Bible Study Guides – Stewardship as a Talent

August 15 – 21, 2021

Key Text

“His lord said unto him, Well done, good and faithful servant; thou hast been faithful over a few things, I will make thee ruler over many things: enter thou into the joy of thy lord” (Matthew 25:23).

Study Help: Testimonies to Ministers and Gospel Workers, 165–170.


“God has committed to each of us sacred trusts, for which He holds us accountable. It is His purpose that we so educate the mind as to be able to exercise the talents He has given us in such a manner as to accomplish the greatest good and reflect the glory to the Giver.” Testimonies, vol. 3, 32.



1.a. What does the Lord Himself give to every faithful steward? 1 Corinthians 12:8–11.

Note: “The talents that Christ entrusts to His church represent especially the gifts and blessings imparted by the Holy Spirit. [1 Corinthians 12:8–11 quoted.] All men do not receive the same gifts, but to every servant of the Master some gift of the Spirit is promised.” Christ’s Object Lessons, 327.

1.b. What does the Giver expect from His stewards? Luke 19:23.

Note: “God bestows various talents and gifts upon men, not that they may lie useless, nor that they may be employed in amusements or selfish gratification, but that they may be a blessing to others by enabling men to do earnest, self-sacrificing missionary work. God grants man time for the purpose of promoting His glory.” The Youth’s Instructor, November 6, 1902.

“Our heavenly Father requires no more nor less than He has given us ability to do. He lays upon His servants no burdens that they are not able to bear. ‘He knoweth our frame; He remembereth that we are dust’ (Psalm 103:14). All that He claims from us we through divine grace can render.” Christ’s Object Lessons, 362.



2.a. How should faithful stewards find out, develop, and use their talents? Proverbs 1:7; 2:3–9; James 1:5.

Note: “Many apparently unpromising youth are richly endowed with talents that are put to no use. Their faculties lie hidden because of a lack of discernment on the part of their educators. In many a boy or girl outwardly as unattractive as a rough-hewn stone, may be found precious material that will stand the test of heat and storm and pressure. The true educator, keeping in view what his pupils may become, will recognize the value of the material upon which he is working.” Education, 232.

“God has a great work to be done in a short time. He has committed to the young talents of intellect, time, and means, and He holds them responsible for the use they make of these good gifts. He calls upon them to come to the front, to resist the corrupting, bewitching influences of this fast age, and to become qualified to labor in His cause. They cannot become fitted for usefulness without putting heart and energy into the work of preparation.” The Youth’s Instructor, May 7, 1884.

2.b. How are talents increased? 2 Corinthians 9:6.

Note: “Talents used are talents multiplied. Success is not the result of chance or of destiny; it is the outworking of God’s own providence, the reward of faith and discretion, of virtue and persevering effort. The Lord desires us to use every gift we have; and if we do this, we shall have greater gifts to use.” Christ’s Object Lessons, 353.

“Some of the youth have been diligent and persevering, and they are now making their mark, and are occupying important positions in the cause of God. We often hear persons speak of the talents and ability of these youth as though God had bestowed upon them special gifts; but this is a mistake. It is the use we make of the talents given us, that makes us strong. There are many who might be well qualified to engage in the work of the Lord, who fail to improve upon the ability God has given them.” The Review and Herald, March 25, 1880.



3.a. What should be understood by those who feel they have the least amount of talent? 1 Corinthians 7:20–24; Mark 14:8; Matthew 25:14–30.

Note: “Many of the youth repine because they have not ability to do some large work, and they covet talents by which they might do some wonderful things; but while they are spending their time in vain desires, they are making a failure of life. They are overlooking opportunities which they might improve in doing deeds of love in the path of life in which their feet are set.” The Youth’s Instructor, March 2, 1893.

3.b. How does the Lord evaluate the use of our talents? 2 Corinthians 5:10; Luke 12:47, 48.

Note: “When the Lord takes account of His servants, the return from every talent will be scrutinized. The work done reveals the character of the worker.” Christ’s Object Lessons, 360.

“Those who might have exerted an influence to save souls had they stood in the counsel of God, yet failed to do their duty through selfishness, indolence, or because they were ashamed of the cross of Christ, will not only lose their own souls, but will have the blood of poor sinners upon their garments. Such will be required to render an account for the good that they could have done had they been consecrated to God, but did not do because of their unfaithfulness. Those who have really tasted the sweets of redeeming love will not, cannot, rest until all with whom they associate are made acquainted with the plan of salvation.” Testimonies, vol. 1, 511.

“We shall individually be held responsible for doing one jot less than we have ability to do. The Lord measures with exactness every possibility for service. The unused capabilities are as much brought into account as are those that are improved. For all that we might become through the right use of our talents God holds us responsible.” Christ’s Object Lessons, 363.



4.a. What are the responsibilities of those who are strong toward weaker members? Romans 15:1.

Note: “The special gifts of the Spirit are not the only talents represented in the parable [of the talents (Matthew 25:13–32.)]. It includes all gifts and endowments, whether original or acquired, natural or spiritual. All are to be employed in Christ’s service. In becoming His disciples, we surrender ourselves to Him with all that we are and have. These gifts He returns to us purified and ennobled, to be used for His glory in blessing our fellow men.” Christ’s Object Lessons, 328.

“The power of speech is a talent that should be diligently cultivated. Of all the gifts we have received from God, none is capable of being a greater blessing than this. With the voice we convince and persuade, with it we offer prayer and praise to God, and with it we tell others of the Redeemer’s love. How important, then, that it be so trained as to be most effective for good.” Ibid., 335.

“Our time belongs to God. Every moment is His, and we are under the most solemn obligation to improve it to His glory. Of no talent He has given will He require a more strict account than of our time.” Ibid., 342.

“Parents should teach their children the value and right use of time. Teach them that to do something which will honor God and bless humanity is worth striving for. Even in their early years they can be missionaries for God.” Ibid., 345.

“God also entrusts men with means. He gives them power to get wealth. He waters the earth with the dews of heaven and with the showers of refreshing rain. He gives the sunlight, which warms the earth, awakening to life the things of nature and causing them to flourish and bear fruit. And He asks for a return of His own.” Ibid., 351.

“Our money has not been given us that we might honor and glorify ourselves. As faithful stewards we are to use it for the honor and glory of God. Some think that only a portion of their means is the Lord’s. When they have set apart a portion for religious and charitable purposes, they regard the remainder as their own, to be used as they see fit. But in this they mistake. All we possess is the Lord’s, and we are accountable to Him for the use we make of it. In the use of every penny it will be seen whether we love God supremely and our neighbor as ourselves.” Messages to Young People, 310.



5.a. What should be the focus of all our various talents? Philippians 3:7–14.

 Note: “You are a spectacle unto the world, to angels, and to men. … Make the most of the golden moments, putting to use the talents God has given you, that you may accumulate something for the Master, and be a blessing to all around you. Let the heavenly angels look down with joy upon you because you are loyal and true to Jesus Christ.” The Youth’s Instructor, July 12, 1894.

“It is the wise improvement of your opportunities, the cultivation of your God-given talents, that will make you men and women that can be approved of God, and a blessing to society. Let your standard be high, and with indomitable energy, make the most of your talents and opportunities, and press to the mark.” Fundamentals of Christian Education, 87.

“Are you going to give yourselves to the Lord? Are you ready to engage in the work He has left you to do? Jesus said to His disciples, ‘Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature’ (Mark 16:15). In the face of this command, will you appropriate your time and your energies as inclination may dictate, instead of following the counsel of God?” Sons and Daughters of God, 273.

“Here, in this world, in these last days, persons will show what power affects their hearts and controls their actions. If it is the power of divine truth, it will lead to good works. …

“Young and old, God is now testing you. You are deciding your own eternal destiny.” Maranatha, 43.



1    How can specific talents best be cultivated for the Master?

2    How does the church benefit from talent stewardship?

3    What should I, personally, be considering more seriously about those talents entrusted to me?

4    What must I realize about my accountability before God for my talents?

5    Describe the responsibility of all Christians, regardless of age or ability.

Copyright 2011, Reformation Herald Publishing Association, 5240 Hollins Road, Roanoke, Virginia 24019-5048, U.S.A.

Bible Study Guides – The Steward

Faithful Stewardship

June 27 – July 3, 2021

Key Text

“Trust in the Lord with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding. In all thy ways acknowledge Him, and He shall direct thy paths” (Proverbs 3:5, 6).

Study Help: The Ministry of Healing, 500–502.


“That man might not lose the blessed results of benevolence, our Redeemer formed the plan of enlisting him as His co-worker.” The Review and Herald, August 25, 1874.



1.a. What are the foundational principles of faithful stewardship? Luke 16:10, 11, 13.

Note: “If the word of God is cherished as an abiding principle in the heart, and held fast under all and every circumstance, man is brought, with his entrusted capabilities, under [subjection] to the Lord Jesus Christ. His undivided powers, even his thoughts, are brought into captivity to Christ. This is true sanctification. All the parts of the experience blend in complete harmony. He is ‘wanting in nothing.’ He does not keep part to himself, to do with just as he pleases.” In Heavenly Places, 190.

1.b. Explain what a primary priority of the faithful steward is and the chief asset sought. Matthew 6:33.

Note: “[Matthew 6:22 quoted.] Singleness of purpose, wholehearted devotion to God, is the condition pointed out by the Saviour’s words. Let the purpose be sincere and unwavering to discern the truth and to obey it at whatever cost, and you will receive divine enlightenment.” Thoughts from the Mount of Blessing, 91.



2.a. A steward manages another’s property. Name some important things of which we are stewards. Matthew 25:14–30.

 Note: “Those with whom God has entrusted His truth, must possess the same beneficent spirit that Christ manifested. They must adopt the same broad plans of action. They should have a kind, generous spirit toward the poor, and in a special sense feel that they are God’s stewards. They must hold all they have—property, mental powers, spiritual strength—as not their own, but only lent them to advance the cause of Christ in the earth. Like Christ, they should not shun the society of their fellow-men, but should seek it with the purpose of bestowing upon others the heavenly benefits they have received from God.” Gospel Workers, 335.

2.b. Where is wealth to be accumulated and why? Matthew 6:19–21.

Note: “God desires us to choose the heavenly in place of the earthly. He opens before us the possibilities of a heavenly investment. He would give encouragement to our loftiest aims, security to our choicest treasure. He declares, ‘I will make a man more precious than fine gold; even a man than the golden wedge of Ophir’ (Isaiah 13:12). When the riches that moth devours and rust corrupts shall be swept away, Christ’s followers can rejoice in their heavenly treasure, the riches that are imperishable.” Christ’s Object Lessons, 374.

2.c. How are we to handle the wealth entrusted to us by the Master? 1 Timothy 6:18, 19; Proverbs 19:17.

Note: “All should feel that they are not proprietors, but stewards, and that the time is coming when they must give an account for the use they have made of their Lord’s money. Means will be needed in the cause of God. With David they should say: ‘All things come of Thee, and of Thine own have we given Thee’ (1 Chronicles 29:14).” Testimonies, vol. 5, 382.



3.a. What should the faithful steward consider in the face of difficult times/uncertainty? Philippians 4:13; Romans 8:28.

3.b. What warnings come to faithful stewards with regard to our attitudes and motives? 1 John 2:15, 16.

Note: “Satan is constantly presenting inducements to God’s chosen people to attract their minds from the solemn work of preparation for the scenes just in the future. He is in every sense of the word a deceiver, a skillful charmer. He clothes his plans and snares with coverings of light borrowed from heaven. He tempted Eve to eat of the forbidden fruit by making her believe that she would be greatly advantaged thereby. Satan leads his agents to introduce various inventions and patent rights and other enterprises, that Sabbathkeeping Adventists who are in haste to be rich may fall into temptation, become ensnared, and pierce themselves through with many sorrows. He is wide awake, busily engaged in leading the world captive, and through the agency of worldlings he keeps up a continual pleasing excitement to draw the unwary who profess to believe the truth to unite with worldlings. The lust of the eye, the desire for excitement and pleasing entertainment, is a temptation and snare to God’s people. Satan has many finely woven, dangerous nets which are made to appear innocent, but with which he is skillfully preparing to infatuate God’s people. There are pleasing shows, entertainments, phrenological lectures, and an endless variety of enterprises constantly arising calculated to lead the people of God to love the world and the things that are in the world. Through this union with the world, faith becomes weakened, and means which should be invested in the cause of present truth are transferred to the enemy’s ranks. Through these different channels Satan is skillfully draining the purses of God’s people, and for it the displeasure of the Lord is upon them.” Testimonies, vol. 1, 550, 551.



4.a. What is promised to those who trust in the Lord? Psalm 32:10; Proverbs 3:5, 6; Psalm 34:22.

Note: “The psalmist says, ‘Trust in the Lord, and do good; so shalt thou dwell in the land, and verily thou shalt be fed’ (Psalm 37:3). ‘Trust in the Lord.’ Each day has its burdens, its cares and perplexities; and when we meet how ready we are to talk of our difficulties and trials. So many borrowed troubles intrude, so many fears are indulged, such a weight of anxiety is expressed, that one might suppose we had no pitying, loving Saviour ready to hear all our requests and to be to us a present help in every time of need.” Steps to Christ, 121.

4.b. Name some of the lessons from nature that inspire trust in the Lord. Matthew 6:25–30.

Note: “Consider, says Jesus, how the lilies grow; how, springing from the cold, dark earth, or from the mud of the river bed, the plants unfold in loveliness and fragrance. Who would dream of the possibilities of beauty in the rough brown bulb of the lily? But when the life of God, hidden therein, unfolds at His call in the rain and the sunshine, men marvel at the vision of grace and loveliness. Even so will the life of God unfold in every human soul that will yield itself to the ministry of His grace, which, free as the rain and the sunshine, comes with its benediction to all. It is the word of God that creates the flowers, and the same word will produce in you the graces of His Spirit.

“God’s law is the law of love. He has surrounded you with beauty to teach you that you are not placed on earth merely to delve for self, to dig and build, to toil and spin, but to make life bright and joyous and beautiful with the love of Christ—like the flowers, to gladden other lives by the ministry of love.” Thoughts from the Mount of Blessing, 97.



5.a. What value is placed on people who appear to be lost? Luke 15:8, 9.

Note: “Forgetting our own difficulties and troubles, let us praise God for an opportunity to live for the glory of His name. Let the fresh blessings of each new day awaken praise in our hearts for these tokens of His loving care. When you open your eyes in the morning, thank God that He has kept you through the night. Thank Him for His peace in your heart. Morning, noon, and night, let gratitude as a sweet perfume ascend to heaven.” The Review and Herald, June 2, 1910.

“Have we not reason to talk of God’s goodness and to tell of His power? When friends are kind to us we esteem it a privilege to thank them for their kindness. How much more should we count it a joy to return thanks to the Friend who has given us every good and perfect gift. Then let us, in every church, cultivate thanksgiving to God. Let us educate our lips to praise God in the family circle.” My Life Today, 170.

5.b. For what should we give thanks? Psalms 119:14, 72, 127.

Note: “The glorious possibilities set before Israel could be realized only through obedience to God’s commandments. The same elevation of character, the same fulness of blessing—blessing on mind and soul and body, blessing on house and field, blessing for this life and for the life to come—is possible for us only through obedience.” Christ’s Object Lessons, 305.



1    How can you demonstrate commitment to the cause of the gospel?

2    What is the job description of a faithful steward?

3    How does your attitude affect your financial decision-making?

4    What is necessary to put God totally in control of your finances?

5    What do you discover when you count your blessings?

Copyright 2011, Reformation Herald Publishing Association, 5240 Hollins Road, Roanoke, Virginia 24019-5048, U.S.A.

God’s Sacred Treasure

In 1 Kings 17, an enlightening story is recorded from the life of Elijah. The story took place during the time when the land of Israel was under the curse of God and was not receiving any rain or dew because of their rebellion against the God of heaven.

At the beginning of this three- and-a-half-year period, when it did not rain, the Lord sent Elijah to hide by the Brook Cherith to escape the grasp of King Ahab who was seeking for him all over the land. However, eventually, the brook dried up, and God gave Elijah further instructions. Notice: “And it happened after a while that the brook dried up, because there had been no rain in the land. Then the word of the Lord came to him, saying, ‘Arise, go to Zarephath, which [belongs] to Sidon, and dwell there. See, I have commanded a widow there to provide for you.’ ” 1 Kings 17:7–9.

Elijah was sent out of the land of Israel to one of the most wicked areas of the world. There, in Zarephath, Elijah met a widow who was out gathering sticks to make a final meal for herself and her son. Despite her desperate situation, this widow shared what little she had with the prophet, and, as a result, wonderful things happened. The Bible records: “So she went away and did according to the word of Elijah; and she and he and her household ate for [many] days. The bin of flour was not used up, nor did the jar of oil run dry, according to the word of the Lord which He spoke by Elijah.” 1 Kings 17:15, 16.

This was not the only blessing she received from the Lord because she willingly gave her all. The story is later told of the death of her only son. In her great distress, she went to the prophet Elijah, and he cried to the Lord, saying, “ ‘O Lord my God, have You also brought tragedy on the widow with whom I lodge, by killing her son?’ . . . Then the Lord heard the voice of Elijah; and the soul of the child came back to him, and he revived. And Elijah took the child and brought him down from the upper room into the house, and gave him to his mother. And Elijah said, ‘See, your son lives!’ Then the woman said to Elijah, ‘Now by this I know that you [are] a man of God, [and] that the word of the Lord in your mouth [is] the truth.’ ” 1 Kings 17:20, 22–24.

God sent His prophet to a woman who was very poor, so poor that she was at the point of starvation. When she granted Elijah’s request for a meal, she showed confidence in the man of God that had come and asked a favor of her. Before she received a favor from God, she had to demonstrate her faith.

It is interesting that God chose to send His servant to such a poor household to be sustained during this difficult time. I am sure there were plenty of rich people close by who had houses and servants and silver and gold, but God ordained that His servant should be sustained by a poor widow woman. It is an amazing thing, but over and over again I have seen the Lord’s work sustained by the widows and the orphans. Why is this? Is it because God needs the resources of the widows and orphans? No. The money is not important to the Lord. It is the motive of the giver that is important in His eyes.

Ellen White wrote about this in Testimonies, vol. 3, 382: “God could have reached His object in saving sinners without the aid of man; but He knew that man could not be happy without acting a part in the great work in which he would be cultivating self-denial and benevolence. That man might not lose the blessed results of benevolence, our Redeemer formed the plan of enlisting him as His co-worker.” God could finish His work without any of our help, but it is His desire that we learn the lesson of benevolence and self-denial, so He gives us the blessing of assisting with His work.

“Every good thing of earth was placed here by the bountiful hand of God as an expression of His love to man. The poor are His, and the cause of religion is His. He has placed means in the hands of men, that His divine gifts may flow through human channels in doing the work appointed us in saving our fellow men. Everyone has his appointed work in the great field; and yet none should receive the idea that God is dependent upon man. He could speak the word, and every son of poverty would be made rich. In a moment of time He could heal the human race of all their diseases. He might dispense with ministers altogether and make angels the ambassadors of His truth. He might have written the truth upon the firmament, or imprinted it upon the leaves of the trees and upon the flowers of the field; or He might with an audible voice have proclaimed it from heaven. But the all-wise God did not choose any of these ways. He knew that man must have something to do in order that life might be a blessing to him. The gold and silver are the Lord’s, and He could rain them from heaven if He chose; but instead of this He has made man His steward, entrusting him with means, not to be hoarded, but to be used in benefiting others. He thus makes man the medium through which to distribute His blessings on earth. God planned the system of beneficence in order that man might become, like his Creator, benevolent and unselfish in character, and finally be a partaker with Him of the eternal, glorious reward.” Ibid., 472, 473.

In all of God’s dealings with His creatures, His purpose is our sanctification, the development of our characters that we might become like Him in character—unselfish and benevolent. It is His desire that our constant impulse will be to do something to bless someone else. And if we follow His instructions, with humble faith and obedience, the result will be the perfection of our characters. The problem is that so often we are haphazard or lackadaisical and do not follow God’s instructions exactly. Then we do not reap the benefits that He desires to bestow upon us.

The Tithing Plan

God has given implicit instructions throughout the Old and New Testaments in regard to our stewardship of both time and money. The fourth commandment deals with time. The tithing plan gives us instruction about our money.

Tithe is first mentioned in regard to Abraham in Genesis 14. Here the Bible records that Abraham “gave him [Melchizedek] a tithe of all.” Verse 20. So it is clear that Abraham understood the tithing plan.

In Genesis 28, we read, concerning the experience of Jacob: “Then Jacob made a vow, saying, ‘If God will be with me, and keep me in this way that I am going, and give me bread to eat and clothing to put on, so that I come back to my father’s house in peace, then the Lord shall be my God. And this stone which I have set as a pillar shall be God’s house, and of all that You give me I will surely give a tenth to You.’ ” Verses 20–22. Jacob also understood the tithing plan.

The Lord gave Moses very explicit instructions about the use of the tithe. He said, “Behold, I have given the children of Levi all the tithes in Israel as an inheritance in return for the work which they perform, the work of the tabernacle of meeting.” Numbers 18:21.

Because the Levites were faithful to God during the golden-calf apostasy, the Lord gave them a special blessing—the responsibility of the care of the sanctuary. Instead of giving them an inheritance of property in the Promised Land, the Lord instructed that they should be sustained by the tithe.

Paul wrote about this in 1 Corinthians 9:13, 14: “Do you not know that those who minister the holy things eat [of the things] of the temple, and those who serve at the altar partake of [the offerings of] the altar? Even so the Lord has commanded that those who preach the gospel should live from the gospel.”

The apostle taught that just as the Levites, in the Old Covenant, received the tithes for the work that they did in the sanctuary, those who preach the gospel, in the New Covenant, are to live of the gospel (from the tithe). The Bible clearly tells us how and for what purposes the tithe is to be spent. Through God’s special messenger for the last days, the Lord sent even more explicit instructions about where the tithe is and is not to be used. We will look at several important passages.

“The Lord has specified: the tenth of all your possessions is mine; your gifts and offerings are to be brought into the treasury, to be used to advance my cause, to send the living preacher to open the Scriptures to those who sit in darkness.” The Youth’s Instructor, August 26, 1897.

“And He says to us, ‘A portion of the money I have enabled you to gain is mine. Put it into the treasury in tithes, in gifts and offerings, that there may be meat in mine house,—that there may be something to sustain those who carry the gospel of my grace to the world.’ ” Review and Herald, May 9, 1893.

“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.” Ibid., April 20, 1905.

“The people today are to remember that the house of worship is God’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.” Echoes from the Field, June 21, 1905.

Ellen White made it clear that these ministers, or workers, could be men or women. When there were some who insisted that ministers’ wives should not be paid, even though they were working just as effectively as their husbands, she gave this strong rebuke: “There are ministers’ wives . . . who have been devoted, earnest, whole soul workers, giving Bible readings and praying with families, helping along by personal efforts just as successfully as their husbands. These women give their whole time, and are told that they receive nothing for their labors because their husbands receive their wages. I tell them to go forward and all such decisions shall be reversed.

“The Word says, ‘The laborer is worthy of his hire.’ When any such decision as this is made, I will, in the name of the Lord, protest. I will feel it my duty to create a fund from my tithe money to pay these women who are accomplishing just as essential work as the ministers are doing, and this tithe I will reserve for work in the same line as that of the ministers, hunting for souls, fishing for souls. I know that the faithful women should be paid wages as is considered proportionate to the pay received by ministers. They carry the burden of souls and should not be treated unjustly. These sisters are giving their time to educating those newly come to the faith, and hire their own work done and pay those who work for them. All these things must be adjusted and set in order and justice be done to all.” Manuscript Releases, vol. 21, 360.

Why We Lack Ministers

Ellen White warned that a great mistake is made when the tithe is withdrawn from the object for which it is to be used, and she described the results that have followed. “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 before worked, have been given the instruction, ‘You must sustain yourselves. We have not the means with which to support you.’ This ought not to be if the tithe, with gifts and offerings, was 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 tithe is sacred, reserved by God for Himself. It is to be brought into His treasury to be used to sustain the gospel laborers in their work.

“The tithe is to be used for the support of the ministry. The opening of new fields requires more ministerial efficiency than we now have and there must be means in the treasury.” Echoes from the Field, June 21, 1905.

We are living in strange times. Now, probably more than in any previous time in Adventism, this plain instruction is being overlooked, and people are spending their tithe for all sorts of projects. The result is that people who are trained to do Bible work cannot engage in the work full time, because they do not receive enough to support their families. Many times I have seen qualified gospel workers spending their days working as computer technicians, nurses, or carpenters, in order to feed and clothe their families, and then trying to work for the Lord in the time that remains. At the same time, we receive calls from people all over the country who are seeking for historic Seventh-day Adventist ministers and Bible workers to serve in their churches. The truth is that there are almost no historic Seventh-day Adventist ministers, and the reason can be summarized as follows:

The leaders in the revival and reformation movement in Adventism have often refused to organize home churches. And when home churches were organized, they were not organized into sisterhoods of churches that could help each other. As a result, only those churches large enough to support a pastor of their own could have pastors at all.

Now, if congregational church government is all you have—and that is all that Seventh-day Advent-ists had at one time—that, of course, is better than total disorganization, but we have never taught congregational church government. We have always believed in full New Testament church organization where the local churches work together for the common good of the cause of God. We must face the facts squarely. The work of revival and reformation in Adventism is years behind of where it could be if all historic Seventh-day Adventist believers would cease the rebellion against New Testament church organization and learn how to work together to plan more organized outreach and distribution of tithe in harmony with inspired counsel. We have to recognize the sad fact that God’s work is lame because of a lack of New Testament church organization.

Of course, the Lord is able to finish His work whether the work is lame or not. We read, in Micah 4:6, 7, “ ‘In that day,’ says the Lord, ‘I will assemble the lame, I will gather the outcast and those whom I have afflicted; I will make the lame a remnant, and the outcast a strong nation; so the Lord will reign over them in Mount Zion from now on, even forever.’ ”

The Lord is able to gather those that are lame, those that are outcasts and have been disfellowshiped from their local churches, into a mighty army to finish His work. The Lord is not dependent on you or me to finish His work. His work will go forward. But the problem is, if we do not follow divine instruction, we will not reap the blessings that God wants us to have. The Lord does not want us to work in a haphazard way. The Lord wants us to come into working order.

The Need for Human Workers

We can spend millions of dollars for all kinds of good projects—radio, television, literature—and I believe in all of these projects, but we will never finish the work with those means alone. The work can only be finished by human workers. That is the way God has ordained it. All of these other methods only plant the seeds, and then human reapers are necessary to gather in the harvest.

A farmer would never spend thousands of dollars to plant a crop, which he had no way to harvest. Yet that is what is done in God’s work all the time. People spend hundreds of thousands or even millions of dollars to plant seeds when there is no provision to send workers to reap the harvest, and then people wonder why there is so little harvest. One of the reasons is because the tithe is not being used to train and hire reapers to go out and reap the harvest.

Ellen White wrote, “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 said it should go. . . . The opening of new fields requires more ministerial efficiency than we now have and there must be means in the treasury.” Echoes from the Field, June 21, 1905.

“The light which the Lord has given me on this subject, is that the means in the treasury for the support of the ministers in the different fields is not to be used for any other purpose.” Special Testimonies for Ministers and Workers, No. 10, 18. (See also Manuscript Releases, vol. 1, 193.)

A Blessing or a Curse

God is able to bless His people when they obey Him, but when they disobey, they are under His curse. In the Old Testament, the Lord told His people that they were under a curse because they were not returning the tithe. Notice what it says in the third chapter of Malachi: “Will a man rob God? Yet you have robbed Me! But you say, ‘In what way have we robbed You?’ In tithes and offerings. You are cursed with a curse for you have robbed Me, even this whole nation. Bring all the tithes into the storehouse, that there may be food in My house.” Verses 8–10.

God has a specific purpose for the tithe. Hundreds and thousands of laborers are needed, and God has provided for their support, if men will simply listen to the divine instructions. “The Lord regards the tithe as His own, to be used for a certain purpose. . . . [It] should be used only to sustain the ministers in new fields as well as in other places.” Manuscript Releases, vol. 1, 193.

“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 any emergency, nor to apply it as they see fit, even in what they may regard as the Lord’s work.” Testimonies, vol. 9, 247.

We are not to use the tithe haphazardly or just decide we are going to use it on some missionary project that we see fit. We are to look and see what the divine instruction is, and follow it.

We must be careful that we do not use the tithe simply for things such as the church expense. Ellen White gave much counsel regarding this. She wrote, “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. Every penny of this money is the Lord’s own sacred treasure to be appropriated for a special use.” Special Testimonies for Ministers and Workers, No. 10, 16.

“I have been shown case after case where men are working in the ministry, who are just as deserving of their wages as those who are employed in the publishing houses, are left without sufficient means to support their families. . . . Let not those to whom are entrusted responsibilities, allow the treasury that God has appointed to sustain the ministers in the field, to be robbed to supply the expenses incurred in keeping in order and making comfortable the house of God.” Special Testimony to the Oakland and Battle Creek Churches, 11.

A Solemn Warning

In another place, this startling warning is given: “When the Lord’s portion, which He has reserved as His own in tithes and offerings, is used for common purposes while the church is displaying a love of self-indulgence and selfish gratification, the Lord will not, cannot bless churches and will withdraw His spirit from all who serve themselves and dishonor God.” Manuscript Releases, vol. 21, 185.

This is one of the most frightful statements in the Spirit of Prophecy concerning the tithe question. If we take the tithe and we misappropriate it, God will not and cannot bless our churches, and He will withdraw His spirit from them.

Is there any use in even having a church if you do not have God’s spirit there? Of course not, “for the presence of the High and Holy One who inhabiteth eternity can alone constitute a church.” The Upward Look, 315. Do you realize, then, just how important it is that tithe be used for its divinely intended purpose?

“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 Releases, vol. 1, 183. This is a serious matter. Tithe is sacred, and we are not to take it and appropriate it to whatever project we deem best. Tithe is to be used to support the gospel ministry.

There is a desperate need among historic Seventh-day Adventists today for the churches to work together so that the tithe is used to enable gospel laborers to go forward in God’s work. Because of a lack of New Testament organization, people do not know where to send their tithes, so they send it to this ministry or that ministry, or it goes to this or that good project, but it is not distributed to the gospel workers in the field, as we are told, in the Spirit of Prophecy, that it should be. A reform must be made before the end of time. We cannot go into the kingdom the way we are right now, because we are not in harmony with divine counsel in regard to tithes and offerings.

There is going to be a people who will follow God’s instruction. Maybe they will be just the poor people, such as the widow of Zarephath. But there is going to be a people who will listen to what God says and determine to follow it exactly, and they will receive a priceless blessing from the Lord. God is not going to use people to finish His work who are taking His tithe and using it to sue the brethren or for all kinds of projects that He has not ordained. It is time for a reform. The question is, How is it going to be with you when the world closes up? Will you be under God’s blessing or under His curse? Part of that depends on how you spend your money and what you do with God’s tithe.

Reprinted from LandMarks, July 1999.

Pastor Grosboll is Director of Steps to Life and pastors the Prairie Meadows Church in Wichita, Kansas. He may be contacted by e-mail at:, or by telephone at: 316-788-5559.

Bible Study Guides – Tested on Stewardship

January 29, 2012 – February 4, 2012

The Christian’s Calling

Key Text

“How is it that I hear this of thee? give an account of thy stewardship.” Luke 16:2.

Study Help: Christ’s Object Lessons, 325–365.


“Every gift, every talent, every ray of light, is ours as a sacred trust, bestowed upon us that we may win souls to Christ.” The Review and Herald, February 27, 1894.


  • Why was God’s greatest gift bestowed upon us—unworthy as we are—and how should we respond to it? John 3:16, 17; Romans 5:6–10.

Note: “The gift of Christ to the world was beyond computation, and no power could compete with God by giving a gift that would bear any comparison to the value of heaven’s best treasure. The greatness of this gift was to furnish men with a theme of thanksgiving and praise that would last through time and through eternity. Having given His all in Christ, God lays claim to the heart, mind, soul, and strength of man. Looking upon the treasure which God has provided in the full and complete gift of Christ, we can exclaim: ‘Herein is love’ [I John 4:10]!” Our High Calling, 18.

  • What must we consider about our accountability toward the One who bestows every good gift and talent? Romans 14:10, last part, 12; James 1:17.

Note: “If you are true disciples of Christ, you will consecrate every talent, and be able to reach out for the unconverted, by ways and methods that will be effective. You will be active, working agencies for Christ.” The Signs of the Times, May 29, 1893.

“Every human being will have to give an account to God for the way in which he has used his entrusted talents.” This Day With God, 318.


  • How does our standing in the hour of judgment involve all that we have ever received from God? Luke 16:1, 2.

Note: “To every man God has entrusted talents for wise improvement. If rightly used, these talents will reflect glory to the Giver. But the most precious gifts of God may be perverted, and thus become a curse rather than a blessing.” Our High Calling, 218.

“We must train and improve our ability that we may not disappoint our Master, but reach the highest possible standard, and thus influence others to follow in the footsteps of our Example. We may say, ‘Neither society nor intimate companions must have their ideas of Christian character cheapened by my course of action.’ ” Ibid., 290.

“Why have you been so passive? Why have you done so little? … What have you gained by serving self at the sacrifice of the best interests of God’s cause?” The Review and Herald, December 5, 1907.

“The talents of God’s people are to be employed in giving the last message of mercy to the world.” Counsels to Parents, Teachers, and Students, 494.

“If we do but one third of that which we have entrusted talents to do, the other two thirds are working against Christ.” Testimonies, vol. 6, 439.

  • When we consider the abilities and talents God has given us—whether small or great—what is our continual duty? II Corinthians 13:5, 6.

Note: “Every energy, every endowment, is a talent that should contribute to God’s glory by being used in His service. Our God-given capabilities should not be made to serve selfish ends. We should always be willing to impart, letting others know all that we know; and we should rejoice, if they in their work develop an energy and an intelligence superior to that which we possess.

“God’s gifts are not to be used for the exaltation of self, but are to be put out to the exchangers, so that He shall receive His own with usury. Let not one attempt to secure greatness, happiness, or self-gratification by diverting from their proper use the powers with which he is endowed; for by so doing he dishonors the Giver, and fails of fulfilling the purpose for which he was created.” This Day With God, 132.

“As a people we have had great light. Oh, that we were awake to the purposes of God and to our individual responsibility! Then would we use every gift, every talent, in the work of giving to the world the truth for this time.” Pacific Union Recorder, August 28, 1902.


  • What did Christ say concerning Peter’s curiosity about John? John 21:20–22.

Note: “We have a personal work, an individual responsibility, a personal account to render, and it is our own salvation we must secure, for it is a matter of individual concern. … The piety and obedience of others will not save us or be doing our work. Their efforts will never be registered against our names as ours. …

“God has left to every one of us our work—not the temporal labor as planting, sowing, reaping, and gathering in the harvest, but to build up His kingdom, to bring souls to the knowledge of the truth, and to regard this as our first and highest duty. God has claims upon us. He has endowed us with capabilities and given us opportunities, if we will see them and improve them. These obligations to God none but ourselves, individually, can meet.” Our High Calling, 303.

  • What should we consider when tempted to compare ourselves with others? II Corinthians 10:12.

Note: “The delinquencies of others … will be no excuse for any one to follow their example, because Christ is lifted up as the only true Pattern—faultless, pure, uncorrupted.” Our High Calling, 303.

“What shall be said of those who, having had many years of experience in the truth, and many precious advantages for growth in grace, are yet inclined toward the world, and find pleasure in its amusements and display? Instead of going on from strength to strength, they are, little by little, departing from God, and losing their spiritual life. …

“Talent can never take the place of piety, nor can the applause of men recommend us to the favor of God.” Ibid., 218.

“The knowledge of the truth is altogether too precious to be hoarded up, and bound about, and hid in the earth. Even the one talent entrusted by the Master is to be faithfully employed.” Ibid., 290.

  • In Christ’s prayer to His Father, what task did He entrust to His followers? John 17:18.

Note: “We are individually responsible. We ourselves should be our concern. Are we in all our words and actions building up the kingdom of Christ, or are we tearing down?” Our High Calling, 303.


  • What sobering thought comes to mind when we consider our talents during the times in which we are living? John 9:4; Judges 5:23.

Note: “Could the ledger of Heaven be opened before us, we would be greatly astonished at the large proportion of professing Christians who really contribute nothing toward the upbuilding of Christ’s kingdom, who put forth no efforts for the salvation of souls. Such are slothful servants. Many who are satisfied not to do much good, flatter themselves that they are doing no harm so long as they do not oppose the earnest, active workers. But this class are doing much harm by their example. …

“The slothful servant was not condemned for what he had done, but for what he had not done. There is no more dangerous enemy to the cause of God than an indolent Christian. An open profaner does less harm, for he deceives no one; he appears what he is, a brier, a thorn. The do-nothings are the greatest hindrance.” Our High Calling, 302.

  • In this busy age of constant struggle for economic survival, what should be foremost in the mind of all who profess to believe the present truth? Mark 8:36–38.

Note: “The heavenly Guest is standing at your door, while you are piling up obstructions to bar His entrance. Jesus is knocking through the prosperity He gives you. He loads you with blessings to test your fidelity, that they may flow out from you to others. Will you permit your selfishness to triumph? Will you squander God’s talents, and lose your soul through idolatrous love of the blessings He has given?” The Review and Herald, November 2, 1886.

“We are living in a time when there should be deep thought and solemn consideration. What shall be the end of these things? What profit is there under the sun?” Ibid., March 6, 1894.

“What shall we say, what can we say, to arouse those who know the truth, both ministers and lay members, to a sense of their responsibility? How can they be led to feel the burden of imparting to others the truth God has imparted to them? O that they were awake to the purposes of God and to their individual responsibility! Then would they use every gift, every talent, in the work of giving to the world the truth for this time. The number of laborers would greatly increase, and the work would grow in influence and extent. God’s people would be light bearers, shining amid the darkness of this degenerate age.” Australasian Union Conference Record, August 1, 1902.


  • How do the signs of the times relate to our talents? Matthew 24:32, 33.

Note: “Am I [Ellen White] so familiar with the ‘sure word of prophecy’ that I can see in the events transpiring around me positive evidence that the coming King is even at the door? Do I sense the responsibility that rests upon me, in view of the light God has given? Am I using every talent entrusted to me as His steward, in well-directed effort to rescue the perishing? or am I lukewarm and indifferent, partly mixed up with a wicked world, using the means and ability God has given me, largely in self-gratification, caring more for my own ease and comfort than for the advancement of His cause?” The General Conference Bulletin, April 1, 1897.

“If ever there was a time when men and women should have an assurance that they are co-partners with Christ in the saving of the world, it is now.” The Review and Herald, April 9, 1895.

  • What inspired declaration should echo in each heart? Galatians 6:14.

Note: “Call every talent into exercise to copy the Pattern. Christ died to save man, and He calls upon us to live as seeing Him who is invisible, that we may save souls. Then seek the Lord most earnestly. Eternal life at the right hand of God is worth a lifelong, persevering, untiring effort. Look to the cross of Calvary, and be no longer half-hearted. It is either life or death with every one of us; and when we surrender all, then Jesus will open ways that we may serve Him with every power of our being. The Lord would have us gather up the rays of light, and be witnesses for Christ.” The Signs of the Times, November 28, 1892.


1 What example did God demonstrate in giving us His Son?

2 In what ways may I be misusing the talents God has given me?

3 Why is competition to have no place in the Christian experience?

4 Why does the mere struggle for economic survival fall short of God’s plan?

5 As we consider Christ’s sacrifice on the cross, what should we do with the talents entrusted to us?

© 2005 Reformation Herald Publishing Association, Roanoke, Virginia. Reprinted by permission.

Little Things

For the kingdom of heaven is as a man traveling into a far country, who called his own servants, and delivered unto them his goods.” Matthew 25:14. The one with the five talents worked with them by trading and made five more talents. “His lord said unto him, ‘Well done, thou good and faithful servant: thou hast been faithful over a few things, I will make thee ruler over many things: enter thou into the joy of thy lord.’ ” Matthew 25:21. The same thing happened to the man with two talents.

What happened to the man with one talent? Why did he not work it? He just had one talent, and he complained. He received no commendation from the Lord. “The Lord said to him, Thou wicked and slothful servant, thou knewest that I reap where I sowed not, and gather where I have not strawed: thou oughtest therefore to have put my money to the exchangers, and then at my coming I should have received mine own with usury.” Matthew 25:26, 27

What will it take for the Lord to say “Well done, thou good and faithful servant” to me? Will the Lord say, “Well done” if I am hard-hearted?

Do You Have a Talent?

“To every man is committed individual gifts. Some regard these talents as being limited to certain men who possess superior mental endowments and genius. But God has not restricted the bestowal of His talents to a favored few.” Bible Commentary, vol. 5, 1100

“To every one is committed some special endowment for which you will be responsible by the Lord.” Ibid. Six different things are listed, one may be your gift. “Time, reason, means, strength, mental powers and tenderness of heart all are gifts from God and trusted to be used in the great work of blessing humanity . . . The Lord is watching everyone to see whether he will use his talents wisely and unselfishly, or whether he will seek his own advancement. The talents are distributed to every man according to his several ability that he may add to them by wise investment. Each one must give an account to the Master for his own actions . . . The Lord will not require from those who are poor that which they have not to give. No one need mourn because he cannot glorify God with talents that were never intrusted to him. But if you only have one talent, use it well and it will accumulate.” Ibid.

How Do You Spend Your Time?

The goods we have received are not our own and that includes our time. Also, the reason, the means, the strength, and the mental powers, are not ours. They belong to the Lord. He will require of us an account. We are only stewards for all these things that God has given to us.

At one time I worked as a colporteur in Germany. A lady we were trying to sell the magazines to told us she had no time to read. We asked, “Why not?” She replied that she worked from 6:00 AM until 10:00 PM. We asked her, “What’s wrong with before 6:00 and after 10:00?” She bought the magazine.

Ellen White says, “Of no talent He has given will He require a more strict account than our time. The value of time is beyond computation. We have no time to waste. We have no time to devote to selfish pleasures. We have no time for the indulgence of sin.” Christ Object Lessons, 342. Why do people devote their time to selfish pleasures? We do things because we like them, and that is our problem. The question is, how do I reform? If we are expecting to hear the words “Well done,” it is required of us to be faithful in the little things. Jesus says in Luke 16:10, “He that is faithful in that which is least is faithful also in much.”

Little Things

Inspiration tells us about little things.

“Holy angels whose work it is to watch the development of character and weigh moral worth make a record of every transgression in the books of heaven. In the day of judgment many will be shut out of the city of God by sins which they supposed to be unworthy of notice.” Signs of the Times, December 17, 1896

“Faithfulness in little things should characterize the life. True integrity should mark every course of action. It is conscious attention to what the world calls little things that makes a great beauty and success of life. Little deeds of charity, little words of kindness, little acts of self-denial and wise improvement of little opportunities, a diligent cultivation of little talents, make great men in the sight of God.” Youth Instructor, April 21, 1898

Count the Cost

“Well done” includes such things as our commitments. When we make a commitment, the Lord expects us to keep it. Before we make a commitment, we should first think it over. We should count the cost.

Do not make a commitment you know that you cannot meet later. Many times people make commitments because it makes them feel good. Sometimes that is why people get married. It feels good right now and they do not count the cost. But we need to count the cost.

Do you think that men count the cost before they commit sin? The Bible says the wages of sin is death. If people realized that when they sin, they are working for the wages of eternal death, would they think twice? Jesus says, “Whosoever committeth sin is the servant of sin.” John 8:34.

Is sin a choice? No one is forcing us to sin. We have a choice. “It is Satan’s act to tempt you, but your own [choice] act to yield.” Testimonies, vol. 4, 623. The devil tempts and we yield. This statement continues, “It is not in the power of all the host of Satan to force the tempted to transgress.” Ibid. The devil cannot make you do it.

“Satan cannot touch the mind or intellect unless we yield to him.” Bible Commentary, vol. 6, 1105. The devil is not able to force us against our will. He can only do it if we allow him to. When we are under pressure, we should call upon the name of the Lord, who is our strong tower.

100% Commitment

Jesus expects total commitment. “He that loveth father or mother more than Me is not worthy of Me, and he that loveth son or daughter more than Me is not worthy of Me. And he that taketh not his cross, and followeth after me, is not worthy of Me.” Matthew 10:37, 38. What does it mean to take up the cross of Christ? “To bear the cross of Christ is (first) to control our sinful passions, (second) to practice Christian courtesy even when it is inconvenient to do so, (third) to see the wants of the needy and distressed and deny ourselves in order to relieve them, and (fourth) to open our hearts and our doors to the homeless orphan, although to do this may tax our means and our patience.” Testimonies, vol. 4, 627. That is what the prophet said it means to bear the cross of Christ. “Whosoever he be of you that forsaketh not all that he hath, he cannot be my disciple.” Luke 14:33

Little Things

“He who does not give himself wholly to God is under the control of another power.” Thoughts From the Mount of Blessings, 94.

If I do not give myself 100% to God, I am under the control of Satan. It is going to be either 100% or nothing. “Satan takes control of every mind that is not decidedly under the control of the Spirit of God.” Testimonies to Ministers, 79. “Almost but not wholly saved, means to be not almost but wholly lost.” Christ Object Lessons, 118. If you think about these statements, what does it take for Jesus to say, Well done, thou good and faithful servant”?

There will be a group of people who will be wholly and totally committed to Jesus Christ. They are described in Revelation 14:1-5. They will follow the Lamb wherever He goes.

Inspiration says, “Half-hearted Christians are worse than infidels. For their deceptive words and non-committal positions lead many astray. The infidel shows his colors, the lukewarm Christian deceives both parties. He is neither a good worldling nor a good Christian and Satan uses a lukewarm Christian to do a work that no one else can do.” Bible Commentary, vol. 7, 963. We must be 100% for Jesus because He will not tell us “Well done,” if we are only half and half, lukewarm, sitting on the fence, halting between two opinions.

God will not say to Laodicea, “Well done, thou good and faithful servant,” unless Laodicea is converted. We need to make a total commitment to Jesus. We need to be consecrated to Him and by His grace we shall conquer.

Do You Pass the Test?

Here is a self-test. “Let no one deceive his own soul in this matter. If you harbor pride, self-esteem, a love for the supremacy, vainglory, unholy ambition, murmuring, discontent, bitterness, evil speaking, lying, deception, slandering . . . you have not Christ abiding in your heart, and the evidence shows that you have the mind and character of Satan, not of Jesus Christ . . . You may have good intentions, good impulses, can speak the truth understandingly, but you are not fit for the kingdom of heaven.” Testimonies to Ministers, 441. God gave us these instructions to help us. We must be totally committed to Jesus Christ. When we have that type of commitment, then Jesus can give us the welcome as expressed in Matthew 25:21, “Well done, thou good and faithful servant: thou hast been faithful over a few things, I will make thee ruler over many things: enter thou into the joy of thy Lord.”

Meek but Unyielding

James 4:7 says, “Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil and He will flee from you.”

Bible Commentary, vol. 2, 1003, says, “True Christian character is marked by a singleness of purpose, an indomitable determination which refuses to yield to worldly influences which will aim at nothing short of the Bible standard. Moses stood for the right, but he was meek at the same time.”

“Those who can be bribed or seduced or terrified will be of no service in the Christian warfare. Those who set their affections on worldly treasures or worldly honors will not push the battle against principalities and powers and spiritual wickedness in high places. All who would be soldiers of Christ must gird on the whole armor and prepare for the conflict. They should not be intimidated by threats, or terrified by dangers. They must be cautious in peril, yet firm and brave in facing the foe and doing battle for God. The consecration of Christ’s followers must be complete. Father, mother, wife, children, houses, land’s, everything must be held secondary to the work and to the cause of God.” Bible Commentary, vol. 2, 1003.

We Must Sacrifice All

In Testimonies to the Church, vol. 1, 126, it says, “Those who are willing to make any sacrifice for eternal life, will have it.” If we are committed to gain eternal life, we will get it. The problem is that if we are not committed 100%, we will not get it.

In Messages to Young People, 29, it says, “Make it the law of your life from which no temptation or side interest shall cause you to turn, to honor God.” How often do we have to make that decision? Every day.

You remember the vision Ellen White had about the two roads. There was a wide and a narrow road. She saw people walking on the wide road that had written on their garments, not “Adventist”, but something equivalent. But where were they? On the wide road. They made a great profession, but what did she say? Where were they going? They were going to eternal destruction. She says in Testimonies to the Church, vol. 1, 127, “The roads are distinct, separate, in opposite directions. One leads to eternal life, the other to eternal death. I saw the distinctions between the roads, also the distinction between the companies traveling them.” And what does she say about the distinctions—the two groups were different in four areas— “in character, in life, in dress, and in conversation.” Ibid. They looked different, they acted different, they talked different, and their hearts were different.

That was written in 1856. The general conference was not organized until 1863. So it was seven years before the general conference was organized. It says here in the first sentence, “I was shown in vision some things that concern the church generally.” Ibid. What was the church? It was not the general conference or any local conference (the first local conference was organized in 1861) But the church was there already. There is a statement in Testimonies, vol. 4, 402 that says, “Men who are not half converted, who are self-confident and self-sufficient in character, preach the truth to others. But God does not work with them, for they are not holy in heart and life.” What was the problem? The truth made no change in the life.

The Testing Place

How do you know if you are a Christian? Where is the best place to prove it? At home. There you find out if you are a Christian or not. How you treat your wife, your husband and your children? Inspiration tells us if we want to be saints in heaven, we must be saints first in our own families. This is how we can find out if we are Christians. We can check ourselves for what comes out of our mouth and how we treat others at home.

We live in the Day of Atonement. Inspiration tells us, “The great work is before us of leading the people away from worldly customs and practices, up higher and higher in spirituality.” Testimonies, vol. 5, 520

Jesus says if your right eye troubles you and it keeps you from entering the kingdom of heaven, get rid of it. (See Matthew 5:29.) So if our television gives us trouble, what should we do with it? Get rid of it, if it keeps us from heaven.

I believe it is time for God’s professed people to wake up and to make a total commitment to Jesus Christ, to be faithful to His work, to His law, to His instruction. It is time that we are concerned about the things of God instead of trying to be “nice guys” toward the world loving. The majority are concerned about the people around them and in pleasing them, but God is calling us to stand for something, to be counted on to preach the Word—the whole counsel of God. Doing this will not offend those who are hungering and thirsting after righteousness.

Forty Men of God

During the years of the pagan persecutions forty men of God were dragged on a cold winter night, out in the middle of a frozen lake and then they were soaked with water and put in a place out on the lake where the wind howled unobstructed against their form. They huddled together knowing that they could not live very long. On the shore, the Romans pitched camp and built huge fires and sent words to those 40 men, out there on that lake freezing to death that if any of them were ready to recant, they could simply indicate the same by walking out of that group, [that little unpopular minority] and take the stand with the majority. “Come over and join us at the fire. That’s all you have to do and warm up with us.”

Those men stood shivering and praying and they began to sing together, “Forty men of God are we, faithful forever we shall be. Forty men of God are we, faithful forever we shall be.” Their clothes began to harden on their bodies. It was not long before one had fallen over unconscious to await the voice of the Lifegiver, and the men put him just outside the group on the ice. But though there was one death, they continued to sing of him and of themselves, “Forty men of God are we, faithful forever we shall be.”

That song split the night air and floated across the frozen ice to the Romans where the captain heard it and he was disturbed. They kept on singing as they piled up the dead, one after another. “Forty men of God are we, faithful forever we shall be.” The Romans stood solemn, hearing, haunted, provoked, disturbed. They wouldn’t do that for their god. And the captain was impressed. The Holy Spirit began to work and to move on his heart and finally there was, among those Christians, one fellow who decided that he could not take it any longer. He would become a defector. He announced his intentions to his brethren, to their pity, and then he went walking across the ice towards that fire and they stood in silence watching him go.

When they saw him taken into the circle of the Romans, others were about to become discouraged when someone brought up the song again, “Thirty-nine men of God are we, faithful forever we shall be.” When the captain heard it, the power of heaven touched his heart and the love of Jesus, which is the only power that can save us and make us witnesses, came upon him and penetrated his armor and his very soul. He turned to his lieutenant and said, “You take charge here. You look after things.” He threw down his shield and his sword, dropped his buckler and went out across the ice. When he had taken his place among the frozen Christians, the song was heard again in greater volume, “Forty men of God are we, faithful forever we shall be.”

When we stand up and stop being like everybody else, when we are committed to His cause and quit being hypocrites, we will bring Romans out of their armor. Men will cry, “What shall I do to be saved?”

The End