God's Plan for
Financing the Gospel

by Gertrude Battle (Used by permission)

God's economic program is twofold: For the temporal needs of his people, and financial aid in the promotion of the gospel. The tithing system is God's original plan for promoting and maintaining the gospel and has never been changed.

The tree of knowledge of good and evil was an everlasting reminder that God is the rightful owner of the earth and everything in it. Adam was guilty of stealing something that did not belong to him. Today we are tested by the tithe. It is a safeguard against selfishness, which is the root of all other sins.

What two distinct things belong to God? The Sabbath and the tithe. We can recognize or disregard either of them--the seventh part of our time and the tenth part of that which we possess. We can steal God's time, His money or both.

l. God's Ownership of the Whole World

A.How much of this world does God own? Ps. 50:10-12 ; Haggai 2:8

Everything in it belongs to Him.

B. What relation do we have to the things we possess? 1 Cor. 4:2

We are just stewards, or caretakers of what we have and are required to be faithful.

C. What warning did God give to His people in ancient times? Deut. 8:10-18

They were not to forget that it was by His wisdom and the strength that He had given them that they were able to accumulate what they had.

II. Early Records of Tithing

A.What is the earliest record we have of tithing? Gen. 14:18-20

Abraham. He paid tithes to the priest of the Most High God, the possessor of all things, recognizing Him as the rightful owner.

B.In gratefulness for the promise that God had given him, what was included in the vow Jacob made? Gen. 28:20-22

That he would be faithful in tithe paying.

III. Levites Chosen for the Ministry

A. What tribe was chosen to be the ministers in the sanctuary service? Num. 18:21

Why were they chosen? Ex. 32:26

The Levites. They were chosen because of their loyalty when the golden calf was made at Sinai.

B.Did the Levites pay tithe also? Num. 18:26 ; Lev. 27:30

Yes. The tithe is holy.

IV. Reformation Brought about by Nehemiah

A. What did Nehemiah find when he went to Jerusalem to help with the work there? Neh. 13:10-13

People were so busy building their own homes that they were neglecting to support the Levites who were working in the fields, thereby neglecting the work on the temple. He brought about a reform, organizing the Levites and appointing treasurers to take care of the money.

V. Curse upon Israel because of Their Neglect of Tithing

A. What curse was brought upon them for their neglect? Haggai 1:3-11

They were working hard but getting nowhere; bringing money home, but it was evidently going out as fast as it was coming in. God brought a curse upon their land to bring them back to Him.

B. What was the remedy for this situation? Mal. 3:7-12

They were to bring in their tithe again. God told them to prove Him and He would give them a great blessing for their faithfulness.

VI. Tithing in the New Testament

A. Did Jesus commend the tithe payers? Matt. 23:23

They were faithful in paying tithe on the least little herb, but they were neglecting other more important things, such as loving their neighbor as themselves. But Jesus told them they should pay tithe strictly. He commended them for that.

B. How did Paul rebuke the Corinthians for their neglect in supporting the ministry? 1 Cor. 9:7-14 (Read this in either the R.S.V. or Phillips translations. Both make it clearer than the King James version.)

A soldier does not enlist in Uncle Sam's army at his own expense. Neither does God expect His ministers to have to work at any other trade to earn their living. The church should support them.

VII. Blessings upon the Faithful and Liberal Givers

A. What does God say about those who are always liberal in their giving and those who hold on to more than they should? Prov. 11:24-25
The one who gives liberally is always blessed, while the one who withholds more than is his due is sometimes brought to poverty.

B.What kind of giver does God love? 2 Cor. 9:6-8

A cheerful giver. Need we ever fear to give to His cause? No. After all, God is able to give you all that you need so you will always have sufficient for yourself, and also to give to His cause in helping others.

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Updated 6/19/2006 by Kim Rollins