Jesus and Tithing
Jesus did not abolish tithing. He said, “Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye pay tithe of mint and anise and cummin, and have omitted the weightier matters of the law, judgment, mercy, and faith: these ought ye to have done, and not to leave the other undone” (Matthew 23:23).
The Lord did not abolish His own original plan to support his workers (Mathew 5:17). Jesus made it clear that He was not against tithing as such, but against the hypocritical spirit of the scribe and Pharisee, whose religion consisted in the scrupulous observance of the forms of the law. He then plainly told them they should continue tithing, but should also be just and merciful and faithful.
Neither Jesus nor any New Testament writer in the least releases the obligation of tithing. He said, “Do not think that I came to destroy the Law or the Prophets. I did not come to destroy but to fulfill” (Matthew 5:17). Also, Paul wrote, “Do ye not know that they which minister about holy things live of the things of the temple? and they which wait at the altar are partakers with the altar? Even so hath the Lord ordained that they which preach the gospel should live of the gospel” (1 Corinthians 9:13, 14).
Is Tithing Part of Moses’ Law
Some have thought that tithing was part of Moses’ system of rites and ceremonies that ended at the cross. But the Bible clearly shows that tithing was practiced before Moses. We read that “he [Abram] gave him tithes” (Genesis 14:20). And in Genesis 28:22, Jacob said, “And of all that thou shalt give me I will surely give the tenth unto thee.” These passages reveal that both Abraham and Jacob, who lived long before Moses’ day, tithed their income. We can, therefore, see that God’s plan of tithing preceded Moses’ law.
And tithing was practiced during the time of Moses to support the priests and levites (Leviticus 27:30–33; Numbers 18:21–28). And it was also practiced during the Kingdom of Israel for the support of temple workers (Nehemiah 13:12).
Jesus’ plan today is that tithing should be used to support those who work solely in gospel ministry. If all people tithed and the tithe were used strictly for the support of gospel workers, there would be more than enough money to reach the entire earth very quickly with God’s end-time gospel message.
God’s Promise of Blessing
The Lord promised, “Bring all the tithes into the storehouse, that there may be food in My house,
And try Me now in this,” says the Lord of hosts, “If I will not open for you the windows of heaven and pour out for you such blessing that there will not be room enough to receive it. And I will rebuke the devourer for your sakes, so that he will not destroy the fruit of your ground, nor shall the vine fail to bear fruit for you in the field,” says the Lord of hosts; “and all nations will call you blessed, for you will be a delightful land,” says the Lord of hosts” (Malachi 3:10-12).
The Lord says if we put Him first, He will see to it that our needs are all met (Matthew 6:33). His plans often work just opposite to human ways. Under His plan, what we have left after tithing will go further than all of it would without His blessing. Actually, we cannot afford not to tithe!
In His service,