Sunday, September 25, 2011

Q&A: Palestinian bid for full membership at the UN

Palestinians wave their national flag at a demonstration in Gaza A recent rally against Israeli occupation of Palestinian territory on the anniversary of the 1967 war
Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas has formally submitted a request to join the United Nations as a full member state. He said the request entailed international recognition on 1967 borders with East Jerusalem as a capital.
The idea is strongly opposed by Israel and its close ally, the United States.
Here is a guide to what is likely to happen and its significance.

Q. What are the Palestinians asking for?

The Palestinians, as represented by the Palestinian Authority, have long sought to establish an independent, sovereign state in the West Bank, including East Jerusalem, and Gaza - occupied by Israel since the 1967 Six Day War. However, two decades of on-and-off peace talks have failed to produce a deal. The latest round of negotiations broke down a year ago.

Late last year, Palestinian officials began pursuing a new diplomatic strategy: asking individual countries to recognise an independent Palestinian state on the 1967 borders. Now they want the UN to admit them as a full member state. Currently the Palestine Liberation Organisation (PLO) only has observer entity status. This would have political implications and allow Palestinians to join UN agencies and become party to international treaties, such as the International Criminal Court, where they could take legal action to challenge the occupation of territory by Israel.


Q. What is the general process?

There are clear procedures at the UN which began its annual General Assembly General Debate in New York on 21 September.

In order for the Palestinians to be admitted as a member state, they would need the approval of the 15-member UN Security Council. Any Council recommendation for membership would then need a two-thirds majority vote in the 193-member General Assembly for final approval.
United Nations General Assembly Palestinians believe over two-thirds of the General Assembly would recognise their statehood
At the start of the process, Mr Abbas submitted a request to the UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon on 23 September. Mr Ban has handed the application on to the Security Council.

The Council would need nine votes out of 15 and no veto from any of its permanent members to pass a decision. However, the US has made clear it will wield its veto power. The UK and France would almost certainly abstain because they cannot endorse UN membership of a state they have not recognised bilaterally.
If, as expected, the US vetoes the bid, the Palestinians have a second option, though this would not result in full membership. They can submit a resolution to the General Assembly and a vote could be held within 48 hours of submission, though it would probably be delayed until after the General Debate, ie late September or early October. This would give more time to negotiate a text that would have maximum support, from European countries in particular. Approval would require a simple majority of those present. There is no veto.

Q. What might the resolution say?

A resolution could ask for support for the Palestinians to be admitted to the UN as a "non-member observer state", an upgrade from the PLO's current status as observer. This status is held by the Vatican and has been held in the past by countries such as Switzerland.

Palestinian UN membership bid

  • Palestinians currently have permanent observer entity status at the UN
  • They are represented by the Palestine Liberation Organisation (PLO)
  • Officials now want an upgrade so a state of Palestine has full member status at the UN
  • They seek recognition on 1967 borders - in the West Bank, including East Jerusalem, and Gaza
  • Enhanced observer member status could be an interim option
This would improve the Palestinians' chances of joining UN agencies and the International Criminal Court, although the process would be neither automatic nor guaranteed. Among Palestinians, there are also questions over whether an observer state of Palestine could represent the diaspora community of refugees in the same way as the PLO does. 

Diplomats say that elements of a General Assembly resolution could also include acknowledgement of the number of countries that have recognised Palestinian statehood (currently 126 according to the Palestinian ambassador at the UN), and an appeal to the Security Council to accept the Palestinians as a full member. The resolution could also include parameters for future negotiations between Israel and the Palestinians.
The Palestinians can follow either the Security Council or General Assembly paths, or do both.

Q. What is the US position?

President Obama has told Mr Abbas that the US would use its UN Security Council veto to block a Palestinian bid. Mr Obama is facing a difficult battle for re-election next year and will be conscious of Israel's many friends in the US. The front runner for the Republican presidential nomination, Gov Rick Perry, has accused him of appeasing the Palestinians and betraying Israel. Mr Obama is also deeply aware how much of a blow to his prestige in the Middle East a veto would be. Palestinians and others contrast his support for Arab uprisings this year with his stance on the statehood bid.

Q. Is this symbolic or would it change facts on the ground?

Who currently recognises Palestine?

Palestinian flag
Yes No
Source: UN, Foreign ministries
Permanent Security Council members
(with veto)
  • China
  • Russia
  • France
  • UK
  • US
Non-permanent Security Council members
  • Bosnia- Hercegovina
  • Brazil
  • Gabon
  • India
  • Nigeria
  • Lebanon
  • S. Africa
  • Colombia
  • Germany
  • Portugal
All General Assembly members
Getting UN recognition of Palestinian statehood on 1967 borders would have largely symbolic value, building on previous UN decisions. Already Security Council resolution 242, which followed the Six Day War, demanded the "withdrawal of Israeli armed forces from territories occupied in the recent conflict". Although Israel disputes the precise meaning of this, there is wide international acceptance that the pre-1967 frontiers should form the basis of a peace settlement. 

The problem for the Palestinians is that Israel's Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu rejects these borders as a basis for negotiations. In May, when President Barack Obama called for border talks based broadly on 1967 lines, Mr Netanyahu described the idea as "unrealistic" and "indefensible". He says that new facts on the ground have been created since 1967: almost half a million Israelis live in more than 200 settlements and outposts in the West Bank and East Jerusalem. Mutually agreed land swaps have been discussed in previous talks as a way to overcome this problem.

The Palestinians argue that admission of Palestine as a full member state at the UN would strengthen their hands in peace talks with Israel especially on the final status issues that divide them: the status of Jerusalem, the fate of the Jewish settlements, the precise location of the border, the right of return of Palestinian refugees, water and security. Israel says that any upgrade of the Palestinian status at the UN is a unilateral act that would pre-empt the final status talks.

Q. Why is this happening now?

The main reason is the impasse in peace talks. However, the Palestinians also argue that their UN plan fits with an agreed deadline. The Middle East Peace Quartet - the European Union, United States, Russia and UN - committed itself to the target of achieving a two-state solution to the Israel-Palestinian conflict by September 2011. Last year, US President Barack Obama also expressed a hope that this deadline would be met. The Palestinian Authority Prime Minister, Salam Fayyad, says that Palestinians have succeeded in building up state institutions and are ready for statehood. The World Bank and IMF have said the same.
Recent Arab uprisings also appear to have energised Palestinian public opinion. Officials have urged civil society groups to hold peaceful demonstrations to show their backing for the UN bids.

Q. How is this different from previous declarations?

In 1988, the late Palestinian leader, Yasser Arafat, unilaterally declared a Palestinian state on the 1967 borders. This won recognition from about 100 countries, mainly Arab, Communist and non-aligned states - several of them in Latin America. UN membership of Palestine as a sovereign state would have much greater impact as the UN is the overarching world body and a source of authority on international law.

Q. Who supports and opposes the UN option?

Recent polls suggest this course of action is supported by most ordinary Palestinians in the occupied territories. Mr Abbas's main Fatah faction backs it, although there is less enthusiasm from its political rival, Hamas, the Islamic group which governs Gaza.

After the recent Palestinian reconciliation deal, Hamas leaders accepted there was a broad consensus on the establishment of a Palestinian state within 1967 borders, though they formally still refuse to recognise Israel. They have described the appeal to the UN as carrying "great risks".
Within the wider region, the 22-member Arab League has given this approach its full backing.
President Obama greeting Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu last September The latest US push to bring the Israelis and Palestinians back to negotiations quickly stalled.
The main opposition comes from Israel. "Peace can only be achieved around the negotiating table. The Palestinian attempt to impose a settlement will not bring peace," Mr Netanyahu told a joint session of the US Congress in May. Israeli officials have warned that any UN bid could terminate the peace process. They also worry that possible Palestinian accession to the ICC could lead to the pursuit of war crimes charges at the Hague and say there is potential for rising tensions to trigger violence in the West Bank. Settlers there have received Israeli military training in preparation for this scenario.

The US has joined Israel in vociferously urging the Palestinians to drop their UN bid and return to negotiations, which were previously derailed by the settlement issue. In his recent major speech on the Middle East, President Obama dismissed the Palestinian push as "symbolic actions to isolate Israel at the United Nations". The White House sent two envoys to the region to try to persuade the Palestinians to change their minds. However, Palestinian officials say the Americans presented no alternative to going to the UN.
Only nine out of 27 European Union countries have formally recognised a Palestinian state on the 1967 borders. Others are looking increasingly favourably on the idea. This is mainly because of their frustration with Mr Netanyahu's government in Israel-Palestinian peace talks and what they see as its recalcitrance over settlements. Britain, France and Germany are likely to support a General Assembly resolution only if it includes a clear roadmap back to the negotiating table.

In the coming days, both Palestinian and Israeli delegations will be on a diplomatic drive to win countries around to their point of view.

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Biblical Implications of a Palestinian State

All eyes will be on the United Nations this week as the Palestinian Authority plans to pursue statehood recognition.

Stan Goodenough is a Christian journalist living in the Holy Land. He's creator and editor of the online news site, Jerusalem Newswire.

Goodenough spoke with CBN News about the biblical implications of a U.N. vote for a Palestinian state.
He says for decades there has been "ongoing and relentless pressure" on Israel to give up the land of Jerusalem.

Click play for all of Goodenough's comments to CBN News Mideast Bureau Chief Chris Mitchell.

A Response to End-Time Ecumenism

President, Whitcomb Ministries, Inc.

It is evident that leading neo-evangelicals believe that our main goal is to eliminate doctrinal distinctives and to emphasize unity among those claiming to be believers.

One of the basic ideas of today's philosophy of ecumenical evangelism is that love is more important than doctrine. Ecumenical evangelists say that doctrine divides, whereas love unifies.

What does the Bible say? Is it true that in the New Testament love is more important than doctrine, or truth?
In the so-called "love chapter," we are told: "Now abide faith, hope, love, these three; but the greatest of these is love [agape]" (1 Cor. 13:13). Some say – "That settles it: love is supreme!"

But when we examine this chapter more carefully, we discover that truth is also mentioned. In v.6 we are told that love "rejoices in the truth." In other words, faith, hope and love are virtues, but truth has an altogether different status. It is the frame of reference, the foundation, the atmosphere without which virtues such as love cannot exist at all.

Love "rejoices in the truth." Why? Because without truth to define, interpret, protect, guide and channel it, love can become a total disaster. We dare not place truth on the same level as virtues.

Virtues would shrivel up and die if it were not for truth. Here is an example from the natural world. We cannot imagine life on this planet without water. Water is absolutely essential for life – as long as it stays within proper channels, such as canals, aqueduct and pipes. But when water gets out of control, it is the second greatest catastrophe that can happen to this planet – second only to fire. On the one hand, it is an absolute blessing, but on the other hand it can be a total disaster. So it is with love.

God's Definition of Love
Love without divine definition (God's revealed channels within which it must flow) becomes the most horrible thing on earth. It can destroy human beings by the millions and can be reduced to satanic sentimentalism.
Love, as defined by God, is doing for a person that which is best for him in the light of eternity, no matter what the cost may be. Somehow, however, when it comes to world evangelism, many people have forgotten God's definitions and have fallen into sentimentalism.

Consider some key Scriptures which illustrate the distinction between love and truth: "Then Jesus said to those Jews who believed Him, 'If you abide in My word, you are My disciples indeed. And you shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free'" (John 8:31, 32).

Ultimate freedom may only be achieved by total submission – unconditional surrender to truth. There is nothing here about love.

Love Obeys the Truth
There are many who speak glowingly of their love for Jesus Christ and for lost men. But in John 14, He stresses that obedience to truth is the best form of love: "If you love Me, keep My commandments. He who has My commandments and keeps them, it is he who loves Me. If anyone loves Me, he will keep My word; and My Father will love him, and We will come to him and make Our home with him. He who does not love Me does not keep My words" (John 14:15, 21, 23, 24).

This is what we call the acid test of love: Does a man obey the commandments of the Lord Jesus Christ? It makes no difference how much we talk about our love if we do not obey Christ. It is obedience that counts, not words. Obedience without love is theoretically possible, but love without obedience is, in practice, impossible. It is a satanic substitute for God's plan.

Love Teaches the Truth

John 21 gives an example of one who said much about his love for Jesus. But when it came to obedience, it was not there. When the pressure came, his resolution collapsed and he denied his Lord. After the resurrection of Jesus, our Lord confronted Peter lovingly, but in truth: "'Simon, son of Jonah, do you love Me more than these?' He said to Him, 'Yes, Lord; You know that I love You.' He said to him, 'Feed My lambs… Tend My sheep… Feed My sheep'" (John 21:15-17).

How do we express love to the Lord Jesus according to the lesson of this confrontation? By feeding His sheep – teaching His people and training them in "the whole counsel of God" (Acts 20:27) – as He also commanded in the Great Commission: "Teaching them to observe all things that I have commanded you" (Matt. 28:20).

Love Leaves Nothing Out
This leads to a consideration of Acts 20, where we find a good example of an apostle who obeyed the Great Commission. He said nothing about love in this final appeal to the Ephesians. But he exhibited supreme love toward them.

What did he do for them? Did he say, "I love you, I love you, I love you"? Acts 20:26, 27 gives the answer: "Therefore I testify to you this day that I am innocent of the blood of all men. For I have not shunned to declare to you the whole counsel of God."

The result was "that all who dwelt in Asia heard the word of the Lord Jesus, both Jews and Greeks" (Acts 19:10). Paul based his evangelism on sound doctrinal instruction. That is God's key for world evangelism.
Here is another example. The words of Paul in Gal. 1:6 ("I marvel that you are turning away so soon from Him who called you in the grace of Christ, to a different gospel") were blunt but necessary, as he says in Gal. 4:16, in order to "tell [them] the truth."

Our Lord tells us how we can achieve the perfect balance. Note the gifts God gave the true church, the body of Christ, for service and ministry in this age: "And He Himself gave some to be apostles, some prophets, some evangelists, and some pastors and teachers" (Eph. 4:11).

Every one of these gifts in the form of a person involves a doctrinal person. They are all totally involved in truth. All were engaged in preaching, teaching and discipling in the light of revealed truth. There is no teaching whatsoever in the New Testament suggesting that love is more important than doctrine or truth.

Love is referred to in Eph. 4:15, where we read of "speaking the truth in love." Love is the motivation, manner and method of speaking truth. Love is the servant of truth. It makes it easier to receive, absorb and digest. But it must never be allowed to eclipse or set aside truth. God's truth can never change, but God's truth in the hands of human messengers is a very delicate and fragile thing.

Love Resists Poisons
There is no living system known to science that can survive without an intricate, elaborate and constantly-used system to purify itself from poisons. This is also true of God's church. It is impossible for any spiritual organization to survive unless it has a system to purify itself from poisonous influences.

We need to remember that we are in a highly-poisoned environment. We are immersed in satan's world. He has constant access to every servant of God through his fallen nature. Thus, how can the relative success of a Christian's ministry be evaluated apart from God's infallible, inerrant Word? Apart from it, who is to determine what success means?

Love Protects the Flock
Did the Lord Jesus encourage His disciples to listen sympathetically to other religious leaders of that time? His answer is given in Matt. 7:15: "Beware of false prophets, who come to you in sheep's clothing, but inwardly they are ravenous wolves." Yet we are told today by neoevangelicals that we should both teach and study in liberal universities and colleges of theology.

But there is one thing worse than division, and that is peace with compromise. Truth is infinitely more important than the false unity of the world.

Love Corrects Error
We see this in that, for the sake of truth, even families will be divided by our Lord so that at least someone within that unit can perpetuate God's truth (cf. Luke 12:51-53). In Rom. 16:17 Paul states: "Now I urge you, brethren, note those who cause divisions and offenses, contrary to the doctrine which you learned, and avoid them." If we honor and love the Lord Jesus we will watch for anything or anyone that may destroy His truth. We will avoid such people.

When there is a rotten apple in a barrel, the bad one never gets better, but the good ones go rotten. It is the same with a good life or good doctrine, which can always be contaminated by a bad environment. A mere association of the good with the bad will never make the bad thing better. The good gets worse; the bad does not improve (cf. 1 Cor. 15:33).

Is it right for doctrinal purity to be blatantly submerged for the sake of worldly ecclesiastical unity? Surely this is a total denial of the Holy Spirit's Word through the Scriptures.

May God give us wisdom as we apply His truth in our fallen world – with love.

Copyright © 2011 by Whitcomb Ministries, Inc.
Scripture taken from the New King James Version®.
Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission.
Distributed by

Biblical Christianity says: I didn't get anybody's permission, I just copied and pasted...agreeing wholeheartedly with it all.  I wish I had written it! 

Saturday, September 17, 2011

Biblical Christianity re: The Thief on the Cross & Baptism

Ex.33: 19.  And he said, I will make all my goodness pass before thee, and I will proclaim the name of the Lord before thee; and will be gracious to whom I will be gracious, and will shew mercy on whom I will shew mercy.

Prov.16: 6.  By mercy and truth iniquity is purged: and by the fear of the Lord men depart from evil.
Prov.28: 13.  He that covereth his sins shall not prosper: but whoso confesseth and forsaketh them shall have mercy.


Matt.26: 27.  And he took the cup, and gave thanks, and gave it to them, saying, Drink ye all of it;
 28.  For this is my blood of the new testament, which is shed for many for the remission of sins.
 29.  But I say unto you, I will not drink henceforth of this fruit of the vine, until that day when I drink it new with you in my Father's kingdom.  (Interesting side note: Jesus, whom people accused of being a “wine-bibber” because he drank wine, will drink wine again when he returns.  Apparently there isn’t wine in heaven.  Still wanna preach abstinence?)

Rom.3: 23.  For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God;
 24.  Being justified freely by his grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus:
 25.  Whom God hath set forth to be a propitiation through faith in his blood, to declare his righteousness for the remission of sins that are past, through the forbearance of God;

Luke 23: 39.  And one of the malefactors which were hanged railed on him, saying, If thou be Christ, save thyself and us.
 40.  But the other answering rebuked him, saying, Dost not thou fear God, seeing thou art in the same condemnation?
 41.  And we indeed justly; for we receive the due reward of our deeds: but this man hath done nothing amiss.
 42.  And he said unto Jesus, Lord, remember me when thou comest into thy kingdom.
* 43.  And Jesus said unto him, Verily I say unto thee, To day shalt thou be with me in paradise.
 44.  And it was about the sixth hour, and there was a darkness over all the earth until the ninth hour.
 45.  And the sun was darkened, and the veil of the temple was rent in the midst.
 46.  And when Jesus had cried with a loud voice, he said, Father, into thy hands I commend my spirit: and having said thus, he gave up the ghost.

*This was spoken by the creator God of the Old Testament, while still in the Old Testament.  The New Testament doesn’t start until after Jesus dies.  As sovereign Jehovah in the flesh, Jesus forgave and offered mercy on whoever He wanted to.

The Book called the Bible, is a collection of 66 individual books.  The “Old Testament” set of collected books ends with Zechariah, and the “New  Testament “ set of collected writings begins with Matthew.  Because of the arrangement of the books, many think the NT salvation began with the birth of Jesus,  but we are saved by the gospel of the death, burial and resurrection of Jesus (1 Cor.15:1-4)   The actual beginning of the biblical New Testament began on the day of Jesus’ resurrection.  The church was born according to the “New Testament” on the day of Pentecost.

The argument that baptism isn’t necessary because the thief on the cross was never baptized is invalid because he died during the time of the Old Testament. and was saved according to Old Testament mercy.

Heb.9: 15.  And for this cause he is the mediator of the new testament, that by means of death, for the redemption of the transgressions that were under the first testament, they which are called might receive the promise of eternal inheritance.
 16.  For where a testament is, there must also of necessity be the death of the testator.
 17.  For a testament is of force after men are dead: otherwise it is of no strength at all while the testator liveth.
 18.  Whereupon neither the first testament was dedicated without blood.
 19.  For when Moses had spoken every precept to all the people according to the law, he took the blood of calves and of goats, with water, and scarlet wool, and hyssop, and sprinkled both the book, and all the people,
 20.  Saying, This is the blood of the testament which God hath enjoined unto you.
 21.  Moreover he sprinkled with blood both the tabernacle, and all the vessels of the ministry.
 22.  And almost all things are by the law purged with blood; and without shedding of blood is no remission.
 23.  It was therefore necessary that the patterns of things in the heavens should be purified with these; but the heavenly things themselves with better sacrifices than these.
 24.  For Christ is not entered into the holy places made with hands, which are the figures of the true; but into heaven itself, now to appear in the presence of God for us:
 25.  Nor yet that he should offer himself often, as the high priest entereth into the holy place every year with blood of others;
 26.  For then must he often have suffered since the foundation of the world: but now once in the end of the world hath he appeared to put away sin by the sacrifice of himself.
 27.  And as it is appointed unto men once to die, but after this the judgment:
 28.  So Christ was once offered to bear the sins of many; and unto them that look for him shall he appear the second time without sin unto salvation.

Since this is true, it needs to be understood that when Jesus talked with the Pharisees about their need to pay tithes…they were under the law, law keepers.  When Paul talked about men here collecting tithes…he was referring to the priesthood that existed until 70 AD, when Titus destroyed the temple.

Matt.23: 23.  Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye pay tithe of mint and anise and cummin, and have omitted the weightier matters of the law, judgment, mercy, and faith: these ought ye to have done, and not to leave the other undone.

Luke 18: 11.  The Pharisee stood and prayed thus with himself, God, I thank thee, that I am not as other men are, extortioners, unjust, adulterers, or even as this publican.
 12.  I fast twice in the week, I give tithes of all that I possess.
 13.  And the publican, standing afar off, would not lift up so much as his eyes unto heaven, but smote upon his breast, saying, God be merciful to me a sinner.
 14.  I tell you, this man went down to his house justified rather than the other: for every one that exalteth himself shall be abased; and he that humbleth himself shall be exalted.

Heb.7: 5.  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:
 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.  Read the next post.

Monday, September 12, 2011

Biblical Christianity regarding TITHING

Why the Tithe?

Deut. 18:
1.  The priests the Levites, and all the tribe of Levi, shall have no part nor inheritance with Israel: they shall eat the offerings of the Lord made by fire, and his inheritance.
 2.  Therefore shall they have no inheritance among their brethren: the Lord is their inheritance, as he hath said unto them.
 3.  And this shall be the priest's due from the people, from them that offer a sacrifice, whether it be ox or sheep; and they shall give unto the priest the shoulder, and the two cheeks, and the maw.
 4.  The firstfruit also of thy corn, of thy wine, and of thine oil, and the first of the fleece of thy sheep, shalt thou give him.
 5.  For the Lord thy God hath chosen him out of all thy tribes, to stand to minister in the name of the Lord, him and his sons for ever.

Numbers 18:
5.  And ye shall keep the charge of the sanctuary, and the charge of the altar: that there be no wrath any more upon the children of Israel.
 6.  And I, behold, I have taken your brethren the Levites from among the children of Israel: to you they are given as a gift for the Lord, to do the service of the tabernacle of the congregation.
 7.  Therefore thou and thy sons with thee shall keep your priest's office for every thing of the altar, and within the vail; and ye shall serve: I have given your priest's office unto you as a service of gift: and the stranger that cometh nigh shall be put to death.
 8.  And the Lord spake unto Aaron, Behold, I also have given thee the charge of mine heave offerings of all the hallowed things of the children of Israel; unto thee have I given them by reason of the anointing, and to thy sons, by an ordinance for ever.
 9.  This shall be thine of the most holy things, reserved from the fire: every oblation of theirs, every meat offering of theirs, and every sin offering of theirs, and every trespass offering of theirs which they shall render unto me, shall be most holy for thee and for thy sons.
 10.  In the most holy place shalt thou eat it; every male shall eat it: it shall be holy unto thee.
 11.  And this is thine; the heave offering of their gift, with all the wave offerings of the children of Israel: I have given them unto thee, and to thy sons and to thy daughters with thee, by a statute for ever: every one that is clean in thy house shall eat of it.
 12.  All the best of the oil, and all the best of the wine, and of the wheat, the firstfruits of them which they shall offer unto the Lord, them have I given thee.
 13.  And whatsoever is first ripe in the land, which they shall bring unto the Lord, shall be thine; every one that is clean in thine house shall eat of it.
 14.  Every thing devoted in Israel shall be thine.

17.  But the firstling of a cow, or the firstling of a sheep, or the firstling of a goat, thou shalt not redeem; they are holy: thou shalt sprinkle their blood upon the altar, and shalt burn their fat for an offering made by fire, for a sweet savour unto the Lord.
 18.  And the flesh of them shall be thine, as the wave breast and as the right shoulder are thine.
 19.  All the heave offerings of the holy things, which the children of Israel offer unto the Lord, have I given thee, and thy sons and thy daughters with thee, by a statute for ever: it is a covenant of salt for ever before the Lord unto thee and to thy seed with thee.
20.  And the Lord spake unto Aaron, Thou shalt have no inheritance in their land, neither shalt thou have any part among them: I am thy part and thine inheritance among the children of Israel.
 21.  And, behold, I have given the children of Levi all the tenth in Israel for an inheritance, for their service which they serve, even the service of the tabernacle of the congregation.

31.  And ye shall eat it in every place, ye and your households: for it is your reward for your service in the tabernacle of the congregation.

Was the tithe only for the priesthood?

12.  When thou hast made an end of tithing all the tithes of thine increase the third year, which is the year of tithing, and hast given it unto the Levite, the stranger, the fatherless, and the widow, that they may eat within thy gates, and be filled;
 13.  Then thou shalt say before the Lord thy God, I have brought away the hallowed things out of mine house, and also have given them unto the Levite, and unto the stranger, to the fatherless, and to the widow, according to all thy commandments which thou hast commanded me: I have not transgressed thy commandments, neither have I forgotten them.

After receiving the tithes from the Israelites, the priests in turn were required to also give ten percent of what was given to them.[*9] [Nu18:21-28] Every third year the tithe was to be reserved as a festival tithe and everything brought for the Levites was shared so strangers, orphans, widows and the poor could come and eat and be content [*10][De 14:27-29; 15:1-7; 26:12-13, etc] In fact, the one festival and related tithes was provided for the people to go and spend the tithe on purchasing anything they lusted after or desired, by commandment of God.[*11] [Deut 14:22-27]
Rev.1: 6.  And hath made us kings and priests unto God and his Father; to him be glory and dominion for ever and ever. Amen.  (Not clergy only)

How Did the OT Law of the Tithe get into the NT Church?
(all of the information for this section  is from:
The Catholic church in fact, viewed the replacement of the Levite priests with sacred ministers. The New Advent article on Tithes, stated that:

"...In the Christian Church, as those who serve the altar should live by the altar (1 Cor., ix, 13), provision of some kind had necessarily to be made for the sacred ministers. In the beginning this was supplied by the spontaneous offerings of the faithful. In the course of time, however, as the Church expanded and various institutions arose, it became necessary to make laws which would insure the proper and permanent support of the clergy. The payment of tithes was adopted from the Old Law, and early writers speak of it as a divine ordinance and an obligation of conscience. The earliest positive legislation on the subject seems to be contained in the letter of the bishops assembled at Tours in 567 and the cannons of the Council of Macon in 585. In course of time, we find the payment of tithes made obligatory by ecclesiastical enactments in all the countries of christendom. The Church looked on this payment as "of divine law, since tithes were instituted not by man but by the Lord Himself ...In English statute law proper, however, the first mention of tithes is to be found in the Statute of Westminister of 1285. ...There are many exempted from the paying of tithes: spiritual corporations, the owners of uncultivated lands, those who have acquired lawful prescription, or heave obtained a legal renunciation, or received a privilege from the pope. At first, the tithe was payable to the bishop, but later the right passed by common law to parish priests...." [bolding added]

Please note that according to Catholic sources based on historical documentation, the saints including any leadership were supported solely by freewill giving, not the tithe, from the time of the Apostles and for about 500 years, until the Catholic church reinstituted it. They in fact became the appointed priesthood and in many places that were controlled by the Catholic church it became a state or provincial law that tithing was required. In fact in Quebec Canada it remains a provincial law that the tithe is required.

The questions become, that since the tithe was instituted under the Mosaic Law which was given to the Hebrew people, is it to be kept, while the other Laws are not? Are the Hebraic Roots leaders the "new" Levite priesthood, or is that authority and job aligned to "Christian pastors", which some Christians claim also replaces the Levite priesthood? 

If the Law of Moses is to be kept for tithing, then the rest of the Law must also be kept, according to the Word of God. That includes the food Laws, clean/unclean, circumcision, stoning rebellious children and stoning those caught in adultery, which includes far too many in leadership and outside of leadership. 

Galatians 3:7 Know ye therefore that they which are of faith, the same are the children of Abraham. 
8 And the scripture, foreseeing that God would justify the heathen through faith, preached before the gospel unto Abraham, saying, In thee shall all nations be blessed. 
9 So then they which be of faith are blessed with faithful Abraham.
10 For as many as are of the works of the law are under the curse: for it is written, Cursed is every one that continueth not in all things which are written in the book of the law to do them.
11 But that no man is justified by the law
in the sight of God, it is evident: for, The just shall live by faith.
12 And the law is not of faith: but, The man that doeth them shall live in them.
13 Christ hath redeemed us from the curse of the law, being made a curse for us: for it is written, Cursed is every one that hangeth on a tree:

New Testament on Tithing
Matt.23: 23.  Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye pay tithe of mint and anise and cummin, and have omitted the weightier matters of the law, judgment, mercy, and faith: these ought ye to have done, and not to leave the other undone.  (LAW)

Luke 11:42 42.  But woe unto you, Pharisees! for ye tithe mint and rue and all manner of herbs, and pass over judgment and the love of God: these ought ye to have done, and not to leave the other undone. (LAW-same instance)

Luke 18: 10.  Two men went up into the temple to pray; the one a Pharisee, and the other a publican.
 11.  The Pharisee stood and prayed thus with himself, God, I thank thee, that I am not as other men are, extortioners, unjust, adulterers, or even as this publican.
 12.  I fast twice in the week, I give tithes of all that I possess.  (LAW)

Hebrews 7: 1.  For this Melchisedec, king of Salem, priest of the most high God, who met Abraham returning from the slaughter of the kings, and blessed him;
 2.  To whom also Abraham gave a tenth part of all; first being by interpretation King of righteousness, and after that also King of Salem, which is, King of peace;
 3.  Without father, without mother, without descent, having neither beginning of days, nor end of life; but made like unto the Son of God; abideth a priest continually.
 4.  Now consider how great this man was, unto whom even the patriarch Abraham gave the tenth of the spoils.
 5.  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; (under the LAW) but there he receiveth them, of whom it is witnessed that he liveth.

This scripture is the favorite of many who teach the NT church is to pay tithes…not because of the law, but because Abraham paid to Melchisedec a tenth of the spoils of war one time….BEFORE IT BECAME LAW!  That’s the argument…tithes predates the law and so supersedes the law.   Not because he was instructed to by God , but because he chose to.

Animal sacrifice predates the law too, does that supersede the law?  Nobody that teaches a required tithe teaches a continued animal sacrifice.  But, it predates the law!  Why chose one over the other?  Is it perhaps because the preacher or organization lives off of the tithe?  The Levites had no other means of support.  They obtained no inheritance with Israel.   Do preachers today claim to have no inheritance with the rest of the church?  Hardly.

Other Used NT Scriptures to support Tithing.

1 Cor. 9: 4.  Have we not power to eat and to drink?
 5.  Have we not power to lead about a sister, a wife, as well as other apostles, and as the brethren of the Lord, and Cephas?
 6.  Or I only and Barnabas, have not we power to forbear working?
 7.  Who goeth a warfare any time at his own charges? who planteth a vineyard, and eateth not of the fruit thereof? or who feedeth a flock, and eateth not of the milk of the flock?
 8.  Say I these things as a man? or saith not the law the same also?
 9.  For it is written in the law of Moses, Thou shalt not muzzle the mouth of the ox that treadeth out the corn. Doth God take care for oxen?
 10.  Or saith he it altogether for our sakes? For our sakes, no doubt, this is written: that he that ploweth should plow in hope; and that he that thresheth in hope should be partaker of his hope.
 11.  If we have sown unto you spiritual things, is it a great thing if we shall reap your carnal things?
 12.  If others be partakers of this power over you, are not we rather? Nevertheless we have not used this power; but suffer all things, lest we should hinder the gospel of Christ.
 13.  Do ye not know that they which minister about holy things live of the things of the temple? and they which wait at the altar are partakers with the altar?
 14.  Even so hath the Lord ordained that they which preach the gospel should live of the gospel.

But they rarely teach the rest of this line of thought…

 15.  But I have used none of these things: neither have I written these things, that it should be so done unto me: for it were better for me to die, than that any man should make my glorying void.
 16.  For though I preach the gospel, I have nothing to glory of: for necessity is laid upon me; yea, woe is unto me, if I preach not the gospel!
 17.  For if I do this thing willingly, I have a reward: but if against my will, a dispensation of the gospel is committed unto me.
 18.  What is my reward then? Verily that, when I preach the gospel, I may make the gospel of Christ without charge, that I abuse not my power in the gospel.

So, did Paul mention the law of the tithe? No.  Did Paul teach that ministers are not to support themselves? No.  Did Paul teach that ministers are not to be condemned for living off of charity.  Yes.

Acts 18: 3.  And because he was of the same craft, he abode with them, and wrought: for by their occupation they were tentmakers.  (Here we see Paul supported himself at this time as a tentmaker.)

Paul goes on to say…
Acts 20: 33.  I have coveted no man's silver, or gold, or apparel.
 34.  Yea, ye yourselves know, that these hands have ministered unto my necessities, and to them that were with me.
 35.  I have shewed you all things, how that so labouring ye ought to support the weak, and to remember the words of the Lord Jesus, how he said, It is more blessed to give than to receive.

Acts 28: 30.  And Paul dwelt two whole years in his own hired house, and received all that came in unto him,  (apparently Paul wasn’t supplied a parsonage, which many today think they somehow deserve)

Another popular verse to support the tithe…
Gal.6: 6.  Let him that is taught in the word communicate unto him that teacheth in all good things.
 (They teach this means to pay tithes)

Communicate:Strong's Exhaustive Concordance

Romanized  koinoneo

Pronounced koy-no-neh'-o from GSN2844; to share with others (objectively or subjectively): KJV--communicate, distribute, be partaker.   No mention of money or tithes or any amount. 

Philippians 4: 14.  Notwithstanding ye have well done, that ye did communicate with my affliction.
 15.  Now ye Philippians know also, that in the beginning of the gospel, when I departed from Macedonia, no church communicated with me as concerning giving and receiving, but ye only.  (Did that mean that Paul taught them to tithe and they rebelled?  It gives no indication of that rendering.  It does seem to indicate a purely voluntary giving.)

And finally,…
1 Timothy 5: 17.  Let the elders that rule well be counted worthy of double honour, especially they who labour in the word and doctrine.
 18.  For the scripture saith, Thou shalt not muzzle the ox that treadeth out the corn. And, The labourer is worthy of his reward.  (No mention of tithes or a requirement to financially support the ministry.)

I believe if you love the Lord, love the truth, and love the ministry you will most likely be moved with a desire to support the efforts of the gospel.  I do not believe that believing this makes it acceptable criteria for teaching what the NT does not teach, that the tithe is a requirement for membership in the body, or any body of believers.  I don't believe it is a legitimate prohibition against voting as a member in good standing.  Having the baptism of the holy spirit is the only requirement for being in "good standing".  

1 Cor.12: 13.  For by one Spirit are we all baptized into one body, whether we be Jews or Gentiles, whether we be bond or free; and have been all made to drink into one Spirit.

Friday, September 9, 2011

How To Be Saved & How to Live Saved

These buttons don't work, but to get to the real website that displays this selection, just click here.
I don't endorse the teaching found here on tithing, but otherwise agree with  the doctrine. Fred.


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...