Tithing Principles

 
 I. Old Testament Principles
      A. The tithes are given to the Levites for all the work they preformed in the tabernacle of meeting.
        1. Num 18:21 - "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  tabernacle of meeting.
       B. The Levites would tithe a tenth of all the tithes they received.
        1. Num 18:28 - '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.
          a. The Levites would tithe to the Lord of the best of all they were given of the tithes of the children of Israel. This tithe would be given to Aaron the high priest.
          b. Today, Jesus is our high priest. The Levites would be relative to our preachers and priests today. Therefore, our church leaders must also tithe a tenth of what they receive. (Their tithes would go back into the church.)
      C. A yearly tithe was to be made of their grain and also of the wine, oil, herd, and flock.
         1. Deut 14:22,23 - "You shall truly tithe all the increase of your grain that the field produces year by year. 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.Ē
          a. This tithe is a tithe of all they would produce for that year whether grain, oil, wine, or animal.
          b. This tithe, though of material things, is relative of all monetary value received throughout the year. Today, we generally use money to tithe unto the Lord. Of course, we do have opportunities to give of material things when possible.
       D. A special and additional tithe is made at the end of every third year for the needy.
        1. Deut 14:28,29 - "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. And the Levite, because he has no portion nor inheritance with you, and the stranger and the fatherless and the widow who are within your gates, may come and eat and be satisfied, that the LORD your God may bless you in all the work of your hand which you do.
          a. This tithe was given to the Levites, the strangers, the fatherless, and the widows.
    II. New Testament Principles
      A. Give to the preachers of the gospel.
        1. 1 Cor 9:11- If we have sown spiritual things for you, is it a great thing if we reap your material things?
        2. 1 Cor 9:14 -  Even so the Lord has commanded that those who preach the gospel should live from the gospel.
      B. Give out of your abundance.
        1. 2 Cor 8:13-14 - For I do not mean that others should be eased and you burdened; but by an equality, that now at this time your abundance may supply their lack, that their abundance also may supply your lack-- that there may be equality.
      C. Give according to your ability.
        1. 2 Cor 8:3,4 - For I bear witness that according to their ability, yes, and beyond their ability, they were freely willing,  imploring us with much urgency that we would receive the gift and the fellowship of the ministering to the saints.
        2. 2 Cor 8:12 - 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.
      D. Give to the poor and needy.
        1. Rom 15:26,27 - For it pleased those from Macedonia and Achaia to make a certain contribution for the poor among the saints who are in Jerusalem. 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.
        2. Gal 2:9,10 - and when James, Cephas, and John, who seemed to be pillars, perceived the grace that had been given to me, they gave me and Barnabas the right hand of fellowship, that we should go to the Gentiles and they to the circumcised. They desired only that we should remember the poor, the very thing which I also was eager to do.
        3. 1 Cor 16:1,2 - 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.

    Summary:
    Tithing is a principle God instituted from the beginning and that writers of the New Testament are still upholding. Tithing today still follows the tithing principles of the past; we must give to the one who brings us the word of God; we must remember the poor and those in need; we should give of the increase of all that we have. Tithes are given materially or monetarily and are generally one tenth of the whole. If able, we should give our tenth regularly. Otherwise, we should give when able to do so. We are not expected to give when we are in need ourselves. However, one's abundance may arise later to supply another's lack. There is no doubt that we should tithe unto the Lord. Tithes are used to further the word of God, sustain the worker dedicated to this task, and to help all people in any variety of needs. Tithing shows character, love, support for our fellow man, and acknowledgment and trust in God as our provider and sustainer. However, we must be good stewards of the use of our tithes. It is believed, and is likely happening in some places, that some churches are not properly using the tithes entrusted to them. It seems that some churches have put more effort into profit-maximizing their church. Their focus is on growing in numbers, greatly expanding their buildings, being known in the communities, and having extra money to thrive.  This focus and improper use of Godís money is a bad representation of the church to the unbeliever and to God. The church today does need money and materials to function and to maintain a place of worship. Nevertheless, there should not even be a hint of self serving and elaboration.  Instead, the church should focus on keeping people on a righteous walk with God and helping the poor and the needy, the sick, and the stranger. Therefore, we should have a check system in all of our churches to see if Godís money is being used properly. It would not seem right for a church leader to have a sterling new car and a luxurious home but neglect the hungry or homeless in his community or the church member struggling because of needs not being met. Your church may contribute to just causes, but how great and how prioritized is that commitment? If one was to look in their own community or search their own church they may find other or greater necessities and people that have been neglected. Careful and diligent focus on the needs of the neglected is something all churches should involve themselves with as well as spreading and teaching the word of God. Any church diviating from these priorities may become known as a self serving church.

    Those who worship at home must tithe also. They should set aside something each week or as able, whether material or monetary, to be used for Godís purposes. Tithes set aside should be used as God directs or when the Spirit moves us. God will put those who are in need as well as any necessary works before a willing heart, giving us an opportunity to use His tithes properly. There will be plenty of opportunity among family, friends, and coworkers.  Also, there could be a charitable organization that God will lead one to help. Any charitable organization should have verifiable and evident use of money or materials donated to them. When we give to those in need, however needed, we are using Godís money or materials properly and showing the love of God to them.  In the end this is how the love in our hearts will be judged - Then the King will say to those on His right hand, 'Come, you blessed of My Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world: for I was hungry and you gave Me food; I was thirsty and you gave Me drink; I was a stranger and you took Me in; I was naked and you clothed Me; I was sick and you visited Me; I was in prison and you came to Me'  (Matt 25:34-36).


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