Tithe and the Storehouse: E. G. White
Ellen White viewed tithe as holy and belonging to God. “ʻBring ye all the tithes into the storehouse’ (Mal. 3:10, NKJV), is God's command. No appeal is made to gratitude or to generosity. This is a matter of simple honesty. The tithe is the Lord's; and He bids us return to Him that which is His own” (Education, p. 139).
Three times in the year all thy males shall appear before the Lord God….The first of the firstfruits of your land you shall bring into the house of the Lord your God
In complete harmony with the biblical mandate to support the church workers with the tithe (see Num. 18:21, 24) from a central storehouse (see Deut. 12:5-14), Ellen White counseled, “The time has come when the tithes and offerings belonging to the Lord are to be used in accomplishing a decided work. They are to be brought into the treasury to be used in an orderly way to sustain the gospel laborers in their work…(Mal. 3: 10 quoted)” (Manuscript Release, Vol. 19, p. 376).
Central Storehouse Principle
“Three times in the year all thy males shall appear before the Lord God….The first of the firstfruits of your land you shall bring into the house of the Lord your God” (Ex 23:17,19, NKJV). The three times God’s people were to appear in person at the Lord’s house were at the Passover, Pentecost, and the Feast of Tabernacles. In commenting on this Ellen White stated: “Anciently the Lord instructed His people to assemble three times a year for His worship. To these holy convocations the children of Israel came, bringing to the house of God their tithes, their sin offerings, and their offerings of gratitude” (Testimonies for the Church, Vol. 6, p. 39). “By thus assembling and bringing their tithes into the treasury, they ever acknowledged the Lord to be the giver of all their blessings. The children of Israel are our ensamples, that while we should imitate their faithfulness and virtues, we should shun those sins which brought the displeasure of God upon them” (Review and Herald, July 10, 1879).
One of the most comprehensive storehouse references from Ellen White’s writings contains four names for the storehouse in one paragraph thus helping to focus on the place to which God wants the tithe to be returned.
If all the tithes of our people flowed into the treasury of the Lord as they should, such blessings would be received that gifts and offerings for sacred purposes would be multiplied tenfold [1000%], and thus the channel between God and man would be kept open.”
“In the last days of the old year shall we not make our account right with God by bringing all the tithes into His storehouse? Will any venture longer to rob God in tithes and offerings? In the coming holidays, let our gifts be not to one another, but to the house of God, ʻthat there may,’ He says, ʻbe meat in mine house.’ In place of spending our time and means in getting up something to surprise and gratify our friends, shall we not turn all our offerings into God’s treasury?” (Review and Herald, December 8, 1896. Emphasis supplied).
What a unique paragraph. “His storehouse,” “the house of God,” “mine house,” and “God’s treasury,” are used interchangeably. Apparently, they are one and the same. The storehouse is the place from which the pastors are paid.
Blessings Will Follow Faithful Tithing
“If all the tithes of our people flowed into the treasury of the Lord as they should, such blessings would be received that gifts and offerings for sacred purposes would be multiplied tenfold [1000%], and thus the channel between God and man would be kept open.” (Testimonies for the Church, Vol. 4, p. 474).
From Ellen White's perspective, one of the major reasons for church organization was so that there could be a qualified and paid ministerial force to carry on the work of church leadership. Tithe was to be returned to God's treasury so that the ministry could be supported and also to provide for a reserve fund to add additional workers when the providence of God opened new fields (Testimonies to Ministers, p. 26 and Testimonies for the Church, Vol. 9, pp. 249, 250).
For a concise summary of Ellen White’s counsel on the use of tithe see Testimonies for the Church, Vol. 9, pp. 245-251.