Tithes and offerings for God are an acknowledgement of His claim on us by creation, and they are also an acknowledgement of His claim by redemption. Because all our power is derived from Christ, these offerings are to flow from us to God. They are to keep ever before us the claim of redemption, the greatest of all claims, and the one that involves every other. The realization of the sacrifice made in our behalf is ever to be fresh in our minds and is ever to exert an influence on our thoughts and plans. Christ is to be indeed as one crucified among us.
"Know ye not that . . . ye are not your own? For ye are bought with a price." 1 Corinthians 6:19, 20. What a price has been paid for us! Behold the cross, and the Victim uplifted upon it. Look at those hands, pierced with the cruel nails. Look at His feet, fastened with spikes to the tree. Christ bore our sins in His own body. That suffering, that agony, is the price of your redemption. The word of command was given: "Deliver them from going down to perish eternally. I have found a ransom."
It is God who blesses men with property, and He does this that they may be able to give toward the advancement of His cause. He sends the sunshine and the rain. He causes vegetation to flourish. He gives health and the ability to acquire means. All our blessings come from His bountiful hand. In turn, He would have men and women show their gratitude by returning Him a portion in tithes and offerings - in thank offerings, in freewill offerings, in trespass offerings. Should means flow into the treasury in accordance with this divinely appointed plan, - a tenth of all the increase, and liberal offerings, - there would be an abundance for the advancement of the Lord's work.
"Honour the LORD with thy substance, and with the firstfruits of all thine increase:" Proverbs 3:9.
"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. 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." Leviticus 27:30, 32.
Note: The word "Maasrah" interpreted as tithe actually means "a tenth" according to Strong's Exhaustive Concordance of the Bible.
"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. Neither must the children of Israel henceforth come nigh the tabernacle of the congregation, lest they bear sin, and die. But the Levites shall do the service of the tabernacle of the congregation, and they shall bear their iniquity: it shall be a statute for ever throughout your generations, that among the children of Israel they have no inheritance." Numbers 18:21-23.
"If we have sown unto you spiritual things, is it a great thing if we shall reap your carnal things? If others be partakers of this power over you, are not we rather? Nevertheless we have not used this power; but suffer all things, lest we should hinder the gospel of Christ. Do ye not know that they which minister about holy things live of the things of the temple? and they which wait at the altar are partakers with the altar? Even so hath the Lord ordained that they which preach the gospel should live of the gospel." 1 Corinthians 9:11-14.
"The earth is the LORD'S, and the fulness thereof; the world, and they that dwell therein." Psalms 24:1.
"The silver is mine, and the gold is mine, saith the LORD of hosts." Haggai 2:8.
"For every beast of the forest is mine, and the cattle upon a thousand hills. I know all the fowls of the mountains: and the wild beasts of the field are mine." Psalms 50:10, 11.
"But thou shalt remember the LORD thy God: for it is he that giveth thee power to get wealth, that he may establish his covenant which he sware unto thy fathers, as it is this day." Deuteronomy 8:18.
"For the kingdom of heaven is as a man travelling into a far country, who called his own servants, and delivered unto them his goods." Matthew 25:14.
"For this Melchisedec, king of Salem, priest of the most high God, who met Abraham returning from the slaughter of the kings, and blessed him; 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;" Hebrews 7:1, 2.
Read the original story:
"And the king of Sodom went out to meet him after his return from the slaughter of Chedorlaomer, and of the kings that were with him, at the valley of Shaveh, which is the king's dale. 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." Genesis 14:17-20.
"And he called the name of that place Bethel: but the name of that city was called Luz at the first. And this stone, which I have set for a pillar, shall be God's house: and of all that thou shalt give me I will surely give the tenth unto thee." Genesis 28:19, 22.
Note: It is thus evident that the duty of paying tithes was recognised by the patriarchs as a religious obligation.
"Whither the forerunner is for us entered, even Jesus, made an high priest for ever after the order of Melchisedec." Hebrews 6:20.
Note: As Christ's priesthood succeeded the Aaronic or Levitical priesthood, which was supported by the tithes of Israel, and as Christ was made a priest after the order of Melchisedec, who received tithes of the patriarchs before the Levitical priesthood was ordained, it is but logical and natural to conclude that the ministry under Christ's priesthood should be supported by the same means as were both of these priesthoods, the tithes of God's people.
"Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye pay tithe of mint and anise and cummin, and have omitted the weightier matters of the law, judgment, mercy, and faith: these ought ye to have done, and not to leave the other undone." Matthew 23:23.
"Will a man rob God? Yet ye have robbed me. But ye say, Wherein have we robbed thee? In tithes and offerings." Malachi 3:8.
"Ye are cursed with a curse: for ye have robbed me, even this whole nation." Malachi 3:9.
"Bring ye all the tithes into the storehouse, that there may be meat in mine house, and prove me now herewith, saith the LORD of hosts, 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. And I will rebuke the devourer for your sakes, and he shall not destroy the fruits of your ground; neither shall your vine cast her fruit before the time in the field, saith the LORD of hosts." Malachi 3:10, 11.
Commitment:- I believe that God expects me to pay tithe on my increase which also includes crops and herds, for the preaching of His gospel message.
© S. D. Goeldner, November, 2011. Last updated
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