Tithes and Offerings (Part 1 of 2)

When we continue on our walk with the Lord, new light will continue to shine in our path. We see things or are revealed things that make us say “Wow, I didn’t know that, thank you Lord!”. Such may be the case with tithes and offerings for many of us. What you will see based on the inspired writings of God’s prophets will likely surprise you. Why? Because the master deceiver himself has done an effective job in hiding this information from us, just one of many deceptions he has planted in God’s remnant church. Not the least of which is passing the offering basket/bag around on the Sabbath!

The truth of this will  make us stop and think , and hopefully start doing the right thing in regards to paying what belongs to God and on the right day.

Most of us are familiar with the frequently used quote regarding tithes. “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, even this whole nation. Bring all the tithes into the storehouse, that there may be food in My house, and try me now in this,” says the LORD of hosts, If I will not open for you the windows of heaven and pour out for you such blessing that there will not be room enough to receive it.”(Mal 3:8-10)

The above words of the Lord have a rebuke,  an instruction and a promise. It’s also interesting to note that these words come in His “sign off” letter, His last book of the Old Testament, the book of Malachi. His summation of some very important issues for us to understand.

In my own example, I was a happy giver into the offering bag every Sabbath up until about 1 month ago ( to help our local church’s utilities and upkeep). Little did I know that this was indeed a serious wrong before the Lord. Don’t get the wrong idea, I am not advocating to stop paying tithes, only that we do it the Lord’s way.  If we do, we are promised great blessings.

We must remember that a certain portion of our money is His and we must return it to God. Ellen White explains “God says that there should be meat in His house, and if the money in the treasury is tampered with, if it is regarded as right for individuals to make what they please of the tithe, the Lord cannot bless. He cannot sustain those who think that they can do as they please with that which is His.” (Counsels on Stewardship, p.106)

How many of us can use the Lord’s blessings? Absolutely we can. The great Giver of all good things can bring each of us a blessing we can be thrilled about. But in order to receive it we must do as He has asked and instructed. Let’s look at His plan in this regard as spoken through His prophets.

On this subject of tithes and offerings we will look at the following  1) Where and who do we pay are tithes and offering’s to?  2) What amount does the Lord require?  3) When are we to pay it? Each of these 3 are very important rules required by the Lord, and if we disobey in any of the 3 , we cannot expect His blessings. Let’s look at number 1.

We shall see that the money is to go to those who are His “shepherds”, ministers who are “feeding ” His flock, ie.the truth for this time, his current message (see the below link).  “God’s ministers are His shepherds, appointed by Him to feed His flock. The tithe is His provision for their maintenance, and He designs that it shall be held sacred for this purpose.” (Phamplets, Vol.1, p.40)

“..a great mistake is made when the tithes is drawn from the object for which it is to be used,–the support of the ministers.” (Testimonies for the Church, Vol.9, p.248)

There are many other quotes from EGW that support the general idea that those who teach the true word of God as their profession, explaining the Scriptures, going door to door, or spreading the truth of the Lord in other endeavors, are to be paid from the tithes. However, what do we do when we clearly see that the local pastor isn’t teaching present truth? For information explaining more on present truth see this post https://godsloveandlaw.wordpress.com/2012/03/10/what-is-present-truth/

“There are many precious truths contained in the word of God, but it is “present truth” that the flock needs now.” (Early Writings, p.63)

Note: As we are told to always do the right thing when possible, I believe that when we go to our local church and cannot in good conscience pay our tithes to it , for it’s lack of teaching the Lord’s present truth, we should at least help  in regards to it’s upkeep (utilites, maintenance, etc.). We go every week there and use their water, lights, pews,  take part in their lunchs, etc.

Another good way to know if the pastor is preaching present truth is to ask these questions. Is the pastor teaching ways your church can stay on the straight and narrow path? Is he frequently looking for ways to improve the worship service? Is he admonishing the church at times as necessary.  Or is he teaching peace and safety week after week? Smooth sermons of safety, implying that each and every one who shows up to church needn’t worry, we’re all saved, converted or not.

This is one of the BIG differences between the DSDA and the SDA. The DSDA cannot in good conscience support those who fail to preach the present truth. Time is too short for this dereliction of duty. As we have learned, present truth specifically is the Elijah message, just as our Lord said. One prophet and one only would come before the great and dreadful day of the Lord,  Elijah (Mal. 4:5).

During his ministry bro. Houteff was asked several questions (in his publication called The Answerer) about tithes. Here is a response concerning whether we ourselves can be a “storehouse” and keep the tithes for God’s work.

CANNOT MY HOME BE HIS “STOREHOUSE”?

Question No. 97:

   Is it Scriptural for one to retain and personally use his tithe and offerings in order to carry on the gospel work in his own community, according to his own plans?

Answer:

   Nowhere in the Scriptures do we find permission to use the Lord’s money at our

Answerer Book 4                                  44

own discretion. The only justification for so doing would be sheer inability, for some reason to send it to the Lord’s “storehouse.” Should one voluntarily, though, engage in such a practice then he would set the wrong example before others. And if following in his lead, others assume  the same right, their course must inevitably  result in seriously handicapping the Lord’s work, bleeding and subverting His treasury, and thus disorganizing His work and reducing the church to a mere shell, while her members are hiring themselves as laborers in the Lord’s vineyard, helping themselves to the Lord’s money, and running without having been sent! What a Babylon that would be!

   Though the Lord commands, “Bring ye all the tithes into the storehouse” (Mal. 3: 10), He does not say to bring all the offerings. Thus, He shows that if we would engage in some personal charity or missionary activity, we should sustain it from offerings, not from the tithe.

   “Angels keep a faithful record of every man’s work, and as judgment passes upon the house of God, the sentence of each is recorded by his name, and the angel is commissioned to spare not the unfaithful servants, but to cut them down at the time of slaughter….And the crowns they might have worn, had they been faithful, are put upon the heads of those saved by the faithful servants….”Testimonies, Vol. 1, p. 198

In the above we see an interesting point. He points out that the tithes go to the storehouse, but if we engage in some type of personal ministry, we can use this from the offerings.

Then we see bro. Houteff address a direct question “To whom should my tithe go?”

” Since I am responsible for the light which is now shining upon my pathway, and since I must help give it to my brethren, should I pay my tithe to the Denomination(SDA) so that the ministry may have money with which to fight both the message and my personal endeavors to reach the people with it, and thereby, working at cross-purposes, only help to keep them in darkness?

Or, should I pay it to the Davidians, the “storehouse” of Present Truth, where it naturally should go to promote the advancement of a heart-searching reformation and to rescue my Seventh-day Adventist brethren from eternal ruin? And as they themselves  are not prepared to meet the Lord (Testimonies,  Vol. 6, p. 371), then how can they adequately prepare the heathen?

In view of all these facts, shall my tithe go to the Seventh-day Adventist denomination in behalf of the heathen or to the sealing message in behalf of the brethren?  If I dare not place my tithe to the support of what I believe to be Present Truth, then how will it be supported, and where else can I conscientiously place my tithe?

   Furthermore, if I place it in the Denomination(SDA) to be used largely for the evangelizing of worldlings, rather than in the storehouse of Present Truth to be used for the benefit of my brethren, then am I not doing so to the neglect of my own brethren, and thus denying that I am my brother’s keeper?

   And ought I, moreover, obey the ministers’ order to go in search of sheep in the house of Baal, instead of heeding the Lord’s express command to take the heaven-sent remedy to the sin-sick sheep in the house of Israel  (Matt. 10:6)? Which of these two endeavors would be the more sure to gain for me the commendation,  “Well done, thou good and faithful servant: thou hast been faithful over a few things, I will make thee ruler over many things: enter thou into the joy of thy Lord”? Matt. 25:21.

   “Who then is a faithful and wise servant, whom his Lord hath made ruler over his household, to give them meat in due season? Blessed is that servant, whom his Lord when He cometh shall find so doing.” Matt. 24:45, 46. (parenthesis added) (Answer Book, vol. 4, 42-43)

In our last quote for the answers to where/who should we pay tithes to, EGW says ” The tithe is to be used for one purpose,–to sustain the ministers whom the Lord has appointed to do His work. It is to be used to support those who speak the words of life to the people, and carry the burden of the flock of God.” (Manuscript 82, 1904).

So we see that the tithes should go to the present truth ministers, who actively “speak the words of life” and who “carry the burden of the flock of God” in other words–present truth. The offerings are directed to the same unless you have an active personal ministry of some type, in which case you can provide the offering to this cause. Today’s present truth is one of revival and reformation, is that what is being taught in your church?

Next week we’ll look at answering questions 2 and 3. May the Lord’s light shine upon you concerning this important requirement of God’s. Get ready to discover that the Lord is ready to keep His promise to bless you abundantly.

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