One thing is clear, we are closer to the coming of Christ than when we first believed (Rom.13.11). With the growing importance of social media and the internet in our lives it has become easy with the click of the mouse for any Tom Dick or Harry to pass, correct and incorrect information, across to large numbers of people.
Unfortunately, this includes things that pertain to Christianity. In recent times, there has been a lot of interest in the issue of tithes. Whenever there is controversy regarding God, His Word or His people, it is always best, not to turn to people, (even God’s people), but the Word of God.
Surely God has not left this important matter without fully making known His will! The Bible is given to be a lamp unto our feet (Ps.119:105) and therefore He cannot have left us in darkness regarding any obligation or privilege in our dealings with Him or His with us.
Using a Q&A format, this short article tries to investigate the controversy of tithe: Should I pay, Should I not pay? Please check out Bible references and know your God’s mind about His tithe and tithing. God bless you.
What is the Tithe?
The tithe is defined as a ‘tenth part’ of your increase. It is holy unto the Lord. God reserves the tithe to Himself, as His exclusive right. It was a practice among believers before the Old Testament laws were given by Moses, (Gen.14.19-20) as well as during the time of the Law (Lev.2:30, 32). The Lord Jesus Himself reaffirmed paying tithes. (Matt.23:23)
What is an Offering?
An offering is a financial gift of any amount given over and above your tithe, as God has prospered you.
What is the Purpose of Tithes and Offerings?
The purpose of tithes and offerings is to support the ministry and the ongoing work of your church. (Num.18:21, 1Cor. 9:13-14)
Where Should I Tithe?
To the ‘storehouse’. The storehouse in Israel was the temple and cities of the Levites, but today it would be the place where you receive spiritual food and help. This is the local church where you are a member or attendee. (Mal.3:10, Deut.12:11)
What Happens if I don’t Tithe?
God calls you a robber and your disobedience causes you to live under a curse. (Mal.3.8-9)
Isn’t Tithing Old Testament Law? Hasn’t Jesus Christ Freed Us From all That?
No, tithing was introduced in the Old Testament, but still was observed and practiced in the New Testament. (For more study read Matt.23:23, 2Cor.9:7-14, 1Cor.16:2, Gal.6:6, Heb.7:1-10)
Seriously, if tithing is so important why doesn’t the Bible say something definite like ‘Thus saith the Lord’- thou shalt pay thy tithes or something?
While it is perfectly true that today we are unable to take the Bible, and place our finger upon any positive commandment from God that His people, in the early Bible days, should either offer sacrifices to Him or keep the Sabbath or give the tithe (there is no definite “Thus saith the Lord” recorded concerning any one of these three things), nevertheless, from what is recorded we are compelled to assume that there must have been such a commandment given, particularly if you read Gen.26.5.
More important than giving tithes, is knowing and understanding God. He expects us to study about things so that we know Him particularly and what He likes or dislikes. (Please see Prov.25:2).
Did Jesus Mention or Infer We Pay Tithes at All?
Yes. Two places stand out
- 23.23 ……where He told the Pharisees that they paid tithes but left the weightier issues such as judgment, mercy faith. They should have done both.
- 22.15-21. Pharisees’ disciples and the Herodians asked Him about paying tax to the Roman government. Should we pay or not. His answer? Render unto Caesar the things that are Caesar, and unto God the things that are God’s. The tithes belong to God!
- He did not come to destroy or alter the law. He came to fulfil it (Matt.5.17). He did not come to destroy the laws of tithing, but fulfil it.
Is there Anything Else in the New Testament that Encourages Tithes?
There is one other passage to be looked at, namely Heb.7: 5 & 6. We are told that the sons of Levi, have a commandment to take tithes of the people according to the law. (√.5). We are also told that Abraham paid tithes to Melchisedek. (Gen.14:19-20). However, Levi also paid tithes to Melchisedek, while in the loins of Abraham. (Heb.7:9-10).
Melchisedek is a type of Christ because he had no father or mother, nor do we know his beginning but is like the Son of God – Jesus. (√.3).
Abraham, the father of faith, God’s chosen people, acknowledged the greatness of Melchisedek by rendering tithes to him. If Abraham, the father of the faithful, paid tithes to a ‘type’ of Christ, should we Christians not pay tithes to Christ also since he is our father in the faith. (Gal.3:9).
It is interesting to note that the last place (Heb.7) tithes are mentioned in the Bible, it links it directly to Christ, the Head of the Church.
Should I Tithe on the Gross or Net income?
On the gross!
So, as an example you earn £1350 a week, tax and NI deductions come to £230. Your net income is £1120. Your tithe is £1350 divided by 10. This is £135.
I Heard that Tithing was Only for Jews (Abraham’s seed), and Not Applicable to Christians Today. Is This True?
In the New Testament, all Christians are considered spiritual Jews and children of Abraham. (Please see Gal.3:7, Gal.26-29, Rom.4:24, Rom.9:7-8, Rom.4:11-16)
We hear of lots of Pastors and Christian Ministries who use the tithes to support their ostentatious lifestyles, buying cars, clothes, Jets etc. instead of using it for God’s work. What is God’s Word on This?
On the day of judgement (Rom.20:12) every word uttered will be accounted for. (Matt.12:36). Everyone will give an account of what he has done with God’s money also. (Rom.14.12). Every man’s work will be made manifest. (1Cor.3:13), every secret, whether good or bad (Ecl.12:14, Rom.2:16). Remember though, that you will also be judged on whether you obeyed God by tithing. The excuse that Preachers use it wrongly will not fly with God.
Can I borrow the Tithe and Use it to Help Someone in Need or Support a Ministry that is Truly Hard Up?
One can ‘borrow’ God’s tithe, but it becomes more expensive paying back, as you have to pay 20% extra on top of what was borrowed. (See Lev.27:31)
I am not Completely Sure What to Believe about Tithing. What advice can you give?
Pray about it asking God to reveal His counsel to you. If you are sincere about following His will, he will direct you accordingly. Also, why not prayerfully try the 90-day rule (Heb.11:4)
Tithe for 90 days and see if He will be faithful to His Word (Mal.3:10-11) to rebuke the devourer for your sake and bring increase into your finances.
God bless you!
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Password can be defined as:
- A Secret word known only to a restricted group
- A private/personal tool to gain access
We all are familiar with using password to gain access to an account or a website. It’s a very important too, such that one can get stranded if forgotten. It is highly advisable to keep it fresh in one’s memory or on a safe devise, and to be renewed from time to time.
The same way, there is a Spiritual Password which is KEY to opening God’s heart and hands. This password is THANKSGIVING. Personal and Private thanksgiving to God in the place of prayer. This is not just about singing at church, but a life of constantly reflecting on God’s goodness, and THANKING HIM for who He is, what He has done, is doing and will do.
The key to touching God’s heart is not hours of give me, help me, binding and loosing prayers, but a lifestyle of gratitude to God in all forms of expression.
Psalm 100: 4 (the Message Version) says: “Enter with the password, THANK YOU, make yourself at home talking praises, thank Him and worship Him.” It confirms that Thanksgiving is your passport into God’s presence.
We use password to gain access to an account or a website. Similarly to gain access into God’s presence, Psalm 95:2 says “Let us come before His presence with thanksgiving.”
It’s a sin not to be thankful. 2 Timothy 3:1-2, this Scripture lists the ‘un-thankful’ amongst other terrible sins that God will judge, hence we must not trivialise ‘un-thankfulness’.
There is HELP!
Psalm 75:1 (MSG) says: “We thank you God, we thank you – your Name is our favourite word; your mighty works are all we talk about.”
Knowing God’s names helps in activating our Spiritual PASSWORD. Make a habit of praising, thanking and worshiping God with His various names. Apply those names to your life, your present and past benefits and testimonies, and you will be surprised how long and easy your personal praise sessions to God will become.
Talking about His works shows His mightiness and helps to lift our faith. Set things around you as a reminder to regularly activate your PASSWORD. Memos, testimony journal, bible, praise and worship CDs, and most importantly a heart of gratitude.
Revelation 19:6,7a: “And I heard, as it were, the voice of a great multitude, as the sound of many waters and as the sound of mighty thunderings, saying, “Alleluia! For the[d] Lord God Omnipotent reigns! 7 Let us be glad and rejoice and give Him glory, giving Him glory.”
Will your voice be amongst such that will constantly give God glory?
Pastor Jumoke Popoola
Tiredness or fatigue means having less energy than usual, you feel exhausted physically, mentally or both. It’s a normal part of life but if it persists for too long, it can be a sign of medical problem.
We’ve all experienced tiredness in our lives, usually there is a reason like new baby keeping you up or illness like cold, even late nights with your mate or long hours at work. Tiredness with no apparent reason can be a problem and it’s very common.
What Are The Causes of Tiredness?
A. Physical Causes of Tiredness include
- Lack of iron (Anaemia)
- Underactive thyroid (Hypothyroidism)
- Heart failure
- Bowel problems like coeliac disease
- Chest illnesses like Asthma or COPD (Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease)
- Addison’s disease (lack or low level of hormone from adrenal glands)
- Carbon monoxide poisoning
- Vitamin D deficiency
- Breathing problems at night interfering with sleep (Obstructive Sleep Apnoea)
- Waking up at night frequently to pass urine due to overactive bladder or enlarged prostate
- Glandular fever (usually present as sore throat)
- Pain from other medical conditions
- Side effects of medications
B. Psychological Causes of Tiredness
This is much more common than physical causes and it includes: Depression, anxiety, eating disorders especially if underweight or overweight. Sleep problem, stress, bereavement, domestic violence and boredom.
C. Lifestyle Causes of Tiredness
Busy lifestyles can often result in tiredness as we cram too much into our lives. Lifestyle causes includes;
- Excessive consumption of alcohol
- Having an unhealthy or unbalanced diet
- Excessive Exercise or lack of exercise
- Working night shift, which may lead to poor sleep pattern and result in tiredness
- Big life event such as getting married or moving house
- Taking recreational drugs
What Is The Treatment For Tiredness?
It is advisable that you see your GP if you feel tired unusually for more than four weeks or sooner if you feel unwell. Your GP will explore for causes as listed above and you might need to have physical examination and some people will require further investigations.
Treatment is geared towards any identifiable cause and sometimes no treatment is an option.
– It may seem bizarre, regular moderate exercises like swimming, walking and cycling can help you feel less tired.
– Improve your sleep if sleep is a problem and this in turn may improve your tiredness.
– It is advisable that we sort out the stress in our lives, avoid bottling up your worries. Try to share with a family member, a friend or consider a Counsellor.
There is no single answer for treatment of tiredness. However, even if no cause is found, in most people, it settles on its own with time.
What does the term spiritual awakening mean?
It stands to reason that for there to be an awakening, there must have been a time of slumber or sleep.
As one does not need awakening if one is already awake, it therefore means an awakening from a time of spiritual laziness or slothfulness.
The church at Laodicea was like that (Rev 3:14-17).
Laodicea was a very wealthy enterprising city with many theaters and a huge stadium, shopping centers and public baths typical of a materially prosperous community in those days. This was not a healthy environment for spiritual growth and dedication. The church was obviously affected by the city in which it was located as it received the most damming report from the Lord Jesus and not a single commendation at all.
The Laodicean church really needed revival or an awakening.
14 “And to the angel of the church of the Laodiceans write, ‘These things says the Amen, the Faithful and True Witness, the Beginning of the creation of God:
15 I know your works, that you are neither cold nor hot. I could wish you were cold or hot.
16So then, because you are lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will vomit you out of My mouth.
17 Because you say, ‘I am rich, have become wealthy, and have need of nothing’–and do not know that you are wretched, miserable, poor, blind, and naked
The Laodicean church was independent, self-satisfied, rich, wealthy and secure. (Rev.3.17). They needed nothing, Though they were full of activities and programs, their Lord was outside the church, trying to get in (Rev.3.20). The main problem was that they were neither hot nor cold. They were lukewarm. A spiritual condition Jesus described as wretched, pitiful, poor, blind and naked (√.17)
Lukewarmness is a condition of independence. For liquid to remain cold, it needs an outside source of ice to keep the liquid cold, or if the liquid is to remain hot, it needs an outside heat source to remain hot or else it becomes lukewarm. If the Christian neglects the fire of the Lord in his life, he too will become lukewarm or spiritually cold. We cannot live the Christian life without a close walk with the Lord. If we are not God dependent, we will begin to decay spiritually and become ineffective for the Lord.
The scripture in Matt.22.14 which states that – ‘many are called, but few are chosen’ can be re-written for the Church in Laodicea as – ‘many are cold and a few are frozen’
Signs that One Needs Spiritual Awakening
In the Christian life, there are three ‘spiritual temperatures’ a burning heart, on fire for God (Luke.24.32), a cold heart (Matt.24.12), and a lukewarm heart (Rev.3.16). The lukewarm Christian is comfortable, complacent, and does not realize his need.
A truthful, honest Christian knows his/her spiritual temperature. We are expected to be ‘fervent in spirit’ (Rom.12.11), Fervent in prayers (Col.4.12). and in the Word of God (Luke.24.32).
No wonder Paul commanded that his letter to Colossae be sent to the Laodicean church! (Col. 4:16)
If we are not burning hot, an awakening is desperately needed.
Steps to a Personal Spiritual Awakening
Is to humble yourself before God, acknowledge that you need a re-awakening or a revival. That’s the beginning of having an awakening. It’s having the realization of Who God is and who we are, and seeing ourselves as falling so far short of His glory (Rom 3:10-12, 23) and that we could never be reconciled back to God without God Himself intervening on our behalf (John 3:16; Rom 5:1, 8:1)
Repent from spiritual arrogance, slothfulness and laziness and ask Him to revive and renew you into the image of His Son, Jesus Christ. Ask for a renewed hunger and thirst for God and a more passionate desire to live a holy life before Him.
We need the help of the Holy Spirit. It takes the Spirit of God with the Word of God to make the children of God for the glory of God. Without God’s Spirit, there can be no awakening.
Then there are concrete things you need to do. You have to change our lifestyle to reflect less time on the phone, TV and Netflix, or Internet, Social Media, general loafing around
Spend more time reading and studying God’s Word. Look into your personal devotion or Quiet Time. When this suffers spiritual life is being slowly squeezed out.
More time in the place of personal prayer. You might also add a few days of fasting to the prayers
Critically examine your Christian relationships and ensure that you are walking in love to everyone bar none (Eph.5.2, John.13.34)