Giving A Tithe – Here is the Lord’s deal: He said if you will BRING the whole tithe – not 2% or 7% – the whole tithe, you can test him. He said, “…see if I will not throw open the floodgates of heaven and pour out so much blessing that you will not have room enough for it.” Notice it says, “…pour out so much blessing…” It may not be money he pours out. It will be the blessing you need.
DEAL OR NO DEAL?
by Delbert Young
Giving a Tithe
Giving a Tithe
Scriptures: Scriptures: Malachi 3:8-11; Leviticus 27:30; Numbers 18:21; Deuteronomy 14:23-26; Deuteronomy 14:28-29 2
We are beginning a new series today titled DEAL OR NO DEAL. There are certain issues in the scriptures where the Lord sort of says, “I will make a deal with you. If you take my deal, here is what you get. Or, you can do it your way, take your chances, and try to beat the banker. DEAL OR NO DEAL?” I want to take a few weeks and look at some of these issues and what better one to begin with than GIVING and TITHING. One of the best deals God offers us is in GIVING AND TITHING. My wife and I have been GIVING AND TITHING since 1978. Prior to that time, we were constantly behind and struggled financially. She wanted me to tell you that we also put works with our faith, but God has been faithful and has done his part of the deal. So, let’s dive in and see the Lord’s DEAL OR NO DEAL.
Malachi 3:8-11 “Will a man rob God? Yet you rob me. “But you ask, ‘How do we rob you?’ “In TITHES AND OFFERINGS. You are under a curse – the whole nation of you – because you are robbing me. BRING THE WHOLE TITHE into the storehouse, that there may be food in my house. TEST ME IN THIS,” says the LORD Almighty, “and see if I will not THROW OPEN THE FLOODGATES OF HEAVEN AND POUR OUT SO MUCH BLESSING THAT YOU WILL NOT HAVE ROOM ENOUGH FOR IT. I will prevent pests from devouring your crops, and the vines in your fields will not cast their fruit,” says the LORD Almighty.
Perhaps we need to ask that question “How do we rob you?” a different way. Let’s ask, “Am I robbing God today if I do not give tithes and if so how/why?” Notice that the Lord does not place those who do not tithe under a curse. They place their own selves under a curse by robbing God. It is interesting how the decision to rob God by not tithing affects the entire nation. The point is when I do not tithe, I do not only place myself under a curse. I bring others under it also such as my family, etc. Why is that and how does that work out? We will discuss that in a few minutes.
Here is the Lord’s deal: He said if you will BRING the whole tithe – not 2% or 7% – the whole tithe, you can test him. He said, “…see if I will not throw open the floodgates of heaven and pour out so much blessing that you will not have room enough for it.” We need to take notice that it says, “…pour out so much blessing…” It may not be money he will pour out. It could be,but it will be the blessing you need.One way the Lord will bless you is to prevent pests (KJV says devourer) from devouring your productivity. He will protect the things you already have in progress such as employment, investments, any means of income and productivity you have. What things “pester” you? Do the children keep getting sick, does the car continue to give you problems, do appliances break down, etc. Just about the time you think you have everything going well, some “pesky” situation comes up. The Lord said, “I will prevent pests from devouring your…” WHAT IS THE LORD’S DEAL IN MALACHI CONCERNING TITHES? If you bring the whole tithe you can test the Lord and see if he will open heaven’s floodgates, pour you out blessings, and prevent pests from devouring your productivity.
The Lord said people were robbing him and we asked was I robbing God today if I did not give tithes and if so, how/why?
Leviticus 27:30 “‘A tithe of EVERYTHING from the land, whether grain from the soil or fruit from the trees, BELONGS TO THE LORD; IT IS HOLY to the LORD.
The people of Israel were an agricultural people. No matter how they acquired their income – land, grain, fruit trees, etc, they were to bring a tithe of EVERYTHING.QUESTION: DOES A TITHE OF EVERYTHING BELONG TO THE LORD AND IS THE TITHE HOLY? Yes. Why does a tithe of everything belong to the Lord? The reason is the tithe is HOLY. Your tithe is holy. The thought of holy is that God sets it apart to use for a specific purpose. The Bible speaks of holy prophets, holy commandments, Holy Spirit, Holy Scriptures, holy apostles, holy temple, holy angels, the holy One, etc. We recognize and honor all those things as holy of the Lord. However, I never hear anyone refer to the tithe asholy and belonging to the Lord. You need to see, like it or not, that when you mess with the tithe, you are messing with something holy that belongs to the Lord. You place your own self under a curse because you have robbed God. However, when you honor the tithe as holy, belonging to the Lord, you place yourself under the floodgates of blessings. DEAL OR NO DEAL?
Notice that the Lord said “TITHES and offerings” plural in Malachi, not “tithe” singular and he said the “whole tithe.” Just as there are different types of offerings – sin offering, thanksgiving offering, peace offering, etc,there are different types of tithes. Together they make the “whole tithe.” There are actually three different “tithes” taught in the scriptures. The first tithe is the one of which we are the most familiar. I am going to show it to you and I need you to tell me to whom this tithe goes and why it goes there.
Numbers 18:21 And, behold, I have given the children of Levi all the tenth [tithe] in Israel for an inheritance, for their service which they serve, even the service of the tabernacle of the congregation.
Where does it go and why? This tithe is to go to ministry for their service. It is also for the maintenance of the place of worship. That is what the Levites did. Those who give this tithe will receive great ministry and enjoy a great place to worship. We rob God by not supporting the ministry he gives us and by not helping to maintain the place of worship. That is what it is holy to do. This tithe belongs to the Lord and is set apart to accomplish something specific.
The next tithe is where tithes become interesting. I will never forget when I first began to see this. I was reading the scriptures and hit a verse similar to what I am about to show you. I said something like, “That’s interesting. No one has ever told me about that. I wonder what that means.” Then I went on a hunt to find how it applied to my life. Let’s read about it and you tell me if this tithe is different from the previous, to whom this tithe goes, and for what reason it is holy.
Deuteronomy 14:23-26 And thou shalt eat before the LORD thy God, in the place which he shall choose to place his name there, the tithe of thy corn, of thy wine, and of thine oil, and the firstlings of thy herds and of thy flocks; that thou mayest learn to fear the LORD thy God always. And if the way be too long for thee, so that thou art not able to carry it; or if the place be too far from thee, which the LORD thy God shall choose to set his name there, when the LORD thy God hath blessed thee: Then shalt thou turn it into money, and bind up the money in thine hand, and shalt go unto the place which the LORD thy God shall choose: And THOU SHALT BESTOW THAT MONEY FOR WHATSOEVER THY SOUL LUSTETH AFTER, for oxen, or for sheep, or for wine, or for strong drink, or FOR WHATSOEVER THY SOUL DESIRETH: and thou shalt eat there before the LORD thy God, and thou shalt rejoice, thou, and thine household
Who is to eat/partake of this tithe? To whom does this tithe go? The person giving it! Is this tithe different from the previous tithe we discussed? Yes it is. Is it holy? Does it have a specific, special, set apart purpose? Let me attempt to explain it. Three times a year the people were to come to three different feasts – #1 Passover (Feast of Unleavened Bread), #2 Pentecost (Weeks), and #3 Tabernacles (Trumpets). When they went to each feast, they would bring this tithe to the temple and there, they would have a big party – feast. If the places they lived were too far to bring the grain, wine, oil, or animals, they could sell the items that were their tithe, convert it to money, and take the money instead of the grain, wine, oil, or animals. Let’s read the last part of that passage again.
Deuteronomy 14:26 And thou shalt bestow that money FOR WHATSOEVER THY SOUL LUSTETH AFTER, for oxen, or for sheep, or for wine, or for strong drink, or FOR WHATSOEVER THY SOUL DESIRETH: and thou shalt eat there before the LORD thy God, and THOU SHALT REJOICE, THOU, AND THINE HOUSEHOLD
The Lord says that he wants us happy, so he places into his tithes a tithe for us. Figured into God’s economic plan for his people, are three vacations a year. How many of us could enjoy three, already paid for, vacations a year? Well, here it is. This tithe is used for whatsoever thy soul lusteth after, or for whatsoever thy soul desireth. Remember, this is the tithe that says by doing it you will learn to fear the Lord your God (v.23). In other words, if you do tithes correctly, you will not only have great ministry and a great facility in which to worship. You will also have three vacations a year for you and your family. You will have whatsoever thy soul lusteth after and whatsoever thy soul desireth. The “fear part” is if you refuse to take his deal, you will not have these things. You will have inferior ministry, an inferior facility, and you will spend your life in constant debt never having what you desire.DEAL OR NO DEAL? This tithe is set apart for the giver. It is holy. We rob God by not allowing him to bless our lives and the lives of our household.
I want to go ahead and show us the third tithe and then I will attempt to put tithes all together. Again, tell me if this is a different tithe from the previous two, to whom it goes, why it is holy, and how we rob God by not doing it.
(NLT) Deuteronomy 14:28-29 At the end of every third year bring the tithe of all your crops and store it in the nearest town. Give it to the Levites, who have no inheritance among you, as well as to the foreigners living among you, the orphans, and the widows in your towns, so they can eat and be satisfied. Then the LORD your God will bless you in all your work.
Is this a different tithe? To whom does it go and why? In the New Testament, Jesus called this alms and Jesus is big on alms giving.
Matthew 6:2-5 Therefore when thou doest thine alms, do not sound a trumpet before thee, as the hypocrites do in the synagogues and in the streets, that they may have glory of men. Verily I say unto you, They have their reward. But when thou doest alms, let not thy left hand know what thy right hand doeth: That thine alms may be in secret: and thy Father which seeth in secret HIMSELF SHALL REWARD THEE OPENLY.
Jesus said WHEN you do your alms, not IF you do. He said to keep it as private as possible. If you give it/do it, your heavenly Father will take it upon himself to REWARD YOU OPENLY. Notice the end of Deuteronomy 14:29.
Deuteronomy 14:29 Give it… THEN THE LORD YOUR GOD WILL BLESS YOU IN ALL YOUR WORK.
A very special blessing comes with this tithe. Jesus said Father who sees in secret shall reward you openly. The Lord God will bless all your work. DEAL OR NO DEAL?
When did the Lord say to give this tithe? It was given the third year. In other words, this was an extra tithe given on the third year. It has a specific special purpose. It goes to the minister no longer able to minister, the transient, the orphans, widows, i.e. the needy. It is holy. We rob God from helping these people when we do not give this tithe.
Let me attempt to make all this practical and applicable. Let’s say a person has a weekly income of $1,000. To honor the holy tithes, that person would give a holy tithe of $100 to support their ministry and for maintenance of the place of worship. That person would give aholy tithe, $100, to his or her own self to be kept and used for whatsoever their heart lustest after and desireth. Here is what I do concerning the alms tithe. Instead of adding another tithe every three years (which most folk are not going to do), I simply give a 1/3 tithe every week. With the person making $1000 weekly, that would be $33.33 a week for alms. I give my alms tithe here at Life Gate, but that is not the only place I could give it, but it must be given somewhere. The reason I give here is I know what a great alms program we have. It is so good that Life Gate is well known around town for helping the down-and-outers. City Hall, Housing Authority, and others have referred people to us for help.
I have the unique position at Life Gate, as do the elders, to know who honors the Lord correctly with the holy tithes. Every one, I repeat, every one of those who do are blessed, blessed people. I do not mean to insinuate they do not go through things, but I stand back and watch the Lord in amazement as he rebukes the pests/devourer in their lives.I watch the floodgates of heaven open for them. It is amazing sometimes. It is the deal God makes and you can test him in it.
I want to close with just a few quick stories that I think will be meaningful to you. Not long ago, the phone rang and it was the woman over the local hospice operation for this area. She asked for me and said she had a new hospice patient, not yet approved by their insurance for hospice care. She said she could provide the nurse, but could not provide the medication for pain and bags needed for a colostomy. She had tapped out all her resources and asked if there was any way we could help. Of course we did because we have our alms account. We “got” to do that for that poor dying person. Daily, the phone rings asking for assistance.
I want to tell you a story about Randy Parker. I know he has given tithes for at least twenty years. Several years ago, the company for which he worked cut back and terminated Randy. I think the first place he came was to my office. He was down and depressed. He felt embarrassed, limited, and worried. The company was going to pay Randy until he found a new job. That part was good. I told Randy that I did not know how, but I did know that it was going to work out for good. He had a deal with God. We made him a good résumé and he sent it out. Companies offered Randy several jobs, but none of them would pay what he needed. I would talk to Randy and he would be depressed. I would tell him to go on vacation and relax. He looked at me as if I were crazy. For three months, Randy could not find a job he wanted, but he kept tithing and we kept praying. Finally, Randy decided to take a job that he really did not want. The day he was to report for work, that night, the company that terminated him three months earlier called Randy. They not only wanted Randy to come back to work. They wanted him to oversee the entire plant. It was a huge promotion and pay increase. You will never convince Randy that it was not his faithfulness in GIVING AND TITHING that caused the Lord to open the floodgates of heaven for him.
PHONE RING: “That was the Lord God. He told me to tell you here is his deal. If you will honor his holy tithes, he will open the floodgates of heaven for you. He will prevent pests from devouring your productivity. He will provide you with great ministry and a great place to worship. He will make certain that you have whatsoever your heart lusteth after and desireth. He will bless the needy through you and take it upon himself to openly bless you. Or, you can take your chances, keep opening your cases, live under a curse, rob God, and never have the abundance you and your household could have. DEAL OR NO DEAL?
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