What does the Bible say?
About tithes and offerings
God used Abraham to introduce tithing. Abraham did not originate it, God moved him to tithe - Gen. 14:18-20. God had wonderfully blessed Abraham in giving him victory over his enemies and gaining much spoil. God laid it on his heart to give a tenth to God by giving it to Melchizedek, king of Salem and priest of the most high God. In this way, God taught Abraham to tithe. So we understand that tithing was introduced 430 years before the law was given. Tithing was one of Abraham’s steps of faith. It showed his love and obedience, an expression of his worship and praise to God out of a thankful heart.
To whom does the tithe belong? Lev. 27:30,32, “all the tithe of the land, whether of the seed…or of the fruit…or of the flock…the tenth shall be holy unto the LORD.” The tenth belongs to the Lord and not to us.
To whom then did God instruct the children of Israel to give their tithes? Numbers 18:21, it was to the Levites (the priests), to support them for their service of the tabernacle of the congregation. They speak of the ministers or pastors of today. In I Cor. 9:1-14 the Apostle Paul teaches that it is God’s will that the pastor should be supported by the assembly. To support them would be the Lord’s portion. Paul served these Corinthian saints, even though they were not mature enough to tithe.
Some ministers or pastors have the idea they need not tithe. But they should be an example in this, not giving to themselves, but to the Lord; giving to the work of the Lord somewhere, such as to missionaries whether at home or abroad.
God speaking through the prophet Malachi asked this question, “Will a man rob God? Yet ye have robbed me. But ye say, Wherein have we robbed thee? In tithes and offerings” - Malachi 3:8. The Lord challenges His people to prove Him, in verse ten: “Bring ye all the tithes into the storehouse, that there may be meat in mine house, and prove me now herewith, saith 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.” He says, Try Me, prove Me. you will see. God promises blessings to the tither – Prov. 3:9-10. When the children of Israel began to tithe, the Lord blessed them abundantly – II Chron. 31:5-10.
Tithing was never a type, a shadow nor a sign, so it never ended. In Matthew 23:23, Jesus said the tithes were not to be neglected. It is a fact that the tenth is the Lord’s and always will be. Tithes belonged to the Lord in Abraham’s day, it was His in Moses’ day, and it belongs to Him today. Some use the excuse that under grace all belongs to Him. In that sense, all belonged to Him under the law. Do you give all to Him?
Tithing is an act of worship. When we yield to God in this act of obedience, it is a step of faith, and shows growth in our spiritual lives. We do not give unto man but unto the Lord. We honor Him by giving to Him what is His. II Corinthians 8:1-5 tells of some really poor saints in deep poverty that gave liberally? How were they able? They first gave of themselves to the Lord.”
In Heb. 7:1-10, Paul confirms that tithing was introduced under grace, then continued as a gracious requirement under the law. The standard under grace surely is not less then under the law.
The difference in tithes and offerings is that tithe is the tenth, and belongs to the Lord. Offerings are over and above the tithes. Giving is the teaching of the New Testament. God gave His Son for us (Jn. 3:16); Jesus gave His own life (Gal. 1:4). He is our example of giving (II Cor. 8:9). Jesus is quoted in Acts 20:35, “It is more blessed to give than to receive.” We are to give according to our ability. Giving is our privilege. “For God loveth a cheerful giver” – II Cor. 9:6-7.
Christ will bring “Many sons unto glory” because of His giving - Heb. 2:10. Because of His giving we should love to give. Those who have a revelation of God’s grace should be the greatest givers.