Family Church

Kingdom Economics
Part 2: Tithing & Firstfruits

By Andy Elmes

Resources Kingdom Economics
Part 2: Tithing & Firstfruits
Tithe means the tenth or first fruit/part of something.

Tithing is the act of returning to God what is Hi; we don’t give our tithes; we pay them. To give what is required or expected is not a gift or seed.

Key verses on tithing: Malachi 3:8-12 (NIV)
Key points made in Malachi:
  1. According to Malachi, not tithing is robbery

  2. We are to bring (return) all the tithes to God

  3. Tithes are to come into His storehouse (the Church)

  4. This is the only place in the Bible where God invites a man to test Him.

  5. Tithing causes a multi-faceted effect of increase and protection in and over a person’s life which goes beyond money alone.

Tithing is not an Old Testament reality or a law.
  • Tithing is an ongoing active principle rather than a previously given law

  • Its origins – The first act of tithing was done before the law by Abraham, a man walking in Promise and Grace, not law and obligation

  • Abraham tithed 430 years before the Mosaic Law was given. – Genesis 14:18-20

  • It was an act of victory and faith, not fear and desperation

  • The tithe was given to Melchizedek (A type of Christ). We tithe to the Body of Christ (the Church) 

  • Tithes are received here on earth by man but also by God. Hebrews 7:8

  • Jacob tithed – Genesis 28:20-22

  • Jesus encouraged the tithe – Matthew 23:23

Another term used for ‘tithes’ is ‘first-fruits’
Key Verse that qualifies this: Proverbs 3:5-10

Key points

  1. Don’t handle your finances with your wisdom. Instead, be wise with His wisdom

  2. A matter of cause and effect – Blessing following your faith and obedience

Understanding God’s love of firsts
  • Firstborn – Exodus 13:2 (livestock and people)

  • Firstfruits – Exodus 23:19 (first not last, brought to God’s house).

A principle that is seen through scripture:
  1. Garden of Eden – The first tree was His; the rest was theirs.

  2. Cain and Able – An issue of firsts – Genesis 4:3-5

  3. Promised land – Jericho was His; the rest is theirs

  4. The teaching of Exodus regarding first born and first fruits

  • The tithe was holy – Leviticus 27:30

  • We don’t return tithes. We don’t give them.

  • A matter of a person’s internal heart response – widows offering – Mark 12:42-44

A matter of percentage, not amount.
  • Tithe was about the percentage and not the amount

  • This means that no one was excluded if the amount was too much

  • God gives a level playing ground for all to tithe

Where does the tithe belong?
  • The tithe belongs in the storehouse.

  • Your local place of fellowship and feeding.

  • Offerings are to be sent to other places and activities. Your tithe belongs to the local church to resource the church

  • Many churches are left begging because of a lack of understanding of this

  • God’s plan for funding and resourcing His Church.

Don’t lose sight of the 90%
  • Sometimes greed, fear or insecurity, over the 10% can cause a person to miss the promise concerning the remaining 90%

  • Principle of first fruits – what is sacrificed in the tenth redeemed the rest

What does tithing do:
  1. Honours God for who He is

  2. Demonstrates trust and faith in God

  3. Acknowledges the source of your provision

  4. Resources the Church (takes care of His bride).

  5. Tests our hearts – priorities, securities, loyalties and affections

  6. Opens the windows of heaven

  7. Affects and redeems the rest (If the root is holy, so are the branches. Romans 11:16)

  8. Prepares the ground for the seed we sow

What are things that stop a person from tithing?
  1. Ignorance

  2. Lack of faith

  3. Greed

  4. Fear

How to start tithing or how to correct a tithe
  1. Re-budgeting

  2. Re-prioritising your finances

  3. Start a faith journey to 10%

Remember, this is the only thing in the Bible that God invites you to test Him in, so why not go ahead and do it?

He is not doing this because He has a need, but because He wants to set you up to meet all of yours.

17th July 2022