Ellen G. White Writings

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The Indiana Reporter

August 15, 1906

Our Duty as Teachers and Lay Brethren

Those who realize their dependence upon God, will feel that they must be honest with their fellowmen; and, above all, they must be honest with God, from whom comes all the blessings of life. The evasion of the positive commands of God concerning tithes and offerings is registered in the books of heaven as robbery toward Him.

Let none feel at liberty to retain their tithe to use according to their own judgment. They are not to use it for themselves in any emergency, nor to apply it as they see fit, even in what they may regard as the Lord's work.

Unless the name of God is written in your forehead,—written there because God is the center of your thoughts,—you will not be meet for the inheritance in light. It is your Creator who has poured out to you all heaven in one wondrous gift,—His only begotten Son. Will you withhold from God His own? Will you divert from the treasury the portion of means which the Lord claims as His? If so, you are robbing God, and every dollar is charged against you in the books of heaven.

It is the duty of the elders and officers of the church to instruct the people on this important matter, and to setting things in order. As laborers together with God, the officers of the church should be sound upon this plainly revealed question. The ministers themselves should be strict to carry out to the letter the injunctions of God's word. Those who hold positions of trust in the church should not be negligent, but they should see that the members are faithful in performing this duty.

The one who proclaims the message of mercy to fallen men has another work also, to set before the people the duty of sustaining the work of God with their means. He must teach them that a portion of their income belongs to God, and is to be sacredly devoted to His work. This lesson he should present both by precept and example. And he should beware that he does not by his own course lessen the force of his teaching.

The minister should, by precept and example, teach the people to regard the tithe as sacred. He should not feel that he can retain and apply it according to his own judgment because he is a minister. It is not his. He is not at liberty to devote to himself whatever he thinks is his due. Let him not give his influence to any plans for diverting from their legitimate use the tithes and offerings dedicated to God. Let them be placed in His treasury, and held sacred for God's service as He has appointed. The tithe is God's portion, not at all the property of man, and the scripture declares that he who withholds it is guilty of robbery. Who, then, will stand with clean hands before the Lord?

Mrs. E. G. White

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