Understanding Tithes & Offerings

Understanding Tithes & Offerings
Rabbi Robert. O. Miller

“All the tithe of the land . . . is Yahweh’s; it is holy unto Yahweh.” (Leviticus 27:30)

“‘Bring the whole tithe into the storehouse, that there may be food in my house. Test me in this,’ says Yahweh Almighty, ‘and see if I will not throw open the floodgates of heaven and pour out so much blessing that there will not be room enough to store it.’” (Malachi 3:10)

“In all your offerings show a cheerful countenance, and sanctify your tithes with gladness.” (Ecclesiasticus 35:9)

“You tithe mint and anise and cummin . . . these ought you to have done.” (Matthew 23:23)

                The truth has no agenda. It is simply the truth. The Scriptures say, Yahweh’s “righteousness is an everlasting righteousness, and [His] Torah is truth.” (Psalms 119:142) Messiah YahShua said, “If you hold to My Torah, you are really My disciples. Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.” (John 8:31, 32) The truth will set you free but first it will hurt and offend as it changes your sensitivities and biases. One of the most intimate things one can talk about it another one’s money. It is hard earned, easily devaluated and precious. So, realizing this I will tread softly.

                Sacrifices and offerings are aspects of Torah, which “Torah is perfect” (Psalm 19:7) and continues to transform the lives of those who follow our Good Shepherd (Psalms 23:1-2; 51:6-7). That which is perfect does not change – it is absolute – and produces ongoing spiritual growth. For example, though the Son of Yahweh never sinned, He “grew in wisdom, in stature, in favour before Yahweh and men” because He lived entirely by the Will of Yahweh (Luke 2:52; John 5:30). King Messiah YahShua, our Redeemer and Ruler, “learned obedience by the things that He suffered” and by the trials He experienced, yet He was always sinless (Hebrews 5:8; Isaiah 28:16).

He has told us all in Matthew 5:17-18:  “Do not think that I have come to destroy the Torah or the Prophets. I did not come to destroy, but to fulfill (i.e., to rightly interpret (Psalms 138:2; Is 42:21; and to reveal obedience according to Yah-like sincerity and Truth). For truly, I say to you, till heaven and earth pass away (Revelation 21:1), one ‘yod’ or one ‘taug’ will by no means pass away from the Torah till all is fulfilled (the Torah is holy, righteous, and good -Romans 7:12).

Sacrifice, as a principle, is eternal (1Peter 1:18-20; Romans 12:1). Circumcision of the heart, ears, eyes, mouth and whole life has always applied to everyone (Exodus 6:12; Deuteronomy 10:16; 30:6; Jeremiah 6:10; Acts 7:51; Colossians 2:11). Messiah YahShua is our at-one-ment as the Lamb of Yahweh from “before the creation of the world” (1Peter 1:18-20).

What Does The Word “Tithe” Mean?

            What is the tithe?Webster says:  “a tithe is “to give a tenth of one’s income as a tithe.” What does the Scripture teach a tithe is? It is the “gateway” for the Believer into the covenant of blessings.  “…see if I will not throw open the floodgates of heaven and pour out so much blessing that there will not be room enough to store it.” The root word for tithe is עֶשֶׂר “äsär’” which is cardinal feminine gender word for the number “ten”.  One tenth is formed by adding the letter מ “mem” or “m” prefix.Thus we have the word, מַעֲשֵׂר

“mah·as·ār’” meaning “a tithe, a payment of a tenth part.”

                In Psalm 24:1 David declares, “The earth is Yahweh’s, and all it contains.”  In 1 Corinthians 4:7 Rabbi Sha’ul asks, “And what do you have that you did not receive?” And in Deuteronomy 8:18, Yahweh told Israel that He was the one giving them the power to make wealth. “…remember Yahweh your Elohim, for it is He Who gives you the ability to produce wealth, and so confirms His covenant, which He swore to your ancestors, as it is today.”

                From these verses alone, it should be obvious that Yahweh owns everything, gives us the ability to make a living, and wants us to recognize that everything comes from Him.  We simply are stewards, or managers, of the things He has entrusted to us, and part of being a good steward is giving back to Yahweh a portion of our earnings.

                It’s not that Yahweh needs our money. Rather, we need to give it. Giving serves as an external, material testimony that Yahweh owns both the material and spiritual things of our lives.

Why Tithe?

  1. Yahweh claims the tithe is His: “A tithe of everything …belongs to Yahweh; it is holy to Yahweh.” (Leviticus 27:30) The Books of Renewal and the Apostolic Writings say nothing to change Yahweh’s instruction on tithing. The tithe is set apart and still belongs to Yahweh.
  2. I pay tithe to fulfill the covenant: “…remember Yahweh your Elohim, for it is He Who gives you the ability to produce wealth, and so confirms His covenant, which He swore to your ancestors, as it is today.” (Deuteronomy 8:18)“Now if the ministry that brought death, which was engraved in letters on stone, came with glory, so that the Israelites could not look steadily at the face of Moses because of its glory, temporary though it was, will not the ministry of the Spirit be even more glorious? If the ministry that brought condemnation was glorious, how much more glorious is the ministry that brings righteousness! For what was glorious has no glory now in comparison with the surpassing glory. And if the Torah came with temporary glory, how much greater is the glory of that which lasts!” (2 Corinthians 3:7-11) “…the Spirit of Truth…will guide you into all the truth.” (John 16:13) “Torah is truth.” (Psalms 119:142) And according to the New Covenant, Yahweh says: “will put My Torah in their minds and write it on their hearts. I will be their Elohim, and they will be my people.” (Jeremiah 31:33)The New Covenant that came in eternal glory of King Messiah YahShua stands supreme. The characteristic word in the Book of Hebrews is better or more Heavenly, and everything is more Heavenly about the New Covenant. If the Torah commanded tithes, then how much more should we who are having the Torah written in our hearts under the “perfect law of liberty” give our tithes willingly? (James 1:25). If the Torah is written in the fleshly tables of our hearts and we follow Yahweh’s commands not from legalistically applying a bunch of rules but because of our new passion, then how quickly and how easily we should give the tenth that belongs to Yahweh (See 2 Corinthians 3:3-6). Some people say, “Oh, we do not pay tithes, because tithing was under the law.” If that is a sufficient reason for not paying tithes, then we could also mistreat our parents, for the Torah says, “Honor your father and your mother” (Exodus 20:12). In actuality, we honor our father and mother and we give our tithes because the principles of the Torah are written in our hearts by the Spirit of Yahweh. We give willingly and liberally because the Spirit motivates us to give what Yahweh has said is His. The Scripture declares in Joshua 7:11, when you touch the tithe and rob Yahweh, you also transgress against the Covenant. In other words, when you mishandle the tithe you forfeit His covenant promises. “Israel has sinned; they have violated My covenant, which I commanded them to keep. They have taken some of the devoted things; they have stolen, they have lied, they have put them with their own possessions.”
  3. Tithing is the worship of Yahweh: “…a time is coming and has now come when the true worshipers will worship the Father in the Spirit and in Truth, for they are the kind of worshipers the Father seeks.” (John 4:23) Tithing is recognition and worship of the One Who created and actually owns all. Worshipping Yahweh in a prescribed manner has existed since the days of the Patriarchs. Cain and Abel knew the correct way to worship Yahweh, but one of them chose not to worship that way. The correct way involved giving up something they owned in recognition of Yahweh in a prescribed manner. If we do not worship Yahweh with our substance, we do not really worship Yahweh. Job, Abraham and his descendants, and others living before the giving of the Written Torah, knew that worshipping Yahweh involved sacrificing of their substance. Any Believer who loves Yahweh should desire to give everything to Him. Tithing is just a starting place — not a maximum limit.  Tithing is only a reminder to you, and to our High Priest YahShua, of the intent of your heart, and the place of importance Yahweh has in your life. Some may say they could show their love better by giving whatever they felt like. Since the Garden of Eden man has been trying to do things his own way — instead of the way Yahweh prescribed — and man’s way has always caused trouble. There is a way that appears to be right to man, but in the end it leads to death.” (Proverbs 14:12 & 16:25) Yahweh said the tithe was His (Leviticus 27:30). He showed us through the Torah (and never said otherwise), tithing is prescribed worship. Giving based on need is not Scriptural tithing but giving of alms. Tithing is not to meet Yahweh’s need but to worship Yahweh: to put Him in His rightful place: first!
  4. Tithing is Yahweh’s method of supporting His ministry. 1 Corinthians 9:14 says those who preach the Full Messianic Message should live from the message “in the same way” as the priests of the Torah lived from their Temple service. Yahweh gave the tithe to them (Numbers 18:21). To be “in the same way” today requires tithing to continue. “Behold, I have given the children of Levi all the tithes in Israel as an inheritance in return for the work which they perform, the work of the tabernacle of meeting.” (Numbers 18:21) Don’t you know that those who serve in the Temple get their food from the Temple, and that those who serve at the altar share in what is offered on the altar? In the same way, Yahweh has commanded that those who preach the Full Messianic Message should receive their living from the Full Messianic Message.” (1 Corinthians 9:13-14)
  5. Tithing is a blessing promised if you do.  2 Corinthians 1:20 says that all Yahweh’s promises are in the affirmative in Messiah. So the blessings promised to the tither in the Tanach, such as Malachi 3:10 are still available and valid for you today.  “For all the promises of Yahweh in Him are Yes, and in Him Amien, to the glory of Yahweh through us.” (2 Corinthians 1:20) “‘Bring all the tithes into the storehouse, that there may be food in My house, and prove Me now in this,’ says Yahweh 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.’” (Malachi 3:10)
  6. Tithing is a continual reminder Yahweh is your source. Tithing acknowledges in a tangible way Yahweh’s ownership of us and all we have. It is recognition He deserves. Anyone who receives Messiah YahShua must receive Him as He is: King Messiah. By definition a Netzarim Believer is one who has received Messiah YahShua as the Branch of Jesse, heir of the Davidic Throne – King of Israel. “That if you pledge allegiance with your mouth, ‘YahShua is King,’ and believe in your heart that Yahweh raised him from the dead, you will be saved. For it is with your heart that you believe and are justified, and it is with your mouth that you confess and are saved.” (Romans 10:9, 10) If there is a Kingdom then there must be a King.  And if a King then a Ruler.  And if a Ruler He must govern by a rule.  That Rule is the Torah. And the Torah is absolute truth. Since YahShua is King Messiah, when we receive Him He becomes Ruler of our life. As Ruler of our life, King YahShua has complete say about what we do with all our substance, not just 10% of it.
  7. Tithing helps combat selfishness, greed, and materialism. Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moths and vermin destroy, and where thieves break in and steal. But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where moths and vermin do not destroy, and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also…No one can serve two masters. Either you will hate the one and love the other, or you will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve both Yahweh and money… For the pagans run after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them. But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.” (Matthew 6:19-34) Giving the first 10%every time we receive any increase helps protect us from falling into these traps. Done faithfully, tithing brings us to trust Yahweh and depend on Him.
  8. Tithing acknowledges Our Heritage.  “If you belong to Messiah, then you are Abraham’s seed, and heirs according to the promise.”  (Galatians 3:29) Abraham was the first tithe payer of record (Genesis 14:20). Abraham’s grandson, Jacob, paid tithes (Genesis 28:22). Scripture says that Levi, Abraham’s descendant and the father of the tribe from which the priesthood came, paid tithes in Abraham (Hebrews 7:9). My heritage of paying a tithe precedes the Torah as it was revealed to Moses. As a child of Abraham and an heir of the promise of Abraham. I acknowledge my family relationship by paying tithes.  Messiah YahShua said to the Jews, “If you were Abraham’s children then you woulddo what Abraham did.” (John 8:39) It would be strange to claim to be a child of Abraham and yet to neglect one of Abraham’s most fundamental and noteworthy acts. I pay my tithes as a spiritual descendant of Abraham, the father of the faithful.
  9. Tithing shows my love and affection. “Many waters cannot quench love.” (Song of Solomon 8:7) Love is the strongest motivation in the world. David said, “I will not sacrifice to Yahweh my Elohim …offerings that cost me nothing.” (2 Samuel 24:24)  For someone who genuinely loves Yahweh, the tithe is only the beginning of his giving. He gives not only his tithe, but also offerings (plural), not grudgingly and not of necessity, but cheerfully with love.
  10. Tithing Fulfills an Obligation. “You pay tithe …and have neglected the weightier matters of the Torah: justice and mercy and faith. These you ought to have done, without leaving the others undone.” (Matthew 23:23). Messiah YahShua did not criticize the Pharisees for paying tithes. He commended them. He said it was something they “ought to have done.” The word “ought” expresses an obligation or duty. It is one of the strongest words in the English language. To pay tithes is something every Believer ought to do.  The word “ought” has three meanings: (a) obligation or duty; as in, “He ought to pay his debts”, (b) desirability and (c) expectancy or probability. Each one of these meanings puts an obligation upon the Believer. It is desirable for him to pay his tithes, he is expected to pay his tithes, and he has a duty to pay his tithes.
  11. Tithing causes the Believer to escape condemnation. “Will a man rob Yahweh? Yet you have robbed me… in tithes and offerings.” (Malachi 3:8) How sad it is that people who are honest in business and who pay their debts to the bank, the store, and the government will not pay Yahweh what belongs to Him! Sometimes people quibble about whether they are “paying” or “giving” tithes, but both terms seem appropriate. The tithe is Yahweh’s and He expects us to pay it to Him; at the same time, He does not receive it until we give it to Him. He does not give us the authority to use His tithes for other purposes, but we have the power to spend it as long as it is in our hands. Nevertheless, a person is condemned if he spends Yahweh’s portion.
  12. Tithing finances the Spread of the Full Messianic Kingdom Message.  “So has Yahweh ordained that they which preach the Full Messianic Message should live of the Full Messianic Message.” (1 Corinthians 9:14) Yahweh has ordained for people to be saved by the preaching of the Full Messianic Message (1 Corinthians 1:21). “How shall they hear without a preacher?” (Romans 10:14) Tithing is Yahweh’s way of supporting the ministry. In the Torah, the Levites and the Priest were Yahweh’s minister to the Commonwealth of Israel, and they were supported by tithes. In the Messianic Scriptures, Yahweh has called people to minister the Full Messianic Message. These ministers can be more effective if they do not have to provide for their livelihood by working on a secular job but can devote themselves full time to the work of Yahweh. They need time to give themselves to prayer and to the ministry of the Word. It is not wrong for a man to labor with his hands, nor should a minister feel too good to engage in honest labor. Yet Yahweh’s plan is for those who preach the Messianic Message to live of the Message. When Yahweh dictated to Moses His Message that the people should not put a muzzle on the ox that labored, Yahweh was not as concerned with the ox as He was with the principle that a laborer should receive his livelihood from his work. The application of this principle is that the minister of the Full Messianic Message should earn his living from his ministry. (1 Corinthians 9:9-14). Some ministers have endured financial hardships and deprivation in order to proclaim the Full Messianic Message in needy areas. If the tithing income insures that the minister can live in a good house, drive a good car, and buy sufficient clothes for his family, why should I begrudge providing these things to a man who would preach the message of the Kingdom even if he had to work on a secular job to do it? It is a disgrace to a congregation if the pastor has to take a secular job to supply his family’s needs if there is sufficient tithe and offering  income available to allow him to do Yahweh’s work on a full-time basis. My tithing can help to spread the Full Messianic Message.
  13. Tithing causes me to  avoid a curse. “You are cursed with a curse: for you have robbed me.” (Malachi 3:9) Someone once said, “You can’t out-give Yahweh, and you can’t out-squeeze Him either.” Some people put their money into “a bag with holes.” (Haggai 1:6) They do not give Yahweh His tithe, but they eventually spend the money for automobile repairs, medical bills, and a thousand other things that they might have avoided if they had been faithful to Yahweh in their giving. Yahweh said that the whole nation of Israel was cursed because they had not given Yahweh His portion. Yahweh asked Israel to dedicate the gold of Jericho to Him, but Achan took a wedge of gold and hid it in a tent. It became a curse to him and his whole family. (Joshua 7) I do not want Yahweh to curse my blessings. I want to give Him His tithe.
  14. Tithing causes me to  enjoy Yahweh’s blessing. “‘Bring the whole tithe into the storehouse, that there may be food in my house. Test me in this,’ says Yahweh Almighty, ‘and see if I will not throw open the floodgates of heaven and pour out so much blessing that there will not be room enough to store it.’” (Malachi 3:10)  (See also Luke 6:38). Yahweh blesses the people who pay tithes. They do not always have the most money or the best clothes, but they are blessed. However, I am wary of those who promise, “If you give Yahweh a dollar, He will give you back tenfold.” The expectation of a return should not be our motivation for giving. And His richest blessings are not necessarily monetary. But I do want Yahweh to notice me and remember me. He noticed that the widow put money into the treasury at the Temple. He noticed what Cornelius was giving. He noticed what Israel was not giving. He knows what we give and He notices when we give. Yahweh has asked us to prove Him and see if He will not give us His blessings. I have trusted Him, tested Him, and tried Him, and I have concluded that it is better to give Yahweh what belongs to Him.
  15. Tithing causes me to  be consistent. “Be an example for the Believers in speech, in conduct, in love, in faith and in purity.”  (1 Timothy 4:12) For most of my ministry. I have lived on tithing income. How could I receive tithes and not pay tithes? I could not do so and be consistent. The only exemption from the tithe were the priests who were consecrated to holy service.They were sanctified already; therefore, the tithe of sanctification did not require an additional sanctification. In other words the “buck stopped here!” The priests were 100% Yahweh’s portion. Their portion of one percent of the gross was not an amount by which one could amass wealth in material things. The needs of the priests were simply provided. As your minister I am faithful to pay a tithe on all secular income and gifts I receive. Paying tithes will not save a person. But paying tithes will reap a blessing. Genuine Netzarim Believers not only pay tithes, but they willingly pay tithes.

The Tithe Is Your Seed

               Yahweh is blessed by your tithe as an expression of your love and obedience to Him, yet tithing is primarily for your own benefit so that Yahweh can bless you. There is a Kingdom Principle that Yahweh has placed in both the natural and spiritual realms. This is the law of sowing and reaping. “…Yahweh is not mocked; for whatever a man sows, that he will also reap.” (Galatians 6:7) The tithe is “seed” that you plant in Yahweh that will bring the harvest of prosperity.

               All farmers understand Yahweh’s law of sowing and reaping. After a harvest, before the farmer would use any of the grain as food for his family or livestock, he would first go through the harvest grain and pick out a percentage that exhibited the best qualities of size, weight, color, and set this aside as seed for the next season’s crop planting. This early form of genetic selection helped assure that the next generation of crops would produce higher yields and greater quality.

               This illustrates our tithe, why it cannot be the 10% that is left over after we pay everything else. The part that Yahweh claims and uses as seed is the first and best 10% of your increase, called the firstfruits. “Honor Yahweh with your possessions, And with the firstfruits of all your increase; So your barns will be filled with plenty, And your vats will overflow with new wine” (Prov. 3:9-10).

               Don’t “eat your seed.” Do not use Yahweh’s tithe for anything else, because if you don’t sow, you cannot reap.

What if My Spouse Disagrees?

                One of the major causes of arguments among couples is money, and one spouse may oppose giving a tenth to Yahweh’s work. However, if both spouses are Believers, they should have a desire to please Yahweh. It’s important for both spouses to be trained in Yahweh’s principles of finance. That way, they will understand that tithing is ordained by Yahweh, not just a personal desire that the wife is trying to impose on the husband, or vice versa.

In cases involving a non-believing wife, the husband must obey  Yahweh’s direction. He must realize, however, that Yahweh is more concerned about his wife’s soul than his money. If tithing becomes a stumbling block to his wife, he should consider not tithing temporarily in order to win his wife to Yahweh.

If the non-believing spouse is the husband, then the believing wife should submit to his wishes, trusting that her submissive attitude may win him to Yahweh (1 Peter 3:1-6). She may still ask him to let her give an amount smaller than the tithe for at least a year. If, at the end of a year, they are worse off financially as a result of her giving, she will cease to give. But if they are better off, she will be allowed to give more. In Malachi 3:10, Yahweh says to test Him in tithing. Often, this is just the opportunity for Yahweh to prove Himself to an unbelieving spouse.

Our Tithe as an Israelite
                Our tithe is broken down on three levels: (1) Terumah;  (2) Ma’aser Sheni; and (3) Tzedekah.

The First Tithe (Terumah) A tithe for the work of Yahweh
                The first tithe, which is holy to Yahweh, is used to finance the mission of the Ministers of spreading the Messianic Message and caring for those Yahweh calls to be a part of the Netzarim Congregation. As was noted, this tithe is to be given by Yahweh’s people so the commission of the Netzarim Movement can be carried out. To withhold it is tantamount to robbery from Yahweh (Malachi 3:8).

The first tithe is “set apart unto Yahweh” (Leviticus 27:30). Under His covenant with Israel, Yahweh commanded His people to give His tithe to His representatives at the time, the Levites (Numbers 18:21). Yahweh gave the tithe to the Levites to support them in carrying out their commanded role of properly leading the people in worship. The people were not to use this tithe for any personal purposes–it was to be given in its entirety to the Levites.
     Messiah YahShua affirmed that those who serve Yahweh should continue to give this tithe, a 10% of their  increase, since it belongs to Yahweh and not to them (Matthew 23:23). He confirmed that tithing continues.

Yahweh commanded: “Then to the place Yahweh your Elohim will choose as a dwelling for His Name—there you are to bring everything I command you: your burnt offerings and sacrifices, your tithes and special gifts, and all the choice possessions you have vowed to Yahweh.” (Deuteronomy 12:11)

The Second Tithe (Maaser Sheni) A tithe for observing Yahweh’s festivals

After setting aside the first tithe one sets aside a tenth of the remainder; this is called the second tithe (but in the third and sixth years of the sabbatical cycle it is given to the poor). When the Temple exists it should be eaten in Jerusalem, as it says “And you shall eat before Yahweh your Elohim in the place that he shall choose… the tithe of your grain, wine and oil” (Deuteronomy 14:23); or it can be redeemed (outside Jerusalem) for 5/4 of its value and the proceeds used to buy food to be eaten in Jerusalem as it says “But if the journey is too long for you, so that you are not able to carry the tithe, or if the place where Yahweh your Elohim chooses to put His name is too far from you, when Yahweh your Elohim has blessed you, 25 then you shall exchange it for money, take the money in your hand, and go to the place which Yahweh your Elohim chooses. And you shall spend that money for whatever your heart desires: for oxen or sheep, for wine or similar drink, for whatever your heart desires; you shall eat there before Yahweh your Elohim, and you shall rejoice, you and your household.” (Deuteronomy 14:24-26) When the Temple does not exist it can still be redeemed outside Jerusalem, not necessarily for its full value, and the thing that it is redeemed for must be consumed at the “the place Yahweh your Elohim will choose as a dwelling for His Name.”

The Third Tithe a Tithe to Care for the Poor

In the third and sixth years of the sabbatical cycle the second tithe was to be given to the ministers and the poor of the community–the stranger, fatherless and widow. Yahweh does not forget them.

Messiah YahShua acknowledged that conditions would always be prevalent that would lead to some people being truly poor and in need (John 12:8). But He also said it is more blessed to give than to receive (Acts 20:35). His apostles taught the same, that Believers have an obligation to help others who are truly in need (Galatians 2:10; 1 Timothy 5:3).

The teaching of Messiah YahShua and His disciples is a continuation of the commandments found in Yahweh’s Word regarding the obligation of those more blessed to help those truly in need. Twice in the Scriptures, in Deuteronomy 14:28 and 26:12-13, Yahweh gives instruction regarding a tithe that is to be saved and distributed every third year.

The “first” tithe and festival (“second”) tithe were to be saved every year. The first was taken to a central place of worship for distribution and the second for consumption (Deuteronomy 12:6, 17-18; 14:22-27). This special tithe of the third year, however, was handled quite differently.  It was to be set aside locally and stored within each city or town (Deuteronomy 14:28; 26:12) for the use of the ministers and the poor of the community–the stranger, fatherless and widow.

Offering above the Tithe

There is another category above the tithe, the offerings:

“Now Yahweh called to Moses, and spoke to him from the Tabernacle of Meeting, saying, ‘Speak to the Children of Israel, and say to them: “When any one of you brings an offering to Yahweh, you shall bring your offering of the livestock—of the herd and of the flock. If his offering is a burnt sacrifice of the herd, let him offer a male without blemish; he shall offer it of his own free will at the door of the Tabernacle of Meeting before Yahweh.”’” (Leviticus 1:1-3)

                     The offerings to Yahweh must be made of one’s own free will. He must not be coerced or pressured into making the offering. It must spring up of its own voluntary dedication. A need may be made known to him, but he must respond of his own will.

               The wicked pagan priest of idolatry used every cunning device from sexual participation with their temple prostitutes to pronouncing curses upon their subjects who did not bring them their offerings.  All pagan rites play high on the material world. Every trick in the book to employ mind control over the laity, guilt trips usually related to sexual desires or needs, made men and women subject to their spiritual gurus. Fear and every phobia that could enter into man’s imagination was employed to extract mind control over their subjects. Here and only here can these religious con-artists offer absolutely nothing in exchange for absolutely everything that their subjects possess or hope to have. These prophets of idolatry can mourn like doves and at the same time slither like snakes. Pomp and glitter is their style.

               The Scripture highly extols giving in a right motive for a worthy purpose. The giver must do so out of a heart of volition. He is also responsible to give to causes which are worthy of his support.

Giving, Your Reasonable Service
               It is interesting and very instructive to note how the Messianic Scripture views sacrifices. In reading these passages one will be struck with the consistency between these verses.

“I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of Yahweh, that you present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable to Yahweh, which is your reasonable (Greek: λογικός  logikos: rational, genuine, true – logical) service.” (Romans 12:1)

“For we are to Yahweh the fragrance of Messiah (alluding to the anointing oil poured out in temple service; Exodus 30:22-30; Song of Songs 4:11; Psalms 45:8) among those who are being saved and among those who are perishing.” (2 Corinthians 2:15)
“Walk in love, as Messiah also has loved us and given Himself for us, an offering and a sacrifice to Yahweh for a sweet-smelling aroma
(Leviticus 1:5-9; 2:1-2; 3:1,5).” (Ephesians 5:2)
“Yes, and if I am being poured out as a drink offering on the sacrifice and service of your faith, I am glad and rejoice with you all (Numbers 28:6-8).” (Philippians 2:17)

“Indeed I have all and abound. I am full, having received from Epaphroditus the things sent from you, a sweet-smelling aroma, an acceptable sacrifice, well pleasing to Yahweh.” (Philippians 4:18)
“For I am now ready to be offered, and the time of my departure is at hand.” (2 Timothy 4:6)

“But to do good and to share forget not: for with such sacrifices Yahweh is well pleased.” (Hebrews 13:16)
“You also, as living stones, are built up into a spiritual house, a holy priesthood, to offer up spiritual sacrifices
(which the Levitical priesthood did typologically in the Tabernacle and Temple worship requirements; cp. Exodus 19:4-6; 1Peter 2:9), acceptable to Yahweh by Messiah YahShua.” (1Peter 2:5)

               It is clear that the Messianic Scriptures gives profound spiritual significance to sacrifices. This is to be expected, since the sacrificial concept pre-dates the creation (1Peter 1:18-20). The Law of sacrifices is not abolished (Matthew 5:17, 18), but is spiritually understood, as reflected in the above verses. How are tithes to be understood and applied since they are a part of the same system?

               Some belief systems teach people to give what they have or what they can do. These are religions of good works, which cannot save. The Faith of Yahweh teaches that you give what you are. This includes your time, energy, talent, and money.

               All of this is summed upin the word love. You love; therefore, you give. It was because Yahweh loved the world that He gave His Son to save it (John 3:16). “For Yahweh loves a cheerful giver.” (2 Corinthians 9:7)

Giving Only Where His Name Resides

“But you are to seek the place Yahweh your Elohim will choose from among all your tribes to put his Name there for his dwelling. To that place you must go; there bring your burnt offerings and sacrifices, your tithes and special gifts, what you have vowed to give and your freewill offerings, and the firstborn of your herds and flocks. There, in the presence of Yahweh your Elohim, you and your families shall eat and shall rejoice in everything you have put your hand to, because Yahweh your Elohim has blessed you. You are not to do as we do here today, everyone doing as they see fit.” (Deuteronomy 12:5-8)

In Conclusion…..

I challenge you to become a tither and a giver to Yahweh, and “prove” His promise to bless you, just as He invites you to do in Malachi 3:10. Give to Yahweh in faith, expecting Him to bless your return (Mark 11:24), and give cheerfully, expressing joy and confidence in giving to Yahweh (2 Corinthians 9:7). The same proportion that you open your faith to give to Him, He will use that same proportion as His measurement to bring blessing back to you!

star“Give, and it will be given to you: good measure, pressed down, shaken together, and running over will be put into your bosom. For with the same measure that you use, it will be measured back to you.” (Luke 6:38)

Originally written by Rabbi Robert O. Miller on Jan. 15th 2011
(Robert Owen Miller 1957-2021)

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