While working on this Precious Gem article, I recalled a section in my memoir Just a Little Girl that I’d like to share.
I was asked to speak several times at ladies Bible studies. I gave a teaching on the deeper meaning of tithing that was a divine revelation of His Word. [i] In fact, I elaborated on how the verses of the Bible can teach us truth on many levels—not just one.[ii] When I finished with my talk, one of the older women in the group came up to me.
“You have incredible insight into God’s Word. It’s an obvious gift,” she said.
“Thank you,” I said.
“I’m actually quite surprised,” she added. “I learned something new, and I feel God has given me a fresh revelation in His Word from what you shared.”
“Why are you surprised?” I asked.
“It’s just that you’re so young … you need to get older honey, then maybe you will really have people’s ears … right now you’re just a little girl.” She patted my arm gently and walked away, completely clueless how condescending and contradicting she sounded. What did my age matter if God gave her a Word of Wisdom through my message?
As God began to show me deeper levels of scripture and revelation, I often found myself facing comments like this and even more severe objections that mystified me. Apparently, how young I looked somehow contradicted the fact I could have anything intelligent to say.
Although God filled me with prophetic revelations, I grew more discerning in sharing them with anyone other than Paul and a few close friends.
However, I also felt the wind of change in the air as I forged ahead.
Perhaps I was just a little girl, but I was a little girl with a mighty Father. I was a little girl who deeply loved the Lord and completely embraced the power of the Spirit within my soul.
And I was a little girl ready to let God use me to make a big difference.
As I look back on this incident that occurred more than thirty years ago, I realize that while life experience has brought increased understanding in many areas of both my personal and professional life, on this subject of tithing I remain steadfast. Truthfully, my experience in the area of tithing and giving was predicated on the primary revelation I received and began sharing years ago. People often say, “I wish I knew then what I know now,” but I say, “I’m glad I know now what God revealed to me back then.” It has served Paul and I well. Hopefully, the revelation I’m going to share will revolutionize your life as it has ours.
A Relationship of Trust and Responsibility
God’s intention is that man lives a life of true blessing. However, realizing this divine desire depends on one’s trust on His promise and consistent obedience to His instructions, one of which is the giving of our firstfruit offering.
We are not here to make as much money as we can and acquire as much stuff as possible. We are here to manifest God’s ultimate cosmic purpose. Just as Yeshua carried out God’s plan of redemption and reconciliation for the event of the resurrection, we are told to continue advancing the Kingdom for His next great act. We are called to be His feet, His hands, His mouth in order to continue the work He began. Part of the means to this cosmic end is the transference of wealth from the wicked to the hands of the righteous. Those who understand this Scriptural truth know they have a responsibility of bringing God’s plans to fruition.
And because God is in the wealth making process with the righteous, He has a fair plan of distribution for this partnership. It’s a principle and command called the First Fruit, a covenant agreement that consists of four profound principles that must be adhered to;
- Everything Belongs to God
- God Gives to Us
- We Give Back to God – God’s Portion
- God Protects What He Provides
Everything Belongs to God
The LORD owns the earth and all it contains, the world and all who live in it (Psalm 24:1).
He created it all. He owns it all. Even His creation, man belongs to him.
He has provided to man instructions on dwelling in and among His world. He informs us of the principles and inner-workings of how His creation works, and how His economy works.
God Gives to Us
God showed me long ago that it is He who gives us the power to create wealth because of the covenant promises He gave to Abraham and to those who trusted as Abraham trusted. This power works in direct connection to our obedience to His holy instructions. If we obey and allow His heart to override our will, He opens up opportunities and downloads His wisdom into our heart, mind, and spirit. That is the covenant exchange, made clear in Deuteronomy 8:18.
“Rather you are to remember Adonai your God, for it is He who gives you power to make wealth, to establish His covenant that He swore to your fathers—as it is this day.”
God and I are partners. He provides the environment (the place where I work) an environment that is His creation. He provides the tools and gives me the means through His wisdom, divine health, opportunity, protection, and resources. Through me, He manifests His purposes. His purpose is always the same, and that is the furtherance of His Kingdom. He purposes to take the kingdom of darkness down and prepare the world for His soon coming Kingdom. This will end the governments of man and evil ruling dominions and powers allowing for His Holy Throne to finally appear.
Many people think that God just wants His children to be happy because they are “entitled children of a King.” Sadly, those who adhere to this somewhat limited point of view have missed the point completely. Everything that is written in God’s Word through His prophets and also through the words of Yeshua (which repeat the words of the prophets) must come to pass. It is His Kingdom that is coming.
And it is His will that must be done to bring it to pass.
We Give Back to God – God’s Portion
The Word declares that the firstfruits are His – and they are holy. That means sanctified unto Him and for His purposes. This portion cannot be used for my own benefit.
It is God’s portion, and therefore it is spiritual – already ordained and committed by God for the use of providing for the workers of His Kingdom and providing meat in His storehouse for the poor. Even though this first portion of wealth may be included in the gross numbers on my paycheck or dollar bills tangible to my touch, they are not authorized to be used in my business affairs. Firstfruits do not belong to us, and we are not to spend them on our own needs or wants.
Offering firstfruits when we receive an increase is a demonstration of our faith in God as the true source of our provision. When we consider what faith is, we need to acknowledge that faith is an action word.
Giving what belongs to God back to Him is a responsible reckoning of your collective business affairs and more importantly an act of trust. Consider it is an act of faithfulness to your business partner. Would you cheat your business partner and take all the profits from your business all the while knowing it was your collective efforts that made your enterprise possible?
Leviticus 23:10 instructs, “When you come into the land which I give you and reap its harvest, then you shall bring a sheaf of the firstfruits of your harvest to the priest.”
The words in Deuteronomy 18:4 echo this instruction; “The firstfruits of your grain, of your new wine, of your oil, and the first fleece of your sheep, you are to give him.”
Clearly, our firstfruit is to be set apart as holy unto God.
The Word also tells us what the result is of giving God back His portion;
“Honor the Lord with thy substance, and with the firstfruits of all thine increase: So shall thy barns be filled with plenty, and thy presses shall burst out with new wine” (Proverbs 3:9-10).
In the world of business and commerce, monitoring the “Return on Investment” (aka: ROI) is a wise practice, an act of fiscal responsibility. In our partnership with God, it is considered an act of worship. There is a principle of return for the obedience of giving God His firstfruit portion. An acknowledgment of where the blessing of increase has originated from.
“So now, look! I have brought the first of the fruits of the soil that You have given me, Adonai.’ Then you are to set it down before Adonai your God and worship before Adonai your God” (Deuteronomy 26:10).
It must be understood that any attempt to spend the firstfruits on yourself will immediately put your finances in a deficit as the devourer now has rights to the spiritual portion of your wealth.
God Protects What He Provides
“If the part of a dough offered as firstfruits is holy, then the whole batch is holy; if the root is holy, so are the branches” (Romans 11:16).
Giving the first portion of your finances to God will cause all the remaining portions of your finances to be holy. In other words, the giving of firstfruits causes God to treat all your finances as holy. Giving you favor with God because your finances are intimately and obediently connected to the sacred First Fruit Offering.
Your home is blessed, your car is blessed, the work of your hands is blessed… everything comes under the protective blessing of God. Having a blessing imparted on your home positions you to have healing in your physical, spiritual, and emotional areas of your life and that of your family. When you give firstfruits not only do you and your family benefit but also all who enter your home for a visit.
Abraham Gave Offerings to Melchizedek
Interspersed with my paraphrasing, these instructions in the 7th chapter of Hebrews from the apostle Paul to the new believers in Yeshua exquisitely explain about the First Fruit Offering.
Melchizedek was both king of Salem and priest of God Most High. He was the one who went out and gave Abraham his blessing when Abraham returned from killing the kings. 2 Then Abraham gave him a tenth of everything he had. The meaning of the name Melchizedek is “King of Justice.” But since Salem means “peace,” he is also “King of Peace.” 3 We are not told that he had a father or mother or ancestors or beginning or end. He is like the Son of God and will be a priest forever. 4 Notice how great Melchizedek is! Our famous ancestor Abraham gave him a tenth of what he had taken from his enemies.
Abraham knew there was someone who was making intercession for him. There was someone else involved in the supernatural favor he had received to overcome the enemy and then obtain the gain of wealth from his victory. It was a biblical act of worship to honor the mediators between God and man with the First Fruit offering.
8 Priests are given a tenth of what people earn. But all priests die, except Melchizedek, and the Scriptures teach that he is alive.
Yeshua boldly said that ALL that is written in the Torah and the Prophets is about Him. Melchizedek is about Him! In fact, He IS Melchizedek. The Word explains that Yeshua was appointed to be the Priest that makes intercession for us.
13 The person we are talking about is our Lord, who came from a tribe that had never had anyone to serve as a priest at the altar.
15 All of this becomes clearer when someone who is like Melchizedek is appointed to be a priest. 16 That person wasn’t appointed because of his ancestors, but because his life can never end. 17 The Scriptures say about him, “You are a priest forever, just like Melchizedek.”
As Abraham honored Melchizedek, Yeshua is our Priest after the order of Melchizedek.
We as Abraham’s children, like Abraham, also give our honor to the One who gives us all things according to His riches in glory! We follow in the trust of our father Abraham leaning on the promises of God’s Word.
We must not be greedy and put our needs or wants above God – stealing from Him the spiritually sanctified portion of wealth that is not authorized to function in our physical world. Instead, we are to give back to God, our business partner, His portion, sanctified to do His will in the Kingdom of God.
Our Storehouse of Blessings
We are introduced to God’s “Storehouse” in Malachi 3:10.
“I am the Lord All-Powerful, and I challenge you to put me to the test. Bring the entire ten percent into the storehouse so there will be food in my house. Then I will open the windows of heaven and flood you with blessing after blessing.”
The Storehouse was also known as the Temple, and the Temple was the hub of worship. The place where the hearts of the righteous came to meet with God. The offerings were given to God to provide for His priests who had no other income other than what God provided to them from worshippers. Provisions contained in the Storehouse were also intended for the poor. The meat and grain that was given as offerings were distributed among the poor and widows. In this way, it was the community that cared for the poor and not the government.
“You search the Scriptures,” Jesus says, “because you think that in them you have eternal life; and it is they that bear witness about me” (John 5:39).
The word Scriptures here refers to the Hebrew Scriptures, what Christians call the Old Testament or the Tenach as it was known by the Jewish people (there was no New Testament at the time of Christ).
Everything written in the Old Testament was about Yeshua. He was the Rock in the desert. He was the cloud by day and fire by night. Yeshua was and still is considered the Temple, just as He is considered the Storehouse. In essence, when we give to the plans and purposes of Christ, we are giving into God’s Storehouse. And for being obedient to this command, according to Malachi, God promised supernatural blessings.
Balancing Our Blessings
Without doubt, my husband and I have been greatly—even supernaturally blessed over the years. Yet there was a time when that was not the case. A time when we depended more on our financial security than on God. Thankfully, through some financially harrowing times, we learned to live by the power and direction of the Holy Spirit. We learned that to walk through life on those terms, both Paul and I had to learn to listen for His voice and to daily seek His calling for our lives. Sometimes, in order to learn to listen, God needs to get our undivided attention.
Whether your income is $500 or $500,000, the covenant exchange between you and God remains the same. The first portion belongs to Him.
Pray to find where God wants you to sow your firstfruit offerings. It belongs to Him, and there are many ministry efforts advancing His purposes to bring about His Kingdom. There are workers on the frontlines of faith (like the priests in the Old Testament) who minister to the people of God. There are organizations who help the poor, widows, and orphans and even more that seek to save those who are lost. It may be a church, ministry or at times just someone whose personal need is desperate.
Remember the Lord’s powerful words in Matthew 25:40, “…Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.”
For those who say, “I can barely provide for my own family, how can I give a firstfruit offering to someone else?” Without doubt, many struggle to make ends meet, sometimes on a daily basis. Yet God’s Word remains the plumb line by which we measure how to live a life that brings Him glory, honor, and praise. God’s economy is principle based; revolving around earning and tithing, giving and receiving, sowing and reaping, ownership and stewardship, and yes, even around wisdom and wealth.
Yeshua lives forever. It is He who is providing for you, all your opportunities, your talents, your wisdom, your resources, in essence, your every need. Don’t neglect to give Him His portion of your increase that comes from Him so that you too may enter into the promises of the harvest.
[i] See Tithing at PreciousGems.life
[ii] Article –PARDS, The Four Levels of Meaning in Scripture at Dr.VictoriaSarvadi.com