Giving vs. Tithing (Part 1)
Giving vs. Tithing (Part 2)     

     We, as believers in Jesus Christ, are called to support the work of the Kingdom of God, Kingdom-building, and meet the needs of the poor. How do we do this? By applying our God-given gifts and by giving back to God from that with which He has blessed us. God’s word is very clear about this command, yet believers are often confused about how and what to give to God’s work.
     There are many myths that believers are confronted with relating to giving. The best way to deal with determining what is true and what is false is to develop a close and firm relationship with the Giver of all truth, God. Also remember that we have the Spirit of truth dwelling within us, always ready to teach us and lead us. So let us see and hear what He will teach us about giving unto the Lord and His work.
     First let us examine the history of tithing. Israel was neither the first nor the only nation using the tithing concept. Before the Mosaic laws, we find two people in the Bible giving tithes. They are Abram (Genesis 14:18-20; Hebrews 7) and Jacob (Genesis 28:22).
      Why did Abram (Abraham) and Jacob give tithes and to whom did they give them? The giving of the tenth or the tithe was totally voluntary for Abraham and Jacob. God had not required their tithing. Abraham was blessed by Melchizedek who is described as the priest of the most high God. Melchizedek blessed Abraham and blessed God Who had given Abraham victory over his enemies. Abraham then gives Melchizedek tithes of all that he has. Jacob vowed to acknowledge and honor God’s house and the many blessings that God had promised him. Jacob voluntarily gave a tenth of all that God gave to him. In the Mosaic laws, the concept of tithing took on a whole new form and meaning. In these laws there are three foundational questions that one must ask and answer. They are:
  •  What is to be tithed?
  •  To whom is the tithe given?
  •  Where is the tithe given?
     These questions are very important to us today if we are going to understand why we are not under the tithing rules. So let us look at the first question "what is to be tithed?" To find the answer to this question go to Leviticus 27:
30) And all the tithe of the land, whether of the seed of the land, or of the fruit of the tree, is the Lord's: it is holy unto the Lord.
31) And if a man will at all redeem ought of his tithes, he shall add thereto the fifth part thereof.
32) And concerning the tithe of the herd, or of the flock, even of whatsoever passeth under the rod, the tenth shall be holy unto the Lord.
33) He shall not search whether it be good or bad, neither shall he change it: and if he change it at all, then both it and the change thereof shall be holy; it shall not be redeemed.
34) These are the commandments, which the Lord commanded Moses for the children of Israel in mount Sinai. (King James Version)

          What is to be tithed?     
The tithe is required of all the land and everything on and in the land is the Lord’s.
          Can you redeem it (take it back)? If yes, at what price?
Verse 31 says that you can redeem the tithe, but if you do, at the time that you give the tithe you will have to add another 1/5 or 20% of the tithe’s value to the original tithe and give it unto the Lord.
          Is there anything that cannot be exchanged? If so, what?
The tithe cannot be exchanged with something of lesser value or quality. In fact the tithe cannot be changed at all.
          What happens when you try to exchange it?
If you try to change it, then you must give the original tithe and what you tried to exchange it for to the Lord.

It is also important to remember that the tithes are in addition to the offering of the first fruits that is found in Exodus 22: 29-30.
29) Thou shalt not delay to offer the first of thy ripe fruits, and of thy liquors: the firstborn of thy sons shalt thou give unto Me.
30) Likewise shalt thou do with thine oxen, and with thy sheep: seven days it shall be with his dam; on the eighth day thou shalt give it Me.

          To whom is the tithe given?
 This answer is also in God's word, Numbers 18: 21-32 (KJV).
21) And, behold, I have given the children of Levi all the tenth in Israel for an inheritance, for their service which they serve, even the service of the tabernacle of the congregation.
22) Neither must the children of Israel henceforth come nigh the tabernacle of the congregation, lest they bear sin, and die.
23) But the Levites shall do the service of the tabernacle of the congregation, and they shall bear their iniquity: it shall be a statute for ever throughout your generations, that among the children of Israel they have no inheritance.
24) But the tithes of the children of Israel, which they offer as an heave offering unto the Lord, I have given to the Levites to inherit: therefore I have said unto them, Among the children of Israel they shall have no inheritance.
25) And the Lord spake unto Moses, saying,
26) Thus speak unto the Levites, and say unto them, When ye take of the children of Israel the tithes which I have given you from them for your inheritance, then ye shall offer up an heave offering of it for the Lord, even a tenth part of the tithe.

27) And this your heave offering shall be reckoned unto you, as though it were the corn of the threshing floor, and as the fullness of the winepress.
28) Thus ye also shall offer an heave offering unto the Lord of all your tithes, which ye receive of the children of Israel; and ye shall give thereof the Lord's heave offering to Aaron the priest.
29) Out of all your gifts ye shall offer every heave offering of the Lord, of all the best thereof, even the hallowed part thereof out of it.
30) Therefore thou shalt say unto them, When ye have heaved the best thereof from it, then it shall be counted unto the Levites as the increase of the threshing floor, and as the increase of the winepress.
31) And ye shall eat it in every place, ye and your households: for it is your reward for your service in the tabernacle of the congregation.
32) And ye shall bear no sin by reason of it, when ye have heaved from it the best of it: neither shall ye pollute the holy things of the children of Israel, lest ye die.

          To whom are the tithes given? Why are they given to them?
     God appoints the tribe of Levites as the priesthood to service the tabernacle and its congregation. He gives the Levites no inheritance. God provides for the Levites by giving them the tithes that the people bring to Him.     
     Are they, the Levites, to tithe?
The Levites are required to tithe from all that they receive of the children of Israel.
     To whom do they give their tithes?
 The Levites are required to give their tithes to Aaron, the high priest.

     The third question that needs to be answered is where do we give tithes?
In order to answer this question, look in Deuteronomy 12: 1-14 and 14:22-29.
Where are we to give our tithes?
Deuteronomy 12:1-12, 32, KJV
1.) These are the statutes and judgments, which ye shall observe to do in the land, which the Lord God of thy fathers giveth thee to possess it, all the days that ye live upon the earth.
2.) Ye shall utterly destroy all the places, wherein the nations which ye shall possess served their gods, upon the high mountains, and upon the hills, and under every green tree:
3.) And ye shall overthrow their altars, and break their pillars, and burn their groves with fire; and ye shall hew down the graven images of their gods, and destroy the names of them out of that place.
4.) Ye shall not do so unto the Lord your God.
5.) But unto the place which the Lord your God shall choose out of all your tribes to put his name there, even unto his habitation shall ye seek, and thither thou shalt come:
6.) And thither ye shall bring your burnt offerings, and your sacrifices, and your tithes, and heave offerings of your hand, and your vows, and your freewill offerings, and the firstlings of your herds and of your flocks:

7.) And there ye shall eat before the Lord your God, and ye shall rejoice in all that ye put your hand unto, ye and your households, wherein the Lord thy God hath blessed thee.
8.) Ye shall not do after all the things that we do here this day, every man whatsoever is right in his own eyes.
9.) For ye are not as yet come to the rest and to the inheritance, which the Lord your God giveth you.
10.) But when ye go over Jordan, and dwell in the land which the Lord your God giveth you to inherit, and when he giveth you rest from all your enemies round about, so that ye dwell in safety;
11.) Then there shall be a place which the Lord your God shall choose to cause his name to dwell there; thither shall ye bring all that I command you; your burnt offerings, and your sacrifices, your tithes, and the heave offering of your hand, and all your choice vows which ye vow unto the Lord:
12.) And ye shall rejoice before the Lord your God, ye, and your sons, and your daughters, and your menservants, and your maidservants, and the Levite that is within your gates; forasmuch as he hath no part nor inheritance with you.
32.) What thing soever I command you, observe to do it: thou shalt not add thereto, nor diminish from it.
Deuteronomy 14:22-29, KJV
22.) Thou shalt truly tithe all the increase of thy seed, that the field bringeth forth year by year.
23.) And thou shalt eat before the Lord thy God, in the place which he shall choose to place his name there, the tithe of thy corn, of thy wine, and of thine oil, and the firstlings of thy herds and of thy flocks; that thou mayest learn to fear the Lord thy God always.
24.) And if the way be too long for thee, so that thou art not able to carry it; or if the place be too far from thee, which the Lord thy God shall choose to set his name there, when the Lord thy God hath blessed thee:

25.) Then shalt thou turn it into money, and bind up the money in thine hand, and shalt go unto the place which the Lord thy God shall choose:
26.) And thou shalt bestow that money for whatsoever thy soul lusteth after, for oxen, or for sheep, or for wine, or for strong drink, or for whatsoever thy soul desireth: and thou shalt eat there before the Lord thy God, and thou shalt rejoice, thou, and thine household,
27.) And the Levite that is within thy gates; thou shalt not forsake him; for he hath no part nor inheritance with thee.
28.) At the end of three years thou shalt bring forth all the tithe of thine increase the same year, and shalt lay it up within thy gates:
29.) And the Levite, (because he hath no part nor inheritance with thee,) and the stranger, and the fatherless, and the widow, which are within thy gates, shall come, and shall eat and be satisfied; that the Lord thy God may bless thee in all the work of thine hand which thou doest.
     God said that his people will take their tithes, first fruits, sacrifices, vows, and offerings into the place upon which He places His name, His tabernacle and His temple. Who picks the places? The Lord chooses the place where the tithes and offerings are brought. How many places? There is only one place to which the tithes are taken by all tribes, and God chooses the place. If the journey to this place was too long for a person and his household, he may sell that which is being tithed for money and then take that money into the place that the Lord chooses to set His name.