Written on October 16th, 2004 - 2:57AM Last Updated: February 14th, 2005 - 7:00PM
God ordained many festivals, three of which He required all the males of Israel to attend each year in Jerusalem, in order to prepare His people for the coming of His Son, the Christ. Because the land of Israel was relatively large considering the means of transport in those days, Yahweh wished to make sure the people would have enough saved up in order to keep His commandment. Because of this He commanded a second tithe to be taken year by year.
22You shall surely tithe all the increase of your seed, that which comes forth from the field year by year. 23You shall eat before Yahweh your God, in the place which he shall choose, to cause his name to dwell there, the tithe of your grain, of your new wine, and of your oil, and the firstborn of your herd and of your flock; that you may learn to fear Yahweh your God always. (Deuteronomy 14:22-23)
As mentioned, knowing that the journey to Jerusalem would be very long for some of Israel, He allowed them to convert their tithes into money, in order to make their long journey less cumbersome.
24If the way be too long for you, so that you are not able to carry it, because the place is too far from you, which Yahweh your God shall choose, to set his name there, when Yahweh your God shall bless you; 25then shall you turn it into money, and bind up the money in your hand, and shall go to the place which Yahweh your God shall choose: 26and you shall bestow the money for whatever your soul desires, for oxen, or for sheep, or for wine, or for strong drink, or for whatever your soul asks of you; and you shall eat there before Yahweh your God, and you shall rejoice, you and your household. (Deuteronomy 14:24-26)
We see that God indeed planned for there to be a changing of goods into money at His chosen place. It was men who profaned this commandment by looking to make a profit thereby (Matthew 21:12-13).
This second tithe was important, because it allowed God's People to commune with Him at the appointed times. Whereas the first tithe was solely the property of Yahweh for the Levites, the second tithe was primarily for the offerer himself, although it was still to be shared with the Levite. Under the Old Covenant, Yahweh's Spirit did not settle permanently upon people as it blessedly does under the New Covenant of Christ. Thus, His people had to make the best time out of the three chances they had each year, at the place where the Name of Yahweh dwelled.
That which was either brought to, or bought at, the Place of Yahweh's Name, was to be eaten with joy before Yahweh Himself! It was a time of communion with their Father, the King of Israel. It was a time of fellowship with their families and their friends. The Apostle Paul refers to this when speaking of the Festivals of Yahweh. Paul knew that to eat at the altar is to commune with the one to whom is being sacrificed:
18Consider Israel according to the flesh. Don't those who eat the sacrifices have communion with the altar? 19What am I saying then? That a thing sacrificed to idols is anything, or that an idol is anything? 20But I say that the things which the Gentiles sacrifice, they sacrifice to demons, and not to God, and I don't desire that you would have communion with demons. 21You can't both drink the cup of the Lord and the cup of demons. You can't both partake of the table of the Lord, and of the table of demons. (1 Corinthians 10:18-21)
It was therefore very important that the children of Israel remember this commandment, to keep year by year a tithe (tenth) in order to enjoy themselves the following year at each of the three festivals. This was not to keep the House of Yahweh full for the priests benefit, but to bring the people themselves into communion with Yahweh. There was no other time of such intimate fellowship with God than at these three times, and thus no male was to appear "empty-handed" (Deuteronomy 16:16).
We also see that God again remembers His servants, the Levites, by making sure they receive a portion of the second tithe as they have need, in addition to receiving all of the first.
As you read this site, you will hopefully come to know Yahweh more fully.
But all of this continuing knowledge is useless unless and until you come into union with Him. I use the word union because it is truly a marriage. It is that deep connection we all seek, for which we most often look in other people. However, the truth is that our hearts will only be fulfilled when we enter that union in fullness with the One Who made us.
This is the grace of God, that He has not stayed distant for us only to worship as Creator. But He has come unto us, even become one of us—in His Son, ChristJesus—in order to share an intimate union with us. He desires such closeness that it truly will envelope our entire life, transforming us into something new and wonderful.
You may have already entered this union with Him and only seek to know Him better through reading here. But if you have not, as you do read, let this Gospel sink into your heart as you read it now.
God loves you, and has cast your sins into the sea. He has sent His only Son as the Savior of the world—that includes you.
That Son, JesusChrist, was born as a man through a virgin who had given her life to Yahweh; He lived without sin, reflected the glory of His Father, God, in all His words and deeds, and was persecuted even unto death because of it.
His death upon a cross was the powerful explosion that separated you from your life of death. It remains for you, now, to enter into that death with Him. As you die to the one you are now, a person separated from God from your many sins, you will be born anew, with a nature predisposed to live rightly. This gift is free to you, with nothing you can do to earn it. It is the mercy of God to offer it to you, as He loves you so much! All you must do is receive it by trusting Him to have delivered you. Simply place your life in His hands and embrace the freedom that came through that death on the cross.
The Gospel is that Jesus did not remain dead, but rose again on the third day after His crucifixion! Death could not hold Him, as He was without sin. And so death will not be able to hold you, as you identify with Him fully through your trust in Him. Let go of yourself and confess Him as Lord of your life. The power of His death and resurrection will work in you all that your Creator has destined for you. You will truly enter a new life and experience that intimate union you have been seeking all of your life.
So ponder these words as you read here of this great God—Yahweh—and all that He has revealed to His creation. Let His Spirit testify to your heart that these words are true, that God is Love, and that He sent His Son so that you might receive the life that is unbound by time and space. As you feel that witness in your heart, simply believe and receive what He is offering to you, even now, and begin your new life as a child of God.
Please write to me and let me know when you take this step, as I will be your brother in Christ—we will be one in Him!
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20Jacob vowed a vow, saying, "If God will be with me, and will keep me in this way that I go, and will give me bread to eat, and clothing to put on, 21so that I come again to my father's house in peace, and Yahweh will be my God, 22then this stone, which I have set up for a pillar, will be God's house. Of all that you will give me I will surely give the tenth to you." (Genesis 28:20-22)