There is much confusion in the world of believers in Jesus, as it relates to the giving of tithes and offerings. Such questions that we may hear are: What percentage do I give? Is it before or after taxes? What has been the purpose of the tithe? Has the tithe become irrelevant for Christians?
As this study progresses, we will also touch on the subjects of the Sabbath and the feasts of the Jews. We may be asked if the feasts are for the Jews only, and is it for the church also?
How do the Gentiles, the descendants of Ham and Japheth, fit into the argument? Do the Jews, who are the descendants of Shem, get a free pass? Are they allowed to “not be born again” to be permitted to enter see the Kingdom of God?
My personal comments will be minimal. I will try to let scripture interpret scripture, as much as possible?
2 Timothy 3:16 New King James Version (NKJV) (66 AD)
16 All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness,
Acts 17:11 New International Version (NIV) (53 AD)
11 Now the Berean Jews were of more noble character than those in Thessalonica, for they received the message with great eagerness and examined the Scriptures every day to see if what Paul said was true.
Deuteronomy 6:4-9 New King James Version (NKJV) (1451 BC)
4 “Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one! 5 You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your strength.
6 “And these words which I command you today shall be in your heart. 7 You shall teach them diligently to your children, and shall talk of them when you sit in your house, when you walk by the way, when you lie down, and when you rise up. 8 You shall bind them as a sign on your hand, and they shall be as frontlets between your eyes. 9 You shall write them on the doorposts of your house and on your gates.
GOD’S INTERACTION WITH MANKIND IN OLD TESTAMENT
Genesis 1:31 King James Version (KJV)
31 And God saw every thing that he had made, and, behold, it was very good. And the evening and the morning were the sixth day.
Genesis 2:1-3 King James Version (KJV)
1 Thus the heavens and the earth were finished, and all the host of them.
2 And on the seventh day God ended his work which he had made; and he rested on the seventh day from all his work which he had made.
3 And God blessed the seventh day, and sanctified it: because that in it he had rested from all his work which God created and made.
Genesis 2:15 King James Version (KJV) (4004 BC)
15 And the Lord God took the man, and put him into the garden of Eden to dress it and to keep it.
THE EXPULSION OF MAN FROM THE GARDEN///THE FIRST TIME OF MAN CALLING UPON GOD
Genesis 3:23-24 King James Version (KJV) (4003 BC)
23 Therefore the Lord God sent him forth from the garden of Eden, to till the ground from whence he was taken.
24 So he drove out the man; and he placed at the east of the garden of Eden Cherubims, and a flaming sword which turned every way, to keep the way of the tree of life.
Genesis 4:26 King James Version (KJV) (3875 BC)
26 And to Seth, to him also there was born a son; and he called his name Enos: then began men to call upon the name of the Lord.
Genesis 5:22-24 King James Version (KJV) (3875)
22 And Enoch walked with God after he begat Methuselah three hundred years, and begat sons and daughters:
23 And all the days of Enoch were three hundred sixty and five years:
24 And Enoch walked with God: and he was not; for God took him.
GOD DESTROYS ALL LIFE WHOSE NOSTRILS WERE THE BREATH OF THE SPIRIT OF LIFE (GEN 7:22)
Genesis 7:1 King James Version (KJV) (2448 BC)
7 And the Lord said unto Noah, Come thou and all thy house into the ark; for thee have I seen righteous before me in this generation.
Genesis 8:15-16 King James Version (KJV) (2349 BC)
15 And God spake unto Noah, saying,
16 Go forth of the ark, thou, and thy wife, and thy sons, and thy sons’ wives with thee.
THE WORLD STARTS OVER///SHEM, HAM, AND JAPETH POPULATE THE WORLD
GOD CHOOSES SHEM’S DESCENDANTS (Deu 7:6-9; Ezek 36:24-29; John 4:20-24)///GOD STILL LOVES THE GENTILES (HAM AND JAPHETH) John 3:16)///SHEM’S DESCENDANTS(ISRAEL) ALSO NEED A SAVIOR (ROMANS 3:23).
John 4:20-24, (NKJV) (31 AD)
20 Our fathers worshiped on this mountain, and you Jews say that in Jerusalem is the place where one ought to worship.”
21 Jesus said to her, “Woman, believe Me, the hour is coming when you will neither on this mountain, nor in Jerusalem, worship the Father. 22 You worship what you do not know; we know what we worship, for salvation is of the Jews. 23 But the hour is coming, and now is, when the true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and truth; for the Father is seeking such to worship Him. 24 God is Spirit, and those who worship Him must worship in spirit and truth.”
In the above passage, Jesus tells the Samaritan that the plan of salvation, as was announced by God in Genesis 3:15, had run its course through the descendants of Shem, who were the Jews. And, that spiritual worship of God was on the way for those Jews, Samaritans, and Gentiles, who would “be born again,” (John 3:3-8), and have the Spirit of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit indwelling them (John 14:16-20).
GOD CHOOSES ABRAM
ABRAHAM BEGINS THE LINEAGE OF SHEM/HE HAD BEEN AN IDOL WORSHIPPER (Joshua 24:2)
Genesis 12:1-4 King James Version (KJV) (2126 BC)
1 Now the Lord had said unto Abram, Get thee out of thy country, and from thy kindred, and from thy father’s house, unto a land that I will shew thee:
2 And I will make of thee a great nation, and I will bless thee, and make thy name great; and thou shalt be a blessing:
3 And I will bless them that bless thee, and curse him that curseth thee: and in thee shall all families of the earth be blessed.
4 So Abram departed, as the Lord had spoken unto him; and Lot went with him: and Abram was seventy and five years old when he departed out of Haran.
THE FIRST TITHE/NO CHURCH, TABERNACLE, OR TEMPLE, YET
Genesis 14:18-20 King James Version (KJV) (1918 BC)
18 And Melchizedek king of Salem brought forth bread and wine: and he was the priest of the most high God.
19 And he blessed him, and said, Blessed be Abram of the most high God, possessor of heaven and earth:
20 And blessed be the most high God, which hath delivered thine enemies into thy hand. And he gave him tithes of all.
GOD’S COVENANT WITH JACOB (CONSIDER TODAY’S WORLD)
Genesis 28:10-14 King James Version (KJV) (1760 BC)
10 And Jacob went out from Beersheba, and went toward Haran.
11 And he lighted upon a certain place, and tarried there all night, because the sun was set; and he took of the stones of that place, and put them for his pillows, and lay down in that place to sleep.
12 And he dreamed, and behold a ladder set up on the earth, and the top of it reached to heaven: and behold the angels of God ascending and descending on it.
13 And, behold, the Lord stood above it, and said, I am the Lord God of Abraham thy father, and the God of Isaac: the land whereon thou liest, to thee will I give it, and to thy seed;
14 And thy seed shall be as the dust of the earth, and thou shalt spread abroad to the west, and to the east, and to the north, and to the south: and in thee and in thy seed shall all the families of the earth be blessed.
JACOB CALLED ISRAEL BY GOD/CONSIDER TODAY’S WORLD VIEW OF ISRAEL
Genesis 32:28 King James Version (KJV) (1739 BC)
28 And he said, Thy name shall be called no more Jacob, but Israel: for as a prince hast thou power with God and with men, and hast prevailed.
GOD AND ISRAEL
Exodus 12:1-3 King James Version (KJV) (1491 BC)
1 And the Lord spake unto Moses and Aaron in the land of Egypt saying,
2 This month shall be unto you the beginning of months: it shall be the first month of the year to you.
3 Speak ye unto all the congregation of Israel, saying, In the tenth day of this month they shall take to them every man a lamb, according to the house of their fathers, a lamb for an house:
SABBATH CHOSEN FOR ISRAEL/NO MENTION OF CORPORATE WORSHIP, OR OF HAM AND JAPHETH
Exodus 16:22-30 King James Version (KJV) (1491 BC)
22 And it came to pass, that on the sixth day they gathered twice as much bread, two omers for one man: and all the rulers of the congregation came and told Moses.
23 And he said unto them, This is that which the Lord hath said, To morrow is the rest of the holy sabbath unto the Lord: bake that which ye will bake to day, and seethe that ye will seethe; and that which remaineth over lay up for you to be kept until the morning.
24 And they laid it up till the morning, as Moses bade: and it did not stink, neither was there any worm therein.
25 And Moses said, Eat that to day; for to day is a sabbath unto the Lord: to day ye shall not find it in the field.
26 Six days ye shall gather it; but on the seventh day, which is the sabbath, in it there shall be none.
27 And it came to pass, that there went out some of the people on the seventh day for to gather, and they found none.
28 And the Lord said unto Moses, How long refuse ye to keep my commandments and my laws?
29 See, for that the Lord hath given you the sabbath, therefore he giveth you on the sixth day the bread of two days; abide ye every man in his place, let no man go out of his place on the seventh day.
30 So the people rested on the seventh day.
SABBATH AND 10 COMMANDMENTS/NO MENTION OF CORPORATE WORSHIP
Exodus 20:8-11 King James Version (KJV) (1491 BC)
8 Remember the sabbath day, to keep it holy.
9 Six days shalt thou labour, and do all thy work:
10 But the seventh day is the sabbath of the Lord thy God: in it thou shalt not do any work, thou, nor thy son, nor thy daughter, thy manservant, nor thy maidservant, nor thy cattle, nor thy stranger that is within thy gates:
11 For in six days the Lord made heaven and earth, the sea, and all that in them is, and rested the seventh day: wherefore the Lord blessed the sabbath day, and hallowed it.
GOD’S FEASTS TO ISRAEL/DESCENDANTS OF HAM AND JAPHETH NOT GIVEN THE FEASTS
Exodus 23:14-17 New King James Version (NKJV) (1491 BC)
Three Annual Feasts
14 “Three times you shall keep a feast to Me in the year: 15 You shall keep the Feast of Unleavened Bread (you shall eat unleavened bread seven days, as I commanded you, at the time appointed in the month of Abib, for in it you came out of Egypt; none shall appear before Me empty); 16 and the Feast of Harvest, the first fruits of your labors which you have sown in the field; and the Feast of Ingathering at the end of the year, when you have gathered in the fruit of your labors from the field. 17 “Three times in the year all your males shall appear before the Lord God.
Leviticus 23:1-6, 44 New King James Version (NKJV) (1490 BC)
Feasts of the Lord
23 And the Lord spoke to Moses, saying, 2 “Speak to the children of Israel, and say to them: ‘The feasts of the Lord, which you shall proclaim to be holy convocations, these are My feasts.
3 ‘Six days shall work be done, but the seventh day is a Sabbath of solemn rest, a holy convocation. You shall do no work on it; it is the Sabbath of the Lord in all your dwellings.
The Passover and Unleavened Bread
4 ‘These are the feasts of the Lord, holy convocations which you shall proclaim at their appointed times. 5 On the fourteenth day of the first month at twilight is the Lord’s Passover. 6 And on the fifteenth day of the same month is the Feast of Unleavened Bread to the Lord; seven days you must eat unleavened bread. 44 So Moses declared to the children of Israel the feasts of the Lord.
TITHE CHOSEN FOR LEVITICAL PRIESTHOOD AND BENEVOLENCE
Leviticus 27:26-32 New King James Version (NKJV) (1491 BC)
26 ‘But the firstborn of the animals, which should be the Lord’s firstborn, no man shall dedicate; whether it is an ox or sheep, it is the Lord’s. 27 And if it is an unclean animal, then he shall redeem it according to your valuation, and shall add one-fifth to it; or if it is not redeemed, then it shall be sold according to your valuation.
28 ‘Nevertheless no devoted offering that a man may devote to the Lord of all that he has, both man and beast, or the field of his possession, shall be sold or redeemed; every devoted offering is most holy to the Lord. 29 No person under the ban, who may become doomed to destruction among men, shall be redeemed,but shall surely be put to death. 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. 31 If a man wants at all to redeem any of his tithes, he shall add one-fifth to it. 32 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.
LEVITES HAD NO INHERITANCE IN THE PROMISED LAND
Numbers 18:24-28 New King James Version (NKJV) (1471 BC)
24 For the tithes of the children of Israel, which they offer up as a heave offering to the Lord, I have given to the Levites as an inheritance; therefore I have said to them, ‘Among the children of Israel they shall have no inheritance.’”
The Tithe of the Levites
25 Then the Lord spoke to Moses, saying, 26 “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. 27 And your heave offering shall be reckoned to you as though it were the grain of the threshing floor and as the fullness of the wine press. 28 Thus you shall also offer a heave offering to the Lord from all your tithes which you receive from the children of Israel, and you shall give the Lord’s heave offering from it to Aaron the priest.
18:1–24 The duties and support of the priests and Levites are detailed. Only Aaron and his family could go near the furnishings of the sanctuary or the altar; the other Levites answered to the priests and were to do all the work at the tent of meeting (vv. 1–7). The males of Aaron’s family were to receive the parts of the most holy offerings that were kept from the fire (vv. 8–10). All members of this family who were ceremonially clean were to share the wave offerings (v. 11; Ex. 29:24–27; Lev. 7:30–34) and the first fruits (vv. 12, 13; Ex. 23:16–19; 34:22–26; Lev. 23:20;Deut. 18:4; 26:10). Support for the Levites came from the tithes offered by the people (Deut. 13:22–29 and notes).
28 Now the Lord spoke to Moses, saying, 2 “Command the children of Israel, and say to them, ‘My offering, My food for My offerings made by fire as a sweet aroma to Me, you shall be careful to offer to Me at their appointed time.’
Deuteronomy 12:11-12 New King James Version (NKJV) (1451 BC)
11 then there will be the place where the Lord your God chooses to make His name abide. There you shall bring all that I command you: your burnt offerings, your sacrifices, your tithes, the heave offerings of your hand, and all your choice offerings which you vow to the Lord. 12 And you shall rejoice before the Lord your God, you and your sons and your daughters, your male and female servants, and the Levite who is within your gates, since he has no portion nor inheritance with you.
12:12 no . . . inheritance. The gifts of the worshipers were, in part, to support the priests and Levites, who were allotted no farmland of their own (10:6–9).
Deuteronomy 10:6-9 New King James Version (NKJV) (1451 BC)
6 (Now the children of Israel journeyed from the wells of Bene Jaakan to Moserah, where Aaron died, and where he was buried; and Eleazar his son ministered as priest in his stead. 7 From there they journeyed to Gudgodah, and from Gudgodah to Jotbathah, a land of rivers of water. 8 At that time the Lord separated the tribe of Levi to bear the ark of the covenant of the Lord, to stand before the Lord to minister to Him and to bless in His name, to this day. 9 Therefore Levi has no portion nor inheritance with his brethren; the Lord is his inheritance, just as the Lord your God promised him.)
Deuteronomy 26:11-13New King James Version (NKJV) (1451)
11 So you shall rejoice in every good thing which the Lord your God has given to you and your house, you and the Levite and the stranger who is among you.
12 “When you have finished laying aside all the tithe of your increase in the third year—the year of tithing—and have given it to the Levite, the stranger, the fatherless, and the widow, so that they may eat within your gates and be filled, 13 then you shall say before the Lord your God: ‘I have removed the holy tithe from my house, and also have given them to the Levite, the stranger, the fatherless, and the widow, according to all Your commandments which You have commanded me; I have not transgressed Your commandments, nor have I forgotten them.
2 Chronicles 31:4 New King James Version (NKJV) (726 BC)
4 Moreover he commanded the people who dwelt in Jerusalem to contribute support for the priests and the Levites, that they might devote themselves to the Law of the Lord.
Nehemiah 10:37-38 New King James Version (NKJV) (445 BC)
37 to bring the first fruits of our dough, our offerings, the fruit from all kinds of trees, the new wine and oil, to the priests, to the storerooms of the house of our God; and to bring the tithes of our land to the Levites, for the Levites should receive the tithes in all our farming communities. 38 And the priest, the descendant of Aaron, shall be with the Levites when the Levites receive tithes; and the Levites shall bring up a tenth of the tithes to the house of our God, to the rooms of the storehouse.
ROBBING GOD? CONSIDER THE STOREHOUSE/CONSIDER THE PURPOSE OF THE TITHE
Malachi 3:8-10 21st Century King James Version (KJ21) (397 BC)
8 Will a man rob God? Yet ye have robbed Me! But ye say, ‘Wherein have we robbed Thee?’ In tithes and offerings.
9 Ye are cursed with a curse; for ye have robbed Me, even this whole nation.
10 Bring ye all the tithes into the storehouse, that there may be meat in Mine house, and put Me to the proof now herewith,” saith the Lord of hosts, “if I will not open to you the windows of heaven and pour you out a blessing, that there shall not be room enough to receive it.
3:10 storehouse. This term refers to a room in the temple designated for the storage of gifts (2 Chr. 31:11; Neh. 10:38, 39;12:44; 13:12). 2 Chronicles 31:11-12, NKJV, Follows
11 Now Hezekiah commanded them to prepare rooms in the house of the Lord, and they prepared them. 12 Then they faithfully brought in the offerings, the tithes, and the dedicated things; Cononiah the Levite had charge of them, and Shimei his brother was the next.
put me to the test. This is a reversal of the ordinary biblical pattern, in which God typically tests human beings (Ps. 11:5;26:2; 66:10; Prov. 17:3; Jer. 11:20; 12:3; 17:10). Only in a few instances are humans invited to test God (i.e., to prove His claims and justify His commands, Is. 7:11, 12; 1 Kin. 18:22–46).
vs 10: The whole tithe (NASB) (Mac Arthur Note).When the tithes were unpaid, the priests were deprived and had to give up their ministry and to begin farming. The nation’s religious life was hindered and the poor and the strangers suffered. The real iniquity was that such disobedience was robbing God, who was the true King of the theocracy of Israel. Storehouse. A room in the temple to store the tithes of crops and animals brought by the people. This was the temple treasury.
Leviticus 27:18-32, (1491 BC) Tithe, MacArthur Note: This general tithe was given to the Levites (Numbers 18:21-32. This is the only mention of tithe or ten percent in Leviticus. However, along with this offering, there were two other OT tithes which totaled about 23 per cent annually (the second tithe – Dt 14:22; and the third tithe every 3 years – Dt 14:28, 20; 26:12)
GOD’S INTERACTION WITH MANKIND IN NEW TESTAMENT
TIMES OF WORSHIP
Acts 2:42 21st Century King James Version (KJ21) (33 AD)
42 And they continued steadfastly in the apostles’ doctrine and fellowship, and in the breaking of bread and in prayers.
No tithe mentioned.
Acts 20:7, 21st Century KJV, (59 AD)
7 And upon the first day of the week, when the disciples came together to break bread, Paul preached unto them, ready to depart on the morrow, and continued his speech until midnight.
No mention of tithe.
BENEVOLENCE GIFTS FOR FAMINE
Acts 11:27-30 NKJV (42 AD)
Relief to Judea
27 And in these days prophets came from Jerusalem to Antioch. 28 Then one of them, named Agabus, stood up and showed by the Spirit that there was going to be a great famine throughout all the world, which also happened in the days of Claudius Caesar. 29 Then the disciples, each according to his ability, determined to send relief to the brethren dwelling in Judea. 30 This they also did, and sent it to the elders by the hands of Barnabas and Saul.
1 Corinthians 16:1-4 NKJV (59 AD)
Collection for the Saints
16 Now concerning the collection for the saints, as I have given orders to the churches of Galatia, so you must do also: 2 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. 3 And when I come, whomever you approve by your letters I will send to bear your gift to Jerusalem. 4 But if it is fitting that I go also, they will go with me.
16:1 Now concerning the collection. From 2 Cor. 8:1–4 and Rom. 15:25–27 it appears that one of the purposes of Paul’s third missionary journey was to raise an offering from the Gentiles for Jewish Christians in Judea who were in need, possibly as a result of persecution. Apparently, Paul had already told the Corinthians about this project in an earlier letter (5:9). They had asked for more information and perhaps expressed reservations about it (Introduction: Date and Occasion)
16:2 On the first day of every week. The reference is to Sunday, the day on which the resurrected Lord met with His disciples (John 20:19, 26; cf. also “the Lord’s day” in Rev. 1:10). Acts 20:7 indicates that the early Christians met on Sunday “to break bread” (part of their worship), and it would have been appropriate to designate that day for collecting the offering.
2 Corinthians 8:1-4 NKJV (60 AD)
Excel in Giving
1 Moreover, brethren, we make known to you the grace of God bestowed on the churches of Macedonia: 2 that in a great trial of affliction the abundance of their joy and their deep poverty abounded in the riches of their liberality. 3 For I bear witness that according to their ability, yes, and beyond their ability, they were freely willing, 4 imploring us with much urgency that we would receive the gift and the fellowship of the ministering to the saints.
Romans 15:27 NKJV (60 AD)
27 It pleased them indeed, and they are their debtors. For if the Gentiles have been partakers of their spiritual things, their duty is also to minister to them in material things.
15:25–33 Paul now discloses his immediate plans to visit Jerusalem with the gifts the churches had raised for the Christians there. Jerusalem was an impoverished city in general; in addition, the Christians there would suffer particular hardship as a suspect minority. But Paul sees a significance deeper than charity in the gift. It is a duty (v. 27), a solemn obligation of the Gentiles in view of the privilege they have received in being grafted into God’s olive tree (11:17). This conforms to the general principle that those who receive spiritual blessings should share their own material blessings (1 Cor. 9:3–14; Gal. 6:6).
When the people of Israel (the Jews) entered the promised land the Levites had no inheritance there. The tithe was instituted to support the Levitical priesthood so that they could provide ministry to the Jews, and represent the Jews to God. There were also benevolent needs that were met through the tithe. The storehouse is not the church. King Hezekiah, added a room to the temple “to store the tithe.” When the Jews didn’t properly tithe, the priests had to “go to work” so that they could support their families. The result was their inability to properly minister to the Jews. The New Testament Church has no example of a tithe being a part of a church service. In order for relief support to be provided to the church around Jerusalem, offerings were requested to provide that much needed support. However, there is no evidence that tithing was a part of the church’s weekly “church service.” Many times, 1 Corinthians 16 is used as a proof text for church tithing. But, please read the words of Paul very carefully. Also, consider that Paul’s letter to the Corinthians was not written until the year 59 AD. Nothing is mentioned in Paul’s letters to any of the churches that addresses tithing. Now, with this conclusion having been made, please know that pastors and staffs, and everything that brings about a ministry, must have regular financial support. The need of the church of Christ (not a denominational name) has never been greater than what we are experiencing in today’s world. There are too many young males, who need believers in Christ, to explain the love of Jesus to them. There are too many babies being destroyed in the wombs of their mothers. We need to teach our fellow believers in Christ, to teach others that such taking of life is murder. Homosexuality is being forced upon most of the world by governmental leaders who show no relationship to Jesus as their Lord and Savior. We must have teaching in our churches that is so effective that “the church” will stop voting for politicians who support abortion and homosexual marriage as being acceptable in our society. The church is necessary for such teaching because most parents are unable to do that teaching. Let me get back to the issue of money. “Just how important are our children?” Are we willing to support our churches with such financial means that we can, not only, send Christians to the mission fields around the world (Acts 1:8), but that we can also feel confident that we are “equipping those saints” (Eph 4:12) to be effective in their “works of service for the building up of the body of Christ.” We need to know that those believers, who are providing ministry in their places of employment, and other meeting places, are equipped for those much needed ministries. We need to understand that not just a tithe amount, or offering, are God’s, but that “all of our money” belongs to God. We need to understand that, “it’s all God’s!” Consider the Words of Psalm 24:1, “The earth is the Lord’s, and the fulness thereof; the world, and they that dwell therein.”
Now, let’s enter into worship and praise as we are blessed by the orchestra and 500 member of Prestonwood Baptist Church (Southern Baptist Convention). The Senior Pastor is Dr. Jack Graham. The church is located in Fort Worth, Texas, in the USA.
Prestonwood Baptist Church
“You Are Worthy”