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**Do you have history in the Worldwide Church of God? Are you still attending one of its offshoots? Do you see cracks in the doctrine and want more information, or do you not know why you're still there anymore? Is there a hole in your heart and just don't know why God isn't granting you the happiness you were promised would come through tithing and following a man? Do you find that no matter how hard you try you cannot live up to your own standards, and you feel like a failure? Do you find your pursuit of God to be based on fear?
Investigate with me the answers to these questions and more!

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

50 Truths - Part 3

I've done enough in my two previous posts in this series, 50 Truths - Part 1, and 50 Truths - Part 2, to show the overall list of 50 items is spurious; now I wish to go through some of the individual "truths".

#3 First Tithe To God
I will have you know that all things belong to God (PSA. 50: 10-12).  To say the first tithe was God's is correct (LEV. 27: 30); inasmuch as it existed, and all that exists belongs to God.  But there is no special command that says "Give the first tithe to God; He gives it to His ministers." This argument has gone absolutely uninvestigated for decades.  Who does the tithe go to by law? The Levites (NUM. 18: 21), and the Levites alone!  It was a heave offering, given to the Levites, because they were not allowed to inherit nor own property (NUM. 18: 24).  Do these "ministers" own anything?  Why, YES!  Are these "ministers" Levites?  NO!  Then they violate very the law of God which they claim to teach.  Now, where in the New Testament does God give tithes to the ministers? Nowhere. Every possible example of the New Covenant shows giving is voluntary and motivated by the Spirit. In Hebrews 7, Paul shows the greatness of Christ in that even Levi tithed to Him; however the entire priesthood of Aaron & Levi is gone, thus there was a change in the law (HEB. 7: 12).  Paul never says we must tithe because Abraham tithed.  That is a deliberate misreading; Abraham never tithed regularly, he gave one time a tenth of war spoils. Paul was showing the greatness of Christ and His ability to replace the Levites, not continue them.

#4 The Government of God
If the claim is that government of God was restored at the "Philadelphia era", then this claim is false since the government preferred by Herbert Armstrong matched that of the Roman Catholic Church - one man, top-down, heirarchy.  He taught your very salvation depended on your faith in it.  He even claimed it was the one thing the Catholics got right. Meanwhile, he called them the "Great Whore".  Would you be surprised to learn that in the late 1930's, Herbert Armstrong excoriated this very type of government which he himself later adopted, because it came from the Catholics, and that your very salvation depended upon not participating in it?  Read his article entitled "Did Christ Reorganize the Church" from the February 1939 Good News magazine.  Keep in mind as you read that how, in 1933, only 6 years previous, HWA was one of the very 70 against which he teaches.
I forgot to mention... Ellen G. White also practiced that top-down, heirarchical government, before the official formation of the SDA church, which was supposedly introduced to HWA for the first time in 1,800 years.  That unofficially makes this a "Sardis Era" "truth".

#17 The Identity of Modern Israel
Not only is this "truth" not true (see my posts for more info), it was not restored to HWA - he plagierized it from J. H. Allen for crying out loud! The idea is called Brittish-Israelism or Anglo-Israelism, and it's hundreds of years old.

#18 Prophecy Can Be Understood Only If You Know Who Are The Modern Nations of Israel
To quote Herbert Armstrong, "POPPYCOCK!"  Prophecy can only be an effective tool for fear control, and profit, if false prophets can make absurd claims like this.

#19 The Annual Festivals
If the annual festivals were only revealed to Herbert Armstrong, then who are the Jews?  Why doesn't HWA's version of the Holy Days resemble the Jews' in almost any way?  For example, Tabernacles - when did HWA build a booth, and why didn't he?  HWA wasn't in any way the first to teach the holy days to Christians.  Like I said in an earlier post, the Old Covenant holy days were debated since the 1800's. That's well before HWA was called! If they were only revealed at this late date, then they aren't all that necessary, are they?  What I'll let you in on is that from the start the annual holy days were debated, and they were rejected because Christ has fulfilled them!

#20 The Authority of the Sacred Calendar Preserved by the Jews
Time and again HWA depends on the Jews for authority in one area, then completely disagrees with them in others.  Once again I will direct you towards the Feast of Tabernacles as an example of that.  If the aothority of the Jews was so sure in the calendar, why are debates over the calendar arguably the most divisive issue in the xCOGs today?  Tell me, did you notice Shavuot (Pentecost) was on Monday, June 9th this year (2008)?  Odd, eh?

#21 Second and Third Tithe
And again, HWA, who in one place holds the Jews up as keeping the oracles of God, here disagrees with the Jews.  The Jews never kept the second and third tithe in the way HWA taught them.  Some debate there even was a second and third tithe.  But let's look more closely at how the third tithe was supposed to be used (DEU. 26: 12-13).  Yet how was it used in the WCG?  It went to the ministers.

#22 There Has Been An Apostacy That Is Unprecedented In The Church of God
On one hand, this is true.  The "Church of God" really only dates back to around 1884.  However, since I know RW and HWA see the "Church of God" as a series of physical organizations dating from 33AD, I'll just play with that for a second.  Now, let's think for one minute - why are there eras if each and every one of them didn't "fall away"?  Well, that kinda destroys this whole claim, doesn't it?  "This was the biggest of all," he would say.  No it isn't.  Read the history.

#23 The Man of Sin is Joseph Tkatch, Sr.
Impossible.  Don't just read II Thessalonians 2: 4.  The man of sin is destroyed by Christ at His coming (II THS. 2: 8).  Joseph Tkatch, Sr. is deceaced, God rest his soul, and Christ isn't here yet.

#25 The Abomination of Desolation is what Joseph Tkatch Did in the Church
I don't know which of these "truths" to call "the biggest load of crap I've ever heard" because the next one only seems to out do the previous.  If Joseph Tkatch, Sr. initiated the Abomination of Desolation, spoken of in Daniel, that makes him the King of the North (DAN. 11: 31).  Why didn't those who were in Judea flee (MATT. 24: 15-22)?  I mean, it clearly says in Matthew 24: 22 "And unless those days were shortened, no flesh would be saved; but for the elect’s sake those days will be shortened."  Joseph Tkatch, Sr. passed away in 1995!  That was over a decade ago!!!

#32 Exekiel 5 Has Been Fulfilled In The Church
I used to believe this.  I used to accept that you can take an Old Testament prophecy about Israel and just substitute "United States" or "Church of God" at will.  No longer.

#36 No One Goes To Heaven, Not Even The 144,000
First I'll be anally retentive by quoting Acts 1: 9 "9 Now when He had spoken these things, while they watched, He was taken up, and a cloud received Him out of their sight."  Then I'll be a little more specific by referring you to Revelation 14: 1-3, and again by referring you to Revelation 15.

#40 Matthew 24: 14 Was Completely Fulfilled By Herbert Armstrong
Read the last part of Matthew 24: 14 "and then the end will come."  HWA died in 1986!  Is God a liar?  It would appear, according to RW, He is.  I disagree.

I am actually getting tired of going through this list.  Please excuse me if I discontinue updating my list at this point.  Everything after #40 becomes so distasteful to me, I feel I can hardly continue on in a right frame of mind.  I will leave my list here as is.  Perhaps I will revise it at a later date.
Hopefully this list, and the first two parts of this thread, have been helpful.

4 comments:

Seeker Of Truth said...

xHWA,

You burned out at number 40. I fully understand how you feel. The truths (the real truths) about these are so very clear and obvious that it is just completely unbearable to read them! I've been experiencing this since I began my blog.

Bill said...

"Who does the tithe go to by law? The Levites (NUM. 18: 21), and the Levites alone! It was a heave offering, given to the Levites, because they were not allowed to inherit nor own property (NUM. 18: 24)."

The Levites owned property. They owned the land that was within close proximity to the cities wherein they dwelt. Also, the tithe was also given to the widow and orphan in the 3rd year, and was also used by the people for use in the fall festival.

Bill Hohmann

xHWA said...

Well, Bill, I think we have another semantic disagreement. ;)

I would suppose it comes down to how you define "own". The Levites were not allowed to inherit. God is their inheritance. Numbers 18 goes over that. 'No inheritance' appears to mean 'nothing to pass down'. Everything they had, they were given. Even their food. Their whole life was supposed to be dedicated to officiating and teaching about God and such related things.

Did they have homes and possessions? Sure. I suppose that means they "owned" things. But the entire arrangement was not as you and I are used to. The tithes were supposed to compensate for that fact. They most certainly were not meant to make the Levites overly wealthy, as we see ministers wealthy today. HWA made hundreds of thousands of dollars in salary alone each year (not counting several streams of additional revenue). Ron Weinland and his ilk live in very nice homes. There were ministers in Worldwide that drove Rolls Royce while the tithe payers could barely afford meat. That is NOT what tithes were designed to bring about.

Now, I don't suppose it was carried out as God said it should be. God said lots of things the people ignored (even so today). So when we see Levites in history "owning" things, I wouldn't believe that was done in perfect harmony with the law. Just as when I see ministers, who are not Levites, taking tithes, that appears obvious to me to be against the clear word of the law.

xHWA said...

"and was also used by the people for use in the fall festival."

There is a common misconception. The "second" tithes was not for the fall festival only. There were three pilgrimage festivals for which the people had to save, not just one. Those were Unleavened Bread, Pentecost, and Tabernacles.

Deuteronomy 16, especially verse 16, which was read to extract offerings (contrary to the law) at every holy day, makes this clear enough.

HWA (again contrary to the law) only taught travel was required on one of those three. Thus people only think of "fall festival" when they think of "second tithe". But that is not correct.