The Issue of Tithe

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There are many today who have a wrong understanding of the use of tithe. Here are some most common reasons or excuses that they believe regarding the use of tithe.


  • Christians of today are no longer under the obligation to pay tithe because tithing is only during the time of Moses and no longer applicable for Christians today.
  • Answer: God has a financial law that is applicable to His people and if we fulfill this law He will richly bless us. God is still the owner of everything and we are to return his portion. We are all being tested for all the blessings that we have received. Returning our tithe to the Lord is a proof that we are faithful stewards. The tithe is not ours. We have to return it to the owner or else we will be charged of STEALING. Jesus says..

    Haggai 2:8, "The silver is mine, and the gold is mine, saith the LORD of hosts."

    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'Sit is holy unto the LORD."

    Malachi 3:10, Bring ye all the tithes into the storehouse, that there may be meat in mine house, and prove me now herewith, saith the LORD of hosts, if I will not open you the windows of heaven, and pour you out a blessing, that there shall not be room enough to receive it.

    Malachi 3:8, Will a man rob God? Yet ye have robbed me. But ye say, Wherein have we robbed thee? In tithes and offerings.

    Long before the time of Moses, Abraham was already paying tithe to God. He gave his tithe to the priest of God, Melchizedek.

    Genesis 14:17-20, “And the king of Sodom went out to meet him after his return from the slaughter of Chedorlaomer, and of the kings that were with him, at the valley of Shaveh, which is the king's dale. And Melchizedek king of Salem brought forth bread and wine: and he was the priest of the most high God.And he blessed him, and said, Blessed be Abram of the most high God, possessor of heaven and earth: And blessed be the most high God, which hath delivered thine enemies into thy hand. And he gave him tithes of all.”

    And Jesus, in the New Testament declared that we should not leave the giving of tithe undone and at the same time do the weightier matters of the law, judgment, mercy and faith.

    Matthew 23:23, Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye pay tithe of mint and anise and cummin, and have omitted the weightier matters of the law, judgment, mercy, and faith: these ought ye to have done, and not to leave the other undone.

    And the apostle Paul confirmed about Abraham giving tithe.

    Hebrews 7:1-2, "For this Melchisedec, king of Salem, priest of the most high God, who met Abraham returning from the slaughter of the kings, and blessed him;  To whom also Abraham gave a tenth part of all; first being by interpretation King of righteousness, and after that also King of Salem, which is, King of peace;"

    And if you are a descendant of Abraham then you do the same thing as well.

    John 8:39, "They answered and said unto him, Abraham is our father. Jesus saith unto them, If ye were Abraham's children, ye would do the works of Abraham."

    Tithing existed before Moses, during Moses and after Moses.

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  • The tithe can be used to repair churches based on 2 Kings 12:4,5 and 2 Kings 22:4,5.
  • Answer: Read 2 Kings 12:4-55 2 Kings 22:4-5 and there is no mention of tithe in that verse. The things that were used to repair the temple are (1) money of the dedicated things that is brought into the house of the LORD, [even] the (2) money of every one that passeth [the account], the (3) money that every man is set at, [and] all the (5) money that cometh into any man's heart to bring into the house of the LORD.

    2 Kings 22:4 - Go up to Hilkiah the high priest, that he may sum the silver which is brought into the house of the LORD, which the keepers of the door have gathered of the people: - the sum of silver mentioned in this verse does not refer to the tithe. It refers to the sum of money that they have collected for the repair of the temple. The whole story is found in 2 Chronicles 24:4-11. None in the story that talks about collecting tithe to be placed in the chest.

  • The tithe can be directly used to pay expenses pertaining to spreading the gospel like radio programs, printing tracts ad such as long as you are not using it for personal purposes like to buy food or pay debts.
  • Answer: The Bible and Spirit of prophecy is clear, the tenth is the inheritance of the Levites and not for other purposes. It’s up to the Levites if, after their cost of living is met, they will appropriate the rest of the tithe into whatever expenses to sustain their ministry but it is not for individual church members to directly appropriate their tithe into whatever purpose they think is good as long as it is  for spreading the gospel.

    Nehemiah 10:38, And the priest the son of Aaron shall be with the Levites, when the Levites take tithes: and the Levites shall bring up the tithe of the tithes unto the house of our God, to the chambers, into the treasure house.

    Pamphlets, vol 1, p. 40:  "God's ministers are His shepherds, appointed by Him to feed His flock.  The tithe is His provision for their maintenance, and He designs that it shall be held sacred for this purpose."

    Testimonies, vol 9, p. 248:  "...a great mistake is made when the tithe is drawn from the object for which it is to be used,--the support of the ministers."

    "I have given the children of Levi all the tenth in Israel for an inheritance, for their service which they serve, even the service of the tabernacle of the congregation." (Numbers 18:20-24) They will pay a faithful tithe for the support of those who, like the Levitical priests, give their lives for the advancement of Christ's kingdom upon the earth. Just as the priest lived "of the things of the temple,...even so hath the Lord ordained that they which preach the gospel should live of the gospel." (1 Cor 9:9-14) – Cross and Shadow, Chapter – The Priests

  • We are members of the royal priesthood therefore we have the right to appropriate our tithe as to the needs to spread the gospel as long as we are not using it to buy food or pay debts.
  • Answer: Let us find out what “royal priesthood” means from the Spirit of Prophecy.
    “The members of Christ’s kingdom are members of His body, of which He himself is the head. They are the elect sons of God, “a royal priesthood, an holy nation, a peculiar people,” that they should show forth the praises of Him who has called them out of darkness into His marvelous light.” FE 413

    He addresses His commandment-keeping people in these last days: “But ye are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, an holy nation, a peculiar people; that ye should show forth the praises of Him who hath called you out of darkness into His marvelous light.” 2T 450

    From the 2 quotes above, we can see that the term “royal priesthood” is applied to the faithful, commandment-keeping people of God. This term is not an exclusive term to be applied for those who are preaching the gospel. We all need to be members of the royal priesthood but does this make us literal priests and levites and thereby made us entitled to receive tithes because priests and levites receive tithe? Of course not or else the next question is, if we are members of the royal priesthood and can receive tithe, can we all baptize? Are we all ordained by the church for such an office?

  • Those who preach the gospel should live by the gospel (1 Corinthians 9:7-14) therefore those who are spreading the truth whether they are ordained by the church or not may appropriate the tithe. 
  • Answer: Let us see what the SOP says about the verse 
    "If we have sown unto you spiritual things," the apostle further inquired, "is it a great thing if we shall reap your carnal things? If others be partakers of this power over you, are not we rather? Nevertheless we have not used this power; but suffer all things, lest we should hinder the gospel of Christ. 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 9:7-14.  {AA 335.3} 

    The apostle here referred to the Lord's plan for the maintenance of the priests who ministered in the temple. Those who were set apart to this holy office were supported by their brethren, to whom they ministered spiritual blessings. "Verily they that are of the sons of Levi, who receive the office of the priesthood, have a commandment to take tithes of the people according to the law." Hebrews 7:5. The tribe of Levi was chosen by the Lord for the sacred offices pertaining to the temple and the priesthood. Of the priest it was said, "The Lord thy God hath chosen him . . . to stand to minister in the name of the Lord." (Deuteronomy 18:5.) One tenth of all the increase was claimed by the Lord as His own, and to withhold the tithe was regarded by Him as robbery.  {AA 336.1} 

    It was to this plan for the support of the ministry that Paul referred when he said, "Even so hath the Lord ordained that they which preach the gospel should live of the gospel." And later, in writing to Timothy, the apostle said, "The laborer is worthy of his reward." 1 Timothy 5:18.  {AA 336.2} 

    The payment of the tithe was but a paf God's plan for the support of His service. Numerous gifts and offerings were divinely specified. Under the Jewish system the people were taught to cherish a spirit of liberality both in sustaining the cause of God and in supplying the wants of the needy. For special occasions there were freewill offerings. At the harvest and the vintage, the first fruits of the field--corn, wine, and oil--were consecrated as an offering to the Lord. The gleanings and the corners of the field were reserved for the poor. The first fruits of the wool when the sheep were shorn, of the grain when the wheat was threshed, were set apart for God. So also were the first-born of all animals, and a redemption price was paid for the first-born son. The first fruits were to be presented before the Lord at the sanctuary and were then devoted to the use of the priests.  {AA 336.3} 

  • We are all commissioned by Christ to preach the gospel based on Matthew 28:18, 19 therefore we can appropriate the tithe as long as we are not using it for personal purposes.
  • Answer: This verse has nothing to do with being able to receive tithe or not. This verse tells us that we are all called to preach the gospel but this does not mean that we all can receive tithe. Everyone is called to do the work. Does that mean all of us can receive tithe now? No. Not all are ordained and laid hands by the church. Only selected workers are. Therefore, this verse does not justify that if somebody preaches the gospel he can appropriate tithe as long as it is not for personal use.

  • The tithe can be used to feed the poor and strangers within they gates according to Deuteronomy 14:26-28
  • Answer: Deuteronomy 14:26-28 talks about the second tithe and not the first tithe. 
    To promote the assembling of the people for religious service, as well as to provide for the poor, a second tithe of all the increase was required. Concerning the first tithe, the Lord had declared, "I have given the children of Levi all the tenth in Israel." Numbers 18:21. But in regard to the second He commanded, "Thou shalt eat before the Lord thy God, in the place which He shall choose to place His name there, the tithe of thy corn, of thy wine, and of thine oil, and the firstlings of thy herds and of thy flocks; that thou mayest learn to fear the Lord thy God always." Deuteronomy 14:23, 29; 16:11-14. This tithe, or its equivalent in money, they were for two years to bring to the place where the sanctuary was established. After presenting a thank offering to God, and a specified portion to the priest, the offerers were to use the remainder for a religious feast, in which the Levite, the stranger, the fatherless, and the widow should participate. Thus provision was made for the thank offerings and feasts at the yearly festivals, and the people were drawn to the society of the priests and Levites, that they might receive instruction and encouragement in the service of God.  {PP 530.1}

    "The tithe is set apart for a special use.  It is not to be regarded as a poor fund.  It is to be especially devoted to the support of those who are bearing God's message to the world, and it should not be diverted from this purpose." - Review and Herald, vol 3, p. 418 col 2, Dec 1, 1896

    "...those who are officiating in this work see that there is not money in the treasury to pay the minister.  They are withdrawing the tithe for other expenses,--to...some charity.  God is not glorified in any such work.  We have to raise our voice against this kind of management." - Manuscript 17, March 14, 1897 (Series A #10, p. 19):

    “Let each regularly examine his income, which is all a blessing from God, and set apart the tithe as a separate fund, to be sacredly the Lord's. This fund should not in any case be devoted to any other use; it is to be devoted solely to support the ministry of the gospel. After the tithe is set apart, let gifts and offering be apportioned, "as God hath prospered" you.”-- Review and Herald, May 9, 1893.  {CSW 129.2}

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