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What Does “Tithing” Look Like in NT times?

I wanted to start off by saying that tithing in the Old Testament was very clear as you will see below. We will briefly study what OT tithing looked like then move on to what the Lord commands in the New Testament and put it all together. There are false teachers that forsake “tithing” 100%(excusing giving altogether). This is clearly not biblical as Jesus spoke more about how we are to give to others that have less than us throughout His ministry on earth, including supporting those who are called to pastor/teach. In fact, throughout the entire Bible, there are roughly 2,350 verses concerning money. This is roughly twice as many as faith and prayer combined. Fifteen percent of everything Jesus said related to money and possessions. He spoke about money and possessions more than heaven and hell combined. The only subject Jesus spoke of more often is the Kingdom of God. Why? Because the Scriptures make clear there is a fundamental connection between a person’s spiritual life and his attitudes and actions concerning money and possessions. Often we divorce the two — Christ sees them as essentially related to one another. We will be judged specifically how we take of the poor…or not! (Matthew 25:32-46)

There are others that promote tithing but use it to fill their own pockets and live expensive lifestyles, this is also demonic and not biblical. The main purpose of “tithing” (GIVING)is to preach the gospel and to take care of the poor and to support those that are called to be teachers of the word.

Tithing in the Old Testament

The Tithing of Abraham

The fact that Abraham and Jacob tithed BEFORE THE LAW completely kills the “no ‘tithing’”(better said “no giving”) false teachings out there. Let’s look closely at the single instance in which Abraham is said to have tithed. In Genesis 14, the story picks up at the end of a successful military campaign in which Abraham and his men had rescued his nephew Lot and other family members from an enemy. Abraham had also plundered those who had committed the crime of kidnapping. When the campaign was over, “…he brought back all the goods…” (Genesis 14:16).

Melchizedek, king of Salem (later Jerusalem), threw a celebration for Abraham and his men. This man was a priest (Cohen) of God. The priest then pronounced a blessing on Abraham (Genesis 14:19-20). In response, Abraham “gave him a tithe of all” (Genesis 14:20). This tithe (tenth) of the spoil was not a response to a law that was then in force. It was a “thanksgiving offering” in recognition of the fact that Melchizedek was priest of the Most High God and it was God that had given him the victory. It was from their heart towards GOD, a result of being a godly person, not something that was forced by law(obedience). This is very important as we will see later on how we, as NT, born-again Christians, should handle money to be good stewards and obedient servants to HIM.

Abraham’s act of tithing was entirely voluntary on his part, not obligatory. We see Abraham had a heart for God and did not need laws to give! A true born-again saint will want to give everything they can to further the gospel and to help the poor, more on that later.

Jacob’s Tithe Analyzed

Abraham’s grandson, Jacob, is also recorded as having offered God a tenth(tithe). The account is found in Genesis 28. In the course of a journey, Jacob had made camp for the night. He used a stone for a pillow – upon which he probably placed a folded blanket – and fell asleep. As he slept, he dreamed. It was the now famous dream of “Jacob’s ladder” (Genesis 28:12 ff.).

In the morning, Jacob awoke and realized that the dream had been of supernatural origin. He had experienced a visitation from God. To commemorate the event, Jacob turned the stone he’d slept on, on its end, and then anointed it with oil. He named the location “House of God” – Bethel. Then Jacob made a vow:

” And Jacob vowed a vow, saying, If God will be with me, and will keep me in this way that I go, and will give me bread to eat, and raiment to put on,  So that I come again to my father’s house in peace; then shall the LORD be my God: And this stone, which I have set for a pillar, shall be God’s house: and of all that thou shalt give me I will surely give the tenth unto thee.”

(Genesis 28:20-22).

Jacob, like his grandfather, was not acting in obedience to a law of tithing that was “on the books.” Rather, his vow to tithe was part of an “if-then” formula – if God blessed and provided for Jacob, Jacob would then return a tenth of God’s provision to God. It was conditional. Incidentally, this is the first instance of a vow recorded in the Bible.

The Old Testament LAW that Required Tithing

The OT tithe totaled about 23%, many don’t know this!

Ye pay tithe – A tenth part. The law required the Jews to devote a tenth part of all their property to the support of the Levites, Num_18:20-24. Another tenth part they paid for the service of the sanctuary, commonly in cattle or grain, but where they lived far from the place of worship they changed it to money(and the Lord instructed them to buy food with it, etc)

Deu_14:22-24. Deu 14:22  Thou shalt truly tithe all the increase of thy seed, that the field bringeth forth year by year.

Deu 14:23  And thou shalt eat before the LORD thy God, in the place which he shall choose to place his name there, the tithe of thy corn, of thy wine, and of thine oil, and the firstlings of thy herds and of thy flocks; that thou mayest learn to fear the LORD thy God always.

Deu 14:24  And if the way be too long for thee, so that thou art not able to carry it; or if the place be too far from thee, which the LORD thy God shall choose to set his name there, when the LORD thy God hath blessed thee:

Deu 14:25  Then shalt thou turn it into money, and bind up the money in thine hand, and shalt go unto the place which the LORD thy God shall choose:

Deu 14:26  And thou shalt bestow that money for whatsoever thy soul lusteth after, for oxen, or for sheep, or for wine, or for strong drink, or for whatsoever thy soul desireth: and thou shalt eat there before the LORD thy God, and thou shalt rejoice, thou, and thine household,

Deu 14:27  And the Levite that is within thy gates; thou shalt not forsake him; for he hath no part nor inheritance with thee.

Deu 14:28  At the end of three years thou shalt bring forth all the tithe of thine increase the same year, and shalt lay it up within thy gates:

Deu 14:29  And the Levite, (because he hath no part nor inheritance with thee,) and the stranger, and the fatherless, and the widow, which are within thy gates, shall come, and shall eat and be satisfied; that the LORD thy God may bless thee in all the work of thine hand which thou doest.

Besides these, there was to be every third year a tenth part given to the poor, to be eaten at their own dwellings Deu_14:28-29; so that nearly one-third of the property of the Jews was devoted to religious services by law. This was besides the voluntary offerings which they made

Let’s look at a New Testament verse that Jesus himself said regarding this subject!

Mat 23:23  Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye pay tithe of mint and anise and cummin, and have omitted the weightier matters of the law, judgment, mercy, and faith: these ought ye to have done, and not to leave the other undone.

Mint – A garden herb, in the original so called from its agreeable flavor. It was used to sprinkle the floors of their houses and synagogues to produce a pleasant fragrance.

Anise – Known commonly among us as “dill.” It has a fine aromatic smell, and is used by confectioners and perfumers.

Cummin – A plant of the same genus, like “fennel,” and used for similar purposes. These were all herbs of little value.

The law of Moses said that they should pay tithes of the “fruits of the earth,” Deu_14:22. It said nothing, however, about herbs. It was a question whether these should be tithed. The Pharisees maintained, in their extraordinary strictness, that they ought.

Our Saviour says that they were precise in doing small matters which the law had not expressly commanded, while they omitted the greater things which it had enjoined.

Judgment – Justice to others, as magistrates, neighbors, citizens. Giving to all their just dues.

Mercy – Compassion and kindness to the poor and miserable.

Faith – Piety toward God; confidence in him. Faith in God here means that we are to give to him what is his due; as mercy and justice mean to do to people, in all circumstances, what is right toward them.

These ought ye to have done – Attention to even the smallest points of the law of God is proper, but it should not interfere with the “higher” and more important parts of that law.

“The biblical tithe was always on assets that came from God’s labor; never on income or anything that came from man’s labor.

What was the Tithe Paid With?

Nowhere in the Bible are there any examples of anyone tithing on wages. During OT biblical times, there were designers, embroiderers, and weavers (Exodus 35:35); manservants, maidservants, hired workers (Leviticus 25:6); plus many other occupations. Nowhere is there an example of any of these other occupations paying a tithe. There is no example of Jesus tithing on his wages as a carpenter, or Paul tithing on his wages as a tent maker, or even Peter tithing on the fish he caught. ONLY farmers who owned crops and/or animals in herds and flocks tithed.

We believe in generous giving, from the heart, and that the requirement to tithe ended at the cross along with all the other Mosaic laws. However, those who disagree and believe that tithing is still required, need to understand that God required tithing of crops and animals, and never on man’s income. God said the tithe belonged to Him, and He gave the tithe to the Levites. If you believe the law to tithe is still valid, then you are breaking that law when you give the tithe to your local church. HOWEVER, we are to give to the preachers of righteousness and the poor, “all we have”, more on that later!

God said you tithe on crops and animals which are assets, not income, and come from God’s labor. Man says you tithe on income, not assets, which comes from man’s labor.

God said the tithe belongs to Him, and He gave it to the Levites. Man says the tithe belongs to God, and you are to give it to your local church (or other Christian establishment).”

Genesis 14:20: Abraham gave him tithes, not paid him tithes. The KJV could have chosen the word “paid” but they didn’t. The Hebrew word translated into tithes simply means a tenth. It is a mathematical term, not a religious term. 

Hebrews 7:2, 4: Again, the word used is gave, not paid. In these verses, instead of using the word “tithe,” the word “tenth” is used.

Hebrews7:9: Here the word “payed” is used when referring to Levi – the Levitical tithe was law; therefore, there was a debtor-creditor relationship. You pay a debt. The definition of tithe in this verse is to pay or receive tithes.

SUMMARY:

Abraham gave a free-will gift amounting to ten percent of the war spoils. There was no debtor-creditor relationship; therefore, it was free-will and not required. Jacob’s vow to tithe was also voluntary. There is nothing in the scriptures to indicate there was any obligation for either Abraham or Jacob to tithe. Therefore, if you bring either or both of these two examples forward into the New Testament, at most it only shows an example of free-will giving. But neither example supports spirit-lead giving as taught in the New Testament. Nowhere in the New Testament is a tithe, or ten percent, used as being required, or even as being used as an example, guideline, goal to reach, or a starting point. The ten percent idea goes against New Testament teaching.

SUPPORT FOR THE CONCLUSION:

The definition of tithe in Matthew 23:23, relating to an obligation to tithe, is in sharp contrast to the definition of tithe in reference to Abraham and Jacob. The obligation to tithe creates a debtor-creditor relationship whereas merely giving a tenth (or tithe) is voluntary.

Tithing in the New Covenant(New Testament)

Is tithing is required in the new covenant. Tithing is mentioned only three or four times in the New Testament. Jesus acknowledged that the Pharisees were very careful about tithing (Luke 18:12), and he said that they should not leave it undone (Matthew 23:23; Luke 11:42). Tithing, like other old covenant rules and rituals, was a law at the time Jesus spoke. Jesus criticized the Pharisees not for tithing, but for treating tithing as more important than mercy, love, justice and faithfulness.

The only other New Testament mention of tithing is in Hebrews. The fact that Abraham was blessed by and gave tithes to Melchizedek illustrates the superiority of Melchizedek and Jesus Christ over the Levitical priesthood (Hebrews 7:1-10). The passage then goes on to note that “when the priesthood is changed, the law must be changed also” (verse 12).

There was a change of the priesthood from the Levites to Jesus Christ, and this implies a change in the law that assigned the Levites to be priests. How much has been changed? Hebrews says that the old covenant is obsolete. The package of laws that commanded tithes to be given to the Levites is obsolete.

Humans should honor God by voluntarily returning some of the blessings he gives them — this is still a valid principle. The only place that a percentage is required is within the old covenant. There is good precedent for tithing before Sinai, but no proof that it was required.

What is our Commands in the NT for Giving?

Be compassionate to the poor and sick. Luke 16:19-31.
Giving generously to the poor is genuine worship of the Lord. Luke 19:8.
Share everything we have with fellow believers who are in need. Acts 4:32-35.
Help widows and orphans in distress. Acts 6:1; James 1:27.
It is more blessed to give than to receive. Acts 20:35.
Share with God’s people who are in need. Rom 12:13.
If your enemy is hungry, feed him. Rom 12:20.
Love must be at the foundation of our giving. 1 Cor 13:3.
Giving is a result of the grace of God. 2 Cor 8:1.
Even if poor, be rich in generosity. 2 Cor 8:2.
Give as much as you are able. 2 Cor 8:3.
Be the first to give. 2 Cor 8:10.
There should be a goal of sharing of burdens between believers. 2 Cor 8:13.

I believe that God is more concerned with how much we keep for ourselves than He is with how much we give. Some will argue that our giving should be more like the “graduated income tax” in that the more money one makes, the higher percentage he or she should give. But I point to the parable of the “two Mites”.

Mar 12:41  And Jesus sat over against the treasury, and beheld how the people cast money into the treasury: and many that were rich cast in much.

Mar 12:42  And there came a certain poor widow, and she threw in two mites, which make a farthing.

Mar 12:43  And he called unto him his disciples, and saith unto them, Verily I say unto you, That this poor widow hath cast more in, than all they which have cast into the treasury:

Mar 12:44  For all they did cast in of their abundance; but she of her want did cast in all that she had, even all her living.

GOD honors greatly those that “give it all”, not just out of abundance. The woman who gave her “last two mites” was recognized and rewarded by Jesus as “casting in more” than ALL the others!

Needs in the new covenant ministry

In the new covenant church, there are financial needs — to support the poor, and to support the gospel by supporting those who preach it. Now we should ALL be preaching the gospel in one way or the other when we are saved, that is a commandment! However, Christians are obligated to give financial support for these needs to those that choose to go full-time as ministers and also to the poor! Let’s see how Paul explained this obligation in his second letter to the Corinthians.

Paul describes himself as a minister of the new covenant 2Co 3:6  “Who also hath made us able ministers of the new testament; not of the letter, but of the spirit: for the letter killeth, but the spirit giveth life” which has much greater glory than the old (verse 8). Because of what Christ did us in the new covenant, Christ’s love compels us to preach  the message of reconciliation (2 Corinthians 5:11-21).

Paul exhorted the Corinthians “not to receive God’s grace in vain”  2Co 6:1  We then, as workers together with him, beseech you also that ye receive not the grace of God in vain.

How were they in danger of doing this? Paul had gone out of his way to serve them, but they were withholding their affections from him:

2Co 6:3  Giving no offence in any thing, that the ministry be not blamed:
2Co 6:4  But in all things approving ourselves as the ministers of God, in much patience, in afflictions, in necessities, in distresses,
2Co 6:5  In stripes, in imprisonments, in tumults, in labours, in watchings, in fastings;
2Co 6:6  By pureness, by knowledge, by longsuffering, by kindness, by the Holy Ghost, by love unfeigned,
2Co 6:7  By the word of truth, by the power of God, by the armour of righteousness on the right hand and on the left,
2Co 6:8  By honour and dishonour, by evil report and good report: as deceivers, and yet true;
2Co 6:9  As unknown, and yet well known; as dying, and, behold, we live; as chastened, and not killed;
2Co 6:10  As sorrowful, yet alway rejoicing; as poor, yet making many rich; as having nothing, and yet possessing all things.
2Co 6:11  O ye Corinthians, our mouth is open unto you, our heart is enlarged.
2Co 6:12  Ye are not straitened in us, but ye are straitened in your own bowels.

He asked them for a fair exchange, for them to open their hearts to him(in this case not give monetarily) 2Co 6:13  Now for a recompence in the same, (I speak as unto my children,) be ye also enlarged.

Paul told the Corinthians that they had a duty to give something in response to what they had been given. This response comes in terms of morality:

2Co 6:14  Be ye not unequally yoked together with unbelievers: for what fellowship hath righteousness with unrighteousness? and what communion hath light with darkness?
2Co 6:15  And what concord hath Christ with Belial? or what part hath he that believeth with an infidel?
2Co 6:16  And what agreement hath the temple of God with idols? for ye are the temple of the living God; as God hath said, I will dwell in them, and walk in them; and I will be their God, and they shall be my people.
2Co 6:17  Wherefore come out from among them, and be ye separate, saith the Lord, and touch not the unclean thing; and I will receive you,
2Co 6:18  And will be a Father unto you, and ye shall be my sons and daughters, saith the Lord Almighty.

2Co 7:1  Having therefore these promises, dearly beloved, let us cleanse ourselves from all filthiness of the flesh and spirit, perfecting holiness in the fear of God.

which the Corinthians had done:

2Co 7:8  For though I made you sorry with a letter, I do not repent, though I did repent: for I perceive that the same epistle hath made you sorry, though it were but for a season.
2Co 7:9  Now I rejoice, not that ye were made sorry, but that ye sorrowed to repentance: for ye were made sorry after a godly manner, that ye might receive damage by us in nothing.
2Co 7:10  For godly sorrow worketh repentance to salvation not to be repented of: but the sorrow of the world worketh death.
2Co 7:11  For behold this selfsame thing, that ye sorrowed after a godly sort, what carefulness it wrought in you, yea, what clearing of yourselves, yea, what indignation, yea, what fear, yea, what vehement desire, yea, what zeal, yea, what revenge! In all things ye have approved yourselves to be clear in this matter.
2Co 7:12  Wherefore, though I wrote unto you, I did it not for his cause that had done the wrong, nor for his cause that suffered wrong, but that our care for you in the sight of God might appear unto you.
2Co 7:13  Therefore we were comforted in your comfort: yea, and exceedingly the more joyed we for the joy of Titus, because his spirit was refreshed by you all.

and in terms of affection, which the Corinthians had also done:

2Co 7:2  Receive us; we have wronged no man, we have corrupted no man, we have defrauded no man.
2Co 7:3  I speak not this to condemn you: for I have said before, that ye are in our hearts to die and live with you.
2Co 7:4  Great is my boldness of speech toward you, great is my glorying of you: I am filled with comfort, I am exceeding joyful in all our tribulation.
2Co 7:5  For, when we were come into Macedonia, our flesh had no rest, but we were troubled on every side; without were fightings, within were fears.
2Co 7:6  Nevertheless God, that comforteth those that are cast down, comforted us by the coming of Titus;
2Co 7:7  And not by his coming only, but by the consolation wherewith he was comforted in you, when he told us your earnest desire, your mourning, your fervent mind toward me; so that I rejoiced the more.

and in financial generosity, which Paul addresses in chapter 8. This is the way in which the Corinthians had closed their hearts to Paul and withheld their affections.

Paul cited the example of the Macedonian churches, who had given generously, even to the point of self-sacrifice:

2Co 8:1  Moreover, brethren, we do you to wit of the grace of God bestowed on the churches of Macedonia;
2Co 8:2  How that in a great trial of affliction the abundance of their joy and their deep poverty abounded unto the riches of their liberality.
2Co 8:3  For to their power, I bear record, yea, and beyond their power they were willing of themselves;
2Co 8:4  Praying us with much intreaty that we would receive the gift, and take upon us the fellowship of the ministering to the saints.
2Co 8:5  And this they did, not as we hoped, but first gave their own selves to the Lord, and unto us by the will of God.  (Praying us with much entreaty – We had not to solicit them to this great act of kindness; they even entreated us to accept their bounty, and to take on ourselves the administration or application of it to the wants of the poor in Judea.)

The example is powerful; the implications are strong that the Corinthians needed to respond to Paul’s sacrifices by making sacrifices themselves. But Paul did not make a command:

2Co 8:5  And this they did, not as we hoped, but first gave their own selves to the Lord, and unto us by the will of God.
2Co 8:8  I speak not by commandment, but by occasion of the forwardness of others, and to prove the sincerity of your love.
2Co 8:9  For ye know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, that, though he was rich, yet for your sakes he became poor, that ye through his poverty might be rich.

Instead, he asked first for a turning of the heart. He wanted the Corinthians to give themselves to the Lord first, and then to support Paul. He wanted their gift to be done in sincere love, not from compulsion. Paul reminded them that Christ had become poor for their sakes; the implication is that the Corinthians should make financial sacrifices in return.

But then Paul reminded the Corinthians that they could not give more than they had:

2Co 8:12  For if there be first a willing mind, it is accepted according to that a man hath, and not according to that he hath not.

Nor did they have to impoverish themselves to enrich others; Paul was only aiming for equity(a true Christian should NEVER live above the average person. They must live to the minimum, not buy luxuries, etc. Just the necessities of life shall a Christian have and give the rest out of their love for Jesus, not under compulsion):

2Co 8:13  For I mean not that other men be eased, and ye burdened:
2Co 8:14  But by an equality, that now at this time your abundance may be a supply for their want, that their abundance also may be a supply for your want: that there may be equality:
2Co 8:15  As it is written, He that had gathered much had nothing over; and he that had gathered little had no lack.

Paul again expressed confidence in their willingness to give, and added the peer pressure of the Macedonian example and the boasting he had done in Macedonia about the generosity of the Corinthians.

2Co 8:24  Wherefore shew ye to them, and before the churches, the proof of your love, and of our boasting on your behalf.

you:
2Co 9:2  For I know the forwardness of your mind, for which I boast of you to them of Macedonia, that Achaia was ready a year ago; and your zeal hath provoked very many.
2Co 9:3  Yet have I sent the brethren, lest our boasting of you should be in vain in this behalf; that, as I said, ye may be ready:
2Co 9:4  Lest haply if they of Macedonia come with me, and find you unprepared, we (that we say not, ye) should be ashamed in this same confident boasting.

Paul again noted that the offering must be done willingly, not from compulsion or given grudgingly:

2Co 9:5  Therefore I thought it necessary to exhort the brethren, that they would go before unto you, and make up beforehand your bounty, whereof ye had notice before, that the same might be ready, as a matter of bounty, and not as of covetousness.

He reminded them that God rewards generosity:

2Co 9:6  But this I say, He which soweth sparingly shall reap also sparingly; and he which soweth bountifully shall reap also bountifully.
2Co 9:7  Every man according as he purposeth in his heart, so let him give; not grudgingly, or of necessity: for God loveth a cheerful giver.

and that a good example causes people to praise God and puts the gospel in a favorable setting:

2Co 9:12  For the administration of this service not only supplieth the want of the saints, but is abundant also by many thanksgivings unto God;
2Co 9:13  Whiles by the experiment of this ministration they glorify God for your professed subjection unto the gospel of Christ, and for your liberal distribution unto them, and unto all men;
2Co 9:14  And by their prayer for you, which long after you for the exceeding grace of God in you.
2Co 9:15  Thanks be unto God for his unspeakable gift.

This was a collection for the poor in Judea. But Paul said nothing about tithing. Rather, he appealed to the new covenant environment: Christ had made many sacrifices for them, so they ought to be willing to make a few sacrifices to help one another.

In asking for this offering, Paul was also making a financial sacrifice. He had a right to receive financial support himself, but instead of that, he was asking that the offering be given to others. Paul had not asked for any financial support from Corinth:

2Co 11:7  Have I committed an offence in abasing myself that ye might be exalted, because I have preached to you the gospel of God freely?
2Co 11:8  I robbed other churches, taking wages of them, to do you service.
2Co 11:9  And when I was present with you, and wanted, I was chargeable to no man: for that which was lacking to me the brethren which came from Macedonia supplied: and in all things I have kept myself from being burdensome unto you, and so will I keep myself.
2Co 11:10  As the truth of Christ is in me, no man shall stop me of this boasting in the regions of Achaia.
2Co 11:11  Wherefore? because I love you not? God knoweth.
2Co 12:12  Truly the signs of an apostle were wrought among you in all patience, in signs, and wonders, and mighty deeds.
2Co 12:13  For what is it wherein ye were inferior to other churches, except it be that I myself was not burdensome to you? forgive me this wrong.
2Co 12:14  Behold, the third time I am ready to come to you; and I will not be burdensome to you: for I seek not yours, but you: for the children ought not to lay up for the parents, but the parents for the children.
2Co 12:15  And I will very gladly spend and be spent for you; though the more abundantly I love you, the less I be loved.
2Co 12:16  But be it so, I did not burden you: nevertheless, being crafty, I caught you with guile.

Instead, he had been supported by Macedonians:

2Co 11:9  And when I was present with you, and wanted, I was chargeable to no man: for that which was lacking to me the brethren which came from Macedonia supplied: and in all things I have kept myself from being burdensome unto you, and so will I keep myself.

Paul had a right to be supported by the Corinthians, but he did not use it:

2Co 9:3  Yet have I sent the brethren, lest our boasting of you should be in vain in this behalf; that, as I said, ye may be ready:
2Co 9:4  Lest haply if they of Macedonia come with me, and find you unprepared, we (that we say not, ye) should be ashamed in this same confident boasting.
2Co 9:5  Therefore I thought it necessary to exhort the brethren, that they would go before unto you, and make up beforehand your bounty, whereof ye had notice before, that the same might be ready, as a matter of bounty, and not as of covetousness.
2Co 9:6  But this I say, He which soweth sparingly shall reap also sparingly; and he which soweth bountifully shall reap also bountifully.
2Co 9:7  Every man according as he purposeth in his heart, so let him give; not grudgingly, or of necessity: for God loveth a cheerful giver.
2Co 9:8  And God is able to make all grace abound toward you; that ye, always having all sufficiency in all things, may abound to every good work:
2Co 9:9  (As it is written, He hath dispersed abroad; he hath given to the poor: his righteousness remaineth for ever.
2Co 9:10  Now he that ministereth seed to the sower both minister bread for your food, and multiply your seed sown, and increase the fruits of your righteousness;)
2Co 9:11  Being enriched in every thing to all bountifulness, which causeth through us thanksgiving to God.
2Co 9:12  For the administration of this service not only supplieth the want of the saints, but is abundant also by many thanksgivings unto God;
2Co 9:13  Whiles by the experiment of this ministration they glorify God for your professed subjection unto the gospel of Christ, and for your liberal distribution unto them, and unto all men;
2Co 9:14  And by their prayer for you, which long after you for the exceeding grace of God in you.
2Co 9:15  Thanks be unto God for his unspeakable gift.

This passage tells us more about our Christian duty to give financial support to the gospel. Workers should be able to receive benefits of their work.

The old covenant even made provision for oxen to be given benefits of their work (9:9).

Throughout his appeal, Paul does not cite any laws of tithing. He says that priests received benefits from their work in the temple (9:13), but he does not cite any percentage. Their example is cited in the same way as the example of soldiers, vineyard workers, herdsmen, oxen, plowers and threshers. It is simply a general principle. As Jesus said, “The worker deserves his wages”.

Luk 10:7  And in the same house remain, eating and drinking such things as they give: for the labourer is worthy of his hire. Go not from house to house.

Paul cited the oxen and wages scriptures again in:

1Ti 5:17  Let the elders that rule well be counted worthy of double honour, especially they who labour in the word and doctrine.
1Ti 5:18  For the scripture saith, Thou shalt not muzzle the ox that treadeth out the corn. And, The labourer is worthy of his reward.

Elders, especially those who preach and teach, should be honored financially as well as with respect.

Jesus also commanded, “those who preach the gospel should receive their living from the gospel”:

1Co 9:14  Even so hath the Lord ordained that they which preach the gospel should live of the gospel.

This implies that those who believe should provide a living for some who preach(especially those who are full-time). Again, we are all ministers of the Great Commission, this is a command. The bible here is talking about teachers(Pastors) predominantly.  There is a financial duty, and there is a promised reward for generosity (though that reward may not necessarily be physical or financial).

A Christian MUST be Generous

Christians have received riches of God’s grace, and are to respond with generosity and giving from their heart. Christians are called to a live a life of service, sharing and stewardship. We are commanded to work hard or our families don’t eat! Study here on WORKING. We have an obligation to do good to others. When we give ourselves to the Lord, we will give generously. It’s a sure sign of salvation!

Jesus taught about money more than Heaven and hell…COMBINED! “Sell everything you have and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven. Then come, follow me,” said Jesus to a rich man (Luke 18:22). He said the same thing to his disciples Luk 12:33  Sell that ye have, and give alms; provide yourselves bags which wax not old, a treasure in the heavens that faileth not, where no thief approacheth, neither moth corrupteth.

The new covenant demands all that we have, and that is fair, since Jesus gave all he had for us. He praised a widow who put two mites (coins) into the temple treasury, because she gave “all she had” (21:4).

Wealth is often an enemy of faith. It can “choke” people and cause them to be spiritually unfruitful:

Luke 8:14  And that which fell among thorns are they, which, when they have heard, go forth, and are choked with cares and riches and pleasures of this life, and bring no fruit to perfection.

“Woe to you who are rich,” Jesus warned ( Luke 6:24). He warned us about the dangers of greed Luke 12:15  And he said unto them, Take heed, and beware of covetousness: for a man’s life consisteth not in the abundance of the things which he possesseth.

and warned about the danger of storing up wealth for self without being “rich toward God”:

Luk 12:16  And he spake a parable unto them, saying, The ground of a certain rich man brought forth plentifully:
Luk 12:17  And he thought within himself, saying, What shall I do, because I have no room where to bestow my fruits?
Luk 12:18  And he said, This will I do: I will pull down my barns, and build greater; and there will I bestow all my fruits and my goods.
Luk 12:19  And I will say to my soul, Soul, thou hast much goods laid up for many years; take thine ease, eat, drink, and be merry.
Luk 12:20  But God said unto him, Thou fool, this night thy soul shall be required of thee: then whose shall those things be, which thou hast provided?
Luk 12:21  So is he that layeth up treasure for himself, and is not rich toward God.

When we use wealth to help others, we gain “treasure in heaven” Luk 12:33  Sell that ye have, and give alms; provide yourselves bags which wax not old, a treasure in the heavens that faileth not, where no thief approacheth, neither moth corrupteth.

This helps us have our heart in heavenly things instead of earthly, temporary things Luke 12:34  For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also.

“No servant can serve two masters… You cannot serve both God and money” (Luke 16:13). But money competes for our allegiance; it tempts us to seek our own desires rather than the needs of the kingdom. After the rich man went away sad, Jesus exclaimed: “How hard it is for the rich to enter the kingdom of God! Indeed, it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for someone who is rich to enter the kingdom of God” (Luke 18:24-25).

Conclusion

Christians need to give generously, to share their resources and blessings with others as this is a “fruit” of their salvation. They have a duty to support the preaching of the gospel, to give financial support to their spiritual leaders, and the obeying, biblical, holiness and repentance preaching church needs this support too. If disciples of Jesus Christ can give, but do not, they are falling short and will end up in hellfire. We are to predominantly give to the POOR!

The old covenant required 10 percent plus much more. The new covenant does not specify a percentage but be sure Jesus wants your “ALL”! Col 3:23-25 And whatsoever ye do, do it heartily, as to the Lord, and not unto men; 24  Knowing that of the Lord ye shall receive the reward of the inheritance: for ye serve the Lord Christ. 25  But he that doeth wrong shall receive for the wrong which he hath done: and there is no respect of persons.

Matthew 19:21 Jesus said unto him, If thou wilt be perfect, go and sell that thou hast, and give to the poor, and thou shalt have treasure in heaven: and come and follow me.

Mark 10:21 Then Jesus beholding him loved him, and said unto him, One thing thou lackest: go thy way, sell whatsoever thou hast, and give to the poor, and thou shalt have treasure in heaven: and come, take up the cross, and follow me.

However, the new covenant admonishes people to give what they can, and tithing still provides an instructive point of comparison for the NT Christian. For some people, 10 percent may be somethign they don’t have. But some will be able to give much, much more, and some are doing so. We must remember the parable of the two mites, she gave out of her need and the Lord blessed her. Christians should examine their own circumstances and the better blessings they have been given in the new covenant through the atoning sacrifice of Jesus Christ for us and the gift of the Holy Spirit to us. Contributions should be given to the church for its godly work of preaching the gospel and the expenses involved in the local ministry and congregational needs as they take of the lost, poor and downtrodden.

Likewise, the new covenant does not specify any specific percentage for assisting the poor. Instead, it asks for equity(equality) — and we again must give our all! The very best we can do as we deny the worldly pleasures to focus on storing treasures in heaven!

The old covenant required specific percentages. Everyone knew how much was required and what to give. The new covenant has no specific percentages. Instead, it requires more humble soul-searching, more training for the conscience, more selfless love for others, more faith, more voluntary godly sacrifice and far less compulsion. It tests our values, what we treasure most, and where our hearts are as we examine ourselves to see if we are TRULY saved and on our way to Heaven. Co_13:5  Examine yourselves, whether ye be in the faith; prove your own selves. Know ye not your own selves, how that Jesus Christ is in you, except ye be reprobates?

OTHER THOUGHTS:
We should consider giving a privilege and a duty(GOOD FRUIT) of distributing a part of what God has given to us. Giving shows our appreciation to God for His generosity. If you want PURE and PERFECT religion, you give all you can to the poor and less fortunate.

James 1:27  Pure religion and undefiled before God and the Father is this, To visit the fatherless and widows in their affliction, and to keep himself unspotted from the world.

Giving to the local church/fellowship you attend is a moral obligation IF the leaders need the income to live. Many fellowships are in one’s home and the leader(Pastor) may have a job where they don’t need the income so in this case, you can give even more to the poor!  If they don’t, and have completely dedicated their life, day and night to full-time ministry, then bills have to be paid, and it is the responsibility of those benefiting to pay their share, according to their means. Therefore, those who are able should pay more to cover the deficit created by those less fortunate without the means, again EQUALITY is what the Jesus commands. When God blesses with more than we need, God expects us to use the excess to share with others – to bless others for HIS glory.

Now, read James 5:1-6 to read what happens to the rich of this world(those who do not give their “all” according to that they have. Please remember, you are richer than 80% of the world if you make more than $10 per day! In fact, 50% of the world makes less than $2.50 PER DAY and over a BILLION people live on less than $1.25 PER DAY! Are you rich?? Click here to find out!

Jas 5:2  Your riches are corrupted, and your garments are motheaten.

Jas 5:3  Your gold and silver is cankered; and the rust of them shall be a witness against you, and shall eat your flesh as it were fire. Ye have heaped treasure together for the last days.

Jas 5:4  Behold, the hire of the labourers who have reaped down your fields, which is of you kept back by fraud, crieth: and the cries of them which have reaped are entered into the ears of the Lord of sabaoth.

Jas 5:5  Ye have lived in pleasure on the earth, and been wanton; ye have nourished your hearts, as in a day of slaughter.

Jas 5:6  Ye have condemned and killed the just; and he doth not resist you.

Now read Matthew 25, all of it as it pertains to how we are to be good stewards of HIS money AND how we will be judged:

1 Then shall the kingdom of heaven be likened unto ten virgins, which took their lamps, and went forth to meet the bridegroom. 2 And five of them were wise, and five were foolish. 3 They that were foolish took their * lamps, and took no oil with them: 4 But the wise took oil in their vessels with their lamps. 5 While the bridegroom tarried , they all slumbered and slept . 6 And at midnight there was a cry made , Behold , the bridegroom cometh ; go ye out to meet him. 7 Then all those virgins arose , and trimmed their lamps. 8 And the foolish said unto the wise, Give us of your oil; for our lamps are gone out . 9 But the wise answered , saying , Not so; lest there be not enough for us and you: but go ye rather to them that sell , and buy for yourselves. 10 And while they went to buy , the bridegroom came ; and they that were ready went in with him to the marriage: and the door was shut . 11 Afterward * came also the other virgins, saying , Lord, Lord, open to us. 12 But he answered and said , Verily I say unto you, I know you not. 13 Watch therefore, for ye know neither the day nor the hour wherein the Son of man cometh . 14 For the kingdom of heaven is as a man travelling into a far country , who called his own servants, and delivered unto them his goods . 15 And unto one he gave five talents *, to another two, and to another one; to every man according to his several ability; and straightway took his journey . 16 Then he that had received the five talents went and traded with the same, and made them other five talents. 17 And likewise he that had received two, he also gained other two. 18 But he that had received one went and digged in the earth, and hid his lord’s money. 19 After a long time the lord of those servants cometh , and reckoneth * with them. 20 And so he that had received five talents came and brought other five talents, saying , Lord, thou deliveredst unto me five talents: behold, I have gained beside them five talents more. 21 His lord said unto him, Well done, thou good and faithful servant: thou hast been faithful over a few things, I will make thee ruler over many things: enter thou into the joy of thy lord. 22 He also that had received two talents came and said , Lord, thou deliveredst unto me two talents: behold, I have gained two other talents beside them. 23 His lord said unto him, Well done, good and faithful servant; thou hast been faithful over a few things, I will make thee ruler over many things: enter thou into the joy of thy lord. 24 Then he which had received the one talent came and said , Lord, I knew thee that thou art an hard man, reaping where thou hast not sown , and gathering where thou hast not strawed : 25 And I was afraid , and went and hid thy talent in the earth: lo, there thou hast that is thine. 26 His lord answered and said unto him, Thou wicked and slothful servant, thou knewest that I reap where I sowed not, and gather where I have not strawed : 27 Thou oughtest therefore to have put my money to the exchangers, and then at my coming I should have received mine own with usury. 28 Take therefore the talent from him, and give it unto him which hath ten talents. 29 For unto every one that hath shall be given , and he shall have abundance : but from him that hath not shall be taken away * even that which he hath . 30 And cast ye the unprofitable servant into outer darkness: there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth. 31 When the Son of man shall come in his glory, and all the holy angels with him, then shall he sit upon the throne of his glory: 32 And before him shall be gathered all nations: and he shall separate them one from another, as a shepherd divideth his sheep from the goats: 33 And he shall set * the sheep on his right hand, but the goats on the left. 34 Then shall the King say unto them on his right hand, Come , ye blessed of my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world: 35 For I was an hungred , and ye gave me meat : I was thirsty , and ye gave me drink : I was a stranger, and ye took me in : 36 Naked, and ye clothed me: I was sick , and ye visited me: I was in prison, and ye came unto me. 37 Then shall the righteous answer him, saying , Lord, when saw we thee an hungred , and fed thee? or thirsty , and gave thee drink ? 38 When saw we thee a stranger, and took thee in ? or naked, and clothed thee? 39 Or when saw we thee sick, or in prison, and came unto thee? 40 And the King shall answer and say unto them, Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me. 41 Then shall he say also unto them on the left hand, Depart from me, ye cursed , into everlasting fire, prepared for the devil and his angels: 42 For I was an hungred , and ye gave me no meat : I was thirsty , and ye gave me no drink : 43 I was a stranger, and ye took me not in : naked, and ye clothed me not: sick, and in prison, and ye visited me not. 44 Then shall they also answer him, saying , Lord, when saw we thee an hungred , or athirst , or a stranger, or naked, or sick, or in prison, and did not minister unto thee? 45 Then shall he answer them, saying , Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye did it not to one of the least of these, ye did it not to me. 46 And these shall go away into everlasting punishment: but the righteous into life eternal.

We do not want to end up hearing those last two verses on judgement day!

Should you buy a nice car, take elaborate vacations, visit amusement parks, buy a fancy computer or a television(which is the devil’s way to get into your head) while your neighbors go hungry? You might say, but I worked hard to get that television. If your neighbors are lazy and do not work, let them be hungry, as 2 Thessalonians 3:10 says “If a man will not work, he shall not eat.” But, if your neighbors are working the best they can or truly can’t find gainful employment, is it not your responsibility to share your abundance? YES IT IS! Do not worry about what “others” are doing, do what God commands YOU to do.

It comes down to greed(ungodliness) verses generosity(godliness).

So the final conclusion is that as a true born again Christian the fruit of our salvation is to be the most generous people on earth. We are to take care of the poor the orphan the widow and also brethren who do not have enough means to take care of themselves. Although the New Testament does not gives a specific percentage on what we have to give but Jesus makes it very clear that we are to give all things unto him and store up treasures in heaven, not on earth.

All born-again Christians are to the preach the gospel to the lost at the moment of conversion, in fact, as you will see in this scripture below, the man that was delivered from 2000 demons was told IMMEDIATELY to go into the town and to preach the gospel(witness to friends, etc)! There was no training, there was no time to disciple him, Jesus gave the command to this man to immediately witness to others to what had happened to him, in other words, to preach the gospel immediately to the lost. We must follow this example and bear good fruit.

Mar 5:8  For he said unto him, Come out of the man, thou unclean spirit.
Mar 5:9  And he asked him, What is thy name? And he answered, saying, My name is Legion: for we are many.
Mar 5:10  And he besought him much that he would not send them away out of the country.
Mar 5:11  Now there was there nigh unto the mountains a great herd of swine feeding.
Mar 5:12  And all the devils besought him, saying, Send us into the swine, that we may enter into them.
Mar 5:13  And forthwith Jesus gave them leave. And the unclean spirits went out, and entered into the swine: and the herd ran violently down a steep place into the sea, (they were about two thousand;) and were choked in the sea.
Mar 5:14  And they that fed the swine fled, and told it in the city, and in the country. And they went out to see what it was that was done.
Mar 5:15  And they come to Jesus, and see him that was possessed with the devil, and had the legion, sitting, and clothed, and in his right mind: and they were afraid.
Mar 5:16  And they that saw it told them how it befell to him that was possessed with the devil, and also concerning the swine.
Mar 5:17  And they began to pray him to depart out of their coasts.
Mar 5:18  And when he was come into the ship, he that had been possessed with the devil prayed him that he might be with him.
Mar 5:19  Howbeit Jesus suffered him not, but saith unto him, Go home to thy friends, and tell them how great things the Lord hath done for thee, and hath had compassion on thee.
Mar 5:20  And he departed, and began to publish in Decapolis how great things Jesus had done for him: and all men did marvel.

If you have not repented from sin and live holy for Jesus, click here

For HIS glory. AMEN