Update 245


Truth–A Way of Life

On May 27, 2006, Edwin Pope will give the sermon, titled, “Truth–A Way of Life.”

The services can be heard at www.cognetservices.org at 12:30 pm Pacific Time (which is 2:30 pm Central Time). Just click on Connect to Live Stream.

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by Rene Messier (Canada)

The company I work for has invested large sums of money on in-house
training. It reimburses its employees for traveling to out-of-town
training locations. It does not mind spending money to train its
employees and upgrade their knowledge and skills. The company benefits
by this–and so does the employee who enjoys the perks of traveling
across Canada, the United States and even Europe.

The company
also used to have a manager training program. It interviewed everyone
who applied and selected a few for the program, which usually lasted
for about a year. Successful trainees were promoted to management

We might not always think of our calling as God’s
training program for us–but it truly is. We have been selected among
countless millions of potential candidates to be trained for a
wonderful future. Let us look at what Peter says about our
calling and future potential, in 1 Peter 2:9-10: “But you are a
chosen generation, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, His own special
people, that you may proclaim the praises of Him who called you out of
darkness into His marvelous light; who once were not a people but are
now the people of God, who had not obtained mercy but now have obtained

What a wonderful and magnanimous opportunity we have in
this calling. Ironically, God did not call the intelligentsia of this
world, as stated by Paul in 1 Corinthians 1:26-27: “For you see your
calling, brethren, that not many wise according to the flesh, not many
mighty, not many noble, are called. But God has chosen the foolish
things of the world to put to shame the wise, and God has chosen the
weak things of the world to put to shame the things which are
mighty.” Notice, He chose the foolish and unwise of the world.

does not mean we are to stay weak and foolish, as it were. Rather, we
are to grow in grace and knowledge (2 Peter 3:18). In this
context, we need to grasp the significance of the importance of Bible
study. After all, the Bible is our training manual to assist us in
fulfilling our future roles as rulers and priests, as outlined in
Revelation 5:10: “And [You, that is, the Lamb, Jesus Christ] have made
us kings and priests to our God; And we shall reign on the

We are in training now for the most challenging,
awesome career anyone on this earth could possibly aspire to. We need
to ensure we are growing in grace and knowledge, by our daily study of
the training manual God has given us–the Bible. And, we must never
forget that we are not training for management positions in this
present world, but to become God beings in the future, assisting Christ
to rule and reign on this earth.

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US–The Fading Superpower

Last week, csmonitor.com published an interesting article, asking whether the United States was “fading as superpower.”

In the article, it was stated:

“For the past five years, since the 9/11 attacks, US President George Bush and British Prime Minister Tony Blair have helped shape key world events. But now, some influential media and political critics are saying that both men, and the US in particular, no longer can get the world to do as they wish. In a recent article entitled, ‘Axis of Feeble,’ the Economist argues that ‘the debacle in Iraq and problems at home have turned both leaders from soaring hawks into the lamest of ducks.’… an era is plainly drawing to an end… For those who would ‘rejoice’ at the end of this partnership [between Bush and Blair], because of the idea that ‘in a world of one superpower, some say, people are safer when its president is too weak for foreign adventures,’ the Economist says they are wrong…

“WBUR.org’s OnPoint recently looked at the question ‘Is America losing its luster?’ The conclusion reached by panelists on the show was that while the US continues to be militarily powerful, the ‘notion of irresistible power’ no longer is the case. David Kennedy, professor of history at Stanford University, argued that the US is learning ‘[t]he world is a recalcitant place and does not yield itself to us easily.’ He added that the notion the US could shape the world as it wished proved to be an illusion. The US is learning the lesson that all great powers have learned, Kennedy said, that no matter how much power a country has, the world will not just go along with its wishes…”United Press International reports that a new survey by the Pew Research Center, part of a new book ‘America against the World,’ also illustrates the problem for the US. More than 70 percent of the 91,000 people around the world interviewed for the survey believe that the US needs a rival superpower… The survey found anti-American sentiment is at its highest level ever…”

The Bible prophesies that America’s status as a superpower will gradually disappear. For more information, please read our free booklet, “The Fall and Rise of Britain and America.”

USA and Europe Just Different

AFP reported on May 24:

“The United States is trying to rally its [European] partners behind plans to build a missile shield… Washington hopes to set up around 10 ‘interceptor’ missiles in central Europe, possibly in Poland or the Czech Republic, to ward off potential attacks with ballistic missiles, perhaps from countries like Iran… ‘There is a growing threat of long-range missile attack on NATO territory and it is timely to examine ways and means of addressing that threat’ in Europe, said Marshall Billingslea, head of NATO’s Conference of National Armaments Directors…”

However, the European reaction is less than enthusiastic and shows again the different perspectives of the two power blocs–even when they relate to such important matters as national and international defense. The article pointed out:

“‘There is a difference in perception. America is looking at protection from strategic missile attacks from places like China, North Korea and Iran. Europe doesn’t believe that’s a threat,’ said Andrew Brookes, from the London-based International Institute for Strategic Studies.”… Europe is unlikely to act too hastily. ‘On the European side, there is an almost categorical refusal to take decisions on the run,’ said Rik Coolsaet, from the Royal Institute of International Relations in Brussels. ‘Politically, Europeans understand that there is a potential danger from the Iranians but it is not a danger they see likely in the short term,’ he said, adding: ‘the sense of urgency is far less present in Europe than in the United States.’ Another obstacle — and a big one — to accepting the US plan is that it remains to be seen whether such a missile shield can actually work. ‘We are being asked — us, the Europeans — to make a huge investment to… a programme which, even in the United States, is not believed to be ready,’ said Coolsaet. ‘It isn’t working,’ Brookes said of the missile shield plan… ‘German politicians, French politicians and British politicians do not regard Pyongyang as about to launch anything in the foreseeable future at a European capital, they just don’t,’ he said.”

However, future developments might surprise everybody.

Pope Benedict’s “Bold Moves”

The Associated Press reported on May 19:

“Even as he was dogged by claims of sexual abuse, the founder of the Legionaries of Christ religious order remained a favorite of Pope John Paul II. On Friday, Pope Benedict XVI showed a bold willingness to correct his beloved predecessor by disciplining the Mexican priest. It’s the latest move by Benedict away from John Paul’s legacy… The Vatican asked the prominent cleric to stop celebrating Mass publicly and live a life of ‘prayer and penance’–effectively making him a priest in name only. In a statement, the 86-year-old Maciel insisted he was innocent, but accepted the Vatican’s punishment.

“The pope has made other changes that highlight his differences with John Paul. Benedict recently insisted on strict adherence to rules for naming saints, which will inevitably slow the process of canonization. By contrast, John Paul named an unprecedented number of saints during his 26-year papacy. Benedict has also cracked down on another movement that John Paul admired–the Neocatechumenal Way. The pope said the group had to change its innovative practices to celebrate Mass and take Holy Communion the same way other Catholics do…

“There were early signs that Benedict would aggressively take on transgressors among the faithful. Just before he became pope, he decried ‘filth’ in the church–a statement largely taken as a reference to the clergy sex abuse crisis. Still, when the cardinals elected Benedict in April 2005, many observers interpreted the vote as a desire for continuity. Benedict, the former Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger, had served for more than two decades under the late pontiff as the Vatican’s orthodoxy watchdog and had enormous influence in the church. But [Thomas] Reese, [former editor of the Jesuit magazine America], said, ‘Benedict is not a clone of John Paul. When he was Cardinal Ratzinger, Benedict didn’t shy away from taking people on even if it meant bad press,’ said Reese, who resigned as America editor under pressure from Ratzinger. ‘He does what he thinks is right.'”

The Catholic Church will play a dominant role in the near future. For more information, please read our free booklet, “Europe in Prophecy.”

FCC Declined To Investigate

USA Today reported on May 24:

“The Federal Communications Commission declined Tuesday to investigate whether a spy agency has access to millions of Americans’ telephone records. It cited the secrecy of the National Security Agency. The decision drew a call for congressional hearings from a Democratic congressman who had requested a probe. ‘The FCC has abdicated its responsibility to protect Americans’ privacy to the National Security Agency without even asking a single question about it,’ Rep. Ed Markey, D-Mass., said. Markey had asked the regulatory panel to look into a report in USA TODAY that the NSA has been secretly collecting the phone call records with the help of telecommunications companies.

“FCC Chairman Kevin Martin wrote Markey that ‘the classified nature of the NSA’s activities make us unable to investigate the alleged violations’ of privacy. Martin cited written testimony by John Negroponte, the director of national intelligence, and Lt. Gen. Keith Alexander, the NSA’s director, that disclosure of any information could ’cause exceptionally grave damage to the national security of the United States.’ Their declarations were made in response to a lawsuit in federal court in California. AT&T was sued there in January by the privacy rights group Electronic Frontier Foundation for violating customer privacy by turning over telephone data to the government. The Justice Department has asked that the case be dismissed…”

The article continued:

“USA TODAY reported May 11 that the NSA secretly collected call records with the help of three companies: AT&T, Verizon and BellSouth. USA TODAY reported the records include information on calls made before and after the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorism attacks. Verizon and BellSouth released statements last week denying they provided the NSA with call information. A Verizon spokesman said the company’s statement did not include MCI, the long-distance company that Verizon acquired in January. President Bush has not confirmed or denied the report but said that intelligence activities he authorized were legal and that the government was not looking into ordinary Americans’ personal lives.”

Alarming Bird Flu Developments

Reuters reported on May 24 about the long-feared possibility that the bird flu virus might mutate–by transmitting the disease from human to human. The article stated:

“Limited human-to-human transmission of bird flu might have occurred in an Indonesian family… The WHO and Indonesian health officials are baffled over the source of the infection but genetic sequencing has shown the H5N1 bird flu virus has not mutated, the U.N. agency said… The WHO statement came after one of the family members, a 32-year-old father, died on Monday after caring for his ailing son, who had died earlier. The agency said such close contact was considered a possible source of infection… But another WHO spokesman said the agency was worried. ‘This is the most significant development so far in terms of public health,’ Peter Cordingley, spokesman for the West Pacific region of the WHO, told Reuters Television in the Philippine capital on Wednesday. ‘We have never had a cluster as large as this. We have not had in the past what we have here, which is no explanation as to how these people became infected. We can’t find sick animals in this community and that worries us,’ he added.”

Notwithstanding “reassuring” statements from some experts who may OR MAY NOT know the facts, these are alarming and frightening developments. It is understandable that some within the WHO want to calm down any “over-reaction”– but how truthful and helpful is this in light of comments from others within the WHO, who seem to be worried? Wouldn’t it be high time for this world to turn to GOD–the CREATOR of man–who ALONE can and does control and prevent the outbreak of diseases? Notice what God told ancient Israel in Exodus 15:26: “If you diligently heed the voice of the LORD your God and do what is right in His sight, give ear to His commandments and keep all His statutes, I will put none of the diseases on you which I have brought on the Egyptians. For I am the LORD who heals you.” Sadly, this world has moved so far away from God that any suggestion to RETURN to Him and obtain protection from disease epidemics is being met with indifference, ridicule or outright rejection.

More Hurricanes Are Coming

CBS News reported on May 22:

“This year’s North Atlantic hurricane season will be ‘very active,’ spawning eight to 10 hurricanes, the U.S.-based National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration said Monday… NOAA’s outlook, published on its website, predicts: There will likely be 13 to 16 named storms, including tropical storms and hurricanes, compared with the 11 named storms seen in an average season. Eight to 10 of this year’s named storms will become hurricanes, meaning they will have sustained winds of at least 119 km/h, compared with the annual average of six. Four to six of the hurricanes will reach an intensity of at least Category 3, with sustained winds of at least 178 km/h, though on average each season experiences only two. The 2006 North Atlantic hurricane season begins on June 1.”

The article continued:

“Even now, repaired levees are not strong enough to protect New Orleans from a direct hit by a Category 3 storm, a new report released Monday warned… Predictions of more storms than usual in 2005 were dead-on. Forecasters ran out of names for the tropical storms and hurricanes, having to dip into the Greek alphabet when the standard alphabetic list of 21 names was exhausted. At the end of the day, the 2005 North Atlantic season included 28 storms, seven more than the previous record of 21 storms in 1933. Four of them – Emily, Katrina, Rita and Wilma – reached Category 5, the top level of intensity, with sustained winds of at least 250 km/h at some point in their existence.”

U.S. Senate Votes on Illegal Immigration Issues

The Washington Times reported on May 19:

“The Senate voted yesterday to allow illegal aliens to collect Social Security benefits based on past illegal employment — even if the job was obtained through forged or stolen documents… The Senate also yesterday approved an amendment to adopt English as the nation’s official language… In addition, senators voted last night to kill an amendment that would have specified that the guest-worker program will not provide visas that would provide a path to citizenship.”

Iran Is Preparing For War

The Jerusalem Post reported on May 23:

“Iran conducted a test launch Tuesday night of the Shihab-3 intermediate-range ballistic missile, which is capable of reaching Israel and US targets in the region, Israel Radio reported… ‘What deters the enemy from launching an aggression is the resistance’s continuous readiness to respond,’ [Hizbullah leader Hassan] Nasrallah told scores of supporters. ‘Northern Israel today is within the range of the resistance’s rockets. The ports, bases, factories and everything is within that range.'”

The article continued:

“[Israel’s] Maj. Elyakim, commander of the Arrow missile battery at Palmahim, told The Jerusalem Post last month that the missile crews were always on high alert, but that they were recently instructed to ‘raise their level of awareness’ because of developments on the Iranian front. The Arrow missile, he said, could intercept and destroy any Iranian missile fired at Israel, including ones carrying non-conventional warheads. Experts believe that if Iran is attacked by Israel or the US, Teheran would respond by firing long-range ballistic missiles at Israel.”

Iraq’s New Government–Good or Bad News?

Der Spiegel Online reported on May 22 about the reaction of the German press to Iraq’s new government.

The magazine commented: “Five bloody months after Iraqis turned out to vote for their first freely-elected parliament, Baghdad has a working government — minus a few important ministers. German papers are divided on whether this amounts to a triumph for democracy… the day was marked by suicide bombings around Iraq and a walkout by Sunnis in the parliament chamber (to protest slim Sunni representation). The cabinet also wasn’t complete — three crucial ministers hadn’t been named. Observers said it was a symptom of deep divisions in Iraq that defense, interior, and national security jobs were still vacant, since those ministries need strong leaders to control Iraq’s security forces and quell the Sunni uprising…

“German newspapers on Monday can’t decide if the news is good. The center-right Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung sounds optimistic… The Financial Times Deutschland agrees. The lack of key ministers ‘may sound like a joke, given the security situation in Iraq,’ and yes, it took a long time for the government to form, but the presence of Sunnis in the cabinet is already an important step forward, writes the paper…

“Center-right daily Die Welt, however, is a lot more pessimistic. Its editors think Prime Minister al-Maliki has gotten off to a weak start… ‘How far Maliki has succeeded is clear from his appointments to key ministries: Not at all.’ The paper doesn’t believe non-partisan or ‘neutral’ politicians exist in Iraq… So the US probably won’t pull troops anytime soon. ‘AN AMERICAN STRATEGIC SUCCESS IN IRAQ, in other words a functioning, democratic, pro-western government,’ writes the paper, ‘IS SIMPLY NOT SHAPING UP.'”

Who Is Safe in Germany?

Der Spiegel Online reported on May 22:

“The furor over Germany’s image in advance of the World Cup roiled straight through the weekend after an assault in Berlin on a Turkish-born politician seemed to confirm warnings last week that non-white tourists might want to avoid parts of the country. Giyasettin Sayan, a 56-year-old member of Berlin’s regional assembly, was hospitalized after two men attacked him with a bottle on Friday in his own ward of Lichtenberg. The incident seemed to confirm a controversial warning made only two days before by Uwe-Karsten Heye, a former spokesman for Gerhard Schröder, that World Cup tourists should be warned [to stay] away from ‘small and mid-sized towns in Brandenburg,’ where neo-Nazi thugs were active. This time, tellingly, the incident was no provincial freakshow: It happened in the tolerant, cosmopolitan capital.

“‘Police say this wasn’t a targeted attack on Giyasettin Sayan — and that’s not comforting at all,’ writes the center-left Süddeutsche Zeitung. Sayan represents the neo-Communist Left Party in Berlin, and Lichtenberg has a known skinhead problem: If he wasn’t a target, the paper implies, then anyone can get hurt. ‘In Berlin, in eastern Germany, and even in western Germany it’s dangerous to walk around at night in the wrong neighborhood with the wrong skin color, beard, or length of hair,’ write the editors. Uwe-Karsten Heye’s warnings last week — which upset some conservative German politicians and soccer authorities — ‘weren’t just yanked out of thin air.'”

“The left-wing Berliner Zeitung thinks World Cup visitors need to be warned, officially, about certain parts of Berlin. ‘Immigrants with a sense of Berlin avoid these places out of experience,’ the commentator writes, but ‘the city senate should warn foreign visitors to be careful in these risky neighborhoods. Berlin authorities openly worry about the city’s name. But considering that a neo-Nazi attack during the World Cup would be even worse — how many people have to get hurt before the concern for the physical integrity of our guests becomes more important than our image?'”

Russia vs. EU

On May 22, The EUobserver reported about Russia’s misgivings regarding the enlargement of the EU. The article stated:

“The EU’s new member states are spoiling Moscow’s relationship with the bloc due to ‘phantom pains of the past,’ a top Russian diplomat [Vladimir Chizhov, Moscow’s ambassador to the EU] has commented in the run up to the EU-Russia summit this week. ‘With enlargement, the EU has not become an easier partner for us,’ [he said]… The Kremlin has seen several problematic issues come up with some of the countries from central and eastern Europe that joined the bloc in May 2004.”

The article continued:

“Disputes with the ex-Soviet republics–Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania–involving political wording around border agreement texts and the treatment of Russian minorities in the Baltic countries have strained relations… Poland, the biggest of the ten 2004 entrants, also features on Moscow’s list of prickly newcomers. Apart from its support to opposition forces in Ukraine and Belarus, Warsaw has been one of the most outspoken critics of Russia’s energy policy, accusing the Kremlin of using its gas reserves as a means of blackmailing western neighbours. Poland is particularly vexed about a gas pipeline project to link Russia and Germany via the Baltic Sea bypassing Poland, with the country’s defence minister Radek Sikorski comparing the deal to a pre-World War II Nazi-Soviet pact partitioning Poland. Russia’s months-long blockade of Polish food imports and Moscow’s refusal to grant the Stalinist massacre of Polish officers and intelligentsia in Katyn in 1940 ‘genocide’ status are also bones of contention.”

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Would you please explain the concepts of First Tithe, Second Tithe, Excess Second Tithe, Tithe of the Tithe, and Third Tithe?

We will be glad to explain.

First Tithe is the first ten percent of one’s “increase,” referring to his or her job earnings and/or other income, such as proceeds from rental, interest or gains from stocks or other investment. It is to be sent to God’s Church in furtherance of the preaching of the gospel.

Are we to pay tithe from the gross (before taxes are deducted from our paychecks) or from the net (after deduction of taxes)? It has been the long-standing policy of the Church to advise that there is no duty to tithe on the gross, as this would be impossible in certain countries, where taxes are so high. At the same time, the Church has always emphasized that it is up to the individual whether he or she wants to tithe from the gross or the net. Many tithe from the gross, following the principle as expressed in Luke 17:10, but this is a personal decision, based on personal circumstances. God looks at the heart of a person. If one chooses to tithe from the net, he would then be obligated, of course, to pay tithe on any tax refunds he might receive in the next year.

Some teach today that tithing only relates to agricultural products and farm produce of livestock, while excluding all other forms of income; such as wages or income from a business or investments. This is wrong. Such a teaching can have the result of doing away with tithing in most cases.

We read that Abraham gave Melchizedek a tithe of “all” (Genesis 14:20). Jacob also said that he would give God a tithe of “all” (Genesis 28:22). They did not limit tithing to just agricultural products or farm produce of livestock.

Some claim that tithing was just a law under Moses, which is no longer in effect today. This is wrong, too. Abraham and Jacob tithed to God long before the time of Moses. Jesus confirmed in His day and age the duty to tithe (Matthew 23:23). Malachi 3:8 states that tithing is the duty of MAN–not just of the Jew, the Israelite or even only of a converted Church member. Note that the Sabbath was created for MAN, too–not just for the Israelite or the Jew (Mark 2:27). God says through Malachi that man is cursed if he refuses to tithe to God, and that he will be blessed if he does(Malachi 3:8-10). We should also note that the book of Malachi is a prophecy for us today–addressing the time just prior to the Day of the LORD–the time of Christ’s return to this earth. In that context, Malachi says (in Malachi 4:4-5), to remember the Law of Moses, with the statues and the judgments. Tithing is a statute, and nowhere in the New Testament has it been abolished.

In fact, we find in the 7th chapter of Hebrews that we are to tithe today to Jesus Christ–that is, His Church–and no longer to the Levites, as was done under Moses. Originally, people, such as Abraham, tithed to Christ (in the person of Melchizedek), long before Levi was born. The tithe has always belonged to God (Leviticus 27:30)! It is HOLY to Him! He did give the tithe, for a period of time, to the sons of Levi “…as an inheritance in return for the work which they perform[ed], the work of the tabernacle of meeting”
(Numbers 18:21). Yet, we see in Hebrews 7:9 that the law of tithing existed long before God made an agreement with the sons of Levi, which agreement gave them the right and responsibility to collect tithes for a certain time. We can see in verses 15–28 of Hebrews 7 that this right to receive tithes later reverted back to Jesus Christ, whose right it was from the beginning! Today, Christ collects tithes through His Body—the Church—to be used to carry out the end-time Work of God.

As we explain in our free booklet, “Tithing Today?”, the Bible teaches not only our duty to pay First Tithe, but also the concepts of Second Tithe and Third Tithe (compare pp. 22-24).

Second Tithe is to be set aside for our personal use during the annual Holy Days, and especially for the Feast of Tabernacles. It is not to be sent in to the Church, but to be kept by the person to spend during the annual Holy Days of God. Only “excess second tithe” has been designated to be sent to the Church.

Excess second tithe” is the portion of the Second Tithe exceeding necessary individual use. The Church will distribute such amount to members who were unable to save sufficient second tithe
for the Holy Days, and it might use remaining funds for necessary Church-related Feast expenses (such as hall rentals).

Related to the concept of Second Tithe is the concept of “Tithe of the Tithe.” This is not to be confused with the “Third Tithe” (discussed below), which is an altogether different concept.

More than 30 years ago, God’s Church made the administrative decision to ask Church members and
co-workers to send one tenth of their second tithe to the Church to be used for necessary Feast of Tabernacles expenses, including rental for Church halls. Since then, the Church has usually referred to this amount as the “tithe of the tithe.” Church members and co-workers were asked to calculate the amount of second tithe that would be available to them at the time of the Feast of Tabernacles, and to send ten percent of that (calculated) amount to the Church, in advance as directed by the Church. This practice has allowed the Church to avoid using general contributions for the payment of Feast expenses, instead of being used for expenses relating to preaching the gospel and feeding the flock.

At the time of the institution of the “tithe of the tithe,” and a few times since then, consideration has been given to the possibility of charging each individual Feast attendee with a flat amount for his or her Feast attendance, instead of sending in a tithe of the tithe. This possibility was rejected, however, as it was judged to be arbitrary and unfair. Some Church members do not have jobs or they live on small pensions, while others earn good salaries. Following Biblical principles (compare Acts 2:44–45; 4:32–35; 2 Corinthians 8:12–15), it was determined that the institution of the “tithe of the tithe” was the most equitable way for all concerned to provide for the payment of necessary Feast expenses incurred by the Church, and also to help those less fortunate, as much as possible, to attend the Feast.

The Church of the Eternal God and its corporate affiliates see no Biblical reason to change the Church’s decision, realizing the Biblical wisdom for the decision, and acknowledging that the Church has the administrative authority to bind and loose matters such as these (compare Matthew 16:19; 18:18).

In addition to the concepts discussed so far, God also instructs us concerning the concept of Third Tithe.

As more fully explained in our free booklet, “Tithing Today?,” the Third Tithe is to be sent to the Church primarily for the use of those in need of support. It should be mentioned that “Third Tithe” is FOR the
poor and needy, not BY the poor and needy. It is, therefore, not necessary for a “poor” person to pay third tithe. Someone who receives assistance from the government does not have to pay Third Tithe.
Additionally, it would also be following a wrong principle to take out a loan in order to be able to pay Third Tithe. However, each individual is responsible before God to determine whether he or she is “poor” or
“needy” and therefore excused from paying Third Tithe. The ministry is available to help with questions relating to such determination.

If you conclude that you ought to pay Third Tithe, when are you to do it?

At the time of Moses, Third Tithe was paid on the third and sixth year out of a cycle of seven years. On the seventh year, no Third Tithe was to be paid, as the land rested during the seventh year, Leviticus 25:4. The principle of paying Third Tithe on the third and sixth year out of a cycle of seven years still applies today. Many members begin counting their Third Tithe years from the annual festival nearest the date of their baptism. Others decide to begin from the date when they first began tithing. It is the responsibility of each member to decide when he or she should begin the cycle, and the observance of that cycle should be carefully maintained.

Let us assume that you were baptized close to the Feast of Tabernacles (“Feast”) in the year of 2000. Let us further assume that you designate the year 2000 as the first year with which to begin your seven year cycle.

Your first cycle would look like this:

1st year: 2000 (the time from the Feast in 2000 until the Feast in 2001): no third tithe
2nd year: 2001 (from Feast 2001 until Feast 2002): no third tithe
3rd year: 2002 (from Feast 2002 until Feast 2003): third tithe to be paid during that period
4th year: 2003 (from Feast 2003 until Feast 2004): no third tithe
5th year: 2004 (from Feast 2004 until Feast 2005): no third tithe
6th year: 2005 (from Feast 2005 until Feast 2006): third tithe to be paid during that period
7th year: 2006 (from Feast 2006 until Feast 2007): no third tithe.

This would conclude your first seven-year cycle. Your second seven-year cycle would look like this:

1st year: 2007 (from Feast 2007 until Feast 2008): no third tithe
2nd year: 2008 (from Feast 2008 until Feast 2009): no third tithe
3rd year: 2009 (from Feast 2009 until Feast 2010): third tithe
4th year: 2010 (from Feast 2010 until Feast 2011): no third tithe
5th year: 2011 (from Feast 2011 until Feast 2012): no third tithe
6th year; 2012 (from Feast 2012 until Feast 2013): third tithe
7th year: 2013 (from Feast 2013 until Feast 2014): no third tithe.

This would conclude your second seven-year cycle.

If we assume that you were baptized close to the Feast of 2000, but you decide to count “exclusively,” that is, you begin your seven year-cycle with the year of 2001 (the period from the Feast of 2001 until Feast of 2002). In that case, your first cycle would look like this:

1st year: 2001 (from Feast 2001 until Feast of 2002): no third tithe
2nd year: 2002 (from Feast 2002 until Feast of 2003): no third tithe
3rd year: 2003 (from Feast 2003 until Feast of 2004): third tithe to be paid during that period


Once you have designated your seven year cycles, it is important to maintain these, even though you might not be able to pay Third Tithe during some of your third and sixth years of tithing.

Many times, it will not work out on paper; that is, when you do your budget, you may conclude that you are too “poor” to pay Third Tithe. But God does require of us faith in His ability to help and bless us, if we are obedient to Him. As He promises us His blessing for paying His First Tithe diligently to Him (Malachi 3:10), so He promises us His blessing if we pay Him His Third Tithe during the appropriate times (compare Deuteronomy 26:12-15).

We might convince ourselves that we don’t have to tithe. This would be a terrible mistake.

As mentioned, all the concepts discussed in this article are fully explained in our free booklet, “Tithing Today?” To conclude, we are quoting from pages 39-41 of that booklet:

“In Luke 12:13–21, Christ gave us the famous parable of the rich fool who built greater barns for his harvest rather than sharing his fortune with others. He thought he had many more years to live in pleasure and ease, but that very night, God took his life. Christ concluded His parable, in verse
21: ‘So is he who lays up treasure for himself, and is not rich toward God.’ Christ gave this parable because of the greedy attitude of those who were fighting over an inheritance (compare verse 13). He saw the covetousness in them—the intent to take, rather than to give. Conversely, when the servants of Abraham and Lot fought over the land, Abraham was willing to have Lot choose what land he wanted to have, rather than having the servants continue to fight over it (compare Genesis 13:7–11). The rich fool did not have genuine love or concern for others. He was only interested in figuring out how he could store his abundant riches for HIMSELF. He was not rich before God—he had not laid up treasures in heaven—when God took his life. Abraham, on the other hand, was very rich, but he did not have an attitude of greediness. We know that he tithed to God, in the person of Christ. He did not do it grudgingly, but rather, Abraham was developing a heart of love for God and others…

“God is watching us. He notices how we act in little things. If we are faithful in small matters, God knows
that we will also be faithful in big matters. If, on the other hand, we are not even willing to share small things with God and others, how would we ever develop the godly attitude to be willing to share the
rulership over the universe with others?… When we obey God’s commandments, including the command to faithfully tithe and give free-will offerings to God’s Church, we can KNOW that we are on our way toward the Kingdom of God, because we show in our lives that God’s love in us is producing a perfect work in us… We will gladly admit and agree with Christ that it is more blessed to give than to receive, or,
to ‘get.’ We will experience a deep feeling of gratitude that we are permitted to play a part in God’s awesome Work, proclaiming to the world a better way of life.”

Lead Writer: Norbert Link

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Preaching the Gospel and Feeding the Flock

Dave Harris sent us the following report about the Public Bible Lecture in Colorado:

Sunday evening, May 21, 2006, the members in Fort Collins, Colorado,
hosted a public Bible lecture. Newspaper ads, fliers, localized
computer ads and personal invitations were used in preparation for this

Evangelist Norbert Link gave a compelling and powerful
presentation on the Mysteries of the Bible. Following his address, time
was taken to speak personally with the guests in attendance. In
addition, our newest booklet–also titled “The Mysteries of the
–was offered to attendees along with other publications.

is the second public lecture the Church of the Eternal God has
presented–with the first being conducted in Southern California.
Although in each case, our advertisements did not generate much
response, we find that personal contacts proved to be the most

Mr. Link’s visit and presentation has greatly
encouraged the brethren in Colorado. Guests who attended the lecture
commented on the strength of the message and delivery by Mr. Link.

the ministerial conference held earlier this year, plans were discussed
to include a public Bible lecture in England around the time of the
Feast of Tabernacles. Because we have distributed a substantial amount
of booklets and have a much larger mailing list in the area, we feel
that this additional presentation will prove very worthwhile.

Please continue to keep these efforts for preaching the gospel of God’s Kingdom in your prayers!

We received the following update from the Philippines:

my wife brought some photo-copies of booklets, including of the new
arrival “The Mysteries of the Bible,” to replenish the magazine stand
in the National library at Taft Avenue, Manila. We replenish it every
three months. We noticed that the only booklet that was not taken from
the stand is “Don’t Keep Christmas.” Funny but true, they don’t
want to throw out that belief. Again thank you for the booklets. Our
regards to you all, and a happy Feast of Pentecost!

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How This Work is Financed

This Update is an official publication by the ministry of the Church of the Eternal God in the United States of America; the Church of God, a Christian Fellowship in Canada; and the Global Church of God in the United Kingdom.

Editorial Team: Norbert Link, Dave Harris, Rene Messier, Brian Gale, Margaret Adair, Johanna Link, Eric Rank, Michael Link, Anna Link, Kalon Mitchell, Manuela Mitchell, Dawn Thompson

Technical Team: Eric Rank, Shana Rank

Our activities and literature, including booklets, weekly updates, sermons on CD, and video and audio broadcasts, are provided free of charge. They are made possible by the tithes, offerings and contributions of Church members and others who have elected to support this Work.

While we do not solicit the general public for funds, contributions are gratefully welcomed and are tax-deductible in the U.S. and Canada.

Donations should be sent to the following addresses:

United States: Church of the Eternal God, P.O. Box 270519, San Diego, CA 92198

Canada: Church of God, ACF, Box 1480, Summerland, B.C. V0H 1Z0

United Kingdom: Global Church of God, PO Box 44, MABLETHORPE, LN12 9AN, United Kingdom

©2024 Church of the Eternal God