Biblical Prosperity in Perspective 21

Tithing Under the New Covenant

by Pastor John Hamel

The Most High God made us from the dust of His earth.  He went to amazing lengths to redeem us after Adam’s fall.  Therefore, He now owns us and He has the absolute right to command us.  He has the absolute right to say how much of our income will be set apart as holy unto Him.  This He has done.  

He said that the tithe is one-tenth of all of our increase and that it is holy.  It is holy because everything that belongs to God is holy. (Leviticus 27:30) 

The tithe belongs to God.  There is absolutely nothing at all in the New Testament that even remotely hints at the setting aside of Old Testament teaching on the subject of the holy tithe.  End of story.

Jesus Commanded & Commended Tithing

“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)

Here Jesus rebukes these religious leaders for their hypocrisy.  They were faithful tithe payers, indeed, but were neglecting judgment, justice and mercy towards others.  In essence, Jesus was telling them, “You pay tithes and that’s good.  Real good.  You should pay tithes.  It’s in the Book.  But don’t neglect judgment, justice and mercy in your dealings with My human creation.  That’s not good.  That can get you into some pretty hot water with My Father.  You won’t like that.  I promise.”

Today Jesus might say something like this, “Don’t be unjust and merciless towards other human beings.  Be kind, fair and truthful.  Pay your tithes and pay them on time.  Your Pastor needs your financial support to do what I’m telling him to do.  He can’t seek and save the lost, destroy the works of Satan and break the back of poverty within this congregation and out in the world if you don’t obey Me.  So pay your tithes faithfully, not sporadically.  Also, don’t lord it over your Pastor when you do.  Give it with simplicity.  That way My Father can wrap this whole thing up more quickly and get you all home to Heaven in a timely manner.” 

Jesus is big on paying tithes, real big.  As a matter of fact, tithing is an idea that came right out of His mind.

“For by him were all things created, that are in heaven, and that are in earth, visible and invisible, whether they be thrones, or dominions, or principalities, or powers: all things were created by him, and for him:” (Colossians 1:16)

The Apostle Paul Made Much of Tithing

“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?” (1Corinthians 9:13)

Here in verse 13 Paul is reminding New Testament Believers that under Moses Law the Priests were supported by the giving of the people.  

We saw in our last study entitled “Tithing Under the Old Covenant” that the way the people gave to the Priesthood was through tithes and offerings. 

“Even so hath the Lord ordained that they which preach the gospel should live of the gospel.” (1Corinthians 9:14)

Here, in verse 14, Paul uses the expression “even so.”  He is saying that New Testament Ministers today should be supported by tithes and offerings even as Old Testament Ministers were supported by tithes and offerings.  Although Paul does not use the word “tithes” here it is clear, through close examination, that tithing is indeed his subject. 

God has ordained that His Ministers under the New Covenant are to be supported in the same way His Ministers were supported under the Old Covenant.

“Now concerning the collection for the saints, as I have given order to the churches of Galatia, even so do ye.  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.” (1Corinthians 16:1,2)

It is quite apparent that the word “tithe” is nowhere to be seen in either of these two verses.  However, the principle of tithing is clearly evident to the truthful student. 

Paul here encourages the weekly laying “in store” by the individual as God has prospered him or her.  Why did Paul use the term “in store”?  The answer is that Paul was an Old Testament scholar.  He knew the writings of the Prophet Malachi as well as anyone did.  Here is what Malachi wrote by inspiration of the Holy Spirit.

“Bring ye all the tithes into the storehouse...” (Malachi 3:10a)

In his writing to the Church at Corinth, Paul was referring to bringing their tithes to their local storehouse.  The local storehouse is where God’s Word is stored.  The local storehouse is the Local Church.  This is where the saints were and still are instructed to come to be filled with the meat of God’s Word through the preaching and teaching of the local Pastor. (Ephesians 4:8-16)  

Paul made it perfectly clear that each week when the saints gathered at the storehouse, they were to bring their tithes with them.  This New Covenant command is just as binding today. 

Paul did not say, “Let him lay in store as he feels impressed to do so.”  He did not say, “Let him lay in store spontaneously, impulsively or on the spur of the moment.”  Paul said, in essence, “Bring your tithes to the storehouse weekly or according to whatever your pay period is.”

I once had a Brother continue to tell me, concerning his tithes, “Remind me to write you out a check before you go.”  I finally told him, in essence, “Listen, Brother, the Bible says to pay your tithes when you get paid.  Stop putting pressure on me to beg you for them.  I’m just not going to do that.”  He became offended and withdrew his tithes.  Now he is in trouble for trying to control me through his tithe paying and for refusing to pay his tithes because I would not allow him to control me.  Talk about being in hot water with the Father.  Both Jesus and Paul said, “Don’t do that.”  This is why the Bible commands us to give with simplicity, not with ulterior motives. (Romans 12:8)

Paul also said, “Let everyone … lay by him … as God hath prospered him.” (Verse 2)  Notice “as God hath prospered him.” 

Paul is referring to proportionate giving.  Paul is referring to a percentage basis.  The only predetermined percentage that God has commanded us to give is ten percent, the tithe.  Paul knew this as well as, if not better than, anyone.  

Therefore, Paul could only have been referring to the tithe.  Everyone must bring the same proportion or the same percentage in order to meet the requirements of these verses.  That proportion, that percentage, is the holy tithe.

The Apostle Paul Makes Himself Clearer Still

“For I mean not that other men be eased, and ye burdened: But by an equality, that now at this time your abundance may be a supply for their want, that their abundance also may be a supply for your want: that there may be equality:” (2Corinthians 8:13,14)

If you were to go back and read this chapter in context, you would see that Paul is talking about giving and receiving.  Here Paul begins and ends his thought with the word “equality.”  He is making it clear that God’s people are to give with “equality” or with equal proportion and equal percentage.  The only equal proportion or percentage ever specified by the Most High God in the Bible is the tithe.  Paul knew this better than anyone.  There is simply no other way to interpret his use of the word “equality” here. 

This is simple enough for a child to understand and deliberately so.  Children are to be trained to pay tithes at an early age so that God can prosper them throughout their lives.

“And here men that die receive tithes; but there he receiveth them, of whom it is witnessed that he liveth.” (Hebrews 7:8)

Although this is the last time the tithe is mentioned in the Bible, it does not just end here.  In this final reference, the tithe is connected directly to Jesus.  Although we pay our tithes to men who die (human Ministers), they are personally received in Heaven by Jesus Who never dies.  This clearly reveals that our obligation to pay both tithes and offerings is to Christ, Who is the Head of the Church. 

It is to Christ and Christ alone to Whom we will answer concerning our giving when we stand before the Bema (Reward) Judgment Seat of Christ. (2Corinthians 5:10; Romans 14:10)  God’s children will not stand before the Great White Throne Judgment.  That is a Judgment for Christ-rejecters only. (Revelation 20:11-15)  God’s children will stand before the Bema Judgment Seat of Christ.  It is here that rewards will be given or rewards will be taken away upon entering Eternity. (1Corinthians 3:13-15) 

Our Father’s appointed method for financing the operation of His Church in the Earth, as well as the present End-Time Harvest of Souls, is through tithes and offerings.  The Bible is clear, the tithe is the disciplined setting aside of one-tenth of all that He gives us for the establishing of His Covenant in the Earth. (Deuteronomy 8:18) 

Where tithing is ignored or substituted, there is almost always stoppage, shortage and curses.  Where tithing is ignored or substituted, there is the constant threat of failure, collapse and loss. 

Where tithing is adhered to the back of shortage, debt and lack is broken.  The Laws of Blessing overtake and everything needed to live successfully for God literally chases the obedient Believer down. (Mark 10:29,30; Luke 6:38; 3John 2)

Tithing Is More Binding under the New Covenant than the Old

Saints under the New Covenant are under a greater obligation to pay tithes than people under the Old Covenant for the following reason.  Our privileges, blessings and authority are far, far greater than theirs was. 

“But now hath he [Jesus] obtained a more excellent ministry, by how much also he is the mediator of a better covenant, which was established upon better promises.” (Hebrews 8:6)

The people of the Old Covenant lived under what is called the Dispensation of Condemnation.  They had no Savior at the time.  

The people under the New Covenant live under what is called the Dispensation of Grace because we have a Savior.  

God’s grace is more powerful than Satan’s condemnation.  God’s love is more powerful than Satan’s hatred.  The faith of God is more powerful than the fear of Satan.  

Christ’s Priesthood is more powerful than the Levitical Priesthood under Mosaic Law.  

Therefore, our obligation to pay tithes under the New Covenant is greater than their obligation to pay tithes under the Old Covenant. 

It is just not possible to be a responsible citizen of God’s Kingdom under His New Covenant and refuse to pay tithes for any reason.  This is how God’s Ministers are to be supported.  This is how world harvest is to be accomplished.  

It is estimated that only ten percent of Christians pay their tithes to the Lord.  If every Christian paid their tithes faithfully, the entire world would be evangelized in an amazingly brief period of time.  

People die and go to Hell every day because someone did not pay their tithes in order that they may be reached with the Gospel. 

Every Christian knows in his or her heart that they should give to God what belongs to God.  The tithe has not ceased to be holy nor has it ceased to belong to God. (Leviticus 27:30)  

Human conscience convicts deeply when God’s means of establishing His Covenant in the Earth is ignored or substituted.  There is no peace for what God Himself calls the “God robber.”  

There is never peace when responsibility has been neglected and privilege has been ignored.

Israel honored the inferior Priesthood of Aaron by paying tithes to them.  

True New Testament Believers want to and do honor the superior Priesthood of Jesus by paying tithes to Him per His clear Biblical instruction. 

Be blessed … John and Barbara Hamel



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