I can already see people sitting up with their hairs on their necks standing up straight. All you need is another person to go of about your finances. I believe you will be disappointed to see what I am going to say about it. It will not be your standard Malachi 3 verse 10 sermon, as that verse will be dealt with at the end of this chapter.
During the first sitting of the Church synod in Acts 15, we find certain decisions that the apostles decided on. These were the only decisions recorded by the synod, and the only ones enforced on the early believers of Church. What does that scripture actually say: “For it seemed good to the Holy Ghost, and to us, to lay upon you no greater burden than these necessary things; That ye abstain from meats offered to idols, and from blood, and from things strangled, and from fornication: from which if ye keep yourselves, ye shall do well. Fare ye well.” (Acts 15:28-29)
Where do we start?
Lets begin at the beginning, in other words the Old Testament or covenant and its prescriptions. What you are going to read, might even shock you, but that is what is declared in the Bible.
The legal prescriptions
In order not to cause any confusion, I will quote the scriptures in totality, and I would like to ask you to read it very carefully. I know we have all read these scriptures, but read it and let it sink in. “Thou shalt truly tithe all the increase of thy seed, that the field bringeth forth year by year. And thou shalt eat before the LORD thy God, in the place which he shall choose to place his name there, the tithe of thy corn, of thy wine, and of thine oil, and the firstlings of thy herds and of thy flocks; that thou mayest learn to fear the LORD thy God always. And if the way be too long for thee, so that thou art not able to carry it; or if the place be too far from thee, which the LORD thy God shall choose to set his name there, when the LORD thy God hath blessed thee: Then shalt thou turn it into money, and bind up the money in thine hand, and shalt go unto the place which the LORD thy God shall choose: And thou shalt bestow that money for whatsoever thy soul lusteth after, for oxen, or for sheep, or for wine, or for strong drink, or for whatsoever thy soul desireth: and thou shalt eat there before the LORD thy God, and thou shalt rejoice, thou, and thine household, And the Levite that is within thy gates; thou shalt not forsake him; for he hath no part nor inheritance with thee. At the end of three years thou shalt bring forth all the tithe of thine increase the same year, and shalt lay it up within thy gates: And the Levite, (because he hath no part nor inheritance with thee,) and the stranger, and the fatherless, and the widow, which are within thy gates, shall come, and shall eat and be satisfied; that the LORD thy God may bless thee in all the work of thine hand which thou doest.” (Deuteronomy 14:22-29)
Did you know that the Israelites had to eat their tithes, which comprised of their first fruits, and that only a portion of the third year’s tithes was for the Levites? If you were a farmer and had 100 sheep, of which 6 had lambs for the first time with no twins, then your tithe would have been 6 lambs. This meant that you could eat all six during the year, as long as it was not the third year, the year of the tithes, when the six lambs would have to go to the Levite, the poor, the widows, and the strangers. Why did they have to eat it? In order to have food. They were not allowed to use their total crop for commercial reasons, and then ended up with nothing to eat. No, they had to keep the first born as food for themselves.
The third year’s tithes, the year of the tithe, also had very strict rules that they had to abide by. “When thou hast made an end of tithing all the tithes of thine increase the third year, which is the year of tithing, and hast given it unto the Levite, the stranger, the fatherless, and the widow, that they may eat within thy gates, and be filled; Then thou shalt say before the LORD thy God, I have brought away the hallowed things out of mine house, and also have given them unto the Levite, and unto the stranger, to the fatherless, and to the widow, according to all thy commandments which thou hast commanded me: I have not transgressed thy commandments, neither have I forgotten them: I have not eaten thereof in my mourning, neither have I taken away ought thereof for any unclean use, nor given ought thereof for the dead: but I have hearkened to the voice of the LORD my God, and have done according to all that thou hast commanded me. Look down from thy holy habitation, from heaven, and bless thy people Israel, and the land which thou hast given us, as thou swarest unto our fathers, a land that floweth with milk and honey.” (Deuteronomy 26:12-15)
It is again emphasised that the Levites should only receive part of the third years tithe. So, the Israelites had to take two thirds of their tithes over a three-year period, and eat it, and a third had to be split four ways, for the Levite, the fatherless, the stranger and the widows. We also have to remember that the Levites included all the musicians, the helpers, everyone who had to work at the temple or teach the families.
It is also mentioned in Numbers that the Levites had to give a tithe of their tithe to the High Priest and the other priests doing duty at the temple. “Thus speak unto the Levites, and say unto them, When ye take of the children of Israel the tithes which I have given you from them for your inheritance, then ye shall offer up an heave offering of it for the LORD, even a tenth part of the tithe. And this your heave offering shall be reckoned unto you, as though it were the corn of the threshingfloor, and as the fulness of the winepress. Thus ye also shall offer an heave offering unto the LORD of all your tithes, which ye receive of the children of Israel; and ye shall give thereof the LORD’S heave offering to Aaron the priest. Out of all your gifts ye shall offer every heave offering of the LORD, of all the best thereof, even the hallowed part thereof out of it. Therefore thou shalt say unto them, When ye have heaved the best thereof from it, then it shall be counted unto the Levites as the increase of the threshingfloor, and as the increase of the winepress. And ye shall eat it in every place, ye and your households: for it is your reward for your service in the tabernacle of the congregation. And ye shall bear no sin by reason of it, when ye have heaved from it the best of it: neither shall ye pollute the holy things of the children of Israel, lest ye die. “(Numbers 18:26-32)
One point that we can learn from the quoted scriptures is that it is my responsibility to take care of those who do not have the means to take care of themselves. I must ensure that everyone has food to eat and to be able to make ends meet.
So, to summarise this section. The Israelites had to take their first fruits and tithes of grain to the place appointed by the LORD, and had to eat it there. If this was to much for the party, they could exchange it for money and then treat themselves to whatever they desired. The third years’ tithe had to go to the Levites and for the underprivileged.
What was the purpose of the Levites?
Have you ever wondered what their purpose was, and why they never received an inheritance in Canaan? Numbers 4 gives us the answer. “And when Aaron and his sons have made an end of covering the sanctuary, and all the vessels of the sanctuary, as the camp is to set forward; after that, the sons of Kohath shall come to bear it: but they shall not touch any holy thing, lest they die. These things are the burden of the sons of Kohath in the tabernacle of the congregation.” (Numbers 4:15) “At the appointment of Aaron and his sons shall be all the service of the sons of the Gershonites, in all their burdens, and in all their service: and ye shall appoint unto them in charge all their burdens.” (Numbers 4:27) “And this is the charge of their burden, according to all their service in the tabernacle of the congregation; the boards of the tabernacle, and the bars thereof, and the pillars thereof, and sockets thereof, And the pillars of the court round about, and their sockets, and their pins, and their cords, with all their instruments, and with all their service: and by name ye shall reckon the instruments of the charge of their burden.”(Numbers 4:31-32)
From these scriptures we see that they had to carry the tent and tabernacle from one place to another. That was their task in the desert, but once they entered into Canaan, each family were assigned a Levite to teach them the Law of Moses, and to bring the sacrifice of the family to the LORD. The amazing fact is that when Moses counted the Israelites, the firstborn from every family, which belonged to the LORD, and the number of Levites were just about the same at 22,000. This meant that every household got their own Levite to look after. This was the reason Israel had to give the third year’s tithe to the Levite, as he had to have enough to live from and to support his own family.
The view of Hebrews
Hebrews changes all these rules again, as we find that Jesus was from the tribe of Judah, and thus the rules surrounding sacrifices and tithes had to change. But what does it inform us? “And verily they that are of the sons of Levi, who receive the office of the priesthood, have a commandment to take tithes of the people according to the law, that is, of their brethren, though they come out of the loins of Abraham: But he whose descent is not counted from them received tithes of Abraham, and blessed him that had the promises. And without all contradiction the less is blessed of the better. And here men that die receive tithes; but there he receiveth them, of whom it is witnessed that he liveth. And as I may so say, Levi also, who receiveth tithes, payed tithes in Abraham. For he was yet in the loins of his father, when Melchisedec met him. If therefore perfection were by the Levitical priesthood, (for under it the people received the law,) what further need was there that another priest should rise after the order of Melchisedec, and not be called after the order of Aaron? For the priesthood being changed, there is made of necessity a change also of the law. For he of whom these things are spoken pertaineth to another tribe, of which no man gave attendance at the altar. For it is evident that our Lord sprang out of Juda; of which tribe Moses spake nothing concerning priesthood.” (Hebrews 7:5-14)
The book of Hebrews explains from chapter six verse 10 up to the end of the book the priesthood of Melchisedec, which Jesus came to establish. We find that there was never a priesthood like this before, but, that is the priesthood we as new covenant Christians should belong to. The writer explains that we have to believe that Jesus came to fulfil the earthly rules of the tabernacle as depicted in scriptures, as He Himself became both sacrifice and High Priest. From this we can then establish that Jesus annulled the need for the Levites. This in turn means that we do not have to pay the Levites any longer to do their job. Remember the scripture where Jesus declared that He will destroy the temple and rebuild it in three days? This is what He did, and with it went the need to pay the Levites.
The whole book of Hebrews is written to explain that Jesus came according to the priesthood of Melchisedec. Before the Levitical priesthood was instituted by Moses, another priesthood existed where these priests were appointed by the LORD. In chapter 7 of Hebrews, the writer explains that no tithing applied to these priesthoods, but that Abraham still gave a tenth to the priest of his spoils. The only reason Abraham gave, was because he knew that Melchisedec was appointed by the LORD. Jesus came not as priest, but as High Priest according to the order of Melchisedec to establish a new dispensation where no prescribed laws are valid any longer, and at the same time declared the old Levitical priesthood that was governed by laws and various washes, null and void. I therefore no longer can go to the Old Testament to see what applies today, as those laws prescribed by Moses were fulfilled by Jesus when He established the New Covenant.
Chapter 13 gives us the new commandments of the New Covenant: “Let brotherly love continue. Be not forgetful to entertain strangers: for thereby some have entertained angels unawares. Remember them that are in bonds, as bound with them; and them which suffer adversity, as being yourselves also in the body. Marriage is honourable in all, and the bed undefiled: but whoremongers and adulterers God will judge. Let your conversation be without covetousness; and be content with such things as ye have: for he hath said, I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee. So that we may boldly say, The Lord is my helper, and I will not fear what man shall do unto me. Remember them which have the rule over you, who have spoken unto you the word of God: whose faith follow, considering the end of their conversation. Jesus Christ the same yesterday, and to day, and for ever. Be not carried about with divers and strange doctrines. For it is a good thing that the heart be established with grace; not with meats, which have not profited them that have been occupied therein. We have an altar, whereof they have no right to eat which serve the tabernacle. For the bodies of those beasts, whose blood is brought into the sanctuary by the high priest for sin, are burned without the camp. Wherefore Jesus also, that he might sanctify the people with his own blood, suffered without the gate. Let us go forth therefore unto him without the camp, bearing his reproach. For here have we no continuing city, but we seek one to come. By him therefore let us offer the sacrifice of praise to God continually, that is, the fruit of our lips giving thanks to his name. But to do good and to communicate forget not: for with such sacrifices God is well pleased. Obey them that have the rule over you, and submit yourselves: for they watch for your souls, as they that must give account, that they may do it with joy, and not with grief: for that is unprofitable for you.” (Hebrews 13:1-17) Verses ten and eleven explains to us the Jesus was the sacrifice that was slain outside the camp, the offer no one had the privilege of eating, as it was burnt outside the camp. The blood from this sacrifice was then used by the high priest to enter into the holiest of hollies. This is the sacrifice Jesus came to fulfil, and that is the reason He was slain outside Jerusalem. You and I then have to go outside to the cross and get forgiveness for our sins. Once we have laid down our lives at the cross, we have free entry into the holiest of hollies to God the Father. I now do not have to pay the Levites any longer to do this for me. I can and must do it.
New Testament obligations
How do we then work with our finances? Jesus gave us the answer in Mathew. “Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye pay tithe of mint and anise and cummin, and have omitted the weightier matters of the law, judgment, mercy, and faith: these ought ye to have done, and not to leave the other undone. (Matthew 23:23) We see in these scriptures that the Pharisees even brought tithes of things not prescribed in the law of Moses, but they neglected the other tasks they had to do. Remember the third year’s tithes had to be shared between the Levites, the widows, the homeless and the fatherless. They were so busy impressing everyone with their sacrifices that they did not even bother about making a difference in the lives of everyday people. Jesus tells them what is the most important aspect of being a child of God, and that is to see that others are well looked after, and not bringing tithes to the priests.
This scripture is used by some churches to declare that even Jesus said that you should bring tithes. Wrong. Jesus was still alive and could not tell them not to bring tithes, as that would have meant that He would tell them to sin against the law. Jesus himself was born under the old covenant, and was circumcised as part of this covenant. We have just seen in the book of Hebrews that only when Jesus died, did the new covenant start with the priesthood of Melchisedec. In this priesthood there is no need to pay the Levites to sacrifice on our behalf. We are priests ourselves.
Jesus gave us some guidelines as to what is acceptable: “Then shall the King say unto them on his right hand, Come, ye blessed of my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world: For I was an hungred, and ye gave me meat: I was thirsty, and ye gave me drink: I was a stranger, and ye took me in: Naked, and ye clothed me: I was sick, and ye visited me: I was in prison, and ye came unto me. Then shall the righteous answer him, saying, Lord, when saw we thee an hungred, and fed thee? or thirsty, and gave thee drink? When saw we thee a stranger, and took thee in? or naked, and clothed thee? Or when saw we thee sick, or in prison, and came unto thee? And the King shall answer and say unto them, Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me.” (Matthew 25:34-40) This is the sacrifice acceptable to the LORD.
This scripture is a confirmation of Jeremiah 7. “For if ye throughly amend your ways and your doings; if ye throughly execute judgment between a man and his neighbour; If ye oppress not the stranger, the fatherless, and the widow, and shed not innocent blood in this place, neither walk after other gods to your hurt: Then will I cause you to dwell in this place, in the land that I gave to your fathers, for ever and ever.” (Jeremiah 7:5-7). The Bible wants to teach us here that we have to do what the LORD requires. We cannot bribe the LORD with our sacrifices. He examines the heart, to find the motive behind the action.
Paul gives us a guideline as to what we should contribute as part of the new covenant. “For if there be first a willing mind, it is accepted according to that a man hath, and not according to that he hath not. For I mean not that other men be eased, and ye burdened: But by an equality, that now at this time your abundance may be a supply for their want, that their abundance also may be a supply for your want: that there may be equality:” (2 Corinthians 8:12-14) The LORD does not expect from you to give if you do not have anything to give. No, He wants us to be equally yoked. He wants us to give in order that there should be equality between people. If you are blessed with lots, it is required of your to give to those who have not, in order for them to be able to give to you again at a time when you are in need.
How did the first Church do it?
“And all that believed were together, and had all things common; And sold their possessions and goods, and parted them to all men, as every man had need. And they, continuing daily with one accord in the temple, and breaking bread from house to house, did eat their meat with gladness and singleness of heart, Praising God, and having favour with all the people. And the Lord added to the church daily such as should be saved.” (Acts 2:44-47)
So how should we live then as new covenant Christians? Have you ever wondered why we find some people that are clever and others who are not? Then we get people who are good business people, and others that do not have an idea of how to do business. Paul, in the preceding scripture, gives us the answer. If I am good in something, then I have to help others who have a need in that area. And this does not only cover finances.
Why do I have to share my money with someone else? Firstly, the first church did it. What did Jesus declare the summation of the law is? You have to love the LORD God with all your heart, and your neighbour as yourself. If I now decide to keep everything I receive from the LORD to myself, then I am not doing the second part, the part concerning my neighbour. That is one reason. Another reason is that I can use it to spread the Gospel. When I start living the life as discussed in Acts, I will know when the people I meet with on a daily basis has a need. This way I will allow myself to be used by the LORD to bless these people. I am then starting to live the Gospel, and the LORD is then in a position to channel more and more through me. I cannot make a difference in someone’s life if I keep on ignoring my neighbour and his needs.
And what about the income for the local congregation?
Where would their money come from to see to the needs of the pastor? Paul was very specific on this issue. “For it is written in the law of Moses, Thou shalt not muzzle the mouth of the ox that treadeth out the corn. Doth God take care for oxen? Or saith he it altogether for our sakes? For our sakes, no doubt, this is written: that he that ploweth should plow in hope; and that he that thresheth in hope should be partaker of his hope. If we have sown unto you spiritual things, is it a great thing if we shall reap your carnal things?” (1 Corinthians 9:9-11). Verse 14 continues with this: “Even so hath the Lord ordained that they which preach the gospel should live of the gospel.” Paul in the book to Galatians also expounds on this subject. “Let him that is taught in the word communicate unto him that teacheth in all good things.” (Galatians 6:6)
What about a building to gather in? That is something the local congregation has to decide about. If everyone agrees that a building is required, then everyone should share the cost. That is the way the Israelites shared the responsibility when they returned from being exiled in Babel. You can read the full story in Nehemiah. No tithes were used for this.
Tithes were meant to supply food for the tribe of Levi who did not receive an inheritance in Canaan. It also had to provide for widows, orphans and the stranger. Everything took the form of a sacrifice. It was given to people as food, although it was also meant as a sacrifice unto the LORD for forgiveness of sins. The book of Hebrews informs us that Jesus brought the final offer and was accepted by the Father. I do not need to pay someone any longer for bringing sacrifices to the LORD for forgiveness of sins. So what do I have to do? I have to ensure that everyone, the pastor included, have clothing to wear and food to eat. I have to ensure that there is equality. I also have to ensure that the person who teaches me, does not have a shortfall, but that he shares in everything I have.
The last question: How much do I have to give? That we can establish equality amongst all believers. Nobody should have a want, the pastor included. That gets rid of all the arguments surrounding this subject. Then we do not have to argue if it is before or after tax, including or excluding all my fringe benefits, etc. I have to give wherever I see a need. The LORD has to use us as His hands and feet.
And now on to Malachi.
Why do the church then still use this scripture. The only reason I can think of, is that they must be mistaken, and think that they are talking to Jews in a synagogue, as that is where it can still be used. But even the Jews won’t believe it, as they at least know Malachi from chapter one to chapter four. If we look at the introduction of all the chapters of Malachi, we will find that chapter one is aimed at the everyday person, while from chapter two to three is aimed at the priests. “The burden of the word of the LORD to Israel by Malachi”. (Malachi 1:1). “And now, O ye priests, this commandment is for you.” (Malachi 2:1). That is the only reference in this book to whom the message is addressed. I would recommend that you read all four chapters of Malachi. You will then see that chapter one is aimed at the Israelites as He tells them that He still loves them, but accuses them of bringing sick and lame animals as sacrifices. This already tells us that the priests were telling them that it does not matter what state the sacrifice is in they bring to the LORD. This informs us what their inner state was, they were paying lip service to the LORD.
In chapter two we find that the prophet tells the priests that they are supposed to act as teachers. “For the priest’s lips should keep knowledge, and they should seek the law at his mouth: for he is the messenger of the LORD of hosts.” (Malachi 2:7). The prophet now spells out to them what is wrong with them. “But ye are departed out of the way; ye have caused many to stumble at the law; ye have corrupted the covenant of Levi, saith the LORD of hosts. Therefore have I also made you contemptible and base before all the people, according as ye have not kept my ways, but have been partial in the law. Have we not all one father? hath not one God created us? why do we deal treacherously every man against his brother, by profaning the covenant of our fathers? Judah hath dealt treacherously, and an abomination is committed in Israel and in Jerusalem; for Judah hath profaned the holiness of the LORD which he loved, and hath married the daughter of a strange god. The LORD will cut off the man that doeth this, the master and the scholar, out of the tabernacles of Jacob, and him that offereth an offering unto the LORD of hosts. And this have ye done again, covering the altar of the LORD with tears, with weeping, and with crying out, insomuch that he regardeth not the offering any more, or receiveth it with good will at your hand. Yet ye say, Wherefore? Because the LORD hath been witness between thee and the wife of thy youth, against whom thou hast dealt treacherously: yet is she thy companion, and the wife of thy covenant. And did not he make one? Yet had he the residue of the spirit. And wherefore one? That he might seek a godly seed. Therefore take heed to your spirit, and let none deal treacherously against the wife of his youth. For the LORD, the God of Israel, saith that he hateth putting away: for one covereth violence with his garment, saith the LORD of hosts: therefore take heed to your spirit, that ye deal not treacherously. Ye have wearied the LORD with your words. Yet ye say, Wherein have we wearied him? When ye say, Every one that doeth evil is good in the sight of the LORD, and he delighteth in them; or, Where is the God of judgment?” (Malachi 2:8-17). From these verses we know that the priests were doing things totally contrary to what they were supposed to. But this is not the end.
In chapter three we find that the prophet informs them that the LORD is going to send someone to judge them. “Behold, I will send my messenger, and he shall prepare the way before me: and the Lord, whom ye seek, shall suddenly come to his temple, even the messenger of the covenant, whom ye delight in: behold, he shall come, saith the LORD of hosts.” (Malachi 3:1) The next couple of verses deals with what the messenger will do, and only then do we find verses eight and nine, the ones used by most pastors to get money from their congregations. But, the message is to the priests, and is about the tithe that they were supposed to give to the high priest, as that is the only tithe they had to give. Remember Numbers 18? It has nothing to do with you as an ordinary person, but everything to do with them as priests. Malachi then continues in his attack on the priests. “Ye have said, It is vain to serve God: and what profit is it that we have kept his ordinance, and that we have walked mournfully before the LORD of hosts?” (Malachi 3:14). This whole section of Malachi is a word from God against the priests, and has nothing to do with you. He tells them their heart is wrong, and they do whatever they feel like.
The book of Malachi then ends with a prophesy about the coming of the LORD Jesus Christ, and what His purpose will be. That He will establish a new order, and that we will see the difference between those that know the LORD and those that don’t. Why? Because we will see it in the lives of people. They will do what the LORD expects of them, and that is to make a difference in the world.
The whole book of Malachi is not about bringing your money to the church, unless you are a Levite or Jewish priest, or if you have not heard about Jesus yet. It doesn’t have anything thing to do with bringing your whole tithe to the church, as even in those days you were to leave your tithe at the entry into the city where the widow, orphan, and Levite had to collect their tithe. This means that you don’t have to feel guilty next time you are confronted with this passage, as the person who does that, exposed himself as someone who does not know the Bible.
What sacrifices, both old and new testament, are acceptable to the LORD?
For thou desirest not sacrifice; else would I give it: thou delightest not in burnt offering. The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit: a broken and a contrite heart, O God, thou wilt not despise.
The LORD is nigh unto them that are of a broken heart; and saveth such as be of a contrite spirit.
By him therefore let us offer the sacrifice of praise to God continually, that is, the fruit of our lips giving thanks to his name.
Did you know that the LORD was not interested in, neither did he ask for any sacrifices? “Thus saith the LORD of hosts, the God of Israel; Put your burnt offerings unto your sacrifices, and eat flesh. For I spake not unto your fathers, nor commanded them in the day that I brought them out of the land of Egypt, concerning burnt offerings or sacrifices: But this thing commanded I them, saying, Obey my voice, and I will be your God, and ye shall be my people: and walk ye in all the ways that I have commanded you, that it may be well unto you. But they hearkened not, nor inclined their ear, but walked in the counsels and in the imagination of their evil heart, and went backward, and not forward. Since the day that your fathers came forth out of the land of Egypt unto this day I have even sent unto you all my servants the prophets, daily rising up early and sending them:” (Jeremiah 7:21-25)
Another scripture that is even more condemning that this is the following: “Wherefore I gave them also statutes that were not good, and judgments whereby they should not live; And I polluted them in their own gifts, in that they caused to pass through the fire all that openeth the womb, that I might make them desolate, to the end that they might know that I am the LORD.” (Ezekiel 20:25-26). Remember that all that opened the womb the first time had to be sacrificed to the LORD. However, this scripture says that anything that went through fire, and meat has to go through the fire to cook, causes death. Why did the LORD give them commandments that lead to death? Because he looks at the heart of people, the reason we do things. So my request is that you should look at the reason why you handle your finances the way you do. If you tell me that you tithe and can show me that it works, I know it does. God set a commandment in order for it to work. But I want to ask you to rather believe in Jesus and Him as sacrifice.
Let us ask the LORD what and how we should live our lives, as we will then be a nation holy unto Him.
What about the sowing and reaping principle? The Bible declares that the LORD loves the cheerful giver. If you want to sow, choose wisely, and do not sow in someone else’s field that has nothing to do with your life.
This paragraph was added quite a long time after writing the original article, after meditating on the subject again. What you read in the original article is correct, but we have to add a couple of points. If you do not belong to a congregation, you are free to give where you see fit. Just remember the basic guidelines of the Bible, and that is to give to the poor, the less privileged (widow and orphan), and the stranger (those without an income). If you are a member of a congregation, it will be the way Samuel told the Israelites, in that the king (your congregation or group) will take your contribution. “And he will take the tenth of your seed, and of your vineyards, and give to his officers, and to his servants.” 1Sa 8:15. If you do not do as your king tells, you are in rebellion, and the LORD will deal with you accordingly. Your king will however be judged one day as is explained in Ezekiel 34.
The last paragraph I am writing as a prayer. If you want to, you can pray it. “Father God, we come to you in the Name of Jesus Christ our Saviour, who purchased us with His blood on Calvary. He paid the final sacrifice for us, which You accepted. Father I now ask you to break every curse that was ever put on my finances through ignorant people. I ask You to break the hold of Satan on my finances, as I did not know what the Bible actually taught. I ask that every blessing you have for me, will now manifest in my life. Thank you LORD that we can know that you are a rewarder of those who seek you. Amen.