Why should a Christian give tithe and gifts?
For the first time we encounter "tenth", is in Genesis 14:17-20. Therefore it is Biblical giving.
17 And the king of Sodom went out to meet him after his return from the slaughter of Chedorlaomer, and of the kings that were with him, at the valley of Shaveh, which is the king’s dale. 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.
What is repeated in Hebrews 7:1-2 1 For this Melchizedec, king of Salem, priest of the most high God, who met Abraham returning from the slaughter of the kings, and blessed him; 2 to whom also Abraham gave a tenth part of all; first being by interpretation King of righteousness, and after that also King of Salem, which is, King of peace.
Despite that we do not read anything before Genesis 14 about giving tenth, from the above verses it is clear that the giving of tenth was a habit, here in Genesis 14:18 to the priest of the most high God.
The commandment to give tenth, we find in Numbers 18:21.
And, behold, I have given the children of Levi all the tenth in Israel for an inheritance, for their service which they serve, even the service of the tabernacle of the congregation.
Questions and answers about the tenth:
- Primary it is a command of the Lord God
- For the workers of God: over here the Levites (who in their turn gave their tenth to the priests)
- Why a tenth? For the service and maintenance in the tabernacle
Continue in the Old Testament:
Numbers 18:24, 26 e 28:24 But the tithes of the children of Israel, which they offer as an heave offering unto the Lord, I have given to the Levites to inherit: therefore I have said unto them, Among the children of Israel they shall have no inheritance. 26 Moreover speak unto the Levites, and say unto them, When ye take of the children of Israel the tithes which I have given you from them for your inheritance, then ye shall offer up an heave offering of it for the Lord, even a tenth part of the tithe. 28 Thus ye also shall offer an heave offering unto the Lord of all your tithes, which ye receive of the children of Israel; and ye shall give thereof the Lord’s heave offering to Aaron the priest.
Deuteronomy 26-13-14 then thou shalt say before the Lord thy God, I have brought away the hallowed things out of mine house, and also have given them unto the Levite, and unto the stranger, to the fatherless, and to the widow, according to all thy commandments which thou hast commanded me: I have not transgressed thy commandments, neither have I forgotten them: 14 I have not eaten thereof in my mourning, neither have I taken away ought thereof for any unclean use, nor given ought thereof for the dead: but I have hearkened to the voice of the Lord my God, and have done according to all that thou hast commanded me.
2 Chronicles 31:12 and brought in the offerings and the tithes and the dedicated things faithfully: over which Cononiah the Levite was ruler, and Shimei his brother was the next.
Nehemiah 10:37-38 nd that we should bring the first fruits of our dough, and our offerings, and the fruit of all manner of trees, of wine and of oil, unto the priests, to the chambers of the house of our God; and the tithes of our ground unto the Levites, that the same Levites might have the tithes in all the cities of our tillage. 38 And the priest the son of Aaron shall be with the Levites, when the Levites take tithes: and the Levites shall bring up the tithe of the tithes unto the house of our God, to the chambers, into the treasure house. Read as well Nehemiah 12:33, 13:5, 12.
Amós 4:4 The Lord God says: Come to Bethel, and transgress; at Gilgal multiply transgression; and bring your sacrifices every morning, and your tithes after three years.
Malachi 3:8-10 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 prove me now herewith, said 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.
The tenth were intended for the livelihood of God's servants (the Levites and priests) as well as for the construction and maintenance of the Tabernacle and later the temple. But it did not only remained at the tenths, on top of all this came the gifts.
Exodus 22:29 "You shall not delay to offer from the fulness of your harvest and from the outflow of your presses. The first-born of your sons you shall give to me".
Exodus 25:1-9 1 And the Lord spake unto Moses, saying, 2 Speak unto the children of Israel, that they bring me an offering: of every man that give it willingly with his heart ye shall take my offering. 3 And this is the offering which ye shall take of them; gold, and silver, and brass, 4 and blue, and purple, and scarlet, and fine linen, and goats’ hair, 5 and rams’ skins dyed red, and badgers’ skins, and shittim wood, 6 oil for the light, spices for anointing oil, and for sweet incense, 7 onyx stones, and stones to be set in the ephod, and in the breastplate. 8 And let them make me a sanctuary; that I may dwell among them. 9 According to all that I shew thee, after the pattern of the tabernacle, and the pattern of all the instruments thereof, even so shall ye make it.
For the voluntary donations, see Exodus 35:21-29, 36:5-7.
Leviticus 25:35 And if thy brother be waxen poor, and fallen in decay with thee; then thou shalt relieve him: yea, though he be a stranger, or a sojourner; that he may live with thee.
Questions about donations
There were also the obligatory gifts for the first child, the firstborn of the cattle, the harvest, etc.
All this served for the construction and maintenance of, and the livelihood of the servants in the Tabernacle and later the temple.
Follows a little extract of
Andrew Wommack:Today I am going to continue with the education about financial stewardship. And today I am going to talk about the tithe. And we are going to talk about what Scripture has to say about tithing. Again, my approach is different than how I have heard about other people Sermon. Therefore I would like to give you some background information. I was raised under the doctrine that the tithe was a liability. Me is, in fact, learned that the tithe is something you owe God, and that you are cursed with a curse if you don't tithe, as in Malachi 3.
Let me just read a section from the New Testament, from 2 Corinthians 9 verse 6 and 7 where it says: 'Remember this: he who sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and he who sows bountifully will also reap bountifully. Each one must do as he has made up his mind, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver.'
Most of us are familiar with that last phrase in this verse that God loves a cheerful giver. But the first part says that you should do following your heart has told you to do, not reluctantly or forced.
Let us look up Malachi 3 verse 8. For many of you this will be a familiar part. It says here: 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 prove me now herewith, said 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.
This verse 8 says: "Will a man rob God? Yet ye have robbed me. But ye say, Wherein have we robbed thee? In tithes and offerings." I am sure many of you have heard it said this: "You robbing God if you do not pay your tithes."
I heard someone say - I have never personally verified - that all those sacrifices you searched, had to bring the different sin offering, the parties, peace offerings and all those things, and if you already have the tithes and the sacrifices were prescribed by the Old Testament law, counted together, then came this amounts to 33%. If someone so Malachi 3:9 will use to say 'you are cursed with the curse if you don't tithe gives' then it would be scripturally correct if you still count offerings to a total of 33%! Then you would have to say that if you are not at least 33%, then you are cursed.
But if you give them with the thought process from Malachi 3, like: 'I've got the tithing, because otherwise, the wrath of God on me', that does make your gift completely useless! Once again, I refer to the Scripture that I have already used from 1 Corinthians 13:3 that if you give everything you have to feed the poor or even your body gives to be burned, but not out of God's love or mercy, then does it profit you nothing. The motive behind your gift is more important than the gift itself. If you give out of guilt, or forced, out of necessity or obligation, then you make your gift unusable!
So it is a case of the Old Testament? No, it continues in the New Testament.
Marcos 12:41-44 41 And Jesus sat over against the treasury, and beheld how the people cast money into the treasury: and many that were rich cast in much. 42 And there came a certain poor widow, and she threw in two mites, which make a farthing. 43 And he called unto him his disciples, and saith unto them, Verily I say unto you, That this poor widow hath cast more in, than all they which have cast into the treasury: 44 for all they did cast in of their abundance; but she of her want did cast in all that she had, even all her living.
Lucas 20:24-25 Show me a penny. Whose image and superscription hath it? They answered and said, Caesar’s.25 And he said unto them, Render therefore unto Caesar the things which be Caesar’s, and unto God the things which be God’s.
Hebrews 7:1-11 1 For this Melchizedec, king of Salem, priest of the most high God, who met Abraham returning from the slaughter of the kings, and blessed him; 2 to whom also Abraham gave a tenth part of all; first being by interpretation King of righteousness, and after that also King of Salem, which is, King of peace; 3 without father, without mother, without descent, having neither beginning of days, nor end of life; but made like unto the Son of God; abide a priest continually.4 Now consider how great this man was, unto whom even the patriarch Abraham gave the tenth of the spoils. 5 And verily they that are of the sons of Levi, who receive the office of the priesthood, have a commandment to take tithes of the people according to the law, that is, of their brethren, though they come out of the loins of Abraham: 6 but he whose descent is not counted from them received tithes of Abraham, and blessed him that had the promises. 7 And without all contradiction the less is blessed of the better.8 And here men that die receive tithes; but there he receive them, of whom it is witnessed that he live. 9 And as I may so say, Levi also, who receiveth tithes, payed tithes in Abraham. 10 For he was yet in the loins of his father, when Melchizedec met him. 11 If therefore perfection were by the Levitical priesthood, (for under it the people received the law,) what further need was there that another priest should rise after the order of Melchisedec, and not be called after the order of Aaron?
THEREFORE the giving of tenth is still valid for TODAY !!!
Why is giving of tenth a necessity?
- The Sermoner (deacons and elders in large churches) need a salary to take care of the church members (home visits, hospital visits, visits in prisons etc.).
- The pastor should prepare for his sermons, Bible study, prayer meetings, organizing evangelism campaigns, etc.
- The salary of the people in Sunday school, they should prepare for, the toys and stuff in the Sunday school classrooms (television, DVDs).
- The rent or mortgage of the church building.
- The material to evangelize, the folders in colour printing (black and white today no longer meets).
- The maintenance of the church building, church pews, cleaning, energy and water, telephone, sound system, musical instruments, visual material, etc.
- Maintenance of missionaries (salaries, pension, the material what they need on the mission field) of the church.
- Performances during Easter and Christmas and other occasions.
- Proclamation of the Gospel among the Jewish people.
Just as in the Old Testament, on TOP of the tithe, the believers in the New Testament need to add their gifts:
Romans 15:16 that I should be the minister of Jesus Christ to the Gentiles, ministering the gospel of God, that the offering up of the Gentiles might be acceptable, being sanctified by the Holy Ghost.
Romans 15:25-27 25 But now I go unto Jerusalem to minister unto the saints. 26 For it hath pleased them of Macedonia and Achaia to make a certain contribution for the poor saints which are at Jerusalem. 27 It hath pleased them verily; and their debtors they are. For if the Gentiles have been made partakers of their spiritual things, their duty is also to minister unto them in carnal things.
The Apostle Paulo urges the believers to give gifts to a for the maintenance of the Church in Jerusalem. Translates to our century:
- For the maintenance of the missionaries in Africa, Asia, China, and other countries/areas
- Social projects
- Semi boarding schools for children and youth in missionary countries (financial adoption such as the BEM)
- Projects for street children (India, Pakistan Philippines, Rio de Janeiro, etc.)
- Evangelical bookstores in United Kingdom and missionary countries
- Evangelical projects
Today we live close to the Rapture of the Church, rest us little time (days, months, maximum 15 years?) to reach people with the Gospel. We live in a century in which everything is visually and internet, television, camera in 4K, projections, cinema, games, and mobile phones. These are very expensive businesses and the church cannot stay behind. We must also use these means of communication and presences.
For example, the EZBB is working on a project in 8K (cinema screen quality). That is the future, but very expensive!
Remember that the Lord Jesus Christ left all his glory and his Divine Power in Heaven, to come and live as a simple man on earth. To suffer and to die on the cross of Golgotha. He has paid a huge sacrifice to save and liberate men from sin. Now it is up to us believers to grow in knowledge of the Bible, to be filled with the Holy Spirit, to be obedient to the New Testament rules (church attendance, Bible study, Christian living). And it is up to us believers to dedicate our time and money to rescue unbelievers (evangelism). Today that is NOT cheap!
No believer in the Lord Jesus Christ is excluded to pay its tenth and his/her gifts. The command of the Lord Jesus Christ is true for EVERY BELIEVER in Matthew 28:19-20:
Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost: 20 teaching them to OBSERVE all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you always, even unto the end of the world. Amen.
No believer escapes this command, every believer has his or her place in the body of Christ: one to evangelize, the other to teach the Bible, another as Sunday school teacher, but all are responsible for the maintenance and cost: the tithes and donations. One can pay more than the other, a rich can give more. But for God is every one equal.
2 Co.9:7 Every man according as he purposeth in his heart, so let him give; not grudgingly, or of necessity: for God loveth a cheerful giver.