"LET THERE BE LIGHT" Ministries
THOU SHALT NOT STEAL quotes
1) “When a minister who has labored successfully in securing souls to Jesus Christ abandons his sacred work in order to secure temporal gains, he is called an apostate, and he will be held accountable to God for the talents that he was misapplied. When men of business, farmers, mechanics, merchants, lawyers, etc., become members of the church, they become servants of Christ; and although their talents may be entirely different, their responsibility to advance the cause of God by personal effort, and with their means, is no less than that which rests upon the minister. The woe which will fall upon the minister if he preach not the gospel, will just as surely fall upon the businessman, if he, with his different talents, will not be a co-worker with Christ in accomplishing the same results. When this is brought home to the individual, some will say, 'This is a hard saying;' nevertheless it is true, although continually contradicted by the practice of men who profess to be followers of Christ.” Testimonies, vol 4, p. 468-469.
2) "From the earliest times, the Lord claimed a tithe as His; and this claim was recognized and honored. Abraham paid tithes to Melchizedek, the priest of the most high God." Patriarchs and Prophets, p. 525.
"The tithe was to be exclusively devoted to the use of the Levites..." Patriarchs and Prophets, p. 526.
3) "Mine answer to them that examine me is this...Who goeth a warfare any time at his own charges? who planteth a vineyard, and eateth not of the fruit thereof? or who feedeth a flock, and eateth not of the milk of the flock? Say I these things as a man? or saith not the law the same also?...If we have sown unto you spiritual things, is it a great thing if we shall reap your carnal things?...Do ye not know that they which minister about holy things live of the things of the temple?...Even so hath the Lord ordained that they which preach the gospel should live of the gospel." Corinthians 9:3, 7-8, 11, 13, 14.
"It was to this plan for the support of the ministry that Paul referred when he said, 'Even so hath the Lord ordained that they which preach the gospel should live of the gospel.' And later, in writing to Timothy, the apostle said, 'The laborer is worthy of his reward' 1 Timothy 5:18." Acts of the Apostles, p. 336.
4) "The tithe is set apart for a special use....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, vol 3, p. 418 col 2, December 1, 1896 (Welfare Ministry, p. 277).
"God's ministers are His shepherds, appointed by Him to feed His flock. The tithe is His provision for their maintenance, and He designs that it shall be held sacred for this purpose." Pamphlets, vol 1, p. 40.
"...a great mistake is made when the tithe is drawn from the object for which it is to be used,--the support of the ministers." Testimonies, vol 9, p. 248.
5) "Some, who do not see the advantage of educating the youth to be physicians both of mind and body, say that the tithe should not be used to support medical missionaries, who devote their time to treating the sick. In response to such statements as these, I am instructed to say that the mind must not become so narrowed down that it cannot take in the truth of the situation. A minister of the gospel who is also a medical missionary, who can cure physical ailments, is a much more efficient worker than one who cannot do this. His work as a minister of the gospel is much more complete." Manuscript 58, July 7, 1901 (Manuscript Release #1116, p. 1-3, also partly quoted in Medical Ministry, p. 245-246).
6) "Light has been plainly given that those who minister in our schools, teaching the word of God, explaining the Scriptures, educating the students in the things of God, should be supported by the tithe money. This instruction was given long ago, and more recently it has been repeated again and again." Testimonies, vol 6, p. 215.
7) "Instruction has been given me that there is a withholding of the tithe that should be faithfully brought into the Lord's treasury for the support of the ministers and missionaries who are opening the Scriptures to the people and working from house to house." Testimonies, vol 9, p. 52.
8) "Women, as well as men, are needed in the work that must be done. Those women who give themselves to the service of the Lord, who labor for the salvation of others by doing house-to-house work, which is as taxing as, and more taxing than standing before a congregation, should receive payment for their labor. If a man is worthy of his hire, so also is a woman....
"The tithe should go to those who labor in word and doctrine, be they men or women." Manuscript 149, October 24, 1899 (Manuscript Releases, vol 1, p. 263, also partly quoted in Evangelism, p. 492):
9) "The widows of these ministers are never to be forgotten, but should if necessary be paid from the tithe." Manuscript 82, 1904 (Manuscript Release #451, p. 3).
10) "Institutions that are God's instruments to carry forward His work on the earth must be sustained. Churches must be erected, schools established, and publishing houses furnished with facilities for doing a great work in the publication of the truth to be sent to all parts of the world. These institutions are ordained of God and should be sustained by tithes and liberal offerings." Testimonies, vol 4, p. 464.
11) "The tithe you have withheld I reserve for the support of My servants in their work of opening the Scriptures to those who are in the regions of darkness, who do not understand My law. In using My reserve fund to gratify your own desires you have robbed souls of the light which I made provision for them to receive. You have had opportunity to show loyalty to Me, but you have not done this. You have robbed Me; you have stolen My reserve fund..." Testimonies, vol 6, p. 387.
12) "The tithe is to be used for one purpose,--to sustain the ministers whom the Lord has appointed to do His work. It is to be used to support those who speak the words of life to the people, and carry the burden of the flock of God.
"But there are ministers who have been robbed of their wages. God's provision for them has not been respected....
"A very plain, definite message has been given to me to give to our people. I am bidden to tell them that they are making a mistake in applying the tithe to various objects which, though good in themselves, are not the object to which the Lord has said that the tithe is to be applied. Those who make this use of the tithe are departing from the Lord's arrangement.
"God will judge for these things....But a great mistake is made when the tithe is drawn from the object for which it is to be used,--the support of the ministers...
"The use of the tithe must be looked upon as a sacred matter by our people. We must guard strictly against all that is contrary to the message now given....
"When a man enters the ministry, he is to be paid from the tithe enough to sustain his family. He is not to feel that he is a beggar.
"The impression is becoming quite common that the sacred disposition of the tithe no longer exists. Many have lost their sense of the Lord's requirements.
"The tithe is sacred, reserved by God for Himself. It is to be...used to sustain the gospel laborers in their work. For a long time the Lord has been robbed, because there are those who do not realize that the tithe is God's reserved portion.
"Many ministers are lying in their graves, brought there by sorrow and disappointment, and by the hardship brought upon them because they did not receive sufficient for their labors....
"There should be an abundant supply in the Lord's treasury, and there would be if selfish hearts and hands had not made use of the tithe to support other lines of work.
"God's reserved resources are to be used in no such haphazard way. The tithe is the Lord's and those who meddle with it will be punished with the loss of their heavenly treasure, unless they repent. Let the work no longer be hedged up because the tithe has been diverted into various channels other than the one to which the Lord has said it should go. Provision is to be made for these other lines of work. They are to be sustained but not from the tithe. God has not changed; the tithe is [still] to be used for the support of the ministry..." Manuscript 82, 1904 (Manuscript Release #451, p. 1-4).
"God's chosen messengers, who are engaged in aggressive labor, should never be compelled to go a warfare at their own charges, unaided by the sympathetic and hearty support of their brethren. It is the part of church-members to deal liberally with those who lay aside their secular employment that they may give themselves to the ministry. When God's ministers are encouraged, His cause is greatly advanced. But when, through the selfishness of men, their rightful support is withheld, their hands are weakened, and often their usefulness is seriously crippled.
"The displeasure of God is kindled against those who claim to be His followers, yet allow consecrated workers to suffer for the necessities of life while engaged in active ministry. These selfish ones will be called to render an account, not only for the misuse of their Lord's money, but for the depression and heartache which their course has brought upon His faithful servants. Those who are called...in God's service, should receive for their self-sacrificing efforts wages sufficient to support themselves and their families." Acts of the Apostles, p. 340-341.
"...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....When this matter is seen and realized in all its bearings, there will be no questions on this subject....
"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...Keep your hands off the Lord's reserve fund. That means is to do a great work before probation shall close." Letter 81, May 17, 1897 (Manuscript Releases, vol 1, p. 184-185):
13) "Letters have come to me...making inquiries as to the disposition of the tithe. The writers supposed that they were authorized to use the tithe money in meeting the expenses of the church, as these expenses were quite heavy. From that which has been shown me, the tithe is not to be withdrawn from the treasury....the means in the treasury for the support of the ministers in the different fields is not to be used for any other purpose....
"The minister who labors should be sustained. But notwithstanding this, those who are officiating in this work see that there is not money in the treasury to pay the minister. They are withdrawing the tithe for other expenses,--to keep up the meeting-house necessities...God is not glorified in any such work. We have to raise our voice against this kind of management." Manuscript 17, March 14, 1897 (Series A #10, p. 16, 18-19).
14) "I was shown that it is wrong to use the tithe for defraying the incidental expenses of the church. In this there has been a departure from correct methods....But you are robbing God every time that you put your hands into the treasury for funds to meet the running expenses of the church." Counsels on Stewardship, p. 103 (August, 1896).
15) "Those who have used the tithe money to supply the common necessities of the house of God, have taken the money that should go to sustain ministers in doing His work, in preparing the way for Christ's second appearing. Just as surely as you do this work, you misapply the resources which God has told you to retain in His treasure-house, that it may be full, to be used in His service. This work is something of which all who have taken a part in should be ashamed. They have used their influence to withdraw from God's treasury a fund that is consecrated to a sacred purpose. From those who do this, the blessing of the Lord will be removed." Manuscript 17, March 14, 1897 (Series A #10, p. 21-22).
16) "There are fearful woes for those who preach the truth, but are not sanctified by it, and also for those who consent to receive and maintain the unsanctified to minister to them in word and doctrine." Testimonies, vol 1, p. 261-262.
"It would be poor policy to support from the treasury of God those who really mar and injure His work, and who are constantly lowering the standard of Christianity." Testimonies, vol 3, p. 553.
"As long as the truth is progressive, the claims of God rest upon men to give of that which He has entrusted to them for this very purpose." Testimonies, vol 4, p. 469.
17) "...no man should be set apart as a teacher of the people while his own teaching or example contradicts the testimony God has given His servants to bear in regard to diet, for this will bring confusion. His disregard of health reform unfits him to stand as the Lord's messenger." Testimonies, vol 6, p. 378 (see also Testimonies, vol 9, p. 159-160).
18) "...there is danger that some of limited experience may be spoiled by flattery, and by unwise encouragement to expect full support independent of any serious effort on their part. The means dedicated to the extension of the work of God should not be consumed by men who desire to preach only that they may receive support..." Gospel Workers, p. 237.
19) "There are thorough workmen in the cause of God, who have an experience in the work and who devote their time and strength to the service of God. These should be liberally sustained. But those who are merely starting out to visit the churches occasionally--especially those who have no families to provide for and who have a competency themselves--should not draw upon the treasury of the Lord." Testimonies, vol 2, 649.
20) "Those teachers in the church or in the school who distinguish themselves by their zeal in politics, should be relieved of their work and responsibilities without delay; for the Lord will not co-operate with them. The tithe should not be used to pay any one for speechifying on political questions. Every teacher, minister, or leader in our ranks who is stirred with a desire to ventilate his opinions on political questions, should be converted by a belief in the truth, or give up his work. His influence must tell as a laborer together with God in winning souls to Christ, or his credentials must be taken from him..." Fundamentals of Christian Education, p. 477 (June 16, 1899).
21) "Still others would reason that canvassers and colporteurs should be supported from the tithe. But a great mistake is made..." Manuscript 82, 1904 (Manuscript Release #451, p. 2, see also Testimonies, vol 9, p. 248-249).
22) "The man who has been unfortunate, and finds himself in debt, should not take the Lord's portion to cancel his debts to his fellow men. He should consider that in these transactions he is being tested, and that in reserving the Lord's portion for his own use he is robbing the Giver." Testimonies, vol 6, p. 391.
"They are not to use it for themselves in an emergency..." Testimonies, vol 9, p. 247.
23) "The Lord regards the tithe as His own, to be used for a certain purpose, and it is an easy matter, in the place of practicing the self-denial that we should, (to use tithe) to help in educating students...which should be used only to sustain the ministers...
"When you see a young man or a young woman who is a promising subject, advance or loan the sum needed, with the idea that it is a loan, not a gift. It would be better to have it thus. Then when it is returned, it can be used to educate others. But this money is not to be taken from the tithe, but from a separate fund secured for that purpose....
"Now in regard to educating students in our schools. It is a good idea; it will have to be done; but God forbid that in the place of practicing self-denial and self-sacrifice (of) our individual selves, to do this work, we should subtract from the Lord's portion, specially reserved to sustain the ministers in active labor in the field, and...to (keep) at work those who are already ordained for the work." Letter 40, March 16, 1897 (Manuscript Release #1045, p. 2-3).
24) "...those who are officiating in this work see that there is not money in the treasury to pay the minister. They are withdrawing the tithe for other expenses,--to...some charity. God is not glorified in any such work. We have to raise our voice against this kind of management." Manuscript 17, March 14, 1897 (Series A #10, p. 19).
25) "Let each church feel her responsibility to have a special interest in the feeble and aged. One or two among them can certainly be taken care of. The tithe should not be appropriated for this work. The word of God has specified how the tithe should be used." Manuscript 43, August 2, 1900 (Manuscript Release #177, p. 1).
26) "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, vol 3, p. 418 col 2, December 1, 1896 (Welfare Ministry, p. 277).
27) "The widows and fatherless were to be supported by contributions from the church. Their wants were not to be relieved by the church, but by special donations. The tithe was to be consecrated to the Lord, and was always to be used for the support of the ministry." Letter 9, Jan 24, 1899 (Manuscript Releases, vol 1, p. 192).
28) "'We (satan and his angels) must do our utmost to prevent those who labor in God's cause from obtaining means to use against us. Keep the money in our own ranks. The more means they obtain, the more they will injure our kingdom by taking from us our subjects.'" Spirit of Prophecy, vol 4, p. 339.
29) "There are only two places in the world where we can deposit our treasures--in God's storehouse or in satan's, and all that is not devoted to Christ's service is counted on satan's side and goes to strengthen his cause." Testimonies, vol 6, p. 448.
"...if God pronounces a woe upon those who are called to preach the truth and refuse to obey, a heavier woe rests upon those who take upon them this sacred work without clean hands and pure hearts. As there are woes for those who preach the truth while they are unsanctified in heart and life, so there are woes for those who receive and maintain the unsanctified in the position which they cannot fill..." Testimonies, vol 2, p. 552.
30) "When those who are to appropriate to the needs of the Lord's work the means in His treasury, have unselfishly tried to gain a right understanding of the situation, they should come to the mercy-seat, asking for clear intuition and heavenly wisdom, that they may see the necessities of the far-off countries, as well as of those nearer by. Never will they seek the Lord in vain. As they ask Him to help them to advance the work in regions beyond, they will receive grace from on high." Gospel Workers, p. 455.
31) "The truth for this time embraces the whole gospel." Testimonies, vol 6, p. 291.
"Jesus Christ and him crucified" 1 Corinthians 2:2.
"The sealing angel is to place a mark upon the foreheads of all who are separated from sin and sinners..." Testimonies, vol 5, p. 505.
"The message of present truth must be carried to those who have never heard it. We pray that the Lord will give you wisdom to place your means where it will build up the cause of God in the earth." Manuscript 13, March 25, 1908 (Manuscript Release #454, p. 29).
32) "Will a man rob God? Yet ye have robbed Me. But ye say, Wherein have we robbed Thee? In tithes and offerings. Ye are cursed with a curse: for ye have robbed Me..." Malachi 3:8.
33) "...Christ assigned to men the work of spreading the gospel. But while some go forth to preach, He calls upon others to answer His claims upon them for tithes and offerings with which to support the ministry and to spread the printed truth all over the land." Testimonies, vol 4, p. 472.
34) "A steward identifies himself with his master. He accepts the responsibilities of a steward, and he must act in his master's stead, doing as his master would do were he presiding. His master's interests become his. The position of a steward is one of dignity because his master trusts him. If in any wise he acts selfishly and turns the advantages gained by trading with his lord's goods to his own advantage, he has perverted the trust reposed in him...
"God has given special direction as to the use of the tithe. He does not design that His work shall be crippled for want of means. That there may be no haphazard work and no error, He has made our duty on these points very plain. The portion that God has reserved for Himself is not to be diverted to any other purpose than that which He has specified. Let none feel at liberty to retain their tithe, to use according to their own judgment. They are not to use it for themselves in an emergency, nor to apply it as they see fit, even in what they may regard as the Lord's work." Testimonies, vol 9, p. 246-247.
35) "Will you withhold from God His own? Will you divert from the treasury the portion of means which the Lord claims as His? If so, you are robbing God, and every dollar is charged against you in the books of heaven." Review and Herald, vol 2, p. 451 col 2, December 23, 1890 (Counsels on Stewardship, p. 86).
36) "The tithe is the Lord's, and those who meddle with it will be punished with the loss of their heavenly treasure unless they repent. Let the work no longer be hedged up because the tithe has been diverted into various channels other than the one to which the Lord has said it should go." Testimonies, vol 9, p. 249-250.
"...if you have robbed the Lord, make restitution. As far as possible, make the past right, and then ask the Saviour to pardon you." Review and Herald, vol 4, p. 475 col 1, December 23, 1902 (Counsels on Stewardship, p. 98).
37) "As the Giver of every blessing, God claims a certain portion of all we possess. This is His provision to sustain the preaching of the gospel. And by making this return to God, we are to show our appreciation of His gifts. But if we withhold from Him that which is His own, how can we claim His blessing? If we are unfaithful stewards of earthly things, how can we expect Him to entrust us with the things of heaven? It may be that here is the secret of unanswered prayer.
"But the Lord in His great mercy is ready to forgive, and He says, 'Bring ye all the tithes into the storehouse,...and prove Me now herewith,...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...'
"So it is with every other one of God's requirements. All His gifts are promised on condition of obedience." Christ's Object Lessons, p. 144-145.
38) "The Lord calls for His tithe...Besides this, He calls for your gifts and offerings. No one is compelled to present his tithe or his gifts and offerings to the Lord. But just as surely as God's word is given to us, just as surely will He require His own with usury at the hand of every human being. If men are unfaithful in rendering to God His own, if they disregard God's charge to His stewards, they will not long have the blessing of that which the Lord has entrusted to them." Review and Herald, vol 3, p. 418 col 1-2, December 1, 1896 (Counsels on Stewardship, p. 82).