W.H. Branson

1.  A covenant relationship.

Wholehearted consecration. 2 Chron. 15 :12-15. Israel in a backslidden condition. 2 Chron. 15 :3-6. Reformed under the direction of the prophet. 2 Chron. 15 :1, 2, 7-11.

2.  God's covenant with us.

We need just these blessings. Heb. 8 :10-12. Great blessings promised on condition of obedience. Mal. 3 :10, 11.

3.  God the owner of all.

The world, the fullness thereof, and the people are His. Ps. 24 :1.

The cattle upon a thousand hills are His. Ps. 50 :10. The gold and silver are His. Haggai 2:8.

4.  God has delivered His goods into our hands. God has given the earth to us. Ps. 115 :16. Has delivered all His goods to us. Matt. 25 :14. As His stewards, He expects us to be faithful. 1 Cor. 4 :2.

5.  God requires one tenth, the tithe, of us all. We should tithe increase of seed of land year by year. Dent. 14:22.

We should tithe fruit of trees. Lev. 27 :30.

We should give one tenth of flocks and herds as tithe. Lev. 27:32.

We should tithe our gardens. Matt. 23 :23. We should tithe our salary. Haggai 2 :8.

"The consecration to God of a tithe of all increase, whether of the orchard and harvest field, the flocks and herds, or the labor of brain or hand, . . . tended to keep fresh before the people the truth of God's ownership of all."-"Education," p. 44.

"Before any part of our earnings is consumed, we should take out and present to Him that portion which He claims."-"Testimonies," Vol. IV, p. 477.

"He leaves all free to say how much the tithe is, and whether or not they will give more than this. They are to give as they purpose in their hearts."--/d., Vol. V, p. 149.

If spiritually awake, they would hear in the in­come of every week, whether much or little, the voice of God and of conscience, with authority demanding the tithes and offerings due the Lord."--Id., Vol. IV, p. 474.

"Those who claim that they cannot see this to be their duty, reveal to the heavenly universe, to the church, and to the world, that they do not want to see this plainly stated requirement."-M., Vol. VI, p. 387.

Examples of faithfulness: Jacob promised to pay tithe on his board, clothing, and all that God should give him. Gen. 28 :20, 22. (See "Testimonies," Vol. IV, p. 466, pars. 3, 4.)

Abraham paid tithe on all the spoils of war. Gen. 14 :16, 20.

As did Abraham, they are to pay tithe on all they possess and all they receive. A faithful tithe is the Lord's portion. To withhold it is to rob God. Every man should freely and willingly and gladly bring tithes and offerings into the storehouse of the Lord, because in so doing there is a blessing. There is no safety in withholding from God His portion."-Mrs. E. G. White, in MS, 159 '99, quoted in the tract, "Re­turn to God His Own," p. 2.

6.The result of withholding the tithe and offerings. The curse of God rests on the one who robs Him. Mal. 3 :8, 9.

Workers find other employment and the churches are not properly cared for. Neh. 13 :10-12. "All that is withheld of that which God claims, the tenth of the increase, is recorded in the books of heaven as robbery against Him. Such defraud their Creator ; and when this sin of neglect is brought be­fore them, it is not enough for them to change their course and begin to work from that time upon the right principle. This will not correct the figures made in the heavenly record for embezzling the property committed to them in trust to be returned to the Lender."-"Testimonies," Vol. III, p. 591.

"Let the neglected tithes be now brought in. Let the new year open upon you as men honest in their deal with God, . . . and never, never again run any risk of being cursed of God."-"Testimonies to Min­isters," p. 306.

7.Withholding tithe, evidence of loss of first love. Repent and do the first works. Rev. 2 :1-5.

"If you have been withholding your tithes and of­ferings, it is because you have left your first love ; you have set up idols in your heart. There is not the slightest hope for a branch that remains thus sepa­rated from the Vine. How many there are who die practicing dishonesty toward God, robbing Him in tithes and offerings."-Mrs. E. G. White, Review and Herald, Dec. 23, 1890. (See also "Testimonies to Min­isters," p. 305, last paragraph.)

8. God's challenge.

Bring tithe in; windows of heaven will be opened ; receive the blessing. Mal. 3 :10.

"The treasury will be full if all adopt this system, and the contributors will not be left the poorer."-"Testimonies," Vol. III, p. 389.

"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."-Id., Vol. IV, P. 474.

"When He sees a faithful performance of duty in the payment of the tithe, He often, in His wise provi­dence, opens ways whereby it shall increase."-"Gospel Workers," p. 222. Washington, D. C.

 Much Owest Thou Unto My Lord?"

H. is a question that confronts every follower of Jesus Christ, and every candidate for church mem­bership should be impressed with the financial ob­ligations that devolve upon him as a member of the corporate body with Christ. It is presumed that we all agree that the third angel's message is to be pro­claimed to every nation, kindred, tongue, and people, and that its promotion and administration should be carried on until the end of the world ; and that every nation and kindred and tongue and people stand in need of the means of grace which it alone supplies. And furthermore, we believe that the church has been the same throughout all ages, that it has always had the same head, the same purpose, and the same divine plan for its maintenance and support, and that with­out question it is the biggest and most important institution in the world, transcending all kingdoms, empires. and earthly institutions. It therefore seems incredible to believe that God has launched His divine institution and sent it out on its world-wide mission. and then left it without any sane or practical method of support. A close study of the word of God will reveal that His method for the support of His church is found in the law of the tithe.

/. It is based on God's ownership of the world:

He created it. Ex. 19 :5 ; Ps. 50 :10-12 ; 1 Cor. 10 :26. He owns everything that is in it. Ps. 50 :10-12. The fruits and the grains are His. Hosea 2 :8. 9. The silver and the gold are His. Haggai 2 :8 ; Eze. 16 :17.

2. He gives it to as to occupy until He comes, and when He returns He will demand a settlement. Luke 19 :12, 13 ; Matt. 25 :14, 19.

3. He charges usury or rent. Matt. 25 :14, 27 ; Lev. 27 :30.

4. Tithe was given for a special purpose,—the support of the ministry. Num. 18 :20-24 ; Deut. 10 :8, 9 ; 14 :27 ; 18 :1, 2.

5. It is holy, and not to be taken for our own or secular use. Lev. 27 :30-34.

6.  All the tithe is to be brought to the storehouse. Neh. 12 :44 ; Mal. 3 :10.

7.  It is robbery to withhold the tithe. Mal. 3 :9, 10.

8. It is not a Jewish law. Gen. 14 :19-22 ; 28:22. The tithe law existed long before the Jews were a nation or the Mosaic law was given.

The promptness with which Abraham gave tithe to Melchizedek indicated that it was a well-known prac­tice in his day. After Jacob's vision at Bethel, he -vowed a vow, saying, If God will keep me in this way that I go, and will give me bread to eat, and raiment to put on so that I come again to my father's house in peace ; then shall the Lord be my God : 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." Gen. 28 :20-22.

"I will surely give the tenth." Not one tenth or a tenth, but the tenth, showing that he was accustomed to the practice of paying the tithe.

9. It was commissioned by the Saviour when He was on earth. Matt. 23 :23.

The word "ought" is conclusive proof that the tithing law was practiced in the Christian church. If this law was abolished and no longer in force in the church, then Jesus neglected a good opportunity of saying so. "This ought ye to have done, and not to leave the other undone." We should do violence to every principle of interpretation not to infer from this comment that tithing is still God's method of support­ing and financing His cause.

10.  It is endorsed by the apostle Paul. 1 Cor. 9 :13, 14.

Paul is very clear and emphatic in recognizing the perpetual obligation of tithe law. He is emphatic in saying that they that preached the gospel should live of the gospel. Also remember that the preaching of the gospel antedates the time of the preaching of the sermon on the mount.

Abraham, having received the gospel, then preached it. Gal. 3 :8.

Moses preached the gospel. Heb. 4 :1, 2 ; 11.:24-26.

The only ordained plan of God for the preaching of the gospel is found in Deut. 10 :9 ; Num. 18 :21.

There are those who contend that the tithe law was done away with in the old dispensation of Judaism, but we never hear of any suggested plan to take its place. What shall we adopt? Shall it be that they that preach the gospel shall live of the proceeds from oyster suppers and other such festivals? Or shall it be that they that preach the gospel shall live of the money that can be begged from the neighborhood, or some other such scheme? Shall we set aside God's plan and purpose for vain, mean, ignorant sentiment and fickle impulse to dictate what men shall pay for the support of the gospel and the redemption of a lost world?

The cause of God will never be properly maintained, or the gospel message heralded to earth's remotest bounds, until we-recognize--God's-tithing-metes You can no more adequately support this great cause by the voluntary gifts of its membership than you can support a municipality by voluntary taxes.

11.  The writer of the Hebrew letter elear711 endorses the tithing system in the New Testament when he says:

"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. And here men that die receive tithes ; but FTe receiveth them, of whom it is wit­nessed that He liveth." Heb. 7 :5, 8.

Jesus Christ still lives ; still directs His great church ; still sends His commission on to mankind to go into all the world to preach the gospel to all peo­ple ; and still, according to verse 8, He receives tithe. Shall we fail to pay that for which He calls?

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."—"Testimonies," Vol. IV, p. 474.

"If all who profess the truth will come up to the claims of God in giving the tenth, which God says is His. the treasury will be abundantly supplied with means to carry forward the great work for the salva­tion of man."—Id., Vol. III, p. 395.

When this great question of tithing is settled in the church, and every member is thoroughly aroused and conscientiously returns to God that which is His own, we shall go out on the last great march for the finish­ing of this great gospel message in all the world, and then this gospel shall be preached in all the world for a witness unto all nations ; then there will appear the sign of the Son of man with power and great glory. Toward this grand consummation the whole creation moves, and may this be the prayer of every believing, and expectant heart, "Come, Lord Jesus, come quickly."

* As an aid to ministers who wish sermon outlines prepared by others, for comparison and suggestion, two furnished by Elders W. H. Branson and J. W. MacNeil are here made available. Presenting the privileges and obligations of stewardship is the bounden duty of every worker in this cause. Espe­cially is this true in a period of financial stringency, when some are tempted to withhold from God His own. We are to instruct, entreat, and warn the church in this matter. It is no light thing to be a steward for the Most High, and this we must declare in the most persuasive way. May God bless our united presentations on "Tithe Covenant Day," Jan­uary 12.--Editors.

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W.H. Branson

January 1935

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