THE STILL VALID TITHING LAWS
Tithing PREDATES the laws of Moses as shown by Genesis 14:20 and 28:22.
MATTHEW 23:23: “…….. You OUGHT TO TITHE but without forgetting about those more important matters.” (Common English Bible)
LUKE 11:42: “…….. YOU SHOULD be fair and kind to others and still GIVE A TENTH to God.” (Contemporary English Version) Since 3 different tithes exist, Jesus must have referred to all 3 tithes since Jesus did not specifically identify which tithe should be paid. Payment of the third year food tithe for the hungry plus the regular and festival tithe is obviously still mandatory because the scribes and Pharisees in these verses ROUTINELY OBSERVED ALL THREE KINDS of tithes! They could afford to pay all 3 tithes because they were divinely blessed financially for observing those laws.
LUKE 18:12: “……….. I pay the tithe on ALL my gains.” (Weymouth New Testament) Although Jesus criticized the tithing Pharisee for being snobbishly proud in this verse, the fact that the Pharisee paid, to be truly righteous, tithes on all of his profits provides additional confirmation of the need to tithe on ALL sources of income, including wages, trading, investments, etc. as well as farming and ranching operations. The Pharisees generally were not farmers or ranchers. They were teachers, judges, bureaucrats, and scribes copying documents living primarily in Jerusalem where no farms or ranches even existed. Some misinformed people incorrectly claim that tithes should only be paid on agricultural and livestock profits, which is not true, and certainly not logical.
2 CHRONICLES 31:5: “……… the children of Israel brought in abundantly the first fruits of grain and wine, oil and honey, and of all the produce of the field; AND they brought in abundantly the TITHE OF EVERYTHING.” Since this verse initially stated that the first fruits (apparently the tithes) of ALL the produce of the field was brought in, the additional words “and they brought in abundantly the tithe of EVERYTHING,” instead of being merely redundant, most likely meant non-agricultural income. The word “everything” very probably means all income, whether it is from agriculture, carpentry wages, rental income, salaries, etc.
MALACHI 3:8,9: “Will a man rob God? …… In what way have we robbed You? In tithes and offerings. 9 You are CURSED WITH A CURSE, for you have robbed Me ……”
EPHESIANS 2:19,20: “…… the household of God, 20 having been built on the foundation of the apostles AND PROPHETS ……” The prophet Malachi reminded us of the continuing need to tithe.
THE STILL VALID DIETARY LAWS
2 CORINTHIANS 6:17: “Come out, then, from among them …….., separate yourselves from them, and DO NOT EVEN TOUCH what is UNCLEAN ……..” (Knox New Testament)
Mainstream Christians routinely touch and eat bacon, crabs, etc. The above New Testament verse provides additional evidence the dietary laws are still valid, which implies that SOME other Mosaic laws are still valid, too. The original Greek word for “touch” is haptomai, defined by Thayer as “……. to fasten to ……. adhere to, cling to, ……. to touch …….” In accordance with other commentators Thayer further defines haptomai as “……. have no intercourse with the Gentiles, no fellowship in their heathenish practices ……. the things not to be touched appear to be both women (unbelievers) and certain kinds of food (forbidden food) ……. ” (parentheses added) The original Greek word for “unclean” in the above verse is akathartos, which in accordance with Thayer is defined as “……. that which must be abstained from according to the LEVITICAL law, lest impurity be contracted …….” which of course would include food.
How can mainstreamers now declare “clean” and edible what will STILL be unclean over 1,000 years from now (after the millennium, Isaiah 66:17) and was so unclean long ago about 1,000 years BEFORE the codification of the Mosaic laws that EVEN NOAH HIMSELF recognized some animals as clearly forbidden to eat (Genesis 7:2,8, 8:20), according to specific Biblical verses? GENESIS 7:1,2,8, 8:20: “Noah, ‘Come into the ark ….. 2 ….. take with you seven each of every clean animal, a male and his female; two each of animals that are unclean ….. 8 Of clean animals, of animals that are unclean …..” 8:20: “Then Noah built an altar ….. and took of every clean animal and of every clean bird, and offered burnt offerings …..” Our Creator considered certain animals as forbidden to eat long before Moses was even born, and long before the Mosaic laws were formally established. The obvious implication is that the forbidden foods always were and always will be forbidden to eat. Apparently more clean animals were brought into the ark than unclean ones to provide edible food for Noah and his family during the year long voyage. The following very specific verses in Isaiah also instantly end support for the false teaching that the dietary laws are abolished:
ISAIAH 66:17,22: “These people ……… eat the meat of PIGS and RATS (people, mostly black, in some African nations such as Malawi even today routinely eat cooked mice) and OTHER HATEFUL THINGS (forbidden aquatic creatures or “creeping things”).But they will all be destroyed together,’ says the Lord ……… 22 I will make NEW HEAVENS and the NEW EARTH which will last forever ………” — New Century Version Isaiah 65:17,25 and 66:22 show that these two chapters, where the words “swine’s flesh” and “Sabbath” appear, refer to a FUTURE age that has not yet arrived, a time when the earth will be literally reshaped into a new earth, an age when Jesus Christ will have returned a second time in great glory. In this future new age even some animals will be changed since 65:25 reveals that lions and wolves will peacefully eat grass like sheep, instead of meat. In that future age the Mosaic dietary laws will obviously be mercilessly enforced.
EPHESIANS 2:19,20: “…… the household of God, 20 having been built on the foundation of the apostles AND PROPHETS ……” Isaiah’s warning about the consequences of ignoring the food laws in the future logically applies to the present age, too.
REVELATION 18:2: “The angel shouted, ‘Fallen! Powerful Babylon has fallen and is now the home of demons. It is the den of …….. all UNCLEAN BIRDS …..” (Contemporary English Version) This verse provides additional proof that some birds are still classified as “UNCLEAN,” or still forbidden to eat, in NT times. This verse helps CONFIRM that the forbidden foods NEVER WERE “CLEANSED” and are therefore still forbidden to ingest!
ACTS 10:14: “But Peter said, ‘Not so, Lord! For I have NEVER eaten anything common or unclean.” Peter’s statement is evidence that ALL the like minded Apostles strictly obeyed the dietary laws. MARK 5:2-17 reveals that Jesus supported the dietary laws by allowing an extremely large amount of forbidden pork to be destroyed.
THE STILL VALID, MOSTLY PROPHETIC FESTIVALS
There are seven festivals that help reveal God’s overall plan of salvation. Seven in the Bible often represents completion or perfection. Leviticus 23:2 reveals that THESE ARE GOD’S FESTIVALS, NOT THE JEWS’ FESTIVALS. To correctly observe these annual holy days, assuming you are physically able to, you need to observe them when and where a righteous church observes them, especially since financial offerings are mandatory at three of them. Actual festival dates are determined using the Jewish, or Hebrew calendar since the Old Testament festival laws are recorded in the Hebrew language. Deuteronomy 16:16,17: “All your males must show themselves before the Lord your God three times a year in the place He chooses, at the Special Supper of Bread Without Yeast, the Special Supper of the First Fruits of the Land, and the Special Supper of Tents. They must not show themselves before the Lord with nothing in their hands. 17 Every man should give as he is able ……” (New Life Version)
QUITE AMAZINGLY, the last FOUR PROPHETIC FESTIVALS below seem to celebrate in advance, in exact chronological order, MAJOR EVENTS prophesied in the book of Revelation (the return of Jesus [the Feast of Trumpets], the temporary removal of Satan for a thousand years [the Day of Atonement], the Christian 1,000 year Millennium [the Feast of Tabernacles], then the second, merciful, main resurrection offering salvation to those who were not in the relatively small first resurrection [the Last Great Day]) IN GOD’S PLAN OF SALVATION that have not yet occurred. According to the Hebrew calendar the Feast of Trumpets each year always precedes the Day of Atonement by about 9 days, then the Day of Atonement always precedes the Feast of Tabernacles by about 4 days, and the seven day Feast of Tabernacles is immediately followed by the Last Great Day.
Colossians 2:16,17: “……. regarding a FESTIVAL …… or SABBATHS, 17 WHICH ARE A SHADOW OF THINGS TO COME ……”
PASSOVER was originally commanded in Exodus 12:2-14 and Leviticus 23:5. Jesus now represents the Passover lamb according to 1 Peter 2:24 and 1 Corinthians 5:7. Jesus Christ has instituted the New Testament symbols of bread and wine to represent His broken body and shed blood during this still binding festival.
THE FEAST OF UNLEAVENED BREAD is further confirmed in the New Testament by two verses. 1 Corinthians 5:8: “SO THEN WE SHOULD BE KEEPING THE FEAST ……..” (Analytical Literal Translation) This verse refers to the 7 day Feast of Unleavened Bread. This is not just a suggestion or metaphor by Paul, who was never Jewish, but from the Israeli tribe of Benjamin, a converted Christian. This is an actual reminder by Paul to literally continue faithfully observing the Levitical week long eating of unleavened bread to remind us to not be excessively proud, arrogant, or otherwise unrighteous. Leaven when added to bread “puffs up” and makes it rise when baked. Eating flat, unleavened bread is an annual, gentle reminder (which can be tasty with good recipes) to be more humble, less unreasonably proud, less egotistically “puffed up,” and therefore more righteous. Acts 20:6: “But we sailed away from Philippi after the Days of Unleavened Bread and in five days ……” This is one more verse that shows that Paul himself even well after the death of Jesus continued to obediently keep the 7 day Festival of Unleavened Bread. Exodus 12:15,19: “…… whoever shall eat leaven, that soul shall be utterly destroyed from Israel, from the first day until the seventh day. …… 19 …… whosoever shall eat anything leavened, that soul shall be cut off from the congregation of Israel, both among the occupiers of the land and the original inhabitants.” (Complete Apostle’s Bible)
PENTECOST, first commanded in Exodus 34:22 and Leviticus 23:15,16, celebrates the day that the New Testament Church began with the outpouring of the Holy Spirit, Acts 2:1-15.
THE highly prophetic FEAST OF TRUMPETS is called Rosh Hashana by the Jews and according to Leviticus 23:24,25 celebrates, employing logic coupled with very high probability, the approaching day that Jesus will return to the earth to establish the Kingdom of God, Revelation 11:15. This feast always occurs about 9 days before the Day of Atonement. A number of scholars have predicted that whatever year Jesus returns, He will most likely appear on the exact day that the Feast of Trumpets would normally be observed. Since this feast always occurs in the last half of September or October, the probability seems high that Jesus Christ will return sometime during those fall months.
THE highly prophetic DAY OF ATONEMENT is commanded in Leviticus 23:26-32. Acts 27:9: “…… sailing was now dangerous because the FAST was already over, Paul advised them.” This verse is further evidence that the Apostles continued to obey OT laws such as the 24 hour foodless and waterless fasting Day of Atonement, called Yom Kippur by the Jews, a day that all Christians today still need to keep. Atonement always occurs about 4 days before the Feast of Tabernacles. This holy day celebrates in advance, using simple logic, the day when Satan will be bound for one thousand years after Jesus has returned, immediately before the Christian millennium, Revelation 20:1-3. Leviticus 23:29: “For any person who is not afflicted in soul on that same day shall be cut off from his people.” The Hebrew for “afflicted” is Strong’s 6031, referring to fasting (not eating food nor drinking liquids), Isaiah 58:3,5, Ezra 8:21, Esther 4:16. Leviticus 23:29: “Suppose you do eat food on that day. Then you will be cut off from your people.” (New International Reader’s Version) Leviticus 23:30: “I will kill those who do any work on that day.” (God’s Word Translation)
THE highly prophetic FEAST OF TABERNACLES is commanded in Leviticus 23:34-42. Acts 18:21: “….. ‘I must by all means keep this coming feast in Jerusalem;” Since this was in the fall, it must have referred to the Feast of Tabernacles, another Mosaic festival the first century Christians diligently observed. They did not consider it abolished. This feast always occurs in the second half of September or October of each year. Note Paul’s words of urgency: “I must by all means.” We need to attend this yearly feast, too, that according to reasonable logic, celebrates in advance the coming 1,000 year millennium (mentioned 6 times in Revelation 20), ruled in person by Jesus and His resurrected saints on the earth. Feast attendance is financed by the mandatory festival tithe money faithfully saved during the preceding year. Observing this feast is so important that the festival tithe law was created to enable people to attend it. Zechariah 14:16-19 warns that nations that refuse to attend this feast in the future will be punished with plagues.
THE highly prophetic LAST GREAT DAY, or Eighth Day Festival, logically celebrates in advance the second resurrection (Ezekiel 37:14, Matthew 12:41,42, Revelation 20:5 [verse 4 is the first resurrection]), and occurs immediately after the last day of the 7 day Feast of Tabernacles according to Leviticus 23:36.
For further reading please request the booklet on the festivals from the United Church of God, an International Association at 1 513 576 9796. The Church of God, a Worldwide Association and the Living Church of God have similar literature.
THE STILL VALID SATURDAY SABBATH
INTENSE HATRED and INTENSE DISGUST, according to Amos 5:21, are the emotions God holds for all religious holidays AND ALL RELIGIOUS ASSEMBLIES, especially those He never commanded such as Sunday rest, when pagan gods and pagan practices are mingled with those holidays or religious assemblies. Those people who were responsible for changing Saturday Sabbath worship to Sundays chose Sunday partly to honor certain pagan gods.
AMOS 5:21: “I hate all your …… religious festivals and solemn assemblies.” (New Living Translation)
LUKE 4:16: “….. as His custom was, He went into the synagogue on the Sabbath day, and stood up to read.”
GENESIS 2:2,3: “….. God ….. rested on the seventh day from all His work ….. 3 Then God blessed the seventh day and sanctioned it …..” The Saturday Sabbath was created more than a thousand years before Moses was ever even born, so the Sabbath PREDATES the Mosaic laws, making any imagined, wholesale “abolition” of the Mosaic laws irrelevant. Both God the Father and His Son, Jesus Christ, of course rested on that Saturday because They are in agreement about such things. Since Jesus instructed His disciples to do as He did, which would also apply to all Christians, Saturday rest is still in force for everyone.
1 JOHN 2:6: “He who says he abides in Him ought himself also to walk just as He walked.”
LUKE 6:40: “A pupil is not superior to his teacher, but everyone [when he is] completely trained (readjusted, restored, set to rights, and perfected) will be like his teacher.” (The Amplified Bible)
HEBREWS 13:8: “Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today, and forever.” (Easy-To-Read Version)
DEUTERONOMY 4:2: “You shall not add to the word which I command you, nor take from it …..” Mainstream Christians have flagrantly violated the last two verses by taking away the Saturday Sabbath and, usurping divine authority, replacing it with first day of the week pagan Sunday rest and worship. Further evidence that mandatory obedience to the Sabbath PREDATES the formal establishment of the law at Mount Sinai is found in Exodus 16:23-30. Israel was reminded to keep the Sabbath even before they came to Mount Sinai, when God gave them manna to eat. Exodus 16:25,27,28: “….. Eat that today, for today is a Sabbath to the Lord; today you will not find it in the field. 27 ….. some of the people went out on the seventh day to gather, but they found none. 28 And the Lord said to Moses, ‘How long do you refuse to keep My commandments and My laws?”
MATTHEW 24:20: “And pray that your flight may not be in winter or ON THE SABBATH day” shows convincingly that we need to still avoid work on every Saturday. Doesn’t that verse basically mean “You certainly must not work on Saturdays (excluding rare emergencies, food preparation, church attendance, etc.)?” Yes, that verse definitely means that. Isn’t “flight” work and obviously stressful activity that is the opposite of rest? The Sabbath, which always refers to Saturday in the Bible, has not been abolished nor temporarily suspended because this verse refers to the future, the time of “Armageddon,” that has not occurred yet. Why would Jesus refer to the Sabbath so emphatically, that we are commanded to pray about it, if the Sabbath was not still extremely important?
HEBREWS 4:9: “So that there is still a SABBATH – KEEPING for the people of God.” (Bible in Basic English) “A Sabbath – keeping” strongly implies a continued physical keeping of the weekly Sabbath that includes a future millennial rest for Christians. For a discussion showing that the above verse provides additional confirmation that the Mosaic law to rest on each Saturday is very much still in force go to gnmagazine.org/booklets/SS/ sabbath-rest. After you have read that go to gnmagazine.org/issues/gn05/ storyofrest. I think most unbiased, nonreligious people would quickly agree that Jesus’ admonishment to pray that your flight not be on the Sabbath is basically the same as the statement
“DON’T YOU DARE DO ANY WORK ON SATURDAYS”
which confirms that the Mosaic Saturday rest law is very much still valid!! Not one but two verses in Exodus 31, verses 14 and 15 warn that death was and very much still is even today the potential penalty for deliberately working on Saturdays according to Matthew 7:21-23 and 13:41-42. The painful death by stoning of someone caught working on a Saturday is recorded in Numbers 15:32-36, which is another reminder to this very day of the potential consequences of breaking only one of the laws of Moses.
EPHESIANS 2:19,20: “…… the household of God, 20 having been built on the foundation of the apostles AND PROPHETS ……” The Saturday Sabbath teachings of the prophets Isaiah, Moses, Jeremiah, and Nehemiah are part of the foundational doctrines of Christianity.
ISAIAH 66:22,23: “I will make new heavens and the new earth which will last forever ……. 23 ALL PEOPLE will come to worship Me every SABBATH …….,’ says the Lord.” (New Century Version) VERSE 23 MEANS THAT IN THE DISTANT FUTURE ALL PEOPLE AROUND THE GLOBE WILL BE FORCED TO ATTEND CHURCH SERVICES ON SATURDAYS, NOT SUNDAYS.
MARK 2:27: “……. The SABBATH was made for man …….”
ISAIAH 56:6,7: “……. Everyone who keeps from defiling the SABBATH……. 7 ……. I will ……. make them joyful in MY HOUSE of prayer …….. For MY HOUSE shall be called a house of prayer for ALL NATIONS.” The words “my house” above refer to Christianity. THIS IS ANOTHER PROPHECY THAT SATURDAY REST AND WORSHIP WILL BE WORLDWIDE IN EVERY NATION IN THE DISTANT FUTURE.
Numerous NT verses command us to obey the “commandments,” referring to the Ten Commandments. Since the commandments contain the fourth commandment requiring rest on Saturdays, the “commandments” are additional evidence that the Sabbath law must still be in force. Unlike the circumcision, Levitical priesthood, and sacrifice laws, the Sabbath law never was specifically singled out by any apostle as abolished. Thirteen (13) verses which basically say “keep the commandments” include the following: Matthew 19:17, John 14:15, 14:21, 15:10, 1 Corinthians 7:19, 1 John 2:3,4, 3:22,24, 5:2,3, Revelation 12:17 and 14:12.
Remember that you can confidently assume that God is not deliberately lying to you in any verse in the original Greek because He told us that He does not lie. Hebrews 6:18: “……it is impossible for God to lie ……” 1 Corinthians 14:33: “For God is not the author of confusion.” Therefore we can confidently assume that the original Greek in the New Testament is not really self contradictory concerning law keeping. Since God will not lie or try to confuse us then we need to really believe LITERALLY the following 13 verses that plainly tell us that Christians still need to obey the law.
1) 1 John 3:4: “…… SIN IS THE VIOLATION OF THE LAW”
2) Romans 2:13: “For not the hearers of the LAW are just in the sight of God, but the DOERS of the LAW will be justified.”
3) Romans 6:1,2: “…… Shall we continue in SIN that grace may abound? 2 CERTAINLY NOT! How shall we …… live any longer in it?”
Romans 6:1,2: “What shall we say then? Shall we keep on doing WRONG THINGS so that God will be more kind to us? 2 NO, SURELY NOT! We died to our WRONG WAYS and no longer live in them.” (Worldwide English [New Testament])
Romans 6:1,2: “So what do we do? Keep on SINNING so God can keep on forgiving? I SHOULD HOPE NOT! 2 If we’ve left the country where SIN is sovereign, how can we still live in our old house there? Or didn’t you realize we packed up and left there for good? (The Message) The word “SIN” appears in this and other verses, so remember, according to 1 John 3:4 above, it means ONLY one thing, BREAKING either the food, festival, tithing, Saturday rest, or some other OT or NT law or a combination of those laws.
4) Romans 6:15: “…… Shall we SIN because we are not under LAW but under grace? CERTAINLY NOT!”
5) Romans 3:31: “Well then, if we are saved by faith, does this mean that we no longer need to OBEY God’s LAW? JUST THE OPPOSITE! In fact, only when we trust Jesus can we truly OBEY Him.” (The Living Bible)
Romans 3:31: “Are we abolishing Moses’ Teachings by this faith? THAT’S UNTHINKABLE! Rather, we are SUPPORTING Moses’ teachings.” (God’s Word Translation)
6) Romans 6:16: “Do you not know that …… you are that one’s slaves whom you obey, whether of SIN leading to death, or of OBEDIENCE leading to RIGHTEOUSNESS?” 7) Romans 6:18: “And having been set free from SIN, YOU BECAME SLAVES OF RIGHTEOUSNESS.” 8) Romans 6:19: “…… For just as you presented your members as slaves of UNCLEANNESS, and of LAWLESSNESS leading to more lawlessness, SO NOW PRESENT YOUR MEMBERS AS SLAVES OF RIGHTEOUSNESS FOR HOLINESS.” The Greek definition of UNCLEANNESS includes the Levitically “unclean” or forbidden foods. The Greek definition of LAWLESSNESS refers primarily to breaking the Old Testament, Mosaic LAWS. The word “righteousness” in these Roman verses usually refers to the Jewish LAW keeping type of righteousness. So according to the green, capitalized phrase above, Paul clearly commands us to start or to continue obeying the LAW.
9) Matthew 19:17: “….. BUT IF you want to enter into life, KEEP the commandments.” 10) Revelation 22:14: “Blessed are those who DO His commandments, that they may HAVE THE RIGHT to the tree of life ……” Remember, the Ten Commandments contain the one requiring rest on Saturday, not Sunday, which was started by the Catholics.
11) JUDE 1:4: “…… (impious, PROFANE) persons …… PERVERT THE GRACE …… of our God into LAWLESSNESS ……” (The Amplified Bible)
12) Matthew 7:23: “And then I will declare to them, ‘I never knew you; DEPART from Me, you who practice LAWLESSNESS.” 13) Matthew 13:41,42: “…… His angels …… will gather …… those who practice LAWLESSNESS 42 and will cast them into the FURNACE OF FIRE ……”
Yes, the death of Jesus did wipe away and atone for our sins (violations of the law), BUT IT WAS GENERALLY ONLY FOR OUR PAST, REPEAT, PAST SINS, NOT SINS AFTER REPENTANCE AND BAPTISM!!
ROMANS 3:24,25: “…… GRACE, through …… Jesus: …… 25 in His pity God let the SINS OF EARLIER TIMES GO UNPUNISHED.” (Bible in Basic English) That is why we need to keep on obeying the law after our baptism. New, post baptismal sins, though, when confessed and sincerely repented of, can also be forgiven (1 John 1:9, 2:1,2). Abandoning one’s conversion and baptism, however, or deliberately and consistently sinning may ultimately be judged as unforgiveable according to Hebrews 6:4-6, and 10:26-27.
Scripture quotations marked (TLB) are taken from The Living Bible copyright ©1971, used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers, Inc., Carol Stream, Illinois 60188. All rights reserved.
Scripture taken from the New King James Version®. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved. Unless indicated otherwise, all Biblical quotations are from the New King James Version.
Scripture quotations taken from the Amplified® Bible,
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