Is Tithing Required Today?
by Ronald W Robey

There is New Testament proof that we are not required to tithe today, and that the Church is not qualified to receive the tithe. But there is also Old Testament evidence that we are not to tithe.

Let’s look at the Old Testament first, shall we?…

The first time tithing is found in the Bible is in Genesis 14. There, we read the account of Abram, on his return from a successful rescue mission, who gave tithes of all the spoils of war to the king of Salem. Abram subsequently gave the rest of the spoils to the king of Sodom, telling him that he had made a promise to God that he would not keep any of the spoils of war for his own. Abram did not even claim those spoils as being his, though by war rights he could have.

Genesis 28 is the next passage to consider. Jacob vowed to give God a tenth of all that he acquired if God would meet certain conditions first. One of those conditions was that Jacob return to his father’s house in peace. That particular condition was not met until nearly twenty-one years after Jacob made the vow.

Neither of the above two instances can be said to be patterns we are to follow today, as there is no instruction in the Word of God that those tithes are to be imitated.

Then, we come to the Mosaic Law…

Leviticus 27:30-33 state that God’s Holy tithe consisted of agricultural crops, flocks and herds only.

Leviticus 27:34 reveals that God instituted the tithe for the bloodline descendants of Israel.

Numbers 18 reveals that God said the Levitical tithe (given the first 6 years in a 7 year period) was to be given to the Levites because they have no inheritance in the land of Israel.

Deuteronomy 14 reveals that the festival tithe (given the first 6 years in a 7 year period) was to be taken to the place God chose. (We later discover that the chosen place is Jerusalem) There, the tither and his family were to EAT THE TITHE and also give some of the tithe to the Levite to eat.

Deuteronomy 14 also reveals a third tithe that was given every 3rd and 6th year in a 7 year period. This tithe was given to the widows, orphans, Levites living in one’s city, and to foreigners visiting the city. This was called the Poor tithe or Charity tithe.

Concerning the Levitical tithe, the Levites were to travel to the farming communities of the other eleven tribes of Israel, and there…take the tithes.

The Levites, upon receiving the tithes of the children of Israel, were to take a tithe of the tithes to the House of God located in Jerusalem. Nehemiah 10:37-38

The seventh year in a seven year cycle, farmers were not to till the land, nor harvest the wild seed that the land produced. The land was given a rest, meaning… no tithe that year. (see Leviticus 25:1-6)

This seven year cycle would repeat for forty-nine years. The fiftieth year was the year of Jubilee. That year, the land rested as well, meaning … no tithes.

After the year of Jubilee, the cycle would start anew.

Malachi 3:7-11 reveals that the tithe was an ordinance. It also reaffirms the fact that the tithe was FOOD. Malachi 3:10 tells us, “that there may be MEAT in mine house”. The context of the entire Book of Malachi reveals that God is using Malachi to rebuke the Levitic/Aaronic Priests…not the congregation/children of Israel.

Tithe teachers today fail to tell their congregations that ‘money is never called meat in the Word of God.’

God said if the tithe was brought back to the Temple in Jerusalem, (not in America, nor any other country other than Israel) He would open the windows of heaven (speaking of rain) and pour out a blessing in abundance. He would rebuke the devourer (locusts) that was eating the crops and Israel would flourish with garden produce.

Again, it was the Levite who was responsible for taking tithes to the House of God. Israelites who were not of the descent of Levi could not take the tithe the House of God…they had to keep it in the farming communities for the Levite’s to collect it there.

Do you own a farm in the land of Israel? If not, according to the Bible you don’t have to tithe…no matter how much your pastor or spiritual leader claims you do.

And now, we get to the New Testament….

Jesus mentions tithing just three times in the Gospels. Once in a parable (Luke 18:9-14) and twice commending the Scribes and Pharisees for tithing spices and herbs from their gardens. (Matthew 23:23; Luke 11:42) Jesus said the Pharisees should be tithing for a reason… the Law required them to tithe.

The only other place in the New Testament that tithes are mentioned is in Hebrews 7. There, the author explains the tithe that Melchizedek received from the hand of Abraham. He is careful to point out that that tithe was of the spoils of war (Hebrews 7:4) In Hebrews 7:12, we read that there was a change in the law. That change was that man could not give a tithe to Melchizedek any longer, but had to give the tithe to the Levite. The Law specified that the tithe only went to the Levitical tribe, which Melchizedek did not belong to.

On to Hebrews 7:18… Hebrews 7:18 reveals that the tithe law has been disannulled. No one is authorized by God to receive God’s Holy tithe… it has been cancelled out!

But just in case that one verse doesn’t convince you, remember how Malachi said the tithe was an ordinance? Well, the Apostle Paul told the Colossians that ordinances were taken out of the way and nailed to the cross. (Yes, that is speaking of the ordinances that God set forth in the Law, even the ordinance of the tithe)

The NT certainly does give us verses that show we cannot tithe today.