By pattern and principle, the tithe is not only 10 percent of all our income but it’s also called the “first fruits.” Therefore it’s the first, and best, of all our income.
In this same pattern we know that Jesus, the son of God, is the first born son who is the best of all born and He was given so that we could be purchased and redeemed. He fits the pattern of the tithe. Jesus is God's tithe used to redeem the world. When we tithe our first 10 percent to God's house, God blesses the 90 percent that remains so we can do more for Him...not less.
Look at these scriptures in Colossians concerning Jesus' position as first and best:
“We ask God to give you complete knowledge of his will and to give you spiritual wisdom and understanding. Then the way you live will always honor and please the Lord, and your lives will produce every kind of good fruit. All the while, you will grow as you learn to know God better and better.
For he has rescued us from the kingdom of darkness and transferred us into the Kingdom of his dear Son, who purchased our freedom and forgave our sins. Christ is the visible image of the invisible God. He existed before anything was created (first) and is supreme (best) over all creation, for through him God created everything in the heavenly realms and on earth. He made the things we can see and the things we can’t see— such as thrones, kingdoms, rulers, and authorities in the unseen world. Everything was created through him and for him. He existed before anything else (first), and he holds all creation together. Christ is also the head of the church, which is his body. He is the beginning (first), supreme (best) over all who rise from the dead. So he is first in everything (first).
...and through him God reconciled everything to himself. He made peace with everything in heaven and on earth by means of Christ’s blood on the cross.”
– Colossians 1:9-10, 13-18, 20 NLT
I believe that the tithe has been kept as a secret for those who are diligently seeking Christ. Real true believers are not selfish or stingy, they are generous and therefore qualified to receive blessings and protection from the Lord (Malachi 3:8-10).
Check out these verses about the secrets held for us:
“This message was kept secret for centuries and generations past, but now it has been revealed to God’s people. For God wanted them to know that the riches and glory of Christ are for you Gentiles, too. And this is the secret: Christ lives in you. This gives you assurance of sharing his glory.” – Colossians 1:26-27 NLT
If you're interested in learning more, get a copy of my new book, Test Me!, by clicking here.
Listening to someone’s testimony is powerful. However, telling our own testimony is far better! Telling a Bible story about God’s miraculous power is inspiring, but telling a story about how God delivered us yesterday is even more so! I truly believe many well-meaning Christians have settled for living off the testimonies of others when God desires to bless them and give them their own testimony. It’s when we are describing our own relationship with Him and our own experiences with Him that the light really shines in our eyes and joy is fully expressed in our voices.
Our new book Test Me! The Malachi Mystery was recently released. The reception has been beyond expectations! I am blown away by how people have read the book and have begun to implement its principles. God has been so good to me and to those around me. This book is simply a compilation of experiences from my twenty-seven years of ministry when God has shown Himself faithful to His word. The purpose of this book is to pass on to you the same principles of tithing that changed my life thirty years ago. Today, thirty years later, I am living a life full of the blessings that he promised me when I chose to test Him!
Deuteronomy 28 says, “1Now it shall come to pass, if you diligently obey the voice of the Lord your God, to observe carefully all His commandments which I command you today, that the Lord your God will set you high above all nations of the earth. 2And all these blessings shall come upon you and overtake you, because you obey the voice of the Lord your God: 3 Blessed shall you be in the city, and blessed shall you be in the country. 6 Blessed shall you be when you come in, and blessed shall you be when you go out. 7 The Lord will cause your enemies who rise against you to be defeated before your face. 8 The Lord will command the blessing on you in your storehouses and in all to which you set your hand” (emphasis added).
Malachi 3:10-11 adds, “Bring all the tithes into the storehouse, that there may be food in My house, and try 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 such blessing that there will not be room enough to receive it. And I will rebuke the devourer for your sakes” (emphasis added).
Literally, the blessings of the Lord overtake me daily! Put Deuteronomy a Malachi together and you have a powerful combination of promises.
This week alone, one week after the book’s release, I have witnessed God move in so many ways. For one, I have seen huge increases in my own personal investment portfolio. Thirty years ago, I was advised by my pastor to tithe the first ten percent of my income to the Lord, allow ten percent for investments, live off the remaining eighty percent, and give offerings as the Lord blessed our dedication to tithe. I am still in awe of how God has protected us in this process for all these years. Listening to the counsel of leaders is a wise decision.
Additionally, my mother has been in heaven for four years now. One week after she passed away, Joyce Peters, our church financial minster, told me she received a letter from mom. In the letter was a one hundred dollar check for her tithe and offering. Mom was living on a limited budget, but she always faithfully tithed to Powerhouse Church! Well, about two months ago I receive a call informing me that mom had a small piece of land in west Texas and someone was interested in the oil and gas rights. Needless to say, I received a very nice check from that sale. Mom is still blessing me from heaven!
In the same week, one of our Genesis Team pastors sold his building for cash. He was able to become completely debt-free and has been able to move his church to an area suited perfectly for their ministry. The church was able to buy land and make plans to build using only cash. This all happened one week after launching Test Me!
I could go on and on with praise reports. Really, I could. The Lord is good, and he never goes back on His Word. Will you test Him today? He is no respecter of persons. The blessings will overtake you. You cannot out run them! If you aren’t in the blessing zone, it’s not His fault. Come on, get off the bench and get in the game! He wants to give you your own testimony!
Get your copy of Test Me! The Malachi Mystery today by visiting our website, GFWatkins.org.
Sometimes it seems as though the church is operating on one leg. How can anything have the strength to perform its created purpose if it is not built to completion? The following illustration may help explain where the strength of the church has gone and how it can be restored. First, find a chair in your room that has four legs. Now, sit in it. This design was thought out in advance to support your weight. Each chair is designed and built for the purpose of holding your weight while performing the task you sat down to complete. What would happen if you removed three of the four legs from your chair and continued to attempt sitting in it? Even if you could make it work, your focus would be on not falling over instead of accomplishing your task. Likewise, each church has a design and a purpose that is given to it by God, and when it is not standing on all four legs, so to speak, it cannot perform its created purpose effectively.
Unfortunately, this is the case with many churches. The church is designed, like the chair, to support you in your purpose, which is bringing people to Christ. However, most churches support the entire work of their ministry on the tithe of ten percent of those who attend. If the church doesn’t have the financially stability to know if they will be able to cover all of the bills each month, it is basically sitting in a chair created to have four legs but operating on one!
Imagine with me what could be done if all of us who say we have given our lives to Christ, would really give our lives to Christ.
An obedient heart can change the world. Can you imagine the impact we could have if the entire body of Christ was obedient in the tithe? How can we start? First, you and I must commit to tithe now. Today. Then we must teach and influence our children and other believers in our lives such as siblings, parents, and friends on the importance of the tithe. Giving is an important indicator of what we value. This is important to evaluate because the Bible clearly states that God commands us to judge ourselves so that we won’t be judged guilty by Him (1 Corinthians 11:31).
2 Corinthians 5:17 reads, “Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new.” If you are a new creation and old things have passed away, such as selfishness and hardness of heart, why are these these qualities still present? A sure sign that you are saved is that you no longer have a stingy heart, but you instead exhibit a generous heart. In becoming a new creation in Christ, you have been given a heart that now values people before money!
• “People may be right in their own eyes, but the Lord examines their heart.” (Proverbs 21:2 NLT) The King sets the tithe as a standard so we know where our heart is according to Him. After all, He is the final judge!
• “For God so loved the world that he gave His only Son.” (John 3:16) Loving and giving are inseparable! You can give without loving but you will never be able to love without giving.