To introduce the concept of tithing we will need to briefly touch on the prosperity gospel mentioned in a previous chapter, The Narrow Way. There are countless sermons which could be offered on the subject, but we will use only this one due to how succinctly it illustrates the modern method of “tithing”.
On Sep 9th 2015, Joseph Prince gave a sermon at Hillsong, London . This sermon can be found on YouTube and other sites. Please take a few minutes to watch the entire sermon to gain a perspective on what we are referring to in this chapter. (see endnote 9)
Joseph began by using Hebrews 5:10-12 to claim anyone who does not tithe 10% to the church is a baby who is only capable of drinking milk. Alternatively, those who have ears to hear Joseph Prince and his message are the individuals capable of eating solid food as a mature and faithful believer. Audacious words, Mr. Prince… let us now open our bibles and study together. We will begin where Joseph Prince began in Hebrews 5.
“and was designated by God to be high priest in the order of Melchizedek. 11We have much to say about this, but it is hard to make it clear to you because you no longer try to understand. 12In fact, though by this time you ought to be teachers, you need someone to teach you the elementary truths of God’s word all over again. You need milk, not solid food! 13Anyone who lives on milk, being still an infant, is not acquainted with the teaching about righteousness. 14But solid food is for the mature, who by constant use have trained themselves to distinguish good from evil.” (Hebrews 5:10-14; NIV)
So, what is this “solid food” Mr. Prince is referring to? It is the offering Abraham gave to Melchizedek – 10% of the spoils of war (Genesis 14:20; Hebrews 7).
Mr. Prince compares the act of Abraham giving Melchizedek the spoils of war (Genesis 14:20; Hebrews 7), to the “solid food” of Hebrews 5. And those who do not tithe 10% to where Mr. Prince tells them to tithe are the “babies” who can only drink milk because they are not yet mature enough to eat meat. He states that if you tithe 10% you will be “under the blessings of Abraham”. If you tithe to Joseph Prince, you will receive a financial return on your spiritual investment. Well, in fact… he is correct. False tithing does make prosperity teachers rich, so he is in effect partly telling the truth. But their earthly prosperity is not the inheritance of Abrahams blessing. Anyone who loves the truth can see how these false teachers twist scripture to suit their own interests.
In addition to Genesis 14 and Hebrews 7, teachers will often use Haggai 1:1-11 and John 10:10 to promote “church” tithing.
The prophet Haggai was given a message that the people were spending too much time on their own houses while the destruction of the temple lay in ruins (Haggai 1:4-9). Some will use this verse in Haggai to claim if we do not tithe to the church house, God will not give us “his blessings”. This teaching is passed down through the ranks of believers leading to various churches, websites, and YouTube pages proclaiming the same message . This zealous yet deceived young woman claims Haggai 1:9 is referring to the money you bring home as a Christian is based on the money you have given as a 10% tithe to the temple. She clearly states, “the church is the temple”, which means somebody had to have taught her to believe such a thing because such a teaching is not found anywhere in the bible. No, dear friends. Our body is our temple (John 2:21; 1 Corinthians 6)
“What? know ye not that your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost which is in you, which ye have of God, and ye are not your own? 20For ye are bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body, and in your spirit, which are God’s.” (1 Corinthians 6:19-20)
This young woman’s teaching of 10% is 100% wrong. The context of Haggai 1 is as follows. Those who returned from exile had not given any thought to rebuilding the temple which lay in ruin. They were using their income (the increase from their fields and the works of their hands) to build new houses for themselves instead of rebuilding the temple, and therefore, the crops were not coming in to their fullest measure due to droughts and pestilence. This is not a passage about how modern Christians will receive a return on their financial investment based on a 10% tithe given to the church house of their choosing. This verse is referring to a temple in ruin caused by the people’s sins. It is very sad to hear the preachers she has been listening to have taken this passage out of context and deceived her into believing such a false doctrine.
What is probably the most popular scripture used for the 10% prosperity teaching can be found in the tenth chapter of John. “I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly.” (John 10:10)
What these wolves in sheep’s clothing are not telling you is that the life Jesus Christ is referring to is the next life – a life with him in paradise. As the Lord clearly states, “My kingdom is not of this world” (John 18:36). If Jesus wanted us to have a “more abundant life” hear in the church age, why then did he die on the cross and leave us to the work of serving others in sacrifice? Unfortunately, these prosperity teachers continue to preach a return of rewards in this life and in this world in direct opposition to the teaching of the coming kingdom of God. Which is what Jesus Christ is referring to in John 10:10 – the next life. Having money is not all bad, as we will see. But expecting a direct increase of wealth because you were swindled into giving 10% of your income to your favorite prosperity teacher… well, that is a lie created by Satan. We must come to understand what tithing is truly supposed to represent.
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 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tu6tulAAiLg “Joseph Prince: Why Tithing Isn’t For Everyone (Live at Hillsong London 2015) – 9 Sept 15”
 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=m9IvYgPtPMM “The Importance of Tithing/Offering-Haggai 1:9| Karli Castellon”
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