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Finance (2 of 2)

Shane Willard

The imagery is this; when I lift it high, I give it to God, and God commands me to give it to my pastor/priest. When the first fruits was lifted high and placed in their hands it was called Terumah, and that made the first fruits Holy, which sanctified the rest of the crop.

They would harvest their first fruits, bind it, lift it high, place it into the hands; then they would go back, and when the rest of the harvest came up, they would harvest that.

From that they would pay a first tithe to the Lord; then they would go back and count out another Tithe for themselves; and then every 3rd-self tithe, instead of giving it to themselves, they would give it to the poor.

Let’s go back to Terumah. Remember that if the first-fruits is holy, the whole lump is holy. Romans 11.16 – “For if the firstfruit is holy, the lump is also holy; and if the root is holy, so are the branches.”

1 Kings 17:8, a story about Elijah and a widow: “Then the word of the Lord came to him, saying: Go now to Zarephath, which belongs to Sidon, and live there; for I have commanded a widow there to feed you.”

So he set out and went to Zarephath. When he came to the gate of the town, a widow was there gathering sticks; he called to her and said, “Bring me a little water in a vessel, so that I may drink.” As she was going to bring it, he called to her and said, “Bring me please a morsel of bread in your hand.”

But she said, “As the Lord your God lives, I have nothing baked, only a handful of flour in a jar, and a little oil in a jug; I am now gathering a couple of sticks, so that I may go home and prepare it for myself and my son, that we may eat it, and die.”

So let’s review: you have a widow. How many mouths does she have to feed? Two, her and her son. How many meals does she have? One! One meal, two mouths.

This guy shows up, he says: I need some bread and water. She says: listen, let me tell you my circumstance. I have one meal and two mouths; I’ve got a problem. I’m actually going to cook this meal; me and my son are going to split it, and then were going to die. How much hope is in that? Not much at all.

Elijah says to her, “Do not be afraid; go home and do as you have said (what did she say - I'm going to make one meal for two, eat it and die); but first make me a small cake of bread for me from what you have, and bring it to me; and afterwards make something for yourself and your son.

Put it this way: If CNN and the Internet were around back then, what is the Christian world saying about Elijah? Either Elijah is the most insensitive jerk in the history of mankind; or he’s on to something.

He says: Oh, you've got one meal and two mouths? That’s a problem. You can go home and eat it and die - you could do that, or - you can give the first portion to me; and watch what happens.

For this is what the Lord, the God of Israel, says: ‘The jar of flour will not be used up, and the jug of oil will not run dry, until the day the Lord sends rain on the land.’” She went away and did as Elijah had told her. So there was food every day for Elijah, and for the woman, and her whole family.

The principle is this: when the first portion of something is in the right hands, the rest of it can’t die. It’s so huge when it comes to your money and your spirit (we will talk about the spirit part in a second).

When the first portion is in the right hands, the rest of it can’t run out or die; the whole lump has to follow the sanctify of the first portion.

It is very important that the first fruit of your entire increase is sanctified; and the only way to sanctify it, is to give it as a Terumah.

It has to be lifted high, placed in the hands. Try it with more gusto: It has to be lifted high, placed in the hands (repeats).

Malachi 3:6. Will a man rob God? Yet you have robbed me in Tithes and Offerings. Hold on, in that scripture, “you have robbed me in Tithes”, which is plural - there is more than one!

How many, you don't know at this point; which means there could be 9. How many of you are excited about that? Actually, there is only three.