I have heard it said, give tithes or you won’t receive a blessing from God or even that non tithers should not be prayed for. Many church members who belong to private owned churches (Family Churches) get confused and easily fall for such teachings and are left to struggle economically because of their ignorance. Many give beyond what they can, both in fear and hope of material blessings which is incorrect.
What then is the correct teaching of tithes and offerings?
Well to begin, it has to be known that tithe is very biblical, both in the old ( Leviticus 3: 8-11) and new testament (Mathew 23:23) and that it means a tenth or one out of ten which in modern language is ten percent. Note the following references;
1. The first case of tithes & offerings.
– Genesis 14:20.
(Abram gave a tenth of the plunder to Melchizedek the priest).
– Exodus 23:1, 35:5, 21, 36:3-7.
(People were commanded to bring offerings for building the temple/sanctuary as their hearts prompted them, or as they felt to be bring freely. They did and brought more than they were commanded)
2. Where then did the commandment of tithe come from?
– Leviticus 27:30-34.
(A tenth of everything from the land or the herd of animals is holy and belongs to the Lord).
– Deuteronomy 14:22.
3. What was the purpose of tithes and offerings?
– Numbers 18:21-32.
(It was for the levites priest, a payment for the work they did at the temple since they didn’t have an inheritance to economically sustain their lives and that of their families).
– Deuteronomy 26:11-12.
(It was for the provision of the levite priests, the alien, the fatherless and widows).
4. Who was to collect the tithes and offerings?
– Numbers 18:8-13
(All the tithes and offerings were to be given to the levites and they were to share it with the needy)
5. What are the consequences of not returning tithe or giving offerings?
– Malachi 3:9.
(There is a curse, as it is viewed as robbery by the Lord, verse .
THE MODERN APPLICATION.
– The commandment still stands for tithes.
-The giving of freewill offering still valid.
1 Corinthians 16:1-2, 2 Corinthians 8:1-15, 9:5-14.
– The Sanctuary or Temple is the church.
1 Timothy 3:15.
– The Levite priest are those serving full time in churches.
1 Corinthians 9:13-14.
The produce of the field or animals are still the same, with the inclusion of monetary value.
The sin of not returning tithe is still robbery as in Malachi 3:8.
The purpose of tithes and offering is still for those serving in the temple and the needy – 1 Corinthians 9:13-14, 16:1-2, 2 Corinthians 8 & 9.
Tithes are mandatory and a return from what God has blessed us not what we haven’t received, so don’t stress to return when there is no receipt, increase or profit.
Offerings and tithes are only acceptable if given willingly not forcefully.
2 Corinthians 8:12, 9:7.
Offerings are a not given to receive a blessing but are an expression of thanks to God.
2 Corinthians 9:12.
No one should give offerings and remain financially pressed. 2 Corinthians 8:13.
While there is a promise for the obedient in tithing and offerings but the motive should remain that of obidience and expressing thanks.
Malachi 3:10-11, 2 Corinthians 9:8-11,12.
Not all churches are of God and so not all churches deserve to receive tithes and offerings from people. One man or family owned churches without structures are such. These mostly collect money for themselves.
Any church that has no programme for the needy (orphans, widows, poor) within it does not deserve tithes and offerings.
No one who is serving part time in a church but has a fulltime job aside of the church deserves a payment off tithes and offerings since he has an earning already.
And lastly but not the least, no one should be compelled to return tithes or give offering, that’s for God to handle. A true church will be sustained by God in the absence of faithful tithers or givers.
Be Blessed and Happy Weekend.
Mbanga Irvine Ilukui.
US of A.