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TITHES AND OFFERINGS
By Dr. Elias E. Hidalgo
TITHES AND OFFERINGS
I TRULY BELIEVE
I truly believe that all believers in Y'shua (Jesus) have a deep seated desire to trust and obey the Lord God. Don't you?
Additionally, as children of God, when we search the Scriptures, we do intend on keeping all the words addressed to us, especially all things connected with the Ten commandments. (Exodus 20). One of these very important statutes is 'Thou shalt not steal'. Another way of putting it is found in Malachi 3:8,
"Will a man rob God?"
I am sure that you would agree with me in saying, NO, a thousand times NO! We do not want to; now, or at any other time. God forbid that we would ever consider robbing God.
KEEPING EVERYTHING IN CONTEXT
Keeping everything in context is necessary, especially when we look into Malachi 3:8, we immediately notice that it has much to say about our TITHES and OFFERINGS. The Hebrew word for TITHES is MAASER, and for OFFERINGS, it is MINCHAH. TITHING first appears in the Holy Bible in Genesis 14:20 in connection with Abraham and Melchizedek. A similar portion of Scripture in The New Testament is found in Hebrews 7: 4-10, where we are also made aware of the wonderful opportunity to please the Almighty God in presenting our TITHES to Him.
ON THE OTHER HAND
On the other hand, OFFERINGS first appear in the Scriptures in Genesis 4:4-5. The Lord gives us a wonderful example in the lives of Cain and Abel in the area of bringing their OFFERINGS unto the Lord. We know that according to The Holy Bible, that The Lord God accepted one of the OFFERINGS, while He rejected the other. I believe there is an important lesson for us to learn, and that is, that Abel brought of the first which God did accept, while Cain did not, thus Cain was reproved and rejected.
In Ephesians 5:10 we are told, and I believe very importantly, that, we should be at all times, "Proving what is acceptable unto the Lord". We do need to know and understand what is required and pleasing to our Lord, and what is displeasing to Him, in order that we might think, say and do what is good, acceptable, and perfect according to the will of God (see: Romans 12:1-2). Now that we have presented some fundamental groundwork, let us now look into our subject of TITHES and OFFERINGS.
THERE IS A DIFFERENCE
There is a difference between TITHES and OFFERINGS, not only in language but most especially in spirit. A TITHE means ten percent of all benefits that come our way, such as, our salary, inheritance, gifts and even the interest one might earn on bank accounts, etc.
REMOVING FROM THE TOP
Yes, all that enhances you financially, needs to be presented before the Lord God in thanksgiving. Remove from the top, ten percent, and cheerfully and willingly present it to the Lord as your TITHE and bring it into 'the storehouse', i.e., your congregation, temple, church, your place of study or worship, etc. When you have faithfully discharged your duty in respect of your TITHES, then look for the many blessings to follow.
THE LORD PROMISES
The Lord promises you in Malachi 3:10, that He will "open you the windows of heaven, and pour you out a blessing, that there shall not be room enough to receive it".
In the New Testament we read in Luke 6:38 ...that when you are obedient to The Word of God in your TITHES and OFFERINGS, then you should expect an abundance of blessings; "Give and it shall be given unto you; good measure, pressed down, and shaken together, and running over, shall men give into your bosom. For with the same measure that ye mete withal it shall be measured to you again".
AS YOU TITHE
Therefore, as you TITHE, the Almighty God promises to likewise bless you; on the other hand, if you do not, then you are robbing God. The end result is recorded in Holy Writ, "Ye are cursed with a curse" (Malachi 3:9). I don't know about you, but I want to be blessed of God as often as possible, and not cursed. It's up to you, whether you will be totally obedient or disobedient.
The OFFERINGS given unto the Lord God need to be over and above your ten percent TITHE; by this I mean, once you have responded in the area of your TITHES, now you have the freedom to graciously give your MINCHAH (OFFERING) as you are directed and made aware of by The Spirit of God as to the particular need or needs, that are presented to you through your congregation, church, or fellowship.
Please remember that both the TITHES and OFFERINGS need to be given in your congregation or church, "Bring ye all the TITHES into the storehouse", and wait for the blessings.
AT SHALOM SCRIPTURE STUDIES
At Shalom Scripture Studies we have a unique custom, and that is, we do not pass an offering plate during our services, but rather we choose to let The LORD God speak to your heart, and in turn allow you the opportunity to willingly and cheerfully give. In our congregation, at our Shalom Chapel, we have a Pushka (a receiving box) at the entrance of our Shul (Chapel). The Lord God Himself will bless you as you are obedient in word and in deed in bringing cheerfully your TITHES and OFFERINGS unto the LORD our God.
As a result of your obedience unto The Almighty God, here is a beautiful promise that I am sure you will find extremely wonderful and full of grace, found in Malachi chapter three and verse eleven.
AND I WILL
"And I will rebuke the devourer for your sakes, and he shall not destroy the fruits of your ground; neither shall your vine cast her fruit before the time in the field; saith the Lord of Hosts". Shalom (Peace) in our Messiah Y'shua (Jesus).