Growing up in the church, I saw the practical aspect of giving to God financially every Sunday. But it was years later, as an adult, that I learned from the Word of God the doctrinal basis of systematic financial giving to God. Understanding what God’s Word says strengthened my conviction that giving to God by tithing is something right and proper to do. I learned that it benefits the life of the one who tithes and helps the movement of God’s Word. So what does the Word say?
The first occurrence of the word “tithe” in the Scriptures shows us that tithing is a minimum standard for giving and shows to whom the tithe is given. In Genesis 14, God had just wrought a tremendous victory in battle for Abram (Abraham), and he returned from battle with great material spoils. Melchizedek, the representative of the most high God, came to confer blessings on the victorious Abraham.
And Melchizedek king of Salem brought forth bread and wine: and he was the priest of the most high God.
And he blessed him, and said, Blessed be Abram of the most high God, possessor of heaven and earth:
And blessed be the most high God, which hath delivered thine enemies into thy hand. And he [Abram] gave him [Melchizedek] tithes of all.
We see that the most high God delivered Abraham from his enemies and thus was the true source of Abraham’s abundance in the material realm. We also see whom Abraham gave tithes of all his abundance to—he gave to God via His representative, Melchizedek. Abraham knew God had blessed him, and he wanted to give something back in thanksgiving and recognition.
The Scriptures also show us that tithing benefits the life of the one who tithes. This truth is seen in the Old Testament Book of Malachi.
Bring ye all the tithes into the storehouse, that there may be meat in mine house, and prove me now herewith, saith 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.
And I will rebuke the devourer for your sakes, and he shall not destroy the fruits of your ground; neither shall your vine cast her fruit before the time in the field, saith the Lord of hosts.
The word “tithe” means “a tenth.” In the Old Testament times, believers would give a tenth of their produce or flocks (Leviticus 27:30-32) or, as in Abraham’s case, the spoils of war. Whatever our livelihood may be, we still prosper as we return to God at least a tithe of all our increase, which today is most often money. Then we have His divine protection as well as His many blessings. The one-tenth principle is still an appropriate minimum standard.
Proverbs 3 also shows us benefits to the giver.
Honour the Lord with thy substance, and with the firstfruits of all thine increase:
So shall thy barns be filled with plenty, and thy presses shall burst out with new wine.
God’s promise to those who tithe is that their barns shall be filled with plenty—they will have their material needs met abundantly.
In our day and time, there is no one individual representative of the one true God to whom we bring our tithes and offerings. God gives us the free will to make that decision. For many of us today, The Way International is the ministry where we have learned the depth of God’s Word, been instructed in how to walk in abundance and power, been provided a place to fellowship, and been given a framework to move God’s Word. Therefore, out of love and thankfulness, we choose to tithe to God’s representatives in this ministry. Tithing is something that is right and proper to do and benefits the life of the one who tithes. And it also helps the movement of God’s Word.
Let’s joyfully operate the principles of giving and believe for God’s abundance to pour out upon our lives and our ministry.