March 2014


Guilty of Witchcraft
by Ronald W Robey
 
Many a pastor stands behind his pulpit and reads Malachi 3:8-10 to their congregation. Some with an honest heart, some with a dishonest heart.
 
It is those with the dishonest hearts that this message is for today.
 
In his epistle to the churches at Galatia, the Apostle Paul warned the saints of the penalty for following after the works of the flesh:
 
Galatians 5:19-21 Now the works of the flesh are manifest, which are these; Adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lasciviousness, Idolatry, witchcraft, hatred, variance, emulations, wrath, strife, seditions, heresies, Envyings, murders, drunkenness, revellings, and such like: of the which I tell you before, as I have also told you in time past, that they which do such things shall not inherit the kingdom of God.
 
The word “witchcraft” in verse 20 of the passage above is translated from the Greek word “pharmakeia.” It is where we get our word “pharmacy” from.
 
The interlinear defines “pharmakeia” in four ways:
1. the use or the administering of drugs
2. poisoning
3. sorcery, magical arts, often found in connection with idolatry and fostered by it
4. metaph. the deceptions and seductions of idolatry
 
I do not believe that Paul is condemning all uses of “drugs” per se. Rather, he is speaking of one who addicts oneself to the use of drugs simply for the purpose of escape from reality…. mind control. But mind control and drugs are not what my message tonight is about. Nor is it about a physical poisoning, nor of witchcraft in the sense of amulets and charms to ward off certain things.
 
Tonight’s message is about deception and seduction, the fourth definition in the list I have provided above.
 
In the first two paragraphs of this message, I said that some pastors read Malachi 3:8-12 with a dishonest heart. It is those pastors that are guilty of a form of witchcraft; specifically, deception and seduction
 
They are deceptive, in that Malachi 3 is not speaking about tithes of money. God ‘s instruction to Malachi was speaking of a tithe of food; i.e., agricultural crops and livestock. This can be easily seen when one examines the passage and then allows Scripture to interpret Scripture.
 
“Bring ye all the tithes”
 
All the what?
 
“All the tithes”
 
What tithes? What is God speaking of when He says “All the tithes”? If I were to just read Malachi 3:10, and that verse alone, I would have absolutely no clue as to what tithes God is speaking of. Well, maybe a hint is seen in the word “Meat” (which means food) in verse 10, but just looking at the beginning of the verse and not reading the whole verse would certainly leave one scratching one’s head.
 
What tithes are to be brought to the storehouse? Thankfully, God did not leave us hanging on what He meant. Rather, He gave us the answer when He continued “that there may be meat in mine house.”
 
Now, as I said, many pastors have an honest heart. Many will tell their congregations that the word “MEAT” in verse 10 is referring to food. Conversely, many pastors are deceptive and teach their congregations that Malachi 3:8-12 is speaking of money being the titheable item that God demands.
 
Further, those same teachers and preachers that teach that Malachi 3:8-10 is speaking of a monetary tithe also teach that if the church member will tithe his or her money, God promises to open the windows and pour out a blessing upon them.
 
There, the minister is using both deception and seduction in order to cause his flock to put 10% of their hard-earned money into a specially marked envelope and subsequently into the coffers of the church they attend.
 
He first deceives them into believing that a command given to ancient Israel is also meant for the Church.
 
Secondly, he deceives them into believing the command is for monetary tithes when the Law specifically stated that the tithes were to be agricultural in nature. (Leviticus 27:30-33; Deuteronomy 14:22-29; 26:12)
 
Lastly, he seduces them into believing they are going to be blessed by God if they “obey” his command to tithe.
 
Another deception put forth by the pastor is manifest when the pastor says that “to the storehouse” means “to the Church.” Brethren, the storehouse that God was speaking of in the Malachi passage was not the Church… it was a three-tiered structure attached to the Temple at Jersualem. (see 1 Kings 6:6) God never moved that storehouse to another geographical location on the other side of the world. Nor did He give Gentile Churches authority to set up their own “storehouses” all over the world. There is not one instance in the post-crucifixion epistles that instruct Apostles, Prophets, Evangelists, Pastors or Teachers to set up storehouses and require monetary tithes of their flocks.
 
Do not be deceived. Open your Bibles and study out the passages on tithing. When you do, you will find that the pastor that told you that the pastor that “God requires you to bring tithes of money to the House of God” is lying. He is seducing you with promises that God never gave to you.
 
In reality, God isn’t demanding the tithe of the church member. The deceptive and seductive preacher is.

It is said many times that God requires us to tithe our money. But in reality, He does not. The only commands concerning tithing that one can find in one’s Bible are not commands for tithes of money. Rather, they are for agricultural products. Read Leviticus 27:30-33. crops and livestock is what God said His tithe consisted of. This, He said in 1450 B.C..

In 1430 B.C., God told His servant Moses that He had given the tithes to the Levites because the Levites were to have no land inheritance in the land of Israel. Read Numbers 18:21,24,26,28. This tithe was still the agricultural tithe. It was not money.

In 1410 B.C., God set forth a new command concerning tithes. A second tithe, (also agricultural ) was to be taken to Jerusalem and eaten at the Feast of Tabernacles. Eaten, not given to the Temple, but eaten by the tither, the his family, his servants and the Levites in Israel. Read Deuteronomy 14:22-27.

Also in 1410 B.C., God established a new law concerning the tithes. Every third year, the tither was not to take his tithe anywhere. He was to keep his tithe at home and feed the less fortunate in Israel; i.e., the widows, the fatherless, the Levite, and the stranger (foreigner) in Israel. Read Deuteronomy 14:28-29.

In 430 B.C., Malachi rebuked the Priests of Israel, telling them they had robbed God, and in robbing God they had robbed the nation. How had they robbed Him? In tithes and offerings. God commanded that the tithes be brought into the storehouse that meat be available for sustenance. Meat, not money. The Hebrew word used is the word “tereph” which is always translated as “Meat” “Food” or “Leaf”. “Tereph is never translated as money in the Word of God. The command was to bring tithes of food into the house of God… keeping in agreement with the original Law of Leviticus set forth by our Lord God.

In 29 A.D., Jesus commended the Pharisees for tithing and told them they should be doing such. Of course they should have been tithing. As Israelites, they were required to tithe according to the Mosaic Law set forth by God Almighty. Read Matthew 23:23 & Luke 11:42. And notice what the scribes and Pharisees were tithing… mint, anise, cummin, rue, dill, all manner of herbs. Hmmm, no mention of them tithing money. Why not? Because the Law did not require a tithe of money. They could not tithe money. It had to be agricultural products.

The last command concerning tithing in the Bible was in 66 A.D., and is found in the book of Hebrews. There, we read that the sons of Levi have the command to take tithes of their brethren according to the Law. According to the Law. By the decree of the Law. The Law said the tithe was agricultural, not monetary.

There are no commands for the Church to take tithes of its members. That is a man-made doctrine. And what does God say of those who teach for doctrine the commandments of men? Read Matthew 15:9 for the answer.

Am I saying don’t give to the Church at all? No! Rather, I teach and preach faithful stewardship. I teach what the Apostle Paul taught the Church at Corinth.

2 Corinthians 9:7 Every man according as he purposeth in his heart, so let him give; not grudgingly, or of necessity: for God loveth a cheerful giver.

The word “purposeth” in that verse is translated from the Greek “proaireomai”. It simply means, “to choose for oneself.” Paul said our giving is not to be dictated by others, but rather, we are to choose for ourself what we want to give.

If you choose to give 10%, wonderful! Give that 10%. But don’t let anyone lie to you and tell you that God requires 10% of your money. There is no Scriptural support for that doctrine.
The Israelites were instructed in Deuteronomy 4:2 not to add to, nor diminish the commands that God gave. Is not changing the agricultural tithe to a monetary tithe adding to or diminishing His command? Just something to think about.

Deuteronomy 4:2 Ye shall not add unto the word which I command you, neither shall ye diminish ought from it, that ye may keep the commandments of the LORD your God which I command you.

Deuteronomy 12:8 Ye shall not do after all the things that we do here this day, every man whatsoever is right in his own eyes.

Proverbs 30:6 Add thou not unto his words, lest he reprove thee, and thou be found a liar.

I do encourage you to open your Bibles and study the verses I have referenced in this article. Be as the Bereans of Acts 17:11. Search the Scriptures to see if it is as I have written. If I am teaching falsely, rebuke me, correct me using the Word of God, and instruct me. I will gladly receive rebuke, correction and instruction where it is warranted.

 

The preacher said, “Pay your tithe!
This is the command of God!
In this you must honor Him
As upon this Earth you trod.

But God, I have read your Word
And still do not understand
You gave the tithe to Israel
Not to any other land.

And the tithe, you said,
Was to be of trees and garden
And livestock were included too
From tithes there was no pardon.

But in all your Word that I have read
And studied night and day
You never said we were to tithe our cash
So answer if I may.

Just choose to give what I will give
As instucted by Apostle Paul?
Would you have us live under Grace?
Or be bound by Israel’s Law?