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Should a Nonmember Tithe?
Good News Magazine
October-November 1982
Volume: VOL. XXIX, NO. 9
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Should a Nonmember Tithe?
Herman L Hoeh   
Church of God

Born: 1928
Died: November 24, 2004
Ambassador College: 1947
Ordained: December 20, 1952
Office: Evangelist

Is tithing only for Christians? Would God prosper non-Christians who tithe? Read, here, the living experiences of those who have put tithing to the test.

   So you have read of Ed Smith, the man who couldn't afford to tithe.
   Now stop for a moment and put yourself in Ed Smith's shoes. You have just learned the answer to the question whether the unconverted should obey God's Ten Commandments and pay tithes — or whether, as Ed Smith reasoned, these are only for Christians.
   Ed Smith got the point.
   But have you?
   Have you understood that God is a God of love? That He is concerned about you? That He knows what you need? God has your interest and welfare in mind.
   God set laws in motion that, if obeyed, produce happiness, peace, prosperity — everything one could desire. God's laws were instituted for man's good — your good. They are a way of life. They produce an abundant, interesting life here and now — as well as eternal life through Jesus Christ.
   God's overall spiritual law is summed up in the one word love. Love to God and love to neighbor. It is further subdivided into 10 points — the Ten Commandments — which reveal how we should love God and love neighbor. If the Ten Commandments were obeyed by the nations today, there would be no war. And among individuals there would be no murder, no adultery, no stealing, no lying. Can you imagine a world like that — free from mental anguish and suffering, free from nagging fears and worries?
   Such a happy world could be — if only we would learn that God's laws were set in motion for our good.

People deprive themselves of blessings

   When any human being breaks the laws God set in motion, he automatically deprives himself of blessings — deprives himself of joy, of peace of mind, of the prosperity that could be his. When any human being obeys the laws God set in motion, he automatically begins to receive blessings — inner happiness, peace of mind, increasing prosperity on the job.
   The way of obedience is the way of blessings. The way of disobedience brings the lack of those desired blessings.
   A professing Christian who commits adultery automatically cuts himself off from the blessings of a happy marriage. A non-Christian who obeys the commandment "Thou shalt not commit adultery" (Ex. 20:14) automatically receives the blessings of a happier home.
   A professing Christian who does not tithe is stealing from God — he is breaking one of the Ten Commandments. He automatically cuts himself off from financial blessings that could have been his. A non-Christian who pays God his tithes automatically receives financial blessings because he is obeying a law set in motion to bring prosperity — to keep one out of needless debt.
   It is that simple!
   Many of you, right now, are heavily in debt. You want to cut yourself off from the only source that could give you wisdom to keep out of debt — God. You are not likely to deliver yourself from debt until you begin to obey the financial law of tithing.
   Yes, strange as it seems, you — even if a non-Christian — can prosper and be free from debt if you make God your financial partner. In this partnership God gives you 90 percent of the income. Think how much more prosperous the world would now be if each nation had made God a national partner.
   If each nation had been faithful in tithe paying, there would be no mounting national debt and no significant private debt.

It pays to tithe

   The 10 percent, which God has reserved for Himself since the creation of the world, is called a tithe. It is an old English word meaning "tenth." The first tithe, or tenth, belongs to God (as explained in the preceding article).
   There is a reward that comes from tithing. God prospers the tither and delivers him out of debt. Do you believe God can do for you what He did for wealthy Abraham? Or are you a doubter? Do you want His blessings, or to be deprived of them?
   Notice Malachi 3:9-12, a prophecy for today: "Ye are cursed with the curse, yet ye rob Me, even this whole nation" (Jewish Publication Society translation ). That means professing Christi an and non-Christian alike! "Bring ye," God continues to the professing Christian and non-Christian alike, "the whole tithe into the store house ... and try 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 be more than sufficiency.... And air nations shall call you happy; for ye shall be a delightsome land, saith the Lord of hosts."
   That is God's promise — and God cannot lie. God is no respecter of persons — it is not a matter of spiritual conversion. It is a financial matter.
   Of course, the matter of attitude is all important. God loves a cheerful giver — not one who gives grudgingly or of necessity (II Cor. 9:7). If a person merely "gives to get" — simply as a legal necessity — he cannot expect God to bless him. Nor could one expect God to bless a tither if he employs fiscal foolishness in managing the remaining 90 percent of his income.
   We publish a booklet entitled Managing Your Personal Finances. It explains how to properly administer that remaining 90 percent. Write for your free copy.
   We have received hundreds of letters over the years from non-Christians who have learned the lesson of tithing. They have put tithing to the test — and found it pays!
   Suppose you were a policeman. Would it pay you to tithe? Here is your answer:

   I have been a subscriber to your magazines for several years now. In addition I've consumed a considerable amount of literature that you have always freely given. I've read this material, compared it to the Bible and the traditions in which I was reared, asked many questions of "experts" on theology, and I've counseled with ministers of God's Church. I have been profoundly affected by the knowledge I've garnered.
   I made the decision to tithe and discovered that my family does very nicely on the 90 percent God lets me keep. Our financial status has not soared, but the fact is we have prospered better than we did on 100 percent. It is truly a delight to see the visible evidence of God's laws in motion....
   My job [has been] a California highway patrolman....
Red Bluff, Calif.

   Maybe you are a woman who has to earn your own living. Here's a letter from one who has found a better way to make her income work for her:

   After I sent you a check for the first time, I got a pay raise. My boss also informed me that if I keep learning the job as I have been, he was going to try to get me promoted. If the promotion goes through, I will be the first female without a college degree to ever be in that position with this company — perhaps in the business.
Pat V.
Midland, Tex.

   Maybe you are a teenager?

   Here is some money. deliver papers. Since I have started tithing, I have been making much more. My summer camp fund is really growing.
Brice T.
Los Alamos, N.M.

   Take the case of this ranching family from Huntington, Ore., the same stat e Ed Smith the well driller came from:

   Enclosed is a check for our first monthly tithe. We have a small cattle ranch and our monthly budget is very small. My husband made out the check this afternoon. Within hours we had some badly needed rain. God blesses His own in many different ways. To us rain is a very big blessing.
Mr. and Mrs. Dennis Q.
Huntington, Ore.

   Who says God won't open up the "windows of heaven" and bless those who tithe for the first time?
   Perhaps you are unemployed. Does it pay to begin tithing even if you haven't found a job yet?

   After a year of not working, I am called back to work now. I had never thought much about tithing before I received your magazine. When I received my tax returns, I sent one tenth. No sooner had I sent my tithe money to you than I received this offer for work in Prince George, B.C., and my son was told to go to Thompson, Man. So I cannot thank you enough for your magazine.
Mrs. K.B.
Prince George, B.C.

   Maybe you are on the frontier in Alaska. Does it pay to tithe there, with living costs so high?

   Tithing is definitely profitable. Within three months, God put me in a rewarding job with two times the amount of money per month. If tithing works, the other laws must work too.
Craig H.F.
Anchorage, Alaska

   They do! Thousands have proved it.
   Some people remain doubters for years until — but let Harvey S. tell his own story:

   In February I sent a tithe for my January income. Less than a week later I received a check from an unexpected source for $2,500. A couple of weeks after that a man paid he has owed me for two years! Then I got a gift of $250 out of the clear blue — not expected at all. My stepson came to live with us and pays room and board. All of this from one tithe. The very first time in my life I ever freely gave 10 percent of my income. You can't make me believe it was coincidence at all.
Harvey S.
Fort Lauderdale, Fla.

   Here's a letter from a man who used to be in debt — until he found the way to lend to others:

   It has been a real pleasure tithing to this great Work again this year. A man I used to borrow money from to finance my livestock operations said to me recently, "You never borrow money from me anymore." Others borrow from me now. Surely tithing is an active law!
Bland, Va.

Learning the hard way

   Perhaps you think you are like Ed Smith, who couldn't afford to tithe? Here is an example of one young man who found out the hard way:

   I am a New Zealander, age 17. This is a true story you will appreciate.
   Last year, as a student, I learned of tithing. I recorded all the money I earned and decided to pay God my first tenth. I kept putting off paying God anything. I was broke — had laboring jobs.
   Then one week I sent God my first tithe. Things financially got worse... [Then] $200 for an insurance claim on my stolen clothes came through long overdue, and although I thought I had important things to spend it on, I decided to send God a tithe on the $200.
   Then I met two friends at an employment agency. I knew it was more than coincidence. I prayed for the opportunity of taking a job with NCR (National Cash Registers). I had to take exams, and passed all with an average of 80 percent for the lot. I got the job.
David T.
Sydney, Australia

   This young man put his finger on the problem. It doesn't pay to put off tithing. God's laws are permanent, living laws. The man who begins tithing will soon have unexpected breaks as David has found out.
   So don't make the excuse of procrastinating as the young husband mentioned in the next letter did. God will find you out and test your word:

   Enclosed is my husband's first check for God's Work. He did not believe in tithing and is still somewhat skeptical. When he received his paycheck last weekend, he began making excuses as to why he could not begin tithing right then, but promised that we would begin "with the next check we get"! Two hours later the mailman brought our income tax refund check and my husband had to admit that it was "the next check" with which he had promised to begin tithing.
Donna T.
Torrance, Calif.

    God challenges us to prove Him. And He is ready to help us whenever we turn to Him for financial help.
   Yes, tithing pays. It is a financial law God set in motion for man's good. It works for the young and old, for the wage earner and housewife, for the Christian and the non-Christian alike.
   It's all explained in our FREE booklet, Ending Your Financial Worries.
   Running away from God's laws is like running away from every good thing. God sets before everyone the way of life and prosperity — and its opposite, the way of poverty, suffering and death. God commands you to choose.
   Which of the paths will you take?

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Good News MagazineOctober-November 1982VOL. XXIX, NO. 9
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