Manuscript Releases, vol. 1 [Nos. 19-96]


A Solemn Warning

We received your letter today. The question in regard to applying the tithes for incidental expenses connected with the church is referred to. You say that this has not been done in _____ for years. I am glad to hear this. I answer in accordance with the light recently given me of God, and which has led me to write so much on this matter, that it is a mistake for our churches to appropriate the tithe for any other purpose than to sustain the ministry. The Lord will not work in your favor if you do this.... 1MR 184.1

The tithe is not to be consumed in incidental expenses. That belongs to the work of the church members. They are to support their church by their gifts and offerings. When this matter is seen and realized in all its bearings, there will be no questions on this subject. Through His servant Malachi, the Lord gives a most solemn warning in reference to this matter. He says, “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” (Malachi 3:10). 1MR 184.2

The Lord has revealed to me that when the members of the church in _____ shall learn to deny themselves, when they shall consecrate themselves to God, when they shall practice economy as truehearted sons and daughters of God; when they shall expend much less for outward display, and shall wear plain, simple clothing without unnecessary adornments; when their faith and works shall correspond, then they will be the Lord's true missionaries and will have clear discernment and spiritual understanding. They will have a sense of the sacredness of God's work. They will see the necessity of the tithe money being faithfully paid into the treasury, and reserved for the sacred work to which God designs that it shall be devoted,—to carry the last message of mercy to a fallen world. God's people are to lift the standard of truth in every place where the message of mercy has not been proclaimed. 1MR 185.1

Every soul who is honored in being a steward of God is to carefully guard the tithe money. This is sacred means. The Lord will not sanction your borrowing this money for any other work. It will create evils you cannot now discern. It is not to be meddled with by the _____ church; for there are missions to be sustained in other fields, where there are no churches and no tithes. When the men who, as God's messengers, have their work to do, will do it in a straightforward manner, the church of _____ will take care of the duties belonging to it individually. The members will furnish the means to sustain these extra expenses. But by using the tithe for these expenses, or filling the gaps made in business lines, you lift from them a burden which they should as a church carry. 1MR 185.2

Time, precious time, is passing into eternity, and the work that should be done in saving perishing souls is left undone. Keep your hands off the Lord's reserve fund. That means is to do a great work before probation shall close. Not one-hundredth part of the work that should be done in California is being done. Missionary workers are few. It is most painful to me to see how little is being done in self-sacrificing effort, in bringing up the church to sense their individual responsibility and the necessity of self-denial. Look at the congregations coming into the houses of worship in _____ and _____, and see how much money is expended in dress that should go to the Lord's cause. But you cannot, as responsible men, be clear in the sight of God unless you shall practice more economy and self-denial yourselves, unless you shall bear a testimony that will cut its way to the heart of self-indulgence. 1MR 185.3

It makes me heartsick to see the most sacred, solemn truth ever given to our world have so little influence upon the life and character of many who profess to believe the Word of God. What is the matter?—the truth is not practiced. The life of the world's Redeemer is our example in all things. There is much more in the Word of God than many have discovered. There is practical godliness that must be brought into the life and character. There are heights and depths that we might reach if there were less self-indulgence and more consecration to God.... 1MR 186.1

The Lord has shown me that when those who are in office will do their appointed work, and bind about their many supposed wants; when they shall practice the self-denial that God enjoins, and encourage economy in every line as it is their duty to do by setting the example, there will be a solemn, straight-forward testimony, hearts and lips touched with holy fire coming forth from the great center in California, and _____ will have [an] influence on smaller churches. Letter 81, 1897, pp. 1-5. (To Brother Jones, May 27, 1897.) 1MR 186.2