Tithe and offering
God is a covenant keeping God. He has made provision for everything that
we need (physically, mentally and financially) and that He has called each of us to do on this earth. There are many fine books on tithes and offerings so I am just going to touch on the highlights.
Why do we teach on tithes and offerings? It is because God loves you and is concerned about your financial health.
He has made covenantal provision for you and if we obey His commands, we can expect His blessing and provision (Deuteronomy
26-28) and in my opinion it is a form of spiritual warfare for as we submit ourselves to God we resist the devil (James 4:7). We establish the rule and the reign of the king in our lives for He gives us power
to get wealth in order to establish His covenant (Deuteronomy 8:18).
The tithe was instituted before the law.
Tithe literally means “tenth.” We
find that in Genesis 14 the tithe was instituted by Abram right after he had defeated an enemy and recovered
his stolen family and goods. He met Melchizedek the priest
of God Most High and he worshipped the Lord with his tithe after the victory.
Genesis 14:18-20 Then Melchizedek
king of Salem
brought out bread and wine; he was the priest of God Most High. 19 And he blessed him and said: "Blessed be Abram of God Most High, Possessor of heaven and earth; 20 and blessed be
God Most High, Who has delivered your enemies into
your hand?" And he gave him a tithe of all. NKJV
The tithe is for the support of the Levites, widows, the fatherless and the poor.
Numbers 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
the tabernacle of meeting. NKJV
The tithe is also for the fatherless, the widow and the
poor and you should take your tithes and offerings and offer them in the “place the Lord your God chooses.” You shall make sure that you do not forsake the Levite. (Leviticus 27:30-32,
Numbers 18:26 , Deuteronomy 14:22-28, Deuteronomy 26:8-15)
Who are the Levites today? Or, what were the Levites a type of?
Numbers 8:19 And I have given the Levites as a gift to Aaron and his sons from among the children of Israel, to do
the work for the children of Israel in the tabernacle of meeting, and to make atonement for the children of Israel, that there
be no plague among the children of Israel when the children of Israel come near the sanctuary." NKJV (Numbers 18:24 , Numbers 3:9, Numbers 18:6)
The Aaron and his sons served in the Aaronic Priesthood. They had the privilege of ministering before the Lord personally. The sons of Levi were given as a gift to assist them in their service.
Today, the blood of Jesus gives every believer the right to go before God’s throne personally. We can all minister and go before the Lord as the sons of Aaron.
So who was given as a gift to assist individual believers today?
Who are the Levites a type of? They are a type of the five fold ministry. Eph 4:8-14 Therefore
He says: "When He ascended on high,
He led captivity captive, And gave gifts to men"- 11
And He Himself gave some to be apostles, some prophets, some evangelists, and some pastors and teachers,
12 for the equipping of the saints for the work of ministry. NKJV
What else does the Bible say about tithes?
Malachi 3:8-11 "Will a man rob God? Yet you have robbed Me! But you say,
'In what way have we robbed You?' In tithes and offerings. You are cursed with a curse, For you have robbed Me, Even this whole
nation. Bring all the tithes into the storehouse, that there may be food in My house, And try Me now in
this," Says the LORD of hosts, "If I will not open for you the windows of heaven And
pour out for you such blessing that there will not be room enough to receive it. 11 "And I will rebuke the devourer for your
sakes, So that he will not destroy the fruit of your ground, Nor shall the vine fail to bear fruit for you in the field,"
Says the LORD of hosts; NKJV
When the New King James says “try me” it can
also be translated “test me.” It is the only place in the Bible that
I know of that God says to test Him and see if He is not faithful. I can tell
you that personally, I have been in dire financial straights. In one case the
income stopped while the out go just seemed to multiply. During that whole
time, I never stopped giving tithes and offerings. It
was important to me that I maintain a good testimony for the unbeliever . God
was faithful, I never went hungry and we were never without a place to lay our head. In time, God delivered us from financial ruin and hardship. Every
believer has a responsibility to give and every ministry (minister) has the responsibility to ensure that the altar you give
into is pure so that the covenant can be kept.
We see in Matthew 23:16-24 that Jesus teaches us that
it is the altar that sanctifies the gift. In other words, the condition of the
altar is very important. In verse 19 it says
"Fools and blind! For which is greater, the gift or the altar that sanctifies the gift.”
What can corrupt an altar?
Manipulating people through slick marketing campaigns or long drawn out pleas for money where guilt and or other tactics
are used to pull on your heart strings for the purpose of personal financial gain. The
issue springs from impure motives and manifests itself in unholy actions. You
need the spirit of God to discern between the one who is simply sharing a vision, one who is teaching on what the Bible says
about money, and one who is using the scripture for their own personal profit or gain.
So how do we apply that personally? We see in the Old Testament that there are many references to God telling the children of Israel to offer their offerings in the “place He chooses
to make His name abide.” (Deuteronomy 12:14, 12:18 , 14:23 , 15:20 , 16:2…)
This is where we get the concept of “Pray and Obey.” We believe our
giving should be done out of relationship with the Lord. It should not be based
upon us giving in to a slick marketing campaign or a plea for money using unholy manipulation.
If people would pray and obey about their giving
and not give out of manipulation or perceived needs, then all of the impure ministries would go out of business. We pray and ask God where to give, who to give to and how much.
are offerings used for?
Offerings were used to support people and were always used to either build or maintain buildings. For example, offerings were used to build the Tabernacle of Moses and Solomon’s Temple. See Exodus 35 and 1 Chronicles
In all cases the tithes are offerings are to be used to worship the Lord.
For example, Abram used the tithe to worship the Lord after victory in Genesis 14 and you
can see that all through the book of Exodus the offering was used to worship the Lord.
For example, see 1 Chronicles 16 to see how King David used offerings in worship unto the Lord. God wants our giving to come from:
Exodus 35:5 Take from among you an offering to the LORD.
Whoever is of a willing heart, let him bring it as an offering to the LORD: gold, silver, and bronze; NKJV
Dr. Rogers, what is your definition of wealth?
Well I am glad you asked.
I believe being wealthy is having enough to do all that God has told you to do and to give to every good work He tells
you to give to. Abraham was rich because He was called the father of a nation. King David acquired wealth because He was called to raise up a son who would build
a temple for the Lord. Money is not evil.
It is the “love of money” (1 Timothy 6:10 ) that is the problem.
Money is a tool that we need to be good stewards of in accomplishing His will for our lives.