A Few Sacrifice for Many
Our work and efforts depend entirely upon
the dedication of those seeking to spread the truth that Yahweh has entrusted.
We are able to send literature free of charge because of a relatively faithful
few of Yahweh’s people. It takes untiring dedication and discipline to finance
and send the Good News of the Kingdom to others.
Because we do not place a price tag on this
Bible truth literature, we can only do as much as Yahweh’s people allow through
We are encouraged when new inquirers
include funds enough to cover their postage. But we truly rejoice when we are
provided support beyond the immediate costs, which allows us to reach out to
Tithe: The Way and Means
Knowing that our duty is to fulfill the
Great Commission of Matthew 28, the question becomes, how does Yahweh expect us
to carry it out? The answer is, He has provided a
financial program for His people by which they are able to reach the lost
sheep. It is called the tithe. The tithe is the veritable key to spreading the
Some may be thinking that the tithe is an
Old Testament institution that is no longer applicable.
A reliable criterion for determining which
commands of our Heavenly Father Yahweh are still binding upon us is to look at
the first time a command or practice appears in Scripture. Then trace it down
through all the various Scriptures and note any importance attached to it and
how it was observed. Did Yahshua uphold it? What does the New Testament say
Significant as well is whether the precept
or practice will be observed in the future Kingdom. If it will, then it
obviously is eternal and is also binding on us now. Let’s analyze the law of
the tithe by this proper method. We’ll examine its initial appearance and trace
it down through the Scriptures.
Melchizedek Took Tithes
Tithing is first mentioned in Genesis where
Abram, the father of the faithful, is recorded as giving tithes to Melchizedek,
the priest of the Most High:
blessed be the Most High EL ELYON, which has delivered
your enemies into your hand. And he gave him tithes of all" (Gen.
Giving of the tithe to Melchizedek reveals
two things: First, that the Melchizedek priesthood
preceded the Levitical priesthood of Aaron who came
later. Second and most important, that Abraham honored this priestly order and
tithed to it long before the Levitical priesthood and
its tithing system was established.
As we will see, the Melchizedek priesthood
still supercedes all others today and will in the
future as well. We today are under the order of Melchizedek through Yahshua our
High Priest, and not under the Levitical system.
the Forerunner is for us entered, [even] Yahshua, made an
high priest forever after the order of Melchisedec")
Heb. 6:20; see also 5:10; 7:17). The point is, if
faithful Abraham tithed to Melchizedek, the priestly order of which Yahshua is
chief, what should WE be doing?
Levites Tithed to Yahshua
The Book of Hebrews makes much over the
fact that the patriarchs Abraham gave a tenth of the spoils to Melchizedek. The
Levitical priesthood descended from Abraham. Even
though the tribe of Levi was to take tithes of their brethren, they in
actuality tithed to Melchizedek THROUGH Abraham (Heb. 7:4-10), which is clear
from verse 9: "And as I may so say,
Levi also, who received tithes, paid tithes in Abraham."
An important point made by the author of
Hebrews is that Yahshua is our High Priest in the Melchizedek priesthood. This
priesthood has authority over the Levitical system
established under Moses. Yahshua’s ministry is superior and He is the mediator
of a better covenant, established upon better promises, Heb. 8:6.
Therefore, we should take to heart the fact
that although the sons of Levi received tithes in the Old Testament, still they
were subservient to Yahshua’s priesthood and actually tithed to Him. In
essence, all of
ultimately tithed to Yahshua.
If they paid tithed to the order of
Melchizedek, should not we as spiritual Israelites do the same? We look to
Yahshua as our High Priest and the Head of the Body, tithing to His order of
priesthood – the ministry of Yahshua – and receiving the blessings as did
What Is Yahweh’s
As we have just seen, tithing is not an
invention of Moses. Abraham preceded Moses and yet was tithing to Melchizedek, priest of the Most High El was possessor of all
the earth, Genesis 14:19 (see also Ex. 19:5, Ps. 24).
Yahweh owns everything! He allows us to use
some of what belongs to Him in our present but temporary journey in life. He
tells us what He expects a tithe (10 percent) of all that we produce to be
given back to Him:
all the tithe of the land, [whether] of the seed of the land, [or] of the fruit
of the tree, [is] Yahweh’s: [it is] holy unto Yahweh" (Lev. 27:30). In
other words, the entire tithe or tenth is His, not ours. He graciously allows
us the use of what is His, but at the same time requires a tithe of it to be
returned to Him.
The word "tithe" is an Old
English word meaning "tenth." A "tithing" was an
administrative district in which were ten families. The word tithe means of
"tenth" or "ten percent." The Biblical use of the tithe was
to support the Levites, the priests, according to Numbers 18:21-32.
If one wanted to keep or redeem for money
any of the tithe, one was to add 20 percent to its
Priests Received the Tithes
Because of the tribe of Levi was the
priesthood, they were not to inherit any of the Promised Land. Today’s Bible
maps showing the division of the land among the tribes accurately omit the
However, the priests were given 48 Levitical cities. Instead of an inheritance of land, the
Levites were given the tithe for an inheritance.
Yahweh spake unto Aaron, you shall have no
inheritance in their land, neither shall you have any part among them: I [am]
your part and your inheritance among the children of
. And, behold, I have given
the children of Levi all the tenth in
for an inheritance, for
their service which they serve, [even] the service of the tabernacle of the
congregation" (Num. 18:20-21).
Now that we are under the New Covenant made
with the Messiah, we find the priesthood changed from the Levitical to that of Melchizedek, and those who are called of Yahweh serve as his
ministers, His priests.
Paul does not specifically mention tithes
in the following passages, but he does expect support for those teaching
so has Yahweh ordained that they which preach the evangel should live of the
evangel KJV. "In the same way, Yahweh has commanded that those who preach the evangel
should receive their living from the evangel" NIV (1Cor. 9:14).
the elders that rule well be counted worthy of double honour,
especially they who labour in the word and doctrine.
For the Scripture says, Thou shalt not muzzle the ox
that treads out the corn. And, The labourer [is]
worthy of his reward" (1 Tim. 5:17-18).
him that is taught in the word communicate unto him that teaches in all good
things” KJV. "Anyone who
receives instruction in the words must share all good things with his
instructor" NIV (Gal. 6:6).
Remember that the Apostles were of the
with Paul being of Benjamin. Luke may have been a gentile, yet all of the
Apostles carried out the work of proclaiming the Glad Tidings of the Kingdom,
though they were not Levites.
The task of the Levites was that of
offering the sacrifices and cleansing of the congregation so that the people
could offer worship to Yahweh. They also taught the laws and precepts of Yahweh
to Israel. Now that the Savior has paid the complete sacrifice of Himself, we
no longer offer animal sacrifice, but are to sacrifice our bodies in our daily
beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of Elohim,
that you present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto Elohim, which is your reasonable service" (Rom.
By being obedient to His Word, we sacrifice
our time, efforts and life itself in compliance. Through this obedience we are
sanctified and cleansed as we obey His word in our daily walk through faith in
the Messiah (Eph. 5:26).
Savior Advocates Tithing
As a part of the Body of Messiah, we may
not be from the tribe of Levi. The ekklesia is made up of people from the nations (Greek ethnos) and among the gifts given to the
Assembly will be found ministering and teaching, Romans 12:7.
Elohim has set some in the Assembly, first apostles,
secondarily prophets, thirdly teachers, after that miracles, then gifts of
healing, helps, governments, diversities of tongues." 1Cor. 12:28)
Yahshua put His finger on the typical
behavior of the Pharisees who emphasize their righteousness by obedience in
minutiae, allowing trivia to occupy their time and attention.
"Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees,
hypocrites! For ye pay tithe of mint and anise and cumin, and have omitted the
weightier [matters] of the law, judgement, mercy, and
faith: these ought ye to have done, and not to leave the other undone,"
They tithed of mint, anise, and cumin –
little garden herbs. However, they neglected the weightier matters of justice,
mercy, and faith.
Notice that Yahshua says that tithing is
something He said they SHOULD do, but not to neglect being just, showing mercy,
and strengthening the faith of others. He did not condemn them for tithing, but
for neglecting other important matters as well.
Support for the Workers
is clearly carried over from the Old Testament to the New. It is Yahweh’s
method of financing the Kingdom Message, which is to be preached in all the
world as a warning before the return of the Messiah, Matthew 24:14. Those who
have their minds on spiritual things will be deeply concerned that this be
Notice the thrust of the following verses,
which point out the obligation that we have in providing for those doing the
work of the ministry so that others may also hear, learn, and benefit from the
teaching of the Good News:
in the same house remain, eating and drinking such things as they give: for the
labourers is worthy of his hire" (Luke
has 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" (Rom. 15:27)
husbandmen that labors must be first partaker of the fruits" (2Tim.
so has Yahweh ordained that they which preach the evangel should live of the
evangel" (1Cor. 9:14).
Aiding and supporting those proclaiming the
Good News allows them to devote themselves entirely to their calling of
teaching the Word.
Tithing in New Testament
Our focus must be on the Old Testament as
well as the New. Many Bible readers are surprised to learn that the Bible teaches that our
salvation is to be found in the Old Testament. Notice:
that from a child you have known the holy scriptures, which are able to make
you wise unto salvation through faith which is in Messiah Yahshua"
(2Tim. 3:15). Also see John 5:47; Romans 3:1-2; Acts 7:38.
The Apostles drew their message from the
Old Testament, for the New had not yet been written. We also know that the New Covenant
is based upon what was written in the Old as we see in Hebrews 8:8-10:
finding fault with them, he said, Behold, the days come, says Yahweh, when I
will make a new covenant with the house of Israel and with the house of Judah:
Not according to the covenant that I made with their fathers in the day when I
took them by the hand to lead them out of the land of Egypt; because they
continued not in my covenant, and I regarded them not, says Yahweh. For this
[is] the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel after those days,
says Yahweh; I will put my laws into their minds, and write them in their
hearts: and I will be to them an Elohim, and they
shall be to me a people."
Notice that the New Covenant offers the
same laws as given in the Old, which including tithing. And in the Kingdom the Levitical priesthood will again be established, Ezekiel
44-48. The Levitical priesthood was established on
and was always supported by tithes and offerings from the people.
Support Only the Truth
We should be very careful that we support
only those who are preaching the truth, the whole counsel of Yahweh. Some
outlandish doctrines today include teachings like: Yahshua did not pre-exist;
Satan is a woman; polygamy is Scriptural; worship of a Trinity; immortal soul;
we immediately go to heaven or hell upon death, and many more.
The Bible warns that there will be false
prophets (Matt. 24:11), who will appear meek and righteous, but who are
ravening wolves at heart, Matthew 7:14.
The true congregation will be restoring
forgotten truth and ignored laws, pointing us back to the Old paths of
righteousness, Isaiah 58:12. True believers will gladly accept hardships 2Tim.
4:5; realizing that we will suffer shame for His great Name, Acts 5:41. The
true followers of the Great Shepherd will indeed be a little flock, Revelation
12:17, Luke 12:32.
The fact that there be but a small group of
people engaged in proclaiming the good news of the coming Kingdom should not
deter us. If we are faithful and sincerely seeking to serve Him, Yahweh will be
with us. Even a little flock of dedicated people can do great things in
successfully proclaiming this vital message in the end time.
The true Philadelphia Assembly in
Revelation is described as being small but devoted: "I know your works:
behold, I have set before you an open door, and no man can shut it: for you
have a LITTLE STRENGTH, and have kept my word, and have not denied my
NAME" (Rev. 3:8).
Where Is YOUR Heart?
When doing His will, we are promised all the
help and courage needed. Yahweh will see us through. Yahshua began with twelve
disciples and turned the world upside down, Acts 17:6. If we do not accomplish
the same, Yahweh will raise up a group that will.
To place the kingdom first in our lives is
the command of our Savior: "Lay not
up for yourselves treasures upon earth, where moth and rust doth corrupt, and
where thieves break through and steal: But lay up for yourselves treasure in
heaven, where neither moth nor rust doth corrupt, and where thieves do not
break through nor steal: For where your treasure is, there will your heart be
also" (Matt. 6:19-21).
Take special note that Yahshua declared
that where your treasure is, there is where your heart will be found. That is
to say, that which you desire, that which dominates your thinking and is your
goal in life – that is where your heart is. Your heart can be on earthly gains,
possessions, the social whirl, a house, car, country club, gems, the stock
market – almost anything on earth. If these things influence, control, direct,
or consume most of your thoughts and attention, you are building castles in the
sand. You have a problem with idolatry.
Physical gain in this life is but temporary
gain. We have been warned that we can gain the whole world and lose our soul or
life (Matt. 16:26). We are promised but 70 years on this earth (Ps. 90:10), and
we will one day appear before the judgement seat of
We each have just one life, and it will
soon be past; only what is done for the Messiah will last. Yahshua says we
should lay up for ourselves treasure in heaven, Matthew 6:20. Yahweh commands
that we take 10 percent of our income (increase) and turn it into spiritual
treasure by helping others find the truth that leads to salvation. These
spiritual treasures are eternal and will last forever.
But exactly how can I do that? You ask.
Simply by setting aside a portion of your income, 10 percent, and seeing that
it is used to proclaim the Good News of the Kingdom. Yahweh in turn will enable
you to do more with 90 percent of your earnings and His blessings than you
could do with 100 percent minus His blessings. It is a fact proven over and
over in the lives of those who love Yahweh and obey the principles of the tithe.
An Awesome Responsibility
Yahweh’s plan is that each one who is
converted to His way of righteousness should do what he or she can to get the
message of salvation to others. To give back some of what we have been given is
fundamental to Yahweh’s methods.
Each believer should pay his or her own
way, and not take without giving something back. That is the principle Yahweh
teaches us through the tithe. As we partake of the grace freely given, we take
a portion of Yahweh’s blessing and bestow it upon others so they might also be
partakers of the salvation which in Yahshua.
Through giving and sacrifice we are able to
invest in the coming Kingdom and bear fruit unto life eternal. Tithing is a way
to put Yahweh first in our lives. By giving ten percent of our income, we show
Yahweh that our treasure and heart are focused on Him and in His coming Kingdom
As we showed at the beginning, tithes were
given to Melchizedek. In a sense we are already the New Testament extension of
the Melchizedek priesthood, being that we are under Yahshua. The Bible calls us
a nation of priests:
hast made us unto our Elohim kings and priests: and
we shall reign on the earth" (Rev. 5:10). See also Revelation 1:6 and
Not Robbing but Sharing
The man said, I’d tithe, but I just can’t
afford it." Knowing that the Scriptures says that ten percent of what is
given us belongs to Yahweh and is not ours to keep, we must respond, "Then
you prefer to steal from your Heavenly Father?"
Yahweh plainly says we are ROBBING Him when
we don’t pay our tithes:
a man rob Yahweh? Yet you have robbed me. But you say wherein have we robbed
you? In tithes and offerings. You are cursed with a curse: for you have robbed
me, even this whole nation" (Mal. 3:8-9).
We are glad to send literature without
charge to those requesting it. The tithes and offerings of the brethren make it
We as loving and concerned believers show
that we are worthy of that high calling we have in the Messiah by reaching out
to others. Both the stingy giver and the generous will be rewarded in kind:
and it will be given unto you, A good measure, pressed down, shaken together,
and running over, will be poured into your lap. For with the measure you use,
it will be measure to you" (NIV Luke 6:38).
Through tithing we can show that our
heart’s desire is to be with Yahshua in that Kingdom, for He said, "For where your treasure is, there
will your heart be also" (Matt. 6:21).
We are given the example of Paul chiding the
Corinthian brethren for their selfishness is not providing him and Barnabas
with their sustenance, 1Corinthians 9:5-14. Paul goes on to point out that
soldiers do not pay their own expenses; one who plants a vineyard eats the fruit
from it; he who shepherds a flock, does he not get a living from the milk? Paul
reminds us that even the priests in the Temple sacrificing were given a part of
the animal, verse 13.
If Yahshua could give up His life, Paul in
kind could also surrender his right for the support of the brethren, verse 18.
After admonishing their neglect in not supporting him, Paul concludes this
chapter by saying he will continue to carry out the mandate to preach the word
even if the Corinthian brethren fail to support him.
Imagine standing before Yahweh’s judgement throne and having to explain to your Heavenly
Father why you robbed from Him by withholding the tithe. Your very neglect
testifies about you – that other things have come between you and your desire for
Return to Me, and I will return to you,
says Yahweh Almighty..In this passage we return to Him through tithing, Malachi
3:7-9 (NIV) and lay up treasure in heaven.
By withholding tithes and offerings we come
under a curse. On the other hand, the promises of wonderful blessings for
tithing are given in Malachi 3:10-18.
Our works will follow us into the Kingdom:
Yahshua said, "And, behold, I come
quickly; and my reward is with me, to give every man according as his work
shall be" (Rev. 22:12).
Consider this scene: some day in the
Kingdom we will have the opportunity to meet other saints, who will be there in
part because someone (perhaps you) provided the avenue and way for them to come
to a proper understanding of the truth that brought them to accept the
salvation of Yahshua. What a wonderful thought!