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I just answered an email concerning tithe paying, so thought I would post the contents. Are believers today, expected to pay tithe? Tithe of course, means tenth. The LORD expected the ancient Israelites to give 1/10th of their increase in support of the Tabernacle and the priesthood, and also in support of the poor and the Levites.
There were many things that the LORD commanded of Israel, some of which do not apply today. I personally believe the system of animal sacrifice, carried out by the exclusive Aaronic priesthood, was “annulled”. But is tithing one of those things that still apply?
After the Holy Spirit was poured out on the first Pentecost following Christ’s death, the Book of Acts says that many people sold their lands and divided the money among the believers as their needs were (Acts 4:32-27). Now - THAT is a whole lot more than one-tenth. Of course - they did believe that Christ would return very soon, so they didn't think they would need their possessions.
Tithing is not mentioned specifically under the New Covenant, but I personally believe that it gives us a clear idea of the minimum that one should give to the LORD, for His work.
Abraham paid tithes, and he lived 400 years before Mt Sinai. (Gen. 14:20). Jacob pledged, “Of all that You give me, I will certainly return a tenth to You” (Gen. 28:22). That was also 250+ years before Mt. Sinai.
Under the Sinai Covenant, the command was that every third year, the tithe was to be “stored up within your gates” and then the Levite, the stranger, the orphan, and the widow could come and find food (Duet. 14:28-29). Most churches forget that one. If your church demands you give all of your tithe to them, show them that passage, and ask whether they delegate 1/3 for the poor.
You might also keep in mind, that 1/3 of your taxes in the US, goes for social welfare programs. During the time of ancient Israel, the tithe was the social welfare program, along with servitude for six years, if one could not repay his debts.
Incidentally, one-tenth was the just amount which a King could take from his subjects (I Sam. Cpt 8). Think of that next time you look at your pay-stub deductions.
“One tenth of your increase” - that was the tithe (Deut. 14:22). People calculate their “increase” in different ways. I’ve known folks who paid tithe on their gross - others on their net. And a few said that they pay tithe on “what's left” after they have paid for all their “essentials”.
It's really between the individual and the LORD.
Over the last 36 years since I came to know the LORD personally, I have discovered that I cannot out-give HIM. The more I give to HIM, the more He seems to bless me.
Malachi 3:8-10 [The LORD said] “Will a man rob God? Yet you have robbed Me!
But you say, ‘In what way have we robbed You?’
In tithes and offerings.
You are cursed with a curse, For you have robbed Me, Even this whole nation.
Bring all the tithes into the storehouse, That there may be food in My house,
And try Me (test Me) now in this,” Says the LORD of hosts,
“If I will not open for you the windows of heaven And pour out for you such blessing that there will not be room enough to receive it!” (NKJ).
Rich Blessings Always
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