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TITHING first appears in the Holy Bible in Genesis 14:20 in connection with Abraham and Melchizedek. Abraham, though not yet living under the Law, for the Law was given under Moses, paid tithes to Melchizedek, and was offered the very first communion of bread and wine. The Hebrew word for TITHES is MAASER, and for OFFERINGS, it is MINCHAH.
OFFERINGS first appear in the Scriptures in Genesis 4:4-5. The Lord gives us a wonderful example in the lives of Cain and Abel in the area of bringing their OFFERINGS unto the Lord. But we’ve seen that even though both children brought offerings unto the Lord, God had pleasure in Abel’s offering because it was done in the spirit of revelation.
In Ephesians 5:10 we are told that, we should be at all times, „Proving what is acceptable unto the Lord„. We do need to know and understand what is required and pleasing to our Lord, and what is displeasing to Him, in order that we might think, say and do what is good, acceptable, and perfect according to the will of God (see: Romans 12:1-2). Second Corinthians 1:20 says that all God’s promises are „Yes” in Christ. So the blessings promised to the giver in the Old Testament, such as Malachi 3:10, are still available and valid for us Christians until today.
DIFFERENCE BETWEEN TITHES AND OFFERINGS
There is, however, a difference between TITHES andOFFERINGS, not only in language but most especially in spirit. ATITHE means „ten percent of all benefits that come our way, such as, our salary, inheritance, gifts and even the interest one might earn on bank accounts, etc.” While OFFERINGS is over and above our ten percent TITHE. By this I mean, that once you have responded in the area of your TITHES, now you have the freedom to graciously give your MINCHAH (OFFERING) as you are directed and made aware of by The Spirit of God as to the particular need or needs, that are presented to you through your congregation, church, or fellowship.
Please remember that both the TITHES and OFFERINGS need to be given in your congregation or church where you attend, „Bring ye all the TITHES into the storehouse„, and wait for God’s blessings.
First Corinthians 9:14 says those who preach the Gospel should live from the Gospel „even so” as the priests of the Old Testament lived from their temple service. God gave the tithe to them (Numbers 18:21). To be „even so” today requires tithing to continue.
1 CORINTHIANS 9:13-14 NKJ -„Do you not know that those who minister the holy things eat of the things of the temple, and those who serve at the altar partake of the offerings of the altar? Even so the Lord has commanded that those who preach the gospel should live from the gospel.„
NUMBERS 18:21 NKJ-„Behold, I have given the children of Levi all the tithes in Israel as an inheritance in return for the work which they perform, the work of the tabernacle of meeting.”
We tithe because we have a personal financial responsibility to our church. We have a pastor who tend to our needs and the management of our church and they need to be able to live, too.
“Woe unto him that buildeth his house by unrighteousness, and his chambers by wrong; that useth his neighbour’s service without wages, and giveth him not for his work;” (Jeremiah 22:13)
A BLESSING AND A CURSE
The Lord promises you in Malachi 3:10 that He will „open you the windows of heaven, and pour you out a blessing, that there shall not be room enough to receive it„.
In the New Testament we read in Luke 6:38 …that when you are obedient to The Word of God in your TITHES and OFFERINGS, then you should expect an abundance of blessings; „Give and it shall be given unto you; good measure, pressed down, and shaken together, and running over, shall men give into your bosom. For with the same measure that ye mete withal it shall be measured to you again„. The Lord God Himself will bless you as you are obedient in word and in deed in bringing cheerfully your TITHES and OFFERINGS unto the LORD our God.
Therefore, as you TITHE, the Almighty God promises to likewise bless you; on the other hand, if you do not, then you are ROBBING God. The end result is recorded in the Holy Writ, „Ye are cursed with a curse”.
Malachi 3:8-11 states this:
8 Will a man rob God ? Yet ye have robbed me. But ye say, Wherein have we robbed thee? In tithes and offerings.
9 Ye [are] cursed with a curse: for ye have robbed me, [even] this whole nation.
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].
11 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.
12 And all nations shall call you blessed: for ye shall be a delightsome land, saith the LORD of hosts.
I don’t know about you, but I want to be blessed of God as often as possible, and not cursed. It’s up to you, whether you will be totally obedient or disobedient.
As we know, “robbery” is the act of taking something that does not belong to you. God specifically used the term “robbery” in Malachi to show that the tithe (which means a tenth) belongs to Him. We must understand that God is the owner of this earth, and everything on it belongs to Him. “The earth is the Lord’s, and all its fullness, The world and those who dwell therein” (Psa. 24:1).
Elsewhere, the Bible says, “The silver is Mine, and the gold is Mine, says the LORD of hosts” (Hag. 2:8). Before we become possessive about the treasures of this world, let us first remember that He created this planet and everyone on it, and even though Satan holds a temporary dominion through sin (2 Cor. 4:4), the earth still belongs to God. As a result of your obedience unto The Almighty God, here is a beautiful promise that is extremely wonderful and full of grace found in Malachi chapter three and verse eleven:
„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”.
A TEST OF OBEDIENCE, STEWARDSHIP AND DISCIPLINE
Unfortunately, many Christians TODAY misunderstand the idea of tithing. They often think of it as giving a tenth from “their own” property to God. However, in reality it is God that has done the giving to us, and claims the return of only 10% of His own property. Tithing is not taking a tenth of our own money and giving it to God, but it is returning a tenth of what was already His to begin with.
The scripture says,“But who am I, and who are my people, That we should be able to offer so willingly as this? For all things come from You, And of Your own we have given You” (1 Chron. 29:14). God is so generous to us. He gives us the 90% and retains only 10% of what is rightfully His.
Tithing is a test of our stewardship over the property of God, a test of our honesty to return to God what is rightfully His, a test of our obedience to do what He told us to do, and a test of our love and desire to please Him with our lives. Tithing is a demonstration that we believe in God, and that we acknowledge that He is the provider of all material blessings. If you haven’t the faith to believe that the tithe belongs to the Lord, neither can you have faith in Him to meet your financial needs. After all, if you don’t believe that the tenth is His, you must not believe that the whole earth is His either. Without that confidence in His supremacy, there could be no confidence in His ability to provide our needs.
God asks for our tithes because He knows that money is one of man’s most significant stumbling blocks. Greed and fear force us to hold tightly to our money. Many people worship money and will do whatever it takes to get it and keep it. When we are able to freely and joyfully give our money to God, we achieve a freedom like no other. Our obedience in financial stewardship reveals a maturity of character that God treasures. When we honor Him with our financial obedience, He blesses us. “And all nations shall call you blessed: for ye shall be a delightsome land, saith the LORD of hosts.” (Malachi 3:12) (For understanding, read Malachi 3-10-18)
Some claim they can’t afford to pay their tithes. But let me ask, “Can you afford to be cursed? Can you afford to not have God’s blessings and protection over your finances? Can you afford to be considered a thief or robber of God’s property? Or can you afford to be a person who does not obey the Word of God?” The fact is, you cannot afford not to pay your tithes, because this is the principle that God has chosen to bless you!
Another person once asked, “Why does God need my tithe?” In answer to this question, He really doesn’t need your money or anyone else’s. Remember, God is the owner of the whole universe and all its wealth. However, He has chosen to use your tithes and offerings for the expenses of maintaining “spiritual meat” in His house (Mal. 3:10). On the first day of the week you are to bring your tithes and offerings to the “storehouse” of your Church where you are spiritually fed (1 Cor. 16:2). How important it is that we are faithful in our tithes and offerings, as this is God’s method of funding the preaching of His Word and the spreading of the Gospel (1 Cor. 9:13-14).
A CONTROVERSIAL ISSUE
Though “Tithing” is one of the most controversial issues being debated in the Christian world today, God has given us a “seer” who taught us the real absolute on the issue of „tithings”.
Regardless of any theologian’s interpretation or doctrinal view that says that “TITHING” is no longer applicable to today’s New Testament Christians, I say, God has given us a vindicated prophet today that tells us that TITHING is still a significant part of the Christian life. The Word comes NOT to theologians, but always to God’s prophets (Amos 3:7)
Unless one is a a true believer of the End-Time Message, he or she will find it hard to believe and follow this teaching, for it is a “revelation” that has to be accepted by faith in the Word. For the Bride of Jesus Christ, for them who believe that God has sent us avindicated messenger in the Spirit of Elijah (Malachi 4:5-6) to turn our hearts back to the original faith of the Apostolic Fathers, back to the true teachings of the Bible, “tithing” is a forever-settled issue. Those outside the Bride-Body, is free to believe whatever they wish to believe. But for the Bride, we believe in „tithing”.
REV. WILLIAM BRANHAMENDORSED “TITHING”
Here are a few quotations from what the messenger of the age taught us:
1. TITHING IS AN OBLIGATION AND A CHRISTIAN DUTY
”I do believe that every Christian is obligated to pay tithings because it is a commandment of the Lord. „And blessed is–are they that do all His commandments, that they might have a right to enter into the Life, the Tree of Life.” Now, I do believe that tithe-paying is essential to a Christian experience.”
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„But, you know, I feel like this, that a member of a church, their first obligation is with their tithe and offerings, is to support their church. If you’re members of these fine churches that’s represented here, you support your church. That’s your first duty to God. „Bring your tithe and offerings into the storehouse.” Andthe storehouse, you surely know what that is; it’s where you get your food. So there’s where you get your spiritual food, and your obligation is to your church and not to an evangelist like me.”LET.US.SEE.GOD.title SAN.JOSE.CA V-14 N-2 59-1129
„Brother, sister, the church ought to get in God’s program, then the church will move all right. Just like suppers and dinners and so forth to appropriate money, that’s not God’s way of doing it. Pay your tithes; that’s what God wants you to do. See? Just keep in God’s program, and He’ll bless the giver and so forth. He promised it.”
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„Because they reject God’s way of paying tithes. Certainly. Why do they take a creed? Because they don’t want the Bible. Why they take a error? ‘Cause they don’t want the Truth.”
GO.AWAKE.JESUS_ SHREVEPORT.LA V-17 N-9 SATURDAY_ 63-1130E
2. BROTHER BRANHAM PAID TITHES
„But just as loyal as I ever could, I paid tithes. And when I took my own money from the church here or from my campaigns, I’d take more… I’d give a tenth. Then I’d give it out to the ministers, and give the rest of it to ministers. Then when I couldn’t do that, then the thing I did, I kept ten percent and give God ninety. And then, when the law told me I couldn’t do that, I’d have to take… And if I did, it was going to be charged to it, then I had to take and bypass it into foreign missions and so forth, and then just take a wage out of that of a hundred dollars a week; and I pay my tithes from that.
Yes, sir. I believe in paying tithes . It’s one of God’s blessings that’s proven to be a blessing. You say, „That’s of the Old Testament.” It is of the New Testament too. Yes, sir.”
QUESTIONS.AND.ANSWERS_ JEFF.IN COD SUNDAY_ 64-0823E
„And I went down there and worked during the depression, and–and they brought their tithes in. Instead of me keeping it and not working,I put my own tithes in, and my offerings in, and the money in, and we built the tabernacle here. And it’s built on the alms of the people that they give to me to make a living with. I worked and put it back in the tabernacle, and that’s the reason they call it Branham Tabernacle.” UNPARDONABLE.SIN_ JEFF.IN V-26 N-8 SUNDAY_ 54-1024
617-Q-146 049 146. „Brother Branham, don’t you feel that everyone who claims to be a Christian should pay tithes, pay their tithes into the storehouse of the Lord? Please give Scripture to this question.
All right, if you will… That is right, that the Bible said in Malachi the 4th chapter, „Will a man rob God? And you say, ‘Where have we robbed Thee?’ In tithe and offerings. Bring all your tithe and offerings into My storehouse and prove Me,” saith the Lord, „if I will not open up the windows of heaven and pour out a blessing that there’ll not be room enough to receive.”
That’s a challenge to any individual. And if I only had the time, and would not get to this little Scripture that I wish to get to in about the next ten minutes, I would like to give you a personal testimony of how that I was even hungry, and my mother and them hungry, and my daddy sick, but I took my tithes out first and give it to God, and you ought to see what happened. I have never seen in my life, that any man or a woman, that if you only make one dollar a week, will bring the ten cents of that money and put it into your storehouse, your church where you come, if God don’t bless that, call me a hypocrite. Yes, sir. That’s a challenge to anybody. And every Christian should pay tithes. That’s right. It should be done.„
QA.GOD.BEING.MISUNDERSTOOD.title JEFF COD 61-0723E
„A minister, he’s to live by the Gospel. But I was young; I was healthy, why shouldn’t I work and not be an obligation to the people? Not because that they wouldn’t do it; they would be glad to do it. But I just felt like if the rest of them worked, then I’d work also. So I worked and–and paid my tithings right at the church . I believe in tithe paying. Now… God has blessed (to) me millions of times.”
MY.LIFE.STORY_ CLEVELAND.OH SUNDAY_ 50-0820A
„And the church ARE THOSE who come and support the church with their presence, with their tithe and offerings, are always the ones that has legal say-so in the placing of such.”
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3. AS THE ROYAL SEED OF ABRAHAM, WE ARE TO FOLLOW HIS EXAMPLE
As you see, Abraham lived under “grace” and not under the Law. Yet, he was the first one to introduce “tithings” to the seed of Abraham.
„And to you people that don’t believe in tithe paying, look at this. The Levitical priesthood paid tithes. And the Bible said that Levi paid tithes when he was in the loins of Abraham, and that was his great, great grandfather. And when Levi was in the loins of Abraham, when Abraham paid tithes to Melchisedec, the Bible reckoned Levi paying tithes. How ought you people to live? If your sins are visited to the children, what about your blessings?”FAITHFUL.ABRAHAM.title LA.CA 59-0415E
„Notice, we want to go back and think. Paul here is referring back to an Old Testament character. In the Book of Genesis we take up the life of Abraham from the 12th chapter of Genesis: God giving Abraham the promise, and through Abraham would come the righteous Seed.And Abraham as believed by many to be a Jew, he was not. Abraham was a Gentile, a Chaldean from the city of Ur. And he became God’s servant, not because he was different from anyone else, but because of the election of God.”
THE.COMMUNION_ JEFF.IN ER 21-34 THURSDAY_ 57-0418
4. NOTHING WILL EVER SUBSTITUTE GOD’S “TITHINGS”
„Today they’re trying to take the place of God’s tithing. They’re trying to adopt something. They’re trying to make it different. They go down and have bunco games in the churches, play lottery.Lottery will never take the place of God’s tithings. Suppers, blanket selling, picnics to raise money to pay different debts off. It’ll never take the place of God’s eternal tithe and offerings; it’ll never do it. But yet we’re trying to do it.ENTICING.SPIRITS.title JEFF.IN DE 79-112 55-0724
„We got to have some kind of a sale to pay the…” When it gets to a place like that, the church ought to close it’s doors. Pay your tithes and the pastor will be paid.” AS.THE.EAGLE.STIRRETH.UP.HER.NEST YAKIMA.WA THURSDAY_ 60-0804
5. TITHING GOES TO THE MINISTER
680-Q-161 085 161. Would it be wrong to use tithes on church building funds?
Well now, here–here’s a touchy little thing for the minister. That’s right. In the Bible they had a box they’d set at the door in the Old Testament when the–building. This box was a fund where the people put in there for the repairing… You’ve read it many times in the Old Testament. They kept up the buildings and things like that… All the repairs on the buildings was taken care out of that fund. But a tenth of that went–a tenth of the tithings–all the tithings went to their priests, their pastors. Yes, tithings are to go for nothing else.
I know people take their tithes and give them to a widow woman. That’s wrong. If you’ve got anything to give the widow woman, give her, but don’t give her God’s money. That’s not yours in the first place. That’s God’s.”
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I challenge you to become a tither and a giver to God, and “prove” His promise to bless you, just as He invites you to do in Malachi 3:10. Give to God in faith, expecting Him to bless your return (Mark 11:24), and give cheerfully, expressing joy and confidence in giving to God (2 Cor. 9:7). The same proportion that you open your faith to give to Him, He will use that same proportion as His measurement to bring blessing back to you! “Give, and it will be given to you: good measure, pressed down, shaken together, and running over will be put into your bosom. For with the same measure that you use, it will be measured back to you” (Luke 6:38).