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It is certainly true that today’s wordly economical situation is on a downswing. Not only do countries owe more than they have assets, but this is also true for people - bankruptcies and foreclosures testify to this fact. Because Yahweh does command that one is to attend His Feasts, He does provide a means of doing so. The means He does provide is called the Second Tithe.
Suppose you were representing a Powerful and Benevolent Dictator in a foreign country. You had volunteered for this position when you understood that you were specially selected because you had the required qualities of perseverance and dedication. You were busy carrying on with your life when one day you were given a letter urging very strongly that you do something special.
From now on your performance would include a new discipline as a way of life. The letter went on to explain that this change of behavior was for your own good and that you would eventually benefit beyond your wildest dreams. You wholeheartedly agreed that the benefits were unbelievable.
You knew that someday you would join others in the land of the Benevolent Dictator. There, many of the things you were now doing would be the standard of behavior for others you would be helping. Yet, somehow you felt these new demands were a little bit too much. It would mean tighter discipline in your life and perhaps even some sacrifice.
You had already made many changes to become a recognized representative of the Benevolent Dictator. And now He seemed to be asking even more. You begin to wonder whether His requests and demands will ever cease. The pressures continue to build.
The thought crosses your mind that your life is your own, and how you live it is nobody's business but your own. Who would know how you carried out the personal things of daily living anyway?
Directive from the Father
What if that letter were from Almighty Yahweh? After you realized you were one of the few chosen to represent Him, you decided that His demands of you were becoming too great. Would you throw up your hands and walk away from it all, or would you review what He said and prayerfully reevaluate your situation to make sure you fully understood what He required of you?
Yahweh does place His expectations of you in the pages of the Bible—with direct and clear demands touching every facet of your life. He has placed evangelists, pastors, and teachers within the Body of Messiah to assist you to meet the requirements of His unchanging standards.
Those called into the Body of Messiah are to continue growing daily in grace and knowledge. Yahweh's Bible contains more than suggestions, platitudes, and positive thinking. He says Scripture includes His commandments, statutes, and judgments. These you are to follow and make a part of your very being so that you conform to the image of His Son.
|When Your Love of Truth Cools|
Tithing has been under attack by a host of people. Many feel a deep conviction to conform to biblical principles, but because of real or alleged misuse of tithes and offerings they simply do not want to hear anything about tithing. They question the concept and doctrine of tithing and have allowed their love of the truth to grow cold. They are neither hot nor cold, Revelation 3:16:
So then because thou art lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will spue thee out of my mouth.
Perhaps you have had serious misgivings about how others handled money. Almost every person thinks no one can handle money as he can. We are often quick to scrutinize and sharply criticize those in positions of public trust in their handling of funds. Have you looked with jaundiced eye at the financial report of some group and at the same time overlooked your own shortcomings?
Can you unashamedly display your handling of the second tithe to anyone wishing to view your record? Have you used this opportunity to feast on the rich spiritual food during Yahweh's Feast Days? Or have you used the second tithe on your human pleasures and physical feasting?
When is the last time you carefully reviewed Deuteronomy 14:22-27 and 16:11-15?
Thou shalt truly tithe all the increase of thy seed, that the field bringeth forth year by year. And thou shalt eat before Yahweh thy Elohim, 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 Yahweh thy Elohim 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 Yahweh thy Elohim shall choose to set His name there, when Yahweh thy Elohim 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 Yahweh thy Elohim 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 Yahweh thy Elohim, and thou shalt rejoice, thou, and thine household, and the Levite that is within thy gates; thou shalt not forsake him; for he hath no part nor inheritance with thee,
And thou shalt rejoice before Yahweh thy Elohim, thou, and thy son, and thy daughter, and thy manservant, and thy maidservant, and the Levite that is within thy gates, and the stranger, and the fatherless, and the widow, that are among you, in the place which Yahweh thy Elohim hath chosen to place His name there. And thou shalt remember that thou wast a bondman in Egypt: and thou shalt observe and do these statutes. Thou shalt observe the feast of tabernacles seven days, after that thou hast gathered in thy corn and thy wine: and thou shalt rejoice in thy feast, thou, and thy son, and thy daughter, and thy manservant, and thy maidservant, and the Levite, the stranger, and the fatherless, and the widow, that are within thy gates. Seven days shalt thou keep a solemn feast unto Yahweh thy Elohim in the place which Yahweh shall choose: because Yahweh thy Elohim shall bless thee in all thine increase, and in all the works of thine hands, therefore thou shalt surely rejoice, Deut.16:11-15.
In these verses one reads that there is a close relationship between the responsibility of Yahweh's people to keep the Feast Days and the second tithe: "that you may learn to fear Yahweh your Elohim always," Deuteronomy 14:23.
Many do not attend the Feasts with other brethren of Yahweh because they neglect to set aside the second tithe for this purpose. They claim to be living their life for the Benevolent Dictator, but maintain that how they handle the tithe is their own business and they will be responsible only to themselves.
Then there is the common argument, "I can love and serve Yahweh and His Son Yahshua without meeting with others. I am able to revere Him without following the Old Testament laws of tithing. I don't need to meet with people at a certain place during the Feasts of Unleavened Bread or Tabernacles. I can worship right in my home or in my own back yard."
On and on the arguments go to justify no commitments or sacrifice in attending Yahweh's Feasts with others of like faith.
|Faith Shown by Works|
A number of people think the Feast Days are no longer binding on the spiritual people of Yahweh. For example, fasting on the Day of Atonement is unnecessary, they reason. The Messiah died for us and was our Atonement. Therefore, we worship Him spiritually through a humble mind instead of an afflicted body. However, we read that Yahshua and the Apostles, including Paul, kept the Feast Days. The Day of Atonement was included (when the "fast was already past," Acts 27:9), as well as the weekly Sabbath (Acts 13:42,44; 17:2; 18:4).
Yea, a man may say, you have faith, and I have works: show me your faith without your works, and I will show you my faith by my works ...But will you know, O vain man, that faith without [apart from] works is dead [barren]? (James 2:18,20)
A person cannot satisfactorily keep the Day of Atonement without fasting and still gain the spiritual benefits thereof. Neither can you keep the seventh-day Sabbath “in your heart or mind" without physically observing this weekly rest day.
You keep them by remembering that these are holy times Yahweh has given us.
By making His Sabbaths a part of your physical life, you also come to a higher spiritual comprehension of the truths they portray. This comes through your obedience and Yahweh's Spirit working through you.
The same applies to the second tithe. By faithfully keeping it, we are a living witness that we believe and follow Yahweh's way of life given us in His Word.
It is not that Yahweh needs anything from us. He is the owner of this entire earth, Psalm 24. But we have not yet achieved the measure of Yahweh's stature and character.
All of Yahweh's physical laws have a spiritual dimension. Obedience to them accomplishes a spiritual objective. In disregarding these physical laws we lose life's pathway of discipline for spiritual growth.
One can preach sermons and publish articles pointing out the sins of murder, adultery, stealing, lying, coveting, blaspheming and a host of other evils and hardly anyone blinks an eye. Somehow they feel these topics apply not to themselves but to someone else. However, as soon as the topic of tithing comes up, almost as with one voice they ask, "Why me? Why do you zero in on me and talk about money?" Tithing and money are sensitive issues with many. Perhaps this touchiness is the result of guilt.
Tithing is biblical. It is a principle and standard of worship. Through tithing we show that we place Yahweh foremost in our lives. We give to Him first, knowing He will shepherd and protect us along life's pathway. No one can give more than Yahweh.
Abraham, the father of the faithful, tithed to Melchizedek, Genesis 14. Just what this Servant of the Most High did with the tithes received from Abraham we are not told, and apparently it is not our concern or Yahweh would have informed us.
The New Testament lesson found in Hebrews 7 shows the superiority of Yahshua as of the true Melchizedekian priesthood. We as the faithful ones are expected to tithe as did Abraham and all the ancient worthies.
The true representatives of Yahshua have the obligation to teach tithing to the Body of Messiah and they have the power to abstain from outside occupations and be supported by the brethren in their work in the ministry, 1 Corinthians 9:4-14. Paul did not use this power lest he offend the newly converted, verses 18-22. Other Apostles, however, did exercise this right, verses 4-6.
On the other hand, Paul did expect to be compensated materially for His spiritual labor,
For the scripture saith, Thou shalt not muzzle the ox that treadeth out the corn. And, The labourer is worthy of his reward, 1 Timothy 5:18 (NIV). (See also Romans 15:27 and Galatians 6:6.)
|Are Farmers Singled Out?|
Ancient Israel and the early patriarchs lived in an agrarian economy. This is the simplest lifestyle known to us, and one easily understood even in today's sophisticated society. Some contend that because the Bible teaches tithing in the simplest terms—in relation to agriculture—that only farmers are required to tithe.
Why, then, are we given the example of Abraham early in the first book of the Bible (And blessed be the most high Elohim, who hath delivered thine enemies into thy hand. And he gave Him tithes of all, Genesis 14:20) who paid tithes on the spoils of war? His giving to Melchizedek is commended and given us as an example in Hebrews 7:4 (Now consider how great this man was, unto whom even the patriarch Abraham gave the tenth of the spoils.) so that New Testament believers would be taught that tithing is for today as well. Hebrews tells us specifically that Abraham tithed; it does not refer to his giving as merely an offering.
Yahweh tells us that all increase comes from the land: crops, wool, timber, oil, coal, metals, gas, concrete—everything, Leviticus 27:30.
And all the tithe of the land, whether of the seed of the land, or of the fruit of the tree, is Yahweh’s: it is holy unto Yahweh.
If tithing were limited only to agricultural products, then those engaged in fishing, trading, weaving or commerce would not be required to tithe. They would not be supporting the Levitical Priesthood because their income was neither directly from agricultural produce nor herds. If this be true, it would be especially difficult for certain of the tribes of Israel because there is also a second tithe to be set aside for the Feast Days. Thus, the people of Dan who dwelt in ships (Judges 5:17) would not be required to tithe and attend the Feasts. Jacob said that Zebulun would dwell by the sea and be a haven for ships, Genesis 49:13. Moses confirmed this prophecy, saying that Zebulun (and perhaps Issachar) would feast on the abundance of the seas and of the treasures hidden in the sand,
They shall call the people unto the mountain; there they shall offer sacrifices of righteousness: for they shall suck of the abundance of the seas, and of treasures hid in the sand, Deuteronomy 33:19 NIV.
If this distorted view of tithing supposedly being only for the farmer were true, then the tribes of Dan and Zebulun would not be worshiping with the rest of Israel—their income was not always from crops and herds. Those living on the sea-coasts, such as the tribe of Asher (Judges 5:17, Joshua 19:24-31) whose living was in making boats, nets, etc., would be left out, and those who took up jobs in the larger cities such as Tyre, Joshua 19:29, would have no part in the worship of Israel because many made their living aside from farming.
They would not be honoring Yahweh with their substance nor the firstfruits of their increase (Prov. 3:9). They would not be setting aside the second tithe for observing the Feasts, either.
These people would share no responsibility for the Levite, the widows, and orphans in the third year,
At the end of three years thou shalt bring forth all the tithe of thine increase the same year, and shalt lay it up within thy gates: and the Levite, (because he hath no part nor inheritance with thee,) and the stranger, and the fatherless, and the widow, which are within thy gates, shall come, and shall eat and be satisfied; that Yahweh thy Elohim may bless thee in all the work of thine hand which thou doest, Deuteronomy 14:28-29.
Notice that Yahweh said He had given to Levi "all the tenth in Israel for an inheritance" for their service in the tent of meeting. That included monies from all the occupations of Israel, not just the farmers and herdsmen.
The Levites in turn were to tithe of the tithe given them, bringing these up to the house of Elohim into the treasure house,
And the priest the son of Aaron shall be with the Levites, when the Levites take tithes: and the Levites shall bring up the tithe of the tithes unto the house of our Elohim, to the chambers, into the treasure house, Nehemiah 10:38 (See also Numbers 18:26).
The Holy Days are evident from as far back as Genesis 1:14, where Yahweh made the sun and moon for signs and seasons (moed, Hebrew for appointed times). He had already made provision for the "moed" (appointed times) on the fourth day of creation.
These same seasons will operate in the new heavens and new earth, for we read there will continue to be 12 months each year. These months are a continual reminder of Yahweh's Feast Days in His redemption plan for mankind,
And by the river upon the bank thereof, on this side and on that side, shall grow all trees for meat, whose leaf shall not fade, neither shall the fruit thereof be consumed: it shall bring forth new fruit according to his months, because their waters they issued out of the sanctuary: and the fruit thereof shall be for meat, and the leaf thereof for medicine, Ezekiel 47:12.
In the midst of the street of it, and on either side of the river, was there the tree of life, which bare twelve manner of fruits, and yielded her fruit every month: and the leaves of the tree were for the healing of the nations, Revelation 22:2.
Deuteronomy 12 is quite detailed with the provisions for keeping the Feasts Yahweh gave His people. Beginning in verse 5, His people are to meet at the place Yahweh has chosen to put His Name for His dwelling. He chooses the place through His ministers and Elders. That is why Yahweh's Assembly in Yahshua has put His Name first.
Tithes and offerings are to be brought. There, in the presence of Yahweh our Elohim, we and our families shall eat and shall rejoice because Yahweh has blessed us, verse 7, NIV.
The purpose and the reason for the second tithe is given in Deuteronomy 14:22-27. Note that a tenth is set aside each year. This tithe is to be eaten in the presence of Yahweh and we are to rejoice before Him and to buy whatever we desire in food, wine, or strong drink, verses 26-27. The tithe mentioned in Deuteronomy 12:5-8 and 14:22-27 is not the same as the tithe in Leviticus 27:30. These are two different tithes.
The second or "Festival Tithe" is for the believer and his household. It is to be consumed at the Feasts. The tithe is not to be consumed at home, "within your gates," Deuteronomy 12:18. Its purpose is so that you and your family and the Levite might rejoice and thank Yahweh for His goodness.
And all the tithe of the land, whether of the seed of the land, or of the fruit of the tree, is Yahweh’s: it is holy unto Yahweh, Leviticus 27:30.
This verse tells us that the first tithe is holy to Yahweh. It is given to the Levitical (now Melchizedek) priesthood,
And, behold, I have given the children of Levi all the tenth in Israel for an inheritance, for their service which they serve, even the service of the tabernacle of the congregation...But the tithes of the children of Israel, which they offer as an heave offering untoYahweh, I have given to the Levites to inherit: therefore I have said unto them, Among the children of Israel they shall have no inheritance, Numbers 18:21, 24.
Note that this tithe was not to be used by the Israelite, but was given to the Levite for his service in the tent of meeting. The Israelite was not to buy food or drink with this first tithe and consume it himself. The Levite in turn was to give 10 percent of the tithe he received to the priests,
Thus speak unto the Levites, and say unto them, When ye take of the children of Israel the tithes which I have given you from them for your inheritance, then ye shall offer up an heave offering of it for Yahweh, even a tenth part of the tithe, Numbers 18:26.
The second tithe was not given to the Levites; it was not turned over to the priests. It was used by the offerer for the Festival. Through our obedience to Yahweh, we always will have the means and can afford to keep the annual Holy Days.
The second tithe is not optional. The command is there. We are to keep His Feasts so that we can rejoice before Him and forever stand in awe of His majesty and magnificent power.
|Second Tithe for Feast|
The second tithe is a discipline that we assume because of our love for our Heavenly Father and His Son. Through the second tithe we are assured that we will be able to attend the seven annual feast days. There we can enjoy the fellowship with the Body of Messiah and are able to act out the plan of salvation as portrayed in His Feast Days.
Is it possible to keep the Feast Days at home and still enjoy the benefits of Yahweh's goodness? Did Yahweh intend festival celebration without convocation and fellowship with others of like faith, without hearing sermons and instruction by others who have been moved by the Holy Spirit to share the truth He has given them?
The Bible studies, singing, prayer instruction, and fellowship are all uplifting and a highlight of the rich spiritual experience that we have come to expect with joyful anticipation. This is what we seek as we keep the Feasts year by year.
Yahweh works through His human instruments. He has set in the Assembly those who have shown by willing obedience to His Word to have the qualifications to be prophets, evangelists, pastors, and teachers,
And He gave some, apostles; and some, prophets; and some, evangelists; and some, pastors and teachers, Ephesians 4:11.
These men are to help in perfecting the saints, for the work of the ministry and the edifying of the Body of Messiah,
For the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Messiah, Ephesians 4:12.
Those ministering to the Body of Messiah are charged with finding a place for the congregation of believers to assemble to keep the Feast Days. When His people are gathered with His ministers, there is Yahshua in the midst of them. Those having His Spirit are sealed with His Name and the Father's Name in their foreheads,
Then I looked, and there before me was the Lamb, standing on Mount Zion, and with Him 144,000 who had His name and His Father’s name written on their foreheads, Revelation 14:1 NIV.
Thus, He has placed His Name at that gathering and is in the midst of them,
For where two or three are gathered together in My name, there am I in the midst of them, Matthew 18:20.
Providing a place for keeping the Feasts is a responsibility and good use of the second tithe. A "tithe of the tithe" has often been asked for this purpose, which is based on Bible principles.
Nehemiah 10:32 tells of the returning captives who "made ordinances for us, to charge ourselves yearly with the third part of a shekel for the service of the house of our Elohim." The people voluntarily gave a third of a shekel (although others routinely gave a half shekel, Exodus 30:13-14, 2 Chronicles 24:4-14) for upkeep.
Yahweh wants us to rejoice at His Feasts, to make them a memorable and joyful occasion. But we are not to rejoice alone:
You shall observe the Feast of Tabernacles seven days. . .and you shall rejoice in your Feast, you and your son, and your daughter, and your manservant, and your maid-servant, the Levite, the stranger, and the fatherless, and the widow that are within your gates, Deuteronomy 16:13-14.
We are not to forget the needy so they also may attend the Feast and rejoice with us. There is always the newcomer who is attending the Feast for the first time who may have to travel many miles to gather with us. At one time most of us were strangers to His Covenant and did not understand until someone else took it upon themselves to help reveal His great truths to us either in person or in written word.
Listen to Yahweh's Word,
For Yahweh Elohim is Elohim of Elohim. . .which regards not persons, nor takes reward. He does execute the judgment of the fatherless and widow, and loves the stranger, in giving him food and raiment. Love therefore the stranger: for you were strangers in the land of Egypt, Deuteronomy 10:17-19.
We should plan for saving excess second tithe and use it to help others in attending the Feasts. This is the true love Yahshua spoke of in providing for others without expecting anything in return,
Then said He also to him that bade Him, “When thou makest a dinner or a supper, call not thy friends, nor thy brethren, neither thy kinsmen, nor thy rich neighbours; lest they also bid thee again, and a recompence be made thee. But when thou makest a feast, call the poor, the maimed, the lame, the blind: and thou shalt be blessed; for they cannot recompense thee: for thou shalt be recompensed at the resurrection of the just,” Luke 14:12-14.
Veteran Feast-goers have developed a routine to prepare from one year to the next. It is a family time, and the family enjoys doing their part in preparing for this great "adventure," especially where there is overnight travel involved. Packing for the Feast takes planning and thought. If you have children, make this a learning experience.
Above all, save your second tithe for enjoying the Feast. It is Yahweh's plan for you to keep His holy times so that you will be better prepared to rule with His Son in the Kingdom. When you join others of like faith with songs of praise to Yahweh, it is a sweet-smelling savor to Him.
When you join others in prayer and petition, the Holy Spirit is there to strengthen and nurture your growth and understanding in the Messiah. Don't neglect assembling together with others of like faith, and so much more as you see the day of Yahshua approaching
Three times (cycles, rhythms) in the year you shall keep a Feast unto Yahweh, Deuteronomy 16:16.
|Three Tithes in Scripture|
The First Tithe
The first tithe is holy to Yahweh:
And all the tithe of the land, whether of the seed of the land, or of the fruit of the tree, is Yahweh’s: it is holy unto Yahweh. And if a man will at all redeem ought of his tithes, he shall add thereto the fifth part thereof. And concerning the tithe of the herd, or of the flock, even of whatsoever passeth under the rod, the tenth shall be holy unto Yahweh. He shall not search whether it be good or bad, neither shall he change it: and if he change it at all, then both it and the change thereof shall be holy; it shall not be redeemed, Leviticus 27:30-33.
• The 10th of seed or fruit claimed by Yahweh is holy to Him.
• Offerer could retain same by adding one-fifth to its value.
• Every 10th calf and lamb of increase was set aside.
• This offering not to be redeemed or exchanged, but if done so, both were holy to Yahweh.
• The first tithe is holy to Yahweh and given to the Levites,
And, behold, I have given the children of Levi all the tenth in Israel for an inheritance, for their service which they serve, even the service of the tabernacle of the congregation, Numbers 18:21.
• No produce of land or increase of herd is exempt.
• Offerer had no voice in its disposal.
• While called a heave offering, none was returned to offerer.
• This tithe is not diminished, nor alms of offerer's choice, but a claim by Yahweh; withholding regarded as dishonesty,
Will a man rob El? Yet ye have robbed Me. But ye say, Wherein have we robbed thee? In tithes and offerings, Malachi 3:8.
|(See our study, "Never Let It Be Said, You Have Robbed Yahweh!")|
The Second Tithe
Second tithe, Deuteronomy 14:22-27, is at discretion of offerer:
Thou shalt truly tithe all the increase of thy seed, that the field bringeth forth year by year. And thou shalt eat before Yahweh thy Elohim, 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 Yahweh thy Elohim 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 Yahweh thy Elohim shall choose to set His name there, when Yahweh thy Elohim 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 Yahweh thy Elohim 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 Yahweh thy Elohimn, and thou shalt rejoice, thou, and thine household, and the Levite that is within thy gates; thou shalt not forsake him; for he hath no part nor inheritance with thee.
• Increase of the land.
• Eaten by offerer, his household, Levite; with firstlings of the flock, but only at the place of worship.
• That Israel might always fear Yahweh.
• Could be converted into money, to be used for feasting.
• Tither was to eat and rejoice before Yahweh.
• This tithe involved a stay of a week or so at three Feasts, Deuteronomy 16:5, 13, 16.
• They were to assemble in worship, Deuteronomy 12:6-7.
The Third Tithe
Third tithe, Deuteronomy 14:28-29, at discretion of offerer:
At the end of three years thou shalt bring forth all the tithe of thine increase the same year, and shalt lay it up within thy gates: and the Levite, (because he hath no part nor inheritance with thee,) and the stranger, and the fatherless, and the widow, which are within thy gates, shall come, and shall eat and be satisfied; that Yahweh thy Elohim may bless thee in all the work of thine hand which thou doest.
• The third is to be laid up at home.
• Shared by local Levite, stranger, fatherless, widow.
• That Yahweh might bless the work of the tithe-payer's hands.
• It is collected every three years, Deuteronomy 26:12-14,
When thou hast made an end of tithing all the tithes of thine increase the third year, which is the year of tithing, and hast given it unto the Levite, the stranger, the fatherless, and the widow, that they may eat within thy gates, and be filled; then thou shalt say before Yahweh thy Elohim, I have brought away the hallowed things out of mine house, and also have given them unto the Levite, and unto the stranger, to the fatherless, and to the widow, according to all Thy commandments which Thou hast commanded me: I have not transgressed Thy commandments, neither have I forgotten them: I have not eaten thereof in my mourning, neither have I taken away ought thereof for any unclean use, nor given ought thereof for the dead: but I have hearkened to the voice of Yahweh my Elohim, and have done according to all that Thou hast commanded me.
-Elder Donald R. Mansager
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