Tithe Follow-Up

There are 7 articles in the “Tithe” series. Please click HERE for all 7 articles. They are:
1. To Tithe Or Not To Tithe: The $earch For Truth
2. Tithe Follow-Up
3. The Tithe: Who’s Robbing Who?
4. Just What WAS Abraham’s Example?
5. Fun With Numbers
6. The Tithe: Final Thoughts
7. The Tithe Revisited
Written between 2000-2002, they were posted on my former web site Lord, You Are (dot) com (now defunct). Exposing the falsehood of the modern tithe doctrine was instrumental in setting me free from man’s Laodicean traditional church. As always, I pray the Lord will use them to set you free from false teaching and guilt-based giving. 

Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,

In the past when I’ve sent out an article by e-mail list, I typically receive 3-4 replies and I respond to each one individually.

donottithe19The article To Tithe Or Not To Tithe – The $earch For Truth has received over 60 replies within a day of publication and I’m hard pressed to respond to each one individually. Readers of the newsletter are now forwarding the article, and I’m receiving a 2nd generation of replies. Most are words of encouragement and agreement, others affirm that the Lord has been revealing the same truth to them in recent months – some have been bullied into silence about the truth. Several said the article finally settled the tithe issue for them, and the Holy Spirit has given them peace and the freedom to give as the Lord leads (Praise the Lord!).

A few dear brothers and sisters also received permission from the Lord to sow into their own ministries,  which is a wonderful idea. I didn’t mention in the article, but the Lord has had me sow into my own ministry a few times in the past. Once in my early 20’s (I’m 60 now) I had a Christian band and a public music ministry. For a time we used our offerings to purchase a PA system and over the course of 4-5 years, we sang at 200 churches, prisons, military bases, and schools in the Seattle area. We had a blast going wherever we were invited and the Lord blessed us. We had good jobs so whatever we received from the concerts was given to the poor, or donated to area food banks. More recently, the Lord launched my wife Karen and I into music ministry, and we purchased a small sound system for our concerts.

After hearing from one sister who just received the Lord’s blessing to sow to her ministry in foreign missions, the Lord spoke to my heart about our ministry. A few years ago, the Lord called me via 1st Timothy 1:12 (NKJV) and impressed my wife and I to move from the Seattle area to north central Illinois. We incurred moving expenses, but we never considered them ministry expenses even though it was the Lord who directed us to move here for ministry. The Lord has impressed on me that our moving expenses are indeed ministry expenses and that it is OK to use what we would normally give to pay the moving expenses. Your responses have been a real blessing to me, and I’m glad to share another way in which the Lord has set me free to give as He leads me to give. Praise Him!

The Lord has reminded me of the verse “Delight yourself in the Lord, and He will give you the desires of your heart” (Psalm 37:4 ). I sense in many of your replies that your heart’s desire is for ministry, but you have been held back for lack of funding because you give your entire offering to the church you attend. I know several of the replies struck me as teachers, compassion ministries, encouragers and missionaries – in waiting. I believe the Lord wants me to encourage you to take that step of faith as He leads you, and sow seed money for the ministry He has for you ( Ephesians 2:10 ). It’s OK to do that. ;^) Note that giving to your own ministry is not tax deductible unless you have a registered not-for-profit organization. I’ll save you the embarrassment of asking the Lord about that; when I complained that a gift He’d asked me to give was not tax deductible, His reply was “So!?! I’m good for it!” ;^) (Oh me of little faith! ;^)

donottithe12A few of the replies have been from a brother or sister in bondage over the Tithe issue. Years of hearing the tithe lie has robbed them of the joy of giving as they struggle to obey the rules they’ve been taught: “you must give 10% to the church or you have robbed God and He won’t bless you”. Is that out of my gross or net earnings? “Do you want a ‘gross’ or a ‘net’ blessing?” Argh! There was one such reply that brought me to travail (weeping intercessory prayer). What the enemy has done to that dear sister grieves me deeply.

I want to share briefly 2 letters that raised 3 objections to the article and address the points of objection. As you exercise your freedom to give as the Lord leads, you’ll no doubt hear these objections and I feel led to share what the Lord has shown me. The Lord had me write the article around Malachi 3:8-10 . The objections refer to a few other scriptures that are often twisted and manipulated to support the tithe.

The “Melchizedek” Argument ( Genesis 14:18-20 )

Abraham gave a “tenth” (NIV) or “tithe” (KJV) to “Melchizedek” the King of ‘Salem (Jerusalem), High Priest of God, in Genesis 14:18-20 . The “tenth/tithe” was given out of the spoils of war – plunder, following Abraham’s victory over King Kedorlaomer and those kings allied with him after they had captured Abraham’s nephew Lot, Lot’s family and possessions, and the possessions of Sodom and Gomorrah ( Genesis 14:11-12 ). The person who found fault with the tithe article notes the parallels between “Melchizedek” King of ‘Salem who received Abraham’s tithe of spoils ( Genesis 14:18-20 ) and Jesus who is High Priest in the order of “Melchizedek” (several mentions in Hebrews 5-7 ).

A close read of Hebrews 7 reveals that the author is NOT writing a defense of the “tenth/tithe” though it is mentioned several times. Rather, the author makes a case for Jesus as our eternal high priest, by comparing Jesus to Melchizedek whom Abraham esteemed by a voluntary tithe. To help the Hebrew people understand Jesus, the author basically asks a rhetorical question: “if Melchizedek was great though he was just a man, how much greater then is Jesus who was raised from the dead, and lives forever”. The author also discusses the end of the Levite priesthood and the effect Christ’s death has on the practice of the Law ( Hebrews 7:11-12 , Hebrews 7:18-19 ). Hebrews explains that Christ is the final and everlasting sacrifice and that He is our High Priest before God forever ( Hebrews 7:24 ) in the order of (like) Melchizedek ( Genesis 14:18-20 , Hebrews 7:11 ).

A Tenth of Everything? Define Everything!

Abraham lived near the great trees of Mamre the Amorite ( Genesis 14:13 ) at Hebron ( Genesis 13:18 ). Hebron is about 15 miles south of Jerusalem. The Genesis account says Abraham pursued Kedorlaomer north “as far as Dan” ( Genesis 14:14 ) which is about 100 miles north of Jerusalem. When Abraham and his men caught up with Kedorlaomer at Dan, Abraham divided his men and attacked during the night, giving chase as far north as Hobah (north of Damascus) which is 30 miles north of Dan ( Genesis 14:15-16 ). Abraham’s pursuit took him about 145 miles north of his home in Hebron. Following his victory over Kedorlaomer, Melchizedek came out to meet Abraham in King’s Valley (to the east of Jerusalem) as he returned from Hobah ( Genesis 14:17-18 , Hebrews 7:1 ). Abraham’s home in Hebron was still another 15 miles to the south of King’s Valley. Unless Abraham carried his household possessions with him to Dan and back (about 290 miles round trip), Abraham gave to Melchizedek only out of the spoils – plunder he carried back from his victory over Kedorlaomer ( Hebrews 7:2, 7:4 ). In that sense, it was Kedorlaomer, the enemy, who paid the tithe.

There are important elements to consider in the story of Abraham’s victory over Kedorlaomer. A map in my Bible suggests the location for Sodom and Gomorrah near Zoar ( Genesis 13:10 ), SE of the Dead Sea, which is about 50 miles from Hebron where Abraham lived. News was spread by word of mouth. It took time for word of Kedorlaomer’s conquest of Sodom and Gomorrah to reach Abraham in Hebron. It took time for Abraham to assemble an army of 318 trained men from his household ( Genesis 14:14 ). All the while, Kedorlaomer was making his way north with Lot, his family, and the plunder of Sodom and Gomorrah, presumably making his way northward in the plains area east of the Jordan River, Dead Sea and Mt. Seir.

The mileage figures I used in the paragraph above, assume Abraham and his men headed due north from Hebron, on the west side of the Jordan River and Dead sea, converging on Kedorlaomer at Dan. If Abraham turned south from Hebron and went around the south end of the Dead Sea, through Zoar and Sodom and Gomorrah, it would be necessary to add at least 80 miles to the round trip figure above.

My point with all the discussion of mileage and geography, is that a small army of 318 men, in pursuit of a powerful army with a substantial ‘head start’, must travel light. I assume Abraham and his men pursued Kedorlaomer on foot, and carried only swords and shields, minimal food and water. A ‘light infantry’ going off to war, does NOT carry their household possessions with them, their silver and gold, nor did they drive their flocks and heards before them when in pursuit of Kedorlaomer.

Undoubtedly Abraham and his men ran in  marathon-like fashion to catch up with Kedorlaomer. Their northward pursuit was over 115 miles of hilly terrain west of the Jordan and Dead Sea. If they turned south and followed Kedorlaomer’s tracks from Sodom and Gomorrah, Abraham and his men would have run nearly 200 miles before catching up with Kedorlaomer.

That Abraham’s home was still 15-20 miles south from where he met up with Melchizedek in the King’s Valley, shows a clear distinction between giving a tenth out of the plunder of war that Abraham brought back with him from Dan, and Abraham’s personal WEALTH and INCOME which remained at Abraham’s household in Hebron. Interestingly, Genesis 13 says Abraham was already wealthy with silver, gold, and livestock, before he even moved to Hebron. Abraham did NOT tithe out of his INCOME.

There is a distinct difference between Abraham’s one time voluntary thank offering out of the plunders of war, and what was later instituted by the Law of Moses as the ongoing tithe for the Levite priesthood. I believe that difference is the reason the NIV Bible translates the word “ma’aser” (Strong’s Reference #4643) in Genesis 14:20 as “tenth” and not “tithe”.

donottithe2It is a tremendous perversion of scripture to take a perpetual tithe from the wages of the sons of God – the Church – when the original tithe was a one time voluntary thank offering given by Abraham to Melchizedek from the plunder of an enemy! It is shameful to treat the sons of God like the enemy! How should the sons be treated? Consider Jesus response to the temple tax. Jesus asked Peter “What thinkest thou, Simon? The kings of the earth, from whom do they receive toll or tribute? From their sons, or from strangers?” Peter answered “From strangers” and Jesus replied “Therefore the sons are free” . ( Matthew 17:24-27 ).

Another point to ponder from Genesis 14:18-20 is simply that Melchizedek did not ask Abraham for a tenth of the plunder. How is it that ministers can read Genesis 14:18-20 and ask for a tenth, when Melchizedek did not ask for a tenth? Let’s look at what really happened in Genesis 14:18-20. Melchizedek came out to King’s Valley to GIVE TO Abraham, NOT to receive from Abraham! Melchizedek brought bread and wine for Abraham, they ate together, and Melchizedek pronounced a wonderful blessing over Abraham. This is the very picture of Jesus who said “I did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give my life as a ransom for many!” (Matthew 20:28) Abraham was apparently so moved that he voluntarily gave a tenth of the plunder to Melchizedek.

Why is it that I have never heard a minister address the greater meaning of this passage, by relating Melchizedek who served bread and wine to Abraham, to Jesus who offered his flesh and blood that we might live in communion with the Father forever (John 6:33-63)? Wasn’t it bread and wine that Jesus served the disciples for the last supper (Luke 22:17-20)? Genesis 14:18-20 is of prophetic significance – a portrait of the new covenant of grace that would be implemented by the last Melchizedek priest: Jesus. Why then is it that so many ministers take Genesis 14:18-20 and turn it into a binding law on the freed sons of God, when clearly it is a wonderful promise of our eternal communion with the Father through that flesh and blood sin offering of Christ?

Gross Misrepresentation

Genesis 14:18-20 has been broadly interpreted to impose the tithe on the Church. Obvious errors are:

  • Reinterprets the “spoils of war” or “plunder” ( Genesis 14:14-16 ) to “wages” or “time”.
  • Overlooks that Abraham’s “tithe/tenth” to Melchizedek was voluntary, NOT compulsory.
  • Assumes that Abraham’s “tithe/tenth” to Melchizedek was a continuing practice though there is no evidence to suggest that it was.
  • Ignores that Melchizedek did not ask for a tithe.
  • Ignores that it is the descendants of Levi who collect the tithe ( Hebrews 7:5 ).
  • Ignores Hebrews 9:9-10 which clearly states that the old way of gifts, sacrifices and offerings applied only until the “time of the new order” (NIV).

The “God Changes Not” Argument

“Tell me, you who want to be under the law, are you not aware of what the law says ( Galatians 4:21 )?”

An objection made the statement “God changes not”. While it is true God does not change, it is a poor argument to use on behalf of continuing the tithe. If the argument “God changes not” is a valid reason to keep one part of the Law – the tithe – then it is a valid reason to keep ALL of the law ( Galatians 5:3 ). Consider the uproarious implications! Burnt offerings and sacrifices on the altar of every church! “Come to our Sunday morning worship service and BBQ!” Every church with it’s own grain silo, winepress, and pasture / corral for the livestock people will be tithing! We’ll need much bigger offering plates! Oh and the joys we’ll all have practicing ceremonial cleanliness – women instructed to stay home from church 1 week per month ( Leviticus 12:2 ). Pastors inspecting rashes and teens staying home from church and school because of a zit outbreak ( Leviticus 13 )! Undertakers! Poor undertakers! Every time they touch a deceased person they are unclean for a week ( Numbers 19:16 )! If business is brisk, don’t expect to see the undertaker in church again! Yes Lord! We want to go back to the Law! Not!

Rebuke of the Scribes and Pharisees Argument

Jesus rebuked the Scribes and Pharisees for meticulously giving a “tithe/tenth” of their “mint, dill and cummin”, while neglecting the more important matters of the law: “justice, mercy, faithfulness”. Jesus said “these ought ye to have done, and not to leave the other undone” (KJV) and “You should have practiced the latter, without neglecting the former” (NIV) – Matthew 23:23

Once again, there are several problems with using this scripture to support the tithe as applicable to the Body of Christ.

  • Reinterpretation of “mint, dill, and cummin” (food) to “money” and “time”.
  • Jesus was addressing the Scribes and Pharisees – who are Jews – under the Law of Moses – and obligated by the Law to tithe. Jesus was NOT addressing gentiles (non-Jews).

Also, Jesus choice of words was different addressing this sin than when He addressed other sins. His choice of words is weak and in the past tense, as it would be from someone who understood that the Law was about to be superceded by the new covenant in Christ’s blood: grace! Strong’s Reference #4160 for the Romanized word “poieo” says it is a “less direct” form of a command – which is why it was rendered “ought to” or “should have”. Contrast Jesus words to the Scribes and Pharisees with His words to the woman caught in adultery: “Go and sin no more” (KJV) and “Go now and leave your life of sin” (NIV) – John 8:11 . His words to her are direct, emphatic, and they are in the future tense – because there is a continuing command against adultery, unlike the Law to tithe which ceased to apply with Christ’s death and resurrection.

The complete text of Matthew 23:23 reads:”Woe to you, teachers of the law and Pharisees, you hypocrites! You give a tenth of your spices–mint, dill and cummin. 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.

As I was meditating on the text above, the Lord showed me something I hadn’t seen before. In the statement “You give a tenth of your spices–mint, dill and cummin. But you have neglected the more important matters of the law”, Jesus makes it clear that the “tithe” is a “matter of the law”, in that He refers to it along with “justice, mercy and faithfulness” which are also “matters of the law”. In effect Jesus is saying ‘the law requires you to tithe, and practice justice, mercy and faithfulness, and while you have meticulously kept the law concerning the tithe, you have failed to keep the law concerning justice, mercy and faithfulness’.

This clear identification of the “tithe” as a requirement of Old Testament law, dispenses with the “tithe” as applicable to Christians in as much as Jesus fulfilled the law ( Matthew 5:17 ). Further, since we are IN Christ, and Christ is IN us, we too have fulfilled the law ( Colossians 2:8-23 ). That the Law is NOT applicable to Christians is discussed further in the section “What About The Floodgates” (below).

Receiving “A Living” From Preaching Gospel Argument

A pastor wrote to challenge me with 1st Corinthians 9:14. The following is my response:

“Pastor …”

Since you asked for me to address 1st Corinthians 9:14 specifically, I offer these comments of the scripture IN context of the whole chapter, and common understanding of how the apostles of the day lived.

  • vs. 4 the context is “food and drink”
  • vs. 7 the context is food and drink
  • vs. 9 the context is food
  • vs 10 the context is food (grain from the harvest)
  • vs 11 the context is food (seed and harvest)
  • vs 13 the context is the food (meat, grain/fruit and drink) offered on the altar

And so, in context, Paul is talking about food and drink – sustenance.

If Paul, who was imprisoned, beaten, stoned, and ultimately beheaded for the gospel sought nothing more for himself than food or drink, how is it that modern pastors expect to extract a full time salary for conducting services on a Sunday morning, and Wednesday evening? Especially in light of 1 Corinthians 9:15 where Paul expresses pride that he did not use his “rights” to ‘compensation’. In verses 17-27 Paul makes it very clear that he wants to offer the gospel ‘free of charge’ so that the gospel is not hindered, and so that his reward is in heaven.

If Paul boasted about offering the gospel free of charge despite his ‘entitlement’ to food, how is it pastors turn 1 Corinthians 9 into justification to draw a salary from preaching the gospel, at least in the western culture’s understanding of “salary”?

The Lord gave me new insight into the real, literal meaning of 1 Corinthians 9:14.

14. Even so hath the Lord ordained that they which preach the gospel should live of the gospel. (KJV)

14. In the same way, the Lord has commanded that those who preach the gospel should receive their living from the gospel. (NIV)

Based on the Strong’s Literal Bible translation below, neither the KJV or NIV translations capture the real meaning. The literal meaning, according to Strong’s, seems to be “practice what you preach”

14. |3779| So |2532| also |3588| the |2962| Lord |1299| ordained |3588| those |3588| of the |2098| Good News |2605| announcing, |1537| of |3588| the |2098| Good News |2198| to live.

In other words, if you preach ‘set the captives free’, then set them free; don’t tie them up with religion and doctrine. If you preach ‘share what you have with the poor’, then share with the poor. If you preach abstain from sexual immorality, then do so!

Strong’s Literal Bible says |2198| TO LIVE – is a VERB. Yet when it’s translated as ‘receive their LIVING from the gospel’, “TO LIVE” (a VERB) is made into a NOUN (“A LIVING”). That is an error in the translation – likely influenced by the ‘institutional church’ mentality of the translators who have buildings to pay for, and the salaries of pastor and staff. Our cultures understanding of “making a living” simply doesn’t fit the context of the scripture. Jesus sent out the Apostles in Matthew 10 and Luke 10 with nothing more than the clothes on their backs, and sandals on their feet, and told them to expect nothing more than food and a place to sleep.

The word ANNOUNCING is key too… to ‘announce’ means (as I understand Paul’s use of the word) the first to proclaim the gospel in a new territory, or to a people who have never heard it before. The closest we have these days to that function is a MISSIONARY. There really are very few in the western culture who are “announcing” the gospel in that fashion. There are many who are ‘repeating’ the gospel, in church buildings, over and over and over again to those who have long ago heard the gospel announced – but those who ‘go out’ and who are spearheading the gospel to new cultures are very few. In reality, the gospel is announced only once – thereafter the gospel should be put into practice by the people who have heard and received the gospel.

In regard to “ANNOUNCING” the gospel, Jesus instructed His disciples: “…Freely you have received, freely give” (Matthew 10:8). If that was Jesus command to the apostles, and it is apparent Paul understood Jesus command where in 1 Corinthians 9 Paul sought only food and shelter, how is it pastors expect a full time salary for preaching the gospel?

What About The Floodgates?

I often asked myself a tough question about the floodgates in Malachi 3:10, but I have refused to answer it because it seemingly made God out to be a liar! Finally one of my close friends asked me the same question – and I knew God wanted me to give an honest answer. She asked “why after tithing, tithing, and tithing, don’t we ever see the flood gates open?”

Immediately I heard the Holy Spirit say “sowing into a lie does not produce a blessing”. The Holy Spirit impressed me that Malachi 3:10 was not a lie in and of itself, but rather some ministers use the scripture in a manipulative way to extract the tithe from the congregation.

For starters, consider what God means by “flood gates.” Israel from the time of Joshua, was an agrarian culture. Eleven of the 12 tribes were given land as their inheritance, for the purpose of growing and raising food, the life and growth of which depends on rain. But Israel is an arid land, subject to drought and famine, which often came in response to Israel’s sin and disobedience. Remember Elijah, anyone? (James 5:17). Thus the reference in Malachi 3:10 to God opening the “flood gates” in response to Israel’s obedience to tithe, refers to sending rain and ending the drought. It is the vain imaginations of men to suggest that dollar bills await us behind God’s flood gates if we but throw 10% of our wages in the offering plate. Men would do well not to redefine scripture based upon wishful thinking and love for mammon. About that, remember the words of Paul “do not go beyond what is written.” (1 Corinthians 4:6).

While still considering my friend’s question later in the evening, the Holy Spirit impressed me to read Galatians, and I heard the Spirit say “Jesus paid the tithe for you”. The next morning I read and re-read Galatians.

In a nutshell, Galatians contrasts the differences between reliance upon the law for salvation, and reliance upon Christ. Galatians 2:16 sums up the difference saying “…a man is not justified by observing the law, but by faith in Jesus Christ…”. For those who place their faith in Jesus Christ for salvation, Galatians 3:25 says “we are no longer under the supervision of the law”. The most important scripture in my view, is Galatians 3:19, which says “… the law … was added … UNTIL the Seed to whom the promise referred had come…”. Galatians 3:16 says Jesus Christ is the “Seed to whom the promise referred”. And so, the law applied UNTIL the time of Christ. Thereafter, the new covenant in Christ applies.

Since Christ has come, our salvation depends on faith in Him, not upon our observance of the law. Yet for whatever reason, many ministers continue to teach elements of the law, and congregations are expected to obey. The tithe is one such element of the law that is frequently taught from the pulpit. My concern for the Church is that opening the door to any element of the law could lead to reliance upon the law for righteousness sake, about which Paul writes in Galatians 3:10 “All who rely on observing the law are under a curse…”. If a believer’s sole reason for tithing is obedience to the law, it should come as no surprise that the floodgates never open.

In Galatians 5:18 Paul writes “If you are led by the spirit, you are not under the law”. And so one must ask: “Are we led by the Spirit, except for giving which is directed by the law? “NO! Jesus paid the tithe for us because we have died to the law through Christ (Romans 7:4, Romans 8:2, Romans 10:4, Galatians 3:13). THE moment we try to make ourselves righteous by resuming the practice of any portion of the law, WE INSULT CHRIST just as if we were to say “Jesus sacrifice was not sufficient to pay for all sin.”

Let me paint the picture for you that the Father painted for me regarding the tithe, or for that matter, any other law of the Old Testament. IF after Jesus died to pay the price for sin we were still required to obey any portion of the law, then Jesus did NOT in fact pay the price for ALL sin. If there were a sin that the blood of Jesus did not cover, judgement would look something like this: “Jesus forgives all of your covered sins – BUT WAIT – you are condemned to HELL because Jesus death doesn’t cover your failure to obey certain applicable laws…” Preaching Jesus AND the law means either we need a 2nd sin offering to pay for what Jesus did not cover, OR, we will be condemned to HELL for failing to obey the laws not covered by Jesus blood. Suddenly our “coverage” sounds very much like an insurance policy with numerous exclusions in the fine print at the bottom! Brothers and sisters there are NO LOOPHOLES in the blood of Christ! Jesus has paid the tithe for us!

But I Feel Guilty – A Personal Note

Every time I heard a minister preach on the tithe, I felt sick – best described as a nauseous feeling in the pit of my gut. For years I assumed that feeling was guilt welling up in me, caused by the conviction of the Holy Spirit. I can’t count the number of times I responded to that nauseous feeling by swallowing hard and giving all the money I had with me – sometimes beyond what I had – whereupon I borrowed from my line of credit account. Years of hearing messages on the tithe, where ministers had enslaved my compliance by sowing guilt and shame had convinced me that God was the type of Father who whips, prods, guilts and shames His children into obedience! I simply did not know the wonderful Abba Father who loved me so much that He gave everything to restore our relationship and ensure that I would spend all eternity with Him.

After years of believing God was using guilt to force my obedience to the law, I prayed about it. Abba Father gently said “the sick feeling you experience is My gift of discernment serving to tell you that what you are hearing is a lie.” He was there all along, but I didn’t know His language, and I didn’t know enough to ask Him to teach me. And the shepherds didn’t teach me to listen to the Father for myself. Now I know that I am His, He is mine, and I hear His voice. So can you (John 10:14-16).

If You Still Have Doubts

Since writing “To Tithe Or Not To Tithe: The $earch For Truth” in March 2001, and the original “Tithe Follow-Up” article in May 2001, I have heard from hundreds of brothers and sisters around the world, and have been asked many questions, which have prompted further study, and additions to this article. I wrote back and forth with one brother in Singapore for several months, as he was not comfortable changing his giving habits without a thorough explanation of every scripture that mentioned the tithe. Even after every scripture was accounted for, he still struggled with years of tithe teaching, and the guilt it had instilled in him.

For me, it comes down to 2 Corinthians 9:7 “Each man should give what he has decided in his heart to give, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver.” What 2 Corinthians 9:7 says to me is: “what he has decided” (it is MY decision what to give), “in his heart” (I am to follow the leading of MY heart), “not reluctantly” (what I give must feel right), “or under compulsion” (no one can make me give) and “God loves a cheerful giver” (God wants me to give what I feel GOOD about giving).

There is one final observation I shared with my brother, that has freed me from all condemnation concerning the tithe. I have given far more than a tenth/tithe to the Lord, I have given my ALL! When I made Jesus my Lord and Savior and took up my cross to follow Him where daily I offer my body as a LIVING SACRIFICE ( Romans 12:1 ), I gave all of me – 100% – to the Lord. To that end, the Lord Himself said: “Greater love has no one than this, that he lay down his life for his friends” ( John 15:13 ). Christ laid down His life for me out of love for me ( John 10:11 ). In turn, I have laid down my life for Christ out of love for Christ ( Matthew 16:24-25 ) so that He will live through me ( John 3:30 ), and my friends might see Christ in me ( Galatians 2:20 ) and be saved ( 1 Peter 3:15-16 ). There is no more loving and pleasing sacrifice you can offer to God than your life.

When I have given 100% of me and all that I have to Christ, who is man that he should lay claim to 10% of my wages?

The Last Word

In regards to the law, what part of “It is finished” ( John 19:30 ) is so difficult to understand?

Or what about “But if you are led by the Spirit, you are not under law” Galatians 5:18 ?

There can be only one conclusion:

Mini$ter$ (Hireling$) who $tre$$ tithe$ $how a $elfi$h intere$t in $omething be$ide$ $aving $oul$ for Je$u$ and $etting the $on$ free!

Let us be clear about who is entitled to the first fruits of your labors:

2 Timothy 2:6 “The hardworking farmer should be the first to receive a share of the crops.”

Please pray that the Church breaks free from the tithe lie, guilt, manipulation and fear that keeps the Church in bondage. Pray for the Church to come into the complete freedom of Christ and for freedom to give AND live freely and joyfully as the Lord intends for each of us. Finally, please pray especially for those whom the enemy has bruised by the tithe lie.

If this and the original tithe article have blessed you, please pass them on as you feel led to do.

May the Lord bless each of you with abundance as you give as He leads you to give.

Get free and stay free!