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“The Collection for the Saints”

Are Money Collections Biblical?

1 Corinthians 16:1

KINGDOM PERSPECTIVE: Money collections to do GOD’s work are not a sin but rather an opportunity for God’s people to crucify, to put off the sins of greed and covetousness and to lay up treasure in Heaven as He commanded (Matthew 6:19-21; Ephesians 5:7-9). Also, to say that allowing people to support GOD’s work is wrong, is to declare Jesus to be a sinner because He had a treasurer which could only mean that people chose to support the work.

Recently the subject of giving has arisen several times in a short period of time so I wanted to treat it with God’s Word. When the topic of the Word of Faith prosperity pimps came up recently, a few people raised the question as to whether money should be collected by anyone today (any ministry). In addressing the question as to whether or not it is right or wrong for a ministry to facilitate the collection of money, the following reply was given.

There were collections among the saints in the New Testament (1 Corinthians 16:1-3), Jesus had a treasurer in case people wanted to participate and lay up treasure in Heaven…. yet the prosperity scammers falsely teach people to give in order to get God to bless them instead of giving out of love, obedience, gratitude, and worship to the LORD.

Okay, let me insert this: ANYone who doesn’t like ministers speaking about money has money as their god and are not saved according to Jesus because they have chosen money/mammon over God (Matthew 6:24). Those who truly serve the One who gives all good gifts delight in giving Him the first portion of what He gives them (Proverbs 3:10-11). By doing so they continue to establish that He alone is LORD and Master of their lives!

Collections were taken up in the early church (1 Corinthians 16:1-3). Jesus’ apostle Paul wrote:

“Now concerning the collection for the saints, as I have given order to the churches of Galatia, even so do ye. 2 Upon the first day of the week let every one of you lay by him in store, as God hath prospered him, that there be no gatherings when I come. 3 And when I come, whomsoever ye shall approve by your letters, them will I send to bring your liberality unto Jerusalem.” 1 Corinthians 16:1-3

First off, this tells us that Paul set in order, set up the order, he had “given order to the churches” to collect, to take up a “collection for the saints” when they gathered. He instructs Christ’s saints to “let every one of you lay by him in store, as God hath prospered him.” There is much in this revelation. The saints of Christ are to be intentional and order the wealth God gives them, according “as God hath prospered” them. They are to “lay be him in store” or store up, to set aside that which they are going to give. The implication seems that we are to do such deliberately, and with joy as God prospers us.

Each believer is to set aside money, etc. to give. He/she is to “lay by him in store, as God hath prospered him.” (1 Corinthians 16:2)

Note that the “collection” was “for the saints” and not to be wasted on building a physical building of an enterprising pastor or to buy him a million dollar home, expensive cars, and watches, not to mention the extravagant accessories lavished upon many modern pastor’s wives. Oh, don’t forget that in the modern apostate church world, while some struggle to make ends meet and others go under financially, we must not forget to throw the pastor a birthday party and give him an expensive gift, right?

So, obviously collections are ordained of God to grant privilege and opportunity to those who would choose to give to His cause of helping Christians who lack and ministers of His Gospel. The collections are a blessing to us and yet, what we give to is the question. Supporting true, Great Commission, New Testament ministries is very important lest we fund a work that is not fulfilling the mandate of Christ and in doing so waste the resources He put in our temporal of  care.

John Wesley writes:

“Let every one – Not the rich only: let him also that hath little, gladly give of that little. According as he hath been prospered – Increasing his alms as God increases his substance. According to this lowest rule of Christian prudence, if a man when he has or gains one pound give a tenth to God, when he has or gains an hundred he will give the tenth of this also. And yet I show unto you a more excellent way. He that hath ears to hear, let him hear. Stint yourself to no proportion at all. But lend to God all you can.”

Anthony Terry writes: “Scripture is clear on the gatherings of the saints. They are for the saints only. They are to bring their offerings into the gatherings so when a need arises it can be met. Scripture also tells us that those with earthly goods should sell them when a saint is in need and to supply that need. This also is not done today. Too many are storing up treasures here and not in the kingdom. Scripture says if you have the ability to meet a need and don’t do it then how can you say God dwells in you? (1 Cor. 16:1-2; Acts 2:44-45; 4:34-35)”


To illustrate the gross misuse of money in the modern church world, please allow me to relate the following true story:

An example comes to mind that was related to me by a good friend. The story goes …. This brother and his family (close friends of mine) were struggling financially and were on the brink of their second foreclosure. Their house was getting ready to be foreclosed on and a few members of the leadership fully knew this. Yet, during this same time period those very leaders organized and solicited the people of that particular local church to chip in to buy the pastor a $30,000 watch for his birthday. They totally ignored the needy brother’s necessity/lack and so that brother’s house was foreclosed on. This is an example of unthinkable inequity and brazen disobedience to God’s Word where one member of the body of Christ was elevated unduly above the other members. Among the earliest believers there was equity. Take note to what was transpiring just after the outpouring of the Holy Spirit at Pentecost at the end of Acts 2. Compare. Take close note to the blessed and exemplary state of the church before the greedy, self-serving wolves and their thieving practices entered in among the people of God (Acts 2:44-45; 4:32-35).

Now, the above is a revelation to most today who have been duped into believing that all the giving must be done to some “official” mere man or board of mere sinful men who have set up their church franchise businesses all over our cities. Before we move forward, let’s expand that revelation:

“And all that believed were together, and had all things common; 45 And sold their possessions and goods, and parted them to all men, as every man had need.” Acts 2:44-45

Notice in the above passage that “EVERY MAN” mattered and not just some group of thieving wolves who were collecting and squandering the money on their own self-serving lusts!

While the collection of money is biblical the misuse of the money collected is sin. And for this reason, we must learn from God’s Word what that collected money is to be used for.


To further establish that collections were always allowed and encouraged in the gatherings of our LORD’s people, check out this explosive message titled Jesus Sat Over Against The Treasury [podcast]

Here’s more early church practice that we must model/follow:

“And the multitude of them that believed were of one heart and of one soul: neither said any of them that ought of the things which he possessed was his own (they understood that God owns all and they were just stewards); but they had all things common. 33 And with great power gave the apostles witness of the resurrection of the Lord Jesus: and great grace was upon them all. 34 Neither was there any among them that lacked: for as many as were possessors of lands or houses sold them, and brought the prices of the things that were sold, 35 And laid them down at the apostles’ feet: and distribution was made unto every man according as he had need.” Acts 4:32-35

Compare. You will want to read this passage prayerfully and several times, remembering where it is to share with others. Note in the above passage that “they had all things common.” In other words, as each individual saint had need, they would share. Today, we have multi-millionaire wolves who parade and flaunt their lavish riches before their prey who many times can’t even pay their bills. Go figure!

Collecting and giving are a vital part of the divine economy from Genesis to Revelation but not in order to misuse – to misappropriate those funds. That’s what covetous charlatans have always done and are doing today. Yet, such evil does zilch to negate the God-given personal responsibility the LORD has given every individual believer to be a giver – of their lives which will translate into the giving of their substance.

Now, so far we have exposed the greedy wolves we are so often warned about in the Scriptures. Yet, before someone gets the idea that God wants His honest, true workers broke, think again. The LORD says that those elders (Gospel workers, servants of God) are to “be counted worthy of double honour” which refers to a good financial reward. This would be at or a bit above the average income of the median earning man that that Gospel worker feeds/tends to.  Paul also inserted in his longest discourse on this very topic that those who are called out to labor for Christ can have a wife and family which of course requires more income to support (1 Corinthians 9:5).

“Let the elders that rule well be counted worthy of double honour, especially they who labour in the word and doctrine. 18 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

Did you note that those who “rule well” is a condition and it is defined as “they who labour in the word and doctrine“? True Gospel work must involve diligently getting God’s Word into the hearts of men, especially God’s own people. It is never ending because there are always saints to edify, help mature, pray for, teach the Word to, etc. It never ends and neither does the need to reach lost souls.

Because so many wolves have devoured people’s lives and finances, some want to forbid any and all provision from going to God’s workers which would be unscriptural and certainly to Satan’s advantage. The distribution of resources is to go to all of God’s people, not just the people collecting the money, which is what the modern, apostate church is doing. Compare what they are doing to Acts 2:44-45; 4:32-35. It’s a scam. People should study this topic in their Bible as the article link above seeks to help them do. We cannot exclude the provision of those God calls out into full-time serving. The apostles gave themselves“continually to prayer and to the ministry of the word.” (Acts 6:4) The Word of God sets forth the clear argument and case for provision for divinely called-out servants – those called out to give themselves to prayer and to the ministry of God’s Word. There’s no other calling so important in the earth or with eternal consequences. We must rightly divide and not overcompensate because others have abused. God bless you all.

Some people like to throw around cliches that are not direct Bible quotes such as, “Where God guides, God provides.” While that is generally true, we must be careful of blocking full-counsel Bible learning by cliches that are only half-truths. To stand on ANY cliches is a dangerous endeavor to the truth-seeking disciple. Stand on God’s Word alone which is what David said it is:  “Thy word is a lamp unto my feet and a light unto my path.” (Psalms 119:105)  Of our Father’s written Word, Christ said “Thy word is truth.” (John 17:17)  God’s people are divinely called and are to be allowed and granted the blessed opportunity to give to HIS work – not forcefully coerced but given opportunity (2 Corinthians 9:7). This is clear in Scripture.  When we give, we thereby learn to trust Him who replenishes our supply as He so often promised to do (Proverbs 3:9-10; 2 Corinthians 9:6-11, etc.). It would be wrong to disallow God’s people from giving actually. Moses did not stop God’s people from giving until there was so much given by God’s people that there was nowhere else to contain it! He had to tell them to stop bringing their things to the work of the LORD because they had nowhere else to store it – there was too much of it (Exodus 35). To tell people not to give to God’s work(ers) would mean he forbade them from doing what the LORD told His people to do from the beginning – give. The Levites were one of the twelve tribes of Israel set forth to continually worship and serve the LORD and His people and Paul, Christ’s apostle, draws from this very truth/fact in 1 Corinthians 9 – below.

God provides, yes, and His stated desire to supply, at least in part, is through His body – and that is so that they partake of the blessings both now and eternally (Galatians 6:6; 1 Corinthians 9:1-14; 1 Timothy 5:17-18). A proper and more thorough view of God’s kingdom reveals that to shut off the opportunity of giving and forbid His children from giving, stifles blessings.

The apostle Paul’s case for provision being given to called-out servants of Christ is clearly and profoundly set forth below.

1 Corinthians 9

1 Am I am not an apostle? am I not free? have I not seen Jesus Christ our Lord? are not ye my work in the Lord?

If I be not an apostle unto others, yet doubtless I am to you: for the seal of mine apostleship are ye in the Lord.

Mine answer to them that do examine me is this,

Have we not power to eat and to drink?

Have we not power to lead about a sister, a wife, as well as other apostles, and as the brethren of the Lord, and Cephas?

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? 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?

10 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.

11 If we have sown unto you spiritual things, is it a great thing if we shall reap your carnal things?

12 If others be partakers of this power over you, are not we rather? Nevertheless we have not used this power; but suffer all things, lest we should hinder the gospel of Christ.

13 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?

14 Even so hath the Lord ordained that they which preach the gospel should live of the gospel.

The above passage makes it abundantly clear that God wants those He calls out to serve Him full-time supplied.

Collecting money is biblical – for the right use and reason which the LORD reveals in His Word. We must simply make sure that the collection is going to bless the people of God and not just one or a few staged deceivers who are running an entertainment business they have set up and call “church.”

One problem we see today is the defense of these beguiling, thieving wolves by the covetous, greedy folks who support them. These deceived people are full of self and “love to have it so.” (Jeremiah 5:31) In other words they love the greedy, covetous wolves they have submitted themselves to because these worldly rich wolves model the lifestyle their greedy, self-serving audience want (Hosea 4:9; 2 Timothy 3:1-6; 4:2-4).

There is a correct use of collections. Receiving money for true Gospel ministry work is according to the apostolic doctrine which we are to continue “stedfastly in.” (1 Corinthians 9:1-14; 1 Timothy 5:17-18; Philippians 4, Acts 2:42, etc.) Now, manipulating people – making merchandise of them – is the work of “false prophets,” Peter told us (2 Peter 2:1-3). Yet, that doesn’t negate the opportunity given to disciples of Christ to lay up treasure in Heaven by giving to God’s true work (Matthew 6:19-21). The key is simply to make sure the ministry is doing the Word and not just entertaining and keeping folks biblically illiterate in order to be able to continue to control them.

It’s time to get biblically learned, astute and cease being ignorant! – “My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge.” (Hosea 4:6)

Further, Paul gave the divine promise that God would supply all the needs of those who gave (Philippians 4). That promise and blessing of divine provision is specifically to those who had given to Paul who was a Gospel worker.

“But I rejoiced in the Lord greatly, that now at the last your care of me hath flourished again; wherein ye were also careful, but ye lacked opportunity.” Philippians 4:10

Taking care of those whom the LORD has called out – not self-appointed but God-appointed – is the privilege of the saints. Those giving are the blessed ones according to Jesus (Acts 20:35). If you can’t give out of a “cheerful” (joyful, generous, thankful) heart then don’t bother – you are wasting your money. The Bible reveals to us that Jesus actually watches each one of us and how we give (Mark 12:41-44). He looks at the heart posture and percentage that we give (Mark 12:41-44; 2 Corinthians 9:7).

You want to be blessed? If so, find a true Gospel worker and begin giving into his life and work. In fact, a lady called this week who said that as she gave to a certain Gospel ministry, God blessed her. This is biblical. It doesn’t matter if some have collected and wasted money. The true Gospel worker is “worthy of his reward” and not just honor but “double honour” which means sufficient supply, pay, and a bit more (1 Timothy 5:17-18). Anyone who doesn’t like that needs to take up their beef with the LORD. Getting a biblical foundation in this subject by thorough study of the Scriptures on this topic is essential. Begin with 1 Corinthians 9:1-14. Those who do the infinitely most important and only eternal work on the earth are the most worthy souls on earth to be sustained, and supplied – so they can continue to fruitfully serve the LORD and His blessed people, equipping them to “do the work of the ministry.” (Ephesians 4:11-12) This is God’s program and anyone who participates in it is going to be blessed – now and eternally!

The LORD told us He would fill the barns and overflow with blessings the person who puts His “firstfruits” into His cause (Proverbs 3:9-10).

“Honour the LORD with thy substance, and with the firstfruits of all thine increase: 10 So shall thy barns be filled with plenty, and thy presses shall burst out with new wine.” Proverbs 3:9-10

It’s not a sin or wrong to facilitate what the Bible teaches – giving. The early believers in Jesus went so far as to sell off the things they didn’t need in order to liquidate and turn those properties, etc., into cash to help the other believers who were in need and surely a bit of that went to the apostles to sustain them as they gave themselves “continually to prayer and to the ministry of the word.” (Acts 6:4) See Acts 2:44-45; 4:32-35.  The apostles didn’t tell those people to take their money back because giving is an integral part of serving God who “So loved the world that he gave” (John 3:16) In fact, Christ says that “It is MORE blessed to GIVE than to receive.” (Acts 20:35) It would be wrong to disallow God’s people from giving actually.

Jesus Christ was betrayed by a thieving wolf!

Extorting thieves are nothing new. Jesus had one in His ministry while on earth.  The fact that charlatans have misused money they collected from gullible people who didn’t discern correctly does not make giving wrong. The people who give must examine, best they can, if that ministry is fulfilling a New Testament purpose. Most people don’t even know the Bible, regrettably, so they have little to go by. A good place to begin is to see what Jesus’ commission to His church is (Matthew 28:18-20; Mark 16:15-20). After reading Christ’s commission, one should begin to examine the fruit of any ministry they are thinking of giving to – such as 1) are they endeavoring to teach the whole counsel of God’s Word in His holy fear and with no fear of any mere man (Matthew 28:18-20), 2) are they reaching out to lost souls (Mark 16:15-20).

Notice for example that the Word of Faith wolves don’t bother to give money to the general body of Christ – individual saints. That’s obvious in that they take that money to themselves in undue fashion and build mansions. Most of them have several mansions, fly over the the world on their own jets, stay at the most elite hotels, etc. This is complete misuse of resources given to them by people and fulfilling what Peter wrote about.

“But there were false prophets also among the people, even as there shall be false teachers among you, who privily shall bring in damnable heresies, even denying the Lord that bought them, and bring upon themselves swift destruction. 2 And many shall follow their pernicious ways; by reason of whom the way of truth shall be evil spoken of. 3 And through covetousness shall they with feigned words make merchandise of you: whose judgment now of a long time lingereth not, and their damnation slumbereth not.” 2 Peter 2:1-3

We have the divine promise here that God is going to eternally judge those who “make merchandise” of others. There are some extorting wolves operating as pastors, evangelists, etc., but that doesn’t mean His disciples shouldn’t give!


Some hide their own greed behind exposing the obvious greedy wolves who hold ministry positions. They use those beguiling thieves as an excuse to stop giving altogether. Don’t cease giving just because you were deceived by a wolf. If you do, you will hurt and hinder the work of our LORD Jesus in this late hour. Continue to obey God by giving Him your whole being and will daily. Your treasure will be His as long as you are truly His (Matthew 6:19-24). Just pray for more discernment and stay in the Word. Measure everything according to His Word (Acts 17:11). Be ready to help other Christians in need all around you and prayerfully find a good called-out brother in Christ who fears the LORD truly and preaches His pure Word and begin giving to his life and work – God’s work!  The LORD promises to bless you for doing so.

Where you give is very important. You should ask: Is this ministry or church fully vested in Christ and His mission to save souls and feed His flock and teach HIS pure Word? Such a question eliminates 95% of all ministries which are nothing more than a flesh-flattering entity designed to rob the resources Christ ordains to go directly into His work and workers. There is no work on earth today that has eternal ramifications except the work of Christ. Are you a contributor? Why did He give you a way or ways to earn money? See in Ephesians 4:28 and begin supporting His true Gospel work – His Great Commission.

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“Should those in ministry take up collections? Is that biblical? Also, should those who write books have to pay for the whole funding of those books and for that matter, should they have to fund the LORD’s work themselves?” What does God’s Word tell us about money?”


So, where are true ministries supposed to get their money/resources? Question: Is that not our privilege and opportunity to give and thereby support the work of Jesus? In fact, is this not exactly why God gave us an income – to support His work? And, on top of that He puts money into an eternal investment “account” in Heaven? Wow! Philippians 4:17; Matthew 6:19-21.

“Collections” are biblical yes and they are the privilege of the giver much more than the mere human servants receiving the treasures to be stored up in Heaven for their own eternal benefit (Matthew 6:19-21). Giving also keep idolatry and greed away from the one who gives, securing his eternal soul with Christ. These are clearly soul damning sins specifically listed in Holy Scripture as such (Ephesians 5:5-7; Revelation 21:8, etc.).

Is it a sin for a person in ministry to not have enough money to pay for everything? No, that’s not a sin at all and in fact, it’s a blessing to those ministered to by that outreach. God actually ordains it that way usually so that other of His people can lay up treasures in Heaven, just like Jesus told us to do (Matthew 6:19-21). In fact, the apostle Paul cared much about the heavenly “accounts” of those he ministered to and so should we – “Not because I desire a gift: but I desire fruit that may abound to your account.” (Philippians 4:17) Most men in ministry have not studied biblical stewardship very closely and for instance, do not even know about the verse posted in the previous sentence. God told us here that we have an “ACCOUNT” in Heaven. Now the question is, what’s in our “account”? What have we given into His true New Testament work?

“But this I say, He which soweth sparingly shall reap also sparingly; and he which soweth bountifully shall reap also bountifully. 7 Every man according as he purposeth in his heart, so let him give; not grudgingly, or of necessity: for God loveth a cheerful giver. 8 And God is able to make all grace abound toward you; that ye, always having all sufficiency in all things, may abound to every good work: 9 (As it is written, He hath dispersed abroad; he hath given to the poor: his righteousness remaineth for ever. 10 Now he that ministereth seed to the sower both minister bread for your food, and multiply your seed sown, and increase the fruits of your righteousness;) 11 Being enriched in every thing to all bountifulness, which causeth through us thanksgiving to God.” 2 Corinthians 9:6-11

Some are misled by their own situations, opinions, and impartial knowledge of this important subject …. go read about some people Jesus actually puts in His trophy case in what we call “The Hall of Faith” …. read Heb. 11:37-39 and let’s talk about that.

“My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge.” (Hosea 4:6) Notice that it’s not that most people don’t have at least some knowledge of a topic and yet that can be deadly. God is good….. a little knowledge is enough to kill us all.

Getting a tad of knowledge can be deadly …. if we don’t keep studying the topic all the way through Scripture to gain a thorough biblical knowledge on that subject and thereby be blessed to rightly divide the word of truth (2 Timothy 2:15).

Support | STORE | PodcastsThe Return of ChristStewardshipWhere to Give and Where Not to Give | Fruit Abounding to Your Account! | Consider Your Ways [podcast] | Consider and Build [podcast] | Holes in Your Money Bags? [podcast] | Dollar DialogueJesus Sat Over Against The Treasury [podcast] | Escaping Sodom!Waste | Stewardship | Giving

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