The Importance of Tithing                                 Study No. 265

 

Tithing is perhaps the most disliked doctrine of the Bible.  Many in the Church of God have a disgruntled or bitter attitude toward tithing.  They have been burned because they formerly tithed to a church organization which wasted tithes, even as the church leadership of that organization lived lavishly.  The membership gave tithes freely, but those funds were squandered as the Church changed its doctrines and slid back into Protestantism.

 


Those who have never tithed may think tithing is promoted only by ministers who receive the tithes.  But when I speak of tithing, I can do so with a clear conscience, for even though I am a Church elder, I have chosen not to live off the tithes.  For more than twenty-five years of serving God’s people through Giving & Sharing, I have not received remunera­tion.  So, when I encourage others to follow the Bible Laws of Tithing, I do not stand to gain if others heed what I tell them.

We have managed our tithes and the tithes and offerings of others, and to the best of our ability, judiciously spent them on literature and other materials to edify the Church of God, not to pay for our personal expenses.  Over the years, hundreds of thousands of dollars have been donated to Giving & Sharing, and I take seriously the responsibility of seeing that funds are utilized efficiently, to the glory of God.

 

Tithing Fallacies

 

There are a number of commonly believed fallacies about tithing.

(1) The first common fallacy is: tithing is only for church people.  This is not so!  Unbelievers who tithe can be blessed as well as committed Christians who tithe.  Herbert Armstrong relates the unforget­table story of well-driller Ed Smith, who began tithing when he had only $10.  The blessings Smith experienced by tithing led him to conversion (see, “The Man Who Couldn’t Afford to Tithe,” on the www.giveshare.org/tithing  website, or condensed later in this article).

(2) Tithing is only on agricultural produce.  If this idea was true, to avoid tithing, you would just need to not be a farmer and therefore you would be free from God’s Laws of Tithing.  In Genesis, tithing, like the distinction between clean and unclean meats, is an ongoing practice.  Abraham tithed on the spoils of his God-given victory in battle, Genesis 14:18-20.  Jacob vowed to tithe all to God, Genesis 28:22.  There is no mention here of tithing only on agricultural produce.

In Numbers 18:21, we read, “And, behold, I have given the children of Levi all the tenth in Israel for an inheritance, for their service which they serve, even the service of the tabernacle of the congrega­tion.”  There is no mention here of agricul­tural produce.

If tithing was only on agricultural pro­duce, then only farmers would be obligated to attend the annual pilgrimage festivals (Feast of Unleavened Bread, Weeks, and Taber­nacles), and only farmers would be obligated to donate a specific amount to help the poor.  Fisher­men, for example, would be exempt from these obligations.  But, there is to be only one law for all, Exodus 12:49.

The fact is, most Israelites of old were farmers.  Nearly everybody grew produce.  So, the tithing laws given in Leviticus and Deuteronomy naturally emphasize tithing from an agricultural perspective.

(3) Tithing was like a tax; our gov­ernment taxes us now, and thus we are excused from the tithing law because we pay our taxes.  Those who believe this fallacy have fallen victim to left-wing socialism.  Governments forcefully take taxes; God’s tithing law is voluntary, and not enforced by tithing police.  Govern­ments generally do not ask you how to spend the taxes they collect; under God’s Tithing Law, the individual has the responsibility in every aspect of his or her tithes.  You are not responsible for govern­ment wasting of taxes; under God’s Tithing Laws, you are responsible for proper use of the tithes.  Taxes are im­personal; tithes are personal.  Any simi­larity between taxes and tithes is purely coincidental.  Samuel warned Israel of the financial consequences of asking for a king, I Samuel 8:10-22.  Notice that their king would take a tenth of their seed, and a tenth of their sheep.  Would be that governments today took so little!  We are still suffering these evil effects from turning from the government of God to a government of men.  In no way can the government fulfill your responsibility to spread the Gospel of the Kingdom, observe the Eternal’s Feasts, and help the poor.  The government cannot fulfill our obligation to care for the poor, and to teach our children.  The idea of govern­ment welfare programs, and government schools is contrary to the Bible.  When we abdicate our God-given responsibilities to the government, we automatically suffer evil consequences.

(4)  There is only one tithe.  Anyone who believes this is willingly ignorant.  Do you understand the meaning of the word “all”?  Numbers 18:21, “And, behold, I have given the children of Levi all the tenth in Israel for an inheritance, for their service which they serve, even the service of the tabernacle of the congregation.”  The Hebrew word for “all” is kohl, meaning the whole amount.   The same word is used in Deuteronomy 14:22 regard­ing the festival (second) tithe: “Thou shalt truly tithe all the increase of thy seed, that the field bringeth forth year by year, And thou shalt eat before the Lord thy God in the place which He shall choose to place His name there, the tithe . . . .”  Also, the same word, kohl, is used in Deuteronomy 14:28-29, “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: 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.”  Kohl is also used in Leviticus 27:30, “And all the tithe of the land, whether of the seed of the land, or of the fruit of the tree, is the Lord’s: it is holy unto the Lord.”

We see here clearly that there are three tithes.  You cannot give ALL the tithe to the Levite, ALL the tithe to eat at the annual feasts, and every third year give ALL the tithe to the poor, and this be the same tithe.  Also, the third year tithe cannot substitute for the other tithes, because that would mean that in the third year you would not go to the Festival!  The second (festival) tithe is done “year by year,” meaning every year, whereas the third year tithe is only in the third year.  Do the math!  There is no other conclusion possible.  There is more than one tithe.

(5)  Tithing is always on gross income.  It is easy to prove this statement wrong.  Just move to New Zealand, where I understand that the tax rate is about 55% of gross income.  If you earn $1000, you would pay $550 in taxes, which leaves you $450.  If you pay tithes on the gross, your first and second tithes would equal $200, leaving you $250.  If it is your third tithe year, another $100 of third tithe would leave you $150.  Taxes and tithes would have left you with only 15% of your gross income.  On the other hand, if you tithed on the net ($450), and paid three tithes, you would have $315 left over.

There is also a Biblical proof that tithing is not on the gross.  If you were a rancher and your herd had nine baby calves, what would be your tithe on the increase of your cattle herd?  The answer is that you would owe no tithe.  Leviticus 27:32, “And concerning the tithe of the herd, or of the flock, even of whatsoever passeth under the rod, the tenth shall be holy unto the Lord.”  Here, the tithe is not the first tenth, but the last tenth!

(6)  Your responsibility is only to give the tithe, not see that it is used properly.  Corrupt ministers deserve the tithe.  This is a common false belief, as it is comforting to believe that your only responsibility is to pay, not see that the tithes are used properly.  This commonly believed fallacy supposedly gets us off the hook.  However, this argument breaks down by simple logic.  In the case of the second tithe, it is your responsibility to spend the tithe properly on festival observance.  In the case of the third tithe, it is your responsibility to take care of the deserving poor.  Since the individual has personal responsibility for spending properly the second and third tithes, would it be reasonable that he has no respon­sibility for proper usage of the first tithe?

During the days of Elisha, a man from Baal-shalisha brought the man of God (Elisha) twenty loaves of bread of the firstfruits of barley, which fed an hundred men at the school of the prophets, II Kings 4:42-44.  Elisha is not mentioned as being a Levite (I Kings 19:16, 19; also note that Elisha’s home town, Abel-meholah, was not one of the forty-eight Levitical cities, Joshua 21).  There is no indication that the hundred men at the school of the prophets were all Levites either.  The firstfruits, part of the tithing law, were brought to the house of God for the priests, Exodus 34:26 and Leviticus 23:10.  Why didn’t the man from Baal-shalisha bring his firstfruits to the priests?  Probably because they were corrupt.  God raised up other servants because the Levites were not doing their job.

(7) This example illustrates that corrupt ministers are not to be supported, and also debunks a related fallacy: tithing is only to Levites.  Elisha was apparently not a Levite. Before Levi, Abraham and Jacob tithed to Melchizedek (the One who became the Messiah).  The New Testament shows that the law of tithing has been transferred from Levi back to Melchizedek, Hebrews 7:12.

(8)  The New Testament did away with tithing.  Did the New Testament do away with tithing, the Sabbath, or any of God’s Laws?  A rule of understanding the Bible is that unless an Old Testament law is specifically voided or modified in the New Testament, that the law is still in effect.  Jesus said that He did not come to destroy the Law or the Prophets (the Bible), Matthew 5:17-19.  Jesus supported tithing, Matthew 23:23.  The recipient of the (first) tithe has been changed from Levi back to Melchizedek, where it was from the beginning, Hebrews 7:12.  The Greek word for “changed” here is meta­titheomi, meaning “carried over, moved from one place to another.”  The same word is used in Hebrews 11:5, where Enoch was “translated,” and in Acts 7:15-16, where the bones of Jacob were “carried over” to Palestine. The New Testament did not do away with tithing; on the contrary, the New Testament reinforces the Old Testament Law of Tithing.

(9)  In the New Testament, the tithe must be sent to a central headquarters.  There is not a shred of Biblical evidence to support this belief.  At one time, there was a famine in Jerusalem, and the Apostle Paul gathered food together to send to Jerusalem to help the brethren, Romans 15:25-27; I Corinthians 16:1-3.  This was assistance for the poor, not tithes for preaching the gospel.                        

Although in the Roman world it would have been entirely possible for all tithes to be sent to the Apostles in Jerusalem, and it would have been possible for the Church to have run an hierarchical Church government headquartered in Jerusalem, there is absolute­ly no indication from the New Testament that this was done.

(10)  Jesus did not tithe; Jesus did not receive tithes.  There is no record that Jesus tithed or received tithes.  But we can know that He did.  He supported tithing, Matthew 23:23, received tithes as Melchizedek.  He did not come to destroy the law, Matthew 5:17-20.  He was perfect, without sin, Hebrews 4:15.  His disciple Judas carried the (money) bag, John 13:29.  Although there is no record of Jesus keeping the Day of Atonement, or the Day of Trumpets, we know that He did keep these Holy Days.  To say that Jesus did not tithe or receive tithes is to charge Him with being a hypocrite.

 

Purposes of Tithing

 

Let’s keep in mind the overall purpose of each of the three Biblical tithes.

The purpose of the first tithe is for worship, teaching, judging, i.e., preaching the Gospel of the Kingdom of God.  Even in Old Testament times, the purpose of the Levites was not only to administer the sacrifices, but to teach God’s Law to the people.  Leviticus 10:10-11 explains their primary role: “And that ye may put difference between holy and unholy, and between unclean and clean; And that ye may teach the children of Israel all the statutes which the Lord hath spoken unto them by the hand of Moses.”  The duty of the priest was to be a teacher, a minister of the Gospel.  Levites were scattered throughout Israel in forty-eight cities, so that they could teach the Gospel and help every Israelite.  It was the same gospel the Apostles preached, Hebrews 4:2Malachi 2:7 states, “For the priest’s lips should keep knowledge, and they should seek the law at his mouth: for he is the messenger of the Lord of hosts.”  Sometimes, the ministry fails to perform their God-appointed role.  However, Nehemiah 8:2-9 is an example of faithful preaching and ex­pounding the word of God.  Supporting the preaching of the Word of God is the primary purpose of the first tithe.  It is our individual responsibility to see that our first tithe goes toward this Godly purpose.

The purpose of the second tithe is to keep the annual feasts, both you, your house­hold, and others that you are able to help, Deuteronomy 14:22-27.  This is a personal responsibility.

The purpose of the third tithe is to help the poor stranger, fatherless, widows, that are within your gates, where you can personally help them and know that the aid is going to people who are worthy of help, Deuteronomy 14:28-29.  This is a personal responsibility.

 

Anti-Tithing Attitude

 

Because of misuse and abuse of tithes, many have a negative attitude toward tithing.  Specifically, some believe that because the ministry of their former organization corrupted God’s Truth and lived lavishly, therefore tithing is bad.  They fail to under­stand that corrupt implementation of God’s Law does not do away with God’s Law.  A converted person knows that God’s Law is holy, just, and good.

How have the tithes in the Church of God been corrupted?  A book could be written on this subject, but here are a few examples.

First tithes have been corrupted in the past by Church leaders living lavishly, flying around the world in private jets, giving very expensive Steuben crystal to corrupt world leaders.  The leader of my former affiliation had a personal G-2 jet, worth millions of dollars, which he flew around the world to give weak, “give and get” sermons in foreign countries.  I work for the North American division of the world’s largest mining company, which is headquartered in London, England.    For years, our Rocky Mountain mining division had a corporate plane, a twin-propeller aircraft seating 6-8 people.  Once when I was returning from a business trip in Utah on the Company plane to Wyoming, I sat next to the Company President and Chief Executive Officer.  I asked him why our Company didn’t have a corporate jet like a G-2.  “Oh,” he exclaimed, “we couldn’t afford that, we have to cut costs!”  It would be a misuse of stockholders’ investment for Company executives to live so lavishly.  Now, why couldn’t the Churches of God learn the lesson that they need to be frugal with God’s tithes, because after all, ethical behavior is more important with God than with human stockholders?

Some have bitterly pointed to such outlandish examples and become disgruntled at the wasting of God’s tithes that they have turned against tithing in general.  However, the finger often points back to them person­ally in the matter of second tithes.

Second tithes have been corrupted by individual members who lavishly blow thousands of dollars of second tithe on a purely materialistic Feast of Tabernacles.  The Bible says there are three pilgrimage Feasts: Feast of Unleavened Bread, Pentecost, and Feast of Tabernacles.  However, most ignore the two spring festivals and excessively spend their second tithes on the fall festival.  I knew one young man with an excellent job as a computer programmer for the Bonneville Power Administration.  He owned a fine car, but had so much second tithe that he rented a car just to drive to the Feast.  Rather than helping others, he wasted his second tithe.

Third tithes have been corrupted in many ways as well.  Third tithe is a personal responsibility to help the truly poor and needy, yet many years ago, the Church of God determined that their balance sheet would look better if they had members send their third tithes to headquarters.  The Church Headquarters, rather than local deacons, became the administrators of the third tithe assistance to the poor.  When I worked at the Church’s Headquarters, I was an executive assistant in Church Administration.  Being naturally curious, I happened one day to see a computer print out of “loans” (actually, they were not required to be repaid) of funds for the assistance of the poor, going to well-paid Church executives for drapes and carpets in their lavish Church homes.  When for the first time the Church ever made even an attempt at accountability by publishing an Income Statement, I discovered what appeared to be a $1 million discrepancy in the third tithe fund.

Let every man be a liar, yet God is still True.  No matter what degenerate human beings have done to corrupt God’s Tithes, the fact is still that the Bible commands tithing.  And, the Almighty does not want us to support corrupt Church organizations.

 

Making Tithing Accountable

 

How then, should tithing be done?  Use of tithes should be accountable.  Detailed Financial Statements need to be issued regularly.  There needs to be full disclosure of all salaries.  Our local city government pub­lishes in the local newspaper the amounts and vendors for every check it writes.  Salaries of public officials are public information.  Why then, don’t the Churches of God likewise be totally open about their finances?  I know of one rare organization that did publish salaries of its leaders.  Its top leader’s salary approached six figures, which seems to me to be excessive.  In a sermon, he admitted that he was a hireling, and that if you were in trouble, you could not depend upon him to help you.  Why should anyone support this popular Church of God minister?  Disclosure of financial information is only one step toward accountability.

More participation in financial and other decisions would lead to better use and less abuse of God’s tithes.  If you are working for the Church (salaried or a volunteer), you have a much better perspective on the use of the tithes.  Church elders and leaders should encourage everyone working together to spread the Gospel message.  An open, participatory, Church is the antidote to bad use of tithes.

 

Benefits of Tithing

 

Misuse of tithing pays!  It pays the fat cats who live off the tithes.  The “stay and pay” members are paid off with bitter fruit, and they share responsibility in this sorry return for their investment.

Proper use of tithing pays much better!  The Church is fed, the Feasts are spiritual drinks of cold water on a hot dry day, and the poor are helped and encouraged.

Tithing properly makes one personally involved in preaching the Gospel of the Kingdom of God, celebrating God’s Feasts, and helping the poor.  The Feasts, financed by Godly use of the second tithe, recharge our spiritual batteries.  God says He will bless you as you give, Acts 20:35.

Tithing helps you budget and plan your finances, manage your financial affairs.  Therefore, the remainder after tithes goes farther.  This is similar to keeping the Sabbath.

Tithing builds your faith.  You trust in God to provide, just like the farmer trusts God for rain for his crops, and trusts God he can harvest his crop without working on the Sabbath.

Tithing helps us grow in judgment, mercy, and faithMatthew 23:23 does not really contrast tithing with judgment, mercy, faith, because proper tithing should lead to these weightier matters of the law.  We should judge to whom we should give tithes, or not give tithes.  We should learn mercy for the poor (open wide our hands), mercy for the spiritually starving.  Tithing thus will build up our faith.

Tithing teaches us that our money is not our own.  The Sabbath teaches us that our time is not our own.  Fasting teaches us that our bodies are not our own.  God owns everything. “The earth is the Lord’s, and the fullness thereof; the world, and they that dwell therein,” Psalm 24:1.  We are totally dependent upon our Creator.

Tithing is a teaching tool.  It reveals our attitude towards God.  My father-in-law, in his North Carolina drawl, was known to say, “You don’t know the character of a man until you fool with his pocketbook.”  Do we give willingly, or grudgingly?  II Corinthians 9:6-7.

Tithing helps us be generousProverbs 11:25, “The liberal soul shall be made fat.”

 

Where Do Your Tithes Go?

 

(1) Some bank their tithes, waiting to give their tithes to the end-time Elijah.  Yet, the Parable of the Pounds (Luke 19:11-27) and Parable of the Talents (Matthew 25:14-30) seems to apply to them.  God expects us to be doing.

(2) Others give tithes only to a specific church organization, but one that they really do not believe in or trust.  But, “whatsoever is not of faith is sin,” Romans 14:23.  God wants us to be wholehearted givers, not reluctant givers.

(3) Some spread their tithes around.  They give to multiple organizations and groups in the hope that it does some good.  They have a good attitude.

(4) Others start their own work.  They know where every dollar goes.  An example is Lloyd Walker of Fairview, Missouri, who sends many Bibles to brethren in Aftrica.  Do you have to be a church elder to do God’s Work?  Philip was a “mere deacon,” yet he preached powerfully the Word of God, Acts 6:5-6, 8:5-8, 26-40Acts 8:1, 4 indicates that the entire Church, when scattered abroad due to persecution, went everywhere preaching the Word.

The downside to this approach is that small groups cannot do certain things that larger groups can, e.g., large radio and television programs, youth camps, large magazines.

Perhaps a balanced approach is a combination of (3) and (4).

 

Should You Take Tithes to Live On?

 

I have refused to live off the tithes, in spite of urging from some that I quit my job and live off the tithes.  If I did this, it would likely change the nature of my service.  I would need to say and do things to please men rather than please God.  I might become a hireling.

Is it wrong for a Church pastor to receive a salary?  No.  I Corinthians 9:9.  But, the nature and terms of this salary must not compromise him.  His work ethic must be impeccable.  He must be free to preach the Truth as he understands it.  He must truly be a workman.  A paid Church pastor can do things that a self-supporting elder cannot do: regular travel on a preaching circuit; evan­gelistic meetings, television production, lots of time counseling.  An ideal job for a part time paid pastor is farming, ranching, real estate sales, or insurance.

 

Tithing and Budgeting

 

Tithing should lead one to budgeting, just as observing the law of clean and unclean meats should lead to health consciousness.  What is budgeting?  It is planning for expenditures and saving funds for them.  This takes discipline.  You can do this on paper, but nowadays, computers make the job much easier.  Microsoft Excel is the language of business, and is an excellent tool to help manage your finances.  We use Excel to track our personal fnances, as well as those of Giving & Sharing.

You make a list of all your major expense categories (about two dozen or so).  Put your income in one or more of these categories, and subtract your expenditures from their proper category.  The balance in expense category is the amount of money you have to spend in that category.  For example, one of your largest expenditures may be your house or rent payment.  If your house payment is once a month, and you get paid twice a month, then with each paycheck, you set aside ˝ of the monthly house payment in the “House Payment” category.  When the time comes for the house payment, you should have the necessary funds to pay this large expenditure.  You may make your home insurance payment once a year; if so, then set aside 1/12 of the annual insurance payment each month.  This big annual payment then is not a burden, because you have planned for it.

One of the most important categories is your tithes, first and second (and occasion­ally, third).  DO NOT borrow from these categories!

Among the more important principles of financial planning is to avoid debt as much a as possible.  “The borrower is servant to the lender,” Proverbs 22:7.  Avoid credit card debt, because it is the dearest.  Can you guess how long it would take to pay off a $3,000 credit card debt, by only making the minimum payment?  Thirty years!  If you are purchasing your home with a loan, it is usually best to choose a 15-year loan rather than a 30-year loan.  The amount of interest on a shorter loan is vastly smaller, and the payment will not be greatly higher.  They have a name for those who buy a house with an “interest only” loan: suckers!  Pay off debts as soon as you can.  Then, you will be on a stronger financial footing.

You do not need too much house, or too much car.  A moderately priced sedan that gets good gas mileage is generally a better investment than a gas-wasting SUV costing $35,000 or more.  You can buy a good used car for around $6,000, or a two or three-year-old car for much less than the new car price.  The best car is not always the cheapest car.  Consumers Reports car ratings help one determine the reliability and maintenance record of car models.

Since you are not buying much, if any, junk food, you can save on groceries.  For example, whole grain rice is entirely different than gooey white rice, and much better for you.  Lundberg organic whole grain rice can be delivered to your door directly from the grower in California.  See our website for more health tips:  www.giveshare.org/Health.  We buy a half or quarter of a beef from a local rancher who does not use growth hormones and high chemicals.  This meat is better and cheaper than store-bought beef, even with the cost of a freezer.

Young couples today do not need to start off with new furniture, a new car, and a new house.  Likely, they will be starting with a college loan to pay off.  Get it paid off as soon as possible, and avoid credit card debt like the plague, or your marriage might well be in jeopardy.  A newly married couple starting off with big debts from college, house, multiple credit cards, etc., is headed for trouble, especially if both must work to make ends meet.

When you retire, the last thing you want is house or rent payments.  When you are employed, your home may consume 25-30% of your income.  When you retire, if you still have house or rent payments, 50% or more of your income is gone.

If we understand tithing, we know that our life does not consist of the material things we have.  We will not worship the works of our hands.  Isaiah 2:6-9 and James 5:1-3 de­scribe those who do not understand tithing.  Instead, let us lay up treasure in Heaven, Matthew 6:19-21.

Tithing should teach us to use resourc­es wisely.  God does not promise to make every tither rich in material goods, but His Word says that the righteous will never be begging bread, Psalm 37:25-26.  “Better is a little with righteousness, than great revenues without right,” Proverbs 16:8.

 

The Man Who Couldn’t Afford to Tithe

 

Herbert W. Armstrong wrote the true story of Ed Smith, who learned the lesson that tithing pays.  In 1933 — the very depth of the great depression — well-driller Ed Smith had a hard time making a living.

Ed and his wife, Emma, attended services Armstrong was then holding in a one-room country schoolhouse twelve miles west of Eugene, Oregon. Ed made no profession of Christianity until later. But he attended services and went up and down the country­side discussing Bible doctrines with his professing Christian neighbors.

“You’ve got to pay tithes and obey God,” he insisted. “The Bible says so. It’s PLAIN!”

One of his neighbors became irritated.

“Look here, Ed,” the neighbor exploded, “why do you come around here trying to talk me into these things, when you don’t obey the Bible or pay tithes yourself?”

“Because,” came Ed’s quick and ready answer, “I don’t profess to be a Christian, and you do. Besides,” he added, “I can’t afford to tithe, anyway.”

Armstrong heard about the above con­versation and preached a sermon on the question of whether the unconverted should obey the Ten Commandments and pay tithes, or whether, as Ed had reasoned, these things were only for Christians. Armstrong pointed out that God’s Law was put in motion for man’s good.  It is the WAY of life that brings peace, happiness, prosperity; the full, abun­dant, interesting life; success, joy here and now, as well as eternal life through Christ for the saved.

Ed began to obey the Bible. At the very next service, Mrs. Smith smilingly handed Armstrong a one-dollar bill.  “That’s Ed’s first tithe,” she said tri­umphantly. “We are now down to $10, and Ed decided to start tithing with what we have on hand.”

The very next service she came to me with another happy smile.

“Here’s a five-dollar bill,” she said. “The very next day after Ed gave God’s Work a tenth of all he had, a customer who had owed him $50 for a year came and paid up. So here’s the tithe of that $50. After paying the total $6 tithe, we now have $54 on hand instead of the $10 we had the other day.”

It was beginning to pay — but only beginning.  Soon, Ed received his first order in one or two years to drill a new well, for which he received cash payment. Before he finished that job, another one was contracted. Then, he had three or four jobs coming in at once and was forced to begin employing men to work for him.

Ed Smith was only one of many who learned by experience that one cannot afford not to pay God the tithe that belongs to Him!

Why did God ordain tithing? Was it to place increased burden and taxation upon us? It isn’t that God really needs your first tenth. He could have established some different system for carrying on His Work. But to have done so would have robbed us of the blessing that flows back to us if we are faithful in tithes and offerings!

The tither is invariably a prosperous man. not necessarily wealthy — but one whose actual needs are always supplied. Tithers, if faithful and obedient to the Eternal, are not often found in want. “Not because I desire a gift: but I desire fruit that may abound to your account,” Philippians 4:17. God promises that His children will always have something to give, Deuteronomy 16:16, 17. It is only when they withhold and misappropriate tithes and offerings that He fails to prosper them. For through John He tells us, “I wish above all things that thou mayest prosper and be in health,” III John 2.

“Honour the Lord [Eternal] with thy substance, and with the first fruits of all thine increase: so shall thy barns be filled with plenty, and thy presses shall burst out with new wine,” Proverbs 3:9-10. Try it! “Prove me now herewith,” challenges the Eternal to us, in a prophecy for our day, Malachi 3:10, “if I will not open you the windows of heaven, and pour you out a blessing that there shall not be room enough to receive it” — financial blessings!

People are reluctant to accept their personal responsibility.  It does no good to obey God’s tithing law half way, by giving tithes without knowing the tithes are doing the Work of God.

Do not support hirelings!   Make your tithes count!  The windows of heaven will be opened, and God’s blessings will flow upon you and others as you tithe to the Almighty’s glory and Kingdom.

— by Richard C. Nickels Ω