Concerning the Church, a shift in understanding of the connection between tithes, offerings and the BLESSING will cause poverty to be broken off many believers, (Mal 3 : 8_10) pastors will become bold and unashamed to teach on the subject of finances, and both the people and the church will be BLESSED.
Just a couple of Testimonies of those who have sown Terumah. There are too many to mention here.
Child healed of Asthma
Pastor – never had a bank account.
Man – Always short at the end of the month, 2nd month, had enough for trip to NZ
In this church – Debts cancelled, Money given unexpectantly, Things paid for, Favor shown
Over 2000 times the bible talks about money or handling of possessions.
3 times - Born Again; 523 times – Pray, prayer or praying; 301 – righteousness; 236 – righteous; 244 – faith.
I want to help you, by The Word, to succeed financially thru the principles of God, because this world’s system of finance is not good and collapsing.
All giving of offerings is by faith, all we do in the Kingdom is by faith. Activate the promises of God in our lives by faith.
Phil 4 : 17 “Not that I seek the gift, but I seek the fruit that abounds to your account.”
1 Kings 17:8-15
Now, as always, there is a lot going on here. Elijah proclaims that there is going to be a drought for several years. The problem is that when it comes to pass, he is sitting there with no food along with a bunch of other good hearted people. The Lord tells him to go to Zarephath and there is a woman that is going to tend to his needs. Upon arrival, a very interesting exchange takes place. He sees a woman and asks her for some water and then asks her for some bread. She says that she has only enough supply for her son and herself to have a meal of bread and water and then they are going to starve to death. Then Elijah tells her to bring him some food first.
Understand that women in that day were not able to get a job and support themselves. They were dependent upon the generosity of the people and the temple. So is Elijah the most self centered person in the entire world? Or is it more than meets the eye and he is talking about a principle that has been lost through the centuries?
The principle is this: give the first part to the man of God (your pastor) and the rest doesn't run out! This is what the Jews simply called: Terumah.
19 "Do not lay up for yourselves treasures upon earth, where moth and rust destroy, and where thieves break in and steal. 20But lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys, and where thieves do not break in or steal; 21 for where your treasure is, there will your heart be also. 22 "The lamp of the body is the eye; if therefore your eye is clear, your whole body will be full of light. 23 "But if your eye is bad, your whole body will be full of darkness. If therefore the light that is in you is darkness, how great is the darkness!
24"No one can serve two masters; for either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will hold to one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and mammon.”
On the surface, this teaching is about what you do with your money. Underlying it is a greater, heavier issue: how you use your money reveals your spiritual condition before God. Is your heart kingdom-focused or focused otherwise on your own interests? Do you have a generous heart or is it characteristically stingy?
For these teachings are about the condition of your heart in light of the kingdom of God. He is saying that a major and significant way for a person to assess his or her true spirituality is discovered in the credits and debits of his or her bank statement and check book. To analyse your check book’s deposits and debits is like reading a spiritual EKG. What was your income spent for and why did you spend it in the manner you did? Compare the bottom-line of your income—something you may be proud about to the bottom-line of your giving. Are you generous, or are you stingy?
Good or Bad Eyes
In the Greek text of the Gospel of Matthew and in our English versions this passage about good eyes and bad eyes is difficult to appreciate. We don’t have corresponding understanding in our language to the Hebrew culture at the time of Jesus. However, by looking back to the Second Temple era when Jesus lived on earth, we discover that in both the language of Hebrew and Aramaic the meaning was apparent. To have a "good eye" was an expression meaning to be generous. To have a "bad eye" or, as sometimes called an "evil eye," was to be stingy. In this light, verses 22 and 23 is an indictment of people who are stingy with their money and, therefore, reads this way:
22"The lamp of the body is the eye; if therefore your eye is generous, your whole body will be full of light. 23 "But if your eye is stingy, your whole body will be full of darkness. If therefore the light that is in you is darkness [because of your stingy heart], how great is the darkness!
Ancient Judaism called this natural temptation towards self and selfishness the “evil inclination” (Hebrew, yetzer hara). Likely Jesus had this in mind when he taught us to pray, “deliver us from evil.” Or, to paraphrase, it means to “deliver us from ourselves.” The yestzer hara, or evil inclination, puts self first through pride and desire. It is the impulse of all sin.
The evil inclination, Jesus says, is stingy, withdrawing one’s heart and hand from others. Unlike true love, it always prefers self. Ancient Jewish scholars called this tight-fistedness of the heart “the evil eye.”
According to biblical Hebrew teachings, all persons were given an eye of understanding, or eye of the heart. The eye could be open or closed. The Apostle Paul, a learned Pharisee and Torah scholar, also refers to the eye of the heart. In told the church in Ephesus 1 : 8 : “I pray that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened . . .”
“The evil eye” is manifest when one’s heart of compassion and understanding is closed to God and others. Self and its desires reign as king. The eye of the heart becomes blind by self-interests.
Opposite the evil inclination is the good inclination (yetzer tov). The yetzer tov of a person honors God and blesses others. The good inclination manifests itself in “the good eye” of the heart of understanding. Persons with good or open eyes, according to Sages of old, do righteous acts of generosity and mercy. They light up the lives of others, even the world. Matthew 5:14-16 where Jesus says of his audience, “You are the light of the world.” They do this through good deeds or acts of righteousness which are tied to generosity towards the needy.
In this context, Jesus chose to speak of money and material concerns of life, that is, of the matters of giving and receiving. Attitudes to money got to the heart of the heart. It revealed the good eye or the bad eye in a person to illustrate true and false righteousness. His teaching explained and exposed the inclinations of the human heart.
Behind Jesus’ money talk was heart talk. What is your heart like, He was asking. How do you see with your eye of understanding? Are you righteous or unrighteous? Stingy or generous?
God and Mammon
In verse 24. Jesus says regarding the whole issue of generosity and stinginess: “No one can serve two masters; for either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will hold to one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and mammon.”
This statement is very clear. It is an “either/or” statement of truth. Therefore, “you cannot serve God and mammon.” It was wealth or riches that were opposed to God. It was a word originally for from Aramaic origin in a Hebrew statement . Mammon was the worship of stuff. It was where we live to accumulate stuff.
Matthew 6:20 we read: “But store up treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys, nor thieves break in and steal.” The word for “thieves” is written in Aramaic, not Hebrew, while the rest of the sentence is Hebrew. It is also in the plural whereas the words “moth” and “rust” are in the singular. Why is the word “thieves” in Aramaic and also pluralized? Because the sin of thieving was unclean. Making it plural amplified how unclean the sin of theft really is.
Now we can better understand and appreciate why Jesus switches from Hebrew to Aramaic to say “mammon” which means an unclean affection for “money.” Stinginess is considered an unclean attitude of the heart. Such an attitude was to be abhorred. Therefore, Jesus raised the emphasis on a stingy eye from being bad to being the attitude of an unclean person unfit for description in the Hebrew language.
He finishes by saying,” seek ye first the kingdom of God.”
So what does it mean to be generous or stingy? Just how much does a person give to be generous, and how little does a person give to be stingy?
Hebrew people know something we do not know about money, they have more than us.
Every time you plant a field, a certain percentage of a crop comes up first: that was the first fruit. They had a belief that if the first fruit is holy, then the whole lump is holy. The same for the first born, if the first born is holy, then the whole family is holy. Romans 8:29 says that Jesus was to be the first born over many brothers. The only thing that could make first fruits holy was for it to become Terumah. This happened by lifting it high and putting it in the hand of the pastor. He represented their spiritual authority. Two people in a garden that eat off of a tree that they are directly commanded not to. The forbidden tree in the garden was Terumah. Similar situation with their two children. Genesis 4:3-7 3 And in the process of time it came to pass that Cain brought an offering of the fruit of the ground to the Lord. 4 Abel also brought of the firstborn of his flock and of their fat. And the Lord respected Abel and his offering, 5 but He did not respect Cain and his offering. And Cain was very angry, and his countenance fell. 6 So the Lord said to Cain, “Why are you angry? And why has your countenance fallen? 7 If you do well, will you not be accepted. Most teach that Cain's offering was rejected because it wasn't blood? Blood wasn't required in sacrifice until the time of the Levitical Priesthood. Before it was set up, Terumah was given to their father. Ever heard that the father is the priest of the home? Cain brought an offering but it was not the first fruits. Abel's offering was and that's why it was rejected and he got angry and jealous of Abel.
The first amount of your increase given freely to God is not the Lord’s tithe as popularly taught. No, it is much smaller than the tenth. Actually it is 1/40 to 1/60 of your earnings – about the same as the first hour’s income from the wages you earn for forty hour’s of work before taxes.
One-fortieth to one-sixtieth of your earnings is based on the reasonable proportion of the very first harvest from a crop. Called firstfruits, they were set aside immediately as the first and best to return to the Lord God as a offering of praise and thanksgiving.
When set aside first, and not in any other order, this tiny amount – about the first hour’s income of a standard work-week – profoundly affects the giver and his or her remaining income. Something wonderful occurs beyond giving tithes. The tithe and the firstfruits had to be separated. Where is it found?
Malachi 3 : 8. "Will a man rob God? Yet you have robbed Me! (rob God of blessing us). But you say in what way have we robbed you? In tithes and offerings.". “In tithes and offerings (Terumah).” Offerings - Strong's H8641 - Terumah. Why terumah, because there is a profound blessing from God that He wants to flow over life from honouring Him with thankfulness and gratefulness.
Nehemiah 12:44 44 And at the same time some were appointed over the rooms of the storehouse for the offerings, the first fruits, and the tithes, to gather into them from the fields of the cities the portions specified by the Law for the priests and Levites; for Judah rejoiced over the priests and Levites who ministered. See how the three are separate?
Nehemiah 10:35 35 And we made ordinances to bring the first fruits of our ground and the first fruits of all fruit of all trees, year by year, to the house of the Lord;
The next few scriptures have the word that is wave offering, heave offering, tribute, etc; whatever is an English equivalent, Terumah has been put in it's place.
Ex 25:2 2 “Speak to the children of Israel, that they bring a Terumah".
Numbers 31:41 41 So Moses gave the tribute which was the Lord’s Terumah to Eleazar the priest, as the Lord commanded Moses.
This was tied to everything that you touch. This is your job, your kids, your work in spreading the Gospel, THIS IS YOU!!!
Ezekiel 48:10 10 To these—to the priests—the holy Terumah shall belong
Proverbs 3:9-10 9 Honor the Lord with your possessions, And with the first fruits of all your increase; 10 So your barns will be filled with plenty, And your vats will overflow with new wine.
Giving of the Terumah offering was tied to the very blessing on your house. It tied you to revelation.
The force of meaning of terumah is found in eight elements: terumah is (1) the offering (2) of the first and best (3) of one’s increase (4) set aside (5) for the Lord (6) who gives them to the priest (7) for his personal use (8) before any other transactions occur.
To give terumah means you lift up the first and best offering to God by giving it to your Man of God. Ita should be done before all other offerings and transactions are made. Romans 11 : 16 “For if the firstfruit is holy, the lump is holy, then so are the branches.” Terumah sets all the rest of your income apart as holy. Jesus was the firstfruits , if there is a first then there is a 2nd and so on. We have been sanctified and made righteous thru His sanctification and righteousness.
This offering is an offering of HONOR, not about what we get out of it. There is something powerful that happens when anything is done in honor. Search the scripture out for yourself.