Scriptures: Matthew 11:5, 2 Corinthians 8:9, Matthew 23:23, Malachi 3:10, Deuteronomy 14:22, Deuteronomy 14:23-26, Deuteronomy 14:27, Deuteronomy 14:28-29
MAT 11:5 The blind receive their sight, and the lame walk, the lepers are cleansed, and the deaf hear, the dead are raised up, and the poor have the gospel preached to them.
What did the blind need from Christ? What did the lame need? What did the lepers need from Christ? What did the deaf need? What did the poor need from Christ? Being poor is not a part of the gospel of Jesus Christ (Luk 4:18). He does not want us poor. He desires that we be abundant and live abundantly (Joh 10:10).
HEART TO GIVE
Inside of every Born Again Believer's heart is the desire to give money into the Kingdom of God. The Holy Spirit placed that desire there. When the Spirit of Christ dwells within us, we desire to give. Jesus gave His life. Father gave His Son. Giving is of God. I believe that when a person truly is translated into the Kingdom of God (Col 1:13) they desire to give into that kingdom.
GIVING IS A MAJOR PART OF OUR WALK WITH THE LORD
A major part of the Believer's life and walk with our Lord is concerning his or her giving of monies into the Kingdom of God. Our Bible teaches a large amount about giving. For most of us it is a part of our weekly worship. Sadly, many times it is done incorrectly.
Often I find Believers who feel abused concerning giving into the Kingdom. They feel someone, or some church, took advantage of the giving desire within us. They are now very leery about giving. Ministry taking advantage of the giving desire for personal gain has truly happened and, as sad as it is, will happen again. It actually is nothing new. We are told of ancient ministry who did exactly that. They were Hophni and Phinehas the sons of Eli (1 Sam 2). According to Thompson Chain Reference Bible, the Hophni and Phinehas event happened about 1171 B.C. Dishonest ministry is nothing new. This is one reason our Bible encourages us to know those that labor among us (1Th 5:12).
JESUS DIED SO WE COULD BE RICH
Jesus died so we could be rich. Do we believe that? It is true.
2CO 8:9 For ye know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, that, though he was rich, yet for your sakes he became poor, that yethrough his poverty might be rich.
Someone would say, "That means he became poor in the spirit so we could be rich in spirit." How can that verse mean that? He had the Spirit without measure (Joh 3:34). The same person would quote "Blessed is the poor in spirit...." (Mat 5:3). Something is wrong with their knowledge. How can it be blessed to be poor in spirit if Jesus died so I could be rich?
WHY DOES GOD WANT US RICH? - BIGGER BARNS?
The truth is we have been brought into the covenant to be rich. He desires we be wealthy so we can establish the covenant in the land.
DEU 8:18 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.
There is a reason the Lord wants us wealthy or rich. That reason is to establish the covenant. What does that mean? The reason, the only reason that I am aware of, that God will give us the power to make wealth is to establish His covenant. Why is this? Because it takes much money to establish His covenant. It takes much money to send one missionary to a foreign county. It takes money to bring anointed ministry to a city to minister to people. It takes money to help people as we preach the gospel to them. It will take millions of dollars to establish His covenant in one small city. The Lord God desires to anoint us and give us the gospel to preach to the poor. He wants, more than we want, to give us power to make wealth so we can establish His covenant. It was so important to Jesus that we be rich that he became poor so we could be rich!
My purpose thus far is to convince us that the knowledge of his glory is available. He will never drop hundred dollar bills out of the sky. He will give us knowledge to access our kingdom for the riches we need.
COVENANT IS ESTABLISHED THROUGH TITHES, OFFERINGS, ALMS
The way giving is done to establish this covenant is through tithes, offerings, and alms. All giving in the kingdom will come under one of those headings.
JESUS SUPPORTED TITHING
We need to establish that Jesus does support the tithe. Jesus does say that we ought to tithe.
MAT 23:23 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.
It's sort of sad that we need to even say that Jesus supports the tithe, but some folk seem to think that he does not. If they do not say that their giving definitely proves that is the way they think.
The tithes is one of the most interesting, yet sometimes confusing topics in the Scriptures. The cause of the confusion is man's perception and interpretation of God's word. A major cause of interest is the promise that accompany the tithes. That promise is the Lord becomes responsible for me when I tithe. In Malachi 3 He promises that He will rebuke the devourer and open heaven to bless me when I tithe.
MAL 3:10 Bring ye all the tithes [is tithes singular or plural?] 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 [is windows singular or plural?] of heaven, and pour you out a blessing [is blessing singular or plural?], that there shall not be room enough to receive it. 11 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.
(NIV and NASV) MAL 3:10 Bring the whole tithe into the storehouse....
From a theological view, the word "tithe" in it's different forms, is used thirty-two times in the Bible. We find twenty-five uses in the Old Testament and seven uses in the New Testament. The word simply means one tenth. Though the Holy Spirit uses the term "tithe" numbers of times, there are other words that the Lord associates with the word tithe. Some of these words are first, firstfruit, firstfruits, firstlings, etc. The first part of our lives is what the Lord is interested in. He knows, for us to succeed, He must be first in every area of our lives. If He is first in our treasury, then He is first in our heart and lives.
Before we get into the wonderful promises of the tithe, allow me to attempt to explain what I understand about the tithe. Years ago I desired to understand the tithe. I began looking at Scriptures. My understanding about the tithe was only part of what I found the Scriptures said. In my understanding, there was one tithe that I was to take to God's Storehouse. As I studied, I also found mention of a tithe that I took for myself. I also found there was another tithe that I paid every third year. I found there were actually three tithes, not only one. Let's look at these.
THE LORD'S TITHE
This is the tithe we are the most familiar with. It is the one we bring and give to the Kingdom. It is the firstfruits of our labor. This is the tithe we do the most.
DEU 14:22 Thou shalt truly tithe [is tithe singular or plural?] all the increase of thy seed, that the field bringeth forth year by year.
This tithe (singular) was done every time a harvest or increase came in. I relate to this by my income which is weekly. Every week I truly tithe all the increase.
I found another tithe that no one every told me about. This is my tithe. When I saw this and activated this, it changed my life. I saw that the Lord was truly serious about me having money and enjoying life. The Lord God wanted me to take my family on a vacation. He has this worked into the tithes (plural). Have you every heard of this tithe? It's in the Scriptures and it is as much a part of tithing as the first type of tithe.
DEU 14:23 And thou shalt eat before the LORD thy God, in the place which he shall choose to place his name there, the tithe of thy corn, of thy wine, and of thine oil, and the firstlings of thy herds and of thy flocks; that thou mayest learn to fear the LORD thy God always. 24 And if the way be too long for thee, so that thou art not able to carry it; or if the place be too far from thee, which the LORD thy God shall choose to set his name there, when the LORD thy God hath blessed thee: 25 Then shalt thou turn it into money, and bind up the money in thine hand, and shalt go unto the place which the LORD thy God shall choose: 26 And thou shalt bestow that money for whatsoever thy soul lusteth after, for oxen, or for sheep, or for wine, or for strong drink, or for whatsoever thy soul desireth: and thou shalt eat there before the LORD thy God, and thou shalt rejoice, thou, and thine household
Is this a "never preached" passage or what? Other than me, who else have you ever heard deal with this passage? I love it! I don't love it because of the strong drink stuff, but because I see a principle in God's love and concern for his people.
The Lord is explaining the tithes (plural) in Deuteronomy chapter fourteen verses twenty-two through twenty-nine. Verse twenty-two is the tithe we give Him. Verses twenty-three through twenty-six is the tithe we give ourselves.
Understanding Jewish customs helps a little here. Three times a year the Israelites enjoyed three feasts. The Lord called these feasts Passover, Pentecost, and Tabernacles. They each lasted several days, so God worked into their tithing the money to come and enjoy the feasts. Three times a year every Israelite enjoyed three vacations paid for by the tithe given themselves! With this money they could do anything they wanted. It was for "whatsoever thy soul lusteth after."
When I began to walk in this it changed my life. I saw this tithe as important as the first tithe. I began giving the Kingdom of God 10% and giving me 10%. If I made $500.00 a week, I paid $50.00 to the Lord and I paid $50.00 to me. I accumulate this and I spent it on whatever I wanted. I enjoy my life. Judy and I went to seminars. We visited ministries. We continue to do that. I take my family on vacations. I buy what I want and I do not feel guilty about using the money. The Lord loves us so much that He provides for our enjoyment. When we begin to see this, there is no doubt that God desires us to have money.
It is also from this tithe that I remember the Levite - or ministry. I give to ministry from what I have stored up from this tithe. The Lord God is so cool.
DEU 14:27 And the Levite that is within thy gates; thou shalt not forsake him; for he hath no part nor inheritance with thee.
I never worry about not having money to put in the offering for ministry. I set it aside and it is waiting for want I want to use it on. Paul said it is a good thing to give carnal things to those who minister spiritual things to us. I am always ready to establish the covenant by blessing men and women of God. I have shared this and preached this for years. The people who walk in this love it!
Beginning this tithe in our personal finances is similar to beginning the first tithe. There is no money. We will either trust God and do it, or we work towards doing it. I personally found that He took care of this tithe exactly as He took care of the first tithe. I did it and He made a way. There was no money for it. Somehow I began it and have done it for fifteen years without missing a time. My bills remained current. My purpose is not to get rich for the god of mammon. My purpose is to establish the covenant. I move in faith or absolute assurance and confidence that God will do what He said He would do if I do what I am supposed to do. He loves me and He wants me to have an abundant life. I seek Him, and He rewards me.
Q. What is the tithe called in Deuteronomy 14:22? tithe
Q. What is the tithe called in Deuteronomy 14:23? tithe
My point is both are a tithe and part of the tithes or whole tithe of Malachi 3:10. The people were not only robing God by not giving the tithe to him. They were also robing God by not giving tithe to their self or to ministry. The covenant was not being established.
THE ALMS TITHE
The Scriptures call the third tithe in Deuteronomy 14 the third year tithe. It is what I call the Alms tithe. The New Testament word for giving to the needy is alms. We do not find the word "alms" in the Old Testament although the principle is surely there. We will talk more about the alms later. However, I want to mention this giving here to show the three types of tithes.
DEU 14:28 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: 29 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.
At the end of every third year the Lord received another tithe for the needy. This went to people in the city such as the Levite who was not doing well, strangers, the fatherless, widows, etc. It was to take care of those in need. We turn much of this need today over to government agencies. That is not God's plan. God's people should take care of the needy. The third year tithe would take care of this. This would also give the church opportunity to preach the gospel of the Kingdom to the poor.
I began to take 10% and give it to the Kingdom of God - the Storehouse where God planted me. I took 10% and placed it into a savings as my tithe to myself. I took 1/3 of a tithe and began to give it to those in need. Using the $500.00 salary example, every week I gave $50.00 to the Kingdom of God, $50.00 to myself, and $17.00 to those in need. I promise you, and you can ask my wife, we have never been short. There were times we were tight, but never short.
I learned that in God's financial program He desires that we first seek the Kingdom of God. If we will do that, He will add everything else we need. It's His promise, but we must do it His way. In His financial program there is money for the Kingdom of God, money for the giver, and money for the needy.