frequently asked questions

QUESTION:
blue bullet  Should I pay Tithes?

ANSWER:
blue bullet  Ever since the beginning of the Church, debate has continued over the issue of whether or not Children of Faith (Born Again Believers) should pay Tithes.  Thus, in order to better understand what Tithes are and what they mean to the Believer we must first see how God's Word defines Tithes.

The Hebrew word and definition for Tithes is: ma`aser,  mah-as-ayr'; or ma`asar, mah-as-ar'; and (in plural) feminine ma`asrah, mah-as-raw'; from the Hebrew word `asar,  aw-sawr'; a tenth; especially a tithe :- tenth (part), tithe (-ing).

The Greek word and definition for Tithes is: apodekatoo,  ap-od-ek-at-o'-o; from the Greek word (apo) and the Greek word (dekatoo); to tithe (as debtor or creditor) :- (give, pay, take) tithe.

Therefore, we see that the Hebrew definition for Tithes means "a giving of a tenth part of one's increase to the economy of God." 

For a complete revelation of how Tithes were commanded and distributed by God we must first look at all Biblical Scriptures in the Old and New Testaments where Tithes or a Tenth Part are referenced.

                                        OLD TESTAMENT 

Genesis 14:20 
And blessed be the most high God, which hath delivered thine enemies into thy hand. And he gave him tithes of all. 

Genesis 28:22 
And this stone, which I have set for a pillar, shall be God's house: and of all that thou shalt give me I will surely give the
tenth unto thee. 

Leviticus 27:31 
And if a man will at all redeem ought of his tithes, he shall add thereto the fifth part thereof. 

Leviticus 27:32 
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. 

Numbers 18:21 
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. 

Numbers 18:24 
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. 

Numbers 18:26 
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

Numbers 18:28 
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. 

Deuteronomy 12:6 
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: 

Deuteronomy 12:11 
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: 

Deuteronomy 26:12 
When thou hast made an end of tithing all the tithes of thine increase the third year, which is the year of tithing, and hast given it unto the Levite, the stranger, the fatherless, and the widow, that they may eat within thy gates, and be filled; 

1 Samuel 8:15 
And he will take the
tenth of your seed, and of your vineyards, and give to his officers, and to his servants. 

1 Samuel 8:17 
He will take the
tenth of your sheep: and ye shall be his servants. 

2 Chronicles 31:12 
And brought in the offerings and the tithes and the dedicated things faithfully: over which Cononiah the Levite was ruler, and Shimei his brother was the next. 

Nehemiah 10:37-38 
And that we should bring the firstfruits of our dough, and our offerings, and the fruit of all manner of trees, of wine and of oil, unto the priests, to the chambers of the house of our God; and the tithes of our ground unto the Levites, that the same Levites might have the tithes in all the cities of our tillage. [38] And the priest the son of Aaron shall be with the Levites, when the Levites take tithes: and the Levites shall bring up the tithe of the tithes unto the house of our God, to the chambers, into the treasure house. 

Nehemiah 12:44 
And at that time were some appointed over the chambers for the treasures, for the offerings, for the firstfruits, and for the tithes, to gather into them out of the fields of the cities the portions of the law for the priests and Levites: for Judah rejoiced for the priests and for the Levites that waited. 

Nehemiah 13:5 
And he had prepared for him a great chamber, where aforetime they laid the meat offerings, the frankincense, and the vessels, and the tithes of the corn, the new wine, and the oil, which was commanded to be given to the Levites, and the singers, and the porters; and the offerings of the priests. 

Amos 4:4 
Come to Bethel, and transgress; at Gilgal multiply transgression; and bring your sacrifices every morning, and your tithes after three years: 

Malachi 3:8 
Will a man rob God? Yet ye have robbed me. But ye say, Wherein have we robbed thee? In tithes and offerings. 

Malachi 3:10 
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. 

                                    NEW TESTAMENT

Luke 18:12 
I fast twice in the week, I give tithes of all that I possess. 

Hebrews 7:2 
To whom also Abraham gave a
tenth part of all; first being by interpretation King of righteousness, and after that also King of Salem, which is, King of peace; 

Hebrews 7:4 
Now consider how great this man was, unto whom even the patriarch Abraham gave the
tenth of the spoils. 

Hebrews 7:5-6 
And verily they that are of the sons of Levi, who receive the office of the priesthood, have a commandment to take tithes of the people according to the law, that is, of their brethren, though they come out of the loins of Abraham: [6] But he whose descent is not counted from them received tithes of Abraham, and blessed him that had the promises. 

Hebrews 7:8-9 
And here men that die receive tithes; but there he receiveth them, of whom it is witnessed that he liveth. [9] And as I may so say, Levi also, who receiveth tithes, payed tithes in Abraham.

It is very clear from the Scriptures listed above that it was required of all the Children of Israel to pay a tenth part of their increase to the Levites for their inheritance and continued offerings to God.  However, with an end of the Levitical Priesthood, the Mosaic Law, and their required sacrifices, came also an end of the Tithe commandment.  To that end, Tithing as defined under the Old Covenant is NOT a requirement for all Born-Again Believers of the New Covenant.
    
Although, be that as it may, Christians are still obligated by the Commandment of Yeshua to love their brother.  This Commandment requires both spiritual and carnal giving from a cheerful heart of what one can afford.  Thus, there is no longer a decisive "tenth" (10 percent) giving mandate.  

John 13:34 states,
"A new commandment I give unto you, That ye love one another; as I have loved you, that ye also love one another.This is the same as the old commandment in Leviticus 19:18, "Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself."  However, the renewed commandment here has an additional part, "as I have loved you."  Yeshua more than fulfilled the Mosaic precept.  He not only loved His neighbor as Himself, but He loved him more than Himself, for He laid down His own life for others.  In this He called upon His disciples to follow Him: to be ready on all occasions to lay down their lives for each other and for enemies, if it would save them from Hell (Romans 5:8-11).  This surpassed by far the moral systems of all religions.  No system ever prescribed anything so pure and unselfish.  

The Bible teaches that, "If a brother or sister be naked, and destitute of daily food, [16] And one of you say unto them, Depart in peace, be ye warmed and filled; notwithstanding ye give them not those things which are needful to the body; what doth it profit" (James 2:15-16)? 

Apostle Paul in Romans 15:27 addresses the subject of giving as follows: 
"It hath pleased them verily; and their debtors they are. For if the Gentiles have been made partakers of their spiritual things, their duty is also to minister unto them in carnal things."  Here Paul again states that Gentile Christians were debtors to the Jews who had been used of God to receive the Scriptures and through whom Christ came according to the flesh.  He points out that it is only right to help the Jews in carnal things.  

Apostle Paul told the Corinthians, "Now concerning the collection for the saints, as I have given order to the churches of Galatia, even so do ye. [2]
Upon the first day of the week let every one of you lay by him in store, as God hath prospered him, that there be no gatherings when I come
" (1 Corinthians16:1-2). 

In 2 Corinthians 9:7 Apostle Paul cautions the Corinthians about their spirit of giving, "Every man according as he purposeth in his heart, so let him give; not grudgingly, or of necessity: for God loveth a cheerful giver."  

We must not overlook the following Scriptures in reference as to how God, through the cheerful giving of others, provides support for His Ministers: 

Deuteronomy 25:4 
Thou shalt not muzzle the ox when he treadeth out the corn. 

1 Corinthians 9:9 
For it is written in the law of Moses, Thou shalt not muzzle the mouth of the ox that treadeth out the corn. Doth God take care for oxen? 

1 Timothy 5:18 
For the scripture saith, Thou shalt not muzzle the ox that treadeth out the corn. And, The labourer is worthy of his reward. 

Apostle Paul encourages Christians to support Ministers by stating in 2 Corinthians 9:9, "(As it is written, He hath dispersed abroad; he hath given to the poor: his righteousness remaineth for ever."  When Jesus gave the Great Commandment, "...
Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature" (Mark 16:15), He urgently commanded all devoted, faithful men and women to give their best to the distribution of God's Word for those who, were and are, deemed as the dying and the lost.  Matthew 19:29 states, "And every one that hath forsaken houses, or brethren, or sisters, or father, or mother, or wife, or children, or lands, for my name's sake, shall receive an hundredfold, and shall inherit everlasting life." 

It is an unquestionable fact, that a righteous full-time ministry will produce greater fruits than a part-time ministry.  As such, ALL Christians, are obligated to work and support the Great Commission.  Make no mistake, while Salvation is free, through faith in the blood atonement of Yeshua, the distribution of the Gospel to the dying and lost requires a financial economy and a sacrifice on behalf of the laborers.  It is a certainty that God, "... will render to every man according to his deeds:" ( Romans 2:6) 

As God warned Ezekiel, "When I say unto the wicked, Thou shalt surely die; and thou givest him not warning, nor speakest to warn the wicked from his wicked way, to save his life; the same wicked man shall die in his iniquity; but his blood will I require at thine hand" (Ezekiel 3:18).