Some say we're not under it, some say we are. Some say it never changed because it was here BEFORE the law. Some say that grace-giving REPLACED law-tithing, while others say the issue of tithing all boils down to simple obedience - whether under law or under grace. Some say God will bless you if you tithe, others say you should or should not tithe because you're ALREADY blessed. Some say we don't need to tithe because we're not instructed to do so in the after-the-cross scriptures, while others say that since God's word doesn't change we shouldn't either. Some say 10% should be given to God, while others say that God owns 100% of everything anyway.
bring ye all the tithes into the storehouse Malachi 3:10
according as he purposeth in his heart 2 Corinthians 9:6-7
Some feel guilty because they DON'T tithe, some feel guilty because they DO. Some reject tithing though still using a 10% guideline, some let "grace" motivate them to give next to nothing.
Through it all there remains a confusion regarding the tithe, not only because we don't know what it means under grace, but also because we really don't know what it meant under LAW. What I mean by that is in order to understand how the tithe relates to the NEW covenant we have to understand first how it related to the OLD. Our confusion is founded upon the false assumption that tithing was primarily a matter of giving. It wasn't.
For the Law, since it has only a shadow of the good things to come and NOT the very form of things,
things which are a mere shadow of what is to come; but the substance (literally, 'body') belongs to Christ Colossians 2:17
On a sunny day you cast a shadow. The shadow is not you, but merely a transient silhouette of you (I hope I'm not rattling any cages with that bit of info ... haha!). The things of the Law are to Christ as your shadow is to you. Did you follow that? In other words, the shadow of Christ preceded His coming in the form of the things of the Law. For Israel under the law, this shadow was the clearest picture they had of the life of God. The outline of God's glory may have been incredibly majestic, but still, what kind of a relationship do you suppose one could have with a shadow? Get the picture? :)
There was also a majestic beauty found in the shadowy feature known as the tithe, but it has been distorted to the point where it is barely recognizable. How? It has been forced where it does not belong - as a round peg in a square hole. You see, even though the priests were supported and the temples were built from the proceeds something far deeper had been embedded into the psyche of the nation through this thing called the tithe. Unfortunately, because it has been assumed that God designed the tithe primarily as a means of providing for the needs of the priesthood, the Levites and the temple, the real purpose has taken a back seat.
Thus all the tithe of the land, of the seed of the land or of the fruit of the tree, is the Lord's; it is holy to the Lord Leviticus 27:30
Here in a nutshell is the truth of the tithe. And if you've heard any sermons on tithing you've almost certainly heard this verse. Now, what I'd like to know is how something so familiar is so overlooked. You see, we don't need any new information, just a long, hard examination of the obvious: The tithe is THE LORD'S; it is HOLY TO THE LORD.
But doesn't God own everything? Of course. You know, it wasn't GOD who needed the shadow revelation, it was something given to the people to cause their hearts to long for the reality to come! For through the tithe they came to understand that the ordinary becomes extraordinary simply because it is GOD'S!
Those who tithed their substance to God found themselves blessed, while those who stole that which was holy found themselves cursed. Through most of their history, Israel dared not to even touch that which was declared as holy before the Lord. Even pagan nations learned that to steal the holy things of the God of Israel brought dire consequences.
So, is the tithe about money? Not hardly! Physical possessions? No way! The tithe is about that which has been taken from out of the world and has been given to God! It is that which now belongs to God. It is that which is holy, which means that it is set apart or separated unto God. The fact that the things tithed to God were no different from the rest is of utmost importance.
Why is the tithe not even once mentioned after Jesus rose from the grave? Isn't it obvious? The shadow was no longer needed, for the reality had come! Don't you get it? CHRIST is the man who has been separated unto God! Therefore, those who are IN Christ have also been removed from out of the world and separated unto God!! The new creation in Christ is the Lord's, WE are HOLY to the Lord! The tithe has been fulfilled.
What about the giving of our substance? That's another issue altogether! :)