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    April 8, 1901

    Will a Man Rob God?

    Talk by Mrs. E. G. White in the Tabernacle, April 6, 1901.


    I solicit the prayers of this people. I want everyone to realize that an individual responsibility rests upon him to hear with faith and understand what we have to say, because it is the word of the living God. Pray for me; pray for yourselves individually. You have a personal Saviour, and the Lord wants every one of you to be saved in his kingdom. He wants you to have a crown of life, and you want it.GCB April 8, 1901, par. 1

    “Behold, I will send my messenger, and he shall prepare the way before me: and the Lord, whom ye seek, shall suddenly come to his temple, even the messenger of the covenant, whom ye delight in: behold, he shall come, saith the Lord of hosts. But who may abide the day of his coming? and who shall stand when he appeareth? For he is like a refiner's fire, and like fuller's soap.”GCB April 8, 1901, par. 2

    Stop and consider what that means. Fuller's soap makes a garment shrink into a much smaller compass. We want to stand in that position of humility where the life is hid with Christ in God. We claim him; he is our Righteousness; therefore if our lives are hid with Christ in God, we shall not shrink into nothingness.GCB April 8, 1901, par. 3

    “And he shall sit as a refiner and purifier of silver: and he shall purify the sons of Levi and purge them as gold and silver, that they may offer unto the Lord an offering in righteousness. Then shall the offering of Judah and Jerusalem be pleasant unto the Lord, as in the days of old, and as in former years. And I will come near to you to judgment; and I will be a swift witness against the sorcerers, and against the adulterers, and against false swearers, and against those that oppress the hireling in his wages, the widow, and the fatherless, and they that turn aside the stranger from his right, and fear not me, saith the Lord of hosts. For I am the Lord, I change not; therefore ye sons of Jacob are not consumed. Even from the days of your fathers ye have gone away from mine ordinances, and have not kept them. Return unto me, and I will return unto you, saith the Lord of hosts. But ye said, Wherein shall we return?” As though they had no knowledge but that they had been doing just the best thing, and were living as well as they could.GCB April 8, 1901, par. 4

    Now the explanation comes,—“Will a man rob God?” Would you do it? The Bible speaks of this as if it were an impossibility that any man should venture to do such a thing. “Yet ye have robbed me. But ye say, Wherein have we robbed thee? In tithes and offerings.”GCB April 8, 1901, par. 5

    Now everyone ought to know [what] the system of tithing which is here brought out, means. I shall not go into the explanation of this; for we take it for granted that we all understand it.GCB April 8, 1901, par. 6

    “Ye are cursed with a curse: for ye have robbed me, even this whole nation. Bring ye all the tithes into the storehouse, that there may be meat in mine house, and prove me now herewith, saith the Lord of hosts, if I will not open you the windows of heaven, and pour you out a blessing, that there shall not be room enough to receive it. And I will rebuke the devourer for your sakes, and he shall not destroy the fruits of your ground; neither shall your vine cast her fruit before the time in the field, saith the Lord of hosts. And all nations shall call you blessed; for ye shall be a delightsome land, saith the Lord of hosts.”GCB April 8, 1901, par. 7

    This is a representation of the result of faithfulness in returning to the Lord his own. The Lord saw just how it would be when the world was filled with inhabitants, and therefore he makes a covenant with his people that they should give him their tithes and offerings, according to the arrangement which he has made. This is his. It does not belong to any of you. God has made this arrangement with you, that you may show that you realize your dependence and accountability to God by returning to him his portion. If you do this, his blessing will come upon you. All that we have is the Lord's, intrusted to us as his stewards. That which we hand back to him he must first give to us. The Lord is trying and testing us by every dollar that comes into [our possession, to see if we will] acknowledge him. How?—By appearing before the world as the people who acknowledge their accountability to God by giving him all they possess. Thus you may bear witness that God is the possessor of all that you have, even yourselves. “Ye are not your own; for ye are bought with a price,” even the precious blood of the only begotten Son of God.GCB April 8, 1901, par. 8

    All the sufferings, all the distress that came to him who was equal with the Father, was born that he might bring a people to himself. For this purpose he laid off his royal robe, his royal crown, laid aside his high command, and stepped down to humanity. He who was the Majesty of heaven, the King of glory, died for sinners.GCB April 8, 1901, par. 9

    We breathe because God takes charge of the human machinery. Day by day he keeps it in working order, and he wants us to think of the infinite sacrifice he has made for us in suffering with One equal with himself,—his only begotten Son. He consented to let him come to a world all seared and marred with the curse of sin, to stand at the head of humanity as a sin-bearing, sin-pardoning Saviour. God has pledged himself to receive sinners; for he “so loved the world that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.” Everlasting life,—this is what we want. Shall we be satisfied to live in this poor world without a hope of a better life? God forbid. Let us lay hold of the power that has been provided for us to make it possible for us to gain eternal life. Let us take hold of the blessings heaven has given us that we may fit ourselves for the higher grade, fit ourselves for the mansions which Christ is preparing for us. He said, “Let not your hearts be troubled; ye believe in God, believe also in me. In my Father's house are many mansions: if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you unto myself, that where I am, there ye may be also.”GCB April 8, 1901, par. 10

    To us has been given the work of preparing ourselves for the mansions. And this we can do through the help that is waiting for us. When God gave his Son to our world, he gave all heaven, all the facilities and powers of heaven. Those who fail to improve the glorious opportunities granted with the gift of God's Son will be without excuse.GCB April 8, 1901, par. 11

    Christ declared that all power in heaven and earth has been given to him, and he gives this power to those who truly believe on him, to his disciples, that they may go forth to proclaim the message of hope and salvation to a fallen race. He takes his position at the head of humanity, covering humanity with divinity. In him humanity and divinity are combined, and he can accomplish for the human race all that is necessary to enable them to overcome as he overcame, and to sit down with him in his Father's throne.GCB April 8, 1901, par. 12

    The battle is before us. We can come off victorious; for through Christ we can be partakers of the divine nature, having “escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust.” How glad I am that this is so! How glad we all should be! When we had nothing to recommend us to God, Christ gave his life for us. With his long human arm he encircles the race, while with his divine arm he grasps the throne of the infinite. Thus finite man is united with the infinite God. The world, divorced from God by sin, has been restored to favor by the sacrifice of his Son. With his own body the Saviour has bridged the gulf that sin has made.GCB April 8, 1901, par. 13

    In the first chapter of second Peter we read, “Grace and peace be multiplied unto you, through the knowledge of God and of Jesus our Lord, according as his divine power hath given unto us all things that pertain unto life and godliness, through the knowledge of him that hath called us to glory and virtue; that by these ye might be partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust.”GCB April 8, 1901, par. 14

    By reading this chapter you will see that we have been given a sum to work out. We are to work on the plan of addition. “Add to your faith virtue; and to virtue knowledge; and to knowledge temperance; and to temperance patience; and to patience godliness; and to godliness brotherly kindness; and to brotherly kindness charity. For if these things be in you and abound, they make you that ye shall neither be barren nor unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ.”GCB April 8, 1901, par. 15

    From this we can see that there is to be a co-operation between God and man. We are to act our part. It is of no use for us to say, “I believe in Christ,” while we fail to practice his lessons. God wants every one of us to rise to the emergency. We are to be witnesses for Christ. He wants us to grasp all the blessings he has brought to us. God gave all heaven to his Son to give to us.GCB April 8, 1901, par. 16

    In the chapter from which I have been reading in Malachi, God declares that he will abundantly bless those who are faithful in bringing him their tithes and offerings, but that the curse of Heaven will rest upon those who are dishonest in this matter. God forbid that the curse of heaven should rest upon this congregation because of dishonesty toward the Lord. God forbid that any one of us should fail of gaining the precious boom of eternal life. Do not rob God. Walk honestly before him. All is his. He has intrusted goods to his agents for the advancement of his work in the world. They are to bring to his treasury a faithful tithe and besides this, they are to bring gifts and offerings as the cause shall demand. God does not propose to do the work which he has intrusted to us. We are to do our part in carrying out the plan of redemption provided for the human race at an infinite cost. God desires us to realize our accountability to him, and act as his helping hand. The medical missionary work, which has been so clearly and definitely established here in Battle Creek, is to be recognized. God desires us to realize that heaven has been brought near to earth. Ten thousand times ten thousand and thousands of thousands of angels minister to those who shall be heirs of salvation.GCB April 8, 1901, par. 17

    Just think of it! These angels are ministering to us today. They are all through this congregation. But there is also an opposing element here. On every such occasion the enemy comes in with his power and his invisible army. Therefore we may know that there are two parties in this house, those who are ministering to the human race, and those who are working counter. One power is trying to bring in everything possible to divert the mind, but the Lord God of heaven has given power to the heavenly agencies, and they are working. Satan is seeking to throw his hellish shadow across our pathway to eclipse the view of God's glory.GCB April 8, 1901, par. 18

    Christ wants you to bring eternity into your reckoning. “What shall I do to inherit eternal life?” We do not want you to think that the work of bringing all these people into the gospel of Jesus Christ costs nothing. We have missionaries in many places, but there have not been so many as there should have been. Now, dear friends, a new chapter is to open from the time of this large gathering here. We have set our whole hearts with a determination that the work shall be carried with much greater strength than it has hitherto been carried, and we want the help of everyone to advance the work of God.GCB April 8, 1901, par. 19

    We have taken up the work in the foreign fields, where the people have never heard the truth, but the missionary work has not been advanced as it should have been. We could not go very far, because we had not the means. All that I have received from the royalties of the books I have written, I have invested in the work, and then I have said to my brethren, by faith, “Lend me your means, I will pay you the interest, but the work can not stop here.” I have tried to carry forward the medical missionary work and the gospel. These two are united, and should never be separated, because Christ did not separate them. Some institutions have been established in Australia, but not half what there ought to be, nor what there will be. After we had erected, with what help we could get there, eleven meeting-houses, and organized eleven churches, then the work was just taken hold of with the ends of our fingers. What was the matter?—There was no money in the treasury. We had no means to handle. I never want men sent to missionary fields with nothing to work with, as we were sent to Australia. They have sent some money to that field, and this is no more than they should have done. It was God's money.GCB April 8, 1901, par. 20

    Christ took humanity upon his divine soul, and in the wilderness of temptation he overcame in behalf of humanity. For forty days and forty nights he was tempted of the enemy. He traveled the path which everyone of us must travel. The question for us to solve is whether we will be overcomers or be overcome. Christ was an overcomer. He met the devil with, “It is written.” He entered into no argument. When Satan tempted him to make the stones bread, he said, “It is written, Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God.” Then Christ was tempted in regard to ambition. Satan placed him upon a pinnacle of the temple, saying, “Cast thyself down.” He could tell what was written. “It is written,” he said, “He shall give his angels charge concerning thee: and in their hands they shall bear thee up, lest at any time thou dash thy foot against a stone.” But Satan did not tell the whole. He left out the words, “To keep thee in all thy ways.” There was a way in which Christ was to do his work, but not in a presumptuous manner. He was to be an example to humanity. He was not to show his glory by throwing himself from a dizzy height. “It is written,” he said, “Thou shalt not tempt the Lord thy God.”GCB April 8, 1901, par. 21

    Then Satan took the Saviour to the top of a high mountain, and presented to him all the glory of the world. All this, he said, will I give thee. It is mine. I will give it to thee if thou wilt fall down and worship me. Christ had come to a point then where divinity must flash through humanity, even in his starving condition. What did he say?—“It is written, Thou shalt worship the Lord thy God, and him only shalt thou serve.... Get thee hence.” Satan could not stand after the “Get thee hence” had come. A power superior to the power of darkness was revealed. Christ gained the victory, even in his weakness.GCB April 8, 1901, par. 22

    So Satan went away. Christ was left fainting on the battlefield. Where was the hand to be put beneath his head? Where was the bosom upon which he could lean? It was ready. An angel of God ministered unto him. Angels of God gave him food, and supported the fainting head.GCB April 8, 1901, par. 23

    All this Christ did for us. For us he became poor, that we through his poverty might be made rich. He shares the sufferings of human beings. His help will be given them in their emergencies.GCB April 8, 1901, par. 24

    A letter comes over to Australia, asking if Mrs. White is a millionaire. I would like everyone to become a millionaire as I have done. Nothing which I possess is my own. When I came back from Australia, I had nothing, not even to purchase a home. But we made some arrangements for the first payments, by selling some of the land. To be a millionaire in this world is no temptation to me. We see millionaires made very poor in a moment. Or they die, and leave their treasures for their heirs to quarrel over. I want something more than this. I want to become a member of the royal family. If I can be a child of the Heavenly King, I am more than a millionaire. God has declared that there is an eternal weight of glory laid up for those who are heirs of God and joint heirs with Christ.GCB April 8, 1901, par. 25

    I am using in the work all the means I have. I am seventy-three years old, and I frequently think when I enter the pulpit that I may die there, or on my knees in prayer. But this does not trouble me. I have hid my life, hid it with Christ in God. I desire to overcome, even as Christ overcame; and I desire you also to overcome.GCB April 8, 1901, par. 26

    Why are some of you so afraid to trust the Lord? He had not where to lay his head, and yet he was the Majesty of heaven, the King of glory. My heart is drawn out in sympathy for you. I greatly desire that you shall feel that you can take hold of Jesus Christ. I want you to be co-laborers with him in the work of saving souls. As you work with means and voice to sustain the cause of God, you may know that you are following in the footsteps of your Redeemer. He says, “If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, take up his cross, and follow me.”GCB April 8, 1901, par. 27

    I wish to say to you who are in this meeting, We are to organize here for a great work. We want all who possibly can to help us to carry the load. There are some whom we need as personal laborers in the field. If God has given you intelligence and a knowledge of the truth, then I ask you, Why are you not working for him? How long will your soul be kept fresh and fruit-bearing if you live only for self? You can grow in grace only as you impart to others the grace given to you.GCB April 8, 1901, par. 28

    The work in America has not gone forward as it should have done, because self-sacrifice and true devotion have not been manifested. The people of God have not moved forward in strong lines. How long will it be before you understand that to every man God has given his work? The talents which he has intrusted to his people are to be sacredly improved.GCB April 8, 1901, par. 29

    “Keep silence before me, O islands; and let the people renew their strength; let them come near; let us come together to judgment. Who raised up the righteous man from the east, and called him to his foot, gave the nations before him, and made him ruler over kings? Who gave them as dust to his sword, and as driven stubble to his bow? He pursued them, and passed safely; even by the way that he had not gone with his feet. Who hath wrought and done it, calling the generation from the beginning? I the Lord, the first, and the last; I am he. The isles saw it and feared; the ends of the earth were afraid, drew near, and came.”GCB April 8, 1901, par. 30

    “They helped everyone his neighbor; and everyone said to his brother, Be of good courage. So the carpenter encouraged the goldsmith, and he that smootheth with the hammer him that smote the anvil, saying, It is ready for the soldering: and he fastened it with nails, that it should not be moved. But thou, Israel, art my servant, Jacob whom I have chosen, the seed of Abraham, my friends. Thou whom thou hast taken from the ends of the earth, and called thee from the chief men thereof, and said unto thee, Thou art my servant; I have chosen thee, and not cast thee away. Fear thou not; for I am with thee; be not dismayed; for I am thy God; I will strengthen thee; yea, I will help thee; yea, I will uphold thee with the right hand of my righteousness.”GCB April 8, 1901, par. 31

    God will work for us if we will stand in our lot and in our place. If you will do cheerfully the work apportioned you by the Master, he will work with you.GCB April 8, 1901, par. 32

    “Behold, all they that were incensed against thee shall be ashamed and confounded: they shall be as nothing; they that strive with thee shall perish. Thou shalt seek them, and shalt not find them, even them that contended with thee. They that war against thee shall be as nothing, and as a thing of nought. For I, the Lord, thy God, will hold thy right hand, saying unto thee, Fear not; I will help thee. Fear not, thou worm Jacob, and ye men of Israel; I will help thee, saith the Lord, and thy Redeemer, the Holy One of Israel. Behold, I will make thee a new, sharp thrashing instrument having teeth: thou shalt thrash the mountains, and beat them small, and shalt make the hills as chaff. Thou shalt fan them, and the wind shall carry them away, and the whirlwind shall scatter them, and thou shalt rejoice in the Lord, and shalt glory in the Holy One of Israel.”GCB April 8, 1901, par. 33

    Medical missionary workers, listen to these words. God has a great army for the protection and strength of those who work as his helping hand.GCB April 8, 1901, par. 34

    “When the poor and needy seek water, and there is none, and their tongue faileth for thirst, I the Lord will hear them, I the God of Israel will not forsake them. I will open rivers in high places, and fountains in the midst of the valleys: I will make the wilderness a pool of water, and the dry land springs of water.”GCB April 8, 1901, par. 35

    We are running a race for the crown of life. Let us run with patience, laying aside every weight, and the sin which doth so easily beset. Then we shall obtain the crown of life. But we can not expect to gain the victory if we sit down in Battle Creek and fold our hands, doing nothing for the Master. There is a dearth of workmen. Put on the armor, and let your feet be shod with the preparation of the gospel of peace. Just as soon as God sees that you are ready for work, he will work with you.GCB April 8, 1901, par. 36

    I believe there is one here in this congregation, Shireman by name, who has established church after church; and how did he establish them? He went into a field where there was nothing. He was a carpenter. He would build his house, and then call in the people, and hold Bible readings. There he would work till a good, strong church was established. Then did he stand and say, Look at the good work I have done?—No; he would go to another place, and repeat the same thing. This he did over and over again.GCB April 8, 1901, par. 37

    Where did this brother get his education?—I will tell you. He got it in the same manner that John the Baptist got his education, when he went into the desert and into the wilderness. The priests and rulers were so troubled and distressed because John did not walk according to the old, regular order in getting his education. Yet Jesus said there was not a greater prophet than John the Baptist.GCB April 8, 1901, par. 38

    We do not say that you should go nowhere or anywhere to get an education, but we do say that every man is not dependent upon a school or college education to do work for the Master, if he is converted to God, soul, body, and spirit. He is in connection with the great Teacher, the greatest Missionary that the world ever knew. We are to feel no sufficiency in ourselves; for the Lord God of heaven is our wisdom, our sanctification, our strength, and our righteousness. If we realize our dependence, and hang our helpless souls on Jesus, we shall find that the waters of life will flow into the soul, and it will be as Christ said to the Samaritan woman, “A well of water, springing up into everlasting life.”GCB April 8, 1901, par. 39

    Now, brethren, we want more of God and less of self. When we get the education that is needful, we should impart it. It is an honor to Christ to trust in him. He says, I am at your right hand to help you.GCB April 8, 1901, par. 40

    We want every soul to see God as he is. He is the Majesty of heaven. He is the great Teacher. We want you to believe that he will give wisdom and counsel and judgment. He will prepare the way before you, if you will come before him praying and watching unto prayer. Remember that we wrestle not against flesh and blood, “but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.” We have to meet invisible foes, therefore we should not send, as many have, across the waters of the Pacific, to ask counsel as to what shall be done. You have a Counselor right by your side. Do not dishonor him. How many have been left destitute of wisdom because they persisted in asking counsel from human agencies, when Christ, full of comfort, grace, and love, was longing to bestow it. All heaven is longing to help those for whom Christ has died.GCB April 8, 1901, par. 41

    I will give you a recipe against depending upon man. In the first chapter of second Peter there is recorded the plan of addition, upon which we are to live, and then the apostle says, “If these things be in you and abound, they make you that ye shall be neither barren nor unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ. But he that lacketh these things is blind, and can not see afar off, and hath forgotten that he was purged from his old sins.” How many here have forgotten to pay God his tithe? How many are robbing God, and at the same time expecting his blessing, wondering why they do not have more vitality and power and grace? How many have forgotten that God will purge us from the sin of covetousness?GCB April 8, 1901, par. 42

    “Wherefore the rather, brethren, give diligence to make your calling and election sure; for if ye do these things, ye shall never fall. For so an entrance shall be ministered unto you abundantly into the everlasting kingdom of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ.”GCB April 8, 1901, par. 43

    This is our life insurance policy. Those who enter the kingdom of God must first co-operate with him in the saving of their own souls and the souls of others. May God help us to go to work. To you who have been robbing God in tithes and offerings I would say, Do not think that you can come here to his house and receive his blessing. No; you will begin to murmur and complain, wondering why you are not exalted as others are. But of those who serve him in sincerity the word says, “They that feared the Lord spake often one to another, and the Lord hearkened, and heard it, and a book of remembrance was written before him for them that feared the Lord, and that thought upon his name.”GCB April 8, 1901, par. 44

    Read the third chapter of Malachi, and think whether you wish to be found robbing God. God is in earnest with us. He expects us to help in planting his standard in places which have never heard the truth. He calls upon you to practice self-denial, that the work in foreign fields may go forward. From all over the world, calls for help are coming. Lay out no money unnecessarily. Deny yourself, take up your cross, and follow the Master. You can never give him as much as he has given you. He gave his life for you. What have you given for him?GCB April 8, 1901, par. 45

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