The Workman Is Worthy

DOES the Bible say it's okay for those doing the infinitely most important and only eternal work in the earth to be compensated? The Bible instructs us to fund the ministries that feed us (1 Corinthians 9:1-14; Galatians 6:6; 1 Timothy 5:17-18, etc.). Lourens Strydom from South Africa asked about what the Bible says regarding ministry support. He was given Bible answers including shooting him to this post to help answer this important question. Here is Lourens reply after reading this post: “Wow! Incredible! I've got to say amen to this! Praise the Lord for such truth! I just finished reading this article. I am so ashamed of myself. I have been guilty of muzzling the Ox many times before. Brother, thank you for putting this out. This is one of the best articles I have ever read on giving.” Lourens Strydom

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Are We Muzzling
God’s Work
or Furthering It?

Yes, true, God-fearing, truly called-out servants of Christ are to be supported. The key is discerning through Holy Scripture who the true and who the false prophets are!

Just because some abuse their place and get paid while not correctly performing the duties of a true New Testament overseer, in no way negates that those truly called out of God are to be supported (1 Corinthians 9:1-14). In fact, that is our opportunity to sow and lay up treasure in Heaven (Matthew 6:19-21; 2 Corinthians 9:6-11). Believers are to fund those who feed them God’s Word (Galatians 6:6).

Millions are in hell this moment, where they will spend forever – due to the greed of God’s people who have lived in this and previous generations. Will you contribute to the number of souls in hell by your own fleeting greed and lack of a giving heart and hand?

Did not our LORD promise to greatly reward those who are open handed in their giving and also punish those who aren’t?

The Almighty who is all-knowing and all-just, is going to bring to light the pain suffered by those He called to serve Him and yet who were “destitute” (Heb. 11:37). Today some in our midst are without basic necessities and/or funds to operate their divinely-inspired and called ministries. This is directly due to the disobedience of those who possess the ability to give to help sustain their lifestyles so they can continue to further the eternal Gospel (all get rewarded for eternity). Saints, God is going to judge us according to how we spend every dollar and punish the disobedience. Much eternal treasure remains to be laid up in your account. See 2 Corinthians 9:6-10.

“There is that scattereth, and yet increaseth; and there is that withholdeth more than is meet, but it tendeth to poverty. The liberal soul shall be made fat: and he that watereth shall be watered also himself. He that withholdeth corn, the people shall curse him: but blessing shall be upon the head of him that selleth it.” Proverbs 11:24-26

The Bible tells us that the sin of greed has a great price tag. Friend, our sin of greed – not being generous givers – has contributed to:

  • Our own backslidings (Prov. 14:14; Mal. 3; Matt. 6:21).
  • The untold suffering of those who minister the Word (2 Cor. 11:27; Heb. 11:37b).
  • The apostasy of the Church world (Malachi 3:8-12).
  • The decline of this nation (2 Chron. 7:14).
  • Christian people with needs who suffer greatly at the hands of the callous neglect of those calling themselves by the name of He who came and gave all (Heb. 11:37-38).
  • Unfunded ministries – Divinely called, yet unfunded servants of the One we call LORD who told us to pray for these very labourers to be sent out (Matthew 9:35-38). Those unfunded ministries could have more extensively furthered the Gospel in the hearts of men. Souls will be in hell due to the selfish greed of many who claim to know the One who bled and gave all.
EXCLUDING THE LAZY, LYING, LAME, AND LAVISH! True men who labour in the Gospel work diligently feeding and overseeing Christ’s flock are to be compensated by those they feed …. This excludes the lazy, lying, lame, and lavish……. Luke 10:7; 1 Corinthians 9:1-14; 1 Timothy 5:17-18, etc.

What does the Bible tell us concerning those who minister the Gospel?

“Let the elders that rule well be counted worthy of double honour (sufficient of generous financial reward), especially they who labour in the word and doctrine. For the scripture saith, Thou shalt not muzzle the ox that treadeth out the corn. And, The labourer is worthy of his reward.” 1 Timothy 5:17-18

“Elders (5:17-25)  5:17  The rest of this chapter deals with elders. First of all, Paul lays down the rule that elders who rule well should be counted worthy of double honor. Rule might be translated ‘take the lead.’ It is not a question of control, but of example, such elders are worthy of double honor. Honor might mean respect, but it also includes the idea of financial reimbursement (Matt. 15:6). Double honor includes both ideas. First of all, he is worthy of respect from God’s people because of his work, but also, if his time is devoted to this work fully, he is also worthy of financial help. Those who labor in the word and doctrine are probably the ones who spend so much time in preaching and teaching that they are not able to carry on regular employment.

5:18  Two scriptures are introduced here to prove the statement that the elder is worthy of recompense. The first is Deuteronomy 25:4, and the second is taken from Luke 10:7. … These scriptures teach that an ox which is used in the harvesting process should not be deprived of a share of the grain. Also, a laborer is entitled to a portion of the fruit of his labor. So it is with elders. In spite of the fact that their work not be be physical, yet they are worthy of the support of God’s people.” William MacDonald, Believer’s Bible Commentary, pgs. 2096-297

Let’s address a very important, core issue: Do you believe that you are worthy of the money you are paid to do the work you do for a living? Do you believe in your heart, that those who do the work of the ministry are worthy to receive financial blessings from doing this all-important work? If you don’t, may I suggest that there may be a poverty curse on your life that needs to be broken (Dt. 26,28). At the very least, there could be a lack of what the LORD has stated about this.

TO illustrate just how upside down things are in this fallen world …. here’s an example: There is no work so eternally important as the LORD’s work. All other work is temporal. God’s work in the hearts of men through His body and in particular, called-out “labourers” (Matthew 9:35-38), is the only eternal work! No work is so important and eternally essential and yet no work pays less. Every other work, though infinitely inferior to the work of Christ, gets compensated. This ought not to be among those of us in Christ’s kingdom saints (1 Corinthians 9:1-14; Galatians 6:6; 1 Timothy 5:17-18, etc.).  

THE PERSON who thinks that those who are Christ’s true servant-elders are in it for the money, is completely misled beloved. Those who endeavor to preach the WHOLE counsel of God’s Word are utterly despised and shunned. To be in it for the money would be insane – because there is no (or little) money in it.

“God’s laborers need support. This is a reality in ministry. He who is trustworthy in small things can also be trustworthy in big things.” J. Gorgonio, minister

Many of the servants of the LORD are suffering at the hands of those who have the opportunity to give to the work of the ministry and haven’t. Beloved, let’s turn things around for those who bring us the Word and do the most important work in the earth.

When we truly begin to aggrandize divine truth, we will then begin supporting only those who truly preach all of it (full-counsel) fearlessly and cease from funding the ministries of false prophets who allow most of their ministry revenues to be absorbed on things other than that which is at the core of importance in the divine economy, like the true building up of the saints – getting them into the Word for themselves, and winning lost souls.

Concerning the work and workers of God’s kingdom, the Bible instructs us in Ezra 6:8 – “forthwith expenses be given unto these men, that they be not hindered.”

The reason all of God’s people are to give to His authentic work is “that they be not hindered.” (Ezra 6:8)

When we become generous, cheerful givers, the LORD is going to be able to entrust us with greater riches. Until we delight to bless the LORD and His servants, poverty of spirit and pocketbook may continue to plague us. Open your heart and hand beloved and give what is not your own to give for the work of the Gospel:

“The liberal (generous) soul shall be made fat: and he that watereth shall be watered also himself. He that withholdeth corn, the people shall curse him: but blessing shall be upon the head of him that selleth it.” Proverbs 11:25-26

The following text, 1 Corinthians 9, is monumentally important for our understanding of how the LORD has set things up and what part we are to play. He did not design this life for you to simply find pleasure and live as you will. If you are truly His, “ye are not your own? For ye are bought with a price” and it is His will that is to be done and Gospel carried out in and through your vessel (1 Cor. 6:19-20). You are to be a faithful steward of all He gives into your temporary possession.

Please read this text carefully and prayerfully:

“Or I only and Barnabas, have not we power to forbear working? Who goeth a warfare any time at his own charges? who planteth a vineyard, and eateth not of the fruit thereof (do YOU work for free)? or who feedeth a flock, and eateth not of the milk of the flock? Say I these things as a man? or saith not the law the same also? For it is written in the law of Moses, Thou shalt not muzzle the mouth of the ox that treadeth out the corn. Doth God take care for oxen? Or saith he it altogether for our sakes? For our sakes, no doubt, this is written: that he that ploweth should plow in hope; and that he that thresheth in hope should be partaker of his hope. If we have sown unto you spiritual things, is it a great thing if we shall reap your carnal things? If others be partakers of this power over you (we pay others for their services daily), are not we rather? …Do ye not know that they which minister about holy things live of the things of the temple? and they which wait at the altar are partakers with the altar? Even so hath the Lord ordained that they which preach the gospel should live of the gospel.” 1 Corinthians 9:6-14

If we don’t fully believe and understand how that one who ministers the Gospel, that is, does the most important work in the earth, is worthy to receive the financial support of those he labors to win to Christ and disciple, we have a heart issue that the LORD wants to change. Jesus said:

“The workman IS worthy of his meat.” Matthew 10:10

Jesus told us that “the workman IS worthy” to receive financial blessing. Christ didn’t say the workman is unworthy, but ratherworthy. Therefore, it is fitting for true servant-leaders to be compensated by those they feed. Friend, have you despised the words of the Son of God by not generously giving to those who do His holy work? Is it time to stop and change things?

Make No Mistake: There are and will be souls in hell due to the lack of charitable giving of those today who call themselves by the name of Christ and yet disobey Him in not giving revenues to His work. The disobedience of withholding has tied the hands of God’s workers and greatly hindered their ability to do what the LORD has sent them to do in the care of souls and winning the lost.

I must ask: Are you “muzzling the mouth of the ox that treads out the corn,” or, are you a “cheerful giver” that is laying up treasures in Heaven and being used by the LORD for the furtherance of His blessed Gospel? (1 Tim. 5:18; 2 Cor. 9:7; Matt. 6:19-21) Are you receiving the Word and ministry somewhere? If so, then you are to give of your financial gain to that minister/ministry (Gal. 6:6). By the way, in God’s eyes, it matters not what kind of real estate that ministry operates out of when caring for the saints (rented, owned, home, apt, church building, etc.).

“Every man according as he purposeth in his heart, so let him give; not grudgingly, or of necessity: for God loveth a cheerful giver.” 2 Corinthians 9:7

Beloved, terrible hardships are happening to thousands of ministers across this nation due to the gross and epidemic negligence of God’s people. Billions of dollars flow all around these men of God, yet they lack and so do their families – due to overspending and the sin of greed and selfishness in the lives of those who claim to know Christ and be saved. According to a Barna report, a very small percentage of those who claim to be Christians in America, tithe.

    “Born again adults, who represent 38% of the nation’s population, also sustained a decline in generosity during the past couple of years. In 2000, 12% of all born again adults tithed. The percentage rose to 14% in 2001, but dropped to only 6% in 2002.” Barna Report

If only 6% tithed in 2002, that means 94% didn’t tithe, sending tens of thousands of ministers from the post God put them on to serve His people. The last report I was privy to said that 1,100 ministers have to leave the ministry every month in America due to lack of support from those they serve. Astounding!

We have no one to blame or repent for but ourselves for the decline of this nation. God says that He will heal our hearts and lives and this nation, “If MY people…” (2 Chronicles 7:14). Friend, our sin of not being generous givers of our lives and resources has contributed to our own backsliding, the untold suffering of those who minister to us, the apostasy of the Church world, the hindrance of the Gospel, and the decline of this nation (Malachi 3). Now we should decisively get right with God by repenting now and doing what we know to do with the money He has allowed to come into our hands.

True repentance is a change of heart and mind, which will always result in changed behavior (Matt. 3:7-8).

Plowing in Hope

“Or saith he it altogether for our sakes? For our sakes, no doubt, this is written: that he that ploweth should plow in hope; and that he that thresheth in hope should be partaker of his hope.” 1 Corinthians 9:10

Seems to me that that LORD is saying here that those He calls out should have the reasonable expectation to be compensated so they can be sustained to do and to further the most important work in the earth which has eternal consequences.

So you get upset when you are invited to do what God commanded for you to do – give? Where’s the real problem? The real problem is in your unrepentant heart. You are an idolater who is serving self and not Christ (Matthew 6:19-24; Luke 12:15-21; Ephesians 5:5-9, etc.). True worshipers of the One who gave all rejoice to give a portion back to the LORD who provides all we have had, do have, and ever will have (James 1:17). Read Proverbs 3:9-10.

STOP EVERYTHING YOU ARE DOING RIGHT NOW! GET BEHIND THE TRUE ORIGINAL GOSPEL AND THOSE WHO DILIGENTLY DECLARE IT! GET YOUR CHECKBOOK OUT AND WRITE A CHECK TO THOSE WHO ARE PREACHING TO YOU THE GOSPEL AND HAVE BEEN LABORING DAILY FOR YOUR SPIRITUAL MATURITY IN PRAYERS AND THE WORD! YOUR LIFE WOULD NOT BE WHAT IT IS IF IT WERE NOT FOR THESE SERVANTS. FIRE ANYONE WHO IS NOT DOING NEW TESTAMENT MINISTRY AS THE BIBLE CLEARLY REVEALS AND GENEROUSLY REWARD THOSE WHO ARE! THERE IS NOTHING TO PRAY ABOUT! JUST DO THE WORD – GIVE! PUT YOUR MONEY WHERE YOUR MOUTH IS AND STOP BEING A SPIRITUAL FREELOADER! WRITE A GENEROUS CHECK AND GET IT IMMEDIATELY INTO THE HANDS OF THOSE WHO HAVE SERVED YOU WITH GOD’S WORD AND TRULY WATCH FOR YOUR SOUL! GOD WILL BLESS YOU – JUST TEST HIM AND SEE!

I truly hope that this message, going out across the world, will cause great change and help at least one man of God to be sustained and financially blessed so he can continue to do the work of the ministry that the LORD has called him to do. There is no other work so important, especially in this last hour. Saints we will soon be with Christ in eternity. What kind of treasures will you have forever? Let’s all do our part as God has ordained and prospers us.

—— The Missing Jewel …. You may not want to link your life’s true object of worship and giving, but God does often in His Word so we had better heed lest we be found wanting in the end. Jesus says that those who worship Him and the Father “MUST worship” in a certain way … “But the hour cometh, and now is, when the true worshippers shall worship the Father in spirit and in truth: for the Father seeketh such to worship him. 24 God is a Spirit: and they that worship him must worship him in spirit and in truth.” (John 4:23-24)

God is no fool. He has a plan to reach many with His Word and He has sovereignly chosen men to do such and to fund such. He is calling for your obedient participation. That divine plan is clearly written in His Word and we are accountable and will be brought into questioning in the end for how we have stewarded the resources the LORD allowed to come into our hands. He gave you the ability to earn money to do what? – “But thou shalt remember the LORD thy God: for it is he that giveth thee power to get wealth, that he may establish his covenant which he sware unto thy fathers, as it is this day.” (Deuteronomy 8:18)

You are rarely going to hear this preached due to the appearance of what it could look like and yet, this is a vital part of God’s Word and is all over His Word and so we must preach and heed it in the fear of the LORD with no respect or concern to what mere man thinks (Proverbs 29:25); Luke 12:4-5, etc.).

Make 1 Corinthians 9 your meat this week.

Saint of God, Jesus Christ is all-knowing and sees everything and will reward every good deed or work done in His name and love.

Friend of Jesus, do you realize that the Bible says that you have an “account” in Heaven waiting for you? And, that the LORD desires that it “abound” which means be richly filled. Listen to what the Holy Ghost had the apostle Paul pen concerning your giving: Not because I desire a gift: but I desire fruit that may abound to your account.” (Philippians 4:17)

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Author of several enlightening and influential books on subjects ranging from false prophets, end times, the original lie of Satan to mankind, evangelism, last day / end times victory, and the daily walk of an authentic disciple. Todd’s books can be found on BarnesandNoble.com, Amazon.com, and on SafeGuardYourSoul.com. His websites include SafeGuardYourSoul.com, GreatCommissionAdventure.com. A former Marine, contracted to NASA, youth pastor, TV show host, Bible College class president, and member of numerous churches throughout the south, by the saving grace of Jesus Christ Todd has and continues to learn to set aside all that involves the philosophies and whims of mere men to follow the King of the kingdom as a simple servant. His sincerity and ability to speak on a variety of topics from a broad and edifying perspective, and with a humble candor, is refreshing. Todd has an obvious understanding that he is nothing without Jesus and yet, by the working of divine grace, his Gospel tracts, articles, Moments with Our Master email devotional, and books have taught, encouraged, and inspired thousands. Todd Tomasella is the author of several Christian, non-fiction books, hundreds of articles, devotionals, audios, tracts, videos, Bible school curriculum, and study guides. No matter the format utilized, the divine mandate is simply getting people into God's Word for themselves (Nehemiah 8:8; Habakkuk 2:2; Matthew 28:18-20; Acts 17:11; 2 Timothy 2:15; 3:16-17). Let’s Grow Together! Sign up here to begin receiving the Moments with Our Master email devotional that is sure to help you grow in grace and in the knowledge of our LORD and Savior Jesus Christ (2 Pet. 1:2; 3:18). It’s sent out for the edification and equipping of the body of Christ. Sign Up HERE: info@safeguardyoursoul.com