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Is God Being Robbed?

Written by: John Sernaque


CS - Counsels on Stewardship (1940) Chapter 19—Appropriating God’s Reserve Funds

The Lord has of late given me special testimonies to bear in regard to the warnings and promises He has given through Malachi. After I had spoken with great plainness to the church in Sydney [Australia], and was putting on my wraps in the dressing room, the question was asked me, “Sister White, do you think my father should pay tithes? He has met with great loss recently, and he says that as soon as he cancels his debt, he will pay tithes.” I asked, “How do you regard our obligations to God, who gives us life and breath, and all the blessings we enjoy? Would you have our indebtedness to God continually increasing? Would you rob Him of the portion which He has never given us to use for any other purpose than to advance His work, to sustain His servants in the ministry? For the answer to your question the prophet Malachi asks, ‘Will a man rob God? ... But ye say, Wherein have we robbed Thee?’—as though there was a willingness to misunderstand this subject. The answer comes: ‘In tithes and offerings. Ye are cursed with a curse: for ye have robbed Me, even this whole nation.’ After such a statement, would I dare say to you, You need not pay tithes as long as you are in debt? Shall I tell you to be sure to pay all you owe any man, although you rob God to do so?” {CS 92.1}

If all would take the Scripture just as it reads, and open their hearts to understand the word of the Lord, they would not say, “I cannot see the tithing question. I cannot see that in my circumstances I should pay tithes.” “Will a man rob God?” The consequence of doing so is plainly stated, and I would not risk the consequence. All who will take a wholehearted, decided position to obey God; who will not take the Lord’s reserved funds—His own money—to settle their debts; who will render to the Lord the portion that He claims as His own, will receive the blessing of God which is promised to all who obey Him.—. {CS 92.2}

Our budgets are to be set after returning God’s portion to His treasury, and then we are to calculate our expenses, including the repayment of debt. If it were not for God’s grace, we would have nothing. God does not force us; it is up to us to be obedient and loyal to His requirements, not from fear, but from love. Those that return the portion God claims as His own will be blessed, just as He has promised. However, if you rob from God, you will be cursed with a curse. The choice is clear: receive a blessing or a curse. I choose the blessing.

Our kind and gracious Father,

We thank You for Your loving grace in providing all our needs in abundance. We thank You for giving us the strength and wherewithal to labor for our wages. We joyfully return the portion required from us, and pray You bless these means and bless us as well as You have promised. We pray these funds help in proclaiming the everlasting gospel to all who do not know who You

are, and help those in need. Help us be disciplined to live within our means and not become debtors. Let us be the head and not the tail. We thank You for being so good to us, in the name of Christ Jesus, we pray. Amen.

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