February 2019

Was Abram’s Tithe Expected of Him?
by Ronald W Robey
(written January 01, 2019)

According to ancient history, tithing of war spoils to kings and gods was practiced as early as 285 years prior to the account in Genesis 14.

We see in the Genesis text that Melchizedek lived in Salem. Melchizedek left Salem and traveled to Shaveh, which indicates an expectation.

Bera king of Sodom also traveled to Shaveh…again, showing an expectation.

Why would these two kings travel to Shaveh if not expecting something?

Could it be that both Bera and Melchizedek were hoping to receive the customary tithe from war spoils recovered in battle, but since that customary tithe was given to Melchizedek, Bera settled for pleading for the people?

Genesis tells us that Shaveh was also known as “the valley of the kings”. This would indicate it being a place where kings assembled for a purpose. If the purpose was in hopes of receiving the customary tithe of war spoils, then it would stand to reason that Abram tithed due to expectancy.

I once read a book, “The Struggle of the Nations”, written in the mid 1890’s by Gaston Maspero, Professor at Oxford University. In his book, Maspero explains that that geographical location of the world had been observing the war spoil tithe to kings, mentioning Thutmosis III, (1481-1425 BC) whose god was a sun god, receiving tithes of war spoils, as had been practiced by the Assyrians and Babylonians for at least eight hundred years.

One thing is for certain. The three men, (Abram, Bera, and Melchizedek) traveled to the valley of the kings for a reason. Abram lived on the West side of the Dead Sea and could have traveled South from Hobah (where he had rescued his nephew Lot and recovered the stolen goods) to his home in Mamre, keeping the spoils for himself.

But instead, he traveled South-East to the Eastern side of the Dead Sea to the valley of the kings. This gives indication that Abram was expected to travel that direction for the purpose of meeting other kings for that purpose of giving the customary tithe of the spoils. This gives more credence to the Historical books written that describe victorious soldiers tithing war spoils long before Abram tithed war spoils to Melchizedek.

Artistic License
by Ronald W Robey
(written February 02, 2019)

Many in our churches today are under the impression that tithes are supposed to be given because even though monetary tithes are not required in the Bible, God did command tithing. They argue that, “Monetary tithing is simply based on Biblical teaching.”

Most lies taught in religious institutions are based on biblical teachings. Is God’s church supposed to be built on truth, or lies?

In movies, the phrase “based on” means that the story being told is about actual events that have taken place and/or the story is from a book that was written, but that the producers of the movie have taken “artistic license” with the event or book they are re-telling.

For example: In the most recent “Left Behind” movie starring Nicholas Cage, the producers took artistic license and had Raymie Steele disappear in his sister’s arms at a local mall in the town where the Steeles lived. However, in the book that inspired the movie, Tim LaHaye and Jerry B Jenkins reveal that Raymie was home in bed when the Rapture took place, and Chloe was in college in another State.

Artistic License is nothing more than changing what was written or said into something it never was. When artistic license is accepted, it takes the focus of what was actually written and places it on something entirely different.

So it is with many who are commissioned to preach God’s word. They will stand behind the sacred desk, read a few verses from the Bible, and then take “artistic license” with the verses they have just read.

They will read verses from Malachi, words directed specifically at the priests of Israel, verses that are specifically about agricultural tithes, and use those verses to preach that Malachi is speaking to people in an entirely different location on Earth and is speaking about monetary tithes.

Who authorized them to use “artistic license” when preaching God’s word? God sure didn’t. The apostle Paul admonished the young evangelist, Timothy to, “Preach the word; be instant in season, out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort with all longsuffering and doctrine. For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but after their own lusts shall they heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears; And they shall turn away their ears from the truth, and shall be turned unto fables.” (2 Tim. 4:2-4)

Artistic License with the word of God may look good to some, but it is nothing more than turning truth into a lie. When “artistic license” is taken with the word of God, the teaching becomes nothing more than “fables” that contradict sound doctrine.

2 Corinthians 4:1 Therefore seeing we have this ministry, as we have received mercy, we faint not;
2 Corinthians 4:2 But have renounced the hidden things of dishonesty, not walking in craftiness, nor handling the word of God deceitfully; but by manifestation of the truth commending ourselves to every man’s conscience in the sight of God.

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