I was shown that the recording angel makes a faithful record of every offering
dedicated to God, and put into the treasury, and also of the final result of the means
thus bestowed. The eye of God takes cognisance of every farthing devoted to His cause and
of the willingness or reluctance of the giver. The motive in giving is also chronicled.
Those self-sacrificing, consecrated ones who render back to God the things that are His,
as He requires of them, will be rewarded according to their works.--2T, 518, 519.
I was shown that there have been unhappy results from making urgent calls for means at
our camp meetings. This matter has been pressed too hard. Many men of means would not have
done anything had not their hearts been softened and melted under the influence of the
testimonies borne to them. But the poor have been deeply affected and, in the sincerity of
their souls, have pledged means which they had a heart to give, but which they were unable
to pay. In most instances urgent calls for means have left a wrong impression upon some
minds. Some have thought that money was the burden of our message. Many have gone to their
homes blessed because they had donated to the cause of God. But there are better methods
of raising means, by freewill offerings, than by urgent calls at our large gatherings. If
all come up to the plan of systematic benevolence, and if our tract and missionary workers
are faithful in their department of the work, the treasury will be well supplied without
these urgent calls at our large gatherings.--3T 510.
Sin will rest upon us as a people if we do not make most earnest efforts to ascertain
those who have donated to the different enterprises who are too poor to give anything. All
that they, in the liberality of their souls, have given should be returned to them with an
additional gift to relieve their necessities. The raising of money has been carried to
extremes. It has left a bad impression on many minds. Making urgent calls is not the best
plan of raising means. There has been manifested an indifference to investigate the cases
of the poor and make returns to them, that they should not suffer for the necessaries of
life. A neglect of our duty in this respect, of becoming acquainted with the necessities
of the needy and of relieving their pressing wants by returning means which has been given
to advance the cause of God, would be on our part a neglect of our Saviour in the persons
of His saints.--3T 510, 511.
Our greatest burden should be, not the raising of money, but the salvation of souls;
and to this end we should do all in our power to teach students how to lead souls to a
knowledge of the third angel's message. When we are successful in the work of soulsaving,
those who are added to the faith will, in turn, use their ability in giving the truth to
others. When we labour diligently for the salvation of our fellow men, God will prosper
our every effort.--9T 85, 86.
When money is raised for religious purposes, to what means do many churches resort? To
bazaars, suppers, fancy fairs, even to lotteries and like devices. Often the place set
apart for God's worship is desecrated by feasting and drinking, buying, selling, and
merrymaking. Respect for the house of God and reverence for His worship are lessened in
the minds of the youth. The barriers of self-restraint are weakened. Selfishness,
appetite, the love of display, are appealed to, and they strengthen as they are
Professed Christians reject the Lord's plan of raising means for His work; and to what
do they resort to supply the lack? God sees the wickedness of the methods they adopt.
Places of worship are defiled by all manner of idolatrous dissipation, that a little money
may be won from selfish pleasure lovers to pay church debts or to sustain the work of the
church. Many of these persons would not of their own accord pay one shilling for religious
purposes. Where, in God's directions for the support of His work, do we find any mention
of bazaars, concerts, fancy fairs, and similar entertainments? Must the Lord's cause be
dependent upon the very things He has forbidden in His word--upon those things that turn
the mind away from God, from sobriety, from piety and holiness?
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. 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 practises as a misrepresentation
of the religion of Jesus Christ.-- CS 204, 205.
In professedly Christian gatherings Satan throws a religious garment over delusive
pleasures and unholy revelling to give them the appearance of sanctity, and the
consciences of many are quieted because means are raised to defray church expenses. Men
refuse to give for the love of God, but for the love of pleasure and the indulgence of
appetite for selfish considerations they will part with their money.
Is it because there is not power in the lessons of Christ upon benevolence, and in His
example, and the grace of God upon the heart to lead men to glorify God with their
substance, that such a course must be resorted to in order to sustain the church? The
injury sustained to the physical, mental, and moral health in these scenes of amusement
and gluttony is not small. And the day of final reckoning will show souls lost through the
influence of these scenes of gaiety and folly.
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.
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.
Satan's temptations succeed with the professed followers of Christ on the point of
indulgence of pleasure and appetite. Clothed as an angel of light, he will quote Scripture
to justify the temptations he places before men to indulge the appetite, and in worldly
pleasures which suit the carnal heart. The professed followers of Christ are weak in moral
power and are fascinated with the bribe which Satan has presented before them, and he
gains the victory.
How does God look upon churches that are sustained by such means? Christ cannot accept
these offerings, because they were not given through their love and devotion to Him but
through their idolatry of self. But what many would not do for the love of Christ they
will do for the love of delicate luxuries to gratify the appetite and for love of worldly
amusements to please the carnal heart.--RH Oct. 13, 1874.
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
Such an example makes an impression upon the minds of youth. They notice that lotteries
and fairs and games are sanctioned by the church, and they think there is something
fascinating in this way of obtaining means. . . .
Let us stand clear of all these church corruptions, dissipations, and festivals, which
have a demoralising 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 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.-- RH, Nov. 21, 1878.
My brother, I earnestly appeal to you to study the word of God, and let His light come
into your mind. I am intensely anxious that our people shall not be corrupted by your
commercial spirit and by your representations regarding the Lord's methods of guidance.
God condemns the spirit of chance that is revealed in your work. He forbids that we give
such a lesson, by precept or example, to any souls, believers or unbelievers; for it is an
evil that will spoil the experience of all who allow its principles to rule.
The Lord has shown me that your religious experience is becoming a matter of chance. It
savours of gambling. I beseech you that you let this experience go no farther. You are
educating church-members to think it a virtue to obtain money in a way that should not be
admitted among us. The methods you are advocating for the raising of means should never
come into our ranks at all, much less be carried to the lengths to which you and your
associates have taken them. . . .
It is dishonouring to God for men to make such radical movements as you have made
without any higher direction than you have had. You rejoice at the outlook as if you knew
that the Lord stood by your side to guide your hand as you make your test. But this is not
the method by which matters of eternal interest are to be decided. Rather it is one of
Satan's schemes for binding about the work of God. Let not the idea be entertained that
any form of chance work is the dictation of the Holy Spirit; I know it is not. I can speak
decidedly regarding this, for I know whereof I speak. The act of tossing up a piece of
silver to gain a knowledge of duty, shows the judgement of a man who needs to come to God
in confession, and in simplicity and faith to seek the Lord for true guidance. . . .
There is no chance work with God in the directing of His people. Let us never forget
that His providences guide in every circumstance of life, and that in the determination of
important questions regarding His work and people there is no uncertainty. Remembering
this, God's people will estimate at their true value such movements as this in which
Brother Harris is now engaged. Let our people reason from cause to effect, and place their
true value upon human devisings for which there is not a "Thus saith the
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