Simply put, this BLOG is all about: LIFE STEWARDSHIP. Below you will find notes from Bible studies that cover basic stewardship principles and how to apply them to our lives.

Monday, May 3, 2010

To Tithe or Not to Tithe - Matt 23:23

There was a time when I thought the teachings of the New Testament included a freedom from tithing, that is, under grace, Christians were not required to give a tenth or 10% of their increase to God through the local church.  I have friends that hold to this and we just agree to disagree and continue to have sweet fellowship.  I do feel that I should explain my position.  It's really basic and simple.  I wanted to see if Jesus had anything to say about tithing and if He did, what it was and how I might apply it.

In the Gospel of Matthew, chapter 23 and verse 23, in the middle of the 'Woes' to the Pharisees we see the following: “Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you pay tithe of mint and anise and cummin, and have neglected the weightier matters of the law: justice and mercy and faith. These you ought to have done, without leaving the others undone.
The New King James Version. 1982 (Mt 23:23). Nashville: Thomas Nelson.

Many times I've read through this passage and concentrated on the negative of tithing legalistically.  To do justice to God's Word, in fact, Jesus' own words here, we must look at the full context.  Do you see the last part of the verse?  "These you ought to have done, without leaving the others undone."  Jesus never said, "Thou shalt no longer tithe."  In fact, He really endorses tithing by stating in effect, "you should have not only tithed of these herbs, but also you should have not neglected weightier matters."

  > I respect counter views to mine, and would never make less of God's amazing grace and the freedom we have been given in Christ. 
  > I have been blessed by giving a tithe off of my gross and gladly share that as a testimony of His grace!

Well, that's all for now! Check back later for more REDD-INK!


  1. In Matthew 23:23 Jesus was speaking to the law keepers, not the Christian Church. He had to endorse ALL the Old Testament laws. Jesus was born, lived, and died under the Old Covenant.

    The first time tithe is mentioned in the Bible is Abraham's tithe of pagan spoils of war, and Abraham kept NOTHING for himself. This was NOT an act of worship. Biblical historians agree that it was custom in Abraham's day to give the king a tenth of the war spoils. Furthermore, Abraham made a vow that he would keep none of it. Genesis 14:8-24

    The next mention of a tithe is Jacob's VOW to tithe. Jacob set the conditions, not God. Nowhere in The Word does it tell us that Jacob actually tithed. Genesis 28:10-22

    Next is The Lord's Tithe. God gave His definition as a tenth of crops and animals which came from God's hand, not man's income. God NEVER commanded anyone to tithe on anything that man made or earned. Leviticus 27:30-33.

    The ordinances (instructions, or laws) for The Lord's Tithe are in Numbers 18. God gave strict orders to take His tithe to the Levites. God NEVER changed that command. Anyone who takes God's tithe to anyone other than the Levites is being disobedient to God's Word.

    There are others tithes in the Bible such as the Festival Tithe and the Tithe for the Poor. It is The Lord's Tithe that churches pattern their teaching after.

    Church leaders ignore God's definition of His tithe, and ignore God's ordinances for His tithe. They change the words to fit their pocket book. This is nothing but manipulation of God's Word. They are false teachers.

    The Bible CLEARLY SHOWS that the tithe ENDED at the cross in the Book of Hebrews. In the first nine verses of Hebrews 7 the words tenth or tithes appears SEVEN TIMES. The ONLY place in the Bible, after Calvary, that tithing appears is in Hebrews 7.

    In Hebrews 7:5 we are told that Levi (the Levites) took the tithes under the law. In Hebrews 7:12 we are told that when the priesthood changes, the law will change. Hebrews 7:18 is telling us that Numbers 18 was disannulled. Numbers 18 established the Levitical priesthood, and part of that establishing included tithing. When the Levitical priesthood ended (at Calvary, or at least in the year 70AD when the temple was destroyed), all laws that established that priesthood were canceled. If Numbers 18 wasn't canceled, we would still be under the Levitical priesthood.

    Those who argue they didn't have money or income then are really ignorant of what the scriptures say. They had money and wages, even in Genesis. The farmers had income from barter exchanges, and they had markets to buy and sell as proven in Deuteronomy 14:24-26.

    Those who argue Malachi 3:8, robbing God, need to start with verse 7. God is talking about His ordinances in Numbers 18 which we learned were disannulled according to Hebrews 7:18. Also, if you start with Malachi 1, you will see that God is speaking to the priests, not the people. The priests robbed God of the tithe (Nehemiah 13) and the priests robbed God of the offerings (Malachi 1).

    It is clear, in the scriptures, that tithing ended as a way to finance the priesthood.

    If tithing was proper in the Christian Church, Paul had ample opportunity to teach it, but he did not. Instead, he taught giving, from the heart.

    Furthermore, since the OT tithe was from miracles of God (crops and animals) and NEVER from anything man made or earned, to call a tenth of one's income The Lord's Tithe is cheapening God's tithe and an insult to God.

    At last, giving to the church is NOT giving to God. Jesus said when you give to the poor or needy you are giving to Him. Jesus NEVER said when you give to the church you are giving to Him.

  2. Hey Randy,

    Thank you for always sharing what is right - not just what is easy, preferred, or simple.

    Thank you for reminding us that giving is a privilege and an opportunity to give back to God just a little of what He has given to us!

    Thank you for not making up excuses for not giving...

    Your perspective is refreshing!



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