The Bible Answers Your Questions
Good News Magazine
August 1965
Volume: Vol XIV, No. 8
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The Bible Answers Your Questions
Good News Staff  

Is it permissible to borrow from second tithe? I've heard that some scriptures say this is all right.

   People are inclined to reason that since God requires the tithe to be used only at the Festivals, it's all right to borrow from it.
   "After all," one may reason, "it's not doing any good lying there and as I'm short this week, surely it will be all right to borrow some and then return it later." This is just one of the many ways by which we persuade ourselves that God will not mind our using the tithe to help us over a financial hump.
   Some will even turn to Leviticus 27:31 and say, "Here is proof that I can borrow as long as I add another 20 percent." But is it?
   When we are dealing with God's goods we need to be very aware of our responsibilities with them. We can know what God says we can do with His money only by going to the Bible.
   Deuteronomy 14:22-27 clearly shows that God intends us to use the tithe to eat where He shall choose (verse 24). There is nothing to show that we can borrow from it for our own purposes. It must be used only for traveling to and from the Festivals and paying for whatever food and accommodations are needed during that time.
   Turn to Leviticus 27:30 and see what God says about tithes: "And all the tithe... it is holy unto the Lord." God says it is holy. That means it has been put aside, dedicated and set apart, for a sacred use. Brethren, we cannot take something that is holy and put it to a use for which it was NOT intended.
   Just what does it mean, "If a man will at all redeem ought of his tithes, he shall add thereto the fifth part thereof" (Lev. 27:31)? "Redeem" means to buy back not to borrow. Verse 30 shows that he can buy back "the produce of the land" not livestock (see verses 32-33). A farmer would buy back the land produce which he had tithed when he desired the food for his own consumption. When he bought it back, he would pay the current market price plus 20 percent. This money would then represent the tithe.
   God says the tithe is His. We have no right to borrow from it. He does not allow us to use it this way because He knows human nature. If a man borrows from his second tithe, something is likely to come up that will prevent him from paying it back. He may even reason that since the money is spent, the sin has been committed and he can merely ask God for forgiveness and everything will be all right.
   If you find yourself with a financial problem, borrowing from the second tithe is not the solution. Have faith in God's promise given in Malachi 3:10 and solve your problem God's way.

In Ecclesiastes 1:4 Solomon said that the earth abides forever. But in II Peter 3:10 we read that the earth will be burned up. I know that the Bible does not contradict itself, but please explain this unclear point.

   Wise King Solomon was inspired to tell us: "One generation passeth away, and another generation cometh: but the earth abideth for ever" (Eccl. 1:4).
   This is a promise that will not fail!
   Some have assumed that this scripture contradicts the Apostle Peter's statement in II Peter 3:10 that the "earth... shall be burned up."
   Is Peter really talking about the total destruction of the earth? The context of II Peter 3 tells us. "But the heavens and the earth, which are now, by the same word are kept in store, reserved unto fire against the day of judgment and perdition of ungodly men" (II Pet. 3:7).
   Notice that this fire is the Judgment of ungodly men. This is the Lake of Gehenna Fire which is the second death (Rev. 20:14). This is the unquenchable fire that will burn up the unrepentant (Mat. 3:12).
   Peter then goes on to describe the effects of this unquenchable fire: "In the which the heavens shall pass away with a great noise, and the elements shall melt with fervent heat, the earth also and the works that are therein shall be burned up" (II Pet. 3:10). An unquenchable fire is one that cannot be put out. It merely burns until it has consumed all combustible material. Then it dies out for lack of anything else to consume. This is as Peter has said everything will be burned up.
   This fire of Judgment is further explained in the first three verses of Malachi 4. "The day cometh, that shall burn as an oven; and all the proud, yea, and all that do wickedly, shall be stubble: and the day that cometh shall burn them up... And ye shall tread down the wicked; for THEY SHALL BE ASHES UNDER the soles of YOUR FEET." Notice that there will be ashes left when this unquenchable fire dies out! This globe we call the EARTH WILL STILL EXIST! The saints will still be on this earth.
   This is exactly what Peter meant.
   He used example of Noah's Flood as a type of the future cleansing of the earth by fire. "Whereby the world that then was, being overflowed with water, perished" (II Pet. 3:6), Just as the earth continued to exist after the Flood so it will continue to exist after the coming worldwide Gehenna Fire.
   Continuing with the context of II Peter 3 we find in Verse 13 that: "We... look for new heavens and a new earth, wherein dwelleth righteousness." In Revelation the new heaven and new earth are mentioned immediately after the account of the Lake of Fire. "And I saw a new heaven and a new earth: for the first heaven and the first earth were passed away [by fire]; and there was no more sea. And I John saw the holy city, new Jerusalem, coming down from God out of heaven... the tabernacle of God is with men, and he will dwell with them [on the earth]" (Rev. 21:1-3).
   Thus we see that the EARTH WILL STILL EXIST FOREVER. The simple explanation of II Peter 3:10 is that the surface of the earth and everything on it, including the incorrigibly wicked, will be destroyed by fire. God will then remake the surface of the earth (with no sea and no sun) for a habitation for Himself and the rest of the God Kingdom (Rev. 21, 22).
   You need to understand these prophecies of your Bible and then REPENT so that you will live over into the new heaven and new earth.

In Judges 1:19, we read, "And the Lord was with Judah; and he drave out the inhabitants of the mountain; but could not drive out the inhabitants of the valley, because they had chariots of iron." Why was God unable to drive out the inhabitants of the valley since all things are possible with Him? (Mat. 19:26).

   YES! God could have driven the inhabitants out of the valley! He even promised to do that very thing in a later instance.
   "Thus saith the Lord, Because the Syrians have said, The Lord is God of the hills, but he is not God of the valleys, therefore will I deliver all this great multitude into thine hand, and ye shall know that I am the Lord" (I Kings 20:28).
   But, because of Israel's disobedience, God said He would not drive out their enemies. "Wherefore I also said, I will not drive them out from before you; but they shall be as thorns in your sides, and their gods shall be a snare unto you... I also will not henceforth drive out any from before them of the nations which Joshua left when he died" (Judg. 2:3, 21).
   God was completely capable of performing this feat. But this is the reason God wouldn't drive them out for Israel. In the verse it appears as though God were nor able to drive out the inhabitants! However, a simple understanding of proper English usage reveals the meaning of this verse. The antecedent to the pronoun "he" in Verse 19 of Chapter 1 is not "the Lord," but Judah. We have already proved why Judah was unable to drive out these inhabitants. God had simply ceased to be with them!
   As we have seen, God could have easily delivered the inhabitants of the valley into Israel's hand. But, ISRAEL LACKED FAITH!! They began to look at the enemy and their superior chariots. They ceased trusting and relying in their God.
   They allowed their fears to blot out their faith in God. This is another example for us today (I Cor. 10:11). God wants us to look to Him in unwavering faith.

How many times should one pray concerning his problems?

   Some have read that Paul prayed three times for a certain problem (II Cor. 12:8) and believe that three times is the answer!
   Others have read in Matthew 7:7 where Christ said, "Ask, and it shall be given you." So they asked once!
   Still others turn to Matthew 9:29 and read, "According to your faith be it unto you," and don't pray at all!
   Christ's parable in Luke 18 gives the answer. The widow in this parable persevered with her cause. She knew that her request was lawful according to God's will. She practiced determination, patience and exercised her faith!
   It is important for us to remember that when God does not answer our prayers immediately, there is a purpose being worked out. We have to learn from our problems.
   We have to learn that "men ought ALWAYS to pray, and not to faint." So continue praying about any problem until God answers!

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Good News MagazineAugust 1965Vol XIV, No. 8