Tithes and Offerings (Part 2 of 2)

In continuing our study on the very important subject of  tithes and offerings, we shall address question 2 and 3. “What amount does the Lord require?” and “When are we to pay it?”.  But before we discuss this, I wanted to share with you two very important quotes I found from our prophetess.

In speaking of the importance of tithing, she says “As the Giver of every blessing, God claims a certain portion of all we possess.This is His provision to sustain the preaching of the gospel. And by making this return to God, we are to show our appreciation of His gifts. But if we withhold from Him that which is His own, how can we claim His blessing?  If we are unfaithful stewards of earthly things, how can we expect Him to entrust us with the things of heaven? It may be that here is the secret of unanswered prayer.(Christ Object Lessons, p.144)

Wow, can we  fully comprehend that? So important is this subject that inspiration dares even bring up this point!  How many times have we all wondered — why hasn’t God answered my prayers? As we continue on in this study, let’s keep that powerful statement in mind. Not only are we to be blessed in material ways but spiritual – the answering of prayer!

 In order to keep and have God’s blessings He has always held certain conditions for us to obey.  “All who obey Him may with confidence claim the fulfillment of His promises.”(COL.p.145)

The other quote is “Those who are ready and willing to invest in the cause of God, will be blessed in their efforts to acquire money.” (Review and Herald, Sept 18, 1888). So we see that  God will provide a financial reward to those who step out in faith and “invest” in God’s work .

In answering question number 2,  “What amount does the Lord require?”, we should first look at the following Scriptures , to see that our attitude is important in giving. “But this I say: He who sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and he who sows bountifully will also reap bountifully. So let each one give as he purposes in his heart, not grudgingly or of necessity; for God loves a cheerful giver…Now may He who supplies seed to the sower, and bread for food, supply and multiply the seed you have sown and increase the fruits of your righteousness.” (2 Cor.9:6-7,10)

So we approach our duty to repay God with a smile and a joyful heart. Knowing and claiming His promise.

Due to the depth of this subject in Scripture, we can’t go into all the Scripture to back up the support of 10% of our income (increase) is to go toward tithing,  but suffice to say it has been 10 % since Abraham (see Gen.14:20 and Heb.7:2) and Jacob ( Gen 28:22). The word “tithe” actually means one tenth. We do have a quote from EGW concerning this — 

“A tithe of all our income is the Lord’s. He lays His hand upon that portion which He has specified that we shall return to Him, and says, I allow you to use My bounties after you have laid aside the tenth, and have come before Me with gifts and offerings.” (Review and Herald, Dec. 1, 1896).

Also you can read (Lev.27:32) (Deut. 14:22-29 and 10:8-9) and (Numbers 18:23-24).

But there is also Scripture to indicate that offerings above and beyond the 10% should be made (Deut 12:6-14). However upon the research I’ve done, it appears that the “offerings” are left to the giver’s heart and disposition.But it is important to note that the Lord does want offerings. In the (Mal. 3:8) we saw where the Lord said He was being robbed of tithes and offerings.

 To learn more on “Tithes and offerings”   see sister White’s book “The Story of Patriarchs and Prophets”. Chapter 50 is dedicated to this subject.  Below we see  the issue  of amounts paid in tithing was addressed by bro. Houteff in  “The Answerer” publication.

WHAT IS SUBJECT TO TITHING?

Question No. 99:

   Deuteronomy 14:22 says: “Thou shalt truly tithe all the increase of thy seed, that the field bringeth forth year by year.” How shall I tithe my crop?

Answer:

   To facilitate answering this question, let us consider for example the case of a potato grower. Say that he is without expense for hired labor, irrigation, rent, etc. If free from such overhead and if his gross returns are $50 an acre, then the whole amount would be subject to tithe, which of course would be $5 an acre. If, however, he must operate with an overhead expense to produce his crop, then obviously such expense should be  deducted from the gross value of the produce, and only the remainder tithed. For instance, if the gross value of the crop be $50 an acre, and the overhead expense $10 an acre, then the net increase, the amount subject to tithe,

Answerer Book 4                                  47

would be $40 an acre, and the tithe only $4 instead of $5 an acre.

   If, on the other hand, one is a wage earner, sustaining  the expense of social security, transportation to and from work, etc., then he deducts the amount of such expenses from his wages before tithing them. For example, if he receives $100 a month wages, and if he must spend 10 cents a day, or about $2.60 a month, for transportation, he then deducts $2.60 from $100, which leaves $97.40 to tithe.

   If one’s income is from rentals, then he deducts the amount spent on upkeep of the property from his untithed gross income. Thus figuring one’s income, one tithes all his increase.

In answering our final question, “When are we to pay it?”  We shall see a BIG mistake in how we as a general body in the church are hood winked by the evil one in this issue. Scripture, sister White, and brother Houteff are unanimous in “when” we should pay our tithes.

In the beginning of this post I mentioned that new light had just came into my path. The following inspired words I read from sister White. “The directions given by the Holy Spirit through Paul in regards to gifts, present a principle that applies also to tithing: “Upon the first day of the week let every one of you lay by him in store, as God hath prospered him.” … And what more appropriate time could be chosen for setting aside the tithe and presenting our offerings to God?” (Counsels on Stewardship, P.80)

“Some Documentation on Systematic Benevolence and the Tithe as Launched in 1859. The following plan was recommended at the January 1859 meeting in Battle Creek:

“1. Let each brother from 18 to 60 years of age lay by him in store on the first day of each week from five to 25 cents.“2. Each sister from 18 to 60 years of age lay by her in store on the first day of each week from two to ten cents.“3. Also, let each brother and sister lay by him or her in store on the first day of each week from one to five cents on each and every $100 of property they possess .“The lowest sums stated are so very small that those in the poorest circumstances (with very few exceptions of some widows, infirm, and aged) can act upon this plan; while those in better circumstances are left to act in the fear of God in the performance of their stewardship,to give all the way up to the highest sums stated, or even more, as they see it their duty to do.” —RH,February 3, 1859, p.84. With only slight modification, this plan was adopted at the General Conference session, June 4, 1859. Reported in RH June 9, 1859, p. 20. (Source – Biblical research.gc.Adventist.org)

To see that the above plan was the very first plan of paying Tithes  within the SDA church and endorsed by the founding members,  see this extensive researched article — http://www.whiteestate.org/issues/Tithe-H&U.html#Some

In the above article compiled by Arthur White, he confirms, “Ellen G. White early linked the tithe with “Systematic Benevolence.” First, she assured the church in June 1859: “The plan of systematic benevolence is pleasing to God” (1T 190).  This is solid and confirmed evidence of “first day” paying of tithes NOT Sabbath paying.

As can be seen from above, this custom was practiced by the early SDA church, but as time went on, we as a church body, steadily retreated toward Egypt. A new abomination crept in, right beneath our noses! This custom (Sabbath plate passing) was brought over from the heathen churches. Absolutely no doubt about it.

Brother Houteff also confirms this. “In order to eliminate money changing for tithe and offering, paying for books, etc. on the Sabbath, a Laodicean practice which the word of God condemns, let us carefully attend to all such matters on the first day of the week (1 Cor.16:2) by placing all monies in envelopes.” (Vol. 1 Symbolic news code, no.9, p.11)

So let us recap what we have learned. First, we saw that the tithes should go to the ministers and preachers of the present truth. This is VERY important. We must be sure we are paying God’s faithful servants who are supplying the flock with truth for today, not yesterday.

Second, we confirmed the custom of a tenth of our income (increase) is to go to the Lord’s storehouse. Offerings should be made and can only result in corresponding blessings. For a list of this author’s  researched true storehouses see our post at this link –https://godsloveandlaw.wordpress.com/2012/03/17/gods-storehouse-blessings/

Lastly, we saw that the first day of the week (Sunday)is the true day to pay the tithes and offerings.This may be done by mailing it in or if your church happens to be open on that day–drop it off. Also you notice that not once in all of Scripture do we ever find someone paying or handling money inside the temple or sanctuary. Infact to the contrary, we saw our Lord whip the money changers out of the temple courts (matt.21:12). So today we are actually doing a double abomination! Paying it on the Sabbath and in the Sanctuary!

In closing, as we have learned,  our Lord will bless us and give us rewards that each of us will be thrilled about. But they come with conditions. If we study to show ourselves approved, we shall indeed claim His great promise here. The Lord has built in a kind of circular method. We return to Him His own, and He returns even more to us, so that we can increase more back to Him to win more souls to the Truth. A Win-Win-Win situation!

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