On the fence about tithing? Take this crash course in tithing and learn why these Bible truths can turn your financial situation around!
To tithe or not to tithe, gross or net, Old Covenant or New Covenant—the tithing debate rages on. Yet, like so many other biblical truths, there isn’t really a debate. You might say, “Well, I tried tithing, and it didn’t work.” But tithing isn’t something you try, it’s something you live.
Like anything else, God looks at the heart. One who puts a tithe in the bucket in a grudging manner and out of obligation is no better than the one who fights tooth and nail against giving God anything at all. If you want to live in the benefits of a tither, you’ve got to first become a real tither—one who gives continually, year after year, no matter the circumstances—with a tither’s heart.
If you’re already a tither, these truths will only strengthen your resolve. If you’re not, and you feel like you need to have revelation in this area to truly embrace the concept, these truths are for you, too.
No matter which way you slice it, tithers are blessed. The Bible is chock full of benefits, rights and privileges for tithers. You don’t want to miss them! You can live the life of a tither—a blessed life—with these top 10 Bible truths you need to know.
1. The Tithe Is the First 10 Percent
“Be sure to set aside a tenth of all that your fields produce each year.” –Deuteronomy 14:22 (NIV)
Wondering how to calculate your tithe? It’s easy! The tithe is the first 10 percent of your gross income—before any expenses or obligations, including taxes. How do we know? Proverbs 3:9 says, “Honor the Lord with your possessions, and with the firstfruits of all your increase” (NKJV). The dictionary defines firstfruits as “the first agricultural produce of a season, especially when given as an offering to God.” (See also Genesis 28:22; Leviticus 27:32; Hebrews 7:2, 4).
There’s something spiritually significant about giving God your first and best, rather than the leftovers. And it means something to Him, too. In Malachi 1:6-12, some of the priests at the Temple got a bright idea. Instead of offering unblemished animals as sacrifices to the Lord, they decided to make sacrificing more convenient and cost-effective. So, they began encouraging people to give their blind and lame animals, instead of the best of the bunch. The priests were giving God the leftovers instead of the first and best. In response, God said, “Where is My honor?… Where is my reverence?” (Malachi 1:6, NKJV). He viewed this as dishonoring to Him—and it was!
When God gave His first and only Son as a sacrifice for our sins, He gave His first and best. He deserves nothing less than the same from us.
2. The Tithe Belongs to God
“Render therefore unto Caesar the things which are Caesar’s; and unto God the things that are God’s.” –Matthew 22:21 (KJV)
Some people get real defensive when a pastor or minister talks about the tithe. “All they want is my money!” they’ll say. That kind of attitude comes from a spirit of fear and judgment, and it is outside the love walk. Most pastors are trying to help you understand the principle of tithing for your own benefit! But the real question isn’t about whether or not a pastor is trying to get your money—it’s whether you understand that the tithe belongs to God.
Is He really first in our lives? If He is, there won’t be such strong opposition to the idea of giving Him our first and best. Leviticus 27:30 says, “A tithe of everything from the land, whether grain from the soil or fruit from the trees, belongs to the Lord; it is holy to the Lord” (NIV).
In other words, when you tithe, you aren’t giving your money to a pastor or a church—you’re giving it to God. Certainly, it’s important to be sure you are giving into good soil, but once you’ve made that determination, your heart should release the tithe into God’s hands.
If we don’t, there’s no way around it—we’re robbing God (Malachi 3:8). And, as Gloria Copeland says, “There’s no blessing in robbing God.”
3. We Present Our Tithes to Jesus
“Here mortal men receive tithes, but there he (Jesus) receives them, of whom it is witnessed that he lives.” –Hebrews 7:8 (NKJV)
In the Old Covenant, the people would present their tithes to the high priest. Today, Jesus is our High Priest, so we present our tithes to Him (Hebrews 4:14-16). That’s why tithing isn’t about money—it’s about honor. We honor God with our tithe when we present our tithes to Jesus. How do we do this? First, we do it joyfully—we don’t murmur. Then, we make it a deliberate act of worship.
Gloria Copeland has shared how she and Kenneth present their tithe to the Lord each time:
“Ken and I, we take our tithe and we worship God. We do this at home. We pray and have Communion over our tithe. We worship God with our tithe. We say, ‘It is our privilege to tithe, and we love You, Lord, and we honor You and we thank You for everything You’ve given us.’”
Proverbs 3:9-10 says, “Honor the Lord with your wealth…then your barns will be filled to overflowing.” You know, it’s good to have barns, but it is better to have them filled to the top. So, every time you give, tithe and sow—present your tithe to the Lord with honor. That is the heart with which we increase; that is the heart with which we tithe.
4. We Give Our Tithes in Faith
“Without faith it is impossible to please him.” –Hebrews 11:6 (KJV)
If you’re tithing in fear—fear that you won’t have enough left over, fear that you won’t be able to make ends meet, fear that you won’t get a return—you’re not tithing in faith. And if you’re not tithing in faith, you’re not eligible to receive the benefits.
So, don’t just tithe—tithe in faith! Do it believing that God will rebuke the devourer for your sake (Malachi 3:11) and that He’ll open the windows of heaven over your life (Malachi 3:10). If you aren’t tithing faithfully, your priorities are in the wrong place. Your priorities are in the natural realm instead of the spiritual realm. And it’s what’s in the spiritual realm that will bring you out of trouble and cause you to be abundantly blessed.
Faith says, “We’re going to tithe first, even if we don’t have groceries.” And faith knows God will take care of you in a supernatural way in the meantime.
5. We Tithe Using Words
“Take some of the firstfruits…. and say to the priest….”—Deuteronomy 26:2-3 (NIV)
If you approach tithing as a matter of the heart, rather than just bucket-plunking, you’ll not only begin to see it as an act of honor and worship, but an act of faith, as we just explored. Part of that act of faith is that we tithe using words of faith.
In the Old Covenant, God’s people would place their tithe—the firstfruits of their increase—in a basket, present it to the high priest, and say to him, “I declare today to the Lord your God that I have come to the land the Lord swore to our ancestors to give us” (Deuteronomy 26:3, NIV). They spoke their redemption.
Today, Jesus is our High Priest. When we present our tithe to Him, we should do so with our words, declaring tithing benefits and protections. Say out loud, “As I tithe, I believe the devourer is rebuked in my life, and the windows of heaven are opening up over every part of my life. As I give, it comes back to me, pressed down, shaken together and running over!”
6. Tithing Protects the Other 90 Percent
“I will rebuke the devourer for your sakes, and he shall not destroy the fruits of your ground” –Malachi 3:11 (KJV)
“I can’t afford to tithe.” Have you ever heard or said these words? You may have even thought, When I can afford it, I’ll tithe. Some of you have been thinking that for 10 years, and you still don’t think you can afford it. Now, that ought to tell you something. The way you’re doing it is not working.
Here’s a simple truth about tithing: Give God what is His, and He will protect what is yours. As you honor God with the 10 percent that belongs to Him, He’ll get involved with the rest. The other 90 percent will go further than ever before because you’ve got the supernatural power of God involved with your finances.
The tithe from your income belongs to God, and it lays the foundation for your financial success and abundance. There is a protection plan that’s attached to the tithe. Everything we have is protected—our finances, our home, our goods.
Gloria Copeland says this: “If you’re not a tither, I guarantee you, you can look back in your life, and you can see where your fruit was destroyed, where your situation didn’t work out, where your job didn’t come to full fruition, where you weren’t able to do what you intended to do. That’s what happens to people who don’t tithe. What’s missing? THE BLESSING!”
Watch as Jerry Savelle teaches how sowing in famine is the key to financial breakthrough.
7. Tithing Is the Only Area God Says “Prove Me”
“Try it! Let me prove it to you!” –Malachi 3:10 (NLT-96)
This is God Himself speaking, and He is saying, “Prove Me in this.” This is the only time in the Bible where God instructs us to prove Him, and it is the one area where most people have withdrawn from proving God. He tells us the devourer will be rebuked, and the floodgates of blessing will open up over us (Malachi 3:10-11, NIV).
Does God mean tithe one week and see what happens? No. You’re not a tither if you give once or even for a year. It isn’t an experiment or a hobby—it’s a lifestyle. A tither is a tither from the heart. So, don’t just toss some money in a bucket and wait to see what happens—you try the Lord in this area with a tither’s heart. That is when harvest comes. And, as Jerry Savelle says, “If you’re not a sower [or a tither] you’re not entitled to a harvest.”
8. Tithing Is Our Covenant Connection
“They have violated my covenant, which I commanded them to keep. They have taken some of the devoted things; they have stolen, they have lied, they have put them with their own possessions. That is why the Israelites cannot stand against their enemies.” –Joshua 7:11-12 (NIV)
Refusing to tithe disconnects you from the covenant of blessing. When you tithe, you give God the legal right to intervene in your financial affairs, to bless you richly, and to defend you against the destruction the devil brings.
Don’t wait until your back is against the wall to start. Begin now. Meditate on the blessings God’s Word promises you as a tither. Learn to act on that Word now, and when Satan tries to put you in a financial corner, he’ll fail. Establish yourself on the covenant of God—then Satan will have no chance against you. God will rebuke him for your sake.
9. God Created the Tithe for Our Benefit
“Honor the Lord with your substance…so shall your barns be filled with plenty.” –Proverbs 3:9-10 (KJV)
Tithing isn’t sowing—it’s giving back to God what belongs to Him. As a result, you will live in the overflow! That is the harvest. And a good harvester is a tither.
Tithing is the most foundational part of prosperity—that’s where it begins. God reinvests it back into us for our benefit. The tithe protects the harvest. You can’t sow unless you’re tithing—tithing comes first. The benefits are beyond anything you could ever imagine.
10. Tithing Opens the Door to THE BLESSING
“Then you….shall rejoice in all the good things the Lord your God has given to you and your household.” –Deuteronomy 26:11 (NIV)
Handling someone else’s money is the testing ground—the qualifier—for Kingdom promotion and being entrusted with true riches. This all begins with the proper handling of what belongs to God—the tithe. Tithing is the open door to THE BLESSING that God set forth that is going to meet your needs, bless you and keep you prosperous.
In Deuteronomy 28, God spoke to the Israelites about the curse and THE BLESSING. But just prior, in Deuteronomy 26, He talked to them about letting Him in on their finances—through the tithe. Why? Not because God needed the money, but because they needed help. They were going into the Promise Land where there were many challenges. So, He told them about tithing, the curse and THE BLESSING, in that order.
And you know, it’s still the same today. If you’ve been thinking I believe in tithing, but I just can’t afford it, you’re going backward. Because if you don’t let THE BLESSING in, the curse comes in.
This is Tithing 101! If you take these top 10 Bible truths and put them to work—let them become revelation to you—you will begin to see increase in your life. If you’ve been hesitant to walk in the life of a tither—take the plunge. Look up tithing scriptures and act on them. The very next paycheck you get—tithe! Then, buckle your seatbelt and get ready for an exciting journey to prosperity!
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