The following article is written by Ellen White and is found in 7 Manuscript Releases pages 135-138..
“Thou shalt command the children of Israel that they bring thee pure olive oil, beaten, for the light, to cause the lamp to burn always.” This was to be a continual offering, that the house of God might be properly supplied with that which was necessary for His service. His people today are to remember that the house of worship is the Lord’s property, and that it is to be scrupulously cared for. But the funds for this work are not to come from the tithe. 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. Those who have charge of our church buildings are to be supplied with the means that is necessary to keep these buildings in good repair. But this money is not to come from the tithe.
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. One reasons that the tithe may be appropriated to school purposes. Still others would reason that canvassers and colporteurs should be supported from the tithe. 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. There should today be in the field one hundred well qualified laborers where now there is but one.
God cannot look upon the present condition of things with approval, but with condemnation. His treasury is deprived of the means that should be used for the support of the gospel ministry in fields nigh and afar off. Those who proclaim the message of truth before great congregations, and who do house-to-house work as well are doing double missionary work, and in no case are their salaries to be cut down.
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.
There is a lack of ministers because ministers have not been encouraged. Some ministers who have been sent to foreign lands, to enter fields never worked before, have been given the instruction, “You must sustain yourselves. We have not the means with which to support you.” This ought not to be, and it would not be if the tithe, with gifts and offerings, were brought into the treasury. 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…
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