Money tests your heart. And in this world it is a test that all of us must take. Even Jesus used money and material resources while he was here on Earth. He didn’t walk on water everywhere he went. Sometimes he rode in Peter’s boat. The Lord did not always multiply bread and fish. At times he instructed his disciples to go into town to buy some food. At other times people from nearby towns and villages invited Jesus and the core of his ministry to have dinner with them in their homes. The disciples lived in the supernatural. They even witnessed miracles. But on a regular day-to-day basis they did a lot of very ordinary and practical things. And some of the believers who followed Jesus’ ministry faithfully supported it financially. Jesus had a treasurer because he had a treasure. Judas was in charge of carrying the money bag. But Judas failed the money test. Jesus passed it. And he is our example.
I’ve watched some so-called ministers on social media preach entire sermons about how tithing is not in the New Testament and is no longer a commandment. Their entire message was — You don’t have to tithe. Yet they failed to tell believers what we are commanded to do.
These wannabe pastors seem to have missed the part in their New Testament where Jesus told the religious leaders — You are right to tithe and should keep on tithing, but don’t neglect matters of the heart; things like justice, mercy and faithfulness. (see Matthew 23:23)
The first example of tithing we see in scripture is in Genesis 14:17-20. Melchizedek (the priest of God) prayed over and blessed Abram (a believer). Then Abram gave a tenth of his stuff. Melchizedek’s words had real spiritual power. Through these anointed words Abram received a spiritual blessing and so in return he gave a material offering.
The end of the Old Testament reminds believers everywhere to tithe and give. (see Malachi 3) Much of the book of Malachi is the prophet Malachi correcting the priests for not teaching the people to tithe and give. God’s message to the people of that time was — Stop robbing from Me by keeping the tithe for yourselves… become tithers and givers so I can bless you!
Tithing is about honoring God. (see Proverbs 3:9,10)
Tithing, by its very nature, requires faith and faithfulness. It’s a discipline. And it affects your heart.
Tithing makes you a covenant partner with God. It gives God a legal right to get involved with your finances.
Tithing supports ministers and ministries. In Old Testament times the tithe was the priest’s pay. But it did not stop there. Even the priests were commanded to tithe. (see Numbers 18)
No where in the New Testament does it say to stop tithing. And all throughout the New Testament believers are encouraged to give.
Where your treasure is there your heart will be also. It’s a spiritual principle. (see Luke 12:34) It applies to everyone; all generations. Money is not evil. The love of money is the root of all kinds of evil. (see First Timothy 6:10) Money itself is just a tool. For someone with a servant’s heart money is a major blessing. And God delights in the prosperity of his servants. (see Psalm 35:27)
Being poor does not make you righteous. Being rich does not make you a bad person. Remember Job? In the spirit realm it was like there was a big target on his back. The Devil searched for a way to destroy this man. Why did the Devil hate Job so much? Because Job was a righteous billionaire. He was rich and famous… and he had faith in God!
The highest purpose of money, resources, and technology is to take care of Kingdom Business. That’s why we should rejoice when a good minister or good ministry acquires lands and buildings and cars and computers and houses and a jet! It’s a good thing when true believers have a money flow. If they can freely receive and freely give then it becomes money with a mission.
As believers we can also have some things just because we enjoy them. God doesn’t have a problem with you having nice things. He just doesn’t want the things to have you. That is why He came up with a system that allows Him to bless His people without them ever being overcome by the spirit of greed. It’s called “Tithing and Giving.”
“Tithe” is a mathematical term: it means “tenth,” as in “ten percent.” If you were given ten “one-dollar bills” then your tithe is the first one. All the bills may look exactly alike, but you should see that first one differently. Because it is not the same as the rest. The tithe is God’s Money. It should be set apart from the rest. And that takes faith.
Remember Jesus standing there outside the temple treasury watching to see how much each person gave? (see Mark 12:41-44) This temple was the place where the people came to hear the Word of God. Under the Laws of Moses it was also where they came to give their offerings.
Some of the super wealthy gave out of their plenty. In a sense, it didn’t cost them. They were tipping God. But Jesus called attention to the poor widow woman who gave out of her lack. She had given all that she had.
Your tithe is not about the amount. It’s the percentage that counts with God. The widow’s offering was less than a dollar. As far as amounts go it was small. But percentage-wise it was big. And this big giver received special praise from the Lord.
Under the Old Covenant God’s people had prophets and priests who were anointed to teach the Word. Under the New Covenant we have the 5-Fold Ministry—apostles, prophets, evangelists, pastors, and teachers. (see Ephesians 4:11-16) These different types of ministry each have a unique function and style. And it’s okay to prefer one over the others. You may be called to one. But as believers we should be able to receive from all of these different offices of ministry. They are spiritual gifts from God…
Apostles are known for starting multiple ministries. They are makers of ministers. Only God can call you to ministry. But before you can serve in the ministry you must be trained. To truly be a minister you don’t need a piece of paper saying that you are ordained — you need the anointing.
Prophets are like drill sergeants in the Body of Christ — they instruct, warn and correct you. Some prophets (not all) have had supernatural visions and given prophecies that accurately predict the future. Some have seen into the spirit realm and been shown things about the past or the present. Some prophets speak out spiritual principles. A prophet is passionate about God’s Truth.
Evangelists often travel throughout different regions to preach God’s Word. They are known for speaking at different churches. And they proclaim the message of salvation. Evangelists are concerned with the salvation of the non-believer. Some evangelists have miraculous healings in their meetings.
Pastors are over churches… or “believers meetings.” Pastors are very protective and nurturing. They are like shepherds. But you don’t need a building to be a shepherd — you need a flock. And believers don’t have to go to church to fulfill the command in Hebrews 10:25 to “forsake not the assembling of yourselves.” Believers can have believers meetings in their homes.
Teachers (in the Body of Christ) are very good at explaining things in a way that you can get it. If developed, they have a speaking gift to teach the Word. A teacher is concerned about the knowledge of the believer. Some teachers (but not all) also write as ministry.
All 5-Fold ministers—if they received the anointing—are anointed to preach and teach God’s Word.
All believers everywhere are called to get plugged in to an anointed minister or ministry somewhere.
Why can’t I just read the Bible by myself? You can. And you should. But faith comes by hearing the anointed word preached. Being trained prepares you for works of service. Having somebody in your life who holds you accountable concerning the things of God helps you to grow up. And members of a body are joined together so each member can do its part. This is how it works in the Body of Christ. This is how it works in the Kingdom of God.
Where do i give my tithe?
You tithe to the place you are fed spiritually. (see First Corinthians 9:1-14)
Paul, an apostle sent by God to preach the Word, told the Corinthians that if they truly believed his message… if they had benefited from it spiritually… and if they considered him to be an apostle to them; then they should support him financially. However, Paul didn’t place any demand on the Corinthians to tithe to him because he didn’t want them to be able to say, “I knew it! Preacher, you just want my money!” But the truth is — he wanted “fruit to abound to their account.”
Today, 2,000 years later, the truths and principles contained in the Bible have not changed. Believers are still called to be givers. Unbelievers are still offended by the Word. And a lot of people still say the same sorts of things when asked if they tithe… “God doesn’t care about material things. He’s so super spiritual.” Or… “The Lord knows my heart. If I had more then I’d give.” Or… “There’s so many crooked preachers out there. They just want your money!”
But we’re not talking about Your Money. We’re talking about God’s Money. God creates stars and planets. God does not need your money. He wants your heart. This is why He commands us to tithe and encourages us to give. He knows how important your money is to you. Most likely, you had to work and sweat to get it. And anyone can tell what’s really important to a person by looking at what they spend their time, money, and energy on. We work for and save up to get the things we really value. The things we hold onto and don’t want to let go of are our treasures.
The apostle Paul may not have received financial support from the Corinthians that he should have, but he did receive tithes and offerings from other believers—the Philippians for example—who were willing to give. (see Philippians 4:14-19) And he ministered to this group of believers, prayed over their offerings, and blessed his partners.
You become a partner with the minister or ministry you tithe and give to. This is the example we see in the Bible. And if you were not a “tither” in the past then you can change and become one. You can start tithing today if you choose to. Or when your next paycheck comes in just take ten percent and set it aside as your tithe. Have it ready. And don’t spend it on other things. As soon as you are able to give it.. go ahead and give it. (see First Corinthians 16:1-4)
The man or woman of God who receives the people’s tithes and offerings should pray with these believers and speak a blessing over their personal finances, their physical health and spiritual growth. Or the man of God should appoint someone to receive the money on their behalf. That it is received in-person is not a big deal. The big deal is that is given and received in the right “spirit” …that is, “as unto the Lord.” Don’t just stare at the man or woman in front of you and wave goodbye to your money. You can worship God with your tithes and offerings.
Bottom line: You tithe to the man or woman of God who is teaching you about the things of God. It does not matter if they are rich or poor, famous or unknown, have a public building or have a house to meet in or have no home at all. If this minister has an anointing to preach and teach God’s Word… if they are telling you that God is real, the Bible is true, and Jesus is Lord… if their ministry has signs, wonders and miracles… if their message encourages you to grow in faith, walk in love, and to be led by the Holy Spirit… if this is the place where you are plugged in — you should tithe to them.
Sowing and Reaping
It’s the chief spiritual principle in the Kingdom of God: You reap what you sow. This spiritual principle applies to money too. Not only can you invest in your Heavenly bank account… you can believe to make a withdrawal.
Give, and it will be given to you. A good measure, pressed down, shaken together and running over, will be poured into your lap. For with the measure you use, it will be measured to you. — Luke 6:38 NIV
Remember this: Whoever sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and whoever sows generously will also reap generously. Each of you should give what you have decided in your heart to give, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver. And God is able to bless you abundantly, so that in all things at all times, having all that you need, you will abound in every good work. — 2 Corinthians 9:6-8 NIV
So many unusual and supernatural things have happened in my life ever since I began to tithe and give. Nothing miraculous ever happened before I started tithing and giving. No big surprise there, right?
I’ve had complete strangers come up to me and give me money. It has happened more than once. This one fellow who saw me reading the Bible at a hotel resort walked up, introduced himself, and gave me hundreds of dollars. I’ve also had a vehicle—a really cool Toyota 4-Runner—sown into my life. It was worth $7000. But it didn’t cost me a dime.
There have been other unusual happenings too. I vividly remember one night years ago while I was at work how I prayed to the Lord for food money. I knew I was going to get paid the next week, but I didn’t have any food or money. And I was hungry! So, I asked the Lord for food money. Then I thanked Him for it. In my spirit I sensed something good was about to happen, but I didn’t know what. Back then, I was a security guard for a local movie theater in Boca Raton, Florida. That night I was on vehicle patrol. I was driving around the property. There was a nice restaurant upstairs so I was close to food, but that didn’t help me. Let me tell you.. I was so hungry I was angry. But I was also in faith. I didn’t complain about my situation or feel sorry for myself. I really believed God would provide. Then I got a call from my boss over the radio. He wanted me to come up to the restaurant. So I did. To my surprise, when I got up there, I was greeted by him and one of our clients who had rented out a room in the restaurant for a private party. They had a buffet up there and this gentleman told me to take as much food as I wanted. There was too much. Then the client put some cash in my boss’s hand. Without hesitation my boss took a twenty dollar bill from that wad of cash and put it in my hand. I received food and money that night!
Of course in the natural there were people involved in this story. But it was a supernatural event. You could say it was a “divine appointment.” Usually, when God has something for you, He will use other people to get it to you.
On another occasion I was believing for money to go on a ministry trip. At the time I was living in Florida and felt led to attend a believer’s conference in Branson, Missouri. Strangely enough, a few weeks before the conference, I got an email from my mom who lives in Montana. She had been impressed to go up into the attic of her house, try on one of my old leather jackets, and happened to find several hundred dollars of foreign currency in one of the pockets. I had no idea that there was a bunch of cash in one of my old coats. It had gotten packed away years earlier. I had been more than a little irresponsible with my money. But God is gracious. My mom converted these British pounds back to American dollars. I used the money to pay for my hotel and plane ticket. And the ministry trip was a great blessing to myself and several other brothers who joined me.
Let me share just one more testimony. And you tell me if this is supernatural or not.
While living in Boca Raton and serving in ministry (teaching at weekly believers meetings), the head of my ministry was impressed to ask me and two other ministers to share a residence together. The four of us were living in separate apartments and condos. We prayed about it and the move seemed right to each of us. We asked the Lord to show us the right place. We also believed God for supernatural provision. Because we didn’t have the money. Yet all of us were “tithers and givers.” Then the unexpected happened. My landlord began telling me to stop paying my rent. The bank was foreclosing on his condo and he said that legally he could no longer collect my rent money. It came as an even greater shock when the bank said that they did not want the money either. How often do banks not want your money? My rent was $1100 a month and this went on for four months. Every month my landlord told me to just save up the rent. Meanwhile, my brothers and I had begun searching for available houses for rent in the immediate area. We didn’t want to go far. At the man of God’s direction we called a number that was posted several blocks away. It turned out to be for a property that was directly across the street! This house was unlisted and did not have a FOR RENT sign in the yard. We had passed by it almost every day and had no idea it was available. This large multiple-bedroom home had recently been renovated. Now it was back on the market. It was $2200 a month and the owners wanted “first and last.” So, “move-in” was $4400. Through no effort of my own I had saved up exactly $4400. And my landlord told me to keep it. My brothers and I were amazed. Now all we had left to do was carry our stuff across the street to our new place… and thank God for it!
Believers Are Givers
It is in God’s nature to give. He is the biggest giver in the universe. And you cannot out-give God. But if you never give anything at all then something is very wrong. The Word says that God gives seed to the sower. (see 2 Corinthians 9:10-15) No matter what your situation is.. you can believe God for things to sow.
You cannot put a time-date-stamp on the things you are believing for. But you can always believe in and stand on God’s Word. If you are a tither and giver then God is your financial partner. That’s how covenant works: your stuff belongs to Him, and His stuff belongs to you. And He is the kind of person who loves to give. When your heart is right He will give you more than enough. God will give you extra. Because this is not only about you. It’s about all those you’ll minister to.
You minister out of the overflow. No lack. If you have a huge catch of fish then you have extra fish to give. But if you only have just enough resources to provide for yourself and your family then what can you do for the Kingdom? Lots of people, even Christians, struggle in this world. They work very hard just to make some money to pay their bills. And they hope that there’s a little bit extra left for them so they can eat good and go have fun with friends. That’s how things work when you are subject to the Curse.
But God has an economy that is radically different from the ones of this world. His is supernaturally abundant and endless. It works by the principles of “giving and receiving” or “sowing and reaping.” God wants us to practice exercising our love, faith and patience while we’re still down here. So we can live in the Blessing.
If you imagine that God doesn’t want us to live in health and prosperity in this world, then why did the Lord tell us to pray this way? Jesus said — Father God, may Your Kingdom come, and may Your Will be done… on Earth as it is in Heaven. (see Matthew 6:10)
Help build God’s House and He will come in and help build yours. If we who call ourselves Christians really have faith in God and wish to support the preaching of His Word and the advancement of His Kingdom in the Earth… wouldn’t we, at the very least, tithe?