To Tithe the Tithe!
Give these instructions to the Levites: When you receive from the people of Israel the tithes I have assigned as your allotment, give a tenth of the tithes you receive—A TITHE OF THE TITHE—to the LORD... You must present one-tenth of the tithe received from the Israelites as a sacred offering to the LORD. This is the LORD’s sacred portion, and you must present it to Aaron the priest. Be sure to give to the LORD the best portions of the gifts given to you (Num 18:26-29 NLT).
Out of interest the same Scripture in the Message Bible reads: “When you get the tithe from the People… you must tithe that tithe and present it as an offering to GOD. Your offerings will be treated the same as other people's gifts…This is your procedure for making offerings to GOD from all the tithes you get from the People… give GOD's portion from these tithes to Aaron the priest. Make sure that GOD's portion is the best... and holiest of everything you get (Num 18:26-29).
One of the questions that I had for many years regarding finance was in relation to “Does a leader need to tithe the tithe?” The answer to this is found right here in Numbers 18:26-29 where the Levite priests were commanded to pay a tithe from the tithe that they received from the people and give it to Aaron. We can call this, “The Aaron’s Tithe.”
And we see very clearly that the Priests lived off of the tithe, something that we must be clear about in our teaching when we teach on the subject of God’s ways of Financial Increase. Then in regard to church leadership, pastors and directors of Christian organizations or apostolic networks, the principle remains the same; that if we teach one thing and then excuse ourselves because of our preference of position – this is completely hypocritical.
Many pastors of churches give offerings (but they don’t necessarily tithe) – like for example towards the random itinerant ministry gifts that come through and ministers in their churches, including towards their own structural developments and outreach projects. Now of course these things are wonderful but it is not what God was instructing in Numbers 18:26-29; and such ‘gifts’ are geared to sure up one’s own agenda rather than giving the best and holiest to God, which is what tithing for leaders on this level is all about.
Now developing the Vision that God has given us is not wrong in itself, nor is it wrong encouraging our members to give into certain projects that in turn will enhance them. And yes teaching our people to tithe and give offerings into the storehouse so that there is meat in God’s house and an open heaven where they can prosper is all good. On the other hand however when you step back and look at this theory, superficially it all looks wonderful when actually it is also teetering over the trap of deception.
For instance I believe that in these end times not only will there be a greater development of networking, where ministries are concerned, but also the network of spiritual fathering via the Apostolic Ministry. I believe that it’s important to remain connected, committed and under the right structural covering. For example every leader or pastor needs to be in a relationship that is accountable in an apostolic way.
Even as an apostolic itinerant ministry myself, I can say that my wife and I are committed to other leaders that God has directed us to be accountable to, including our own Pastor who is our Apostolic covering. And this carries the point over that not only are our individual members called to be responsible through their connection with their local church and with their leadership, but we as ministers also must experience connectedness with the wider Body and specifically apostolically, because essentially the life flow of God’s anointing and blessing comes so richly and through these avenues of: connectedness, apostolic relationship and unity (Psalm 133: 1, 3).
And while it’s important to teach our lay people all about tithing we also, as organizational leaders, ministries and churches also ought to be tithing faithfully to God through “tithing the tithe” to those whom God has specifically connected us to apostolically speaking. As leasders we are not “exempt” from tithing, rather we should be “exemplary” in it by giving tithe to the “Aaron” that God has specifically placed in our lives. So… this is where we place the tithe of the tithe – not to random itinerant ministries or events (that flow in and out of our lives without accountability). When we tithe in a correct manner, we are tithing the best of the best “unto the Lord.” And to this you might say, “well I’m connected and in relationship with so many!” While this might be correct, ask yourself, of all those you are “connected” to who is your Pastor or Apostle? Who has been assigned to be an Aaron in your life? This is something that has to be settled between you and God and not something you can change or rearrange, (like the goal posts) when it suits you!? Again the question has to be asked, “who do you ultimately submit to besides the Lord? & who represents God in your life? Who can speak for Him when you are not seeing straight?”
We are discussing a certain figure in your life who goes beyond mere acquaintance or friendship; someone who has a “voice” into your life, a voice that holds considerable “weight” when it really matters? Whoever that person is, then this is where you should be tithing your tithe (the best and holiest part of everything given to you….v29) to honor the Lord. And I don’t mean your wage; I mean 10% of the income of the WHOLE of your ministry or church. Re-read Numbers where is says “the best of everything.”
I stress this is not an idea of mine that I have stumbled across, nor is it an effort to conjured up finances for my own ministry! As much as I relish the support that we so need, I am rather forced to correct an “incorrectness” that exists in the Body by addressing this subject and using very clear scriptural instruction to do so, that is very often if not all but swept under our religious and proverbial carpet! (We often conveniently sidestep such issues especially those that threaten our personal economy and create a levy upon our finances!?)
But if we will obey scripture on this point, then this will not only release an open heaven over our personal lives as ministers but will flow down through every branch of our Vision (it is our tithe that opens up the floodgate.) And then of course our offerings that go to those random itinerant ministries on occasion, can still bring a harvest of supply to our ministries and churches that will positively affect all of our people and only then will we be living what we teach.
Finally, let me finish by adding that what I find as I travel is that many pastors have the attitude that their ministry should be the only ministry within the church that should receive a wage, yet let me ask the question, “IS THIS GOD’S WAY?”
I don’t believe it is. Because what we have is various ‘ministry gifts’ starting churches in order to finance their ministry! They play the role of a pastor with the notion that this is the only way to fund their true ministry identity. People have hidden behind the safe title of “Pastor” for generations because it is unassuming and less offensive. Nevertheless it is unscriptural for ‘everyone’ to relinquish their true identities and callings within the Body in order to become Pastors. Its ludicrous and only with a restoration of all-things-apostolic can these haphazard notions be lifted. It has caused internal restrictions within the Body of Christ, not allowing gifts to function as they truly should and as God designed to best benefit the whole Church.
Clearly then what is really needed is a return towards the apostolic and apostolic teams working together within the Body, where all gifts are recognized and can enhance one another to create a balanced fivefold ministry for its people. With a financial structure capable of supporting it with regular income and causing each ‘gift’ to thrive and not just ‘survive’ in the wrong position.
God has made every provision for us to be successful and to remain so. My ministry motto has always been; “His voice is all the provision you need.” Because every instruction we need is right within His Word. If we fall short, it is only when we negate on that Word or fail to obey it…!
PRAYER FOR THE DAY
Father thank you for the financial structure which you designed for your Body; Your Word works for those who work it and I thank you that all things work together for good for those who love you and are called according to your purpose (Rom 8:28). Thank you that I can be accountable with my finances and in so doing perfect order is created. You are not the author of confusion; in Your Kingdom is righteousness, PEACE and joy. Father reveal to me the “Aaron” that you have specifically placed into my life, not of my own choosing but of Yours; I want to honor You correctly with my finances just as you instructed. Amen
CONFESSION OF THE DAY
Today I declare that Jesus is Lord. Not just of my spirit, soul and body but also of my finances, including everything I earn or own. God knows who my “Aaron” is and through that avenue I will give the tithe of the tithe and honor God as is expected of me in His Word. I will give God the best of the best of “everything” that is given to me, in Jesus Name.
THANK YOU FOR HELPING TO MAKE THIS MINISTRY POSSIBLE!
WE LOVE YOU…!
Motto: ‘God Chooses, then the Spirit Tests, but You Must Respond!’
Copyright 2010 © Alan Pateman Ministries