Why Shouldn’t We Pay Tithes to the SDA Church?

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We know our Christian history. In Acts 4:33-37, we read–

“And with great power gave the apostles witness of the resurrection of the Lord Jesus: and great grace was upon them all. Neither was there any among them that lacked: for as many as were possessors of lands or houses sold them, and brought the prices of the things that were sold, and laid them down at the apostles’ feet: and distribution was made unto every man according as he had need.

And Joses, who by the apostles was surnamed Barnabas, (which is, being interpreted, The son of consolation,) a Levite, and of the country of Cyprus, having land, sold it, and brought the money, and laid it at the apostles’ feet.”

What was taking place here? It was the fact that the believers now knew what the present truth was, that Jesus the despised leader was in fact “the Way, the Truth and the Life. (John 14:16)”. They knew that they could no longer support the church that was the “official” church, so claimed by the multitudes. To do so would only support the enemy of their cause, to lead them to destroy their movement in full

We see the changing of the storehouse. The unpopular and despised movement being the true God led one. The popular and majority led one– no longer God’s. Today we have the anti-type in the Davidian Seventh-day Adventist movement. Let us look at this subject more fully.

Last week we wrote about how no matter our financial position, we still need to be faithful to God. But the question arose — Why not return the tithes to the Seventh-day Adventist church? After all as SDA, even though we may call ourselves present truth believers, why not return the Lord’s money to the church we have our official membership with? A legitimate and timely question.

To begin, our faith in what is Truth is paramount. The message tells us —

"For every truth-seeker, moreover, stands the promise that He will not let one of them be deceived: "God never honors unbelief and questioning and doubt.  When He speaks, His word is to be recognized and carried out in the daily actions.  And if the heart of man is in living connection with God, the voice that cometh from above will be recognized... Those that do the will of God shall know of the doctrine whether it be of God for no deception will cloud their minds." -- Testimonies  on Sabbath-School Work, pp. 64, 65. (Tract 10, p.42)

Powerful injunction! Do we see a basic foundation of how we know Truth?  Do God’s will and we will know Truth–guaranteed!

So let us compare the Seventh-day Adventist “will” for God’s people versus the Davidian Seventh-day Adventist will and see which one stands closer to –God’s will and Word.

1) The SDA wants us to believe that EGW was the last prophet to come from God to His people. When asked about the “male prophet”–Elijah promised to come in the very last days (mal. 4:5) they do not believe in it’s fulfillment. or they have strange ideas such as “Ellen White fulfilled that role” or “God people in his church today fulfill that role”, or “that is symbolical”, etc.

The DSDA takes God at His word and believe that when He makes a promise His word will not return void. They never want to spiritualize away what is the clear and straight word of God.

“So shall My word be that goeth forth out of My mouth: it shall not return unto Me void, but it shall accomplish that which I please, and it shall prosper whereto I sent it.”  (Isaiah 55:11)

2) The SDA general leadership doesn’t want to uphold the high dress standards of our founder Ellen White. Our Inspired prophetess was very clear that dress reform is not to be trifled with. Her many writings deal squarely with this as does our unfailing standard — the Bible.

“In that day the Lord will snatch away their finery: the bangles and headbands and crescent necklaces, the earrings and bracelets and veils, the headdresses and anklets and sashes, the perfume bottles and charms, the signet rings and nose rings, the fine robes and the capes and cloaks, the purses  and mirrors, and the linen garments and tiaras and shawls. Instead of fragrance, there will be a stench; instead of a sash, a rope; instead of well-dressed hair, baldness; instead of fine clothing, sackcloth; instead of beauty, branding.” (Isaiah 3:18-24)

The Word of the Lord solemnly warns the people of God that soon He will deal with all this dress perversion among His people, that come to His sanctuary as if He is a common God, not noticing such terrible disrespectful attire among His people.

For anyone who doubts that the current leadership of our church is fast asleep in this issue just go to the services for a few weeks and you’ll see not a few younger women dress in short skirts and high heels. Some of the men dressed in jeans open collar shirts, tennis shoes, etc. The leadership blissfully winks at it all!

Not so with the Davidian Seventh-day Adventists. They will be found dressed in suit and tie, the women dressed modestly as well, including head covering.

3) Week after week the SDA pastors and leaders will come to the pulpit giving what is known as “peace and safety” messages. By this, we mean that there is hardly ever a word about sins in the church or a need for reformation among the people of God. No, they blindly assume that you just need to punch in your weekly church card and you’ll be ready for the portals of glory when the King comes in the clouds!

The SOP has straight applicable words here–

“Satan deceives many with the plausible theory that God’s love for His people is so great that He will excuse sin in them; he represents that while the threatenings of God’s word are to serve a certain purpose in His moral government, they are never to be literally fulfilled. But in all His dealings with his creatures God has maintained the principles of righteousness by revealing sin in its true character—by demonstrating that its sure result is misery and death.

The unconditional pardon of sin never has been, and never will be. Such pardon would show the abandonment of the principles of righteousness, which are the very foundation of the government of God. It would fill the unfallen universe with consternation. God has faithfully pointed out the results of sin, and if these warnings were not true, how could we be sure that His promises would be fulfilled? That so-called benevolence which would set aside justice is not benevolence but weakness.” (PP, p.522)

However, the DSDA know well that peace and safety is not the message for the church. Scripture and SOP tell us —

“For when they shall say, Peace and safety; then sudden destruction cometh upon them, as travail upon a woman with child; and they shall not escape.” (1 Thess. 5:3)

“Our message is not to be one of “peace and safety” (1 Thessalonians 5:3). As a people
who believe in Christ’s soon appearing, we have a work to do, a message to bear—“Prepare to meet thy God” (Amos 4:12). (SLM, vol. 2, p.150)

So after knowing the above, what is the Truthseeker to do–return His tithes to the SDA church or to the DSDA organizations? Before we answer this the following question was asked dealing with the two groups. We as Adventists really need to know –who is who?

 

ON WHICH SIDE WILL YOU BE?

Question No. 66:

  How do the Davidians regard the Seventh-day Adventist denomination?  What Position do they take concerning the writings of Mrs. E.G. White, and what dose Mt. Carmel stand for?

Answer:

  The Davidian Seventh-day Adventists believe that the Seventh-day Adventist  church was ordained of heaven and charged with a special message for the world but that in the course of time she permitted herself to grow self-complacent, lukewarm, and careless in discharging her sacred responsibilities; and that thus having once “turned back from following Christ her Leader,” she has ever since been “steadily retreating toward Egypt,” with the sad and tragic consequence that her “own course of continual backsliding has separated” her from God.—Testimonies, Vol. 5, p. 217.

  The Davidians further believe that this tragic departure from the Lord is all too manifest in that divided state revealed in the Seventh-day Adventist denomination by the contest within it “between the commandments of God and the commandments of men.”-Id., p. 81. To the end that this ruinous state of division and weakness be resolved into unity and strength, an absolute imperative to the church’s ever fulfilling her high destiny, the Davidians still further believe that, as is written, “the gold will be separated from the dross in the church.”

In other words, they believe that the Modernists, those who have rendered supreme homage to “ ‘science falsely so-called,’ . . . trusted to intellect, genius, or talent” (Id., p. 801, will be winnowed from the Fundamentalists—from those who “are standing in the light . . .sighing and crying for the abomination that are done in the land.”—Id., p. 209

   Let it, however, be immediately understood that, unlike those who openly affirm their modernistic views, the Seventh-day Adventist Modernists deprecate all such tendencies, and insistently profess to stand solidly on the fundamentals of Seventh-day Adventists, although unwittingly they gradually slip further and further away from them (Christ our Righteousness, 1941 Edition, p. 36).

  That this drift is recognized as an actual peril by some even within the church, is seen from an article published in The Review and Herald, July 2, 1936, entitled, “Modernism—A Personal Application”:

  “As we view with alarm the rapid spread of Modernism among the various Protestant churches, it is well to consider our own lives, to see if the same principles and trends may not have begun to operate there. While the doctrines and principles of Seventh-day Adventists are Fundamentalistic, there is grave danger that we as individuals may become Modernistic.

  “In order better to appreciate this danger, it is well to consider the essential difference between Fundamentalists and Modernists. The Fundamentalist believes in the word of God as a final authority; while the Modernist believes in the interpretation of the word of God according to his human reasoning, thus putting reasoning above the God of revelation.

  “In these last days, God has not confined His revelation to us as a people to the Scriptures only, but has also given us special instruction through the manifestation of the Spirit of prophecy ….

  “So while the popular churches show their Modernistic attitude only toward the Bible, it is possible for us to show the same attitude toward God’s special messages to us. In fact, our relation to the Testimonies is the very place where this attitude will be first manifested.”

  This insidious variety of modernism, weakening “the faith of God’s people in the Testimonies” (Testimonies, Vol. 4, p. 211), and gradually “new-modeling” the Denomination’s fundamental principles (Testimonies To Ministers, pp. 48, 69, 70, 360, 372, 373, 409), is heartbreaking evidence that those at its helm are Modernists. But their seeming innocence of the fact and their denial of it, make exceedingly difficult our doing anything to help them, without our efforts being misunderstood.

And to fix guilt for starting the drift away from the Heaven-established fundamentals of the faith today, is as impossible as to trace down the first Jewish teacher who put in the place of a “thus saith the Lord,” a thus saith himself or someone else. Indeed, whom to charge with this defection is as impossible to determine as is the date when the evil work started. Inspiration says:

  “There are those today who will present falsehoods as testing truths, even as the Jews presented the maxims of men as the bread of heaven. Sayings of no value are given to the people of God as their portion of meat, while souls are starving for the bread of life. Fables have been devised, and men are trying to weave these fables into the web. Those who do this will one day see their work as it is viewed by the heavenly intelligences. They choose to bring to the foundation wood, hay, and stubble, when they have at their command the word of God, with all its richness and power, from which they can gather precious treasures of truth.

The food that is being prepared for the flock will cause spiritual consumption, decline, and death. When those who profess to believe present truth come to their senses, when they accept the word of God just as it reads, when they do not try to wrest the Scriptures, they will bring from the treasure-house of the heart things new and old, to strengthen themselves and those for whom they labor.”-The Review and Herald, June 18, 1901.

  Next, the Davidians hold that the belief that the Spirit of Prophecy is to repose in the church to the end of time, is one of the foundation stones of Seventh-day Adventism. “This prophetic gift bestowed,” admits Elder A.G. Daniels, “was to abide with the church from Adam to the second advent of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, when He comes to take His redeemed people to Paradise. It did not cease with the apostles, but is traceable through the centuries to the last days of human history, just before the return of our Lord. When that supreme event of the ages shall occur, then—and not until then—shall come to pass that which is spoken of by the apostle Paul:

  “‘…whether there be prophecies, they shall be done away; whether there be tongues, they shall cease; whether there be knowledge, it shall be done away. For we know in part, and we prophesy in part; but when that which is perfect is come, that which is in part shall be done away.’—l Cor. 13:8-10, A.R.V.”—The Abiding Gift Of Prophecy, p. 6.

  Since this prophetic gift was manifest through Sister White, as has been evidentially established, she necessarily, then, wrote under divine Inspiration, as did the Bible writers. And, therefore, orthodox Seventh-day Adventism turns on the pivotal truth that “no prophecy of the Scriptures is of any private interpretation,” and can no more be understood now without special divine illumination than could prophecy have been understood in Daniel’s time without enlightenment from the angel, who explained: “I will shew thee that which is noted in the scripture of truth: and there is none that holdeth with me In these things, but Michael your Prince.” Dan. 10-21. Just so, the same Michael must commission a “teacher’’ for us today; otherwise those things which belong to our peace will be “hid from tour] eyes.” Luke 19:42.

  This solid rock of doctrine was ever to be the Denomination’s sure foundation, and just to the extent that its principles have been faithfully followed out has there been power in the church.

  Upon the death of Sister White, in 1915, the gift of Inspiration, the active Spirit of Prophecy, became quiescent, no longer manifesting Itself for a time. With the church thus cut off from the very source of its life, as was the Jewish church from the death of the prophet Malachi to the rise of John the Baptist, how could it maintain its vitality and growth? Hence, now as then, there has followed the same inevitable spiritual malnutrition and deformity, accompanied with a long train of woes.

  Against this dark background of spiritual decline and consumption (wretchedness, misery, poverty, blindness, and nakedness), and imminent end (being spued out), stands out in bold relief the sternly chiseled work of Mt. Carmel Center as did the flaming summit of ancient Carmel amid the idolatry and decadence of apostate Israel. Again type meets antitype. But to the Israel of God today, says the angel: “Ye have done worse than they.”-Testimonies, Vol. 1, p. 129.

  “Like a hammer to break the flinty heart; like a fire to consume the dross”  (Testimonies, Vol. 5, p. 254), the voice of Carmel cries unto Laodicea the unheeded warning: “I am filled with sadness when I think of Out condition as a people. The Lord has not closed Heaven to us, but our own course of continual backsliding has separated us from God. Pride, covetousness, and love of the world have lived in the heart without fear of banishment or condemnation. Grievous and presumptuous sins have dwelt among us. And yet the general opinion is that the church is flourishing, and that peace and spiritual prosperity are in all her borders.

  “The church has turned back from following Christ her Leader, and is steadily retreating toward Egypt. Yet few are alarmed or astonished at their want of spiritual power. Doubt and even disbelief of the testimonies of the Spirit of God, is leavening our churches everywhere. Satan would have it thus. Ministers who preach self instead of Christ would have it thus.

The testimonies are unread and unappreciated. God has spoken to you. Light has been shining from His word and from the testimonies, and both have been slighted and disregarded. The result is apparent in the lack of purity and devotion and earnest faith among us.”-Testimonies, Vol. 5, p. 217.

  “Now is the time when we should closely connect with God, that we may be hid when the fierceness of his wrath is poured upon the sons of men. We have wandered away from the old landmarks. Let us return. If the Lord be God, serve him;  if Baal, serve him. Which side will you be on?”-Testimonies, Vol. 5, p. 137.

  And now louder and louder sounds the voice of Carmel, through the series of The Shepherd’s Rod publications, “the Lord’s voice…unto the city, and,” says the Divine Author, “the man of wisdom shall see thy name: hear ye the Rod, and Who hath appointed it.” Mic. 6:9.

  “Feed thy people,” He commands, “with thy rod the flock of thine heritage, which dwell solitarily in the wood, in the midst of Carmel.” Mic. 7:14.

  Thus to rescue the honest in Laodicea from spiritual starvation and death, to revitalize, restore, and rearm them for the final conflict, the Lord has sent the Rod.

  When this work of restitution has been completed according to Matthew 17:11, and the Modernist element has been “cut off” as decreed in Ezekiel 9 and in Testimonies, Vol. 5, p. 80, then will be seen in the church a speedy fulfillment of the words of Christ: “The rain descended, and the floods came, and the winds blew, and beat upon that house;” and it stood. Matt. 7:25.

  Like the early pioneers of the Adventist church, those who heed the Rod are the  restorers of the “old paths”; they realize the grave consequences involved in going contrary to any light the Lord chooses to send His people. And since the message of the Rod has aroused an interest in the need of “reformation among God’s people,” we as Davidians would not only be recreant to out trust but would also be passing “by on the other side,” allowing our beloved Seventh-day Adventist church to drag in the dust, our brethren to be lost, and the world around us to perish for “lack of knowledge,” if we did not bestir ourselves to warn the church of the oncoming danger.

  Our unselfish zeal and effort to help all Modernist Seventh-day Adventist brethren, regardless of their race, nationality, or social position, is evidence enough of our love for them and our devotion to them. We believe with the apostle Paul that all are of the children of Adam, children of adoption into the family of God through our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ.

  Though we realize the greatness of our goal, yet with implicit confidence in our Leader, Who has never yet failed to carry through any phase of the Divine purpose, we face our task with courage and confidence, believing that “we are well able to go up and possess the land” of our inheritance, and finally to pass into that heavenly Canaan, where “milk and honey” will flow forever.

  Of necessity, then, Mt. Carmel Center is being built as a base of operations for training and fitting workers to carry this special message to the church; for educating deserving youth; for caring for worthy poor, aged, widowed, and orphaned; and for ministering to the sick and infirm according to God’s plan. It has heard God’s double charge to it: “Cry aloud, spare not, lift up thy voice like a trumpet, and shew My people their transgression, and the house of Jacob their sins.” Isa. 58:1.

  “Blow the trumpet in Zion, sanctify a fast, call a solemn assembly: Gather the people, sanctify the congregation, assemble the elders, gather the children, and those that suck the breasts: let the bridegroom go forth of his chamber, and the bride out of her closet.” Joel 2:15, 16.

  When it has accomplished this “closing work for the church” (Testimonies, Vol. 3, p. 266), then those who have overcome every “temptation in the strength of the Mighty One,” who have sighed and cried and escaped the destruction, will “be as David; and the house of David shall be as God as the angel of the Lord before them.” Zech. 12:8. Davidians indeed!—“a great people and a strong” (Joel 2:2), “clad in the armor of Christ’s righteousness,…‘fair as the moon, clear as the sun, and terrible as an army with banners,’…to go forth into all the world, conquering and to conquer.”—Prophets and Kings, p. 725.

  In this way the Davidian Seventh-day Adventists are to gather all the saints to the house of the Lord.

  Mt. Carmel’s great burden is to get this manifold work done as soon as possible, so that we may then go home to our eternal rest no more to be fettered with the shackles of sin.” (Answerer, vol.3, Q-66)

TO WHOM SHOULD MY TITHE GO?

Question No. 96:

   While still holding membership in the Seventh-day  Adventist denomination, should one pay tithe to the Davidians?

Answer:

   One can best answer this question by asking himself the following questions:

   Do I believe that The Shepherd’s Rod contains the message of the hour, the sealing message of the 144,000? Have I received any spiritual help from it? Has it caused me to repent of formerly indulged sins? Am I now a better Seventh-day Adventist than I was before I accepted it? Has it made me love the Bible, the Spirit of Prophecy, and the brethren more than ever before?

   If one’s answer to each of these questions is “No,” then he should pay his tithe to the church of which he is still a member. If his answer to them is “Yes,” and if he is still in doubt as to where he should pay his tithe, then he should further question  himself:

   Had I continued in the Laodicean course in which the Rod found me, could I be saved and ready to meet the Lord at His coming? Can my Seventh-day Adventist brethren be saved by remaining in their present condition?

   If to these questions one’s answer is “No,” then his answers to the following questions will instruct him where to pay this tithe.

   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 so that the ministry may have more 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 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.

   Now if after having answered these questions to your satisfaction, you are still undecided as to what you should do with your tithe, then read Tract No. 4, The Latest News for Mother, 1943 Edition, pp. 63-70. Then “remember Lot’s wife,” and do as the Lord bids you. (Answerer, vol. 4, Q-96)

The Lord’s work through His church has come full circle, just as it started. A movement has sprung up within it, led of the Lord just like the early Christian movement was. And the same financial situation exists, the true believers have kept pace with the Truth and therefore have decided to support the message of the hour. To do otherwise is to help the opposers of the message, thus reducing it to smolders, instead of the Lord’s brightly fire of Truth shining to all those who have eyes and hearts.

All of these sins mentioned by the SDA church cannot and will not be glossed over when the Lord “suddenly comes to His temple” (Mal. 3:1).

“The Lord will not leave His church without reproofs and warnings. Sins have become fashionable; but they are none the less aggravating in the sight of God. They are glossed over, palliated, and excused; the right hand of fellowship is given to the very men who are bringing in false theories and false sentiments, confusing the minds of the people of God, deadening their sensibilities as to what constitutes right principles.” (SLM, vol. 2, p.147)

In closing, we received a comment on our last post about tithes from the poor, trying to equate the reasoning of calling out problems with the SDA church versus calling out the problems with the DSDA organizations. In other words, the brother was saying –Why do the Davidians say they are to pay their tithes to DSDA groups even though they have some of their own issues and their own message says not to judge the organizations, but remain faithful. Doesn’t this rule also apply to the SDA church then?

Not at all. For one thing, the issue with the DSDA organizations is not at all like the SDA, as outlined above in the 3 points. Dress, diet, health, prophecy study, acceptance of the Lord’s final prophet (Mal. 4:5), the straight solemn message of warning of the church purification, etc are ALL part of the DSDA today. So the issues with them are not at all similar to the blatant rejection of all the items listed above by the SDA.  

Rejection of the Lord’s Word, diet, health, dress, other SOP numerous counsels, neglect of prophetic studies, renting out the Lord’s sanctuary to Sunday churches, failure to preach the straight testimonies in favor of peace and safety, rejection of the Lord’s last prophet “Elijah”, etc. etc, cannot compare to the DSDA shortcomings.

In closing, just as in the former early church days, we are at a crossroads with the Seventh-day Adventist church. Return His tithes to opposers of His final message of Elijah, or go with the small group of  “fisherman” who have moved onward with the Lord’s prophetic Word and plans.

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