If for some unforeseen circumstance you are unable to attend the Feast of Tabernacles, what should you do with your second tithe? Many that we have met on the baptizing tours, and others by letters, have asked about this problem. First, let us understand the purpose of the second tithe. God, in His Word, commands us to assemble at His set feasts. In order to make our attendance possible, God ordained that we set aside a second tithe to cover expense to and from the festival (Deut. 14:23-26; 16:13-15). In ancient times, when travel expenses were of little consequence, the tithe was used to cover food expenses primarily. But today, since the purpose of the second tithe is to enable us to attend the festivals, much more of it has to be spent for transportation than for food. Now let us notice where the second tithe was to be spent. "Thou shalt truly tithe all the increase of thy seed, that the field bringeth forth year by year And thou shalt eat before the Lord thy God, in the place which he shall choose to place his name there... that thou mayest learn to fear the Lord thy God always. And if the way be too long for thee, so that thou art not able to carry it; or if the place be too far from thee, which the Lord thy God shall choose to set his name there, when the Lord thy God hath blessed thee: then shalt thou turn it into money.. And shalt GO unto the place which the Lord thy God shall choose... and thou shalt eat there before the Lord thy God, and thou shalt rejoice." (Deut. 14:22-27). The second tithe-the tenth that God wants us to use, which is another and separate tenth from the first tithe that He reserves for Himself for the carrying out of the gospel-the second tithe we are to use to attend the festivals. But let us read further: "Thou mayest NOT eat within thy gates the tithe of thy corn, of thy wine... but thou MUST eat them before the Lord thy God in the place which the Lord thy God shall choose, thou, and thy son, and thy daughter" (Deut. 12:17-15). Here is a positive command not to use the second tithe at home if you are unable to attend. You must use it to enable you to attend the festivals at the place which God chooses. If the money is spent for any other purpose, then you are breaking a command of God-you are not learning to fear His authority — and you are cheating yourself of the wonderful blessing of fellowship with others of like faith. If for unforeseen circumstances you are unable to attend the festivals, and if you are prosperous, it would be the right and brotherly duty to enable others to use your tithe. It can be sent to Pasadena, with an explanation that it is to enable others to attend the festival. But if you are like most of the brethren, not having many wordly goods, and a small income or none at all, and if you are unable to come to the festival, you should save it until the next year or for two years, if necessary, when you will then have enough to assemble where God has chosen to place His name. Meantime, you will be observing the festivals at home just as you would at the feast. In many cases we try to aid the poorer brethren through the extra second tithe of those few who have more than enough. But only those who have faithfully saved their insufficient second tithe deserve the extra help. If you haven't tried to save your little, God can not deem you worthy of His extra assistance.
What Books Are Needed for Bible Study?
In the September issue of "The GOOD NEWS," we mentioned that God has led us to see that His ministry must provide the sturdy tools for a basic understanding of the Bible. However, we realize that there are a few books which you will find valuable to begin your Bible study. Even these few which we are recommending contain human errors. Here is the list in the order of their usefulness: Webster's Dictionary: The most essential book, second only to the Bible. Cruden's Concordance: Necessary for locating every important passage of Scripture. Price $3.00. Rand McNally's Current Events World Atlas: This small atlas will help you locate places where prophecy is being fulfilled today! Price 50¢. Smith's Bible Dictionary: One of the most helpful single-volume Bible dictionaries. Price $3.00. It has a few errors. A Harmony of the Gospels, by A. T. Robertson; Mr. Armstrong has often used this book in preparing his radio sermons. It is highly useful in comparing the events recorded in the four gospels. Price $3.00. Halley's Pocket Bible Handbook: This small book of nearly 800 pages is jam-packed with helpful facts on obscure Old Testament texts and church history. It contains a miniature commentary, much of which is filled with common doctrinal errors. Price $2.00. Ancient History in Bible Light, by Dorothy Ruth Miller: An exceptional publication for more advanced study, containing very few basic errors. Price $3.50. Hurlbut's Historical Atlas of the Bible: A most practical atlas for thorough study of Old Testament and New Testaments. It has dozens of maps and pictures that make Bible reading simple, even for children. Price $5.00.