January 2017

A Literal Blow
by Ronald W Robey
Many times, people use the account of Paul’s “thorn in the flesh” to justify ungodly thoughts and/or sinful actions. Their reasoning is, “God didn’t remove this thorn so that I would be kept humble.”
The fact is, Paul was not speaking of sinful thoughts, nor of his own sinful actions, in that passage.
The word “buffet” in 2 Corinthians 12 is translated from the Greek “kolaphizo”. It is defined as “to rap with the fist.”
The word is only used twice in the KJV. The other time is when Jesus Christ was being beaten prior to His crucifixion.
Both times the word “buffet” is used, it is speaking of a literal beating, not sinful thoughts. In each instance, a messenger(s) of satan was striking another person with his fist(s)
Sinful thoughts arise in people’s hearts because of the heart of man. When sinful thoughts arise, it is best to pray, read your Bible, sing Hymns of thanksgiving and praise,… anything that turns your focus from satisfying self and toward pleasing God. These are the means of escape that God has given us to overcome temptations.
Jeremiah 17:9 The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked: who can know it?
James 1:13-16 Let no man say when he is tempted, I am tempted of God: for God cannot be tempted with evil, neither tempteth he any man: But every man is tempted, when he is drawn away of his own lust, and enticed. Then when lust hath conceived, it bringeth forth sin: and sin, when it is finished, bringeth forth death. Do not err, my beloved brethren.
Matthew 15:19-20 For out of the heart proceed evil thoughts, murders, adulteries, fornications, thefts, false witness, blasphemies: These are the things which defile a man: but to eat with unwashen hands defileth not a man.
1 Corinthians 10:13 There hath no temptation taken you but such as is common to man: but God is faithful, who will not suffer you to be tempted above that ye are able; but will with the temptation also make a way to escape, that ye may be able to bear it.

Unjust Taxation
by Ronald W Robey

Nehemiah 5:1-13 And there was a great cry of the people and of their wives against their brethren the Jews. For there were that said, We, our sons, and our daughters, are many: therefore we take up corn for them, that we may eat, and live. Some also there were that said, We have mortgaged our lands, vineyards, and houses, that we might buy corn, because of the dearth. There were also that said, We have borrowed money for the king’s tribute, and that upon our lands and vineyards. Yet now our flesh is as the flesh of our brethren, our children as their children: and, lo, we bring into bondage our sons and our daughters to be servants, and some of our daughters are brought unto bondage already: neither is it in our power to redeem them; for other men have our lands and vineyards. And I was very angry when I heard their cry and these words. Then I consulted with myself, and I rebuked the nobles, and the rulers, and said unto them, Ye exact usury, every one of his brother. And I set a great assembly against them. And I said unto them, We after our ability have redeemed our brethren the Jews, which were sold unto the heathen; and will ye even sell your brethren? or shall they be sold unto us? Then held they their peace, and found nothing to answer. Also I said, It is not good that ye do: ought ye not to walk in the fear of our God because of the reproach of the heathen our enemies? I likewise, and my brethren, and my servants, might exact of them money and corn: I pray you, let us leave off this usury. Restore, I pray you, to them, even this day, their lands, their vineyards, their oliveyards, and their houses, also the hundredth part of the money, and of the corn, the wine, and the oil, that ye exact of them. Then said they, We will restore them, and will require nothing of them; so will we do as thou sayest. Then I called the priests, and took an oath of them, that they should do according to this promise. Also I shook my lap, and said, So God shake out every man from his house, and from his labour, that performeth not this promise, even thus be he shaken out, and emptied. And all the congregation said, Amen, and praised the LORD. And the people did according to this promise.

In Nehemiah 5:1-13, we read of how the children of Israel were kept in oppression by unjust taxation.  Many had to sell or mortgage land and homes in order to pay to their kings the monies demanded of them.

Nehemiah stepped in and basically said, “Enough is enough!  The people are kept in poverty because of your unjust taxation.  It has to stop right here, and it has to stop right now.”

And the kings and Priest’s heard Nehemiah’s complaint and complied with his instruction.

Pastors today are guilty of the same thing that the kings and Priest’s of Israel were guilty of,… unjust taxation of the saved of Christ.

They have handled deceitfully the word of God; using Scripture that called for an agricultural tithe of the children of Israel, as a means to usurp monies from their congregations.

Many in the church are kept in bondage and poverty through the monetary tithe requirement doctrine; a doctrine that is totally foreign to God’s word.  Many, in order to “appease God’s wrath” that the pastor puts them in fear of, will go into great debt in order to put money into the church’s treasury.

Just as Nehemiah rose up against the unjust kings and Priest’s, we also must stand against these unjust pastors who oppress the flock with their unauthorized taxation of the flock’s money.

In the Biblical text, Nehemiah’s sentence was that one hundred percent of the people’s money that was taken from them be returned to them.  We too, should demand no less be returned to us of the monies unjustly taken by our pastors.

It’s time to say like Nehemiah, “Enough is enough!”

Skeptical of Tithing Testimonies
by Ronald W Robey

One thing I would encourage the saved of God to do,…
Research tithing testimonies. You will find that there are many who tithe who never get above poverty level. Many lose their jobs. Many remain in poor health.
My point is, God is not a respecter of persons. He is not going to bless one person for tithing and turn His back on the other who is also tithing.
For this reason I am skeptical about the many that testify that they are blessed financially or have perfect health because they tithe.
I am reminded of the account of the devil tempting Jesus in the wilderness. The Bible tells us in Matthew 4 that Jesus was shown great riches and magnificent cities by the devil. The devil promised all these to Jesus if Jesus would bow down and worship him.
Since the monetary tithe requirement doctrine is not in the word of God at all, I have to wonder if it is the enemy rewarding people for bowing to his monetary tithe requirement lie?
Why would God bless someone who is placing themselves back under the Mosaic Law, yet not obeying the Law they have placed themselves under?
The only commanded tithes in the Bible are agricultural in their content,… not monetary. How can one say one is obeying God in the tithe, yet be giving a tenth of ones monetary income instead of the tenth of agricultural crops as God commanded?
Again, God is not a respecter of persons. So, why would He bless one for tithing and not the other who is also tithing?

by Ronald W Robey

Many people with well intentions teach us that Malachi 3:10 is instruction for man to tithe his monetary income to the House of God. It is not. Malachi was speaking of an agricultural tithe, not a monetary tithe.

Malachi was living during the dispensation of the Mosaic Law. The Mosaic Law tells us that God’s holy tithe was to be agricultural, not monetary. (see Leviticus 27:30-33)

Had Malachi (or any other person living under the Mosaic Law) called for tithes of money to go to the House of God, they would have been telling people to transgress the Law. Sin is the transgressing of the Law. (see 1 John 3:4) Therefore, Malachi could not have told people to tithe money even if he wanted to.

While people may judge us as “sinners condemned” here on Earth because we do not tithe our monetary income, God does not judge us as “sinners condemned” at all.

Why not?

Because our Salvation and Righteousness is dependent upon one thing only,… faith in our Lord Jesus Christ. The Bible says “For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: Not of works, lest any man should boast.” (Ephesians 2:8-9)

Those who trust their works to escape condemnation will end up being condemned. You cannot serve two Masters. You cannot serve both Law and Grace. (see Galatians 2:21)

Matthew 7:21-23 Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven. Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? and in thy name have cast out devils? and in thy name done many wonderful works? And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity.

Acts 20:28-29 Take heed therefore unto yourselves, and to all the flock, over the which the Holy Ghost hath made you overseers, to feed the church of God, which he hath purchased with his own blood. For I know this, that after my departing shall grievous wolves enter in among you, not sparing the flock.

The true Pastor (Shepherd) will be concerned with feeding the flock in fields that are beneficial both to the health of the sheep, and to the maturity of the sheep.

A wolf is not interested in seeing the sheep advance in spiritual maturity and health. All he is interested in is feeding off of the sheep.

Judgment must begin at the House of God. If there was no danger to God’s flock, why even warn them of impending danger? We must be alert. We must be discerning of those who are “labouring amongst us”.

When wolves are detected near a flock, the shepherd does what he can to kill of the wolves, or he will chase the wolves off.

A true Shepherd of God’s flock will do all he can to protect God’s flock, even to the point of laying his own life on the line if need be.

Judgment must begin at the House of God. Make sure there are no wolves amongst the sheep.

Silver, Current Money with the Merchant
by Ronald W Robey
Many, in their zeal to defend their monetary tithe teaching pastors, will be quick to state that “They didn’t have money in ancient Israel, so they tithed crops and livestock.”
But is that true? Were the ancient Israelites as destitute as so many want to portray them as being?
A careful study of the word of God will reveal to the reader that silver was the means of buying and selling from the time of Abraham and forward.
In Genesis 23, Abraham purchases the cave at Mach-Pelah from Ephron for 400 shekels of silver. Verse 16 of this chapter tells us that silver is the “current money of the merchant”.
In Genesis 37, Joseph is sold into slavery for twenty pieces of silver.
In Genesis 43, Joseph’s brethren took “double money” to Egypt to buy food. The word “money” in this chapter is translated from the Hebrew “keceph”. Keceph is defined as “silver.”
In Exodus 21, if a man’s ox injured another man’s slave, the owner of the ox was to pay the owner of the slave in silver.
In Exodus 30, every male between the age of 20 and 60 is required to pay an atonement offering of a half-shekel of silver annually,… whether they are rich or poor.
In Leviticus 27, many things dedicated to God can be redeemed (bought back) with silver. Even a portion of one’s crops tithe could be redeemed.
In Deuteronomy 14. the Feast tithe could be sold if it was too heavy, or if there was a chance of it spoiling before the Israelite reached the place of festivities. Upon reaching the place of festivities, the Israelites was to buy food as the Feast tithe and eat it with his family.
In Judges 9. Abimelech paid people silver to follow him.
In Judges 17, graven image purchased with 200 shekels of silver
In Jeremiah 32, The weeping prophet purchased land from his uncle Hanameel with 17 pieces of silver.
In Matthew 14, ointment might have been sold for three hundred pence. (denarius)
In Matthew 17, a coin taken from the mouth of a fish is not used to tithe, but to pay a Roman Tax.
In Luke 22, Jesus tells His Apostles to sell a garment and use the money… not to tithe… but to buy a sword.
In Matthew 20, parable speaks of workers agreeing to work for a penny.
Abram’s tithe to Melchizedek was of war spoils, not of his monetary income.
Israel’s tithe was of agricultural increase, not of their monetary income.
Israel’s monetary system, as proven by numerous verses referenced above, was silver and not agricultural increase.
There is nothing in the word of God that indicates anyone being required to tithe their monetary income to either Tabernacle, Temple, Synagogue or Church.