I am writing this blog post in response to an email I received from Daniel Craig (not his real name) two days later I published my sermon on tithing. Daniel in his email made a sincere request that I take time to answer a couple of questions he has on tithing. Daniel, I am impressed by your desire to learn and do what is right. Below you will find answers to all of your questions.
Question: Do I tithe off my gross or net?
Answer: You tithe out of your net income. However one must be careful to calculate the net income the right way. Suppose your monthly wage is 300 USDs and you pay a tax of 30 USDs which reduces the cash in hand to 270 USDs. Now this is your net income and your tithe should be 27 USDs. However imagine you bought groceries worth 50 USDs. Now you possess only 220 USDs (270 – 50 = 220). In this case you still calculate 10% out of 270 USDs not the 220 USDs.
Question: If someone gives me a monetary gift, do I tithe off of that?
Answer: The Bible doesn’t say that you have to. Yet I do tithe out of monetary gifts I receive and I encourage that you try it too. Whenever God leads someone to reward me with a monetary gift I like to express my gratitude towards God by returning a 10% of it (or more) for the work of the Kingdom.
Question: I am afraid my needs may not be met. What must I do?
Answer: In tithing you don’t lose. But the opposite is true. The key in tithing is, to understand that tithing actually works in the supernatural realm, not in the natural realm. In the natural realm tithing is an expenditure. In the supernatural realm however it works differently. The Bible says,
Bring the whole tithe into the storehouse, that there may be food in my house. Test me in this,” says the LORD Almighty, “and see if I will not throw open the floodgates of heaven and pour out so much blessing that there will not be room enough to store it. I will prevent pests from devouring your crops, and the vines in your fields will not drop their fruit before it is ripe,” says the LORD Almighty. “Then all the nations will call you blessed, for yours will be a delightful land,” says the LORD Almighty. (Malachi 3:10-12)
This doesn’t mean God will meet my greed when I tithe. But He will meet all of my needs. Tithing is like the law of gravity. It has to work. When you tithe God will bless your tithe indeed and meet your needs. You asked what must you do? Start tithing and remain faithful through it. You can’t learn to swim until you get into the water. It’s the same with tithing.
However you stand to loose when you don’t tithe because in not tithing you invite a curse upon yourself. Now God doesn’t curse but Satan does. Does God permit Satan to bring a curse? No you do. Just like the behavior of the visible world is determined by the laws of physics the behavior of the spiritual realm is determined by the law of the supernatural. In the supernatural realm not to tithe means to grant Satan permission to rob your blessings.
Question: Is it biblical to pay half tithes one week, then the other half, the next week?
Answer: Like I said in the conclusion of my sermon there must be no “dos and don’ts” to tithing. However the words spoken by the prophet Malachi are loud and clear. He says, “Bring the whole tithe in to the store house.” Besides in settling to not to pay the whole tithe at once you choose to pile up debt.
Question: Where does it say to tithe in the New Testament?
Answer: The New Testament doesn’t speak about tithing. Neither it says tithing is unnecessary. There are preachers who preach tithing is not scriptural for New Testament followers because it was a commandment in the Old Testament and they make the bible verses fit perfectly with their views. Matthew 5:17 is one of their favorite verses. I do tithe and let me explain as to why?
A. Tithing is a conditional blessing. When I tithe God grants me financial freedom, financial security and many other blessings, (Malachi 3:10-12).
B. Now what does Matthew 5:17 really mean? If you read it in the context of Jeremiah 31:31-35 & Hebrews 10:16 the fulfillment of the law means, through Christ God gives us grace to keep His commandments and we delight to obey Him for the love of Christ, (Romans 3:31).
C. Do you know the early church did not even have the NT for 30 years and they preached & lived OT.
D. Finally I don’t care whether the New Testament commands tithing or not because God has promised to bless me for tithing and He has been faithful to meet my needs ever since my first tithe.
You made an important point when you said you are confused because of the tug o‘war between those who tithe and others that don’t. Remember, “Confusion” is Satan’s most effective weapon in robbing people of their blessings, (Genesis 3:4-5). Every teaching must be tested using God’s word. Anytime you feel lost, talk to a mature Christian leader or feel free to ask us.
Question: Should I not listen to them even if they preach something biblical?
Answer: No, listen to them by all means as long as what they preach is in one accord with the Bible. I don’t want to classify a preacher as a false teacher simply because he doesn’t agree with tithing. I am not saying non-biblical preaching and teaching must be tolerated. The point is if a preacher doesn’t agree with tithing that’s between him and God. After all, preachers are humans too and prone to mistakes. We can always reject the wrong and accept what’s right, (Philippians 4:8).
Daniel, I hope you found the answers and at peace with God. As always should you have further questions, don’t be afraid of contacting us or leave a question at the comments area. In conclusion tithing opens up a channel of greater abundance for yourself. This is an effective and proven way. The abundance comes through Spirit and takes many forms. Remember, you are tithing for you, for your own growth and upliftment, and Partnership with God. God bless you.