Can I give my tithe to someone?
The first time I heard this question was about 26 years ago. I was on campus walking, and I saw a sister carrying quite some load, so I went and helped carry her stuff to her room. She was someone I knew rather well though not a member of my own fellowship group. We chatted as we walked; after we dropped her stuff in her room and I turned to leave, she asked me, “Bro Bankie, can I give my tithe to someone.” That was the first time ever I was asked that question. The concept of tithing was relatively new among the faith and born-again Christianity in Nigeria then. By that time I was already a teacher and a fellowship president on campus, and I was already someone people asked doctrinal questions.
What did I answer? In summary I warned against legalism, that Christians should be free to walk in love and in the generosity that is required of us in Christ. It may not be the same words but the spirit of what I said is in this short message.
Oh, let me not forget to mention that she offered to give me some money after our talk, and this I gladly accepted since I actually needed it. I had asked the Lord to please send me some money. I suspect it was her tithe which she was asking about. She didn’t tell me so, I just assumed it afterwards.
So, can you give your tithe to someone?
Let’s get a few points correct. Are we tithing like Abraham or like Moses commanded? I suppose that every Christian will answer, “…like Abraham.” And that is good since we are not under the laws of Moses. The laws of Moses were commanded for the children of Israel as part of the covenant enacted on Sinai. Our own covenant is the New Covenant, it in the blood of Christ and has a different set of rules and codes. So it is easy to see that we are not following the codes of Moses. Yes, Abraham tithed before the Law and we are of the faith of Abraham. If we are tithing, we have to do it like Abraham and not as commanded by Moses.
So, how did Abraham tithe?
And Melchizedek, who was king of Salem and also a priest of the Most High God, brought bread and wine to Abram, blessed him… And Abram gave Melchizedek a tenth of all the loot he had recovered. Gen 14:18-20 GNT
Now, this is the only record we have of Abraham giving a tithe. Please note that he did not pay but gave. That difference is significant because it shows that it was actually a freewill thing; he was not under any law to do it. It was actually a gift of honour to whom honour was due.
So, we see that Abraham gave his tithe to someone. We are already answering the question. The person, Melchizedec, was a priest of the Most High God. Melchizedek, we know, is a former-days type of our Lord Jesus (Heb 7:3). The Lord Jesus is a priest after the order of Melchizedec. He, the Lord, has a new order of priests, and we are part of His priesthood (1 Pet 2:5, Rev 5:10).
Now if we want to be legalistic and follow the letter rather than the simple spirit of Abraham’s tithe, it means we have to give to our own Mechizedek, which is the Lord Jesus. Ok, but how do we go about doing this? How did the Lord Jesus say He collects his things? It is simple; it is through every one of His children.
"Then the righteous will answer Him, saying, 'Lord, when did we see You hungry, and feed You… And the King will answer and say to them, 'Truly I say to you, to the extent that you did it to one of these brothers of Mine, even the least of them, you did it to Me. Matt 25:37-40 NASB
It is clear therefore that if I gave something to a Christian in need, I have given it to the Lord Jesus Himself. No one can argue against that. All His children are priests under Him and are authorized therefore to receive gifts on His behalf.
To insist that the tithe belongs to the “house of God,” or the storehouse, referring to a church building or organization, is to be tithing like Moses commanded. That type is under the law.
Now, having said this, I have a problem with the spirit with which many people ask that question. Usually what they mean when they ask, “can I give my tithe to someone” is one of two things. One, they often mean “Can I pay God off by giving 10% to someone in need instead of taking it to church?” In effect they are limiting their giving to God to that tithe. They feel after that they are free of obligations. To this I answer that you cannot pay God off at any point, whether you take it to church or give it to someone. No Christian can ever pay God off with anything; there is no percentage less than 100 that is enough to satisfy Him. God owns you totally. The tithe of Abraham to Melchizedek was only a token of honour. That is why it was not recorded many times about him that he gave tenths. The reason was that he used other methods to show honour as the occasion served. Every important person at the time of Abraham gave a tenth when they needed to honour people; it was a custom in that region. What was significant was that Abraham gave his own to a priest of the Most High God. When the same Abraham decided to slaughter a choice calf to honour strangers, it was the same spirit. This time he didn’t do any calculation, he just took a gift from his substance.
So Abraham hurried into the tent to Sarah, and said, "Quickly, prepare three measures of fine flour, knead it, and make bread cakes." Abraham also ran to the herd, and took a tender and choice calf, and gave it to the servant; and he hurried to prepare it. And he took curds and milk and the calf which he had prepared, and placed it before them; and he was standing by them under the tree as they ate. Gen 18:6-8 NASB
If you are to tithe like Abraham, you cannot pay God off. You cannot satisfy your conscience like that, and there is no need to try. If someone is in need and you have the ability to meet the need, please do so, and don’t forget your church or your minister of the gospel later.
The second thing people often have in mind when they ask this question we are discussing is this; “can I take money I want to give to my church or to bless the pastor and give it to someone in need.”
This one is very easy to answer. Just switch around a bit and ask it like this. “Can I take money I wanted to give to my friend as a wedding present and give to someone with a more urgent need?” Or, “can I take from the money I planned to use to buy clothes for my wife and give to a man whose wife is in labour?” If we asked these questions like these, I think the answer is easy. For those who are still wondering what the answer is, it is this: “Yes, you can ‘borrow’ it and ‘pay back’ later.” The fact that you have given to a man in need doesn’t free you from giving your friend his wedding present. The fact that you have helped a woman in labour with the money only means the day of buying your wife the clothes has been postponed, but it will still be bought later. We are not trying to escape from any one of these obligations. The fact that you gave to someone in need doesn’t mean you have now been freed from your obligation to your church and your minister of the gospel.
By Otu Ndentuokit on 22 Dec, 2016
This is just at a right time. Thanks Papa Bankie
By Tassy AMUDA on 22 Dec, 2016
Hi Pastor Bankie,
The nation of Israel at that time was under a curse for breaking the laws of Moses, and God promised them that if they started obeying the law He would remove that curse. That was part of the things that happened when they broke the Law of Moses which they have sworn a covenant to. There is therefore now NO CONDEMNATION for those who are in Christ Jesus and who walk in the spirit of the law (Rom 8:1).
By Nmesomachi on 22 Dec, 2016
thanks to God who led me to kwm and pastor bankie.I have experienced a high level of growth and understanding of the scriptures.. long live pastor bankie
By kyrian mezuba on 23 Dec, 2016
thanks pst for that message on tithe. l have preached the same before but you see our people are made to believe that it is compulsory and l said no instead by freewill like Abraham even Jacob gave his tithe as vow. Now if you are in a situation where people are not willing to do it cos its not compulsory, what do you do?
If you say something is not compulsory, then all you can do is to encourage people with teaching of truth. If you teach the truth and encourage Christians to practice it, that is all you duty. The rest belongs to the Lord. Paul planted, Appolos watered, but it was God who gave the increase. You can't force anybody to do anything, only the Lord can touch the heart of His people
By Earnest on 23 Dec, 2016
wow!!! God bless you sir and increase you the more for shading light on this issues of first fruit and tithe. more grace sir,
By Philips E. on 23 Dec, 2016
The thing being preached and practised out there is appallingly different from what you teach, but you teach Scripture. I believe you not because I need an excuse not to tithe, but because I am set free by your words and the word from God is supposed to do that.
Please give to your church as a regular habit. It is not every time they will announce there is a need. Make giving to the place a REGULAR habit and increase it if a special need is announced. What do you call it? Well, I don't recommend any special name, but depending on the situation, you may oblige the elders and call it what they want. But I still believe, tithe or no tithe, giving should be done in privacy and not made a show of it. It is not a good habit for people to be going forward.
By Maurice Justine on 09 Jan, 2017
Good day Pastor. Thanks for this awesome revelation on Tithing. 2013 January was the first time I heard your message 'avoid the fear habit', and the words in it were strong and tough and they were the exact opposite of what my then Church teaches and after that I realise your teachings are based on the need for believers to know the truth and never out of selfish intent. So once again I really appreciate this HARD truth you revealed. May God keep Blessing you sir.
By M.D on 09 Jan, 2017
Dear Pastor Bankie,
Please read my books SO WHO WILL PAY FOR THIS?, and HOW TO WORK FOR GOD. Some of the books are available already as free PDF download on the books page of this website
By Utia Gaxton on 25 Jan, 2017
Pastor thank you for just delivering me from this legality issue and trying to settle God at the end each month. Now I know that God does not just own my money but me as well.
By Mr Tochukwu on 02 Feb, 2017
Every pentecostal preachers talks about tithing but you do not.Does it mean i shouldn't pay mine tithe regularly as quoted on Malachi 3?
To say "every" is a bit of a stretch; there are many pentecostal preachers who do not talk about it like that. To PAY as commanded by Moses, and reiterated by Malachi is not for Christians. Christians GIVE as they have decided after proper thinking. The New Testament tither is the generous giver. We must be generous and consistent givers, we give to our local churches and any other avenue where the Lord allows us to see the need and we have the ability to do it. It is free-will.
By Obiekwe Chukwuamaka on 11 Feb, 2017
Sir, I bless God for your life everyday. I started listening to you November 2014. Honestly, I don't have words to describe the change my life and family has experienced. With regards to the tithing, I was legalistic about it but now, I am a more generous person. Truth is, the knowledge of truth makes life easy and fruitful. I pray that truth will be preached in our churches.
By Amaka on 19 Feb, 2017
Good day sir,
It is clear what a tithe is. A sacrifice is anything you do for the Lord. Praise is a sacrifice; giving is a sacrifice, loving people is a sacrifice. A sacrifice does not have to be big to be a sacrifice. Whether it is painful or not does not make it a sacrifice. Once it is coming from you to the Lord, it a sacrifice. Pledges are promises. Churches and organizations accepts pledges so as know what to expect from contributors. A vow is usually something someone plans to do when a prayer has been answered. A vow is not necessary to have your prayers answered, as a Christian. The name of Jesus and faith are all that is needed for that.
By Precious Nwadimuya on 26 Feb, 2017
God bless U sir. I agree with you that the spirit behind those fighting "tithe" has become another extreme. However, I need clarification on the second assumption “can I take money I want to give to my church or to bless the pastor and give it to someone in need?” In answering, you said it remains a postponed debt. Now, the gift for the wife or friend can be postponed to a different month, skipping the month you used it for a more pressing need. But my tithe obligation to my church is monthly, can I meet that pressing need,skip my tithe obligation for d month & continue in another month?
If you make a promise to someone, can you cancel the promise because of an emergency? The answer is NO. But exigencies may make you postpone fulfilling the promise, but you will do as soon as you are able. It is not a law we are obeying but being kind hearted and using godly wisdom to help people and promote the gospel. We just need to always make giving a priority and not something we do only when it is convenient.