Torah Portion NITZAVIM/VAYELECH – Devarim (Deuteronomy) 29:9-31:30
For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also. Matthew 6:21
Shabbat Shalom, dearly beloved!
When we return to the Jewish Roots of the Faith and the Apostolic Hebrew Foundations, we must also restore Holy Giving. Replacement Theology has affected the Body of Yeshua in many areas and especially in the area of giving. Most people do not know how to give, who to give to and when to give – thus they never come out of spiritual and/or financial drought!
Let us remember that there are 4 categories of giving:
Prescribed giving, Freewill giving, Sacrificial giving and Restitution giving.
THE TITHES ARE HOLY TO YHVH!
And all the tithe of the land, whether of the seed of the land or of the fruit of the tree, is the Lord’s; it is holy to YHVH. And if a man wants to redeem any of his tithe, he shall add a fifth to it. And all the tithe of the herd or of the flock, whatever passes under the herdsman’s staff [by means of which each tenth animal as it passes through a small door is selected and marked], the tenth shall be holy to YHVH. Leviticus 27:30-32
Holy is ‘Kadosh’ in Hebrew which means “set apart, not for common use”. They are so holy that if you use them you must pay it back with 20% increase (A fifth!)
There are THREE categories of tithes:
- The First Tithe – Belongs in its entirety to the Levites!
- The Third Year Tithe – It is shared between the Levites, the widow, the orphan and the stranger
- The Feast Tithe – It is shared between you, your family and servants and the officiating Levites
Tithes for the Levites – The First Tithe
But the tithes of the Israelites, which they present as an offering to the Lord, I have given to the Levites to inherit; therefore I have said to them, Among the Israelites they shall have no inheritance. [They have homes and cities and pasturage to use but not to possess as their personal inheritance.] Numbers 18:24
The Torah talks about three kinds of tithes and the Levites receive a portion from all of them! However, theirs is the FIRST TITHE!
And, behold, I have given the Levites all the tithes in Israel for an inheritance in return for their service which they serve, the service of the Tent of Meeting. Numbers 18:21
These tithes are so important that the Word calls it “Holy Tithes” and they are to be shared between the Levites (Torah, Word Teachers, Pastors, Bishops) and the singers (the Worship Team!) and even others in full time Ministry. When these tithes are not distributed to these Servants of Yah, then they are in danger of forsaking their post due to lack of income – and rightly so!
I also discovered that the portions of the Levites had not been given them, so that the Levites and the singers who performed the service had gone away, each to his own field. Nehemiah 13:10
During the days of Nehemiah there was a great revival in Judah and the key for this revival was repentance for breaking Yah’s (God’s) Commandments and the reinstitution of a Holy and sanctified Priesthood!
On that day men were also appointed over the chambers for the stores, the contributions, the first fruits and the tithes, to gather into them from the fields of the cities the portions required by the law for the priests and Levites; for Judah rejoiced over the priests and Levites who served. Nehemiah 12:44
The mark of this revival like ALL revivals was JOYFUL GIVING so that the Priests and the Levites could minister freely without any financial concerns! Today most of the Five-Fold Ministers and worship leaders are too concerned about “making a living” instead of concentrating on seeking Yah’s Presence and studying His Word. This is a pitiful state of affairs and it is affecting the entire Body. The tithes just simply do not reach the ministers and most of them are suffering financially!
How do we expect them to be ministering with joy if there is no food on the table for their children or money to buy new clothes and pay the mortgage and the electric bill? And what kind of testimony are the PK’s (Preacher’s Kids) getting about God? Truly if everyone in the Body of Yeshua would give their tithes to their ministers, there would be no lack, but the low percentage of Christians/Messianics that tithe is shameful! Most people say, “I cannot afford to tithe, the finances are ‘shaky.’” I tell you, you cannot afford not to tithe, especially when the finances are shaky! If you do not honor God’s servant, Elohim cannot honor you!
“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?’ Malachi 3:7
This is one of the major issues that need REPENTANCE in the Body of Yeshua! The people in Malachi’s time were suffering from financial shakings much like today and they were asking YHVH what to do? He said TESHUVA! (Repent and Return) – and they asked “what do we need to repent of?” His answer was: “You are robbing Me” because you do not bring the prescribed tithes and offerings to the priests and Levites!
“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.” Malachi 3:8-10
You see the Tithes are prescribed seed and if you eat your seed especially in times of famine and financial shaking, all your hope for a harvest is gone. No seed, no harvest! It is only after one brings the whole tithe that the curse breaks and Elohim can keep His word to rebuke the devourer and provide royally for you!
Then I will rebuke the devourer for you, so that it will not destroy the fruits of the ground; nor will your vine in the field cast its grapes,” says the LORD of hosts. “All the nations will call you blessed, for you shall be a delightful land,” says the LORD of hosts. Malachi 3:11-12
The Whole Tithe, what is this?
This is 10% of all your income BEFORE you pay bills and debts! Most people give a 10% from the bottom after they pay their bills – and, therefore, they see no breakthrough!
Making RESTITUTION for Robbing the Almighty
The Word of God tells us that if we use the prescribed tithe and first fruits that belong to the Priests and to the Levites, the Ministers of the Word (Bishops, Pastors, Teachers) and Worship leaders, then we have to pay 20% more (a fifth) and make restitution to YHVH!
And if a man wants to redeem any of his tithe, he shall add a fifth to it. Leviticus 27:31
I wonder how many people owe tithes, first fruits and a 20% on top of it? That is a BIG DEBT and an urgent issue of repentance and restitution!
He shall make restitution for that which he has sinned against the holy thing, and shall add to it a fifth part of it and give it to the priest. The priest shall then make atonement for him with the ram of the guilt offering, and it will be forgiven him. Leviticus 5:16
Who is the Priest or the Levite that has been teaching you the Word?
Have you blessed him/her with your first fruits and tithes? If you have defaulted, go ahead and ask their forgiveness and make installments to pay it in full plus a 20% on top of it. That is true Repentance and Restitution!
I can imagine your flesh rising: How can I pay back all that? Well, why is it that in the world we must pay back loans, mortgages and credit card debt and we make payments by installments until we are done? Isn’t it much more important to be right with Elohim-God on this issue? We have been so religious that we have taken His instructions and Ministers very lightly! No wonder that the Body of Yeshua is in the shape it is!
At this point your flesh may be screaming once again with the typical “Christian slogan”,
I am not under the law; I am under grace!
Does that mean it’s OK to break Yah’s (God’s) laws because we are under grace?
What happens if you break the laws of your country? Will you not go to jail? And if you say to the authorities: “Sorry, I did not know”, will they dismiss the case – or will you have to make payments until your debt is finished?
What shall we say then? Is the Law sin? May it never be! On the contrary, I would not have come to know sin except through the Law; for I would not have known about coveting if the Law had not said, “YOU SHALL NOT COVET. Therefore did that which is good become a cause of death for me? May it never be! Rather it was sin, in order that it might be shown to be sin by affecting my death through that which is good, so that through the commandment sin would become utterly sinful. Romans 7:7 &13
So now through the Torah (Law) you know that withholding your Holy First Fruits and Tithes from God’s Ministers that labor on your behalf is utterly sinful and it requires a response of Repentance and Restitution!
What shall we say then? Are we to continue in sin so that grace may increase? May it never be! How shall we who died to sin still live in it? Romans 6:1,2
The Good News is that through the Blood of Yeshua we can receive forgiveness of sin if we confess and forsake it!
If we confess our sins, He is faithful and righteous to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. 1 John 1:9
We must confess the sin of withholding First Fruits and Tithes, not only to YHVH, but also to those that have mentored and taught us the Word.
In other words, go to those who pastor you and teach you and ask for forgiveness – it may be more than one Minister (some are taught in a church, others through the internet or the writings of some teacher/preacher). You must decide in your mind and ask the Holy Spirit about those who have been pastoring and mentoring you and helping your walk with Yeshua!
And though YHVH give you the bread of adversity, and the water of affliction, yet shall not your teachers be removed into a corner any more, but your eyes shall see your teachers: And your ears shall hear a word behind thee, saying, This is the way, walk ye in it, when ye turn to the right hand, and when ye turn to the left. Isaiah 30:20,21
Ask them to forgive you and release you from the debt that you owe. Most of them will forgive you and release you from the restitution and from paying back tithes, some may not. But whatever the case, if you make things right with them and they bless you, you will be free from the curse mentioned in Malachi 3:8. And you will be able to start a new chapter in your life: a chapter of honor and Holy Giving, obedience, favor, blessing and GREATNESS! HaleluYah!
Whoever then annuls one of the least of these commandments, and teaches others to do the same, shall be called least in the kingdom of heaven; but whoever keeps and teaches them, he shall be called great in the kingdom of heaven. Matthew 5:19
Welcome to Spiritual and Financial Freedom!
So Yeshua was saying to those Jews who had believed Him, “If you continue in My word, then you are truly disciples of Mine; and you will know the truth, and the truth will make you free. John 8:31, 32
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