Lay it to Heart

Are You Really Tithing?

What Is the Tithe?

Malachi 3:10 commands and promises us, 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. God told his people to return to him a tenth of their income. These gifts are called the tithe. Many givers approach this as any amount and not specifically ten per cent. Others give based on their net paycheck or on the gross paycheck amount. If you tithe and your taxes drop as a result then you are not really giving a tenth. Do American Christians really tithe any more? Jesus is the end of the law for righteousness (Romans 10:4), but not the end of the law of righteousness. We are still to obey. When it comes to obligations people like to forget this. When it comes to rights they always remember. Jesus said in Matthew 5:17-18, "Think not that I am come to destroy the law, or the prophets: I am not come to destroy, but to fulfil. For verily I say unto you, Till heaven and earth pass, one jot or one tittle shall in no wise pass from the law, till all be fulfilled." Jesus supported tithing in Matthew 23:23. A tithe is ten per cent of your true income.

Some of the Biblical references to the ancient high priest Melchizedek are found in Hebrews chapters 5, 6 and 7. Hebrews 5:6 reads, "As he saith also in another place, Thou art a priest for ever after the order of Melchisedec." The place to which it refers is Psalm 110:4. Hebrews 7:11 explains how Christ was not a priest according to the Levitical lineage but instead he was in the order of Melchisedec. 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." Before Abram's name was changed to Abraham and before the law was given to Moses, Abraham gave a tithe to Melchizedek (Melchisedec). If Abraham gave ten per cent to Melchizedek and Jesus is a priest after the order of Melchizedek then why shouldn't we give ten per to God through his son Jesus Christ the Lord? So what are you really giving to God?

Some people claim that If the law were still in effect, 28% would really be required for tithes and offerings. This is not accurate today. Apparently, they are trying to add in for the sacrifices. By inflating the percentage it makes the tithe appear impossible or ridiculous and so people should just give as they are led. The ceremonial law is completed in Jesus Christ. Animal sacrifices are no longer required. The commandments of right and wrong, however, still apply. The tithe is still 10%. Jesus said it would not pass away in Matthew 5: 17-19, "Think not that I am come to destroy the law, or the prophets: I am not come to destroy, but to fulfil. For verily I say unto you, Till heaven and earth pass, one jot or one tittle shall in no wise pass from the law, till all be fulfilled. Whosoever therefore shall break one of these least commandments, and shall teach men so, he shall be called the least in the kingdom of heaven: but whosoever shall do and teach them, the same shall be called great in the kingdom of heaven." If preachers are preaching that a tithe is not required, they are robbing God.

What Is Your True Income?

If the government reimburses part of your ten percent tithing, you're not actually tithing ten percent, you need to give more. If you deduct your church giving on Federal tax form Schedule A, your taxes may be lower. In some cases the tax reduction will be in the range of 20-25% of the amount given. If that is the case, the US government is really giving part of your tithe for you. You are only bearing the burden of about 75 to 80% of the tithe. You should really increase your giving so that you bear the burden for 10%, and the government subsidy returned to you is not pocketed by you, but put in the offering plate where it belongs. As you give more, you get more back. You might get 5%, 10%, 15% or more back of what you gave to your church. You will have to figure out the math yourself, but you may have to give a seventh of your income to really give a tenth. What about the other benefits? Many employees get insurance benefits from their employer and the are not tithing on them. What about Social Security and Medicare benefits? Employers are required by law to contribute to these retirement benefits. Preachers forget all about these. Do you have a garden or fruit trees that produce food for you? You may not see it on a paycheck but it is still something you should tithe on. It appears that most Christians do not tithe on the tax benefits but complain about taxes. They won't tithe on insurance benefits but complain about health care reform. They aren't there when it's time to tithe on employer Social Security and Medicare contributions and then wonder if Social Security will be there when they retire. The way Christians have treated God with their tithe is being reflected on how the world treats them in the very same areas. Is that working?

Is God Rebuking the Devourer?

Malachi 3:11 says, "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." There are all kinds of reasons churches have trouble but what about this? Are the church members truly tithing? It does not sounds like it. I have heard many sermons on tithing but never have I heard a preacher actually preach on tithing on everything. So if the devourer is after the church is the church really after the word of God?  If you are a Christian and you are not tithing you are robbing God.  If a preacher is preaching that a tithe is not required the preacher is robbing God.

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