Friday, January 12, 2018

How the Truth About Tithing Was Suppressed (And Still Is) In The Church of God




"Hello. Ted? This is Bob... Remember that tithing research? 
I think we're going to have problems with Harry."


There has been a great discussion on the Ambassador College Alumni site about tithing and how one man, through much research, proved that tithing was not an Old Covenant or New Covenant command for church members.  Of course, this did not sit well with an administration who survived on tithing.

The man who did this research was Harry Eisenberg.

From Ambassador Report 1


Editor: At beautiful, serene Ambassador College a person who is too concerned about truth may suddenly find himself living in a hostile environment. His personal quest for truth may not be regarded as dangerous or heretical as long as his voice is not heard by too many people; but if he is eloquent, or in a position to influence minds in the Ambassador entity, then his quest for truth will be regarded as a great threat.


After Ambassador College ascended to a position of limited prestige among fundamentalist institutions, and while in the midst of accumulating perhaps the most effective propaganda machinery of all such institutions, there occurred the simultaneous accident of accepting a student who regarded the acknowledgement of truth as paramount.

By the time this happened, Garner Ted Armstrong had become a major industry. The Worldwide Church of God had become Ted's religious arm of global influence and the church's Doctrinal Committee had become an efficient oppressor of truth.

The following account, written by Harry Eisenberg, is an account of character assassination. It clearly explains how truth is suppressed inside the Ambassador entity and how the one who discovers it must become silent, giving way to the personal doctrines of those in power, or be removed.
Before his discovery, Harry Eisenberg was an employee of Ambassador College. He is the author of eight major articles published for Ambassador under his by-line, as well as the author of numerous articles written for others or published under no by-line. Here is his story:


Quite by coincidence I am writing this article on the main campus of the University of Maryland. As is the case with virtually every other institution of higher learning, considerable research into both the sciences and humanities has been undertaken here. The purpose of the university is not only to educate students, but to provide new knowledge and answers to questions affecting our society.
Colleges and universities have in fact been the major vehicle for providing society with new knowledge in just about every field. The student, especially the graduate student, is on campus not only to absorb knowledge, but also to make a contribution to the body of knowledge extant in his particular field. To use a familiar phrase, he is expected to give as well as to get!
One would think this principle should hold true for Ambassador College as well. Unfortunately, this has not been the case. This is due to a basic difference between Ambassador College and other institutions of higher learning.
Whereas most universities exist to promote the advancement of knowledge and to pass it on to their students, Ambassador College exists to promulgate to the public the knowledge and values of its founder, Herbert W. Armstrong. New discoveries and/or contributions to knowledge are often not welcome there. For one thing, such new discoveries are not, generally speaking, in keeping with the primary aim, which is the dissemination of existing knowledge. Furthermore, should any new concept uncovered through the research of a faculty member or student conflict even remotely with the views of the founder, such research is utterly unwelcome, as Herbert Armstrong's views are regarded as sacrosanct and inspired.
For example, one student wrote a research paper for an Ambassador theology class, claiming that the scriptures speak of a spirit in animals as well as a spirit in man. He provided considerable evidence to support his contention. Upon presenting the paper to his instructors, the student was urged to keep his ideas to himself. It seems the spirit in man and the idea that animals differ from man is a pet concept of Mr. Armstrong's, and the theology instructors were afraid to present the Student's findings to him.
The following semester the student was not allowed to register for classes and was expelled from the college. He was charged with the crime of "highbrowing the ministers", whatever that means. The loss was Ambassador's, not the student's.
I was a paid researcher on the staff of Ambassador College for over four years. Generally speaking, my work involved providing "proofs" for the pet concepts and theories held by Mr. Herbert Armstrong and/or his son, Garner Ted. Occasionally, I was successful as in the case of an article entitled "Did Jesus Have Long Hair?" This article attempted to show that there is historical evidence proving that Jesus did not necessarily wear long hair, as he is often pictured today.
My article was widely reprinted and resulted in a personal full-page interview in a major Los Angeles daily. It was one of few articles which have cast Ambassador College in a good light. It was met with complete silence by an administration which feels any publicity should he its own private realm.
In January 1973, I was asked by my supervisor, Brian Knowles, to research the subject of tithing. In particular, Mr. Knowles was interested in learning who paid what to whom and how in ancient Israel.
And so I began a systematic study of the tithing doctrine by listing each Biblical verse which in any way refers to tithing. What followed was a study of commentaries, encyclopedias arid various historical sources. The result was inevitable! I came to see that the tithing concept as promulgated by Ambassador College and the Worldwide Church of God was contrary to both the Old and the New Testaments.
Scripture makes it plain that the right to collect tithes was given to the Levitical priesthood in exchange for their service in the Temple. There is no evidence that this right was ever passed on to the New Testament Church. The Encyclopedias BRITANNICA and AMERICANA both confirm this view when they state the early New Testament Church did not practice tithing, although it was later adopted by the Catholic Church in the Sixth Century A.D.
Upon presenting the research paper to my supervisor, I was treated in a manner reminiscent of Galileo's encounter with the Catholic Church. I was warned that I had better keep my findings and views to myself. Naturally, it was assumed that I had done the paper because I had some kind of ax to grind and was merely out to prove a previously held notion. Research at Ambassador so often has meant nothing more than finding "proofs" for the "inspired" concepts and ideas of the Armstrongs.
When I was asked to squelch my ideas, I pointed out that that might be difficult as four people had already seen the paper. I was told that if I would keep it down, a doctrinal committee (sic) would eventually consider my findings. Six months went by and about all that the so-called doctrinal committee accomplished can be seen by reading a booklet entitled MARRIAGE AND DIVORCE published briefly by Ambassador College in the summer of 1973.
When I concluded there was no reason why I should keep my paper from others, I proceeded to show it to anyone who inquired about it. Not believing I was the ultimate authority on the subject, I collaborated with a team of some six other Ambassador College researchers on a more in-depth paper on tithing which was completed in December 1973.
As a result of these papers and the fact that I no longer felt a religious compulsion to practice tithing, I was dismissed, without warning, from my job on January 7, 1974. This happened despite the fact that my new supervisor, Dr. Robert Kuhn, acknowledged that I had done outstanding work for him. So much for religious freedom at Ambassador College.
The paper in question was ultimately published with minor modifications by both the Foundation for Biblical Research and the Associated Churches of God. Some open-minded researchers for a newly reconstructed doctrinal committee which was investigating tithing confided to me that any thesis or dissertation from reputable theological institutions that they had the opportunity to examine dealing with the subject in question, tended to agree with my findings.
Finally, in a meeting called to investigate the origin of the papers published by the Foundation and Associated Churches, I was publicly slandered by Ambassador President, Garner Ted Armstrong. Armstrong stated, "Now I don't express it as assassination of Harry's character-it is his mind I'm worried about and not his character. I'm not a bit worried about his personal integrity or his personal habits nor his personal sincerity, but I'm not prepared to say he is the most balanced individual mentally, and that I would rely an awful lot on his research."
But he had been relying "an awful lot on his research". Just weeks before, Armstrong had been parroting my findings on his television program seen by millions in the U.S. and Canada. Furthermore, many of these programs were repeated on the air over and over again. On more than one occasion, articles bearing the by-line of Garner Ted Armstrong but researched by me appeared in fire PLAIN TRUTH magazine.
Only when my findings disagreed with Armstrong's private views was my research no longer reliable and the writer fit for ridicule. But such are the risks that anyone takes who might dare disagree with the administration.
-Harry Eisenberg
Editor: Harry's efforts to obtain the truth about tithing represented a special threat to the Ambassador administration. It is the one threat Ambassador fears the most-the threat of individual integrity asserting itself over Ambassador's aristocratic corporate structure.

Consequently, on January 7, 1974, Harry Eisenberg's hopes of a fair hearing for tithing research died by committee. Harry's voice, as well as his research, had to be removed from among the followers.
The Ambassador College Board of Trustees found nothing sinister about Harry's removal. Ministers and students who had liked him apparently found nothing objectionable in his being disfellowshipped. "He was a youth overly exposed to satanic doctrines, demonic thoughts goaded him into an attitude of rebellion. Nothing unusual in that." It ended, however, in his dismissal from an organization to which he had dedicated his life.

The announcement of Harry's termination took less than a few seconds. There was no risk that the doctrinal committee would expose the true reasons for Harry's dismissal because members of that committee had been a party to it. There was no risk of exposure from members of the Ambassador-controlled media because a few words about the "Ambassador Oasis" from the charismatic Ted Armstrong and the students would inquire no further. They would not try to digest the indigestible, think the unthinkable, or question Pilate about the removal of a Christian.

No, on January 7, 1974, all seemed well. In fact, things seemed better than ever. And, in short time, the people would again be reminded that "God's work is moving ahead stronger than ever."

54 comments:

Anonymous said...

the apostle Saul confirmed the right of ministers to exact tithes but refused to enforce it because he thought it would hinder the Gospel (1 Corinthians 9:6-14), so he ended up living hand to mouth cuz of the hardness of the hearts of they of the Church in them days...

Steve D said...

Great article. I find it ironic that HWA would quote Mal 3 and say that if we didn't pay tithes to him, that we were robbing God. Yet, in reality, HE was the thief, taking what he had no authority to take.
I read a great quote from a Jewish source. The Jews don't tithe because there is no temple and there are no Levites. But, they do encourage (not command) their members to give (not pay) 10% to a good cause to, as they say, "heal the world." They suggest that even if you don't want to or feel like it, you should. "Perhaps in time," they say, "your heart will catch up with your actions. In the meantime, you are doing good." Yes, actions can change your feelings.
One more brief point, if I may. In an earlier post concerning the Sabbath and the fact that there is no command for the Church to observe it. Someone asked, "Can you show me a passage where the commandment was rescinded?" My reply would be, "Do you wear tassels? If not, can you show me a passage in the church age where that was rescinded?"

Connie Schmidt said...

Very wrong and incorrect information. ELEVENTH TITHE IS A REQUIREMENT!

Near_Earth_Object said...

It is wonderful that Harry Eisenberg escaped Armstrongism. Think of all those who did not. It was interesting to see the word "balanced" used. I had almost forgotten this subtle little barbed word used in personal evaluation of others. When I was associated with AC BS, anyone who was balanced was appropriately brain-washed. They did what the cult expected. If someone left the groove and started to think independently, they were "unbalanced."

Eisenberg discovered in dramatic terms that he had devoted his life to cult and was not going to be able to change it from the inside. So he was expelled. He probably did not regard it as a rescue at the time but it was. He got his chestnuts pulled out of the fire. Dustoff.

The Branch Davidians, the Millerite brothers to the Armstrongists, were also pre-occupied with tithing. The following statement is from an article in the Chicago Tribune that puzzled over how the Davidians raised money:

"Rick Ross, a cult deprogrammer in Phoenix who has worked with former members of the Branch Davidians, told the Associated Press that "good salaries earned on the outside were plowed back into the sect." Koresh is "very much into money," he said."

This money came to the Davidian leadership via tithing, draconian offerings and some people giving everything to the Davidians because the End of the Age was imminent. In other words, the same kind of squeeze put on people as the Armstrongites.

I would not be surprised if a David Koresh type figure rose up and consolidated all the Armstrongist fragments, convinced them the end time events had begun and directed them to sell off everything and remit to money to the sacred post office box. Eisenberg should be thankful that he will not be a part of this pathos.

Byker Bob said...

Isn’t that an awesome example of a good shepherd, 12:16?

BB

Ekklesia said...

Anon 12:16. First Paul and Barnabas were apostles (one's sent forth); different than the elders who lived in one place and could maintain an income.

Second, Paul did not cite "tithing" instead he cited a principle in Deuteronomy that you should feed the ox that works for you. Obviously Paul is rightfully associating that with apostles that are striving to help build congregations, but he knows that he cannot base it on tithing as the temple service is not a part of Christianity and Levites that had no portion of the land (source of food) are not a part of Christianity at this time either.

He only mentioned apostles in this, not elders (ministers) and it was based on a principle, not tithing. The principle is that if someone is truly sacrificing in the work of God they should be sustained-- not having tithes paid out so they are living better than most people, but rather "sustained". Also, just because someone puts up a shingle and says they are doing God's work doesn't mean they are.

Connie Schmidt said...

ANON 12:16 The Apostle Paul did not appeal to the tithing requirement law. He appealed to the law of "not muzzling the ox that treads the grain". Why did he not appeal to the tithing law?

Gordon Feil said...

The Armstrong churches of God have become increasingly irrelevant, and a primary reason is that the circle the wagons attitude prevents growth in the knowledge needed to address problems people have. The attitude also results in devaluation of people, and people are hard wired with the need to be valued, as William Glasser ably showed.

Anonymous said...

Tithes were to be given to the tribe of Levites, but Christians in the NT era were not Levites. To take their tithes would constitute a crime, because they came impersonating another entity whom they were not. Paul, who set a great example, never said, henceforth, you convey your tithes to me in any of his epistles. How could quoting Malachi 3:8-10 by these Church organisations not constitute a crime?

Anonymous said...

9.30AM
The leader of the tithe paying Hillsong church lives in a multi million dollar property. In his case, I don't begrudge his wealth. It's purely his inspirational sermons that have encouraged many to become Christians. He has earned his wealth.
This is in contrast to Herb ministers who give out spiritual milk, or no milk at all.

Anonymous said...

I've learned that not tithing can have very big consequences!

The consequences are an increase of 10% or more in your savings account balance.

Anonymous said...

"Do ye not know that they which minister about holy things live of the things of the temple? and they which wait at the altar are partakers with the altar?

Even so hath the Lord ordained that they which preach the gospel should live of the gospel." 1 Corinthians 9:13-14...

Anonymous said...

"Do ye not know that they which minister about holy things live of the things of the temple? and they which wait at the altar are partakers with the altar?

Even so hath the Lord ordained that they which preach the gospel should live of the gospel." 1 Corinthians 9:13-14...

Anonymous said...

Now these are the kind of articles I love to see on this blog. It was very helpful full of enough nutrients to help stimulate critical thinking.I was concerned that this site was losing sight of it's purpose, to expose Armstrongism.

What About The Truth said...

I think most of the COG's teach that they are now under Melchizadek the priest (Christ). Paul stated that of need there was a necessity of a change in the priesthood. Claiming this, and using the example of Abraham paying tithes to Melchizadek before the law of Moses, the churches' teach the requirement of the individual christian to pay tithes to the church (Temple).

Recently having left the COG's and after a brief study, it is clear as day, the 2nd and 3rd tithes are wholly tied to the 1st covenant - the blessing of a land flowing with milk and honey. The 1st tithe looks to be not required - BUT there certainly is a requirement to take care of the widow and fatherless and those that are poor and in need. Christ summed it up in His Olivet sermon when He said; "He that has done it unto the least of my brethren has done it unto me". Of course the least of the brethren should be the church members' minister (Servant).

Anonymous said...

1:07PM wrote:

The leader of the tithe paying Hillsong church lives in a multi million dollar property

LCG's Rod Meredith lived in a much more humble home, now on sale for just $500,000.

Meredith home for sale

Steve D said...

Tithing was required by law, like paying your taxes. Giving to care for those in need in voluntary, not required by law. Did Abraham pay a tithe to Melchizadek or did he simply give him the spoils of war, again, a voluntary act? I don't see Paul or others in the church age calling for tithes, only that they be generous in giving (again, voluntary). Jesus said that we can tell what is important to someone by simply looking at how they spend their time and money (Where your treasure is, there your heart will be, also). If you want people to give more money, help them mature as Christians, think more of the needs of others than the desires of themselves.

What About The Truth said...

Anon 2:48 quotes the scripture of: "Even so hath the Lord ordained that they which preach the gospel should live of the gospel." 1 Corinthians 9:13-14.

The major problem with quoting that scripture is that HWA and probably most all of the COGs preach(ed) a false gospel. The road to the false gospel started with keeping Christ confined in time as just a messenger bearing a message. What have they all been proclaiming as specifically the gospel message? HWA stated in a sermon that I heard; "Enough of this gloom and doom - we are going to start proclaiming the good news of the kingdom". Was that an inadvertent admittance to bearing a false witness to Matt.24:14? How bad has it gotten? The Restored church of God in an article in their Pillar Magazine by Jeffery Ambrose (Evangelist) stated that the man of sin is part of the gospel because his coming is so close to Christ's coming! What, whoa, ha, hold on a minute. Did anyone in that church get right up and run and I mean run out of there? How would the best dressed, the best groomed with the best headquarters church come to that conclusion? A simple run over to YouTube confirms what I suspected, 3.4 million views for the man of sin video, and minimal views in comparison for the others. So then, is the true gospel gloom and doom? Is it US/Brit Israel? Is it the Beast? Is it the false prophet? Is it the man of sin? Is it pagan Xmas?, Is it pagan Easter.....? Is it protection in Petra? Is it, is it, is it? Study your bible and it is clear that the WCG/ACOGs have not and are not preaching the same gospel that Paul preached. What did he say to those who don't? Gal. 1:6-9 was his answer. Study and prove it unto yourself; Is your church, is your leader, is your minister proclaiming the same gospel as Paul? And when you find that they don't, what will you do with your TITHE - will you give it unto someone who is preaching a false gospel?

Anonymous said...

nice deflection, but the Lord still Ordained that those what preach the Gospel should live of it, and that is the point...

so simple a child would understand it...

Tom Thumb said...

I can only urge people and Anonymous 12:16 (who quoted 1 Corinthians 9:6-14) to read Russell Earl Kelly's "Should the Church Teach Tithing?" (www.truthforfree.com/files/PDF/REK-Tithing3.pdf) as it's the best book, IMHO, on the subject matter and actually proves Eisenberg's research correct. Re the proof-text of 1 Corinthians 9:6-14 please see ch. 22. My own personal study has proven, as complimented by Kelly's exhaustive and excellent work, that the tithes were voluntarily give to the landless Levites who in turn voluntarily tithed "a tithe of the tithe" to the Aaronic priesthood. Further, the tithes didn't consist of money, but agricultural produce and reared livestock. In the NT Paul, and the ministry of the Church of God, was supported by freewill offerings, not tithes. He supported himself primarily through his trade and encouraged his followers to give, as he did, to the poor. Today, however, the vast majority of money given by believers goes to pay for rented buildings, building funds and minister salaries, rather than to the poor. And, at least to Paul, every penny given for salaries is one penny not given to the poor. Shouldn't ministers be following Paul's example i.e. Have a secular job and preach the gospel freely without payment on the Sabbaths? Ironically they follow the traditions of men--particularly the traditions of the hierarchy of the Roman Catholic church, which Protestant evangelical Xians have historically rejected as a false church promoting false teachings. *facepalm*
PS I actually came here via Bob Thiel's blog as he mentioned this post and attempted to refute it in his blog post, but I don't agree with him or other ACOGs re their false teaching on tithing.

Hoss said...

This article got the attention of Bob Thiel, who responded with an attempt to justify tithing the old WCG way.
Some years ago, Exit and Support had a link to some lectures by a Rabbinical student turned Evangelical who thoroughly explained away the arguments used by churches for the ubiquitous tithing doctrine.

Anonymous said...

anon 9:34 many would tithe gadly if it wasn't for the sanctimonious attitude expressed by those who clearly benefit from those who tithe.

Many question the obscene waste of money from not only the past heyday but still to this day. Fancy houses, fancy lifestyles, fancy head quarters, fancy offices, at fancy prices whilst the bare minimum is used for the preaching of the gospel.

There are too many workshy bums who have lived on the hog for far too long from tithing. Too many have turned the FOT into a money spending orgy that they themselves don't pay a cent for.

Hoss said...

Tom Thumb wrote: I actually came here via Bob Thiel's blog … I don't agree with him or other ACOGs re their false teaching on tithing.
Bob Thiel’s response didn’t address the issue raised. We know HWA didn’t “invent” triple tithing, it was “revealed” to him by reading G.G. Rupert. The issue raised in Harry Eisenberg’s letter, the Ambassador Report article, and the Banned post was not about single, double or triple tithing, but who were to receive tithes.
I remember the old Correspondence Course lesson on tithing presented what I later found was a gross misunderstanding of the Book of Hebrews, where it compared and contrasted the priesthood of Melchizadek and the Levitical priesthood of Aaron. In short, the single voluntary tithe to Melchizadek did not suddenly reappear as a triple tithe payable to the Mythical True Church.

Anonymous said...

not sure why your citation is better than mine; mine has stood the test of time: never heard of russell kelly, and i would venture to say no one will know who he is 1000 years from now, but the Word of God through His servants has endured the test of time; and that is not a coincidence...

Anonymous said...

i thought the question was whether or not we in the new testament are required by God to tithe; i didnt know this was a referendum on whether ministers were worthy of tithes...

of course they are not worthy; even in the new testament they were shown to be unworthy; but God still required that we tithe...

Anonymous said...

In II Cor. 11:8-9 Paul writes "I robbed other churches, taking wages of them, to do you service" and "in all things I have kept myself from being burdensome unto you."
You can also find something similar in II Cor. 12:14.

Now if the Corinthians were paying tithes, these scriptures would make NO sense. Wouldn't it still be a burden if they gave their tithes to Silas or Barnabas instead? Obviously they weren't tithing. And if they weren't but were supposed to be, you better believe Paul would have admonished them for it.

Paul does say things like "those who preach the gospel should receive their living from the gospel." But the COG ministers today aren't doing the same things. They speak maybe 2 different sermons a month and most of those are ones that they have already given, or they are on submission to the organization or they are a regurgitation of (insert organization) doctrines. They don't go from town to town reasoning in the synagogues and other christian churches daily, without having a place to sleep or eat. Not to mention, these ministers aren't even preaching the truth like Paul and the other apostles were.

Lastly, lets not forget that the Israelites didn't tithe until they reached the promised land and had rest from their enemies (Deut. 12:10-11)
So unless you're reading this from Israel, we are not in the promised land... we aren't even Israelites for that matter...

Happy Sabbath to all.

Anonymous said...

Oh obvious straw man argument attack, you must be one who benifits from the tithes. Where is the question ? I see none. This post clearly is about Harry first hand testimony. Yet you brazenly bring in a strawman argument. The tithes are wasted, no real accountability only arrogance, cronyisim and wasted achieving nothing but rampant cronyisim amongst the headquarters. Who benefits ? Not God that's for sure.

Anonymous said...

When I fell behind in my first tithe, I got a reaction from the holy spirit. That was my experience.

4.00 PM
The third tithe was for the 'biblical' poor, not just those that are 'poor and in need.'
Biblical poor are people such as widows and orphans who are victims of circumstances not of their choosing. Today many charities define the poor mathematically with formulas such as 30% beneath the average income for a family of four. This and unwed mothers are NOT the biblical poor. I met widows in Herbs church who claimed the poor status, yet from what I could discern, they never had a job in their lives.

In most developed countries, the effective tax rate hovers around 50%, and that figure doesn't include national debt.
So the poor are more than adequately cared for by tax money. They are getting much more than the bibles third tithe.

Tom Thumb said...

Anonymous 12:00 PM said "not sure why your citation is better than mine; mine has stood the test of time: never heard of russell kelly, and i would venture to say no one will know who he is 1000 years from now, but the Word of God through His servants has endured the test of time; and that is not a coincidence..."

1. I didn't say my reference to Kelly's study on tithing was "better" than your reference to 1 Corinthians 9:6-14.

2. And it's not your reference to the Holy Scriptures that is in doubt. It's your interpretation that is. You obviously are in agreement with those who follow HWA's interpretation and teaching on tithing. I respectfully disagree with this interpretation, like Kelly and others, such as Frank Chase (who likewise wrote an excellent study on the topic as well entitled, "Kleptomaniac: Who's Really Robbing God Anyway?").

3. If I recall correctly one main reason that led me to personally and deeply research the issue for myself was learning about HWA, I believe, allowing members to disregard payment of third tithe in countries where government taxes were so excessive and/or would basically be fulfilling the purpose of such through social welfare programs. I thought at the time either God commands three monetary tithes of His NT Church and has since its foundation or there is something amiss here allowing such a double standard.

4. True the Word of God you quoted endures forever (Is. 40:8; 1 Pt. 1:25), but it's irrelevant whether anyone will know who Kelly is one thousand years from now. The Truth He has spoken through His servants one thousand years ago is speaking Truth through His servants such as Kelly today and will be still one thousand years from now through His servants then to all who have an ear to hear. And, your judgment of Kelly (especially unfair if you have not even read his book) could be equally applied to HWA even more so considering the fact that a little more than 30 years have passed since HWA's death and in that time his WCG no longer exists; his teachings remain the source of contradictions, family breakups and church splits; and out of the 7+ billion people on the globe an infinitesimal number would even know who he was or his organization (Matthew 15:13).

Peace.
TT

Anonymous said...

i meant old testament, not new testament...e.g., 1 Samuel 3:13: eli's sons were evil ministers, but God didnt say dont tithe cuz they were evil ministers; He simply killed the evil ministers...

Hoss said...

Anon 1209 wrote: …we are not in the promised land... we aren't even Israelites for that matter...
The laws related to tithing were very specific; essentially, agriculture and livestock produced in Eretz Israel. And using BI to claim we live in Israel doesn’t count. I read once, in a blog comment, that ‘HWA changed that to include all income.’ Of course other churches had 'changed' the teaching centuries earlier.
Interesting that the Didache, on which Bob Thiel wrote an article, contains a line ‘an apostle who asks for money is a false prophet’.

Anonymous said...

If you don't like what people say or do just declare them mentally unfit, or worse a madman. Character assassination and misrepresentation is what the media and Silicon Valley do to Trump and the Alt-Right every day, and, so it seems, pretty much every one of America's enemies (Saddam, Assad, Kadaffi, Kim, and on and on). That way they can ban your website, videos, etc. Same old same old. Anyone who is not a commie-progressive-neocon is clearly nuts, in their view.

Gordon Feil said...

There are no three tithes in the Old Testament. The generation that came out of Egypt was instructed on tithing, and the instructions we see are verses that have been taken to support the first tithe. We see nothing about Festival tithes in those instructions. The generation that conquered the Promised Land received instructions about tithing, and those are verses that relate to the festival tithes but nothing is said to that generation about the first tithe. The reconciliation is simple. There was one tithe which was taken to the feast, and what was left over from the feast expenses was given to the Levites. And on the third year it was given to the widows and orphans instead.

The early church was Jewish and I expect that in the matter of tithing, they would have kept on doing what they had been taught to do before their conversion, until somebody told them otherwise. But we don't see anyone telling them otherwise until the letter to the Hebrews. In short, they would have kept on tithing, and they probably paid those tithes to the priesthood until the book of Hebrews in which it was said that the law had been changed. And this was probably fair because we see that there was a great company of priests that came into the church, that's reported in the book of Acts, and those priests probably collected ties from the jews after they came into the church

Anonymous said...

One point not addressed. Christ as the head of the church and has the right to demand/not demand that Christians tithe. Perhaps people should inquire from God on this matter.

Anonymous said...

where in Hebrews does it say not to tithe?

DennisCDiehl said...

2 Corinthians 9:7

New International Version
Each of you should give what you have decided in your heart to give, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver.

If one is seeking a teaching that addresses giving, why does it take a Jewish scholar to understand this

Anonymous said...

He anticipated ur observation, hence the bible, the enduring Word of God, which has outlasted all manner of pagan philosophy, vain babblings and individuals constantly seeking to establish pre-eminence above Him and His Wisdom...

Gordon Norman said...

anon 709: i'm not saying hebrews says not to tithe. The change in the law was the change in the priesthood.

Anonymous said...

If you tithe, because it is commanded of the Israelites under the Old Covenant, do you also wear tassels? Where in the NT church does it say you don't have to wear tassels anymore? The Law of Moses, given only to the Israelites, is a package deal. You can't pick and choose which ones you want to observe.
When Amos went north to the northern kingdom of Israel, before he condemned them for their sins, he took aim at the nations surrounding Israel for their sins. Moab, Ammon, Tyre, Edom, and Damascus. Not once did he condemn them for not tithing, observing the Sabbath, Holy Days, dietary laws, etc. Why? Do you think that they were more observant then Israel or do you think that the non-Israelites were not expected to observe the law of Moses?

Hoss said...

Anon 609 asks, If you tithe, because it is commanded of the Israelites under the Old Covenant, do you also wear tassels?

Selecting which commands to keep and which to ignore as well as which to rigorously enforce and which to only mention sometimes appears arbitrary. The arguments used for not keeping certain commands seem just as “logical” as those used to enforce others.
It seems the COGs don’t mind claiming to be “Israel” through BI, but not to “look Jewish”. There is also the old favorite, WII-FM (what’s in it for me?) The only way COG leaders would benefit from men wearing tassels is if they sold them. Of course control is another issue, but ministers would probably prefer to chastise the members for not being cheerful givers than the men for not wearing their tassels…

Gordon Feil said...

Amos didn't chide gentiles about the law because they were not in a covenant relationship with God.

Anonymous said...

ur speaking of Hebrews 7: yes, there is a change in the priesthood, and through Christ the Law is abolished, but i believe they are referring to the Law of sacrifice for sins, not the 10 Commandmemts, and not the Command to tithe...

e.g., if God wanted to Ordain ministers to preach the new testament Gospel to the world, He would not be abolishing the Command to tithe; logistically that would make no sense...

the book of Hebrews is speaking on the abolition of the Law of the sacrifice for sin because Christ became the penalty for the sins of mankind, hence it was no longer necessary for priests to do sacrifice for sinners...

but even then we must remember that the abolishment only applies to those what are led by the Spirit...

Yes and No to HWA said...

Anonymous 11:11 said:

“yes, there is a change in the priesthood”

Please show me supporting Scriptures that this is so. Saying so doesn’t make it so?

You also write:

“the book of Hebrews is speaking on the abolition of the Law of the sacrifice for sin because Christ became the penalty for the sins of mankind,

“hence it was no longer necessary for priests to do sacrifice for sinners...

“but even then we must remember that the abolishment only applies to those what are led by the Spirit...

These three points also cannot be supported from the Bible.

Anonymous said...

the priesthood of Aaron was imperfect and had to be replaced by the Ultimate Priesthood of Christ...

"f therefore perfection were by the Levitical priesthood, (for under it the people received the law,) what further need was there that another priest should rise after the order of Melchisedec, and not be called after the order of Aaron?

For the priesthood being changed, there is made of necessity a change also of the law." Hebrews 7:11-12

the old testament Law of sacrifice doesnt permanently purge the sinner of guilt...

"For the law having a shadow of good things to come, and not the very image of the things, can never with those sacrifices which they offered year by year continually make the comers thereunto perfect.

For then would they not have ceased to be offered? because that the worshippers once purged should have had no more conscience of sins.

But in those sacrifices there is a remembrance again made of sins every year.

For it is not possible that the blood of bulls and of goats should take away sins." Hebrews 10:1-4

if you are led by the Spirit you are not under the Law...

"But if ye be led of the Spirit, ye are not under the law." Galatians 5:18

and what is the difference between those what are led by the Spirit and those who aint? the answer is found in Galatians 5:16-24...

Yes and No to HWA said...

Anonymous 5:11 not one of your Scriptures provides support for a change in the Levitical priesthood.

The author of Hebrews saying that there has been a change in the priesthood doesn’t make it so. When the author says that the altar of incense was in the Most Holy place in Heb 9:3-4 also doesn’t make it so.

Christ’s Melchisedec priesthood in heaven doesn’t change the need for a Levitical priesthood on the earth.

Heb 8:4 For if he were on earth, he should not be a priest, seeing that there are priests that offer gifts according to the law:

Christ cannot be a priest on the earth because the law prevents him from being one – no change in the law here hence no change in the priesthood.

Jer 33:20 Thus saith the LORD; if ye can break my covenant of the day, and my covenant of the night, and that there should not be day and night in their season;
Jer 33:21 Then may also my covenant be broken with David my servant, that he should not have a son to reign upon his throne; and with the Levites the priests, my ministers.

Anonymous said...

please forgive me oh exalted one: i didnt know that you were the arbiter of what in the bible is or isnt truth...

i was under the impression that the bible interpreted itself without ambiguity, and by virtue of its everlasting presence has been the way the Lord communicates with us here under the sun; i understood that the apostle Saul was a hebrew of hebrews, raised at the feet of the greatest of hebrew biblical scholars (being well versed in the way of the religious authorities, and a practicing jew all his life), and that he just might know what he was talking about, and his word just might be around for a couple thousand years and counting...

i didnt realize that you, whos less than 100 years old, could possibly know all things (except for, perhaps the time of day you were conceived): i am sure they will be quoting your words ten years from hence, maybe even 10 days...

i stand corrected...

but the bible is still the Word of God, regardless of the vain babblings of a person what is one heartbeat away from non existence...

Retired Prof said...

"The author of Hebrews saying that there has been a change in the priesthood doesn’t make it so. When the author says that the altar of incense was in the Most Holy place in Heb 9:3-4 also doesn’t make it so."

Very good, Y & N to HWA. You're getting there.

Now when you realize that the author of Genesis saying that God created the heavens and the earth, and made Adam out of earth, and Eve out of one of his ribs doesn't make those things so either, you'll be well on your way to understanding the real value of scripture. It's great stuff for conversational material, as this site demonstrates.

Tom Thumb said...

Yes and No to HWA said: "Jer 33:21 Then may also my covenant be broken with David my servant, that he should not have a son to reign upon his throne; and with the Levites the priests, my ministers."

So are you quoting this scripture to infer God's covenant with David and Levi has not been broken?

I only ask because it is my understanding and observation that both covenants are to this day broken and thus not in effect. For instance, if you read a few verses later (v. 24) Jeremiah notes that people were stating just that i.e. Both families God specially chose for national service via kingship and priesthood (i.e. David and Levi) have been rejected and thus the covenant broken.

The twelve tribes of Israel are not united as one nation anywhere on earth today let alone in the ancient land of Israel with Jerusalem as its capital.

There is no son of David sitting on a restored throne of David reigning in Jerusalem or over any such nation on earth today.

There is no restored Levitical priesthood performing religious ministerial duties in Jerusalem or any such nation on earth today.

It is my belief that only when the Messiah returns will the twelve tribes of Israel be reunited and the throne of David and Levitical priesthood restored in Christ in accordance with God the Father's will. Comparing Jeremiah 33 with Psalm 89:38-51 reiterates this i.e. the covenant with David (and by extension Levi) is broken at present and thus can only be made whole and restored through the Messiah Jesus Christ at His return to usher in the Messianic era.

BTW I don't believe the British royal family are descended from the house of King David like HWA believed and taught.

Gordon Feil said...

Hebrews 7 is clearly about a change regarding tithing. Read the first 10 verses. They set the context. Verse 12 is plain that there is a change in who is to receive the tithes. Obviously if the priesthood has changed, the old one no longer collects tithes.

Hoss said...

Anon 1049: Bravo! Anon 511 used HWA's "here a little, there a little" technique to ignore verses in the same passage that clarify the meaning.

Another case is Heb 10:4 "It is impossible for the blood of bulls and goats to take away sins." One of my early exchanges with Bob Thiel was about his deduction that this verse "proves" sacrifices were abolished. He neglected that this passage is about the Day of Atonement.

BTW, Bob just posted another article on Tithing; this time it was the text of HWA's Ending your financial worries.

Yes and No to HWA said...

Retired Professor wrote:

“Very good, Y & N to HWA. You're getting there.”

But I haven’t even started!

One of the reasons is that I am too dysfunctional not to believe in God and His Word.

It is just unfortunately that I am not that well acquainted with ANE thought-forms to understand the Bible as I would like.

BTW, I would suggest that Eve was “taken” from Adam as they are the antitype (using vertical typology – cp Heb 8:5b and 9:24) of God and Jesus Christ – the type.

Yes and No to HWA said...

Eze 20:40 For in mine holy mountain, in the mountain of the height of Israel, saith the Lord GOD, there shall all the house of Israel, all of them in the land, serve me: there will I accept them, and there will I Require your offerings, and the firstfruits of your oblations, with all your holy things.

Hoss writes:

Another case is Heb 10:4 "It is impossible for the blood of bulls and goats to take away sins." One of my early exchanges with Bob Thiel was about his deduction that this verse "proves" sacrifices were abolished.

I also do not believe that this verse proves sacrifices were abolished.

Jer 7:22 For I spake not unto your fathers, nor commanded them in the day that I brought them out of the land of Egypt, concerning burnt offerings or sacrifices [zebach – the Passover was also a zebach]:

I would like to suggest, but can’t prove it, but his argument seems to suggest it, and his argument cannot contradict what God promised through the prophets, that the author of Hebrews is employing a literary device in his argument which is called “relative negation” or “rhetorical negation”:

Eze 36:22 Therefore say unto the house of Israel, Thus saith the Lord GOD; I do not this for your sakes, O house of Israel, but for mine holy name's sake…

“Probably we should take the form of this sentence as an example of what is sometimes called Hebrew ‘relative negation’.

Hos 6:6 For I desired mercy, and not sacrifice; and the knowledge of God more than burnt offerings

“In order to indicate the relative priority of one thing over another, you would affirm one and deny the other: e.g., ‘I desire mercy, not sacrifice’ (Hos. 6:6; the second line indicates the comparison).

“Thus Ezekiel here does not literally deny that the restoration was for Israel sake, but affirms that it was much more important to realize that it was primarily for the sake of Yahweh’s name” (Christopher J. H. Wright, Ezekiel, BST, p.291).

The heavenly Melchisedec priesthood of Christ has relative priority over the earthly Levitical priesthood. Just as mercy and sacrifice go together so do the Melchisdec and Levitical priesthood.

Lev 4:27 And if any one of the common people sin through ignorance, while he doeth somewhat against any of the commandments of the LORD concerning things which ought not to be done, and be guilty;
Lev 4:28 Or if his sin, which he hath sinned, come to his knowledge: then he shall bring his offering, a kid of the goats, a female without blemish, for his sin which he hath sinned.
Lev 4:29 And he shall lay his hand upon the head of the sin offering [better purification offering], and slay the sin offering in the place of the burnt offering.
Lev 4:30 And the priest shall take of the blood thereof with his finger, and put it upon the horns of the altar of burnt offering, and shall pour out all the blood thereof at the bottom of the altar.
Lev 4:31 And he shall take away all the fat thereof, as the fat is taken away from off the sacrifice of peace offerings; and the priest shall burn it upon the altar for a sweet savour unto the LORD; and the priest shall make an atonement for him, and it shall be forgiven him.

Animal blood was an essential part in the atonement rite which led to God’s forgiveness of sin under the Old Covenant and will also be under the New Covenant. In relation to the latter:

Eze 45:22 And upon that day shall the prince prepare for himself and for all the people of the land a bullock for a sin offering.

Whereas the blood in the original Passover was apotropaic, the blood in the NC Passover will be purgative; in essence completing the annual purgation of the Temple of the first and seventh of the first month.

The Ezekielian Torah suggests that Purgation of the Temple in the Seventh Month under the Old Covenant is replaced by the Purgation of the Temple in the First Month under the New Covenant.

Without the purification offering, which takes on more significance in the NC, there can be no Millennium.

Yes and No to HWA said...

Tom Thumb wrote:

“So are you quoting this scripture to infer God's covenant with David and Levi has not been broken?”

God has not broken his covenant with David and Levi, but David and Levi have broken the covenant with God. Hence there is no throne of David, though I prefer the Chronicler’s description, throne of the Lord, and no Levitical priesthood today.

God will not take away his mercy from David as he did from Saul; God will honour a later generation if the present generation breaks the covenant. There is an “if” clauses to the covenant (1 Kings 2:4).

So I quoted Jeremiah based on God not breaking his side of the covenant with Levi, which the author of Hebrews would have been fully convinced. So that when he said there was a change in the priesthood it could not be literal.

Jer 33:14 Behold, the days come, saith the LORD
Jer 33:15 In those days, and at that time,
Jer 33:16 In those days

Jeremiah 33 is a prophecy for the Millennium; obvious not for today as the pillars of the kingdom are presently fallen down.

“The Davidic kingdom and the Levitical priesthood were the two pillars and bases of the Old Testament theocracy, on which its existence and continuance depended. The priesthood formed the medium of approach for the people into divine favour. The kingdom assured them of the divine guidance. Both of these pillars were broken with the destruction of Jerusalem and of the temple; the theocracy appeared to have ceased to exist. At this time, when the kingdom ... was being dissolved, the Lord, in order to keep His people from despair, declares that these two institutions, in accordance with His people shall not fall to the ground, but shall stand for ever. By this, God own people received a pledge for the re-establishment and renovation of the kingdom of God” (C. F. Keil, Jeremiah, KD, Vol.8, p.303).

Tom Thumb also wrote:

“BTW I don't believe the British royal family are descended from the house of King David like HWA believed and taught.”

While I hate the misuse of Scripture that BI use to support that the British throne is the throne of David, which it is not; I would not be surprised if QEII is a descendant of David.

nck said...

10:24

"I would not be surprised if QEII is a descendant of David."

It would be hard to believe they are not.

So many ancient bloodlines coming together in that family. Julius Ceasar, Brutus, I guess they descend from most known royal families since 1000 BC.

It is just simple math. I believe 25% of the European population descend from Charlemaigne. People like Cindy Crawford aswell. 90% of Central Asian population descends from Djenghis Khan. So why not descend from Djenghis Kahn.

Those noble families collected ancient lineages like our grannies collected pennies since it was their core business to legitimize their power in perpetuaty. I am a 100 percent sure actually David was in their lineage if you know anything about nobility. Jesus however is more difficult to prove in ones lineage. Although I believe the Merovingians tried since they adhered to WCG teaching on the God (arianism) descending from Visigoths and Benjaminite tribes moving into southern France through Greece according to ancient lore.

nck