Better to Give than to Receive
Nowhere in the Bible does it say that you are to give all your tithes to the one church or ministry. What the Bible does say is to give unto God what is rightfully HIS! (Ref. Malachi 3:8)
How do you do that? It is easy! If you are receiving revelation from God through a ministry or church, then you have found His Spirit and that is where He wants you to sow your tithes and offerings. Think about it: if God has chosen that person to speak through, don’t you suppose that might be where He would want you to give of your material things? If the minister is good enough for God, how much more should we be willing to bless him/her?
Some Christians are confused about the way their relationship with God should operate. They feel as though God is supposed to be merciful and giving, blessing His people because they have needs that must be met. They fail to recognize their responsibility to financially support those God has provided to meet their spiritual needs.
“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” (1 Corinthians 9:13,14).
If the Lord has commanded those who preach the Gospel to live from the Gospel, then we need to support those who labor in this good news. What could be the punishment for not taking care of those who are laboring for God’s word? Have you ever tried to find God after He has hidden Himself so well that you feel abandoned? In the day of the prophet Amos, a famine existed, but the famine was not of food or water but of the word of the Lord. (Ref. Amos 8:11, 12) I am sure there were still priests, prophets and kings in that day but God was not speaking through any of them. Why? Because the people became closefisted and would not give the Lord their best. As a result, they were cursed.
“Your words have been harsh against Me,” says the LORD. Yet you say, “What have we spoken against You?” You have said, “It is useless to serve God; what profit is it that we have kept His ordinance, and that we have walked as mourners before the LORD of hosts? So now we call the proud blessed, for those who do wickedness are raised up; they even tempt God and go free” (Malachi 3:13-15).
For generations, the Israelites argued that because God was not blessing them that it was not worth following His commandments and fulfilling their duties. In reality, He was constantly generous with them but because God’s messengers who brought His Word were not being taken care of, He withdrew His Voice and His blessings.
The day the Lord had me start asking the people to give something of value for a prophecy, seemed to be the same day that I started fighting my flesh. You see, I was proud and I did not want to be supported by God’s people. It made me feel out of control to depend on the people for my needs. I would rather paint houses or work at the grocery store than take money for preaching and prophesying.
I have really experienced the power in this verse of scripture that says, “It is better to give than to receive.” (Ref. Acts 20:35) Believe me, it is much easier to labor in physical tasks and receive a regular paycheck than to earn your wages from spiritual labor. Once you have been humbled to depend upon the people for your livelihood, you realize that you have given up the freedom to do as you want and say whatever you will. You become much more responsible to the people God sends your way and will find yourself praying much harder for their wealth, health and sound mind, because you are much more committed and reliant on them.
These attacks are not our battles to fight; God defends His own. My family and I tried very hard to do what God told us to do, and that was not always what others wanted us to do. I asked the Lord over and over again, “Why do we have to ask the people to give in order to receive.” He has responded many ways, but each time He has not wavered in His reasoning. He once said, “Son, the Gospel is not free; it cost me My life!” Another time He responded to my plea with these words, “Son if they have nothing invested in the word they receive, it will be worthless to them.” On another occasion the Lord said, “The Gospel is not free; it will cost you this life in exchange for life eternal.”
At a time when I became very stressed over finances the Lord said to me, “Son, do not take this life too seriously, for this is not it!” After hearing the Lord’s words so many times, I have learned to become very firm in the way we handle things in this ministry, for it is His ministry we are entrusted with. Now when we receive hate mail or rebukes for asking for the financial support, it just makes me more determined to preach the truth about the spiritual law of giving and receiving.
“It is written, ‘Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceeds from the mouth of God'” (Matthew 4:4).
The devil has worked overtime to convince a large portion of God’s people to disregard the exchange of spiritual things for monetary gifts. The Bible is the book of Truth and it fully supports the spiritual law of exchange. Of course, giving just to give does not always produce God’s rewards and blessings. We need to make sure that we are supporting the church or ministry that is manifesting God’s Truth and blessings in your life.
(message by, Kent Simpson, Apostolic Prophet)Return to the Newsletter Archives