The Message of Christian Stewardship

Teach Every Convert—Every soul converted is to have the light in regard to the Lord's requirement for tithes and offerings. All that men enjoy they receive from the Lord's great farm, and He is pleased to have His heritage enjoy His goods; but He has made a special contract with all who stand under the bloodstained banner of Prince Immanuel, that they may show their dependence and accountability to God, by returning to His treasury a certain portion as His own. This is to be invested in supporting the missionary work which must be done to fulfill the commission given to them by the Son of God just before He left His disciples.—Manuscript 123, 1898. Ev 249.3

Each a Link in Chain of Salvation—He who becomes a child of God should henceforth look upon himself as a link in the chain let down to save the world, one with Christ in His plan of mercy, going forth with Him to seek and save the lost.—The Ministry of Healing, 105 (1905). Ev 250.1

Evangelists’ Responsibility—It is part of your work to teach those whom you bring into the truth to bring the tithe into the storehouse as an acknowledgment of their dependence on God. They should be fully enlightened as to their duty to return to the Lord His own. The command to pay tithe is so plain that there is no semblance of excuse for disregarding it. If you neglect to give the new converts instruction on this point, you leave undone a most important part of your work.—Letter 51, 1902. Ev 250.2

Guiding the New Church—Never should the laborer who raises up little companies here and there, give the impression to those newly come to the faith, that God does not require them to work systematically in helping to sustain the cause by their personal labors and by their means.... Ev 250.3

All should be taught to do what they can for the Master; to render to Him according as He has prospered them. He claims as His just due a tenth of their income, be it large or small; and those who withhold this, commit robbery toward Him and cannot expect His prospering hand to be with them. Even if the church is composed mostly of poor brethren, the subject of systematic benevolence should be thoroughly explained, and the plan heartily adopted. God is able to fulfill His promises. His resources are infinite, and He employs them all in accomplishing His will. And when He sees a faithful performance of duty in the payment of the tithes, He often, in His wise providence, opens ways whereby it shall increase. He who follows God's arrangement in the little that has been given him, will receive the same returns as he who bestows of his abundance.—Gospel Workers, 222, 223 (1915). Ev 250.4

Test of Heavenly Fellowship—Our heavenly Father bestows gifts and solicits a portion back, that He may test us whether we are worthy to have the gift of everlasting life.—Testimonies For The Church 3:408 (1875). Ev 251.1

A Point to Be Presented Tactfully and Repeatedly—Teachers of the Word of God are not to keep back any part of the counsel of God, lest the people shall be ignorant of their duty, and not understand what is the will of God concerning them, and stumble and fall into perdition.... Ev 251.2

Let no one neglect to give faithful and plain instruction upon tithing. Let there be instruction as to giving to the Lord that which He claims as His own; for the commendation of the Lord will not rest upon a people who rob Him in tithes and offerings. There will be need of often setting before the people their duty on this matter that they may render unto God His own. Let the one who first presents the truth be faithful in presenting this matter and let him also who follows up the interest also make plain the requirement of God on tithing, that the people may see that in all points the laborers are teaching the same truth and are of one mind in urging them to yield obedience to all the requirements of God. Ev 251.3

But let laborers have discretion and not give strong meat to those who are babes; feed them with the sincere milk of the Word. In no case mingle your own spirit and ideas with the truth and cover up the precepts of God by traditions or suppositions. Let the people have the truth as it is in Jesus.—Manuscript 39, 1895. Ev 252.1

A Neglected Work—We are to give the message of warning to the world, and how are we doing our work? Are you, brethren, preaching that part of the truth that pleases the people, while other parts of the work are left incomplete? Will it be necessary for someone to follow after you, and urge upon the people the duty of faithfully bringing all the tithes and offerings into the Lord's treasury? This is the work of the minister, but it has been sadly neglected. The people have robbed God, and the wrong has been suffered because the minister did not want to displease his brethren. God calls these men unfaithful stewards.—The Review and Herald, July 8, 1884. Ev 252.2

Faithful Tithe, Adequate Means—Should means flow into the treasury exactly according to God's plan,—a tenth of all the increase,—there would be abundance to carry forward His work.—Testimonies For The Church 5:150 (1882). Ev 252.3

Ingathering for Missions—In the providence of God, those who are bearing the burden of His work have been endeavoring to put new life into old methods of labor, and also to invent new plans and new methods of awakening the interest of church members in a united effort to reach the world. One of the new plans for reaching unbelievers is the Harvest Ingathering campaign for missions. In many places, during the past few years, this has proved a success, bringing blessing to many, and increasing the flow of means into the mission treasury. As those not of our faith have been made acquainted with the progress of the third angel's message in heathen lands, their sympathies have been aroused, and some have sought to learn more of the truth that has such power to transform hearts and lives. Men and women of all classes have been reached, and the name of God has been glorified.—Counsels on Stewardship, 190, 191. Ev 252.4

Avoid Worldly Methods—We see the churches of our day encouraging feasting, gluttony, and dissipation, by the suppers, fairs, dances, and festivals gotten up for the purpose of gathering means into the church treasury. Here is a method invented by carnal minds to secure means without sacrificing.... Ev 253.1

Let us stand clear of all these church corruptions, dissipations, and festivals, which have a demoralizing influence upon young and old. We have no right to throw over them the cloak of sanctity because the means is to be used for church purposes. Such offerings are lame and diseased, and bear the curse of God. They are the price of souls. The pulpit may defend festivals, dancing, lotteries, fairs, and luxurious feasts, to obtain means for church purposes; but let us participate in none of these things; for if we do, God's displeasure will be upon us. We do not propose to appeal to the lust of the appetite or resort to carnal amusements as an inducement to Christ's professed followers to give of the means which God has entrusted to them. If they do not give willingly, for the love of Christ, the offering will in no case be acceptable to God.—Counsels on Stewardship, 201, 202 (1878). Ev 253.2

Bribed by Feasting and Merriment—It is a deplorable fact that sacred and eternal considerations do not have that power to open the hearts of the professed followers of Christ to make freewill offerings to sustain the gospel, as the tempting bribes of feasting and general merriment. It is a sad reality that these inducements will prevail when sacred and eternal things will have no force to influence the heart to engage in works of benevolence. Ev 254.1

The plan of Moses in the wilderness to raise means was highly successful. There was no compulsion necessary. Moses made no grand feast. He did not invite the people to scenes of gaiety, dancing, and general amusement. Neither did he institute lotteries or anything of this profane order to obtain means to erect the tabernacle of God in the wilderness. God commanded Moses to invite the children of Israel to bring the offerings. Moses was to accept gifts of every man that gave willingly from his heart. These freewill offerings came in so great abundance that Moses proclaimed it was enough. They must cease their presents; for they had given abundantly, more than they could use.—Counsels on Stewardship, 203 (1874). Ev 254.2

And what impression is made upon the minds of unbelievers? The holy standard of the Word of God is lowered into the dust. Contempt is cast upon God and upon the Christian name. The most corrupt principles are strengthened by this un-Scriptural way of raising means. And this is as Satan would have it. Men are repeating the sin of Nadab and Abihu. They are using common instead of sacred fire in the service of God. The Lord accepts no such offerings. Ev 254.3

All these methods for bringing money into His treasury are an abomination to Him. It is a spurious devotion that prompts all such devising. O what blindness, what infatuation, is upon many who claim to be Christians! Church members are doing as did the inhabitants of the world in the days of Noah, when the imagination of their hearts was only evil continually. All who fear God will abhor such practices as a misrepresentation of the religion of Jesus Christ.—Counsels on Stewardship, 205 (1896). Ev 254.4

Man's Stewardship—There is a yet deeper significance to the golden rule. Everyone who has been made a steward of the manifold grace of God, is called upon to impart to souls in ignorance and darkness, even as, were he in their place, he would desire them to impart to him. The apostle Paul said, “I am debtor both to the Greeks and to the Barbarians; both to the wise and to the unwise.” By all that you have known of the love of God, by all that you have received of the rich gifts of His grace, above the most benighted and degraded soul upon the earth, are you in debt to that soul to impart these gifts unto him.—Mount of Blessing, p. 193. (1896). Ev 255.1