Let me start by sharing two quotes about tithing.
Michael Bassey Johnson said,
Not even a book on prosperity can prosper you, when what is expected of you is given, your time won’t be wasted.
To most Christians, payment of tithes is a commandment. You cannot love God and yet not give what is rightly his.
As they say, God requires that we give a tenth of all for his work.
In fact, they attribute their blessing to the payment of tithes. For instance, in one of my conversation with a friend, he said; “Paying tithes is personal.”
By this, he meant, every Tither knows the importance of tithing to their lives. That, they’ve experienced the goodness of God by payment of Tithes.
Is this true that God still wants us to pay tithes?
Is it also true that Christians will be blessed extraordinarily because they pay tithes?
Before we dig into the truth of the Gospel, I would love to share another quote about Tithing with you.
When you GIVE under “compulsion” or “Grudgingly” you are giving under the LAW of giving and NOT the GRACE given for giving.
Paul Warren concludes that;
If you pay tithes, you are still under the law.
In other words, He is suggesting that, if you pay a fixed amount every month, you’ve ultimately made yourself indebted to do the whole law.
Is God truly against tithing or giving? Is it a sin to pay tithes?
This article explains all bible verses about tithes and offerings.
You will be blessed in the end understanding each scripture to make the best decision for your faith.
What are tithes and offerings? (tithing vs. giving)
To get started, it is vital that we know what tithe is. In fact, most Christians seem to confused giving with tithing.
This is what the English dictionary says about tithing;
one-tenth of annual produce or earnings, formerly taken as a tax for the support of the Church and clergy
In other words, tithing means payment of 10 percent of all you have made. This means, if you have an annual income of $100,000, you must give to GOD $10,000.
According to some churches, if you fail to give the expected amount, you are robbing God of what is rightly his.
On the other hand, this is what the Online Cambridge Dictionary says about giving;
The act of providing money for something, especially to a charity or other good cause
You see, there is not a fixed amount or percentage. In other words, you can give anything as your heart desires.
Bible verses about tithing: Pay or not to pay?
If you are confused like everyone else, I have come to teach you the truth of the Gospel.
To fully understand tithing, you must set your minds to default. This is because you may find yourself struggling to accept the truth because of indoctrination.
I will be sharing all bible verses about tithing and explaining all in context.
So let us get started.
To fully grasp God’s law on tithing, I will divide my teaching into three eras of the world.
Tithing before the law
By “Tithing before the law” I mean bible verses about tithes before God gave his commandments to Moses.
In those days, after God has saved the Israelites from the hand’s of Pharoah, he gave them commandments that they must follow.
Tithing is one of those commands that the Israelites must abide or be punished by God.
However, the first tithe of the bible is well documented far before the laws of Moses. Abraham paid tithes before the laws of Moses
Tithing during the law
Tithing during the laws of Moses explains in details how tithes should be paid. These are many laws given by God to Moses.
These laws are the Mosaic laws.
And tithing after the law
Tithing after the law is the new era of Christianity after the death of Christ. And this mostly involves all teachings of the early saints about tithing and offerings.
So, let’s get started.
Bible verses about paying tithes (Before the law)
1. Genesis 14:16-20 – Abraham paid tithes
And Melchizedek king of Salem brought forth bread and wine: and he was the priest of the most high God.
And he blessed him, and said, Blessed be Abram of the most high God, possessor of heaven and earth:
And blessed be the most high God, which hath delivered thine enemies into thy hand. And he gave him tithes of all.
This is the first documentation of tithes in the Holy Scriptures.
The Bible describes Abraham’s payment of tithe to the High priest of God. (Melchizedek)
So what really happened?
Lot, Abrahams nephew, was residing in the land of Sodom. So, in those days, there came a war amongst kingdoms. The kingdom of Sodom was conquered, and Lot was captured.
When Abrahan heard that his nephew had been captured, he chased them and killed his captives, saving Lot.
Not just that, he rescued other men and women that were held captives and returned Lot’s goods, and those of the city of Sodom.
On return from the war, The king of Sodom visited Abraham. Also, did Melchizedek meet Abraham and bless him.
The truth about the first tithe of the world
1. Abraham was already wealthy before the war
It is important we know that God has always been with Abraham. In fact, before he met Melchizedek and paid his tithes, he was already very rich.
The bible says;
And Abram was very rich in cattle, in silver, and in gold
This is very important to understand the thoughts of God about tithing. God has already blessed Abraham. There is no earlier documentation in the bible that Abraham paid tithes to become rich.
This goes against the teaching that we will only be blessed if we pay tithes. This is not true.
The bible teaches that God provides for believers and unbelievers alike. So, there is no truth attributing your blessings to paying tithes.
Another important aspect to consider in this passage is the actions of Melchizedek. He did not bless Abraham after paying his tithes. Instead, he blessed Abrahams and then he paid his tithes.
2. Abraham paid tithes from the spoils of the war (not what he already had)
We’ve previously identified that Abraham was rich in cattle and gold. But here is another twist to this story. Abraham did not pay tithes from what he already had.
We know he had lots of cattle, gold, and silver, yet he never gave a tenth of what he already had. Instead, he gave a tenth of goods he returned with from the war.
At first glance of this passage, you may think Abraham gave a tenth of everything he had.
And he gave him tithes of all.
But that’s not the truth. Paul while writing to the Hebrew Christians said,
To whom also Abraham gave a tenth part of all; first being by interpretation King of righteousness, and after that also King of Salem, which is, King of peace;
Now consider how great this man was, unto whom even the patriarch Abraham gave the tenth of the spoils
In other words, Abraham paid his tithes from his increase not what he already had.
3. Abraham did not receive anything from his increase
We already know that Abraham paid tithes on return from the war. We also know that Abraham paid from his increase and not what he previously owned.
But it may surprise you further that he did not collect a dime from the remaining goods (90%)
Instead, he gave them back to the king of Sodom and others that fought with him in the war.
And the king of Sodom said unto Abram, Give me the persons, and take the goods to thyself.
And Abram said to the king of Sodom, I have lift up mine hand unto the Lord, the most high God, the possessor of heaven and earth,
That I will not take from a thread even to a shoe-latchet, and that I will not take anything that is thine, lest thou shouldest say, I have made Abram rich:
Save only that which the young men have eaten, and the portion of the men which went with me, Aner, Eshcol, and Mamre; let them take their portion.
Genesis 14: 21-24
4. Abraham paid through Faith
Abraham’s payment of tithe was the first time it ever happened. There was no one (at least as documented in the scriptures) that paid tithes to God before Abraham.
Before Abraham, the last documented man to give a pleasant offering to Jehovah was Abel. And it was recorded that he had faith (Hebrews 11:4).
It is important we put ourselves in the shoes of Abraham. He was rich, but he had other challenges then. His wife was barren, and he had no son. Yet, he never doubted God.
After the war, he appreciated God for giving him victory through tithing. Melchizedek said;
blessed be the most high God, which hath delivered thine enemies into thy hand
5. Abraham paid tithes once (and never again)
Also important to mention, Abraham did not pay tithes again in the bible. This means, at no time, did Abraham pay tithes from what he previously owned.
Instead, he paid once from his increase appreciating God for giving him victory.
2. Genesis 28: 20-22 – Jacob paid tithes
Then Jacob made a vow, saying, “If God will be with me and will watch over me on this journey I am taking and will give me food to eat and clothes to wear so that I return safely to my father’s household, then the Lord will be my God and this stone that I have set up as a pillar will be God’s house, and of all that you give me I will give you a tenth.”
This is the second bible passage tithing was mentioned. Jacob promised to pay tithes to the lord.
Abraham gave birth to Isaac. Isaac gave birth to twins boys, Esau and Jacob. Jacob was the youngest and stole the birthright and Blessings of Esau, the eldest.
This action annoyed Esau who conspired to kill Jacob as soon as their father, Isaac is dead. Their mother Rebekkah loved Jacob far more than Esau and informed Jacob of the plans of Esau.
So, Jacob became afraid and was sent by his mum to her brother’s house. The brother name is Laban.
On his way, when he got to a place called Luz, he rested. He took a stone for a pillow and rested his head for the night.
And he dreamed, and behold a ladder set up on the earth, and the top of it reached to heaven: and behold the angels of God ascending and descending on it.
And, behold, the Lord stood above it, and said, I am the Lord God of Abraham thy father, and the God of Isaac:
the land whereon thou liest, to thee will I give it, and to thy seed;
And thy seed shall be as the dust of the earth, and thou shalt spread abroad to the west, and to the east, and to the north, and to the south: and in thee and in thy seed shall all the families of the earth be blessed.
And, behold, I am with thee, and will keep thee in all places whither thou goest, and will bring thee again into this land;
for I will not leave thee, until I have done that which I have spoken to thee of.
And Jacob awaked out of his sleep, and he said, Surely the Lord is in this place; and I knew it not
The truth about Jacobs tithe and promise
1. God promised him to bless him first
When God appeared to Jacob in his dream, he promised to bless and protect him first.
This is not entirely because of Jacob, but because of God’s covenant with his grandfather, Abraham.
Simply put; God blessed Jacob, then he made a vow.
This is similar to the account of Abraham paying tithes. God gave him victory and blessed him through Melchizedek, and then, he tithed from the spoils.
It is, therefore, safe to say that, if God had not appeared unto Jacob and blessed him, he would not have promised to pay tithes.
2. He made a conditional statement of Faith
When Jacob woke up from his dream, he recognized the power of God. He made a vow starting with the word “IF.”
This is a conditional statement. He did not entirely certify that he will pay tithes no matter what. But said, If God keeps his side of the deal, he will keep to his.
3. God kept his promise
We all know that God does not forsake the righteous. Just like he promised Jacob, he fulfilled them.
In summary, God promised two things;
- He promised that through the seed of Jacob shall all the earth be blessed
- God also promised that he would keep him and protect him and bring him back to Luz, where he had the dream
Did God fulfill his side of the deal?
Not entirely in Jacob’s time. There is no way Jacob would have confirmed if God actually blessed the earth through his seed (he, therefore, believed through faith).
In fact, God was only reconfirming the promise he made to Abraham. In Genesis 17:4-6, God said to Abraham;
As for me, behold, my covenant is with thee, and thou shalt be a father of many nations.
Neither shall thy name any more be called Abram, but thy name shall be Abraham; for a father of many nations have I made thee.
And I will make thee exceeding fruitful, and I will make nations of thee, and kings shall come out of thee
But we know, God latter blessed all nations through the death of Christ (Abraham’s seed). Paul, an apostle of Jesus Christ, said;
Know ye therefore that they which are of faith, the same are the children of Abraham.
And the scripture, foreseeing that God would justify the heathen through faith, preached before the gospel unto Abraham, saying, In thee shall all nations be blessed.
That the blessing of Abraham might come on the Gentiles through Jesus Christ; that we might receive the promise of the Spirit through faith.
Did God bless and protect Jacob as promised?
He did. There are many instances that God protected Jacob. Here are a few to confirm God kept his promise.
God protected Jacob from Laban
If the God of my father, the God of Abraham and the Fear of Isaac,had not been with me, you would surely have sent me away empty-handed. But God has seen my hardship and the toil of my hands, and last night he rebuked you.”
Then God came to Laban the Aramean in a dream at night and said to him, “Be careful not to say anything to Jacob, either good or bad.”
God protected Jacob from Esau
Save me, I pray, from the hand of my brother Esau, for I am afraid he will come and attack me, and also the mothers with their children
But Esau ran to meet Jacob and embraced him; he threw his arms around his neck and kissed him. And they wept
God protected Jacob from the Canaanites and Perizzites
Then Jacob said to Simeon and Levi, “You have brought trouble on me by making me obnoxious to the Canaanites and Perizzites, the people living in this land. We are few in number, and if they join forces against me and attack me, I and my household will be destroyed.”
Then they set out, and the terror of God fell on the towns all around them so that no one pursued them
4. Jacob kept his promise too (but not entirely)
Just a recap; Jacob promised God the following;
- To serve God
- To build an altar in the land of Luz, later called Bethel, if God kept his side of the deal
- And finally, to give a tenth of all that God will Ever give him
Did Jacob fulfill his vow to God?
Yes, he did but never paid tithes.
So Jacob said to his household and to all who were with him, “Get rid of the foreign gods you have with you, and purify yourselves and change your clothes. 3 Then come, let us go up to Bethel, where I will build an altar to God, who answered me in the day of my distress and who has been with me wherever I have gone.”
Genesis 35: 2, 3
In verse 7,8 he actually built an altar for God.
5. Jacob never paid tithes
Jacob appreciated all that God has done for him. He acknowledged God’s protection and blessing. He knew God had kept his side of the deal.
So, he kept his vow by serving and building an altar for God. But nowhere in the bible did Jacob paid tithes.
There could reason for this.
There was no recognized priesthood during Jacob’s time. Abraham paid to the high priest of God, Melchizedek.
During Jacob’s time, there was no temple to worship. There were no priests.
As Jared Brian Explains, Israel’s call to tithe and return to God is correlated with Jacob’s vow. In other words, Jacobs descendants paid tithes.
Prelaw Tithing vs. Modern-day tithing
Having discussed the prelaw tithing in details, it is important we understand how it was completely different from what is done today.
Here are the characteristic differences between Abraham tithing/ Jacobs promise from what is currently done in the churches
1. Tithing as a command
In most churches, it is common to hear the preachers or pastors say; God has commanded us to pay tithes to him.
While there are other verses (as discussed later under the Mosaic Law), there was never a time God commanded Abraham or Jacob to pay tithes.
In the case of Abraham, he willingly gave a tenth of the spoils. God or Melchizedek did not command him. We also know that Abraham was wealthy before he tithed.
If there was a law to tithe during the pre-mosaic law era, Abraham should have paid from all he previously owned.
God confirmed that Abraham kept all his commandments. In Genesis 26:5, God said;
Because that Abraham obeyed my voice, and kept my charge, my commandments, my statutes, and my laws
Therefore, Abraham’s tithing was never a law. If it were to be a law, surely he did not keep it because he did not tithe from what he previously owned.
The truth, therefore, is that there was no tithing law in the days of Abraham. He paid tithes in appreciation of God’s given victory in the war
2. Tithing as a regular monthly payment
You will also have noticed that Christians all over the world pay tithes monthly from their earnings.
In fact, they are told by their pastors that they must set aside God’s ten percent every month before anything else.
As already discussed, this is entirely different from what happened in the days of Abraham. We already know he paid once, and not from what he previously owned.
One may argue that the words of Jacob seem to support their version of tithing. Jacob said;
of all that you give me I will give you a tenth
In other words, this is not a one-time payment. But we know that God also blessed Jacob. He was rich too. But he never paid tithes presumably because there was no priesthood at his time.
Therefore, at no time before the laws of Moses, did any man pay a tenth of all he had to God.
If God was so concerned about tithing, he would have punished Jacob for not fulfilling his vow. He did not. Instead, When God reminded Jacob of his vow, he said;
And God said unto Jacob, Arise, go up to Bethel, and dwell there: and make there an altar unto God, that appeared unto thee when thou fleddest from the face of Esau thy brother
There was no mention of tithes in God’s reminder.
3. Tithing as a tool for prosperity
Another teaching of the church as regards tithing is that, when you tithe, God opens open the floodgates of heaven and pour out so much blessing that there will not be room enough to store it.
As discussed later in this article, God actually said that (we will examine the context of this verse and if it is still applicable today later on)
But as regards prelaw tithing, there was never a time when tithing was a tool for God’s blessings. In fact, Abraham was already rich before he tithed. He did not pay tithe to be rich.
Surprisingly, When Jacob made his vow he had nothing. He was running away from his brother Esau. Towards the end of his stay with Laban, God blessed him.
He never paid tithes to receive God’s blessings. He only promised to pay tithes which he never paid in his lifetime.
Prelaw tithing: Should you pay tithes?
One may ask!! Since Abraham paid tithes, should we pay tithes to be blessed by God?
One common reason for tithing according to the churches is that Abraham paid tithes. They insist that it happened before the law and must be practiced until the second coming of Christ.
But here is the truth. God does not require anyone to pay tithes anymore. He requires us to Love one another faithfully.
Through love, you are not limited to what you give in God’s service. It could be 100%, 30% or 3%. God requires that we give cheerfully and generously (later about that in the article).
But first, let us debunk the concept that Abraham tithing as a model for later day Christians.
Circumcision as a case study
Circumcision is the removal of the foreskin of a male. It was first documented in the days of Abraham. God made a covenant with Abraham.
God said to Abraham: For your part, you and your descendants after you must keep my covenant throughout the ages.
This is the covenant between me and you and your descendants after you that you must keep: every male among you shall be circumcised. Circumcise the flesh of your foreskin. That will be the sign of the covenant between me and you.
Throughout the ages, every male among you, when he is eight days old, shall be circumcised, including houseborn slaves and those acquired with money from any foreigner who is not of your descendants. Yes, both the houseborn slaves and those acquired with money must be circumcised. Thus my covenant will be in your flesh as an everlasting covenant.
If a male is uncircumcised, that is, if the flesh of his foreskin has not been cut away, such a one will be cut off from his people; he has broken my covenant.
Here is the summary of God’s covenant with Abraham
- God will bless him
- His name will no longer be Abram but Abraham
- Abraham will be the father of many nations
- He will give unto Abraham and his descendants the land of Canaan
In return, Abraham and all male child must be circumcised on the eighth day. It does not stop here. All his descendants must be circumcised too.
In the days of Moses, God also instructed the Israelites to keep his covenant with Abraham. In Leviticus 12:3, God said;
And in the eighth day the flesh of his foreskin shall be circumcised
So, what changed.
After the death of Christ, Paul preached against circumcision being a requirement for salvation.
In fact, he said, God’s covenant with Moses is no longer necessary for salvation. Paul said;
For in Christ Jesus neither circumcision nor uncircumcision has any value. The only thing that counts is faith expressing itself through love
Therefore, it is entirely unscriptural for Christians to tithe because of Abraham. The death of Christ has set us free from any law.
Circumcision was a God’s covenant before the Mosaic law, it was inscribed into the Mosaic law, and yet, overlooked by the early saints.
If God’s own covenant with Abraham is not a commandment anymore, why should we tithe as a command?
Bible verses about tithing under the laws of Moses
After the liberation of the Israelites from the hands of Pharoah, God gave multiple laws to the Israelites in mount Sanai.
I have divided these laws into two;
- Bible verses about tithes in the old testament
- Bible verses about tithes in the new testament
Read and be blessed
Bible verses about tithes in the old testament
1. Leviticus 27:30-34 – God’s commandment on tithing
A tithe of everything from the land, whether grain from the soil or fruit from the trees, belongs to the Lord; it is holy to the Lord.
Whoever would redeem any of their tithes must add a fifth of the value to it. Every tithe of the herd and flock—every tenth animal that passes under the shepherd’s rod—will be holy to the Lord.
No one may pick out the good from the bad or make any substitution. If anyone does make a substitution, both the animal and its substitute become holy and cannot be redeemed.’”
These are the commands the Lord gave Moses at Mount Sinai for the Israelites.
This is God’s commandment to the Israelites to pay tithes. They are to give 10 percent of all they have unto the lord.
There is room to make a replacement. This means it is possible to take some part of your goods and replace it with money.
In this case, you will need to add an extra two percent.
2. Numbers 18:21 – The Levites are meant to take tithes of the land
To the Levites I have given every tithe in Israel for an inheritance, in return for their service that they do, their service in the tent of meeting
The Levites are people that are chosen by God to receive tithes. They belong to the Levi tribes of Isreal.
There are twelve tribes of Israel. The Levi tribe are not permitted to have landed properties. Their inheritance is the lord.
Therefore, since they are not permitted to earn for themselves, other tribes must give a tenth of all they have to the Levites.
3. Numbers 18:26-29 – tithes of all tithes
Speak to the Levites and say to them: ‘When you receive from the Israelites the tithe I give you as your inheritance, you must present a tenth of that tithe as the Lord’s offering.
No one was exempted from tithing. Even the Lord chosen Levite tribe were to tithe from all they have received.
In other words, they take ten percent from the Israelites, then out of all, they tithe ten percent unto the lord.
4. Deuteronomy 12: 5-6 Payment of festival tithes
But you are to seek the place the Lord your God will choose from among all your tribes to put his Name there for his dwelling. To that place you must go;
there bring your burnt offerings and sacrifices, your tithes and special gifts, what you have vowed to give and your freewill offerings, and the firstborn of your herds and flocks
There are other tithes the Israelites were to pay. They also contributed, made vows, and paid tithes for the festival.
God warned them to destroy all forms of idols and come together in a place he shall choose for his worship and festivals.
5. Deuteronomy 14 – Buy whatever you like with your tithes
Be sure to set aside a tenth of all that your fields produce each year
The Israelites are commanded to set aside a tenth of all they have and give unto the Lord. But not just that, they can also convert their good into money then buy whatever they lust for.
Such things include fermented drinks (alcohol), sheep, cattle, etc.
Use the silver to buy whatever you like: cattle, sheep, wine or other fermented drink, or anything you wish. Then you and your household shall eat there in the presence of the Lord your God and rejoice
6. Deuteronomy 14: 28-29 – Tithes for the poor, widows, foreigners, fatherless
At the end of every three years, bring all the tithes of that year’s produce and store it in your towns, so that the Levites (who have no allotment or inheritance of their own) and the foreigners, the fatherless and the widows who live in your towns may come and eat and be satisfied, and so that the Lord your God may bless you in all the work of your hands.
Tithes were not just meant for the Levites.
Those in the land of Israel that had little or nothing would also benefit.
The poor, the fatherless and even strangers, were permitted by God to receive of it.
7. 2 Chronicles 31:4-5
He ordered the people living in Jerusalem to give the portion due the priests and Levites so they could devote themselves to the Law of the Lord.
As soon as the order went out, the Israelites generously gave the firstfruits of their grain, new wine, olive oil and honey and all that the fields produced. They brought a great amount, a tithe of everything.
8. Malachi 3:8-12 – Robbing God by not paying tithes
Will a mere mortal rob God? Yet you rob me.
“But you ask, ‘How are we robbing you?’
“In tithes and offerings. You are under a curse—your whole nation—because you are robbing me. Bring the whole tithe into the storehouse, that there may be food in my house.
This is one of the most familiar Bible verse about tithes. On hearing this verse, as expected, fear grips you.
Not just that, most churches insist, if you pay tithes, God will open up the flood gates of heaven.
Test me in this,” says the Lord Almighty, “and see if I will not throw open the floodgates of heaven and pour out so much blessing that there will not be room enough to store it
This is true. Like other bible verses that I have quoted, God promised to bless those that judiciously keep his law.
However, if the Israelites failed to keep God’s law, there is a curse that comes with disobedience (more on this later).
Bible verses about tithes in the new testament
There are other verses of the bibles where Jesus Christ mentioned tithe.
Did Jesus approve of payment of tithes? Yes, he did (more on this later). Here are different passages of Jesus indirectly emphasizing the need of paying tithes.
1. Matthew 23:23 – Jesus encouraged tithing
Woe to you, teachers of the law and Pharisees, you hypocrites! You give a tenth of your spices—mint, dill and cumin. But you have neglected the more important matters of the law—justice, mercy, and faithfulness. You should have practiced the latter, without neglecting the former.
2. Luke 11:42
Woe to you Pharisees, because you give God a tenth of your mint, rue and all other kinds of garden herbs, but you neglect justice and the love of God. You should have practiced the latter without leaving the former undone.
3. Luke 18:9-14 – The Parable of the Pharisee and the Tax Collector
Two men went up to the temple to pray, one a Pharisee and the other a tax collector. The Pharisee stood by himself and prayed: ‘God, I thank you that I am not like other people—robbers, evildoers, adulterers—or even like this tax collector.I fast twice a week and give a tenth of all I get.’
Tithing under the law: Pay or not to pay?
As Christians, it is vital that we obey the commandments of God.
But, are we still under the laws of Moses? Should we pay tithes according to the laws of Moses?
Here are 8 important things you should know
1. The Laws of Moses were a command
It is crucial we differentiate the Pre-law tithing from tithing during the law. In the days before the Mosiac laws were enacted, God did not command anyone to pay tithes.
This is because there were no laws on tithing.
However, after God saved the Israelites from Egypt, he gave them commandments they must obey. Theses commandments had dominion over the affair of the Israelites (Romans 7:1)
In other words, the Israelites have no option. They must give to God what is required, or God will punish them.
2. God promised to bless those that kept his commandments
Just like in the days of their father Abraham, God is always happy when his commandments are obeyed.
God blesses those that followed the laws and kept it faithfully.
If you fully obey the Lord your God and carefully follow all his commands I give you today, the Lord your God will set you high above all the nations on earth. All these blessings will come on you and accompany you if you obey the Lord your God
Deuteronomy 28: 1-2
You can read through Verse 3 through Verse 14 to see manifold blessings to the Israelites if they obey God’s commandments.
Therefore, it is not true to claim God blesses only those that pay tithes.
God required that they keep the whole of his laws. If they failed in one, they have failed in all.
For example, if you paid all your tithes and yet commit adultery, you’ve broken the laws of God. The curse of the law is on you.
3. There is a curse to those that disobeyed the laws of Moses
Just as there are blessings if you keep the whole laws, there are curses if you don’t. In other words, all laws must be obeyed to receive God blessings.
However, if you do not obey the Lord your God and do not carefully follow all his commands and decrees I am giving you today, all these curses will come on you and overtake you:
You will be cursed in the city and cursed in the country.
Your basket and your kneading trough will be cursed.The fruit of your womb will be cursed, and the crops of your land, and the calves of your herds and the lambs of your flocks.
You will be cursed when you come in and cursed when you go out.
Deuteronomy 28: 15-19
It is not so easy to abide by all commandments of the law. James, an apostle of Jesus Christ, said;
For whoever keeps the whole law and yet stumbles at just one point is guilty of breaking all of it.
4. Besides tithing, there are over 600 laws given to Moses
We should know that paying tithes is just a tiny fraction of the Mosaic law. A whole lot of these laws are not being done today.
To be precise, there are 613 laws given to Moses by God. Not one, not two, Six hundred and thirteen.
In fact, most churches accept that these laws are no longer needed in the service of God.
Here are a few (7 out of 613)
- Men must not shave the hair off the sides of their head — Lev. 19:27
- Men must not shave their beards with a razor — Lev. 19:27
- Women must not wear men’s clothing — Deut. 22:5
- The slanderer must remain married to his wife — Deut. 22:19
- A rapist must marry his victim if she is unwed — Deut. 22:29
- Not to eat the meat of an animal that was mortally wounded — Ex. 22:30
- Not to eat certain fats of clean animals — Lev. 3:17
5. We are Christians through faith not by the laws of Moses
The death of Jesus Christ has set a new testament. In other words, there is no need for us to remain faithful to the law.
If you are still confused let me explain in simple terms.
Before the coming of Christ, the Jews were God’s only people because they were descendants of Abraham.
But there are other people living at that time. The non-jews were called gentiles and we not partakers of God’s promise to Abraham.
In other words, If you were to be an American, Australian, Canadian, or Nigerian before the coming of Jesus, there was no hope of eternal salvation (because we are not natural jews by birth).
But the moment Chris came and died, the grace of salvation became available to the whole world.
Meaning that You could simply believe that Christ is the savior of the world and live a sinless life, then you are partakers of the promise originally given to the jews.
So, you do not have to abide by the laws of Moses anymore. But by your conscience, you run away from evil because the laws of God is in your heart.
For this is the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel after those days, saith the Lord; I will put my laws into their mind, and write them in their hearts: and I will be to them a God, and they shall be to me a people:
And they shall not teach every man his neighbour, and every man his brother, saying, Know the Lord: for all shall know me, from the least to the greatest.
Hebrews 8: 10-11
For this reason, there is no need for us to abide by the law. In verse 13, Paul said;
By calling this covenant “new,” he has made the first one obsolete; and what is obsolete and outdated will soon disappear.
6. The death of Jesus has fulfilled the law
One important point to make is that the death of Jesus Christ has fulfilled the law and no longer needed.
Yes, According to Paul’s words, the laws have been abolished. In other words, we are not to live according to the law but by faith in our Lord Jesus Christ.
As expected, most churches quote the words of Jesus Christ. That, he has not come to abolish the laws but to fulfill them. In other words, we are still to abide by the laws of Moses.
Do not think that I have come to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I have not come to abolish them but to fulfill them.
But as expected, they seem not to mention the most important phrase when Jesus made this statement. He also said;
For verily I say unto you, Till heaven and earth pass, one jot or one tittle shall in no wise pass from the law, till all be fulfilled
First of all, we must understand that Jesus Christ lived according to the laws.
Paul the apostle of Jesus said;
But when the set time had fully come,God sent his Son, born of a woman, born under the law, to redeem those under the law, that we might receive adoption to sonship
Galatians 4: 4-5
Christ was born into the law. He obeyed the laws. This is simply the reason Jesus encouraged the Jews to pay tithes.
Simply put, there are two covenants recognized by God. The one instituted through Moses and the one established through the death of Christ.
When Christ was was alive the new covenant of faith was not established because he was yet to redeem us through his death. The moment he died on the cross, he set us into the new covenant.
For this reason, Paul said in the books of Hebrews;
And for this cause, he is the mediator of the new testament, that by means of death, for the redemption of the transgressions that were under the first testament, they which are called might receive the promise of eternal inheritance.
For where a testament is, there must also of necessity be the death of the testator.
For a testament is of force after men are dead: otherwise, it is of no strength at all while the testator liveth.
In other words, Christ encouraged the jews to pay tithes and keep the laws. The moment he died, the laws were abolished.
For he is our peace, who hath made both one, and hath broken down the middle wall of partition between us; Having abolished in his flesh the enmity, even the law of commandments contained in ordinances; for to make in himself of twain one new man, so making peace
Paul repeated this again. He said;
Before the coming of this faith, we were held in custody under the law, locked up until the faith that was to come would be revealed.So the law was our guardian until Christ came that we might be justified by faith. Now that this faith has come, we are no longer under a guardian.
So in Christ Jesus you are all children of God through faith,for all of you who were baptized into Christ have clothed yourselves with Christ
Therefore, we are not bound under law but by faith in Christ. For this singular reason, we are free. We are entirely free from all the curses of the law.
Paul said again;
Christ redeemed us from the curse of the law by becoming a curse for us, for it is written: “Cursed is everyone who is hung on a pole.”
Therefore, The death of Christ has set us free from the 613 laws of Moses.
Does this mean that the laws given to Moses were not holy? NO
There are important aspects of the law that were still preached by the disciples after the death of Christ. The continued emphasizing on avoiding sin, sexual immoralities, drunkenness, envy, hatred, adultery, fornication, and so on.
But nowhere did the apostles teach about how men should shave their hair, or how a rapist should marry the victim, or the need for Christians to pay tithes and so may irrelevant aspects of the law.
In other words, the law was still relevant if appropriately used. For this reason, Paul said again,
We know that the law is good if one uses it properly
1 Timothy 1:8
Does this mean we are no longer under any commandment? NO.
For the entire law is fulfilled in keeping this one command: “Love your neighbor as yourself.
In other words, there is a new law which is Love. Before the death and ascension of our Lord Jesus Christ, he told his disciples of a NEW commandment.
A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another.
7. If you pay tithes (According to the law), You must do the whole law
We’ve identified the truth that God does not require us to obey the laws of Moses. But, Should we still pay tithes according to the Mosiac laws? NO, we must not.
The death of Christ as set you and I free. We now live in a new era of Grace.
This does not mean we are allowed to live in sin. Paul said;
What then? shall we sin, because we are not under the law, but under grace? God forbid.
What if I decide to pay my tithes according to the law, Will God frown at my decision?
If you decide to keep one of the commandments of Moses, it, therefore, means you do not understand the liberty Christ has given you.
Let this sink in. Contrary to what you may have heard, the blood of Christ is supreme and has set us free from all bondage of the law.
Stand fast therefore in the liberty wherewith Christ hath made us free, and be not entangled again with the yoke of bondage
In other words, if you still pay tithes according to the Mosaic laws, you’ve indirectly entangled yourself with the bondage of the law.
In fact, as Paul later said in the same chapter, that the death of Christ is of no effect to you.
Christ is become of no effect unto you, whosoever of you are justified by the law; ye are fallen from grace.
He continued, that, if you keep any of the laws of Moses, be it circumcision or paying tithes, you must keep all the laws.
For I testify again to every man that is circumcised, that he is a debtor to do the whole law.
8. Jesus Christ is the new priesthood and has no need
In the first tithe of the world, Abraham paid tithes to Melchizedek. His descendants were also instructed by God to pay tithes to the Levites.
So, we could say that the Levites paid their tithes through Abraham to Melchizedek.
One might even say that Levi, who collects the tenth, paid the tenth through Abraham
Simply put; The Israelites paid tithes to the Levites, the Levites paid to Abraham, and Abraham paid to Mechdezek.
So, there was payment of tithes from Abrahams lineage to the lineage of Melchizedek.
Now, Jesus Christ is after the order of Melchizedek, and not after the lineage of Aaron (the first high priest of the Levites).
Therefore, through his death, a new testament begins (with new laws).
In verse 9-10, Paul said;
If perfection could have been attained through the Levitical priesthood—and indeed the law given to the people established that priesthood—why was there still need for another priest to come, one in the order of Melchizedek, not in the order of Aaron?
For when the priesthood is changed, the law must be changed also.
This is the most important Bible verse against tithing as it is done today. The Levitical priesthood has been abolished through the death of Christ. Its rules and commandments of tithing have also be abolished too.
A new priesthood has arrived, and it is Jesus Christ. Having a new priesthood means that the laws must change too.
So, burnt sacrifices are no longer required. Likewise, payment of tithes to the Levites have been abolished through the death of Christ.
Most importantly are the quantities of the new high priest. Paul said;
Such a high priest truly meets our need—one who is holy, blameless, pure, set apart from sinners, exalted above the heavens. Unlike the other high priests, he does not need to offer sacrifices day after day, first for his own sins, and then for the sins of the people. He sacrificed for their sins once for all when he offered himself
Tithing after the law: What did the Apostles of Christ teach?
The death of Christ has set in a new era where we are not bound by the laws of Moses. So, how then are we to contribute to the service of God?
First of all, let us be clear. The Apostles of Jesus Christ never preached tithing after the death of Jesus Christ.
In fact, only Paul discussed tithing in the book of Hebrews which have already been explained.
One may ask; if the apostle never accepted or encouraged Christians to pay tithes, how did they keep the ministry going? How did they also source funds for the church?
Here are four things you should know about funding for the church in the post-mosaic law era
1. Barnabas, a Levite, sold all he had and gave to the poor
that there were no needy persons among them. For from time to time those who owned land or houses sold them, brought the money from the salesand put it at the apostles’ feet, and it was distributed to anyone who had need.
Joseph, a Levite from Cyprus, whom the apostles called Barnabas(which means “son of encouragement”), sold a field he owned and brought the money and put it at the apostles’ feet
This is one important Bible verse against tithing as it is done today. Here is exactly how the apostles of God taught Christians to behave in the early days of the church.
Those that had landed properties were to sell all they had and bring forth the money which was used to help the poor.
Most surprisingly, was the action of Barnabas. He was a Levite (the tribe according to the Mosaic law that was to receive tithes).
Instead of collecting from the proceeds gotten from those that sold their landed properties, he sold his own land and brought the money and put it at the apostles’ feet.
This simply means the Levitical priesthood was entirely abolished at this time. There was no need to pay tithes anymore and none of the Christians at that time paid tithes to Levites.
In other words, the disciples collected from well-to-do Christians at that time willingly and then distributed among the poor according to their needs.
Therefore, it is scripturally unacceptable to ask Christians to abide by the Levitical priesthood law when the early saints did not follow such principles.
2. The story of Ananias and Saphira
The story of Ananias and Saphira primarily teaches us about honesty. They were one of the early Christians that also sold their landed properties for distribution to the needy.
Most importantly are the words of Peter. He said;
“Ananias, how is it that Satan has so filled your heart that you have lied to the Holy Spirit and have kept for yourself some of the money you received for the land?
Didn’t it belong to you before it was sold? And after it was sold, wasn’t the money at your disposal? What made you think of doing such a thing? You have not lied just to human beings but to God.”
This is an important Bible verse against tithing as it is done today.
Two important phrases are often overlooked in the story of Ananias and Saphira. They are “Didn’t it belong to you before it was sold?” and “wasn’t the money at your disposal?.”
Ananias and his wife Saphira sold their portion of land and then lied to the apostle that they have brought forth all the proceeds from the sale.
This action annoyed Peter who was filled with the holy spirit. Immediately he pronounced judgment on them, and they both lost their lives.
But the most important part of the story is that Ananias and his wife were not under compulsion to give. And they obviously were not told to pay ten percent of all they have got.
They obviously provided even more than was required by the laws of Moses. In other words, there was no fixed limit.
Peter said, “Didn’t it belong to you before it was sold?” meaning that, they had an option to keep the proceeds of the land.
God was not happy because they lied to the holy spirit, not because of their contribution to the service of God.
3. Paul and the Philippians (Philippians 4:15-17)
Moreover, as you Philippians know, in the early days of your acquaintance with the gospel, when I set out from Macedonia, not one church shared with me in the matter of giving and receiving, except you only;
for even when I was in Thessalonica, you sent me aid more than once when I was in need.Not that I desire your gifts; what I desire is that more be credited to your account.
This is yet another bible verse against tithing as it is done today.
In this verse, Paul is appreciating the care he has received from the Philippian church.
But there are two important phrases that are often overlooked.
Paul said “not one church shared with me” and “not that I desire your gifts”
By the first phrase, “not one church shared with me,” it is evident that there were no commandments of tithing at that time. Because, if they were, Paul would have received tithes. But none of the churches gave him anything, except the Philippians.
This completely debunks the concept of spiritual Levites as being preached by some churches today. If Paul was a spiritual Levite, he would have been among the first beneficiary of tithing.
Instead, he never asked anyone to give under compulsion but willingly as God has blessed him/her.
By the last phrase, “not that I desire your gifts,” Paul recognizes the need for church leaders to be content.
In verse 11, Paul said;
I am not saying this because I am in need, for I have learned to be content whatever the circumstances.
4. Give cheerfully as you are blessed
Remember this: Whoever sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and whoever sows generously will also reap generously. Each of you should give what you have decided in your heart to give, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver. And God is able to bless you abundantly, so that in all things at all times, having all that you need, you will abound in every good work
Should you pay tithes? It’s up to you to decide.