I think it was in 1973, about a year had passed since both Dianne and I had been saved. We both accepted Jesus as our Saviour on the same night in August of 1972. That is a whole another story. Where was I, oh yes; it was sometime in 1973. Our pastor had just given a message on the importance of tithing to God. We had been giving money; what we thought was tithing, for almost two years. Five dollars here, ten dollars there; when ever we had loose change. Pastor’s message on ‘to tithe or not to tithe’ wasn’t his first sermon on the subject. And as we found out over the years, it wouldn’t be his last. We had three small children who were at the ages of 3, 5 and 7. And like most everyone else, we had a mortgage and a car payment with one small paycheck, covering everything else that had to be paid. Tithing at the time, just wasn’t in our budget. And, we didn’t think it should be. We gave what we thought we had to give. Then after the pastor’s message on tithing, the Holy Spirit turned on the light bulb for the both of us. Being both young in the Lord, we had little knowledge of the workings of Holy Spirit but we started tithing from then on with His prompting. Circumstances came into our lives making me think, “perhaps we will postpone the tithe this week” but we were both faithful to the Word. Not because a pastor prompted us but from God’s encouragement. What does The Tithe mean and what is the importance of The Tithe Exchange in The Withdrawal of The Blessing?
Matthew 3:2 says, “And saying, Repent (think differently; change your mind, regretting your sins and changing your conduct), for the kingdom of God is at hand.”
Romans 15:4 “For whatever was thus written in former days was written for our instruction, that by [our steadfast and patient] endurance and the encouragement [drawn] from the Scriptures we might hold fast to and cherish hope.”
To really get a grasp on The Tithe Exchange as the 4th key to making a withdrawal from The Blessing, we are going to have to start thinking differently and change our minds about and attitudes about tithing. Through that change in thinking, we have to be steadfast and patient and get encouragement from the Word of God. The “light bulb” has to come on by the power of the Holy Spirit. It is like someone telling you that you have a bad habit. Until the “light bulb” is turned on and you decide, not them will you change your mind. Tithing works the same way.
Picture in your minds, the curtains hanging in your home. They are generally held in place over the window by a curtain rod. If the curtain rod comes down from where it is placed, the curtains will slip off the rod. on to the floor. Turn to Matthew 22:37-40 to further illustrate my point; ‘to tithe or not to tithe, that is the question’. In verse 36, Jesus is asked by an expert in the Law, “which kind of commandment is more important in the Law? [Some commandments are light–which are heavy?]”
Verses 37-40, “And He (Jesus) replied to him, You shall LOVE the Lord your God with ALL your heart and with ALL your soul and with ALL your mind (intellect), This is the great (most important, principle) and first commandment. And a second is like it; You shall LOVE your neighbor as [you do] your self. These two commandments sum up and upon them depend the Law and the Prophets.”
LOVE is the curtain rod. Everything hangs on LOVE; tithes, fasting, giving to the poor, everything that you do! If LOVE falls, then everything else falls on your floor. In Genesis 2:16-17 we will see how the issue of LOVE is the issue in our tithing.
Verse 16, “And the Lord god commanded man, saying, You may freely eat of every tree of the garden; BUT of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil and blessing and calamity you shall NOT eat, for in the day that you eat of it you shall surely die.”
God spoke to man telling him you can have the 90% of the fruit in the garden–NOT the 10%. The issue in God’s Word was about His LOVE for mankind. What is a TITHE then? A tithe is “the 10% of the increase”. The ALL came from God; He says you can keep it ALL except for a tenth. First the TITHE and then the blessing. And ” The Blessing” is an anointing or empowerment; for you, on you and around you. All for you to be succesful through out your life.” And a “ANOINTING is, “a covering, an indwelling, a heaviness placed upon you.” Turn back again, to Genesis 14:18-23 and we will see “The Blessing Exchange” once more. We can even call the phrase, “The Love Exchange”.
Verse 18 starts out in saying, “Melchizedek king of Salem [later called Jerusalem] brought out bread and wine [for their nourishment]; he was the priest of God Most High,” Verse 19, “And he blessed him and said, BLESSED be Abram by God Most High, Possessor and Maker of heaven and earth.” Verse 20 continues in saying, “And blessed, praised, and glorified be God Most High, Who has given your foes into your hand! And [Abram] gave him a tenth of ALL [he had taken].”
First The Tithe… then the blessing. Abram gave God his tithe not because he had to BUT because he LOVED God. The Law on tithing was not in play until almost four hundred years later. What was Abram’s WITHDRAWAL from the Abrahamic Covenant? Look at Genesis 15:1: “After these things, the word of the Lord came to Abram in a vision, saying, Fear not Abram, I AM your Shield, your abundant compensation and your reward shall be exceedingly great.” Not only was this the first introduction to the word “tithe” in the Bible, it is the first time in the Bible for “the word”; “vision”; “I AM”; and “reward” . Its fun to be a Word Detective. I wasn’t looking for it but it was there all the time.
In Genesis 17:7 we look at The Abrahamic Covenant once again. “And I will establish My covenant between Me and you and your descendants after you throughout their generations for an everlasting, solemn pledge, to be a God to you and to your posterity after you.” Then in Genesis 28:22 there is an exchange again, “And this stone which I have set up as a pillar (monument) shall be God’s house [a sacred place to me], and of ALL [the increase of possessions] that You give me I will give the tenth to you.” So the TITHE is Not the Law, it is the “Abrahamic Covenant”.
So where do we get the idea that tithing is a Law? Go to Deuteronomy 14:22 to look at the “you shall’s” of God.
Verse 22, “You shall surely tithe ALL the yield of your seed produced by your field each year.” That is the “gross amount”.
“Yeah BUT this is the 21st Century. I don’t have a field of seed. What is my seed? How am I to tithe, when I don’t even have a good source?” Go to verse 25 and see God’s anticipation to your good question.
Verse 25 says, “Then you shall turn it (Whatever you have produced) into money, and bind up the seed money in your hand, and shall go to the place [of worship] which the Lord your God has chosen.”
“Okay, I get it. So, amI to tithe on my gross salary or my net?” I have heard that question more than once. The correct answer to your question is, “how is your LOVE CONNECTION? ” There isn’t any selfishness in love. You have to choose between tithing in LOVE or tithing out of SELFISHNESS; then the Tithe Exchange works.
Tomorrow I will conclude my detective work concerning, “The 4th Key to the Withdrawal of The Blessing: The Tithe Exchange”. We will investigate the truth in Hebrew 7 and see how we can tithe like Abram tithed. We will also look at God’s Word to see if NOT TITHING is really a BLESSING BLOCKER or did some church make it up.