The Signs of the Times


July 9, 1894

Failure of the Rich in Bearing the Test


Jesus has said, “He that gathereth not with me, scattereth.” Who is with Christ in the manner in which they treat the poor and suffering? Jesus has said again, “If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow me.” “So shall ye be my disciples.” In what contrast to the manner of Christ in his humiliation is the manner of those who exalt themselves, and have no care for the needy around them! The rich people of the world are called the great ones, but what does the Creator call them? Thousands and even millions of dollars have been expended in extravagant display, by those who do not know what to do with their abundant means, while at the same time thousands are starving for bread, thousands living in comfortless homes, who are naked and destitute. The souls of the poor are just as valuable in the sight of God as the souls of the rich. The riches of the world belong to God, and he does not estimate men by the amount of money they possess. God intrusts money to men in order that he may see what use they will make of it. ST July 9, 1894, par. 1

Those who expend their money for self-gratification are only living on husks. What comfort can they take in looking upon their decorated persons, when the poor are all about them, suffering for the necessities of life? How can they desire to load themselves down with treasures, which are necessary neither for comfort, health, or happiness, when, if they distributed their treasures in a wise way, they might make many comfortable who cry in want and suffering, who are dying for the want of proper food and shelter? The cry of the destitute enters into the ears of the Lord of Sabaoth. He will call for an account from everyone who has shut up the bowels of mercy and compassion. ST July 9, 1894, par. 2

The Lord has imparted his goods in abundance, and if men and women possessed the attributes of Christ's character, they would not heap up for themselves treasures, and fail to provide homes for the orphans, schooling for the poor, and food and clothing for the needy. What will rich men do in the judgment when they have failed to be good stewards of the grace of God? “Then shall he also say unto them on his left hand, Depart from me, ye cursed, into everlasting fire, prepared for the devil and his angels; for I was ahungered, and ye gave me no meat; I was thirsty, and ye gave me no drink; I was a stranger, and ye took me not in; naked, and ye clothed me not; sick, and in prison, and ye visited me not. Then shall they also answer him, saying, Lord, when saw we thee ahungered, or athirst, or a stranger, or naked, or sick, or in prison, and did not minister unto thee? Then shall he answer them, saying, Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye did it not to one of the least of these, ye did it not to me.” ST July 9, 1894, par. 3

“God so loved the world, that he gave his only-begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.” Life and immortality are brought to light through the gospel. He that is the way, the truth, and the life, has illuminated the track that leads heavenward. He came to our world to identify his interest with that of suffering humanity, to demonstrate before the world the goodness, mercy, and love of God to fallen man. In him dwelt all the fullness of the Godhead bodily. The requirement of God concerning those that shall enter the pearly gates, is that they be like Jesus, that they bear his image, and have his mind. They are to imitate his example, and live his life. ST July 9, 1894, par. 4

Being and doing good is essential to Christian character. No man liveth unto himself. All who win the precious boon of eternal life, will exemplify in life the life of Jesus Christ. They will follow in his steps who went about doing good, and healing all who were oppressed of the devil, who cheerfully gave his life a ransom for a lost world. ST July 9, 1894, par. 5

Conformity to the world and worldly attachments are forbidden by the word of God. Paul says: “I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service. And be not conformed to this world; but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect will of God.” The Holy Spirit with the cleaver of truth has separated men from the world, that they may go forth as missionaries for God into all the highways and byways of life. They are not only to seek and to save those that are lost, but they are also to minister to the wants of suffering humanity. Jesus says to them: “Love not the world, neither the things that are in the world. If any man love the world, the love of the Father is not in him. For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life, is not of the Father, but is of the world.” This is the reason that they that will be rich, lay up their treasures on earth. They love the world, and the love of the Father is not in them. They decide to risk the consequences of disobeying Christ's words and fully resolve to lay up treasure upon earth. “They that will be rich fall into temptation and a snare, and into many foolish and hurtful lusts, which drown men in destruction and perdition. For the love of money is the root of all evil; which while some have coveted after, they have erred from the faith, and pierced themselves through with many sorrows.” “The wicked boasteth of his heart's desire, and blesseth the covetous, whom the Lord abhorreth.” ST July 9, 1894, par. 6

To lay plans for the gaining of worldly treasure simply that you may be rich and heap up treasure upon earth, is not laying plans in harmony with God's will. Selfishness and sin are at the bottom of all such gain. Such men do not love God with all the heart and their neighbors as themselves. Many of the human family are perishing about them, and, though it is in their power to confer blessing upon them, they withhold the good they could do to them, and fail to supply the necessities of those who want. But the cries of orphans and widows come up before God. Their tears are all registered in the books of heaven; and those who have had the opportunity to help, and yet refused the aid they might have given, are charged in the ledger of heaven with robbery toward God, and are sentenced as those who have oppressed and defrauded the poor. ST July 9, 1894, par. 7

How many have failed when they have been tested with wealth! Many have professed the name of Christ, and have apparently lived as Christians, until their circumstances have changed and they have come into the possession of property. Under the test and proving of God, they have failed to bear the additional responsibility as God would have them, and have not acted as wise stewards. Many who have previously been earnest Christians, have begun to backslide from the time they have received a legacy, or have been successful in some business enterprise that has brought them into possession of greater influence and wealth. Their selfishness has been exhibited in a failure to pay their tithes. When in poorer circumstances they have paid to God his own, but when the tithe amounted to a large sum, when they had a greater talent whereby they might trade for the Master, they began to rob God of his own, and place the tithes of the Lord to their own account. They have been foolish enough to think that by this manner of dealing with God they were enriching themselves. Some have felt greatly troubled over their sin, and have confessed their misdoing, and resolved to pay to the Lord his own. But when they have reckoned up the amount they owed him, Satan suggested that it was too large a sum to be put into the treasury of the Lord, and again they have yielded to his suggestions. They have deceived themselves with the thought that they would by investing it have a larger sum at last to place to the Lord's account. The only safe way is to deal with the Lord as he has directed in his word. “Blessed are they that do his commandments, that they may have right to the tree of life, and may enter in through the gates into the city.” ST July 9, 1894, par. 8