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WORDS OF THE LATTER RAIN

Volume 1, Issue 2, June 2008

7/10/2008

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Principles on Giving

David Nix


  On May 13, 2008 we received a wonderful message that explains the principles of giving, and gives us clarification on the law of tithing. After the points were given, the Lord Jesus gave me instruction to write an article for this newsletter. I will first provide the words as given, and then I will offer some explanation.

“I am the Lord Jesus, your Savior and King.  Declare these words unto my people for your mid-week celebration of praise.  These are words to help you to learn the path of brokenness and giving.  These are principles to follow to help you surrender all that you have upon the altar and to let go all that you seek to hold and control.  By our hands you are fed and clothed and kept within shelters of warmth, and by our hands you shall know the fullness of our blessings.  To be a cheerful giver you must be broken and surrendered.  Otherwise greed and desires of the flesh will stand as a barrier unto you.  These are principles on giving.

1. There is confusion among my people regarding our law of tithing.  The word tithe means the first tenth of your increase.  The first of the flock and the harvest belongs unto me and my Father.  Men seek to receive more from the flock due to greed.  There is a difference between the tithe and offerings.  You are to give the tenth unto me and use it as you are commanded.

2.The tithe has multiple uses within our law.  There is no second tenth for the festivals, nor is there a third tenth for the poor and widows and orphans.  Of the increase you are to give the tithe unto me and unto the poor, and also to help the poor and widows and orphans in the third year.  Take the tithe, and from the tithe you take a tithe for festivals and a tithe for the poor.  This gives the largest part to me, and also provides the means to observe my festivals and to help those in need.

3.You are to give offerings based upon our blessings.  To limit what you give unto me would be the letter of the law and not the spirit of the law.  You give as has been given; you give as you have been blessed.  All that you have is from the Mighty Ones of heaven.  If the tithe for the festivals is no longer sufficient in your time, then use the funds of our blessings to keep our Holy Days.  If the needs of the poor are greater than the tenth of the tithe, then use of your storehouse and blessings.

4. In the third year you are to give a tithe of all of your increase for the poor, the fatherless, the stranger, and the widow.  The tithe given is of all that you have, of all that you possess.  In our law the tithe was of all the herd, all the fruit, and all the harvest.  Your increase is what is above your wage and possessions.  For today, if you receive additional funds by our hand, you are to give of that increase every third year, for it is the year of the tithe.

5.The tithe is upon all that you are blessed with each year.  It is to be used in the three ways given.  Every third year you are to give a tithe of your increase unto me, and unto the fatherless, the stranger, and the widow.  Your increase is based upon what is within thy gates and thy storehouse.  The rest of your increase is yours if you have been obedient in your tithes and offerings unto me and my Father.

6.You are to give unto others as has been given unto you.  You are to freely give with a cheerful heart as I direct and as opportunity comes unto you.  If there is a family in need, sell of thy storehouse or give of thy storehouse to help them.  You retain ninety percent of all that you have as stewards.  Use the abundance of my blessings to care for your household, but do not forget thy neighbor and those lost and alone.  Have a heart which seeks to give love and that seeks to share of thy abundance with all who have need.

7. Offerings within our law are beyond the tithe.  My servants serve you and watch over my flock.  To limit to them only the portion of the tithe and the increase in the third year would be unjust.  You are to help provide for their needs from your increase, your earnings, and your storehouse.  Do not muzzle the ox which treadeth the corn.  They are my servants.  Be a good steward and give to those who are of me where you see the light and the fruits of life.  Give to those truly poor and those who are truly widows, strangers, and orphans; and be wise in thy use of thy resources for my festivals.  I will bless those who bless my servants, and I will bless those who bless all in need.”

Jesus makes it clear to us that by their hands we are provided food, clothing, and shelter. It is their desire that we become cheerful givers, and in order to do that we need to have a better understanding of the laws of giving. In point one Jesus refers to there being confusion regarding the law of tithing. Anyone who has researched this subject knows this to be true. He goes on to explain that the word, “tithe,” means tenth, and that a tenth is to be given. This is seen in Leviticus 27:30,32: “And all the tithe of the land, whether of the seed of the land, or of the fruit of the tree, is the LORD'S: it is holy unto the LORD.  And concerning the tithe of the herd, or of the flock, even of whatsoever passes under the rod, the tenth shall be holy unto the LORD.  The tithe or the tenth is to be holy unto God.

Point two makes it clear that there is only one tithe, but that the tithe has multiple uses. There are still churches today who insist that there are three separate tithes, and that simply is not true, and can not be supported from the Bible. We will examine some of the scriptures that have been used to support this teaching when we get to point four.  Here in point two we see that there is “no second tenth for the festivals, nor is there a third tenth for the poor and widows and orphans.” Some still teach that you are to take a tenth for “first tithe” which goes to the church, a “second tithe” which is for the festivals, and every third year you are to take a “third tithe” to help the poor and widows and orphans. Of course many churches take the third tithe, and  I have never been convinced that this income is given to the poor, widows, and orphans.

There is only one tithe or tenth, and it is for God, going to the festivals, and helping the poor, widows, and orphans. There is a tithe of the increase which we will explain in point four. Jesus tells us to, “take the tithe (tenth), and from the tithe you take a tithe for festivals and a tithe for the poor. This gives the largest part to me and also provides the means to observe my festivals and to help those in need.” For example, if your monthly income is $2,000.00, then the tithe (tenth) you owe is $200.00. From the tithe (tenth) you would take a tithe (tenth) for the festivals and a tithe (tenth) for the poor. From the $200.00 tithe you would take $20.00 and put it aside for the festivals and also take $20.00 to give to the poor, widows, and orphans. Eighty percent is to be given to the Lord, ten percent for the festivals, and ten percent for the poor.

Before moving forward, we need to answer the question of whether the tithe is paid on your gross salary or your net salary.  I went to God in prayer over this, because I have always paid tithes on my net salary and not on my gross salary. My human logic was that social security, which is taken from each check, is a form of tithe as it helps widows, orphans, and elderly people. That sounds logical but in a message also given on May 13, 2008, the Almighty God gave us the answer. “Tithing is to be on the gross and not the net, otherwise men would take many deductions and pay me what they choose.”

Things are much different today, for most of us receive a salary and are not farmers, but the principle is the same, we are to take the tenth of what we earn and give it to God as commanded. In ancient times, travel to the festivals of God was much simpler, as the people did not incur expensive air travel and rental for condos on the beach. The tenth of the tithe probably will not provide enough funds to attend the festivals of God. Jesus knows how we think, so this is explained in point three.

In point three we see that in addition to tithing, we are to give offerings based upon their blessings. “To limit what you give to me would be the letter of the law and not the spirit of the law.” What he is saying is that to pay the tithe (tenth) and nothing more is the exact letter and not the spirit. They desire that we, “give as has been given, you give as you have been blessed.” Everything we own belongs to God, so to only give the tenth would not be giving according to our blessings. The Bible clearly teaches offerings above the tithe. This is seen in the animal sacrifices and is also seen in the New Testament as well. Jesus then gives further explanation of money for the festivals. “If the tithe for the festivals is no longer sufficient in your time, then use the funds of our blessings to keep our Holy Days.” Also if the tenth of the tithe is not sufficient to help those in need we are told, to use of our storehouse (savings and possessions) and our blessings.  In Deuteronomy 14:22-26, we are instructed about tithing and about attending the festivals of God. “Thou shall truly tithe all the increase of thy seed, that the field brings forth year by year.  And thou shall 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 may 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 shall thou turn it into money, and bind up the money in thine hand, and shall go unto the place which the LORD thy God shall choose:  And thou shall bestow that money for whatsoever thy soul lusts after, for oxen, or for sheep, or for wine, or for strong drink, or for whatsoever thy soul desires: and thou shall eat there before the LORD thy God, and thou shall rejoice, thou, and thine household.”

Point four explains what the increase is and how we are to tithe upon our increase. The tithe upon the increase is to be paid in the third year. He gives us clear instruction, “In the third year you are to give a tithe of all your increase for the poor, the fatherless, the stranger, and the widow. Your increase is what is above your wage and possessions. For today, if you receive additional funds by our hands, you are to give of that increase every third year for it is the year of the tithe.”

In Deuteronomy 26: 10-13, we see reference to this year of the tithe, and the tithe of the increase. “And now, behold, I have brought the first fruits of the land, which thou, O LORD, hast given me. And thou shall set it before the LORD thy God, and worship before the LORD thy God: And thou shall rejoice in every good thing which the LORD thy God hath given unto thee, and unto thine house, thou, and the Levite, and the stranger that is among you. 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 shall say before the LORD thy God, 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.”

We are to take the tenth of our increase and set it aside and to give it to the Levite, the stranger, the fatherless, and the widow in the third year. From our tithe we are to give to the poor as we see their need, but the tithe of the increase is to be set aside until the third year. This is further explained in point five. Let’s look at his words, and then I will do my best to explain this.

The tithe is upon all that you are blessed with each year.  It is to be used in the three ways given.  Every third year you are to give a tithe of your increase unto me, and unto the fatherless, the stranger, and the widow.  Your increase is based upon what is within thy gates and thy storehouse.  The rest of your increase is yours if you have been obedient in your tithes and offerings unto me and my Father.”  Here we see that the tithe is on all that we are blessed with each year and is to be divided in the three ways as we saw in point two, but every third year we are to pay the tithe of our increase. As was given in point four, the increase is what is above our wage and possessions. For example, a tax rebate such as is being issued at the time of this writing is such an increase. It is a blessing above your normal wage. Bonuses paid to you would also be considered an increase. The sale of a home or land could be considered an increase. The Almighty God, also  in his message of May 13, 2008, gave us more explanation on paying the tithe of our increase. 

“The increase is to also be paid on the gross. If land sold makes $10,000.00 profit, the tithe is on the $10,000.00, and not after expenses and the cost of the sale. You are correct in your understanding of a pay raise, the increase is tithed upon in the third year, and a new base is set for the following three.” I will explain these separately. If we sell property for a profit, we owe the tithe based upon the gross and not taking off for expenses. There is a difference between improvements and expense. For instance, if you purchased a home for $100,000.00 and spent $25,000.00 on remodeling and landscaping, then your investment is $125,000.00. If you sell the house for $175,000.00 then you had an increase of $50,000.00. You would not deduct the cost of the sale, realtor fees, advertising, closing costs, etc. God knows that men will often try to reduce down profit to where they never make a “profit.” The land example God gives is clear, you take the profit (the increase) and you tithe on that amount and do not deduct expenses and the cost of the sale.

God also addressed pay raises. He hears my conversations, and knew that I had discussed this with my brother, Kenneth. I will provide an example. Let’s say that you are in the first year of the three year cycle and at the beginning of the year your salary is $30,000.00 per year, your tithe is $3,000.00. If you are given a pay raise four months into that first year, and your new salary is $35,000.00 per year, you had a pay raise of $5,000.00, and that is considered an increase. In his instructions God told us that, “the increase is tithed upon in the third year, and a new base is set for the following three.”  Here is where you will see that accurate records must be kept, but as good stewards, we all should maintain accurate records. You would continue to pay your tithe on the $30,000.00 but you would also set aside a tenth of the increase which is $500.00. I realize that most raises are paid in each paycheck, so you will need to do the math. If you are paid monthly, each paycheck you would have a gross salary of $2,500.00 (2,500.00 x 12 = $30,000.00.) Your tithe would be $250.00. From this you would set aside a tenth ($25.00) for the festivals, and a tenth ($25.00) for the poor, widows, and orphans. The remaining $200.00 is for God. This is the salary you had at the beginning of the three year cycle so this tithe will not change. The change comes with any increases during the three year cycle. In our current example, you received an increase of $5,000.00. This means your monthly pay is now $2,916.66 (2,916.66 x 12 = $35,000.00) (This is off a few cents, but give the extra to God or the poor.) Each month you will set aside the tithe of your increase which is $416.66 ($5,000.00 ÷ 12 = $416.66). I do not want to make this complicated, but the instructions are that the new base does not begin until the fourth year. For example, in year two you get another increase of $5,000.00, so you would still tithe based on the  $30,000.00 salary, but now the tithe on your increase is on $10,000.00. In the third year if you get another $5,000.00 raise, you still tithe on the beginning salary of $30,000.00 but your tithe upon the increase is now on $15,000.00.  Hopefully you see that accurate records will be required. This is a wonderful blessing from the Almighty God, for in the second year your base has not changed. It will change after the three year cycle is completed. So the fourth year you would tithe each month on a base of $45,000.00 per year.

 Please pay attention to the fact that in point five Jesus tells us that the tithe is to be used in the three ways we have discussed. However, the tithe on your increase is to be given to God, to the fatherless, the stranger, and the widow. This is also clearly seen in the scripture we read in Deuteronomy 26: 12, “and hast given it unto the Levite, the stranger, the fatherless, and the widow.”  There is no instruction on how we are to divide the tithe of our increase. It is to be set aside and paid in the third year. I believe some of it is to go to God, the fatherless, the stranger, and the widow. God and Jesus will lead us on how to give these funds.  These funds are to be given in the third year, for the third year is called the year of tithing. I feel we should be good stewards and invest the money to grow so that we will have more to give in the third year. You would not take any of the increase for all these funds are to be used as instructed. Also we should also use caution not to invest this money unwisely and lose it. This is clearly seen in Deuteronomy 26: 13-14, “Then thou shall say before the LORD thy God, 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 the LORD my God, and have done according to all that thou hast commanded me.” These funds are not for our use, and a portion is not for the festivals, it is for God, the stranger, the fatherless, and the widow.  I am of the opinion that the stranger can include new members to the family of God. The Hebrew word for stranger in verse 13 means “guest, foreigner, or sojourner.” The money could be given to help families new to our country, but I feel led to state that it includes new people to the family of God. What a blessing it would be to help someone attend the Feast of Booths in that third year.

Before I conclude with the final two points there is one more question to answer. When is the third year?  Jesus anticipated that question and gave us this answer: “This is year one so you have years three and six.” We have been told that the land Sabbath begins in the fall at the Feast of Trumpets. Year one for us began on September 13, 2007 which was the Feast of Trumpets. Our base salary is what it was at that time. One other question was asked that is also important. What if you have a decrease in your base pay? In that case you begin with a new base. God is just, and if you lose your job and get a new one with a lower salary, or if your earnings are less, then you do not tithe on the old salary you are no longer earning. Also, if you have no increase, you do not owe a tithe.

In point six Jesus instructs us that we are to be cheerful givers, and to give unto others as they have given to us. We can help others with possessions or money. Providing food and clothing is sometimes better than giving money. We are to “have a heart which seeks to give love and that seeks to share of our abundance with all who have need.” In II Corinthians 9:6-7, we read about principles of giving, “But this I say, He which sows sparingly shall reap also sparingly; and he which sows bountifully shall reap also bountifully. Every man according as he purposes in his heart, so let him give; not grudgingly, or of necessity: for God loves a cheerful giver.”

In point seven we are again told that offerings are to be given above and beyond the tithe. We are to support the servants of God who serve the brethren, and we are to give of our increase, earnings, and storehouse. He tells us not to muzzle the ox, which we read about in I Corinthians 9:9, 14, “For it is written in the law of Moses, Thou shall not muzzle the mouth of the ox that treadeth out the corn. Doth God take care for oxen? Even so hath the Lord ordained that they which preach the gospel should live of the gospel.” We are to financially support the men who serve God and his Son. Jesus provides guidance on this as well.      

“Be a good steward and give to those who are of me, where you see the light and fruits of life.” We appreciate all the offerings and tithes given to this ministry, and hopefully all see that we are of Jesus and that the fruits of light and life are in our lives. He also instructs us to give to those truly poor and those who are truly widows. The conditions for widows is found in I Timothy 5:3-18, and I will let you read that at your leisure. The question is also asked if ministers should also pay tithes, for if they are full time in the ministry, their salary is from tithes and offerings. Many churches teach that ministers do not pay tithes and offerings, but that is incorrect. The scripture I will give has been used to have people pay a tenth of their second tithe. There is not a second tenth, and there is not a “tithe of the tithe.” That is a doctrine founded upon greed and misquoting the word of God. Clear instruction is given in Numbers 18: 26-29, “Thus speak unto the Levites, and say unto them, When you take of the children of Israel the tithes which I have given you from them for your inheritance, then you shall offer up an heave offering of it for the LORD, even a tenth part of the tithe. And this your heave offering shall be reckoned unto you, as though it were the corn of the threshing floor, and as the fullness of the winepress. Thus you also shall offer an heave offering unto the LORD of all your tithes, which you receive of the children of Israel; and ye shall give thereof the LORD'S heave offering to Aaron the priest. Out of all your gifts you shall offer every heave offering of the LORD, of all the best thereof, even the hallowed part thereof out of it.” I am completely baffled as to how anyone could read this and state that this means the people of God are to take a tenth of their festival tithe and give to the church. Clearly it states that the priests are to pay a tithe of what is given to them. “When you take of the children of Israel the tithes which I have given you from them for your inheritance, then you shall offer up an heave offering of it for the LORD, even a tenth part of the tithe.” Ministers in this organization pay tithes on their gross income as we have been instructed to do.

What a wonderful message Jesus has given to us. Please remember that this is a message about more than tithing. It is about also surrender. In the introduction Jesus told us that, “These are principles to follow to help you surrender all that you have upon the altar and to let go all that you seek to hold and control.” Money and possessions are often the hardest things for us to surrender, for we desire to be in control. He has made us stewards and we are to be good stewards, but we must realize that all that we own belongs to God, and is his whenever he demands it of us. It is my desire that I have been successful in explaining these wonderful words to you. If you have additional questions, please feel free to contact me. However, let me state that there are always many “what if” scenarios, and I choose not to get into every possible scenario. My advise is to read and pray over this message and the scriptures about tithing and to go as you are led.

David Nix

 

 

 

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