Third Tithe Blessings

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March 10, 1981

Dear Sir,

I would like to share the events leading up to the purchase of our home unit, which can be explained in no other way than being a blessing from God as a result of complying with the new third tithe directive....

Runaway inflation was eroding away our invested money, therefore, it became necessary for us to once again consider purchasing property.... We started looking at different houses but were not able to find anything suitable due to either the inadequacy of what was offered or the price being way out of the range of what we could afford. We had only $14,000 to invest and on that basis could not afford a home unit at more than $28,000. Every time I mentioned to a realtor what price range we hoped for, I was literally made to appear foolish for persevering in my thinking.

About this time, the new announcement was made regarding third tithe. I decided to go back to the Feast of Tabernacles time the year before, which was the beginning of our third tithe year, and pick up the tithes I had not paid; I had been in the habit of prorating the tithe each year, which the new understanding showed me had been in error....

Two days after mailing my check, on an impulse I called the real estate company and found out that a property had just come on the market that day and was as yet unlisted. The man I talked to insisted we should see it as he felt it would be ideal for us....

We sighted the property and immediately fell in love with it. It was exactly what we had been looking for and the price was $2,000 less than we had expected to spend. In fact, the property was so suited that we couldn't have asked for more had we built it ourselves.

At this point I was in a quandary as I had no job and needed one to get a loan. So, once again on impulse I explained my situation to the realtor and asked for a three day binder on the property while I got my act together. He reluctantly agreed....

That night my next door neighbor showed me a local newspaper advertisement for a position in my field. I went there the next day, was interviewed and got the job the following day. On Monday, I started work, and on Tuesday, I was at the bank asking for a loan for 15 years, even though I knew that the bank only likes to lend money to people in our age-bracket for a term no longer than 10 years....

The bank required life insurance which was almost impossible for us to get due to our individual health problems. Also, the settlement on the property was such that we needed to have occupancy within three weeks or the deal was off. On top of all this, the trading banks had decided on an industrial action which further complicated the issue. So we desperately beseeched the Eternal for help in this matter.... I could feel His hand moving things along, for no sooner had we started negotiations than the blessings started coming in.

First, the valuation was excellent; secondly, the bank waived the insurance; thirdly, despite the industrial problems and long weekends, the loan was okayed in two weeks, with the repayments being less than we had been paying in rent; and finally, the solicitor wound things up in a record time of four days, having got the check from the bank between bank closures. In short, the whole thing was wrapped up in the three weeks....

My new job was extremely pressure-filled, and I could only stand it for three weeks, which was all the time I needed. In fact, I needed a week off to take care of the settlements, lawyers, moving, etc., and that's the way it worked out. Just as an aside, the old couple from whom we were hoping to purchase the property felt so strongly that we would get the loan that they started packing almost as soon as we had placed our deposit!

I must admit that even though we were stepping out in faith and God was with us every step of the way, it was still a knife-edge situation, as this was my first experience at having the Eternal completely take over a situation and bring it to a conclusion in our favour. It seemed that whatever we did was the right thing, even though half of the time we were just stumbling blindly along. The blessings continued in many, many ways--from the moving bill being less than it should have been to getting discounts on various items we needed for the house. I can only say that this whole experience has strengthened our faith tremendously and shown us that if one walks with God and tries to do His will, God keeps His promises. We look forward to continuing to keep God's tithing laws as they are written in the Bible with the sure knowledge, that if God says He will bless you for obedience, then He will.

In conclusion, I might mention a final blessing. Our previous landlord, who was considering selling our rental property, became quite upset when we asked for consideration in terminating our rental lease at a short notice and was prepared to bind us for three months, which would have been a catastrophe. Once again we beseeched the Eternal, and within a few days the agent had found a prospective tenant to take over the lease. We were only penalized for two days' rent and received our bond back in less the two days. This I quite happily and gratefully recycled into an offering.

My wife and I have been overwhelmed by the whole series of events and can only stand in awe at the power of the Eternal when it works in our lives.

Your respectfully,

F. H.

(Auckland, New Zealand)

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February 27, 1973

Dear Mr. Armstrong,

I wanted to write and tell you about our third tithe year--in other words, our year of blessings.

We were living in a city apartment on the second floor. It was nice but too small, noisy and not having enough privacy. Also, we were not allowed to have any children there. It was quite discouraging sometimes.

I prayed that God would bless us with a house that we could afford and also kept looking for a nice, but cheap house. Finally, I gave up. I decided to put it in God's hands.

That same week, at Sabbath services, I happened to talk to a woman and mentioned that I was looking for a house but gave up. She said, "Oh, I know of a house. And it is nice."

She gave us directions how to get there. It was way out in the country where it is beautiful and very quiet. We fell in love with the house when we saw it. It was only $48 per month!! We decided to take it and move in, but when? We had a furnished apartment but didn't have enough money to buy a whole house-full of furniture. So we prayed and asked God to help us find the furniture we needed.

In one week's time we had all our furniture. A woman happened to be moving and sold us some furniture at an incredibly low price and even gave us some things. Others pitched in and gave us things, too. So now we are in a nice house with nice furniture, having plenty of space to plant a garden in the spring. And a great place to raise a family!

We have so much to thank God for. I am enjoying this year. There certainly isn't anything to fear when you are just beginning your third tithe year!

C. T.

(Greensburg, PA)

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November 17, 1981

Dear Sirs,

I would like to share our story concerning this past year--our third tithe year.

Shortly before our third tithe year began, I received a call from a national cable television network, which specializes in educational programming. The caller said they had received my application for the "Curriculum Development Specialist" position, and could I come for an interview? I must have sounded silly because I never knew a thing about the application or the position! However, they convinced me to come for the interview.

Once there, I found out that 35 applications had come in, and many of the applicants had Ph.D.'s. Also, the job description listed degrees in curriculum development or journalism as a must. Both of my degrees are in home economics!

In spite of that, they offered me the position and a salary of $12,000 per year which was more than I had earned at my previous job. Before I began, the starting salary was raised to $14,600, and six months later, it was $16,000 per year. My husband and I were able to send in more tithe money than we ever dreamed would be possible!

In April of this year, I found out that I would soon be losing my job because of cutbacks in federal grants. The first of May was the original date for the termination, but I stayed on until the first of September. About that time our local minister was transferred and his home would be temporarily empty.... It worked out that we are able to stay in the house for free and take care of it till it sells.

But that's not all. A week before my job ended, we saw an ad in the paper for new homes for people with moderate incomes. We can qualify on my husband's income alone. So, in a month we're moving into a new home with house payments of only $147 a month! I lost my job at just the right time.

I wanted to share our story with you. We had heard and read the stories of others and were encouraged by them. Now we know for ourselves that you really cannot outgive God!


E. J.

(Winchester, KY)

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April 21, 1981

Dear Mr. Armstrong,

This has been our third tithe year. We have had trials but have grown as a result of them. We have been learning what it means to count it all joy. Our third tithe year has been full to the brim with spiritual blessings.

My health has not been what it once was, so I was forced to quit a caretaking job which provided us with free rent, as well as a fridge and stove. We had to take a low rent townhouse with no fridge or stove in it. We prayed and fasted, asking God to show us how we could provide for ourselves these two items, but all our efforts came up dry. We then decided to move anyway, and started thinking of how we could do without. I have had much experience with this in my past, so I knew how to go about it. If only I would stop worrying and just let God's will be done!...

Shortly before we moved, a man who was taking an apartment in the building we were leaving, talked to my husband as we were getting his apartment ready for him. He asked if we would take and use his fridge, stove, washer and dryer, mentioning that even if he could find a place to store these items, it would cost him money. He much preferred that we take and use them as long as we needed.

We learned another lesson. We knew God could provide but wondered, "Will He?" He will! Once again the greatest blessing was spiritual. We can have these blessings because of Christ, but also because you put us back on the right track. We are so happy and thankful to be able to tithe properly.

We pray for you everyday and so do our children--they also love you. God will bless you and give understanding and wisdom as you and we finish the Work....

In much love,

M. J.

(Wainwright, Canada)

P.S. I might add that the man who was so generous has been very blessed. He had to sell his home and was near bankruptcy because he wasn't making any sales--he sells compact homes. The week he gave us his machines to use, he made $7,000 in commission, and in the last two weeks he has sold nine more homes. The give way works for anyone.

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February 27, 1973

Dear Mr. Armstrong,

I have never written to you before, but I feel as though I am writing to an old friend. Anyway, our minister thought you might be interested in how we "survived" our third tithe year. (This was our first one.)

The first day back from the Feast last year, we were given a freezer, which, with five children, we could certainly use. Shortly after, we received a set for twelve of very expensive Bohemian china.

After we tried to balance our budget, we panicked, and my husband decided that either I had to work two days a week, or he had to find a part-time job. The week I began work, he started working overtime, and we really didn't need my job. But I am paid well, work any two days I please, and get my hair done on company time, so I stayed. Since the Feast, my husband has been earning $20 per week more and received $370 in bonuses, with one more due in September.

We were also given an older model Chevy car with four new tires on it. Since it didn't survive the miles we put on it, we are now driving a more modern Buick with air conditioning which we will pay for after the third tithe year is over.

Last winter we purchased no coats or boots, only two pairs of shoes and one pair of trousers for our boys. I was given a couple of dozen dresses, some with coats to match, and 18 pairs of shoes which matched the dresses! My husband was given two new suits and a pair of new shoes. Naturally, I had to have a washer and dryer to take care of these clothes, so they were given to us too.

About this time, it dawned on me that the freezer I wanted so badly and was given, was empty. Shortly after that a friend moved, and filled my freezer from hers.

We were also given a pair of lovely geese, five ducks, and a baby billy goat to go with our baby nanny, so now we can raise things for our freezer. We live in an old farmhouse which the landlord wanted to burn down two and a half years ago. We have fixed it up, and it is worth much more than $60 a month. Our lease was up in July, but the rent was only raised to $65 with two months' rent free for all the work we've done. This spring the landlord also put on a new roof.

Our children all found jobs this year--paper route, baby-sitting, etc. Now they are pulling weeds in a field of beans for $120, which after three tithes is enough to purchase a four-foot swimming pool!

All I can say--with seven weeks to go--what next! These were just some of the physical blessings--things you can hold in your hands. The spiritual ones have been even greater.

I. H.

(Manteno, IL)

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August 20, 1981

Dear Mr. Armstrong,

This letter may be a little premature as there are still eight weeks to go until the Feast and the end of our third tithe year. However, there have been so many blessings in this past year that we would like to share them.

To begin with, we were able to enjoy the 1980 Feast at Vail. Though it is just a day's drive from Wichita, where we live, we had never been there before and were struck by the magnificent beauty of autumn in the Rocky Mountains and the quaint charm of the village of Vail. We have enjoyed attending the Feast in Squaw Valley on five different occasions before and have often wondered what it would be like to see the mountains in winter and try some skiing. About two weeks after we returned from the Feast, my husband's boss mentioned that he had just bought a condominium in Vail, and if we were going there again this year, we would have free accommodation....

Just before the first of the year, my husband was informed he would be going out of town to work. It was only 80 miles from home, but far enough that he would be home only on weekends. This was the "thorn in the rose" you have spoken of so often in the past. My husband is in construction, and while many others in this field have not had very good working conditions because of the economy, my husband has been very secure in his job, working overtime and getting a raise. In fact, the extra money he was earning each week with the raise and overtime added exactly to the amount we were sending in for third tithe!

It was getting a rather long winter in-between weekends for myself and our three teenage sons when, in the middle of February, my husband was told by his boss to take a week of his vacation to go to Vail and use his condominium so he could be with the family and go skiing. Because of school and work schedules of the boys as well as a crucial point in my husband's job, we were not able to get away until the last week of March, instead of the first week as we originally planned.

Other people were cancelling ski trips in the first part of March because of lack of snow. Then, the week before we left, they started having snow in Vail. In fact, it snowed on us all the way from Denver to Vail. (By the way, even our married daughter and her husband were able to make the trip with us, so we had the entire family there.)

In Vail, the local people were telling us that this was the first time all year there had been enough snow for good skiing. We arrived the day after the off-season rates started for ski rentals, lift tickets, etc., so everything was almost one third cheaper than when we were first scheduled to go. It was such a beautiful trip, and we finally fulfilled two dreams we almost thought would never come about while all of our children were still at home or close enough to go with us. We got to be right in the heart of the Rocky Mountains in winter and were able to go skiing.

For Mother's Day, my husband and children presented me with something I had wanted for a long time, but never really expected to have--a microwave oven. Even here God worked out circumstances so that my family was able to get the largest and best model with the most extra features for less than the lower priced model they originally planned to buy.

Even though the out-of-town job is finished, my husband is still getting more overtime than we ever anticipated, although not on such a regular basis as before.... I am sure there are other physical blessings I am leaving out simply because they have been so numerous that I couldn't begin to remember them all or take the time to write them.

But there is one other I will mention. As soon as we heard of Squaw Valley again being open as a Feast site this year, we wanted to go back but would not have the time to drive, since we had already taken that one week of vacation. Only a week later, Frontier Airlines began a new route from Wichita to Reno and announced an introductory fare of $210 round-trip. This means we can fly to the Feast cheaper than we could drive, and be there in less time than if we were attending the closest site to us!

Now for the most wonderful blessings of all--the spiritual blessings. We have had the opportunity to be in charge of the waiting room campaign for the PLAIN TRUTH in this area. We are also involved in newsstand distribution. It is such a thrill when statistics are read in church about the number of subscriptions coming as a result of the newsstand and waiting room programs. Although we know it is only a small part, it is very gratifying to be involved in getting the Gospel to the world.

Three weeks ago, our daughter and son-in-law were baptized into God's Church. What a thrill and blessing that was.... And now we have just been through another one of the most exciting weekends of our lives. Our oldest son has been applying for Ambassador College for the last three semesters. The first letter he received this summer said he was on a waiting list for Big Sandy, but it would be another year before he could be considered. He had almost given up. Then this past Sunday our local minister got a call from the Registrar's office saying there had just been an opening for a boy to attend in Big Sandy--could he recommend someone? In a matter of thirty minutes it was all settled that our son would be going. We really had to act fast and get finances taken care of as well as shopping, packing, etc., but by the time I started this letter, our boy should have arrived in Big Sandy to begin to fulfill a desire to attend God's college!

Our third tithe year blessings have come so fast and furious that it has been unbelievable. If just one of these examples can help someone who is about to experience their first third tithe year, it will be well worth the time it has taken to write the letter. I know it has certainly helped to increase our faith, and, it isn't our first third tithe year, as we have been members since 1965.

God is so loving and merciful, and we are so undeserving of the many blessings he literally pours out on us. We thank Him for His love and pray we will never forget that He is the source of all that we have.


H. G.

(Wichita, KS)

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November 15, 1980

Dear Mr. Armstrong,

I was one of the lucky brethren that went to Jerusalem for this year's Feast. Mr. Armstrong, it was truly the best Feast ever. Each day was more inspiring than the day before. The sermons were tremendous and the fellowship wonderful. I wish all the brethren could visit Jerusalem and feel the excitement of being there and especially at God's Feast.

This Feast ended my third tithe year, and it was a wonderful year. God has blessed me and my family so very much. So many things (dishwasher, heating boiler, sewing machine, swimming pool motor pump, refrigerator) were broken, and now they are all repaired or new.

I also got the opportunity to visit Florida, Alabama, Texas, Los Angeles, Las Vegas, and best of all, God's college in Pasadena.

My daughter was baptized one and a half years ago, and now my son-in-law was just baptized in the Jordan River in Israel this past Feast.

God is so good to me. I just had to write and tell you.

I pray God blesses you always, Mr. Armstrong, and keeps you healthy, happy and vigorous to do His Work.

Love in Jesus name,

D. C.

(Bayonne, NJ)

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May 9, 1981

Mr. Armstrong,

We have been in our third tithe year and want to tell you about our blessings.

A new baby arrived during the year, and God also provided for his necessities. A new stroller was given to us, as well as a used port-a-crib bed, baby pajamas of all descriptions, baby socks, underwear, shoes, pants and many other clothes. We also received a baby bathtub, a combination high chair and seat and some money.

Also, during this year, we were able to buy another car. It is a 1977 Plymouth wagon with only 60,000 miles on it. The monthly payments are low and extend over two years.

Then there was a time when I got back over $100 on insurance and $100 or so from another area. This was just when we needed the money.

I could continue for another page or two but don't want to wear you down. We are 100% behind you and are praying for the Work and also that you will continue to be in good health.


W. M.

(Monroe, LA)

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July 1, 1981

Dear Mr. Armstrong,

I work in construction, which has its ups and downs. The owner of our company and the whole crew (of which I am the foreman) are in the Church. This year three of us are in our third tithe year. The company has been tremendously blessed, and we have just had our best June in the last ten years.

This is my family's third third tithe year, and I must admit that we have never lacked any necessities in any of the previous third tithe years. Even our thirteen year-old car, with 169,000 miles on it, has (just like the soles of the Israelites' shoes while they wandered in the wilderness) not worn out. God's giving way really works!

There is a true story which perfectly illustrates the fact that you cannot outgive God. It goes something like this: There was a wealthy philanthropist who made it his habit to continually donate large sums of money to worthy and charitable organizations. He was asked one day by a reporter how he could manage to give so much away and still have so much left. He answered: "Well, as I shovel out, God shovels in, and God has a bigger shovel than I do."

Keep up the good work. We will pray for your health and vitality, and do our best to back you up. You are a real inspiration to us all, and we love and admire you very much.

All our love,

P. C.

(Northport, NY)

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November 26, 1981

Dear Mr. Armstrong,

Today is Thanksgiving, so I thought I would take time and give both you and God thanks. I thank you for having the courage to time and time again speak the "plain truth," and I thank God for giving me the gift of His Holy Spirit.

The Feast of Tabernacles 1981 ended my first third tithe year, and I must say that I have been blessed beyond belief. I began the year not knowing how the bills would be paid, yet two pay raises later everything was paid and my savings were higher than ever. Also, to my amazement, I was able to give freewill offerings for the first time since baptism.

During this past year God has added greatly to my understanding and knowledge of His way of life and also gave me the strength to step out and do, as much as possible, what is right in His eyes. This is by far His greatest gift to me, but gifts don't stop here.

At the Feast I met that special someone. It has been two and a half years since my divorce, and I expected to enter God's Kingdom not knowing the joy of a loving marriage. We are not yet married, but the hope is there, and it is real.

These are but a few of the more obvious gifts or blessings coming from paying third tithe. I now understand why some of the brethren wish every year could be a third tithe year.

With love,

P. B.

(Chicago, IL)

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December 2, 1981

Dear Mr. Armstrong,

I recently finished my third tithe year. The economy has been very poor. At the beginning of my third tithe year, our house payment increased by forty dollars. Financially, things looked very shaky for our household, but we remembered God's promises and knew that we must be faithful in our tithes. The outcome was tremendous!!

As we got a few months into our third tithe year, things began to happen. We found that we were able to have more brethren over for fellowship as our food budget seemed to go further. Our little four-year-old daughter was hit by an automobile but miraculously survived it. Then, on Pentecost, I was ordained a deacon, giving me greater opportunity to serve in God's Church.

To top my third tithe year off, I was able to take my family to Pasadena for the Feast. We had always wanted to go but never were able to. Needless to say, it was the greatest Feast ever. When I returned from the Feast, I found out that the company was laying some employees off. My boss called me into his office and asked me to shut the door. He said the company was giving me a 15% raise immediately!

What I am telling you is true, Mr. Armstrong. Many people in the world would not believe these blessings possible. Our great Father has kept His promise and has been very merciful to my family and me. We are thankful to be in His Church. We will continue to pray for you. Please continue to "fight the good fight." We pray that you will never compromise on God's truth and that you will continue to lead us right up to the end.

In Christian love,

K. H.

(Battle Creek, MI)

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February 10, 1982

Dear Mr. Armstrong,

May we share an exciting moment with you--a miracle that happened to our family in our third tithe year!

While parked along an ocean front highway, our car was broken into and the thieves managed to take almost all our valuables. This included a purse with wallet and keys, my husband's wallet, a cassette recorder and a number of other small items. A total of forty dollars cash was also taken. A wedding ring with eight diamonds, stashed away in a straw basket, was narrowly missed. I am sure God protected it!

The night after the theft, I dreamed I saw my wallet and keys. The next day, almost immediately after a quick silent prayer to our Heavenly Father asking for the items, the phone rang. A man on the other end said he would bring my purse to me that evening after work. The second miracle came two days later when the same man brought my husband's wallet. Slowly, over the months, our belongings have returned or been replaced by other blessings.

Many blessings keep coming to us in this third tithe year. God loves us so much. He even cares about the little things in our life that mean so much! Thank you for sharing this experience with us. May God continue to bless you each and every day as the Work is done.

In Christian love,

S. M.

(Pasadena, CA)

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January 19, 1982

To whom (or whatever department) it may concern:

In this letter I would like to let members, who may not fully understand about the third tithe, know what it is used for, and who gets the benefit of it.

I know first hand. I have been a member for nearly thirteen years, and a disabled widow for nine of those years, and have been a recipient of third tithe assistance for a long time. For two and a half years, until I began receiving my widow's pension from Social Security, the Church supported me totally. Know of any other church that would do that? I don't either!

The check I now receive each month ($20) arrives exactly the day it is supposed to and, believe me, it helps! Then, there's another great thing the Church does for me. Social Security wouldn't allow the Church to give me more money--it would cost me part of my pension. So the Church buys my groceries every month! And anyone knows that is no small thing these days. The Church has also sent me to the Feast twice since I lost my husband.

I've never written about this before. Not many even know about it, but I suddenly began to feel maybe I should write and tell my brethren that even though third tithe years can be hard, the money is a great blessing to people like me!... We don't hear about the third tithe too often in sermons or sermonettes, so I thought if brethren understood it from the point of one of their sisters, the sending might be a little easier. After all, we're still human enough to want to know where our money goes.

Thank you for obeying our Father and being faithful, and I thank Him for calling me and providing for me.

With deep and sincere love,



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