There are Christians who are told to tithe otherwise they will be cursed or that they cannot join the Church or ministries.
But the truth is that Tithing was purely an Old covenant law.
- In the Law, the tribe of Levites were the full-time priests who had no land or inheritance in Israel (Numbers 18:20-21).
- The 11 other tribes of Israel were given the land and were commanded to give a 10% (tithe) of their crops to the Levites (Numbers 18:24, Deuteronomy 14:22-23)
- The tithe was used by the Levites but also in the storehouse of the Temple in Jerusalem to help the poor (Malachi 3:10).
But now in the New Covenant, there is no separation between believers – we are all a royal priesthood. There are no Levites in the new covenant and therefore no more tithing!
1 Peter 2 “5 You also, as living stones, are built up as a spiritual house, to be a holy priesthood, to offer up spiritual sacrifices, acceptable to God through Jesus Christ.”
But what about Abraham who gave a tithe to Melchizedek? Does that mean that tithing was mandatory before the Law came to Israel?
Hebrews 7 ” For this Melchizedek, king of Salem, priest of God Most High, who met Abraham returning from the slaughter of the kings and blessed him, 2 to whom also Abraham divided a tenth part of all (being first, by interpretation, “king of righteousness”, and then also “king of Salem”, which means “king of peace”, 3 without father, without mother, without genealogy, having neither beginning of days nor end of life, but made like the Son of God), remains a priest continually. 4 Now consider how great this man was, to whom even Abraham, the patriarch, gave a tenth out of the best plunder. 5 They indeed of the sons of Levi who receive the priest’s office have a commandment to take tithes of the people according to the law, that is, of their brothers, though these have come out of the body of Abraham,”
Let us be clear on Abraham’s tithe:
- Abraham only gave a tenth of the spoils of war. NOT his income or land.
- We are not fighting wars like Abraham – Jesus already won the victory for us.
- God never commanded him to do so – there was no such ordinance.
- Abraham gave it from his own will.
- Abraham did this only ONE time and not ever again.
- He gave it to Melchizedek – the writer of Hebrews was simply making a point showing that the Levitical priesthood is inferior to Christ’s priesthood. Jesus is of the order of Melchizedek. The writer was showing that the Levites through Abraham gave the tithe to Melchizedek who is an eternal priest – showing that the priesthood of Christ lives forever and is greater than Levi.
Some people say that if Abraham did this before the Law, then we also have to do so as believers who are not under the Law.
But if we have to tithe like Abraham, then we also need to sacrifice our children like Abraham did! Of course not – God did not command us to sacrifice our children. He also did not command us to leave the land. He also didn’t command us to tithe!
Every part of Abraham’s story is a picture of Jesus Christ
- He left the land to go to the promised land by faith
- Our promised land is heaven by faith in Christ
- He offered a tithe to Melchizedek before the Law came
- Jesus is greater than Levite priesthood of the Law
- He had a son Isaac by grace and not works
- Salvation is given to us by grace not by works
- Jesus is the true fulfillment of Isaac.
- He offered his son Isaac by faith
- This is the symbol of God giving up His Son Jesus Christ to save us.
We are only commanded ONE thing – to BELIEVE in the LORD JESUS CHRIST to be saved and to love others as He love others after we are saved. Nothing else is commanded.
In fact, the tithe was already fulfilled in Christ Jesus – Jesus Himself is our tithe.
The meaning of tithe is “first fruit”
2 Chronicles 31 “As soon as the commandment went out, the children of Israel gave in abundance the first fruits of grain, new wine, oil, honey, and of all the increase of the field; and they brought in the tithe of all things abundantly.”
Jesus is the Tithe / First-fruit
1 Corinthians 15 “20 But now Christ has been raised from the dead. He became the first fruit of those who are asleep. 21 For since death came by man, the resurrection of the dead also came by man. 22 For as in Adam all die, so also in Christ all will be made alive. 23 But each in his own order: Christ the first fruits, then those who are Christ’s, at his coming.”
God is not interested in our money, harvests or first-fruits.
Jesus Christ IS the Tithe and First-Fruit who was RAISED from the dead.
He was the SEED that was sown into the cross and RAISED from the dead.
John 12 ” 23 Jesus answered them, “The time has come for the Son of Man to be glorified. 24 Most certainly I tell you, unless a grain of wheat falls into the earth and dies, it remains by itself alone. But if it dies, it bears much fruit. “
We are not commanded to sow seeds or tithes but simply BELIEVE in JESUS.
Tithing is NOT commanded anywhere in the New Testament Church.
Paul did take donations from the Churches to mainly help the poor but it was done only as CHEERFUL GIVING without any compulsion or pressure!
2nd Corinthians 9
6 Remember this: he who sows sparingly will also reap sparingly. He who sows bountifully will also reap bountifully. 7 Let each man give according as he has determined in his heart, not grudgingly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver. 8 And God is able to make all grace abound to you, that you, always having all sufficiency in everything, may abound to every good work. 9 As it is written, “He has scattered abroad. He has given to the poor. His righteousness remains forever.” 10 Now may he who supplies seed to the sower and bread for food, supply and multiply your seed for sowing, and increase the fruits of your righteousness, 11 you being enriched in everything to all generosity, which produces thanksgiving to God through us. 12 For this service of giving that you perform not only makes up for lack among the saints, but abounds also through much giving of thanks to God, 13 seeing that through the proof given by this service, they glorify God for the obedience of your confession to the Good News of Christ and for the generosity of your contribution to them and to all, 14 while they themselves also, with supplication on your behalf, yearn for you by reason of the exceeding grace of God in you. 15 Now thanks be to God for his unspeakable gift!
We should always help the poor believers because this is the true blessing in blessing others who are less fortunate. We are blessed by God so that we enjoy His blessings and out of the overflow, we bless other believers.
We should support Churches and ministries that are preaching the true gospel of grace because every good ministry needs funds to operate.
But there is no curse if you don’t give money to the Church.
It’s because Christ was cursed on the cross to bless us with salvation as a FREE GIFT without any tithing needed from you!
Galatians 3 “13 Christ redeemed us from the curse of the law, having become a curse for us. For it is written, “Cursed is everyone who hangs on a tree,” 14 that the blessing of Abraham might come on the Gentiles through Christ Jesus, that we might receive the promise of the Spirit through faith.”