Spirit of Prophecy Authority
(Ellen G. White)

What God revealed to Ellen White regarding Tithe through the gift of the Spirit of Prophecy

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“To the law and to the testimony: if they speak not according to this word,
it is because there is no light in them.” — Isaiah 8:20

The greatest want of the world is the want of men,–men who will not be bought or sold; men who in their inmost souls are true and honest; men who do not fear to call sin by its right name; men whose conscience is as true to duty as the needle to the pole; men who will stand for the right though the heavens fall. — Education, p. 57. (1903)

The churches must arouse. The members must awake out of sleep and begin to inquire, “How is the money which we put into the treasury being used?” The Lord desires that a close search be made. — The Kress Collection, p. 120

The Bible is the Ultimate Authority

Let the Bible decide every question that is essential to man’s salvation. — Medical Missionary, p. 96 (1904)

The Bible teaches the whole will of God concerning the sons and daughters of Adam. The Bible is the rule of life, teaching us of the character we must form for the future, immortal life. Our faith, our practice, may make us living epistles, known and read of all men. Men need not the dim light of tradition and custom to make the Scriptures comprehensible. It is just as sensible to suppose that the sun, shining in the heavens at noon-day, needs the glimmerings of the torchlight of earth to increase its glory. The fables or the utterances of priests or of ministers, are not needed to save the student from error. Consult the divine Oracle, and you have light. In the Bible every duty is made plain, every lesson is comprehensible, able to fit men with a preparation for eternal life. The gift of Christ and the illumination of the Holy Spirit reveal to us the Father and the Son. The word is exactly adapted to make men and women and youth wise unto salvation. In the word is the science of salvation plainly revealed. “All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: that the man of God may be perfect, thoroughly furnished unto all good works.” “Search the Scriptures,” for therein is the counsel of God, the voice of God speaking to the soul.Special Testimonies on Education, December 1, 1895

In presence of the monarch and the leading men of Sweden, Olaf Petri with great ability defended the doctrines of the reformed faith against the Romish champions. He declared that the teachings of the Fathers are to be received only when in accordance with the Scriptures; that the essential doctrines of the faith are presented in the Bible in a clear and simple manner, so that all men may understand them. Christ said, “My doctrine is not mine, but His that sent me,” [JOHN 7:16.] and Paul declared that should he preach any other gospel than that which he had received, he would be accursed. [GAL. 1:8.] “How, then,” said the reformer, “shall others presume to enact dogmas at their pleasure, and impose them as things necessary to salvation?” He showed that the decrees of the church are of no authority when in opposition to the commands of God, and maintained the great Protestant principle, that “the Bible, and the Bible only,” is the rule of faith and practice. — Great Controversy, 1888, p. 243.1

The Lord has uttered His voice in His Holy Word. Those blessed pages are full of instruction and life, harmonious with truth. They are a perfect rule of conduct. Instructions are given, principles are laid down, which apply to every circumstance in life, even though some particular case may not be stated. Nothing is left unrevealed which is essential to a complete system of faith and a correct line of practice. Every duty that God requires at our hands is made plain; and if anyone fails of eternal life, it will be because he was self-sufficient, self-confident, full of vain conceit, and did not rely solely upon the merits of the blood of Christ for salvation. None will err from the right path who meekly and honestly take the Bible as their guide, making it the man of their counsel. — Letter 34, 1891

The great movement that Wycliffe inaugurated, which was to liberate the conscience and the intellect, and set free the nations so long bound to the triumphal car of Rome, had its spring in the Bible. Here was the source of that stream of blessing, which, like the water of life, has flowed down the ages since the fourteenth century. Wycliffe accepted the Holy Scriptures with implicit faith as the inspired revelation of God’s will, a sufficient rule of faith and practice. He had been educated to regard the Church of Rome as the divine, infallible authority, and to accept with unquestioning reverence the established teachings and customs of a thousand years; but he turned away from all these to listen to God’s holy word. This was the authority, which he urged the people to acknowledge. Instead of the church speaking through the pope, he declared the only true authority to be the voice of God speaking through His word. And he taught not only that the Bible is a perfect revelation of God’s will, but that the Holy Spirit is its only interpreter, and that every man is, by the study of its teachings, to learn his duty for himself. Thus he turned the minds of men from the pope and the Church of Rome to the word of God. — Great Controversy, p. 93.2

The grand principle maintained by these Reformers–the same that had been held by the Waldenses, by Wycliffe, by John Huss, by Luther, Zwingli, and those who united with them–was the infallible authority of the Holy Scriptures as a rule of faith and practiceThey denied the right of popes, councils, Fathers, and kings, to control the conscience in matters of religion. The Bible was their authority, and by its teaching they tested all doctrines and all claims. Faith in God and His word sustained these holy men as they yielded up their lives at the stake. “Be of good comfort,” exclaimed Latimer to his fellow martyr as the flames were about to silence their voices, “we shall this day light such a candle, by God’s grace, in England, as I trust shall never be put out.”  [Works of Hugh Latimer, vol. 1, p. xiii.] — Great Controversy, p. 249.1

Proper Use of the Tithe

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 & Herald, Supplement, Dec. 1, 1896

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 to this purpose. . . . — Manuscript Release, Vol. 1, p. 189.3

But while some go forth to preach, He calls upon others to answer to 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

Ellen White • Example and Counsel

It has been presented to me for years that my tithe was to be appropriated by myself to aid the white and colored ministers who were neglected and did not receive sufficient properly to support their families. When my attention was called to aged ministers, white and black, it was my special duty to investigate into their necessities and supply their needs. This was to be my special work, and I have done this in a number of cases. No man should give notoriety to the fact that in special cases the tithe is used in this way.

In regard to the colored work in the South, that field has been and is still being robbed of the means that should come to the workers of that field. If there have been cases where our sisters have appropriated their tithe to the support of the ministers working for the colored people in the South, let every man, if he is wise, hold his peace.

I have myself appropriated my tithe to the most needy cases brought to my notice. I have been instructed to do this; and as the money is not withheld from the Lord’s treasury, it is not a matter that should be commented upon; for it will necessitate my making known these matters, which I do not desire to do, because it is not best.

Some cases have been kept before me for years, and I have supplied their needs from the tithe, as God has instructed me to do. And if any person shall say to me, Sister White, will you appropriate my tithe where you know it is most needed, I shall say, Yes, I will; and I have done so. I commend those sisters who have placed their tithe where it is most needed to help to do a work that is being left undone; and if this matter is given publicity, it will create knowledge which would better be left as it is. I do not care to give publicity to this work which the Lord has appointed me to do.

I send this matter to you so that you shall not make a mistake. Circumstances alter cases. I would not advise that any should make a practice of gathering up the tithe money. But for years there have now and then been persons who have lost confidence in the appropriation of the tithe who have placed the tithe in my hands, and said that if l did not take it they would themselves appropriate it to the families of the most needy minister they could find. I have taken the money, given a receipt for it, and told them how it was appropriated.

I write this to you so that you shall keep cool and not become stirred up and give publicity to this matter, lest many more shall follow this example.

(Signed) Ellen G. White” – EGW letter, dated January 22, 1905 (Letter 267, 1905), to Elder G.F. Watson, president of the Colorado Conference (Spalding-Magan Unpublished Testimonies, 215-216)

You ask if I will accept tithe from you and use it in the cause of God where most needed. In reply I will say that I shall not refuse to do this, but at the same time I will tell you that there is a better way. It is better to put confidence in the ministers of the conference where you live and in the officers of the church where you worship. Draw nigh to your brethren. Love them with a true heart fervently, and encourage them to bear their responsibilities faithfully in the fear of God. “Be thou an example of the believers, in word, in conversation, in charity, in spirit, in faith, in purity” [1 Tim. 4:12]. — Letter 96, 1911 (Published in The Early Elmshaven Years, p. 397)  [2MR 101.1]

Some have entertained the idea that because the school at Madison is not owned by a conference organization, those who are in charge of the school should not be permitted to call upon our people for the means that is greatly needed to carry on their work. This idea needs to be corrected. In the distribution of the money that comes into the Lord’s treasury, you are entitled to a portion just as verily as are those connected with other needy enterprises that are carried forward in harmony with the Lord’s instruction.  — SpM, p. 411.4

Many of our brethren have expressed themselves to the effect that if their Conference continues to pay money to such (unconverted) ministers, they will withhold their tithe. We do not say that it would be right for individuals to withhold from the Lord that which is His. But on the other hand, it is certainly very wrong for the Conference to give credentials to such men, and it is nothing less than sin to take the Lord’s money to pay for such labor. There must be earnest labor with such men; and if they will not reform, there can be no reason why they should continue to hold credentials.

There are many that are even light and frivolous, and by this course they do more harm than good. These, too, should be labored with faithfully, and if they do not give evidence of reform, they should certainly not be continued in the ministry; for only evil can result from their work. — Series A, No. 1, 13

     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 in 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.
     This will give you an idea of how matters are in this conference. There are seventy-five souls organized into a church, who are paying their tithe into the conference, and as a saving plan it has been deemed essential to let these poor souls labor for nothing! But this does not trouble me, for I will not allow it to go thus. — Manuscript, dated April 22, 1898, Spalding-Magan Unpublished

Personal Responsibility

God desires to bring men into direct relation with Himself. In all His dealings with human beings He recognizes the principle of personal responsibility. He seeks to encourage a sense of personal responsibility. He seeks to encourage a sense of personal dependence [upon God], and to impress the need of personal guidance. His gifts are committed to men as individuals. Every man has been made a steward of sacred trusts; each is to discharge his trust according to the direction of the Giver; and by each an account of his stewardship must be rendered to God. — Testimonies, Vol. 7,  p. 176

     For years the same routine, the same “regular way” of working has been followed, and God’s work has been greatly hindered. The narrow plans that have been followed by those who did not have clear, sanctified judgment has resulted in a showing that is not approved by God.
     God calls for a revival and a reformation. The “regular lines” have not done the work which God desires to see accomplished. Let revival and reformation make constant changes. Something has been done in this line, but let not the work stop here. No! Let every yoke be broken. Let men awaken to the realization that they have an individual responsibility. — SpM, p. 175.2

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

When existing evils are not met and checked, because men have too little courage to reprove wrong, or because they have too little interest or are too indolent to tax their own powers in putting forth earnest efforts to purify the family or the church of God, they are accountable for the evil which may result in consequence of neglect to do their duty. We are just as accountable for evils that we might have checked in others, by reproof, by warning, by exercise of parental or pastoral authority, as if we were guilty of the acts ourselves. — Testimonies, Vol. 4, p. 516

The people to whom God has given his means are amenable to him alone. It is their privilege to give direct aid and assistance to missions. It is because of the misappropriation of means that the Southern field has no better showing than it has today. — SpM, p. 176.7

The Storehouse

There are only two places in the world where we can deposit our treasuresin 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. 447.2

This world is the Lord’s storehouse, from which we are ever drawing. He has provided fruits and grains and vegetables for our sustenance. For us He makes the sun to shine and the rain to fall. The whole human family, good and evil, are constantly drawing from God’s storehouse. It makes every difference with those so highly privileged how they receive the Lord’s gifts and how they treat the contract the Lord has made with them. He has made them His almoners, directing them to draw from His storehouse, and then make a return to Him in gifts and offerings, “that there may be meat in mine house.”Manuscript 73, Dec. 12, 1900

He to whom God has entrusted unusual gifts should return to the Lord’s storehouse that which he has received, by freely giving to others the benefit of his blessings. Thus God will be honored and glorified. . . . — YRP, p. 195.2

Let the money that has been devoted to the gratification of self, flow into the Lord’s treasury to sustain those who are working to save perishing souls. Let those who have houses and lands give heed to the message, “Sell that ye have, and give alms.” “Bring ye all the tithes into the storehouse, that there may be meat in mine house, and prove Me now herewith, saith the Lord of hosts, 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.” — PC, p. 157.3

Should means flow into the treasury in accordance with this divinely appointed plan,–a tenth of all the increase, and liberal offerings,–there would be an abundance for the advancement of the Lord’s work. — Acts of the Apostles, p. 75.1

Do not worry lest some means shall go direct to those who are trying to do missionary work in a quiet and effective way. All the means is not to be handled by one agency or organization. There is much business to be done conscientiously for the cause of God. — SpM, p. 422.1

Liberty in Christ Jesus

Laws and rules are being made at the center of the work that will soon be broken into atoms. Men are not to dictate. It is not for those in places of authority to employ all their powers to sustain some, while others are cast down, ignored, forsaken, and left to perish. But it is the duty of the leaders to lend a helping hand to all who are in need. …

If the cords are drawn much tighter, if the rules are made much finer, if men continue to bind their fellow-laborers closer and closer to the commandments of men, many will be stirred by the Spirit of God to break every shackle, and assert their liberty in Christ Jesus. . There must be no fixed rules; our work is a progressive work and there must be room left for methods to be improved upon. — Review, July 23, 1895

When the Holy Spirit impresses the believer to do a certain work for God, leave the matter to him and the Lord.” — Letter, dated May 26, 1908, to the officers of the General Conference

The Lord would have His people under His jurisdiction. They should look to God, inquiring of Him in faith, and follow on to know the working of His providence.Testimonies to Ministers, p. 320.3