Ellen G. White Writings

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Testimonies for the Church, vol. 1, Page 221

They must give each a portion, but feel themselves unable to raise means to aid the cause of God. They make the excuse that they have a duty to their children. This may be right, but their first duty is to God. Render unto Caesar the things that are Caesar's, and to God the things that are God's. Rob not God by withholding from Him your tithes and offerings. It is the first sacred duty to render to God a suitable proportion. Let no one throw in his claims and lead you to rob God. Let not your children steal your offering from God's altar for their own benefit.

I saw that anciently the covetousness of some led them to withhold a suitable proportion; they made their offering stinted. This was recorded in heaven, and they were cursed in their harvest and their flocks just as they withheld. Some were visited with affliction in their families. God would not accept a lame offering. It must be without blemish, the best of their flocks, and the best fruits of their fields. And it must be a freewill offering, if they would have the blessing of the Lord rest upon their families and their possessions.

The case of Ananias and Sapphira was presented before me to illustrate the course of those who put down their property below its value. They pretended to make a freewill offering of their possessions to the Lord. Said Peter: “Tell me whether ye sold the land for so much?” The answer was: “Yea, for so much.” Some in this evil age would not consider that a lie. But the Lord regarded it thus. They had sold it for so much, and much more. They had professed to consecrate all to God. To Him they had dissembled, and their retribution lingered not.

I saw that in the arrangement of systematic benevolence, hearts will be tested and proved. It is a constant, living test. It brings one to understand his own heart, to see whether the truth or the love of the world predominates. Here is a test for the naturally selfish and covetous. They will put down their possessions at very low figures. Here they

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