This subject often brings immediate conflict with many people we’ve been in contact with. Touchy subject or not, I, Martin Vanpopta, am wanting to address it for Victor’s sake, speaking as someone who has experienced these matters firsthand and as a friend and brother of his.
Many of you reading this have benefited from Victor’s extensive website spiritually, mentally, physically, financially, and emotionally. Others of you just come to ask questions. Instead of expecting just to receive from Victor, you need to soberly consider your responsibility before God to be willing to give generously of what you have.
And this is where things get sticky, because, on one hand, the Lord says, “Freely you have received; freely give,” but on the other hand Paul writes in Galatians 6 that, “The one who receives instruction in the Word should share all good things with their instructor.” He also spelled it out very clearly in 1 Corinthians 9:
1 Corinthians 9:1-14 ESV
(1) Am I not free? Am I not an apostle? Have I not seen Jesus our Lord? Are not you my workmanship in the Lord?
(2) If to others I am not an apostle, at least I am to you, for you are the seal of my apostleship in the Lord.
(3) This is my defense to those who would examine me.
(4) Do we not have the right to eat and drink?
(5) Do we not have the right to take along a believing wife, as do the other apostles and the brothers of the Lord and Cephas?
(6) Or is it only Barnabas and I who have no right to refrain from working for a living?
(7) Who serves as a soldier at his own expense? Who plants a vineyard without eating any of its fruit? Or who tends a flock without getting some of the milk?
(8) Do I say these things on human authority? Does not the Law say the same?
(9) For it is written in the Law of Moses, “You shall not muzzle an ox when it treads out the grain.” Is it for oxen that God is concerned?
(10) Does he not certainly speak for our sake? It was written for our sake because the plowman should plow in hope and the thresher thresh in hope of sharing in the crop.
(11) If we have sown spiritual things among you, is it too much if we reap material things from you?
(12) If others share this rightful claim on you, do not we even more? Nevertheless, we have not made use of this right, but we endure anything rather than put an obstacle in the way of the Gospel of Christ.
(13) Do you not know that those who are employed in the temple service get their food from the temple, and those who serve at the altar share in the sacrificial offerings?
(14) In the same way, the Lord commanded that those who proclaim the Gospel should get their living by the Gospel.
Victor has never asked for any offerings or tithes. I know that it was never mentioned to me. The Lord put it in my heart to give. That’s all I can say about it. Victor never mentioned it to me and he has seldom mentioned it to others though he has never asked for anything. Many have given to him generously, the Lord opening their hearts, as He did mine. However, so many more have been unaware or unwilling to give.
Consider what God says in 1 Samuel 9:6-9:
“But the servant replied, ‘Look, in this town, there is a man of God; he is highly respected, and everything he says comes true. Let’s go there now. Perhaps he will tell us what way to take.’
“Saul said to his servant, ‘If we go, what can we give the man? The food in our sacks is gone. We have no gift to take to the man of God. What do we have?’
“The servant answered him again. ‘Look,’ he said, ‘I have a quarter of a shekel of silver. I will give it to the man of God so that he will tell us what way to take.’ (Formerly in Israel, if someone went to inquire of God, they would say, ‘Come, let us go to the seer,’ because the prophet of today used to be called a seer.)”
Saul and his servant knew full well their obligation to give to the man of God if they were to make requests. It would have been quite presumptuous to just ask for an answer from Samuel without being willing to give of what they had first.
Now, here’s the pattern I’ve observed in the years I’ve known Victor:
The more of Victor’s time people take up, the less they give in return.
Think about that. You’d think that folks who spend all their time crying and asking for help with the same problems over and over again, or pestering him with fruitless questions about doctrinal minutiae would understand that since they take up so much time, that they should honor him with the fruits of their labor.
But no, it never happens. Invariably, it goes nowhere. I have NEVER seen anyone receive freedom from their problems and blessing in their efforts when they haven’t been willing to give to the Lord according to their means. “He who doesn’t sow doesn’t reap, and he who sows sparingly also reaps sparingly.”
Time and again, Victor has freely given priceless counsel and instruction from the Lord to those who have come asking. He has all the records of the seemingly endless emails from people who have come looking for relief from their burdens.
Along with the personal correspondences, Victor has written and supervised the writing of all the content on this incredibly extensive and expansive website. Tens of thousands of hours have been spent creating this priceless resource that he offers freely to everybody. On top of that, Victor pays for the search engine services and other miscellaneous fees associated with hosting ThePathofTruth.com.
I’ve seen again and again from people that they just expect God’s servants to be super nice and just work for free for anyone and everyone at their beck and call. We’ve even had people email asking for help and then email back shortly thereafter complaining that they haven’t been responded to fast enough. Is it any wonder they’re in trouble acting that way?
I’ll get to the point, now.
You’ll never receive from the Lord if you are unwilling to give. While it’s true that God doesn’t need your money and Victor doesn’t need your money, YOU NEED TO BE WILLING TO PART WITH YOUR MONEY and there are three main reasons:
- You need to forsake your wealth to inherit the Kingdom of God.
- If you’re coming to the Lord, He expects you to trust Him in all things, without worrying about who will provide for you. You have to be willing to be vulnerable.
- If you truly want an answer to your questions, you should be thrilled at the opportunity to honor the man of God the Lord has chosen to help you.
Understand that money is just a representation of the fruit of your labor. The fruit of Victor’s spiritual labors is the wisdom and relationship with the Lord that has been granted to him from above. Isn’t it fair to share what you’ve been given? Haven’t you both labored for what you have? Is it right to expect to receive while pinching your pennies tightly or spending your money on selfish, indulgent, and unnecessary things while not honoring the good you’ve received?
Our culture’s version of Christianity has lost all sense of honoring men of God.
We have no interest in acting defensively anymore. Our conscience is clean because we know we are not selling the Gospel. We conclude that we’ve been throwing pearls to swine. Isn’t greed one of the main characteristics of pigs? Aren’t they called “greedy pigs”?
We will not be entertaining people who come asking for help but have no interest in honoring us. Not because we desire the honor, but because those who won’t honor us aren’t going anywhere. They just spin their wheels and choke us with their dust and smoke. We’re finished with it.
Bring us the fruit of your repentance. Prove with the fruit of your labor that you value the fruits of our labor. If you mean business with God, He’ll mean business with you. As I’ve said, is it any wonder you can’t embrace counsel or experience its power even when it’s freely given to you when you come only to receive?
Give and it shall be given you. Withhold and it will be withheld from you.
Update, August 2023
We do not and dare not ask for compensation for our work. The Lord made it clear to me (Victor) in 1973 that I will not depend on anyone for financial support to pay my way. The very thought is repulsive to me. The Path of Truth teachings are free to all who are searching for answers to life. That’s the way it’s been and shall remain.
However, we’ve had several people requesting instructions to contribute to our ministry and they have found some difficulty finding out how to do so. There is no charge whatsoever for our work in the Lord. However, if you are moved to freely contribute, click here for instructions.