The Review and Herald

1467/1902

January 17, 1907

Gifts and Offerings

EGW

The end is fast approaching, and many of our churches are asleep. Let all now make it their chief business to serve the Lord. God has entrusted to his people the talent of means, some more, and some less than others. With many, the possession of wealth has proved a snare. In their desire to follow the fashions of the world, they have lost their zeal for the truth, and they are in peril of losing eternal life. In proportion as God has prospered them, men should return to him of the goods he has entrusted to their stewardship. RH January 17, 1907, par. 1

As members of the Lord's family we have a decided work to do. We must carefully examine our hearts to see if we are truly converted to God's service. Are we entirely free from the worldly habits, ideas, and customs that are abhorrent to God? RH January 17, 1907, par. 2

“Behold, I will send my messenger, and he shall prepare the way before me: and the Lord, whom ye seek, shall suddenly come to his temple, even the messenger of the covenant, whom ye delight in: behold, he shall come, saith the Lord of hosts. But who may abide the day of his coming? and who shall stand when he appeareth? for he is like a refiner's fire, and like fullers’ soap: and he shall sit as a refiner and purifier of silver: and he shall purify the sons of Levi, and purge them as gold and silver, that they may offer unto the Lord an offering in righteousness. Then shall the offering of Judah and Jerusalem be pleasant unto the Lord, as in the days of old, and as in former years. And I will come near to you to judgment; and I will be a swift witness against the sorcerers, and against the adulterers, and against false swearers, and against those that oppress the hireling in his wages, the widow, and the fatherless, and that turn aside the stranger from his right, and fear not me, saith the Lord of hosts. For I am the Lord, I change not; therefore ye sons of Jacob are not consumed.” RH January 17, 1907, par. 3

Those who are living upon the earth when the intercession of Christ shall cease in the sanctuary above are to stand in the sight of a holy God without a mediator. Their robes must be spotless, their characters must be purified from sin by the blood of sprinkling. Through the grace of God and their own diligent efforts, they must be conquerors in the battle with evil. While the investigative judgment is going forward in heaven, while the sins of penitent believers are being removed from the sanctuary, there is to be a special work of purification, of putting away sin, among God's people on earth. RH January 17, 1907, par. 4

“Even from the days of your fathers ye are gone away from mine ordinances, and have not kept them. Return unto me, and I will return unto you, saith the Lord of hosts. But ye said, Wherein shall we return?” RH January 17, 1907, par. 5

The Lord reveals to his people their special sin. “Will a man rob God?” he asks. “Yet ye have robbed me.” Still unconvicted of sin, the disobedient inquire, “Wherein have we robbed thee?” RH January 17, 1907, par. 6

Definite indeed is the Lord's answer: “In tithes and offerings. Ye are cursed with a curse: for ye have robbed me, even this whole nation. 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. 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. And all nations shall call you blessed: for ye shall be a delightsome land, saith the Lord.” RH January 17, 1907, par. 7

Here are important matters for our consideration. Read carefully the charge that God makes against those who have not fulfilled the conditions of their agreement with him. In his mercy, the Lord has bestowed rich bounties upon his people, and many have selfishly withheld from him the money for which he calls. Let all carefully examine into their business relations with their Creator. Those who will not hesitate to deal treacherously with their Maker will certainly not hesitate to deal treacherously with their fellow men. RH January 17, 1907, par. 8

I desire to impress upon all our people that God regards the withholding of tithes and offerings as robbery. We are merely stewards of God. We do not own the money that passes into our hands. In its disbursement we are to be colaborers with Christ. RH January 17, 1907, par. 9

We should feel an intense interest in the advancement of the work of God. This work has already grown to large proportions, but it is to advance still more rapidly. We need many more laborers, and there must be with all a spirit of self-denial, in order to provide facilities for the carrying forward of the message into new fields. In many places the work has been greatly retarded because of the scarcity of means. The rebuke of God will rest upon those who do not come up to his help. RH January 17, 1907, par. 10

In the Southern field a beginning has been made, but there is still a great work to be done for all classes. We now call upon all who love Christ to help with their means the work of God in this needy field. RH January 17, 1907, par. 11

There should be among us an army of people who are prepared to open the Scriptures to many who are perishing in their sins. Let spiritual-minded men and women take hold of this work where they are. As they find opportunity, let them pray for those for whom they labor. All classes are to be reached. Poverty need not hinder any one from coming to Jesus. We should manifest a decided interest for those who are more wealthy, and endeavor to lead them to lay up their treasure in the heavens, an enduring substance, that will never perish. RH January 17, 1907, par. 12

Let our church-members take up such work where they are, and let all unite in sustaining the work in the regions beyond. Wonderful progress has already been seen, but we still have an exceedingly large work before us, a work that calls for self-denial and cross-bearing. RH January 17, 1907, par. 13

As we close the year 1906, I plead with my brethren and sisters to make their record right with God, and to be faithful in rendering to him his own in tithes and offerings. May God help each one to act his part in the work of saving souls. RH January 17, 1907, par. 14

In the Lord's treasury there should be sufficient means to give an adequate support to those who devote their time to the work of saving souls. Their just wages should not be begrudged them. Those who are willing to labor for the Master should not be allowed to lack for the necessities of life. They should be enabled to live comfortably, and also to have enough so that they can make donations to the cause of God; for it frequently happens that they are expected to take the lead in making offerings. RH January 17, 1907, par. 15

In the great work of warning the world, those who have the truth in the heart, and are sanctified through the truth, will act their assigned part. They will be faithful in the payment of tithes and offerings. Every church-member is bound by covenant relation with God to deny himself of every extravagant outlay of means. Let not the want of economy in the home life render us unable to act our part in strengthening the work already established, and in entering new territory. RH January 17, 1907, par. 16

Schools and sanitariums are to be established. These should be located out of the cities. Students should be fitted to engage in various lines of God's work. We have been greatly favored in securing land and buildings suitable for sanitarium work, at prices far below the original cost. Through the work done in these institutions, we may reach all classes, high and low. The work in behalf of the sick and suffering was ordained of God. RH January 17, 1907, par. 17

Christ's chief work was in the preaching of the gospel to the poor. He chose to minister to the needy, the ignorant. In simplicity he opened before them the blessings they might receive, and thus he awakened their souls’ hunger for the truth, the bread of life. Christ's life is an example to all his followers. It is the duty of every one who has learned the way of life to teach others what it means to believe in the word of God. RH January 17, 1907, par. 18

There are many in the shadow of death, who need to be instructed in the truths of the gospel. Nearly the whole world is lying in wickedness, yet we have words of hope for those who sit in darkness. RH January 17, 1907, par. 19

“The land of Zabulon, and the land of Nepthalim, by the way of the sea, beyond Jordan, Galilee of the Gentiles; the people which sat in darkness saw great light; and to them which sat in the region and shadow of death light is sprung up. From that time Jesus began to preach, and to say, Repent: for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.” RH January 17, 1907, par. 20

From Christ's methods of labor we may learn many valuable lessons. He did not follow merely one method; in various ways he sought to gain the attention of the multitude; and then he proclaimed to them the truths of the gospel. RH January 17, 1907, par. 21

“And Jesus, walking by the sea of Galilee, saw two brethren, Simon called Peter, and Andrew his brother, casting a net into the sea: for they were fishers. And he saith unto them, Follow me, and I will make you fishers of men. And they straightway left their nets, and followed him. And going on from thence, he saw other two brethren, James the son of Zebedee, and John his brother, in a ship with Zebedee their father, mending their nets; and he called them. And they immediately left the ship and their father, and followed him. RH January 17, 1907, par. 22

“And Jesus went about all Galilee, teaching in their synagogues, and preaching the gospel of the kingdom, and healing all manner of sickness and all manner of disease among the people. And his fame went throughout all Syria: and they brought unto him all sick people that were taken with divers disease and torments, and those which were possessed with devils, and those which were lunatic, and those that had the palsy; and he healed them. And there followed him great multitudes of people from Galilee, and from Decapolis, and from Jerusalem, and from Judea, and from beyond Jordan.” RH January 17, 1907, par. 23

Christians are not only to give freely of their means to sustain the Lord's work; wherever they are, they are to labor disinterestedly for souls. They themselves are to be sanctified through the truth, to be purified and cleansed from all pride and selfishness. Then they will be prepared to meet their solemn obligations to God, and to enlighten the minds of others who are in darkness regarding Bible truth. Not one thousandth part of what should be done is being done by those who understand the plan of salvation. Every true Christian is so to represent the plan of salvation in his own consistent life, and in his unselfish efforts in behalf of others, that no one to whom he has access may say, “No man cares for my soul.” RH January 17, 1907, par. 24

Sanitarium, Cal.,

December 6, 1906.