The Bible does not teach that tithing is the recommended or required basis of giving for the New Testament Gentile believers. Tithing in the Old Testament was NEVER of money and the New Testament NEVER teaches that we as believers should tithe. To the contrary it clearly teaches that tithing is NOT required in the New Covenant. This is best verified by systematically going through the Various Covenants which God had with His people and addressing the sacrifices, first fruit offerings and tithing that occurred. Please grab your Bible and see for yourself the TRUTH of what God has said because seeing some of these verses in print and in context may astound you
- The Adamic Covenant (from the Fall to the Flood)
Gen 3:15 God promised a seed who would crush the serpents head
Gen 3:21 God sacrificed an animal to cover Adam and Eve’s nakedness
Gen 4:4 Abel offered a sacrifice of the fat portions of some of the firstborn of his flock …(this is clearly not a tithe).
It was accepted because it was the best of the firstborn of his flock which was later reserved for burnt offerings. It was also offered in faith and speaks prophetically of Christ’s sacrifice. Cain’s sacrifice of ‘some of the fruits of the soil’ was rejected as a mediocre sacrifice of the work of his own hands demonstrating his lack of faith in what God would do for mankind. Some preachers even claim that the first instance of tithing occurred in the Garden of Eden….this is totally wrong. The ‘tree of the knowledge of good and evil’ was not a tithe. It was one tree out of thousands….and neither was it the ‘first’ because the ‘tree of life’ was the first named tree! (Gen 2:9) It should be noted that there was no mention of tithing at all and there was NO priesthood to whom it could have been given.
- The Noahic Covenant
(from the Flood to the call of Abram)
Gen 8:20 Noah built an altar and taking clean animals and birds sacrificed burnt offerings on it
Gen 8:21-22 God was pleased and covenanted the blessing of ‘seed time and harvest’
Gen 9:8-17 God covenanted a promise of no future worldwide flood and provided the rainbow as a sign.
It should be noted that there was no tithing mentioned at all and there was no priesthood to whom it might have been given.
- The Abrahamic Covenant
(from the call of Abram to the giving of the Law)
Gen 13:4 Abram made an altar and offered a sacrifices on it
Gen 22 God tested Abraham and he was prepared to obey God even to the extent of sacrificing his only son
vs. 8 “My son, God will provide for Himself the lamb for a burnt offering.”
This speaks prophetically of God providing his son Jesus Christ as our sacrifice …a shadow fulfilled by Jesus on the cross
The Tithe (‘first mention’) Gen 14:11-24
Abram’s nephew Lot was carried off with his possessions along with the people of Sodom and Gomorrah Abram rescued Lot and the spoils and the other people …. and he was blessed by Melchizedek on his return Abram gave him a tenth of ‘everything’ (vs. 16 gives the context of ‘spoils’). This was NOT something God ever commanded him to do. Abram NEVER gave a tenth to anyone in the scriptures before this event. As Abram was on a war/rescue mission he did not have any of his own wealth with him. Hebrews 7:5 makes it clear that all he gave was a tenth of the PLUNDER. He therefore gave only of that which was not his own and returned the rest to the King of Sodom to give to Lot and those from whom it had been stolen! The Bible does not say that Abram/Abraham ever ‘tithed’ or ‘gave a tenth’ again …or EVER gave any of his own wealth! Abram GAVE a tithe (i.e. freewill) … he did not ‘PAY’ a tithe as he would have if an obligation existed. Abram was rich long before he encountered Melchizedek (Gen 13:2)…..so ‘THE blessing’ could NOT possibly have been related to his tithing. The sign of the covenant was his CIRCUMCISION (Gen 17:10-14) and NOT his tithing! Abram had not yet believed and been ‘credited as righteous’ … and his name was not yet changed to Abraham. (i.e. his actions were those of an ‘unrighteous’ man) The narrative of this event is descriptive and not prescriptive. It is NOT presented as a command nor is it suggested anywhere in the New Testament that it is an example of an action which we should follow (e.g.. we are told to follow the FAITH of Abraham…and not his works Rom 4:1-4). The tenth he gave is not as significant as the remainder he also gave back because Abram says … in vs. 22-23… “I have raised my hand to the LORD, God Most High, the Possessor of heaven and earth, 23 that I will take nothing, from a thread to a sandal strap, and that I will not take anything that is yours”
(This proves that Abraham never took ownership of the plunder!) THIS EXAMPLE CANNOT LEGITIMATELY BE ARGUED TO CONSTITUTE A PRE-MOSAIC SPIRITUAL PRINCIPLE OR TITHING AS IT IS TAUGHT IN THE CHURCH TODAY (except if we should have a magnificent victory in war and recover spoils from which we could freely give 10% to a king and a priest who blesses us…and then give the remainder back to those it was taken from)
“If God will be with me, and keep me in this way that I am going, and give me bread to eat and clothing to put on, 21 so that I come back to my father’s house in peace, then the LORD shall be my God. 22 And this stone which I have set as a pillar shall be God’s house, and of all that You give me I will surely give a tenth to You” Jacob was saying…. ‘God you promised, so IF and WHEN you deliver and bless me first, then I will give!’… Have you ever wondered why this is NEVER preached as the basis for New Testament ‘tithing’? The fact that the Bible does not tell us that Isaac ever tithed together with the fact that Jacobs vow was clearly a voluntary and conditional vow indicates that there was certainly NO prevailing pre-law requirement to tithe! Jacob at this time was still a deceiver…He was only transformed in Gen 32 after wrestling with God It is not recorded that Jacob ever gave this tithe (If you disagree with this please show me when, where and to whom the scripture says his tithe was given?)
THIS INCIDENT CANNOT LEGITIMATELY BE ARGUED TO SUPPORT A PRE-MOSAIC SPIRITUAL PRINCIPLE AND IT IS NOT RECORDED THAT THIS WAS EVER DONE AGAIN BY ANYONE……NOR IS IT EVER SUGGESTED AS SOMETHING WE SHOULD PRACTICE IN THE NEW TESTAMENT
All the way from Adam to the time of Moses bringing the Law to Israel there is NO scriptural record of anyone EVER having given a tithe of their possessions to any one! There is also not a single scripture even hinting that this might be a requirement prior to the Law! Let us get real….If God required people to tithe …before and after the Law ….then HE would have said so in HIS Word!
4) The Mosaic Covenant
(from the giving of the Law to the death of Jesus)
Christ’s sacrifice of his life for us has once and for all set aside all sacrifices
Leviticus and Deuteronomy detail more than 20 types of sacrifices/offerings including the Firstfruits offerings that were to be offered through the year and at the annual feasts Firstfruits and the Firstborn are clearly NOT the same as the TITHE (Exodus 23:16, Deut 26:1-11 and Neh 10:37 )
Hebrews 7:5 …. And indeed those who are of the sons of Levi, who receive the priesthood, have a commandment to receive tithes from the people according to the law, that is, from their brethren
The requirement to ‘tithe’ is NOT because of a pre-mosaic spiritual principle …. it is part of the LAW! The tithes were only to be received from BRETHREN of the Levites Jesus confirms this in Mat 23:23…that tithing is one of the ‘Matters of the LAW! The LAW refers the Mosaic Law which was given by God to Moses at Mt Sinai and was recorded in the Books of the Law (TORAH) by which all Israelites (including Jesus) tried to live and still try to do today. It is in these books that the ‘tithe’ is first commanded.
Lev 27:30 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.
Lev 27:32 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.
The ONLY tithe which is designated as HOLY is that of produce of the land (specifically the promised land GIVEN to the Israelites by GOD) ….it was food produce and animals. It NEVER refers in the scriptures to money earned by people. The purpose of the above verses is to define the ‘what’ of tithing, – ie that which must be tithed. All other scriptures regarding tithing under the Law confirm the same extent of what is to be tithed! NONE scriptures ever extend the scope of tithing to income. The argument that money was not the common means of exchange because in those days it was ‘a barter or agrarian society’ is patently wrong. Even 430 years before the Law, Abraham had silver and bought land for 400 shekels…..Exodus 30:13-16 talks of the half-shekel temple tax that everyone had to pay…..and Deut 14 talks of the right to change your tithe to silver….and buying things with it to eat and drink.
Lev 27:34 These are the commandments which the LORD commanded Moses for the children of Israel on Mount Sinai.
The people addressed in the above passages from Leviticus 27 are emphatically defined in vs. 1 and vs. 34 as being for the Israelites only. These verses defined ‘who’ it was that was that the command to give tithes related to. (Heb 7:5)
Num 18:21 ‘I give to the Levites all the tithes as their inheritance in return for the work they do while serving….23 it shall be a statute forever, throughout your generations, that among the children of Israel they shall have no inheritance.
This scripture defines the reason ‘why’ tithing was required to be given to Levites. It is NOT because they were ‘fulltime’ workers (the typical Levite’s roster was 1 week out of 24 ONLY – 1Chron 24-26). It was primarily because they forfeited their share of the Land as an inheritance. God wanted them not to be attached to ‘worldly inheritances’…. Mat 19:29
Num 18:23-24 ‘…“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 the tabernacle of meeting. 22 Hereafter the children of Israel shall not come near the tabernacle of meeting, lest they bear sin and die. 23 But the Levites shall perform the work of the tabernacle of meeting, and they shall bear their iniquity; it shall be a statute forever, throughout your generations, that among the children of Israel they shall have no inheritance. 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.'”
This passage defines ‘who’ was to receive the tithes. No-one else (other than the poor) is ever authorized to receive any tithes in the scriptures . (giving it to a preacher or a ‘local church’ would constitute a SIN according to the Law) This passage of scripture is addressed to the priests (vs. 20) and the intent is to explain how they were to be supported. It is NOT a command to the people on ‘when’ or ‘how’ tithes were to be given…that is only ever detailed in Deut 14 & 26 The tribe of Levi were required to forfeit their inheritance in the land to the rest of Israel and therefore needed to receive the food grown on it. This supply was secured under an everlasting statute/covenant with God (Numbers 18:23, Mal 2:4-9) The requirement to have ‘no inheritance in the land’ is casually overlooked by most ‘clergy’ who claim to be entitled to receive or partake of tithes today! …as is the fact that no gentile believers were ever given a share in the ‘land’ of Israel As detailed in Deut 14 and 26 it was only in the third year that ALL the tithe was given to Levites. (& widows & orphans)
(In the Bible the meaning of the word ALL is commonly required to be interpreted in line with its context and other Scriptures as to its scope. i.e. ALL does not necessarily mean all of the types of tithes, from all of the people and all of the time) The tithe equated to 10% divided by 3 (i.e. every third year)…. BUT it was also shared with the ‘poor’ = 3.34% average per year Levi had 22,000 people over 1 month old out of 603,000 Israelites over 20 years old = approx. 2.2% of Israel’s population (Num 1:32 and Num 3:39) This % is confirmed as being correct because the Levites and priests share of the spoils was set by God as 2.2% of the total (refer Numbers 31:28 & 30)
Today as New Testament believers WE ARE ALL PRIESTS (1 Pet 2:5 and 2:9 and Rev 1:6, 5:10 and 20:6)
Deut 12 :5-12 ‘…. There you shall take your burnt offerings, your sacrifices, your tithes, the heave offerings of your hand, your vowed offerings, your freewill offerings, and the firstborn of your herds and flocks. 7 And there you shall eat before the LORD your God, and you shall rejoice in all to which you have put your hand, you and your households, in which the LORD your God has blessed you.
God commands the people to EAT of their tithes…this is repeated many times so that we do not mistake HIS command (i.e. in vs. 11-12, 15 and 18 also) PLEASE NOTE Neither the word ‘festival’ or ‘poor’ are EVER found to describe the tithes of Deuteronomy in the Hebrew text. These words are illegitimate insertions intended to deceive people and to justify claims of multiple tithes being required. The Law forbids adding or subtracting even a jot or tittle Deut 4:1-2 and Mat 5:18-19. Deceivers be warned.
Deut 14:22 “You shall truly tithe all the increase of your grain that the field produces year by year.
(tithes were NOT the first 10% nor were they given weekly …they were set aside over the year and only given once) The tithe always specifically referred to produce of the fields only (NEVER the wages of people) This is the ONLY place where the people of Israel are commanded in the Law ‘how and when’ to tithe…. and ‘what’ is to be done with the tithe. There is NO scripture EVER given that suggests that tithes were required from Israelites who had other occupations other than land-owner farmers e.g. labourers, skilled craftsmen, weavers, designers, or carpenters (or being Jews – merchants, bankers, and lawyers or doctors) under the LAW . All the highly regarded rabbis of the past and present concur on this matter.
Deut 14:23 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.
Eating the tithes is a COMMAND…you SHALL eat! This was to celebrate religious feasts as a spiritual family and a community holiday (i.e. Passover, Feast of Weeks and Tabernacles)….. and to rejoice in the blessing, provision and awesome love of God for His people. In teachings about tithing one is never told that GOD commanded the Israelites to EAT the tithe together with their family…Have you?…How can this possibly be missed by so many supposedly knowledgeable Bible teachers? Note that in verse 24-26 Israelites are told that (if they are to far away from Jerusalem) they can convert their tithe to money but that they are then buy ‘sheep, cattle, wine or strong drink’ and ‘to eat and rejoice in the presence of the Lord your God’. Yes this is in your bible…..God COMMANDS the people to eat your tithe in a party at Jerusalem to celebrate His blessing on their life and His goodness towards them (if they are Israelites). These scriptures are where GOD defines ‘what must be done’ with the tithe…and ‘when’ it must be done by the Israelites These scriptures blow the storehouse money tithing heresy as taught by most churches today right out of the water…which is why they are NEVER preached on today! The giver is to EAT their tithe in celebration before God to thanks Him for his blessings The givers are only to give the tithe to the Levites and the poor every THIRD Year…the year of the tithe!
Deut 14:27-29 ……“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. 29 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.
Only on the THIRD YEAR was the tithe brought to the store in the city (i.e. the Levites being 2.2% of Israel’s population were obviously not intended to get 10% of the nations food every year) The poor and the weak were to free to share in the tithe….they did not to have to give tithes! Deut 26-1-11 …(vs2) take some of the firstfruits of all that you produce from the soil …and put them in a basket….(vs11) and you and the Levites, and aliens shall rejoice in all the good things (i.e. EAT) that the Lord your God has given you Firstfruits are clearly not tithes …i.e. a basket which contains some of the firstfruits (this can be verified in most bible dictionaries) …and they were also to be EATEN by the giver and shared with the Levites in a celebration!
Deut 26:12 When you have finished laying aside all the tithe of your increase in the third year, THE YEAR OF THE TITHE you shall give it to the Levite, the alien, the fatherless and the widow so that they may eat in your towns and be satisfied
(This was done by bringing it to the STORE in the towns ..ie within the gates…for them to be supplied from as detailed in Deut 14:28-29) Unlike Firstfruits that were the first part of the produce, Tithes were not the first as they were laid aside through the year The third year was called THE YEAR OF THE TITHE for a reason i.e. in that year ONLY was ALL the tithe given to the Levites (as per Num 18:21…and even then it was still to be shared with the poor because it would have been more than they needed proportionately). In the other years God COMMANDED that it was to be eaten by the giver and his family at the feasts
Deut 14:22-27 ALL the tithe of the third year was given to the Levites. There is NO second tithe after the Levites were first given the third year tithe ..but ALL THE (singular) TITHE. This scriptural passage single handily proves that there was to be NO separate ‘first tithe’ or ‘Levites tithe’ as some claim because the third year tithe was the Levites tithe of Numbers 18:21-23.
Deut 26:13 then say to the Lord ‘I have removed from my house the Sacred Portion and have given it to the Levite, the alien, the fatherless and the widow as you have commanded me’
The command to give the tithe to the Levites (in Numbers 18, Heb 7:5) applied to the third years produce only. This is NOT a ‘poor tithe’ as some choose to misleadingly call it ….it is THE LEVITES tithe This ties up with Mal 3:8 as to having robbed God by not obeying this command…ie GOD had given the tithe to the Levites….they were to give 10% of the Sacred Portion as the Lords Offering (Num 18:26) to the Priests at the temple….. therefore by not giving the tithe of the tithe in the THIRD YEAR God ended up being robbed because the LORD’s offering was then not given! Again it is confirmed that the ‘poor’ were to partake of the tithe….not to give it! Deut 26:14 I have not eaten any of it ………. I have obeyed the voice of the LORD my God, and have done according to all that You have commanded me.
This verse again confirms that the ONLY tithe God commands to be given away is a SINGLE tithe given every Third Year. ….this constituted ‘obeying the voice of the Lord’…. and doing “ALL” that God commanded. As this was ALL that was required, there can be no separate and additional requirement of a ‘Levites tithe’. This is said in 3 different ways so that the Israelites could emphatically KNOW that there was no requirement for an additional tithe as was later taught by greedy Rabbis ….and is still taught by many today!
Deut 26:15 ‘Look down from heaven, your holy dwelling place, and bless your people and the land you have given us…..a land flowing with milk and honey’ This aligns with Mal 3:12 ‘open the windows of heaven and pouring out a blessing’ …..and Deut 28:1-2
Amos 4:4 ‘bring your sacrifices every morning and your tithes every THREE years’
(it is noted that the context of this passage is a rebuke to Israel in regard to pride in their religious zealousness…..and could be referring to bringing tithes ‘every three days’ …in lieu of every three year as required by the Law) Note that in the seventh year the Israelites did not grow crops because it was a Sabbath year for the land….and therefore they could not tithe on them …..but because of the blessing of God on their crops in the sixth year they still had an abundance to celebrate at the festivals with. (Leviticus 25 :20-22). There is no scripture which states that they would not have tithed on the natural increase in their herds and flocks at the festivals The above passages clearly indicate the seven year cycle….with tithes given to Levites in years 3 and 6….and tithes eaten by the giver in years 1, 2 and 4, 5…..and no tithes of crops in year 7. No other logically consistent and equitable interpretation exists. FURTHER REFERENCES TO TITHING IN 2 CHRONICLES AND NEHEMIAH ARE NOT ADDRESSSED IN DETAIL AS THESE WERE PRACTICAL APPLICATIONS OF THE LAW AND THEY DO NOT IN ANYWAY CHANGE (even a ‘jot or a tittle’ of ) THE LAW AS GIVEN ABOVE in Deuteronomy (ref Deut 4:1-2) Some claim that Nehemiah 10:37-38 supports the interpretation that there MUST have been an additional tithe in the Law. However reading these verses in the context of the LAW as shown in the Scriptures above shows that what Nehemiah records here only refers to the Levites tithe of the THIRD year and NOT the tithe which happened on intermediate years as detailed in Deut 14:22-27….ie it only speaks of the third year tithe of Deut 14:28-29 and Deut 26:12-14! Neh 10:38 ‘a priest…is to accompany the Levites WHEN they receive the tithes … (WHEN is the TIMING which relates this event to the THIRD YEAR or the LEVITES tithe of Deut 14:28-29 and Deut 26-12-14) Neh 10:38 ….and the Levites are to bring a tenth of the tithes …. to the store rooms … (the only tithe brought to the store rooms for the Aaronic Priests was the 10% of the Levites tithe of the THIRD YEAR …the tithe in other years was EATEN by the giver and his family) The second part of this passage links to Numbers 18:26-29….the Levites tithe of which they were required to give 10% OF THE BEST to the Aaronic priests as the LORD’s … (vs. 29…compare the this to the sin of the Levites which angered God in Malachi 1:6-8)
In this context now look at the most popular ‘tithing’ scripture which you will see is ALWAYS used out of context in churches today Malachi 3:8-12
This scripture, because of its frequent out of context use, can best be described as ‘a sledge-hammer to cause fear, guilt, condemnation and confusion’ when wrongly preached at Christians as it always is today. Malachi was an OLD TESTAMENT prophet. Prophets pointed Israel back to THE LAW (read Mal 1 and 2 and you will see it is addressed primarily to the Levites and priests) God did not use prophets to re-write the Law! It was the Levites tithe of the tithe that was to be brought to the temple for the Priests (Numbers 18:26, Nehemiah 10:36-38). The people’s tithe was either eaten or stored at the gates of their cities for the Levites every third year.
We cannot be cursed today as born again believers for disobeying the LAW of Moses (which never applied to Gentiles …and a Law which today cannot even be properly observed Jewish believers as there is no temple or Levitical priesthood)
Gal 3:13 Christ has redeemed us from the curse of the Law by becoming a curse for us as it is written ‘Cursed is anyone who is hung on a tree’
As New Testament believers we receive blessing by faith in the completed work of Christ and not by doing the works of the Law (Eph 1:3 and Gal 3:1-14…..a must read) I say ‘out of context’ use as Scripture must be used to interpret scripture and ‘in the mouth of two witnesses or three let every word be CONFIRMED’ …….. Doctrines should not be based on one scripture only (e.g. using Malachi 3:8-12 contrary to the LAW as detailed in Leviticus 27 and Numbers 18 and Deuteronomy 14 and 26). That the book of Malachi is primarily addressed to the priests and Levites is confirmed in Mal 1:5 and Israel only in Mal 1:1 and 4:4
Please note that this passage ACTUALLY commences at verse 6…. (something preachers today avoid reading)
Mal 3:6……O descendants of JACOB…
this alone proves that the scripture is NOT one referring to us as GENTILE believers today!
This whole passage applies only to Israelites UNDER THE LAW …and when Jacob is referred to rather than Israel it is referring to UNREGENERATED Jews! Mal 3:8 Will a man rob God? You ask how have we robbed you? ….. i.e. God had set out the law in Deut 14 and 26 which they were not obeying by not giving the Sacred Portion, i.e. the third years tithe, to the Levites who would then bring 10% of this as the Lord’s offering to the temple for the priests (Numbers 18:26) Mal 3:9 You are under a curse…. i.e. Deut 28:1-14 were the blessings for obedience but Deut 28:15-68 were the curses Israel put themselves under by disobedience …”THIS whole nation of you”…it is only addressed to ISRAEL…and Mal 4:4 confirms this! We as new covenant believers are not under the Law today ….. even the Jews…see Romans 7:6 ‘We have been released from the Law so that we serve in the new way of the Spirit not under the old ways of the written code’
Mal 3:10 ‘Bring ALL the tithe into the storehouse that there may be food in my house’ (as per Deut 14 and 26 this clearly means the whole of the Lords offering which was 10% of the THIRD YEARS TITHE which the LEVITES brought to Jerusalem for the priests) The ‘storehouse’ referred to here is the food store in the temple in Jerusalem for the priests and the poor… and it was never the local synagogue. The two rooms could never hold more than a fraction of all of Israel’s tithes. NOR was it the ‘treasury’ which was a place to store money. This again shows that the tithe was NOT one of MONEY but FOOD!
Mal 3:12 Then all the nations will call you blessed….ie as per the promises of Deut 28:1-14
TITHING WAS GODS WAY UNDER THE LAW THAT THE LEVITES/PRIESTS WOULD GET THEIR SHARE OF FOOD AND THAT THE POOR OF THE NATION of ISRAEL WOULD ALSO BE FED ….from the Promised Land which God provided for them!
AND THAT PEOPLE WOULD CELEBRATE HIS BLESSING ONTHEIR CROPS AT THE RELIGIOUS FESTIVALS 5) NEW COVENANT/TESTAMENT FOR GENTILE BELIEVERS —–
WE ARE NOT UNDER THE LAW
For those who believe Gentile believers are required to keep the Law of Moses …
Hebrews 7:5 ‘Now the LAW requires the descendants of Levi…..to collect a tenth from the people…..their brothers’
Note that it was NOT a ‘pre-law spiritual principle’…but the LAW which requires tithing. Jesus himself confirms that tithing is one of the ‘matters of the LAW’ (Mat 23:23)
Romans 3:19 ‘Now we know that whatever the law says it says to those who are under the LAW ‘ Oh that this would be taught today!
Romans 7:6 ‘We have been released from the LAW so that we serve in the new way of the Spirit not under the old ways of the written code’
The total clincher which confirms that tithing is NOT required today under the New Covenant is the following passage ……
Acts 15:5 …the Pharisees stood up and said ‘The Gentiles must be circumcised and required to obey the Law of Moses’
Acts 15:28 But the apostles, elders and Holy Spirit said….. ‘It seemed good to the Holy Spirit and to us not to burden you with anything beyond the following requirements: that you abstain from food sacrificed to idols, from blood, from meat strangled and from sexual immorality’
TITHING WAS NOT A REQUIREMENT FOR GENTILE BELIEVERS! Those who teach tithing as a requirement are TESTING GOD by illegally placing a burden on His children! (Acts 15:10)
Acts 20:17-28 From Miletus he (Paul) sent to Ephesus and called for the elders of the church. 18 And when they had come to him, he said to them: “You know, …….. 20 how I kept back nothing that was helpful, but proclaimed it to you, and taught you publicly and from house to house, …….. 27 For I have not shunned to declare to you the whole counsel of God.
It is almost universally acknowledged by theologians that Paul and the apostles did not teach tithing in the book of Acts or the epistles. Paul in the above scripture is saying that the things he did not teach are not helpful to us (in the spiritual realm)….and they are NOT part of the ‘whole counsel of God’…or he would have taught it! This confirms that ‘tithing’ as taught today is a TRADITION OF MEN…and not a requirement from God…..and that it is NOT helpful in any way to believers! As Jesus says…the traditions of men make the commandment of God…ie to LOVE one another and give to the poor …of none effect!
Well what about Mat 23:23?…. some ask.
Briefly Jesus was speaking to Jews ….. who were under the Law …. and tithed food i.e. herbs as required (and NOT money)
Well what about Hebrews and Melchizedek? …. is often the next question.
Briefly Melchizedek was NOT Jesus….Jesus is ANOTHER priest ….after the order of Melchizedek. Hebrews 7 is teaching about the greatness of the new high priest…and merely uses the tithing to show which priesthood is greater.
This explains why Paul and the other apostles never taught that tithing was required to the gentile churches who would not even have known of such a practice. THEY WERE INSTEAD TAUGHT TO GIVE WITH A GENEROUS HEART, MOTIVATED BY LOVE AND AS LED BY THE SPIRIT.
HISTORY of TITHING IN THE CHURCH It is important to note that the vast majority of Christians in the world today either are not part of churches that preach “tithing” as a requirement or they do not practice tithing even it their churches preach it. Even the statistics record that less than 1 in 6 Christians in churches which preach tithing actually practice it. This would indicate that most believers have serious Scriptural concerns about tithing being applicable today despite many years of being told by preachers that it is required. As far as I can identify tithing did not become a practice in any part of the church in history until almost 800AD. This would mean that Tithing was certainly not part of the Apostolic Doctrine nor was it practiced by the early church (which would explain why it was not taught to the Gentile Church in the bible) (According to preaching that we have all probably heard we would therefore have to conclude that they have all robbed God and, at the worst, would be on their way to Hell as that is the destiny of all thieves, or at the best, would never have experienced the blessing of God as they were disobedient…..Clearly this is baloney!) The early Jewish church at one time did ‘have all things in common’ when there was a great need (Acts 2:44-45) but this was never practiced by the Gentile Church, and is rarely practiced today. This is NOT taught as a requirement by the apostles or even as a suggestion ….and it is certainly not practiced by the vast majority of preachers in the world today.
Note There are claims that multiple tithes applied in the Old Testament but under the LAW only one tithe was ever required. Numerically the notion of ‘multiple tithes’ can be easily proven to be grossly inequitable which was clearly NOT God’s intent. (Deut 18:8 equal portions to eat for all). The Bible knows nothing of a ‘Levites tithe’….or a ‘Festival tithe’….or a ‘Poor tithe’.
(Do a search yourself). It teaches only ‘the Tithe’ or ‘a Tithe’.
The whole teaching is no more than a fabrication of greedy rabbis (Mat 23:4) While the king and civil authorities may also have collected taxes at times (much as is done today) … this had no relevance to the LAW of God as set out in the OLD TESTAMENT.