Tithing – First Tithe – Key Scriptures

  • Does God reveal Himself as the Creator and Owner of everything? (Psalm 24:1; Job 41:11; Exodus 19:5; Haggai 2:8).

God created everything and by virtue of that creation He owns it all!  Therefore he has a prior claim to ownership of all that is produced out of His earth.  Yet God requires us to return to Him only 10 percent of what our efforts produce and earn.  God, in turn, uses the 10 percent He claims as His own for proclaiming His Gospel message – the good news of the coming Kingdom of God and the peace, joy, happiness and prosperity it will bring to mankind.

  • Did Abraham tithe? (Genesis 14:17-20; Hebrews 7:1-4).

Abraham paid tithes over 430 years before the Law was delivered through Moses.

  • Did God bless obedient (Genesis 26:5) Abraham? (Genesis 13:2).

Tithing is revealed in the Bible as God’s system for financing His ministry.  Hundreds of years prior to the Levitical priesthood, the ministry was that of Melchizedek.  Melchizedek (Genesis 14:18; Hebrews 7:1) was none other than the member of the Godhead who became Jesus Christ.  He was God’s representative on earth at that time, and He received tithes from God’s faithful servants.

  • Did Jacob, son of Isaac and grandson of Abraham also pay tithes? (Genesis 28:20-22).  Was he blessed for doing so?  (Genesis 30:43).
  • The first mention of tithing in its full details is found in – Leviticus 27. (See Leviticus 27:1-2, 30).

Leviticus 27:30 “And all the tithe of the land, whether of the seed of the land or of the fruit of the tree, is the LORD’S.  It is holy to the LORD.”

  • ALL the tenth (the word “tithe” means “tenth”) is holy to the LORD. It belongs to God.  It is His.  Not man’s.
  • Before the time of Moses, the tithe had been paid directly to Melchizedek, high priest of God. But after Israel’s deliverance from Egypt, notice what God commanded regarding the tithes.  To whom were the people to pay tithes?  (Numbers 18:8, 20-24).
  • The Lord is here speaking to Aaron – Numbers 18:20 – about the fact that Aaron doesn’t own any productive land for an inheritance. The only places in Palestine they were even allowed to reside in were 48 Levitical cities, and of these 13 were devoted to the priesthood.  The Levites just had a small area around the cities where they kept the produce which was turned over to them – the tithes and offerings.  God gave the children of Levi – all the tenth in Israel for an inheritance.
  • What use was the Levitical priesthood to make of the tithe? (Numbers 18:21).

Melchizedek (Christ, the Lord of the Old Testament) selected the Levites to be His ministers.  But there was no commission to spread the Gospel at that time.  God merely called for the Levites to teach the people His law and to administer the physical rituals and sacrifices as a reminder of their failure to obey His laws.  The people were commanded to bring the tithe – and Christ [Melchizedek] transferred receipt of the tithe to the Levitical priesthood for their support.

  • Does Hebrews 7 (the priesthood chapter) make it clear that tithing is not Levitical (not having originated with Levi’s descendants) or ceremonial? (Hebrews 7:5, 8-10).

Hebrews 7 – clearly shows that tithing had long been an ongoing financial principle by the time God instituted ancient Israel’s civil law through Moses.  It was then that tithe paying was formally commanded.  And since tithing did not begin with the administration of the Levites, it therefore is not ended now that the Levitical priesthood is no longer extant in the world.  Rather, according to Hebrews 7:11-17 – God changed the priesthood back to the spiritual priesthood of Melchizedek.  The Levitical priesthood was superseded by the priesthood of Jesus Christ – the Melchizedek priesthood restored.  And so there was also a change as to who should receive the tithe (Hebrew 7:12).  Christ has authorized His New Testament ministry to accept the tithes in order to do the spiritual Work of God.

  • What is Christ’s commission to His New Testament ministry? (Matthew 28:19-20; Mark 16:15; Matthew 24:14).

Today, God provides for the financing of His Work by the same system He has used for millennia – the tithing system.

  • Did Jesus teach people to tithe? (Matthew 23:23).
  • Did the Apostle Paul clearly show that Christ’s New Testament ministry is to be supported through tithes? (I Corinthians 9:7-14).
  • How have nations and individuals been literally stealing from God? (Malachi 3:7-12).
  • What should be our attitude in paying tithes and offerings to God? (II Corinthians 9:6-7).
  • What spiritual principles did Christ reveal about the use of our treasure? (Matthew 6:19-21).

First Tithe