New Moon 1/1/29/120
This is the New Year. It is the end of the Sabbatical cycle and the beginning of the new cycle and a new tithing process. It is important to address an issue that is being put amongst some of those who are less aware by those who wrest the truth in unrighteousness and whose consciences are seared as with a hot iron.
It has been asserted that the First Epistle of Clement to the Corinthians,
which was written well after the death of Paul, makes reference in chapter XIII
to tithing and allegedly says:
“and instead of the Law enjoining the giving of tithes, [He told us] to share all our possessions with the poor”
The text of the First Epistle of Clement to the Corinthians makes no such assertion. Chapter XIII is actually an exhortation to humility and ends with the words: “For the Holy Word saith, ‘On whom shall I look, but on him that is meek and peaceable, and that trembleth at My words?” (Isa. 66:2). These who wrest the truth would do well to remember these words and repent.
Clement actually upholds the Laws of God in the Torah regarding the offerings and the priesthood and directly transfers that authority to the Church.
Clement says at Chapter XL (ANF vol 1, p. 16):
"These things therefore being manifest to us, and since we look into the depths of the divine knowledge, it behoves us to do all things in [their proper] order, which the Lord has commanded us to perform at stated times. He has enjoined offerings [to be presented] and service to be performed [to Him], and that not thoughtlessly or irregularly, but at the appointed times and hours. Where and by whom he desires these things to be done, He Himself has fixed by His own supreme will, in order that all things being piously done according to His good pleasure, may be acceptable unto Him. Those therefore who present their offerings at the appointed times, are accepted and blessed; for inasmuch as they follow the Laws of the Lord, they sin not. For his own peculiar services are assigned to the high priest, and their own proper place is assigned to the priests, and their own special ministrations devolve on the Levites. The layman is bound by the laws that pertain to the layman.”
Thus, he establishes the Laws of God in the Church pertaining to the offerings of God. He establishes the Bible Calendar and its appointed times of worship. This text has nothing to do with 1Corinthians 16:1,2; it refers to the Torah. He establishes the bounds and order of the ministry and tells those appointed not to go beyond the bounds appointed to him by those who appointed him.
In chapter XLI he says:
"Let every one of you, brethren, give thanks to God in his own order, living in all good conscience, with becoming gravity and not going beyond the rule of the ministry prescribed to him. Not in every place brethren are the daily sacrifices offered, or the peace offerings or the sin offerings, and the trespass offerings, but in Jerusalem only. And even there they are not offered in any place, but only at the altar before the Temple, that which is offered being first carefully examined by the high priest and the ministers already mentioned. Those therefore, who do anything beyond that which is agreeable to His will, are punished with death. Ye see brethren the greater the knowledge that has been vouchsafed to us the greater the danger to which we are exposed."
In chapter XLII he transfers the authority of the priesthood to the Ministry of Christ in this authority of the tithes and offerings of God. He also refers to the “first fruits” in relation to those added to the Church and says:
"The apostles have preached the gospel to us from the Lord Jesus Christ; Jesus Christ [has done so] from God. Christ therefore was sent forth by God and the apostles by Christ. Both these appointments were made in an orderly way according to the will of God. Having therefore received their orders, and being fully assured by the resurrection of our Lord Jesus Christ, and established in the Word of God with the full assurance of the Holy Spirit they went forth proclaiming that the Kingdom of God was at hand. And thus preaching through countries and cities they appointed the first fruits [of their labours] having first proved them by the Spirit to be bishops and deacons of those who should afterwards believe. Nor was this any new thing, since indeed many ages before it was written concerning bishops and deacons. For thus saith the Scripture in a certain place, 'I will appoint their bishops (overseers) in righteousness and their deacons (servants) in faith (taken from Isa. 60:17 of the LXX but altered by Clement here as the LXX says “I will give thy rulers in peace and thy overseers in righteousness”).
Thus, Clement clearly laid the laws of the tithe and the offerings at the feet of the Church of God and its appointed ministry. He does that in accordance with the Bible Calendar regarding the appointed times.
The Church continued in unity until Anicetus made the Easter declaration ca 154. In 192 Victorinus caused the schism. Thus, what happened after 154 in the Roman Church was in heresy to the Church of God.
Irenaeus (writing ca 195 after the schism) is also asserted to preach against the tithe in Bk. IV but he does no such thing. In Bk. IV ch. VIII .3 he speaks of the Law and the Sabbath and that it did not forbid those who were hungry on the Sabbath days to take food lying ready at hand. He goes on to proclaim that David was appointed a priest by God although Saul persecuted him. “For all the righteous possess the sacerdotal rank and all the apostles of the Lord are priests“(ibid., cf. 1Pet. 2:5,9 quoting also Moses at Deut. 33:9). He says that God requires obedience rather than sacrifice and holocausts. Irenaeus quotes Paul and holds the ministry to be priests of the Lord to whom it is lawful when hungry to eat of the ears of corn. He held that the priests in the Temple profaned the Sabbath and were blameless because they were not engaged in secular affairs. In this he upheld the Sabbath and the actions of the ministry as priests of the Lord who had a right to eat of the inheritance of Levi, which are the tithes and offerings of the Laws of God.
When misquoted Irenaeus can even be made to teach against the Sabbaths, New Moons and Holy Days which he mentions in that regard, but he himself kept the Sabbath and so what he says has to be taken in context of what is being addressed. He was separated from Polycrates at Smyrna, being at Lyon, and so was deeply affected by the schism also.
Irenaeus says in XVIII, 1. “We are bound therefore to offer to God the firstfruits of His creation, as Moses also says, ‘Thou shalt not appear in the presence of the Lord thy God empty’ [i.e. empty handed cf. Deut. 16:16]; so that man being accounted as grateful, by those things in which he has shown his gratitude, may receive that honour which flows from him.”
This text is a clear reference to the tithe and the three feast seasons of
the Bible. He goes on in XVIII, 2 to say:
“And the class of oblations in general has not been set aside for there were both oblations there [among the Jews], and there are oblations here [among the Christians]. Sacrifices there were among the people, sacrifices there are, too, in the Church: but the species alone has been changed inasmuch as the offering is now made, not by slaves but by freemen. For the Lord is [ever] one and the same; but the character of a servile oblation is peculiar [to itself], as is also that of freemen, in order that by the very oblations, the indication of liberty may be set forth. For with him there is nothing purposeless, nor without signification nor without design. And for this reason they (the Jews) had indeed the tithes of their goods consecrated to Him, but those who have received liberty set aside all their possessions for the Lord’s purposes, bestowing joyfully and freely not the less valuable portions of their property, since they have the hope of better things [hereafter]; as that poor widow acted who cast all her living into the treasury of God” (cf. Lk. 21:4).
Irenaeus is here saying that the Jews tithed as required by the Law of God, but we, of Christ in the Church, give all we have as oblations before God in the Church. How could anyone with any understanding construe this as eliminating the Laws of God regarding tithing. It is elevating the laws regarding the first fruits and the tithe to one of total sacrifice for the Church.
Irenaeus says in Bk 4, Ch XIII. 1 that Christ, “Did not teach us things as being opposed to the law but as fulfilling the law, and implanting in us the varied righteousness of the law. That would have been contrary to the law, if he had commanded his disciples to do anything that the law had prohibited” (ibid , vol. 1, p. 477).
Thus, we have the authority granted to us by Christ and the apostles in the
Church when it was transferred from Levi to the order Melchisedek, which order
we are. We have appointed deacons and tested them in the faith and they are
measured by the Holy Spirit and judged. To whom much is given much is expected
and the danger of their position is great. Some officers fall short and
sin and some are removed. All can and must repent.
Be thankful that we as the Church have not placed any other burden on you other than the tithes of God and whatever you yourselves choose to offer. Give thanks that the Church is not as it was in Jerusalem and in dire need of holding all goods in common. In such a situation Ananius and his wife were killed as some of these who teach against the Laws of God have been spiritually killed.
This New Moon is the New Year and the tithing cycle begins again. Prepare for the Passover and do not come empty handed. Set aside your differences and be reconciled to your brothers. We are required to take the Passover with the Body of Christ and support it. Think on just how much work there is to do and how much support and labour the Church needs to achieve that work.
Test God in this. Tithe and labour and you will receive the bounty of heaven as promised through Malachi (see the paper Tithing (No. 161)). Withhold what is God’s and you will suffer for that disobedience. We have even seen some of the blind ask for their offerings back.
Those who fail are removed as we have seen and plunged into darkness where their understanding is taken and they are given over to a reprobate mind.
Let us now prepare in diligence for the Passover over the period of the twenty-one days of the Sanctification. Look at the papers Sanctification of the Temple of God (No. 241) and the Sanctification of the Simple and the Erroneous (No. 291). Prepare also from this year and save excess “second tithes” for the Third year so that you may be able to comfortably enjoy the feasts of the Lord in that year.
This is the Twenty-ninth year of the 120th Jubilee and the Forty-ninth Jubilee since the Restoration of Ezra and Nehemiah (see the papers The Seven Great Passovers of the Bible (No. 107) and Reading the Law with Ezra and Nehemiah (No. 250). It is now twenty-one years also to the New Year of the Fiftieth year, which is the Jubilee. That year will commence at Atonement of the Forty-ninth year and not at the New Moon of Abib, as it normally does. We should all now look to the process of the Sanctification of the Nations as they are the now to be prepared to become the Temple of God from the Jubilee. The twenty-one year process starts from this New Moon.
Our responsibility is to prepare and to continue now in the period of sanctification on a year for a day basis.
2012 is the year for a day equivalent of the Sanctification of the Simple and the Erroneous in the twenty-one day process. Much will happen in that year for and from the Reading of the Law as it is also the Sabbath year. Our job is to make sure we are prepared. This next seven years are critical for the Church. The period is the end reason for our setting aside and preparation. We can’t to do that task being pushed by every wind of doctrine and plotting to divide the body of Christ. The Church must be refined as with fullers soap and purged as with hyssop. We need to repent and get on with what we have to do.
Remember that the Fourteenth year of the next Twenty-one year cycle is also the equivalent of the day of the Passover Sacrifice in the Month of Abib in the normal cycle of the year. It is at the end of that day that the Night of Watching begins and thus 2019 as a Sabbath year ends the cycle and the next year begins the period represented by the beginning of the Feast of Unleavened Bread. The Night of Observation or Watching is to remind us that the salvation of the world is at hand. Between 2012 and 2019 the salvation of the Church will be at hand. You are the light of the world and in you the simple and the erroneous of the world are sanctified in prayer.
Ask now what you can do for the Church and prepare. This New Moon will also see the message to Islam commence in earnest. Do what you can to help. Hold fast the vision of the Kingdom of God.
© Copyright 2006 Wade Cox, All Rights Reserved