Tithes and Offerings

by Wes Bridel on March 4, 2009

in Stewardship, Tithes & Offerings

The tithe is one of the most important things we can do to grow and steward our wealth. Yet most people unaccustomed to this practice or new to faith are horrified by the idea. They feel that they don’t have enough to be giving much away; or that if they did, there would be nothing left to invest. Some just think that their Pastor/Preacher/Priest is just trying to get money out of them.

"But I need it!"

"But I need it!"

This is just worldly thinking that shows no understanding of the ways of God.

As Paul said, “For God chose the foolish things of the world to shame the wise…” (1 Cor 1:27-29) It may not seem logical, but tithing and offering is essential if you as a Believer want to amass wealth. We’ll show you how and why in the next few posts, in part, by looking at some history as a guide.

We’ll look at:

  1. Cain & Abel
  2. Abraham – Melchizedek
  3. Mosaic Law
  4. Malachi’s promise to us
  5. The tithe that God paid to us

This principle shows up early and leads to the first murder. This early on it was not yet called a tithe (which means tenth in Hebrew). The brothers simply brought some of the fruits of the soil and firstborn of the flock. Cain did not give as sacrificially to the Lord as Abel did.

Because Abel gave of his best, the Lord looked at him with favor and we can see that he would have received great blessings in the future. It does not say that God was going to curse Cain from bringing a lesser offering, but he didn’t receive the favor that God showed Abel. If we want to steward great wealth for the Lord, we must seek out the Lord’s favor and blessing on our work. Tithes and offerings are a simply way to ensure this as we’ll see.

The first recorded tithe in the Bible is when Abram (Abraham) conquered the northern kings and rescued Lot gaining possession of great wealth. He gave a tenth of everything to the King of Salem (later Jerusalem) and Priest of God, Melchizedek. This is important because Abraham is the Father of Faith through whom we were first given the promise. (Gal 3:18 & Rom 4:9-16) And Jesus was the first Priest in the Order of Melchizedek through whom we receive the promise and in whose priesthood we are called to enter. And at the center of this exchange was a tithe to God. Do you think that could be important? This is how Abraham proved his faithfulness to God!

We’ll discuss some more detailed examples starting tomorrow. So come back, and share this post with someone who should join us.

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Your Duties as CE0 - from KingdomCallingAdvisors.com Kingdom Calling Advisors
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Should a Christian Tithe? - from KingdomCallingAdvisors.com Kingdom Calling Advisors
10.20.09 at 5:09 am

{ 5 comments… read them below or add one }

John Phipps 05.10.09 at 4:29 pm

I agree tithe is an important part of faith in action—James calls it faith with deeds. However the comparison with Cain and Abel is a bit out of context for tithe. The offering God commanded from Cain and Abel had nothing to do with a tithe. The favor you mention, shown to Abel, was not because he gave his best. Abel gave what was required and received the expected response for proper obedience to the offering requirements.

Thank you for addressing the lack of understanding, by non-believers and new believers, concerning tithe. I pray God will give you wisdom and discernment as you continue to instruct on this topic.

Grace and peace to you!

Wes Bridel 05.11.09 at 11:24 am

Thanks for your comment John, I’m honored. It’s hard for me to comment to much because I don’t fully understand what you are trying to say. I did mention in the original post that Cain & Abel’s offerings were before the technical concept of tithe, but that does not take away from the essence of the heart of giving. Would you care to share more?

Tony Isaac 06.04.09 at 4:57 am

I think your post is all just your personal opinion, which, I must say you are entitled to and unfortunately lacks scriptural backing.

Starting off with Cain and Abel’s offering. That had nothing to do with tithing in anyway. That is just a bit of a stretch. God did not reject Cain’s offering and accept Abel offering because of what they gave but because of the condition of their hearts. Hebrew 11 says that faith was the distinguishing factor and not the offerings themselves. Look at Hebrews 11: 4 from The Message Bible

By an act of faith, Abel brought a better sacrifice to God than Cain. It was what he believed, not what he brought, that made the difference. That’s what God noticed and approved as righteous. After all these centuries, that belief continues to catch our notice.

If Abraham had given half of the recovered plunder to Melchizedek, would we be advocating giving of half of what we earn as tithes? Abraham’s encounter with Melchizedek had no bearing on Abraham’s walk with God. God never commended this act and thus enjoin other believers to do the same. Scripture never says Abraham’s encounter with Melchizedek proved his faithfulness to God instead we are told that Abraham believed God and that was credited to him as righteousness.

When the book of Hebrews picks up Abraham’s encounter with Melchizedek, its focus was not on tithes but on the Priesthood of Jesus. The writer was explaining to his Jewish audience from scripture why Jesus was the Messiah. Melchizedek was a king and a priest whose priesthood was not instituted by the law and was able to collect tithes from Abraham without the law mandating him to. This showed that his priesthood was superior to the levitical priesthood. The writer used this to depict Jesus’ priesthood, the priesthood in the order of Melchizedek since he was not made a priest by the law.

We follow Abraham’s example by believing God and having righteousness imputed on us and not by paying a fabled tithe.

Bojo Sun 06.17.09 at 2:57 pm

Tony:

I do appreciate your comment here. Again as you said, tithe or sacrifice is a matter of the heart.

I detect and know that the purpose of the writing here is to help others to understand that heart matters in everything, esp. things towards God, and others. Should tithe be compared with sacrifice? Yes, and rightly so, because ultimately they are the life of Jesus Christ itself and should be reconciled as so in our understanding. Every good thing comes from the Father, would it be too much to ask us to support what He is using to help us to gain wisdom and knowledge of Him? Absolutely not, Paul told us not muzzle the ox who is working for us.

Knowledge puffs us up, and pride hinders the righteous and commendable communication. It twists everything around. It defiles our conscience and produces pain in life. It will help no one, esp. those who are dear to us…

To comment on tithe as “fabled” is a bit problematic with the practice of the order of Melchizedek, under which the practice of the New Testament derives. As explicitly stated in Hebrews, Levitical order is but a shadow and type of this eternal order which functions in the Heavenly Tabernacle. Times of mankind and persons (used by God to reveal the order of His Kingdom in and through His son) have no bearing on this practice.

Ultimately, it is not the money that we tithe, but our life; it is not the sacrifice that we offer, but our heart. If we can not even stick to the practice when just about money, what will we do with our heart.

By the way, I am not recommending anyone should tithe without the right heart. But I am one who would suggest that if we do not even want to tithe, we might already have the wrong heart.

I pray that the Lord would help all of us further our understandings as proposed by John.

God bless…

Wes Bridel 06.18.09 at 3:29 pm

Hey Tony, thanks for coming and adding to the site, we really appreciate it. I could agree or disagree with you depending on your situation and i don’t know you well enough, so I’ll just throw out a few points to consider and welcome your future conversation.

The New Covenant brings freedom from the Law. Therefore, someone who is very mature and able to fully submit to Him, does not need to worry about any Law that prescribes 10%. Of course, such a person would be giving more than a tithe and thus it’s not an important issue. The giving flows from the love of Christ within.

Of course most in the Church are not giving as much as a tithe. (Personal Aside- We dont’ accept tithes here and actually, if we were to look at this in a purely linear, intellectual way, we could surmise that our business would be more profitable if our clients kept 100% of their money to themselves, so from a worldly perspective, our incentive would be to tell people not to tithe.)

Some have been burned by dishonest preachers who have used others funds for their own benefits. Others have other wounds around money that cause them to be mistrustful for different reasons. Although these are sad, they are all engineered by the enemy and by holding back the tithe, they are they ones who are hurt. You have commented on one post in a series of about 7 on the subject. I would encourage you to read all of them to get a fuller perspective of our thoughts on it.

You are correct that it is a matter of the heart moreso than the money, but the reason that Jesus taught so much using money as an example is because it shows where our heart is. Jesus himself said that the heart is more important, but also to tithe. This kills the idea that the tithe should be thrown out. Also, within my own life and that of others I’ve known and counseled, I’ve seen them be blessed abundantly as their giving increased. Isn’t this the way that God always works?

Please understand that we are not some prosperity preachers saying do this trick and that one and then you’ll have all the money to buy all the worldly things you desire. But our purpose here is to help people to steward their finances better for His purposes, and I believe we’ve clearly shown that tithing is both biblically mandated and practically effective in moving someone closer to God’s heart. As this happens, we become more the person that He needs us to be to trust us with more for His purposes (not our own selfish wordly desires.)

On the other hand, I do know from observation that this principle is so wound into the fabric of this worldly reality that it is even helpful in this manner. All you have to do is look at the success of the Jewish people who have been financially successful in whatever land they’ve been cast into. They have continually been persecuted and made poor, but they followed God’s Law and they quickly became the wealth middle class in each cultuer they were in. Now, I’m talking about people who were not Saved and did not have the Spirit of God indwelling them, and yet they were blessed as they followed His Law. I think it’s an interesting thing to take note of if we are interested in managing what God gives us for His purposes!

I’ve rambled long enough, so I’ll only quickly mention the Cain and Able and Melchizedek points. This instance was before the Law was given, but do you think that the Law or practice of tithing was totally seperate in Spirit and Principle from Abraham giving 10% to him. (the word tithe just means 10% in Hebrew)? Same question with C&A, do you think that them giving of first fruits is a totally different heart matter from tithing? They both have to do with us taking from the blessings God has given us and freely giving back. These are exactly the same heart matter even though they are they are different aspects of it.

Again, I can’t speak to you as an advisor since I don’t know you, but I know others who have gone into tithing with much trepidation. Although they gave up some money, the blessing that they received was to their heart because God has shown them in a very real way how much He loves them and how He will take care of them no matter what the circumstances are. Yes, they end up being blessed financially afterwards, but is that really important compared to receiving healing to a broken heart? Of course, other realitonships improve in this case too when the heart is healed.

I really appreciate your passion and am excited to see what God does in your life. Thanks for being a blessing here, and I pray that God blesses you immensely.

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