Questions & Answers
What are doron gifts?
First posted: June 15, 2005
In Matthew 5:23, it says that "if your brother has ought against you", to leave your gift at the altar, and go to be reconciled with your brother. What is the meaning of the word "gift" in this verse?
The passage referred to in this question is the following:
"23Therefore if thou bring thy gift to the altar, and there rememberest that thy brother hath ought against thee; 24Leave there thy gift before the altar, and go thy way; first be reconciled to thy brother, and then come and offer thy gift. 25Agree with thine adversary quickly, whiles thou art in the way with him; lest at any time the adversary deliver thee to the judge, and the judge deliver thee to the officer, and thou be cast into prison. 26Verily I say unto thee, Thou shalt by no means come out thence, till thou hast paid the uttermost farthing." (Matthew 5:23-26)
There are 4 different Greek words for "gift" that are used in the original text of the New Testament. Even though all 4 words can be translated as "gift", each word has a slightly different connotation. The word used in verse 23 above is the word doron, and to understand the spiritual connotation of doron, we must go to other passages where this word is used in the original Greek text.
The first time that doron appears in the New Testament is in verse 11 of the following passage:
"10When they saw the star, they rejoiced with exceeding great joy. 11And when they were come into the house, they saw the young child with Mary his mother, and fell down, and worshipped him: and when they had opened their treasures, they presented unto him gifts; gold, and frankincense, and myrrh." (Matthew 2:10-11)
Notice that the wise men did not find an adult man in some splendid castle sitting on a majestic throne, surrounded by gold and precious stones. They found a "young child" with His mother. Obviously, the mother was physically larger than the young child, but they directed their attention at the little creature before them. They were able to "see" God inside that child, and they worshipped Him. They then gave Him doron gifts.
Verse 10 above says that they "saw the star". The star represents the eternal God-nature and spiritual authority of the young child that was inside the house. When they came into the house (v11), they came across a young human being, but in their hearts they could still "see" the star that was no longer physically visible from inside the house. They did not allow the roof over the house to fool them. They could still "see" past the roof and visualize the star that was shining on top of the house. In this passage, Mary represents the roof. She served as a temporary covering for Jesus in His early days. She was placed over Him to care for Him, but that did not deny Jesus' eternal origins or His spirit nature. The wise men did not allow Mary's covering to deceive them about the spiritual potential of the child Jesus.
In today's Church, the "ministers" are the temporary roof over believers, but most people seem to be oblivious to the presence of the "stars" shining above that roof. Most people fail to see the God-potential of the believers sitting day after day in the church pews and are distracted by the "ministers" (i.e.- Mary) instead of focusing on the child Jesus in front of them. As we have said before, each believer who has Jesus in His heart (Ephesians 3:17) has the eternal nature and spiritual authority of God inside of them. Each believer's spiritual nature is like a star in the heavenlies, and, as we grow in our Spirit authority and nature, that star shines with greater and greater intensity.
The word doron also appears in verse 5 of the following passage:
"3But he answered and said unto them, Why do ye also transgress the commandment of God by your tradition? 4For God commanded, saying, Honour thy father and mother: and, He that curseth father or mother, let him die the death. 5But ye say, Whosoever shall say to his father or his mother, It is a gift, by whatsoever thou mightest be profited by me; 6And honour not his father or his mother, he shall be free. Thus have ye made the commandment of God of none effect by your tradition. 7Ye hypocrites, well did Esaias prophesy of you, saying, 8This people draweth nigh unto me with their mouth, and honoureth me with their lips; but their heart is far from me. 9But in vain they do worship me, teaching for doctrines the commandments of men." (Matthew 15:3-9)
[According to Mark 7:10-11, the "gift" referred to in verse 5 was "Corban", i.e.- a sum of money that a person would set aside as an offering for the temple]
The passage above speaks of people who belittle God's commandments to follow the commandments of men. Those who are only interested in following "commandments" in order to calm their religious conscience will be unable to discern God's commandments from man's commandments. To such people, a "commandment" will be "of God" if it comes from the mouth of a religious leader. Because such people are only interested in obeying "commandments" and not in obeying God, they eventually become blinded to the spiritual meaning of the commandments of God that they do know.
As we have said before, each believer is a walking "word of God" in the flesh. Those who slight a believer simply because he or she is "little" are slighting a "word of God", and, as a result, they are slighting God Himself (Matthew 5:17-19, Proverbs 14:31). All men, whether they be believers or unbelievers, are physical manifestations of God's logos word. Even when an unbeliever has not entered into the fullness of his or her logos manifestation, the potential is there, and that potential must be cherished, and it must be fostered when possible.
The people that the Lord describes In Matthew 15:3-9 were so interested in fulfilling "commandments" that they were unable to see the value of the people for which those commandments were given. They believed that they were right with God by giving money "gifts" to the temple while disregarding the needs of their father and mother. They didn't realize that, by giving to their parents, they would in fact be giving to God. They didn't see their own parents as walking "words of God", and they thought that they could honor God without honoring their parents. This is equivalent to saying to God, "I think you are deserving of honor" while at the same time saying, "Your words are dishonorable". By dishonoring God's walking words, you automatically dishonor Him, no matter what you say with your lips (Matthew 15:8).
The word doron also appears in verses 1 and 4 of the following passage:
"1And he looked up, and saw the rich men casting their gifts into the treasury. 2And he saw also a certain poor widow casting in thither two mites. 3And he said, Of a truth I say unto you, that this poor widow hath cast in more than they all: 4For all these have of their abundance cast in unto the offerings of God: but she of her penury hath cast in all the living that she had." (Luke 21:1-4)
[The word "gifts" in verse 1 and the word "offerings" in verse 4 were both translated from the Greek word doron]
The phrase "looked up" in verse 1 was translated from the Greek word anablepo, which is derived from the words blepo meaning "to see, perceive" and ana meaning "into the midst, in the midst". Therefore, the word anablepo can be translated as "to see into the midst", and it speaks of someone who can discern something that is "hidden" in the midst of other things. In a sense, the word anablepo speaks of "X-ray" vision that allows you to look past the exterior and see what is on the inside.
The word "saw" that appears both in verse 1 and in verse 2 was translated from the Greek verb eido, which refers to seeing with the natural eye of the mind. In other words, to the natural eye, it seemed as if the rich men's doron"gifts" were greater in value when compared to the poor widow's gift. Yet, Jesus "anablepo-ed" past this exterior and visualized the true spiritual value of the gifts being offered that day.
The word "abundance" in verse 4 was translated from the Greek word perisseuo, which literally means "to exceed a fixed number", and is derived from the word peri meaning, "around, about". Therefore, the rich men were giving out of the riches surrounding them, but they were not giving out of the riches inside of them. Their doron offerings were "peripheral" in nature and not "internal". According to verse 4, the poor widow was casting "all the living she had", meaning that she was, in effect, giving her life as she cast the "two mites". Her doron offering came from the inside. That is what made it more valuable than the doron offerings of the rich men. While the rich men were "living", the poor woman was "giving life". While the rich men were living in the "first Adam", the poor woman was living in the "last Adam".
When comparing Abel's doron gifts with Cain's, the Spirit says the following:
"By faith Abel offered unto God a more excellent sacrifice than Cain, by which he obtained witness that he was righteous, God testifying of his gifts: and by it he being dead yet speaketh." (Hebrews 11:4)
[The word "gifts" was translated from doron]
Why were Abel's doron offerings "more excellent"? Because his very life went in the offerings he made unto God, so much so that he literally lost his life at the hand of Cain as a result of his faithful offerings. While Cain offered fruit of the ground that had no "blood" in it, Abel offered sheep that had blood on the inside. This symbolizes how Abel was shedding his own life as he shed the blood of the sheep in sacrifice unto God.
Cain gave fruit that grew on the "periphery" of the tree. He could pluck fruit out of a tree, offer it in sacrifice, and expect the tree to produce more fruit later on. On the other hand, Abel was not giving something externally produced by the sheep. He was not offering sheep milk or sheep wool. He was offering what was on the inside of the sheep --- its blood ---, and by doing so, he was offering the entire sheep, which meant that the offering became irreplaceable. If he had offered wool, all he had to do was to wait for the sheep to grow back the wool. If he had offered milk, all he had to do was to wait for the sheep to produce more milk. By giving the entire sheep, however, he was giving more than "peripheral fruit"; he was giving the "entire tree".
Therefore, the value of a doron gift is determined by how much of your inside life is being given along with the gift. This explains why the Lord said the following immediately after the words of Matthew 15:3-9 quoted above:
"10And he called the multitude, and said unto them, Hear, and understand: 11Not that which goeth into the mouth defileth a man; but that which cometh out of the mouth, this defileth a man." (Matthew 15:10-11)
In other words, the Lord is constantly examining ("anablepo-ing") what is coming out from inside of us. This determine the spiritual value of our external acts.
The word doron also appears in verse 4 of the following passage:
"1When he was come down from the mountain, great multitudes followed him. 2And, behold, there came a leper and worshipped him, saying, Lord, if thou wilt, thou canst make me clean. 3And Jesus put forth his hand, and touched him, saying, I will; be thou clean. And immediately his leprosy was cleansed. 4And Jesus saith unto him, See thou tell no man; but go thy way, shew thyself to the priest, and offer the gift that Moses commanded, for a testimony unto them." (Matthew 8:1-4)
Notice that the leper worshipped the Lord (v2) before the Lord healed him and told him to offer the doron gift that Moses commanded (v4). As we have seen before, leprosy is spiritually related to the Girgashite spirit of earthliness which focuses people on what is visible with the natural mind. Therefore, when the leper worshipped Jesus, he was recognizing the invisible God who abided inside of Jesus' human body, thereby bucking the Girgashite trend he had followed all of his life. By saying "if thou wilt" (v2), the leper was also renouncing to the Girgashites' tendency to make decisions without consulting God's invisible will. By submitting his desire for healing to God's perfect will, the leper was acting as a "narrow-gate" believer who was more concerned about God's invisible and eternal purposes than about visible and temporary results.
As we have said before, false prophets are only interested in removing the external symptoms, while true prophets (like the Lord Jesus) are interested in destroying the spiritual root first. Since the leper was allowing the Girgashite roots in his heart to be destroyed, he was ready to be healed of the physical manifestation of those roots, his leprosy. This is why Jesus replied, "I will" and healed him (v3).
The cleansing of the leprosy (v3) is a figure of the leper being "born of water". As we have shared before, we are "born of water" whenever we repent and are cleansed externally of the filth of sin (1 Peter 3:21). Here, the leper was literally cleansed of his sin, and he entered into "Level-1" righteousness where he was righteous in and of himself.
After the leprosy had been cleansed, Jesus told the man not to tell anyone about the healing but to simply go to the priest and offer the doron gift that Moses commanded as a testimony to them (v4). By doing so, Jesus was now asking the man to worry about the righteousness of others, meaning that He was asking the man to enter into "Level-2" righteousness that seeks to enter others into God's righteousness.
By telling him not to tell anyone about the healing, Jesus was telling him to act prophetically. The word "See" in the phrase "See thou tell no man" (v4) was translated from the Greek word horao, which, as we have seen before, speaks of "seeing with our prophetic eyes". The most "logical" way to get others to know about the healing would be to go around telling the story of how Jesus healed him. Since Girgashites are logic-oriented and focused on the visible, this is exactly what a Girgashite would do. However, Jesus was now saying to him, "When you decided to buck your Girgashite trend with regard to your leprosy, I healed you. Now, I am asking you to buck the Girgashite trend in others so that others may be healed". He was going to do more for the Kingdom of God by silently going to the priest and offering the doron gift than by all the talking in the world. That silent testimony would challenge the Girgashite influence in the lives of the people around him by forcing them to hear the invisible Spirit instead of visible man.
As we have said before, those who are "born of the Spirit" allow themselves to be intuitively led by the Spirit, and Jesus was now telling the man to do something that went against all human logic. He had to contain his natural desire to tell everyone about his healing in order to help others break out of the Girgashite stranglehold he himself had been under for all of his life. The man had been "born of water", and now he was to be "born of the Spirit" (John 3:5). He had partaken of the water that cleanses the outside, but he was now being asked to partake of the blood that flows on the inside (John 19:34).
In conclusion, the doron gift that Jesus told the man to offer in Matthew 8:4 had to be done in the Spirit. God was calling this man to give of himself so that others might be restored along with him. As he offered this doron gift, the man had to be in an outward-looking attitude, caring for others, not just himself.
In Matthew 2:10-11 quoted above, the wise men worshipped Jesus as they gave their doron gifts. In Matthew 15:3-9 quoted above, the Lord speaks of "vain worship" (v9) shortly after speaking of vain doron gifts. In Matthew 8:1-4 quoted above, the leper worshipped the Lord before he was healed and was told to go to the priest and offer a doron gift. This shows a spiritual connection between doron gifts and "worship". Notice, now, what the Lord says about worship:
"19The woman saith unto him, Sir, I perceive that thou art a prophet. 20Our fathers worshipped in this mountain; and ye say, that in Jerusalem is the place where men ought to worship. 21Jesus saith unto her, Woman, believe me, the hour cometh, when ye shall neither in this mountain, nor yet at Jerusalem, worship the Father. 22Ye worship ye know not what: we know what we worship: for salvation is of the Jews. 23But the hour cometh, and now is, when the true worshippers shall worship the Father in spirit and in truth: for the Father seeketh such to worship him. 24God is a Spirit: and they that worship him must worship him in spirit and in truth." (John 4:19-24)
Here, the Samaritan woman was concerned about the proper physical location for spiritual worship. At that moment, the Lord was dealing with the Girgashite and Perizzite roots that had dominated the Samaritan woman all of her life. She was bound by the Girgashite spirit of ancestor worship (John 4:12), reliance on natural methods (John 4:11), and dependence on visible structures (John 4:21). As the Lord's word operated in her heart, she became concerned about the proper visible place in which to worship God. The Lord then said to her that true worshippers shall worship the Father in Spirit and in truth. Among other things, what the Lord is telling her is that we can only enter into true worship if our mind is not tied up to visible religious structures. Since worship is tied to doron gifts, we can conclude that our doron gifts are acceptable to Him only if we are not placing our faith on visible, religious ceremonies. External actions such as going to church every Sunday and serving in the church cafeteria are not doron gifts that are acceptable to God if those external actions are what you have placed your faith in. If you focus on the religious structures that instruct you to perform these external actions, you are not a true worshipper, and your service will not be an acceptable doron gift. If you focus on God's will in the lives of others, your external actions will be acts of true worship, and they will serve to transform other people's lives. Since your focus will be on God and not man, you will many times find yourself doing just the opposite of what the religious structures teach, and you will be reviled by them.
A few verses after the passage of John 4:19-24 quoted above, the Samaritan woman left Jesus and went into the city, where she testified of Christ. She then returned with the city's people and presented them to the Lord, and they believed in Him. When she learned to be a true worshipper, the Samaritan woman became a life changer, and her external actions became doron gifts that were acceptable unto the Lord.
As shown by the following passage, the word doron is related in Scripture to priestly offerings:
"1For every high priest taken from among men is ordained for men in things pertaining to God, that he may offer both gifts and sacrifices for sins: 2Who can have compassion on the ignorant, and on them that are out of the way; for that he himself also is compassed with infirmity." (Hebrews 5:1-2)
[The word "gifts" in verse 1 was translated from doron]
By definition, a "priest" is a person who acts as an intercessor before God on behalf of other men. Therefore, a priest must have a heart that cares about others. According to verse 2 above, he or she must care for those who don't know (the "ignorant") and for those who do know but have gone astray ("them that are out of the way"). He must be sympathetic with the weakness of others, being weak himself. This is the attitude that the Lord Jesus had:
"16For verily he took not on him the nature of angels; but he took on him the seed of Abraham. 17Wherefore in all things it behoved him to be made like unto his brethren, that he might be a merciful and faithful high priest in things pertaining to God, to make reconciliation for the sins of the people. 18For in that he himself hath suffered being tempted, he is able to succour them that are tempted." (Hebrews 2:16-18)
A priest, therefore, must have a heart that longs to lift up the "weak" so that they manifest the strong spirit nature that God has deposited in them. A priest must see beyond the frail exterior of others and see the rock-solid inner being (Ephesians 4:24, Colossians 3:10). A priest must see beyond the "poor" exterior and see the "rich" spiritual potential that God has deposited on the inside of others.
"23And that he might make known the riches of his glory on the vessels of mercy, which he had afore prepared unto glory, 24Even us, whom he hath called, not of the Jews only, but also of the Gentiles?" (Romans 9:23-24)
A true priest will long to see that others become aware of the rich spiritual potential inside of them:
"15Wherefore I also, after I heard of your faith in the Lord Jesus, and love unto all the saints, 16Cease not to give thanks for you, making mention of you in my prayers; 17That the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give unto you the spirit of wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of him: 18The eyes of your understanding being enlightened; that ye may know what is the hope of his calling, and what the riches of the glory of his inheritance in the saints, 19And what is the exceeding greatness of his power to us-ward who believe, according to the working of his mighty power, 20Which he wrought in Christ, when he raised him from the dead, and set him at his own right hand in the heavenly places" (Ephesians 1:15-20)
"7Whereof I was made a minister, according to the gift of the grace of God given unto me by the effectual working of his power. 8Unto me, who am less than the least of all saints, is this grace given, that I should preach among the Gentiles the unsearchable riches of Christ; 9And to make all men see what is the fellowship of the mystery, which from the beginning of the world hath been hid in God, who created all things by Jesus Christ" (Ephesians 3:7-9)
A true priest will long to see that others may grow and be strengthened in the rich spiritual potential inside of them:
"14For this cause I bow my knees unto the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, 15Of whom the whole family in heaven and earth is named, 16That he would grant you, according to the riches of his glory, to be strengthened with might by his Spirit in the inner man; 17That Christ may dwell in your hearts by faith; that ye, being rooted and grounded in love, 18May be able to comprehend with all saints what is the breadth, and length, and depth, and height; 19And to know the love of Christ, which passeth knowledge, that ye might be filled with all the fulness of God." (Ephesians 3:14-19)
A true priest will long to see that others may be perfected in the rich spiritual potential inside of them so that they may enter into the Glory of God:
"25Whereof I am made a minister, according to the dispensation of God which is given to me for you, to fulfil the word of God; 26Even the mystery which hath been hid from ages and from generations, but now is made manifest to his saints: 27To whom God would make known what is the riches of the glory of this mystery among the Gentiles; which is Christ in you, the hope of glory: 28Whom we preach, warning every man, and teaching every man in all wisdom; that we may present every man perfect in Christ Jesus: 29Whereunto I also labour, striving according to his working, which worketh in me mightily." (Colossians 1:25-29)
Notice that Paul speaks of "preaching", "warning every man", and "teaching in all wisdom" in verse 28. The word "preaching" was translated from the Greek word kataggello, which is derived from the Greek word aggelos meaning "angel". As we have said before, angels in Scripture are agents of judgment. Therefore, the "preaching" of verse 28 speaks of an impartation of apostolic judgment word.
The word "warning" in verse 28 was translated from the Greek word noutheteo, which literally means "to admonish, warn", and is derived from the words nous meaning "mind" and tithemi meaning "to fix, establish". As we have said before, our minds are for the making of judgments. Therefore, the "warning" of verse 28 speaks of the establishment and solidifying of judgments in the minds of others. In short, it speaks of urging others to make sound spiritual judgments.
As we have said before, wisdom is for the making of judgments. Therefore, the "teaching of every man in all wisdom", speaks of instructing others so that they may make judgments in the Spirit. From all of the above, we can then conclude that a true priest will release judgments through his or her intercessory prayer so that others may enter into God's righteousness. As we have said before, it is through judgments that we truly grow in the Spirit. Therefore, if a priest truly longs to see others grow, he or she must be willing to release spiritual judgments through prayer. A true priest also knows that, as a fellow believer grows in the riches of his or her inner authority, that believer will become a greater and greater agent of judgment on Earth (Hebrews 5:14), and that is precisely what the Lord intended for each one of us from the beginning. We are all called to grow into the "two-witness" anointing under which apostolic judgments are prophetically launched from our mouths:
"5And if any man will hurt them, fire proceedeth out of their mouth, and devoureth their enemies: and if any man will hurt them, he must in this manner be killed. 6These have power to shut heaven, that it rain not in the days of their prophecy: and have power over waters to turn them to blood, and to smite the earth with all plagues, as often as they will." (Revelation 11:5-6)
In conclusion, a person who presents true doron offerings unto God acts as a true priest, which implies being a sympathetic intercessor who seeks to lift up those who are "weak" and "poor" so that they may live out the fullness of the "riches" and spirit nature that God deposited inside of them. This sympathetic intercession will pray that others become aware of their potential so that they may grow and be strengthened in it until they are perfected in Christ. This sympathetic intercession will include praying for judgments on others so that they may grow, and it will long to see them grow into mature agents of judgment on Earth.
"25Agree with thine adversary quickly, whiles thou art in the way with him; lest at any time the adversary deliver thee to the judge, and the judge deliver thee to the officer, and thou be cast into prison. 26Verily I say unto thee, Thou shalt by no means come out thence, till thou hast paid the uttermost farthing." (Matthew 5:25-26)
The word "agree" in verse 25 was translated from eunoeo, which is derived from the words eu meaning "good", and nous meaning "mind". Therefore, the word "agree" used by the Lord refers to an agreement of the minds. Why? Because, as we have said before, our minds are for the making of judgments, which means that we must rectify our behavior towards the other person so that that person may not have any righteous judgment to hang over us.
It is interesting to note that Jesus does not call the offended person to simply "forgive and forget". Why? Because, as we have said before, we cannot forgive someone who does not repent. The Greek word for "repentance" is metanoia, which is derived from the words meta meaning "after, according to" and nous meaning "mind". In other words, "repentance" is an act where we change our mind so that it comes in agreement with an external standard. When a person sincerely repents of something he or she has done against you, that person is realigning his or her mind with the mind of God. In other words, that person is realigning his or her judgments with God's judgments. Once that happens, your mind and the offender's mind can enter into agreement because they will both be aligned with the mind of God.
While the offender refuses to repent, the offended person has the authority to declare judgments against the offender. This is why the Lord says in verse 25 above that the offended person has the prerogative to go to the "judge", who will then deliver the offender to the "officer", and the offender will end up in "prison".
Notice also that the offended person holds the time prerogative. This is why verse 25 says, "lest at any time the adversary deliver thee". As we have said before, there are three types of individuals, the unrighteous destroyers, the negligent, and the proactive judges. We are called to be proactive judges who exercise our judgment authority in the sovereignty endowed to us in the Spirit.
To summarize, we can say that a true doron gift is a priestly act where we give of ourselves on behalf of others. This giving will be prompted by the fact that we ...
In order to see such things, we must be willing to see past the "poor" and "weak" exterior of others in order to see the "riches" and "strong" spirit nature that God has deposited in each believer. Even though unbelievers may not have these riches inside of them, the potential is there, and that potential also requires that we see past the "weak" exterior.
To be a giver of true doron gifts, we must be ...
As we give true doron gifts, we will release intercessory prayer that seeks to have others ...
As we give true doron gifts, we will not be afraid to declare spiritual judgments on others so that they may be restored, and we will seek that others grow in the exercise of their authority to make judgments in the sovereignty endowed to them in the Spirit.
From all of the above, it becomes evident that a doron offering is useless if the person giving it is not focused on blessing others. This is why the Lord says that we must seek to be right with others before giving any doron offering. Doron offerings are acts of "Level-2" righteousness. Therefore, if we are not even practicing "Level-1" righteousness where we "owe nobody nothing", we cannot pretend to make doron offerings where we are supposedly giving of ourselves voluntarily for God and for others. If we cannot see God in others, our doron offerings to Him are useless, no matter what form those offerings may take.