September 2012


By Ronald W Robey

Galatians 6:1 (KJV) Brethren, if a man be overtaken in a fault, ye which are spiritual, restore such an one in the spirit of meekness; considering thyself, lest thou also be tempted.

The Church today seems to be in such disorder. The Bible should be their final authority, and yet, it is not their final authority.

The Biblical instruction for handling one who is overtaken in a fault is for those who are spiritual to restore such an one in the spirit of meekness. (Gal. 6:1) And yet, instead, the Church would rather number one who is believed to be “overtaken in a fault” with the man who is in outright sin and put that one out from amongst them. “They don’t believe like we do, kick them out” is the general consensus, instead of imitating the noble Bereans and searching the Scriptures to see if the things that are said are so.

Is the Church today spiritual? or just religious? Has the Father’s house of prayer become a sepulchre full of dead man’s bones?

We are told to study the Word of God that we might be approved of God as workmen. (2 Tim. 2:15). And yet, when we study the Word and find that practices or doctrines being espoused and taught in the assembly are not in agreement with what is written in Scripture, we are rebuked for what the Word reveals to us.

Yes, the Church seems to be in disorder. The doctrines and traditions of man are put on one side of the scales and the Holy Scriptures on the other side. The Church should be allowing Scripture to be the sole factor in all matters of faith and practice, and yet, Scripture is dismissed in favor of what man deems to be right. As a result, the institutionalized Church has been weighed in the balance and found wanting.

Every man does that which seems right in his own eyes in today’s religious system. Tradition demands things to be done one way, Scripture another. We’ll just go with tradition.

When the Church does not restore one who they believe to be overtaken in a fault, but instead puts that one out of their fellowship, the Church is sending a message that it has no spiritual members, only religious zealots.

For such a Church, the name “Ichabod” should be placed over her doors, for, “the Glory has departed.”

 

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1 Corinthians 9:13-14 are two verses that many preachers like to use in their pulpits to teach their congregation that God requires a monetary tithe.  After all, the verses first reveal that the Levites lived off of the tithe, and in the same manner those who preach the Gospel should also receive tithe for their support.

But is that what the verses are saying?  Let’s have a look at them in context, shall we?…

Now, in order to see them in their proper context, we must look at surrounding verses in the Chapter, and even look into that which the priest’s ate at the altar.

1 Corinthians 9:7-15 (KJV)
7 Who goeth a warfare any time at his own charges? who planteth a vineyard, and eateth not of the fruit thereof? or who feedeth a flock, and eateth not of the milk of the flock?
8 Say I these things as a man? or saith not the law the same also?
9 For it is written in the law of Moses, Thou shalt not muzzle the mouth of the ox that treadeth out the corn. Doth God take care for oxen?
10 Or saith he it altogether for our sakes? For our sakes, no doubt, this is written: that he that ploweth should plow in hope; and that he that thresheth in hope should be partaker of his hope.
11 If we have sown unto you spiritual things, is it a great thing if we shall reap your carnal things?
12 If others be partakers of this power over you, are not we rather? Nevertheless we have not used this power; but suffer all things, lest we should hinder the gospel of Christ.
13 Do ye not know that they which minister about holy things live of the things of the temple? and they which wait at the altar are partakers with the altar?
14 Even so hath the Lord ordained that they which preach the gospel should live of the gospel.
15 But I have used none of these things: neither have I written these things, that it should be so done unto me: for it were better for me to die, than that any man should make my glorying void.

Now, it is clear that the minister of God is to be supported.  The leading verses above clearly show this to be true.  But who was Paul referencing in this Chapter of his first epistle to the saints at Corinth?  Verse 15 reveals that he was referencing himself when he says, “But I have used none of these things…”  Context shows Paul was speaking of himself in this passage of Scripture.

What kind of support was Paul speaking of?  Was it tithes as the modern preacher claims?  To find out, we must go to the Old Testament to see what it says.
There are only three verses in the entire Old Testament that give a clue as to what was eaten at the altar (they which wait at the altar are partakers with the altar)

Leviticus 10:12 (KJV) And Moses spake unto Aaron, and unto Eleazar and unto Ithamar, his sons that were left, Take the meat offering that remaineth of the offerings of the LORD made by fire, and eat it without leaven beside the altar: for it is most holy:
Deuteronomy 12:27 (KJV) And thou shalt offer thy burnt offerings, the flesh and the blood, upon the altar of the LORD thy God: and the blood of thy sacrifices shall be poured out upon the altar of the LORD thy God, and thou shalt eat the flesh.

Numbers 18:30 (KJV) Therefore thou shalt say unto them, When ye have heaved the best thereof from it, then it shall be counted unto the Levites as the increase of the threshingfloor, and as the increase of the winepress.
31 And ye shall eat it in every place, ye and your households: for it is your reward for your service in the tabernacle of the congregation.
32 And ye shall bear no sin by reason of it, when ye have heaved from it the best of it: neither shall ye pollute the holy things of the children of Israel, lest ye die.

In the above verses, we see that the only things the priest partook of at the altar were the flesh from the burnt offering and the meat offering .  The Levites tithe to the priest was heaved before the altar and the best part of the heave offering was given back to the Levites to eat anywhere they chose to eat it.  There is no mention in the Word of God of the Priests eating of the tithe at the altar, only of offerings.

The Levites kept 90% of the tithe that they received in their Levitic cites.  They took 10% of the tithe that they received to the Tabernacle/Temple and the Priest, after heaving the tithe that the Levites brought gave the best portion of that heave offering back to the Levites so they could take it and eat it where they desired.

After studying what was eaten at the altar and in the Temple,  it is evident that 1 Corinthians 9:13 is not speaking of a monetary tithe, nor was it speaking of the Israelites crop, fruit and livestock tithe.  It was speaking of offerings.

And the Apostle Paul said, “Even so, ..those who preach the Gospel should live of the Gospel.”  The Apostle was encouraging the giving of offerings to the preacher of the Gospel… not tithes.

If pastors would rightly divide the Word of Truth when preparing their sermons, they would not be guilty of mishandling the Word of God as they do when teaching 1 Corinthians 9:12-14 is endorsing a monetary tithe.  There was no monetary tithe when the Apostle penned his first epistle to the Church at Corinth, the tithe consisted of crops, flocks and herds as recorded in Leviticus 27:30-34.

Leviticus 27:30 (KJV) And all the tithe of the land, whether of the seed of the land, or of the fruit of the tree, is the LORD’S: it is holy unto the LORD.
31 And if a man will at all redeem ought of his tithes, he shall add thereto the fifth part thereof.
32 And concerning the tithe of the herd, or of the flock, even of whatsoever passeth under the rod, the tenth shall be holy unto the LORD.
33 He shall not search whether it be good or bad, neither shall he change it: and if he change it at all, then both it and the change thereof shall be holy; it shall not be redeemed.
34 These are the commandments, which the LORD commanded Moses for the children of Israel in mount Sinai.

There are many a preacher who will mishandle God’s Word today. There are many who feed the flesh with worldly music and worldly values. Most Churches across the globe today are in disarray because of the music they allow in their Sanctuaries, the preachers they allow in their pulpits, and the material they use to prepare sermons or Sunday School lessons.

We say that the Holy Bible is our final authority in all matters of faith and practice, and then turn around and rely on the words of others in books and commentaries to guide us. Is the Word of God our final authority in all matters of faith and practice? or not?

We are told to study to shew ourselves approved unto God a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the Word of Truth. The Pastor is responsible for feeding his flock. What are the pastors feeding them? Are they feeding them God’s Word? or are they feeding them man’s philosophies?

I encourage the godly pastors out there to teach their congregations to “seek ye out the old paths and walk therein.’ If you do, you will ‘find rest unto your souls.’ There is a rest unto the people of God, are you seeking that rest?

2 Corinthians 11:3-4 But I fear, lest by any means, as the serpent beguiled Eve through his subtilty, so your minds should be corrupted from the simplicity that is in Christ. For if he that cometh preacheth another Jesus, whom we have not preached, or if ye receive another spirit, which ye have not received, or another gospel, which ye have not accepted, ye might well bear with him.

It is important that one know how dangerous it is to teach or preach from any translation out of the Alexandrian texts.   Doing so could lead one into a false hope, a false security, and to fellowship with false companions.

Every single translation that stems from the Alexandrian manuscripts paints Jesus as a man unqualified to die for man’s sins.

For example:  Many of the Alexandrian texts translations make Jesus to be a liar in John 7:8-10.  Some of these translation include the ASV, CEV, DBY, DRA, ESV, GNB, JB, MOF, MRC, NAB, NASB, NASBU, (United Kingdom version of the NASB) NEB, NET, NJB, NLT, NRS, REB, RSV, and the TNiV.

Many remove the deity of Christ.  Many remove the virgin birth, saying a maiden conceived.   All of the translations that stem from the Alexandrian manuscripts point one to a false Christ, one that is sinful.

The translations that stem from the Alexandrian manuscripts are very deceitful, to say the least.  They take portions of the truth, such as the death, burial and resurrection of Christ, and include them in their translations.  Now, while it is true that Christ died, was buried, and rose again, it is also true that that truth becomes a lie when found in the Alexandrian manuscripts translation.

Why is it a lie, you might ask?  Because the Christ those translations are saying that died, was buried, and rose again… is a sinful Christ, as pointed out above.

Now, one may argue that the Gospel is still there; that Jesus did die, was buried, and rose again.  But the fact is, that Jesus they say died for man’s sins cannot have died for man’s sins.  It is utterly impossible for a sinner to purchase another man’s entrance into eternal life in God’s eternal kingdom.

Any time one teaches that Christ died, was buried, and rose again, and they are teaching this out of the Alexandrian texts translations, they are teaching another Jesus.  They have the teaching position because they have been trained to teach from the translation they carry.  They are ready to go to any Scripture verse in that Bible and show the hearer what that Bible says.

Their Jesus that died, was buried, and rose again is the Jesus of that Bible.

When one presenting Christ points to a lying Christ, that one is pointing in the wrong direction.  The one presenting that lying Christ is pointing toward that Christ.  And the one who is unsaved has no idea he or she is being deceived into believing a lie.

1 Peter 4:6 (KJV)For for this cause was the gospel preached also to them that are dead, that they might be judged according to men in the flesh, but live according to God in the spirit.

Galatians 5:17 (KJV) For the flesh lusteth against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh: and these are contrary the one to the other: so that ye cannot do the things that ye would.

Romans 7:18 (KJV) For I know that in me (that is, in my flesh,) dwelleth no good thing: for to will is present with me; but how to perform that which is good I find not.
19 For the good that I would I do not: but the evil which I would not, that I do.

What a wonderful event in one’s life, to feel conviction for one’s sin after hearing the Gospel, confessing before God one’s fallen and sinful condition, seeking and receiving forgiveness for sin from God Almighty, and being clothed in the righteousness of Christ! The angels of God are said to rejoice each time a sinner repents of his or her sin. How marvelous an act is performed on that one whose heart and spirit are broken before the Lord because of his sin.

The Apostle Paul assures us that we have been washed, sanctified, and justified in the name of Jesus Christ and by the indwelling Holy Spirit.

Yet, even though we have experienced such a life-changing event, the enemy of our souls is ever walking about seeking to devour us. He will falsely accuse, he will seek out our short-comings and accentuate on the weakness of our flesh. Even though we are new creatures in Christ Jesus, we still live in a fleshly body that is subject to fleshly desires… some of which are contrary to God’s will for His own. And because we live in this earthly tabernacle of flesh, there are times when we will be drawn away of our own lusts and enticed, thereby giving in to temptation and committing acts that God’s Holy Word identifies as sin.

When this happens, does this mean we are not saved? Does this mean we have not been washed?, have not been sanctified? have not been justified? God forbid! The Apostle Paul reveals to us that he faced temptation from time to time and even gave in to that temptation. His spirit, that which was born of God and cannot sin, did not have a desire to do evil, but nonetheless Paul found himself doing evil anyway. Why? Because although the spirit is willing, the flesh is weak. Did Paul lose his Salvation when he found himself doing that which he would not? No! And neither do any of God’s children who have trusted Christ as Lord and Saviour.

We do not lose our Salvation because Jesus Christ the Righteous is our advocate… our Attorney at Law, if you will. When we give in to the flesh because of the weakness of the flesh, we know that our Rock, our Strong Tower, stands in our Defense.

Does the fact that Christ is our defense give us liberty to sin? God forbid! We are dead to a lifestyle of sin if so be that we have trusted Him. When we do sin, if we are His, His Holy Spirit convicts us and we experience the chastening hand of God until we turn from that sin. It is my belief that God will not allow His sheep to stray for long, but will go seeking that sinning child and bring him or her back into the fold. If we be without chastisement, then we are not of God.

What a wonderful Saviour is He who, despite our short-comings, despite our propensity to sin, will stand in our defense and proclaim, “Father, he is mine. I took his place and paid sin debt.”

Christ stands for us, let us also stand for Him. If we fail on occasion, we must not have the mindset that we have been rejected of God. For if that were the case, we would not have the assurance we find in the Word of God that we have been sealed until the redemption of the purchased possession. We must turn again to God, looking to Him for strength to resist temptation in the future.