What is a PROMISE
“It’s a system of giving in which someone decides to worship God through their offerings, regularly and systematically, beyond tithe, a pre-determined percentage of any income. It’s an exercise of faith which leads to a deeper trust and to more dependency from Him.
“The system of tithes and offerings was intended to impress the minds of men with a great truth—that God is the source of every blessing to His creatures, and that to Him man's gratitude is due for the good gifts of His providence.” PP 525.3
PROMISE Proportion Concept
“Should the people of God give less in this age? The principle laid down by Christ is that our offerings to God should be in proportion to the light and privileges [Blessings] enjoyed. ‘Unto whomsoever much is given, of him shall be much required.’ Luke 12:48... The work of the gospel, as it widens, requires greater provision to sustain it than was called for anciently; and this makes the law of tithes and offerings of even more urgent necessity now than under the Hebrew economy....” PP, 528
According to 1 Cor. 16:2, our offering must be:
- “... as he may prosper...” (NKJV)
- “... in keeping with your income...” (NIV).
- Those who have more income, must give more.
- Those who have less income, would give less.
- Those who does not have income, will not give anything.
“... He who sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and he who sows bountifully will also reap bountifully.” 2 Cor. 9:6
“Every man shall give as he is able, according to the blessing of the Lord your God which He has given you.” Deut. 16:17
PROMISE is for both the Rich and Poor
“In the Bible system [Promise] of tithes and offerings the amounts paid by different persons will of course vary greatly, since they are proportioned to the income. … But it is not the greatness of the gift that makes the offering acceptable to God; it is the purpose of the heart, the spirit of gratitude and love that it expresses. Let not the poor feel that their gifts are so small as to be unworthy of notice. Let them give according to their ability, feeling that they are servants of God, and that He will accept their offering.” CS 73.3
PROMISE is neither internally or externally motivated
“This matter of giving is not left to impulse. God has given us definite instruction in regard to it. He has specified tithes and offerings as the measure of our obligation. And He desires us to give regularly and systematically.... Let each regularly examine his income, which is all a blessing from God, and set apart the tithe as a separate fund, to be sacredly the Lord's. This fund should not in any case be devoted to any other use; it is to be devoted solely to support the ministry of the gospel. After the tithe is set apart, let gifts and offerings be apportioned, ‘as God hath prospered’ you.” The Review and Herald, May 9, 1893. (CS,80.3)
God Must be First
“Not only does the Lord claim the tithe as His own, but He tells us how it should be reserved for Him. He says, ‘Honor the Lord with thy substance, and with the first fruits of all thine increase.’ This does not teach that we are to spend our means on ourselves, and bring to the Lord the remnant...
We are not to consecrate to Him what remains of our income after all our real or imaginary wants are satisfied; but before any portion is consumed, we should set apart that which God has specified as His.” CS 81.1, 2
Principles of PROMISE
- God was the first one to give.
a) What comes first: blessing or offering?
b) I do not give to be blessed, but because I was already blessed.
c) This is an important difference between Offering Theology and Prosperity Theology.
- Offering must be proportional to income
a) More income, more in offering
b) Less income, less in offering
c) No income, no offering
- God must be the first
a) Mat. 6:33: “But seek first...”
b) First fruits
c) Tithe and offerings are tied together
- Percentage offering must be prompted by any income
a) Not only when there is any perceived necessity
b) Not because of emotions or impulse
c) Not only when there are relevant projects
d) But every time when there is income
- Contribution should be progressive
a) Different from tithe
b) “I urge you... [to] increase more and more.” 1 Tes.4:10
Should “PROMISE” take place each time I tithe?
“This matter of giving is not left to impulse. God has given us definite instruction in regard to it. He has specified tithes and offerings as the measure of our obligation. And He desires us to give regularly and systematically...” Ellen G. White, Counsels on Stewardship, 80, 81.
“...Let each regularly examine his income, which is all a blessing from God, and  set apart the tithe as a separate fund... After the tithe is set apart, let  gifts and offerings be apportioned ‘as God hath prospered you’.” Ellen G. White, Counsels on Stewardship, 81.
What should not determine my offering?
• “This matter of giving is not left to impulse...” Ellen G. White, Counsels on Stewardship, 80.
• Not based on my desire, will or feeling
• Not based on interesting or even relevant projects
What should determine my offering?
•Blessing: each time I am blessed, I must tithe and give offerings
•Principle - apart from feelings
“...Let each regularly examine his income [blessings], which is all a blessing from God...” Ellen G. White, Counsels on Stewardship, 81.
“...The cause of benevolence would no longer be dependent on the uncertain gifts of impulse, and vary according to the changing feelings of men. God's claims would be welcomed, and His cause would be considered as justly entitled to a portion of the funds entrusted to our hands.” CS 199.3
Promise should be progressive
“Some, when in poverty, are generous with their little; but as they acquire property, they become penurious. The reason they have so little faith, is because they do not keep moving forward as they prosper, and give to the cause of God even at a sacrifice”. CS222
Promise can be increased
“How much more eager will every faithful steward be to enlarge the proportion of gifts to be placed in the Lord's treasure house, than to decrease his offering one jot or tittle. ... Those who are recipients of His grace, who contemplate the cross of Calvary, will not question concerning the proportion to be given, but will feel that the richest offering is all too meager, all disproportionate to the great gift of the only-begotten Son of the infinite God. ...” CS, 200