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Summary of the Tithe as Legislated in the Law of Moses
1. One-tenth (a tithe) of the produce of the land, fruit, grain and livestock, belonged to God, and was to be given to and used by His priests, the Levites. This tithe was dedicated to the Lord.
2. The Levites were in turn to give one-tenth (a tithe) of the tithe they received to the High Priest.
3. In what is probably a second yearly tithe, a second-tenth was to be taken up and used specifically for festivals and feasts. This was consumed by the tithers and the Levites before God.
4. A tri-annual tithe, or a third tenth (of the produce only) was to be put into storage facilities to take care of the Levites and those in need in the local vicinity.
5. Using the above summaries, 20% a year would be given off the top, with an additional 10% every third year, to support the religious, governmental and social structure of the day.
6. When the tithes were to be given exclusively to the Levites, the Israelites were still wandering around in the desert. After they entered the Promised Land, they became much more home-bodies, multiplied, and needed other ways to not only take care of the Levites.
7. There were no specific penalties or consequences for not tithing; the penalty of withdrawal of the Lord's blessing and His casting away Israel from being His people was if they did not keep THE WHOLE LAW! No single aspect was singled out as more important to God than others.
8. We can conclude that God, through Moses, DID indeed command the Israelites to tithe! And He gave specific parameters, as to who, where, when, how and the consequences of both obedience and disobedience to this commandment.
9. "To tithe" is to fulfill the covenantal requirements as specified by God through the scriptures, laid out specifically in the Mosaic law in Leviticus, Numbers and Deuteronomy.
"Tithe" as a Noun simply means "tenth." In many places in scripture the word is simply a number. It is also used as a verb, or an activity God requires as partial fulfillment of His covenant with Israel.
Elements of a Covenant
Both parties agree to it, so there is an underlying assumption that each participant gets something out of it. The parties involved are Israel and God; the conditions of compliance are that if Israel will keep all the commandments and the precepts, God will be their God, and Israel will be His people. The consequences are long, happy, healthy lives; basically material blessings. Failure to keep ALL of the law would result in God bringing judgment upon His people. There were many requirements of the law, only one of which was the tithe.
"Tithe" as a Verb
If the Israelites did their part, to fulfill the commandments (there were hundreds) and the precepts, then God was obligated by His Word to fulfill His part, and take care of and bless them. The Levites were not the first to tithe; many idolaters dedicated a tenth of their increase to their gods. Giving a portion of the spoils of war and of the increase of the field was common throughout the ancient world, from Greece to China to Mayan civilizations.
PRE-CODIFICATION OF THE LAW
Abram (Genesis 14:17-20)
Jacob (Genesis 28:10-22)
Summary of the Tithe before the Law was Written Down
THE CODIFIED LAW (The Written Law of Moses)
Tithing Instituted as Part of the Covenant (Leviticus 27:30-34)
The Tithe Goes to the Levites (Numbers 18:19-28)
The Tithe of the Feasts (Deuteronomy 12:5-19)
The Tithe for the Priesthood & the Poor (Deuteronomy 14:22-29)
The Tri-Annual Tithe and Declaration of Fulfillment of the Law (Deuteronomy 26:12-15)
THE CODIFIED LAW (The Written Law of Moses)
Tithing Instituted as Part of the Covenant
The Tithe Goes to the Levites
Israel was directed to tithe directly to the Levites, which was set aside as a tithe of the people to be holy unto the Lord. It was to be their payment, since they would be completely devoted to the administration and implementation of the tabernacle of the Lord and its ordinances, feasts, etc. They were to spend all of their time ministering to the Lord and to His people. The Levites were to tithe to the Lord, in the form of a heave offering, which was in turn offered to Aaron and his family, or whomever was the High Priest. THE TITHE DESCRIBED HERE WAS SET ASIDE FOR THE LEVITES AND HIGH PRIEST.
The Tithe of the Feasts
The Israelites were instructed as to where to go to give their tithes (wherever the tabernacle/presence of God was), and the manner in which they should be eaten (as a family/nation, with rejoicing, especially including the Levites). THIS TITHE WAS ASSOCIATED WITH THE FEASTS AND FESTIVALS.
The Tithe for the Priesthood & the Poor
For those who lived a long distance from the center of the nation, they could convert their tithe (grain and animals) to their value in currency (gold and silver), take the money "to the place which the LORD chooses," and purchase there whatever is necessary to be able to celebrate the feast.
A third tithe is specified; every three years, the tithe of the year's produce (not animals) was to be put into a community storehouse. THIS TITHE WAS SET ASIDE TO REPLENISH THE SUPPLY FOR THE PRIESTHOOD AND THE NEEDY OF THE LAND.
One of the most divisive issues in the church continues to be regarding tithing. Many misunderstand the term, its use in the scriptures and its meaning for the church today. We will be looking at the topic from as clear a perspective as possible, based on the scriptures. The act of tithing is clearly delineated in the scriptures, but a misunderstanding of the ways the term is used in scriptures and what happened at the Cross and Resurrection has caused many Christians to continue to be brought under the heavy weights of the Pharisees.
The scriptures can generally be broken down into the following timeframes:
1. PreCodification of The Law (before the law was written down);
2. The Codified Law (the written law);
3. Additions to the Law (included in post-Torah books of the Bible),
4. The Transition (when Jesus taught under the law),
5. The Fulness of Times: Grace! (from the Resurrection until whatever comes next).
For clarity sake, and to see the progression of God’s unfolding plan, we will review the scriptural usage and function of the tithe and tithing within each of these time frames. The scripture verses being discussed are included for clarity sake. References are in The New King James Version unless indicated; please feel free to refer to additional references and versions as desired.
Our goal here is not to correct other interpretations or applications of this topic, simply to place into context what the scriptures say, and how to respond according to our new spirit nature.
Nehemiah and Restoration of the Law (Nehemiah 10:28-39)
As Nehemiah and the restored Israelites re-establish their nation, one of the first things they do is re-iterate the tenets of the regulations acknowledging the Lord as their God. This includes the restoration of the tithe (they were not tithing or keeping any of the commandments of the Lord in captivity, previous to entering the land). Again, tithes to the priests was specifically mentioned, as well as the tithes being stored in the temple. Nehemiah even added ordinances concerning payment for specific needs of the temple. (These things may have been more expensive than they were in Moses' day.)
Nehemiah and Enforcement of the Law (Nehemiah 12:44-13:14)
Nehemiah relates some political intrigue regarding the leadership, both political and religious, which contributed to the apostasy of the nation. He gathers together the (genealogically) appointed leaders and puts them back to the work they are supposed to be doing, as well as gathering the Levites, calling them to return from working in the fields instead of ministering to the Lord. He also records how he clears out the storeroom for the tithe, restores it to the Levites, asks the Lord to remember him for his good deeds, and condemns Israel for having failed to keep God's commandments (immediately following this section Nehemiah gets on their case for working on the Sabbath, so he is definitely not picking out one area of the law to emphasize.)
Amos and Tithing to Idols (Amos 3:12-4:7)
The prophet Amos, speaking for God, lists tithing and sacrifice to idols (at Bethel and Gilgal) as one of their crimes against Him. Clearly, it was not just tithing that was important.
Many folks have been devastated financially by tithing and other forms of "mandated" benevolence and "giving" to institutional churches and televangelists.
This morning on P2T we are going ti dissect "tithing" as a art form of manipulation, deception and biblical bastardization in order to help unsuspecting Christians to begin to establish a financial legacy for their families!
Are you cursed for not tithing? Does God need your money? Must you please God by offering money>My guest today is Ron Robey author of 3 books on the subject of tithing-Will A Man Rob God?: Exposing A Serious Error Taught in the Modern Church by Ronald W. Robey-Is Tithing A Scriptural Command for the Church?: Is the Church Teaching for Doctrine the Commandments of Men?-The Tithe of the Land: or What Does God Require?
Does The Lord Give A Return? The Curse of Not Tithing!-Host Dr. Ernest Maddox
Presented at Covenant Christian Center International-Dr. C.S. Ooterveen, Senior Pastor.
Eph 3:20 Now unto him that is able to do exceeding abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that worketh in us, Eph 3:21 Unto him be glory in the church by Christ Jesus throughout all ages, world without end. Amen. Mal 3:8 Will a man rob God? Yet ye have robbed me. But ye say, Wherein have we robbed thee? In tithes and offerings. Mal 3:9 Ye are cursed with a curse: for ye have robbed me, even this whole nation. Zec 5:1 Then I turned, and lifted up mine eyes, and looked, and behold a flying roll. Zec 5:2 And he said unto me, What seest thou? And I answered, I see a flying roll; the length thereof is twenty cubits, and the breadth thereof ten cubits. Zec 5:3 Then said he unto me, This is the curse that goeth forth over the face of the whole earth: for every one that stealeth shall be cut off as on this side according to it; and every one that sweareth shall be cut off as on that side according to it. Zec 5:4 I will bring it forth, saith the LORD of hosts, and it shall enter into the house of the thief, and into the house of him that sweareth falsely by my name: and it shall remain in the midst of his house, and shall consume it with the timber thereof and the stones thereof.
There are several references outside of the written Law (Torah: Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers & Deuteronomy) which include additions or clarifications to that which was already established. These all do, however, refer back specifically to the written Law.
A King Over Israel (1 Samuel 8:6-22) By rejecting God as their sovereign leader, the Israelites would be required to pay additional costs; monetary, their sons and daughters, animals, servants and land would all be required by their king. They would serve the king, instead of God. And they would cry out to God to deliver them from their leader, and God would not hear them.
Hezekiah and the Restoration (2 Chronicles 30:23-31:21) The people were encouraged to keep the feast going; the King made a large donation (of goods he had received as taxes from the people, as previously warned by God), and the priests and Levites made an even larger donation. The people rejoiced, partied, then broke down the idols (they had been worshiping), then went home. The priestly duties, which had ceased, were restored.
The Law of Moses is summarized in verses 20-21. Because Hezekiah did what was right, God prospered him. This was the best they could hope for; a surface relationship with a God who provided for their physical needs, peace, etc. as long as they did what He told them to do. The Israelites had to fulfill their part BEFORE God would fulfill His part, But God never intended that the Law define His relationship with His people; its purpose was to reveal that there was nothing we could do to BRING OURSELVES into relationship with Him. It was something ONLY HE, AND HE ALONE, COULD DO. With the Resurrection, Jesus concluded both parts of the covenant: He did our part and the Father's, once and for all, permanently.
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