“Your words have been strong and arrogant against Me,” says the LORD. “Yet you say, ‘What have we spoken against You?’ You have said, ‘It is vain to serve God; and what profit is it that we have kept His charge?’” Malaichi 3:13-14.

Today your LORD (יהוה) God (אלוהים) says:

Most people today do not see any importance or benefit to tithing. They see it as taking away from what they own. They ask questions like, “Do I have to tithe my gross income or just the net after taxes and payments for health care, retirement plan, and other deductions from my paycheck?” The one who asks questions like this has no understanding of tithes and offerings. Such a one has no honor for Me in that he does not know or understand that he is alive as a gift from Me and all he has is from Me and sustained by Me every moment. If he did, he would know that tithes and offerings are more important for your provision, protection, and increase then the salary you make, gross or net.

I have given man dominion over the earth and the works of My hands, but it is a leasehold interest with a term certain and a license agreement to use all I have made and put in the earth for life and godliness as your own. I explained this to My prophet Isaiah, and My Son, who speaks My Words to you as one like you, explained this as well in the parable about an owner of a vineyard who provided all the equipment needed for the vineyard to be a productive and fruitful business. He then leased it out to tenant farmers to run the business. The owner expected a share of the grapes when they were harvested. But the tenants refused to give the owner his share and even beat, abused, and killed the messengers he sent to collect the tithe. Finally the owner sent his beloved son thinking they would respect and be grateful to him for the use of the vineyard which was their livelihood, but instead they murdered him thinking that then they would inherit the vineyard fee simple with no royalties required. Mark 12:1-12. They cared nothing for the owner. But it was the owner who was giving them their very life. They were ungrateful fools (the fool says in his heart there is no God) and a fool, in trying to take all, loses all.

Jesus then asked those who heard the parable he told, who were the religious leaders of that day, what they thought the owner of the vineyard should do about the tenants who would not tithe to the owner. And guess what they replied?

The religious leaders replied, “He will put those wicked men to a wretched end and lease the vineyard to others who will give him his share of the crop after each harvest.” Matthew 21:41.

The vineyard would be legally taken away from those unworthy tenant farmers, for without paying the lease rent of the tithe (license fee, royalty), they had no rights to be there and in justice it had to be taken away from them and given to someone who would faithfully tithe the increase to the owner. They would have lost in court and been evicted.

But let us stop here for a moment. I want you to understand that this parable is not just about paying the tithe because the religious leaders of that day were very careful to pay tithes, Jesus once complemented them on their tithing to the smallest details of their income but He found fault that they did it without love and honor in their hearts. It was all for show or just rote ritual. Their hearts were far from Me.

“But woe to you Pharisees! For you pay tithe of mint and rue and every garden herb, and yet disregard justice and the love of God; but these are the things you should have done without neglecting the others.” Luke 11:42.

He did not say they should not tithe, in fact, He reinforced that they should, but not without neglecting the more important matters of justice, mercy, faithfulness, and love. Matthew 23:23. They claimed to be the anointed priests and leaders but they did not have My love in their hearts. The anointing is My love in your heart poured there by My gift of the Holy Spirit. I am not seeking lip service only, I am seeking heart service and that is the spirit of faith, you believe in your heart and speak with your mouth. You cannot please Me without faith. I am the rewarder of those who seek Me with their heart.

It comes back to love again. Anything done without love means nothing to Me. You will notice in the parable of the tenant farmers that they had no gratitude or love for the owner who gave them everything all prepared for them to profit. But they did not want to acknowledge him as the source of the good they had and wanted to run it without him and without giving him any return. They had no heart to serve him but only themselves. And that was what Adam and Eve did to Me as well. They decided they could run the world without Me by eating the tree that belonged to Me. They ate the tithe. They gobbled up the part I had set apart as sacred to My dominion, to Myself. I kept one tree and gave them all the rest as blessed.

I counseled My people to separate the tithe and first fruits unto Me and take them to the place I had designated for offerings, but you must understand that the tithe came back to benefit them as well and not just in the open windows of Heaven and the rebuking of the devourer but also in that it supported their place of worship, their place of offering sacrifice for sin so that they could walk with Me in love. It kept the lamps on the golden lampstand burning constantly, it provided for the morning and evening offering upon the bronze altar covering their sins and saving the nation every morning and evening. It supported the priests to teach them My Word, to judge legal matters, and to show them My ways. It had their place of prayer ready and waiting should an enemy attack, like under the reign of Jehoshaphat when they all rushed to the temple to call on Me to rescue them and I responded immediately. The tithe kept the house in repair, the priests ministering, the sacrifices being offered, and the singers and musicians praising 24/7 (under David’s reign).

And I would let My people eat of their tithe with the priest, the Levite, the widow and the orphan at the gates of My house when they came on pilgrimage to bring them into My house.

You shall surely tithe all the produce from what you sow, which comes out of the field every year. You shall eat in the presence of the LORD your God, at the place where He chooses to establish His name, the tithe of your grain, your new wine, your oil, and the firstborn of your herd and your flock, so that you may learn to fear the LORD your God always. Deuteronomy 14:22-23.

The tithe also benefited the widows and the orphans, those that I supported through the giving of My people.

“When you have finished paying all the tithe of your increase in the third year, the year of tithing, then you shall give it to the Levite, to the stranger, to the orphan and to the widow, that they may eat in your towns and be satisfied. Deuteronomy 26:12.

I described for My people the way to set out their tithe before Me and I will now share it with you. You may like to go over this with your household before going to church and tithing so that your hearts are prepared.

“Then it shall be, when you enter the land which the LORD your God gives you as an inheritance, and you possess it and live in it, that you shall take some of the first of all the produce of the ground which you bring in from your land that the LORD your God gives you, and you shall put it in a basket and go to the place where the LORD your God chooses to establish His name. You shall go to the priest who is in office at that time and say to him, ‘I declare this day to the LORD my God that I have entered the land which the LORD swore to our fathers to give us.’ Then the priest shall take the basket from your hand and set it down before the altar of the LORD your God. You shall answer and say before the LORD your God, ‘My father was a wandering Aramean, and he went down to Egypt and sojourned there, few in number; but there he became a great, mighty and populous nation. And the Egyptians treated us harshly and afflicted us, and imposed hard labor on us. Then we cried to the LORD, the God of our fathers, and the LORD heard our voice and saw our affliction and our toil and our oppression, and the Lord brought us out of Egypt with a mighty hand and an outstretched arm and with great terror and with signs and wonders; and He has brought us to this place and has given us this land, a land flowing with milk and honey. Now behold, I have brought the first of the produce of the ground which You, O LORD have given me.’ And you shall set it down before the LORD your God, and worship before the LORD your God; and you and the Levite and the alien who is among you shall rejoice in all the good which the LORD your God has given you and your household.” Deuteronomy 26:1-11.

You separate the tithe as holy unto Me and do not use it for anything except the holy. All that glitters is not gold. My Word is better than heaps of finest gold, it is My Word that heals and delivers you.

“When you have finished paying all the tithe of your increase in the third year, the year of tithing, then you shall give it to the Levite, to the stranger, to the orphan and to the widow, that they may eat in your towns and be satisfied. You shall say before the LORD your God, ‘I have removed the sacred portion from my house, and also have given it to the Levite and the alien, the orphan and the widow, according to all Your commandments which You have commanded me; I have not transgressed or forgotten any of Your commandments. I have not eaten of it while mourning, nor have I removed any of it while I was unclean, nor offered any of it to the dead. I have listened to the voice of the LORD my God; I have done according to all that You have commanded me. Look down from Your holy habitation, from heaven, and bless Your people Israel, and the ground which You have given us, a land flowing with milk and honey, as You swore to our fathers.’” Deuteronomy 26:12-15.

It is a time for rejoicing over all the ways I have provided for you by offering the first fruits, the tithe, and the offering, it is a time for us to reaffirm our commitment and love for one another in the honor of the tithe.

“This day the LORD your God commands you to do these statutes and ordinances. You shall therefore be careful to do them with all your heart and with all your soul. You have today declared the LORD to be your God, and that you would walk in His ways and keep His statutes, His commandments and His ordinances, and listen to His voice. The LORD has today declared you to be His people, a treasured possession, as He promised you, and that you should keep all His commandments; and that He will set you high above all nations which He has made, for praise, fame, and honor; and that you shall be a consecrated people to the LORD your God, as He has spoken.” Deuteronomy 26:16-19.

The tithe is holy and it sets you apart as holy to Me, and your tithe to Me sets Me apart as holy to you. It is a ceremony of mutual promises made in faithfulness and love.

“I will espouse you to Me forever; yes, I will espouse you to Me in righteousness and in justice, in lovingkindness and in compassion, and I will espouse you to Me in faithfulness. Then you will know the LORD.” Hosea 2:19-20.

An open Heaven over you, espoused in Covenant to Me forever. And you will all know Me from the least to the greatest.

“It will come about in that day that I will respond,” declares the LORD. “I will respond to the heavens, and they will respond to the earth, and the earth will respond to the grain, to the new wine and to the oil, and they will respond to Jezreel (God who sows seed).

David was a prophet and he understood this. Remember his prayer from when he offered so extravagantly to the building of a house for Me?

“But who am I and who are my people that we should be able to offer as generously as this? For all things come from You, and from Your hand we have given You. For we are sojourners before You, and tenants, as all our fathers were; our days on the earth are like a shadow, and there is no hope. O LORD our God, all this abundance that we have provided to build You a house for Your holy name, it is from Your hand, and all is Yours.” 1 Chronicles 29:14-16.

You pay taxes to the land in which you are a citizen on earth, you tithe your increase to them for the work of keeping the country running. You are also citizens of the Kingdom in Jesus, and you tithe your increase there as well for the work of My Kingdom upon the earth. For all the earth is Mine but you are My special treasure. The tithe prays, “Your Kingdom come, Your Will be done on earth as it is in even.” Your tithe has a voice and a part to play just as your taxes do. And if you do not pay your taxes, there are not only interest and penalties imposed, but the government tax department can garnish your wages, your bank accounts, your business income, and lien your real estate and foreclose on your property until the debt you owe on your increase is paid. And the government does not just get a tithe from your wages but also from any increase or income you make, even capital gains on sales of property you already paid for.

Give to Ceasar what is Ceasar’s but give to Me what is Mine. Do you see there is more there then you think when Jesus told them about paying taxes to the government. You also have a King in Heaven to whom you must render accounts.

Now look again at My promise for tithers:

“Will a man rob God? Yet you are robbing Me! But you say, ‘How have we robbed You?’ In tithes and offerings. You are cursed with a curse, for you are robbing Me, the whole nation of you! Bring the whole tithe into the storehouse, so that there may be food in My house, and test Me now in this,” says the LORD of hosts, “if I will not open for you the windows (floodgates) of heaven and pour out for you a blessing until it overflows. Then I will rebuke the devourer for you, so that it will not destroy the fruits of the ground; nor will your vine in the field cast its grapes,” says the LORD of hosts. “All the nations will call you blessed, for you shall be a delightful land,” says the LORD of hosts. Malachi 3:8-12.

I will open the floodgates of Heaven and pour out a blessing you cannot contain when you tithe and give offerings. How is that? You have paid the license fee, the royalty due, to access all that is Mine to use as your own. You have acknowledged Me and My rights as owner of all and I in turn have given you access to all. You have legally opened up your right to use all that is in the source.

And you continue that right as you acquire more and more by the 10% on all increase off the top. When the first is offered, then the rest is blessed. If the first is not offered, the rest is under the curse for you are using it illegally and it can be taken from you. You have no legal right to use it. You have robbed Me. And you have set yourself into enemy territory for the devil is a thief and a robber from the beginning.

And that leads to the next promise to tithers, and it is a legal right.

“Then I will rebuke the devourer for you, so that it will not destroy the fruits of the ground; nor will your vine in the field cast its grapes,” says the LORD of hosts.

If you are a tither, then in any battle against you to take what is yours, I, the licensor and owner, will step in and declare it is your legal right to have that property, healing, idea, or blessing, and rebuke your adversary and he cannot take it away from you. Case dismissed and he must flee. There is no snatching out of My hand. In My hand you receive all that is therein. Put all you have in My hands by the tithe. When you put in the first, the rest is there as well for protection and multiplication.

Do you remember when on the hillside with a crowd of well over 5,000, Jesus took five small loaves of bread and two fish and looked up to Me, thanked Me and blessed them and they multiplied. Once He placed them in My Kingdom, once He transferred them into My hand, then came the increase. But where did they come from to get into the hands of Jesus? The little boy to whom they belonged had tithed his provisions to Me by placing them in the hands of Jesus for the service of the people. Jesus then held them up to Me, and I in turn gave the little boy twelve baskets full of leftovers from what he had sown and grown in the Kingdom. He tithed to the great High Priest of your confession and it came back a blessing he could not contain. He had opened the windows of Heaven over that gathering on the hillside of Galilee.

Remember, you brought your tithe in a basket to the High Priest and he held it up to Me and you were blessed.

Satan hates the tithe and will do his best to give you reasons you cannot bring Me the whole tithe, and certainly not offerings as well. But, as in any legal battle, you must answer your adversary and hold on to what is yours, or you will lose it by default. You must answer. And what is your answer to the devourer? “Oh no you don’t! I have tither’s rights to that and you cannot take it from me!”

It has pleased Me to give the little flock My Kingdom and all therein.

In the body of Christ, you want to encourage all your fellow members to tithe for the good of the whole so there is no sin in the camp. Do you remember what happened when Achan took from the sacred portion of the conquest of Jericho set aside to go into My treasury as the first fruits of the conquest of the cities of the Promised Land as his own and hid it in his tent? Joshua 6:17-19.The Israelites were defeated in their next battle before an enemy with less men in their army than they had. And I called it sin in the camp and it had to be taken out before they could continue on as more than conquerors. Joshua 7:1-26.

Remember the declaration of the tithe in Deuteronomy 26 that I shared in this Life Lesson? “I have not kept the sacred portion in my house or eaten it.” Selah.

I love you and that is why I give you the tithe. I want to give you all I have and all I own as yours but not so you can turn your back on Me and throw Me out of the vineyard I have planted for your profit so you can gobble it all up and share it with no one. I love a cheerful giver. I can pour out on you a blessing you cannot contain and know you will use it well. When you give glory to Me, I give glory to you and to every member of the Body as well. Encourage one another to good works while it is still day before the night comes on when no man can work. The good you sow will profit all.

As each one has received a special gift, employ it in serving one another as good stewards of the manifold grace of God. Whoever speaks, is to do so as one who is speaking the utterances of God; whoever serves is to do so as one who is serving by the strength which God supplies; so that in all things God may be glorified through Jesus Christ, to whom belongs the glory and dominion forever and ever. Amen. 1 Peter 4:10-11.