Friday, March 2, 2012

Is Tithing Required for Christians?

It's quite common today for Christians not to tithe to the Lord. In fact, many believe it is an Old Testament practice that doesn't apply to Christians.  Statistics show that Christians give an average of 3% of their income to charity annually. And if you ask pastors, many of them will tell you that most people in their church don't tithe.  Amazingly, some pastors actually teach people that tithing is not required.

However, I want to show that this is very much still applicable to disciples of Christ.  In addition to the Biblical teaching on tithing for New Testament disciples, the Lord has given many divine revelations to His people to ensure we know that we are still expected to tithe.  First I will share some Scriptures about this and then some of those divine revelations.

Scriptural Teaching
First of all, tithing has been God’s kingdom way since the Old Testament. It means giving a percentage of your income off the top.  The most commonly understood percentage is ten percent, but twenty percent may be used also. And some people have been known to give ninety percent!

The prophet Malachi wrote: "Will a man rob God? Yet you are robbing Me! But you say, 'How have we robbed You?' In tithes and offerings. "You are cursed with a curse, for you are robbing Me, the whole nation of you! "Bring the whole tithe into the storehouse, so that there may be food in My house, and test Me now in this," says the LORD of hosts, "if I will not open for you the windows of heaven and pour out for you a blessing until it overflows. (Mal 3:8-10)

So the tenth verse of Malachi’s third chapter teaches us to bring the tenth of our increase into the storehouse, so that there may be food in God’s house.  Those who fail to do so are robbing from God.  Believe me, you don’t want to ever be found guilty of stealing from God.  But upon those who do tithe properly, God promises to pour out a blessing until it overflows. And for those who think this command to tithe is just for the Old Covenant people of Israel, God says in the immediate context of this passage, "I the Lord do not change." (Mal 3:6). Also see Remember the Eternal Law of God and Listen to Jesus.

The tenth verse of Proverbs 3 also teaches this principle.  Wise King Solomon wrote this under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit: “Honor the LORD from your wealth And from the first of all your produce; So your barns will be filled with plenty And your vats will overflow with new wine.” (Pro 3:9-10).  This goes contrary to logic, but it works this way in God’s kingdom.  If you will honor the Lord with your wealth, even the first part of all your increase, you’ll have plenty for yourself.  In fact, you’ll experience overflowing abundance.

Tithing is not something from the Law that comes from the Mosaic Covenant. Abraham, who lived before Moses, tithed (Gen 14:20; Heb 7:4).  And Jacob tithed, saying, "This stone, which I have set up as a pillar, will be God's house, and of all that You give me I will surely give a tenth to You." (Gen 28:22).

Jesus also taught us to give.  He said, "Give, and it will be given to you. They will pour into your lap a good measure--pressed down, shaken together, and running over. For by your standard of measure it will be measured to you in return." (Luk 6:38).  That sounds a lot like Malachi 3:10 and Proverbs 3:10, doesn’t it?  You give, and it will surely be given to you in return until it overflows with great abundance! You have Jesus’ word on it!

Jesus said, "Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you tithe mint and dill and cummin, and have neglected the weightier provisions of the law: justice and mercy and faithfulness; but these are the things you should have done without neglecting the others." (Mat 23:23).  Notice they carefully tithed everything.  The Lord did not correct them or rebuke them for tithing, as some may think He did.  Instead, He said, "these are the things you should have done!"  The part He rebuked them for was their gross neglect of weightier matters of the Law, justice and mercy and faithfulness.  He said they should not have neglected these.

As with many other aspects of the Law, Jesus showed that the Lord expects more than we thought.  With regards to the commandment not to kill, people always thought that as long as they don't physically murder someone, they have not broken this commandment.  But the Lord showed that we break the commandment when we call someone a fool.  Likewise, regarding giving, Jesus taught that not just 10%, but all we have belongs to God. He said, "So then, none of you can be My disciple who does not give up all his own possessions." (Luk 14:33). 

The apostle Paul taught that we should give generously.  He wrote to the Corinthians, “Now this I say, he who sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and he who sows bountifully will also reap bountifully. Each one must do just as he has purposed in his heart, not grudgingly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver.” (2Co 9:6-7).  If you want to reap abundantly, then sow generously.  And be sure you give with a cheerful heart, because that’s the kind of giver God loves.  You need to be sure you are giving with love in your heart and genuine faith in God.

Paul went on to teach that God will multiply the seed you sow, so you will have plenty more later for every good deed.  “And God is able to make all grace abound to you, so that always having all sufficiency in everything, you may have an abundance for every good deed; as it is written, ‘HE SCATTERED ABROAD, HE GAVE TO THE POOR, HIS RIGHTEOUSNESS ENDURES FOREVER.’ Now He who supplies seed to the sower and bread for food will supply and multiply your seed for sowing and increase the harvest of your righteousness.” (2Co 9:8-10)

Paul also taught us to work hard and help the weak through our giving. "In everything I showed you that by working hard in this manner you must help the weak and remember the words of the Lord Jesus, that He Himself said, 'It is more blessed to give than to receive.'" (Act 20:35).  It truly is a greater blessing for the one who gives than the one who receives.  Part of the reason is the joy it brings when done in love. But the other part is the return the giver receives from the Lord in this life and in heaven.  When we give, we are storing up treasures in heaven.

Jesus said, "Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy, and where thieves break in and steal. But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys, and where thieves do not break in or steal; for where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.” (Mat 6:19-21).

Jesus also said to give to Caesar what is Caesar's and to God what is God's. (Lk 20:25). He paid taxes and taught His followers to do the same.  The government expects a certain amount of our income, and that is rightly due from us.  Likewise, we owe the obedient tithes of our income to God.

Paul made the same point when he wrote to the Romans about the biblical requirement to submit to the governing authorities and pay taxes. He said, "Therefore, it is necessary to submit to the authorities, not only because of possible punishment but also as a matter of conscience. This is also why you pay taxes, for the authorities are God’s servants, who give their full time to governing. Give to everyone what you owe them: If you owe taxes, pay taxes; if revenue, then revenue; if respect, then respect; if honor, then honor." (Rom 13:5-7, NIV). Paul said that the reason we pay taxes to the authorities is that they are God's servants, who give their full time to governing.  The same reason applies to giving money to any authorities that are over you, including spiritual authorities.  His use of the term "honor" here in connection with payment of taxes infers any financial payment that is due to those in authority.

Where should we give our tithes?  Malachi says to bring it all into the storehouse.  The goal is so that there would be food in God’s house.  So who needs food?  First of all, the elders who are serving God full time as pastors and teachers need to receive an income for their work. How shall the Lord's ministers carry out the work of the gospel unless people give tithes and offerings?

Paul said, “The elders who direct the affairs of the church well are worthy of double honor, especially those whose work is preaching and teaching.  For the Scripture says, ‘Do not muzzle the ox while it is treading out the grain,’ and ‘The worker deserves his wages.’” (1 Tim 5:18).  By using the expression "double honor" in this passage, Paul is clearly referring to financial support, which he explicitly calls "wages" deserved by the worker.  This agrees completely with his use of the term "honor" in Romans 13:7, which I have already explained.

Paul said to be careful you don’t muzzle the ox, in other words, the one who is ministering to you by serving the Lord full time as a pastor, teacher, apostle, etc. He got this from the Law of Moses, where it says, “Do not muzzle an ox while it is treading out the grain.”  Deut. 25:4.  Paul said this clearly applies to minister’s of the Lord.  And he quoted Jesus, who said, “…for the worker deserves his wages.”  Luke 10:7.  Paul also taught that, “The one who is taught the word is to share all good things with the one who teaches him.” (Gal 6:6). 

In my opinion, these are God’s priorities in tithing.  But we must not be stingy and stop after giving the tithe.  Beyond our tithes, we should also give offerings for other purposes, such as helping the weak, the poor, the widows and orphans, as well as supporting missionaries.  We should support the Lord’s work of spreading the gospel around the world.

Now let’s look at some of the revelations given by the Spirit to people about tithing.

Brother Park Yong Gyu
During a tragic Near Death Experience, A conservative Presbyterian Pastor named Yong Park was taken to Heaven and Hell. When he stood before the throne of God, the Heavenly Father greeted him. He states: "I then heard the voice of God, 'My beloved Pastor Park, Yong Gyu, I welcome you. You have made a long journey here.' His voice was overflowing with love and tenderness. The Lord then asked me five questions."

He goes on to say what the five questions were.  But two of the questions the Father asked were: "Did you tithe properly?" and "How much did you give of offerings?"

As he was leaving heaven, the angel escorting him told him the seven things a disciple must do so that building materials will be provided in heaven to build their eternal mansion.  Of the seven essential things needed to earn rewards, two of them were "one’s offering to the Lord," and "their obedient tithes to God."  This shows the great importance of these Scriptural commandments of God.

He also visited hell.  He states: "I then saw many pastors, elders, and deacons in Hell. I asked the angel, 'I know them. They had served God faithfully while on the Earth. They had died some time ago. We all had thought they were in Heaven with God. But now, I see them all in Hell and they are crying out that it is so hot! Why are they here?' There were so many pastors, elders, deacons and all other lay believers."  When the angel told him the eight main reasons why these particular believers were in hell, one of those reasons was that they did not tithe properly.  Another one was that they did not keep Sundays holy.   This also shows the great importance of these Scriptural commandments of God.

You may read brother Park's testimony by keying here.

Emmanuel Agyarkos vision
In a vision in November 2011, Emmanuel Agyarko, of Ghana, had a vision of hell.  In the vision, he saw pastors who did not pay the tithe.  He writes: “I saw four pastors in hell, who were there because they did not pay their tithes. One was called Albert and another was Daniel, a pastor of Church of Christ and this church does not believe in tithing. Daniel said he told his congregation not to pay tithes as it was no longer necessary. He was in hell for basically two things: first of all, he was not paying tithes himself and secondly, because he also stopped others from paying it. For Albert, his church believed in paying tithe, but he thought it was meant for only the congregation and pastors were excluded from paying it. He wished he could come back to earth to start over again and pay his tithes. The other two pastors also did not pay, and one of them, thought simply he did not think he had to pay it even though he knew he should be paying it, and the other thought ministering before God is not working, so he thought there was no need to pay any tithes.”

You may read Emmanuel's vision by keying here.

Angelica Zambrano’s second visit to hell
On January 4, 2010, Angelica Zambrano visited hell for the second time with the Lord Jesus.  While she was there, she saw a pastor who had not properly tithed.  She says: I heard millions of people, some were saying, "Oh Lord, have mercy on me, help me please, Lord, give me another opportunity."

Among all those people, I heard someone saying, "I ask for your forgiveness now Lord, because I have stolen from you, forgive me for stealing, I stole from you Lord and I do not want to do it again." I asked, "Lord, who is he and why does he say he stole from You?" "My child I will show you who he is." We entered his cell and I saw a disfigured man. The flames opened up and I could see that he was being tormented.

All those people who are in hell have a plaque on their chest, and 666 on their forehead. This man extended his hand and said, "Lord forgive me." I asked, "Why are you here, why are you asking for forgiveness from the Lord, why? You say you have stolen from God, but nobody can steal from God? This is impossible, why do you say you have stolen from Him?" He replied, "I'll tell you my story...I was a Christian leader, for 20 years I had known Christ, but during the 20 years I said: all that money from my tithing and offerings were just to sustain the pastors, but now I regret it because I understand and I know that it wasn't for them, it was for the Lord, and that is why I say I have stolen from God ... At this very moment there are many people on Earth that are robbing the Lord like I did. When you return to Earth, tell all those people who don't want to give their offerings and tithes, not to steal from the Lord, otherwise, they’ll wind up in Hell, and no thief will enter the Kingdom of Heaven. I knew the Holy Word, now I regret it and realize I robbed the Lord." (Malachi 3:8) He said, "Tell the people when they give to God, give the Lord with true love." (2 Cor 9:7) This man kept pleading, "Lord forgive me", and the Lord replied, "It is too late, there is no opportunity for you."

I asked the man, "But why did you rob God, why? You knew very well we cannot steal God’s tithes and offerings." He answered, "Yes, I knew very well, but never did follow it, I never did because I was a very proud man."

Don’t ever steal from the Lord, give your tithes and offerings to God because what you and I give the Lord on Earth it is not for men. When we give to God with all our heart, it is for the King of kings and Lord of lords.

The Bible says that the Lord tests us, it is clearly written in Malachi 3:8-10 You are cursed with the curse, for you are robbing Me, even this whole nation. Bring all the tithes (the whole tenth of your income) into the storehouse, that there may be food in My house, and prove Me now by it, says the Lord of hosts, if I will not open the windows of heaven for you and pour you out a blessing, that there shall not be room enough to receive it.  If you want God to greatly bless your life and your family, then don’t ever steal from God. It’s time to bless God, so He can bless our lives.

You may read Angelica's testimony by keying here

Brother Daniel Ekechukwu
On November 30, 2001, a Nigerian pastor, named Daniel Ekechukwu died and visited heaven and hell.  He saw a pastor who had embezzled money from his own church and also lied about it. He said, "I only ate church money.  I am ready to return it." The former pastor pleaded that he would return the money if Daniel could help him escape hell.  Daniel was shocked to see a pastor there, and felt pity for him.  But there was nothing he could do for the man.  He was eternally damned.

When you fail to tithe properly, how are you any different from this pastor? You are robbing from God.

You may read Daniel's testimony by keying here.  

Choo Thomas
On January 19, 1996, the Lord Jesus first began bringing Choo Thomas to visit heaven and hell. She testifies to this in her best-selling book, "Heaven is so Real."  She says:

Very first time He only showed me His throne room. Then after that we came down from heaven, and then we were sitting on the sand on earthly beach. And then He began to talk. He said, "We just went to Kingdom of Heaven. The only one who will come there are obedient and pure hearted", and He said "Preaching gospel is very important" and He waited for awhile, and He said "those who don’t tithe, they are disobedient Christians."

You may read Choo's testimony by keying here.   

Brother Yong-Doo Kim
A Korean pastor, named Yong-Doo Kim, has visited heaven and hell.  In fact, since 2005 he has visited hell nearly every day.  In Book 5 of Baptized by Blazing Fire, a visitor to his church testifies of brother Kim preaching that many believers are ending up in hell, because they don’t tithe or keep the Lord’s day holy.

You may read about brother Kim by keying here.    

Shaini Muas 
A Christian convert from Buddhism, Shaini Muas was given a revelation of hell by the Lord Jesus Christ. The Lord took Shaini to hell so that she might be able to better communicate His message to the Hmong people that hell is a real place.  She saw many people who were there because they did not tithe.  She was told that the tithe belongs to God, and that people who do not tithe are stealing from God. She was told that we must give to God what belongs to God.

You may listen to her testimony by keying here.

Putting it All Together
We can see from Scripture and revelation that the Lord expects Christians to tithe under the New Covenant. It was not something that comes from the Law, but was an act of worship practiced by the patriarchs Abraham and Jacob.

Don't let anyone deceive you.  The Lord has not revoked this requirement.  Instead He said to the Pharisees that they should have tithed properly without neglecting the weightier matters of the Law -- justice and mercy and faithfulness. In fact, Jesus taught that not just 10%, but all we have belongs to God. He said, "So then, none of you can be My disciple who does not give up all his own possessions." (Luk 14:33). 

It's true! Of the seven essential things needed to earn rewards, two of them were "one’s offering to the Lord," and "their obedient tithes to God."  And you will give an account to the Father about these.  If you are a pastor, you will also give an account for what you taught your congregation about these.  Many pastors, elders, deacons, and lay believers are in hell for not properly tithing.  It's that serious!

For those who think this is legalism, I challenge you to read my other posts, called the Law of Love in the New Testament and Faith Works!  If you are not tithing, then you don't love God, because Jesus said, "If you love Me, you will keep My commandments." (Joh 14:15)

After all, though Jesus was rich, He became poor for our sake, so that through Him we might become rich. We are to follow Him and imitate Him.  Our Lord Jesus did not give 3%, 6%, or even 10%.  He gave 100% for us.  And God the Father gave His only Son.  This is why it is such a great sin to be stingy toward God.  He wants a 100% commitment from His children, and the tithe is merely the first fruits.

Please take this teaching seriously.  If you are already cheerfully tithing with a loving heart, then you already know how wonderful it is, and are experiencing the blessings from it, provided you are tithing properly. Just be sure you are not being stingy and withholding offerings from the Lord above your tithes. If you are not tithing, then let this be a serious warning from the Lord to turn and make this right with Him.  For more study on where you should give your tithes, see here.

Let me close with some examples of Christians who gave generously and reaped a great blessing. The following examples come from the lives of JC Penny, Nancy McFarland, and Arthur Larson.  Click on the image of the text with the white background below to enlarge it, so you can read it more easily:

Attribution notice: Most Scripture quotations taken from the NASB. Most other Scriptures taken from The Holy Bible, New International Version® NIV®, unless otherwise noted.

Author's note: If you liked this article, I also recommend Faith Works! and Where Should You Give Your Tithe?, as well as Pleasing the Lord. Please visit the Seeking the Lord Blog Directory for more selections. You may also access my complete blog directory at "Writing for the Master."

Do You Want to Know Him?
If you want to know Jesus personally, you can. It all begins when you repent and believe in Jesus.  Do you know what God's Word, the Bible says?

“Jesus came into Galilee, preaching the gospel of God, and saying, ‘The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand; repent and believe in the gospel.’” (Mar 1:14b-15).  He preached that we must repent and believe.

Please see my explanation of this in my post called "Do You Want to Know Jesus?"

Len Lacroix is the founder of Doulos Missions International.  He was based in Eastern Europe for four years, making disciples, as well as helping leaders to be more effective at making disciples who multiply, developing leaders who multiply, with the ultimate goal of planting churches that multiply. His ministry is now based in the United States with the same goal of helping fulfill the Great Commission.


  1. The fact that you fail to understand is that you are NOT tithing when you give 10% of your income to the church.

    The BIBLE defines tithing as PRODUCE of the land of Israel...(Lev 27:30&32) was NEVER money earned by people!

    The BIBLE defines the people who are required to tithe....they are ISRAELITES....(Lev 27:1 and 34)(Never Gentiles ...Acts 15)

    The BIBLE defines the ONLY people who are allowed to receive the tithes....the LEVITES (Numbers 18:21-24...under a lasting covenant with God). This was because they FIRST forfeited their inheritance in the land!

    The BIBLE requires the tithe to be EATEN in celebration before God...(Deut 14:22-27)....and you say we must give it to preachers???

    Changing the Law like this .... and tithing a matter of the LAW according to Jesus (Mat 23:23...and Hebrews 7:5) means you WILL be least in the Kingdom of Heaven....according to Jesus (Mat 5:18-19)

    You are called to REPENT of this wicked deception and extortion of God's children....they are FREE (Mat 17:26)


  2. Chris, we as disciples are free. But that freedom comes with responsibility. We are responsible to obey God's Word, and He will hold us accountable for that. How much of your money belongs to God? Jesus said that it is 100%, if you are a disciple. Haven't you read Luk 14:33, Luk 5:28, and Mt 19:27? This is a higher standard than the Old Testament. He commended the widow who gave all she had to live on (2 pennies) at the temple.

    Is it lawful for a disciple to steal? If not, then why would it be lawful to steal from God? If it all belongs to the Lord, then God calls it stealing from Him if you withhold it (Malachi 3:8).

    Jesus taught that we will be held accountable for what we do with the talents we're given. This is not just about gifts and abilities. The talents were literally financial instruments. Matt 25.

    Take some time to pray about this and consider the answers you will have to give to God. I don't know you, and may never meet you. But you will have to answer to the Lord. That's who you should take up your dialogue with, if you have a problem with this teaching and the revelations the Lord has given on the subject to Angelica Zambrano, Emmanuel Agyarko, Pastor Yong Doo Kim, and others.
    Grace and peace,


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