What is Tithing and where did it come from
- The true origin of tithing is unknown. We find that it was practiced by both Jews and Gentiles at a very early date, but we have no record of where or when it had it beginning.
- The first biblical account we have of tithing is where Abraham on his return from the slaughtering of the Kings, gave Melchisedec, the King of Salem the tenth of his spoils. See 14:17-20.
- Not his income
- Some time later Jacob, Abraham’s grandson, who had been evicted from his father’s house, promised God that if He would restore him to his father’s house is peace he would give him a tenth of all that God gave him. See Genesis 28:20-22.
- God heard his prayers and granted his request, and furthermore gave him his father’s inheritance, the land of Canaan, for his future possession. See Genesis 35:11,12. Then, according to the contract, the tenth of the entire production of the land of Canaan legally belongs to God, and to withhold this tithe from God was considered robbery. See Malachi 3:7-10.
- Later, when Moses gave the Law to Israel (Jacob’s posterity in Canaan, this contract was remembered and inserted in the Law to impose upon the Israelites during the life time of the nation, or their stay in Canaan Land. See Leviticus 27:30-34. As this contract was made with Jacob and only included Jacob’s inheritance, the land of Canaan, it could not be extended beyond its bounds, or to any other people. This is how and why tithing was carried into the Jewish church and imposed upon them as a duty to be observed.
- Tithing was Israel tenth of the gross production of the land of Canaan which included every see planted in the ground, oil, wine, all livestock, herbs, with nothing exempted. See Leviticus 27:30-35. This was Israel’s tithe, and the people today who claim to be tithing are not doing the same. Just giving 10% of your monetary earning is not 10% of your entire production. Tithing, like all other types and shadows of the old law covenant was fulfilled by Christ. Matthew 5:17,18. “Fulfill” means “To bring to a close, to finish”. When Christ expired on the cross and said, “It is finished”, John 19:30, all things written of him then fulfilled. See John 19:28. The Law then came to an end and passed out just as Jesus said it would. For additional proof, See Galatians 3:24,25; 4:22-31; Heb. 8:6-13; 10:9
Why was it abolished?
- The Old Testament tithing system was abolished because of its many faults and imperfections. This shall I prove. See Hebrews 7:19; 8:6-8; Heb 10:1; Col 2:14-17; Gal 3:24-26; Hebrews 10:9; Romans 6:14. Among these groups of shadows, tithing was one of the most beautiful and attractive of them all, when properly understood. Here it is:
- Literal Israel consecration of her physical energies in literal Canaan, beautifully typifies spiritual Israel’s consecration of her spiritual energies in spiritual Canaan. “The experience of entire Sanctification”. They gave in part, but in order to receive God’s blessing, but we give our all.
- Again it is wrong because it is not a law of equality; for this imposition would work a hardship upon one class while another class could live in luxury and at ease, because some are more able to give than others. This contrary to the principles of Christianity which forbids such distinctions. See 1 Corinthians 12:24,25.
- And again its principle is wrong because it is a fixed law of taxation imposed upon another person without his consent. This is also contrary to the law of liberty and freedom given him by inspiration. See 2 Corinthian 9: 6-9.
- Again, its principle is wrong because it cannot universally be applied. No man can thith who income is below the cost of production. We have many today who are on relief with no income at all. These certainly could not tithe. Since the tithing system cannot be universally applied proves it does not belong to the gospel of Christ. It belongs to the law, the old yoke of bondage, just as Jesus says does. Matthew 23:23.
Now, let us see if in the New Testament the Church of God was tithing. If they were, we will have proof of it in both precept and example.
- These Tithers, in their little book on tithing, lament finding so little about tithing in the New Testament, the reason for this is because the writers of the New Testament knew that it had been abolished. And if tithing was a doctrine of the New Testament Church, and is commanded as some Tithers claim. We would have to tithe regardless of our poverty or inability to do so, or else quit profession to be saved.
Tithers, having no scripture to support them in their false claim, resort to such scriptures that they can wrest unnoticed for their proofs. These are the scripture that they wrest for their false claims.
- The church at Jerusalem. Acts 4:32-37; 5:1-4
- The church at Corinth. 2 Corinthian 9:6-9
- The church at Galatia. 1 Corinthian 16:1,2
- Malachi 3:7-10 – This was written to the sons of Jacob, the nation of Israel, not the New Testament church of God.
- Matthew 23:23 – Here Jesus plainly states that tithing is of the Law.
- Genesis 14:17-20 – Concerning Melchisedec Ministry. Also see Genesis 17:23-27 (The Covenant of Circumcision), and Galatians 3:8-18.
- Hebrews 7th Chapter – Concerning Abraham’s Tithe
- In conclusion, I wish to advise that I do not object to tithing or any other method of gospel giving provided it is done voluntarily. If you want to tithe you have a perfect right to do so, and if you do, God will bless you for it, however not because you were tithing but because you were giving; and the more you give, the more you will be blessed 2 Corinthians 9:6-9. What I object to is the false claim that tithing is a doctrine of the church, commanded and enforced by intimidation and threats, as some are doing, thereby making it a test of fellowship.