What is Tithing?

by Derek Clark

Bring the whole tithe into the storehouse, that there may be food in my house. Test me in this, says the LORD Almighty, and see if I will not throw open the floodgates of heaven and pour out so much blessing that you will not have room enough for it. Malachi 3:10

Tithe Box
Creative Commons License photo credit: PortableChurch

A tithe literally means one tenth. The bible says to tithe on all of your increase. Basically what that means is to give ten percent of your income.

Unfortunately, most Christians don’t tithe. In fact, only about 3% actually do. As a whole Christians give less than 3% of their incomes. Some say that tithing is an old testament thing, and it isn’t relevant anymore.

While the New Testament doesn’t specifically say to give 10%, it does talk extensively about giving. In my mind, it couldn’t be any more relevant than it is now.

America has been in a recession for the last few years and unemployment had been hovering around 10%. There are many people that are in need, and I think that those who are capable should give as much as they can.

We are tasked with taking care of the poor, the widows, and the orphans. We need to start taking that task seriously. Tithing, or giving specifically 10%, may not be a requirement in the New Testament, but giving certainly is something we as Christians should be doing. Helping others is always fun, and as a side bonus, God promises to heap blessings on us.

{ 19 comments… read them below or add one }

Craig Ford April 12, 2010 at 6:15 am

I agree that there are so many spiritual blessings to giving. I am continually challenged to look at my giving and see if it agrees with my faith. Often times I don’t think I trust God as much as I should.

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Meggie April 12, 2013 at 11:31 am

True it is until we know the truth that it will set us free. Its after acting upon tithe and offering that doors of my life opened with no struggle at all. It is all for our own good!

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Derek Clark April 12, 2010 at 8:32 am

Yeah it amazes me how God continues to bless us. Following his principles of getting out of debt and giving leads to so many good things. The things he teaches are for our own benefit.

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Kristia@Family Balance Sheet April 12, 2010 at 1:02 pm

A few years ago, my husband and I decided to make tithing a priority. It was scary at first. Like Craig, I sometimes don’t trust God as much as I should, but I bet a lot of Christians have those feelings. I thank God daily for our many blessings, as I never want to take it all for granted. I have what I have b/c of Him. I was surprised by the stat that only 3% of Christians tithe, but I guess everyone needs to make their own decisions about this.

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Derek Clark April 12, 2010 at 10:38 pm

I was really surprised by that stat as well. It is pretty unfortunate. I am thankful my parents started having me tithe young. It was much easier than starting later in life when you are talking about much bigger sums of money.

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Forest April 13, 2010 at 4:37 am

That’s really interesting. I am living in Cairo and I found out that it’s customary in Islam to give 12% of your earnings to charitable causes, sounds like the idea probably had it’s origin in the old Testament (which Islam holds in high regard).

I’m not religious really so I find the similarities and differences between the major religions very interesting.

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Derek Clark April 13, 2010 at 8:45 am

That’s interesting about the 12%, I didn’t know that. I’d be interested to know what percentage of them actually meet that. I’ll be honest, I suspect it is much higher than the percentage that tithe.

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Mr. Not Made Of Money April 16, 2010 at 8:49 pm

This is the one of the only times God asks to be tested. Giving is a great blessing to both the giver and the receiver. Thanks!

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Jason @ Redeeming Riches April 19, 2010 at 8:52 am

Just wrote on giving as well – one of the points I made is that Jesus always magnified the law and took it straight to a heart issue – so giving in the NT becomes a heart issue and not some sort of religious requirement.

If we truly saw how generous Jesus was to us, perhaps that would change our minds and our hearts about giving back to the One who gave up all so we could be in fellowship with Him!

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Financialbondage.org April 21, 2010 at 4:19 am

it’s interesting how many Christians know what tithing is, but few of us are doing it. Only 2.6% of Christians actually tithe. I had no idea the number was so low. That says a lot about how bad debt and materialism is in our culture in the USA.

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Gary Arnold June 25, 2010 at 11:15 am

Derek Clark said, “The bible says to tithe on all of your increase. Basically what that means is to give ten percent of your income.”

Derek, that is NOT what the Bible says. That is what pastors say. The Biblical tithe was on GOD’S INCREASE, not man’s increase. It was NEVER on income.

God gave His definition as a tenth of crops and animals which came from God’s hand, not man’s income. God NEVER commanded anyone to tithe on anything that man made or earned. Leviticus 27:30-33.

The ordinances (instructions, or laws) for The Lord’s Tithe are in Numbers 18. God gave strict orders to take His tithe to the Levites. God NEVER changed that command. Anyone who takes God’s tithe to anyone other than the Levites is being disobedient to God’s Word.

There are others tithes in the Bible such as the Festival Tithe and the Tithe for the Poor. It is The Lord’s Tithe that churches pattern their teaching after.

Church leaders ignore God’s definition of His tithe, and ignore God’s ordinances for His tithe. They change the words to fit their pocketbook. This is nothing but manipulation of God’s Word. They are false teachers.

The Bible CLEARLY SHOWS that the tithe ENDED at the cross in the Book of Hebrews. In the first nine verses of Hebrews 7 the words tenth or tithes appears SEVEN TIMES. The ONLY place in the Bible, after Calvary, that tithing appears is in Hebrews 7.

In Hebrews 7:5 we are told that Levi (the Levites) took the tithes under the law. In Hebrews 7:12 we are told that when the priesthood changes, the law will change. Hebrews 7:18 is telling us that Numbers 18 was disannulled. Numbers 18 established the Levitical priesthood, and part of that establishing included tithing. When the Levitical priesthood ended (at Calvary, or at least in the year 70AD when the temple was destroyed), all laws that established that priesthood were canceled. If Numbers 18 wasn’t canceled, we would still be under the Levitical priesthood.

Those who argue they didn’t have money or income then really need to study the scriptures. They had money and wages, even in Genesis. The farmers had income from barter exchanges, and they had markets to buy and sell as proven in Deuteronomy 14:24-26.

Those who argue Malachi 3:8, robbing God, need to start with verse 7. God is talking about His ordinances in Numbers 18 which we learned were disannulled according to Hebrews 7:18. Also, if you start with Malachi 1, you will see that God is speaking to the priests, not the people. The priests robbed God of the tithe (Nehemiah 13) and the priests robbed God of the offerings (Malachi 1).

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Chris Smit September 6, 2010 at 6:07 am

Jesus said tithing was a ‘matter of the Law’ (Mat 23:23)
We are not allowed to change ‘one jot or tittle of the Law’ (Mat 5:18-19)
If we make any changes we WILL be least in the kingdom of heaven!
Tithing is only ever to be FOOD (Lev 27:30&32)
Tithing is only ever to be for Israelites (Lev 27:1&34)
Tithing is only ever to be given to Levites…under a lasting covenant (Numbers 18:21-23)
Anyone who changes God’s word without HIS consent will be judged!
Please show me where God EVER changed HIS Law on tithing?
Chris

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Tumelo Lebese March 29, 2013 at 8:11 pm

Thank you very much to Chris Smit and Gary Arnold⁠, may the good Lord bless you always with His grace to speak the truth as it is…

The other truth is, the Law was never given to us gentiles to begin with, according to Romans 2:14 we do not have the law and were not given it including all its requirements and “tithing” itself.

(Galatians 3:10 For all who rely on the works of the law are under a curse,) as it is written: “Cursed is everyone who does not continue to do everything written in the Book of the Law.”. If you feel strongly about tithing shouldn’t you feel strongly also about putting to death your disobedient child who curses you? Leviticus 20:9…..

…..or maybe put to death your husband/wife who cheats on you (Leviticus 20:10)

But no. The law was not made for a righteous man (1 Tim 1:9) and who is a righteous man? We who are born again of an incorruptible seed (1 peter 1:23) that means we have a new nature in us which is holy and is of God, thus we are righteous because Jesus Christ died and made us holy and righteous, and so (we) the righteous live under the law of the spirit which gives life….”for the letter kills, but the Spirit gives life”.(2 Corinthians 3:6) Yesss!! He means the Law of Moses kills but the law of the spirit gives Life

Galatians 2:21 I do not set aside the grace of God, for if righteousness could be gained through the law, Christ died for nothing!” YES we are already righteous through believing in Jesus and not by keeping the law…if anything, the law (of tithing or not) limits our giving…

(Galatians 3:11 Clearly no one who relies on the law is justified before God, because “the righteous will live by faith.) And in faith, we live by the spirit, and He (the spirit) will inspire you from deep within your heart to give gracefully and not grudgingly out of the condemnation of the law, And that’s how everyone should give in the church of God, from how they have purposed it in their hearts (2 corinthians 9:7)

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Fawolo kollie December 4, 2013 at 11:11 am

I am fawolo kollie one of the good student in the trumpet of faith school.

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Topo January 22, 2014 at 2:13 pm

Thank you for the information on tithing and i kindly request clarifications on two minor issues.

1. Can tithing be offered as a “service” instead of money especially if you are poor. For instance cleaning at church, or taking part from any activity in church.
2. and another point is, when it is said.. give tithe and offerings, what is meant by offerings?? Is it still money or what? Please educate me there.

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Katie April 5, 2014 at 8:30 am

what if someone else pays your bill, like lights or phone,do you still pay tithes on that,that they paid? or give you money for gas to do something for them? is that to be tithed on? thank you

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NSIEFE Hosea May 9, 2014 at 5:56 am

Tell me more about the great mistry about tithes

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Polee Jen June 27, 2014 at 11:09 am

I felt guilty of all about tithes.How can i be a faithful tither,is there any thing like to pay back for the years one has spent without paying?

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Gary Arnold June 27, 2014 at 12:32 pm

Here is what the New Testament says about those who try to keep God’s tithing laws: 1 Timothy 1:8-10 (KJV)
8But we know that the law is good, if a man use it lawfully;
9Knowing this, that the law is not made for a righteous man, but for the lawless and disobedient, for the ungodly and for sinners, for unholy and profane, for murderers of fathers and murderers of mothers, for manslayers,
10For whoremongers, for them that defile themselves with mankind, for menstealers, for liars, for perjured persons, and if there be any other thing that is contrary to sound doctrine;

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