These are notes written by Gary Wheeler

This a thoughtful and thorough case for new testament believers to consider in the area of financial participation in a local church in the area of giving. Specifically the principle of tithing.

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

I have heard pastors and ministers sound apologetic when it is time to receive the offering!

That is wrong! I have seen people literally get up and walk out of the church while the pastor was teaching on tithing. This is not a bad thing…this is a good thing!

If you can grasp the principle of tithing, then you can be blessed. Giving is a by-product if a person’s heart is truly after God. When people realize that God really does expect us to take His Word at face value and that we are not to compromise.

(Mal 3:8 KJV) Will a man rob God? Yet ye have robbed me. But ye say, Wherein have we robbed thee? In tithes and offerings.
(Mal 3:9 KJV) Ye are cursed with a curse: for ye have robbed me, even this whole nation.
(Mal 3:10 KJV) 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.
(Mal 3:11 KJV) 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.
(Mal 3:12 KJV) And all nations shall call you blessed: for ye shall be a delightsome land, saith the LORD of hosts.

The area of finances is one of the most challenging areas of any relationship.
It is the primary area of division and arguments in marriages. It has caused churches to split, relatives to war against each other, and partnerships to dissolve, It has divided families, and is responsible for rampant bitterness in the lives of many people. Long after the end of the argument, a spirit of hostility continues to exist in the hearts of sons against their fathers. It has turned lovers into bitter enemies.

Many couples now go into marriage with a prenuptial agreement because they are afraid of later conflict.

The most sensitive nerve in the human body is the nerve that leads to the pocketbook! Why is this such a sensitive area?

Money is a sensitive issue for us because we love it too much. The love of money will make people do some crazy things.

Illustration: “The Head Hog At The Trough”
The Pastors secretary answered the phone only to be greeted by, “May I speak with the head hog in charge?” She said, “excuse me?” The man repeated, “I would like to speak to the head hog in charge.” The secretary responded, “Sir, I don’t know who you are but if you are referring to our pastor you will have to address him properly.” The man said, “Well I have 100,000 dollars to donate to the building fund but I guess he is not there.” Immediately the secretary responded, “Hold on sir, the fat pig just walked through the door.”

Rev. Ike used to say, “The lack of money is the root of evil!”

That is not true.

Many of the world’s wealthiest people are evil and territorial, arguing and warring, guarding and protecting their wealth to the degree many have never learned to enjoy. Many of the wealthiest people are not happy people. By their own confession, they admit that they are miserable.

The Bible is true. It is the love of money that is the root of all evil.
(1 Tim 6:5 KJV) Perverse disputings of men of corrupt minds, and destitute of the truth, supposing that gain is godliness: from such withdraw thyself.
(1 Tim 6:6 KJV) But godliness with contentment is great gain.
(1 Tim 6:7 KJV) For we brought nothing into this world, and it is certain we can carry nothing out.
(1 Tim 6:8 KJV) And having food and raiment let us be therewith content.
(1 Tim 6:9 KJV) But they that will be rich fall into temptation and a snare, and into many foolish and hurtful lusts, which drown men in destruction and perdition.
(1 Tim 6:10 KJV) For the love of money is the root of all evil: which while some coveted after, they have erred from the faith, and pierced themselves through with many sorrows.
(1 Tim 6:11 KJV) But thou, O man of God, flee these things; and follow after righteousness, godliness, faith, love, patience, meekness.

The Bible teaches us a great truth about money. Money itself is not evil. It is necessary! God is not against you having money if you can keep your priorities right. God blesses us with money to use, not abuse. We are stewards of the money that God blesses us with.

You can’t take your money with you when you die. It is like a monopoly game. When the game is over all the money goes back in the box. No matter how much or how little money you had in the game, it goes back in the box. God’s Word said that you can’t take it with you. Learn to be content. Don’t be driven by a desire to accumulate wealth.

From the projects of our ghettos to the penthouse suites of the wealthy, it is the love of money that is the root of all evil. It is not the money itself, but the affection that we have a tendency to attach to it that snares us.

(Mat 6:21 KJV) For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also.

There is a relationship between the heart and the dollar. If you want to know what a man loves, get his checkbook. It will tell every time. If it is drugs that he loves, he will buy them. If it is women, he will spend his money on them or preparing for them. If it is pornography, he will purchase it. If it is luxury, he will envelop himself in it. Even the poorest of us find ways to get what we really want. Street people buy drugs. Homeless people, living under bridges, still get a bottle of wine. Whatever they love, they support. Understanding that will help you know that your finances reveal a shocking testimony about your values.

One of the countries leading, reputable talk shows did a feature spot on a person’s profile by simply researching their returned checks. The vast amount of information gleaned from surveying those checks was enough to clearly identify the person’s total walk of life. You would never have to meet the person to identify their tastes, economic status, priorities, habits, and secret spending. A total lifestyle could be identified by just reviewing the checks.

Jesus said,
(Mark 12:30 KJV) And thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind, and with all thy strength: this is the first commandment.

Well, if I gave with that kind of love toward God, that would mean that all my income would be tied up on Him. It would be like a junkie who spends his grocery money and rent money on his habit. That is true, but God knows that the number 10 in our numerical system is symbolic of the whole. We count to ten and start over again by saying eleven.

No matter how high we count, we never go higher than groups of ten. When we give 10% it is symbolic of the whole. It represents our highest priority as God. It is hard to worship like that if that is not how you feel toward Him. Your love for God and your giving to God are intertwined. If you love God you will give to God. If you don’t love God you will struggle with tithing.

God ask for a tithe. What is tithe? It is a tenth. It is what God has reserved for Himself.

Abraham and Jacob paid tithes.
The law incorporated tithing.
Tithing didn’t start with the Law, but before the Law.

(Lev 27:32 KJV) And concerning the tithe of the herd, or of the flock, even of whatsoever passeth under the rod, the tenth shall be holy unto the LORD.

We are asked to give at least 10% to God plus whatever else He leads you to give in offerings.

Here is the bottom line: God doesn’t need your money. He never has and He never will. What blesses Him is the fact that he knows that there is a tie between your giving and your heart. In other words, it is the thought that counts. God is not poor! The Bible tells us that the earth is the Lord’s and the fullness thereof. We also discover that the cattle of a thousand hills belongs to the Lord! If God wanted for anything, He would not have to go through flesh to get it. Why, then, does He choose to do that?

God created man and He knows us comprehensively and intimately. He understands that the ties on a mans heart determine his destination. If a man’s heart is not tried by God, how will he ever know that his heart truly belongs to the Lord?

Men have been placed in a position to be the “breadwinners” in their families. Even though women have joined the workforce, the ultimate pressure for provision still rests on the man. He bears the burden for bringing home the bacon even if his wife works. Many men because they have been given the responsibility to be the primary financial beam, take on undue pressures and stress. God never intended for that to happen. Many men have had heart attacks because they have allowed their jobs and their desire for position to drive them to unrealistic expectations on themselves. They deprive their families of time and love because they have allowed themselves to be buried in the world of work. How unfortunate! God created and ordained families by God, and it is God’s design for that family for the father to spend time with them. (On your death bed you may have regrets but I promise you won’t regret not having a new car or a bigger house.)

Over the past few decades the enemy has waged a major war on people’s finances. It is almost a disguised war on families. Men are working two, even three jobs to get by. Women have left their homes to make ends meet. Families are struggling with finances. Often there is more month than there is money.

Generally, the church has failed to teach the principle of tithing. There is likely a correlation between families’ struggle and the failure to teach tithing.

The area of tithing and giving has been rushed over in the church. It has not been taught. As a result, God’s people have suffered because they have not been given the knowledge for principles givimise on commands, God begins to bless. I saw a bumper sticker that said, “Tithe if you love Jesus; any idiot can honk!”

There is a correlation between the economic status of God’s people and the finances they contribute to the church. We must teach and adhere to Biblical economic principles.

Everyone pays tithes; they just don’t pay them to the Lord.
Some end up paying them to the mechanic.
Others pay them to the dentist, the doctor, or some other misfortune. It is a fact that God doesn’t bless those who disobey His Word. God will not let us keep His money. Those who rob God always get caught. God’s x-ray vision is like hidden cameras; they take pictures of every robbery committed. God knows what you make, and His x-ray eyes penetrate the contents of the envelopes that the ushers collect. They permeate leather billfolds, beautiful wallets, and costly shoulder bags and He compares what we give with what we have left; too often He probably says, “I’ve been robbed.”

(Mal 3:8 KJV) Will a man rob God? Yet ye have robbed me. But ye say, Wherein have we robbed thee? In tithes and offerings.
(Mal 3:9 KJV) Ye are cursed with a curse: for ye have robbed me, even this whole nation.

It is not prosperity when we buy what we want and ignore our responsibility to the work of God. If no one tithed there wouldn’t be a church or a pastor.
We are responsible for maintaining the church’s ministry for future generations to enjoy.

You may be shocked that God calls it robbery when we do not pay tithes. You may be shocked that those who do not maintain their commitments and make excuses are extortioners, embezzling the funds God entrusted to their care. You see, you are not the owner, just the steward. God says that the tithe belongs to Him.

I told someone struggling with being faithful with tithes to write “God’s Money” on an envelope and then place one-tenth of their income in that envelope. When they were tempted to spend what was God’s they had to take it out of that envelope. They were stealing from God!

Tipping God is not tithing. Giving God what is left after all your bills are paid is not tithing. I ask one man to give the church a financial seminar. He said, “What?” I said I want you to teach us how to drive a new Cadillac, a new truck and live in a $200,000 on $10,000 a year! Your tithe to the church is $1,000 for the year that means you made $10,000 dollars. Please teach us how to live like you do on that amount! He got the point! Tithes are not to be brought to God out of what you have left. He is your God; He should not be on the bottom of your list. It is the position of first place that He wants.

In the Old Testament when tithes were borrowed, God demanded that they be paid back with interest. I believe His point was to teach His people that tithe was solely His. It was just a fact. It sounds harsh, but you must remember that whatever you have, God gave it to you. If you remember that God sustained you and provided for you, understand that His only request is that you be faithful to give Him a dime of every dollar that he gives you.

If I said to you, I will give you countless amounts of wealth as long as you give me back a tenth of everything that I give you. Would you do it? Of course, you would. Anyone would. Tithing becomes a struggle when you think you are giving God what is yours. You must realize that if God had not blessed you, there would be nothing to tithe upon. No wonder He expects us to be cheerful givers. Only blessed people tithe. Though that is true, it is not enough to teach you that you will be blessed when you tithe. Greater still you must realize that God blessed you for you to have something to tithe upon. Woe be unto you if you take the ninety percent He gave you and then rob Him of the tenth He required of you!

How do I pay tithes? You pay them off the gross and you pay them off the top. They are to be paid off the gross just like you pay taxes off the gross. It would be wrong to honor the government with honesty about your income and then dishonor the lord. We know that He is our source.

If you live long enough, you will see times when God provides for His own, even when the company fails, the friends fail, or the investment fails. he is still faithful.

(Mal 1:6 NIV) “A son honors his father, and a servant his master. If I am a father, where is the honor due me? If I am a master, where is the respect due me?” says the LORD Almighty. “It is you, O priests, who show contempt for my name. “But you ask, ‘How have we shown contempt for your name?’
(Mal 1:7 NIV) “You place defiled food on my altar. “But you ask, ‘How have we defiled you?’ “By saying that the Lord’s table is contemptible.
(Mal 1:8 NIV) When you bring blind animals for sacrifice, is that not wrong? When you sacrifice crippled or diseased animals, is that not wrong? Try offering them to your governor! Would he be pleased with you? Would he accept you?” says the LORD Almighty.
(Mal 1:9 NIV) “Now implore God to be gracious to us. With such offerings from your hands, will he accept you?”–says the LORD Almighty.

Most people who feel like they can’t worship God through tithes feel that way because they have not prioritized their lives. It is generally not a miserly attitude that causes their reluctance to tithe their income. Usually it is a sense of being overwhelmed with debt and obligation. They simply feel that they cannot afford it.

You cannot afford not to tithe!

A man came to me very upset because he had been negligent in giving tithes to God. As he explained his financial situation I could see that he was strapped. I said I will make a deal with you. Pay your tithes for one month and if you come up short I will personally make up the difference. He started tithing and he never had to come to me. God’s Word is true!
I suppose you first need a desire to worship God through tithes. No one is delivered from anything they enjoy. If you desire to be organized economically and supportive of the ministry that helped to change your life or feed your soul, God will help you overcome the bondage’s of debt. Ask God to help you get your life in order. He desires so much to help you.

God’s Word said that the tithe is holy. Holy simply means consecrated. It was et apart for divine use. The tithe is holy, and it should be set apart for God. The act of setting it apart is an act of honor and worship to God. It is an act of worship that expresses the sacredness of what is His in your life.

The word worship is comprised of two words: “worth-ship.” Worship means we portray His worth in our lives. That is why He was so insulted with Israel when they did not offer their best to Him. It is His wealth entrusted into your hands. The integrity of your stewardship is what blesses Him. It is tragic when we raise our hands, sing hymns of praise, then when it comes down to our treasure, we hide it from Him. It suggests that we have received nothing from Him. he only claims a dime for every dollar that he gives us.

There is nothing more uncomfortable than holding on to someone else’s property. (I took some candy from Michael’s and forgot to pay for it. I felt uncomfortable until I got back and paid for it.) Get rid of it quickly. It belongs to God. I found that if you put Him first with the tenth, He will bless the 90% to spend like a hundredfold. Additionally, the discipline of paying tithes also helps us be consistent in how we pay others. It is a matter of honesty, discipline, and integrity.

Many people buy their wants and beg for their needs. They have never learned discipline. God is such a good father that he teaches us things we haven’t learned from other sources. he teaches us structure and discipline. Is he first in your life? he has become the priority in our lives when we put Him first. He is the source from which our blessings come anyway. He is the one who enables us, provides for us, and protects us. If there were any priority, it ought to be Him.

(Mat 6:30 KJV) Wherefore, if God so clothe the grass of the field, which to day is, and to morrow is cast into the oven, shall he not much more clothe you, O ye of little faith?
(Mat 6:31 KJV) Therefore take no thought, saying, What shall we eat? or, What shall we drink? or, Wherewithal shall we be clothed?
(Mat 6:32 KJV) (For after all these things do the Gentiles seekfor your heavenly Father knoweth that ye have need of all these things.
(Mat 6:33 KJV) But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you.
(Mat 6:34 KJV) Take therefore no thought for the morrow: for the morrow shall take thought for the things of itself. Sufficient unto the day is the evil thereof.

You have to move past worry into faith. Trust Him to make the way and He will. he will make it better than you could by yourself. Take no thought doesn’t mean to be foolish. It just means not to worry. When we cease to worry, we simply say that God is competent and can be trusted. No one else can be trusted like he can.

He is omnipotent!

God is so excellent at what he does that you need not trust in yourself. He knows exactly what it takes to provide for you.

When you tithe, you are actually in business with God. His track record is impeccable. He never loses. If you want to win, invite Him to be your partner. Most partners want 50%. He only asks for 10%. You say you can’t afford to tithe. I say you can’t afford not to tithe. It is the best offer you will ever get. God wants to partner with you. Make Him your partner and you will be blessed.

God has promised abundant blessings for those who obey His plan. He says, “trust me! Try me! Prove me! Put me to the test. Give me the tithe and watch the blessings flow. Let me show you how you can do more with 90 cents with my blessings than with one dollar without my blessings.”

Why not try God and put Him to the test.
You can’t out-give God.
You can’t afford NOT to tithe.