Some of the remnant people are having trouble paying their regular bills, of which our Lord has promised to help us with. Yes, the Lord promised to care for us in this area, but only when we are faithful to our duty first. Those of us that tithe see that the Lord does indeed give us what we need each and every month, but not always what we want. He is truly a Father to His children in that respect because quite often we want that which is not good for us, and so out of love for us, He prevents such a prayer from being answered. For example, can you imagine all the trials and temptations we go through in life being compiled along with having massive riches some of us dream about?
1 Timothy 6:9 “But they that will be rich fall into temptation and a snare, and into many foolish and hurtful lusts, which drown men in destruction and perdition.”
Often the Lord keeps riches from His people simply because He knows what it can do to us. How many of us have heard about those people that have gone from rags to riches by winning the lottery only to see their lives completely destroyed by the money? First off, the lottery is gambling, and gambling is in fact a sin. How so you ask? What is the main objective to gambling? A quick unnatural increase in money without working for it. Ask any gambler and they will tell you, once you get your first “big win” you are hooked into an unnatural lust for money.
Proverbs 13:11 “Wealth gotten by vanity shall be diminished: but he that gathereth by labour shall increase.”
Ecclesiastes 5:10 “He that loveth silver shall not be satisfied with silver; nor he that loveth abundance with increase: this is also vanity.”
1 Timothy 6:10 “For the love of money is the root of all evil: which while some coveted after, they have erred from the faith, and pierced themselves through with many sorrows.”
Hebrews 13:5 “Let your conversation be without covetousness; and be content with such things as ye have: for he hath said, I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee.”
When the devil helps them win riches the Lord did not plan for them, they fall hard. They actually made a TV special on Discovery channel some years back about how people were destroyed by winning millions. This ended up on TV because some look at it as a strange phenomenon. It’s amazing what money can do to some people’s lives. Yes, some people are rich by God’s will, but only because He needs them to help further His message by using their riches to do so. Even so, what does the Lord declare to those that are given much in this world?
1 Timothy 6:17 “Charge them that are rich in this world, that they be not highminded, nor trust in uncertain riches, but in the living God, who giveth us richly all things to enjoy;”
Years ago, when I saw one of those specials on Discovery, I found that almost all of them that won the lottery blew their fortunes on absolutely ridiculous things! Even though the lottery payments were set in stone to only last 20 years if received over time, every one of them spent the money as if it would never run out. The fix was in and Satan had created a love for money within their hearts. They trusted the riches, instead of the God of Heaven, and their idol failed each and every one of them. What most fail to realize is, the Lord lays claim to all they own, as it is His gift to them in whatever measure He declares is good for them.
Haggai 2:8 “The silver is mine, and the gold is mine, saith the LORD of hosts.”
Psalms 50:10-11 “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.”
The truth then is, man truly doesn’t own anything. We were born naked bringing nothing into this world, and we will most assuredly die without taking anything out as well.
1 Timothy 6:7 “For we brought nothing into this world, and it is certain we can carry nothing out.”
Jesus said in …
Matthew 25:14 “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.”
Our capabilities and talents are only lent to us, and that by these God is testing us to see whether we will use these entrusted talents to honor God and work for the good of our brethren and neighbors.
Since we came into the world with nary a stitch of clothing upon us, how is it man is able to gain anything, let alone the power to get wealth? It all has to do with the Father’s will for each individual.
Deuteronomy 8:18 “But thou shalt remember the LORD thy God: for it is he that giveth thee power to get wealth …”
God also entrusts men with means. He gives them power to get wealth. And He asks for a return of His own. Our money has not been given us that we might honor and glorify ourselves. As faithful stewards we are to use it for the honor and glory of God.
Since it is all God’s decision as to what lot in life we receive, especially since this is also the same God that grants us eternal life when all is said and done, what should be our attitude toward such a God as this?
Luke 10:27 “And he answering said, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy strength, and with all thy mind …”
Besides accepting Christ as Lord, as is every man’s God given right, wise choice, and Heavenly gift, how else can we honor God and declare Him Lord in our life?
Proverbs 3:9 “Honour the LORD with thy substance, and with the firstfruits of all thine increase:”
How do we honor Him in this way? What is it He is asking us to do here?
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.”
According to this passage, the Lord literally owns the tithe before He gives it. Just like the tree in the midst of the garden, and just like any test we experience in life, tithing is also used by our Father to see if we will do His will. He gives us whatever we need in life to pay our bills, as well as a few extra blessings. Seriously, look around in your own home and you will find all sorts of things that cannot be eaten. So, yes, He understands that we need the little extras in life from time to time.
Since we understand, according to Leviticus, that the tithe is holy unto the Lord, if we do not give back that which He has given in the first place as a test unto us to further the work of the Gospel, what sin are we guilty of?
Malachi 3:8 “Will a man rob God? Yet ye have robbed me. But ye say, Wherein have we robbed thee? In tithes and offerings.”
What is the Lord talking about here? How do we rob Him? Is it when we use our tithes to pay our bills, to help friends in need, get a toy we’ve been craving for, or simply refusing to tithe altogether? Why does He consider it robbery? Think about it. First of all, it was never your money to begin with, just like the tree in the Garden of Eden was not given to Adam and Eve. The tithe was given to you only so that you would give it back. When you don’t, you rob God. And if that’s not bad enough for the Christian to contemplate, perhaps reading what Ecclesiastes 5:13 says may help; which is,
Ecclesiastes 5:13 “There is a sore evil which I have seen under the sun, namely, riches kept for the owners thereof to their hurt.”
The other toss of the coin is, there are many wonderful things the Lord wants to do through His people, especially in the last days, but when they refuse to tithe, the ministers called to do the work are crippled, and the work slows to a crawl and even stops at times.
Tithing assures that others get the same blessing you receive. This is how the church was able to spread the message 2000 years ago. This is how it spreads today.
The amazing thing here is, many seek a way to do God’s work in their lives that are unable to teach or preach. Tithing is just such a blessing for all concerned. Even if you are not called to preach or teach, you can still do the work of the Lord by tithing to those that are called to teach and preach. However, if you refuse to do as the Lord leads, then you literally rob Him of what is rightfully His, and that which He wants done is slowed by your disobedience.
Who can the tithe be sent to?
According to the Word of this God we worship, tithe is to be used in a very specific manner.
Hebrews 7:1-2 “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;”
From the earliest times, the Lord claimed a tithe as His; and this claim was recognized and honored. Abraham paid tithes to Melchizedek, the priest of the most high God.
Also notice this …
Christ is of the order of Melchizedek, and Christ is our High Priest today. That being the case, is it not written that “Abraham paid a faithful tithe to Melchizedek;”?
Genesis 14:18-20 “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.”
And Jacob promised to pay tithe of all, even if he received only food and raiment.
Genesis 28:20-22 “And Jacob vowed a vow, saying, If God will be with me, and will keep me in this way that I go, and will give me bread to eat, and raiment to put on, So that I come again to my father’s house in peace; then shall the LORD be my God: 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.”
Those who belong to the great household of faith and are children of Abraham, will “do the works of Abraham.” They will pay a faithful tithe for the support of those who, like the Levitical priests, give their lives for the advancement of Christ’s kingdom upon the earth. Just as the priest lived “of the things of the temple, … even so hath the Lord ordained that they which preach the gospel should live of the gospel.” (the two pieces of Scripture here are written in their entirety below)
Some wonder if this priesthood is still valid today.
Hebrews 6:20 “Whither the forerunner is for us entered, even Jesus, made an high priest for ever after the order of Melchisedec.”
If Abraham paid tithe to the order of Melchisedec, and Jesus, who is in fact our high priest of the very same order, are we to follow Abraham’s lead here?
Galatians 3:29 “And if ye be Christ’s, then are ye Abraham’s seed, and heirs according to the promise.”
Does Jesus confirm that which Paul preaches here to be truth?
John 8:39 “They answered and said unto him, Abraham is our father. Jesus saith unto them, If ye were Abraham’s children, ye would do the works of Abraham.“
Better yet, while Jesus walked among us 2000 years ago, did He approve of the system of tithe even then?
Matthew 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.”
He acknowledged they were doing right by paying tithe, and in the same breath rebuked them for ignoring other aspects of their duty. What does Paul say about those that did the work of the Lord in the Old Testament temple?
1 Corinthians 9:13 “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?”
The tithe is to be given to the minister or pastor that you feel is blessed to do the Lord’s work as his only work on earth. In other words, when speaking of ministers that qualify to receive the tithe, this only applies to those that are working full time in ministry. And rightly so because as it is written in,
1 Corinthians 9:14 “Even so hath the Lord ordained that they which preach the gospel should live of the gospel.”
So, in reality, as they did in the Old Testament, they still do so in the New. Jesus said in …
Matthew 22:21 “They say unto him, Caesar’s. Then saith he unto them, Render therefore unto Caesar the things which are Caesar’s; and unto God the things that are God’s.”
As we know, the Word says the tithe is holy unto the Lord. This means we must obey and render unto God that which is His. Paul also confirms years later that it is the duty of the New Testament Christian to give carnal means unto the ministers that were ordained to give them the spiritual things they needed.
1 Corinthians 9:11 “If we have sown unto you spiritual things, is it a great thing if we shall reap your carnal things?”
Romans 15:27 “It hath pleased them verily; and their debtors they are. For if the Gentiles have been made partakers of their spiritual things, their duty is also to minister unto them in carnal things.”
As we learned earlier, the main reason the Gentiles were to tithe their carnal means unto the ministers is because
1 Corinthians 9:14 “Even so hath the Lord ordained that they which preach the gospel should live of the gospel.”
In other words, if the people didn’t tithe, the ministers would have to get secular jobs and therefore be unable to dedicate all their time to doing the work of God. Their studies would be less frequent, their knowledge of God’s will would weaken, their sermons would be less blessed, and the people would suffer for it. Amazing isn’t it? When the people refuse to tithe, THEY are the ones that suffer spiritually for it. This is why we see a movement today by many false teachers that declare the tithe was done away with at the cross.
What I am about to share is for those among the remnant people that are having financial hardships that do not tithe. Once I started to send tithes to other ministers that I trusted as preachers of present truth, the Lord blessed us in ways I cannot put into words. No, I did not become a millionaire, nor did I make any more money after tithing properly, and no my bills did not suddenly disappear. What I saw Him do was this. Before I was tithing properly, I was unable to pay my bills with 100% of my money each month. I was always late on my bills. Now that I was tithing properly, not only was I able to pay all my bills on time, even though I was doing so with 10% missing off the top, and a private amount missing in love offerings, I discovered each month that I would have money left over at the end of the month to bless my family with. I don’t know how the Lord did this, but suffice it to say, the car didn’t seem to break down anymore, the fridge ran smoother, and other unexpected expenses seemed to be far less in number through the month. It finally dawned on me one day that the Lord was actually protecting our finances just as He promised He would! And it was all done merely because we started to tithe properly!
Are you aware that this is one of those times in Scripture where the Lord says it’s ok to test Him?
Malachi 3:10 “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.”
One of the amazing things about tithe is, it’s one way to see God’s hand move. It makes God’s Word become very real in our lives. This is why the devil tempts people not to tithe! When I saw how the Lord blessed our finances it took me back a few steps. I was very surprised to say the least. At first I saw it as an amazing sign that He was involved in my life in a very personal way. And then conviction rested upon me that I was in fact robbing God when I held back the tithe.
We all know how unexpected expenses pop up now and again. These are, of course, tests from the Lord to see if we will continue to be faithful with our tithe. While at the same time serving as warnings to those of us that are refusing to follow His will altogether. If we do as He commands in His Word, He will prevent Satan from taking all our hard-earned cash on unexpected expenses!
Malachi 3:11 “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.”
And by the way, when unexpected financial emergencies arise, and the only extra cash you have on hand is your tithe, there is no sin in using that tithe to pay for the emergency as long as you replace the tithe monies as quickly as possible. Just because you had an emergency doesn’t mean you don’t have to tithe. You still owe that money to the Lord. This too is a test to see what you will do at your next tithe interval. Reason being is, now you’re sending twice as much the following month, and it can become tempting not to send it.
The enemy of souls will try to tempt you by making you focus on how much money you’re actually sending off. Especially when it’s a lot more than you’re used to sending, even though you owe it. If you are faithful to the Lord, He will do as He promised, and all will be well.
Luke 6:38 “Give, and it shall be given unto you; good measure, pressed down, and shaken together, and running over, shall men give into your bosom. For with the same measure that ye mete withal it shall be measured to you again.”
Both my wife and I, as many of you have no doubt witnessed, when we give unto the Lord in tithes He blesses us as promised. And when we give love offerings, He blesses us in the way in which we give here as well. But here it is all based on how we give. Tithing is a set-in stone 10%. Love offerings are based on your heart. If we are generous in our love offerings, the Lord is generous in the blessings. If we are stingy, then our blessing will be small as well. Because He clearly said in that passage, that He bases our blessings on how we bless others. Love offerings can be used for many things, and not just for the ministers. There are many things love offerings can be used for. One quick example is it can be used for the poor.
2 Corinthians 9:6 “But this I say, He which soweth sparingly shall reap also sparingly; and he which soweth bountifully shall reap also bountifully.”
1 John 3:17 “But whoso hath this world’s good, and seeth his brother have need, and shutteth up his bowels of compassion from him, how dwelleth the love of God in him?”
Love offerings are not in replacement of, but are in addition to, regular tithes.
Some think it’s okay to send their tithe to the poor. However, as we just learned, this is not to be done. Love offerings can be given to them, but never the tithe.
The tithe is to be especially devoted to the support of those who are declaring God’s message to the world, and it should not be diverted from this purpose.
Each of us should regularly examine our income, which is all a blessing from God, and set apart the tithe as a separate fund, to be sacredly the Lord’s. This fund should not, in any way, be devoted to any other use; it is to be devoted solely to support the ministry of the gospel. After the tithe is set apart, let gifts and offering be apportioned, “as God hath prospered” you.
We can, and we must help the poor, yes, but not by crippling the work of the Lord. We are not to give love offerings to the point of crippling ourselves either. This is why, when speaking of helping the poor in Jerusalem, Paul said that those who give should only give as God hath prospered them.
1 Corinthians 16:2 “Upon the first day of the week let every one of you lay by him in store, as God hath prospered him, that there be no gatherings when I come.”
All of us have been given means by which to bless our fellow man. We should do so as often as the Lord allows, but tithing, that is something he commands of His people to be given with every increase. If we are truly striving unto that perfection, it will be noted in our obedience to our God.
James 2:14-20 “What doth it profit, my brethren, though a man say he hath faith, and have not works? can faith save him? If a brother or sister be naked, and destitute of daily food, And one of you say unto them, Depart in peace, be ye warmed and filled; notwithstanding ye give them not those things which are needful to the body; what doth it profit? Even so faith, if it hath not works, is dead, being alone. Yea, a man may say, Thou hast faith, and I have works: shew me thy faith without thy works, and I will shew thee my faith by my works. Thou believest that there is one God; thou doest well: the devils also believe, and tremble. But wilt thou know, O vain man, that faith without works is dead?”
If you truly want all the blessings the Lord has to offer, if you truly want to be counted among that small number of faithful, if you truly want to see your Father in Heaven smile, then we must follow our Lord’s lead, His perfect example, in this.
John 5:30 “I can of mine own self do nothing: as I hear, I judge: and my judgment is just; because I seek not mine own will, but the will of the Father which hath sent me.”