Storing Up for Saints in Famine
Now I’ll take two minutes and finish our science experiment. There’s only one other time in the New Testament where “the first day of the week” is mentioned. That makes two all together. In sixty years it is mentioned twice. It took twenty years to mention it the very first time. “The first day of the week” is only mentioned one other time in the entire New Testament. From Acts chapter 1 and the birth of the Spirit of God in His People, the church, only twice in sixty years is “the first day of the week” mentioned.
You already know the one other time I’m speaking of: Paul told the Corinthians to “lay by in store on the first day of the week.” That makes twice in sixty years. And guess what? The time with the Corinthians had nothing to do with meetings. Paul doesn’t mention having a meeting on the first day of the week. We made that up. It’s not in the scriptures. Let’s be honest disciples and honest searchers of truth, like the Bereans. When Paul said, “Save your money up because I’m coming to get it later to take it for the famine in Judea,” he said, “I want you to have time to store up generous gifts, so when I collect them all, they won’t be small.”
We came from Asia. It seems like months ago but it was just a week or two ago. Suppose we said to you, “There is a famine in Asia right now. If you’d like to give a gift to the saints in Asia who have far less than you do, please come and put it on the table. We will make sure every penny gets to the saints in Asia.” We would all stand up and go through our pockets and put a little bit of money right here if the Spirit called us to participate in giving. It wouldn’t be very much because I didn’t give you any warning. You couldn’t prepare to give gifts to the saints in Asia, because you didn’t know.
If I wanted you to give a very large gift to the saints in Asia, how would I do it? I would say, “Pick a certain way to do this, perhaps the day after your payday from your work. Put your money under your mattress and save it up. Use a certain day, perhaps the day the Lord rose from the dead, to help you remember the saints in Asia. Each of you put money under your own mattresses. It may be several months before I arrive, and I want you to have a very large gift for the saints in Asia. So I’m giving you some warning, and I’m asking you the day after payday, if God leads you, to store up as much as you can for the gifts to Asia.”
If you read that passage where Paul wrote to the Corinthians, and you look at only the second time in sixty years that he even mentioned “the first day of the week,” you’ll see that the context of that to the Corinthians doesn’t even mention meetings. I’m a dishonest disciple—a prejudiced, brain-dirtied disciple—if I try to make it say “meetings” when the scriptures don’t say meetings. “Holy men” who call themselves by unbiblical titles say, “Bring me your tithe on the first day of the week.” There’s no “tithe” mentioned here. It’s only a gift for some saints where there’s a famine. It has nothing to do with a “holy man” who puts it in his pocket. The scripture doesn’t mention meetings at all, like passing a basket around. It only says to use the first day of the week to store up, so I’ll have much to give to the saints where the famine is. In both the Old and New Testaments, there is a curse on everyone who adds to scripture or subtracts from it. I have a very good idea for all of us. Let’s decide together not to add or to subtract from the scriptures. Is that a good idea?