The first offering given is called the highest offering — the holiest portion of the increase. Don’t you love how some versions call it an “increase”? It means whatever you had, God increased it. A portion of this increase, you must give back to the Lord. It doesn’t leave you without an increase, what you had still increased in number. How can you not joyfully give back to the Lord what is His in order to show your worship for Him?
The pastor was intended to live on the târumah of the people, not the tithe. The târumah offering is mentioned three times more than the tithe in the Bible. It’s mentioned 87 times. The problem is English translators would use the same word in 13 different ways — as different kinds of offerings. If you translate something 13 different ways, it dilutes its weight by a factor of 13.
To tithe without offering the târumah is just incomplete offering. The târumah — the portion that the priest gets directly — sanctifies the tithe. The târumah is very small, it’s 1/40th or 2.5% of your increase. Do not think 1/40th is 40%; do the math properly. In the Jewish culture, it is the târumah that sanctified the tithe. The târumah needed to be high and lifted up, and the person who does this is the pastor. Blessing the man of God means blessing for the one who is giving.
What is true for the first fruit is true for the entire crop. What this means is when you sanctify your firstfruit by giving it to the priest, you also make your entire income holy. The only way the first fruit becomes holy is when it comes as the târumah.
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