To all the brethren and sisters scattered abroad, greetings and peace to you all, in the name of Jesus Christ our Lord.
I trust that these words find you all well and blessed in our Lord Jesus, and it is my desire that the contents of this epistle may cause you to be even more blessed and edified, in Jesus’ name.
Please make yourselves comfortable, and grab your Bibles.
We are going to be here together for a bit…
Before I begin, please understand that this is not something that I, as a man of God, and an overseer in the church of God, teach or speak about very much; as I am very careful to not give the adversary any cause to bring reproach. We all know that there are a plethora of religious shysters in the world today, who teach that gain is godliness; from whom we are commanded of God to withdraw ourselves; but godliness with contentment is great gain.
1 Timothy 6:5,6
So, I do not teach these things out of covetousness, or out of a desire for anyone’s money, but rather for the well being and blessedness of the flock of God, as it is written,
“Not because I desire a gift: but I desire fruit that may abound to your account.”
The reason that I teach these necessary things is so that you, my beloved brethren and sisters, can walk in the ways that our great Almighty God has ordained for his people, and so that your provision and store may be blessed.
There are many who have said, “I don’t have enough to give the tithe, or to help a brother or a sister, or a family member in need right now. I need to use all that I have just to get by.”
But why? Why do these not have enough?
There is one simple answer.
They have been robbing God of that which is his (Malachi 3:8).
The answer is really very simple.
It is because they do not believe his word.
Yea, they SAY that they believe God’s word, until it comes time to make manifest their faith by their works.
As brother James wrote,
“Yea, a man may say, Thou hast faith, and I have works: shew me thy faith without thy works, and I will shew thee my faith by my works.”
Faith without works is dead; and failing to give God what is his is an act of unbelief; for Jesus said, “But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you.”
All these things? What things?
The things of this world that the devil tells us that we need so much that we cannot afford to give God what is his – the tithe.
There are many among us who still do not believe that if they obey God by giving him the tithe of their increase, that he will open up the windows of heaven and pour out blessings upon them so that they may have all that they have need of, and to spare.
And, my brethren, I, the man writing this epistle to you, have been living by that precept, blessed and provided for and lacking absolutely nothing, for nearly 30 years; and I testify unto you all that God is faithful, just like his word proclaims.
“Know therefore that the LORD thy God, he is God, the faithful God, which keepeth covenant and mercy with them that love him and keep his commandments to a thousand generations…”
That said, let us begin.
What is the tithe?
The tithe is the tenth of all that God gives unto us, which we in turn give back to him because we are thankful. Israel our forefather made a vow to God in the desert, saying,
“…of all that thou shalt give me I will surely give the tenth unto thee.”
His God is our God; and that vow that he made to God, even according to what his grandfather Abraham did, when he gave the tenth of all unto Melchizedek, pertains to us, for we have been grafted into that same olive tree by our Lord Jesus Christ, the son of David, the son of Abraham.
A covenant involves at least two parties.
God is one, and we are the other. God will do what he said he would, because he is faithful, and faileth not.
And we also are to be faithful to him, if we desire to serve him and inherit his kingdom, as it is written,
“…the Lamb shall overcome them: for he is Lord of lords, and King of kings: and they that are with him are called, and chosen, and faithful.”
Those among us who are not faithful to God, will not be appointed to serve him in his kingdom as his ministers; for as it is written again,
“He that is faithful in that which is least is faithful also in much: and he that is unjust in the least is unjust also in much.”
Why do Christians tithe?
Christians give the tithe of our increase unto God because we have nothing that we have not received.
1 Corinthians 4:7
We recognize the fact that, were it not for his grace and mercy, we would have nothing; and of a truth, there are lots of people in the world, living in abject poverty, and slavery, and captivity, and why? Because they refuse to serve and obey the living God.
“Now therefore thus saith the LORD of hosts; Consider your ways.
Ye have sown much, and bring in little; ye eat, but ye have not enough; ye drink, but ye are not filled with drink; ye clothe you, but there is none warm; and he that earneth wages earneth wages to put it into a bag with holes.
Thus saith the LORD of hosts; Consider your ways.
Now, this word from God is directly pertaining to the building of the temple, but it is the same principle. The children of Israel were not honouring God or serving him. They were serving themselves. Therefore, all that they had was being diminished, and that by the hand of God. It is God that giveth, and it is God that taketh away.
“But thou shalt remember the LORD thy God: for it is he that giveth thee power to get wealth, that he may establish his covenant which he sware unto thy fathers, as it is this day.”
“The silver is mine, and the gold is mine, saith the LORD of hosts.”
Our God is our provider.
A job is not our provider. A paycheck is not our provider. A government check is not our provider. All those things are in the hand of God Almighty. The silver is his, and the gold is his; and to whom he will, he gives it.
Therefore, all that we have has been given to us by God.
He alone is our provider.
And, when we give him the tithe, we are confessing by our works that we acknowledge that fact, and we honour him with the firstfruits of all that he has given to us; and this declares also that we trust him to supply all our need, according to his riches in glory by Christ Jesus.
As it is written,
“Honour the Lord with thy substance, and with the firstfruits of all thine increase:
So shall thy barns be filled with plenty, and thy presses shall burst out with new wine.”
What is prosperity?
Prosperity is having the things that you have need of, and to spare, so that you can be an help to others.
“Beloved, I wish above all things that thou mayest prosper and be in health, even as thy soul prospereth.”
3 John 2
“Upon the first day of the week let every one of you lay by him in store, as God hath prospered him…”
1 Corinthians 16:2
“Save now, I beseech thee, O Lord: O Lord, I beseech thee, send now prosperity.”
“Peace be within thy walls, and prosperity within thy palaces.”
Prosperity does not necessarily mean being rich with this world’s goods; for there are many rich men in this world who are destitute, and have nothing.
“But they that will be rich fall into temptation and a snare, and into many foolish and hurtful lusts, which drown men in destruction and perdition.
For the love of money is the root of all evil: which while some coveted after, they have erred from the faith, and pierced themselves through with many sorrows.”
1 Timothy 6:9,10
“Then said Jesus unto his disciples, Verily I say unto you, That a rich man shall hardly enter into the kingdom of heaven.”
So, we can see from the scripture that true and godly prosperity means to be blessed by God with the things that we have need of, for ourselves and also to help others, Which God hath promised to them that believe and obey his word.
Again, the Lord Jesus said,
“Therefore take no thought, saying, What shall we eat? or, What shall we drink? or, Wherewithal shall we be clothed?
(For after all these things do the Gentiles seek:) for your heavenly Father knoweth that ye have need of all these things.
But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you.
What happens when Christians don’t tithe?
When we who are Christians, who profess to be God’s people, do not give him the tithe of our increase, we are confessing by our actions that we do not trust God to provide for our needs, and that we must get those things on our own; and we then imagine that someday (which never comes), when we have “enough”, we will be givers.
And so, when Christians do this, they will see all that they have gradually dwindling away, bit by bit, until they are eventually left with nothing, stripped of their provision and eventually their souls, unless they repent and start obeying and trusting God.
We sing “trust and obey”…but it is just as easy to sing a lie as it is to tell one.
When God’s people do not trust him, and do not obey him, they will not be blessed in this present world, nor will they inherit that world to come; and when God’s people do not trust him to provide for them, then he will turn them over to toil and angst to provide for themselves…and in all that unnecessary toil and labour that they exercise, they will not be able to dedicate the necessary time to meditating in his word and prayer, preaching his word to the lost, and worshiping him in Spirit and in truth, and will fall by the wayside, choked out by the thorns of this life.
“He also that received seed among the thorns is he that heareth the word; and the care of this world, and the deceitfulness of riches, choke the word, and he becometh unfruitful.”
Who receives tithes, and why?
“Do ye not know that they which minister about holy things live of the things of the temple? and they which wait at the altar are partakers with the altar?
Even so hath the Lord ordained that they which preach the gospel should live of the gospel.”
1 Corinthians 9:13,14
The tithe is received by those who live of the gospel.
God hath ordained this, and that for good reason.
It is not so that one may get rich, and others become poor, as the Roman system does and teaches.
It is so that there may be equality.
“As it is written, He that had gathered much had nothing over; and he that had gathered little had no lack.”
2 Corinthians 8:15
The tithe was given to the priests and Levites under the law (though it is not of Moses, but of the fathers), so that they could remain about the work of the tabernacle, serving the tribes of Israel, and not have to go and find work elsewhere. Their work was to serve God, and his people; and when they did this, God gave them the tithe for their sustenance, so that there was an equality…everyone had what they needed.
And, when the tithes stopped coming into the temple, it became broken down and abandoned, because the priests the LORD’s ministers had no sustenance, and had to go find it elsewhere…so there was no way for the people to bring their sacrifices to the LORD. This is the terrible damage that Josiah king of Judah had the task of repairing when he ascended to the throne, for the unbelief and disobedience of his predecessors, who left off to obey God in the matter of tithes and offerings, and other matters of the law also, and the house of the LORD was abandoned and broken down.
And, as it was then, so it is today, that there are those among us who live of the gospel, just like the priests and Levites did in the kingdom of Israel.
A man who lives of the gospel is one who hath been called to that vocation by God, and therefore does not have a worldly job to earn a living, but labours rather in the word of God and doctrine, and in feeding the flock of God.
This does not include the many false shepherds who feed themselves, and take advantage of the flock.
This also does not include those men who seem very nice and friendly, but who are not abiding in the doctrine of Christ; for they have not God, so they cannot possibly have been called of him.
2 John 9-11
This includes those men who are called of God to labour in the word and doctrine, and dedicate themselves and their days to binding up the broken hearted, bringing again that which was driven away, seeking that which was lost, and caring for the flock.
What is a steward, and what are our responsibilities toward God
with what he gives us?
A steward is one who is entrusted with his master’s goods, house, or money, and is expected to be faithful in the execution of his duties concerning them.
“Let a man so account of us, as of the ministers of Christ, and stewards of the mysteries of God. Moreover it is required in stewards, that a man be found faithful.”
1 Corinthians 4:1,2
In the kingdom of God, we are stewards of his grace, of his truth, and verily of all that he gives us, including our wives, husbands, children, houses, and finances. If we are prudent and faithful with those things, then he will bless us; and if we are not, then he won’t.
And we cannot blame him for that at all…would you give more into the hand of a servant who was not faithful with what you gave him at the first?
“If therefore ye have not been faithful in the unrighteous mammon, who will commit to your trust the true riches?
And if ye have not been faithful in that which is another man’s, who shall give you that which is your own?
No servant can serve two masters: for either he will hate the one, and love the other; or else he will hold to the one, and despise the other. Ye cannot serve God and mammon.”
How is our faith made manifest?
As it is written,
“What doth it profit, my brethren, though a man say he hath faith, and have not works? can faith save him?
If a brother or sister be naked, and destitute of daily food,
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?
Even so faith, if it hath not works, is dead, being alone.
Yea, a man may say, Thou hast faith, and I have works: shew me thy faith without thy works, and I will shew thee my faith by my works.”
“My little children, let us not love in word, neither in tongue; but in deed and in truth.
And hereby we know that we are of the truth, and shall assure our hearts before him.”
1 John 3:18,19
According to God’s own word, our faith is made manifest by our works.
And insomuch as this pertains to the provision that God gives to us for our living, our faith is made manifest by our giving to him the tithe of all that we receive, to honour him with the firstfruits of all our increase, and also to minister to the needs of our brethren, and others who are in need.
In other words – charity.
“And now abideth faith, hope, charity, these three; but the greatest of these is charity.”
1 Corinthians 13:13
A brother or a sister might say, “Well, brother Clinton, I just don’t have enough to be giving to anyone right now. I’m struggling to pay my bills every month.”
And why is that, my brother or sister?
It is because you have been robbing God.
Ask any of the brethren who have been obedient to God with the tithe of their increase. Are they struggling to pay their bills? Do they not have sufficient to help a brother or a sister in need?
I tell you, nay, they have none of those difficulties, because they believe and obey God’s word, and their faith is shown by their works; and so their provision is blessed by God, and they lack nothing.
Now, my brethren, do I say these things to chide with you, or to demand money from you, or to fleece you as a false shepherd does with his sheep?
God knoweth that I have taken the time to teach you all these things in his love for one reason, and one reason only –
…so that you may be blessed.
I love you all, and I thank you all for your love in Christ Jesus, and especially for your earnest prayers for me and this ministry.
May God continue to bless and keep you all, as you abide in his word and grow in his grace; and may this teaching epistle serve to cause those among you (and there are many among you) who have not been obeying God in this matter to do so straightway, and with a glad and a willing heart, that you may also experience his blessing as he opens the windows of heaven upon your provision.
Blessed be the name of the LORD.
“He hath given meat unto them that fear him: he will ever be mindful of his covenant.”