THE SECRET TO SCRIPTURAL FINANCIAL SUCCESS
By A. A. ALLEN
Do you believe the Bible? Do you believe it is God’s Word? Do you believe God gave every promise in the Bible? Do you believe ALL His promises are true?
If your answer is “Yes,” (and you really mean it!) you are going to enjoy this book, every word of it. It is going to open up to you new channels of blessing. It may even be the means of changing the entire course of your life. It may bring thousands, yea hundreds of thousands of dollars into your bank account, while at the same time build up for yourself an even greater reward to be enjoyed throughout the endless ages of eternity.
If your answer is “No,” please put the book down now, and do not pick it up again until you have come to believe God’s Word, for you would only criticize, find fault, rebel, and harden your heart toward God, to your own destruction!
You say, “Of course I believe the Bible! I’m not a heathen! I love the precious promises.”
“For God so loved the world that he gave his only begotten son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish -.” - John 3:16.
“By grace are ye saved through faith -.” - Ephesians 2:8.
“Who forgiveth all thine iniquities; who healeth all thy diseases-.” - Psalms 103:3.
“The prayer of faith shall save the sick-.” - James 5:15.
Ye shall receive power after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you -.” - Acts 1:8.
“This same Jesus - shall so come in like manner as ye have seen him go-.” - Acts 1:11.
“I will come again and receive you unto myself-.” - John 14:3.
‘Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death-” - Psalms 23:4.
I can almost hear you shout as your mind reviews the precious promises of God, and as you say to yourself, “Indeed there is a promise for every occasion!”
You say you believe them? Good! I wonder if you believe the promises you will find below!
Do you believe THESE promises?
“Beloved, I wish above all things that thou mayest prosper . . .” - III John 2.
“The Lord shall make thee plenteous in goods, in the fruit of thy cattle, and in the fruit of thy ground.” - Deuteronomy 28:11.
“The Lord - shall bless all the work of thine hand. And thou shalt lend unto many nations, and thou shalt not borrow.” - Deuteronomy 28:12.
“The Lord shall command the blessing upon thee in thy storehouses, and in all that thou settest thine hand unto; and he shall bless thee."- Deuteronomy 28:8.
“Blessed shall be the fruit of thy ground and the fruit of thy cattle, the increase of thy kine, and the flocks of thy sheep.” - Deuteronomy 28:4.
“Blessed shalt thou be when thou comest in and blessed shalt thou be when thou goest out.” - Deuteronomy 28:6.
“The Lord shall open unto thee his good treasure.” - Deuteronomy 28:12.
“Prove me now, sayeth the Lord of hosts, if I will not open you the windows of heaven, and pour you out a blessing, that there shall not be room enough to receive it. And I will rebuke the devourer for your sakes, and he shall not destroy the fruits of your ground; neither shall your vine cast her fruit before the time in the field, saith the Lord of hosts.” - Malachi 3:10, 11.
“So shall thy barns be filled with plenty and thy presses shall burst out with new wine.” - Proverbs 3:10.
“And all these blessings shall come on thee and overtake thee.” - Deuteronomy 28:2.
“THE PROMISES OF GOD ARE YEA AND AMEN TO ALL THAT BELIEVE!” Every promise you have just read is a direct quotation from God’s Word! They should bring a shout of encouragement to every child of God who reads this book. Note that God says (and God CANNOT LIE) “All these blessings SHALL come upon thee and overtake THEE.” “Thee” means every person who will claim the promise of God! “Thee” means YOU! You who hold this book in your hand at this very moment! Yes, YOU can claim every one of these promises!
It matters not whether you are going out or coming in; God says the blessings shall come upon thee! It matters not which direction you are traveling, God will bless THEE.
You may be a wage earner in the city or a tiller of the ground, God says He will bless thee. Everything that you set your hand unto, God will bless. The promise is to bless your basket and your store, your flocks - cattle, sheep, kine -, the fruit you produce on your ground. Your barns shall be filled with plenty, God rebuking the devourer for YOUR sake, and the vine not casting its fruit before the time in the field.
Because God said it! It is God’s promise to you IF YOU BELIEVE IT!
Do you have a storehouse? Get ready for God to bless it! Everything you touch, God is going to bless it!
“You shall lend and not borrow.” That doesn’t mean you have to set up a loan business, but it does mean that you will have sufficient of this world’s goods for your own needs, and enough over to lend to others less fortunate. (See Luke 6:34, 35).
The promise is to MAKE YOU PLENTEOUS IN GOODS!” “I will open unto you my good treasure.” Summed up in the words of the New Testament, “I wish above all things that thou mayest prosper. . .” - III John 2. GOD WANTS YOU TO PROSPER! To prosper FINANCIALLY! He is so eager for you to prosper that He has promised literally to open the windows of heaven and pour you out a blessing (and that means financial blessing) that you will not have room to receive!
To many people today, the heavenly windows of God’s blessings are closed. Doubt, unbelief, skepticism, or perhaps lack of knowledge of God’s Word, have closed them. But though the windows may be closed now, if you will obey the instructions set forth in this book, before you have turned the last page, the windows of heaven can be open upon YOU! The spiritual, physical, and the FINANCIAL blessing of God will be upon you, your household, your lands, your cattle, and everything you set your hand to do!
Open your heart NOW. Accept these glorious promises from God’s Word NOW, and let the blessing from heaven sweep over your soul this very day, yea, even NOW. God would let this old world turn inside out or upside down before He would even let one of His promises fail one of His children who believe!
The “blessing’ includes financial blessing, as seen in the many scriptures already quoted. It also includes physical blessing. “The Lord will take away from thee ALL sickness.” - Deuteronomy 7:15. And it also includes spiritual blessing, which is unquestionably the greatest. The world today is, spiritually, on its death bed because of failure to claim the spiritual blessings promised in God’s Word. Because people today have not claimed God’s promises to His children concerning physical blessings, the hospitals are packed to capacity with the sick, diseased and dying. Both spiritual and physical blessings are rightly considered to be more important than financial blessings. Nevertheless, God has promised financial blessings too! Why not claim ALL the promises of God? Why not let God pour out upon you ALL THREE - spiritual, physical, and financial blessings?
The world is full of books on spiritual growth and victorious Christian living, and this is as it should be, since spiritual blessings are most important. Hundreds of books have been written on divine healing, for which we praise God. Among our own publications advertised elsewhere in this book, you will find books on physical and spiritual blessing. I am sending forth this little book to present to you the unfailing promises of God in order that along with spiritual victory and physical health, you and yours may also enjoy the financial blessing God wants you to enjoy. I know of no other book which deals with this subject in any similar manner. No doubt this is because finance is a “touchy subject,” not only with sinners, but with church members and Christians as well. Many preachers are afraid even to preach on the subject, lest their people think they are “out for the money.” Yet it is a part of the Gospel - God’s book of “Good News!” Without knowledge of God’s financial plan YOU can never be blessed financially as God wants to bless you! God was not afraid to put it in His Bible! He must have considered it important, or He would never have instituted it for man to follow.
Come now, let’s open our hearts, and receive ALL that God has for us! Why live beneath hour privileges in Christ? Let’s claim every promise, including the promise of God’s blessing upon our basket and store, and upon the work of our hands!
This book will be an eye-opener to the skeptic, to the stingy, the greedy, and the grasping, to the hypocrite who continually accuses the preacher of being “out for more money.” It will be an eye opener to the sincere Christian who earnestly desires to do all God’s will, but lacks knowledge of the Word. It will be an eye opener to all those now living under a curse, because they don’t know how to receive God’s blessings.
My heart is burdened for these multitudes under the curse, who accuse God of unfaithfulness to them, while in reality the whole trouble is their unfaithfulness to God! May God use the message of this little book to bring back to the Highway of God’s blessing many of these who today are struggling in the mire of some side road of their own choosing, void of God’s blessing, and actually under a CURSE!
Should you be the least bit carnal, your first thought may be, “Here’s another preacher that can’t talk about anything but money, - who’s one interest is money!”
Slow up a bit, friend! You must be interested in money yourself, or you wouldn’t be reading this book, now! You looked at the front cover. You noticed and examined the title. It appealed to you! That’s the reason you bought it! That’s why you are reading it. Let’s confess the truth, now. Am I not right?
Many have misconceived, unscriptural ideas concerning finance. They think God wants all His people to be poor and destitute. For years, I myself believed that if a preacher had a new car, he must be backslidden. If he had more than one suit, it was a sign of pride. He surely was not right with God. Many still think so! Many still believe that the place for God’s people to worship is off on the “wrong” side of town, down by the railroad tracks, in an old weather-beaten shanty church. Why should we think such things? Could it be prove from God’s Word?
Wake up, my friends. God’s people deserve the best location on the main cross roads. If any one deserves the best, it is God’s children who trust Him and live the life!
I mean no disrespect to the group who still worship in the little weather-beaten church by the side of the railroad, nor to the preacher who has only one suit and who drives an old car and works at secular jobs to help pay the church bills.
How well I remember the time in my own early ministry when the only dress clothes I owned was one old oxford gray suit, patched both on the knees and on the seat. How careful I had to be when I knelt to help someone at the altar! At such times, I might feel a cool breeze which gave warning that I must be careful to keep my coat well pulled down until I could get home and get a new patch put on the worn out trousers!
Sister Allen and I know what it is to have nothing but plain beans to eat, even without seasoning!
We know what it is to go into a new home mission field to reach the lost and that without the backing of a home missions program, with no one to look to for support but the Lord who sent us there. I have preached many a week and received as little as forty cents in the Sunday morning tithe offering. We have gone into a town to establish a new church, following the leading of the Lord, not knowing one person in the town, and arriving with only enough money to buy a quart of milk and a can of baby food for the baby. I know what it is to be unable to buy new tags for the old model “A,” nor to put in a gallon of gas at eight cents per gallon, so that I could drive to go visit the sick.
Had we been concerned for wealth, we could have left our place of service (as many were doing at that time) and gone to some of the centers for defense work, and secured a job which would have provided for us and our family abundantly. But we wanted most of all to do God’s will. We just tightened our belts, sewed on another patch and stayed where God wanted us. No one then seemed concerned about our finances. They didn’t even say we were out for the money!
Yes, this preacher knows what it is to have “neither gold nor silver nor brass in his purse, nor script for the journey, neither two coats.” This is the favorite scripture today of those who are shriveled up in their souls and do not want to see the preacher prosper. They say Jesus said he shouldn’t have two coats, nor silver, gold, “brass,” nor script! Like those who have built other false teachings from the material of scripture, they have taken only a part, and have disregarded entirely the thought in the mind of the Lord in giving the words quoted. Let us examine the entire message.
“As ye go, preach, saying, The kingdom of heaven is at hand. Heal the sick, cleanse the lepers, raise the dead, cast out devils: freely ye have received, freely give. Provide neither gold, nor silver, nor brass in your purses, nor scrip for your journey, neither two coats, neither shoes, nor yet staves: FOR THE WORKMAN IS WORTHY OF HIS MEAT.” - Matthew 10:7-10. This passage of scripture does not state nor imply that the possession of shoes, a second coat, nor gold and silver would be sinful on the part of the preacher. The thought is clarified in the last portion of verse 10. “The workman is worthy of his meat.” When God has called a man to go preach the gospel, He has called him to assume a responsibility far beyond that of the support of himself and his family. God himself assumes the responsibility for his provision. (“Who goeth a warfare any time at his own charges?” - I Corinthians 9:7. Read also the rest of the chapter.) And God supports His ministers through the faithful tithes and offerings of those who have not been called to give full time to the preaching of the gospel. This means that as we go about preaching the Gospel, we are worth the meat we eat and the clothes we wear. God will supply our needs AS we go. We should not wait for God to supply the entire need for the journey before we start. Neither should we feel we must make these provisions for ourselves before we start, nor even as we go!
The sin is not in having two coats or silver or gold. The sin is in putting off doing God’s will or obeying God’s command because of fearing to start out with only one coat or without money. The sin is in refusing to go forth with the gospel unless there is a secure place to return to, should one desire to return, and ample provision for comfort and elegance along the way. The sin is in seeking FIRST the things the Gentiles seek, (Matthew 6:32), rather than seeking first the kingdom of God. But God’s promise to those who do seek first the kingdom of God is, “ALL THESE THINGS shall be added unto you!” - Matthew 6:33.
POSSESSION of money is not a sin. The sin is the LOVE of money. This sin is holding onto the money with a greedy spirit, trying to double or triple it, in order to have more money, being so bound by the love of money that one will not part with it, even to feed the hungry, or to rescue souls from hell. The rich young ruler went to hell not because he had riches, but because money was his god. He worshipped his possessions! It is not a sin to have possessions - it is a sin to worship possessions.
The Bible says, “Abraham was very RICH, in cattle, in silver, and in gold.” - Genesis 13:2. Yet Abraham is called the “friend of God,” (James 2:23), and is listed in the great faith chapter, (Hebrews 11:17), as one of the greatest heroes of faith of all time. This might be surprising to those who think living by faith means being entirely destitute of everything else!
Note the names of the other great men of faith listed in Hebrews 11. Upon examination, you’ll find that many of these men were not only men of faith; they were men who had had the financial blessing of God upon their lives, the work of their hands, their cattle, the fruit of their fields, flocks and herds. Many were so rich they had more cattle than they could count, many servants, and much silver and gold. They were men of God, and men of faith, and God’s blessing was upon all they touched! Was there a secret to their financial success? Or was their prosperity mere chance? Here is the secret. The promises of God were real to them, and they believed them! They followed God’s instructions, which opened unto them God’s great treasure house of prosperity and blessing. The promises which brought blessing to them are the same promises (listed at the beginning of this book) which will bring blessing to YOU!
Here, some may declare that, not being Jews, they have no part in these promises. Don’t forget, Paul speaking to Gentiles in Romans 11:13-19, said, “Thou - partakes of the ROOT AND FATNESS of the olive tree,” because we “Being a wild olive tree, were grafted in among them.” So to every “grafted in” child of God today, who will meet the conditions of blessing, God’s promises are just as good today as they ever were!
But none of God’s promises avail for any one of us until they are CLAIMED! You can starve to death in sight of food, if you refuse to eat. You can sink and drown in reach of the life saver if you refuse to grasp it. You can die and go to hell in spite of Christ’s sacrifice on the cross, if you refuse to believe on Him as your personal Savior. You can make the stripes He bore for the deliverance of your body of no avail, while you suffer sickness, thinking it is for God’s glory. If financial blessing is to be yours, you must grasp the promises of God, qualify for them, believe them, and CLAIM THEM!
Why should every child of God claim financial blessings?
First, because it is OURS! It is the provision of a loving father for the welfare of his children. When you fail to claim it, you are depriving yourself of that which you need, which you could enjoy, and which is RIGHTFULLY YOURS!
Second, God WANTS us to have it. His loving heart is grieved when we refuse His provision, just as the heart of any true father is grieved when his provision is refused, and the loved child chooses for himself a path of degeneration rather than the blessings of his father’s provision. True enough, there may be times of testing, and periods of struggle in the will of God. But God’s perfect will for His children is to “supply all your need ACCORDING TO HIS RICHES IN GLORY.” - Philippians 4:19. Nowhere in His Word has God said that His children should never be tested and tried financially, but having endured the testing with unwavering faith, and having claimed the promise, deliverance comes! Even the apostle Paul declared, “I know both how to be abased, and I know how to abound: - both to be full and to be hungry, both to abound and to suffer need.” - Philippians 4:12. He came through the fire, but God met his need.
My wife and I also have gone through the fire. We have seen the time when we went to bed at night knowing that before morning a new little one might have come to our home, and we had been unable to provide the things that were needful to be ready for his coming. Our hearts were burdened with care and worry, lest the time should come, and no little garments are ready for our child. But God taught us to trust Him, gave us rest in our souls, knowing that we were His servants and were doing His will. We felt perfect assurance that before the need, God would provide. And he did - miraculously, and right on time!
Then, Reason number three, why we should claim God’s promises of financial blessing. We should claim financial blessing that we might have to give for the furtherance of the work of God. Nineteen hundred years ago, Christ commanded, “Go ye into all the world and preach the gospel to ever creature.” It was His plan that every person in the world should have an opportunity to be saved through the preaching of the gospel. After nineteen hundred years there are still millions who have never heard! There are still languages into which the gospel has never been translated! And the awful shame upon the Church which calls itself “Christian,” is that hundreds of young men and women would have gone with the gospel, but there was no provision so that they could be sent!
“How then shall they call on him in whom they have not believed? And how shall they believe in him of whom they have not heard? And how shall they hear without a preacher? And how shall they preach, except they be sent?” - Romans 10:14, 15.
The Christian should never desire the filling of his barns for the purpose of tearing down to build greater, only to fill them again. One young man MADE THIS MISTAKE. He said, “I will pull down my barns, and build greater: and there will I bestow ALL my fruits and my goods. And I will say to my soul, Soul, thou hast much goods laid up for many years: take thine ease, eat drink and be merry.” - Luke 12: 8 19. He lost it all, for he could not enjoy his goods in hell! A true Christian cannot greedily hoard God’s financial blessings, while millions of lost souls go down to hell without ever hearing the name of Jesus!
The miserable, miserly, shrunken soul, incapable of hearing the cries of the lost, and unwilling to go to their rescue or send someone in his place, may very readily be deaf also to the promises of God, and incapable of reaching out the hand paralyzed by selfishness to grasp the blessing. Like the unbelieving lord upon whose hand the king leaned (II Kings 7:2) they may “see it with (their) eyes, but - not eat thereof!”
As I stand before God this day, I can say truly that I have no desire for money except that I may be able to use it for the glory of God. In our great tent campaigns across the nation, we receive an offering in every service. These are received for only one purpose - to meet the expense of carrying on these great meetings, which over a period of many months averages several thousand dollars expense for each of the twenty-five night campaigns. There are times when the offering may be less than one hundred dollars for several nights in succession, although the budget shows far more than that is needed for each day’s operating expense. Nevertheless, no distressing “pulls” are ever made for money. Seldom has a second offering ever been received in one service. These offerings, which we count, record, and bank in the name of A.A. Allen Revivals, Inc., a non-profit religious corporation, mean nothing to me except as they serve as a means of making the message of salvation, healing, and the blessing of God available to ever-increasing numbers of lost and suffering men and women.
These funds are not my own. The property which is purchased and maintained with them is not my own. It cannot even be used for the benefit of my family after my death. For if A. A. Allen Revivals, Inc., should ever cease to function for the purpose for which it was organized, all the property of the corporation, as stated in its constitution and bylaws, will be sold and distributed to certain organizations for the care of orphans and retired, superannuated ministers. My family, and those of my helpers, lives upon small salaries, carefully computed to meet our minimum requirements for living - much smaller that then salaries of many of the men who attend our meetings - yes, even smaller than the incomes of many of our sponsoring pastors.
Frequently when some special gift or personally designated offering has been handed to me, it has been my choice to use it to help with the revival budget, or in the maintenance fund which keeps in repair or replaces worn out equipment, as tents, trucks, etc. Our personal income could be greater - in fact was greater - as an evangelist in the local churches, preaching to a few hundred (rather than the thousands we are now reaching), and receiving a love offering from the people on Sunday night. Why should we require this of ourselves? To prove to God, to myself, and even to others, that I have no love for money. God gave me victory over that years ago!
I believe that God will give to every one of His children ALL the money, ALL the earthly goods that one is capable of using for God’s glory. Some say, “I wish I had a million dollars. What great things I would do for God!” But, are you glorifying God with the ten dollar bill you do have?
If you desire to claim these promises of God for God’s glory and for the up-building of the kingdom of God, then and then only will these blessings begin to materialize in your life.
All God’s promises are conditional. God’s promises of healing are conditional. The conditions are discussed fully in my book, “God’s Guarantee to Heal You.” God’s promise of Salvation is conditional. The promise of the Baptism with the Holy Ghost is conditional. You can read more about these conditions in my book “Receive Ye the Holy Ghost.” Even so, before one can have sufficient faith to claim the promise of God for financial blessings, one must meet God’s conditions. These conditions can be summed up in two brief quotations of scripture:
“Bring ye all the tithe into the storehouse, and prove me now herewith. . .” - Malachi 3:10.
“Give, and it shall be given unto you; good measure, pressed down, and shaken together, and running over, shall men give into your bosom. For with THE SAME MEASURE that ye mete withal it shall be measured to you again.” - Luke 6:38.
“Oh,” you say, “I knew it was going to cost me something!”
Let me ask you a question. If you were offered five dollar bills for one dollar bill, would you object to the cost? Should such a bargain be presented, and marked “NO LIMIT,” you would put every dollar you had into the purchase of five dollar bills! You would say, “No one will ever make such an offer as that!” I want to inform you, my friend, God has ALREADY MADE a better offer than that! But first, let us look into the conditions.
“And it shall come to pass IF thou shalt hearken diligently unto the voice of the Lord thy God, to observe and to do all his commandments which I command thee this day - All these blessings shall come on thee and overtake thee, IF thou shalt hearken unto the voice of the Lord thy God.” - Deuteronomy 18:1, 2.
I am not trying to drive you back under the law, but it is well to remember that the recipe for God’s blessing can be found back where He began to bless His people. God has always blessed His people, whether in Old or New Testament times. If the promises under the old covenant were great, how much greater and stronger are those under the new, for “Now hath he obtained a more excellent ministry, by how much also he is the Mediator of a BETTER COVENANT, which was established upon BETTER PROMISES!” - Hebrews 8:6. The reason I go back into the Old Testament for much of this message is that it was there the people began to pay tithes. (Not “under law,” but before the law! Genesis 14:20; Hebrews 7:2; Genesis 28:22). But it does not end there. Jesus himself said, concerning the tithe, “These ought ye to have done . . .” - Matthew 23:23.
You will find very little mention of the tithe in the New Testament. The reason is simple. The tithe was such a well established principle, the people were so thoroughly instructed as to the necessity, importance and blessing of tithing, that it was not necessary to take much of the New Testament for the same teaching. Jesus placed His approval upon it. Is that not enough? It was never set aside. (Jesus blotted out the ‘handwriting of ordinances’ - the law – ‘nailing it to his cross.’ - Colossians 2:14. But this does not affect the tithe, which was before the law.) Paul confirmed the continued use of the same pattern for the support of the ministry. - I Corinthians 9:6-14. That is enough for me. I do not find it necessary to demand books, chapters, and pages in the New Testament to “pry me loose” from the portion which belongs to God! How about you?
Moses said, “ALL the tithe of the land, whether of the seed of the land, or of the fruit of the tree, is the Lord’s: It is holy unto the Lord.” - Leviticus 27:30.
Nothing could be plainer! “THE TITHE (tenth) IS THE LORDS!” If the tithe was the Lord’s in 1491 B.C., it is still the Lord’s today. Nowhere in the Bible has the Lord declared that the tithe was no longer to be His.
Everything we have comes from God, and in reality everything belongs to God. “The cattle upon a thousand hills” (Psalms 50:10) belong to God. He says, “All the silver is mine and the gold is mine, saith the Lord.” - Haggai 2:8. When we raise a crop, God gives the soil, (Psalms 24:1); God gives the seed, (Genesis 1:11); and God gives the rain. (Job 5:10). In addition, you could not do your part except that God gives you life, (Acts 17:28) and health, (Jeremiah 30:17), and strength. (Psalms 144:1).
We love to claim the Lord as our Shepherd, and glory in the fact that we are His people, and the sheep of His pasture. Then, may I ask, does not the wool rightly belong to the owner of the sheep? Whether we are willing to admit it or not, we still belong to God by right of creation. As Christians, we are also His sheep by preservation, by redemption, and by our own consent. Now, sheep cannot hold property because they are property themselves. The wool is theirs, as their skins are theirs, and their hands and feet - by way of accommodation. The title of ownership is GOD’S. It is His to decide whether we live or die - and what is to be done with the wool. Let God’s right to the wool on His own sheep (to say nothing of the hair on the goats), be settled, and we are at the opening of a new era in the world’s history. The progress of God’s work is slowed up, while the sheep contend for the right to keep or dispose of their own wool to suit themselves. There can be but one right answer to the question - WHOEVER OWNS THE SHEEP, OWNS THE WOOL!
Does it seem strange that God, having provided ALL the soil, ALL the vitality in the seed, ALL the rain, ALL the sunshine, ALL the knowledge and strength to till the soul and plant the seed, should ask for one tenth of the increase for the work nearest His heart? Rather more strange that He does not claim nine-tenths and leave the human servant only one! It ALL belongs to God, but He claims only the tithe (one tenth) for His work.
God can get along without your tithe but YOU CAN’T GET ALONG WITHOUT GIVING IT! God can get along without you, but you can’t get along without God. Heaven could get along without you, but you can’t afford to miss heaven. Can a thief go to heaven (except he repent)? - I Corinthians 6:10. Do you think God will judge the one who has robbed God more leniently than the man who has robbed his fellowmen? God calls the man who fails to bring his tithe a thief! “Ye have robbed me . . . In tithes and in offerings.” - Malachi 3:8.
Rob your fellow man, and the laws of the land will put you behind bars. God does not do that, but His punishment is worse!
What is it?
“YE ARE CURSED WITH A CURSE FOR YE HAVE ROBBED ME.” - Malachi 3:9. You may have robbed God by failure to bring the tithe, or to bring an offering, or both.
What is God’s curse? Simply this: no blessing of God as you come in nor as you go out; no blessing upon that which you set your hand to do; no blessing upon the fruit of your ground, your cattle, your flocks, or your herds; no blessing upon your basket nor your store; barns not filled, but empty; God’s good treasure not opened unto you, neither the windows of heaven, but closed and locked! When you had hoped to become plenteous in goods, so that there would be sufficient to meet your own needs with some left over, instead you find you must borrow rather than lend. Instead of blessing, there is curse!
“But it shall come to pass, if thou WILT NOT HEARKEN unto the voice of the Lord thy God to observe to do all his commandments - all these curses shall come upon thee and overtake thee: . . . And thou shalt not prosper in thy ways.” - Deuteronomy 28:15-29.
Then we come to the question, “What is the tithe? Should I figure my tithe before taking out expenses necessary in creating the income? If so, what should be considered expense necessary in creating income?” The farmer certainly could figure the cost of the seed as deductible in arriving at the increase. Perhaps even the cost of maintaining implements and tools. What about the cost of labor in planting, cultivating, and harvesting the crops? What of the food eaten by the hired help at his table? And then, what of the food he himself consumed while working the crop? Should his wife be allowed a deduction for her labor in preparing the meals? What about the labor of his children? How far might he go, before considering that he was ready to figure one tenth as tithe? The complications could become even greater than those met in figuring income tax!
The farmer who has confidence in God’s great promises in Malachi 3:10, 11, feels no necessity to figure so close with God. He knows that because he tithes liberally, and gives generously of his offerings, that God has been true to His promise; chintz bugs, potato bugs, grasshoppers, wooly aphids, all sorts of devourers, have been rebuked from his crop; frost, hail drought, and blight have been withheld. The good hand of God upon his crop has increased it far more than a tenth! Why should he be so careful not to give God too much? He leaves all such figuring to those who like such things. This leaves his mind clear and free for more important work, makes his heart glad, pleases God, does good to the church, and brings increased prosperity, so that in the future there is a larger portion both for God and the farmer than would have been possible by giving sparingly to God!
The same thing can be said of the city dweller. Many expenses can (if one is afflicted with avarice) be said to be necessary to the production of the income. And many wage earners and salaried persons carefully deduct all such expenses before figuring the tithe. These apparently are not cursed to the same extent as the non-tithe payer. But I have never yet seen one of them who enjoyed the same spiritual blessing, joyfulness, liberty, and assurance of the watchful care of God over his life, as does the person who takes out God’s portion first!
(Even when you figure your income tax, you are permitted to deduct your tithe plus a liberal offering from your GROSS income, before figuring the remainder as being taxable!)
Where is the man who says, “I can’t afford to tithe?”
It is more profitable (and pleasant, too) to give God willingly that one little dime out of a dollar, and have the blessing of the Lord on the nine-tenths that are left, than to withhold the tithe, and then lose half, or even all under the curse of pestilence, devourer, sickness, bad investment, or accident! You may seemingly prosper for a while, but even fortunes may be lost in a day. One bad attack of sickness can take all you have for doctors and hospital bills. One serious accident, one storm, one fire, may wipe out all you possess. One bad investment may make a pauper of a millionaire.
In South Dakota some time ago, I was holding a second meeting for a certain pastor. As the meeting began, my heart rejoiced as one after another of the converts from the previous meeting testified of the continued blessing of God upon their lives. I missed one certain man - a dairyman - for whom my heart had been particularly burdened during the earlier revival. When I asked the pastor about the dairyman, I was informed that he had come to church quite faithfully for a while, and had been careful to pay his tithes. But more recently he had come less and less, and had given up tithing entirely. However, it seemed he was prospering, for his trade had grown so that he seemed too busy to come to church. The profits from the extra trade had been used within the last few weeks to purchase a fine large herd of registered dairy cows - one of the best in the state. The pleas of his pastor and family went unheeded, for he was “too busy to go to church,” and seemed to feel no need for God.
Then on Sunday morning, as the service was drawing to a close, the pastor was called to the church steps. As soon as I was free, I felt drawn to go outside to see what the trouble was. Our friend was weeping and crying out in agony of soul, “What shall I do now? They are all gone! I’ve lost them all! I’m completely ruined!” Inquiry revealed that while he had been busy about his barns during the Sunday morning service, his fine herd of dairy cows had broken down a fence which separated them from a field of green corn. Every cow he owned had walked through the breach, had filled herself with the corn, and in a short time was either dead or dying. By the time he could call a veterinary, there was nothing that could be done.
My heart ached with sympathy as I saw the agony of this strong man. Placing my arm about his shoulders, I said to him, “My friend, have you faithfully given God his tenth?”
“No,” he replied, “BUT I WILL NOW”
But now there was no tenth to give!
Some may say, “But Brother Allen, I pay my tithes, and still it seems that I’m not being blessed.
Here is the answer. Remember, the tithe is only a PART of the condition for opening the windows of blessing. God did not stop when he had said, “Ye have robbed me in TITHES.” He said, “In tithes and IN OFFERINGS.”
Merely paying the tithe is not enough to command the full blessing of God. Since God says the tithe is the Lord’s, we have given God nothing until we have given more than the tithe. This much must we do even to be honest! This is, we might say, merely “the interest on God’s investment’ in the business which we are operating.
The tithe is the Lord’s! We owe it to Him as a debt. It is not ours to give. Why should we feel that we deserve the fullest blessing when we have merely paid our honest debt? If a man desires the full blessing of the Lord, he must do more than tithe. He must GIVE to God a portion of the nine tenths which God said he might keep for his own! This brings us to the “offering.”
“Bring an offering and come into his courts.” - Psalms 96:8.
That means, “Get your pocket book (or check book) and go to church!
The greatest of blessings awaits you - in the house of the Lord, as there you worship God in the spirit, the voice of God directs your giving, beyond the first tenth, and you joyfully obey. Then in the words of the Book, God’s voice says to you, “Give and it shall be given unto you; good measure, pressed down, and shaken together, and running over, shall men give into your bosom. For with the same measure that ye mete withal it shall be measured to you again.” - Luke 6:38.
Here is the greatest promise in the Bible for a real increase of finance. Simply obey the voice of the Lord, and give that which God asks you to give.
In one of our campaigns last summer, a certain man who had moved recently into the city and was working at a rather low paying job was having great difficulty making ends meet. One Sunday night he felt God moving in his heart to give all that was left from his pay check to help with the need that was presented that night. He knew his need for money would be great, especially the following week, but he knew the voice of God, and decided he must obey. To his surprise when he went to work next morning, he found the foreman had just been discharged, and as he entered the place of work, his boss called to him and informed him he was to take the foreman’s job with almost double the pay he had been receiving.
It has been said that giving to God is like shoveling out one door with a shovel, while God shovels in through another door with a larger shovel. He can shovel so much faster than we can! God says He uses the same measure (For with the same measure ye mete withal”)! The increase comes when God presses it down, shakes it together, heaps it up, runs it over, and then returns it. Give with a teaspoon, and it will be returned with a teaspoon! Give with a barrel, and God will return with a barrel!
How much more will a measure hold when it is heaped up, pressed down and shaken together and running over? In one of our tent revivals recently, I suddenly decided I wanted to know! I asked an usher to bring three of the buckets in which we receive the offerings, and to fill each of them level full of the shavings from the tent floor. On the pulpit, before the congregation, I began to press down the contents of one bucket. Soon there was room for all that the second bucket contained. I continued to press down, and to shake together the shavings, until bucket number three had been emptied also into the first bucket. Still it was not heaped up. I asked the usher to fill the two buckets again. The congregation watched in amazement as the fourth bucketful went in, and began to round up on top. Then I emptied the fifth bucket on top, making it heaped up, and running over. This is what Jesus meant when he said, “good measure, heaped up, pressed down, shaken together, and running over.” For every one that gives to God, He will return to you many times more. He could (and often does) return, not only five times, but fifty or a hundred times back to you, (depending upon the cheerfulness of the spirit in which you gave, for God loveth a cheerful giver.)
“It is more blessed to give than to receive.” - Acts 20:35. This is because the person who receives your offering receives merely the exact amount of the offering. But the one who gives it is more blessed, because he receives first of all the spiritual blessing and the joy of giving, and then afterward, he receives in return not only the same amount he gave, but many times over!
I do not mean to infer that this should be the Christian’s reason for giving. No! He should give because he wants to obey God’s voice, because he loves God, and cares for the things God cares for. He should give in order to be a good steward of God’s money. I tell you these things that you may not be overcome by a spirit of fear, which will tell you that even though you would like to give, you dare not lest you starve or cause your family to be in want, or become unable to continue in business.
Not many people today believe these truths. (Did you say you believed ALL God’s promises?) If they believed, they would be eager to invest not only their tithe, but every penny they could spare in the “preferred stock” - the “Victory Bonds” of the kingdom of Heaven!
Some preachers do not believe them! If they did, they would not be afraid their people would give too much to support the missionary on the foreign field, the struggling home mission church nearby, the evangelist who has come for revival, or the radio broadcast which is reaching the shut-in who can never hear the gospel in any other way. There would be more real “offerings” for missions, and not so many “penny marches,” if preachers believed these promises!
If the people believed these promises, they would not complain that the pastor is getting too much in his tithe offering on Sunday morning. No doubt he can use a little more for God’s glory than just enough to keep body and soul together! The givers are going to get more in return than what they have given, anyway! If they really believed this, they would be anxious to give liberally to forward the work of God, and to relieve the financial burden of those who are called to give full time to the work of God, and whose vision burns within them to extend the borders of the kingdom.
Actions speak louder than words. It is one thing to say you believe the promises, but another thing to prove it by your actions. If deep down in the hearts of the people was a real faith that God would give back, or cause men to give into their bosom, even TWO FOR ONE, there would be a shout of victory over the congregation the moment the offering was announced. Instead, many times there is a “great stillness” - or an almost imperceptible groan! The offering is looked upon, by preacher and people alike as a burden and not a blessing. The preacher apologizes for the necessity of taking an offering, assuring the people that he wishes it were not necessary, and that if it were possible, he would preach the gospel without money. Then, so that the operation may be performed as painlessly as possible, the organ plays softly, a soloist or the choir sings, or perhaps the people themselves are asked to “stand and turn to number …., and everybody sing while we receive the offering.” (How can one give an offering, when it takes both hands to hold the book, and one cannot see the plate, because he must watch the words of the song?)
The reason people criticize an offering, whether they be preacher or laity, sinner or saint, is because they do not believe this promise. I never pay much attention to the complaints, for I know that when I hear a man complaining about an offering, he has no right to complain because it didn’t cost him anything! Those who complain never give, and those who give freely never have cause to complain!
No wonder there is a curse upon so many people today! No wonder there is so much poverty, spiritually and materially. “There is that withhold more than is meet, but it tendeth to poverty.” - Proverbs 11:24. “He that soweth sparingly shall reap also sparingly.” - II Corinthians 9:6. “There is that scattered and yet increaseth.” - Proverbs 11:24. As the grain is scattered by the hand of the sower, one grain springs up, stools, and produces as many as ten heads. I myself have counted seventy grains in a single head of wheat! If this seems too great, let us minimize it. If there should be only five heads, and only twenty grains of wheat to each head, that still makes one hundred grains from one grain of wheat. Many have testified that they gave God $1.00 and God gave them a hundred in return. If God likens giving to the sowing, then the reaping is like unto his returning, many times over.
If God only returned two for one, even that is 100% interest on your investment. Where else can you make a truly safe investment which pays even as much as 10%? Many receive only 2% or 3% interest. What bad investments! Just think. They could invest in the work of God, in the saving of souls, and God would give them 100%! 1000%! 5000%!
Aren’t people skeptical? Afraid to believe God really means what He says!
You say, “Am I to infer that I shall certainly become rich if I practice this system?”
No indeed! What I do say is that you will be more prosperous than if you do not. Paying the tithe and giving offerings will not offset all other conditions. It will not make rich land out of poor. It will not bring city trade to a village. It will not produce quarrels or bring sickness to a community simply to enrich lawyers and physicians who have adopted this rule for their living. It will not take the place of brains or ordinary common sense. It will not offset carelessness or slothfulness in business. It will not justify laziness. Many other conditions could be mentioned which it will not change, because it has no connection with them. But more sure as the promises of God, you will be more prosperous by sowing bountifully than you ever were or ever would be by sowing sparingly. But be careful not to judge a lifetime by a single year. You may be severely tested at first.
And do not set up false standards of prosperity. Do not accuse God of unfaithfulness because He does not make you a millionaire over night! Many have lost the blessing of God because they have lost faith just before the answer came.
Satan is the author of most of the unbelief in the world. He especially does not want God’s children to believe the promises concerning financial blessing. He knows that if they believe, and obey God, and give, God would give them back, five, ten, a hundred fold, or more. He knows that would mean even larger tithes, larger offerings, and greater blessings. It would mean more new churches built, more ministers able to give full time to the winning of souls, more missionaries sent into the areas which are now his strongholds, more revival meetings, more city-wide campaigns in large tents and expensive auditoriums. This would mean more souls saved, more people to give more offerings - in an ever widening circle of evangelism and blessing, until his kingdom would be torn form his grasp! Is it any wonder Satan opposes the giving of God’s people?
Satan doesn’t want any of God’s children blessed, spiritually, physically, or financially. This is why he continually discourages them from following God’s instructions. He knows that if he can keep people from tithing and giving offerings, this will automatically place them under the curse. That is exactly where he wants you. That is why he whispers in your ear, “You can’t afford to pay tithes,” or, “Don’t give very much. That preacher is just out for the money.”
I believe there are demons whose special duty is to oppose the release of funds for the preaching of the gospel of deliverance. They do not especially oppose the release of funds for the building of fine edifices for the purpose of fashionable Sunday morning gatherings to display new finery and listen to a “religious” lecture on politics psychology, economics, or education. Their special target is to oppose the churches and ministers who preach a vital gospel of deliverance form sin and sickness, the baptism with the Holy Ghost, and the power of God manifested through the supernatural gifts of the Spirit.
It is these lying demon forces which say to you, “If you tithe you’ll never be able to make ends meet.” It is these same demons that say, “Put in a dime instead of that dollar. No one will ever know.”
Don’t be a tool of the devil! Don’t yield to his wiles! Believe the promises of God! Where ever you go, listen to the voice of God as the offering is received. If the still small voice says give a dollar, give it. If He says give a hundred dollars, do what God says. Believe God’s promise to return it many times over.
Last winter, in a city in the south, a lady form New York was brought in, suffering with a terrible cancer. She was instantly healed after prayer, and went forth a well woman. God spoke to her heart to contribute one hundred dollars for the expense of the meeting. She obeyed, rejoicing in what God had done for her, and in the privilege of giving back to Him. Five days later, a check came from New York in payment of an old debt, which fifteen years before had been marked off the books as a “bad debt.”
A cooperating pastor in one of our revivals - a young man who was doing a home mission work, building a new church in a neighboring town - had set aside a twenty dollar bill to buy a new suit, not so much because it was Easter time, but because the old suit wouldn’t last much longer. God spoke to his heart to give his twenty dollars in the revival offering. Before he left the tent that night, he had been given three twenty dollar bills!
A lady gave her last ten dollars. Next day, a man whom she had engaged to clean her garage asked her what she would take for four old tires he had found stored there. Her first thought was to say to take them if he wanted them, as she had expected to have them taken to the city dump. Then she thought, “Perhaps this is God’s way of returning what I gave.” She said to the man, “What will you give me?” He gave her fifty dollars for the tires, and rejoiced that he had found a good bargain.
A fisherman-preacher gave his last five dollars. The following day, he took the largest haul of shrimp in the history of his fishing experience.
My friend, you can’t out-give God! People have tried and tried, but have never been able to out give God. Why? Because the more you give to God, the more God gives back to you. He uses the same measure, but heaps it up, shakes it down, runs it over and gives it back to you.
You can’t out give God! And you can’t go broke giving to God!
Some one always says, “Surely a poor man or a poor widow shouldn’t tithe nor give!” Yes, indeed, for they have need of the blessing of giving. Did not Jesus watch as the poor widow gave her last two mites? Did he tell her not to give? No! He commended her for her giving, saying, “Verily I say unto you, that this poor widow hath cast more in than all they which have cast into the treasury; for they all did cast in of their abundance; but she of her want did cast in all that she had, even all her living.” - Mark 12:43, 44.
The poor NEED to give! And they are the very ones, at times, whom God asks in a still small voice to give ALL. Why? Because this is God’s way of supplying their need, as they hand Him their small measure, He returns it to them, filled, pressed down, shaken together, heaped up and RUNNING OVER!
Remember the widow of Zarephath? (I Kings 17:8-16). Famine was in the land. There had been no rain, so that crops had failed, and the streams and wells were dried up. Even the wealthy were finding it hard to purchase supplies of grain or of meal, for money cannot buy food unless there is food available to buy. The poor widow of Zarephath had carefully hoarded the tiny pile of meal which still remained in the bottom of her meal barrel. A few drops of oil from her one remaining cruse helped to prepare the daily small cake which she made for herself and her son. In her desperation, no doubt she cried out to her God to provide. But her faith must have been a bit weak, for the day came when she looked into the barrel and discovered that she could not possibly divide the tiny supply in order to make this day’s cake with any left over at all! She and her son must face the inevitable! One more small cake (a very small one) and then to await death by starvation, knowing they should never eat again! But as she went out to find a few sticks for a fire (a small fire would be enough), she saw a man approaching. God began to speak to her heart. As she watched, he called out to her, “Lady, I pray thee, bring me a little water that I may drink.”
Then as she turned to grand his request, the blow fell! She could spare a cup of water - but what was he saying now? How could she refuse, yet how could she grant this new request? “Bring me; I pray thee, a morsel of bread in thine hand.”
With what agony of spirit she explained, “I have not a cake, but a handful of meal and a little oil, and I am gathering sticks for a fire, to dress it for me and my son - our last food - and then we must die.”
Was it only the voice of a man replying to her? Or was there in his reply the authority of a revelation from God? “Make me thereof a little cake FIRST! - For THUS SAITH THE LORD GOD OF ISRAEL, The barrel of meal shall not waste, neither shall the cruse of oil fail, until the day that the Lord sendeth rain upon the earth.” She believed it was God speaking to her.
And she went and did as Elijah commanded. “And SHE, and HE, and HER HOUSE, did eat many days. And the barrel of meal wasted not, neither did the cruse of oil fail, according to the word of the Lord, which he spake by Elijah.” - I Kings 17:15, 16.
She was going to make up the LAST cake for herself - but when she obeyed God and gave it to Him for His prophet, it wasn’t the last cake! It became the FIRST cake!
Don’t think you can’t afford to give to God if you have only a dollar. That isn’t enough to keep you from starving very long any way! But given to God, your last dollar can be changed into the first of many that He will return to you.
Some say, “If God asked me to give it, I would. But not because some preacher tells me to!” Suppose the widow had said that! He was much better fed than she and her son! While they were dividing and dividing again the tiny pile of meal in the bottom of the barrel, he was sitting quietly by a brook, drinking of its clear cool water, and eating bread and meat twice every day, sent “special delivery” from God by the ravens! He didn’t need her little cake half as badly as she needed to give it! God had heard her cries, and sent Elijah to receive her gift, so He could return it to her a hundred fold!
(Note: The scripture doesn’t say the barrel ever became FULL, nor even the cruse. But what difference does it make so long as God supplies our DAILY BREAD, whether it comes out of the top or the bottom of the barrel?)
Since the tithe, one-tenth, is always the Lord’s, it isn’t necessary to hear God’s voice, nor to have a special leading to give that. But there are times when there are special needs. Perhaps the pastor has a financial burden which is not known to his people, or which his salary or the small tithe offering fails to meet. Perhaps the evangelist has needs which he is not free in the spirit to mention to any one but God. A missionary somewhere may have a special need. Or some humble child of God may be looking into an empty meal barrel, and crying out to God to do something about it. God is always faithful to speak to someone - perhaps many - concerning the need. It may be a still small voice within. It could be an audible voice. It might be an “impression,” or conviction, that you should give a certain amount. God speaks in different ways, but God DOES SPEAK! And He doesn’t always speak to the person who seems most able to meet the need.
Early in my ministry, I was pasturing a little church high up in the mountains of northern Idaho. My wife and I had gone there because God said to go, although we knew when we went that the people were very poor, and even when they tithed faithfully, week after week the offerings were less than half a dollar, added to through the week by offerings of venison, bear meat, home grown and home canned vegetables, fruits and berries, and small brown sacks (it was in the days of W.P.A.) marked “NOT TO BE SOLD.” God had blessed in our labors, and had given us many souls among the mountain people, and a lovely little church building with four rooms at the back for a parsonage had just been completed, hewn by our own hands out of the native pine and fir forest which grew all around us. Every need had been supplied day by day - but a new need was upon us, which offerings of groceries could not supply. The day was at hand when our third baby was due to arrive. There might have been some second hand garments available for him, but one after another of the older children’s little things had been given away as need after need was seen, so that now he was coming, and there was not even money to buy a bottle of disinfectant, nor a dozen yards of flannel to make him some little shirts and diapers. We hadn’t even planned to have a doctor. That would cost no less than $45.00!
We were in the midst of our first revival campaign in the little new church. How we had labored and prayed to make it a success, praying especially for one man, a drunkard and noted skeptic in the community, who not only refused to come to church, but refused to allow his wife and children to come whenever it was possible for him to hinder them.
It was Sunday morning. Snow had fallen during the night, and a cold Chinook wind was blowing down the valley. I had built the fire early in the church, so that it would be warm and cozy by Sunday School time. About fifteen minutes before time for Sunday School, I went out to see that everything was alright. There standing beside the fire was a ragged little boy, holding up first one cold little foot and then the other to the warmth. All he had on his feet were ragged canvas shoes, worn thorough at the toes, so that his little red toes had been exposed to the snow and cold all the way as he walked to church. At a glance, I recognized the drunkard’s little boy. Quickly I called my wife, saying, “Take this child into the parsonage and warm his feet and dry his shoes.”
In a few minutes he returned to the church without shoes but wearing a pair of my oldest son’s warm, dry socks, and sat down in the front row. All through the morning service, all I could see was those two little sock feet on the front row, and in my mind’s eye, the worn out canvas shoes he would have to put on again to walk home through the snow. I kept thinking, “Someone should provide that child a pair of shoes!” In the congregation that morning were two people, either of whom could have done it. One, the owner of a saw mill; the other, a wealthy woman who owned acre after acre of valuable timber land and small fruit farms up and down the valley. I thought surely God would speak to one or the other about a pair of shoes. At last church was over. The saw mill owner cheerily greeted his friends, gathered his family together, and started home. I looked about for the wealthy lady. Already she was starting her nice new car, and without even offering the child a ride, though he lived between her home and the church, she was on her way. Then I looked again at the child. My wife had brought out the little canvas shoes, now warm and dry but just as ragged, and was preparing to put them on his feet. Suddenly, she looked at our oldest son’s feet. They were the same size! His shoes were of leather, snug and warm and sound. At that moment I knew what she was going to do. My heart cried out, “We can’t do that! We haven’t even money to buy clothes for the new baby. We can’t buy Jimmie a new pair of shoes!” But I knew we couldn’t let that little fellow walk home through the snow without shoes!
My wife was talking to Jimmie. “Your shoes would just fit him,” she said. “Take them off, dear.”
“What will I do for shoes, Mama?” he asked.
“You don’t need them as badly as he does,” she said. “Besides, Jesus said, ‘Give and it shall be given unto you.’ Jesus will give you some more.”
“Alright, then,” said Jimmie, as he sat down and began unlacing his little white shoes.
I hurried out of the church! In my heart I cried out, “Why didn’t God ask the saw mill man to do it? Why didn’t he ask the land-owner? Surely there was no one in the entire congregation less able to do it than I was!” Yet I knew God had asked it, and I was glad my wife and son had not refused. Nevertheless, I had to pray through!
Next morning when I picked up our mail bag, I found in it a letter from my wife’s mother. When we opened the letter, there was a twenty dollar bill! “For some of the little extra things you might feel you can’t afford at this time,” she said. (We never mentioned the smallness of our income, nor the things that we needed, in writing to her, for we had decided when we set out to serve the Lord to take our needs to him, not to friends and relatives.) If she only knew! That was more than we had expected to have to buy everything! How we rejoiced together.
“Will there be enough for new shoes?” Jimmie asked.
“I’m sure there will,” my wife replied. Suddenly her expression changed. I knew she was hearing the same still small voice that had spoken to me.
“Let’s give half of it to Brother B--,” I said. I knew our evangelist’s offerings had been very small, and that he had a wife to support, and had to have enough money to buy gas to drive to his next meeting.
“Let’s give him all of it,” my wife replied. “He will need it.”
I, too, knew that was what God wanted me to do. Quickly, I hurried to the evangelist’s room, and offered him half of what had come in the mail. Realizing our need, he refused to take it. For a moment, I was almost glad, but then I realized it was God who had told me what to do with the money, and that even half-way obedience would not do. I cried out, “Oh, Brother, take it all! Please! God told me to give you all of it.”
“Well, then,” he replied, “If God told you to give it, I’ll take it.” Then he began to praise God for meeting a need in his life.
The supplying of our need seemed farther away than ever, but our hearts were at peace, for we knew we had obeyed God.
Next morning, there was a letter in the mailbag, in an unfamiliar hand, from a town where we were not acquainted. Inside, pinned to a note was a check - the largest I had ever seen with my name on it. Fifty dollars! The note read, “I couldn’t go to sleep tonight. God spoke to my heart and told me you would be needing this money, to get up immediately and sent it to you, so you would get it on the morning mail. I thought I’d wait until morning, but God said no.”
How we praised God! He had turned the little shoes into a twenty dollar bill. Then he had turned the twenty dollars into fifty dollars. But that was not the end.
Next Sunday night, the first person to the altar was the drunkard father of the lad who wore Jimmie’s shoes! He was followed by his “buddy” and several members of both their families. After they had all prayed through, the man grasped my hand and said, Brother Allen, I’ve never had any use for preachers, or any time for religion. I have even lied about you and tried to hurt you in every way possible. But when I saw that the love of God could cause you to take the shoes off your own child’s feet, and put them on my child, I couldn’t stand it any longer, I had to come.
God used the sacrificial gift, given in obedience, to supply our need, to supply the evangelist’s need, and to bring about the salvation of a number of souls!
God DOES speak to His people today. One must live close enough to hear God’s voice. Failure to obey that voice is disobedience. ALL disobedience is SIN. It is sin to disobey God’s voice concerning an offering. Obedience to God’s voice will always bring blessing.
As an evangelist, I have held revivals in some of the largest churches in America, and in some of the smallest. I have always made it my policy - may I say, my consecration - to go where God told me to go, regardless of the size of the city or the size of the church. Yet, when I received an invitation from a pastor in a certain town, my heart sank when I noted that the town had a listed population of 66! Surely, nothing could be accomplished in such a little place, yet I felt the urging of God’s Spirit to go. After some hesitance, I wrote the pastor, “I’m coming.” But down in my heart there was a fear that I would not receive enough offerings in that little place to take me to the next meeting, much less to met the needs of my wife and four small children at home. When a crisp new fifty dollar bill appeared in my offering the last night of the meeting before I was to go to that little town, I felt surely it was God’s provision to help me out of the next town. I slipped it into the secret compartment in my billfold, and started on my way.
But as I went, I stopped over at the district camp meeting at Lexington, Nebraska, and attended the missionary service. My heart was deeply stirred afresh with the burden for missions, and as the offering was taken; God spoke to my heart, “Give that fifty dollar bill.”
“But, God, you know what I’m saving that bill for. I can’t let that go!”
“Give the fifty dollar bill.”
“Lord, I can’t do that. Here, I have a twenty. Surely, that will be enough. You know I can hardly spare that!” And into the plate went the twenty dollar bill!
No sooner had I dropped the twenty dollar bill into the plate than I felt guilty - as guilty as though I had committed murder. I seemed weighted down with the blood of souls, lost forever because I had failed to send them the gospel. I had heard God’s voice, and had DISOBEYED!
“Give me another chance, Lord,” I whispered. Just then I noticed the ushers had met at the back of the aisle, and one of them was coming right back up my aisle with all the plates. Quickly, I crumpled the fifty dollar bill in my hand and dropped it into the top plate as the usher passed. (It had cost me seventy dollars, now, instead of fifty!) My spirit was free, and I was happy again. But certainly God would have to work a miracle now, for I had barely enough to get to my next revival, and there were only sixty-six people in town!
But it was there God taught me a great lesson in faith: to obey God, whatever He says, and then to look to God, not to the people, nor to circumstances, to supply every need. To my great surprise, my offerings were the largest I had ever received up to that time. Every need was met in my home. The young people of the church gave me as a farewell gift when I left the church the Bible I am still using to this day. And when I left the town, I was driving a lovely new Lincoln automobile which their gifts had made possible!
It pays to trust and obey God!
Let this day be the beginning of a new life of blessing for you. Make a covenant with God and try Him, as He has said. God has already made a covenant with you, which He will not break.
“Bring ye all the tithes into the storehouse, and prove me now herewith, if I will not open you the windows of heaven and pour you out a blessing, that there shall not be room enough to receive it.” - Malachi 3:10.
“Give, and it shall be given unto you; good measure, pressed down and shaken together, and running over, shall men give into your bosom, for with the same measure ye mete withal it shall be measured to you again.” - Luke 6:38.
Make this covenant with God today:
“God’s Covenant I hereby accept. I promise to faithfully and systematically contribute my tithe, as I would pay any other just debt. In addition to this, I pledge to see earnestly to hear God’s voice in regard to offerings and when He has spoken, to obey unhesitatingly and unstintingly, trusting that God will never fail to keep His promise, and to supply my need.”
This covenant, earnestly and sincerely made and faithfully kept, will prove to be the key to God’s storehouse - the open road to SCRIPTURAL FINANCIAL SUCCESS!