To tithe or not to tithe, that is the question…


Here are 10 points from Bill Johnson´s teaching on the tithe. We find these instructions very helpful. Bill Johnson is the apostolic leader of Bethel Redding in California.

1) A fundamental question is this: Is the tithe a principle only for those who live under the Law of Moses?
 Answer: No. Abraham practiced the tithe 400 years before the Law was given – “Melchizedek, king of Salem … to whom also Abraham gave a tenth part of all…” Hebrews 7:1-4. Jacob also tithed. “… of all that You give me I will surely give a tenth to You” Genesis 28:22. The Law ratified the wisdom of tithing. “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; so it is holy to the Lord” Leviticus 27:30. Jesus confirmed the principle of the tithe. “… you pay tithe of the mint and anise and cummin … these you ought to have done…” Matthew 23:23
2) Did the early church fathers practice tithing?
Answer: Yes. Jusitin Martyr, Renaeus, Tertullian, Cyprian, Irenaius, Ambrose, Augustine, and many more.” Our ancestors used to abound in wealth of ever kind for this reason that they used to give tithes and pay the tax to Caesar… we have been unwilling to share the tithe with God, now the whole is taken away” – Augustine
3) Another significant question is: Can I choose where the tithe is to go?
Answer: No. The tithe is a payment, already designated by God to go into the storehouse for the ministry of the local church. “Bring all the tithes into the storehouse, that there may be food in My house” – Malachi 3:10
4) What is the purpose of the tithe?
Answer: To provide for the priests. They are the ones in ministry that work to equip the saints for service. “For the tithe of the children of Israel, which they offer as a heave offering to the Lord, I have given to the Levites as an inheritance…” – Numbers 18:24
5) Question: Can we borrow the tithe?
Answer: Yes, at 20 percent interest. “If a man wants at all to redeem any of his tithes, he shall add one-fifth to it” – Leviticus 27:31
6) What happens if I keep my tithe?
Answer: You can withhold tithe, but you never get to keep it. It belongs to the devourer. “He gave them all into his hand … to fulfill the word of the Lord by the mouth of Jeremiah, until the land had enjoyed her Sabbaths… to fulfill seventy years” – 2 Chronicles 36:17-22
Withholding the tithe is idolatry. “… all Israel… broke the sacred pillars, cut down the wooden images, and threw down the high places and the alters… As soon as the commandment was circulated, the children of Israel brought the abundance the first fruits of all the produce of the field; and they brought in abundantly the tithe of all” – 2 Chronicles 31:1-5
7) Will tithing remove all financial difficulties?
Answer: No. But it is the beginning place of those wanting God’s blessing. Some problems are related to other areas needing obedience.
8) Question: Do I tithe on the net or the gross?
Answer: The tithe should be based on the gross income. Another way to look at it would be, which measure would you like for God to use to bless you with? A tithe of the gross, or a tithe of the net?
9) What should a wife do if her unbelieving husband does not want to tithe?
Answer: Testing God in this way is a practical way for people to see God’s faithfulness.
10) What is the difference between a tithe and an offering?
Answer: The tithe is a payment, while the offering is a gift. Both are required that we do not rob God. “… but you say, ‘In what way have we robbed you?’ In tithes and offerings” – Malachi 3:8
Where should we give our offerings? Answer: That is your choice. Give according to your burden. Just remember to put the work of the Kingdom of God first.