Reply to Truth Works, 4-3-10
TW: Melchizedek was a King and a Priest, just like Jesus. And his name literally means “King of Righteousness; King of Peace.” Duh. Not much need for an elaboration on that point.
Kelly: Hebrews 7 says that the “historical” Melchizedek was “by interpretation of his name” the “king of righteousness.” The historical was not literal; the typical was.
TW: And then there is this strange statement, “without father, without mother, without genealogy, having neither beginning of days nor end of life” (Hebrews 7:3). Who is this guy?
Kelly: Everything about the historical M actually DISQUALIFIED him to be a priest in Israel. And everything about the historical M HIGHLY-QUALIFIED him to be an eternal priest of the Most High God which included Gentiles.
TW: Whether or not Melchizedek is a pre-incarnate manifestation of Jesus Christ or not — I do not know, and cannot say. But he certainly is “like unto Him” in many remarkable ways.
Kelly: Hebrews quotes Ps 110:4 eight times to point out that it is his office or “order” of “king-priest” which is important and not his “person.”
TW: And then there is this stunning fact presented for our peanut brains to try and figure out. When Abraham returned victorious from battle, Melchizedek blessed him and said, ”Blessed be Abraham of God Most High, Possessor of heaven and earth; and blessed be God Most High, Who has delivered your enemies into your hand.” And then the Bible says, “And Abraham gave him a tithe of all.” (Gen 14:19–20).
Kelly: Abram, not Abraham after his circumcision. Most likely he was compelled to obey the well-known law of the land which required tithes from spoils of war to the king-priest.
TW: There is a principle of Bible Study, which is called The Law of First Mention. It is a principle that requires one to go to that portion of the Scriptures where a doctrine is mentioned for the first time and to study the first occurrence of the same in order to get the fundamental inherent meaning of that doctrine. What is found in the first mention of a thing will hold true throughout the Bible from that point forward.
Kelly: See comments on Heb 7:5.
TW: This passage is the first mention of tithing in the Bible. Abraham gives tithes to Melchizedek, after the King/Priest blessed him. Why did he do that? There was no Law saying he had to do so; in fact, The Law would not come for several hundred years.
Kelly: Yes there was a very well-known pagan Arab and Canaanite law which required tithes from spoils of war.
TW: No, Abraham did not tithe out of any sense of duty or legalism; he tithed because his heart was filled with gratitude for the blessings he had received.
Kelly: There are no texts to validate this assertion.
TW: And his giving of the tithe to Melchizedek was a profound act of faith, and a compelling example of faithfulness — which stands to this day in the lives of all who are heirs of the blessing given to Abraham.
Kelly: Again there are no texts to validate this. Abraham got rich after lying to Pharaoh about his wife. And he gave 90% of the spoil to the king of Sodom. Those are not examples of faith to follow.
TW: Whether or not you tithe is none of my business; that’s a matter between you and the Lord. Some do, and some don’t.
Kelly: Nobody tithes today. True biblical HOLY tithes were always only food from inside Israel and that cannot be denied. Tithes did not come from what one’s hands provided or from outside Israel from Leviticus to Matthew. Not even Jesus tithed.
TW: But, there are some who DO NOT tithe, who act as though they are on a mission from God to prove to the world that those who DO tithe are deluded. With lengthy arguments they painstakingly try to dismantle each and every point made by others who teach that tithing is a truth for us today.
Kelly: Dialog with us. We sincerely urge you to carefully and prayerfully study all of what God’s Word says about tithing before condemning us. Be a Berean.
TW: The Bible says, “Let every man be fully persuaded in his own mind” (Romans 14:5).
Kelly: This is exactly what we urge.
TW: So as for me, I see no problem following in the footsteps of Abraham’s faith and love, and showing it in every way possible — including giving freely a tenth of my income –
Kelly: Follow Abram’s example and your church will flounder: (1) lie about your wife, (2) only tithe pagan spoils of war, (3) only tithe once, (4) keep nothing and (5) give the 90% to the modern equivalent of the king of Sodom.
TW: … especially when One far greater than Melchizedek reigns with blessings over my life today! He is the True King of Righteousness and the True King of Peace; He is the High Priest of the Most High God; He is Jesus, and He has risen from the dead!
Kelly: If you own and inherit property as a tithe-recipient, you are breaking the tithing law. If you do not KILL others entering the Sanctuary to worship God directly, you are breaking the tithing law. Num 18:21-28.
Hebrews 7:5 is the first occurrence in Hebrews of “commandment,” “tithes” and “law.” In 7:12 God said that it was “necessary to change the law” of tithing from 7:5. How was that law “changed”? It was not changed to be given to NT gospel workers. Rather 7:18 says that the “commandment going before” was “disannulled” because it was “weak and unprofitable.”
Please enter an honest discussion with us on this subject.