April 2014

by Ronald W Robey

Proverbs 22:22-23 Rob not the poor, because he is poor: neither oppress the afflicted in the gate: For the LORD will plead their cause, and spoil the soul of those that spoiled them.

Malachi 3:5 And I will come near to you to judgment; and I will be a swift witness against the sorcerers, and against the adulterers, and against false swearers, and against those that oppress the hireling in his wages, the widow, and the fatherless, and that turn aside the stranger from his right, and fear not me, saith the LORD of hosts.

In the above verses, God declares that He will judge those pastors who oppress the poor and rob them. How does that apply to our pastors today, on may ask? Many pastors today are guilty of oppressing and robbing the poor when they tell the poor of their congregations that God requires them to tithe their money to the Church.

To be perfectly frank, they are actually robbing not just the poor, but every member of their congregation who believes their doctrine of the monetary tithe requirement. But it seems from the above verses that God takes special notice of the poor and will execute judgment upon those who treat them wrongly.

In the Mosaic Law, the poor were not required to tithe. According to Deuteronomy 14:28-29, the poor benefited from the tithe.

Deuteronomy 14:28-29 At the end of three years thou shalt bring forth all the tithe of thine increase the same year, and shalt lay it up within thy gates: And the Levite, (because he hath no part nor inheritance with thee,) and the stranger, and the fatherless, and the widow, which are within thy gates, shall come, and shall eat and be satisfied; that the LORD thy God may bless thee in all the work of thine hand which thou doest.

Acts 20:33-35 I have coveted no man’s silver, or gold, or apparel. Yea, ye yourselves know, that these hands have ministered unto my necessities, and to them that were with me. I have shewed you all things, how that so labouring ye ought to support the weak, and to remember the words of the Lord Jesus, how he said, It is more blessed to give than to receive.

The Apostle Paul admonished and instructed the Elders of the Church at Ephesus that they were to work so that they could support the weak. Sadly, many pastors today expect the weak to support them. Are you such a pastor as those priests who oppressed the weak in Malachi’s day? Do you place unnecessary burdens on the weak and poor? If so, God will come nigh to you in judgment as He did the priests Malachi rebuked. He is the same yesterday, today and forever… He changes not.

Whose Image and Superscription?

by Ronald W Robey

“Render unto Caesar that which is Caesar’s, and unto God that which is God’s.” Matthew 22:21

The above statement made by Jesus to the scribes and Pharisees is often taken out of its context and used by pastors and laymen alike, in an attempt to prove that God requires tithes of Church members’ monetary income today.

But, when read in context with the entire discourse, and rightly dividing the Word of Truth, it is easy to see that Jesus was not endorsing a monetary tithe at all.

Matthew 22:15-22 Then went the Pharisees, and took counsel how they might entangle him in his talk. And they sent out unto him their disciples with the Herodians, saying, Master, we know that thou art true, and teachest the way of God in truth, neither carest thou for any man: for thou regardest not the person of men. Tell us therefore, What thinkest thou? Is it lawful to give tribute unto Caesar, or not? But Jesus perceived their wickedness, and said, Why tempt ye me, ye hypocrites? Shew me the tribute money. And they brought unto him a penny. And he saith unto them, Whose is this image and superscription? They say unto him, Caesar’s. Then saith he unto them, Render therefore unto Caesar the things which are Caesar’s; and unto God the things that are God’s. When they had heard these words, they marvelled, and left him, and went their way.

The disciples of the Pharisees and Herodians asked Jesus a question concerning tribute paid to Caesar. Jesus’ profound reply is overlooked by many today.

The image and superscription on the tribute money was that of the ruling government… Caesar’s. In our modern language, we would phrase it, “Pay the government the taxes they require. The money is theirs.”

Jesus also said that those disciples who questioned Him were to give to God that which was God’s. Was He speaking of money when He said, “Render unto God the things that are God’s”? Not at all.In the very first chapter of the Bible, we are told that man was created in God’s image. So, the question arises, “Whose image and superscription is on man?”

Genesis 1:27 So God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them.

That’s right… God’s image. And when man places his faith in the Lord Jesus Christ for his Salvation, God’s superscription is upon that man.

Romans 12:1 I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service.
Romans 12:2 And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.

Romans 12:1-2 tell us that we are to present our bodies as living sacrifices unto God, holy and acceptable unto Him.

“Render unto God that which is God’s.”

God’s image is not on that minted coin that Jesus held. Nor is it on the coins or dollar bills we carry in our pockets and wallets. Nor has God put His superscription on our money.

In Matthew 22:15-22, Jesus was not telling the Pharisaical and Herodian disciples to tithe money. He was telling them to yield their own selves, their bodies to the LORD’s service. And Paul echoed that admonition in his epistle to the Romans thirty years later.

God’s image is on us. Let us always be prepared to be yielded to His service.

Had Jesus, at any time during His thirty-three year life on this Earth as a Man, told anyone that they were to tithe their monetary income to the House of God, He would have been transgressing the Law and made Himself unqualified to be the sinless Lamb of God. His death would have been in vain.

And there was war in Heaven: God opposed the Holy Spirit…

Wait a minute!! What Bible are you reading from? Where is that found in the Bible?

The answer my friends, is it is found, not in the Bible, but rather it is found in the pulpits of many Churches around the world today, as well in the homes of many misinformed Christians.

Oh, the preacher may not use those exact words. But he might as well use them. Those words are no different than the words he speaks when he tells his congregation that God requires them to tithe their money to the Church.
I have searched every instance of tithing where it is commanded in the Bible and, amazingly, I find the only people God ever commanded to tithe were those who lived in Israel.

At the Jerusalem Council in A.D. 51, (Acts 15) the Holy Ghost and the Apostles made a decision concerning what was required of the Gentile Believers.

Acts 15:28-29 For it seemed good to the Holy Ghost, and to us, to lay upon you no greater burden than these necessary things; That ye abstain from meats offered to idols, and from blood, and from things strangled, and from fornication: from which if ye keep yourselves, ye shall do well. Fare ye well.

“No greater burden than these necessary things.” Tithing is not mentioned as one of those “necessary things.”

When a pastor teaches his congregation that God requires a tithe of their money, when a family member teaches those in his household that God requires monetary tithes,that pastor and that family memberis guilty of pitting God in opposition to the decision of the Holy Ghost in Acts 15.

Mark 3:25 And if a house be divided against itself, that house cannot stand.

Yet, the Bible teaches us that God and His Holy Spirit are in agreement with one another.

1 John 5:7 For there are three that bear record in heaven, the Father, the Word, and the Holy Ghost: and these three are one.

Not once in the epistles is there any instruction given for Gentile Believers to tithe their money to the New Testament Church.

If the command is not in the Bible, we can come to no other conclusion than that it is a man-made command and not a God-ordained directive.

Matthew 15:9 But in vain they do worship me, teaching for doctrines the commandments of men.

Jesus Christ said of the Pharisees that their worship was in vain because of their teaching commandments of man as if they were of God. When we teach that God requires something today, we’d best have Scripture to support our teaching. Otherwise, we are as guilty as the Pharisees in Matthew 15.

Friends, be as the Bereans in Acts 17:11. Search the Scriptures to see if what I have written is in agreement with the Word of God. If you do a diligent study, you will find it is absolutely 100% in agreement. You will find that the one you are being obedient to by tithing your money is not God at all. Rather, it is obedience to the man who is teaching contrary to the decision of the Holy Ghost and the Apostles.

Acts 17:11 These were more noble than those in Thessalonica, in that they received the word with all readiness of mind, and searched the scriptures daily, whether those things were so.