85. The Principles of Offering Donations and Alms
(1) The church absolutely forbids any person from soliciting donations for any reason. Any who do so have ulterior motives, and should be exposed and reported;
(2) New believers who do not understand the truth are forbidden from offering donations. Only those with true faith in God may donate;
(3) When God’s chosen people offer donations or alms, they must undertake repeated prayer until they are willing and eager and able to make donations or give alms without ever having any regrets or seeking anything in return. Only these will be remembered by God;
(4) Alms should be targeted accurately. It hews closer to God’s will to donate mainly to brothers and sisters who have been expending themselves for God for a long time and are suffering financial hardship;
(5) Money and goods donated to God should be given to the church for safekeeping. One may also look after them oneself, or they may be handed to someone else who truly loves God, for safekeeping.
Bible Verses for Reference:
“Take heed that you do not your alms before men, to be seen of them: otherwise you have no reward of your Father which is in heaven. Therefore when you do your alms, do not sound a trumpet before you, as the hypocrites do in the synagogues and in the streets, that they may have glory of men. Truly I say to you, They have their reward. But when you do alms, let not your left hand know what your right hand does: That your alms may be in secret: and your Father which sees in secret Himself shall reward you openly” (Mat 6:1–4).
Sermon and Fellowship Excerpts for Reference:
The Principles of the Giving of Offerings and Alms by God’s Chosen People
God’s salvation of mankind is not only by the expression of words. It also involves a large volume of work, such as spreading the gospel, watering the churches, audiovisual projects, artistic projects, and textual work. This work requires a significant amount of human, material and financial resources, thus all God’s chosen people should offer themselves up, expend themselves for God, and perform the duties and obligations of God’s creatures for the sake of the work of spreading the kingdom gospel. Only then will they be after God’s heart. All that is enjoyed by man is given by God, so God’s chosen people should donate a portion of all money they earn to be used in spreading the gospel work. This is ordained by Heaven and acknowledged by earth, and is a bounden obligation. If people have donated nothing after several years of believing in God, this shows that they lack true faith, and that they do not understand the truth, have no conscience or sense, and are unfit to live before God. Therefore, everyone who believes in God should contribute their share to the work of God. The means by which one contributes should be determined according to one’s own understanding. Some people are committed to donating ten percent of everything they earn; some dedicate their whole being to God and expend themselves for God. Regardless of how they contribute, as long as they do so gladly, it shall be approved by God. Each church should set up an offerings box so that those who truly believe in God and have true faith in God can give voluntarily. The house of God stipulates that offerings given by God’s chosen people are determined based on the individual’s faith; as long as these contributions come after much prayer, are given willingly, and the person does not ask for anything in return, they are entirely after God’s heart. However, new believers who do not understand the truth and the poor do not need to make offerings. The church does not accept offerings made zealously by new believers or offerings that are likely to lead to family disputes. Moreover, the church does not permit anyone to solicit offerings for any reason. All who try to solicit offerings have ulterior motives and should be exposed and reported. All of God’s chosen people must understand that the offerings they donate are given to God, not to any church or individual. Donating to a church or individual is absolutely wrong. God’s chosen people should donate upon the foundation of an understanding of the significance and principles of giving offerings; only by doing this will they be remembered and blessed by God.
During the Age of Grace, the Lord Jesus said, “Truly I say to you, Inasmuch as you have done it to one of the least of these My brothers, you have done it to Me” (Mat 25:40). Alms given in love to help brothers and sisters who earnestly make sacrifices and expend themselves for God and who are experiencing financial hardship in their lives are good deeds, and doing so accords entirely with God’s words. Certain people, however, only buy expensive items for leaders. Such gifts are not alms given out of love; they are nothing but a sycophantic philosophy of living that is tainted with personal motivations and aims, and they are not remembered by God. Almsgiving must be governed by principles and directed to the right recipients. Alms must not be given to the wicked, false leaders, or antichrists; to do so is facilitating evil, and it is evildoing, pure and simple. To truly give alms out of love means giving to those who sincerely expend themselves for God, who are able to provide for, water, and support God’s chosen people, and who make the greatest contribution to the work of the church and the growth of the chosen people’s lives. Giving alms to such people—people who are beloved of God and blessed by God—is entirely after God’s heart. Giving alms or gifts in order to curry favor with a certain person and achieve one’s personal aims is utterly at odds with the truth principle. Leaders and workers have an even greater obligation to consider the work of the house of God, perform their duty properly, accept God’s scrutiny, and not covet the blessings of status. It is the responsibility of all of God’s chosen people to supervise them in this regard.
Excerpted from Work Arrangements
Any donations of funds or materials by God’s chosen people must be done in accordance with the principles. First, they cannot make donations until they have been a believer for one or two years and have come to understand some truths. Second, it must be genuine and they must have already prayed about it multiple times; there cannot be any element of reluctance. If it’s a large amount of money, they have to write a letter of guarantee declaring the source of the funds and whether there is any possible clandestine danger or risk, that they are donating willingly and will not regret it. Only then can the church accept it. The church cannot accept donations from new believers who don’t understand the truth but are merely enthusiastic. In the past, there have been leaders and workers who have called on God’s chosen people to make donations—this is even further out of line with God’s will. This sort of thing is all too common in the religious world; in the house of God, no leader or worker is permitted to appeal to people to do a duty or to donate. If a false leader such as this appears, God’s chosen people should expose and report them. In addition, all donations given to God by His chosen people are offerings that belong to God; they do not belong to any individual or to any church. The church is not a charitable organization, so it cannot use God’s offerings as alms to give to the poor. God’s offerings are primarily used to expand the work of the gospel and for the necessary living expenses of those who do their duty full time. Anyone who violates the principles by privately misappropriating God’s offerings is a Judas guilty of stealing offerings, and they must be dealt with harshly. In serious cases, they must be purged, expelled. Anyone who loses offerings or uses them inappropriately, causing loss to the house of God, must provide equivalent compensation.
Excerpted from Work Arrangements