Tithes and the Storehouse

The following is a study on tithes and the storehouse. Please read the Scriptures and SOP quotes and allow the Holy Spirit to speak to you through this lesson. The page on this website on Self Supported Ministries also needs to be read along with this study as the two are connected. I would also encourage you to search the Scriptures and SOP for other references to this subject and to take it all in context.

Malachi 3:8-12

3:8 Will a man rob God? Yet ye have robbed me. But ye say, Wherein have we robbed thee? In tithes and offerings.

3:9 Ye are cursed with a curse: for ye have robbed me, even this whole nation.

3:10 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.

3:11 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.

3:12 And all nations shall call you blessed: for ye shall be a delightsome land, saith the LORD of hosts.

The storehouse in Israel was the temple and cities of the Levites , but in the church it would be considered the place where one receives his spiritual help, where his gospel needs are supplied and where he meets his responsibility in the work of God, in evangelizing the world and supporting the ministry. The purpose of tithes and offerings was to support the priesthood and the work of God in general. God challenges men to prove (test) Him regarding the rewards of tithing. Four rewards of tithing: 1. Meat in Godís house-no lack of means or money to carry on His work. 2. The windows of heaven opened to pour out a blessing. 3. Rebuke the devourer so that he will not destroy the crops. 4. Recognition of Godís blessings by all men.

Abraham tithed before the law: Genesis 14:18-20

14:18 And Melchizedek king of Salem brought forth bread and wine: and he was the priest of the most high God.

14:19 And he blessed him, and said, Blessed be Abram of the most high God, possessor of heaven and earth:

14:20 And blessed be the most high God, which hath delivered thine enemies into thy hand. And he gave him tithes of all.

Hebrews 7:4 Now consider how great this man was, unto whom even the patriarch Abraham gave the tenth of the spoils.

Jacob tithed: Genesis 28:20-22

28:20 And Jacob vowed a vow, saying, If God will be with me, and will keep me in this way that I go, and will give me bread to eat, and raiment to put on,

28:21 So that I come again to my father's house in peace; then shall the LORD be my God:

28:22 And this stone, which I have set for a pillar, shall be God's house: and of all that thou shalt give me I will surely give the tenth unto thee.

Jesus refers to tithing in Matthew 23:23-24: Matthew 23:23 Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye pay tithe of mint and anise and cummin, and have omitted the weightier matters of the law, judgment, mercy, and faith: these ought ye to have done, and not to leave the other undone.

23:24 Ye blind guides, which strain at a gnat, and swallow a camel.

Jesus said that the Pharisees should have paid tithes, but not leave weightier matters of the law undone.

Tithes are for the support of the full-time ministry and evangelistic outreach.

Levites, the priestly tribe, were supported by the tithe returned from the members of the other tribes. Numbers 18:21-26

18:21 And, behold, I have given the children of Levi all the tenth in Israel for an inheritance, for their service which they serve, even the service of the tabernacle of the congregation.

18:22 Neither must the children of Israel henceforth come nigh the tabernacle of the congregation, lest they bear sin, and die.

18:23 But the Levites shall do the service of the tabernacle of the congregation, and they shall bear their iniquity: it shall be a statute for ever throughout your generations, that among the children of Israel they have no inheritance.

18:24 But the tithes of the children of Israel, which they offer as an heave offering unto the LORD, I have given to the Levites to inherit: therefore I have said unto them, Among the children of Israel they shall have no inheritance.

18:25 And the LORD spake unto Moses, saying,

18:26 Thus speak unto the Levites, and say unto them, When ye take of the children of Israel the tithes which I have given you from them for your inheritance, then ye shall offer up an heave offering of it for the LORD, even a tenth part of the tithe.

In the days of the restoration of Judah, following the Babylonian captivity, the Jews were required to meet the same obligations concerning their tithes and offerings. Nehemiah 10:36-38

10:36 Also the firstborn of our sons, and of our cattle, as it is written in the law, and the firstlings of our herds and of our flocks, to bring to the house of our God, unto the priests that minister in the house of our God:

10:37 And that we should bring the firstfruits of our dough, and our offerings, and the fruit of all manner of trees, of wine and of oil, unto the priests, to the chambers of the house of our God; and the tithes of our ground unto the Levites, that the same Levites might have the tithes in all the cities of our tillage.

10:38 And the priest the son of Aaron shall be with the Levites, when the Levites take tithes: and the Levites shall bring up the tithe of the tithes unto the house of our God, to the chambers, into the treasure house.

Nehemiah addressed an issue in his day of neglecting to tithe: Nehemiah 13:10-12

13:10 And I perceived that the portions of the Levites had not been given them: for the Levites and the singers, that did the work, were fled every one to his field.

13:11 Then contended I with the rulers, and said, Why is the house of God forsaken? And I gathered them together, and set them in their place.

13:12 Then brought all Judah the tithe of the corn and the new wine and the oil unto the treasuries.

The Lord has blessed the work that J.E. White has tried to do in The South. God grant that the voices which have been so quickly raised to say that all the money invested in the work must go through the appointed channel at Battle Creek, shall not be heard. The people to whom God has given his means are amenable to him alone. It is their privilege to give direct aid and assistance to missions. It is because of the misappropriation of means that the Southern field has no better showing than it has today. {SpM 176.7} Spalding and Magan Collection

Instruction has been given me that there is a withholding of the tithe that should be faithfully brought into the Lord's treasury, for the support of the ministers and missionaries who are opening the Scriptures to the people, and working from house to house. These workers are to do their best, as the Lord's light-bearers. As they walk humbly with God, angels of heaven will co-operate with them, making impressions on minds. In the past angels of God have stood beside his messengers, as they have raised the standard bearing the inscription, "The Commandments of God and the Faith of Jesus." The ministers and evangelists who are laboring in the Lord's vineyard, must be supported. We may have a part in the work by bringing to the storehouse means for the sustenance of the Lord's chosen ones. {RH, April 20, 1905 par. 15}

WHO IS THE TITHE TO SUPPORT?

The tithe is to be used for one purpose,--to sustain the ministers whom the Lord has appointed to do His work. It is to be used to support those who speak the words of life to the people, and carry the burden of the flock of God. . . . {1MR 188.3}

Those who have charge of our church buildings are to be supplied with the means that is necessary to keep these buildings in good repair. But this money is not to come from the tithe. . . . {1MR 188.4} The use of the tithe must be looked upon as a sacred matter by our people. We must guard strictly against all that is contrary to the message now given. . . . {1MR 188.5}

The impression is becoming quite common that the sacred disposition of the tithe no longer exists. Many have lost their sense of the Lord's requirements. . . . {1MR 188.6}

When a man enters the ministry, he is to be paid from the tithe enough to sustain his family. He is not to feel that he is a beggar. . . . {1MR 188.7}

Our conferences should see that the schools are provided with teachers who are thorough Bible teachers and who have a deep Christian experience. The best ministerial talent should be brought into schools, and the salaries of these teachers should be paid from the tithe. . . . {1MR 189.2}

God's ministers are His shepherds, appointed by Him to feed His flock. The tithe is His provision for their maintenance, and He designs that it shall be held sacred to this purpose. . . . {1MR 189.3}

In the sixth chapter of Acts, we are shown how, when men were to be selected to fill positions in the church, the matter was brought before the Lord, and most earnest prayer was offered for guidance. The widows and fatherless were to be supported by contributions from the church. Their wants were not to be relieved by the church, but by special donations. The tithe was to be consecrated to the Lord, and was always to be used for the support of the ministry. Letter 9, 1899, p. 2. (To those Occupying Important Positions in the General Conference, January 24, 1899.) {1MR 191.3}

Some utterly fail to realize the importance of missionaries' being also medical missionaries. A gospel minister will be twice as successful in his work if he understands how to treat disease. Continually increasing light has been given me on this subject. Some, who do not see the advantage of educating the youth to be physicians both of the mind and of the body, say that the tithe should not be used to support medical missionaries, who devote their time to treating the sick. In response to such statements as these, I am instructed to say that the mind must not become so narrowed down that it cannot take in the truth of the situation. A minister of the gospel who is also a medical missionary, who can cure physical ailments, is a much more efficient worker than one who cannot do this. His work as a minister of the gospel is much more complete. . . {MM 245.3} Medical Ministry

In commissioning His disciples to go "into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature," Christ assigned to men the work of spreading the gospel. But while some go forth to preach, He calls upon others to answer to His claims upon them for tithes and offerings with which to support the ministry and to spread the printed truth all over the land. This is God's means of exalting man. It is just the work which he needs, for it will stir the deepest sympathies of his heart and call into exercise the highest capabilities of the mind. {4T 472.3}

To Be Paid From the Tithe.--The tithe should go to those who labor in word and doctrine, be they men or women.--Manuscript 149, 1899. {Ev 492.2}

A Procedure Which Will Limit Women Workers. --Injustice has sometimes been done to women who labor just as devotedly as their husbands, and who are recognized by God as being necessary to the work of the ministry. The method of paying men laborers, and not paying their wives who share their labors with them, is a plan not according to the Lord's order, and if carried out in our conferences, is liable to discourage our sisters from qualifying themselves for the work they should engage in. God is a God of justice, and if the ministers receive a salary for their work, their wives who devote themselves just as disinterestedly to the work, should be paid in addition to the wages their husbands receive, even though they may not ask for this. {Ev 492.3}

The tithe is set apart for a special use. It is not to be regarded as a poor fund. It is to be especially devoted to the support of those who are bearing God's message to the world, and it should not be diverted from this purpose.--Review and Herald, Supplement, Dec. 1, 1896. {WM 277.1} Welfare Ministry

Paul was a self-supported missionary who accepted tithes and offerings.

In many places self-supporting missionaries can work successfully. It was as a self-supporting missionary that the apostle Paul labored in spreading the knowledge of Christ throughout the world. While daily teaching the gospel in the great cities of Asia and Europe, he wrought at the trade of a craftsman to sustain himself and his companions. His parting words to the elders of Ephesus, showing his manner of labor, have precious lessons for every gospel worker: {MH 154.1}Ministry of Healing

While Paul was careful to set before his converts the plain teaching of Scripture regarding the proper support of the work of God, and while he claimed for himself as a minister of the gospel the "power to forbear working" (1 Corinthians 9:6) at secular employment as a means of self-support, yet at various times during his ministry in the great centers of civilization he wrought at a handicraft for his own maintenance. {AA 346.1}

1 Corinthians 9:8-15 Paul did not always use the power that he had to accept tithes and offerings to support himself.

9:8 Say I these things as a man? or saith not the law the same also?

9:9 For it is written in the law of Moses, Thou shalt not muzzle the mouth of the ox that treadeth out the corn. Doth God take care for oxen?

9:10 Or saith he it altogether for our sakes? For our sakes, no doubt, this is written: that he that ploweth should plow in hope; and that he that thresheth in hope should be partaker of his hope.

9:11 If we have sown unto you spiritual things, is it a great thing if we shall reap your carnal things?

9:12 If others be partakers of this power over you, are not we rather? Nevertheless we have not used this power; but suffer all things, lest we should hinder the gospel of Christ.

9:13 Do ye not know that they which minister about holy things live of the things of the temple? and they which wait at the altar are partakers with the altar?

9:14 Even so hath the Lord ordained that they which preach the gospel should live of the gospel.

9:15 But I have used none of these things: neither have I written these things, that it should be so done unto me: for it were better for me to die, than that any man should make my glorying void.

Philippians 4:14-17 (Church at Philippi helped to support Paul.)

4:14 Notwithstanding ye have well done, that ye did communicate with my affliction.

4:15 Now ye Philippians know also, that in the beginning of the gospel, when I departed from Macedonia, no church communicated with me as concerning giving and receiving, but ye only.

4:16 For even in Thessalonica ye sent once and again unto my necessity.

4:17 Not because I desire a gift: but I desire fruit that may abound to your account

2 Corinthians 11:7-9 Paul took gifts from other churches when he was ministering to the Corinthians.

11:7 Have I committed an offence in abasing myself that ye might be exalted, because I have preached to you the gospel of God freely?

11:8 I robbed other churches, taking wages of them, to do you service.

11:9 And when I was present with you, and wanted, I was chargeable to no man: for that which was lacking to me the brethren which came from Macedonia supplied: and in all things I have kept myself from being burdensome unto you, and so will I keep myself.

WHERE TITHE IS NOT TO GO

There are fearful woes for those who preach the truth, but are not sanctified by it, and also for those who consent to receive and maintain the unsanctified to minister to them in word and doctrine. {1T 261}

As there are woes for those who preach the truth while they are unsanctified in heart and life, so there are woes for those who receive and maintain the unsanctified in the position which they cannot fill. {2T 552.1}

It would be poor policy to support from the treasury of God those who really mar and injure His work, and who are constantly lowering the standard of Christianity. {3T 553.2}

ACCOUNTABILITY OF OUR STEWARDSHIP

God desires to bring men into direct relation with Himself. In all His dealings with human beings He recognizes the principle of personal responsibility. He seeks to encourage a sense of personal dependence and to impress the need of personal guidance. His gifts are committed to men as individuals. Every man has been made a steward of sacred trusts; each is to discharge his trust according to the direction of the Giver; and by each an account of his stewardship must be rendered to God. {7T 176.1} (In context is speaking of some being authors gifted to write, but principle applies to all stewardship.)

USE OF THE TITHE

October 10, 1901 Tithes. I have been shown that many are robbing the Lord in tithes, and as the result His work is being hindered. {PUR, October 10, 1901 par. 1}

How can the beneficent Father continue to make us His stewards, if we grasp all that is placed in our care, selfishly claiming it as our own? All that we have comes from God. He gives to us, that we may be His helping hand to bless others. He requires that we return to Him the tithe. He says it is holy unto the Lord. {PUR, October 10, 1901 par. 2}

God will bear long. He will test and prove all; but the curse will surely follow the selfish transgressor. God knows the heart. Every thought and every purpose is open to His eye. He says, "Them that honor Me I will honor." He knows whom to bless, and who deserves the curse. He makes no mistakes. Angels are keeping a record of all our works. When we rob God of the tithe, we also rob ourselves: for we lose the heavenly treasure. We deprive ourselves of the blessing of God, which is promised to those who deal honestly with Him. "There is that scattereth, and yet increaseth; and there is that withholdeth more than is meet, but it tendeth to poverty." God's ministers should not fail to warn the people, showing from the Bible the result of withholding the tithe. {PUR, October 10, 1901 par. 3}

When men realize that they are not their own, that they are bought with a price, and are therefore the Lord's property, and all they have is simply intrusted to them as His stewards, they will, with cheerful heart, render to God the things that are His, and there will be no occasion to urge or beg for the tithe. All will realize that they are not proprietors, but stewards, and will know that they must give an account of their Lord's money. {PUR, October 10, 1901 par. 4}

But few feel remorse of soul because they are daily robbing God. There must be deeper convictions on this subject. The conscience must be aroused, and the matter receive earnest attention; for an account must be rendered to God in the last day, and His claims must be settled. {PUR, October 10, 1901 par. 5}

The tithe should be consecrated to God. His requirements come first. We are not doing His will if we consecrate to Him what is left after all our wants have been supplied. Before any part of our income is consumed, we should take out and present to Him that portion which He claims as His. When this is done, the remainder will be sanctified and blessed to our own use. But when we withhold that which He says is His, the curse rests upon the whole, and we are recorded in the books of heaven as guilty of robbery. God gives man nine-tenths, but the one-tenth He claims for sacred purposes,--as He has given man six days for his own work, and has reserved the seventh day to Himself. {PUR, October 10, 1901 par. 6}

The tithing system was founded upon a principle which is as enduring as the law of God. It will be a blessing to those who will carry it out to the end of time. Our heavenly Father did not originate the system to enrich Himself, but to be a great blessing to man. {PUR, October 10, 1901 par. 7}

The simplicity of the plan shows the wisdom of God in its arrangement. Everything bearing the divine stamp unites simplicity with utility. Those who return to the Lord the tenth, will find it true that the nine-tenths are worth more to them than the ten-tenths. {PUR, October 10, 1901 par. 8} God requires no less of His people in these last days than He did of the Jewish nation. He knew the tithing system would be a blessing to all who would heed it. We should be careful not to turn the blessings of God into a curse. {PUR, October 10, 1901 par. 9}

If all the tithes were brought into the storehouse, God's treasury would not be empty. "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." When man does his part, God never fails to fulfil His promises. Mrs. E. G. White. {PUR, October 10, 1901 par. 10} Pacific Union Recorder



From Testimonies Volume 9 On the Tithe

Faithful Stewardship[* MANUSCRIPT READ BEFORE THE DELEGATES AT THE SAN JOSE (CALIFORNIA) STATE CONFERENCE, JANUARY, 1907

Christ has purchased us by the price of His own blood. He has paid the purchase money for our redemption, and if we will lay hold upon the treasure, it is ours by the free gift of God.

"How much owest thou unto my Lord?" Luke 16:5. It is impossible to tell. All that we have is from God. He lays His hand upon our possessions, saying: "I am the rightful owner of the whole universe; these are My goods. Consecrate to Me the tithes and offerings. As you bring these specified goods as a token of your loyalty and your submission to My sovereignty, My blessing shall increase your substance, and you will have abundance."

God is testing every soul that claims to believe in Him. All are entrusted with talents. The Lord has given men His goods upon which to trade. He has made them His stewards, and has placed in their possession money, houses, and lands. All these are to be regarded as the Lord's goods and used to advance His work, to build up His kingdom in the world. In trading with the Lord's goods, we are to seek Him for wisdom, that we may not use His sacred trust to glorify ourselves or to indulge selfish impulses. The amount entrusted varies, but those who have the smallest gifts must not feel that because their talent of means is small, they can do nothing with it.

Every Christian is a steward of God, entrusted with His goods. Remember the words: "Moreover it is required in stewards, that a man be found faithful." 1 Corinthians 4:2. Let us be sure that we are not robbing God in any jots or tittles, for much is involved in this question.

All things belong to God. Men may ignore His claims. While He bountifully bestows His blessings upon them, they may use His gifts for their own selfish gratification; but they will be called to give an account for their stewardship.

A steward identifies himself with his master. He accepts the responsibilities of a steward, and he must act in his master's stead, doing as his master would do were he presiding. His master's interests become his. The position of a steward is one of dignity because his master trusts him. If in any wise he acts selfishly and turns the advantages gained by trading with his lord's goods to his own advantage, he has perverted the trust reposed in him.

The Support of the Gospel

The Lord has made the proclamation of the gospel dependent upon the labors and the voluntary gifts of all His people. 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 bestowed to His work. This lesson he should present by both precept and example; he should beware that he does not by his own course lessen the force of his teaching.

That which has been set apart according to the Scriptures as belonging to the Lord constitutes the revenue of the gospel and is no longer ours. It is no better than sacrilege for a man to take from God's treasury in order to serve himself or to serve others in their secular business. Some have been at fault in diverting from the altar of God that which has been especially dedicated to Him. All should regard this matter in the right light. Let no one, when brought into a strait place, take money consecrated to religious purposes and use it for his advantage, soothing his conscience by saying that he will repay it at some future time. Far better cut down the expenses to correspond with the income, to restrict the wants, and live within the means than to use the Lord's money for secular purposes.

The Use of the Tithe

God has given special direction as to the use of the tithe. He does not design that His work shall be crippled for want of means. That there may be no haphazard work and no error, He has made our duty on these points very plain. The portion that God has reserved for Himself is not to be diverted to any other purpose than that which He has specified. 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 an emergency, nor to apply it as they see fit, even in what they may regard as the Lord's work.

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. He should not give his influence to any plans for diverting from their legitimate use the tithes and offerings dedicated to God. They are to be placed in His treasury and held sacred for His service as He has appointed.

God desires all His stewards to be exact in following divine arrangements. They are not to offset the Lord's plans by performing some deed of charity or giving some gift or some offering when or how they, the human agents, shall see fit. It is a very poor policy for men to seek to improve on God's plan, and invent a makeshift, averaging up their good impulses on this and that occasion, and offsetting them against God's requirements. God calls upon all to give their influence to His own arrangement. He has made His plan known, and all who would co-operate with Him must carry out this plan instead of daring to attempt an improvement on it.

The Lord instructed Moses, for Israel: "Thou shalt command the children of Israel, that they bring thee pure oil olive beaten for the light, to cause the lamp to burn always." Exodus 27:20. This was to be a continual offering, that the house of God might be properly supplied with that which was necessary for His service. His people today are to remember that the house of worship is the Lord's property and that it is to be scrupulously cared for. But the funds for this work are not to come from the tithe.

A very plain, definite message has been given to me for our people. I am bidden to tell them that they are making a mistake in applying the tithe to various objects which, though good in themselves, are not the object to which the Lord has said that the tithe should be applied. Those who make this use of the tithe are departing from the Lord's arrangement. God will judge for these things.

One reasons that the tithe may be applied to school purposes. Still others reason that canvassers and colporteurs should be supported from the tithe. But a great mistake is made when the tithe is drawn from the object for which it is to be used--the support of the ministers. There should be today in the field one hundred well qualified laborers where now there is but one.

A Solemn Obligation

The tithe is sacred, reserved by God for Himself. It is to be brought into His treasury to be used to sustain the gospel laborers in their work. For a long time the Lord has been robbed because there are those who do not realize that the tithe is God's reserved portion.

Some have been dissatisfied and have said: "I will not longer pay my tithe; for I have no confidence in the way things are managed at the heart of the work." But will you rob God because you think the management of the work is not right? Make your complaint, plainly and openly, in the right spirit, to the proper ones. Send in your petitions for things to be adjusted and set in order; but do not withdraw from the work of God, and prove unfaithful, because others are not doing right.

Read carefully the third chapter of Malachi and see what God says about the tithe. If our churches will take their stand upon the Lord's word and be faithful in paying their tithe into His treasury, more laborers will be encouraged to take up ministerial work. More men would give themselves to the ministry were they not told of the depleted treasury. There should be an abundant supply in the Lord's treasury, and there would be if selfish hearts and hands had not withheld the tithes or made use of them to support other lines of work.

God's reserved resources are to be used in no such haphazard way. The tithe is the Lord's, and those who meddle with it will be punished with the loss of their heavenly treasure unless they repent. Let the work no longer be hedged up because the tithe has been diverted into various channels other than the one to which the Lord has said it should go. Provision is to be made for these other lines of work. They are to be sustained, but not from the tithe. God has not changed; the tithe is still to be used for the support of the ministry. The opening of new fields requires more ministerial efficiency than we now have, and there must be means in the treasury.

Those who go forth as ministers have a solemn responsibility devolving upon them which is strangely neglected. Some enjoy preaching, but they do not give personal labor to the churches. There is great need of instruction concerning the obligations and duties to God, especially in regard to paying an honest tithe. Our ministers would feel sadly aggrieved if they were not promptly paid for their labor; but will they consider that there must be meat in the treasure house of God wherewith to sustain the laborers? If they fail to do their whole duty in educating the people to be faithful in paying to God His own, there will be a shortage of means in the treasury to carry forward the Lord's work.

The overseer of the flock of God should faithfully discharge his duty. If he takes the position that because this is not pleasant to him, he will leave it for someone else to do, he is not a faithful worker. Let him read in Malachi the words of the Lord charging the people with robbery toward God in withholding the tithes. The mighty God declares: "Ye are cursed with a curse." Malachi 3:9. When the one who ministers in word and doctrine sees the people pursuing a course that will bring this curse upon them, how can he neglect his duty to give them instruction and warning? Every church member should be taught to be faithful in paying an honest tithe.

"Bring ye all the tithes into the storehouse, that there may be mean in Mine house, and prove Me now here with, 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." Verse 10.

I pray that my brethren may realize that the third angel's message means much to us and that the observance of the true Sabbath is to be the sign that distinguishes those who serve God from those who serve Him not. Let those who have become sleepy and indifferent, awake. We are called to be holy, and we should carefully avoid giving the impression that it is of little consequence whether or not we retain the peculiar features of our faith. Upon us rests the golden obligation of taking a more decided stand for truth and righteousness than we have taken in the past. The line of demarcation between those who keep the commandments of God and those who do not is to be revealed with unmistakable clearness. We are conscientiously to honor God, diligently using every means of keeping in covenant relation with Him, that we may receive His blessings--the blessings so essential for a people who are to be so severely tried. To give the impression that our faith, our religion, is not a dominating power in our lives is greatly to dishonor God. Thus we turn from His commandments, which are our life, denying that He is our God and we His people.

"The Lord thy God, He is God, the faithful God, which keepeth covenant and mercy with them that love Him and keep His commandments to a thousand generations; and repayeth them that hate Him to their face, to destroy them: He will not be slack to him that hateth Him, He will repay him to his face." Deuteronomy 7:9, 10.

Where shall we be before the thousand generations mentioned in this scripture are ended? Our fate will have been decided for eternity. Either we shall have been pronounced worthy of a home in the everlasting kingdom of God or we shall have received sentence of eternal death. Those who have been true and faithful to their covenant with God; those who, remembering Calvary, have stood firmly on the side of truth, ever striving to honor God, will hear the commendation: "Well done, good and faithful servant." But those who have given God only halfhearted service, allowing their lives to be conformed to the ways and practices of the world, will hear the sad words: "Depart from Me; I know you not."

Beneficence

"Honor the Lord with thy substance, and with the first fruits of all thine increase: so shall thy barns be filled with plenty, and thy presses shall burst out with new wine." Proverbs 3:9, 10.

"There is that scattereth, and yet increaseth; and there is that withholdeth more than is meet, but it tendeth to poverty. The liberal soul shall be made fat: and he that watereth shall be watered also himself." Proverbs 11:24, 25.

"The liberal deviseth liberal things; and by liberal things shall he stand." Isaiah 32:8.

Divine wisdom has appointed, in the plan of salvation, the law of action and reaction, making the work of beneficence, in all its branches, twice blessed. He who gives to the needy blesses others and is blessed himself in a still greater degree.


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