Many years ago as I studied scripture in a Catholic Seminary in India, we were taught that “tithing” was an Old Testament practice and nowhere in the New Testament did the bible state that we had to tithe. I took that seriously and even advocated it. Also some members of the Brethren group who were believers advocated that “tithing” was not for New Testament Christians for we are not under the Law but under grace. So I felt vindicated by the fact that what the Catholic Church taught was also supported by believers; for in the Seminary we were told not to be in touch with Believers for they would influence us with their fundamentalist teaching and draw us away from the Catholic Church.
However on coming to New Zealand- the Lord had to bring us away from our kindred and family as He brought Abraham to help us see His vision and teach me afresh. How good and merciful is the Lord full of patience and long suffering that He brought us out with His mighty Hand just to teach me and give me a new and fresh vision of His purpose for me. I signed with Benny Hinn School of ministry in 2007 and as I studied the covenants, I realised how wrong I was in my understanding of Tithing. That it was:
- NOT an Old Testament practice but a New Testament practice also.
- Abraham was not under the Old covenant but he tithed because he loved God
- Tithing was made a law as the people of Israel had forgotten God
Jesus Himself spoke of tithing in Matthew 23:23 and Luke 11:42
Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for you pay tithe of mint and anise and cummin, and have omitted the weightier matters of the law, judgment, mercy, and faith: these ought you to have done, and not to leave the other undone.
But woe to you, Pharisees! for you tithe mint and rue and all manner of herbs, and pass over judgment and the love of God: these ought you to have done, and not to leave the other undone.
God preached the gospel (good news of Jesus) to Abraham and Abraham gave God tithes of all. Abraham thus obeyed God and he was blessed in all things g. If we are the children of Abraham through Jesus then we also need obey the Word as Abraham did -to tithe so just as Abraham was blessed in all things, we can also expect to be blessed.
Tithe in the New Testament
A tithe is a tenth by definition of your produce, income, good deeds, good words you sow.
Tithing is a new principle too and links us into the supernatural as it is my Covenant Connector. If I do not tithe my Covenant will not be activated and it deprives me of receiving from the hand of God.
There is nothing in the New Testament that introduces any change or that sets aside the teaching of the Old Testament on this important subject.
Christ Himself has placed His approval and set His stamp upon the tithe in (Matt.23:23). He says, these they ought to have done, nevertheless He says, these other ye ought not to have left undone. He does not set aside the tithe.
The next passage is 1 Corinthians 9:13, 14: “Do ye not know that they which minister about holy things live of the things of the temple? and they which wait at the altar are partakers with the altar? Even so hath the Lord ordained that they which preach the Gospel should live of the Gospel.” The emphatic words there are, “Even so” in the beginning of the fourteenth verse. The word “tithe” is not found in these two verses but it is most clearly implied. In verse 13 the Holy Spirit reminds the New Testament saints that under the Mosaic economy God had made provision for the maintenance of those who ministered in the temple. Now then, He says, in this New Testament dispensation “Even so” (v.14) — the same means and the same method are to be used in the support and maintaining of the preachers of the Gospel
Referring next to 1 Corinthians 16:1 and 2: here again we find the word “tithe” does not actually occur, and yet once more it is plainly implied: the principle of it is there surely enough. “Now concerning the collection for the saints, as I have given order to the churches of Galatia, even so do ye. Upon the first day of the week let every one of you lay by him in store, as God hath prospered him.” Now what does “laying by” imply? It means a definite predetermined act, rather than a spontaneous action. It points us back to Malachi 3:10. “Bring ye all the tithes into the “storehouse”! That is where the tithes were to be brought. Now what does the Lord say here in Corinthians? “Upon the first day of the week let every one of you lay by him in store.” There is a clear reference here to Malachi 3, but that is not all. The verse states- “Let every one of you lay by him in store, as God hath prospered him.” That signifies a definite proportion of the income. Not “let every one of you lay by him in store, as he feels led”; it does not say that, nor does it say “let every one of you lay by him in store as he feels moved by the Spirit”; no indeed, it says nothing of the kind. It says, “Let every one . . . lay by him as God hath prospered him”: in a proportionate way, according to a percentage basis
In 2 Corinthians 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.” This verse occurs in the middle of a chapter devoted to the subject of giving, at the beginning of verse 14 and at the end of it we have repeated the word “equality,” which means that God’s people are all to give the same proportion of their means and the only proportion that God has specified anywhere in His Word is that of the tenth, or “tithe.”
Another passage is Hebrews 7:5 and 6: “And verily they that are of the sons of Levi, who receive the office of the priesthood, have a commandment to take tithes of the people according to the law, that is, of their brethren, though they come out of the loins of Abraham: But he, whose descent is not counted from them, received tithes of Abraham, and blessed him that had the promises.” (Notice the order: “received tithes of Abraham, and blessed him that had the promises”). And without all contradiction the less is blessed of the better.” In the seventh chapter of Hebrews the Holy Spirit through the apostle Paul is showing the superiority of Christ’s priesthood over the order of the priesthood of the Levites, and the proof of which He establishes the superiority of the Melchizedek order of the priesthood of Christ was that Abraham, the father of the chosen people, acknowledged the greatness of Melchizedek by rendering tithes to him.
The beautiful thing in connection with the Scripture is that the last time the tithe is mentioned in the Bible (here in Heb.7) it links the tithe directly with Christ Himself. All intermediaries are removed. In the Old Testament the tithes were brought to the priests, then carried into the storehouse, but in the final reference in Scripture, the tithe is linked directly with Christ, showing us that our obligations in the matter are concerned directly with JESUS the great Head of the Church.
One evil ever leads to another. God’s appointed method for the financing of the work which He has been pleased to place in our hands, is that of tithing — the strict setting aside one-tenth of all we receive, to be devoted to His cause. Where the Lord’s people faithfully do this, there is never any shortage or going into debt. Where tithing is ignored there is almost always a deficit, and then the ungodly are asked to help or worldly methods are employed to raise money through fund-raising. If we sow the wind, we must not be surprised if we reap the whirlwind.