first ten percent of our total incomes, positions us to receive from God. The one who chooses not to 'render to God' what belongs to Him is considered 'a robber'. The one who does not tithe is robbing God and is operating under a curse (Mal 3:8,9). The Bible says that 'thieves will not inherit the kingdom God' (1Cor 6: 10)

What is tithe? Tithe is 'the first tenth' of your total income that belongs to God. From the beginning we see God setting apart something for Himself. The 'tree of the knowledge of good and evil' was set apart. Adam was never forbidden to eat of anything else in the garden but from that one tree. The day Adam touched the 'forbidden fruit' they were cursed. God established this principle even from the time He created man. You and I cannot receive what belongs to us in Christ unless we pay what belongs to Him.

The first tenth is the tithe. God commanded the children of Israel that the first 10 percent of their fruit belongs to God. God says in Ex 22:29 ...You shall not delay to offer the first of your ripe produce and your juices. God told the children of Israel not to delay when giving to God is concerned. Proverbs 3:9 says, “Honor the Lord with your possessions, And with the first fruits of all your increase; So your barns will be filled with plenty, And your vats will overflow with new wine.” Notice the word “first”. God wants us to honor Him with the first portion. Mt 6:33 says, 'seek first the kingdom of God'. Notice the word 'first' in all the above references. Cain brought an offering of the fruit of the ground to the Lord. Abel also brought of the firstborn of his flock and of their fat. And the Lord respected Abel and his offering, but He did not respect Cain and his offering. (Gen 4:1-5). The reason why God did not respect Cain and his offering was because Cain brought something that was not the first fruits. 'The giving of the tithe' is an act of honoring God as the provider of the harvest. By tithing, we acknowledge that our prosperity is from God.

Lev 27:30 says, 'the entire tithe...is the Lord's. Abraham gave Melchizedek, the priest of the Most High, tithes of all (Gen 14:20) This is 400 years before God gave the "Ten commandments". Tithe should be given out of the gross income and in every income that comes in. If there is more than one income, then we need to add those gross incomes and out of the total gross income, set apart the first tenth to be given to God. Mal 3:10 says 'Bring all the tithes into the storehouse'. Jesus told the scribes and Pharisees who paid tithe of mint and anise and cumin and said to them in Matt 23:23 "You ought to have done" and He refers to 'the tithes'. In other words Jesus said it is mandatory for you to tithe. Jesus also adds that your righteousness should be more than the righteousness of the Pharisees and the scribes. That means we need to give over and above our tithes in terms of offerings and alms. Jesus also said,' Render therefore to Caesar the things that are Caesar's and to God the things that are God's'(Mt 22:21). Render means 'to pay'. Tithing is a requirement and not an option. God's principle has not changed.

Where do you give your tithe?

This is one question we must address in the light of God’s word. To whom does your tithe belong? Lev 27:30 says, 'the entire tithe...is the Lord's.

God instructed the children of Israel to take the offerings of first fruits and tithes and go to the one who is priest. Then the priest will set it down before the altar of the Lord your God. (Deuteronomy 26:2,3). In verses 5-10 we see the Lord wants the children of Israel to confess His mighty works and how He delivered then from the bondage of Egypt. In Deuteronomy 26:10, we read that the high priest will set the tithes before God and worship Him with them. Vs 14 and 15 say, we need to hearken to the voice of the Lord God and should do according to all that he has commanded. Notice the word ‘hearken to the voice’ and ‘doing according to His command’.

Who is the priest? Hebrews 3:1 says that Jesus is our High Priest. Hebrews 7:8 says that Jesus collects our tithes personally. We need to take our tithes to Christ Jesus, our High priest. Then we need to hear the still small voice and there by fulfill His command. Now, confession is very important. Tell Him how He brought you out of darkness. Tell him, ‘I worship You with my tithes, I have heard your voice and done according to your commandment. Now bless me asYou have promised in Your word’.

In the Old Testament days, only the Levites were allowed to do the ministry. But in the New Testament we see that there are five kinds of ministers ie., apostle, prophets, evangelists, pastors and teachers (Ephesians 4:11). In tithing, Ephesians 4:11-12 says, “And he gave some, apostles, and some prophets and some evangelists and some pastors and teachers; For the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ.” God wants all of these ministries blessed so that there is equality. God does not want one to be eased and the other burned. He wants an equality when the children of Israel gathered manna according to 2 Corinthians 8: 14,15. Tithe is referred to as food in Malachi 3:10. I am sure when we take the tithe prayerfully to Jesus, He will tell us what to do. He is fair and just in the distribution of God’s tithe. When the church and the ministries focus on feeding the people, that church or ministry will receive its portion from Jesus the portion of God’s tithe. I know this is not too popular with some church doctrines. All of God ordained ministries quality to receive from Jesus to fulfill their mandate when they do the Kingdom work. God wants you to have 90 percent of your incomes for yourself and pay Him 10 percent to provide ministry and build His Kingdom on this earth.

Some think only the local church are to receive tithes. This would be true if their church is the only source of spiritual growth. Deuteronomy 26:14 says, “I have not eaten of the tithe…or given any of it to the dead; I have hearkened to the voice of the Lord my God, and have done according to all that You have commanded me.” We need to put our tithe into a storehouse that is feeding the life of God to the people. Many churches and ministries keep finances out of the gospel work and revival that is in the earth today. Many churches fail to take the people that are called of God under their shelter. Galatians 6:10 says, “Let him who is taught the word share in all good things with him who teaches.”

Since it is God’s money to start with and since Jesus is the One who will receive and distribute the tithe, pray and let Him tell you where it should be put to work. This is not too popular with some church doctrines. I am sure Jesus will do a fair job in distributing than any man. When a church or ministry sees to it that the people are fed, that church will receive its portion. When a servant of God sees to it that the people are fed, Jesus will minister to him his portion of God’s tithe. All the different churches and ministries qualify to receive from Jesus to fulfill their calling when they feed God’s people.

May the Lord open the windows of heaven and pour out for you such blessing That there will not be room enough to receive it. Amen.

 


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