Tzedakah – Giving
Followers of Yeshua congregations like ours need finances to advance the Kingdom of G-d in fulfilling our calling to reach the Jewish community and also the other nations communities. Honestly, it’s going to take great resources to bring about revival to all. If revival started, how would we be able to care for all the new Believers? Where would we get the finances that would be needed? Could it be that God is waiting for His people to learn how to supernaturally release the provision to get the job done?
We do teach about the “tithe” at Faith Community Church of Tulare to those who sojourn with us. We understand that the word “tithe” in Hebrew (ma’aser) takes the word “tenth” (aser) and with the Hebrew letter “mem” turns it into an active verb. We are to “tenth” something. So, the actual amount is declared by the word itself that ADONAI uses.
But what about “offerings?” Well, in the days of the Tanakh (Old Testament), there were three types:
- Guilt Offerings (Asham) – brought to ADONAI for lying and false dealings (Lev. 6:6) and brought by one in doubt as to whether he had transgressed a biblical law. There were other occasions in Scripture as well (Lev. 14:12; 19:20) that designated this particular offering.
- Freewill Offerings (Nedavah) – types of peace offerings, which were brought voluntarily and often as a vow. For example, if someone wanted to make a donation to something like the Temple building project.
- Thanksgiving Offerings (Todah) – was given because ADONAI was so good (Lev. 7:12-15).
The use of the word “fellowship” in the B’rit Chadasha (New Testament) was also used for the word “contribution” (Acts 2:42,45; Rom. 15:26). In fact, the Greek word “koinonia” and the Hebrew word “tzedakah” were used in a similar manner to define ministering to the needs of others. The word “koinonia,” which we normally interpret as “fellowship,” actually carried the meaning of both “participation” and “impartation” by the act of contributing.
In Galatia and Corinth, Rav Sha’ul (Paul) ordained that they take weekly offerings (1Cor. 16:2). Historical writings of the early Messianic Jews state the major areas to which these offerings were designated – worship, maintenance of the Emissaries, feeding, clothing, burying their poor brethren, widows, orphans, persons tyrannically condemned to the mines, prisons, and those banished by deportations to Isles. It is thought by some that this was the means by which the Emissary Yochanan (John) received his necessary sustenance while banished on the Isle of Patmos.
So What Does This Mean To Us?
As believers in G-d’s Word, we need to align ourselves with it whenever possible. Why? Because ADONAI is our Creator, and the precepts He gives us for living an abundant and prosperous life are there for our own good. They are not to be seen as hindrances or roadblocks, but rather as road signs to keep us in His path of righteousness where we can expect and receive G-d’s fullest measure of blessing. He wants us to be blessed!
I believe ADONAI understands that there is never a convenient time for giving. Yet, we must press on, even though it is not a convenient season! Yitz’chak (Isaac) had to disregard every adverse condition to obey ADONAI when he sowed. If you recall, the entire nation was in a death grip of drought and famine. Not only was the weather bad for sowing, but his wells had been stopped up by the Philistines. However, in faith, he paid no attention to these bad circumstances. He did not plant in desperation. He planted in faith. (Gen. 26:12,14) Yitz’chak served the same G-d we serve today, and He is the G-d who never changes (Mal. 3:6) Yitz’chak operated under the same covenant promises in which we operate today! He was the seed of Avraham (Abraham) even as we are the seed of Avraham by way of Messiah (Gal. 3:29)
I want to thank you in advance for planting in faith as you give of your tithes and offerings to this ministry.
Faith Community Church of Tulare is a local congregation of which is a 501(C)(3) non-profit corporation. An itemized statement of contributions each year is filed and kept every January of the following year.
If you have any questions about your giving or partnering with Faith Community Church of Tulare, please contact Messianic Pastor John Williams and Pastor Joshua Mitchell