Why should we look to know more of giving, receiving and Tithing? You may wish to see why you believe [1 Corinthians 2]. The Tithe is a sacrifice, but is it in our obedience? (It is written, obedience is better than sacrifice.) As with Saul, or with Simon, how we proceed may be more important than good intentions or for what we would accomplish [1 Samuel 15], [Acts 8:18-24].

What belongs to our Lord? [Psalms 24:1] The Tithe is His. To begin, every firstborn (firstfruits) is sanctified to Him [Exodus 13:1-2; Leviticus 27:26] Also, everything dedicated (promised) to Him is His [Leviticus 27:1-29]. Lastly, 10% of everything the Earth yields, not including the above mentioned, is due Him each year [Leviticus 27:30-34; Deuteronomy 14:22]. This 10% is of property (not income or cash flow) [Genesis 14:18:20]. How often should we present the Tithe? Once a year, at a specified time [Deuteronomy 14:22; Nehemiah 10:32-35]. Where should we bring His Tithe? Where the Lord's name is established [Deuteronomy 14:23; Nehemiah 10:35]. What should you and I do with our Tithe when we present it? Every third year it is to be stored away for the priests, strangers, orphans and widows in our town [Deuteronomy 14:27-29; 26:13-14]. Two out of three years it is to be consumed by the person/family bringing it, at the place where the Lord's name is established [Deuteronomy 14:23-26]. Aaron's family received a Tithe of the Tithe from the Levites [Nehemiah 10:38].

What about the use of currency with the Tithe? This is referred to in the scriptures as redeeming (buying back) the Lord's Tithe. What could be converted to cash? Both people and unclean animals intended to be given [Leviticus 27:1-13; Numbers 18:15-19]; property which was prior promised to God [Leviticus 27:14-25]; and, finally, the 10% of possessions -- but only if lengthy traveling distances warranted it. In the case of this last travelers conversion, the money was to be converted back into property upon arrival at the place of tithing by the person carrying the Tithe [Deuteronomy 14:22-26]. Anything set-apart (sanctified) to God was never to be converted to cash. To convert the tithe to cash or currency: Tithe = Value plus 1/5 again. [Leviticus 27:31] A sign outside the temple could have read:
Non-cash property      10%
Cash customers12%
No Credit Cards
What about the New Covenant and the Lord's Tithe? May I preface here with a note that Jesus warned us to be on guard against the teachings of religious leaders and political rulers [Matthew 16:12; Mark 8:15]. It is the Law which requires the Tithe [Hebrews 7:5]. Although the New Testament makes no affirmative claim for the Tithe, may we acknowledge Jesus' view of the Law [Matthew 5:19]. We may infer from the parables that God expects 100% plus interest/investment earnings on all He provides to us [Matthew 25:14-30; Luke 19:11-27]. Some texts uphold non-monetary giving [Matthew 22:15-22; Mark 12:17; Luke 20:25], and covert giving [Matthew 6:1-4]. Paul sets a standard for simple giving in I Corinthians 16:1-3 and II Corinthians 9:5-7. Lastly, the parables & the Acts support dissolution/liquidation of all personal assets for the purpose of giving to others [Matthew 19:21; Mark 10:21; Acts 2:44-47; 4:32-35]. Giving, receiving and helping may have, in time, run scarce early within the Church [Philippians 4:14-17].


The Trial of Pastor Jones:

Judge: Mr. Jones you have been charged with multiple counts of extortion. Your alleged crime spree covers 20 years and thousands of victims. You are being accused of defrauded people of money by means of fear and manipulation, telling them they had to tithe 10 percent of their income to your church, and that God would bless them if they did. How do you plead?

Mr. Jones: I plead "Not Guilty", your Honor. I have done nothing wrong. I have only preached what the Bible says. In the Bible Abraham tithed to Melchizedek and God blessed him for his faithful giving. The Bible even says he was rich in silver and gold.

Judge: Is it not true, Mr. Jones, that in Genesis chapter 13, verse 2, the Bible records that Abraham was rich with livestock, silver and gold?

Mr. Jones: Yes, you are exactly right; that's what I just told you.

Judge: Ok, we read about Abraham being a rich man in chapter 13, but it is not until Genesis chapter 14 that we read about Abraham's tithe to Melchizedek. So Abraham was already a rich man before he tithed to Melchizedek, wasn't he?

Mr. Jones: Yes, I suppose you are right.

Judge: So his riches were not the result of his tithe to Melchizedek?

Mr. Jones: No.

Judge: Mr. Jones, you also say God blessed him for his faithful giving. How many times is it recorded that Abraham gave tithes to Melchizedek?

Mr. Jones: Well, just once.

Judge: So the Bible never declares that he gave week after week?

Mr. Jones: No, it does not.

Judge: Where did Abraham get the things that he gave to Melchizedek?

Mr. Jones: Well, the Bible says it was from the plunders of war.

Judge: So you are telling me that he gave from the plunders of war?

Mr. Jones: Yes, that's what the Bible says.

Judge: So he basically took things that were not really his in the first place, and gave them as the tithe?

Mr. Jones: That is what the scripture seems to indicate.

Judge: Is it recorded that he ever took anything from his own possessions and tithed them to Melchizedek or anyone else?

Mr. Jones: I guess not.

Judge: You guess not? Is it, or is it not, written that he ever gave any of his own possessions as a tithe to anyone?

Mr. Jones: No, it is not written anywhere that I have seen.

Judge: Is it recorded as to what exactly Abraham did give Melchizedek?

Mr. Jones: I believe it says "plunder"?

Judge: So plunder could be any number of things?

Mr. Jones: Yes, I suppose

Judge: It could have been food, cattle, sheep; the people's possessions, or any number of things. It does not tell us that was all money, correct?

Mr. Jones: Yes you are correct, it does not say just money.

Judge: As a matter of fact, money is never mentioned in that account at all. Is that correct, Mr. Jones?

Mr. Jones: Yes, your Honor; money is never mentioned, just goods and food and people.

Judge: So there is no way you can say with any certainty that Abraham in fact gave Melchizedek any money at all?

Mr. Jones: That is right.

Judge: I have one last question for you, Mr. Jones: did God command Abraham to give this plunder tithe to Melchizedek?

Mr. Jones: No, it appears that he did this voluntarily.

Judge: So, are you trying to tell me that because of this voluntary, one time gift by Abraham, that may not have even consisted of money, all Christians everywhere are obligated to bring 10 percent of their weekly paycheck to a local church organization?

Judge: Considering all the evidence I would say you are beyond any shadow of a doubt guilty of deliberately trying to make the scriptures says things they have not said for financial gain.

Mr. Jones: Ok, your Honor, I can see how foolish I was to try and use the story of Melchizedeck to try and get the people to tithe money. But there are many other verses that will support my belief on tithing. Jacob said he would give God 10 percent of everything. I think we should follow his example.

Judge: Let's see what Jacob said. Please read for the court the verse you are talking about, Mr. Jones.

Mr. Jones: In Genesis chapter 28 starting at verse 20 it says, "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 clothing to put on, so that I come again to my father's house in peace, and Yahweh will be my God, then this stone, which I have set up for a pillar, will be God's house. Of all that you will give me I will surely give the tenth to you."

Judge: You said we should follow Jacobs's example; is that right, Mr. Jones?

Mr. Jones: Yes that is right. He vowed to give a tenth and we should too.

Judge: Let me point out one thing for you, Mr. Jones: Jacob said he would give God a tenth only if He blessed him first. So as you said previously, we should follow Jacob's example and tell God that we will only give him a tenth if he blesses us first. Is that right?

Mr. Jones: That is not what I meant.

Judge: What did you mean, then?

Mr. Jones: That we should give God a tenth also.

Judge: Mr. Jones, you are trying to make the scripture say what you want it to say for your benefit. I would also like you to read for me where Jacob kept his vow with God. I would also like to know where he brought the tenth, because there was no temple or Levites to present it to at that time.

Mr. Jones: I cannot think of any scriptures that say where or if he ever tithed after his vow.

Judge: It seems fairly obvious to me that Jacob made a voluntary and conditional vow to God. This in no way can be used as a reason to demand others to bring their income to you or any other place.

Mr. Jones: I do have a few more scriptures that I believe will show that we are supposed to tithe.

Judge: You have not said anything yet to convince me one little bit that people are obligated to tithe money to the local churches and that you were justified in what you were doing. You have taken scripture and misapplied it to your beliefs and for your gain. However, I will allow you to present more evidence.

Mr. Jones: In the book of Malachi, chapter 3, starting at verse 8, it says, "Will a man rob God? Yet you have robbed Me. But ye say, In what have we robbed You? In tithes and offerings. Ye are cursed with a curse: for you have robbed Me, even this whole nation. Bring all the tithes into the storehouse, that there may be food in my house; and prove me now with this, says 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." So you see, your Honor, we are commanded to bring the tithes into the storehouse or God will curse us.

Judge: Answer me this, Mr. Jones: were you aware that God never required anyone to tithe money?

Mr. Jones: No, I didn't know that.

Judge: The tithe spoken of here was always edible products, never money.

Mr. Jones: Well, your Honor, that is because they didn't have money at the time, so God had them tithe food instead.

Judge: Not true. Money is first mentioned in Genesis, and Malachi was written hundreds of years later. God had them bring food in so that the Levites, the fatherless and widows may eat and be satisfied. The tithe was used mainly to take care of people. Also notice from the verse you quoted, that there may be food in my house. How do you completely overlook the word food in those verses?

Mr. Jones: I don't know.

Judge: Once again you have tried to completely take a scripture out of context and apply it to others for your benefit. Can you give me a single scripture where God changed the tithe from food to money?

Mr. Jones: I do not know of any.

Judge: So then, if God never changed it from food to money, who did?

Mr. Jones: Man must have.

Judge: Is this all the evidence for proof that you have?

Mr. Jones: I do have a New Testament scripture that will show that Jesus told us to tithe.

Judge: Ok, the court will hear it.

Mr. Jones: Jesus said in Matthew 23:23 "Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you tithe mint, dill, and cumin, and have left undone the weightier matters of the law: justice, mercy, and faith. But you ought to have done these, and not to have left the other undone." See! Jesus said we should be tithing.

Judge: Let me ask you a question: Who was Jesus talking to?

Mr. Jones: The scripture says, the scribes and Pharisees.

Judge: Are you a scribe or Pharisee?

Mr. Jones: Of course not.

Judge: I want you to take a look at that verse again. Also tell me, what were they tithing from?

Mr. Jones: The scripture says it was mint, dill and cumin.

Judge: Is money mentioned?

Mr. Jones: No, it was not.

Judge: Once again, it was edible products that they were tithing, not money. Do you have anything else you would like to say?

Mr. Jones: If people only tithed edible products, like the scripture says, then how would the church survive? We have our mortgage payment, utility bills, my salary and a host of other things that we have to pay each week. We depend on the money from the people.

Judge: The need does not justify the means. In other words, just because you have all these debts does not give you the right to twist and manipulate scripture and cause people to give under fear of being cursed by God to meet your needs.

Mr. Jones: I never realized these things before. I have always been taught that we had to tithe money to the local church and that is what I have taught. I can see now that I was completely wrong. I did not study the scripture with heart open to the truth. I only took man's word for it. Yes, I am guilty. I will not teach this error anymore.

Judge: Mr. Jones, I can see that you done this in ignorance and are repentant, this court today, without prejudice, will not hold you accountable. It is your responsibility to know the truth. Do not receive man's word any longer. Seek the Lord in all your giving.
Court adjourned.