"Mark 16:15 preach the gospel to every creature. Matthew 28:20 Teaching them to observe (do) all things whatsoever I (Jesus Christ) have commanded: Revelation 22:13 I am Alpha and Omega .. 14 Blessed are they that do his commandments, .. they .. have right to the tree of life, and .. enter .. the city."
I am a retired pastor of
the Church of God (Tennessee).
My name is Isaac Livingston. I am from Neyyoor India.
This page editorial help: Sister Lynn near Atlanta, GA
Tithes and Offerings were for the Levites and temple. It is not mentioned for churches in the Bible. Yet, churches preach tithes and offerings for their better income. However, God ordains that they which preach the gospel should live of the gospel; we must honor those who labor in the word and doctrine in truth; and do good unto the household of faith.
In the Old, we see that the priest of God and king gave Abraham and his people bread and wine, and Abraham gave him tithes in all the bounties. "Genesis 14:18 And Melchizedek king of Salem brought forth bread and wine: and he was the priest of the most high God. 19 And he blessed him, and said, Blessed be Abram of the most high God, possessor of heaven and earth: 20 And blessed be the most high God, which hath delivered thine enemies into thy hand. And he gave him tithes of all." We may not see the exact picture in the New Testament. Yet, there is a lesson to learn. Let us see another passage about Jacob. "Genesis 28:20 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, 21 So that I come again to my father's house in peace; then shall the LORD be my God: 22 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." These verses explain the context and we may not find a parallel context in the New testament. In the Old Testament, the rewards or benefits are given on the earth in many ways. But the New Testament rewards are all eternal, but not in the world, even though we work to receive our salary, or such. Above incidents, what Abraham and Jacob received like bounties, but still God gave it to them. These two passages were before the time of Moses. Levites were ordained for the temple and priest duties, and they were supposed to get tithes as their portion from the other twelve tribes. So, if the other tribes gave their portion regularly, the Levites would have enough otherwise they would lack. Then, God says that they robed God, because Levites belong to God. Let us see the verse. "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. 9 Ye are cursed with a curse: for ye have robbed me, even this whole nation. 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. 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." Such a system is not in the New Testament. However, the Jews were following the Jewish system, until the temple was destroyed in 70 A.D. Even though the New Testament church was started after Pentecost, the disciples of Jesus were sent on a mission before that. So, let us see a few things.
"Luke 11:42 But woe unto you, Pharisees! for ye tithe mint and rue and all manner of herbs, and pass over judgment and the love of God: these ought ye to have done, and not to leave the other undone." Our topic is "tithes and offerings in churches." The churches did not exist, when Jesus lived as a man. It was the era of the temple and the Jews, still under Mosaic covenant. Here, Jesus accepted the Pharisees for paying tithes, but rebuked them for not having love. It is not proper to cite this verse in support of tithes and offering in churches, since this is the Old system. "1 Corinthians 16:1 Now concerning the collection for the saints, as I have given order to the churches of Galatia, even so do ye. 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. 3 And when I come, whomsoever ye shall approve by your letters, them will I send to bring your liberality unto Jerusalem. 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. 7 Every man according as he purposeth in his heart, so let him give; not grudgingly, or of necessity: for God loveth a cheerful giver. 8 And God is able to make all grace abound toward you; that ye, always having all sufficiency in all things, may abound to every good work: 9 (As it is written, He hath dispersed abroad; he hath given to the poor: his righteousness remaineth for ever. 10 Now he that ministereth seed to the sower both minister bread for your food, and multiply your seed sown, and increase the fruits of your righteousness;) 11 Being enriched in every thing to all bountifulness, which causeth through us thanksgiving to God. 12 For the administration of this service not only supplieth the want of the saints, but is abundant also by many thanksgivings unto God; 13 Whiles by the experiment of this ministration they glorify God for your professed subjection unto the gospel of Christ, and for your liberal distribution unto them, and unto all men;" These verses are in support of believers supporting other unfortunate believers, in case of calamity, famine, poverty, etc,. But it is never a system of "tithes and offerings in churches." And, it was just fund raising for special occasions.
In the Old Testament, twelve tribes were given land so that they could cultivate, raise sheep, etc, for their provision. God took Levites for himself, they were given no land inheritance. But they were given the temple jobs, and they were serving God. How were they provided for? The other twelve tribes, who owned land, sheep, etc, were required to give 1/10th of their income and it is called tithe. The present day priesthood, which are pastors and church staff, are not a tribe which are 1/10th of the congregation. There can be just three or three thousand families to a congregation and if tithing is the system that is used, one family will be dirt poor and the other will be a multi millionaire. The assets of mega-churches is in the billions. But, it is to the advantage of the ruling class of the churches, and so they will advocate "tithe and offerings in churches."
Jesus Christ was preaching the gospel when he was a man. He sent his disciples to preach the gospel. Even though he did not call that as a church at that time, it was the pattern. Let us see it. "Matthew 10:5 These twelve Jesus sent forth, and commanded them, saying, Go not into the way of the Gentiles, and into any city of the Samaritans enter ye not: 6 But go rather to the lost sheep of the house of Israel. 7 And as ye go, preach, saying, The kingdom of heaven is at hand. 8 Heal the sick, cleanse the lepers, raise the dead, cast out devils: freely ye have received, freely give. 9 Provide neither gold, nor silver, nor brass in your purses, 10 Nor scrip for your journey, neither two coats, neither shoes, nor yet staves: for the workman is worthy of his meat. 11 And into whatsoever city or town ye shall enter, inquire who in it is worthy; and there abide till ye go thence. 12 And when ye come into an house, salute it. 13 And if the house be worthy, let your peace come upon it: but if it be not worthy, let your peace return to you. 14 And whosoever shall not receive you, nor hear your words, when ye depart out of that house or city, shake off the dust of your feet. 15 Verily I say unto you, It shall be more tolerable for the land of Sodom and Gomorrha in the day of judgment, than for that city. Luke 10:6 And if the son of peace be there, your peace shall rest upon it: if not, it shall turn to you again. 7 And in the same house remain, eating and drinking such things as they give: for the labourer is worthy of his hire. Go not from house to house." It was neither the tithes of the Jews, nor was it the work among gentiles. Still we may take it as the pattern of gospel outreach and how the Lord Jesus Christ had arranged the financial side of it. "1 Timothy 5:16 If any man or woman that believeth have widows, let them relieve them, and let not the church be charged; that it may relieve them that are widows indeed. 17 Let the elders that rule well be counted worthy of double honour, especially they who labour in the word and doctrine." The church had the responsibility of taking care of the widow, etc,. But no place can we find that the Old system of tithing is imposed on the church. It is said to double honor the person in charge of the church. Yet, it is not a suggestion to make him a celebrity, or to honor him with wealth. Yet, let us see one more Scripture: "Galatians 6:5 For every man shall bear his own burden. 6 Let him that is taught in the word communicate unto him that teacheth in all good things. 7 Be not deceived; God is not mocked: for whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap. 8 For he that soweth to his flesh shall of the flesh reap corruption; but he that soweth to the Spirit shall of the Spirit reap life everlasting. 9 And let us not be weary in well doing: for in due season we shall reap, if we faint not. 10 As we have therefore opportunity, let us do good unto all men, especially unto them who are of the household of faith." Give your scripture teacher from your portion. Forget not the household of faith. Take care of them, in turn God will bless you, even with life everlasting, in due season.
Please look at these links that will give more information: "False Gospel", "Gospel", "Grace." Thank you.
God Bless You