There is a time to find out why money doesn’t come rather than seeking a new method to employ to get more money.
Many pastors keep their people poor. They do not keep people poor on purpose, but it is predominant in many cultures of the world. It’s the product of a severe lack of understanding and blindness facilitated by a religious spirit.
I have seen this problem the most in predominantly Catholic countries, as well as in countries that are either communist or formerly communist. Catholic priests take a vow of poverty though it is not Biblical. Communist consider everyone on the same level. Both of these types of thinking are in the culture of the people and both lower the minister to a common status. While the minister is human, that minister is also called and sent by the Lord Jesus Himself. How you treat the sent minister is how you are treating the Lord (Matthew 10:40).
Here are some scriptures that deal with the root of the problem.
(Numbers 18:8–9 ESV) “Then the LORD spoke to Aaron, “Behold, I have given you charge of the contributions made to me, all the consecrated things of the people of Israel. I have given them to you as a portion and to your sons as a perpetual due. This shall be yours of the most holy things, reserved from the fire: every offering of theirs, every grain offering of theirs and every sin offering of theirs and every guilt offering of theirs, which they render to me, shall be most holy to you and to your sons.”
(1 Corinthians 9:13–14 ESV) “Do you not know that those who are employed in the temple service get their food from the temple, and those who serve at the altar share in the sacrificial offerings? In the same way, the Lord commanded that those who proclaim the gospel should get their living by the gospel.”
(Galatians 6:6 AMP) “Let him who receives instruction in the Word [of God] share all good things with his teacher [contributing to his support].”
Paul makes a direct reference in the New Testament to scriptures in the Old Testament commanding that the contributions made to God have been given to the ministers as their portion and as a perpetual due. Paul also declares that the one who teaches is to be supported by the ones who are receiving the teaching.
What is NOT mentioned.
These scriptures are not conditional. They do not say that if a minister has enough money to live on, then you do not have to give to them. It does not say that if the people are poor, then they do not have to give and have it go to the support of the minister. However, both of these situations are the way things are often practiced. And, that is how the people are kept poor.
What I am saying right here, right now, is the most controversial subject in the Bible. Demons are assigned to keep people blind concerning these things. Human reasoning is most vulnerable concerning this subject. Yet, if a believer can navigate past the onslaught of pressure that comes from many directions concerning this subject, they will begin to experience a new blessing.
Many abuses have occurred.
Yes, but what about? Anything to do with money will be abused by someone. Many preachers have taken advantage of these scriptures and pressured people financially. I cannot count the number of offerings I have endured because scriptures were being misapplied and promises were made that were entirely exaggerated.
“All preachers want is your money.” Most of us have heard someone say this. Sadly, there are preachers that all they want is your money. However, because something is abused does not negate the truth, nor does it grant permission to disobey. You are going to have to get over it.
The battle is in the mind.
Human reasoning is the devil’s greatest tool to steal. The challenge we all face is to overcome thoughts about the person that ultimately benefits from our giving. If a minister is prosperous, the thought comes that they do not need more money. Perhaps thoughts come that question how the minister will use the money that they receive. Yet, the Bible takes none of these things into account.
Just to keep that stingy spirit out of my church, I have often received a guest minister’s offering by saying to the people, “I hope he goes and buys something frivolous with this offering.” Its better to behead a giant before he gets up to fight.
The thief is subtle.
The devil gets into the church primarily through the culture of the area. The problem with culture is that it is “normal” behavior to those that are in it — and so goes unrecognized. Religious demons do not like ministers being blessed. Brother Kenneth E. Hagin, in his book entitled, “The Triumphant Church”, recounted an incident in ministry on page 202.
“He kept asking me to hold a meeting in is church. Finally, I told him I wasn’t going to do it. I explained I did’t want to preach in that town unless God definitely told me to. You see, in that city the people prided themselves on being conservative; actually, they were so conservative in the area of giving that they were stingy. The same spirits that predominate in a city will get into the church if believers let them.
I told the pastor that the town was full of reserved, conservative people, motivated and influenced by stingy devils and demons. I told him those demons had gotten into his church and that the people wouldn’t support me if I went there. His eyes got big and his mouth fell open. He asked, “Has anyone been talking to you?’” I replied, ”No one but the Lord.”
I told that pastor, “The people in your church don’t treat ministers of the gospel right! That’s why I won’t come.” Unless God tells you to, there’s no use going to a group like that anyway. They can’t receive God’s best because they mistreat God’s servants; they are being motivated and influenced by evil spirits.”
As an Apostle, I travel extensively to foreign countries. As one called to minister on Biblical finances, I usually find myself in an area that desperately needs revelation concerning finances. It is interesting to me to see over the years how God has prevented me from repeatedly going to certain places. In each case, the host minister and ministry would not act Biblically concerning offerings - to me.
Invariably, those ministries that will not act Biblically concerning offerings to the one teaching them, find themselves always struggling financially. While they continue ministry, they do not ever find a flow in their finances. The sadness is that they never connect the dots. They never see that they are keeping their people poor. Jesus said concerning the blind leading the blind — leave them alone.
I was invited to return to a country to minister to a group of pastors. The host never even asked if I needed accommodations and he never offered to help with anything concerning my travel or stay. I told him that I wouldn’t come because the pastors would not give. His response was, “The pastors here don’t like to give to ministers.” I told him that was the problem and that I wouldn’t come. His response, “But we need your ministry here.” Needing something and receiving something are two very different things. That host minister probably believes that all I am looking for is money and he will not ever realize that he is keeping his people poor.
I was surprised at a church in Mexico. I was invited to minister on finances but I did not personally know the pastor. I noticed something very different about this church. They were very easy to minister to, they were smiling, and they were attentive. It was a joy for me to minister. When the pastor got up to receive my offering here is what he said:
“We are going to receive an offering for our brother from America who has ministered to us. As an American, he lives on American standards. So, we are going to give him an offering based upon American standards rather than Mexican standards.”
I knew right then why that church was so easy to minister to. The pastor was well dressed, the people were well dressed and happy. That pastor had risen out of the culture and into the Bible. He, and his people, were enjoying God’s blessings.
Contributing to the one who teaches you is an obligation and not a preference. Paul also said to us:
(Romans 13:7 KJV) “Render therefore to all their dues: tribute to whom tribute is due; custom to whom custom; fear to whom fear; honour to whom honour.”
We are to render to all their dues. What is due is an obligation and it is not based upon the circumstances of the one receiving it. Whether or not we think they need it is not our consideration — its their due and it is the right ways of God.
At one time I was participating in an offering to a certain minister and I heard these words, “He is rich and doesn’t need this.” I instantly knew where that voice was coming from — the devil. You know what? That minister really didn’t need it. But we need to realize that the Bible does not say to give to the one teaching you who really needs it.
Many times I have ministered in conventions and an offering was received for me but it was never given to me. There is a presumption that Americans are rich and don’t need to be given an offering. Again, it is not about need, it is about Biblical order.
Poor people are poor because of the way they think. Pastors are to change the people’s thinking to Biblical Truth. If a pastor does not lead his people in Biblical actions, they will remain poor and the pastor will be accountable for it (James 3:1)
Again, I don’t believe there is a more controversial subject in the Bible than finances, particularly giving to ministers. According to the Bible, ministers are to have the best.
(Numbers 18:12 AMP) “All the best of the oil, and all the best of the [fresh] wine and of the grain, the firstfruits of what they give to the Lord, to you have I given them.”
Many times this angers the saints. People don’t think they have a love of money, but if you get dissatisfied with the prosperity of the minister, you certainly have a problem with money — and with God. With thinking like this, you will also remain poor.
Pastors, the prosperity and well being of your people resides in your mouth and in your actions. You can lead those in your care, first by example, to honor the one who teaches them. It is an act of obedience and faith on the side of the giver and it has nothing to do with the needs of the one teaching.