For this reason, it is important to go to the Bible and determine if, as a Christian, you should tithe in the church.
- Tithing before the Mosaic law.
- Tithing in the Mosaic law
- Tithing was given in the Old Testament in three ways:
- Jesus and the tithe.
- If you don’t tithe, would you lose your salvation?
Tithing before the Mosaic law.
Many of those who rely on the thesis that tithing was an order only for the people of Israel who lived under the law but that today has nothing to do with us, are wrong: Abraham tithes to Melchizedek hundreds of years before Israel was founded and hundreds of years before the law was given to them (Genesis 14: 18-20).
“Then Melchizedek king of Salem brought out bread and wine. He was priest of God Most High,and he blessed Abram, saying, “Blessed be Abram by God Most High, Creator of heaven and earth. And praise be to God Most High, who delivered your enemies into your hand.” Then Abram gave him a tenth of everything.”
According to the author of the Hebrews, this Melchizedek is one similar to the son of God speaking with Abraham. Many theologians say that Melchizedek was the son of God manifesting himself to Abraham, which would be a theophany. These theophany events occur a lot in the Old Testament, that’s why it is very likely to be. (Hebrews 7: 1-3)
“This Melchizedek was king of Salem and priest of God Most High. He met Abraham returning from the defeat of the kings and blessed him, and Abraham gave him a tenth of everything. First, the name Melchizedek means “king of righteousness”; then also, ‘king of Salem’ means ‘king of peace.’ Without father or mother, without genealogy, without beginning of days or end of life, resembling the Son of God, he remains a priest forever.”
Jacob, Abraham’s grandson, also tithes hundreds of years before the Mosaic Law was established: “and this stone that I have set up as a pillar will be God’s house, and of all that you give me I will give you a tenth.” (Genesis 28:22).
The question here is: Who taught about tithing to Abraham and Jacob if there was still no Mosaic law, which the detractors of tithing now speak so much about?
This shows that tithing was not born with the Mosaic law, it was an attitude of gratitude and total recognition towards God, which was placed by the Lord in the hearts of these first men. 400 years later, the Mosaic law came to ratify and legislate on tithing.
Tithing in the Mosaic law
When we come to the law, it is clear that tithing is God’s standard for giving. Tithing does not even belong to the giver, but to the Lord (Leviticus 27:30). The people of God did not even think that tithing was theirs and that they could do with it whatever they wanted. It was from the Lord, and it was returned to him automatically.
Tithing was given in the Old Testament in three ways:
- There was a tenth that God had designated to go directly to the Levites. The tribe of Levi did not receive an inheritance in the distribution of the promised land, because God had decided that He himself would be his inheritance and that therefore the Levites, who were the priests of the people, were to live on the contribution of Israel. This is what (Numbers 18:21) says:
“I give to the Levites all the tithes in Israel as their inheritance in return for the work they do while serving at the tent of meeting.“
This 10% was exclusively dedicated to keeping Old Testament priests.
2.There was another 10% dedicated to the maintenance of the Temple; the expenses incurred.
3. A final 10% was collected every third year, and it was dedicated precisely to the support of the poor, widows and orphans, as we read in (Deuteronomy 26:12):
“When you have finished setting aside a tenth of all your produce in the third year, the year of the tithe, you shall give it to the Levite, the foreigner, the fatherless and the widow, so that they may eat in your towns and be satisfied.”
Jesus and the tithes
There are several passages in which Jesus referred to tithing clearly, never abolishing or declaring obsolete, but on the contrary, rebuking the Pharisees for their lack of honesty in enforcing the people and not doing so.
Jesus recommends his disciples to keep the law imposed by the scribes and Pharisees, and it is well known that the Pharisees were strict in compliance with the law and especially that of tithing, but the Lord Jesus says nothing about not fulfilling the command of tithing, (Matthew 23:1-3).
The Lord Jesus never attacked the teaching of tithing, what he attacked was the change of priorities that Pharisees had given to the tithe over other spiritual aspects, which are: justice, mercy and faith. He states that tithe should be given as much as he should practice these 3 things (Matthew 23:23).
If you don’t tithe, would you lose your salvation?
If you don’t tithe, would you lose your salvation?
The tithe belongs to God, it has been before the law, during the law and after the law, this mandate still remains but more than a mandate you have to give it from the heart.
When we tithe, we are not giving it to a pastor – even if we are giving it to a church – but we are obeying a mandate from God, for that reason we must give it with a sincere and joyful heart because of that He pleases, (2 Corinthians 9: 7).
According to the book of (Malachi 3: 8), not tithing is stealing God.
“Will a man rob God? Yet you have robbed me. But you say, How have we robbed you? In tithes and offerings.”
But in the same book of Malachi God also tells us about a blessing that comes through tithing, where he assures us that he will pour blessing until it abounds (Malachi 3:10), besides that, tithing is an act of obedience to God, for this reason we must ensure that we are obedient to Him in EVERYTHING.
The Bible says that we must take care of our salvation, and although there is no verse that says whether we lose salvation or not by tithing, if it tells us that no disobedient or thief will enter His kingdom. Therefore, we urge you to examine yourself in prayer so that there is no stain on your clothes, or disobedience in your life, “because without holiness, no one will see him” (Hebrews 12:14).