WHAT IS TITHE?
Tithe means tenth part. It is taken as a tax for the support of the Temple worship, in the Mosaic era. Therefore, all the commandments of God, relating to the payment of TITHE, can be read, in the Old Testament section, of the BIBLE.
WHO MADE THE LAW OF TITHE?
God in Heaven made the Law of the Old Testament, in the Bible. The Law of Tithe was part of the covenant which God made with Moses for the Children of Israel, on the Mount Sinai. (“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 to the LORD. If a man wants at all to redeem any of his tithes, he shall add one-fifth to it. And concerning the tithe of the herd or the flock, of whatever passes under the rod, the tenth one shall be holy to the LORD. He shall not inquire whether it is good or bad, nor shall he exchange it; and if he exchanges it at all, then both it and the one exchanged for it shall be holy; it shall not be redeemed. These are the commandments which the LORD commanded Moses for the children of Israel on Mount Sinai.” Leviticus 27:30-34.). The Israelites agreed with God to observe, and obey His Law, Exodus 24vs7-8; Deuteronomy 4vs1-13.
WHAT WAS THE REASON FOR THE TITHE?
Shortly after the flood, on account of sin, Genesis 6-9, Noah became drunk, and was Unclad, read Genesis 9v21: “Then he drank of the wine and was drunk, and became uncovered in his tent.” One of his Children, Ham, the father of the Canaanites, made jest of his father’s unclothedness outside the tent. His two other siblings took a garment, walking backward, they covered their father. Noah woke up, and cursed Ham, and his descendants, the Canaanites, Genesis 9vs25-29: “Then he said: ‘Cursed be Canaan; a servant of servants he shall be to his brethren.’ And he said: “Blessed be the LORD, the God of Shem, and may Canaan be his servant. May God enlarge Japheth, and may he dwell in the tents of Shem; and may Canaan be his servant.” The implication of this was that the possessions of the Canaanites must be taken-over by the Children of Shem, Genesis 12vs1-3. This was the reason why the landed properties of the Canaanites was promised, by God, as an inheritance, for the Children of Abraham, who descended from Shem, through Noah!
Therefore, the Israelites were liable to pay “TAX OF THE LAND”, to the owner of the Land, which is God, Psalm 24: “The earth is the LORD’S, and all its fullness, the world and those who dwell therein.” Ham and his descendants have lost their title (claim), to the land of Canaan. Please note: Biblical tithe, was the tax (tithe) of the Land of Canaan!!!
TITHE OF WHAT, WAS TO BE PAID? There are controversies whether the Bible authorizes the payments of “tithe of salaries”; “tithe of trading”; tithe of gifts” or “tithe of the land”? A good Bible student will not see the Tithes of salaries, trading, and gifts, in the Bible! Mentioned in the Bible is the “Tithe of the land…” Leviticus 27v 30: “’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 to the LORD.” The tithe of the Land of Canaan is the only tithe, commanded in the entire Bible! All these other kinds of tithes, (Salaries; Trading; Gifts) are not found in the Bible, they originated from Man. Please beware, read: Isaiah 8v20; (“These people draw near to Me with their mouth, and honor Me with their lips, but their heart is far from Me. And in vain they worship Me, teaching as doctrines the commandments of men. “Matthew 15vs8-9); (“O LORD, I know the way of man is not in himself; it is not in man who walks to direct his own steps.” Jeremiah 10v23).
WHO WAS TO PAY TITHE?
The Law of Tithe was not made for all human, generally. The law of tithe was not made for the NATIONS of the world generally. The commandment of Tithe was made for the nation of Israel, only. Tithe was an obligation, for the nation of Israel. Read Leviticus 27vs30-34: “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 to the LORD. ‘If a man wants at all to redeem any of his tithes, he shall add one-fifth to it. And concerning the tithe of the herd or the flock, of whatever passes under the rod, the tenth one shall be holy to the LORD. ‘He shall not inquire whether it is good or bad, nor shall he exchange it; and if he exchanges it at all, then both it and the one exchanged for it shall be holy; it shall not be redeemed. ‘”THESE ARE THE COMMANDMENTS WHICH THE LORD COMMANDED MOSES FOR THE CHILDREN OF ISRAEL ON MOUNT SINAI.” Read also, Malachi 1v1: “The burden of the word of the LORD to ISRAEL by Malachi.” Prophet Malachi, was sent to the CHILDREN OF ISRAEL, only. God did not expect the Egyptians, Philistines, Moabite, Ethiopians; Libyans; etc. to pay Tithe, because the Law of Moses was not made for them, and was not made for the other nations, of the world, also. For example, read Malachi 3vs6-12: “For I am the LORD, I do not change; therefore you are not consumed, O SONS OF JACOB. Yet from the days of your fathers you have gone away from My ordinances and have not kept them. Return to Me, and I will return to you,” Says the LORD of hosts. “But you said, ‘In what way shall we return?’ “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…. “And all nations will call you blessed, for you will be a delightful land,” Says the LORD of hosts.” The only one nation that robbed God, is the one nation of the “Sons of Jacob”, the ISRAELITES.
WHERE WAS THE TITHE, TO BE PAID? Our God is God of order. God have decided before, where, to pay the tithe, Deuteronomy 12vs 1-13. God will show them the place, when they get to the Promised Land, of Canaan. How will they know the place? God promised to “put His Name there”.
When they finally settled on the Promised Land, God put “His Name” on the City of Jerusalem, 2Chronicles 6vs5-6. Where in Jerusalem? In the Temple, built by Solomon, 1Kings 9vs1-3. Therefore, the decision of God was that Tithe must be paid at Jerusalem, in the Temple built by Solomon. Storehouses, Chambers, Treasuries are built into the Temple where the tithes of the Israelites can be stored, please read, Nehemiah 10v38; 13v12; Malachi 3v10.
WHAT WAS THE MEDIUM OF PAYMENT?
Our Bible is very clear about what the Israelites must use to pay the Tithe. Reading through Leviticus 27v30-33; 2Chronicles 31vs5-6: “As soon as the commandment was circulated, the children of Israel brought in abundance the first-fruits of grain and wine, oil and honey and of all the produce of the field; and they brought in abundantly the tithe of everything. And the children of Israel and Judah, who dwelt in the cities of Judah, brought the tithe of oxen and sheep; also the tithe of holy things which were consecrated to the LORD their God they laid in heaps.” Nehemiah 13v12; Malachi 3vs8, 10. In view of all these references, we must understand that God commanded farm produce and animals, as medium of payment of Tithe. God did not command GOLD, nor Silver as the means of payment!!!
WAS MONEY TO BE USED, TO PAY TITHE?
God did not allow MONEY to be used, for the payment. Money was actually in use in the Old Testament days, but He commanded that MONEY must NEVER be used! Confirm this from Deuteronomy 14vs24-26.”…And you shall eat before the LORD your God, in the place where He chooses to make His name abide, the tithe of your grain and your new wine and your oil, of the firstborn of your herds and your flocks, that you may learn to fear the LORD your God always. But if the journey is too long for you, so that you are not able to carry the tithe, or if the place where the LORD your God chooses to put His name is too far from you, when the LORD your God has blessed you, then you shall exchange it for money, take the money in your hand, and go to the place which the LORD your God chooses. And you shall spend that money for whatever your heart desires: for oxen or sheep, for wine or similar drink, for whatever your heart desires; you shall eat there before the LORD your God, and you shall rejoice, you and your household.” It is not approved in the Bible, to pay TITHE with MONEY!!!
WHAT WAS THE FREQUENCY OF THE PAYMENT?
In the Holy Scriptures, God wanted Tithe to be paid once, in a year! Read Deuteronomy 14v22: “You shall truly tithe all the increase of your grain that the field produces year by year.” Likewise, if the Payer be a Shepherd of Flock, he should pay his Tithe once in three years, read Deuteronomy 14v28:”At the end of every third year you shall bring out the tithe of your produce of that year and store it up within your gates.” Therefore, weekly and monthly payments are not authorized by God, in the Holy Scriptures! Evidence: NOBODY ever paid weekly, or monthly TITHE, in the BIBLE history!
WHO WAS COMMANDED TO RECEIVE TITHE, FROM PAYER?
God authorized the Levites (Sons of Levi) to collect Tithe from the other tribes of Israel, according to the Law of the Old Testament. Read Numbers 18vs21, 26: “Behold, I have given the children of Levi all the tithes in Israel as an inheritance in return for the work which they perform, the work of the tabernacle of meeting….. Speak thus to the Levites, and say to them: ‘When you take from the children of Israel the tithes which I have given you from them as your inheritance, then you shall offer up a heave offering of it to the LORD, a tenth of the tithe.” Hebrews 7v5: “And indeed those who are of the sons of Levi, who receive the priesthood, have a commandment to receive tithes from the people according to the law, that is, from their brethren, though they have come from the loins of Abraham.” Did God give authority to Pastors, Reverends, and Bishops today, to be collecting Tithe, from Christians? NO!!! Are Pastors, Reverends, and Bishops Children of Levi? If they say “YES”, then read Hebrews 7vs11-12: “Therefore, if perfection were through the Levitical priesthood (for under it the people received the law), what further need was there that another priest should rise according to the order of Melchizedek, and not be called according to the order of Aaron? FOR THE PRIESTHOOD BEING CHANGED, OF NECESSITY THERE IS ALSO A CHANGE OF THE LAW.” Levitical priesthood (that collects tithe) has been changed, and the Law, which established it, changed also. There is a NEW Priesthood! The Priesthood of Jesus Christ was ordained in the NEW TESTAMENT: “Coming to Him as to a living stone, rejected indeed by men, but chosen by God and precious, you also, as living stones, are being built up a spiritual house, a holy priesthood, to offer up spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ.” 1Peter 2vs4, 5. Christians are Priests, and can now offer, acceptable sacrifices to God, only through Jesus Christ, not through the LAW of Moses, anymore. (“For on the one hand there is an annulling of the FORMER COMMANDMENT because of its weakness and unprofitableness, for the LAW MADE NOTHING PERFECT; on the other hand, there is the bringing in of a better hope, through which we draw near to God.” Hebrews 7vs18, 19).
WHAT TO DO WITH THE TITHE?
God said that the Tithe of the land of Canaan must be used to feed the:
(1) LEVITES (because they have no inheritance in the land of Canaan, Numbers 18v20, 21: “Then the LORD said to Aaron: ‘You shall have no inheritance in their land, nor shall you have any portion among them; I am your portion and your inheritance among the children of Israel. Behold, I have given the children of Levi all the tithes in Israel as an inheritance in return for the work which they perform, the work of the tabernacle of meeting.’ ”); the Strangers; the Fatherless, and the Widows in Israel. (Deuteronomy 14v29: “And the LEVITE, because he has no portion nor inheritance with you, and the,
(2) STRANGERS and the,
(3) FATHERLESS and the,
(4) WIDOWS who are within your gates, may come and eat and be satisfied, that the LORD your God may bless you in all the works of your hand which you do.” Malachi 3v10: “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”).
CAN CHRISTIANS PAY TITHE TODAY? No! Why? God has wiped out the handwritings of the covenant, even the Law of Commandments contained in ordinances, that He might reconcile the World unto God, by the provisions of the New Covenant. READ (Col.2vs14-23; Eph.2vs13-22). Christians are not bound by the commandments of the Old Law. (Gal.3vs23-25; 2v16, 21). Why was the Old Law removed? (Gal.3v19; Jer.31vs31-34; Heb. 7vs18-19; 8vs6-13). Is there any DANGER, if someone still decides to pay TITHE today? YES! It is dangerous, read Galatians 5v4: “You have become estranged from Christ, you who attempt to be justified by LAW; you have fallen from grace.” Galatians 2v21: “I do not set aside the grace of God; for if righteousness comes through the LAW, then Christ died in vain.”
HOW TO GIVE TO GOD, IN THE NEW TESTAMENT?
Giving must be done only in Sunday worship: (1Corinthians 16vs1-2 reads “Now concerning the collection for the saints, as I have given orders to the churches of Galatia, so you must do also: ON THE FIRST DAY OF THE WEEK let each one of you lay something aside, storing up as he may prosper, that there be no collections when I come.”) Do not borrow money, to give to God: (2Corinthians 8v12 reads “For if there is first a willing mind, it is accepted according to what one has, and not according to what he does not have.”) Giving is not compulsory, if you do not have, but if you have, do not withhold: (“But this I say: He who sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and he who sows bountifully will also reap bountifully. 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 abundance for every good work.” 2Cor.9vs6-8.
GOD’S PLAN TO CARE FOR HIS MINISTERS:
There are two types of Priesthood in the Bible. They are the “Melchizedecal Priesthood”, and the “Levitical Priesthood”. The Law of Moses instituted the Levitical Priesthood, which receives Tithes, from the children of Israel. This priesthood was changed, in Hebrews7vs 5-12. The second priesthood, called Melchizedecal Priesthood, was re-enacted in the New Testament by God. Read Heb. 5vs5-6 “So also Christ did not glorify Himself to become High Priest, but it was He who said to Him: “You are My Son, Today I have begotten You.” As He also says in another place: “You are a priest forever according to the order of Melchizedek”;” Jesus Christ was made a Priest, not by the order of Levi, but by the order of Melchizedek, which priesthood does not collect tithes. Jesus Christ did not collect tithes from the Children of God. The Apostles of Christ were not commanded to receive tithes, from the Children of God. The New Testament did not command Christians to pay tithes, nor to receive tithes from anyone. We must not add to the Word of God. “…Whoever transgresses and does not abide in the doctrine of Christ does not have God. He who abides in the doctrine of Christ has both the Father and the Son.” 2John 1v9.
All Christians are priests, under the New Testament. 1Peter 2v5. How then can the Priests, of the New Testament be fed? Read Acts 20vs33-35: “I have coveted no one’s silver or gold or apparel. Yes, you yourselves know that these hands have provided for my necessities, and for those who were with me. I have shown you in every way, by laboring like this, that you must support the weak. And remember the words of the Lord Jesus, that He said, ‘It is more blessed to give than to receive.'” Read again 2Thess.3vs6-14: “…But we command you, brethren, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ that you withdraw from every brother who walks disorderly and not according to the tradition which he received from us. For you yourselves know how you ought to follow us, for we were not disorderly among you; nor did we eat anyone’s bread free of charge, but worked with labor and toil night and day, that we might not be a burden to any of you, not because we do not have authority, but to make ourselves an example of how you should follow us. For even when we were with you, we commanded you this: If anyone will not work, neither shall he eat. For we hear that there are some who walk among you in a disorderly manner, not working at all, but are busybodies. Now those who are such we command and exhort through our Lord Jesus Christ that they work in quietness and eat their own bread. But as for you, brethren, do not grow weary in doing well. And if anyone does not obey our word in this epistle, note that person and do not keep company with him, that he may be ashamed.” Galatians 6v6: “Let him who is taught the word share in all good things with him who teaches.”
LASTLY: “He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches. To him who overcomes I will give some of the hidden manna to eat. And I will give him a white stone, and on the stone a new name written which no one knows except him who receives it.”‘ Rev.2v17.
(BENSON OMOLE, preacher of the Gospel of Christ, works with the CHURCH OF CHRIST, EKUTE QUARTERS, P. O. Box 1656, ADO EKITI, EKITI STATE. CONTACT: 08032208899; 0805422434