Welfare Ministry


Chapter 37—The Wealth of the Gentiles

Not to Take Means From the Cause—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, December 1, 1896. WM 277.1

The cause of God should not be overlooked that the poor may receive our first attention. Christ once gave His disciples a very important lesson on this point. When Mary poured the ointment on the head of Jesus, covetous Judas made a plea in behalf of the poor, murmuring at what he considered a waste of money. But Jesus vindicated the act, saying: “Why trouble ye her? she hath wrought a good work on Me.” “Wheresoever this gospel shall be preached throughout the whole world, this also that she hath done shall be spoken of for a memorial of her.” By this we are taught that Christ is to be honored in the consecration of the best of our substance. Should our whole attention be directed to relieving the wants of the poor, God's cause would be neglected. Neither will suffer if His stewards do their duty, but the cause of Christ should come first.—Testimonies for the Church 4:550, 551. WM 277.2

God's claim is to take precedence of any other claim and must be discharged first. Then the poor and the needy are to be cared for.—The Youth's Instructor, August 26, 1897. WM 277.3

To Receive From Outside Sources—God will open the way for us from sources outside our own people. I cannot see how anyone can take exceptions to the receiving of gifts from those not of our faith. They can only do so by taking extreme views and by creating issues which they are not authorized to do.—Special Testimonies, Series A 3:43 WM 277.4

God Moves Upon Unbelievers to Help—You inquire with respect to the propriety of receiving gifts from Gentiles or the heathen. The question is not strange; but I would ask you, Who is that owns our world? Who are the real owners of houses and lands? Is it not God? He has an abundance in our world which He has placed in the hands of men, by which the hungry might be supplied with food, the naked with clothing, the homeless with homes. The Lord would move upon worldly men, even idolaters, to give of their abundance for the support of the work, if we would approach them wisely and give them an opportunity of doing those things which it is their privilege to do. What they would give we should be privileged to receive. WM 278.1

We should become acquainted with men in high places, and by exercising the wisdom of the serpent and the harmlessness of the dove we might obtain advantage from them, for God would move upon their minds to do many things in behalf of His people. If proper persons would set before those who have means and influence, the needs of the work of God in a proper light, these men might do much to advance the cause of God in our world. We have put away from us privileges and advantages that we might have had the benefit of, because we chose to stand independent of the world. But we need not sacrifice one principle of truth while taking advantage of every opportunity to advance the cause of God.—Special Testimonies, Series A 3:29, 30 WM 278.2

Call Upon Great and Good Men to Help Us—There is a world to be warned, and we have been very delicate about calling upon rich men, either church members or worldlings, to aid us in the work. We would that all professed Christians stood with us. We would that their souls might be drawn out in liberality in aiding us in building up the kingdom of God in our world. We should call upon great and good men to help us in our Christian endeavor work. They should be invited to second our efforts in seeking to save that which is lost.—The Origin and Development of the Thanksgiving Plan, 5. WM 279.1

Such Gifts Not to Be Refused—When we show to the world, to angels, and to men that the prosperity of the cause of God is our first consideration, God will bless us. Sometimes He works through unbelievers, and unexpected relief comes. The Lord puts it into the hearts of men to help. The means coming in this way is not to be refused. When means comes from unbelievers it is to be used by the human agent to honor God. Every spiritually-minded, wholehearted giver will rightly apply every God-entrusted talent. WM 279.2

The Lord does not have to depend upon our means. He will not be restricted by the human agent. His way is always the best way, and any help that may come to advance His cause and work in any of our institutions is to be used as coming from Him. Gifts from unbelievers are not to be refused. The money is the Lord's, and is to be received with gratitude. Let God work and send by whom He will.... We believe time is closing. Eternity is at hand. Our supply of means is limited, and the work to be done is great. It is now that faith must be exercised. Our sufficiency is in God.—Manuscript 47, 1899. WM 279.3

Wealthy Will Provide Facilities—Let those who labor in the interests of the cause of God lay the necessities of the work in ----- before the wealthy men of the world. Do this judiciously. Tell them what you are trying to do. Solicit donations from them. It is God's means which they have, means which should be used in enlightening the world. WM 280.1

There are stored up in the earth large treasures of gold and silver. Men's riches have accumulated. Go to these men with a heart filled with love for Christ and suffering humanity and ask them to help you in the work you are trying to do for the Master. As they see that you reveal the sentiments of God's benevolence, a chord will be touched in their hearts. They will realize that they can be Christ's helping hand by doing medical missionary work. They will be led to cooperate with God, to provide the facilities necessary to set in operation the work that needs to be done.—Manuscript 40, 1901. WM 280.2

Impressed by the Spirit to Give—The higher classes have been strangely neglected. In the higher walks of life will be found many who will respond to the truth, because it is consistent, because it bears the stamp of the high character of the gospel. Not a few of the men of ability thus won to the cause will enter energetically into the Lord's work. WM 280.3

The Lord calls upon those who are in positions of trust, those to whom He has entrusted His precious gifts, to use their talents of intellect and means in His service. Our workers should present before these men a plain statement of our plan of labor, telling them what we need in order to help the poor and needy and to establish this work on a firm basis. Some of these will be impressed by the Holy Spirit to invest the Lord's means in a way that will advance His cause. They will fulfill His purpose by helping to create centers of influence in the large cities.—Testimonies for the Church 7:112. WM 280.4

Money Will Be Given—The experience of apostolic days will come to us if men will be worked by the Holy Spirit. The Lord will withdraw His blessing where selfish interests are indulged, but He will put His people in possession of good throughout the world if they will unselfishly use their ability for the uplifting of humanity. His work is to be a sign of His benevolence, a sign that will win the confidence of the world and bring in resources for the advancement of the gospel.—Special Testimonies, Series B 1:20. WM 281.1

It Is God's Money—Why not ask the Gentiles for assistance? I have received instruction that there are men and women in the world who have sympathetic hearts, and who will be touched with compassion as the needs of suffering humanity are presented before them.... WM 281.2

The matter has been presented to me in this light. Our work is to be aggressive. The money is the Lord's, and if the wealthy are approached in the right way, the Lord will touch their hearts and impress them to give of their means. God's money is in the hands of these men, and some of them will heed the request for help. WM 281.3

Talk this over, and do all in your power to secure gifts. We are not to feel that it would not be the thing to ask men of the world for means, for it is just the thing to do. This plan was opened before me as a way of coming in touch with wealthy men of the world. Through this means not a few will become interested, and may hear and believe the truth for this time.—Stewardship Series, no. 1, 15, 16. WM 281.4

How to Make the Approach—Multitudes who are prosperous in the world and who never stoop to the common forms of vice are yet brought to destruction through the love of riches.... WM 282.1

These men are in need of the gospel. They need to have their eyes turned from the vanity of material things to behold the preciousness of the enduring riches. They need to learn the joy of giving, the blessedness of being coworkers with God. WM 282.2

Persons of this class are often the most difficult of access, but Christ will open ways whereby they may be reached. Let the wisest, the most trustful, the most hopeful laborers seek for these souls. With the wisdom and tact born of divine love, with the refinement and courtesy that result alone from the presence of Christ in the soul, let them work for those who, dazzled by the glitter of earthly riches, see not the glory of the heavenly treasure. Let the workers study the Bible with them, pressing sacred truth home to their hearts. Read to them the words of God: “But of Him are ye in Christ Jesus, who of God is made unto us wisdom, and righteousness, and sanctification, and redemption.” “Thus saith the Lord, Let not the wise man glory in his wisdom, neither let the mighty man glory in his might, let not the rich man glory in his riches: but let him that glorieth glory in this, that he understandeth and knoweth Me, that I am the Lord which exercise loving-kindness, judgment, and righteousness, in the earth: for in these things I delight, saith the Lord.” “In whom we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of His grace.” “But my God shall supply all your need according to His riches in glory by Christ Jesus.” 1 Corinthians 1:30; Jeremiah 9:23, 24; Ephesians 1:7; Philippians 4:19. WM 282.3

Such an appeal, made in the spirit of Christ, will not be thought impertinent. It will impress the minds of many in the higher classes. WM 283.1

By efforts put forth in wisdom and love, many a rich man may be awakened to a sense of his responsibility and his accountability to God. When it is made plain that the Lord expects them as His representatives to relieve suffering humanity, many will respond and will give of their means and their sympathy for the benefit of the poor. When their minds are thus drawn away from their own selfish interests, many will be led to surrender themselves to Christ. With their talents of influence and means they will gladly unite in the work of beneficence with the humble missionary who was God's agent in their conversion. By a right use of their earthly treasure they will lay up “a treasure in the heavens that faileth not, where no thief approacheth, neither moth corrupteth.” They will secure for themselves the treasure that wisdom offers, even “durable riches and righteousness.”—Testimonies for the Church 6:256-258. WM 283.2