OF TITHES AND CURSES:

[DON’T BE BROUGHT BACK UNDER THE CURSE OF THE LAW!]

BY:  BRENDA IMUS

Most truly born-again Christians are eager to give to God. This fact is not lost on our so-called ‘Christian leaders,’ who continually teach that in order to please God, we must give a tithe (or 10%) of our income, to Him. Usually this means ‘to Him’ VIA them. This brings much confusion upon those who truly want to do the right thing, financially, toward God. 

What so often happens is that the Christian begins to tithe out of what they believe is obedience to the Scriptural injunction… and end up falling flat on their faces financially. It seems the amount given to the church is almost exactly the amount they come up ‘short’ every month. This especially doesn’t make sense since they’re being taught that the Lord will abundantly bless them for their faithfulness to the tithe. So, feeling ashamed and guilty, they begin to ‘withhold’ from God in order to meet their financial obligations in this world. 

The letter below was written to one such believer who was struggling with the issue of giving tithes.

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Your desire to tithe is certainly commendable, and comes out of a desire to please God in all things. And it’s true that you ‘can’t out give God.’ But I strongly question the conclusion you seem to draw that the tithe is still expected of us by God. In truth, God expects much more! He expects us to give freely and generously, out of grace, and faith, and not according to any formula that may have been provided to the OT (non-Spirit-filled) saints. 

The tithe was to them a spiritual law given by God to help the Jews to understand His nature. We are to understand down to the marrow of our bones that we are not under any kind of spiritual law or formula, and that our understanding of everything comes by the spirit of Christ that lives in us. We don’t have to look to any written law or religious ordinance, but rather are to seek to understand the mind of Christ in every circumstance, including those regarding the giving of offerings. That is the reason why tithing is nowhere mentioned, preached or taught in the New Testament, so that we will be prompted to search out understanding through our relationship with Christ Jesus. 

Rom 7:1-6: 1] Know ye not, brethren, (for I speak to them that know the law,) how that the law hath dominion over a man as long as he liveth? 2] For the woman which hath an husband is bound by the law to her husband so long as he liveth; but if the husband be dead, she is loosed from the law of her husband. 3] So then if, while her husband liveth, she be married to another man, she shall be called an adulteress: but if her husband be dead, she is free from that law; so that she is no adulteress, though she be married to another man. 4] Wherefore, my brethren, ye also are become dead to the law by the body of Christ; that ye should be married to another, even to him who is raised from the dead, that we should bring forth fruit unto God. 5] For when we were in the flesh, the motions of sins, which were by the law, did work in our members to bring forth fruit unto death. 6] But now we are delivered from the law, that being dead wherein we were held; that we should serve in newness of spirit, and not in the oldness of the letter. 

Gal 3:23-27: 23] But before faith came, we were kept under the law, shut up unto the faith which should afterwards be revealed. 24] Wherefore the law was our schoolmaster to bring us unto Christ, that we might be justified by faith. 25] But after that faith is come, we are no longer under a schoolmaster. 26] For ye are all the children of God by faith in Christ Jesus. 27] For as many of you as have been baptized into Christ have put on Christ. 

Gal 4:4-10: 4] But when the fullness of the time was come, God sent forth his Son, made of a woman, made under the law, 5] To redeem them that were under the law, that we might receive the adoption of sons. 6] And because ye are sons, God hath sent forth the Spirit of his Son into your hearts, crying, Abba, Father. 7] Wherefore thou art no more a servant, but a son; and if a son, then an heir of God through Christ. 8] Howbeit then, when ye knew not God, ye did service unto them which by nature are no gods. 9] But now, after that ye have known God, or rather are known of God, how turn ye again to the weak and beggarly elements, whereunto ye desire again to be in bondage? 10] Ye observe days, and months, and times, and years. (and, may I expand: ‘financial formulas’?) 

Gal 5:18 But if ye be led of the Spirit, ye are not under the law. 

I can identify with your struggle over giving/tithing, as I did the same thing for many years myself. Until the Lord clearly showed me that His desire is for us to be free of every vistage of the ‘old man’ who thinks that God requires us to act in a given way in order to be pleasing to Him. This is a lie from the pit of hell, propogated largely by those who stand to profit, and who do not have true faith that God will provide for their every need if they will just stop controlling their congregations and followers by means of manipulation and fear. Their lack of true faith hinders their ability to grasp the true and complete freedom that we have in Christ Jesus, and causes them to act out of fear, rather than faith. And whatever is not of faith is sin (Rom. 14:23). 

So what is the harm in tithing to please God? Much harm! It undermines the very heart of the gospel message, and brings God’s people under a curse: 

Gal 3:10-14: 10] For as many as are of the works of the law are under the curse: for it is written, Cursed is every one that continueth not in all things which are written in the book of the law to do them. 

Gal 5:1 Stand fast therefore in the liberty wherewith Christ hath made us free, and be not entangled again with the yoke of bondage. 

Gal 5:4-9: 4] Christ is become of no effect unto you, whosoever of you are justified by the law; ye are fallen from grace. 5] For we through the Spirit wait for the hope of righteousness by faith. 6] For in Jesus Christ neither circumcision availeth any thing, nor uncircumcision; but faith which worketh by love. 7] Ye did run well; who did hinder you that ye should not obey the truth? {hinder you: or, drive you back} 8] This persuasion cometh not of him that calleth you. 9] A little leaven leaveneth the whole lump.  

There are those who get around these truths by teaching that the tithe was not actually a part of the law given to the Jews, and therefore is not to be treated the same. This is splitting hairs. The tithe was most certainly given to the Jews to be understood as a spiritual law for their religion, though it wasn’t given on Mt. Sinai. This is proven is Scriptures. How do the Scriptures prove that the tithe was part of the Jews’ laws or ordinances? Ironically this is demonstrated clearly in the very verses that Christian ministers often quote to ‘prove’ that we are required to tithe! 

Mal 3:7-12: 7] Even from the days of your fathers ye are gone away from mine ordinances, and have not kept them. Return unto me, and I will return unto you, saith the LORD of hosts. But ye said, Wherein shall we return? 8] Will a man rob God? Yet ye have robbed me. But ye say, Wherein have we robbed thee? In tithes and offerings. 

Clearly here the Lord is equating the tithes and offerings with the Jewish ordinances, or laws, as He rebukes the Jews for NOT doing them. The very laws, which Christians are not to be under. Notice the curses that follow disobedience to the law of tithing, and the blessings that follow obedience to the law of tithing: 

9] Ye are cursed with a curse: for ye have robbed me, even this whole nation. 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. 11] And I will rebuke the devourer for your sakes, and he shall not destroy the fruits of your ground; neither shall your vine cast her fruit before the time in the field, saith the LORD of hosts. 12] And all nations shall call you blessed: for ye shall be a delightsome land, saith the LORD of hosts. 

The blessings and curses in the book of Malachi, regarding obedience to the law of tithing, are the same ones set forth in Deuteronomy regarding the Law in general:  

Deut 11:13-15: 13] And it shall come to pass, if ye shall hearken diligently unto my commandments which I command you this day, to love the LORD your God, and to serve him with all your heart and with all your soul, 14] That I will give you the rain of your land in his due season, the first rain and the latter rain, that thou mayest gather in thy corn, and thy wine, and thine oil. 15] And I will send grass in thy fields for thy cattle, that thou mayest eat and be full. 

Deut 28:15 But it shall come to pass, if thou wilt not hearken unto the voice of the LORD thy God, to observe to do all his commandments and his statutes which I command thee this day; that all these curses shall come upon thee, and overtake thee:

These blessings and curses are for the Jews who do not obey the entire law. But this order is actually reversed for Christians we are blessed for living by faith, and cursed for coming under the dominion of the law. Shall we then bring ourselves under the law of tithing, because we believe God still ‘requires’ it of us? God forbid! 

Romans 7:6 But now we are delivered from the law, that being dead wherein we were held; that we should serve in newness of spirit, and not in the oldness of the letter. 

I hope this brings greater light to your understanding of the gospel of our Lord Jesus. Young Christians often try to tithe, and the Lord causes it to fail. Why? Because they’ve come under the ‘curse’ of the law. If we continue to bring our unease and confusion over this to Him (as you have), rather than to ministers who stand to gain by bringing people under the law of tithing, He will eventually bring you much greater light, release from the cursed law, and into the prosperity in Him that is your everlasting heritage!

In His light, freedom, and love, 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

TITHES AND CURSES, OF [Brenda Imus]          1

 

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