Author Topic: SDA Sabbath School Lesson 3--1st Quarter 2023--The Tithing Contract  (Read 173 times)

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Wally

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 Lesson 3 January 14-20





The Tithing Contract





Commentary in Navy                  Inspiration in Maroon



So likewise ye, when ye shall have done all those things which are commanded you, say, We are unprofitable servants:  we have done that which was our duty to do.  Luke 17:10

Richard Myers

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Re: SDA Sabbath School Lesson 3--1st Quarter 2023--The Tithing Contract
« Reply #1 on: January 13, 2023, 06:14:27 PM »



Sabbath Afternoon


Read for This Week’s Study: Gen. 14:18-20; Mal. 3:10; Deut. 12:5-14; Lev. 27:30; 1 Kings 17:9-16; 1 Cor. 4:1, 2.

Memory Text: “Bring ye all the tithes into the storehouse, that there may be meat in mine house, and prove me now herewith, saith the LORD of hosts, if I will not open you the windows of heaven, and pour you out a blessing, that [there shall] not [be room] enough [to receive it.” Malachi 3:10

In Genesis 14, Abram had returned from a successful hostage rescue mission in which he had saved his nephew Lot, Lot’s family, and the other people taken from Sodom. The king of Sodom was so grateful for the rescue that he offered Abram all the spoils of the battle. Abram not only refused the offer but gave a tithe of all that he possessed to Melchizedek.

Immediately after Abram’s tithing experience, the Lord said, “Do not be afraid, Abram. I am your shield, your exceedingly great reward” (Gen. 15:1, NKJV). In effect, the Lord was telling Abram, “Don’t worry. I will be your protector and provider.” Then, much later, Moses told Israel as they were about to enter Canaan, “You shall truly tithe all the increase of your grain that the field produces year by year … that you may learn to fear the LORD your God always” (Deut. 14:22, 23, NKJV).

Ellen G. White wrote: “Men were required to offer to God gifts for religious purposes before the definite system was given to Moses, even as far back as the days of Adam.” — Testimonies for the Church, vol. 3, p. 393.

What does all this mean for us today?

It was and is "moral law."  It always was and always will be.  Being selfish by nature, we do not want to give up what is ours, unless we gain something. Some who are not converted, will give to others because it makes them feel good. And that is good. If converted, we do it no matter how we feel, we do it because God asks us to. On the other hand, what do you feel when you pay tithe? I guess it might depend upon how you feel it is being spent. So, if you are not happy about how it is being used, do you pay tithe anyway? If so, why?


Study this week’s lesson to prepare for Sabbath, January 21.
Jesus receives His reward when we reflect His character, the fruits of the Spirit......We deny Jesus His reward when we do not.

Richard Myers

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Re: SDA Sabbath School Lesson 3--1st Quarter 2023--The Tithing Contract
« Reply #2 on: January 13, 2023, 06:15:48 PM »
Sunday        January 15
Tithe Equals a Tenth


Dictionaries define tithe as “a tenth part of something” or “10 percent.” This definition is likely taken from the Bible narrative. Tithe is simply returning 10 percent of our income, or increase, to God. We understand that all we have belongs to Him in the first place. The tithing legislation given to Israel at Mount Sinai points out that the tithe is holy and belongs to God (see Lev. 27:30, 32). God asks for only His 10 percent. Our offerings of gratitude are separate from and in addition to the tithe. The tithe is the minimum testimony of our Christian commitment. Nowhere in the Bible do we find any indication that God’s portion is less than a tenth.

Read Genesis 14:18-20 and Hebrews 7:1-9.

14:18   And Melchizedek king of Salem brought forth bread and wine: and he [was] the priest of the most high God. 
 14:19   And he blessed him, and said, Blessed [be] Abram of the most high God, possessor of heaven and earth: 
 14:20   And blessed be the most high God, which hath delivered thine enemies into thy hand. And he gave him tithes of all. 


 7:1   For this Melchisedec, king of Salem, priest of the most high God, who met Abraham returning from the slaughter of the kings, and blessed him; 
 7:2   To whom also Abraham gave a tenth part of all; first being by interpretation King of righteousness, and after that also King of Salem, which is, King of peace; 
 7:3   Without father, without mother, without descent, having neither beginning of days, nor end of life; but made like unto the Son of God; abideth a priest continually. 
 7:4   Now consider how great this man [was], unto whom even the patriarch Abraham gave the tenth of the spoils. 
 7:5   And verily they that are of the sons of Levi, who receive the office of the priesthood, have a commandment to take tithes of the people according to the law, that is, of their brethren, though they come out of the loins of Abraham: 
 7:6   But he whose descent is not counted from them received tithes of Abraham, and blessed him that had the promises. 
 7:7   And without all contradiction the less is blessed of the better. 
 7:8   And here men that die receive tithes; but there he [receiveth them], of whom it is witnessed that he liveth. 
 7:9   And as I may so say, Levi also, who receiveth tithes, payed tithes in Abraham. 


What was Abram’s response to meeting Melchizedek? What does this teach us about how far back in history the practice goes?

The first mention of tithe in the Bible is in Genesis 14, which tells the story of Melchizedek’s meeting with Abram. The last mention of tithe in the Bible recalls the same encounter, but the words “tenth” and “tithe” are used interchangeably (see Heb. 7:1-9). Note in the Hebrews story that neither Melchizedek nor Christ were of the tribe of Levi, so tithing precedes and follows the specialness of the Levites. Tithing is not exclusively a Jewish custom and did not originate with the Hebrews at Sinai.

Read Genesis 28:13, 14, 20-22.

28:13   And, behold, the LORD stood above it, and said, I [am] the LORD God of Abraham thy father, and the God of Isaac: the land whereon thou liest, to thee will I give it, and to thy seed; 
 28:14   And thy seed shall be as the dust of the earth, and thou shalt spread abroad to the west, and to the east, and to the north, and to the south: and in thee and in thy seed shall all the families of the earth be blessed. 
 28:20   And Jacob vowed a vow, saying, If God will be with me, and will keep me in this way that I go, and will give me bread to eat, and raiment to put on, 
 28:21   So that I come again to my father's house in peace; then shall the LORD be my God: 
 28:22   And this stone, which I have set [for] a pillar, shall be God's house: and of all that thou shalt give me I will surely give the tenth unto thee. 


What did God promise to do for Jacob, and what was Jacob’s response to God?

When Jacob left home, running from his angry brother, Esau, one night he had a dream of a staircase that ascended from earth to heaven. Angels were going up and down on it. And God stood at the top and promised to be with Jacob and someday bring him back home. This single young man had a real conversion experience and said, “The LORD shall be my God. … And of all that You give me I will surely give a tenth to You” (Gen. 28:21, 22, NKJV).

Why is it important to understand that tithing, like the Sabbath, was not something that originated in the ancient Israelite legal or even religious system? What message should we, who live after the cross, take from this truth?

Before Israel, there was no "civil" law that was particular to Israel as a theocracy. It was moral, not ceremonial law, thus prior to Israel and continuing on as moral law like the Sabbath.  Why is it important to pay a tithe for support of the ministry? Even if the ministry is doing things not according to the light given? Do we believe the seventh church represents the Seventh-day Adventist Church? Or do you suppose God is going to raise up another church? He is not. We are the last church. Is it possible for God to bring revival and reformation to His church? You who say no, need to pray for spiritual discernment. How can you say that the God of heaven cannot or will not do so? What are we told about the "valley of dry bones?"  Of course God can bring about revival and reformation. He may have to sift out many who refuse to be converted, but so what. Do you want the unconverted in heaven? What would that do to heaven?

What is the conclusion of the matter? His church needs to be supported so that it can move forward. After all, is it not the people who elect their leaders? Then, let us pay tithe and elect consecrated leaders to our conferences. Yes, some churches will never be converted. Some already have separated, just as have false ministers. There will be a shaking. And, when we are persecuted, then the false will jump ship.

There is another reason to pay tithe, it strengthens our character. When the widow paid her two mites into the church, she grew in character because it was such a great move on her part. She then had an experience that would keep her faithful to the God she loved.


Jesus receives His reward when we reflect His character, the fruits of the Spirit......We deny Jesus His reward when we do not.

Richard Myers

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Re: SDA Sabbath School Lesson 3--1st Quarter 2023--The Tithing Contract
« Reply #3 on: January 13, 2023, 06:16:30 PM »
Monday         January 16
Where Is the Storehouse?


Read Malachi 3:10.

Bring ye all the tithes into the storehouse, that there may be meat in mine house, and prove me now herewith, saith the LORD of hosts, if I will not open you the windows of heaven, and pour you out a blessing, that [there shall] not [be room] enough [to receive it]. 


What can we learn from this verse about where our tithe should go?

We could say to the faithful ministers, but God has an organized church and the method being used by the church to support pastors is good, even if much may be wrong in the church, and there be unfaithful ministers. The church is not perfect, but it is God's Church. We have an example in church history where some faithful pastors were not being taken care of in the south. So it has been and so it will be. I am not going to say any  more, but that it would be well for church leaders to study the matter that they may be wise in  what they say and do.


Though specific directions are not given in the text, it is nevertheless evident that God’s people knew what He meant by the word “storehouse.” God does include in His directions, “that there may be food in My house” (NKJV). His people understood that God’s house initially was the sanctuary — the elaborate tent that was built by specific directions given to Moses at Mount Sinai. Later when Israel lived in the Promised Land, the central location was first in Shiloh and then more permanently at the temple in Jerusalem.

Read Deuteronomy 12:5-14.

 12:5   But unto the place which the LORD your God shall choose out of all your tribes to put his name there, [even] unto his habitation shall ye seek, and thither thou shalt come: 
 12:6   And thither ye shall bring your burnt offerings, and your sacrifices, and your tithes, and heave offerings of your hand, and your vows, and your freewill offerings, and the firstlings of your herds and of your flocks: 
 12:7   And there ye shall eat before the LORD your God, and ye shall rejoice in all that ye put your hand unto, ye and your households, wherein the LORD thy God hath blessed thee. 
 12:8   Ye shall not do after all [the things] that we do here this day, every man whatsoever [is] right in his own eyes. 
 12:9   For ye are not as yet come to the rest and to the inheritance, which the LORD your God giveth you. 
 12:10   But [when] ye go over Jordan, and dwell in the land which the LORD your God giveth you to inherit, and [when] he giveth you rest from all your enemies round about, so that ye dwell in safety; 
 12:11   Then there shall be a place which the LORD your God shall choose to cause his name to dwell there; thither shall ye bring all that I command you; your burnt offerings, and your sacrifices, your tithes, and the heave offering of your hand, and all your choice vows which ye vow unto the LORD: 
 12:12   And ye shall rejoice before the LORD your God, ye, and your sons, and your daughters, and your menservants, and your maidservants, and the Levite that [is] within your gates; forasmuch as he hath no part nor inheritance with you. 
 12:13   Take heed to thyself that thou offer not thy burnt offerings in every place that thou seest: 
 12:14   But in the place which the LORD shall choose in one of thy tribes, there thou shalt offer thy burnt offerings, and there thou shalt do all that I command thee. 


These verses do not indicate that God’s children could use their own discretion as to where their tithe was deposited. What principles can we take from these verses for ourselves today?

As members of God’s family, we want to understand and practice His will regarding what to do with our tithe. In the biblical narrative, we learn that three times in each year — Passover, Pentecost, and Feast of Tabernacles (Exod. 23:14-17) — God’s people were to travel to Jerusalem to bring their tithes and offerings personally and to praise and to worship God. Then the Levites distributed the tithe to their brethren all over the land of Israel (see 2 Chron. 31:11-21, Neh. 12:44-47, Neh. 13:8-14). In harmony with this biblical central storehouse principle, the Seventh-day Adventist Church has designated the local conferences, missions, and unions of churches as storehouses on behalf of the world church, and from which the ministry is paid.

For the convenience of church members, the tithe is brought to the local church, where, as part of their worship experience, members bring their tithes and offerings, though some use online giving. The local treasurers then forward the tithe to the conference storehouse. This system of tithe management, outlined and ordained by God, has enabled the Seventh-day Adventist Church to have a worldwide and growing impact in the world.

Imagine if everyone decided to give their tithe to whomever they wanted to, at the expense of the Adventist church itself. What would happen to our church? Why is that practice, then, such a bad idea and contrary to Scripture?

First because we need to follow what is written. Second because this is God's church no matter how much rebellion is found in it. It will see revival and reformation and we ought not let faithful ministers suffer in the mean time, and the church needs support now as well as later. Thirdly, if you choose to pay tithe elsewhere because you believe God has led you to do so, you no longer can say to God if you chose wrong, that you led me to do so. No, if you choose to tithe elsewhere, and you are found to be wrong and supported one who turns out to be on the wrong side teaching a false gospel, it is your responsibility for the wrong that was done by your support of a false teacher. This is not the case when you pay tithe into the church. If you know something is wrong in the church and you make your case known, then you are not responsible for the wrong use of the tithe. But you are responsible if you choose to pay tithe elsewhere. Think about that for a moment You support one who is teaching a false gospel, then how many precious souls have been led away from the truth? The more tithe you pay in this manner the more harm you allow to occur.  This is a heaven burden to carry by making such a wrong move. And, it may be that you do not understand the gospel yourself. So how are you able to make such a decision? You are protected when paying tithe into the church, but not so when you choose who to support.

The following is a statement Remnant Online posted in 2008 that is an example of what I speak of. And, also a quote from the Spirit of Prophecy that supports what I have said about paying tithe into the church even when it is being misused.


May 26, 2008


The Remnant Online Statement Regarding the Dreams of Ernie Knoll

On November 5, 2007, a number of interested persons on The Remnant Online Forum formed a special study group to examine the dreams of Ernie Knoll. Each dream was examined and compared to the Bible and the Spirit of Prophecy, for we have been told "Where no counsel is, the people fall: but in the multitude of counselors there is safety" (Proverbs 11:14). "Without counsel purposes are disappointed: but in the multitude of counselors they are established" (Proverbs 15:22). And finally, "To the law and to the testimony: if they speak not according to this word, it is because there is no light in them" (Isaiah 8:20).

For the next several months each of Mr. Knoll's dreams were examined and discussed by the group in the special forum opened for that purpose. By May of 2008 a decision was reached concerning the source of Ernie Knoll's dreams and the conclusions are given in this statement. Though a number of discrepancies were noted throughout the dreams, it was not felt that these alone were enough to make a definitive decision regarding the source of the dreams. It was the examination of the "Stand Fast" dream of  February 5, 2008, that solidified the decision of the majority of the study group. In this dream, Ernie was told by the angel:

"It is important that His people understand while it is important that we are to return a tithe to God's storehouse, it is equally important that they understand what the funds are being used for. If an individual is providing funds and they understand that the funds are not being used according to His will, that person will be held accountable."

When compared to the inspired counsel of both the Word of Scripture and Ellen G. White, no where can such a statement be found that the tithe payer is guilty if tithe funds are misused. In direct opposition to the "herald's" statement is this statement from Testimonies, Vol. nine:

"Some have been dissatisfied and have said: 'I will not longer pay my tithe; for I have no confidence in the way things are managed at the heart of the work.' But will you rob God because you think the management of the work is not right? Make your complaint, plainly and openly, in the right spirit, to the proper ones. Send in your petitions for things to be adjusted and set in order; but do not withdraw from the work of God, and prove unfaithful, because others are not doing right."  9T 249.

"I pay my tithe gladly and freely, saying, as did David, 'Of Thine own have we given Thee.' A selfish withholding from God will tend to poverty in our own souls. Act your part, my brethren and sisters. God loves you, and He stands at the helm. If the conference business is not managed according to the order of the Lord, that is the sin of the erring one. The Lord will not hold you responsible for it if you do what you can to correct the evil. But do not commit sin yourselves by withholding from the Lord His own property. 'Cursed be he that doeth the work of the Lord deceitfully' or negligently." 2SAT 74.


Jesus told us that not one jot or one tittle shall pass away from the law until heaven and earth pass away. Jesus did not scold the poor widow who placed her two mites into the offering in the temple, though apostasy was widespread among the Jewish leaders. The conclusion arrived at by the study group is that these dreams are not from God, that Ernie is deceived and is holding communion with a demon. Our prayers are that his eyes will be opened and he will see the deception that he is under. We have prepared this statement as a warning to others to beware of this deception.
Jesus receives His reward when we reflect His character, the fruits of the Spirit......We deny Jesus His reward when we do not.

Richard Myers

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Re: SDA Sabbath School Lesson 3--1st Quarter 2023--The Tithing Contract
« Reply #4 on: January 14, 2023, 02:43:23 PM »
Tuesday        January 17
The Purpose of Tithing


Read Leviticus 27:30 and Numbers 18:21, 24. What does God propose to do with the tithe?

Because God is the owner of everything (Ps. 24:1), He obviously doesn’t need the money. But because the tithe is His, He tells us what to do with it, and that is to use His tithe for the support of the gospel ministry. And, therefore, the needs of the ministers are taken care of with God’s tithe.

The tribe of Levi — the ministerial force in the Old Testament — was not given large properties, as were the rest of the tribes. Levi was given certain cities, including the cities of refuge, with enough land around them for personal gardens. They were supported by the tithes of the others, and they themselves also tithed their income.

Read Acts 20:35.

I have showed you all things, how that so labouring ye ought to support the weak, and to remember the words of the Lord Jesus, how he said, It is more blessed to give than to receive.


What’s the message here, and how does this relate to the question of tithe?

Tithing is important because it helps us establish a relationship of trust with God. To take one-tenth of your income and “give it away” (though, technically, it belongs to God anyway) truly takes an act of faith, and only by exercising faith will your faith grow.

Think, for instance, about the end-times, too, when those who are faithful cannot buy or sell, as depicted in Revelation 13-14 (see week 11). To have developed a trust in God and in His providences and power and love will be of paramount importance when it seems as if all the world is against us. Faithful tithing can surely help develop that trust. Even before then, how crucial for all of us to have learned to trust God, regardless of our situation.

A second big reason for financial faithfulness is to access the promised tangible blessings of God. As part of the tithing contract, God has promised blessings that are so large that we won’t have room enough to receive them. With our surplus, we can help others and help to support the work of God with our offerings.

In what ways have you experienced the great truth that it is, indeed, “more blessed to give than to receive”?

How many times when giving to others have we not felt the joy of giving? Even when not appreciated, we know that we have done good, and the seed has been planted that there is a difference between those who love God supremely and those who do not.
Jesus receives His reward when we reflect His character, the fruits of the Spirit......We deny Jesus His reward when we do not.

Richard Myers

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Re: SDA Sabbath School Lesson 3--1st Quarter 2023--The Tithing Contract
« Reply #5 on: January 14, 2023, 02:46:28 PM »
Wednesday          January 18
Tithing on the Gross or the Net Income?


We calculate our tithe on our “income” if we are paid by the hour or by a salary, and we pay on our “increase” or profit if we are self-employed and have our own business. In many countries, the government takes out taxes from the worker’s pay to cover the cost of services done for the people, such as security, roads and bridges, unemployment benefits, etc. The question of gross or net primarily involves whether we return tithe on our income before or after such taxes are taken out. Those who are self-employed can legitimately deduct the cost of doing business in order to determine their actual profit before their personal taxes are deducted.

Studies of membership’s giving habits reveal that the majority of Seventh-day Adventist tithe on the gross income, that is, before taxes are taken out. In fact, according to the Tithing Principles and Guidelines, published by the General Conference in 1990, “Tithe should be computed on the gross amount of a wage or salary earner's income before legally required or other employee authorized deductions. This includes federal and state income taxes which provide for services and other benefits of responsible citizenship. Contributions to Social Security may be subtracted-See Guideline 111-F.” — Page 22.

Read 1 Kings 17:9-16. What was the widow’s situation before Elijah came to her? What did the prophet ask her to do first before taking care of herself and her son? What can we learn from this account about the question at hand?

The widow of Zarephath was told by God that a man of God was coming to see her (1 Kings 17:9). When Elijah arrived, she explained her dire circumstances. Elijah first asked for a drink of water and then added, “Do not fear; go and do as you have said, but make me a small cake from it first, and bring it to me; and afterward make some for yourself and your son. For thus says the LORD God of Israel: ‘The bin of flour shall not be used up, nor shall the jar of oil run dry, until the day the LORD sends rain on the earth’ ” (1 Kings 17:13, 14, NKJV).

Was this selfishness on his part, or was he simply testing her faith — in fact, allowing her to exercise her faith? The answer should be obvious.

As we have been told, “Everyone is to be his own assessor and is left to give as he purposes in his heart.” — Ellen G. White, Testimonies for the Church, vol. 4, p. 469.

How do you explain to someone who has never given tithe the blessings that come from giving it? What are those blessings, and how does returning tithe strengthen your faith?

No need to explain the blessing, just do what we know to be right according to Scripture. If we do what is right wanting to receive a blessing, what do we call this? Do we do what is right because we will live forever, or because God asked us to? It is true that when converted we will have love, joy, and peace. But the motive to follow God is not to receive a blessing, but to serve the God who loves us and gave His Son that we might know of His great love. If one is truly converted, he has experienced the joy of giving.

Jesus receives His reward when we reflect His character, the fruits of the Spirit......We deny Jesus His reward when we do not.

Wally

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Re: SDA Sabbath School Lesson 3--1st Quarter 2023--The Tithing Contract
« Reply #6 on: January 16, 2023, 03:22:54 PM »

Wednesday ↥         January 18

Tithing on the Gross or the Net Income?

We calculate our tithe on our “income” if we are paid by the hour or by a salary, and we pay on our “increase” or profit if we are self-employed and have our own business. In many countries, the government takes out taxes from the worker’s pay to cover the cost of services done for the people, such as security, roads and bridges, unemployment benefits, etc. The question of gross or net primarily involves whether we return tithe on our income before or after such taxes are taken out. Those who are self-employed can legitimately deduct the cost of doing business in order to determine their actual profit before their personal taxes are deducted.



I'm glad to see that the author was clear about this subject.  Many people do not see it this way, but in doing so they show a profound lack of faith in God's ability to "open the windows of heaven."

I can't remember at what  point I came to the realization that I should tithe on my gross income, but I was probably in my 30's at the time.  And I've never suffered for it.  When I was in business (for more than 20 years), I never knew from week to week how much "profit" I was making.  The nature of the business made it nearly impossible to calculate--without hiring a high priced accountant.  But I paid myself a weekly salary and tithed that.  Then when (sometimes if) I got a tax refund, I tithed that, too.  And when I sold the business I paid tithe on the full amount.  I didn't see any other way that would make sense.  To do otherwise would have seemed to be cheating the Lord and lacking in faith.

I do wonder what most retirees do about tithing social security.  Part of that was money deducted from one's check; but the rest was paid by the employer.  But for me, it was both.  As an employee, I had the usual taxes withheld from my paycheck.  But as a business owner, I paid the full amount to the feds.  I'd never be able to sort  it  out, and I don't see any reason to do so, so I pay tithe on my entire social security benefit.  After 2 years, I'm not begging for bread.
So likewise ye, when ye shall have done all those things which are commanded you, say, We are unprofitable servants:  we have done that which was our duty to do.  Luke 17:10

Richard Myers

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Re: SDA Sabbath School Lesson 3--1st Quarter 2023--The Tithing Contract
« Reply #7 on: January 16, 2023, 10:37:50 PM »
You are a faithful Christian, my Brother Wally!  Tithing not to receive a blessing, but not wanting to cheat God. I would pay tithe on what IRS taxed your business, your profit, and on your personal income (salary).  Social Security is supposedly a return on money you paid into the program. Some get more than they paid, others lose on the deal.   It is what it says it is "social"ism to a great degree. And having no lockbox, if time were to last (and it won't) our kids and grandkids would have to pick up the bill.  Social Security and Medicare are unfunded. Our politicians have spent it all. How many trillions of dollars are we in debt? :(

This church is going through (the organized church). The false shepherds will jump ship when persecution comes. Thus, we support the ministry so the faithful ministers will not suffer. New leaders will be chosen to replace the decoys Satan brought in. "Some ministers and churches are so desirous of securing an increase of numbers that they do not bear faithful testimony against unchristian habits and practices. Those who accept the truth are not taught that they cannot safely be worldlings in conduct while they are Christians in name. Heretofore they were Satan’s subjects; henceforth they are to be subjects of Christ. The life must testify to the change of leaders. Public opinion favors a profession of Christianity. Little self-denial or self-sacrifice is required in order to put on a form of godliness and to have one’s name enrolled upon the church book. Hence many join the church without first becoming united to Christ. In this Satan triumphs. Such converts are his most efficient agents. They serve as decoys to other souls. They are false lights, luring the unwary to perdition. It is in vain that men seek to make the Christian’s path broad and pleasant for worldlings. God has not smoothed or widened the rugged, narrow way. If we would enter into life, we must follow the same path which Jesus and His disciples trod—the path of humility, self-denial, and sacrifice."  5T 172.
Jesus receives His reward when we reflect His character, the fruits of the Spirit......We deny Jesus His reward when we do not.

Richard Myers

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Re: SDA Sabbath School Lesson 3--1st Quarter 2023--The Tithing Contract
« Reply #8 on: January 19, 2023, 03:46:14 PM »
Thursday         January 19
An Honest or Faithful Tithe


Read 1 Corinthians 4:1, 2. As children of God and stewards of His blessings, what kind of people are we asked to be?

So, what does it mean to be faithful with our tithe? This week we have reviewed several of the constituent elements of the tithe:

    The amount — which is a tenth, or 10 percent, of our income or increase.
    Taken to the storehouse — the place from which the gospel ministers are paid.
    Honoring God with the first part of our income.
    Used for the right purpose — the support of the ministry.

It is our responsibility as church members to uphold the first three items; it is the responsibility of the storehouse managers to make sure that the tithe funds are used properly.

Yes, and no. The last item has something for the tithe payer to do. We may not stand by paying a faithful tithe when we believe the tithe is being misused.   "I pay my tithe gladly and freely, saying, as did David, 'Of Thine own have we given Thee.' A selfish withholding from God will tend to poverty in our own souls. Act your part, my brethren and sisters. God loves you, and He stands at the helm. If the conference business is not managed according to the order of the Lord, that is the sin of the erring one. The Lord will not hold you responsible for it if you do what you can to correct the evil. But do not commit sin yourselves by withholding from the Lord His own property. 'Cursed be he that doeth the work of the Lord deceitfully' or negligently." 2SAT 74.

And, the tithe is not discretionary on our part. The tenth and the storehouse are both part of our responsibility. We don’t set the parameters; God does. If I don’t return a full 10 percent of my “increase,” I’m not really tithing; and if I don’t bring that 10 percent to the “storehouse,” I’m not really tithing either.

Read Matthew 25:19-21. When are we called upon to give an account of our management of God’s funds? What is said to those who have been financially faithful?

“Bring ye all the tithes into the storehouse’ (Malachi 3:10), is God’s command. No appeal is made to gratitude or to generosity. This is a matter of simple honesty. The tithe is the Lord’s; and He bids us return to Him that which is His own.” — Ellen G. White, Education, p. 138. Managing for God is a unique privilege — and a responsibility, as well. He blesses and sustains us and asks for only a tenth, and then He uses His tithe to provide for those in the ministry, as He did for the tribe of Levi during the times of ancient Israel.

Some argue that they don’t like how their tithe money is used and hence either don’t tithe or send their money somewhere else. Yet where did God say, “Bring the tithe to the storehouse, but only if you are sure that the storehouse is using it right”?
Jesus receives His reward when we reflect His character, the fruits of the Spirit......We deny Jesus His reward when we do not.

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Re: SDA Sabbath School Lesson 3--1st Quarter 2023--The Tithing Contract
« Reply #9 on: January 20, 2023, 05:58:19 PM »
Friday         January 20

Further Thought: Read Ellen G. White’s most comprehensive tithe document in volume 9 of Testimonies for the Church, pp. 245-252. Study Section III of Counsels on Stewardship, pp. 65-107.

“If all the tithes of our people flowed into the treasury of the Lord as they should, such blessings would be received that gifts and offerings for sacred purposes would be multiplied tenfold, and thus the channel between God and man would be kept open.” — Ellen G. White, Testimonies for the Church, vol. 4, p. 474.
This is an amazing statement. If we were all faithful tithers, God would bless us with funds to increase our offerings 1,000 percent.

“In the third chapter of Malachi is found the contract God has made with man. Here the Lord specifies the part He will act in bestowing His great gifts on those who will make a faithful return to Him in tithes and offerings.” — Ellen G. White, Review and Herald, December 17, 1901.

A similar promise that if we will love Him with the whole heart, He will give us love, joy, and peace in this world and a life with Him that will never die. More than that, our love for Him will increase eternally. How much is that worth? Maybe we ought to consider giving Him all we have and all we are? We think that the rich young ruler is the only one who God asks of everything withholding nothing back.

“All should remember that God’s claims upon us underlie every other claim. He gives to us bountifully, and the contract which He has made with man is that a tenth of his possessions shall be returned to God. The Lord graciously entrusts to His stewards His treasures, but of the tenth He says: This is Mine. Just in proportion as God has given His property to man, so man is to return to God a faithful tithe of all his substance. This distinct arrangement was made by Jesus Christ Himself.” — Ellen G. White, Testimonies for the Church, vol. 6, p. 384.

Discussion Questions:


    Dwell more on this idea that the practice of tithing did not originate in ancient Israel. How does this fact help us understand the perpetuity of this obligation on our part before God?

Like our diet, it is moral law for all and for all time. Sadly, many think they can ignore moral law that is not the ten commandments. And I guess even the ten commandments do not have to be obeyed by most professing Christians, at least that is what they teach, they are saved in sin.


    In class, discuss the question posed at the end of Monday’s study. Think what would happen if people decided to send their tithe somewhere else. What would happen to our church? Would we still even have a church?

Yes, we would still have a church because there are men who will share the gospel without being paid. But, there are many who could do much more if they were paid a living wage. There is so much false teaching and rebellion in the church that many lose hope. Many leave the church and many turn away from Christ because of the hypocrisy in the church. Many of our young ones leave the church for this reason also. We hope that this is addressed in this quarter so that faith and hope will be strengthened and the lessons will not appear as just wanting more money and addressing the misuse of the tithe. You say what misuse? Where shall we begin? We are, as a people not walking in the light given. Many of God's institutions are not following the blueprints laid out for us. There are multiple gospels being preached from our pulpits. This is not an excuse to not pay tithe, but as Ellen White said, we are to pay a faithful tithe even though the tithe is misused by the conferences. Along with this she said we would be faultless in paying the tithe even though we know it is misused, IF we do what we can to correct the evil.

What’s wrong with the attitude that says, Well, my tithe is so small in contrast to everything else, it doesn’t matter? What if everyone thought like that?

    Share with others what you have learned and experienced from giving tithe. What can you teach others about the practice?

When we realize we can live by faith even if we give all we have to the poor, we will not worry about having a place to live any more than Christ did. Explain from Scripture that this is true. Find the promises and share them. Will God have a people soon who have the faith of Jesus? Where will the golf clubs be? If you are not sure, look up the word "tennis" in the Spirit of Prophecy. You will find the word "offering" in one of the statements. Share what you find with your Sabbath School class if you have courage to do so.
Jesus receives His reward when we reflect His character, the fruits of the Spirit......We deny Jesus His reward when we do not.