A Catalog of Sins—Not that Important?

Have you created a catalog of sins that distinguishes between important and not so important actions? Does the Bible teach the concept of the seven deadly sins? Or is every sin wrong and an abomination in God’s eyes? What does God call sin and an abomination anyway? And what does God say who will not inherit the Kingdom of God? Why does God designate certain character traits as “most important” in the law? And do you love God and neighbor when you break the spiritual law of the Ten Commandments?

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Escaping Sin

We are to overcome sin continuously, but sin is very deceptive. This sermon will give many examples from the Bible of people who were not immune to sinning… who were at times easily ensnared by sin; who did not feel that a particular sin was such a big deal; or who did not even recognize sin for what it was, thinking that their actions were justified.

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Were Jesus and His Parents Poor?

Many assume that Jesus and His parents lived in poverty, and they point to a few Scriptures which allegedly back up their belief. But what does the Bible really say about this question? And does it matter?

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Becoming Surety for a Friend?

What does the Bible say about becoming surety for another person, including your neighbor or your friend, or about co-signing a loan or a guarantee agreement? Should you provide financial security or collateral for another person? Don’t be too sure that you know the answer, because many well-meaning persons have acted wrongly to their own hurt, while bringing many sleepless nights and even financial ruin on themselves and their family. We are offering two free booklets on this program, which deal with sound financial principles.

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Do Or Die

God is very specific in His law which we are to obey, or we will die.  We must also be careful that we don’t do wrong, or we will die.  Sounds harsh? Let’s see what the Bible has to say about it.

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How to Look at God’s Laws

Many are confused today when they hear about “laws” which are mentioned in the Old Testament. Which laws are still valid for Christians today, and which are no longer in force and effect? What principles are we to apply in order to find the answer to these questions?

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Common Misconceptions – Part 2

Continuing with the second part on what the world is confused about, when it comes to practices such as homosexuality, divorce, fornication, what happens to us when we die, the trinity, and the concept of tithing.  What does the Bible have to say about these topics?

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Only When It Suits Us

This sermon looks at seven basic areas where we can fall into the trap of neglect or apathy, not because of ignorance, but because we have been taught consistently in the Church over the years, these vital principles.  True Christianity is not pick and mix.   It is not about choosing the bits we like and agree with and ignoring the bits that don’t suit us.  Christianity is a package, and we have to embrace the whole package.  It should always be a case of being true to our calling in all areas, at all times, not just when it suits us!

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Does God require an individual to tithe on the gross or on the net? Also, is an individual required to tithe on the sale of investments, such as real property, including a house or a condominium?

The answer to this question depends on many different circumstances.

As a general statement, God makes it very clear that His tithing laws are still in force and effect today, and that He commands us to tithe to Him. For a full explanation and discussion of this vital question, please read our free booklet, “Tithing-Today?”

In our booklet, we also discuss how to calculate God’s tithe. We state the following, which sets forth the teaching of the Church of God for many years:

“MONEY—a sensitive subject for many people. Those who have money, don’t want to part with it. Those who don’t have it, long for it. Yet from the time of man’s creation on this earth, God has given instructions on tithing—paying ten percent of our income to God who gave it in the first place…

“The question has been asked many times whether we are to pay tithe from the gross (before taxes are deducted from our paychecks) or from the net (after deduction of taxes). It has been the long-standing policy of the Church to advise that there is no duty to tithe on the gross, as this would be impossible in certain countries, where taxes are so high. At the same time, the Church has always emphasized that it is up to the individual whether he or she wants to tithe from the gross or the net. Many tithe from the gross, following the principle as expressed in Luke 17:10, but this is a personal decision, based on personal circumstances. God looks at the heart of a person. If one chooses to tithe from the net, he would then be obligated, of course, to pay tithe on any tax refunds he might receive in the next year…

“God requires that we pay tithe from our increase. This would include everything that we have acquired through our own labor or our own money (such as salaries and profits from our business, as well as profits from capital investments, interest from savings accounts, or money from renting out property). We are permitted to deduct from our [tithable] income the amount we need to use in order to achieve the increase. For instance, if we own a business, we are permitted to deduct all the costs we spend to run the business. We are only required to pay tithe from the actual increase or profit…

“God requires that we tithe from our increase—what we ourselves produce through our efforts or investment. Gifts or inheritances are not acquired through our own labor and don’t have to be tithed on. The same is true for money given to us in the form of unemployment benefits, pensions or social security. However, it would be advisable, at least in some of those cases, to consider whether a generous special offering would be appropriate. If in doubt, it is always better to err on the side of generosity, again, showing God where our heart is.”

The general guidelines are clearly revealed: We are to tithe from our profit–which is Biblically defined as the increase from our labor and investments. To determine the amount of increase, we are allowed to deduct our expenses. Increase from our labor or our money does not include gifts and inheritances. Therefore, if a person inherits real estate, such as a house or a condominium, or if they are received as gifts, there is no obligation to tithe on them. If a person sells his own house or condominium and uses the proceeds to buy another house or condominium of equal or higher value, there is no tithable increase, either.

Generally speaking, houses or condominiums are paid for over a long period of time. Also, for many, these homes are paid for out of money that was tithed on–if the person has known of this Godly command and has practiced it. Due to increasing values over the years, most homes are sold for more than their original purchase price, and it is this increase that involves tithing considerations.

If a person is selling his house without buying another one–because, for example, the person may own more than one house–then, generally, the person is obligated to tithe from the increase, while being allowed to deduct the amount for any existing mortgage; expenses which were incurred over the years for the upkeep of the house; as well as any loss or decrease in value incurred due to inflation or depreciation. If someone buys a house for $200,000.00, and sells it ten years later for $500,000.00, then the increase would be $300,000.00, minus deductible expenses, as described above. If the calculated final increase turns out to be $200.000.00, then the amount to be paid as tithe would be $20,000.00.

As mentioned, these are very general guidelines, but the principle of paying tithe is clear. God warns all of us not to rob Him by refusing to pay tithes and offerings. He says in Malachi 3:8-9:

“‘Will a man rob God? Yet you have robbed Me! But you say, “In what way have we robbed You?” In tithes and offerings. You are cursed with a curse, For you have robbed Me…'”

Surely, no one–and especially no true Christian–would want to be called a cursed robber–and not only an ordinary thief, but one who robs from God and is guilty of defrauding Him.

If in doubt, a Church member should counsel with a minister of God about this matter, before assuming that a tithing obligation exists –or that no such obligation exists–regarding the sale of a house or condominium, or any other matter related to tithing.

Lead Writer: Norbert Link

Would you please explain the concepts of First Tithe, Second Tithe, Excess Second Tithe, Tithe of the Tithe, and Third Tithe?

We will be glad to explain.

First Tithe is the first ten
percent of one’s “increase,” referring to his or her job earnings
and/or other income, such as proceeds from rental, interest or gains
from stocks or other investment. It is to be sent to God’s Church in
furtherance of the preaching of the gospel.

Are we to pay tithe
from the gross (before taxes are deducted from our paychecks) or from
the net (after deduction of taxes)? It has been the long-standing
policy of the Church to advise that there is no duty to tithe on the
gross, as this would be impossible in certain countries, where taxes
are so high. At the same time, the Church has always emphasized that it
is up to the individual whether he or she wants to tithe from the gross
or the net. Many tithe from the gross, following the principle as
expressed in Luke 17:10, but this is a personal decision, based on
personal circumstances. God looks at the heart of a person. If one
chooses to tithe from the net, he would then be obligated, of course,
to pay tithe on any tax refunds he might receive in the next year.

teach today that tithing only relates to agricultural products and farm
produce of livestock, while excluding all other forms of income; such
as wages or income from a business or investments. This is wrong. Such
a teaching can have the result of doing away with tithing in most

We read that Abraham gave Melchizedek a tithe of “all”
(Genesis 14:20). Jacob also said that he would give God a tithe of
“all” (Genesis 28:22). They did not limit tithing to just agricultural
products or farm produce of livestock.

Some claim that tithing
was just a law under Moses, which is no longer in effect today. This is
wrong, too. Abraham and Jacob tithed to God long before the time of
Moses. Jesus confirmed in His day and age the duty to tithe (Matthew
23:23). Malachi 3:8 states that tithing is the duty of MAN–not just of
the Jew, the Israelite or even only of a converted Church member. Note
that the Sabbath was created for MAN, too–not just for the Israelite
or the Jew (Mark 2:27). God says through Malachi that man is cursed if
he refuses to tithe to God, and that he will be blessed if he does
(Malachi 3:8-10). We should also note that the book of Malachi is a
prophecy for us today–addressing the time just prior to the Day of the
LORD–the time of Christ’s return to this earth. In that context,
Malachi says (in Malachi 4:4-5), to remember the Law of Moses, with the
statues and the judgments. Tithing is a statute, and nowhere in the New
Testament has it been abolished.

In fact, we find in the 7th
chapter of Hebrews that we are to tithe today to Jesus Christ–that is,
His Church–and no longer to the Levites, as was done under Moses.
Originally, people, such as Abraham, tithed to Christ (in the person of
Melchizedek), long before Levi was born. The tithe has always belonged
to God (Leviticus 27:30)! It is HOLY to Him! He did give the tithe, for
a period of time, to the sons of Levi “…as an inheritance in return for
the work which they perform[ed], the work of the tabernacle of meeting”
(Numbers 18:21). Yet, we see in Hebrews 7:9 that the law of tithing
existed long before God made an agreement with the sons of Levi, which
agreement gave them the right and responsibility to collect tithes for
a certain time. We can see in verses 15–28 of Hebrews 7 that this right
to receive tithes later reverted back to Jesus Christ, whose right it
was from the beginning! Today, Christ collects tithes through His
Body—the Church—to be used to carry out the end-time Work of God.

we explain in our free booklet, “Tithing Today?”, the Bible teaches not
only our duty to pay First Tithe, but also the concepts of Second Tithe
and Third Tithe (compare pp. 22-24).

Second Tithe is to be set
aside for our personal use during the annual Holy Days, and especially
for the Feast of Tabernacles. It is not to be sent in to the Church,
but to be kept by the person to spend during the annual Holy Days of
God. Only “excess second tithe” has been designated to be sent to the

Excess second tithe” is the portion of the Second
Tithe exceeding necessary individual use. The Church will distribute
such amount to members who were unable to save sufficient second tithe
for the Holy Days, and it might use remaining funds for necessary
Church-related Feast expenses (such as hall rentals).

Related to
the concept of Second Tithe is the concept of “Tithe of the Tithe.”
This is not to be confused with the “Third Tithe” (discussed below),
which is an altogether different concept.

More than 30 years ago,
God’s Church made the administrative decision to ask Church members and
co-workers to send one tenth of their second tithe to the Church to be
used for necessary Feast of Tabernacles expenses, including rental for
Church halls. Since then, the Church has usually referred to this
amount as the “tithe of the tithe.” Church members and co-workers were
asked to calculate the amount of second tithe that would be available
to them at the time of the Feast of Tabernacles, and to send ten
percent of that (calculated) amount to the Church, in advance as
directed by the Church. This practice has allowed the Church to avoid
using general contributions for the payment of Feast expenses, instead
of being used for expenses relating to preaching the gospel and feeding
the flock.

At the time of the institution of the “tithe of the
tithe,” and a few times since then, consideration has been given to the
possibility of charging each individual Feast attendee with a flat
amount for his or her Feast attendance, instead of sending in a tithe
of the tithe. This possibility was rejected, however, as it was judged
to be arbitrary and unfair. Some Church members do not have jobs or
they live on small pensions, while others earn good salaries. Following
Biblical principles (compare Acts 2:44–45; 4:32–35; 2 Corinthians
8:12–15), it was determined that the institution of the “tithe of the
tithe” was the most equitable way for all concerned to provide for the
payment of necessary Feast expenses incurred by the Church, and also to
help those less fortunate, as much as possible, to attend the Feast.

Church of the Eternal God and its corporate affiliates see no Biblical
reason to change the Church’s decision, realizing the Biblical wisdom
for the decision, and acknowledging that the Church has the
administrative authority to bind and loose matters such as these
(compare Matthew 16:19; 18:18).

In addition to the concepts discussed so far, God also instructs us concerning the concept of Third Tithe.

more fully explained in our free booklet, “Tithing Today?,” the Third
Tithe is to be sent to the Church primarily for the use of those in
need of support. It should be mentioned that “Third Tithe” is FOR the
poor and needy, not BY the poor and needy. It is, therefore, not
necessary for a “poor” person to pay third tithe. Someone who receives
assistance from the government does not have to pay Third Tithe.
Additionally, it would also be following a wrong principle to take out
a loan in order to be able to pay Third Tithe. However, each individual
is responsible before God to determine whether he or she is “poor” or
“needy” and therefore excused from paying Third Tithe. The ministry is
available to help with questions relating to such determination.

If you conclude that you ought to pay Third Tithe, when are you to do it?

the time of Moses, Third Tithe was paid on the third and sixth year out
of a cycle of seven years. On the seventh year, no Third Tithe was to
be paid, as the land rested during the seventh year, Leviticus 25:4.
The principle of paying Third Tithe on the third and sixth year out of
a cycle of seven years still applies today. Many members begin counting
their Third Tithe years from the annual festival nearest the date of
their baptism. Others decide to begin from the date when they first
began tithing. It is the responsibility of each member to decide when
he or she should begin the cycle, and the observance of that cycle
should be carefully maintained.

Let us assume that you were
baptized close to the Feast of Tabernacles (“Feast”) in the year of
2000. Let us further assume that you designate the year 2000 as the
first year with which to begin your seven year cycle.

Your first cycle would look like this:

1st year: 2000 (the time from the Feast in 2000 until the Feast in 2001): no third tithe
2nd year: 2001 (from Feast 2001 until Feast 2002): no third tithe
3rd year: 2002 (from Feast 2002 until Feast 2003): third tithe to be paid during that period
4th year: 2003 (from Feast 2003 until Feast 2004): no third tithe
5th year: 2004 (from Feast 2004 until Feast 2005): no third tithe
6th year: 2005 (from Feast 2005 until Feast 2006): third tithe to be paid during that period
7th year: 2006 (from Feast 2006 until Feast 2007): no third tithe.

This would conclude your first seven-year cycle. Your second seven-year cycle would look like this:

1st year: 2007 (from Feast 2007 until Feast 2008): no third tithe
2nd year: 2008 (from Feast 2008 until Feast 2009): no third tithe
3rd year: 2009 (from Feast 2009 until Feast 2010): third tithe
4th year: 2010 (from Feast 2010 until Feast 2011): no third tithe
5th year: 2011 (from Feast 2011 until Feast 2012): no third tithe
6th year; 2012 (from Feast 2012 until Feast 2013): third tithe
7th year: 2013 (from Feast 2013 until Feast 2014): no third tithe.

This would conclude your second seven-year cycle.

we assume that you were baptized close to the Feast of 2000, but you
decide to count “exclusively,” that is, you begin your seven year-cycle
with the year of 2001 (the period from the Feast of 2001 until Feast of
2002). In that case, your first cycle would look like this:

1st year: 2001 (from Feast 2001 until Feast of 2002): no third tithe
2nd year: 2002 (from Feast 2002 until Feast of 2003): no third tithe
3rd year: 2003 (from Feast 2003 until Feast of 2004): third tithe to be paid during that period


you have designated your seven year cycles, it is important to maintain
these, even though you might not be able to pay Third Tithe during some
of your third and sixth years of tithing.

Many times, it will not
work out on paper; that is, when you do your budget, you may conclude
that you are too “poor” to pay Third Tithe. But God does require of us
faith in His ability to help and bless us, if we are obedient to Him.
As He promises us His blessing for paying His First Tithe diligently to
Him (Malachi 3:10), so He promises us His blessing if we pay Him His
Third Tithe during the appropriate times (compare Deuteronomy 26:12-15).

We might convince ourselves that we don’t have to tithe. This would be a terrible mistake.

mentioned, all the concepts discussed in this article are fully
explained in our free booklet, “Tithing Today?” To conclude, we are
quoting from pages 39-41 of that booklet:

“In Luke 12:13–21,
Christ gave us the famous parable of the rich fool who built greater
barns for his harvest rather than sharing his fortune with others. He
thought he had many more years to live in pleasure and ease, but that
very night, God took his life. Christ concluded His parable, in verse
21: ‘So is he who lays up treasure for himself, and is not rich toward
God.’ Christ gave this parable because of the greedy attitude of those
who were fighting over an inheritance (compare verse 13). He saw the
covetousness in them—the intent to take, rather than to give.
Conversely, when the servants of Abraham and Lot fought over the land,
Abraham was willing to have Lot choose what land he wanted to have,
rather than having the servants continue to fight over it (compare
Genesis 13:7–11). The rich fool did not have genuine love or concern
for others. He was only interested in figuring out how he could store
his abundant riches for HIMSELF. He was not rich before God—he had not
laid up treasures in heaven—when God took his life. Abraham, on the
other hand, was very rich, but he did not have an attitude of
greediness. We know that he tithed to God, in the person of Christ. He
did not do it grudgingly, but rather, Abraham was developing a heart of
love for God and others…

“God is watching us. He notices how we
act in little things. If we are faithful in small matters, God knows
that we will also be faithful in big matters. If, on the other hand, we
are not even willing to share small things with God and others, how
would we ever develop the godly attitude to be willing to share the
rulership over the universe with others?… When we obey God’s
commandments, including the command to faithfully tithe and give
free-will offerings to God’s Church, we can KNOW that we are on our way
toward the Kingdom of God, because we show in our lives that God’s love
in us is producing a perfect work in us… We will gladly admit and
agree with Christ that it is more blessed to give than to receive, or,
to ‘get.’ We will experience a deep feeling of gratitude that we are
permitted to play a part in God’s awesome Work, proclaiming to the
world a better way of life.”

Lead Writer: Norbert Link

©2023 Church of the Eternal God