Louis Entzminger, D. D.
FOR INDIVIDUAL, CLASS, AND CORRESPONDENCE STUDY
STUDIES BY DR. LOUIS ENTZMINGER 3
AUTHOR’S NOTE: 5
I. THE PATTERN FOR SCRIPTURAL GIVING 6
II. THE FIRST ACT OF GIVING IN SCRIPTURES 26
III. GIVING AS A MEANS OF WORSHIP 30
IV. THE SCRIPTURAL TEACHING ON TITHING 35
V. FOUR IMPORTANT QUESTIONS IN REGARD TO GIVING 46
VI. SCRIPTURAL REASONS FOR SCRIPTURAL GIVING 54
VII. THE JUDGMENT OF GOD ON THOSE WHO DO NOT GIVE, ACCORDING TO THE SCRIPTURE 64
DR. ENTZMINGER’S GREAT BOOK ON SUNDAY SCHOOL 70
STUDIES BY DR. LOUIS ENTZMINGER
These studies are included in the correspondence courses of the Bible Baptist Seminary of Fort Worth, Texas.
Other Seminary and Bible Institutes are investigating and in several instances have accepted Dr. Entzminger’s Studies as text books in their regular courses.
Dr. Entzminger’s books are just what the title implies – “Bible Studies,” and not just for reading.
The Bible should be opened in the hands of the student and all references carefully studied.
Invaluable to preachers, Bible teachers and to all Christian workers.
Volumes of letters of highest commendation could be published concerning Dr. Entzminger’s work. We give three or four:
Luther C. Peak, B.D., Th.M.’ L.L.D., says:
“… more original truths brought to light in Dr. Entzminger’s Studies than anything I have read, than any Commentary or Exposition on the Bible I have ever studied.”
The late Dr. Fred W. Dyson, Dean of Bible Baptist Seminary, and Director of Personnel, said:
“It has been my privilege to read and teach some of the books Dr. Entzminger has written, and I say unreservedly, that I can recommend them wholeheartedly to anybody that loves Bible study. They are sound, scriptural, sane and very suggestive. No preacher or Sunday School teacher or Christian worker can afford to be without them.”
Dr. Oscar Wells, Professor of Theology in Bible Baptist Seminary, says:
“I have found his expositions of God’s Word – truly nuggets brought forth from the refiner’s pen.”
The Pattern for Scriptural Giving is an exposition of Genesis 14:17-15:1. The first verse of the fifteenth chapter certainly belongs to the fourteenth chapter; the chapter divisions, of course, are not inspired.
First things in Scripture are usually patterns. The first place in Scripture where we have the act of giving set forth and described is in Genesis 14:17-15:1.
Bible Baptist Seminary,
Fort Worth, Texas
- The one who gave – Abraham the believer.
He was the typical Old Testament believer.
He was the father of all believers – the pattern believer (Roman 4:1-12).
We are to “walk in the steps of that faith of our father Abraham” (Roman 4:12).
Abraham is the first said to have been justified by faith. “And he believed in the Lord: and he counted it to him for righteousness” (Gen. 15:6). “For what saith the scripture? Abraham believed God, and it was counted unto him for righteousness” (Roman 4:3).
We are to walk in his steps. “And the father of circumcision to them who are not of the circumcision only, but who also walk in the steps of that faith of our father Abraham, which he had being yet uncircumcised” (Roman 4:12).
We are saved as he was saved, and we are to walk as he walked.
- Abraham “GAVE tithes of all”
He gave tithes of all. He didn’t pay it. Evidently he didn’t just act upon a sudden impulse. It must have been a habit of his life.
“To whom also Abraham gave a tenth part of all” (Heb. 7:2a).
This seventh chapter of Hebrews reveals a most remarkable thing to me. Here is one act that has a two-fold bearing. Abraham “gave” the “tithe.” The writer of Hebrews Seven makes the distinction, setting forth clearly the fact that Abraham’s act was a “gift;” and yet of Levi, unborn at the time, a descendant of Abraham, the same writer says in Hebrews 7:10, “For he was yet in the loins of his father, when Melchizedec met him.”
In the ninth verse the apostle said, “And as I may so says, Levi also, who receiveth tithes, payed tithes in Abraham.”
While it was one act, yet the Holy Spirit was careful to distinguish clearly the difference in “giving” the tithe under grace or promise and “paying” the tithe under law.
Abraham gave tithes of all, and this was 430 years before the Law was given. “And this I say, that the covenant, that was confirmed before of God in Christ, the law, which was four hundred and thirty years after, cannot disannul, that it should make the promise of none effect” (Gal. 3:17).
The law changed nothing. It came in “As our school master to lead us to Christ” (Gal. 3:24).
We (all believers) are the children of Abraham. “Know ye therefore that they which are of faith the same are the children of Abraham” (Gal. 3:7). “And if ye be Christ’s then are ye Abraham’s seed, and heirs according to the promise” (Gal. 3: 29).
“Now we, brethren, as Isaac was, are the children of promise” (Gal. 4:28).
Therefore, our father Abraham set us the example on giving. We should “walk in his steps.”
The “paying” of the tithe was incorporated in the law to teach Israel, His chosen people, the value God placed upon it and for all future generations of His people. “Now consider how great this man was, unto whom even the patriarch Abraham gave the tenth of the spoils” (Heb. 7:4).
These scriptures, written over 2,000 years after Abraham’s act, distinguishes the difference in “giving” the tithes under grace and “paying” them under law.
Evidently, Jesus was a tither!
He certainly kept the law and fulfilled it. If He hadn’t, the scribes and Pharisees would have exposed and attacked Him for not doing it, even as they constantly did for doing good on the Sabbath. They hounded His every step.
We do not pay the tithe under grace. We are to give the tithe; and certainly the most ardent opponent of tithing would admit that God demanded nothing in the law that was not right.
III. He gave HIM (Melchizedek, who was Christ in human form, or one of the most perfect types of Christ in all scripture) tithes of all.
Read all of Hebrews 7:1-21 carefully
- Giving is the highest type of worship. See where Abel’s offering was a “gift,” and the gift of “faith,” and the act of a “righteous” man. “By faith Abel offered unto God a more excellent sacrifice than Cain, by which he obtained witness that he was righteous, God testifying of his gifts: and by it he being dead yet speaketh” ’(Heb. 11:4).
In fact, giving and calling upon the Name of God is all the means of worship revealed to us in the Scripture for the first 2,500 years from Adam. The first song in Scripture is in Exodus 15.
The motive of Abraham’s act certainly was gratitude, devotion to the “Most High God, possessor of heaven and earth,” who blessed him and whom he trusted, loved and worshipped (Gen. 14:18-22).
It was not to pay the expenses of the soldiers, or the expenses of the conflict. Our gifts are unto God, not to the boards, or executive committees, or to the pastor, or to the debts, or to the missionaries, but “unto Him.”
We read over and over again in the Old Testament Scriptures where it speaks of giving “unto the Lord.” “And the Lord spake unto Moses, saying, Speak unto the children of Israel, that they bring me an offering: of every man that giveth it willingly with his heart ye shall take my offering” (Exodus 25:1, 2). “And Moses spake unto all the congregation of the children of Israel, saying, This is the thing which the Lord commanded, saying,
Take ye from among you an offering unto the Lord: whosoever is of a willing heart, let him bring it, an offering of the Lord; gold, and silver, and brass’ (Exodus 35:4, 5). “And the Lord called unto Moses, and spake unto him out of the tabernacle of the congregation, saying,
“… If any man of you bring an offering unto the Lord, …he shall offer it of his own voluntary will at the door of the tabernacle of the congregation before the Lord… an offering made by fire, of a sweet savour unto the Lord… it is a burnt-sacrifice, an offering made by fire, of a sweet savour unto the Lord” (Lev. 1:2, 3, 9, 13, 17). (“It is a burnt-sacrifice, an offering made by fire, of a sweet savour unto the Lord.”)
The same is true in the New Testament. “By him therefore let us offer the sacrifice of praise to God continually, that is, the fruit of our lips, giving thanks to his name.
“But to do good, and to communicate, forget not: for with such sacrifices God is well pleased” (Heb. 13:15, 16).
The offering sent to Paul by the Philippian church was “an odour of a sweet smell, a sacrifice acceptable, well-pleasing to God” (Phil. 4:18).
Of course, all of these gifts were used for the purpose of God’s work and service, but the Scriptures emphasize the fact that they were gifts made unto Him.
Of course, they may be used for all these things. But, we give “unto the Lord.” They are to be brought unto Him. They are to be brought on the “first day of the week” (I Cor. 16:2), and by all who worship and put in the “treasury of the Lord,” the “Lord’s storehouse.” The tabernacle in the wilderness first and later the Temple in Jerusalem, and still later the church in the New Testament. “They brought their gifts and laid them at the apostles’ feet” (Acts 4:35, 37; 5:2).
Thrice over in Deuteronomy 12, the “place” is emphasized (Deut. 12:5, 6, 11-14).
The “place” is mentioned 27 times in the book of Deuteronomy, and there it includes all their sacrifices, tithes and offerings – every kind of offering.
There are those who claim that there is no “place” today. Paul said in I Tim. 6:10, writing to a preacher, that covetousness will make a heretic. How many preachers today are perverting the truth on money for their own gain. We know an evangelist who urges the people and tells them, in his “independent” evangelistic meetings, that they don’t need to carry their offerings to church or to give them to a church, but to give them to him.
In verse 8 of this wonderful twelfth chapter of Deuteronomy, Moses establishes a very important truth: “Ye shall not do after all the things that we do here this day, every man whatsoever is right in this own eyes” (Deut. 12:8).
This he quotes, following what he has just said in verses 5 and 6. “But unto the place which the Lord your God shall choose out of all your tribes to put his name there, even unto his habitation shall ye seek, and thither thou shalt come:
And thither ye shall bring your burnt-offerings, and your sacrifices, and your tithes, and heave-offerings of your hand, and your vows, and your freewill-offerings, and the firstlings of your herds and of your flocks.”
He repeats practically the same thing in verses 11 and 12.
How many people today think they are doing what is right when they do what they think is right. I may think it is all right to give my tithes and offerings to some peripathetic evangelist, or radio preacher, or even to some man who is doing a great soul winning work and great radio preaching; but in the New Testament there certainly was a place. I heard an evangelist say that there was no such thing as a “place” today; but the storehouse referred to by the Apostle in II Cor. 16:2 certainly was a place. The word used here corresponds to the place which was the tabernacle in its day, and to the temple in its day, and certainly to the church in its day.
The churches did have a treasury and a treasurer. Jesus had one – Judas Iscariot; and though he was a thief, it does not change the fact. The New Testament is clear that the offerings were brought into the churches.
People who even tithe and send part to somebody’s “radio program,” and part to some “evangelist,” and part to some “missionary,” etc., etc., and then bring a little to their church, have no conception of the teaching of the Scripture on the truth about giving.
Not only were the offerings all made to the churches, but the New Testament churches sent the offerings to the missionaries and to the poor. They were not sent by the individual member or giver “Whomsoever ye shall approve” (I Cor. 16:3). “The churches of Macedonia” (plural) not the individual members, but “the churches!” (II Cor. 8:1), sent the offerings.
He desired Titus to finish the same Grace (of giving) in the church at Corinth (II Cor. 8:6, 19). Notice “chosen of the churches” and notice further, verse 24, “show ye of the churches” (II Cor. 8:24), not to “The Church of the Air,” nor to the “Radio Bible School,” however fine their programs may be; nor to the “missionaries,” however valuable their services may be, nor to the “Evangelist,” however great his soul-winning powers may be; but “show to the churches” the proof of your love.” Read it for yourselves, beloved.
Notice again “Your – (the church at Corinth) – distribution” (II Cor. 9:13).
The Philippian Epistle, as universally admitted, was written to the Philippian church. “With the ‘Bishops’ (overseers) ‘and deacons’ ” who sent offerings “once and again” to the Apostle, their “Missionary” (Phil. 1:1). Did individual members send it? No, the church. “The things sent from you” – the church at Philippi (Phil. 4:18).
It was the church at Antioch that sent relief to the church at Jerusalem (Acts 11:27-30). It was the church at Antioch that (“sent them away”), sent Paul and Barnabas and, beyond question, supported them and to whom they reported when they returned.
“And when they had fasted and prayed and laid their hands on them, they sent them away” (Acts 13:3).
“And when they were come, and had gathered the church together, they rehearsed all that God had done with them, and how he had opened the door of faith unto the Gentiles” (Acts 14:27).
As God dwelt on the Mercy seat in the Tabernacle and later in the Temple, the “place” he dwells now in the person of the Holy Spirit is the New Testament church.
“And when the day of Pentecost was fully comes they were all with one accord in one place,
“And suddenly there came a sound from heaven as of a rushing mighty wind, and it filled all the house where they were sitting (Baptized them).
“And there appeared unto them cloven tongues like as of fire, and it sat upon each of them.
“And they were all filled with the Holy Ghost” (Acts 2: 1-4). “Know ye not that ye are the temple of God, and that the Spirit of God dwelleth in you” (I Cor. 3:16) – the church at Corinth.
“In whom ye (the church at Ephesus) also are builded together for an habitation of God through the Spirit” (Eph. 2:22).
“Thou hast not lied unto men, but unto God” (Acts 5:4b).
Therefore, believers in New Testament churches now are to bring their gifts or offerings to the place where they worship; the place where God the Holy Spirit dwells, (the New Testament church) the place of God’s habitation. This “place” is mentioned 27 times in the book of Deuteronomy.
- The AMOUNT he gave was “tithes of all.”
This is the amount in this pattern.
- The Principle upon which he acted.
In the Old Testament, things are representatively set forth.
“Levi” means the tribe of Levi.
“Judah” means the tribe of Judah.
One lamb for the firstborn, meant the whole family.
Israel is “my first born son” ’(Exodus 4:22-23).
The nation is personified representatively as one. Therefore, when Achan sinned, “Israel hath sinned” (Josh. 7:11).
On the Great Day of Atonement, the one sacrifice was for the whole nation.
So with, Abraham giving the tithe. He owned and confessed by giving it that he and all he possessed belonged to “the most high God, possessor of Heaven and Earth.” He, by his action, showed it. He acted it, proved that he believed it.
If you live in a rented house, you are reminded once a month, when you pay your rent, that you don’t own the house.
So, also, when on the first day of the week (I Cor. 16:2) you bring your tithe into the storehouse (the treasury of your church where God the Holy Spirit dwells – Eph. 2:22, you acknowledge that you and all you possess is not your own (“neither said any of them that ought of the things which he possessed was his own” – Acts 4:32) but that all belongs to the most high God.
You acknowledge, confess, own this great and tremendous truth by “actions, which speak louder than words.”
This act “the first day of the week” when done “in spirit and in truth” (John 4:24) every seven days, 52 times every year, brings the greatest possible blessing into the believer’s life.
- What did Abraham get of all the spoil? Nothing.
Not a “thread or even a shoelatchet” (Gen. 14:22, 23). But before he turned it over to anybody, he gave God His due, His portion.
- The tithe! It represented all! It is God’s portion!
It is God’s provision in grace for all to stand on equality before God, and a most wonderful lesson in grace. (II Cor. 8: 12-14). “It is accepted according to that a man hath, and not according to that he hath not” (II Cor. 8:12).
Notice the words “according” twice in this one verse. And this “according” twice based on his “willing mind.”
Notice II Cor. 8:13, 14: “For I mean not that other men be eased, and ye burdened:
“But by an equality, that now at this time your abundance may be a supply for their want, that their abundance also may be a supply for your want: that there may be equality:”
Notice “an equality” is mentioned here twice.
What does the inspired writer mean? It is as simple as can be.
A Christian lad of 10 years has a dime to spend for candy, but reserves a tithe, one penny, for the Lord, and gives it “on the first day of the week.”
A Christian lad earns $5 selling newspapers; with a “willing mind” gives 50 cents on the Lord’s Day.
A girl earns $10 working at a five-and-ten store; with a “willing mind” gives $1 on the Lord’s Day.
A young man earns $50 a week and brings $5 on the Lord’s Day and puts it in the offering.
At the same time, a good mechanic earns $100 a week and of a “willing mind” gives $10.
A salesman earns $200 during the week and brings $20 on the Lord’s Day and gives it of a “willing mind.”
In the meantime, a Christian lawyer has fees of ten thousand dollars for a week. He gives a thousand dollars, with a “willing mind.”
An oil magnet has profits of a hundred thousand dollars during the week; he, with a “willing mind,” gives ten thousand dollars.
At the same time, if some multi-millionaire, who loves our Lord and has made a million dollars that week, should with “a willing mind” give one hundred thousand dollars, who has given the most?
They all stand on “an equality” in God’s sight and “according” to God’s mathematics, and that is all that God has ever asked – “equality!”
The lad’s penny and the millionaire’s hundred thousand dollars, given with “a willing mind” stand on “an equality” before God and nobody is “burdened,” while others are “eased.” What marvelous grace!
Young and old, rich and poor are on “equality” before a “God of all grace” on the tithing, representative principle.
There is absolutely no other basis on which all can be “on equality.”
Therefore, I know this is God’s method and plan on Scriptural giving, under the covenant of grace.
- The REWARD for giving the tithe. (Gen. 15:1).
- “ I am thy shield” (Gen 15:1).
God did not say, I will send an army to protect you, but “I am thy shield.”
This verse of chapter 15 most certainly belongs to Chapter 14: Just why God gave this encouraging word to Abraham, we are not definitely told. But as no defeated army would fail to reform their ranks and follow up for an attack, it would be remarkably contrary to all military tactics, if they would not follow up and attack Abraham.
This verse 1 of chapter 15 undoubtedly belongs to Chapter 14. Since often the chapter divisions are not inspired and were made hundreds of years after the Canon of Scripture was completed, and for convenience, we are sure this division is incorrect, and verse one of chapter 15 rightly belongs to Chapter 14. Therefore, God is encouraging Abraham not to be fearful of any attack upon him and his army. “I am thy shield” is sufficient for any fears Abraham might have had.
- I am thy exceeding great reward! (Gen. 15:1b)
This is most remarkable!
The reward for Abraham’s giving ‘‘tithes of all” to the “most high God, possessor of heaven and earth,” is to get as a reward, not some crown, or some material reward of gold and silver, but to get the MOST HIGH GOD HIMSELF as his Exceeding Great Reward!
He gave tithes of all, confessing, owning that he and all he had was the most high God’s, possessor of heaven and earth.
He got, as a reward, the Most High God, possessor of heaven and earth. What a most remarkable, almost unbelievable reward!
I have been rebuked for emphasizing the rewards based on the promises of God for giving, but if we are not to preach the rich promises in the Word of God for those who give according to the Scriptures, why preach any promises?
It was at the conclusion of the Philippian Epistle written to the church at Philippi by Paul (the church) that supported him, (commending the church) because it sent him offerings once and again to his necessity, that he said, “But my God shall supply all your need according to his riches in glory by Christ Jesus” (Phil. 4:19).
Shall we not preach this, according to the context of these Scriptures? Has this no meaning? Has it no application to the Macedonian saints?
Did he not mean it, when the Apostle said in II Corinthians 9:6, “But this I say, He which soweth sparingly shall reap also sparingly; and he which soweth bountifully shall reap also bountifully?”
Again, did the prophet not mean it, when he said in Malachi 3:10, “Bring ye all the tithes into the storehouse, …and prove me now herewith saith the Lord of hosts, if I will not open you tie windows of heaven, and pour you out a blessing, that there shall not be room enough to receive it?”
If God is going to open the windows of heaven and pour out blessings that there shall not be room enough to receive them, is he not undoubtedly speaking here of spiritual blessings? Was the prophet mocking Israel when he held out such a promise to them? What did the prophet mean when he said, “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…?”
If this is not the promise of material blessings, what is the meaning of it?
What is the meaning of Proverbs 3:9, 19, Honour the Lord with thy substance, and with the first fruits of all thine increase:
“So shall thy barns be filled with plenty, and thy presses shall burst out with new wine,” if it doesn’t mean material blessings for those who honor the Lord with their substance? Is this just to mock us?
Are we to throw these promises aside and pooh pooh them because they teach God’s promises for those who put Him first in their material possessions, or who confess and own that He is the possessor not only of heaven and earth, but of the believer individually? Was Jesus seeking to bribe us and are we to sneer at what He said in Luke 6:30, “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?”
What did the wisest man of all time (Solomon) mean when he said by divine inspiration, “There is that scattereth, and yet increaseth; and there is that withholdeth more than is meet, but it tendeth to poverty?” (Prov. 11:24).
Here, the man that scatters increases. Of course, that is most unreasonable to the human mind. “There is that which withholdeth, but it tendeth to poverty ’’ – that is, it makes poor. It is a hard matter to get a man to believe that, according to God’s Word, if he gives according to what the Scripture teaches, say $10, that he is not poorer but richer, because he knows nothing about God’s mathematics. He is not prepared to receive the truth.
Jesus said in Mark 12:43, 44, “That this poor widow hath cast more in, than all they which have cast into the treasury:
“For they did cast in of their abundance… but she, of her want, did east in all… even all her living.”
I have heard thousands of testimonies, and I have yet to hear one man testify that he was made poorer by practicing the principle that guided Abraham in giving the tithe.
“God is Love” (I John 4:8b). It is the nature of love to give. In John 3:16 “God so loved the world that He gave” He loved, therefore, He gave.
“Christ loved the church and gave Himself for it” (Eph. 5:25b).
God, who owns heaven and earth, gives Himself to those who own and confess Him as such.
My Father, whose riches include all things, is mine, if I own and acknowledge Him as such in recognizing this principle in my giving.
- Some facts from history regarding tithing.
Babbs, in the “Law of the Tithe” (P. 24) quotes Monacutius as writing, “Instances are mentioned in history of some nations which did not offer sacrifices, but in the annals of all times, none are found who did not pay tithes.”
This is true, according to the facts given by various writers on the subject, who certainly ought to speak with authority.
They (who tithed) include the Arabians, the Babylonians, the Greeks, the Romans, and in fact most of the other nations have practiced the tithe; but in these cases it was for both civil and religious purposes.
Therefore, tithing was a common practice before Moses’ day, and did not originate with him.
In connection with this statement, it is very significant that with the accounts of Abraham and Jacob, Moses made no effort to explain their conduct in tithing.
It was spontaneous in both cases. Evidently the principle was inherent in the very nature of man and, like the sabbath, was ingrained in his mind and conscience. Even the heathen gave tithes to their deities.
Moses mentions it in almost a casual way, as if it must have seemed a normal act for a godly man of that day.
We simply state these facts. However, we stand wholly and only on the Scriptural teaching which, beyond all question, reveals the truth that under grace or promise, before the Law, during the whole dispensation of the Law, and after the ceremonial laws were fulfilled in Christ, under grace, it was practiced.
Jesus, who kept the law, certainly had to tithe.
And he said in his day, Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye pay tithe of mint and anise and cumin, and have omitted the weightier matters of the law, judgment, mercy and faith, these ought ye to have done, and not to leave the other undone” (Matt. 23:23).