A Celebration of Sonship: “The Tithe”
A Word from Spiritual Father
In preparing many sons to be ready to “give a reason” for his/her faith as it pertains to “tithing,” I think it is imperative we understand why we do what we do.
First, I would like to say, a son of God depends exclusively on His Father for all things. Generosity is a quality of the mature who believe and practice tithes and offering. To belong to the House of God is a free offer made to all mankind, but to rule and reign in your Father’s House will take a maturing and a reprogramming of one’s mind that is a change of culture.
The dealing of the Father in the life of His Son is to change His nature and culture, so that He can more accurately represent Him as a Spirit Being in a human container. The problem is that we have been viewing ourselves as human beings having a spiritual experience when in fact we are spirit beings having a human experience. Until you begin to understand your origin as Spirit and that your Heavenly Father is Spirit, then you will begin to ask the right questions, like “What then is the purpose of Spirit Son in a human frame?” This begins to uncover the culture of a Spirit Son.
When your identity is inverted then you live no different from the rest of the human race, living each day to secure your own provision and protection, because you have no Father in whom you can trust with those imperatives. You, see God as one whom you need to please by works of sacrifice for an exchange. I must attend all the programs of the Church, I must fast and I pray and give so that when I ask God for something then God is obligated to give me what I want. And, I will use scripture, His own words to remind and manipulate Him because God is bound to His Word. Overcoming the worlds Babylonian systems allowed our Lord to shut of the screams of His soul for provision and protection thus allowing Him to clearly hear the voice of His Father. His Spirit brought his soul to excellence which in turn brought his flesh into the subjection to the will of His Father. For He said that He only does what He sees his Father doing and He only says what he hears His Father saying. He concluded his victorious overcoming life by saying, “that Satan has nothing in me” meaning that there was no place in his mind for the enemy to blackmail him from doing the will of His Father. Satan could not lure Him away from His primary eternal purpose.
It is clear that Jesus Christ, the Son of God did not worry about what he will eat, what he will wear and where he will sleep. Did He need these things as a son of man? Absolutely he did. So then it can be concluded that a Son of God needs these things but never spends every waking moment worried about how He would get them because His Father takes care of the things that He needs.
The immediate reactions that I get from most people that hear me say this is, “Are you saying that we should not work to buy and pay for those things. Is God going to drop money from the sky to me”? My answer is NO!
What I am saying is that you should not let those things become your preoccupation and the sum total of your life. Don’t find yourself waking up every day to go and secure your provision and protection through your paycheck. Yes you are to go to your place of employment not as another human being, but as a Spirit being. As a son of God you are not employed to secure your own provision and protection, you are deployed by your Heavenly Father to your place of employment to put on display the nature and the character of your Father, so that they may see God in you.
It’s a complete paradigm shift; it’s this transaction that begins to alter your status from orphan to son. The son understands that he cannot live the God life from natural bread alone but by every word that proceeds out the mouth of His Father. When obedience to the voice of the Father overrides all other priorities in the natural life then supernatural Spirit life is the outcome. Everything must be done with a cheerful heart and as unto the Lord. The underlying principal of a Son is this, your Heavenly Father is your only source pertaining to Life and Godliness. You live to do His will and only that and He takes care of the rest of your life. Psalms 2:7 says, “I will declare the decrees of the Lord. The Lord has said to me you are My Son today I have begotten thee.” I don’t have to plead and beg with people to give to God and thereby indirectly secure my provision, because truthfully God does not need the money. But what I have to do as a spiritual father is to teach my sons how to trust God and to not manipulate anybody or any situation secure their provision and protection.
There should be a good foundation as to why we do what we do? Just like everything else, the “institutional mindset” of how and why we did what we did, will have to be renewed; especially as it pertains to TITHING. Conversely then in the new season of the Kingdom culture it demands that we need to have a Son Culture and review scripture through those lenses for us to have an illuminated Sons perspective. At this point I must say something that is pertinent to our transitioning. I cannot share the Theology of Sonship and not change the culture, I will still have immature deficient orphans babbling sonship verbiage.
Therefore, I would like you to pray about what’s presented here on tithes, and take time to study what you are not quite sure about; and then, let’s have a discussion concerning this topic. Please be sure to read this at least twice, and refer to the scriptures that are referenced.
Definition of Terms
There are some who believe “tithing” was an Old Testament practice done by the “children of Israel.” However, the concept of tithing is mentioned in the Bible in both Old and New Testaments. For most believers, it is the hot-button that provokes emotions and opinions both positive and negative.
For non-believers and carnal Christians, the mere mention of the thought of “tithing” brings snickers and chuckles; “Who could be as gullible and stupid to give their money to anyone?”
And yet, the term is in the Bible. A tithe is the “voluntary giving” of ten percent of your income in celebration of your sonship. Abram, Jacob and the patriarchs participated in this practice. The tithe was required under the Law of Moses (Nehemiah 10:37) and Jesus mentions the tithe in the Gospels. (Matthew 6:l)
So, it’s clear in scripture that God has ordained that present day saints should give at
least ten percent of their income to the elder who watches over their soul. This is how the
son both participates in and celebrates God’s process of bringing the sons of God to maturity.
So, the goal that God had in mind for tithing is to bring you to a place of maturity. Unlike the
Law, and indeed resembling the precedent set prior to the Law (the order of Melchizedek),
this gift of support is to be given without compulsion, and by faith. This revelation is not just
“theory.” We should observe this practice faithfully. I know Rose and I have, and experienced both tangible and spiritual blessings as a result of our obedience to the scriptures.
EXAMPLES OF PRE-LAW TITHING
Now you heard me reference above the Order of Melchizedek. What is this order? In Genesis14:14-23, Abram, who would later become Abraham, goes into battle along with his trained servants to recover his nephew (Lot), various goods, and other captives. A man, who is called Melchizedek, comes and tends to Abram and blesses him. Then Abram tithed to this man
It’s interesting that “Melchizedek”, whose name is a title ascribed to the man, not actually
his given name, literally means both “king of righteousness” and “king of peace” (Hebrews
7:2). Why is Melchizedek a title and not his name? It’s simple. Before the institution of the
Law, God is establishing the truth that one’s admittance to an eternal priesthood is not
based on their lineage, which is revealed by one’s name. And the man bearing the title
“Melchizedek”, was not an epiphany of Christ (Christ appearing in the flesh), he was a natural
man, just as you and I.
Although the scripture says that Melchizedek was “without father or mother, without genealogy,
without beginning of days or end of life, like the Son of God he remains a priest forever” (Hebrews 7:3), he is not an epiphany (see Jesus’ attitude regarding genealogy – Mt 12:46-50).
The priesthood that we are called to, is entered by a “born again” experience. After one is born again his life becomes eternal, meaning not he is not bound or defined by time
or any of the normal incidences of humanity; just like Melchizedek.
We are called to be a kingdom of priests (I Pet 2:9). “Righteousness” and “Peace” are hallmarks of the Kingdom to which we are called (Rom 14:17). We are told not to view anyone from a “worldly point of view” but rather as “new creations.” (II Corinthians 5:16-17) Thank God, His Kingdom is eternal (Isa 9:6-7). Obedience to the Spirit of God causes anyone to receive and personify a kingly and priestly ministry that is never disannulled by time.
So let’s begin again, Abram is approached by this priest who tends to his natural needs (by
feeding him), his spiritual needs (the meal itself represents communion with Christ) and who
blesses him (only God and those who have been sent by God can actually impart His favor).
This is the role of a spiritual father. A spiritual father will tend to the natural and spiritual needs of his sons, and impart grace and favor. And Abram gives Melchizedek ten percent of his possessions.
I’ll ask you a few questions. Do you typically meet strangers who impress you so much that
you’re willing to part with ten percent of your wealth? When reading this story does Melchizedek seem to do anything so outstanding as to provoke an act of benevolence as great as
a full tenth of Abram’s assets? Isn’t it interesting that Melchizedek seems to already know
where Abram has been and what has transpired? (Gen 14:20)
I submit the following for your consideration. When Melchizedek is “introduced” in the
scripture reference, the introduction is to the readers and not to Abram. Abram already knew
Melchizedek. And Abram’s gift was not a one-time response to a one-time act.
Here is a second example. In Genesis 28:20-23, Jacob promises God that if He feeds, protects and guides him that in return he would surely give God ten percent. The immediate question that
arises is, just how does he intend to do that? We know that the Person of the Lord would not
regularly appear to Jacob and receive his monetary and tangible goods gifts. So how would
Jacob keep his word? He would do it the same way that Abram did. He would give to a man. This man would be a priest after the order of Melchizedek, which means that this priest’s identity would be after the manner and likeness of God. And that priest’s intention would be to selflessly further the life of Jacob.
Jacob knew what Abram knew. That God has always provided his saints with oversight in order
to mature them and keep them in the will of the Lord. And the saints’ respond to God, by giving
ten percent of their possessions.
Tithing is really a matter of honor. We honor our spiritual fathers when we tithe to them, this is the Culture of the Kingdom. When we honor the Lord through the giving of the tithe for His care in our lives, this enables the overseers (the “Melchizedek”, if you will) to continue his focus on the work of the Lord.
Consider this, is it possible that through certain snapshots of the lives of the patriarchs (like Abram and Jacob), God provides us a clue of normal, consistent experience and reveals to us
what should be normal?
Take into account the following example. You know the story of Cain and Abel (Genesis 4:1-11). Why did the brothers choose the offerings that they did? Why did Abel’s offering get received and Cain’s offering find rejection?
Evidently, Abel offered an offering that was acceptable by either divine revelation or by
knowledge of customary experience. Did not the Lord Himself slay at least one animal in order to cover Adam and Eve with skins (Genesis 3:21)?
Cain’s offering was unacceptable because it did not adequately depict the need for substitution in death; and, death to self to either ascertain or maintain right relationship with the Lord. My point in utilizing the Cain and Abel story is this. All of the steps on “how to please God in a
burnt offering” aren’t neatly outlined in the scripture record at the time of the incident. But once
we look at the entire record of scripture, Cain’s error and Abel’s obedience become clear. Likewise we’ll get a fuller picture of Abram and Jacob’s motivation and adherence with regard to
tithing as we view the whole counsel of scripture.
THE LAW AND THE PRIESTHOOD
In Exodus chapter 20 we see the institution of the Law, which ushered in a temporary, exclusive
Priesthood (only males from the tribe of Levi, without physical defects). In Exodus Chapter
19:3-6 every one of the people of God was offered the promise of a lasting, royal priesthood
(after the order of Melchizedek). But Israel as a whole rejected this national priesthood due to
their terror of the Lord (Exodus 19:16 & Hebrews 12:25-26). So in order to keep Satan from wiping Israel out due to their rejection of God, the Lord set up a system of Law that prescribed acceptable behavior and predetermined the suitable consequences for disobedience to God. In the Law, God amplified a pre-existing system that instructed the people towards righteousness.
The system was that the mature priests were to teach the saints the way of the Lord (Deut. 33:10 & 2 Kings 17:27). It is undeniable that the Melchizedek priesthood existed before the Law was put into effect (Exodus 19:24), since priesthood itself was not a phenomenon original to the Law, neither was the scope of priestly responsibilities.
Also the manner in which experienced priests were supported for tending to the people of God did not change from the pre-Levitical period to the Levitical era.
THE SUPPORT OF THE PRIESTHOOD An evident sign that God initiated the pre-Law practice of priests being financially supported by
the people of God is that He wrote it into the Law. God knowing that New Testament saints
would receive instruction from what He codified, purposely exposed this financial support in the
Law with intention that we would learn from it (Rom 15:4).
Let’s analyze Malachi 3:8-12 and mine the truths that are relevant to the Church, as this
represents the seminal scripture in the dialogue regarding tithing today.
Malachi 3:8-12 New International Version, vs. 8 “Will a man rob God? Yet you rob me. “But you ask, ‘How do we rob you?’ “In tithes and offerings. 9 You are under a curse? the whole nation of you? because you are robbing me. 10 Bring the whole tithe into the storehouse, that there may be food in my house. Test me in this,” says the LORD Almighty, “and see if I will not throw open the floodgates of heaven and pour out so much blessing that you will not have room enough for it. 11 I will prevent pests from devouring your crops, and the vines in your fields will not cast their fruit,” says the LORD Almighty. 12 “Then all the nations will call you blessed, for yours will be a delightful land,” says the LORD Almighty.
WILL A MAN ROB GOD
How exactly does a man “rob” God, who owns everything? He can only be “robbed” by being
deprived of the full measure of His expectations. What God wants most of all is fully mature
sons of God, who make up a Kingdom of Priests. The process by which He acquires these sons
has always included the less mature being tended to by the more mature in godly character and
authority. So obviously, the availability of the more mature is integral to the process.
As soon as we’re washed in the blood, we become kings and priests unto God (Rev 1:5-6). And
so from a positional perspective, we’re a finished work, immediately after repentance. But in
terms of character, trustworthiness and spiritual authority we’re at the very threshold of being a
work in progress. So God is robbed when elders are unavailable to mature the saints towards the full realization of their positional potential, either by their roles being doctrinally inhibited or by lack of subsidy. If tithes and offerings are not consistently given, the men who should be set apart to the work of instilling the people of God with the ways of God, must turn their attention elsewhere to find financial support.
Now obviously, a “son” who is unwilling to work secularly is not fit to be an instructor of
righteousness in any sense (II Thess. 3:10). Also, the man that the Lord has raised up to be an
overseer in the Kingdom is compelled by the Spirit to preach the Gospel whether he is supported
financially or not and will have to answer for any disinclination to do so (I Cor. 9:16).
However, they that preach the gospel are supposed to live by it (I Cor. 9:13-14). This plainly
means that God intends that these men should not have to financially support themselves in other
ways. So the less available the men are that are consecrated to impart the characteristics of
Christ into the House of God, the less efficient the work of sons being produced may be.
The Lord is looking for a “wrinkle-less” and “blemish-less” Church (Eph. 5:27). Will the
institutional, program-based method enable the Church to fit those criteria? Or do the people of
God need vital relationships with elders who are available to mature them in the House?
YOU ARE UNDER A CURSE
The word “curse” in Mal. 3:8-12 causes offense to the mind of the current day believer and
disallows many of them from seeing the good in consistent giving of tithes or offerings.
Regarding the pronouncement of non-compliant ones being “under a curse”, God certainly is not
saying, “I’ll get you for withholding ten percent, and it’s going to hurt too” (smile)! Essentially,
what God is saying to his son is, “if you don’t give ten percent of your income, you won’t procure the specific favor that I’ve ordained to accompany your obedience in valuing and participating with My system of producing sons”.
Curse means, “to not favor”. Bless means “to favor”. So saints who don’t respond by tithing,
choose to operate outside of the particular favor of God’s guarantee or do so unawares. God’s
promise to favor one, who tithes, is only to encourage the believer to support the process He’s
designed. And as the scripture details, God chooses to display the reward of compliance, or else
there would be no evidentiary means for us to determine whether it is actually beneficial to
follow His directive or not.
BRING THE WHOLE TITHE INTO THE STOREHOUSE
The question that this portion of the passage begs is “if tithing is relevant for today, where is the
storehouse now”? The answer is the one who watches over the soul of the believer is their storehouse. Here’s justification for that perspective. The Hebrew word for “storehouse” is “owtsar”. In addition to meaning “the place where the money is stored”, here are several interesting definitions. The first additional meaning is “treasure” like a precious metal (gold or silver). In II Timothy 2:19-21, Paul says that in a large house (the Body of Christ) there are vessels or articles of gold and silver, but also of wood and clay; of either noble or ignoble purposes. Undoubtedly the mature elder is likened to a vessel of gold (which represents the nature of God) and/or silver (which represents the redemption of God). A vessel of wood or clay represents the raw material for the handiwork of God, which is the human nature (a saint needing greater maturity).
The elder is a “treasure” to the saint needing greater maturity. And the less mature is instructed by the scriptures to gladly enable the elder to attend to them.
The second additional meaning is supply of food or drink. Like Melchizedek, the overseer
brings sustenance to the ones under their care. Acts 20:28 and I Peter 5:2 show that feeding the
sheep is a principle function of the elders.
The third additional meaning is a magazine (arsenal) of weapons. The elder is the one who
trains the saint how not to attempt to fight the “enemy” by carnal means, but rather to utilize the
mighty weapons of the Spirit (II Cor. 10:3-6). God will regularly use the elder to impart wisdom
and gifts, which are weapons, to the saints for their establishment (Rom 1:11).
Lastly relative to the elders being the “storehouse”, reflect on I Timothy 5:17. Let the elders that
rule well (direct the affairs of the church-“called out ones”) be counted worthy of double honour,
especially they who labour in the word and doctrine. The Greek word for double (diplous)
actually means “doubled or twofold”. And the Greek word for honor (timé) primarily means “a
valuing by which the price is fixed”. I believe we know what the “fixed price” is. It is at
least ten percent.
MEAT (FOOD) IN MY HOUSE
According to this passage of scripture, there’s a direct correlation between tithes being
brought into the “storehouse” and “meat” being in the “house”. Very definitely the word
“House” in this discourse is descriptive of the Body of Christ at large.
See the following non-exhaustive list of scriptures for verification of that fact. I Timothy 3:15; Hebrews 8:8-13; Hebrews 10:15-26; I Peter 2:5 ; I Peter 4:17.
Clearly the use of the words “meat” or “solid food” in the scriptures is symbolic for doctrine that
it is palatable only for the mature (I Cor. 3:1-2 & Heb. 5:12-14).
Milk is metaphorical for simpler, more elementary truths from the scripture. From a natural perspective, humans graduate from milk to solids as they physically mature. Just as natural meats and solid foods contribute to a more adult-like physical body, spiritual meat causes a more spiritually mature Body of Christ.
And if “strong meat belongs to them who are of full age” (realized maturity – Heb. 5:14), then
they are the ones who can impart what is necessary to those who have the potential for full
Currently the Church places more value on a system that trains and employs professional
Ministers into an institutional religious arrangement than it does the time raising fathers and elders. I believe that is why there is so much milk being taught and so few mature saints being
produced. The elders of the Lord are duly supported, they will produce a significantly higher number of saints carrying the nature and glory of the Lord. And the end result will be a stronger, more mature Household in total.
TEST ME IN THIS
God is literally challenging the believers to comply and see if His system will work to their
benefit. Judging by the results of today’s religious system alone, we ought to see that tithing to
an institutional organization is not what God had in mind. But since the Lord is the same,
yesterday, today and forever (Heb. 13:8), He will honor His effective, longstanding fathering
The Lord promises in the Malachi 3 passage that we’ll receive more favor than we can contain.
The Lord promises to prevent demonic intervention in our increase. The Lord promises to
display us as favored of Him to every ethnic and cultural group so that He may be glorified.
These are not benefits for building the profile of a Christian leader, congregation or
denomination. These are the benefits of building the entire Body of Christ in a manner which
exalts the Lord and no one else! (Ephesians 4:11-16)
The fact that there isn’t a preponderance of scripture in the New Testament commanding
us to tithe does not equate to a prohibition against tithing. Where’s the start to finish
instructions on how to have a Christian meeting in the New Testament? But that definitely hasn’t
stopped us from creating a number of “how to” models that have far less scriptural support than
the proper practice of tithing.
Moreover, New Testament scripture relative to supporting fathers isn’t redundant due to the fact that there was no misunderstanding amongst the saints regarding the subject. It was a known fact that one tithes to the man who watches over them, as had always been the case with the people of God. Bear in mind, most of the New Testament writings are addresses of instruction to relatively new groups of believers. When you write to a group to instruct them, obviously you’ll put more emphasis on what they don’t understand so as to maximize your efforts.
If we attempt to discard tithing simply because it was a practice of the Law, we run into
problems. As you recall, the first converts to “the Way” were Jews who had been reared in the
Although the Law, as the means to relate to God has expired, not every element contained in the Law has gone by the wayside. Pastors, prophets, elders, worship, miracles and too many things to list here are original to the Old Testament. Yet we have no problem carrying these ideas into the New Covenant.
Indeed, there are a number of New Testament passages of scripture that underscore tithing
to men, not to institutions or organizations. I’ll briefly discuss a few here. As I stated before,
I Timothy 5:17-18 reveals that “the elders that rule well,” should be doubly valued by which the
price is fixed. I Corinthians 9:7-11 details that the individuals who have planted spiritual things
into you should harvest natural support from you. According to Acts 6:2-4, elders should spend
their time continually in prayer and the ministry of the Word in preparation to minister the
presence and wisdom of God to the people. I Corinthians 9:14 states that God has ordained that
those who preach the Gospel should live by it. How does one “live” (be financially maintained) by sporadic, situational support? Do any of us
believe that we can make “a living” through secular work if the pay is situational or sporadic? In
conjunction with the whole counsel of scripture on the matter, I believe that these passages may
now be seen in their proper context.
Now regarding II Corinthians Chapter 9, where much of the Church has developed their doctrine
relative to New Testament giving, this discourse was a specific instruction to the saints about
helping an impoverished group of Christians in Israel. This was not a general description on
how the Church was supposed to express all of its giving. This discourse is more generally
instructive on the topic of how to deal with “offerings”, not “tithes”.
As we have seen through the record of scripture, tithes have always been given to men (pre-
Law priests, Levites and New Testament elders). Offerings may be given to elders and to a
wider group. Offerings may be given in support of the poor, widows, other individuals who may
not be leaders and even projects that seem good to the people of God and to His Spirit.
Lastly, God wants sons (male and female). He provides mature ones to bring others to the place
of maturity. God is so serious about the process as to expect that the overseers are financially
supported in the work of maturing others. He promises to bless the less mature if they’ll both
submit to and fiscally support God’s process. And inevitably, in due time, God gets what He
wants sons excelling in character and supernatural ability, who make up a Kingdom of Priests.
Today, most church pastors hardly know the members of their congregation. Their relationship
is based on the importance of fulfilling a task or completing a project. The Pastor has little
knowledge of the desires, giftings or callings of the folks who sit and listen to his sermons.
Pastors need people to give monies to the church to sustain the programs and maintain the
building. They insist people pay their tithe and give offerings. Some even put “guilt trips” on
their flock to try to squeeze a little more money from the faithful.
Today we are in a New Season where God is restoring the hearts of the fathers to the
children, and the children to the fathers. (Malachi 4)
True fathers have an interest in their spiritual children. Spiritual fathers are trusted by their spiritual sons (both male and female). Fathers have time and interest in their sons. They help them discover their destiny and calling in the Lord and encourage them to move in that direction.
Spiritual fathers help people realize they are sons and not orphans. Through this nurture the spiritual son will begin to celebrate his sonship by giving to his spiritual father in much the same
way Abram did with Melchizedek. The spiritual father will in turn bless others of his sons with
finances to complete the work of bringing many sons to glory. Giving is not a sense of duty or
obligation but a celebration of the sonship the Lord has provided for us. Giving to someone you know cares for you and has time for you is the Biblical way to tithe