Ellen G. White Writings

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Atlantic Union Gleaner

December 14, 1904

The Church and its Mission

If all, both old and young, would do their duty, there would be no dearth in the treasury. If all would pay a faithful tithe, and devote to the Lord the first-fruits of their mercies, there would be a full supply of funds for his work.

But the law of God is not respected or obeyed, and this has brought a pressure of want. All the good that man enjoys comes because of the mercy of God. He is the great and bountiful Giver of good. His love is manifest to all in the abundant provision which he has made for man. He has given us probationary time in which to form characters that will fit us for the courts above. And it is not because he needs anything that he asks us to reserve part of our possessions for him.

The Lord created every tree in Eden, pleasant to the eyes and good for food, and he bade Adam and Eve freely enjoy his bounties. But he made one exception. Of the tree of knowledge of good and evil they were not to eat. This tree God reserved as a constant reminder of his ownership of all. Thus he gave them an opportunity to demonstrate their faith and trust in him and their perfect obedience to his requirements. So it is with God's claims upon us. He places his treasures in the hand of humanity, but requires that one-tenth shall be faithfully laid aside for his work. He teaches us the lesson that he requires this portion to be placed in his treasury. It is to be rendered to him as his own; it is sacred, and is to be used for sacred purposes, for the support of those who carry the message of salvation to all parts of the world. He reserves this portion, that means may be flowing into his treasure-house, and that the light of truth may be carried to those who are nigh and those afar off. By faithfully obeying this requirement, we prove that we realize that all belongs to God. And has not the Lord a right to demand this much of us? Did he not give us his only begotten Son because he loved us and desired to save us from death? And shall not our gratitude offerings flow into the Lord's treasury, to be drawn therefrom to advance his kingdom in the earth? God is the owner of all our goods, and shall not gratitude to him prompt us to make free-will offerings and thank offerings, thus acknowledging his ownership of soul, body, spirit, and property?

Had God's plan been followed, means would now be flowing into his treasury; and funds to enable ministers to enter new fields, and workers to unite with ministers to lift up the standard of truth in the dark places of the earth, would be abundant.

It is a heaven-appointed plan that men should return to the Lord his own; and this is so plainly stated that men and women have no excuse for misunderstanding or evading the duties and responsibility God has laid upon them. Those who claim that they can not see this to be their duty, reveal to the heavenly universe, to the church, and to the world, that they do not want to see this plainly stated requirement. They think that if they followed the Lord's plan, they would detract from their own possessions. In the covetousness of their selfish souls, they desire to have the whole capital, both principal and interest, that they may use it for their own benefit.

God lays his hand upon all man's possessions, saying, “I am the owner of the universe, and these goods are mine.” “The tithe you have withheld I reserved for the support of my servants in their work of opening the Scriptures to those who are in the regions of darkness, who do not understand my law. In using my reserve fund to gratify your own desires, you have robbed souls of the light which I made provision they should receive. You have had opportunity to show loyalty to me, but you have not done so—you have robbed me; for you have stolen my reserve fund.” “Ye are cursed with a curse.”

Let the neglected tithes be now brought in. Let the new year open upon you as men honest in their deal with God. Let those who have withheld their tithes, send them in before the year 1904 shall close, that they may be right with God, and never, never again run any risk of being cursed by God.

Mrs. E. G. White

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