Go Forward

“Go Forward”

Just as the sealing message has closed with remarkable advancement each of its seven eventful years, so it has closed 1937 with the amazing improvement that all Mt. Carmel’s employees are now to be compensated for their work, instead of their working for nothing, and Mt. Carmel’s caring for their expenses. {4SC1-3: 2.1.1}

Moreover, we, as leaders in this reformatory work, are now able to set for all Present Truth believers the right example in respect to paying tithe and free-will offerings. That is, besides making free-will offerings, Mt. Carmel’s inhabitants are now paying a double tithe on all their increase, which rule of practice will bring our individual tithe and offerings up to between 25% and 30% on all our personal “increase,” thus bringing us up to the ancient Jewish standard of benevolence, which is explained in the following quotations: {4SC1-3: 2.1.2}

“While we speak of the tithe as the standard of the Jewish contributions to religious purposes, we do not speak understandingly. The Lord kept His claims paramount, and in almost every article they were reminded of the Giver by being required to make returns to Him. They were required to pay a ransom for their first-born son, for the first-fruits of their flocks, and for the first gathering of the harvest. They were required to leave the corners of their harvest-fields for the destitute. Whatever dropped from their hands in reaping was left for the poor, and once in every seven years their lands were allowed to produce spontaneously for the needy. Then there were the sacrificial offerings, the trespass-offerings, the sin-offerings, and the remission of all debts every seventh year. There were also numerous expenses for hospitalities and gifts to the poor, and there were assessments upon their property. {4SC1-3: 2.1.3}

“At stated periods, in order to preserve the integrity of the law, the people were interviewed as to whether they had faithfully performed their vows or not. A conscientious few made returns to God of about one-third of all their income for the benefit of religious interests and for the poor. These exactions were not from a particular class of the people, but from all, the requirement being proportioned according to the amount possessed. Besides all these systematic and regular donations, there were special objects calling for free-will offerings, such as the tabernacle built in the wilderness, and the temple erected at Jerusalem. These draughts were made by God upon the people for their own good, as well as to sustain His service. {4SC1-3: 2.1.4}

“There must be an awakening among us as a people upon this matter. There are but few men who feel conscience-stricken if they neglect their duty in beneficence. But few feel remorse of soul because they are daily robbing God. If a Christian deliberately or accidentally underpays his neighbor, or refuses to cancel an honest debt, his conscience, unless seared, will trouble him; he cannot rest although no one may know but himself. There are many neglected vows and unpaid pledges, and yet how few trouble their minds over the matter; how few feel the guilt of this violation of duty. We must have new and deeper convictions on this subject. The conscience must be aroused, and the matter receive earnest attention; for an account must be rendered to God in the last day, and His claims must be settled. {4SC1-3: 2.1.5}

“The responsibilities of the Christian business man, however large or small his capital, will be in exact proportion to his gifts from God. The deceitfulness of riches has ruined thousands and tens of thousands. These wealthy men forget that they are stewards, and that the day is fast approaching when it shall be said to them, ‘Give an account of thy stewardship.’ As shown by the parable of the talents, every man is responsible for the wise use of the gifts bestowed. The poor man in the parable, because he had the least gift, felt the least responsibility, and made no use of the talent entrusted to him; therefore he was cast into outer darkness. {4SC1-3: 2.2.1}

“Said Christ, ‘How hardly shall they that have riches enter into the kingdom of God!’ And His disciples were astonished at His doctrine. When a minister who has labored successfully in securing souls to Jesus Christ, abandons his sacred work in order to secure temporal gain, he is called an apostate, and he will be held accountable to God for the talents that he has misapplied. When men of business, farmers, mechanics, merchants, lawyers, etc., become members of the church, they become servants of Christ; and although their talents may be entirely different, their responsibility to advance the cause of God by personal effort, and with their means, is no less than that which rests upon the minister. The woe which will fall upon the minister if he preach not the gospel will just as surely fall upon the business man, if he, with his different talents, will not be a co-worker with Christ in accomplishing the same results. When this is brought home to the individual, some will say, ‘This is a hard saying;’ nevertheless it is true, although continually contradicted by the practice of men who profess to be followers of Christ. {4SC1-3: 2.2.2}

“God provided bread for His people in the wilderness by a miracle of mercy, and He could have provided everything necessary for religious service; but He did not, because in His infinite wisdom He saw that the moral discipline of His people depended upon their co-operating with Him, every one of them doing something. As long as the truth is progressive, the claims of God rest upon men to give of that which He has intrusted to them for this very purpose. God, the Creator of man, by instituting the plan of systematic benevolence, has made the work bear equally upon all according to their several abilities. Everyone is to be his own assessor, and is left to give as he purposes in his heart. But there are those who are guilty of the same sin as Ananias and Sapphira, thinking that if they withhold a portion of what God claims in the tithing system, the brethren will never know it. Thus thought the guilty couple whose example is given us as a warning. God in this case proves that he searches the heart. The motives and purposes of man cannot be hidden from Him. He has left a perpetual warning to Christians of all ages to beware of the sin to which the hearts of men are continually inclined. {4SC1-3: 2.2.3}

“Although no visible marks of God’s displeasure follow the repetition of the sin of Ananias and Sapphira now, yet the sin is just as heinous in the sight of God, and will as surely be visited upon the transgressor in the day of judgment; and many will feel the curse of God even in this life. When a pledge is made to the cause, it is a vow made to God, and should be sacredly kept. In the sight of God it is no better than sacrilege to appropriate to our own use that which has been once pledged to advance His sacred work. {4SC1-3: 3.1.1}

“When a verbal or written pledge has been made in the presence of our brethren, to give a certain amount, they are the visible witnesses of a contract made between ourselves and God. The pledge is not made to man, but to God, and is as a written note given to a neighbor. No legal bond is more binding upon the Christian for the payment of money, than a pledge made to God. {4SC1-3: 3.1.1}

“Persons who thus pledge to their fellowmen, do not generally think of asking to be released from their pledges. A vow made to God, the giver of all favors, is of still greater importance; then why should we seek to be released from our vows to God? Will man consider his promise less binding because made to God? Because his vow will not be put to trial in courts of justice, is it less valid? Will a man who professes to be saved by the blood of the infinite sacrifice of Jesus Christ, ‘rob God’? Are not his vows and his actions weighed in the balances of justice in the heavenly courts? {4SC1-3: 3.1.2}

“Each of us has a case pending in the court of Heaven. Shall our course of conduct balance the evidence against us? The case of Ananias and Sapphira was of the most aggravated character. In keeping back part of the price, they lied to the Holy Ghost. Guilt likewise rests upon every individual in proportion to like offenses. When the hearts of men are softened by the presence of the Spirit of God, they are more susceptible to the impressions of the Holy Spirit, and resolves are made to deny self and to sacrifice for the cause of God. It is when divine light shines into the chambers of the mind with unusual clearness and power, that the feelings of the natural man are overcome, that selfishness loses its power upon the heart, and that desires are awakened to imitate the Pattern, Jesus Christ, in practicing self-denial and benevolence. The disposition of the naturally selfish man then becomes kind and pitiful toward lost sinners, and he makes a solemn pledge to God, as did Abraham and Jacob. Heavenly angels are present on such occasions. The love of God and love for souls triumphs over selfishness and love of the world. Especially is this the case when the speaker, in the Spirit and power of God, presents the plan of redemption laid by the Majesty of Heaven in the sacrifice of the cross. By the following scriptures we may see how God regards the subject of vows:– {4SC1-3: 3.1.3}

“‘And Moses spake unto the heads of the tribes concerning the children of lsrael, saying, This is the thing which the Lord hath commanded. If a man vow a vow unto the Lord, or swear an oath to bind his soul with a bond, he shall not break his word; he shall do according to all that proceedeth out of his mouth.’ (Num. 30:1, 2.) ‘Suffer not thy mouth to cause thy flesh to sin; neither say thou before the angel, that it was an error; wherefore should God be angry at thy voice, and destroy the work of thine hands?’ (Eccl. 5:6.) ‘I will go into thy house with burnt-offerings; I will pay thee my vows, which my lips have uttered, and my mouth hath spoken, when I was in trouble.’ (Ps. 66:13, 14). ‘It is a snare to the man who devoureth that which is holy, and after vows to make inquiry.’ (Prov. 20:25). ‘When thou shalt vow a vow unto the Lord thy God, thou shalt not slack to pay it; for the Lord thy God will surely require it of thee; and it would be sin in thee. That which is gone out of thy lips thou shalt keep and perform; even a free-will offering, according as thou hast vowed unto the Lord thy God, which thou hast promised with thy mouth.’ (Deut. 23:21-23). {4SC1-3: 3.2.1}

“‘Vow, and pay unto the Lord your God; let all that be round about Him bring presents unto Him that ought to be feared.’ (Ps. 76:11). ‘But ye have profaned it, in that ye say, The table of the Lord is polluted; and the fruit thereof, even His meat, is contemptible. Ye said also, Behold, what a weariness is it! and ye have snuffed at it, saith the Lord of hosts; and ye brought that which was torn, and the lame, and the sick; thus ye brought an offering: should I accept this of your hand? saith the Lord. But cursed be the deceiver, which hath in his flock a male, and voweth, and sacrificeth unto the Lord a corrupt thing; for I am a great King, saith the Lord of hosts, and My name is dreadful among the heathen.’ (Mal. 1:12-14.)”–“Testimonies for the Church,” Vol. 4, pp. 467-471. {4SC1-3: 3.2.2}

Furthermore, Mt. Carmel is paying salaries not only to all her regular workers, but also to all her students, thus enabling them to defray a part of their expenses, which privilege of self-help not only reduces their parents’ burdens, but also, at the same time, teaches the students to bear responsibilities, and to become self-supporting, which both the parents and the schools have failed to do, with the deplorable result that after the youth have passed school age, they are unable not only to make a living for a home, but also to make even their own living, and are consequently a burden to themselves and a curse to the world; whereas, they should be a blessing to all. {4SC1-3: 4.1.1}

This 1938 remuneration system applies to all the children from four years up, as set forth in the following supplementary by-laws to the constitutional rules and regulations of the General Association of The Shepherd’s Rod Seventh-day Adventists: {4SC1-3: 4.1.2}

“This Association shall consist of dependent and independent departments. {4SC1-3: 4.1.3}

“THE DEPENDENT DEPARTMENTS shall be: the Educational, Ministerial, Benevolent, and the General Office. {4SC1-3: 4.1.4}

“For the upkeep of the educational department there shall be required an offering of 5% the net income of all Present Truth believers. This offering, from others than those at Mt. Carmel, shall be used especially for the upkeep of the children in school, whose parents are financially unable to do so, and for the upkeep of the school premises. {4SC1-3: 4.1.5}

“The school board shall accept no more students until additional room has been provided to take care of them, and until present truth believers respond to their duty and maintain the students in school. {4SC1-3: 4.1.6}

“The Ministerial Department–workers and Present Truth publications–shall be maintained by the first tithe. All over and above the expenses of this department, shall be used for the purchasing of construction materials for the building of institutional edifices at Mt. Carmel Center. {4SC1-3: 4.1.7}

“The Benevolent Department shall be maintained by the second tithe, of which the 5% of school dues is a part, and all the offerings that are not directed to any specific fund. The funds of this department are to take care of all worthy charitable cases. {4SC1-3: 4.1.8}

“THE INDEPENDENT DEPARTMENTS are the Mercantile, the Farm, Tenement, Culinary, Laundry, and Medical. {4SC1-3: 4.1.9}

Maintenance of the Educational Department

There are a number of children whose parents are financially unable to maintain them in school, and as Mt. Carmel, their spiritual mother, desires to save all her children, she has adopted them. But as her support must come from all Present Truth believers, she is herein making known to all, her wants for these children. {4SC1-3: 5.2.1}

It has been estimated that the average offerings received from Present Truth believers amount to about 2% of their “increase,” and that it takes from 5% to 8% to maintain the school. Hence, Mt. Carmel in no uncertain words requests that all Present Truth believers contribute not less than 5% of their increase to this needy fund. In other words, if one’s income is $15 a week, his first tithe will amount to $1.50 for the ten percent tithe, and 68c for the 5% school maintenance, which will make a total of $2.18. {4SC1-3: 5.2.2}

If all Present Truth believers respond to this urgent and worthy call, then the problem of maintaining the school and of securing a Christian education for the children will be forever solved. But be it known, Brother, Sister, that if you fail, then your failure will hinder Mt. Carmel in doing for your children that which the Lord expects her to do, and which must be done if they are to be saved. Such a neglect now, will bring ruin upon both old and young. {4SC1-3: 5.2.3}