Sabbath Message by Wade Cox

Sabbath 8/12/29/120

Dear Friends,

We are about to enter the Second year of the Sabbath Cycle being the Thirtieth Year of the 120th Jubilee.

In the Second Year of the cycle we have to prepare for the Third Year Tithe in which the Second Tithe that we normally keep for ourselves to attend feasts is passed to the Third Tithe of the Church so that our poor can be helped and catered for in their needs to attend feasts and to assist them in matters of emergency or crisis (Deut 26:12). For this Third Year is the marker of the Hallowed things of God (Deut. 26:13).

This is the sign of the Lord and His Holy People and it is through and from this Third Year of the Sabbath Cycle and the setting aside of the Third Year Tithe as Hallowed offerings that His holy people are identified and set aside as His covenant people Israel, which is the Church of God. That is why changes occur in this year also.

Deuteronomy 26:
11: and you shall rejoice in all the good which the LORD your God has given to you and to your house, you, and the Levite, and the sojourner who is among you. 12: "When you have finished paying all the tithe of your produce in the third year, which is the year of tithing, giving it to the Levite, the sojourner, the fatherless, and the widow, that they may eat within your towns and be filled, 13: then you shall say before the LORD your God, `I have removed the sacred portion out of my house, and moreover I have given it to the Levite, the sojourner, the fatherless, and the widow, according to all thy commandment which thou hast commanded me; I have not transgressed any of thy commandments, neither have I forgotten them; 14: I have not eaten of the tithe while I was mourning, or removed any of it while I was unclean, or offered any of it to the dead; I have obeyed the voice of the LORD my God, I have done according to all that thou hast commanded me. 15: Look down from thy holy habitation, from heaven, and bless thy people Israel and the ground which thou hast given us, as thou didst swear to our fathers, a land flowing with milk and honey.' 16: "This day the LORD your God commands you to do these statutes and ordinances; you shall therefore be careful to do them with all your heart and with all your soul. 17: You have declared this day concerning the LORD that he is your God, and that you will walk in his ways, and keep his statutes and his commandments and his ordinances, and will obey his voice; 18: and the LORD has declared this day concerning you that you are a people for his own possession, as he has promised you, and that you are to keep all his commandments, 19: that he will set you high above all nations that he has made, in praise and in fame and in honor, and that you shall be a people holy to the LORD your God, as he has spoken." (RSV)

Simply, if you are not doing this and you are not tithing and you are not setting aside the Third Year Tithe to the elect as the Church of God you are not obeying the covenant and have broken yourselves from the Body, which is the Covenant People of the Church of God. If your ministry teaches you that you do not have to tithe and you listen to them then you can join them in the Second Resurrection or you can repent and set yourselves right with God. This also demands that the ministry have to identify the true Calendar with the Jubilee set in place with the Sabbath cycles. They are punished if they do not do that or mislead the brethren.

The Second tithe is covered in Deuteronomy and dealt with in the paper Tithing (No. 161).

“There is thus a first and second tithe. The first tithe is payable to the priesthood. Under the Old Covenant it was payable to the Levites who in turn paid a tithe of the tithe to the temple priesthood (Num. 18:26; Neh. 10:38). The tithe was collected on an area basis and administered on a local basis. Only the tithe of the tithe went to the temple priesthood. The second tithe was used for the feasts at the place designated for such purpose (Deut. 14:22-23). It was also shared with the less fortunate, but importantly the landless Levitical class (Deut. 14:27). The second tithe was allocated entirely to the poor at the end of the third year. This was the third tithe. It was to be converted to money for reasons of practicality and thus has direct relationship with the wage and cash society. It formed the store of support for the Sabbath cycle. This was supplemented by the gleanings of the corners of the fields (Lev. 19:9) and the Sabbath access to whatever grew of itself.”

That means you should have saved from past tithes, and you have to save from this second year tithe to cover your expenses over that year.

The Church was granted authority over the demons and succession from the Levites. The High Priesthood was removed and placed with Christ and the Church. That was so vividly seen in the handling of the sons of Sceva the High Priest by the demons.

The paper Tithing (No. 161) deals with the transfer of the authority and the way that authority was seen and dealt with in the Church.

Removal of the Levitical Authority
“The priesthood that preceded the Aaronic or Levitical and also succeeded that Levitical priesthood was that of Melchisedek (see the paper Melchisedek (No. 128)). Abraham tithed to Melchisedek and hence David and Messiah tithed to Melchisedek being in Abraham’s loins (Gen. 14:18-20).
Hebrews 7:5-9 And verily they that are of the sons of Levi, who receive the office of the priesthood, have a commandment to take tithes of the people according to the law, that is, of their brethren, though they come out of the loins of Abraham: 6 But he whose descent is not counted from them received tithes of Abraham, and blessed him that had the promises. 7 And without all contradiction the less is blessed of the better. 8 And here men that die receive tithes; but there he receiveth them, of whom it is witnessed that he liveth. 9 And as I may so say, Levi also, who receiveth tithes, payed tithes in Abraham. (KJV)

We see here that the Levites paid tithes also and that their priesthood is inferior to that of Melchisedek as fulfilled in Jesus Christ (Ps. 110:4). The appointment of the seventy[two] by Christ in Luke 10:1,17 was the transfer of authority from the Sanhedrin to the Church. Thus the tithe now rests in the Melchisedek priesthood and not the Levitical priesthood. Thus, the Church and its local establishment is the beneficiary of the first tithe. The central administration is entitled to the tithe of the tithe. (Tithing (No. 161))

We then proceed to the way in which the Church explained and implemented the transfer:

Early Church Understanding of the Transfer of Authority
“The text of the First Epistle of Clement to the Corinthians deals with the responsibility of the church in relation to appointments and also to the tithe. Clement was a disciple of the church writing well after the death of Paul. Chapter XIII is 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).

Clement 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 them by those who appointed them.

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 is often quoted out of context from the text in Bk. IV, Ch. XIII in relation to tithing where he says:
‘and instead of the Law enjoining the giving of tithes, [He told us] to share all our possessions with the poor.’
This statement amplifies the rest of his views where the laws of the tithe were not eliminated but amplified. Most ignore that sentiment.

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 of 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.

Be thankful that the church in normal circumstances has not placed any other burden on itself other than the tithes of God and whatever the individual chooses 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.” (loc .cit, No. 161).

The teachings of Irenaeus are also followed on by Hippolytus as Bishop of Ostia or Porto Romano from where he condemns the Roman bishops for their misuse of the teachings of the Bible and the faith (see also the paper Origin of the Christian Church in Britain (No. 266)).

Productive Increase and Robbing God
The responsibility rests on the members of the church to pay their dues to God as tithes and offerings.

“The explanation of the tithes is as of productive increase. It is of the increase of the fields and the herds etc. It does not involve dead animals, or those that are torn and taken by wild beasts, or the stillborn, or the gleanings or the unpicked fruit of the seed, or the fodder eaten by the animals while ploughing or treading the grain. You shall not muzzle an ox while it treads the grain (Deut. 25:4). Thus, the tithe is a net tithe and not a gross tithe. Translated into today’s terms that is an after-tax tithe, or net wage free of costs, and not a before-tax, or gross tithe. The determination of the costs involved rest with the individual – it is a relationship that the individual has with God.

Withholding tithes is specifically identified as robbing God. The tithe system is identified by God as being integral to the Covenant of God. God deals with the issue of the Covenant through the prophet Malachi. The nexus between tithes and the Covenant is established at Malachi 3. There the Messiah is identified with the elect and the condition of entry to the system he established is mentioned. God orders His people to return to Him and He will return to them. He gives explicit instruction as to the method of return and part of the sign of that return. That sign is the tithe system.

You have to return to God in tithes before He returns to you.
Malachi 3:6-18 "For I the LORD do not change; therefore you, O sons of Jacob, are not consumed. 7 From the days of your fathers you have turned aside from my statutes and have not kept them. Return to me, and I will return to you, says the LORD of hosts. But you say, `How shall we return?' 8 Will man rob God? Yet you are robbing me. But you say, `How are we robbing thee?' In your tithes and offerings. 9 You are cursed with a curse, for you are robbing me; the whole nation of you. 10 Bring the full tithes into the storehouse, that there may be food in my house; and thereby put me to the test, says the LORD of hosts, if I will not open the windows of heaven for you and pour down for you an overflowing blessing. 11 I will rebuke the devourer for you, so that it will not destroy the fruits of your soil; and your vine in the field shall not fail to bear, says the LORD of hosts. 12 Then all nations will call you blessed, for you will be a land of delight, says the LORD of hosts. 13 "Your words have been stout against me, says the LORD. Yet you say, `How have we spoken against thee?' 14 You have said, `It is vain to serve God. What is the good of our keeping his charge or of walking as in mourning before the LORD of hosts? 15 Henceforth we deem the arrogant blessed; evildoers not only prosper but when they put God to the test they escape.'" 16 Then those who feared the LORD spoke with one another; the LORD heeded and heard them, and a book of remembrance was written before him of those who feared the LORD and thought on his name. 17 "They shall be mine, says the LORD of hosts, my special possession on the day when I act, and I will spare them as a man spares his son who serves him. 18 Then once more you shall distinguish between the righteous and the wicked, between one who serves God and one who does not serve him. (RSV)

It is thus seen that the system of the tithe is part of the Covenant relationship between God and Israel. No man can alter or make decisions, which alter the Laws of God as they apply to these laws and this Covenant.

No person can be part of the elect and not comply with the tithe laws. It is a sign of the return to God in restoration.”

Wade Cox

Coordinator General


© Copyright 2007 Christian Churches of God, All Rights Reserved