God’s Thoughts to Me
The early church had no tithing system … But as the Church expanded and its material needs grew more numerous and complex, it became necessary to adopt a definite rule to which people could be held either by moral obligation or by precept of positive law.
The tithing of the old law provided an obvious model, and it began to be taught… The Council of Macon in 585 ordered payment of tithes and threatened excommunication to those who refused to pay (The New Catholic Encyclopedia, vol.XIV, pp. 174-175).
Blessings for Sale
As a child, I often had the privilege of riding on a steam train. How I enjoyed the sound of the locomotive picking up speed.
When it was well on its way, the whistle would tell the whole world of its pride and glory.
I remember how we and all our luggage used to be covered with a thin layer of soot. It even found a place to hide behind your ears or between your teeth and toes! Today, the steam train is just a fond memory.
Nowadays, there is another train; the one driving on the railroad tracks of the monstrous, cruel religious teaching of tithing.
This train is driving through a thick, dark and scary forest of deceit, straight to the Kingdom of darkness.
This train’s thick layers of soot has crippled many of our Pappa’s children; not just financially, but also spiritually and emotionally.
When the Catholic Church started this teaching in the year 585 AD, they, at least, refrained from violating the famous verse on tithing in Malachi 3:8.
Their trump card, which was already an abomination in itself, was excommunication.
Looking at the origins of tithing in the Old Testament, we find Israel being under a Theocracy. Their president or prime minister was none other than our Heavenly Father Himself.
He instituted the tithing as His income tax system for the upkeep of the nation. The people had to “pay” three tithes.
The first tithe was brought to the Levites in the seventh month of the year. The Levites and the priests were the cabinet responsible for the upkeep of the nation.
The Levites had to give a tenth of this tithe to the priests who attended the altar (Numbers 18:25-32).
The second tithe was brought to the temple for the feast that took place in the seventh month.
Sort of their public holiday to honor their monarch where they all feasted and had a good time together.
The third tithe was only paid every three years and this one was given to the strangers, the widows and the orphans.
All in all it amounted up to 27,9% of their income, spread over a period of three years. This is as far as my mathematical abilities go!
Today another trump card is being played by the drivers of the tithing train. They play on the insecurities and greed of the human race and promise wealth and prosperity to those who fill their coffers with their hard-earned money.
I wonder if they are the descendants of the Judaizers pestering the first Galatian believers and the priests at the time of Malachi?
Actually, our Pappa was chiding the Levites and the priests who cheated on their income tax and even the widows and orphans of their daily bread. They were also an adulterous bunch, divorcing their wives left, right and centre.
I will never forget how an old black gentleman told me once the reason why he COULD NOT go to church: a lack of money.
After giving a tithe to their church he didn’t have much left for even just a decent meal. We all know what our Lord Jesus did to those who turned His Pappa’s House into a den of thieves.
Another wagon that has been hitched onto the tithing train, comes from the Beatitudes, “Give and it will be given to you: good measure, pressed down, shaken together, and running over will be put into your bosom (Luke 6:38,NKJV)”.
Could it perhaps be that our Lord Jesus was speaking of forgiveness like He did in verse 37?
This wagon also sport the Seed-Faith compartment.
I remember the time when I met my own set of “Judaizers”, telling me that I can line my own pockets through giving as much as possible, waiting for my sevenfold return.
I recall an incident when I was given a choice of receiving a nett or gross return on my salary, all depending whether I tithed on my gross or nett income!
They reckon the more you give, and that to them of course, the bigger your return will be!
This deceptive teaching is based on Galatians 6:7 where Paul chided the Galatians for lending out their ears to the Judaizers who added onto the simple Gospel of Jesus, which was no Gospel at all!
I am so grateful for Pappa’s protection against this tithing madness that has been the spiritual ruin of many.
Whenever I needed discernment on this matter, He abundantly supplied all the wisdom I needed.
In my own life I have found that as I allowed our Lord Jesus to become my life, I started to give more and more and more!!! Giving and sharing just seem so natural. It gives me so much joy for our Pappa has written the law of love on the tablets of my heart!
I cannot do otherwise and truly understand now why the first Christians were commended by all because of their love for one another.
It does not really matter what percentage I give, whether it is 10% or the widow’s mite. The truth is that one actually wants to give way above one’s means for the sole reason of love!!!
Dear Ones, let us listen and heed our Lord’s advice and not allow our left hand to know what our right hand is doing and be surprised one day when we are invited into the eternal Kingdom for clothing, feeding and visiting with our Lord Jesus.
Much love XX
34 thoughts on “Riding the Tithing Train”
Thank you for this post. Husband and I struggle with our giving these days in this long season of unemployment. It’s not that our hearts are in the wrong place, but we never seem to have much to give. We give first, then our PG&E is nearly turned off, or we miss a car payment. We are leaning on and trusting God as we slowly begin to give out of the little that we have. And we leave it up to God to do the multiplying.
Oh, my friend, you capture the heart of what I was trying to show with this post. You give your heart, dear one, to us all and to your family and that is what counts. You have the heart of the widow who gave all she had. The way you go through this trial speaks of such complete dependence on our Lord. You do Him proud. Praying that Pappa will open the right door at the right time for your family!
Blessings and love to you
I have always believed that tithing reflects a grateful heart that wants to give back to God a portion of what He has given us; in reality, what is already His. Tithing is our opportunity to show God that He is first in our lives and we must give with a sincere and thankful heart,
As always; a wonderful post Mia!
Blessings and hugs for a wonderful weekend!
I sincerely believe that anything we give to others should be from a grateful heart filled with gratitude and love! Then we would desire to give even more than 10% or like Paul said,more than we can afford! That speaks of a heart in which our Lord lives.
Great post, Mia. Lots of points to ponder. Tithing is the only thing God tells us to put to the test, i.e., Malachi 3:10. Since becoming aware of that, and tithing accordingly, I literally have had blessings chase me down. I stand in awe of His provision. I have friends who want to tithe but can’t afford 10 percent. To them, I suggest they pick a percentage, i.e., anywhere from 1-10 percent and stick to it. My daughter and another friend of mine tithe 1 percent. They also have experienced His provision and magnificent blessing because they have been faithful with little. I tithe out of gratitude. I am grateful for all He has done for me and since all I have is His anyway, I simply give back the 10 percent He requires. My heart is full to overflowing and I’m happy to bless the Lord and my storehouse.
A grateful heart is what counts, dear one!! It shows a hearts in which our Lord lives and that has been filled with love. Such a heart doesn’t consider anything its own, but loves so much that it cannot see a brother or sister in need without desiring to help!
Much love to you
I appreciate what you have written here. When we are in the NEW Covenant with Christ, all the old law has been fulfilled by Jesus’ perfect obedience to the Father and His righteousness. His righteousness is imputed to all who believe and trust in Him alone. Now, we are under the law of love and under the direction of the Holy Spirit just as the early church was who sold all the extra things they had and laid the money at the apostles’ feet to be distributed to the needs of the poor in the church and after that not one of them was left lacking (notice that when Peter and John spoke to the lame man at the temple they said, “Gold or silver have we none.” But they COULD say “Arise and walk with the authority of Christ. You cannot serve both God and Mammon. I think that this is the very reason that there is no power to heal in today’s money focused churches. Where the tithe in the Old Covenant was to be used for the needs of the widows and orphans, the current system ignores their needs while its leaders pocket all they can get for their own use or to build another temple to their own greatness, especially here in America. I think that the law of the tithe has taken the place of circumcision among the mammon loving clergy for obvious reasons.
The early church had no salaried positions, and those who fed the flock depended on the love of Christ in the hearts of the faithful to take care of them as much as any other needy one among them did. Of coarse they had no need for church buildings either because they knew that each of them was a living stone in the temple of God and to build earthly temples would be a false witness of that fact and make them no different than the pagans to whom they held forth the gospel. In fact Paul refused to ask the church for his own support for fear of it being an afront to the gospel and also advised the elders in the churches to support themselves with the work of their own hands as well as to help the needy among them with their incomes.
And here is another important and often overlooked point. James wrote:
For whosoever shall keep the whole law, and yet offend in one [point], he is guilty of all. (Jam 2:10 KJV)
And the scripture, foreseeing that God would justify the heathen through faith, preached before the gospel unto Abraham, [saying], In thee shall all nations be blessed. So then they which be of faith are blessed with faithful Abraham. For as many as are of the works of the law are under the curse: for it is written, Cursed [is] every one that continueth not in all things which are written in the book of the law to do them. But that no man is justified by the law in the sight of God, [it is] evident: for, The just shall live by faith. And the law is not of faith: but, The man that doeth them shall live in them. Christ hath redeemed us from the curse of the law, being made a curse for us: for it is written, Cursed [is] every one that hangeth on a tree: That the blessing of Abraham might come on the Gentiles through Jesus Christ; that we might receive the promise of the Spirit through faith.
(Gal 3:8-14 KJV)
For I testify again to every man that is circumcised, that he is a debtor to do the whole law. Christ is become of no effect unto you, whosoever of you are justified by the law; ye are fallen from grace. (Gal 5:3-4 KJV)
We can not pick and chose which parts of the old law we will keep and which parts we will ignore as is done in organized religion today. We are either under the Old Covenant law or under the New Covenant law of love, saved by faith alone and obedient to the Spirit of Jesus. Paul makes it clear that Law keeping makes the New Covenant and its benefits of no effect in our lives and puts us under a curse which only faith in Jesus Christ alone can break. On our website there are some articles about the tithe if you are interested (www.awildernessvoice.com).
God bless and keep you, dear sister.
Thank you so much for this thorough explanation from the Bible how tithing is a part of the Old Covenant. You are so right. It is either the grace of our Pappa or the curse of the law!
Much love xx
Interesting!!! I NEVER knew the church didn’t have tithing.
It is always good to do like the Bereans. Search the Scriptures with our Pappa to make sure what His truth is, don’t you think!
God does meet our needs, but I agree that this has been twisted to the extreme, especially in the American church.
Oh yes, dear one, His provision is purely from His Father heart. When His provision depends on our giving, we are trusting ourselves again. Giving is such an incredible joy and privilege as long as there is no strings attached, don’t you think!
I enjoyed the historic account of tithing. When I think of my money 100% belonging to God, then I am more careful in all my purchases and giving. My daddy was a generous man who gave “quietly” and I love hearing stories from people of his giving just when they needed it. It’s a great heritage.
Oh, I also had a daddy who gave in such secrecy that no one had an idea why the lives of those who crossed his path were all of a sudden so much better of! This is the legacy I desire to leave for my children.
Much love XX
Mia … Thank you for your thoughtful words about tithing. I’m delighted to have you linking in community with us at #TellHisStory. God bless you on your continued ministry of words in this place.
Thank you, Jennifer, for the privilege to link-up at your place every week. Much appreciated.
Bless your dear heart
Oh, I could talk about this for hours…
Here’s where I think most of us stumble: This money that we organize our life around: It’s His. Everything we have is His.(Psalm 50:10-12 come to mind)
So, when I give to my church, I’m giving His money for His cause — at least my church better spend it that way, but they’ll be judged for that not me…
Here’s the clincher:
God loves a cheerful giver…and when we do just that, give with no strings attached and no percentages calculated and not because we have to but because we want to–joy overflows. He gives it right back to us in something more eternal than a monetary value…
What a joy it is to know He’s got me. He always provides. May I always give it back…
I cannot agree more!? Giving from a heart overflowing with His love, blesses us so much with His joy. The peace and love of a generous heart is truly priceless!! I agree that a church has a great responsibility to spend the money the congregants give to them very wisely! Yes, my friend, it is such a joy to know that we belongs to Him 100%.
Much love to you
we give, and give, as He urges us by His Spirit
always tithing at least 10 but also scattering offerings far and wide
cheerfully, because it is His anyway, not out of some formula for returned blessings
Hi dear One
There is nothing better than giving generously from a heart filled with love, like you so clearly know. It truly is much better to give than to receive, isn’t it!!
Much love to you
Very very thoughtful post. I think you must have really prayed about these words as they are drenched in truth. We pray each year on what amount to give and I haven’t lately even figured the percentage. Just last month we both felt led to increase the amount without the church even mentioning it so we did. I think having that open listening communion with God will lead hearts to what to tithe.
Great thoughts here today, Mia
I just like the idea that you and your husband prays about your contribution. That feeling that you need to give more, I am sure, was a desire Pappa has put in your hearts, for He knows perhaps about a need that the money is needed for. You are a blessing in so many ways, dear friend! Thank you for your loving heart.
Thankful that God supplies for all of our needs. I often watch birds out my window finding food among winter’s decay and remember how much more he cares for me.
Yes, He is the source of ALL our needs not just our money. And when He lives in us, we will be just as generous as our Pappa with all our blessings. Oh, He is sooo good to us all!
Blessings to you
Bravo, my friend! I must first say that I have been waiting for your posts…I even attempted to email you because your presence was sorely missed! When I saw one just a few days ago I gave praise and thanks that you’d returned!
As for this post, you have hit the nail on the head. Love Jesus, and give as He leads!
Yes, dear One, you’ve got it right! When we love our Lord and He is our life, we will be very sensitive to how and whom we should help and bless with our money. Thanks for your kindness!
Much love to you, dear friend
a most valid lesson – wisely put Mia!
Thank you for your kindness on this subject! Much appreciated.
What right do I have to decide about how to spend the money belonging to my Master? All I am… and yes, this includes ALL I can think of, got bought by the highest price ever paid.
I no longer belong to myself – I am His! I no longer have anything I can give – it’s all His already!
Anything giving other than 100% is illegaly stealing from God… just He didn’t redeem just 10% of me, but paid my ransom 100% with His precious blood!
Since this I’m His very possession… and He owns all of me! All I do is executing His orders by giving from all He made me His steward of after His direction alone!
Giving from His own to an unworthy harlot system of puffed up men is defalcating His posession in a grave way just His intent is only to use it for His kingdom.
If you’re His own He will held you accountable for every money you gave from all He entrusted you with to serve Him and His purposes alone by bowing to the lies and tricky methods of money-milking men luring you into supporting a system cursed by God.
Thank you for reminding us all that we and all we own belongs to Him 100%. That brings me so much joy, for He will never manipulate or misuse us like some does in His name!
Blessings to you
Isn’t it funny how people can take a straight forward message from God and twist it and pervert it to their gain or what they want to believe. I like to call them “willfully ignorant.” It’s all about the heart as taught by Jesus Christ Himself – the fulfillment of the law. Where does it say in His word that He is a Genie in a Bottle? They would be better off trying to lasso the cosmos as to try to place God in a box…
This is so well said!! Yes, our God is not manipulated by His children and it breaks my heart the way some people deceive and just plain steal from Pappa’s children. And all of that in His name. But He did warn us of all the wolves in sheep’s clothing!
Much love to you
When it is time to give our pledge, my husband and I pray over the amount and give that. I have been blessed to see how people’s giving impacts the church and the ministries that are within it.
This was a hard post for me to write about and I appreciate your comment!! This is the right attitude for giving, dear one; love with a cheerful heart. I have found that in my own life my giving has changed so much once our Pappa started to change my heart. The more my heart was filled with His love, the more and more and more I wanted and desired to give to others. I don’t have an idea how much I really give and it does not really matter, whether it is 10% or the widow’s mite, for it brings me soooo much joy.
Much love to you