G. Edward Reid is Director of the Stewardship Department of the North American Division of Seventh-day Adventists

The lure of riches has apparently always been a stumbling block for people, even Christians. The New Testament frequently cautions us against the desire for wealth. Jesus said, “You can’t serve God and money” (Matt 6:24). And Paul warns that “the love of money is the root of all kinds of evil” (1 Tim 6:10, 17) and that “in the last days men will be lovers of money” (2 Tim 3:1, 2). Obviously, these passages underscore the perils of our times. But what does Ellen White write about money in the end time? Here is an overview.


In response to the economic crisis of the last four months of 2008 many have expressed the idea that “national ruin” is upon us. However, all of the relevant statements by Ellen White state that national ruin follows national apostasy – referring to the spiritual apostasy of enforcing Sunday observance.1

We are told that “those who hold the reins of government. . . are struggling in vain to place business operations on a more secure basis.”2 In this context she states that Sunday observance is encouraged to restore “divine favor and temporal prosperity.”3 So, even though there is a financial crisis now, according to Ellen White, things will get much worse after the national Sunday law suggested by Revelation 13 comes into force. 

It is interesting that many of those who point to the downturn in the economy as a sign of the end have counseled what people ought to do to “survive,” when, in actual fact, the counsel should be how to do the work of warning the world of an approaching God.4

Ellen White makes clear that money will be a major factor in the end-time scenario and that Satan’s strategy is to lead people “to lay up their treasure here and fix their affections upon earthly things” so that means will not be available for “the upbuilding of Christ’s kingdom.”5

The devil knows that if he can keep us focused on money it will separate us from God and eternal life. God’s strategy is to allow poverty to come on the world so that men will trust in Him rather than their money: “The very means that is now so sparingly invested in the cause of God, and that is selfishly retained, will in a little while be cast with all idols to the moles and to the bats. Money will soon depreciate in value very suddenly when the reality of eternal scenes opens to the senses of man.”6


What do genuine Christians do in response to the financial crisis? Do we hunker down in survival mode? No, in fact, just the opposite is true.

Our giving will increase. “In the last extremity, before this work shall close, thousands will be cheerfully laid upon the altar. Men and women will feel it a blessed privilege to share in the work of preparing souls to stand in the great day of God, and they will give hundreds as readily as dollars are given now.”7
Our giving will prepare us for heaven. Bible-believing Christians know that someday soon everything on this earth will be burned up at the second coming of Jesus (2 Pet 3:10). So they put their money into God’s cause so it will do some good before getting burned up. “The work of God is to become more extensive, and if His people follow His counsel, there will not be much means in their possession to be consumed in the final conflagration. All will have laid up their treasure where moth and rust cannot corrupt; and the heart will not have a cord to bind it to earth.”8
• Our giving will put God and His kingdom first. The counsel from God’s Word is more valid than ever. Put God first and stay in covenant relationship with Him. “Honor the Lord with your possessions, and with the firstfruits of all your increase; so your barns will be filled with plenty, and your vats will overflow with new wine” (Prov 3:9, 10). And Jesus counseled those who were concerned about food, clothing, and shelter. “Seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you” (Matt 6:33). Most important of all, we need to ask God for wisdom to help us make good earning, saving, and spending decisions: “Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge Him, and He shall direct your paths” (Prov 3:5, 6). 

1 See Last Day Events, p. 134.
2 Testimonies for the Church, vol. 9, p. 13.
3 The Great Controversy, p. 590.
4 Christ’s Object Lessons, p. 228.
5 Testimonies to Ministers, pp. 472-73.
6 Ibid., p. 63; cf. p. 240.
7 Counsels on Stewardship, p. 40.
8 Ibid., p. 60. 

G. Edward Reid is Director of the Stewardship Department of the North American Division of Seventh-day Adventists 

This article was written by G. Edward Reid and has been reprinted from Reflections, the Biblical Research Institute Newsletter, edited by Clinton Wahlen, Ph.D.