A Faithful Tithe
Instruction in Labor
A Faithful Tithe
Testimonies to Ministers and Workers - series A, NO. 7, 1897, pgs 20-23.)
Cooranbong, Australia, September 10, 1896.
Many presidents of state conferences do
not attend to that which is their work--to see that the elders and deacons
of the churches do their work in the churches, by seeing that a faithful
tithe is brought into the treasury. Malachi has specified that the
condition of prosperity depends upon bringing to God's treasury that which
is His own. This principle needs to be often brought before the men who
are lax in their duty to God, and who are neglectful and careless in
bringing in their tithes, gifts, and offerings to God. "Will a man rob
God?" "Wherein have we robbed Thee?" is the question asked by the
unfaithful stewards. The answer comes plain and positive: "In tithes and
offerings. 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." Please read this whole
chapter, and see if words could be spoken that would be more plain and
positive than these. They are so positive that no one who desires to
understand his whole duty to God needs to make any mistake in the matter.
If men offer any excuse as to why they do not perform this duty, it is
because they are selfish, and have not the love and fear of God in their
No Excuse for Neglect in Payment of Tithes
The Lord has always required this response
to His arrangements in carrying forward His work in our world. He has
never changed His own devised plan. He lays claim to all as His own, and
of that entrusted to man, He claims His portion. "For I am the Lord, I
change not; therefore ye sons of Jacob are not consumed. Even from the
days of your fathers ye are gone away from Mine ordinances, and have not
kept them. Return unto Me, and I will return unto you, saith the Lord of
Those who plead that they cannot
understand this plain and decisive statement--which, if they are obedient,
means so much to them in blessings which will be received, when even the
windows of heaven will be opened and blessings poured out to
overflowing--are not honest before God. Their excuse that they did not
know the will of God will be of no avail for them in the great day of
All to Do Their Duty
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 that have withheld their tithes send them in before the year
1896 shall close, that they may be right with God, and never, never again
run any risk of being cursed of God. Presidents of our conferences, do
your duty; speak not your words, but a plain "Thus saith the Lord." Elders
of churches, do your duty. Labor from home to home, that the flock of God
shall not be remiss in this great matter, which involves such a blessing
or such a curse.
Let all who fear God come up to the help
of the Lord, and show themselves faithful stewards. The truth must go to
all parts of the world. I have been shown that many in our churches are
robbing God in tithes and offerings. God will execute upon them just that
which He has declared. To the obedient, He will give rich blessings; to
the transgressor, a curse. Every man who bears the message of truth to our
churches must do his duty by warning, educating, rebuking. Any neglect of
duty which is a robbery toward God means a curse upon the delinquent.
The Lord will not hold guiltless those who
are deficient in doing the work that He requires at their hands--in seeing
that the church is kept wholesome and healthy spiritually, and doing all
their duty in allowing no neglect which will bring the threatened curse
upon His people. A curse is pronounced upon all who withhold their tithe
from God. He says: "Will a man rob God? Yet ye have robbed Me. But ye say,
Wherein have we robbed Thee? In tithes and offerings. 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."
This is not a request of man; it is one of
God's ordinances, whereby His work may be sustained and carried on in the
world. God help us to repent. "Return unto Me," He says, "and I will
return unto you." Men who have a desire to do their duty have it laid down
in clear lines in this chapter. No one can excuse himself from paying his
tithes and offerings to the Lord.
The Lord bestows His gifts abundantly upon
us. He "so loved the world, that He gave His only-begotten Son, that
whosoever believeth in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life."
Every blessing we have comes through Jesus Christ. Then shall we
not arouse, and do our duty toward God, upon whom we are dependent for
life and health, for His blessing upon our crops and fields, our cattle,
our herds, and our vineyards? We are assured if we give to the Lord's
treasury, we shall receive of Him again; but if we withhold of our means,
He will withhold His blessing from us, and send a curse upon the
God has said, "Prove Me now herewith, . .
. 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." What a
wonderful presentation in promised blessings is He giving us! Who can
venture to rob God in tithes and offerings with such a promise as this!
"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."
Another year has nearly passed into
eternity, with its burden of record. Let us look over the past year, and
if we have not done our full duty willingly, heartily unto the Lord, let
us come up to the new year making a faithful record to our God.
Practical Instruction in Labor
Testimonies to Ministers and Workers - series A, NO. 7, 1896, pgs 42-52.)
Cooranbong, Australia, June 14, 1896.
Dear Brother and Sister -----:
Last Friday night I was conversing with
you, telling you something with reference to your methods of labor. The
heavenly Watcher stood beside us, and I wish I could write every word He
uttered; but I fear that I cannot. You said: "I wish I knew in regard to
my duty. In some way I do not feel satisfied with the result of my labor."
The voice of the One beside us was then heard, saying: "Have faith in God;
learn of Christ Jesus. When you handle the sacred truths of God's word,
keep Christ uplifted. Your great need is to learn Christ's manner of
teaching. When you are teaching the people, present only a few vital
points, and keep your mind concentrated on these points. You bring
unimportant ideas into your discourses. These are not always a 'savor of
life unto life,' and have no real connection with your text. By wandering
from straight lines, and bringing in that which calls the minds off the
subject, you weaken all that you have previously said."
Disconnected Presentation of Truth
God would not have you think that you are
impressed by His Spirit when you fly from your subject, bringing in
foreign matters which are designed as a reproof, and which should not be
named in connection with the words of solemn and sacred truth. By doing
this, you lose your bearings, and weaken the effect of that which is
profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in
righteousness. You have made of none effect many precious ideas, by mixing
them with other thoughts which have come to your mind but which had no bearing upon the subject.
That which is far from the subject under consideration should find no
place in your discourses.
There are in this world hearts that are
crying aloud for the living God. But helpless human nature has been fed
with distasteful food; discourses dissatisfying to hungry, starving souls
have been given in the churches. In these discourses there is not that
divine manifestation that touches the mind and creates a glow in the soul;
the hearers cannot say, "Did not our heart burn within us, while he talked
with us by the way, and while he opened to us the Scriptures?" An
abundance of chaff is given to the people, but this will not awaken the
transgressor or convict souls of sin. The souls who come to hear need a
plain, straightforward presentation of truth. Those who have tasted of the
word of God have dwelt long in an atmosphere where there is no God, and
they long for the divine presence.
Gird up the loins of your mind, that you
may present the truth of God acceptably. Preach the truth in its
simplicity, but let your discourses be short. Dwell decidedly on a few
important points. Realize every moment that you must have the presence of
the Holy Spirit; for it can do a work that you cannot do of yourself. If
you have any burden of a disagreeable character on your mind, get rid of
it by personal labor or earnest prayer before you come before the people.
Plead earnestly with God to remove that burden from your mind. Keep
decidedly to a few points. Give the people pure wheat thoroughly winnowed
from all chaff. Do not let your discourses embrace so much that weakness
shall be seen in the place of solid argument. Present the truth as it is
in Jesus, that those who hear may receive the very best impression.
Evils of Long Sermons
Speak short. Your discourses are generally
double the length they should be. It is possible to handle a good thing in
such a manner that it loses its flavor. When a discourse is too long, the
last part of the preaching detracts from the force and interest of that
which has preceded it. Do not wander, but come right to the point. Give
the people the very manna from heaven, and the Spirit will bear witness
with your spirit that it is not you that speaks, but the Holy Spirit
speaking through you. The teacher of the word of God must first talk with
God, and then he can stand before the people with the Holy Spirit working
upon his mind. If he faithfully cooperates with Christ, the promise will
be fulfilled, "Lo, I am with you alway."
Be careful never to lose a sense of the
presence of the divine Watcher. Remember that you are speaking not only to
an unenlightened assembly, but to One whom you should ever recognize.
Speak as though the whole universe of heaven were before you, as well as
the hungry, starving company of God's sheep and lambs, which must be fed.
Preach the Word
Those who claim to preach the word should
preach the word, ever remembering that they are laborers together with
God. He is their efficiency, and if He is given opportunity He will work
for them. If they are humble, if they do not rely upon their own supposed
wisdom and ability, God will place arguments in their mind and speak
through their lips. He will also impress the minds of the hearers,
preparing their hearts to receive the seed which is sown.
My brother, a daily work must be done for
you by the power of God, or else, instead of the Holy Spirit, the enemy of
God and man will stand by your side. Under his influence, weakness will
appear in your work. The most precious points of faith relative to the
salvation of the soul will be marred and mutilated in your hands.
Unless you change your manner of labor,
you will give a faulty education to those connected with you in the work.
Let your heart struggle and break for the longing it has for God, the
living God. Let nothing divert your mind from the work of God to
unimportant matters. With all your God-given energies work earnestly and
prayerfully, calling upon the church to cooperate with you. Put no trust
in yourself, but rest in the assurance that God is the chief Worker. You
are only His servant; and your work is to voice His words, "We are
laborers together with God."
Denying of Self
Take no glory whatever to yourself. Do not
work with a divided mind, trying to serve self and God at the same time.
Keep self out of sight. Let your words lead the weary and heavy-laden to
carry their burdens to Jesus. Work as seeing Him who is at your right
hand, ready to give you His efficiency and omnipotent power in any
The Lord is your Counselor, your Guide,
the Captain of your salvation. He goes before your face, conquering and to
conquer. Dedicate yourself, soul and body, to Him, banishing all
self-indulgence. Deny self; take up your cross, and work earnestly for the
Master. Do not needlessly expend your strength by giving long discourses. This uses up the vitality, so
that insufficient strength is left to devote to the most important part of
the work--house-to-house ministry.
The Work of an Evangelist
Teaching the Scriptures, praying in
families--this is the work of an evangelist, and this work is to be
mingled with your preaching. If it is omitted, preaching will be, to a
great extent, a failure. You need to be jealous of yourself. You and your
wife need to come close to the people by personal effort. Teach them that
the love of God must come into the inner sanctuary of the homelife. If you
so desire, you may have the indwelling power of the Holy Spirit to help in
We are carrying the last message of mercy
to a perishing world, and God calls upon us to bring freshness and power
into our work. We can do this only by the aid of the Holy Spirit.
Hereditary tendencies and wrong habits must be disciplined and oft
crucified. Humble yourself under the hand of God; for your ways are not
God's ways, and you both have much to learn in the school of Christ.
Last night these words of instruction were
spoken to you: "Counsel with your brethren. Your plans need the careful
consideration of other minds." Warnings have been given in regard to
depending upon men and trusting in their wisdom. The tempter aims to lead
men astray by persuading them to cease looking to Jesus for strength and
efficiency, and to make flesh their arm. This has been done in many cases.
Satan has laid his trap to catch men and win them to his side by trying to
prevail upon them to depend upon their finite, erring fellowmen.
A Special Danger of Extremes
But when a reproof is given upon this
point, the enemy takes the counsel given, and presents it in such a
perverted light that those who desire to follow their own judgment feel at
liberty to plan and devise important measures without counseling with
their brethren. Thus another error strives for recognition. Men go to an
extreme in one direction, and if corrected, go to an extreme in the
You will be in danger of making mistakes
if you move out in your own supposed wisdom. You need counsel. You have
not the efficiency for all classes of labor, and you should not commence
work in important places if there is danger that you will lay a foundation
which you cannot complete. Light must be expressly given by God, and duty
must be clear and unmistakable before one or two men enter new and
important fields. You need to counsel with your brethren; for there is
danger that you will run too fast in devising plans and methods.
Words which never should have been uttered
have been spoken to you with reference to your brethren. The
misconceptions existing in other minds have been communicated to you, and
your mind has been led in a train of speculative thought that is not safe
or correct. Keep watch over your thoughts. Guard closely the impulses of
your mind and heart. Words have been spoken that have led you to place
more confidence in your own plans and methods than is right. Words slip
from your lips, unbidden and unsanctioned by God. Take heed lest, when the
time comes that you can prove yourself a friend and fill a friend's place
by giving sound counsel, you are unprepared.
Importance of Counsel With Brethren
You must not walk independently of all
counsel. It is your duty to counsel with your brethren. This may touch
your pride, but the humility of a mind taught by the Holy Spirit will
listen to counsel, and will banish all self-confidence. When counsel is
given that conflicts with your personal wishes, you are not to think that
your own wisdom is sufficient for you to give counsel to others, or that
you can afford to neglect the counsel given.
Wherever you may labor, there is need that
you blend your efforts with those of other efficient laborers. You are not
a complete whole; you cannot successfully complete a series of meetings by
yourself, but you can do your part with other laborers. This may be
humiliating to you; but it should not be, for God has given a variety of
gifts, and He desires that these gifts blend in perfect harmony.
You need to realize the danger of viewing
matters from your own standpoint and with your own eyes or discernment. It
would be well for you frankly to state your plans to your brethren, that
you may know how they appear to them when seen from their standpoint; for
circumstances may be so vividly impressed upon your mind, that it is
impossible for you to give an all-sided judgment. Let your plans be
closely investigated; and with earnest prayer commit your case to Him who knoweth all things. Counsel together. Let not the whisperings of your own
mind or of other minds close the door of your heart against the counsel of
the Lord's servants.
August 9, 1896. I have written this to you
because it is a serious matter, involving serious consequences, which will affect future work in other
localities. Brother ----- needs no flattering words from you; for he has a
full estimation of his own abilities and makes them appear by demeriting
others. He does not realize that he is seeking to be first. He is not
prepared to take upon himself the responsibilities of a minister of the
gospel; for he needs a humble and a contrite spirit. He needs to continue
to give Bible readings, and when his brethren see that he is fitted to
become a preacher of the gospel, this will be made manifest. You need
The Canvassing Work
I cannot see why the canvassing work is
not as good and successful a work as can be done for the Lord. Canvassers
can become acquainted with the people, they can pray with them, and can
understand their true necessities. From the light which God has given me,
there is much responsibility resting upon the canvassers. They should go
to their work prepared to explain the Scriptures, and nothing should be
said or done to bind their hands. If they put their trust in the Lord as
they travel from place to place, the angels of God will be round about
them, giving them words to speak which will bring light and hope and
courage to many souls. Were it not for the work of the canvasser, many
would never hear the truth.
The canvasser should carry with him books
and pamphlets and tracts to give away to those who cannot buy books from
him. In this way the truth can be introduced into many homes.
Of all the gifts which God has given to
man, none is more noble or a greater blessing than the gift of speech, if
it is sanctified by the Holy Spirit. It is with the tongue we convince and
persuade; with it we offer prayer and praise to God; and with it we convey rich
thoughts of the Redeemer's love. By this work, the canvasser can scatter
the seeds of truth, causing the light from the word of God to shine into
Does Not Belittle the Gospel Minister
I sincerely hope that no mind will receive
the impression that it belittles a minister of the gospel to canvass. Hear
the apostle Paul's testimony: "Ye know, from the first day that I came
into Asia, after what manner I have been with you at all seasons, serving
the Lord with humility of mind, and with many tears, and temptations,
which befell me by the lying in wait of the Jews: and how I kept back
nothing that was profitable unto you, but have showed you, and have taught
you publicly, and from house to house, testifying both to the Jews, and
also to the Greeks, repentance toward God, and faith toward our Lord Jesus
Christ." The eloquent Paul, to whom God manifested Himself in a wonderful
manner, went from house to house, with all humility of mind and with many
tears and temptations.
A Most Precious Ministry
I have been shown that the most precious
ministry can be done by canvassing, and that by ministers. By doing this
work, they will obtain a varied experience and will be doing the very work
that the apostle Paul did. I copy an extract from an appeal made to our
brethren in regard to canvassing for our periodicals and books: "The
canvassing work is an important field for labor: and the intelligent,
God-fearing, truth-loving canvasser occupies a position equal to that of
the gospel minister. Then should the canvasser feel at liberty, any more
than the ordained minister, to act from selfish motives? Should he be unfaithful to all
the principles of missionary work, and sell only those books that are
cheapest and easiest to handle, neglecting to place before the people the
books which will give most light, because by so doing he can earn more
money for himself? The canvassing work is a missionary work, and the field
must be worked from a missionary standpoint. Selfish principles, love of
dignity and position, should not be once named among us. The thought of
seeking to become the greatest should never come into our minds."
Neither is it the object of preaching to
amuse. Some ministers have adopted a style of preaching that has not the
best influence. It has become a habit with them to weave anecdotes into
their discourses. The impression thus made upon the hearers is not a savor
of life unto life. Ministers should not bring amusing stories into their
preaching. The people need pure provender, thoroughly winnowed from the
chaff. "Preach the word," was the charge that Paul gave to Timothy, and
this is our commission also. The minister who mixes story-telling with his
discourses is using strange fire. God is offended, and the cause of truth
is dishonored, when His representatives descend to the use of cheap,
trifling words.--Review and Herald, Dec. 22, 1904.