“Go Ye” Means You
By E. E. Judd
I. “Go Ye” Means You
“Everyone that is not a missionary, needs a missionary.” It is inconsistent to speak of being a true Christian and not a missionary at heart. The risen Lord’s commission to His disciples to “go ye into all the world” is as universal to believers as His promises of salvation to “whosoever.”
Jesus placed supreme importance upon the Great Commission. Ten times He appeared to His followers between His resurrection and ascension. On five of these occasions, He spoke of their going, His sending or the fact that the gospel was to be preached in all the world. “Go ye…and teach all nations” (Matthew 28:19). “Go ye into all the world and preach the gospel to every creature” (Mark 16:15). “As my father has sent me, even so send I you” (John 20:21). “…Repentance and remission of sins should be preached in his name among all nations. – .and ye are witnesses of these things” (Luke 24:47, 48). “Ye shall receive power. . .and ye shall be witnesses. . .unto the uttermost part of the world” (Acts 1:8).
Every believer who would dare to identify himself personally in the “ye” of the promised power must be willing to find himself included in the “ye” of the Commission. The responsibility for fulfillment of the Great Commission is as inclusive of all true believers as are the promises of salvation that include them in the “whosoever.”
How can every believer “go, into all the world”? How can one identify himself with the Commission and fulfill his responsibility? Most certainly for some it is the will and call of God for them to literally “go.” However, it should be quickly realized that every believer is not called to be a “going” missionary. This does not exclude them from the Commission. According to the Apostolic pattern, when God called certain men to be “going” missionaries, He called upon the church collectively to send them (Acts 13:1-4). When the “sent” missionaries completed their service abroad, they returned to report to those who had sent them (Acts 14:26). All were involved in the sending. All were included in the sense of accomplishment when the results were reported.
Though all are not sent, all can be involved in the sending. In this sense, each one can go by proxy and thus obey the commandment. This wider realm of involvement is first of all in prayer. But tangibly it is in the ministry of giving in order that those called to go may be sent by the church collectively.
No apology is offered for seeking to encourage a greater involvement in giving. The Scriptures declare, “It is more blessed to give than to receive” (Acts 20:35). Through the avenue of giving, one is first of all a blessing to the cause of Christ and to those whose present lives and eternal destinies will be affected as a result. Secondly, to give assures the blessing of God upon the giver. These blessings return in direct proportion to the measure of giving (Luke 6:38). Therefore, to encourage an individual or a congregation to become more deeply involved in giving is to lead them into the twofold path of blessing�outward and inward.
Through the ministry of giving for the sending of the gospel “into all the world,” each participant shares the sweet sense of involvement, obedience and the satisfaction of knowing that he has become one of the collective “ye” in the “go ye” of the command. He personally thrills to know he is doing that which is pleasing in the sight of his Lord and that of a surety he will hear Him say, “Well done” because he has done well!
It is the purpose of this booklet to present the faith promise plan as a method by which every believer can identify himself with the fulfillment of the Great Commission through the ministry of giving. This plan is of apostolic origin. It is as scriptural as tithing. It is proven in practice. It is consistent. It is effective.
Pastor, if you as a minister of the apostolic message seek to see every man receive an apostolic experience, then dare to take a step of faith and lead your flock into the pattern of Apostolic action-fulfillment of the Commission “to all the world.”
II. What Is “Faith Promise” Giving?
Let it be said first of all that faith promise is not a gimmick or a mere play on words. Neither is it a passing fad that is with us today but that will require more and more promotion to keep it working.
The faith promise concept is a sound, scriptural practice based upon the method of the Apostle Paul. The use of this method is found in nearly every strong “missionary” church or “missionary” movement. Some outside the ranks of Pentecost grasped this concept decades ago and through consistent practice of its principles they contribute many times more per member to their missionary programs than does the United Pentecostal Church at this time. Much of the phenomenal increase in foreign missions giving in the United Pentecostal Church in recent years has resulted from pastors grasping this concept and daring to lead their congregations into the same realm of faith regarding their material possessions as they must have in their spiritual lives.
The faith promise is a new dimension in the spiritual exercise of faith. It is a covenant of partnership with God in a material way for the spreading of the gospel to “all the world.”
Specifically, a faith promise is a promise to God that by His enablement, one will give a certain amount to foreign missions through the foreign missionary offerings of his local church. This commitment is generally for a twelve month period and is defined in terms of a consistent weekly or monthly offering for this purpose.
The concept is based upon the two elements in its name, faith and promise. It is more than a mere pledge program. Faith promise leads a man into a vertical relationship between himself and God. One’s attention is upward. A pledge on the other hand, often leads a man only into a horizontal relationship between himself and another man or a group of men. A pledge can be very mercenary, mundane and burdensome. A faith promise is a spiritual, faith-building experience with joyful, enriching results. It can be expected to intensify spirituality and lead a man into a genuine sense of being “used of God” for the completion of “the unfinished task” of world evangelism.
The faith aspect of the faith promise lies in the fact that the one making the promise usually does not have the amount of commitment at the time he makes it. He puts himself in a place where he must trust God to provide it. He must exercise faith in the receiving and giving of his material possessions. At this material level, each individual finds opportunity to increase his faith in God as he dares to venture into the ministry of giving and receiving.
“God will be no man’s debtor.” This being true, then man cannot out give God. God’s law of increasing return will restore more than the seed that is sown. “He who sows generously and that blessing may come to someone, will also reap generously and with blessing” (II Corinthians 9:6 Amplified INT.).
The faith in the faith promise is confidence in the promises of God and the faithfulness of God to keep these promises.
The promise aspect of the faith promise is acting in the faith previously discussed. It is purposing in one’s heart what he in-tends to give by divine enablement and then binds himself to that purpose of heart by registering his commitment. This promise is made first of all to God. It is registered with the church to interpret it into concrete action. Since the promise is predicated upon divine enablement, the human obligation can surely be fulfilled; that is, to trust God to supply and exercise a faithful stewardship over that which is supplied. If one does these things, there need be no worry of inability to fulfill the promise. God is faithful!
However, in order to encourage those with weak faith to take the initial step of involvement, it should be understood that the promise is not legally binding should there be an inability to perform. Records may be kept for tax purposes, etc., but there should be no sense of pressure put upon any person throughout the life of the promise. It should be the goal of the church and the pastor to create a spiritual atmosphere in which one’s faith can be exercised and he can see God work to provide.
Faith promise giving begins with a commitment and a wise, proper stewardship of that which one already has in his power to give. From this base, one is able to move into the realm of faith where he can believe God to supply even more that he might have it to give.
A faith promise is a faith covenant to give, as God enables, a specific amount to missions through the missionary treasury of the local church.
III. It Works!
The proof of any theory is, “Does it work?” It can be declared without hesitation that the faith promise concept, as set forth in this booklet and used for the support of foreign missions, works!
It Works for the Individual
Faith promise works for the individual. When one acknowledges his responsibility to the Commission and purposes in his heart to be used of God in its fulfillment, God is going to honor that commitment and make it possible. When one takes God as a partner in the material aspect of his life and practices that partnership, he most certainly will be blessed.
Faith promise starts with dedicating a portion of what one already has to the unselfish cause of foreign missions on a consistent, regular basis. To this practice of stewardship, one might add a bit more as a “measure of joyful sacrifice” for a thank offering. When this stratum of giving is reached, let him add a third dimension to his commitment, the dimension of faith, according to his “measure of faith.” For example, one might be able to comfortably give $20.00 monthly from regular income and purpose in his heart to do so. Then, in the spirit of sacrifice, he might add another $10.00 monthly with a view to some self denial in order to be able to give it. These steps are good and must be the starting point of faith promise. Finally, to get involved in faith and trusting the Lord, our example adds another $10.00 monthly for a total of $40.00 per month for foreign missions.
In the above example, our donor faithfully sets aside $ 20.00 from his regular budget and $10.00 for his sacrifice of love. He looks to the Lord for His special provision of the final $10.00. In so doing, he makes himself a candidate for a miracle. He puts his faith into practice and�it works!
Many are the testimonies of job promotions, salary increases, new employment, extra overtime pay, bonuses, increased commissions, unexpected savings, income from unexpected sources, prospering businesses and even more outstanding miracles of increase in the lives of these persons. Needless to say, as it happens and is related to God’s faithfulness, faith is strengthened and one grows in his relationship with God.
“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” (Proverbs 11:24-25).
Faith promise works for the individual!
It Works for the Church
When a pastor, like a good shepherd, leads his congregation into this exercise of stewardship and faith, the blessings of the people flow together so that the entire scope of the church is blessed. In past years, some of our UPCI pastors were encouraged in this practice by the testimonies of other non-UPCI churches. However, by now a good number of our own churches have proven that the concept works in practice. Most of the churches of our fellowship that rank high in foreign missionary support, either in totals given or per-member ratios, use the faith promise plan.
The pastors and records of these churches testify to the effectiveness of the plan, first in the increase of foreign missionary support and, secondly, in spiritual, financial and possibly numerical growth of the church itself. As the spirit of giving in faith is activated by faith promise commitment for foreign missions, the same spirit becomes active in other areas of giving. Contributions to the local church and other worthy programs increase. Spiritual growth transpires as faith is at work. Church growth frequently occurs and with it local church income in tithes and offerings increase. The abundant blessings of God are poured out according to the promise of Malachi 3:10.
Human reasoning will say, “One can cut the pie into only so many pieces.” This seems so logical. Human reasoning also recognizes the impossibility of feeding the multitude from the lad’s loaves and fishes. However, Jesus, through His disciples, demonstrated His ability to multiply available resources with an abundance left over. So it is in the matter of church finances. As the church under inspired pastoral leadership becomes involved in the wholehearted doing of God’s plan, God will multiply the seed sown, supply every need and add a surplus -II Corinthians 9:8-11).
Pastor, you can lead your church into the place of being a great blessing. In so doing, each one who participates will be individually blessed. The interaction of individual blessings sets the local church aflame and the congregation is collectively blessed.
Faith promise works for the church!
It works for others, it will work for you!
If you find it difficult to take the step of faith necessary to launch faithpromise in your church, why not seek the testimony of your fellow pastors who have done it. Anyone in the Foreign Missions Division will be happy to discuss this with you and provide references to those who can positively testify that faith promise works!
IV. What Makes It Work?
The thesis of the preceding chapter is unexplainable except for one word, God! Who can fathom His ways? How did the water become wine? How did the bread and fish multiply? How did the cruse of oil and meal barrel always have enough in them? What caused the widow’s oil to flow until every vessel was filled? These were miracles. The God Who wrought them is the Jesus we serve. He is just the same. It will still work.
The dynamics of faith promise are many fold. They all relate to a common principle, commitment in faith to do God’s will in God’s way and reliance upon Him for the enablement to carry out that commitment. “We are laborers together with Him.”
Specifically, faith promise works because:
* Faith promise is established upon a scriptural precedent. It is as scripturally sound as the tithing principle.
When the Apostle Paul desired to raise offerings to meet the needs of the famine stricken saints in Palestine, he originated this plan. The saints of the church made commitments one year in advance. The extent of these commitments was known throughout the churches so that others were also stimulated to responsiveness
(II Corinthians 9:2). The local ingathering was to be on a frequent regular basis
(I Corinthians 16:1-2). Those who lived in poverty, shared the ministry of giving with those who had plenty (II Corinthians 8:2) and found a supernatural ability to give (8:3). Their giving was voluntary (9:7), without coercion (9:5), cheerful (9:7), and the result of a personal commitment in advance (9:7).
Paul used the same plan in all of the churches�Galatia (I Corinthians 16:1), Macedonia (II Corinthians 8:1) and Greece (9:1 ff). The making of commitments for the cause was preceded by an act of personal dedication to Christ (8:5). They acted from the heart.
* The making of a faith promise acknowledges an obligation to the duty of the Great Commission. The commitment to become involved in giving accepts the divine imperative of “Go Ye” as applying personally. Wise stewardship of material possessions becomes the beginning of personal involvement.
* The making of a faith promise evidences a desire to do that which is pleasing to one’s Lord. From the sense of responsibility, one is moved into the realm of desire. From the obligation of duty, one moves to the higher motivation of love. It is not merely doing what one “must” do. Such motivation lifts the weight of burden and causes one to rejoice in the privilege of doing that which is pleasing to his heavenly Father. Because one loves Him, he obeys Him. Because one loves Him, he is motivated to please Him, voluntarily and cheerfully, ever thankful for the opportunity to bring delight to Him Whom he loves.
* The faith promise is made on the basis of faith in God’s faithfulness. God’s promises are taken at face value. The law of increasing return is put into effect by the act of faith, commitment to give. The one making the faith promise may not have in his possession, or know the source from which his offering will come, but with expressed faith in God to supply, he obligates himself to trust God for the provision. God is faithful! When faith is exercised in this faithfulness, it will work!
* The faith promise leads one into commitment. Who has not been stirred with desire to help and moved with resolution to act when challenged with the need of foreign missions? Too frequently, however, when the immediate stimulus of emotion is gone, the desire to help falls away and the resolution to act goes unfulfilled. Paul called upon “every man” to purpose “in his heart” and “so let him give” (II Corinthians 9:7). This predetermination of one’s course of action and commitment to it is a key to the success of the faith promise plan.
The same principles whereby one invests in things material are applied to investments in things eternal. An investment or savings program that works effectively requires a previous commitment to the making of regular deposits. Any acquisition of a home, car or other material possession requires a previous commitment or regular payment. When one has so committed himself to a program of in-vestment, saving or installment buying, he has a reason for earning, saving and even sacrificing in order to meet his commitments.
So it is in the matter of faith promise giving. The previous commitment to invest in the propagation of the gospel; the planned program for giving that others might go, preach and baptize believers; – the predetermined purpose of heart to be personally involved in the “Go Ye” of the Great Commission give one a strong motivation to earn, save and sacrifice. He can relate his occupation on the job to the fulfillment of his duty before Christ. He can identify his personal sacrifices and savings with achievement of things of far greater value than any material acquisition. It begins with purpose of heart.
* A faith promise leads to consistent, frequent, individual involvement. When “every man” does something regularly and often, the result is beyond one’s imagination. This is one of the dynamics of faith promise giving. Every man, woman, boy or girl can do something. From the dollars of the adult to the dimes of the children, everyone participates. From the checks of the businessman to the change of the widow, God honors faith and provides the wherewith to be able to do what He said, “Give!”
The performance of faith promise giving should be made convenient. Some churches encourage weekly faith promise offerings. There should be an ingathering at least monthly. Special offering envelopes should be made available. People should be encouraged to honor God when He has provided the money to give.
* Faith promise giving ensures an increasing return. Based upon the law of sowing and reaping, one can expect a harvest in proportion to the planting, sparse planting produces scant crops�abundant sowing assures a bountiful harvest
(II Corinthians 9:6). Giving to bless others is a condition to the promise that “God will supply all your needs” (Philippians 4:19), and His word promises “sufficiency in all things” so that one may “abound in every good work” (charitable donation�Amplified N.T., II Corinthians 9:8).
God, on the basis of one’s promise to share the harvest with His work of missions, will provide the seed to sow, the bread to eat and will multiply the “sown” seed and “increase the fruits.” “Thus you will be enriched in all things and in every way, so that you can be generous” (II Corinthians 9:11 Amplified N.T.).
* Faith promise giving for foreign missions is totally unselfish. Many other worthy investments in the cause of Christ can be expected to bring return to the church or individual, a better, more comfortable place of worship, an increased local congregation, a stronger organization from which to draw additional resources, etc. The church’s giving to “the regions beyond” can only hope to cause “thanksgiving unto God” from the hearts of those who thereby hear the gospel, believe and obey it. It is this unselfish aspect of “foreign missions giving” that assures God’s blessing in return. See Luke 14:12.14.
Faith promise giving harnesses the dynamics of faith, duty, love, commitment, consistency and the sure promises of God. It cannot fail! It works!
Article “‘Go Ye’ Means You” written by E. E. Judd excerpted from the book Faith Promises: The Apostolic Method.