April 2018


Cursed With a Curse
by Ronald W Robey
 
If the Pastors who teach a monetary tithe requirement are right when they preach that “you are robbing God, and therefore you are cursed with a curse if you fail to tithe your monetary income to the House of God,” then we can come to no other conclusion than
 
a) the Patriarchs robbed God and were cursed with a curse;
 
b) the Prophets robbed God and were cursed with a curse;
 
c) the Apostles robbed God and were cursed with a curse; and,
 
d) Jesus Christ robbed God and was cursed with a curse.
 
After all…not one of these tithed their monetary income to either Tabernacle, Temple, Synagogue, or Church.

Gehazi? or Elisha?
by Ronald W Robey

2 Kings 5:20-22 But Gehazi, the servant of Elisha the man of God, said, Behold, my master hath spared Naaman this Syrian, in not receiving at his hands that which he brought: but, as the LORD liveth, I will run after him, and take somewhat of him. So Gehazi followed after Naaman. And when Naaman saw him running after him, he lighted down from the chariot to meet him, and said, Is all well? And he said, All is well. My master hath sent me, saying, Behold, even now there be come to me from mount Ephraim two young men of the sons of the prophets: give them, I pray thee, a talent of silver, and two changes of garments.

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.

Gehazi, the servant of Elisha, had witnessed a miracle performed on Naaman the Syrian. Naaman was full of leprosy and sought the man of God that he might be restored to health and reunited with his people. Elisha gave Naaman a strange order, to wash seven times in the muddy waters of the Jordan river.

Naaman was bewildered. How could an unclean man wash himself clean by washing in waters that also were unclean? Wouldn’t water that was much purer do what was needed? No, it had to be the filthy waters of the Jordan river. Naaman, a man of great wealth, known and respected by many before the disease of leprosy had come upon him had to humble himself to the point that he would do that which to most men of nobility would seem degrading and humiliating… he had to humble himself to the point that he would actuully bathe in filth.

And when he obeyed, Naaman’s health was restored. The leprosy was gone!! What could be done for the man of God for such a miracle? Elisha offered to pay Elisha, but Elisha would not have anything to do with it. God’s work cannot be bought with silver or gold. Elisha knew full well that it was not his hand that had healed the leper, but the hand of Almighty God. God deserved the glory and praise, not man.

And so, Elisha returned to Samaria. But Gehazi, with greed in his heart, turned and followed after Naaman. When he caught up with him, he lied to Naaman and told him that his master Elisha had changed his mind and wanted payment for the healing.

When Elisha knew what Gehazi had done, Elisha decreed that Gehazi would be plagued with the same disease that had once been upon Naaman. Gehazi became the leper and outcast that Naaman once was.

Sadly, today there are many preachers who want to fashion their lives after both Elisha and Gehazi. They will stand behind pulpits, preaching the Word of God, while expecting the gain of man. Granted, not all preachers are out there for filthy lucre, but many are.

Pastors should be leading by example. They are to feed the Church of God, expecting nothing of man for that work. Elisha did not expect pay. Jesus commanded the the seventy disciples whom He sent out in Luke 10 not to accept pay.  He told them, “Freely ye have received, freely give.” The Apostle Paul, in Acts 20, told the Elders of the Church that he accepted no pay for his preaching of the Gospel. Paul said that he worked with his own hands to support himself and that they should follow his example.

Does this mean we cannot give a love offering once in a while? Not at all. I encourage love offerings for the pastor. But it is clear when reading God’s Word that the man of God was not to be paid for work he was doing for the Lord.

Too many pastors expect their flock to take care of them financially, when the Word of God reveals that the pastor should be working to meet his own financial needs. It is not the congregations responsibility to pay the preacher a weekly salary.

Pastors, follow the examples of Elisha and Paul. Don’t be a Gehazi.

Witchcraft in the Church?
by Ronald W Robey
 
1 Samuel 15:23 For rebellion is as the sin of witchcraft, and stubbornness is as iniquity and idolatry. Because thou hast rejected the word of the LORD, he hath also rejected thee from being king.
 
In the above verse, we learn that witchcraft is a sin. But the question arises, what exactly is witchcraft in the verse above?
 
The Hebrew word is “qesem”, (keh-sem) and it means “a divine sentence.” So, “witchcraft” is the act of pronouncing a divine sentence upon someone.
 
Now, I know God told prophets to decree that people would be blessed for obedience, or cursed for disobedience. That is not witchcraft. If God tells one to speak blessings or cursing, He is not telling that one to perform witchcraft.
 
But if one pronounces a blessing or cursing on someone where God did not authorize it, that is witchcraft.
 
When the pastors or spiritual leaders of a church assembly tell their congregation that they must tithe their money or they will be cursed, those pastors are pronouncing a curse upon those who do not heed their bidding. They are guilty of witchcraft.
 
Sadly, many pastors are guilty of rejecting the Word of the Lord concerning what God’s holy tithe consisted of and are guilty of pronouncing a curse upon the saved.
 
These Pastors are therefore sinning against God and against His Church.

Giving to the Lord
by Ronald W Robey

It is strange how so many relate the giving ten percent of their money to their local church as “giving to God,” when nowhere in the Bible does it say that giving to your local church is giving to God.

The wise king Solomon said

Proverbs 19:17 He that hath pity upon the poor lendeth unto the LORD; and that which he hath given will he pay him again.

Jesus said

Matthew 25:24 Then he which had received the one talent came and said, Lord, I knew thee that thou art an hard man, reaping where thou hast not sown, and gathering where thou hast not strawed:

25 And I was afraid, and went and hid thy talent in the earth: lo, there thou hast that is thine.

26 His lord answered and said unto him, Thou wicked and slothful servant, thou knewest that I reap where I sowed not, and gather where I have not strawed:

27 Thou oughtest therefore to have put my money to the exchangers, and then at my coming I should have received mine own with usury.

28 Take therefore the talent from him, and give it unto him which hath ten talents.

29 For unto every one that hath shall be given, and he shall have abundance: but from him that hath not shall be taken away even that which he hath.

30 And cast ye the unprofitable servant into outer darkness: there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth.

31 When the Son of man shall come in his glory, and all the holy angels with him, then shall he sit upon the throne of his glory:

32 And before him shall be gathered all nations: and he shall separate them one from another, as a shepherd divideth his sheep from the goats:

33 And he shall set the sheep on his right hand, but the goats on the left.

34 Then shall the King say unto them on his right hand, Come, ye blessed of my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world:

35 For I was an hungred, and ye gave me meat: I was thirsty, and ye gave me drink: I was a stranger, and ye took me in:

36 Naked, and ye clothed me: I was sick, and ye visited me: I was in prison, and ye came unto me.

37 Then shall the righteous answer him, saying, Lord, when saw we thee an hungred, and fed thee? or thirsty, and gave thee drink?

38 When saw we thee a stranger, and took thee in? or naked, and clothed thee?

39 Or when saw we thee sick, or in prison, and came unto thee?

40 And the King shall answer and say unto them, Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me.

Sadly, many with money in their pockets will pass a poor beggar on the street.as they are on the way to Sunday Morning Worship Services and they will drop that money in a collection basket…thinking they are giving to the Lord.

They had an opportunity to give to the Lord…but dismissed it.

Proverbs 29:7 The righteous considereth the cause of the poor: but the wicked regardeth not to know it.

God sees you more righteous when you stop to assist the poor, than when you drop money in a collection basket at a religious institution.

I Glorify God on This Behalf
by Ronald W Robey

Seeing that Christ never called any of His followers “Christian” in the Gospels, is it wrong for me to identify myself as a Christian?

I don’t believe I am wrong.

Agrippa was almost persuaded by the apostle Paul to become a “Christian”.

Acts 26:28 Then Agrippa said unto Paul, Almost thou persuadest me to be a Christian.

I see nothing in the New Testament epistles that says one should not be called a “Christian”. Matter of fact, I see a verse that seems to encourage the label.

1 Peter 4:16 Yet if any man suffer as a Christian, let him not be ashamed; but let him glorify God on this behalf.

Those who want to persecute me for identifying myself as a Christian, have at it. I glorify God on this behalf.

Matthew 7:21 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.

22 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?

23 And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity.

One can be a believer and still go to hell. Committing to being a “Christian” requires much more than just believing Christ…it also requires following Him.

One Thing is Needful
by Ronald W Robey
 
Luke 10:37 And he said, He that shewed mercy on him. Then said Jesus unto him, Go, and do thou likewise.
 
38 Now it came to pass, as they went, that he entered into a certain village: and a certain woman named Martha received him into her house.
 
39 And she had a sister called Mary, which also sat at Jesus’ feet, and heard his word.
 
40 But Martha was cumbered about much serving, and came to him, and said, Lord, dost thou not care that my sister hath left me to serve alone? bid her therefore that she help me.
 
41 And Jesus answered and said unto her, Martha, Martha, thou art careful and troubled about many things:
 
42 But one thing is needful: and Mary hath chosen that good part, which shall not be taken away from her.
 
In Luke 10:38-42 Jesus rebuked Martha for wanting her sister to leave Jesus’ side and attend to household duties. Mary had rather chosen to sit at Jesus’ feet and listen to the words of Jesus.
 
Jesus told Martha that, while Martha saw what she was doing as being important, she needed to realize that other things are also important.
 
We see much the same today. Many a Pastor or layman does not understand when another Pastor or layman is not alongside them in their doctrine, not agreeing with their beliefs
 
Hear again, the words of Jesus…
 
“She hath chosen the good part.”
 
While many Pastors and laymen are going about doing things their way, preaching and teaching doctrines that are totally foreign to the word of God, there are others who have “chosen the good part”…they are hearing the words of Jesus rather than the words of deceptive sermons.
 
If you are one such person that complains because a Pastor or layman is not agreeing with false doctrine, one thing is needful…stop complaining about those who are hearing and continuing the word of truth.
 
Their part is not to be taken away from them.
 
Following an Ancient Custom
by Ronald W Robey
An ancient Babylonian practice may be relevant to the events we read in Genesis 14 of Abraham giving tithes of war spoils to Melchizedek.
How is an ancient Babylonian practice relevant to Abraham’s tithe? Because, prior to moving to Mamre on the lower east side of the Dead Sea, Abraham (then Abram at the time) lived in Ur of the Chaldees…a country in ancient Babylonia.

Genesis 15:7 And he said unto him, I am the LORD that brought thee out of Ur of the Chaldees, to give thee this land to inherit it.

Abram worked in his father’s idol shop in Ur of the Chaldees. He would have been aware of the customs that were observed and practiced. It is possible that Abram’s giving tithes to Melchizedek was simply him trying to observe the custom of the day.
That Abraham was following a custom can easily be seen when one considers both Historical records along with the text of Genesis 14.
On the Historical aspect, the British Museum houses two clay tablets dating circa 2200 BC. The cuneiform etchings tell how victors of war gave tithes of the spoils to kings. Sound familiar?
Prof. G. Maspero of Oxford authored a book in 1896 titled “The Struggle of the Nations”. This book records that ancient Babylonians tithed war spoils to their kings.
For the Biblical aspect, we need only look at Genesis 14:16-23 & Hebrews 7:4.
Genesis 14:16 And he brought back all the goods, and also brought again his brother Lot, and his goods, and the women also, and the people.
17 And the king of Sodom went out to meet him after his return from the slaughter of Chedorlaomer, and of the kings that were with him, at the valley of Shaveh, which is the king’s dale.
18 And Melchizedek king of Salem brought forth bread and wine: and he was the priest of the most high God.
19 And he blessed him, and said, Blessed be Abram of the most high God, possessor of heaven and earth:
20 And blessed be the most high God, which hath delivered thine enemies into thy hand. And he gave him tithes of all.
21 And the king of Sodom said unto Abram, Give me the persons, and take the goods to thyself.
22 And Abram said to the king of Sodom, I have lift up mine hand unto the LORD, the most high God, the possessor of heaven and earth,
23 That I will not take from a thread even to a shoelatchet, and that I will not take any thing that is thine, lest thou shouldest say, I have made Abram rich:

Hebrews 7:4 Now consider how great this man was, unto whom even the patriarch Abraham gave the tenth of the spoils.

Where did Abraham give the tithes of war spoils? In Shaveh…also known as the “the kings’ valley
Why would Shaveh be called “the kings’ valley“?  The text seems to imply that kings met at Shaveh after a battle was won. We do see in the text that two kings, Bera and Melchizedek, went to the valley to meet with Abraham after Abraham’s successful battle against the five kings..
Melchizedek left his home in Salem and traveled to Shaveh. The Biblical text tells us also that Bera king of Sodom went out before him.
So, we have two kings going to the kings’ valley. For what purpose? Again, we see Abraham gave Melchizedek tithes of all. (the all is defined by Genesis 14:16 and Hebrews 7:4) After giving tithes to Melchizedek, Bera confronts Abraham and tells him to “Give me the people and keep the goods“.
I see in the text of Genesis 14:16-23 that both kings went out to meet Abraham after Abraham had slaughtered the wicked kings in Hobar. I believe they both went for the purpose of collecting that tithe that was due to a king. Melchizedek was the one Abraham chose to give the expected tithe to…possibly because Melchizedek was known as “priest of the Most High God.”
Abraham had already promised God that he would not take any of the spoils as his own property. And so, after tithing to Melchizedek, Abraham returned all of Bera’s property to Bera…”save that which the men have eaten“.

Food, Drink, and Lodging…Not Monetary Payment
by Ronald W Robey

1 Corinthians 9:13-14 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.
 
Many have used the above verses to teach that Paul was telling local church members that their church leaders are to be supported financially through tithing of their monetary wages and household income. They claim that Pastors should not work secular jobs, but should attend to the matters of the church alone and be provided for by tithes brought into the church.
 
However, is that really what the apostle is saying in 1 Corinthians 9:13-14? I contend that it is not. Paul is not speaking of local church leadership at all…he is speaking of the right of apostles to food, drink, and lodging in the houses of those they minister to.
 
At the beginning of the chapter, Paul establishes the fact that he is an apostle of Christ. He then establishes the fact that as an apostle, he has the right, as do others who do the work of the apostles, to food, drink, and lodging. He goes on to say that he has not exercised that right but chose to work to support himself.
 
He basically preached the same message to church leaders in Acts 20. There, we read:
 
Acts 20:33-35 I have coveted no man’s silver, or gold, or apparel. 34 Yea, ye yourselves know, that these hands have ministered unto my necessities, and to them that were with me. Acts 20:35 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.
 
Interestingly, historians place the meeting with the church leaders in Ephesus (Acts 20) a year AFTER the first epistle to the church at Corinth was written. Since the apostle stated that church leaders should work to support themselves and the weak a year after saying “they which preach the Gospel should live of the Gospel,” he could not have been speaking of church leaders being supported by the congregation through tithes.
 
Paul was not a double-minded man.
 
Read the first twelve verses of 1 Corinthians 9. Compare them with the first twelve verses of Luke 10. The language in the two chapters is almost identical. Apostles are sent out to preach the Gospel have a right to food and drink. The seventy that were sent out to preach the Gospel in Luke 10 had a right to food and drink.
 
But notice also in the text of Luke 10:4…those sent were to take neither purse nor wallet with them. This indicates that they were not to accept any money for their preaching of the Gospel of the Kingdom. Taking money for preaching the Gospel was forbidden by Jesus Christ. And the apostle Paul would not take money for preaching the Gospel either.
 
He had no right to require money for his preaching. But, he did have a right to food, drink, and lodging. However, he did not exercise that right. He worked with his hands to provide for himself as an example for others to follow.
In What Land Do We Tithe?
by Ronald W Robey
Deuteronomy 12:10-11 But when ye go over Jordan, and dwell in the land which the LORD your God giveth you to inherit, and when he giveth you rest from all your enemies round about, so that ye dwell in safety; 11 Then there shall be a place which the LORD your God shall choose to cause his name to dwell there; thither shall ye bring all that I command you; your burnt offerings, and your sacrifices, your tithes, and the heave offering of your hand, and all your choice vows which ye vow unto the LORD:
In Deuteronomy 12:10-11 we learn that God’s tithe is not to be observed outside of the land of Canaan. We learn that God has a specific location in Canaan where tithes are to be taken.
2 Chronicles 6:5-6 Since the day that I brought forth my people out of the land of Egypt I chose no city among all the tribes of Israel to build an house in, that my name might be there; neither chose I any man to be a ruler over my people Israel: 6 But I have chosen Jerusalem, that my name might be there; and have chosen David to be over my people Israel.
2 Chronicles 6:5-6 discloses to the reader the location that God said would bear His name. The city of Jerusalem is where God said tithes are to be taken.
Deuteronomy 14:22-26 Thou shalt truly tithe all the increase of thy seed, that the field bringeth forth year by year. 23 And thou shalt eat before the LORD thy God, in the place which he shall choose to place his name there, the tithe of thy corn, of thy wine, and of thine oil, and the firstlings of thy herds and of thy flocks; that thou mayest learn to fear the LORD thy God always. 24 And if the way be too long for thee, so that thou art not able to carry it; or if the place be too far from thee, which the LORD thy God shall choose to set his name there, when the LORD thy God hath blessed thee: 25 Then shalt thou turn it into money, and bind up the money in thine hand, and shalt go unto the place which the LORD thy God shall choose: 26 And thou shalt bestow that money for whatsoever thy soul lusteth after, for oxen, or for sheep, or for wine, or for strong drink, or for whatsoever thy soul desireth: and thou shalt eat there before the LORD thy God, and thou shalt rejoice, thou, and thine household,
Deuteronomy 14:22-26 reveals what eleven of the twelve tribes of Israel were to do with the tithe once they reached Jerusalem. They were to eat the tithe with their families.
Nehemiah 10:37-38 And that we should bring the firstfruits of our dough, and our offerings, and the fruit of all manner of trees, of wine and of oil, unto the priests, to the chambers of the house of our God; and the tithes of our ground unto the Levites, that the same Levites might have the tithes in all the cities of our tillage. 38 And the priest the son of Aaron shall be with the Levites, when the Levites take tithes: and the Levites shall bring up the tithe of the tithes unto the house of our God, to the chambers, into the treasure house.
In Nehemiah 10, we learn that a tithe is to be given in the farming communities of Canaan to the Levitic tribe in Israel. The Levitic tribe is to take a tithe of that tithe to the Temple in Jerusalem.
What verse in the Bible instructs us to observe tithing in other lands?
You’re Still a Thief!
by Ronald W Robey
God sees those who tithe in lands outside of Canaan/Israel as thieves.
How so?
Because the only place in God’s word that He names as an authorized tithe collection location is the city of Jerusalem in the land of Canaan/Israel.
Deuteronomy 12:10 But WHEN YE GO OVER JORDAN, and DWELL IN THE LAND WHICH THE LORD YOUR GOD GIVETH YOU TO INHERIT, and when he giveth you rest from all your enemies round about, so that ye dwell in safety;
11 Then THERE SHALL BE A PLACE WHICH THE LORD YOUR GOD SHALL CHOOS TO CAUSE HIS NAME TO DWELL THERE; THITHER SHALL YE BRING ALL THAT I COMMAND YOU; your burnt offerings, and your sacrifices, YOUR TITHES, and the heave offering of your hand, and all your choice vows which ye vow unto the LORD:
2 Chronicles 6:5 Since the day that I brought forth my people out of the land of Egypt I chose no city among all the tribes of Israel to build an house in, that my name might be there; neither chose I any man to be a ruler over my people Israel:
6 But I HAVE CHOSEN JERUSALEM, THAT MY NAME MIGHT BE THERE; and have chosen David to be over my people Israel.
God’s tithe is to be observed in Jerusalem…nowhere else.
So if you are tithing in lands other than Canaan/Israel so as not to be seen by God as a thief, He still sees you as a thief. You are not tithing where He said his tithe is to be taken.
It is as if you have not tithed at all.
James 2:10 For whosoever shall keep the whole law, and yet offend in one point, he is guilty of all.

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