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Newsletter June 2007

Touching The Nations


Family Picture Dear Friend,


          This month we had some sicknesses in our family. As the weather changes we had some colds. However, everyone is doing okay now. The kids are running and the parents are running after them (just kidding).


           Most of the members were challenged this past month. For the first time after 2 years I felt impressed from the Lord to teach on Tithes & Offerings. As usual when it comes to money people become very protective. However, in general the members that have been coming regularly seem to accept the teaching and are trying to apply it. Very encouraging for me to see how sincere some of the members are in their walk with the Lord. When people are willing to start giving into the Kingdom you know that they are serious about following Jesus. 

Barnabas and Caleb playing together

           We want to thank you for giving so generously to Touching the Nations. Without your help we would not be able to touch lives. It is so great to enter into our 3rd phase (More information see below) as we started our ministry in the Philippines. We are heading for some exciting times. It is so good to see the Lord move in our midst. Be sure to check out our web page www.touchingthenations.com We have made some major changes and updates. Thanks again for all your help and support. May the Lord bless you abundantly above all you can ask or think (Eph. 3:20).


                  Lots of love,

                              Arthur Peter & family




          After two years TTN is entering into the 3rd phase of our vision. Our first phase was to establish TTN. Second phase was to start ministry in the Philippines – church plant. Now after two years we are getting some disciples. Phase three is where we start our discipleship program. The 4th and final phase will be when we start sending out our first disciples. Looking forward to that, but before we start sending out anyone we will first have to disciple, prepare and equip them for ministry.

          Lisa Llagas

          This past month we have officially started to disciple our first 2 disciples – Lisa Llagas and Donna Woods. Just as Jesus had 12 disciples so are we planning to disciple 12 disciples. As soon as the Holy Spirit says they are ready we will sent them out and release them into their own ministry. After every disciple has been trained (this can take about 3-4 years) we ask them to also start discipling their own 12 disciples.  We are looking forward to see the Lord giving us more disciples as time passes, so we can fulfill the great commission according to Matthew 28:18-20 “Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all things that I have commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age. Amen


 Some members of the church         However for us to disciple more people we need your help. It cost about $120-$150 per month to support a disciple. This will cover their basic needs like food, clothing & shelter. Normally when a person joins any kind of school they need to pay tuition fee, however TTN feels impressed by the Lord to do it the other way around. Instead of the students pay tuition fee we will provide their basic needs, so that they can grow and focus on the Lord. The Lord used 2 Corinthians 12:14-15 “Now for the third time I am ready to come to you. And I will not be burdensome to you; for I do not seek yours, but you. For the children ought not to lay up for the parents, but the parents for the children. And I will very gladly spend and be spent for your souls; though the more abundantly I love you, the less I am loved.” to make clear that the apostle Paul did the same for his disciples.


          I hope you are excited as I am. If you want to be part of fulfilling the great commission you are able to join the discipleship program for $30 per month. This is $1 per month. If you are interested in joining this program or would like some more information feel free to contact us. We would love to hear from you.




          Besides support a disciple program we have also started another program – Support a Child. In the Philippines there are many poor families. As the church grows we are getting more and more children who could use some help. Some children are not able to go to elementary or high school because their parents are not able to pay their schooling. This means that these children will often end up on the street or collect garbage. MimiAt the moment we are supporting 2 children and next month we will be supporting 3 children.

          For $10 per month we can help these children finish their education (elementary & high school) and give them a future. We will use the money to provide their basic needs like school uniforms, school supplies, school projects, medicines if necessary, etc. If you are interested in supporting a child let us know. We would love to hear from you.




           This past month we were able to give several children that are coming to church some school supplies as they start their new school year. They were so thankful for all their school supplies. Thanks for making this possible and supporting TTN. It was so good to see all these children together. Now they will be able to go to school without lacking notebooks, pencils, pens, etc. Thank you for your donations and may the Lord bless you.






( 7 comments — Leave a comment )
Jul. 5th, 2007 12:10 pm (UTC)
Tithing comment
Sometimes believers use the term 'tithing' carelessly and they really mean just giving freely. Sometimes they mean that a believers needs to give 10% of their income to please God and insure blessings. Which do you mean? If you meant the latter, then please consider an opposing position. The links page at www.nomoretithing.org lists about 24 books and 36 web sites that all teach that believers are free from the law and that would also mean free from 'tithing'.

Yes, I am suggesting that it was more your training or your organization that would urge you to teach about tithing. The NT clearly does not support it.

You can contact me through my website www.inyourbible.com.
Jul. 6th, 2007 02:33 am (UTC)
Re: Tithing comment
I am sorry to disappoint you. When I read the bible I read something totally different.
Tithing was done long before the law - Abraham, Jacob, etc. Tithing predated the law. Besides Jesus approves tithing see Matthew 23:23.
Unfortunately many Christians stumble with tithing, I do not only believe in tithing, but I believe every Christian should give much more - 20, 30, 40% of what we earn. 2 Corinthians 8:1-7, 9:6-15.
If giving 10% into God's kingdom is a problem than you really have a problem. It just shows that you haven't really surrendered your heart to the Lord. When a person surrenders totally to the Lord, giving is not a problem.
I would be happy to answer any kind of questions on this topic.
God bless,
Arthur Peter
Jul. 11th, 2007 09:39 pm (UTC)
Re: Tithing comment
Abram tithed with a one-time spoils-of-war gift to Melchizedek. He did not even consider it his own money and it clearly was not his regular habit.
As far as Jacob, on his own he promised he would give God a tenth IF God would do certain things. His blurting of a tithe vow at that point was a complete lack of faith in what God had just told him about how he was to be blessed. He intended somehow to 'pay' God back for the blessings God promised. There is no evidence in the Bible that he ever did it. Maybe he did and maybe he didn't. He also is not our model for tithing.

Jesus did not approve tithing for you and me. He was speaking to the Pharisees before his death, burial, and resurrection therefore he was teaching them correctly to obey the Law. Jesus also healed lepers and directed them to go to the priest because that was what the law demanded. The short story is that Jesus was not commanding you and I to tithe.

George Greene
Jul. 12th, 2007 07:52 am (UTC)
Re: Tithing comment
First of all you can't say for sure Abraham never tithed regular. That is presumption!
However I would like to address the point were you say that Jesus approved tithing in Matt. 23:23, but he only approved it because it was before his death, burial and resurrection.
That is the most strange teaching I ever heard. This means that all teachings of Jesus before His death, burial and resurrection cannot be accepted. Very strange!!!
That doesn't sound very biblical. In the sermon on the mount (Matt. 5-7) we see clearly that Jesus takes the law and expands on the law. The same I was saying. We should not only tithe we should give 20%, 30% and more. tithing is just a stepping stone.
Next to this we see other passages that promote giving - hebrews 6:20-7:5.
For me this sounds more like what the apostle Paul was warning Timothy for in 2 Timothy 4:3-4 "For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine, but according to their own desires because they have itching ears, they will heap up for themselves teachers; and they will turn their ears away from the truth and be turned aside to fables.
If you are against tithing, but believe that Christians should give 20%, 30%, 40% or more. I still believe it is wrong teaching, but I will have lesser problems with it. Jesus always took the law much further in the new testament. This means that tithing is the beginning and that we should give much more.
Please turn away from these deceitful teachings and become a generous Christian - new testament giving - who loves to give to God and into His kingdom.
However, if you don't want to give to god you are the one who is missing out. I wish this was not the cause.
God bless you,
Arthur Peter
Jul. 12th, 2007 07:46 pm (UTC)
Re: Tithing comment
Concerning Abram - I can say that there is no other Biblical record of his giving a tithe.

Concerning what I said about Matt 23:23 - your conclusion "...all teachings of Jesus before His death, burial and resurrection cannot be accepted" certainly does not reflect what I said and does not accurately reflect what I implied. Jesus was clearly speaking to the Pharisees and was in the middle of a list of things that they were guilty of. He was telling them that they should tithe without missing the "more important matters of the Law - justice, mercy, and faithfulness". What I am saying about this passage is no different than what I believe one has to conclude when looking at the situation when Jesus healed the leper. Jesus directed the leper to go to the priest because the law demanded it. If the Apostles, after Pentecost, healed a leper they would not send him to see a priest.

The sermon on the mount - clearly Jesus takes the Law and expands on it. The problem is that the traditional teaching on tithing is far, far, from what the Bible actually teaches. None of the 'tithing' that occurs now has any connection to the definition of tithing contained in the Bible. (other than to mention 10%)

In a nutshell, the were four tithes. 1)The Levitical tithe required those who raised crops (not everyone and not all professions - just those who raised crops) to give 10% of that to the Levites. This tithe only occurred 6 years out of the 7 year cycle. It also required those that raised 10 or more animals to give each tenth animal that passed under the rod to the Levites. If a person raised less than 10 animals, they were NOT required to tithe. Therefore, the assumption that 10% is a 'good starting point for everyone' is not valid.
2) From what was given to them, the Levites in turn had to give the very best to the priests.
3) The festival tithe required that those who raised crops or animals to set aside 10% for the annual festivals. It was for the people to have a party and consume the food joyfully and alcoholic beverages (strong drink) if they wanted.
4) The Poor tithe occurred only in the 3rd and 6th years of the seven year cycle. This was set aside for the poor. Poor folks were not required to tithe.

All tithes were always food and NEVER money.

We should be generous but the poor widow is NOT our example. She was being plundered by church leaders. 

There is no single formula for Christians to be able to judge for themselves whether they are generous or not.
Each person needs to hear from God for themselves and enjoy giving to the needy.

It appears that you assume that I am against giving. If that what you have concluded then you are incorrect. The fact that a person 'tithes' does not automatically mean that that person is generous. I am certainly not against giving to the needy because that is the consistent pattern in both the OT and NT.

I anticipate that at this point you are likely to have a difficult time believing anything I say. That's OK. Please consider visiting some other websites that teach the truth about tithing. I believe that you are sincere and I have to believe that the Spirit of God would prompt you to study more!

George Greene
Jul. 21st, 2007 02:14 am (UTC)
Re: Tithing comment
Sorry for taking so long, but thanks for your reply. In response to your comment I like to say that I prefer saying that there are 3 tithes mentioned in the bible. However, that is not so very important. Number two I prefer to call it just normal tithing. The poor tithe only happened the 3rd and 6th year, however it is possible that this was a replacement for the festival tithe.
According to your words Jesus approved tithing only because He was speaking to the Pharisees. Strange teaching again. This means that Jesus was a hypocrite. He would teach one thing to one person and another thing to another. Does not sound correct.
However, what I struggle more with is the fact that you believe in giving. What I am trying to point out in the new testament and early history books is that giving was done sacrificial. Just like the Macedonian church and the widow (However, you are saying that the poor widow cannot be our example. Why not? Jesus is speaking all praise about her giving?) You can call it tithing or not I believe and I hope you too that giving should be much more than 10%. However as I am reading I see you are not so sure about that. This is were I struggle. I don't have a struggle people calling it tithing or giving, but I have a struggle with the fruit of the teaching. By teaching these wrong doctrines what is happening is that people will start giving lesser into the Kingdom of God. That doesn't really sound like good teaching to me. I am looking for the fruit. However, I agree that people who give should do it with a willing heart. The same applies for tithing. When we give we should do it with a willing heart.

Take care of yourself and God bless,
Arthur Peter
Jul. 21st, 2007 02:25 am (UTC)
Re: Tithing comment
Here is another reason why every Christians should tithe:
Jesus taught us to love God and to love our neighbor. If we do this then tithing, it would seem, would be a natural response. Why? Because the tithe that we give to the church can be used for furthering the gospel, the presentation of Christian literature, support of missionaries, and, of course, pastors. Regarding the latter, let's take a look at what it says in 1 Cor. 9:3-10,

"My defense to those who examine me is this: 4 Do we not have a right to eat and drink? 5 Do we not have a right to take along a believing wife, even as the rest of the apostles, and the brothers of the Lord, and Cephas? 6 Or do only Barnabas and I not have a right to refrain from working? 7 Who at any time serves as a soldier at his own expense? Who plants a vineyard, and does not eat the fruit of it? Or who tends a flock and does not use the milk of the flock? 8 I am not speaking these things according to human judgment, am I? Or does not the Law also say these things? 9 For it is written in the Law of Moses, “You shall not muzzle the ox while he is threshing.” God is not concerned about oxen, is He? 10 Or is He speaking altogether for our sake? Yes, for our sake it was written, because the plowman ought to plow in hope, and the thresher to thresh in hope of sharing the crops."

Paul is teaching us here that those who work at something have the right to make a living from it. This is a basic and simple principle that is found in the scriptures. In 1 Tim. 5:18, Paul says, "For the Scripture says, “You shall not muzzle the ox while he is threshing,” and “The laborer is worthy of his wages."
Clearly those who work in the ministry are allowed to make a living from the ministry. How can they do this if they are not supported by tithes from the very congregation that the feed? This becomes more obvious when we realize that ministers often work more than 40 hours a week and are usually on call 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Therefore, it seems fair to say that tithing is, more or less, expected in the New Testament. It should be done out of the kindness and generosity of the heart as an act of worship before God.

Hope this helps.
God bless,
Arthur Peter

( 7 comments — Leave a comment )

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