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Monday, July 23, 2012

Where am I to pay my tithe offerring?


Someone asked me this question one day. Being a preacher I simply told him you pay tithes at your church. This same person followed the question he had asked me with this statement. Which church? I don't go regularly to a church, yet I pay my tithes. This confused me, for a moment then I remembered that people do this because they believe in tithing, they just did not make up their minds about attending church. If you are like this person, I want you to consider something. When we go out to eat at a resturant, we pay when we are served. We never pay for the food and not go out to the restuarant we have chosen to eat. Surely some one will enjoy a free dinner on your generousity! That is what some people are doing, They have sent their tithes to a ministry or a church and have not visited the ministry or the church. Some one else will enjoy the benefits of hearring the message on your account.

Now the man was not finished because he wanted to know which church to give it to because he did not want to give it to a church that he did not agree with its theological view on the scriptures. Surely I understood this. It is like paying in advance for food at one fast food location and attempting to eat at another because you did not like the food in the location you sent your money to. No body would do that. The Bible is clear, the tithes is the Lords and it must be given in support of God's work in the earth. Where do you give it largely depends upon your situation, if you can not regularly attend church and receive your direct benefit for your gift which is the counsel from the word of God for your life. Then the tithe should go to the man of God closest to you that is ministering in your life. I like what one TV preacher said concerning giving to his ministry, he said, " I offer to you the opportunity to give to this ministry, If you received spiritual enlightment and education from this ministry. Keep in mind this ministry is supported by you the viewer and this telecast would not be possible without your financial support, I thank you in advance for your generous support, you are making it happen"

The key is elightment and education, not just a good feeling or good music. If the man of God is ministerring life into your life there you should offer the tithe offerring. Scripturally speaking this is what the bible instructs in the Law that if the way be to long for you to give the tithe offerring, they had the right to turn it into money (we do not have that problem in our day) and send or bring it themselves to where the name of the Lord is. The place where the name of the Lord is, is the place where the Man of God is teaching the word of God. Whether that be in a hotel, hospital, basement of a home, a church edifice, classroom where ever you are being educated and enlightened by the man of God. That is where you give your tithe offering.

Now the only exception to this is when you are in a situation that there is no man of God teaching the word of God in reasonable distance from your home. In this case you may start a separate account for the tithe offering and when someone in need comes to your home you can use the tithe account monies to assist them. This is also scriptural but it is not the norm. The tithe offerring is for the blessing of God and his word to reach others, by you participating in giving it God promises to open the windows of Heaven and pour out blessings upon your life. These are the places you can pay the tithe offerring and still be scriptuallly correct and in the will of God.
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The Sunday Sabbath


Why do some Christian observe Sunday as the day of rest and other observe saturday as the day of rest? Who is right? Who is wrong. This is what this blog is about today.
The source of the confusion is the lack of understanding of the reckoning of the time and the collusion of the two types of recknoning that is involved in the biblical record.
Which are solar and lunar.
This understanding will clarify many of the references in regard to the ressurection of the Lord Jesus Christ. Let us, look at the first one in Mathew 28:1, which in the KJV of the Bible seems very confusing because many readers assume that the sabbath mentioned in the text seem to occur on the first day of the week. Every bible student knows that the sabbath day which is the seventh day, the last of the week (see Genesis chapters 1&2) and no way can a seventh biblical day be the first biblical day. If we believe that then 6 hours of a day are colluded between the two days, if we accept that rational. However that is how the passage reads, if we look at it ignoring the obvious. Which is, that Mathew was trying to convey to his readers that two distinct reckonings of time converged at the greatest event in human history. Those two reckonings of time are solar and lunar. You see, the biblical week is Lunar, meaning, that night fall begins a new day and the following daylight period concludes the 24 hour lunar day period. This explains Mathews discription of the time of occurance of the ressurection was in the end of the sabbath day. Now wait, He also says that was dawning toward the first day of the week. A few things was going on here. Either the sabath mentioned in the passage is not the seventh day sabbath or He converged a solar period of the first day of the week which is Sunday with lunar period of the seventh day of the end of a biblical week. I believe it was the former. Here is an bit of biblical proof that is overlooked. That is the feast of unleavened Bread is itself a sabbath period. It is eight sabbath days long. Each day of it is a sabbath day. Where is the biblical proof you say? Read Exodus 12:1-16; Levitcus 23:1-8 and Mathew 26:2,17-19. So any of those days would have been a sabbath day. Jesus died and rose on one of those sabbath days. It just happened at the end of the Sabbath day which ended the feast of unleavened bread. That sabbath day which Jesus rose from the dead converged with the Roman first day of a Solar week which caused a meeting of the lunar sabbath day and Sunday which is a solar day. So, Jesus did rise on a sabbath day this is true, but he did not rise on the seventh solar day as so manny believe that he did.
What proof I have of this? Jesus was crucified on the day of the passover which was also sabbath day. He was buried on that day because the day of Preparation of the seventh day Sabbath followed after. (John 19:31, 42; Mark 15:42) The day of preparation was also a sabbath day. On the seventh day Sabbath day the Chief Priests met with the Roman authority and soldiers to conspire to defend the tomb of Jesus from his own disciples, because of Jesus' claim of rising from the dead on the THIRD day, they thought that some of Jesus'disciples, in order to make Jesus' ressurection from the dead  come true, would take this opportunity to steal the body of Jesus.(Matthew 27:62-64) Since they did this on the SEVENTH DAY Sabbath Jesus did not rise on the Seventh day but on the next lunar day which concluded the feast of unleavened Bread which was also a sabbath day. So let's count the Days by the lunar reckoning of time that is illustrated by the events in the Bible: 1) The Passover day sabbath=the day Jesus died and was buried; 2) (Mark 15:42) The day of preparation of the seventh day sabbath (which was also itself a sabbath day); 3)(Matthew 27:62) The Seventh day Sabbath=the day the Priests and the Roman authority conspire to thwart any rescue of the body of Jesus on the third day, by this time Jesus was buried for two full days; 4) (Matthew 28:1) In the end of the Sabbath day period of the feast of the unleavened bread, On the THIRD DAY Jesus arose from the dead. So Matthew 28:1 makes all the sense in the world. Because Jesus did not rise on the seventh day Sabbath, but on the first day of a biblical week which was also the last sabbath day of the feast of unleavened Bread. When we read that is was on the Sabbath day we assume that it was the seventh day of a solar week when it was not.
Now for a refreasher, a lunar day begings at sundown followed by a daylight period. This first day of a Biblical week coincided with the first daylight period of a Solar week. Which is undoubtedly Sunday morning. But is it a Sabbath? Yes it was on a Sunday Passover Sabbath that Jesus rose from the dead. To commemorate the event, so that we never forget the day Jesus rose from the dead the church has congregated on the first day of the week. On the Sunday Sabbath.

It seems to me, that some believe that I am teaching Christians to break the Law of God.  This due do some believers think that their relationship to the Law of God is still in effect.  The Apostle Paul and the first church clearly did not teach this.  Yes Jesus came to fulfill the Law of God and stated that whosoever teaches men to not adhere to the Law is least in the kingdom of Heaven,  but He said that while the Law still had legal effect.  Jesus did not go to the cross at the time he made that statement.  Furthermore, all had to be fulfilled  or satisfied, so the question is did Jesus satisfy all of the requirements of the Law of God as revealed to Moses? The answer is yes He did.  
Now how am I teaching the breaking of the Law of Moses if Jesus satisfied and fulfilled all of it?  Because I teach that the Bible says Christians do not have to observe the Law of Moses for their salvation? Here read the rest of the revelation in another blog series titled:Christians and the Holy Law. It is where I deal with the issue of the Christians relationship with the Law of God as administered by Moses.

Biblical Contradictions?

One of the many reasons people choose to not believe the Bible is what is perceived by them as contradictions in the Bible.  The reasoning is simple: If the Bible contradicts itself, as many believe it does,  the Bible then, can not be the word of God.  If the Bible is not the Word of God, then people do not have to believe its contents, for it would be no more than a created manuscript with man made stories and those who choose to believe it to believe its contents are fools for doing so.  This sought of logic have be presented before all who testify that the Bible is the word of God.  It has created an impasse that denies anyone who wishes to believe what it says is true to dismiss it, and thereby that person does not receive the invitation of a loving God.  A God that wants to save him.  For this reason I have chosen to write this article, in order to demonstrate that the Bible is not full of contradictions and by doing so prove that the Bible is the Word of God. The way that I have decided to do this is to first, define what a Contradiction is and what a Contradiction is not. Secondly, based upon the discovery of the definition of a contradiction we will look at a sample of the many proposed and alleged contradictions and see if they measure up to what a contradiction is. Finally, After the alleged sample contradictions have been explained and clarified. An extraordinary opportunity will be presented to those who did not before believe the Bible to be the word of God. More on that later.

So what is a contradiction?    Contradiction Defined: noun; a statement or proposition that opposes (contradicts) or denies another statement or itself and is logically incongruous.                          (Source: Dictionary.com)

So a contradiction, based upon the definition mentioned beforehand, as it relates to the Bible is two biblical statements made about a single subject that are opposite to each other.  For example here are two non-biblical statements that contradict each other:

1) The ball is the little boy's
2) The ball is not the little boy's

The two non-biblical example statements above contradict each other and obscure the determination of the possession of the ball.  Is it the little boy's or is it not the little boy's?  It is unclear.  That is what contradictory statements do, they blur the issue, or subject, leaving it wide open for speculation and conjecture. Since were talking about God's Word, it is very important that His Word does not have any contradictory statements, for God is not the author of confusion. Since God is not the author of confusion it is important that his words and statements are clear concise directives or instructions about life.

Now that we clarified and defined what is a contradiction, we also need to know what a biblical contradictory statements are not:

1) It is not a scribal error, which also means a typo-graphical error. When a letter or a word may not have been written correctly, but the meaning and message of the text remains intact.

2) It is not a mathematical error, where numbers don't add up, but the meaning and message of the statement remains intact.

3) It is not a grammatical error, where the rules of grammar appears to be ignored, but the meaning and the message of the text remains intact.

The point is this, errors are not contradictions.  Since the Bible was co-authored and translated by humans, mistakes may appear.  The important thing to consider is  that do any of these man induced mistakes or errors create a contradiction in the statements that we are comparing. Also do these mistakes change the meaning or the message of the statement to the point that it now says the opposite of what it said before and thereby blur the meaning of the text leaving it subject to speculation and conjecture.  Now let me make it clear that if the message of the Bible is inerrant, that inerrancy is not reflected by human mistakes in translating it or transmitting it.  The Bible is inerrant in purpose and in its message.

What is also not a contradiction is two biblical statements that appear to oppose each other, when each statement speaks about the same subject, but they're each from the two different covenants respectively in the Bible.  Why? Because even though they are about the same subject and may appear to oppose each other, they each were presented to two different audiences under two different set of circumstances. The statement from the Old Covenant in the Bible represents the administration of God's Law, the New covenant represents the administration of God's Grace.  Therefore, of course, a verse from the Old Covenant, also known as the Old Testament, will appear to contradict a  New Covenant, Also known as the New testament, verse on the same subject.  God designed it that way. (Read Jeremiah 31:31-34) According to the prophecy in Jeremiah, the New Covenant that God was going to make with Israel was not going to be according to the one He made with them in the wilderness. Therefore, we must understand that the New and Old Testament was purposely designed by God differently from each other.  This means that  because of the presupposition of each Covenant represented in the bible, some biblical statements will look contrary one to another until we understand that one statement was made at a different time under a different covenant to a different audience in contrast and comparison to the other statement  made to  another audience on the same subject. It is like making an opportunity presentation to one group of people looking for work and later making another presentation opportunity to a group of people looking to invest.  The subject is opportunity but because the audience is different so need be the presentation of opportunity must be made different.  Does that   mean that presentation of opportunity contradict each other? No because they are made to two different groups of people under two different conditions. 

So what is a Biblical contradiction?  Two biblical statements on the same subject, within the same covenant, that are opposite to each other.

Now that we are on clear what constitute a legitimate biblical contradiction, let us look at a sample of what many believe are contradictions in the Bible. Why only a sample, why not all of them?  The reason that we only need to look at a sample of these alleged  biblical contradictions represent the many creative presentations of the other biblical contradictions that people have come up with.  These so called biblical contradictions fall in several different categories.

1) A misunderstanding or misreading of the context of the contradiction.
2) Mistaking a typo graphical error for a contradiction
3) Disregarding the applicable Covenants in the alleged contradiction
4) The subject is not the same between the two Biblical statements being taken as a contradiction
5) The original audiences of the alleged contradiction are not the same.
6) Mistaking a general number statement and a specific number statement as a contraction
7) Misunderstanding the historical context of the alleged contradiction.

Now the alleged biblical contradiction may fall into more than one category depending how it is presented. This is why we only need a sample, but if you need a particular alleged biblical contradiction address I suggest that you visit http://www.bible.ca/islam/islam-bible-contradictions-refuted.htm and http://www.mikeschristiancorner.com/contradictions.html. which are pages that contain answers to just about every so-called biblical contradiction that have been brought up by people.  Now if an alleged biblical contradiction falls into one these categories then it is obvious that what was presented as a contradiction is not a contradiction. If the biblical statements are not a contradiction, then the Bible is the word of God and a wonderful opportunity awaits the unbeliever once he accepts that he was wrong and the Bible is right.  More on that later.

Sample Biblical Contradictions:

1. The Order of creation
Text in discussion Genesis chapters 1 and 2
Here is the order in the first (Genesis 1), the Priestly tradition:

Day 1: Sky, Earth, light
Day 2: Water, both in ocean basins and above the sky(!)
Day 3: Plants
Day 4: Sun, Moon, stars (as calendrical and navigational aids)
Day 5: Sea monsters (whales), fish, birds, land animals, creepy-crawlies (reptiles, insects, etc.)
Day 6: Humans (apparently both sexes at the same time)
Day 7: Nothing (the Gods took the first day off anyone ever did)

Note that there are "days," "evenings," and "mornings" before the Sun was created. Here, the Deity is referred to as "Elohim," which is a plural, thus the literal translation, "the Gods." In this tale, the Gods seem satisfied with what they have done, saying after each step that "it was good."

The second one (Genesis 2), the Yahwist tradition, goes:

Earth and heavens (misty)
Adam, the first man (on a desolate Earth)
Plants
Animals
Eve, the first woman (from Adam's rib)



How orderly were things created?
#1: Step-by-step. The only discrepancy is that there is no Sun or Moon or stars on the first three "days."
#2: God fixes things up as he goes. The first man is lonely, and is not satisfied with animals. God finally creates a woman for him. (funny thing that an omniscient god would forget things)



How satisfied with creation was he?
#1: God says "it was good" after each of his labors, and rests on the seventh day, evidently very satisfied.
#2: God has to fix up his creation as he goes, and he would certainly not be very satisfied with the disobedience of that primordial couple. (funny thing that an omniscient god would forget things)

(source:http://www.infidels.org/library/modern/jim_meritt/bible-contradictions.html)

The two alleged biblical contradictory statements presented above come from the Book of Genesis Chapters one and two.  It  is presented as though there are two creation accounts in the Bible.  This presentation is based upon the idea that God made everything, but he made man first.  This is an misunderstanding of the text and not a contradiction. Why? First of all, Genesis chapter one and  chapter two is one creation account not two different accounts.  The Chapter one is an overview of the order of creation, whereas in chapter 1 verse 26 we have a summary story of the creation of mankind, chapter two in Genesis gives us more detail on the creation of the sexes of mankind that occurred on the sixth day of creation.  

The person who presented this so called contradiction does not understand that God is not linear, he has no beginning and has no end, neither is he bound to time which explains why God is able to take desolate raw earth before any vegetation was created and any water to wet the ground on the third day and on the sixth day complete the creation of the human race. Only God can transverse time and space and make things happen.  So it is understandable that unbelieving people find these two passages contradictory, because they are viewing it from a linear point of view.  However, God is not subject to linear time.  God is eternal and because he is eternal he can walk up and down time and intervene in the affairs of mankind as he so wills it.  That being said Chapter one is a overview  of creation, chapter two is what happen when God made the sexes on the day he made man.  God does not fixes things up as he goes.  He made every thing good and perfect, it is man who fell in the Garden, it is God who sent his Son to redeem mankind from his fallen state.

Another point is the issue that the presenter of the biblical contradiction pointed out is that light and darkness existed before the Sun and Moon was created.  This is also a misunderstanding of the context from a unbelieving perspective.  The Bible says that God is light and in Him there is no darkness at all (1 John 1:5).  So If God is light, why would he need a Sun or Moon to make light?   The Sun and Moon were created to govern the times and seasons on the earth. God is the source of the Sun's light, and the Sun is the source of the Moon's light.  So God being light, created light from his being and introduced into a dark and void earth. His light and began time, then He placed in service the Sun and the Moon to govern it.

So is this sample biblical contradiction really a contradiction? No.  It is a misunderstanding of the text. The so call two creation accounts is really one creation account with a special emphasis on what happened on the sixth day.

Lastly the finial misunderstanding of the presenter of the contradiction  is about the plurality of  God's name. Elohim is not expressed as "the God's", it is a plural of the Deity of whom we call God. The bible declares "Hear O, Israel, the Lord our God is one Lord" (Deuteronomy 6:4) the word translated in Deuteronomy 6:4 as "God" is the Hebrew word Elohim which is plural. Why wasn't translated "the Gods" like the presenter of the contradiction suggested?  Because the word Elohim does not just represent the fragmented plurality of God, it represents His plurality contained in one entity.  Elohim is not the only name used to describe God there are several others in the scriptures, but you can wrap them all up in one Hebrew word: Elohim. or God, the Lord.

So this sample alleged contradiction falls under category number 1. Which is misunderstanding or a misreading the context of the contradiction.  This is why it is important to read the context of the supposed contradiction correctly before labelling it as such. Many passages in the Bible are like this one but they too are not contradictions.

2.Does every man sin?

1 John 1:8 If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. 

vs.

1 John 3:9 Whosoever is born of God doth not commit sin; for his seed remaineth in him: and he cannot sin, because he is born of God.

(source:http://www.infidels.org/library/modern/jim_meritt/bible-contradictions.html)

First of all the present of this so-called contradiction has the subject correct but these passages is not written for every man,  It is written to Christians, that being said what the Apostle John was attempting to relate to the believers is how to handle sinfulness.  If believers practice what John teaches in chapter 1 in his first letter to the believers they will fulfill what he states in chapter 3 in the same letter.  The real question is not does every man sin, but rather does every man live in sin. The context of 1 John 3:9 is speaking to that issue, he is setting a parameter for believers to use in order to discern who is a sincere believer and who is not.  A true believer in Christ, has departed from the life of sin.  It does not mean that he does not have the capability to sin, it just means that the believer in Christ has made it a point to live as sinless as possible. The key word in 1 John 3:9 is the word "commit".  This word "commit"means to pledge oneself to a issue.  In this case some one who has pledged himself to a sinful life. So in this light, John is not talking about   believers in Christ not being able to sin, for every person on the planet has the ability to sin against God, he is talking about people who are pledged to a life of sin, to them sinning is apart of the human character.  The Apostle John is telling believers in Christ that they are capable of living  a sinless life. Some people who are determined to live in sin, which is an offense against God.  John is saying if you are truly born again,  born of God your life is not a pledge to sinful living. A For a believer in Christ to not offend God, the Christian cannot live in sin, that is if he is truly  a Christian. The context of 1 John 1:8 is again dealing with every Christian man, it is dealing with Christians who have made the mistake of sinning that if they repent and confess their sins they do not fall short of the glory of God, no matter what sins they unintentionally do. That they are impervious from living a life committed to sin.  Simply because Jesus saved the Spirit of mankind from the bondage to sinfulness by the redemption of His flesh  and by His resurrection from the dead. By saving the spirit of  mankind, Jesus saved every soul that believes in him. However, Jesus did not yet save the bodies of men.  So believers are left to work out their own soul's salvation through their unredeemed  flesh.  1 John 1:8+9 teaches believers how to deal with unconfessed sins that they may have committed unintentionally.  So are these verses contradictory? Nope.  Why? Because they are not talking to everyone in the world, they are talking to everyone in the church. If the Christian follows the instruction of 1 John 1:8, he will fulfill what it says in 1 John 3:9.  The two verses do not contradict each other, they support one another.  The writer of this non-contradiction makes the misapplication of the text to everyone, perhaps in his opinion and his perspective everyone around him is a Christian.

3. Judging

1 Cor 2:15 "The spiritual man makes judgments about all things, but he himself is not subject to any man's judgment:" (NIV)

vs. 

1 Cor 4:5 "Therefore judge nothing before the appointed time; wait till the Lord comes. He will bring to light what is hidden in darkness and will expose the motives of men's hearts. At that time each will receive his praise from God."

(source:http://www.infidels.org/library/modern/jim_meritt/bible-contradictions.html)

Here again is another misapplication of the texts in discussion.  The subject is Judging but the important details are left out because the critic of the Bible did not include the context of what was written for each verse.   If we read 1 Corinthians 2:15 in its context we will discover that the spiritual man makes spiritual judgments about spiritual things through the use of the sacred scriptures.  1 Corinthians 4:5  when read within its context is speaking about making judgments about things outside of the spiritual context.  Here one form of judging has nothing to do with the other. So is it a contradiction? Nope. The author of this so-called contradiction apparently don't like to read the Bible in context, which is the problem with many people who read the bible.  Hey, I did the same thing when I first started to read the Bible as an unbeliever.  I had questions like this also, but I was determined to understand the holy scriptures, because if God was real there was a lot things he had to explain.  Those things was and are explained in the Bible.  The more I read the more I understood,  but it was not I became a believer in Christ did the scriptures really opened up to me.  So I encourage every truth seeker, seeker of God and inquirer to keep reading the Bible and most importantly get understanding,  because the things that happened in the Bible happened because back then things were different but they laid the groundwork and foundation to what is happening now.

These are only sample contradictions, if you want to read the other contradictions visit the websites that are given as sources on this page.