Vows and being most faithful

(Picture from Pexels)


The Temple Institute sent the following out in its newsletter today:

“If a man makes a vow to HaShem”

(Numbers 30:3)

Tammuz 23, 5782/July 22, 2022

This week’s Torah reading, Matot, opens with Moshe standing before the twelve tribal leaders of the entire nation of Israel, impressing upon them the supreme importance and supreme caution to be taken before making a vow, (neder, in Hebrew). “If a man makes a vow to HaShem or makes an oath to prohibit himself, he shall not violate his word; according to whatever came out of his mouth, he shall do.” (Numbers 30:3) And the same, as Moshe makes clear in the very next verse, goes for women. An oath is inviolable. Our word is who we are, all we are.

Moshe goes on the describe how in certain cases vows can be nullified, in the case of a married woman or an unmarried daughter. But these exceptions prove the rule: an oath, if taken, is to be kept.

There are various types of vows. Some needed, some that may be okay, and those that never should have been made.

The old Radio Church of God published the following by the late evangelist Herman Hoeh:

A few members, out of mistaken zeal, have taken foolish vows. This article explains what every member needs to know about vows.

OVER the past months it has come to our attention that a few well-meaning members have been vowing foolishly. This must stop!

God does not require any of us to vow. But — and if — you do freely vow, God will hold you to it in the judgment!

It is time we reconsidered the question of taking vows. When are vows binding? Which vows, taken before conversion, are binding?

Is the individual free to determine for himself if his vow is binding?

What Is a Vow?

First let us understand what a vow is. Webster defines a vow as: “1. A solemn promise or pledge; especially one made to God… dedicating oneself to an act, service, or way of life. … 2. a promise of love and fidelity: as, marriage vows.”

Now notice the Bible basis of vowing. “When thou vowest a vow unto God, defer not to pay it; for he hath no pleasure in fools: pay that which thou hast vowed. Better it is that thou shouldest not vow than that thou shouldest vow and not pay” (Eccles. 5:4-5).

Too many individuals make rash vows and wake up too late to realize they should never have made such a solemn promise. Many individuals are not SPIRITUALLY MATURE enough even to know the difference between a foolish vow and a wise vow.

Now notice Deuteronomy 23:21-23, from the Jewish Translation: When thou shalt vow a vow unto the Lord thy God, thou shalt not be slack to pay it; for the Lord thy God will surely require it of thee; and it will be sin in thee. But if thou shalt forbear to vow, it shall be no sin in thee. That which is gone out of thy lips thou shalt observe and do; according as thou hast vowed freely unto the Lord thy God, even that which thou hast promised with thy mouth.”

According to the original Hebrew text, a vow must be FREELY taken before God if it is to be binding. This verse in the King James Version is not properly rendered. The verse is not talking about “free will offerings,” but about vows freely taken.

These verses make it clear that every vow which God binds on an individual must be kept. But not all vows are bound by God.

When NOT Responsible for a Vow

So important in God’s sight is the matter of taking a vow that one entire chapter in the Bible is devoted to this very question! Turn to Numbers 30. Beginning with the last part of verse 1: “This is the thing which the Lord hath commanded.” Here is a command of God. Notice what it says:

“If a man vow a vow unto the Lord … he shall not break his word, he shall do according to all that proceedeth out of his mouth. If a woman also vow a vow to the Lord, and bind herself by a bond being in her father’s house in her youth; and her father hear her vow, and her bond wherewith she hath bound her soul, and her father shall hold his peace at her; then all her vows shall stand…” (Verses 3 and 4). Here we have the case of a young woman who is still residing with her parents. If she has taken a vow and her father does not disapprove, then her vows are to stand. She is bound to keep her vows. But now consider verse 5. “If her father disallow her in the day that he heareth; not any of her vows, or of her bonds wherewith she hath bound her soul, shall stand: and the Lord shall forgive her, because her father disallowed her.”

Here we have the case of a young girl who is not mature enough to be responsible for taking a vow. If her father — at the time when he hears about his daughter’s vow — regards it a foolish vow, he has the power and the authority to disannul it. In that case the young girl is not responsible for that vow. God forgives her for having taken such a rash vow. God does not require her to perform it. Here we have the Biblical example of a mature human being who has the power to annul the vow of a person not old enough or spiritually mature enough to be responsible for taking a vow.

Now notice verse 6. “And if she had at all an husband when she vowed or uttered ought out of her lips, wherewith she bound her soul; and her husband heard it, and held his peace at her in the day that he heard it; then her vow shall stand, and her bonds wherewith she bound her soul shall stand.” In this case a wife has taken a vow. If her husband, upon hearing of the vow, does not regard it as a foolish vow then she is bound to keep her vow.

But now notice verse 8: “But if her husband disallowed her on the day that he heard it; then he shall make her vow which she vowed, and that which she uttered with her lips, wherewith she bound her soul, of none effect: and the Lord shall forgive her.”

This is a very important verse. Notice what it means!

The Husband’s Responsibility

If a wife takes a rash vow and her husband — when he first hears of it — disapproves of it, she is not bound to her vow. The husband is the head of the wife. God makes the man responsible for the vows of his wife!

Notice that in the case of, the wife or the daughter, mentioned here in Numbers 30, a vow may be annulled AT THE TIME THE RESPONSIBLE PARTY HEARS OF IT. A vow does not have to be annulled at the time it is taken, but at the time when it is heard by the responsible party whose right is to make the decision whether that vow is binding.

Now continue with verses 9 and 10. “But every vow of a widow, and of her that is divorced, wherewith they have bound their souls, shall stand against her. And if she vowed in her husband’s house, or bound her soul by a bond with an oath; and her husband heard it and held his peace at her, and disallowed her not; then all her vows shall stand, and every bond wherewith she bound her soul shall stand. But if her husband hath utterly made them void on the day he heard them; then whatsoever proceedeth out of her lips concerning her vows, or concerning the bond of her soul, shall not stand: HER HUSBAND HATH MADE THEM VOID; and the Lord shall forgive her.

Now notice verse 13 especially. “Every vow… HER HUSBAND MAY ESTABLISH IT, OR HER HUSBAND MAY MAKE IT VOID.” Notice! In God’s sight it is the man’s responsibility to establish or to rescind his wife’s vow.

It is also the father’s responsibility to establish or to rescind his daughter’s vow. Since the question of taking a vow involves the matter of responsibility, and since God is no respecter of persons, it is also the responsibility of the father to disannul or to approve HIS SONS VOWS as well as those of his daughter. Only when a boy reaches maturity docs he become solely responsible for his own vows.

In the last portion of verse 14 God again makes it the man’s responsibility to confirm his wife’s vow. Many husbands, of course, do not recognize their responsibility. They have never been taught their responsibility in the matter of vows. Let us suppose, for example, that a husband who knew nothing about God’s command in Numbers 30 regarded his wile’s vow, at the time she made it, a foolish vow. He disapproved of it even though he did not know that he could rescind it. Later the knowledge of the truth comes to him. God opens his mind to see that it was his responsibility to rescind his wife’s vow at the time she took it. Can he, at this later time, rescind it?

The answer is YES! Since it was his conviction that his wife’s vow was foolish but he did not know he could annul it, then he may at that later date annul it once the knowledge of the truth is come. He actually did so in PRINCIPLE when be first heard it. He is now merely FORMALIZING it! But if he approved Of his wife’s VOW at first HE CANNOT LATER CHANGE HIS MIND! His wife’s vow is binding. (Hoeh H. Should You Vow? Good News, December 1962)

The two types of vows that tend to be the most relevant:

  1. Remaining committed when baptized.
  2. Being faithful to marriage vows.

Presuming you are a true Christian are you living up to what Christ expects of you?

We have a free online booklet to assist you: Christians: Ambassadors for the Kingdom of God, Biblical instructions on living as a Christian.

In the end times, sadly, most Christians are not living as Jesus wants them to!

Jesus said:

14 “And to the angel of the church of the Laodiceans write,

‘These things says the Amen, the Faithful and True Witness, the Beginning of the creation of God: 15 “I know your works, that you are neither cold nor hot. I could wish you were cold or hot. 16 So then, because you are lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will vomit you out of My mouth. 17 Because you say, ‘I am rich, have become wealthy, and have need of nothing’ — and do not know that you are wretched, miserable, poor, blind, and naked — 18 I counsel you to buy from Me gold refined in the fire, that you may be rich; and white garments, that you may be clothed, that the shame of your nakedness may not be revealed; and anoint your eyes with eye salve, that you may see. 19 As many as I love, I rebuke and chasten. Therefore be zealous and repent. 20 Behold, I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears My voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and dine with him, and he with Me. 21 To him who overcomes I will grant to sit with Me on My throne, as I also overcame and sat down with My Father on His throne.

22 “He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches.”‘” (Revelation 3:14-22)

Notice that Jesus is, in a sense, telling most end time Christians that they are not fulfilling their vows to be a faithful Christian. He is saying that they think they are fine, but Jesus said that they are not.

He tells them to listen.

But, sadly, most will not.

What about being part of the truest Church?

Well, although the Radio Church of God is no more, the true Church of God was never to die out as Jesus said:

18 … I will build My church, and the gates of Hades shall not prevail against it. (Matthew 16:18)

That means that the true Church would not die out, but continue.

In the Continuing Church of God (CCOG) we strive to be the continuation of the Philadelphia portion of the Christian church. This is consistent with the following

1 Let brotherly love {Philadelphia} continue. (Hebrews 13:1)

We strive to do that.

Yet, Jesus warned in His messages to the churches in Revelation 2 & 3 that most end time Christians would NOT be Philadelphian. We have links to articles on dozens of Christian groups explaining where they differ from the Bible and the Philadelphian work, as more on the CCOG in the article: How does the Continuing Church of God differ from other Sabbatarian COG groups?

The Apostle Paul wrote:

14 But you must continue in the things which you have learned and been assured of, knowing from whom you have learned them (2 Timothy 3:14)

Is God is calling you (or has called you), and will you learn, continue, and seriously do what is taught in the Bible? If so, you can be a member of the Continuing Church of God.

If God is calling you, notice what the Apostle Peter said you should do (those wishing to argue against this, obviously would not wish to be part of the CCOG):

38 “Repent, and let every one of you be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins; and you shall receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. 39 For the promise is to you and to your children, and to all who are afar off, as many as the Lord our God will call.” (Acts 2:38-39)

Repentance is a type of vow.

If you have repented and already been appropriately baptized, then we also suggest that you read the Statement of Beliefs of the Continuing Church of God. If you agree, will live as a true Christian, and wish to be part of us, then we accept true believers who wish to support us as we lead the Final Phase of the Work by proclaiming the Gospel of the Kingdom of God as a witness (Matthew 24:14), teaching all that Jesus commanded (Matthew 28:19-20), working to reach the full number of those called in this age (see What About Romans 11:25 and the Full Number of the Gentiles), while also preparing for the ‘Short Work, remembering the poor (Galatians 2:10), and proclaiming the Ezekiel Warning.

You can contact a minister or other representative near your area to let him know you wish to be part of us. We also would expect you to live as a Christian and, among other things, keep the Sabbath, attend or watch our church services, and strive to attend the Feast of Tabernacles.

If you have not been appropriately baptized, or are not sure if you have been, and you believe you are being called to become part of the Continuing Church of God, you will want to meet with a deacon or minister in the church to discuss church teachings and get questions answered. We have many congregations around the world, several of which are listed on our Congregations page. You can also read about the teachings of our church throughout this www.ccog.org website as well as the www.cogwriter.com website. For more on counseling, etc., check out the article: How does the CCOG handle Counseling, Prayer Requests, Funerals, and Anointing of the Sick?

Please understand, there is no minimum or maximum amount of time required to learn about the church. The important thing is to believe the word of God and understand the about living as a true Christian. We also have a booklet that may help online: Christians: Ambassadors for the Kingdom of God, Biblical instructions on living as a Christian.

Once you have turned you life over to God and learned about the church, you are ready to become part of the body of Christ. You become a member of the Church of God through being baptized by a representative of the church. Baptism is a critical and fundamental step. Baptism signifies the death of our carnal nature and our being begotten as a follower of Jesus Christ. It allows us to partake God’s plan of eternal salvation. Furthermore, baptism is a public statement to the church and the world that the believer is turning away from loving the world and dedicating his/her life to God.

Additional information on baptism can be found in the article Baptism, the Early Church, and the Continuing Church.

If you are not already a properly baptized part of the Church of God, in order to be considered a real member of the Continuing Church of God, you must:

  1. Be called of God.
  2. Be willing to seek first the kingdom of God.
  3. Repent of your sins.
  4. Have the godly faith to accept Jesus as your Lord and Savior.
  5. Strive to live as a loving Christian–fulfill your Christian ‘vow’.
  6. Be persuaded that our beliefs are biblical.
  7. Contact a CCOG leader for counseling.
  8. Be properly baptized and have hands laid upon you.
  9. Support the work of Matthew 24:14, Matthew 28:19-20, and other aspects of the Philadelphian work.
  10. Continue to live as a Christian and endure to the end.

We also have literature to assist you in the process.

YOU can be independent of the world as well as non-Philadelphian Christianity.

Those interested in being part of the Continuing Church of God may also wish to read the following: How Do I Become a Member of the Continuing Church of God?

Some items of possibly related interest may include:

Independent/Unaffiliated: Independent Members of the COG: Herbert W. Armstrong Comments, Plus Questions and Answers What did Herbert W. Armstrong teach about being independent of the organized Church? Should independents who claim to accept Herbert W. Armstrong’s teachings support the end time Philadelphian work? Here is a link to a related sermon: Church of God Unity. Watch also Zephaniah’s ‘Gather Together’ Prophecy.
How Do I Become a Member of the Continuing Church of God? This article has scriptures, links, and other information for those interested in being part of the CCOG. Here is a link to a related sermonette: 10 Steps to Be a Member of the CCOG.
Is God Calling You? This booklet discusses topics including calling, election, and selection. If God is calling you, how will you respond? Here is are links to related sermons: Christian Election: Is God Calling YOU? and Predestination and Your Selection.A short animation is also available: Is God Calling You?
Christian Repentance Do you know what repentance is? Is it really necessary for salvation? A related sermon is also available titled: Real Christian Repentance.

Baptism, the Early Church, and the Continuing Church Was it by immersion? Did it include infants? Does Polycarp prove infant baptism? Here is a link to some information in the Spanish language: Bautismo de infantes o bendición de los niños pequeños. A related sermon video is titled Baptism: What is it and how should it be done?
Christians: Ambassadors for the Kingdom of God, Biblical instructions on living as a Christian This is a scripture-filled booklet for those wishing to live as a real Christian. A related sermon is also available: Christians are Ambassadors for the Kingdom of God.
Real Conversion Many think that they are converted Christians. But are they? Would you like to know more about conversion?
False Conversion! Have you really been converted? Herbert W. Armstrong wrote an article on this important subject–but more scriptures have been added to it. How can you tell false conversion? A related video is also available: False Conversion. A Spanish language version is also available: Falsa Conversión.
All About Water Baptism What is baptism? Would you like to know more about it. Herbert W. Armstrong wrote this as a booklet on this important subject. As far as early history, see also Baptism, the Early Church, and the Continuing Church.
Laying on of Hands This is an elementary principle of Hebrews 6. Have you properly had hands laid upon you? Here is a link to a related sermon: Laying on of Hands and Succession.
Living as a Christian: How and Why? In what ways do Christians live differently than others. What about praying, fasting, tithing, holy days, and the world? There are also two YouTube video related to this: Living as a Christian: How and Why? and Living as a Christian: Pure Milk of the Word.
Faith for Those God has Called and Chosen What is faith? Can faith be increased? Are you saved by faith? What about works? Do Christians need to keep the Ten Commandments? What is the ‘faith chapter’? How do the just live by faith? Is faith one of the weightier matters of the law? How does faith come? Marque aquí para ver el pdf folleto: Fe para aquellos que Dios ha llamado y escogido. In German: Glaube für die von Gott Berufenen und Auserwählten. In French: La Foi pour ceux que Dieu a Appelés et Choisis. Here is a link to a related sermon titled: Faith for the Called and Chosen.and here is a link to another sermon Faith and Courage. Here is a link to shorter version of the written article in Mandarin Chinese N{ÇQsNŽOáNðv„\e‡zà.
Prayer: What Does the Bible Teach? This free booklet contains 28 biblically-based tips on improving the effectiveness of your prayers. This is a pdf. A related two part sermon is available: What Does the Bible Teach About Prayer? and What does the Bible Teach About Prayer (& Healing)?
The MYSTERY of GOD’s PLAN: Why Did God Create Anything? Why Did God Make You? This free online book helps answers some of the biggest questions that human have, including the biblical meaning of life. Here is a link to three related sermons: Mysteries of God’s Plan, Mysteries of Truth, Sin, Rest, Suffering, and God’s Plan, and The Mystery of YOU.
Herbert W. Armstrong, the Philadelphia Church, & the Mantle Herbert Armstrong claims God had him raise the Philadelphia up. Are there reasons to believe that the Philadelphia mantle in now within the CCOG? Here is a link to a related sermon: Herbert W. Armstrong and the Philadelphia Mantle.
Does the CCOG have the confirmed signs of Acts 2:17-18? Does any church have the confirmed dream and prophetic signs of Acts 2:17-18? Should one? Here is a link in the Spanish language: ¿Tiene la CCOG confirmadas las señales de Hechos 2: 17-18?
Should the Church Still Try to Place its Top Priority on Proclaiming the Gospel or Did Herbert W. Armstrong Change that Priority for the Work? Some say the Church should mainly feed the flock now as that is what Herbert W. Armstrong reportedly said. Is that what he said? Is that what the Bible says? What did Paul and Herbert W. Armstrong expect from lower level leaders? Two related sermons are available The Work per HWA and the Bible and Priority of the Philadelphia Work.
Preparing for the ‘Short Work’ and The Famine of the Word What is the ‘short work’ of Romans 9:28? Who is preparing for it? Here is a link to a related video sermon titled: The Short Work.
Hope of Salvation: How the Continuing Church of God Differs from Protestantism The CCOG is NOT Protestant. This free online book explains how the real Church of God differs from mainstream/traditional Protestants. Several sermons related to the free book are also available: Protestant, Baptist, and CCOG History; The First Protestant, God’s Command, Grace, & Character; The New Testament, Martin Luther, and the Canon; Eucharist, Passover, and Easter; Views of Jews, Lost Tribes, Warfare, & Baptism; Scripture vs. Tradition, Sabbath vs. Sunday; Church Services, Sunday, Heaven, and God’s Plan; Seventh Day Baptists/Adventists/Messianics: Protestant or COG?; Millennial Kingdom of God and God’s Plan of Salvation; Crosses, Trees, Tithes, and Unclean Meats; The Godhead and the Trinity; Fleeing or Rapture?; and Ecumenism, Rome, and CCOG Differences.

4. The Thyatira Church Era was predominant circa 1050 A.D. to circa 1600 A.D. The Church during the Inquisition.
5. The Sardis Church Era was predominant circa 1600 A.D. to circa 1933 A.D. Discusses early history of the Seventh Day Baptists, Seventh-day Adventists, and COG-7th Day.
6. The Philadelphia Church Era was predominant circa 1933 A.D. to 1986 A.D. The old Radio Church of God and old Worldwide Church of God, now the remnant of that era is basically the most faithful in the Church of God, like who hold to the beliefs and practices of the Continuing Church of God.
7. The Laodicean Church Era has been predominant circa 1986 A.D. to present. The Laodiceans are non-Philadelphians who mainly descended from the old WCG or its offshoots. They do not properly understand the work or biblical prophecies and will face the Great Tribulation if they do not repent. One video of related interest is 17 Laodicean Errors in Prophecy.
Christians: Ambassadors for the Kingdom of God, Biblical instructions on living as a Christian This is a scripture-filled booklet for those wishing to live as a real Christian. A related sermon is also available: Christians are Ambassadors for the Kingdom of God.
The Ten Commandments: The Decalogue, Christianity, and the Beast This is a free pdf book explaining the what the Ten Commandments are, where they came from, how early professors of Christ viewed them, and how various ones, including the Beast of Revelation, will oppose them. A related sermon is titled: The Ten Commandments and the Beast of Revelation.
The Gospel of the Kingdom of God This free online pdf booklet has answers many questions people have about the Gospel of the Kingdom of God and explains why it is the solution to the issues the world is facing. Here are links to three related sermons: The World’s False Gospel, The Gospel of the Kingdom: From the New and Old Testaments, and The Kingdom of God is the Solution.
Where is the True Christian Church Today? This free online pdf booklet answers that question and includes 18 proofs, clues, and signs to identify the true vs. false Christian church. Plus 7 proofs, clues, and signs to help identify Laodicean churches. A related sermon is also available: Where is the True Christian Church? Here is a link to the booklet in the Spanish language: ¿Dónde está la verdadera Iglesia cristiana de hoy? Here is a link in the German language: WO IST DIE WAHRE CHRISTLICHE KIRCHE HEUTE? Here is a link in the French language: Où est la vraie Église Chrétienne aujourd’hui?
Continuing History of the Church of God This pdf booklet is a historical overview of the true Church of God and some of its main opponents from Acts 2 to the 21st century. Related sermon links include Continuing History of the Church of God: c. 31 to c. 300 A.D. and Continuing History of the Church of God: 4th-16th Centuries and Continuing History of the Church of God: 17th-20th Centuries. The booklet is available in Spanish: Continuación de la Historia de la Iglesia de Dios, German: Kontinuierliche Geschichte der Kirche Gottes, and Ekegusii Omogano Bw’ekanisa Ya Nyasae Egendererete.
CCOG.ORG Continuing Church of God The group striving to be most faithful amongst all real Christian groups to the word of God.

Get news like the above sent to you on a daily basis

Your email will not be shared. You may unsubscribe at anytime.