Dear Church Family,
Here is an interesting piece from an article by Ed Reid on what inspiration says regarding the matter of whether one should make restitution on back tithe.
. . . The storehouse can be located and determined by looking at several angles. Evidently, on several occasions folks came to Ellen White asking how to properly make restitution of back tithe. Her experience in Battle Creek was typical: “A decided advancement in spirituality, piety, charity, and activity, has been made as the result of the special meetings in the Battle Creek church. Discourses were preached on the sin of robbing God in tithes and offerings. . . .
“Many confessed that they had not paid tithes for years; and we know that God cannot bless those who are robbing Him, and that the church must suffer in consequence of the sins of its individual members. There are a large number of names on the church books; and if all would be prompt in paying an honest tithe to the Lord, which is His portion, the treasury would not lack for means. . . .
“As the sin of robbing God was presented, the people received clearer views of their duty and privilege in this matter. One brother said that for two years he had not paid his tithes, and he was in despair; but as he confessed his sin, he began to gather hope. ‘What shall I do?’ he asked.
“I said, ‘Give your note to the treasurer of the church; that will be businesslike.’
“He thought that was a rather strange request; but he sat down and began to write. ‘For value received, I promise to pay—’ He looked up, as if to say, Is that the proper form in which to write out a note to the Lord?
“‘Yes,’ he continued, ‘for value received. Have I not been receiving the blessings of God day after day? Have not the angels guarded me? Has not the Lord blessed me with all spiritual and temporal blessings? For value received, I promise to pay the sum of $571.50 to the church treasurer.’ After doing all he could do on his part, he was a happy man. In a few days he took up his note, and paid his tithe into the treasury. He had also made a Christmas donation of $125” (Review and Herald, February 10, 1889, in Counsels on Stewardship, pp. 95, 96).
Later, when commenting on this incident Ellen White explained: “He gave his note to the secretary of the conference for the tithe he had withheld and the interest on it” (Testimonies for the Church, vol. 5, p. 643).
“If you have robbed the Lord, make restitution. As far as possible, make the past right, and then ask the Saviour to pardon you” (White, The Faith I Live By, p. 161).
On a very consistent basis Ellen White urged church members to make sure their accounts with God were square at the end of the year. Regarding an experience in Australia, she stated: “One brother, a noble-looking man, a delegate from Tasmania, came to me and said, ‘I am glad I heard you speak today upon tithing. I did not know it was so important a matter. I dare not neglect it longer.’ He is now figuring up the amount of his tithe for the last twenty years, and says he shall pay it all as fast as he is able, for he cannot have robbery of God registered in the books of Heaven meet him in the Judgment.
“One sister belonging to the Melbourne church, has brought in eleven pounds [$54] back tithe which she had not understood that it devolved on her to pay. As they have received the light, many have made confession in regard to their indebtedness to God, and expressed their determination to meet this debt. . . . I proposed that they place in the treasury their note promising to pay the full amount of an honest tithe as soon as they could obtain the money to do so. Many heads bowed in assent, and I am confident that next year we shall not, as now, have an empty treasury” (White, Counsels on Stewardship, pp. 96, 97).
As we might expect, here again, when one wishes to make things right with God, Ellen White counseled to return the tithe to the treasury. She instructed those seeking to make restitution to make a note to the church treasurer or the secretary of the conference in a businesslike manner. She never counseled anyone to just use it for some good cause. . .
In the news:
- Remember that tonight marks presentation number 5 in our “Hope Awakens” series with Pastor John Bradshaw. A big thank you to our patient volunteer Bible workers who have faithfully worked through all the technical difficulties and are working to reach out to those who are going through the series. We have 50 interests assigned to our church so far from this effort and our team of Virtual Bible Workers are interacting with them. You can watch again tonight at 7 p.m. at Hopeawakens.org. Note that we are using .org now instead of .com.
- Remember our prayer line is open each weeknight at 6:30 p.m. and on Sabbath mornings at 9:30 a.m.
- Kevin Finley will be leading out in our Sabbath School lesson this Sabbath at 10 a.m. Check your email for the invite or visit the church website to click and join. Also, note that our Spanish group will be joining us for opening prayer and then will begin their own study discussion in a private break out room via our ZOOM session.
- Here is an update for the Kindergarten class. Again, as updates are submitted, I will post them here.
- This Sabbath I will be sharing the morning message with another look at the scenes leading up to Christ’s death in part 2 of our series entitled, “A Glimpse Ahead.” In this series, we are looking at the parallels between Christ’s final hours prior to Calvary and final events preceding the 2nd coming. Also, Laura Saladino will be sharing the music and John Hawkins will be sharing our children’s story. If you have trouble at some point with ZOOM during the worship service, you can always utilize our Facebook page or church website to watch the service. We prefer using ZOOM as it is nice to share in the family dynamic of being together in the service. Last week after the worship program was complete, many of us simply remained online on ZOOM to visit and share in an online foyer type experience. It was a special time.
- It’s been asked how long will we continue to not meet together at the church building. While we are still not sure, I can say that the conference has recommended that at least for now, we not meet until after May 16. Whether that means the doors will open the following Sabbath remains to be seen. Only time will tell.
- Remember, you can give online via our church website by clicking here. You will also find a helpful tutorial at this webpage that will guide you through the process of giving online. Our church budget currently looks like this:
- Church Business: 1st Reading Transfers Out: Samantha Spillman to Riverview Community Church, Greeneville TN. 2nd Reading Transfers In: Eduardo & Libia Ines Prada & Eduardo Prada Jr.
- Last night I enjoyed leading out in a Bible study via Zoom where two participants were in Jonesborough and one was in Alaska. I am still amazed by the possibilities that are available to us through the internet. Speaking of which, soon I hope to share an online version of our Thunder in the Holy Land series where we can lead others in an online Bible study together. It will serve as a connection to our local church and as a resource for following up with our Hope Awakens series participants. More details to come.
- For those who would like to send some ecards online, Life Talk Radio has some nice options for sharing. Click here to view their online card gallery.
- If you are looking for an easy way to share GLOW tracks and Adventist literature online, here is a helpful resource to consider.
- During this stay at home period, we’ve enjoyed working on various projects around the place. Whether it’s sharpening lawn mower blades or trying to get a small engine to run again, it’s been filled with learning opportunities for the boys. One of our projects has been to build a picnic table to replace the old one that collapsed. After some measuring, sawing, drilling, and assembly, we finished it this week by staining it. We hope to make many new memories at this table. Here are a few pictures from life at our place.
Blessings as you prepare for the coming sacred hours of the Sabbath!
In His Service,