Jesus is Your Tithe
Jesus poked the hornets’ nest when he said, “Watch out for those law-lovers who strut about in long robes, pray long prayers, and take the best seats at banquets.”
It was a provocative statement because Jesus was standing in the temple courts when he said it.
He was surrounded by long-robed men.
“These men devour widows’ houses,” added Jesus.
No doubt some of the long-robed men were upset to hear this. Perhaps they got defensive. “I never devoured a widow’s house.”
“Follow me to the treasury,” said Jesus.
There he and his followers sat down to watch people bringing their offerings. Right on cue, as if it had been pre-ordained, a poor widow dropped in two copper coins.
“Those two coins might not look like much,” said Jesus, “but that was her grocery money. She needed that to live, yet she gave it away. Now she has nothing left.”
Jesus was not praising the widow’s generosity as much as rebuking the rich who steal from the poor. The same practice continues today whenever religious threats are made.
“If you don’t tithe you’re robbing God. If you don’t tithe you’ll be cursed. If you don’t tithe you’re going to hell.”
How does religion devour the poor? By threatening them in the name of God, so that in terror they give everything they have, right down to their last penny.
The law was the shadow, but Jesus is the reality. Jesus is our tithe and everything besides.
Just as God doesn’t expect you to slaughter sheep at the altar, nor does he expect you to tithe your crops. Jesus is the Lamb of God, your sacrificial offering and tithe.
These are a shadow of the things that were to come; the reality, however, is found in Christ. (Colossians 2:17)
Source: Stuff Jesus Never Said
More articles about tithing.
Escape to Reality is a reader-funded website.
Brilliant as always Paul. I love your book, Stuff Jesus Never Said.
Loving the book too, thanks Paul! Will be sure to leave a + review on Amazon.
I was giving to make sure God would multiply my finances and take care of me in grand style. Thank God I didn’t blame God when we struggled just as much or more than before which word of faith calls the testing so do not stop giving the tithe or your finances will be cursed. Your teachings set me free from this lie of the devil. Now I just rest in the knowledge that God will provide my every need according to His riches in glory through Christ Jesus. The truth does really set you free. God bless you and your family. Your posts and books are water to my soul. I thank God for you.
It’s upsetting to hear stories about men with private jets and Bentley’s manipulating poor folks who are struggling to put food on the table out of their money. What’s even worse is they say it’s God who wants their money, which destroys their healthy Father – child relationship with Him. Everything is provided for us in Jesus, including our tithe.
I agree. Sometimes I think we make the law a reality, and Jesus the shadow, even in regards to tithing. When I think of tithing, I think of giving generously to whatever God lays on your heart. 🙂
God bless you! I love you brother. I am enjoying reading a couple of your books at the moment. My heart burns and leaps for joy as your words minister grace to me!!
This is a double edged lie/thief!
The negative side you’ve covered beautifully.
The positive is the under the New we are all to be led by the Spirit.
In John 10 Jesus tells us that:
– His sheep will hear His voice
– His sheep will know His voice
– That’s how He will lead them
– That’s how we will follow Him
Moving a decimal place 1 place to the left is being led by the law, not by the Spirit.
Wow awesome message I’m at a shelter at the moment and a pastor said the ten percent thing too. I have #stuffjesusneversaid I’m read it again ty brother
,,,and just as powerful and just as much a lie when the “spiritual leaders” stand at the front and tell you that if you tithe ‘you won’t have money problems’, ‘you will be well’, ‘you will be blessed’, and then have people give testimony ti reinforce the lie, telling everyone that when they started to tithe their lives all came together.
Yeah, Richard. You have to wonder if they are telling the truth. Somebody told me once to borrow thousands of pounds to give him, it’s God’s will and another who I don’t know told me that I had an agreement to help him financially lol. I told him straight, it is a sin for a minister to lie, I do not know you. We just have to continue to be smart like Jesus; because we are like him; and don’t let anyone intimidate or bully us into giving.
I remember a former Pastor bringing out Malachi chapter 3 to threaten the congregation with the curse of Malachi if they didn’t tithe. It would typically coincide with the annual faith pledge or a building program.
At the same time, there was a continual theme that the end of the world was very near – so no need to save for the future/retirement. Just give it all to God (actually the Pastor and the church staff).
Hey Paul – I have grown weary of the tithe issue – we don’t use those terms – tithing is from the law and to be honest we owe Jesus 100%!! Not just a 10th so our passage to the church is from 2 Corinthians 9:7–8 So let each one give as he purposes in his heart, 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 have an abundance for every good work. – When it comes to the tithe term I argue “Aren’t you glad Jesus didn’t give 10% of his life but 100% on the cross?”
I so much love this. God bless you
What can i give to God that would be enough, i might not give 10 percent of my income which is tithe but i sure should give more because Jesus is my all, What so ever i do in word or deed i do unto the name of God. Tithe is even not enough. I ve read where tithe was given to Either Levites, widows n orphans etc my question is why is it taken to the church to Pastors alone, what happened to giving to the orphans, widow, poor etc
Let me add that when my wife and I first got married we asked the Lord what we should give to the church even though there was this “tithe” push from Malachi that I could never be at peace with – I mean, it was plainly addressed to Israel not the church. The church didn’t exist yet but I still had the heart to give so when we prayed it was more than a tithe. We actually came up with the same amount in our own prayer time. It was our first year of marriage and we had nothing as far as furniture but we gave that amount anyway because we felt it was from the Lord. By the end of that year through different channels we were given a waterbed, kitchen table, dining room table and even free plants without ever asking. They were needs and while they weren’t top grade things we still had a household of furniture and within five years by saving $5 each paycheck then $10, then $25 then $50 – You see, Every paycheck I would raise the ante seeing if we would miss the additional and in time we had enough for an all expense vacation to Hawaii with a our friends. We never even used a credit card. it was paid for!! As a pastor people are shocked I don’t go on & on about giving. I usually say “Our ushers are going to receive the offering this morning”. That’s it! One year we elders gave an amount to the Lord for new chairs without saying a thing to the congregation and the Lord brought in the finances, we bought the chairs and surprised the church!! It’s way better to lean on the Lord and not pressure the congregation!
Thanks Jeff. I was hoping to hear from some pastors and your story is inspiring.
Well said Jeff and there is something terribly wrong when many ministers are billionaires while the majority of the church still lives in poverty, a curse we all have been redeemed from.
I heard testimony a long time ago from Leader of CHRISTian band “AVALANCHE” (If my memoery serves) “IF IT IS LORDS WILL IT IS LORDS BILL” To say what you said as the “go away” understanding of this type of message. Thank you for this article.
Ill do a study on this.
New Testament Grace means that we are to give as we purpose in our hearts. The Law brought a complicated set of statues and the tithe was for the Levites which we do not have with us any more. But before the law, Abraham tithed by faith, and we are Abraham’s seed if we are in Christ. I tithe by faith and I have seen incredible blessing from it, spiritually and financially. So while you do not have to tithe, the principle is there like a hidden treasure for those that want to take advantage of something special God has for those who find it!!
Abraham was also before the completed work of Jesus. 🙂 When you say you tithe by faith I’m not sure I understand correctly. Does it mean faith that there will be a blessing when you tithe? We are already blessed with every spiritual blessing in Christ. Is there something missing in Jesus and His completed work that we must search for other hidden treasure? Faith is abiding in Jesus. We lack nothing in Him.
Amen. Preach it, LJP!
Hey LJP, I’ve struggled with this and I believe you answered my question. Even grace pastors will use Abraham to say that there is a special thing or hidden treasures for those who want to go further with God. I believe in giving, and only because God has given me a heart to share what He has given me. It makes me feel amazing to be able to give when God places it on my heart, but I hate the feeling of obligation. I believe that this confusion has even caused my free flow giving to stop. I’ve been under a guilt for not giving 10%, but for some reason I haven’t gave. It’s almost like I’m rebelling against what I’ve been raised to believe.
I’m so tired of religion! It has messed me up for years. I believe in radical grace to the fullest (or want to), there’s just a lot of old thinking that I deal with because of churches I was raised in. Thanks for this, it really makes me think. What is giving in faith…is it giving and believing that God will provide because you gave? To me that sounds like God will have to owe you, and God doesn’t owe anything to anybody! I guess you can say I’m learning how to be loved and that love from our Father is free. Thanks again!
Thanks, Aaron, it’s awesome to hear how God’s life is working in you. I think most of us have a lot of old thinking that could be transformed. You may even run across some old comments from me where I was for tithing. Haha! The way I see it now is Jesus fulfilled everything from the old system for me so I could live free in Him. You’re right on the money about giving what God places on your heart. Grace and peace.
God bless you brother! God blesses you because you give cheerfully, not because you tithe. I don’t tithe but God blesses me! (I do give with a thankful heart). Abraham gave a tenth of the spoils that did not even belong to him! Not a tenth of his salary.
At the end of the day it is our heart attitude in our giving that God is concerned with. Tithing needs to be dropped from Christian vocabulary, it puts God’s people in bondage.
That’s the secret sauce, Faith! I love the way you said it!!
In Acts the apostles met and decided that only 4 things carried over from the old into the new for the church: a) ixnay on the fornication; and don’t eat things b) sacrificed to idols, c) strangled, d) with blood in it. Certain Abrahamic things such as circumcising and tithing not carried forward as they were fulfilled in Christ. (Obviously righteousness by faith carried on from Abe too as that’s chatted about extensively in the epistles so that’s a given.)
It’s all too easy to fall into the subtle trap of legalism of thinking God will bless/provide because we gave. Instead, as LJP said we are already blessed with all because of Jesus’ grace, who though He was rich, became poor that we, through His poverty, might become rich. Already made co-heirs with Christ, the heir of the world!
It all come down to confidence in our hearts For example certain things like listening to the leading of the Lord and following it build confidence while doing the opposite typically gives the opportunity to fall into condemnation which is the opposite of confidence before the Lord. It’s about our heart, God does not change. We do.
I believe sowing and reaping just allow us to bring out what’s really in our hearts and what we really believe about God. If we sow to life we see ourselves as sons or daughters easier. There are other factors of course on how our confidence gets build up in what God says about us.
But the person who does not have it in his heart to give into God’s kingdom and the poor or gives little typically does not know his identity in a deep way.
To Lisa Jane: If you read Paul’s account of that Key council, it differs from Luke’s (ACTS), which was written about 15 years after the event. Paul’s account in Galatians was written soon after the council and he IGNORED the four “laws” that the law-minded Apostles led by James wrote down. (They were 4 of the 7 Noahic laws in Jewish Tradition for Gentiles.)
Paul ignored them to preserve the pure Gospel from any works of the Law for his flocks. Why? Because the leven of the Law is the mixture of Galatianism – which the Jerusalem church was still living in. They regarded themselves merely as a “Jewish sect” rather than a totally new and distinct belief system – the whole Gospel that Jesus revealed to Paul in 42 AD – according to 2 Cor. 12:1-6 which was written in 56 AD. (The experience of going up into heaven happened 14 years earlier – according to his own testimony.) Paul did not want his followers to ” fall into the subtle trap of legalism.”
I dislike this notion that Paul was the first to preach the gospel and that there was a 12 year period after Christ’s death when no one knew what the whole gospel was. Jesus revealed the pure gospel of grace during his ministry and he preached it to his disciples on the night he rose from the dead. Paul certainly had a profound grasp of the gospel, but he wasn’t the first to preach it: Jesus was. And some Old Testament prophets.
I did the whole tithing by faith spiel. I wanted to give even more to missions, food pantry, buy some groceries for a friend, etc. My discovery was that I got poorer. Couldn’t pay my rent and had to borrow. Started having medical problems and ended up disabled. Now I’m on a very small income and still hear this 10% garbage…and that’s what I see it as. Ten percent is something conjured up by preachers to fund their church and salary. We’re to give cheerfully what we’re able to give. Some of us might not have a lot to give in money or talent. There was a time I’d be at the church helping VBS or painting, and I’d help people outside the church. Now I can’t do much to even help myself some days.
And the best part of it all is listening to preachers who say you’re poor and sick because you don’t tithe.
I’d never put the widow together like that before, but I just read Mark 12 again after this article and I can see now how it fits together so smoothly.
I haven’t tithed since my rent went unpaid. The church also claimed they didn’t have it in the budget after I’d given them thousands every year. And I don’t plan on ever tithing. A tithe is to count who gives more than everyone else. I will continue to drop cash into the offering plate. They can call it offering or tithes, makes no difference to me. I give what I can.
i tithed out of fear of being cursed. so i tithed $7,000 to this church.. i paid it with a check, not cash. so there is a paper trail.. then i also find out that this church is preaching a damning WORKS based salvation message. Is there any way that i can ask for the tithe back? or am i screwed?
This makes good sense to me. The prosperity movement, sow your seed money, and the constant quoting of Malachi 3:8 never spoke to my spirit as new covenant truth. Jesus wants something from me more valuable than a little money HE WANTS ME – ALL OF ME. My will in unreserved submission to His will by the will of the Holy Spirit all to the glory of Our Heavenly Father.
Paul, I’m sure you’d agree that the original tithe that Abraham offered was before the law and does not come under the laws of Moses or the statutory laws and is separate from the Old Covenant. When the new Covenant of grace came through Jesus, I’m sure things of the old have been replaced with something much better, but I hope a Christian reading this never mistakes the original pattern of tithing to be from the Mosaic Law, but is actually offered to Melchizedek who is ‘without beginning nor end’- and Jesus is called ‘a High Priest of the order of Melchizedek’- who in Hebrews Ch. 7 is called a priest ‘forever’. Giving God the glory!
You might be interested in this article on Abram’s tithe.
Circumcision was introduced before the law too yet is not required in the new covenant. Just because something was from Abraham’s time doesn’t mean it auto-conveys.
In Christ we were circumcised with a circumcision made without hands in the removal of the body of flesh. Likewise Abba has brought the full tithe into the storehouse when he gave us Jesus at the cross so now there is food in his house i.e. temple (you, me). He has therefore already fulfilled Malachi when he opened the windows of heaven and poured out a blessing (the Holy Spirit) for us until it overflowed at Pentecost.
The Holy Spirit rebukes the devourer for us in intercessory prayer such as groans too deep for words, praying in the spirit etc., so that the devourer cannot devour the bread Abba brings forth from the earth, Jesus bodily health, freedom from curse from being hung on the tree and so on; and now Jesus our True Vine will not cast His grapes in the field.
I’ve enjoyed reading your comments, Lisa Jane. You make some great points.
Lisa, I too love reading your comments. Where do you get your teaching from?
And thank you Paul for being brave and speaking truth. It is so sad, so very sad that people who are on welfare and struggling financially are having direct debit ‘tithes’ taken from their bank accounts each week, so they will be blessed by God!
Please keep teaching us about the Loving, kind God who provides what He requires. Thank you.
Thanks Lisa jane
For far too many years we tithed to a couple churches we attended who taught the ‘blessing or curse’ sermons also. So glad we are free from those chains and thank you for this message. Also, we constantly struggled financially despite the tithing. Now we give as our hearts are led, to charities that we beforehand verify are legitimate and that use all the money for the charity.
I tithed for a long time at a particular church. I did it with a glad heart, believing then that I was pleasing God. I was pretty active in the church – serving, etc. I went through a really difficult time (which if you believe the hype about tithing should not happen) and when I asked the (mega wealthy, absolutely massive) church for some help the door was slammed in my face. I have not felt any difference in my circumstances weather I give 10% or not. However – I have received blessings when I have helped someone and felt convicted to do so. Percentages irrespective. Tired of grabbing, thieving pastors who drive fancy cars and live in mansions terrorizing the “little guy” in the name of Jesus!!! And the prosperity gospel being preached continuously
I don’t need to remind anyone that it is spoken of in Mal. 3.8 of God being robbed in tithes and offerings but this is under law and not grace. I once did feel guilty if I didn’t tithe, not all but 10 percent. I ever heard a preacher say by not tithing we are cursed, which instills fear not love. There are several ways of tithing. Money or time. It has no bearing on our salvation or blessing. We can’t lose salvation and have already been blessed with every spiritual blessing in heaven so what is the purpose of tithing? To support ministry is my answer, ministry in various areas. Phillipians 2:13 tells us it is God who provides the will and means for us to glorify him. He doesn’t need money but will provide for his church/people. If he wants us to Ruth money he will provide the will and the money. That’s what the New Covenant is all about. No more thou shalt do this but I have already done.
Sowing and reaping principles only bring out in the natural realm what Jesus has already provided. Come on guys, a generous heart opens up faith to believe the way God does. if we start acting like the Generous One who sits on the throne, we might actually start to believe we are like Him and come to fully realized and actually believe in a tangible way that we have obtained an inheritance and really are rich like out Father in heaven. Sowing and reaping help us to see ourselves as royal sons of our Father in Heaven, the Kings kids allows have everything needed and more!
Everything I was speaking about has everything to do with confidence before God. Everything that glorifies God typically brings confidence in our hearts that we are His sons and daughters. We don’t necessarily do things to become more confident, but as we are compelled by the radical love of God into the works He has planned for us before the beginning of time it is just a side affect that we become more confident before Him. There are many other things that affect our confidence before God, but how we glorify God in our daily lives (expressed many different ways) has an affect on our
heart and it’s pretty difficult to escape that affect. Yes we have been given all things yet we access all things that have been given in grace by faith (which is really His faith we are applying – The Len by which we see His finished work)!
His finished work is so big and so finished that it’s just a joke to most Christians, but for me it continually blows my mind and heart!
Thank you, Paul, for another timely word.
Just thinking today about how the widow represents God who had only one begotten Arrow in his ‘children quiverful,’ yet took Him out and shot Him onto the cross for us. And Jesus too emptied Himself and became subject to death and gave His all so I could have His riches in the treasury of my being, His temple. He gave all the shalom he had to live on when He legally conveyed it to us in his last will and testament. Shalom I bequeath you (as the perfect Son of Man, unto us a child is born) and My Shalom I give to you (as the perfect Son of God, the Son given). The double portion of shalom = the two coins.
Whoa! Every time I go looking for the reality of Jesus in the shadows I get chills. He considers me a place for treasure! I find this rather heart-ravishing.
Maybe he pointed out the widow in scripture because he saw a great visual aid to describe a lovely facet of the cross.
I disagree. I believe that tithing predates the law and is still a way for God to bless his children today. I’m sorry for those who have felt coerced to tithe by religious manipulators. I have been fortunate to have discovered tithing early on in my walk with God. I believe He led me to do it and I have been blessed greatly by it. My church and pastor believe in it but rarely talk about it and never criticize anyone who doesn’t practice it. This post does well in talking about the negative side of people forced to do something against their will but it never talks about the multitudes of new covenant believers who joyfully are blessed by tithing. I know many and am one. Not all grace preachers think the tithe is obsolete. Joseph Prince believes that tithing is gift from God to us and persuasively teaches this with scriptural backing.
I love Joseph Prince and listening to him teach on grace, but in the area of tithing he is simply wrong.
Of course God will bless you if you give a tenth of your income with a willing heart, but he will also bless you if you don’t!
I don’t tithe and I have a brand new lovely car sitting on my drive just picked up, no debt! that in the natural I couldn’t afford! A gift from our daddy God!!
In Christ we are blessed with every spiritual blessing!
I do believe being generous is key to living a joy filled life!!!
Bob be blessed as you already are!
I absolutely love to give into God’s kingdom,
I get an amazing unspeakable joy in doing things like my Father in Heaven.
Everyone is so focus on the law, that most the time they miss the wack (glory) on radical generous giving. Clearly sowing and reaping is New Teatimnent and Paul clearly says if you sow sparingly (he was referring to money in this scripture – 2 Cor 9:6-9 nkjv) you will reap sparingly and if you sow bountifully you will reap bountifully.
Bringing it all back to identity in Christ and the finished work, I look at sowing and reaping as something that affects the way we see ourselves and our ability to believe what God says about us. This applies to all sowing and reaping not just monitarty sowing etc
We are not under the law, but walking in the ways of the Lord in grace is powerful and can affect our transformation process in big ways.
Many people turn principles which are awesome to live by into legalism sadly enough. In fact I can make the case we all deal with that. And sometimes we turn Grace principles into into another form of legalism. Acting as if how we feel is the basis for our good works instead of principal. The Lord leads us in many ways. Often it’s not by a special leading or feeling but just by going on the principles of the word and if most beleives were doing that in the area of financial giving the world would be a much better place. Again all led by the Holy Spirit.
Many have yet to see how the Lord gives what is needed and some have. And many recieve but function in little faith.if they were to step out more there would a greater need for them to receive. Since most don’t step out much there need is less and accordingly most don’t really need a increase for kingdom purposes beyond there natural ability to earn etc.
Of course it’s out of identity and know who we see that we sow life in the first place.
Show me where it says Jesús brought the full tithe in. They principles of giving have not changed, but obviously your blessed and not cursed even before you follow what the Lord says.
Where are the sowing and reaping scriptures only applying to other stiff than financies. These are biblical principles that God has given that work to bring what is alresdy done in His eyes to manefestation in our eyes. They are not a legalist law, proverbs are instructions that if you do them (sow), you will reap the benefits in your life.
No I don’t agree with most the ways the church preaches on tithing, basically it limits a generous heart to a law. Instead of showing people how big God wants to be in there lives in the area of giving. If someone catches the 10% principle they may have moved from greedy mentality to a generous heart mentality.
And that’s typically just the beginning point. Biblical history shows people who were continually moved by God to do much more even in the old testiment.
Most the church is being preached tithing often under the law and that’s what they are focused on and thus the average church member in the us only gives about 1% into the church, hopefully more to the poor as well. Preaching forced or fearful things only brings out poverty.
I know extremely wealthy people who don’t tithe and in some case do even give a lot from what I can tell. But they do sow one thing and that is hard smart work in there business and use Godly principles in there business. One way or the other you will sow what you reap in the long run.
It’s not true that you will reap what you sow in the long run. Jesus reaped what I sowed and I reap what He sowed. You touched on it when you said people do more when they are moved by God. That is grace and it is the only principle that is needed in the new covenant. Anything more is to fall from grace. The branch receives life and bears fruit by abiding in the Vine. That is how grace works. There is no need to hammer people about giving. We can trust God to move His people to give. Abiding in Jesus and allowing His completed work to operate in us is all that is needed (Luke 10:42).
Btw, grace is much more than a principle, grace is Jesus.
Gal 6:7 New American Standard Bible
Do not be deceived, God is not mocked; for whatever a man sows, this he will also reap.
That’s the word, I am not sure where you get your theology, but this is the apostle Paul the man who reveal the complete version of the gospel whom Jesús gave him and Paul reveal the grace of God best of all the apostles.
He clearly saw that sowing and reaping weee still active. Yes with Jesús we get a lot t less of the negative and a lot more positive reaping than we deserve in our sow of life, but this does not negate what Paul said clearly in gal 6:7 (quotes above).
Let rightly devide the Word guys.
Well, if you knew you Bible like you pretend you’d know that Paul’s the one who wrote “everything that is not of faith is sin”??? DuH
If you sow independent of God you will sow but it’s still sin.
James, let’s take a look at Galatians 6:7 in context to find out what Paul is actually saying. Read the next verse.
Galatians 6:8 (NKJV) For he who sows to his flesh will of the flesh reap corruption, but he who sows to the Spirit will of the Spirit reap everlasting life.
Sowing to your flesh is trying to produce God’s life through your own efforts. Sowing to the Spirit is trusting God to produce His life in you. Trusting God to produce His life in you is abiding in the Vine.
I agree with that!
Operating in Godly principles in order to reap is still not Godly.
“Everything that is not of faith is sin”!
No matter what I do – even if it appears extremely righteous – if it is not coming out of my total dependence on God and submission/obedience to His leading – is sin.
That’s how a CHRISTIAN deals with finances.
Whatever my LORD leads me to do, by the Holy Spirit, is what I am to do.
Structures and rules such as tithing and automated deductions take our finances out of the Holy Spirit’s day by day control/leading.
Whether it’s put money on the offering plate, give to the guy on the street or a project in Africa, if it’s not God leading us to do it, it’s meaningless.
If one were to disregard sowing and reaping you would have to disregard the whole book of proverbs which is a book of wisdom that teaches you how to sow life in all circumstances…
James, if you sow disregard for our Comment Policy, you will reap rejection. Please keep any future comments short and relevant to the post. Comments on sowing and reaping can go under this post. Thanks.
Obviously we do everything in faith
That is absolutely not even close to being true!!!
It’s not talking about “THE faith” as in I’m a Christian therefore I’m obviously in the faith.
By far the majority of Christians in North America are not living “by faith”.
When the Bible talks about “by faith” it has to be added “by faith in Jesus Christ”.
We all live by faith that those who built the roof over our head knew what they were doing and it’s not going to crash down on us, or the chair we plunk down on isn’t just going to collapse. But this is faith in Jesus Christ, which means total dependence on HIM in every area of our lives! In this case everything to do with our finances. And everything we do outside of that total dependence is sin (Rom. 14:23). For instance, not being led by the Spirit as to when, where and to whom we donate our offerings but instead following any other guideline – is sin.
If you hear any preacher teach/admonish out of the book Malachi please remind them to read Malachi 4:4 which required the readers to keep the Law of Moses, so these preachers are putting their parishioners under the law which was before Jesus went to the cross.
Though not exactly the same as Tithing the abuse of the poor by religion was what Luther saw in The Catholicism of His day.. The message remains the same….. Just a thought
For me personally, I still believe in the tithe, but wont force it on anyone. I believe the tithe is about letting go. Look that the sabbath rest for the land. God actually gave his people 1 year of leave! Its like God saying, let the 7th year go and trust me to provide for you on the 6th year where you will harvest more!
Also the tithe is not something we give to make God do something. It is actually the reverse, we give because God has already blessed us. And it is a privilege for me to be able, by the grace of God, to give to the work of His kingdom.
BUT WHY THE TITHE???
The TITHE is a legalistic computation of 1/10th of everything that comes your way.
If someone gives you their old iPhone 6 you must find out how much that is worth and give 1/10th of that amount.
The word TITHE means 10% and has nothing to do with offering or generosity.
I think that the computation of the amount to give does not make it legalistic. Its when we give to obtain something from God that makes it legalistic. Especially in terms of righteousness.There was a length of time when I did not give, due to the finance being tight . I just told the Lord, I really cannot, you’ll have to bless me first before I can. And He did bless me, but I still did not give immediately, until He gave me the revelation about the sabbath rest.
I think it is good to follow what Paul said to give according to the heart. I always try not to give when feeling guilty or obligated. I believe its not how God would want the gifts from us. Anyway do give according to each of our ability for the work of His Gospel and to good and responsible organizations. Peace and God bless!
How is being led by our heart Christian?
The whole world does that!
They want something so they go get it. If it feels good – they do it!
We’re to be led by the Spirit!
Richard, if you have the Spirit, you have a new, changed heart, which will desire the things of the Spirit.
Amen and amen John.
Giving is a heart thing. The condition of your heart will determine if you give or not. It is important as Paul stresses that we give to the minister who is not working worldly wise but spiritually. Give to the poor and even to the world. Ur heart should move and its normally through Christ. Giving out an offering is acceptable to me but tithes, I have a problem with. Those that give on a weekly or monthly basis to help out a minister on the media who may have a 3 million dollar bill to keep live on God Channel that reaches the world like Pastor Joseph Prince for eg; may be viewed by the giver as a type of tithes, is also a good thing to help your fellow brother or sister in the Lord; but no one should be humiliated, bullied, deceived or threatened into giving period. Question? Are the poor, the widows, being helped in the church today? The gap must be closed towards the very rich in the church and the very poor, in the church, even thou in Christ reality, they are rich.
Thank you Paul for your article about tithing above – Jesus – Yeshua never said anything in his teachings as far as I can remember that a believer has to give 10 precent a tithe of their income or whatever they have to give – Jesus and Paul both teached to give which is different to a tithe. Both my husband and I used to believe this teaching but if we tithed now we would be in debt which Paul says a believer should not be – obviously depending on your income you give as the Holy Spirit directs. In the past I gave a very large donation – expecting from the teaching that I would be abundantly blessed – however this is not the case – We ended up nearly homeless but thank the Lord who is faithful he provided a social housing home for my husband and I through the local Council – not believers or family (family not believers)- Please can you pray to the Lord to make me wise with the finance he has given me – I give to some Christian charities regularly and would like to give more as the Lord provides. God Bless you Debra
Humm, i thank God for your life but I still want you to put more light on this issue of tithing like now if someone is encountering bad thing our pastors we say is because we don’t pay our tithe.
Elizabeth, those who know me will know that I never encourage people to leave a church where the pastor is preaching an imperfect message. But I am strongly inclined to say run, don’t walk, from anyone who says illness and suffering is a consequence of not tithing, especially if that person is dependent on those tithes. That is manipulation of the worst sort. God will never, ever, ever, ever, ever make you sick. In Christ you are eternally unpunishable.
What if it’s your own family?
Amen Paul – I cannot stand that kind of pulpit bullying. As I said folks at my church are surprised when I barely focus on the offering plate. Yet God always comes thru for us with our needs -They are so used to hearing radio fundraisers and these Televangelists who claim to hear God speaking to them promising any giver will receive the 100 fold blessing on their giving (Shambach – good name for him) and any pastors who follow this example of intimidation should be ashamed of themselves. This stuff gets me so angry but I believe it’s the same anger Jesus had when he tossed over the tables of the moneychangers.
sonofgod2017- If it is family that you don’t live with try to either let it slide when they mention it or say “I’m solid in my conviction and I just don’t see it that way. Can we talk about something else and not argue?” If they insist on dumping it on you then you may need to curtail time with them for the sake of peace. If it is people in your own house I’m not sure what diplomatic way you could try and wiggle out of the conversations.
Elizabeth, it rains on the just and the unjust. Pastors need paychecks, church expenses paid, etc., so tithing becomes an issue. Some are greedy and will say anything to get your money, and some have fallen into the religion trap. If they have to scare you into handing them money or get you to tithe in hopes of receiving a blessing, either way, you’ll be giving with wrong motives. If you feel you gotta give 10%, why not take it down to the homeless shelter where it’ll do some good?
During our early married life, my (now late) wife and I were pillaged for every penny and every minute. We tithed faithfully and were involved in multiple ‘ministries’ in the Church. And nobody ever told us that we were doing too much; nobody told us that despite being a young couple living on the breadline, maybe we didn’t have to give as much as everyone else. Tithing was expected and if you didn’t pay your tithe they needed an excuse; ostensibly this was to keep the tax people happy (because of course ‘covenanting’ was expected too). We were definitely giving everything we could in terms of time and money and commitment. And furthermore, when you join a community of people, it is very easy to pick up unwritten, unspoken attitudes, behaviour patterns and codes of conduct that are not always of God. You don’t want to deviate from the ‘norm’; you don’t want to stand out from the crowd. And the leadership know that and capitalise on it.
The one redeeming thing is that I know the hearts from which my wife and I gave; they were good motives. They stemmed from a love of God. But I still find it hard to think about what ‘they’ got away with…
The sad part is, some of them truly believe you have to give 10% in order to be blessed. But it’s because they were taught that themselves.
For others, they’re greedy enough to take but never willing to give to when a member is in need…unless it’s the well-to-do members. They actually pay attention to those who tithe the most. They’re the ones on the church boards, the deacons those in high places.
It’s exactly what Jesus warned about.
4 They tie up heavy, cumbersome loads and put them on other people’s shoulders, but they themselves are not willing to lift a finger to move them….
6 they love the place of honor at banquets and the most important seats in the synagogues; 7 they love to be greeted with respect in the marketplaces and to be called ‘Rabbi’ by others.
Is it then wrong to tithe? Because I am a strong believer and practitioner of tithing.
I answer your question in my article “Should you tithe?“
Tithing isn’t wrong if done with right motives. If tithing because you feel it’s a command, or to receive a blessing, then it’s wrong.
“How does religion devour the poor? By threatening them in the name of God, so that in terror they give everything they have, right down to their last penny.”
How is giving 10% giving down to their last penny? I don’t think we are under the law and MUST give 10%, but I certainly think it’s an amazing biblical principle(think sabbath), that can free people of all income levels from materialism and declare our trust in God as our provider.
The comment was in reference to those “who devour widow’s houses” and who pressure people to give all they have. The widow with the two mites it the classic Biblical example, but read the comments on this thread and you will find people today experiencing similar pressure. Yes, giving any amount can be a great way of exercising our dependence on a God who provides.
“How is giving 10% giving down to their last penny?”
It depends on how much you have to live on. Some people are on very limited fixed incomes, which don’t allow for any extras and sometimes barely allows for cheap housing. Ten percent can be the difference between meals or hunger, a roof or a bridge. Maybe they can give in excess of 10% at times, or maybe they can only give all they have.
That’s really not the point accept for Christian leadership that wants your money and don’t care how you suffer to give it to them.
The real point is that if we live by the guidance of the law then “sin will have dominion over us”.
But more than that, we are not living the Christian life.
The Christian life is life in/by the Spirit. Being led/empowered by the Spirit in every aspect of our lives. Moving a decimal point one place to the left because that’s what we’re supposed to do IS NOT depending on the leading of the Spirit.
FAITH is depending on God and HIS leading for everything-including finances/giving/generosity.
Romans 14:23 “everything that is not of faith is sin”.
I know this is oversimplified by who wants to read for an hour to get to the point?!
Many newer Christians however cannot distinguish between whether the Spirit is guiding them to give the church their rent money or whether it’s guilt because of those teaching that Scripture (which they’re new to) says 10% is required. I got caught in that trap, and gave 10% and more, even while letting bills go, so that when I could pay either tithes or rent, I paid tithes first. When I asked the church with help on my rent that came due, they didn’t have it. That’s when I started questioning tithing and studying Scripture on the subject. One verse in particular stood out to me. “They tie up heavy, cumbersome loads and put them on other people’s shoulders, but they themselves are not willing to lift a finger to move them” (Matthew 23:4).
God placed me in charge of a child, who in this day and age must be fed and housed, or taken by the state, in which I would be unable to train him up in the way he should go. So losing housing wouldn’t be a wise decision and we’re to be wise as serpents. But it is what the modern church would have us do, claiming the Lord commands it and will bless you. But that is like saying give so you can get, not out of obedience or love or the heart, but so you’ll receive…
Anyone who is threatening and bullying people is doing it wrong no matter what they are teaching about.
What’s threatening and bullying? Mist just say it’s a command and we should be obedient. And people buy into it because they trust what the preacher says and don’t take time to learn from Scripture or are too new to know any better, and want to obey God.
Thanks so much Paul for this article. I would also like to share the burden that I am carrying with regards to this matter. My church have this practice of displaying monthly tithing record of members on the main Information Board (but names are not revealed, only code number). Even the Sunday School kids are also taught on tithing and practice monthly collection. so, in way as a member of this church, you are compelled to tithe even though the church leadership keep on saying that it is not forced to tithe. The main verse to support this is from Malachi 3:8 and we were always taught that if we failed to consistently tithe it is not due to a financial/personal problem but it is a spiritual problem (ie we have not yet trusted in God 100%) and therefore disease, accident, poverty ‘may’ sooner or later follow..
Me and my wife have stopped tithing (with fear of course) since last year due to tight budget having having to see our records on the info board every Sunday makes me feel intimidated/ ashamed badly and not eager to come to church. I even voluntarily resigned from ministry. When treasurer ask, I have to make up reasons which are essentially all lies (my bad..) I am also having difficulties to explain to my kids why God needs their money (as what they said)..But praise God because He protects and keeps us safe
Hi Andy. That is a yucky situation to be in. I don’t like telling people to leave their imperfect churches, because every church is imperfect. It may be that the church leaders are doing what they are doing with the purest of motives. That said, the fruit of fear, intimidation and shame that you are experiencing are unhealthy. These are not from the Lord. God does indeed keep us safe, but you also need to exercise wisdom.
One of two things will probably now happen. Either you will be set so radically free from worry over this tithing issue, that’ll you no longer care what is written on the board. People may try to manipulate or bind you, but you’ll laugh it off. Or the situation will deteriorate, you’ll be miserable, and if you speak out you’ll be branded a troublemaker.
What should you do? Only the Lord can tell you, but I counsel you to make the life-giving choice. If you find you are forced to choose between the health of your marriage and your church, have the freedom to walk away. In the meantime, you may want to read my other articles on tithing. Be blessed.
I believe in tithing – out of love and faith as to God. But I can’t see how most people in your church could be doing that. The whole culture is one of fear. And I can’t see God blessing that. If it were me and I wanted to tithe I would give my tithe elsewhere. Your standing in your church should have nothing to do with how much you give.
I have a theory about work. If a job gets so oppressive that I feel I need to quit then I might as well just tell my bosses what I will and won’t do and let them fire me if they don’t like it. What do I have to lose? If I was in your situation I might consider standing up in a business meeting and stating that you don’t want your name on that board and asking who else feels the same. Paul had a great response about either leaving or else freeing yourself from care as to what people thought. Either way I would absolutely make sure that I didn’t give a penny there out of obligation or fear. Don’t let wrong minded people rob you of your blessing.
Thanks Paul and Bob for your comments and advice, back to my church, I believe that my pastor and leaders are doing it out of pure motives. Having read through your comments, I wish I can ignore that Information Board but not sure if totally without any sense of guilt or shame. Maybe I should try this coming Sunday..I am really considering leaving the church as well, which I have been a member for more than 10years. Thanks again for this wonderful website, will surely dig through the rest of your articles. God bless
God’s will is that you prosper in all areas (3 John 1:2). He wants His children to prosper because He is a loving Father. Prospering begins in our heart. Our heart runs on beliefs. You decide for yourself, but from what you wrote here, it sounds like you are experiencing fear and intimidation as a result of some bad teaching in your church which have resulted in some wrong beliefs. In my own life, I did not fully experience grace or prosper until my bad beliefs on tithing finally changed. I also believe it would be very difficult for you to get the revelation you need if you are sitting under bad teaching every week. You will probably read a great article on E2R during the week and start to feel encouraged, then doubt what you read when you’re listening to bad teaching on Sunday. Again, in my own experience, I did not see the growth in my heart of knowing God’s grace and love until I got away from bad teaching. Mixture is a sure recipe for confusion. I don’t typically recommend to someone that they should consider leaving their church, but what you shared does sound like extreme practices for a church to be engaged in. Of course you have to consider all of the variables. If the pastor was your father-in-law, for example, it would probably be a good idea to stick around for the sake of your marriage. Or if you are the pastor you would probably consider staying as well :). When we believe right, we understand our oneness with the Trinity, which is our source of life.
oh my goodness! I never realized how deep the situation is until read your sharing..I sense something not right for a long time but never have the chance to share it out and tried my best effort to not bother much about it..indeed we are small congregation and most of the leaders and members are my friends and our pastor happened to be my close relative as well. Actually one thing that really trigger me to search truth about tithing is when the Sunday School is teaching and imposing tithing to children (even to kindies) wwhich I questioned because since when a child can have an income? by the way I’ve made up my mind to leave the church for time being and find another church nearby town. Thanks again and God’s blessing -Andy
Greetings Andy, I would recommend two things to help you. First, in order to get past the fear and intimidation you are experiencing, you need to learn the truth about tithing. There is a book by Birtie Brits on the subject called “Jesus is the Tithe”. He allows free downloads of the book from his site by changing the price to zero. Second, get your family out of that church. Spare your children from their manipulative practices and teaching. May you find strength in the love of your Heavenly Father through Jesus Christ. Blessings
Thanks LJP for your reply and really2 grateful also for recommending Birtie Brits. I think the book no longer available for free downloads but there are many other resources available on his website and currently watching ‘Living by Grace’ series..oh how timely, thank God and God bless you always
Thanks for your response. I sincerely hope you and your family are blessed.
I love that book, its amazing. He has another book called “Born from Innocence: The Ultimate Way to Live”. Its a great read as well.
Amen, Anthony B, I was introduced to Bertie Brits ministry through Paul Ellis. He has some great teaching. Thank you
I’ve read Andrew Wommack’s book titled ‘FINANCIAL STEWARDSHIP’ where he talks in length about tithing and how it opens the door for God to bless us.
Kkun, you are going to have to let the Holy Spirit guide you on whether to tithe or not. Joseph Prince has been the instrument that God has most used to teach me about Grace. And Joseph Prince, articulately using scripture, agrees with Andrew Wommack that tithing is a blessing for new covenant believers. Paul Ellis has also blessed me in learning more about Grace and he believes that believers don’t need to tithe. For myself, for now, I believe I should continue to tithe – not out of compulsion but as a fruit of all the good things God has given me. God will lead you. Don’t tithe if you don’t have a peace about it. Don’t not tithe if you don’t have a peach about stopping.
Hi everybody, I quit tithing when I understood the Law of Moses.
Grace and Peace !!!
“Jesus was not praising the widow’s generosity as much as rebuking the rich who steal from the poor.”
Wow. That explains everything.
This part stood out to me the most because this doesn’t just apply within churches; this happens in so many aspects of life.
Amen bro. Great message. Jesus is the Reality.