Rev. Jaerock Lee
Malachi 3: 7-10
“From the days of your fathers you have turned aside from My statutes and have not kept them. Return to Me, and I will return to you,” says the LORD of hosts. “But you say, ‘How shall we return?’  “Will a man rob God? Yet you are robbing Me! But you say, ‘How have we robbed You?’ In tithes and offerings.  “You are cursed with a curse, for you are robbing Me, the whole nation of you!  “Bring the whole tithe into the storehouse, so that there may be food in My house, and test Me now in this,” says the LORD of hosts, “if I will not open for you the windows of heaven and pour out for you a blessing until it overflows.”
Dear brothers and sisters in Christ,
We will stop the sermon series on Hell for a while and I will speak to you about the whole tithe and offerings for a couple of weeks. Then, after that I will talk to you about keeping the Sabbath holy. I once gave the sermons about tithes and offerings several years ago.
But even after the sermons there were many church members who asked questions about the whole tithe.
It is a touching thing for you to have such questions concerning giving God the whole tithe and offerings.
Though we will be stopping the sermon on Hell for a while, we can say this sermon series is also along the same line as the sermons on Hell.
Keeping the Sabbath, that is keeping Sunday a holy day, and giving the tithe are crucial in our Christian lives.
It’s because it’s directly related to our salvation.
To keep the Sabbath and give tithe is the proof that we have at least the minimum faith necessary to receive salvation. To be saved from Hell to go into heavenly kingdom, we must have faith.
But I am not trying to lay a burden on you with this sermon.
It is just to let you know clearly the way of salvation and the secret to receive true blessings.
Some believer’s faith is just too weak to be able to give the full tithe yet.
But what is more heartbreaking is the case of those believers who have faith but do not give tithe because they don’t know or understand the Truth.
They are trying to faithfully lead a believing life, but if they are not acknowledged by God and cannot receive blessings, what a pitiful situation that is!
In this message, I will explain to you in detail about the tithe with practical examples.
I hope through the message you will clearly understand about whole tithe and offerings and all of you will dwell in the will of God completely.
Above all, I urge you to understand why we give the tithe and offerings and give them to God with faith.
I pray in the name of the Lord that in doing so you will not just receive salvation and reach heavenly kingdom, but also fill your storehouse on earth as well.
Dear brothers and sisters in Christ, first, let us delve into the origin and concept of the tithe.
The “tithe” refers to giving one tenth of one’s income to God.
Then, when and how was this statute established?
The statute on tithes was officially established and the sons of Israel began to give it to God after the Exodus from Egypt.
Of course, in the Old Testament, in Genesis 14:20 or 28:20, we can find where Abraham and Jacob gave the tithe.
It means the patriarchs of faith had already realized that they had to give tithe even before it was established as official statute.
Because they loved God and clearly communicated with God, they knew that it was God’s will to give the tithe to Him.
God made the people spend the tithe that was given for accomplishing the works of God.
Today’s passage reading from Malachi 3:10 says, “Bring the whole tithe into the storehouse, so that there may be food in My house,”
Here, the storehouse is the storehouse in the Temple of God.
‘There may be food in My house’ has the physical meaning that there should be physical food, but also it has spiritual meaning.
Namely, God is telling us to let there be food of life, the spiritual food to give to many souls.
It means there should be no shortage in the Temple of God so that the people might revere God and souls could be saved.
During the Exodus, when this command was first given, the tithe given to God was spent for God’s kingdom.
After the Exodus, from among the twelve tribes of Israel, God set apart the tribe of Levi as His.
The sons of Levi had to do only the works that were in service to God. Among the Levites, Aaron and his sons were to continue to be the priests throughout the generations.
To the Levites other than Aaron’s sons, God gave the duties such as standing guard over the Temple or maintaining the various activities associated with the Temple.
So, after sons of Israel went into the Canaan land, the other tribes received their inheritance of land, but the Levites didn’t. Instead of the land, they were to receive the tithe and other offerings given to God by the people.
It is said in Deuteronomy 18:1-2, “The Levitical priests, the whole tribe of Levi, shall have no portion or inheritance with Israel; they shall eat the LORD’s offerings by fire and His portion. They shall have no inheritance among their countrymen; the LORD is their inheritance, as He promised them.”
Today, the same principle applies. For the pastors and Levites working in the church, God Himself is their inheritance.
Through the offerings the church members give to God, the storehouse of God, namely the church finance, is fulfilled, and from that the salaries for the pastors and Levites are given.
The church is taking the responsibility for their livelihoods so that they can concentrate on the works of God only, and those who receive from God’s money must not have any worldly jobs.
In case of missionaries, if they receive missionary offerings from the church, they have to concentrate on the missionary works only.
Of course, in case of the missionaries who support themselves, they can have other worldly jobs.
But what you have to remember is that we can never spend any money of God given as offerings for personal purposes.
We have to spend the tithe and offerings only for the works of God, namely things that are directly related with saving souls.
For example, in addition to the salaries for pastors and Levites, there are missionary works, church events, maintenance of the church, and charitable works.
Today, we see some churches that invest God’s money in worldly businesses to gain profit. But even though they may do good things with the profit, this is not right in the sight of God.
I hope you will keep in mind that God’s money is so holy and precious.
Dear brothers and sisters in Christ, tithe is a statute of God and it becomes the foundation of church finance.
But the reason why we have to give tithes is not just to support the church finance. There is a more important reason.
The first reason that we have to give tithe is that giving tithe is the proof that we believe in God.
In other words, giving tithe is one of the standards for salvation.
Today’s reading passage Malachi 3:8-9 clearly tells us about why the tithe is so closely related to salvation.
It says, “Will a man rob God? Yet you are robbing Me! But you say, ‘How have we robbed You?’ In tithes and offerings. You are cursed with a curse, for you are robbing Me, the whole nation of you!”
Not giving tithes and offerings is to rob God.
It is great sin to rob another person, and if we rob God, how great a sin that is!
Then, why is it considered as robbing God when we don’t give tithes?
In fact, whatever we gain with our sweat, 10 out of 10 is all God’s.
Hearing this, is there anybody who would wonder, “I worked to get it and it’s my income, so why is it God’s?”
For example, suppose a farmer worked hard and had a great harvest. But the farmer cannot say all the harvest is his.
It’s because he cannot get the harvest by the efforts of man alone.
The seed is made by God, and God is also the one who gives the soil, water, sunshine, wind, and rain for the seed to sprout and bear fruit.
It is also God who has given us health and the wisdom to do the work.
Of course, today, there are many kinds of jobs and there are many ways to earn money. But this principle applies to everything. In some way all industry is based in nature. Everything is nature is made by God.
After all, life itself and all things in this world came from God the Creator, and everything belongs to God.
It’s just that God lets us use and enjoy what is His to the extent that we work and toil while we are going through the human cultivation on earth.
To give the tithe is to acknowledge this fact, namely the tithe is acknowledging the sovereignty of God over all material things.
God has given His children so many things, but He made them give Him only the tithe.
After receiving all these things if we do not even give just the tithe, the least bit of offering, then what kind of heart do we have?
As God said, it is the heart of the thief.
Theft itself is a great sin, but the reason why it is great sin not to give tithe is because it proves that one doesn’t have faith.
The greatest sin of all is not to believe in God the Creator and His son Jesus Christ the Savior. If we do not believe in God, we have nothing to do with salvation.
But is there anybody who thinks, “I surely believe in God, so why is it said that to give tithe is to believe in God?”
God is sprit, and how can we who have physical bodies believe in God who is spirit?
God proved and showed His love by sending His precious Son Jesus, and Jesus proved His love by laying down His life for ours.
It’s the same with us. While we have this physical body and live in this space of 1st dimension, one of the most important ways to show our hearts is in material things.
By giving very precious material things, we can show our faith and love to God.
Of course, other than material things, we can express them with worship, prayers, praising, faithfulness, and charitable works. Also, each person’s value is different.
But material things to a great extent are comparable to life itself for most people.
Jesus also said in Matthew 6:21, “for where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.”
Therefore, if we truly believe in God, we will give the tithe, which is the minimum proof of our faith.
Of course, the act of giving the tithe alone will not decide whether or not salvation will be received.
Some people give tithes with two-faced hypocrisy because of the eyes of other people. This kind of tithe is not done with faith, and it has nothing to do with God.
Or, some people can give tithes with faith, but they don’t do it because they don’t know the truth clearly. Some say we give tithes just to receive blessings.
Some even teach that you will receive blessings by giving tithes, but you don’t really have to do it.
What we have to remember is that no matter how much we work for God, if we don’t give tithes, it’s either we cannot be saved or we will just receive shameful salvation.
And this shameful salvation is granted to those who didn’t give because they didn’t know the truth clearly.
It applies to those people who didn’t give because they didn’t know, but have the heart to give the whole tithe if they realize the truth.
You already learned what the will of God is and what the Truth is.
Therefore, I urge you to turn back and obey the word of God, even if you have not been giving tithes until now.
In doing so, I pray in the name of the Lord that you will be held by the cord of love of God and reach perfect salvation.
Brothers and sisters, God who is our Father, has no needs.
God doesn’t command us to give tithes and offerings to gain something from us. God gave us the statute on the tithe to give His children blessings.
The second reason why we have to give tithes is to receive blessings. God does not tell us to give Him tithes to lay a burden on us.
Today’s passage Malachi 3:10 says, “Bring the whole tithe into the storehouse, so that there may be food in My house, and test Me now in this,” says the LORD of hosts, “if I will not open for you the windows of heaven and pour out for you a blessing until it overflows.”
God so earnestly wants His children to believe this promise and obey that He even told us to test Him!
In Matthew 4:7 Jesus said, “You shall not put the Lord your God to the test.”
Also, we cannot please God without faith.
But in the case of tithes, God tells us to even test Him!
He wants even those who have no faith, but doubt what He says, to test Him so that they can believe and obey.
It’s the love of God the Father who wants to save them and bless them even through such extreme measures.
Parents always want to give the good things to their children. Likewise God also wants to give only good things to His children.
But even though He wants to give to us as much as possible, He cannot just give because there is justice in God’s kingdom.
If God gives blessings to His children without any proper reason, the enemy devil, Satan will object to it. Therefore, there must be a reason by which He can give us blessings.
It’s a law of nature that fruit will be born only after we sow the seed and the seed sprouts. It’s the same in the spiritual realm.
Galatians 6:7 says, “…for whatever a man sows, this he will also reap.” We have to sow the seed of blessings to receive blessings.
To have the basis for God to give blessings, He commanded His children to give Him the minimum, and that minimum is the tithe.
God let us give Him just the minimum seed to give us abundant blessings at proper times. Therefore, we can be surely recognized as God’s children only when we give the whole tithe. Then, we can receive the blessings that God the Father gives to His children.
Of course, the amount of blessings or the time for blessings may be different from person to person. It’s because God gives to each one the best things at the most appropriate times.
I hope you will be able to feel this love of God who wants to give blessings to His children through tithe.
Dear brothers and sisters in Christ, they say it’s very difficult for young people nowadays to get a job.
In this kind of difficult time, suppose a certain company has guaranteed jobs to everyone who takes a test.
The employee benefits are OK and the jobs also have a future. Then, wouldn’t many young people take this company’s test?
The tithe commanded by God is same as this opportunity. God has promised to give us many blessings, but only if we give tithes.
Why don’t we just do it? It’s never any loss for us.
If we just keep the Sabbath holy and give whole tithe, God protects us from disease, calamities, and accidents, so that we won’t have any unexpected expenditures.
He will instead fill us abundantly. Most importantly and above all else, our souls will prosper every day, and He allows us to take hold of better heavenly dwelling places by force.
He lets us enjoy amazing blessings that cannot be compared with any blessing on this earth.
Numbers 23:19 says, “God is not a man, that He should lie, nor a son of man, that He should repent; has He said, and will He not do it? Or has He spoken, and will He not make it good?”
I pray in the name of the Lord that you will rely on this God who keeps His promises and who is full of love so that you will receive overflowing blessings.